I blog gluten-free

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dividing Zero

Sometimes, I hear people tell me they're terrified of starting fresh. It is scary. I have my scares. But when you have nothing and take away nothing, what have you lost? Nothing! 0 X 0= 0. 0- 0 = 0. I'm trying to add. Starting fresh isn't so bad. It would be taking all my baggage with me that would terrify me.

Friday, September 28, 2012

I Need This Like I Need a Hole in the Head!

We are narrowing it down nicely... the target is smaller, we're getting there. Still, there are times when desperate times have called for desperate measures. But not this desperate. Yet!

Going With the Flow

How do I put this in a way that doesn't reek of snobbery? The hell with it, I'll go with letting it all flow and if you really know me, then it reads as it comes out naturally. If you're reading with an automatic disdainful tone, then "I went to a concert, where I forgot I was in pain for a while" will sound something like, (oh, God, this following phrase is going to hurt like hell, as it's unnatural and full of false vitriol.)---"I am better than you, I am holier than thou..."

In the abstract, I understand humanity is complicated... both dark and sweet, like the scents of my memory... the dark, dirty-sweet smell of ambergris mixed with purely-sweet flowers. In the concrete, I have to wonder why it seems like life occasionally mimics Hitchcock.

I have nothing left. I have no axes to grind. I have other projects, other tasks to perform. I haven't got it in me to hold hatred in my heart, to sing "I am happy" while wishing for others' pain and looking for things to be offended by. As the nights grow colder, I look for other things to do, other projects. Am I angry sometimes that general statements got taken personally? Sure. I'm working it out. Am I going to slut-shame, vitriolically accuse of every crime? No.

My "Fragile psyche" is just fine, thanks. There's nothing wrong with feeling... I hurt when others' hurt... it's how sometimes people get close enough to hurt me. But I will not take to being ordered around, have every move tracked, have people threatening me, and when I take time, and believe me, looking down the barrel, as I am, fighting as hard as I am for answers, I will need time off from everyone... being attacked... is wrong. I would not dare use personal tragedies of another to hurt them. Their mistakes are theirs to deal with.
If So and So is doing something questionable you don't approve of? Their life! Their consequences!

I offered forgiveness, not hatred. Not a new chance to offer fear and vitriol. I will not dare say all that I have been hurt by. It needs to be laid down and forgotten. But a call from an untraceable number (nice try! I know that trick!) with disguised voice? Oh, sweetie. Report away. Spy away. I will continue to grow and thrive, to try to gain answers and my health, and to wish you the best. And actual genuine happiness. But I will not be good, quiet, gentle, sweet, anymore. I will not behave. Not for you. I did not intend to shove the first time but simply take time to recoup... it had been rough, I wanted quiet... from everyone. Something general was taken personally, hell broke loose. Never once did I plot, look down upon. Never once did I wish anything but happiness. Genuine happiness doesn't need to spy, to report, to look for ways to feel angry. It just lives, it just is.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Failed Experiment: Marbling

Sometimes, you get a little tired of the same old same old routines in beauty. While I won't fix it if it isn't broken, there comes a time when "sorbet" and "ballet slipper" fail to do anything for me and I find myself reaching for a dark "mojito" green--which I'm thinking of capping with silver for the holidays for that bauble Christmas ornament look...

Today, I made a failed attempt at the water marbling look. I learned one interesting trick--- using a chapstick I never use as it makes my lips peel and just stings... never what I go for on perma-chapped lips... means I avoid staining my cuticles. I might be able to handle red after all.

This was a failed attempt, and while it looked pretty, it was done using old remnant polishes that settled to the bottom too fast and formed a weird, ooky skin on the water. I will do a "How To" when I get it right.

The accouterments. I use a different stylus, this one is too flimsy for my touch screen. Chopstick in use next time.


really pretty, but too gloppy. Next time.

Next up: Redoing this the right way, plus playing with a nail polish that answers: "Magnets, how do they work?" ... Maybe. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Scent of a Memory

From Grandma, I learned of atomizers (up until recently, however, I had a habit of simply describing them, "Those bottles with the rubber bulby thing." until I was describing being shown a calming sage spray (3 drops of sage oil in clean water.) that someone sprayed-atomized? me with on a bad day, that calmed me down. "Oh, atomizers!" I learned a new word.)
 and beautiful glass bottles filled with magic potions of flowers and herbs.

Pulled Feather Iridescent Art Glass Perfume Atomizer from  fancy4glass.ca

On my dresser, I keep a bottle of the classic, Miss Dior, (a strong favorite since 1947)-
I remember it on Grandma... since the stuff in the bottle is the color of weak tea and is not my usual... it's been described as strong, sexy, with a lot of sweat notes... but I remember it on her... and remember flowers.
Its formula is a green chypre. The newer formula is "grassy and soapy". The scent I know, however, is green galbanum with gardenia, and a certain, sexy (as in the grinning, in the catbird seat sort of way.) and vanilla, jasmine, rose, narcissus, and neroli, iris. The ambergris, courtesy of a certain waxy, viscous ooze from whales that gives off a strongly sweet odor with a darker, dirtier tone than what most perfumes use now,  was prized highly- it is now mimicked, never duplicated.

Vintage Dior, courtesy of the Perfume Chronicles

I typically use Pure Grace for myself--- freshly washed with a touch of musk. Aka... baby clean but with that certain air of mystery. If people get close to me while I'm wearing it, I get "oh that's nice!" and "What IS that?"
I guess it's supposed to be a bit like how the King of Siam describes women in the King and I--- most people smell the clean, some catch the musk... "A woman should be like a flower, with honey for only one man..." It's a pretty mixture of bergamot, water lily, lavender, jasmine, "cool greens", and musk- with the company describing it as clean and sensual, sort of like that favorite clean- or just a little bit worn T-shirt (you steal or borrow from a close friend.)

But this was introduced to me today... one company sells perfumes meant to be based on blood type... A, AB, O, etc...
I checked the A's and was curious, although not my usual style. If Miss Dior is too "sweaty and heavy" for me, (but it worked well on Grandma, a classy broad with a certain je ne sais quois... she knew how to make an outfit work, got her hair done at least once a week--- only a decade ago did she quit dying it her natural champagne blond--- and got it permed regularly.) --then this "Slightly metallic" fragrance that imagines the scents blood would have, might not be my cup of tea.

"A" Perfume, by Blood Concepts


The Scoop
Intensely green and aromatic in its opening, Blood Concept A rushes at you with a minty, crushed herbs and leaves accord married with the rich spice of star anise. Its surprising dry down is amber-like, with hints of licorice and — believe it — the faint round softness of bubble gum. Of all these metaphorically blood-borne fragrances, Blood Concept A comes closest to evoking a perfume in the floral family, if only for a nanosecond, and because of its initial salvo of garden greens. It’s clear almost immediately, however, due to the signature metallic tinge that flashes like lightning through the olfactory air here and in the rest of the Blood Concept line that we are in a surreal, mineral world where fecundity is signified otherwise, and where flowers do not grow.

A Notes
Green garden accord, tomato leaves, basil, star anise and metallic notes

So it begins as I know, clean and green, and then mellows into a metallic-y smell. It is interesting, and I'm quite curious. 


It's no real secret that I feel things... "empath", "fragile", whatever, have been tossed to me. Thing is: I don't care. I'm not quitting being me for anyone, although I am working on huge changes in general. Among those things is losing the fear I learned, and simply being.

The biggest thing is to get out of the darkness and into the light. No sense smirking as you make up a joke regarding "Mariska zee vitch"- not many people know Russian hero epics (Marina, aka Mariska.) or the Polish queen to a Russian pretender whose name lives in quiet infamy as perjoritive nickname in the tales... it helps no one and forgiveness is all.

Sometimes, life shows me darker paths... which will terrify. I am not good with death yet, I've been warned of my own time and again, fought against it. I've met "grief counsellors" who told me that in time I'd forget the person entirely. Barely 12-year old me jerked sharply at that... I remember feeling my limbs snapping, my back tensing. They were telling me it was ok to forget half of myself. It wasn't. I walked out.

But lately, lately... I remember an incident from my early 20s. In middle school, I'd met this girl... while sweet, something seemed off... there were two people in there. I won't go into full on details. I ended up walking away, losing myself in other outlets, books, travel, illnesses. In the years leading up, she'd become an enfant terrible. After social workers, attempting to help with a parents' divorce, moving, a parent with borderline personality disorder... were consulted...and did... NOTHING. The clock sped up, one day I answered a call from her younger sister. She'd killed herself. This was shocking enough... finding out she'd recently discovered she was pregnant really caused some strange emotions. Grief, guilt and sadly, I shouted "You murdering cunt!" I went to her memorial, and saw the people who had seemed to control her for years, grieving family members on one side, and people who had weirdly automatonic reactions on the other.

I always felt bad... I had learned to detest her behaviors, how her family got hurt, how she'd killed not only herself but an innocent unborn infant. How I hurt to see that she'd had promise and it had been snuffed out, with her own fingers, just like that, and to this day, there are more answers than questions. That I'd become furious, not at her death, although that hurt, but at her act that didn't just hurt her. It's been years, and I've learned, yes there's love there. Yes, I forgive. Forgave a long time ago. But sometimes, when it's dark, I remember her and remember her tragedies, her lack of answers, her behaviors, her actions, and I know not to become that. I never hated. May she and Baby have the peace she was looking for. May her family, all of it, be blessed.

I pray that whatever demons you faced, you are finally enjoying the sweet peace you sought for. I still love you, I forgave a long time ago. ♥
May I learn not to let myself get eaten, not to become cold and hard. May I remember life is tough, but beautiful, and we are not in this life for peace, but it is still worth living and fighting for.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Older I Get

Don't be fooled... I know this: my body is weak, but I can dance for joy and forget I'm cold and it's raining. My spirit is strong. As for life, it is what it is, and twists and turns come with the territory. I don't let people walk on me, I say "no", clearly and loudly. If I sound bitchy, it's likely the fight between wanting everyone happy and knowing that it can't always be so making me sad. I cannot let tests and confusion, and fights get me down. I will not be quiet but will stand up for me. I will wish the best when I have to say goodbye, even when it hurts like hell. No caveats, no only if yous... I have come this far, I will go that much further.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What's Your Style?

Here and there, someone will ask one of two questions I thought only existed in magazines.

1) What is your signature style?
A) On paper? A little angled, girlish, sharp crossing of "T"s at a diagonal slant. Oh.
B) My dress sense.

Among the things I need to do:
1)Invest in good-quality belts (the Guatemalan belt for $1 was tempting but the need to add extra holes and the cheapness means that the shipping costs cancel out the value.)
2)Invest in (Insert dramatic music) jeans that fit. When I have a pair that actually fits, I find a few months later, they end up getting a sort of baggy butt elephant leg thing going on. Having no butt stinks- and it doesn't help that jeans are at least 60% lycra now.

But for the most part, I'm dress casual. I like to cut a figure, and be able to fit equally well at dinner with Great Aunt Betsy and for lunch/ drinks with friends. I'm working on cutting out disconcerting bagginess. *Sigh*. Someday.
Dress coat:
Black Poppy toggle jacket in navy blue - the hood was held on insecurely, I simply snipped them off and wear a knit hat when I decide my ears are worth it. I got mine for $30 at Pacsun.

For an everyday coat, much as I appreciate the very big Columbia ski jacket given, I know I'm too short for it, and it would let in the cold, sort of to be avoided. Am going to put some hard-earned cash down on one fitted to me.

3/4 sleeve t-shirts and jeans, some "Monk neck"... my apologies, cowl-neck... sweaters for that scarfy look, or alternatively, if too big, like this ancient white one I have, my mostly accidental homages to Flashdance.

These are my mostly must haves, I'm working on getting past a few things, I feel I fell into a rut.

Mine is more fishing line and plastic, but I love it :)

The second question is one of awe, shock, or curiosity.

What's in your purse?



1) Laundry money

2) One small stress ball

3) Wallet

4)Assorted pens

5)I'm assured there's a pack of Post-its in there.

6)coin wrappers

7)the occasional wrapper from junk food on the go.

8)Pack of Life Savers

9)Sugar free lemon candy as Topomax makes your mouth a little dry

And... that's it. It's small but it weighs 8lbs. I know this after I stepped on a scale not paying attention, with purse still in hand, ala Sophia Petrillo, and almost freaked out my doctor when the scale read way too high! (Don't try this trick at home, kids.)

Rock the Lakes

I am currently bogged down in studies and photos, X-rays, scans, tests, etc. I've acquired a rather morbid fascination with the human skull, and the knowledge that even now, I am lucky, my illnesses aren't to be used on charts to point out character flaws, I am not being held in an institution for 80 years.

Sometimes I get a little too bogged down, and know this isn't good for me, that fear of being shaky or sick in public can't keep me locked in. So I have my books, my music, (I can't be locked into a genre.) my hikes, my ambitions.

Last night, my friend, Pastor Chris, invited me out to Coca Cola field for Rock the Lakes Buffalo. It is a Franklin Graham crusade, besides a concert. Unlike his father, Billy Graham, Franklin is not pushy, although the rather Protestant based form of salvation got to me... "Jesus isn't still hanging on the cross!" I automatically glanced down at my rosary bracelet, sort of an automatic article, used and prayed on so much the silver coating is wearing off beads... but you celebrate Easter! I've been in Protestant churches where lurid paintings...including the rather terrifying Sacred Heart, (The eyes follow you.)  are hung on walls! How do you preach Easter messages, have a cheerleader stand up and drawl in her best Valley Girl, "So, like, ZOMG! They nailed him up! Like, eww, look at that loin cloth!" ? ---besides that--- it was 5 minutes and back to the music. At 3 I fell asleep at a Billy Graham crusade, they took that to mean that 3 year olds will sleep anywhere. But it was beautiful... even with that little Protestant- driven means of getting to the masses. Immediately after this, two people behind us sparked up a joint. I knew smoking wasn't allowed totally, but still had to let the smell waft to my nose and watch the fish faces...because I wasn't sure if I was seeing things.

During the incomprehensible rap sets. Bless them. 
It was great... rap incomprehensible, to the point where the auto tuning caused even the head-phone wearing ASL translator to put her hands out in the "I have no idea" way. But Building 429 and Skillet were awesome, and after moving onto the field, danced in the 60 degree weather and the chilly rain. I loved it... it was good to get out, and I certainly got my exercise. What to do when you hurt, what to do when you're sad? The heck with it... dance!
Before Skillet came on, they asked that we remember King David dancing with joy and to dance like him. "Get wild! Be rowdy!" I said to Pastor Chris, "But King David was naked, and I don't think they want us THAT rowdy."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Diner

Her hands lay next to mine on the cheap white paper tablecloth, among the neatly rolled napkins and gleaming silverware, waiting while the harried waitress finished her Virginia Slim and deigned to notice us. I watched only the hands, not the clock behind her, ticking away the minutes we waited on cheap plastic seats,  and slowly worked my eyes up to her face, weathered and cracked by the years gone by, fissures and cracks etching the papery soft flesh. And yet she had an ever-present smile, the notches around her eyes, still youthfully and fearlessly bright, creasing as she spoke... Michael's oranges are doing nicely, her grandson Pete got into trouble at school again...very outspoken, she hooted, just like Grandma! She was beautiful. The weathering, the cracks, the fissures only served to speak of laughter and mischief she'd enjoyed...she never showed her inner sadnesses, except in those same fiery eyes, that could go soft and tender in a heartbeat. I gazed back at her hands, the gnarled fingers, the thin, papery skin, so close a cousin to the cheap paper we folded our hands upon, almost in silent prayer, as we waited, our cheap china mugs, sitting on mismatched saucers,  yellow on blue and red on yellow, bright and cheery. The veins stood out, even more than mine, little blue green trees of life, sending their ebbing and flowing blood back and forth, bright against her faded, wrinkled spotted flesh. She reached out, unbidden, without a moment's thought, and rested her gnarled, but still so beautiful and delicate, arthritic fingertips on my hand, just as, with a click of her hard shoes on the dirty floor, the waitress finally arrived at our sides, young, pretty, but tired and fading already, in cheap cotton pants and a much-laundered pink gingham uniform blouse. She poured our cheap coffee, which still tickled our noses, still sent up a curly plume as it rested in the cup, still waited for us to sip, dark and full of promise. We thanked her and continued our talk... of orange groves, of rebellion, while her beautiful hands, fascinating in every twist, every spot, every vein, gently clutched that cheap red mug between them.
I don't remember the food, the cheap fries or how they tasted, if they were greasy. I don't remember the cheap coffee from mugs washed thousands of times. I simply remember one happy afternoon in a little greasy spoon.

Future Starts Slow (Music Appreciation With Bethy)

I fell in love with Future Starts Slow by the Kills from the opening riffs. I did have to keep flipping back and finally made two enhanced gestures at myself as I first heard " You can holler, you can wail, you can flap like a broken sail" as something else entirely. For the record, the gestures are:
1)Stick out both index fingers horizontally, facing forward. Now wiggle them slightly up and down, possibly contorting your face into a suggestive expression (I'm face and gestures first, speech...3rd or 4th.)
2)Make a sort of floppy gesture with your hand with elbow resting on other forearm, after making a sweeping motion like clearing a chalkboard. I did this as what I thought I heard made no sense to me in context, and sails flap and flop, but have no capacity for human behaviors.

All things considered, I love it... I feel it, literally, it's lovely, dark and deep, and it caught me on a good day last year.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Passing the Tests

In the early 20th century, the great minds set themselves around to studying eugenics... which comes from a Greek word meaning "Good-born" in its literal form. Many made fascinating discoveries, some of which have helped, but many hurt... while we now have Planned Parenthood and the mainstreaming of the disabled, we also had people using these studies to allow for murder and neglect. The most disturbing scene to me, in the "Eugenic Photoplay" the Black Stork is not our syphillictic infant growing into a menace, and murdering the doctor who saved him, which was the nightmare of our "hero" the "good" doctor... and why he was allowed to die of neglect... it was the neglected newborn giving himself to a spectral image of Jesus. (It taught the lesson: If you allow the disabled to live, you are being cruel.) It was meant to be rather sweet, but ended up being not only cheesy, but just a little terrifying.

Photo From the frontispiece of The Kallikak Family:A Study in the Heredity of Feeble-Mindedness-Henry Herbert Goddard (1913)

One of the great marvels set up a long running human experiment, using an 8 year old child who came to him without the capability to read or write and came from a family known to be "One of those families"... many deformities, one particularly lovely woman with all the signs of FAS, a boy sitting on a woodpile, who would likely be called Down Syndromed today, captioned :This boy is an imbecile.
This 8 year old girl grew to be a lovely young woman, and where she might not be mathematically inclined, showed a love for animals, music, could be mistaken for hospital staff, perform chores, take care of herself nicely, asked Santa yearly for something she could use to sew with, or to pay her dentist's bill, could do carpentry, was a capable seamstress. While the good doctor, one Dr. Henry Herbert Goddard, who in 1911, helped make it possible for disabled children to achieve education (So, not a complete arse.) But what he did was a fund a life long study of a child who had been born into a family presenting with numerous illnesses and character issues (the sins of the fathers---coincidentally, his common ancestor in the Kalikak studies were not father and son but two separate men, first cousins, presenting a 25% blood tie.) "Deborah" was actually a highly gifted girl who seemed to learn best using her hands, was very lovely, with a mess of dark hair, and from the diaries, quite a fighter. He had her classed as a "High grade moron"... in other words, had her family not been poor, had her mother not had some issues with men, had social services not directed her to this doctor and his home for the "hopeless" she could have passed the "Disability Paper Bag Test".
Many young men came forth to woo this lovely young lady, and were turned away, on account of the sins of her fathers, and the need for the good medical staff to maintain their pretty trained monkey. She died in 1974, in her late 80's.
Many have alleged that images in Goddard's book were tweaked on the side of the "bad" family... one particular image shows up... it looks like the children are poor, but freshly washed and neatly dressed... and while early 20th century photography is flawed, and controversy regarding whether or not some pen and ink was used to show some weakness on the "bad" side of the family... our heroine never receives this treatment.

For further information:
What The Butler Saw: Are You Feeble-Minded?
Four Bears Dot Com/ Kallikaks
Chapter 1 of Goddard's Treatise, from classics in psychology
Index, Goddard, Classics In Psychology

As a special bonus: Goddard regretted his behavior at the end. How nice.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Laughter is the Best Medicine

If it's not going right, if the answers you're seeking aren't coming easily, it's time to dig deeper. It's also time to laugh.

Medicine is practicing... they learn as they go, unfortunately or fortunately depends on your way of thinking.

I've taken to building models if my probing into "Here is problem XYZ" means I find myself against the brick wall of "Here's medication ABC, why isn't this working, why are you sensitive to it, and we don't know...". 

Of late, the basic model goes like this:

You have your basic skull. What you're showing is HOW epilepsy works. In times beyond, epilepsy has been used as a character flaw, as well as "Heaven help us, I do believe she's possessed!" (Think Christ throwing "Demons" out of the boy in the temple... read it carefully, and it sounds like the boy was having seizures. Cursing and laughing, as well as sobbing can be part of an episode, however this version is one I thankfully don't deal with. It doesn't respond to therapy and is followed with other types... hopefully, one that responds.) What I'm considering is adding in a button to show this gelastic laughter, as flat and sardonic as it sounds... my sardonic laugh is a sign that I am overtaxed and have taken to laughing in your face "How cute, you're serious about this!" and is rather Halloween-esque. For purity's sake, I'd want to mimic the pure sound. I can't just call someone and be like "Hi, can you have a seizure for me? I'll bring the strobe and the champagne and you find a soft place to lie down." New business model here: Think of it as the epileptic's version of J-Date! 

Epilepsy is a diagnosis that I call the "Captain Obvious" Diagnosis. (Here is usually where I laugh a little flatly.) It's "You have had a seizure." From there, you need to find cause and effect, while controlling the electrical impulses and restarts that could be deadly. Medical science treats, cures and prevention are still not covered by science or insurance. 

Non-medical people bringing in ways to show and advance health aren't new... it was a ventriloquist/ 1st voice of Tigger and then some---brilliant but sad man--- who gave us the artificial heart. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

On Eagles' Wings

This one, sung at the wrong time, or, as there really is no "wrong" time, really... but let's say, an emotional one, can end up causing that *sob* in the throat. No matter. This is another of those sweet, peaceful songs... the "rest, be calm" songs.

Note: NOT Josh Groban. But more gentle than a million choir done bits. Rest.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Not Just A Doll

People always look at me sort of like a little doll-like creature... when I do or say something that isn't in my normal, peace-loving, gentle way, they will usually be taken aback.

First up was tattooing... mine isn't visible to all eyes... it was thought out, mapped out and placed as I wanted it:
18th b-day, done purposefully so to be meaningful to me but not be visible in contexts for ROTC, etc... although there was paperwork to fill out descriptions, and, due to my personality being what it is, showing it to a very surprised female officer who more or less had this "Yeah... YOU have a tattoo... right..." look on her face when I had to fill out the forms.
 I thought like an 18 year old. I had a grandfather who'd been in WWII. I like pin ups. I combined his eagle wings (He had a huge pair across his chest) with a pin up) and made something of my own--- and thinking like a kid, I figured, this is my future ahead of me, and this, below my bra strap, (above the "tramp stamp" area) is what is behind me... this gives me strength... this is my heritage... 

And of course, for the most part, I guess I am gentle... I am told I am angelic quite often... a very old friend sent me a letter while on a flight recently... "You! You stay on this earth! Heaven does NOT need another angel, we need you here, young lady!" We have been friends so long, and we both have a habit of saying things that we mean, 100%, all to follow it up by saying something rather sarcastic and perhaps rude... "So, how many in-flight beers have you had?" I sent back. "Have you ever heard of in vino veritas?" he was a little disappointed in me... "Sober thoughts are drunken words, kid." :-/

But even I have had moments... back in '08... up until I moved here? I slept with a sheleighleigh- a short, stout stick with a large head at the top... and had I been broken in upon again, I would have used it. But I am growing, and I am not as fearful as I was.  I do not build obstacles to me, but I will fight for me if I must. Perhaps, not by swinging a cudgel, but I am learning to do so in my word, in my deed.

Monday, September 10, 2012

In The Eye of the Storm...

Years ago, my very marvelous, friend, so close that "friend" is odd and "sister" is better, introduced me to Cracker. I was 17... young, hurting... already realizing the world was cold, and that sometimes, the shadows could seem so long. But she brought me sun. One Saturday night, she brought me to a now defunct club by the airport, and we saw magic... bands that went un-noticed, but simply playing their hearts out...
I was delighted to find Darling One. Friends I introduced it to loved it and hold it close. But Youtube sucks for video and linking it is virtually impossible. So I took matters into my own hands and ran it through Movie Maker, using whatever images I generally use to study or read by-- I am visual first... and trying to show why this is a "happy song"--- a song I use in the eye of storms, when I am very sad, as I was today... when I am stressed, as I have been. While Youtube had a billion tetchy concert videos, it was all crowd noise, so I hope now people can bliss out and smile with clearer sound. Bless. Smile. Love.

A Prayer of St. Ignatius

Oh, Christ Jesus,
When all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness,

Give us the sense of your presence
Your love
Your strength
Help us have perfect trust in your protective love and strengthening power so that nothing can frighten or worry us
For living close to you
We shall see your hand 

Your purpose
Your will through all things

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Its Name is Robert Paulsen, Its Name is Robert Paulsen

When you don't know what's going on with you, and you can feel your body attacking itself, and your emotions running wild, it's very easy to become anxious, to fear the shadows.

Finally, after so many exercises in frustration, in banging my head against brick walls at the neurologist's, and tests just going nowhere, I decided I'd draw a little road map. I knew I'd have to allow for pain and for my head to be grabbed, twisted and torqued each which way, but, in the penumbra days, when the pain isn't so bad, but I can point out the locations by touch, I made a model using a free service for a 3D realistic paper skull decoration. (I also almost ordered a skull coffee cup and still might, but that's just me being me.)

The first arrow at the left shows the pain creeping in. If you hold your left index finger up at your left eye, at an angle, you should be able to occlude your vision but still see a little, with a sort of "aura"... sort of like a partial lunar eclipse. I try to time my Imitrex injections before I see the eclipse, but it can happen pretty fast. Then, if you think storm cloud, the pain will move from the left temple, drifting over into the right. At about this time, I'll feel a bit like someone is having a rather festive party inside my brain, with fireworks, and Uncle Screwtape playing an extended drum solo,  while in the area where my spinal cord attaches to my brain, it's about the same as the temples.

There will be tests for MS and arteriosclerosis. The latter usually doesn't show up until you're in you're 60's, so I'm kind of letting it go. I refuse to consult good ol' Dr. Google. The doctors now think my symptoms, besides headaches, are part of a bigger puzzle, and are fitting in pieces. I have a spectral shadow to deal with. I am scared, yes. Very scared. So I named my shadow. Its name is Robert Paulsen. He looks like Meatloaf, he'll do anything for love, but he won't do that, that is just unspeakable! Now that the shadow has a name and a face, I'm not so frightened. It's how I beat my fright. I laugh at it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Leavin' Time?

Time for clean air, new surroundings...getting out and taking time. To explore, to photograph, to maybe see more of the night sky  than I can see here in insect-riddled lamp-light.

I can't forget, and I can't think badly... I can't be angry... but it's time for freshness. It's time to see an old friend, and not worry about what the future holds or that the heart does hurt along with the body. To pick up travalogues, and watch for strange and wonderful people everywhere.

I have, from necessity and from illness, a lot less freedom than I should... but it's time to pick up, to see how many of my wants are valid, how many of my needs I can fulfill on my own. I cannot mourn the past any longer. Things will have to be said, prayers will be sobbed out, while holding for dear life on whatever I can... but I have to get through the latest round of appointments, and perhaps celebrate a little autumn down south. And come back with a twinkle and new joys.

I understand far more than people give me credit for. I may get frightened, may be a bit too proper, but even I have my mischievous moments.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Don't get it twisted:
You're a friend, first, foremost and above all. That's why I worry when I feel sadness, when you let people walk on you. When I see a good person being hurt. I've seen it, I've felt it. Don't say my antennae are up again... I pick these things up. I don't like feeling like everything ever said or done was misinterpreted. Again. And frankly, getting you out of your shell, and hopefully just letting you be yourself, not a creation, not an exaggeration, was my priority. Because I care. I can't switch it off. It's how I get in trouble, but there it is.

You've been hurt, you get yourself hurt, and you hurt others, by using your pain as a weapon. You do not make decisions, but hem and haw until others state what you want them to say, to avoid having to take responsibility. This isn't a good habit for a long-haul. This is a good way to find yourself very frightened and having to cover up by being more of an ass.

You ask questions that dig and leave bleeding, and sometimes I find old questions resurfacing. And the excuses... no.

I don't like the grilling, even the "gentle" version... because it isn't, it's just a scream in a whisper.

I failed you somewhere, trying to be a shelter from storms, to give you a center, to give peace. For this I am sad. I cannot run from my own problems... but I can deal. I tried to teach you that pain isn't something that needs to leave you hollow, that you can live, to be joyful, to be bright, anyway.

I don't love in spite of. I can't. You're you. The whole person. You have strength. Don't bend any which way the wind blows. Be a man. Be the good man you truly are. People will respect and like that. Those who don't didn't belong on your life in the first place. We all have layers, and you are not just a smartass, not just an asshole. You have heart. And you're losing yourself. I fear for you.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

No More Ghost Girl

I cannot change my past, nor what it may have taught me. It has not changed my personality, or my hopes for a brighter future. I cannot help but to sometimes be dreamy, to be a little terrified... when things are wrong, and life is so insane that you are terrified of everything and anything, you become insular. Yes, I need my recharges... it is true that too much, too many people, too much noise, too much around me, too much talk around or at me, will exhaust me. But so will silence after a while. This is when I know it's time to face the light as well as I can.

I cannot become bitter. I cannot shut myself off simply because I have been hurt in the past. To do so is to hurt as I have been.

I cannot allow myself to be peeved by misunderstandings, which sadden me, as I try so hard to be upfront and direct.

I will never see anyone as the sum of their parts. No one is all bad. Not a one of us, is all good. We are not capable of pure goodness. I will have human reactions: anger, fear, overwhelming sadness, I will get shy, I may seem prideful when it's that I've learned not to ask for help, so asking for my needs is tough.

I cannot handle it when people tell me not to change, I know what they mean, but taking that literally, it means I'm perpetually stuck.. the eternal vestal virgin, to tease, to joke with, to flirt, as I generally never know a flirt when I see it, and may say something the world may construe as flirting and mean it with 0% intent, but as a statement. When I try, it comes out weird and wonky. But, I am an adult, with needs, drives, feelings, not just a sweet girl with an illness... I don't introduce myself, ever, as "I'm Epilepsy Girl, my name is Beth, and I like playing Space Invaders, roses, candles, and old movies..." I never introduce myself as "I'm the Girl With the Multitude of Problems"... no. It's "Hi, I'm Beth." (Most of the time, in both English and ASL, automatically.) And you do not have diseases. You are affected BY, but you are not your problems.

You are not your problems. You are not what you carry between your legs, or not. You are a whole person, and the wrinkles, the cracks, the little darknesses add to the bright things, and vice versa, and make a beautiful picture.

I am Beth. I am who I am. I am whole. I am going to kick the world in the teeth. I am going to step out of the shadows, and greet the light, wide-eyed and full of joy and wonder. Screw with me, now. I will be a ghost girl no more. I'll only look like one!

Believing In Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Forget, for a minute, that life can suck all the energy and drive out of you... that things can drag you, that sometimes, you can try, but you won't feel like yourself. Forget that reality must eventually intrude.

What frivolous, fanciful, fantastic, impossible things do you want to do? How many can you check off?

*Solo trip. Time to explore, time to see people I haven't seen for a while, to just be... me, my camera, a pair of sturdy shoes.

*Finding answers and beginning on the next chapter. I see light, I want it.

*Being comfortable in my skin

*Finding my place, where ever it is

*I smell salt water.

*Finally achieving those freedoms I am still working on. Due to health reasons, I've become a bit cloistered and I hate it.

*My little house, my porch swing, my dog. Complete with compliment of well-thumbed books, plenty of cocoa and pretty dish ware, a window seat, and for good weather, a porch swing.

*Learning to stand up for myself without being shaky.

*Finding the strength I know I have

What is impossible for you? What is impossible, just for now? And what is obtainable, if you fight hard enough?