Why *I* Will Keep Donning a Pin

I started wearing a safety pin on Friday.  No, let me rephrase, I started wearing a safety pin Friday, with pride.  The movement as I understood it, was to say to anyone that was feeling unsafe that “I am a safe place. I am a person you can trust.” This started in Britain after Brexit and the outpouring of racism over across the pond.  Here it was in reaction to Donald becoming our president elect.

A couple days after this, I started to see a backlash to the safety pin.  First a claim that it was being used by white supremacists, that there was an attempt to coopt the symbol.  But I couldn’t find any actual proof of this. However, then I started seeing legitimate concerns from POC that this was simply another way to soothe the soul of white privilege.  And this upset me.  Yes, this hurt my feelings.  I was afraid that something I was doing as a sign of solidarity was simply my naivety showing itself.  So I took a couple days.  I reevaluated why I was wearing a safety pin (all the while stubbornly refusing to take it off).  I read articles about the good and bad of the safety pin movement.  I’m sure you’re all sick of them by now, and I can’t find the one I wanted to link here anyway: which actually makes me sad because I dislike the Huff Post commentary – it seemed incendiary for no reason – if you’re interested, look around there are much better (and non apologetic) written posts about the issue.  Anyway, I digress.

Over the past couple days while I mulled this over I forced myself to think on my white privilege.  And I have a lot of it.  I am a straight white cis female, I was raised in upper middle class white suburbia, by two parents who are still together, I was able to go to college and had the privilege of failing out and (hindsight being 20/20) it didn’t fuck up the rest of my life forever, I have a stable full time job, I’m married to a white man I love, who also has a stable full time job, we’re well on our way to being upper middle class ourselves.  I have had a lot of things handed to me just because of the circumstance of who and where I am.

However, on an overly personal note, when I watched the SNL opener last night (I know I’m late to the party), I cried.  A lot.  For the very first time in my life I am afraid.  I am afraid to be who I am simply by being female.  For the very first time in my life I purchased mace to keep on me at all times.  My husband and I are talking about when we want to start trying to have children, and I am afraid of bringing a child into this world – privilege or not.  I am very very afraid.  And this is nothing compared to what the people who are irritated by the safety pin movement are feeling.  NOTHING.  I can’t even imagine – but I can try.

And while I can’t even imagine what my POC, gay, trans, muslim etc. friends are going through, I refuse to stop trying.  I hold no guilt for Donald being elected simply because of my skin tone.  I hold guilt that Donald was elected because I could have should have done more.  I should have been involved in the politics.  I should have supported Bernie when he was running.  I should have gotten out there and helped.  I didn’t.

What drew me to the safety pin movement, beyond the fact that yes, it makes me feel better, and we all need that right now is that it is holding me accountable.  I’ve been silent too long.  I’ve witnessed harassment and not had the stones to do anything, not even say hello and put another body between the victim and harasser.  The safety pin I don is a reminder that I am  with anyone that doesn’t feel safe.  I may not always be able to do anything.  You think I’m going to stick my body into a physical fight?  No.  But I will not turn away.  I will find some way to help, even if it is just striking up a conversation with someone who is clearly being harassed.

My safety pin is not just to tell you that I am a safe place.  My safety pin is to hold me accountable to do something.  My safety pin is to remind me that my privilege can be used for good, not just guilt.  And sure, it’s tucked up that it took a Donald fucking Trump presidency for this to happen, but I am with you and I am a safe place, to the absolute best of my ability.

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I Will Not Take This Abuse Sitting Down.

If anyone noticed (I’m sure you didn’t), I took a 24 hour hiatus from social media starting Wednesday afternoon until Thursday afternoon (granted, I haven’t been on WordPress in months).  I just needed to process and the way I was doing so was not helpful or healthy.  I needed to think on it, by myself for a little while.  So I came back home from work Thursday ready to write.  Of course my computer felt that that very moment was the best time in the world to do a massive update, and my tablet was in need of charging.  So here I am today.  Finally getting the words out.

I am pissed off.  I am sad.  I am disappointed in our culture.  Half the county voted for a man who believes in “natural marriage,” thinks that because he is famous he can “grab her by the pussy,” wants to have a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” plans to build a wall and (by some magic) have Mexico pay for it, mocks people with special needs, encourages violence against protesters, and is just generally a poor excuse for a human being.  This man is going to be the face of our country.  This reactionary man, who doesn’t think through his actions, is who is supposed to represent our culture to the other countries of the world?

Don’t tell me to stop blaming politicians.  I don’t I blame you that voted for him.  Sure, Hillary was a bad choice, but you know what?  I don’t think any white man in America would have felt unsafe if she had been elected.  I now feel the need to buy pepper spray, because it’s clearly okay to grab any woman by the pussy now: in fact it’s admirable.  I am scared for my siblings safety and their ability to be the people they want to be. I fear for anyone that is not lilywhite because they might be mistaken for being the “wrong” race or the “wrong” religion and harassed and abused.  I am afraid for the entire world that we are going to see nuclear war because someone looks at our president-elect funny at a conference who he see as different.

Don’t talk to me about checks and balances.  That only works if there is somewhere a majority in the House, Senate, or Court that would fight him.  This is actually a call to arms for the republicans who hold the House and Senate, and for whoever he elects to the Court.  Keep your party away from this man.  I don’t think we lost the White House to a republican.  I think we lost it to a horrendous human being.  Dear Real Republicans, fight back.  Don’t let him do this to the people in your life.  Don’t say yes to him just because “it’s good for the party.” It might be, for you, for now.  But remember how the people in your life will be affected.  Remember how history will remember you.  Think how history will think of your political party.  Do you want it remembered that way?

I for one, will not take this abuse of my culture, my rights, sitting down.  I will spend the next four years working to negate the negativity and evilness that is spouted.  I have signed up to volunteer at Planned Parenthood in the area (even though there is no current opening), I signed up via the volunteer NJ (the state I live in) website to put my name out there.  I will be marching on Washington on January 21, 2017 with the Million Woman March.  I will be wearing a safety pin out in public and every single day: I will be a safe space for anyone that feels harassed.   I am done being nice and taking the high road when it comes to my friends who feel that I am not handling this  correctly.  Bite me.  Unfollow me.  Unfriend me.  Hatred breeds hate, and yes, I hate Donald Trump. For years I have been against the sentiment of #notmypresident.  For years, even when the president were not of my party, not of my beliefs I understood that yes this man was my president.  However,  Donald Trump is NOT MY PRESIDENT and I will not take this abuse sitting down.

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Joy Is At The Helm

Boyfriend and I saw Inside Out last night.  Why is it anyway that they’ve starting showing movies that open Friday at like 7pm on Thursday, anyway?  Regardless, this was a very good movie.  No, it wasn’t any Up as the previews kept saying.  However, I think that Inside Out is going to be a movie that starts some very important conversations.

First up, the plot.   The main character, Riley, an 11 year old girl has some major changes come up in her life.  Actually, the main characters are the personified emotions in Riley’s head: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust.  They each have their own role in keeping Riley safe, happy, and healthy, by basically influencing her into making memories.  We all know how that goes – something happens, we’re influenced by some emotion based on past experiences, and we react and create new memories.

When these big changes happen in Riley’s life, her emotions are thrown into a panic, but Joy tries to keep everything together.  She tries to keep Riley happy and well, joyful.  Joy is at the emotion that seems to be “in charge,” she’s at the helm, trying to keep Riley in her personal happy places.  Unfortunately, when Riley’s life is in flux, Sadness has an uncontrollable urge to touch the memories, which starts turning them blue.  Joy and the other emotions try to banish Sadness and prevent her from touching anything, but she cannot seem to stop it, and doesn’t know why, so she’s eternally apologetic.

When all this was happening, I turned to Evan and said, “Holy crap, she’s depressed!”  Even though I’m no mental health professional and I’ve never been diagnosed with depression, this sounded like every conversation I’ve ever had with someone about their diagnosis, if they have either depression or bipolar.  What’s important to RIley starts to crumble away, and Joy and Sadness embark on an epic quest through long term memory to bring Riley back to them.

I don’t want to give away too too much, but the ending, the moral, it’s a heavy one for kids.  It’s okay to be sad sometimes.  We can’t always be Joy.  And without Sadness, Joy loses it’s luster.

This movie could seriously bring up what needs to get brought out of the shadows and into the light of mental illness.  It’s the beginning of a conversation about how no matter how wonderful and how perfect our life seems and how much of a happy face we put on, there’s a million more things going on below the surface.  It’s the story of how we’re all different, even though we have the same emotions (for each glimpse into another person’s head, there was a different emotion, “at the helm”).  Emotions are simply not that simple and memory can change over time.  And sometimes things go wrong and we need help.

Let’s talk about childhood depression.  It exists.  It’s heart-wrenching, and it’s usually swept under the rug.  Thank you Pixar, for taking steps to bring it into the light.

That being said, my new mantra is: JOY IS AT THE HELM.  Maybe I can keep Joy at the helm of my life (though I can’t imagine – I think Anger’s at my helm).

Joy is at the Helm

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Happy Belated CNA Appreciation Week

A little late, but as the saying goes: Better Late Than Never.

Happy CNA appreciation week, fellow aides.  We are the pissed on, the shit on, literally more days than not.  We do the work that not only are doctors and nurses not trained to do, but that they really, really, don’t want to do.  We are the front line, keeping our elderly and sick happy, healthy, sanitary, and sane (to the best of our abilities).  Without us, the healthcare world comes to a screeching halt.  Without us, the doctors and nurses cannot do their job effectively or with any dignity.  Dignity to a CNA?  What is that?  I don’t think I have any of that left and I am perfectly fine with that.  In fact, without my dignity is why I can clean your ass with a smile 9 times out of 10.

This past week was not exactly a banner week for me as a CNA, but it really is what my job can be like in a nutshell.  I love my job, but our bad weeks – damn do they suck.

Think on this for a minute.  Think of the most important person in your life.  Is it your mother?  Your spouse?  Your sibling?  Now imagine that as they age they start to change; and I’m not talking the normal sort of change that comes with aging.  Yes, they’re starting to forget things, like your name, or where they put their keys (but, hell, you call the kids the dogs’ names occasionally, so you ignore it).  Then you realize that maybe they’re not taking care of themselves the way that they should.  Maybe they’re no longer brushing their teeth, or they’re showering 3, 4, times a day.  You find yourself helping them more than you ever expected.  You’re in the bathroom with them when they shower, or setting out clean clothes so they don’t put on the same dirty outfit for the fifth day in a row.

Suddenly there’s another change. And it’s bad, this time.  The most important person in your life no longer knows who you are.  “I don’t know who you are, but I know I love you.” When they speak they make absolutely no sense.  Maybe they know what they’re trying to say, but their brain can no longer find the appropriate words.   They might stop talking entirely, are they still in there at all?  Are they communicating with their eyes?  Their personality might make a total 180.  Suddenly you’re being screamed at and spit at for attempting to help them.  They might know that this is not appropriate, and apologize later, but they cannot help it.

Suddenly the most important person in your life is no longer the person that raised you, that you grew up with, that you fell madly in love with.  All people, all ages, it doesn’t matter a whit how old you or your loved ones are – this can happen to you – this can happen to the ones that you most hold dear.

And then you make the decision that is the hardest in your life.  You can no longer care for the person that you love so damn much.  You make the decision that your loved one needs more help than you can provide.  You make the decision to help this person move into a place where they can get the constant help that they need.  Most of you think “nursing home,” but remember there are other, more diverse options out there now (of course you need a buttload of money to live in those places, but they exist).

You want the best care possible for your spouse, for your sibling, for your mother.  And there’s now a team of nurses and aides in place to give this care.  You hope that maybe, just maybe, by putting this kind of care in place, you’ll start to see a glimmer of the person that was once there.

I want you all to remember something. The people who live in these places.  These people have families and friends who miss the dearly.  But these people are people.  And they deserve to be treated as such by every care giver, every other resident, every visitor.  They may not be the people that you remember – but the aides who spend five days a week, 8 hours a day, with them, know them for who they are now.  We have intimate relationships with the people that you hold dear.  We have our own inside jokes, we know which marks on their bodies are new, we are there to pick them up when they fall, we know their habits and when they’re having good or bad days.  We know what they’re capable of and they’re capable of a hell of a lot, including making their own decisions.  Let me repeat that:
These People are Capable of Making Their Own Decisions.

So remember, when you come to visit your loved ones, the care givers are doing the very best they can to make sure the person you love is happy and healthy.  Sometimes they may not be dressed the way you imagine, or they may not be participating with Recreation the way you imagine.  But remember, their personalities have changed and every person, every single day is different.

The care givers are doing the best they can, and remember we are still human.  We form relationships with the people we care for, but we also have our own bad days, our own off days.  And not matter how damn hard we try not to let it affect our work, our caring, sometimes it does.  Sometimes it’s the very nature of what we do.  We give and we give and we give.  And then we give some more. Sometimes it wears us down.  Most days we get some of what we give back from the people we take care of.  Almost all of the people I care for can put a smile on my face.  But everyone that lives here, that works here, we’re all human and sometimes, Sometimes, it sucks.  Sometimes we cannot connect.  Sometimes putting on that happy face means crying in the bathroom when you get home. Sometimes the happy face slips.  Sometimes there are people that we don’t work well with, our personalities clash.  It happens.  And it’s awful for everyone involved.  Our jobs, our lives, revolve around making relationships and fostering growth within our communities.  When we can’t do that it’s like we’ve failed you, we’ve failed our resident, and we’ve failed ourselves.

“There’s nothing we can do,” is not a phrase that we like to hear or say.  We try, try, and try again.

We know that making the decision to put your loved one here was the hardest thing you could ever do.  We really understand that better than you think we do.  When you tell us that we’ve made you or your loved one happy, or brought back some of who they were, we float.  We float for days on that sort of comment. But let me tell you, that it’s also that easy to crush us.  We really do try our best – and sometimes we miss something.  We want to know when we do miss something, we want to make you and your loved one happy.  Just remember that we’re people too and there’s a difference between telling us that we missed something and telling us off.

So here’s to us.  Here’s to us CNAs.  Here’s to the abuse.  Here’s to being puked on.  Here’s making a million beds, and then making them again the next day.  Here’s to all the bad shit.  Here’s to all the crap we do, to all the crap we put up with.  Here’s to the bullshit that’s all made worthwhile by one smile, by a bedbound resident out of bed for the first time in years, by someone picking up a fork all by themselves.  Here’s to all the fuckall made worthwhile by the little things.

The little things that make people live better, more independent lives – it’s all worth it.

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One Seriously Bad Ass Botanist

Six days into a mission on Mars, Mark Watney is left behind by his crew during an emergency evacuation.  He is left with the Hab, in which to live, an assortment of research vehicles and materials, enough food for 6 people to live on the surface of Mars for another 50 days, and absolutely no way to communicate to Earth that he is still alive.  Mark was part of Ares 3; Ares 4 will be coming to Mars in about four years.

 Thus begins on seriously bad ass botanist’s struggle for survival on an alien wasteland.

The Martian is mostly told from the first person perspective of Mark, in his personal logs while he attempts to survive for as long as humanly possible.  What I didn’t realize from the descriptions of this book before reading it, is that it is fucking hilarious.  After many many days alone on Mars, Mark starts to get punchy.  His sense of humor is dry and sort of not-funny funny, which is perfectly on point for my sense of humor.  I was literally laughing out loud as I read, and I don’t do that when I’m reading Terry Pratchett.

Here’s a taste of the ridiculousness that comes in between the science, which this novel is chock full of.

How come Aquaman can control whales?  They’re mammals!  Makes no sense.”

Speaking of, this book is definitely full of science.  I had to go back and re-read passages numerous times to really understand certain things that Mark was doing to a) fix equipment b) create water/oxygen c) make his vehicles go further and faster and with enough power to go for days.  Surprisingly, this was not a detriment.  Far on the other side, in fact, it called to mind classic science fiction pulled from my father’s shelves when I was too young to really understand the science, that once I opened, I could never put back down.  It brought back Asimov and Anthony – even though their science was … less scientific by the time I read them, it still brought back that feeling of science being totally epic.


Seriously, Andy Weir – thank you so much for writing this book.  I laughed out loud, I sat on the edge of my seat, I cheered for the characters.  I burned dinner the night I finished it because I could not put it down long enough to take the shit out of the oven.  Okay, I didn’t burn dinner, but I would have, if the boyfriend hadn’t taken it out of the oven because I sure as hell wasn’t doing it.

So why are you all still reading this?  GO READ THE MARTIAN.

PS.  I’m super excited for the movie, but I don’t know how I feel about Matt Damon playing Mark.

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The Moral of This Story: Research Before You Move

I don’t think that I’ve ever timed anything so well in my life.  I managed to see two movies today, Ex Machine and Poltergeist 3D and the overlap was nonexistent.  I finished movie one and stepped into the theater of movie two as the previews started to roll; win, massive win.  Usually on two movie days, I find myself with some arbitrary amount of time to kill between films and therefore out of boredom eating double the amount of popcorn that I should.  As is, I sit here with uncomfortable popcorn-belly.  I’m having a popcorn baby, you guys!

So, I was impressed by both movies, but I think I’m going to write on Ex Machina later, as I think that requires a little more chewing in my brain before I can really digest it properly.  So I guess that makes this post about Poltergeist 3D.

Let’s start with this detail: I’ve never seen the original Poltergeist, and honestly, even as a horror fan, I know nothing about it.  I recognized some nods to iconic scenes, but I feel like those scenes I’ve only seen as nods in other movies.

It starts as every haunting story that I’ve ever seen starts, a family moves into a new house for whatever reason they had to leave their last home and are forced to move somewhere new.  The children immediately find something wrong with the house, whatever that may be.  One child is terrified, one embraces, and one is apathetic.  Something happens to convince the parents that the children are not making this up.  They call in experts.

Of course the idea that the child is sucked into the Poltergeists’ dimension is not something I’ve ever seen and that’s where it started to feel different, special.  Because someone has to go in after her.

I’m not sure how necessary the 3D was to the effects, but the effects were pretty good.  There wasn’t anything so overblown that it took me out of the moment.  There was a lot more creepy made up hands and flickering lights than over the top effects.  Of course the portal is a little strange and that’s where most of the overblown unbelievable effects happened.  But really, the only thing that took me out of the moment was the horrible girl sitting behind me who kept gorram kicking my seat.  And I cannot blame the film for that.

I actually found myself emotionally invested in the characters, as well as jumping out of my skin – both hallmarks of a very good horror movie.

I now have every intention in the world of seeing the original.  I really can’t believe that I have made it to 28 and never seen it.

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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World

All Cards on the table:  Going in to see Max Mad: Fury Road, I knew less than nothing about the franchise.  I knew it was a franchise called Mad Max, and I picked up from the previews that it was set in a post-apocalyptic world.  Other than that, I really knew nothing at all about the goddamn films, but the previews for this one made me want to see it and hard.

Good, good decision.  Go see it.  Go.  Now.

In a post apocalyptic wasteland, what are the two most important resources?  Water … and women.

Okay, phrased like that, it sounds pretty horrible.  But really, think about it.  Most of the human race is decimated, oil is basically nonexistent, water is a precious commodity (can’t grow food, or control the masses without it).  In order for the human race to continue, what do we need to do?  We need to reproduce.  And we don’t just need to reproduce, we need to have healthy children, with a healthy gene-pool.  Otherwise, not only have we broken the world, but we’ve effectively wiped the human race off the planet.

Water and Women.  Truly, the most precious commodities in the entire Mad Max verse.  And yet, somehow they made this apparent without being something that made my inner feminist want to punch things in the face.  The female characters started as people that were irritating and sheltered, but they did this thing, and here’s the part that I liked, they grew as people.  That’s the whole difference.  That’s what takes what could have been a teeth grinding anti-feminist issue into something believable, something epic.

Women are actually the only precious commodity that they seem to value at all, in fact. The wars that broke the world were about oil, yet they spend their days in modified 4-wheelers and other cars that have been modified into flame spouting war machines.  Water is rare and controlled, yet they find the time to bathe the sexy women in true Sports Illustrated fashion.  Yet somehow, who the hell cares about the realism?  The movie was epic.  The special effects were even more epic.  The explosions are goddamned amazing.

On the same note, though, those wasteful ridiculous moments are clearly a commentary on our waste in the modern, real, world.  We’re very close to an oil crisis, but do you see anyone slowing down on consumption?  Nope.  We actually have a drought in California, one that’s going to have devastating effects on agriculture for the world, and what are we doing about it in the rest of the country?  Turning a blind eye and turning on our sprinklers.  Seriously, for an action packed, action movie, there was some serious commentary on the world, if you took a moment to look.

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Is it possible? A Female Joker?

If you haven’t watched the last two episodes of Gotham stop now.  Seriously stop reading.  There are heavy duty spoilers ahead.  Why are you still here?  SPOILERS AHOY!

Evan and I finished the last couple episodes of Gotham last night and they were pretty good, considering it felt that for most of the season the show sort of floundered.  Batman’s a hard genre to tackle in a real world setting and I’m not sure they got it quite right for most of the season.  Until Fish returned.  Now she stank of Batman-villain and it was glorious.  Anyway, that’s not the point of this post.

The point is as follows:  When the season started, I heard rumors that by end of the season they were planning on introducing the Joker.  So, needless to say, I had high expectations for the season finale.  Now, you’ll have to forgive me, we binge watched the last two episodes so I don’t remember exactly what happened in the second-to-last versus the last.

Barbara is kidnapped and in true Stockholm Syndrome fashion is asked by the man who kidnapped her and claims to love her “Who do you want me to kill?”  Via some police work, Gordon learns that they’re on their way up to Barbara’s parents’ house.  We see Barbara and her kidnapper speaking to her parents and she whispers, “Please.”  The next time we see Barbara, her eyes are totally blank and her dress has blood on it.  She is rescued, but her parents are already dead.

The creepy-ass blank look in Barbara’s eyes, this is clearly why they hired this actress, which I truly never understood before.  This was also when an idea started to come to me.  Was it possible that Barbara was the Joker?  Wouldn’t that turn the fandom on it’s head?  I’d away suspected that Gordon’s current girlfriend was being set up to be Harley Quinn and we know from her relationships in the comics that she swings a little bit both ways (Hello, Poison Ivy).

During the last episode of the season, there’s a mob war going on between Falcone and Marconi, facilitated by Penguin.  It’s a pretty epic war, and what makes it most epic is Fish and Selina Kyle’s appearance.  During all of this, Barbara is being counseled by Gordon’s girlfriend.  She is pushing Barbara to talk about what happened at her parents’ house.  She wants Barbara to talk out her problems, when it turns out that Barbara’s problems are really reality.  She feels “this is the dream […] that [she] will wake up and he will be alive and coming for [her].”  Which the Doc interprets as an unrealistic fear – I interpret as wishful.  She then tells the Doc that she killed her parents.  I believe that she had fallen in love with her captor, that he had turned her, convinced her that this crazy, murderer was her true self.

I have come to believe that Barbara could be the Joker!  That it would be a truly awesome turn.  It would, as I stated previously, turn the entire fandom on it’s head.  But!  Imagine the merch!  Imagine the cosplay!   If they do it correctly, imagine the most epic female villain in the entire Batman universe!  Joker has always played chaotic evil, what would be more chaotic than to change his evil persona to her evil persona.  I would be truly excited to see the next season.  It could give the show the character that it so badly needs – it could give the show the direction that it needs to continue.  Or it could crash and burn.  But I would truly love to see that.  It would be an amazing experiment in making the Joker longer living – what if he’s not a single man, but the mantle is passed down from crazy to crazy?  What if this time it’s a woman?  Joker’s so mutilated that it’s impossible or should be to truly identify even the gender of the Joker.  Especially since Gotham‘s sort of kind of in modern times with possible facial recognition?  Is it possible that this is why Joker cuts off his face in the new comics?  Is it possible that he handed his mantle to a woman?

Apparently I’m a conspiracy theorist!  JOKER IS A WOMAN.  JOKER IS A WOMAN.  BELIEVE IT.

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Coming to You from the Surface

Surface 3, that is.

Well, I turned 28 on Sunday, and basically, it blew hard.
Saturday afternoon Evan threw out his back.  We have no idea at all what he did to it.  He said that while he traveled between stores, he got out of his car and something felt wrong.  During the rest of the day it got worse.  The plan was that we were going to go out to dinner Saturday night rather than Sunday since Sunday was Mother’s Day (did I forget to mention that every single time my birthday falls on Sunday it falls on Mother’s Day?); except when he came home Sunday evening, and he was crooked.  He, being the stubborn man that he is, tried damn hard to get back out of bed: somehow he even got his clothes on – I actually had to convince him that he couldn’t make it!

Sunday morning, I had planned on going to church with my mother.  Needless to say, that did not happen.  Instead, I had to spend the morning driving Evan to Urgent Care.  He had to hobble his way to and from the car, leaning on his walking stick from Mount Fuji.  The doctor told him that his spine was s-shaped, prescribed him the fun drugs, and got him a doctor’s note to stay home from work for 3 days.

Until he went back to work Thursday, I almost killed him. I don’t mind taking care of him, and I know he’s (still today) in pain, but I didn’t realize how wearing it would be to have him home every minute of every day and in our bed basically for every minute of every day.  Man, I almost killed him.

And then yesterday, when he came home, I was trying to take a short nap that was just not happening.  When he came home, he crawled into bed with me and told me that we could go pick up my birthday gift.  He bought me a Surface!  When we were at Best Buy, he gave me an option: he’d buy me the Surface 3, or he’d put $500 towards a Surface Pro 3.  After some hemming and hawing I decided on the Surface.  I have a desktop – this will be more supplemental.

Anyway, I have a Surface.  I named it Tension because I’m a clever sonnofabitch.  So this is me, coming to you from my Surface, for the very first time, but it definitely won’t be the last.

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Still Alice – I’m Not Done Yet, Do We Have to Go?

On Tuesday, Boyfriend and I went and saw Still Alice and Birdman (there will be a seperate post for that if I ever work out how I felt about it).  Basically, I picked a movie and he picked a movie.  Of course both of these movies were on our lists of movies to eventually see, since they had won awards at the Oscars, so I didn’t feel too badly choosing Still Alice, I actually assumed he’d be choosing Birdman.

Alice is a linguistics professor at Columbia.  She lives the life she’s always wanted – travelling, learning, teaching, and loving her family.  This all changes when she starts to lose little things. She forgets a word.  She gets lost on campus. She can’t remember things told to her moments before.  In secret, without telling her husband or grown children, she starts to see a neurologist who eventually diagnoses her with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

As someone who is a caregiver in this field, I have some questions as to how they came to the diagnosis.  I know diagnostic tools have gotten better, but we still cannot definitively diagnose Alzheimer’s until autopsy.

The rest of the movie is the story of her loss, how she masters the Art of Losing.  It’s a story of how her family members cope, both well and not so well.

This part was heartbreaking because not only is Alice losing the memory of her family, but in some ways she really is losing them because they’re pulling away or changing entirely to cope/notcope with Alice’s changes.  There was a line in a PinkBerry, where Alice’s husband asks her if she still wants to be here (meaning New York, the house, etc. etc.), she responds: “I’m not done yet.  Do we have to go?”  In the entire movie there is no line that sums up this disease better.  All of the people afflicted have lived lives and none of them deserved to have these lives ripped away from them.  The people afflicted have more to give if we let them, they’d have even more to give if their entire lives hadn’t been ripped away from them by the betrayal of their own brains.

Everyone that has this disorder.  Everyone.  They weren’t done yet.  They weren’t ready to go.

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