Monday, February 28, 2011

Built planting beds today-and I have made dirt!

I did a lot of work, and feel inordinately happy for having done so. Three beds made, three beds lined.
I cut two scavenged pallets in half, remove the underside boards from two of the four pieces, and nail the results together.  I then line that with cardboard first (dumpster-dived, natch), then pack other people's yard waste inside that.
Thank you, other people, for being neat freaks and throwing out your hardwood leaves, pine needles, and most especially grass clippings!
Those turn into dirt much faster than the hardwood leaves and pine needles.

In fact, I dug down in the holey water trough-it's a 600 gallon trough the neighbor gave me-and I have made dirt! I filled it up with leafmould last fall, and at least the bottom composted. There's probably about a yard of really rich humus in there, ready to be mixed with topsoil and then used.

Went and got some more cardboard- I have more beds to line.

Because I have physical energy, physical activity isn't the flog-the-carcass experience that it was when the sinuses were full of crud.  I am enjoying the heck out of this project.

But I got green crud out of my nose...uhoh.

Next weekend, I'm going to be tied up learning to ride a motorcycle-motorcycle riders safety course.
Provided that goes well I'll be talking to my credit union about pre-approval, then, provided I can do it given a $500 down, the shopping trip commences.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rachel from cardholder services called...

I'm sure you've gotten these...calls, it's an automated recording that says "This is Rachel from cardholder services.  We need to confirm your account information." or some such B.S.
It's obviously phone phishing.  I assume that if you were foolish enough to give them your credit card info, they'd clean you out.

Well, today, my wife picked up the phone, and got this very robocall.... and held on until the automated system connected her with a live guy...who later turned out to be in Mumbai...but that's skipping ahead.

I'm in the bathroom, and what I hear is this:"Yes, can you please put me on your no-call list?"
"Um, no, I don't have a cordless phone...well! I see!  I hope a poisonous snake crawls up your intestines, but first it eats your balls...yes, Mumbai? I know where Mumbai is, if I'm ever there I'll have to look you up...maybe the next Pakistani bomb will get you this time?"

Apparently the guy had started it by suggesting my wife take the phone and shove it up her ass...

As she put it afterwards: "They may know what customer service is, but they have absolutely no truck with it."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I didn't declare classwar, it was declared on me...

Now I usually don't think I ought to indulge in political vitriol, because I think there's too much of it...and there's too many people who take it literally. We need to stop treating each other like enemies and start remembering we're all Americans, and at the end of the day we all  share this country, even though we disagree.
But sometimes, when I'm feeling angry, it's nice to have someone do the ranting for me.
 Enter The Rude Pundit:
But this little gem, quoted for wisdom, isn't rude at all-it's the Goddess' own truth:
.... the mania behind the budget slashing is propelled by the insidious opposite argument: that government itself is unpatriotic and that to fund its actions is akin to funding the enemy. It redefines patriotism as not being about country but about individual.
Yes. YES.  That's precisely what the bill of goods the conservative working-class has been sold, and it's patently ridiculous.  You're not building up the country if you're only out for yourself. In fact, that seems to be the problem-the power elite(and really, everybody else) have decided they want all the wealth and power themselves, rather than looking out for the greater welfare. 
This attitude and related behaviors are leading people to devour the health and wealth of our country from within like a batch of flesh-eating parasites, and we're letting it happen.
Because they have a critical mass of us hoodwinked.
And another bit, told in pure Rude Pundit style:
It buys into a conservative lie that if you cut taxes a little for businesses, it'll bring in some jobs. But if you cut taxes a lot? Well, fuck, that has to bring in a shitload of jobs. Yeah, ask Ohio how that worked out. It's like saying that if a little heroin gets you high, then a whole bunch of heroin will get you really, really fucked up. Your theory fails when you're dead in a pool of your own vomit
I just have to say the following:
Look, we've been cutting taxes and cutting taxes all my life.  I was 8 when Reagan was elected.   I have seen nothing but a long, slow slide downhill for most of the people I know.   Our wages stagnate while the cost of everything else goes up yearly.
Schools-suck.  Healthcare-sucks, not the care itself necessarily but getting access-I already know of one person lack of healthcare access killed-my Mom's friend of 15 years. Our infrastructure's on a downhill slide.  Those things that make us rich as a nation are being neglected.
And we are still being told: we must cut taxes.
When are y'all going to wake up and realize: tax cuts for the rich DON'T result in prosperity! They result in all the wealth and power concentrating at the very top!   If you aren't in the top 5%, why do you KEEP BELIEVING THIS CRAP!!!
Maybe the birthrate of suckers has gone up since PT Barnum's day.
I think an interrelated problem is national: the fallacious faith in free trade
I buy the argument-established dogma to economists-that trade protection equals a price hike...but only to a degree.  Because the main influence on pricing is what the market will bear.
 What I propose is that we stop being international patsies with this free trade=automatic wealth nonsense and start strategizing for our own interests, like every other country does.
(And I think I shall order this guy's book, because he agrees with my position...and I want him to tell me why I'm right, so I can tell other people why I'm right without sounding like a moron.)
Basically, we need to start practicing protectionism like Japan and China.
BUT, and this is a big but, that free-trade lie, while making the rest of us worse off, has made a few people very, very well off indeed.  Those people have a staked interest in free trade not only staying, but spreading to more countries.
Never mind that our supposed "free trade" with a lot of countries seems to not be so free.  China consistently manipulates the yuan so as to make its' products artificially cheap on the world market.  Everyone knows this, but do you think any politician would suggest altering our agreement-by, say, imposing a tariff on finished products from China?
No.  And this is because the wealthy have accumulated the power along with the money-they can now pretty much control the government.  In effect, our entire government has become at least a partly captured agency catering to the wealthy.
We have our collective apathy, gullibility, and ignorance to thank for this, though. We are the Democrats, the Republicans, the people who either do or do not show up to vote.
 But I refuse to say we get the government we deserve, because I'm not nasty enough to think anyone deserves to have their democracy sold out from under them by deception.

Friday, February 18, 2011

got rambly last night on a forum....

Dunno that I entertained anyone but myself.

But I'm going to repost it here, along with a link to the article:
 (in reference to the article)
Maybe his drawing in of those disparate subjects: art, politics, symbols, and religion, just appealed to me.
I guess I find it interesting because the art I've done...and I won't say my art's terribly good, but I enjoy making it...I incorporate symbols in there, and often don't figure out why for some time afterwards. I tend to like and aspire to paint pop surrealism-lowbrow. Why? Blame it on my history of LSD use and love of comics...(BRIGHT....PRETTY....COLORS!!!)

I am inclined to paint horribly morbid things, like people getting blown up or deformed animals (previous subjects) in dayglo, glow-in-the-dark cartoony style. I'm also a mishmash of spiritual inclinations, so those too are grist for the artistic symbol mill.
I went online after the shootings in Arizona, and saw the postings of Jared Loughner. The man, in my semi-educated opinion, is a flaming schizophrenic.
Schizophrenics/schizoaffectives get symbols and reality confused. Apparently, so does the Catholic League.
Now, the rhetoric on Fox news is, as always...hysterical. Not funny hysterical either. While they have a right to say it (although I don't know that they have an inalienable right to the public airwaves and cable utilities-that's debatable...),I judge them to be incredibly immoral as an organization for engaging in the hyperbole and, erm..."inaccuracies" is the best face I can put on it... that they do.

Because there are people out there who are either uneducated or delusive and they are going to believe what Fox tells them.Not that Loughner was one. I'm not sure what side-spur of reality he was on.
But I live in wingnut land, and I hear them repeat stuff that, since I don't listen to anything Fox puts out, completely gobsmacks me. And they believe it totally, never question a thing. The have more guns than my wife and I.
Of course, you can also get caught up in believing the symbol itself and not what it represents.
People get them confused. A lot of people.

I've been kinda following PZ Myers' jousting with Catholics over some round white crackers.
Yep, PZ desecrated a Host. To at least one Catholic who emailed him, this meant that PZ was planning on physically injuring Christ-when he announced his plans. You can read the blog post here:

When I was a Christian, I read the new testament a lot, and got that Christianity was about love for others, forgiveness, and being Christlike.

I read "Judge not lest ye be Judged," as an injunction against condemning others. Similarly, the injunction not to worry about the mote in someone else's eye until you've gotten the plank out of your own.

Christ (if he existed) seemed to want us to focus on our own shortcomings, and to be gentle with others.
This is a wise and kind way of living.

But I have found that a lot of Christians-not all, but a number of them, perhaps the majority in the evangelical movement, are just bone-deep hateful.
And it's not just my orientation or my gender and their disapproval thereof.

The most hateful ones are usually white, well-off, racist, and classist. Nor do you have to scratch them very hard to find that out. There's a lot of them.
As someone who studied ceremonial witchcraft for a bit, the reason symbols are used (deliberately) is because they raise the emotions, the idea being to stack symbol upon symbol, raising one's emotional state to a point of ecstasy, transcending one's normal state of consciousness. I rather assume this is the whole point of the ornateness of Catholic churches.
But most people invest the symbol itself with sacredness...when the symbol is just a "finger pointing at the moon."
Advertisers use symbols to deliberately create an artificial need (in many cases). Otherwise ads would all look like classifieds. The object they are selling is equated with something else-mastery, sex, social competence..happiness.
I imagine all of us have had buyer's remorse? where we got exactly what we wanted and felt like crap about it? Maybe because we were subliminally told we were buying happiness. Instead we got product X.

Maybe part of the financial crisis is we somehow behaved like debt addicts as a group? that is, our debt made us unhappy, so we bought more crap to make ourselves happy b/c ads programmed us to think buying crap makes us happy, so we got more into debt, so less happy, so bought more crap, and rinse/repeat into the poorhouse...
I dunno. It was just a thought. No supportive data.

Anyway, sorry this post turned out so damned rambly. I'm having insomnia lately, and it seems to make my ability to stay on point way worse. Mind you, I execute random topic broadjumps even at optimum status.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Paging Mistress Moonbeam Manners!

As a Pagan, how does one graciously deal with the Christians?

 -How do you turn down invites to come to church on Sunday morning?   I just had to do that from someone I like, and it was most...uncomfortable.

-How do you respond when someone asks "Are you saved?" knowing full well this person's going to attach to you like a limpet for half an hour if you don't lie? At that point, are you justified in being rude? 
A person I knew was harassed on a city bus so persistently she had to threaten to follow the Christian lady home and poop on her lawn in order to get left alone.

-How do you respond when someone starts talking about the Christian god around you? Do you clam up or come out of the broom closet? What if you're at work?   I  live in the bible belt, so I get it at work.

-Why is it that those who seem the most forward about their Christianity are often out to pull one over on you in any business dealing you might have? I've seen this multiple times, including a minister who tried to buy something from me for way less than its' value...and after I refused his final offer he admitted he had just wanted to resell it at a better price.

-Why do they expect respect for their beliefs when, if I am foolish enough to present my beliefs, I am disrespected?

-How could one potentially point out how rude they themselves are being when they try to convert you, in the nicest way possible?

Losing / keeping off weight, in about ten thousand unfun steps

I have gone from 275 to 150 pounds, and I intend to maintain that loss this time-ideally I want to make it down to 140. I'm 5' 9"  140 is 20 pounds within the normal weight range for my height, meaning I can't have a few bad days and make myself overweight again...which remains a possibility so long as I'm at 150.
Having yoyoed multiple times, I gain very easily.Most obnoxious.
Losing the weight has been simple, if really hard. 
What my experience implies is that if you're obese on a typical American diet, and you want to not be obese, you have to stop eating the typical American diet and eat something a lot better for you.
You also have to stop living a sedentary lifestyle, like a typical American.
Again, permanently.
(A few people to whom I have described how I eat have said, "That's crazy!" when they hear it. It's fanatical, yeah, but it seems to be what I needed to do.  If eating whatever you liked worked, we'd all look like supermodels.)
Magazines and TV shows lure you in by advertising some new miracle diet. There isn't any miraculous wonder diet.
 You just have to be willing to endure a certain level of misery. Get up  and not eat what you want, over and over.
According to social research, the two behaviors found in people who maintain massive weight loss is calorie-counting and daily weighing.  I have to admit I'm not actually counting my calories, really, just sort of keeping an estimate in my head these days.
Since I've been counting daily for a year, that estimate's likely to be semi-accurate. if I start putting on any weight-like five pounds or more, it's back to being rigorous, writing it all down.
Right now I'm losing, so I'm not complaining.
But you'd better believe I climb on that scale daily. If you don't do that, it's really easy to put on ten pounds without realizing it.  I actually want a really good digital scale, but the budget fairy isn't waving her wand on it yet. Other priorities.
My other personal tricks: I'm vegan, save for honey and those meds/ supplements I absolutely can't get without gelatin capsules.  This, at one fell swoop, eliminates a large part of the fatty foods I could eat as a possibility.
Mind, I'm not insisting that will work for everyone.  You have to evolve your own strategy. I suspect some people need some meat. I don't seem to, but I'm really careful about my protein intake, too.
I also have binge eating I identify my binge foods and they don't generally get brought home. I'm finally pretty much banning peanut butter except for an occasional treat; I go hog-wild on that stuff.  Anything chocolate, cookies, gourmet bread products...
All the above I will binge on.  So I try to only buy it in small amounts-single servings preferred.
Changing your diet will take time-you body will drive you berserk wih cravings.  Therefore it's easier to taper onto almost-all healthy foods over about six months.
Other things: Fast food is not your friend.  It is a trainwreck nutritionally, it's very expensive when compared with a home-cooked meal, it can have contaminants in it.  Even the best of it is loaded with salt.  The worst is a breaded heart attack.

I also used an even more restrictive version of the Johnson up-day down-day diet than the doc recommends.  As I said, my metabolism is messed up
Your alternative to fast food when you really can't cook, or aren't at home?  The produce section and the health food section.  Go to the supermarket, get some fresh fruit, a vegetable you like raw, a protein bar, and maybe a single serving of nuts-or maybe a tiny bit of good cheese from the deli, if you eat cheese?  There's your to-go-meal for in the car. Cheaper, way better for you.
Take a vitamin.
I also...sigh...have to admit I used some sudafed to help suppress my appetite.  Off and on, because you can get hooked on it; you can also damage your heart.  No more than the recommended dose of 12 hour sudafed, preferably every other day.
And mind you, I have bad allergies too, so I wasn't *just* using the pseudoephedrine for its' appetite suppression and fat catabolizing properties.
I think white tea is way safer for the purpose of appetite suppression and catabolysis.  I would guzzle it, were I you.
I favor stevia as a sweetening agent, and chromium picolinate seems to help.
But nothing's going to substitute for restricting calories and working out vigorously. Absolutely nothing.
You also need to eat lots of raw vegetables and the lower-calorie fruits.  If you're eating the kind of lower-than-the-American-norm caloric intake you should be eating, you'll be hungry if you don't eat lots of bulky vegetables to fill your stomach up.
Oil on the veggies will help you absorb beta carotenes, but it takes only a little oil to do that.
Look, if your problem isn't as severe as mine was-275 pounds and medical comorbidities-you don't have to go quite as far.  The thing to remember is, if you don't want to go back to looking the way you did before you started dieting, then you have to commit to permanence in your changes.
Which I guess means implement change slowly. And do not expect the fat to come off fast-2 pounds a week is good.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Don't panic-diet ( "Ohmygod I have to fit this dress in three weeks!" ) Buy stuff loose and/or let-outable.
And I really do mean that you should only do that which you can keep doing. Because to maintain, you pretty much have to keep doing it.
Reason being? I can see how crappy my metabolism has gotten from yoyoing. I can almost look at food and gain.
 I know that yoyo dieting also has been shown to place a strain on the heart. 
Actually, any time you diet it's a strain on the body...and if you keep losing, then gaining, repeatedly, it's actually worse for you in the end medically than if you left it the heck alone and just focused on eating nutritionally well and exercising daily.'s important that you try and like your body, no matter its' size or shape.  
I know, easier said than done, but at one point I was so ashamed of the way I looked that it prevented me from exercising my body, for fear people would laugh at how much I jiggled. 
Like it and you'll respect it, move it and take care of it better.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cats are evil, evil creatures

Those of you who serve cats...already know this.

Note I said "serve cats."  it's not that you own a cat.  I own my dogs.
I serve the cats.
If I became too unsatisfactory, they'd leave.
Although it's really hard to find good help these days.

So last night I was very tired, I rolled into bed...and my hand flopped onto several somethings that were squishy, sausage-shaped, and wet.
It was then I'd remembered the kitten had been snooping in the bedroom and I shut the door on her, not realizing she was in there.

Yep.  She pooped on my side of the bed.  The little shit.

This is time (Heh) # 2 that she has pooped on the bed...I could see the first time being an accident.

No, she did it because she was mad at me for locking her in there.

I was really tired.  The poop was solid, and I thought: oh, good I don't have to change the bottom sheet.
I picked up the poo with toilet paper, carefully-it all came off, then wiped down the whole area with 91% rubbing alcohol.

And went to sleep.

About five A.M. I got woken up by my wife squawking "This is soaked in URINE!" when she came to bed.  And we changed the bottom sheet...

Apparently the cat was pissed off at my wife, but thinks I'm a shit.

I rescued her off the top of a freeway bridge...and this is the thanks I get.

I've also been fighting the old lady cat, who's determined to sleep on the clean laundry-this is a no-no, as I have allergies.
She has a really nice box, with a pillow in it, and lots of nice sleepy-places...but she's fixated this week on the clean laundry. Gah.

And of course there's always Rooftop, or as I call him...Squirt.  Mister "Hi, I LOVE you! Let me pee on your stuff!"

He's sufficiently tagged things in the cat room that he won't keep spraying in there...But if I don't shut the front door, he will run in and squirt stuff in under a minute.
I kid you not.

Edited to add: because of my allergies, all but two of our cats have a designated "cat room." It's officially the cat room and has most of my non-allergic wife's things.

It has a powder room-a toilet and sink.

I just went in there to poop.  This became a group event. They have better noses than we do, but have absolutely no problem mugging on me for affection when they can clearly smell what's coming out the other end of me, I'm sure.
Gods they're weird.

Something I think you ought to read episode #1

"...Unlike the pan-Arabism of the past, the new movement represents an intrinsic belief that it is freedom from fear and human dignity that enables people to build better societies and to create a future of hope and prosperity. The old "wisdom" of past revolutionaries that liberation from foreign domination precedes the struggle for democracy has fallen..."

"....In the 1950s and 1960s, millions of Arabs poured onto the streets determined to continue the liberation of the Arab world from the remnants of colonial domination and the creeping American hegemony. In 2011, millions have poured onto the streets determined not only to ensure their freedom but also to ensure that the mistakes of previous generations are not repeated..."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tiredness, the weightloss thing, and big triggery stuff @ the end.

One wonderful thing for you:

My Egyptian friend told me that his uncle in Cairo got a call from Tunisia yesterday.

The Tunisian congratulated my friend's uncle on Mubarak's departure.

My friend's uncle said something like, "Um, why, thank you, but I don't know you."

The Tunisian replied "Oh, no, I just wanted to congratulate an Egyptian, so I called a number randomly and got you."

(GO EGYPT! ) (RA! RA! RA! ;) )

The rest of the post isn't fun or funny-in fact it's a very solemn one...keep checking back for the more upbeat ones... I imagine they will come along presently.

This tiredness worries me...Does it mean the sinus infection's returning? or just the result of a typical sleep-deprived week?

 I'm getting a bit more green stuff out.  And saving it in a jar for the county ENT doctors who think I'm making shit up.
I find this ridiculous, demeaning, makes me feel less valuable as a human being and it screws with my sense of reality.
My palate is itching...but of course they won't believe me when I tell them that.

Since they have two hospitals, both with ENT departments, I'm going to call on Monday and see what I have to do to get into the other ENT department.  Maybe the other ENT's will actually believe me when I report symptoms.

Over the week I managed to snag four-count'em, four good pallets.   Four pallets equals two planting beds.  What I'm doing is cut a little bit out of the center of the pallets, then pick which one has the more busted up or rotted bottom, and remove those boards.  After that, I nail them together at the top corners-it's a pretty straightforward procedure when you take the back off..  Then they get lined, first with cardboard, then with mulch. The cardboard will not only help retain moisture around the sides, I's definitely going to kill the grass.

I'm too tired to do this today...I really am.  Tonight's a down night also.

Oh...I should explain my wacky ways of eating, and how that came about:

You see, I am now weighing about 152-157 at 5'9".

About a year and a half ago I weighed 275.

Before that I'd eaten my way up to 320 in high school...managed to diet down to stuck there until I went "pretty-much" vegan, dropped to 190 mainly through exercise, but a little through diet, shacked up with the wife, let myself go, back to 220, then got sick and ballooned due to stress and repeat courses of prednisone.

When I hit 275, my allergist(then about as frustrated as I was at my case) asked if I would consider stomach stapling. Said it would dramatically improve my condition.

I want my life back.  Badly.  So began a year-and a half diet-a-thon.

Well...when I got to 220, I got stuck.  I was eating 1200 calories a day, was ravenous, and stuck hard.

Enter the Johnson Up Day Down Day Diet.

I started doing it.  Actually, being the perfectionist I am, I started doing an even tighter restriction than called for, but pretty much the Johnson diet.

The weight melted off me so fast that my coworkers expressed concern.
This was full of unfun...when I first started down days going up stairs made me dizzy.  Working out made my heart pound.

Now I don't seem to really even get that hungry on down days.

I want to weigh 140.
155 is too close to 164-the threshold for me being overweight.  Having yoyoed all over the place, my body can store it like nobody's business. 155 is close enough that one good case of the fuckits can propel me into the overweight range.

That's not cool.   I want to be firmly of normal weight, because I want to guarantee I will never be obese again.

Half of the reason I wanted to kill myself in high school was my binge eating disorder...

And that brings me to the last thing:

It occurred to me last night that the entirety of my adult life...I never anticipated happening.  Which hasn't helped matters as far as doing things in a planned, coherent fashion.

(BTW...You want to click away now if you're easily upset or triggered...Don't blame me if you flip out, you've been warned.)

By ninth grade I hated myself for failure to kill myself. I didn't work in high school or take college prep classes-because I was just doing things to make the parents not yell at me and-or hit me until I worked up the nerve to kill myself.  I self-denigrated every day in an active attempt to make myself do it, convince myself to slice my wrists open.
I so wanted to die that I regularly called myself a coward and beat myself up for failure to have the courage to wipe the stain that was me from the earth.

This was all before I decanted my sexual abuse memories.   This is where the shame and the self-loathing came from...but I didn't know that then.

Some of the sexual abuse was forced on me-the oral rape at four by the neighbor and the vaginal rape by my uncle when I was six.

My Dad, though, I don't believe he had to force me, or keep doing so...because being alone with my nightmares-the terror-was worse than the physical pain of his adult penis in me combined with the comfort of being touched, of not being alone, abandoned.

And there was arousal as well. Not that I wanted that arousal, was ready for it, knew what it was.
I think I may have thought I was dying, because I always thought my father could kill me-that's what I thought when he hit me.
His physical abuse was never extreme-certainly never bad enough to leave a mark.
I'd categorize his physical abusiveness as usually mild occasionally escalating to moderate...but I was afraid he'd kill me nonetheless when he went off.
His verbal abusiveness actually probably did me as much damage-perfectionism is a 50-pound millstone around my neck, and it comes from both parents.
I needed something from him...well, he decided he needed something from me in return. So I paid that price at age six, seven and eight.  The memories are still very blurry, but I think several times a week he chose to have sex with me.  I remember waking up in my parents' bedroom and having no idea how I got in there the night before repeatedly, so I was dissociating a lot.
Nowadays, we've come to an understanding.  He doesn't get around me, I don't try to kill him.

Because if I see him, a cloud of red, red rage just descends over my eyes.  I cannot see straight.  I cannot think straight.  All I see is someone who took advantage of my desperation, who was entrusted with my care, and who damaged me for life because he felt like it.

There is no one else in this world I can say I truly hate with the profound depth that I hate this man who is half my genetic makeup.

Yes, he was raped as a child.  I don't care. He's still responsible for his actions.

Yet at the same time part of me wishes...that he'd try to make amends for what he did.   There's a part of me that aches for a real father.

But he's not a real father, he's a 60-something adolescent who can't apologize for the damage he's done to everyone in his life-and I think I'm the prizewinner of that contest.
I couldn't  have a decent relationship with him even if I could get past my own fury.

I don't know how I'm going to feel when he dies. Probably both sad and relieved.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

where honesty got me

I made the mistake of telling the doctor what all I'm irrigating my nose with, and my antibiotics.  He told me that to continue to receive treatment I had to comply with their treatment plan.
The thing is, their treatment plan seemed to be letting me get sick as hell again and then very gently poking at my infection with a light, refreshing application of topical antibiotics...the thing is, of course, that when the infection's raging my sinuses get swollen enough that I can't get them to drain. 
 If stuff can't get out when I stick a dental irrigator up there-essentially pressure-washing my on earth do they think the topical antibiotics are going to get in???
Basically, whenever I report symptoms, if they can't see what I'm talking about when they're scoping my nose...they completely discount it.
So I have to present with flagrant symptoms in order to get treatment. This also implies that they will discontinue treatment before I'm actually completely clear of infection.
 The fact that what I'm doing has reduced the discolored crusty stuff by about 90%-well, they again do not believe me because they don't see the crusting.
 Because I can't stand to have that stuff in my nose...I irrigate it out.
At this point the county ENT people definitely think I'm a hypochondriac.  I heard the word "psych" when they were discussing me.  This is why I need to take my wife with me from now on when I go.
The thing is, I don't want to be made *just well enough* that they can't see infection when they shove a 'scope up my nose. Because they cannot see the sphenoid sinus, they cannot see the frontal sinus...and that's where any remaining yellow crud/green crud/brown crud seems to be coming from.
I really should have brought them some more discolored snot in a jar. Next time I absolutely will.
I want to have no infection present...meaning I see no discharge that's green, or yellow,or whatever other interesting color my nose can make, when I irrigate.
White or clear postnasal discharge is the color it's supposed to be, right?
I think I am going to have to go pay to talk to my ex-allergist about my treatment, because...these people are not listening to me.  Not at all.
I want a second opinion and I'm likely going to have to pay about $200-300 for it.
So much for communication.  I'm furious and tearing up at the same time just thinking about this.
I have three choices: quit going entirely-meaning my condition has no monitoring at all, comply with them and get sicker, or lie.
If I quit going entirely, I'm wasting a probably-needed, useful resource.  If I comply with them-I get sick again. 
I've already seen that to be the case...and found that when I presented with flagrant symptoms, they still didn't give me oral steroids or antibiotics. 
Which is the freaking gold standard from what I can tell from ENT doctor's sites about this.
Lying seems to be the most advantageous thing to do in this bag of dicks.
I am going to have to find a way to afford my old allergy doc's advice. 
I really need at least x-ray my head and tell me when I can stop taking antibiotics, and possibly to tell me if I'm being insane or not.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I think we'll see more of this

I had a super-busy day today, now I'm tired and cranky.

I built planting beds, cleaned the house, went shopping, did a metric shit-ton of dishes. Now it's midnight, and I have to be up @ 6:30 to get to the ENT clinic.

But I saw a couple of things @ Pam's House Blend that scare me:

And this one-they have been harassed,vandalized, and now their house was torched.
And this one, linked by a poster-the guy had lived there for a long time-oh, and he's disabled:

I think it's a combination of things: we're getting scapegoated for the economy...why? 'cause we're here...
The really rabid fundies have a habit of blaming whatever bad thing happens to America on us...
That and we're making progress.
Whenever you make progress you get a backlash.

And a third factor: people seem to just be going mean, and bad, and crazed, and violent, above and beyond the bad economy...there seems to be a lot of people out there with fuses burning away on top of their heads...ready to explode at any minute.
At least people seem to drive more like psychos than they used to.

I was really annoyed at my wife when she spent $900 on a Ruger mini 14.    At the time I thought she was being paranoid.

Now I want a 12 gauge shotgun, a Kalashnikov, and a nice concealed-carry pistol myself.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Here's something else I put up at Experience project:
Posted February 4th, 2011 at 11:15PM
At this point it's a safe bet to think he was dumped.  Still gotta put the ad in the paper this weekend.

Where I live seems to be sort of a "dump zone." People drive out to the butt-end of the county, think whatever it is that animal-dumpers think, and dump their unwanted animals-mostly dogs, but we've had some cats dumped off too.

I was in the middle of such a gawdawful depressive funk that my wife wouldn't leave me alone, and she wanted a soda.  When we went up to the Shell station, there was this black lab who I could tell was just...horribly terrified.

I just wanted to comfort him.

Inside we asked about him.  Apparently he'd been there for four days and wouldn't eat the food the kindhearted counter-ladies had put out.
Nobody could touch him.

Well, I sat down on the curb. I smelled of wet dog. Tornado, to be exact.

Tornado was dumped in the middle of a heatwave and drought.  He was about a month old then. I didn't feel like letting a tiny puppy die of heatstroke in my driveway.
 He is now my crazy, energetic dog. Named Tornado for his tendency to dance around in cicles and create random pinpoint destruction.
 I was going to find a home for him, but my chronic health issues got in the way...
And if I find a better home for him I will give him up, but I love him.  He's all heart.
Admittedly, not much brain, but all heart.

So the lab let me pet him.  He had on a collar, but no tags.  I tried tieing him to a rope and leading him...but in the end had to pick the fifty-pound dog up like an infant.

He's at our house now, and he's doing okay. I don't know if he was abused or not, or is just really high strung, it's hard to tell...he's certainly very nervous.  But I think I know why they might have dumped him. He cries when frustrated, as if he's in pain.
Other than that he's about run-of-the-mill.  He chews up stuff-he's an adolescent dog. He's housebroken well enough, so that's not it. He'll run away if I try to catch him when he's gotten loose, but if I refuse to play and go inside...he pretty much turns around and follows me.  He's eager-to-please.

He joins our old man dog-that we found dumped when we lived in the city...and the aforementioned crazy dog. Yes we put out found dog signs, and nobody called.  Besides that, he's managed to get loose-and the boy doesn't run off.
So he'll probably need to start going to the rescue group days in the weekend afternoons, to see if they can rehome him for us.  Because we currently have eight cats...yep, you guessed it, some of them were dumped.

One we rescued because he was an abandoned cat-and stuck on an apartment roof.  They were going to let him die up there. We are totally stuck with him, because he likes to spray things with pee...and gets to be a mostly outside cat because of it, except for one room that's been sort-of cat-proofed. Nobody's going to put up with a cat that likes to tag their stuff...and yeah, he came pre-neutered, too...

I call him Squirt.

I do have to admit three of the current cat crop are my fault, though, and not that of my wife's.

One of my neighbors doesn't spay (GRR).  A kitten they had walked up to me to say hi.  When I patted her I realized she was very sick and crawling in fleas.
They weren't going to do anything about that.  She was sick enough to have to be force fed by dropper...and when you drag an animal back from the brink of kinda get to liking them.
Besides that, she's super-lovey.
Yep, I'm a total sucker.

  I also seem to have a knack for spotting kittens who have gotten themselves up freeway bridges.  How they manage to get onto overpasses that they can't then find their way down from is beyond me, but they do.  And I drive a compact-enough car that I can pull into the breakdown lane. Two kittens (one's a cat now) that way...and I do want to rehome those two...but cat rehoming is hard.

Cats reproduce like a xerox industrial model. The world does not need any more cats.

People, please spay and neuter your freaking animals.

 And if you get a pet, realize even if it ends up not working out, you have a responsibility to either work with the animal to manage the behavioral problems, or find it a new place to live that's safe...not just go somewhere more rural and toss the dog or cat out to fend for itself, or leave it behind when you move.

Because I've also seen both cats and dogs that looked more like balding, walking skeletons out here...that hobbled away from me when I called to them...and it's those animals, the ones that are obviously dumped, terrified, and starving to death, that really bother me for a long time after I've seen them.

Or the little lumps on the side of the road that's left of them.

the thin blue(and pink) lines

Back in October of last year, this mom's post went viral:

And lots of people on the message boards I go to were cheering for this mom.

Now she's being disciplined by the church and threatened with not being given communion, for refusing to take down the blog post...the church says she's "bearing false witness"...lying about the incident? and "violating Matthew 18"-being arrogant?:

They also seem to think she's "promoting homosexuality". Never mind that the boy in question is 5 years old. He might be gender-variant later, but that has nothing to do with who he chooses to get married to when he's old enough to do so.

He's a kid. Jeez.

Besides that, anybody who is queer or gender-variant can attest to you that their parents can freak out all they want.
And all that will do is cause misery for themselves and their child, possibly to the degree of precipitating the child into suicide.  But it won't erase the queerness or gender-variance.

Probably because those two factors are somehow neurologically hardwired in during prenatal development.

Most of us come to understand, accept, take pride and joy in our shades of queer.  But none of us just wakes up one morning and says, "Hey, I think I'll become a socially-despised minority today for fun!" We come to terms with what is initially an uncomfortable fact about ourselves.

I'm sure I'm not the only person commenting on this out there...but I'd like to use it as an illustration to point out how this reflects on America and our enforcement of gender roles...particularly on born males.
If a five-year old girl were to dress as a guy for a halloween party?  complete with a big fake beard?  Do you think anyone would disapprove?

I think they'd laugh, myself.

As a born female androgyne, I think I get away with being very gender-ambiguous at the moment because I am a born female.  If I were born male and suddenly started wearing long skirts-even with manly boots and a man's shirt...I think I'd get negative reactions.

Gender lines are enforced.  Have you ever thought about why?  Have you ever though about what harm it does to people who are very uncomfortable in the roles society dictates? Have you thought how the male role makes men into emotional cripples, and women into helpless lumps needing rescuers?
(Well...not all or even most of the time, but I'm making a sweeping generalization here. Go with me, for the sake of the argument, m'kay?)

If I choose to run around with unshaved legs this summer, I'm going to get negative reactions. I'm still deciding if I want to get fuzzy or not.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A fast sort of country: The Red Queen Syndrome+ Hoopty Motoring

  • Copied from Wikipedia:
Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you'd generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we've been doing."
"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" [1]
America has become a fast sort of country.  It doesn't seem like it used to be anywhere near this bad, this hard, this tight, this close to the bone...for everybody.  We're all strained and stretched.  We're all nervous.
And it feels like there's another shoe waiting to drop.  Not sure why I say that, just a subconscious impression.

 I got my W-2 the other day.  I made a little less than $4000 more than I'd ever made before in a year...and I've never been as consistently close to broke as I have been this year.
 I don't generally budget, but I'm a natural-born tightwad, and get nervous without emergency I take antianxiety medicine at least in small part because I consistently fail to have enough in the bank to feel that I am protected in case of predictable emergencies.  Such as catastrophic hoopty failure, necessitating the purchase of another hoopty.

(reminds me...rotors are going to need turning Real Soon Now)
My car is actually a Nice Car in the process of becoming a hoopty because I keep not having either the time or money to fix it.  This is more than annoying; it is tragic.

Because it means I will waste more money replacing this car with another, when I could have kept it on the road years longer with better care.
Welcome to the expensiveness of poverty. You don't have the dime now to prevent spending the dollar later.

This is why I'm thinking about getting a decent small used motorbike on credit-because it will do two things: save on gas, and give me a second vehicle, so I can put the damn car in the damn shop, or take the time to fix it myself.
My wife is getting depressed again.  She actually teared up in our couples' counselor's office, because she's terrified that when I talk to her, it's sucking up what little time she has to better herself so she can get a better job.

She's trying to make more money. I'm trying to grow some of our own food-and so do more with the income we have.  Gardening's a skill that will pay off now and in the future in terms of really fresh, organic produce straight from the yard, picked and eaten only minutes apart. An investment in our health...and damn my arms are bulking up, too.

I'm thinking about d-diving restaurant waste to make more vermiculture with. Wow, that's really going to make my car smell good...but it'll make some great wormpoo. The wormpoo will make great veggies.  All for the cost of scooping the nasty out and hauling it home

Note to self-get some buckets from behind Shipley's to collect food waste.  And some stale doughnuts for the wild birds if such are there.
I do want a truck.

Oh, in case you ever wanted to's a link to how to drive a hoopty...and yeah, I've totally used all these driving tips in some of my past cars: how to drive a hoopty

Although I'd add the following tips for good hoopty motoring:
  • Take duct tape, coathangers/baling wire and needle-nosed pliers with you.  If you can recover the pieces of car you lose along the way, you can reattach them using the above.
  • In fact, if you've got one, take your whole toolbox. The hoopty will bring novelty into your life.
  • Old pantyhose can be subbed in for a belt for a few miles(get the hoopty to the parts store)
  • Carry all manner of fluids with you, check fluid levels often.
  • Carry a good spare and a good tire jack...chances are the hoopty will be wearing the tires very unevenly and you may get surprise flats
  • Sea breeze and motor honey are your friends.
  • if the regular brakes aren't working, practice braking a few times with the parking brake.  It will put you into a skid, so you have to pop it on and off.
  • If you have to turn the car off and coast(say, because it's overheating again), put it in neutral, and expect power steering and braking to go away.
  • If you have to brake, but also give it gas at the same time to keep it from stalling, do so with the same foot.
  • No tailgating.  Drive slow.  Carry uninsured motorist coverage.  If you get hit in the rear, you get a 'new' hoopty.
  • If you have a manual transmission and the brakes go...hey, you're okay!
  • Black smoke from under the hood is normal for the hoopty.  Steam from under the hood is not.  And fire is a really bad sign.
  • Your toolkit should include a hacksaw in case your muffler wraps around the axle when it falls off.
  • Carry jumper cables.  Trust me.
  • Duct tape can form structural component replacements.
  • Regular coca-cola can clean battery terminals.
  • NEVER take the hoopty to the shop and say "just fix it!" because the bill would include your arm, leg, and firstborn child.  Specify in writing.
  • Probably better to live with any electrical problems you can't fix yourself.
  • Wear your seat belt. Tightly. Do not expect any onboard hoopty airbag, if such exists, to actually work.
  • Expect the hoopty to lose ground contact over bumps, meaning you won't be able to steer or brake much.
  • Do not ignore damaged tie rods. Really.  
  • Be familiar with the sounds your hoopty makes, so that when it starts making new ones, you can tell. Squealing or grinding ones are bad.
  • Probably better not to clean the hoopty too well-the dirt may be holding it together
  • The Haynes Manual is your friend
  • The junkyard is your friend
  • Tomato cans are your friends

    The hooptyest thing by far I ever drove was what I called the Jeep From Hell(it was a Grand Wagoneer with Issues)...its' fave trick was stalling out backing up.

     If I was in enough of a hurry I'd forget to take it out of reverse before I hotwired it to get it started again, which involved bridging at the solenoid-under the the stupid thing would start up and start chugging away from me, necessitating me chasing it down.

    All of its gauges would swing all the way to the right and then back when I turned on the headlights.  One time when I had some other work done, the way the belts were set somehow caused the power steering pump to rhythmically squirt P/S fluid (flammable stuff) all over the engine compartment.

    It was however, my Tercel (named Shake n' Bake for it's wobble-inducing frame damage and a tendency to overheat) that lost a turn signal housing on the freeway, and I went back and got it.

    DIY androgenizing project WIN!!!!

    For those of you who don't know me, one of the supplement-o-ramas I'm taking is quercetin.  Loads of quercetin.

    I've worked up to 16 grams a day...because the more of these yellow pills I take, the better my allergies and asthma do. I'm not sure more would be helpful, but I am sure it's already costing me a lot for the pills.

    Quercetin works as a mast cell stabilizer and I can absolutely attest to it working-although I didn't see a difference until my dose crested 3 grams-so if you stumbled on this, and want to use it for allergies, you too are going to pop several big yellow pills.

    Small amounts don't seem to cut it for allergy control-personal experience and what I've read online. You need to think in terms of grams for allergy control.

    I myself take ten pills morning and night, 800 milligrams, that come with 500 milligrams bromelain in them.  Bromelain's supposed to increase absorption.  I also take 1500-2000 mg vitamin c at the same time-also to heighten absorption.

    Ideally, all blended into a protein smoothie, since the taste isn't bad...although the smoothie does turn Simpson yellow or some variant thereof. And will stain white clothing.

    That dose, along with some zyrtec, singulair, add-ons of claritin and/or tavist serve my spectacular allergies for about 12 hours before starting to obviously wear off for me-as in the constant postnasal stream increases.

    Now... in the past two days I've found out other stuff quercetin *may* do.

    One-it seems to cause mitochondriogenesis in muscle and brain cells.  This might help explain why I seem to have more energy and need less sleep...when not sick from sinusitis, of course...or depressed.
    It might too explain why I'm more prone to restlessness and agitation these days.

    It *could* explain why my memory seems to be improving.  It could explain why I seem to suffer from fatigue less and wake alert and coherent. I didn't use to.

    I have energy to do things..and unless my anxiety turns crippling, I really, really need it.  I have the Red Queen Syndrome. I have to run as fast as I can just to stay in place...and I really need to be running faster because I'm not getting anywhere.

    But on to the stuff I looked up today...quercetin is an aromatase inhibitor! 
     Not the strongest one, but 16 FREAKING GRAMS A DAY, there may be a decent percentage of estrogen prevention.

    Aromatase is what causes sex hormone precursors to be converted into estrogen...sans aromatase, as I understand it, testosterone is not converted to estrogen.

    With the plant-based polyphenols, of which quercetin is one...the inhibition's inefficient, incomplete, and reversible...but I don't have access to meds. At least not yet, and not until I have more $$$.

     Since I thought I needed grapeseed extract for aromatase inhibition...there are two bottles of DHEA sitting on top of the microwave, unopened.

     You see, without an aromatase inhibitor, I'd be willy-nilly making sex hormones, probably both male and female in equal amounts. Hi puberty...I didn't really want you back, thanks.

    50 mg a day of DHEA is where the "unwanted" side effects have been vocal deepening, facial hair, receding hairline...

    I can afford to take DHEA at that dose, it's not that expensive, if I don't also have to spend another $25 a month on an herbal aromatase inhibitor...and I find I already AM taking an herbal-based aromatase inhibitor for something unrelated, in fact I MUST take it at a high dose in order to counter disease symptoms.

    So I might as well use the other bennies of the stuff, right?  I take about $45 worth a month of it.

     Throw in some 7-keto, resume two teaspoons of turmeric per day (I need to do that anyway to help with the sinusitis), plus two teaspoons a day of the maca I've bought, and I hope to craft a DIY precipitation towards androgyny.

    Oh, and grow some Tribulus Terrestris from seed.  Carefully, probably in containers in the driveway so it can't get out and run amok.

    (For those of you who are buying Tribulus Terrestris pills...dude, the stuff's an invasive weed! Grow your own.  Carefully, in a pot, so it can't get out and slash your tires with its seedpods. 
     It's a freaking hoodlum of a plant.)