Friday, November 19, 2010

New Feature (for blahgblahgblahg, maybe not for you...)

Last night, I added apture to my blog. The code allows links to "pop up" when you hover over the links I include, so that you do not have to navigate away from the page to read the page/watch the video/see the picture/whatever.
When you see a link there should be an icon (book, film frame, photo) before it:
If you hover your cursor over the icon a window will open showing the content:
There should also be a bar at the top of the page with a button to share the page on Twitter, Facebook or by email and there is also a search box:

You can type your query in as normal:

Hit enter or select from the suggestions:

And click on your chosen link:

Additionally you can highlight a word or phrase [here I highlighted "dentist's mercury, but the highlight didn't show in the screenshot] and a little "Learn More" icon will pop up:

Click the icon and search results will pop up:

You can then select the result of which you want to see more:

Finally, you can also hover over my Twitter link at the top of the right column and read my tweets without leaving my page:

And that's about it. You may or may not ever ue these on my page, but I thought I'd share in case someone wanted to use the code on their own site.

Cribbed: Ode to baths from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Passage from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The mirror over my bureau seemed slightly warped and much too silver. The face in it looked like the reflection in a ball of dentist’s mercury. I thought of crawling in between the bed sheets and trying to sleep, but that appealed to me about as much as stuffing a dirty, scrawled-over letter into a fresh, clean envelope. I decided to take a hot bath.

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. Whenever I’m sad I’m going to die, or so nervous I can’t sleep, or in love with somebody I won’t be seeing for a week, I slump down just so far and then I say: “I’ll go take a hot bath.”

I meditate in the bath. The water needs to be very hot, so hot you can barely stand putting your foot in it. Then you lower yourself, inch by inch, till the water’s up to your neck.

I remember the ceiling over every bathtub I’ve stretched out in. I remember the texture of the ceilings and the cracks and the colors and the damp spots and the light fixtures. I remember the tubs, too: the antique griffin-legged tubs, and the modern coffin-shaped tubs, and the fancy pink marble tubs overlooking indoor lily ponds, and I remember the shapes and sizes of the water taps and the different sorts of soap holders.

I never feel so much myself as when I’m in a hot bath.

I lay in that tub on the seventeenth floor of this hotel for-women-only, high up over the jazz and push of New York, for near onto an hour, and I felt myself growing pure again. I don’t believe in baptism or the waters of Jordan or anything like that, but I guess I feel about a hot bath the way those religious people feel about holy water.

I said to myself: “Doreen is dissolving, Lenny Shepherd is dissolving, Frankie is dissolving, New York is dissolving, they are all dissolving away and none of them matter any more. I don’t know them, I have never known them and I am very pure. All that liquor and those sticky kisses I saw and the dirt that settled on my skin on the way back is turning into something pure.”

The longer I lay there in the clear hot water the purer I felt, and when I stepped out at last and wrapped myself in one of the big, soft white hotel bath towels I felt pure and sweet as a new baby.

If you can read that passage and not get me, then you probably never will.--Kayly

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My PSA for the day

I'm sharing this, not because I agree with the author, but so I can comment that sexual assault has many different forms and it isn't always for sexual pleasure or about committing violence. I, too, have been sexually assaulted, but I understand that sexual assault is about power; power being taken away from the victim and given wholly to the perpetrator.
Yes, the case of the mother who was not informed what was going to be done to her, nor allowing her to consent to it is sexual assault. Her breasts and her labia were touched without her consent and without any warning. It traumatized her. That's it. That's sexual assault. If a person came up to you on the street and cupped your groin and breasts and you called the police, they WOULD arrest the person who committed the act.

I understand some sexual assault is violent or more physically invasive than what happened to this woman, but we spend years telling our children, "If someone touches your 'bathing suit areas' without your permission it is not okay," then we tell adults, "Hey, touch away, no permission needed. It's open season on my vulva/scrotum. Have at it!"

The fog creeps in on little cat feet.

For months, I have been excited about a new study the University was going to be conducting on behalf of the Army and NIMH. The original job posting seemed to imply there would be travellers hired in addition to people centrally located to certain bases. The study is close to my heart because of both my own mental health struggles and my respect for our soldiers and my belief more needs to be done to protect their mental health. One of the big requirements for the job was public speaking experience, which I have in spades. The study was postponed so they could revamp a few things and then they reposted the positions. The new posting clearly states that a firm requirement of the job is living within 30 miles of specified bases. None of the bases are anywhere near me.
So the job search I had been half-heartedly conducting while I waited to hear about said study now must proceed in earnest.
The thing is, with no degree and the "gap" of having been a stay-at-home-mother and the tight economy leaving fewer jobs and even fewer people wanting to take chances on unproven workers--like myself--the prospects seem a little bleak. Add to that my unwillingness to go back to retail--oh god, especially during the holidays--and I am, in a word, screwed. (Nearly 25 years of on and off full- and part-time work in retail has left me with a horrible, nasty, disgusting taste in my mouth. After having done "real" and meaningful work, I just cannot go back to that hell.)
Between the health questions swirling around me and this new wrench in the work works and full-on Autumn pounding me over the head with its short days and dead the poet says, "The fog creeps in on little cat feet." He forgets to say that before it moves on, you need to figure out how to kicks its ass the hell off of its "silent haunches."
Thanks to a few reminders from my bestie I finally bought a light box to try to help with the seasonal aspect of my depression. I have noticed my sleep patterns shifting a bit back towards a normal person's. Maybe a tiny bit more energy throughout the day.... But it is hard to judge its effect on my mood, because I don't know what it would be right now if I were not using the box. Ah, the paradox of the afflicted. Is it me or the "meds?"
For now, I guess, ONWARD! (Meaning not that I might give up on living, but that I may fall prey to total inertia. So here's to one foot in front of the other, y'all.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Pound of Flesh

Just as I was getting agonizingly tired this afternoon, I received a call back--finally--from my gynecologist. We chatted for a while and we agreed we should do some lab work to see where all of my hormone levels are in case this whole thing might be menopause hitting me in earnest. Yes, at 38 years old. We chatted a bit more about how I'd rather not do a laproscopic procedure (which could show endometriosis because that does not show up on ultrasounds) unless we had exhausted all non-invasive diagnostic measures. He said he totally understood and as we wrapped up the conversation he hit me with, "We really do need to have a serious discussion about hysterectomy at some point, though." Um, what? I was too stunned to say anything but the usual end of call pleasantries.
Hadn't this whole phone call just been about not wanting to do that unless absolutely necessary? Hadn't he told me that even if they see nothing wrong during a laproscopy they could do the hysterectomy if I wanted to do it because it may or may not help with the unknown problem? Now he's all like, "Hey, yeah, let's do this thing already."
I talked with Nate and reaffirmed that I would not have a hysterectomy if there was nothing indicating a need for one. Nate also said that if I get to the point where there is nothing else that can be done and Doc starts talking about it again that we'll get a second opinion or two or three.
Something has been bothering me during this whole thing, though, and that is this: All of my medical records from all of my doctors are available to all of my doctors since the are all affiliated with the same medical center. And both the gynecologist and the reproductive endocrinologist asked me about my moods and my Bipolar II in seemingly offhand ways and I'm always up for talking about it because I like to try to show people, that, "Hey, I do have a mental illness, but I'm okay and there is nothing scary or stigmatizing about it." Obviously, neither of them were merely curious but somehow connecting the mental health issues with my gynecological health issues. So it leaves me feeling like the diagnosis I am being labelled with behind closed doors is female hysteria. ("Keep her from breeding. Off with her uterus!")
At the end of the phone conversation I had with Nate I said, "Okay,well, I'll see you when you get home and, by the way, we really should talk about castrating you." He laughed nervously and said, "Um, what?" And I said, "EXACTLY! That is exactly how I felt after I talked to Dr. [name redacted]!"
I hadn't slept at all last night and was by this point trying to stay awake until bedtime, but the call and the dogs being snuggled up on top of me left me with little choice but to take a nap. I slept for two hours. I still feel utterly exhausted but I am quite worried that that small amount of rest will have me hanging out in Insomnia Cafe again, tonight...

One pill makes you larger...

Warning: TMI to follow. Proceed at your own risk.

Watch out folks! It's time for Aunt Flo's visit. Her stays are much shorter lately, but she is one mean motherfucker when she's here. I guess she's getting ornery in her old age...
And this morning she has decided to roundhouse kick me repeatedly in my gut.
I sometimes get some relief from two "Premenstrual Symptom Relief" pills (Rite Aid store brand, of course) which have acetaminophen, pamabrom and pyrilamine maleate. And when it's an awful day--worse than today--I'll take two acetaminophen with codeine for some--but not total--relief. But right now I'm somewhere in between. Thus, I have decided to take one of each instead of two of one or the other.
Experiments in chemistry, folks. It's what I do.
Also? If you stop by? I am not being intimate with my heating pad wrapped pillow. It just kind of looks like that, so get your mind out of the gutter. Also, you better bring Peanut Chews, or I'll kick you the hell out. Well, Aunt Flo will. I can't be held responsible for what she does...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Ask me anything Feel free to tick the "anonymous" button.

I can't fool me!

I have two alarms set on my phone.
One wakes me an hour before I need to get up so I can take my "empty stomach" morning pills. Then I go back to sleep.
The second alarm is so I get up even if I have nothing scheduled. This is so that I maintain a routine even though I am not working outside of the home right now.
Apparently, "sick me" realizes I need to take these pills every morning and they need to be on an empty stomach, but "irresponsible me" says, "Fuck it! I have nothing scheduled today and I want to sleep!" And turns off the alarm without ever waking up.

(And no, the morning pills are not sedating at all; if anything they should help me wake up.)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Mother Blood is Boiling

My mother blood is boiling.
Erica Jong's WSJ article.
She misunderstands so many of the points she is cutting down, and I was going to address them bit by bit, but then I read this sentence, "It's a prison for mothers, and it represents as much of a backlash against women's freedom as the right-to-life movement," and decided to stop reading. (Don't worry, I will revisit the article once I calm down.)
The second wavers who still espouse this crap make me ashamed to call myself a feminist and seem to want to make me ashamed of having made the choices that I made in my life. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mother long before I had any idea of who I would end up with and regardless of the fact that my mother spent my childhood telling me about all of the cool things I could be when I grew up.
It was and still is my ideal career choice, whether or not 2nd wavers or the government consider it a career.
And if I wanted to cloth diaper, make my own baby food, co-sleep and wear my baby, that was my choice, too. When I was doing that stuff it was mostly considered weird at the time, so it was hardly a matter of being "imprisoned" by society or the patriarchy or whatever bullshit these people espouse it to be.
I'm so sick of this type of thinking from the 2nd wave that it is extremely difficult for me to be grateful for the work they did for and before the Third Wave. Just as they seemed to be ungrateful for the generation before them, but they don't like to talk about that, ahem...
I support and respect women who work for pay, whether they have children or not, so when will the unpaid work of women (and increasing numbers of men) be supported and respected as well?

UPDATE: I have to add that I also resent Jong's use of the term "right-to-life movement" instead of the anti-choice or anti-abortion movement.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Mean mothereffin' reds...

The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of.--Holly Golightly

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Tad Fragile

I guess the elections have me feeling a tad emotionally fragile.

I just got weepy--yes, actual tears--at a CTIA commercial. Yep, a lobbyist's commercial made me cry.

Here it is:

Drink Recipe: F*ck Me Gently with a Chainsaw

F*ck Me Gently with a Chainsaw
a.) On Election Night tell all of your Facebook friends this:

"couldn't decide if I should venture into the cold and cry into (an admittedly delicious selection of) beers or put my cozy jammies on and hide under a blanket on the couch. I've opted for the latter accompanied by a heap of Peanut Chews, a huge Iron Man cup of HFCS containing ginger ale and Hoarders and NCIS on the DVR. No live TV for me tonight."

b.) Immediately start checking Facebook, Twitter and online news media and commence live-blogging for close to four hours until everything is pretty much over.


  • 2 oz Knob Creek into a shot glass

d.)then in a highball glass mix:

  • splash of unsweetened orange juice

  • 2 maraschino cherries, muddled and a splash of juice from the jar

  • splash simple syrup

  • 1-2 shakes Angostura Bitters

  • 2 (or 3 or so) oz Knob Creek

  • some ice

Shoot c, then sip d.

Alternate names for this drink are "shot of bourbon with ghetto old-fashioned back" or "Post Election Sorrow Drowner: Democrat Version."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Quickly, from my phone

A few election day observations:

  • I'm seeing a higher number of lefty bumper stickers than I normally do, so I'm hoping they're all out and about because they're voting.
  • Even when I vote straight ticket, I still like pushing each individual button rather than the straight ticket button.
  • Parked next to my car at the poll was a red new beetle with a big "run on biofuel" sticker and an HRC sticker. When the guy came out I said, "Oh, I thought I was the only one in Penbrook. He laughed, then made a joke about the Republicans prayers for rain being thwarted because it's such a gorgeous day. I wanted to say, "Will you be my friend?" But I figured that would be too weird, lol.

Monday, November 01, 2010

"Just a quote" note

"Because we know, instinctively, as a people, that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light, we have to work together. And the truth is there will always be darkness, and sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes, it's just New Jersey."--Jon Stewart

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