29 November 2010

BiPolar Bear

In February or March of this year, I joined a support group that would usually meet once per week; but if our facilitator {a retired psychologist} is unable to meet, we will skip one week and meet the next week. Tho we did take a six week break this summer, which was fine, cuz we all are functioning adults and it is a support group, not group therapy. Which means that we all have other means of coping and our support group is not our primary mental health regulator.

This is not to say that the group is not tremendously important~~it is. It is important for all sorts of reasons. For some of us, it gives us a place to be with others who might face some of the same difficulties we experience. For some of us, we have a great support system in place, but it's nice to be able to meet with others who are not close friends, family, spouses, or paid professionals. For some of us, it is a good place to meet with good friends. For some of us, we can speak more clearly, or think more clearly, or hear other suggestions and ideas for how to approach something that we are stuck on.

It's a group of folks who deal with depression, however, quite a few folks share my own primary diagnosis, bipolar. Each of us experiences our lives differently, yet there are common threads that allow us to identify with each other. In my own case, BiPolar I, Rapid Cycling is not a riot of fun. It's a frantic balancing act that I've been able to moderate to a certain degree. Most folks will tell you that depression is their most dangerous place to be. For me, mania is far worse. When I'm in a state of depression, I'm tired, I hurt, I withdraw, I hibernate, I slow down tremendously. But I'm in control, for the most part.

When I am manic, it feels dangerous, because I can spin too close to not having control. I can't slow down. I can't stop. I spin faster and faster, tighter and tighter. I grow tired, but am so wired that I cannot stop the dancing, the Red Shoes are an extension of my feet and my feet are bloody and I'm desperate for the end.

So the mix of meds I take is designed more to keep me from tipping into mania. Some people take meds that are designed to lift them from depression, into interacting with others in a social way and being able to function in that way. I take a mixture that helps me to avoid panic attacks, anxiety, and other excitable stresses. If I miss my meds, if I don't take my night~time doses, then I don't sleep, then I slam into overdrive, then mania is not just the other end of the spectrum, but it is the danger zone that threatens to absorb all of me, threatens my very existence.

I must take my meds. I must maintain a certain amount of sleep. It's far better for me to have too much sleep than not enough. However, too much sleep is one of the major harbingers of depression.

A major theme we discuss in group, repeatedly, is energy~levels. How to maintain them. What to do if they are way too low. I don't think that we've discussed what to do if they become too much, as that is not the case for most of the members. This time of the year can be difficult for many folks to face. Quite simply, this is the season of hibernation. Yet, our society becomes extremely festive.

There has been an ongoing joke in eMails and posts here on the net. It's about being a bear in your next life. This is one version.

If you're a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that. Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that, too. If you're a bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that. If you're a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that. If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.
He KNOWS not to get between you and the food. Yup..... Gonna be a bear.

I'm not manic, right now. I've been very tired for a long time. I've been indulging in sleep, in quiet, in reflection, in laying in soft cushy bed with soft cozy comforters piled on me, in reading, in being. Simply being. I've not been in a festive mood. I'm ok with that. I've not been digging out decorations and dressing the rooms for the holidays. I'm ok with that. I've been tired, and I've been sleeping. I'm not entirely ok with that, but that's where I am at and how I need to be. And the main reason I am able to be as functional as I am with depression, is because I allow myself to be, to accept what I know I need.

And I'm me. Just me. That is way more than enough.

25 November 2010


"rah~UDE," scolds Tom.

My turkey~tryp's kicked in. My Jerry did all the cooking, stuffing, roasting, baking, etc. I made super~simple peanut~butter chocolate fudge. First time I attempted making fudge and it couldn't have been any easier to make.

Jerry also did all the clean~up and our kitchen is looking entirely sparkly. All the food's been put up already. We'll have enough to gnosh on for the entire week. And then some.

Good thing we have freezer space.

Hope you are enjoying your long weekend!

22 November 2010

your tax dollars, hard at work

Alas, I cannot truthfully take credit for the sign pictured here, but I still like it regardless.

Earlier in today's mail, I found an envelop addressed to me from the IRS. Immediately my stomach knotted and my butt began to tingle. Just a quick aside here, I thought that everyone's butt tingled when they got nervous; but no, come to find out, that's just me. {sigh}

To what could this be in regard? The dropped lawsuit the State of Alabama tried to pursue against me six years ago? The forgiven student loan matter which was finalized two years ago? What fresh new and improved hell could this government agency have cooked up this time?

Upon reading the letter and glancing at the enclosed brochure, I realized that this letter pertains to me no more than most of the other literature I've received from the IRS over the years. About thirteen or fourteen years ago, for a few months, one tax~season, I was a tax~preparer for H & R Bloch {the company actually uses "Block" for most all of its contact with the public, cuz folks are less likely to misspell that than the Germanic surname, however our checks came from the proper "Bloch"}. After that, I did not function in the capacity of a paid tax~preparer.

In fact, I haven't prepared taxes for at least ten years, not even my own. This year, when it came time to file, My Jerry and I went down to our local WalMartZ and had whomever set up their lemonade~stand there do it. I can prove all this if need be, cuz I keep records. Of everything. Well, everything important, like stuff dealing with taxes. And other government agencies. And medical stuff. Not piddling stuff like eMails about who said what to whom about whom.

So this letter today was to let me know that there is a new! improved! self~regulating! method! {ok! those"!"! are getting annoying!} to "provide oversight to help regulate the tax preparation industry". So please go online to the IRS website, log~on, provide your social security number and your date of birth and your address and your filing status and your employer identification number and your CAF number and your electronic filing identification number and your CPA and your bar number and your enrolled agent number, along with your other contact information, and be prepared to use your credit or debit card to pay a sixty~five dollar annual user fee to apply and/or renew your Preparer Tax Identification Number {PTIN}. Do it! Do it now!

At first I was confused, then I was worried, then I got scared. So I called the primary toll~free number, navigated the automated menu, and sat on~hold for over THIRTY minutes. When the rep came on line, I didn't tell her that my butt~tingles had now migrated thru~out my system and now my tongue was numb. No. After asking how she was this fine afternoon, I replied to her like~query with, "I'm confused, I'm worried, and I'm a bit...concerned". She pleasantly offered her assistance.

I explained that I'd received letter 4636 (9-2010) along with enclosed publication 4889, catalog number 55572D regarding the directive to renew "my" Preparer Tax Identification Number for the 2011 filing season. I explained that I haven't been a paid tax preparer in thirteen to fifteen years. I explained that I have not, in fact, prepared anyone's taxes {not even my own} in over seven years. And then I explained my ... concern.

Namely that concern was two~fold. One, why am I receiving this letter and could they please update their files on me to reflect that I am not a tax~preparer, let alone a paid one that would necessitate my obtaining a special number? And two, is there anyone else using my information to be a paid tax~preparer?

It turns out that, no, they cannot update their files. If I simply take no action, do not apply for a PTIN, then their files will drop me from their list of past, present, and/or potential tax~preparers. That being the case, why am I still on the list after a decade of inactivity? But apparently this was a question that cannot be addressed at this time. Which I think is IRS~speak for "I have no idea".

And two, by checking under my social security number, the representative verified that I do not have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. Not even the one that should have been there from the three month stint with H&R Bloch one state, several addresses, and a name change ago. Which makes me wonder how they even knew to send me the letter in the first place.

At any rate, I made copious notes, stapled it all together, and filed it in case something should arise down the road necessitating my producing the letter with my notes that the IRS rep told me to "discard this letter" because it doesn't apply to me. {sigh} It's enough to feed into any latent paranoia tendencies I may have had. On hold for over thirty minutes, people.

Thirty minutes.


19 November 2010

World's Greatest Dad

I wasn't sure what to expect. My husband had TiVo'd this movie earlier in the week, and my first thought was, "hm, Robin Williams, must be funny." And it is, but not in the way I'd at first thought.

It's more of a dark comedy, slightly more complex than it might appear, and ends on a very fitting note. World's Greatest Dad was written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, which I didn't know til the closing credits rolled~~he also cameos as the limo driver, as seen below. The movie deals with some things that we usually don't discuss, or at least not in polite company. That might seem crass, but I'd say that it's more honest and not in the slightest gratuitous~~it's in your face, and makes no apologies, but that's meaningful in its own way.

Autoerotic asphixiation slams the movie wide open in the first scene and it takes off from there. Daryl Sabara is way good at his role, making you want to slap the snot out of him from the get~go. There is nothing redeeming about his character, and Sabara makes you really believe that.

Robin Williams plays his role without once breaking into his trademark speedspeaking comedic self. He is truly playing a character and Williams does it well. No Patch Adams here! I am really quite impressed. If you're looking for Williams to provide a lighthearted comedy, don't watch this movie; but if you're willing to see some more depth to his characters, I'd say this would be a film to add to that list.

One theme that is played out in this movie is that so often when someone dies, esp a teenager, that person is romanticized and everyone becomes his/her best~friend. The imagined potential somehow becomes reality and that person becomes the focus of much dramatization and overwrought pathos. While not exclusive to the young, as we see from the adults' behaviour in the film, it seems to be more emotive, impressionable, creative peers of Sabara's character Kyle.

I'm glad that My Jerry TiVo'd World's Greatest Dad. I might not have otherwise heard of this movie, let alone decided it was worth a watch. And it definitely is.

the epitomy of laziness

This is My Shaddow Lane. She's a lil over nine years old, but she seems much older. Lately she's not been wanting to move much at all. In fact, she wouldn't even get up to clean Donna's bowl for her and it had good, tasty stuff like cheezy mashed potatoes and meatloaf bits. So Donna set it right on Shaddow's sofa, so she wouldn't have to strain herself, doncha know?

15 November 2010


This morning I awoke STARVING. Which was surprising, cuz I know that I got way more than enough to eat in my sleep last night. I dreamed that I was dressed in a slinky satin longer~than~long gown and before me was a huge palatial dining table, filled with food. I was rapturously stuffing my face and it was wonderful...no matter how much I ate, I was svelte and sexy and able to gobble more and more and MORE {ahhhhhhh}.

So I woke hungry. So much so that my tummy ached. After dropping my roomie {snicker} at work, I decided to go to BoJangle's, a place I've never eaten at. It was won.der.full.est. {sigh} So freakin good that I know that none of it could be good for you.

When I came up from my trough, I saw this delightful sketch on the wall. Now, it's suitable considering that we are in MSU BullDog country. But a slurp like that makes me cringe. That the parent is offering the child to the dog for approval of this kind doesn't sit right with me, but that's not my child. Nor my dog. I don't like slurpy doggie~kisses, tho from their perspective, they might not like dry people~kisses. And really, what other kind of kisses could dogs offer, besides slurpy?

Anyway, I do like the sketch, cuz of the detail {check out the baby~toes} and the shading {the bib blows me away}. The sketch is appealing, even if it is a somewhat bizarre choice for an eating~establishment to choose over the myriad of other BullDog~related options. So if you're ever in Starkville's BoJangle's, stop by to gobble some grub and gawk at the sketches.


this is probably the last pic i'll take of my 39 yr old self.

esp since tomorrow is my birthday.

i'm gonna share some wine with friends, family, and My Jerry at this month's meeting of cafe scientifique at zorba's {a local greek bar/restaurant} tomorrow evening.


14 November 2010


Russ over at Inner and Outer Demons 2 granted me permission to use this illustration of "Inner Child". Thank you so very much, Russ. There's something that just grabs me, and I'm trying to figure just what that is.

It isn't the finger poked up her nose. Or the thick frames covering a third of her face. Or the jagged bowl cut, straight and heavy.

It could be the rounded soft body pooching the onesie. It could be the onesie itself {she rockZ it!}. It could be the lil feet, safely shod.

But I'm thinking it's more the vulnerable, wistful tuck of her chin. The eyes just peeking up and out beneath her bangs, thru the top of her glasses. The way her teeth are bared. Her jaw clenched tightly, steeling herself for whatever barrage comes next.

She makes me want to scoop her up, wrap her tightly in my arms, shield her from whatever cruelty awaits her, assure her that she's safe with me. And then I think about whether I'd really be able to give her safe haven. I didn't do such a great job with giving my own self safety.

Then again, who, as a child, ever has been able to do that? As a child, you cannot protect yourself from life's cruelties. You depend on others to do that for you.

And you should.

But safety is not an option for way too many. A tender poignancy reminds me of this. And then I turn away and move on, letting someone else deal with this, absolving myself of responsibility.

That's a shame.

Mercy me.

13 November 2010

gross gunk

My sinuses have been reacting violently to the smorgasbord of allergens these past few weeks. But yesterday, I woke up exhausted. I felt like shit. squared. I spent the ENTIRE day in my lil recliner, with two dogs draped over me. My husband came home from work early cuz he wasn't feeling so great either. *hack*hack*

During the night, all that gunk that was beginning to make me think that there is more than just allergic reaction going on drained out of my head. Now if only I could pull the spike outta my brain, I'd feel much, Much, MUCH better.

I hope all you are feeling fine! Enjoy your weekends! *snort*snort*

11 November 2010

Mental Floss

I can't take the credit for any of these.

They're t-shirt slogans offered thru Mental Floss {Where Knowledge Junkies Get Their Fix}.

Ya might want to poke about, there are always pages of interest.

Check it! Ya know ya wanna.

09 November 2010

The Pink Glove Dance

If you have a chance, please give a view of this some thought: Pink Glove Dance. It was filmed using the staff at a hospital in Portland, Oregon. I especially love the janitor~~he's quite the dancing dude!

It even has a sequel. I'm on dial~up currently, so I haven't watched that one yet, as I am still waiting to get the rest of the first one. But I'll catch it sometime when I'm at BookMart DownTown, where there is faster~ban!

Check 'em, ya know ya wanna!

08 November 2010

Longview's Opry

I've been feeling rather poorly this past weekend. I think it's my sinuses' reaction to various allergens and all that extra drainage is turning my stomach sour, my throat and ears itch, and I'm more tired than usual~~which is lots. However, on Saturday, I was feeling pretty good, so I went to my writers group, then My Jerry and I went to an exhibition men's basketball game at MSU. That was cool and I do think I like basketball much better than football. In large part cuz the game moves instead of taking four hours, it only takes two. So it builds momentum and keeps it. Whereas with football, it seems to me like more time is spent off the field than on~~and so it seems like an inefficient use of time and energy. It gets to be a contest of the viewers' patience more so than a game between teams. But I digress...

Saturday, My Jerry and I went to the local Opry. And when I say "local", I mean like a mile or so down the road. And when I say "opry", I do mean various muscians performing various formats like country {both old and new, we heard some stuff from the thirties, some Hank Williams, some Johnny Cash, some contemporary}, Elvis Presley, gospel, and lots of blues. In fact, I think it's fair to say that blues was the main flavor of the evening, which was great.

The format is simple and not very formal: the main guest plays two sets of twenty minutes and the stage is free to anyone else the rest of the time. There were usually enough musicians on stage to fill it, usually between three to nine, with five or six most of the time. There were some folks that were more seasoned, having performed for others most if not all of their lifetimes. And there were a few newbies as well, taking the stage for the first time ever, at the age of fifty or so.

My husband's mother had gone to school in that building, before the students from this area began to be bussed into Starkville {seven miles further down the road} back in 1948. The building itself is a large open rectangle with a kitchen area and restrooms, a cloak room, and of course the performance area~~which is about half the building. The stage was just a step up, but fully equipped and quite large to accomodate all the pickers, belters, and beaters.

The audience can sit down in rather comfortable chairs, lined up in rows. Lots of socializing occurs, but some serious listening is the rule of the night. There is a small area just to the side of the stage, and couples dance, as well as several ladies who formed lines to dance in unison with "Boot Scootin' Boogie" which was just as entertaining as what was going on up on the stage!

Most folks were in their late sixties and older, altho the "young" folks put in a good showing too. In fact, at first, when we settled into our seats at a lil after six in the evening, Jerry commented on the fact that we were the youngest present. As the evening progressed, the composition of the crowd shifted from elderly to a bit younger {forties and fifties} with some clusters of those in their twenties and thirties~~I think most of those folks were there not entirely against their will, but pretty close!

It was a very comfortable evening, and we plan to return. The only things I didn't care for was not unique to there, they're things that I don't particularly like about any live performance. It seems to me that the drums are usually disproportionately louder than the rest of the musical line~up and that the vocals are never quite as clear as I'd like. Most folks don't seem to realize that they don't need to swallow the microphone in order to be heard thru~out. But I find that to be a pet~peeve even when attending more professional concerts.

The other thing was that some of the women douse themselves with perfume and that aggravated my sensitive sinuses to the point where I was blinking tears from my eyes and as soon as we stepped from the building, I gulped the fresh cold air of the local pines, and promptly engaged in a sneezing~fit that lasted way more than necessary. As I said tho, those complaints are not unique to the Opry, and the enjoyment far outweighed the discomfort.

I'd've typed this up earlier, but I couldn't spell "wirth shyte" most of the weekend.

03 November 2010

my birthday present arrives early...

My pink zippered~hoodie's left~breast says, "Established 1970".

And how many pink zippered~hoodie's left breasts can say that?

Not many.

I love you, My Husband.