Monday, March 10, 2008

All things are made new: including a goal

Today I went out in my wheelchair and the bulbs were starting to come out and I thought to myself: “Elizabeth, it is spring, and you are alive.”
Yes, things could be better and yes, I seem to be missing one beat out of every 15 which feels like a horse is kicking you with oxygen depro but I cannot forget the basics. The book of proverbs (or Ecc.) says, “It is better to be a live dog, than a dead lion.” So also it is better to be a live Elizabeth on whatever medical support than it is to not see the bulbs coming up, or the crows hoping after me for treats (I think it was eyeballs they were hoping for – I was stopping an awful long time).

I made a promise to myself, that every season, be it summer, winter or fall, I would say to myself, “Elizabeth it is Summer 2008 and you are still alive!” You see, when my home care person for overnight we advised them that I was missing quite a few beats of my heart.

“Oh,” they asked, “So how do you fix that then…?”

Linda and I looked at each other. “Um…...think positive and hope I don’t die during the night.”

“Oh, I’ve had people die on me.” The worker assured me, “I’ve had them die.”

I told her, “You might not want to use that as your opener; how about, if you THINK I’m going to die, you call the ambulance.”

“Yeah, sure, sure, I can do that to.”

So, you see, on the bad hours and days, it is easy to think about the next heartbeat and miss the picture that, yeah, I made it, though pretty much based on no power of my own, to Spring 2008. I celebrate because I LIKE being alive. I do. And I should try to remember and celebrate that a bit more. Yeah, times suck, but I am still alive.

Today, from Recreation and Integration came the general meeting letter. This is the group which organizes activities for people with disabilities including severe disabilities like me, and how they too can do some form of recreation. The main speaker for their annual meeting is talking about a trek they took to the Base Camp at Everest. I showed it to my day worker and she thought that was pretty damn insulting. I thought it wasn’t very respectful to or representative of the majority of us who use the services of Rec. Integration. You know, those same people who plan activities for US and who seem to think that hearing about someone trekking to Everest is going to cheer us up. Even if the person has a disability, that would seem to fall under the extreme “plucky crip” category. And quite honestly, why would they give that talk (I wouldn't)? "Hey, I trekked to Everest but you can.......sit in a sailboat while someone else steers (the main activity of Rec. Integration)."

Oh well, I am alive and NOT freezing my butt off at Everest. Hooray! Plus, I have a NEW goal. I want to go to the 2009 Sakuracon! It is the Giant Manga three day event in Seattle, usually in early march. So, yeah, it is a WHOLE year away. That means a “Hooray Summer”, “Hooray Fall”, and “Hooray Winter” before, “Hooray, I am spending a special wheelchair wheelbarrow full of money at Sakuracon!”

Yes, did you notice that basically I am only going places to do with Japan, or Manga or spending money? Or sometimes all three is required to get me motivated to keep going? Hey, we use what we have.


cheryl g. said...

Woohoo! Sakuracon 2009! Let's go... I would actually have someone to go with who doesn't give me odd looks and say, "Aren't you too old for comic books?"

Ummm, your new night care worker is a little scary. Is she originally from Port Angeles? I mean if you have a DNR she should already have been told. If she wasn't told you are DNR, then calling the ambulance if it looks like you might die should be her first thought.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I have to admit, she is a little scary and no, I do not have a DNR - she just wanted to assure me that my dying would not bother her as it has happened to her a bunch. Well, okay, but that little statement kind scared me a WHOLE lot!

Yeah, now we BOTH have something to look forward to!

Anonymous said...

Eek. Somehow, the apathetic "Yeah, sure, sure" part is even less reassuring than the "people die frequently on my watch; don't worry!" part.

As for Sakuracon, geeky, comic-filled goals are the best kind! Or the most motivating, anyway.


Dawn Allenbach said...

HOORAY FOR GOALS!!! See, I like this much better. You're sounding more and more like a plucky crip.

Seriously, though, it's acually the little goals that really get us through. Just get to Spring Break, then you can relax. Just get to the end of the semester, then you can relax. Just get to July when you go home to see the folks, then you can relax.

OK, gottatype up meeting minutes. I'll email you, too.

em said...

Lord, people are crazy. I'm referring to the Everest thing.

I'm glad you are there to welcome spring.

shiva said...

Hey, good to hear you're feeling more positive, even if it is in a slightly twisted, goth-y kind of way (which is, of course, the best way) ;)

And i'm pleased to hear that my suggestion was useful to you - that gave me a bit of a boost on a really bad day :)

Another thought from the comments of your last post - if you need sodium, can you get it in supplement form and dissolve it in the ginger ale or some other drink? (I know it's in ordinary salt, but i think that might not be too pleasant taste-wise...)

Marla Baltes said...

“Oh, I’ve had people die on me.” The worker assured me, “I’ve had them die.”

Where do these people come from? I can not fathom saying that to someone. I just don't get people.

Devi said...

Celebrating you being alive with you, if I may. :)

Gaina said...

Hooray! It's Tuesday and we're both alive - Double Hooray!


Talking about that Everest trip reminded me of the column Disability Bitch wrote about hating 'inspirational cripples' did you see that? I laughed my ass off.

FridaWrites said...

Are there any Manga books you'd recommend for kids? My 10-year old was asking about them recently, and I wasn't sure what would work since I'd have to read through the whole books to know. Not even sure about dating-heaving material since this age group gets inundated too-young from all directions.

Veralidaine said...

Agreed, that care worker scares me already. But feeling better is good, and SPRING is good. I think you would be glad to know that despite being decidely NOT an athlete (except on horseback) I just went out and played football for my first time ever. I got beaned in the ear intercepting a pass and it still hurts, but it was fun... So next time you are nominated for a feminist blog award, I will say it is because you convinced me to go play a sport ;)

Frida: How about Inuyasha? It has a dating theme in the later ones, but it's pretty mild, more of an action-adventure series...

shiva said...

Frida: Elizabeth probably knows better than i do, but as far as i know there is a whole lot of manga that has nothing to do with relationships at all, and covers the same sort of stuff as US comics - superheroes, robots, sci-fi type stuff, martial arts, etc, mostly with young boys as protagonists - i think the name for the genre is the word for a young boy, which temporarily eludes me. Beth probably knows it...

Elizabeth McClung said...

Shiva/Frida: Sadly I do, It is called Shonen - if you have a 10 year old boy I would look for a magazine called Shonen Jump (for a 10 year old girl a mag called Shojo Beat). Shonen Jump has "boy's interest" manga like "Prince of Tennis" (about, playing tennis), Whistle (about playing soccer) as well as basic adventure stories - the books are mostly about being in Junior High, being a talented or want to be talented player (there are two for basketball for example), and then the person learns various moves and matures as they face ups and downs of different opponents and learn to be a team player and all that. I assume it is a boy, if it is a girl I can recommend some very girly shojo like "Call me Princess" which is for the 10 year old range (Even BIGGER eyes). There is of course the usual Bayblade and that but I think for a boy books like Whistle have no romance OR violence (if you want martial art violence there is Narato and Bleach and the like). There are literally "sports" boy manga for everything from Basketball, Volleyball (boys and girls teams), soccer/football, chess and even the asian board game Go.

But if you want some non-heavy romance for girls let me know as you have everything from Miracle X Miracle, (young girl goes to magic academy so she can make people happy) to Strawberry Marshmellow (the antics of four 11-12 year old girls - which mostly involve distracting the studious one from her homework).

Elizabeth McClung said...

Yakiikaonastick - well, actually later when I couldn't speak and found out that she was unable to READ - that worried me, as well as that she was supposed to be rated for Special Task: Oxygen and I said earlier "So if I look pale, just turn on the tank."

And she goes, "What's this tank?"

And I stared at her and said, "It's an OXYGEN tank."

And she goes, "Oh, how does it work."

(Oh God!)

Or earlier when she said, "If you fall I need to call 911 to put you back."

And I said, "well, I have had the EMT's here about 5 times and I just your experience how many times ambulence emergency medical techs come to simply pick up a person and put them back on the couch?"

As for Sakuracon, ditto - did you see that this year's site has it where you can select Japanese or English. I just find the idea of people flying from Japan to get manga from the US somewhat surreal.

Dawn: Well, it is more like "collapse" than relax but I get the point. It is the little goals and the realization that I have made progress simply by breathing (or recycling carbon as I like to call it) until now.

Em: Yeah, that would cheer me up (NOT!), someone hiking up to 15,000 feet. I hope they don't have three stairs to get into the hall to hear the person....that would kind of suck, I can't ascent 3 feet to hear someone get to Everest?

Shiva: There are other drinks you can dissolve sodium into I just can't remember which, I am not sure salt and ginger ale would be good, how about salt and margarita's - think the Mayo clinic would sign off on that - I hope so - MUST have two every day!

Well, tell me, when crows hop after you, you aren't thinking about the tender bits of the body? Really? Guess that is just me then. Could of been my flashy headband.

Marla: What amazes me is she is now off, chain smoking her way to another client to have them die - I mean I guess I am glad that she can tell me she doesn't get depressed on how many die on her - but really, that didn't make ME feel good, maybe I should said, "Yeah, I've killed a few workers, Yeah, a few...but that's okay."

Devi: Woo hoo - being alive, being alive ! (This doesn't mean I have to wear a jump suit or a dress with tacky fringe beading does it?)

Gaina: Yes, both alive! Woo hoo! Yeah, I read the piece that is why I couldn't get how the able bodied people in charge of disability recreation thought this might "boost our spirits" or whatever came into thier mind.

Veralidaine: Wow, congrats for playing a sport and getting into the game. It is wierd how when you get hit is doesn't hurt as much as when you get off and find you got a giant bruise and can't remember why exactly (or did that NOT happen to you) - but I am GLAD you did the sport and it was fun!

Inuyasha - a classic! but it is like 90 books long isn't it? I think I gave up at 30 something. The stories are always, "Oh no, the special heart stone has broken into 122 pieces and we have to collect them all" and I am like ARRRG! Why can't it ever be like "Three pieces" instead of some crazy high number. Sorry, little rant there.

Lene Andersen said...

Spring does have a way of reminding you that you're alive. Glad to hear it.

(although the bulbs? I'm off to jump off a curb. Well, or would, if they weren't covered in snowbanks)

FridaWrites said...

My 10-year old is a girl; I should have clarified. She can be a bit of a tomboy but likes some girly stuff (like American Girls)--just not overly "foo" stuff. We should try some of these out. The Miracle X/Strawberry Marshmallow sound perfect.

My 7-year old is a boy and may be interested in some of the sports team books; likes camping/outdoors and video games.

Let me know if any of these are ones for your ebay list and I'll take some (no rush at all, on your own schedule). Otherwise, thanks for the recommendations--had no idea where to start, really.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Okay, well, here are the sort of "classic recommendations"

1) Tokyo Mew MEW - this is another "magic girl" working with other "magic girls" in this case the girl is bitten by a rare type of cat and thus gains "magic cat powers" and finds the other 4 people on her team to defeat evil. It seems the "must read" of the last generation of manga (from the last 10 years)

2) Peach Fuzz - this is written FOR 7-12 year old girls, and has scratch and sniff smelling of peach. It is about a 9 year old girl who wants a ferret because she isn't ORDINARY, only her mother isn't convinced that a ferret is a good pet and finally relents ONLY if the ferret NEVER bites anyone. The book alternates between the ferret's viewpoint and the girl's - and of course, with just cause, the ferret DOES bit some one - well, what will happen now. Winner of the Best Rising Star Manga Award

3) Card Captor Sakura (you want the original series: Probably the best known of ALL the "magic girl" series and highest quality and only runs 6 books by the famous artists CLAMP (all female artists) - (if you like it there in an anime too) - for ages 9-12: Basically Sakura opens a book she isn't supposed to in her Dad's library which releases all these cards (each which has shapes) so now she has to recapture them. Well she has a magic friend and female friend from school who helps her and there is a boy who kind of knows but he is just a classmate and there is no romance. Probably the most popular single girl's manga ever.

If you like this I would recommend
Angelic Layer by Clamp as well (only 5 volumes in the series) - which is about a girl aged 12 who gets to play angelic layer which is making a doll, a unique doll who then, in a arena, can move around under your commends and fights with other dolls: the girl sort of stumbles into it and you go through the processes in each book: choosing the doll, choosing how it will look, act, practicing moves on the special pads, then practicing against each other and then entering a tournament. As in all Clamp books for this age the important thing is that the female lead has a good HEART and is willing to learn from mistakes.

Here is a review: Twelve-year-old Misaki Suzuhara is a little afraid, starting a new school in Tokyo. But on arrival, she learns about a whole new phenomenon that's sweeping the world of toys - mentally controlled fighting robots called Angelic Layer. So captivated, she immediately spends all her money to get her own Angel, and she soon proves to be a natural at tournament play.

Now- there are also "Slice of Life Manga" which sort of are about being a regular 12 year old or 11 year old or a little older

Strawberry Marshmellow is probably the best becuase it is these four girls and one older sister who do everyday strange things like distracting each other or going to a cafe with the older sister for a piece of cake - mostly based on the friendship but also the wierd imagination of the red headed girl who seems to have ADD and is forever coming up with bizaare games that she tries to drag everyone into until the older sister has to come and calm everyone down and make the one girl who is crying okay and tell the red headed to cool it or she has to go back home. It is good for younger teens and adults. I have these and NOT selling them (too addicted).

2) Yotsuba: Yotsuba is the charming new girl in town in this all-ages shojo manga by the author of the popular Azumanga Daioh series. In seven stories, the green-haired four-year-old discovers air conditioners, doorbells, cicadas, swings and more, and does it all with the energy of a small hurricane. Her excitement is contagious and infects her handsome young adoptive father as well as the gaggle of pretty girls next door, all of whom get tangled up in her adventures as they try to keep up with her.

It might be a bit dull to a 10 year old, I am not sure becuase it is just about how 4 year olds see things (which is very comical once you are older) for example: She is clueless about air conditioners, and when she hears about the connection between them and global warming, gets the conclusion that her father's a bad guy because he's destroying the world (because he uses an air conditioner). And the doorbell to her is that thing that makes people come out.

The funniest segment involves her and Ena, Fuka's younger sister, going cicada (cricket) catching with Jumbo, the very tall guy who helped Yotsuba and her father move, and when Yotsuba lets the cicadas loose in Fuka's house, clueless to the catastrophe, she merely goes "WOW" with her smile, then points to one and says, "There he is. I caught that one." - I am selling all 5 volumes so I can send you the link by email if you want (most of my other stuff is older oriented)

Aria and Aqua: This is the same series but by two different publishers - 5 volumes so far in total about a younger girl 15 or so who lives in NEW Venice and learns about the city as she tries to be a gondolier (which only VERY special girls can do after much practice) - it is beautiful, and it is about her life and she needs to meet with her teacher and she needs to practice - so take a look at this one and see if it would do - zero romance and violence just pretty and a girl trying on her own for the first time (while living in a dorm).

Classic "Romance" for YOUNG girls:

I would recommend only the works of the classic writer Tomoko Taniguchi who is the queen of the old style "girly manga" and does sort of a "romance for very young girls" (the ages is 3 and up) - so all the stories from Popcorn Romance, to Call me Princess to Miss Me or Just a Girl is there are single or two volumes at most and about 200 pages. If there is Romance it is idealized in the type of, "Oh, I want a guy when I grow up who will treat me like a princess, like when my older sister got married" - most of the books are actually about boys (but since they are shojo manga the boys are very sensative and concerned about things like saving the farm land for the wild animals by singing to them). Each books is unique and you can read the reviews on Amazon - most can be bought used for a few dollars, they are definate for the "little girl" and though there is "romance is it not for the reader but sort of like watching a disney film (meaning you enjoy it but don't really identify with it, similar to Snow White - as in, we all know it is a fantasy). Anyway, email me if you have any questions.

Raccoon said...

Uhm... From yesterday -- you take bales OUT of the baler. Generally, they kind of fall out of the baler and you put them on a trailer to bring to the barn to stack them...

I'd be concerned about that night person. Unless she's a hippie chick, she doesn't sound promising.

Nuku Nuku, Dirty Pair, Hunting Elves... or are those all just for teenagers? Actually, I know those are all DVDs; are they available as manga? Witch Hunter Robin?

Can't you tell that I watch more DVDs then I read manga?

Went on a spending spree seven or eight years ago for a couple of years. Buying the vinyl statues. I think I must have 40 or 50 of them... anime women...

So, you "relaxed" for a day (Gee, was it nice outside?); when is Linda taking a day off? Preferably when it's warm -- have a picnic.


Raccoon said...

Who is the "goth girl" in today's posting?


I forgot if I asked this: are you going to be able to get to any Cosplay exhibits/conventions?

Elizabeth McClung said...

Raccoon: oh well, I knew a baler was involved somehow it was probably putting the bales on some other thing. No, there are manga too for witch hunter - Dirty Pair - one of the EARLY lesbian anime - woo hoo! Not really for teenagers (heavy sexual overtones) try Elfied Lied - hard core violence with pretty girls.

Linda got to relax today as a) she slept last night while my chain smoking, "I'm okay with you dying" woman who couldn't READ left me in terror so I got 5.5 hours of sleep. and b) today the power went down at the government servers so she was back home at 1:00. I had to sleep 4 hours+ to make up for last night plus more bathroom time, while she read romances. I know whose life I am envying.

So, in Tokyo you can go and they have machines for like $1 and $2 which have little anime figurines you stick atop you computer and stuff - from vending machines, I'm getting some, you want some too?

Or you me to send you some anime to watch? The new stuff is really good like Girl the Third, You have seen Read or Die right? The female BOND Anime?

Raccoon said...

I've got Read or Die, but I haven't watched it yet. Same with You're under Arrest, and a couple others. Dirty Pair I wouldn't have immediately placed as lesbian. I mean, it's definitely geared toward guys: things blowing up, shootings, scantily clad woman with big chests...

Oh, My Goddess is probably geared towards 14+ year old? Again, probably towards guys.

There is a shop up in Berkeley that sells them. I think a year or so ago I got a set that I was supposed to put together. It was girls from a particular anime in towels or bathing suits. It gave you the bodies & the heads & the limbs.

Heh. Only knowing me from my comments, I wonder what you would pick out for me.

Careful, importing anime can get expensive.

Subtitled or dubbed? Have you seen the live-action Cutie Honey?

Elizabeth McClung said...

OMG! - if you can watch the intro to READ or die and not want to watch the first episode you must have amazing willpower (the 3 episode OVA - again, girls with guns, boobs, and lesbians!).

I am missing Sakuracon which is the day I am leaving and the tokyofest is the day I am arriving for Con's (I have no interest in seeing 100,000 Otakus in Japan at TokyoConFest - nor thier blow up dolls or "love pillows"). But next year I hope, I can go as the girl from Air!

I would definately recommend Elfed Lied for you, Death Note is popular with guys, while I would recommend The Third (female sword dancer in post apocyptic world making money as a "do it all for hire" with her sentient tank - sort of Appleseed if they never "came in" to civilization).

Oh My Goddess has a large female following but it does fit in the "male with harem" manga section (one guy, lots of beautiful girls).

I saw live action of Sailor Moon and worse Princess Princess (shudder - this is why cross dressed anime guys look beautiful and real't). I only watch subbed and often the fan subbers as they add in explainations of rare words or explain context (like "White Day" on March 15 which is a reverse Valentines Day in Japan, where you gift back to the person who gave you chocolate). I don't buy from China as the subs are "Gag!" or the US as the lesbian or gay content is edited out.

Neil said...

Dear Plucky:)

It isn't spring quite yet, but it feels like it in darkest Saskatchewan too, thank all the gods!!! (Wasn't there a Bizarro cartoon recently about the Deity of the Month Club?)

My wife has put ALL the Tanya Huff Blood books on order at the library, since she's always willing to sink her teeth into a good mystery. The Henry character is a writer in the tv series, but he writes graphic novels, I think said. If you haven't read the books, Beth, prepare to gag: Henry writes Bodice Rippers!! under the name Elizabeth Fitzroy.

As for the scary night help, read vampire novels out loud for her; smile unnervingly, and tell her that your dying might not bother her, but it would ruin YOUR night's sleep totally, and if she lets you die, you'll come back to haunt her.

She can honestly say that someone dying on her shift wouldn't bother her? It HAS to bother you when someone dies on you, doesn't it? At the very least, tell her it looks bad on the resume.

I once got a ride-along with Regina EMS: we did get called to a seniors' highrise to pick an older lady up off the bathroom floor. She fell and couldn't get up,security's almost as old as her, and he's not allowed to touch her, in case he makes things worse. So she lay on the floor all night until seciruty found her and yes, call the ambulance for a quiet ride to the apartment (no lights or siren) to pick her up and dust her off, make sure she's not injured, then toddle off to the next call.

Hmmm, could I make that sentence any longer or more convoluted?

Sending zen hugs to your bear, so he can hug you for me (now THAT would be Stephen King creepy!), and to you and Linda

Have you heard from someone named Mithril? Said person emailed you privately with questions and suggestions for the Japan trip. Hope you dont mind.