Saturday, June 23, 2012

Just tired of it all....

No, I haven't been posting the past few days. Even my therapist got upset at me because I've not been writing.

When you're in a funk, you can't write. You can't do anything but sit and spin your wheels which just causes more frustration over how you're not going anywhere in your life.

I can end up waiting up to six months for someone to do something about my ERO/EEOC claim because that's the law. Even though I now can't work doing the job I had because some idiot decided he wanted to make the rules instead of following the law, I have to wait for the legal process to take its course.

I've applied for so many jobs in the local area I've completely lost count. And have I heard anything back? Nope. Or when I go somewhere thinking I might like to apply and I can already see in their faces the fact that they're not thrilled over my 86-pound constant companion, I don't bother. Besides, I'd rather have her with me everyday than the crap that can happen at most places.

Got news about a family member who's going through some tough times. I want to be able to help and give support but I also don't want to be intrusive. I remember when I was in a somewhat similar situation and the last thing I wanted was pity from anyone and I usually got a lot of unsolicited advice that didn't do me much good. I don't want to be one of those kinds of people.

One of my friends was to get married tomorrow and her fiancé left her today. She and her young daughter who had opened their home and lives to him and his excuse is because his biological son is afraid of having to make new friends when he moves. What a jerk.

I'm trying to help celebrate Youngest Son's upcoming birthday. I went to the movies with Husband, Youngest Son, and four of his friends. They had a great time and I was really glad they could go. I just feel like I wish we could have done more.

Husband and Youngest Son are currently in the basement doing laundry and playing a computer game. I sincerely appreciate that they're doing the laundry because that means I don't have to do it and I don't have to go outside to get to the basement. It's not a "finished" basement like many people have. It has a floor and walls, but there's no way to access it from inside the house. And with the heat the way it is, I'm not in the mood to go outside much.

And, yes, Depressive is trying to get me to post but I'm so sick and tired of being sick and tired that it's just been easier to do nothing and sleep instead of trying to come up with something to write and crying while I feel awful.

Maybe I'll get back on a schedule. Maybe I'll stop writing completely. I've already told my therapist that I'm not writing anymore at the moment about my past because I'm getting to big areas that I don't really remember. There are a lot of blank spaces in my memory -- some last days, some last years -- and whatever is hidden inside them I do not want to bring back to the surface. It wouldn't be healing; it would be reopening the wounds that my brain has found a way to deal with that doesn't cause me any additional damage. I remember trying to deal with them and it didn't work then. Time does not heal all wounds.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

No, I didn't post yesterday. What's it to ya'?

This is driving me crazy!! Here it is summertime and I don't have squat to post because my life seems to be in a perpetual holding pattern because of my ERO/EEOC case and the fact that nothing interesting has happened recently. I'm also not in the mood to continue my biography at the moment because we're getting to the parts that were really difficult to live through back then. I'm not sure I want to bring them up to the surface again now.

I am finding it very interesting looking at the map that shows from where people who read my blog are. The other day Australia took the lead. So far today the Irish have a substantial lead over the Americans. And what people are reading is even funnier. My reviews of Combat Cash and Mythbusters seem to be the favorites. Someone clicks on them almost every day.

So, yeah, I'm behind in my posting. But when it's hot and sticky outside and it makes the house all hot and sticky, the last thing I want to do is sit in front of the computer in the hottest room of my house and type some drivel that people may or may not read. I've also got an appointment with my therapist today, so who knows what goofy crap will come up that will make for decent topics?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Boycotted yesterday and might not post today

Oh....well....yeah.... That is a sort of stupid title since I do have to post something so people can see it.

Doesn't matter. I spent yesterday which, which was Fathers' Day here in America, with Husband and Youngest Son and didn't feel the need to post. Plus, my biological father is a complete and total waste of air that could be used for something productive. Like horrible balloon-animal thingys that clowns make. He's refused to acknowledge that I exist in over 20 years so *pppbbhhhtt* on him!

And today is a slow day at best. I'm not complaining. I could use a nice slow day to be able to relax and think about things that have been and will be happening. Plus, I'm making sure that Youngest Son is completing his chores and assignments as expected. In the past I was always deployed away from home in the summer and he could get away with not doing things because by the time Husband got home from work he'd be too tired to notice something skipped. Youngest Son and I have had a little talk about needing to mature and learning to do things around the house that will help him when he's out on his own in the future.

I might post again tonight and I might not. The voices are arguing over who should write, about what should be written, and whether it's worth writing anything at all now. I have to remind them that this whole thing was their idea so they can't jump-ship on me now. Only six months to go with this project and now they realize it's not as easy as I told them it would be.

And now if you'll excuse me.... I have to dislodge the family cat from the only air duct in the room and she's hogging all of the cool air conditioning. It's hard to write when you're wiping sweat (and cat fur) out of your eyes.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

This is a post

See it? Okay. I'm done. Daily post completed.'re not getting more. Well, not any more today, that is. Had a fairly good to fairly crappy day and just don't want to fiddle with this right now.

Go on. Clear off! Go do something constructive for a change....

Friday, June 15, 2012

Watching and waiting

I've been cruising the Facebook pages of some of my friends from where I used to work and it seems like the majority of them have been complaining about the new process to reapply for their jobs. Supposedly it's taking them a long, long time to get through all of the screens of questions they have to answer. Some are also complaining about the difficulty in uploading documents that are required for reapplication. Many are complaining about how the salaries for what they've been doing for so many years is much, much less than they would consider working for today but they're glad their salaries will be grandfathered in when the transition is over.

Me? I'm still waiting to hear about my formal ERO complaint. Still very upset over what happened and that the person who violated my right to work and discriminated against me had the gall to admit it to an ERO counselor. And I've filed complaints with the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Just trying to cover all of my bases.

But, time will tell. Sooner or later they have to acknowledge the filing of the complaint and they have to do something about it. The ball is in their court now. I'm just going to wait and see if they're going to do the right thing.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bloaty ate too much pizza....

I know. It's my own fault. Was planning to cook dinner for the family tonight. But, a tempting email came through the inbox and I just couldn't help myself.

Domino's Pizza offering 50% off any pizza if you order online now through Sunday night.

I remember when Domino's Pizza was called the "Disk of Death" and other not-too-polite names. Domino's was awful. Didn't matter which one you ordered from -- you were guaranteed a round thing resembling a crust with something on the top that you hoped was what you actually ordered, covered in a slime of cheese and floating on what grease hadn't already soaked through the bottom of the box.

Now, however, they've gotten a lot better. And healthier, if you can consider pizza healthy.

So, each of us decided to order a pizza since they were so cheap. Youngest Son got a pepperoni abomination of some sort that could clog your arteries just by looking at the amount of meat and grease on it. Husband made up a pizza he would like to have because nothing on the menu ever totally agrees with his middle-age tummy anymore. And I ordered a Hawaiian pizza because I love ham and pineapple together. We each made sure to get the super-thin crust pizzas so we wouldn't feel nauseated for the next few days. And by each ordering to our own tastes, we could ensure that we got what we wanted. We each got enough of what we wanted and if there was any leftover it could be stored in the refrigerator for lunch tomorrow.


Only Youngest Son, who normally scarfs down anything not nailed to the table, didn't finish his. Husband and I both ate ourselves silly and soon realized we had none left for tomorrow. It was good, though. We both were very pleased with our selections and they were well-made and tasted excellent.

It's just now, about five hours after eating it that the bloaty-ness sinks in....or out....or whatever it does. It's hot and humid outside and having not listened to my brain when it was trying to tell me that my stomach might actually have a message for me other than "Aren't you going to eat the rest of that?" is the result I'm suffering now. I don't want to see another pizza for a while. I don't even want to look at the boxes ours came in tonight. They're like little talismans of shame to remind us of our sins.

I think I'll have some milk and go to bed. Maybe I'll wake up and it's all a bad dream. Or, more likely, I'll have pizza-dreams all night (the really weird ones about which every therapist hopes to sell a best-selling book) and wake up even hungrier than usual in the morning.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Dallas" is still dull as dishwater....

Oh, the 1980s. When not everyone could have cable television and even if you did, you didn't have 800+ channels of crap from which to choose your evening's entertainment. Back then, people actually made plans around their favorite television shows. Well, unless they were wealthy enough to own a VHS or BETA video recording machine to record a show for them, commercials and all. No DVRs. No commercial skips. Watch it when it airs or wait until rerun season and hope the episode you missed is there.

I had to explain all of that to Youngest Son tonight as Husband sat on the couch (and for over an hour did NOT fall asleep!) and watched the new series of Dallas on TNT. He was a big fan of the show back in the 1980s and wanted to see how stupid....I mean....good the modernized show would be. Of course, when you get the old actors on there playing their old roles, you can't help but remember what the show used to be and wonder if they can actually get it to be that good (or bad) again.

Now, I didn't watch Dallas when it was on in the 1980s. The only episodes I ever watched were when J.R. was shot (because, who didn't watch that one?) and the one when Southfork burned. That episode I was somewhat sort-of forced to watch because I was at a sleepover at a friend's house and all of the other girls loved Dallas but I had no idea who anyone was other than J.R. and Bobby. Oh, and I did see the episode when Bobby comes back in the shower -- but that was a rerun many, many years after it originally aired.

So, I'm watching the show with Husband and it's as goofy as ever. Youngest Son asked, "Is this a male soap opera?"

Yes, Son. Yes it is.

Nighttime soap operas like Dallas, Dynasty, and Falcon Crest were heavily watched by women but they were designed to get the men-folk into the sittin' room to watch as well. They weren't as silly as the daytime soaps, but you still knew that every scene had to have someone looking off into the distance as if they're thinking, "Did that cat pee in the litterbox?" (it's an acting trick) while the camera either gets closer or pulls back before the scene changes. Or before a commercial came on. Or before another ad for the same show you were watching came on to preview the next week's episode. As if you'd miss it....

So, yeah, I'm not particularly thrilled with the new version of the old show. I liked how they tried to keep the intro credits the same with the music and scenes of Dallas (Texas). But, a neat intro does not a great show make. I might give it a few more episodes before I totally write it off as a bad job. Seeing Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy talking about what Miss Ellie did or didn't want with her will is still interesting. Goofy, but interesting.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stupid flippin' migraines in my stupid flippin' head again

Gah!!! This is driving me crazy!!! But, I'm still posting tonight!!!

I know there's nothing wrong 'cause I just had an MRI a little over a month ago and just the brain is up there like it's supposed to be. But all weekend I've been having migraines & thought I'd finally kicked it.

Nope. Tonight just after I watched a show I wanted to see on television the stupid headache came right back.

Another night with ice on my head. And a washcloth on my eyes 'cause they're hurting too. Maybe I should just ask the rest of the body to start adding their aches and pains to the pile tonight. Get it all over with in one shot.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Missed yesterday

Yes, the streak has been broken. I did not post anything yesterday. My head decided that a migraine would be much more fun than being able to spend time with my family and kept me in bed all day. Since I don't type well (or coherently) when my head is screaming at me, I took the day to rest.

I'm not proud or anything like that. Actually, it's been driving me crazy that I didn't post. But, I decided to do something for myself and try to get better.

Would have worked, too, if a large weather front hadn't moved into our area and dumped a big storm on us. My poor American flag that hangs on the front of the house was targeted by the wild winds and shoved to the ground before I could get to it. Fortunately, Youngest Son went out during a lull in the wind and rain and retrieved it for me. Now I've gotta fix (or replace) the bracket on the front of the house. And my poor flowers that I planted earlier this spring but could never remember what they were until they bloomed and I sent pictures to friends have been beaten-down as well. No major storm damages here. Not even minor storm damages here. But we'll just say that flags, flowers, shovels, rakes, and other items left in the yard were fair game for the wind and bits of hail.

And my headache is back again. I saw a thing today that said the "migraine rating" was going to be low. Not sure how they figure that but it's obviously not getting feeds from my head. Time for more ice and a nice nap (as if I need another). *sigh*

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Almost missed today

Got up at 5 a.m. to take my medication as usual. Felt really sleepy and did doze for a few moments on the loveseat. Made the decision to go back to bed after Husband and Youngest Son had gotten up and started preparing to go out to yard sales and a big storage unit auction.

Slept until noon. Not incredibly unusual when I'm not feeling well and didn't go to bed on time the night before. Stayed up late with Husband watching silly movies and talking. It was worth it.

Ate a little lunch and was convinced by Husband and Youngest Son to go back to bed because I was feeling tired. Did so and said I'd sleep for about an hour.

It's now 6:30 p.m. and I'm finally awake. What the hell happened to me? I don't feel outrageously ill. A little warm but that could just be my own personal global warming at work, too.

Glad I woke myself up 'cause the other two would have let me keep sleeping. I know they mean well but if I sleep too much in the daytime I can't sleep during the night and then I get my days and nights mixed up, just like a baby can. And it happens too easily because of my medication, too. I don't need that right now.

So, I hope nothing really earth-shattering happened today because I completely missed it. And my brain and eyes are already telling me I should be back in bed.

*Yawn* Maybe tomorrow's post will be worth reading....

Friday, June 8, 2012

Too frazzled to write

Been busy all day with working on my ERO case, taking Celeste to the vet, dealing with family things.... Just too tired to try to be witty or find a topic worth writing.

On the plus side, the Civic Center across from my house is showing Cars 2 on the outside of the building. Free movie for me!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Woman in Black -- My Review


That's really all that needs to be said. I never finished the book. I did see the play when I was in London. A friend of mine sent me a copy of the radio show. Now I've finally gotten around to seeing the movie and I loved it.

Daniel Radcliffe was very good. He's always had that haunted look in his eyes, even in his first production. He played the lead as young David Copperfield in BBC One's television movie. I've seen him in that, My Boy Jack, The December Boys, and of course the Harry Potter series. He's also been on Broadway and in the West End. I was worried they'd try to take this ghost/horror story and try to "jazz" it up by getting the young Radcliffe so a younger audience would attend. And when I saw that it was rated PG-13, I really feared the producers would try to play to a much younger audience (okay, specifically, teenage girls with a crush on "The Chosen One").

They didn't. The movie does not disappoint. Even Husband jumped a few times during it.

If I have to rate the productions I've seen/experienced, I still have to give the play top honors. In the play, there are only two men onstage and in the program's notes. They never say that there's a female who also appears and you never know if/when she'll show up. The skin-crawling creepiness of the play was excellent. I would have to place the movie and the radio play as a tie because with the radio play you still use your imagination and can be genuinely scared. With the movie, you get the great visuals and an expanded cast that helps make it more dramatic.

So, there it is. Didn't see anything worth watching on television so I figured I'd see the movie on Blu-Ray. Now I'm watching Waiting for Guffman. Yeah....I have weird tastes.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I wanna hollar the loud, funny words!!!

Good grief. Another Wednesday evening spent watching American Diggers on Spike TV. Why do I torture myself so?

Tonight they went to St. Augustine, Florida and down in the bayou area of Louisiana. There were some neat relics found and I do have to give them kudos for finding a $20 double eagle, St. Gaudens' design gold coin. They're rare and worth a LOT of money these days.

I could probably enjoy the show if it weren't for one thing -- the owner/host/announcer/blowhard Ric Savage. He gives history and information about the places they go and the things they find as if he's rehearsed whatever the production team's researcher has pulled off the Internet. He yells at the camera during the entire show and heaven help you if your television is accidentally turned-up a bit loud and he finds something he thinks is wonderful 'cause you're going to hear him scream about it. And not just any scream -- the well-rehearsed scream that comes from professional wrestlers.

He fully admits that he used to be a professional wrestler (I still don't remember ever seeing him in a match). I once had some "professional" wrestlers (they got paid but weren't on any of the big circuits) come into our store years ago and they talked about how they had to practice their "speeches" that they'd give after every match and there were classes on how to yell at the camera. They also admitted that the hardest thing to do was to keep from laughing when their partner/friend/ally/opponent/enemy/whatever said something incredibly stupid. That's why when you watch professional wrestling, especially from the 1980s-1990s, you'll see people gritting their teeth or sucking in their cheeks. They're not trying to look mean and vicious. They're just trying to not blow their cover as an actor.

And Ric's got it down to a science. Every time he yells he throws his arms up in the air and sticks his gut out with a loud howl. And it's usually a "boo-yah" or "woo-hoo" followed by something either unintelligible or the name of the place where they're digging. You can predict where every scream is going to happen in a show and they conveniently edit it so that you have to hear it multiple times.

Sadly, every time I watch the show I'm reminded of another show. One that many people watched over the years and caused many parents to complain. There's an episode of the old Ren & Stimpy Show called "Mad Dog Höek" where the guys have just finished a wrestling match and both the winners and losers get a chance to make their cases. It's hysterical and I end up quoting it at one point during the show or another because it fits so perfectly.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, I give you the Ending Speech Scene from "Mad Dog Höek" -- try to watch American Diggers and not think of this. I dare you.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

This post intentionally left blank

Well....not totally blank. Depressive here! Still writing; still in charge. More issues on the table today, so I'm not really ready for myself to feel any different. Not that I have a choice. But, I don't want to address things going on here right now, so I'm just going to "skip" today. Keeping my promise of posting but just nothing worth reading.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Greetings from Depressive

Hi. I've been around for quite a while but haven't had the opportunity to actually post anything here myself. I've been trying to keep me from being noticed but when things get really hectic or stressful or disappointing, then I just can't stop from showing up to practically ruin it all.

Oh dear. I see you looking at what I'm writing and you've got that weird look on your face. It's the same look that my family gives me when they can't figure out what's going on or when they think I'm just trying to hide something. Usually I am trying to hide something -- myself. I don't like me being here and I don't like it when I come around just out of the blue.
,br> I guess I should explain. If you're a long-time follower of this blog, you already know that I have bi-polar disorder (along with some other absolutely fascinating issues that can cause havoc at any moment). Now, for those who don't understand bi-polar disorder, it was originally called manic-depressive disorder. This is when your brain -- or, rather, my brain -- decides that it wants to do something different for a while without my consent. I can either become extraordinarily hyperactive, hyper-vigilant, hyper-emotional. Just pick a "hyper" and it's on the list. This is my manic phase. This is when Manic appears and keeps me from sleeping for long periods of time (days) or has me obsessing over certain things that need to be done and I can't stop doing them or I end up listening to the rest of the voices up in my head arguing because they've decided that since adrenaline, their favorite drink, is on-tap that they're going to join in the fun.

Manic and I get along well at times but we do have problems when Manic gets OCD a little over-excited instead of its usual state. Then I can be in big trouble.

But today, I'm here. Well, I am always here but the specific "I" that is writing here is Depressive. I am the one that can take any happy moment from extremely ecstatic to morbidly horrifying in seconds. I have the ability to just wander up while I'm hearing good news and start whispering all the things that are either untrue (whether they are or not) about it or about how everything from that moment on will go horribly wrong. And I don't shut-up easily, either. I've been around for ages and I've learned all of my defense mechanisms against me. Even the medications are having problems with me now.

My favorite one was when I was ordered to a psychology group for manic-depressive people and the class leaders said, "If you just think that you're happy, you'll be happy." They repeated that a lot. I raised my hand and asked them how that could be possible especially when I was incredibly suicidal? Was I supposed to be happy about being suicidal or was I supposed to picture rainbows and kittens and cotton candy and hope that the suicidal bit would pass?

They kicked me out of the class. Seriously.

For a while I've been puttering around here reading what's being written and critiquing things. It's one of the things I do. I also keep bad things at the forefront of my mind. The whole ERO issue, for example. Today I got my paperwork that the informal stage is over and I can now file for a formal hearing. However, I keep reminding myself that I (1) only have 14 more days left to do that, (2) that I have no idea how the whole process works, (3) that I could really use a good attorney to help me, (4) that I've been referred to a really good attorney who wants to help me, but (5) the attorney costs $300 per hour that I don't have and that leaves me sitting and staring at the paperwork and going back to #1. And then I start it all over again. See how much fun I am?

I've seen celebrities who have bi-polar talk about their different extremes with cute little names for them. I don't do that. I am a part of me that is the whole me and nothing but the me. Remember, even the voices are mine. There are just too many of them at times to not give them their own grouping.

Well, that's enough about me for now. I have a prior engagement (I think) with PTSD. We hang out together a lot. Of course, I'm glad that I have Celeste who helps me keep myself from overly freaking-out when I get this way. I'll probably be around for quite a while longer because there's so much going on that I have to get involved with and I've not seen my therapist for almost three weeks so the environment is just how I like it. Moody, sad, stressed, and down.

And thanks in advance to anyone who types anything positive about what I've written about myself. But I'm going to be completely honest with you -- it's not going to matter for a while. When I'm here and this far out in front of myself, it takes a lot longer to get me back with the rest of the crowd. And I don't mean to be snappy or make anyone think I'm ignoring them. I just enjoy screwing with my emotions enough so that I don't want to do anything. Well, sleep is always fun. But I only do that when I don't need to be doing it. Like when the medication makes me do it. Or if there's a ton of things I need to get done and I fall-over on the couch or the bed and doze for, oh, say, three or four hours. Tonight I'm going to try to make myself get some sleep because I'm really tired just from being me today. It won't work the way I want it to, but I'll still try.

And....*sigh*....Husband and Youngest Son keep coming in to check and see what I'm doing (occasionally led by Celeste who knows something's wrong). It irritates me because while I appreciate their worry about me very, very much I also don't like it because they have their own things to worry about and I don't need to be getting in the way. Plus I don't like people trying to read over my shoulder when I'm writing or reading something out-loud. And that's not "Depressive" saying that -- that's just me. So I'll go for now, but we'll meet again. Don't know where; don't know when.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

7 Ps Rule needs to include "Patience"

You know the 7 Ps Rule, right? If you were in the military, I'm fairly certain that you've heard it multiple times. If you teach school, you most likely had to memorize it during your Master's degree classes (except they usually did the 6 Ps to omit the one "questionable" word). And if you ever need to remember how to prepare for something, it's one of the best rules to keep in mind.

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

Yes, I know there are many different variants on this mnemonic device. But, this is the one I learned first both from sitting through graduate-level courses when my parents were getting their Master's/Specialist's in Education degrees and by having military members in my family. Over the years, it's served me well.

However, today Youngest Son needs to add the word "Patience." More grammatically correct, it should be "Patient" as in "Patient Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance" (deleted the objectionable word since he's still not allowed to swear). In a few weeks he'll be celebrating his birthday and we've agreed to allow him to invite over his closest friends for a pizza party and then for them to go to the movies that evening. The female guests will have to be picked up by their parents after the movie while the male guests can come to our house for a sleepover. He's been texting all of his friends today and bugging me for specific details, such as start time, menu, etc.

He's forgotten that his father and I have not finalized any plans. He's also forgotten that he's still grounded at the moment and if he doesn't earn his privileges back in time there won't be a birthday party. His friends are all trying to arrange their schedules and make suggestions for things to do and ingredients for the pizzas but we don't have anything confirmed at the moment. Big shock for him and his buddies if it's all for nothing!

I admire his desire to be sure to plan early enough in advance so that all of his friends have the opportunity to check with their parents/families to ensure if they'd be able to attend. I'm just not happy that he's getting their expectations up for something that may or may not happen. Plus, the parents also won't be very happy if they change their schedules around to accommodate something that isn't happening.

Oh well. Not much I can do about it at the moment. I told him to be sure to let everyone know that nothing has been confirmed yet and that he's just checking to see if they would be able to attend. That way, we can also plan for how much food and how many tickets we'll need to buy.

We'll see what happens.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Last episodes of "American Stuffers"

Yes. It is with a heavy heart and a hanging head that I admit that today I actually watched the American Stuffers episodes on Animal Planet.

You have to understand, though. The satellite signals on the movie channels were spotty and there was nothing on network television worth watching. Plus -- and honestly, no disrespect to the Ross Family and their employees -- but the show is just like a really bad car wreck. You know you shouldn't look but once you do you just can't turn away from it.

I didn't watch all of the episodes today. I watched "The Dog Named Precious," "The Cat Without a Nose," "The Hairless Dog," and "A Tornado Hits Romance." I will say that I'm very glad Daniel was able to put the cat's nose back on before its owner came to pick it up (and no one noticed the problem). The skin coming off of the Chinese Crested (which the owner proudly stated she'd paid $250 as a puppy) though was a close one. And her having the dog's testicles removed to have sperm harvested by a company in Washington just had me rolling on the floor. Yeah, I'm not a biology major, but I can't imagine them living in there for very long, much less long enough to ship them to Washington from Texas (where they drove from to get the dog freeze-dried).

The pet chicken being freeze-dried, though, had me baffled. I know people keep chickens as pets. I have friends that have had good and bad things come from doing that. But if the chicken dies on its own, I'd be thinking about disposing of it correctly, not how it's going to look in the center of the dinner table as a centerpiece. Okay, the lady with the chicken actually said she was going to decorate her chicken coops with all of her pet chickens after they die and she has them freeze-dried. And she named all of them after characters from Jersey Shore. So, take from that what you want.

I can say that I was moved by the lady who had her Yorkie for 14 years and met the crew from Xtreme Taxidermy at the Big Buck Classic Hunters' Convention (where most of the other attendees were grossed-out by the pets on display). She'd had a lot of loss in her life and having her dog preserved as a way to help her cope may not be for me but I sure hope it helps her. Plus, she wants the dog buried with her when she passes away. Sadly, the dog will look better longer than she will, but at least they'll be together.

And I also have to admit that the story about the dog that had been skinned by another taxidermist and left the crew of the shop with a puzzle on how to make him look good again was interesting. Mostly because they were very careful to not tell the lady who brought in the dog how badly butchered the job the previous taxidermist did. I was glad to see that they were able to take that idiot's mistakes and fix it so the lady was happy. Now I just hope she doesn't watch the episode and see exactly what was done to her dog.

So, yeah, I let the redneck in me have a few laughs and sat agog at some of the things said/done on the show. There aren't any future episodes coming (it was cancelled), but Romance, Arkansas isn't too terribly far from my family's old stomping grounds. I'm pretty sure I could find it if I felt the need.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Feeling down and inadequate....

It's my pity-party and I'll whine if I want.

Youngest Son announced that he just heard one of his best friends is traveling to London (UK) for an international choir event. I'm proud of his friend and am happy for his family who will also be able to travel with him. I was in London in 1994 during college and loved it. I really, really want to go there again.

And every year when I've been working and paying-off bills, I've been trying to save the money so that I can take my family there. Or, if not able to take everyone, at least take Husband with me because it was while I was there when I realized how much in love with him I was (and still am) and I want to share with him the places I went and where I missed him so much. But usually I'd work myself silly and end up sick in the hospital or so sick I'd have to leave and then all the medical bills needed to be paid. Now that my former employer has taken my career away from me and people aren't very thrilled about hiring someone who has an 85-pound dog in constant tow, I don't know when I'll ever get to take them.

Youngest Son hasn't said that he's jealous of his friend, but I know that he's disappointed because I still can't take him there. I've been saying for years that I want him to experience another country and all of the history that can be found. And Eldest Son has wanted to go to London for a long time as well since his biological father and step-mother traveled there but didn't take him. I've felt like I should make that up to him. Maybe I'm irrational about it. But I'd still like to give my kids and husband an experience they will remember forever and am just feeling awful that I've worked over the past eight years to do that and still haven't been able.

Going to go watch a musical on television. Maybe I'll feel better. Maybe not. Just don't be surprised if I'm still pouting for a little while.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Waiting, waiting, waiting....

Have been waiting on phone calls all day. I wish people would tell me exactly when they're going to call and then call at that time instead of "after" or "around" a time. That makes me end up sitting here miffed because I could have been doing something else but they're the one who wanted to talk to me and asked me to be available. Really not in the mood for this right now....

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Leave the bear alone you hillbillies!!

All day I have been listening to the local police scanner. I keep it on because if there's an emergency that isn't being broadcast on the local news channels, I can usually get some information from the scanner. Plus after years of having worked as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and disaster preparedness/response person, I'm just addicted to it.

So today's noteworthy broadcasts have been about a small black bear that has wandered into town. It's not hurt anyone; it's not gone into the residential areas; and it's trying to find its way back to the woods. At first someone thought it was a dog when it was near a residential area but it stayed over by the local airport (not an overly busy one). It has been wandering around and I'm not worried about it coming over into the area where I live because it would have to cross a large Interstate highway plus the busy traffic at the intersection that crosses over it. The state conservation agents have been working with the county law enforcement to track the bear and make sure that it keeps heading towards the woods.

Sadly, though, all the yokels in town have been coming out in droves to see it -- especially after the story was aired on the local news. Now the police are being called by the businesses in the area next to the Interstate highway because people keep trying to get closer and closer to the bear so they can take pictures of it. Some have brought their dogs with them, like the conservation agents need that little bit of "help" with a bear that really doesn't want to be where it is in the first place.

Right now it's up a tree next to the local Pizza Hut. It wanders between one of the banks, the Pizza Hut, a furniture store, and a Captain D's restaurant. I'm sure it smells plenty of trash from that area it would love to eat. Hopefully the conservation and law enforcement agents will get rid of the crowd before the bear hurts itself. The poor thing just wants to get back to its home (with a snack to-go if it can grab one).

Here's an idea -- if you want to see a close-up photo of a bear, pick up a book! If you want to see a bear in person, go to a zoo! If you see a bear in the wild, then lucky you -- but for cryin' out loud, stop trying to get in its way! least now there's something else to listen to. Some drunken fool is chugging a Mountain Dew and whiskey outside a local grocery store and has pushed carts into the major 4-way intersection of town. Now that sounds more like an average night.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A nice, uneventful day

Today I'm very thankful for a day without too much happening. It's been very stressful since this time last week and I'd like for the stress to remain at bay.

Of course, I have my appointment with my therapist tomorrow, so we'll have to see how that goes. And I've got more questions to answer in regards to my ERO case that I've filed.

Hopefully Youngest Son will have learned a little something over the past week so that I can maybe give him a privilege back. Never give it all back at once. I make my kids earn them since they're the one who did something stupid enough to lose it.

So, off early to bed tonight. If we get thunderstorms again like last night, I just hope they don't wake me up again. It was nice to know that it rained last night but I could have waited until the morning to see the wet ground and been just as happy.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day -- You're doing it wrong!

On this Memorial Day, we sit out on our decks and party. Three days we've got off from work with burgers on the barbie. But if you take a moment to reflect, away from your party scene, the radio will remind you what this day truly means.

It's time to save, I said SAVE, on a waterbed! It's time to buy a great mattress at an even greater price! I've got two words for you -- It's "Tire Sale!" We've got rock-bottom prices and the time is running out!

You've got one full year, that's right -- one full year! No interest! No payments! This could be the Memorial Day Weekend you enjoy for years!

Oh, yeah, and something about guys who died for our country..... (-- "Memorial Day" parody by Heywood Banks)

Sadly, that song which was written as a joke to show just how out-of-touch we are with what Memorial Day really means is truer than you think.

I've seen and heard lots of people talking about their holiday weekend. The "fact" that it's the first weekend of summer. About how much they've enjoyed their mini-family vacations and days spent on the lake or fishing or perfecting their barbeque techniques. I've also seen a lot of people posting photos/cartoons and statements thanking veterans for their service.

Memorial Day is not the day we say "thank you" to our veterans. EVERY DAY should be a day we say "thank you" to our veterans. But for those who can't be bothered to do that every day you see someone in uniform or someone wearing a hat or jacket showing they were one who promised to put their life on the line for our country, then at least say "thank you" on Veterans' Day (11 November).

Memorial Day is when we should stop what we're doing and remember that it's the day set aside to say "thank you" to those veterans we CAN'T thank in person anymore. They gave the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefields, wherever they were. And we remember those veterans who have passed-on and the service they so proudly gave to our country.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was started by Major General John A. Logan from Southern Illinois and the GAR, the Grand Army of the Republic. The GAR was an organization of Union veterans. Three years after the Civil War, in 1868, he said that on May 30th all the graves of our war dead should be decorated with flowers (which would be in bloom across the country at that time). In his orders, he stated:

We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. ... Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

This was done because in many areas immediately following the Civil War, only those of either Union or Confederate forces were being remembered and the graves of the "enemy" were falling into neglect. One of the first records of equal decorations came in 1866 when women visiting the sites of the Confederate dead from the Battle of Shiloh near Columbus, Mississippi, noticed the graves of Union casualties being ignored and desecrated because they were they "enemy." Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the ladies placed flowers there as well.

Many Union or Confederate Decoration Day ceremonies are still held every year. Memorial Day, however, was made a Federal holiday by an act of Congress in 1971 and the last Monday in May was selected as the date in order to be fairly consistent with the orders given by Maj. Gen. Logan as well as coinciding with the local/regional celebrations that had been occurring since.

Every grave in every national cemetery will have an American flag placed upon it today. Some are placed by soldiers, some by civic groups such as the Boy and Girl Scouts. Many family members will also decorate the graves of their loved ones in national, state, and private cemeteries. Speeches will be made and politicians will "pay tribute" across the country today. But it shouldn't be just them making an effort. And it shouldn't be just the veterans who were able to come home to their country and families and who live with the memories of how their comrades gave the ultimate sacrifice. It should be all of us -- every single person who enjoys the freedom for which those brave men and women laid-down their lives.

It's not about the sales; it's not about the picnics; it's not about a day off with or without pay. It's about gratitude; it's about honor; it's about those we can never say "thank you" personally to again.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

How bored am I today??

Got a chance to sleep-in a bit this morning. Mostly because I forgot to set my alarm and Celeste realized I was sleeping soundly and didn't want to wake me. Sadly, that made me late for taking my medication. Oh, it wasn't so late that it made me ill or have a bad reaction -- it just meant that the time I would be zonked-out because of the side-effects would be much later in the morning and could have screwed up my schedule for the day.

But then I remembered, I didn't have a schedule for today. Laundry was done by Husband (THANK YOU!) and the dogs and cat were watered and fed this morning by Youngest Son.

So, what have I done today? Sadly, I've sat and watched a marathon of The Pink Panther, Return of the Pink Panther, and Revenge of the Pink Panther. If I wanted to, I could switch the channel at the moment and watch A Shot in the Dark -- the funniest of all of the "Pink Panther/Inspector Clouseau" movies. Actually, my favorite characters are Cato and Inspector Dreyfus. Burt Kwuok was hysterical and Herbert Lom perfected the nervous tic that showed just how insane Clouseau made Dreyfus.

I remember watching the early "Pink Panther" movies on television (since I wasn't born when they were made) but the later ones I remember going to see in the theater. Of course, as a kid, I thought the slapstick was hysterical. Now that I'm much older, the same things don't make me laugh but I still get a big chuckle out of the jokes I didn't understand years ago.

Classic movies are the ones that can stand the test of time. I worry, though, that these classics will soon be removed from the "classic bin" because many people today would not get the jokes and/or cultural/current event references made in them.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Best of all he (Odin) liked to sleep. Sleeping was a very important activity for him. He liked to sleep for longish periods, great swathes of time. Merely sleeping overnight was not taking the business seriously. He enjoyed a good night's sleep and wouldn't miss one for the world, but found it as anything halfway near enough. He liked to be asleep by half-past eleven in the morning if possible, and if that should come directly after a nice leisurely lie-in then so much the better. A little light breakfast and a quick trip to the bathroom while fresh linen was applied to his bed is really all the activity he liked to undertake, and he took care that it didn't jaunt the sleepiness out of him and disturb his afternoon of napping. Sometimes he was able to spend an entire week asleep, and this he regarded as a good snooze. He had also slept through the whole of 1986 and hadn't missed it. - Douglas Adams, The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

It's a long weekend and I've enjoyed quite a nice, long nap today. I have to sincerely thank Husband and Youngest Son for allowing me to sleep-in this morning. Well, when I say "sleep-in" I mean that I did get up at my usual time to take my medications and let the dogs go outside for "walkies." But, while they went to yard sales I was allowed to crawl back into bed and sleep away a lot of the stresses from this past week. I don't usually do that, but today it was imperative that I do so. Plus, weird dreams when I'm stressed-out happen and if only I could have filmed it. I would have made a great B-movie (or even worse).

Friday, May 25, 2012

Towel and Star Wars Day -- Celebrate both!

No new news on the job front. My Cadre Manager was supposed to get back in touch with my ERO counselor but that didn't happen. I have been given lots of really good advice and had friends recommend a lot of options. I'm keeping everything open at the moment. I'll continue fighting for what's best for my family and me.

So, since there's really nothing new, I'll just wish everyone a Happy Towel Day and Happy Star Wars Day. Towel Day is for fans of Douglas Adams and his "Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy" (all six books) and in memory of his death on this date in 2001. Star Wars Day marks the anniversary of the premiere of Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope in 1977. 35 years, I feel old.

I've lost track of how many times I've read Douglas' books (not just the H2G2 series) as well as listened to the radio shows, audiobooks, and watched the movies. Douglas Adams also worked on episodes of Doctor Who and Monty Python's Flying Circus. You can tell I'm a big fan, huh?

I've lost track of how many times I've seen the original trilogy of Star Wars. I even have the theatrical releases on DVD because I can't stand watching all of the added on stuff from 1997. I remember seeing the movies in the theater, when that was the only option, and then recording them off HBO onto our Betamax player (yes, I really am that old) and watching them every day after school.

Hey, when your dad is the principal of your school, you don't hang out with a lot of people, and you're focused on keeping your grades high you find yourself as one of the biggest geeks doing what geeks do best -- reciting movie lines. After I'd seen each of the original three over 500 times each, I quit counting. I still have no idea how many times I've seen them all. In college I could win bets by having people play a part of the soundtrack and begin to act and recite the exact scene just based on the music! Okay, it was only good for winning bar bets and has never helped me in any sort of career, but it was fun all the same!

So all you hoopy froods, get your towels and grab a bottle of Old Janx Spirit (from H2G2 or SW, your choice) and head out to Millyways!
Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all. -- Douglas Adams

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Can we say "discrimination?" I thought we could!

*Insert loud screaming in frustration noise here*

Well, I just heard from my Equal Rights counselor regarding my long "quest" to find out why I wasn't reappointed to my job and to try to get it back. I still have another phone call coming from her when she receives the message of whether or not the person she is dealing with has the right to reappoint me or not. At the moment, however, I couldn't give crap one if they try to reappoint me to my old position. There's no way I could possibly stand to work for these people after what I was just told they said about me and my disability!

So, quick rundown before I have to go grab another Xanax. The main Equal Rights Officer I worked with last year to get my reasonable accommodations to have Celeste come to work with me stated that I had proven that I had a disability and with all the letters from therapists, doctors, co-workers, and the trainer of my service dog that I had proven the need and should be allowed to bring her with me. My assistant Cadre Manager signed-off on all of the paperwork and sent me a memo stating how in the future I was to notify her when I was deploying with Celeste and the rules/regulations that I would have to follow for having her in our field offices. Basic stuff, all approved, all signed, and copies (both physical and electronic) are saved for my records.

Then, the counselor contacted my Cadre Manager and his assistant to speak with them on why I wasn't reappointed to my job. He stated that he'd heard my name but didn't know who I was. He also stated that he knew that there were issues last year with me bringing Celeste and problems at the office (which there weren't any from her, just from others who wanted to pet and play with her) and that she was not a "service animal" but was a "comfort dog." Really?? Since when did he become so educated on what constitutes the difference between a SD (service dog) and an ESA (emotional support animal)?? And this is a man I've only ever spoken to once since I started working for him in 2009 because he never returned my emails or phone calls and I always had to go through his assistant.

And speaking of his assistant, she was very quiet throughout the interview. I have her signature approving my request for reasonable accommodation but she told the counselor that all of that was handled at headquarters by the ERO officers.

I was right!! They were discriminating against me when they didn't reappoint me. The Cadre Manager stated that my "comfort dog" would cause a problem and I couldn't be deployed or retained because of it. Also, he said that he had to drastically reduce the number of people he had employed but he only released two people in my section. I guess all of the people who I trained last year will be able to go on to have full employment and success now.

I'm not expecting to get my job back because he said he'd be happy to write a letter of recommendation for me (which was the easy-out option given if they weren't going to keep me) and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want me back anyway now that I know what I know. But, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I'm shocked. I'm flabbergasted. I can't believe that someone would be so bold to basically state outright that my disability is the reason they didn't keep me -- especially since this is a FEDERAL position and there are FEDERAL laws to protect the disabled.

You can be sure I'll keep things updated as more info comes in. However, for anyone who thought I was just uselessly chasing a dream, I'm not upset and I'm not going to dance around with my tongue sticking out and my fingers in my ears saying "I'm right and you were wrong!" I've always had a tenacity to grab hold of something and see it all the way through to the end, regardless if I'm right or I'm wrong. I'm glad that I have that now because I have proof that I was right this time. And anyone who feels that they've been wronged should be brave enough to stand-up for what they believe in and fight for what is right. I hope I've been a good example.

Now I need to try to relax before I pop a vein in my head. That would kind of make going on to a formal complaint process difficult.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Accepting suggestions on "training" a teenager!

Again! I can't believe I have to go through this crap again! The kid is 13 years freakin' old -- how much longer will it last???

I had to go to an appointment today. Usually I can trust Youngest Son to be on his best behavior (or something like it) while I'm out for a little while. I come back and what do I find? I find one of the premiere rules of the house broken and him lying to me about it.

We have a very strict rule about the computer. Because of the questionable content out there and the threat of viruses, worms, and Trojans, we do not allow our children to access the computer unless we're with them or we give them a five-minute window to check email or Facebook. We did it that way with Eldest Son and we're doing it that way with Youngest Son. Even though he has a computer in his room, there is no Internet access to it (not even Wi-Fi) and he's not allowed to turn it on without our permission. I have a special key that allows Internet to be connected if he needs to work on a homework assignment but either Husband or me is in the room with him while he's online. Usually, though, he wants to use our main household computer (from which I also run my online business) because it's newer, faster, and has more programs. Again, though, he must be supervised while using it.

I was gone for an hour and came back to find that not only had he been on the computer when I was gone and without permission, he'd also accessed the Internet and even looked into the history folder for our web browser. That threw up red flags all over the place because he could have been to a site we don't allow and deleted the information. So, I asked him what happened while I was gone.

Nothing. He gave me the standard teenager shrug of the shoulders and a monotone "I don't know" as an answer. I started listing the items he has privileges to use and/or owns and which ones he would be losing as he continued to feign an inability to recall anything he may or may not have done over the hour that I was away from home. Finally he said he looked at the history to see if we had bought him a birthday present online.

He must think I have "stupid" written on my face because I don't believe that for a moment. And I told him that as well. His birthday is over a month away and I certainly wouldn't purchase anything this far in advance, mostly because I never know when he's going to pull a stunt like this and end up grounded again.

A couple of years ago he took something of mine and lied about it. I could prove that he did it and even showed him the evidence. He continued to lie and for over half and hour he lied and lied until he realized that he was just digging himself a deeper hole of punishments. And every time he continued to lie or did something else against the rules, we just added the time for that infraction onto what he'd already earned. The kid was grounded for about six months! You'd think he'd have figured it out by now that we, his parents, are much smarter than he is and will find out when he does something wrong (especially since he's not good at covering his tracks) and that just admitting to what he did and apologizing would get him in far less trouble than lying about it.

I don't know what to do. Seriously. This keeps happening over and over and over and I'm sick to death of it. Right now his "privileges" are to eat, sleep, use the bathroom, do his household and yard chores, and practice his trumpet. He can read while he's in his room (he's got LOTS of books on many subjects). But there will be no television, video games, computer, MP3, cell phone, telephone, texting, or going out unless it's to walk the dog or we're all going somewhere together.

This is my first summer home in years. Usually I'm deployed away to work a disaster and I've missed being able to just spend free time with him. No schedules; no worries about work or him having to go to school. He's only been out of school three days and he can't keep it together! I really worry about him in the future.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

About what do my dogs dream?

Yes, I noticed that I made sure my title was grammatically correct. OCD has checked-in for the night!

Anyway, I do wonder what goes through my dogs' brains when they're dreaming. I can look over at the cat who is sound asleep at the moment and she never moves until she wakes up. However, I can watch either Celeste or Harley and sooner or later they'll start to run in their sleep, snore loudly, or sometimes even bark as if they're trying to say something.

Celeste is five years old and has had a lot of experiences with and without me. She was a show dog and has traveled around the country and also worked as a service dog for a lady in a wheelchair (who sadly didn't know how to care for her even though she'd had service dogs before). So, I could see some memories coming back to her mind and perhaps she sees things she remembers.

Harley, on the other hand, has been with us since she was nine months old. She was abandoned and raised for a month at a farm before they took her to the local Humane Society because they couldn't afford to keep another abandoned dog. She's been on trips with us (vehicle only, no planes yet) and has romped around in the yard or at a dog park. Most of her time she's comfortable on the couch and when given the opportunity will watch car races or other dogs running on television. Harley also lived here with my service dog Cody who passed away in 2010. She was there when he died. She also has a lot of his habits and mannerisms because he made sure that he taught her how to act and didn't let her get too out of control.

Cody would snore loudly and run when sleeping too -- but he only came to live with us when he was much older. He had been a puppy mill breeder dog that had been abandoned on the side of the Interstate when he'd gotten to old to make the owners more money. We took him in and even though he had no idea how to play or act like a normal dog, he learned commands quickly and was eager to please because he loved being loved by someone instead of just ignored. And he still had the gumption to put the cat in her place when he came to live with us and she wouldn't shut up one night. He just closed her mouth with his and looked at her as if to say, "See? Quiet is better."

When Cody would snore loudly and move as if he was running when he was asleep, I could always imagine that he was reliving something that had happened before we had him. Maybe it was running away from the handlers at the puppy mill. Maybe it was finally running free when they first got rid of him before he began to struggle to find food and water in the sweltering heat of the summer. I would always hope that his dreams would include meeting us and enjoying a nice walk or just being cuddled.

I'm watching Harley's legs move while she's asleep as if she's running for her life. Maybe there's a rabbit or a squirrel in her dream? She loves to chase them in the yard, though I don't think she'd have any idea what to do with one if she caught it. She's running and running and you can hear her snorting loudly with every "step" she takes. Whatever it is, she's either thoroughly enjoying it or making damned sure that she gets away from whatever she doesn't like.

I know humans put too much emotion into our pets. We talk to them as if they're people and try to read their facial expressions and actions like we do non-verbal communications from other humans. But I think it would be fun if we could see about what our dogs are dreaming. Finally catching the ball; scaring a flock of birds; or maybe just laying on the couch getting their tummy rubbed. Anything could be a fascinating dream for them.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Not in the mood again....

*sigh* Just not in the mood to post anything. Have been on the computer all day trying to post items on eBay and still have a lot more to do tomorrow for my business' website.

My eyes are exhausted, my brain is frazzled, and my emotions are depressed. I even polled the voices in my head and they came up with a unanimous "I got nuthin' today" answer.

Oh well, better short and staying on schedule than not posting and freaking-out about it all night.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Stupid clouds....

Today there is to be a solar eclipse. I remember the last one that we could see from this area back in 1994. I was still in college then and there was a big viewing party down by the science building. It was great and everyone enjoyed it.

Now, all of the clouds that were supposed to be around during last week that didn't come all decided to show-up today. I was hoping that Youngest Son would get a chance to see the eclipse since it will be his first.

Then again, when it gets all dim and gloomy outside on a hot day like today, it just makes ya' want to take a nap. Which I've been doing with great success today.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tired today....

LONG day.... Took Harley to have her yearly "shearing" at the groomer. She grows so much hair during the winter you could almost make enough wigs/toupees for those little hairless dogs. Then they wouldn't get so cold all the time. We also went to our favorite gaming store and sold them a few items for store credit. Just some old books that we didn't like but that their customers will love buying. And the credit can stay there until the next Warhammer 40K tournament or when we need to buy something for someone's birthday, etc.

Also started shopping for a new phone since mine is having battery issues. I first went to a store run by the company with whom I have my service. They said that they don't make stupidphones anymore. I said that I knew he was lying because (1) I'd seen an ad for one and (2) there were some hanging on the wall in the store. He, of course, wanted to show me every smartphone in the place but I told him I wasn't going to pay a bunch more per month for the privilege of having a phone that can do a lot of things I can't afford for it to do nor would I use it for them. I guess I should have also taken a photo (the one "fancy" thing my stupidphone can do) of all of the basic phones we saw at a large electronics retailer in town as well. And if I wanted a smartphone I could get it there for even less than the service company was advertising! But, no, I did not replace my beloved stupidphone.

When Harley's grooming appointment was over, we went to pick her up and I asked the groomer to grind Celeste's nails so that I won't have to clip them for a bit. Celeste was a show dog before she became a service dog but you would have thought that no one had ever touched her feet before when she started trying to escape from the groomer. Fortunately, the lady had a great attitude and just chased her around the grooming table, keeping one paw in her hand at all times, and got it done. Another of the ladies working there asked me if she could know why I have Celeste and when I told her she was thrilled to hear someone else has a service dog for psychiatric issues. I gave her my name and number and the name and number of Celeste's breeder/trainer because the lady and her husband are trying to get a service dog for him to use. I wish them the best of luck because I know that Celeste has helped me more than I could have imagined!

Hopefully tomorrow will be relaxing. I know Husband can use a nice relaxing day after working hard all week. And Youngest Son is now home from school so I'll find plenty of chores/activities for him to complete!

Friday, May 18, 2012

End of the Junior High Era

Today was Youngest Son's last day in junior high. Next year he'll be a freshman. Lord help us all.

I'm incredibly proud of him and am very, very happy that he's had some great experiences and made new friends since we moved to this town three years ago. He's been in three school theatre productions; he's participated in All-District Honors Band (was first-chair trumpet, too); attended the State Band Contest; has made the honor roll; and has a gang of friends that he really enjoys hanging-out with and who enjoy having him with them. As a kid who moved from school-to-school, I know it can be hard to fit-in when you're the new kid on the block. Youngest Son learned a lot more at a faster pace when he was homeschooled, but I agree with him that his past three years in public school have helped him grow in many different ways.

I'm especially proud of him as he has received the President's Education Awards Program Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence. To qualify for it, he had to have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or more over his junior high career and test above the average and rank in the top of the State's Assessment Program that's given every year. He received a very nice certificate and a lapel pin that he can put on his jacket when he goes to high school. He pointed out the "autograph" of President Obama on the certificate and I told him that an auto-pen did that. He said he was surprised they just didn't Xerox it and is not impressed by it. He was actually disappointed because he didn't receive a plaque for best brass student in band and was awarded for his academics. I reminded him that it will be his academics that helps him get into the college he wants and will follow him through life. A plaque won by your "nemesis" whose parents can afford for him to take private lessons in order to be better than Youngest Son will only someday be an unwieldy paperweight that your children won't even be able to get rid of in a yard sale.

I think he feels a lot better now. And he enjoyed his last day there. No, he didn't participate with one group that wore the colorful Morph Suits that everyone was buying around Halloween and at least he wasn't dared like one of his other friends to come dressed like a princess today. He made sure he had phone/text numbers for his friends so they can get together over the summer before high school band camp starts in July.

Eldest Son texted me today that he's learned how to weld in his sculpture class in college. I told him I was proud and that the welding experience can also be used in other jobs as well. He hopes to finish his classes soon so that he can graduate in the next semester or two.

One going into high school and one leaving college soon....where does the time go?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

We'll see what happens now....

Today I got a call from an EEO/ERO person regarding my previous "quest" to find out why I'd not been reappointed to my employment position. She asked a lot of questions; I gave a lot of answers; I forwarded a LOT of emails; and she said she'd be making some phone calls and would get back in touch with me.

I have no idea if it's really going to make a difference or not. This has been such a stupid thing that I almost don't care which way it turns out. But, note that I said "almost" in that last sentence. I'm still very proud of the work I did with that agency and believe that I still have/had many years left to help others.

If nothing else, it gives me one more step towards closure. Who knows what will happen?

Just my typical Type-A/OCD self -- have to see it through all the way to the end regardless of the outcome.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Am I paying for this???

Today I had another therapist appointment. She began the session by trying to tell me about Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show" last night and how she really liked this "black female comedian who must be new." I mentioned the name Wanda Sykes and she said, "Yeah! That's her!" I began to list a number of television shows, movies, and voiceovers she'd done before and my therapist still had no idea who she is but thinks she's the funniest person she's heard in a long time. I agree, Ms. Sykes is funny. But then my therapist attempted to recount the entire conversation and all of the jokes between Jay and Wanda, but she couldn't remember all of the bits.

She sat there trying to tell me jokes and repeat what had made her laugh so hard but couldn't remember all of the punchlines or even some of the stories. What she did tell me didn't make any sense at all.

Then she began to tell me the story of how her dachshund had escaped from her house when a friend was dog-sitting and the very intricate details of how turkey hunters and neighbors (she lives in the country, so "neighbor" means "lives within a mile of you") had seen the dog but weren't able to catch it. On and on the story went and she was stunned that the dog had been gone for 15 days and had survived. The vet says it has tapeworms now because it was probably eating rabbits while it was away. She couldn't believe that her dog, a pampered pet, could kill something.

I reminded her that dachshunds were bred for hunting and ratting. They're low to the ground and have short legs so they can follow their prey into the burrows. And, most importantly, that it's a dog and when hunger sets in it's not going to debate over whether or not the food comes from a can or hole in the ground. It will go back to its nature and hunt, especially if it's a breed originally designed for that.

She kept on-and-on about how shocking it was and could I possibly believe that her dog (which I've never met) could do something like that and then, oh by the way, did I know that her pig was getting bigger? I had to stop for a second and ask her to repeat herself. She was telling me that the small piglet she'd been bringing into the office because its mother had stepped on it and it had a large wound that needed to be cared for was doing much better and is getting bigger. She also asked me what she should do with such a large animal. She's raised pigs before, so she knows that sows can become VERY large. I suggested that she make it a banquet centerpiece but she said there was no way she could eat it. She might consider breeding it but she doesn't know what to do with such a large animal.'s a fun fact -- if you breed a very large animal, its young will also become very large animals!! If you think you don't have room for one now, having a bunch of others isn't going to help your space issues!!

I was about to ask, "Am I paying for this time?" when she finally asked me a question about how I was doing. I asked if she was telling me these disjointed tales as an example of what it's like to talk to me and she said that she didn't realize she'd talked so much. She then asked me why I'm not writing a novel and wanted to know more details from some of the posts that the voices have been writing and suggested I take them and write a book with them.

Yeah....people really want to read the Great American Novel about a plain kid with a dysfunctional family who's bat-shit crazy. Sure, it will be the top of the bestseller list in the category of "Most purchased for use in lighting fires" or "Most purchased as cheaper alternative to toilet paper."

So, my one-hour session didn't quite last that long today but at least it gave me subject matter about which to post tonight. I was too depressed to type much today anyway and still am. However, the goal of having a post every day is intact. My OCD is still sated for another 24 hours.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Seeing crooked....

Hate it when it's incredibly hot outside. Hate it even more when I don't realize that it's going to be very hot outside and accidentally wear dark-colored clothes which just help absorb the heat that my black car doesn't take from the sun. Fortunately, with Husband driving, I can either crank-up the air conditioning or hang my head out of the window. Celeste doesn't hang her head out the window like other dogs and prefers the air conditioning (and not having to see her "mommy" looking like an idiot).

Today I had to travel across the state again for my eyes. This time I was there for low-vision occupational therapy.

Yeah, I was like you. "How do you do visual occupational therapy?" was the first thing through my head when I heard about it. Actually, they have you try to read a lot of different items in many different sizes, try-out different types of light sources, determine how much functional vision you have, and make more suggestions on how to improve or adapt your current vision to what you need.

Unfortunately, there's not much they can do for me regarding my night blindness and decreased vision when driving. That's just something that I'm going to have to learn to live without even though I prefer being an independent person. Relying on someone to take me places just drives me crazy and I hate having to bum a ride from friends. I'm very thankful that Husband understands what's going on and isn't bothered by taking me places at night (well, not yet at least).

Fortunately with my desktop computer I have a large monitor and it makes it easier to see. When I'm on my laptop, I can increase the print size and make things easier to read. They showed me a special flourescent lamp that has a nice blue-tinted light that is very even and doesn't have a "hot spot" like an old incandescent bulb has. When we tried a regular desk lamp and one of the flourescent lamps, I was able to read much more and even smaller print with the flourescent one. It's not up to 20/20, but it's better. Now I've got to find some to put in the house so that I can enjoy reading my books like I used to. I can still apply for audiobooks through the state's library for the blind, but I hate having to listen to them and not being able to start and stop when I want like I can in a printed book. Some have suggested an E-Reader, but I prefer the feel and smell of a good old-fashioned book.

What surprised me the most today though was how the therapist helped me find a "sweet spot" in my vision. She noticed when I was having difficulty viewing certain items that I would shift it until I could read it more clearly or I would shift my eyes rapidly as if searching for something. I've always had issues with that. I would use my right eye for reading and seeing up close and my left eye for distance viewing. Anything in the middle is a toss-up. The therapist had me look at her face (focusing on the center of her nose) and describe what I could see. I knew she had hair, eyes, a nose, cheekbones, and a mouth. She asked me to describe what I saw and it was all there but blurry. She then pointed at different places along the sides of her face and asked me to focus there and tell her what I saw. There was one place where her eyes disappeared; another where everything was so blurry if I hadn't already seen her I wouldn't be able to tell where some features were.

And then, it happened. She pointed at a spot to the left of her eyes, causing my eyes to shift to the right. Suddenly, not only could I see her face but I could also see the color of her eyes and the darker ring around the outside of her irises which I'd never noticed before. We couldn't pinpoint whether it was my right eye, my left eye, or both working together that made the difference, but just shifting my vision about four inches to the right made things so much better.

She gave me a bunch of worksheets with practice lessons to help train me to look at things "crooked" so that I'm using the "sweet spot" of my vision. She also showed me with a light meter how much I need to be able to see more clearly and we tried different light sources again. The blueish flourescent lamp was the brightest and now I've got to find somewhere that sells them. I want floor models in the living room & bedroom and a desk version I can move about the house and take with me if I'm gone with work or on a trip.

I'll be going back for another session sometime in the near future. I have to look at Youngest Son's schedule for the summer since he wants to get a class out-of-the-way this summer so he won't have to take the class during the school year and free-up a period for something else he wants. But I can tell already that learning to look to the right to see something is a trick that's going to be really hard to teach this old dog to do. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 14, 2012

They're back! Voices in charge again!!!

Aha!!  The voices in my head are still going at it.  Oh sure, it's been a few days since they last ranted like this, but I think that's just because they've been saving it up for a nice explosion.  One where not many people come out happy or unscarred.  One where the majority of people who read this won't give a rat's ass and others will either be embarrassed, offended, or so confused they won't know which opinion to choose.

Things are just stupid all over and I have no idea why.  I hate chaos and disorder except when the disorder is created by me.  Then it just looks like disorder to others but I know where everything is and I don't want anyone touching it.  But the past few days/weeks have me remembering more in the continuing story (which I'll get back to soon) and watching things happen that just have me shaking my head in disgust and frustration.

Example:  Husband read a post by Half-Sister on her Buttleaflet account.  She made a comment.  He replied to the comment.  Nothing offensive, just an opinion.  She called him an asshole and de-friended him.  So what?  They're adults and can do whatever they want.  What I thought was strange was that she did the de-friending after calling him an asshole and that prevents him from seeing it.  He didn't know that she'd responded until I was on my account and saw what was posted.  Not that either of them care, I'm sure -- they've never gotten along for a laundry list of reasons (some I know and some I don't) and I don't think either one feels slighted and/or vindicated by the actions.

So it seemed strange to me when I was reviewing my account online today and found that one of my Sisters-in-Law had de-friended me.  This was weird because quite a while ago we'd had a bit of a difference of opinion regarding something I'd posted somewhere and what she typed to me hurt my feelings.  I let her know how I felt and she replied and I realized that we were both reading way too much into things (which we both admitted) and mutually apologized to each other.  Just recently I'd been seeing posts from my niece but nothing from her mom.  I thought maybe she was just being unusually quiet recently and had even received an email from a mutual friend wondering if she was okay.  Now I know why I've not seen anything.  Am I sad?  A bit because we were close in age and had a lot of things in common and always have enjoyed each other's company.  But, if that's her choice, then I have to respect it.

So, all of the voices are now trying to get me to continue with the retelling of my story ('cause we're getting to some of the juicy parts) and argue over whether or not being able to contact family members online is a good thing or a bad thing and lamenting over yesterday being Mothers' Day and not hearing from Eldest Son.  He sent a brief text, but that's all.  I don't want a parade or anything like that but he doesn't call or return messages anymore.  He didn't say or do anything for his step-father's birthday and the last time I sent him info about what Youngest Son was doing he seemed disinterested.  I always take his calls, regardless if I'm at work or in an appointment.  Just as long as answering my phone won't cause a dangerous situation (like when I'm driving) I answer because I worry about him being far away from home.

But is it "home" to him?  He lives closer to his biological father and paternal grandparents who give him everything he wants.  I see him for maybe a week around the Christmas holidays when I pay for the Amtrak tickets to get him here and back.  He should be graduating from college soon and I certainly don't want to miss that, but I can't get an answer out of him when I ask when he thinks he'll be done.  He used to call me for everything -- even issues I couldn't solve for him but he knew that I'd give him my best advice and intelligent options for him to weigh.  Now it's nothing.  No texts.  No calls.  No emails.  And he dropped Buttleaflet and the other thing with a plus sign after it when he wasn't interested in it either.

I don't really know what to think about much of anything anymore.  I make up my own mind and have my own opinions and invariably someone gets offended.  I explain that my opinions are just that -- mine -- and that anyone who is offended should (1) say something to me so that I understand that their opinion is different than mine and we can come to a mutual understanding that I'll have mine and they'll have theirs and be respectful of it or (2) be quiet about it if all they're going to do is try to shove their opinion down my throat and tell me what an awful person I am for thinking or believing the way I do.  I have seen and experienced a lot of things I'd never wish on anyone else.  I have friends who have seen and experienced a lot of things -- some thousands of times worse than anything I've had -- that they'd never wish on anyone else as well.  We all come from a damaged background in one way or another.  It was different when people lived tens/hundreds/thousands of miles away from each other and only called/wrote every now-and-then.  With the Internet, everyone is in everyone else's business 24/7 and people don't understand that sarcasm/humor/anger/despair won't translate well through printed words.  So we all (and, yes, I include myself in this) jump to a conclusion based on what we see and what we believe that person would say/do/think.

I try to make a point of stepping-back and thinking about what I've read and how it could be interpreted different ways.  I've been doing that with a lot of things from my past recently, too.  That's one of the reasons the voices in my head keep telling me to write more and get things down on paper.  It's not to beg for pity or to embarrass someone else by airing anyone's dirty laundry.  It's trying to see things objectively and get them out of my system once and for all.  The voices have been rummaging through the cabin trunks in my brain to clear out the crap and make more space for the penguins (if you're a Douglas Adams fan you'll get that reference).

So now that I've gotten that mess out of the way for now, I'll pick up where we left-off in the story.  My parents decided to divorce and the summer between my 4th and 5th grade years of school they took me on a really long "family" vacation.  Then they waited until the summer between my 5th and 6th grade years to actually finalize the divorce while I was away at summer camp.

I talked briefly about 6th grade but it needs more information.  Not only was I again attending a school where my biological father was the principal but his mistress was the school secretary there as well.  Oh joy.  As if I needed further reminders of how much my life was going into the crapper.  But, I was an honor student and was meeting even more people because the school district had two elementary schools and the students from both combined into one class during 6th grade.  Yay....not only did I have the ones who knew me and knew my dad was the principal but I had a whole new set who would look at me as if I was the privileged one because my dad was the principal.

I can assure you that being "privileged" was far from the truth.  Some of my teachers liked me because I was a good student and I worked hard.  Some of my teachers just outright hated me because they didn't like my father or his mistress or both and were determined to make my life hell and were upset that they couldn't fail me because I made high grades in all of my classes.

There was an instance, however, where people felt I was being given too much privilege during my 6th grade year.  Previously I mentioned that I began playing the flute in band in 4th grade.  When I finally made it to the middle school where grades 6-8 attended, my father said that he was going to try to get me into the beginning band (7th grade) because I'd already had band experience.  He also knew that I was going to be bored to death in the 6th grade music class because I'd already learned to play the recorder and the keyboarding part of the year would be equally as boring since I'd been taking piano lessons since 1st grade.

One afternoon, my father told me to bring my flute to school with me the next day and I would be allowed to play with the woodwind class.  I happily entered the classroom the next day and was excited to get back to playing.  The band instructor said that it was "Challenge Day" and we would have to play a section from the book to see who would be placed in which chair based on our performances.  The students in the classroom had already been playing together and were in their "chairs" so I was told to take the last seat and would play first.  I played the piece from the book (which was the exact same book I'd already completed in 4th grade) and did better than the person next to me, so I took her chair and moved up the line.  This continued over and over again.  Each time I would play, then the next student would play, and then I would be moved up another ranking by taking their "chair."  Finally, I had moved all the way from last chair to second chair.  This is when I got really, really nervous because the person in first chair wasn't just the child of my 6th grade science teacher but was also a boy.  I'd not played against a boy before and I'd heard that he was very, very good.  He took lessons from the same piano teacher I had started with in our new town and if he could play the flute half as good as he played piano I knew I had no chance.  I was so nervous and I actually made a mistake while playing the same line that I'd been playing all day.  He, however, played it perfectly and remained in the top spot.  I was humbled and highly impressed at the same time.

I didn't even get to finish the week.  Word spread quickly of what I'd done and how I'd nearly unseated the top player in the class.  How dare I, just a simple 6th grader with 2 years of previous playing experience, walk into a classroom of older children who happened to live in a district that didn't allow them to begin band (in school, they could have taken private lessons though) until they were 7th graders and do so well?  How could this happen?  Who would allow it?  After enough teachers and parents complained, my father wouldn't allow it.  He yanked me out of that class faster than I could think possible.  He tried telling me it was for my own good that I stayed with my "regular" classmates but I knew better.  He was always trying to be popular with everyone and if someone said something negative about me being in band, he took it as a personal assault on his character.  It never mattered if I excelled at something -- if someone said or even thought anything negative he would immediately stop me from doing whatever it was so that people would think highly of him.

And it just wasn't in school that he did this.  He enrolled me in golf lessons at the local country club.  I wasn't the least bit interested in playing golf the way he was.  He bought himself the newest Jack Nicklaus "Golden Bear" clubs and made sure that he was seen playing with anyone he thought could get him viewed in a more positive light.  I had a teeny kids' set with a 3-wood, a 9-iron, and a putter in a vinyl bag.  Yeah....that was going to get me into the LPGA someday.

I suffered through the lessons and one day went with him to play a round at the country club.  I'd never played all 18 holes but he wanted to be sure he was getting his money's worth out of my lessons.  As predicted, he did much better than I did on every hole (and he had me teeing-off from the men's tee instead of the women's).  Every hole....except one.  There was one hole that had the longest par 5 on the front-nine and from a short kid's perspective seemed to go straight up instead up a sloping hill.  I got there in par -- a feat I was never able to reproduce but I was thrilled.  My father did not fare as well.  It took him more strokes to complete the hole than I'd made but he was still ahead in the game.  It didn't matter to him.  That wasn't even the last hole on the front-nine.  He was angry.  No, he was pissed-off in a way I'd not seen for quite a while.  He was shocked that I beat him on that hole.  He couldn't fathom the idea that a young kid could get lucky (with a bit of training) and make a par on that hole when he couldn't.

Immediately, he said he was done and didn't want to play anymore.  Just like a spoiled child, he took his toys and said I couldn't play in his sandbox anymore.  He wouldn't finish the entire game.  He wouldn't finish the front-nine.  He never asked me to play again.

So, with my broken family and the semi-acceptance of "friends" from school and church and my mother's depression and ranting at me as if I was the cause of everything evil in the world, what was I supposed to do?  If no one was happy seeing me or wanted me around, why should I be?  But, I wasn't quite ready to give up breathing yet.  Summer was coming and my favorite thing was just around the corner -- summer camp in Mississippi.

I escaped to Mississippi by begging my mother to take me a day earlier than usual and spending the night in the nearest town so that I could arrive very, very early the next morning.  All of the campers were allowed to pick the cabins they wanted to stay in, the hobbies they wanted to learn, and the bible classes they wanted to attend.  But, all of those were first-come, first-served.  If you weren't there early enough in the line, you didn't get anything you wanted.

I needed this to be a good summer.  She agreed and we went early so that I could be one of the first in line.  I knew that my second week I would get pretty much anything I wanted because they would allow me to pick my cabin/hobby/class before the others would register so that I could help show people around the camp, answer questions, and make sure that parents were comfortable leaving their kids.  I even had one father who, when he heard the name of my hometown, demanded that I look-after his daughter 'cause she'd never been away from home and anyone from where I was from had to be "good people."  I said that I wasn't a babysitter and that she'd be fine but we were going to be staying in the same cabin so at least she'd have a friend from day one there.  We actually got along and had a blast that week she was there.

During lunchtime, all of the campers would get excited about mail call.  Some kids were shipped items they'd forgotten from home.  Some kids got care packages from their families as if being in the middle of the forest prevented them from obtaining decent food.  (We got decent food, and lots of it!)  Some would get letters from boyfriends/girlfriends back home but most never received any.  I usually didn't get mail because it would take 3 days to get there from where I lived and by the time a letter would arrive I'd either (1) have already been able to call home on the weekend ('cause campers weren't allowed to call except in emergencies during the week) and found out everything or (2) I'd have left after the second week.

This year, though, there was a letter for me.  I was stunned.  The Camp Director enjoyed teasing the kids by pretending there were things written on the outside of the envelope, usually the gooey-eyed type of phrases people thought that people in love would say to each other.  It always got a big laugh and usually helped whomever received the letter he chose to play with feel better.  My family and I were good friends with him, so when he saw this letter I became the target of his humor.  It was funny and I proudly walked through all of the applause and laughter to receive my letter.

It was from my father.  This was very strange.  And it wasn't handwritten.  He'd typed the envelope and the letter.

After lunch we had a mandatory 30-minute "rest period" in our cabins so that our food could settle before the swimming pool would be open for the afternoon.  Yes, we had a huge lake there but it was much safer to swim in the pool!

I sat on my bunk in the cabin and read the letter.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I still have the letter somewhere in my house.  I've packed it away with other important items but made sure that I've put it somewhere where I won't casually find it but also where it will remain for a long time because it was a great turning point in my life.

My father typed a letter to me saying that (and I'm paraphrasing here) he knew I'd be having fun at camp; that he hoped that I got to be in the classes I wanted that summer; and, oh by the way, that the day I'd left for camp he and his mistress had traveled to Arkansas and gotten married.  He gave a half-assed excuse for not inviting me or letting me know about it before I left for camp and that I should be prepared for them (him, her, and her 2 kids) to pick me up at the end of my second week.

I don't really remember much after that.  I was shocked and hurt.  To think that he purposefully didn't want me to know what was going on was the worst.  I can only remember them coming to pick me up in his diesel Chevette and me being crammed into the middle of the back seat between her kids (both of whom I was older than by many years) for the 8-hour drive back home.  No stopping except if they wanted to stop.  No eating anywhere except where they wanted to eat.  It was if coming to get me was a huge chore and not an attempt to help mend any wounds or begin to create a family.  I couldn't stand it.  It still makes me ill to think about it.  I was ignored the whole way back and dumped-off unceremoniously at my house.

"Well," I remember thinking to myself one day around that time, "this is it.  Mom's mad because she's divorced and has me to take care of on her own and Dad's being a jerk as usual except he's rubbing it in my face with his new 'son' (step-son, actually) that he's always wanted.  What's the point anymore?"

I went to the church camp sponsored by our local church that summer as well.  Fortunately, they drove a bus to get us out there and back so I didn't have to suffer either of my parents' unwillingness to deal with me.  I tried to have fun and I remember our group of girls (we were divided by age and gender) doing well on contests, but there were many who didn't want me in their group.  And I dreaded every day having one or both of my parents showing-up to give me some additional news that should have been told in person but was just haphazardly typed-out in a letter.  It didn't happen and I don't think I could have stood it if it did.
Well, poop....looked at the clock and all of my time is gone again.  The voices are still trying to cram words down my arms and to my fingers on the keyboard but I've got errands to run.  Need to get things done or Husband will be irritated that I stayed inside all day again.  I know he says he's not but I also know that it does upset him because I used to be very outgoing and my disabilities are not getting better.  Maybe in the long-run this "therapy" I'm trying with these posts will help.