Friday, December 31, 2010

Out With the Old, In With the New

2010 was an awesome year for me. It came with some challenges and I met them well. I beat even my best expectations for myself and then made some new ones that are going even better. Here is a brief recap of the last 365 days:

In January, I hired and trained my replacement at University of the Pacific. It was heart-breaking to say goodbye to all my friends and co-workers I had met over the previous 5 years, but I felt the most awesome opportunities lay ahead of me in Arizona where my husband had started working at his dream job.

In February, I made the final trek to our new home in Tucson, AZ. Though I was excited about the changes, I was scared. Would I be successful? Would I survive away from the friends and family I had been with for the last 10 years? Time would tell.

Once in Tucson, I wanted to make sure to continue my journey to better health and happiness. To do so, I joined a gym and got a new personal trainer since I had to leave my my favorite trainers behind in Stockton (Lance and Denny with CBPT).
Once everything was finally situated in Tucson, I signed up to get back to the school books! I finally have the chance to focus 100% on school and get this teaching degree DONE!

I started school and found I loved the program at University of Phoenix. Admittedly, I don't always like the fact I have to work in teams, but I at least understand the concept behind it. After moving to a bigger apartment, I finally started meeting some people who would turn out to be great friends. Seeing as making friends was one of my biggest concerns, this was a huge feat for me.

As time would go on, I would learn more of the city, learn more things to do, get involved in my community through volunteer work, meet wonderful people who offered superb opportunities, make great friends, and learn I am a much stronger person than I gave myself credit for. Even as my health issues have piled up in the last month or two, I am still holding strong with the support of those around me who love me.

To each and every one of you who had supported me at one time or another, thank you. It is because of you that I am who I am today and I can accomplish my dreams.

And what exactly are my dreams for 2011? To buy a house, to start a family, to get my rheumatoid arthritis back under control, and to blog more! But above all those dreams, I truly only have two New Year's Resolutions: Make time for what makes me happiest and say goodbye to the things that don't. May 2011 be my happiest year yet. :)



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Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Brothers Mario

All I have to say is I totally wanna see this movie!



 


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Little Christmas Spirit

Whether you are Christian or not, I believe everyone can appreciate the sentiment of love, family, friends, and good nature that is supposed to come with Christmas.  For this reason, I offer you a little Christmas spirit with a video of a very talented person playing wine glasses.







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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

On To a Better Day...And Maybe a Better Title??

It is always a challenge when things don't go quite right and external factors affect your best laid plans.  It is even more difficult when the unfortunate events involve emotions that can damage friendships you thought were strong, and make you question things you thought you knew about yourself. 

The last few days have been a time of learning for me.  If you know anything about me at all, you should know how I hate, hate, HATE drama.  You should also know how I try to avoid conflict like the plague.  Yes, I am one of those people who prefers to stick their head in the sand and wait for it to go away rather than deal with a problem head on.  You can now imagine why I had so many problems with relationships in the past. 

So when a conflict began to develop between a group I am part of, my automated response is pretend nothing is wrong.  Maybe say a couple things that wouldn't ruffle too many feathers, gloss over the situation til we get over this hump, and hope for the best going forward.  Unfortunately, this just caused things to steam, simmer, boil, then basically explode.  Way to go Alicia.  Your method of dealing with conflict is soooooooooo effective.  

Then, because of my conflict adverse nature, all the pressure was put on a good friend to solve everything.  I felt horribly bad about it, still do, because she has her own crap to deal with.  I know I should have a better backbone than I do, but unless it is through typed words, I just plain suck at dealing with confrontation.  On paper or through email, I kick ass at it.  In person or on the phone, I fold like a piece of tin foil.  Lesson one:  Just how bad I am at conflict resolution in person. 

Another thing you should know about me - stress is a HUGE bipolar trigger for me.  This whole situation caused an incredible amount of emotional stress on me.  On top of that, it is winter, my worst season of the bipolar year.  Add the drama to the winter blues I have been fighting and it results in an emotionally unstable Alicia.  I should have put up a sign on my door that says "CAUTION:  Unstable environment.  Downpours of tears and floods may occur."  This may have prevented my neighbor from getting cranky, irritated looks from me yesterday, and it may have prevented another friend from being caught off guard with tears.  Follow that with my hubby being pulled over for a registration issue that was supposed to be taken care of...yea...complete meltdown.  Lesson two:  My mask doesn't work as well when I am being overwhelmed with multiple things going wrong at once.

But then I found comfort in an unexpected place.  When I went to apologize for blubbering all over my friend, I was instead reassured I had no reason to apologize.  Life was just throwing crap at me like it does to everyone occasionally and I was just doing the best I could to deal with it.  After a long talk and a few more  tears, I was more comfortable with the situation.  I was reminded of something that I know in my head but frequently forget - if these friendships are supposed to last, we will make it through this rough patch.  If they aren't meant to last, I need to accept it and move forward because there are others out there I am missing out on by dwelling on things I can't control anymore.  Either way, there is nothing I can do at this moment.  Only time will tell.   Lesson three:  I have some really awesome people in my life.   Lesson four:  I have a really, really crappy memory...or maybe that should be Reminder One for my next post?

The important part of this though, I will survive and today is a new day...and so far, a better day too! 


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Friday, December 3, 2010

Just Cruisin' Under the Surface

When I first started this blog, I had intended to share all the funny and amusing things that I come across in my life as well as promote the understanding of bipolar disorder.  The strange part is that I never seem to remember I have a blog at those points in time.  Instead, I post about being thankful for the wonderful things in life, regular events, and my various feelings and moods.  In a way, this blog has become more of a personal journal than the amusement I had planning.  Is this such a bad thing?  I don't think so.  See, this is still serving my original purpose.  I have bipolar disorder and I want to promote understanding of it.  By posting here, you get a very small glimpse into the thought processes of this bipolar mind.  Don't you feel special? 

The challenge now is spreading understanding of what is going on with me to those I interact with every day in my life.  Many of the people I spend time with here in Tucson met me when I was in a bit of a mania.  They are used to the fun, smiley, energetic, flirty, party girl.  We would go out to the bar and drink and dance and have a good old time or play poker or any number of other things.  Now I am hanging out in the slightly depressed area.  Not badly depressed, just a little bit -- like a 2 or 3 out of 10 (with 10 as the worst) -- just enough to make it so I don't want to go out and when I do, that I don't get quite as much enjoyment out of things that I normally would.  But that is the bipolar roller coaster ride and they will have to learn to love both parts of me...that is if I can take off the mask of everything is fine and stop making excuses for why I can't do something...

*hint: I'm really not as busy as I make myself out to be...

So, can you love both parts of me?


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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yea baby, that pie-laden butt is SEXY!

It's that day of the year where U.S. Americans around the world gather together to give thanks for all they have and all they will have in the future.  Since the first of November, I have been posting something I am thankful for nearly every day on Facebook, and then a new friend posted a comment that caught my attention. 

"Today is about being thankful for what you have the ability to offer others as well.  Not just what you've received.  Appreciate yourself and how you effect the lives of people around you..." 

Suddenly I realized something had been missing the last 25 days.  Now I try hard to remember that, despite popular belief, the world does NOT revolve around me.  *shocking gasp*  I know, I know.  It is hard to believe, but it is true.  So the last 3 1/2 weeks I have been giving thanks for all the great things in my life, which is very important, but I have forgotten about how we give back.  I have forgotten how thankful I am that I can support friends when shit hits the fan, that I can help classmates understand class material, that I get to teach a sweet little boy about the big, beautiful world, that I am able to volunteer for a wonderful organization through Goodwill and provide mentoring to troubled teens, and most of all, I am able to support my friends and family in all their endeavors. Kinda strange how that sounds like it is all about me still.  *snickers*

So as you sit at your desk, laptop, phone, iPad, or other electronic device digesting the poultry you have recently gobbled *snort*, remember, you make someone else's life better and special.  Now think about the mess in the kitchen that someone has to clean up and get up off your overstuffed, pie laden butt and offer a hand.  Because it will give someone one more reason to be thankful. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you,  my fantastic readers who make my life better and special.  ;)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nice To Meet You

In many ways, I consider myself truly blessed.  I have a wonderful family, a secure and comfortable life, reasonably good health despite some aches and pains, an incredibly flexible and fulfilling job, and friends who truly love me.  But now the holidays are approaching and while this is my absolutely favorite time of year and I simply cannot wait to celebrate, I. Am. Freaking Out. 

Holidays are a time for smiles and hugs, greetings and celebrations, fun and laughter, games and cheer.  Trust me, I will have all of those.  It is the part leading up to it that gets my undies in a bunch, especially this year. 

See, my mother-in-law is arriving tonight.  8:30pm.  And she will be here through Thanksgiving. 

Maybe I should rephrase that.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my mom-in-law.  We get along great and she is one of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet, but she has never been to my home before.  The first time I met her, was at her home in Canada.  Her turf.  The second time I saw her for an extended period was when we visited her in Hong Kong for two weeks.  Again, her turf.  On her turf, the only thing I have to worry about is me and my actions/appearance.  But now, this is going to be at my home...on my turf. 

This, in theory, should actually make things more comfortable for me, right?   Oh hell no.  If anything, it makes it more stressful because now it isn't just about me.  It is now my home, my food, my habits, my animals, etc.  Now it is my entire life, and though I know better...really I do...I feel like everything I am is now under scrutiny.  Did I scrub that toilet well enough?  Do I have the food she likes to eat?  Do I have enough entertainment things for her?  Will she think I corrupted her son somehow?  What if she doesn't like our pets?   Is our home too cluttered?  And because I can always find one more thing to stress about, the dishwasher is now broken.  Have I mentioned I hate washing dishes by hand?  

And that doesn't even touch on all the possible mishaps for Thanksgiving dinner that I have running through my head.

So yea, in all honesty, she will probably just be thrilled to see her son again for the first time in over a year (hard to visit when she lives on the other side of the world), but this is who I am.  I am Alicia and my middle name is Worry. Nice to meet you.


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Friday, November 12, 2010

And Then He Makes Me Smile

While debating a particularly difficult choice, what kind of pizza to order, I look to my husband for help.  This is what I get. 

Me:  I'm stuck in indecision honey.

Derek:  And then, silently, amber liquid seeped slowly into the room. It slid under door cracks, through the air ducts - no crevice, however small, did not ooze the liquid. By the time the unsuspecting Alicia noticed and tried to decide how to escape, it was too late. She was paralyzed by the indecision honey - and despite the door just a few feet away, she could not use it. No, she COULD use it, if she could just decide to do so.

 My life is anything but boring with him around.  :)


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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cherish every day

Some people come quietly into our lives and leave just as quietly, leaving little memory of them behind.  There are no strong emotions and no teary goodbyes.  Some people enter and change you more dramatically.  They leave or heal a scar, and you know you will remember their presence forever, but there is only a slight sadness or relief when they move on.  Then there are those who not only enter our lives, but they enter our hearts.  Attachments are formed, traditions, and love.  They become family.  Shit hits the fan in your life or theirs, and the other comes running to help clean up the mess. 

And then the day comes where the shit can't be cleaned off the walls anymore.  The broken pieces can no longer be put back together.  But you will try.  Your family will run to their family and you will scrub and scrape like mad because life stinks sometimes and you hate the smell, but it remains.

A brother to my father.  A second father to my brother.  Family to us all.  We may not be blood, but our two families are forever entwined.  How do you stop scraping long enough to enjoy the short time you have left with them?  How do you ignore the stink long enough to smile, laugh, and be thankful for the time you had with them?  Now, how do you do this from 1200 miles away?

Stage 4. 

6 months.

May the Lord bless us all and give our families comfort and joy.


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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

For my Oma

For my Oma, Ingeborg,

Two years ago today, I had to say good-bye to my grandmother, my Oma.  For those of you who have never heard me speak of her before, Oma is German for grandma.

When we were young, she took care of my brother and I when we were too sick to go to school.  She often took us to our baseball and softball events after school.  During the summer, we would spend a lot of time at her house.  I met wonderful friends through her and swam in the neighbor's pool.  My first time riding the "light rail" was with her, as well as my first time on a bus that broke down.  A boy in her neighborhood gave me my first kiss, and oh did that cause problems.  Hehe.  My brother and I would make forts out of blankets, chairs, and other furniture throughout her house.  This was all before we moved to Texas for high school.

When we returned to California after high school, older, and supposedly wiser, I lived with her for a short time.  I broke her heart for a bit when I moved out.  I didn't spend as much time with her as I should have.  It was inconvenient and visiting with her was so boring.  She always wanted to pry into my life and know all the little details and it drove me crazy.  I don't blame her.  It isn't like I made an effort to tell her much.  I didn't see or understand how much pleasure she got out of just having us stop by to say "hi."

Then I grew up a bit more and I moved an hour away.  Suddenly, it wasn't such an inconvenience to see her when I was in town.  I began to notice how she enjoyed just the little things my brother and I did.  We would go to her house and eat this horrible little microwave pizzas she would keep in the freezer because she thought we loved them.  We weren't particularly fond of them, but it made her happy.

In the last few years, we made it a point to take her out to eat because we couldn't be sure she was eating enough at home.  Leatherby's.  Crab sandwiches and chocolate shakes.  Macaroni grill.  Grilled salmon and asparagus.  Oh how that woman loved her salmon.  Strings.  Italian deliciousness.  And of course, champagne brunch...with wasabi...a story for another time.

But all things must come to an end.  She lost some weight...and then she lost some more weight.  Then she stopped traveling and we knew something was up.  She lost more weight, and ended up in the hospital.  She came out of the hospital just to go right back in a short time later.  Then we got the news she wouldn't be with us much longer.  We took shifts, my parents, my brother and I.   We all had work and my brother and I had school on top of it.  My job was so kind.  I took almost a week off work with no hassles.

She was unconscious.  Infection raged through her system.  I sat with her and watched football while doing homework, talking to her about school and my husband who sat with me most of the time too.  At first we switched off, taking turns to go home and sleep.  The last couple days, I refused to leave.  I didn't want to miss "it."  Sometimes I wish I had.

And `then she started to move.  My mom and husband were with me.  We thought she might be in pain, but the nurse just told us it was close.  We called in dad and my brother.  We tried not to cry.  We didn't want her to worry about us.  We held her hands as she took her last breath.  The nurse checked her heart and told us she was gone...and then the tears came.

We were sad to see her go, but we were glad she was happier now that she could be with Opa again.  I was sad she couldn't stay to see her future grandchildren, but I am glad she got to meet my wonderful husband.  We are sad she doesn't get to join us at the holidays anymore, but she left us with wonderful memories of fighting over the thermostat.  I am sad she isn't here to see what I am doing with my life, but I know she would be proud of who I am today.

Oma, I love you and I hope you are resting in peace with Opa at your side and I know I will see you again one day.

Love always, your granddaughter,
Alicia


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Thursday, November 4, 2010

You're an addict

We have all heard of drug addicts and alcohol addicts.  You can be addicted to caffeine, cigarettes, and even sugar.  More recently we have heard of addictions like tanning, plastic surgery, adrenaline rushes, and even running.

Well apparently there is one more thing we can be addicted to now:  Carbohydrates.

Now I know what you are thinking - Duh.  The shock is not in the fact you can be addicted to carbs because frankly, you can be addicted to ANYTHING.  The part that threw me off guard is it is now an official condition...
Meaning you can be diagnosed with it...
And treated for it...
They have a freaking medication for it...

Meaning, naturally, I was just diagnosed with it yesterday.

Screw medication or Carb-a-holics Anonymous.

I <3 my addiction.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The higher they fly...

...the faster they fall.  The same is true for the distance they fall, and I am falling pretty fast without knowing where I will stop. 

A couple weeks ago I posted about my fun little roller coaster ride of bipolar hypo-mania.  Well, that was the upside of the coaster, and now I am on the down-side.  The problem is I don't know how my "new" friends here in Tucson will take it.  I am blessed to have true friends who love and care for me all over the country.  No matter what stupid ass thing I do, I know you will always be there, waiting to help me pick my stupid ass up off the ground.  Luckily, I also feel like I have built some great relationships with some people here, but much of them were forged in "happy, happy, joy, joy, everything is freaking awesome and perfect and I can rule the world" Alicia.  Now "I am sad and pathetic and not worth anyone's time and everyone is only friends with  me cause they pity me and FML" Alicia has emerged.  As you can imagine, the first version is a lot easier to be friends with than the second version.  So what is the first thing I do when the latter Alicia comes around?  I push people away naturally!  Makes complete sense, right?  DUH!  Sigh.

So now these "new" friends are hearing go away, leave me alone, I'm not interested and even as I say this stuff, I think in my head, WTF are you doing Alicia?  It's like word vomit - an uncontrollable spewing of words despite what the speaker actually wants to say.  Word vomit is inevitably followed by seclusion because you can't believe what you just did and you can't take it back because then you just look fickle and indecisive or like you are playing games with people.  Then I come here to spew word vomit all over my blog because it is the only place I seem to be able to speak even semi-coherently.  Don't you feel special?  You should, after all, I am actually helping you.  See, I screw shit up so you know what NOT to do.  I sacrifice for you, my blessed reader.   

Now, what is the lesson here class?  I hope you know because I'm not really sure.  I just wonder whether these people know me well enough in such a short time to take what I say with a grain of salt while I am down, or if these newly formed relationships can survive the crap I am bound to put them through as I try to dig my way out of this darkness.


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Friday, October 15, 2010

Twitter...The New Police Tool

Ok, so I knew that Twitter could be really super awesome if I ever had the time to spend on it.  Hell, all I have to do is follow @TheBloggess and I am guaranteed to know all the important events I need to be aware of like the recent Zombie Apocalypse #za  or when it is time to be #furiouslyhappy.  But apparently Twitter has outdone itself in Europe. 


http://thenextweb.com/uk/2010/10/14/police-force-tweets-emergency-calls-scores-twitter-hit/

For those of you who don't want to click the link (lazy asses):


A UK police force has scored a major hit today by tweeting every single 999 emergency call it receives over a 24-hour period.  Greater Manchester Police‘s move has seen an overwhelming response among UK Twitter users today as over one hundred tweets per hour are published, reporting everything from real emergencies like thefts and potential accidents to non-emergencies like Threatening messages on Facebook and a man asleep on a toilet in a theatre.

Why is the force doing this? As Inside the M60 reports today, GMP is currently faced with having to make budget cuts of up to £7 million. Chief Constable Peter Fahy has opted to use social media to show how much work the police has to deal with and how cuts stretch resources, saying a lot of police work “is not recognised in league tables and measurements – yet is a huge part of what we do.”

The tweets, spread out over three accounts in order to get around Twitter’s API limits on account usage (even on its own website), have captured the public’s imagination with two spoof accounts being set up. This one is arguably producing the most humorous results, which the other was reprimanded by the police for using their official crest logo. That said, sometimes real life is funnier than parody. See this example: “Call 384 report of man holding baby over bridge – police immediately attended and it was man carrying dog that doesn’t like bridges”.

Meanwhile, we hear that open data enthusiasts are already working on code to analyse data from the calls. It’s fair to say that social media agency Gabba has hit on something with this seemingly simple campaign. The public has got to see the sheer range of calls, some appropriate, some not, that the police has to deal with, generating lots of word-of-mouth discussion and media coverage. Whether it will have any lasting effect beyond public awareness of stretched police resources remains to be seen, but it’s still a bold move that’s paid off.

You can follow Greater Manchester Police’s tweets at their three accounts here, here and here or via the hashtag #gmp24 The ‘experiment’ ends at 5am on 15 October, British Summer Time.

Oh.  Hell.  Yes!


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

Was there really any doubt?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Where have I been?

Riding a nice high, that's where.  I've been on the upswing of this bipolar roller coaster and honestly, I have enjoyed every minute of it.  For those intimately familiar with bipolar mania, no, not that high.  I have been skirting along somewhere toward the upper end of hypo-mania.  For those not so intimately familiar with bipolar mania (or hypomania), let me attempt to explain.

Mania is a condition of extreme euphoria.  As I understand it, and I am no doctor, everything is in excess and often puts yourself at risk physically, financially, legally, etc.  Sometimes it presents with psychosis, where reality and fiction get blurred (ie. you may think you can fly or you are super strong and can stop a moving vehicle).  Frequently a manic episode ends with inpatient hospitalization for someone "acting crazy" according to some layperson in the victim's life.  I say victim because the patient is a victim to their own chemistry.  Some more familiar cases of mania include sober, naked people running down the street, people attacking random strangers, and someone jumping in front of a subway train in New York.  I have never experienced a true mania...that I know of.  I quantify that because mania is also accompanied with memory loss occasionally and well, if you know me, I already have a shitty memory.

Hypomania is a lesser form of mania.  Hypo = less than.  Connect the dots.  You still have an overwhelming sense of happiness and euphoria and do things in excess, but typically the risks you take are much more mild.  Usually your life is not threatened and there is definitely no psychosis and you are fully aware of your actions.  For example, you don't sleep for days on end, you spend hundreds of dollars on a drop of a hat though you know you shouldn't, you go through multiple sexual partners in a week or even a night.  All these things carry risks, but not as immediately threatening as mania.  The bad part is hypomania can very easily turn to mania and the victim/patient has no idea.

My last four weeks or so have been full of sleepless, drunken nights, spending sprees, irrational thinking, etc.  The only good part is I recognized it a week or two in and I limited the possible damage by handing over my debit and credit cards and cash to my husband.  I essentially have an allowance until I level out.  Then it all came to a screeching halt four days ago with this damn, God-awful flu.  UGH!  Knocked me on my ass enough to get me to go see the shrink.  No more anti-depressant for me!  Duh.  Bye bye Zoloft.  But now that the flu is subsiding and I am recovering (praise the Lord!), it remains to be seen if the hypomania has passed, or if we are going to have some more fun!  ;)  It's been 10 years since I had a good upswing.  In a way, I figure if I am smart about it and I keep myself limited in the damage I can cause (and my hubby has the shrink's number), then why can't I live for a little bit like the college kid I never got to be?  I like bars...and I like dancing on them....



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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget

In the words of a relative "9 years ago today American's were humbled. We had our innocence, arrogance, invincibility, naivety, security stripped from us but most filled the void with faith and pride. All Americans came together....something we desperately need to do again."

I know every blogger out there will be posting a similar blog posting today, but you know what?  I don't care.  I don't write this post to follow the crowd and I don't avoid writing this to be different.  I write this because my life was changed 9 years ago.  All our lives were changed 9 years ago.  I write this for all the people who died that day, but I also write this for everyone who has died before and after that day at the hands of hate.  


When it happened, I was driving to work. The radio station cut off the song it was playing and the DJ came on and said a plane crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. They didn't know if it was an accident or not yet.

As I pulled into the parking lot at work, a co-worker was there crying. Another plane hit the second tower. Not an accident.  Someone was attacking us, our nation, our values, our soul.

We sat at work watching the news, comforting each other. We sat in shock when we learned of the Pentagon. We panicked together when we heard a hijacked plane was headed for Dallas, then breathed deeply when it was corrected to Dulles, for though we knew we were safe, we had fear for those who weren't.


I joined two dear friends that afternoon.  We tried to function normally, going to the grocery store, making meals, but it was all a facade.  We watched the towers fall together. We watched the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field burn.  We mourned together, and then we stood strong together.  Our nation stood strong together. 

And then we started to forget...


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Friday, September 10, 2010

Nothing's right. I'm torn.

A couple weeks ago, I got great news.  Someone who has traveled the TTC path with me found out she was pregnant.  She had been pregnant before, but sadly it ended in miscarriage, so I was very excited to hear when she got pregnant again.  With the wonderful news though, there is always the worry that "it" will happen again.  Yesterday, I found "it" did.  It broke my heart to read the message.  Tears came to my eyes and I wished with all my might I could be there to hug her and reassure her that she would get through this. 

See, I love this group of TTC girls like they were my own sisters because we all get it.  Simply put, infertility sucks.  Miscarriages suck.  Having to take drugs and hormones to try to get pregnant and then have it not work sucks.  Yet, after the initial sadness of her heart-breaking news, I found myself thinking about my situation and I pondered a single question...

Would I rather go through the pain of never being able to conceive in the first place, or would I rather go through the joy of even just a few days with a life inside me, only to lose it a short time later?

My conclusion - they both suck giant monkey balls.


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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's definitely you, not me.

Of all the things that come rolling through Facebook that are opinionated and possibly controversial, one of them really gets me riled up.  How often do I talk about politics?  Not often.  I don't like arguing politics with anyone because far too many people are ignorant of the events and base their opinions solely on media coverage which is undoubtedly biased (Sorry Fox, "fair and balanced" my ass).  Every now and then, something really strikes a nerve with me that causes me to throw caution to the wind and speak up despite whatever ignorant flak I might catch.

Today and tomorrow (or whenever I get my next post out), it is all about Muslims.  Several weeks ago, this whole thing blipped onto my radar with posts and groups against a particular mosque being built in New York: 

"If you think that putting up a mosque 600 ft. from ground zero and have the inauguration, on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2011, is immoral, inhuman and a complete lack of respect for the memories, of all that perished there, on that day and their survivors. That politicians are...doing a grave injustice to the fallen heroes, their families and all the people of New York City and America, THEN PLEASE COPY AND REPOST." 


Seriously?!?!  Are you freaking kidding me?  This post being spread around is full of misinformation and an elitist, better than thou attitude.  First of all, by saying 600 ft, whoever started the post intends to make it sound like this place is practically being built on Ground Zero itself, which is not true.  This "600 ft" actually equates to nearly 2 1/2 full blocks away from the outer most edge of the World Trade Center site.  Close, yes, but not the shock and awe close that was intended.  Second, this proposed project is not just a mosque.  Yes, a mosque will be included, but the plan also includes a community center with both Islamic and interfaith programming, a performing arts center, a gym, and a swimming pool.  This complex is to be very similar to one already built on the upper east side of Manhattan.  


Finally, there is just the attitude behind these posts that lights my fire.  If this was a proposed Catholic or Mormon church, no one would be claiming it was "immoral, inhuman" and disrespectful.  So why is this claimed of the Muslim religion?  Last time I checked,  terrorists do not include each and every person of the Muslim community.  In fact, many terrorists have been varying branches of Christianity or Atheist.  One cannot group the entire Muslim community into the terror category. Yes, there are some Muslims that are terrorists, but there are also Christians that are terrorists, Jews,... etc.

Beyond that, innocent Muslims died in those buildings too. No one ever thinks of that. If they want to build a mosque there, I say go right ahead.
  I honestly do not have a problem with it. For all anyone knows, they could be doing this to remember their own fallen family members who were innocent victims as well. Perhaps they are trying to build better interfaith relationships.  Just because a person or group of people make a choice that would be different from what you make or prefer does not give you the right to criticize and accuse. That makes us no different than those who are out to kill us and bring us down. Try seeing things from another point of view.

As for the supposed opening day on 9/11/11, the construction hasn't even freaking begun yet.  If you have any experience with construction, you know that it never goes to plan and it never ends on time.  But even if it did and they did have an inauguration on 9/11, yea, it might make some people uncomfortable, but it is far from immoral and inhumane. Again, for all we know, they could be holding it on 9/11 to remember their own people who fell in those towers. Again, no one ever thought of that, did they?  Let's all just assume that everything any Muslim does is for evil purposes.  Yea, that will fix things.  



So here is the deal.  When you see these things, instead of allowing yourself to have a knee-jerk response and forwarding posts that only promote more intolerance and hate, try to look at it from another angle and try to verify some of the facts.  I don't want to have to break up with you.  It's not me, it's you.


Some sources to explore: 

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2011400,00.html


http://articles.cnn.com/2010-07-14/us/new.york.ground.zero.mosque_1_landmark-status-landmark-preservation-commission-mosque?_s=PM:US 

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2010/08 /mosque_near_ground_zero_its_about_the_community_stupid.html 

http://www.minnpost.com/worldcsm/2010/09/07/21191/muslims_tread_carefully_around_proposed_mosque_near_ground_zero 


Monday, September 6, 2010

What is Friendship?

So I recently moved to Tucson, AZ from California and by recently I mean about 7 months ago.   The transition has been challenging to say the least but the overall experience has been good.  I feel healthier and happier than I have in more than a decade.  I can move freely with little to no pain from my rheumatoid arthritis, my allergies are manageable, and I have no recurring bouts of kidney stones, ovarian cysts, sinus infections, etc, etc.  I no longer have to work full-time, though I choose to work part time and go to school to keep my mind active and thinking.  I am getting to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher and I am finding the path more rewarding every day.  Yet there is something still plaguing me.

Friendship.  When I left California, though I did not have many friends (I can count them on one hand), I left behind the best friends that have ever entered my life (well technically, one left me first *ahem* Missy *cough*).  They taught me how to laugh and live again after my divorce.  They taught me what it truly means to be alive and the value of life and love.  I could count on them for anything.  Day or night, if I needed them, they were there.  Now I am almost 1,000 miles away from them and while they are still there for me by phone and email and I love them dearly, it just isn't the same.  They will always remain my family, but I can't just get up and go say hi to them when I feel like it. 

To fill that lack of human connection, I actively started trying to meet people here in Tucson.  There are several people who I like to think will become good friends, but as some of the relationships build, I find myself asking "What is friendship"?  To me, friendship is calling or texting each other on the phone just to say hi, popping by to see what is new in each other's lives, and asking for and offering help to one another.  A friend is someone you can ask for an onion and not feel uncomfortable about it because you know they will ask for a potato later.  A friend is someone who will gladly take you in when you just don't feel like being alone.  A friend is someone you miss if you haven't seen or talked to them in several days.  A friend is someone who will give you a ride someplace because you have no way to comfortably get there.

So tell me then, you who I consider a friend (you know who you are, though I won't call you out by name because that is just rude and something a friend would NOT do), why won't you let me help you?  Ever?  Why do you find it surprising when I miss you?  Why do you find it strange that I want to take care of you when you don't feel well?  I like to think of us as friends, but perhaps you don't?  Should I even try?  Should I just give up on this friendship?  I really don't want to. 

So can you tell me what friendship is to you?


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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Yea, I'm behind. Deal with it.

I would say that the last two weeks have been crazy busy, but if you are on my Facebook, you know I have posted "I'm bored" far too many times to rightfully claim the Busy Lady title.  Instead, I will go with limbo.  I have been in limbo the last couple weeks.  I am caught in this weird oscillation between feeling good and being kinda down, but not really depressed. 

More like I feel alone - alone in this big city and no one to really hang out with on a regular basis.  Yes, I have been meeting people and spending time with them, getting to know them, but it isn't anything regular.  You see, I have this problem.  I am not an outgoing person.  I have a really, really hard time going to someone's house, knocking on the door, uninvited, and saying "HEY!  Wanna hang out?"  I have a hard time calling someone up who I am not really close to and saying "HEY! Wanna go do something?"  That's not who I am.  I fear the rejection.  I fear the person thinking I am too pushy or rude.  I fear the person thinking I am too clingy or needy.  I let what other people think of me matter far too much.  Or rather, I let what I think other people think of me matter too much. 

And that doesn't even start to touch on my speaking issue.  My brain always seems to move far too slow when it counts so 10 minutes later I think "that's what I should have said!"  Or I will plan out this whole conversation, then I knock on the door or get to the restaurant where we are meeting and POOF!  Everything is gone out of my head and I am officially idiot material.  Welcome to my world. 

A friend who I have known for years online, but only met once in person and talked a couple times on the phone asked me, "How can you not make friends?  You are so cute!"  Well, I guess even if I am cute, I don't have the smile or personality that says "Talk to me because I don't know how to start a conversation and keep it going!"  On the internet though, through email, IM, chat, blog, Facebook, and all those other online modes of communication, I freakin rock!  Maybe it is because I can delete something before putting it out there.  You can't really delete words that are already spoken aloud.  Maybe because I have more time to think before responding.  A quick wit is highly valued in spoken conversations and I just get too nervous with newer relationships to think wittily.  Too busy with the "what ifs." 

So yea, if you are a newer friend and you happen to read my blog, there's the deal.  There is my downfall.  So do a new friend a good deed and invite me out, cause I'm too chicken-shit to ask.

Who's idea what this whole "humans being social creatures" thing anyway?  They are so fired.


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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Have you see my mask today?

Depression.  Those who have had it understand its pain and frustration.  Those who haven't can only imagine what it must be like.  They wonder what we mean by "pain"?  How can depression be painful?  And really all we can tell them is "It just is." 

It isn't your normal kind of pain like if you burn yourself on the stove or you smash your thumb with a hammer.  No.  This is an internal pain.  Sometimes it is like someone is twisting your insides around, your blood is burning, or you feel like you have to vomit, and other times, it's just a generalized pain that you can't even begin to describe.  To top things off, rarely is there a good reason to be down.  Often it just happens out of the blue.  Heaven forbid you should actually be sick when the depression hits because it makes it spiral down even faster. 

And then we have the public.  Our friends.  Our family.  Our coworkers and clients.  Too often we can't afford to be down and we certainly can't let anyone know.  We develop masks -- masks to hide the pain.  We plaster a smile on our face and pretend everything is okay.  We laugh when we are supposed to and we function as best we can.  We hide in bathrooms when it gets too overwhelming and fake a migraine when we just can't recover anymore and need to hide in our room.  And on the few occasions when we just have to be in public and we don't have the energy or perseverance in us to maintain that mask showing "everything is just fine," someone inevitably asks what's wrong and we simply say we don't feel well.  We have a stomach ache or we ate a bad lunch. 

No one ever bothers to inquire deeper than that.  We don't want them to.  This is why we choose our excuses so carefully.  We have an arsenal full of them.  You will never know them all and we come up with acceptable new ones every day.  All you can hope for is that one day, you will know us well enough that we will trust you not to cause more hurt if we take our mask off in front of you.  And if that day comes, we hope you will be empathetic enough to hold us when we cry.


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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm all by myself

Today is Wednesday, August 4.  The day my husband leaves me for his first out-of-town work thing for his job.  It is a weird feeling.  Usually it is me that is doing the traveling.  See, for 4 1/2 years, I worked for a university where I traveled 5 times a year.  Granted, they were only overnight trips, but they were still out-of-town.  On top of that, if we aren't traveling together, it is usually me traveling to see my parents or friends.  I usually plan these trips to be too long and end up missing my husband terribly by the end of it.  But since I finally got to join my husband in February after two months apart (a story for another time), we have only been apart twice and that was to help/visit family. 

Now my husband is leaving me for 4 days and I feel pathetic that I already feel lost without him.  Usually, he comes home from work and we catch up on the day, have dinner together, play a game or two, then I do homework.  Even on nights when I have school, I get home, we catch up on the day, and have a snack together before bed.  I get to sleep next to him at night and get fabulous cuddles, and I get to wake up to his cuddles in the morning.  For the next 4 days, I will get none of that.  He may have time to call me to catch up on the day, but that is not guaranteed.  No cuddles.  No dinner together.  And at least until tomorrow night, the house will be horribly or blessedly quiet (I haven't decided which yet) because our roommate is out of town too. 

Well, at least I have plenty of homework to distract me...


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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up

Well, it has been one of those weeks.  You know, the kind that seem to take forever and things keep happening where you think the world is going to come to an end, but then you get to the end of the week and look back, thinking, why was that such a big deal at the time?  Yea.  It was that kind of week.

If you follow me on Facebook, then you know that I have been having issues with my team in class and things finally blew up, literally, on Monday night.  Nothing like a good ol' fashion screaming match almost turned throw down in the middle of class to wake you up.  Ultimately, the problem child was removed from our team and replaced with someone else who seems to get along with us much better.  At the time though, I seriously hoped that the earth would just open up and swallow me so I wouldn't have to deal with the drama.

Then came the medical issues.  I finally got to have the MRI done that was supposed to find the cause of my neuropathy that I had over two weeks ago.  Guess what.  No herniated disks, no pinched nerves.  A whole lotta nothing.  Well, except for the crapload of arthritis that has invaded my back apparently.  Yippee skippy!  So now I need a follow up with the Rheumatologist.  Anyway, I am attributing the "whole lotta nothing" to the fact that the Chiropractor I have been seeing has made all the pain go away so obviously whatever is wrong is no longer "wrong."  Ha!  Right.

Then came the all mighty, all powerful MIGRAINE.  Oh freaking Lord.  Three days of head throbbing, light blinding, murderous pain.  Ever had to wear sunglasses at night?  Like had to wear them.  Yea, that was me.  By the time it finally went away yesterday afternoon, I was ready to throttle someone. 

But there was one really interesting part of the whole week.  Aside from Monday's blowup with Mr. Fantastical Douche Canoe in class, the week really wasn't that bad.  Usually I was in a pretty good mood.  I mean, why shouldn't I be?  I can get out of bed every morning on my own.  I can drive myself to my appointments.  I can shower myself and feed myself.  I can breathe, feel, and function.  And every night, I get to lay down next to the man of my dreams.  How can anything be truly horrible when I have all that?


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Monday, July 19, 2010

Back away from the cream cheese

Have you ever had a roommate before?  And I don't mean your husband or wife.  I mean someone whom you do not have any romantic interest with, whether a stranger or a friend.  I have had a roommate a few times now.  Whether by choice or by necessity, you never know what you are going to get when entering a roommate situation.  Even if you have known the person for years and years, you may be surprised with how they live once you move in together.

Over the years, I have found there are several different types of roommates.  The seemingly neat and organized person at school or work could be a total slob in their own house (my first roommate).  Sometimes worse than a slob, they could be even more of a perfectionist when they get home.  Like OCD perfection.  God forbid you should move their coaster half an inch to the left (my second roommate).  Then you have what I call "The Cave Dweller."  This is the one who may or may not be perfectly sociable in public, but once they come home, they go in their room, shut the door, and you don't see them again until they leave for work the next day.  Again, this could be good or bad.  Then you have what I call "The Clingon."  This is the person who simply cannot get enough of you.  Perhaps they are needy for human interaction, perhaps they are just bored, but whatever the reason, they find it necessary to talk to you incessantly until you want to stab your eardrums with a dull pencil. Then there is the roommate that is perfectly fit for you (my beloved third roommate).  Yes, this creature really does exist, though it is rare.  Usually they come in the form of a best friend, or the former roommate of a best friend. 

My current roommate really doesn't fit into any of the categories above.  He is some kind of mix between "The Cave Dweller" and "The Clingon."  I guess it depends on his mood.  Some days, he will hide in his room all day watching TV, only emerging for food and the restroom.  Other days, he needs someone to talk to almost incessantly.  Of course, I can be the same way sometimes.  Then there are the days that he is trying to navigate the web in an effort to find a job.  Bless his heart, he is a sweet man and tries not to ask me too many questions.  He really has improved his internet skills.  However, there is one aspect that is new in this roommate experience.

In all my previous roommate experiences, for one reason or another, my roommate and I have kept separate food.  I cook for myself (and my husband since I have been married), and my roommate cooks their own food.  We shopped separately, we ate separately, we stored food separately.  With this current roommate, we decided it would be easier to combine all this since my husband and I almost always cook too much food.  Shopping and cooking-wise, it makes complete sense.  Logistically, it doesn't always work out.  There is nothing worse than having a plan for dinner, already have the mouth watering, then go to make it and an ingredient is missing.  Talk about a let down.  Luckily, it hasn't happened with any of the "important" stuff yet.  So the roomie and I had to sit down and have a little talk to prevent the next World War from happening.  I recommended to him, as a health safety measure, that he never, ever drink the last of the orange juice, drink the last of the red wine, or eat the last of the popcorn.  These three items are evictable offenses and body harm may occur.  Anything else, I can deal with.  There might be some disappointment or even a little crabbiness over the absence of cream cheese for my freshly toasted bagel or the last of the ice cream missing for the midnight snack, but overall, it is something I will get over fairly quickly - especially if I can replace that feeling with the love of my orange juice, red wine, or popcorn.


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Thursday, July 8, 2010

What are you thankful for?

What was your first thought getting out of bed this morning?  Was it something like "Ugh, time to get the kids ready for school." or was it something like "Awesome!  I woke up to another day!  Let's see what fun it brings?"

After a conversation with my mom last night, I got to wondering how many of us wallow in the mundane or bad things in our life.  I know I used to only see the bad.  When you have as many medical issues as I do, with more coming up every day, sometimes it can be hard to see past the pain, discomfort, and disability.  Every day I would wake up thinking how much it sucked that I had to go to work that day, or how horrible my body ached from my RA.  Before my husband, I might think how much I wanted and deserved to have a good guy laying in bed next to me every morning.  Waking up alone sucked.  And when the bipolar gripped me in a major depression, I would curse that fact that I even woke up at all.

But then a few wonderful things happened to me.  I met my husband.  He lit up my world.  The problems didn't go away, in fact some of them got worse, but he always made me laugh no matter how bad I hurt (mentally and physically).  The negative mornings became fewer, but even then I still had days where I would wake up looking at only the bad things, though it happened less often. 

Then another person came into my life.  Or rather, became a part of my life since I had already been working with her for several years.  We became close friends when her husband ended up in ICU and was in the hospital for months.  She changed my perspective as I watched her always have hope while her husband teetered on the edge of life and death.  No matter how scared or frightened she was, she always had hope.  And then there was the joy and love when he finally got to go home.  Going through that experience with her, being there for her and with her, changed me.  It taught me to value life more.  It taught me to value every day, every moment I have on this earth because it could all come to an end unexpectedly. 

Now when I wake up in the morning, it is rarely with disappointment or a negative thought.  I am by no means perfect and do still have my cranky mornings, but they are now few and far between and usually only when severe physical pain is involved. 

This morning my first thought as I felt my arm throbbing in pain was "I am so lucky that I have a husband and roommate that are supporting me through this painful time."  They help me accomplish the daily tasks and chores that need to be done and they make me laugh.  This morning, I was truly grateful to be alive.

So tell me, what are you thankful for today?


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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

If only I could make my kitchen into a bedroom.

So a friend of mine sent me an interesting YouTube video the other day.  It is about an apartment in Hong Kong.





Really, the concept is pretty cool.  I mean, who really wants to have a large, sprawling house when you can turn your kitchen into a bedroom with a simple slide of a wall.  Certainly not any U.S. American I know.  *snickers* But what is really interesting to me is the storage possibilities.  Can you imagine how many bodies zombies you could fit into a closet behind one of those panels? 


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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Learning to Accept Help

In November, I was just starting to get into the blog-o-shere.  I stepped into the shallow end of the pool by reading just one blog, who still remains my favorite, The Bloggess.  I know I talk about her all the time, but I immediately fell in love because she shared my sarcastic, witty, and sometimes demented sense of humor.  It wasn't long before she had me reading all her blogs, including her advice column and satirical sex blog.  Every now and then, my beloved Jenny posts something serious though, and that is how I was introduced to a beautiful family who had gone through so much misfortune, the Mayhews. 

She may not know it, but Anissa and her husband, Peter, have somewhat become idols for me.  For me, it started on their Hope For Peyton blog that turned into a quasi "Hope for Anissa" blog when she had two massive strokes in November.  Jenny had posted the event on her blog and I have been following the Mayhews ever since.  Their strength and love as a family gripped me, and though I never comment much, I love hearing their story because it gives me hope when I am in the pits of mine.  It is because of Peter that I decided to start my own blog.  He needed somewhere he could put his thoughts down and reach out to people as he waited for news on Anissa.  I needed a place to put my thoughts down as I wait for bouts of depression, anxiety, and rheumatoid arthritis to pass.  His words inspired me in the beginning, and now his wife inspires me today. 

As I sit here, unable to use my right arm due to extreme pain from RA and feeling useless and handicapped, I pull up Anissa's Blog and I think, if this amazing woman can come back from two major strokes that should have killed her (according to doctors), and still get up every day for the last 4 months to take care of her three beautiful kids and keep pushing every day to get better, then who the hell am I to sit here and feel sorry for myself because I have been down and non-functional for a whole 3 freaking days. 

But this is the worst flareup I have ever had and I thought I knew some of Anissa's frustration from my past health issues.  Not exactly, but I thought I could understand some of it.  Boy was I wrong.  The pain of the last 3 days have brought on a whole new meaning for me of handicapped and useless.  As I have had to ask my husband to open the milk for me, refill my water bottle, wash my hair, or turn a doorknob because I couldn't grasp it, a new meaning formed.  As I lost use of my right arm because any movement at all, even typing, cause too much pain, a new meaning formed.  As I spend hours typing with one hand, and then lay completely still in bed watching reruns because it's the only thing I can do where I am semi-comfortable, a new meaning formed.  As I burst into tears because I was stupid enough to try reaching behind me to unclasp my own bra, a new meaning formed.  And with this new, deeper meaning of what it is feel handicapped and useless, I bet I still don't even scratch the surface of what so many others go through.

So I will stop feeling sorry for myself, but I will accept my limitations right now.  I can never heal if I don't give my body the break it wants/needs.  I will ask for help unclasping my bra, turning on the shower, washing my hair, and making breakfast.  I will ask for help picking up the laptop so I can write my next blog one-handed or surf Facebook.  But what I most recently learned from Anissa, I will ask for comfort when the reality of the situation overwhelms me and I feel like my world is crashing down.  I will reach out to my friends and family and ask for that gentle hug and "poor baby" to get me through the next minute, hour, or day.  Because sometimes, comfort is the most important help you need.



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Monday, June 28, 2010

Evil Has Wings...and a Black, Shiny Shell

So every night, just before bed, I take the dogs out to do their business.  Usually this ends up being somewhere between 11pm and midnight.  Well last night, I had the dickens scared out of me, not that I know what "dickens" are.  As we walk down the stairs from the third floor, I see this huge black spot on the wall of the second floor walkway.  Sara, one of the dogs, saw it too and naturally wanted to try to eat it or play with it.  Upon slightly closer inspection, I saw it was this freaking ginormous bug!  Fearing it might carry my dog away into the night with its hunormous wings, we quickly walked away from it to the dog park for them to do their business.

After we got back inside, I quickly grabbed my camera, hoping the monster was still there so I could capture its soul.  Now mind you, I lived in Texas for 5 years, so you would think I was used to huge bugs.  I have seen cicadas that are the size of a golf ball, ants the size of my big toe, and crickets the size of my thumb, but never in my life had I seen a bug this large or this black.


Oh.  My.  GOD!  It's huge, it's jet black, it looks like it has this massive armored shell, and I sure as hell bet it can fly.  Oh Lord please don't let it fly in my face as I try to take this picture.  Or this picture:


But then I got to thinking that these pictures won't do it justice as to how big this thing is.  Oh Lord, please don't let this thing bite my hand off even though it is like a mile away from the bug:


This thing is seriously half the size of my hand, if not more.  It could probably eat my thumb in one bite.  This is freaking unnatural.  And then my husband, who followed me out to look at it, was so kind to tell me that this thing would crawl in our window if we left it open at night.  What. The. Hell.

And if that does happen, it will be my husband who gets sacrificed to the evil, demon beetle from hell.  After all, he is the one who ensured I had nightmares about it last night.

P.S.  If you want to know what kind of bug it is, after much Google searching and photo comparison, I have decided it is a Paloverde Root Borer.  Apparently they are very common here in Tucson as the monsoons approach.  And here you will see someone in the third picture who is crazy enough to actually hold this creepy ass thing.


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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Battle With the Sandman. Ouch. I Lost....Again.

So the last couple of weeks I have been fighting insomnia.  I am told it is something that often accompanies bipolar disorder.  It is a fact of my life.  It comes and goes.  Right now, it has returned for a visit and is showing no signs of returning from whence it came.  At first, it was just a matter of pride as I lay there thinking "I refuse to get up because I am not asleep yet.  I don't care if I have been laying here for three hours.  I. Will. Not. Get. Up."  And so I would lay there in bed, staring at the wall or the back of my eyelids, trying to make my mind go blank so I can bore myself to sleep until finally, somewhere around 5 or 6 am, I dose off, only to be woken a couple hours later by my husband's alarm clock saying it's 8am. 

"That's ok," I think.  "I can sleep in a little."  After all, I don't work so I don't have anything to do, right?  Yea.  Right.  Just when I start to dose off again (8:45-ish), my husband comes in and kisses me goodbye because he knows I freak out if I don't know when he is leaving.  I am now awake again and have to start this process all over.  At some point I dose off...again...and I sleep 'til around 10 when I wake up because the dog scratched herself and made her tags jingle.  I feel a little guilty because it already starts to feel like I am sleeping too late, but I talk myself into trying to go back to sleep because, again, I don't work so I don't have anything to do, right? 

Usually by this point I am exhausted so I fall asleep again almost immediately.  I wake up again around 11:30 or 11:45, and now I panic.  Holy crap.  I can't believe I let myself sleep half the day away!  What was I thinking?!  I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO!!!  And this is the point where I attempt to "spring" out of bed but it really ends up being this awkward stumbling in an attempt to get my legs functioning while not stepping on the dog and everything is a little fuzzy and hazy because I only got maybe 3 hours of truly restful, rejuvenating sleep. I then spend the rest of the day vaguely attempting to complete the tasks that seem so numerous, yet I usually only manage to get one, maaaaaaaybe two done.

Rinse, repeat.

Before you say anything about going to the doctor for help, yes, I have a prescription sleep aid that actually works really, really well.  The problem is that at some point this process went from pride to stubbornness.  As you may or may not know, my husband and I are trying to get pregnant.  We have been trying for quite some time actually.  In this process, I have either cut back or cut out any medication I can possible live without, without causing too much discomfort, ok, pain, in my life.  This includes the sleep aid.  So when I went from pride to stubbornness, my mind thinks, "Screw you insomnia!  I will not have you screw up my future child just because you don't feel like letting me sleep.  SCREW. YOU!"  But you see, insomnia doesn't have feeeeeelings.  It doesn't care when you yell at it.  It is relentless.  It is this mindless, feelingless thing that doesn't care what you say or do.  If conditions are not just right, forget it.  You aren't sleeping. 

Well finally the sleepless nights built on each other for so long that I finally broke down and took the damn sleep aid.  OH. MY. GOD.  I slept so well that I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.  The next day, that "spring" out of bed, really was a spring and I had the most productive day in a couple weeks.  But then the night came again.  I decided one more night of sleep aid can't be too horrible, so I popped another and once again, slept like a baby. 

Now it has been 3 nights of sleep aid and the figurative voice in my head is starting to get to me.  I know tonight is going to be another sleepless night.  I can feel it.  I should probably take another pill since these bouts usually last 2 or 3 weeks for me.  Yet, the voice keeps chastising me.  How could you put your possibly future child at risk like this?  Then the other side argues back how a mother who is not healthy or rested is no good to her child anyway.  Then the voice again - but what about side effects it could have on the child?  Then the other side - you have been told this sleep aid doesn't have huge risks like others.  Yes, there are risks, but not like really, really, bad and highly likely ones. 

And so the argument continues, but I know what side will ultimately win.  I will go to bed in hopes that the sandman will be kind to me tonight but knowing he will not.  I will lay in bed awake while my husband sleeps peacefully next to me.  Finally, 2 or 3 will roll around and I will give in and take a pill because I have appointments I have to actually be functional for.  But tomorrow night, I will deny myself the help simply because I will not have any appointments  and after all, I don't work so I don't have anything to do, right? 

Yea. 

Right.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

"My diaper is full"

So the hubby and I are watching TV last night, live TV, which is unusual for us because I hate, hate, HATE watching commercials.  Why do I had commercials?  Become you inevitably come across ones like this that make you think...WHAT.  THE.  HELL?



Like....wow...."I poo in blue."  I feel sorry for the guy who had to read those lines.  But just in case you think they are totally cool and frequently let your child run around without pants, here is the official webpage for more information on these "limited edition" diapers.  Enjoy...I think...


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Sunday, June 6, 2010

When Life Gives You Oranges...

...then life is pretty darn sweet right now cause you can make lots of orange juice!  Ok, cheesy, but whatever.

So I have been scarce in posting lately but the words just have not been coming to me.  I started school a couple weeks ago so by the time I finish homework, I want to spend time with the hubby and animals.  By the time I finish spending time with the hubby and animals, my brain is fried and cannot come up with comprehensible sentences.

Lucky for me though, I don't have to have comprehensible sentences in order to see that life is pretty freaking good for me right now.  In the last month or so, I have managed to make it back to Cali to visit all my sorely missed friends and family, finished getting myself established with new doctors here in Arizona, moved from a 1 bedroom to a 2 bedroom, and finally started school.  We had one little setback when the cat decided to go on a hunger strike, but she is over it now and eating like a champ.  My hubby is still in love with his job and getting some nice perks we didn't know about and we are well on our way to saving up a down payment for a house.  All in all, I had to find my shades cause life is looking pretty bright. 

The only thing that could possibly make life any better right this second, is if I could figure out how to juice these damn oranges without a juicer.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why My Husband Can NEVER Be An Actor...Or A Game Character...Or In A Comic Book...

So thanks to DVR, we are weeks behind on many of our favorite shows, many of which have already had their season finales.  Tonight we decided to watch one of those shows - Grey's Anatomy.  This finale was WAY better than last season's finale. 

But back to the purpose of this post.  After watching the season finale, where Shepard gets shot, D and I had quite the interesting conversation as he showered and I peed that resulted in him always having to be a girl. 

Me:  Don't ever get shot, ok?

DOk.  Not even in a TV show?

Me:  No.  Not even in a TV show.

D:  What about in a video game?

Me:  No, not in a video game either. 

D: But then how am I supposed to finish playing "Mass Effect 2" then?  That game is all about getting shot.

Me:  That's ok because the character doesn't look like you.

D:  So let me get this straight.  I am not allowed to get shot, even in pretend, unless it doesn't look like me?

Me:  Right.

D:  So do I always have to play girl characters in games now?

Me: You already do.

DTrue.

My husband, the pixelated cross-dresser.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

You are worth it.

I read a blog post today that really spoke to me.  It was a post that made me question some of the things I think about myself, and then it made me wonder how others feel about themselves.  It was a post that made me shed a few tears and made me long for something beautiful, fluffy, sparkly, and RED!  It was a post by my Favorite. Blogger. Ever.  I highly encourage you to read the most recent post by The Bloggess too. 

You see, I deal with bouts of depression on a fairly regular basis.  She and her red dress got me thinking about all the times in my life where I thought how I was just a waste of space and time.  Why would anyone want to deal with me?  I am nothing.  At least that is what this disease tells me.  Lies.  It is all lies.  But then I started thinking about all the other people in the world who don't have someone to remind them that these thoughts are lies.  Whether they are planted by mental illness, abuse, or anything else, they are all lies.  Every person has a purpose.  Every person has at least one person who loves them.  If you were to disappear one day, someone would miss you, and you might not even realize who that person is.  It could be the neighbor across the street that misses you because you smile at her every day when you pick up the newspaper.  It could be the barista at the coffee shop because he knows, without a doubt, that at the very least, you will make him laugh today.

So you see, no matter where your thoughts lead you, just think of this beautiful, fluffy, sparkly, red dress and remember...you are worth it too.

As for me, well, I would die to wear that dress, but alas, I am way too shy to even consider going to Blogher so instead, I just might buy a sparkly red dress of my own...because I am worth it too. 

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

REMINDER: Psych Week on Discovery Channel

One of the reasons that I established this blog was to help bring awareness to Bipolar Disorder.  It just so happens tonight that I can also help bring awareness to other mental health issues.

Any kind of mental health issue has a stigma attached to it.  In reality, most people have had to deal with some sort of mental health issue in their life whether they know it or not.  It could have been they went through a depression and didn't know it, didn't care, or denied it.  It could be they are friends with someone who has a disorder and have seen and experienced these symptoms, yet this friend hasn't confided in them because they are afraid of being rejected or they are still in denial themselves.

Too often, all we, the mental health patients, need, is just a friend to talk to us, yet many of us, especially the newly diagnosed, are so scared to talk to anyone that we don't get the help we need.  Our first choice is usually either denial or hatred of ourselves.  Both are destructive but it is really fear that fuels us.  Fear of rejection due to our condition.  Fear of treatment.  Fear of stereotypes.  Fear of being the thing that we already fear the most.

So what can you do when someone is having a hard time?  Don't accuse, don't ask if they have a mental health issue, as that will just make them defensive.  Instead, just ask if we want to talk.  Show us you intend to be in our lives despite our quirks, then one day we will confide in you, and you just might save our lives by just listening.

In a few weeks, the Discovery Health channel is going to be starting a week-long series on just this topic - psychological issues.  This week is going to be about awareness, understanding, and bring about change.  Please take the time to either watch the series or DVR it because I can almost guarantee that someone you love has a mental health issue, whether it is diagnosed or not.

http://health.discovery.com/tv/psych-week/

Friday, April 30, 2010

And You Thought U.S. Ads Had Too Much Sexuality In Them...

So I was floundering in my search for something to blog about when my email dinged at me.  Like an answer from God, my husband saves me again with something he found incredibly amusing.  Somehow he stumbled upon a blog talking about PSP advertisements in Japan.  I am guessing it had something to do with coming up with game ideas since he designs computer games for work.  Anyway, I will link the article at the end because I don't want you to read ahead.  Ha!  Here you will see the first picture is totally non-threatening:

If you have ever watched anime, this is nothing out of the ordinary.  Cartoon characters with big boobs and short skirts.  Big deal.  But wait...are those skirts...real?

The author, Brian Ashcraft assures us that yes, they are.  And the text actually invites us to look under the skirts?  Welcome to Japan marketing.  And you thought the ads in the U.S. were too sexy.  What's under the skirt, you ask?  Well, you will just have to visit Brian's blog to find out now, won't you.  ;)

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Too tired to come up with a witty blog title.

I'm tired.  I know it has been a while since I posted, so here I am.  The problem is that I am so tired that my poor little brain cannot come up with the sarcastic and witty remarks I would normally include in a post.  I have several things saved in emails and pictures that I want to blog about, but at this juncture, I know my words could not possibly do them justice.  And so they sit...and wait...for me to recover from whatever has drained all my energy.

And herein lies the question: Why on earth am I so exhausted??  I don't think it is depression because it feels different than normal.  I still want to do things, I just literally don't have the energy.  I feel like I could sleep all day and still not be rested.  Could it be pain induced?  I have had this same damn headache for 3 days straight now and my rheumatic hands aren't exactly thrilled with me (I blame that on the latest rain storm that came through).  Could it be stress?

Despite not working (I quit my part-time, 12-hour a week, minimum wage job LOL), there are still things in my life that have my mind racing.  I have a decision to make, and I just can't do it.  Maybe you can help me.  Help someone out by moving into a place with a roommate (I despise the thought of moving all our crap), or go with my level of comfort and figure out a way to tell a nice person, sorry, but no, we won't help you out?  Take a gamble on being miserable with a roommate, or make myself feel miserable for not helping someone in need?  See?  Sucks either way.  This causes me stress. 

So my solution for now?  Sit on the couch and nap while watching movies all day long.  It works similar to an ostrich poking its head into the ground.  If I ignore it, it's not there and will eventually go away on its own.

Well, back to the movie, and hopefully in a couple days I will be able to tell you an amazing story about The Trustworthiness of Beards or some other equally amusing thing I find.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Psych Week on the Discovery Health Channel

One of the reasons that I established this blog was to help bring awareness to Bipolar Disorder.  It just so happens tonight that I can also help bring awareness to other mental health issues.

Any kind of mental health issue has a stigma attached to it.  In reality, most people have had to deal with some sort of mental health issue in their life whether they know it or not.  It could have been they went through a depression and didn't know it, didn't care, or denied it.  It could be they are friends with someone who has a disorder and have seen and experienced these symptoms, yet this friend hasn't confided in them because they are afraid of being rejected or they are still in denial themselves.

Too often, all we, the mental health patients, need, is just a friend to talk to us, yet many of us, especially the newly diagnosed, are so scared to talk to anyone that we don't get the help we need.  Our first choice is usually either denial or hatred of ourselves.  Both are destructive but it is really fear that fuels us.  Fear of rejection due to our condition.  Fear of treatment.  Fear of stereotypes.  Fear of being the thing that we already fear the most.

So what can you do when someone is having a hard time?  Don't accuse, don't ask if they have a mental health issue, as that will just make them defensive.  Instead, just ask if we want to talk.  Show us you intend to be in our lives despite our quirks, then one day we will confide in you, and you just might save our lives by just listening.

In a few weeks, the Discovery Health channel is going to be starting a week-long series on just this topic - psychological issues.  This week is going to be about awareness, understanding, and bring about change.  Please take the time to either watch the series or DVR it because I can almost guarantee that someone you love has a mental health issue, whether it is diagnosed or not.

http://health.discovery.com/tv/psych-week/

P.S. I will repost this the week of the series too as a friendly reminder.  ;)

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

I had a miraculous egg to show you...and then my cat stole it.

So last night I decided to make a cake.  Isn't it pretty?



See, we are having company over tonight for dinner and I thought we should have something available for desert should someone so choose to have a sweet tooth.  As I am adding the eggs, an incredible thing happened.  The last egg cracked perfectly around the center line with no additional radiating cracks.  It. Was. Amazing.  I showed it to my husband who so gallantly pointed out to me that this is exactly the type of thing you blog about!  "If it is cool enough to show someone, then it is cool enough to blog about."  See, being new to blogging, I don't always catch these things so he helps me along. 

Anyway, so I put the two perfectly halved shells on a plate to the side so I could finish making the cake and then take a picture later.  One problem with that plan.  By the time I was ready to take the picture, half the shell was gone!!  Knowing the cat likes to steal cool stuff of mine (hair ties, paperclips, lids to bottles, my shoes), I determine she must be the culprit.  Upon questioning the suspect on the whereabouts of my stolen treasure, this is the reaction I got:



Just like her to try to play coy with me.  I figure if I find the evidence, then she can't deny the act because I could run DNA testing on the cat saliva I was bound to find on the stolen treasure.  So I enlisted the help of my gallant husband who them found the second part of my perfectly halved egg shell crushed...CRUSHED...under the shoe rack by the door.  My miracle...destroyed.  It was a dark time in my life.

Now I know what you might be thinking.  If my husband found the crushed shell, perhaps he planted it and crushed it himself.  I suppose if he was the malicious type that would be a rather fitting way of crushing my blogging dreams, but given the fact he is the one who suggested the blogging idea to begin with, I doubt he would do such a heinous act.  It is much more likely that the cat did this as part of her devious plan to rule the world.  Now to confront the accused with the evidence:


How Sad. 



And the other half is so perfect...so straight...like they both used to be. 

Not even a crack anywhere else.

How do you think the defense will plead?  My guess: Meow.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Things I Learned Today At Work

As many of you know, I started a new part time job today.  At minimum wage for a mere 12 hours a week, I am gonna be stinking rich!  LOL.  Guess it is a good thing I am doing this more to keep myself busy until school starts than anything.  So, for today's edition, I thought I would make a list of some of the wonderful things I experienced and learned today.

Top Ten First Day At Work Events

10)  There are a lot of stairs to get to the "cave office"...well...really anywhere at this place.  It is built into a mountain ya'll.

9)  I have to do a LOT of driving in circles.

8)  A seasonal "wash" (aka. stream/river) that runs for only 3 weeks can wipe out an entire road.

7)  Minivans are really not built to travel dirt roads filled with pot holes.

6)  There are way too many freaking gate codes to remember.

5)  My "boss" reminds me a sweet, wonderful, little grandma.

4)  The "Bear Paw" office, aka. my boss's house, is freaking ginormous and gorgeous.

3)  The person who had this position before me thinks in ways I will never understand  (ie. shouldn't membership invoices and/or bills be in the folder labeled "invoices?"  No.  They are in "renewals").

2)  I get to have kitties sleep on my lap while I work.  :D :D :D :D

and finally...

1)  The Mac "Microsoft Office" programs are the bane of my existence and may lead me to stabbing people with rusty forks.  Grrrr.


Lesson Learned:  If you were raised on PCs, do not buy a Mac for office work, especially if you are already homicidal.


P.S.  Who the hell at Apple thought it would be a good idea to change the setup of the 10-key section of the keyboard?  The * is where the - should be and the / is where the * should be and the - is where the + should be and the + is moved further down.  What...the...hell....

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We are the Borg. You will be assimilated.

Last night, this very nice young man came to our house.  I already forget his name, but it was something like Brad or Brian.  So he shows up with this huge, hard plastic suitcase thing.

"Miss Chin?" he asks when I answer the door.

"That's me."

"I am here to get you all set up for the night."

Here is where my mind starts doing all kinds of wandering.  Exactly what does this man have in mind for me?  And then my memory returns.  I had scheduled an appointment with this young man's company for tonight.  I guess I had told my husband this guy was coming because he didn't blink an eye when I was asked to change into my pajamas.  After I was changed and was all "set up" for the night, this is what I looked like:


I posted the picture on Facebook before creating this blog entry because I wanted to see what kind of messed up things my friends would think I was doing.  Boy did they come up with some interesting things.



Well, here is what is going on.  Last night I got to undergo a wonderful thing called a sleep study.  I know, I know.  It isn't nearly as exciting as becoming a cyborg or building a machine to tweet every time you fart, but the doc wanted it to rule out any sleep issues before he breaks my nose.  No, I wasn't a bad patient.  I just have a severely deviated septum which impairs my breathing and leads to chronic sinus infections.

What a sleep study pretty much amounts to, is being hooked up to 15 bajillion wires and monitors, having a camera faced at your bed, and a microphone in your room so they can measure your movements, brain activity, and hear any talking you might do in your sleep.  Basically, it resulted in an absolutely horrible night's sleep.  The next morning, they tell you congratulations!  You have completed the sleep study!  Have fun trying to function on 3 hours of sleep...crappy sleep at that. 


Oh yea, here is what they did to my head. 


What is that white stuff in my hair holding the electrode sensors to my head?  Yea, that's a type of medical cement.  Cement ya'll!  Oh, but don't worry, it rinses right out with water so when you shower, it will be gone in no time!  That is, if you count 20 minutes of washing and rewashing your hair as "no time."  I think I still have some of that gunk attached to my scalp.  Made me feel like Batty from "Ferngully:"

Note the wires coming from his head.  If you haven't seen the movie, here is his "Batty Rap" for you.



Resistance is Futile.