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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winter gift request & letter to the big guy upstairs. I think his name is Bruce.


Dear Santa/Father Xmas/St. Nick/Batman,
All I really want this year is this tiny little elephant that obviously loves train rides. The boy and he look so cute together and I am sure they would miss each other very much if parted, so since I am an old maid anyway, why not bring the both of them here - and the little orphan boy gets his wish, too! See, BatSanta? It's a win-win. How many other people would be writing to you to say "bring me an orphan AND his elephant"???? I bet you a dollar (cuz that's all I have in my pocket) not many. So, summing up, me=good person, loves elephants and the kid type people. Kid & elephant on train need a good mommy. I will be their mommy. Thank you very much.
Also, what do tiny elephants eat? I may need a bag of that, too.
Cheerily yours,
Jo, awesome mommy to 2 furballs and endless stuffies

P.S. Percival J. Piggy can provide you with references if necessary.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

For J.I.R. - January 17, 1966 - January 6, 1998

You are still in my heart and on my mind, almost 14 years later. I still miss your smile and see your face in my dreams. But I no longer blame myself. I learned to forgive you, and myself. I know that nothing I could have said or done would have swayed you from your decision, because you were not well. Depression consumed you and in a moment of drug-induced haze you chose the wrong course of action. I have learned so much from you, from our life together and from your death. I will never forget.

Today is International Survivors of Suicide Day.  I hate that almost 14 years later I still feel these feelings. SO many things I want to write but I just don;t have the words today. Maybe later. Maybe another day. Please stay strong. And if you can't be strong, reach out for help. You are not alone.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Update

Yes, I'm back to the purple hair.
School.
Finally got the car fixed. I spent almost 10x more doing that than I did on buying my first car almost 20 years ago.
School.
We survived  Snowtober 2011. I lost all my food in the 4 days without power.
School.
Professor Crazypants has actually turned out to be the most awesome and generous of the bunch.
School.
I got my shiny new laptop. It's very pretty and I'm sure it will run my games very smoothly if I ever get around to playing any.
School.
How the *%$# is it already November?!
School.
School.
School.


Did I mention school?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

conversations with the boyfriend

me: (all giddy and clapping) SIMS 3 Pets is just 7 days away!!!!
boyfriend: Yeah but... you've got nothing to play it on.
*crickets*
me: Way to kill a dream, baby.
boyfriend: Popped THAT bubble. (pokes imaginary bubble in the air)
me: You're just mean.
boyfriend: well, it was just too easy.
me: MEAN.
boyfriend: and, hello, GRAD SCHOOL?
me: sigh......

Then he generously offers for me to try to install the game on his ancient dinosaur of a laptop. The thing weighs like 10 lbs. and is slower than a snail in molasses. I think I'll just mope in my corner until I can get my new computer.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On a scale of 1 to 10, how stressed out are you?

Since I started graduate school I don't think I've had one decent night's sleep. In fact, I think I've been sleeping more during the daylight hours than I have at night. It's not that I'm up all night studying. Well, not all the time. It's more like I can't get my brain to cooperate with my extremely exhausted body. I will take my meds (remember, fibro) around 9 or 10pm, hoping they will kick in and have me sleeping by 11 or midnight at the latest... usually, it's more like toss and turn until 3am and then pass out from sheer exhaustion. A few times I even made it til 5am. That was not happiness. And I'm tired ALL the time. Like, close my eyes and instantly fall asleep tired. Unless it's after 8pm, then I am exhausted but CAN'T fall asleep. I just can't win. I think the chronic fatigue aspect of the fibro is kicking up.... I just wish I could get one decent night of rest.

Of course, there are many things stressing me out right now, not just school (although my research class in itself is enough to make me want to pull my hair out). My laptop, my one and only computer, bit the dust last week. The motherboard went on strike. You know how mothers are, they get fed up doing ALL the work and not being appreciated so they just stop. EVERYTHING. My mom did that when I was about 12. She refused to cook, clean, give us a ride anywhere (unless it was to school or the doctor or something important), she took all the clothes and toys that we hadn't picked up off the floor and threw them out the window. She even made a large sign "MOTHER ON STRIKE" and mounted it on the front lawn for the whole neighborhood to see. Mortifying. So I guess my laptop went through the same thing. Motherboard just up and quit. No notice. Just gone. I tried to apologize but I guess it's too late. So now I need to buy a new computer. Thankfully Oaky is loaning me his laptop in the meantime. All my school assignments are submitted electronically so without Oaky's help I'd be up the creek right about now.

Also, there's my Mom. We still don't know what's happening - whether she'll be having surgery, and if so, exactly what kind it will be, and when it needs to be done. She is staying pretty calm, which I find amazing. Especially since her van just died. She's stuck at home with a failing back and potentially crippling disorder AND she had to put her favorite cat to sleep..... I don't know how she's keeping it together.

And my car.... every time I start that thing I worry that "this is the day the car goes kablooey!"  Like, the brakes failing and me crashing into a semi or the axle cracking and the wheels popping off and the rest of the car just bursts into flames and I and the car die a fiery death.... Me? Dramatic? Pppsshhh. This is what happens when you're exhausted.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ikea and the HRC

K is my friend from school. We are both in the graduate social work program, but we actually knew each other in high school, like mumble20mumble years ago. This is great because we had an instant bond and started sitting together in class right away, making snarky comments under our breath about the professors and yukking it up in our little corner of the room. We are awesome. Running into her after 20 years (I can't believe it's been that long, holy crap we're old) has been a blessing! I don't think either one of us would have survived the first week of school if the other hadn't been there. We are definitely keeping each other sane. Or, what our version of sane is, anyway. Don't ask me to define it, because it's pretty much the opposite of what everyone else thinks it is.

Anyway, today K and I are at the school library working diligently on a research project that is making us both crazy enough to pull our hair out. We've been taking turns with the break-downs and the bolstering of the other's confidence. Today is K's turn to freak out. I listen patiently and try to reassure in my best Tony Little imprssion that "You can do it!!" which makes her crack a smile, at least. (Although, I am forced to admit, as soon as the words are out of my mouth, that the Tony Little thing is going to have to remain out of the therapist toolbox. Funny? Yes. Inspirational? Not so much.)

Anyway, K is freaking out (and rightly so, this research class is a B*TCH). I am sharing my notes with her and pep-talking her, all while digging for my highliter in my little pen & pencil bag. Yes, I'm a dork, I have a little bag for my writing utensils. AND it's lavender. AND monogrammed. Aren't you jealous? So, right... digging around for highlitey thing... and my HRC sticker, which finally came in the mail like a friggin' year late, falls out and onto the table. I pick it up and start to complain how it finally came in the mail, so late that I had completely forgotten about it. She looks at it quizzically, cocks her head, and says "Mmm..." which I can only interpret to mean she's hungry for stickers, since she's only had a tiny gluten-free protein bar to eat all friggin' day. Poor K, her tummy hates her.
HRC logo sticker


me: You know what this is right? (Please don't eat my sticker.)
K: Um, yeah, it's Swedish or something, right? Like, the Swedish flag, or.... doesn't it have to do with Sweden?

I raise an eyebrow. Seriously? I know I was trying not to laugh but failed miserably.

me: WHAT?!  (I exclaim through a snort of laughter.... ok maybe not exclaim so much as whisper really loudly. We are in the library, after all. And a snort. A loud whisper-snort.)
K: What? Aren't those the colors of Sweden?
me: I don't know, I thought the colors were red & white... oh wait, no, that's Switzerland... or is that just their knives?
K: (laughs and puts her down on the table and mumbles something about Ikea)
me: What? IKEA? (I'm confused.) This is the Human Rights Campaign logo. (shaking the sticker) You know, GLBT rights...
K: They're the colors of IKEA. Blue & yellow, OMG. That's why I thought that. (She is now laughing hysterically.)
Bullwinkle, the IKEA logo and the Swedish flag. Who could ask for more?

We get dirty looks from the people in the library. I want to flip them all the bird. Or flash them. Something. But I can't because I'm laughing too hard.

Later on I get home and tell Oaky about it and he says: well, yeah, isn't there some IKEA union equality thing going on?
me: what? what are you talking about?
Oaky: You know, Ikea, the union thing, equality....
me: OMG you're just repeating yourself, this doesn't clarify anything.
Oaky: It's been in the news recently...
me: When do listen to the news?
Oaky: silence...stares at me
me: It's the freakin' Human Rights Campaign logo! What the hell is wrong with you people?!

This, of course, is made much funnier by the fact that all 3 of us have advocated for GLBT rights for years. However, right now, I am ashamed to know them.

jk I love you guys. But seriously, what the HELL?

Monday, September 19, 2011

I should be doing homework...

But I thought it would be more fun to catch up on some blogging, both reading and writing. So, hey, did you know I am super awesome? I am. I have amazing powers of agility and grace... which totally failed me this weekend when I was taking a shower. My neck/shoulders were really hurting from all this studying (I kinda looked like Quasimodo hunched over social work textbooks) so I decided to take a hot shower. half way through the shower I decide to turn it into a bath, so I flip the little pluggy thing, and sit down, but still have the hot water spraying from the shower head as to massage my neck while waiting for the tub to fill. This is a common way to bathe in our household. I don't know why I felt the need to tell you that. Was that TMI? I'm sorry. Anyway, moving along...

So the tub finally fills with enough water to lie down in, so I lie down, first with my feet at the faucet end, like normal people do. But then I felt like I wasn't getting enough warmth on my neck and shoulders so I turned around, head at the faucet end, and switched the water to the faucet instead of the showerhead, so the hot water would stream right onto my neck and shoulders. Brilliant, right? Yeah, not so much. Trying to position myself to actually have that happen was a bit like trying out for Cirque du Soleil. Here I am trying to fold myself like an origami project around the faucet and then BAM! My gigantic head and the faucet kissed. An angry, violent kiss. A kiss that left a huge gash/knot/welt/alien growing out of the side of my forehead. Ok, not really, but GODDAMMIT THAT HURT. I at least had the presence of mind to shut off the water and unplug the drain before I passed out. That's one way I do not want to die, thank you very much. I don't care if it's an accident but I'd like to be fully clothed when the people come to find me. (I suppose the dead me really wouldn't care, but the living me does and that's the one in charge so, she wins.) Since you're reading this you obviously came to the conclusion that I did not die, so yay, go me. I also managed to make myself forget about the neck and shoulder pain because my HEAD WAS THROBBING. Yayyy.

My friend Marianna over at Snappy Surprise had an awesome weekend, too. You should go read about it.

And my friends over at Cheesy Bloggers (including Marianna) totally gave me the hook-up (is that phrase still used? am I even using it right?) on their Open Letter theme. Thank you, Cheesy gals! They are AWE-SOME (said all sing-songy)! You should definitely follow them.

And now it's time to watch my soap opera get back to studying. I need cookies. Who wants to bake for me?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Do you like piña coladas...?

Lately I haven't been sleeping so well. With the fibro I really should stick to a regular sleep schedule, which for me would mean asleep by 11 or 12 and up around 8 or 9am. Having no pressing morning routines allows me to be lazy sleep longer. But lately, even though I've taken my Rx and may be bonkers with fatigue I just can't fall asleep. My mind is either racing or I'm in too much pain and can't get comfortable. I feel like I did 15 years ago when I first started dealing with the fibro. It's completely ridiculous and I would like it to stop. Isn't there some magic wand to be waved or button I can push? You know, like on Facebook, there's a button for goddamn everything.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

National Suicide Prevention Week


This week (9/4-9/10) is National Suicide Prevention Week. The yellow ribbon with a heart is the ribbon symbolizing suicide survivors, the ones who are left behind after a suicide. I bear this ribbon with sadness and hope that others will find help before it is too late. 


In January of 1998 I lost my fiancee, JR, to suicide. Technically we had been broken up for 6 weeks, but we were together for 5 years, cohabiting for 4, and engaged for 3. I met JR when I was 18, just out of high school. We worked together and he always had a smile and a joke for everyone he met. Although he was 8 years older than me we got along great, both sharing a love of all things geeky. He was a genuinely nice guy, something I found rare in those days. Shortly after becoming friends JR helped me through a very difficult time in my life. He was the first man I trusted after I was raped. He became my protector and my friend, the one who made me smile and gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning when I thought I couldn't go on. I struggled with debilitating depression and panic attacks for years, but he held on and rode the waves with me, letting me know I wasn't alone. What I didn't know was that while he was helping me survive my depression, he was hiding his own.

Monday, September 5, 2011

a bit of needed sparkle

Lately I've been dealing with a shitload of stressy stuff, all of which I plan to write about later... suffice it to say the past few weeks have been grueling. So, this morning I started off my morning determined to be in a better mood. Listening to this definitely helped.



My amazing boyfriend introduced me to this little ditty, as he is a Civ geek. I find the song joyful and uplifting. Listening to it is like getting a hug from a unicorn... which is a pretty awesome thought. However, imagine my surprise when I looked up the song and found that it is actually a Swahili version of the Christian mantra The Lord's Prayer. I haven't been Christian in many years, but the Lord's prayer was always my favorite as a child. Now, as a Pagan, I can appreciate the simplistic beauty of the prayer without having to subscribe to the dogma or doctrine. And in this musical form it is perfectly gorgeous. So, thank you, Christopher Tin and the Soweto Gospel Choir, for giving me a bit of bliss during this stressful time.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

If you are a regular reader here you may have noticed that a recent entry (my story of the attack of the carpets) is now missing. I decided to remove it because of legal reasons that I cannot get into. Sorry, folks. Just playing it safe here.

If you're in the U.S. I hope you have a great holiday weekend - stay safe & have fun! Of course, the same goes for those who are not in the U.S., just not a holiday... probably. Oh hell, have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In which I flaunt my spectacular ability to injure myself...

Recently I have been finding some very cool blogs to follow, a bunch of which are written by some amazingly funny ladies who, half the time, I think are either related to me or spying on me through my magic laptop because the coincidences are just uncanny. One of these wondermus blogs is Cheesy Bloggers, who throw out weekly themes and calls for submissions - as in a written submission for a post, not the BDSM kind, which kinda freaks me out still even though I had some past partners who were really into - you know what? Never mind. Back to the weekly theme.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

this has no title, i'm just complaining here because my cats won't hug me


I really want this anxiety to stop.

It's multi-layered right now...
  • starting grad school in 2 weeks
  • seeing babies babies everywhere and I'm 37 and childless and my partner has just decided that he does not want biological children
  • weddings everywhere I fucking turn leaving me with that awful empty hole that society has programmed me to think I am supposed to feel because I have not taken part in the ridiculousness that I loathe and yet still crave with every fucking breath
  • still processing Wednesday's therapy session
...and on top of it all I feel like crap. More on that later, maybe.

For now I would like my heart to stop pounding, be able to catch a breath and just relax my way into slumber. I kinda feel like I wanna crawl out of my skin.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Possibly triggering - abuse & healing stuff

I started this entry several days ago and was too chicken to post it... Ok, well, maybe not so much chicken as I was trying to work things out in my head and get through the experience. So now that I've gotten through the worst of the big bad scary deal, here it is.


Friday, August 12, 2011

How legal blogs lead to sex toys

Earlier today I was busy taking a break from watching the Disney channel and catching up on my blog reading when I came to this post about roadkill... which made me think of the time I saw a freshly killed beaver up close and personal on the side of the road and how suprisingly huge it was... which led me to google beavers to see just how big they actually get (3 ft. long, 15 in. high and up to 66 lbs., according to Beaver Pictures & Facts) when I come across this.

*dramatic breath*

Um... ok. You know, some things just don't need to be made. Seriously. And whoever came up with this idea got it backwards, anyway. The beaver is the thing in which you put the vibe. But back to my original point, some things just do not need to be made. They muck up my brain. Like gum on a shoe. Messy and annoying and now matter how much you try you just can't remove it all. Not that I have a thing against sex toys. To the contrary, I am endlessly entertained *ahem* by the new and different toys that people come up with. Rabbits, I get. The whole F***ing like rabbits thing, makes sense. Butterflies, dragons, sexy winged creatures, fine. I can even get down (haha) with a cute little ladybug. But beavers? WTF is sexy about an over-sized rodent with big teeth, creepy tiny hands, and a weird leathery paddle for a .....tail..... ok, you know what, nevermind...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

And a good time was had by all...

So far this weekend has been full of awesome. Last night The Ninja & I went out to dinner, which is amazing in itself because my baby bro and I get together maybe once a year outside of family get-togethers. Twice as amazing because it was his idea to get together. And thrice as amazing because I haven't felt this close to him since we were kids. Also, he picked up the check for dinner. And beer. I am a lightweight so I could have imagined the whole thing in a drunken haze, but what I think happened was some actual sibling-bonding quality time, the kind I've always dreamt would happen but never felt I was cool enough for in my siblings' eyes. (Hey, spell-check, dreamt is a word, and it's spelled correctly. Ask Merriam-Webster.)

Friday, July 29, 2011

panic attack or over-medicated?

Was having anxiety even after nighttime meds, so took an Ativan.... started to panic that I had taken too much medication... started feeling dizzy, short of breath, heart palpitations...
I just want to feel relaxed enough to be able to go to sleep. Without feeling like I'm slipping into a coma, that is. I start to relax and then I feel like I'm struggling to breathe and swallow and then we're back to square one.
Awesome... so am I still having a panic attack or did I really take too much medication? How am I supposed to tell the difference? There should be a manual for this stuff. Oh, right. The PDR... I should get one of those... Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!
Hope you all are sleeping well.....
*headdesk*

p.s. Ironic that I look so well-rested and refreshed in my little morning get-up. *sigh*
p.p.s Just managed to scarf down an english muffin and some yumberry pomegranate lifewater, so I think I'll forgo calling 911. Unless I somehow pass out here at the desk and split my head open on the keyboard. Which probably didn't happen if you're reading this. Also, I am hyper aware of my spelling and grammatical errors as I type this so I am probably not over-medicated. I love you, little red squiggly line. *hugs spellcheck*
p.p.p.s. I'm done now. For realz. Thank you and goodnight.

*Edit: The stick figure is banging its head in perfect time to "I've Got You Babe". Fascinating.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Someone stole my elephants...


My boyfriend likes to entertain me with games he's invented, like "What can we do with the stuffed animals today?" The best one to date was when the stuffies "decided" to turn my old studio apartment into a high ropes course. Over the course of several days they "moved" inch by inch from the kitchen to the living room (not a very big space, really), dangling on the rope which was fastened to the ceiling in strategic places. It was brilliant.

At this point you may be asking yourself what's wrong with this picture. Yes, I'm a grown woman who enjoys stuffed animals.

Ew. Not like that. Get your mind out of the gutter, pigs. (And yes, there's a stuffed pig, too.)

I enjoy the innocent fun that stuffed animals represent. I didn't get to fully enjoy my childhood. Although I have some happy memories they are mostly overshadowed by the fear & crap I had to endure in silence. Fantasy was my escape. Reading, playing with dolls or stuffed animals, these were solace. Not people. People sucked. They were the big scary monsters in the closet. I did have some friends but I played alone.  A LOT. But it was ok because I knew my toys wouldn't hurt me. I may be all grown up now but I need to maintain some of that childhood fun because I didn't get enough of it as a kid. It helps me cope. And I think it makes me a better person, creative outlet and all. And really, I just need the laughter. Plain and simple. Whatever.

Anyway, back to the stuffies.

Every stuffie has a story. Like the big teddy bear my dad gave me when I was 13 and I didn't get to see him often because my parents were divorced. Or the elephant (Buddy) holding a valentine heart that Oaky surprised me with one time - the same day he found & snuck in the painting of the elephants in a bath tub and hung it in my bathroom. He's good.

So, over the past 24 hours I have found 5 of my 10+ stuffed animals lurking in places where they normally wouldn't be. Floppy McFlopperson, the white bunny who hails from Scotland, was found in the toilet paper cabinet. Little Bear was hiding in my underwear drawer (Ok, he might need counseling). Gertie the pygmy elephant was in the etagere cabinet with my perfumes, lotions, and cosmetics. She now smells like a French whore-house. Damn Bunny was in the hamper with the laundry. And Lamb Chop, well.... let's just say we're glad that we got a tip on the where-abouts of Lamb Chop before he became a truly frozen lamb chop while I am away all weekend (he now smells slightly of asparagus and garlic). Big Bear is where ze always is (Big Bear, or alternately Teddy, is gender neutral), on a chair in my bedroom. Horton is in the car, as usual, and Percival J. Pig is away visiting Illuminati Bear. This leaves Terry the turtle (the turtle on my head in the above photo) and the 2 bigger elephants, Buddy and Effie. I wonder where they will turn up....

I'm not crazy... I'm just practicing for when I finally have a kid. Yeaaaaah. *shuffles away*

Saturday, July 2, 2011

What do you mean I'm not Capt. Picard?

While in the shower earlier today I noticed I was almost out of toothpaste. I promptly started to add it to the grocery list:

"Computer, grocery list. Add toothpaste."

...at which point I realized I did not live on the Enterprise. *sigh*

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Geraldine and Pammy, sittin' in a tree, T-E-X-T-I-N-G...

Today I was sitting in the waiting room of my therapist's office, where there is hung a large sign that says "Please do not use cell phones in this area". Whenever I see a sign like that, I take it as a reminder to make sure my phone is set on silent or turned off altogether. I am appreciative of these signs, as I am a person who likes to wait in silence, usually reading a book that I have brought along with me (today's selection was book #9 in the Anita Blake series). But not everyone is like me. Apparently some people interpret these signs as an open invitation to start using their phones, which they probably hadn't even touched all day. Today, there were not one, not two, but three people sitting under the sign, using their phones for the entire 15 minutes I was there. One was a 40-something gentleman in business attire, probably checking stock prices or sports scores, or sexting with his mistress, in which case I hope he's not a budding politician because we all know where that ends up. The other two were teenaged girls, sitting next to each other laughing and apparently texting each other, and talking and laughing about what they were texting. I'm sorry, but when did actually conversing with another person go out of style? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for texting each other in a quiet room if it means you won't be talking out loud. But these girls seem to have missed the whole point of that. And here is what I was privvy to this afternoon:

Girl 1: *clickity clickity clickity*
*giggle*
Oh my god! We are SO gonna jump into the Grand Canyon together!

Girl 2: *giggle*
*clickity clickity clickity*


Girl 1: (laughs loudly)
*clickity clickity clickity*

Girl 2: I KNOW, right?!
*clickity clickity clickity*
(Laughs loudly)
*clickity clickity clickity*

Girl 1: something something RIDING HORSES something something MAGIC PONIES mumble mumble *giggle* RAINBOWS!!!

Girl 2: *giggle* GLITTER!!! mumble mumble mumble

...which all makes me feel like:



Mystery woman from around the corner: (shouting) GERALDINE!!

Girl 1: (shouting back) I DON'T ANSWER TO THAT NAME!! I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU'RE TALKING TO!

*both girls laugh loudly batting at each other with their paws - I mean, hands*

At this point I had to remind myself that these beings were, in fact, human, and not some strange species of wild animal, calling out their warning cries before attacking innocent prey (me and/or mystery woman around the corner).

Mystery woman: (looks at Girl 1 and points back around the corner) Your turn.

Girl 1: NO! *laughs loudly, ribbing Girl 2, who looks suddenly like a deer caught in headlights* Ok, FINE! But be NICE!! We're jumping into the Grand Canyon together, ya know. *giggle*

Mystery woman (who I've now figured out is Girl 1's Mom): What? *sigh* Whatever, just go.
*sits down next to Girl 2* So, Pammy, get back up on that horse yet?

I had noticed that Girl 2 had scratches and scrapes all over her arms and legs. Being as it were that we were sitting in a waiting room in a mental health facility, I was quick to judge her as a self-injurer. But maybe I was wrong, maybe she literally fell off a horse. And what was all the talk about jumping into the Grand Canyon? Who are they, Thelma & Louise? Do they even know who Thelma & Louise are? That movie came out like 20 years ago... Shit, I'm old. Anyway, as it turns out, I will never know the answers to those questions because that was when my name was called, thank gods. I didn't even have to move my bookmark, I had been trying to read the same 2 paragraphs over and over again... all I knew was that the characters were in a dangerous situation - armed strangers were following them up the driveway. Did they make it to the house? Were they all gunned down in the middle of the driveway and bleeding out onto the gravel? I have no idea. I'm about to find out, though. I hope Pammy and Geraldine and Geraldine's Mom all had a nice evening. I hope that Pammy did actually fall off a horse and is not actively hurting herself. And I hope that someday they will learn all about appropriate volume levels for public spaces.

*shouting to my book in the other room* Don't worry, Anita! I'm on my way!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I redecorated!

You like? I felt the place needed a little sprucing up. 
Comments and suggestions are welcome, of course.


Gahhh!

 Vampire Hey HBO..... really nice of you to put next week's TB ep on line but how about letting us actually watch it? That'd be superextraspecial and we'd be your best friend. Srsly.  I Love You

I like to ATE ATE ATE AYPPLES and BANAYNAYS!

Found at:  Diaries of a Fat Girl 

A is for Apple, what’s your favorite variety? Red Delicious 
B: is for Bread, regardless of nutrition, calories, or whole grains what is your favorite type to have a nice big piece of? Rye or pumpernickel
C: is for Cereal what is your favorite kind currently?  Kashi Go Lean Crunch or Kashi Go Lean Crisp Toasted Berry Crumble
D: is for Doughnuts, you might not currently be eating them but what kind do you fancy? Mrs. Murphy's Donuts in Southwick, MA , the best cider donuts EVER!
E: is for Eggs, how would you like yours prepared? Fried up for an eggy sammich – which are kind of my specialty. My sweetheart says I make the best ones ever. :)
F: is for Fat Free, what is your favorite fat free product?
Water. hahaha Other than that, fat-free yogurts.
G: is for Groceries, where do you purchase yours at? Big Y, Big E's, or Whole Foods... sometimes Stop & Shop
H: is for Hot Beverages, what is your favorite hot drink?Decaf vanilla chai tea
I: is for Ice Cream, pick a favorite flavor and add a fun topping. Vanilla chocolate swirl with peanut butter
J: is for Jams or Jellies, do you eat them, and if so what kind and flavor?
Smucker's sugar free strawberry jam
K: is for Kashi, name your favorite Kashi product? Haha! Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble
L: is for Lunch, what was yours today? Egg & cheese on a skinny Everything-flavor bagel and a large glass of Wyler's raspberry ice.
M: is for microwave, what is your favorite microwave meal/snack? popcorn
N: is for nutrients, do you like carbs, fats, or proteins best? Carbs, I love bread so much!!!!! But with diabetes I can't eat it the way I used to or I pay the price.
O: is for oil, what kind do you like to use? Olive oil – yum
P: is for protein, how do you get yours? Chicken, nuts, peanut butter, cheese, or TVP products
Q: is for Quaker, how do you like your oats? With a touch of sugar-free maple syrup, and not quite mushy.
R: is for roasting, what is your favorite thing to roast? Me, cook? Hahahaha!
S: is for sandwich, what’s your favorite kind? Eating out: Panera's Bacon Turkey Bravo or Wendy's Asiago chicken club (grilled), or at home: chicken salad with cranberries & almonds; tuna with dill mayo; or turkey and cheddar with mustard
T: is for travel, how do you handle eating while traveling? Pretty good actually. Our last vacation we only ate out once and bought healthy groceries and had picnics the rest of the time.
U: is for unique, what is one of your weirdest food combos? Pancakes & pickles. My dad would do this when we were little and we poured too much syrup on out plates. The sour of the pickle cuts the sicky-sweetness of the syrup. I still eat a pickle with my pancakes once in a while even though I don't need to, just for nostalgia.
V: is for vitamins, what kind do you take? Fish oil capsules
W: is for wasabi, yay or nay? no thank you!
X: is for X-RAY. if we x-rayed your belly right now, what food would we see? Sugar-free Hershey's special dark chocolate candies
Y: is for youth, what food reminds you of your childhood? Progresso's Chickarina soup, Mrs. Grass's chicken noodle soup, Campbell's tomato soup with a scoop of cottage cheese.... hmmm, noticing a theme here....
Z: is for zucchini, how do you prepare it? Sliced and baked with stewed tomatoes & mozzarella cheese or in stews.


YOUR TURN. Pick a letter and tell me what YOU like! Or let me know if you fill this out on your own FB/blog. I love reading about what other people eat.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

ZOMG!!!

Maybe I am severely behind the times but I have just discovered Google Reader. All my favorite blogs in one place? Yes, please! I know. You're probably asking yourself where has she been hiding? And for all I know Google Reader has been replaced by some new app that only the cool kids with iPads can access. But seriously, I freakin' love it. I don't care if I am running behind when it comes to the techie stuff, it just makes me all the happier with these little gems when I finally get around to discovering them.

Edit: I just read this entry.... in my Google Reader. I'm so geeking out right now. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blessings

Despite the fibro flare, my life is pretty damn good right now. I'm in love, I am starting grad school in a few months, I have food in my belly and a roof over my head. I even have a car that gets me from A to B. I just want to make sure that if I complain about something in my life, I also remind myself of the good things. That way there is balance. I have this post to thank for the reminder.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Solstice! Here, have some pain.

 

Today is the Summer Solstice and I am sad because instead of going outside and enjoying the beautiful weather and basking in the energy of the longest day of the year, I am stuck inside on pain meds, barely able to make a peanut butter sandwich for myself. I have spent the majority of the day in bed. I had enough energy to make 2 phone calls and then promptly passed out again. 


On a scale of 1 to 10, my pain level was about a 7 before meds. After meds it's about 4.5, but I have very little neergy and I feel swollen all over. That makes typing fun - trying to type with little sausage fingers, yay! So if there are typos, I apologize but it's einvetible between the sausage fingers, meds and fibrofog. I feel; like a bloated fish underwater. .... underwater. Sorry. I just distracted myself with the fantasy of swimming in a large heated pool.... heaven. I love swimming, floating in the water soothes my body so much, not to mention my soul. I'm hoping the rain will hold off on Thursday so I can go to Googie's on his day off and take a dip in the pool. *tries to cross fingers.....no luck crossing fingers as they are fat little sausages that refuse to move* Oh well. I'm crossing them in my head. I'd cross my legs but I think that's for something else, not luck. Hopefully tomoorrow will be better because I have family things to do and I need to be coherent and mobile, none of which I am right now. Bleh.



Fukitol. I'm going back to bed. I hope I dream of butterflies and faeries and shiny pretty things with no pain. See you on the flip side.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Love Handles


So, I have discovered the new Lifetime show "Love Handles: Couples In Crisis". It deals with couples who are overweight and the causes and effects of the weight & food issues on their relationships. There are only 2 episodes out so far but it's really speaking to me. I realized tonight, while watching the show, that not only are Oaky and I overweight (morbidly obese, actually),  but all of the people I surround myself with are overweight. Let's just put it out there...

I AM FAT.

Oaky is fat. My parents are obese (by medical standards), one brother struggles with his weight. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins are all overweight. My best friends are all overweight. Two of them have even had gastric bypass surgery, but are still battling the food/weight issues and struggling to get to a healthy weight. The only person in my circle who is healthy and is not and never has been overweight is my youngest brother (The Ninja). I guess it's like an alcoholic only hanging out with other drinkers. I have surrounded myself with foodies, fatties, binge eaters...

I am 37 years old. Last year I was diagnosed with diabetes. Over the past few months I have been experiencing secondary complications due to the diabetes - infections, intestinal trouble, pain and swelling, increased allergies. As I write this my lip is swelling up from gods know what. I've had gastrointestinal problems so bad that I thought about calling 911 while on vacation in the middle of Maine. So, multiple infections, possible gastroparesis, pain, swelling - oh yeah, let's not forget the heart flutters and being winded with activity as simple as walking up a flight of stairs. Thankfully I quit smoking 7 months ago, otherwise I might be dead right now.

Things have to change. I am scared. Really scared. I came very close to losing everything 2 weeks ago because of a stupid tornado. I didn't get through that just to kill myself with food.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

For Oaky

You help keep me sane in the crazy moments. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and unending love. I am thankful beyond words.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more...


Let me tell ya, there's nothing like seeing a tornado racing toward you to make you feel your mortality. Two days ago I was in the thick of it. Literally. I had only just heard that there was a tornado warning minutes before, and was driving toward Oaky's which was only a 5 minute drive at the most from where I was. I thought there was enough time to get over the bridge to his place before anything happened. Then I looked up and saw clouds swirling... I get to this traffic light at the bridge entrance and as we are waiting for it to turn green the wind started. The wind was like nothing I'd seen before - not that you can actually see wind, except, this time you could because it was carrying bits and pieces of the city with it. The wind grew and grew, along with this dark cloud of debris, until it was right in front of us, and then I realized I was seeing the actual funnel. I was mere feet from an actual tornado. Shingles, branches, dirt, leaves, even a few tires and lots of mystery objects were hurling through the air. Even a large metal road-side sign came flying toward my windshield. I didn't even have time to duck, it all happened so fast. Thank goodness (or whatever or whoever was watching me that day) the sign went up and over my car, landing between my car and the one in back of me, not hurting anyone. It definitely left scrape marks on the roof of my car but I will gladly live with that. I'm 5'2'', anyway, I have to stand on my toes just to see the roof of the car so it won't really bother me. Besides, they're like battle scars. "Look what I survived!"

When the tornado finally passed and traffic started moving again, I drove over the bridge in a state of shock and panic. On the other end of the bridge was an overturned 18-wheeler. Exit the bridge. Billboards had been torn down. Roofs collapsed. Trees uprooted and thrown through windows and crushing cars, homes, businesses. Windows had been blasted out everywhere. Utility poles and wires were down in every direction. Every road was blocked. I got turned around so many times I eventually didn't know where I was. I knew I was less than a mile from Oaky's place but I couldn't get there. Trees and downed wires blocked every single street. As I drove through the maze of streets it began to hit me what had just happened.... I called Oaky and the connection was bad. I couldn't get through to anyone else. Even cell service had been interrupted. I finally got him on a clear line with no static. By this time I was yelling "TORNADO!!!" and was approaching hysterics. I told him I couldn't get through any of the side streets to cross to where he was. We finally decided I would pull into a parking lot (the local grocery store) and he would find a way to get to me. I parked the car, turned it off, and started sobbing. Two college-aged young women came and knocked on my window asking if I was okay. I blurted out everything that had just happened between sobs. Those poor girls, probably thought I was crazy. I offered them some melting ice cream pops that were in my trunk (never buy groceries during a tornado watch, you might not get the perishables home before they perish!) but they were too melted to eat. After they left I sat in the car drinking Powerade until Oaky finally arrived. I had never been so happy to see him. All my muscles were in knots, I was on hyper-alert, and every time the wind blew I jumped. We drove and drove and finally got back to his place. What should have been a 3 minute drive had turned into almost an hour of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-adventure. But not the fun kind. The scare-the-shit-of-you kind.

So, it's 2 days later and I am fully re-acquainted with my fibromyalgia right now. The pain and fatigue are both high. I don't think I've been able to keep my eyes open for more than an hour at a time. I even paused in the middle of writing this to close my eyes for a few minutes. And thank gods for spell-check cuz between the fibro-fog and the stiff achy fingers I am committing multiple spelling atrocities. *shudders* The physical symptoms will fade within the week, I'm sure... but the emotional? Well, let's just say I am not eager to get back behind the wheel, especially on a windy day.

Monday, May 23, 2011

(WARNING: May trigger survivors) My response to Rep. DeGraf regarding his comments about rape

During debates about health insurance coverage, this idiot in Kansas (Rep. Pete DeGraaf) said that being impregnated during a rape is just like getting a flat tire, something women should be prepared for. Yes, really.  You can read about his stupidity here:
http://blogs.pitch.com/plog/2011/05/pete_degraaf_rape_flat_tire.php

DeGraaf's Web site lists his office number as 785-296-7693, his home phone as 316-777-0715 - that's at 1545 E. 119th St. Mulvane, KS - and his e-mail as pete.degraaf@house.ks.gov.
Now, after you've gotten good and angry you may want to make a phone call or write a letter. I know I did. I dialed his home number but hung up when the answering machine picked up. Which is probably a good thing because I was so angry I don't know what I would have said. So I sat down and started writing. Here is my response:


Dear Sir,
As a survivor of rape and sexual abuse I am appalled and disgusted at your callousness toward rape victims. Getting impregnated by rape is like getting a flat tire? Really? Just what the hell do you think rape is like? Because I can tell you. It's not a minor inconvenience that you should have planned for. No sir. It's being thrown down and ripped apart by someone you trusted, or a stranger, or your uncle, brother, father... even your pastor. It is being trapped in a motel room at 2am, too scared to move, knowing there's a payphone outside the door, but being too scared he'll hurt you again if you get up to call for help even though you think he's finally asleep. It's hating school vacations because you are trapped at home with your older brother. And the first chance he gets when your parents leave the house, he forces himself on you on the kitchen floor, and you have to mop up the blood with your own dress. It's going into the house of God and not feeling safe there because the one who preaches ever lasting life and love to you is also the one who forces himself on you when no one else is looking. But who would believe you? He's a man of God. It's years of therapy trying to erase the horror of the violations you survived, being afraid to walk anywhere alone at night.... being afraid to walk anywhere alone during the daytime, too. Being alone period. It's being suspicious of everyone you ever meet and afraid of never knowing or deserving love. It's feeling used, dirty, broken, disgusting, ugly. It's feeling like you will never ever feel whole again. It's living with shame, hatred, and fear day after day no matter how many times you talk to your therapist or how many pills you take. Is that what getting a flat tire feels like to you? Because if it does, I believe you need to seek psychiatric help. And if it doesn't, then I believe I have made my point.

Very sincerely and angrily,

(my name)
Survivor of Rape and Sexual Abuse
MSW candidate class of 2015


Now, I know it's a bit short, but I actually want him to read it. Also, I am still pretty f***ing angry and I'm lucky I got that much down coherently. Maybe I will write another letter tomorrow.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Are you ready?

Providing we survive the Rapture this Saturday, will you be ready for Towel Day next Wednesday? Maybe if all us sinners have our towels at the ready on Saturday we'll be OK. *snerk*

Friday, May 13, 2011

30 DC - Day 30 (A bit late)

Sorry for the lateness of this post... I am a week behind butt (!) It's not all my fault... Spent much of the week recovering from a muscle strain in my back, and then Blogger was down for a bit and I couldn't log in... Another reason I am tardy on this post is that I wanted to do it right, and I had to take a pic of this pic since I didn't have it in my computer already. Ok, enough with the blah blah blah..... Onto the post...
Day 30- A picture of someone you miss.


This is my friend Jenn. She has been gone for 13 years now and I still miss her every day. We were friends for 20 years. We grew up in the same neighborhood, went to school together since kindergarten... she was like the sister I never had. There were good times and bad and a few years where we hardly saw each other at all. But by the time we hit 20 we were both back in the old neighborhood and spending most days together again. When I graduated from college (the first time) she took me out drinking - I'd never really drunk before, and definitely not in a bar. We spent many summer nights on my mother's porch drinking wine and talking about literature, philosophy, religion, politics... We disagreed on half the things we talked about but there was never any hard feelings. I know she had deep wounds from things she never talked about, but she didn't have to. I understood. We had a silent bond that no one else shared with us. She was a beautiful soul. She cared about animals more than anyone else I've ever met. She was vegan years before it became popular - sorry, hipsters, you were not the first. She gave me my first taste of vegan cheese - I hated it. I told her I could not be vegan simply on the grounds that I loved real dairy too much. She laughed and shook her head - then helped me polish off a box of Kraft mac & cheese - which, I reminded her, was not vegan. She bent the rules for me a bit.
I saw her only hours before she died, and I had no idea that it would be our very last conversation, our very last hug, our very last "wine & whine" session, as we liked to call them. I've always been a huggy person, but Jenn was my opposite. She didn't show a lot of outward affection towards people, although she was always loving on the animals. But I think people had hurt her too much. Every once in a while she would give me the one-armed-lean-in-hug, but she really wasn't big on PDA's. But that last night, before leaving my house, she hugged me and said "I love you" as she walked out the door. To my recollection she'd never said that out loud to me. I didn't think anything of it until the next day when I found out she had had a car accident in the middle of the night and hadn't survived. My mother told me. I didn't believe it at first, I had just seen her 10 hours ago, and then I collapsed and cried as my mother held me. And then I remembered her last words to me... "I love you". A gift from the Universe, that was. What I learned from that was to never hold back how you feel about someone. If you love someone, tell them, because it may be the last words you ever share with them. You never know.

Friday, May 6, 2011

30 DC - Day 29

Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile.


Pure joy! Need I say more?


Thursday, May 5, 2011

30 DC - Day 28

Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of.


My grandfather had COPD. He died a little over a year ago, gasping for breath. I don't remember him smoking, I honestly don't know when he quit, but he did smoke for years. I smoked off and on for 25 years. I managed to quit for a few years, stealing the occasional smoke a few times a year. I started up again 2 years ago and immediately started having breathing problems. The thought of struggling to breathe, of not being able to breathe, terrifies me. I put down my cigarettes the day before Thanksgiving 2010. I did sneak a few in the first 2 months, being around friends who smoke was just too hard. But as soon as I started having asthma attacks again I quickly strengthened my resolve and have not gone back. Thankfully, the smell of cigarette smoke now makes me sick to my stomach, which helps when I feel tempted. I hope I never go back to smoking. Even more than that I hope I never have to experience what my Grandpa did.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

30 DC - Day 27

Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member.



This is me and my furry boy Brady. He is most definitely a part of my family. I adopted him when he was 3 months old. That was 10 years ago. Brady has seen me through 5 moves, a string of break-ups, and countless sleepless nights and bad body days. He always knows when I don't feel well and sleeps next to me most nights. He is always by my side when I'm laid up with a migraine or body pain. He even has his own pillow on the couch so he can sit next to me when I'm watching TV. He is my furry child, cuddle buddy, and the best listener I know.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

30 DC - Day 26

Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you.


Elephants were my friend Jenn's favorite animal. When she died I saw elephants everywhere and it was as if she were saying "Hey! I'm still around you!" Years later, on a cold day in January 2004, I kissed Oakheart for the first time. Not only was it romantic, passionate, and utterly lovely, but I had an experience that was quite new and odd - in my mind flashed a picture of 2 elephants in the Serengeti walking together, trunks reaching out and touching each other. It wasn't until later that I learned Oaky had the same experience. And later still that I realized that that all happened on the 6th anniversary of Jenn's death. Whatever that may mean (and I have my theories), elephants have since become a part of the story of Oakheart & Jo. For our first Yule together, Oaky got me a pair of hand carved wooden elephants, complete with tusks. The smaller one (representing me) even lost those tusks around the same time I had my wisdom teeth removed. We have since collected a small herd of pachyderms, some wooden, some ceramic, some stone, some plush stuffies. Another year Oaky presented me with the cutest pair of tiny delicate sterling silver elephant earrings, which I wear quite often. Elephant paraphernalia abounds - to the point where some friends have started giving me elephant gifts because they've noticed my fascination with them. I have jewelry, candle holders, a throw blanket/tapestry, even a pair of salt and pepper shakers which fit together, trunks entwined. The elephants have come to symbolize the enduring love Oaky and I have for each other. A love that never forgets.

Monday, May 2, 2011

30 DC - Day 25

Day 25 - A picture of your day.


SPRING CLEANING!!!! And now my back is very angry with me. But the place looks good. Thanks to my Oaky for helping me out, I never would have been able to do it by myself.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

30DC - Day 24

Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change.



U.S. STATISTICS
Fact #1: 17.6 % of women in the United States have survived a completed or attempted rape. Of these, 21.6% were younger than age 12 when they were first raped, and 32.4% were between the ages of 12 and 17. (Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November, 2000)
Fact #2: 64% of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend, or date. (Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November, 2000)
Fact #3: Only about half of domestic violence incidents are reported to police. African-American women are more likely than others to report their victimization to police Lawrence A. Greenfeld et al. (1998). (Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends. Bureau of Justice Statistics Factbook. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Justice. NCJ #167237. Available from National Criminal Justice Reference Service.)
Fact #4: The FBI estimates that only 37% of all rapes are reported to the police. U.S. Justice Department statistics are even lower, with only 26% of all rapes or attempted rapes being reported to law enforcement officials.
Fact #5: In the National Violence Against Women Survey, approximately 25% of women and 8% of men said they were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or date in their lifetimes. The survey estimates that more than 300,000 intimate partner rapes occur each year against women 18 and older. (Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November, 2000)
Fact #6: The National College Women Sexual Victimization Study estimated that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 college women experience completed or attempted rape during their college years (Fisher 2000).
Fact #7: Men perpetrate the majority of violent acts against women (DeLahunta 1997).
Fact #8: Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) calculation based on 2000 National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice)
Fact #9: One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. (Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998)
Fact #10: Factoring in unreported rapes, about 5% - one out of twenty - of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. 19 out of 20 will walk free. (Probability statistics based on US Department of Justice Statistics)
Fact #11: Fewer than half (48%) of all rapes and sexual assaults are reported to the police (DOJ 2001).
Fact #12: Sexual violence is associated with a host of short- and long-term problems, including physical injury and illness, psychological symptoms, economic costs, and death (National Research Council 1996).
Fact #13: Rape victims often experience anxiety, guilt, nervousness, phobias, substance abuse, sleep disturbances, depression, alienation, sexual dysfunction, and aggression. They often distrust others and replay the assault in their minds, and they are at increased risk of future victimization (DeLahunta 1997).
Fact #14: According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, more than 260,000 rapes or sexual assaults occurred in 2000; 246,180 of them occurred among females and 14,770, among males (Department of Justice 2001).
Fact #15: Sexual violence victims exhibit a variety of psychological symptoms that are similar to those of victims of other types of trauma, such as war and natural disaster (National Research Council 1996). A number of long-lasting symptoms and illnesses have been associated with sexual victimization including chronic pelvic pain; premenstrual syndrome; gastrointestinal disorders; and a variety of chronic pain disorders, including headache, back pain, and facial pain (Koss 1992).Between 4% and 30% of rape victims contract sexually transmitted diseases as a result of the victimization (Resnick 1997).
Fact #16: More than half of all rapes of women occur before age 18; 22% occur before age 12. (Full Report of the Prevalance, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November, 2000)
Fact #17: In 2000, nearly 88,000 children in the United States experienced sexual abuse (ACF 2002).
Fact #18: About 81% of rape victims are white; 18% are black; 1% are of other races. (Violence Against Women, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Justice, 1994.)
Fact #19: About half of all rape victims are in the lowest third of income distribution; half are in the upper two-thirds. (Violence against Women, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Justice, 1994.)
Fact #20: According to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBSS), a national survey of high school students, 7.7% of students had been forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to. Female students (10%) were significantly more likely than male students (5%) to have been forced to have sexual intercourse. Overall, black students (10%) were significantly more likely than white students (7%) to have been forced to have sexual intercourse (CDC 2002).
Fact #21: Females ages 12 to 24 are at the greatest risk for experiencing a rape or sexual assault (DOJ 2001).
Fact #22: Almost two-thirds of all rapes are committed by someone who is known to the victim. 73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger (— 38% of perpetrators were a friend or acquaintance of the victim, 28% were an intimate and 7% were another relative.) (National Crime Victimization Survey, 2005)
Fact #23: The costs of intimate partner violence against women exceed an estimated $5.8 billion. These costs include nearly $4.1 billion in the direct costs of medical care and mental health care and nearly $1.8 billion in the indirect costs of lost productivity and present value of lifetime earnings. (Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Atlanta, Georgia, March 2003).
Fact #24: Domestic violence occurs in approximately 25-33% of same-sex relationships. (NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, October 1996.)
Fact #25: Boys who witness their fathers' violence are 10 times more likely to engage in spouse abuse in later adulthood than boys from non-violent homes. (Family Violence Interventions for the Justice System, 1993)
Fact #26: An estimated 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States annually for sexual exploitation or forced labor. (U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 2000)
Fact #27: Somewhere in America a woman is battered, usually by her intimate partner, every 15 seconds. (UN Study On The Status of Women, Year 2000)
Fact #28: A University of Pennsylvania research study found that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to low-income, inner-city Philadelphia women between the ages of 15 to 44 - more common than automobile accidents, mugging and rapes combined. In this study domestic violence included injuries caused by street crime.
Fact #29: Following the Supreme Court's decision in 2000 to strike down the civil-rights provision of the Federal Violence Against Women Act (ruling that only states could enact such legislation), only two states in the country (Illinois and California) have defined gender-based violence, such as rape and domestic violence, as sex discrimination, and created specific laws that survivors can use to sue their perpetrators in civil court. (Kaethe Morris Hoffer, 2004).
Fact #30: A study reported in the New York Times suggests that one in five adolescent girls become the victims of physical or sexual violence, or both, in a dating relationship. (New York Times, 8/01/01)
Fact #31: At least 60 million girls who would otherwise be expected to be alive are "missing" from various populations, mostly in Asia, as a result of sex-selective abortions, infanticide or neglect. (UN Study On The Status of Women, Year 2000)
Fact #32: Globally, at least one in three women and girls is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. (UN Commission on the Status of Women, 2/28/00)
Fact #33: A recent survey by the Kenyan Women Rights Awareness Program revealed that 70% of those interviewed said they knew neighbors who beat their wives. Nearly 60% said women were to blame for the beatings. Just 51% said the men should be punished. (The New York Times, 10/31/97)
Fact #34: 4 million women and girls are trafficked annually. (United Nations)
Fact #35: An estimated one million children, mostly girls, enter the sex trade each year (UNICEF)
Fact #36: A 2005 World Health Organization study reported that nearly one third of Ethiopian women had been physically forced by a partner to have sex against their will within the 12 months prior to the study. (WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence Against Women, 2005)
Fact #37: In a study of 475 people in prostitution from five countries (South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, USA, and Zambia):
62% reported having been raped in prostitution.
73% reported having experienced physical assault in prostitution.
92% stated that they wanted to escape prostitution immediately.
(Melissa Farley, Isin Baral, Merab Kiremire, Ufuk Sezgin, "Prostitution in Five Countries: Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" (1998) Feminism & Psychology 8 (4): 405-426)

Fact #38: The most common act of violence against women is being slapped—an experience reported by 9% of women in Japan and 52% in provincial Peru. Rates of sexual abuse also varies greatly around the world—with partner rape being reported by 6% of women from Serbia and Montenegro, 46% of women from provincial Bangladesh, and 59% of women in Ethiopia. (WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence Against Women, 2005)
Fact #39: So-called "honour killings" take the lives of thousands of young women every year, mainly in North Africa, Western Asia and parts of South Asia. (UNFPA)
Fact #40: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported that 2002 saw a 25% increase in “honor killings” of women, with 461 women murdered by family members in 2002, in 2 provinces (Sindh and Punjab) alone. (Pakistan Human Rights Commission, 2002)
Fact #41: More than 90 million African women and girls are victims of female circumcision or other forms of genital mutilation. (Heise: 1994)
Fact #42: In eastern and souther Africa, 17 to 22% of girls aged 15 to 19 are HIV-positive, compared to 3 to 7% of boys of similar age. This pattern—seen in many other regions of the world—is evidence that girls are being infected with HIV by a much older cohort of men. (UNICEF/UNAIDS 2007)
Fact #43: : A 2005 study reported that 7% of partnered Canadian women experienced violence at the hands of a spouse between 1999 and 2004. Of these battered women, nearly one-quarter (23%) reported being beaten, choked, or threatened with a knife or gun. (Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2005)
Fact #44: In Zimbabwe, domestic violence accounts for more than 60% of murder cases that go through the high court in Harare. (ZWRCN)
Fact #45: a study in Zaria, Nigeria found that 16 percent of hospital patients treated for sexually transmitted infections were younger than 5. (UNFPA)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book.


I can't choose just ONE book - that seems ludicrous to me. I love books, I love reading, so much that it's impossible for me to pick just one. So here are a few of the ones that I feel I couldn't live without. From top to bottom:
  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley - my favorite version of the story of Camelot.
  • The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image by Anne Baring & Jules Cashford - this was the textbook for a class I took on Images of the Goddess, one of my favorite classes in my whole undergrad experience. Lots of myths, archeological findings and exploration of the sociological reasons for worship.
  • Love Is In The Earth by Melody - my favorite compendium of crystal/stone/mineral info ever!
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (Ultimate Edition) by Douglas Adams - I started reading these stories in high school and I was hooked immediately. Every so often I will re-read them and it's like visiting an old friend who can still make you laugh with the same jokes 20 years later. Love it.
  • Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain by Devin Starlanyl & Mary-Ellen Copeland - this manual has saved my sanity many times over. Fibromyalgia is so complex and multi-layered, many people (including doctors and people with FM) don't realize half of what they experience is linked to the FM. I call this book my BIBLE. 
I would also like to add these books to the list of faves:
  • Ishmael by Daniel Quinn (changed my life, and how I look at the world)
  • The Mayfair Witches Trilogy by Anne Rice
  • The Odd Thomas books by Dean Koontz
  • The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
  • The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton
Ok, I better stop or this list never will! What are YOUR favorite books?