Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Farewell, old friend

Things just aren't normal anymore (or perhaps any less, maybe I just notice it more these days?). I'm unsure how to proceed. I've applied for some more jobs, but not heard anything back. Strange thoughts and sensations still occur, Fibromyalgia related or otherwise. So many directions at once, and I'm spinning in the whirlwind of nothing and everything at the same time. Perhaps that's just the peculiar nature of existence.

Jackie DeLong died, unexpectedly, earlier this week. Strange thoughts formed about the nature of what precipitated it. I don't know the details, but I have vague suspicions that it shouldn't have happened. An unhappy aberration. She was young! My age. 41. She just lost her husband, her children's father, less than 2 months ago to an equally sudden calamity. He was hit and killed by a car, just before Thanksgiving. Two young teens now orphaned in such a heinous way.

I think back on our interactions, and I wonder how things could have played out differently, better, for her. The notion that, had she never known me, things could have been better for her, perhaps. When she moved away, it was hard to be close friends with anyone new, the way I had with her.

When my mom moved us over the mountain to State College, in 6th grade, Jackie was kind to me, and didn't make fun of me the way kids back in my hometown had. She lived up the road, in Cooper's Pond townhouse with her mom, dad, and younger sister. Somehow, we just seemed to get along, and it was nice. I had my first friend who was my friend both outside of school, as well as in school. Something I hadn't experienced; no one had done that before. Jackie was a genuinely kind person.

We had escapades of all kinds: goofing off in the State Game Lands corn fields behind our neighborhood getting muddy and riding bikes, trying to learn to skateboard (and neither one of us being all that adept at it, though she was better at it than I was), helping me with babysitting a local terror-tot who could make herself vomit on cue when she was upset, boyfriends, hanging out at friends' houses coloring our hair, spending lazy summer days at the PSU Natatorium outside pool and jumping off the platforms, wandering around downtown, finding lost golf balls in the brush along the links that ran through our neighborhood... Just being... normal kids.

I introduced her to people, she introduced me, though some I regret ever getting her mixed-up with, like Matt Reyes. She dated him and he ended up being a complete jerk. When she was in 8th grade, he convinced her to sneak out one night and let him drive her mother's Pontiac. He totaled the car and wasn't even old enough to have a driver's license. I was angry. I was relieved that she was alive and unharmed, but so upset that she had gone out and let Matt take the car. I was also upset that I hadn't been able to protect her, that the whole episode happened at all. It was shortly after that incident that her dad decided to move the family to Florida. I blamed myself. I still do, in many ways.

Even before the family moved away, after the that car incident things weren't quite the same between us. Mostly I felt like I failed her.

My mom managed to somehow scrape up enough money for me to fly (by myself!!) to Tampa the summer between 9th & 10th grade, after she moved to Plant City. Making the connecting flight at Dulles wasn't as hard as I thought, and the Tampa airport was breathtaking in its colors, noises and energy. Two whole weeks in August in Tampa area with Jackie! I remember with surprise Tampa being smaller and not as tall as I expected, as the plane flew over it. Once her family got me back to their house, I remember thinking how strange it all felt. The front door had a gap at the bottom (wtf?! Bugs could just walk in!?) The grasshoppers in her front yard were enormous (the size of small birds) that could barely perch on your finger. It rained like clockwork in the late afternoons; huge, billowing thunderstorms that arrived with torrential down-bursts, then generally petered out just as quickly. Frogs hatched while I was there. The roads in her neighborhood were carpeted in tiny, fully formed frogs the size of a fingernail. It was rather heartbreaking driving because of the swaths of dead frogs car tires left in their wake.

I had anoles, tiny greenish brown lizards, as pets back home. Every so often, I would take them out of their aquarium home, and let them crawl around. They had jumped into Jackie's hair one day. We both screamed and laughed at the unexpected panic of tiny lizards tangled in her hair. Now she had anoles living wild in her new neighborhood. I remember being amazed at the little lizards crawling along fences, just hanging out in the sun. 

The time there was short, 2 weeks, and also long, because somehow we did so much, even when it didn't feel like we were doing much of anything. A trip to Busch Gardens and riding on a hanging roller-coaster; Tampa Bay beach (which was more of a narrow strip of sand hugging a shallow, warm expanse of water... I recall wading out for what seemed like a quarter mile, and the bathtub warm water never went past my waist); driving somewhere (Daytona?) with her and her friend, and marveling that the roads were paved with crushed seashells instead of gravel; watching some soap opera; going to a Southern Baptist church with cushions on the pews and women who would jump up and yell "hallelujah" or "amen" during the sermon (that was VERY strange to me!); the enormous palmetto bug (flying cockroach) that literally wouldn't die after being smashed with a book, and then moved the ceramic bowl placed over top of it; hours soaking up sun while swimming in her neighbor's pool...

After that trip, she drifted her way and I drifted mine. We would write each other occasionally and send photos, but our time connecting was mostly just abbreviated snippets of distant pen-pals.

The next time I heard from her was 1992 or 1993; she was to have been getting married, but her fiance left her at the alter so he could be with another guy (of all things). I can remember being torn apart. I wanted to go to her and be there to help and comfort her, but... for some reason, I had excuses. I had no money saved so no way to get there, Jeff was in college and I recall him dismissing the idea or dissuading me from trying to get to her. Maybe I was projecting? I'm not exactly sure why I didn't go, but it made me feel shitty, like I was abandoning her all over again.

Ironically, when shit fell apart between Jeff and me years later, she had somehow found my number and called me out of the blue. I remember talking with her while on the couch at the house on Leawood, Jeff sitting next to me. I was afraid to say much of anything real about what was happening, even though it was bad, and not long afterward, I overdosed to kill myself. I couldn't bring myself to drag her into my drama. She had problems of her own and I didn't want to add mine to hers. Some of it was guilt; I didn't expect her to be there to help me when I hadn't been there to help her. Again, I drifted away somewhere and lost touch with her.

Fast forward a number of years, and we reconnect again, via Facebook, this time. Tiny glimpses of her life through status updates and photos. She was beautiful and vibrant as always. Pangs of wistful voyeurism that her life seemed ok.

June of this past year, I uploaded photos of her that she had left with me all those years ago before she moved to Florida. Baby photos, toddler photos, young elementary school days, long before I knew her, or she even lived in Pennsylvania (her dad had been in the Marines, so they traveled frequently). It was like uploading pieces of her past, her memories, to flow through the Internet and hopefully, just maybe, pieces of happiness could find their way home to her.

Months later, her husband died. Now, shortly after that, she's gone, too.

A lifetime of memories are there, good, bad, happy, sad, angry, and melancholy. An entirety that cannot be adequately enumerated.

Be well, old friend. You were always beautiful starstuff, even if I lacked a way to tell you.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

weird dreams and echos of reality

I woke up a very vivid, strange dream this afternoon. I’ve not been sleeping well, at all, again. Like most of my dreams, it was disconcerting. Upon waking, and reading events in the news, it was even more disconcerting...

I've been noticing bits of reality creeping into my dreams, but not in the way I normally expect. I take it as a given that previous events try and sift themselves into meaning after the fact, rearranging themselves into odd, quirky narratives. What's troubling, to me at least, is when the dreams show up in the present or short-term future.

[trying to type on the tablet with the bluetooth keyboard is not as easy as I had hoped, but then again, with my hands giving me fits of numbness and weakness on a daily and nightly basis lately, even writing with pen and paper is somewhat difficult]

------- <begin rough recollection of dream> ------

in the dream, the parts I can remember more clearly, than others, I had gone to my doctor’s office for some reason I’m not clear about now. The odd part was, it was Dr. Jones’ office, who’s been retired for over 10 years now. It was in the same building, laid out roughly the same way with dark wood cupboards and windows facing south (though the actual dimensions were skewed, larger and organized somewhat differently, but not egregiously so). He had looked me over and finished talking with me about whatever it was that had brought me there. It seemed uneventful, over all, and I don’t recall any “To Do” actions as follow-ups.

Upon leaving the examination room, I realized I had misplaced my keys (Apartment and mailbox, with the “The Walking Dead” video game ear fob). In the outer area, where I was checking out, the staff were having a ‘working’  Holiday Party of some sort, mingling, with food, and Xmas decorations like tinsel and lights, little gifts. It was cheerful and everyone seemed to be in good, high spirits. One woman, sitting at her desk showed me a set of keys when I asked if anyone had found some, produced a set that almost looked like mine, but the keys were the wrong shape and the fob was a long, thin rectangle that had some logo I didn’t recognize. So instead, I went back to the examination room to check there.

There were a few nurses in the room, which now seemed even larger, one I recognised as Katie (stage manager from NTG, oddly enough!) but either she didn’t recognize me, or was occupied with other things and didn’t notice me, perhaps? As they went about doing their work, I found my keys on the floor, under the edge of some cupboards. After picking them up, I realized there was another woman now in the room with me, younger than me,perhaps 25 with a short pageboy haircut in a dark mahogany brown color, and a large, faded pastel cotton drawstring backpack bag there as well. The bag wasn’t her’s, from what she indicated, and when I looked in it, there was a pile of crumpled, small denomination bills, something like a change purse which might have had the owner’s ID, and (again, with large dimensions out of proportion to the actual outside size) a number (6-8?) of soft, quilted fabric books that one might make for toddlers learning to read. I think I recall them being something along the lines of Winnie the Pooh (and/or Dr. Suess?) stories. They were mostly done, though some of them had seams that still needed finished so I could still see the quilt batting inside them. I got the sense they were meant as a gift for someone.

For whatever reason, instead of turning the bag over to the employees at the front area, I left with the woman I didn’t know, and took the bag with me. The money hadn’t attracted me, and I recall thinking I would try to locate the owner, myself. Why on earth I did that, I don’t know. It certainly would have made more sense to turn the bag over to the staff, since they would have a better way to identify the owner and return it. Why I left with the strange woman, I have even less of a reason to explain.

I ended up in an old, faded crimson Ford pickup truck, an older (late 40s, early 50s) thin guy driving, somehow I was in the middle, and the young woman by the passenger side door. While my home was an easy drive down the highway from the doctor’s office, he didn’t take that route. Instead, we were on backroads that looked like they were in old, reclaimed stripmining areas, with low scrub bushes, a few isolated copses of trees scattered around, and brackish, swampy areas in the low lying gullys along the roads. It was late fall, and cold and overcast, but not actually raining or snowing.

When I realized they were going to the other side of town, and I was even farther away from my place than had I walked directly from the doctor’s office, I told him to stop at the upcoming intersection with an actual STOP sign, so I could get out. Instead, he drove right through the intersection, never even slowing down. She never said anything. After making a left turn and driving another mile or so, I again demanded he stop and let me out. He did so, begrudgingly. I grabbed the mystery purse/bag and got out as quickly as I could, all the while feeling seething anger radiating from him and her seeming upset and scared. I also had the strangest sensation that I was expected to go with them, wherever they were going and to (possibly?) assume the identity indicated by the contents of the bag I had found and taken. My demands to stop and leave them had caused a problem with whatever unspoken (and unknown to me) plan was in place.

While I wasn’t sure exactly where I was, I knew roughly the direction to get home. The largest obstacles were the vast distance to get there before night while walking, and I wasn’t 100% sure the roads we had turned down; I only knew the “as the crow flies” direction based on vague landmarks and the brightness of the sky. I was essentially lost, since this area wasn’t really known to me.

I started walking back down the slight hill we had last turned onto, until I came to the intersection, perhaps a quarter mile back. There was a decrepit, rusty road sign with only one road marked, the other having fallen off, or perhaps removed long ago. All it said, in faded paint, was “War”. A short, rusted iron building, perhaps once a garage or mining storage building stood on the corner, barely safe to be in. On the uphill side, I saw what might have been an even older road sign that had both roads marked. This one said “Irish War” with a shamrock and the other road was marked something that I think began with the letter “M” [but at this point, I’m not sure if I couldn’t make out the other word, or if I’ve forgotten what it was, now that I’m awake. I have the impression I might have almost figured out what it said in the dream to tell the taxi dispatch, but perhaps couldn’t quite be sure because of how faded and worn the paint was].

Regardless, I decided since I still had some cellphone reception, I was going to call for a taxi. I still had a little cash of my own, and if absolutely necessary, I would borrow from the bag I had found at the doctor’s office (though I was loath to do so and hoped it wouldn’t be needed). Standing in the building, and scanning around at all the rusted equipment, I realized I wasn’t able to get a signal with all the metal interfering, let alone being out in the middle of nowhere with poor signal strength to begin with. Before I could step outside to try the call again, however, three men showed up in the building.

They were older, like the driver of the pick-up truck had been. They were also thinner, wiry and, grizzled in dark or dirty work clothes. Life and time had not been completely kind to them. While I was wary, I wasn’t exactly afraid. Somehow, one of them managed to get ahold of my Birkenstock sandals, so I was now barefoot in this tetanus-waiting-to-happen hovel. I went from wary to pissed off. When he wouldn’t give me my shoes back, I recall trying to wrestle them away from him, not actively trying to harm him, more of using Aikido-like momentum altering moves to bring him down to the ground. It wasn’t all that successful, on my part. I remember feeling resigned to the situation, thinking, “fuck it. I’m just leaving without shoes. This isn’t worth the hassle, anymore.”

Before I could get my shoes back, let alone call a cab, get home, or find the owner of the bag, I awoke from the dream.

------- <end rough recollection of dream> ------

The shitty part of all this, aside from the bizarre uncertainty of the dream upon waking, was discovering there had been another shooting. This time at a San Bernardino facility where a holiday event was being held. By what the news is currently reporting as 3 assailants outfitted in tactical gear. Taking into account the differnce from EST and PST, I was having this dream while the events were unfolding....


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Another jaw infection

I had a tooth filled a few months ago. It was rather bad; the tooth had literally split and was missing a chunk. It was sore, but mostly ok, as far as I knew. Two Mondays ago, it had become really sore, so I went back and asked to have it checked. An x-ray didn't show any signs of infection, so we assumed it was just really sensitive because of how deep the cavity had been, putting it close to the nerve. Sensitive toothpaste,  some careful brushing, and it should have been ok.
Yesterday, it went from from "still sore" to "OMFG, this is agony to touch my face!" and the swelling started. Apparently, it's a full-blown infection, after all. A trip to the ER, some antibiotics and mild pain killers, and here's hoping no sepsis this time.
While outside with Havoc this evening, I noticed there was wood sorrel growing all around the sidewalk. I used to love nibbling it as a kid. It's tart, and tangy, and for some reason I always liked it. On a whim, I plucked a few leaves and nibbled it tonight. It still tasted tart and tasty. What struck me as astounding, is when I looked it up in my Peterson Guide for medicinal plants, it turns out it was historically used to treat mouth sores.
Sometimes,  life is strange.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Long time no type...

The guys were playing Destiny the other night, and while watching, I pulled out the old black ink and nibbed pen and scribbled on the back of some mail for Rykujin. In my odd idiom, towards the end, I ended up semi-freeform scribbling ideas in quicker snippets. A rough transcript of the bulk of the text follows:


It's weird to think about items in my life behaving weirdly. People, they are expected off-site [in my experience], even other animals, & some times even concepts, such as corporations & causes, & even financial, information, or energy flows.

What seemed to be a major game - changer was, for me, various forms of electronics.

Music manipulated both both electricity & sound waves. [Thoughts of Ham Radios, Resistors dangling from a name Tag from working @ the Help Desk,]

But items? They move on their own, sometimes [(Molari; Delenn > universe making itself manifest)]

A number of items have literally disappeared on me, that really had no reason to dissappear. A cherished drawing of a goofy looking punk a friend drew for me in Junior High, Quarter folded on note book paper, and extremely perplexing was a very old music box in the shape of a grand piano, golden w/ white enameled & A porcelain Top /a dark Tabby cat on it.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Walking a fish

Mostly, 2014 was a wild rollercoaster of downs and ups. Overall, I'm not sure hitting 40 had any major significance other than making me feel old on forms.

Things definitely feel different than they did at the beginning of last year. For now I'm going to go with "better than before". That's not to say my life doesn't feel a wee bit askew a lot of the time, because it does, but for the moment, I'm working on it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

This should be construed as a REM statement between blog.O and blog.N

Well, here we are again, Gentle Reader. Doing that tango of random squiggles across the page that signify us communicating. A great deal has happened since we last did this dance.Well, a great deal, a bad deal or two, and probably an almost incalculable number of boring, indifferent deals, but that's not that real point. Or maybe it is, but that's not what I'm going to type about at the moment, regardless.

The good deal can probably best be summed up as cleaning has been happening. For good or bad, I've been losing weight. At this point, I've lost about 80# in the past 6 months or so. I guess it's a good thing I've managed to start cleaning the apartment and have started taking stock of the fabrics I have on hand. I need to make new clothes. *ugh* I'm dealing with some teeth issues and a head full of snot, but the weight being off has helped with the Fibro symptoms. The public anxiety thing comes and goes too, but I'm trying to keep it in check. It's not always easy, so I'm still hiding, a lot of the time. Rykujin is not living here anymore, and we're not dating/seeing each other/partners/etc, anymore either. That's a recent development, however. 

As much of a "No Brainer" this may seem to the average person, it took me 8 years to get rid of a bed that had been broken years before. I had some really amazeballs friends get me a new bed as a surprise. 

I'm somewhere between excited and terrified on this whole thing.

This year, 2014, is going to be different. I don't know what it's going to hold, but I'll try to be better about bringing you along with me, this time. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Butterflys and silk...

This entry may be triggery- it touches on self-harm and suicide.

*tenative step out into the light, looks left then right*

Ok. So secret telling time: I'm an introverted BPD and because of that, I take everything out on myself, regardless of origin of the emotion (if anyone ever gets bored, I can give you all the DSM Axis info because I'm also anal retentive and also mildly OCD, especially about medical things. Thanks Mom.). 

Sometimes I do really, REALLY stupid things to myself to take out overwhelming frustration at my inability to process emotions correctly/normally/like-an-adult/for-fear-of-displeasing-others. Some are very destructive (pulling hair out, smashing a brush with metal bristles into my scalp leaving tiny bleeding holes, and the quintessentially indicative cutting) while some are less so. My tattoo on my hand is a prime example,. At the time in 2005, my life was spiraling out of control. I had seriously attempted suicide the week before, but had been released from the hospital and was now back home in the exact same environment that lead up to my hospitalization. I felt powerless to change ANYTHING for various reasons (some genuinely out of my control, some mental blocks I couldn't tear down).

While I had been in the hospital, there was a young woman there on 3 South with me. I can't remember what it was anymore, but she had some sort of little tattoo somewhere on her hand or wrist. When I asked about it, she said she had used a needle wrapped in cotton and I think ball-point ink?

Now, my mom having worked at the state prison, I was fairly well versed in prison tattoos. Because the woman I met had access to a real needle (sewing, though it was), it looked slightly better than the average jailhouse tat. It percolating around my brain for a few days. I had told Demented (the now exhusbeast's moniker, for new readers =) around the time I had the carpal tunnel release surgery in '03 that I thought about getting a tattoo on my hand. I had thought about a triskelion on the top of my left hand, in the area near my thumb and index finger. It had been somewhat poo-poo'd because of the fact I was a SysAdmin, and while we got away with a lot of weird stuff, tattoos on hands might be frowned upon by the more administrative and academically inclined co-workers. Now, I had been presented with instructions on how I could theoretically do it myself!
Shortly there after, I gathered up a couple 15ยบ beading needles that had broken eyes and were no longer useful in their original capacity, a spool of white cotton quilting thread, and a jar of high-quality India ink. I figured with a very fine needle instead of some sort of miniature prison shank and good black ink instead of blue ballpoint ink, I should be able to create a tattoo for myself that looked somewhat decent. Over the next 2± weeks, I systematically dipped and poked the needle over and over, letting the lines and dots create themselves, mixing blood and ink to give me the tattoo I now have.

While the tattoo was born out of internal anguish that was allowed to be converted into physical form at a time in my life that was bleak and oppressive, it doesn't weigh me down. I see it as a testament of what I was able to do: create personal beauty out of pain.


The BPD behavior started long before that period, however. I started dying my hair (usually auburn/plum/black) as far back as 14 (1988 - though the cutting started then as well) and perpetually cutting my hair weird styles. One summer, My friends Jackie, Justin, and Jessie (and sometimes Ian) all teased me because almost every week or every other week, my hair would be cut differently (obviously it got shorter and shorter as the summer progressed. I went from "mid '80s feathered girl mullet and ended up with some sort of stacked asymmetrical Mod hair cut. It was, however, the summer no one was allowed to cut my bangs. =) I also developed a habit of 'dressing up' (makeup, clothes I would normally not wear, "doing my hair", the whole 9 yards. Jackie was the only one whom I really allowed to see me like that, and even then it was only a couple times). I might take some photos (pre-digital =), but mostly I would do it, look at myself for a few moments, and then promptly take it all off. I did it almost exclusively when my mom was at work or asleep (she worked nights and I had to be super quiet during the day). Once I moved in with Demented in college, I would do it when he was at work and I was by myself. Always by myself.

I got HORRIBLY embarrassed when someone would peek in and see me (mom got up to go to the loo, etc). A lot of times, if I could hear someone coming, I would jump in the shower and turn the water on, cold be damned, simply so that I could hide the fact I had on "crazy, out of character" makeup.

Historically, I've had little problem getting up in front of people and teaching something I'm comfortable with. Computery things, certain crafty things, not a problem. I'll talk your ear off as long as I have a bottle of water to drink. I get horrible, paralyzing stage fright if I have to pretend anything (dear Bob, my therapist makes me do it sometimes and it's AGONIZING to me. Talking to different aspects of myself. UGH!) As a teen growing up, I always wanted to be the DM when playing Dungeons and Dragons or any RPG games because I could be mostly clinical in my delivery; at most it's like reading something aloud that's already in front of you. Easy! However, put me on the spot and *DEER IN HEADLIGHTS*.

So, I did the makeup thing last night. Quentin caught me. eepOMGOMGOMG! I was ready to scrub it all off in shame and he commented that he liked it and thought I should leave it. That's when it started to click.

This weird 'transformation things' seems to be the ONE coping technique I developed on my own over the years that is non-destructive (well mostly. My hair may get the brunt of the aggressiveness =). It sounds weird, but in that moment where I have turned everything inward and the darkness roils across my brain, it's sorta soothing to stop the wave of mental destruction and take the time to apply the makeup, or bleach my hair: focus on some sort of change that's easily within my ability to perform. And it's probably the one thing "silly/selfish/time-wasting/pointless/outrageous thing" that I do just for me. It looks cool to me and that's all that matters in that moment. It's like that itch you get when you know it's time to rearrange the living room furniture. (then again the constant rearranging of furniture could just be something my mom and I did... A couple times a year, things got moved around.) It's as if I need that transformation to snap me out of whatever emotional gridlock it is that I'm experiencing at that point. "HEY! I'm the one who has the power to change me. SEE!?"

So, here I am. Playing with makeup, being all girly, doing the whole 'pretend' thing after all. Irony. I haz it.

I'm gonna go eat, spin some silk, and then probably poke around on the web looking at other people's makeup and how-to's...

Hugs and love to you all.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Has it really been that long since I posted?!

In fact, it has been that long...

A lot has gone on since September:
  •  I started school, was doing stellar and then once again had to withdraw for medical reasons at the end of October
  • Said medical reasons being an MRI shows the disk in my back at L5/S1 is now completely herniated and shifted in such a way that my left leg goes numb if I stand for more than a minute, and after about 10 minutes of walking. There was also the sheer exhaustion when I got home from school. That made life fun, too. Not.
  • Ended up abysmally depressed about the whole thing. As in "debating the meaning of existance" depressed
  • Pretty much isolated myself from everyone and just about everything, including missing about a month of therapy around my birthday
  • Started going to therapy again in April, which has helped immensely, as well as getting switched to Safris since I could no longer afford Abilify
  • Got a Jury Summons for the beginning of June (Through the blessing of computer entropy, I didn't have to deal with the Sandusky trial though!!) and am currently seated as a juror for a civil malpractice trial at the end of July
  • After resigning myself to the fact it just wasn't in the card for this year, found out that because of the extraordinary generosity of Vlad, Pennsic will be happening for not only me, but Rykujin as well!!
  • Dog-sat Shasta for a while while KlrWombat was in Florida
  • And today I started the process to apply to volunteer at the local hospital
I think that pretty much sums up the past (HOLY SHIT!!!) 10 months.Things have started to turn around for me mentally the past month or so.

I have been knitting like mad. For a number of months (January through May) I knit at least one lace shawl a month, as well as sundry other small projects (socks, baby sweater, adult sweater with simple cables). I've managed to finally learn Estonian Cast On, & Kitchner stitch so I could knit the Estonian Flamingo Lace Wrap and was able to master fairly complex cables in lace for the Worcester Shawl. I need to block both of those, but when I do, I'll update the photos section with them. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, surprisingly. It's something positive to come from the darkness.

Knitting was something that kept me from completely caving in on myself, honestly. As long as there was something on the needles, I had a reason to wake up and get out of bed. I had something I had to finish, even if I didn't necessarily have a person in mind as an intended recipient...

Today, I signed up for the Ravellenics (what WAS called the Ravelympics until the USOC got their panties in a bunch >.< ) Team Bok Bok Motherfucker (TRUST ME!! You WANT to click on this link and read where the name comes from =) My intent is to knit another lace shawl as well as spin a plastic grocery bag of merino roving I dyed with Kool-Aid (Lime and Blue Raspberry...) during the two weeks of 27 July-12 Aug 2012 (yeah, during Pennsic!)  Mass cast on coincides with start of Opening Ceremonies in London: 7:30pm (BST). What's going to be a challenge is the spinning because I don't think I'm going to be able to take my wheel, meaning I'm going to be spinning on a drop spindle. *gulp*

Anyways, that's where I am. I'm hoping to be more regular in my updates, again. Thanks for reading, and *huge hugs and love*

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Well, it's officially 30 years today my father died.

I remember I was playing with my friend Shawn Brown. He lived up the hill from me. I would cut through the Truhan's yard and trudge up the hill to play with him. We would feed the turkeys his family kept or sometimes we would play with his older brother's acoustic guitar. 

I don't remember what we were doing, I just remember his mom telling me my mom had called and I had to go home.

Somehow I knew something was seriously wrong. 

I got home and my mom was sitting on the plaid couch sideways with her back against the arm of the sofa with her back to the open door. It had been warm enough to warrant just the screen door. I could hear her crying as I peeked around the door. At that moment, I knew for certain my father was dead.

All I remember was thinking I wanted her to stop crying, stop being sad. I hugged her and started crying even before the words came out of her mouth.

The last memory of my father is him being wheeled out of the house on a stretcher two weeks prior. My Grandma, his mother with her arm around me, told me everything would be alright. I would see him again.

My mom didn't have a car so his parents would get her and take her to the hospital to see him. However, they never let my mom take me. It would be 'too traumatic' for my young mind.

I never got to see him again. I never got to say 'I love you," or "Good Bye."

It was a slow suicide by alcohol. I had watched him take seizures on the kitchen floor, laying there with my mom trying to hold his head in her hands so if he jerked the wrong way, he wouldn't split his scalp on the edge of the bottom cupboards or the table and chair legs. I have so few memories of him, but the ones I do have are emblazoned into my brain. They're not all good, they're not all bad.

He was a human. I can't imagine how much pain he had to be in, mentally, to choose the bottle over his family.

It's thirty years ago today and I'm sitting here crying like I just lost him again.

Friday, August 26, 2011

PSHEW! Day 1 done!

Well, day one of class is done. It went pretty well. Got my student ID photo taken, got my parking permit (#0420. hah) and got my class schedule.

Thankfully, my "Intro to Microsoft Windows 7" class is only 6 weeks instead of 12. *hangs head* I'm going to have to try REALLY hard to stay awake in class. After helping run a PDC for CSE

(granted, it's been a number of years ago at this point) I think learning how to minimize and maximize windows is going to drive me batty. "Click this button to empty your Recycling Bin."


Easy A, Easy A, Easy A... I'll just keep repeating that and I should be fine.

The other classes include 2, 3 hour studios and a couple 2 hour studios. I really like the humor my two art instructors exhibit. It's still a feeling-out process with the other students, but the teachers seem to be awesome! I really hope I can grow a professional portfolio that does everyone proud.
I finished Cephalogal's shawl yesterday on her birthday. The down side is I've not been able to block it. I have a certain little kitty cat that keeps interfering. Some photos of my handiwork. I'm actually really proud. I think it's the most EPIC thing I've ever knit. I am jonesing to start another one, but I have Choperena's belated birthday present to finish first. *does happy dance*

OK. I'm off to go knit and dream in Prismacolor pastels thanks to Nanonukie

**HUGS to you all**

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Changes and observations

Hi Everybody! (Said in Dr. Nick's voice =)

Thursday was interesting. I went to Third Thursday Spinners with Choperena (it was her birthday!! =) out at The Knitter's Underground. I didn't do much knitting, but I did do a lot of talking and listening to Anne Grout. She's the woman who makes beautiful drop spindles that Molly sells. She's so kind, generous and KNOWLEDGEABLE about so much! We were talking about Fibromyalgia and then we ended up on a long discussion of Hypermobility Syndrome as well as Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (EDS). SO MUCH MADE MORE SENSE in the context of my health problems. For example, symptoms I posses:
  • Never broke bones, but have shredded my ACL in my left knee, dislocated and popped my ankle back in to place (one day when I was 'skating' on a freshly waxed floor in Willard Building while wearing wool socks), I can remember being on crutches in 5th grade, having sprained something quite badly
  • Have Bursitis in multiple joints including both shoulders and possibly my hips
  • Even as over weight and out of shape as I am, I can still bend over and put my palms face down on the floor
  • I have a documented 15° hyperextension to both knees
  • I can sit on the floor with my legs stretched out and still put my feet flat on the floor at the same time
  • Certain ways I sit on office chairs, I can actively cause my hips to rotate out of the socket and "catch" when I try to stand up. This is quite painful when I stand, so I have to be conscious of how I sit.
  • One doctor told me I exhibited lumbar lordosis that appeared to have been congenital
  • Raynaud's fits as well as having been told by phlebotomists that I seem to have more 'gates' in my blood vessels than normal. I'm a difficult 'stick'.
  • I have a special power with my fingers... Observe:
I can, essentially, lock my finger tips and cause my fingers to bend backwards slightly. My mother can do this as well. It was great fun to do that to me as a child whereby I would commence screaming because it freaked me out something fierce.

Of course, once I discovered I could do it too, I could go around freaking other people out. The only problem is the longer I hold that position with my fingers (all 8 fingers can do this, only my thumbs are exempt, but that's partially because of the CTR surgery) the more they become locked, to the point I have to forcefully unlock them. They will try to return to that state for a few seconds afterwards. It's not painful at all, just annoying. The important thing is that I can do it at all. Compare my photo to the one from Wiki on the topic of hypermobility... All this time I just thought it was just my family that were freaks!

So, having established that I'm quite Hyper-mobile, I go on to do more research about EDS. Interestingly enough, I was on to something back in the beginning and spring of '04 when I was physically my most broken. I had done some research on Ehlers–Danlos syndrome even then. At that time I even tried to talk to Demented about it, but... well... the conversations never went well... I still have the print-outs from the medical abstracts and informational sites about the condition. *shakes head* even at my most mentally borked I was sussing out this medical jargon...

After educating myself more, I postulate that I experience Type 3. However I have strong suspicion that my Pap Carson [mother's father](died from massive burst aneurisms) and Uncle Jay [mother's baby brother] (died at 21 from end stage Lupus complications; organ failure) had Type 4 because of the vascular involvement in the nature of their deaths. What I find most interesting and more frightening is this is also appearing to following the PPK line of inherited chromosomes.

EDS could potentially be the root of my fibro! What I do with this information is beyond me at the moment. I'm still trying to digest it all.

So, after that brief medical treatise, I move on to my family life. I found this hiding on my laptop and thought, "you know what? just post it." It's me thinking through my life as a child relative to my parents... I wrote it back in February of this year:

I think Dad's death broke me so badly that emotionally I sort of died too. The concept of death had hit home the previous year when Uncle Jay died from lupus complications. I understood that people go away and we don't get to see them again sometimes. but then Dad died and it was a whole other thing now. I was told that Dad and Uncle Jay were up in heaven drinking beer and fishing

Mom was seen as the authoritarian figure in my life growing up, possibly because 1) after Dad died, she had to be the only one to discipline me and 2) she worked in a prison. Working in that prison as the Night Nurse for so many years began to take it's toll, negative energy and the bad side of people, she became even more misanthropic, if I think about it. She was usually withdrawn into her self. very "even keeled" in front of me, occasionally angry, sometimes sad, and rarely genuinely happy. That's what I saw life was expected to be, you should be rock steady 99.9% of the time. Wavering for traumatic events is acceptable, however, but only for a very short period. The practical adage "Life goes on." is sorta the mantra of my mom's side of the family.

That has lead me to have formal relationships with people, but not know how to get close to them. Physically, there was always a huge personal space issue and and in mentally, I didn't know how to connect with someone. I had already disassociated earlier in order to deal with the Dr Jeckle/Mr Hyde father.

I lacked the mother who was involved in my life, other than reading together or shopping… there wasn't that 'softer' side that some people have, where they take a detailed accounting of everything that has gone on during their day, TALKING on the phone (now email, chats- people are still connecting but the medium by which they do it has changed. Skype, iChat, etc.) and discussing details and gossip of the day. She wasn't active \in/ my life, we did that for a few minutes only, the rest of the time, I was in my room puttering around and she was out in the living room with a book or her diary and the TV set to channel 4 which is our local information station that plays a local radio station over the TV. Remember, this is the 80's and early 90's so it was kinda high tech…

That's not to say she didn't praise me when I did well. She did. I remember a painting I made in 92/93 on the back board of a HUGE mirror I had. I took the mirror out of the frame, and on the thick pressboard back, I finger painted. a dark background with brighter colors tipped with white all swirled. I have to admit. I'm kinda proud of that. I remember making it and Mom went kinda crazy about it. We bought white spray paint and painted the frame glossy white. Once everything was dry, she took it and hung it on the wall. I remember feeling for the first time that my mom REALLY understood and appreciated me and what I do.

Just thinking now about that statement, that she understood me for the first time. It makes me realize that a child's independence must be a hard thing for parents to deal with. Knowing that this child you are interacting with is learning all the time what to do and how to be, till at some point, after having mimicked the behavior, adopts that behavior as acceptable and amalgamates it into their personality. It's hard to know exactly when they understand the nature of things like love, and morality.

I never learned how to deal with anger or confrontation because I learned at a young age it's irrational and you get hut when someone is angry. So to this day, I generally cower when someone gets angry. I don't know what to do about it because my brain goes into flight mode almost automatically. Even when my neighbors are fighting (yelling loudly at each other about something) I feel the need to curl up in a ball and cry. It's really fucked up.

When MY anger comes out, I feel like I turn into the Incredible Hulk. I feel like Billy Bad-Ass. I can take on anything and beat it. Unfortunately, somehow my anger turned in on itself and feeds on my heart. My anger and need for destruction, pain, anarchy, all the thug-like tendencies attack my self confidence. My image of myself is distorted through shattered and crazed glass smeared with burning napalm.

I have no voice. I am like a peacock, I display my plumage and expect that to explain who I am. The clothes I choose to wear any given day, what I eat, what I listen to, with the things I pick to surround myself, even what I do. It all speaks volumes about who I am.

As always, it's stream-of-thought so it's a tad disjointed, but even that says something about how my mind works.

Finally, I'm busily working on Cephalogal's shawl. I declare it the most monumental thing I have ever knit. I must say, I have a tiny bit of smugness that I've been able to do it. =) It's got literally 5 more rows left then The Cast-Off of Doom. A little over 600 stitches to be cast-off. It's EPIC!! and I'm completely psyched up about it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Comedy, zombies, knitting and school

I've been on an Eddie Izzard kick as of late. I'm so jealous at how fabulous the man looks. The orange crushed velvet jacket with the black leather pants has got to be my favorite outfit of his (1996's "Definite Article") I'm just now watching his latest show from Madison Square Garden. I've also been watching Bill Bailey. That's a man who has more musical talent than almost anyone else I know. And speaking of Bill Bailey, that makes me think of Hot Fuzz (Nobody tells me NUTHIN!) which leads to me Shaun of the Dead. Shaun of the Dead leads me to "The Walking Dead" which I got to watch while I was puppysitting for KlrWombat. Good good good tv show! Well, if you like zombie things, it's good. I'm currently waiting for World War Z to come out. Yay JMS! I can't think of anything that man has touched that I don't consider golden.

Anyhow, I've been knitting like mad. I'm so close to being done with Cephalogal's shawl! It's only taken 500+ yards more yarn than the pattern called for. I'm trying to figure out what I did wrong that it's taking so much more yarn. I never swatch (digs toe in the dirt and whistles innocently) so that could be part of the problem. I probably should have gone down a needle size. The shawl is going to be monstrous when it's finally blocked. I've made a pair of fingerless mitts to help with my Reynaud's, and I'm tearing apart a shawl that I made for myself (but never wore) because it's a wool silk blend in a gorgeous dark pine green. I'm knitting it up into another pair of fingerless mitts, but making the pattern up as I go along, taking stitches from other projects and ideas from other patterns to build my own. I'm probably going to post it on Ravelry when I'm done.

School is looming on the horizon, zooming towards me at mach 9. I'm not sure what all supplies I need yet for the artsy classes (I have an email in to the instructors, but I sent it late, so no reply yet), but I have my books ordered and they should be here by Friday. 3 books come out to $240! eek! Thankfully South Hills has a voucher system whereby if you're expecting a financial aid refund they extend you 'credit' up to a certain amount (mine was $800) that applies to MBS Direct text book vendor.

So, not much else going on. I missed Pennsic this year. I have to admit, I feel a twinge of jealousy over the people who did get to go, but mostly deep, profound sadness. I didn't realize it would hurt as much as it did by not going. I think it's because Camp is literally my Family for a week or two. I'm going to do my best to be able to go next year!

I have a new therapist, Matt. It's the first guy I've had as a therapist since I was 7. It's a little weird, and yet it's a little easier to talk to him. It's going to sound really weird, but I think I can identify better with guys on some level than I can women (Woman Therapist = Position of Authority = Mom in some weird way) It's something I need to explore a little more, but I've noticed I've been able to talk about subjects with him that I never was able to bring up with any of my other therapists. Anyhow...

more later, maybe I'll have something more interesting than the fact I've run out of bird seed to report. =)

Friday, August 05, 2011

school, Alcohol talking, and friends

Well, I went to the school Introduction Luncheon on Wednesday. I got there late because I put the wrong time in my phone to remind me. I set it for 12:30 instead of just 12. DOH! Everyone assured me no harm, no foul, but I still felt like a doofus. I wasn't the only one with colored hair. Another woman in my arts track had crazy bright intense pink hair. It was beautiful!

I'm just a hodge-podge of colors since I was down to the dregs of the bottles and jars of color. SO, my bangs are green to light teal and then I've got electric purple on the left, fuchia on the right side and the back is cobalt and purple.

Had a falling out with JMW. Why does it always involve alcohol? When I get verbally attacked, I responded, asking about perceived character flaws. I get de-friended and ignored. Here's a hint Sweetie, NOBODY ignores me better than my Mom. She's had years of practice, to the point I'm immune to it now. Why is it some narcissistic people have such a hard time talking rationally about problems related to themselves? I can only guess that it's insecurity. "OH NO! someone sees through the walls I built up. I'll destroy them before they destroy any more of my walls." How sad. It's not as if this wasn't expected. It's just a repeat of being pushed away because something digs too deeply into his sense of id and ego. The problem is you can only push people away so many times till they say, "No more" and permanently walk away. Lonely people are lonely.

I could look at it from the eyes of a 7 year old Dory. I wasn't good enough to be something worth staying around for from my dad's POV. He drank himself to death. Booze was more important than his daughter. Than me. I'm not good enough for anyone then, I suppose. I'm not good enough to ask a rational, adult question and get a response, but I should sit there and take whatever is dished out onto me. "I am superior, therefore I have no flaws to be pointed out." Bullshit. 7 year old Dory would have curled up in a ball and cried for a while, but 30 years later, I feel sad for them.

I know I am allowed to have my own emotions, my own opinions, but I also know the adult thing to do is control them instead of them controlling me. I don't kick kittens who pee on the sofa. I don't bash a cat's head in a doorway. Because I can control my temper. Someone who lets their anger overwhelm them and then do these things has some serious problems. What's to stop them from doing that to a human they get mad at? Where does the rage end? And it's fueled by alcohol.

My dad was apparently one of the nicest guys you could ever want to meet when he was sober. He was a very different man when he drank. I have no reference for what he was like when he smoked marijuana.

I may take atavan as the pharmaceutical equivalent of a martini, it's at least controlled. Why not do the same with alcohol? It does far more damage than my atavan does. Countless DUIs, abuse inside the home (both mental and physical), the list could go on. Marijuana, illegal at the federal level, has been shown time and time again that it has a great deal of medicinal properties.

Think about this: when dealing with weed only (not been laced with anything) how many people get violent? They don't. That's not how it works. But booze. oh yeah. Anger comes out 10 fold. You want to know crazy? Portugal decriminalized drugs (a new 'Amsterdam') and their violent crime rate actually went DOWN. There have been fewer deaths by overdoses and less HIV transmission. Think about that. Instead of running out of room for inmates, and contemplating allowing rapists and violent criminals out because of overcrowding (remember the 3 strikes law, you are found with weed 3 times, you're up shit creek permanently) we could tax and sell weed. THAT'S a way to make new jobs here on US soil. What's the worst thing I can think of if someone has smoked weed? Getting mouthy because someone took the last piece of pizza. They're not going to take a large kitchen knife and slash someone's bedding all to hell while stoned, but probably if they're drunk. Ask me how I know. Go on. Do it.

Because it happened to me.

GLAH. This turned into more of a rant than I wanted, but I just had to get it out. It's my blog and if you don't like it, don't read it.

Anyhow, after my school Luncheon Wednesday I met Matt, my new therapist. I wasn't sure what to expect at first, but I think it will be a good fit. This assumes I don't confuse him completely with my tangental talking. I asked him how long he was going to be around and he assured me he's going to be here a while. That's a good thing.

My back has been a steady 6-8 on the pain scale for the last week or so. Unfortunately, that means that I'm moody and cranky. I try to not take it out on Rykujin, but I don't always succeed. I'll be soooooo glad for that damn cortisone epidural come September! Walking around Walfart for groceries or waiting to get my meds filled, my left thigh goes numb. Today I also had numb patches on my right shoulder blade. *sigh*

Mostly I've been knitting. I have that pair of socks for KlrWombat I'm making, I'm soooo close to finishing Cephalogal's shawl and I have started a pair of cabled fingerless mitts for myself with yarn I was given, from Nanonukie.

Starting tomorrow, I'm going to be bunnysitting for Cephalogal and Griffin. I'm looking forward to it. I feel kinda spoiled because they have cable tv. I can even watch SyFy's bad movies! *does little happy dance*

so that's my life at the moment. One door closes, another opens.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Long, long time no type

So yeah... It's been a while. Too long, I guess. I need to do this more often, probably. Maybe I'll get back in the habit.

There's a lot of shit going on in my life at the moment. There's a lot of stress, many of you know most of it. Finances awry, submitted a portfolio for school for Graphic Design, my mom had a small amount of cancer that we're hoping was destroyed by chemo and radiation. Physically, my back is killing me because my cortisone epidural is way over due (that's a long story), and I've been diagnosed with Reynaud's in my feet officially. There's also some neuropathy in my toes and part of the ball of my foot. Guess that explains why I could wear Birkenstocks in a foot of snow and not feel the cold. =) My triglycerides are through the roof, so I've been put on Lipitor. Last night was my first dose. It's kinda contraindicated for people with fibro because one of the side effects can be muscle cramping. We'll see how it goes.

The list goes on and on. On a 'bummer' note, I won't be going to Pennsic this year. Boo hiss. I'll miss my camp mates so much. The campfires, the harp waking me at sunup... But that's the way it is. I wish everyone there a safe and happy time (KEEP HYDRATED AND SALTED in this crazy heat!!)

Anyhow, tonight I was talking with a friend and we got on the discussion of maggots. Don't ask. Anyhow, I related this story of my childhood. I've cleaned it up a little to make it more readable, spell checked it and removed names of the innocent... :) If you're squeemish, you may want to skip the story...
I know maggots are used to clean wounds in certain places where medicine is hard to come by, but EWWWW

I told you my mom's family had a farm, didn't I? Maybe I didn't.

OK. Story time.

So my mom's parents have a small farm that they use to sustain them, the adult kid's family's to a degree, and they sold eggs, milk and meat This was in the '80s. Each fall the family would all take part in the chicken processing: Gramma, Pap, my mom and 2 of her sisters, me and 2 female cousins and 2 boy cousins.

Aunt R was executioner... Big wooden stump with 2 nails in it. The chicken's head went between the nails, she pulled it taut and WHACK! A big ax came down. She then would throw the headless chicken out into the yard and gets another one. Us young girls (~8-10) would have to catch the chicken and put it under the wheelbarrow so it couldn't flop around and bruise the meat. All the while blood is splurting out the neck, going everywhere.

Did you know chickens will still cluck without a head if you cut it off above the voice box? Well, now you do.

So once we get a small batch of dead birds, you took your bird by the feet, dunked it in a cauldron (no shit, a huge iron cauldron) of boiling water, swung it back and forth a couple times to get the excess water off and cool it just a bit, then you went over to the table.

The table was one of those HUGE wooden spools you see electric companies carrying wire on; about 6 feet in diameter and 4 foot wide... So tip it on it's side and it makes a great table. Pap worked for the electric company as a lineman, I think, so that's how he got one.

Once you had your scalded chicken at the table, you started to pluck it. You basically pull the feathers out the way they grow. And it's a huge pain in the ass. All the feathers get thrown in a box in the middle of the table (where the chicken heads got placed too)

The boys helped pull feathers too. But they sucked at it and left pin feathers galore. UGH.

Once ALL the chickens were plucked for the day (usually about 100-150 I think, and it would last all weekend or spanned over a couple weekends, doing about 400 total), the boys went off to the garage with Uncle John and got to ride the 4 wheelers. Bastards. ALL the girls and women went down into the basement to process them.

The 3 of us girls had a dish tub in front of us (sitting straddle on a long wooden bench) with a short paring knife that we would use to pull the pin feathers out (basically the quill part with out the feather). We could always tell which ones the boys did. My mom and her sisters (again, 3 of them) helped do it too, but they also started first by helping Gramma gut them, figure out which organs were kept and which went in the box. I think we kept the gizzard, heart and liver.

Incidentally, it seems to take about a 1/2 hour for a chicken to finally 'let go' with it's bowels. Dead chicken farts and shit is one of the worst smells I've ever encountered. It even beats a paper mill.

So there's this BOX that gets used and accumulates all the unwanted parts. Pap would take the box and put it out in the woods somewhere. One day I'm going with Pap on the tractor to put a box out and OMG, there was a box from the previous weekend (it was a large flock of chickens that year)

It was by this point a HUGE writhing mass of rice. You couldn't see anything but the whiteish writhing mass... since then I've had a thing about maggots.

I've been knitting, not so much spinning. HOWEVER, KlrWombat was kind enough to give me an entire fleece that I would desperately love to spin. It FILLS a feed-sack. 10-15lbs? It's dark, dark brown, about 4" staple with very tight crimp. I don't know what it is but it looks LOVELY! Unfortunately I'm in no shape to process it at the moment. Some day, maybe next year, when I get finances straightened out, I want to send it off to be processed. From what I gather by talking to other spinners, I'm looking at about >$100 to have it done (and by 'done' I mean washed, cleaned and turned into spinnable roving. the whole shebang!). I can dream, at least. My most recent project was a shawl from the pattern Summer Flies off Ravelry. I'm lazy and haven't blocked it yet. Now I'm working on a pair of socks for KlrWombat...

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Long time no type

Well, it's been longer than I thought since I last posted. A lot has gone on, but suffice it to say -today- I am doing well. I have some of the best friends I could ever hope to have. Thank you!!

I'm going to make this short only because I'm typing in the phone. I'll post more later.

Went to Erie this past weekend and got to hang out with family. My niece is getting SO BIG! Today I went to south hills business school to do NY in-take interview and placement testing. Yay!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

where our heroine discusses new Psych doctors and time to bleach her hair

Well, yesterday I saw the psychiatrist, Dr. K. She's a very pleasant woman who seems to have heard a lot of people complaining about Bollinger. Yes, I'm upset enough with the old psychiatrist that I'm using her real name because I think the stunt she pulled (canceling appointments and then leaving PSU's employment) is a load of shit. I *thought* she was a nice doctor and I *thought* the new approach would be good. So much for her Hippocratic Oath.
Honestly, without a commitment to the patient, she shouldn't practice. It's especially hard on people who have attachment issues. I truly hate to say this, but I would not recommend her to anyone.

The first thing I asked Dr. K was how long was she going to be my doctor. I was that blunt, too. I know she already has quite a case load. Before I allowed myself to get attached to her, I wanted to know if I was going to be shuffled off to the new psychiatrist if/when the PSU Psych Clinic hires someone else. She assured me that she would be my doctor for the foreseeable future. Fair enough.

We then discussed my moods (according to Rykujin I've been "up and down more times than a pair of kangaroos in mating season." He's amusing =) and the OCD issue. Dr. K isn't convinced that it was the right path to take my treatment. While I do have some very strong habits (Here's where I admit I have a problem somewhat obsessively picking and plucking my face and ripping skin off my feet... There. I've said the worst of it and now everyone knows.) they themselves do not constitute DSM diagnosed OCD. On a black and white scale where black is crippling OCD and white is no OCD at all, I'm a light shade of grey. In the end, because I'm on a fairly high dose of Luvox and it's having marginal effect on the habits, we're going to ween me off of it. I have started back up on the Effexor since it seemed to at least have me evened out. We will probably increase it when I see her again in 2 weeks (currently, I'm on 75mg).

Today I saw KC as my psychologist. We also talked about what happened with my treatment relative to Bollinger dumping my appointments and then leaving, how it made me feel (um. Angry? Abandoned?) and a little about how I feel about treatment in general (If I cannot be honest with my therapist, who can I be honest with? Yes, Gentle Reader, while you get the truth out of me, there are times I gloss over things or just don't talk about them at all. Though this all makes me boggle at the fact I can sit here and type some of the more intimate details of my health [mental and physical] yet I still drop the phone like a hot potato when you call, sometimes. I'm getting better, but I still prefer the disconnect of text on a screen over talking in person. How peculiar. I'll have to think about that more... anyhow.... =)

KC and I talked about how the PSU clinic is foremost a teaching facility and by the nature of it, therapists will come and go over the years. I'm cool with that. AR, my old psychologist, warned me well ahead of time that we were going to separate and I respect that. Someday the same will happen with KC. However, the psychiatrists are supposed to be foundation stones, set in place to anchor the treatment and that failed with Bollinger. I mean, she wasn't even there a year. I had 3 maybe 4 appointments with her, in total.

Yeah, I'm really hurt and angry about her... School was a year in planning and then for me to fail so spectacularly in 2.5 months...

On to lighter topics.

I'm sitting here typing with a wal-mart bag on my head as the bleach does its job. I've not decided what color(s?) exactly I want to do it yet. I have teal, cobalt blue, fuchsia and electric purple... Occasionally I debate dying all my hair black and being done with it, but then someone somewhere compliments me and (inevitably) leans over in a conspiratorial manner and whispers, "I wish I could do that!!" It's the older (early to mid 60s) women who thrill me the most. It always floors me that someone who's my mom's generation would want fuchsia hair. Then again, Are You Being Served? had the woman with the big hair that was blue or pink, so I guess it's not that odd... Perhaps just the intensity both of the color and their wistfulness of it.

Anyhow, I decided it was time to bleach it and start over. I had a good 3" of roots showing and the colors had all washed out to a silvery grey color. *snort* People spend hundreds of dollars to get rid of their grey and here I am walking around with a full head of self-induced grey at 36. At this point, I still don't think I have any natural grey. I'm taking after my mom and her dad's side of the family. My father, on the other hand, was salt and pepper in his senior high school photo and (while I don't remember this part) was almost completely white haired when he died at 36 back in '81.

Aside from that, I've been knitting like mad for Choperena. I've started a little pouch to put a cell phone in. It's black with a large red "B" on it (for Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I have always marveled at Nanonukie's color work. Let me just say that after having done this project 1) it's addictive doing 2 color knitting and 2) it's a LOT harder than I anticipated!! I have an even deeper respect for her work now. I just cannot get the tension down right! So, Nanonukie, I bow down to your amazing color work. You are a gem among knitters. =)

Other than that, pricing tires, playing Puzzle Quest 2 on my little Nintendo DS when I lay down to nap, some drop spinning and trying to keep the kitchen clean. My cold seems to have mostly gone, though every now and then I have a 'productive cough' fit.

Ok. now I'm typing blind because I have a fat, tubby little cat sitting on my desk infront of the screen. I think that's her way of telling me she wants attention so I will sign off for now.

hugs and love

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

RIP Chaucer

I learned today that Chaucer passed away peacefully a couple years ago. I have to admit, I bawled. I really lost it for a good half hour. I suspected he had. After all, he was born in '94 I think. He was my little Rockview escapee.

The prison had (has?) a ferrel cat population that they allowed because it kept small varmint at bay. Every so often, if they found a litter when it was young enough, they would take them and employees would bring the kittens home to keep the population down to reasonable levels. Chaucer was one such kitty.

We had been living with my mom in Bellefont on Lamb St. at the time. I remember her with a little 1'x1'x1' box that was mewling as she came upstairs from the garage. Inside was this tiny tiny tiny fuzzy little kitten who's tail still stuck straight up and his eyes were still slightly blue. He was soooooo young. I didn't know what to feed him so I just guessed. I opened a can of tuna
and dipped my finger in the juice so he could lick it off. I remember him nibbling on my finger with his tiny milk teeth.

Somewhere there's a photo of him, just a small kitten, asleep laying across the book Unix for the Impatient. I think I might have video of him chasing ice cubes across the tile kitchen floor like a fuzzy hockey player. He would drool on the crook of my arm as he snuggled in my lap. =-}

Choperena's kitty, Herb, reminds me so much of Chaucer. I love Herb to death because of it. He reminds me of all the good things. Extra fur on his paws so he slides across hardwood floors, the extra mane making his face big and fluffy...

I wonder if he remembered me at all... I'll never forget him.

I know the photos are messed up in the blog. Sorry for that, but if you click on them, you can see the whole image...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

a long month in which random life altering things happen...

It's been a month since I updated my blog. Seems like it's been longer, there's so much to talk about. One month consisted of: school, personal psychology issues, a car, Choperena's roller derby, bunny-sitting and watching cheezy movies on SyFy, Alice Cooper, meeting new people and Demented contacting me.

At the moment, I'm listening to Red Dwarf coming from Rykujin's room (season 4, to be exact) and dealing with The Head Cold From Hell. I thought it was going to be just a couple of days with some upper sinus congestion but it has migrated into my left ear and now I've almost lost my voice. whee.

Where to begin? It all seems pretty epic. I'm hesitant to talk about most of it, but I will anyhow because You, Gentle Reader, come here to find out the details (for some strange reason =) and expect me to be honest. So I will be. How to approach everything? I suppose chronologically would be best...

I'll start by saying the world is still spinning (and so am I, furiously so, while I ponder the last 31 days =) and aside from the cold, I'm doing pretty well. So no worries!

It all begins earlier this spring when my psychiatrist, Dr. J, decided it was time to retire, so PSU brought in a new Psych and I was assigned to her, Dr. B. She's the one who decided to try tackling some of my OCD issues, prescribing the Luvox instead of the Effexor. Then, in July, my psychologist braced me for her leaving PSU, too. She finished her doctoral work and was moving on. My last real session with her was at the end of July before going to Pennsic (saw her once after, but that was just kinda a wrap-up session). Dr. B then canceled my August appointment and I was on the waiting list for a new therapist. Ok. School started. The idea that I would have group projects really set in. Minor panic ensues, but I'm going to see Dr. B, I'll talk with her about it, right? Wrong. She canceled my September appointment too. I'm THEN told she's leaving the PSU Psych Clinic and *POOF* now I'm without psychologist OR psychiatrist. In the mean time, I was swamped with school, beginning to think going off the Effexor was not the right move and steadily getting more freaked out. Not to mention freaking out that I was freaking out (if that makes sense).

Then I start crashing. Hard. To the point I debated checking myself into 3 South (the psych
ward at the local hospital). I didn't, but I knew it was time for a Medical Withdrawal for the semester. *hangs head* I feel guilty and ashamed that I couldn't do it. I thought I went into the semester with open eyes, but I realize that a large cog wheel of my support machine was missing. My advisor even commented on it. (Yana, you are the BEST advisor I've ever known, by far!) All I have to say is I have some of the best friends I could ever hope to gather and I cannot thank you all enough for being there for me, some directly, some more ephemerally.

Hell, I even managed to make some new friends during this past month, which leads me into the next part of everything that's going on. B&C are friends of AJ and AJ is Choperena's SO. (all these letters!! I feel like I'm back in UNIX-land with all the abbreviations =) B knits beautifully, and has started spinning, so I first met her at AJ's apartment when B wanted some input on a spinning wheel she has. We all just kinda hit it off. Eventually I learn B&C have two cars, one they want to sell. I jokingly commented that I wanted a car but would have to pay for it in installments. Turns out, they're fine with that! So, for the past couple of weeks, we've had it to two mechanics to get it checked out (two because we both have a distrust of mechanics in general and wanted to make sure we both knew the state of the car going into this arrangement). I need to get new tires for it sooner rather than later and there's some small buts of rust to keep an eye on, but the engine and transmission are in excellent shape. It passed PA Inspection about 2 weeks ago, so it's definitely road worthy. As long as I keep winter salt washed off, it should last for years. (oh, it's a 2001 Nissan Sentra =)Assuming things slow down a little for C, we'll do the transfer sometime this week. C had a major grant proposal due this past week and was inundated with it, work, and school or we would have done it sooner.

I know I've talked about moving closer to town/campus so I wouldn't need a car, but... I really like my apartment. I like the space, the fact I can have two cats (Havoc and 1/2&1/2 are non-negotioable) and the fact I can see stars at night. I hate the fact I'm on the B bus route and I've had to use a taxi to get groceries home. Never mind the fact that if something comes up on short notice, I have to have friends lug my ass around (or gods forbid I have to call an ambulance for lack of taxi money to get to the ER) and I see my mom once a year, if I'm lucky and she only lives an 45 minutes away... I know I felt better about myself when I had a car (Granted, I felt like an idiot when the Audi turned out to be a big turd, but I digress.) because I Was In Control. Yes, I know that's only a perception, I cannot control the other drivers, but stop and think how it might feel if you didn't have a car and had to always bum rides off people when you wanted to go see them. I know you love me because you keep coming back to see me, but it would be nice to return the favor on occasion, you know? <=-)

Last weekend I got a mini-vacation and bunny-sat Lacy for Aurora. It was bliss! Then on Sunday, 10/10 my favorite local DM and Choperena took me to see Alice Cooper in Johnstown. OMG! it was soooooooooo awesome!! For a 60+ year old, the man puts on an amazingly energized concert/magic show! He played for an hour and 1/2 with only a couple 30-45 second breaks for costume changes or *cough* technical difficulties (once he was hanged, once he lost his head to a guillotine and once he was impaled in a box >=-). The MurderDolls opened, then Alice, then Rob Zombie played. Don't get me wrong, I like Rob. A lot. However, Alice has been a hero of mine since I was 12. I think that's what carried me through the whole 'crowd issue'. I've wanted to see him for so long, so badly, that as long as Rykujin or Choperena was around, I could cope with the crowd. A couple tramadol helped both my back with the standing as well as calming me. The best part?! During his last set, he was wearing the same shirt as I was!! ($5@Wal-Fart. Who would have guessed?!)

The final major thing is: Demented contacted me this morning. There were some problems surrounding Facebook that I had no part of, but he wanted to make sure. He is doing well and going to school, himself. I feel... mixed. I'm glad he's doing well, but I don't know what happens now. I guess I understand why he needed to check if I had something to do with his FB issue, but I'm also a little hurt that he thought I might meddle in his life in such a negative way. I've got enough to juggle in my life without causing others problems. Besides, I like to think that Karma's a bitch and will whack you upside the head if you pull a stunt like that.

As to my school situation, well, I've not given up. I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do this spring. I think I am going to transfer to South Hills Business School though, come next fall. I've mulled it over and think it's a better option for me for a number of reasons. While it doesn't have the 'prestige' that a degree from PSU has, it does have smaller classes on a smaller campus. It will be easier for me to get around during the day (no rushing from one side of campus a half mile to the other side of campus all while lugging a back pack full of books around) as well as getting to know the teachers better and being a part of a smaller groups of students, not part of some crushing mass during class changes.

Throw in moral support of Choperena's roller derby participation and you round out the month.

I have appointments to meet my new Psychiatrist and new Psychologist this upcoming week. I'll keep you posted.

pshew. That was a lot of typing. I leave you with photos from the concert taken with my iPhone. You'll see that gobs of other people were doing the same thing with their cell phones =)
hugs and love