Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Essay: What I Did Over The Summer

I went to Arizona with my parents. We went to a place called, "Bullets and Burgers." They let me shoot an Uzi. I did a good job in "single shot" mode. Then Mr. Instructor put the Uzi in "fully-automatic" mode. I learned about a thing called "recoil" because I killed Mr. Instructor. It was scary, but the burgers were good.
Yes, I got a bit dark writing that little story. Sadly, however, there is a little girl who could write a very similar essay about her vacation. 

I don't give a shit what your stance on gun control is or if you have an NRA membership. This is some serious bullshit pulled by the adults in this girl's life. If you can't see that, then I don't know what the fuck else we have to talk about.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Picture this

A few months back, I was headed into the building where my psychiatrist has his office. On the walkway to the building, I stopped and took a picture of something that struck me funny on one of the benches. Saved the picture to post later with some funny caption.

Later, I was listening to NPR and this episode of All Things Considered was playing. Listening to the idea that taking pictures so often and so readily may be creating false memories got me thinking.

There was a time when I really wrote more than #hashtags and 140 characters and snarky comments. When I first moved to Colorado in 2005, I would write emails to folks back home about my new life. They would be detailed tales of adventure...well, maybe adventure is a bit dramatic.  Anyway, people would respond with compliments on how they could envision everything I said because of the way I wrote it.

What does this have to do with memories and pictures and a shrink's office and a radio show?

When I was writing those emails, I had to draw from my memory. I didn't have a smart phone and couldn't send emails, texts, or post to Twitter and/or Facebook in the moment. It wasn't until I got to the computer that I could get the experiences out to others. This all made memory so important.

Then, I got MySpace and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and an iPhone and whatever the hell else made me able to just post crap at will. I'd take a picture, write a caption, post it. What more do you need? No taking time to absorb details; to make a mental image; to then translate to words for others to read.

So, back to the picture I snapped outside of my sanity-meds-prescriber's office. I deleted it, but I haven't forgotten it.

A few months back, I was headed into the building where my psychiatrist has his office. On the walkway to the building, I caught a glimpse of something that made me chuckle. A few concrete benches are around the outside of the building. On one of the benches was a small container of Activa yogurt. It was opened and had a metal spoon with it and sitting with the sun shining upon it. I know, YUM! I laughed because in my mind I was coming up with an explanation for why it had been abandoned. As we've all come to learn from Jamie Lee Curtis, Activa aids in digestion, helps make you regular. Well, perhaps a little Activa went a long way for the person who left it on the bench.

As I walked in the building and passed the hallway to the restrooms, I thought of the poor soul who must have been in one of the stalls.

Friday, August 8, 2014

I will love you wearing socks

Six years ago, Shawn and I had our wedding. And, I can honestly say it was ours. We did it the way we wanted and that made it great.

The official state paperwork was done some time in July before we left for Cleveland and what we consider our actual wedding. It's pretty easy to get married in Colorado. Go to the license bureau, get the marriage license, sign it and BOOM! You don't need a witness or a JP. We had a very fancy signing of ours at our dining room table. We even let my then 13-year-old step-daughter sign it as a witness just for the fun of it.

Cleveland was the real deal with family and friends and fun! There were Mad Libs and Dr. Seuss inspired vows. We committed to each other and partied and danced among dinosaurs. The food was great and the cake was amazing in it's lemoniness (this is my blog and I can make-up that word if I want to)! We had a blast and, I think, others did, too.

Best of all, I got to show my family and friends the awesomeness of Shawn and why I love him.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The right thing sometimes sucks

Today was my 2 week post-op check-up. Physically, things are looking pretty good. Emotionally, that's for different doctors.

Since I was pretty drugged when I saw my doctor in the hospital, this was my first time talking to her about the surgery results and whatever. She said, after seeing everything, the surgery really was the right thing to do. The build-up of scar tissue from the endometriosis was really severe. Also, the left ovary absolutely had to come out; it was unbelievably damaged. With all of this, she said that it really was evident that getting pregnant without intervention would be impossible. And, even with intervention, as we learned during our IVF process, chances were quite slim.

The other good thing about having this appointment was that I was having some cramping and lower-back pain on the right side. This is the side that hadn't really been a problem for me and it still has an ovary. I told her that if I didn't know better, I would think I was going to be having my period. She told me that it isn't surprising to her. At this point, she's not concerned about it. She said that the amount of scar tissue and basically the settling of everything can cause it. Also, she said there is also a chance of phantom feelings taking place as happens with amputees. Finally, she said that that ovary is still producing hormones and will still ovulate, so I can expect those symptoms to remain until menopause. Good times ahead. ;-)

This sounds shitty and I am still emotionally fucked-up about it. However, it is good to have the reassurance that this was the right thing for my physical well-being.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


I've had this topic idling for a while now.

A little background, which maybe isn't needed, but what the heck. I have time and, well, more time.

When I was growing up, my dad's brother and his family lived in the same area of town. Also, my mom's sister and her family lived a couple of streets away. My younger brother and I are the youngest out of these cousins. The age differences were most significant when it came to my aunt's family. She had 10 kids and most of the older ones had started their adult lives before I could remember. They were having kids and I was in this awkward place of being too young to hang out with my cousins and too old to hang with their kids. I even was a babysitter for some of them. One of my cousins even flew me out to help her with her three boys over one summer. Anyway, all I'm getting at here is that even though we lived in close proximity, the age differences made things a little more complicated.

So, what the hell does this have to do with "TwitterBookAGram," I'll try to get there.

I've heard many times about how terrible social media can be in one way or another. Cyber-bullying seems to be one of the biggest negative uses. Other things come up like passing along misinformation on social issues. These things got me thinking about the opposite uses of social media.

Typically, I prefer to call myself a realist, but in most people's worldview, I'm simply a pessimist. Going against my nature, I have really been able to find the positive in social media. The biggest thing is just simply connecting with family and friends from all over the world from various stages of my life.

Not to minimize the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, I am really grateful for the chance to establish new relationships with family members. I've been fortunate to learn more about their lives and feel some level of family connection even if only in an internet world.

I have been able to share in the good, the bad, the ugly, and even, the uglier, and ugliest. All of these life moments are meaningful for me to see through the internet, especially since I have my own little family here, but none of my relatives.

There have been the beautiful moments with the pictures to go with them. I've been happy to share the happy moments. Some days, it could be a life event update on Facebook that's announcing a graduation or a new job. Other times, it may be a picture of an engagement ring or of a newborn baby posted on Instagram. All of it is wonderful.

The bad and ugly also comes about, too. Sometimes, it's a picture and event to celebrate the life of a loved one who died unexpectedly. There are those posts sharing links to a blog about the struggles of a chronic illness. There is some "good" to see about these things. That is the way it opens us up to each other to share love and support.

I'm a much bigger fan of using the web for good than for evil.

Now, I know I can be pretty good about relationships in a virtual way. When it comes to the next time I'm with everyone in the real world, I'm not sure I'll be as easy with conversation. I'll probably still be my awkward, dorky, anxiety ridden self. That doesn't change the way I really do feel about all of them.