All posts by eshuberty

About eshuberty

Lived with depression since age 10, married to an Indiana boy, have a pet hedgehog named Baxter and a Pom named Yoshi, English major, aspiring cook, cinema lover, painter, professional opinion-haver.

Is The Gun Debate Over?

We limit how much cold medicine you can buy because it’s used in meth, but 19-year old Nikolas Cruz legally bought the AR-15 he used to kill 17 people. When he was in school, he was so scary to teachers that they didn’t allow him to bring a backpack. The FBI received a tip about him, but never followed up. All signs pointed to this kid being a mass shooter, and it didn’t stop him.

Honestly, I’m pretty hopeless about America ever having sensible gun control. The NRA looms too large, it’s too powerful, and our culture of gun-worship is thriving. If I have to hear one more person say this isn’t a gun problem, it’s a people problem, or a sin problem, or a heart problem, or whatever bullshit they’ve been telling themselves in the face of massacres that target the most vulnerable, I’m going to find a cave in the mountains and never come out.

The gun debate is over. We can’t even have reasonable debates anymore. I saw this meme twice today, saying that the person won’t listen to anti-gun arguments from people who “are okay with killing a baby.” That’s not a talking point from a person who wants to discuss how to stop mass shootings. It’s a straw-man designed to make “the other side” angry and start a whole different debate. It’s an emotional poke in the eye. It’s reframing the conversation into us vs. them, and there’s no way anything can actually get done with that mindset.

I sound pretty pessimistic, and yeah, acceptance of mass murder certainly isn’t the right road to take. What I’m worried about though is that voting in different politicians won’t change anything, because the culture is the problem. We love guns. We love guns more than we love our country’s children. We actually believe that guns bring peace. What do you do to change that? I have no idea. On the other hand, studies keep showing that MOST people support reasonable gun control, and it’s the NRA buying politicians to vote against the people. So, we gotta do something about that. Vote out those politicians. NRA members, stop paying dues if the organization isn’t listening. It’s always about money, so that’s the dragon we have to slay. It’s a tall order.

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My book is out!

The company I work for – Gildshire – has released a compilation of my articles! It’s called “The Little Book of Stuff You Didn’t Know: Histories, Mysteries, and More.” Ever wondered how the theory about Hitler hiding in Argentina started? Or what the most dangerous places for tourists are? Knowledge is power, and you can be the most powerful person in the room after you’ve read this book. You will learn a bit about everything that’s strange, unique, or wonderfully-weird.

Articles include:

The Codes No One Can Crack
America’s First Serial Killers
The World Of Body Modification
Most Dangerous Places To Visit As A Tourist
The Four Most Notorious Paranormal Hoaxes

It’s a really fun read of 27 articles, and only $4.99! Click here to check out the Amazon page. If you don’t have a kindle, you can download the free Kindle app on your phone or computer, and read it that way.

Disconnect

So, I left my small group. Yes, the one I started. It wasn’t because of the people – I love the people, and I’m not just saying that. I plan on staying friends with them, and doing fun stuff like hikes and night markets. When it came to the discussion part, though, there was a big disconnect.

They all go to church. One is even a pastor, for God’s sake. I don’t have a problem with that, it’s probably good to be close to people who are secure in their faith and place in the Christian community, but I’m the only one who isn’t. Like, not even close. I went to a Christmas Eve service, and I had to leave and sit in the lobby. Everything about it just made me want to run. The setup of the stage reminded me of my old church, and that brought on waves of sadness at how that community imploded and betrayed me. When the pastor started talking and using phrases like, “Forgiveness isn’t something you can buy on Amazon Prime,” I wanted to roll my eyes all the way back in my head. I got really hot, and walked around outside. It was raining, and the chill felt refreshing. I am not ready to go back to church. I have absolutely no desire to be ready.

I’m not optimistic about finding people who share my experiences. A lot of people who have had traumatic spiritual experiences just end up cutting all of it out their lives. I’m weirdly in-between, where I’ve cut out church and the conservative bent of Evangelicalism, but I do want friends who love Jesus. I’m desperate for people who will hear about I used to read the Bible because I believed if I didn’t, demons would overpower me, and really understand, because they’ve walked that walk. People who have had serious doubts about God’s goodness because at times it seems that mental illness has stolen every dream. Maybe I’m asking for too much.

Christmas Season 2017

The holiday season thus far has consisted mostly of baking. I’ve made apple cider caramels, applesauce donuts, chai cookies, toffee-chocolate puddle oatmeal cookies, and milk chocolate cookies with orange zest. The process of baking and producing something really delicious makes me feel productive, and I always have Chris take them to work, so it’s something I can do to share, too.

I’ve also made a lot of biscuits and gravy, which I’ve decided is my best meal.  Christmas menu will consist of some kind of pasta dish (possibly salmon or shrimp alfredo), green beans with a miso dressing, crispy potato stacks, and for dessert, an almond-jam chocolate cake I’m super excited about.

We’re at home for Christmas for the first time, which means we actually have to decorate and get a tree. Because we’re in Oregon, that means getting a fresh one. For music, I’ve made a Spotify list of the old standbys: Sarah McLachlan, Avalon, Enya, and Pentatonix. Joining them this year are Johnnyswim,  Tyrone Wells, Dia Frampton, Sia, and Penny and Sparrow.

I’m almost done with Christmas shopping, which is always more expensive than I expect, but that’s because I pride myself on my gift-giving. Chris and I both have birthdays right after Christmas, too, and then it’s Valentine’s Day.

On the less happy side of things, the lack of sunlight is starting to get to me already. I need to get vitamin D. In the last three days, I’ve had naps that are much too long, and they’re those depression naps where I can tell my body is not actually tired, but my brain is so foggy I can’t do anything else. Those naps almost come with strange dreams, too, like Chris getting abducted by aliens and me trapped in another person’s body. I’m still grieving for Baxter. Haven’t cleaned his room yet, though now it’s more just because I don’t want to go to all the effort. I still miss him the most at night when I can’t sleep, and I don’t have anywhere else to go and lie down to calm down.

What else, what else…still grinding away on my novel. I write about 3-4 pages a day in my moleskin. Still writing cookbooks and food books for work. My Gildshire book hopefully comes out soon. That’s about it right now.

 

Grieving

I lost my pet hedgehog on November 5th to a sudden heart attack. It still feels surreal, to think about it. He was the first pet I’ve had in my life that died of natural causes, while I held him. For the first few days, I just felt sad, like a piece of me was missing. Going upstairs at night was the worst, because I would always go check on him, change his water, etc. My schedule was thrown off.

The later part of the week, I started feeling guilty. People had thrown out various ideas about what could have caused his death, and a hibernation attempt kept coming up. Hedgehogs hibernate in the wild, but if they try to hibernate while they’re indoors and domesticated, it can kill them because they haven’t been prepping all autumn long. I kept watching the last video I took of him over and over again, trying to figure out why he was wobbling. I looked at his pictures, comparing them, to see if he had lost weight and I hadn’t noticed.

It didn’t help that I didn’t have much to work last week, since I was ahead of a project and waiting for another one. To keep busy, I paid more attention to the dog. We went walking. I took him upstairs to nap with me, since that was usually what Baxter and I did every day. I cleaned more. Still, every night, I had to pass his door, knowing he wasn’t there.

I still haven’t cleaned up his room. I’ve decided to get a cage for my next hedgehog, whenever that will be, so I’ll be throwing away all of Baxter’s old house, which I made with cardboard boxes. I have two bags of cat food I don’t know what to do with. I don’t want to wash his snuggle sack, because then I’ll lose his scent forever.

Grieving a pet is weird, especially since I was the only one who spent time with him, because it’s so personal. At the same time, it isn’t, because Baxter had over 9,000 followers on Instagram, and people who saw him on Facebook and loved him. That’s made me feel better. I’m not totally alone in this.

What A History Of Broken Friendships Taught Me

If you’re anything like me, than you have had a handful of friendships take a sudden left turn after going really well. The beginning is almost always the same – an immediate, spark-like connection. We have a lot in common emotionally, even if our backgrounds are different. It feels easy to talk about anything, and like we’ve known each other our whole lives.

I used to believe that these connections were brought into my path by God, but now, I know it’s not that simple. One friendship ended after she moved away suddenly without telling me, while another friend who moved changed all her contact information and I had no way to contact her. I’ve had friends suddenly become emotional abusive, cuss me out, or ghost me for no apparent reason. Every time it happens, I tell myself, “Never again,” and build up my walls by another brick. At the same time, though, I’m always ready to be vulnerable and listen to my “gut.” However, after this past weekend, I’m just really tired.

This most recent friendship probably took the quickest turn I’ve experienced, which makes it all the more jarring. I was left gasping, shaking, bewildered, and outraged. I’ve thrown up once every night since. After talking to others about the situation, a mix of those who know and don’t know the person, I know that it wasn’t my fault. Still, I find that I blame myself for taking yet another chance on a connection that had all the signs of a disaster just biding its time. I keep asking God, “Why, why, why.” Why do these people keep crossing my path?

I don’t have a lot of answers or “lessons.” The one thing that all these experiences have taught me though, is that good friendships don’t always begin with a spark. If my track record is any indication, if they do, they’re destined to explode. The friendships that are more likely to succeed are the ones that take work. A lot of awkward silences. A lot of me asking myself, “Do I keep trying?” I’m someone who likes to rush into deep, personal conversations, but most people aren’t, so I’ve learned to be patient. Somewhat. It’s a work in progress.