January 26, 2015

Shrinkage

Hi.

I have to see my new shrink in 3 hours, which means we have to leave in a little less than 2 hours and I’m not sure if that’s enough time to fit in everything on my mind but I’ll do my best.

At my last shrink visit, we discussed getting me off of the Loxapine, which is an anti-psychotic I’ve been using to sleep for about 3 years that’s apparently not only not that fantastic for your liver but one of its side effects is this neurological issue called Akathisia which is the inability to sit still, pretty much. It sounds really dumb, but on a scale of “excruciating” to “dear god just please kill me”, with pancreatitis at the high end and endometriosis and childbirth at the low end, Akathisia would actually be closer to pancreatitis. It’s not painful, per se, but it’s almost like there’s high voltage electricity inside you, like physical calories, that can only come out or be expressed through your arms and legs by jumping jacks or running on the spot or just finally, because you’re completely exhausted and should have been asleep hours ago, plain old continuous contortion in the dark in your bed while you cry and feel guilty for keeping your husband awake (or hating him for being asleep). The only thing that we found consistently worked was me overloading on sleep meds (which we had no idea were causing this in the first place) and having Blake drive me around the beach until I fell asleep, like a baby. These episodes would begin shortly after I took my sleep meds (but again, we never made the connection) at about 7pm and would continue until I passed out around midnight. Which really fucking sucks when you work in 4 or 5 hours. This had been happening, mostly in the warm months, about once every 2 weeks or so since I started taking this stuff and I never knew what was happening. The sensation of this “electricity” is a lot like when your foot falls asleep and in waking up, AFTER the pins & needles phase, the one right after that where if someone were to touch your foot you’d punch them right in the fucking face. You know the one. It’s shocking, right? Almost painful but not? I dunno how to describe it other wise but it’s like a constant pressure of that and the need to relieve it. So hard to explain and I am so happy that my new shrink connected the dots on that one so hopefully now that I’m not taking the drug anymore it won’t happen any more. It hasn’t so far and it’s been like, 2 months.

Something else I thought of while writing this is that I didn’t experience acute Akathisia as often this summer/fall as I did the previous year and I think that’s because this summer/fall, I changed my routine so I don’t take my sleep meds Fri/Sat/Sun and I stay up until between 3am-never making art and hanging out with some of my cyberpals in a top secret location. It would make sense that since I started taking less of it, the issue didn’t happen as often.

I’m so annoyed I didn’t catch this myself because I’m usually really proactive about researching the meds I take and I know I looked Loxapine up when I was first prescribed it but nothing bad happened right away so I just never put two and two together. I never  told any doctors about these episodes because they were simply so bizarre and indescribable and FLUKEY that I was convinced either “this is not a chronic thing and it’ll just go away” (lie) or if I tried to describe it to a doctor they wouldn’t take me seriously.

Stopping the meds should make the symptoms disappear, although in some cases it can take years for it to stop completely. I’m pretty confident that I’m done with it though. Not worried. Now I’m taking Trazodone to sleep instead and so far everything’s been a-okay.

Next thing on the list to discuss with my shrink is getting me the FUCK off Cipralex because, while I’m actually pretty happy and it’s good stuff, I’ve only had *maybe* 3 orgasms in the last 8-9 MONTHS, which is starting to drive even me, the sexlesss wonder, absolutely crazy so it’s time to find something new that doesn’t break my clit. I was told to give it 6 months for the side effects to go away and it’s been long enough, this is not just gonna go away.

Speaking of genitals, I had my pap smear a few months ago and told the nurse who did it that my endo is starting to become a problem again (yay, right? of course it is…) and since I now have a mesh in my stomach holding everything together, I can no longer safely have laparoscopic surgery and I’m not willing to have a hysterectomy, so my options now are painkillers and taking the birth control pill continuously so I don’t have any periods anymore. She understood as she had endo and went the hysterectomy route and from experience, she agreed with all of my reasons for being against it at 35. She left a note for my doctor about a prescription for birth control and he called it in the next day, Blake picked it up and I started taking it. It’s Tri-Cyclen Lo 28, but the first thing I did was ditch the sugar pills because I didn’t want to accidentally take any of them and long story short I’ve either been spotting, full on bleeding or leaking brown tissue and fluid since I started taking this shit so I need to see him pronto to get me on something else. I don’t think the nurse fully explained in her note what I was doing or why I was doing it because if she would have, I’m pretty sure he would have put me on something different. I think these pills are like, baby birth control pills for teenagers. I really wanted to ask my doctor for Marvelon 21 because that’s what I was on before and it did the job of keeping my periods at bay (not pain-free but period-free most of the time), but then I read this page about it and now I don’t think it’s a  good idea. I’m 35 and I have had a blood clot (when I was sick, I had a clot in a vein in my spleen – god it is so gross knowing that *shudder*) and I don’t smoke cigarettes but I do smoke weed obviously and I’m not sure if that’s the same thing as far as clots are concerned. I just need something that’ll stop my period and not kill me, kthnx.

I need all this shit figured out pronto! Because! Dammit! I wanna get laid in San Francisco! There’s this stuff you can get in California called “Foria“, which is weed spray for your pussy and I plan on shelling out seventy-nine American dollars to be sorely disappointed haha BUT! It’s for science! And I’m on holiday! So whatever! Truthfully, I’m skeptical about it for myself because as I’ve explained before, eating or vaping weed doesn’t do anything to me so I’m not totally convinced it’ll work subdermally either, but hey! Cool if it does! And if it doesn’t, I’m sure if I leave it in SF, Steph will put it to good use. :o)

Well, I guess I better go get ready to see my shrink. Peace out, homies!

July 2, 2014

Blake ate the misshapen fortune cookie.

Not sure I’m capable of a full post. Like. With paragraphs. I may just delete this line entirely.

I thought I was okay and then I saw this (which is awesome and I will read later, but you should read NOW…this post is a bummer and can totally wait) and it was like someone sucked all the air out of the room and I couldn’t breathe.

At least she waited until she probably knew I was done working or maybe she just waited as long as she  could, but this morning I got the first dated e-mail.

You can tell how serious or important something is by whether or not my mother’s dating the e-mails in the subject line.

Grandma. July 2 2014

Not unlike the e-mails people got 3 years ago this summer, “Sarah. July 2 2011”, events to which I had already been thinking about very recently, and as I figure I will for probably the rest of my life:

big sudden decline
grama (except she spells it right)’s been on oxygen since Thursday
increasingly more oxygen
now triple

{sarah reads: GRAMA CAN’T BREATHE, SHE MUST BE SCARED.}

palliative care asap
ps. no internet at grama’s. you may not hear from me until tomorrow.

Sarah pulls up her grama panties, e-mails back something pithy and decides priority 1 is that I e-mail work, tell them, again, that this time, for real this time, it’s gonna happen. I will need time off. I will e-mail with more info as I have it, here’s my schedule, thanks in advance. Luckily I am friends with everyone I work with, on some level anyway, and I’m not too terribly worried about work because I don’t think people have funerals on Saturdays and what are the odds she’ll die on my worst day? (Pretty good, actually, if the history of our relationship is any indication but it was work and I included our boss so I didn’t wanna get slap happy and umb out of shock or whatever, as I may be doing right now.) Time off no questions asked only happens for death and Xmas. I know my bosses would work my shifts if necessary. Both of them.

I am totally completely babbling but see? I’m wearing my grama panties. Work. The responsibility. The money. Priority 1. God I could throw up. I may throw up. The day is young and I am severely undermedicated. I’m betting my mom e-mailed her work/money/responsiblitiesthatarenotmygrama people before she e-mailed me, Blake and my brother. (Or she was wise enough not to take anything on in the first place.) We all have it, whatever it is. It’s AWFUL! No, scratch that, this is one form of crazy my brother was spared. My brother probably e-mailed her with “whatever you need, just tell me, I’ll be there” and like, wanting to be in the trenches and I guess I said that too, sort of, but my response may have included a colon, lowercase o and right parenthesis in succession. I also know for a fact that I am mentally incapable of going to palliative care and I don’t think anyone in the world would hold that against me. Or anyone who remotely mattered, anyway.

I got that far in my thoughts this morning before I had to stop. I thought about taking all my shit outside and working on my garden painting, y’know, IN my ditchweed butterfly wildflower keep off the fucking lawn garden as planned, or as I had planned all morning until I got that e-mail, but suddenly the rain expected at 1pm just had me making idle chatter with a friend who wanted to talk about weed (obviously) while I watched this awesomely shitty Lifetime series that is now on Netflix called Witches of East End and I had just finished the series 1 finale, knowing full well that season 2 was not on Netflix, and may not even exist so I had to come online to know, did it get cancelled? Because it was just SO awesomely shitty that I couldn’t imagine/really hoped there would be a season 2. I got as far as “set to premiere on July 6, 2014” on the Wikipedia page, stopped reading because I literally want to know nothing, and flipped to Facebook because okay, TV is over, now what?

oh. hi there “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire“.

welcome, sheer fucking panic because I didn’t even think of clothes.

And then I came here because I couldn’t even get past the first paragraph of the article before having my worst panic attack in recent history.

I am good for one day of public viewing, unless it’s okay to wear the same thing multiple days in a row or it’s okay to wear white/off-white. (Is it?)
Madison will need clothes. As long as it doesn’t rain, we can work around her Docs.
Wes will need clothes from the ground up.
Blake would prefer no clothes, but has a few suits to choose mix/match/dowhateverboysdo from.
He will need shoes, an expense he’s needed for a while that I keep telling him to get that now he can’t put off. Although my grama might, if overhearing my inner debate as to whether or not he can get away with his orthopedic sandals, say, “oh! I don’t need it, I don’t need it”, because that is absolutely the very thing , when last I saw her, she would say. Ball’s in his court on that one. I’m wearing Docs.

Just texted my brother to make sure he has a suit. He’s a grown man, I probably don’t have to ask him this. Too late. Can’t take it back.

John & Chris are good.

That is all my people.

Everyone else can find their own canoe.

April 2, 2014

Writing Instead of Eating

This is probably best explained with screencaps. I’ve been tracking my calories since seeing the dietitian with My Fitness Pal, which is both a website and an app and it was the one she recommended. I’d also used it before. Basically I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me. Look, this is a typical day:

This was the next day…

This was yesterday…

I am scared. I think Blake is sorta mad at me even though he knows I can’t help it, but more out of concern though than really being mad. He says he’s not mad. I don’t know if I believe that. This morning he made me scrambled eggs about half an hour before I was finished working and I just couldn’t eat them. I took like, 4 bites and I cried basically the whole time they were in my mouth because I didn’t want them there. They made me feel sick and I just did not want that texture in my mouth. I was/am shaking with hunger and so so tired, but everything I think of to eat just sets off my gag reflex and whatever the reflex is in your stomach that makes you feel sick. Wtf, right? And then I felt sick and cried for the rest of my shift because I am fucking terrified. I don’t want to be sick again. I don’t want there to be another thing wrong with me. I do not want to see any doctors other than the ones I see now. I do not want any more tests unless they tell me they think I have cancer or something which they won’t because obviously I don’t but obviously something’s not right and I don’t know if it’s physical, psychological or both. I honestly have no earthly idea.

It went like this:

– Spring-fall 2011. Got sick/feeding tube etc, got down to about 97 lbs.

– Started slowly gaining weight despite barfing up like, everything, thanks to Ensure and Isopure Plus and my doctor saying if all I wanted to eat was McCrap, that was fine by her because my hair was falling out. Got up to about 115 lbs. Felt good at that weight.

– Summer 2012, a year after getting sick, I have my big surgery to close my wound and remove my gall bladder, which was all fucked up and gross and full of stones apparently.

– Felt okay after surgery, this was probably partially due to the fact that my primary painkiller apres-surgery was cannabis.

– In the fall I went to Squam at around 115 lbs and lost 3 lbs despite eating a LOT and every single day because the food was actually really really good. Can’t even tell you what I had there though, shoulda written it down.

– Apres-Squam for some reason I just felt good. I was off most of my “sick” meds, my period came back and I was eating enough that by July 2013, so within about a year, I was 150 lbs.

Then it all went to shit and I don’t really know know why. One day I had a really bad pancreatic attack and then another and then another and I think maybe my pancreas is just maybe damaged enough now that this shit is an issue. And that scares the ever loving shit out of me. You only get one pancreas. I had a really hard fucking time with having a blood transfusion, can you imagine what a nightmare it would be to need a pancreas transplant? I’d be so stressed out by someone else’s body part in me that my body would probably just reject it anyway. I don’t even know how successful that kind of transplant is anyway. Probably not very since the pancreas is so goddamn fragile. Or at least mine apparently is.

Anyway, we have watermelon and suddenly that seems like a good idea and the second I get hungry for something, I do my best to eat it because it’s always a fleeting thing. I promise I’ll make a more positive post soon. It’s (sort of) spring!

February 6, 2013

Life is Like a Tub of “Death By Chocolate”…

So it’s 11:10am and I’m sitting here waiting for it to be 12pm because that’s when the fun. and Teegan and Sara concert tickets are apparently available for presale and I promised Madison and her friend that I would be on top of that as soon as it’s possible so here I am. Hello.

I had literally a thousand thoughts before I sat down but now they’re gone. *poof!* Oh well. :o)

I was on cam earlier at Camwhores just being goofy by myself and eating toaster strudel and I caught Hoover next to me, just waiting for me to drop a mere morsel of toaster strudel…

So there was Asshole #1 hoping I didn’t see him there and then I dropped my arm (because I had to use the mouse to take these pics. This computer has a corded mouse…)

And there’s Asshole #2 to the left of my upper right arm who is such a fluttery flutter fluffcake that he probably believes that one day a piece of toaster strudel may rain from the sky because in his world stranger things have happened.

Okay it’s 11:55am and Sabotage by the Beastie Boys just came on haha Gotta focus!

—*TICKETS PURCHASED*—

There’s no going back, Blake has to accompany Madison and her friend Emily to fun. and Teegan and Sara, which I think is so cute and so funny and awwwww yay We asked Madison if this is what she wanted for her birthday and she said yes and we’re like, “even though it’s a long way away?” and she’s like “YEAH”. So you’re sure? “OMGYEAH!” And so it shall be. haha

Wes’ birthday is NEXT Wednesday and he’s getting Minecraft and an Xbox Live account. Both kids are pretty happy right now at their gifts and they haven’t even gotten them yet. So yay!

Earlier Belinda showed me this guy who had “miley cyrus” tattooed on his chest and it was like “wtf?” and when I said basically that, she linked me to this long video of him I think (?) and he’s covered in Miley Cyrus tattoos. I couldn’t watch the whole thing but it was really interesting and fucked up and sad the part I did see. Here it is:

Also fucked up is this almost hour long special on Father-Daughter Purity Balls, which I spent the weekend researching:

Creepy shit, man.

Cree-py-shit.

I got an e-mail a little while from Mike, the guy who runs the Artists Guild, asking us to RSVP to the meeting tomorrow night. So I did that and then I freaked out completely because tomorrow is going to SUCK. I got confirmation from Rick that the cab is going to be at our house at 12:30pm tomorrow and Blake and I are going to take it there and back and then I do CBT while Blake works at the mental health centre and then we take a taxi home. Then we eat dinner and go to the Guild meeting. And try not to throw up. All day. And like, change my clothes and wash my hair and y’know, be presentable in more than a hoodie and yoga pants. Maybe actually put on some makeup for the first time since December. Be human. Join the land of the living.

Which would be just marvelous but my period started with a vengeance unexpectedly like, 2-3 days too soon, full force like a fucking faucet, which isn’t cool at all menstrual app I’m relying on to remind me of these things! So yeah, that’s happening. JOY at the awesome monthly confirmations that there are no babies in there FUCK YOU for being early you FUCKING CUNT! Why can’t you learn basic math?

Oh, life. Life is beautiful! Happy kids, happy Blake; possibly making a whole lot of new friends or no friends at all, but being good either way; scared…and pissed off about the whole vagina thing but whatever, I’ve obviously been through worse and been okay. If you can die of stress I would have done it already, I’m pretty sure. I’m also pretty sure about death by Coke deprivation, you can’t die of that. It really really sucks, but you can’t die of from it. I went from Coke to Coke Zero to NOTHING, not even WATER for like, 5 or 6 weeks, to a cap full of Diet Coke to gingerale for a while but sugar gingerale is too sticky and diet gingerale is just plain gross to the current Diet Coke fiend we all know and love.

Right now we are out of Diet Coke, which is a travesty of epic proportions I know, and I foresaw this drought on the horizon so yesterday I put my emergency stash of Vanilla Coke Zero in the bottom of the fridge so I should be good until Blake comes home tonight. It’s all good. :o) Sucks that Blake’s work keeps him late so he hits traffic and then we eat late and it feels like we don’t get to spend any time with each other though. Winter’s such a bummer season as it is, why make it worse? But all Blake’s coworkers live a lot closer to their work than we do so they schedule stuff later and get home much faster. It makes sense for all of them, it just sucks for us. Oh well, what are ya gonna do? Uprooting life right now or in the very near future seems pretty impossible at the moment so we just have to suck it up. Poor Blake though, he has to deal with the traffic and driving which would stress me the fuck out to do once let alone twice daily, all we up in Sunnyland have to worry about is what does he need to bring home and whether or not to eat without him.

Well that and Madison’s love life and school life, which takes up the rest of my time from 4:30pm-just about when I go to bed unless we kick her out of my office for “grown up time” which we don’t do often but sometimes ya just gotta because that girl will make you crazy. She’s also probably my best friend because I’m a giant loser so I guess that means I’m going to go pee and make a snack and wait for the childrens to get home….

“Today was horrible…”Wes says. “Are you any good at sewing by any chance?”

And so it begins. Hurricane Madison should be here any minute…

October 30, 2012

I Suck At This

Last night was photography class.

We spent most of the class going through everyone’s assignment pictures, of which there were many. Looking at not to fantastic snapshots for an hour and 45 minutes is not my idea of fun at all. Also I was in a shitty mood but I’ll get to that later. Then after we looked at everyone’s pictures (and some people brought USB sticks that were full of ALL the pictures they had or something and we were just supposed to randomly pick which ones to look at) we did a “lab” about movement where Andre put a wine glass in a sink and made the faucet flow into and out of it like a fountain and then he pointed a spotlight on it and told us to take pics of it at various shutter speeds and ISOs. I didn’t actually do the lab or I’d show you pics. It was in a small room with a lot of eager people and the energy just made me way too nervous. I got the point of the lab though, the faster your shutter speed, the better your ability to “freeze” action. (Duh.) The higher your ISO, the faster your shutter speed can be.

This week’s assignment I’m not sure I can even do because half of it offends my eyeballs greatly:

Choose two subjects to express movement as follows:
(You may shoot one subject twice if you prefer)

1. Shoot it so that the movement is “frozen”.
2. Shoot it at a slow enough speed to express movement through blur.

Do not use flash for this exercise.
Pay attention to camera movement – is it part of your picture idea or do you want to keep it steady?

– steady camera, moving subject
– steady subject moving camera (it’s art, man!”
– moving subject and camera – as in panning (moving your camera to keep up with a moving subject and usually blurring the background)

Remember to keep the Tips (from last week) in mind, especially the first four.
Bring images to class so that we can share and critique.

High shutter speeds, 1/250 sec. and up, tend to stop motion of both the subject and the camera (camera shake). The effect is greatest with wide angle lenses (wide zoom position) and least with telephoto lenses. It takes a higher shutter speed to keep the camera steady when using long telephoto lenses (zooming way in). 

A tripod is invaluable for keeping the camera steady at slow shutter speeds (under 1/60 sec.) or any time you are doing critical/precision work.

It’s #2 I have an issue with. Why would I want to show anyone a blurry photo on purpose? I delete those! Because they’re crap! Where is the value in doing that on purpose?

Also something I realize the more pictures of Andre’s (our teacher’s) I see is that he’s got the technical knowledge and he knows all the rules and I do have things to learn from him in that respect but he just doesn’t take the best pictures. Out of the hundred or so pictures of his he’s shown us, I would only judge maybe 10 of them “good” and maybe three of them “better than average”.  I just expect better from a “professional photographer” who teaches photography. But Blake says there’s two parts to photography, the technical know-how and “the vision” and the vision is harder to teach and learn and some people never get it. I think Andre flukes into it sometimes but not enough to say he’s got the package deal if you get what I mean. And I don’t mean this to be mean or cruel and maybe he’s not showing us his best pics, I have no idea, I’m just basing this on the things he’s shown us so far. I’m not sure if Alex feels the same way, we haven’t talked about it. And maybe I’ll take this all back the more he shows us.  Maybe I’m not even qualified to judge.

Oh and he lets his camera rest on its lens because he doesn’t take the tripod mount thing off the bottom of it so it droops forward and Blake always freaks on me for letting my camera do that because it’s bad for the lens.

I’m thinking of taking back the tripod we bought at Black’s. It was just a $50 one and Andre says those ones are too flimsy for some cameras and probably not a good idea with my heavier, longer lenses. He says I’m “taking my camera into my hands” if I use it. I haven’t used it yet so it can go back and then maybe I can save up for a better one at Henry’s or something. Andre suggests Manfrotto and he says never buy a tripod under $100 no matter what brand. :o/

So the reason I wasn’t in the best mood last night was two-fold. First, dinner wasn’t ready in time to eat before class so I ate a small bowl of Lipton chicken noodle soup with crackers in the car on the way to class. I hadn’t eaten anything else since about 8am. I was starving. I’d also forgotten my pills, which I have to take right before class so mid-class, my brain was pinging all the fuck over the place. And the cherry on top? MY ESTRANGED BROTHER wrote on the wall of my Facebook fan page wanting me to contact him which has traditionally meant he wants something.

When we got home after class, there was another message from him asking if I’d send him a friend request so we could chat through Facebook messages because he doesn’t have a computer, only his phone. So I sent him a friends request and we exchanged a few messages on Facebook and then I went to bed. I messaged him again this morning but so far there’s been no reply. He does not know I almost died last summer. My mom never told him. He says he wanted to talk to me and come see me (not knowing I was or had been sick) and my mom wouldn’t let him. So I asked my mom about that and she said, “Trust me when I tell you, You were in no place where hearing from him would have been good for you. That kind of life sucking, negative energy had to be kept away from your healing. That simple.” Fair enough. If that’s how he was being, and let’s face it that’s how he’s pretty much always been, then she was right to do it it that way.

I’m just not sure how I’ll be able to tell him the whole story and have him actually understand and believe how dire things were. That kind of trauma is so far out of his scope that I’m not sure I’ll be able to and that’s just going to frustrate me.

And now he’s online so I’d better post this and start explaining…

October 24, 2012

Blip.fm Pisses Me Off. Also Halloween.

So I’m on Blip.fm, as are a lot of my friends such as Ronny and Alex, whose taste in music I respect. I also have something like 150 followers, which is pretty cool, but what pisses me off is that when I search for songs on Blip, I get all these FUCKING videos of live performances and covers by lame people and never the official video even though I know for a fact it’s on YouTube which is where Blip pulls from. And forget actual MP3s, you can never find those. So wtf? I think Blip is a good platform but its search algorithms are fucked up or something and it pisses me right off because I can never find what I’m looking for. And it’s extra obnoxious when I know for a fucking FACT that the official video is on YouTube and when I search for the exact title of the video on YouTube on Blip, it doesn’t come up. GRRRRRRRR.

I DO NOT WANT SHITTY LIVE FOOTAGE OR YOUR CRAPPY ACOUSTIC COVERS OF GOOD SONGS. YOU SUCK AND ARE THE BANE OF MY BLIPPING EXISTENCE.

So today is Wednesday (duh), which means there is only 2 days left for me to get my shit together in preparation for Friday. Friday is going to be busy and I hate busy days. I am a firm believer in the fact that you cannot do more than 2 stressful things in one day and on Friday I have 3 stressful things.

1. Dentist appointment. I broke a tooth Monday night eating ketchup chips, which SUCKS, because I’m pretty sure they’re going to have to do a root canal and that takes an hour and a half. They’re just looking at it on Friday to come up with a plan of attack so that means probably next week will be the root canal. JOY. (Our insurance doesn’t cover laughing gas, how fucking dumb is that? $100 out of pocket for that. Send PayPal to Sunny@SunnyCrittenden.com! Just kidding. Sort of.)

2. Shrink appointment. Need to talk to her about a change in meds. I think I need to take 2 loxapine at night to get to sleep at a decent time because 1 doesn’t seem to cut it. I’ve been getting phantom anxiety for the last 3 weeks and I think it has to do with all the construction happening on front of our house. I know that sounds ridiculous but I’m a fragile flower man, and that shit is grating on my nerves something fierce. I’ve been taking 2 clonazepam (klonopin) in the afternoons, especially on days I have work meetings, when I’m only supposed to be maybe taking 1 during the day if needed and one at night before bed. I have to tell her I’m terrified of my caseworker. Speaking of him, Blake called him yesterday but as far as I know he hasn’t called back. Yikes. I also think I need to borrow a lightbox because S.A.D. is kicking my ass. I have all these things written down so I won’t forget when I get there. I also think maybe I need to be either put on a higher dose of gabapentin/welbutrin or a new anti-depressant altogether. I refuse to take anything where weight gain could be a remote possibility. Been there, done that, took almost dying and being on a fucking feeding tube to lose the weight. I also think maybe I should talk to her about getting a therapist. I almost died and I have this total disconnect to it. Everyone keeps telling me how I’m some kind of miracle, how I shouldn’t be here etc etc etc and I’m like, “yeah man, wanna see my scar?” I’m so detached from it and people keep telling me that’s not normal. I just want to move on, it happened, it’s in the past, I barely experienced it because I was in a medically induced coma so I don’t know how people expect me to be in regards to it. My mom and Blake and my kids? They experienced it. I just see it as, I was really sick and now I’m not. I’m off all the drugs related to my illness (aside from pancreatic enzymes and the cholesterol meds) and my period has come back so I’m a-okay right? What’s there to process? But people keep telling me that I’m repressing  or something, that I shouldn’t be this detached from it. That maybe I’m still in shock. But I don’t think so.

I mean, just as an example…when I was 14 and pretty brutally raped by a stranger behind the bleachers at a park in the town I grew up in I was obviously distressed afterward. I didn’t go to the police and I only told my Aunt Heather, who I had been staying with at the time, about it. Afterward I made a doctor’s appointment myself and had the necessary tests done to make sure I wasn’t pregnant or full of STDs (neither, thank god, I was tested for HIV for a year & a half after the fact). My doctor was the only person in the world who knew what happened. And why I’m telling you this is because I was completely detached from the event. I still am. I talk about it in a clinical way and I did even then. After the man left me laying in the dirt – but not before kicking me and telling me to get up and spitting on me when I wouldn’t move – I waited for him to leave and then I got up, dusted myself off, wiped his fluids from between my legs with my ripped panties which I then threw in a nearby garbage can after I pulled my shorts back up and walked back to my Aunt’s apartment. I cried of course, but only for about the 10 minutes it took me to walk from the park back to her apartment. When I got back to her apartment, there was a note saying that she was at the coffee shop, so I took a bath and cleaned myself up (the man had almost broken my nose and I had blood beneath it, this was also the loss of my virginity and there was blood all down my upper thighs), then I went BACK to the park to look for my Aunt’s fucking dog which I was walking in the park at 3am to begin with. I was more distressed that my Aunt would be mad at me for losing her dog (a rottweiler, what a good protector eh? didn’t come running while I was screaming) than at what had happened to me.

I just figured, even at 14, that the cops would never do anything since I didn’t know who the man was and it was dark so I could barely tell you what he looked like aside from the size of him. He was obviously drunk (this was during Strawberry Festival when the town sets up a “beer garden” in the parking lot beside the park – last call is 2am, you do the math) and because it was Strawberry Festival, it could have been anyone. Calling the cops would just get me in trouble for being at the park at 3am to begin with and my parents would blame my Aunt for it and I wouldn’t be able to go to her house anymore. And at that time, she was pretty much my lifeline, the closest thing to a mother I had. And what would calling the cops accomplish anyway? Nothing but trouble. So I clinically decided that I had to put on my big girl panties and accept that this bad thing had happened, that it was over now, that I had to make sure I was still healthy and – and this may sound so so so stupid but keep in mind I was 14 – I figured, regarding my virginity, “well, I guess that’s out of the way”. Sex was no longer a mystery.

Maybe it’s because I was molested when I was a little kid. Repeatedly. Or maybe it’s because I was basically homeless at the time and a lot of bad things had already happened and that this was just “one more thing” I should have seen coming, I dunno. I mean, keep in ind that a year later I would be legally emancipated from my parents and living on my own, I was, at that age, an adult for all intents and purposes.

Anyway, my point is that I never suffered the usual things victims of brutal rape suffer after the fact. There was no PTSD. No residual after effects. (I did think it was my fault though for being out at 3am and vulnerable, I asked for it, and I would think that until about 2 years ago when I saw this spoken word piece by Staceyann Chin. Here’s the pertinent part, but you should watch the whole piece because it’s awesome. She’s awesome. Anyway, it being my fault was just a fact I accepted. Not something I felt bad about.) When I later told my two best friends what had happened to me, because they were both bragging about their boyfriends and how they would lose their virginities before me because I didn’t have a boyfriend and I got fed up at the novelty of virginity since I had lost mine so willy nilly and against my will, mine didn’t have “value”, why should theirs? They both called me a liar. They based this on the fact that I didn’t cry when I told them the story. They said I made it up. I didn’t act like a rape victim, therefore I couldn’t have been one. I bet they think I’m lying about it to this day for that very reason and they wouldn’t be the only people to think this of me because I don’t “act like a rape victim”.

But I just think this is how I deal with traumatic events. My life has been so fucked up and disjointed that I just expect bad things to happen because they always do. Getting sick and almost dying is just “one more thing”, just as being raped (that time) was. If I got bent out of shape over every bad thing that ever happened to me, I probably wouldn’t have survived as long as I have. My life is downhill and full of moguls. Always has been, probably always will be. I accepted this fact – and it is a fact – at a very young age. Probably about the time I learned that my older cousin, whom I was in love with, wasn’t touching me in my secret places because he loved me back and we couldn’t be alone together anymore.

So I don’t think it’s abnormal at all for me to have come out of being THAT sick and meeting my mortality up close and personal-like to have just gotten over it and moved on. It’s just “one more thing” that’s happened in a really eventful life. If anything, the way I see things right now is that the Universe – that’s with a capital “U” – owes me a peaceful life from here on out. And that’s what I fully expect. I mean, I almost died, I had 15 months of pure and utter sickness hell, I lost my job, my hair fell out, I got down to 98 lbs, I had to have the world’s most painful surgery, what the fuck else could happen to me? The only thing I can think of is a car accident where I’m disfigured or made handicapped in some way, so I’m somewhat expecting that, but I’ve also been to Hug Nation enough times to start believing in pronoia, the psychological philosophy that the Universe is conspiring in your favour. Positive thinking brings positive results, right?

Boy did I stray off topic. What do you think? Do you think I’m processing being sick/almost dying in a healthy way or do you think my disconnect is abnormal and I need a therapist?

3. On Friday at the MacLaren Art Centre where Alex and I are taking our photography class, they’re having a “Halloween Coffee House” where you pay $2 admission and there is: local youth entertainment (our photography teacher’s son’s band is playing), a costume contest, interactive art activities, food and coffee and our photography teacher said we should come because there will be lots of people there who won’t mind their pictures being taken. Wes will get a chance to test out his ninja costume and maybe Madison can go as a beauty queen with her sparkly grad dress and Fall Fair Ambassador sash. I’m just gonna wear normal clothes and my marabou horns. Dunno what Blake might do. Probably nothing. Alex said if we go then she’ll come too. She’ll probably be Harry Potter again since she has the costume. This counts as a stressful thing because it’s a stressful thing that will require copious amounts of Ativan. In fact I needed two Ativan just to write this paragraph.

So that’s my Friday. And because I’m mentally ill, it will take from now until then (and pharmaceuticals) to prepare for it.

Speaking of pharmaceuticals, I started taking ALPHA  BRAIN on Tuesday, which is a nootropic. A side effect of my psych meds is that I have the memory of a goldfish. Blake and I can have entire conversations that I won’t remember the next day and this leads to constant conflict because I know/think people take advantage of my bad memory by saying they told me things when they really didn’t. Madison definitely takes advantage of it. I have suspicions that other people have/do too. ALPHA BRAIN is supposed to help with that. It’s expensive though. $35 + shipping per bottle for 30 pills and you’re supposed to take 1 or 2 a day. I’m starting with 1 because I just bought the one bottle to try. If it works, I’ll gladly pay for it, but I don’t know if 30 days is enough time for it to work. I’m not sure how the stuff works, like if it needs to build up in your system or what.  Anyway, this memory problem really really bothers me so I hope the stuff works as advertised.  I’m also going to talk to my shrink about an actual, proven pharmaceutical solution, like maybe an amphetamine of some sort like Adderal or something. I’m on several habit forming drugs and I take them responsibly so I don’t think I would abuse speed. My only concern with that is a side effect is possible psychosis even at therapeutic doses, but I just read all about amphetamines on Wikipedia and they would help my concentration, which I need, they could help improve my memory, which I desperately need, they would help my performance at work at 4am, which I could really use and overall my life is so grey right now and blah and boring that maybe amphetamines would help me create again. Anyway, it’s worth exploring.

And that’s what I’ve got in me for today. Now I’m going to go eat ketchup chips for breakfast and read Sookie Stackhouse.

October 17, 2012

Camwhorin’.

Me today:

Me a year ago:

I am officially off all non-psych meds, with the exception of my two cholesterol meds. (The pancreas and gallbladder help deal with cholesterol so they want mine super low.) Aside from some nerve damage in my belly and the weird feeling of the mesh and of course the giant scar and chronic pancreatitis for the rest of my life, my period came back which means I’m a-okay.

October 12, 2012

Everything’s Coming Up Millhouse!

So yesterday was a work meeting day. We have meetings with our support staff on Skype once a week just to touch base, talk about issues and learn new things. But they’re also where we sort of get reamed out and told we’re going to get replaced by robots sometimes so all of us pretty much start freaking out right before one is about to happen and yesterday, due to an incident during my Saturday shift, I was pretty positive that not only was I going to get yelled at in front of all my co-workers causing me to cry, I was pretty sure I was going to get fired.

Well that didn’t happen. In fact the opposite of that happened, our main boss just took at as a learning opportunity and it was a really good meeting. We even brought up the fact that we were all scared of him and he said he would do his best to be less scary in the future and that we should all see these meetings as positive things.

So that was good. When it was over I sobbed like a baby with relief because I had been a ball of stress since Saturday, absolutely convinced that this was it and knowing that you have no chance in hell of ever getting another job, well, the stakes are high. But yeah, I didn’t get fired, so yay!

After the meeting, there was a call on the phone, which I of course, ignored, but I watched the number disappear on call display and then the “message waiting” thing came on so I checked the message. My photography class was fucking CANCELLED because not enough people signed up! Son of a bitch!

BUT! I happened to know of another one in Barrie and the MacLaren Art Centre which was on Mondays, so I told Blake about it and he said yes, so I signed up for that one, e-mailed Alex to tell her about it so she could maybe sign up too, and after I got the e-mail confirmations that I’d signed up and paid, I got an e-mail that said, and I quote:

Dear Sunny Crittenden,

 Congratulations! Your work has been selected to hang in the Touched By Fire art show and sale being held on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at Coopers Fine Art Gallery in Toronto. Your work was chosen from 419 entries by a jury of professionals in the field.

So I guess I’m doing that again and this makes me really wonder if I’m done painting or not….I’ve been pretty dead set against in since Squam because I’m completely uninspired but so many people like my work (they just don’t buy it, even when it’s on sale) so I keep thinking maybe I should stick with it. I’m honestly still completely undecided and it’s not like there’s a rush or anything, or that I have any ideas. But I do have all these supplies….

But that’s not even the BEST THING that happened yesterday! You’ll never guess who showed up! Are you ready? AUNT FLOW. For the first time in 15 months, my body is finally healthy enough to fucking menstruate! I’m not having massive cramps, which doesn’t surprise me since the endo’s been dormant over a year, and I know that’s only temporary, but I’ll take it for now. Right now it’s just that brownish spotting you get at the beginning but I’m hoping for full bleed in a couple of days so I can truly feel normal again. It felt good putting “light spotting” in my menstruation calendar app this morning.

AND I woke up to an e-mail from Alex this morning saying that she’s going to sign up for the photography class too and that Ronny’s day off IS Mondays and since Blake’s going to be hanging around Barrie to pick me up from class, he might as well hang out with Ronny during that time, so yay!

Anyway, I’ve decided I’m going to finish watching Downton Abbey, listen to last night’s debate since it repeats at noon and I went to bed early last night and play the Sims all day for no other reason but that I’m done working for the day and I can.

Blake’s working from home today and I’m going to maybe try and convince him he wants to go on the trail with me during his lunch hour. Doot doot.

Oh and Katie wants me to update my “I Almost Died” page with an update about my corrective surgery, which I should probably do too. But I think today’s just going to be a “download day” for the most part. No output. (Unless Blake really will go on the trail with me.)

October 9, 2012

Pathetic.

I’m sitting here crying, literally, because I’m also literally sitting here, watching the clock, waiting for 4pm when the kids come home so I have someone to talk to. Because I’m lonely. I mean, I have friends & all, but I don’t have any friends here. And now that Ronny works nights and Alex doesn’t drive, we never see them anymore. The rest of our friends live in Toronto.

And moving is not the solution. If we moved I would be further away from Alex and not much closer to our Toronto friends if you consider the fact that I get off work at 8am and have absolutely nothing in my life to do until I got to bed at 9:30pm.

TV holds zero interest for me. We’ve been watching Dowton Abbey and that’s okay, I guess, but it’s a “Blake & Sunny show” because I don’t want to watch it alone. I have a REALLY hard time watching TV because it seems like such a waste of time unless it’s something that I’m super into and I feel like it enriches my life like Community or Doctor Who or even Walking Dead (which starts in 6 days btw – no idea if Ronny & Alex can come watch it with us as is our tradition of 2 seasons). Actually come to think of it,, those are the only 3 shows that even matter. SNL is a staple since I get off work at 11pm on Saturdays but if someone lame is hosting (and I stopped caring about the musical guests years ago when all these fucking stupid hipster bands with beards started popping up and sounding the same and the host always announces them like they’re some revered classical pianist worthy of worship – give me a fucking break)…anyway if someone lame is hosting, I’ll just go to bed. We record it but it’s Saturday Night Live. It seems to be missing the entire point if you watch it Sunday morning and all the best skits will be on YouTube the next day and if they’re any good they’ll make it to Facebook and I’ll see it then. We only record it in case we have to start watching late for some reason, like if we have Doctor Who to watch since Blake and Madison wait for me to get off work so we can all watch that together.

Anyway, my DVR right now is literally *all* Oprah’s Next Chapter (honestly, I’m just so sick of Oprah, especially because she asks the dumbest questions; she used to be such a good interviewer, now she’s just boring), the last two episodes of Doctor Who that I want to rewatch but again, I don’t like watching them alone, and about 30 episodes of Toddler’s & Tiaras which I usually save to watch with Madison but since I stopped painting pretty girls, because I was sick and tired of painting pretty girls, I stopped having the desire to watch pretty little girls on TV. Plus, honestly, I think the show’s gone downhill. It’s just way too over the top and I think the psycho moms are acting extra psychotic just to get their kids on the show or to win pageants or to be the next Honey Boo Boo (which was a terrible show; Madison & I watched the first episode and were like, “wtf is this shit?” and then I deleted them all from the DVR and made it stop recording them).

So TV’s out. So are movies for the most part because I can’t JUST watch a movie. It’s so very fucking difficult for me to just watch a movie at home. I can watch a movie at the theatre, that’s a life enriching experience. Plus you get popcorn. But movies at home are hard, especially if I’ve seen them before because I don’t paint pretty girls anymore and I don’t have anything to DO while watching. Except to sit there and watch which seems like a pure and utter waste of valuable time.

Not that sitting here crying and being codependent on your kids is productive either but I can’t help that. I’ve been saying it a lot because people seem to have forgotten but I am a sick person. I am not well. My body may be healed/healing (I say “healing” because I still haven’t had a period in 15 months so until that happens everything is NOT kosher inside me) but my mind is getting sicker by the day the greyer the sky gets and the more leaves fall from the trees in front of the house. Fall is the absolute worst season. Everything is dying. Not to be dramatic or emo or whatnot but I just feel it. I know for a fact that it’s the change in the light and I should really ask my shrink if I can borrow an S.A.D. light from the mental health centre, which I will probably do when I see her on the 26th, but that’s a therapy that happens over time and I’m pretty fucking dead inside these days. I stopped using the flower essence sprays because I’ve had a headache for the past 2 weeks that won’t go away and the only 2 things that are different is that I’ve been weaning off the hydromorph (yesterday was my last one) and I’ve been using the sprays. I’ve been 3 days off the sprays and 1 day off the hydromorph and my head is still killing me. I take 3 extra strength Ibuprofen a day and about 12 Tylenol 1s but nothing helps. Crying certainly doesn’t help, when I was little and I would cry, my mom would ask if the crying was really helping and the answer was always “no”, but I have little control over that. If I could change one thing about myself instantly, it would be to not cry at every. little. fucking. thing. I think cognitive behavioural therapy is supposed to help with that but I’m not there yet.

Want to know something super sad? So I bought this camera backpack and it cost me $125. It was becoming stupid to carry around both the camera bag and my purse so I wanted the backpack so I could combine the two, especially since Charlie had bought me two new lenses and it had compartments for them (plus a compartment up top for all my “purse junk”). Yesterday Blake helped me put all the camera stuff in it in its various compartments and then I emptied my purse of all its junk and organized it all and it’s been sitting on my desk ever since, right side up because it has a flat bottom, with my geocaching patch and my 1 inch buttons and Hello Kitty zipper pull and my customized Flip camera in the mesh side pouch, along with my flower essence serums and it’s all packed up and ready to go but…go where? I *can’t* go anywhere!

I wanted to go somewhere all day. I wanted to go on the trail by my house and take pictures with my new lens but there are scary construction workers in front of my house for one and for two there’s probably rapists on the trail at noon on a Tuesday or maybe just a person walking there dog which – not to minimize rape because I’ve been raped, repeatedly and I know how that feels – is pretty on par in my hierarchy of terrible things at the moment BECAUSE if I ran into either one type of person and they interacted with me in the way that those kinds of people would interact, it would freak me right the fuck out and it would probably be months until I left my house alone again. Can you understand that? In my imagination someone forcibly holding me down and putting their dick in my vagina (or worse) would be just as terrible as if someone walking their dog stopped to chat with me on the trail. I probably wouldn’t react the same way at the time (can you imagine?) but both instances would equally make me not want to go there ever again. It’s not right, it’s not rational and again, I can’t help it because I AM SICK. That’s why I want to bring the dogs with me bu they won’t listen to me off leash (they’ll listen to Blake) unless I have Milkbones maybe but we don’t have any and I can’t walk both of them at the same time and I can’t walk Hoover at all because he pulls. (I realize it’s my job to train them how I want them to be but I’m only one person in this house of 4,  I’m definitely the weakest link and I just don’t know how. Plus I’m kind of lazy and training a dog is also training yourself and that’s work. That would mean going on the trail every single day and risking them taking off, which would be my worst nightmare. And I can’t take pictures of things and hold a leash at the same time and i just can’t go on the trail to be on the trail, I have to be doing something, which is why I bought the camera in the first place.)

And I also literally think that the trail – even in a town of just 2000 people in the middle of the day – is probably full of rapists and thugs. At the VERY least, the construction workers would be staring at me, if only because they now know everyone on our street but they don’t know me and maybe one of them would talk to me and I wouldn’t know what to say back so they would think I’m an asshole and I would think about them thinking I was an asshole the whole way down the trail and I would start to cry and then I’d be scared to go home because I wouldn’t be able to STOP crying and I wouldn’t want the construction workers staring at some weird lady crying up and down the street.

But back to the backpack for a second. It’s big. It’s really big. And I’m really not big and I’m scared and self conscious that I’ll look weird or people will think I’m weird for carrying around this gigantic backpack around with me all the time. But I can’t have it both ways. I can’t move all my purse junk back to my purse all the time if I just want to carry my purse and the smaller camera bag with just the camera and whatever lens happens to be on it. Why do I have to carry around all 3 lenses all the time? So I just can’t win with this backpack but we already took the tags off it so I can’t take it back. And I did that on purpose actually, because it IS what I need, even if I don’t necessarily want what’s good for me.

So I have this backpack all packed up and I had from 8am-present to go on the trail and take pictures, which is what I wanted to do all day, but instead I pretty much literally sat and stared at the wall. Refreshed Facebook about a million times. Tried to find that supersonic bungee jumping thing on TV (not successful) but settled on an episode of The Office I hadn’t seen before and that half hour was about all I could stand for TV. I could barely sit through it it felt like such a waste of life, being a rerun. And now it’s 4pm, I can hear Wes in the driveway talking to a friend and making plans to hang out with the neighbour kid and Madison’s going to be home any minute. I’m mad at Madison so I don’t want to hang out with her until after she’s read the post I made this morning about her selfishness, which she’ll do as soon as she gets home because as selfish as she can sometimes be, she does read my site pretty religiously, if only to see what I’m saying about her but also because she’s an extra pair of eyes in my constant sanity checks. (I have to have Blake read everything I post because I just don’t trust myself to be healthy minded when I write things ever since I was literally psychotic on the internet and thought I was communicating with god.) Anyway, she’ll read the post and will do one of two things: she’ll either be mad at me back and not talk to me (which is fine) or she’ll feel bad and come talk to me (which is also fine) but either way I’m going to lose the light to be able to take pictures on the trail at a time when I could, theoretically, have one or both of the kids come with me.

And Blake’s not even going to get out of work, in the city, until 6pm so we’re fending for ourselves for dinner tonight. Then he’s going to Lush to get Wes Lemony Flutter for his cracked feet and me Veganese because I’m out. Then he’s stopping at a pharmacy to get Tylenol 1s because I’m down to my emergency purse supply of them and that’s bad news when you’ve had a constant headache for 2 weeks and you’re coming off major narcotics. Then, possibly, he may stop at a grocery store to buy Milkbones but I told him that’s not super important when IT’S SUPPOSED TO RAIN THE WHOLE REST OF THE WEEK so if I wanted to take pictures in the trail, today’s the only day for a very long time.

And yeah, I’m supposed to be doing immersion therapy and yeah, forcing myself to go on the trail today would have been immersion therapy but it’s too big of a step and there are no small steps in between my house and there, especially not with construction workers in front of my house all the way to the park ( where the trail starts) all the fucking time. My caseworker scares the ever-loving fuck out of me and I have a card in my purse with his name and phone number on it but I can’t bring myself to call because I just don’t like him and I don’t think there’s anyone else. And truthfully, he’s probably the best option BECAUSE he scares the shit out of me and I don’t think I can bowl him over with irrational, possibly bullshit excuses as I’m prone to do and I did to my other caseworker until she finally gave up on me. Like I said, I see my shrink on the 26th and I don’t know what to ask her about this. Like if I should ask for a new worker and run the risk of them being a push-over or if I should stick with the one I have even though he scares me. And why does he scare me? Because he asks you a question and then you answer and then he keeps on staring at you for like, 15 seconds more like he’s expecting you to say something else, but not really because he’s just boring a fucking hole through your forehead for no reason. Maybe he’s thinking, I dunno, but staring is one of my major “things” so this man is barely tolerable. (And yes, I’ve only met him once. His only two redeeming qualities are that he’ll probably legitimately get mad at me if I don’t do what he says to do and also that he’s willing to work with me via e-mail in some capacity. So I should probably stick with him. But then the problem is actually physically calling him, which I can’t do because I don’t know what to say so I’ll probably ask Blake to do it but he won’t know what to say either. Maybe my shrink can do it. But maybe not because that would be enabling. I dunno. I dunno. I dunno.)

And now Madison’s home and she’s being snobby to me so I’m assuming she either read my post at school or someone told her about it (it happens; there’s this annoying kid named Daniel who apparently announces to the class every morning what I blogged about the day before – hi Daniel, you’re an asshole!) or maybe she’s just being snobby because that’s how she is. If she didn’t read my post today at school then she’s surely reading it now.

My cousin about an hour ago asked me on Twitter, “whatever happened to that colouring book you were making?” and that’s a very good question. I told her I lost interest, which is true, but I lost interest because of rejection. I knew I would work super hard on it and if I ever actually completed it (which, let’s face it, would be a first) no one would actually buy it. In my experience, people say they’ll buy things but then they never do. “Oh if you paint X, I’d for sure buy it!”” so I paint “X” and it rots in my Etsy shop for a year. A $20 colouring book that I’d sell maybe 20 copies of, tops, just isn’t worth my time for all the work I’d put into it. The paper dolls idea was another one that I liked but it would be the same. Plus I’m just honestly sick to death of pretty girls. I’m sick of making them, I’m sick of seeing them. Pretty soon I’m going to take everything off my walls and down from my Etsy shop and make a bonfire in the backyard I’m so sick of them.

Although that thought makes me cry so maybe that’s not true. :o(

I just don’t know what to do. I’ve said that a lot in my life and yeah, I’ve got first world problems coming out my ass here but I live in the first world so these are my problems dammit. I thought that after I got better life would be different, that everything would start over and I would have a brand new life because “life’s too short to…” sit there and cry, not leave the house, not try new things. But it’s just turning out to be more of the same from before I got sick, the only thing that’s changed is that I work less hours (partially because I have to work less hours to save my sanity, partially because that’s all the hours available; I don’t think working more is the answer to my problems, I’m pretty sure that would just make things worse unless I had to work more hours to keep my job) so I have more time on my hands to do nothing.

And yeah, I worked in Lightroom for most of the morning. I re-edited all of Madison’s grad pics for printing and my friend Sondra challenged me to correct a photo of her that she just took this morning. Challenge accepted. Here’s her before pic:

Here’s her after:

I think I made her look artificially young, to be perfectly honest, but I also think I’m getting better at retouching.
It also takes a good friend to volunteer to let you Photoshop them silly.

So I guess I was semi-productive today and I listened to really loud music all morning and was generally having a good time. I even Blipped a time or two. But then I ran out of pictures to play with and the light inside our house sucks so taking pictures in here is pretty much impossible and I’ve already taken pictures of the dogs in the backyard and the kitchen and the kids weren’t home, and neither was Blake and I couldn’t leave the house and I don’t know how to use the remote for the camera plus I look like a bag of shit today so self-portraits were out of the question…I literally did nothing but cry and reload Facebook from about 1pm-present. I read half a chapter of the newest Sookie Stackhouse but even that felt like a waste of time, especially because Charlaine Harris is actually becoming a WORSE writer as the series goes on and she starts getting more colloquial  but in a totally overdone Louisiana hick way so all the characters sound stupid and then she “borrows” characters from the show or pieces of them and renames them and they’re all really obvious and it should be the other way around, with the show borrowing from HER, so if I can’t get through this book, which has been a real chore and I’m only on chapter 3, then I won’t be buying any more of them. I thought about having a bath but even that seemed like a waste of time. I knew that if I ran the bath water, I’d just sit in there and cry so I might as well cry and be clothed at the same time. Crying in the bath tub is just super pathetic and I couldn’t bring myself to risk it. I usually read in the bath and I have a million things to read but no interest in anything. I just have a serious case of ennui, I think. So very little holds my interest. The only thing I care about right now is photography and it’s the absolute worst season for it. Have I mentioned how much I loathe fall? The only good thing about it is Thanksgiving but I gave that up this year to go to Militiagan because I thought a change of scenery and people would be good for me. Not that I don’t love all the people we saw, but the only really good part of the trip for me was seeing Blake’s Aunt Pat, who I absolutely adore. And I was so fucking mad at myself because I forgot the camera bag when we went to visit her. Blake’s mom even called out to us before we left while we were getting in the car that we’d left behind a backpack but because she called it a backpack I thought she meant my actual backpack which just contained my hoodie and the connection that she meant the camera bag which I DID mean to bring didn’t connect. I really would have liked to have gotten some pictures of Wes and Pat so I could have printed one and sent it to her for Xmas. That was my only goal for the trip besides successfully working somewhere other than home and I totally and utterly failed. This is another reason why the camera backpack is a good idea for me. It has Ativan in it which I won’t leave the house without.

Anyway, I think that’s all the pathetic juice I’ve got in me. Madison wants to take pictures on the trail (actually taking pics was her idea, the trail was mine) and she’s choosing not to read the post I made about her this morning after I told her what it was about (or maybe she’ll read it later because I really want her to, I really need her to see, in writing, how selfish she’s been lately so she’ll understand) and she said she’d make her and Wes frozen fries and corn for dinner and me spaghetti so we’re good. And now I’m going to go take a crap, gather the kids (Wes is next door) and hit the trail before the light dies completely.

Sorry for making you read this.

PS. i still haven’t even started my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project. I don’t even know where it is. :o/ Another thing I could do but I have zero interest in. It’s not just ennui, I’m pretty sure it’s also depression.

PPS. Madison has decided that we’ve lost the light and she’d rather talk about the post I made about her this morning. Fair enough, but this is just going to turn into the exact same scenario tomorrow when I don’t even have pictures to edit to keep myself occupied.

September 26, 2012

Like a Boss.

So I guess after work today I’m teaching myself Lightroom through the book The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby at the suggestion of Rose who says that they use this man’s books in her college. I normally get the Visual Quickstart Guides for things like this but the one for Lightroom was pretty sparse and this one came recommended so despite the fact that it was $52 + tax, I decided I should get it. I also got the new Sookie Stackhouse book because I need something brainless to do in my spare time.

I am beyond stressed out these days.  I don’t feel like I’ve relaxed since coming back from Squam between writing mammoth posts every day, taking and editing pics and of course working my job. My days have just been way too full and I need to slooooow down, so all I’m going to do this week is learn Lightroom and read a trashy vampire novel.

Yesterday I had a terrible/wonderful dream that I was a teenager and I was on a class trip to Paris with Madison and for some reason we were getting a ride to somewhere in a pick up truck with these two girls who ran an empanada (sp?) stand in the middle of nowhere. In the back of the pick up truck, like in the bed, I put my wallet and my point & shoot camera and left it there with the gate open while these girls drove like maniacs through winding roads. When we got to our destination, my wallet and camera were obviously gone. They’d flown out the back of the truck.

When we got back to the hotel, our teachers were freaking out because I didn’t have any money and all my ID was gone in a foreign country. I still had my passport in my bag so I could get home though so it wasn’t a total disaster.

At the hotel, since I couldn’t go anywhere, the teachers started playing this game with the students that Madison always plays with her friends called “Truth or Truth” which is Truth or Dare, without the dares. Then suddenly Madison and I were in England and there was this guy in a van and suddenly it was the 70s and he was broadcasting a live stream on the internet of punk music and videos and he had a girl hanging from the roof of his van suspended by chains and duct tape. She was like his co-host.

And then I woke up and decided that this meant I should try and do a weekly video feature on my site. What do you think? It wouldn’t be of me, it would be of either Blake or Madison or Wes. I’d give them a topic and just let them go for maybe 10 minutes. Help me think of topics!

And that was basically my whole morning yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon I had a staff meeting and then I had my final appointment with Dr. Hanrahan. That went fine, there were no issues, really, to discuss or anything so we were outta there in about 15 minutes. I had her look at this crazy mole on my right boob which she is going to remove in December. I asked her about the mesh inside me and what it was made of but she gave me some pretty vague answers. She did say it was made of new material so unlike old meshes it wouldn’t get hard and need replacing. So that’s good. Apparently it’s called a “cook mesh”, so I’ll have to look that up later. She also said that if I don’t have a period in 6 months to see my family doctor and to request that I see a gyno. She said if I wanted to (which I don’t) that I could do sit ups now and give myself a 6-pack and I’m 100% cleared for yoga so we’re going to look into that. Blake does “hot yoga” now but that sounds like my idea of pure and utter hell so I don’t want to do that. (In fact, he goes to the same studio as Dr. Hanrahan.) We’re going to see about doing classes with our old yoga teacher who isn’t teaching classes out of her home anymore because she moved, but she is teaching at some yoga studios other places that Blake’s going to look into.

Oh! Something else we did yesterday is that we went to Henry’s and I got a camera BACKPACK so I don;t have to carry around my laptop bag/purse AND the camera bag! It was pretty expensive and I had to put it on Visa but it’s going to save me a lot of grief. This afternoon I’m going to put the camera in it and put my buttons on it to customize it and throw some of my extra junk in it. I’m very pleased with my purchase. (I got this one. It has a maple leaf on it for international travels!)

Anyway, all I need is one or both of the lenses on my wishlist and I think I’m pretty set for camera gear. The only thing I’d want to add is a macro lens, but they’re really expensive and I can’t find a good one on Amazon.

I want to know how you take a picture like the one above. It’s a dragonfly with dew on it. So did the photographer like, sit in a march all night and then take this picture in the morning and if so, how? Like with what kind of equipment?

Anyway, inquiring minds want to know.

36 minutes left of work, then I need a nap. We were up late last night having the marital relations and I am soooooo tired.

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