Thursday, January 29, 2009

Invasion of the Mooninites

Yes, I charted and stitched this myself. I finished it last year, but still haven't framed it. I've thought about selling the pattern on Etsy, but i'm concerned about copyright issues. Of course from what i've seen of cross stitch patterns on Etsy, i'm the only one who is worried about that sort of thing. But whatever happens the Moonitites have landed and made their intentions clear.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different

So now that my blood pressure has finally come down from yesterday's post, I can post about something nice. Something that doesn't have anything to do with child rape.

The 2009 Nordic Needle Bookmark Challenge is starting up again. Last year I sent in four bookmarks (pictured) and this year I hope to double that.

Full information is here, about half way down the page. The bookmarks go to the Stitching for Literacy Project.

Bookmarks in any type of needlework are welcome. As the newsletter says last year the techniques varied widely: "The techniques included Cross stitch, Hardanger, embroidery on paper, Blackwork, canvas work, needlepoint, pulled and drawn thread, Bobbin lace, tatting, crochet, knitting, machine embroidery, peyote beading, Bargello, Schwalm, and crewel embroidery. There were bookmarks from at least 29 states and 6 countries. "

I am quite proud that my bookmarks were among the over 450 donated.

Last year I only managed four bookmarks because I started late and decided on using some of the varigated floss that I had never had a chance to use. You see when using varigated floss you have to make each individual cross stitch instead of making a row and then going back over them to cross them so it takes twice as long to stitch an area. I enjoyed using the floss, but the time it took was a little much for me. (This was prior to the sleep disorder diagnosis.)

This year I have a different plan. I spent Inauguration Day out of work because of the snow. As I celebrated Hope and Change and tried not to be blinded by Aretha Franklin's hat (seriously, I think her hat was signaling to the aliens or something) I reorganized my cross stitch supplies. I gathered all the floss from kits I had finished and kept the strands that were mostly or completely intact and tossed the short lengths. I felt like a pack rat keeping the things, but I really didn't want to throw them out. So not knowing what I was going to do with them I put them in zipper bag.

Now my plan is to use very simple patterns and sayings, and rather than use the colors specified, use the left over floss. This way I won't have to pull five different colors of floss for each bookmark and will hopefully make stitching them faster. Faster means I can make more of them.

I'm really excited about this. I get to use up old floss, scraps of fabric and some of the free designs i've found on the internet. And i'm encouraging people to read. This would be win-win if my damn tendonitis wasn't acting up. Of course that gives me an excuse to take drugs that make me feel gooooood. So I guess it's win-win-win!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ruminations on Life Inside a Cult

Yes another TV related post. I watch a lot of TV, what, wanna fight about it? (Speaking of TV related posts, i've been meaning to put another one up on my current brain crack The Real Housewives of Orange County, but damn, there is so much flying around the brain on that one.)

Anyway, yesterday I watched Life Inside a Cult on The National Geographic channel (I refuse to call them Nat Geo, same as I refuse to call The History Channel just History.)

The show focused on the Strong City Cult in New Mexico lead by a man calling himself Michael Travesser (His given name is Wayne Bent) who believes that he is God and predicted the end of the world on October 31st 2007. All members of his cult have given up working in the outside world and all their disability and social security checks as well as current and future inheritance goes to him. He also uses his status as leader of the cult to have sex with women in the cult and lay naked with young girls as a religious experience.

I'll give you a moment to let all that sink in and vomit if neccesary. What am I saying? If.

Ok, now that we've all done the technicolor yawn and gotten a Breathsaver...

Of course the world didn't end on Halloween 2007. The camera crew wasn't allowed in the compound at the supposed moment of whatever was supposed to happen (Travesser was very vague about what was supposed to happen that night, only telling the crew that he would receive a new physical form. His lackey Jeff said that world would be judged, but I don't recall that occuring either.) but they were allowed to stand at the gates to the compound as his followers cheered and danced and shouted freedom. What exactly they were freed from wasn't clear. Afterwards no one would say wether or not he did receive a new form, so we can all figure out the answer to that.

Now I could rant all day about this man and his mind control, his theft of his follower's money, and the criminal acts he's committed with minors, but the last time I started in on that sort of thing it took four klonopin and a tranq dart to bring me down.

No, what i've decided to rant about is what has stuck with me even more all that and made me really sad.

In the opening scene two girls, I would say about 14 to 17 years old are walking and talking about how happy they'll be to go to (what I presume, again, this wasn't made very clear) heaven. Because "they weren't meant to live in this world".

Now throwing out the logic of God wouldn't put you weren't supposed to be, I ask, really?

This is so sad to me. Now i'll be glad to get to heaven too. I'll see my family and freinds who have passed on, and all the kittehs i've loved and lost, and of course be in the presence of Jesus, but that doesn't keep me from living my life here on Earth to it's fullest.

Travesser says later in the program that the outside world is empty. I think it's as empty or as full as you want it to be.

Yes, you can go out into the world and smoke rock, have stupid sex with anyone you meet, marry for money instead of love, spend your life in persuit of material things, and die as empty and worthless as a crushed soda bottle.

Or you could visit an art museum and take in the creativity of your fellow humans. You can sit in a park and watch the squirels and birds and be awed at how they always have enough of what they need. You can go to a library and read books that you'll remember your whole life. (Shameless plug here for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.) You can climb a lighthouse and think about all the lonely hours the keeper spent up there running the light to keep sailors safe. You can marry someone who is your best freind, who you can't wait to see everyday. You can have a kid, plant a garden, build a house, get a dog.

Of course no discussion of this is complete without me bringing needle work into it. What is empty about making a birth sampler for a freind's baby? Making a quilt? Knitting a sweater?

Or what about people working in hospice care? Or training seeing eye dogs? Or volunteering in a soup kitchen? Or teaching people how to read? You really think their lives are empty?

To me the lives of the people in Strong City seemed empty. They didn't work. I'm sure they did work around the compoud, maybe growing food and cleaning up and such. But in their off time they only seemed to sit and listen to Travesser. When they weren't doing that they were talking about him and what he had said. And of course some time was taken up by the girls and their laying naked time.

I know all this is a moot point. I know that if Travesser was to allow his followers outside the compound or even to think that going into the outside world was desirable then his hold over them would loosen. That it is imperative that they see the world as empty or his sweet life of free money and child abuse is over. I know this.

But it just makes me so fucking sad.

I want to shake these kids. (Fuck the adults, they're a lost cause.) I want to buy them nail polish and makeup, Super Soakers and Playstations. I want to give them a Happy Meal and let them watch Spongebob. I want to make them ride bikes, blow bubbles, go to the movies, and listen to the Jonas Brothers until they wake up and realize that life is great outside the compound. That you don't have to live in a trailer in the desert to be fulfilled. That God isn't a creepy old man who wants you get naked with him. That God put them on this Earth for some reason, that they are supposed to be here, and maybe they should try and figure that reason out instead of sitting around hoping for the end of the world.

As for Travesser, he's the type of person who makes me fervently hope that Hell is real. In the meantime his sweet life of domination and sexual assault has come to an end.

In December 2008, Wayne Bent was convicted of one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. On Dec 30th he was given the maxium sentence for these crimes, 18 years. However, eight of those years were suspended. (I would really like to know why.) He'll have to serve at least 8 1/2 years before being released.

I've always heard that prison is Hell for child abusers. Again I fervently hope this is true. If not that's ok. Hell is Hell. And I hear it's especially bad on false prophets.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Common Sense: "Detoxing" is Crap. Literally.

Thank you New York Times for publishing an article that says just that.

When I see ads for these detoxing products it drives me crazy. I think of Marge Simpson chiding the three card monty person for preying on the gullible and stupid.

Quick quiz. Have you gone to the bathroom recently? Done #1 or #2? Then you're detoxed.

Remember way back in 10th grade biology when you learned about the excratory system? The kidneys, the liver, the colon? That's your detox right there. God given and perfect. No additional laxatives or diuretics required. (Because you know that's all this stuff is. Laxatives and diuretics.)

Now let's say you haven't been to the bathroom recently. You have problems with that sort of thing. Then you need to be in the care of a doctor. A real, live, went to medical school for like 10 years doctor. A person with MD behind their name. They can figure out why your liver and kidneys are failing. Usually before you die of this sort of thing.

I guess people don't want common sense. They want to believe that what ever is wrong with them can be cured by multiple trips to the bathroom. Well, sorry. Doesn't work that way.

Don't even get me started on those fucking Kinoki foot pads.

Long Weekends are Looooooong.

Well this one was anyway.

We got snow! SNOW! Beautiful, white, fluffy snow! Like, four inches of it! Enough that classes here were cancelled Tuesday and Wednesday.

So my three day weekend turned into a five day weekend. Oh, it was niiiiiice.

I made a snowman, but he didn't send me any snowman themed furniture. Bastard.

I dyed Josh's hoodie since the black was fading.

I did laundry.

I washed dishes and cleaned up my kitchen.

I moved some things into the attic and others into the laundry room to be closer to the attic. (These things are Christmas decorations that still need to make the big move into the attic for another year.)

I watched the inauguration which is notable because I never watch that sort of thing.

I started work on getting my office into order.

I reorganized my cross stitch things.

I finished a UFO (unfinished object) from two years ago. (A small kit of Eeyore and a butterfly.)

I read The Worst Jobs in History and finished The Ghost Map. I picked back up The Subversive Stitch.

I watched a lot of stuff on my Tifaux and then deleted it which makes me very happy. I love to see my available time increase when I delete something.

Basically a whole lot of nothing. Or rather a whole lot of little things that I never seem to get around to doing. That being said I am glad to be back at work. I get stir crazy at home after a while. But it was very nice to relax when I needed to and not have to worry about when the things that needed to be done were going to get done.

Long weekends are loooooong. They're also very nice.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Topic Snack Mix

A little of this, a little of that...

Bride Wars. Ugh. You know, many, many women get married and have nice weddings with the poofy dress and the reception hall and all that without going batshit insane. I know it's hard to believe, but it's true. Most women don't get engaged and then loose their damn minds. Most are able to plan a lovely wedding with all the trimmings with out turning into a wedding obsessed bitch. And in this specific case (if I understand correctly the premise of the movie is that two weddings are booked on the same day, at the same time at the same location) the problem would come down to who signed a contract and made a deposit first. And I doubt this would happen or not be caught earlier in the process. Whatever. One more peice of Women are Crazy Bitches so Let's Continue Denying them Equal Rights crap from Hollywood. Fuck you.

I Was Bitten. This show should be two shows. The first show should be called Don't Fuck With Snakes or Other Dangerous Creatures Dumbass. The second should be called Holy Crap Talk About Some Bad Luck There. The first show could feature people like the guy who decided to take a poisonous rattle snake home for a pet, or the other guy who did the same thing, only put the rattlesnake into a TRASH BAG and didn't even tie it up so of course the snake got out of the bag and was PISSED! The second show could have the guy who was bitten by a Brown Recluse after picking up a blanket off the floor beside his bed and the guy who was mauled and nearly killed by a bear on a fishing trip. And there was the guy who was surfing and was attacked by a Great White Shark, but he was also on I Survived and it kinda bugs me when people like that double dip with the reality shows. Like this one guy who was on Mystery Diagnosis and on Mystery ER. Pick one. Anyway, i'll watch again and be horrified at the spectacularly bad luck of some and the breathtaking stupidity of others.

Intervention. I love some Intervention. But last week's episode about John the diabetic who didn't manage his condition was a crashing bore. I seriously could not bring myself to care. I even fast forwarded through the intervention itself. I felt for the guy not having any freinds and for his parents worrying about his health, but it wasn't good tv. Give me the people shooting up into their necks and freaks with feeding tubes for 14 years any day. That is compelling. John is boring.

Today on my way to work NPR had a story about the word of the year for 2008. They brought up all the variations on Obama, including Nobama which is already being used for his 2012 re-election campaign. That doesn't exist yet. Because he's not even taken office yet! People, let the man take office before talking shit about him possibly running for re-election four years from now. Really. Jeez.

Anyway, those are my assorted thoughts you are welcome to munch on.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Yes We Can have more Random Acts of Geekiness

Remember these? Weren't they fun? Well here's one.

Josh and I were watching The Real Housewives of Orange County a week or two ago (Shut up!). It was the episode where Vicki and Tamra et al go to Lake Havasu in Arizona.

Now each time a segment featuring the Lake would come up the intro would point out that it was 120 degrees there.

After a few segments that mostly featured huge amounts of alcohol being consumed I paused the show and said:

"You know, if it's 120 degrees out there they really don't need to be drinking so much. Alcohol dehydrates you and i'd be worried about getting heat stroke."

To which Josh replied:

"You're such a nerd!"

Yeah, I know.

Dear Provigil: Don't Think Twice

Yes Provigil, this is the end of Us.

I know, this wasn't supposed to happen to you. You're the new hotness for sleep disorders and general wakefullness promotion. You were supposed to sweep me off my feet and make me feel better. Make me feel like doing stuff after I got home from work instead of sleeping. This was supposed to be the start of beautiful freindship that continued on and on until I grew old and you became a generic and I stuck with you for cost reasons. After all, why try a new anti-narcoleptic when you worked fine and were only $10 a month?

But that's not how it's going to be.

I gave you a second chance on the recommendation of my nuerologist. I took you back on the promise that taking 100mg of you twice a day wouldn't give me the headache and that the benefits would outweigh the fact that you interfere with my birth control. What's using a back up method when your sleep disorder is controlled and you can finally function again? Surely that's worth the hassel of hunting down the once again discontinued Today Sponge. Of course it is I told myself.

Of course like so many second chances this one failed.

You failed to provide me with any noticeable improvement with the hypersomnia. I still felt crappy. I still needed to nap on a daily basis. I still dragged myself through the day at work and went home to sleep everyday.

Granted this was when I was only taking the first 100mg dose and not the second. I feared taking that second dose reluctant to put myself in pain. But I decided Monday that a new year meant that I needed to be more compliant and go all in with this second chance. Monday I took my second dose. Tuesday I took both doses. By Tuesday afternoon I had a screaming headache.

You know how when you hit your head on something you have that really intense pain for a split second? That's what my headache felt like. Like I was constantly hitting my head on something.

I took two Imitrex that night and when that didn't get rid of the headache I took an Ambien to try and sleep it off. I still have that headache. It's more manageable, but it's there. I'm hoping it will go away once the higher levels of you are out of my system.

The headache tore it. No more. I will keep taking 100mg of you in the morning to stave off the weird withdrawal sickness I get, but I will never again take a higher dose of you. And as soon as I get a doctor to ok me going off you completely I will.

Don't be too sad though. I'm sure someday you'll find a nice girl with a sleep disorder that you can help. It really is me, not you. I'm one of the few that get terrible headaches from you. So try and buck up. As the song says, don't think twice, it's alright.

I'm getting verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves.

This story was on Jezebel today and I had to share it. Nothing like badass bikers rescuing sweet little kittehs to make me tear up.

There are good people in the world. Sometimes those good people look like what we're told are bad people. You just never know.
ETA: Link to the story the NY Times did on these guys.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Not Oscar Bait.

So I'm starting to doubt that I have a sleep disorder. Basically I don't feel any better on the meds i'm on for the hypersomnia, and they don't seem to be having any effect at all. If anything i've noticed myself getting worse these last few months and certainly these last few weeks.

I'm on a low dose of the Provigil, but I think I should notice it doing something. The Ritalin and the Vyvanse made me jittery, but I wasn't much more awake, alert or energetic on them.

Here lately I've been getting up, taking the Provigil and needing a nap about two hours later. Yesterday I took my morning dose and my afternoon dose then went home and slept two and half hours. Clearly it's not working.

Furthering my doubt along is that I don't always feel sleepy. I want to lay down, I want to close my eyes and I can surely sleep. But I don't always feel sleepy. I often feel worn out, wrung out, generally crappy. Like i'm still getting over a flu. Like I still have Mono (that was ten years ago BTW). Like my blood is made of lead. Something is wrong here and I don't think it's that my brain is confused about whether it's day or night.

Now let me be clear about this: I am not upset with my doctors for possibly diagnosing me with the wrong thing. As far as doctors go I have rolled 20s each time. I think they have put forth a yoeman effort in trying to figure out what the hell is going on here. But fatigue is the king of non specific symptoms and it's baffled and eluded some of the best doctors in the world.

So i'm back on the treadmill of doctors appointments for the time being. At the very least it'll give me something to write about in next year's Christmas letter.

New Year Blahs.

We lost the Liberty Bowl. Damn. Oh well, we're still Conference USA Champs. Not that that's much to crow about.

It's raining here.

I have no energy to take down the Christmas stuff.

I'm so sick of candy. And I have so much of it left.

Back at work. Nuff said.

House is still a wreck. I should really just learn to accept that.

House still needs repairs.

I never did make that ginger bread house. I guess it will be ok in the package until next year.

My only bright spots right now are the new Intervention on my Tifaux and the new Real Housewives of Orange County airing tonight. And my new ring. Which is still really sweet.

But mostly i'm looking forward to going home and getting back in the bed. Only four hours to go.

Friday, January 02, 2009

The obligatory post that mentions the economy

So i've been sitting on my ass watching TV non stop for the last few days and I can't go twenty full minutes without seeing a Cash 4 Gold commercial. I even heard a radio ad earlier tonight on my way to Walgreens encouraging me to sell my broken, used and unwanted jewelry for extra money.

Now I know the economy is in the shitter and doesn't seem to be coming out any time soon. But I can't get over how suddenly the answer to every body's money problems is to sell our jewelry like a bunch of crack heads looking for a fix.

I mean really, is this not the lamest get rich quick scheme you've ever heard? And how much broken and unwanted jewelry do people really have? I doubt it's enough to make a serious dent in anyone's credit card debt or make a mortgage payment.

I don't know. It just strikes me funny that all of a sudden I can't turn around without an ad showing up wanting my old jewelry. It's actually pretty annoying. Hopefully this trend will die out soon. After all, it's called a pawn shop. They've been around forever. This isn't really a new idea.