Thursday, September 08, 2011
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
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.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
- 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 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.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
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.
Friday, August 05, 2011
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!
Thursday, July 21, 2011
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 EWWWWI'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...
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.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
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!!