Themes from across the planet

Saturday, June 22, 2002

This is going to sound a bit gross for guys so be warned, there are some feminine references in the following entry.

Auntie Flow is back. Let me explain why this news is so exciting and wonderful for me.

After how many months,….. since February!! That’s 6 months there’s been no trace of my menstrual cycle. The graves disease messes up my hormones when it goes unchecked. It was unchecked when I was in the States last year and I got really sick with it. Here’s an analogy to explain what this disease does to the body. Say your body is a car. If you have graves, it messes with your endocrine system, your thyroid to begin with and all the bits that regulate your body’s metabolism. Your body looses it’s ability to ‘down shift’ and the accelerator gets stuck. So, basically, I was going 100 mph in first gear. I was redlining big time so by the time I got blood tests done in March, when I got back to NZ, my thyroid hormones were off the chart; over 8 times what they should have been. When the body red-lines like this, other systems are affected. Liver function, kidneys, general digestion and on a woman, her fertility. Having my period back means the things are coming right and I’ll have some good news for the specialist when I see him on Tuesday. It also means that the weight I’ve gained will be easier to loose, because other ‘waste management’ systems will be working better. I’m going to ask for a more detailed blood work up and see if there is any more damage to my liver and kidneys. See, if I had a kid, it would kill me, most likely. Too much strain on the already weakened liver and kidneys. I shouldn’t really have alcohol even and my hellish hangovers are a testament to the damage alcohol does to my body. It has something to do with my ‘emulase’ level, whatever that is, but I haven’t found a doctor who will explain it to me. I should stop ignoring it and pay more attention. Last time I paid attention I got myself in remission and shocked the hell out of the doctors. I love shocking doctors, so, if for no other reason, I should work on it just for that. I’d love to tell this specialist to go put his stethoscope where the sun doesn’t shine.

I’ve been giving my beautiful Scandiman a hard time about eating meat. I shouldn’t. I have resolved to cook him meals with meat, and those that I can stand the smell of and my health withstanding, I may even partake in. There is even the odd time I have craved red meat, but most times it simply grosses me out. I know it has more to do with my body’s lack of ability to cope with the digestion of it, than the fact that I have some strong militant vegetarian bent. I promise not to give him such a hard time in future.


Friday, June 21, 2002

I must remember to write more. I mentioned books were being read, instead of blogs being written. One of the books is the Lord of the Rings. I’m almost done with The Twin Towers and as I read it, they are finishing the filming here in New Zealand. I can almost see the scenes in my mind as I read it. Comical scenes with Gollum and striking landscapes with aerial shots of Gandalf on Shadowfax. The book has delved it’s way into my heart. It’s power would be doubtful if I hadn’t seen the movie first, with it’s basis here in NZ and the frail state I was when I saw it first. It was Christmas Day, in the States. I had been there for 5 months, looking after my mother and was becoming more estranged from my family….. but that’s another story.

On the news today, after the recounting of destruction due to a freak rainstorm, was news that one of the actors of Lord of the Rings has had a book published. In it are photos and artwork of his creation and the sale to benefit a crewmember with a terminal illness. The sample shown on the tv was wonderful and I’m contemplating driving to Wellington Sunday for his book signing. As I began to make plans in my head, I realised, the ‘news’ did not tell me what book store or where the signing was taking place. Oh well. Aragorn will have to wait to meet me. He’s remarkably soft spoken and was interviewed in a trailer on the set. He was in his costume and make up and looked amazing. I am so tempted to find out where the signing is and go. I could get two books signed. One for me and one for the charity of my friend in the states to go to his silent action. I did that a few years ago with the autobiography of Sir Edmund Hilary. I don’t know what they got for the book and wonder often.

The past two nights, I’ve gotten stuck into the single malt whiskey stock of the B-man. I will replace it (or so I promise myself). The weather is awful and I’ve been bored and lonely in the house by myself. He doesn’t drink it anyway.

The more I read, the more I become determined to write myself. ‘I can do this.’ I tell myself, but who knows? For every published, successful writer, there are thousands of wanna-bes. I’ll have some time during the next year, I think. While I struggle to live in a foreign country, I won’t be working outside the home until my paperwork is approved and at the current rate of bureaucracy, it’s taking over a year. I lay at night, with words spinning in my head after I put my book down. I’m not sure if it is healthy, but I long to loose myself in a fiction; some fantasy of my own mind’s making. If I did write something it won’t be a hobbit’s tale, because my thoughts tend to run darker than the goings on of Middle Earth. I’m sure it would have some fantasy-science fiction element to the tale, but how much, I’m not sure.

Ah, well. My book awaits. (the one I’m reading that is)

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

It’s been too long since I’ve written. There’s been books and planning and the newsletter and dramas in the household, but enough with excuses.

The drama in the household: Poor old B-man. It seems that he had a lady all set up to take my place but things have gone awry. She’s from South Africa and he’s been emailing and talking to her for.. well, I don’t know how long. It seemed to all be on for her to visit, but alas, she claimed to have been stopped at the final customs check to be refused passage due to lack of a proper Visa. I know that a S.A. does not need a Visa for a visit of less than three months to NZ, so this stinks highly of mischief to me. Then I learn of the money he sent to her for her ‘children’s shelter’. It seems that her circumstances were such that she needed to raise money for the ‘children’s shelter’ before she could leave and have a holiday in NZ with her new found man, the man I discarded. Don’t get me wrong. I am completely supportive of him starting a new relationship and being happy. I was even making sure that his pillowcases matched for her imminent arrival and approval. But something seemed amiss at the very sound of her name. ‘Crystal Webb’ sounded just a bit fishy to me, if you get my meaning. Oh what evil webs she weaves, it seemed. He sends her the money to free her of her obligations on the Dark Continent, then she is the victim of some red tape debacle at the airport. She writes to us of her woe and begins a tale of her search for the Visas, as she will need one for Australia now too, as the B-man has saw fit to whisk her away for a week in Melbourne to accompany him to a rugby match. We hear nothing for a week, and the tendrils of suspicion weave their way into our imagination. He begins to think that he was played for a fool and my initial suspicions are being fed fuel to fire them further. He writes emails to her and her friend and gets no reply. Finally, he writes to them both of them, sharing his fears. “Why do I feel like I’ve been had?” The reply came from the friend, “How can you say that after what has happened to Crystal’s father?” We have no idea what has happened to Crystal’s father and feel both guilty and more suspicious. We wait for more details.

The plans for the move to Norway are coming along. Things are more or less packed and will be ready for the movers the last week of June. The paperwork for the divorce will be ready for me to pick up the day before my departure so that worry has been lifted off my shoulders. The dress is coming along nicely and I’m very happy with the design and colour and fit, so far. The fifteen-odd pounds are not budging much and I’m a bit disheartened about that, but I know they’ll go once my heart and mind are in balance again.

There is only one thing left to deal with and that’s telling my family. Believe it or not, I have tried to tell them. I emailed one of my sisters; one whom I thought more sensible than most of the others, but I haven’t heard back. I thought the tone of the message was very informative with just a hint of a desperate plea for help in explaining the situation to our mom and dad. I’m taking her silence as a sign that she’s still recovering from the shock, or has died in a fit of laughter. Best case scenario is that she didn’t get the email yet. Worst case scenario is that she’s told the family the whole story (after I asked in the letter she NOT do that) and they have completely and unanimously decided to shun me. And I’m starting to think… ‘No great loss.’

Wednesday, May 22, 2002
Tolerance & Being Open Minded

The subject has been coming up a lot lately. As I try to get to know the man he’s become we have wonderful discussions about the world and how we feel about it.

Does he seem more open or less open-minded? I’d say you’re as open-minded as you want to be and that’s a good thing. He’s the smartest person I know, but not the wisest. I think my Dad is the wisest person I know, and I can’t believe I just wrote that but it’s true. That either doesn’t say much about people I know or I really think my Dad is an OK guy, after all these years.
I think a smart person would be constantly trying to correct the views of the people around him. I think a wise person would accept that other people have views of their own, respect that and only give information and opinions when asked.
I had a pretty bad breakdown in the early 90’s. It was a good thing. Like a release of all the shit that had happened to me. I was in an abusive relationship with a guy who was horrible to me, but I couldn’t see it at the time. He dumped me, begged me back, betrayed me and I lost it. What did I do? Well, from what I remember, I was bent on killing him and then myself, but to be honest, I don’t think I could have carried out the whole plan. I don’t think I could really kill myself. So, instead of killing him and ending up in prison, I was carried away by a cop and not charged, but brought in for a psych evaluation. This quack let me go home after I lied and told him that there was someone at home to look after me. There wasn’t anyone to look after me. I was on my own, and then it hit me. I was on my own, and it was this guy’s entire fault and I hated him and was going to kill him. Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to see my doctor and have him check me into the ward. So, I cried for about 3 days straight, couldn’t eat and wouldn’t let them put me on any drugs. The law here is great that way. No minimum holding periods, they can’t force you to take drugs. I think I was in there for about 4 days.

There was this Irish nurse and she was wonderful. Like a favourite auntie. She held me in her arms and rocked me while I cried and asked, “What is a smart, beautiful girl like you doing in here?” I’m crying as I write this. She carried on to say just the right things to me. She reminded me of some things I had forgotten about myself, things that the abusive relationship had literally beaten out of me. That day, my destructive emotions started to slowly leak out of me. I think all the hate and misery started to leave and be replaced by a calm knowing that I’ll be ok. I did ask for help from that unseen, all powerful entity; not God, per say but just what ever it is that created the laws of the chaos. I don’t think I can attribute anything specific to prayer, but it did make me feel better. Thinking about the universe and the chaos and order made my problems feel small and made me feel a lot stronger.

Open minded? I’m not sure what that means. Do I believe things people tell me without proof? No. But I respect their right to believe it. We are the sum total of our experience on this earth. If someone wants to believe that thinking something makes it so, then, more power to them. One man’s delusion is another man’s reality. I judge actions on one basis, taught to me by an art teacher when I was in Junior High. It’s wrong if it hurts you or someone else. If you’re doing something that hurts you, I will be less likely to slap you along side the head and tell you to stop. I’ll let a smoker get on with killing themselves slowly, as long as they don’t do it in my house, where as if a man is beating up his girlfriend or wife, I will do all in my power to see that the man is stopped. If someone wants to take drugs, fine, let them. That action looses a measure of my respect, but it is your body and decision, to a certain extent. I'll save my diatribe on drugs for another time.

There are laws that restrict practices of certain ‘open-minded’ people; some drugs, sex with animals, sex with siblings and other members of your family and other forms of ‘self expression’. Laws reflect the society’s customs and social morays. To what extent should self-freedoms be regulated? I’ve always struggled with this question. For the most part, I think that people, as a group, are pretty stupid and need to be told how to live, with strict guidelines. The other side I argue with myself is that, who has the right to tell me how to live? When the ‘powers that be’ decide that ice-skating is too dangerous a sport and ban it, I’ll have a problem.

Saturday, May 11, 2002
I've booked my tickets. I fly out on the 5th of July. My life seems to be in yearly cycles right now. July two years ago, I moved to a different city all on my own (with my dog) and made a life for myself, the next July I was in Wisconsin, helping Mom and Dad and now, this July I'll be in Europe. Strange. Hopefully, next July, I'll be starting a new job there.

I'm starting to worry to distraction. My mind wanders and when I come to, I find I've been staring off into space for several minutes. Everything seems to be falling into place, but I'm still worried about things. I have to find rings and a dress. The ring part will be easy, but I tried on some dresses yesterday and I'm disgusted at how my body looks. I'm exercising like a feind. Took a huge walk yesterday morning. In the afternoon I got on the exercycle and then last night grabbed some weights when I was watching TV. I think it's working. I feel stronger and that's a huge thing for me. With the Graves running rampant, I had felt so weak. As much as I hate it, I wish my mentstral cycle would start again. It's sort of a barometer for my wellness. Nice and regular, no cramps and I know I'm looking after myself and not stressed. Of course I'll have to go on the pill again.... ;o) cause I'll be having SEX!!

I've been getting on the scale after every little work out session, or after I eat something. I think that monster I fought in high school is starting to rear it's ugly head. I just need to calm down. The weight will fall off, it always does. Calm and easy does it. The more I'm stressed the more I'll eat, like a vicious cycle. We'll get there, no worries.

The dog had an accident on Thursday. We were both really shaken up. I had him tied to the clothes line on the decking out the back door because he was being painful and crying at me. I was in the middle of something and too lazy to take him down stairs to his little house. All of a sudden I heard this awful sound. It wasn't a yelp, it was more like a dog screaming. I ran to see that he'd jumped off the deck and was hanging there, against the retaining wall, struggling. There was a little black lab in the drive way and he must have been trying to get to it. I screamed and screamed. At first, I tried to haul him up, but he was too heavy and struggling. Thinking back that was such a stupid thing to do. So, then I ran in the house, screaming. It was like a nighmare. I fell down when I got in the house and felt like I couldnt' move for a second. I got up, crying, grabbed a knife and ran back outside and started cutting the rope. I just kept screaming. The look on his face, hanging there, kicking at the wall, I'll never forget it. The rope was cut and he fell free. I ran down stairs and a neighbour met me as we both grabbed for the dog. Baxter looked ok, except for his paws. He had scratched his claws down to nothing and hit blood vessles and they were bleeding. I was a mess. Crying and holding Baxter. The neighbour kept asking if I was alright. He stayed with me until I calmed down a bit. I took Baxter up stairs and cleaned his feet and hugged him. It was a horrible close call and I'll never forget the look on his face or the feeling of sheer terror. I guess I really love the smelly little begger.

Monday, May 06, 2002
I just had to write and say that someone phoned and normally, my heart would relocate into my throat and my stomach will fill with butterflies, but this time, nothing. In my post from 4/3/02 I wrote that I'd write later and explain how I felt about what happened that Tuesday after Easter... Well, I feel just fine and in no small measure relieved that my life is simplified. I thought I was so in love with him..... he doesn't even measure against the real love in my life. It was like a parlor trick, a magician with his routine, and now I feel like I've learned the secret to his tricks and I'm just not interested anymore. We both needed the distraction at the time, I guess. I know it made me feel pretty special at the time, but it wasn't real.

Annette wrote: I love your blog! Got the link from Sub. Limbo. Very insightful. I'm going to keep reading. Annette

THANKS ANNETTE! Here's a shout out to Annette!! Being insightful is just one benefit of leading a self-absorbed life.

And another one…….. “Hey, got your blogspot from the Suburban Limbo... ‘My life is changing. Change seems to come quickly to me. At times I envy people who can stay in the same town they grew up in, stay in the same job they had for 20 years, stay with the same boyfriend they had since high school.’ Couldn't agree with you less! Later! Still reading,” Dianna

Thanks Dianna! I wonder what sort of life you lead and how old you are………

There’s an ancient Chinese curse and loosely translated it is: “May you live in interesting times” What they mean, I’ve learned, is that interesting implies turbulent. Boring can be bliss. Then again, so can ignorance. I wonder if it’s somehow related. Probably.

One of my favourite lines from a movie was from a Holly Hunter – William Hurt film called “Broadcast News”. Another character, being snarky and trying to make a point, asks Holly’s character something to the effect that it must be great for her knowing that she’s the smartest person in the room and she replies, with a stern, sad look on her face, “No, it’s horrible.” Sound conceited? Perhaps. I have my moments of real self-esteem, but mostly I feel average. I think everyone has times when he or she feels like the world has gone mad and they’re the only one with any sense.

I took one of those on-line IQ tests once. Great marketing project. Over inflate the score so the punters will buy the certificate with pride. That’s what I think they do, anyway. I decided that I really don’t want to know how I’m meant to compare with the ‘general population’. I had a guy tell me that he was given some advice once. “Tell a beautiful woman she’s smart and tell a smart woman she’s beautiful?” So I asked him what I was and he got all flustered and couldn’t answer. He didn’t think that one through very well, did he? Funny. I still laugh at that one.
I read other people’s blogs. My favourite, of course, is Suburban Limbo out of Florida. He wrote about one blogger with a spot called Altered Context. Wholly hell, does that guy ever remind me of a guy I was really good friends with. He’s an actor now, not quite professional, yet. As he puts it, he ‘shleps’ office furniture for a living. But he’s an actor, not a labourer. It’s just something he does not to pay the bills. I hope he catches a break. In March he did Hamlet at a local community theatre near Milwaukee. He opened the weekend I was due to fly back to NZ so I missed it. The reviews were mixed, but all agreed he was brilliant. Everything in Randall’s life was a drama. If he didn’t have one, he created one. He’s still like that. We don’t always have time for each other now, but I’ll always wish him well.

So, Dave from Altered Context, if you ever read this, mate, you’ve got a friend in NZ and I wish you well, too. I remember 17 and I wouldn’t go back there for quids. Growing up in the States is hard. I wouldn’t move back there for quids either. Life gets better in so many ways as you get older. If you love Sam, that love will always be there. And somewhere down the road, years from now, when you haven’t heard from each other for over a decade, one of you will get a phone-call and it will be the other one saying, ‘Hi, I’ve thinking about you lately and decided to look you up. Howz it going?’ and you’ll talk for hours and catch up and realise that the things that bugged you about each other then, still bug you.