Nightmare Anatomy

I had a nightmare last night; I dreamed I was getting married to my (ex) boyfriend at a large, but humble church wedding in front of dozens of guests, including an old flame from college whom I credit with bringing out my anxiety and agoraphobia full-force. I was over the moon that it was finally happening. I flew to the altar so I could stand beside my soulmate. My eyes brimmed with joyful tears as the service began. And then, he abruptly left to smoke a cigarette while I stood there dumbfounded and ashamed. I chased after him, only to watch him be shot to death before I could reach him.

I think this is my brain’s way of dealing with my fear of dying alone save for my cat and some potted plants. Every day I see women my age, and some even younger, getting engaged and married and pregnant and giving birth, while meanwhile what I had hoped would be my last relationship for the rest of my life crumbled no matter how hard I tried to hold onto it.

When I ended things, he told me I was “giving up” because I expected a faerietale ending where we would never fight, and we’d live happily ever after. All I wanted, for lack of better words, was normalcy. We abused alcohol and drugs and each other until I accepted it was not going to get better. Sometimes, no amount of love can make a relationship work.

Even though I know I made the right decision, in my own time, I still feel like a failure. Failure lies at the root of all of my nightmares. If I started a dream journal (and I might), I’m sure at least half of them would be work related. I have dreams where my headset stops working or I can’t get my computer to work while I have a claimant on the phone constantly. Even better, I still have nightmares about when I worked at Five Below of a similar nature, and I haven’t worked there since 2015.  You’d think maybe that taking anti-anxiety medication before bed would alleviate some of my constant fear of fucking up, but it’s done very little. Even after seeing statistics telling me I am one of the highest performers both in my company and on my team at the office, I still panic.  I had chest pains every day for a week in December and it took concentrated breathing exercises when I feel the first twinge of pain to keep them in check.

I wish I was a calm, confident person who wasn’t afraid of being an unlovable failure. And I’m hoping someday I can get there. But for now, I need to learn how to live with these nightmares and figure out what they’re trying to tell me.

All my love,

Katherine Wheel

Back in the swing of things

Nice to see you again, my few but much loved readers! I’m sorry for my absence; at this point I’m sure this has become expected, but I still apologize for the length of my inactivity. Life got ahead of me, and now it’s suddenly August. Where did the year go?

If you spoke to me a year ago and told me that I would be where I am now, I would have laughed in your face.

I’m just starting my second week of training as a client advocate for those applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). I have an ID badge, my own personal headset for the phones, and in five more weeks, my very own cubicle. Of all the careers I dreamed I would fall into, I never thought I would be working in a traditional office, in a full-time nine-to-five position. For all the shit my brothers give me when I brag about the satisfaction in the regularity and when I whine about having to completely flip-flop my sleep patterns, I can’t help but think they’re jealous. I make a living wage, and I get to make the world a better place; I can’t think of much else one could want out of a job. One 0f the hardest things to accept about adulthood, but also one of the most validating, is the realization that ninety-nine percent of us are not going to have that “dream job”. As a good friend of mine said to me recently, you use that satisfying job to fund your dream life. That’s where I’m at right now. For the first time in months I can actually afford to do things and treat myself.  My entire paycheck will not go directly to paying credit card bills. It’s a wonderful feeling.

And since I’m actually motivated for a change, here’s a ukelele cover! I haven’t significantly improved recently but I was in the mood to sing for y’all today. Enjoy 🙂

 

All my love,
Katherine Wheel

Showing off and some life updates

Hey everyone, I have some exciting news (well, for me anyways). I got the full-time position I applied for and I will be starting at the end of July! I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I would be excited to have a cubicle and a consistent schedule, but here I am. Here’s hoping this new chapter is a fun one, and one where I grow a whole lot. You know a company is a good fit when your hiring manager tells you this is a place to start and grow a career, but ultimately move on from. I don’t want to feel stagnant,and I think this is the place I will find that balance.

Anyways, enough humblebragging. Here’s something fun I made for you guys. I figured that since I’m learning ukelele it would be fun to share my progress with you all every so often. As such, I’ve put together a cover of one of my favorite songs by Emilie Autumn, “Thank God I’m Pretty”. Let me know what you think! This was a single shot cover, so all my fumbles and missed notes are in there. I hope it gives you a laugh if nothing else.

Enjoy!

Katherine Wheel.

Uke Can Do It!

Last night I went to see Twenty One Pilots, and I didn’t realize that a financially careless decision at the merch booth would begin a new, burning passion.  I had been scoping out their tour merch online before the show, deciding what I would snap up when I got there; it saves a lot of time knowing what will be there and how much money you’re going to need. I saw a few shirts I liked, and then a beautiful, pricey ukelele. I debated for over a week whether or not I would pick one up at the show ($125 is a lot to spend on tour merch) but ultimately I needed to own one. It’s such a cool little instrument, customized to be a 21p tour exclusive.

 

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His name is Josh Dun and he is a perfect instrument.

I brought it home, opened it up, and it was love at first proper strum. Ukelele is not an exact science: it’s a feeling. I know I’ve only been playing for a day so I sound ridiculous, but an instrument has never been so easy to pick up; it’s the perfect size and for someone who knows basic music theory from years of piano, clarinet, and singing, it isn’t hard to remember chords and rhythms. Uke is what I always wanted playing guitar or bass to be like: natural and fun and just a little bit of challenge. I can tell I’m going to be playing this thing every day for a long, long time.

I’ve been in a creative funk for awhile, so I think going back to my roots and making music is just what I need to keep myself sane and motivated. At some point, I might start posting stuff to a YouTube account to share with you all. I’m excited to see how this goes!

All my love,

Katherine Wheel

Riot Games at PAX East: A Riftwalk review

Let me preface this by saying I am the n00biest n00b to ever play League of Legends. I’ve been trying not to get into it for years, partly because people I greatly dislike play the game, and partly out of laziness. I have a bit of an addictive personality, so once I find a game I enjoy I will play that game incessantly. I can tell right now that League is going to be no exception. If you care to add me, my summoner name is KatMaestrale. Once I get a better handle on things, lets play together! I currently main as Lux.

This weekend I attended PAX East, and one of the first things that caught my eye was the League of Legends Riftwalk. The line was enormous, even before 10 am on the first day of the convention, so naturally I had to see what it was for myself. On Saturday morning, I got in line as soon as the horror in media panel with Chris Straub was over and made a beeline for the Riot Games section of the convention center. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was in for a two hour wait for the experience. Luckily, Riot Games planned ahead and created the Minimap app, an app that allowed you to complete a “quest” while in line for a chance to win some swag, as well something to sync with the wristband needed to experience the Riftwalk. I did not end up winning any swag from the app, but I did make a few new friends to play League with, and I met some wonderful people in line. If there’s one impression this left on me this weekend, it’s that gamers can often be some of the nicest people out there. I think we as a culture get too hung up on trolls and forget there’s dozens of really kind and cool people out there.

After my two hour wait, I finally got into the Riftwalk. It was a beautiful and atmospheric interactive art exhibit showcasing the growth of LoL over the years, including some really cool artwork you could “take home” with the aid of your wristband. There were also a few photo ops which were super cool and really fun to do. It explains why the wait for Riftwalk is so long as well. For the first photo, you had the chance to choose between a few different weapons. I chose Fishbones and held that heavy son-of-a-gun with pride. Unfortunately for me, this picture, the one I wanted the most, didn’t show up on my Minimap app, nor in my email as promised. Naturally, I took to the twittersphere to complain, and I was greeted warmly by Rioter Janelle Jiminez. She pointed me in the direction of the Riot info desk, who graciously allowed me to have a second shot at getting my coveted picture without having to wait in another 2 hour line. Unfortunately, the pictures STILL didn’t make it my way, but I did get another chance to walk around the Riftwalk. It was a different experience since the giant Thresh puppet wasn’t there at the time I was readmitted, but still a really good time. I felt really lucky to get to have another go at the fun photo ops.  Thank you again to the Rioters for being so accommodating and pleasant.

And for those of you Pinny Arcade collectors out there, I got an exclusive Teemo pin for my troubles. It’s adorable, and easily my favorite pin because I earned it, goddamn it! And now, for your nerdy pleasure, here are some pictures of my journey through the Riftwalk!

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Thresh came for my soul that day.

All my love,

Katherine Wheel

REVIEW:Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Today I’m going to debut a new segment to the blog: reviews! I’m going to be tagging these posts as “Kat Thoughts” for your convenience (and so you can skip them if you’re not into reviews). Be forewarned that there will be some spoilers below the cut. -KW

Continue reading “REVIEW:Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”

The art of the mix CD

Not to brag, but I am an expert at crafting mixes for my friends and loved ones. If you ask me to make you a playlist or burn you a CD, I will dedicate an entire afternoon to painstakingly selecting the tracks and assigning them an order. If I’m burning a CD, I also make sure to decorate the jewel case with a track listing and sometimes even album art if I have lots of time on my hands.

If that sounds excessive to you, you have a few things to learn about making mixes. Let me fill you in on my tried and true technique to make a playlist your friend will love!

The first thing to consider when you’re making a mix for someone is their taste in music. It might be tempting to put together a mix with all of your favorite songs on it, but it’s a bit of a waste if you’re more into indie folk music and your friend prefers synth pop. To be safe, I usually ask my friends what vibe they have in mind for the playlist. For example, I introduced my boyfriend to the Cure and Depeche Mode, and he was looking for a mix with more of their style music. So what did I start the playlist off with? Depeche Mode and the Cure (duh).

Once you have a solid foundation for the playlist, it’s time to branch out into things you think your friend will also enjoy. This is usually the part where I swim in a sea of panic. What if you pick that one song they associate with their sleazy ex, Brad? What if your choice is just entirely off base? I waste a lot of time worrying about these things when I’m picking out tracks. But at the end of the day, it’s just a collection of songs you put together for someone you care about. Even if it isn’t 100 percent what they had in mind, it’s something you’ve crafted with love and dedication. If they don’t appreciate it, take your mad mix-making skills elsewhere!

Here comes the most important part: ordering the tracks! I don’t think there’s really a wrong way to go about this, but I have a few tips for making the playlist flow as smoothly as possible. I like to sandwich the songs I know my friend will like around the ones I’m taking a guess on. From there, I try and fit my selections after songs that have similar lyrical content or sounds. For instance, let’s say I had put “Leave a Trace” by CHVRCHES as my first track. I would follow that up with something else with a wintry synth sound, maybe “Love My Way” by the Psychedelic Furs or “Not In Love” by Crystal Castles. Again, this is just my way of going about things, and I don’t know if it really makes sense written out.
At any rate, now you have all my tips, tricks, and suggestions for crafting a playlist your friends and loved ones are guaranteed to enjoy! I have a 100 percent success rate after all ;).

As an added treat, here’s a playlist of some of my favorite tracks. Enjoy!

All my love,

Katherine Wheel