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Wed, Jul. 29th, 2015, 06:14 am
Cosby, Facts and Opinions

If you'd like to read the Full Cosby Deposition courtesy of the NYTimes, I'll warn you that's it's long and takes a bit to load.

Cosby Facts:

Generally, I'm as loathe to condemn via the media as the next person, but given his own previous, in court, confessions that have been released via the deposition, I've pretty much come to the conclusion that I can safely conclude (for my own conscience anyway) Cosby did assault these women, or at least some of these women, at a time when they were not able to consent. But here are the facts known, because it isn't enough (to me) that a number of women have come out.

FACT: Cosby did have seven different prescriptions for Quaaludes which he received by lying to a doctor about.
FACT: He did not take these drugs, but rather gave them to women he wanted to have sex with. He has said so, and viewed them as similar to buying a woman a drink that you want to have sex with. While I do see his point (that there isn't much difference), I would also like to point out that if you have sex with a very drunk person, it's also rape. Furthermore, who wants to have sloppy drunk sex with a stranger? It's a good policy never to have sex with drunk people; I don't.
FACT: Most of the woman admit to knowingly having taken the drug, although in the deposition in question supposedly he gave her Benadryl with her coffee, but she believes it was a much stronger drug.
FACT: In some cases, the women were drinking at the time they accepted the Quaaludes (a very common practice in those days).
FACT: Drinking and Quaaludes can often causes stupor and unconsciousness.

If I'm interpreting right (so this is not a fact), at one point he seems to be "not sure" as to whether a woman in question was of a mind to consent or not, but that since she made no protests or complaints on the way to the door or afterward, that meant she was okay with the sexual encounter.

FACT: The women overwhelmingly report a very similar MO, that they had a sexual encounter while unconscious or semi-conscious. In some cases they only remember the beginnings of the encounter, or realized something had happened after it was already over.
FACT: Cosby did, in the past, take steps to cover these allegations. The full nature of these steps (money offered, whether or not he agreed to be interviewed to squash stories in papers) is unclear. We will probably never know all that he did or did not do to cover his tracks. That in itself I don't find incriminating because who would want these kinds of allegations floating around?

It is entirely possible that some of the women may be lying, but I find it hard to believe that all of them would be lying. It's a common practice when getting really effed up to do it in the presence of someone you trust to protect you from harm, and who inspires more trust than Bill Cosby? They only found out that they weren't safe all along, and of course no one is going to believe that he would harm someone, and that's an entirely believable story. We're not talking about heading up to a room with thuggish Mike Tyson (not that that's the fault of a victim either, but he's basically a bruiser), we're talking about COSBY. It's like going out with a trusted guy friend, heck, a trusted gay guy friend, that you expect is going to keep you from doing something stupid, like getting drunk and leaving for a one-nighter with a stranger, only to wake up in HIS bed the next morning with only a vague memory of what happened.

Like, if ever I wanted to get seriously effed up with someone I thought would be safe and protect me (babysit, as the term is called), it would be the Jello pudding pop guy! Well, before the shit hit the fan anyway. These days, of course, if you let him so much as buy you a drink, THEN you could argue that you probably should have known what was coming and no longer deserve a whole boatload of sympathy. Still not your fault, but you should have known better now.

And that's why I believe these women are telling the truth, because it simply makes too much sense in light of the fact that he admits to giving the women drugs and then having sex with them. I think they believed they were in the presence of someone who they thought it was safe to get high and relax around, and then they found out otherwise, or maybe even after it happened (because booze and ludes can probably give you strange and trippy nightmarish dreams if they are anything like booze and other sleepy pills) they may not have believed it at first themselves.

Or maybe a few didn't believe it was rape. If he told them he thought it was consensual, and they don't remember what happened, they might still have gone along, at least for an encounter or two. Nowadays, we are more enlightened than that. Someone that messed up can't consent. Which is a word to the wise for men who think it's okay to feed women alcohol until they are too drunk to stand.

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Mon, Jun. 22nd, 2015, 03:48 pm
Schizophrenia, Also, Why Shrinks and Descartes Don't Get Along

Just finished reading A Very Short Introduction to Schizophrenia (I love this series, BTW) which has deepened my understanding of the neurological underpinnings of this disorder. I think I can better explain how it happens, for those interested.

There's a part of your brain that differentiates things internal from things external. It doesn't totally mute those things, but it does tone it done. That's the main thing that breaks down in schizophrenia, and depending on what other systems are affected determines how it manifests.

Say you move your arm. Simple maneuver, right? Now if someone else were to bump you and push your arm, you can tell the difference pretty easily. That's that section of your brain at work. But imagine a world in which you wanted to, say, pick up a pencil, and then instead of you picking up a pencil, someone else then took your hand and used it to pick up the pencil. People who experience this, after awhile, begin to think that someone else is controlling their movements. Even though their body is doing everything they want it to, because that section of the brain is broken, the one that tones down your own movements as "less important to pay attention to because you intended for it to happen" they don't feel in control. It may even digress to control of thoughts. Maybe someone else wanted them to move a certain way.

Did you think that thought or did someone else?

The same thing happens with speech. We all have an internal voice which is muted, and in addition, even the words we speak out loud are rated by our brains as slightly less attention-worthy than what others say. After all, we know what is going to come out of our mouths at least a fraction of a second before we say it (even if sometimes we, to much embarrassment, say things we didn't mean to express out loud). If the internal thoughts are where the major misfiring is occurring, you get auditory hallucinations, and because they are so "close to home" they may actually be louder than external voices. In a few instances, it's been known for schizophrenics to actually mutter the hallucinatory words to themselves, without being aware of it, and then answer those same "voices". And of course, since you can hear "them" too (because the person just said it), obviously those voices are real!

Now, it is entirely possible to hallucinate sound without being schizophrenic. They are the most common type of hallucination. ANYONE who experiences extreme anxiety, after awhile, will naturally begin to have this happen. I don't know why; I know it has something to do with the excess cortisol. But for those people, when the anxiety drops those hallucinations usually dissipate. Not so in schizophrenia.

Visual hallucinations are pretty much the end of the road. Usually by that time the whole system has degraded. You know where your eyes go, but if I poked you in the eye your vision would be jogged. You know when you daydream, remember that we take in information with our eyes but "vision" actually occurs when our brains process this information. And by this time, if you are under delusions that someone is controlling you, or hearing voices, etc. nothing you imagine is bound to be very good.

It's of note that in quite a number of non-Western cultures, schizophrenics tend to hallucinate "helpful" voices. They experience soothing, calming, and guiding spirits, or a mix, such as spirits that protect them from another evil entity. Here in the so-called civilized world they are more often to think the government is listening to their thoughts and out to get them.

Your internal subconscious, the stuff of dreams, including all ridiculous dream logic, has now become your reality. You cannot tell it from reality, but your emotions flavor all that you encounter. If you are anxious or paranoid, the world is literally warped to that delusion. If you are safe, secure, surrounded by love and light, maybe it's not quite so scary. Imagine being trapped in your dreamworld and that has become your waking reality.

Descartes is famous for the line "I think, therefore I am" because it was all he could prove that was real. Obviously the mad experience a reality all their own, what I call "the Blue Car World". For those who haven't followed along, it's living in a world where there is a hallucinatory blue car parked in your way. No one else can see it and everyone else can pass through it as if it isn't there. You try and try, because you know it shouldn't be there, but all you get is smashed up knees from trying to walk into solid metal. Yet everyone continues to encourage you to try walking through the "obviously" imaginary car. Until, one day, frustrated and exhausted, you give in, decide to humor your delusions, and walk around the damn thing, because it's easier to just go on with your life with the understanding that for you, there's a blue car, THE Blue Car, and you don't get to live in anyone else's reality, and they don't have to deal with yours.

And if you're lucky it's just those Blue Cars are parked, rather than trying to run your down in the street, and they don't talk.

I once, as a teen, told a shrink that he couldn't prove to me that anything was real, not the room, not him. Descartes would have been proud. I was a very philosophical teen, used to say that no one could disprove that the universe wasn't created only moments ago by a highly advanced civilization, a "pack of wild Saturnites" pretty much on a whim. That they'd made it all, including our memories and aged dinosaur bones. Almost no one else around could wrap their heads around this; they'd say dumb things like "but I remember last year!" To my eyeroll and reply, "duh, if someone could actually do all of that don't you think they could create you with memories too?" Not that you can prove to me a memory anyway; eyewitnesses to crimes are full of false memories.

When our brains fail, our senses fail, and that part of our experience, that part of our reality no longer exists. When the entirely of our brain fails, we die, and this whole universe ceases to exist. If we were cut off from all our senses, only our thoughts would exist, only our thoughts would prove (to us, anyway) that we exist.

The shrink, by the way, put me down as psychotic for this, me and Descartes. I continue to think that shrink was kind of an asshole, but now I know better than to wax philosophical with shrinks.

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Thu, Jun. 11th, 2015, 04:51 pm
Rant About a Traffic Accident

Just witnessed a pretty heinous accident on Connecticut Avenue NW. I heard this amazing screech (over 2 seconds) and looked over just in time to see one car slam into the back side corner of an SUV. I don't know why the SUV had crossed over that lane, whether it was to turn into the fast food drivethru, changing lanes, or because of a tire blowout (one was flat, but that might have been because of getting hit).

Either way, both cars just sat there, and then the person who hit the SUV got out and started taking pictures, during rush hour, blocking all but one lane on a major street.

PEOPLE, IF YOU ARE IN AN ACCIDENT AND CAN STILL MOVE YOUR CAR, GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE STREET. Even with the flat the SUV could have finished pulling into the driveway that led to the drivethru, it was maybe 15 feet. And the other car seemed mostly okay, totally able to pull over instead of just sitting there fucking up traffic. Cars were honking all over the place because it backed up enough to block the nearest intersection.

Assholes are why we have some of the worst traffic in the nation.

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Wed, Jan. 28th, 2015, 06:31 pm
At Sixes and Sevens

I can already tell the new neurologist is working up towards an "it's all in your head psychiatric diagnosis". I can smell it.

First she tells me that Topamax isn't used for nerve pain. Funny that, doctor, considering it was the only thing that saved me when none of the other drugs worked, a low dose of Tomapax cured the horrible burning sensation and was the only thing that stopped me from killing myself. She says it can cause burning (which is true), but it never fixes it. For me, it took burning, of the "I've spilled boiling water on myself" magnitude and turned it into a "tingling, mild sunburn" sensation.

And I'm not alone:

Move over Lyrica and Cymbalta? Could Topamax (Topiramate) Be More Effective in Fibromyalgia?

Then she asked me if I was bipolar (no, that's the OTHER sister), and what my official (mental) diagnoses were. And she did ask me if I'd had an MRI, but looked at mine from six years ago, and said it was fine so I didn't need another one. Um...I was fine six years ago, so yeah, I would hope that damn thing was fine. This problem came up 18 months ago or so, and I never had it before, so exactly how does a scan from six years ago, when I was fine and had no trouble, show that I'm fine now?

If you come in with a broken leg, and they look at an x-ray from pre-broken leg, that has nothing to do with your leg right now, does it? Duh. So how does an MRI from years before the problem have anything to do with now? Hmmmmmm.....

I'm supposed to go in for a memory test, if I can find a place that covers it with my insurance, but I already know how this will go. It will say my memory is fine, because (as I TRIED TO EXPLAIN) if you compare my memory to Joe Schmoe, it IS fine. Now, if you could compare my memory to me of two or four years ago, it would be shockingly different. I compensated for my visual processing problems by having a scary memory for certain kinds of detail, not as scary as some people's I know, but pretty damn scary overall. And now that is gone. You know, the kind of person who understands that pie is always 3.1415927 (technically I've rounded that up) and never just 3.14, or who knew every poem from the Hobbit, LoTR, and Dark is Rising Series by heart, just because. I can't find my way around town visually or by spatial sense like a normal person, so I have to compensate by MEMORIZING THE DIRECTIONS, I know that from my front door to the dr I:
exit apt door, turn right, elevator left, pick correct floor, turn right to exit, turn right on sidewalk and follow to end of block, turn right and follow to end of block, cross street cattycorner-left, follow straight to metro entrance (stairs down), which turns left, escalator down right, entrance stiles on right, platform train on right, switch trains by exit train go left, u-turn go downstairs, platform train right (making sure to pick correct train line), making sure to exit correct side of station when leaving subway system, go forward until you reach the correct street, turn left, go forward until you reach the destination on left.

Obviously, I also have the train lines, the streets I turn on, the final address, and a few names of places I pass to look out for so that I know I'm still going the right direction and haven't gone to far. In many places, I can't do "shortcuts" because I'll get hopelessly lost. It's not as bad in the city because many of them are laid out neatly with numbered and lettered streets, but I can't just find my way back by sensing directions--I have very little direction sense. And having gone some where, I then have to MEMORIZE THE ROUTE BACK as if it's a whole new set of directions, because it is.

I do it with people too. If I need to recall later what someone looks like, I'm doing it like I'm writing up a crime witness report in my head, tall/short, fat/thin, dirty blond hair, tattoo of butterfly on left wrist or whatever. The constant need for insane levels of meticulous memory details are necessary because I can't just "visualize" certain things. Maybe I couldn't draw up a make or model of a car (or hell, even what color it was, if I didn't "memorize" it in list form), but I might be able to give you the license plate instead. It was easier for me to memorize a license plate number than for me to try and visually recall a blue 4-door sedan.

Only now it's gone. I'm living in this hash blur, where everything is vague and fuzzy, like a cloud or a dream. Like a very, very bad dream. But when they try and run your standard memory tests it mostly comes up pretty normal. I guess by most standards it would BE normal, after all, most people don't need to memorize a list of directions for every place they go, or a list description for all the people they know, or phone and license numbers for everything around them. They just know "that's so and so's car" because they see it and recognize, or they look over and say "Oh hi so-and-so!" But none of you people were ever familiar to me, most of you never will be, I just don't see you often enough, or your features are not distinct enough to register past the prosopagnosia (faceblindness).

I'm losing the whole world around me, and I feel like I'm losing myself with it. I don't even want to go outside anymore. It's become this big scary place full of STUFF.

As far as the pain meds fiasco is going, it turns out my shrink is now a suboxone prescriber (when did THAT happen?) so when I told him the nonsense between my pain doctor and my new GP, he offered to put me on that. Huh. Sounds like a plan, better than battling it out with the new GP anyway. For those not keeping track, I can't get pain meds from pain management mostly because I have an addiction history, so legally they are kind of tied up. How we had it before was they consulted with my old GP, who wrote for my meds. It all came from one dr to one pharmacy (it's tramadol for crying out loud, we're not exactly talking morphine here) and everyone was happy. At least, until my GP and I parted ways over a couple of items which had nothing to do with my pain management.

My new GP started in on the thing that my old GP originally was like "I don't want to prescribe pain meds...that's what pain management is for!!" Only this one is worse, she's like, "I WON'T prescribe them, not even under consult." Basically tough titties. And tramadol isn't exactly easy to come by. As I told my shrink, I can do one of two things. It's not my pain dr's fault that laws make it so tough on her and she can't prescribe meds to me, so I can either shop around until I find a reasonable GP, which by the way, having an addiction makes me feel less of an addict than being forced through this nonsense for TRAMADOL pfft, and do all this bullshit and be treated like shit, or, I can make a phone call and in thirty minutes (maybe the first time might be hard, since I don't know anyone who deals in it off the bat), I could go out and find some heroin. Because, as I said, people who use pain pills don't want tramadol, they want oxys, or heroin, or something heavy like that. I've never heard of anyone going, "hey dude, I really want some tramadol." The real stupidity of this is, I DON'T EVEN HAVE AN ADDICTION TO PAIN PILLS. Which of course everyone knows, it's just if you have ANY addiction history, they treat you like shit.

They actually made me sign a pledge form the last time I got my tramadol, that said, "I will not use illegal drugs." I almost peed myself laughing, like, what next, a chastity pledge? Do I get a promise ring? Because I had an addiction history, you think having me SIGN A FORM for my prescription will change that? I told my shrink that if addictions were that easy, I would have signed a form and stuck one to my front door years ago and been cured. Hallelujah! Sign this pledge and be free! Hell, I've got a sign on my junk food cabinet and I CAN'T STOP EATING ICE CREAM even though I'm lactose intolerant. Who comes up with this shit, anyway?

So he writes for suboxone only he forgets to put his DEA number on the rx, and the snooty pharmacist (NOT my regular one) gives me the eyeball (because, yeah, I'm going to fake a suboxone rx *eyeroll back*) when I offered his business card. "I can only call the number on the prescription." Yes, okay, that's fine, gotcha. But she didn't have to say it in that tone of voice, you know, the tone of voice that says I obviously spend my time faking expensive laminate-type clinic business cards so I can turn in suspicious prescriptions with my horrible druggie self, which is all people who take suboxone are, right? Not people who also may have chronic pain.

pffttttt Bitch. It's the cane, makes me grumpy. One day it's going to make me so grumpy I'm going to freak the fuck out and someone is going to eat it and shit splinters for the rest of their life. Two doctors appointments, one shitty, one good, but I was exhausted and did not need a snooty new pharmacist to give me "eyeball" and "tone" at the end of my day.



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Fri, Jan. 16th, 2015, 09:16 pm
Impulse

Flash of an image, my hand, a knife, blood. My hand, stabbing, the knife, buried into something, right to left, buried into me, my flesh, maybe an arm, maybe a leg, mine, though, my flesh, my blood. Flash of an image, the background faded and blue, washed out, the blood dark and red, the knife no more than a flash, a handle, red oozing.

Flash of a knife...

I sit up. It wasn't a thought. It was a no-thought, almost a command, a thought without thinking, a reflex, the swat of a hand against a mosquito, the reaching for an itch before you even realize the itch is there. My feet have swung across the bed, ready to slide down its length, to take the steps propelling me forward into the kitchen, more towards the sink than any real cutlery, but the impulse is there.

Where am I going?

I shake myself. Am I dreaming? I saw myself do it, not standing outside myself, but from within my own skin, it was if I had done it, and the impetus was there, the command like a dress rehearsal, and already I'd taken one single step and then stopped. My heart hammered a few times against my ribs, as if it insisted on taking a few more steps forward without me, bursting forth. What am I doing? What am I about to do?

What was I about to do? Why would I be about to do this? What mad impulse spawned this? I blink, and stop, and blink, and blink again, reality grinding itself in bright lights and an almost ringing in my ears, my heart still thumping. No blood, no images, no commands. Just me standing alone, a brief echo of some horrible deed averted, like a spell that has been miscast.

Sometimes I wonder, would my friends still love me if I did something shocking. I talk a big game, but really, I guard myself, truly guard myself, over and over a thousand times, checking every motion, every motive, every thought in waking and sleeping.

It's normal, you know. It's normal, for many of us, at some point in our lives, to have a period of time where we are convinced that we will do shocking and terrible things if left unchecked. Some people are overcome by the anxiety of this, afraid to meet with others, some afraid to leave their houses even. They visit therapists, afraid to reveal the depths of the horrors they consider, who tell them reassuringly how very normal they are. You won't, you know. Do those things.

Then again, most of you don't have several buried selves lying dormant and near-strangled underneath the who-you-are. I don't need them anymore, therefore they are not. I could no more call them forth than I can control the tides.

But sometimes they come, often in the spaces between worlds, after a long movie, at the end of a engrossing novel -- if it speaks to them anyway. And, like a jealous lover having been denied, they are often vengeful.

That's one theory anyway.

The other is simply that I'm missing something, some primal thing that keeps me from stopping my most basic impulse controls in check. And that, for whatever reason, my most basic primal need is self-termination. It's not that I don't like myself, because I do. But I have this other thing, within, a demonic terminus, if you will.

I think, perhaps, both are true, and the realities are the same. Guarded, day and night, night at day, forever on vigil, eternal and true. I cannot control the tides, but I can watch them, forever if I must, until I can't.

It scares me a little. It is also a great comfort...

...and that scares me too.


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Sat, Jan. 3rd, 2015, 04:49 pm
Resolution Revolution

When someone asks me where I am "from", I will always say Earth, with my race being human. If they press hard for my ethnicity, I might, in a confiding voice, admit to being part Fremen with a grandparent from Arrakis, but that it's a family secret not to be discussed further.

I will learn to tithe to myself just as much as I tithe to charity and others. Every month, I will buy a beautiful collectible book, just to savor the pages, something fabulous to wear, and check out some exciting new place to eat, preferably with a friend.

When men tell me to smile, I will continue telling them, "I'm neither your dog nor your slave, so I don't take orders from you." If they ask me, "what can I do to make you smile?" my response will be, "get arrested for harassment. I promise you to laugh my ass off."

If someone calls me a "rude bitch/cunt/whatever", or for that matter any name-calling on the street, rather than letting it get to me, I'm going to hold my head high, smile, and say "thank you". After all, if I'm making enemies that means I'm having an impact. Not everyone in this world is going to like me, and I am not bound by opinion of strangers.

Let sleeping dogs lie and beware of men who call you baby. I'm not your baby, honey, sweetie, sista, or boo. I'm also not a lady.

When someone says to me, "hey pretty lady" I'm going to give them the following response:
"Do you know how rude that is? Do you know what that says to me about you as a person? That says you are the kind of person who judges people by how they look. You've made a snap decision about the person I am from my height, weight, hair color, skin color, the face my parent's gave me, the type of clothes I can afford, none of this stuff has anything to do with who I am as a person. All this shit is just external. How would you like that if I did that to you? [Give them the once-over and response. Eight times out of ten it's "How would you like it if I came up to you and said, "Hey black man in the cheap shoes, how's it going?" For whatever reason, it's always the men in the cheap shoes/clothes. Well dressed men usually start with the even more obnoxious "hey baby".] It's not a nice thing when the world judges you by outward appearances, is it? You want to change the world, how things are done, you gotta start with yourself."

Alternatively, if I'm in a hurry, I'll just say, "it's the penis that makes me so pretty, every woman should have one."

Tip to the ladies, for persistent men in bars, the best tactic I've found so far is to stare at them, smile brilliantly, and say, "are you flirting with me? That's ADORABLE!" And then cock your head to one side e.g. look at them like you'd watch a puppy playing with a two-year-old, continuing to stare as they talk and slowly run out of steam. Usually within 20-30 seconds, even the most persistent, drunkest idiot, will sort of mumble off. You have to perfect the "receptionist stare" for this to really be effective. And when they ask for you number, just say no or shake your head. Really. Without excuses.

I will start enforcing my genderqueer status. Yes, I am a cisfemale. No, I'm not trans-anything. I have no desire to change my body or become male, I have merely renounced the idea of gender roles for myself. I am fully aware that there are "girly girls" and "manly men" and I acknowledge that many of the folks who most support being genderqueer deny that people can be born inherently sexualized. I have my own opinions and believe in the full spectrum. There are some people born very feminine, and some very masculine, and usually the feminine people are biological female, and usually the masculine people are biological male. I, personally, "think like a man" but have the body of a woman, and I've come to be happy with this (despite my one complaint, and that is I wish I was as strong as a man, even though I don't want to look like one).

It's actually less controversial for me to say I'm genderqueer than to say "I have the body of a woman but think like a man." When I say that, what I mean is I am competitive in the way that men are, rather than the way that women are. I would rather fight than nurture. I socialize with people better in a typically masculine fashion. If someone were having a bad day, I would rather take them to a strip club than rub their back. I have learned to do both because society has made me, but the latter feels like an alien language. Most of the time I could care less about my hair other than having it be out of my face. I value being strong (love muscles and have wished for a washboard stomach all my life), fast, and tough rather than desirable to the opposite sex. I find girls mystifying and a little scary...make that alot scary.

Swimming, just do it.

Stretching, just do that too.

Getting out of bed. Damn, have to do that in order to do the previous two, don't I? Beginning to see the problem here.








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Wed, Dec. 17th, 2014, 05:19 pm
Dying of Depression, I Sit With Eternity

The part of me that yearned for death, it burned as a star,
bright as the sun,
dark as desert wings.
I set forth on an errand of mercy,
I looked for God,
for love,
with the earnest faith of a child.

I found Ye not, in trinket nor in icon,
though the Mystery whispered in shadow, and
the smile glimmered in flame.
I found Ye not, in smoke,
transcendent passion,
neither herb nor poison taken.

I cast my suffering upon the waters, and
Lo' it was released from me.
I begged for forgiveness, and ye, I was shriven.
I hungered and food was given.
The Glory all abounds me, but without,
for without me,
One cannot be reborn
When an immortal soul is given.

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Thu, Dec. 4th, 2014, 07:42 am
Tommorow Night, Release the Krampus!

On December 5th, in keeping with an obscure holiday tradition, DC will host its 3rd Annual Krampuslauf on H Street. According to certain ancient legends, St. Nicholas did not work alone, but had many helper attendants. The Krampus is a horned and hooved, satyr-like creature, whose responsibility was to pass out coal to the naughty girls and boys, among other punishments. For truly bad children, he would carry them off for his X-mas dinner!

Traditionally, Krampuslauf takes place on Dec 5th (the day before St. Nicholas Day). Revelers parade through the night, often in costume, carousing their way through the streets & warn attendant children to be nice.

Krampusnacht Schedule of Events:


6pm: DC KRAMPUSNACHT 2014 RECEPTION at Gallery 0 on H Street
Krampus! Santa! Kids Activities! Door Prizes!
$10 suggested donation or unwrapped new child’s gift to support SANTA’s CAUSE DC, which brings the spirit of the holidays to foster children in our area.
Get your photo taken with Krampus & Santa!
Fire Performances by Dance Afire and more!

7pm: Release the Krampus! Charity Walk along H Street!
All participants must be in Krampus costume. There is a Facebook group and sheet sign-up.

9:30 – 11:30pm: KRAMPUS AFTERPARTY at GALLERY 0 on H
Come boogie down with the Krampus!
DJ and Dancing!
Annual “We are the World” Krampus Karaoke
*the majority of this event will occur OUTSIDE so dress appropriately!
$10 suggestion donation to SANTA’s CAUSE DC, unwrapped child’s gift, volunteer or reception wristband


For more about the Krampus, the Wikipedia Entry.

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Tue, Dec. 2nd, 2014, 11:50 am
Thanksgiving Diet Destruction

Now, I'd planned to not follow the diet on Thanksgiving, but what I didn't plan for was to continue not following it since then. It seems that every day after I "must" have a piece of candy, or something breaded, or the Saturday event where I drank three sodas (two had alcohol added, one did not). I don't actually think I could have stayed as late as I did had I not imbibed those Red Bull & vodkas, although my wallet didn't thank me for it (seriously, $13 for an absolute & RB? That's strip club prices, wowsa. At least give me the rest of the Red Bull. Even a nudey bar would do that.)

Anyway, looks like if I want to do the Whole30-esque cleanse, I should probably start over. I'm still eating more stuff from scratch than before, and I think the best way to succeed for 30 days is to have more days in general that one cooks from scratch. Going from 0-100% is tough. From 40-100% is probably not so tough. So while I don't plan on starting over immediately, I think I will keep some healthy habits in place, or try to anyway, in preparation for a second run at it. It will probably be in the new year, not exactly a resolution, but definitely in January, after all of the holiday eating is over. Not that I can't do a baked ham replacing brown sugar with orange juice, but it's sort of a pain in the ass as it is. That and I don't want to forego stuffing entirely this season. There is a special place in my heart for the oh-so-salty, incredible processed StoveTop. Remnants of days when I lived below the poverty line and PizzaHut breadsticks constituted a meal (it was the cheapest thing on their menu).

In the meantime, I've got plenty enough to keep me busy around the house besides spending hours and hours in the kitchen. I've been timing things and I think online is really where the time flies off to...but I've allotted 3 hours total of kitchen time. That includes a couple 15-min. breaks where I sit off to the side, cleaning up before and after cooking (which I often do separately from cooking, this isn't 3 hours all at once by any means), and actual prep. One hour if I have to leave the house that day for an appointment or errands.

I think my New Year's Resolution is to learn how to budget my time in such a mannner that I can get this place decluttered and organized, as well as my life. I just don't have the energy I used to, and must cut back to things that are essential to me. I feel better when I cook everything from scratch, even if that means a meal takes an hour or so to prepare. I wouldn't be able to do it at all before I got these new pain patches, so I'm hoping they continue to work, and/or that this nerve block also proves beneficial. I'm ready for another cortisone injection in the ruptured disc as well. Yay more shots! (*eyeroll*)

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Mon, Nov. 24th, 2014, 06:34 pm
Diet, Day 14 of 30

I can't remember everything I ate yesterday. I know I polished off the last of a roasted chickpea snack in the wee hours of the night (what I consider Saturday night, even though it was technically Sunday morning). I like that my little produce delivery service has a few snacks I can eat.

I also made hummus for the first time in my life, and drank lots of tea.

Hummus came with cherry tomatoes, heirloom carrot sticks, red bell pepper, and a few thin slices of another pepper. I didn't feel particularly hungry until after I started eating. Then AgtOrange made popcorn, and, ravenous for butter, I made popcorn too. Although mine didn't have any butter, but I did cheat a little bit because it was maple and sea salt, and the maple is basically a processed sugar, even as I applied it more sparingly and threw about a third away. I sort of classify it along with honey and molasses. While they aren't technically cheating at the diet, they do mess with the spirit of the diet, so I try and keep those things to a minimum.

I finally cooked the pork tenderloin, after brining it with kosher saltwater, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and the blended remains of an apple. Yeah, that brine-water looked a bit like vomit, but it sure did make the pork taste delicious! I surrounded it with chunks of potato and a few carrots, covered in olive oil and rosemary, and threw the whole thing in the oven at 350 degrees. It was done in about an hour, with the last 15 minutes adding in the roasted garlic, and basting the top of the tenderloin with a mix of melted pork lard, caramelized onions, and granulated garlic. The potatoes still weren't quite done, so I upped the temperature of the oven and put them in for another twenty minutes while the meat rested on the counter.

It was all quite delicious.

That night I would find the remains of the blue Gatorade laying about, and drank the last three swallows before throwing out the bottle. The weird sweet taste is much less appealing now. But I bet yesterday's sugar, both the maple and the Gatorade, is the reason I am once again craving sweets like a fiend. The first few days of this diet, I was constantly eating fruit (which is fine). Then later, I didn't need them with such fierce intensity. Sugar causes sugar cravings, especially in those of us with reactive hypoglycemia. It also makes me tired, which obviously I don't need, and yet it's so hard to ignore.

Day 14



I can't do all the things I want to do. I screwed up my doctor's appointment. Even so, I still can't get this house straight except by cramming things onto the couches so the maid can clean. No way will I have enough time to actually put things where they belong, or make a place for them to belong. I can't even read the amount of email I want, and whittle down that pile, or get to all of the news I want, or anything. Cleaning, cooking, emails/news, doctor's appointments and my reading project--those are all I want to get accomplished, but they are too much. This sucks.

BREAKFAST: Today I woke up, cleaned the kitchen, made coffee and had a cup with soy milk. Cut up a pineapple and had some of it.

LUNCH: The diet specifies no processed meats, which includes sausage, but just as honey is technically not a processed sugar, and yet it violates the spirit of the diet by affecting your body in close ways to table sugar, so too does my locally sourced sausage not violate the ideals of the diet, even if it contradicts the particulars. There are no preservatives and no nitrates in this sausage. There is only meat, spices, and perhaps some molasses. It's uncured and quite delicious. Someone on a farm actually made this, and then packed it in a not-very-commercial sealer and it came to live in my freezer.

I had sausage and farro, which includes celery and a little red bell pepper for veggies. I've also eaten a pear, and am now drinking water and thinking about sweet fruits (more pineapple maybe?) and also a nap.

DINNER:
Tonight we plan to order pho. The beef broth and bits are totally acceptable, it's only cellophane noodles I can't have. I'm going to attempt to cook some thin whole wheat spaghetti and try the pho broth with that. I'm also going to severely limit the amount of soybean paste I add (I'm kind of crazy about it) which is going to be the hard part for me, rather than the change in noodles. Overall I guess it's a vegetable slow day.

You can't win them all.

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