psalm_onethirtyone: (jesting)
We just found out that my uncle has prostate cancer, which is what both his father and my grandfather died of. The doctors think that because he is pretty young and they caught it pretty early he should be fine, but I know he is really nervous about it anyway. I would really like to solicit prayers and good-wishes for him, since he is basically the living incarnation of Good Guy Greg and truly wonderful person.

I finished my commission -- I was actually rather pleased, as it was ordered by someone who contacted the gallery that dropped my stuff because it wasn't selling, so for revenge I bored the director of the gallery by talking about pig breeds for half an hour when I handed it in.

I'll be back at school on Sunday, which I'm looking forward to. Real internet again! It's so exciting!

I'm still figuring out this DreamWidth thing. I will get it someday!
psalm_onethirtyone: (Annie with Red Hair)
Three more poems. There's only one other one besides these, but Friday is the last editing day, so I haven't quite finished it yet.

Death )

*this poem is a re-imagining (not really a rewrite; but it's based off the same poem) of a poem I wrote two years ago called "Swan Song". Which is here, if you're interested in contrasting (I thought it was interesting).


Warning, I guess: this is a poem about trans* people, and it's a bit more graphic than my usual; there's mention of rape and suicide and trans* people being killed. Every death in this poem is based on a real thing that happened; the second stanza deaths were both news items I was made aware of.

Six Ways I Don't Have to Die )


Diane )
psalm_onethirtyone: (Narwhals Narwhals Swimmin' in the Ocean)
This summer, as I'm pretty sure I wrote, my advisor's son was killed by a drunk driver. I wrote him a card at the time to tell him how sorry I was; I didn't really know what to say (what do you say to a parent who's just lost his child?), but I had been working with a lot of people at the time who had lost children, and I wanted to say something.

He didn't say anything about it when I got back to school, so I really just assumed that he didn't want to -- I know when people comment on my really emotional posts I rarely know what to say, and usually end up not answering, but always being glad on the comfort that people offer, so I figured it was like that. He's mentioned his son once or twice in class, and I always feel sad, but certainly don't say anything.

Anyway, to-day I checked my mail for about the first time in a month, and there was a note from him thanking me. And he included a picture of the beach where they scattered his son's ashes. And I just stood there in the post office and cried, because -- I can't imagine. I can't imagine how big and terrible it would be. Scattering my grandparents' ashes was, in a way, easy to do, because they both lived long, full lives and I had plenty of time to make peace with their deaths. But to lose your oldest child right after he'd graduated from college, when you hadn't seen him in a year, and to have to give him back to the earth -- I just can't even begin to quantify how much grief you might feel. I just can't.

This kind of thing makes everything, especially me, feel really small. I wish I could do so much more to make things better, but my own power is so limited. In a way it makes me know that hospice is the right place for me, and in a way I feel bad even saying that because this isn't about me at all.

I guess what I wanted to say here was how moved I am that he took the time to write me a note and share the picture with me, which he didn't have to do at all, and I'm just so sorry.
psalm_onethirtyone: (This is My Way out of This)
So... this metaquotes post. I have feelings.

I have worked in nursing homes and had experience with hospice since I was fourteen, and I think -- I think the OP's point is something that I have noticed all the time, which is that people get tired sometimes and run out of emotional resources. All the time I have told folks about respite care by explaining that while it's great that they are taking care of their loved ones, and that it's a beautiful measure of their love, almost everybody gets worn out sometimes, and when that happens, it's okay to take a break. Respite care, for example, is provided by some hospices as the opportunity to let the hospice take over the patient care for a week or a month before you resume it, and it can be such a big deal for patients in helping them avoid resentment or having nervous breakdowns themselves. The same is true of putting folks in nursing homes. Sometimes the emotional burden is just too much, not to mention the degree of specialised care, and that is o. kay.

I have had friends who left me because they couldn't deal with my mental illnesses. I understand why they did, because as incredibly difficult as it was for me, I believe it was pretty hard for them, too, watching me suffer and feeling helpless to do anything. I don't think they're bad people. I think some folks are cut out to provide constant emotional care, and some aren't, and the folks who aren't shouldn't be punished and reviled for that fact. Not everybody is an empath. That's just a fact.

My aunt couldn't take care of my grandparents when they got dementia/Alzheimer's. It wasn't that she didn't love them any more, it was that she was so incredibly broken down at feeling that they weren't her parents any more, that their memories of being her parents were gone. For my mother, she was devastated, but she was still able to care for them. It's really an individual emotional makeup thing, and you can't force yourself to be able to cope with terrible situations if you aren't that kind of person. Also, some people need to mature emotionally before they can handle big stuff -- when I was thirteen I refused to visit my dying grandmother or go to her viewing because I was terrified of death and I wasn't capable of dealing with the reality of it. Now, if I could do it over, I would have done those things, because dying people don't frighten me any more, but I don't think my younger self was a bad person. Just somebody who wasn't ready at that time.

At the same time, I do understand the anger at feeling abandoned when you've gotten sick. The friends I talked about before, at the time I was pretty angry with and hurt by; the zenness has come with time and a better understanding of how people's emotional resources work. ALSO, I think it's okay for me to feel angry and to acknowledge their feelings; there's nothing wrong with feelings, as long as you act on them appropriately (as we taught the kids in our kindergarten conflict management classes last year!); I can feel abandoned and understand why it happened at the same time.

Anyway, I'm posting this here because the comments to that post are kind of a clusterfuck and there's a fair amount of blame being thrown around, but. Everybody suffers, and they deal with it in different ways. You have to expect that.

The dying process is often much more difficult and complicated than the actual occurrence of death. That's why I want to be a hospice pastor; I want to be able to help families deal with their reactions, as well as to be spiritually available for the folks who are dying.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Cascade Pond)
Tuesday's New York Times science section had an article this week on old people getting plastic surgery. That, coupled with my post from Tuesday, has led me to a rather icky discovery of something I did admittedly kind of already know. Which is that we kind of have this ideal, in America -- I don't know how it is in other cultures, having dog-paddled but never really been immersed in any other than American -- that old people are supposed to be adorable grandparents.

Old ladies are supposed to be tiny and do knitting, or fat and do baking, and old men are supposed to whittle things and dispense pithy pieces of wisdom and fix neighbourhood bikes. They're allowed to be lonely, but only so they can adopt small children as honourary grandchildren or be used to shame us generally into spending more time with our own old people. If they're bad-tempered or put their makeup on all over their faces or have to wear Attends or sag in random places, we turn them into the subjects of honestly very mean-spirited comedy.

And I'm not trying to say that everybody needs to go out and adopt some isolated nursing-home inmate, but really I think it's wrong both to idealise old age or to make fun of it. Idealising it removes us from all the problems that come with getting old and also makes it look like people who don't fit the ideal are defective -- hence, I think, things like old-person plastic surgery. I mean, Jesus Christ, this one woman in the article spent seventy-seven thou on facelifts to get rid of wrinkles and implants to cope with sagging breasts. She's eighty. At eighty, people should not have to focusing on this kind of thing. I cannot even count all the better ways to spend that money to enrich one's own life or someone else's. And at the same time this whole "lol let's as a culture shame old people and send them the message that once you are old your usefulness has ended and you should keep out of sight" thing is absolutely heinous.

The thing is, old people are just like everybody else, in that they deserve to be treated with respect. Whether they bake you apple pies and tell stories of their children, or have Alzheimer's and scream at you and refuse to bathe or -- like one old lady I visited while I was working -- have to be talked out of suicide. I've really kind of run the spectrum of old person personality types; I've had an adorable old man who wanted me to meet his cat and showed me around his house and called his wife "Mom", I've had a hilarious old lady with MS who was wheelchair-bound and showed me how to lift her from her chair to her toilet, I had an old man who was totally bedridden and with whom I communicated through really patchy hand signals, and an old lady who threatened to punch me while I was giving her her bath. And every single one of them deserved my respect and the best care I could give them, by virtue of being human beings. And I really hope that's how I've carried myself throughout this summer, and how I do for the rest of my life, because that's not just true of old people, it's true of everyone.

Which is not to say it wasn't hilarious when my one old gentleman had me burn a bonfire made of used Depends, or when Audrey (my Wednesday client) stole the dated brick from a condemned schoolhouse down the street from her apartment (actually, Audrey always does something funny when I visit. ♥ She makes me squee).

In other, non-soapboxy news, I stopped by Michael's to-day to enjoy my new and undoubtedly brief period of solvency. It's been about a whole week since I was over, so they already have about eleven-thousand new products in the scrapbooking section, and I was amazed and ... hilarified? amused is too gentle a word, I think. Hilarified to find that you can now buy adhesive metal gears and keys for your scrapbooking or cardmaking projects. At this point, I'm starting to think that 'steampunkery' should be a word in much the same way 'fuckery' is. I may start using it. "What kind of steampunkery is this?" I will say, staring in disbelief at the fact that you can now buy tiny watch faces as embellishments. They discontinued my goddamn copper pearlised dots that I use for eyes, but they've started producing tiny glitter-covered top hats and monocles that are already adhesive-backed.

Naturally I eschewed this silliness and instead managed to spend seventy-five dollars (!!!!) on scrapbook paper and cake glitter, and that embellished tape I've had my eye on for about six months now. >_>

I also went to Target and discovered that it is nearly impossible to find a black, wire-free bra in 38B. Did you know that there are a lot of black, wire-free bras in the nursing section? There are. There are a lot fewer in regular. But I got to embarrass a teenage male cashier by buying bras and underpants, and I found The Most Beautiful Scarf in the World, which I purchased because of its aesthetic qualities and also I love scarves and also it helps me pretend winter is NOW DAMMIT.

To-morrow I work at the library, and Saturday we are going to our vacation in the mountains. I look forward to sitting in the sun by the lake doing crossword puzzles and reading all day, as well as the greased-watermelon water polo that has become something of a family tradition. Also Maria's birthday! I finished her calender and everything. :D

I would say that to-day was a success.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Cascade Pond)

1. Wahhhh it's still hot I can't focus blah blah I hate hot weather I am currently sleeping on my parents' floor because they bought a small air conditioner for their room because it's HOT. Also the floor is not very comfy, trufax.

2. Wahhh I have been working for the last seven days straight and I will be working to-morrow as well, but Tuesday is my day off and I am going to spend ALL. DAY. in my parents' room watching Twin Peaks in the A/C. Unless I take myself out for lunch, but that will still be to an air-conditioned diner. AND THEN I WILL BE WORKING AGAIN ON WEDNESDAY. I-- yeah. I know some of y'all on my flist work a lot harder than I do, but this whole eight-days-in-a-row-8-hour-shifts-plus-one-12-hour-one thing is killing me. A lot. I just want some time to myself to fool around and take care of my keets and my poults and my fish and my hermit crabs!

3. Twin Peaks is really awesome, though. So great. I really want to read the T.V. Tropes page, but I refuse to spoil it for myself ahead of time. Which... I am the kind of person who reads the last page of murder mysteries first, so I am really feelin' it on this series.

4. Country music. Maaaan, I do like country music. Anyway, I just wanted to remark, apropos of country music, that "Hyundai" is not. pronounced. "hunday". FTLOG. Anyway, they keep playing my favourites on my way to work -- Thompson Square and Josh Turner and Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire -- and I just want to state for the record that I'm not ashamed of enjoying it. I mean, I'm not always in the mood for country, but I do think it makes really good commute music. I can listen to pretentious indie stuff at night while I'm writing poetry.

Also, regarding country music, [ profile] raanve, I found old!Lanselos' song. It's Toby Keith's "I Ain't As Good as I Once Was". Just check it out. :D

5. I am having ~feelings~ about some stuff, but I think that belongs in a locked post because a) ~feelings~ and b) boring introspection is boring. However, I will say that I tend to forget just how... mental illness phobic?... people can be, and it's very jarring to be reminded sometimes.

6. Thursday = surgery day! Woo! That means I get the day off! Now I just need it to stop being so goddamn hot, and we're good.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Annie with Red Hair)
1. What do you do when someone you consider a pretty good friend keeps talking about stuff you have explicitly said is triggering to you, even when you have asked her to stop? (i.e. you said "ilu but please stop telling me about how much weight you're losing, how much fat is in the food I eat, etc" and she said "but I want you to be healthy" and went on talking about it? even after you said "hi EATING DISORDER"?)

2. On Celexa now. Haven't picked up the scrip yet, though.

3. Have three papers left for the semester (1 3-pager, 1-5/7-pager, 1 10/15-pager), three exams, and a story to write. Was going to do the short paper to-day, but feeling kind of too depressed atm, so maybe I will go watch bad horror for a bit. Thursday is LAS, so we get a day off--good time to get stuff done. As is to-morrow.

psalm_onethirtyone: (Found Myself!)
I'm beginning to feel tentatively more optimistic, although the last few weeks have made me somewhat cautious of that feeling and my brain doesn't exactly know if it should relax yet (answer: NO. NEVER RELAX).

My schedule for senior year had me in a complete panic, but then I thought, "Look, every time I see my advisor, not only does he treat me like a person who has just as much likelihood of having a life and career as someone without a mental illness, he also tends to have an excellent objective perspective and is really good at sorting out the tangles I wind myself into". So I met with him to-day, and lo and behold in an hour he had neatly pointed out the problems I created and helped me fix them. The only thing we couldn't do was find the final upper-level credit required for me to graduate, and he solved that by creating an independent study just for me. It just so happens to be something he's fascinated by and wants to study more, too. :D :D :D

Something that I just-- I don't even know how to word it, but it makes me feel so calm and secure when I'm explaining a problem to him, because people tend to tell me, "Look, you can be someone, but first you have to be well," and that panics me, because I'm not sure that I ever will be. Inevitably, he acts like it doesn't matter if I'm sick or well--the only issue is finding ways to make life make concessions to my illness, and not vice-versa. And that is just so unbelievably reassuring to me that I can't believe it. He makes me feel like no matter what, the things I want to do are possible.

Anxiety too bad to let you go abroad for a semester? Easy! Go abroad on a shorter, two-week, class trip with a professor and students you already know. You get the abroad experience and you'll have a responsible adult to help you do self-checks mentally.

Not possible to take an extra semester to graduate? Easy! Drop this course and this course, you don't actually need them, sub in this one-credit course, and I'll make you an independent study! Good to go.

Might have to take some time off to go to the hospital? Easy! Be here when you get back.

He just does this, and I don't feel like I'm imposing because he always acts like it's totally a normal part of the trajectory of life and there's nothing out of the ordinary about any of these things, and it just absolutely kills me. But in a good way. Having this man for an advisor was one of the best choices I ever made here, for sure.

In other news, I slept over with [ profile] the_chloroplast and [ profile] skyerana last night, and it was really nice. We watched bad films and Arielle played Prince of Persia and made fun of it hilariously. Also, Liz asked me to dinner to-night; and I had an hour and a half long talk on Skype with Jen. I am still feeling really ginger around my friends, and fairly nervous, but they are really great friends, and I'm really fortunate, and I hope that will help me to relax soon.

Also, I am going to kidnap [ profile] raanve and steal her away from her husband. She doesn't know this, but I am.

(I have two papers to write, but I also owe [ profile] eremon_lass Percy/Gawain. I WONDER WHICH ONE GETS DONE TO-NIGHT.)
psalm_onethirtyone: (Found Myself!)
Spiritual renewal comes in the fact that my [ profile] mhari is the best [ profile] mhari in the whole world (that's right, it's better than yours, damn right, it's better than yours) and sent me the best box in the whole world.

Also I sold ten of my pieces at the art gallery, which = money, and I was accepted into the India winter break Conflict Resolution study abroad programme, which is a three-week programme monitored by two professors I really like, which makes me feel a lot safer about it.

And I kind of hate my Comm professor but I realised I'm not the only one who feels that way, and I realised that my Sosh professor is really exemplified by this metaquote, which makes me feel a lot better; I really like understanding people's motivations, both from an analytic point of view and because it helps me brain that the issue is not me personally (since I am extremely prone to interalise and personalise everything). My Sosh professor is really really quick to call things racism, but she is also a black woman living in a predominantly white central Pennsylvania neighbourhood, so there's probably been a whole lot of accidental tramping on a broken foot. That said, it was frustrating that she repeatedly accused Southerners of hating Jews and being anti-Semitic (imo, it's more that Jewish folks tend to live in big Northern cities, which are exactly the kind of environment Southern folks tend to distrust, although I grant you that there is probably a religious undercurrent as well for a number of folks), as well as the fact that she pretty much said that her white PhD'd neighbour was scared of her for being a black woman despite the fact that the only interaction she described was them saying hi to each other in the morning on their respective walks, and that this fear was only alleviated when she told the woman that she was also a PhD when they met in the grocery store and woman was all "HI! :D We're neighbours and I've totally never said hi, I'm Dr. So-and-so". From her description there was absolutely no evidence of racism (or any reason why the woman would think she was the maid for some theoretical people who lived in her house, or be scared of her because sometimes she drank a bottle of beer on her front porch), but obviously there may have been stuff she left out because it seemed obvious to her. ANYWAY. My point is, there were a lot of assumptions made in to-day's class, but I feel like I kind of get the context for those assumptions, at least to a degree (Sosh professor is from the Bronx until a few years ago, which probably doesn't help with not being suspicious of white people--o hey, I made an assumption of my own), so that helped me be less frustrated.

And I talk a lot about sociological things, ohai. Just wait until my ramble on the subject of Why Is My Cross Okay But That Dude's Shirt With A Bible Verse Makes You Mad?, coming shortly to a self-indulgent livejournal post near you.

Anyway, I'm feeling pretty good for now, although I really need to edit Maria's logic paper.
psalm_onethirtyone: (You Done Good)
A few things:

1. I posted this on my facebook, but I will repost it because I like fussing about religion. hackedirl posted this image to-day, but see, I don't thing it really counts as a hack, because it basically IS a paraphrase of John 7:37-38 ("Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”") I think this might make me an appalling nerd (not least because when I saw it I immediately command-T'd a new tab, popped open my bible search engine, entered the verse, and did a comparison). But really!

2. To-day (or yesterday, whatever) is National Coming Out Day. I came out as bisexual to some people, because that is the easy way of putting it, and as a biromantic Kinsey 4.5 to facebook, because that is what I tell people in real life, but in actual fact I am probably a panromantic polyamorous homosexual, so isn't that nice. Coming Out Day is not my best day ever.

3. To-morrow (or to-day) is AVED (Asexuality Awareness and Education Day)! Since I have at least four friends who are ace, and I'm pretty sure my sister is, I would like to take this moment to say that you are required to do a shot of whatever you have handy any time someone asks "does asexual mean they BUD?". It wasn't funny the first time, it's not funny the umpty-squillionth. Just for reference.

4. Forgot to go to the doctor's to-day, migraine has come back to punish me. I am rather annoyed. Anyway I have two midterm exams this week, one in Accounting and one in Comm, and sadly I think I'm going to be fine with the Accouting and fail the Comm, because my Comm professor is a very cheerful madwoman. Also, haven't gotten back my Sosh midterm because the professor had a death in the family (which is an extremely good reason not to hand back midterms) and I get my ConRes one to-morrow, but the upside of all this is that the only class I currently know my grade in is Psych, and I'm getting a C+. So that's all very depressing, but at least I've only had to take one panic attack pill so far since getting them two weeks ago.

5. Despite a lot of these points being kind of whiny, I'm in a really good mood. I spent the evening with Liz watching Paranormal Activity, which is a deliciously terrible film, and I borrowed her Nutella to make sandwiches. Now if I can just get some decent sleep I think things will be okay.

6. FALL BREAK IS FRIDAY. I am taking Liz, Amanda, Joyce, and [ profile] isjusterin home with me. Tres, tres excited, especially because the first two are from Long Island and Joyce is from city-Taiwan. I am hoping to culture-shock the hell out of this weekend. It will be great.
psalm_onethirtyone: (He Does Not)
Originally posted by [ profile] neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

This is not okay, not in our world.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Men Behaving Stupidly)
Fff here is the letter I sent to Res Life. I am hoping it is basically professional:

Mr. [redacted],

I am writing regarding the issue of [redacted], the transgendered woman who is currently not allowed to use the female restrooms on campus. I really would like to express that I think this is appalling. [Redacted] may not be biologically female, but she is attempting to transition into a lifestyle that is appropriate to the gender she identifies with. Just as I would find it incredibly uncomfortable to be told that I was not a real woman and could only use male restrooms and showers, she is uncomfortable, and is feeling that there is a sense of stigma and insufficiency beginning to surround her and her identity. Transgendered folks are already marginalised by society and told that they are not "real" men and women because they don't happen to be lucky enough to have a biological sex that matches their gender identity. When we support that marginalisation and discriminatory culture we enhance feelings of shame and inability to fit in, and make people put their lives on hold while we--the privileged people in the conflict--argue over whether or not we are willing to concede civil rights to people who deserve them by virtue of being people.

Please consider that while it seems like a small issue to us cis folks because we can use whatever bathroom we want without even having to think about it, to a trans person this is a really big deal--a part of their identity is being completely denied. Small things like this are what lead to escalations in the larger society when we label people's differences with negative connotations. I know that Res Life is trying to resolve the issue appropriately, but I think that as members of a purportedly forward-thinking college and as decent human beings we cannot just "hide" our trans students off-campus or pretend that their gender identity is irrelevant. [Redacted] deserves the rights and consideration of any other student, woman, and person.

Thank you for your time,

I think this is okay? I am bad at writing angry letters. Incidentally, the student mentioned in this e-mail is currently facing suspension for using the women's restrooms/showers, and that Res Life has tried to fix the problem by offering her off-campus housing, which she feels would be not actually solving the problem. Also I think I am hoping that this letter reflects both some familiarity with transgendered issues and the fact that I am taking Interpersonal Comm and Conflict Resolution this semester (I want to be able to communicate!).

Anyway, it took me a whole damn hour to write and that is why I am not in bed like I want to be, so now that OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS HAVE INCONVENIENCED ME!!11!, I am going to try to get some sleep for once. >_> To-morrow is poetry day! yay!
psalm_onethirtyone: (Found Myself!)
Last Tuesday I learned that my preschool teacher, Miss Stacy, was held at gunpoint and sexually assaulted on her wedding day.

In response, she started an agency that provides assistance to victims of trauma, from helping a Iraq war veteran with PTSD find counselling after the death of two of his children in a fire on Christmas, to finding a foster home for an abused baby, to providing medical care for a mentally retarded homeless man some folks found in a truck in the woods last winter. One of her biggest goals is to get her clients to a point where they can join in the helping: thus the veteran offered his spare camper as a temporary home for the homeless man while the agency found a place for him to live.

So, people are pretty amazing, I guess.

She offered me a volunteer position. It's a forty-five minute drive, but I kind of think I should take it. You know? There's not a whole lot of time left in the summer, and it seems like it might be more important to do this than to sit in on Daphne's meetings in her air-conditioned office two days a week. And it was such a coincidence to meet her--went with Daphne to talk about ways to get money/support/useful information for a shelter for domestic violence victims in Perry County, since Miss Stacy has been running her agency for a long time and knows who to contact and what's feasible and what's not (she even knows which restaurants will give leftover food/free food to people if the Food Bank is unavailable and was hooking someone up with one such restaurant when we came in), and she just happened to recognise me--anyway, if it weren't such a tricky theological thingy and a statement that makes me seriously uncomfortable, I might be tempted to say it was purposeful.

Which, granted, it is so hard to know what is just ordinary life coincidence and what is God saying HEY YOU DO THAT OKAY. There are never any angels or sparkles, which would make it SO much easier. But.

Should I give up my internship to volunteer with this agency, or should I keep the internship since it is providing some practical experience and will certainly look good on my resume?
psalm_onethirtyone: (Only Time Gold Doesn't Sink)
This evening I decided, for reasons unclear, that the way to be a stellar houseguest would be to have a major OCD meltdown all over [ profile] mhari's room. The only reason we are still friends is because she has a remarkable lot of patience and because her mother threw me out when the room was only about fifty percent cleaned.

On the other hand, we went to the beach on Monday, where I found this lovely specimen of crabhood and sat around in tidepools.

I'm feeling kind of weird--I'm not really sure where I am, mentally. I feel very lonely, in a way, like I'm terrified of everyone forgetting about me over the summer while I'm not around (for example Liz, and [ profile] the_chloroplast), and also people online, especially people who I want to be good friends with but am for-ever having anxiety over (like [ profile] tulipmonster, who I want to like me but who I am convinced sits around wondering when I will die already). I feel like I could be in a better state of mind, but on the other hand I'm not depressed, so--idk, be grateful for what I have? In the general scheme of things, anxiety is easier to deal with than depression (for me).

I'm also having a lot of anxiety nightmares and a lot of just random like--lying awake at night thinking of all the things that could potentially go disastrously wrong. Like I sit in my bed and think about all the ways my father could die (I think this is being triggered by Nana and Granddad just dying, and by [ profile] mhari's father dying, because he was pretty much my second dad, and it's made my anxious self hypersensitive to the possibility, I think?), or how I don't want to drive any more because I'm afraid I'll hit one of the cats, or how if I pick up Perci I could drop him and he's so delicate he'd just shatter. I will run through a good twenty or so of these scenarios just while I'm trying to fall asleep, and then I'll have even more anxiety because I'm worrying about whether worrying about stuff will make it come true. And not all of it is stuff that's grounded in reality, either--I think about how the house could collapse or I start to wonder whether I left the stove on and the house is going to burn down in the night or-- And so on, ad finitum, pretty much constantly. And any little noise or anything of that sort jerks me wide awake because I immediately connect it with one of the scenarios I've been worrying about and then I have to calm myself down until I can relax enough to sleep, and it's driving me crazy.

I've also started getting the daily headaches again, and that whole mess has been going off and on for over a year now, of terrible headaches in this icky swimmy place between a normal headache and a migraine (I've only had like two true migraines, and these are definitely not that bad), which last all day and cannot be chased off by painkillers. The problem with them is that I end up taking a lot more aspirin than is good for my system in an attempt to dull them at least. I'm starting to think that I should talk to a doctor possibly. <--and this of course is triggering my anxiety even further (what if I have a brain tumour? what if I have encephalitis? &c &c &c).

tl;dr my anxiety is worse than usual and my head hurts. Also, I like to whine.

But I do like it here, and I'm sorry I have to go home on Thursday. [ profile] mhari is pretty much my favourite person ever.
psalm_onethirtyone: (God Dammit)
There is a LOT of healthy white male[1] privilege happening in my philosophy class right now. Like, a LOT. I'm starting to feel a little squicky.

Seriously, one of the guys just said that Darwin would endorse removing black people from the gene pool because their IQs aren't as high as those of white people. And the word 'retard' is getting bandied about quite a lot, as well.

I honestly think that when you start talking about social fitness and social Darwinism and people who 'should' be removed from the gene pool you are edging dangerously close to a certain twentieth century view held by a Very Bad Man.

I kind of want to duct tape a lot of people's mouths shut right now.

[1]none of the girls are talking, they may have healthy white privilege too, don't ask me.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Gross Things are Cool!)
I'm sitting in Maria's classroom here at Del Val, watching Food, Inc. We've only watched the chicken part so far, but I am never eating again.

Just so you know.

Edit: In the corn part now. AHHHHH.

Edit: Almost done with the bit on salmonella/e.coli/feedlots. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. WHAT THE HELL, AMERICA.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Narwhals Narwhals Swimmin' in the Ocean)
Have been studying anthropology this semester, and have noticed two overwhelming attitudes in this field, at least as far as our teacher (who shares said attitudes) has chosen to expose to us:

First, dramatic fatphobia--the number of articles we've read in which cultures are praised because the people in them are skinny, or the devastating effects of white influence were summed up with "AND THEN PEOPLE GOT FAT OH NOES" is really squicky to me. Really? Really? Moreover, there is a definite trend of 'and all European societies are evil because they eat processed food and have bad teeth and teh fat'. I will grant that processed food is bad for you, but I think that making a value judgement about a culture based on the food they eat is really ridiculous. I don't think anyone I know is a bad person for eating at McDonald's, even though I think the food from McDonald's is disgusting. The plain fact is you are not what you eat, and the implication that Europeans brought processed food to various tribal peoples and TURNED THEM FAT OHGOD is just. What.

(please note that I'm not endorsing the idea that European culture has deeply influenced tribal culture and caused tribal cultures to change significantly, including in their eating. Again, I just don't think this tone of disdain towards European culture for their food choices is appropriate.)

Second, romanticism of band cultures. Our professor is hardcore in love with band societies, and basically spends ridiculous quantities of time talking about how much better they are than any other society, and some of our readings have definitely enforced this point of view. Once again, cultures are cultures. They have good and bad aspects, but you can't really assign value judgements to them as a whole. They just are.

Plus she (and, again, some of the texts) are just so in love with the idea that tribal peoples are more innocent and natural and attuned to the earth that some days it is like sitting in on an hour of James Cameron's Avatar at goddamn eight in the morning, and I am just not okay with that.

And if I sound touchy about this, it's because yesterday I had to listen to an hour-long lecture about how we all suck because of what we eat. YOU TERRIBLE PEOPLE AND YOUR SATURATED FATS. Goddammit I'll be in my corner with my chickens and my piggies and my screw you.

Anyway, has anyone else experienced this in anthropology? FWIW, there was a large focus on Maori people and how European New Zealanders corrupted them with cavities.
psalm_onethirtyone: (This is My Way out of This)
I am dealing with two things right now; one is really annoying and the other is probably a good thing. So. I will make navel-gazing livejournal posts.

First of all, I am currently holding the position of being one of the only religious people in my group of friends. For the most part this isn't a problem. I am not the kind of Christian who has an interest in the conversion of others, and in general my friends are not the kind of people who look down on Christians. But--and this is the thing that is really frustrating me--we do not appear to have established that just because I find some religious humour humourous I will not get offended if people make offencive religious jokes.

I mean, I don't want to seem humourless and unable to deal with the issues inherent in my religion. But there are jokes that are funny and there are jokes that are outright upsetting to me, and a couple of my friends are apparently neither able to make that distinction nor to read my body language and interpret from it that I am not finding the situation funny. It's really awkward, too, because I don't want to get up in anybody's face and say "Hey, excuse me, that's not funny to me," but I also don't feel comfortable listening to some of this stuff. And God knows I have tried just leaving the table, but, again, apparently my body language is not clear enough, because these same people are not making that connexion.

Moreover, beyond humour, I am dealing with the fact that a lot of people are kind of bringing their grievances with Christianity to me (I think as a combination of my being religion and having a Judeo-Christian religious major [for anybody who's not aware, I changed my major to pre-seminary last semester!]), and expecting me to answer bigtime philosophical and religious questions and discrepancies within Christianity, and then having one of two reactions: either reacting as if my explanation is not good enough and as if, since my explanation isn't good enough, I should accept the inherent pointlessness of my religion and admit that it is stupid; or immediately countering all my explanations with Biblical studies that I already know about and treating me as though I know nothing about religion despite the fact that it is, you know, my major.

I haven't hit anybody yet, but I am starting to get really, really twitchy.

(And this isn't even touching on the people--not friends, luckily--who have expressed the opinion that because I am Christian and hope to be a priest at some future point, I am obligated to hate gay people, liberal people, minority groups, and sex, and also that it is not possible for me to secretary of the gay/straight alliance here on campus [which I am] or to believe in scientific theories like evolution [which I do], and that it is funny to make offencive religious comments solely to be offencive, which isn't actually offencive to me because I am not invested in them. >_> The reason it bothers me when my friends do it is because they're my friends.)

The other thing that I want to navelgaze about is going under a cut for ED triggers )

Also also: I managed to find a temporary therapist until mine comes back. She seems nice. We have our first meeting Tuesday. She got my name right on the first try! Best of all, she is FREE. Ha ha ha.

Also also also, I bought myself a Bruce Springsteen CD. It was only five dollars! >_>
psalm_onethirtyone: (Stella Potens et Mira)
A sentence I love, and which I am about to chop out of my essay because it doesn't fit in:

"And is that salvation, or its allegorical rendering, really a kind of cosmic security blanket to reassure us that we won’t just vanish like spent stars when we die?"


psalm_onethirtyone: (Default)

January 2012

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