Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Personal Hygiene Report, Kinda

I'm having a harder time than I thought I was building myself back up from the numb mess of the antidepressant fog. Here's a small example of something that I feel shouldn't be a big deal, but totally is: my nails.

I have this weird anxiety about clipping my fingernails.

I'm not a hundred percent sure why it is, but I know there's a lot of weird things that go into it.

I think it probably has something to do with my Mom and the way she overreacted to things I find incredibly stupid and meaningless.

(Also, I'm at the point where my therapist says it's okay to start blaming things on ADHD, so here we go.)

Because it's hard for me to be motivated or stay on task, it's probably no surprise that I have a bad tendency to let things like grooming my fingernails go for too long. As a kid, I developed this habit of letting them grow too long rather than deal with them, and then finally clipping them down either when I couldn't stand their length any longer or when one of them broke somehow.

This has been a weird point of contention with my mother my entire life.

She just has this... revulsion of long fingernails on men. And when I was a kid, she would never, say, cap her emotions and talk rationally when she could just overreact and blow up instead. So I got a lot of overblown emotional outbursts revolving around my nails and how disgusting they were and how disgusting I was with my long nails and how I had no idea how to take care of myself, and then she'd demand I clip my nails right this second in front of her because I was so gross.

So, rather than have to listen to her outbursts, I developed another bizarre habit, which is that I would constantly cut my nails far too short. We're talking until I drew blood sometimes. I think I probably thought that if I did it that way it would be a longer time until I had to deal with it again.

So, for whatever reason, this is how anxiety and ADHD work with me: I develop these habits and then I can't break out of them without real effort, so I've just been clipping my nails very, very short since... well, I can't remember since when. And another way this whole rich mental illness operates on me is that I have an almost impossible time letting go of bad feelings. So if someone's made me feel bad about something, then those bad feelings become irrevocably associated with the thing itself.

Case in point: my Mom made me feel bad about my nails, so now I have a hard time thinking about nail maintenance without feeling bad about myself and feeling anxiety bordering on panic about how worthless I am because I have long nails, but also how worthless I am because I can't just clip my nails a sensible length like a "normal" person.

It's gotten to the point where I even have this weird fearful feeling when I actually use the clippers. I will sit with them for up to an hour before finally biting the bullet and just doing it, but something about feeling the pressure on the too-long nails really drives me nuts and sets my teeth on edge.

So, this week, I broke one of my nails during a panic attack (transitioning medications has been really doing a number on me) and was faced with another afternoon of bad feelings. Becca suggested I use cuticle scissors to cut the broken nail, because it had broken really close to the quick, so I did that and then filed it off and... I actually liked the way the nail felt after that. Rather than sitting and fretting and feeling awful, I used the scissors on all of nails and then filed them a bit. The scissors were just different enough from the clippers that I was physically unable to cut them too short, and they've been comfortable. They don't feel weird like my nails usually do after I cut them.


Yeah, 38 years old and I finally just figured out how to clip my fingernails.

Friday, February 20, 2015

This Week in Neat-O

Less neat stuff this week; more like links and thoughts about movies, etc.

:: Severus Snape Does Not Deserve Your Pity. An interesting piece from a couple of years ago that someone pointed me at as something of an antidote to that video that was going around showing all of Snape's important scenes from the Harry Potter movies in chronological order. I think Snape is more complex than some of the people championing that video are giving him credit for, and I don't like the idea of Snape as some kind of tragic hero. It's like the same people on Tumblr who cry over Loki and desperately want him to be redeemed. I don't know that you get to be responsible for that much murder and get redeemed just because you have long hair and glower in a cute way. Just saying; if Loki was being played by Crispin Glover, it would be a whole different conversation.

:: Apparently the producer says that the next Friday the 13th movie is going to explore more supernatural aspects and basically attempt to explain why Jason is more or less immortal. I think that's a gigantic mistake. That's what made Jason Goes to Hell so tepid and uninteresting. I think we all accept Jason as an unkillable movie monster at this point, don't we? Who cares how or why? I think people accept it because the formula is more or less built in at this point, and honestly, as someone who came into these movies in his thirties, I don't see the premise as being anything that can stand up to expanding it or trying to give Jason a Dr. Loomis-type character.

Also, this is called a second reboot, but one of the reasons I liked the last movie so much--the 2009 one--is that it felt like another Friday the 13th movie. Sure, they pulled aspects together from the first four movies, but it felt less like a reboot to me and more like a movie series that had grown increasingly ridiculous (oy, Jason X) strip itself down and return to its roots.

I don't know, I think this is a lame idea.

:: Propo War: The Culture Clash Between AMERICAN SNIPER and THE HUNGER GAMES. Interesting thoughts on these two films. I've not seen any of the Hunger Games movies, but I have read all of the books, and I think it's interesting how Devin Faraci's essay approaches the two stories as basically the same, but from different sides. I also appreciate his accurate description of American Sniper as fascist mythmaking.

:: ​First ever drone footage of the Soviet-era secret lightning machine.

:: The new Pirates of the Caribbean movie started shooting this week and it sounds like fun. I was talking to my wife about the plot and how I still haven't seen On Stranger Tides because I was just utterly exhausted by those terrible second and third movies. I honestly wish that instead of cobbling together those bloated sequels, they had just made another movie with Jack Sparrow and a different cast of characters and Davy Jones, because the rest of it wasn't necessary at all. I wish they'd been like the Indiana Jones movies and the cast and adventure were different every time, because I didn't care about Jack Sparrow after we were meant to start caring about him and I just literally do not care about every other character thread in those movies except for Davy Jones, because he's such a fascinating movie creature. What a waste. I don't think I'll ever see any of the films after the third one because they just burned me out. I really hate it when a movie makes a ton of money and they lie about how it was meant to be a trilogy the whole time and we end up with all of that bloat and all of that purposelessness.

:: 15 Facts About Dune

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Monday, February 16, 2015

Muppet Mondays

Cookie Monster's been out promoting The Cookie Thief, the Sesame Street special that airs today, tonight, and throughout the week on PBS. I think my favorite appearance was in this Jimmy Kimmel bit.

Another neat thing you can do is go play Cookie's new Pac-Man-style game, Cookie Monster Chase, which brings me right back to 1981. Think I'll have some Showbiz Pizza today. Oh, wait. Damn it.

Go to Sesame Street,org and hit the following keys: Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A.

Have fun! I sure did!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Song of the Week: "Everlong"

I've been feeling a bit nostalgic for the mid-nineties lately. So here's the Foo Fighters from 1995. It's funny, I just wasn't a fan of any of the new music coming out at the time, but twenty years later it makes me nostalgic for the time period. Of course, because I was younger and had fewer responsibilities.