Friday, January 29, 2010

Okay for today

I slept last night. Really well. I haven't done that for a little while. Since Jonathan and I went on vacation, he has only been working three nights a week. So now I get to have him home at night for most of the week. I really like that! I hate being home alone at night. I constantly worry. Did I lock the door? Did I close that window? Did I lock the window? Then I get up and check everything. Twice.
But I got used to it. He has worked overnights for the last year, and I did just fine at home alone. But now that he is home more nights, I am getting used to him sleeping next to me. I had forgotten how nice that is. Now it is hard to fall asleep when he is not there, again.
But last night, he was gone, and I was still able to get some good rest. In fact, I didn't even want to get up! It was so cozy in there.
Oddly enough, I am still pretty tired. But I don't feel so exhausted and unbalanced as I have been feeling for the last few days.
Sometimes all I need is a good nights rest.

My art projects are helping as well. Even though I am forcing it, creativity is coming back into my life, and I find that it is just the outlet that I needed. Right now I am only doing basic stuff, but I am thinking creatively. And that helps...

I'm pretty excited about my first book project. It is supposed to be somewhat abstract with a basic type of binding used in a unique way. And we are only supposed to use found or recycled materials. I will post a picture of it when it is done, but mine will be and accordion fold using cigarette packages and beer coaster covers. Then I will have tabs of match booklets that come out. Each of them will open up and there will be something on the inside cover. Most likely the general surgeon warnings.
This idea stemmed from my friends car... which is where I got the majority of the materials.
I think she thought I was crazy for taking all of her empty cigarette packs... but hopefully it turns out how I want.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just stuff

I have been reading Lori's blog lately about her going through a rough time getting off antidepressants. It is heart wrenching. It is also really scary. I briefly thought about doing the same thing. As I have said before, I don't feel like I should have gone on them in the first place.
But now I wonder.
My anxiety is starting to surface again.

As impossible as it seems, I need to slowly cut caffeine from my diet. I am down to two caffeinated beverages a day. I know that still sounds like a lot, but during school I drink way too much.
I decided this last week (?) I think. Just because my anxiety in general is worse. But now coffee makes me ill. If I drink more than one small cup in the morning, or whenever, I shake, I become dizzy and weak, my heart pounds, and I can't focus.
Now, the shaking has become permanent. It is actually making my art class really difficult because I never have a steady hand anymore.
And now the coffee makes my entire body shake. I literally tremble.
I have to mentally calm myself nearly five times a day.

And I don't know where this is coming from!

Last semester I was fine... and I had 18 credits and was working weekends. I read 12 novels, 2 short stories, and about 27 poets, 8 or 9 philosophers works, and learned Old English which included translating 300 lines a night. You would have thought that if I was going to have another breakdown it would have happened then, right? But I made it through. I will never do that again. It was hard, I didn't sleep much. But I made it through, and even got decent grades.
This semester is a piece of cake compared to that. All I really have to worry about is writing my senior thesis. Other than that, I have little assignments to turn in. Nothing compared to the 45 pages of prose that was due at the end of term last semester (that is not including what papers I wrote before final assignments)!

But here I am, nervous as all hell. Unable to steady my hand. Never ending headache from a sore neck. Sore neck from sleeping funny or not at all. Having nightmares, again. Easily forgetting things because I am so distracted by nothing. Forgetting to take my medicine, which totally messes up my equilibrium so I can barely stand.

It's weird though. I have all these physical symptoms of anxiety. I feel nervous and scared. But nothing is on my mind. Mentally and emotionally, I feel okay. I mean, I am a little nervous about what will happen after graduation... but not that nervous. I have a great job now, and if I had to work there another year or two before I found a job that I like, I could live with that. (which doesn't mean that I am not looking...)
So I don't know what is going on. But it is making class harder.
Fluorescent lights bother me when I am in this state of mind. They can make my vision blurry or tunnel-like.
I have a doctor appointment coming up, but it's not til March. I actually had to cancel my last two. I have a hard time scheduling appointments when I am in class for the majority of their office hours and my work schedule changes every week.
I got scolded for canceling my last one. This means that I have been on the phone with various people multiple times to get my prescriptions filled.
I know I need to go. And I should probably be seeing a psychologist also. But I am just done with doctors. I have not had a therapist that I ever felt like I could open up to. And I do NOT like psychiatrists. They just talk to you for ten minutes. Give you some pills. And send you on your way. They don't know a damn thing about me or my life.
I am just so sick of it. I never want to go. Sometimes I have been convinced that seeing a therapist helps. And I guess it had at various times. But I am not good at telling people things about my life without feeling some sort of judgment from them or being completely embarrassed and uncomfortable. So, I think that I omit things when I go. I actually convince myself that I am totally okay, great in fact, regardless of if I am, when I go. And that convinces them that I am fine also.
I mean, do I talk to them about simply how I feel, physically and emotionally? Or do I talk about situations going on in my life? Do I talk about my sex life, or problems with friends, or things that I think even though I know they are stupid and wrong? Like my weight gain. No one can tell that I have gained a lot of weight. But I still feel fat some days. (Logically, I know that I am not, but that doesn't always change how I feel)
I have good days and bad days. Generally the good outweigh the bad. And on the good days, it is hard for me to recollect the bad. So if I am at the doctors on a good day, chances are, I won't even be able to think of something wrong in my life. That is just how I am.
Most of the time, I think that is a blessing.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Goldfish and wine

Low key Friday night, although not for lack of trying. The problem with having so many work friends is that they are always at work! And just about all my other friends have crappy retail jobs, so they are at work too. I'm just getting sick of only having a social life after ten pm.
But to be honest, I am enjoying a night home. I haven't done anything today since class. I went grocery shopping with Jonathan, and then we rented a movie ($1.99 coupon for blockbuster!) and watched it. Now he is sleeping because that is what he does, and I am eating goldfish crackers and drinking wine :)
I played around with ink for a bit. I brought home some old calligraphy pens and ink from the last time I was at my parents. The purpose of it was to write out the epic battle scene in Beowulf in Old English for a friend of ours as a little Christmas present. I haven't got it done yet. I have the opening of the poem, but the battle scene is much much longer. It sounds kinda dorky, but it looks pretty cool.
But now I am trying to do some ink drawings with the pens, which is interesting because I have only done dotted ink drawings and that doesn't really work with these pens... So now I am covered in ink and have a kinda goofy looking picture of half a face :)
But anyway, the reason that I am happy to be home tonight and not out with friends is because I am starting to feel panicky again. I hate this feeling and it has been about two years since I have felt this way. And of course I start to now when I am considering going off medication, right? Well, that is probably part of the reason. Another is stress from school, as well as trying to find jobs and figure out what to do with my life. Another is caffeine.
I had almost forgotten that dealing with anxiety shapes every aspect of my life. I notice much more severely than most when I am eating unhealthily or not exercising enough. I am so conscious of every slight change in my body... rising heart rate, change in vision due to florescent lights, slight change in equilibrium, tightening muscles, heavier breath, adrenaline pumping through my body causing every slight change to be as severe as a slap in the face. It turns me into a hypochondriac.
I have to start taking sleep aids again because I can't calm down for just a minute.
I really hate this.
But I am not where I have been before. I just stated the REASONS for feeling this way. Reasons that I can mostly change, and other that I can't but can at least realize that it is okay. I can start exercising, cut caffeine out of my diet (slowly so I don't sleep through a week of classes), and I already bought healthier food.
Speaking of which, tonight's dessert was a yogurt and fruit smoothie :) so delicious!

But anyway, my point is that there is really no reason to be scared or panicking. I know now what I can do to change things to make my life easier, more comfortable, and much more healthy. I just have to start doing it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Big life

I want a big life. I don't want to be stuck in an office from the moment I finish college until who knows when. But I don't know what I mean by this.
I don't have the money to travel. But I want to travel. In all honesty I could MAKE it work... maybe... but the lack of security would scare me.

My boyfriend and I had talked about moving out west for a winter when I graduate. I would LOVE to do this. But I can't help looking at it as putting my life on hold. At least that is what first pops into my head, because if we did go out west, I would likely be waiting to find a job. A real job. You know, that has SOMETHING to do with my degree. I immediately get the feeling that I am just prolonging the process of figuring out my life.

But then I realize: this is something that I want to do. This is something that I may not be able to do later on in my life. I want to raise a family in MN, so if I go out west it should be now. It is not putting my life on hold. It is living my life.

But I have that voice in my head (one of an unnamed family member who I know just wants what is best for me) that this is stupid. That I need to start looking for jobs now so I can maybe get one. That I am actually slacking off on my future because I haven't applied anywhere yet. (I'm stuck on writing a cover letter)

There are other reasons that I would not be able to go. It just doesn't seem very possible or even probable.
I always SAY I am going to do something. Then I never go through with it. I just hide behind my books, my lack of money, or whatever is convenient.

I just can't help feeling sometimes that life is passing me by. I shouldn't feel this. I am too young to feel this. But sometimes I take on the mindset of someone much older.
I'm not saying that I am mature for my age or anything like that. I am just saying that I feel the worries... the ticking clock... that anyone in their early twenties probably shouldn't feel. Or at least not worry about as much as I do.

Can you tell I am nervous for graduation??
All that is on my mind is my future...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Constant reminders

Today was my first day back at school after break. It is amazing how disconnected I can become from my community in just a short amount of time. I am using the term community somewhat loosely here. I just mean the people that I run into every day. The people whose paths cross my own on my way to class. The people who have the same study spots as I do. I quickly forget all the problems of the world when they are no longer thrown in my face.

While I was waiting at the bus stop, there was another man waiting there as well. A young man. Probably not even my age yet, but definitely older than 18. He was completely illiterate. The only reason I say this is because working with immigrant students last semester that barely spoke English, I picked up on some of the "tricks" that they used to get information from people.
He had been standing at the bus stop, looking at the schedule, before I got there. But when I did arrive, and also looked at the schedule, he asked me when the bus was coming.
This is not the first time that I have encountered a person that could not read numbers, or figure out a simple time chart. The area of the city that I live in is filled with East African immigrants who have come to the US within the last five years, or maybe only three months. But there are also just a lot of poor people. I don't think that this man was an immigrant. His English, while grammatically incorrect, contained no accent.
I realize that this may sound judgmental, but this is just what went through my mind. After my eyes were opened to the millions of people with low literacy skills, it seems that I cannot escape it.
Every time something about education gets brought up I get angry. I wish that I could change it. I can't believe how amazingly stupid the system is. I just don't know how any one could even possibly think that it is working!
I am starting to realize where my passions are.
Maybe I shouldn't "give up my ideals and live in the real world." Maybe I should introduce the world to my ideals. Work for something that I actually care about.
I just worry that it would completely take over my life. When I am passionate about something, I can have difficulty in expressing it. I can get so frustrated and flustered that I don't even know how to form the words to say what I feel. But I can't just sit by and watch this country drag the education of its children through the mud.
Do you know that Minnesota is really up there for "good education?" We have one of the highest graduation rates. We also have one of the highest achievement gaps. That basically means that mostly white students succeed, and students of color do not. The gap refers to this difference. Students in certain areas are not given the same benefits as students that live in other areas. How can anyone change their life for the better when they aren't given the opportunity?!
I don't even know what kinds of jobs are out there that would allow me to follow this passion that aren't simply volunteer jobs, since there are virtually no nonprofit organizations hiring. And I think I need a little workplace experience before I reform the school system in America :)

Monday, January 18, 2010


I have kept my blogs light and mostly happy. I don't delve into serious issues. I don't share all sorts of serious issues even with my closest friends. But I just need work through some things and I don't care anymore how many people know.

I have dealt with depression since high school, and anxiety/panic disorder since a few years ago. I don't know why I so often feel the way that I do. I had a good childhood. I can't blame it on my parents. Maybe it is just an imbalance of chemicals in my brain... but it feels more personal than that.
I started taking medication for depression when I was 17. I think that I was only mildly depressed. I was not suicidal. Just sad and lethargic. But I was dating a boy who convinced me that there was something wrong. That I needed help. He made me go see a doctor. I don't resent him for encouraging me to see a psychologist, but to be completely honest, I do blame him for my going on medication. I hate taking pills. But he, along with the doctors, convinced me that medication was what I needed. I really had no say in the matter. I just listened to him and ignored my parents who also thought that I didn't need it.
I thought that he knew me better than anyone in the world. I didn't talk to my parents about my problems, so I was convinced that they didn't know me at all. I let myself be controlled by him. I am just as much to blame.
Pills never really helped. I switched from one to the other, never really feeling anything but the side effects. Then there was one that didn't make me shaky or sick. One that didn't make me so tired that I couldn't stay awake in class. So I stayed on it. And things eventually ended with my high school boyfriend.
A year or so after that, I decided that I really didn't need medication. I was fine. Other than having a few bad days here and there where I just didn't want to get out of bed, or crying for no reason, I was happy. So I went of the meds. I still saw a doctor for awhile, made sure there were no serious withdrawal symptoms. I felt great for awhile.
Then one day I didn't. There were other things going on in my life. I was stressed out of my mind trying to work full time (actually 50 hours) and go to school full time and maintain a social life which included my new boyfriend. There were other things also that aren't worth mentioning, but it was obvious that I wasn't in a good place. This is when the panic attacks set in.
I still can't talk about the month I went through of constant panic attacks without crying from humiliation. Without sleep, the stress of school, the stress of work, the stress of trying to hide what was happening to me was too much. I went crazy. It took me months to recover to the point where I could go a couple weeks without having a panic attack. But I continue to struggle with sleep, and I am obviously not recovered emotionally. This was over two years ago. It sounds like a weird thing to be embarrassed about. But I am.
So, needless to say, I went back on medication. More this time. Sleeping pills, antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds, mild sedatives. I still take some of them. I got off the sleeping pills. That was the longest to recover from. I tried so many different kinds. Some made me hallucinate. Some made me feel like a train wreck in the morning. Sometimes I would miss classes because I couldn't wake up, or if I did I was too dizzy to walk to the bus. Sometimes I would sleep through classes because I was either not awake yet or hadn't slept in days. Somehow I made it through and my grades didn't suffer too badly. But I don't remember much from those months.
I remember I quite smoking, drinking, and drinking caffeine all in the same day. I was the biggest bitch for a whole week. It took a tole on my body.
So did everything else. I was underweight. I couldn't make myself eat enough to sustain being awake twenty hours a day. I don't eat when I get stressed. You could see my ribs. All of them. After dropping under 120 (I'm 5'7) people started to worry. They thought I was on drugs or anorexic. I wasn't. It was all psychological.
All these thing, they are all embarrassing to me. And there are more, many more, that I can't even bring myself to repeat. I hated my life at this point. I hated what I had become. And I never want to go there again. I never want to feel this afraid to live.

But I don't want to be on medication anymore.

I don't want to have to take this substance just to make me normal. I don't remember to take it everyday, and when I forget I get so dizzy I can barely stand.

I half blame being on medication in the first place for making me so crazy. Sure they may have helped a bit. But when I went off them, the shit really hit the fan. I feel like having started on them at such a young age may have made my brain chemistry reliant on them to produce certain amounts of serotonin or whatever it is that keeps you sane. So that when I went off them, my brain freaked out.
I know that the stress at the time had a lot to do with it as well, but I am much more equipped to deal with stress than I was two years ago. Not to mention that I am not that stupid or desperate to try and work full time while going to school full time.

I read in the news recently that there have been recent studies that show that antidepressants don't do anything for people with mild depression. As I said, I never would have qualified my depression as more than mild. But the anxiety. Do I have a severe anxiety disorder? I haven't had a panic attack since that horrible month or two. I don't feel like I have a panic disorder. Other than being a worry wart, I don't feel anxious. (and I get the worry wart ness from my mom) But that is not affecting my life in seriously negative ways. But is that the drugs? Is the only reason that I can be level headed now because I have been on medication for two years?

I don't know what to do.

Sure, I deal with depression. I deal with anxiety. I am moody. There are days that I don't want to talk to people or get out of bed. I cry for no reason whatsoever. I have a hard time forgiving myself and people who have seriously let me down. But sometimes I am too nice for my own good.
But this is me. This is what gives me my quirky literature art nerd creativity. At the risk of sounding narcissistic, I kinda like me. Even though I often struggle with it, and have issues with my past, I like who I am deep down inside. And I have friends and family who also like me. They even love me.
Why should I take some stupid pill to make me a drone?

But I can't help feeling like going off medication will repeat the worst year of my life. I am scared to go back to where I was. I am scared of losing things that I had to try so hard to get back. I don't know that I would make it out if I had to go through it again. I don't want to risk all that I have accomplished in the past two years. All that I have learned. All that I have grown. My job, my school, my friends, my boyfriend, my sanity.
I'm just stuck.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Michigan and coming home 2...

I had to cut the last one short so Jonathan and I could run some errands... and then get the flu, or something :( We both started feeling sick today, and I think he has a fever, but it is hard to tell when we are living in a fucking sauna.
More on the trip though...
We found out that Jonathan's niece does, in fact, have nonhodgkins lymphoma. Which is oddly good news. We knew that she had cancer, but found out that it is a very treatable type. She will have to go through 18 months of chemotherapy, and all the doctors seem to be hopeful so far that that will do it. She will have more tests done and know more later. It is good to have hope. But so incredibly sad that she will be spending her senior year of high school going through chemo. She is also a very pretty girl, and I can't imagine how hard it will be for her to lose her hair. Our prayers are with her and the whole family.

After all that driving, being cramped in one position for three hours, then another for three hours, was really hard on my back. I also neglected my exercises this week... oops! And now I'm paying for it. Back pain is one of those shitty things that never really goes away. Sure it may feel just fine for a day, a month, even a year... but then you bend down to pick up a piece of paper, or sit in a car for twelve hours, or just turn around and then you are out for months.
I was just thinking that I haven't been rock climbing or out playing volleyball for a very long time. After throwing out my back twice this summer, I have become somewhat of a wuss. I am always afraid that I will hurt it again. Even when snowboarding, I have less confidence to try new things, or even do things that I already know how to do. I have really taken it easy this year. I think that I need to start a regimented workout, do even more back exercises and strength training...
I am in a bit of a rambling mood because I feel too sick to go out, and I don't want to leave Jonathan alone when he is feeling this sick, but he is sleeping. We are camping out in the living room because there are two windows out here that the air kinda sorta comes in. Whereas our room only has one window and no air flow whatsoever. So, I gotta keep the noise down too. I can't wait until this damn heater gets fixed. We put it off for a little while because it started working normally again for awhile, and we thought that it would continue... we were wrong. Now we just have to wait for our wonderfully idiotic landlord...

I start my last semester of school on Tuesday. I am a little nervous. I was trying to get a head start on my reading during break. I have four Jane Austen novels and four George Elliot novels. And I only got about three quarters the way through Pride and Prejudice, which I have already read, and only a few chapters in to Middlemarch. My brain just cannot take any more information! I tried, but could not finish even a single book over a month! I am hoping that will change, (it probably will) and that I will snap back into school mode in the first week. Luckily, other than the eight novels, I don't have much to read. I think one of my classes has a thirty page a week reading load (which is ridiculously low) and I am not sure about the other ones, but one is an art class, and one is an art history class. So I think that the actual reading will be somewhat slim as well.
Oh, just a funny side note... I was all excited at the end of last semester that I never had to read poetry again, like really really excited... well guess what?! I bought Paradise Lost, a really long poem by Milton :) I also started reading that over break. I actually like Milton a lot, even though he was a sexist pig. He just didn't know any better, and his poetry doesn't reflect his views on women (mostly). I have read parts of Paradise Lost before, and enjoyed it. But I felt the need to read it in full for my own enjoyment and for the benefit of fully understanding the Victorian literature that I will be reading this semester. I figure out last semester that many Victorian writers were obsessed with Milton, but haven't yet figured out why. One of the characters in Middlemarch regards him as a great man, and Jane Austen had definitely read him. So that is my personal quest of the semester. Oh, and also to figure out how a woman novelist of that time could be so conservative! (the novelist of course being Jane Austen) and why so many remakes of her movies insist on making her lead characters seem so much stronger in character and more "feminist," for lack of a better term, rather than fitting within the norms of the society at the time...
Just some random thoughts :)

Michigan and coming home...

I spent this past week in Michigan with my boyfriend and his parents. This was my first time meeting them, and I had about twelve hours in the car on the way there to worry about what they would think of me. Well, those fears were quelled, and I think that they liked me, at least they told Jonathan that they approved :) They are very nice, and it was interesting to see where my boyfriend grew up.
We stopped on the way there for a fun filled day of snowboarding in the northern part of lower MI, Nubs Nob. It was so much fun! Since it was a Monday, there were very few people there, so it seemed like we had the whole place to ourselves. Also (this was our favorite part)they had a mini boarder cross run set up! We went down that run like twenty time :) The weather was great for the majority of the day, and we had fresh snow falling all morning. It started to get really windy and gross just when we left.
We mostly just relaxed at his parents house. Watched movies, read books, and ate way too much food! There was so much food. I think we both gained ten pounds! But it was delicious. I got the grand tour of Saginaw township, which is a very nice suburb-like area. Lots of restaurants. And then of the city. Part of the city was kinda nice. He took me to his favorite coffee shop where he spent most of his free time as a teenager, and we walked around and looked at some cool graffiti. But just across the river, the city was really sad and poor. Almost half the houses we drove by in one area had windows broken, or just not even there, and people were still living in them. I understand now why Jonathan always says that Minnesota doesn't have any really bad parts. I think Michigan got hit pretty hard with the economic crisis.
We also went to Frankenmuth, a really cute German town that has the largest Christmas store ever, Bronners. It was scary. But I kinda liked it.
The rest of the time was just spent playing games and chatting with the fam. Overall it was a nice relaxing week.
Oh, except for the explosions on the way there. So, we drove through the UP on a Sunday. Bad idea. We got a flat tire... we ours basically exploded, there would be no repairing it. But luckily we got to a gas station right away. We put a spare on, but there was no way that we could make it to the next town with just a spare... and no tire shops were open. It was actually kinda funny to talk to the yooppers :) Whenever we asked where the nearest tire shop or anything was they just said, "well, ya ain't gonna find anything on a Sunday" or "that car of yurs shur has small tires. don't know if steve would even have un that small" or simply "not fur that car" (I don't have an American car)
But they were super nice and after like an hour of calling people that we didn't know we finally got a tire put on... and it only took him like five minutes to do it.
Well, we got to the hotel without anymore problems. But while Jonathan was in the shower, he kept hearing a POP POP. I thought he was dropping something, and he thought I was making the noise. But after awhile he yelled for me to come in there. It didn't take us long to figure out what was making the noise... Sparks, or I should say flames, came shooting out of the ceiling vent! We had to shut the light off to get it to stop. So, then we got to switch rooms and wait for the heat in the next room to turn on, since the heat in the actual hotel was not on.
The drive home was much less eventful. But we then walked into our ninety (I'm not exaggerating) degree apartment... It is awful! But hopefully that will get taken care of in the next couple days...

Friday, January 8, 2010

I think that today can count as a bad day

One of my good friends is going off to Iraq tomorrow morning.. early. Tonight was our one last hurrah before he ships out. So a bunch of friends and I went and shot some pool and had a few beer and a lot of laughs.
To be honest, I haven't seen this particular friend in quite a long time. It may have been six months since we last hung out. But we can always pick up where we left off. He has a really hard life, full of really difficult situations. And he is not the type of person that will ask for help. Since after high school he has been moving around from place to place, and I just see him when I can. But he is still like a brother to me.
Tonight, watching his last few hours with spent with the sweetest girl he has ever dated, and saying goodbye to his four month old daughter... it was heartbreaking.
It is made even harder by my own personal views on the war which I will set aside here for respect to all of our brave soldiers. My views on those who serve the country is not in any way tainted by the wars that we fight. But it doesn't make it any easier to send him off to Iraq.
He is a chaplains assistant. He won't leave base. He is basically a body guard who does paper work. He won't likely be in any line of fire, and will probably not die or be injured. This says nothing about emotional trauma. He is being sent into war. As a chaplains assistant he WILL deal with messy situations, he WILL see death, he WILL be affected. I worry about his mental well being. As I said, he has a lot of really messed up situations to deal with already here at home, he does not need his life to become emotionally harder. He needs to stay healthy for his daughter. This is what I worry about.
My heart truly goes out to him and his girlfriend and his daughter. I pray that he will remain the same good man that we all know and love, and only grow for the better. I pray that he will not be harmed. And I also pray that he will remember those who love him, and hold that comfort with him in midst of war.

Another thing that broke my heart today was learning that Jonathan's 15 year old niece has cancer. I'm not sure yet how exactly he is taking it, but I know that we are both a little bit in shock at how young she is. She is just too young to have cancer. We don't know all the details yet, and won't find out until after she goes to a clinic on Monday. We can only pray for God to make the best of this situation.

My heart goes out to these people in need of comfort right now. They need more comfort than any one person can give them. They need the strength of God and the love of a community. And I will pray for both. Please do the same.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sherlock Holmes... the movie

Jonathan and I just went to see the Sherlock Holmes movie. We both really liked it! There were a few discrepancies, but we decided that they were necessary in making the literary character into a movie character. One that Jonathan brought up was that he (Sherlock himself) was to much in reality. That might not be the best way to say it... basically in the Conan Doyle stories, Holmes is quite often off in his own world and has many more weird quirks than the movie character shows. I mentioned that the directer did try and make up for this by allowing Holmes to occasionally become lost in thought, or at times seem completely crazy. However, had the entire movie been like this, it would have been a disaster. So, I think that they did a pretty good job of balancing that. Next issue is that the story is not told from Dr. Watson's point of view as are almost all of Conan Doyle's stories (I think all but the first one where he is introduced, and maybe one other). Because of this, the audience sees the story unfold as an uninvolved third party. It is not quite the same as having an omniscient narrator, since we only occasionally see into Holmes' mind, but it is extremely different from the stories in which we never see into his mind and only view his thoughts at the end as he tells them to Watson. In the movie, the audience is allowed to pick up on some facts before the end of the story. This is also somewhat necessary for a movie as opposed to literature. I also thought that there was a bit too much violence... also to make it a more interesting movie. But, although Holmes is an accomplished fighter, he does not, ever, fight that much in any of his stories. But I was very entertained by all of this. It was actually a great movie.
One of my favorite parts was that Irene Adler was a main character. She was, in fact, used as a foil to Holmes. It was great! It was basically what would/could have happened if she had actually appeared in any stories again (after A Scandal in Bohemia). I thought it was a very fun play on the story... probably mostly because I love that the only person to really dupe Sherlock Holmes was a woman :) But of course in the movie, she breaks down and admits her love for him, in her own way. Would have been more true to the character if she had kept running.
Another Sherlock Holmes enemy character makes an appearance in the film, Moriarty. He played a somewhat minor role, being used as the main reason that Adler came back in Holmes' life, but also set up the movie for a sequel. Moriarty was actually depicted as Holmes' arch-nemesis, so I wouldn't be surprised (and in fact be very delighted) to see another Holmes movie in which he pursues his case against Moriarty.
All in all, I loved the movie. And I also now think that Robert Downy Jr is very good looking :)


When I really need to clear my head, nothing works better than being on the top of the world, completely alone in the snow. Ok, well not completely alone, but alone in my mind. Unfortunately we don't have mountains here in good ol MN, and nothing can compare to being on the top of a mountain. For some reason, when I am on the slopes, by head is so level, I am so clear minded and calm. I don't get it because it is also a huge adrenaline rush.
I have always loved the snow. And the cold. I do not do well with summers anymore. When I was younger, I loved them as much as I loved winter. But now, they are just a few really uncomfortable months. Winter, on the other hand, is when I get to wear my sweaters and cute boots. I get to layer the comfy clothes on. And the snow. The snow is just cleansing. After the beautiful colors of the fall fade away and leave the cities looking bland and dirty, nothing but dust, the snow covers everything in a thick white blanket. It makes all the trees sparkle.
Nothing is more beautiful to me than a snow covered mountain.

Lately, my apartment has been around eighty degrees. Not fun. As I said, I don't deal well with heat. Last night, all but one of my windows were frozen shut. I didn't have the heat on. I was wearing just a tanktop and underwear. And I couldn't sleep at all because I was too warm. I pulled out some icepacks, and tried taking a cold shower, but I still could just not sleep because it was way to warm.
I actually ended up calling in sick to work today because I hadn't slept, and felt really dizzy. I was probably dehydrated. I felt bad, because I don't really think that I am sick, but I just would not have been able to function. It was just a short shift anyway. But now, I have only really slept one and a half nights out of the last four. I blame it on wicked early shifts and my crappy apartment.
As I am writing this, there is literally snow blowing in from my one open window... it feels really nice!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Random thoughts

As I am preparing for my last semester of college, I am trying to figure out what to do with my life. Anyone who has read anything that I have written on here already knows this, but it just keeps coming up. An acquaintance of mine from high school just posted a bunch of picture of her new home in Argentina. There she has friends from all over the world, and is living in a wonderful new culture and environment. I find that I am jealous. My cousin lives in Hawaii right now, and is opening her own restaurant in a few weeks. Also jealous. SO many people that I know just don't seem afraid to do what they want to do. I want a big life. I want to travel. Experience different cultures. Learn multiple languages. But I just don't know how to.

Sometimes I feel stuck. I have a life here, as small and insignificant as it may be. I have health insurance from the company that I work for. I even get benefits. I don't know how to just give that security up. I am in the process of looking for a job, but I haven't even though of looking for one outside of MN. Ultimately, I want to end up here. This is where I want to raise a family. But could I live somewhere else and then move back? I just don't know.

My boyfriend tells me that I worry too much about the future. I think he is right. I think that I should have some concern for it, but not make myself sick in thinking about all the things that could go wrong. Which is what I do. And what I don't know how to stop doing. I'm afraid that I wont live a big life. That I wont do the things that I want to do. That I will just get a job and settle down. Because that is what I am trying so hard to do. Because that is what you are supposed to do after college. And because that is what my family expects. But I am not sure that that is me.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday night pizza

My homemade pizza is cooking in the oven right now. MMMM... I bought some fresh mozzarella to put on it, and fresh tomatoes, and artichokes, and kalamata olives :)
I used my food processor to make the dough! It was so easy.
I couldn't decide which wine to pair with it since I didn't want to open a nice Nerello, so I just grabbed a Bourdoux... but it Does have a nice round flavor... there seems to be a lot of merlot in it, so it is not so dry as your average cab franc--cab sauv mix in the Bourdoux. Not too sure about it, but it works for a monday night.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Playing with my new Christmas toys

Well, I should really be sleeping right now because I have to get up in 4 1/2 hours. I hate early morning shifts when I am used to working til eleven at night. But I was just very excited about making salsa tonight!

I love to cook. I really love to cook. I am not that talented at it, but I can follow a recipe when I try... unfortunately I usually just make it up as I go, and that can turn out in any number of ways. But I live in the tiniest teeniest apartment with the teeniest kitchen that has a lizard in it. (yes, our lizard is in the kitchen... it is the most humid place in the apartment and also it just won't fit anywhere.) Obviously I hate this, but it is a compromise, and I have grown to love the little guy. But this means no counter space. We have about a two by two foot area of counter space where, normally, my coffee pot sits and the dishes dry. This makes cooking difficult. But now, I have a food processor!!!! All the chopping and mushing and blending can be done in there and not on my nonexistent counter!

I tried it out at my parents house, making lentil soup, MMM :) and baba ganoush MMM MMM :) And that was very fun. Since I have been home, though, I have not really had time or energy to do the whole cooking thing. I have felt pretty sick for about the last week. Not horribly ill, but still no appetite. W

Well, today, I was hungry! I wanted food. So food I made. (now, I am still poor, so I won't be creating any magnificent entrees any time soon) I made some salsa, which I accidentally blended a bit too long so it's mush, and I only had two tomatoes, but three jalapenos, and so it's a little green. Green mush. I'm really glad that my boyfriend isn't scared to try new things, as long as they don't have meat in them! It tasted just fine. A little too spicy for me to eat just with chips, but Jonathan liked it. I made a little cheese and bean dip with salsa on top for dinner. That was the part that I liked :)
Tomorrow I am going to make a pizza. Dough, sauce, and everything :) I work in the AM and Jonathan doesn't work tomorrow night, so hopefully we will get a little time together.

I recently watched that Julia and Julia (?) movie, about a woman who blogs about cooking everything in Julia Childes cook book... I think I want to do something like that. Not from one specific cook book, but just to start cooking my own meals. Simple or complex. I just want to cook more, and eat healthier. I think I may do that, so watch out for some food posts comin up!
This could also be inspired by the large amount of wine that I just purchased. I try to only buy wine once every few months, and just stalk up on it. And this time, I got suckered into buying some really nice ones. These wines themselves deserve a dinner to be made for them.

I am curious, though, as to how to pair red wines to vegetarian dishes. Whites are always recommended, but I just don't really like most whites, and all of this cooking will be vegetarian. hmmm...

I don't know if I have mentioned before; my boyfriend is a vegetarian. And while I do not follow a strict practice of not eating meat or animal products, I have become very aware of why one might be. Even before him I was picky with what kind of meat that I eat, and even more picky about how it is cooked. I generally will not eat meat if I do not know where it came from. This is why I love eating my parents venison. I have become a bit more lax on this since I found out that I have a vitamin b12 deficiency and taking vitamin supplements did nothing. So I had to eat a little bit more meat. Mostly though, I only eat it when I am at my parents house. I could never resist BBQ ribs the way they make them, or a nice juicy steak... so I never could be a vegetarian, but I don't find it hard to live with one. The only real problem that we have ever had was when I found out that I can't tolerate soy. :( sad story

I made a vegan key lime pie at Jonathan's request, since all the other regular key lime pies tended to have gelatin in them, which he won't eat. Anyway, it turned out great, and tasted delicious! for about ten minutes. Then I was sick the rest of the day.... totally explained why I would get stomach pains after using his soy milk in my cereal. Now we just buy separate milk and cheese.

Well, after that little ramble, I will just say that you can be expecting to hear more about my vegetarian cooking, and I may also post recipes that I like! And of course pair a wine with it. Lets see how long this lasts....

Friday, January 1, 2010

New years eve bash

This year for New Years I decided (early on in the day) to make it a somewhat low-key party. I decided to go to a friends house for "game night," where there would be a few other people... We played one game, and then proceeded to drink way too much. Well, I didn't drink to much. I stayed at a happy medium, where I wouldn't even think of driving, but I was also pretty coherent and had no possibility of getting sick.

Now, I am a college student, and have been for almost five years. I have had my fair share of stupid drunkenness. Even somewhat more recent stories, as much as I hate to admit it. Although the number of times that I have puked from drinking could be counted on my one hand, I sure made them memorable... I once even puked on one of my manager's cars... embarrassing! But I like to think that I have learned from my mistakes, and that I know my limit. I do not enjoy being that drunk, and frankly I am surprised that anyone would purposely get that drunk. This being said, I did not know what to make of some of the people at the party...

One of my friends wanted to drink. She has just worked an incredibly stressful three sixty to eighty hour work weeks... she is insane. But she wanted to blow off some steam. Understandable. She got a little carried away though, and I had to play mother hen for a large portion of the night trying to get her to go in the bathroom and clean up... she refused to move and continued to make a mess. Now, I love this girl, I really do. And most of the night she was apologetic about being sick. But then she started to say that it was just "getting even" for all the times that she has taken care of me. I know she was drunk and didn't mean it, but that hurt. And I also didn't feel like it was very true. Other than another embarrassing car-puke incident, she hasn't had to deal with me being crazy drunk since we were 18 and in our first semester of college. And that is what she compared this to. I don't think that friends should hold tabs on what they do for the other one. She apologized again in the morning, and didn't say anything about me deserving to have to take care of her, so I let it go. I don't think that she remembered, and I will just blow it off as a stupid drunk comment unless it comes up again.
The other crazy thing that happened was an extremely drunk man who kept trying to talk to me. The problem was, I could not understand what he was trying to say. And he could not understand what I was saying to him. I ignored him most of the night, and it wasn't a big deal. But when I went out to the porch to air out the puke smell that was on me from taking care of my friend, he was out there (so was another one of my friends, so I wasn't alone!) But he then commenced to try and pee off the porch, but had a bit of trouble, because he peed all over the deck and his feet. Oh, and he was hitting on me while he was doing this... at least, I think he was, but as I said nothing he was saying made any sense. He just kept asking if I had anyone "real" in my life. And I kept replying that all my friends and MY BOYFRIEND were "real," whatever that meant. Since he was standing nearest the door, I had to wait until he was done to go inside... seriously people. Control your drinking! After a while, he came inside and passed out in the doorway that I had to walk through to get to the bathroom where my friend was. He was a big guy, and hard to step over. Not fun.
So, out of all this comes a New Years resolution: I am never going to get so drunk that I pee on my feet.