Saturday, November 11, 2006

My Favorite Singer

I look at music as something I “like” but not something that I’m really passionate about anymore. As a child, I worked so hard to try and fit in and be able to sing. Charlotte Mims, mother rest her soul, encouraged me to sing, even when I was slightly off key and just a tiny bit behind on the beat. It was okay with her because I was trying. I … am sorry to say that with Charlotte’s death, I quit trying in earnest.

My husband on the other hand, walks around singing constantly. Either an actual song or making one up as he goes along. HE has the voice for it. He was in choirs too as a teenager and while I struggled with it, he just gets it. Something to do with his 90% retention rate and his love of music. It's an important part of his life, and so, in some ways, he's helped to bring music back into my life. I don't know if he has one favorite singer, he likes sooooo many.

When I lived with Heather - her favorite artist is Celine Dion - and I was introduced to her. This is how much my hubby loves music - he has several Celine Dion cd's of his own. And he's not afraid to pop 'em in and listen to them! *grins*

But that is their favorites... lets talk about mine for a moment. I consider her to be an ‘honest’ singer. I have “luv bug” to thanks for my introduction to Ani (Aw-ne not An-E”) DiFranco.

If you can put aside the in-your-face-honesty (similar to deaf bluntness in my book) her messages are clear and unmistakable. I found this link to one of her amazing concerts in ‘02. This one in particular is her second appearance at Carnegie Hall. You have to click on the green PLAY button to hear it. It’s worth the time and effort to stream and listen to [in my book]. One of her songs (about ten minutes in) about Families… just makes me smile and nod. I can empathize with the song. A connection has been made.

Ani makes mention to some of her songs being “not a family song”. One in particular starts at 27:00 - the back story to the song starts a minute before. One of the key lines is “please don’t, please stop, this is not my obligation, what does my body have to do with my gratitude”. Being a survivor of sexual assault - I have yet another connection to the music, at the very least, to this one set of lines in the chorus. It is by no means my favorite song, but I can understand the frustration she sings of.

Ani does a set at 56:12 that talks about how “we are all poems, 90% metaphors“… her reflection and anger over 9-11 is shared... It speaks for itself. You have to listen to it with an open mind, it comes across as negative and slanderous against ‘American Ideals’ but the line “take away our play stations and we are a third world nation”. She speaks of a more serene time, when people cared and did what was required. In the background, where the audience is normally boisterous and vocal - during this set, they are quiet and attentive, listening.

“10% literal, 90% metaphor, 3,000-some poems, disguised as people on an almost too perfect day”.

Unfortunately she didn't do my favorite song of hers during the performance. However, I'll share the words with you just the same.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

32 flavors

squint your eyes and look closer
i'm not between you and your ambition
i am a poster girl with no poster
i am thirty-two flavors and then some
and i'm beyond your peripheral vision
so you might wanna turn your head
'cuz some day you are going to get hungry
and eat most of the words you just said

both my parents taught me about good will
and i have done well by their names
just the kindness i've lavished on strangers
is more than i can explain
still there's many who've turned out their porch lights
just so i would think they were not home
and hid in the dark of their windows
'til i passed and left them alone

god help you if you are an ugly girl
course too pretty is also your doom
'cuz everyone harbors a secret hatred
for the prettiest girl in the room
and god help you if you are a phoenix
and you dare to rise up from the ash
a thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy
while you are just flying past

i never tried to give my life meaning
by demeaning you
and i would like to state for the record
i did everything that i could do
i'm not saying that i'm a saint
i just don't wanna live that way
i will never be a saint
but i will always say

squint your eyes and look closer
i'm not between you and your ambition
i am a poster girl with no poster
i am thirty-two flavors and then some
and i'm beyond your peripheral vision
so you might wanna turn your head
'cuz some day you might find you are starving
and eating all of the words that you said

© 1995 ani difranco / righteous babe music

Friday, November 10, 2006

I knew it!

Well - I should have laid money down, by way of a bet, when I said last night that J would probably stay home from school. I was right. But with good reason. She has really bad seizures and had two really "hard" ones this morning so she slept in. Lazy lady bug didn't wake up until 10am.

By that time, J was running a fever of 100.5 so naturally, Jwas given fever reducer, tucked into comfy pj's and I settled into work. That was until I got the idea to call in my co-worker. I knew A wasn't going out of town until this evening so I called on her charity (and the fact that I worked for her last night and I knew she probably would not turn her nose up at a chance to get the 5 hours back onto her paycheck). Mind you I had to go pick A up -her car is dead, has been for a while now- but doing so was worth it. I don't have to wear the same clothes for three days nd it let me drive my Camaro.
** By the way - he [the camaro] needs a name - any suggestions?**

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I got to spend time with my Darlin'. I got some laundry done [he helped to fold and put away and even helped me pack for the weekend]. We went for lunch with some friends and caught up on watching

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

I've commented on all of the blogs I read that have been recently updated only to look at mine and smack myself in the forehead. MY own dearly beloved blog has not been updated this week. Could that be because on monday we cleaned house like whirlwinds, knowing that company was coming over on Tuesday? Slept in for a change on Tuesday -until Rob had to go to training *cackles with a small smile* it's about time that he had some training. Compared to the last three months and still more next month, that he finally has some himself is funny to me.

I've been staying up way too much this week... Let me explain schedules and why this is - I work from 730a-9a on W, Th and F mornings. 3p-8/9p on W, Th F... and 8a-9p on Sats.

That is when my main girl "J" isn't sick or mom just wants to keep her home.
This weekend, J's mom and dad are taking time for themselves (something they could not and never did before my working for them) and going out of town. They will be leaving Friday afternoon and returning Sunday evening. So... I'm on and at work the entire weekend - 24/3. The other girl who normally works Sundays and I have switched shifts (it gives her Thurs, Fri, Sat AND Sun off).
So... I basically go in @ 730a tomorrow (I have sneaking feeling she'll stay home tomorrow) and I won't get off work until 8 or later on Sunday night. But the contract overnight money in my pocket will help pay an unexpected and non-budgeted-for bill.

Robert on the other hand - has a very set and steady schedule. W,Th,F,S and S from 3p - 12midnight. Which equates to my staying up late to at the very least say hi to him when he comes home (on the nights I don't pick him up from work) and by that time, I'm amped up and can't sleep so I'm up until 2 or 3 or 5(last night) in the morning with him. And yes, I'm dragging my tired ass out of bed at 645 so I can go to work and be up AAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLL day.

OH - Nifty Posible Thing Happening!

Mom (my mother in law - I call my own mother "momma") has told me about a
craft fair
being held in Ardmore this weekend and she and I may go and take J to it. (Her mom already approved the out of town trip! Woot)
J loves getting out, going for a drive and seeing things. Especially colors and will smile and giggle whenever I take her to Mom's embroidery shop (please note the # is wrong - if you are interested in something - contact me and I'll get you the number).


I took this some weeks ago... and I look at it now and wonder about how things are seen when you just look at it for a second. Just a cracked nut on the ground. But it fed an animal, it will help to feed the ground, produce rain, air for me to breathe. Every little thing matters. Even if you don't think it might.

Friday, November 03, 2006

To be seen - or to be known

We are taught as young children to not judge a person by their looks - but by the sum of their character - who they are in the "inside". Yet, at every turn, we are told to look at the outside only... in magazines, tv shows, and even in cartoons. Image has become a major focal point of our society. You must look this way, you should dress this way, you need to conform to the "accepted norm". I'm sorry, I don't do that. We as a people fought tooth and nail to not have to conform. Our forefathers crossed miles and miles of ocean, fought through horrid starting conditions all for the sake of being able to not have their lives dictated. Yet, here we are, still being dictated to - the packaging is just nicer. I'll be honest, I like looking at the bodies that make even a priest drool - but then once you scratch the surface what lies under isn't necessarily pleasing in any way other than to the first glimpse. Oh and don't forget, "they" say it's just the way it is. I still want to know who the hell "they" is or are and I think "they" need to have a reality check with a telephone pole.

Take the movie the Little Mermaid for example - the lead character is a tiny little girl with perfect perky boobs and a the perfect girly voice and flowing hair - even when under the water being chased by a shark and looks good in a ship's mast. The secondary female characters are well - to a point fat. The housekeep is fluffy but kind while the bad guy of the movie is a very well endowed and overflowing lady. Why can't the bad guy ever be a skinny chick and a fat chick be the good guy? Would that be such a bad thing? We want our girls to come into their own and be proud of themselves - yet we don't give "fat" girls any like sized role models to watch.

It reminds me of the backwater way of thinking that applied to pregnant girls. "Pregnancy begats pregnancy"- which is why girls used to get shipped off to the nethers anytime they came up with child before marriage. And even in todays "progressive" society, segrigation of pregnant and non in schools. It's not required in most larger districts but it is highly encouraged.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think that being overweight is cool or safe or even medically sound - but lets face it, in this fast food, just nuke something and premade meal, sit all day in front of the tv either watching shows that rot the brain or playing video games until you have calluses world... it's no wonder. Supersizing your fries and soda are encouraged and diet drinks are pushed at every turn - mind you the chemicals in them just make you store MORE fat and make you MORE dehydrated and MORE hungry - oh... no.. "they" say that diet drinks are better for you.

So - answer me this... when you look, just into my eye - what do you see? Take a moment and look through the window of my soul... and ask yourself how you want to be seen and if you rather be "seen" or "known". Me - I want to be known, not just seen.

I work with too many indivuals who as a culture and community are typically not known - and most don't want to admit that said individuals were seen either. It takes too much time and too much focus. Who wants to hang out with someone who drools and can't control the most basic of body functions.

*raises her hand and waves like a 2nd grader who has the answer and has to pee at the same time* OH OH OH - ME ME ME!

I adore working with my individuals. And trust me, they are individuals. I've been at this off and on since the early 90's - not counting the lifetime I've spent with my mom and I'm still learning something new about things everyday. Not only do I work with developmentaly disabled, but with physically disabled as well. Some you can't even tell to look at them that they are in the severe catagory - while some are missing parts or all of a limb, others have a sharp mind trapped in a body that just won't do what said mind wants it to.

Heck, sometimes I feel trapped in a body that just won't do what I want it to. I take it one moment at a time because, one day is just too much at one once sometimes.

So, I ask again - would you rather be seen or known?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

October in Review - Kinda a rant - you've been warned

Near as I can tell, October was "hell" month for me and mine. It seemed and felt like every time we turned around, some new issue was popping up out of the snow like daisys (but not as reassuring as that sentiment, let me tell you).

Though, in retrospect, I don't have Lupus, or some antibody that will cause me to miscarry then to stroke with a year's time of said miscarriage. So, in that respect, it could have been much worse. Don't get me wrong though folks, worrying over the tests for two weeks was enough to make me a bit... "cranky".

Alright, alright, alright, so I was bitchy and snappish. You would be too!

Back to the point; all the tests Mr. Neurologist did came back negative, it just goes to show they still don't know what the devil is wrong with me.

"How long have you had headaches" they ask, "On a scale from 1-10, how bad is your headache" they ask. Me, I look at the doc like he's just grown two extra heads and asked me to call him "Fluffy", smile and say "First one like this I remember was in 92, and on a good day, it's 'just' a ten, on a bad day... well... 22 sounds about right". Which lands me a raised brow and a furious following of scribble, scribble, scratch, scratch on my chart. I wonder if they doodle or if they are really taking notes some days.

Though, I have to say: KUDOS to my Neurologist! He actually gives a damn. Last Friday his nurse calls me, to see if I'd given any thought to having a Contrast MRI done. He'd mentioned it the previous week (about 2 or 6 times) and the fact that Nurse Karen called to ask again, I went ahead and said "Okay, let's get it done, but can we do that here in Ada, please?" I could hear her smiling over the phone, normally that makes my day, but it made me want to vomit at that moment. Who was she to be bright and chipper when they were going to shoot me full of dye and expose me to even MORE radiation. Yipee, it's sure my idea of fun. NOT. And oh, yeah, I need to have a Beta HCG with a negative result before I can be radiated.

I had no sooner got off the phone with Ms. Chipper, when my favorite-est PA calls up to see how I'm doing. I told her point blank I felt off, as the upcoming holidays do not put me in a Happy-go-lucky-mood but more of an Ebineser Scrooge saying Bah humbug mood. She empathized and offered short-term-medication to help me through the holidays. *laughs* It's tempting but I think I'll keep my neurosis thanks. She really does have the best of intentions. She let me know that my OBGYN wants more tests run, because well, he just felt there were a few bases that Mr. Neurologist didn't cover. And, could I get them done STAT so that the results are back before my follow-up next week.

Excuse me, do I look like a fluffy poodle just waiting to jump through firey hoops for your pleasure? Cuz, jeez folks, I'm just a person who works, has a life and plays World of Warcraft!

Monday morning rolls around and I call Ms. Chipper, and lo and behold she has an appointment for my MRI set. Now, me, I'm thinking: "It will be next month or next year" as it's usually a 6-10 week wait to get into one of those things unless it's a medical emergency in which case, they push the appointments back and let the crits go to the front of the line - as well they should. Triage baby, triage. So, imagine my jaw dropping when Ms. Chipper says "Does Tuesday the 31st at 8:30am work for you - you said you have Monday and Tuesday's off." Yea, my jaw hit the floor. This doc wasn't playing around on wanting this MRI done. I said that it would work and she asked me to have my local OBGYN just add my BHCG test to the others he was going to run. No problem - I can do that. (Let me know that they ARE communicating with each other like they should - cookies for the docs).

Called the Bestest PA and viola, one BHCG added to the list and away I go to get blood work done. Snag hit - the lab they sent me to, don't do on site testing.. they send it to the City and didn't know for sure if they'd have the results in time. No problem, another call to Ms. Chipper and its now "be at the MRI department at 7am so they can do a quick BHCG before the test".

7am Tuesday rolls around and I'm barely awake and it's effin COLD. I can't wear anything with metal bits so my warm jeans are out of the question. So fine, sweats and a blankie are my friends today. I was apparently VERY nervous about this, so on our way in, hubby stops at Love's (his favorite breakfast place, even though it's a gas station folks) and gets his b-fast and picks up a stuffed horse thats bigger than both my cats put together times about three. It takes up an entire shelf in our bookcase! It's name is Sam, but I'll explain that name later. A second stop at Mc Donalds and I'm set for breakfast too (I just love their sausage and cheese biscut early in the morning before it's hard and tasting like glue and flour).

Anyway, we get there and OOPS, my lab order was never called in and could I please call my Neurologist (AT 730 in the MORNING) and have him call in the order. I'm thinking - "yeeeeeah... right... you want him to do what?" but I placed the call, spoke to the answering service and proceeded to wait. Honest to goodness folks, he called me back within 7 minutes. I about fell out of my chair. I told him what we needed and he got it done. Another blood test done and I'm back in the chair with the tech coming up to me with a sheepish look. I'm thinking - oh shit, what now?! - and he goes "the lab just called, and it's a negative, but so did XX (the other lab that I went to Monday) and their test was negative too" So... I called my poor Neurologist at an ungodly hour for nothing. SORRY DOC!

Anywho, they did the test, shot me full of dye, tried to talk to me while I was in a tube with things against my ears and got a bit frustrated when I couldn't hear them. Uhm... HELLO!!!!! I told you I was hard of hearing and if you made me put those ear plugs in I was DEAF! But would you listen to me? Did I know what I was talking about? Oh... no! I'm just the patient, I don't know jack shit about myself and my abilities or inabilities - I need YOU, who have never met me before in either of our lives, to tell me that I'll be able to hear you just fine through them. *scoffs* Showed you what you and your paper that says you-can-be-taught knows.

Okay... that's enough bitching... positive things:
Tests came back negative.
October is OVER!
I made it to level 40 with my Mage in World of Warcraft like I wanted to!
It's that much closer to my birthday!
I finished season 1, 2 and 3 of Voyager.
I finished season 1 of Supernatural - wicked show folks!

- - - - - -

Oh! And in case any of y'all were wondering how I got the marquee on my page, this is where I get it from. I just kept playing around until I got it to scroll across where I wanted it to. You can get it to scroll or not scroll. Me, I kinda like the movement, it catches your eye.