Friday, June 30, 2006

who's gonna drive you home, tonight?

Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
so i didn't get to sleep until 5am and was magically up by 8:30am and now it's thundering...perfect weather for a michigan.

some of you have asked me if my grandfather's funeral is this, it's not. he's being cremated and the funeral service will be at arlington national cemetery on august 1st at 11am. so there's the nitty gritty details...the business of the loved one.

now you may be wondering...will my grandmother be there? well, heaven and hell will keep you up to date in the weeks to come but as of right now no, she refuses to attend the funeral of her husband. i'm sure she has some other zingers built into the whole next few weeks and i, for one, just can't wait to find out what they are.

where did the good go?

i just want to go home...please help me go home...

time's up
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
that's what my grandfather told me a few weeks ago when i went and saw him for what i knew would be the last time in a trip to dc that would end my streak of only going home around xmas...

my grandfather left this place for the next place, yesterday. it was a night train that carried him from the station in his sleep.

and now it's the middle of the night for me...2:24am...and every time i try to go to sleep, i start breaking into sobs...which makes me wonder how good of an idea is it to go to michigan with chris for another funeral this weekend? but i don't want him to go alone...but i also don't want to be a burden should i break down during the services.

so much anger swirls around me directed mainly at my grandmother...what's her body count up to now? too much to go into right now and i'm tired...yet scared to go to sleep.

my dad kept calling me "mother" on the phone.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

i guess i'm thinking of having a hysterectomy. i mean i can't imagine 15-20 more years of calling the doctor every month to only end up talking to her nurse who seems to be more in love with detective work than listening to what i'm saying on the phone. example:me: so for 3 days when the pain really gets bad i take xyz and then when the pain gets to the point that i'm ready to pull out my own uterus i take xyz+ for 3 days

nurse: wait, so now you are saying that the pain lasts six days sometimes versus five days? what? is your period that irregular?
ok, so imagine that the "six days versus five days" is being spoken as if the nurse was saying "600 days versus five days" and then you'd have the voice down about right. that irregular...yeah, wow, 1 day is just amazingly irregular. how could anyone be that irregular?

christ. because i have migraines and because they act like they are pre-strokes (slurred speech, blindness in one eye, weakness on the right half of my body, tingling on the right side of my face) when i'm on any kind of hormonal treatment like the pill...and because of the depression, etc, which increases to sylvia plath levels when i take any kind of hormonal treatment like the pill...i can't take the pill without it being as risky as playing daily games of russian roulette. but, yet, somehow it always gets mentioned to me as if i'd been living under a rock no matter how long i've seen this or that doctor ("say, did you know there's this thing called the birth control pill?").

but now this nurse at carle is now *investigating* this whole matter to see if i'm a drug addict or if i really just use these painkillers for five or six days a month (and she even did the math and it worked out right...well, if you add in the possibility that sometimes my period lasts six versus five days...never mind the pain i'm in the week before where i'm taking advil as if it were candy). does this come as a surprise to me, that she's launching an investigation, calling me back every ten minutes to get more information? why doesn't she just outright ask me? do i use heroin the other 22 or 23 days of my cycle? there i go again with the irregular bit!

no, it doesn't come to a surprise because this happens every month with more regularity than my amazingly irregular cycle. does the ob-gyn nursing staff at carle get this week's "i hope you cry when you get home" award? yeah, sure, i guess. i guess they get the award one week out of every month...maybe i should just put them in their own category since it's not fair that they get the award so often. others deserve a chance to win, after all! so i guess i'm going to officially announce that carle hospital's ob-gyn department gets the lifetime achievement "i hope you cry when you get home" award. and if they aren't involved in a particular month (say, for instance, if i'm at home over break and my mother's ob-gyn is giving me the same grief) then you can insert "or other ob-gyn departments as needed" in for carle when appropriate.

what i want to know is who they think they are protecting? me? no, because all they are doing is making me wonder if it's easier to deal with a street dealer than them. and then the thing with the hormonal treatments...would they take them if they were me knowing that there's a huge risk that i might have a stroke one month? thanks but i know plenty of people who are my age who have already had strokes and i'm not willing to take a chance that someone might be around to call an ambulance in time to help avoid increased damage to my system and/or death.

yeah, i know. pain killers are not baby aspirin. but i shouldn't have to choose between something hormonal that could kill me or having a hysterectomy because month after fucking month i have to go through hell and back again just to get something prescribed that will allow me to get through five OR six days with some kind of dignity.

oh. and i hear rush limbaugh was caught with a prescription for big blue in his doctor's name and what exactly happened with his whole getting tons and tons of vicodin without a prescription thing?

coda: no more prescriptions, says carle. so i guess i'll be working one less week each month, which should make things easy on the wallet. oh -- and the nurse said that i should try hormonal treatments because taking pain killers are dangerous. kind of like a stroke. or suicidal depression. i need to look at my schedule and go to amsterdam for those five or six days one's worth a shot. and i'm all out of options sans the hysterectomy.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

so the strange tale of where my psych ices forms went has been solved: they were sitting in the online education office in engineering hall. of course they were...cause that just sense at all.

anyway...i have to bring them back to the ices office because for some reason they ran the comparison data with the library science department so the ratings are all kinds of fucked up. but, i got a 4.9/5.0...which means i'll definitely be on the outstanding list for that class. and, actually, it would even put me on that list if i were teaching in library science. so that's pretty damn cool.

4.9? well, i definitely don't feel like i deserved it since it was such a weird ass semester. i guess because it was so hard to juggle all the health stuff with the teaching load i felt like i wasn't really teaching it the way i'd wanted to. but then again...given how strangely the class was structured this year i kind of had to just improv everything each week because every time i planned things out, it would have to be completely thrown out by the end of the lecture. so that made discussion very weird sometimes and so i relied a lot on personal stories.

what got me, though, were the personal comments about how they had never had a ta who gave a damn about them as people until taking my section...and this was a class of mostly all graduating seniors. and that makes me sad/mad about this place even more because i believe it, i believe it because it's happened to me here (of most recent events was thursday's car *relocation* battle). as students, we're second class citizens of the universities that are *supposed* to be here for the least that's what i (probably) naively still believe. so i guess i try the best that i can to try not to treat others the way i've been treated, the way i know others get treated, etc. i hear all the stories from the girls in wimse about their feelings of helplessness when they have a professor or a ta who won't take the time to consider that, you know, weird shit does really happen to people sometimes.

yeah, they've probably been burned before...but the thing that i really wonder about is are they acting that way because they no longer trust their students or is it because that's how they were treated so now that they have a position of power it's now "their turn" to be the assholes because that's how the system works?

i guess that's the choice we have -- we can either fight the system in the effort to try to change it or just help it keep running itself into the ground...

it's definitely a tiring place to be on the side of fighting the system, though. but i couldn't go with any other way of doing things. but that doesn't mean that there's not room for improvement in my methods...i guess if i felt like there wasn't room for improvement than maybe i'd suddenly wake up one day and find myself to be another brick in the wall. and that just won't do.

Friday, June 23, 2006

today's "i hope you cry when you get home" award goes to...the university of illinois parking services!yes, they are the official first winner of this highly regarded award. yes, without warning, they towed...uh, actually that's *relocated* since i didn't ask for the car while i was at work. better yet...while i was at work even though i'm owed about $2k in back pay. yes. apparently i had a *warning* on my car from march when my meter ran out and then today my meter ran out because i wasn't watching the clock like a hawk (yeah, i was paying attention to my work) so they *relocated* it.

oh but that's not all. so i had to pay the $144 for ignoring *the warning* i'd never received plus the cost of the two tickets. so when i said WHAT WARNING? campus police officer asshole shows me a sheet of paper with five lines of random codes and says "well it says here that you arrived as the police were giving you the ticket and that they gave you a verbal warning explaining that you were going to get towed the next ticket you got and you just laughed and drove off."

oh, yeah. funny...i don't seem to REMEMBER ANYTHING OF THE SORT and i probably was on campus teaching that day and my meter ran out because i stayed after class because some people had some questions. so i tell officer rent-a-cop that no such thing happened, that i did not receive a warning at all and i certainly did not receive one from a human standing in front of me who i laughed at and then got in my car and drove off. officer rent-a-cop says well the ticketing officer wouldn't have lied in her report so it obviously happened. so i said "well i'm not lying so what do we do here?" he said "well OBVIOUSLY you are lying."

mother fucking son of a bitch.

so chris drives me to the *relocation* lot where i have to pay another $125 to get my fucking car back (and they charge by the day so it's not like i could wait until the next pay day to get it)...and then i see "we do not accept checks" so there goes the writing the check out of my savings theory. so chris has to put it on his credit card and i'm crying because this has now cost me just under $300 for not feeding another 25 cents into the meter because i was working and yet not getting paid because the university is fucking around with my paycheck again (as usual?) AND i've just been called a liar and that there's nothing i can do about this situation.

i'm a peaceful person, really. i've never punched anyone and i hardly ever yell at anyone because when i do i end up feeling like a complete shithead. so, yeah, i internalized it immediately because it was humiliating to be told that you are a liar in front of a room full of people waiting to get parking passes, etc. i'm a peaceful person but today, i swear, if that rent-a-cop had not been hiding behind the cashier smugly telling me that OBVIOUSLY the officer wouldn't have written a false report because they'd be fired (!) i'd have pulled his balls out through his ears.

so you might be wondering how could one show that the officer did lie on the report?'s a me versus them thing and why should i be believed over someone who has sworn to uphold, uh, campus *law*? so from this day forward, i'm hearby declaring that the university of illinois at urbana-champaign is a corrupt police state because this is the last straw. after seeing how they have handled rapes, suicide attempts, etc in the dorms over the last two years (yeah, with super sensitivity...they are a real dream team) and now being called a liar with no grievance procedures in place (i mean, fuck, $144 AND $125 -- could they not have taken off some charge off my account, given me a *little* bit of benefit of the doubt before called me a liar)i have lost all faith that the university administration gives one rat's ass about the students who go here. oh please, let ME pay YOU for fucking me over completely, while you *forget* to pay me, while you *relocate* my car, while you laugh about the latest rape or suicide case.

here's what i'm going to do when i graduate and receive my diploma. and now that i've said it, i have to finish that dissertation for no other reason than to be able to do this: i will burn that ugly ass blue and orange robe with that fucking stupid ass block I on it AND i will burn my diploma. maybe i'll even burn my diploma right in front of the campus police.

mo? kasey? i am sticking 5 pins into the voodoo doll in honor of officer rent-a-cop.

cry, motherfuckers. cry.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Multimedia message

lol. nice title that i can't seem to change. well, this is my *office* until july while we're moving space on campus and my housing office is closed due to building rearrangement/deconstruction.

the nice thing is that when i'm in a lot of pain -- oh, say, like NOW -- it's handy to have the couch to lie down on. on the other hand...i watch an amazing amount of *waste tv* while i'm here lying on the couch in pain.

my brain may never survive this summer...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

so one of these days i'll get a professional website back up so i can put up some of the stuff that i'm involved in. speaking of, our panel just got accepted to SIGGRAPH's gaming sandbox so we're going to boston at the end of, wow, the sig's made ACM SIGGRAPH now!

i'm not sure why i took my old website down other than it was soooooo moldy that i couldn't bear to look at it anymore. but i have to get my chops back up in the web world, now, i think. that's the fight for me. to announce successes? well, that's asking for trouble.

josh told me today that some of my articles have been put up in the department...huh? he meant the newspaper article, which i didn't know they'd put up, plus some other article that i don't know anything about...i guess i should go over and look. but that would smack of pride...and we don't do that in this family.

oh why is it so difficult for women to accept that something done well, something that gets notice...might just not be a fluke. instead, we bury it...and we look toward the next failure that we can beat ourselves up about...

oh...if i could somehow teach my wimse's how not to do that, how not to fall into that trap of "if bad = true than good = false"...maybe we need a feminist consciousness raising book club this year?
so nina simone's been popping up on the soundtrack radar a LOT lately...on's not the first time, probably not the last (i hope not, anyway). but what's causing this craving for nina all of the sudden. maybe it's the bottom dwelling of our current political situation? some mutual feeling that we'd be better off living some place else? where? i have no idea.

two redbulls and a ton of advil and pamprin to try, try, try to get ahead of the pain that's around the corner and i just got the bill for april's surgery...$3120.00...and that's just the beginning of the bill's stacking up. yeah, that's pretty cheap for a surgery but it was out patient so that helped. $3120...shit. that's more than i'll make all summer. oh...snap. that's sad.

just got an email from the geo, the grad student union, wanting to hear our healthcare nightmare stories in prep for some big showdown with the university administration. this time around they seem like they want to make the case that sometimes students have REAL health issues (as opposed to those in the "real world") and i swear to fucking god...if the administration here really thinks that we are somehow free from health issues by being in grad school...well, fuck, they need to get their brains checked out. wonder if THEIR insurance covers that? if so, then i'll just assume that they must have never had any kind of health problem UNTIL NOW when obviously they are dealing with their own memory loss about being a student...

...its a new dawn, its a new day, its a new life for me
...and I'm feelin good

ba. da dah. da dah. da dah dah da dah da dah...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

madness? yes. brilliance? maybe.

depakote er 500
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
maybe it sounds cocky to bring up the the icarus project when you, yourself, are bipolar. thanks to having to briefly stop medications before my surgery in april i have been struggling with wildly swinging mixed episodes and i've been trying to get things back under it mania or situational mania as an escapist response, an avoidance? after a while, does it matter?

i've always been scared about the mania...the lack of some kind of grounding in reality, things forgotten, and how my head feels like completely exploding...the extreme hyperfocus coupled with the the extreme multifocus. so i tap it down, drown it out...hope for the best. but more scary...the worst is the second floor where nothing happens at all...the blank world. the second worst is the depression crash down four i'd prefer to live on the 3rd floor when i can...but even that has it's hair pulling out problems. like now, when i'm wrestling with strange philosphical ways of being and seeing and i need someone to talk to every day about this. so i talk to you.

i know that this blog seems dangerous. you worry about how much i say, what reprecussions that might bring. does it matter? sure, maybe i'll never be tapped for that national security agency job...but i've already done enough in this life to make sure that NEVER EVER happens. thank god.

feed your head.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

so you all pretty much know that i try to be as honest about my own experiences as i can. i've been working on the dissertation all weekend long and i think that things must be starting to work in sync...somehow. i'm only working on chapter four because i'm not doing myself any good to keep rehashing chapters one and two before i've finished my draft of chapter four. chapter three? ok, it's almost there but it's definitely the least interesting bit, since it just describes my methods...although how i arrived at the methods that i did use is a bit of a story!

but anyway, chapter four. i told myself thursday that before i met with chip on tuesday afternoon, all i was going to do was work on chapter four...go through the transcripts of, now, only 32 hours of videotape...well, plus the 32 hours of the game play feed that goes with 64 hours. much less than the 96 i was starting with, i threw out all the triads because it was weighing me down too much and i may pare the data down a bit more but we'll see. so for now, i'm going through the transcripts of 64 hours video tape.

these are some of the things that i'm afraid about when it comes to writing this whole thing up: i wonder if i’m smart enough to write the dissertation i want to write? i wonder if this time around i’ll be strong enough to tell the story?

more on this later but there it is. fear. i'm afraid that someone's FINALLY going to realize i'm a dumbass once they read the final product. and i feel like i'm taking a leap, this big risk in what i'm doing and...


i am afraid that no one will be there when i fall, that no one will even understand that i have fallen and what to do about it. but this weekend i'm opening up all the windows and doors and i'm stepping out onto the ledge and i'm leaping, making the leap and hope that the leap means breaking the loop, getting the fairytale, finding my, so far, nameless and faceless full self.

and i realized that right now and in all those "thens" that sometimes the hand that reaches out to catch you when you fall is your own.

after about 8 hours of going through transcripts like a paralegal or a detective or a forensic head felt like it was going to fly right off. but i'm doing ok.

but...i wish i could find a giant stapler to fasten my neck to the nearest sturdy object, like a pole or the floor so that i can't run from this anymore out of fear. i have to stay and fight.

Friday, June 16, 2006

shades of red, too

shades of red, too
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
joensuu, near the university and european college towns have always given me weird vibes and maybe it's because many universities in europe seem more like a strange cross-cultural showdown, as if we'd mixed private colleges and community colleges in the us to see what would happen. here's my reality show pitch (heavily influenced by, uh, another reality show): this is the story of two different colleges, picked to live in a small european town, and have their lives taped, to see what happens when people stop being polite and start being real...

so the ices are in and my psych ones are lost beyond all reason at this point. the lis ones got sent to gslis rather than my campus office address and psych is just generally baffled about the possibility that they might have some mail they might be maybe next week i'll get the psy430 ones back?

the ices game is a wild ride and it's funny to look at pages and pages of stat output on a small class -- 11 total forms were filed out for a class of 14, 1 of the 11 didn't fill out questions one or my overall teaching effectiveness...[note: i love words like "effectiveness" i teach me that always sounds like the corporate bullshit words like efficient, quality, about this phrase? let's dialogue...oooohhh another good one. oh. snap. /sarcasm] 4.8 with a big ol' standard deviation to throw in some nice uncertainty so i'll be ranked as "excellent" but with all these oooo's around the x...throws my score into strange territory on the edge of excellent and outstanding. so i can't tell if i'll get an asterisk when the list comes out in the fall...but i am running up against other campus "electives" that tend to have crazy high ratings so probably not. but it doesn't really matter in the end. we had a fun class and it was one of my specialty -- "michelle's crazy ideas for wimse" -- courses. so the fact that anyone wanted to come out and play at all and sign up for the course was enough for me. :) although the 4.8 is a pretty amazing score. so it's double cool.

stay tuned for the psy430 report...if i ever get them!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

super fucking hilarious

gotta be blue

gotta be blue
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
estonia. bottle. pharmacy. old. blue. borrowed. new.

no, i'm not as depressed as it probably seems. i'm just wondering about a lot of things so everything's coming out really cranky and sad.

it's kind of funny how non-hilarious most posts of mine are. because if you know me in real life, you already know how i act and how i am around you. maybe if i used a different blog template and didn't tell you that i hoped that you cried when you got home things would be much more light and cheery?


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

maybe i have up to 18 new below door neighbors now, i really don't know. i've never seen the same person come out of the apartment twice and then this afternoon i saw three guys dressed in red shirts and black pants yelling and running out the door, putting on suspenders and belts as they were getting into their car...and then there's the business of all the banging on the walls last night...sigh. i guess i'm getting sick of neighbors and apartment buildings and, damn, i could own this place by now, huh?

yeah, i'm trying to write and i'm frustrated because it's not going well and there's all those dreams at night and i should try to draw it out, put myself into some sort of self-trance state and draw out what it looks like or get a giant truckload of legos and build it because i think that there's more information in the structure of the dream world than there is in any one interaction that happens in any one dream. i'm no good at writing up procedures...

i remember way way back in the day when i was in chip's class with cece and laura who are now each done and done and i remember saying that the constraints of a dissertation were painful and scared me to death and here i still am trying to figure out how to tell just one story when there are so many that could be told. and that's the whole problem with the dreams at night too...there's too much that is going on to stay focused on any one thing and, dr b, no i don't know what's causing that fear exactly...

i was once a classically trained musician. now in the dream space i'm always forgetting about showing up for the lessons, the masterclasses, whatever because i've drifted off to some place else. my car won't start, my hair won't get washed, the pain won't stop, the world keeps spinning on the same damn dime. i once had that discipline and i've been running from it ever sense. i knew what needed to be done, how to do it, and how to be up on stage. i was a night worker...working in someone else's regular day work hours in some other country. i knew that there was no sleep to be had for us, ever, during the night because who could sleep reliving every note, every feared mistake and every real mistake...then we had to be up for the rest of the world in the morning and it takes it's toll, it took it's toll.

are things better when you live in the daytime space? what if you can't work there? maybe the dream space exists because it's telling me that i should be awake now? maybe it doesn't make much sense to keep trying to squash things in where they don't belong...

god i don't even know the point of this post anymore...
i'm trying the excedrin migraine thing today because i don't want to take anything else to be honest, anything stronger. i don't want to fill another prescription and i'm sick of seeing the collection grow higher. i can't decide about the topamax and i really don't feel like dealing with it, especially since it's way, way, far away from being generic and i don't feel like filing for prescription assistance because there's no way i could afford it on my own unless, say, i cut out something like food.

i have to get onto a more healthy lifestyle and there's only one way i know that will help me start. it's gonna hurt, there's no doubt about that. but there's no other way.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

blue shit in hyper disco pink

blue shit in hyper disco pink
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
sleepy thanks to the sedative they gave me before the mri and i wish that they'd said that they did indeed upload your brain photos to snapfish to pick up at the local walgreens. no, nothing's wrong (i think) but because of the increase in migraines lately i needed another mri to rule out anything else since it's been ten years since the last one and now we're considering dopamax (insider lingo for topamax).

i've gotta get a new phone now because now mine's gone and, great, that means i've lost 1000s of phone numbers but what can you do? maybe i'll get a blackberry and be a hyper geek? nah, too pretentious. but i do like the new thin phones so maybe i'll get one of those?

so much stuff to do right now and i just want to sleep so maybe i will be able to do some of it when i wake back up.

Monday, June 12, 2006

how exactly do we get to the zest?

zest of lemon
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
so i feel the need to write about this because i've realized that 4 years have passed by. yeah, other amounts of time have also passed by. but i have an event that is very specific in mind.

i had to make a choice. live or die. it was that simple and it was that complex all at once. after hardly eating for weeks, not being able to leave the house, hardly being able to get out of bed...i had to take a gamble one way or another. either end everything right now or pick up the phone.

i wish that i could say that that was it. just call the health center, come in somehow, leave it up to them, and then i'd be fixed up and ready to go. i was ready to leave the sad girl behind, slap a sticker on my ass that said "sponsored by eli lilly," and join in the stepford brigade (that term was soooo much better before the latest remake of the movie). i was at the end, after all...did it matter any more if the meds made me some altogether different person, destroyed the sad girl that was a part of who i was? because let's not deny it...if she were gone, there'd go my empathy, my feelings of outrage when the world sucks ass, my late night crazy philosophical wanderings.

but i didn't care anymore. for years and years i'd been telling myself that taking meds would mean killing off who i am and that i'd be changed forever. and what if i didn't like that other "new" person. they kept saying that it would be "you, only better" and wtf did that mean? but when you you smack yourself out of catatonic depression enough to realize that you could, indeed, just die or you could try to live as someone else...when you've finally found rock bottom...what would it hurt to try and take something that will at least make you go through some kind of instant reincarnation?

yeah right. instant reincarnation. the truth is that it takes weeks and months and different types of meds and dosages and it makes you wish that thorazine was over the counter because it's all not working fast enough...but the thing was that i wasn't really all that changed after all was said and done. fuck yeah, even now i have days where my brain only wants to sit around and point out my flaws, i have days where i can't get out of bed, i have days where (at least in my mind) it seems that it would be easier for everyone if i wasn't around.

but it's not. i guess after her boyfriend committed suicide last month and she said "he was my everything" it started to dawn on me that it's not really an act that no really notices. maybe it seems better to unburden the world of you, maybe it's altruistic? maybe you are somehow saving the world by pulling yourself out of the running...nature...nurture...whose side are you on?

so i'm telling you this because i do get it. i get that the sad girl comes with the package deal. but the sad girl makes you notice when she's left the room, even if it's only for a moment. the sad girl makes you see the things others miss, forces you to confront it. the sad girl covers the angry girl and vice versa and, yeah, i'm still trying to pull them apart but without them...i don't really know who i'd be. i guess all i'm trying to say is that you aren't really fact, you are another member of our club. i wish that wasn't the case but since it is, i'm glad you are here too. because you know what it's like, because you DO get it, because now we're all a little less alone in the dark wood.
the other thing you have to know is that, no, i'm not really considering med school. i know that to do so would feed right back into the family psychosis where nothing will ever be enough no matter what and at some point we must arrive and see the place again for the first time (thanks t.s.).

my brother's turned to the church (methodist) as an attendee while i've chosen some other path. i was surprised when my parents told me this weekend but what can i say about it? he has his reasons and we all have our reasons for turning to the things that, for whatever reason, give us comfort. i worship on the altar of prozac and psychotherapy, my journals as my guide, plane schedules my bible. i don't think either is the wrong way...but it reminds me of how different my brother and i grew up and how different we remain.

my friend matt, who is now a unitarian minister in houston, wrote me recently to ask if he could quote some of my blog posts in a sermon on faith -- or lack thereof. you's funny that i called this *heaven and hell* after taking down it's original title of *if you want the fairytale*. yet, i don't know...i guess heaven and hell came from every bit of heaven here leads to an equal and opposite bit of hell. but anyway, it was funny to think of this blog as something used in a church sermon that wasn't an example of "see how dark a world the sinner leads?" it seems that there's some light here to be found.

on another note...i told dr. b today that the closest i came to telling my dad to grow a pair this weekend was to tell my mom that what i really wanted to tell him was that he needed to grow a pair. he said that i was getting pretty close. and before you tell me about throwing stones...i'm well aware of my own glass house. so fuck off.

Friday, June 09, 2006

so the main thing you have to know is that i was once pre-med. yeah i was also a music i tried to tie it together with art therapy but the truth was after i did an internship in that i wasn't super convinced about that whole thing. or at least i wasn't sure i could pull that all off.

ok, so knowing i *am* insane...what do you think about my taking the basic science courses that would qualify me for the mcat as a non-degree student? yeah, wouldn't that be interesting with me teaching the same students who might help me study for the coursework i either never took or took in, uh...yeah...right around the time they were born.

why? why the fuck would i be thinking about this now? i suppose that i've learned a lot about myself in the last few years, learning that maybe i should have become a psychiatrist, that maybe that's what i was really meant to do. but i guess i have to remember...would i really be able to be the loud-mouthed social justice activist that i try to be, that i am on some days, that i fail to be on other days...would i be able to do that without losing my license if i ever got that far?

but then i look at all the materials...all the coursework that easily excites me less than my undergrads who all seem to be sure that med school can be the only possible route for them...and yet they don't like what they are doing...and they question it. because they aren't really sure that med school is what they want...but how can they (or any of us) know what we want before we've gotten the chance to do what it is we think we want to do.

i recently read a personal statement of a pre-med student (not one of mine) and it looked pretty much the same as every other pre-med statement i've read in the past few years: (1) they've always had a passion for science and medicine (2) they have a personal story of tragedy or semi-tragedy that resulted in their never wanting to have anyone die again (3) when they realized that "science" is not for them but medicine is (4) why they know that medical school is the only thing they could ever, ever do.

so i'm nowhere in that last category in particular. i have to ask why though? why now? i guess it was seeing my grandfather today in the *mental care* ward of the assistive living center...seeing the bed sores...the woman who the staff laughed at who was convinced that something what all clearly, clearly wrote...paranoid delusions, they said...and i later told my dad that, yeah, they must be coming from somewhere grandfather silently screaming with the tears that couldn't or wouldn't come out and it was time for him to go home, he wanted to go home. i guess it was that same idea that i came to my current job in the dorm with...i think i can help. somehow.

my dad said earlier in the day "i'm from alexandria, where are you from" and my grandfather said "i'm from alexandria too." and my dad said that he thought that they probably planted that info into him so he knew to say it. but my grandfather isn't from alexandria...he's from virginia beach...and before that the navy...and before that rushville, nebraska. so later i asked him where home was and he said rushville, nebraska and i asked him who was there in rushville and he said that he didn't know but that he wanted to go home tomorrow.

he'd asked me how i knew him and i said that i was my dad's daughter, which didn't really register. i later told him after the nebraska comment that i lived in illinois, which is close to nebraska (closer than here for sure). tears in his eyes that wouldn't fall out, and the hemorages on his hands and arms and the bed sores, and the lips that were almost invisible against his almost pure white face and white wisps of hair...and he asked if i was trying to go home too.

i could just think to say that we all are. but i think he's ready to really go home now.

we all this place, this world. we are all going home. wherever that is, wherever that will be. but the question caught me in a different way...going home. and i thought about how many times i'd tried to go home, how many times i'd wanted to go home, how many times i think about it now. trapped in this body, on this earth...but there are so many places to go i stay and try and live another day.

all i could say to my grandfather was that he'd be going home soon, knowing what that would actually mean...the loss of his physical presense on this earth...and then the crazy lady came by and said that he was dying, he was dying, and that we needed to get him out of this place. and we do. now i need to help my father transfer him to the place where he'll likely die...the 24-hour care hospice. but at least i hope someone will be around when it happens...or that at least it will be a peaceful end of life, with some dignity...the dignity that's been removed from him all these grandmother, the dealer of death.

tertiary stages, demenia ++, late stage this and that and it all comes across as blah, blah, blah. but where are the people that know that none of this really matters in the end...can't you see the pleading? it's time to go home. and i guess, see, that's what reminds me about medicine...knowing what i can see and knowing what i know...knowing that maybe, in another life, i would have maybe been a doctor...a psychiatrist. but would i have ever learned a thing that i know now? and how long would it take before i bought the tickets at the station for those in pain...

home. home. home. where do we go now, sweet child?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

so these lights are all over now, more and more outdoor restaurants and more and more apartments and dorms rooms that prohibit candles due to way too many *accidental* fires and at first i thought *future land fill material* but then i found out that you can actually change the batteries on them...and that they are led of some sort. i don't know i haven't really looked that much into them but they are a somewhat interesting trend...although, as my friend barb at tech might say, you just reminded me of some kind of *love toy* you know? ok she was talking about intravaginal ultrasounds but still. same thing. ok, not really.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

post 701. damn that's a lot of entries, high quality whining, rabid complaining, and whatever the blogging *elite* call a waste of space. yeah, i'm not a big fan of people pointing out how *serious* their blogs are and than any blog that is self-centered, a diary, etc cannot be called a blog, shouldn't be posted, blah fucking blah. well, you *can* just move on if you don't want to stay on the page you're on. so go away if you are reading this and thinking that it shouldn't be here, don't give it another moment's notice. you are wasting your time sitting there and bitching about what belongs in the blog world and what does not. go do something else. go!

Monday, June 05, 2006

xyzal...the name you know

xyzal...the name you know
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl. know...for allergies? how exactly is this pronouced? zzzal? i guess. maybe it's the "xyz" (the end) of "al" (allergies)? those's probably pronounced spam. you know me and other languages...just second nature. ;)

speaking of drugs...anyone out there who has tried topamax (a.k.a. topiramate)? i know it's used for seizures and now migraines...and off label uses include bipolar. these migraines are killing me and i'm sick of taking so many fucking pills. seriously. mo said something recently about hoping to go free and clear of them before she leaves for germany and i've toyed with that idea before myself. yeah, i know. i can't go off them. but it would be *really* nice to cut down on the apartment pharmacy if there's something that could cover multiple things well.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

the thing exactly do you mourn when you don't know the deceased? or, as in my case, how exactly do you deal with a relative dying who you don't know but should who doesn't know you now anyway and never did...

alzheimer's...and my grandfather has it and he's had it for a long, long time. i'll write more on this later, as i had major waterworks earlier. which brought me back to something i thought when everyone was dying during undergrad and in the years after...that we mourn, we cry for the dead because of selfish reasons. no, i'm not saying that we're all selfish for crying for the dead and the dying. but in a million and one different ways, we are crying because we're trying to resolve it for ourselves. the dead? things have resolved somehow no matter what you believe that happens when we die. sure, we're crying because no matter how much time they had on this earth...but really crying because we know we're not going to see them any longer and because we know that someday that will be us as the subject of the mourning of others.

we mourn the days, the hours that we did not spend with them and never will have the chance to do so again. but the hours, these hours...this is a new style of mourning. this is the legacy of the sociopath known as my father's mother...and i mourn the generations of damage, i mourn the fact that i never got to know my grandfather no matter how many times in my life we've been in the same room. and now? there's no chance. yes, there's still chance that i will be able to see his physical being that's still here on earth. but where his soul has gone, where his will has slipped away...i'll never meet my grandfather for the first time.

and it makes me want to curl up and sleep for days but i haven't, i don't...yet. and it reminds me of the the nameless and faceless person i was looking for was me. so i look on expedia and whatnot...knowing that i will soon become the nameless and faceless person for someone else. does that matter? does it matter that i am?

be strong and you shall be renewed on last day.

Friday, June 02, 2006

finnish windows

finnish windows
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
not sure why i take so many pictures of doors and windows. christine used to say something or another having to do with my poetic soul. maybe. you know i haven't had a photoshoot of c-u day in a while...when will the weather be nice but not 100 degrees again?

there's also been a lot of tasty sticker graffiti i've found around the town and the campus...why do i always forget to document the world i live in? dr b? help on this one?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

crap i don't know why my cell phone isn't sending posts to my blog right now. i have 5 in the queue and it keeps telling me communications error. by who? you? blogger? me? anyway, it's not a huge deal...but it's one of those days where everything is bugging the hell out of me and that's one of them...that is that it is one of the ones that i'm focusing on because the other problems are too emotionally disturbing to deal with today.

some days you just want to punch people even if you know you'd only end up missing. yeah, i'm having that pre-game developers conference crap going on again with one person who i'm not sure could offend me any more if he least that was the funny part...that he was offending me by thinking he was offending me by pointing out how *ignorant* i was on the subject of learning disabilities and actually offending me by telling me what *people* with learning disabilities are like (you clear up my ignorance of the matter...). wonder if he's read my latest, uh, yeah...see...YOU just blew it bud. but what do i know? my complete ignorance of the whole matter of my own dyslexia shows that he's right! and...oh shit! i'm not supposed to be reading or writing...or was that righting...oh crazy ignorant self!