Friday, April 29, 2011

Power outage, people 'not nice' but still living each day and moment, openly.

I am sorry about not posting, but I did not have internet…or power, or air conditioning so I kinda went into heat trauma. But there is good news, I have power now and, um, I am eating easter egg jelly beans (yum).

I got back from recovering and was going to post when I was unable to get up, or stay awake. I don’t know if it is because I seem to have new pain levels and a fever that comes every day or what but it is seriously annoying. Nothing messes up plans worse than, “Oh, yeah, I’ll sort my pictures once I take this nap” and end up waking up a day later. Plus with the fever, I have been having some trouble recognizing people around me (Lucidity is a gift, treasure it!).

Then I wake up yesterday paralyzed, which is same old, same old, but my care worker asks if all the fans are supposed to be off. Wha? The power was off. And when I was able to call, they said my power was terminated. I know nothing about this, Linda is at work and they are talking about several days to hook up. I have 4 hours left of batteries for oxygen (which I have started using to sleep, as it does help), and I can already SEE my hands and arms getting larger, and my heart beat increasing due to heat. So I am pretty terrified. The manager says that I can ‘say’ it is a medical emergency but they won’t turn it on. I don’t know how we got disconnected, they say they called on the 20th, the day we were away. I told her that and she said it was automated and they don’t need to reach us to turn it off. Okay, fine, I have some savings left from paying everyone off after the auction, I will just pay it off. She says it is the two month bill of $120 (turns out running air conditioners all the time in winter is expensive: the air conditioners are tax deductible but the cost of running them isn’t). And I can cover that but I explain that I can’t get to a bank as I am in a dark apartment (with all the sound proofing up, remember). She says, well, you would need to pay the ‘rehook up’ fee as we didn’t pay. Okay, I am expecting like $50, which is what the phone company charged for hookup. No, it is $140. $140!!!! Seriously, and this is why BC-hydro has a monopoly. Okay, do I have $260+, I don’t think I quite do.

But as she explains, even if I pay today, I won’t get power today. I explain the medical issues and she says that doesn’t matter as ‘many people say they have medical issue in order to try and get it turned on faster’. Linda arrives home and it turns out that the whole thing is a screw-up. She said, we needed to pay. We did. Linda has been paying the bills but in case of going to the hospital in the US, she held back the payment for two weeks until we got back as we are billed for two months at a time. And the ‘you would have received many letters’ and ‘you owe since Sept’ they told me (which sent me in a wee panic tailspin). Not true. Linda had missed a payment last summer/fall and set up a payment plan with them and paid extra each month until it was paid off. Yes, the weeks when we had no money for food, we would be a few days late, but that was it.

PLUS Linda paid them as soon as she got back. She already paid them on the internet. The manager says that BC-hydro does not process internet payments for 3-5 business days. Fine, Linda will pay over the phone with the Visa we put emergency money on. No, they don’t take credit cards but use a ‘third party’ which charges 15%+ commission and they don’t process THAT either today. I ask if she will turn it back on without the $140 since they were wrong, we had paid, and there was no message left and no notification from them at all about discontinuing service, just the regular bill (which they decided to turn off, I am guessing because each time we missed a week we got a strike and with a $140 rehook charge, probably it is more profitable to turn off people than to keep them on, so we got bumped into the ‘turn off after a few days’ group). No, she won’t waive the fee as even if we didn’t GET the phone call, the automated computer made it (that’s right, not even a person or a verification of connection).

She decides to do us a ‘favor’ which is that she will ‘move’ the $140 fee BUT we have to pay the next two month bill in ADVANCE. So we can get hooked up BUT we have to pay $140 PLUS the two month bill before it even arrives and do it in like seven days or they turn us off again and charge another $140. Gee, it might appear they want these crazy hook-up fees. But the main problem is that I am running out of oxygen, the apartment is heating up and I didn’t get rest as I was ill the night before and now up early due to this.

I am happy that Linda has been doing the right thing, paying them and that it was a mistake, except they won’t admit it (3-5 days for internet processing, seriously, Canada has taken over the Soviet way of doing things as slowly and horrifically as possible). But we need power. No go, they say the trucks COULD come but it is ‘first come, first served’ even if they turned it off when they shouldn’t have. I get on line and start explaining how I can’t go to the hospital as they have central heating and I had to LEAVE the last time due to overheating and going into the kind of lethargy catatonic state of heat stroke. So I can’t go to the hospital tonight, and I passed out a few days ago due to overheating and 911 was called. I try to explain a bit about my disease and the manager says that only due ‘to the terror I can hear in your voice’ does she believe I have a medical condition and will tell the people in the trucks to TRY and reconnect me in the remaining FIVE HOURS in a city that is so small, you can drive anywhere in 20 minutes.

But first, we have to take out ALL of our fuses ‘just in case’ so that a worker doesn’t get hurt. So we won’t know when the power goes on. And they won’t tell us when it is done, we have to call them. Except no power on the phone, and Linda is driving to the library to make phone calls. I would think for $140 they would do something in terms of service, like a phone call, but no, maybe that is the $180 hookup or something?

So we are told to call them back at 3:45 because ‘we don’t like to work past 4:00 pm’ (I am kidding you not, that’s what they say – forbid a lighting storm knock anything out at NIGHT or anything).

So we wait. And Linda drives off and calls. No go. They say call again at 4:50. She does. The guy say, no, it hasn’t been hooked up, maybe tomorrow.

Meanwhile, for the past five hours my heart rate has been 130-150 because I am literally shaking in fear. I have no place to go that is climate controlled, my body is exhausted, and the heat changes are already working on me. Plus all the savings we had is down the drain thanks to the ‘reconnect’ fee and so the feeling of things getting better, Linda working, a trip I may have only been able to go a few hours a day to the Con but it was still pretty great. I was living life to the fullest, and sometimes that meant sleeping a lot, or having a fever, but it also meant talking to people and enjoying little things like how easter egg mini jelly beans were on sale and I went FOOD shopping with Linda to help her buy food for the first time in a YEAR. I love doing chores. I LOVE IT. I can’t do them often and I have to stay in bed afterward but I love doing normal boring chores, which now is like a treat. ‘Wow, can I really wash the dishes!’ (actually since that turned out VERY bad last time, I don’t think I am allowed that anymore, but I might be allowed food prep).

And what am I worried about? I am obsessed with the fact we bought this food in the US, including inexpensive (compared to Canada) pepper cheese, and fresh salsa, and Linda brought back Spumoni ice cream as it isn’t in Canada….ever. And now all I can do is look at the freezer and think of it melting less than two days after we get it here.

That, by the way, is an aspect of temporal lobe/frontal lobe dementia, the fixation of small things connected to the senses. So the memory of a smell can be overpowering, and more important to me than what is going on in front of me. Because of that, thinking of Linda being sad is worse than anything, and thinking of her being sad after getting the ice cream here and having no ice cream is more than I can bear. I can’t really understand $140 – which is why I paid everyone off and gave away the rest of the money to Linda in a secure savings that I can’t touch. Because if I want ‘animal crackers’ for example (and I like animal crackers right now – they look like ANIMALS, isn’t that the best thing ever! And you get to eat them. Plus they are make of arrowroot.) I would buy 20 or 40 boxes. Because the taste overpowers me and I can’t understand 20 boxes really except that I should be able to have a few animal crackers in the little box which is like the Barnum circus train car every day.

So on the one hand, scared of how to not die, and on the other very sad due to ice cream melting. So I ask Linda if she can please, please call BC-Hydro and ask them if a medical priority was ever put on our re-hookup at all. She does at 4:58, and the woman goes into the file to look it up and says. ‘Oh, you are connected.’

‘When was that?’ Linda wants to know.

‘Half an hour ago.’ (so before Linda called 10 minutes ago when we were told it was definately NOT connected, the Hydro company computer had it logged and recorded as hooked up, be we didn't know as we were in dark due to taking out every fuse).

The lights come on. Our savings are gone, but the ice cream is saved. Linda worked today and will work six hours each weekend day. And it turns out she gets paid for the work she did before we left, which including the whole day just before we left. So we have paid our Hydro until (whatever two months are plus two weeks from now). And we might have a bit left over. So all is not sad.

AND….I am having a birthday party. To which you are invited. It is my first birthday, I think. My parents thought that birthdays were evil as they promoted vanity and stuff so no cards, no gifts, nada. And I have never actually planned a birthday celebration before. But this is the time of living and I am alive. I want to live each moment, instead of wondering where the moments have gone. My party is on May 19th because if I hadn’t been born, I wouldn’t have meet so many really cool people. Plus I wouldn’t have been able to travel and live on four continents, and have met Linda. I am also getting Linda a present, which I have saved for, which is a surprise, except Linda calls it ‘A major many-birthday present’. But as she is looking for the full time job, and doing all the work, the caregiving, the job searching: I think she needs something fun that is all hers.

So that is why I have been silent. And now I hope to resume normal communication. Actually I want to try something else.

Despite the pain and despite the fever, I look at myself and think that I am not really doing things, or enough things out of love anymore. Yes I have pain, often lots of pain all the time. Yes, I have nausea most of the time. Yes, my body is changing and I am helpless. Yes, I have fevers every day. Yes, I am often frustrated by the insensitivity of others, or my own helplessness (the manager at BC hydro kept saying, when I talked about pallative and the need for oxygen, “Oh, I know how that is.” – really? You know having to choose between food or pain patches or electricity? Almost certainly not: but it something people say because they want to say something instead of ‘Oh my god!’).

But I realized that I wasn’t spending my energy doing things out of love. Leaving comments influenced by pain and frustration is not part of love. Blogging posts from helplessness, anger or pain is not love. And the more I am influenced, indeed it is an emotional giant wave that washes over me because of the losses in my brain in the frontal lobe, the more I need to take care to ensure that I act and write out of kindness and love. I have, over the last while, done comments and other communications that were out of a place of frustration, fear, and isolation. And I apologize for that. I don’t apologize for being frustrated, or angry, or isolated, or afraid, or talking about that, but for pushing people away because I don’t think they will understand. I apologize both for judging how others see things when I can’t know that and for acting out of anger, writing out of anger or just a desire to show I am ‘right’. Who CARES if I am ‘right’. I don’t, because worrying about who is ‘right’ gets away from what is important, which is ‘Is is good, is it kind, is it helpful.’

I want to write the truth or as close as I can because I think it will be helpful to others. I have even stopped swearing, for most of the time. I want to stop the triggers that continue the anger or frustration. When the manager on the phone told me that even though we paid, and even though we were never contacted, we had to pay the full amount and even then, we likely wouldn’t get power.

I said, “So we did pay, but you are charging us anyway, and we shouldn’t have been disconnected, but now we have to pay $140 and I am physically suffering, and you are saying I might not get power because you think I might be making up about having medical conditions?” I paused and said, “I don’t understand….that doesn’t seem very nice.”

She was silent for a long time because I think she was so used to people yelling that didn’t matter and she was so used to telling people the company line that it didn’t matter, that in jobs like that often the people the managers talk to are dehumanized. But I didn’t yell, I just asked if I understood what she said and then told her that those actions didn’t seem ‘nice’ and I couldn’t understand that. And honestly, I can’t. I think BC-hydro should do things that are nice. I am glad they hooked us back up. I wish they had called to tell us, and not said we weren’t hooked up instead. That wasn’t very nice either, as it felt……hopeless and icky. Like it was a never ending Limbo.

So, I can now write about the trip and about Jo Chen and how hard she works and about seeing Chi and Speed Racer face off in Cosplay chess, and seeing the winners of the Anime Music Video festival (which I recorded for everyone, and will upload, as I have the energy).

But I will also write as much and as well as I can about mental dementia and emotions, the ups and downs of it, the panic felt when I look for a plushie in the middle of the night, but I haven’t had it since I was eight. It is what I experience, it is part of the disease. There is the disease, which the more I write about the intimate stuff, the more I get ‘not nice’ comments. I get comments on my weight (which I can’t control and has nothing to do with eating), on how I see the world, on when I am vulnerable and when I am scared. Each time someone judges me, or tells me to ‘work harder fatty’ or assumes to say things to me which only Linda can say, because only Linda is here in the good times and bad, and holding my hand, and thus knows how to talk to the confused child that appears without scaring or hurting her – every time, I hurt (and it happens most post). But having others hurt you because it is easier to want the person I used to be instead of getting to know who I am now, that seems to be part of a prolonged terminal experience as well.

I can’t change the dozens to hundreds of aspects of my disease, nor do I want to be ashamed of them. But I can try to challenge myself to write what is true instead of what is easy. To hide what the bad times are like…that is easy. To not set tasks for myself so that I don’t ‘react’ is easy. I don’t want to do easy in this anymore.

Every day I live life to the fullest. Every day I push myself to do more and be more. And every day I have emotions ranging from despair to amusement, from simple quiet joy to the times during the day I feel the pain creeping over me, the fever making my eyes burn, and I slump against the headrest, and just concentrate on making it through the next breath, the next ten seconds. And then, after I while, I take it all, and I try to push it aside and see what I can still do. Every day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Home again!

We are home now, after a lovely ferry ride (alas, no killer whale pods to see this year). The staff on board was very friendly. Thanks to the extra day in bed, I was stable enough in health to make the trip back. thanks Cheryl for the lovely time in your bed. Errr..I mean in a good way (wait, that sounds worse).

It was unusual to be out so much every day, and it was great and exhausting at the same time. I saw the sunshine, and looked for rainbows after the rain. Linda did a great job driving as well as being a caregiver. It is a little sad that the adventure is over, as we went to Olive Garden, and talked to artists, saw the AMV contest and Cosplay chess.

We did shopping too….for FOOD. We brought back all the wonders the US has to offer: half price candy the day after Easter (I got a mix bag from Herseys for $1.85, and a bag of mini jelly beans for 89 cents), cheese, fresh salsa, flavors of soda that we don’t have like Mountain dew with raspberry, or Squirt and Ruby Red Squirt (buy two get two free). It took two trips and a collapse on the floor and an ‘almost’ trip in the ambulance as they already called 911, but I got five panties. I am not sure why Victoria secret puts a low ceiling and THREE heat lamps in the wheelchair change room, but it is the experience of a rotisserie chicken. Linda got two tops for work, and two slacks, all on sale. I got a new sleep shirt and top also. Yes, clothing sales and clearances. I know this probably isn’t what you expected when we went but we took most of a day off from Sakura-con as we have not had new clothes, particularly work clothes for Linda in 17 months (Linda has Safari Panties, and one with fish on them - I have boring ones that have in bold letters on the back - 'Let's Get Going' ???? - they fit and were comfortable). So no stacks of anime, though a few manga (hey, at five new manga for $20, when they are $16 per manga books, I will go for that).

Linda even managed to bring home ice cream (thanks to my ice packs I sleep on, and a thermal bag). It is spumoni ice cream, and we can’t get it in Canada, and haven’t had it for about 10 years. Woot!

A nap now and rest and then I can download pictures and blog the rest of the trip. For those who want pictures of us or me, Linda has a camera as well, though she was not keen to download, crop, resize in photoshop, then upload and write a narrative from 4:00 am to 5:40 a.m. like I was. Odd that, I even told her there was a strong demand that she sleep less and blog more. She did this rolling of her eyeballs and didn’t say anything at all. What that meant, you will have to ask her.

The one thing I did not get out of the list was socks, and one of the three went ‘blah-splat’ this trip. And yet I got a gift of socks from two people. Huzzah, triple the socks!

Sleep now, to dream, to lie still and have more pain meds.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sakura-Con 2011 Day 1: Crossdress Cosplay, Furry and Jo Chen

I was able to go to about half the time I attended last year at Sakura-con. The long days meant that I often was just unable to get back out of bed after a nap. But what I did go and see, I tried to enjoy and maximize to the fullest (and still managed to spend to the fullest…odd that). With Sakura-con being a fun fest for fans of all types and ages, often I did not know what character they played as it could be from games, anime, manga, film, Japanese unreleased manga, or products. For example, I don’t know what her costume represents except “YES!” and “Go Pink” (and a desire to take her for a drink).

Sakura-con has a full venue for the kids as well, and many parents brought children who were dressed in cosplay (including a 10 girl with a blood splattered apron and a giant knife/syringe tool – I hope that is a game?). Here is a young girl who was playing Edward from Full Metal Alchemist.
Crossdressed, or Cross Cosplay was very high among females this year, including at the Cosplay Chess. About 20-30% of females in Cosplay were portraying male characters, like Ginko, the spiritual wandering doctor of Mushishi (in manga and anime here). Mushishi are the spiritual aspects of nature, like the river, or mountain god, or man of the living spirits, as seen in the Ghibli Film Spirited Away (the white figures). Ginko, who has only one eye, and a hairstyle to hide this, cures maladies where humans and mushishi intermix with a poor outcome. This girl had not just his clothes, backpack and haircut but his cigarette too. While here is a furry game character, part animal, which I think is from Final Fantasy (oh, here comes the wrath on getting it wrong). I admire her dedication to the nails.

There were the ‘idol’ and ‘moe’ type girls, who come together to make the heart, which is familiar with intro’s on the Japan photo machines.But there were also crowds of Sweet lolitas. This year had a higher number of lolita’s because h.nauto, the designer of my wheelchair backpack had a stall where they sold western sized clothing (huzzah, we can be taller than 5’2”) and promoted the all girl visual kei band Exist stance. But more on that next blog.

I went to a large storefront which in the exhibitor list was ‘Man in a Dress’. I could find nothing on them online and I wondered if this was for the males cross crossplaying as females (only 1-3% this year, sadly). But I found a ‘sweet lolita’ dress shoppe. The worker there explained that the clothes were for girls but the designer and creator of each was male and tried on each style first so they ending up naming it ‘Man in a dress’. At this point the creator came by and verified that yes, he was the ‘Man in a Dress’. As it happened, there was a group of six sweet lolita’s walking by and I asked a couple to pose, this pair, with matching heights (thanks to 5 inch heels) and bows, one bio male and one female.
A last costume were these two girls, one who was dressed as Ceil from Black Butler (a very popular choice for girls doing cosplay) and the other is the classmate of ‘Zero’ in Code Geass (for females in Wheelchair the sister of ‘Zero’ is in a wheelchair, as is a character in To Hearts).
I had brought the manga of Jo Chen to Sakura-con for signing. Two volumes titled The Other Side of the Mirror, is a series I enjoy and recommend. I had emailed her to ask for her to hold her art book for me, but she was too busy the weeks before to check and answer me. But she still had some of the limited edition art books from her blog, which come with a limited edition postcard. I wanted to get the artbook as she is off for so many cons this year including Comic-con that I knew they would go quickly. I had several long conversations with her about how she broke into drawing for D.C., Marvel and the mainstream US comics (she drew Buffy 8, Runaways and more) which I will write about in a future blog. It was hard to catch her as she was also promoting her drawn doujinshi of boy love and between signings and panels, she was away a few times every day.

5:00 am and time to head to bed for the AMV contest tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Off to Sakura-con, er morn

Sooooo Sleepy. Fatigued between fevers, seizures and over-enthusiastic night workers who whisk my pillow away letting my head go bump-bump-bump down the ice below. And thus it goes at 3:00 am, at 5:00 am, at 7:00 am, and at 8:00 am. Beth wonders if there is a better way to turn over her pillow, and almost thinks of it before the bump-bump-bump knocks it out of her head. But we are off to Sakura-con, as the blossoms are out, and picture filled blogs soon, as I have clothes to wear (bonus!), am ready for going to the masque dance (double bonus) and we have enough gummy bears to last the journey.

Beware the most exhausting and terrifying word: Vacation.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sakura comes: cherry petals and anime hair to stamp and ebay sales

Sakura is here, with Cherry Trees almost all in Blossom. The three day fan based anime festival starts on the 22nd. I have been busy passing out and also trying to get everything done by the time to leave for Seattle. It will take two days to safely transport my body to Seattle, so we are leaving mid week. Today, the weather was beautiful, and the Cherry Trees looked resplendent against the blue sky.
We didn’t hit the beachwalk in the sun as we had the annual stamp and craft fair today. This is where, in theory, we sell the stamps we don’t use and then replace them with new ones we will use on the postcard project AND make a profit (that's the part that never has been able to come out ahead). But we also have to see if we can get ink (as new is expensive), and stickers (again, for the postcards). I kicked in the money I had made over the last three weeks, and Linda and Cheryl put in funds too. I did some of the pre-sorting of sales stamps and Linda and Cheryl did the rest. The advantage of selling is seeing the goodies first before opening! Too bad the room was SO HOT, I was totally red faced as were many of the other sellers.

We got some wood backed stamps, which are easy for me to use, which range from the scenes of Venice, Salish Native Art to the first and most important Vampire (no, not the sparkly one): The Count, who taught me to count bodies, ‘vone, two, thr(rolled R’s)ee…”
There were some Stickers, including some vibrant colored Japanese and Chinese sticker sheets.
One find I made was a lot of mixed old ad stickers which filled an envelope. It was unmarked so for a few dollars, I had 40+ stickers advertising everything from Chick Corn Seed, Barbershops, Melons, Tea Rooms, and Bars.
We also got quite a few (a pile?) ‘backed’ stamped which require an acrylic block to mount the stamp onto to use. We have some, but are going to try to get some more. Here is our pile, which used up our funds, except enough for Pizza (back in Cardiff, Linda and I always had Pizza after a book faire) and a bit more. The stamp up top is a quote “A Canadian is a person who knows to make love in a canoe”. Honestly, I can’t remember that part at camp, but just showed that I went to the rather dull camps, and colleges. Nor did it show up when getting my passport: "Can you have sex in a canoe?" That’s not to say I didn' get full training for my canoeing including single handed canoeing for five miles around a series of islands. Oh, the lovely J-stroke. That actually does sound quite sexual.

In Prep for Sakura-con, I got my annual hair cut and color. Finally it is back to the natural color (anime red/pink). I am glad this one 'took', or gave full color in my hair as the medications as well as auto-immune diseases can effect the amount of color your hair picks up. This place has experience in doing coloring for women with auto-immune diseases but the cost of haircut hurts when a straight, ‘clip, clip, clip’ and another minute or two for the bangs costs $36 (ouch!)

Tomorrow, on Sunday evening, the ebay auction lot to raise money for emergencies is finishing. This will likely be the second to last or last ebay auction I have. It is very tiring, and very difficult even with Linda doing a stellar job to do these auctions. I am selling several of the series I have collected, including Fate/Stay Night, because I don’t believe it possible I can see the end of the story. I am also selling favorites which are out of print like Boy Princess and Queen’s Knight (a hughly popular Shojo series), Someday Dreamers and W Juliet because I don’t think I will have the time or strength to read them. I hope they end up in good homes. There are award winners, and Viz Signature line along with a few group lots. Let any manga fans know please, the sale is here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Treme DVD: New Orleans, my life, lives of friends, and memories of N.O. all bundled

I’ve been watching Treme: The Complete First Season, between the times when I’m just too exhausted to move, and listen to my heart rock my body. I lie there, unable to sleep from the pain, yet held by the weight of the body. Those times I can't get up, even trying. But when I did, I watched Treme.

Treme, a story following ten or more characters who come back three months after the storm, seeing only ruin, and just sigh. One tries to keep a restaurant going, one for cultural heritage, another for just living day to day, and a family whose brother/son was lost in the system. But the DVD set and series is larger than that.
Treme is for anyone who has been to New Orleans, or who loves jazz, modern jazz, rock, folk, Cajun and other music. It is for anyone who loves good story telling. Each episode, in the fore and background show the diversity of America as seen in New Orleans, from Indian Chief to Second Line walks to the cemetery and back. Culture, Pride, Music, History, Food: it is the story of New Orleans but of you also, and your life. At the end, one character tries to explain why to live in New Orleans by making a day marking the best of everything that is New Orleans. “Po-Boy isn’t a sandwich!” he says in outrage to the claim that NY has sandwiches also, “It is a way of life.”

For all those who have been beat down by nature, by the twists and forms of government, by addiction or the exhaustion of day to day living, this series is your song. In showing how five, eight, ten people of different social status, different backgrounds all ‘get by’ in the aftermath of disaster you will see your darkest hours reflected. But also, you will see the day after. You will see the celebration in the moments of letting go, and yourself want to walk the second line.

For music lovers, this series is as good as a box set of the best musicians in concert. Each episode has not one but up to a dozen real musicians, under the real name, performing. One character, playing a ‘bone’ (trombone) is a player of higher but not a top name grade, as we follow his getting his gigs hand to hand and word of mouth, how much live music is part of New Orleans.

This comes from David Simon and the creators of the Wire, who consult and show the reality of the city. They don’t ‘create’ a second line parade, but throw actors in the weekly second line parades and film it. ‘You can’t create New Orleans’ one of the producers says, ‘We just put the actors in and hope for the best’. The people and experiences which have been used to craft the characters are in the episodes as well. And the music includes buskers to those partially known to the well known…but only in New Orleans. It isn’t a documentary, but I spent time between episodes reading up. It isn’t a fantasy look at New Orleans either.

It reminded me of everything I loved about New Orleans, from the mighty Mo (Mississippi) and watching the fog roll in at night, to seeing the wheelchair dancing during the parades and second lines (the second lines are originally from social clubs like the Welsh Coal Miners had, to group together to pay for funerals, income if the main earner was killed and to have a place to be – when black ex-slaves were banned from insurance and other benefits). Everything that wasn’t Bourbon Street and T-shirt shops. It reminded me of the book stores where Tennessee Williams bought books, and the stores which sold antique sword stick canes. Maybe I will get to take the train to New Orleans, but I think it is likely not, and we know that. This at least helped me remember all the best times spent there.

The DVD series is rich in sound and motion, like N.O. At a time when series like Human Target have cut the live orchestra and replaced it with the inexpensive ‘needle drops’ to see so many musicians, cooks, all ‘play for the money’ makes me feel this series, like New Orleans is a rare gem which may be lost. Play on.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Version Light: The loss of Words: Ebay, postcards and Dying less 600 words on language

A worker asked me how much IQ I had lost. I thought it was about 50 points, but up to 120 at times. I don’t know how to calculate the loss in how I think, or how I don’t. How I struggle to remember what I do next, or to stammer and find words to express the feeling, the one which means I need to pee.

I rebooted today, or lost a day entirely and all of the memory of what happened before it. Exercise mades me strong, but it also cost me all the corners I cut. I lay burning in pain for 12+ hours while my body did not die but repaired itself, and in doing so made me stupid. The problem with the book Flowers for Algernon is that is stops too soon. Those who read it are saddened by Charlie going back to the past, but it does not tell us of Charlie’s daily life as he must deal with what he knows he was, and could do, and what he is, and must do.

I will die. And I will die fairly soon. The tree of cherry blossoms I saw going out of boxing I will not see again. It was my first time out since the hospital 8 days earlier. Earlier on this blog, I wrote about dying, because I was trying to prepare myself and examine what dying meant, and what I would mean to those around me.

I don’t write about dying very much because I am too busy doing it.

I don’t know when I will wake, or sleep, and I work and struggle to stay alive. When I box and sweat, and push myself, I feel myself teetering on an edge. Today I was to get my hair cut. I had showered, and I was ready, and had spent 2 days getting ready. But I was too sick, and slept 7 hours beyond my appointment, waking from the sound of my moans, and my heart studdering and trembling with agitation to wake me. The body jerks so badly I cannot see clearly. “Is it now?” I wonder.

The people who wait, maybe they have something left to say, maybe not, for they are in a world which to me is like high school. There are those people at work, and those at home and everyone wants to believe that things will remain the same. And the focus is on today and tomorrow and ‘Did you hear about…’, and so the struggle to talk, once every few days, in belaboured, slow strokes, becomes lost in the background noise.

Aren’t you angry that I can love something so much, like the evening light on the buds of emerging blossoms, and yet, will never see it again? That my actions now are so deliberate because I can’t risk it being otherwise? I am. I’m angry. Yet I can’t show it.

The latest loss is strong emotion. I have the emotions but have learned that to feel them, to let myself become agitated or excited means that my heart and heat jumps the regulated limits of what can be sustained. And I lie back, calling for help to bed, because I got overcome with emotion.

I cry, but with a face that is bland, and breathing that is controlled and counted. I groan, as a passenger in my own body yet the center nexus of suffering. This is what it takes to survive. And actions, like boxing, are done without the knowledge of what comes next: death, bed, delirium, revival?

Ebay this week, all week. I worked hard this week on the ebay auction. The first 40+ lots of manga, and some graphic novels are here, with 30+ more to come on Sunday, all finishing next Sunday and posted two days later. Most are out of print lots and several are selling for the price of just ONE of the volumes (for example the Queen’s Knight volume 12 sells for $70, but I am selling all 12 volumes, as New for $50). The volumes are quality and I hope they go to good homes. I will not have time or strength to read them again. I will talk about the sale more next time.

The other thing I have worked on, ever single waking moment is to build funds to pay back Linda and Cheryl what they have kindly lent me, mostly for gifts or postcards. At the same time, I am working on postcards, gifts to send and letters. I want very much to say 'goodbye' individually to each person (which takes planning and effort) but don't want to limit myself to just one 'goodbye' postcard. I don't know if I will live three weeks, three days, or six months (the last is something no one really believes, even me, except on the best days, for a few hours). I want to try and send out postcards that require less stamping, and more stickers (the stamping makes my heart hurt like getting crushed by a Rugby player). I want to write those who are and have been friends. In my Amazon Wish List (you can use the link at the top right as well), you will see that I have added lots of sticker sets, which all happen to be in the ‘buy 4 and pay for 3’ sale. So that means, if you buy Classic Travel Poster Stickers(a fav of mine) and Stickers of WWI and II, Old Time Transportation Stickers (last one!), and Edward Hopper art, you get the last free.
If you scroll down, you will see different stationery sets, from Dark Horse, which I can write notes, as they usually have 6, 8 pages, but in different styles (pin-up girls, dragons, vampires, LENORE!!!!!! and goth girls!). These go with small gifts, or by themselves and that makes Stationery sets $3.75 each, while they last (they all have about 8 left or less). All these items are also 4 items for 3 and can mix and match with stickers or with stationery sets you want for yourself! There are also stamps we use. Every month we try to send out a ‘kids’ postcard to all those 15 and under. The dino set is reported to be the best for use and for reuse, and the other is of Emily the Strange. With Linda and Cheryl’s help I did over 200 postcards last month. I would be very happy with 100 this month, but I can’t do it anymore alone. If you notice more stickers on your postcard, it isn’t that I am not thinking of you, it is that I am thinking of you but expressing it in the ways I can.

I am very ill, and I am an invalid. That I still am able to communicate as much as I do is a blessing that I am thankful for. I know I won’t be able to for much longer.

Linda, who uses 25 post it notes a day, with her work on ebay, and applying for jobs and other spreadsheets, would love the Bettie Page post it note collection listed in the Wish List. The other items on the Wish List range from The Lost Room, a DVD set I want to watch with Cheryl (recommend!), to Wit, Emma Thompson on dying. I want to see if there is a way to do it funny, instead of just ‘this is how it is’. Maybe in getting out the message, I lose the funny somewhere.

There is also the usual manga series I am reading, and authors I can understand, and some things I am recommending for others (like Polar Obsessions, on sale!).

I have been finding and getting postcards, including ones from Alchemy 1977, which are very steampunk gothic, also gothic galore and will delight some.
They have a playing card set I lust and long for (on the wish list), as it has 53 postcards with amazing graphics and blood, soot and grit splattered cards to play. They also run a line of Steampunk, including this pendant Alchemy Empire Aeronautiqua which I want to get as a gift for someone. I am all a quiver to earn the funds for it (and then give it away).

When I saw the line of Alchemy 1977 products I got so excited I gave myself a heart issue and had to call and wheeze and get help and oxygen. This problem comes from a temporal lobe issue: I feel things with culmination, in an explosion of emotion as it washes from my frontal lobe back to my other lobes. Perhaps a time when having so many connections to my emotional center (as females do) is not such a gift (I do however enjoy films so much MORE now, but have a hard time, for a day or so afterward, convincing the self that I do NOT live in a zombie wasteland).

I need sleep now. This is what I do: work, communicate, sleep. I still work toward the things on the last list: panties, socks, haircut, red vines – and now, with postcards to hand, I want to disprove Linda by sending them all out (she said, “You have more postcards than you will need for the rest of your life!” – which is like saying ‘You have more books than you will need in your life’ – even if it is true, a person simply doesn’t SAY IT!). So I will prove her wrong, and send all the postcards out, the rare and the wild, the unique and delightful, all out, and read all the books too…..ha! So there!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Amoung the loss of words, the frustrations of dying I send postcards and sell on Ebay.

I spent 30 years studying the entirety of the English language. I studied over 1,000 years of English in over 30,000 books. I learned to translate 17th century French, my final was to translate a decree from the King regarding the tax on glass makers and sellers of glass in the city. I studied latin, from the obscene graffiti in Pompeii to the lurid plays of 100 B.C. to 200 A.D. All so I could understand English: I exploited it, consumed it, reveled in the odd and needless complexity of the Corinthian set and compared it to the Green Carnations attempts to hack to language and dream center of the brain (all 100 years before Snow Crash by Stephenson). Robert Chamber’s attempt to explain the influence of the Yellow Book, Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley’s lure into the lurid, tawdy assault which dragged all who saw, participated, or was inspired by the ‘Yellow Set’ was to write a book. It is a book about a book called ‘The King in Yellow’, and each story of the book is about characters’ inspiration within the arts; shattering the perceived boundaries of language. And out of that rift into the horizon of the imaginable, that blank part of the map of morality and art, there crept in madness. But it was a madness of awe, the thunderous church organ overwhelming the senses until the self…..and sin, were lifted away.

That is how Robert Chambers described his experiences in Paris, at the Fin de Siecle (end of the century) when Munch and Wilde along with all artists influenced by the Aesthetics broke rules simply for breaking. He read and saw M.P. Shiel’s opium inspired works, and Machen, as Occult combined with Religion, Gnostic with Erotic, and in all things, sensual and symbolic. So in Chambers’ book all those who see the book The King in Yellow (referring to Wilde’s Yellow Book) became genuis’ and morally lost, infested with ancient decay. It is what inspired Oxford Don M.R. James, Lord Dunstay, later Lovecraft and eventually, up in the mountains of California, Clarke Ashton Smith, who read the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica (the same edition I have – a leather one for sea captains). C.A. Smith’s works kept the linguistic torch burning. He was, like Lovecraft and Conan Doyle’s (I also have the entire run of the Strand Magazine in original bindings from the start for the first 18 years) detective fiction, a unique voice. By the By, April Dereleth of Arkham House, which printed Lovecraft, Henry Whitehead and William Hope Hodgson to Ray Bradbury’s Dark Carnival ( died March 21st, 2011 leaving sales and all other aspects of Arkham House suspended at present.

I have groped, over the last 90 minutes and two paragraphs, for language, and trying to explain the frustration of ‘words’ after reading Boewulf and Chaucer in the original. I read, wrote, and read again the subtle meanings and connections of 1600-1910 language in books from the King James Bible to Falkners’, The Lost Stradivarius, and they ran in the background of my mind. At all times, words were examined, reexamined, and I kept from boredom by listing, as listening, the other meanings of the words and sentences uttered. (“I hacked away at language’ – a) hack from the news hacks of Dickens times, hawkers and later when the press was printed on Yellow Paper and akin to Fox News, more entertainment than news, a ‘hack’ – news reporter, ergo, I am a base worker of language or b) hack – to ride, a horse, to take to point, thus ‘I take my words to a steady canter’ or c) hack – from 1980’s to break, to find the holes and pass the metasystem, ergo to write beyond language or d) hack, from labour particularly woodsmen, to hew and hack, to take down with brute attacks of an axe or blade – it is this last one. This is how I would think, in the background of my mind, in less than a second.

But it is all gone. I wanted, like Murphy (he created the Oxford English Dictionary) to know English of ALL times.

A worker asked me how much IQ I had lost. I thought it was about 50 points, but up to 120 at times. I don’t know how to calculate the loss in how I think, or how I don’t. How I struggle to remember what I do next, or to stammer and find words to express the feeling, the one which means I need to pee.

I rebooted today, or lost a day entirely and all of the memory of what happened before it. Exercise mades me strong, but it also cost me all the corners I cut. I lay burning in pain for 12+ hours while my body did not die but repaired itself, and in doing so made me stupid. The problem with the book Flowers for Algernon is that is stops too soon. Those who read it are saddened by Charlie going back to the past, but it does not tell us of Charlie’s daily life as he must deal with what he knows he was, and could do, and what he is, and must do.

I will die. And I will die fairly soon. The tree of cherry blossoms I saw going out of boxing I will not see again. It was my first time out since the hospital 8 days earlier. Earlier on this blog, I wrote about dying, because I was trying to prepare myself and examine what dying meant, and what I would mean to those around me.

I don’t write about dying very much because I am too busy doing it.

I don’t know when I will wake, or sleep, and I work and struggle to stay alive. When I box and sweat, and push myself, I feel myself teetering on an edge. Today I was to get my hair cut. I had showered, and I was ready, and had spent 2 days getting ready. But I was too sick, and slept 7 hours beyond my appointment, waking from the sound of my moans, and my heart studdering and trembling with agitation to wake me. The body jerks so badly I cannot see clearly. “Is it now?” I wonder.

The people who wait, maybe they have something left to say, maybe not, for they are in a world which to me is like high school. There are those people at work, and those at home and everyone wants to believe that things will remain the same. And the focus is on today and tomorrow and ‘Did you hear about…’, and so the struggle to talk, once every few days, in belaboured, slow strokes, becomes lost in the background noise.

Aren’t you angry that I can love something so much, like the evening light on the buds of emerging blossoms, and yet, will never see it again? That my actions now are so deliberate because I can’t risk it being otherwise? I am. I’m angry. Yet I can’t show it.

The latest loss is strong emotion. I have the emotions but have learned that to feel them, to let myself become agitated or excited means that my heart and heat jumps the regulated limits of what can be sustained. And I lie back, calling for help to bed, because I got overcome with emotion.

I cry, but with a face that is bland, and breathing that is controlled and counted. I groan, as a passenger in my own body yet the center nexus of suffering. This is what it takes to survive. And actions, like boxing, are done without the knowledge of what comes next: death, bed, delirium, revival?

Ebay this week, all week. I worked hard this week on the ebay auction. The first 40+ lots of manga, and some graphic novels are here, with 30+ more to come on Sunday, all finishing next Sunday and posted two days later. Most are out of print lots and several are selling for the price of just ONE of the volumes (for example the Queen’s Knight volume 12 sells for $70, but I am selling all 12 volumes, as New for $50). The volumes are quality and I hope they go to good homes. I will not have time or strength to read them again. I will talk about the sale more next time.

The other thing I have worked on, ever single waking moment is to build funds to pay back Linda and Cheryl what they have kindly lent me, mostly for gifts or postcards. At the same time, I am working on postcards, gifts to send and letters. I want very much to say 'goodbye' individually to each person (which takes planning and effort) but don't want to limit myself to just one 'goodbye' postcard. I don't know if I will live three weeks, three days, or six months (the last is something no one really believes, even me, except on the best days, for a few hours). I want to try and send out postcards that require less stamping, and more stickers (the stamping makes my heart hurt like getting crushed by a Rugby player). I want to write those who are and have been friends. In my Amazon Wish List (you can use the link at the top right as well), you will see that I have added lots of sticker sets, which all happen to be in the ‘buy 4 and pay for 3’ sale. So that means, if you buy Classic Travel Poster Stickers(a fav of mine) and Stickers of WWI and II, Old Time Transportation Stickers (last one!), and Edward Hopper art, you get the last free.
If you scroll down, you will see different stationery sets, from Dark Horse, which I can write notes, as they usually have 6, 8 pages, but in different styles (pin-up girls, dragons, vampires, LENORE!!!!!! and goth girls!). These go with small gifts, or by themselves and that makes Stationery sets $3.75 each, while they last (they all have about 8 left or less). All these items are also 4 items for 3 and can mix and match with stickers or with stationery sets you want for yourself! There are also stamps we use. Every month we try to send out a ‘kids’ postcard to all those 15 and under. The dino set is reported to be the best for use and for reuse, and the other is of Emily the Strange. With Linda and Cheryl’s help I did over 200 postcards last month. I would be very happy with 100 this month, but I can’t do it anymore alone. If you notice more stickers on your postcard, it isn’t that I am not thinking of you, it is that I am thinking of you but expressing it in the ways I can.

I am very ill, and I am an invalid. That I still am able to communicate as much as I do is a blessing that I am thankful for. I know I won’t be able to for much longer.

Linda, who uses 25 post it notes a day, with her work on ebay, and applying for jobs and other spreadsheets, would love the Bettie Page post it note collection listed in the Wish List. The other items on the Wish List range from The Lost Room, a DVD set I want to watch with Cheryl (recommend!), to Wit, Emma Thompson on dying. I want to see if there is a way to do it funny, instead of just ‘this is how it is’. Maybe in getting out the message, I lose the funny somewhere.

There is also the usual manga series I am reading, and authors I can understand, and some things I am recommending for others (like Polar Obsessions, on sale!).

I have been finding and getting postcards, including ones from Alchemy 1977, which are very steampunk gothic, also gothic galore and will delight some.
They have a playing card set I lust and long for (on the wish list), as it has 53 postcards with amazing graphics and blood, soot and grit splattered cards to play. They also run a line of Steampunk, including this pendant Alchemy Empire Aeronautiqua which I want to get as a gift for someone. I am all a quiver to earn the funds for it (and then give it away).

When I saw the line of Alchemy 1977 products I got so excited I gave myself a heart issue and had to call and wheeze and get help and oxygen. This problem comes from a temporal lobe issue: I feel things with culmination, in an explosion of emotion as it washes from my frontal lobe back to my other lobes. Perhaps a time when having so many connections to my emotional center (as females do) is not such a gift (I do however enjoy films so much MORE now, but have a hard time, for a day or so afterward, convincing the self that I do NOT live in a zombie wasteland).

I need sleep now. This is what I do: work, communicate, sleep. I still work toward the things on the last list: panties, socks, haircut, red vines – and now, with postcards to hand, I want to disprove Linda by sending them all out (she said, “You have more postcards than you will need for the rest of your life!” – which is like saying ‘You have more books than you will need in your life’ – even if it is true, a person simply doesn’t SAY IT!). So I will prove her wrong, and send all the postcards out, the rare and the wild, the unique and delightful, all out, and read all the books too…..ha! So there!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

While "Waiting to Happen": Reading Recommendation of the week

Onward! Today I caught up on sleep, and slept in for the first time in several years. I hear that this is common with an increase in pain medication as the fatigue builds up when the pain brings me awake. Also, due to being weak from a long series of seizures on Friday (I think?), where Linda found me fallen on the floor in the study and having seizures. I continued having many more which made the weekend, my ‘rest from the hospital time’ instead a ‘strange bruises and exhaustion from seizures’ time. Also in the final weeks of life, a person sleeps more, but I have decided to go with the ‘fatigue’ theory, and decide that after several years of 'go, go, go', one day of sleeping in is okay, particularly as I couldn’t get up (I was supposed to go to boxing, but was unable).

It feels like life is waiting to happen. My body simply doesn’t have the stamina to cut corners or push myself anymore. Things take how long they take, whether that is 40 minutes to pee, or an hour to eat a meal. And I need to sleep eight full hours and have a 2 hour nap. If I don’t, I simply can’t get up. Plus, cutting corners means my heart fails for the last six hours of the day. I do not recommend this.

In order to have enough energy to keep my heart beating in a way that does not tax or stress my other body functions, I can only do one thing a day. And even then, I can accidentally go over. It is hard to relax.

Saturday I matched postcards, but was unable to stamp them because of some sort of fatigue which occurred (my memory is blurry due to seizures from around then). So I will work on them this week. Did you know that with Linda and Cheryl’s help I did 220 postcards in March? This means more than 6,000 individual postcards have been posted. Many postcards sent this month were from readers who sent in the best (and lest I get attached, out they go again), some were museum quality ones I got from an estate, and some were saved to send and beat back the grey ‘blah’ which exists between winter and before the arrival of spring.
Linda and I have been working on an ebay auction of some of the manga sets as well as Region 2 and 4 DVD’s which will start in auction on Thursday. I hope this will help provide some emergency funds for after April and help me get some supplies in Seattle (as due to a special 'grant a wish', I am going to Sakura-Con, as much as that is possible for me). Though I am still waiting for my celebrity make-a-wish, which was a baby oil massage by Angelina Jolie OR giving corporal punishment to the head of Ex-Gay ministries. I don’t know why he won’t, as it is for a poor dying nun (well, I’ve sex cosplayed a nun), and I’m calling it ‘reparative therapy’. Until then, saving for the Seattle supply run of shopping.Due to a year and a half economizing, there are many things which are needed:

a) haircut – I have my hair in braids all the time due to tangles as I had my hair cut last for last year’s Sakura-con
b) panties – down to three pair, and two are the kind which one is advised not to end up in the hospital in (Go go Victoria Secret!).
c) Socks – two pair, these two pair are gifts from the last time I asked if anyone would make socks for me. I have tried to make them last as long as possible, as I don’t want to have to ask again, but I really, badly need a few new pairs of socks
d) Melon and Lumina soda: this is japanese flavors of soda available at KK, a Japanese store in Seattle. I also get the stickers I send on postcards there.
e) Toothbrushes: something good to have after a year. My bristles are all flat...odd that.f) Sleepshirts – I have three sleepshirts, which are two years old, so I am needing some more, as when I combine hand shaking, neuropathy and food and you can imagine the problems over time.
g) Summer tops – The Edema isn’t going away, so I need a few new tops which are comfortable but also 'cool' saying stuff like: ‘Halfway in the grave, and if you piss me off, I’ll take you with me!’ or ‘Zombie Busker: Brains much appreciated’ ("Zombie Grad Student: REALLY need more brains")
h) Olive Garden: Linda loves the Olive Garden, which is on the way to Sakura-con, and I want to treat her to the lunch buffet ($7.99). She does a LOT for me, so a favorite lunch in a strange and foreign land (Tacoma?) seems a start to the thank you's.
i) Earrings: I seem to have 12 of one earring in a set, where the others have gone off to, I don’t know, I think emo boys keep sneaking into my house and taking them (girls would take both earrings, right?).
j) Hair Conditioner: I have ‘baby fine’ hair due to the Autoimmune disease so I have to use a specific conditioner good for baby fine, with tangles and delicate hair (I make this last by using it once a week and then braiding).
k) Old Navy: Linda has already been working at her part time job for the conservation, weddings and concerts at the Saint Anne’s Academy, which requires her to have some new professional tops, best picked up at Old Navy in Seattle for $5-$12.
l) Red Vines: Sometime during my seizures, I suddenly twigged to needing Red Vine liquorice. Since I don’t get hungry, I assume that the portion where my like of Red Vines lies in my brain got zapped, turning on the idea of a ‘good taste’, though I taste very little at all.
m) Haribo: from the gummy bears, to the balckberry and raspberry gummies, I love the Haribo products, and they are ‘fat free’. And work well as if I don’t eat every few hours a little, I get low blood sugar, also, sugar helps me boost my blood pressure at times when I can’t take another heart pill or caffine.

So, that is part of my big shopping trip, which I am raising funds for by selling DVD’s of military, crime and series from Amazon UK, as well as some rare complete manga sets I have been keeping for reading. There will also be some Graphic Novels, if there is time to prep to sell them, yaoi, action, Viz Signature line.

My reading recommendation this week is Chew: Taster's Choice, which won not only best indie graphic novel for 2008-2009 but also every significant award out there from the Eisner to the Harvey’s. I typically don’t recommend US graphic novels because they aren’t tightly written, mind blowingly good, like this one. The two authors decided to not go the commercial route but write again and again, books until one got published that was so good it immediately went on the New York Times Best Seller list. On Amazon, it has an ‘intro’ price, and is part of the 4 books for the price of 3 offers and can combine with regular fiction, manga or graphic novels, so if you want to try something humorously different with your spring/summer reading, pick up volume 1 of Chew for $7.50. (for those who want some other graphic novels on the 4 books for 3 offer, the Victorian True Crime series might tempt, like The Borden Tragedy: 1892 (Treasury of Victorian Murder (Graphic Novels)))

The tale Chew is of an alternate USA, where SARS spread, making chicken illegal, and poultry the hottest illegal drug out there, with ‘Speakeasy’s’ where chicken can be eaten, and new crime bosses who control the golden nuggets of the east side. And our hero, Tony Chu, works vice, who left drugs for the big bosses, the chicken smugglers. Tony’s brother is a famous chef, who went loco on his TV show one day, ranting about chicken conspiracies, while his partner John believes that all bosses who shout too much are due to pent up mano-a-mano sexual tension (a theory which comes up in stake outs, and John’s bed). Thow in the F.D.A. (now more powerful than homeland security), a Russian Telescope, Arctic Vampires, and a one sided crush between Tony the Cipopath (he connects psychically to what he eats…including victims or perps) and a newspaper food reviewer who can make people taste the food she writes about and you’ve touched the first dozen pages. It’s that tight, well written, and doesn’t say what a picture can tell and vice versa.

For those who enjoy a well crafted non-linear narrative, I recommend finding Lost At Seain your library or from Amazon. It is from Oni press, and is written by the author of the Scott Pilgrim books (or movie if you saw that instead about defeating the ‘evil ex’s’). Lost at Sea is about THAT road trip, the place and space in life, when you are with people, who seem to be bonding, or buddies and you aren’t. Indeed, you are lost at sea and only going because you don’t want to arrive. The book has a non-linear story telling that stays with you, and gives name to that emotion you feel at the end of the day, when you avoid the conclusion that lying in bed offers. It is stark, clean, engaging, and is read with pathos, seeing your emotions or life acted out in the pages of another’s hand.

A thanks to many people over the last three months. To let you know: If you use the Amazon links embedded in the post or wishlist link up on the right, Amazon gives me a gift certificate in 90-110 days with a total of couple percent of total purchase ($14 for example). This month, the first I got a certificate, that meant I got a graphic novel at the end of the month (4 days ago). Thank you everyone very much, I will pass it on as a gift when it arrives and is read. When you use the link, whether it is a gift for me or others, or shopping for you, anything you get from Amazon (for you, for others) for 30 minutes after using the link is credited a couple cents to the future gift card. I only have the Amazon link as I buy from Amazon, they have free shipping, I send Amazon gifts, buy with gift certificates and they have excellent customer service and returns. And this way, you can 'give' a gift to Linda or I if you chose simply by buying through here, or not.

Films and DVD’s next time. I just watched the BBC Sherlock and have a keen desire to a) avoid London traffic and b) see if I can get ‘acute thinking’ with nicotine patches.