Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to Dream

I have very vivid dreams. I also haven't had a dream that wasn't in some way about cancer for some time. For one brief moment I thought that streak had ended the other night when I woke with a start from a dream, and then the remembering began. I was alone, in the middle of a very dark stage standing next to a grand piano. I was wearing a red baby-doll Christmas dress, the fabric was iridescent and very thin, which looked even more thin under the lone spotlight trained on me. I was clothed, yet naked, standing next to an instrument I had no idea how to play, on a stage. The hall was filled with every person I had ever known, and the rest of the seating was taken by strangers. All I could think while standing there with all these eyes on me was "I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know what I'm doing."

Truth is, I don't know what I am doing. I don't know how to play this. I don't know how to make it sound better to myself, to anyone else when they want to know how I feel. I don't know how to feel this terrible and act like I don't. Be so scared one second and talk myself out of it the next. I don't know how to do this, yet I feel as if I should. Not be grouchy, not be so sad, just understand it all.... but I don't.

One major side effect of treating cancer is fatigue, which means I sleep more, which leads to dreaming.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Kinda Blow it in the Wind

Sooooo, it is Tuesday, and THAT means chemo day. Shit, I hate chemo day. I feel like this whiny ungrateful asshole, after My Mom sits so patiently ALL day right next to me, in what can't be the most comfortable chair after five hours straight. But I really hate chemo day. The anti-nausea drugs that they are doubling up on now, actually make me nauseated. The new drug (which rhymes with Yemen but I can't remember the real name) irritated my vein so now I feel like my whole arm is bruised. The old steroid that they gave to counteract the side effects of the chemo had too many side effects of it's own, so now I have a new steroid and it's side effects. It makes your heart race, which mine does all on its own, and I feel all speedy and yet still tired .... like I have been up for four days straight, which I sure as hell haven't. Seems I can barely stay awake through a conversation anymore. Which, if you had a conversation with me lately can get interesting. Kinda like Phoebe on "Friends." Nearly everything sounds a bit like "You know, the thing with the stuff!!! You know. The THING! With, the STUFF!" I know what I mean, and poor you if you don't.

It is official. I have Desitin Derriere. The radiation has reached the peak where all the good stuff in my gut had been murdered by the sanitation crew in the Radiation Department. They are so intent on sweeping any cancer cells out of the irradiated zone that any good stuff that would work to, you know digest and turn food into nutrients, vitamins and minerals are gone with the wind.....well, the wind is another story. I did that for the first time on the Radiation table and was dying the entire time of worry. Waiting for the techs to come in and detect me and my; 5 hours of chemo, heated blanket, Eva Cassidy on Pandora, squeaky little butt bubble.

I missed the Santa Party on saturday. I know that all my family had fun and I wish for them to have fun but MAN, it hurts to know, and see it go on without me. I love them all, and miss them all so much. My levels are low enough but high enough right now to be above transfusion level, but infection... nu-uh. Todd has a big bad cold so I can't even go to my parents.

Tuesday. Blueday.

One super good thing I know that has made this better is music. During radiation they play a Pandora station of your choosing and I chose the Eva Cassidy station. She is not only a magnificent vocalist she holds a major place in my heart. So, when that music starts, even if it isn't one of her songs, just someone in her vein, I am at ease. I don't count each pulse of radiation, each rotation of the machine. I breath more easily. I hum. The treatments don't take as long and I feel less tense afterwards. There have been only two days where the music was different, one when the Oldies was left on accidentally from the last patient and I was nervous and tense the entire time. The other was when the tech purposefully chose the Adele station, which I liked, but not as much. My Mom has been indulging me (well, when doesn't she?) and letting me play cd's on the way to and from treatment, and that has been not only fun, but part memory lane and a reawakening as well. Music. If I can't eat food, I'll eat song.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Christmas Wish

When asked what I was up to, I answered "oh Cancer, Cancer all the time. It is the All Cancer Network here." And it seems to be that, truly. When the phone rings it is someone asking about cancer, or a someone from the Huntsman Cancer Hospital. My fluids, my food, my bathroom trips all revolve around cancer. My sleep, my pills, my level of nausea.... I can't seem to watch a Christmas special without having it somehow reveal something about cancer and what is now omnipresent in my life. The little bitterness's that used to be part of just an every day existence, don't weigh so heavy anymore. Those societal pressures I used to stack on top of the pressures I felt on my own, they simply don't matter anymore. I just want to be well enough to enjoy the holidays with my family. I want to be with my bunnies and give them as much love and joy as they give me. This Christmas isn't going to be about me giving presents, for I haven't done any shopping and I won't be able. I am the one receiving this year. So much love and care I barely know where to put it all. All the wonderful people I meet every day at Huntsman, their kindness and the stories they so freely share with me. My beautiful aunt Ruthie, and her knitting club that knitted hats for me. Strangers that sent love to me, made from their hands. My parents, every day giving so much of themselves I would never in a countless lifetimes be able to repay them. I know I had made a Christmas wish before, to not have chemo and radiation and that it had not come true. It feels so selfish to wish for something like that, when there are so many gifts given to you, and you never had to ask. Sounds strange to hope to find luck, even grace in this cancer. But if it is there, I hope I find it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Special Risk

I should be sleeping. I am exhausted. Not only do I have this cancer, that is now in my lymph nodes, I have a raging kidney infection and the beginning of a cold/cough that the Medical Oncologist I met with today is hoping doesn't derail the start of my chemo and radiation next week. One more thing, on top of the one more thing that was supposed to be the one big thing. The chemo and radiation was supposed to be the beginning of a clinical trial that would give me an additional 12 weeks of chemo after the initial course with the hopes of adding additional percentage to my survival rate. After meeting with the Medical Oncologist that ALSO happens to be a hematologist and knew something was up with me and MY blood by looking at my file (he said he could tell I had either been bleeding a lot or had a blood disorder, which I do) now says that this special killer chemo will put me at even higher risk for transfusions and kidney failure than just the regular course of Cisplatin (which will put me at special risk anyway, because that is how I work it, in life and whatnot.) This does not make the clinical trial sound like the best bet for me. The Doc said a "normal" or "average" person going into the trial he wouldn't be so worried about, but me, different story. I don't make things easy. My body doesn't make things easy. Never has. I get embarrassed and hang my head when these realities are traversed. In fact, the doctor used the words Special Risk so often in our conversation that I told him to just write it across my whole file. My Mom just counters with my simply being special. I don't make things difficult as I always put it, I am just special. She's my Mom, that's her job. Her kid is super sick and what is she going to do? She is going to be the most amazing creature; wash and fold my laundry, read cancer literature, drive me hundreds of miles to doctors appointments, cook for me, talk with me, cry with me, laugh with me, give me permission to be as scared as I truly am. I feel special when I am with her. When I am with both my parents, and they are sitting by my side, in the waiting room, waiting for me to feel better.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What are we waiting for?

I have been thinking a lot about waiting. Specifically, waiting rooms. When you sit in a waiting room, watching your fellow human beings wait alongside you, you not only learn about them but about yourself. The middle aged couple that sits side by side, never talking, never touching, just staring straight ahead. Are they waiting for her? Him? Someone already getting treated? The mother and son, so weary neither sits upright. They just slump over the chairs, eyes black with the tired that can only come from days, possibly weeks of, waiting. The young couple, with three children under the age of five, the father leaving the mother alone with the children so he can go get his radiation treatment. Both parents under the age of thirty. One woman, waits by herself. Another man, waits alone. One woman in a wheelchair after her treatment, tells her son on her cellphone how much she loves him and that she is so lucky to have him in her life. She is effusive, emotional and her gratitude is palpable throughout the room.

I sit, in between my worried and helpful parents, and I wonder about all those people. Are they waiting for answers? Waiting for a cure? Waiting for death? The title of Waiting Room could not be more apt, or more uncomfortable. It is the waiting, the in between, that can make an illness near unbearable. People get stuck in waiting rooms whether it is for health reasons, or life reasons. I wonder about myself. I wonder why I have been waiting so long?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tumors and Toes

Stirrup Toes. Tumor Board. Just a couple of funny lines that have turned into inside jokes the last week while going from one doctor visit to the next. Odd, it may seem to some, to be giggling, in a clinical room with people you have just barely met that are now going to be putting their hands, digits, lights, camera and all sorts of action in my nether region. But when you have orange and purple bedazzled toes up high in the stirrups, people notice, then comment and their job is done. Stirrup Toes, break the tension, remind me that I have a cousin that loves me and came over to bedazzle my toes the night before any illusion I ever had to privacy was permanently revoked and gives me something to grin about while an attending asks a resident, an intern and a student "Hey, did you get a look at the tumor? Did you?" All this, as the thin spotlight shines up from in between, my Stirrup Toes.

It is hard to not say tumor without sounding like Arnold Schwarzenegger from "Kindergarten Cop." At least for me, and my Mom. So when the radiation specialist said he would be going over my case, as they do every Monday on the Tumor Board, I nearly bust out laughing. Of all things to call it, why Tumor Board? I like alliteration, so how about Tumor Table, Tumor Tribunal, or we have Tumor Talk Time.... could be a new show. "This is Your Life" meets "Mystery Diagnosis."

Announcer - "And today we have a cervical tumor. Adenocarcinoma 1b1. Adeno, how do you feel about your upcoming removal from your host body? Nervous, excited? How long did you live there, before being discovered? Do you consider yourself a squatter or a parasite? Any plans to spread?"

Tumor sits there. Like a tumor.

Monday, October 24, 2011

No Foolin'

Interns. Residents. Medical Students. How many pairs of eyes and hands have been on me this past week? They say you can never be too rich or too far down on the table. Well, let me tell you, my wealth is not found in my wallet.

I suppose by now, I should be able to suffer foolish questions as well as the fools that ask them. But when you are sitting in a tiny room on a table with stirrups, inside a grand and beautiful building that has the word CANCER in big bold letters on the sign out front, don't trifle with me. If it just so happens to be the first day of your rotation as a first year med student, and you end up in MY room, bring your A game. Not with the notepad you swiped from the "Olive Garden" waiter that served you last night so you could write down every third word I say as you mutter "ok, ok, ok, ok, ok...." like Leo Getz from "Lethal Weapon" while I say words you either never heard OR forgot immediately. Either go eat the sandwich you were thinking about the entire time you were supposed to be evaluating me OR go take a nap. I suppose I should feel bad that the door didn't close all the way before I said to my Mother in a not at all cryptic way, "Well, HE was a DUD." But I don't.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ends Well

I like my cardiologist. He is an amiable guy. He gets most of my jokes. Understands that my visits are full of sarcasm and silliness. So, today when we had my yearly check-in and I told him of my recent diagnosis, he was supportive and just the right amount of silly....until I was leaving. He said, "Ok, so if all goes well I'll see you back here in six months." Huh? If all goes well? Is that the standard goodbye now in the cardiology department and no one alerted me? Should we all be saying this, at the end of phone calls and Sunday dinners? "If all goes well in the bathroom, I'll see you for dessert." If all goes well. Yeah, if all goes well in the car ride home. If all goes well on my brother's plane ride to South Korea. If all goes well when you're eating in your home alone. Anytime, could be the last time we talk to someone, see someone. We say "I'll call you right back" or "see you later" but who knows when that is the time when it all goes wrong? If all goes well, you tell those you love that you love them every time you see them, every time you hear them. My heart doesn't need a doctor to tell me it would break if I lost any more of my loved ones. If all goes well huh?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I woke up this morning and the first thought to flash across my mind was " I have cancer." Not some song that has wormed its way into my brain and has been repeating itself for two days as usual, not the last remnants of the dream I was having, not even that I had to pee. No, it was that I have cancer. I have been pressing on my abdomen, closing my eyes and trying to sense it. Those not so friendly cells on my cervix boring down and into me. But I can't. I wait for something to move, pinch maybe and then I will know better that what my sweet and sincere doctor told me is right. But even now, even though I cry, and cry, it seems so impossible, and cruel. Not one more thing.

Then again, why not? Why not my underutilized and good for nothing womanhood? Use it or lose it (and we all know I haven't used it in eleven years.) The culmination of events, or lack there of. I don't know how I am going to deal with this yet, too many ifs, too many scare factors and my imagination and ability to ask questions is great. My brother just stated that I am a strong person. Which, frankly startled me. I don't feel particularly strong, not right now for sure. I have no doubt, that I will be weak, needy, a massive boob, make jokes, make more jokes, cry and cry and cry. I may get negative, down and sad, but I know it all comes from the fear of never being able to trust my body. Damn this thing. I suppose, the one thing I can trust it to do is to betray me. At least, it has been consistent on that front.

I once had a friend that blamed negative events in your life on all of the negative thoughts you ever had, all of the negative energy you put into the world, just rebounds back onto you and that explains, it all. Childhood deformities, tsunamis, rapes, genocide, that is deserved and generated upon each individual through their own negative energy. I am so grateful to not have a person like this in my life anymore, and to have the wonderful, loving, understanding and supportive friends and family that I do have. Also, my Mom is the best Mom that has ever been, in all of existence.

I don't know how many more days the first thought across my mind will be that I have cancer. I also don't know if I'll ever get to Paris. My bunnies love to be fed by hand, my hands. I know that.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rules for the hospital room if I were to be unconscious/in a coma.

1. No Fox News.

2. No political talk, at all.

3. No racist talk.

4. No arguing or meanness.

5. No REO Speadwaggon.

6. No Air Supply.


Do tell dirty, dirty jokes.

Do laugh, loudly.

Do sing and hum.

Hold my hand.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top Ten Reasons Bunnies are Better than Men

1. A rabbit will never cheat on you.
(If you are a person that considers a rabbit to have committed adultery, then your problems are greater than any blog list, or even a psychiatrist could help.)

2. A rabbit will never lie to you.

3. Bunnies never watch porn on the computer while you sleep.

4. Rabbits never get addicted to alcohol, drugs or any other substances ( OK, hay, really good quality hay.)

5. A bunny would never give you an STD. (see qualifier from number one.)

6. Rabbits never leave you in financial lurches, forcing you into bankruptcy.

7. Bunnies never want the remote control, unless it is to chew it.

8. Bunnies are cleaner.

9. Bunnies are cuter.

10. Bunnies don't leave until they die.

4 Reasons Men are Better than Bunnies

1. They can carry heavy shit for you.

2. They can open jars.

3. They can fix things ( this is of course conditional, some bunnies can actually be more help hooking up the DVR or building a bookcase than certain men.)

4. You can hold onto a man at a Haunted House when you get scared.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Standing in line at the customer care at Smith's, two very loud, very obnoxious and no chinned people stand behind me. Too close. You know the type. Redneck to the core, the male of the couple starts talking in his version of his baby talk to his paramour and points out the obvious around us "wook at the booberry donuts, wook at the big horsie, wooky a puppy." Yeah, this goes on and on. They crowd, they bump into things. They make me happy I am single and wish for world wide sterilization protocols. All the while this misfortune is occurring, a tiny little man is trying to send $200 to Mexico and the woman trying to help him, that has obviously never done it before, is flustered. He is patient, I am patient, but she needs help. She calls overhead, no help comes. She reads aloud the words on the screen, Spanish words, which is why she is confused. The little man helps her, and here is where the story turns to rednecks with no chins and me with a big mouth. The no chinned redneck opens his yawing trap and says "People that don't speak English in America need to be shot." I jump up, around, yell out "What?! There is a man right there and he is trying to send money to Mexico! Did you really just say that?" He at first gives me a little "hmmmm," you just say something to me and tried to stand up taller, then I turned on him again. "Really? You say that here? In front of this man?" I look at the little man, who is trying his hardest, I mean hardest not to cry. He is small, with gray bushy eyebrows that are now covering the reddest eyes. He is bent and so sad in what is either a janitor's or mechanic's uniform. I turned back to the imbecile who has backed away from me now and is muttering about computers that have Spanish on them, and buttons. I shake my head violently and that is the end of it. I complete my business and when I walk past the little man, I lean forward and tell him I hope he has a wonderful day. He tells me thank you very much. Customer care. I am learning Spanish so I can push numero dos, just for the hell of it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I was Born to be Forty

Well, I am forty. Today. Right now. I cannot decide if that makes me middle aged or if I have to wait for fifty to wear that title. But, for fifty to be middle age then the assumed average age of death would be 100 years of age and I don't think that is the average. I had my quarter life crisis at twenty-five, so I suppose I will wait until fifty for the one at midlife. This also means my Mother has a nearly middle aged child. I do consider myself a child for I don't feel much different than I did right out of high school other than I know so much more which is to say I am less certain. I was always an eight year old in an eighty year old body, so that much has not changed.

The amazing fact of being born, of my actually making it out alive still shocks me. People theorize of the viability of a fetus and the earliest a mother can give birth, but the fact is until that baby is outside of the mother anything can happen. Even then, who knows? When my mother had me, she didn't get to touch me for days. They flew me to another hospital, gave me a transfusion and had me in an isolet with tubes running out of my head. I can't imagine what that would do to a first time mother, just a child herself. Her first words, when the doctors told her how sick I was and that they were taking me away, were "I want my Mom."

I still want my Mom. For my early birthday party in my giant gift bag from my Mom, was a tiara. See, I am the Princess of the family. When the family dog Bailey was alive her nickname was The Princess, but the joke was that I was the real Princess. But, now that she is gone, I am the only one. So, I wore the tiara while opening all of the gifts, yet,the dollar store tiara was the best one. I wish it wasn't just me that got to reach forty, I wish Stephie did too. If I really do have forty more years, I would love to spend them with all of my family and friends. The crisis would be to not have them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

She's Got the Whole World in Her Heart

This turning forty is going to be a lot harder than I was thinking, and planning on it to be. I was watching my favorite "Globetrekker" with the trekker in Antarctica, when I just started crying. It was when a whale began following the boat, seemingly showing itself to the crew. Not only was I in awe, I just became so sad, knowing that I will never go whale watching. I will never hug a Redwood Tree. I will never go to Paris. I cried such greedy tears, comparing all that I haven't done to what others have. I know that these things will never happen in my life. It is not being negative, it is a reality. I struggle every month to make sure I have toilet paper and food. Which to some, in comparison, are veritable luxuries.

I was knocked back to this reality when after an hour or so of fidgeting and staring, I watched the documentary "A Walk to Beautiful" about women in Ethiopia with obstetric fistulas. These women, often married off at the ages of 8 and 10, have such complicated pregnancies that labor lasts so long (days, even a week) the child not only dies but the woman is left incontinent of urine and sometimes feces as well. They are pariahs, left to live in tiny huts, shacks, away from society and family. In some of these villages the nearest road is a six hour walk and after that a seventeen hour bus ride to the nearest city. These women are so ostracized, and without aid that the ride on the bus is such a horror. I was ashamed of my greed of wanting after watching this. I have wondered for years, why does it take witnessing the misfortune of others to remind a person to be grateful? Does being grateful mean not wanting? I'm not clear on this. I'm not clear on anything.

Last month when my Mother turned sixty, I asked her what she knows now that she didn't when she was younger and her answer was that she knew less. I think this is such an important and profound distinction between youth and experience. With the more you know, things aren't as clear. With more experience comes more understanding that there is so much more to understand and so many more possibilities that everything you were once so certain of, vanishes. Certainty is no longer so certain. I am not so certain how I am going to handle being forty. But I have said, better than not.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My War of Civility

Not the smoothest day for me. Stupid computer probs. Updated my MP3 player, which deleted all of my tracks, then my computer wouldn't recognize it. Spent over an hour on the phone with a very patient tech fella. We made a very excellent team, despite the disappointing outcome. So much for an upgrade. Tried to get my Blu-ray hooked up for Netflix, but when the instructions tell you to do something that isn't an option, then what option do you have? I spent so much time on the phone for my other issue my battery was dead, sooooo. (sidebar - what is it about computer problems that make you want to scream? I understand that it is such a luxury to even have these items, but when they go haywire, you just feel lost. I don't get it.) THEN, apartment urchins parked their asses on the stairwell, decided to holler and smoke, then me the Curbitcheon JUST HAD to poke her scaly head out and scare them away. I went out later, in need of consolation and maybe to make some nice so they don't smash out the windows of my car. See, this is a newly no smoking building. There are designated areas for people to smoke, the stairway right next to my front door, NOT being one of them. If a person is caught smoking out of the designated area more than 3 times, they can be kicked out of their apartment. Seriously. So, when I asked the kid "Are you really going to smoke that here?" and his answer was to flick his ash, smirk and say "yup" and when I followed with an eyebrow raised "REALLY?" his friend grabbed his arm and said "let's just go man" that kid knew where to leave it. Which is, on your own stairwell, next to your own door. When I went out later, it was just to alleviate any fears of my letting anyone know he was smoking. I doubt they get it. I doubt a lot. I doubt any kids around here have any idea what the word respect means.

But then, compare that to a day in the life of a Civil War Soldier (150th anniversary on the 12th of this month) any day I have is a peach. I have been watching Ken Burns' documentary on PBS this past week (which is what I was TRYING to watch when the urchin gathering commenced) and the horrors of the still photos from the field hospitals still catch me in quiet moments. Stacks, piles of limbs cut from the wounded. Legs, feet, hands and arms stacked like chords of wood. Yeah, my day was awkward. Ooooooh, my computer and my MP3 player won't do what I want them to do. Yet, none of my limbs are piled in the fields of Vicksburg. My brother isn't bleeding out on the third day of battle in Gettysburg. My mother doesn't have to wring the blood from the bottom of her gown due to the weight, so she can attend to the other wounded soldiers. Any day, yes any day, is a gift.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blushing DVR

Soooooo, I am up all night with a sick rabbit. He is having his first major spring shed and last night he could not find one comfortable position to lay or sit. I rubbed his belly gave him a couple syringes of water, but mostly I watch. The only positive thing I can say that comes out of his tummy troubles is that I get to snuggle him. He knows I am helping even if he doesn't really like it. At 5:50 he just popped up his head, sat up straight and ran over to my ankles and licked me. He has felt like himself ever since. I fell asleep on the couch around 7:30 in the a.m. only to have the quarterly pest control come knocking at 9:30. I jumped off of the couch, crazy haired, T.V. still on, bad all night breath, opened the door and let them in. I only allow them to spray behind my fridge because Peanut (and formerly The Bun) runs around so much that I don't want any spray near the bunny, regardless if they say it is non-toxic. The Pest guy immediately sprays my baseboard on the kitchen cabinet even though he says outloud "oh yeah, Bunnygirl!" I holler a commanding NO, and then he remembers that the bunnygirl is the bossygirl and he goes to spray behind the fridge. The building manager comes over to see Peanut, asks about him being sick all night. They both ask about the puppy stage of bunnies and if he will mellow out, to be more like The Bun. My building manager loved The Bun.

Then as they leave, I close the door and turn around and look into the living room. On my television screen, and which must have been playing the whole time I had visitors, was a sex scene in a movie. I wasn't watching that movie, it was just the programming for that channel after what my DVR had recorder earlier. Mortified, I open the door again and yell out how sorry I am, that I didn't know that was on my T.V. I wonder how many times Peanut has listened to sex scenes in the background and wondered what was going on? No wonder the poor pest guy couldn't remember how to spray in my kitchen, there were too many boobs in the living room.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Not the Party Line

Imagine sitting in a waiting room with only one other person. Imagine that one other person being a teenager kicking her feet, pounding on her phone, clicking the phone cover on and off, sighing, and then sighing louder, grunting, snorting, answering the phone and asking the person that called her "WHAT? What do you want? I DON'T KNOW? She's in a meeting or something" then she plays more on the phone, gets up to lean on the arm of the door to look out, sits back down on the chair on top of her feet with the souls of her shoes on the cushion of the chair, click, click, click, music from the phone and then when I get up to hand my papers to the front desk, she moves over to the seat where I was sitting the entire time this was happening and purposefully sits down in it. When I turn around I ask her "So, are you really going to sit there?" She answered with a grunt and eyes that were double their normal size.

Yes, she sat there. Yes, I fear for the breeding, voting, driving future. Yes, I look around my low rent abode and feel shivers of gratitude. Yes, I wanted to slap the shit out of her.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Thought Bubbles

So, I go to PetCo to pick up new litter for Peanut cuz he STINKS, and whilst in the litter aisle I ask a helper man about which is best for odor control (fully aware that I have terrible breath from the onion rings that I shared with my mother at lunch) when what pops up a SPIT BUBBLE on my lip! I excuse myself get it under control, when ANOTHER SPIT BUBBLE pops up! This poor man must have thought "jeez lady, your rabbit stinks like piss, you smell like rotten onions and you can't contain your own fluids....be gone. I have more important things to do, such as catch the loose bugs that escaped from the food bay in the reptile section and are now scurrying under the dog beds."

Monday, February 14, 2011

All in the Same Boat

Living next to person with Schizophrenia changes how you see and hear the world. I share a common wall with my neighbor, so I hear her up late at night slamming cupboard doors, sometimes the same one over and over. Talking to herself in the breezeway. Repeating the same stories to me as we get our mail, and sometimes as I drive her to the store. Misty can't drive and some days can't even go outside for fear of the world. Just last night she came to my door asking for help with a stray cat that she couldn't tell was hers or someone else's. Her cat is black and small, so was this. This cat had a collar, so does hers. I checked to make sure her cat was in the apartment, and it was. It still amazes me that she can remember such details about me and Peanut, yet can't remember what she just did a few minutes ago in her certain states. This is the person you see walking around town, because she cannot drive herself, she never will. This is the person that will never be the so called productive aspect of society. This is the person that needs support. That means money. That means resources from the government. This is the person that apologizes because she is confused about being confused each day and she did nothing, nothing wrong to become that way. This, is a person. In need. In my apartment complex. On the Earth. Sharing the same space. And if the humans that hold the Congress had their way, they would throw her out of the life boat to drown. How confusing is that?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No, Not You Shithead

My neighbor's sister drives a bright yellow car. When I went out to my own car the other day I had a scratch with yellow paint on my door. No wonder how it got there. It isn't a terribly large scratch, or dent. But on a silver car, it isn't going to go unnoticed. I walked back up the stairs, knocked on the door, twice. When my young neighbor answered she was perturbed, as usual. I told her about the scratch, and the paint. Behind her, sitting on the couch, arms crossed over her chest, anger seeping from every pore of her being was her younger sister. My neighbor announced that they would no longer park next to me. I just looked at her. She then asked if I wanted insurance information, which I immediately said was useless, it is too small, not the point, not what this is about.

What the teenage girl, seething on the couch, bothered that I pointed out that she did damage to someone else's property is missing, is the truth. She knew she hit my car. Yet, she was mad at me for telling her so. She knew she should have told me, yet she didn't. How dare I show her where she falls short? How dare I tell her where she is wrong?

I don't remember being such an asshole when I was that age. I also don't remember it being allowed. It never crossed my mind, and if it had the expectations of how to behave would have cleared it right out but quick. The older I get, the more grateful I become that I get to remember myself and those memories don't resemble some of the shitheads running around loose ...

Well, some of the memories.

Friday, February 4, 2011

See No Evil

I watched a video of an Egyptian Police van plow at high speed through a group of protesters, throwing some feet into the air and literally smearing a human across the road like roadkill. I can't get it out of my mind. I was warned that I may not want to look. I may need to look away, and I did, I just looked back too soon.

The horrors we as humans are willing to do to each other has been on the tip of my mind. I watched the documentary "Restrepo" a day ago and it hasn't settled with me. I will never understand war. I don't think I want to understand it. I don't think I want to understand anything that celebrates the destruction of civilizations. Do men inside war even really understand it? When they are haunted by their dead, yet seek to end the lives of countless others?

Rwanda. Congo. Darfur. Serbia.

Humans have all of this potential, and yet. And yet.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Respect the Rabbit

Tomorrow starts the Year of the Rabbit. I have been living the daily rabbit life for over a decade. What does the bunny want to eat, what does the bunny want to chew. Just what does the bunny. It has changed how I view the entire world. Maybe the universe. I went from being a very terribly picky omnivore, to vegetarian, to vegan, back to vegetarian, then ultimately back to vegan. Once I brought The Bun into my home, into my life, nothing about me was ever the same. I loved something like I had never loved anything, or since. He let me love him completely. With that I learned more about me than I had ever before.

I was never a good "meat" eater. I was always aware of what I was eating. I payed attention. I went camping and hunting with my parents, I saw the dead deer, I saw it alive in the field before it was hanging from the tree in the camp. I wanted my burgers burnt. I couldn't chew bacon, I would gag. I never ate steak. At Thanksgiving I would always ask for the white meat, knowing it would have the least amount of grizzle and veins. I drove my dad crazy at McDonalds asking for a special burger, onions and cheese only, making them cook it on the spot and having our car pull over and wait. My dad hates waiting. This is called portent. I was the opposite of the typical kid where vegetables have to be hidden to get them to be eaten, my meat had to be hidden.

As an adult (this is of course subjective, I do not classify myself as an adult, never will) and moving into a home and finally having the opportunity for my own choice of companion animal, The Bun moves in with me and becomes the love of my life. By devoting so much of myself to him and learning so much about what the modern world has and is doing to the rabbit, MY world changed. I could no longer look at him, and separate what we call "meat" and him. Him. My Bun. I could no longer use makeup and cleaning products that were tested on animals, primarily rabbits. I no longer support companies that refuse to stop testing or their satellite companies. It was a revelation and a massive shift in the direction of my life. In family life and public life it has been difficult. I have been ridiculed. Mocked. Even badgered into being someone more socially viable, and at times I was. When I buckled to the pressure, I didn't like my self, and I haven't really respected myself for a while. I think I am back on the track of respect. So, this may just be the best Year of the Rabbit in quite some time.

The Bun

The Bun
If you don't like rabbits, you can suck it, shove it and then go soak your head.