Monday, September 22, 2008

Seriously, We REALLY Can't Have That

This is Your Nation on White Privilege by Tim Wise

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Making... like with my hands

For the past few months I have had little or no interest in talking to people, socializing or writing this blog. For someone who loves to run her mouth and loves words (the reading of and the writing of same) this loss of interest is just plain wack-o. Losing interest in things that you love or give you pleasure is, of course, a sign of Depression. However, when I was suicidal I wrote REAMS. Granted it was very boring, pity-party stuff, but reams of it nonetheless. I also yammered on and on to anyone who would listen. So this lack of interest in communication, whether spoken or written does not strike me as any sort of warning sign. Especially since my medication does seem to be kicking in again.

But despite my lack of wordy interest, I do feel the need for some sort of expression. Hello teaching myself the recorder? Yeah, that qualifies. But I have now found something else. Something that (HOPEFULLY) will prove not only rewarding creatively, but also monetarily (at least a little bit!)

I started an Etsy shop! Just like the clever, funny and crafty (as in crafts - not as in sneaky) Bette Jo I am making jewelry! Now granted mine is fun and cute, but it's not high fashion jewelry design like hers, but I would wear any of the pieces I've made. In fact I have been wearing some of the ones that have imperfections and that I wouldn't feel right about selling to someone but that work just fine for me.

So far I have only put up a couple for sale - it's a whole new world and it's taking me some time to navigate. But I'm making a couple of pieces a day so there will be more available soon.

Shameless self-promotion? You betcha.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Clueless

I'm straddling complete enervation and total hyperactivity. It's kinda sucking. I have this 'on the verge' feeling and I'm not entirely sure what the verge is. My apartment is currently reliving its former life of complete disarray and clutter because I got it into my head that NOW was the time to paint the closets and finally, finally get rid of the last of the tchotchkes I want to sell on eBay or give away to charity. Believe me, I have more tchotchkes than a thrift store right now and that's after ditching hundreds of items. It's terrifying really, to think how much stuff I had and how much I still have. How is it possible? Well, partially because when people know you have the collector gene they give you things. I used to love getting stuff. The more stuff the better. Now I cringe at the thought of anything that is not actually USEFUL coming in my door. And I mean really useful. I'm so tired of getting rid of things and still never seeming to be done. Much of it is my own sentimentality and inability to let go of things. I am getting better about that. I actually gave my juicer to a thrift shop the other day. My JUICER! I loved it so! It's been in my closet for close to 10 years and I used it last, um... TEN years ago! Yeah. It's like that. So I'm a little brain fried right now. I don't even want to sort through this stuff - I just want to put it in the trash. But I can't make myself do it. I haven't honed my cut-throat de-clutter skills enough for that. Maybe one day. Maybe one day I won't need those skills any more because there will be nothing left to ditch!

I imagine if I continue to keep up my anti-social behavior I won't have to worry about it as I will have no friends left to give me stuff. So there's that.

I don't know why I have no desire to see or speak with anyone. It's that 'verge' thing. It's why I'm not interested in blogging so much lately too. I just don't feel like 'putting out' I guess. I don't feel like I have anything to say and I'm not in the mood to make it up. I think that what I want right now, and for a long while, is simply not something you can get from your friends.

On a less whiny note, these are some photos I took on a walk through Central Park last Sunday. The new photo up top is from the same day.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Matthew 7:3

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Oh hell, you're thinking: Joy's done gone over to the evangelical's at last. Well, it was bound to happen. After all a woman who wanted to be a nun as a child... Gotcha! I may not be gettin' any, as the kids say, but I'm not ready to check into the convent just yet. (give me a couple more years... at least.)

The Bible quote above, which of course is a part of a larger piece bashing hypocrisy, reminded me of a story. So I thought I'd lead off with that because... ya know, been away for a while and I'm not really sure how this blogging thing works any more!

A few weeks ago I finally got my ass to the optometrist for an exam. Reading has become a nightmare of squinting and holding books up to my nose, it was clearly time for new glasses. What a shock. Happens every year, just like taxes. I got a new scrip for glasses (which I have yet to fill because I've been, as mentioned, preoccupied with other health concerns). But I did get a new contact lens prescription and even ordered a supply of lovely, comfortable disposable lenses. I can even (sorta) read with them - which is a new development for me with contacts. Usually they are for social events only. Some of you may remember the last time I socialized in my old contacts and the hilarity that ensued from that little foray into blindness. So now I have new lenses that I can actually use to SEE! Fun! But I also still have a couple dozen of the old not so much good for anything lenses. I HATE waste. Rather than ditch the semi-useless lenses I did find a use for them. I wear them when I work out! I pop 'em in to go running, when I'm done I pop 'em out and throw them away (they are daily disposables after all). This saves me 'wasting' the old lenses and also saves me cleaning the new ones (they are weeklies). It's been working out really well.

Until last week.

I came home from a really hard run on a really hot day. I got into the shower and then remembered to remove my lenses. No problem it's not like I need a mirror to do that I can just reach into my eyeball and pull those puppies right out. So I did. But when I took out the left lens I felt a searing burning pain. Clearly some shampoo had gotten into my eye while I was removing the lens. I rinsed and rinsed and it finally felt better so I finished my shower, dried off and proceeded to collapse on the couch.

About 4 hours later - out of nowhere - the searing pain was back! WTF??? I ran to the bathroom and started rinsing my eye again and could find no relief. I was sure there must be a dog or cat hair in my eye, because they are both white it's often hard to spot a hair that gets in my eye. Yes, yes, this has happened before. Life with domesticated animals, it's a given. But no matter what angle I tried I could not spot the hair that was causing my eye so much pain. Then I spotted it. Something that completely freaked me out. There, in the white of my left eye, was an air bubble!

All I could think was somehow my eye was popping a blood vessal, or something like an optical aneurysm was going on. I was terrified. I tried to stay calm - no health insurance in this country means no E.R. without careful consideration and/or impending death. I stared into the mirror looking at the air bubble in my poor eye wondering if it meant I would soon be doing a Sandy Duncan/Sammy Davis Jr. and possibly having a really cool party trick to do in future when I noticed the jagged line. There was a jagged line in the white of my eye! DEAR GOD WHAT IS GOING ON???

Yeah. You've probably figured it out. Took me a bit longer. Seems the air bubble was not in the white of my eye but instead trapped under the half of my contact lens that had torn off when I removed it in the shower. When I pulled it out I didn't look at it I simply reached around the shower curtain and flicked it into the trash. What's to look at? Well, if I had looked I'd have known that the searing pain I felt and thought was shampoo was in fact the torn edge of the lens scraping against my poor delicate eye. Ouchie!!! D'OH!

Unfortunately the lens was now pretty hard to get out - being in half and all so it took some extensive, one-eyed, internet searching (Google: "how to remove a torn contact lens") and then a lot of flushing with contact solution and laying flat (laying down with your eyes closed apparently moves the lens back into position so you can get hold of it if it has migrated up under your lid. Good to know.) I finally managed to get the torn bit out with no lasting damage to my eye. It was a bit red the next morning from all the poking an prodding, but by the evening it was fine again.

Had I LOOKED at the lens when I removed it I would have saved myself a world of pain, trouble and desperate web searching. Look first to your own eye, before you can remove the mote from your brother's. See how that ties into the Bible story?

Yeah. I thought it was a stretch too. But you know I had to try.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Oh hi again

A number of years ago (and by 'a number' I mean something like 15-20) I bought myself a plastic recorder. At the time I had never even heard of a recorder and was shocked to find it was such a common instrument and in fact was often used to start teaching kids music. I had never seen one, nor heard of them until the time I actually bought one. Yeah, sad, I know. But to my defense I must say I do not believe they were used in my school, I mean I saw flutes, clarinets, trumpets, trombones, xylophones and of course drums. But never once a recorder. So I think I have a vague excuse for being so ignorant of an instrument that's been around since approximately the year 800(C.E. or A.D. your choice).

In a burst of defiant "oh yeah, you THINK I can't play an instrument" ... (and by 'you' I mean me) I bought a seriously inexpensive Hohner Recorder. Practiced for about 17 minutes and promptly forgot about it. Probably due to the fact that I was too busy doing god only knows what.

The past few weeks (or more, I have no sense of time lately) have been stressful far in excess of what they ought to have been. I had a little 'girl' issue and while I'm normally pretty cool about going to doctors and having tests for some reason this one really took hold to the point that I was literally shaking last Friday when I went to have a consultation with the Oncologist. Ovarian cancer is no joke, and the fact that it is so difficult to diagnose makes it very tough to find early. Thanks medical researchers for working so hard on that one. Yeah. So I was pretty much a basket case. And I have not been myself even a wee little bit. Readjusting to going back on Zoloft wasn't even a part of this one. I was just freaking out.

I was also absurdly unproductive. I'd get up in the morning, spend the day doing pretty much nothing and oh lookie, it's time to go back to bed. And I wouldn't even notice how much time had gone by because I was so preoccupied with 'keeping my mind off it'. Because that worked really well. Uh-huh.

After weeks of this sort of nonsense I decided it was time to DO something. So I decided to paint my hall closet. I have left-over paint from the great apartment redo so I went to work on the inside of the closet which was one of the few spots in the apartment that was still white. While dumping out the closet I found the recorder.

That afternoon waiting for the paint to dry so I could put back the things that weren't getting donated or thrown out I heard what sounded like a kid practicing, of all things, a recorder. It went on for about 10 minutes and it was clearly early on in the learning process and very clearly a recorder. So I dusted the poor little guy off and hit the internet for 'how to play a recorder'. I thought 10 minutes a day was something even I could do; something I could commit to and not feel overburdened with guilt if I missed a day. It's September, back to school time, why not try to relearn how to read music, and actually learn to play an instrument that you could play a melody on? Why the hell not?

So I've been practicing for a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of an hour every day. I have not heard that kid practice again since that initial 10 minutes and now I wonder if I really heard it at all (cue the Twilight Zone music). But I've learned the fingering for 5 notes - whoa... sloooow down! And while I'm still clumsy with it, and given the way my hands cramp up I'd be surprised if I ever get really proficient, but I'm getting better. Maybe in a few months I'll even be able to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, or something equally compelling, without squeaking. I'm thrilled that it doesn't bother the dog or the cat. I figure if the notes were really bad Basil would absolutely be making a fuss. So maybe I'm on the right track.

In the meantime the Oncologist set my mind at ease in that he saw no reason to believe that I have anything other than a simple cyst - and even better - one that doesn't require surgery. (Which is really great since I no longer have health insurance and I live in the United States of America where it's okay to have a socialized school system, police force, fire departments, etc. but not socialized medicine. HELLO? And thank you Mr. Nixon you sonofawhore. Sorry, no, I'm not going there right now because I don't want to get myself riled.)

Any way. I'm pretty damned delighted and I'm going back to practice my 5 notes for another 10 minutes. Look out Twinkle Twinkle, IT'S ON!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ahhh-OOOO-Gaaaaa... boing

I have not been in the cheeriest lately. Preoccupied. Blah-blah. But this segment (actually all the coverage of the Republican Convention) is so hilarious I actually laughed so hard I cried.


So the RNC is good for a laugh. Not much else, but a laugh.