Random Rants and A Possibly Good Thing

I don’t get this obsession with knowing every little detail of a terrible thing. For example, I do not wish to know the intimate details of the recent death of a loved one. I don’t want to know how badly he suffered or how awful it was. I know how awful it was: it’s why I keep crying. So please stop trying to tell me. This is not idle gossip. I did not wish to know every brutal detail of how my cousin died of melanoma a few years ago, but I was told – by many sources and even after asking them not to tell me. Now I have to live with this mental image of his final moments as he succumbed to respiratory failure.

So yeah, as you can tell I haven’t been having a great time of it. Everything is seriously fucked up in my kingdom and therefore I haven’t been up to blagging. I have mostly been trying to fix the unfixable – a process very much like voluntarily and repeatedly slamming one’s head into a wall (and in my case, while the house is being firebombed). As a result I’ve been in a right shite mood, and every little thing is setting me off.

The meaning is yours to experience and discern.

For example, I am so frelling sick of Hollywood making shitty movie versions of really good books. It irks the shiz out of me, but there’s not much for me to do about it but rant. Rant rant rant. I’m sorry but I like the way the story looks inside my head. I am not the kind of reader who hunts down all the interviews of their favorite authors trying to figure out what they were going for. I don’t believe that this is the point of literature. I believe it is like art – paintings, for example – where the artist composes the picture, applies the details and takes you to that other world. What that other world is like is now a construct of your mind. The meaning is yours to experience and discern.

The writer gave me all the information I needed to build their world, to live in it, experience it and feel it. If the information was good it will have a transforming effect; it will make an impact, resonate, and take hold. That’s why I read books. I do not read books so that directors can interpret them as they see fit and then build stunted visual interpretations of them that will forever taint them and compromise their integrity.

(I’m looking at you Joseph Gordon Levitt).

My dresser.

My dresser.

Sometimes I feel like perhaps I’m doing therapy wrong

I’m also super ticked because a lot of really awesome events are happening in my area that I would love to go to, but I can’t because of my crippling panic disorder. Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman will be doing a musical/reading event with a bunch of other artists and musicians in honor of Ms. Palmer’s upcoming book release. The New Pornographers have been oot and aboot. Various book events and cons. Just so many things I would love to see. But I can’t because I’m a fracking mental case.

Sometimes I feel like perhaps I’m doing therapy wrong or it doesn’t work the way I think it’s supposed to. Or perhaps it doesn’t really work at all. Anyway, everyone’s answer to my issues outside of the medical/therapeutic fields is generally ‘take something and get over it’.

I find it amusing how people who have never had issues like mine or who have never been on any sort of medication have the attitude of ‘just take a pill’ and shrug, as if that’s all it takes to make the shittiest parts of your life just go away. But they have no idea how the medication works, how your brain works and what goes into both the disorder and the medication. (Let me say right now that I think it’s disturbing how little the average person knows about how their own body works.)

Popping a pill is just not that simple. And don’t you think that with this whole nightmare that I go through on a regular basis, that I’d have done that already if that’s all it took? Trust me; I’m not a glutton for punishment.

 banana books

In interesting and non-shitty news, this week I got an intriguing email. I had submitted a portfolio to a charity that was looking for artists to make and donate work for an auction in December. This is sort of a big deal, both the charity and the auction. Plus it’s a cause that is really important to me.

Anyway, the other night I get an email from the committee or whoever that decides these things, and they loved my portfolio and want my stuff. Not only that, but, along with my portfolio I sent a proposal highlighting three options for what I could create for them, and they want all three. So they want at least (and they stressed the ‘least’ bit) five of each thing, all in less than a month.

I went into this thing thinking that it wasn’t just a long shot, but that I’d never get picked at all. But here I am, more than a tad shocked and excited. So I’ma gonna be crazy busy, what with NaNoWriMo, an art competition with a local art shop (for a much needed supply prize package), and now this. So it’s very likely that this will be my last blaggins for a while. Which is fine by you, I’m quite sure.

So with that I take my leave of you. Enjoy yet another musical road map, provided by the Psychic MP3 Player.

Portugal. The man – Everything You See (All the Kids Say Hallelujah)
St. Vincent – The Neighbors
St. Vincent – Black Rainbow
Lykke Li – I’m Good, I’m Gone
The New Pornographers – Failsafe
The New Pornographers – Go Places
The National – Conversation 16
Grizzly Bear – Ready, Able
Lou Reed – Andy’s Chest
MGMT – The Youth
Guided by Voices – The Future is in Eggs
Portishead – The Rip
Zoe Keating – Forest
Fleet Foxes – The Cascades
The Kinks – Who’ll Be the Next in Line
Say Hi (To Your Mom) – Toil and Trouble

P.S. I’m trying out a new theme. If it’s disgustingly pretentious, please let me know. I don’t mean to be, I swear.

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Pain, Therapy and Lapin Gardening

So my cousin has posted an ultrasound of her baby on social networking sites. I hate when people do that. First of all it’s icky. Second of all it’s yucky. Third of all it’s tacky. My cousins keep doing this too, as if I want to see the strange sea creature/squirrel shaped parasites invading their abdomens.

Anyway, this ultrasound is really early. So early that it’s mostly space and just this tiny bean you kinda have to look for. There are a million people ‘oohing and aaahing’ in the comments, but I’m terribly tempted to ask her if she’s sure it’s not just a big fart. Trapped gas man, it’s a bitch.

 ____________

Okay, so I’m in a fabulous mood, as if you can’t tell. I’m snarky and sarcastic because I’m in an exorbitant amount of pain and there isn’t really anything I can do about it. I can’t even sleep (it’s nearly three a.m.). It’s been about ten months of this, and after numerous tests and one serious week in November where the doctors told me to brace myself for cancer, all they can come up with are shrugs and theories: another mass, a random tiny hernia, or muscle damage. The only way to really tell one way or the other or to do anything about it is to have an exploratory surgery. Now I’m sorry, but I don’t want random surgery. I have many reasons for this, the most significant of which is I’m convinced that the surgeon will come up with nothing or with more shrugs and I will have endured all of this for nothing. Not to mention that the doctors will stop taking my complaining about the pain seriously.

This means that until I decide to do the surgery, or my insides explode, or this stuff takes some kind of turn, every few days I will experience different levels of pain in that area. Tonight (or this morning, rather), I’m hurting badly. I took a pill for the pain but it hasn’t even taken the edge off. So not worth it. It’s bad enough that I’ve been taken to the ER twice and both times I was sent home with drugs and more shrugs. Rhymey.

On top of all of that, things haven’t been working out so well for me. I’m completely skint, unemployed, and frankly unemployable at this point. Plus all of this other stuff is weighing on me. I wrote this long blag post (a two-parter!) about what’s been going on, but it’s so terribly personal that I’ve not posted it. Yet. There is always the possibility that I may egg up, especially when one considers I’ve not a lot of followers and only a few of those actually read my posts and only two or three of those actually know me. It’s basically about how I’ve taken up therapy and how I have a colourful history of despising therapy and everything that goes along with it, and why.

As for this therapy thing, I’m fairly certain that I’m failing at it. Seriously, I think that maybe I’m doing it wrong. I don’t really talk about anything, and I don’t know what I’m supposed to talk about. And I talk to the therapist about her problems too. I know there’s this period of time in the early days (which is where I’m at) where you talk to your therapist about stuff just so she can learn about you and know what you’re on about (to discover and exploit your weaknesses). But I am still rather unsure.

___________

And in banal life stuffs, I grew lots of seedlings and plants for my garden, spent two days with Thunderball excavating and ravaging the very Earth, only to have this random apocalyptic downpour today eviscerate all our hard work. After all that, only about three plants of the hundreds we planted are still standing. I feel like the Charlie Brown of gardeners. Everything I touch get’s ruined.

But something exciting and interesting did occur in gardening. Our garden patch is about four feet by twenty feet. So in the soil turning and weeding phase on Saturday, Thunderball took one end and I the other and we worked our way towards the middle. About four feet in Thunderball suddenly stops her violent assault on the land and says “Uh, what is this?” She tosses over a wad of fluffy white fur, so naturally I ask: “Is something dead?” So she pokes at the spot with the garden fork and receives a terrified tiny squeal from the pile of furry earth. After she jumped away, we inspected the spot and discovered:

Bunny Seeds Germinated June 7 2014 01

Thunderball took this sessee shot.

Yes. That’s right. Babies. There were five or six tiny baby bunnies in there, all blind to the world. So now it’s like FUCK, we’re a mommy. So we’ve cordoned off that section of our garden (which will be devoted strictly to sunflowers), and recovered the nest we’d uncovered with an upturned bin. I keep periodically paranoiacally checking up on them, as I now feel responsible for having inadvertently uncovered their crèche, basically erecting the equivalent of a flashing neon arrow pointing right at them (hence the protective covering). Two days after finding them, I checked on them again only to find they were even closer to the surface with even less stuff covering them. I was amazed at how much they’d developed in only two days. They went from being blind and dark furred to being larger, open-eyed and more active and alert (although, clearly still too tiny to be on their own). Their little ears are still flat against their heads. According to some wildlife experts that means they are around 5-7 days old now.

I was so upset at seeing them almost completely exposed that I did some research to see if there was something else that we should have done or should be doing. But the wildlife rescue experts say that I did exactly the right thing, covering them back up and putting the bin over them. Now we just have to hope that they survive to adulthood despite living in a backyard that is full of raccoons and skunks and cats (That Cat and That Other Cat have both been sighted recently), not to mention our dog.

Plus they are so adorable one wants to take them in and love them forever (or at least until they reach their forever), but every wildlife place is like NO YOU CANNOT KEEP THEM. Shut up! You can’t tell me what to do! I am a paranoid mama bunny, hopped up on painkillers and out for blood! I do what I want!

“There is love in holding. And there is love in letting go.” – Elizabeth Berg, The Year of Pleasures

And there is love in mauling a Animal Control officer. Just saying.

 

 

Hamster Cardiology, Rabbit Euthenasia and Synthetic Pain Management

crane

When I was a kid, somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10, I performed surgery on a hamster. I removed worms from its pericardium, and put them on a slide.
I still have the slide.

Now, dear reader, I suspect you have some questions. I mean, that first line is upsetting in itself. And yet, not too surprising; little kids are known to do such things. They torture bugs: burning ants, dissecting beetles, and tearing the wings off of flies. They take apart little things like frogs and minnows. All of this of course is done generally out of curiosity, and only occasionally out of psychopathy. Most little kids don’t even get the significance of their actions and feel that perhaps they can glue the little things back together and everything will be okay.

So that last bit there about pericardia and slides must have really thrown you.

Would it help if I mentioned the hamster was part of a laboratory trial, and the laboratory in question was at Harvard University, and that the entire procedure – from sedating the little guy (which I remember to this day as being a strange combination of horrifying and cute) to the surgery and subsequent staining of the slide sample was all done under the supervision of one of the head researchers in the trial?

What was I doing in a major experimental research laboratory after hours performing life saving surgery on a cute hamster? I DON’T KNOW.

Well, I sort of know, but it’s not really important. What is important is that this really happened and it would go on to support a long held belief in my family that by now I would be a doctor or a veterinarian and I’d be successful and happy and at the very least smart and stable. Well aren’t I a colossal disappointment?

I think however, the most significant thing about this particular childhood incident is the fact that whenever I replay events in my mind, I imagine that the hamster in question is clothed. I believe this has everything to do with how it reacted when it was going under sedation: it rose up on two legs, then sunk down into a very human-like sitting position – on it’s rump with it’s little back legs stuck out straight in front of it and it’s tail sticking up in the back. Its jaw dropped open in a dumbfounded sort of way, its tail drooping, before finally falling onto its back – hind legs in the air.

Despite how human and adorable my rodent patient, I had no trouble going through with the procedure. I followed every direction, did not get ‘grossed out’, and later I found the worms on the slide endlessly fascinating. I was remote, practical, professional and clinical. And I was still in primary school.

So fast forward some decades later to last summer, when I woke to find an amazingly horrific sight: my ancient rabbit (we suspect him to have been at least fourteen earth years in age), Killer, was in a condition so awful I can’t say here what it was. Let’s just say that it was so disgusting that when I FREAKED THE FUCK OUT and ran for help NO ONE BELIEVED ME. It was so unimaginably awful all I could keep saying was “Why is he still alive?”

This prompted the urgent and immediate necessity to put him out of his misery. And I, as the only person in the house not in cowardly denial, was the obvious one tasked to do it. So I tried and found that I couldn’t; I just couldn’t. I don’t know why exactly. It needed to be done, it was the merciful thing to do, and I knew this. I cried and I vomited and then I cried and vomited some more but I couldn’t do it. I even went so far as to try and poison him with prescription painkillers but (not surprisingly) he wouldn’t drink or eat anything. I didn’t know what to do.

I often wonder what happened to me between then and now – between hamster and bunny – that made me change. Especially when you consider how absolutely shitty life has been to me. I mean, why am I suddenly kinder and not a serial killer? Where did I go wrong? Why couldn’t that clinical, in control reserve that allowed me to cut into a hamster as a child help me now? I mean, I call it up more often then you’d think. So why, when I needed it the most did it fail me?

When bad shit happens I’m usually the only one in the room with their head on straight. Be it driving somewhere with Mum when lost, calling 911 when someone needs emergency care (and riding in the ambulance), taking everyone’s shit when someone dies – I’m the one who keeps everything together. And seeing as I have an awesome case of panic disorder, this is really saying something.

I keep finding myself wishing I could tap into that clinical 8-to-10-year-olds’ magical detachment. I think these days it would really help.

Ultimately BB put Killer down, and it’s been a few weeks since my last nightmare about it. But I can’t help but wonder and question, all the time, why I was so weak.

So…

I have to take vicodin more often. It makes me write the BEST blag posts ever. Really.

Yeah, so I’m on painkillers. WOOO! Or, if you’re me: woo.
I hate being on drugs. I don’t like feeling out of control of my brain – understandable, especially when you consider it’s all I’ve really got going for me.

Last Friday I spent in the ER at a not-so-local local hospital, and after a few hours of agony where they determined I was not in fact a drug-seeker, they gave me an intravenous cocktail of painkillers and antiemetics which was just… awful. Granted, it dropped my pain level from a 7 to a 5 and at one point a 4.

This is the World's Most Accurate Pain Chart. Possibly the ONLY accurate pain chart. It was created by Allie Brosh. (Please don't sue me.)

I borrowed this from Allie Brosh (please don’t sue me). It is the World’s Most Accurate Pain Chart. Possibly the ONLY accurate pain chart.

But it also did a few awesomely shite things like give me mushmouth and make me a bastion of profundity, dropping such gems as: “I hate my hair now. It’s not fair that my hair can’t be purple anymore.” (Tear slips down cheek).

When they put it in the IV, and then into me, it HURT. And I mean, it was like suddenly hot lead was being poured through my arm, across my shoulders, out my other arm and down through my head into my neck. It physically felt as though a great hot weight was suddenly forcing me down. And the taste in the back of my throat was awful.

After they sent me home I spent the night having crazy fucking vivid dreams and hallucinations. I literally could not tell awake from asleep, and I couldn’t do anything about it but ride it out. This resulted in my not taking ANYTHING for the crazy pain – that is nowhere near resolved – for the next few days. Not an unreasonable reaction under the circumstances.

Unfortunately I can’t keep up the pain side of things, and have succumbed to the prescription I was sent home with.
Right now I’m just trying to head the pain off at the pass until some better plan arises. I am taking the ‘conquering a migraine approach’.

So that’s been fun…

Baldness and Books

Will you still love me when I’m bald? ‘Cause that’s apparently where I’m heading. Since last year’s involuntary foray into vampirism (a.k.a. Bloodfest 2011!), I’ve been consistently losing my hair. And not in fun places like the waaay back, or the backey-back, if you will, but right in the front. My newest scary bald patch is at my left temple. Every time I try to somehow brush my hair around to straighten it out or make it presentable (and not so obviously gone) all I hear is Jo March’s annoying “She’s completely bald in front!” in my head. It’s frustrating, and no one is willing to do anything about it, all the doctors want to do is wait to see if alleviating the aenemia would help. But they are straightening that out, and the hair loss is not getting any better; if anything it’s getting worse.  This is leading me to believe that NOTHING can be done about it, and they are just dodging the issue.

Now is the part where my family points out how excellent I look in hats. Which I won’t deny, I look damn good in hats. But that’s not the point. I don’t want to be in hats because I’m bald, but because I’m frikkin awesome, and what’s more – I don’t want to be that bald fat girl. It sounds vain, but it’s not. It’s like a cruel last shot, the confirmation I’m going to be some lone loser unemployable, unlovable, living in some basement like fat Gollum for the rest of my life. So on my own I’m not too sure what I can do. All research seems to indicate that I’m totally fucked and keeps steering me towards snake oil remedies, chemical/pharmaceutical treatments that I can’t afford, and worse – hair pieces that I definitely can’t afford. On top of cost, when it comes to hair pieces (extensions and the like) and wigs, I am completely grossed out. I’m sorry, but I am really not comfortable with wearing someone else’s hair on my head and I don’t get why everyone else is okay with it.

This hair thing really bothers me. It bothers me that this is a society where your worth is so tied in to your appearance that billions of dollars are wasted a year on hair treatments while millions of people can’t afford food to eat. It bothers me that I care. It bothers me that I have to fight with my body at every turn over every little thing. It bothers me that this will keep me from getting further in life and getting away from this house and this ridiculous loneliness.

So if anyone has any suggestions as to how I can keep what’s left of my hair in my head and grow back what I’ve lost, they are SO very welcome.

Some plunder from a now defunct local bookstore.

In other news, I am trying to write up a quick rundown of the more noteworthy books I’ve read this year. As you may or may not know I’ve read 105 books thus far this year. I will post some of the better ones I’ve read here soon, it’s just I’m trying to write reviews and not sound like a pretentious asshole. Also, the laptop has been repaired, and I’ve written a whole ‘nother chapter of my book. So woo to me, I guess.

In a sad attempt to end with related witticism and levity, I’d like to end this post with a picture of a sexy kitten in a wig.
But I’m going to get permission to use the image before doing so.
So imagine it if you will: orange shorthair tabby, wavy pink wig. Now imagine: Orange shorthair tabby, straight black shoulderlength number with cropped fringe.

Discuss.

My BFF and Fat Death of the Endless (or How I Plan to Embarrass Myself This Hallowe’en)

I’m sorta erg, trying write a blog that isn’t whiney or annoying or what not. Then I fear I might be utterly incapable of being either, so I say fuck it, let’s roll.

The first weekend in October I have a Hallowe’en themed birthday party for my cousin Thomas’ big 0-6. Thomas is my BFF. We became BFFs one day during a visit a few years ago, when he said: “Boy, you’re really fat” to me, in his blunt way, and I came right back with “Yeah? Well you have a really big head.” (Which he does. Seriously. I’m an adult and his head size is waaaay bigger than mine.) He responded to this by looking at me thoughtfully and nodding his head as if to say “touché”.  Since then we’ve been like this [crosses fingers]. (A relationship built on a common respect for honesty.) My BFF is a unique individual. He was born 45, and is going through life as if he’s trying to learn how to be a little kid. Like he’s some sort of reverse Pinocchio who has suddenly realized that he’s a real boy after all and not made of wood. Even as a baby he was serious, scrupulous and completely OCD – and little has changed. Last year they asked me to try and talk him into liking the thought of going to school for the first time. He argued me at every point, and told everyone that he “feels that it really isn’t necessary.” He really talks like that.

My BFF also has the world’s worst allergies – all of them at once. Seriously. You name it he’s allergic to it. I’m surprised he doesn’t run on positrons like DATA (although I don’t think he can eat bananas). So he requested that I make “those awesome candy apples from that party with the disco ball” by which he means my brother’s ‘wedding’.  The wedding was last November and he’s been asking on a regular basis to have them at his birthday, so I must deliver. He is, after all, my BFF. (Plus I like that there is one thing he likes that I can make for him and he won’t die eating it.) So I am making about thirty of those. Which isn’t a problem. I’m good at making candy, it is fun and I don’t eat it, so there you go. I’ll probably make him a bunch of skull pops too.

The problem is that it’s a costume party, and as much as I love them, I also hate them because as a fatty I never get to be who I want to be. BB will be going as the prerequisite gorilla. Thunderball will be going as Princess Leia or a Sith, or both, or she’ll wear the extra gorilla suit (because every family has at least two gorilla suits, right?) and maybe change later into another costume. Last year I went marked up as though I had just witnessed The Silence. I kept a little pencil on me and continuously marked myself up throughout the party. Pretty much no one got it until my friend’s eight year old son saw me, pointed and said “Doctor Who”. Then I applauded his parentage.

This year I wanted to go as Henry Killinger, which I could probably pull off. But this summer was really shitty for me, and I was going to make the mask and slippers but had forgotten (not to mention I still have no access to my studio or supplies) so that’s out. I’ve always wanted to go as Death from Sandman, but I’m too fat, whatever. So you know, last night I’m having trouble managing the pain, walking around the house and trying to apply ice to my intestines (don’t be weird), when I say “fuck it”, go to the bathroom mirror, find my only makeup (a black pencil from LAST Hallowe’en) and do my face up in full Death goth glory. And you know what? I looked fukking awesome. So this year people, Death is gonna be a FATTY. I don’t care anymore. If someone has a problem or wants to post me as a joke on Twitter or shit go right ahead. It’s not my fault that Gaiman got her weight wrong in the novels…

This is Death of the Endless. Just undernourished.

And then next year I’m going as Slave Leia.
Okay, maybe not.

Flaming Green Tortillas (Or Taste the Clippings of My Rage)

My Kick Ass Pepper Plant. Weep at it’s Greenness Bitches!

 

Am having one of those days that started out with so much potential but has since disintegrated into some ball of doom that has settled in me even as it passes over the rest of Massachusetts (seriously, there is a doom cloud hovering over MA right now and making its way out to sea. This is nature people, I don’t have to make this shit up). Went to the diner for breakfast and then over to see Farmer Dave for some local produce and discount perennials. Then my insides exploded (as they do). Then I went into my garden to discover some of my squash are rotting on the vine even though they aren’t ripe yet. Then my insides exploded.

At one point I was told that BB and I had to do the grocery shopping, which I am loathe to do, but whatever. So I waited for him to get ready. Two and a half hours later, I’m feeling worse and worse, only now I’m livid as BB has apparently blown me off. I realize that now I am a festering ball of rage in a body that is slowly creeping south, and I’d better find some way to displace my wrath. Because, by gum, my wrath is a force to be reckoned with.
I turn my attention to a plot of overgrown weeds that is growing up over the windows in our front room and my bedroom. I come at them with a giant set of broken clippers and I just hack until behind me lies a swath of destruction of impressive proportion. When the damage is done I straighten up, take a breath and notice that BB is standing there with Cobble (our daft, ancient, giant greyhound) watching. It seems he is now ready to go. I on the other hand am covered in nature: trees, debris, dirt, bugs and bird poop. I turn to look at him and suddenly he is suggesting I stay behind whilst he toils at the grocery alone.

On one hand, not participating in the shopping is great. I hate shopping. I’m a fatty, so being near food, clothing stores or Wal-Mart type establishments is just a wall of ridicule for me. You have no idea how judged I get shopping for food, even when I’m only shopping for myself (am a healthy vegetarian. People see my basket and like to ask what diet I’m on. I’m not on a special diet, asshole, this is what I eat. Yes, even vegetarians can be fatties. ) On the other hand, if I don’t go, I’ll probably have guilt laid on thick by BB and get crap for it over the rest of the evening. This is how it rolls in my house.
I ended up staying, feeling dreadful (my hands are purple and swollen now from the minor rage induced toiling), and showering. I emerged shortly after seven to fix myself something to eat, only to nearly catch the kitchen on fire. Alas, no din dins for fatty. (Although, now am inspired to make some art entirely composed of flaming green tortillas.)
Luckily for me my personal cyborg was online and made me happy by making me think of cocktail parties for donkeys. Seriously. I have the best friends.

Wow. I am such a downer. I hope this doesn’t put you off my blog, oh followers I don’t have. I’ll try to be more witty and entertaining tomorrow…

When I will probably extol the glories of my failing but not failing garden.
P.S. Donkey cocktail parties exist. They aren’t called donkeys there though, the invitations are for V.S.E.s (Very Small Equines). Honest. You can’t make this stuff up.