28 August 2014

All righty.

I tapped 3 people for the ALS ice bucket challenge, all 3 followed through. Sandy and Curt actually dumped ice water on themselves--and Sandy went big, she got a bunch of her students to do it, too, and Ian donated $1000.

Since they ponied up, it's only fair that I do, too. So tonight the Spouse Thingy pulled out the clippers, and went to work.

I started out with a nice blue was really stylin', too.

When I looked down...all may hairs. Well, almost. He buzzed it, he didn't shave it.

And's about an eighth of an inch long. And I look like a serial killer here, cripes.

There is video, but it's almost 3 minutes of a haircut. I'm going to see if I can figure out how to edit it down, and then if it's even worth seeing. Probably not. But here are the results, which is what matters, I suppose.

And the Spouse Thingy did his challenge tonight--the Boy got him--and he even did his with real ice cubes. There's video on Facebook and it's public, so anyone can see it. I'll share it to my wall, so just pop on over there if you want to see it and hear me laugh at him.


25 August 2014

All righty... I have been tapped twice to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, by Roberta Harris and by my sister Mary. Because of health reasons I can't drench myself in ice water (the sudden, biting cold has too high a chance of sending me straight into the flare from hell), but I could certainly make donations, so I've donated $100 for each of those challenges.

Now...I'm supposed to challenge three people, so I'm tapping Sandy Swartwood, Curt Thompson, and Ian Murphy (which is why I'm doing this on my blog and not of FB, because SOMEONE can't remember his FB password, but I knows he reads this.)

Here's the deal: For Sandy and Curt, if you do the ice bucket, you only have to donate $10 to the ALS Association. If you choose to pass, it's a $100 donation.

For Murf, since I know $10 is like Kleenex...if you do it, you only have to donate $100. If you pass on it, you need to cough up $1000.

This my serious face cuz I'm serious.'s the kicker. If all three of the people I've tapped follow through, I'll do something I've done before but really don't enjoy.

See my messy blue hair?

I kind of like it.

I kind of don't like not having hair.

But since I can't do the ice bucket, if Sandy and Curt and Murf follow through, I will buzz that hair down to stubble. And we'll find a way to record it for proof.

Tomorrow is my birthday, peoples.

All I want for it...take the Ice Bucket Challenge or donate.


16 August 2014

I am in line for the self checkout at Walmart. Behind me is a guy that's practically followed me up and down the aisles, and near him is a woman I've seen around a lot, mostly at Starbucks. The guy apparently thinks I'm totally deaf.
Him: Fucking faggot freak.
Her: Huh?
Him: I hate faggots. (I can see him out of the corner of my eye, he nodded in my direction)
Her: Wow. Her husband is going to be surprised.
Me: snickers audibly.
Random asshole stomps off, presumably to another line. Yes, I thanked her. No, it's not the first time someone has brought up my marital status when countered with someone being a bigoted assmunch. I really don't care if people assume I'm gay; so what? I don't care if people think I'm different; I probably am. I do care about the underlying anger when someone says it that way, and I appreciate how other people can drop them like flies with just a simple sentence.

Not sure what I would have done if he'd said it to my face.

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 Asked by a friend:
The Parkinson's angle; if you suffered from something--not necessarily that--that locked you into your body, would you still want to live?

Barring anything else...yeah, I think I would. If I still have my mind, I think I'd be okay with being stuck inside my body if I'm not in additional pain. My brain is a freaking fun place to be most of the time; I might not be able to sit and write, but if I can still create those things in my head? Of course I'd want to live. I'd feel bad for my caretakers, but I would want to live. And they damn well better know that I want to watch Doctor Who.

Pretty much...give me a TV tuned to what you know I like, music you know I like when that's not possible, audio books, and chocolate every now and then, and I'll be okay. There are about 200 worlds spinning inside my brain, and I'm comfortable there.

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It's another one of those days...

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I should go clean the bathroom, but...meh. I need to mop the kitchen floor, but...meh. 

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My birthday is in 10 days. Hopefully this will end this years' How freaking old am I? mindfark. I get confused a bit every year, because most of the time the Spouse Thingy and I are the same age, but for 4 months he's "older" and I start thinking of myself as the same age, and then my brain trips on itself and I have no idea how old I am.


It makes sense to me.

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I really need to get up and do something. My ass is starting to hurt from sitting here.


15 August 2014

From a friend:

He sat there with the bottle in front of him for hours and says that he knew if he opened it and took just one drink, that was it. He was a dead man. He wouldn't stop until he was dead. We asked him if he'd thought about the damage he would leave behind, how many lives would be broken because he'd killed himself, and he said something I'll never forget: I thought I would be doing all of you a favor. You'd never have to deal with my shit again. Killing myself would be like doing something good for anyone who cared about me.

He's been sober for what, three or four years? He seems happy and healthy, but we will always worry. It will only take one thing, it could be something big or something small, and he might bypass the drugs and alcohol and go straight to ending everything, and in his mind he's giving us the gift of him being gone. It doesn't make sense to us but it makes sense to him, and that's terrifying.
I've never had depression issues; I've never had suicidal thoughts. I've had anger issues, self-worth issues, body image issues, chronic pain issues, issues about my ability to keep writing anything worth someone else reading, issues about a plethora of other things that I'm sure I share with a majority of the world, but I don't think I've ever really been depressed and I know I've never felt suicidal.

So is it puzzling that I understand what he was saying? I get the point he was trying to make?

The discussions opened this week about depression--true depression, not the sorts of sadness or the blues that are a part of being alive--are already dying down. It's like, yeah, sure I get it, now let's move on.

Not everyone can.

I've been metaphorically holding my breath the last couple of days, hoping to not find out that a few friends who do teeter on the edge have had triggered, hoping to not realize that a few who struggle hard with depression are slipping deeper into it. I don't know whether the open discussions that have been going on have been helpful or harmful to them, if it's giving them a line to grab onto or if it feels like someone is trying to shove them under and hold them there.

But I do get what my friend's brother-in-law was trying to say.

It's scary. I'm sure right now he grasps the concept of suicide being a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but I get it.


11 August 2014

Only a short time since the news hit that Robin Williams is dead, and quite likely by his own hand, and the shame-blame games have begun.

He committed the ultimate sin.



And that's utter bullshit. Suicide is not undertaken because someone is weak or selfish or flipping off God and "sinning." Suicide is the last hope far too many people have for ending pain.

Many, many years ago, a very gentle soul known online as Boston Bill, someone to whom I had spoken and had gotten good advice over the chronic physical pain that had consumed my life, became one of Jack Kevorkian's last patients. He made a conscious, deliberate decision to end his life because the only thing he could see ahead of him was unrelenting, unforgiving pain. Pain that narcotics couldn't even touch, even if his doctors would have given them to him.

He was not weak; he had endured more than most could ever fathom. He wasn't selfish; he spent hours upon hours helping others, even when he couldn't help himself. He didn't commit some grievous sin; God's a better man than you, you know. If anyone understood, He did.

The only thing to blame for Bill's choice was the overwhelming pain that had grabbed hold of him and refused to let go. He couldn't take it anymore, so he chose his own way out.

Many of you remember Hoss, that wonderful, spirited, incredible soul who spearheaded Oregon's Right to Die efforts and chose assisted suicide in the end. He knew when his time was done and he wanted to go out on his own terms. I still miss him. I will always miss him.

I have known far too many people, most of them online, a few in person, who saw no other way out. Unlike Bill and Hoss, who left for reasons that are easy to touch upon and understand, most of them suffered from depression. It varied in degrees from day to day or week to week, but the undercurrent was always there for them. It was always the shadow in the hallway, one that could jump out and strangle them at any time.

No one chooses to live that way. There's little to be gained in blaming someone for their depression and so much damage to be wrought.

Blaming someone for having depression is like blaming someone for having diabetes. Blaming someone for needing medication to control it is like blaming a diabetic for needing insulin. We don't choose the diseases that invade us, and no one should have to defend the medications that control them.

And yet, that's what happens.

The cold hard truth of it, too, is that even when you understand that on a very fundamental level, it doesn't mean you're going to be any good at dealing with someone who has depression. Chances are, you're not. It's not because you're thoughtless or dismissive; you just don't know the right things to do or say. Listening doesn't seem like enough, so you spout off these platitudes that you've heard online or on TV, not realizing that not only are you not helping, you're hurting.

Chances are, too, you don't realize that what you're seeing is depression. 

I learned a long, long time ago: I am not the person to whom someone struggling mentally or emotionally should turn. It's not because I don't care or want to brush it off, it's because I am not good in any situation in which I don't have the time to self-edit. I go quiet while I'm thinking; I'm panicking because I don't know if what tumbles out of my mouth will be the right thing or something monumentally stupid that will make things worse. Quiet is often interpreted as not caring. And that helps no one.

I suspect most people are a lot like me; they might want to have the coping mechanisms that a friend with depression needs, but want those tools does not equate having them.

Depression is a stone cold, black-hearted, mean little bitch.

If you suffer from depression, you already know that more friends than not are a lot like I am, and the things they say not only don't help, it often hurts. It doesn't help that you know it's not intentional; you're backed into a corner where nothing is really helping. Those shadows get darker, thicker, and it's just so hard to see anything where the light is, and it's so incredibly fatiguing to keep trying.

But I'm begging you: reach out.

Find those who DO know what to do, and who know the right words and the order in which they should tumble out of one's mouth.

It might not be a friend--it probably won't be a friend, because we're up so close that we can't see the bigger picture, not really-- but try to reach through that thick molasses of fog, the one that makes your arms feel like they weigh a ton and a half, and pick up the phone.

Check out the International Suicide Prevention Wiki. Bookmark it. And please don't be afraid to use it.

In the U.S., if you don't want to wade through the Wiki, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). They also have a website.

Believe me, this world is so much better with you in it than not--more platitudes you don't need, I know--and there are people who have been trained, who know how to help you cope, and will never, not ever blame you. It's not your fault, no more than it's my fault for having a bad back or for having had that tumor.

Shit happens, and it feels like it splatters really good people the most; your friends might want to be the ones to clean you up and be some magical fairy like ray of sunshine in your life, but the reality is that they will unintentionally say some really stupid things. So please, reach out. Call one of those numbers.

I don't want you to die. I desperately, truly do not want you to die.

And if you're one of those people who think depression is weakness, selfishness, and something that a good attitude check will fix...fark you.

Depression is a disease. Blame doesn't help and can only make things worse.

So don't be a dick. Try being understanding and compassionate. It might not help, but it at least won't hurt.

...and I'm rambling because I honestly don't know how to end this, because all I really want is for the people I love, the people I care about, the people I know only peripherally, and the people I don't know at all to be okay.

Bookmark those sites.

Call if you need to.

It's okay to call.


2 August 2014

Oddz N Endz #812,432,126.x2b Part 99

♦ Mister Max has been--again--waking me up every morning between 4:30 - 4:45. Unlike previous weeks-longs stretches when he seemed to do this because a neighbor was either coming home from or going to work, this time I think he's decided I need to pee. I do not know why he thinks so, but he won't leave me alone until I get up and go. I appreciate his consideration, but I would really like to sleep straight through the night.

♦ Because it's been so freaking hot, I have not yet geared up to start 3 Day training. Tonight the Spouse Thingy hooked up the treadmill TV for me again, though, and I cleaned up some Goodwill-destined piles of clothing to make room for the treadmill's track, so I can start inside.

Has not helped
♦ Level of difficulty: I've been battling plantar fasciitis for a couple of months, and all the usual things that help haven't been. I can't sleep in the night brace so I wore it while sitting around doing nothing; didn't help. I sucked it up and started wearing orthotics in my shoes like I'm supposed to; didn't help. An ortho boot didn't help. Icing has not helped. I bet if I dropped 90 pounds of ugly fat, that would help.

♦ Since the brace and ortho boot didn't work, and in the past high-topped sneakers have, and because I had a coupon, I ordered a pair of bright red Nikes. They should be here Monday...if I can keep the foot at 90o without wiggling it like crazy (because the brace drove me nuts) maybe that will help. I'm starting to grasp at straws here.

♦ The shoes are kinda custom. I don't know why I was then surprised that the shipping notice shows them coming from China. I have no idea why I just assumed they'd come from somewhere in the U.S. I know better. Any guilt I have over that will be nullified if they work.

♦ A couple of weeks ago we ordered a new kitchen table and were told it would take about 6 weeks to get here. Happily enough, it arrived and was delivered yesterday. Someone discovered it pretty quickly, and claimed it as his own.

♦ Since he can no longer get to the top of the refrigerator, and thus the top of the cabinets, he's lacking a definitive UP spot. I think this week we'll pick up a shelf to go up high in my office and perhaps a couple of smaller ones, so that we can create a path for him to be able to look out the high window, and get to the top of the bookcases. Because he really does need UP.

♦ This lives in my bathroom now.

♦ What? You don't have a gnome-nomming Godzilla in your house?

♦ He was a lot smaller than we thought he would be; he was intended for the yard but he's too small, so in the bathroom he went.

♦ No worries; if you come over, he totally can't watch you pee.

♦ I think.

♦ It's 11:30 p.m. and Mister Max is bitching at me to go to bed. When he decide to become my mother?