You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2008.

fridayfillin-graphic22 Click on the graphic to go to Janet’s great site!

1. The last band I saw live was Great Big Sea.  (I’m also seeing them on Dec. 3rd!)

2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is being together with people I love. (if you don’t celebrate thanksgiving, insert your favorite holiday)

3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is almost done, because I’m not doing much this year.

4. Thoughts of peanut M&Ms fill my head.

5. I wish I could wear knee-length boots.

6. Bagpipes are kind of annoying.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to zonking out in front of the t.v., tomorrow my plans include working on my Xmas cards and Sunday, I want to inspire my Advocacy committee to make a 12 month plan of action!

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Thirteen Symptoms of Depression:

1.  Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings

2.  Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism

3.  Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness

4.  Irritability, restlessness

5.  Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex

6.  Fatigue and decreased energy

7.  Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions

8.  Insomnia, early–morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

9.  Overeating, or appetite loss

10.  Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

11.  Thoughts that your loved ones would be better off without you

12.  Wishing you could just “go away”, or that it could just all be over

13.  Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

Everybody feels “blue” or down once in a while.  But if you have feelings like the ones listed above, and they last longer than two weeks, or if they interfere with your daily life and normal functioning, please get help.  Depression is a real, serious disease, and it is common.  But it is also treatable;  most people who get treatment are helped by it.  Don’t stay in the darkness;  with help, you can see the sun again.

Thinking of you, my friend… thanks for finally getting help.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a pretty good statement of why I haven’t posted in so long.

My health always takes a nose dive in the winter.  Only, it usually doesn’t happen until February or so.  But now, here I am, in a nose dive and approaching free fall.

There is an ongoing issue in my life, which just gets more and more complicated as time passes.  I would like to write about it, because it’s consuming me, but it would hurt someone I care about.  So no writing about that.  But since it’s all that I seem to think about, I haven’t had any juice to write about something else.

The complications that have arisen (is that even grammatical?  The fact that I just can’t tell shows me how unsettled my mind is.) are pushing me really close to the edge of losing it.  I need to be there for a friend, but how can I do that when I’m bearly hanging on myself?  OTOH, she has always been there for me, no matter what and no questions asked.  Now, she needs someone to be there for her, and I am afraid I’m not up to the task.

These are the days of my life.  It has felt good writing this, so I might just regularly post rambling and ungrammatical streams of consciousness.  Feel free to ignore them, if I do.

I think I need a burrito.

fridayfillin-graphic21 Thanks to Janet, for the meme!
1. Please feel free to pretend you don’t see me.
2. When I am trying something new to eat, I can’t help sniffing it occasionally.
3. My favorite thing to cook is whatever is quick and easy.
4. Crisp gala apples are something I can’t get enough of.
5. That’s the thing I love most about my life is sharing it with my dog, Dannan.
6. People driving the wrong way down a one-way street always makes me think to myself, what the heck?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to doing some reading, tomorrow my plans include voting in our municipal election, and Sunday, I want to eat lasagna!

It is Remembrance Day in Canada, the day we remember our veterans, our peacekeepers, and the others who serve as the guardians of our liberty and way of life.

In school, we always recited In Flanders Fields:

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe,
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Written by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, Canadian Medical Corps, World War I

This poem always brings me to tears.

poppy

To read about why Canadians wear the poppy to mark Remembrance Day, please click here.

To all who have served, past, present and future, thank you.  I will remember you, and the sacrifices you have made for me and mine.

manic-monday-logo1

What was the first thing you thought when you looked at yourself in the mirror today?   Ugh.  Check out those dark circles.

Do you have a recurring nightmare? If so, explain.   I have a few.  In one, I’m back in high school or college and I have an exam that I haven’t studied for.  And I realize that I haven’t done any of the work for the class, so my exam counts for everything, but because I haven’t done anything, I don’t know anything!  In another nightmare, I can’t make my legs work because I am in such pain.  And finally, lately I’ve been “nightmaring” that I am back under the power of an abusive ex-boyfriend and can’t leave.  Sometimes, my nightmare combines all three!

List three foods you can’t stand:  Liver (dude, do you know what the liver does?), cooked pineapple, sauerkraut.  And for the bonus point, dates.

Join us at Fleur de Lisa’s Manic Monday hub!

fridayfillin-graphic2

1. My blueprint for success includes access to an eraser.

2. A Halloween-sized Aero chocolate bar was the last candy I ate.

3. The best facial moisturizer I’ve ever used is some product made by Dove.  (A real priority for me, obviously!)

4. Screaming at the top of your lungs can be good therapy.

5. I’d like to tell you about my dog, Dannan.  (I know, he totally dominates my conversation!)

6. My curiosity is my strongest characteristic.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to reading more of Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall with Lisa Pulitzer, tomorrow my plans include the typical trip to the dog groomer’s to get Dannan’s nails cut and Sunday, I want to work on my Christmas cards!

Check out Janet’s site!

thursdaythirteenfall

This week, I thought I’d list thirteen lyrics from Matchbox 20 that speak to me.  And sometimes could speak for me.

(This is a very self-indulgent post.  Forgive me?)

1.  From Real World:

“Please don’t change, please don’t break
The only thing that seems to work at all is you
Please don’t change, at all from me
To you, and you to me.”

2.  From Could I Be You?

“You show your pain like it really hurts
And I can’t even start to feel mine”

3.  From Unwell:

“All day staring at the ceiling
Making friends with shadows on my wall
All night hearing voices telling me
That I should get some sleep
Because tomorrow might be good for something…”

4.  From Kody:

“I don’t sleep that good anyway
If you’ve never heard the silence, it’s a God awful sound”

5.  Also from Kody:

“So please hand me the bottle, I think I’m lonely now
And please give me direction, I think the hurt sets in
And I don’t feel nothing”

6.  From Mad Season:

“I need you now
Do you think you can cope
You figured me out – I’m a child and I’m hopeless
Bleeding and broken – though Ive never spoken
I come undone – in this mad season”

7.  From Angry:

“And instead of wishing that it would get better
Man you’re seeing that you just get angrier”

8.  From Bent:

“If I fall along the way
Pick me up and dust me off
And if I get too tired to make it
Be my breath so I can walk
And if I need some of your love again
Give me more than I can stand
When my smile gets old and faded
Wait around I’ll smile again”

9.  Also from Bent:

“Can you help me
I’m bent
I’m so scared that I’ll never
Get put back together”

10.  From Dizzy:

“And inside…there’s no labels
And inside, I try I try I try, try to clear my head
And outside…the rain is drying
And inside, we’re dying”

11.  From Long Day (long quote):

“I’m sorry ’bout the attitude
I need to give when I’m with you
But no one else would take this shit from me
And I’m so
Terrified of no one else but me
I’m here all the time
I won’t go away
It’s me, yeah I can’t get myself to go away
It’s me, and I can’t get myself to go away
Oh God I shouldn’t feel this way

Reach down your hand in your pocket
Pull out some hope for me
It’s been a long day, always ain’t that right”

12.  More from Could I Be You?

“Well now, you’re laughing out loud
At just the thought of being alive
And I was wondering
Could I just be you tonight?”

13.  More from Unwell (which sometimes feels like my theme song):

“But I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell
I know right now you can’t tell
But stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see
A different side of me
I’m not crazy, I’m just a little impaired
I know right now you don’t care
But soon enough you’re gonna think of me
And how I used to be…me”

(See?  Very self-indulgent.  Next week will be more upbeat, I promise.)

Go to the hub for Thursday Thirteen!

Wowsa!  When I started this blog back in the summer, I certainly never expected to even have a 100th post.  I am really good at starting projects and then abandoning them.  Especially writing projects.  (It’s that whole self-worth conundrum.)

Honestly, at the time I thought that by the beginning of November, I’d have given up weeks and weeks ago.  To my surprise, here I am.  Holy sh*t, is what I’m thinking.  How about that?!

I’ve found this whole blogging experience to be fantastic, exciting, scary, exhilarating, amazing… did I mention fantastic and scary?  I began The Muse Asylum because I thought that the possibility of a hypothetical audience (someone that might maybe read my posts) would motivate me to actually write on a regular basis.  I didn’t actually expect that anyone would read it.  I even have a couple of regular readers, which I really never thought would happen.

And in all frankness, I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted anybody to read my posts.  I’m pretty sure that everyone who writes has issues about whether their writing is any good.  (If you are a writer who doesn’t have those issues, please keep your comments to yourself!)  And my approach has been that I’d rather not have anyone read it, than for someone to read it and tell me it’s bad.  I have never before allowed myself to take the risk.

But I knew that if I ever really wanted to be a writer (not just someone who calls herself a writer, but never strings the words together), I had to get over that fear.  And I also had to persevere beyond three or four posts.

I have been rewarded beyond my wildest dreams.  I am writing regularly, not once a day like I’d like to be, but often enough that I feel like I’m getting into the habit.  I write about things I’m interested in, and I write about fun things (especially on Thursdays, Fridays, and Mondays).

I have met some very cool people (and for those of you who are skeptical, who think I should write “met” rather than met, it is as much of a real meeting as any other.  I would say that I’ve “met” my neighbour, but all I know about him is that he’s got long hair and wants to sell his house.  I can tell you much more meaningful things about some of the friends I’m making online).

I am having fun.  Janet at Fond of Snape had a post recently that made me remember that I don’t have fun as often as I would like to.  Fun gets lost in the minutiae of my life, and sometimes I have to make a conscious effort to have it.

I get to spout off about my opinions, which are endless.  You have noticed that, I’m sure!

And I get to learn, which is one of the highest priorities in my life.  If I’m not learning, I’m sure as hell not having fun!

As the cherry on top, I just got an email from Lisa over at Invisible Illness, asking for permission to reprint one of my blog posts on her site as a guest post.  To think that I wrote something in a way that made someone else want to share it, that’s a fabulous feeling!  My guest post will be here on November 10th, and I am so thrilled!

I’m having a wonderful journey so far, and I’m looking forward to the road ahead.  Thanks for joining me, audience – hypothetical and real, both!

Earlier in October, there was a great story in one of our local papers, Kamloops This Week.  Dave Eagles, who is the staff photographer at KTW, was out on a story when he happened to see a man named Paul Lyons sitting on the sidewalk downtown.  Mr. Lyons is homeless, and he was sitting up against a closed storefront.  His crutches were leaning to one side of him, and to his other side sat a row of stuffed animals that he had rescued from a dumpster.  In his hands was the book he was reading, Trump: The Art of the Deal, which he picked up from a “free” bin at a downtown second-hand book store.

Mr. Eagles snapped the picture, and wrote a brief story about Mr. Lyons.  (Hold your horses, we’ll get to The Donald soon enough.)  A local woman named Audrey Karpoff cut the photo and article out of the paper and sent it to Trump’s executive offices in Manhattan.  She wanted to see what happened, but was hardly expecting the result she got.

One of the minions liked what they saw, because this newspaper clipping made it all the way to the top dog.  Donald Trump himself saw it.  I know this because he wrote a letter to Mr. Eagles, commending him on the story and photo and commenting on Mr. Lyons’ inspiring attitude.  Not only did he write and send this letter, but he also enclosed a cheque for $1,000 for Mr. Lyons and asked Mr. Eagles to make sure that it was delivered.

Mr. Eagles wrote a subsequent article about the letter and cheque from The Donald, and about delivering the cheque to Mr. Lyons.  Mr. Lyons was so touched that he wept.  In an interview, Donald Trump said, “‘This guy seemed to me to be trying so hard.  It was really interesting, he really seemed to be trying to figure out life.  He looked like a really good guy.'”

Now, there are people who will scoff at this story, and point out that with all his billions (hundreds of millions?  whatever), he could afford to send more than $1,000 to a homeless man.  I look at it differently.  There was no obligation for Donald Trump to do anything at all, let alone send a nice letter and a cheque.  In the past, I have been one of the people who have mocked The Donald, and honestly, who thought little of the man.

But here, he had a chance to be compassionate and reach out to someone in a small city in BC that no one’s ever heard of.  It’s not like the NY Times covered this story.  (I just had to run to check.  No results in my search for “Kamloops” in the last thirty days.)  No one who has any influence or impact on, or connection with Donald Trump’s life will ever see this story.  He didn’t do it to improve his image here in the ‘Loops.  Heck, I’m sure it couldn’t matter less to him what people here think.  He just did it to be nice.  To be kind.

And now I think of Donald Trump differently.  Another reminder that just because we see someone in the media all the time, that doesn’t mean we really know anything about him.

I guess that goes for this instance, too.  But I choose to focus on it, rather than all the stories that make The Donald out to be a jerk.  And why shouldn’t I focus on the positive?  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all did that regularly?

(I can’t copy the original picture here.  If you’d like to see it, here it is.)

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