Gold Guns Girls by Metric

Lyrics from A-Z Lyrics

“Gold Guns Girls”

All the gold and the guns in the world
(couldn’t get you off)
All the gold and the guns and the girls
(couldn’t get you off)
All the boys, All the choices in the world

I remember when we were gambling to win
Everybody else said better luck next time
I don’t wanna bend, Let the bad girls bend
I just wanna be your friend
Is it ever gonna be enough

Is it ever gonna be enough
Is it ever gonna be enough
Is it ever gonna be enough

Is it ever gonna be enough
Is it ever gonna be enough
Is it ever gonna be enough

All the lace and the skin in the shop
(couldn’t get you off)
All the toys and the tools in the box
(couldn’t get you off)
All the noise, all the voices never stop

I remember when we were gambling to win
Everybody else said better luck next time
I don’t wanna bend, Let the bad girls bend
I just wanna be your friend
Why you givin’ me a hard time
I remember when we were gambling to win
Everybody else said HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Is it ever gonna be enough
Is it ever gonna be enough
Is it ever gonna be enough

Is it ever gonna be enough
Is it ever gonna be enough
Is it ever gonna be enough

More and more, more and more, more and more,
More and more and more and more, more and more,

  For those moments when you realize all the sacrifices of time/effort/self-growth are just a drop in an ocean of need, and are appreciated as such. Your catharsis may vary.

Too Long For Twitter

Health Update in Three Parts: Three

Continuing on, thanks to the wean-down from Nucynta in order to start the Next Script (name given only after results are measured objectively, to prevent my results from being skewed by helpful folks sharing their experiences), I am now clearer in thought than in years, more so than even the change to Nucynta granted.

The pain is still overwhelming, along with all the other hindrances. It’s worse than when I was on Nucynta, but my energy level and brain power are boosted a bit. Because of this break in the fog, I’ve delayed starting the new medication. I wanted to keep my mind clear when Son and Nephew arrived and so I gave myself “more time to get a pain and symptom baseline” which in reality has been a stubbornness in giving up the slight boost to my intelligence. Nothing like what I could do in the old days, but wow, major improvement and just in time, as our summer is even more full than I predicted with our family and with our friends.

In spite of starting our taxes in January, I’ve still been unable to complete them and submit them. Now, I’ve been doing my own taxes since I was 20, so this is REALLY saying something. Back then, it was going to the library to get the forms and instructions and using pencil and a calculator before finalizing and sending them in. There was no software, there was only me.

So, I’ve decide to not start the new meds and risk the potential loss of brain power until I get this done. Pain, I’m used to. I’m just not willing to give up my brain function without a fight.

The benefits of this break have been immense, as I now have a new baseline, my memory is stronger, although I still rely on several visual tricks for both short and long-term retention. I’m also hoping to get the long-delayed cancer anthology passed to friends that have offered to help get it published finally, with more info to come later on this and long avoided breast cancer risk assessment underway. I’m only three years from Mom’s age on her first diagnosis, after all.

In truth, I’m truly struggling to trade out the pain relief for stupidity. The things over the last few weeks that I’ve been able to assess have been mind-blowing and life direction-changing. I’m terrified to take the new pills that wait for me on my nightstand. Just a few more days, maybe a week? After almost five years, productivity is kind of addictive, even if all it means is that I get a complete load of laundry down in one day instead of three. Or wrangle simple details and planning in less than a freaking month of complete forgetfulness. Now it’s just persistent and that little relief is like an addiction.

As my first actual addiction after the thousands of doses of countless medications and treatments I’ve taken, I’m pretty happy. Physically excruciating, but spiritually uplifting and I am so grateful to have followed my instincts on this and had a sunbreak, so to speak.

Yes, I will begin the medication on Monday to get back on the treatment and resolution path and hopefully the new medication won’t have any of those gnarly side effects. Maybe this medication will work! But first, I gotta get some things done without it taking two years.

For now, I’ll be grateful for what I’ve got in my husband and sons, their health, safety and happiness. The rest is icing on the cake.

It is indeed a Brave New World, even if briefly. But I will not forget what is shaping up to be the last long summer visit for the Grands. There is simply too much to be “present” for and enjoy these once in a lifetime events.


Cooking ExperiMENTAL

Booze Bears Instructions

I don’t remember where I first tried these, but I started making them myself a few years ago. We’ve been taking them to parties, since we rarely get to host anymore, and other events where friends are indulging.

Thanks to a reminder from two different peeps, I’m sharing you the info we’ve gathered after years of testing and experimenting and have it pretty streamlined.

You need a fridge and at least 24 hours start time. (And be careful of hotel room fridges, they tend to run extra cold which slows the process. Yes, I’ve made them that way many times.)
Experiments also proved that gummies work, but not the sour gummies. It was disgusting, even more so when dumped untested in the toilet because I didn’t want that sludge in the hotel sink or trash. Unholy!
  • Start 24+ hours before you want to serve them. A few hours earlier is fine, but I never go less than 24 hours. I’ve read that you can start as early as 48, but I’ve never tried it since the results are great with at least 24 hours. No fail!
  • You want a glass or plastic container and plastic or wooden stirrers. Use no metal or tin foil, because SCIENCE! (I’ve never researched, I’ve just trusted the advice from the web sites.)
  • Place a layer of bears on the bottom of the container, I suggest only two deep for better absorption, so decide on the size of the dish accordingly. I serve them in 9×9 pyrex square casserole dish, 9×13 for bigger parties, scaling based on crowd size and number of batches and their spectacle booze interest.
  • Pour in the booze of choice. You want them covered, but not too much. Just above the bears is what I do, and add more as needed when stirring. Usually another splash around hours 12 to 15 maybe?
  • Hard alcohol works, liqueurs have not (yet).
  • Stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate on a level shelf. 
  • You’ll keep them in the fridge, covered, and stir every six hours or so. 
  • Overnight is fine, it’s not fragile enough to set an alarm just to stir. You are just going to break them up and re-coat them with booze after they start to adhere to each other.
  • Uncover and serve with a slotted spoon or something, and make sure you have wipes or napkins because hands get messy. 
  • If you use gummy worms, bear in mind those suckers are worth several bears and may absorb more than they appear. (I recommend with Tequila, for obvious reasons.)
If anyone has pix from Balticon, contact me because I don’t think I have any from the mega batches we made with Nobilis’ infused vodkas and other flavors.
The pix we have will be posted later. Enjoy!
Family Friends Health Whining

Health Update in Three Parts: Two

Picking up where I left off in a previous post:

Of course, this was life-changing for me, because I was experiencing things and learning a lot that went unnoticed before, much of it damaging for my health or of loved ones. I’ve been able to really explore those, without the luxury of therapy because of financial reasons, but I’ve had successes and am again finding “my voice” again, after embarrassment and shame at my situation was the microphone I communicated through for so many years.

I’ve made great strides towards my emotional growth in overcoming the depression that has been worsened since my debilities and other health issues that prevent me from being able to provide income to help my family during an extremely expensive time. (College, high school senior, high school freshman, plus too many other things. You get me.) Much of this I credit to Chooch, who supports me unconditionally, and then makes sure I catch my bullshit when I’m blinded to it.

All this even after I learned about “Counting Spoons,” but have only recently been able to put them into practice and stand by the boundaries I’ve set with others and with myself. If it’s negative for me or those I love, I try to understand it and heal it. If I am unable, I move on, because I recognize as a human, I cannot fix everything for everyone, regardless of my overwhelming need to.

I evaluate, I learn, I adjust expectations (to a point, and in scale with the same considerations granted to me on an individual basis), verbalize my line in the sand long before it can get crossed and therefore, is not my fault when people trash it and my trust in them is lost. People have themselves to watch out for, after all, and to assume we have mutual goals and want to get there the exact same with others is the definition of insanity, I’m beginning to believe.

Although much of this is new to me, it isn’t new to this blog. I actually posted about it over a year ago, and what I called “hope fatigue.” I didn’t even remember writing or posting it until I searched for the Spoon Theory link, but I’m happy to say that I’ve continued following the beliefs listed there. But again, I don’t remember writing or posting it. Fascination doesn’t begin to cover it, but if nothing else, I think that it also helps to demonstrate my neurological state then and now.

I’m shocked as I read it at the number of errors in the post (left uncorrected, because this blog is my memory bank and this matters to me), but primarily because I’ve wasted so much time learning and re-learning (and re-learning, based on some of the 40+ posts sitting in the Drafts folder) the same lessons, over and over and over and over with the same issues and people.

So BAM! While I’m smack in the middle of facing and accepting my handicaps/disabilities/Health Blahs, I’m hit again with more knowledge on how dumb my dumb brain truly has been and how excellently (HA!) it performs when being that dumb.  I am constantly reacting and off balance, not knowing if and when I could live this life by my standards again, rather than compromising with every person that crossed my path, whether I was being obviously taken advantage of or not.

I also chose to embrace my health FAIL and to test those limits, then define them, then accept them and adjust my expectations of myself, with the same kindness I grant others, regardless of how they treat me or my loved ones. We are human, after all, and each of us are flawed, and it’s really pretty simple, in practice.

The testing process was immensely humiliating, in front of friends and family. I kept over-extending myself while testing limitations and failing, then picking up the pieces, examining them again, discarding what didn’t work and keeping what did, and tried again. But all of it was with the feeling that I was on the outside looking in, rather than a person even involved in the interactions. Everything was muffled through the meds and Fibro Fog.

So, with Nucynta, I’m happy to report that I’ve (we’ve) benefited already from that effort, just since the first of this year. Yay! But I also truly discovered how lost I was in the medication, far far more than I ever thought. *hiss*

Sadly, my body simply can’t tolerate the Nucynta, or at least it in combination with other medications. After my visit a few weeks ago with my Rheumatologist, I’m now off of it with the next script. The negative health effects were too drastic and the fatigue and weakness had worsened. It did provide a measure of pain relief, but not enough for what my body went through trying to shake myself into movement. It felt literally toxic and I had constant nausea and an inability to eat more than a few bites of anything, therefore my blood sugar was in turmoil. Unacceptable with summer and my son and nephew visiting and the other awesome things we have planned!

More in the final post, Act 3.

Family Fibromyalgia Health Mental Whining

Health Update in Three Parts: One

Playing catch-up here, while my brain is clear from both migraine and fog.

After the first of the year, my doctors switched up my medications again, still seeking the perfect “cocktail” for resuming some semblance of normalcy and income generation. The order may be wonky, because my memory in that period is foggy.

  • I was given a prescription topical lotion from “Innovo” to use on “hot”/pain spots. It works, but has problems that greatly limit its usefulness, and was actually a bit scary a few times;
  • I was given a pain patch (Butrans) that made me tremendously ill and weak and was taken off of it after one month, so gnarly were the side effects;
  • I was taken off Vicodin and prescribed Percocet, because I was getting migraines with nearly every dose of Vicodin I took, with nothing else to fight the pain with, because…
  • My neurologist ruled out Tylenol, Advil and Aleve several years ago, along with a daily med that my GP and Rheumatologist have asked about several times, and his answer has always been that it’s unsafe in combination with (mild) cardiac issues and other Health Blahs. But…
  • When I asked him to explain again the limitation so I could explain it to my Rheumatologist earlier this year, he reversed his decision on all four drugs after we discussed everything I’d tried and reviewed my chart again;
  • He also told me that he couldn’t prescribe anything to help me with my migraines until my Rheumatologist and I “work out the Fibro pain issue without drugs that trigger migraines.” To our faces. With a straight face. After 4 years of him being my neurologist. Shocked doesn’t even begin to cover it.
  • He then took away my safety blanket prescription for Soma and I’m pretty sure I cried on the drive home, but again, brain fog. (Yes, it’s actually called Soma, Brave New World readers. And yes, it makes you go to sleep just as peacefully and stupor inducing.)

I called it my safety blanket because I knew that no matter how bad any of my pain got, Soma would let me sleep through it, which was an immense improvement to my quality of life and sanity. I always used it judiciously, since it worked and I needed to not build up a tolerance to it. I could lose the pain, at the cost of time with friends and productivity (HA!), but I decided when. I had control, in the worst cases, with this.

It felt like a long-time friend broke up with me, his claims were ridiculous to my ears. I wanted to scream and cry and throat punch, all at the same time, because every single prescription I’ve been given since “shit got real” 4 years and 8 months ago by him, has had migraine warnings, along with the other symptoms they were supposed to be fighting: dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and a predisposition for fainting and pretty much every combination of digestive trauma you can imagine. ‘Nuff said.

After the Butrans pain patch FAIL, I was prescribed Nucynta around March. The good news? After the Lyrica wean-down had it out of my system, I discovered how much of a fog Lyrica kept me in, on top of the other medications that I take, either daily or for other pain. All but the high cholesterol meds (more genetic FAIL, for me but hopefully not my sons.) have been tweaked or removed, so I think it really was the Lyrica that carried the brunt of it.

I had a brief wean down from it, then started a new daily, Nucynta, and while it did little for pain, it had less of a “dumbing down” then the Lyrica had. I was able to comprehend things better. In many, it was like I finally learned English again and was able to do a lot with being able to understand and reflect on the differences. You know the distorted “funhouse mirrors?”  That’s what sentences and conversations were like, of those that I can clearly recall. I learned from attempts at “tricks” to make myself productive and began new patterns based on my new understanding of my disabilities.

More on this in the next part. Migraine calling.



Health Music No Whining Soulful

3 Year Old Girl Dancing to Sia’s Song, “Chandelier”

I think it’s safe to say I’m at least mildly obsessed with this song and have a sisterly crush on the artist herself, at this point. I’ve already posted once about this song, have another half written in my head, but since I just came across this YouTube vid, tweeted from @Sia’s verified twitter account, I had to stop and share immediately. It now has me wanting to play Sia’s video for our Wee Flowers (housemate Jen’s daughters, nearly ages 7 and 5), since they love to dance so much.

It would be bittersweet, because of their skill and epic cuteness and the downer reason that is the reason  I relate to the lyrics so much. Coming from the aspect of being broken physically to the point that physical or even emotional stress can trigger the worst of my Health Blahs’ symptoms, as I explained previously, the efforts I have to take to go out and about in public can be pretty Herculean. That means, when I am able to get out and am having fun, I typically resort to any means necessary to stay in motion and keep on making memories.

And, no, it’s not about the alcohol, other than as a metaphor (and because I used to be able to drink socially before recent medications) for the assumption people make about me and how I always have to be altered by medication to get out of isolation and to where people are. It’s not like or want, it’s need and must. I am no alcoholic, never have been. I used to drink socially, and now if I have more than one or two drinks, I risk immediate migraines and life-threatening liver damage, because of the work my liver has to already do for all the meds. Not looking to die quite yet.

Enjoy the cuteness! I completely adore the singer, more on why I relate so much later, but it totally plays to my desire to live vicariously through those that can do the things I wish I could do.

To view the original music video, you can view it here. It’s what the 3 yo is dancing to.

Family Friends Music

Such Great Heights by Iron & Wine

A song I’ve loved for years, from the Garden State movie soundtrack. The movie and entire album is fantastic to my eyeballs and earholes, and is a shared love with our oldest 2 sons, which brings extra richness to it.

On a recent shuffle through my songs, it played and the lyrics hit my sweet spot and now I must share it.

Listen along, if you like, as you read the lyrics. Link to song (no vid) on YouTube:

“Such Great Heights”
Iron & Wine
Lyrics from A-Z Lyrics

I am thinking it’s a sign
That the freckles in our eyes
Are mirror images and when we kiss
They’re perfectly aligned

And I have to speculate
That God himself did make us
Into corresponding shapes
Like puzzle pieces from the clay

And true it may seem like a stretch
But it’s thoughts like this that catch
My troubled head when you’re away
When I am missing you to death

When you are out there on the road
For several weeks of shows
And when you scan the radio
I hope this song will guide you home

They will see us waving from such great heights
Come down now, they’ll say
But everything looks perfect from far away
Come down now but we’ll stay

I’ve tried my best to leave
This all on your machine
But the persistent beat
It sounded thin upon listening

And that frankly will not fly
You’ll hear the shrillest highs
And lowest lows with the windows down
When this is guiding you home

They will see us waving from such great heights
Come down now, they’ll say
But everything looks perfect from far away
Come down now but we’ll stay

Cool Links / Clicky Linky TV

Rik Mayall, RIP

RIP, Rik Mayall. I was just thinking of you this weekend and am saddened that this is the only way you hit national news in the US. My VERY favorite performance of yours is from the old Comic Strip show with Adrian Edmondson (with many excellent cameos) on a particular episode called, “More Bad News.” They were a satire of rock bands, like Spinal Tap. I laughed ’til I cried and then I rewound and watched it again, countless times on the VHS tape I recorded it onto in the late ’80s. Imagine my excitement when I finally was able to get a VHS copy of my very own. No DVD, sadly.

He played characters that were just themselves and didn’t make excuses, at a time when I didn’t know that was Allowed. And he was so funny! Even if the humor was always about being an ass, he always made me laugh. I’m still trying to learn some of those lessons, 30 years later.

And thanks for the unexpected hope. The Young Ones had a point of view I wasn’t getting while growing up in Central Texas. I could be ugly, stupid, fat, broke, annoying and still have friends. I didn’t have to be a cookie cutter “roper.” Praise Glob for that show and 120 Minutes and the hope they gave this weirdo. Central Texas was not teaching me this. Young Ones and 120 Minutes (and many bands) did. Love me or hate me, this is me.

Wish you’d gotten more roles, but I’m grateful for “Drop Dead Fred” which I was able to share and enjoy with my kids when they were younger.

Silver lining: I can share the fun easily with you guys, since I found “More Bad News” on Youtube, I’m sure it’ll be taken down, but the whole damn thing is here, which means I don’t have to dig out my VHS tape. Wewt! You can enjoy it yourselves, too. In addition to Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson, it has Nigel Planer, so there’s 3/4ths of the Young Ones cast, plus cameos by Jools Holland, Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, French and Saunders, and oh, I dunno, whatever rock gods were found at Castle Donington and does a lovely job breaking down the record biz at the 15 minute mark. Oi.