28 June 2006

On the Susquehanna Banks

I grew up in Pennsylvania.  My father was a long-haul truck-driver when I was little and we moved almost yearly.  So I was very very familiar with North East and North Central and East and East Central PA.  People ask where I'm from, I tell em, the North Eastern Quadrant of PA.  I figure that covers most of my childhood.

I remember events and such by where I lived at the time.  That clues me in to my age and grade and gives me a year to cite.  Sometimes, people will remark on my memory.  It's mostly little tricks like that.  No real big mystery.

To finish my childhood years, we moved back into the house my grandmother last owned.  The house was an old home.  It went through alot throughout the years.

The town was the town my mother lived in as a young girl.  Catawissa was a small town, but I was a country girl, growing up in the boondocks.  So any town would have seemed odd to me.  It was constraining to have to be constantly aware of other households and not to roam about at will.

The town was bordered by water, in every direction.  There were seven roads in/out of town, each one crossed a bridge.  Some of the bridges were major, iron affairs, the grating whistling to a higher pitch the faster you drove.  Others were small covered bridges, the wooden planking rumbling as you bumped along the treads.  Railroad bridges with wide, sturdy concrete pylons squatted over Fishing Creek.  One-lane, short, flat concrete spans skipped over small creeks that had no discernable names.

Catawissa's main waterway was the Susquehanna River.  The northern and western branches joined just 20 or 25 miles south.  Wide and shallow in most areas, with the occassional deeper hole or pocket carved into the roots, under the banks, the Susquehanna burbled merrily over rocks or swept at a steady slow pace, providing varied grounds for fishing for all skill groups and ages.

Kids and teens would swim in favored spots.  The most popular was the Dam, on the eastern edge of town.  The town officials closed access off years back, but time was, it was a fine way to spend the summer.

I have many memories of the Susquehanna.  A long river with two branches, it seemes to meander through my life.  It made marks even before my time, that carried through into my childhood.  I grew up hearing and knowing the power of the Susquehanna.

In 1972, Hurricane Anges blew through, flooding homes, roads, fields, and street.  Dried up canals filled with rushing waters.  The devastation was truly amazing.  I was a baby, but my folks were visiting my grandmother (in the house in which I would later live).  The house sat on a hill that was on a larger slope.  We were just about at the top of the mountain, well out of the valley.  Yet the flood waters left muck along the porch and silt in the cellar.

Now, my brother lives in that area.  The lower portion of town is flooded.  The river hasn't crested yet.  There is nothing but rain in the forecast.  They predict it will be worse than Agnes of '72.

This 20 yr flood has been in the making for close to 35 yrs.  High water, my friends, is hell.  My thoughts are with you.

26 June 2006

The Lawn, spatial relationships, and me

The thing about mowing is that I get to see immediate results.  Especially if I let the weeds grow up to thigh-high safari style.  But more so than immediate results, I can employ my creativity.  It's my yard and I get to mow designs into it, if I so desire.  But it's even more than that.

See, I can be somewhat manic at times.  Yes, yes, I know you'd never expect such a state from me, but there ya have it.  It's true.  And when it comes to mowing the yard, you can really see how that mania manifests itself.

I live in a trailer, with a fenced-in yard, surrounded by open fields of hay.  A good couple hundred of open fields, which are only interrupted by an occassional pond and a few old tall strong trees, roll gently over small swells and dips.  Really, they are too slight to be called HILLS and VALLEYS.

The plan is to mow the fenced-in part.  Then, mow a few mower-widths along the outside of the fence, along the parameter.  Then mow a small parking area and path to drive to it, and around the mailbox and the garbage can area.

This plan is not always implimented.  For instance, the first summer I had the mower, I got a bit carried away.  See, I would be trying to even things up and just kept mowing more and more (sorta like when I "even up" my hair, before ya know it, I'm bald, like now).  This isn't really a huge problem, except for two things.

One is that my landlords raise hay.  They like to have the tall hay to bush-hog and bale, to make big rolls of hay to sell.  When I get carried away and mow several acres, well that means that there is less hay to bale and sell.  See?

The other is, well, I get things on my mind.  And I can obsess and ruminate, and then obsess some more.  It will bug me til I actually DO something about it.  Which is why I have to set limits, very clear boundaries on what I will and will not do.

It even applies to mowing the damn yard.  I'm ok in the fence.  But outside the fence, things begin to get dicey.  See, I have dogs, so I mow outside the fence to cut down on bugs, pests, and fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and the proximity of snakes.  And field mice.  And cute lil bunnies.

Earlier this year, I mowed the yard.  I've only mowed once, but it took two weeks.  But I sure was glad and proud when it was done.  I didn't mow the lower 40, which was a huge accomplishment for me, cuz I really, really, really wanted to.  The hay was gently swaying, beckoning to me, taunting me, and I so badly wanted to go cut it down to size.

But I didn't.  I bested the hay, and boy, am I proud of THAT.

Sometimes, I section off my yard with the mower initially.  Then I execute various methods of mowing.  Thing is, my grass is so thick and coarse and dense that the patterns don't really show up after the entire thing is done, which is good, cuz otherwise I'd be getting out there and trying to smooth everything over.  And smoothing over leads to evening up and that leads to bareness (like my bald head).

If I am feeling particularly John Nash, then I know not to even start with the lawn mowing.  Otherwise, I begin to see patterns where there really shouldn't be any, and signs and significance where there really is none.  But usually I catch that mode before it gets out of control.

But don't mess with my books.  They are arranged that way for a reason.  My beautiful mind was busy that day and I rearranged my entire library, which takes two rooms of my home.  I have bookshelves that are floor to ceiling, custom-made, red juniper/cedar.  I like them, I like my books, I like my books on them, arranged just so.

25 June 2006

Ya know, cuz I know, you wanna know

Today was the first time I visited Annie's journal, as she left a link in the comments of my "cho's" entry.  Annie is currently located in Scranton, Pennsylvania (I checked her lil map thing).  Plus it's in one of her answers to a question in the meme (I'll get to that later).  I am familiar with Scranton, and I'm fairly sure that the map (flicker?) placed it a bit too far north, so that the town looks suspiciously close to upper NY state.  Personally, I think most anything involved with the proximity of New York is suspicious in some form or another.  I have reasons for this, but this entry is not about my New York experiences, friends, and family members that hail from New York.

I thought that Annie works for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, a southern staple that no law enforcement officer can live without their daily allotment.  But I was mistaken.  That brings the total to eight, as I have been wrong seven times before.  There was an eighth incident, years ago, but it turns out that the OTHER person was mistaken, and so it really only was seven times that I have been wrong, wrong, wrong.

Annie's screen-name is "krspkrmmom" and she notes that she thinks she may have a slight southern accent from dealing with southerners at work.  So, ya know, rather than back track and read the entire journal to gain familiarity with the woman, I just drew conclusions.  Cuz, I like to conclude.

That and her children are not named Krispy nor Kreme.  So, there ya are.  She MUST work for the Do-nut Dudes.

But alack and alas, sigh, not so.  She may have a krispy kreme fetish, or perhaps she worked with them in the past, or it is entirely possible that she has had nothing to do with the do-nuts and chose that screen-name for totally different reasons, unrelated to krisp kreme.  Cuz she works as an operator, for wireless assistance.  schucks, I hate being wrong, sigh.

Anyway, I have seen a meme circulating about and figured when I saw it on her journal that I'd go on and post some of the info, but ya know, as it pertains to me, cuz we all know that it is all about me.  Don't you go bursting my bubble or raining on my parade, now.  Just don't even think about it.

So in part, cuz I have no intention of answering questions that don't pertain, here are some tid-bits about me:

Do I have an accent?  Yes.  Every one thinks so.  Cuz I've moved around lots, over 50 times, and lived all over the country and picked up some of this and some of that as influences on my speech.  So I have a speech that is not attributable to any one particular region.  Friends from the North think that I have a cute southern accent.  Folks from the south squint suspiciously at me (I think cuz PA is next to NY and ya know, THAT'S grounds for suspicion right there), spit and drawl, "ya ain't from round here, girly girl, can't fool me" (which actually is a line from "Fried Green Tomatoes", but Fannie Flagg is from just outside B'ham, AL and most likely heard the line a few times from folks eyeing up them Damn Yankees that insist on visiting and then staying on).  Some of my speech is so painfully northern that it jolts and grates on the ears of those I am with.  Sometimes a southern drawl will creep (and really, how else would a drawl come into speech other than creeping?  zooming?!?  I think not.) in there and lull listeners into Alpha states (I refuse to think that it's boredom that is inducing a near sleep state).

Booze.  Can't do it.  Shouldn't do it.  But on rare occassions, will.  That's usually because I forget the LAST time I embarked on mixing alcohol with meds and genetic predisposition of alcoholism.  sigh.  But since my guy is a recovered alcoholic, I'm not often tempted, cuz it's not like he orders a few brewskis to go with his steak.  Frankly, back when I did drink, beer was not a favorite (tho I would occassionally indulge in Black-n-Tan, Rolling Rock (Latrobe, PA does not mean that the beer should be considered an import like Heinikein but I've several times come across Rolling Rock listed as an import, whilst here in the south, which I'd imagine in a loose interpretation, it is an import, ya know, from another state), Yeungling (my spelling is horrible, I think), and Purple Haze).  Mostly my choice of alcoholic beverages ran along the lines of Maker's Mark, frangelica, and schnapps.  Now, I fondly remember mud-slides and order swe'tea, no ice (most everyone assumes that I ask for no ice, because I am from up north, dudes, that's not it.  but it's not worth arguing over, so if you want to believe that no one north of the mason-dixon uses ice, so be it, delude yourself all you like, it's a fairly harmless little fantasy, indulge), extra lemon.

Detested Cho:  Below is an entry devoted entirely to this area, but in brief, bathing Shaddow.

Pets:  The cho entry and the above topic answers this, but here we go.  I have a three year old rat-cha, Ziggee, who joined my household a year ago.  A rat-cha is a rat-terrier (feist) chihuahua mix.  He is about the size of a small feist, with the markings of a chihuahua.  Ziggee is my cat in a dog suit.  I'm terribly allergic to cats, but adore them.  Shaddow has been with me since she was 2 months old.  She was my first doggie ever.  She's a black lab, small for the breed, big for a dog.  She's soon to be 5.  Sweet, gentle, good girl.

Hometown:  I spent most of my teen years in Catawissa, Pennsylvania.  Currently live above Starkville, Mississippi, going toward Pheba (that's pronounced, FEEE-BEEE).  Been here about 5 years.  Longest any one place ever.

Insomnia:  Yes.  I take meds to help regulate my sleeping patterns and to maintain good sleep hygiene.  Insomnia occurs when manic and mania is heightened by the lack of sleep.  SO it's an ugly, ugly state of affairs if this lil girl doesn't get her sleep.

Living Arrangements:  trailer on a five hundred acre farm, where there are also several other domiciles, including my landlords and one set of their parents.  Very peaceful, no light-pollution (excellent for gazing at the stars, planets, moon; but not all three at the same time, hard to see stars and planets when the moon's light is bright.), dirt gravel road that peters out just down past the milk barn.  Ideal for the pups and me.

Number of sexual partners:  currently, two (me and my guy).  I count me, as a partner, cuz ya know, I don't know how YOU do things, but I like me, and I show it.

Hospital Stays:  For myself, nine, I think.  Once when I was born; strep throat/scarlet fever when I was 8; five day stay for extensive testing due to head-trauma when I was 9 or 10; eye surgery when I was 11 or 12; kidney stones at age 22; thyroidectomy, age 29; head-trauma, 31; head-trauma again 31; and head-trauma yet again at 32.  The head-trauma are partially responsible for current medications.

Phobia:  Well, yes.  One of my diagnoses is Anxiety Disorder, due to the sheer volumeof panic attacks I experience.  Sometimes, I isolate myself to the Farm, because I cannot deal with leaving the house, driving, or crowds at wal-mart when needing food.

Detested Vegetable
:  not fond of grits, but will eat them.  but for the ever loving rationale of my po'brain...who thought, heeeyyyy, pour some lye on these here corn kernels, dissolve the skin, and POOF! hominy.  and why oh why do people still eat this and serve it to others?!?

X-Rays:  yes, multitudes.  mostly for the head-trauma, kidney stones, thyroid, and back.  i've even given them to others, and no, i am not a radiologist no have i even been one, nor have i ever played one on tv.  i even ended up in the ER, because i sustained an electrical shock from a severed x-ray machine cable that was not properly capped.  that's better'n 220 jolt for large appliances and 110v for most household outlets.  i took the entire building's power and phone lines out.  the neighboring police station lost power and it kicked on their emergency generator.  and do you know, the nurse was so beside herself, and the EMT's would have taken way too long to find us out in Sipsey, that I drove myself to the ER?  I signed in and they said, holy shit, we've been alerted, you need to go right back.  good thing there was a chair to whisk me away cuz right about then, my legs gave out, my chest (which had been hurting the entire time) began to swell and redden, my breathing became irratic, and i began to babble incoherently.  it wasn't til i was released, and leaving, that i passed the EMT crew that went to search for me, they couldn't even find the clinic at which I worked and was jolted with x-ray juice.  was a good thing i drove myself, although, the other folks on the road that day might have felt differently.

24 June 2006

Damn Skippee

"Life is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is one hundred percent."
RD Laing.

I am from Pennsylvania, but have been living in the South for over ten years.  I know, I know, sigh, a damn Yankee.  Which is a Yankee who decided to stay in the South, instead of going back up North.  Damn Yankee, they mutter.

Which brings to mind the definition of a yankee, I'd heard awhile back.  A yankee is similar to a quickie, but ya can do it alone.  That's a good one, I wish I'd thought of it.  Or at the very least, could remember where I'd heard it.

I'm betting it wasn't at the First Baptist Church.

22 June 2006

It's all in your perspective

What do you see?

Young children cannot identify the intimate couple because they do not have prior memory, or a reference point, associated with such a scenario. They will usually see nine dolphins.  Can you?

Folks in these here parts

I live in a rural area.  Every now and then we get some real gems complain to the local politicians.  Like the other day, at the town meeting, a woman requested that the Deer Crossing sign be removed from out on Potlicker Road.  She said that they's too many deer hit and kilt and she didn't think it was a safe place for them to be crossing no mo'.

The secretary for one area representative was very irate.  She had plugged the power-strip cord back into itself.  She was returning it, cuz it wasn't working:  her system wasn't coming on.

Her husband is the chief of police.  I'd felt really dumb, cuz I locked my keys in the car.  But he told me to go on and do my grocery shopping, while he jimmied my car open.  When I came out to the parking lot, he was sweating and cussin up a storm, trying to get my driver's door open.  I opened the passenger's side and started to put my groceries in, and he said, "yeah, got that side open in about 2 minutes, it's the driver's side that's giving me problems."

Ya gotta love them Tennessee folks, ya jest do

A friend of mine was 'splainin some stuffs.  She's from up near Chattanooga and knows lots of them Tennessee folks.  She said that it was in the paper that a guy died and left his entire estate to his beloved widow, but she can't touch it til she's 14.  This was on the same page that said that they was thinking of raising the minimum drinking age to 32, so's they could keep alcohol outta the high schools.  Also, the school board was thinking of showing documentaries in classes so the students'd appreciate some local culture.  They going over the old shows of  "Hee Haw".   They's a new law that says that even after a couple gets divorces, they STILL cousins.

Then she tole me about the near tragedy, it were a shame really.  See the guv'nah's place burnt down 'n' it pert' near took out the whole damn trailer park!  But that wadn't the worst.  The librby was a total loss.  Both books--POOF!  Up in flames, n he hadn't even finished coloring one of em.

sigh, darn shame, twas.

oh, so THAT explains it!

Alotta folks jest don unnerstant, how come we have an oil shortage here in our country.  Welp, it's like this, see.  Nobody bothered to check the oil.  We din know we was gettin' low.  Shrug.

But see, there's a reason.  Cuz, our oil is in Alaska, California, coastal Florida, coastal Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Pennsylvania.  'N' our dipsticks?  Why, they's in DC.

Cuz the bible said so, that's why!

Did you know it's a sin for a woman to make coffee?
Yup, it's in the Bible. It says . "Hebrews"

Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A. Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.

Q. What kind of motor vehicles are in the Bible?
A. Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in a Fury. David's Triumph was heard throughout the land.  Also, probably a Honda, because the apostles were all in one Accord.

Q. What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden?
A. Your mother ate us out of house and home.

cho's?!? we don do no steenken cho's!

John Scalzi, the aol-journal godfather, has asked us about chores in this week's weekend writing assignment.  Weekend Assignment #117: We all have to do chores around the house. Which chore do you like to do the least?   Extra Credit: Do you recycle?

I usually keep up with things, putting stuff away as I use it, dropping dirty clothes in the washer or hamper when I disrobe, replacing books when through, taking out the trash when I check the mail, washing dishes as I dirty them, ya get the idea.  Of course there are a few chores that call for attention for a long time before I get to them.

I do like mowing the yard, once I get into it.  It just takes lots out of me.  A combination of medication, genes that make me paler than most albinos, and Mississippi sun is a disaster in the making.  All sorts of precautions must be taken if I do not want to suffer ill-effects while puttering around the yard.

But that is NOT the chore I detest.

I have two dogs.  Both of whom are short-haired, indoor dogs who enjoy the fenced-in yard for the shade, potty areas, and room to run.  They shed horribly.  I brush them outside, and yet, the floor is covered with doggie hair in abundance.  I sweep, but it is the cleaning of the rugs that is awkward.  I dislike this chore.

The chore that I HATE the most though is bathing Shaddow.  See, Ziggee is lil and I can man-handle him through the bathing process.  But Shaddow is a big girl.  She is small for a lab, but BIG for a dog.  Labs have two coats, and water-resistance adds to the utter joy of washing her.

This is the general undertaking of this task:  first, lure her into the bathroom.  Lock the door.  Lift, tug, pull, push, force her into the tub.  I should mention that I have already stripped my self.  Jump in the tub with her, hang onto her to discourage her from exiting the tub, turn on the shower and ruffle her fur to get her saturated.  Usually she is somewhat resigned at this point.  Labs love water, for swimming.  Shaddow will escape the yard to joyously splash in the swampee catfish pond down yonder, but resist a bath like a stubborn grimy child.

After I lather, rinse, repeat, and clear the drain of matted dog hair several times, I open the curtain and let her out of the tub.  Whilst I shower myself, rinsing off the multitude of Shaddow hairs that have stuck themselves to me as though glued, Shaddow is busy spraying down the walls, washer/dryer, and floor in the guise of "shaking" herself.  After I climb out, I use every single towel I own (except one) to dry her as much as possible.  I unlock and open the bathroom door, whereupon she dashes down the hall to rug-surf for a bit.  I proceed to use all but one towel to swab the entire bathroom down (thus accomplishing yet another chore, I call this "bundling chores").  Then, I duck back under the shower spray and finally use the remaining towel to dry myself.  Next, I wash all the towels and dry them, in several loads.  It is a huge undertaking to bathe Shaddow.

Extra Credit:  I recycled when I lived in PA and OR.  However, the South doesn't typically have recyling centers, pick-up, separate bins, etc. that is encouraging and conducive to recyling.  Starkville just recently opened a location for drop-off.  The location was highly secretive for the first few month of existence.  Once you found the place, you had to learn the schedule, which changes at random.

Last time I unsuccessfully attempted to drop off some things, I noted that newspaper ONLY was accepted on Tuesdays from 3a til 6a.  Other non-colored paper was accepted Thursdays from 5p til 5:30p.  Colored, non-glossy paper was accepted from 11a til noon on Sundays.  Glossy paper is apparently never accepted.

Clear glass, with no label, is accepted only on the third Thursday from 2p - 4p, unless it happens to be Thanksgiving or the moon is in the new phase, at which time, you just have to wait til the following month and hope that they have not changed the criteria.  Colored glass, non-alcoholic vessels, are accepted Sundays at 6:30p.  Glass that has held alcoholic beverages must first be cleansed in blessed baptist water by a certified sanctioned white, middle-aged, male who must be single.  Only then may that glass be accepted on the fifth Friday of the month.

Cans are never accepted for recycling, the assumption is that you have used them along with the rubber tires, entire vehicles, used oil, and batteries as lawn ornaments.  If you happen to live in an apartment or dormitory which has no yard, then you are cheated from employing your decorating skills and must simply toss the cans in the trash with the rest of your refuse.  Sorry, but that's just the way it is.

Starkville is employing the recycling program on a trial basis, to see if it is acceptably utilized.  Most folks will think that I am joking, but sadly I am not.  We also have a law which states that if you do not pay in full your solid waste disposal bill, you cannot renew the tags and registration for your vehicle.  They take this very seriously.

NAMI's Golden Triangle Affiliate

Tomorrow, Friday 23 June 2006, will be the first meeting for NAMI's Golden Triangle Affiliate.  NAMI is National Alliance on Mental Illness, a non profit organization.  All of our services are free, and include family education and support for families of people with Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.   The Affiliate will form to make decisions about how NAMI will serve the community.  Professionals, family members and those with illnesses in recovery are welcome.  The meeting will be held at East Mississippi Community College main campus, which serves the Golden Triangle Area, based in Mayhew, MS. 

Support groups are already available in the Golden Triangle, with one in Columbus and one in Starkville; we plan to establish one in West Point, as well.  However, NAMI offers so much more than support groups only.  For more information on NAMI, go to:  www.nami.org

Earlier this week, NAMI's Golden Triangle Affiliate received an invitation to participate in the 7th annual Health Fair at United Methodist, in Starkville, on Saturday 5 August, 9a to noon. This is a very good opportunity for us to help people in the community, through education, awareness, support meetings, and so forth. I am thrilled that this will be one of the first things we do as a newly established affiliate.

 NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It's a not-for-profit, grassroots organization that educates, supports, and advocates people who are impacted by mental illnesses. The National Convention is at the end of this month in DC. NAMI Mississippi's Annual State Conference is usually in Jackson, in the Fall of the year. To better serve the community's needs, we are establishing NAMI's Golden Triangle Affiliate. Our focus will be primarily within Clay (West Point), Lowndes (Columbus), and Oktibbeha (Starkville) counties. One of my main objectives is to make our presence known in the Golden Triangle!

NAMI has had support groups in Columbus and Starkville for just shy of a year, now. We offer support for those affected by Mental Illnesses &/or Brain Disorders. This may be consumers (individuals with the conditions), family members, care-providers, friends, employers, other service providers, etc. Our support meetings are held on the second Thursday each month. For more information, please contact me at 662/324-8443 or via eMail at: dkb1116@peoplepc.com.

NAMI does offer so much more than support.  Education workshops, printed materials, and multi-media presentations are a few ways we can help consumers, family members, and care-providers cope with the impact mental illnesses can have on our lives and the ones whom we love and serve.  Children benefit from many of our services, as we help to better prepare care-providers through education, support, and advocacy.  In particular, NAMI offers three classes:  Peer to Peer educates consumers; Family to Family assists family members with their own boundaries and issues, as well as how to help their loved ones cope; and Visions for Tomorrow is specifically designed to effectively address children with mental illnesses &/or brain disorders. Another educational presentation is called "In Our Own Voices:  Living with Mental Illness".  I have given this hour long, multi-media, interactive presentation that has been tailored to suit specific audiences' needs. In some cases, attendees can receive continuing education credits/units. This presentation is highly effective and enjoyable, and can be modified to each group's purposes.  If you are interested in this presentation, would like more information, contact me and I will be glad to work with you to meet yourneeds.

For more information about NAMI and the three most common mental illnesses (depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia), please visit our website at: www.nami.org. Obviously, I can ramble about all we have to offer!

I do realize that posting to my journal may not be a very effective way to let folks know about our group in particular; however, NAMI has affiliates in every state, most cities, and many rural areas.  To find out what is located in your area and how you can be involved, please visit the website:  www.nami.org  &/or comment here, write eMail, and I will be more than happy to answer your questions regarding NAMI, mental illnesses &/or brain disorders, where you may find more information in your own local area, etc.


20 June 2006

That's the way it is, but it don gotta be

There are very few people whom I just cannot tolerate.  But there are many who work my nerve to the nth degree.  I can intellectualize and rationalize all I want.  I can remind myself that my frustration is only harming me, eating at me, chipping away at my cool objectivity until I resemble some seething, writhing mass that I pity.

I have not even met this miserable mass with whom I am ashamed to claim shared womanhood.  But, am I really any better?  Why do I put up with this?  Am I a glut for punishment, eating the bitter filth because it's there and keeps coming on?  That's it, swallow and gulp, fast as you can.  Open up and say ahhh! down the hatch, good girl!

My guy was married, but he has been divorced several years now.  His ex instigated the divorce, pushing and pushing for it.  Giving birth to it, through demanding labor.  She stormed into the lawyers office and stirred a flurry of paperwork about, demanding that my guy go and sign.  He did.

Her lawyer took him aside and told him that he was getting royally screwed.  But, my guy just wanted it done, over, had enough.  So he signed, walked away from an amazing amount of goods, agreed to pay for her health insurance for an absurd amount of time (COBRA, mind you, even more expensive than a "regular" dependent), washed his hands...or did he?

She fiddled and farted, frittered and wasted, squandered and pilfered, and spent the money her father (!) gave her to pay her lawyer's fees (of which my guy had already paid half).  She spent the money on her habits, truly digging herself deeper and deeper, ending up in rehab, yet again.  Bringing misery to most, but especially those who allowed it to continue.

Finally, my guy realizes that this will continue indefinitely, he will also continue to pay her COBRA insurance because the divorce was not finalized and only then would the time period he agreed to BEGIN.  So he goes to the lawyer, and pays her half of the divorce.  The papers go through the judge's approval that very day and are popped off in the mail.  She receives her copies, calls, crying, screaming, wailing, carrying on about how she had thought that they would work it out and get back together.  Back together?  After a marriage of absence and abuse and what "together"ness and intimacy was there?  Nothing.  Or so I thought.  More fool me.

Her meal ticket, get out of jail free card, rescuer with the credit card and ruined credit was walking.  She'd pushed, but she despaired of his withdrawl.  Now, she mourned her loss of a whipping post.  She was beginning to realize she had messed a good thing.  Or had she?  Had she really messed a good thing?

Years later, umpteen rehab visits gone by, a few more scrapes with the law, and her own parents pressing charges.  She calls him, writes him, leaves messages, approaches his friends and family now.  Still.

When they were married, she only called upon him to come bail her out of this latest mess.  Taking off for days at a time, no messages, til the dark wee hours with a collect call from this or that county jail.  Yet he would resign himself, heave a sigh, go get her ass.

Why?  He tells me that he thought he deserved that.  Really?  I tsk, tsk, there now, you po'babee, how I bleed for you.  But now, I wonder...

She truly puts the con in con-artist.  Cunningly manipulative, seductive in her approach, her methods of sneaking, sliding, slithering coyingly into his life through his mother.  Oddly though, she has never left.

He didn't wash his hands, still willingly soiling them in the greasy muck of her acquaintance.  He didn't walk away.  He does nothing to discourage her, and yet protests that he doesn't see how the very act of not discouraging her is encouragement.

He allows it to continue, I allow it to continue.  This endless barage of contact that escalates as time passes instead of diminishing and fading, sour grapes and slinking away.

No, she hasn't messed a good thing.  She still has him.  Such a slick grip.  Not even physically here, not in the same town, not in the same county.  No, she has a hold all the same.  A pull that he cannot, will not resist.  He won't shut himself of her.

He tells me, there is no harm.  How does this hurt you?  Yes, it's true that she and my mother hated each other with a passion and yet now are thick thieves in the guise of Christianly tolerance and Christly love.

I wonder, am I seeing this clearly?  Is it something that I can bear?  Does his vanity feed of her continued attentions and ploys of affection and supposed caring?  When will it end?  How will it end?

It could endwith me.  I could end this.  I am beginning to see that he will not see.  He will deny that it thrills him.  He will continue deny that it pains me.  Perhaps the ending, is soon, with me driving away.  Not washing, not walking, not staying, not fooling, deluding myself and others.

It could end with me, not allowing it to continue.  I cannot control others actions, but I can my own reactions.  What is more, I can pro-act, and choose to tolerate no more.  To leave this mess.  To wipe the woven webs away.

all choked up, gleefully

Bipolar mood swings can cause vertigo.  All revved up, excited, accomplishing scads, and that feeds into the fast pace, and it all just goes on in a seemingly never-ending vicious cycle, going as fast as I can til I didn't bank and overshot the curve and plummet off the cliff with no drag to slow me down, I now crash as quickly and as hard as I was running on high octane fumes scant moments before.  Then my synapses fire off in some weird combination and I am jolted alive with the frantic need for speed and whoooooooosh! I am off to soar on some random updraft that sucks me into warp overdrive up and up and up and spinning like a dervish, dizzying heights, my eyes on the sky until I'm unbalanced and falling, catapulted into the depths of volitile emotions of rage, frustration, overwhelming euphoria...

Sucks to rapid cycle.

19 June 2006

a picture worth more than a thousand names

i like to see pictures that are made up of lots of other pictures.  john scalzi features some occassionally on his journal, one in particular was "starry starry night" which was made up of tiny pix.  some ads use this technique, especially if it is about networking, linking people together.

this poster is heartwrenching and yet serves as a wonderful reminder:  the sun, a limited edition tribute of the WTC, 9/11 victims.  take a gander.

Students in Flight

In memory of:
Bernard Curtis Brown, Sarah Clark, Asia Cottom, James Debeuneure, Rodney Dickens, James Joe Ferguson, Ann Judge, and  Hilda Taylor.

Imagine yourself as an eleven year old, a student in fifth or sixth grade, from DC.  You have been selected as one of three students in your area to travel to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, near Santa Barbara, California.  Imagine how wonderfully excited you would be to have this opportunity.

James Joe Ferguson, Director of the National Geographic Education Outreach Program, contacts John Fahey, Jr. (the President of the National Geographic Society) on Monday 10 September 2001 to verify some details regarding the educational trip.  Fahey knows that Ferguson has tried his best to make this perfect in every way.  The following morning, Ferguson meets Ann Judge, travel office manager for the National Geographic Society, at the airport.  She has been on several trips that she helped to coordinate for National Geographic and is looking forward to meeting these three children and their teachers that will be flying with them to California.

American Airlines Flight 77 would never land in California.  That morning, 11 September 01, it crashed into the Pentagon.  There were 64 people aboard.  Included were three students, age 11, who no longer would have soaring educational futures.

Asia Cottom, Backus Middle School student, was accompanied by her teacher, Sarah Clark, on this trip which was sponsored by the National Geographic Society.  Bernard Curtis Brown and Rodney Dickens were students at Leckie Elementary School, accompanied by teachers Hilda Taylor and James Debeuneure (he taught fifth grade at Ketchum Elementary).

Please show some compassion for the victims of 9/11.  Visit this site for more information.  Read about the individuals, see their pictures, place yourself in their shoes, and let this moment in history become real for you.

18 June 2006

and i need to do what...?

I've been a member of the gym since January.  In May, I received my first copy of the gym's monthly newsletter.  I'm not sure, but I think that someone drove out to my place and has been checking my mail for four months, stealing only my gym newsletter.  It's thinking like this that provides fecund fodder for my therapy sessions.

So, I was rereading June's edition, cuz I mighta missed something very important in those 4 pages, when I thought, "hey!  look at that!  info on checking credit reports.  for free!  yippee!!"  That's for me, cuz I like free.  I've never seen a copy of any version of my own credit report.  It sounded like a fine thing to do.

Well, sorta.

I went to the main site.  I entered the basic core data.  It sent me then to other sites to collect my credit reports from three agencies.  All three of them use the basic core data to access my report.  Then, there are verification questions, so that they can give you the impression that your credit report is safely secure and only legitimate people can access it.  The idea is that only you will know the answer to one or more questions based on info in your credit report.  Answer the question(s) correctly and PRESTO! you can access your credit report, but wait! that's not all!  cuz you can even print it out!  yippee!!

Now, the first agency asks me to verify either past addresses, current bank accounts, past work history, or current credit &/or loan account information.  Currently, I do not have any credit cards, debit cards, savings, checking, or other sorts of bank accounts.  So I opted to verify a past address.

Now, I realize that I have moved lots.  I am no longer certain of exactly how many times I have changed addresses cuz I just round off at the 50th move and let it go at that.  But I can tell you which states I have lived in and which ones I have not.  Ditto for countries.

So, I feel fairly confident that I can verify some form of some past address somewhere.  Up pops four street names, no towns, but state abbreviations are included.  The instructions are to pick one, provide the number for the domicile on that particular street in that particular state at which I have lived.  They do tell me that they intentionally list bogus locations along with the legitimate choice.

Well, yes, they did list bogus locations.  But there was not a legitimate choice.  Really, folks, I know that I have not lived in California, Rhode Island, or West Virginia.  The fourth choice was for British Columbia.  I've never lived in Canada.

So, I thought, well that's disconcerting.  Wow, if they got that info wrong, I wonder what else in my report is wrong.  So, I chose the work history option for the verification question.

Now, I'm 35.  Currently disabled (which is in part why I have no bank and credit accounts at the moment) and have been for a few years.  But I do have a work history.  Without that, as an adult, one can not qualify for disability no matter what the health complication is or your current ability to be gainfully employed.

The verification question is:  please list your employer for the following month/year.  Technically, that's not a question, but I'll list the info anyway cuz I really, really wanted to see what this agency had listed in my credit report.  I would have listed the info too.  If I could have.  I tried "no one" and "unemployed" but that apparently didn't match the misinformation they have listed on my report.

See, the month/year listed was:  May 1978.  At which time, I was 7.5 yrs old.  I was unemployed.  I was busy being a child.  There are child labor laws in effect, and there were at that time too.  Besides, my folks wanted me to finish the second grade.  Silly, I know, but it was essential for the continuation of my education.

Now I am thoroughly alarmed.  What sorts of erroneous claims are listed on the report at this agency?!?  What sort of effect might this misinformation have on my future?

I begin to search the site and its various pages for instructions on what to do, how to contact them, etc.  Time after time, place after place, I keep coming across the same statement:  if you have a question that is not answered on our FAQ page, eMail us your question.  No other contact information was listed anywhere.  No phone number (toll free or otherwise) and no mailing address.

I should say that no contact information was available, period.  There was not the suggested eMail address found on any page.  There was not the option of entering any sort of question on any sort of feedback form.

I thought that perhaps I misunderstood.  So I searched again.  They said to email them, but did not provide an address or any method of contact.

I shouldn't have been surprised.  I mean, given the misinformation already seen, why should I have expected there to be an actual solution to my problem (or anyone else's).  Silly me.


I did revisit the original site, and went on to verify my information, and accessed my credit reports (and printed them out, too!) at BOTH the other agencies.  All three use the same basic core information.  I didn't even access that section after I completed it.  That was before the first attempt to access the report at the first agency.  Both the other agencies were easy to navigate.  One report was more complete and accurate than the other.  But both were accessible.

A few hours later, I receive eMail from the first agency.  They are reminding me that I did not complete the process and to please verify so that I can access.  I send a reply and it comes back with the message that because eMail is not secure, they do not accept posts.

Interestingly, my guy also checked his reports and encountered the same problem with the first agency:  no legitimate answers/choices listed among the verification questions.  He too had no problems accessing the reports with the other two agencies.  His evaluations of the whole process were similar to mine.

argen fargen.

17 June 2006

pet peeves

yes, i do have a few.  some were not really meant to become pets, ya know what with all the upkeep, the feeding and tending to pet peeves, they can tend to get rather burdensome.  but, try as i might to take the rational high road (ya know the one that goes something like this:  why be peeved, and let this stuff annoy you?  all it does it annoy you and does not seem to have ANY effect on others.  and it is NOT positive or productive to be annoyed, so let the damn peeve go.  or at the very least, drop it off along some backass dirt and gravel country road...) i seem to still end up saddled with the pet peeves that find their way back into my life.  sigh.  i oughta work on that.

but in the meantime, let me get a few off'n my chestee...

two huge pet peeves which are not mutually exclusive and when they do occur simultaneously require huge amounts of self-restraint on my part not to address the rude pompous assholes directly (THAT road never leads to any constructive sort of end, let alone fostering happy joyous goodwill feelings) are:  lack of cell-phone courtesy and lack of volume control courtesy.

dude, i really do NOT need or want to hear your conversation about how you randomly and thoughtlessly picked a last-minute card that happened to actually be somewhat of a tear-jerking that left your mother sniffling and how your opinion on this was "dude, it was GOLDEN!  I mean, I so did not even read the damn thing and yet mom was all weeping".  not only do i not want or need to hear this bragging to your pathetic frat boy friends, but i really would have appreciated you employing some volume-control courtesy and, although it might be a bit much to ask that you realize that others don't care about your thoughtless gesture, actually kept your voice at conversation level, so that only your water-downed margarita swilling table-mates could enjoy your tale of tastelessness, instead of broadcasting what you apparently thought was a rollicking cackle worthy retelling to the other roomful of diners.  i'm not sure at what volume you feel compelled to speak, but a moderate suggestion is that if i can hear you more than clearly, from across the restaurant, chances are that your guffawing croonies experienced a much more than adequate volume braying voice.


but, even more so, to conduct this conversation (let's just call it like it is, it is not a conversation, it is a monologue of montrosities that should never be aired, let alone in such a fashion as this) on a cell-phone, while in a restaurant, ignoring your supposed-friends who are physically withing your personal vicinity is even more appalling.  this is just a suggestion, again, but technology has advanced quite a bit and no longer do you need to shout into a phone in order to be heard.  chances are the other person has the cell phone implanted in their ear, but if not, shouting is NOT necessary.  also, it is rude to ignore those who are in your company in favor of someone not even present, let alone to share a snicker rather than some important vital piece of information like, "omg, the contractions are how far apart?!?  k, i'll leave RIGHT now..." as you rush out of said restaurant.

i suppose i could go on, but it seems all it would do is irritate and annoy me, while not having the desired effect of prompting some serious introspection along the lines of, gee what a moron i must be for engaging in similar sorts of behavior.  i have a feeling that i am preaching to the choir.  thanks for reading my rant and allowing me to share my pet peeves.

my mother usta ask me while i was observing a screaming spoiled brat who wanted that (toy, candy bar, insert your own item) and you the parent are just the meanest person for not indulging in whims of this nature, and i hate you!!  mom usta say, doncha wish you had 6 just like em?

15 June 2006

I DO remember...

Tuesday night, my guy and I watched "Walk the Line".  It was a good movie.  I'm not a huge Cash/Carter fan, so I have no idea how accurate it is.  I did note that it is based on his autobiographical works.  So I would imagine that it is fairly accurate, especially as the children are alive and well.  Roseann and Carlene are both successful musicians in their own rights.  I remember the first time I heard Carlene Carter, my mother explained who her mom, June Carter, was.  I'd heard of Cash, of course, but was woefully ignorant of Carter/Cash and any of the history.  I'm only a little less ignorant now.  A step in the right direction.

bridging the gap

Tuesday, I had a hellacious headache and so I don't believe I did much of anything.  Yesterday, I visited a couple friends and we lunched.  It was wonderful!!  Today, I've been dragging butt, tired, but I am making a dent in the laundry.  I have my father's card ready to send, lacking a stamp.  I'm not that familiar with Oxford and even though I saw the post office the other day, I don't recall how to get there.  I could look it up, I'm sure, or simply call and ask directions.  Tomorrow is another day.

12 June 2006

Munich, the movie

We watched Munich late last night.  A thought provoking movie, to say the least.  In some ways, it was a very good movie, both in retelling the events and in the cinematography choices.  Some scenes were extremely moving, some were very effective, and yet there were a few features that left me rather confused.

Overall, I'd say that if you like movies with depth, based on true events, and dealing with dilemmas, then Munich is a good choice for you.  If you are bothered by dangling ends that are neatly tied (and obviously) into pretty bows, then this movie will disturb you greatly.  I happen to like movies with depth and am bothered by dangling ends, so I found the movie very good and disturbing.  I'd watch it again, to puzzle more of the pieces.

11 June 2006

Muggy Mississippi

Earlier today, my guy and I had noticed that the temp was at 100 degrees.  We both have been guzzling water.  So've my doggies.

Tonight, after the sun went down and the heat of the day passed, we went for a walk.  Rather, Ziggee and I walked, a little over a mile.  My guy and Shaddow ran for about two miles.  We all were sweating and panting by the time we were through!

The really good thing for me is that the debilitating lower back pain that made walking so painful in the past, has eased up considerably.  Currently, it does get some sore, but not anywhere close to what it used to be.  I know a large part of that is due to some weight loss, muscle toning, and core strengthening.  It makes it much easier to continue to WANT to be active if I'm not in pain with every step.

We plan to go swimming tomorrow.  I forgot to bring my suitee up to my guy's place, so we got another one.  Now, I have three suits that are the same style, just different colors.  I won't need a new one til I shrink so much that these fall off me!!  And although I am losing weight, I am not doing so at a rapid pace.  So I anticipate that I will not need a new suitee yet this year.  Ya know, unless I go some place and forget to take one of the three I already have!!

Hope you are enjoying the start of your summer!!

Pssst, congrats are in order for BON and Mal Mott...she's coming outta the darkness, into her vibrant self.  Bon, we miss ya!!

05 June 2006

I'm off!

That virtual model is based on my proportions, height (5'7"), weight (215), coloring, hair-cut, and such.  It actually does look similar to me.  So does the suitee resemble mine!

When I get "after" pix, I'll post the "before" shots, taken on New Year's Day.

I'm off to the gym!!

getcher swimsuitee on

As you may or may not recall, my guy gave me a year's membership at the gym, as per my request, for Christmas.  January began with my weight at an all-time high, 235 pounds.  eeek!!

I was diligent in my attendance, my workouts, and my swimming.  Days when my body hurt, I was careful to stretch in the warmer water of the hydrotherapy pool.  I continued going to the gym thru the second week of April.  My weight was 215 then.

As the spring progressed, my allergies caused complications.  I felt under the weather, for several weeks.  Finally, I hauled my miserable self into see the GP.

She clucked and chided, and set me on a course of antibiotics.  Not wanting to take a chance of sharing my ill-health or contracting anything due to a lowered immune system that was already being taxed, I avoided the gym and other public places.  It turned out, that antibiotic round didn't do much.

In summary, I had been running a low-grade fever and fighting infection for about six weeks before I finally kicked it.  Then, I went to visit my folks for a spell.  So I'd been away from the gym, and my routine, for about eight weeks.  sigh.

So, my guy came to visit, and we went to the gym for the Sunday afternoon hours.  I slipped into my suitee and slithered in the pool for about an hour and a half.  Yea!!

I missed the pool.  Since I am still awake, and they open soon, I may go get a dip in early today.  Get myself back into the swing of things, so to say.

Oh!  I weigh a little less than I did two months ago, when I left the gym routine.  Yippee!!  Go me!!

So, I am hoping to start slimming down some more.  I cannot believe that June is here already.  pft.

03 June 2006

some saturday silliness

Sometimes, I'm a sillee girl.  Sometimes, I'm mindful.  Other times, more often than not, at least here lately, I am mindful regarding sillee stuff.  This may make me a sillee smart girl.

For the past few weeks, my sleep hygiene has be skewed.  This is generally not a good thing.  It effects me in some predictable ways, in which most folks are affected when faced with little sleep, late nights, odd dreams, etc.

Thing is, for me, changes in my sleep patterns can trigger manic periods.

Leaping to a different tangent, Shaddow and I are roughly the same age, according to some nify neato birthday calculator sorta sillee site.  Thanks, sweet andi!!