Tag Archives: society

To Narcissistic Mothers

From a daughter.

Why try? Nothing is ever good enough. That’s why I said whatever I thought, because you didn’t listen. It didn’t matter, I always had to apologize, even if I was right.

“Why do you argue with people who aren’t capable of thinking rationally?” my best friend asked, and it dawned on me why. Because I used to do it every day. It’s just a habit I never got rid of. A piece of baggage I still carry. No one stuck up for me then with you, no one does now. Because you’re still always right.

Did you ever think that you may still be ill because you think you know more than the “doctors” you see? You don’t see them long enough, because as soon as they say something you don’t like or disagree with, you switch to someone else. You need to see a rheumatologist, not all these other people. They’re fine to go along with traditional Western medicine, but they don’t seem to be working too well on their own.

But I’m “too sick” to know how sick you are. And your illness has become like a pregnancy; “since we’ve been sick,” dad says now. What will the product of this be? An enlightenment of sorts?

Why now, when I’m down and ill myself, tell me what a difficult child I was, colicky and hard to deal with. Because I said we had a narcissistic family structure? Why now, when I was pushed from all sides to have children, tell me you really support my decision not to have them? Twenty odd years later? I’m “too sick” to be a good parent? I stuck to my decision myself because I didn’t want to pass on any mental illness. It was a good decision, and I did it without any encouragement from you then, I don’t need your praise for it now when it sounds like a backward compliment.

I am still looking for my mother, and now you’re swallowing my father too. We are getting over the flu, we have been tired, we have just been so busy, busy. We fill up our time with DVDs. How are the Roosevelts these days? We are one unit now. I can still have good conversations with dad unless we talk about anything medical. Which is everything, just about. A life consumed by illness.

Is this all because one doctor told you it was in your head? Get over yourself. Thousands of women have heard that, from more than one doctor. Yet they persevere until they find an answer. I try to fill out a medical history form and I don’t know truth from self-diagnosis. Your flights of fancy about what you cannot possibly know are possibly killing you. You know nothing about what your insides look like, just what your imagination tells you. But you don’t listen, because I don’t say what you want to hear, and I’m tired of apologizing. I live under death now from someone who made the decisions you have been making. Thinking you know more than the doctors. That you have the right to do what you will with your own body, which is true. But it effects more than just you.

And I know it’s hard, to feel crappy and tired and achy, and to not know how you’ll feel from one day to the next. But I’m not too sick to keep from trying to see the right doctors to try to fix the problem. Or problems.

The thing is, I know it’s not your fault. I know it has to do with your upbringing. But your hatred is so strong, and there are so many unresolved issues that you have, I don’t know how you’ll work them out. But that’s for you to figure out, not me. I have my own issues to work on, to recover from. Ones you were too sick to notice were happening, or to understand truly when I talked about them. So I don’t talk about them, because there’s no point.

The thing is, I don’t know that we will be friends, that I will be able to talk to you about things. Because you haven’t been there. Your personality changes. You’re lucid, then you’re not. You’re not rational. You can’t be reasoned with. I don’t know why. No one is ever good enough, really. But there’s nothing I can do about that. That’s your issue, or issues. I see someone else’s life being ripped up by a narcissistic mother, only she’s strong enough to stand up for herself and fight back, and her mother isn’t passive aggressive the way you were. It doesn’t just all wash away, water under the bridge, forgotten. There are scars, behaviors, adaptations of behaviors that I’ve done for years without knowing why.

I write this out of frustration for the other daughter whose narcissistic mother makes her cry every time she’s with us, and I ache with the inability to do anything for her except listen, because the pain is too raw for her to offer advice. But she’s leaps and bounds ahead, because she wants a therapist now, and knows what the problems are. But I hate that she says the same things I still do thirty years later, that they’re already ingrained, how easily the damage is done and how hard it is to repair.

Women already have strikes against them in society, how to look, how to behave, asshole misogynists who think it isn’t rape if you have sex with your unconscious wife, standards of unattainable beauty, men who want to control your body with religion. Why does it have to be this way with our mothers?

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A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System

Reblogged from takingthemaskoff.com

This is an excellent post on one scenario of how two people, simply due to the circumstances of their birth, end up on two separate paths. I know that sounds trite and like every other story, but please read this one

A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System.
A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System
November 30, 2014 125 Comments

1

“You know in this hotel room they have food every day and I knock on the door. Every day they open tha door to let me see the party, let me see that they throwin’ salami, throwin’ food around telling me there’s no food. Every day. I’m standing outside tryin to sing my way in- “We are weak, please let us in. We’re weak, please let us in.” After about a week that song is gonna change to, “We’re hungry, we need some food.” After two, three weeks it’s like “Give me some of that food! I’m breakin down that door.” After a year it’s like, “I’m pickin’ the lock, comin’ through the door blastin.” It’s like, “I’m hungry”

– Tupac Shakur

It is my hope that we have a silent army building. The revolution will not be televised. But I see the replies I get, and it gives me hope.

I saw an article in the New York Times basically saying there would be less shootings if the mentally ill had less privacy and were more easily forced to be hospitalized. This is the New York Times! Who are the sick ones?

I’m going to tell a story. 2 stories, of 2 different people. They are both true stories. Then you can see how this all begins and becomes a problem. I’ll go back and forth between the stories until their paths meet.

Here’s Dusty, I don’t know, age 3 to 5. Happy kid, plenty of love. Just loves everyone and loves the world. He doesn’t see color, sex, religion. He has nokind of discrimination, all he sees is love.

Here’s the second story. This is my cousin Donald. The man he is with is my father. Donald also loves the world, he sees no race, sex, and discriminates against no one. He is a very loving and giving kid.

Dusty gets older. He still loves everyone and everything. However, Dusty grew up in a home that was infested with cockroaches, and had been condemned 2 to 3 times. There was about 7 or 8 kids living there, they had no food. Dusty was the kindest of the group. He got beaten by his brothers, picked on, and thrown around. He was told “You are a loser, give me your money, do my work.” He did not understand, he gave whatever he had to others.

When I met Dusty he was about 8 or 9 years old. He had 4 brothers and sisters, they all smoked pot, drank, and never went to school. Everyone walked around this place with almost no clothes. They had only 2 bedrooms. The house was full of smoke.

Cockroaches were all over. They had no shower, and a bathroom with only a curtain covering it. The old guys would come around drinking, smoking weed, and getting physical. The older kids were getting worse also.

There was something special about Dusty, his heart. He was born with an amazing heart. He loved everyone, and gave all he had. To tell you of this kids strength, words won’t do it justice. As a 9 year old, he was growing up in a house in which every adult was punching, smoking weed, drinking, and stealing. Also, the gangsters knew where the weed was. THE house, that’s where they were. But Dusty, at age 9, he refused to smoke weed or drink or do any of that. However, being sweet and sensitive, he was an easy target. He did not stop loving though, he still loved them all. He saw through it, through everything, even as a kid. So what happens when you are extra sensitive, caring, and loving? You get pushed down, forced to create a mask, his was the goofy guy. This is the same house where I met Joe. Dusty and Joe were cousins and best friends.

Here is Donald. He is my cousin. He was a great kid. His father was a doctor in a small town, he made lots and lots of money. That doesn’t make Donald bad, and he is not bad. In fact, he’s a wonderful human being. I know this story puts him in privileged category. But, that is not his fault, he is still a caring, kind, and considerate human being. His father, my uncle, was once in jail for stealing cars and grew up to be a doctor. The thing about Donald was, he was born gifted, and extremely smart. He was above the genius level. He may have skipped a grade, I can’t remember. He was and is not a bad person.

However, while Dusty was seeing what he saw, Donald was going on trips, and getting the best life had to offer. He worried for nothing, he could be a kId and thrive.

Thrive he did. He is a talented, smart, and funny guy that had charisma. He didn’t have to worry about gangsters, getting food, getting raped, or having mice and cockroaches sleep on him. He had a huge bedroom, went on vacations, had all he ever wanted. He had great parents. Now another thing I noticed about Donald was that when I went to spend 2 weeks with him when I was 12, was that in this small town everyone drank, and did drugs, at age 12. Which is common for a small town. They were 12 and flung this. All of his friends.

One time we went to his friends house, the kid was sleeping and the kid woke up, and lifted his pillow and there was jack daniels. They all smoked and drank, except Donald. His parents taught him this.

Dusty did it on strength of character. Donald friends said “man your dad is always getting thanked in the paper.” That was true, small town legend.

Donald’s pressure was to follow his father, and that is a different kind of pressure. One that is often not considered a problem, the gifted child.

However, that is just as hard as raising a troubled child. People don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. What they both had in common was they were gifted.

Dusty then ended up going away for a while after missing so much school. His brothers would go just enough to not get sent away. Dusty was the extra sensitive one, he didn’t care. Me and Dusty and Joe had a bond, we all loved each other and saw behind each other’s masks. One time, on the phone, Dusty had called his mom and said, “tell mike I lo, well never mind,” he wanted to tell me he loved me, but he was afraid. I stopped hanging out there.

That’s another story, this isn’t about me. Dusty eventually surrendered and started using drugs. Then, they had a guy from Arizona living at the drug house, his name was Carl. He had packages of drugs delivered to the house all the time. The police got involved, and a sting was set up. So the package is delivered, they all have Dusty answer because he is kind and wants to help. So he always does, and he did on this case as well.

Well, he signed, and he gets arrested, and now he has a felony. They knew it was not him, he gets interrogated, and interrogated. Does he give Carl up?, nope, never. This was when Dusty was 19. That’s his booking photo. He went to jail, then he just got off probation recently.

This is someone you may see in jail, or at the shelter, or with the dirty clothes. That’s what you see, but this is what you’re missing when you make that judgement. These are the kids that come into our neighborhood, come to school, to church. We say get them out, those dirty kids with no manners. We don’t want to look at them, it’s like clutter in our clean house. We don’t want to deal with it, we want to pretend it’s not there. Then we may have to do something. So we ignore them and label them and call them losers or dirtbags. That’s much easier, isn’t it?

But that is how we all are part of the problem and we ask are co responsible for the inequality. You see these kids, these people, and no action is am action. Silence is consent.

Here’s Donald at age 19. He had a child. Now that’s a disaster if he’s in Dusty’s situation. However, Donald had great supports in place. His mom and dad helped the teenagers adjust, made sure everything was taken care of.

Donald was able to go to school and while Dusty was in jail, Donald was excelling. He finished college in 3 years and went on to medical school and finished. He’s a doctor. Now again, he’s not bad, not a superstar yet, I don’t think.

He is now starting to isolate, he is on a different level than others and he gets told that alot. So he believes it, so does his wife. So now the good doctor moves and starts dominating the medical profession.

They told me his iq is 156. I’m sure they told him too. He then joined the army like his father and got lots of medals and accolades.

Which is not bad. This is simply to show how we start to label and separate.

Here is Dusty taking care of his dying mother. He gets out of jail, meets a girl, and they have kids. He didn’t know how to have a relationship, he is on his own with no college, no skills, no understanding of life. Just love.

Then you have Donald with his 500 thousand dollar house that got egged.

How do I know this? Well his wife posted on Facebook that someone egged their 500 thousand dollar house but she wasn’t worried because they had security cameras all over the house. You know, to keep the “bad criminals out.”

Like clutter, she didn’t want to see that.

I also saw her post once that she was very upset with the mayor in the town they live in because he allowed a Wal-Mart to be built by their house. Her quote was “who else has to look out their 500 thousand dollar house and see a Wal-Mart, someone needs to stop this guy, do not vote for him.”

See as the separation is almost complete. What did dusty do to be placed below donald?

Nothing. But we see them each walking down the street and we treat them differently. That’s how we all contribute.

Dusty getting older, he split with his kids mom. He suffers from depression, severe depression. He feels rejected all the time, he smokes weed to forget, to not be himself.

He talks about suicide all the time. He misses Joe more than anyone. His heart is broken. Dusty and Joe spent all their time together. They even moved 2 blocks down from me for 2 years. I would drive by and wave. Really? Yes. I was no better than Donald. Even worse, because I drive by, and we still talked from time to time, but I was trying to get my life together. I could have said hi.

The doctor and his family. Now this is not an attack in Donald at all. It is about how we create separation. He worked hard, he’s caring, and he is a good man. He just started to believe he was different and better. He got told lies.

Lies we all believe, like, you need this huge house, cars, medals, and everyone to see how awesome you are.

So he fell in the trap. Here we are, the “look at us” photo.

You know how the native americans defined mental illness? They said anyone who lives in excess of what they need is mentally ill.

The doctors wife at the ritz.

Dusty and his kid at the laundromat.

The doctor and his boat.

Dusty at the playground. Having fun.

The doctors daughter with one of her trophies, she had special tennis lessons, beauty pageants, and she going to Oxford college on scholarship.

Same thing as Donald, smart talented kid. No fault of her own, the cycle continues. She is being brainwashed like he was.

He had a mask on as well. Still does.

Dusty being a dad and loving. He never knew life would be so hard when all he wanted to do was love.

The doctor is now continuing to serve and get accolades. To bad it’s all a lie.

Now this part is not real, but an example of what would likely happen from what I’ve seen in my years being in both worlds……

Now what happens if Dusty walks into Dr. Donalds office? How in the world can the doctor understand what Dusty is saying. Dusty says “Life isn’t worth living, I need to smoke weed.”

The doctors response is usually, “He just doesn’t care, he doesn’t want to work, he wants disability.” The thought process I’ve seen a million times. All the time, it’s the rule, not the exception.

So, let’s say Dusty had attempted suicide 2 times, and keeps coming back. He has to in order to get benefits and to get housing for himself.

The doctor is frustrated, in his mind he’s trying hard. That’s what life is, you just don’t behave like that in his opinion. In his world, you get up, work hard, and get it done. He can’t understand why Dusty complains that no medications work, yet continues to use drugs, and goes to the hospital.

He thinks Dusty has children, and he’s not taking care of them, he’s a “Predator” or a “Manipulator” or “Gamey.”

This is when I hear things like, why do they get free healthcare and we don’t. Almost a resentment at the patients. This is something that I see daily. The caring staff keep their mouths shut in fear.

So now Dusty has to be forced to take meds. He doesn’t get it, we have to help him. So we will put him on meds, and we aren’t going to listen to his side effects stories. We are going to force injections if he doesn’t comply with orders.

He can’t take care of himself. We have to in the doctors opinions.

Oh and, let’s charge insurance about 1500 dollars a day to do this. If the drugs give him diabetes, that’s too bad because he needs to be safe.

Good job young doctor, you’re saving the world.

Now Dusty has not been without weed for years, so asking him to stop is asking him to feel all these feelings that he has never felt before. Forcing him to take his mask off without support. The feelings he had been told to block his whole life, the feelings that have made him an outsider and not accepted.

Then give him a med that makes him feel no better for at least 6 weeks. Then it might not be the right medication, so we may have to start all over.

He will have side effects like drooling, sedation, diarrhea, and tremors. That occurs right away. Plus feeling all these emotions. Then when he sleeps too much we say that he is lazy, or non compliant with his treatment.

So we force him out of bed, and we make him go to groups with someone explaining all these “skills” he needs to use. Then he can’t participate due to the meds, the side effects, being off drugs his brain had coffee to rely on, and now having to freak with all these suppressed emotions.

So he is said to be non interested. So we need to give him more medications.

Of course we do.

Now he’s angry. No one listens, he’s sensitive, but he has had enough. He explodes from this and other patient’s likely taking advantage of him, and staff telling him when he can shower, piss, and treat him like a criminal.

Because, we say, look at his record, he is a felon. No one asks why or what happened, and they won’t believe him anyways, he’s a “manipulator.”

True story…

We had a young man admitted to our place the other day. I’ll call him “kev.” Abused age 1 to 3. A ward off the state at age 3. Picture a 3 year old being abused and taken from home, then a 3 year old in a privileged home, they’re is no difference, why do we seem to think as adults that there is? He was in foster homes his whole life, sexually abused, and beaten.Then at age 19 he committed an armed robbery, and he was shot 3 times. Then he Went to max security prison for 7 years. In prison, he cuts himself enough to need surgery, he has been known to swallow glass, and toothbrushes requiring surgery.

The assessment by “the team.” Is that he is “smooth, and manipulative.” He swallowed these things to get to go to hospital, a trip out of jail.

This is dangerous to call him manipulative. If I think you are manipulative then everything you do I take as a con. If we instead think of him as this kid who has a desparate need for acceptance and love, you will treat him differently. Then he will react differently. Then he gets better treatment. Our staff are young, impressionable, and eager to learn about psychiatry since it is romanticized on the media at times.

However if you work in government, they need to save the taxpayers money, they don’t want us spending “their” money. We have to hire inexperienced staff, because they are cheaper. We train them by what they see. The cycle continues.

So why would someone like Dusty shoot his doctor? It’s not so black and white if you look deep enough.

What’s the difference between…

This 19 year old young dad.

And this…

This young dad? (This is Joe and Anthony from last post)

The answer is nothing. Until we divide them. When we divide, we create class, uppers and lowers. When really we are all connected.

It won’t end. It can’t. Until people start fighting back. The battle is not going to be easy, we won’t see the end. We won’t see the victory. That will come after we’re gone.

But there is going to be a fight, we know that there is going to be a fight because we are going to start it. We will lose some, as we lost Joe. We won’t stop. Love always wins. Always.

If I’ve made you mad, then I’ve done my job. Happy people don’t create change. You have to be angry, you must have discontent to create change. So be angry. Then do something about it.

If 1 person reading this gets 1 thing and does something, that’s perfect. The ripple effect will be huge.

Love you Dusty.

The end.

If you want to see this in video.
Here it is..10 minutes I think.

 

FIFA–Russia 2018



What is FIFA thinking? Have any of their members watched or read the news? Here are some quotes of what FIFA are saying, as read in the BBC News Online. Let me back up: they need to have something to respond to, in this case the deputy prime minister of the UK:    

“Russia should lose the right to host the 2018 World Cup as part of tougher sanctions following the plane crash in eastern Ukraine, Nick Clegg has said. The UK deputy prime minister told the Sunday Times it was “unthinkable” that Russia should host the football event.” 

FIFA’s response?

“World football governing body Fifa has rejected calls to change the 2018 host. Responding after some German politicians also called for Russia to be boycotted, Fifa said the 2018 tournament could be a “force for good”.

and also:

“Fifa said the World Cup could be a “powerful catalyst for constructive dialogue between people and governments, helping to bring positive social developments.”

“Fifa believes this will be the case for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia,” it added.”

Mr. Clegg may be voicing what others feel but are afraid to say, as is often the case with bullies:

He [Putin] can’t constantly… push the patience of the international community beyond breaking point, destabilise a neighbouring country, protect these armed separatists in the east of Ukraine and still have the privilege and honour of receiving all the accolades in 2018 for being the host nation of the World Cup.”

He added: “You can’t have this – the beautiful game marred by the ugly aggression of Russia on the Russian-Ukrainian border.”

Does this seem even slightly familiar to anyone? At all? [clue: 2014 Winter Olympics] Given what has happened since then, what a “force for good…[and] powerful catalyst for constructive dialogue between people and governments, helping to bring positive social developments” they were, does that make FIFA think twice? Don’t force people to make a decision to boycott, make a responsible decision, unlike the International Olympic Committee, and move the 2018 World Cup now.

In fact, given all the kerfuffle, I think an interesting place to hold it would be the United States, somewhere along the West Coast. The biggest cities are Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Other cities might jump at the chance. There are plenty of people here who play and watch, contrary to some pseudo-journalists’ reports.




What’s the Gov Got to Do With It?

Once upon a time, the GOP found thisclinton so heinous, so horrific, they wanted to impeach the president over it. No families were forced to empty their bank accounts to pay for food and childcare and other daily necessities, hundreds of thousands of workers weren’t effected. America pretty much amused the rest of the world.

Yet now, where are the GOP’s ethics and morals at this?

Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 3.15.09 PMYes, I will concede the headlines are colorful and attention grabbing. As well they should be. Some other news sources are acting as though it is not the GOP that is holding this up (and I can’t forget to give credit where credit is due, the Tea-Party has their share of blame in this as well–see below for that).

I wonder if the GOP and the Tea Party understand the ramifications of what they’ve done.

Democracy as we have known it in this country–will it still exist? Did the GOP intend to destroy that on their way to destroying the most hideous of bills, one that supports health care for all Americans. See, they don’t know what it’s like to not have health care. To have to worry about pre-existing, life-threatening conditions that you know you’ll get turned down for by an insurance company for coverage because “they don’t take people with pre-existing conditions.” Medicine, along with politics, is another area in the country that could use some reform. It’s disgusting that a country like ours doesn’t have health care for everyone, regardless of income, full or  part-time status…  Health seems to be a pretty inalienable right as well. President Obama has the right idea, and it’s something that should have been done years and years ago. There’s another section of the Huffington Post devoted to people writing in about how “Obamacare” has saved their lives because they were unable to get the healthcare they needed.

This is what the GOP wants to tear the country apart over? Keeping people healthy? It doesn’t concern them, why should they care? It just concerns their constituents. Oh, right, them… The GOP keeps forgetting the little people that put them into office. I support the Congressional Representative from my district, the 4th, in Oregon, whole-heartedly. He’s a good man. He listens to the people who put him into office, and I follow his voting record. He does what the people want. He thinks. I still emailed his no doubt overflowing office and said I didn’t think they should be getting paid during the shutdown. I think I should also mention that quite a few members of the Republican party, over 20 at last count, have abandoned the jackelope and said they will vote on a clean bill–they just want to get the country moving again. Huzzah on brains that still work.

I don’t think I need to go on and on. The above headlines say a lot. Check out the Huffington Post if you want to read the whole articles. They also have a “Good News” section you can go read after being inundated with all the bad news. I think that’s an awesome idea, and something the news in general forgets–while there are many bad things, things you don’t even want to think about, happening around us, there are still shining spotlights of humanity that break through the haze and show us that average, everyday, people you walk by on the street can be inspiring beacons of hope, and reminders that it doesn’t take a person in a special suit to be a hero. And that it doesn’t even always need to be a person.

A “Tea-Party”

teaparty1

I’m sure there are people coming to fill the empty places.

This is where my lack of keeping up completely with political news (I did at the time of the elections, especially where Sarah Palin was involved, because she’s stark raving mad). I know they hate The Affordable Health Care Act as well.

I’m not entirely sure why anyone hates this. Do they not see how ridiculous it is, when compared with other nations of our “league” (sorry to anyone who takes offense), we look like Victorian England when it comes to health care? In fact, maybe the Tea Party could pick up some pointers from the 19th century. We could institute poorhouses for all the students who have defaulted on their student debts as they’ve been unable to find the jobs they were told waited when they finished their degrees. What would be profitable for the government? They could have a business where undergrad students who hadn’t written their papers yet for particular classes could put in a request a it would be assigned to one of the over-educated but unemployable inhabitants of the poorhouse. That’s too unpleasant a name, though. How about the “Dickens’ Home for Overachieving Underperformers?” They could possibly also house a Think Tank consisting of MBAs, accountants, actuaries (is that the same thing? I like the word) for when time to work on the budget rolls ’round every year–let these people work on it along with congress. Students are used to deadlines. Their GPAs are important to them. They’ll get it done on time. That reminds me of something I wanted to do at the end of the post. Thank me for reminding me. It so rarely happens I have to thank myself in the hopes it happens more often. And less than three days later, because by then it’s considerably too late. There are endless possibilities here.

There are endless jokes as well. Enough said.

There seems to be some confusion about what is closed and what isn’t, as what is closed in each state varies widely. The Tea Party made the grand statement that only a small percentage of the government was shut down. Well, here’s the list of each agency’s shutdown policy (hopefully the links still work

Agency-by-agency shutdown guidance

Monday – 9/30/2013, 1:13pm EDT

The Office of Management and Budget requested agencies provide details about their plans in the event of a government shutdown. Below are links to each agency’s shutdown guidance.

    • Department of Agriculture
        • Office of the Secretary PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Agricultural Marketing Service PDF (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Departmental Management PDF (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Farm Service Agency PDF (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services PDF (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Food Safety and Inspection Services PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • U.S. Forest Service PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration PDF (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • National Appeals Division PDF (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Natural Resources Conservation Service PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of Budget and Program Analysis PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of the Chief Economist PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of the Chief Financial Officer PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of Communications PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of Ethics | PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of the General Counsel PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of Inspector General PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Research, Education and Economics PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Risk Management Agency PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
      • Rural Development PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
    • Department of Interior
        • Departmental PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Bureau of Indian Affairs PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Bureau of Indian Education PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Bureau of Land Management PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Bureau of Reclamation PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Fish and Wildlife Service PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • National Park Service PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of the Inspector General PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of Insular Affairs PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of the Secretary PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of the Solicitor PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Office of the Special Trustee | PDF (September 27, 2013)
        • Office of Surface Mining PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Policy Management and Budget PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
      • U.S. Geological Survey PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
    • Department of Treasury — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Departmental Offices PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Bureau of Fiscal Service PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Financial Crimes Enforcement Network PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Internal Revenue Service PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Special Inspector General, Troubled Asset Relief Program PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
        • Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)
      • Office of Inspector General PDF — (Sept. 27, 2013)

jackalope copy.jpg.2013_10_05_21_49_23.0Sometimes the information gleaned from the pages says nothing more than the site is shut down. Others, like the Department for Health and Human Services, have to keep some things in order because they are in charge of so many services and programs so many people use. Even their pages aren’t all that helpful. I would definitely call first. If you happen to be a parent of a child with a disability in one of the Head Start programs that is shut down and don’t have childcare, see if there are any organizations (of course the parents always have this stuff figured out the best) for individuals/children with disabilities who can help you. Also for Head Start parents, as I read one article about concerns about food in one family–check out your local food banks and see what they can do. While the Federal government is shut down, it doesn’t mean your local one is, and organizations like food banks are typically volunteer operated.

You may also be able to find community information at your library. If there is no help from what is open and you really are struggling with rent, you might want to check at a shelter–they don’t want you homeless any more than you want to be, they might have resources as well.

I’m just trying to piece together what I know from what friends have done in the past, just so no one regales me with “what nonsense are you trying to pawn off here?” That was when the government was as functional as it gets. I do know the frustration–I opened the envelope when I received it months ago for my beginning COBRA information, which I needed but had been dreading at the same time, knowing it was going to be an outrageous amount. There was a flyer stuck inside, though, that said something along the lines of, “Can’t afford your payments? We might be able to help” and it gave a web address. I went there, feeling a little more cheerful, only to find a sentence reading: Due to budgetary cutbacks, this program has been discontinued. This shutdown has affected so many things across the board that we don’t even think about–the CDC, food safety under the Dept. of Agriculture, the FDIC, HUD, National Council on Disabilities–the Peace Corps. I don’t know what did happen, but I read in their plan (my parents were volunteers ages ago so I was curious) that in the event of a shutdown they would all have to be evacuated and returned back to the address given in their application packets. At roughly a cost of $3,500 a volunteer. I remember it was a fairly tumultuous time when my parents were in Peace Corps in Costa Rica, and volunteers during that time in Central and South America from both Nicaragua and Chile were evacuated. I don’t know if they were just moved somewhere else or brought back to the US. I didn’t really pay attention. I was probably 11 and I didn’t really understand at the time what was going on, other than volunteers in Costa Rica were moved further from the Nicaraguan border because it was unsafe. I knew some of those people, so that made more sense to me.

Another thing I noticed while going through the names of the departments, given the pressure President Obama is giving the Redskins to change their name, is that it may be time to update the names of a few departments as well. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, perhaps? The Bureau of Indian Education? That’s a bit of an oxymoron, considering it should really be, after all the education we’ve been giving on not just political correctness but for acknowledging people as they would prefer to be known, as the Bureau of Native American Education. Personally, I like the way the Canadians have worked out the whole situation, with the Native Canadians being called the First Nations, comprising all those tribes/people not related to the Inuit or the Métis. Yes, I did have to Wiki that because I didn’t remember it entirely. I’ve only been to Canada once, so please cut me a little slack, here. Interestingly, according to the same source, the Canadians first interactions with the native peoples in Canada were not nearly as combative (although it did happen) as those in the US, which allowed the First Nations and other tribes’ cultures to be assimilated more into the growth of the country. Now, I consider myself ethnocentric now that I’m older, because when I was a child living on the Navajo Reservation, which is a large reservation, I thought the only Native Americans that existed were the Navajo, the Hopi, the Pueblo, the Utes, and the Paiutes. That was it. In a way, it was strangely appropriate. For anyone who has ever watched a John Wayne movie that takes place anywhere looking something like this:

monument-valley-utah_29853_600x450

Monument_Valley_06

Monument Valley 1

I realize that the top and bottom one are practically the same other than the snow. The two formations on the far left and the middle are known as “The Mittens.” All of the formations have names, I just don’t remember all of them. The one on the right might be “Train Rock,” but I’m truly not sure. The one in the middle of the above photo has something to do with a chief, I’m fairly sure. I took all this for granted because I grew up with it. Monument Valley, home to I don’t know how many Westerns and car commercials. Nothing like having an SUV airlifted in and dropped on top of a mesa to show how tough it is. Where I lived was just past Monument Valley. Now there’s a high school along the way, but the Oljato Trading Post, where I spent many hours, is now closed. When I lived there, it was a working Trading Post. Then it was a tourist attraction, selling rugs and jewelry and baskets, as it had always done, then it closed completely. It was a huge part of my childhood. We would “trading post sit” and I remember spending hours in either the store after it was closed reading Tales From the Crypt comic books behind the counter, or sitting in the rug room surrounded by beautiful baskets, jewelry, rugs–literally piles of rugs, and a loom set up to show tourists what they looked like, settled into a comfy chair reading Fate Magazine. I think back on how unusual that was, and how I took it completely for granted, because that’s what children do.

But one of the many great lies of the Westerns is that the Apache, the Cherokee, the Sioux, whoever was the great evil enemy of the day, if the movie was filmed in Monument Valley, it was far more likely they were Navajo.

I spend four more years in Chinle, Arizona (Monument Valley is in southern Utah). Chinle is right next to Canyon de Chelly, which has an unsettling history of its own, but many say is more beautiful than the Grand Canyon, it’s just the Grand Canyon is bigger so it gets all the attention. I found a photograph, quite unexpected, by Ansel Adams. It’s not of a huge sweeping vista (I am impressed with their amazing quality and technical detail, but for some reason have never really liked him as a photographer, until I found this photograph).

Navajo_Girl,_1941

It was taken in 1941 in, as the photograph is labeled, Canyon de Chelle.

For this photograph, the National Archives and Records Administration request to be listed as the original source.

http://www.archives.gov/research/ansel-adams/

She’s standing in the doorway of a hogan, a traditional Navajo home. She’s not old enough yet to have all the silver jewelry she’ll have when she’s older, although it does look like the buttons on her collar are silver. The necklace looks like it’s made of shell beads, just guessing.

How did I get on this topic? Oh, right. The Bureau of Indian Affairs. And changing names of sports teams. To Westerns.

Do you think John Boehner watched a lot of these growing up? I realized he is emulating, to a degree, someone who isn’t a very good role model, someone whose pride literally led to his fall.

“You ask me if I will not be glad when the last battle is fought, so far as the country is concerned I, of course, must wish for peace, and will be glad when the war is ended, but if I answer for myself alone, I must say that I shall regret to see the war end.”

George Armstrong Custer

Random Particles and Chance Encounters

Particle Collision

Picture from https://plus.google.com/100033957943902398154

This is a picture of atoms and particles after the atoms who managed to escape the atom smasher (please forgive my oh-so-technical scientific terminology here. I’m an English major, not a miracle worker). The man whose page I borrowed the picture from used it for a different purpose, comparing it to a business model.

I’m looking as it as people, because part of his model coincided with human nature almost perfectly. The straight lines, are, I believe, atoms–if there are any physics people or other science oriented geeks out there who are going to giggle, please just do it quietly. They keep going on their usual paths, not knowing they just escaped being crushed into particles. But their paths are…I won’t say boring, I’ll say comfortable. They have their routine and they stick to it. They are the ones who make the world work. People who work in offices and stores and do all the important jobs that society would fail without.

The ones looking like dizzy little spirals (maybe waving from great heights) are the particles, light enough that they have a hard time following the straight lines, the forward path. These, as Andy Proehl called them, and as I was thinking as well, are the innovators, the thinkers. In the not business world he used as a model, the creative ones–the people who don’t quite fit in. The people who may try but simply can’t stay on the road. We spin off on our own paths of thought. To us, the road is a stifling place where the asphalt sucks ideas out through our feet until we’re stuck in tar and we hope someone comes along to save us. Some of us are quite melodramatic. I can be horrible, and if it’s a sunny day and I’m stuck outside in the asphalt, it very well could be the end of the world. The large white truck that always speeds down the road in front of our house might be my only salvation.

But to exist as a society, we need both kinds of people–well, more than two kinds–this is very much simplified. The ones who keep us going, and the ones who create what to give us to move forward to. But consider this if considering which type of person you’d like to be. Remember in Aladdin, when he tricked Jaffar into the lamp? “Infinite cosmic powers, itty bitty living space,” the Genie said after he’d trapped him. Now, this is absolutely nothing like that, but consider that many people who are the sproingy spinning particles are also that way for another reason entirely. Mental illness. Start looking into it, great poets, authors, artists… severe depression, bi-polar, anxiety-disorders… It’s not just the famous creative people, I have mental illness, enough so that it’s counted a disability. An invisible disability, because no one can tell. That’s why it’s so insidious. I know so many authors with depression, bi-polar… it’s just something we deal with. Not every creative person has this, of course. Just something interesting to think about, along with the which came first, the depression or the creativity? Part of the reason I bring this up is that it’s National Suicide Awareness month. I haven’t really said much about it, which I should have, as I have had two people close to me commit suicide. There are medications, which some people won’t take, or resent so much they won’t take them for that reason. I’ve gotten over being angry at it. Try this med? Sure. We have to live together. I can tell people about it now, which I think is important–they don’t know until I tell them, but I don’t want to go on a slightly manic high then hit a low–that can be distressing for all of us. But often until people have a face to attach to something, it’s hard to put a disorder in context, to relate it to someone they personally know. They realize I don’t carry around a butcher’s knife and even though I’m a writer I don’t type “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” over and over on the word processor (that’s too much work–I’d just use cut and paste–see, even that sounds creepy). I’m sure there’s an easier way to do that but I’m not that good on the word processor. I don’t know what brought that up, but it certainly wasn’t a coincidence, and really doesn’t have anything to do with my working on trying not to be a perfectionist. It must have been two random particles colliding.

But how, you might ask, do these so called random particle people ever connect? I’m sure more do than the two that are the most obvious–the first two from the right that make the figure eight shape. Those two particles found each other. A woman I’ve been working with says there is no such thing as coincidence. We control the things that make us miserable. We disown them as belonging to us, as being someone else’s fault or something else’s fault, but refuse to take responsibility for them ourselves. We dismiss things as coincidence the same way we disown our self-defeating behaviors. Why would we want to keep self-defeating behaviors? We don’t know what to do with out lives if we don’t have them, if we don’t have that level of stress in them. For creative people, it’s a chokehold that I, at least, am putting on myself. I can’t spin freely with the other particles until I have made a good effort to shed what’s holding me down. Every single thing I attributed to coincidence she said, “Not necessarily,” to. Despite the fact I get dizzy quickly, I’d still like to spin for a little bit. Preferably wearing something light and floaty and gauzy in different shades of mauve. It wouldn’t matter if I have the grace of a buffalo, and it would be okay if I ran into another spinning particle. Whoever it was may have kept me from spinning into the street or a revolving door. I heard a comedian the other night: “Have you ever tried to slam a revolving door?”

So while I already contemplate whether some things in my life were chance encounters, random particles bumping into each other in some sterile accelerator–two particles ineffably drawn together who needed each other without knowing it, through fate, whatever name you want to give it, wasn’t something I had been expecting. It was, however, something whose absence I had felt.

 

 

 

Das tut mir leid.

Peridot Dragon Garnet eye

The Landfill Harmonic

I joined this site to follow, The Upworthiest, and they have some of the coolest things. I don’t watch TV and generally tend to miss some of the more interesting things on the news (well, truthfully, some of the more interesting things tend to not make the news).

This is one of their most recent stories, a project started on Kickstarter to make a documentary in Paraguay:

http://www.landfillharmonicmovie.com/

The Recycled Orchestra

The Recycled Orchestra

The Recycled Orchestra--Violin Detail

The Recycled Orchestra–Violin Detail

The Recycled Orchestra--Sax Detail

The Recycled Orchestra–Sax Detail

Unsettlements at the Saturday Market

While at the Saturday Market yesterday, I saw something I’ve never seen before, and it disturbed me. Eugene is a liberal city, for the most part, two hours from Portland. We get all sorts of things here, and most go completely unremarked on because everyone just says, “It’s Eugene,” as if that explains everything. In most cases, strangely, it often does.

On a popular corner, a family stood looking as if they’d been dropped straight out of the Depression. Better dressed, but of the era. They had probably four or five kids–I truly was trying not to pay too much attention for fear I might say something (but I trusted myself not to–public confrontation isn’t my thing unless there’s actually physical violence taking place, and involvement in that would just be to try to stop it.) They were standing there very quietly, as if there was a bubble around them. They didn’t speak to anyone, no one spoke to them. A young man in his early to mid twenties played spoons under a tree across the sidewalk and a few more feet away from them, and he wasn’t paying them any attention either, and was actually quite cheerful. He was definitely your typical Eugenian–non African-American but with dreadlocks, tie-died everything, and extremely friendly.

The truly creepy thing about the silent family on the couple was that the youngest child, a boy of about seven who looked far more serious than any seven year old should ever look, was holding a cardboard sign reading “Sex before marriage and drunkenness lead you off the path to Heaven.” There were three of us. My friend was looking at something else, but her friend whom I didn’t know very well and I looked at each other and I could tell we were thinking the same things. She said, quietly, “Does he even know what those two things are?” I thought he might, growing up in a family like that. I said I wished I had some sort of “It Gets Better” literature to give him. That would have caused a stir. We were both convincing ourselves we could walk by without saying anything when all of a sudden we heard the man playing the spoons talking to someone in a little louder than normal tone.

He was saying, quite enthusiastically, to a young man probably in 6th or 7th grade, who was slightly plump and had his head down, listening, blond wavy hair falling around his face–he gave off the air of someone who was picked on at school. Back to spoon man. He was telling this boy that he could do anything he wanted to. There was no one who could stop him. He had the boy sit down next to him and said, “These are just spoons, you can learn to play them too,” and started to teach him how. It was a moment of pure awesomeness in the midst of all that strangeness. And while he did it to help the boy there, I think he meant for the children across the sidewalk to hear it as well. You don’t always have to live that lifestyle. You will have choices when you are older.

I thought if it was frustrating for us just to see it and walk past, how frustrating it must be to sit there and see it for the allotted time the spoon playing man had to sit there and busk. It was one of those moments that you just sort of treasure. This young man was quick enough to recognize a situation and use it to help not only the boy right in front of him, who needed the attention, but send a message to those he couldn’t approach.

So for any of you who go to a market and just think, “Oh, those stupid street musicians,” think again. We also saw a fantastically funny accordionist (I did say accordionist) who was all about the geek and science and sang songs from the point of view of a mountain that talked about tectonic plates, and she was also just downright awesome. She stopped for her “Creature Feature”–this time the Star Nosed Mole. She was also very nice and approachable and I talked to her for a little while. (I tried to teach myself the accordion–it was unsuccessful. My excuse was any instrument you had to strap yourself into couldn’t be safe. It was a lie, it was just that I could usually play any instrument I picked up and the accordion baffled me. It was easier to say that rather than admit defeat–which I did to some. Mine was also broken, and some of the buttons were broken and had fallen inside, and you could hear them rattling around inside. It was the buttons that truly terrified me, and didn’t make any sense. If they’d been labeled or something, like on an autoharp, but no, miles and miles of buttons like a whole crop of them you should harvest…too scary. For all I know, there could have been a star nosed mole in there. Some of the the bellows were also cracked, so they let out a little sigh, which I interpreted as, “Why are you trying to do this to me?”) I finally sold my accordion on Craigslist. It was an antique, with lots of rhinestones and very pretty. This is true–I sold it to a movie prop company, so my accordion is probably now more famous than I am, even with an uncredited role. Okay, the time I am spending looking for a picture that resembled it has passed from research into a waste of time. It wasn’t a brand name that was popular. I’m not even entirely sure what country it was from. It was pretty. You’ll just have to trust me. I’m a sucker for rhinestones.

My parents have an accordion they keep trying to pawn off on me as they are downsizing (as if, knowing how much stuff we have, we have room for an accordion) and they remember the other accordion I had (that I got rid of (I think there’s a miscommunication of logic here). If I start acting indecisive, my boyfriend waves his arms and mouths the word “no.” He has an fairly intense dislike of most accordions. Unless they’re played by anyone in They Might Be Giants. Then they’re cool. They’re just not cool if I attempt one. lol He also doesn’t like bagpipes. Granted, these are both loud instruments, but I think he’s giving them both a bad rap. Did someone playing a bagpipe come and torture him as a child? The Barmy Bagpipe Boogeyman? He just says they’re better played in large spaces. Preferably far away from him. Maybe I have more British Isles blood in me than he does (in my mutt background), although I think he has a lot of Welsh. Well, as much as you can these days unless a recent relative came over. Most of mine speak with a distinctly Oklahoman twang, though. My boyfriend has even told me I have an accent, which I think is impossible other than my inability to make my “e’s” and “i’s” sound different, which is probably more of a speech/hearing impediment than anything else. We finally narrowed it down to the way I talk, and how I talk, not so much as to the way I pronounce things. If anything, when I pronounce anything, it’s usually the British pronunciation from watching too much British TV when I was growing up.

I mean, my ancestors came over in the 1600’s, and as far as I know, no one married anyone interesting that came over from anywhere. There was an intriguing group that settled somewhere–in the Carolinas?–that came from Germany and I think the little community still speaks mostly German. And Quakers.

How did I get from point A to point B in this post? Sort of a meandery post.

Stonewall Riots

The early hours of June 28th, 2013, mark the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which occurred outside the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Central Greenwich Village, New York City. David Carter calls these “the riots that sparked the gay revolution.” I knew nothing about them until recently. They occurred the year I was born, which makes me very happy that some other good things came out of 1969 and that it can be remembered for other things than Nixon being sworn in as President for the second time. Not an auspicious day to be born on. I could argue I was born in the Philippines and I actually missed that whole debacle entirely, I suppose.

But that’s not the point of this post. These riots were a remarkable step in gay rights. Here’s the Wiki link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots

If anyone has a better one, or a link they think would add more information, put it in the comments.

I was wondering how I could follow up the news of Lief getting a new heart, then I started to think about what that actualized symbolized. I’m big on symbolism. Basically, because you can examine something, say what you think it interprets, and while people can disagree, they can’t outright tell you it’s wrong. Who is anyone else to tell you what you see in something is wrong, just because they don’t see it?

This is what I was thinking. Someone’s family lost a loved one, someone precious to them who will always be missed, and then allowed his or her heart to be donated so Lief could live and continue on, given everything goes well, with his little ten year old life and all the expectations he had before he was stuck in a hospital bed for five months. That heart is starting over, beating in a new body. Giving Lief new life.

So, on this anniversary that will always be the same age as me, an anniversary for a life changing event for so, so many people, this is what I have decided.

I am going to let the past go, as hard as it is to do, because there is still pain and there are many things left unresolved. At this point, however, I don’t think they will ever be resolved. It is ironic that the person I discussed the Stonewall Riots with the most is one of the entities I am leaving behind. I am done with subterfuge, mind games, sly cunning, psychological mischief, and emotional abuse. Done. I am done with pretenders who take the game too far and continue to reel people in like fish on a hook for their own personal enjoyment. It’s sick and it’s twisted.

The first discussion I had with the person who I ended up talking to about the Stonewall Riots was very big on pride in being gay. I said there was nothing wrong with being proud, but it might cause a distancing effect from other people who didn’t understand, and maybe it was better to try to bridge the gap with understanding so that rights were just as important as pride. We sort of went around on that one for a while. But, for someone who is so proud of being gay, look how you’ve treated the people who supported you. Look back at the situation and tell me you can’t understand why myself and some others reacted the way we did. For myself, I don’t even know you exist other than the occasional postings and lamenting on the board. If you’re reading this, did you read the first half of this paragraph? Did you read the part about pride? You want to complain about people leaving so you can act sad and say, “Last person out shut off the lights.” Is this a self-pity party? Imagine how different things would have been if the three of you had handled things differently. You had an active say in the way the outcome could have been determined. Couldn’t you tell I was trying to help? Did you even give me a chance, listen? No. You both disappeared. For things being “private,” they were awfully quickly dispersed, don’t you think? So if pride in being gay is more important than kindness to fellow humans, if pride is more important than friends, if you hold your pride so close to your heart you don’t let anything else in, then tell me, what is the use of pride? Isolation? Lack of morals? Lack of values? Bad judgement? There are still ways open, it’s your choice to take them or not. Just remember, pride cometh before a fall.

Aren’t you glad that no one came along and deleted Stonewall out of history the way the entity so easily deleted the life out of our group? The winners are supposed to write the history. What if the winners are really the losers? The heart is gone, donated elsewhere, and the group will never be the same. Why don’t you both just leave? Do something more worthwhile? Start a group about something more worthy. Gay rights in literature. You’re both smart, if sometimes similar.

I think I’ve said what I needed to, at least what I’m willing to post to my millions of readers. lol But, you think you’ve figured everything out. You haven’t. I’m a little surprised, actually. I’m a little disgusted at what you’ve left up, yet my posts are offensive? You need to sit down and do some serious self examination, which is what I’ve been doing. That’s why, with this anniversary of Stonewall, I still support the cause it stands for as strongly and wholeheartedly as ever, but you are in my past, a regrettable mistake. It wasn’t until the early hours of June 28th, but you won’t have read this since you don’t speak to me at all. I truly am a non-entity to you, but you do have your pride to wrap yourself in.

One of my online friends, who is not much older but is incredibly wiser, which I think is unfair, and I have discussed this, and I’ve known all along he was right and putting it in the past was the right thing to do, it was just so hard to do. Then I was standing there at the sink, sorting out the dishes–I hate washing dishes and am very OCD about the order in which things need to be washed–thinking about everything, and Lief, and the David Carter book, and the friend I have who’s homeless because her asshole of a boyfriend kicked her out when she started showing some independence and who spent the night with us last night and may be back tonight because there was a mistake and the spot she was given at the shelter was given to someone else before she got there. She’s in severe pain because of her back–she’s going to need to have surgery, it’s so bad, and I thought about how strong she is, and how strong Lief is, and how brave the patrons of the Stonewall Inn were, not even knowing what they were starting or the effects it would have on gay history and gay rights. And I thought, yes, I’m in pain right now, but it will fade, and I have better things to do with my life. I have a new editing job. I have things with voc rehab that need to be done. I need to get my health insurance straightened out. So why am I feeling down about a friendship with someone who could obviously care less if I were breathing or not? Why waste the time? Why bother feeling things for people who make no effort to communicate with you? That’s ridiculous. I might as well try to have a conversation about nebulas with the broom.

It’s time to move on, from immature hurtful people to somewhere else where people are more respectful and kind. I learned an important lesson, and unfortunately it took this to teach it to me. Just because I am who I am online doesn’t mean other people are. I’ve been too gullible. People don’t trust that I am who I am because they aren’t who they are, for the most part. I need to stop trusting people I don’t know so easily, because all that does is make myself vulnerable to people pretending to be something they aren’t. Sometimes it’s something little that doesn’t matter so much. Sometimes it’s something malicious and malevolent. I also have people online now that I trust quite a bit. I don’t know if I could ever develop a persona. Probably not. I was never a good actor, I just need to be more careful.

I’m tired of trying, this post is the end of that trying. I’m stubborn, yes, ornery, yes, but there’s no dealing with lack of conscience or emotion in another person. The fact that I am those two things mean that I have feelings, care about things. So, people got hurt. On both sides. It didn’t have to be a war where someone “wins.” Game of Thrones is fiction. That’s part of the problem, though, isn’t it, fiction vs. reality? But och, even then there’s that pride again. Pesky thing. Even Mr. Darcy wasn’t this bad. I’m proud I’m finally moving on (really, this time, anyone who knows me knows it takes at least a few false starts, or ends, I should probably say, before I actually do manage it).

On to something bigger, better, with no regrets. Everything is a lesson. I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe people meet the people they do at the times they do for a reason, for however long. I wouldn’t have met some of the people whose friendship I value if this hadn’t happened, and that’s my future.

windblown

Nothing is Simple

steampunk bicycle

It’s true. Nothing is simple. If it were, it would be too good to be true. Why is it that life seems to be like an unceasing fairy tale, where we keep coming across the obstacles, but never reach the dream? There are moments in there, of course, little slices of time that feel like snuggling on a couch with someone you care about, hand in their hair, then they’re gone, and you’re left on the couch alone wondering what went so wrong and how you could go from admired to hated so quickly. You’re tried, sentenced, and beheaded before you’re given a chance to defend yourself, and you realize you’ve wandered into the Red Queen’s garden accidentally.

“Oops,” you might say as the ax falls. “I should have been one of the flamingoes instead.”

Or is it like Groundhog Day, where you have to keep reliving the same day over and over until you get that one infinitesimal thing right, the one you couldn’t quite put your finger on before but suddenly bursts forth in all of its resplendent glory. You get to pass go. You get to collect $200.

Or, you don’t figure it out, and suddenly your’re talking to a health insurance representative who answers your question about whether or not you had health insurance during May and June with, “Wellll, you did and you didn’t.” Or you’re told by two different departments at a university, “Of course, we automatically defer late enrollments for September,” while the head of your department was told, by the same person, “Why would we tell anyone that? They have to ask if they want to be considered for enrollment in September.”

Nothing is simple when we are like little ants, people with no meaningful lives to these people who make decisions every day that are nothing to them, little people whose decisions are determined by bureaucrats who don’t have to worry about the fact they can’t go to the doctor, or that the decisions they make regarding someone’s enrollment have staggering effects. We’re just game pieces to them, names on a piece of paper. Which, if we’re lucky, don’t get paper-clipped to the back of the one in front of it.  That’s happened to me, for a referral I was waiting for while my left hand was atrophying away to look a little like a skeleton’s, only it was the wrong time of year–May. How like my body to refuse to time its injuries to the appropriate holiday.

While I hate to stick in a long bunch of lyrics here, this is a song that has resonated with me on more than one occasion–it voices how I’ve felt many of the times I’ve felt trapped, oppressed, and like I’ve had no choice (say, for instance, in a job situation). It’s from Muse’s album Resistance, and the song is Uprising. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8KQmps-Sog  I like Muse in general, but this album and The 2nd Law (a little more uneven and not as cohesive as Resistance, but a good album nonetheless) are both good.

Uprising

Paranoia is in bloom,
The PR transmissions will resume,
They’ll try to push drugs that keep us all dumbed down,
And hope that we will never see the truth around
(So come on)
Another promise, another scene,
Another packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed,
And all the green belts wrapped around our minds,
And endless red tape to keep the truth confined
(So come on)

They will not force us,
They will stop degrading us,
They will not control us,
We will be victorious
(So come on)

Interchanging mind control,
Come let the revolution take it’s toll,
If you could flick a switch and open your third eye,
You’d see that
We should never be afraid to die
(So come on)

Rise up and take the power back,
It’s time the fat cats had a heart attack,
You know that their time’s coming to an end,
We have to unify and watch our flag ascend

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/muse/

I will be the first to admit that their videos seldom make sense, and the teddy bear in this one seems just a bit…malevolent. But if you think the one for Uprising is odd, find the official one for Supermassive Black Hole.  <g>

Their concerts are great as well, but very noisy. They’re the only ones I go to see–I’m picky that way.

Well, all those lyrics tired me out, and I don’t feel like a huge rant.

But it’s definitely true. Nothing is simple.

SF Signal-MIND MELD: LGBT Themes in Fantasy and SF – Recommendations

I found this in the fanzine SF Signal, which I was unaware of (shamefully), and the recommendations are really good and interesting. Definitely worth checking out!