Tag Archives: rook mistake

The One About Antidepressants

My daily antidepressants are fantastic. The two side effects seem to be sleeping and vivid dreaming. It’s like sitting on the front row of a theater, craning my neck up at the screen. Everything is bigger, louder, more in my face. All of that is great when it’s some surreal piece of freudian manifestation. But when it’s a screaming night terror, that’s a little different. Friday I woke in the middle of the night crying and lost. I got up and took a Xanax, my emergency meds, and next thing I know I was waking up at 11 Saturday morning. I lasted about 3 hours before sleeping again til 7 pm. I made it until about 10pm and crashed out again. My Saturday was just GONE.

I’ll be cutting Xanax in half next time. I can’t afford to lose days.

BUT, I’m taking my meds and having mostly good days and working.


Let’s pretend the quotation marks are correctly done.

TL;DR:  Meds are great for me. Don’t see if as weakness. Anything less is a rook mistake



The One About Sirens 2017

This could get wordy, y’all, so cup yer butts or my wind’s gonna blow’m out.

First a recap:

2015- Holy shit! What is this place? OMG Look at all the females here! HOLY shit! I just met a trans woman! Everyone is so fucking smart and well-read. OMG am I stupid? I never thought I was stupid before. Wait, I get a tiny dessert too? Fanfuckingtastic. But I want all the things at the auction! Shit, it’s time to go? But my brain… it’s been cracked open. I didn’t know there were groups of people like this. Help! How do I keep this feeling????

2016-Holy shit! People remembered me from last year! Oh fuck’s what’s their name?? I can’t see their badge!! Oh MORE people that are so fucking amazing! Why have I always felt so alone? You liked my story in Queens and Courtesans? OMG, thank you!!!! But my brain… the crack’s bigger and the idea that I’m OK keeps leaking in. What? Wait? You don’t think I belong? YES I fucking do. And so do you. Everyone’s entitled to a bad day. Shit, we gotta go home? OK, but I will always come back.

2017- HOLY shit, quit fucking crying you big baby. You just got here! OMG AGAIN? VE Schwab was NOT talking about you. Quit crying. People want to sit with me at lunch. Ask me to dinner. They want my ideas on things. They’re asking me like I’m equal – like I fucking matter. Seriously, quit fucking crying. It’s annoying. Motherfucking Kate Elliot asking  me (ME!!!) to sign her copy of Queens and Courtesans. Speechless. More of those goddam tears. Canned air. Gallons of water. Oh shit, Artemis! The feeling of being mother fucking home in a place I’ve never been. And now my tears aren’t for me. They’re for this world where people are born, grow old, and die without ever feeling the love and ACCEPTANCE I feel at Sirens. May we never truly leave.

937c43a3c6353d57811dc9207071b820TLDR: Fuck you, go read it.

Another One About Surviving a Broken System

Went to lunch yesterday at a very crowded burger joint with a coworker and took the only open table. That’s right, I sat in the middle of the room with no clear line of sight to either exit. My back was to the walk way.Wasn’t my best dining experience, but I survived without incident. Yesterday was a good day.

Read about the VA again. Maybe I shouldn’t do that. It’s so broken that nothing sort of a total strip and rebuild is going to fix it. All I can do is be glad that neither I nor any of my family has so far ever needed a transplant. Cause the VA is going to make our life hell if we do.

There are restrictions that private hospitals don’t have. They don’t take organs from non vets. What? Yeah. You’re top of the recipient list and ready to get that new heart, but Transplant Joe wasn’t in the club, so fuck you and your years of service.

Does that sound even remotely right?

Took my info from The Military Times article. There isn’t much info on the VA National Transplant page, but that’s not shocking.



TL;DR: Take the VA apart and reassemble using logic and compassion. If you’re stuck with the VA, do your research and don’t take them at face value. That would be a rook mistake.



The One About Night Terrors

It’s more than a nightmare.

For me it’s total paralysis with open eyes screaming. Sometimes it bolts me awake. Sometimes I don’t quite reach consciousness.

Sometimes it’s the total certainty that someone is standing over me in the dark.

Sometimes it’s a memory replayed in a thousand different ways that I am helpless to change.

An adrenaline dump in the middle of the night can keep me up for hours, or not let me sleep again. Panicked, angry, and frightened, I’ll roam my house trying to talk myself down. “It was just a dream. I’m fine. Everything is fine. I’m OK.  Nothing is wrong.” It’s a mantra.

It also upsets the household. Thankfully, my son has always slept like he was in his own personal cocoon. My sig-oth isn’t so lucky. I know it’s a helpless situation for him as well. But there is nothing he can do.

Add guilt to the mix of anger, panic, fear because I’m causing sleep depravation for him, too.

Fuck all that.

This kid , Tyler Skuzacek in Saint Paul, MN,  is a freaking genius. He and his team created an app.

It hasn’t made the clinical trials yet, but he’s working with the VA and sleep experts.

It marks the symptoms leading up to the terror and interrupts deep sleep with a vibration to take the sleeper just this side of consciousness without actually waking them.

Sign me up, Tyler.

MyBivy App

It’s never hopeless. Someone’s always out there working on ways to make it better. They don’t give up and neither can you. That would be the worst Rook mistake.


I know the pic is sappy af, but this time it fits.

TL;DR: Tyler’s dad came home with PTSD. After watching his dad suffer, he chose to do something about it. There’s an app in the works. Don’t give up. Help is coming.

The One About the Starving Army

This isn’t anything new. When I was in, I knew guys that worked at Target on the weekends or delivered pizza every night. And these were guys that lived in the barracks with no family to support.

These kids, right out of high school, are sought after for new car loans and credit cards. They haven’t really been away from home before and wind up in debt. The dealerships know exactly how much car they can put a kid in because the servicemen’s pay is a matter of public record.

And don’t miss a payment. Don’t get a call from a collector that bypasses you and gets your CO instead. Don’t. It’s not good.

Now there are these soldiers with families. If there’s room, they live on post and don’t pay rent or household bills. But they also make crap. Basic pay for a private (E1 to E3) is 18,300 to 21,000 a year. Pay Scale

Civilian jobs around a post can be hard to come by. Just about every spouse is looking for one. There are a few stay at homes, but they usually are working another angle (Pampered Chefs, Avon, Mary Kay, home daycare) to help support the family. And then there are the dependopatomus, but I rarely saw them. Even when I was stationed on an infantry post for a bit.

There’s lot of education out there for these kids, if they’ll take it. But when they’re 18-20something the immaturity level is high. Not just in them, but in their spouses as well. Living on post can sometimes feel like you in the middle of a TV drama. It’s not an excuse, just a fact.

However, these families are finding themselves on food stamps. So think about that. You’ve got a solider with a family coming home at the end of the day only to go back out the door for his or her second job and worrying about WIC covering some of their groceries.

What can be done? I’m not that smart. I don’t have a solution. My suggestion is that if you have a loved one that’s thinking about joining, make sure they have a grip on their finances and understand how it all works.

There’s just something down right sad about soldiers on food stamps.

One of the articles I read is here:CNN Article


TL;DR: Managing your bills is hard when you’re uneducated and underpaid. Get right with your money because anything less is a rook mistake.



The One About Opinions

They’re like assholes, right? Everyone’s got one and most of them stink.

Had an argument that left me walking away shaking my head. Discussed these kids who’d  worn masks while flinging firecrackers around campus in MO somewhere. This friend of mine said that the reaction to it was adding to the “pussification” of America.

All the things are wrong with that. All of them.

Mass shootings are not funny. Pretending to have one isn’t funny. These are things I could not get him to understand without the AR-15, 2nd Amendment conversation that I’m so tired of having. He wasn’t ready to listen to the fact that gunfire-ish sounds in a school building was terrifying. It could have set off a plan that the students didn’t know about and maybe even gotten one of them shot.

He could not hear me.

The second amendment doesn’t protect the use of fireworks.

He could not hear me.

When I went on to his use of the word pussification, all hell broke loose.

Women are not weak. Having a vagina is not an automatic second class citizen sentence.

It ended with the thought that if pussy is so terrible, then why does he chase it so hard?

THAT is the only point of agreement we found.

So, fuck that guy in his dirty, stinking opinion.


TL;DR: Opinions are fine, but be open to logical arguments. Idiots abound. To think they don’t would be a rook mistake.

The One About the Last One

I wrote my the blog post about Memorial Day while I was at work. I didn’t really think much of it, just getting it off my chest a good four days after the fact. I went on to handle a few other things – no big deal. What I didn’t realize is that holding on to it for that long had really left a mark on me.

Within an hour of typing it up, paramedics were asking me questions and hooking me up to leads.

It started off as a little chest pain and I ignored it. It progressed to pressure, sweating, and I was unable to catch my breath. I didn’t associate the post with what was happening. Instead, I realized I was the same age as my dad when he had his first heart attack. That brought down the full on panics.

911 and 12 leads later, I told the paramedics I had PTSD. They wanted to know why. The words “combat vet” will sometimes upset people. No one in my PoB (place of business) knew. And there was no taking it back. A full siren, lights blazing ambulance and it’s firetruck escort has a way of jumpstarting the gossip machine. By now they all know. It’s one thing to have served at one time, because that could mean anything. It’s a different monster to have participated in the trading of bullets.  It isn’t shame that keeps me sharing this with the people I come in contact with on the daily, but the lack of wanting another person’s opinion about it. I don’t come to work to swap war stories. I don’t go there to give pieces of myself to virtual strangers. I come to work.

In case you’re worried, I’m fine. It wasn’t a heart attack. It was a straight up bona fide panic attack during working hours where the whole of place knows about me now.



TL;DR: Secrecy isn’t an option and you can’t unfuck the cat. Compartmentalization breaks down and people will know your shit. Deal with it.  Not dealing with it is a total Rook mistake.

Also, cardiologists are important.