The Bright Guest Disappears

Stacy Campbell died at the worst possible time.**

Wow Kat, you don’t write  a post for two years – with the exception of two end of the year recaps – and you jump right into that? What a fucking “return”.

Yes, well, a return is also based on investment, and in this case the investment of time has created a poor return. (And while I’m at it, I love my penchant for using numerical alliterations despite being dyslexic.) But anyway. If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about then we’re on the same page; I’m writing this shit and I don’t even know what I’m talking about.

No, that’s not exactly true. I unfortunately know exactly what I’m talking about, but it makes the dinner guest feel better if you volunteer that the meal is terrible.

Eat up, and please be assured that I hate the fare as much as you.

Stacy 1Stacy Campbell died at the worst possible time, but it apparently was her time – on her own time. Her official last day in this world is September 16, 2015, but the actual date isn’t known for certain. I can’t help but wonder if she didn’t actually pass on September 15th. I wonder this because Stacy had the most ironic sense of humor, and it would be so her to take her life on National Suicide Awareness Day.

And, as is the case whenever someone takes their life, I’ve being wrestling with that question of “why?”.

I know the answer, but I don’t understand it. And I hope that I never do understand it. I think that “why” is in itself part of the reason that I’ve been as frantic to figure out what made her reach that point as I have.

I’ve been low, and I’ve had those thoughts of the world being a better place without the burden of me and my insanity. I’ve also been to that point where everything hurts and you don’t want to end your life so much as you just want everything to just stop fucking hurting. I understand that pain so much that I cannot be angry at her for wanting it to end. I just wish I knew what I could’ve said to make her hold on a little longer, and that I could’ve been there to say it to her. I wish I could’ve told her that she’s not alone, and then I would’ve pointed to all of the people who have written on her Facebook wall saying how much she meant to them. The Interwebz can be good like that sometimes.

But then that very thing, the ability to connect to other people who understand your pain – the pain that “normal” people do not – is a double edge sword. I know that unless you battle mental issues you might not understand this, but people with our – ahem – affliction tend to gravitate to each other. We want to help each other, to assure each other that there are people who understand, that they are not alone. It helps, but at the same time I feel that our exclusive community of the tortured and the tested ends up being a macabre game of Russian Roulette. With so many players we’re bound to lose someone eventually. Depression comes in ebbs and flows, and everyone comes to a time when it’s their turn to pick up the gun. Thankfully the odds are in our favor. There are five empty chambers – family, and friends, and Faith, and life, and you, and anything else you value – they outnumber that single bullet. And life goes on… But people with depression identify and lean on each other, and unfortunately as soon as you put down the gun, then one of your friends picks it up.
Spin the barrel.
Fire the gun.
Someone dies.

That’s my own issues speaking though, and I want to talk about Stacy. Being a writer herself, I know she would have understood that diatribe.
Perfect segue.

Though we were both writers, I met Stacy through our love of animals. She had lost her beloved Jurgen, yet had found the strength to adopt another dog that needed a loving home. I so admired her for opening her heart again that it inspired me to dedicate my 200th blog post to animal rescue stories. I remember wondering what I should do for such a landmark post, and she was the inspiration for it.

nightmare dog, animal rescue storiesThat was Stacy though: kind and inspiring.

Unfortunately my own depression has been relentless for the past two years, and I didn’t talk with her as much as I wish I had. Like so many things in my life, I’d set her in my peripheral vision and only looked directly when something really fascinated me. I’m just thankful that she was so fascinating that I paid as much attention as I did.

Stacy just seemed so…”cool”. Even her name was interesting. Her full name was Anastasia, which usually garners the nickname of “Anne” or “Anna”, but she was a Stacy. I seriously thought that was the neatest nicking of names ever – so much so that I planned on changing the name of one of my characters in my book to that.
Stacy had the best Bucket List, and she was the only person I knew who actively worked to check things off of it. I loved it when a picture would show up on her Instagram feed documenting an adventure done, a check marked next to box on that list.

She skydived.

 

stacy 4
She went to a firing range.stacy 6
She went to concerts because she said she was going to stop saying she would see a band or an artist “next time”.stacy 5

She stayed in the fucking Stanley Hotel.stacy stanley i cant spell

I am a huge fan of The Shining and it had never occurred to me to want to stay in the creepy hotel that inspired the story until I saw Stacy’s black and white pictures of the infamous fourth floor. Not only was the fact that she was at the hotel so brilliant, but her pictures were taken with such a sharp eye that they captured eeriness without being campy. But this shouldn’t be surprising because Stacy was an incredible photographer.stacy stanley Her Stanley Hotel pictures were not just beautiful but they were complete with captions about hearing children playing in empty halls, and ordering Whiskey from a bartender named Lloyd. They were beautiful as only she could make them because they illustrated her vision, both also her wicked sense of humor and her mastery of words.

Her words. I wish that I had read more of them while she was still here.

Through the power of the Interwebz and its promise threat that nothing ever really disappears from its depths I’ve been able to read her former blog “Jurgen Nation”. There is so much brilliance there. It’s not an easy blog to read – there is a lot of pain, and it kills me a little wondering if she wished that she could make her pain disappear as simply as she thought she had deleted the blog that detailed it…and how wretchedly ironic it is that her blog didn’t truly disappear after all. Nothing disappears.

Another irony – bloody fucking hell I’m beginning to hate you, Mistress Irony – is that the post that resonates most to me right now – the one that exactly touches on the punch in the throat that has knocked me into such a pit this year that I cannot fathom ever being able to climb out of it, on a pain that I cannot even yet put into words – was written only a few days after a post where she wrote a letter to herself twenty years from now. Or “then” since it was in 2009. It a post about how she would still be here in twenty years, even though she might think she won’t.

Stacy 2It makes me so angry that Life thinks it’s so clever with these little elbows to the ribs. You’re so not fucking funny, in fact sometimes You feel downright cruel.

There is so much that I’m going to miss about Stacy. Her presence was like birds singing: you don’t realize how much you enjoy their music, and take for granted that they will always be singing until they are silent. I think of all of the empty buildings that she will never photograph, all of the words she’ll never write, all of the snarky jokes she will never make. Stacy was caring, and beautiful, and wrong, and clever, and brilliant. I read the stories shared by people who knew her better, and I’m so jealous of them. I wish that I could justify this pain by proximity, where the equation would make sense. But there is a reason that artists are dyslexic, and numbers do not add up to us. stacy 7

Stacy was a true Siren, drawing so many people to her.
I’m grateful that I  heard her song and listened while I could.

I will see you later, beautiful girl. Keep the cocktail chilling.

In the mean time I am changing a character’s name in your honour. It is my hope that “Stacy” destroying demons in my story will give you the victory down here that you so deserved.

 

stacy brody

“Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.”

 

**The average time that people will allow you to mourn is one month. I wrote this entry nearly three months ago, and I still feel it so much that I decided to finish it and publish the bloody thing. It reminds me that loss has no timetable. Loss is not something get over, you just learn to live with it.

 

 

Not Really a Post But More of a HA HA! Moment I Decided To Share

If you are my fraynd on the Facebook then you will see that my current status is that today’s originally scheduled post was not finished due to a visiting puppy. Puppy trumps all work. This is a fact.

However as I was perusing the Interbutz wasting time, I came across this cartoon and it made me snicker and I had to share it because I’m obligated to share amusing shit and also it explains my recent lapse in posting.

writers procrastinate funny

This is almost exactly what I have been doing for the past week and a half only instead of chopping wood I’ve been gardening. And while most people would yell at me for procrastinating on work that needs to be done on the novel (and rightly so but that’s an entirely different egg), I say that I had a legitimate excuse for all of this gardening. Namely that my mother saw a Hummingbird in the backyard and in my world this executes into tearing a part a Bonsai tree that has been growing wild for nearly two decades. (Don’t ask, just accept that this logic is normal for the circus that is my life.)

The hours of slaving in the sun and mosquito bites aside (and oh do I have one motherfucking spectacular rage-filled post about those assholes in the works) I actually think that I did a nice job in creating “Hummingbird Garden”. Mostly it seems to have made my mother happy and she puts up with a fuckton of my *ahem* eccentricity so it was worth it.

Bonsai tree garden before

BEFORE

bonsai tree garden after

AFTER

That is all one tree that I had to tame and you would not believe the shit I found while taming it. Aside from the dude buried amongst the branches who thought that Reagan was still president, it was like an entomologist’s dream of freaky fucking insects that were jumping out of me. It was seriously like being in bloody Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Not cool since I’m still traumatized from my battle with the Carpenter Ants from Hell.

*Sorry about the picture being the wrong way. I’m still trying to remember that I can actually turn my phone.

A Peek In My Brain (God Help You All) Aka: LOOK WHAT I FOUND IN DRAFTS!!!

So you know that shit to which I referred in this video post here?*

*I find it somewhat hilarious when I curse and yet use proper English.**

**That said, I’m easily amused.***

***Especially by my own humor.

reblog for stupid questions

(You’re gonna get some soon.)

Anyway! I’m stupid busy with that shit, yet trying to maintain a better blogging schedule (because who doesn’t want to up the ante on their blog posts when they have a deadline to finish rewrites on their first novel and the pressure is ridiculously on, right???) and luckily I found this little ditty in my drafts folder thanks to some questions posed by my girl Jewels a while ago on her blog. This is actually perfect because I’ve received a number of really weird? personal? WTF? questions in my email and various DMs and I’m going to add my answers to those questions at the bottom.

1. What side of the bed do you sleep on?

The top.

2. Do you believe in ghosts?

Yes. I don’t discriminate against a person just because they don’t have a body.

3. Would you be willing to go on a cross country (driving) trip with me?

More than willing, in fact I think that we should do this because I’ve always wanted to drive to Hawaii.

4. If you could only watch one show for the rest of your life what would it be?

Cupcake Wars. As long as Florian Bellanger remained one of the judges. (I fucking love him!)

5. If you could only read one author until the end of time who would it be?

I’m going to go with George R.R. Martin because I really want to know how the “Song of Fire and Ice” series ends, and at the rate he’s writing, it’s going to take until the end of time for him to finish it.

6. If you HAD to get something pierced what would it be?

A Tragus or a Helix because I kinda want those anyway.

7. Given a choice of a mystery meaning Chinese symbol, butterfly, or zodiac tattoo which would you pick? (You HAVE to pick one)

A butterfly. Zodiac is hoo-ha, and a former friend of mine had a Chinese symbol tattooed on himself that he found out later literally translated to “Kill Whitey”. And then there’s this:

English tattoo on Asian girl

8. Would you rather have sex with Wilford Brimley/Susan Boyle or give up sex for good?

Well I’m not a lesbian, and I’d rather not give up the option to have sex, so I’ll go with Wilfy. He and his “die-beetus” wouldn’t last long anyway.

9. What would you pay for a vaccination that prevents kids from being bitchy, sassy, dickheads?

I already have a vaccination for this.  It’s called The Naughty Box.

10. Would you rather serve a week in prison or try and survive for a year alone in a jungle?

Jungle. Easy. Only I wouldn’t just survive, I’d be ruling that shit by the time a year was over.  And everyone who visited would be greeted with “Do you know where you are?  You’re in the jungle, baby.  You’re gonna diiiiiiie!”

11. What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?

You smell nice.

BONUS ROUND OF QUESTIONS ASKED ME PERSONALLY VIA TWITTER/EMAIL

How old are you? (Number one question I get asked.)

Old. Like super old.

Let me put it this way, there is a reason that I write about vampires.

Are your stories really true? (The majority of the time this question refers to the story about what I did to The Cheating Dude and his keys.)

With the exception of the story about the toaster, yes, the stories involving me are true. I’m seriously a magnet for WTF, and I’m just blessed that I (seem to) have an effective enough writing voice to convey just how bizzare some of this shit is.

Why haven’t there been any stories about S. lately?

This is my own fault since I probably didn’t state it clearly in the post that I wrote , but S. succumbed to the cancer that she had been fighting on the day before Thanksgiving in 2011.

What kind of dog is Kira?

A Brat-skimo: 100% American Eskimo* and 100% Brat
*Kira is a runt though and only about 12 lbs when she should be closer to 20.

Did you go to school to be a writer?

No, with the exception of a few courses, I didn’t go to college period. I said that I graduated from a college to get into first “real” job and then moved my way up by always asking for more responsibilities. I do not advocate this at all, however when I left that job I was the head of the department and had reorganized it so that the practice was making twice as much as it had under my predecessor who had a Masters degree.*

*And by admitting this I realize that I’ve given my future spawn a massive weapon to use against me when I harangue them about the merits of proper education.

Since turnabout is fair play, here are some questions for you all!

1-Did you ever wonder how they get the “M”s on M&Ms?
2-If you could only read one book for the rest of you life, what would you have for a snack?
3-What was the first CD that you ever bought? (Not record or tape, but CD.)
4-Are you stealing your Internet? If so where are you located because I’m tired of paying for mine.
5-Do you think that I’m joking?
6-Should I keep asking questions?
7-If you answered “no” to number 6, why did you read this? If you answered “yes”, are you mental?
8-If you answered number 7 yet said “no” to number 6, are you a Cthuhlu? If you answered “yes” to both number 6 and 7, then you are probably me.
9-I talk to myself.
10-Number 9 wasn’t a question unless you are me, then you know what I was asking.
11-Are you sleeping okay, dear?

Finally, since I’m sure that I’ve just told you all way more than you ever wanted to know about me, I’m chalking this entry up as Number 23 on my terribly neglected List of Shameless Shit: “Air one of your secrets.”

The Shining at Victoria’s Secret

victoria's secret, VS credit card, VS VIP

You don’t get a black VS credit card without having a problem.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve a *ahem* problem with Victoria’s Secret, to the point where I can’t even part with their bags.  Luckily, I don’t like shopping and despise having to deal with large, roaming packs of humans, so I’m very unlikely to go into a mall where they are located.  Unfortunately there are times that I cannot avoid the wretched mall.  Like when I have to get false eyelash glue.

As soon as I walked into the mall, I felt a strange, almost other-wordly force pulling me into the Victoria’s Secret, and though it was in the opposite direction of my original destination, I found myself walking through their doors, dragging my confused mother behind me.  A saleswoman immediately appeared and handed me a shopping bag

“Hello, Kat,” she smiled.

The fact that she knew my name should have been the tipoff right there that I was in very big fucking trouble, but I was too mesmerized by all of the lacy, pretty things surrounding me.

“Yes.  Yes, I’ve been away, but now I’m back,” I mumbled.

“It’s good to see you, Kat.  What will it be today?”

“Hair of the bra that bit me.”

“Dream Angels,” her eyes glowed as she gestured to a display in the center of the store.

“That’ll do ‘er,” I said shoving a woman with a baby carriage aside and vaulting over the makeup counter.

One way that I’ve been able to control my Victoria Secret spending is because I only really fancy the one style of bra, and they were running out of colours that I didn’t own.  As I perused the drawer with my size, I saw one bra that was black under white lace that I loved, but given that I already had a white one under black lace at home, I was able to put it down.  I was about to make it out of Vicky’s without getting another bra!

And then the saleswoman appeared in front of me.

“The bra in the corner is a Dream Angel, too,” she told me.

I glanced over to the corner and amidst some PJs was an ice blue bra under silvery white lace.

This was a problem.  I did not have an ice blue bra.  I have antique blue, but that’s a completely different similar blue, and besides mine is antique blue under antique blue lace, not under silvery white lace!

I could only pray that they wouldn’t have it in my weird size.

The saleswoman reached into the rack and pulled out the correct size, and then handed me the piece of Kat-Kryptonite.

“How did you know what size I wear?” I asked her.

“I should know, Kat, I’ve always been here.  Just as you have always been the caretaker…of these bras,” she replied.

I looked to my mother for help, but the saleswoman was obviously working her evil mind meddling on her because she just nodded her head with a glazed look in her hazel eyes.

“I think we have the bottoms, too.  Do you want to see them?” the saleswoman continued.

“No!”

‘Yes!’ I screamed in my head.

“Oh,” the saleswoman said sadly, “We only have one pair, and it’s too big for you.”

The bottoms were not too big for me, in fact they were my size, but using her telepathic power, the saleswoman knew that I feel that my ass is too big and that this last bit of flattery would be the thing to send me over to the edge.

gollum

Once again VS turned me into Gollum.

“Give them to me!” I demanded, “Give me the Precious!”

“We also have the matching gar-” she started.

I stuck my fingers in my ears and began humming “The Star Spangled Banner”, but then I heard the woman’s voice finish in my head, ‘-ter, you know.

“Red rum!” my mother suddenly yelled.

“You are so right, Mumma!  We need to get out of here right now!  I mean, like, right after I pay for the Precious!” I turned to the saleswoman, “So how’s my credit in this joint, anyway?”

“Your credit is fine, Kat,” the woman smiled.

“That’s swell.  I always liked you,” I told the woman as she took me to a register and checked me out.

“Come and see us again soon, Kat,” she told me as my mother and I began our escape, “Come and see us and stay forever…and ever…and ever.”

“I am never going in that store again,” I declared once Mumma and I were safely in the car.  But I know that I will.

The semi-annual sale is only a few months away.

**Today’s zombie survival tip is to not go to the mall ala Romero’s Dawn of The Dead.  As you can see the place is already corrupt.