books · character development · children · not literature · pain · reading

Fifty Shades of Me

 

Yes, I read it. I read Fifty Shades of Grey. And I am not ashamed to say I enjoyed it. Hell, It was a much better book than Twilight! Not only better written (although  not great literature, but a much better read), but a better story. I cannot speak the rumor that the main characters in Grey are supposed to be responses to Bella and Edward, other than to say I saw no resemblance at all. Twilight’s characters are banal and insipid teens, both dead and undead; Grey‘s are mostly adults, intelligent and interesting. At least that is my opinion. Maybe it is housewife porn; who cares? I don’t like labels. All I know is I read this trilogy, and enjoyed it; the love story is true, suspenseful and draws you in from the very beginning. The sex is hot, almost to the end.

Among the BDSM community, E.L. James’ novel is under attack for many reasons, among them, bringing too many wannabe’s into the scene. For supposedly letting folks believe this is how it works: a girl will meet a Dominant man and suddenly all those princess in a castle fantasies will come true. For supposedly showing unsafe BDSM practices. Mostly, the folks I have talked to are just annoyed at being “outed,” it seems. Which strikes me as odd.

In an era when hate runs rampant, acceptance is a good thing. I have some fears about saying that I am part of the BDSM scene, because yes, people are judgmental  and can be mean. But I am mean, too, and if you don’t like my lifestyle choices, shut up or go away. I don’t judge you (unless you are hurting children–that’s my one hard limit. Then you are getting judged, jerk.),  so don’t judge me, please.

Anyway, my life is not simple, and I am not stupid enough to believe it is a fairy tale either. If it is, Grimm wrote it, not Disney.

 

I was browsing writings on FetLife.com, and stumbled on GoddessAsphyxia’s post about this quiz on QuizFarm.com. It was intriguing. They say I am more experimental than Dominant, and I can see the point there…I do have some Switch in me, but it will only be expressed with the right person. He hasn’t shown up yet.
http://quizfarm.com/quizzes/Sex/poeticthinker/do-yo…

You Scored as Experimental

Experimental
96%
Dominant
93%
Sadist
86%
Exhibitionist / Voyeur
79%
Switch
57%
Bondage
54%
Masochist
50%
Degradation
39%
Submissive
29%
Vanilla
21%

 

accident · bed · falling · Golden Retriever · Kaylee · leash · pain · pulled · shoulder · sleep · sofa · Steven · yank

The Dog is Trying to Kill Me


I’m typing slowly today (not that I was such a whiz before) because my entire right arm is in pain after our dog tried to kill me last week. (I should point out here that I am right-handed, and if I’d had the leash in my left-hand, this wouldn’t be a problem.)

Kaylee is a 14-month-old Golden Retriever, very affectionate, enthusiastic, and way too full of energy. Last Thursday we were going to run some errands. I was walking Kaylee through the parking lot to the car when she spotted her favorite person in the world, Mike. Immediately, she dashed in his direction, yanking me along with her. What followed would have been a big hit on YouTube, had anyone been filming. I flew off my feet, into the air, and hit the wet, dirty pavement, face down, bruising my knees, & skinning my palms as I landed. The leash was jerked from my hand, and my right shoulder was felt as if it had been pulled out of the socket!
I hadn’t realized there were that many people outside, but instantly there were at least 7 neighbors around me, as well as Steven & Mike, all asking if I was okay, and exclaiming over what had happened. “Did you see how she flew? I’ve never seen a dog do that to a grown-up before!” I heard someone say.
As I cradled my arm against my chest, and headed back inside to change my now wet & dirty clothes, I reminded Mike “Do NOT give that dog any treats!!” Because this, of course, is why she loves him more that anyone else. Mike is the maintenance guy for our apartment complex, and in his storage room, keeps bags of expensive treats for all the dogs that he hands out like candy!
All the dogs adore him.
Later that evening Steven took me to the ER, where they told me I had an Acute Shoulder Strain, gave me some exercises & pain meds. Since then, I can’t lift more than I medium-sized book, and even that is sometimes painful. It’s hard to write; I can’t lift my hand above my head. Ouch.
If that was all, I wouldn’t wonder about the dog, but I’m starting to wonder. A month ago, she pulled so hard on the leash I fell down the stairs, and then a week later, she jumped on me when I was on a stepladder, knocking me off. If I see a shadow on the shower curtain, and hear the theme song from “Psycho,” I’m gonna know it’s her! I think she’s out to get me just because I won’t let her sleep on the bed. With me out of the way, she’ll have Steven all to herself, and can sleep anywhere she wants–sofa, bed, kitchen sink! Nobody will complain “That dog needs a bath!” or that she has toys all over the place.
So if I suddenly end up dead in an odd dog-related accident, you will all know it was no accident! Make sure the dog is prosecuted to the full extent of the law–and do NOT let her sleep on my bed!!
blogs · book reviews · books · exercise · fat · food · headaches · http://pastaqueen.com/blog/ · Jennette Fulda · medication · pain · skinny · topamax · weight · writing

Read This Book!

I’ve spent the last two weeks obsessed with Jennette Fulda. I began by reading an excerpt of her newest book, Chocolate and Vicodin:My Quest For Relief from the Headache that Wouldn’t Go Away, and then searched out her first book, Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir at the library. This led me to the blog she’s known for, http://pastaqueen.com/blog/. It’s been difficult to tear myself away!

Jennette, at her heaviest, weighed nearly 400 pounds, and by changing her eating habits & exercise, she lost half her body weight! I loved reading her stories of this change, partially because she’s honest, and not one bit self-righteous, but mostly because she’s just plain funny. I laughed out loud (lol) when she says “I felt confident enough to sign up for a 5K race. The former fat-girl bylaws dictate that you must run a 5K or you will be forced to gain back all the weight.” Seems that every formerly fat-girl I know is now running 5k’s and I think perhaps that’s why I’m still fat. I don’t want to run.

Jennette’s second book, Chocolate and Vicodin is in stores now. It’s the story of the headache that wouldn’t go away. In February 2008, she got a headache, and has been searching for a cure ever since. Chronic pain is nothing to laugh at, yet she manages to make it funny; the woman has a gift.

Now, I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet; it was just released last month, and I am too broke to purchase it. (It is on hold at the library, and my birthday is coming up, so..) I have read a couple of excerpts and the blog, and I must say, I am feeling very in sync with Jennette.

In the search of a cure for never-ending headache pain, she’s given a number of medications, and I have personal knowledge of several of these. The section of her blog that put my feelings into words is quoted below.
“To complicate things further, although the Topamax was making it easier to eat less, it was also making me stupid. It’s nicknamed “Stupamax” and “Dopamax.” It made it harder to speak right, like someone had placed the English language on the top shelf where it was just out of my reach. I could still see it, but I had to stand on my tippy toes to grab words, and even then I was just knocking them over instead of grabbing them firmly. I just felt…dumb. I found myself unable to focus as well. It put a damper on my mood. The crazy switch was turned off, but the stupid switch was turned on.”

I took Topamax for nearly 4 years, as an anti-seizure medication, and hoo-boy, do I remember that feeling. When I couldn’t find the words I wanted I used to say my brain was skipping, like a scratched record. My neurologist would test me to see how my verbal skills were, and eventually, as they deteriorated, and the Topamax wasn’t controlling the seizures, we switched meds. Right now I’m on a very low dose of it again, to help with chronic headaches (ugh), and I’m skipping every so often. But it is helping me lose weight.

Jennette Fulda writes in a real & humorous manner about things that are happening in her life. It’s feels like talking to a friend. I think this is why I’ve been unable to tear myself away from her blog archives for the last two weeks–I was getting to know my new friend! She’s smart, snarky, strong and talented. Read her books! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

blogging · cleaning · Craig Ferguson · insomnia · medication · pain · reading · RLS · seizures · sleep · twitchy feet · yoga

Insomnia


I really should be in bed. Instead I’m sitting in the living room, watching ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’ and writing. I haven’t been sleeping well lately. So, I apologize if I begin to ramble. Sleep deprivation will do that to you!

Insomnia isn’t a new thing for me–it started way back at the dawn of time, when I was in high school. Always the same pattern. I fall asleep easily enough, and sleep well for a few hours. Then, usually about 2:30 a.m., I wake up, needing to pee, and after that, I’m awake for hours.
Sometimes I’ll be able to fall back asleep for an hour or two, but my twitchy feet usually watch me back up.
Oh, yeah, did I mention I have RLS? Restless Leg Syndrome. It’s a pain is the ass (or rather, legs) neurological condition that causes a tickling feeling in the legs or in my case, the bottoms of my feet. It makes my legs jerk so hard sometimes that I kick like a horse! Nobody is really sure what causes it, but we do know that many things make it worse; among these are the anti-seizure medication that I’m on. Yep. Finally found a med which will control my seizures (whoohoo!), and it makes my feet go crazy, causing an increase in insomnia. Wouldn’t you know, lack of sleep is a BIG trigger for me & seizures…
Anyway.
I’ve tried all sorts of insomnia remedies: medication, bedtime yoga, Sleepytime tea, self-hypnosis, melatonin & Valerian, and a white noise machine. Not many have been successful for long. I’ve heard all the advice, and have tried most of it, to little avail. I simply don’t sleep.
I’ve also tried many many remedies for RLS, most of them home remedies found online. So far none have worked for long. I’ve taken magnesium citrate before bed; I’ve rubbed my legs & lower back down with apple cider vinegar; I’ve done a series of strange exercises in the dark. The thing that worked the best was eliminating caffeine & sugar from my diet, which I did to get rid of migraines. Discovered it helped the feet. Of course, now I’m back on the coffee wagon, (or did I fall off the wagon?), so I may have to fix that… I do know there are a couple of medications available for RLS, but so far, I haven’t tried them. Didn’t want to add one more med to my already large collection. If things don’t improve, I may change my mind.
There was a time when I’d get out of bed and clean my apartment in the middle of the night, but those days are gone. (We have neighbors here who are very sensitive to noise, and even running water after ten seems to annoy them, so no more scrubbing the bathroom or rearranging kitchen cabinets!) Some nights I turn on my bedside lamp, pick up my book and read; other night I get online and discover strange new blogs. Most nights I simply lie in the dark, listening to the fake ocean sounds from the white noise machine, trying to count backward from one hundred, as I take deep, even breaths, and hope I’ll relax enough to to fall asleep again.
Tonight I’m going to finish watching Craig Ferguson, then stay up as late as I can, in hopes that I can reset my inner alarm clock a little, or at least throw it off balance. And then, with any luck, I’ll get some sleep, dammit!
breast cancer · Colorado · exercise · goals · lemons · lessons · Michele · New Year · pain · realizations · Sarah Palin · Shel · Steven · yoga

Lemons and Lessons

I have to say, I’m not sorry 2010 is over. In many ways, that year sucked, big time.
I spent most of the year in pain with migraines, and various other things. As well, money was nearly non-existent, after Steven was injured at work, and then lost his job. By the end of the year, we had to move from our two-bedroom apartment into a much smaller one-bedroom, along with all our stuff, and the three animals. Instead of saving us money, we ended up owing our landlord for fees.
It seemed as if every time I turned around, 2010 was bitch-slapping me with another bit of bad news. I dreaded turning on the news, for fear I’d hear of another oil spill, hurricane or tornado, or god-forbid, a massive lay-off somewhere! Everyone I know has struggled through, either battling health issues, financial problems, or both. An optimists nightmare. I’m a glass half-full girl, but it was difficult to keep the glass from shattering during 2010.
But. (Yes, there is always a “but”)
Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
Which means that in even though many things were awful, there were also many learning moments. I’ve learned that even when I have pain, I don’t have to be one. (I can thank Sarah Palin & Kate Gosselin for that lesson, in part. Never thought I’d be thanking them for anything!)
I’ve learned that if you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up. For me, that means if I want to accomplish anything, I have to get dressed, not spend the day in my pajamas, and actually leave the apartment. They say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we do it daily. My sister’s advice about building a habit in fourteen days was one of the best things I learned all year! (Thanks, Jolene!)
There were also many good moments in 2010, and I would be wrong if I neglected to mention them. After almost a decade apart, my best friend, Michele and I were finally in the same place at the same time, and our visit was AWESOME! She’s been battling breast cancer up there in the frozen north, and I’ve been missing her down here, so just being together in our home town, with her entire family, her wonderful kids & husband, was the highlight of my year. For a while I was able to forget everything else and just be happy. We talked, laughed, ate, shopped, cried, ate, laughed, giggled, and sang old Barry Manilow songs. We even stood in front of the mirror & did each other’s hair, just like the old days! Sharing the beauty of western Colorado with Steven was fabulous, too!
My nephew Max started first grade, was in three plays this year, and as far as he’s concerned, he was the star of each! Max and Steven have become good friends, and every time I hear Maxie call out “Uncle Steven!” in that joyous voice, my heart lifts!
Max’s big sister, Hattie Jo, turned 17 this year, and is amazing! Hattie is the girl I’d want if I had a daughter–she’s smart, funny, polite, and talented, beautiful. She’s a lot like me. Hattie has been my friend since she was born, and I love watching her grow into such an incredible woman.
Anyway. I’m rambling. This rough year has helped me to see how important my loved ones are. Memories and moments. Lessons and…something else that starts with an “s”…lemons?
Sure. Lessons and lemons. Because when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. And add some vodka. Then you have a party!!
I don’t make resolutions anymore– I learned a long time ago that I break those quicker than I break eggs for breakfast. I do set goals, and I’d like to share a few of them with you.
In 2011:
Re-read one favorite book a month, and write about it.
Make a scrapbook for my nephew Max.
Write a blog post twice a week.
Practice yoga daily.
Learn Vancouver’s bus system.
Volunteer.
Read more; watch television less.
Exercise more.
Express my gratitude daily.
So there you have it. My goals for 2011. I’m hoping this bright, shiny new year will be a better one for all of us, with little fear of shattering glass, or throwing those lemons at anybody’s head! Happy New Year, everyone!
breast cancer · Buttercup · exercise · fat · pain · Shel

Suck It Up, Buttercup!

In a post titled Wisdom of Fat, I swore that I’d get myself off the sofa and onto the treadmill. I wanted to break my lifelong habit of laziness & bad health with some daily exercise, other than the walk between bookshelf & fridge! When I made this promise, I was determined to change things, and yet, nothing has changed.
The last few months I’ve complained a bunch about being in pain: I’ve had almost daily headaches, body aches, and toothaches. As usual, I’ve let this derail me from almost everything I’ve wanted to do. NO MORE!
In my lifetime I’ve probably made this kind of promise as many times as an alcoholic says they’ll give up drinking. Nearly every day I say to someone “I’m going to start exercising (insert time here). ” And I always mean it. But something always stops me: something big, like a seizure, which can knock me out for days; or something small, like a headache, or wanting to finish watching an episode of Seinfeld. Valid or not, I’m through making excuses.
My BFF, Shel, has spent the last 2 years fighting breast cancer, and I need to take her advice:
“Suck it up, Buttercup!”
Yes, I’m sure I’m still going to have pain. Big deal. If Shel can get through it, so can I. We buttercups are pretty tough, after all!