Tag Archives: optimism

King Nosmo


/flops onto couch

/looks pathetic

You guys. YOU GUYS. Everything is wrong and nothing makes sense and it’s all TOO HEAVY and it’s all pretty ridiculous when you think about it but right now it is all 100% crisis all the time and how does anyone even live like this?!?

/flings pillow onto floor

/makes tragic face

So it’s 2015 now, yay cheers etc, and 2015 has the potential to be really amazing in some very groovy ways, and blah blah bright and shining future, blah blah loads of promise, blah blah living my best life owe it to myself am incredible and deserve a body that supports my blah blah blah so I’m quitting smoking. Like, right this second I am in the process of quitting. Quitting is a thing I am doing, right now, today, as we speak–not “going to do this year” or “am planning to try” or “have started thinking about how it wouldn’t be a terrible idea”, but am currently, immediately, present-tense-verb quitting.

No, I’m not going cold turkey, because cold turkey is a thing I have tried before and I’ve got too much “shut your doodyheaded mouth, I’m a grownup and can do what I want” for cold turkey anything to work–it lasts about 15 minutes, and then I flip the table and go do whatever it is I’m trying not to do, but rebelliously this time. Instead I’m doing a self-directed stepping-down sort of thing: yesterday I smoked roughly once every two hours, which was my usual MO; today I’ve upped that to once every three hours, and will camp there for a day or two. Then every four hours, every five, every six, every as many increments as it takes to get me to the point where I forget an increment because the banshee screaming urge isn’t there anymore. Which means that today is my first real day of not just popping out for a smoke whenever I feel like it (I only smoke outside), so today is the first day that I’m having to battle the habit fo’ realsies.

And you know what I’m learning more strongly than anything else? That for me, smoking is tied to a lot of activities in my life. I got up from the computer earlier to refill my coffee cup, and my inner “smokeytime!” bell went off. Went to the restroom a bit later, noticed the dogs wanted out? Smokeytime! Thought about how I was not going to smoke yet, and maybe I should write a blog post about it, and thinking about writing the blog pinged the Smokeytime bell because I spend no small amount of time composing my thoughts over a nice cigarette before actually sitting down to write.

I smoke before we get in the car to go someplace; I smoke after meals; I smoke before bed; I smoke when I’m bored. I smoke when I take the dogs outside, and before you play the “well, just don’t go with them” card, I’ll note that our larger dog, Charlie, was a stray before he went to the shelter and was already microchipped with a defunct address so there’s about a 99% chance he was dumped by his former family and so he has profound trust issues and is perfectly happy to just pee right on the deck if I don’t go with him and watch him go down the stairs and stand there and reassure him that yes, he can come back in when he’s done. So I pretty much have to go out with them.

So I’m starting to find those niches, those places where a cigarette goes whether I’d noticed it consciously or not, as I’m brushing up against them throughout the day. And I’m finding that I’m not as murderous yet as I’d kinda expected to be–maybe that’s coming later, oh goodie–but I am confused. Like, what do you people even do if you’re not running out for a smoke every 90 minutes? How do you blog without smoking first? How do you refill your coffee cup? How do you leave the house?

It’s currently about 10 degrees here, because, y’know, January on the Great Plains. So you mean to tell me that y’all nonsmokers (I guess I’m working on joining you, so maybe I should change that to “we nonsmokers”) just, like, don’t throw on a coat and go stand outside in the arctic air ten times a day? You don’t go huddle under the overhang when it’s raining? We don’t find ourselves thinking “huh, I’m breathing awfully easily–must be time for a smoke”?

What do you do with all that free time, then? Where do you read your catalogs? What do you use your deck for, if not The Place Where You Go Smoke?

So far in my attempts to distract myself and fill those 5-to-6-minute gaps I’ve played a couple of silly little games on Facebook, read a bit of the book I’m working on, researched pear cake recipes (we have a box of lovely pears that are about to go bad, and wasting them is just not ok), and at one point just went and stood outside and did some deep cyclic breathing because how do you even measure the time if not by trips to the deck?


/flops over

This is all just so terribly ridiculous, and so terribly difficult, and so terribly ludicrously hilarious. I’ve been a smoker for literally half my life–and for my entire “legal adult” life: one of the first things I did on my 18th birthday was buying a pack of cigarettes, just to try them, because I could. I have never been a grownup without also being a smoker. I have no idea how to make friends at the coffeeshop without striking up conversations at the smoker’s corner on the porch. I have no idea how to go to the airport without immediately identifying all the smoking-permitted zones. I have never learned how to not have a lighter in my purse at all times.

But this is a thing I am doing, because it is a thing I have decided to do, because reasons. This is a good thing to do, and I will be glad to have done it. This is a day I will be proud of–and a post I will chuckle about–later when I’m a firmly established Former Smoker Who Has Successfully Quit.

And in the meantime, I’m 7 minutes from my every-three-hours smoke break, so I’m going to go put on my jacket and get ready to go. Because while I am in the process of quitting, I’m not there yet; and for a person who craves routine, it’s nice to know for sure what I’m going to do with the 6 minutes between 12:00 and 12:06 PM.

Pray for me, y’all. And then pray for Moon Man, for strength in dealing with me.



Filed under General Musings and Meanderings, Play Nicely


Confession: I am not so big on the New Year’s Resolution.

It’s a–well, I’m gonna go with “charming and utterly lovable quirk”–of my personality that I start strong but am a little shaky on the finish. I get super-ramped about a new project, then come back three months later to put its component parts in a box (this is why I’m a huge fan of things I can tackle in less than an hour). I concoct complicated and minutely planned schemes for That Next Amazing Thing I’m Going to Do, then the fun wears off by the end of the plan and the actual doing never quite materializes.

I write a blog, then let it sit for three months (ahem).

I leave the last load of laundry in the dryer. When Moon Man strangles me for that, it’ll be totally justifiable.

So every December 31st, I think about things I should Really Truly For Realsies This Time Do in the Coming Year: I should focus on losing weight, eating healthy, doing for-the-love-of-god any exercise at all; I should take up a new skill/hobby/academic pursuit; I should decide what I want to be when I grow up; I should spend more quality time with the dustrag. I should teach the dogs to do some actual tricks beyond “lie there” and “be a lump” and “beg for whatever I’m cooking at the moment”. I should teach the cats some manners. Heck, I should teach myself some manners (/eyes the pile of as-yet-unwritten thank-you notes from Christmas).

And this year it’s no different: it’s December 31st, and here I am brainstorming the things I should Really Fo’ Shizzles Get Around to Doing. But we all know the punchline to this joke, so I’m executively deciding to skip the What To Do step and going straight to the How To Do It:

ALL things. 100% of the things.

ALL things. 100% of the things.

Look, y’all, I can’t even begin to pretend to predict what I’m going to get around to doing this year. I’ve got some plans on the table–we’re fixin’ to head to Alaska to watch my friend start the Iditarod, for instance–and I’ve kinda-sorta set some things in motion, like having lost nearly 40 pounds so far. But who knows? Maybe we’ll win the lottery this year and Plan A (sell the house, find something we love more) will turn into Plan B (…on our own private island). Maybe something catastrophic will happen (Zombiepocalypse) that makes both Plans A and B a little obsolete. Maybe we’ll just keep on keepin’ on, like we always do, with dust on the shelves and a whole lot of good intent in our hearts.

But the one thing I am absolutely planning on, beyond all others, is doing everything I do with love. Everything. Literally every thing.

One of the best compliments I ever received was from a friend who came to visit; we hadn’t seen each other in a while, and he came in, looked around, and said “this place feels like a home“. So I’ll start there: I will do all things inside this house with love. I will dust (when I actually get around to that) with the intent that it’s nice for guests to be able to come visit without sneezing, and it’s a loving gesture to make one’s home welcoming to guests. I will cook food that nourishes the body and soul, and make sure there’s always enough for an extra person should one drop by (if no one comes, there’s leftovers for hubby’s lunch the next day). I will try to keep things tidy enough that people feel comfortable coming in, kicking off their shoes without fear of stepping in anything unsettling, grabbing a beverage from the kitchen without having to wash a cup first, and settling in on the sofa without having to move anything that’s not independently sentient (what can I say, the cats do love playing “I was here first; you go sit over there”).

I will wash clothes not because it’s a Chore That Needs Doing, but because Moon Man doesn’t always hear me when I tell him he’s attractive–but we all have those outfits that make us feel a little extra swagger-y, like we know we’re dang cute, and I can help his confidence by making sure those outfits are clean and ready to wear on a day when he needs a boost. And that he doesn’t have to think about underpants before coffee.

When I leave the house, I will choose a parking space that leaves something close open for someone who needs it more. I will take a cart from the corral outside, so the attendant has one less cart to chase down and drag inside. I will return the cart to the store instead of the corral when possible, and I will continue my habit of sorting the carts inside the corral (when I’m President of the World, people who put the little short carts in with the full-size carts so they don’t stack right anymore will be summarily executed). I will buy a little something extra to toss into the food bank donation bin. I will use my turn signal. I will not text and drive.

I will go out of my way to tell people that I love them, I appreciate them, and I am glad that they’re in my life. I will do the little things that make them smile, just because it’s nice to make people smile. When I pay bills I will congratulate myself on helping the folks who work at the various utilities keep their jobs, rather than grumbling about the price of cable these days. I will sometimes take cookies to the fire department.

And I will direct this love inward, as well. I will speak to myself in the same way I would speak to someone else. I will not work to lose weight because I’m somehow unacceptable the way I am, but because I’m an awesome human being who deserves to have a long life full of adventures, and I’m building a body that supports that in the same way that a person who wants to be a soapbox derby racer builds a soapbox derby car. I will congratulate myself on learning from my mistakes when I inevitably make them. I will celebrate my victories.

Basically, I am committing to spending 2015 increasing the amount of love in the world by exactly one person. It’s all I can ever be asked to do–I can’t control anyone else–so it’s what I’ll do. And I’ll do that, even that, with love.

Happy New Year, ‘Tracters. I love you, and wish you the best, brightest, laughing-est, great-story-building-est, succeeding-at-what-matters-most-to-you-est, singing-and-swinging-and-getting-merry-like-Christmas-est, loving-est year yet.

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Happy Allthedays

This morning my friend, Bunny Gesserit, posted a few thoughts on her personal Facebook page about Playing Nicely during the holidays–specifically, how for her the phrase “happy holidays” is meant to have emphasis on the “happy” part, because she’s wishing joy to you no matter what it is that you’re celebrating. In half-joking reply, I commented “happy allthedays”; and the longer I’ve sat with that, the more I begin to think that that may actually need to become my Official Holiday Season Greeting.

Here’s the thing: I worked in childcare for a while, and then I worked at a call center for the dat gum gubmint for a while. Now I work for an organization that works with attorneys from all over the country. And aside from the need to cultivate an ability to calm a frustrated person, the thing these positions all had in common is that I have the opportunity to talk with a lot of people from a lot–lot–of different backgrounds, faiths, traditions, religious practices, non-religious practices, and belief systems.

You know what I’ve learned as a result of all of that? People get so, so touchy around this time of year, particularly when you try to wish them a “happy _____”. 


Look, I get it that people are very, very invested in their beliefs. I get it that this time of year holds profound significance for a lot of folks, and that this is a deeply symbolic season for a lot of faiths and traditions. I get it that some religions include proselytizing as one of their key tenets, and I get it that some folks have been so beaten down that they’re reluctant to say anything at all about their beliefs. I get it that some of you have “good news” that you want to share with me, and I get it that some of you are having a kneejerk negative reaction to the phrase “good news”–and I get it that the phrase “good news” is not, in fact, specific to a single given faith. Neither is “miracle”, nor “light”.

So here’s what we’re going to do here at Buffalo Tracts: We are going to remind everyone that this is a safe space. Here on the blog, as in our home, it doesn’t matter what you celebrate (or don’t celebrate. I’m not going to break into your house and put up tinsel). Here you can be assured that whatever you may choose to say or not say, or do or not do, as your way of celebrating (or not celebrating) this time of year, it will be held in the same respectful regard as what anyone else is doing/saying/celebrating.  (Ok, that’s not strictly accurate. There are some things, involving cruelty and hatefulness, that will never be ok regardless of what you say you’re celebrating. Sorry, but Mama BW gotsta draw a line somewhere.) So if you want to come wish me a “happy ____”, by all means, go for it, and I’ll wish you something joyful in return, and it is really, really ok if our “happy ____”s don’t match. We don’t all have to be the same. That’s the fun of the thing.

And since I’ve executively declared that the Safe Space Bubble is movable, that Safe Space protection extends in a sphere around me as far as my voice can travel, and goes with me wherever I go. In other words, if you’re being a doodyhead within shoutin’ distance of a riled-up Buffalo, prepare to be gored. Conversely, if you happen to see me out and about, please know that you can always come take refuge by my shaggy, shaggy side, and as long as you’re there, you’re free to be whoever you truly are and I will gleefully and lovingly trample anyone who tries to give you grief for it.

The moral of the story here is that here at BuffaloTracts, and wherever this here Buffalo might roam, we celebrate everything. To me this season is all about taking a month or so each year to be as amazing to each other as we possibly can; in an ideal world we’d take all the months for that, but I’ll settle for starting with just December. It’s about Using Your words to say nice things to each other, and Playing Nicely by finding little ways to make each other smile, and Sharing the Toys whenever we see an opportunity. It’s about taking care of each other. It’s about snuggling under literal or metaphorical blankets. It’s about loving each other so fiercely that the cold and the dark don’t stand a chance against us all.

It’s about celebrating all the days we have together, one day at a time.

So with that in mind, I wish you a very Happy Allthedays. Be as fabulous as you can possibly manage, and do try not to get hung up on semantics or details if someone wishes you a happy something-other-than-what-you-personally-celebrate. It’s all about the love, at the end of the day, and I’ll take that wherever I can find it.

How cool is this?!? I don't know this blogger (yet), but I do know I like his aesthetics. ;)

How cool is this?!? I don’t know this blogger (yet), but I do know I like his aesthetics. 😉

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Filed under Don't Make Me Come Down There, General Musings and Meanderings, Play Nicely, Share the Toys

DOMA Is Down and Prop 8 Is Unconstitutional

…and I am so proud.

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Filed under Don't Make Me Come Down There, General Musings and Meanderings, Play Nicely, Share the Toys


It’s been a minute.

I’ve been stuck on a mental hamster wheel all my own, and that is nobody’s fault; it’s just there, and I’ve been on it, and that’s been fun but I think I’m all done with it now.

So let’s all watch this video (fair warning: there’s pottymouth, but the bigger message is way more important than the individual words), and agree that tonight is our last night in the rut, and while we’re here we may as well tidy it up a bit and carve our name and imprisonment dates on the walls so that whoever finds it next will at least have a clean place to be and a reminder that it’s possible to get back out again; and then let’s acknowledge that our pencils are sharp enough and stride forth boldly into tomorrow morning full of purpose and intent and vigor.

Let’s do this.

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Happy 2013: Bonus Round


I don’t know if you noticed, but December 21 came and went.

The world didn’t end.

At least, if it did, I didn’t get the memo. I’m still here. Moon Man is still here. The dogs and cats are still here, and the dust and laundry are all still here.

It’s all still here.

And I could try to build some big philosophical point about how the world really did end that day, in that we stopped living in a world where the End of the World (TM) was right around the corner and so something significant can be said about how we always have the ability to end our current world and pick a new one that works better, but instead I’m going to focus on a different angle in the same movie:

If the world was supposed to end 10 days ago and we’re all still here, then perhaps we can agree to approach our lives as though we’re living in some sort of cosmic bonus round.

Y’know, like in a game show, where the main competition has ended and now everyone is just in a big race to see how many goodies they can sweep up before the clock runs out for realsies.

Except that, because we are awesome and amazing, instead of grabbing all the goodies we can grab, we’re going to build all the karma we can. We are going to be unbelievably gracious. We are going to be ludicrously kind. We are going to be generous with ourselves and others; we are going to forgive ourselves and others; we are going to be grateful to ourselves and others; and we are going to lovingly, gently, firmly but tenderly push ourselves and others every single day to be the greatest Selves we can possibly be, because we have been given this bonus round during which we can grab up as much karma as we can build.

The old world has ended. The new age is here. And just to put a great big exclamation point on things, it’s also New Year’s Day (well, it is here in the middle of nowhere. Y’all on the West Coast can just pretend you’ve time-traveled into the future to read this. …Gawds, what a waste of time-traveling. Tell ya what, if you’re time-traveling and reading this, go ahead and do something really awesome while you’re in the future. This blog will still be here when you get back).

So this is a perfect time, what with the New World and the New Year and all that, for us to hit the bonus round runnin’. We’ve made it through all the crap the Doomsayers could predict (always in dire tones, have you noticed?), and now we’re bound for glory.

So let’s make it count, shall we? This year we are going to dazzle.

And I, for one, can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve.

Happy New Year, all. I love you each, I love you all.

–Mama BW

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Dear Universe–Wish for 2013, from Buzzfeed and ze frank

As usual, ze frank says it best.

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