Posted in Adulting, Blogging, Condo, Mental Health, Pictures of things that make me happy, Random, Writing Challenges

Things Facebook is suggesting I should buy

I was really struggling with what to write for this month’s #PepperDay post. I wrote a post in a group on Facebook a couple of days ago that has gotten far more attention than I ever expected it to get. It’s part of my autistic advocacy work, so luckily the vast majority of responses has been positive, but it has me completely out of my comfort zone.

I did not fully think through how much reach it would have when I wrote it, and since it was approved I’ve spent a good amount of time trying to keep on top of notifications about reactions to the post and reading and responding to comments.

So, for today’s #PepperDay post I thought I’d do something a little fun.

First, though, some housekeeping from last month’s post. My garden gnome arrived and I absolutely love him. Here are some pictures of him and what our walkway looks like with all our solar powered decorations all lit up.

Okay, now to explain the title of this post and have some fun. Lately FB has well and truly figured out my personality and has demonstrated that by the shirts that it is suggesting that I buy. (And to be clear, I am in no way being sarcastic, these suggestions are absolutely directly in line with my personality.)

Here’s what Facebook has suggested, so far I have only been able to purchase the first suggestion.

Happy #PepperDay, everyone!

Posted in Blogging, Writing Challenges

Clearly magical…

A couple days ago I posted an idea that I’d had for what I thought a #Blogidays2016 blog badge should look like if we were going to have one to the Cheer Peppers group on Facebook. I said that I’d really like to see what a Pepper would look like wearing a Santa hat. 

Other people commented and said that they too would like to see a Pepper in a Santa hat. 

A couple of the resident artists saw the conversation and said that that they could make it happen.

And about a day or so after I put forth an idea this came to be:


#TeamTinyPeppers is clearly magical.

So even though I was originally planning on only posting most days this month, I’m now going to try to post every day so that I’m worthy of that magic. 

Posted in Apartment Living, Random

I’ve started to have nightmares about our move…

As anyone who regularly reads this blog or is friends with me on Facebook is probably aware, I am just a little stressed about our upcoming move.

Great Idea until packing

This was further evidenced by the nightmare I had last night. In it, Curtis and I were signing paperwork required for our move, but for some reason we were doing this in a model apartment. During the course of signing the paperwork the rental agent had us take another tour of the model apartment. When we got to the walk-in closet in the bedroom we were shocked to discover that they had converted the closet into some sort of closet/bathroom combination. There were still some rods to hang stuff up on, but most of the closet space was now taken up by a shower. There was also this tiny little metal sink with built-in toothbrush holders sticking out of the wall. The rental agent was really proud of it and kept calling a second bathroom. We were pissed and inquired if all of the apartments had already had this renovation done. She said that most had, but she couldn’t remember if the one that we were moving into had. So we asked to look at the apartment that we were moving into and discovered that not only had this renovation been done, but about half the floor of the closet bathroom was missing. I remember wondering if it was too late to decide to move to another apartment complex and then the dream ended.

LemurThanksYouButNo1-vi

I texted Curtis to tell him about my dream and remind him to make sure to contact the apartment complex before they closed today because this was the day that we were told they should have a final answer on our rental applications.

Only when Curtis did get in touch with someone we were told that they are still working on verifying employment and rental history and should have everything back by Wednesday. Apparently one of the phone numbers on the paperwork was incorrect, so now that’s been corrected they should be able to finish verifying. Why they didn’t ask if the numbers were correct the last time that we talked to them I will never understand. We at least did find out that they do wait to take the money from our account until everything has been finalized.

Curtis did not verify that they have not turned all their walk-in closets into closet bathrooms though.

Posted in Blogging

New and updated pages…

As some of you are probably already aware, I have added a new “About The Author” page to my blog. On the third attempt I was actually able to get it to post as a page instead of a new post. Apologies for the emails that that you may have received that led you to a post that doesn’t exist. Or for the links that posted to Facebook and were then immediately deleted. Feel free to check out the actual page now that I have it figured out.

I also updated my “About This Blog” page. It’s still mostly the same as it was, but feel free to check that out as well.

i-like-you-because-you-join-in-on-my-weirdness

Posted in Blogging, Family, Marriage, Relationships

No longer anonymous…

When I started this blog a few years ago I didn’t start out as anonymous. I let people on Facebook know that I had a blog and had my posts automatically shared on Facebook when I posted them. But, to my knowledge, not many people I actually knew were reading my blog and I wanted to start writing about things that were going to be easier to write about if no one knew who I was, so I decided to unlink my blog from Facebook. I went completely anonymous. No photos of myself, no names, only vague references to where I lived.

And then as I made friends via my blog I slowly started to give out bits and pieces of information about who I was and where I lived. I let people know that I lived in Northern Utah, in the Salt Lake Valley. That before that I lived in a little town on the Connecticut shoreline where I grew up. I slowly started to post pictures of myself, first without showing my face and then no longer hiding my face. I even changed my user pic to an actual picture of me.

The one thing that I have not done is let people know my real name. But as I have made friends on here and have started to connect with them via my personal Facebook page I have realized that eventually some of my other friends and family are going to figure out that I have a blog. And while that used to worry me because I fear judgement from them for the opinions and life choices that I discuss on this blog, I find that I no longer care as much if they might disapprove. I will be 33 years old on the very last day of November. I have been married to my husband, Curtis, (also known as unremarkable man) for 13 years and living on the other side of the country from most of my friends and family for over 11 years. In other words, I’m grown ass woman, and while I will always appreciate input and support from my friends and family, their opinion on how I choose to live my life doesn’t really matter.

Don't be afraid to rock the boat

I don’t need anyone’s approval or permission to live my truth. And if anyone decides to voice their displeasure with my life choices, just know that one of my life choices is that I don’t need to have negativity in my life. You are allowed to have your opinions, but there is no reason why I need to hear about those opinions unless I have specifically asked for them.

WhatYouThinkOfYourself

My life choices are not up for debate.

I have recently come back to blogging after taking a break from it for almost a year. I spruced up my blog layout. And I have decided that I’m tired of hiding. This is my space to write about what I want, and if people don’t like it, they don’t have to read it.

My name is Charlene Perry.

Posted in Blogging, Marriage

Greetings from a strange laptop…

My laptop died in its sleep the other night.

Dead Laptop

Quite literally actually. I put my laptop to sleep and when I went to go and wake it again later it wouldn’t wake up. It was plugged in and charging (as it always was the last couple years as the battery stopped holding a charge a while ago) and would turn on and scan the DVD drive, and then nothing. The screen stays black and it won’t boot up at all.

Earlier that night I had been attempting to hook my laptop up to my TV so that I could watch something on Netflix. I was able to get the picture from the TV but no sound. I spent over an hour trying to fix the issue before I unplugged it from where it was plugged in and moved it to another area and plugged it in again. After that it wouldn’t wake up, so possibly something happened during that time. Incidentally, I later realized that the sound wasn’t working on my TV because I had the cord plugged into the microphone jack not the headphone jack. The headphone jack was not visible to me due to it being black and blending into the rest of the blackness on the side of my laptop, the microphone jack was silver and easily visible.

I have attempted to hook it back up to the TV in case the settings got messed up, but it says that there is no data and the TV turns off. It’s not just the screen, it really won’t do anything beyond scanning the DVD drive.

So for now I am using my husband’s laptop. Which is so very different from my laptop. I am slowly getting used to it. We set up a user account for me on here, which synced some of my settings from my laptop (like my background pictures which I was afraid I had lost forever) but not all of them. So I have been busy setting up my desktop the way that I’m used to as much as possible. I lost several folders and programs when my laptop died. Documents and pictures that were saved only to that laptop. Some of my files were saved to my husband’s flash drive, but I haven’t checked to see which ones yet. It had been a while since I last backed it up though, so some things are lost forever if I can’t get my laptop to start up again. Luckily most of my important photos are all saved in albums on Facebook, as well as most likely being on the flash drive, so those are not lost.

Now we hope that this laptop that my husband and I are now sharing doesn’t also die before we can afford to at least replace mine.

Money can't buy happiness

Posted in Family, Hairstyles, Relationships, Shaved Head

I shaved my head and people freaked out…

I made the decision to shave my head a couple of days ago and posted a picture of the result on Facebook.

9-10-2015

I knew that people were going to be surprised by just how short I went, just the year before I had hair down past my hips.

IMG_20130316_112143

But I had been slowly cutting it shorter and shorter over the past year, and had recently cut it to about a 1/2 inch long so I didn’t think that it was really all that drastic or sudden of a change.

I got a lot of positive feedback, along with some somewhat neutral, possibly negative feedback. A guy friend of mine commented that he’s “had that same haircut!” He happens to have long hair now, so my response was “And I’ve had your current hairstyle before!”

And then I got a message asking me if I was “doing alright” “because few women shave their heads.”

turtle-is-not-angry

Which honestly pissed me off.

A woman deciding to shave her head is not a sign of mental illness.

Then my grandmother straight out asked me in a comment on my picture if I was fighting cancer.

Oh No She Didn't Just Say That

To which I asked her if she seriously thought that I wouldn’t let everyone know that I was if that was what was going on.

Not every woman who shaves her head is sick. Some women shave their heads because they like the way they look with short hair.

I was then meant to feel guilty about my decision because “some women would do almost anything to have such beautiful hair.”

It’s not like I permanently cut off my hair. If I stop cutting it, it’ll grow back.

Also, I am in no way obligated to wear my hair long simply because other people find it pretty.

WhatYouThinkOfYourself

Think of it this way: My husband cuts his hair just as short as mine all the time and nobody cares. Because he’s a guy.

But when a woman, such as myself, decides to shave her head it’s a big deal and some people decide that she must be ill in some way (either physically or mentally) because “why would a woman shave her head?”

Warning Reflections in Mirror Distorted

“Because she felt like it” is a perfectly acceptable answer to that question by the way.

There is absolutely no reason why a woman can’t style her hair any damn way she wants, including deciding to shave it all off. Women don’t need long hair to still be feminine.

And the only reason why it should be a big deal is because of how awesome she looks with her new hairstyle.

Too Busy Being Awesome

And if “bald is beautiful” is only true to you if that person has cut their hair off for health reasons, if you are offended by the thought of women shaving their heads simply because they want to, I suggest that you may never have really meant it in the first place. Other women who are healthy deciding to shave their heads in no way takes away from the courageousness of women who had less choice in the matter.

Women are beautiful. Period. Hair length has nothing to with it.

judging defines you

Posted in Marriage, Random

My hair’s not so long anymore…

I’ve been growing my hair out for quite a long time and I finally had enough a couple of days ago though and informed my husband as he was getting up for the day that he was going to have to cut my hair for me soon before I did something drastic. Like taking some scissors to it myself. Or something really drastic, like taking the clippers to it and cutting it all off. He said he’d help me out and he went off to work and I went off to sleep. When he came home later that day he made good on his promise to help me out.

Here’s how long my hair got.

3-10-2014 Haircut Before (Edited)

Once we figured out about how long I wanted it to be he started cutting. I was standing next to a mirror, but could not see without turning my head. And I wasn’t about to turn my head (or move at all if I could help it) while my husband was cutting my hair, because the last thing I wanted to hear him say was “oops”. It became very clear from the surge of anxiety I felt when I heard him cutting the first few locks off that taking the clippers to it would have been a horribly bad idea. The sound of the scissors cutting through my hair and then the sound of the hair falling into the waste basket was more nerve wracking than I expected it to be. But at the same time it was freeing. And as more and more hair got cut off I felt less and less anxious and more happy.

Here is the result immediately after he was done cutting my hair. I hadn’t even seen it yet.

3-10-2014 Haircut After (Edited)

Here a few more photos after my hair had dried some.

3-10-2014 Haircut After Dry 1 (edited)3-10-2014 Haircut After Dry 3 (Edited)3-10-2014 Haircut After Dry 2 (Edited)

It felt so short. I posted pictures on Facebook and my friends reminded me that my hair was still really long. Which it is, but it’s going to take a while to get used to it being about 15 or so inches shorter than it used to be.

3-10-2014 Haircut (edited) 13-10-2014 Haircut (edited) 23-10-2014 Haircut (edited) 8

But even though it feels really short to me now, I am still super happy with it. I’m really enjoying it not always being in the way.

Posted in Blogging, Bullying, Childless by Choice, Weight

Never having given birth doesn’t make me any less of a real woman…

Or: So, if I don’t have kids, I should be ashamed of my stretch marks?

 

There’s a quote that floats around Facebook that has always bothered me, and for the longest time I couldn’t figure out exactly why. This is the quote:

tiger stripes

The last couple of days though, it hit me. It talks about having earned her stripes, like through pregnancy. And pretty much every time that I’ve seen this shared it’s always accompanied by something being said about how women should be proud of the “tiger stripes” they earned while they were carried another human being inside of them. Or women talking about how they earned their stretch marks through carrying all of their beautiful children and that they are so proud of that and that they wear them as a badge of honor.

I’m all for women feeling better about their bodies, and I have nothing against women being proud of being a mother.

What bothers me about this quote is how it makes me feel as woman who has never had kids and yet has stretch marks. Because what’s implied in this quote is that if my stretch marks weren’t earned via pregnancy I should be ashamed of them and that I am less of a woman because I am not a mother. I do not feel like I am meant to be included with the women who are supposed to feel better about their stretch marks. Because having earned my stretch marks through weight gain and loss is not something that is exactly celebrated in society.

I feel like this is kind of like the “real women have curves” type things that have been going around, and that I have myself shared in the past. I recently realized that if an “inspirational quote” is attempting to make one group of people feel better about themselves while shaming another group of people, it’s plain and simple bullying. I have stopped sharing things that might make other people feel worse about themselves because they don’t fit into what was described.

It feels like there’s a competition as to who is a “real woman”. There’s no reason why it should be a competition. What should it matter if a woman has given birth or not? If you identify as a woman, then you are a woman. No matter what shape or size you are. Or what gender it might say on your birth certificate for that matter. You don’t have to look a certain way or be a mother to be a “real woman”.

Posted in Blogging, Mental Health

Bipolar disorder assisted writer’s block…

I have started writing this blog post at least 5 times or so already, only to go back and erase everything. Which is super frustrating. I wanted to write a blog post, but instead have spent a good amount of time deciding that I don’t like what I have written about my attempts to write a post, erasing what I have written and then checking Facebook… again… Did I mention how frustrating this is? Especially since Facebook is pretty dead at this time of night…

There are many different things that I could be writing about… if I could just figure out how to go about writing about them. But I just can’t seem to concentrate long enough… You know how they say that one of the signs of depression is losing interest in things that you once enjoyed? Yeah, that’s totally true. I started cycling into a depressive period a few days ago, and although I’m feeling restless and want to do something, I’m not really interested in doing anything. It’s extremely frustrating (there’s that word again…) because there is absolutely nothing going on in my life for me to be depressed about… and yet here I am all because of some stupid chemical imbalance in my brain. My brain, that I would like to start devoting it’s time and energy into helping me write awesome blog posts instead of making me annoyed by just about anything and everything and yet complaining that it wants to be doing something. Life could be a whole lot worse right now, brain, so kindly quit your whining and allow me to get on with living again.

Also, brain, kindly stop with the thoughts of self harm. They are not a good idea as you would try to lead me to believe. There is absolutely no reason for me to start cutting myself again. Or for me to start scratching myself till I leave marks or bleed again. I know that you think that the scratching thing is clever because it might be less likely to land us in a mental hospital again than me taking a knife to myself would be, but they are both extremely fucking stupid ideas and I know it. I have been doing just fine while not engaging in those behaviors all these many years. I have absolutely no interest in having to listen to people talk about how I was clearly “just doing it for attention”. Or to explain to those people that they are right, but not in the way that they think. And I have no intention of going back to a mental hospital, because no matter how clever you think you are, brain, that’s exactly where we’d end up. Have you forgotten how much it sucked the first time?

So, brain, if you want to try to continue to drag me further down into depression you can try. But just know that I’m onto you and plan on fighting you every step of the way. And I’ve already won one little victory… I wrote a blog post.