Reflections on my birthday

I am struggling with my upcoming birthday. It’s not for the usual reasons of increasing age and facing one’s mortality. It goes much, much deeper than that. My actual day of birth set a course for my life that would see me never fitting in and perpetually on the outside looking in. I don’t mean to come off as overly dramatic and those of you who know me in real life know that my feet are generally firmly planted on terra firma.

My birth day, the first day of my life, I was rejected because powerful forces in my mother’s life dictated that I was to be given away. I then languished at the Grace Hospital in Calgary until the end of October when I was finally adopted. My birth mother was not from Calgary. She was from the lower mainland of BC as was my father. When my maternal grandmother found out that my mother was pregnant she made an appointment with an illegal abortion provider for my mother. My birth mother went, but decided she could not do what her mother was asking of her. Instead, she was sent away as ‘respectable church-going people’ didn’t have babies out of wedlock in 1965.

My birth mother was 21 when I was born. She had suffered some bizarre things in pregnancy like nasal hemorrhaging. She told me she was scared and she wished that her mother was there with her. After my birth, she stayed in Calgary for a couple of days and then went home. When we met, she related to me that she had been depressed all through her 20s. She married but it only lasted 6 weeks and she never had another relationship. She hated her mother and resenting helping her as she aged. But this story is not really about her.

36201_449293481351_6919450_n

Me trying to keep my hands clean in a gardening family.

The family I was adopted by seemed to be the complete opposite of me. They were tall, I am not. I am fat, they were not (except for my mother). They were blonde, I was not. I looked nothing like them. Fundamentally, we dealt with the world in very different ways. They would get angry and begin to yell and I retreated into my head to come up with intellectual coping mechanisms. This meant that as soon as they went emotional, I cried. I couldn’t cope with the constant onslaught of unregulated emotional outbursts. So, I walked on egg shells, being very careful not to set anyone off. Of course, I failed miserably at this endeavour. I am sure this is the root of my anxiety.

My grandmother, sister and me

I stand out like a sore thumb.

As soon as I was old enough to understand how newspapers worked, I would search in vain on my birthday to see if she remembered and had sent a message through the personal ads. I would conjure up no end of fantasy in which, she would reach out to me, tell me it had all been a mistake and she would take me away.

It has now been 5 years since I found my biological family. I am now surrounded by them. My mother is in Vancouver, father in Richmond, a ½ brother in Surrey, another in Fort St. John, and more extended family in Port Coquitlam.

I have made contact with my mother. It didn’t go well. She doesn’t want a relationship. She even disconnected her phone. I am assuming she did this so that I didn’t call her once a year. My father is in a care home. His wife doesn’t respond to emails anymore, so I can take that hint. One of my ½ brothers reached out to me but then dropped off the face of earth as far as communication with me goes. The other one, I have no idea about. I know he has 2 kids (thank you Facebook). I often think about reaching out but I am so weary of rejection.

36201_449293496351_5074816_n

My grandfather and me. I have been told that I put the basket on his head and he loved it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really believe that my mother’s rejection of me at birth set off some immutable facts in my life. Spending the first 4 months of my life in a hospital meant that I didn’t really attach to anyone until much later in childhood. I am not sure that I ever really did attach properly. Even the story of my adoption, as told by my parents is not one of cuddly love. Apparently, both of my parents thought I was the ugliest baby there but each thought the other wanted to adopt me. So, they adopted me. I am told though that as soon as my maternal grandfather saw me, he thought I was the most beautiful baby he’d ever seen. Sadly, he died when I was 2.

It’s really not difficult to understand why I have never felt like I fit in or that people like me. My whole origin story is one of rejection and negative thoughts about my physical appearance. Sometimes, I am not really sure who adoption serves. I recognized that it is a necessary think in our society as long as people have children for whom they cannot care. I am reminded of something I heard in a First Nations workshop last year. In those cultures, children can be raised by other members in the family for many reasons. They never lose touch with their biological parents, culture and tradition. Perhaps there is something to learn there.

Published in: on June 9, 2017 at 2:13 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags:

Are the BC Greens Really Serious?


John Horgan, Andrew Weaver

All smiles now!*

I am going to preface this post with the fact that I am over the moon about the NDP-Green coalition taking power in BC. We were about 8 years overdue for a regime change. It will nice to see a little bit of compassion coming out of Victoria instead of the usual, victim-blaming detritus. I think John Horgan did an amazing job with the election and I am pleased he will (most likely) have the chance to serve as our premier.

 
I am finding it a bit odd that Andrew Weaver, environmentalist and passionate Green, would not want to be in Cabinet. In coalition governments, quite often, the cabinet will be representative of the agreement. Here is a chance for Weaver to get out of the weeds of Opposition and find out what it’s like to govern. So, why then, would he choose not to be part of Cabinet?
 
I have my theories. I think that by not being in Cabinet, Weaver has plausible deniability if/when some things happen that the Greens oppose. He will be able to say that it was all the NDP and they supported them on confidence matters. It’s really easy when you are in the opposition, with no hope of ever forming government, to just simply oppose for opposition’s sake. Once you are part of government and actually responsible for passing legislation, you actually begin to see what actually goes into making governmental policy. It’s not as easy as saying: No pipelines (as BC is about to find out very soon and the topic of another post) is easy to say but hard to implement. Or proportional representation – very easy when you are in opposition but a huge undertaking to implement. Just remember, it took them more than 18 months to undo the HST and revert to the PST.
 
I think if Weaver and the Greens are really interested in government then one of them should step up and get a cabinet post. The most logical person is Weaver.
*Image from this link.

Canada, We have a Fucking Problem

Aboriginal Rally 20131004

Carol-Ann Moses takes part in a rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, October 4, 2013 by the Native Women’s Assoiciation of Canada honouring the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

In Canada, every 4 days a woman is killed by a family member, usually a male family member. Let that sink in for a moment – every 4 days a woman dies. We have a serious problem. Indigenous and LGTBQ women are over-represented.

 
Four young girls in Northern SK have committed suicide over the last number of weeks. Four young girls who could see nothing to live for – children who are so broken they can’t find anything to look forward to, children without plans for tomorrow or the rest of their lives.
 
How is this possible? Why is there a war on women? What have we done? Why do so such a significant number of men feel that they need to kill us? (I know there are good men out there, I know. If you are a good man, it’s time to stand up to the casual sexism, racism and misogyny you see everyday. That’s your job as a good man).
 
The government’s response to the CRISIS in North SK? Send in 6 additional counsellors until the end of the year. Great, 10 weeks of help from outsiders who don’t understand the culture or the youth.
 
None of this is good enough. I am completely fed up with the status quo. Things are not changing, they are entrenching. Toxic masculinity is on display every single day and I am tired of it. So, very tired of it. I have been working and fighting against violence against women since the first memorial for the women killed in Montreal – that was 1990. Where is the progress? Eating disorders are much more common as young woman (and increasingly men) try to match a fake, photoshopped image of who they are supposed to be.
 
We have an inquiry underway to find out what has happened to 1000 First Nations women. How do 1000 women disappear and no one notice or give a damn? What if it were 1000 men? What would the response be? Oh wait, there wouldn’t be one because it would never fucking happen. Why are women so fucking disposable? I am angry, so very, very angry.
Published in: on October 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

On Jian Ghomeshi and our Society’s Collective Amnesia

So how long do we think it will be before Jian Ghomeshi is back in the public sphere with his dignity intact? Most people, having heard Kathryn Borel speak the other day, think it will never happen. But happen it will.

mdb-20160511-301181339396.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox

Our society has a unique way of forgiving men for sexual assaults. There is a whole long line of celebrities who continue to make films, sell music and do stand up comedy who are pedophiles and serial rapists. In fact, if you compare someone like Ghomeshi to Bill Cosby, the former is a minor player. Or look at Woody Allen – not only did he sexually abuse his children he married his adopted daughter and people still flock to his movies and other celebrities line up behind him. Or Michael Jackson who was charged with pedophilia and he paid off the parents of numerous of children for things that happened behind the closed doors of Neverland. He has now taken Elvis’ title as the King. There has even been work (and redemption) for Mike Tyson after he served jail time for rape.

What does this say about our society? Well clearly we value men far more than we value women. Men are allowed to get away with raping, assaulting and sodomizing women and children and they will still have careers. They may have to say a few mea culpas, appear to do the right thing (counselling anyone??) and then they will have their lives back.

I am not saying that Jian Ghomseshi is on the same level as the other so-called celebrities (or rapists as I like to call them). He is not as talented and he was in a small, backwater market. He will come out of this no doubt and we will all be there to welcome him back. Well, except me, I won’t be. I am pledging here and now that I will boycott anything and anyone who has anything to do with Jian Ghomeshi ever again in the same way I boycott Woody Allen, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Mike Tyson, Roman Polanski…

Are you with me?

_88941319_032151124-1

Ode to Dr. Coodin

I have had a dental phobia since I was a kid. My childhood dentist looked like Vincent Price and was creepy as fuck. Plus he would drill my bottom teeth when they were not frozen. I once had to have 2 teeth pulled on the bottom to make space, my bottom teeth do not freeze, I was severely traumatized.

In my teens and 20s I avoided the dentist with everything I had until it caught up to me. I had a choice between having them all pulled or enduring the dental work. Ativan in hand, I endured hours in the dentist chair. My bottom teeth still didn’t freeze. To fix my front bottom teeth they once had to go so deep to inject right into the nerve so they could work on them. I was again severely traumatized.

Fast forward to our move to Vancouver in the early aughts and a new dentist entered our lives: Dr. Arnie Coodin. Dr. Coodin was a simple dentist – he didn’t whiten teeth or do any cosmetic procedures. He had 2 chairs – one for cleaning and one for fixing. He did everything himself. Up until Dr. Coodin, I could not stand to have my teeth cleaned and would never let them scale them. He made a deal with me – we started with one ¼ of my mouth at a time. He had a dictum he followed: “If I hurt you, you will not come back.” Now most dentists have a hygienist who cleans all the teeth. Not Dr. Coodin. He said cleaning teeth relaxed him. Over the course of a decade or so, Dr. Coodin got me used to having my teeth cleaned, he even did root planing and it was all fine. I owe him a huge debt of appreciation.

Eventually Dr. Coodin retired (we still drove to Vancouver to see him even living in MR). I was panic-filled. We had to find a new dentist. We started going to Valley Fair Dental because of a car ad I saw that said they ‘catered to cowards’ and offered ‘sedation’ dentistry’. Both Deb and I have had quite a bit of work done there. If it involves my bottom teeth, I opt for sedation. If it is on the top and fairly simple, I can tolerate the anesthetic needle to get it done.

Now, Paul scales and cleans my teeth. He told me today he can’t believe I ever used to be phobic. I told him it was all because of Dr. Coodin.

Published in: on March 16, 2016 at 4:55 pm  Comments (1)  

Books I have read this year

slide_5794_78322_largeSecret Language of Doctors by Dr. Brian Goldman
I was kind of meh about this book. While he did deliver on some of the ‘secret language’ mostly the book focuses on how much doctors dislike the obese, the elderly and the mentally ill. Want to be treated well by doctors? Don’t fall into one of those 3 categories.

Laughing all the Way to the Mosque by Zaraq Nawag
This book is written by the woman who brought “Little Mosque on the Prairie” to CBC. I mostly enjoyed this book. My main criticism is that it treated some serious issue in a trite manner.

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout
I devoured this book. One would think by the length of time she spent in captivity (15 months) that it would be drudgery and boring. It was anything but. Lindhout studied all her captors and was able to bring the reader along for the ride. At times, it was like the reader was right there with her. There are people who are critical of her for going to Somalia with her lack of experience. Regardless, the book is a great read. I highly recommend this book.

Creatures of the Rock by Andrew Peacock
I found this book to be a pale imitation of James Herriot’s far better books.

The Night of the Gun by David Carr
This is another book I devoured. David Carr worked for the New York Times for many years. Prior to becoming a stable adult though, David led a life of drug addiction and petty crime. The birth of his twin girls to his junkie girlfriend forced him to sober up and get his life together. To write this book, Carr did not rely on his own memory (which was quite faulty). Instead he interviewed people from his past, relied on court and other documents to substantiate the accounts. This was an amazing book. Carr recently had a heart attack and died shortly after a NY Times event.

Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui
Old world meets new world in this wonderfully funny and engaging memoir about her mother written by Lui. I loved this book. It was hilariously funny at times and very emotional at others. Do yourself a favour and read this book!

Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything? By Timothy Caulfield
Not being a big fan of Paltrow’s lifestyle blog/newsletter Goop, I was looking forward to reading this book. I was disappointed though when less than half of the book focused on Paltrow. The rest seemed to be about all the other wacky things people do that have no basis in science.

Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland by Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus with Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan
This was a great book. It was written by 2 of the women held hostage in that Cleveland house of horrors.
Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness by Michelle Knight
This is the book written by the third woman who was held hostage in Cleveland. It seems that conflict amongst the women meant that they all didn’t collaborate on one book. This book was also interesting. Michelle was held in captivity the longest.

They Left Us Everything by Plum Johnson
This was a really great book about family and the secrets a house holds. The author is tasked with cleaning out her parent’s house after her mother dies. A task that she thinks will take 6 weeks takes about a year. She learns a great deal along the way about her parents and the meaning of family.

There were a trio of escape from North Korea books:

A Thousand Miles to Freedom by Ensun Kim and The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonso Lee
These books were very similar. The both escaped North Korea via the northern border with China. Invariably they face hardship, fear and eventually make their way to South Korea. While these stories were interesting they were both quite similar.

In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park
This book was hands down the best in the ‘escape from North Korea’ genre (is it a genre?). This young woman becomes the head of her family even though she is the youngest. She does this through her intelligence and ability to figure her way out of situations. She and her mother eventually end up being taken by human traffickers. She also eventually makes it to South Korea and is able to mostly unite her family.

Rock Meet Window: A Father-Son Story by Jason Good
Jason Good is an erstwhile comedian. He is mostly known for the blog he did for a year with his reflections on parenthood. He wrote this book while he was looking after his father at the end of his life. It has some good moments.

Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
Burroughs is best known for his first memoir Running with Scissors. This book chronicles the author getting sober. It was not his best.

Gut: The Inside Story of our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders
This was a transformative book for me. The author is a young woman (25 at the time of the book) who noticed that there was little written about the gut that was accessible for the average person. Her answer was to write this book. What comes across from this book is the importance of gut bacteria.

The Emperor Far Away by David Eimer
This was a really interesting book about minority populations in China. We often think of China as a monolithic culture but this is far from the truth. There are many groupings of minority populations especially where China borders other countries. Beijing treats these groups differently with those in Tibet being the most oppressed.

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill
This was a very, very long book or maybe it just seemed that way. Miscavige-Hill (niece to David Miscavige) grew up in Scientology. It is really clear how cult-like Scientology is, complete with its own language. There are some very disturbing things that the author relates including her being responsible for the medical welfare of a group of children at age 7.

Doctor memoir figure rather prominently:

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh
This was a great, gentle and insightful book. The author is a neurosurgeon in Britain. He admits to arrogant and boorish behaviour in the twilight of his career. Each chapter is the title of a surgery and usually centers on an interesting patient or a lesson he learned. Great book.

Living and Dying in Brick City: An ER Doctor Returns Home by Samspon Davis with Lisa Frazier Page
The author is a black ER doctor in New Jersey. I enjoyed it.

Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflection on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy, MD
The author not only addressed being a black doctor in America but also the implications of race in health issues. Diagnosed at a very young age with hypertension, he uses his own experience to highlight medical issues faced, in high numbers and severity, by African Americans.

Without You There is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite by Suki Kim
Another book about North Korea. The author poses as a missionary to be able to teach at a university in Pyeongyang. The purpose of this school is to teach the North Korean elite to speak English. While her whole purpose in being in North Korea was to write this book, it does not detract from the quality. The book is primarily comprised of her observations about what happens to people when they lie all the time. Living in North Korea requires one to be able to suspend disbelief about everything from the wealth of North Korea (it is actually poor) to the military skill of the ‘great leaders’ (who actually have no military skill). Great book.

Infested: How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World by Brooke Borel
This was a great book about bedbugs, including a history. Great book. Oh and if you ever get bed bugs don’t use chemicals to get rid of them. A hand steamer is your friend.

The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew
Another father dying memoir. A lot of people raved about this book. I thought it was just ok. I think Kinew has great potential as an author he just needs to age more.

Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin by Nicole Hardy
I loved this book. It was about a woman who grew up in the Mormon church and maintained her virginity. As she moves through her 20s and into her 30s with no marriage proposals coming to her she begins to question her beliefs.

Open Heart, Open Mind by Clara Hughes
Clara Hughes had a hardscrabble childhood and deals with mental illness. Those are pretty much the takeaways of her book which seems to be of the flavour of: ‘I went here and did this’ and ‘I went there and did that’. She was an Olympic medalist in both speed skating and cycling.

My Leaky Body by Julie Devaney
The author has ulcerative colitis and it is about her journey through the medical system. I completely related to everything she addressed especially the ‘imposter’ syndrome. I honestly felt like she wrote the book for me.

Mayor Rob Ford: Uncontrollable by Mark Towhey and Johanna Schneller
The author was part of Ford’s campaign team and eventual chief of staff. He details Ford’s spiral down into crack cocaine use and alcoholism in excruciating detail. Every. Single. Detail. I would have felt sorry for Towhey except he was instrumental in getting that train-wreck elected.

Published in: on December 31, 2015 at 4:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

I’m back…maybe

On the cusp of my forties, I was just beginning what would be a decade long battle with ulcerative colitis. I was fatigued, losing blood and scared as hell of what the future held for me. I was struggling to work and do much more than just survive. I ended up taking 6 months off of work (thankfully I could get a 6-month leave when I worked for the government) hoping that would restore some health. It didn’t.

Ulcerative colitis continued to be front and centre. I was hospitalized twice in an 18-month period once because the disease was trying to kill me and the second time because the cure was worse than the disease. Add in 5 years of being bullied at work and I was a mess. I was on anti-depressants for the first time in my life. As well as a major dose of another anxiety drug. I needed to sleep a minimum of 12 hours a night and if I didn’t get it, I had a hard time functioning. Finally in August of 2013 I was off work and not sure I would ever get back.

Fast forward 16 months (not much tell about my time off work because I barely left the house) and I realized that my dream of working for myself was never going to happen. I lack the motivation to do anything unless I have a deadline. I just couldn’t impose them on myself. When I decided to start looking for work, I had to make myself work for 10 minutes on my resume per day. Thankfully it didn’t take last long and I was applying for jobs. I started one in January of 2015.

Now on the cusp of my fifties, I feel better than I have in years. I no longer need 12 hours sleep at night. I actually woke up this morning after only 8.5 hours. My hemoglobin is steadily climbing out of the low territory it has inhabited for years (anemias of chronic disease was the official diagnosis). I am almost off one of my anti-anxiety meds with no increase in anxiety episodes. I have been noticing these little changes and daring to hope they were going to add up to something big. And here we are.

Published in: on May 31, 2015 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

This is a real thing in the world: The emotional eating prevention bra

 

Is Walter White guilty of emotional eating?

Is Walter White guilty of emotional eating?

Microsoft, the company that is famous for making expensive and bad operating systems, has now decided to turn its collective hive mind to prevent the scourge of emotional eating in women by making a smart bra. Because of course us lady folk are not able to tell the difference between eating for hunger and eating because we have an emotion. According to Microsoft:

The research is based on the idea that people eat not just when they are hungry but also for a host of emotional and habitual reasons. The goal was to provide a system that could intervene before the person turns to food for emotional support.

The trope this device is pandering to is that women are so overtaken by our emotions that we need something to intervene and tell us we are emotional before we raid the refrigerator. As slaves to our emotions, we are also, apparently, slaves to eating. We don’t eat only when we are hungry, we eat to cope with all sorts of things. Here is a great example from the article:

Sally has been home from work for a few hours, and she finds herself rather bored. An application on Sally’s mobile phone has also detected that she is bored by reading her physiological state through wearable sensors. Since this mobile application has previously learned that Sally is most susceptible to emotional eating when she is bored, the application provides an intervention to distract Sally and hopefully prevent her from eating at that moment.

In this lovely example, ‘Sally’ needs some gadget to tell her that she is bored and she should not run to the kitchen for a snack. She is unable to regulate her own behaviour or have insight into it. I am sure ‘Sally’ has a fully functioning brain that can easily discern the difference between eating because she is hungry versus eating because she is bored.

Emotional eating prevention?

Emotional eating prevention?

The very idea that women need to wear a special bra that will measure our heart rate and level of perspiration to alert us that we shouldn’t eat right now as it would be for emotional reasons is ludicrous. First, the very idea that feeling complex emotions could be reduced to sensing how much we sweat or increases in our heart beat is ridiculous. A woman could be out for a walk or laughing hysterically or doing stuff around the house only to have her bra beep at her warning her against emotional eating. The idea that women’s (or men’s) emotional response could be reduced to physical symptoms is incredibly simplistic and insulting.

Conflating food intake with emotional response panders to the worst tropes about women. The idea that we are all ruled by our emotions and stuffing our faces with food as a means to cope is demeaning. This device seeks to be a solution without a bona fide problem. It casts women as beings ruled only by emotion engaging in destructive behaviour without any idea of what they are doing. I think every person (in first world countries anyway) has eaten when they are upset or bored. But this device is only being marketed to women. Interestingly to have the machine learn your emotional patterns, women would use a mobile app to “to log their mood and food intake. There were reminded via text to log emotion every hour, at least ten times per day.” So pretty much for every waking hour women would be slave to this app. This is just another, in a  long line of things, that seek to make women tractable thereby reducing our effectiveness in our professions and other activities.

The other message contained her is that it is only women who engage in inappropriate emotional eating. There is no companion her and his devices; no boxers or ‘tighty whiteys’ with the same device.* Or perhaps the developers think that it is only people with boobs who have an emotional eating problem.

There are so many messages women receive on a daily basis that tell us we are not good enough, thin enough, beautiful enough nor smart enough. Now we need wear a special bra that will connect with our phones to deliver yet another message of how we don’t measure up. This device is yet another thing to police women ensuring that we are slaves to self-improvement lest we take our energy and focus it somewhere else like challenging the very structures and messages that keep us down.

The one sliver of hope here is that the device is being developed by Microsoft. The chances of it actually working as advertised are slim. And, even if it sort of works Microsoft will update the operating system and eliminate the ‘Start Button.’

*As I am writing this, I am getting a vision of Walter White in Breaking Bad in the first couple of episodes where he strips off his pants and cooks meth in his underwear. I can just imagine him wearing one of these devices as he is sweating in the New Mexico heat and his device going off, reminding him to log his food and emotional state while it is telling him that he needs to put the Cheetos down because he is emotional right now!

Published in: on December 9, 2013 at 2:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Dispatches from The Swamp – the ‘NaBloPoMo wrap up’

I have done NaBloPoMo almost every year since I started blogging in 2007. I have to say that this year was the most challenging by far. I suspect that not feeling well and coping with the emotional fall out of being bullied and then losing my job for complaining made it much more difficult. That being said, I am happy I stuck with it and managed a post every day in November.

I am hoping to keep some of the momentum going. I will attempt to blog at least once a week going forward. I may highlight some more of my cooking adventures as I enjoy writing up those posts. Of course the dogs will also figure prominently. I am also anticipating an uptick in the political postings with all the scandals going on and a federal election in 2015. There is also the BC provincial leadership race coming up soon. And I am sure Rob Ford is not done yet!

Thanks to all my readers for sticking with me through November. If there are any topics you would like me to cover in upcoming posts please let me know in the comments. Topic suggestions are always appreciated!

Published in: on November 30, 2013 at 1:49 pm  Comments (1)  

Dispatches from The Swamp – the ‘EWM edition’

 

Derek Hough and Amber Riley

Derek Hough and Amber Riley

 

This is day 4 of of prednisone for me. I really struggle when I have to take this drug – it ramps up my anxiety like crazy and makes me very emotional. Yesterday I was in tears when my GI doc’s office called and suggested an emergency scope for next week. I don’t need another colonoscopy. In fact, it was the one I had in April that seemed to start this all off. I was also under increased stress at work starting then as well so it is hard to know what to blame for sure. Being bullied certainly makes it worse. Losing my job as a result of the complaint I made about the bully definitely ramped things up more. I was so sick in September, I could hardly eat. I don’t know what the answer is but I am getting sick of being so sick all the time.

We have been going swimming at our local pool in the last couple of months. Both of us love it and it is such good exercise. The only thing that annoys me about the pool are these old, entitled white men (EWM). They stare at us and make us feel quite uncomfortable. Today, we were treated to one of the most annoying EWMs to date. He seemed to relish going up and down the pool with his flutter board kicking his feet above the water to let everyone know he was there. I suspect he missed that lesson where you are taught to kick under the water. Even the life guard was eyeing him funny. Today we also tried out the other pool. It is much warmer and has this amazing water fall that gives the most amazing massage. I just stood there moving my shoulders all around. It felt so good!

Stevie Ray is doing so well. She has learned to sleep through the night without making a mess so we graduated her from the x-pen to a crate in our bedroom. We tend to sleep longer hours than normal so the fact that she can hold her bladder all night is a huge step forward. It has also improved her toilet training overall. She also regulates her food intake; she doesn’t eat more than she needs. This is so different from the  starved, neglected rescued dogs to which we are more accustomed. Quite often those dogs come here and think they have gone to heaven and gain weight. It really demonstrates the difference between a healthy puppy and a rescued dog who has been through hell. Every once in a while it is nice to be reminded that healthy dogs do exist.

So Amber Riley won Dancing with the Stars. I am finding it interesting that the usual flood of post victory blogs and news stories are very quiet. Is it because Amber is a fat, African-American? She certainly did not fit the mould of the usual DWTS star winners. I think she has done so much for young women who have now witnessed one of their own, who probably looks more like them than they look like Kellie Pickler (last season’s winner).

Published in: on November 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,