Friday, August 30, 2013

As the Season Turns

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I am a bad blogger, or rather, a bad poster. I am constantly thinking up posts but they seldom get any farther than my head, usually as I lie awake in the middle of the night. Perhaps I need to keep my laptop closer to my bed and just reach for it when those ideas strike me. It's a thought. Of course, I have many many thoughts. Which is why I don't sleep. Most of my thoughts are really pointless. The other night all I could do was remember the plots of various movies, from popular flicks like The Breakfast Club to more obscure things like Buckaroo Banzai. I have seen both of these many times, and should know them by heart, but something kept tripping me up, and I'd get events out of sequence, or a line of dialogue wrong, and so it was hours before I fell asleep again. Woke up the next morning singing "Don't You Forget About Me" and wanting to call everyone monkey-boy.

I am glad this summer is over, and not only because I am ready for sweater weather again. With the change of seasons, I am hoping things will improve for my family. It's been a rough month, with bad news about a family member's health, a job loss, and the continuation of money and health issues that have plagued some of us all year.

Yes, there has been good news: a new baby, the first great-great-grandchild, a healthy, beautiful boy! Max turned ten, a tall, gangly, handsome, smart boy, who is totally a boy. He is currently enamored of all things gross, and wants to be a genius scientist when he grows up. I bet he'll do it, too.

As for me, well, that's a whole other kettle of fish. In June I discovered that one of the medications I'd been on for almost 3 years (to help with insomnia and chronic migraine) has one great big side effect that nobody mentioned: weight gain. My doctor finally mentioned this after noticing that I've gained nearly 40 pounds in the last 2 years, and I was appalled that she had given me a medication with this known side effect, knowing my history of weight issues! So I went off the med, lost a few pounds right away and none since. Of course, I also have had to deal with the return of the evil chronic migraine, which is not fun at all. It is pretty much the exact opposite of fun...Pain every day, all day, just there, no matter what I do or don't do. Most days it's just a dull ache, but some times, my entire head feels as if Rocky has been using it for practice.

I am learning new ways to deal with pain, such as meditation (which I've been trying for a long time, to help with sleep issues), various exercises, and reflexology. I have an appointment with a migraine specialist, as well as a chiropractor and an acupuncturist, and next week I start yoga classes. Watching what I eat & drink, too. Trying to limit my screen time, which is the most difficult thing for me, since I do love my online time, and most of my books these days are eBooks! Either way, I will work it out!

One more big change. I am attempting to begin dating again. Which is weird. Dating was always weird for me, just because I am weird. This is weird because, well, I'm a 45-year-old woman, without a career, who lives at home with her parents. Yes, I am a catch! I keep wondering if I should cut prospective dates a bit of slack, seeing as my stats aren't all that great. Then I realize, once again, that these three things are not who I am, and I deserve a good man. He will be getting a prize, so he'd damn well better deserve it! Keep your fingers crossed!

More posts to come, as the season turns. Image

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tell Me a Story

It's been nearly two months since my last post. I am a slacker. In my defense, I DID spend two weeks of that time without vision, after I scratched my eyeball and had to go without contacts while it healed. Since I don't have a pair of glasses at the moment (and for some reason, we never found time to make it to the nearest vision center), and I am blind as the proverbial bat (without the great hearing), I was pretty much stuck in a chair, doing nothing.

"But, Jonna," I hear you ask, "How is that any different than your normal, everyday, vision-filled life?"

Yeah, shut up.

I know I'm a slacker, you know I'm a slacker, we all know, Jonna's a slacker. Old news. They don't call me the Queen of Procrastination for nothing! My friend and fellow blogger/slacker, Tara of tarapieceofpaper went seven months between posts, and she actually has a life and stuff to write about, so I don't feel so bad!

Anyway. While blind, or blurry, I discovered that audio books are actually kinda nifty, if the person reading them doesn't sound like Daffy Duck. Until now the only experience I had with them was listening to a few celebs read their memoirs, which I enjoyed. Craig Ferguson, my favorite comedian and talk show host, has written two books, and I own his memoir on tape. This time, I broadened my horizons, first trying a book I was halfway through reading. I had to give that up, because the reader was terrible. I am assuming she is related to the author or sleeping with the producer, because otherwise, nobody would hire her to read for a living. Remember the actress with the horrible voice in "Singin' In the Rain?" Yeah. This was her, only younger, and with a Southern accent.

So I gave up on that book and moved on to others, all of which were better, I am happy to say. My choices ranged from new age (Depak Choprah) to Stephen Fry reading short stories, to poetry collections, and podcasts. And I listened to Carol Burnett read her memoirs, too. She's always been one of my hero, so that was wonderful!

Now, I can see again, but I've not given up on audio books. It's so nice to have someone else read to me for a change. When insomnia strikes, as it often does, I just slip on my headphones, lay in the dark, and a soft voice tells me a story. Who wouldn't love that?

story

Friday, June 14, 2013

Talk About It. No, Really, Talk About it!!

I'm epileptic. And I talk about it. I talk about it a lot. I talk a lot, in general, but I don't hide the fact that since the age of 15, I've had seizures.

The Epilepsy Foundation's 'Talk About It' campaign is designed to get people to talk about epilepsy, to get it out in the open and remove the talkstigmas that have long been associated with this disease. Talk About It.org was created by actor Greg Grunberg, who you may know from Heroes, because his son has epilepsy. His son, Jake, was 7 at the time (he is 16 now), and the actor says the family felt alone, lost and stigmatized. "No one was talking about it. (There was) a great deal of misinformation circulating ... It [epilepsy] is NOT contagious, it is not a mental illness and it is not the result of any form of satanic possession. The key is understanding and information about the condition." (HuffPost)

In the years since Grunberg has been working with the Foundation, he has helped to raise millions for epilepsy research, and has, in some ways, increased awareness, although it is still not enough. Many people in the epilepsy community have wished for a "big name celebrity" to take up the cause, making it as well-known as they are. I must admit, I have, at times, been one of these people, wishing we had Oprah or Stephen King to take up our cause, because to truly get people talking, that is what it will take.

The latest campaign, a few short videos featuring musicians "talking about it" points out where this campaign often goes wrong. Of the five videos, only two mention epilepsy. Kenny Rogers, discusses his grandfathers epilepsy, and how the stigma then kept him from talking about it. Josh Kelley says that epilepsy does not mean you cannot have a great college experience, as long as you talk about it. Unfortunately, the other musicians, Smokey Robinson (who mentions stigma, but not about what), John Mayer, and the Osbourne family all simply say "Talk about it."

I watched these with high hopes, especially for the video from the Osbournes. After Kelley Osbourne had a seizure on the set of Fashion Police in March, she and her mother, Sharon, did talk a bit about the experience, but have been strangely silent about it since. Odd, since this is not a family that is good at keeping quiet. Frankly, I think  Kelley Osbourne is exactly the type of celebrity the campaign needs to bring attention to epilepsy. She is famous, outspoken, talented, and smart. While we don;t know if she's been diagnosed as epileptic, that is not really the issue. Talking about it is.

Either way, keep talking, my friends. Share these videos, and the good things on the Talk About It website with your friends. My favorite thing there at the moment is the first aid video featuring Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine. 

There are nearly three million Americans with epilepsy. Chances are, you know one or more of them. You may be one. Let's talk about it, and find out.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer time...

Summer time in the City of Roses means we stop, gape at the sky saying "What is that big orange ball? OH. My. Gawd! Is that the sun!? I forgot what it looked like!" for about twenty minutes, and then we begin complaining about how hot it is. It might take forty minutes, depending on how long and  damp winter was. I'm giving us 35, based on the fact that we had a semi-Spring earlier this year, with nice warm days lasting over a week. Any minute now, the entire town will begin yelling "It's too hot! Turn on the air conditioner!" and running for the shade.

I'm enjoying the heat, so far, because warm weather means none of the hideous fibromyalgia pain I get when the weather is so damp and cold. Plus, summer means a few of my favorite things: popsicles, and tons of fresh fruit. So far this week I have indulged in both, having purchased and consumed a bag of lovely, ripe white peaches. They were so delicious. I may need more immediately. As well, I am indulging in my new favorite pass-time, creating popsicles, followed closely by eating these creations. So far we've had a berry medley, a yummy strawberry/banana yogurt, and a pineapple/mango/orange that was the best yet. Although Miss Google is very fond of the yogurt pops. but that may just be her love of strawberry yogurt showing through.

I am going to try a few poptail recipes this weekend: frozen cocktails. I'm thinking mango mai tais, and maybe Black and White Russians. Or Blueberry Moonshine pops. Haven't decided yet. Maybe all three... And a bloody mary for the next morning.