02 January, 2009

Rather cliche year-end survey

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Quite a bit... It's been an eventful year, if not in too many positive ways. For the first time I did an actual hospitalization treatment program for my ED, got hooked on the Simpsons (albeit twenty years late, really), busked, got a ferret, got on welfare.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't remember making any, actually. This year my new year's res's are: money and a book draft.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Doesn't quite count as someone close to me, but Linda, a blogger I've been following for quite a while now, had her second and he is just absolutely cute. Also my... I'm not sure how she'd be 'related' to me... My partner's mom's cousin's granddaughter had a kid. Hee. Also, my close friends Marque and Dylan had their first beautiful baby girl, Emma Rose. Seriously, I love babies and kids in general but this little baby is gorgeous beyond cute.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

A good friend of mine from back East was murdered. It sucked. And I still keep thinking about him and wondering what the hell is wrong with people.

5. What countries did you visit?

"Can we list counties instead? Because not so much with the exotic travel in 2008." I like and am yoinking Linda's answer here. Aside from no money to travel I had no car to travel with for the latter half of the year...

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Hahaha money. I know, I know, money won't buy me love and it won't make me happy and all that crap... But people who say money is worthless have never scrounged for pennies to buy something, anything to eat. I will not hesitate to say that poverty can be a severe damper to recovering from an eating disorder.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

January 24th, the day I started inpatient; September 20th, my four year anniversary!; October 31st, my first night on the floor at Nordstrom's. There are other dates which, for their trauma, ought to be seared in there but for better or worse I seem to have blocked them out. Quite literally...

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Not getting evicted, arrested, or sent to debtor's prison. Also, getting a good job that I love, being 'wife' and mama to a beautiful lady and our three baby cats and one baby ferret.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Eh. We'll leave it short, sweet, and vague with "car fiasco".

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Aside from the relapse which put me inpatient at the beginning of the year it's been remarkably healthy! Thank jeebus for that one, at least, given all the rest.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My Blackberry makes me happy every single day it's not got its service suspended. I'm also loving the apartment, the ferret, several super cheap seasons of Futurama, and the blanket I bought/made when I graduated PHP.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Everyone in this country who voted for OBAMAAAA!!! Everyone who voted NO on Prop 8 (seriously, even though the...achem, conservatives, beat us, it still means a lot that we tried). The state of Colorado for going blue as a New Hampshire aristocrat despite all the religious cluster bombs in the Springs! Tina Fey for rocking my world and saving the election. (Uh, in imagination and theoretical application, not literal... Though the offer stands, Ms Fey!)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Freakin Sarah Palin... Casey Anthony. Blagojevich. Marylin Musgrave and that whoreish chick responsible for Prop 48. Those responsible for Prop 8, too, for that matter. Mugabe, Putin, BUSH (can't forget that bitch, neh?), Israel... Many who deserve to be drenched in kerosene and tossed in a bug zapper this year.

14. Where did most of your money go?

You know, it's seemed that every time I had five bucks there were at least ten people demanding it. Seems you truly can't get a drink of water for free anymore.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

God, I've gotten super excited about many things this year. The election and all things related would pretty much dominate...

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

Haha, the Obama song. Also Swing Life Away and that one song by Lilly Allen, something something something the way the cookie crumbles something. Both will always remind me of poverty and romance and attempts to romanticize poverty.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier, undoubtedly - at this time last year I was relapsing hardcore and facing more hospitalization.
b) thinner or fatter? Haha a good ----- 'fatter'.
c) richer or poorer? Poorer...

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Fun, luxurious, relaxing things. You know, massages and cotillions and money baths and other rich things like that.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying... I'm pretty sure I've shaved a good forty years off my life with all the worry this year. Damn, hopefully somehow I'll still be in the black with the years gained from a stint inpatient...

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With cousins and aunts and uncles and thinly connected distant relations and their cute babies. It was a good Christmas!

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

I had a couple new fuzzy carpet shark loves this year. :-P Molly, who in her short life with us hopefully had as great a time as we did with her, and Charlie, her successor.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Futurama baby. Also the Simpsons (old seasons, not current crap) have risen steadily in the ranks. South Park remains strong as ever though.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Did I know about Palin this time last year? I don't remember. There's a couple people I'm distinctly angry with at the moment that I wasn't last year but I wouldn't go so far as to say I hate them.

24. What was the best book you read?

Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his sexalicious Hundred Years of Solitude stole my freaking heart, despite all the weirdness. I've read quite a bit this year and enjoyed it all immensely.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Hm... Think her name is Stina Nordenstam. She's sexy.

26. What did you want and get?

A sexy apartment!

27. What did you want and not get?


28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Hmm... Se7en, Dark Knight, Harold and Maude, uh.... God, my brain is failing me tonight.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I worked on my birthday but I regret it not one bit. There is nothing like working-on-your-birthday sympathy to get great tips!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

God I hate this theme, but, money.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Finally graduating from the Cheesecake Tighty Whiteys and then 'trying'?

32. What kept you sane?

God, a good chemical combination of fluoxetine, lamotrigine, buproprion, crystaline, and THC.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I am still a complete puddle of mush for my Angelina. Six kids and still sexy... Nom... Also, I would in less than a heartbeat go straight should President Elect Obama ask. I'm really, really sorry Mrs President, but if he asks I don't think I'll have the willpower to say no.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Props 8, 48, and the whole damn election in general. I narrowly avoided god only knows how many heart attacks this election season!

35. Who did you miss?

My brother. George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Ben Franklin, and whoever those other guys are.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Erica, Lindsay, Ainsley, Johnnie, Stephanie, Judi, lotsa cool people this year!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

You can get by successfully on a lot less than you think you need. That said, there is still a line.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

We'll sit on front porches and swing life away
We get by just fine here on minimum wage
If love is a labor I'll slave 'til the end
I won't cross these streets until you hold my hand!

27 December, 2008

Moderate improvements to the financial state... Well, minor, really, but I'm not and have never been one to give in. We scraped by for December and now it's a matter of figuring out next month... I'm pretty sure we'll be okay but am DEFINITELY still taking commissions because things are still really shaky.

If anyone would like to commission a scarf or plate or, I dunno, anything, you can just email me with a request. My paypal account is novareproject@gmail.com and that's the same email by which to reach me. For those who have me on facebook I've got several scarf pictures posted there. I'd also be happy to email them. Unfortunately I can't post photos to my blog directly from the blackberry, which is still my only source of internet accessibility.

Thank you guys for being there... I'm sorry for the craptacular lack of posts the past months.

05 December, 2008

something of an emergency

So. Since last posting I've switched to a new job at nordstrom's which, overall, is going well... But the last two weeks were absolute bullshit and since at Nordstrom we make comission I'm screwed.

The rent check will be cashed any day now and my account is $250 short.

I have scarves and gorgeous plates and art to sell... They'd make good
Christmas presents for people....

I hate calling on charity. I've never not worked my ass off for the things I need, the past two weeks included. But right now I really need help.

07 October, 2008

Semi-temporary computer!

Crystal's mom has given us her laptop so that she can get papers done more effectively... She's been typing them out on her QWERTY keyboard on the Blackberry. Rather inefficient.

I'm kind of just sitting around sick today... Not horribly, dreadfully ill, just a cold. Enough to knock me on my ass a bit, though. There are not many new developments out here. Crystal's worried because I've been cutting back on food again... It's really not a hundred percent intentional, though - we just can't afford any groceries. Right now I have in my cupboards: cereal, oatmeal, some flour, canned fruit, and a couple half-empty boxes of 99 cent pasta. I eat when I'm at work but otherwise it's tough to do much with what I've got in stock.

To compound matters, through a series of events I'd rather not detail, we no longer have a car and likely will not have one for quite some time. The grocery store is not walking distance from here, nor is it on a bus route. Sooo... still trying to figure out how that one's going to play out.

In the mean time rent is paid for another month. In an odd stroke of luck, our apartment is close enough to the main offices that we can piggy-back off their internet, so that's one other worry diminished. One positive thing about having a computer with internet access again is that I can once more put out job apps. I sent out sixteen last week, three of which were to head-hunter sites. I have yet to hear back from anyone but please, please put in a good word for me with the saints upstairs.

Hours and sales and business are so horrific right now that I'm lucky if I can procure twenty hours a week. In those twenty hours, I'm even luckier if I can walk with $200. By doing the math, I've figured out that in order to simply break even with just a $50/week grocery budget, I need to pull in about $500 a month. Right now this is simply not happening. We're overstaffed and under-businessed (yes, that is now a word) and the GM we've had since last August is running the place into the ground. If worse comes to worse, I'm about to start looking for a different restaurant job just to help pay the bills better while I continue to search for something office-y.

To supplement income, I've started busking. I'm actually loving it quite a bit more than I thought I would and am trying to head downtown at least several times a week to perform. After finishing this post I plan on working on setting up a busking blog, so keep an eye out for that one.

So in conclusion... I'm still alive, still scraping by, and still flipping a bird to The Man. It'll take more than this financial crap to stop me!

21 August, 2008

so will it work to update from my blackberry?

Life's kinda weird right now. In some ways it's better than ever, but in others it's at a nerve-wracking level akin to my dog food days that first summer in DC.

The reason I'm updating from my blackberry is that my computer died and I can't afford to get or even finance a new one, and aside from that had my cable/internet service shut off recently because I can't afford to pay the bill. I've got lots of plates and art projects that I want to list on Etsy to try to bring in some cash on the side while I continue my ongoing quest for a job that will actually be adequate for my bills and needs but have no way to get the pictures up.if it weren't enough that I have no computer and no internet service, my worthless ex-roommate stole my digital camera (and iPod) as a parting gift when we moved out. So I have no way to take the pictures which I have no computer to load them onto and no internet to use Etsy anyway. Mom and dad... I'm sorry. I feel fucking terrible about the digital camera and it's one of the best presents you've ever given me and I feel like losing it is somehow my fault for not protecting it well enough.

Wow, I'm an overflowing bucket of cheer.

On the plus side, I'm making rent on time each month, not getting evicted, still have a job and gas for my car, I'm in a great relationship and have two beautiful, healthy cats, I've got some great friends and my best friend is expecting her first in a week and i'll be an "aunt" so... Things could always be worse. It's kind of a best of times, worst of times scenario at present.

I don't see my financial status improving any time in the near future, barring a deus ex machina, but I'm getting used to it. I'm reading obsessively again and doing lots of art even if I have no way to sell it. So it's all good, in its own way.

Well, one obnoxious thing about updating via blackberry keyboard is that a qwerty is much more time-consuming than a reggae, so my thumbs are getting tired. On the plus side I do have this option available to me, so when I have the patience for it I'll be more likely and able to update, if only in brief.

Hope life is still bright for all my readers! Siri, if you're still around can you e-mail me your current address? You've been on my mind a lot lately and i'd love to write sometime. Peace!

25 July, 2008

A moment of minor mourning

For my computer. ::hangs head::

Over the past year or so it has slowly succumbed to old age and decay... Or something... It started with spiderweb cracks on the screen which spread until only the bottom left quarter was still visible... Those lines were joined by white bands... The touch pad started to go... The speed slowed to I-25 at rush hour... Then yesterday I opened it up to find this odd tartan of a screen, red and black and blue with spider cracks and nothing resembling words or icons remaining.

Yes, the screen is the worst part of the current problem, but the computer itself is also so far gone that it doesn't seem worth buying a new screen to tack on to the computer. Probably I'll find some way to hook it up to a screen for at least long enough to download all my data, though. (I know, shame shame SHAME on me that I have never made data backups in all the years I've owned computers. Yes, I truly know better than this. No, even multiple losses have not made me shape up.) Crystal's school rents iBooks for fifty bucks a semester so what I'm thinking is that we'll rent one of those when school starts in a few weeks then buy a CPU when we can afford it then eventually a new laptop. Jeez.

So I bring all this to the table to say that my computer access will be even more limited than it has been, at least until school starts. The computer has been such a pain to use over the last few months (try blocking out three-quarters of your screen then putting a dark mesh over the rest) that I haven't even wanted to bother, hence the sparce updates and all. At least that should change once there is a new computer! Hopefully!

Well, the library computer is about to time me out. Sooo peace out my dears. I'm leaving to go camping on Sunday and should be back late next week; otherwise I'll be in the middle of nowhere and pretty much unable to communicate. I doubt there will be cell phone reception but I could always be surprised. Tchao!

10 July, 2008

Crystal and I tried to have a "house"-warming party today... Only problem was a grand total of four people showed up over the course of six hours. Many more had said they would come but I hadn't really counted on them, anyway... Servers are really damn flaky people. Still, I thought the promise of pizza and beer might have helped.

So, basically, Crystal and I need to find some more lesbian/straight friends in the Denver area. It's sad, I posted an ad on Craigslist just for the hell of it, but not a single person responded... There is no love for the me. Ah well.

In other news, I'm finally starting to get up to a therapeutic dose on the Lamictal. I'm only at 50mgs right now but I've noticed a slight difference at least. I've been keeping a mood journal, tracking my ups and downs in particular, and they're starting to even out. I meet with Dr C again in a couple weeks and that should determine what I'll be taking regularly. We'll see!

Umm... Blah, I'm a bit zoned out and am having a hard time thinking of anything to write, so I suppose I'll cut this off. Peace!

26 June, 2008

I'd like to buy a diagnosis, Pat.

So where have I been? MOVING. Honestly, that's been the biggest, busiest thing lately... Between April and May it was all about looking for a place to move into once our lease expired in June. From May to the middle of June I was packing and working and cleaning constantly so that we'd be ready to make the shift on June 13th.

And now we're here!

The new place is absolutely freaking gorgeous and I love it. You know that place where you walk inand just know that you're home? It was kinda like that. Not sure why, but even entering the furniture-free, blank apartment just felt right. It's a bit pricier than our last place (and it's just the two of us paying this time, no help from the mostly-worthless roommate) and because of all the security deposits and fees and costs of moving it's been a huge, constant financial scramble. Particularly seeing as we moved in on the 13th, which is mid month and therefore left us with only two weeks to gather the entire next month's rent.

In addition to the constant working, my depression has been worse worse worse. I doubt it could be picked up too well from the sparse updates I've been giving, but my meds started giving up the ghost about a month and a half ago... Conveniently coincident with moving and financial stress... Go life. Isn't it just lovely like that?

I was able to save up for an appointment to my psychiatrist two weeks ago and up came that old freaking label I can never manage to escape: Bipolar. I've been given this diagnosis by pretty much every psychiatrist I've ever had, given familial evidence and personal instability, but continue to balk at it. Granted, I have had one certifiably manic episode. No one, not even myself, can deny that. It was full-blown mania with psychotic delusional symptoms and all. However, this episode was also one hundred percent chemically induced. I started on Lexapro and within three days was delusional, unable to sleep, suffering paranoid hallucinations (inanimate objects seemed to be conspiring and attacking, for one thing), talking my head off and incapable of maintaining a single train of thought. I wasn't out buying snake bite kits or trans-European vacations but it wasn't that far off.

Reasons I've used in defense of my non-bipolar-ness:
-Chemically induced, and the only true manic episode I've ever had. There have been hypomanic episodes but never anything close to the Lexapro incident.
-Similarities between DID patients and Bipolar patients, due to instability within the self and conflicting displays by alters.
-Lack of true manic episodes or strict demarcation between highs and lows.
-The fact that Bipolar is the diagnosis en vogue right now. Twenty, thirty years ago, I probably would have been labeled borderline. Fifty years ago, schizophrenic or schizotypal. And now: Bipolar. How should I feel about this? Accept it as accurate or refute it because of the commonality?

A couple factors have lately made me start to reconsider the label. For one thing, every doctor I've ever worked with, even from the very beginning, has thrown it at me. Yes, Bipolar may be the favorite label these days, but does that mean it is always illegitimate? The very fact that I deny it so much makes me think I should reconsider... After all, strongh denial always seems to be characteristic of those people who truly deserve any particular label.

One other consideration is that I trust Dr. Christensen more than any psychiatrist I've ever worked with, perhaps excepting the doctor I had in DC. He really does know his shit. When I told him about the diagnosis in the first place and that my manic episode was purely chemical in origin, he nodded and said, "All right." Then we moved on. "Now, though, he's been working with me pretty intensely for about six months and, very carefully, brought the issue up again at our last appointment. After this amount of time, I know that he knows me as more than a case file. When he gently said that he didn't want us to "fully dismiss the possibility" I don't think it was because he just wants me to have another label to add to my list.

Additionally, I have been on mood stabilizers more than once before, and they have helped me significantly. Previously I've attributed this to it helping with controlling the DID (mood stabilizers have been known to help ballance multiples out) but it's possible I'm just trying to explain away evidence because I don't want Bipolar added to everything else. Depression, anorexia, even DID can eventually be cured in many cases, but bipolar stays with you forever because of its physiological foundations. I can't stand the idea of being medicated the rest of my life.

Soooo... Not sure what my opinions are on this matter, but I'm back on mood stabilizers. Lamictal helped me a lot before and the only reason I stopped taking it was that I hit my prescription cap with insurance. This time Lamictal is just about to become available in a generic form so I'll actually be able to afford it long-term! The brand name is an extremely expensive medication so it's a relief to know I'll have the generic available.

Lamictal has to be increased really slowly because of risks of complications with the body's tolerance, and I've only been on it a week now, so I'll let you know. I should be at a therapeutic dose in another three or four weeks.

So that's what's going on right now. Yay.

In other news, GO OBAMA!!!

16 May, 2008

I'm not sure how to begin an entry of this nature... Probably, even if you haven't been following all the news reels you're still aware of the earthquake that took place in China on Monday. It's four days later and they're still dealing with aftershocks and, increasingly, with an extraordinary lack of fresh food and water for the survivors. Cleanup and continued excavation to search for bodies and any survivors is probably going to last months.

Please, I don't usually try to recruit anyone for personal causes, but if there's any way you can afford just TEN DOLLARS you can make a donation to the Red Cross international disaster relief fund. (It's the first choice on the site provided.) I'm broke as hell right now but somehow this still feels more important than my rent money or bills. Skip Starbucks three times over the next week and there's your ten dollar donation.

I mean, I'd give anything to be in China right now, working hands on to help as many people as I could... But I can't. Thank god for the internet, though, right? An instant donation to go directly toward helping all these hundreds of thousands of people. That's a pretty huge fucking deal. I don't know what all ten dollars can buy, but I'm thinking it's at least a few cases of bottled water or antiseptics or, hell, even gas money for the guys working the excavation equipment.

Please, please, please, if there's any way you can make a donation, do.

http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main That takes you directly to their donation page if the link above doesn't work.

08 May, 2008


No exciting news about my trip to Fascinations yet, or about my job hunt, or sundry other things... Just a brief picture post before I have to head out. If I can ever get my ass back in gear I'll supply you all with a decent update sometime on the near future. >.<

Not sure if I mentioned it in the blog, but recently we purchased a dining room table and chairs set which Crystal had the brilliant idea to turn into a recovery project. After all, isn't the dining table the 'center of healing' and all those other cliches? Anywho, I've been working on this project for a few weeks now and it is turning out to be a pretty fantastic deal. The other day we purchased a set of clear glass dishware which we have also been working on decorating so that our new apartment (move in on June 13th!) will be all snazzy and crazy and bohemian.

"Before" pics -

And after!
Walking around the table clockwise, starting in the front, it looks like this up close:

At left is a close-up on one of the two chairs.
Here are the cups and plates which have been made so far... (Crystal decorated the beer stein on the left; the rest are things I made.) I also have four more large plates, four small, two coffee mugs, and four bowls left to do. :-D I plan on listing some of them on Etsy to see if anyone would be interested in buying some, because they just are turning out to be so damn cool! I haven't been this proud of my art in a while.
You can't quite tell in the picture, but the left-hand plate is covered with song lyrics from a Northstar album. The center print says "I am the piano that nobody plays when everybody's home."
I'll keep posting with pics as more of the project is finished.