Sunday, September 25, 2016

hero or traitor?

(probably no spoilers)

I'm pleased that Oliver Stone took on the project of making a movie about Ed Snowden.  I think what Snowden did took tremendous courage.  During the course of the movie, I inevitably compared my career choices with his.  And if I'm being brutally honest, I don't think I could have done what he did, assuming I had his same mad computing skills.  It's hard to say because he was being constantly bombarded with such egregious privacy abominations (if we can believe Oliver Stone's version), which might drive an ordinary person to do extraordinary things. 

But, his colleagues were similarly uncomfortable and didn't have the courage and/or circumstances to blow the whistle.  I was wondering while watching this movie what they were all thinking and feeling when they saw what he did.  Obviously the movie added dramatic flair and artistic license.  I also wondered if the last guards who saw him knew that they inadvertently let him walk away with all of that data.  And are they proud of him or ashamed?

Go see this movie.  It's important to discuss, even if you think he did wrong.  Several times, I got chills and goosebumps on my arms pondering the ramifications.  Make sure if you go with someone, to plan time afterward to confabulate with them while it's fresh in your mind.  I went with an East German friend of mine, who eerily said it was exactly like living in East Germany before the wall came down, knowing that all of your conversations were being recorded and you were constantly under surveillance.

Will this movie change anyone's mind or just solidify what we all already thought?  Will our president or congress think further on the matter?   Will more courageous people come forward if they see our country going against our founding principles?  Will journalists have the grit to ask the difficult questions and present the hard-to-hear facts?

Hero or traitor?

Mutha'fkn hero!  Duh.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

stretch yoga

Whatever that is?

My 70+ year old neighbor felt sorry for me with all of my migraines and suggested I try a stretch yoga class with her.  I had no idea what it was, but she's too nice to say no to.  Plus, it sounded benign.

It turned out to be mostly older women, and was taught by two earth-mother types.  Or maybe lesbians.  It's very hard to tell them apart at that age.  Before the class, one asked about my limitations, so I told her I wasn't very flexible.  It's called a stretch yoga class, so I assumed there would be lots of stretching, and I can't always touch my toes.  I blame my long legs.  Let's forget for now that I have equally long arms.  :)

The class was held at one woman's home, and her dog greeted me first.  After he had jumped up on me and sniffed my crotch for a few minutes, she asked if I was okay with dogs, because if not, she could make him stop.  Haha, little late now, but I like dogs, so I wasn't upset.

We all went to lie down on yoga mats on her hardwood floor.  What's the point of a yoga mat?  It feels just as hard as the floor.  No cushioning at all.  And if it's for hygiene, that ship has sailed once I start using someone else's.  Maybe it's for gription during regular yoga, but we didn't stand at all.

The very first stretch was lying on our backs with our knees to our chest.  I'm used to my martial arts class where someone puts almost their whole weight on me to stretch until it is close to my pain tolerance.  This was like a butterfly pushing on me.  Granted I had just met her, so maybe she was testing my limits to see how I was.  She said I was very flexible, and I must have been comparing myself to highly flexible people.  At that point, I realized I wouldn't be getting stretched by my understanding, so I should just lie back and relax.

While I was lying on my back and stretching my arms above my head, her doggie came over and started licking my face.  That gave me the giggles and ruined my meditative state.  Not that I was very far into one.  I followed along, stretched my hips, and played with her dog, holding his mouth away from mine.

It was more about relaxation than actual stretching for me.  They kept saying it shouldn't hurt, but I've always learned that if I don't stretch until it hurts, I don't make any progress.  I lost a little bit of the relaxation when I was face-down on the mat, trying not to think of whose feet had been there before my face.  It's a good thing I'm not a germaphobe.

It was nice, and they were all very warmhearted people, but I don't think it's for me.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

eye exam

Ugh. I'm at the optometrist and having an anxiety attack in the waiting room.  They're asking all these questions about if I want glasses or contacts.  I DON'T KNOW UNTIL AFTER I TALK TO THE DOC. 

But the receptionist keeps asking.

I want to run outside and leave.   Except they know me.  He's a family friend.   Sigh. 

Deep breaths, Wendy.   And it seems everyone's answer these days is surgery.  Which is what got me into this mess in the first place.   Gdam cut-happy fkrs.  

Also this neighborhood has changed a bit since I was here.  Fkn scary patients.  And the receptionist isn't much better.   She keeps ordering me where to sit.  I don't wanna sit there, mofo. Too many LOUD people nearby.

Now I know why I rarely go out.  Having such anxiety. 

And FUCKITYFUCK for the official reminder of exactly how bad that eye's vision is.  I started crying while explaining my problems with contact lenses and glasses.  Poor guy.  He was so sweet.  Patted me on the leg in an avuncular manner.  Handing me stacks of tissues.  I had wads in both hands when I left the exam room for the first time.  And that's why I keep going there.

He fixed me up as best he could, and I met my Pops for lunch.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

the streak ended

The migraine hit early yesterday afternoon, along with severe thunderstorms.  Kitten was hiding under the bed.  I wish I could have joined her. The good news is that the rescue meds (Imitrex) seem to be working again.  YIPPEE!  The bad news is I that I needed them obviously.

Also, I woke up in the middle of the night having a panic attack from an anxiety dream.  

Three steps forward, eleventy-five backwards.  That's okay, I meant to go this way.  :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

anxiety and depression for a change

Fear of migraines makes me scared to go out and do things.  Conversely, feeling good makes me want to hurry up and have fun before the crippling pain sets in.  

The past few days have been pain-free.  Not sure how, but yay!  However, I've had extra dosings of anxiety and depression.  Way more tears and panic attacks than normal.  It's kind of weird and refreshing.  :P   

Of course it's very quiet and sparse tears, because too much crying is a trigger.  Controlled crying is like driving a muscle car with a governor on it.  Not at all satisfying, but still better than nothing.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

exercise out of depression?

Why did I think going for a walk in this heat and humidity was a good idea?  My mood has plummeted today.  The anxiety and depression are quickly creeping up, but the migraine is staying at bay.  Almost two whole days.  Yippee.

I thought a walk in nature might get my blood flowing enough to lift my mood.  I'm still anemic, therefore much more than that gets me out of breath.  I saw a few birds, but it might have even been too fkn hot for the iguanas.  If I wait until it cools off, it's mosquito time.  Plus I may lose my motivation.

I came home, sweaty, crying, and out of breath.

Happy fucking Sunday.  :\

Saturday, September 17, 2016

liar liar pants on fire

Are you ready to be bored?  Because apparently I *need* to write.

I was at a store where two men had a display up and were hawking therapeutic pillows.  I accidentally made eye contact, but I had a migraine (what a surprise) and wasn't in the mood to be sold.  One asked me if I was ready to get the best sleep of my life.  I looked him dead in the eye and said, "I already do."  That confused him for one whole second, but he was a consummate salesman and responded with a Big Gay Al "Fantastic!"


But I'm 99% sure it isn't lack of scientific pillows preventing me from sleeping well.  I have a GIGANTIC pillow graveyard of previous pillows which were the second coming of the Sleep Messiah. They all failed.  When I have a migraine, my pillow needs to be flawless.  No lumps.  Not too flat.  Not too thick.  Not too hard.  Basically, it has to be the Goldilocks of pillows.  I have different sizes on my bed for different moods and different sleep positions.  I probably could have asked Pillow Dude for a job selling pillows, for how much I've studied pillows and sleep.

Ahh well, off to watch Formula One Singapore Grand Prix qualifying.

Friday, September 16, 2016

emotional weather patterns

It still amazes me after decades of dealing with this, that my mood can change so drastically from feeling good to migraine depression and irritability, and back again once the migraine lifts.  It's like a storm front blowing through, and serene weather afterwards.  Some storms are sun showers.  Some are Cat 5 hurricanes.  Most fall in the middle.

It's been a particularly horrible Summer for me (16 migraines this past month).  Logically, I know these emotions originate from my brain misfiring or whatever the fuck is going on in there when a migraine tsunami starts.  However, I irrationally think I can control it better.

Somehow, I've gotten out of the habit of daily writing.  Mostly because I've been lacking any kind of meaningful social life (due to migraines) and felt I had nothing worthwhile to say.  It turns out I'm dumb because regular writing can (and sometimes did) elevate my mood.  I'm pretty sure barely anyone reads this anyway, so I will proceed to write about inane and/or depressing things.

Because I want to be better.

(I apologize in advance for boring you to tears.)

We rise to great heights via a winding staircase
  ---Francis Bacon

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

comfy shoes

I've been heavily debating on whether or not to quit my migraine clinical trial.  The pharmaceutical company changed the dosage, and it stopped working for me.  Not only that, but coincidentally, Imitrex stopped being effective as a rescue medication.  I've been crying to my neurologist's office, and they swear the two are unrelated.  They switched me to a different triptan, which wasn't any better. 

I was able to meet with their resident expert and get most of my questions answered.  She tabled one for a higher authority.

After much hand-wringing and soul-searching, I've decided to continue on.  Because WHAT FUCKING CHOICE DO I HAVE?  Stay on this trial that may start working again or quit and go back to similar pain and no hope.

I did get a compliment from a lesbian nurse on my comfy shoes.  So that's something, right?  :)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Bennu, here we come!

The purpose of yesterday's launch is to travel to a faraway asteroid, grab some samples, and come back to Earth.  It's more complex than that, but now you have the gist.

Time to go home.

Guess who forgot to pre-medicate before the drive?  Dumbass.  But I was feeling good and in denial.  I stopped at the world-famous Ron Jon Surf Shop to finally find some board shorts that fit.  They barely had any women's in their two-story monstrosity of a building.  Fkn sexists fkrs.  I managed to get two pair that I mostly liked.

By the time I got home, I could feel the yawns starting and the migraine about to hit.  I took an Imitrex and went to bed early.  Kitten was happy to see me, and I gratefully snuggled with her in my comfy bed.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

rocket's yellow glare

Launch day!

Very glad I toured the Kennedy Space Center yesterday.  Today is packed!  And I'm dealing with migraine postdrome, so I'm exhausted and hypersensitive.  Plus it feels a million degrees Fahrenheit.  So many people.  And screaming kids.  But some of the annoying children look adorable in their plastic space helmets and full flight suits.

At lunch, I met a WW2 veteran, who had flown a P-51 over Iwo Jima.  He was also a VIP guest, and he introduced me to his half-Japanese granddaughter, of whom he seemed very proud.

They loaded us on buses to the Apollo Saturn V Center, where bleachers were set up for viewing.  While I waited, I was able to explore the exhibits and walk under the most ginormous rocket ever, which took man to the fucking moon!

The man in front of me on the bleachers worked for an Inuit-owned company which helped to build some of the instruments aboard.  Pretty much everyone there had a hand in working on this mission or knew someone who did.  NerdPride was running high.

As we got closer to launch, we stood for the Star-Spangled Banner, and a huge cheer went up at the rockets' red glare line.  I know there's quite a controversy about this anthem, particularly the third stanza, but only the first was sung, and it was quite moving.

When the countdown got to 10 seconds, we all stood and counted down with the announcer.


Huge cheers and then on to the After Party.

Yep, you read that correctly.  There was an After Party, and it was packed!  I ended up bailing and going next door to eat some Florida lobster in peace and quiet.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

such a gamble

I was invited to the latest Cape Canaveral rocket launch.    With VIP passes and everything.  But how would I survive three days, including a car trip, with no migraine?

Answer:  very carefully

I took half an Excedrin before starting the road trip (which seemed to help), checked in to get my badge, and proceeded to tour the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in the heat of the day.  Dumbass.

It was amazing and educational.  And very humbling.

I stood near machinery that had traveled to outer space and back.  I really wanted to read more of the plaques at each exhibit and interact with the displays.  Alas, the migraine decided otherwise. I popped an Imitrex, ate some overpriced park food (yuck), and skipped some of the exhibits, especially the 3D IMAX movies.

I did watch the movie about the creation of the space shuttle.    By the end, I was ready to sign up and travel to space, migraine and all.

[Obligatory "we can put a man on the moon but we can't cure migraines, wtf?"]

That night was dinner with genuine Rocket Scientists.  How fucking cool is that??  They were pretty much as expected, except for the human component of being away from their families for a few weeks at a time and missing home.  I learned there is a quiet (but fierce) competition between the different rocket companies, now that NASA has opened it up to several.  At times, they even work together on the same mission.

I heard the 'where were you when the SpaceX rocket exploded' stories.  They were semi-nearby and assumed the boom and shake was an infamous Florida thunderstorm, until they learned otherwise.  It didn't seem to dampen their optimistic enthusiasm for success with tomorrow's mission.