Friday, August 29, 2008

restore from saved game y/n

The summer is pretty much over at this point. I feel like the past month has flown by. I've felt a lot better mentally and physically, despite brutal allergies and trouble sleeping.

Good things have just been dumped in my lap lately. My parents decided they wanted to buy me a new MacBook and some school clothes. I sent an email out to my bike club offering my old linux box to the first taker, and Alex at West Town offered to trade me a bike for it, which is fantastic. My Specialized Globe has been way too big for me for a while, and the back wheel is pretty damaged from getting doored back in May, so riding has been hell on my knees lately.

Orientation for graduate school was Wednesday. There were a few people in my class I am really looking forward to getting to know, and the classes should be quite challenging. I was flabbergasted to win a small scholarship. I know I deserved it. I've been through a hell of a lot and it is going to make me a hell of a witch. (The herb room at school is SO Hogwarts.)

I'm trying to hold on to some confidence, but I'm pretty overwhelmed. I know there are a lot of people who expect great things from me, and I am afraid of letting them down. Still, I know I am a dedicated and capable student. I know that the past few years of perceived failure were necessary to make me re-evaluate the way I related to myself and to other people. I know that I am still the same person I was 10 years ago, and also that I am completely different.

I'm not fucked-up. I'm not crazy. I might suffer from a really unpleasant set of chronic health problems, but I am still a kind and loving person who has much to offer. Other people don't pity me; they are proud of me.

I'm still terrified. Mostly afraid that it will be physically too much for me. Afraid that I won't be able to pay attention, afraid that my smarts have vanished. At this point I know it's just a matter of being patient and letting this new role take hold. I feel a lot like I did 11 years ago when I started at Rhodes. The world just got way bigger and it's a little scary.

I'm using my scholarship money to build a new fixed-gear and get it pimped out for winter. I got a new iPod and a microphone attachment so I can record my classes, since my the nerve grafts in my hand have now started to extend into my fingers and writing may become extremely unpleasant. I had a meeting with the assistant Dean to make sure that I'll be able to get up and stretch and walk around the building if my fibro makes sitting still in class for 4 hours too painful. I get acupuncture for 15 bucks, and I will be getting as much as I can, especially this first month of class.

In a lot of ways I feel like I've been given a chance to start over, but not all the way at the beginning. I get to go back to where things went wrong with total knowledge of what I need to do to win and start from there.

Level up.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Poem for Monday

Poem for Monday, August 25, 2008


by Louise Erdrich

When they were wild

When they were not yet human

When they could have been anything,

I was on the other side ready with milk to lure them,

And their father, too, each name a net in his hands.

Burke's Book Store
936 South Cooper
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 278-7484

Monday, August 18, 2008

wathcing mad max is making me thirsty

I push myself too hard, testing my limits. I went on a bike camping trip this weekend with the Rat Patrol, decided to take a trailer so I could bring a chair to sit in. I'd started to get a cold the day before we left but went anyway, telling myself I needed the experience. you know, there's only two weeks left of my summer vacation, it'll be better than sitting at home on a Saturday night, you haven't been camping in 15 years, etc, etc.

I puked twice, once on the way (about 2.5 hours from the meet-up point), once after we got there and I blew up the sleeping mat. I tried really hard not to be a whiny, cranky bitch. I managed to stay up and be social for a few hours. There was some lovely veggie chili and some singing around the campfire, but being the only person not drinking, I was bored and sleepy pretty soon after dark. Went to bed at about 10, slept fitfully with earplugs in, constantly woken by the bugs and the festivity and the dampness creeping into my pillow. I was almost delirious with fatigue when I left in the morning, around 11. The trip home through the suburbs was mostly bike trails, quite beautiful, and I was totally miserable almost 3 hours later when I got home. Too much weight for me to pull, especially on a one-speed.

I'm physically incapable of taking naps, so I spent most of the day yesterday in a haze of dizzy misery until I finally fell asleep around 10.

Today I have a brutal cold and am restless, but too wobbly to really move. I'm on my third movie of the day.

I want to say the trip was worth it for the time spent with friends, but I was so self-conscious about being a wet blanket that it was hard to relax, not to mention I was too out of it to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Having a fragile constitution seems to make loneliness more painful because I barely remember what it was like to have Big Wild Fun, so I grab any chance I can get to hang out with my friends, even if I have to duck out early. I try to be mindful of how lucky I am to have all my needs met, to be able to walk and ride a bike, to live unassisted.

I saw a urologist and had a cystoscopy done. it was the singular most unpleasant experience of my life, rather like losing my virginity. I made it through my staring at this poster.
at the urologist
there's nothing visibly wrong with my bladder, so at least I don't have interstitial cystitis, but the doctor (who talked to me for under 3 minutes) just gave me the name of yet another specialist to see. I'm opting not to. I will just hope the pain goes away. Resign myself to it. Never, ever, ever have sex again.

Days like this when I am totally run-down it's hard to keep learning from all this. I just want to be comforted and I don't see it happening any time soon. I just have to keep on making it through a day at a time. Until what, I don't know.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

"brazilian" black bean soup

I have no idea if this recipe is authentically Brazilian, but it's a modification (inasmuch as I never really use recipes and am pulling this out of my ass) of one given to me by a friend in high school.

1 small yellow onion
1-2 big fat cloves of garlic
1-2 cups carrots, in bite sized chunks
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 can black beans, undrained
1 small orange
1 cup water or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the onion in half, then into finger-thick slices, then line those up sideways and cut them into dice-sized pieces.

Heat a small saucepan over a medium-high flame and add the oil. When the pan is hot, slide in the onions, carrots and the bay leaves.

Meanwhile, mince the garlic. You can do this with the tines of a fork, mashing it into a juicy paste.

When the onions start to turn translucent with a little bit of brown, add the garlic and cumin and stir vigorously for about a minute.

Pour in the water and the black beans. Stir and cover, reducing the heat the medium. It should simmer but not boil for about 8 minutes.

Squeeze the orange into a glass, removing the seeds but conserving some of the pulp and add to the pot. Leave the pot uncovered so some of the liquid will evaporate.

Cook until the carrots are tender but not mushy.

Add salt and pepper until it tastes right to you.

Top with chopped green onions or sour cream, if you feel like dairy.
Don't forget the Sriracha, or better yet, chipotle Tabasco.
Serve over brown rice, polenta, (yellow grits), quinoa, or with warm corn tortillas.

You can add red bell peppers, corn, lima beans, substitute sweet potatoes for carrots, throw in crumbled smoked tofu, whatever...