Daily Archives: February 1, 2015
Okay, here’s the thing… I get stimulated in social situations. Too stimulated. Too excited. Too impulsive. I take over. Hog the floor. Talk too much. Not so good at sharing. So… can I really participate in give-and-take social situations? Can…
This is my response to Blahpolar Diaries‘ post Watch “Stephen Fry on God | The Meaning Of Life | RTÉ One” on YouTube. I love Stephen Fry, and I love his response. Why not the Greek gods? I really have…
They say you can bear anything if you can tell a story about it.
Once upon a long ago,
Stories happened, I dunno …
It’s a pity so many stories start with once upon a crime, but they do and mine did, and perhaps yours did too. And for far too long, the damn and damned crime defined me. By the time it stopped – by the time I stopped it – it was too late for what feels like everything.
Checkitout, this is my life – not all of it and not always, but still …
It isn’t like that now. I’m hell bent and determined it won’t be that way again.
Once upon a something or other …
There was a beautiful and brave dragon … weeellllll can you imagine me as a princess? I freaking hope not. The dragon was blue, hir wings shone silver by moonlight and hir talons were pretty damn nifty. Yes babies, we are making old lizardlips a hero for a change. Ze subscribed to the Joseph Campbell theory of heroism, sacrificing hir individuality for the greater good. Blah blah threat blah battle blah nemesis blah fair genderfuck etc and so forth. *fast forward tape noises* The dragon fought fights and fucked genders and fairly regularly, set fire to everything by mistake. Ze believed in hirself and dreamed dreams. And so on and on and on … on a möbius trip. Then a thatched roof went caught alight, sparks leapt until the village burned and the people fled screaming. The dragon flew as fast and far as hir wings would bear. Ze landed on a beach and licked hir wounds and then …
… rewound to human.
Not important, because life ain’t storyshaped, no matter how hard you try to bend it. Happily ever after is as fraudulent as dragons. That doesn’t matter either. There are no absolutes. Crappily ever after can be achieved by accident or intent, so I’d rather set my sails for chance, rather than fate. And then shrug a zen shrug.
Argh. All I wanted was to heat up enough water in the electric kettle so I could dump it into the little pot on the two-burner hot plate, so that it wouldn’t take, like, three hours to heat up enough so I could make some instant soup. That’s all.
But instead, I was thinking. I think a lot. Too much, sometimes.
I was out somewhere out in Thinking-Land, and I had the electric hot plate burner–the burner that works–the other one gets vaguely warm, but you can’t actually cook on it–anyway, I had the burner that actually gets hot, heated up to maximum, so that when I got the water boiled in the kettle I could just pour it in the little pot and away we would go with the soup.
Instead of that happening, what happened instead was that I set the electric kettle down on the hot burner, instead of the soup pot.
It could have been worse, I mean, I have in the past set my HAND down on the hot burner, which is not a good thing at all.
As it happens, this particular electric kettle, which I have never liked and have kind of wanted to get rid of, but since it worked I would not–this kettle is made of stainless steel that got hot to the touch, with a plastic base.
So when I set the kettle down on the hot burner, the whole bottom melted, and since I was still deep in thought, I did not notice this until the whole damn bottom of the kettle was pouring off of the hot plate! I wish I had been able to take a picture, it looked so bizarre. However, my main desire at that moment was to avoid the whole thing bursting into flames, so I removed the remains of the kettle and set it on a handy piece of tin foil that happened to be lying around. I set this on the floor while I turned my attention to the hot plate. Later I regretted this a bit, as I was pulling the sheets of bubbled-up floor paint off the wood underneath.
Fortunately, the molten plastic had dripped off the burner and was easily removed from the sides of the hot plate. Thank God it didn’t stick, or I would have lost the hot plate as well as the kettle.
The process of dripping produced amusing plastic stringy-things. I threw everything I could get off into the garbage bin and shut off the power to the hot plate.
Then I turned my attention to the clouds of poisonous fumes that had filled the building. Fortunately it is all the way up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside, so I opened all the doors and set up a box fan to blow the fumes out the back door. This worked admirably.
At this moment I stopped thinking for a second or two, in order to think about why the fire extinguisher had not entered my mind during this melting-plastic mitigation process. Really, even though the fire extinguisher is always ready to hand in my kitchen (or what passes for a kitchen in my current dwelling), it is scandalous and also dangerous that the image of a fire extinguisher never showed up among all the other images flying through my mind. I will have to do more fire drills!
To my credit, I did have a plan in place in case the melted plastic on the burner burst into flames–a giant pot lid, left lying around after cooking my Shabbat meal, ready to smother any flames that might have shot out. That would not have helped if, say, the wooden cupboard that holds my hotplate were to have burst into flames. That would have been the time to remember about the fire extinguisher. Happily, I did not have to kick myself in retrospect as I watched the building burning down–heaven forbid–saying to myself, why in the holy hell did you not remember the THREE fire extinguishers–one, two, THREE–you have lying around in the place, each one strategically positioned in places where there are fire hazards?
Well, so be it. I was saved from disaster only by the fact that the plastic used on the kettle had a higher flashpoint than the heat of my hotplate. After everything cooled down, I inspected the bottom of my kettle, and passed a few happy moments inspecting its innards. You would not believe how simple these things are. Really, I think if I did a bit of re-engineering, I could revive this kettle and have it boiling away quite cheerfully again. But I think I won’t. I have other things to tinker with, and the kettle would end up in the pile of “things to fix when I get a chance,” and I never get a chance, because I am thinking of other things.
You will be pleased to know that my hotplate emerged slightly smelling of plastic but otherwise unscathed. I wiped the remains of the plastic off and turned the hotplate back on “high” to burn off any renegade plastic molecules. It did smoke a bit, and then subsided. So at least I don’t have to go out and buy another of THOSE.
Once the building was cleared of plastic fumes, I followed up with billowing clouds of frankincense and myrrh, so that my clothing and bed hangings will smell of incense rather than burning plastic. I have a collection of precious incense resins, most of which I procured in the Middle East, some of which I collected myself in various resin-producing forest places, and some that I’ve obtained through trading with other resin aficionados.
It’s a bit more of a chore to fire up a few resin nuggets than it is to light a stick of incense, which might be a factor in the development of incense sticks. You have to have the proper equipment, etc., which I will not go into, except to say that the process involves special charcoal (I have done it with “normal” charcoal but that is a pain), a butane torch, time, and nuggets of whatever resin you are burning.
I totally filled the building with frankincense and myrrh smoke, causing the dog to seek refuge under the table, and me to stand outside on the deck until the incense smoke had risen into the rafters; then I came in and sat down to write this. Afterwards, I will go out to the nearest source of small appliances and procure another electric kettle. That is how I cook anything that requires hot water, since the hot plate doesn’t get hot enough.
Perhaps that’s a good thing, after all.
So tomorrow we start our 9-10 hour drive to Dallas.
The good news is that I love road trips. I love to see new places and my anxiety doesn’t always hinder me. In fact sometimes I am even more relaxed because I don’t feel the pressuresIdo where I live. The only thing I am really nervous about is meeting my best face-to-face.
The bad news is we got 6 inches of standing snow. We have to leave for the airport to pick up our rental car and our back wheels have no tread. We’ll likely have to ask MIL to take us and then we will need her to pick us up as well. She hates driving on the freeway/highway so I’m not sure she can even do it.
We have zero choice in going, so it should be an interesting morning tomorrow. As long as we’re safe I’m good, but I have a feeling that I am going to be holding onto the door handle with white knuckles for the first part of the trip.
I’m still looking forward to it though.
Let’s consider the armadillo. Better yet, let’s consider this brief video. Take note of the armadillo’s defense mechanisms, if you will.
I have always identified with the armadillo, for a variety of reasons. It is the symbol of Texas music, which I love. I have a purse shaped like an armadillo. I also have toy armadillos, crocheted armadillos, wooden, stone, cement, armadillo jewelry, you name it. My uncle and I have a catch-phrase: El armadillo amarillo de mi tía es sobre la mesa.
What does all this have to do with bipolar disorder? I’m glad you asked.
Most of all, I admire the armadillo for its defense mechanisms, which resemble some of mine. For those of you who skipped the video, here’s a recap.
The armadillo has armor (obviously). I have tried to construct a similar impervious shell. When I have been even partially successful, it has proved counterproductive. When you wall off feelings, you wall off the good ones too.
The armadillo rolls up in a tight ball. I isolate. This has also proved counterproductive. If sorrow shared is halved and joy shared is doubled, then isolation – well, you do the math.
The armadillo leaps vertically when threatened. My anxiety makes me jump and release fight-or-flight hormones. This defense is also counterproductive, both for the armadillo and for me. One of the armadillo’s main predators is the automobile; the armadillo jumps straight up to bumper height. I waste energy on panicky behaviors even when I’m not threatened.
The armadillo has a low body temperature and is therefore useful for research on leprosy. This is not a defense mechanism, but it is a Fun Fact to Know and Tell. I have never had leprosy.
All things considered, the armadillo is not a good role model for a person (me) with bipolar disorder. But I like them anyway. They remind me that I need to check whether my defenses are doing me harm rather than good.
Plus, with my armadillo handbag I get lots of practice in the social skill of making light conversation strangers – and even children!
Yesterday was fairly uneventful. Neither high nor low. My daughter demanded a playdate with her grandmother so she spent almost six hours over there. I thought about doing housework but then found this cool show from crackle.com called “Sequestered” and binge watched. Clean laundry needing to be folded barely rates in my top ten cos the clothes are clean, folding them isn’t pressing.
Normally, I enjoy my alone time. Yesterday it was interrupted when dad and stepmonster announced they were bringing a truck load of used toys for Spook which meant I had to rearrange her room to make space. OMG, the little demon spawn had stuff stuck in every space imaginable as if trash cans don’t exist. I was stunned. I gave her a little trash can so she wouldn’t do that shit anymore and still…Children are either little sponges that absorb all or brick walls where everything bounces off like an echo. Mine is a sponge for foul language and a wall for every other lesson.
I think the biggest irksome thing was, I had planned (ha ha) on rearranging the living room to do some stuff for my own interests and once again, my plan is foiled by others and their plans. Maybe binge watching tv shows is my only control since every other aspect of my life seems held hostage by others. It’s not ingratitude, my kid is very lucky to get two hundred dollars worth of brand name toys that cost me nothing. It made her happy (How she loved the little kitchenette with its plastic food, the concoctions she feeds me are horrific yet hysterical.)
I just resent people thinking I don’t have a life or things I need or want to do. And of course, I feel unreasonable for feeling that way most of the time because I have been so invalidate at every turn the only true emotion I feel completely entitled to is my anger. And it’s been proven time again that people forgive anger. If you cry in front of them, they become uneasy and begin backing away.
Sad fucking statement about the human race when anger is less shameful than an honest display of tearful emotion.
And that was when it hit me yesterday, another epiphany. The world has such distorted views. I am deemed “unstable” and “volatile” when in fact, aside from snarkasm and verbal sparring…I shy from confrontation, let alone physical altercation.
Yet those around me…I have witnessed their “I am gonna beat their ass” mentality and subsequent throwing of punches and such.
So who’s really unstable and volatile?
It is, as predicted by Daria in te 90’s, a sick sad world.
And onto the real reason I felt so compelled to blog about the inane first thing in the morning…
I woke at 6:30 a.m from a nightmare. Now, the logic contained within is not based on any true realism.But it was enough to send me into a panic attack.
I dreamt that I went to pick Spook up from school. And the teacher kept stalling, going to the office, and wouldn’t tell me why I wasn’t being allowed to take my child. So I finally confronted her and she informed me there had been a visit by The Donor informing her the paperwork was in works for he wants to remarry and take Spook away from me so he needs to talk to everyone about my fitness as a parent.
The part about him wanting to remarry thus needing a divorce fast, well, that’s factoid.
But after three years of me retaining the same address and numbers and him making zero effort to inquire about her wellfare…It’s kind of far fetched he would give a damn.
Unless that was the end game. Threaten to take her from me unless I cave to his demands in spite of a lawyer being the one who told me not to sign his DIY divorce paperwork.
Yes, it’s just a nightmare.
One that plays on my biggest fear.
I could feel the terror, the violation, the indignation. Dreams can be so real and even when you think you’ve woken, you realize you’re still in the dream.
Is my subconscious trying to tell me something:? Some sixth sense that he’s going to make some idiot move?
Yes, likely i am being a paranoid moron.
But paranoia is for those who haven’t had something happen before, repeatedly, therefore are basing their paranoid feelings on “it did happen.”
That’s called realistic expectation. And face it, parents who abandon their kids yet put on a big display of “I’ve reformed and I can provide a better life (now that I’ve had umpteen years to rebuild while the other parent took up all the slack) regain custody all the time. It’s despicable.
Not that people are beyond redemption and change.
But if you abandoned a child once because things were too tough.You’d do it again.
Where as things have been tough for me but I’ve not once shirked my responsibility.
If only being a good person and doing the right thing meant fuck all in this wading pool of corruption and hypocrisy called life.
Sometimes my posts remind me of an old Faster Pussycat song.
“No, she won’t shut up, she’s just babbling on and on…”
C’est la vie.
My purge is complete.
Now time to binge on some more reality.
Stephen Fry on God | The Meaning Of Life | RTÉ One: http://youtu.be/-suvkwNYSQo
What do you think?
Some February fiction for you
“Things on Toast”
If only I were more up-market, I might expect to stumble across my well-manicured, not-a-hair-out-of-place, nearly mother-in-law from time to time. This is a small town, after all.
But I keep myself to myself. When I do go out, it’s to where you’d expect to find someone who dresses in second-hand jeans, shabby hoodies, and under-polished shoes.
The mid-week flea market, and the Sunday car boot. Charity shops. The sort of cafés which don’t have booze, let alone cocktails, but do have tea in plain, clean mugs, and menus that list “things on toast”.
You’d be amazed at the number of things you can get on toast.
Edible things, that is. I’m talking cafés, not art galleries. Just in case you’re imagining two slices of plain white, buttered, with a string of pearls, or maybe a cut-throat razor, or a VW Beetle, on top.
We don’t do airs or graces at places which feature things on toast. There are few children, but a lot of babbies. Sometimes, babbies who are with their mums because they’re poorly – the babbies, that is, though the mums don’t always look so great, either. Some of them are pale beneath their orange tans, or glossy make up. The one in the booth across from me, for example, she’s wearing more mascara in one go than I’ve worn in all my 26 years.
Babby has an ear infection. His mum wonders if that’s why he’s been crying a lot. Maybe his ears hurt, she says to her mates.
I like the way they leave me alone here. I’m not a regular, preferring to spread my trade amongst the local cafés, trading privacy for better service. I just get my cuppa and my piece of apple pie, and custard. I can look at the magazines in peace.
They have the most incongruous magazines here. I’d expect to find “Bella”, “Chat”, “Take a Break”. The usual mix of weight loss stories, funny pictures of puppies, knitting patterns, recipes, and personal triumphs and disasters.
Instead, they have well-flipped-through copies of “Elle”, and something I’ve never seen before called “Decorative!” Complete with flippin’ exclamation point, no less.
“Decorative!” consists mainly of glossy adverts for Rolex, and Gucci, and lots of other brands I’ve never heard of before, not being up-market like the ex, or his ever so tastefully-enhanced mother.
Oh, and there are a few articles, too, tucked here and there like the adverts in lesser mags.
I’ve never seen the point of chasing brands. It always seems to be a case of a coat or a watch or a phone too far. You get the latest fill-in-the-blank, must-have item, then you barely have time to wash it or lose it, let alone show it off, when Must-Have Mark II comes out. And so it goes, the Magic Roundabout of Keeping up with the Material Girls, and Lads.
Not me. The only time I’ve come close was just as obsessive, but it wasn’t label driven. It was something older, more primal, and so-so-so much fun.
Til I ran out of happy steam, and the local shopkeepers ran out of patience.
Til the bills landed.
Then it was just like dominoes, a game I’ve never liked. Except it wasn’t as much fun as dominoes.
My posh almost-mum-in-law: does she buy “Decorative!”? Perhaps she has a special servant who’s paid just to turn the pages, whilst Specialist Servant II fans her with grapes, and SS III feeds her ostriches.
It’s just possible I got that wrong.
I’ve only met her once before. That first time was when Pete – that’s my ex – misjudged his parents’ holiday to the Rich People Islands, and they returned in time to find me collecting my Primark bra and knickers from the floor of his dad’s so-called study.
I hadn’t got round to my hoodie and jeans, yet.
The second time was a moment ago, when I went into the ladies to wash the custard off my face, and found her with one of the staff. At least, I think the other woman was staff. She had a pinny on. Ex’s mum’s Chanel suit and Gucci bag were on the floor of the loo.
So was she.
I wonder what her favourite “thing on toast” is?
Must pop back, and ask her.
If you enjoyed this story, check out my collection “What! No Pudding?“ available from Amazon.