Saturday, March 26, 2011


There is a wall between me,

and Everyone Else.

And I don't know how to climb

And I'm not even sure
I want to. (I want to)

But the wall just stays there, and sometimes I poke
at it, or
peel it back a bit.

And other times I ram it
as hard as I can with
the strongest object I can find.

without fail, I build it back up again, sometimes
with my eyes

I am goddamn sick of this wall, I tell you.

And I think
I need better
battering rams.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


In a completely unusual and unexpected move, I actually got to leave the house tonight... SisterJ took me out moon - I'm sorry - Super Moon shooting tonight; we drove down to the beach, where it was flipping cold, chasing the super moon with our cameras. (We're about five minutes from the beach here.) The moon was humongous, and brilliant, and a little spooky, even, and I was glad to get the chance to see it in person (you know, not on TV or through the windows or anything).

Unfortunately, after about three shots, my camera batteries died, and although SisterJ had extras, her backup batteries also refused to function, but through some mixed up finagelling (one of hers and one of mine) I bought myself an extra ten minutes or so of picture time. We left the house without anything, really - still in our pajamas, but with sweatshirts (and it was much too cold for just sweatshirts, at the beach, ladies: what were you thinking?) and shoes. You know, the basics of leaving the house. Minus all of the things I almost never leave the house without - like my bag with my back up batteries & inhaler and meds and money in it. The kind of stuff that is a little bit important, maybe, you think? Especially when the cold triggers your asthma, you big dope? (Whatever: I was actually ok till we got back in the warm house, and then I had a little issue, but at least my puffer was close by at that point.)

SisterJ didn't even have her license - I don't know why - it wasn't like we had to hurry, but we just decided to go and went: there was very little thinking (and obviously no planning) involved.

And, like most photo sessions lately, I was left frustrated by my inability to get what I see in my head translated into what my camera actually takes. I definitely need to take a photography class - I'm just trying to decide if I can actually do one in person or if I should try an internet version.... we'll see. It's on this year's agenda, though, for sure. Because (as my camera's little red battery light started flashing before it died the second time), all I could think was that if I really understood F stops, I'd be able to get this shot without it being completely grainy and/or blurry. I mean, some of it is my point and shoot, which is about five years old now and more than one tumble off my lap/drop from a child's height past it's prime. It eats batteries like they're candy, sometimes the lens won't open fully, and without all the fancy lenses and options that DSLRs tend to have, everything up close comes out blurry, and everything far away comes out with so much fuzz I have to run it through three programs to smooth it out. But some people can take awesome pictures with a point and shoot - I've even taken some great ones with it, so I know that if I knew what I was doing, I could make any camera work out for me.

So obviously the majority of the problem? Is not found in my equipment, but in me. I can't get what I want in automatic, so I mess with the settings, but I just wind up getting even worse than what I started with. I know just enough to be dangerous, as my Nana would say. Not enough to actually get it, but enough to think that I kind of get it, and so can take things into my own hands. I definitely need some learning, and this year has to be the year, because I am finally starting to save enough money that I can buy me some better equipment, and I don't want to spend all that money and wind up with the same bad shots... I'm going to conquer the camera.

But it's so frustrating to me because, usually, I am generally a good book learner - I can pick up a skill based on something somebody has written down. I am great at studying and memorizing and all that stuff - but it is not doing me any good when it comes to the camera - I need some hands on stuff, and whether that means actual hands on, or following along on an online course where i can ask questions and stuff, I'm not sure yet, but this is not a skill I can teach myself for some reason, so I need to figure out how I'm going to learn it. Anybody got any good suggestions? I'm open.

I'm uploading the moon pictures now, and if any of them comes out even halfway decently, I'll let you know. In the meantime, have a nice weekend, everybody.
In other news, I also want to say my good friend, who knows who she is, that following your gut is a brave and wonderful thing, and I know it will serve you well: I'm proud of you, and hope this will lead to only good things in the future.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

"... handing tickets out for God"

I started writing (one day last week) about the Jesus Freaks who stopped by with their version of the "Good News" and somehow wandered way off topic and started going on and on about how I used to be a Jesus Freak myself, and therefore I don't mean the term in any offensive way, but more in the way former band geeks talk about current band geeks or ex-goths talk about emo kids: You've been there, so you know, and almost feel a sort of kinship, but you're really glad you're not there anymore. I don't think there's anything worse for a believer than a former-believer: all of my sarcasm and surety that I was made a fool for so many years is always right there, and I'm sorry if sometimes it slips out. I try not to be patronizing - I really am glad for you that you still believe - but when they start trying to convince me, all bets are usually off.

So that's the way the post was going, and then I realized that I'd written that post before - multiple times. Yes: the Catholic Church and I used to be BFFs and yes; I could probably write another 17 posts about that, but that wasn't the post I sat down to write, so it wound up in the draft folder (like a million other posts: seriously - my draft folder is a scary place). And now I'm back, attempting to tell you what it was about the Jesus Freaks that pissed me off .

It took me a while to put my finger on it myself, but eventually it boils down to this: It is the sense of judgment I feel when they're telling me how easy it is to fix who I am.

Here's the thing: Remember in the fall, how when I was living at Grandmother's house, helping her with her post-stroke recovery, things here at home were progressing on the 'build a ramp so NTE can get into the house more easily' front? Well, now we have this beautiful ramp that's slippery as hell in the winter, and takes up our entire front yard but makes my life about 200 times easier. And yet: it is a beacon for the 'people of the Lord.'

While we were building it, a woman walked by and asked my dad what the final product was going to be. When he explained that it was going to be a wheelchair ramp, she said "I'm so sorry," then returned a few days later to drop off some rosary beads and a scapula she thought I might like. I found them on my bed when I came home for a shower that week, and my dad didn't understand why I didn't think it was the 'sweetest neighborly' thing for her to do.

Twice (that I know of) since then, we've had various forms of preachers come to the door: The first time, the guy was Mega-pushy, and I felt no compunction about not letting him in the house or giving him a chance to speak: I kept him on the porch, while he started his spiel about 'those who turn to Jesus will find a way with him,' and how 'putting my feet on the path would help them walk again.' I know that you all know me well enough that I can admit I was sorely tempted to just walk out onto the porch just to see the look on his face, no matter that I would've fallen down eventually, or that it would've hurt like hell: I still am kinda sad that I didn't, because the "OMG: I AM TOTALLY WITNESSING A MIRACLE" moment would have changed one of our lives forever. ( I know, I am damned to hell, so I might as well enjoy it, right?)

This latest preacher though, was a very nice gentleman (and he came with a silent friend), and he specifically said "I don't want you to let us in, I'd just like to tell you some things, if that's alright with you. " Well now, I'm not a heartless bitch, so I opened the screen door and gave him the ok, give me your best lines, preacher-man, and I promise not to laugh. (Again: I'm good with you believing, but once you're trying to get me to believe, I can't promise that I'm going to be able to hide my skepticism.) So he starts off pretty swell, talking about God's willingness to help people, and how it was his job to try to find those that most need God's help and bring them his Word.

And then this well meaning fellow, with his quiet and (I could honestly tell) earnest sense of caring starts talking about miracles, and Jesus making the blind see and the lame walk, and I'll tell you. it took everything in me not to slam the door in his face. I just - can't hear it. I just... I don't even know how to explain how badly that makes me feel, how irritated it makes me just to hear it.

Just to have that experience of - once again - being a person, going about their normal day...I was making breakfast when the doorbell rang, playing with my 1 yr-old nephew and chatting with my sister... when all of the sudden someone interrupts your life to tell you how you are just not right, just not good enough the way you are, just not the way a person should be. I am not saying that that is what he said , because, again, he was kind of a sweet guy, but that is the way he made me feel. I had to sit there and be irritated and frustrated and ashamed, all because - in society's eyes, and I guess in 'God's' eyes too - there was something about me that was just wrong. Something that called for miracles and saving and the power of God.

That me, just being me, requires the intercession of God on my behalf, in order for me to be fixed? Pisses me the fuck off, I gotta tell you. Of course I wouldn't thumb my nose at a miraculous healing, should one decide to take place, but you know what? I'm not broken right now, or maybe I am, but not in the ways that you think I am. And if I am it's none of your damn business... I'm not asking to be saved just by virtue of living as who I am. Just by having improved my house to the point that I can finally get in and out of it on my own, I'm not giving you the right to comment on my life.

It's something I get a lot of, in a lot of random ways: people who see me 'walk' the steps to my chair and tell me I'm not sick enough to the handicapped parking placard, or strangers who tell me they'll pray for me when I'm out in public. When you're visibly disabled, everybody's got the right to comment suddenly. I didn't ask you for your opinion on what I'm eating - the fact that I'm having a cheeseburger is not in fact the reason I'm in this chair, but thanks for telling me all about how you stopped eating meat and your rash went away. I don't have to justify my applying for aid to some arsehole cousin who thinks that all social welfare programs are tools of the Communist Party, and I'm lucky that I get to spend his "tax money" on my "frivolities."

All I am trying to do here is live my life, and as nice as that preacher was, when he left behind a scripture for me to read and "think over with your heart", I was all too glad to close the door behind him. I appreciate his belief that I could use some blessings (because, holy hell, yes, I could use some blessings), but I don't like the assumptions he made about who I am, or the life I live, in order for me to earn his blessings. It feels like pity. It feels like ableism. It makes me feel like less than.

So I know I won't be opening the door to any more preachers, because their blessings tend to feel like curses, and I have enough of those. I'll take all the prayers and warm thoughts and fairy dust you want to send me, but don't assume that I need them because I'm in this chair... I'd much rather have a family that was kind to each other than a body that worked correctly. Or a baby that I knew I could provide for. Or an understanding of how to be happy, regardless.

I'd like to be healthy, sure: but I'm living my life the way it is, and that's not sad, or in need of fixing, or less than anybody elses, so don't make me feel like it is.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

You know what I'd like...

oh, about a million and a half things that aren't really things, but more like feelings. A million and a half positive feelings, that's what I'd like.

I'd like to be able to take a deep breath. And trust that the breath is going to go in the way it's supposed to and come out the way it's supposed to. Just to not have to doubt that.

I'd like to be able to leave a room without worrying about all the people I left behind in it. Or to not have to leave the room in the first place because of how uncomfortable I am.

I'd like for the words to flow, not get stuck up in my brain. Sometimes it feels like there's a clot there, a big negative clump, blocking all the good things from getting in, and all the good things from getting out: I know there are good things, but they rarely mean what I want them to mean.

I'd like to just be able to shut off the worry, for one goddamn day. Just all of it - off.

Hope you're having a good weekend - mine has been a little complicated (ugh), but I hope to be back soon!