Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I love to watch old, old movies. Granted they aren't all good and I have to sift through a lot of them to find one that doesn't jar me too much with it's sappiness. Yes some of them are so sappy that I blush when I watch them. But once in awhile, I find a gem. But I'm interested in the past and I love watching to old silent films because I can learn about the past in a non-linear way by watching these films.

I've often heard people say that people were more innocent years ago. I'm not so sure about this as the following might reveal. Quickly, M is a 1931 movie directed by Fritz Lanz. It is about a serial killer who molests children and then kills them. The police are searching for the culprit and suspect that it is a member of a guild of thieves. The thieves, who are being harassed because of this, decide to catch the killer on their own. They do, and they put him on trial themselves. The following monologue is what Hans Beckett or the serial killer says when he finally breaks.

'It's there all the time, driving me out to wander the streets, following me, silently, but I can feel it there! It's myself, pursuing myself! I want to escape, escape from myself! But it's impossible. I can't escape, I have to obey it. I have to run, run, endless streets. I want to escape, to get away! And I'm pursued by ghosts! Ghosts of mothers and of those children......they never leave me. They are always there....always, always, always, except when I do it, when I.....then I can't remember anything! And afterwards I read those posters, and see what I've done.....and I read and read....did I do that? But I can't remember anything about it, but who would believe me? Who knows what it's like to be me? How I'm forced to act...how I must, must....don't want to, must. Don't want to, but must! And then a voice screams! I can't bear it! I can't go on, I can't, I can't!'--The words of Hans Beckett, serial killer, child molester, on trial, from the movie M.

Film makers today sometimes try to capture the visual look of films that were made during this time. But they never do. I'm not sure why. Is it because they can't? Or is it because they don't want to offend the modern eye too much. It's a shame because the older films can be visually fascinating.

Their equipment, which was primitive by our standards, forced them to use contrast in order to create an affect. When well-done, this can create fascinating visual affects. Often back then, actors weren't chosen for their beauty but for their photographic interest.hey used actors that we would not allow to grace our screens today. It seems they deliberately chose very homely people to play villains. I guess they still hadn't gotten over the influence of physiognamy.

It's a strange thing that very ugly face holds the compels the same visual interest as a very beautiful face. The people used in the trial scene were actual convicts and they are a very sinister looking group of volks. Long craggy, twisted faces that catch the light eerily. It's amazing how human beings can create art out of whatever they have at hand. As a matter-of-fact, I would venture to say that this type of film is more artistic than what they can do today.

Another notable thing about this film is that it was used as Nazi propaganda. Peter Lorre who played the serial killer was Jewish. They used his speech as evidence of the Jews tendency to depravity. He had to flee Germany.

Freud, another Jew, was also brought into this. As you might realize, a speech like that was made possible by Sigmund Freud and colleagues. Before the introduction of psychotherapy, people didn't say things like this, they didn't think this way. This was looked upon as a very bad influence on culture. Still is. Blamed on the Jews as well.

Early film is much more interesting than one might think.

This post is a first-draft. Please excuse typos, spelling errors etc....lazy today. Details suck!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Own Your Power!

All of the following is from the book, A People's History of the United States, aby Howard Zinn

"The American system is the most ingenious system of control in world history. With a country so rich in natural resources, talent, and labor power the system can afford to distribute just enough wealth to just enough people to limit discontent to a troublesome minority.

One percent of the nation owns a third of the wealth. The rest of the wealth is distributed in such a way as to turn those in the 99 percent against one another: small property owners against the propertyless, black against white, native-born against foreign-born, intellectuals and professionals against the uneducated and unskilled. These groups have resented one another and warred against one another with such vehemence and violence as to obscure their common position as sharers of leftovers in a very wealthy country.

How skillful to tax the middle class to pay for the relief of the poor building resentment on top of humiliation! How adroit to bus poor black youngsters into poor white neighborhoods, in a violent exchange of impoverished schools, while the schools of the rich remain untouched and the wealth of the nation, doled out carefully where children need free milk, is drained for billion-dollar aircraft carriers. How ingenious to meet the demands of blacks and women for equality by giving them small special benefits, and setting them in competition with everyone else for jobs made scarce by an irrational, wasteful system. How wise to turn the fear and anger of the majority toward a class of criminals--bred by economic inequity--faster than they can be put away, deflecting attention fro the huge thefts of national resources carried out within the Law by men in executive offices.

But despite all the controls of power and punishment, enticements and concessions, diversions and decoys, operating throughout the history of the country, the Establishment has been unable to keep itself secure from revolt. Every time it looked as if it had succeeded, the very people it thought seduced or subdued, stirred and rose.

To recall this is to remind people of what the Establishment would like them to forget--THE ENORMOUS CAPACITY OF APPARENTLY HELPLESS PEOPLE TO RESIST!" (Boldface mine)

If we stop obeying the system fails.

That will happen, only when all of us are slightly privileged and slightly uneasy begin to see that we are like the guards in the prison uprising at Attica--expendable."

We need to stop working for the government and work for ourselves. We need to accept the fact that our officials are not going to do the right thing and do it ourselves. Oh, don't worry. I know I'm only dreaming but it's too bad that we can't understand that.... We the people are the ones who have the power.......If only we knew it.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wolves Taking Down a Moose

OK. I've never blogged about politics before because I'm not sure how well I will do. Especially since I am going to quickly dash this out. What has finally inspired me to take my chances at showing my lack of facility regarding this topic? Sarah Palin. She has me extremely upset and very confused as well. Weird, but she upsets me so much that I am actually having nightmares about her. I can't seem to rid myself of this irrational thought that my nightmares are prophetic since they have this awful, final Apocolyptic tone to them.

As I'm sure you know, Sarah Palin is a fundamentalist Christian. I hate to admit it but I have a prejudice. I'm prejudice against fundamentalist Christians. Me, who prides myself on my lack of prejudice find that I reach my limits of tolerance on this topic. As soon as I know that someone is one, my mind immediately closes and I automatically discount that person. I have to remind myself that I need to respect everyone and I don't know that my reminders do me much good in this instance.

Disclaimer: I wouldn't even post this if I thought that anyone who stops by my blog regularly is a fundamentalist Christian. Because of who reads my blog I don't think I will be offending anyone, but just in case you are religious...I would suggest that you don't read any further. Because I'm 43 years old and no-one is going to change my mind and I don't want to fight. And please understand, I am talking about the extremists here. I have known Fundamentalist Christians with fundamentalist beliefs who are beautiful people.

As some of you know (because I say it over and over) I live in the Bible Belt. I am surrounded by people who are fundamentally (no pun intended) different than me and Okay.....I'm going to say it.....many of them are very ignorant. Some of them are very harsh people and I'm actually afraid of them. Think about it...who would call the end of the world Rapture?

Their focus is on death, I think some of them are excited about the end and wish that it would happen while they are alive. They believe there is going to be a war and I think some of them can't wait for the opportunity to kill non-Christians. WhooHoo! Fire up that shotgun!!

They love to say that the Bible is the only book they need to read and use this as an excuse to not have to learn anything new. Some of them get all their news from the Christian radio station in St. Louis. They completely immerse themselves in their religion and leave the world behind.

The ones from lower socio-economic backgrounds who get away from it are often angry people who feel conflicted and it is my observation that often they wind up as criminals. Or if they don't, they are unimaginative Babbits who seem to ingratiate themselves at any job due to their drone-like mentality. When I worked at the Red Cross, most of the upper management were charismatic Christians.

It is very disturbing to me when someone will not look at things realistically because to do so would make them have to question themselves and their beliefs is in charge. In order to have this mindset you have to live in a very narrow little world and lock part of your soul up in a little dungeon deep inside. And fears and hatreds that are not dealt with fester.

And someone who could possibly become the next President of the United States, who attends a church that is getting ready for the end, has a very real opportunity of being elected. It's unbelievable! I just can't wrap my mind around it. Hopefully the new poll results only reflect a temporary shift and will settle back down later.

How has this happened? I just don't understand? Why do the Democrats always allow themselves to be backed into a corner defending themselves over things as silly as arugula lettuce? I watched Obama last night on Keith Obermann and man.....he'd better do better than that. Hopefully he will rally.

Choosing Patin was a stroke of genius for the Republicans. Fuckers! Now anything the Dems do is wrong. If they say anything about Palin they are anti-feminist. Such sophisry, itboggles the Dems momentarily and before they think of how to respond, it's too late. I imagine them sitting around an hour later saying, "Oh God! Now I know what I should have said!" If it weren't so horrible it would be funny.

If they make fun of Sarah's proletariat background, it only emphasizes their supposed snobbery. The Reps. so know who to play on the lower-middle classes insecurities.

Once again the Reps. have managed to rid the campaign of issues, just like they do at every election and the Dems know that this is going to happen so why can't they think of something to do to combat it? Being reasonable doesn't work with these people, these 'Christians' quickly turn into Romans at the coliseum at every election?

They criticized Obama for becoming such a tabloid topic and now they have gotten one of their own. No matter whether you like her or not, you have to admit she is a good-looking woman. She is on the cover of Vogue with one breast partially exposed. And this is a Christian woman. Proverbs says, "A beautiful woman without discretion is like a gold ring in the snout of a pig." If the Obama campaign mentions this, they are anti-feminist! Arrgh!! No matter what they do the Democrats appear weak...at least to 1/2 the population.

And I guarantee you, they have already decided how they are going to attack Biden during the debates. I hope the Dems are ready and have their plans. She really needs to be discredited. They need another "You sir, are no Kennedy!" moment.

In a debate based on issues and not these pseudo-debates that we see, Biden and Obama would run circles around McCain and especially Palin and this is what the Reps want to avoid and so they are throwing all of this nutty stuff out there and sadly--people are lapping it up and it's unbelievable.

In past years I could understand why some people voted Republican, not that I agreed with them but I could at least fathom their thoughts. But this year I can't, I can't understand it at all. We are already in trouble. I'm not one of those people who thinks that Obama is some kind of King Arthur who is going to rescue us but at the very least he's got to be better than what we have.

Why are Americans so averse to having a thoughtful man in the White House? Why do they find this moose hunting, shoot from the hip style so romantic and appealing? Why do they admire someone who immediately make choices without considering them? Why do they think that your entire ideology must be completely formed without a chink in it and if you change your mind about something you are considered weak? Why? Why? Why?

Why don't people find it frightening how much further that we inch towards an imperial presidency each year? Mavericks!! Peh!! Why would I want someone in office who is so willful that they will do everything their way without a care for what anyone else thinks? I'm sorry...but why is this good?

Of course it's easy to understand how people who have decided to close their minds and shut their eyes to everything around them unless it is in the Bible might find this appealing. But what about the rest of them?

Once I saw a Bumpersticker that said 'My kid kicked your honor students ass!'. That's what Sarah Palin reminds me of.

I wonder what would happen if the Democrats would pause for a moment and look genuinely perplexed rather than defensive. Not anything stagey. Just a fleeting, almost imperceptible expression. And they have to wait until the debates to pull it out. When it's too late to combat it. If they do it slyly enough it might even get past the radar.

For instance, when John McCain's campaign says "Obama did not serve his country but John McCain did." What if Obama tilted his head to one side for a split second, looked off to one side and up in the air for a moment, as though he were genuinely puzzled and said, "By the time I was old enough to sign up, the war was over." in a sort of bemused voice. Or when they said that he was anti-feminism, what if he again looked slightly puzzled and said very politely, "Excuse me? Could you elaborate?" Because they certainly wouldn't be able to elaborate. Maybe I'll e-mail the campaign and tell them! :)

And why do they always say that the media favors the democrats? It's the media that has fussed over Palin so much and made someone who should have been a non-issue, an issue.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Well, I'm sure you do. I would be interested in hearing them.

One last thing. (almost) I read the other day that John McCain has a bad temper and that he can be vengeful. I'm sorry but no-one is going to convince me that his stay in the Hanoi Hilton had no affect on him. That's ridiculous.

Another thing. I said earlier that I was having bad dreams. I also had one that was funny. I dreamt that in order to outdo Obama, McCain juggled during his acceptance speech and at the end of it, had himself shot out of a cannon!

Lastly. Don't you think Typos are hilarious sometimes. Earlier I saw that I had written nightymares when I meant to write nightmare.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I've been thinking about friends a lot lately. I've been asking myself why I have chosen some of the friends I have chosen. I've been asking myself if some of them have ever actually been my friends. Two friends in particular are on my mind. They were people I worked with 2 jobs ago that I have maintained contact with and now that we don't have the job in common, it seems like we have little else in common.

I befriended them because they seemed like lost souls and I am always a sucker for a lost soul having been one myself for so many years. We seemed to respond to things in the same way, especially things related to our job. They felt familiar to me on a very intrinsic level. I had always felt like a fuck-up and they felt like fuck-ups too and we had this in common. This is not a good basis for a friendship. Especially since I no longer feel like a Fuck-up and they still do.

Somehow I gradually took on the role of the confidant to them and they continually came to me for advice. In the beginning I didn't mind listening and being there for them, but as time passed, it became boring and my friends began to feel like burdens. I always felt drained when I was around them. I began to resent them. I wanted to tell them to go get a f***ing shrink and leave me alone.

Yet, I tolerated it because....I don't know why....maybe for several reasons. I suppose one reason was that I didn't want to hurt their feelings because I really did care for them and one of them especially is very vulnerable. And there was a part of me that felt good about being needed because somehow it makes everything that I've been through more bearable. But another reason is that I just plain couldn't figure out how to handle the situation gracefully.

I've always thought that people who turned a cold shoulder to people who are needy were cruel. Yet, I can see that they understood something that I didn't. They understood how hard it is to be in a relationship with some one who always needs something from you and never seems to get enough. Someone who only wants to talk about themselves. Someone who never seems to move on. Someone who is always in a crisis. Someone who has been dealing with the same issue ever since you have known them and never seems to learn anything from their mistakes. It's boring, boring, boring, boring, boring!!! It's draining, it's imposing and you don't mind being there if one day it is going to get better but some people never get better and I think my friends are those kind of people.

Gut Level Honest

I sometimes get this cold, dark thought that there is something intrinsically wrong with my friends, especially one of them that can't be fixed, and that she is a lost causes. And when I have these thoughts I despise myself. And I begin to feel that the way that I like to see myself, as a nice, understanding person, is just a facade. Not only am I just as bad as the people I criticize and call cruel, but I don't even have the character to admit that I feel the way that I do. Instead, I am smug and hypocritical, imagining myself to be above them in behavior when actually I am no better.

What do you do when you get that cold, dark voice inside of you and you realize that it is telling the unsentimental truth, stripped bare. Not the truth tied in a a pretty package with a bow on it....but the raw truth. What do you do with it when it isn't nice and you can no longer tell yourself that you feel differently.

What do you do when acknowledging the truth makes you feel like you have disappointed one of your own standards? What do you do when the truth is ugly and you've seen it and you know you will never be able to go back to not seeing it? What do you do when the truth is not flattering to people that you like? What do you do when you find out that you don't respect the people who you considered your friends?

What set me off and finally pushed me over the edge is that I finally recognized that my friends are very selfish. Simply, I have my own problems and I don't mind listening to you, that's what friends do, but I expect you to reciprocate from time to time and if you don't, you don't feel very much like a friend to me. You feel like a barnacle, a parasite, a tapeworm, a psychic vampire, a hole.

Sometimes when they talk to me I wonder if they even see me at all or if they are just searching for their reflection in my face.

I have often felt more alone when I am with them than when I am actually alone.

I wish they would stop it.

I have decided to stop talking to one of them because she is too rude. I am still willing to be friends with the other because I know she doesn't mean it.

Is having an opinion the same thing as judging. What is the difference? Has something similar ever happened to you? How did you reconcile it?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dear Demons,

I've been doing a lot of writing lately, not on my blog but on a forum for beepers. That's BPs or bipolars for all you normies (Yes! that's what they call you!) It is a online peer support group for people with bipolar disorder and it has been so great to finally have people to talk to who know what I feel! Because of this, I have been spending all of my computer time there. So, I thought that as long as I have been writing so much on this forum that I might as well make use of some of what I have written by transferring it here.

On the forum we talk about so many things
I have a wide pick of topics. This time I have decided to talk about this one: the way so many of us feel cut off from people who think that they know what bipolar disorder is but don't.
Now obviously, if you go around blurting out to everyone that you are bipolar, you will be judged and most of us don't do this because we understand that this is what will happen.
But sadly, we are also judged by people who are close to us or who we would like to be close to and this hurts and makes us mad. It hurts just because it does and it makes us mad because it is insulting on so many levels. I hope that this post will illustrate why.
I have one friend that seems to think that believing I have bipolar disorder means that I am neurotic and that my real problem is a negative and defeatist attitude. She seems to think that having bipolar disorder is not really all that important and can't be all that bad since I don't have very obvious symptoms. I suspect that she doesn't even believe that I have it. She subtly (she thinks!!) changes the subject if I bring it up at all and I know her well enough to know that it annoys her when I talk about it and that she thinks I'm whining. And honestly, I don't really talk about it all that much. She is no longer my friend.
I have another friend who thinks that I have jumped on the bandwagon. As I'm sure we are all aware, things like ADD, Bipolar Disorder etc...are often incorrectly diagnosed, especially in children. My friend has black and white thinking--because these things are over-diagnosed they don't really exist. He thinks I am naive and have allowed myself to be hood winded by an unethical or stupid doctor. I still love him but I don't talk to him about it anymore.
Unfortunately, his attitude is common. And for the record, contrary to what people seem to think, most of us actually don't want to take medicine and only do so after we have exhausted every other option. Then when we finally give in and take it and are well for the first time in our lives we are criticized.
Don't worry about what my friends think, they are only 2 people? Even if you never tell anyone that you are bipolar you hear these thoughts expressed enough in conversations that you experience the feeling of being judged by people who have no idea that they are judging you. Being prejudiced about mental illness is an acceptable prejudice in our society. This is a reason many don't seek treatment.
The list of symptoms in the DSM-V are very inadequate and this is a shame. Especially since they are usually used in articles intended for the layman to figure out that they may have bipolar disorder. It may well be the only information that people will ever have on the illness because once they look at the list and decide that it doesn't apply to them, they stop searching.
The list is not good. The list doesn't work. The list doesn't tell the whole story. It helps doctors but it doesn't help us. It is dry and clinical and does not even remotely describe all of the manifestations of the disease. It is so vague that someone who is not bipolar can recognize themselves in the description. It is so vague that someone who is Bipolar won't recognize themselves. It doesn't even come near to describing the hell we go through. I wonder how many people go undiagnosed because of this? If I were in charge I would include another list!! But since I am not a member of the AMA I can't change the list. So I have composed a letter instead, addressed to my demons. The real ones and the ones who live only in my head.
Dear Demons,
You seem to have lots of misconceptions about what Bipolar Disorder is and you try to make me feel bad about having it. You try to make me feel weak, you try to make me deny my own reality and you try to make me doubt my senses. So here are some facts, antecdotes and thoughts about Bipolar Disorder. After you read them, you can go back to the hell you came from and where you belong! Whisper to someone else because I'm not listening anymore.

Fact: Bipolar disorder is a disease with a genetic component. Yes, everyone gets down sometimes, many of us have mood swings and everyone feels the whole gamut of emotions that a bipolar person feels. We do not hold the monopoly on feelings. But we have mood swings to the point that it causes major problems in our lives and we have no control over these moods. To compare your moodswings to ours is like comparing a light breeze or even a somewhat severe thunderstorm to a hurricane. Sorry if this sounds elitist. It's just the way it is.
Anecdote: Common behavior of Bipolars--bipolars try to jump out of moving cars. Bipolars throw knives at people. Bipolars scream at people so hard that every muscle in their body is into making the scream louder and they get lesions on their vocal cords. Bipolars marry people they have only known for 3 weeks. Bipolars find it nearly impossible to keep a job, the only time some of us can hold a job is when the employer has decided to give us a break because they feel sorry for us. This feels like shit! Bipolar people try to set themselves on fire. Bipolar people run out of the house in their underwear when the person they are talking to tries to leave. Bipolar people act so bizarre that all their neighbors talk about them and make fun of them and won't have anything to do with them. Bipolar people have rage attacks in public places and are so embarrassed afterwards that they stop going to the place that it happened for over six months and only go back when they can safely assume that whoever was there at the time has stopped working there or won't recognize them anymore. Bipolar people freak out when they are having a conversation with someone and throw their plates of food or their beverages into the face of the person who has annoyed them. Bipolar people have strange things happen to them that makes them wonder if they just had a seizure. I knew a bipolar person who went through a period where they rhymed everything that they said and laughed hysterically at jokes that no-one else understood . Bipolars spend a significant amount of time feeling embarrassed by what they have done and wonder why they keep doing it. I may or may not have done some or all of these things. I'm not telling. I highly doubt that anyone within the range of what we consider normal does these things.

Fact: Bipolars produce higher amounts of cortisol (stress hormone) when under stress. They also have more receptors for these hormones. Both of these combined make them more reactive to stress. As each episode occurs, the neural pathways get more entrenched. After more and more episodes it will take less provocation to have an episode. This is called the kindling effect a term associated with epilepsy in which the more seizures a person has, the more seizure-prone they become. With Bipolars, there will eventually be such an effect on the brain that hardly any thing at all can trigger an attack. This is called rapid cycling and it's bad because basically it means you have brain damage.

Fact: Bipolars though often above average in intelligence, have shrinkage in the frontal cortex of their brains which becomes more marked over time, especially if the disease is not treated. This shrinkage is real but cannot be used as a diagnostic test because you can see this with other diseases as well, schizophrenia being the main one. This shrinkage causes problems with executive function and short-term memory and concentration. This is why they sometimes have trouble consistently performing simple tasks. They are not stupid and often feel mortified because they realize that they appear stupid!! They spend time obsessively taking online IQ tests just to convince themselves that they really aren't stupid.

Fact: When you recieve a stimulus or stressor from the environment, your amygdlia, the part of your brain that controls your emotions, recognizes it as something that it needs to respond to and shunts it to the frontal cortex to evaluate and decide how to respond. If the stressor is percieved as dangerous, the amydlia bypasses the frontal cortex and reacts instantaneously. This is called the fight-or-flight response. The amygdlia is enlarged in a bipolar. There are also differences in the part of the brain that connects the amygdlia to the frontal cortex. Basically, a bipolar has a brain that causes our fight-or-flight mechanism to kick in under very little provocation. We act without thinking based upon whichever distorted emotional signals we are getting from our brains.
Fact: Bipolars also have brain activity similar to people with temporal lobe epilepsy. Actually, it is identical until a certain point at which they split off and form different pathways. This is why Beepers and those with epilepsy share some common traits like developing excessive religiosity, having temper outbursts and having cognitive difficulties during an episode or seizure. Interestingly, anti-seizure medication is used as a mood-stabilizer for Bp's. I take an anti-convulsant..

Fact: Bipolars are typically carb addicts and often develop diabetes later in life. They are presently doing studies on the mitochondria of bp',s. They have found a mitochondrial defect that interferes with the utilization of glucose. This occurs specifically with BP's though not with all of them. They know that there is a connection to bipolar but have not determined what that connection is or how it influences the symptoms that a bipolar has.
Something to think about: The Americans with Disabilities Act protects someone with Bipolar Disorder exactly the same as it does someone who is blind or in a wheelchair. Remember! Americans have a very strong work ethic and don't think anyone should get disability unless they are ready to fall apart. The fact that you can get disability for being bipolar is a clue in itself. I used the Americans with Disabilities Act to negotiate a severance package when I lost my job.
Fact: Bipolars cannot get well by understanding themselves better or by talking about their relationship with their family. It will help them after they have been treated but not before. Herbs, special diets, organic, preservative-free food, exercise routines, meditation, standing on your head, Hail Mary's, rolfing, going to Sedona and standing in the Vortex, being more positive, saying, "I think I Can! I think I can!" None of these things will work. It is very dangerous and unethical as well to try to persuade a BP to get off of their medicine and you could possibly be endangering their life. Tom Cruise has killed people by shooting off his mouth. Google it if you don't believe me.
Historical Anecdote: People with bipolar disorder have been locked up involuntarily for years before medication existed that could help them. Bipolar people have likely been burned at the stake for witches. I hope they really were witches and put a curse on the people who burned them. Bipolar people were euthanized by the Nazis. And before anyone says, yes but these things don't happen anymore think again. Life can still be very dangerous for BP's. People who are Bipolar get the shit beat out of them because of behavior that they can't control In the last couple of years, two people were killed on flights because their bipolar symptoms were misinterpreted. And this surely happens more frequently than we are aware of, especially situations involving police.
Fact: You can't always tell by talking to someone who is bipolar that there is something wrong with them....at least not until they have symptoms. In other words, if you are talking to someone who appears to be perfectly lucid it does not mean that they don't have it. And you shouldn't tell someone that they don't really have it. We are very good at hiding it and you may not know anything is wrong until we have symptoms and often our symptoms make us look like we simply have a rotten or weird personality. Telling us that we don't have it is very presumptuous.
Another face of the beast: There is a bipolar in which the person is mostly hypomanic---all the time!! Hypomanic is the good bipolar! If you have this, there is a good chance that you are rich. They are always cheerful and positive, don't need sleep and can work lots of overtime and still come home and write a novel and run a marathon. They just flip out everyonce in awhile and get weird for awhile. Don't tell a bp that you know someone who is very successful who has iBP as well, therefore they have no excuse for their lack of success. Most of us are not so lucky as to by hypomanic.
Something to ponder: There are unfortuately BP's who act crazy like a fox. They will use this illness to make excuses for themselves. They will not hold themselves accountable for things they have done or things that they are doing. They expect people to take care of them and look the other way when they misbehave. They play the system and allow themselves to be taken care of by others just because they can. They make it bad for those of us who are not like this. They probably have personality disorders. Bipolar Disorder and personality disorders often go hand in hand.
Rule of Ettiquette: If you have known someone who was mentally ill and acted this way, please don't think that we all this way. We don't all have personality disorders! Many of us are quite normal...as a matter of fact we spend so much time trying to figure out why things are happening to us and how we are playing our own part in it that we are often much more insightful than an average person.
Wish List: Please don't treat us like we are being manipulative and shirking our responsibilites when it is hard for us to go on. Most of us think very hard and do a lot of soul-searching any time that we ask for any kind of concession due to our illness. Most of us try any other route before we will finally ask for mercy. Most of us despise ourselves as weak when it gets so bad that we have to ask for help and are hurt very deeply when people don't believe us.
Lastly: If you meet a bipolar person remember that they are very strong or they wouldn't be standing in front of you. We are not weak because we don't handle our emotions well and because we get weepy and feel like we can't get out of bed. We are strong. If we weren't, we would all get guns and blow our brains out!! And no...I am not being sensationalistic.

So that's my little rant. It was very therapeutic for me and hopefully informative and not too boring. I hope no-one thinks that this was directed at them. It was not, it was directed to my demons.
Good-bye demons and oh....Fuck Off!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The mad ones!!

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"

Jack Kerouac would have loved me!!

As for my sister, she doesn't quite feel that way. My sister quit smoking and she has found the goddess within her or her inner bitch or something. Not that this is bad, my sister has always been a little too accomodating, she's one of those people that you always wish would stick up for themselves. So I think it's great....(as long as it isn't directed towards me). But alas...she finally informed me that I have been totally manic and I have been getting on her freaking nerves! Oops!!

I still have a lot to learn about being bipolar. From my own perspective, I've always been the way that I am, so it's hard for me to know what is me and what is a symptom of my disease which is a very uncomfortable way to feel, by the way. I have had to deconstruct myself once or twice and I guess I need to do it again, and probably again. But I talked to my doctor about it and he said that, "Yes, what I describe is indeed manic behavior." He introduced me to a new term called rapid cycling, which is apparently what I've been doing. And no, I don't mean I've been entering bike races..I mean that I experience symptoms that are less severe than a classic BP but occur much more often.

So, lets see. I've gotten interested in Belly dancing and dropped that. Started writing and dropped it. Started embroidery...even decided I would sell things that I made, I was even going to open a shop...pretty fantastic for someone who was only working on their first piece, huh! I thought that my brilliant creativity would make up for my lack of know how. People would be so dazzled by my wonderful designs you see, I even thought about whether or not I would need to hire people after my shop got started and how I would keep the books!

I've decided to be a sign language interpreter, a courtroom reporter, a nurse, become a licenced daycare provider....that was another great one. I spent hours online. I made up curriculums, I checked into insurance, I had a kit sent to me about how to be licensed, I planned menus....And this all took place in a bout 5 days. Then I came down and realized like I have over and over again, that what you are looking at is utterly ridiculous, I don't live in the right kind of home bo have a daycare. Besides, I couldn't deal with that many kids. Everytime this happens, it always leaves me wondering why I did it......again.....even though I know I've already done it a Thousand times, every time is like the first time because I'm so happy.

Even if my ideas would stick around long enough for me to actually accomplish anything, I am not organized enough to do it anyway. I was going to write a novel, wrote out plots, synopsis, started developing my characters, then it seemed like it all got so complicated that I ccouldn't cut it down to size and do anything with it. It's just sort of floated up there in my head, amorphous, waiting for me to do something with it and I couldn't because I was too scattered.

I've tried learning Spanish I have pages of vocabulary lists. I have became totally immersed in Wiccan. That lasted for about about 3 weeks but in the meantime, I bought candles, incense, crystals, started growing herbs. Gosh...lets see...what else....I've decided to become a therapist and a gerontologist. I've also began studying literature from the turn of the century, became interested in the medicinal use of herbs and blah blah blah

People who don't know me well find my enthusiasms infectious and my dis-ingenuousness refreshing and charming. Those who live with me at best view me with bemusement, at worst find me annoying. And lets face it. I am annoying.

I'll be totally fired up about something, reading everything that I can get my hands on, buying supplies for my new 'hobby' or interest, going to the library walking around with this beatific, grin on my face and a glazed look in my eyes because I stayed up until 3am. Then, it's like I have the flu. I feel like crap! It's hard for me to get out of bed. Everything tastes awful. My head hurts etc...etc.. I can't even hardly think, it feels like wasps are in my head.

Every once in awhile I amuse myself by going through my old notebooks, I have about 15 and I'm always finding new ones in the basement or somewhere. Sometimes I find them in very odd places, like with my cookbooks or something. It seems that every time I get manic, I buy a notebook to write down my ideas. During these phases, I just love the way that notebook looks, so filled with promise. It always feels like I am finally ready to start something like I am on a new road that is leading in the right direction and then I get sick and it gets thrown to the side.

So, I go through my notebooks once in awhile with mixed feelings of awe, amusement, and horror because sometimes I don't even remember writing it, it seems like I am reading something one of my ancestors wrote instead of something that I wrote.

Here is an excerpt from a notebook that I found the other night, though I have edited it somewhat because otherwise it is too hard to make sense of

Ahem!! "Is our mind the same as the Medieval one? I mean in terms of structure, of areas of the brain developed by use, of synaptic pathways worn into the brain by habit of thought. I would speculate that our brains are much different.

In a society without the distractions that we have, without televisions or computers or...indeed without most people even being able to read, they would have been much more concrete than us, much more connected to REALITY.

Death, birth and the brutality of nature were woven into the dailiness of life. You have a very concrete mind connected to nature and the cycles of life and death but without the ability to communicate abstractly. A mind that could only speak through symbols and symbology of the deeper more abstract things.

Being illiterate would create a vocabulary with less words but more nuance in each word, more meanings and uses. Being surrounded by people no better off than you the ability to verbalize abstract thoughts would be limited and would only be expressed in the concrete fashion from the limited vocabulary that you had available to you. "

I wrote this during my Wiccan 'kick'. I'm not sure why I wrote it, I think that I was speculating on why the pre-modern mind would have been more in touch with the inviisible world than ours is. It's so cool but so pretentious somehow, it's sort of embarassing. I was really off and running on this one. I bookmarked about 70 websites. I actually wrote out a curriculum, I saw it in the notebook.

It makes me sad when I read these things. If I was reading some of the things I wrote, only someone else besides me wrote it. I would think that the person writing these things was so cool or wierd, I'm not sure. Except it's me. It's like I get lost over and over, then I come up for awhile and get lost again. Sometimes I think I could be even be half-way brilliant if I wasn't like this and it makes me sad.

I had a dream that I was walking across a frozen lake and there was someone trapped under the ice and I looked to see who it was and it was me. It's hard to deal with. I burst into tears last night and I'm not even sure why. I picked up my cat and hugged him while I was crying and he was very shocked. He kept twisting his hear around and staring at me with a bewildered look on his face. Then he immediately gave himself a bath after I let him go. Then I thought that was so funny that I started laughing like a goon or maybe a water loon.

But actually, I think I'm better than I've been in a long time because I'm finally back on earth. I don't think that my feelings are feelings of depression, it is genuine grieving. Which is nothing to worry about real feelings not induced by randomly firing neurons are always welcome by me, I love feeling like I'm all in one piece whether it's good or bad.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Otis Wierdmeyer

Something very creepy happened to me the other day. I was cleaning off a high shelf and I found a plastic bag. I opened it up and found Otis Spunkmeyer Blueberry Muffins in it. The package was open, it was a package of three and there were still 2 left. I think my husband stashed it up there. He takes snacks to work and probably put it up there so we wouldn't find it and eat it.

I checked the date on the receipt to see how new they were so I would know whether or not to throw them away. The receipt said they were bought in March. Suddenly it occurred to me that if the muffins were purchased in March, it shouldn't have even occurred to me to check them. They should have been green and moldy and dried up, right?

So, I looked more closely at them and they had no mold on them and they were just a little dried out on the top. It's a good thing I checked the receipt before I examined them, because if I would have looked at them first, I might have thought they were good enough to eat. Then, I decided to taste them....just kidding.

I asked my husband about them, thinking that maybe he had just opened them, but he didn't even remember buying them so I'm sure they were opened in March. So, Otis Spunkmeyer Muffins apparently have so many preservatives in them that you could used them to embalm a corpse. Time to learn to bake, huh?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

sheepish apologies

I haven't posted for quite awhile and I'm not even sure why. Do you know what I suspect it is though? I think that when I was working, even though I was so busy, my life felt empty...I didn't get time with my kids...I worked evening shift...I didn't hardly see my older daughter at all. I think the blog filled some sort of void in my life.

Now I'm happier and the urge that I used to have to write is gone. But I don't want to quit blogging......or maybe what I should say is that I don't want to lose contact with people. Isn't it strange how people you meet on the internet seem just as real as friends that you have in 'real-life'? Anyway, even though I don't feel a void in my life from not writing, I would feel a void if I lost contact with my friends so I'm going to start blogging again, though I don't know if my blog is going to be very inspired or interestin. Who knows? Maybe I start blogging again, it'll all come back to me. And I'm sorry that I just disappeared without a word. That was rude of me.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tarot: Mundane or Magical?

When I got my first Tarot deck twenty years ago, I dutifully read through the history of the deck in the front of the book but it didn't interest me and I soon tossed it aside, more intent into getting to the cards themselves. My mistake, the history is one of the most interesting things about it, truly as interesting as the cards themselves.

There are two different levels to it, one that can be backed up by fact and the other that, as far as can be proved always veers into mythology in the end. Though many people feel that the Tarot has 'magical' origins, they have always been frustrated in their attempts to find any proof of this. Yet they insist that it it does despite any solid proof and despite appearing ridiculous. Hopefully, this post will help show you why they feel the way they feel and why they may not be as silly as they sound.

As far as any records show, the first time that the Tarot deck was actually associated with the occult was in the 18th century. A man named Antoine Court de Gebelin, who would probably not be remembered today if it weren't for his connection with Tarot, was writing a series of nine books called Le Monde Primitif when he saw a Tarot deck at the home of a friend. Upon seeing it he became convinced that it contained hidden occult knowledge from ancient Egypt. And though he only devoted one page to the Tarot, his little mention of it is where modern thoughts on Tarot begin.

He called it the "Book of Thoth." (Thoth is the Egyptian God of Magic and information) and claimed that it contained the entirety of Ancient Egyptian Magic in symbolic form. It was during this same time period that the cards were linked to the Kabbalah, an ancient Jewish Mystical system, which some say goes back all the way to Moses in Egypt--which is where the link between Egypt and Kaballah come in--in case you were wondering.

The 22 major arcana cards (The Food, etc..) are thought to represent the 22 paths on the tree of life--also the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The 10 cards in each suit--Ace through 10--represent the ten Sephiroth or stages of emanation. The four suits, Swords, water, Earth and Air represent the 4 layers of existence. Though this could arguably be coincidental there are Kabbalistic symbols used throughout and not only that, but they seem to correspond in a logical order with the teachings of the Kabballah.

Besides the Kaballah, the Tarot has at one time or another, been linked with just about every form of mysticism, magic and system of esoteric knowledge that exists. As Rachel Pollack says in her book, Forest of Souls,

"The Tarot depicts the sacred myths of the Romany (or Gypsies), disguised in cards for the centuries of exile from the Rom homeland in India--or Egypt--or outer space. The Tarot is a Renaissance card game inspired by annual carnival processions called triumphs. The Tarot is a card game derived from annual processions called thriambs, in honor of the God Dionysus, the creator of wine. The Tarot conceals/reveals the secret number teachings of Pythagoras, a Greek mystic who lived at the time of Moses, and who influenced Plato. the Tarot depicts the secret oral teaching of Moses, who received them directly from God. The Tarot contains the lost knowledge of Atlantis, a drowned continent first described by Plato. the Tarot is a card game imported from Palestine and Egypt during the Crusades. the Tarot is a vast memory system for the Tree of Life, a diagram of the laws of creation. The Tarot hides in plain sight the wisdom of the Egyptian God Thoth, master of all knowledge. the Tarot shows Egyptian temple initiations. The Tarot shows Tantric temple initiations. The Tarot preserves the wisdom of Goddess-initiated witches during the long, dark centuries of patriarchal religion. The Tarot maps the patterns of the Moon in Chaldean astrology. the Tarot was created by papermaker guilds who were the last remnants of the Cathars, Christian heretics brutally suppressed by the Church of Rome.
All of the above, and more, Tarot writers have proclaimed as the one true, authentic origin of Tarot."

When you actually study the cards, it is hard to believe that they just happened on accident. The belief that these cards had some sort of mysterious, origin was solidified by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which was a magical order of the late 19th/early 20th century and was the biggest influence on modern western occultism today. Aleister Crowley was a member and so was the poet Yeats.

Whatever you may think of magic or the occult, the people who were members of The Golden Dawn were hardly ignorant people. The society was full of professional men and women some of whom were highly educated and could read ancient texts in their original languages. Though as I said, the first referenc to the Tarot being of esoteric origin was in the 1700's, they were able to look at older documents to verify the validity of this claim and...though I'll have to take their word for it as I can't read them myself....it all checked out.

Yet, anyone who has ever tried to trace the origin of the cards has found only mundane beginnings. They were used to play a card game, similar to bridge...that's it. At the time that they were made, a large part of the population was illiterate and pictorial representations were commonly used to communicate with them. Separately, the cards are no different than any other things being drawn back then, their symbolism was well-used and understood by the contemporaries.

The way it stands now, it is doubtful that we will ever know the answer to the answer to the origin of the cards. What if we found out that there was no mysterious origin, that they were simply playing cards that some deluded people thought that they saw signs in and caused other deluded people to follow them until now we have a mass delusion? Maybe it would be better to keep it like this and not ever know...the mystery adds to the cards--and at any rate--they are still very cool!

Friday, March 14, 2008

R rollls

Were you aware that not everyone can roll their R's? My sister can't, my daughter, one of my nieces and my nephew can't. My other niece can. As for myself--I can roll my r's like there is no tomorrow.

I am very proud of my R rolling ability. I can hold my roll for 16 beats. I can r roll at the beginning, middle and end of a word. I can roll up and down 2 octaves. I'm an exceptional r roller.

So, it was much to my chagrin that I found out that my r rolling would not be appreciated by the Spanish speaking community. Not only would it not be appreciated but I was in danger of making a complete ass out of myself if I rolled at the wrong time. I have to tell you, I was mortified as all the times I had so proudly r rolled went through my mind. I saw it all in a new light, realizing that what I thought were looks of wonder on the faces of people I had so proudly r rolled in front of were probably actually attempts not to laugh.

It is acceptable to roll at the beginning of a word, but not in the middle or the end. You can occasionally roll in the middle if the word has 2 rs. Even if you roll at the beginning, you risk sounding affected and artificial. There are many rules that I was not aware of, to numerous to recount.

So, I've given up r rolling. I can't remember the rules and I don't want anyone to laugh at me, but I feel like something beautiful has ended. Once again, my special talents go unappreciated. What can I do? Do you have any suggestions?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

New Direction

Guys, I've been dissatisfied with my blog for some time. I like writing it but I don't have a lot of time for the kind of posts I set myself up to do. Then I end up feeling like I've got a homework asignment to finish or something. I'll feel it hanging over my head until, finally I'll slap it together just to get it done and the posts won't be as good as I really wanted to do. It I took the time to make them as good as I want, I would only be posting once a month or something.

I've actually thought of just discontinuing the blog but I can't, it's too much a part of my life. So, what I'm going to do is just make shorter posts that are hopefully fun but won't take so long to write. I will however, do the ESL stuff like I said that I would but don't be surprised if it takes me 6 months.

Monday, February 25, 2008

ESL: Preface

So I've been reading about East Saint Louis. I have one book at home, another I've requested from the library and I've been looking on the internet. There's so much material, so many little tangents to follow, more than I even realized when I decided to start exploring.

I've also been surprised, given the complexity of the problems the city has faced, to find that there is a lack of information about exactly what has happened in the city during a certain time period in the 1980's while Carl Officer was Mayor. Some of it has to do with the fact that it happened before the internet, But sometimes I think it's more than that. Sometimes I think that there is some sort of collusion not to talk in detail about these things, but why?

First, I suspect that some of it has to do with a 'code of ethics' that keeps a lot of journalists who might have some interest in the city from a humanistic standpoint from digging it up, perhaps out of a sense of decency. The city already has a horrible reputation, why besmirch it further by focusing on everything that's gone wrong? It wouldn't help anything, it might make things worse.

Another factor that I'm sure is in place making it difficult to find out certain things is because no-one involved will talk about it. They don't want anyone meddling. ESL has a lot of municipalities and a lot of people in politics and everyone is interconnected and they cover each others butts, I'm sure that the old 'conspiracy of silence' thing is going on here. The politics of ESL have been compared to Mayor Daley's machine if that tells you anything.

Sadly, I suspect that another reason for this vacuum of information simply has to do with the fact that a lot of people really don't care, as long as ESL problems remain contained within ESL, they will look the other way. Most local people will tell you that it is their own damn fault anyway. (A partial myth that I intend to dispel, it's certainly much more complicated than that!)

A lot of things about ESL intrigue me. This may sound strange, but I love the way the city looks. It's not a beautiful city, instead it's surreal, it has this crazy post-apocalyptic appearance. I've heard that there is not another city like it in the US. The city looks just like it did when my mom was growing up there, 60 years ago. Little has changed or been repaired in many cases. When I go there I get this odd feeling that the people and the cars and anything modern have been super-imposed on the city, that we are somehow the ghosts. I get that feeling every time I go there and I can't really explain it any better than that. I'll write about this.

The history of the city is rich and exciting and horrible in some cases. Robber Barons, Southern Illinois Mafia with the redlight district and the bootlegger, the politics that went into forming the city. This city you will find, reflects the story of the nation. I will write about this.

Then there was the race riot. Leaving it out would be a glaring omission, it must be talked about. I will write about that.

And of course there is the decline of the city which is what it is known for and the reasons for this and how bad things finally became in the 1980's. Things like this are the shame our nation and no nation has the right to hold it's head up high as long as this is occurring. East Saint Louis has influenced my politics. I can never look at it and live the lie of denying that we have some serious domestic issues. So, I will write about this too.

Did I say earlier that Mayor Daley's machine had nothing on ESL? Well, I'll write about politics too though as I mentioned earlier, I'm having a hard time finding information pertaining to a certain recent time period. But I think that I can find out, it may just take me awhile. So, see how much fun you have to look forward too? And you thought Christmas was over!

On a more personal note, IT SURE IS HARD TO BLOG WHEN YOU ARE WITH A FOUR YEAR OLD 24/7! I get so frustrated sometimes, I start jonesing for my blog and I just can't get to it. But don't think I'm complaining, I love being at home with her. (I just wish she would take long daily naps!)

Another thing: I'm so easy to entertain. All I need is a piece of yarn. Today I cleaned the house with a piece of yarn tied onto my shoe so that I could watch my cat act the fool while I went about doing my thing. It added quite an element of fun. I wish that on my next job, I can go to work with a piece of yarn tied on my shoe and bring my cat along, it would make it so much more bearable. Maybe I can say that I need this as a job accommodation.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


And no-this is not my house.
Haven't had much time lately. Had to help my fourth grader with her science fair project. She thought it was due next week, but it was due yesterday. Had to play catch-up but got it done in the nick of time. Twenty minutes before it was due as a matter of fact. Incidentally, hot water and cold water reach 32 degrees at the same time. but we didn't let it turn to ice.

I'm working on a post that I've wanted to do for a long time about East Saint Louis, Illinois. I don't know how long it will take.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Time to Learn More

The elections this year are very interesting. Unfortunately, it is making me uncomfortably aware of how little I really understand about some of the issues. And since not knowing prompts one to learn and thinking you know is static..I don't think that this is a bad thing in every way.

I watched a little clip the other night, prepared by a reporter from the Rolling Stone who did a story on how the press recieves information on the debates. They go into a room with a TV screen and watch and then they talk to PR people from the campaigns. The PR people thrown out little slogans and the journalists write them down and write an article based on this. Then the stories start coming out and they are often uniform articles written by people who don't really have an strong understanding, whether it's through their own fault or it's just because of the process, But it reminded me of kids in school who go to class unprepared and then copy the answers from each other.

Here is something else that I always notice, especially on television. They say that ageism is very entrenched in American society. Sometimes I watch these shows that seem to be staffed by young attractive reporters and they will make comments about the past with these self-assured tones and I wonder to myself....how do they know? They weren't born. They had to have read it, did they learn it through some sort of required reading while they were in college? And if so, whose opinion is it, really? And please, I'm not knocking young people, we all offer a perspecive that is important. I don't think that the perspecive of the young or the older should be discounted.

I love Lisa Ling (though she is a different type of reporter than what I am talking about) when she reports she does it in a way that you feel that she is exploring life, trying to understand things, on a journey to obtain mature perspective, she never acts like she already knows it all and this is how it should be. Even older people should not lose that quality. If older people had opportunites to be something besides conservative pundits, how would perspectives differ? It is a mistake to discount older people, even if you don't disagree with them, they still have a knowledge based on experience and that counts for a lot.

Given the nature of media, there seems to be a lot of people who strike one as parroting popular phrases that make it sound like one is well-informed in actuality, many really aren't. I'm guilty of it too, that's why I don't talk too much about politics. I hate that feeling that I am throwing out a popular catch-phrase to hide the fact that I don't really understand this obscurity at all, I'd rather not say anything at all. The only things that I feel comfortable talking about and don't feel like a phoney talking about are things that I saw myself or things that I have made a genuine and deep effort to analyze. I always intend to correct the gaps in my knowledge by finding out more and then I get distracted by something else that I am interested in and I leave it. But the elections have inspired me to learn more and what I have learned has only given me more questions, which as I said is not bad.

Last night I spent some time on the internet reading Noam Chomsky, I've meant to do this for a long time and never have and he made a comment about NPR that I found interesting. He seemed to consider NPR as one-sided as say.....Mike Savage. He was very cutting. He made a comment to the effect that wealthy people who graduate from Ivy League universites are completely out-of-touch and elitist. This is also what conservatives always say and I found this interesting for of course, Noam Chomsky is about as liberal as they come. He also said that Obama thinks that the truth lies somewhere between conservative talk radio and NPR. I'm not sure what this means. Does this mean that Obama is centrist? Or does it mean that NPR is not genuinely liberal, that it misses the point because it stands above and apart from real-life observing from an anthropoligical viewpoint instead of participating in it? Or both?

I also found this disturbing because I've considered NPR a good source of news and I'm not sure what I think of what he said but it gave me something to mull over. Ultimatley, I think he is right in his belief that we need the voices of people who have lived it as well as those who are removed from it. We need people who have made an effort to cogently form an idealogy that doesn't come entirely from books...we need another Studs Terkel.

Another thing that this made me think about is you know, even reading Chomskey gave me the feeling that I was recieving someone elses pre-digested ideas. I suppose there is no other way to understand history you have to read the ideas and perspectives of another person if you weren't alive then, it's inescapable, it takes a great effort to be truly informed and I'm not sure that very many people can achieve it though some come closer than others.

Well, I'm trailing off.......without any conclusions and I think that is good....we should always be asking questions, we should never stop, none of us, young and old...that's how we learn. We value people who seem to give us answers but we shouldn't, the searching for answers is what is the most valuable. I think I'm going to write more about these things.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

This and that

Has anyone else been having weird weather? The other day, I took my daughter for a walk around the block because it was so nice and warm and sunny. We weren't even halfway done with the walk when it started raining and the temperature began rapidly dropping. I ended up picking her up and jogging home with her in order to get home quicker because we were getting so cold and wet. The clouds were coming in so fast that it looked like special effects, later the wind got up to 75 miles an hour.

The temperature ended up dropping 50 degrees that day and finally it began to snow. It snowed 8 inches, which is more snow than we have had in the last 10 years. Then by Monday, the temperature was in the 70's and all the snow melted, when me and my daughter attempted another walk (this time we made it!) the snow was melting so fast that there were little rivers going down the streets and sidewalks and you could hear the water rushing through the storm drains. By tonight or tomorrow, it is supposed to snow again.

Super Tuesday!! I'm hoping for some good news as I guess we all are. Who do I want to win the Democratic nomination? Obama. I like Obama and Hilary, but I think that Obama has a better chance of going up against the Republicans than Hilary does. I don't think Hilary could win. I was driving the other day and there was a young girl outside on the road holding a Vote for Obama sign. She was happy and grinning and I caught her eye and gave her a thumbs up and she did a little jig! If he wins methinks there will be lots more people dancing.

I saw a comment on a blog the other day that surprised me. It surprised me because it made me realize that this person was a hardcore conservative and I just never would have pegged them that way. So, I went to their blog and read for a little while and I was really confused. There were lots of comments on liberals and I thought, "Who are they talking about? I'm liberal and so are a lot of people that I am close to and I don't recognize anyone I know in this description." Maybe aspects here and there but that's all.

I even saw one comment in which someone said that a relative of theirs, away at college, had become liberal. They were razzing him about it and someone told him, "You may say your liberal but I'll bet you would never marry a liberal girl." And he was apparently chagrined by this comment and agreed with his family I was completely bewildered by this apparently inside joke that you I suppose just can't understand unless you are conservative as well.

But you know, we all caricature each other. I've seen liberals do it to conservatives as much as I have seen conservatives do it to liberals and either way it makes me uncomfortable. It does not create dialogue, it destroys it. And I find it interesting that each side tends to accuse the other of the same things. Each side thinks the other is trying to control the media, and each side think that the other is trying to destroy the middle class, for instance. Each side also seems to have it's own version of history which is interesting, sometimes I wonder how much a lot of people really do know about history, even if they think that they do.

My son graduated from Saint Louis University and went to school with kids parents who were...well....much wealthier than me and so he was exposed to lots of kids who have more of a Republican outlook. It is interesting sometimes to talk to him, since he is young--history is just that to him--history. He doesn't remember--he's only read about it. He knows the facts but not so much the why's and since he's a computer major, he really didn't have a lot of classes in it.

One night he was complaining about and making fun of polical correctness. I told him that I wish that he would remember that a lot of these things were begun for a very good reason. Yes, some of it has gone too far, sometimes it gets petty and silly, sometimes it bogs down discussion but if he looked into the past and saw what people used to say before, he would understand why it came about. (I'm imprinting him.) Somehow the lessons of the past had been lost with only the results apparent, sort of standing alone without people remembering why other people thought they were necessary at one time. We all do that to each other.

My mom has always been into the Tao. She taught me to see how everything is always striving for a balance and how the further things get out of balance, the more they will swing in the opposite way to compensate. Sometimes I can understand politics better if I stop thinking of everyone as having their own evil agenda (though I know that there are people who do) and just see it as society trying to reach some sort of balance. It's easier for me to think of it that way. ( I guess my mom imprinted me too.)

Been reading a lot of Biographies lately. Biographies about writers. I also read a fun book about famous literary feuds. Ernest Hemingway vs Gertrude Stein. That one was a gas! They were both so sly and sarcastic and genteel about cutting each other down. Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. That one was a lot of fun as well. And finally Tom Wolfe (Bonfire of Vanities) vs. everyone. I got an interesting insight from that one, one that really affected me.

In summation, Tom Wolfe's writing style is journalistic. And according to other writers, this does not constitute true literature. Tom Wolfe differs with them all saying that the standard is what is flawed, not his writing. He says that literature has become too introspective, that plot is sacrificed and that nothing ever happens.

And you know, he's right! Around the turn of the century when the study of psychology really started to influence societies view of reality, literature did turn introspecive. A type of writing called impressionistic writing became popular and has never really gone out of style. If someone writes a book containing action and plot, it will be on the paperback rack. If someone spends 200 pages writing about how they felt when their childhood pet died, that is literature. Of course, I'm exagerating but I think Mr. Wolfe is onto something.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kitty on the mend

We paid for our kitty to have surgery and she's doing well. They removed a little foam block from the first bend of her small intestine. She's on a bland diet and she is wearing a cone around her neck to keep her from running around or biting her stitches. I'm sure she'll be much happier when it comes off but it's for her own good.

I had an epiphany today. As some of you will remember, I was once writing a story on my blog about Tragedy and Joy and for some reason, the story just dried up....I never knew why. I had a lot of stuff going on and I thought that these things were distracting me from writing the story and that once things settled down that I would go back to it. But I never did--I've got all the time to do it now and I'm just cmpletely dry.

And I was thinking about it and I remembered that when I first began the story I was taking a new medication for attention defecit disorder. I remember wondering at the time if the medicine had anything to do with me being able to write this story because I have never had any luck writing fiction before.

I was always confused in general as to whether the medicine was having much of an effect on me in any way, I thought it was but I wasn't sure....and it made me sick. I would become very nauseated after taking it and I lost about 10 or 15 pounds. It made me feel groggy too and I always took it in the evening at work, if I took it earlier I might fall asleep, but if I took it at work, I couldn't fall asleep because I was at work. I stopped taking it on my days off because I I didn't want to waste my days off sleeping.

I finally had some vacation days and stopped taking it altogether and this is when I started having trouble at my job again and one thing led to another as you all know. And well, everything worked out for the best but looking back, I now realize that the medicine was having a more positive effect on me than I realized.

It's a strange feeling to take medicine and find out about dormant talents that you have which disappear when you stop taking the medicine. Or a potential that you only have when you are medicated. It poses some interesting questions about what constitutes our thoughts or our personalities etc.... Being a person who it actually is happening to instead of just reading about it, I have to say that I don't really care as long as I feel okay but it is still unsettling. Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I'm a complete bore

(I mean me...not you!)

Sorry, I haven't been around lately. I just can't think of anything interesting to write about for some reason. I'm doing fine but I just don't seem to have anything on my mind that would be interesting enough to post about.

I guess I could post about my cat...she's going to die. She probably has a bowel obstruction and needs surgery. I had her in the hospital and they sent her home and told me that she seemed fine, but she's not and I can't afford anymore. I've already spent about $900 that I don't even have. But see, that isn't interesting enough to post about.

Well, hopefully I will get more interesting soon and think of something that wouldn't bore everyone to tears. But I will stop by your blogs soon....Really!....I'll stop being neglectful about that at least.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What's Wrong With Britney?

(I can't believe I'm posting about this!)
I've never been a Britney fan. I'm not into her genre. As a matter of fact, have some lack of respect for the genre, but I'm big enough to admit that she was a helluva performer. It wasn't only her dancing ability or her team of image consultants or her fabulous pre-pregnancies figure that made her so famous and shot her to the top. It was her 'star quality'. You either have it or you don't. It can't be bought, it can't be learned, it just is....and she just oozed it.

Of course, there aren't too many people by now who don't realize that there is something terribly wrong with Britney. There are still people who still persist on saying that she is doing the things that she does because she has no class and she's been spoiled by her money. But many people now realize that it is much more than that. Her behavior can't leave much doubt to those who are generous enough to see.

It all started when she shaved her head. The tabloids howled in trimph to see Britney going down. If she was hounded by the paparazzi before, now she was devoured. But anyone who has ever dealt with mental illness knew, it was more than that. Britney's ordeals show a lot about the general publics attitude about mental illness. Apparently, they don't believe it exists.

The legal definition of insanity pends on whether you knew what you were doing or not. Apparently, the idea is if you can string a sentence together or are able to make any kind of sensible action, then you know what you are doing. If you could be considered to be crazy at all, you would be crazy like a fox. Many people seem to think of Britney this way and I suppose I am identifying with her because in many ways, the attitudes that people have towards her are similar to the attitudes that people had towards me when I was younger.

Though I've never shaved my head, I relate to Britney because I used to do things to shock other people when I was very young. I did it because I was angry. When you are having an episode your emotions are all out of proportion to what is actually happening. I have always been overly-sensitive and sometimes it reached the level of paranoia. Shocking people was my way of getting back, or showing them that I didn't really care what they thought of me. It was also a way of controlling a situation, I had control over how they felt about me, I may be making them dislike me but it was on my terms.

And then there was her marriage to Kevin Federline. Britney lost her head for Kevin Federline, someone who seemed beneath her, I don't mean financially...everyone is beneath her financially, I mean as far as her deserving someone who has respect for her and has her best interests in mind. But Kevin 'pimped' Britney. Why did she let him? What demon is driving her?

Britney has a certain Marilyn Monroe quality. Remember the headlines when Marilyn died...The most popular girl in America died alone on a Saturday night. Gloria Steinman wrote a great book about Marilyn Monroe that I believe eventually came to BE popular opinion. Which is that Marilyn Monroe felt that no-one cared about her, they only loved her image. She spent her life trying to find someone who loved who she was on the inside, someone who loved Norma Jean, not Marilyn Monroe. I believe that this is what Britney thought she was getting when she met K-Fed. Someone who saw Britney, the little girl from Louisiana, not Britney...pop idol.

And he probably did see her for what she was, but what he saw was her vulnerability and her giving nature and her insecurity. She was his mark, not his love...and Britney..she just didn't see it. Is Britney stupid like people say?

I've always noticed that you can tell a lot about people by how they view the world. A thief thinks everyone is going to steal from them, a liar thinks everyone is lying...etc...etc. Following this theory, what does Britney being snowed by K-fed say about her? Well, probably that she never expected to be treated this way because she would never treat anyone this way. She never saw his opportunistic nature because she has a generous nature. I think that she 'Is that Innocent' actually. And I relate to this too.

Even the way that she acts now. Supposing her behavior is a cry for help? Why is she crying to the world? Does she think people will care? Because she would care? I don't know, I'm just speculating of course. But her behavior makes sense if you think about it in these terms.

I saw an article on Britney the other night. One of the few articles where they weren't gloating about how she has become a trainwreck, dancing on her grave. This was an article in which the author was speculating about Britney possibly having bipolar disorder, which is why I read it.

There was a place for comments afterwards and there were more than 200 comments. Many of them were of a forgiving nature...Britney became famous too young, it's the stress, it's her stage-mom etc.... Some were mean of course, (it's scary to know that people who say these things walk the earth!) But many of them appeared to be like me, they read the article because Bipolar Disorder was mentioned and they either had it, or had a family member with it.

None of these people had anything disparaging to say. over and over, comment after comment they said, "I've suspected for a long time that she was bipolar." A few said that they had a parent that was Bipolar and they recognized the look in Britney's eyes....that look of not being completely there, someone whose responses are driven by inexplicable things going on inside of them rather than what is going on outside of them......reality in other words. They were all very concerned for her. Mental illness is a bad mother-fucker!

I made a comment too. I talked about how I dread the day that we all wake up to see the headlines "Britney is Dead!" And just like Anna Nicole Smith, people will suddenly be so nice. There will be tributes to her and they will finally have a little bit of sympathy. They stopped slamming Anna Nicole after she was dead, probably to assuage their guilt. Yes guilt, because anyone with half a brainv knew that Anna Nicole's problems had more to do with the fact that she came from a low-class background. They understood it all along, but it was fun to rip her apart. Just like they apparently have so much fun ripping Britney apart and eating her heart.

I wish people would just leave her alone, like the guy/girl said. I wish people wouldn't be so arrogant that they thought that they could judge someone elses behavior based on their own reality. Mostly, I wish that society would 'get a clue'. For Britney's story symbolizes a lot of the sins of mankind, that we judge, we are self-righteous, that we can turn on someone at the first sign of weakness and that charity is only extended to those who are similar to us.

I think Britney has learned a lot about mankind through her ordeals. No wonder she's such a mess.

Friday, January 4, 2008


One of my lessons this last year has been that I have certain limitations that no amount of willpower will ever change. It's not easy to admit that you have a limitation because no-one really wants to have one. But the hardest part of all is that we live in a society that does not respect limitations.

If you don't believe me try a little experiment. Tell someone that you can't do something because of a condition that you have. Tell them that you can't sit in a chair for longer than an hour because you have a bad back, or tell them that you can't stay out late because if you don't have 8 hours sleep you can't function the next day. Or tell them....oh I don't know. You make it up. But the key is, it has to be something that they can't see. It has to be something that they have to take your word about, and it has to be something that the majority of people can do without any trouble.

Actually, I'll bet you don't even have to do the experiment. I'll bet you already know what will happen, don't you? People will think that you make excuses for yourself. People will think that if you really wanted to do it, you could. They won't say anything most of the time, but you can tell by reading their expressions what they are thinking. You can also read newspapers etc..and get a pretty good idea of the standing opinion on things like this.

My mom says that workaholism is an addiction and that it is an acceptable one in our culture. Think about this one. If someone were an alcoholic and spent all their time away from home, ignoring their family, they would be condemned for it. If a workaholic spends all their time away from home ignoring their family, they will be praised for it. I realize that being an alcoholic is not the same thing as being a workaholic and there are other factors involved in the reason why it is disapproved of but my point is, workaholism is not a particularly healthy way of being, yet it is highly approved of.

We live in a tough society where you are mostly judged by what you have and what your accomplishments are. There is little room for limitations, especially ones no-one can see but you. And if your limitations have caused you to not have much or have achieved much you are thought to be a loser. At least, that's how a lot of people think.

Does it really matter what people think? It depends. As long as you know who you are, it is still lonely, but you can live with it and in the end it doesn't matter. But as far as expecting empathy or any types of concessions, then yes it does matter. You are already at a disadvantage and no-one is going to level the playing field for you in any way and that's the way it is.

Am I saying that I expect concessions? No, I'm not. Through all of this, I still feel like I am lucky. I don't really want any life besides the one I have. Things could be better, but things could be worse too and I'm well aware of that.

But it's hard sometimes. My dad's birthday was Tuesday. We all go out to eat every year on his birthday and cousins, uncles etc...come too. I have something of a reputation with my family. As you can imagine, being bipolar, I have a spotty history and everyone knows it. They don't know why, and I'm not telling them, I'm not that close to them.

But when the conversation finally came around to the fact that I'm not working presently, it wasn't difficult for me to see what they thought of it. I understand that most people are ignorant on the topic of bipolar disorder and if they truly understood, they would not be as judgemental. I also know that even if I told them, they wouldn't understand. It's something that you have to have lived with to truly understand.

I forgive them, but it's still just....hard. I get tired of it. I get tired of people jumping to conclusions about me, conclusions that simply aren't true. I can handle it because I do have a support system but that's because I'm at home right now. When I worked, I didn't have one because it's just the nature of work that there aren't allowances made for my type of issues. And it's more than likely that that will be how it is again when I go back to work. And this makes things hard for very practical reasons.

I'm scared to go back to work and have it start all over again. It was hard. It's hard to keep going when you feel like shit. And you have to go in, no matter whether you feel well or not and people notice. And they talk and they scrutinize you. At my last job, I felt like I just couldn't win. Once I came under their scrutiny they just didn't let up.

Sometimes, I have a hard time with my energy levels. I just get so lethargic that it's an effort for me to do anything. They assumed that I was lazy when I got this way. When I got muddled up, they assumed that I just didn't care about my job. They made a lot of unfair assumptions and I forgive them, but it was traumatic....it's sort of driven me into a shell and made me dread having this ever happen to me again.

So, I have come to some conclusions. First of all, I think that I am always going to have trouble working full-time. I'm not lazy, I just can't maintain that level of functioning demanded, no matter how hard I try. I suppose if I ever have to work full-time again, then I'll just have to...but I don't think that I'll ever be the best employee.

I would really like to work from home. It takes energy to do a job, but for me, dealing with people when I'm not feeling well takes much more energy than just working does. I'm just not 'on' all the time. And people misconstrue it and there is nothing that I can do about it because that's just the way it is for me sometimes. It seems to me that if I worked at home and I didn't feel well, no-one would have to know. As long as I could drag myself to the computer and get the work done, it wouldn't matter if I was so lethargic that I didn't even feel like combing my hair. At least I wouldn't have to deal with people when I felt that way.

So here come the limitations again. I know what I want to do. I want to learn courtroom reporting. Only, I don't want to work as a courtreporter. I want to work with the deaf. I want to do captioning and teleconferences and conventions and attend school with people who are hearing impaired and give them verbatim transcripts of the lecture. I know that I've talked about learning sign language, but that was only because I had told myself that captioning was probably out of the question for me. But this is what I really want to do.

I've e-mailed the director of the program and explained my situation to her and asked her opinion. I told her that I think that I could learn to do this accurately, but that I'm afraid that I might have trouble being completely accurate all of the time. I told her that I know that this would make me unable to do courtroom reporting, but asked her if it would make me unable to do the Cart reporting as well?

It will be a bitter blow for me if she tells me that she thinks that due to my problems, it probably wouldn't be the field for me, but if she does, I guess I will just have to live with it. So, I'm awaiting her answer. Hope it's good news. If not, then I guess I will just have to accept my limitations.