Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fate, free will and all that jazz

Okay, so I know I haven’t written in a while. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to, mind. But between the business of life, illness, and family obligations, writing somehow fell by the wayside—which is sad, when you consider it is one of my greatest joys in this world.

So, why return to writing now? Well, I was very gently nudged by a sweet friend and I couldn’t say no—especially since it’s Christmas, and she expressed the sentiment that my writing something would be a gift.

She probably sensed that my muse was on a long holiday, so she prompted me to write about a particular topic. Even as I write this bit right here, right now, I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to say.
So, there it is. For better or worse, here it goes.

The topic given to me was life. It’s a pretty broad topic, isn’t it? There’s so much to say about it—what can you say about it? It just sort So, in her infinite wisdom, my friend narrowed the subject further by asking me to expand upon how fate and freewill affect life.

Basically, I believe in both. But that sounds both contradictory and stupid, so I’ll have to explain.

My beliefs are a mixture of a thousand different faiths—some I’m pretty sure I’ve made up myself—science, and the philosophy of others who’ve lived before me. (I’ll always believe the past holds the key to the future.) So, when I say that you can have both fate and freewill, I’m very, very sure of it, partly down to my view on existence itself.

To me, the universe might as well be infinite, for there is so much we don’t know about it, and there will always be new things to discover every microsecond of every tiny Earth day. So, you have this universe and it’s in flux and it’s ever-changing.

Then, I believe, there is a higher power. Whatever you call this power doesn’t matter. You could call the power God, Vishnu, Allah, really doesn’t matter. In the Bible, God refers to God’s self as “I Am That I Am”. Now, before you freak out and go, “OMG, she’s getting religious and attempting to indoctrinate me”—I’m not. Not in the least. Rather, I want you to think about the infiniteness of that name, “I Am That I Am”, and how it applies to the universe, a higher power (if you believe in one), the world and even you yourself. “I Am That I Am” means that I Am is infinity itself. There is no beginning, no end, no gender and, most importantly, no limitations. That is what “I Am That I Am” means. God is all. The beginning, the end—and everything in between. To me, God is the universe, God is in you, and me—and in my personal belief, God existed before any of this and created it all, so the laws of nature don’t really apply for one outside of all this nonsense.

I believe what many Christians call God the Father is a creator, an ouroboros that exists outside the normal laws of our universe. I Am That I Am exists outside of reality. I Am That I Am uses the aforementioned name because I Am existed before anything else—particularly the concept of names—ever did. (Therefore, when God says “I Am That I Am”, God is not only referring to God’s name, but also God’s function.)
That is why I always sneer when people put limitations on God. They make God out to be a small, hateful man. My God is infinite. My God can do anything. My God is All. By thinking for myself, I somehow have the most complete faith, despite what purists of most religions who are reading this are probably thinking, because I truly believe that God is everything and infinite and can and does do anything.

So, why am I bleating about God anyway if this is an essay on the influences of fate and freewill? Simply, it’s a nonscientific way to explain a very scientific concept: we live in an existence where so much exists beyond our world, billions of billions of galaxies, holding more stars than anyone could ever count. And the further away you look, the longer ago it is. And when looking at the past, we see we can’t really change it. Stars exploded. Galaxies collided. It’s highly likely civilizations far greater than ours lived and died a thousand times over. And there is NOTHING we can do to change it. We can see the past so vividly—we can even see the Big Bang that started it all—but we can’t touch it. It’s gone. It’s not coming back. (Well, not until time begins again—but that’s for a different essay.)

Murphy’s Law goes something like “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. Let’s expand upon that and accept this very strict fact: Anything that can happen, will happen. We are not limited to the bad. As stars die, they are born. A couple gets divorced, another marries. The universe craves balance, I think, otherwise it’d simply be too unstable to exist, or at the very least support life such as ours.

Again, the past is gone. But each second we’re alive, we’re careening into the future. And there’s the point: each decision you make is one foot through the door into the future. You’re in a never-ending hallway and life requires constant decision-making until the day you die or lose your mental faculties—whichever comes first.

And that’s when we start thinking about fate vs. free will. A lot of people like to divide it thusly: If God exists, fate rules, and there is nothing we can do about it. If there is no God, we’re on our own, and free will reigns supreme.

The universe isn’t black and white. It’s one, big, giant in-between place. And people, in their small thinking, with their small God and tiny science, like to think their way is the only right way. Religion and science can be mutually exclusive—true. But spirituality and science are the best of friends. Religion is a practice, a ritual, that you do to make sure that you’re in The Club—the “I’m going to heaven” club or the “I am a pillar of my community” club. Spirituality is where you accept that the limitations that man puts on God are just plain stupid. You can be a Christian and realize that God has no limitations. Likewise, you can still be an atheist (which is often stricter than most religions I’m aware of), and realize that the universe is still full of amazing wonders that are bigger than us. And whether you want to build a religion around those wonders is your business. (Considering you’re an atheist, you probably don’t—and that’s okay.) But you make the universe—which you are a big part of—so small by denying that there are things bigger than you, things we think are magic now, but we’ll call science just as soon as we actually understand them.

In my thinking, because God is many-faceted and limitless, and the universe in which we live—the laws of which govern us all—are part of the great I Am, everything is possible. Thus, fate and free will are not mutually exclusive, just as science and spirituality are not.

Now’s when the science happens:

Okay, so, say I make a decision. I decide that I will take the bus to Nashville. On the surface, it seems like that is that, big deal, whatever, etc. And that’s true, if you want to think with limitations (which so many people seem so fond of—amateurs).

There are actually many factors regarding my prospective Nashville trip. First of all, I could decide not to go. And I have lupus, so that’s very possible. That is Universe B. (Universe A is where I went to Nashville.)
Because I didn’t go to Nashville, I stayed in my home town. If I call the doctor because I feel unwell, that is universe B1. If, instead of calling the doctor, I decide to “wait and see”, that is universe B2. In universe B1, after leaving the doctor, I need to have lunch. I could either make a sandwich at home or pick up fast food. If I pick up fast food, that is universe B1a. (Making a sandwich would be B1b.) Let’s say I go get fast food. It could either go well (B1a1) or I could get food poisoning (B1a2). Let’s say I get food poisoning. I could be fine (B1a2a), or I could need to go back to the doctor (B1a2b). If I go to the doctor, he may send me home with anti-nausea meds (B1a2b1) or he may admit me into the hospital (B1a2b2).

Do you see how the choices begin to snowball? Simple minds would bring it back to the lupus thing and say because I didn’t go to Nashville I eventually ate a bad cheeseburger. If I had just sucked it up and gone to Nashville, I might’ve gotten a different cheeseburger at a different restaurant in the same franchise and had been fine. They would say, because it didn’t turn out that way, it was obviously my fate to have food poisoning. Sucks to be me.

But since I laid out to you the path it took the hypothetical me in these multiverses to get to that one specific universe where I got food poisoning, can you honestly say it was some preordained thing that someone, somewhere, decreed I had to get food poisoning? No. Logically, if there was someone out there that decided I needed to get food poisoning for some reason regarding fate, the path would’ve been much simpler, with far less variables and input on my part.

However, in that hypothetical scenario, it was indeed my fate to get food poisoning. Why? Because I made a bunch of decisions that tied together that culminated in that catastrophe. I had free will. I could’ve done so many things differently prior to the decision I made whether to get lunch out or go make a sandwich at home, and each one would’ve resulted in a different universe, each universe a descendant of that one where I decided whether or not to take a bus to Nashville.

Every action has a consequence, driving you to make another decision until you wind up at some point that is enough of a roadblock to feel like “fate”. (Whether that is a pleasant roadblock or not is really not the point.)

So, do I believe in fate? Yes. Do I believe in freewill? Yes. How can I believe in both at once and get away with it? Because, in my infinite reality where all things are possible, they conspire together to make life happen, propel it forward and things. Without their synergistic relationship, we’d all stagnate. And that’s never any fun. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

10 More Reasons I Won't Date You

In my first post on this topic, I foretold that there would be more reasons, and here, those reasons be:

1. I don't like you. 
If I don't like you, I'm not gonna like you, so you need to back off. Simple as. 
I can't stand those guys who think that everyone should like them. And they're not necessarily the golden boys either (not that there's much of those around in real life these days), but it's skuzzbags too. There's always one, out of any genre of male, who thinks he's God's gift to women. AND I HATE THAT SHIT. You are nothing. Back off. 
funny gifs
(For those who think this graphic is too graphic -- you're a pansy.)

2. You hate animals.  
I hate people who hate animals. I really do. There's nothing more pathetic than picking on someone weaker than you. (That'd be like me picking on half of you who are reading this.) 
And, after all, we're all animals. So, if you hate animals, you must hate me, since I'm an animal. And if you hate me, then I hate you, and if I hate you? Then that'd make *me* an animal hater. And it turns into this unending snowball of hatred. Especially since, as a hater of animals, you hate yourself. (Self-loathing is one of the more pitiful states of being, don't you think?) 
3. You don't appreciate the awesome genius of Schneiderisms.  
If you can't understand why beating someone with a sock full of butter is funny, then I don't think we'd have anything in common. 
Because, see, while you're still trying to wrap your brain goo around the concept of a butter sock, and how it can be an effectively applied as a weapon, they're eating drumsticks:
 (Credit: iCarly Gifs)

And doling out life valuable life lessons:
(Credit: Schneiderisms)

4. You personally identify with certain Group X songs. 

(Is this even the original video?) 

5. You try to tell me that being with you is what I should want.
Refer to the first gif. I mean, seriously -- you don't know what I should want, could want, did want, or do want. Only I know what I want. And it's not someone who thinks they can tell me what I want. 
Make sense? (Yeah, you know it does.)
6. You don't know what Red Dwarf is.  
If a gentleman doesn't know the awesomeness of Red Dwarf, then he is a....
(Gif via sherlienomates.)
Or just plain ignorant. I mean, it's been what? 24 years or something? You've had my entire lifespan to get acquainted with pure genius. What are you waiting for? 
(If you didn't know and are STILL waiting, you are, indeed, a mega smeghead.)  
7. You want to cuddle.  All the time.  
I am a person -- not a teddy bear. I don't want to hold your hand and watch Pretty Woman while you cry and talk about how you feel like you're Julia Roberts and I'm Richard Gere. That's what your man friends are for. (Male bonding, right?) 
8. You have STDs. 
I want to make this clear: I AM NOT A SLUT. 
But I don't want to potentially have a relationship with a pox-ridden...human. As a people, humans are pretty gross, but I have no patience for the one's who don't take care of their shit. It's pretty idiot proof: where a condom and get tested. 
Now that *everyone* has access to the knowledge of STDs and the havoc they wreak, there's NO EXCUSE. Do we or do we not live in the 21st century? (Of course, if certain Republicunts had their way, we'd all have syphilis, but that's a story for another day.)  
9. You wear spandex bike shorts as casualwear. It is not the badlands of 1992.

This image provided by Wikipedia perfectly stresses my point:

(To his credit, he is NOT removing the suspenders and trying to pass these off as day wear.)

10. You insulted my intelligence. 
Having two X chromosomes doesn't make me dumber than you. If anything, it makes me superior. Y is, after all, a pathetically small chromosome. X is even killing it. It are true!
 ('nuff said)

And there you have it, folks: ten more reasons why I will never date you. 

If you're asking yourself "Is this the end? Has she run out of reasons?" I would tell you not to worry your stupid little brain cavity about it: I will always have more. Just as I'm sure you have plenty of reasons not to date me either.

Friday, April 6, 2012

"Commented" vs. "Said"

Dramatic people say "she commented" instead of "she said". This is because they take everything someone other than them says as hostile and "commented" is their way of expressing and amplifying the (usually) nonexistent hostility.


I would say: "She told me that he was short."

Dramatics would say: "She made the comment that he was short."

If you don't see the difference, you're probably dramatic.

To further illustrate the point...

I would say: "He said it was kind of lame."

They would say: "He commented that it was kind of lame."

Why "commented"?

It's to agitate you. "Said" and "told" are very blah words. We use them all the time and we see them in books like there's no tomorrow. (Especially books at a third grade reading level where those are the only two ways to convey that the characters said something.) But "commented" is different. Comment is less natural than saying. Comment implies effort and even thought. So, when the result is something hurtful a la ("He commented that she was fat.") It implies that "he" -- whoever he was -- put a lot of thought into that insult. More thought than if he just randomly "said" it. And the dramatic purposely inflates that notion by relaying the message in the way they do.

The difference between saying "said" and saying "commented"

When you say "he said", you're just telling someone what somebody said. It's the intentions that are behind why you're telling people that all that determine whether or not it's gossipy or something else stupid. But when you said "he commented", "commented" becomes the codeword to let people know that you ARE gossiping, you think this is some juicy shit, and you want everyone to know about it.

To bring the message home, I give you two pics of Marie Antoinette: 

This is "she commented". Notice the dress, how it's not so much a dress as a thing of architecture. Seriously. The designer had an egineering degree. And that's not draping on the dress -- it's drapery. "She commented" is elaborate, thought out, calculated and, most importantly: ridiculous and unnecessary.

This dress is "she said". Simple, effective, and to the point. You don't have to have a map to navigate the truth. There's no buttresses holding the damn thing up. It just is what it is. And that's all anything ever should be.

(And, for the record, in dear Maria Antonia's case, "she said' got her in enough trouble as it was -- and she didn't even say it!)

P.S. These paintings are both by the same artist, my favorite of the period (and Marie Antoinette's too!), √Člisabeth Vig√©e-le Brun. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Reasons Why Humans are Superscary

1. According exhaustive studies done by UC Berkeley and Yale universities, humans are fucking nasty. Each time a human walks into a room, it releases like 55 bajillion bacteria into the atmosphere. The gaggle of bacteria then waits, patiently, to infect a new host. And thus, the circle of life continues all thanks to your unwitting contribution.

2a. This was popular:

2b. This is popular:

3. 6000 American teenagers lose their virginity every day. Most of them don't know how to use condoms. Half of those get pregnant and then a quarter of those have twins. I JUST SOLVED THE POPULATION MYSTERY. (All by using hastily rounded-off facts/numbers and inventing some when need be. You're welcome.)

 4. According to Katie Melua, there are 9 million bicycles in Beijing. And Beijing is actually having a bicycle shortage. Another population tidbit, but usefully useless all the same. And it comes with a song:

5. According to the National Weather Service, most humans believe themselves to be impervious to tornadoes. This has necessitated the need for new, more alarming tornado warnings with phrases like "not survivable" coming to a tornado outbreak near you.

(And I am not making a joke out of tornadoes or their victims. I do find the whole thing of not seeking shelter alarming, however. But if a false sense of invincibility DOES turn out to be nature's form of population control...see 3 and 4.)

6. This exists:

Yes, your eyes are working properly, and yes, that is bondage champagne

I have nothing against alcohol. As long as you're not driving, I don't give a shit. 

But the thing is, one human, the one they call Jean Paul Gaultier, not only fetishised it, but successfully marketed it to the fashion sheeple of the world. One might say, "Oh, you can market anything to anyone who'll wear paper bag pants with a scarf as a necklace", and while that's generally true, the fact he pulled it off just goes to show you how scary humans with power and money can be. 

7. This was another human with power and money:

Anything that has happened before can happen again. I'm just saying. He's like the prime example of why humans are scary: they elect fascists. Don't make the same mistake, humans.

8. Squirrels know more than most humans:

Foamy's right. Lying down in traffic isn't a valid form of entertainment. And if you've done it, then you're an idiot. Like, an actual idiot. Congratulations. What's superscary is the amount of humans who enjoy this pursuit. It's -- like -- the new croquet or something -- I dunno. (My frame of reference for leisure activities is  admittedly anachronistic.)

9. Bullies sucked when we were kids. But, now that they are backed by the supercrazy power of social media, they're pretty much a nightmare. Humans have actually tried to stop their innocent offspring from seeing the Bully Movie. So, kids are committing suicide and a lot of people are ignorant, and here's a project that's actually trying to make a difference and the door is being slammed in its face. Humans are superscary because they want to make the small weak and make the weak frightened. Nothing is scarier than that bullshit.

And FYI, Foamy perfectly illustrates how to deal with bullies:

"Never throw the first punch, always have a witness, and AIM FOR THE BALLS! Seriously -- AIM FOR THE BALLS!"

Self-defense, damn it.

 10. A lot of humans actually think the world is ending this December just because the ancient Mayans didn't bother to calculate their calendar past the year 2012. What's superscary is the obsession with it. When they start doing things about said obsession -- then it's a supercrisis.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Response to Montgomery's Raid on Education Funds

My response to HB159 and HB160 (two attempts by Montgomery to legally raid the Education Trust Fund and use the future of Alabama's children as corporate leverage):

 Raiding the education fund is not only a slap in the face to students and teachers alike, but it also sends a clear message that Montgomery wants to dumb down their future voters as much as possible, so they get away with more stuff like this. It also proves the Republican agenda is not one that advocates a better life for its people, but one that wants to give kickbacks to the rich, while trodding on the backs of innocent children and hardworking educators. Shame on Montgomery.

HERE is a petition to stop this travesty. Be a human and sign. It may not stop it -- this is a red state -- but it shows you're one of many who thinks this is bullshit. And that alone is worth taking the minute out of your day it takes to sign this.

And it's funny -- big government is bad only when it's federal, right? That's what's so ironic.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I would be dead without opioids

Opioids aren't the devil: you are. By "you", I mean quite literally you, me, them, and -- most especially -- all other human beings.

Opiates are just innocent alkaloids that come from a poppy flower. The alkaloid isn't the devil: you are, because it's what humans do with it that's the problem. Some take too many, some shoot it into their veins, but the absolutely worst thing humans do to opioids is you demonize them. You're the puppet master, who was in control all along, yet you're blaming your puppet.

(That makes you a pretty stupid puppet master, doesn't it?) 

And there, in a nutshell, is the unhealthy relationship the human species has with the opiate alkloid.

My Story

I have had lupus my whole life. Even when I was three, I could barely get up after having sat on the floor playing Barbies. And, when I did, my knees would be covered in bruises.

But the techniques for diagnosing lupus weren't that good back then. I was tested, and it came back negative. Life went on.

Until I was 12 and it came to a screeching halt.

When I was 12, my appendix died inside me. I lived in that excruciating pain for six months before anyone would do anything. The only doctor wacky enough to open me up and try to see what was causing the problem had no idea what he was doing, didn't suture me up on the inside, and I developed peritonitis.

Peritonitis is often described by those in the know as being "ten times more painful than child birth". Your insides stab where you are leaking God knows what, but they're also bloating, because your kidneys have failed. Bloating on that scale, is quite painful. After all, your parents can't hold your hand, because when they do, your skin explodes with the fluids of kidney failure. Having 24 IVs blow -- some in places IVs should never have to be -- is painful. In a way, septic shock got me through it. It dulled the pain enough to where I could get done what I needed to get done to survive.

I wasn't on a single painkiller -- not even acetaminophen (Tylenol, Paracetamol) -- during my ordeal with peritonitis. Believe me when I say, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemies. (It wouldn't be a fair fight.)

It was only AFTER appendicitis, peritonitis, and their corrective surgeries did I encounter opioids. At first, it was morphine. (After all, having an 8 inch gaping wound in your abdomen is painful. It needs the big guns.) But then it was slowly dropped down to lesser values of related medicines, until I was sent home my still wide-open abdomen and some codeine.

I took the codeine for a few months, like I was supposed to. And that's when the catalyst happened: I came to a point where the medicine just quit working -- I was in the same amount of pain whether I took it or not. (Now, of course, I know that that is called 'tolerance'.) A lot of people just up their dosage when opioids do that -- and they will. But I did something less dumb: I quit taking the medicine altogether. (This is important, so remember this part for later.)

And I never had opioids again. Because after I was 12, my lupus -- which I still didn't know I had -- went into remission for several years.

I started feeling bad again in college. I was always so tired, I'd just fall asleep wherever I happened to be sitting after I'd get home. (Sometimes, I would even sleep sitting up straight, which should've been a clue.) And I ached. The sleeping was partly to escape the aching. However, I chalked both up to having to walk several miles a day (including a minimum of eight flights of stairs) while weighing only 100 lbs and carrying a heavy messenger bag. I even blamed all the aching in my hands on the note-taking during lectures.

But, in my second semester, things got weird. My first strange problem was that I started feeling tremendous chest pain every day. I thought I was too young to have a heart attack, but it finally got so bad where I became convinced I was. Went to the ER and it turned out I had pancreatitis. I had to be on an IV overnight and could only eat ice cream for about two weeks.

Then, a couple of months later, I wake up with cheeks swollen like a chipmunk and they burned when I would chew. I had no clue what was wrong with me, but my mother had seen it before: I had mumps. And who, in America, has mumps nowadays? Especially when they were vaccinated specifically against them? My doc at the time was so young, he'd never seen such a thing as mumps. It astounded him. (I astound a lot of doctors.)

So, I go on for the next two years with weird symptoms and things -- just weird stuff that shouldn't happen. And the aching grows worse, and worse. By last year, I couldn't complete my classes. I received a withdrawal fail.

My Experience with Chronic Pain and Its Effects

By the age of 21, I was diagnosed with lupus. (Already had a fibromyalgia diagnosis from when I was 18; it's a fact the two conditions are often friends.)

Not being able to do my schoolwork due to extreme aching and fatigue was just the beginning.

When I say I ached, I mean I hurt. It was so bad, I couldn't grip a stick of charcoal. It was so bad, I could barely walk; when I walked, I would hobble and the only place I would hobble to was the bathroom. My life -- my entire world -- became centered around my chair in the livingroom where I wasted away.

I spent my days writhing in pain, literally squirming and crying because I hurt so bad. I couldn't think straight. I was always on edge because the pain was always there. I shook. All the time. There was no relief. Sometimes, I would stay up for three days at a time because I hurt so bad, I couldn't sleep. I would literally stay awake until I couldn't anymore. That's the only time I would sleep.

One time, I only had three hours of sleep in one week. I couldn't take it any more. I hadn't eaten since who knew when. I went to the ER and told them, "I hurt really bad and the NSAIDs my rheumatologist gave me aren't making a dent in it." And I told them how I hadn't been sleeping, how I couldn't fathom food, how I lived my life in that stupid chair, which had become my prison.

This was a doctor who knew me. He knew I wasn't a wimp. He knew I went through hell when I was twelve. And he told me, honestly, that the ER can't help for chronic pain -- a certified chronic pain clinic can.

And that's what I found. I looked up certified chronic pain clinics in my state and found one an hour away, and got an appointment.

The Toll of Chronic Pain on my Body

At the pain clinic, my blood pressure was 163/120; my pulse was 160. That was from the sheer amount of pain. It can be sustained briefly by a young person, like myself, but it's not healthy or safe.

That was the toll severe chronic pain put on my body. The psychological toll was that it exacerbated my Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which I got as a souvenir when I was 12.

When I first walked into the pain clinic, my whole world was small, painful, a living hell. Every day was a nightmare beyond what any healthy person will ever be able to understand. I was in agony and there seemed to be no escape. I literally saw my life being muffled out by the pain. To a great extent, it had been. I was all but dead already.

How Opioids Saved My Life

I was given a low dose of hydrocodone to treat my pain. It took the edge off enough where there was a complete drop in blood pressure and heart rate. (I was almost normal that very week.)

After about two weeks, I got where I could walk around my house. Do you know what a blessing it is to walk? Even when it hurts, walking is one of the greatest things there ever was. And I never knew that until I was 12 and, for the first time, I couldn't. For the second time in my life, I could walk again. It is the best feeling. It was physical salvation from the hell I was living.

That physical salvation led to a mental one. What was misdiagnosed as "major depression" almost immediately disappeared with opioid treatment. Without the constant searing pain in my joints, I could think clearly and see hope. Before, I was helpless, which naturally leads to hopelessness. Pain treatment helped me; help gave me hope.

A year later, I am literally reclaiming my life. My world doesn't consist of a chair in my living room. My world is your world. Be afraid. I started riding the stationary bike, doing aerobics, and -- most importantly -- dancing. My resting heart rate is getting more and more normal. I am living proof that, with help, one can reclaim their health.

And my life just keeps getting better.

Now, I sing every day; before my surgery, I had an officially documented 5 octave singing range. I was a very good singer. I struggled for years to get that back; I'm still working on it. Now, after getting pain treatment, and being able to sing every day again, I'm finally back at 4 octaves. I know I'll reach my goal and maybe beyond now, because now I have the physical strength to do so.

Now, I can play with and interact with my youngest sister and my nephew (both four). Before, I was just someone on the sidelines of their lives, always too sick and in pain to join in. Now, I can be a part of their lives. And that is the greatest gift.

For a long time, I subsisted on forcing myself to eat as much as I could; in pain, that was only about 800 calories a day. More than a concentration camp victim, but definitely below the starvation line. It was the perfect amount of calories to tell my body to hold onto as much weight as I can.

But I've lost 30lbs since my peak weight. My face looks like my face again. Do you know how wonderful it is to look in the mirror and actually see you?

Why I Wrote This

There are those out there who think people like me should be denied opioids. They think this because they're uneducated. They think this because they hear about the dangers of "hillbilly heroin" and high schoolers breaking into their parents' medicine cabinets.

What they don't hear is all the good opioids do when they are used correctly under medical supervision. And that's the story everyone needs to hear.

To make things worse, lawmakers are having hearings about the subject of painkillers -- when, where, how they should be allowed, etc -- without the testimonies of pain patients and chronic pain specialists. 

Read more about the ignorance of these hearings: HERE.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Survey!Time: I wrote this over a 4 month period *genius*

 Getting to know me, getting to know some about me, getting to like me, getting to hope I like you...

1. When was the last time you were told you were cute?
Since I have a vagina, I get told that every day; it doesn't matter if I am or I'm not: guys say it mostly as a device to lure you in. I've quit falling for it. 
2. When was the last time you were truly, completely happy with your life?
Spring/summer of 2008 was the best time of my life, until it wasn't. I was 19, had a slamming figure (21 inch waist with 42 inch bust), was making the best grades I ever did in college, and -- most especially -- I was in a very good place with my personal relationships. Family, friends, l'amour. All of it was wonderful. And my youngest sister Ellie and my first ever (and only) nephew Aiden were the best babies there ever was. My heart and life were so full of love, and I was so loved, it was like living in a dream of perfectness. But the thing about good dreams: someone always wakes you up from them.
3. When’s the next time you will see the person who absolutely takes your breath away?
I'm never letting anyone have that power over me again. I'm too old, too grumpy, and jaded enough to know that if someone wants you bad enough, you'll take THEIR breath away and they won't stop until you know it.
But in perfect!world, I would be capable of such a girlish sensation and I would have someone who made me that happy in my life. 
4. What are you most looking forward to tomorrow?
Being alive another day. That's supercool. 
5. What is your relationship status?
I'm going to give you a vote of confidence and assume this is obvious. 
6. Do you think you will be in a relationship two months from now?
My last relationship taught me that love isn't enough. And also that when guys get depressed, they assume they have fallen out of love -- in less than a week, because THAT'S possible -- and then leave you feeling like you've been gutted and left for dead in a lonely, rainy alleyway.
Two conditions would have to be met to ever induce me into being in a relationship again. #1) I would have to be really in love and really happy; now that I know what it feels like, I can't go back to less-than. #2) The potential partner would have to assure to me (and preferably prove to me) that they were committed to commitment. That they would talk to me if they have a problem instead of taking unilateral actions that rip my heart out, kill his soul, and make people think we're both fucking lunatics: him for what he did and me for caring that he did it. 
 So, no. I don't think I'll be in a relationship in two months time. 
7. Do you hate anyone at this present moment, if so how many?
I can actually say with all honesty I literally don't hate a single living soul. People like Hitler? I don't think they ever had a soul. People who antagonize me? I think they're so pathetic, I sometimes literally feel sorry for them. Yeah. I actually practice what I preach, suckers. I bet you didn't think I did, but I do. 
8. Would you like to punch anyone?
Definitely. Punching does not go against my moral code/philosophy of life, etc. Punching can actually be very good for the soul. 
9. What is your background on your phone?

I will always love Repo! The Genetic Opera. (And Blind Mag most especially.)
10. Are you a mean person?
No. I'm opinionated and let people know it. There's a difference. In truth, I rarely say things out of meanness and anger. I mainly say negative things as an expression of my disappointment in someone or something. 
11. Is there anything you want to get tattooed on you?
I used to want "amor vincint omnia" (the saying, NOT the painting). I don't jive with that philosophy anymore, though.
12. Would you consider yourself tall?
I consider me 5'5 1/2". The question is: do YOU consider me tall? Because height is all about perspective. My 21-year-old sister thinks I'm really short; my 4-year-old sister thinks I'm super tall.  
13. What’s your relationship with the person you last texted?
I haven't texted in over 24 hours (as my life resides outside of my phone). But it was my step-uncle. And the jerk never texted me back. (I have multiple step-uncles by all sorts of situations imaginable; this one is my step-uncle via his younger sister marrying my older father.)
14. Have you ever had someone pick you up off the ground and carry you?
I will assume we're talking about since I was six. And yes, surprisingly. 
15. This time last year, who did you like?
Myself. And the feeling was mutual.
16. Are you wearing any jewellery?
No. I have six piercings and I usually stupidly let them grow up and have to re-pierce. Myself. Manually. Without those fancy piercing guns, antiseptic, or any of that wimpy shit. (To quote Jerry Trainor, "I phone it in.")
17. Is it possible to be single and happy?
Certainly, temporarily. I mean, I know I am -- temporarily. But let's be honest: humans are social creatures and at the end of the day, no one wants to die alone. It's not pretty when they don't find you until you can be smelled from down the block. And that shit happens. It happened to someone's grandmother I know. 
18. Do you find piercings attractive?
Depends who the piercings are on, where they are at, and why the pierced one got pierced. There's nothing unsexier than doing it just because you thought it was "hardcore". I mean, that's about as unattractive as it gets. 
19. Ever been called names?
I was literally called the "dead lesbian" by several classmates. In person. To my face. They said they thought I was dead and it would've been better if I'd died. And as for the lesbian thing, middle schoolers call anyone gay whether they are or not. I'm not gay, but my good friend was; since she was, well, obviously I was too. Because that's obviously how it works.
20. What’s on your mind?
You, baby. Every night. Especially right now, because it's late and the lights are off. 
21. What’s on your bed right now?
Bed things...
22. Do you like your phone?
Fuck yeah. It calls AND texts. I don't need internet on it. Like, I'm not even being sarcastic. Phones are phones. You only need internet on them if, for some reason, you need portable internet and can't get a portable PC or tablet. But in most cases, no one should NEED internet on their phone. (I'm wise. Listen to me on this matter.)
23. What would you say if somebody told you they hated you?
"I guess that makes you one of those human beings I've been hearing so much about." 
24. Are you one of those people who hate crying in front of others?
I hate crying period. I once went 13 years without crying. (See above post about summer 2008.)
25. Would you date someone taller than you?
Seeing as how I'm not only female, but I'm only average height, that's mainly my only option. (And I actually prefer taller-than-me, believe it or not. Makes me feel all cute and dainty.) 
26.If you could see one person right now, who would it be?
Honestly, my dad: I miss him like crazy. Stupid local NASA not having jobs. *prods government*
And he's the only male adult blood relative I have. (Aside of cousins or grandfathers I don't know.) I get sick of being surrounded by nagging vaginas.
27. Where were you last night?
Where I was. 
28. What is today’s date?
October 28, 2011. See? I know shit. 
29. Who was the last person to call you baby/babe?
Aside of my parents? Probably my ex. Because I would only find it non-condescending in either of those contexts. If some random guy called me babe, I'd probably neuter him. 
30. When you’re at the grocery store do you use the self checkout?
This is Alabama. We don't have those. I didn't even know that shit existed til just now. But I mean, this is Alabama; if that shit DID exist here? People would just steal the groceries and lie and stuff them in their coats/purses, because folks is poor in this fascist Tea Party economy that will become the reality for every other state in America unless Democrats, Socialists, Moderate Republicans and everyone who's not a Tea Party lunatic gets out there and votes. Come on, guys. We don't have to agree with each other's individual politics; we just have to unite against our common enemy. 
31. Anyone crushing on you?
Probably. I'm saying that just because I'm a girl and guys are very much the way I said in #1. 
Here is where I left off and then started writing again four months later. Enjoy.  
32. Has anyone ever sang to you?
The first time I was ever sang to (or at, really) was by a car of Mexicans in the Target parking lot. My mom was all like, "SHE'S THIRTEEN YOU PERVERTS!!!!" They sped off *really* fast. 
33. Has anyone ever given you roses?
No. Not at all.
34. Who do you text the most?
My dad. This is the future, after all. 
35.How do you make your money?
I'm a professional writer. People pay me to write things. It's pretty freaking awesome.
36. First person to text today?
I haven't text'd anyone today. All these months later. 
37. What is your favourite color?
Purple. It is the color of gods and royalty. It is my color. 
38. What color are your eyes?
Green. Slightly greener than emerald green. My dad's are the color of the Grinch's. His mom's are practically the color of limes. These are the only other green-eyed people I know. But, we apparently get progressively deeper in hue. 
39. What is a compliment you receive often?
"You have such pretty eyes." "You should only wear red lipstick." "I like your jugs; can I see them?" (The answer to the last one is no. Unless you discover me at a nude beach, then it's whatever.) 
40. Who was the last person to say they loved you and when?
My mom. Yesterday. My mommy loves me, guys! Unlike most assholes, I'm actually proud of that fact. 
41. Do you like your parents?
I love my parents. Their DNA combined to make me. And I think I'm pretty awesome, so they're at least half-way awesome by default. (Just don't tell them I said that; I have to keep them on their toes.)
42. Do you secretly like someone?
I don't secretly like anyone.
43. Why did your last relationship end?
See my answer to question #6. 
44. Where is the furthest place you’ve traveled?
San Diego, California -- or la Jolla, California, or Los Angeles (whichever is technically farther). And it was wonderful. The air smelled so clean, even in the city. And the wind on the beach at night was so welcoming. And the waves weren't pissing about; they were strong, and cold, and wanted to knock you over like they were testing you to see if you could be one of them. It was amazing. Southern California will always have a place in my heart. One day, hopefully I can go back there, to see my Doublekin. <3
45. Which do you prefer, to eat or sleep?
Sleep. I have lupus. I need my sleep. But I don't really *love* it, ya know? I don't love to eat either. I only do both to sustain me. In fact, I think the reason the steroid weight has been so hard to come off is because sometimes I don't get the required 1200 calories to keep my metabolism working. (I'm doing better about that, though, and have proudly lost 13lbs this month!) 
46. Do you look more like your mum or your dad?
I literally look like an exact blend between them. My hair is a medium brown with both red and blonde highlights (Dad is a redhead, Mom is blonde). My nose is wide like Mom's and long like Dad's (that was unfortunate). I have the Cupid's bow of Dad's upper lip, but the fullness of Mom's lower lip. My eye's are wide and big like my mom's, but have little corners like my dad's. I have the disappearing eyelid of my Dad's Native American side; I have the small chin I got from my mom's family of "little Irish washer women". I look like both of them. And I'm proud of that. Even with my ridiculously huge nose, because only a nose like that could balance out my ridiculously huge lips and eyes. = >D
47. How long does it take you to shower?
I've gotten it down to 15 minutes. But I prefer long showers. 
48. Can you do splits?
Yes, I can. Take that, lupus.
49. Are you flexible?
It asks me this after the above? But yes. I am flexible. I'm also freakishly double-jointed. I scan twist my arm around almost three full times. 
50. Can you speak any other language than English?
With very degrees of fluency: canis est in via (Latin -- and I'm kidding; I know more Latin than any of them). I took French for two years. And I also wrote some papers on the evolution of old English to Middle English to modern English. So, it's safe to say I thoroughly speak English to the more than usual degree. 
51. How many hours of sleep did you get last night?
6 1/2.
52. Do you wear your seatbelt in the car?:
Always. Anyone who doesn't is asking to become a vegetable when the next drunk comes careening down the road. (And don't give me that smartass bullshit about liver lacerations -- it almost never happens. It's practically an urban myth. It mainly happens to people wearing the lap bands over their stomachs like they ain't got good sense.) 
53. Are you scared of flying?
Nope. I've flow on a plane before (see the above trip to various parts of California). I know how the whole thing works. Fear is only two things: ignorance or severe phobia. And I have neither one regarding planes. 
54. What do you sleep in?
Pajamas. What do you you sleep in?
55. Who was the last person you kissed?
I don't kiss and tell. Mainly because I don't kiss and know. (I kid, I kid.) 
56. Do you like funny people or serious people?
Funny people who can be serious when the times call for it. Those are my people. But funny > serious. You have to laugh at life, or else it'll eat your soul. 
57. What jewellery do you wear all the time?
None ALL the time. But I'm a big fan of jewelry. I probably wear necklaces most often. 
58. What do you have planned for tonight?
I'm gonna watch stuff. On TV. Maybe on the iPad or PC if it's Netflix. (My TV is from 2002 -- I can't beam Netflix to it.) 
59. Do you prefer myspace or socialsplash?
I don't even know what socialsplash is, so I'm going to let you infer my answer from that. 
60. Do you have a favourite item of clothing?
That gray marled dress I have, the one with the belt. It makes me feel so Pan Am
61. Do you like messages or comments better?
Depends the nature of the subject.
62. Last movie you saw in theaters?
I don't even remember. It's been that long.
63. Last thing you ate?
64. What was last thing you drank?
Coke. (Which I almost never drink! So yeah. Odd!)
65. Are you happy right now?
No. That's why you gotta see the humor in life. It bridges the gap between the sucky times. Keeps you sane. Or, as sane as a person can be. 
66. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Reading Weeds fanfiction. I'm not kidding.
67. Are you left handed?
I'm ambidextrous. I mainly write with my right hand, but I *can* write with my left. However, I can *only* use the mouse with my left hand. My write hand can barely work it at all. 
68. What was for dinner tonight?
I had a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner last night.
69. What is the last thing you thought about?
What I had for dinner last night. 
70. When is your birthday?
July 28th. (The awesome day, mentioned below.)