How Are You Feeling?

How are you feeling?  Isn’t that a loaded question?  But if we care, I believe we should ask. If someone asks, “how are you?” I’m willing to bet the reader evaluates the sincerity of the question before answering.  And in most “relationships,”the level of sincerity leads us to answer “fine,” or some say “great,” or some say  “ok,” or some no longer will even bother to answer the question.  And if the answer isn’t “fine,” or “great,” or “ok,” I wonder how many people I know would actually pay attention to someone who answers honestly.

I want to write about pain and health today.  Because life isn’t always the perfection of baked Thanksgiving turkey or honey-glazed Easter Ham or social media or the damned braggadocious Christmas letters I still get in the mail from some people.  Johnny got straight As and he’s already been accepted at Insert Prestigious Medical School on a full scholarship.  Husband has systematized  and simplified our lives, because he’s making so much money at his Insert Prestigious Professional Field and High Profile Company Name that we have a chef, a house keeper, and a personal assistant for each of us.  And he’s also hired private tutors, a nanny and a chauffeur for each of our two perfect children.  They’ve taken up Insert Musical Instrument because their stellar activities in school and Insert Sports and Insert Extracurricular Activities were going so well they wanted to try something just for fun.  Wife is hotter than ever and completely successful as Insert Professional Career and leading her Insert Social and Charitable Group, with her Insert Athletic or Exercise Activity and as a wife and mother.  This year we upgraded to a new Insert Expensive Thing No One Else Has An Old One Of to Cause Envy.  For our vacation this year we all spent a month in Insert Location and we all Insert Envy Inducing Activities.

Sometimes dinner is cheap mac and cheese and sometimes lunch is ramen noodles.  Sometimes we feel anxiety, sometimes we’re late, sometimes the boss gives us grief when we try hard and then underpays us because of their unrealistic and impossible “standards,” and then blames the company policy for the way they’re maltreating us.  Sometimes the car is rusty and needs new tires and you worry if it’s going to start.  And sometimes, life is pain.  Even in our modern fairy tales, the truth isn’t utopic.  Just like in this blog, where I tried to start this clip at 13 seconds, and then tried to play it before posting and it didn’t work and started at 0 seconds because sometimes it isn’t perfect, sometimes it’s a bitch and you fight and it still doesn’t turn out how you wanted.

When we’re hungry, “normal” people eat.  Some, though, eat too much, and others don’t, or can’t, listen to their bodies and ignore their need.  When we’re tired, “normal” people rest, or sleep.  Some, though, suffer insomnia.  When life gives us a stimulus, “normal” people give a “normal” response, but some don’t, or they can’t.  Pain is the same as any other stimulus.  “Normal” people do something to alleviate their pain, but some people can’t.

Some pain is obvious.  My back hurts because I have a developmental thing where the way I walk and move “naturally,” causes my lower back to misalign.  When that happens, I either go to the chiropractor if I’m rich or I wait for it to go back how it should be, or I have my family twist my hip until I feel that bone move back to where I don’t hurt any more.  My teeth, thank God, don’t hurt like they probably should, though.  Two of them have broken but they don’t hurt at all, even though they need to be extracted.  Eventually the damage may cause me some pain if I don’t go get them pulled out.  But for some reason I’m either able to suppress it or it just isn’t there.

Sometimes our troubles are simple but related to our emotional tides due to circumstances in life, and they can be treated with counseling.  A guilty conscience can literally kill you, unless you make it right.  If it doesn’t kill you, it can cause any number of stress-induced symptoms.  The medical community is diagnosing and looking into PTSD, Seasonal Affect Disorder, Chronic Anxiety, and so on, all of which cause very real physical symptoms including very real body pain. If it IS a medical and not a mental or spiritual or emotional issue, sometimes a harmless medicine  can be used, like an antibiotic or antiviral.  Sometimes there’s a surgical treatment, like extracting a tooth or a tumor or skin lesion, or replacing a knee or a hip or repairing a torn meniscus.  Sometimes there’s a stress-related cause and the symptoms go away if we have enough money or free time to treat ourselves a little nicer.  Among other things I have stress-induced asthma and wonder what other consequences and symptoms I have that might be cured if I didn’t feel like a helpless, worthless, stressed-out slave who can’t escape because there’s not enough freedom, not enough respect, not enough money, not enough time.

We now understand most inflammations, back pains, nerve pains like sciatica, foot pains like plantar faciitis, and tooth pain from decay or sensitivity.  But some pain has become mysterious to doctors. We’ve learned some things about some pains.  Nerve endings can become damaged from stroke or disease.  For literally thousands of years we’ve known how Hansen’s disease can affect the nerves, but the cause wasn’t discovered until 1873 and an effective treatment without divine intervention wasn’t found until the 1940s.  For some reason humanity hasn’t eradicated the disease and doesn’t have a standard, affordable, global treatment plan to cure anyone who picks this disease up.  Same with polio and other cureables, but that’s another annoyance for me.  We’ve learned about inflammations and minor aches, and some kinds of headaches too.  We’ve learned about diabetic neuropathy and how that makes diabetics have to be more careful about their feet or other extremities.  We’ve seen how arthritis causes pain and sometimes deformity, and we keep learning how to treat some of these diseases and cure others.

Many pains are actually good, like the stimuli that remind us to drink water, eat, move (for example, away from the stove)  But some don’t seem that good.  We still don’t know about Crohn’s, or Fibromyalgia, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or any of a number of various Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms including various pains.  But I’m wondering if these have a negative cause that should point us to a positive resolution, and maybe we haven’t figured out what the cause is, so we can’t know what the cure is.

We’ve learned about certain vitamins and minerals and how deficiencies can cause or exacerbate various medical problems.  We’ve learned how certain excesses cause problems.  We’ve learned about things that are toxic, like lead, mercury, and other minerals, and lithium (there’s a separate rant about this, but suffice it to say that this is a poison that is routinely prescribed to treat bipolar disorder, and sometimes schizophrenia and major depression with suicidal ideation.  For fuck’s sake, why do people have to take poison to make them not want to kill themselves?)   We’ve learned how and why good exercise is good for us.

I have food cravings.  I’ve talked about them before, so loyal readers may know about them.  I used to just feel thirsty and drink some water, or I’d feel hungry and I’d have to think about what sounded good and cook and eat that, or I’d just eat whatever we had in the house and the hunger went away but the craving didn’t.  Then I became aware that my brain was telling me specifically what it was craving.  A few were obvious.  Caffeine.  Chocolate.  Salsa.  Salt (very rarely).  Sugar (even more rare).  But then the specificity got to a level I can only describe as weird. Biscuits.  Steak.  Eggs.  Toast.  (Maybe I shouldn’t have had coffee and a banana muffin for breakfast today?)  Pizza.  Seasoned croutons. Mint, ginger, garlic, basil, tomato.    Popcorn.  Grits.  An apple.  A few prunes, without being aware of any digestive reason.  Italian sausage, or an Italian beef sandwich.  Caramels.  Soup.  Cheese.  Fried Chicken.  Oatmeal or granola.  Broccoli.  Green beans.  Tortillas.  Butter.  Fish.  A specific kind of potato  or corn chip.  A specific kind of drink, like tea, a type of wine, a vodka tonic and lime, apple cider, orange juice, egg nog.  Fettuccine Alfredo.  A specific flavor of ice cream.

The more my craving for very specific foods has become specified, the more I’ve started to think that maybe these unexplained pains some of us feel are telling us we need something, but nobody knows what that something is.  What if depression is just a craving that’s curable by giving our body what it needs when it feels sadness?  What if bipolar could be treated by being aware of what phase our emotions are in, or will be in, and by giving our bodies what they need to stabilize our minds, rather than poisoning with lithium formulations or other drugs?  What if fibromyalgia is nothing more than a craving for something our body desperately needs?  I wonder whether fibromyalgia is a form of depression that turns the pain into sensations we’re aware of rather than emotion.  My point is that maybe things doctors once thought, or still think, are “all in our heads,” aren’t.  Maybe they’re in our bodies and we need them out, or they aren’t and we need them.

I’ll readily say, and you’ll agree, that medical treatments have come a long way from leeches and trepanning.  But it upsets me that the treatments for things like bipolar and cancer and some other maladies are poisonous.  Why does the patient have to die, or get sicker, before they are cured?  Modern pharma is a business more than something necessarily good for a patient.  How many modern medicines have interaction complications?  I resist the idea of taking certain medications because of all the potential side effects.  How many of you suffer side effects?  The list includes such wonderful things as sweating, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, weight gain, weight loss, hair loss, gas, constipation, water retention, dehydration, urinary tract or intestinal problems, dry mouth, thin blood (slowness to clot), D.V.T., stroke, irritability, episodes of rage, nervousness, panic attacks, hallucinations, nightmares, sleepwalking, sleep driving (for fuck’s sake!), acid reflux, acidic esophageal damage, liver damage, kidney damage,  nerve damage such as causing Parkinson’s-like symptoms which “may become permanent,” toxicity, heart damage, paranoia, delusions, psychoses, brain damage, suicidal tendencies, death.

Big pharma pushes the newest drugs with full awareness of certain effects and at least a statistical possibility of others.  Why aren’t we offered nutritional counselling as a primary option, advocating natural substances that might help, before the doctor prescribes costly and poisonous treatments that might help us, but along the way might kill us.

We’ve learned that the sun provides natural vitamins absorbed through the skin.  Light can be successful in treating some skin issues including psoriasis.  Light therapies are being used by some to even treat cancer and other medical issues.  We’re barely scratching the surface of the potential.  And doctors know damn well that light helps certain kinds of depression.  Why aren’t we patients being told this?  Because, my inner cynic screams, there’s more money in potentially toxic, or lethal, chemicals.  Ancient medicine men treated patients with herbs and other natural substances.  Penicillin was derived from a fungus, not a poison.  We’ve learned fish oils provide essential vitamins. Even in the Bible, they described or offered successful treatments that were completely natural, not even miraculous, just wisdom.  We use mineral salts to treat minor skin infections, garlic as an anti-viral, honey is anti-bacterial, and chicken soup has been called both Polish cold medicine and Chinese cold medicine for a reason.  Whiskey and other strong alcohol can help chronic coughs and insomnia and depression and pain.  Morphine and codeine are from flowers.  Marijuana is now more widely recognized as useful for medicinal purposes.

What if there are natural cures for things the drug companies and doctors are currently only able to treat with poisons? What if what’s eating us is eating us because we’re not looking in the right direction for the cure?  What if the cure is social, like if we need our own group of friends who speak honestly with each other to vent frustrations and celebrate successes.  What if we just need someone to listen to us?  What if the cure is spiritual in nature?  Jesus touched the lepers and they were cured.  Jesus had a certain set of abilities that we ordinary people aren’t gifted with, but I do believe there are miracles still today.  If I didn’t, I would quit praying, and I have no plans to quit.   What if the cure is even simpler, something light-based, natural, or nutritional?

How are you feeling?  What does that mean?  What is it telling you?  Are you listening?

Everyone Loves My Mask

Everyone Loves My Mask, Deon Mumple, 10/26/2016

I put on the mask, since I didn’t like me.
Ever look in the mirror and hate what you see?
I hid behind the mask for a long, long time,
Pretending sometimes I had strength for life’s climb
But for every step up I fell back, sometimes three,
Sometimes it feels like the mountain’s on me
And I’m buried with no hope to ever escape,
Sometimes I can plan, when life doesn’t lose shape,
But a plan doesn’t make itself happen, you know,
We have to push hard, and want to make things grow
Though I frequently wish I could decide to quit,
Friends, family life and work push ’til I’m mad as spit,
At least I’m angry enough to finish things I should.
Maybe their push is somehow something good.

I put on the mask and people like me
The real me seems fine, but must not be much to see.
To me, my steps are angry, stumbling pain
And I feel rain when there is no rain,
To them I make progress, just a little slow,
But I wish they’d like the me they don’t want to know.

Crosshairs, Crossroads, Cross Words?

I had a thing stuck in my head, an image of a figure in cross hairs.  I thought it might have been something I remembered from a James Bond movie, but I didn’t find anything like that when I went searching.  Bing, nothing, Google, nothing, except I did find a video showing that what I might have thought were cross hairs were actually the views from inside the gun barrel of the bad guy in the opening credits.

Not cross hairs. But I distinctly remembered it from back in the dark ages of TV. Like back in the 70s or 80s, they discovered they could put a thing in front of the camera and get a different effect.

I did remember examples of it.  The Six-Million Dollar Man had a bionic eye that could act like a telescope so he could see at great distances, and when he used it they played the bionic eye theme music.  The Incredible Hulk’s Dr Banner had the cross hair thingy in front of his eye or his brain when he radiated himself with the gamma radiation but that was just a shadow, not the cross hairs in front of the camera.  I swear I remember it.  I just can’t remember the show or movie it was in.

I may have stumbled across it.  There’s a movie called “Two Minute Warning,” about a sniper at a football game.  And I have about 2 minutes before I have to go to work. (Grumblemumblegrumble)

I feel like I’m living under the gun.  Deadlines, endings, beginnings, more work at work.  I took several days off of work last week and I still feel all the pressure.  I have two projects I’m trying to wrap up for the volunteer organization, and after that I’m going to make some decisions about what to do next, if anything.  If my car starts today I should be fine, but the anxiety is by me like an old friend.  An old friend I’ve always hated.  If I hate someone who wants to be my friend, do you think they’ll leave me alone? Well this old friend won’t.  It’s like the character Seeley Booth, whose “friend” was a sniper like him.  And his “friend” tried to shoot him.  I’m in those damned cross hairs, and I hope my “friend” doesn’t shoot me or anyone close to me.

I feel like I’m at a crossroads in my life.  These two volunteer projects and what I choose to do next might help me in the future.  Or, they’ll just say, “thanks,” and let it go at that.  I’m not a psychic, so I can’t predict what will happen.  I hope for “thanks.”  And I’m hoping they don’t just use that as a foothold to ask me for more.  These two projects have had moments, along with a long-term kind of drain, of amping up the anxiety and I’m tired of that.

After I turn it all in and I’m out from under it, maybe I’ll get the Sunday paper from yesterday and take some time to work a crossword.  I like crossword puzzles.  Cross words, not so much.  So before I do the crosswords, I better get to work or I’ll be hearing cross words instead.  And I need to finish these two projects.  I’m just praying it all works out and doesn’t turn out to be as big a screw up as I fear it could be.  I figured, I’d have anxiety and depression and anger and panic attacks whether I accepted these projects or not, so I did.  Thank God for the milder form and a slower sine wave to surf; if it’s not going away at least it’s not so severe.  If it were more severe, I’d have said no.

I mean, it kind of pisses me off when people say that what I’m going through “isn’t that bad,” but when I look at it compared to people who aren’t saying that, it isn’t.  The people who are saying it don’t have cyclothymia or ADD, but they think they can offer me an objective opinion.  Ass holes.  YOU  try a project when you don’t have any motivation and reach points during your work when you really couldn’t give a quarter of a fuck and when you’re certain that you’re going to fail.

Progress just feels good, after it’s done.  But until it’s done, I just feel the anxiety.  I’m not far from being done, but that just makes me feel more anxious.  While I’m hoping for just that nudge toward being finished today, and I feel very close with these two projects, I’m hoping you can make progress today, too.

Gotta go, I’m probably late already.

Fail, Miserable Fail, and Epic Fail

I have minor annoyances, irritations, full-on depressive-rage-inducing triggers, and everything in between.  And yet I keep trying.  And yet I keep patiently waiting.  And yet I bother to foster hope in my heart.  It’s a consequence of my faith in God.  That’s right, I blame him for this stupidity.  But at least I’m not this bad:

It’s the last minute and thirty eight seconds.  Jesus, I wish I had that much hope.  A prayer, not blasphemy, mum, really.

Mitzi Gaynor, and Rodgers and Hammerstein, bless their hearts, try hard in their world of impending armageddon, post-depression depression, racism, war, poverty, to cast a warm, home-appreciating, loving, hopeful spin on it all.  Including the whip-poor-will, a bird whose song was a death omen to the Native Americans.  Not dramatic, like a Norse Valkyrie, flying in to take the souls of the valiant fallen to Valhalla, but almost teasing.

I’ve listened to the whip-poor-will, and honestly, I don’t know if it’s a song of hope or impending doom.  They’re nocturnal and they eat bugs, so that’s always a good thing.  Bats do too.   I say, let them eat all the flying, nocturnal, infernal things.  Mosquitoes.  Moths.  Flies.  Beetles.  So maybe it’s a good thing to hear a whip-poor-will.  They’re hungry and they don’t eat souls, they eat the damned bugs.  Maybe Mitzi wasn’t wrong.

I am certain the same shit that happens to me happens to everyone.  Bug bites.  Thistles in the yard.  Weeds and thistles in the garden. Bruises. Traffic.  Bullshit politics at work.  Not having enough money to do shit you have to do.  We all have to improvise and play the games.  But that’s exactly the kind of minor annoyance, the kind of irritation that builds up.  And then the triggers hit- death, destruction, helpless chaos, poverty, broken tooth decay, war, racism, and being called fucking “privileged.”  The house falling apart when you don’t have enough money to fix the rotten boards on the outside of the house that are rotting because the construction asshats didn’t build it right.  Plumbing.  Flooring.  Carpeting.  Or being told, of my situation, “it’s not that bad.”  Or being told, “you’re not good enough and nothing you do will ever be enough.”

The answer to all of this is money.  I want the answer to be “yes.”  If I was so fucking privileged, I’d be able to answer that shit, so shut the fuck up, because by saying I’m privileged and the reason I can’t imagine I’m privileged is because I’m an oblivious racist, makes you an oblivious racist.  I try hard not to break laws and try hard not to draw attention to myself and I try hard not to offend, piss off, or threaten people in authority who have fucking guns, and if you feel threatened by cops maybe you should act like me.

If I really were privileged I wouldn’t be driving an old rusty car that needs new tires and a tune up and a few sensors that are tripping my check engine light and an oil change and better seals because there’s water in the floorboards and I didn’t drive through any deep water in the recent rainstorm or leave my windows down.  If I really were privileged I’d make more money than whichever people of whatever race get hired as newbies, instead of them starting out with more than I earn after 10 years at the company.

And yet, despite all these triggers, I get up and go in to work every day when I’m not scheduled off, I still do the dishes and laundry and other chores despite my kids making excuses – “I have homework!”  “I have an after-school activity.”  “I’m tired.”  Or the ever popular “I don’t want to.”  In their defense, when the kids realize I’m about to lose my shit, they do what I asked, and they’ve been pretty good for the last couple of days without me or Mrs M having to bitch too much.  Despite all these triggers I’m not paralyzed or deciding to tell life, and people, and my boss and my company and my family and my church and the world to go fuck themselves.  I still have hope.  It’s God’s fault.  Because I think if I didn’t believe there must be something better after this shit hole, I’d surrender.

I fail all the damn time, at the simplest little shitty things.  But I go on.  Sure, occasionally there are little emotional breakdowns.  Sure, there are occasionally screaming fits, and even occasionally rage directed at God because I don’t have the strength to deal with the shit he’s allowing to come into my life. There’s a verse I was taught some time ago that goes “A righteous man falls seven times.”  Yeah, well, I’m not particularly righteous, and I know the rest of that verse.  The whole thing goes, “though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.”  And in the context it’s about telling people not to steal shit that isn’t theirs.  

I like verse 19 and 20 a whole lot better than 15 and 16.  “Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked, for the evildoer has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.”  The problem there is, even if I’m “good,” and not a “wicked” “evildoer,” I’m headed for the same fate for this present life.  King Solomon collected or wrote these proverbs.  His dad King David wrote a lot of the psalms.  David’s music director and co-composer Asaph, confessed in writing that he watched the shit people not only got away with but got rich doing, and it caused him to almost give up on doing what was right (Psalm 73).  Later the prophet Jeremiah (the weeping prophet?) wrote to ask God why.  So if I take any comfort it’s that I know people are doing the same shit they did three fucking thousand years ago and God is still making a way for people like me to just barely get through.  Sure, I’d love the abundance of John 10:10.  But abundance to me might mean something different than abundance to God.  I wish I could figure this shit out.

I fail, I get up.  It doesn’t mean I’m “righteous,” it means I’m stubborn.  It doesn’t mean I swell with hope, it means I haven’t given up all hope yet.

I bought milk yesterday, saving a dollar because of the brand at the store I picked.  It’s all milk, right?  Wrong.  Young Ms. M was equipped with a super-taster, or so she alleges.  She won’t drink that one.  Not to mention, the plastic jug has a leak somewhere.  Fail.  Fail.  Fail.  Fuck.  But it’s only three dollars wasted.  Except, instead of being nice and buying milk I could have bought a lottery ticket and might have won $151 million.  Then she can go to the fucking dairy herself and pick out her own fucking cow.  I’m not sure if she was offended by the hole in the jug or by the fact I confessed the milk I bought was cheaper than its’ next door neighbor in the same damned refrigerated case.  I tried to save a little money and ended up just throwing it away.  Fail.  It was a trigger because I seem to have the innate ability to disappoint everyone no matter how hard I try.

So I’m triggered right now, and I really don’t want to do anything, but life calls and I fucking have to fucking answer it.  I’m going to go answer something right now.  If you draw any encouragement from me being so stubborn, I hope that it is to NOT give up yourselves.

The whip-poor-will is good, and people misjudge it.  Except Mitzi.  And maybe I’m good and those closest to me misjudge me.  Including me.  I would like to think I’m good enough, that is to say, adequate.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m actually “good.” Because I know the real me that you don’t.  But I sure would like to either have the hope of a Mitzi song, or a few hundred million dollars, or more preferably, both.

After I answer the tasks that I have to handle, if I remember to, I’m going to buy a ticket if I can scrape up a buck or two.  Wish me luck.  Or pray, because I still believe God’s the one who picks the winner, and maybe I’ll have thrown away not just the money I wasted on the milk but an extra dollar on top of it, but maybe He’ll pick me.

Cynical optimism, I think that’s what it is.  It certainly isn’t cockeyed.  Because I start out thinking I have a chance, but I balance it with the knowledge that I may also have just took out a one dollar bill and lit a match to it.   Meh.  I’ll go back to work on Monday and try that shit again.

Not happy.  Not hopeless.  Somewhere in between.  Hope sits in there with me, and although I wish it were a better companion, I could think of worse ones.  

Suggestive Search

I searched for images of strawberries and scrolled.  I sometimes do design layouts and need a random image, or want to see how others have handled a subject before I do my own.  Or, I’m craving something and want to see pictures.  More often than not, I search because I’m craving.  When I was a kid, I thought cravings were a girl thing because I didn’t experience them.  As I got older I thought cravings were mostly related to pregnancy.  And then a little older and I started experiencing them myself.  Fried Chicken. Chocolate.  Steak.  Fruit.  Pork.  Steak.  Bacon.  Turkey.  Fried Chicken.  Biscuits with honey.  Buttered toast.  Alcohol.  Cheese.  Peanut butter.

I got married, and after a while the craving thing got weird.  In a nice weird way.  At work I’d think about a specific dish all day, and then I’d go home and Mrs. M would have that specific dish on the table without us ever communicating about it.  Anyone else ever have that happen?  I can say weird, but I get it, because it’s in the Bible.  It’s in Matthew 19.  If we’re “one flesh,” it makes sense that we both want the same thing.  But if we’re “one flesh,” I do have some specific cravings that don’t make sense in that way, sadly.

To answer your inevitable question, no, there are no internet pictures of Mrs. M, but the craving is there.  No, the craving is NOT on the internet.  You people and your dirty minds!  I don’t even know what you mean, but honestly, I’m shocked.  I suppose I shouldn’t be, given the nature of my cravings doesn’t always involve food.  That’s right, sometimes I look up clothes or shoes.  Or a new drink I might like to try, or cute kitten pictures or memes.Lately, even searches for kittens and kitten memes have been corrupted because people have recently boasted about grabbing them.  FFS, what is WRONG with this PLANET?!?  Not that Orange Boy ever actually did that, because, eww, unless it’s your wife and she wants you to do that, ewww ewww ewww.  Not to wax political but I HATE all the politicians, in any given election for any given office.

When I scrolled down I saw something that wasn’t a strawberry, and I had my search settings on *moderate*.  Sure, you’d expect to see actual strawberries, and drinks, and pastries, and cakes, and weird craft projects.  I even saw strawberry fields, which then put a delightful eternal earworm in my head, and now it’s in yours.  You’re welcome.  But back to my search results.  It turns out that even on a moderately restricted search, the internet is low-key prurient.

lowkey (ADJECTIVE) 1: quiet and relaxed: not very forceful, emotional or noticeable
2: of low intensity: restrained; 3: secretly (perhaps somewhat shamefully) wanted or felt
“I lowkey wanna eat an entire cake.”

pru·ri·ent  [ˈpro͝orēənt]  (ADJECTIVE) having or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters.  Synonyms: salacious · licentious · voyeuristic · lascivious

(Thanks, Bing, and Urban Dictionary)

I say that because I didn’t just see pictures of strawberries and strawberry related things.  I saw this:



One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?
(Joe Raposo, Jon Stone, © EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.)

I did not search for “Berry.”  I mean, come on, internet!  I didn’t even see Strawberry Shortcake, that old cartoon, before I saw Halle Berry.  She’s not even a berry.  She’s a peach, but not a berry.

Peach (NOUN):  (informal) A particularly admirable or pleasing person or thing.

So what am I supposed to do if I’m surfing?  The internet knows almost everyone has ADD, but what the fuck, internet?  I was looking for fucking strawberries, and no, I wasn’t looking for “fucking+strawberries,” I was looking for “strawberries,” or damn it, I’d better see a pair of strawberries, fucking.  So what was it for, internet?  You put her face in my head so later (or now) I’ll go look for her?  I am not going to do that, so cat-tongue-out (51)


I don’t particularly have a “thing” for Halle, or I might have gone off on that tangent.  Instead, I made the connection that the internet helps people to go in directions they possibly shouldn’t.  I think the internet low-key WANTS us to.  Unless you have your search engine settings to “off,” or “don’t filter,” or “allow mature content.”  Then, it’s probably high-key pushing you toward porn.  I’m afraid to try allowing mature content, because I might see strawberries, pastries, cakes, shortcakes, Halle Berry and even vegetable pictures, because God only knows what the internet will throw up on my screen.  I might even see things that aren’t porn!

I don’t want porn, I want Mrs M, in any compromising way I can have her.  Compromise? It means, loving her even when she says, “no.”(FML, grumblemumblegrumble)  But I’d prefer “yes.”  Here’s hoping.  Maybe I’ll go to the store and get some strawberries and whipped cream.  Don’t think about it.  Wait, you’re thinking about it.  Stop that, I’d never do THAT!  I did get a few craft ideas from the search though; maybe we can try a few of those…

Oh, and that earworm?  You’re welcome:

Time Off?

My boss, because she doesn’t want to catch more shit from me than when she rips the carrot on a string on a stick away from me in the new year, encouraged me to schedule some more days off, rather than letting me miss them (and also miss getting paid for them) because I’ve worked there so long and I don’t take sick days, so they’re saved up on my calendar.  So I said, how about tomorrow?  And she agreed, which means I’m off today.  I need it, for mental health and to kind of see what I can catch up on.  Fuck, I wish I were manic in a productive way instead of just the one that sees EVERYTHING that needs to be done all at once and can’t start on any one thing and carry it to completion.

It was a nice gesture, if I weren’t such a cynic and a whiny little bitch I’d fully appreciate it.  It’s just that I expect more shit around the corner from work because I’m the one who’s stable and accepting people to act according to their word, and they’ve always disappointed my faith and my faithfulness.  The carrot was, I asked for more money and was told that the 2016 budget is tapped but wait until after the new year.  After the new year I’ll be told that because I’m on an improvement plan until February I’ll have to wait until second quarter to be eligible to get a raise and then after my first performance review evaluating my performance from now until the beginning of the year they can tell me how I had attendance issues in August and September and still can’t have a raise until the next review which will naturally be delayed until end of the third or beginning of fourth quarter.  Fucking fucktards.  I have foreseen it, because that’s the way this company fucks over their faithful employees and that’s why they have to offer more to get people coming in the front doors to replace the ones who’ve been lucky enough to slip out their back doors to greener pastures.  Maybe I can be next.  Or maybe her lies won’t be lies.



At least I  get time off.  Maybe one or two of my upcoming scheduled days off I can run into a recruiter who’s looking for a writer/editor and will pay better than I get on the damned phones.  Last times I tried I had someone try to offer me another damned phone job after I expressed my disappointment with that kind of work- not even a supervisor position, but even worse than where I am now.  She offered me a phone sales job when I wanted to be off the phones completely.  And the other one I was uncomfortable and felt awkward and they evidently sensed that and decided I wasn’t a good fit for their team.  I hate interviews.  What the fuck kind of question is “If you were a color what color would you be and why?”  Or  “Can you define ‘Brimborion?‘” The answer to the second question is, “me,” except that’s not the answer they will hire me for offering.  Don’t say “I am.”  Don’t say “I am.”

I hate interviews.

And I don’t want to “do” anyone, so that answer wouldn’t enter my mind.

It’s time to make a change.  So instead of more housework at MY house, I’m going to mum’s.  I hope you can make today count for you in a good way.

Resisting The Impulse

My life lately seems to just be the poster child for resisting the impulse to act rashly.  I want to act on my rage, I want to act on my panic,  I want to act on my passion, I want to act on temptations, I want to act on my discipline and my desire to make progress in life, I want to act on compassion, I want to act on indifference.

I appear to be controlling the desire to act on what may be negative impulses.  I appear to be resisting the impulse to act out.  But what may actually be happening is this:  My impulses are keeping me from doing anything.  I’m stuck and buzzing with the feeling I should do something, but I have a counter-impulse that keeps the first impulse under control.

So when I have the impulse to tell the boss and the company they can go fuck themselves because of the way they’re treating me, I have the counter impulse that says I need a job, and job is better than no job.  So when I have the impulse to find some stress relief somewhere to just relax, I have tasks that force me to not be able to relax.  So when I feel the urge to sleep, I have the brain that says, maybe later.  Or not.

It’s an election year.  It would be nice to know who to vote for because they’re good, but instead, they’re all shit and you have to pick the ones you think is going to do the least damage.  Which is why when I’m voting for one party’s presidential idiot…candidate,  I vote for the other party’s congressional candidates, to keep them from furthering their harmful agendas.  Lately, and by that I mean for the past twenty or thirty years, that hasn’t been working so good.  Yeah, I’ve probably been voting for twenty or thirty years.

It’s possible that my life is demonstrating this text.  (or not).  Yeah, click it, you’ll probably either laugh or ask yourself “what the fuck did I just read?!”  It’s not a good  “in my own words,” but if I were writing that, I might say this:  I want to do good and positive things, but everything I try to do only turns out to be more shit.

It’s possible I have every impulse known to mankind, and they’re all in perfect balance, preventing me from actually doing anything.  A bit like genius Matt Groening’s delightful Mr. Burns and his diseases:

Like my poem from the other day, I need to put one foot in front of the other one. Except every time I feel like i might be making progress,some shit happens to take that progress away. So it isn’t a good thing to me. Or maybe it’s fine.

It would really feel good to tell the boss exactly how I feel, but instead yesterday I worked my ass off again because I don’t want to give her or the company any ammunition they could use against me.  Fuckers.  I’m going back to do the same again.  Because I want to stay home and do fuck all.  But instead, I’ll get home after work and do the thing scheduled for tonight instead of reading all your blogs and catching up and trying to make encouraging comments and deleting my excess emails.  Because my progress continues to take a back seat to everything that has to be done.  I don’t have the resources to do what I want, so I have to do what I have to do and not do what I want to do.

Confused yet?  Well so am I.  So I’m going to work.  Sorry everyone!  I hope, despite my stuck situation, that you all make good progress today.  I’ll try to put a dent in something other than my car or my head.  Oh, I hit my head yesterday, too.  Maybe I just hit it too hard, but I feel fine.  Really.

Have a great day!


Love, Feet, and Prayers

Blink, awake, I’m immediately obligated to fake that I’m feeling OK,
No breakfast, please, let me just take these,  pills, and I’ll start my day:
One foot in front of the other foot
in front of the other foot,
Just like my mum used to say

I’ll just brush my hair, don’t bother to shower, pretend that I care
about me.  And no one can see, I act brilliantly, hiding so deeply in there
One foot in front of the other foot
in front of the other foot
And remember never to swear

I went through hell, when I tried to tell my family what i was feeling
The rages, sadness, why is life such a mess, through the chaos, can you see me?
But here I’m safe, write one word, another
Just one word, another
Simple honesty feels so free

Steal a minute that ends, while I greet my real friends, and a minute has turned sixteen
Fuck!  I hate it, I’m late, but maybe you’ll read and you’ll know just what I mean
Make it through another day
Another one, one more day
And hope that my true love’s been seen

Then I drive off to work, following all the jerks in their cars who don’t know how to drive
Breathe fast, run to the door, traffic, work is a bore, I feel lucky that I survived
One task in front of the other task
What more can they ask?
And then they ask for ten other tasks, when I don’t even have time for five.

I’ll come home, try to read, staunch my soul, mid-bleed, understanding what you say
I need you, everyone, when life is no fun, to share life and trade jokes so I feel almost OK
We’re wired a different way.
If you hear what I say,
Just maybe you’ll stay one more day

And why do I stay?  Say the things I say? Feel the feelings the way I do?
Mania, sadness, rage, bitter here in my cage, but at least I’m here with you.
You encourage me, stronger as we,
Than we, alone would be,
While I try to encourage you:

One more day, stay with me, one more, and another,
Make it through, breathe, don’t smother,
Put one foot in front of the other,
I do love you, like my sisters and brothers.
So please stay one more day, and then stay through another.
Please, stay.

Breakfast Blitzed by Blood

Yeah, I had to fast last night.  That’s so difficult, when you’re not hungry, that I ate a light dinner after not eating Friday, and then this morning didn’t have breakfast yet.  The doctor wants blood for routine testing, so we’ll see how that goes.  Because she wants to find out if the meds are messing up my chemistry.  THIS, THIS EXACTLY, is a primary reason why I didn’t want to buy a ticket to ride the medi-go-round.  But I paid for the doctor’s time, and I’ll pay for the blood test, after the insurance does whatever it will do, and then if there’s anything messed up by the med I get to pay for, then I get to pay to treat whatever got fucked up by the new meds.  Hooray!  Thanks so much.

I hate doctors.  I hate side effects.

The blood test was fine.  I’m not afraid of needles, I just dislike them.

I get to go have breakfast with mum, and then I have the day free to work on her yard and whatever else she wants me to do, and then whatever she doesn’t want me to do that needs doing.  So I’m glad I was kept from having breakfast.  Mum makes really good breakfast.  Did I ever mention that I LOVE breakfast?

So, an out of control Friday, an out of control morning, breakfast blitzed by blood testing, settles, finally, into bliss and control, as long as my car starts and gets me to mum’s for some coffee and whatever she puts on the table.  I don’t really care what it is.  I don’t know if I’m that hungry yet anyway.  But spending time there and helping them retain control, is therapeutic for me.  If I don’t have an appetite, I’ll work one up, and probably have the best lunch I’ve had in a long time.

I hope you all have a great day, and I hope you’re able to keep it under as much control as you need to be safe.  And it’s good to sit and write, too.  Writing, that’s another demonstration of me seizing control.



Yesterday I sat at work feeling numb.  I felt numb all day.  It’s not a good numb, it’s the numb of realizing that my boss and every boss before her, NEVER had my best interest in mind.  When I got a new boss, she was so nice, I wanted to believe she had my interests at heart.  I wanted to believe it so much.  I wanted to believe when I was in school, that teachers had my best interests in mind.  But only one of my teachers ever encouraged my writing.

When I graduated and tried to work in my hoped-for career field, I wanted to believe that volunteering in ministry was a way to get my foot in the door, to be considered for eventual career advancement.  And it turned out that I was working for people who only had their own interests at heart, despite the clear instructions in Philippians 2:4-5.  None of them wanted to help me advance.  At every turn, it was great that I wanted to volunteer, but as soon as I mentioned my desire to find a career in ministry, as soon as I mentioned I’d like to be paid for my efforts, the resistance started.

I started volunteering with the thought of growing whatever I volunteered at.  And when it grew, I wondered about making it a career choice, to continue doing what I was doing but do more.  And instead of doing it out of the goodness of my heart (and that’s not saying much, despite the readers’ desire to deny the fact), I thought there was enough to pay me for the work.  I realized pretty quickly, from being coached not to be myself, from being turned on and verbally attacked, from having what I set up get changed into less effective, or rescheduled to neutralize, or not advertised as had been agreed, or whatever.  I broke. My dreams have broken, and I’ve given up.  By the time my degree was a few years old, the hopelessness started settling in, as the more I tried to get my foot in the door to actually earn enough money for my family to live on, the more I met selfish ass holes who were very happy to have me as a volunteer, but for whatever fucking reason I wasn’t a good fit for a paid staff position.

So, not only did the church people I interviewed with not have my interests at heart, the ones I volunteered for didn’t either, and yesterday I sat doing my job, internally analyzing the ways my current boss has taken me for granted and loves my work as long as I work for woefully inadequate pay, that is less than new people are earning who aren’t trained or experienced, but as soon as I start talking about how I should be earning more than them because she’ll want me to train them, she starts attacking me by saying company policy this and performance review that  as excuses for why she “can’t” do anything to help me advance financially or in my career with this company.  I’m numb.

I was supposed to write last night but instead I got home at nine P.M. from a presentation. I got to present some designs I did for free, to a group of leaders who will use them in support of an organization I’ve been volunteering for.  The designs were well received, so I’ll tweak them and customize the designs and send them to each representative, customized for use by their regional group.  There’s no money in that at all.  There’s no way to get hired because the whole organization is done by volunteer effort.  I’m just contributing.  But if I did hope to get hired in, if they hired and paid people for their time, all my prior experience with trying to volunteer to eventually get hired tells me everyone is the same.

I’m convinced that it doesn’t matter what I do. It’s all pointless effort, like the preacher said, “a chasing after the wind.”  I used to dream that if you work hard people will appreciate it and in return they will take care of you, help you advance, maybe even befriend you, but it doesn’t work like that in my experience.  The people I’ve fallen in with have shown me the darkest side people can show.  The side that takes and takes and takes, and never gives.  They love volunteers, they love underpaying for the value of work, they love how it makes them look good, but as soon as I ask to bask in a little of the glow, as soon as I ask if I can have a little help, a little career advancement, a little measure of success, they turn like a pig I’ve cast my pearls to.  It’s not a question of discernment or wisdom.  Wisdom tells me everyone is exactly the same.  Full of shit.

I had hope, but I don’t hope any more where I am.  Which means I need to get out.  But if I redream, will it really be a different experience or will it be the same as it’s been for me for the last, entirely wasted, 3o years of my life?

Like the lyricist wrote:

“So these are my crimes
I lived and i die
I loved and i fall
I fall and i cry
I laughed and i loved
I loved and i lost
Till the victory is ours
The snakes in the grass”

I keep finding out the people I thought wanted to help me only want to help themselves, they look like sheep but inwardly they are wolves, they look like decent people but when you want a little help they reveal that they are poisonous snakes in the grass.  They bite, they poison, they only want what’s best for themselves, not anyone else.

So tonight, I’m doing some more fundraising for the volunteer organization: fake my smile, put on my best actor’s face, after I do the same fucking thing at work.  Relax, it’s not for a politician or political party.  I already KNOW  they’re all snakes in the grass.

At work, I have to act like everything is fine until I can get the hell out of there.  I don’t even want revenge.  I don’t want to hurt anyone, not even these ass holes who have disappointed me for the last time.  I’ve set aside expectation of anything good.  I expect to get either nothing, or less than I’m worth, for everything I do.   I just want to quit, but I have to find a different job.  I have to fake that my passion isn’t extinguished.  I have to fake sufficiently to get into the next job, just to get away from these abusers.

After fundraising, I’m going to work this weekend to get my house in order and try to help my mum and dad.  But tonight, I might just try to find out if I can make myself feel different.  Anything’s better than the hopeless numbness I felt yesterday, that’s settled on me like an uncomfortable, unfashionable suit.  Not the numbness of Post Mortem, but something that fits a little more comfortably.