How I have a codependent relationship with Facebook.

First off…

What has two thumbs and doesn’t give a crap? This guy (even though he doesn’t technically have thumbs).

It was only a matter of time until one of them showed up on here, but in all seriousness, this picture is a representation of what my mood is right now. This is a visualization of sloth, satisfaction from a full belly, and a slight interest in the episode of Friends playing in the background (Lisa Kudrow is being reflected in his eyes, can you see?). Oh, and also awesomeness.

You may notice my blog’s change in wardrobe. I decided I like this outline better since it has all these cool things on the right hand side to help blog readers! I spent about 45 minutes going through all the options WordPress gives you before I told myself to stop obsessing and just suck it up and make a decision already.

Okay so you now may also notice those hyphens appearing after each picture on this post and the last. I can’t get the Visual or HTML side (<br>, <p>, etc.) to hold a space after those captions and it’s driving me crazy! If anyone knows how to fix that, please let me know! If I don’t put those hyphens in there, the next paragraph is right up in that caption’s business and the OCD part of me cannot let that be so!

Anywho, my relationship with Facebook has become complicated and is really started to wear on me. We started out as friends, maybe meeting up once every few days over a cup of coffee to talk about life and even share a picture from a concert or beer festival we recently attended. It was casual, simple, and we just “got” each other.

Then we both went through some changes and started seeing each other in a different light. Facebook received several face lifts (you’re just going to have to get used to the puns), I started to realize that my life had some meaning, and we took our relationship to the next level. It was similar to that stage in a relationship when you first start dating and you can’t get enough of each other. I would get emails from Facebook saying people were posting on my Wall and I would eagerly look to my Newsfeed for updates from friends, even posting my own updates because my new meaningful life was now worth sharing with EVERYONE. Whenever Facebook enhanced its appearance or changed things around, I ardently defended it because this was LOVE damn it! We were the perfect couple, knowing exactly what the other needed when they needed it.

Then things started turning south. I still loved Facebook, but since we were now spending every day and night together I started to not like everything I was seeing. You know the first time a significant other farts in front of you, or pees with the door open? Things are just…weird. It’s a case of “over-sharing” that results in bad smells and awkward conversations about bathroom door etiquette. It’s times like these when you need to take a break from each other, just grab some space and a moment to yourself.

But Facebook won’t let you. It’s always there, waiting for you to type in its URL or choose from your browser’s “Favorites.” It’s manipulated you with photos of babies and videos of cute animals to trick you into thinking you will always need Facebook to satisfy your need for photos of babies and videos of cute animals. You rely on it to remind you of your friends’ birthdays and weddings and parties. It actually starts coming between you and your friends. You’re tired of the forceful artsy Instagram photos of lawn chairs, power lines over blue sky, pursed faces wearing sunglasses, and “look what enlightening book I’m reading to appear smart while I drink my latte and eat this artisan sandwich.”

Or one of these. Found this baby on Hot Guys Reading Books

You’ve had enough of the day by day updates on pregnant friends’ morning purges and waist sizes, and the passive shouts for attention (“I’m so mad right now!” a.k.a. “Someone please ask me what’s wrong so I can rant about it publicly and feel important!”). You unfriend and unsubscribe galore but still find yourself clicking on that “Home” page because you’re yearning for updates on friends’ relationship statuses, baby photos, and what people spelled on Words With Friends. It’s time for some serious separation.

Apparently, Home = Crack.

As you try to cut back, Facebook desperately turns to stalking and scrambling to please you with customized ads, pestering you at the end of every news article or humor website post with a crazed grin: “Do you want to share this on Facebook?” “Do you want to Like this on Facebook?” “Huh? Huh? HUH?!”

See what I mean? Go away, Facebook! No one likes you!

I’ve since given up and will just have to get used to my unhealthy codependent relationship with Facebook. I know I’ll never quit you, Facebook, no matter how hard I try! Maybe I can turn the tables and start stalking it by spamming its feeds with duplicate updates from all my new blog posts and Tweets! Yes. Yes! YES!!! BWAHAHAHA!

Husband and I will be heading off to visit Utah tomorrow so we can find a place to live. We have a single day there before we drive back again, so if you promise to wish us luck, I’ll come back with some crazy road trip/Mormon conversion stories, even if I have to make something up!

How fishing may have ruined memories of my childhood.

So I went fishing with my dad and sister this weekend. It was a belated Father’s Day Bonding Experience to which I was looking forward all week, but may have received more than I bargained for as soon as I stepped foot on Grandpa’s old motor boat. Not only am I rethinking ever taking part in an age old tradition for all members of the White family (my maiden name is actually “White” for anyone that may stop reading this because they think I wear a pillow case over my head and participate in blatant displays of bigotry in parade form with other pillow-case wearers), I may never eat fish again. AGAIN.

Cue background info:

Ever since I was five years old, I’ve been fishing with Dad, Grandpa, and, when she was old enough, my younger sister Lauri (I love you, sister!). I was casting my own line and reeling in my own fish before I attended the first grade. I was never fazed at impaling live, squirming worms on a barbed hook, or netting flopping, gasping fish at my tiny cowboy-booted feet. I didn’t mind yanking the hook (artfully, of course) out of the fish’s mouth as it gulped for life, or throwing back ones deemed too small (“dinks” my dad calls them), even if they were missing a jaw from the “artful yanking” or ended up “sleeping” on their back afterward. I got praised like a conquering queen whenever I caught a fish, and I felt like God when I freed the little ones. Even my dad’s “You catch ’em, you gut ’em” motto didn’t hinder my brandishing a knife to these poor suckers. (You’re probably wondering why someone didn’t call Social Services on my dad while witnessing a 6 year old wield a Bowie knife and a creepy grin as she slit these fish open Candyman-style, but everything was somewhat supervised and my dad was, and still is, the greatest teacher.)

So basically, fishing used to be awesome.

Which comes to the main part of my story. I realized this weekend that it has been longer than I thought since I last hooked and gut a fish. Originally I had thought, maybe a few years, but really it had been more like nine or ten. This realization occurred when, on the way to fishing, my dad, sister, and I stopped by the usual two pump gas station in Elgin where the scruffy, suspendered owner will sell and issue you a fishing license. I don’t want to waste your time describing this classy establishment when I have this picture:

No way in HELL I was touching that snake.

Yes, you need a license to fish. No, you don’t have to take a test. For the low price of $32.50 you can reel in, gut, and eat fish to your heart’s content until December of that year. The owner had to call someone to change my name from “White” (I’ve been married almost 4 years) and asked if I still lived in Milton-Freewater (not since before college in 2003). That’s when I started wondering how this whole “killing live animals” thing was going to play out.

After the whole raccoon and snake thing we carried out the ritual of buying ice for the on-board cooler, drinks, snacks, and of course, live bait (we’ll get to that later). We three gleefully reminisced the buying of sarsaparilla from the local 50’s style diner in Joseph (if you’ve never had sarsaparilla, go buy some right now from Safeway and Welcome to America), and how we would covet the fake rifles and horse figurines in the toy aisle of the bait and tackle shop. We then drove by the ranch on the left that’s owned by a cousin before reaching the breathtaking view of Wallowa Lake. We launched the boat, cruised around to get some speed through the main motor, and then set to trolling and the business at hand. No, this isn’t Middle-Earth. Trolling is basically moving at a snail’s place and then casting your line out about 90 feet so that it passes by, and tempts, surrounding fish. But first, you have to bait your line.

I took a final swig of my sarsaparilla and set out to start hooking up our live bait. We are fishing for Kokanee (pronounced: Coke-a-nee), which are land-locked salmon, meaning they don’t go to the ocean and get large so they are small, tasty, manageable salmon. Kokanee love grubs, which are basically maggots. Yes, I was hooking up these guys:


Grubs make this weird “Pop” noise as you skewer them with the end of a hook and you put about six on there to tempt those Kokanee into taking a fate-filled bite. And they’re still moving as you drop your lure into the water. And perhaps still moving as you remove them from your first hooked fish. Remember before how I said I had no trouble as a child jamming these things on a hook? Well, something changed and I decided that I did not like killing these maggots. While I was “popping” these guys on my hook, all I could hear in my head was the sound of each maggot screaming, and eventually all six together, as I spilled their guts onto my fingers. It was how I imagined it would sound if you massacred Alvin and his whole chipmunk family. I had their guts on my hands and I was ashamed. I didn’t want my dad to suspect anything awry from my corner of the boat, so I gritted my teeth and continued my skewering, silently telling each maggot “I’m sorry! I’m SO SORRY!” I kept jamming my hook into those innocent, oblivious, screaming maggots. I was murdering them.

Can you hear its scream? Can you feel its pain?

As I dropped my wailing lure into the water and set out to start the fishing part of this depravity, I realized that I was about to also murder some FISH.

I said a silent prayer as I let my line go out, hoping the fish were down too deep and would miss my line; my conscience would be off the hook! (I’m sorry for all of these puns but it just comes naturally.) Within five minutes I caught a fish. I saw the end of my line twitch so I picked up my pole and felt the familiar flutter and vibration that means a fish is both chomping and thrashing desperately at the end on my bait (THE MAGGOTS!). My dad gave a vibrant shout and my sister eagerly grabbed the net. Did I mention that my smart, now-vegan sister wasn’t fishing this weekend? Oh, how I envied her at this moment. I grudgingly and slowly winded up the line, hoping and praying some more that the fish would just let go, but he was hooked and also really wanted those maggots (THE POOR MAGGOTS!). With another triumphant shout, my dad said it was still there and he and my sister netted my first fish.

If I wasn’t wearing sunglasses you would see that the smile does not reach my eyes.

I felt a moment of remembered euphoria from winning at something and then looked down at the flopping fish at my Chaco-ed feet. The dying fish. The dead maggots. I dutifully grabbed the slimy prey to unhook him, his wide, unblinking eyes pleading “Asylum!” to my soul. My soul pleaded back “I’m sorry! I’m SO SORRY!”

It couldn’t get any worse for this fish. It can’t breathe, it’s bleeding from its mouth, and it’s being manhandled by She-Goliath. Now it’s time for it to visit the unknown, and for me to visit a blocked memory. Instead of tossing the fish into the cooler where it may suffocate and die within minutes (I’m totally guessing here and won’t pretend I know anything about the biology of a Kokanee), we attach it like a key chain to a line that runs behind our trolling boat. This is done by pushing a prong of metal into the fish through its gill and out its mouth, and then hooking it so it can’t get away. This drags the fish behind us while we murder others so it stays alive and fresh. So I’m not just murdering fish, I’m torturing and prolonging their suffering so we can enjoy tastier meat.

The limit number of fish a single person can catch in a day at Wallow Lake is ten. So naturally my dad and I caught twenty. There were some “dinks” that we threw back (I had one belly-up incident that almost made me break out in tears), and others that got away, of course. There was one that even escaped our “fish key chain” but I’m pretty sure it was already murdered by that time and was just ripped off by its jaw somehow.

I am unsure how I continued through the act of baiting and hooking that many fish in one day and feel a bit of shame as I remember eventually feeling numb about the whole process of killing a living creature with my own two hands (and fishing pole). I started thinking how easy it can be for the mind to switch to the “going through the motions so it gets easier” mode. My first reaction was over-dramatic, of course: This is how people start feeling comfortable murdering other people! Am I going to develop into a crazy lady serial killer?! And then: Is this how soldiers feel when they start murdering children?! And then I calmed down and got all logical and stopped my brain from thinking ridiculous thoughts so I could have this thoughtful one instead:

It’s astounding how we make ourselves “grin and bear it” through these situations just to please others. I never said a word to my dad about my struggles while fishing that day, and even bragged and joked about how I caught more fish than he did, simply because I love him and this is something that’s important for us to do together as a loving father and a daughter that is about to move 600 miles away from him. However, I’m glad I felt (and still feel) guilty for killing a living creature, and it shows how much I have changed from that six year old fish-gutting girl. I’m happy I can look back at my childhood and see how much I have changed for the better, even if this time it meant murdering some animals in the process.

Love you, Dad! Sorry fish. (How do arms look so fat in side pictures?)

Why today makes me feel bad about myself.

**Note: Before I start, you should know of my tendency to make lists, and I’m not just talking about a list of what to pick up in groceries at Safeway tonight. Last week on a short bus ride to downtown, I made in my head a list of reasons why I hate curling irons, and then another while trying to fall asleep last night about canned soup; the kind that is concentrated so you have to add a can of water to it (I am holding back the rage and the need to write a whole post just about how much I hate this). I have made dozens of lists, but you’re S.O.L. because I didn’t write any down (seriously, who cares about how much I hate screw-off beer bottle caps?) until today…

**Second Note: I am not looking for a sympathetic response to this list. Please laugh, it’s okay.

***Third Note: I just realized that I typed “short bus ride” up there. The word “short” is in reference to length of time spent on bus or distance traveled, not length of bus. I don’t do “special ed” jokes.

Why today makes me feel bad about myself

1. I woke up late at 8:20am to go to Work (I usually get up at eight so that I arrive at around nine) but it didn’t phase me at all and I got there with time to spare. What have I been wasting my time doing those extra twenty minutes almost every day for the past three years? I can’t help but add up the amount of sleeping time that equals and then feel enraged because I love sleeping. I love sleeping like a fat Texan loves his ribs slathered in barbeque sauce with coleslaw and biscuits on the side. I never fail to amaze The Husband with how much I can sleep when there isn’t an alarm clock involved (which is all day). Saturday mornings are like an all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet, so I guess that makes me the fat Texan and then I feel lazy without purpose in life.

2. Before I could brush my teeth I had to clean up poop. No, not my poop (because that would make it okay?), Cat #1’s poop. And not from the litter box, my bedroom floor.

3. I have a certain travel mug that I use to transport my daily cup of dark roast to Work. It’s the perfect size and is made of metal so it’s my “perfect coffee mug.” I forgot said mug at my place of working and didn’t want to spend the extra time and energy getting a back-up mug out of the upper cabinet, so I said “screw it” and bought a cup of coffee from the annoying hipster cafe next door to Work. Apparently laziness and the common sense of a five year old costs $1.50.

4. My lunch today consisted of limp lettuce, brownish broccoli, and flaccid tomatoes (dang it! If there is another word for flaccid that starts with “T” I can’t find it) because I’m too lazy to go to the grocery store and buy fresh produce. I topped it all off with expired hummus dressing and a too-soft apple. Apparently laziness and the common sense of a five year old also costs my stomach’s dignity.

5. I wore sunglasses and earbuds on my walk home from Work even though it wasn’t sunny and I wasn’t listening to music just so I would not feel bad about ignoring the raving smelly homeless man asking for money on the I-5 off ramp. I’ve been chased by him before. Well, maybe it was more like I was running away from him because I didn’t have any change when he asked very violently and he ran too because he wanted to get away from whatever I was running from.

6. I walked around to the other side of my apartment building to avoid taking the stairs to my place of living and ride the elevator instead. So I basically walked for a long distance so I wouldn’t have to walk…a long distance…

7. I talked myself out of going for a run today because of the long distance I just walked.

8. I verbally gave props to one of my cats for barfing in the food bowl instead of the carpet. I was actually really happy about this.

9. I verbally gave props to my cats for pooping in the litter box instead of the carpet. I was twice as happy about this.

10. I made this list.

Why I am afraid to move to Utah.

Well, hello there. Welcome to my new blog.

So this is the part where I say something along the lines of “I have a blog now and I thought I’d write my first post so that it’s not blank here, etc.” Then the cliche: “I always wanted to write a blog but [insert excuse here].” To tell you the truth, this is just a place for me to transcribe the random and only occasionally coherent thoughts that go through my head. Also, I like to write and type things.

I have lived in Oregon my whole life (well except for that one time in Oklahoma, but that doesn’t count), but am now moving to a place called “Eww-taww” (just keep sounding it out) in less than two months for my husband’s promotion (YAY for him! – really, he’s worked very hard for this). I will be keeping my job by working from home, which has unearthed a few of my fears and guilty pleasures:

Pleasures first:

1. I am an introvert, which means I will bask in the joy that is being home alone and in the quiet all day long. While I work, I will be able to do whatever I want, when I want, even if it means blasting the Best of Enya or having Friends on in the background at full volume all day long (you think I won’t do it, but I will!). Of course this is only until said husband comes home from his job and our apartment becomes “shared space” again. Nonetheless, I am thrilled to become a telecommuter and keep my job in the process.

2. There will be less distractions from other people working in the vicinity, including the annoying hipster baristas that play the annoying hipster music really loud in the annoying hipster cafe that shares an annoying hipster wall with my workspace. (I don’t really have a hipster wall, but wouldn’t it be annoying if I did?)

3. I will get to sleep in an extra 30 minutes now that I don’t have to walk to work or make myself presentable by brushing my hair or covering up my zits with minimal makeup (as a rule, I don’t always do these things). Yes, I know, I have it rough with my commute, but having to walk 15 minutes to my work when everyone else has 20 minute commutes in their polluting Prii (yes, I actually looked up the plural of Prius and found this, who knew?)? I can’t handle being that self-righteous all the time. It’s getting tiring.

Fears next:

1. I am an introvert, which means that I spend most of my “outside time” at work or hanging out with a small close circle of friends. When I’m done with one of these things I go home and relish in my solitude to regroup and recharge my soul. Once I move to “Eww-taww” I cut my “outside time” to, well, a big fat zero. While I  love and will miss my friends and coworkers, the introvert part of my brain says “WEEEEEEE!” I fear that my time will instead be spent playing too many video games (no, not on a network, are you crazy? That’s too social), or reading Tolkien aloud in a British accent to my cats (yes, I actually did that one Saturday evening and I am not proud of it).

2. There will be more distractions from all my toys at home, being my large, full bookcase, my two four legged felines, and the Xbox that streams my other close circle of friends: Netflix British Period Pieces & Romances.

3. I will get to sleep in an extra 30 minutes now that I don’t have to walk to work or make myself presentable — aka I will be fat and ugly by Christmas.