Monthly Archives: December 2010

Remember When I Bought THREE Books

Not just any three books. Three books that cover a topic NOTHING like their titles.

In an effort to escape some family grouchiness and impending arguments my sister and I took a trip to Barnes & Noble before our family movie viewing. Completely off topic (it happens a lot, what can I say?) we saw True Grit and it was AMAzing. Bonus was that not a single family member was offended the whole movie…it made the post-movie dinner and drive home MUCH better than usual.

Back to the topic at hand…

Last week Barnes & Noble emailed me recommended readings based on my prior purchases. I had written down two titles to check out the next time I took a visit. I was intrigued by their titles having nothing to do with the subject they explore.

Firstly, A Gate at the Stairs. This is its synopsis: “Twenty-year-old Tassie Keltjin, the daughter of a gentleman farmer, has come to a university town as a student. When she takes a job as a part-time nanny for a mysterious and glamorous family, she finds herself drawn deeper into their world and forever changed. Told through the eyes of this memorable narrator, A Gate at the Stairs is a piercing novel of race, class, love, and war in America.” Maybe I haven’t been doing much intelligent reading, but the last sentence piqued my interest. I like the idea of reading a novel, fiction, that explores social issues. I love my chick lit from time to time, but it usually doesn’t have a strong focus on social challenges.

After reading the description of A Gate at the Stairs (which won Best Book of the Year) I noticed another piece of work from the same author…

Birds of America. The title would lead you to believe it covers the various speeches in this part of the world. The very first part of A Gate at the Stairs’ description on Borders.com read: “In her bestselling story collection, “Birds of America,” Moore wrote about the disconnect between men and women, about the precariousness of women on the edge, and about loneliness and loss.” Maybe I’m weird, but I am VERY fascinated by human dynamics. I like to understand people. We make so many generalities or we let one difference dissuade us from seeing a commonality. It’s a bonus that it looks like one thing on the outside and are something completely different inside – I like things like that. That age-old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” – it’s overused in some respect, but is wise. I only say it’s overused because its popularity has in some respects lessened the power behind the few words. People get so accustomed to hearing something they forget its real meaning. Kind of like violent video games or the violence seen on the news today – constant exposure has desensitized us. Maybe I’m underestimating my peers, but it certainly feels this way. I am excited to get started on this and is the first I’ll be reading of my day-after-Christmas-bookstore-run.

Perhaps the cause of this misunderstanding is due to my looking at books with such unrelated titles. I think it’s that and my disappointment in fellow Republicans. Yes, I said fellow Republicans. In California I feel I’m considered a moderate Republican. In the Midwest I think I’d probably be a conservative Democrat. Since I live in California, and have never registered as anything but Republican, that’s what I’m claiming as my political identity. Sadly, I think the definitions are so personal, to a fellow “moderate Republican” I may sound more like a liberal Republican and others a conservative Republican. I almost feel like there is no point in identifying with a specific party. Hell, some people may think I’m a Democrat. The reality is that the two predominant parties in the US seem to want to be polar opposites. Parties often forget the majority of Americans are somewhere in the middle. The extremists are the ones making headlines. Reality is we’re all somewhere close to the middle, some right middle and others left middle. It’s my firm belief that either extremists are crazy. Maybe not need to see a psychiatrist crazy, but irrational and often too opinionated to even try to see the other side. ESPECIALLY in the Republican party these days, Republican extremists are so frigid in their positions they feel like they’re the only correct ones in the world and anyone who doesn’t see eye to eye has no place in the Republican party. Granted, I don’t pay much attention to the Democrats and their party infrastructure, I am just disappointed in my own party. If I were a Democrat I think I’d probably be disappointed in them too – probably for other reasons, but disappointed just the same.

Now that we’ve had more personal political ideology discussion in one paragraph than in the history of this blog, it’s time to head back on topic.

As I searched the rest of the tables in Barnes & Noble I found a misplaced book – “I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican”. Now, I had JUST been looking at books with mismatching titles AND I have not been too pleased with the Republican party as of late I misinterpreted the subject matter. Under the title reads: “A survival guide for conservatives marooned among the angry, smug, and terminally self-righteous”. What I read was: “A guide to survive conservatives – the angry, smug, and terminally self-righteous”. Obviously I need to pay more attention to what I see. Aside from that, my interpretation of the reading front cover gave me the feeling it was from a liberal point of view. As sad as it may be, I think of the far right as angry, smug AND terminally self-righteous. I guess I just sort of read what I wanted to see.

I was SO excited to read how the “other” side interpreted conservatives. In working with others of different mindsets I feel it’s important to understand the opposition. I’m a nerd and really like reading about political ideology. As a Republican, I want to know how Democrats see the GOP. In any tiff don’t you want to see how the other sees you? I do, it helps you understand and overcome your difficulties.

When I got home I re-read the books cover and backside. It should have keyed me in when I saw FOXNews.com gave a raving review….one which is completely exaggerated. ‘Author Harry Stein has prepared a primer for people who are locked in political exile in their very own homes.” – FOXNews.com’ Statements like this are what piss me off about Republicans. Really? Political EXILE??? Could we overreact ANY more?!?!

Guess I’ll be heading back to Barnes & Noble to return it. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was when I found out the true meaning of the book. While I can only make general observations and base my opinions on those, since I will not be reading the whole thing, it sounds nothing more than a “poor me” commiserating piece of work. Republicans don’t need to throw a pity party, whining to the world and exclaiming the awfulness and outrageousness the other side.

Since I have no intention of adding the book to my library, I feel it wouldn’t be right to read it first. Since I purchased it…not borrowed from the actual library. And maybe I’m being too judgmental too quickly. (Yes, I realize this goes 100% away from my ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ comment earlier) I only feel it’s the right thing to do. I HAVE read the long backside description…which I should have read more thoroughly IN Barnes & Noble. Based on the little investigation I’ve done, I have no interest in reading it. If there’s someone out there who thinks I SHOULD read it and am misunderstanding its true purpose – PLEASE correct me. I have no desire to sound arrogant or rude or so opinionated I refuse to accept any other idea. In reality, I rarely share my opinions because I don’t want to dissuade someone from sharing theirs. It’s very important to me to be open to other ideas, methods and beliefs – no ONE answer is 100% correct – we’re human, not a one of us is perfect. Wouldn’t you want to be given the opportunity to see another way? To learn something that may change your opinion? To potentially avoid looking ignorant and arrogant?

…I’m fairly certain no one wants to look like a moron. So please correct me if I sound like an asshole.


My Wall Hanging Deer Head

It may take a while before it’s actually there. If video games have any remote semblance of reality – I’m a terrible hunter. Last week my dad and I took a trip to Bass Pro Shop and picked up a video game I wanted for our newly purchased Wii, The Hunt. It has such an awesomely blunt title. As great as I was at driving an ATV in my dream over the summer, I am that much worse at driving one in the video game. It’ll give me something to practice. :)

If you’ve had a number of conversations with me, you are likely to know I would like to, one day, have a deer head mounted on my wall. I don’t want/need a whole room full of game. BUT, I do want it to be a deer that I, myself, have shot. Don’t ask me how this goal came to mind. If you do, I can’t give you an answer – I have no idea. I have some speculations about this actually happening. But, hopefully someday.

Until then…THIS is the PERFECT remedy! I almost wish I wasn’t serious about purchasing this and hanging it in my room. Alas, I am. I am also willing to laugh about it – I’m well aware of its ridiculousness. He’s actually much cuter in person. I got a gift card for Christmas, some of it may go to him. I haven’t come up with a name yet, but there will be, I promise to keep you posted!

I mean, if I ever have a son or a nephew I could TOTALLY pass it down to him…if I ever decided to share.

Not at all related: On my mom’s side of the family there are 6 grandchildren. Josh (29 almost 30), me (24 almost 25), my sister (21), Caitlin (19), Caulin (16), Cavan (12). Guess who has a job. My sister, Caitlin and Caulin. Yes, the two oldest, Josh and I are unemployed. Cavan has a legitimate excuse, he just turned 12. It also seems as though the elders in the family have given up on Josh or I marrying, they mentioned my sister being the first and next to get married in a few years. It’s spectacularly comical. My poor sister blushed and retorted reminding my mother’s declaration of her and her boyfriend never marrying. …My family can be very entertaining. Josh and I celebrated our current unemployed status with a cheer. We also seem to have zero plans for New Year’s this year. We’re SUPER cool people. lol We actually really are, just doesn’t look that way on the outside(?) or something like that. Or you have to get to know us to see how truly awesome we really are? Either way, there were some AWESOME awkward moments at this year’s Christmas get together. Maybe I should write a memoir someday about our holiday celebrations?


Eves

It has come to my attention Christmas has been rather greedy. Christmas is Christmas, but Christmas eve is just the day before Christmas.

I think this is very silly. I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving eve. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who neglects the fourth Wednesday of November.

Try as I may, I have not dissuaded anyone from celebrating the eve of Christmas. SO, I’ve come up with the perfect solution! We just need to celebrate our birthday eve’s too!

Thankfully I have two and a half months to plan my birthday eve extravaganza! I think it’s a brilliant idea, my family didn’t seem to think it warranted any great celebration…but a few friends have recognized its sheer genius. (By the way, it took me three tries to figure out how to spell ‘genius’ – don’t judge)

In other news, diabetes has a new nickname. Dickhead diabetes. It’s fitting right now. I have spent about three consecutive hours the last two days, at different times of day, below 55. At one point I was 35. On Friday I spent a good 6 hours above 350. Saturday went really well, til I wanted to get some sleep. Once it’s up it’s SO irritatingly challenging to get it down. And once it’s low…it takes FOREVER to come up. It’s exasperating. I feel like I’m not even carb counting anymore. Just correcting with food sometimes and insulin the other. If I want my “plan” to come into fruition, diabetes needs to get his butt in gear and get it together. My plan will not work if I’m rollercoastering all day long.

Also, when I’m high the pain I experience in my abdomen is horrific. Awful. Terrible. All other ‘bad’ words. It doesn’t help me cope with the highs any better. I need to get back to eating very small meals through the day and if I want a treat of some kind (a large meal or more than a bite or two of dessert) I need to have some time to allow for being sick. The most frustrating part is that I know all of this…but have a hard time remembering when it comes to meal time. I really want…and need to go back to eating how my body seems to like eating.

I know I can do whatever I want to do when it comes to food. But I also have to deal with the consequences. The more simple the meal, the less my digestive system hates me. The lower the carb, the higher the rate of in-range levels. These are basic facts…if only I can drill them in my head. I was doing pretty well about eating early, so that if it didn’t agree with me, Crohn’s or diabetes, I have some time before bed to deal with it. The holidays have completely screwed with me. My mom’s health has also messed with this. I’ve been making more family meals…and my family will not accept a piece of fruit as a meal. Or some vegetables. Or a piece of cheese. I don’t blame them for the inability to accept those options as a meal. But when I’m making a meal I want to eat it too. I don’t want to prepare two separate meals. Before I was helping this often in the kitchen I made my own meals most days. That was only for myself though. Anyway, now that the holidays have mostly passed, I’m hoping I can get back on the right track. My body needs to be mostly happy by January 17th…which means I need to immediately get my act together. Hopefully I can keep this in mind throughout the day.

Sorry this is a pretty non-celebratory, un-topic-ed post. It’s late (or early depending on how you look at it) and I’m dealing with wacko sugars again. I felt like writing was a good use of my time. :)

Even though I haven’t been in much of the “Christmas spirit” – I hope you all had a lovely time with your family’s and friends.


Man With A Plan

Except I’m not a man, but that’s the saying, who am I to change it?

I think, and hope, I may finally be starting to get things together. A plan. Some structure. A light at the end of a tunnel.

Part of me wants to divulge my plan. But, so many of my “plans” have fallen through, I kind of want to wait until I’m more certain. Things aren’t quite settled yet. A few doctor’s appointments and a couple planning meetings. HOPEFULLY, I’ll have cemented said plan by the end next week, or the first week in January. I’m really hoping to have some remedies and approvals, that will allow the plan to move forward.

Have I mentioned I’m a planning addict? I am. I like schedules. I like checklists. I like to know what I’m doing and in what order. I like to see where things are headed. I like structure. This turns into a challenging combination, because I also like spontaneity and dislike rules. It usually works like this: I like to have a plan, but each plan is an adventure and never goes exACTly according to plan, so my plans have wiggle room. When it comes to rules…I have absolutely not problem with rules, so long as I understand the reason and rationale to the rules. I know it’s not the best characteristic, I do, admitting it helps me though. When given a rule I know to ask questions if I don’t understand its purpose.

It would be SO nice to finally be moving forward. I HATE never having a reason to leave the house or even wear decent clothes or do my hair. I’ll be the first to acknowledge my love of naps and need for rest, but I like having things to do – a healthy balance between the two. The last few months…or maybe even year(?) have been really rough. Rough on my body and my mind. It’s so easy to get bogged down by all the things not going right. Easy to bury yourself in all your shortcomings, easy to lose sight of what you want and even a bit of who you are. Life can be cruel and unfair. But even those miserable times can create goodness. It’s a big pain in the ass to see the good while you’re in the midst of it all. Most often it feels impossible. When you finally start moving forward it’s much easier to see the positive results of the misery. And right now I need that. I NEED to know this rut won’t last forever. I need to know I am capable of having a social life and succeeding. I need to start being a good friend…and stop feeling the need to apologize for being such a mess and so down all the time. I need to be able to have stories about my day. (Okay, I know not everyone needs stories, but I love them. I LOVE observing my surroundings and having random things happen throughout my day – to have mini adventures. For whatever reason it makes me appreciate life…and people)

So hopefully this plan is a plan and not a fairytale. Time will tell…and hopefully time will be quick about it. :)


NEW Hair!…Again

Flippy!


Double Tails!


SteeeRATE!

It was a fun Saturday night playing with my hair and makeup. I’m not sure you can see the differences in the eyes, but there were :)


My Heart Told My Head: This Time No

Don’t you just LOVE Mumford & Sons? I fell in love with their music a while back.

I’ve loved this song (Winter Winds) since first listening. “My head told my heart ‘let love grow’ – But my heart told my head ‘this time no, this time no’. How many times to our head and heart contradict themselves? I feel like it’s a constant battle. Sometimes it’s best to listen to your heart and others your head – and a lot of the time you can’t tell which.

Anyway, I’m listening to them right now, thus the inspiration.

It’s pretty fitting too. I feel like I’m always contradicting myself. Listen to this or to that. Do this or do that. Try this or try that. But, life is not lived well when you try, listen and do this and that. If you do, you spend your life in a constant race. Don’t get me wrong, I am opposed to complacency. There is a time and a place for change. It doesn’t need to be constant, especially when it’s your only consistency.

It’s been a LONG time, long enough for me not to remember anymore, since I’ve finished something. I’ve finished books, blogs, movies (sometimes), makeup, showers, days, etc. What I mean is that I haven’t made a decision and STUCK with it. Relationships – I get bored or I am so closed off for too long for it to turn into anything before it’s over. School – it’s an embarrassment to even try to divulge the whole story there. The longest I’ve stayed at a job is 14 months. The longest I’ve lived in one residence continuously is six and a half years, from my birth until December 1992. I’ve taken lessons in six different instruments, but am great at none of them. I’ve taken classes in German, ASL, Latin and Spanish and am fluent in not a one. I change my hair color all the time, I’m going to try keeping it this color for a while, I like it and hopefully will not get bored. You could say I have commitment issues. It wouldn’t be a far off assessment.

People are usually awed by my “life story” that’s far from over (as far as I can tell). They usually make the observation that I’ve lived a lot of life in not so much time. It’s true. I have many many stories and experiences, none of which I would trade. Some of it has been hell. And some make up my fondest memories. Because I’ve lived a lot of life over a short period of time it means I’ve lived a lot but lack a great deal of experience. It’s pretty ironic that I have two incurable diseases – those aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

I’m going to try my hand at being a “good” patient and call the neurologist. If we’re able to come up with a remedy to my hand issues, I may consider finishing my esthetics program. I have just under half my hours. I’m not ready to commit to the idea, especially since I don’t know if it’s possible yet. It’s about time I finish something. And, really it’s something I enjoy. Maybe there’s some type of therapy I can do to keep the pain away? Who knows. It would be really nice to accomplish something.

Perhaps it’s my now nearly six month long slump that has inspired this thought. Maybe it’s the guy who told me something I don’t know how to hear. Maybe it’s my mom’s stroke and feeling like I’m behind where I should and want to be in life. Maybe it has to do with seeing friends and where they are professionally and relationally. Honestly, I think it’s a combination of all of it.

In August my uncle told me I have a world of opportunity, I am young – that I have more opportunity than he did at my age, because of some of the choices he made. I didn’t really believe him when he said it. I’ve felt like I am so limited in my opportunity, that everyone around me is progressing and I am falling behind.

Three years ago I visited the Cal Poly Republican club and ran into a guy who had been a year ahead of me at the same high school. He made the comment that I was so far ahead of where he was and a year younger. My being ahead was very short lived. I have enough sense to know everyone is on their own schedule and it frankly doesn’t matter who has what when. Life is an individual adventure.

Really, I’m just behind where I want to be. It’s not that I feel my friends are ahead, it’s a self assessment. Honesty is a jerk. But, it’s good to know. And it’s probably good that I have set a high bar for myself. I don’t think I have too many unreasonable expectations of myself. It’s time I stop digging a hole in the dirt to put my head in…that only works for so long.

In all honesty, I like change. I like the adventure of change. But I also desire security. Adventure and security are not mutually exclusive. Though, that’s been my mindset for far too long. I think I might have a new year’s resolution this year, even though I think they’re silly. For me, I like to evaluate myself every so often and give myself something I’d like to improve. There’s so much unknown in the world anyway, why not try to know what you are able?

Sorry, late night/early morning blogs never make much sense. They’re usually the result of my brain reeling for too long.


Expecting the Unexpected

I, like most diabetics and people with Crohn’s, have come to accept you need to expect the unexpected. Yet sometimes life throws you such a curve ball that it’s more than unexpected. In reality I guess it’s not more, but it seem unfathomable.

This week has been going on for the last month…or at least it feels that way.

My mother’s stroke has kind of just blown everyone out of the water. I don’t think anyone in my family, including my mother, has quite grasped the magnitude of the situation. It’s hard to look at someone who looks exactly the same, but seeing differences and knowing they’re not really who they were just a few days ago.

No one’s relationship with their parents is perfect. Though I’d venture to say that my and my mother’s relationship has been a bit more strained than most. I love her and always will, she’s my mom. It scares me to see the person she has been since coming home from the hospital, the change in her demeanor and personality – just frightening. Not frightening in the way that you’re afraid for your safety, but frightening that I’m not sure how and if my family can handle the changes in the long run. No one knows if it’s permanent or short term, but I guess that’s life…you never know.

The only thing you can know is it’s best to expect the unexpected.


The Turkey and The Shower

It’s a match made in heaven. Where else would you defrost a turkey? Where? – a refrigerator? No! Never! What would make you do that?!? Oh, you ran out of time? Well, then that’s where your turkey belongs!

To be honest, I thought it was ludicrous when I saw what my family decided this was the most effective method of defrosting your turkey. In reality they did not do it how you’re supposed to in a tub.

We opted:
1-put turkey in bucket
2-put turkey and bucket in the bath, under the faucet
3-turn the shower water to cold and leave it running for 15 hours
4-cook turkey

The ‘we’ should be used lightly, I 100% opposed leaving the tub running that long. Why? Think of the water you’re wasting!! That coupled with the front yard Christmas decorations staying lit 24/7 made me speechless. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not and extreme on the whole ‘green’ trend. I like to recycle and I think we should use things as we need them: lights when you need lights, water when you need water. It’s ridiculous to leave something running when you’re not making any use of it.

Note of interest: The theme song for The Turkey and The Shower is to the tune of The Farmer in The Dell.


Draw Me A Map

Literally, that would be nice. But it’s my new song title titled post. Dierks Bentley…you can’t help but love his music.

Unless you’re my grandmother and uncle. My uncle just doesn’t like country…ask my grandmother if she likes it and she’ll lecture you on how it’s not even music, except the guitars. The guitar playing is music. I learned all this on Thanksgiving.

Wouldn’t it be great if life would give you a map for what you’re supposed to do and when and where you’re headed? I guess that’s the beauty of life though. If we knew what was happening when our brains would go to slush. Every once in a while I’d like a little enlightenment on where I’m headed though.

Going into today I had two legitimate job prospects. I now have one. I am really hoping I don’t bank on this one position and then lose the little bit of hope and motivation I still harbor if it doesn’t come to fruition. Which means, I need to obtain more job prospects.

If someone would like to assure me that I’m not the only one like this, it would be great: I am fantastic at looking for positions and creating a list of where I’d like to apply. However, I am not so great at actually applying.

I have issues counting on other people to help me out with everything going on over the last few months…more like over half a year. Mainly, my parents. I don’t like having to depend on them for pretty much everything. It’s the situation right now though, so I’m sucking it up and appreciating their assistance.

I guess I could use that as a motivator?

Anyhow, I’ve been pretty poor at posting anything lately. I’m tired of talking about the medical crap, health nonsense and overall rather challenging state my life seems to be experiencing. But, to be honest I really have nothing else going on. No money to do anything or go anywhere. I’m cleaning out stuff. My parents purchased a Wii for Thanksgiving. Apparently we do Thanksgiving gifts now. :) I’ve watched a lot of NCIS on USA and of course Law & Order SVU.

My blood sugars hate me and have taken the new pattern of going completely apeshit at random times of day and never two days in a row. I’m not really appreciating it. On Wednesday I had an interview and then went to Ikea for a bookcase, in between I ate lunch. On the way to Ikea, right after lunch, for which I took TWO units for a large deli sandwich on a dutch crunch roll, I dropped below 40. I started lunch at 150-160. I ate some Peanut M&Ms, because that was all I had in the car (I wasn’t driving, I promise). That didn’t help. Finally I stopped my pump. So for the first 30mins or so I had a pump beeping every 25mins reminding me that I had suspended the basal. THEN I had all sorts of double arrow up reminders. The one consistent issue with my blood sugars is that it takes forever to come up and forever to come down. If I can manage to stay below 150 and above 90 it’s a good day. Most days there’s at least one low or one high, all of which can take up to 3 hours to return to range. Three hours is a really long time to have a low…and a really long time to stay high. …I’d like a map for that too.

Aside from needing WAY more sleep than I’d like, Crohn’s stuff has sort of settled. Granted, I have only been eating once, MAYBE twice a day. Fruit and yogurt do NOT turn out well. It’s rather unfortunate, because that’s really what I’d like to eat. Instead it’s usually a bowl of healthy cereal with milk. Tonight was NOT good. My mom and sister wanted to go out…to Red Robin. I’d already had my cereal hours beforehand, but I figured I go anyway. Red Robin’s meal probably totaled more calories than I’ve consumed on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday combined and probably all day on Wednesday. It also contained much more grease than I’ve consumed in I don’t know how long. Needless to say, my body did not appreciate the indulgence. It was a bad choice because of all the fried food and because it was so much more than I’ve been consuming. If I have too big of a meal it makes me nauseous. So, I guess it’s not great, but it’s also pretty consistent, which I appreciate.

I would like some consistency in my life. I need to get myself on some form of a schedule. There is too much randomness for me to handle right now. It gets my head spinning…and then I get WAY too far ahead of myself, get stressed out and eventually I just shut off all forms of thinking.

When I have a built bookshelf, I will share. I am excited to have it up and books on it :) I have too many books and not nearly enough space. They currently stay in boxes, on a high shelf close to my ceiling, above my dresser and span across two shelves that spread the width of my closet. The bookcase has 6 or 7 shelves and will hopefully support my book addiction. …surprisingly I’ve been slacking in the reading area. I finished the last half of a book on Monday. I’ve yet to start another. It would be nice to finish Water For Elephants.

In spirit of the title I’ve given this incredibly random post, perhaps I’ll try to sort some things out and create a bit more structure and “map” out some kind of a daily schedule. Reading, Knitting, Cleaning, Job Looking, Being a Responsible Patient Who Takes Her Meds On Schedule, Waking Up, Hiking/Walking. You know, so I actually accomplish something in my 24 hours each day. Yay for working on a map. :) …or attempting it.


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