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In celebration of my upcoming birthday…56 and free

56 and free.

Yep, my new slogan.  Last year, it was 55 and alive, this year, 56 and free.

This year I am more than just surviving.  More than just barely hanging on. I am more than a thread, a small flickering flame, more than a candle in the wind, that tiny bit of oil left in the lamp, that miracle.  I am a giant ball of unstoppable fire. 

Rest assured, I don’t plan to shut up anytime soon.


New and old photos of Puzzle and me….

Just thought I’d share these….

First, this one, which you’ve seen before, taken about a year ago.  I’ll call it, “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”  Julie and Puzzle, September 2012.

Puzzle and Julie, for church 9_2_12

Here I am roughly a month ago. I believe August 6, 2013 .  Maybe I’ve found out that a monsoon has indeed hit the house.  Of course, this kind of thing happens to folks.  When it does, it tends to sweep you off your feet.  It will also kill off a witch or two in the process.  I stole this photo off of a You-Tube I made that day, or evening.  You can view the You-Tube on my Juliemadblogger channel.  I made a couple around that time and I’m rather out of it, I must say.   I viewed them both, rather cautiously, while a patient in the hospital.  I don’t think any doctor or nurse knew I was accessing my own recent past.  Surely, they may have “advised” against it, or thought I had “no self-awareness” or “no insight,” as they call it, to at all recall having done these You-Tubes.  However, I certainly remembered it.  I have the keen memory of a writer, a  memoirist.  They forgot this, as these practitioners always have over the years.  We can forgive them, I suppose.  They don’t have the training I have as writers.  The pen is mighty indeed.  Here’s the photo.


Here is the last photo I’m showing you tonight….taken just now, that is, tonight, September 11, 2013, roughly a year after the first photo I showed you of me and Puzzle together, the  one on the top of this entry.  Here is the one I just took of us.  We’re not in the same room.  We’re in my bedroom.  I’ll call the photo, “Still crazy, alive, proud, and together after all these years, Julie and Puzzle.  Nyah nyah.”

Picture 8

Doesn’t Puzzle look fabulous?  She’s so darned cute.  Must say, I’m a little bit on the cute and funny side myself.  It’s one of our many assets.

After all that bad luck

Well, I asked the question, I’ve been having so much  bad luck lately…what’s the worst thing that can happen next?  Homelessness?  Another broken bone?

And then, immediately after that, the entire post right here right now I had been working on erased itself.

Well, Julie, you asked for it, didn’t you………


The key to happiness to accept the unexpected

I suppose I can give yesterday as an example.  Yeah, sure, it pissed me off that it ended up not as I had planned, but that’s the way life is, like it or lump it, the sun goes down in the end for all of us and life will go on.

So I thought tomorrow my groomer was coming and I was going to wake up a bit earlier than I was comfortable with, shower and walk Puzzle, ask the Housing Authority where she can park (given the construction they are doing outside this week), get the  house neatened up so it will look decent, and she would come at noon.  Puzzle would get her beauty queen treat, which she enjoys, being one of those dogs that loves a bath and all that sort of stuff.  The nail clipping is the only part Puzzle shy over, so we have a way of getting that out of the way while she is daydreaming.

So after all this, I had planned that perhaps since I was short on sleep, maybe I would take a short nap, and then maybe go to the gym and have a run.  I’d make sure to time the end of my run so that the buses home would be on rush hour schedule, running every ten minutes or so.  My gym is a one-minute walk to the bus.

Absolutely perfect, right?

Anyway, that’s not at all how my life happened.

The key to happiness in life is to accept the unexpected.  Just live with it.

So this is how my day went.  Around 9 or 9:30 I guess, I got a phone call not on my usual phone, but on the phone I never, ever use and nobody has the number to, or hardly anyone has the number to.  It’s from my groomer.  I choose not to pick up because doing so will use up $2 of the charges on that phone, and I assume that she’s accidentally called the wrong number.  I try to quickly call her back using other cell phone and find out the entire account has been accidentally–what’s the word for it–it’s an awful word to hear–banned?  No.  Deleted?  No.  It wasn’t “Disconnected,” it was some word that meant it was no longer viable or okay and it was now completely wiped off the map.  I just can’t think of the word but is something no one enjoys hearing over and over, especially if it was done by accident by tech support.

So a couple of calls.  One to my groomer, this one the easier one, rescheduling Puzzle.  She tells me it might be a bit of a squeeze for her today and asks if next week might be better.  I tell her I’m fine with this because I had been concerned about today’s parking problem here at my building anyway.  So next week they will be all done with the construction outside and parking won’t be a problem.  We talk and laugh a bit.

Now, the calls to tech support.  Guess what?  These calls lasted all day long.  Yes, all day long to get my phone reconnected.  That was my day.

Most of the time, I was on hold listening to the worst, most awful, most repetitive “music”  you have heard in your life.  You really could not call it music, it’s the stuff they play on the radio I suppose, but I have not owned a radio in years, so I wouldn’t know, and they played the same bars over and over, to torture us I guess.  This “music” was interrupted by loud, screaming voices telling the listener to wait because a tech support person would come on any minute now, and then this awful few bars of “music” would play again, and again, and again.  And this was what I got tortured with every time I got transferred from one tech support person to another, there was always a lengthy wait.

I did take a long nap midday.  I was plain exhausted.  Held Puzzle and felt damn thankful for my dog.

After my nap, back on the phone and going through the long, torturous waits with the awful “music” on hold.

In the end, they asked me if I was satisfied.  I gave them hell.  For the first time, yes, gave them hell.  The unfortunate tech support person, no, I told her, please relay this information to your company because I am not speaking to you specifically, but when I say “Assurance Wireless,” and I hear that little dip in the voice, yes, I hear it, I always hear that DISRESPECT, that inner knowledge that yes, I am on Welfare and yes, I do sponge off the government and live off tax dollars and no, I did not go to a vending machine some 33+ years ago and decide, hey I CHOOSE this, and pick out this anorexia nervosa from all of them because it has a fancy Latin name I’d never heard before,  no, no one chooses to be disabled, no one asks for the unexpected in life.

So today is another day.

I love my life.  Absolutely love it.  I couldn’t be in a better place than I am right here, right now.

You end up wherever you are.  And that’s that.  There’s no more to it.  Nothing fancy.  It’s just so utterly fantastic.

Good morning

Hello, blog readers!  I have woken up and everything seems rather okay here.  I made some breakfast for myself, made breakfast for Puzzle, walked Puzzle and daydreamed a whole lot, dropped by at the church to say hello to my minister, continued to walk Puzzle, came back, gave her the gourmet breakfast I had prepared for her, and now am proceeding to continue with my day.  I am feeling quite good and am not feeling very much of the dizzy feeling I felt yesterday, which was from the medication I started Wednesday night.  The dizziness was minor and not something I was too worried about unless it were to increase.  My sense was that it would go away.  I was right.  Today I am much better.   I am feeling so terrific that this afternoon I am going to the gym and will be running on the treadmill.  I won’t run very far, since it will be my first time back in a while.  I am going to be very careful, because I have heard so many stories about people falling on treadmills.  I even saw someone fall once.  It’s horribly embarrassing, and of course there is risk of injury.  I always tie that thingy onto myself to get the treadmill to stop immediately if I goof up.  I have never fallen.  My mom pointed out to me that when I was a very young child, I was extremely cautious.  I guess it’s one of those personality traits.  Like when I knit, I tend to not drop stitches.  Ever.  She said I was not a kid that did things sloppily.

So, the day is still young.  I need to work some on Lesson One, which is creeping along.  It is only the technical part that I have to finish up now, and this is time-consuming.

You may be wondering how last night’s sleep went.  Your average person may look back on the night and say, “Gee, I slept terribly last night!” but for me, I’d say it was a better night’s sleep than any I’ve had since August 2011.  I don’t recall the night all that well, but I do recall waking up and laying there, looking at my watch at some point, going back to sleep, wondering if I’d been asleep or awake for a few hours, and then suddenly it was 6:30 in the morning and none of that even mattered.   Puzzle wasn’t even with me and I hadn’t noticed that she had decided for whatever reason to let me have a go at it by myself.  I decided I’d had enough of the bed thing for the night and to do the day thing.  So that was last night.

Today, I guess things are normal here in my little apartment.  I can tell because the sneezer next door has been sneezing as usual.  So this delights me knowing that my sense of hearing is still intact.  Her TV is blasting today, too.  No one has had any kitchen disasters this morning so no smoke alarms went off to my knowledge and we didn’t end up with the guys in uniform at the front door knocking around demanding to know who burned the toast.  Earlier, the old ladies were pacing around in the hall like this place was a nursing home.  I guess I could let that annoy me or I can just laugh my fool head off at the situation, and live my life completely away from these fuckers.

Hey, Julie, you are a winner.

Having fun cooking for myself and Puzzle

I had no clue what to title this entry, but if I forget to give my entries a title when I start out, I end up messing up somehow, so that’s the title I ended up with.  Let’s face it: People and dogs like food.

If you’re curious as to how I’ve been doing, or even if you’re not, I’m going to clue you in: I’ve been doing awesome lately.  Now of course I still have to be a bit careful when I go see Dr. P Wednesday (I’ve decided I might as well show up) NOT to use the well-known buzz-words, “I’m on top of the world, Dr. P!”

See, shrinks are well-trained to listen for these exact words.  Shrink’s translation: mania.  However, I am not manic.  Fact is, we all live on the earth’s surface.  Humans have yet to make a home within the core of the earth or anywhere near underground.  Yeah, there are basement apartments and you can spend many, many hours, I suppose, working underground in a mine.  Now when I was a kid, we were all thinking we could dig a hole from my backyard to China, and we occasionally tried but never did quite reach China.  Good thing, cuz even now, I don’t know a word of Chinese and would never get by over there.  So we are all on the earth’s surface, on top of the world, which is just plain fact.  But when your shrink asks how you are doing, do NOT say your are on top of the world, not in those exact words.  You will be handed pills.  Or even sectioned.

But guess what?  The shrink has been indoors “working” (in other words, pushing pills) all day in an office with no windows.  The shrink has no clue that the weather is the best it’s been in weeks.  No wonder you might feel so damned good.  A lot of “normals” feel damned good today and they are not handed pills. Why?  They didn’t end up with a label so they didn’t have to go to a shrink.

I think one reason I feel good, actually, is that I stopped taking the Abilify I was taking mid-February.  It was a bit hard at first cuz for a few days, I went through a small amount of withdrawal.  Yes, I went off cold turkey.  10 mgs to zero in a flash.  They say this is inadvisable, however, at 5mgs, I was barely sleeping, and at 10mgs, not sleeping at all.  I think I’ve already explained the whole half-life thingy and my thinking on it and how it took a week to get out of my system entirely.  The withdrawal was barely noticeable.  I guess if I worked a job or had to drive a car, it would have been more risky, but these are non-applicable.  At its worst, my sentences were a little jumbled.  I suffered no jitters, no flu-like symptoms, no sweats, nothing like that.  It took ages, but finally, I began to sleep a tiny bit.

I have mentioned how I spent a month hiding in my bed just laying there, withdrawn from the world entirely.  Much of this was cuz I was trying to get my sleep back, and a lot was of course because of the bogus therapist I unfortunately crossed paths with.  Yes, I will indeed file a complaint and I hope he is plenty surprised and I hope I feel empowered because of it and I hope this prevents him from doing further harm to patients who end up duped by him the way I was duped.

So what about the sleep problem?  Dr. P gave me more pills, of course, as I told you, and kinda shrugged when I asked for a therapist.  I have tried the benzos but refused to even fill the prescription for the antipsychotic, Latuda, which, according to documentation, causes breast enlargement, increases blood pressure, and does indeed cause weight gain.

Why was I put on the Abilify, back last fall, in the first place? The symptom I described to Dr. P was my “anger machine.”  Constant anger.  Well, gee, if you’d been subject to an abusive therapist, M, whom I’d endured from Thanksgiving 2010 till March 2012, who every single session threatened to put you in the state hospital, and constantly manipulated you and accused you of things you didn’t do, you’d turn into an anger machine by the end of all that, too.  Not only that, I’d gone through withdrawal from Imipramine.  Antidepressant withdrawal sucks.  (I hear that some people are doomed to stay on Effexor, for instance, forever only because withdrawal is so intolerable.)  I’d been treated like an animal by the “sitters” and in the psych ward at Mass General, and badly deprived of water for no medical reason, and to make things worse, I got out and nobody believed me.  Anyone would turn into an anger machine after that.  Even a “normal.”  It would be kinda normal, actually, to feel distrust of the world after all that, wouldn’t it?

I’m over my anger machine phase.  I no longer feel constant rage.  Yes, even off Abilify.  Especially now that I experience sleep, so being off Abilify is helpful in fact.

Sleep is still a huge problem.  One of the pills she gave me was 2mgs Klonopin.  This might keep me asleep about 2-1/2 hours or so.  The other pill I have is Ambien 10 mgs, which only keeps me asleep an hour.  Neither is good sleep.  I only use the Ambien for a nap, not at night.  Neither is really worth taking.  I’m always just plain exhausted.  Often, I have to cancel what I’ve got planned, and just lay down all day, I’m too tired.

I tried Somnapure, which I think is how it is spelled.  Here’s a hint: I read the reviews, and one reviewer said you can go to their website and sign up for a free bottle of samples.  Then you are put on automatic subscription.  Just call the number and cancel before you are put on automatic subscription and there is no penalty.  They will connect you to a “sleep technician” or whatever.  Sleep technician?  Well, who are these folks?  I guess they are like those folks who work in mattress and bed stores.  They are selling you a product.  They will tell you you have to keep on taking it so it will “build up in your system.”  This sounds like baloney to me if it is “non habit forming.”  But get this: they will mail you another bottle, no delivery charge, entirely free.  That’s what I found out.  Then call them by the deadline and be sure to cancel, cuz if it works for you, you can buy it cheaper in a store on sale.

Do observe the ingredients: mostly valerian root, 500 mgs per tablet, and you’re supposed to take two tablets.  I can buy valerian root, loose powder form, in bulk, at my food coop and I think last time I bought it, food stamps paid for it, but that didn’t matter even cuz all you really want is a little, little bag.  Seal the bag, keep it dry, and put the little bag in a dark, air-tight bottle, such as an old pill bottle.

The other ingredients of Somnapure are as follows: Lemon balm extract 300 mgs (never tried), L-Theonine 200 mgs (never tried), hops extract 120 mgs (this is supposed to be real good), Chamomile flower extract 50 mgs (this is one that works real well for some people, but I’ve heard you can be allergic to it),  Passion flower extract 50 mgs (never tried), and melatonin 3 mgs.  Regarding melatonin, I need at least 20 mgs to sleep at all, so I’m sure the 6 mgs in two tablets of Somnapure does nothing.

Now they will tell you never, never take more than two tablets.  Not that I took this stuff very much, I didn’t, just tried a few times and gave up.  But one night I got all frustrated, took four, and actually slept.  Not a whole lot, not real good deep sleep, but sleep nonetheless.  Meanwhile, I had had very good results from the powder Valerian root I’d purchased and still have quite a bit of.  I plan to purchase a small amount more next time the coop has its discount day.

I do have to take a whopping dose of it, far more than the 1,000 mgs that would be in those two Somnapure tablets.  A thousand mgs sure won’t cut it for me.  This valerian root I get is total powder, like baby powder.  Here’s how I measure it.  I’ll bet herbs come in varying strengths and grades, which complicates the matter, but I weigh it with a jewelry scale, for better or worse.  You can purchase a simple pocket jewelry scale from Amazon.  Then I mix it with water and drink it.  There are various teas that contain Valerian root but these appear to contain very, very little and are very expensive teas.  Or you can buy a bottle of tablets or capsules of the stuff, and there are tinctures and the like.  This is all in the experimental stages for me, and please don’t take my word for it on how to measure the stuff.  Or if it’s bad for you or good for you.  Think of all the crap you put in your body.  We can obsess forever on this.  I honestly don’t know.

The absolute best thing is sleeping with Puzzle.  She gets practically comatose when she’s asleep.  I can’t imagine sleeping with a human.  The whole idea of sleeping with a human, and all the complications, broken promises, and long-term consequences that go along with it kinda grosses me out.   Does this mean there’s something “wrong” with me?  Am I deprived?  Naw, it means my life is someplace else, someplace far better right now.  I’m enjoying myself plenty.

I guess I’ll get to the recipe part now.  I made a recipe the other night, and had a blast.  First, I had to go out and get the ingredients.  I did this because I absolutely had to get food for Puzzle anyway, so I figured I might as well pick up a few things for myself.  I had a recipe tucked away in my computer that a while back I’d stolen off the web, so I decided I would cook it up.

But let me diverge for a sec to say that another really, really good thing that’s happening to me is that stopped doing dairy.  Now, what did they tell us at what my brother called “the food hospital”?  That if you leave out a food group, you have an eating disorder?  I think the Brain Bio Center at Princeton has been around a lot longer than the “food hospital” has, and folks of course still think these Princeton scientists are a bit nuts.  I know a lot of “mental patients” who got dragged to the Brain Bio Center by their parents and did, indeed, find Princeton’s Brain Bio Center’s scientists a bit on the kooky side. They talk about “brain allergies.”  People still think it’s nonsense.  But I do know this: When I do dairy, I get depressed.  Like very.  Every pseudo-dairy, such as soy milk is a downer for me, for whatever reason.  Or I just plain (to be politically incorrect) go off my rocker.  So I very deliberately stopped dairy.

Maybe dairy is sort of like a very, very bad trip for me.  Once someone who is alcoholic learns that alcohol is no good for them and it does bad things for them, learns that it makes them act in bad ways, they get educated.  They learn that “non alcoholic beer” is not going to do them any good, either.  This Joe explained to me one day when we were at a restaurant, at least so it was in his case.  This was of course eons ago.  He said it wouldn’t bug him in the least if I ordered non-alcoholic beer, but he would choose not to give me a kiss later on.  He wanted no reminders, not a taste of his past, a long, long time ago, which was even before we had met.

I remember last fall when I was feeling real good for a while, I had stopped dairy, too.  So there you have it.  I have stopped binge eating.  What a blessing.  You can imagine what chowing down on a pound of cheese would do to me, and has done to me.  Been there, done that.   People have allergies and the like.  Maybe they are allergic to almonds.  They eat almonds and get then get sick.  So then once they learn, they know not to do it again.

Well, anyway, the recipe.  It calls for the use of a wok.  My stove is plain impossible and won’t do a wok.  Only two of the four burners work at all.  I substituted quinoa for rice because I had it in my head that rice automatically sticks to everything and is difficult to clean up, and quinoa is a bit more practical.  The recipe called for fresh peas.  I gasped at the price and no way was I gonna buy them.  I wasn’t gonna even walk down the frozen food aisle, either, just wasn’t in the mood.  I figured I had enough veggies at home, all bought on sale and cheaply, and I’d find some colorful, nutritious substitution that would work as well as fresh peas.  Cilantro wasn’t too expensive, so I purchased a small bunch.  Of course, if you live alone, you are doomed to live and breathe fresh cilantro for the next few days and be very creative with it, just like everyone is with turkey right after thanksgiving.  Or it will go bad and you can throw it out.  I bought the smallest piece of fresh ginger I could find in the basket, trying real hard not to appear like I was touching stuff and getting everything germy.   I knew I already had ginger at home but I wasn’t sure if it was still in decent shape.

I bought Brussels sprouts, these being on sale for the second week in a row at Stop & Shop, kinda rare.  I like Brussels sprouts mainly because they are almost as cute as Puzzle.

Of course, I went to what I call the “dented can aisle,” this being the rejects, the throw-aways.  You know my analogies.  “On the fringe of society.”  That’s where occasionally I find a real steal, but not always.  This past week I found a bag of barley marked half price and a lot, lot, lot of legumes, but I only bought the barley and decided I have plenty of legumes at home already.  Last week, I purchased a lot of produce in the “dented can aisle” including yams marked way down, but this week, I didn’t see anything I needed.

The day before Easter turns out to be an awesome day for shopping for meat for your dog.  Of course, I had no clue that this would be the case until I arrived at the supermarket.  I found lots of stuff marked down, lots of organ meat most humans don’t want, all sorts of stuff, and yes, red meat marked down too, so Puzzle is a very, very happy camper right now.

My food total this week was I think $20.  Or maybe more.  I also replaced the dish that got busted in the microwave and I got a roll of paper towels.

So anyway, this recipe, I’ve made it twice now.  My stove is rather useless and always has been, but I made do.  I used my veggie steamer to cook the quinoa.  The recipe says, “tofu, cubed.”  It doesn’t say what size cubes.  So both times I did the recipe, I made little sticks.  I figured there was no harm in making little sticks of tofu, and indeed, they were as cute as Brussels sprouts, no harm at all.  I put the little sticks on top of the quinoa once the quinoa was finished cooking.  It all heated up very, very fast.  Meanwhile, I had chosen a veggie, broccoli, to substitute for peas, just for the heck of it, and steamed that as well in the veggie steamer.  I made sure it didn’t overcook.

But while this was all happening, I had to do the flavoring.  This was on the crucial, rather tricky side, but much easier than I thought it would be.  I used my old cast-iron pan, the one I’ve had since I was 17 years old and lived in a college dorm.  I can’t use my large cast-iron pan because my large burner is completely non-functional.  I cut an onion in half, peeled it, chopped it up, and put the pieces in a dish.  I minced a chunk of ginger.  Sure enough, all the minced ginger immediately dumped onto the floor.  The only good thing about that was that I had plenty more ginger, the container that the ginger was in was plastic and not glass, and now my floor was kinda ginger-smelling which may be a good thing considering my microwave exploded and the fire department was in here the other night.  Of course, I swept it all up, minced more ginger, and laughed my fool head off.  Next time, I kept all my stuff far away from the edge of the counter.

The recipe says to grate the ginger, but both times I have minced it, and it seems that I am very much still alive and well.

The recipe says you’re supposed to stir-fry the garlic, ginger, and onion (or scallion) in the wok with a small amount of olive oil.  I was using pre-minced garlic out of a squeeze bottle, so I knew to add this late in the game or it would burn and get gross.  Of course, I was also using a cast-iron pan and not a wok.  Meanwhile, I had chopped up some cilantro and set it aside.  Every recipe I’ve got that has fresh cilantro in it says to add the fresh cilantro at the very, very end.  This recipe states that as well.

As soon as all these flavorings were nicely browned, I turned off my burner and transferred all this stuff into a large pot.  I took the quinoa and tofu (these were in different amounts the two times I did the recipe, and the second time I’d thrown in a lentil or two for the heck of it) carefully out of my steamer and added them to the pot.  Then the veggies.  The first time it was broccoli only, but the second time I did the recipe I added different, more varied and colorful veggies.  I quickly cut the cooked veggies into smaller pieces while they were still hot.  Luckily, they were not at all overcooked.  Last but not least I tossed in a very, very tiny amount of Ponzu sauce (the recipe calls for “low sodium soy sauce,” which I didn’t want to purchase, but I already had Ponzu sauce), and a very small amount of toasted sesame oil.  And the fresh cilantro.  I mixed everything up, and it was ready to eat.

All this was quite thrilling to me.

And  no, this food was not for Puzzle.  It was food I cooked for myself.


News about me

Things are looking up for me.  I made a list yesterday of things I need to work on and ways that I have improved my life.  Nobody asked me to make this list.  I did it on my own.  It is a very crude list.   I have reworded it somewhat so that you can understand it better, because my version is slightly abbreviated.

1. I need to finish the projects that I begin.

2. I need to improve my sleep.

3. I need to start a new writing project.

4. I need to continue to work on my running.

5. I need to validate my improved thinking about the way I view my two brothers.

6. I need to further develop my You-Tube channel.

I elaborated on these six goals as follows:

Number One: I need to make lists periodically and prioritize items.  I should get into some sort of routine again.  In a way, I have started to do this.  I have been running every day, showering daily, getting into night clothes every night instead of sleeping in clothes, getting Puzzle out earlier in the morning, going to bed at a reasonable hour, getting Puzzle out at night before it gets too late, keeping my floor extremely clean, doing the dishes right after I dirty them, hanging up my clothes instead of throwing them on the floor, keeping my desk clean, emptying the trash regularly, and many other things.  I need to see what works, and keep doing what works.

Number Two:  I think I’ve spoken about this before.  I have made improvements in my sleep.  I need to see what works and keep doing it.  Lack of sleep was causing many problems.

Number Three: I need to decide on a writing project, set a deadline, and work toward the deadline.  I need to work on the writing project daily.

Number Four: I am making great progress with running.  I need to remember to take a day off now and then.  So far, I am working steadily toward my goal of being ready for the 5k I have signed up for at the end of  April.

Number Five: I have completely resolved my angst over my brother Phil not loving me.  I have let go.  This is HUGE.  My brother Ned is not the same person as my brother Phil.  I have to remember that just cuz they are both baby brothers, they are not the same.  My religion tells me there are no schmucks in this world.  But Phil is acting like a schmuck.  Ned is doing his best and I give him a lot of credit for trying.  I need to separate them.  I can and already have detached from Phil.  It’s just the way families are.  As my new therapist said, Jacob and Esau settled the matter of the birthright over a bowl of chicken soup, nothing more.  Families get to be stinkers over nothing.  That’s the breaks.  He’s so right.  I love  having a new T who does not have boundary problems and has nothing to gain personally from doing a power trip on me.

Number Six:  This is big news for you readers, cuz I am going to expand my You-Tube channel!  I plan to do two, yes two You-Tubes a week.  I love hamming it up in front of the camera.  What have I got to lose?  I love my “fan club,” those imaginary folks in the imaginary audience on the “other side” of that camera.  After all, they don’t dump me, they don’t walk out on me, they don’t laugh at me, they don’t kick me out, and when I call them, they pick up the phone, or so I’d like to think.  They never unfriend me, certainly, or talk about me behind my back or gossip about me.  My You-Tubes for my lovely audience/fan club will be on the following topics:

Readings from my own works
And many more

I think my upcoming You-Tube will be a posting of the one that was supposed to be for healthyplace dot com but never got up there.  Then, my next one will be on the following topic:

How to put on and take off a dog sweater

Stay tuned everyone!


Permanently disabled? Some thoughts

What is disability and what does it mean to be “permanently disabled”?  Sounds kinda grim, doesn’t it?  The word “disabled” has all kinds of negative connotations, and that’s not a good thing, because it also is a word that sets apart a segment of the population that is in no way inferior to the rest of society.  Problem is, people equate “disabled” with “incapable.”

“Wheelchair” does not mean “I can’t do that.”

The wheelchair symbol means that this particular parking space is reserved for a particular segment of the population and if you are not part of that segment, you, asshole, should not park there.

To me, “wheelchair” can mean “opportunity.”  Imagine the pickle folks were in before the invention of the wheelchair.  Imagine life before the electric wheelchair and the opportunities that the newer inventions and technologies have given people.  Imagine life before vision could be corrected with corrective lenses, namely, glasses, contacts of all sorts, even nowadays surgery.

Imagine life before antipsychotic medication.  Yeah, these drugs have vastly improved our lives.  Problem is, the meds are overused nowadays or used improperly or marketed all wrong by huge moneymaking drug companies.  There are a handful of people who have benefited from the drugs but there are many who have been given these drugs indiscriminately and have suffered huge losses.  As you know, I fall into both these categories. I think many folks do.

Psychiatric disability does not mean “I can’t do that.”  It does not mean “I am dangerous.”  It does not mean “I am dirty.”  It does not mean “cross the street next time you see me so you don’t have to go near me cuz mental illness is contagious.”  Psychiatric disability does not mean “keep me away from your kids.”

For every person with a psychiatric disability, there are not 26 people lying in a school yard dead. If there are, go show me the dead bodies cuz there must be one helluva lot of ’em and one helluva lot of school yards.

So say I’m on a treadmill running at 5.0 miles per hour.  That’s not all that fast, but that’s about the speed I run at right now.  I’ll be there are a fair number of amputees who can run at that speed or faster.

Like I said, disabled does not mean incapable.  So if a person can run faster than I can, I who has never had a leg or foot amputated, does this mean that this disabled person has “overcome” their disability?

Naw.  Nothing has been overcome.  I say this because their damn leg or legs have not regenerated.  No way.  You don’t regenerate, you don’t overcome.  What you do is you get creative.  This is the key.  You work with what you have, and you make it work for you.  So what I am assuming is that this runner, who is running at 5.0 miles per hour or 5.1 or 5.5 and running the hell out of the treadmill next to me on legs that have been amputated is either running directly on their stumps, or using something nice and sleek and fancy for prosthetics.

Hey, like I always say, you do what you have to do to survive.

So like my brain ain’t gonna suddenly change overnight to be a “normal thinking brain.”  Cuz you figure it’s never thought like a normal brain in 55 years, it ain’t gonna start now.  But I figure, like I said, you work with what you got, and you make it work for you.

Guess what?  I write.

Guess what?  My brain does a handful of other magnificent things.

Might as well have a blast, eh?

I will be 55 shortly

I will be 55 in less than 36 hours, in fact, so if God, or you, or anyone else wants to ensure that I do not have this birthday, be sure to pick me off during this time window.  I dare ya.

After all, we Jews killed Jesus, didn’t we?  That’s what I was told when I was a child.  In my 55 years, I have handled a hammer a bunch of times, not a lot.  I guess average “for a girl.”  That I know of, I have not had the experience of nailing a 2,000-year-old guy’s wrists to a board.

If I had done this, it would have kinda been overkill, don’t you think?  Wouldn’t he be old and decrepit enough?  And under law, doing something like that would qualify as elder abuse.

Just think: I could go to jail for a nail.

Anyway, I am a Sinner in the Eyes of  God according to one person.  July 2011 I nearly died of starvation and was on a medical floor.  This prestigious hospital had “sitters” watching me from an independent agency.  Well, that’s what one of the sitters told her patient, a lady who almost starved herself to death, me.  That I was a Sinner in the Eyes of God.

Wow, lovely thing to hear.  Makes ya want to live, it does.

So this “sitter” has less than 36 hours to lodge a complaint against me, saying I am a Sinner in the Eyes of God and should be picked off.  Removed.

Hey lady, you too.  I dare ya.

Post-flu, I couldn’t be better.  I went running today on the treadmill and kinda surprised myself.  I looked on the “target heart rate” chart and made comparisons to what the treadmill heart sensors are saying, assuming they are accurate.

My conclusion:  I seem to have a heart after all.  Guess I’m human like the rest of you.  My heart beats like everyone else’s.  That sure beats not having a heart.

In fact, it ain’t such a bad idea to follow your heart to where it leads you.  Ignore what others say about you or think about you if in your heart you know you are doing the right thing.

Sometimes, your heart may lead you to a lonely place.  You have to travel a journey all by yourself and no one will accompany you to protect and advise you.  Yet you know you are right, and you journey onward.

Now consider those who have advised you to turn back and go instead to a safer place.  Are these people who have always loved and supported you?  Are these people to whom you can turn when in need?

I revealed to my brother my new plans, and he told me how stupid and crazy I am.  I asked myself if his advice was coming from true caring, or if it was coming from wisdom.  How much time has he spent with me in the past two years, anyway?  This man does not even know who I am.  He doesn’t want to spend time with me or get to know me.  Why should he even care?

Because he’s afraid that if my plans flop, I’ll go running to him, and oh dear, he’ll have to shell out his precious money.  I think that’s what he fears.  In our phone conversation, I guess he was protecting his wallet as usual.

Pretty sad.

Don’t listen to shits who don’t love you.  Who cares what the world thinks of you, or me.  Just give ’em a few whacks, hit ’em over the head with a hammer.  Or nail their wrists to a board, be a Sinner in the Eyes of God, and wait 36 hours, see if I care.

I will be 55 next week

This will mean I will qualify as “senior” for a few, not many, new services beginning on my birthday.  Some public events such as concerts, plays, or movies, etc, might admit me as a senior, or I might be able to take a class at a senior rate, but chances are I’d have to be 60 or 62 or 65.  But I can ask, won’t hurt.  Sometimes I ask if there’s a disability rate or a low income rate for things.  There rarely is.

I’m going to have to start carrying ID around that proves my age.  My passport?  It’ll do.  The photo doesn’t look like me anymore (never mind what I weighed) but thankfully, I had my hair in a braid, and I honestly think that’s what has gotten me through security without anyone batting an eyelash.  I could use one of those RMV ID cards with my address on it if I only I could afford it.

The day before I got this flu, I ran a mile and a half on the treadmill.  I’m supposedly “spry” for my age according to my younger brother.  Now there’s vocabulary I didn’t need to hear.

Now, doesn’t “spry” apply to someone in their 80’s or 90’s?  Do I need to start wearing “hose,” lipstick, perfume, and an apron?  Does my place have to smell like cookies every Sunday?  Do I dye my hair blue and gossip all day long?

Or do I replace my operating system before Microsoft phases out XP, write another book, keep on running, and invite someone from the town government into this apartment real soon to see what a hellhole it is (my latest idea for improving conditions for us tenants).

Welcome to 2013, and happy birthday in advance to me.

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