Remember?


Remember when I used to blog? Yeah, I barely remember either….

I’m watching Julie & Julia, the movie that started this whole blog off in the first place. I figured if Julie Powell could utilize her writing and cooking skills through a blog, that maybe I could try my hand at it too. At first, I wrote a lot about how much I loved Julia Child — her spirit, her television persona, her life. Then, I wrote complete and utter silly nonsense. All the time. I’d write a post almost every day, about the books I’d read, the things I noticed about people.I wrote sarcastic posts about boys who had rejected me. I wrote about my declining mental health. I wrote about writing. About college. The Bachelor. Rabbits. Dancing. Barney…

So when I started writing almost 7 years ago on this very site, I didn’t really expect my life to go this way. I thought I’d be a writer by now. Then I thought maybe I’d be a psychologist. Now I’m in cosmetology school, which I wouldn’t have predicted but definitely won’t complain about. Clearly this path hasn’t exactly been linear. I just…thought I’d have it all figured out by now. I’m 23, after all, and when I was 17, I trusted my future self to take care of everything.

This blog was my everything. I had a solid following, an actual subscriber base that cared about my wellbeing and loved my humor. It used to be called Writer’s Block. “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll run kicking and screaming,” the caption at the top warned. A picture of typewriter keys occupied the banner. The web address? bymyink.wordpress.com. Now? Cappy Writes. A web address that matches the blog’s name. A picture of a packet of letters I bought at an antique shop. No tagline. A lot of sadness. Anger.

I’m not lamenting what used to be, really, so much as finally remembering. Realizing.

Obviously, I haven’t put the time and effort into blogging that I used to. At its peak, blogging was a tool to help me learn about and expand the world that I occupied. It was a way to gain support, to express myself, to hone a craft. It was pure. It meant everything to me. It was how I showed the world who I was, at a time when I thought I knew.

But the past few years haven’t been easy on me. My “mood disorder not otherwise specified” developed into generalized anxiety, a panic disorder, and depression. I was suicidal for a while when I was 18. I went through a surprisingly complicated breakup. I found Hinduism. It helped. New obstacles popped up. I got through them. I went to India. I got E. coli. I came out as bisexual. I graduated college, moved to a new city. I started cosmetology school. And through that all, the anxiety ebbed and flowed, but stayed mostly beneath the surface.

So now? I don’t know. I’m not okay, honestly. Something new is happening inside me, and I can’t understand it. I dealt with some serious depression over the summer, which is unusual for me, as it tends to stay contained within the “fall and winter seasonal affective” bubble. The panic disorder seems to have stayed away, which is one of the only things I find myself grateful for these days. The world doesn’t seem real lately, and neither do I. I’m going through the standard identity crisis that most people in their early 20s seem to experience, sure. But on top of that, some weird depersonalization/dissociation issues are cropping up. Therapy is happening. It’s rough, trying to stay afloat, stay alive, when you’re not even sure what’s going on anymore. I know all of that is vague, and I wish it could make more sense to me too. Just know that I’m dealing with it. I always do. I just don’t always know what to do anymore.

What does this all mean? In terms of this post, this blog, me, my life? I don’t know. All I know is, I got 15 minutes into watching Julie & Julia and I just got this itch to write. I’ve been cooking a lot lately, too. I’ve noticed that the worse I feel mentally, the more I cling to activities and people that used to make me feel calm and human and happy. This blog, more than anything, steadied my life when everything felt like it was going up in flames. So maybe it’s time to jump back in, ya know? To see a little humor in all the bullshit around me. To tell the world what I’m thinking, how I’m feeling. To share my story again with anyone willing to listen (and some who are very unwilling but are forced to because I’m a witch and I’ve hexed them).

So I’ll try, if you’ll help me. Your job is very simple: to show up and to read. I don’t even know how many of you are still out there, how many are new to my blog today, how many of you aren’t spam robots trolling through wordpress………

But yeah. I’ll try. No guarantees I’ll be funny, because half the time I just want to cry. But I’ll be here, writing into the abyss, for as long as you’ll have me.

 

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I Live in Mist


What is it about weather that inspires us to write? More specifically, why are we always moved by rain? I suppose rain symbolizes new beginnings as it cleans the streets and helps the crops and flowers grow. I think there’s something more, some other reason that we like to write poems and songs and entire novels about rain. But I have a feeling that by the end of this particular post, that reason will remain a mystery to me.

It’s absolutely pouring here. Monsoon status rain outside my window…and I don’t take monsoon rains lightly, having been caught in several during my stay in India…but I don’t think I’ve ever seen rain this powerful in this tiny little town, and I just love it. All my windows are open, and I went outside on my tiny porch to feel the mist on my face. It’s just…wonderful. It made me write.

I’m scared and anxious lately because I move out of my college town in three days, and within a few weeks will be living in Portland. I want everything to be for sure: I want a nice, cheap apartment in a good part of town. I want a job (literally any job). I want to be happy there. I want to know things about my future in Portland, but unfortunately that’s the weird part about making plans for the future…you never really know anything until it becomes the present. It’s exciting, all those unknowns, but in another sense it’s really really not. It’s just terrifying.

I went to India basically on a whim. I mean, I was heavily invested in going, and I researched a lot, but there’s no way to be prepared for what India presents you with. I just sort of showed up, very white and very naive, with a lot of sunscreen and Pepto Bismol in my suitcase. And I was fine. I survived. I got e. Coli, which was absolutely horrific and not really an experience I’d recommend to a friend, but I totally survived. And I loved my time in India. Every experience was new and exciting, every conversation challenging and beautiful.

So I guess I just need to pretend that this massive new step in my life is like traveling to India. It’ll probably be easier, now that I think of it. I’m relocating from one town in the Pacific Northwest to another (albeit much larger) city. My apartment was dingy, plain, and randomly full of tiny lizards in India…wherever I live in Oregon will be a step up. I’ll have my health. I’ll have a fantastic roommate who cares about me and will look out for me if needed. I’ll have every new opportunity I could ever imaging presenting itself to me, all while wearing the cool vibe of Portlandia…

I’m still terrified. But maybe I can be terrified in a way that at least puts things into perspective. I had this same mini-panic a few weeks before I went to India…this time last year, actually. I just sat there and thought, “I cannot do this.” But I did it. I’m kinda awesome.

It’ll be more than fine. This new part of my life is going to be epic. 

You guys, I figured it out. Just now, totally unexpectedly as a breeze ran through the window I’m sitting next to: it’s rain smell. Rain smell, combined with all those other cleansing qualities and new opportunities that rain represents. It’s rain smell that inspires us, with its woody, green notes and crisp coldness. No matter where I travel, rain smells like the Pacific Northwest. Even when I was in India, rain brought me home.

Let Us Take a Trip Through Time


Let’s go back — far back (and I mean faaaar back, like a whole 4 years ago). Look into my crystal ball to see…

Teenage Cappy: writer, high school student and Strokes fan extraordinaire. She had long blonde hair, bangs, and was just learning how to do a cat eye (oh, so young with so much to learn about brow pencil and lipstick).

We’ll zoom in to April 2011, when Cappy was finishing her novella, Dark Blue, which showed promise to be one of the most forgotten works for young adults to date. Though…even I must admit, it was still a better love story than Twilight. Dark Blue told the story of a girl who found out her father had cheated on her mother with the mom of her crush. Confusing? Check. Bizarre and uncomfortable? Possibly. Unique storyline? Admittedly, yes. Maybe. I don’t know. Regardless, it featured some of the most contrived banter-dialogue known to man. See for yourself:

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.38.05 PM

Notice how frequently high-school-Cappy mentions and/or describes hairstyles in this particular excerpt. Classic. Believe me, there was a lot of “disheveled hair-flipping” and probably a few more brooding looks coming from Mack in that chapter, much less in the entire 116 page novella. The reader (whoever that is, unless the NSA hacked into my creative writing computer file) later finds that he was looking at her intently WITH HIS DARK BLUE EYES. OH LOOK, THERE’S THE TITLE.

Skip forward a bit to Bea and Mack realizing their parents had an affair 10 years prior. Slowly (really quickly within the span of about 15 pages) they fall in “love” even though Bea initially thought he was a stupid jock (he was just misunderstood!) and bond over their intense infatuation with The Strokes and other various indie/garage rock bands. Bea argues a lot with her dad (it’s weird to go back and see how much of my own life is reflected in this story) and Mack does something that makes Bea mad. Bea goes on some dates with a British exchange student who ends up only wanting her for sex (he is a total stock character if I ever wrote one) and Bea feels conflicted! OH GOD THE ANGST. Maggie’s character really only exists to serve as a stark contrast to Bea, and so fully embodies the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope that I’m surprised I didn’t actually know that trope existed until years after I wrote her character.

Dark Blue is fun to read over again, because it gives me a little glimpse of Cappy from 4 years ago. She just wanted to fall in love with a boy who liked music and played soccer and had dark hair, regardless of how FLAT HIS PERSONALITY WAS (oh my God it’s almost embarrassing how boring Mack is). It’s nice to see how far I’ve come (I now date jerky guys and pretty girls with long hair, so it’s kind of a step up).

Maybe I can salvage some plot points, rewrite some of the characters (literally every single character) and fix the dialogue (which may take the rest of my life, if we’re being realistic). I didn’t start this post with the intention of ripping apart the story I wrote when I was 17 years old, but it just happened. It’s so good to laugh at myself a little.

To be fair…it’s a damn good attempt. I wrote something with a beginning, middle, and end, and it was 116 pages long and took a year to write, and it made me feel accomplished. It’s better than some actual published books I’ve read (sorry E.L. James, but I still think I was a better writer than you when I was 17 and I didn’t even have to rely on bondage to make my plot at least somewhat interesting). I love going back and seeing where I was, because at least I can point to some new stuff I’ve written and say “I’ve come pretty freaking far.” It doesn’t discourage me from writing; in fact, it encourages me, because it shows me how much I can grow in a short time if I just keep writing.

Am I the first writer to give her own novella a bad review? Probably not. And anyway, I’ll just keep on keepin’ on.

xo

Oh…did I mention that I began each chapter with a song lyric that embodied that chapter? Because I did. The prologue describing Bea’s parents’ divorce started with a Tupac line. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Snow Globe


I want to rummage through stacks of books with you.
Dirty, musty books
so when we rustle their pages we choke with joy.
I want to sit on the floor, legs crossed
and pile adventures in my lap.
You’ll stand on a stack of encyclopedias and reach for
that perfect copy of Don Quixote
while I flip through Robinson Crusoe
until you reach down and say, “I found this one for you.”
I want to be lost with you inside a fiction more beautiful than the
huge snow globe we inhabit
always shaken by someone else til we’re displaced
tiny flakes in a fish tank.
So I think if I have to get lost, I’d like to be holding your hand
when my dreams for this life
seem so broken
like this damned snow globe
because aren’t they supposed to make you smile
and turn the sky white?
The sky was grey today. This snow globe’s defective.
I want to be poor with you
but only with you
because poverty isn’t romantic
unless all the riches in the world exist in the gold flecks in your eyes.
I want to be anything with you
because you’ll be anything with me
and that could stop this snow globe shaking.

With this, I revamp my current poetry series from one about my childhood to a poetry series about anything, because…why restrict myself? Poetry is freeing, and I need to be freed right now. Cheers. Let’s all work on making this snow globe a little better.

Age is Wisdom


I’ve been watching documentaries for study breaks this week, and after watching “Make Me Young: Youth Knows No Pain,” a documentary about people who get plastic surgery/body modifications/Botox, I’ve lost a whole lot of faith in humanity.

I don’t understand the motivation behind injecting diseases into my face in order to look “younger.” Most of the time, those people don’t look younger, they just look like they’ve had work done. I also don’t understand how people consider that aging gracefully. You’re not aging gracefully, you’re cheating the system; while modern medical science is amazing, and plastic surgery is great for people who develop deformities or have accidents, I don’t see the point in denying yourself and others the ability to see that you have lived your life.

Here’s the deal: Back in the day, we used to celebrate people as they aged. Smile lines showed that you’d led a happy life. Frown lines? You worked hard. Crows feet? More smiling, probably. Wrinkles meant wisdom; they meant that you’d been through life and seen it all.

I’ve always thought of that as a beautiful thing. I thought it showed that you’d lived. I guess I didn’t realize how many people thought differently, that so many people are fighting their age. Hell, wear makeup! It’s fun and beautiful and a gift from the gods, but permanent or long-term “solutions” to the aging process? Really?

Who knows what I’ll think when I’m that age, when my hair is grey and I’ve got wrinkles, and things are bigger and saggier than they used to be. I really hope that I don’t care, and that the people in my life treat my age with the respect it deserves. I want to love my life, and not be consumed by things and appearances. 

We’re constantly trying to be something we’re not, no matter what age we are. If you’d asked me 10 years ago if I wanted to be in college, I would’ve screamed and jumped up and down and spelled YES on the ground in Skittles or something. Now? Finals Week is beating me over the head with a text book and I don’t even know if I can spell anymore.

So if you’re haggard, at least your face reflects your mental state. Let’s just embrace our natural selves and change our perception of beauty instead of changing ourselves

Cheers. And get that needle away from me. No, seriously. Now.

Rock On. And Stuff… (Part 1)


I think that I, as well as 99% of humanity, tend to focus on what I don’t have. And recently, someone told me that we have to start thinking about all the things we’ve seen, places we’ve been, etc instead of being upset by what we haven’t. I have, therefore, decided to compile a list of all the concerts I have attended in my (relatively short) lifetime.

1. Fleetwood Mac.
It was the summer before sixth grade, and I’d never been to a concert before, but I loved Fleetwood Mac (my poor mother had to listen to ‘My Little Demon’ so many times in the car when I was little), so my parents took my sister and me to see them. I must admit…I think I’m awesome because they were my first concert. (Although I shouldn’t get too high on my horse, since my mom’s first concert was The Rolling Stones.)
I just remember Stevie Nicks was so pretty, waving her tambourine around like a…I don’t know, the only phrase that comes to mind is ‘like a twirling flower,’ which I suppose is pretty apt. So Stevie Nicks looked like a twirling flower, and there were guitars…and drums…really, I mostly remember Lindsey Buckingham, because that man could freaking play the guitar. Like…holy God. So much amazing guitar.

2. Tom Petty
You know when you can tell someone is performing simply because they love it? When you can tell that they don’t do it for the fame, or the money (or at least those aren’t the only reasons). Tom Petty is that guy. I don’t remember much of that concert either, probably because the arena became a hotbox of sorts for every crappy joint in Washington State, the smoke reeking like a skunk… I’d just like to point out that when Tom Petty sings, “Let’s roll another joint” he isn’t actually asking you to do it.
Regardless, he is another incredible guitar player and is so much fun to watch. He really looked like a real rock star to me, with his tight black jeans and black leather boots and jacket.

3. Neil Young.
I know. Right? I never really thought that I’d see three great bands/performers like these by the time I was 14. But hey, I’m just that cool.
Neil Young has been playing in my house since before I can remember. I used to sing Sugar Mountain in the car with my dad all the time, and thinking about those times really makes me smile. So I went with my parents to see my man Neil.
I hate to say it. I absolutely hate to say it. But I was so disappointed in the concert. He did an acoustic set and then an electric set, both of which really were amazing, but I felt more like I was sitting in my room listening to him than actually seeing him live. I think a lot of it had to do with the venue, which was not really conducive to standing up and dancing around like a fool, as I am known to do at most concerts. I just couldn’t get into it. He also played the majority of his songs off his newest album, which I hadn’t heard yet (it had come out about a month earlier, and I’m not super on top of the latest Neil Young albums…). But it was a great experience, and he really is one of the greatest artists I’ve ever been in the same room with, so I guess I can’t complain.

4. The Hush Sound/Steel Train/The Cab/The Morning Light
First concert I went to with friends. First concert that didn’t involve some sort of classic rock, and first concert I went to where I had never actually heard of the bands until two days before…but it was brilliant. I think I count that as one of the best nights of my life. I met the drummer of the headlining band, The Hush Sound (his name was Darren. He was cute. I liked him). I got a shirt signed by two members of The Morning Light (who I loved at the time and then, upon listening to their studio EP decided that they had some seriously whiny voices), got a picture with the lead singer of Steel Train (some weird girls I didn’t know jumped in the picture, which bothered me, but hey! I got a great story out of it), and got chatted up by Steel Train’s guitarist(?) who smelled amazing and asked what there was to do in town on a Thursday night. Answer: nothing.
Anyway, I really love The Hush Sound now. That night, they did a cover of ‘Back in the USSR,’ which I figure is about as close to a Beatles concert as I’ll ever get, and I will totally take it. And the female lead singer is gorgeous, and plays piano wonderfully, and sings wonderfully, and I just…ahhh :) Look:

My goodness! I think this was the longest blog post I’ve ever written! Thanks for sticking with it, and I will continue with my list ASAP! xxooxo

Party Etiquette


1. For those of you that drink, don’t use those horrendous Bud Light bottles that have a “name tag” on them.
You know people are just gonna scrape dirty pictures on them after they’ve downed a few. Whose idea were those anyway? “Yeah, let’s make it easier for drunk people to give out their phone numbers, get drunk, make mistakes, and then forget about them in the morning.”
Stay classy, people. Water seems a little more fitting for my kind of party anyway.

2. If it’s meant to be a fancy dress party, actually dress up.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the girls look lovely and the guys come with crap spilled all over their shirts and their hair sticking up in more directions than a porcupine’s quills. Just look like you spent more than two minutes getting dressed, okay?

3. Don’t eat all the chips, people!
You could probably stand to lose a few pounds anyway, and all you’re gonna do tonight is eat and sit. Just because you won’t shut up doesn’t mean you’re getting exercise (unless, of course, your jaw could use a good workout). Save those chips for the anorexic models who will no doubt show up later. Make them eat; it’s your civic duty.

4. Don’t be a wallflower.
That’s annoying; you came to this party, so PARTY! That doesn’t mean you have to do crack and bounce off the walls all night while hitting on the hostess. But it does mean that you should smile and speak and laugh. And dance, if appropriate. Heck, dance if NOT appropriate.

5. Bring the host/hostess something.
Preferably a fatted calf. But if those aren’t readily available at a supermarket near you, sparkling cider usually does the trick.

6. Finally, don’t get drunk off your booty.
I’d say “don’t get drunk off your ass,” but my daddy reads this. Oh. Oops.

I Have Learned


What I’ve learned since the year 2000:

1. When my dad says he took the bar exam, that does not mean he was training to be a really awesome bar tender.

2. People will come and go, but sour candy…that stuff’s forever. Literally. I think it’s radioactive, and I mean that in the best possible way.

3. I do not want to be a marine biologist, because it requires you to actually understand biology. I just really wanted to play with whales, but apparently that’s too much to ask.

4. I tan less than redheads.

5. eHarmony has nothing to do with musical talent.

6. The Watergate scandal did not involve a dam that cheated on its wife.

7. Even when you put boards over your snake’s cage to hold the lid on, your older (and supposedly smarter) sister will take the lid off and let the snake escape. You will never find said snake.

8. Do not say, “Dad, dear God, we’re all gonna die.” Dad is a good driver. Dad will not get us in an accident. If Dad does get us in an accident, it will not inevitably result in death.

9. 90’s TV is really awesome and is sometimes more theraputic (and less guilt-inducing) than chocolate.

10. If the vegetable oil smells like fish, that cake (which took an hour to make) will taste disgusting. Always smell the vegetable oil first.

11. I probably don’t have as convincing of a British accent as I once thought.

12. No matter how cool you think you’ll be once you have braces….well, you won’t. You’ll just look silly. Exibit A: Me in 7th grade.

13. Light blue eyeshadow is not a good look on anyone. Same goes for those weird sweater wraps that only cover your boobs, purple lipstick, and 80% of earrings from Claire’s.

14. Whatever you do, don’t step in the quicksand. Even when it’d be a really great way to hide from your parents.

15. If you wear a one-piece swimsuit outside and get a sunburn, you will most likely look like you have the flag of Japan tattooed on your back. And it’ll hurt really bad.

16. Don’t step on the Mome Raths.