Monday, December 12, 2011

Three years.

There is a view of the Lions that can only be had from the SkyTrain on the track between Main Street - Science World and Commercial-Broadway Stations. Because of how fast the train moves and how crappy my camera is I've never been able to catch a non-blurry photo of it. I'm not incredibly enamoured by the mountains, but that 1 minute of time is my favourite view of my favourite range.

Not the view, but close...
THE LIONS    Vancouver, B.C.
Photo By vermillion$baby on

Today is my third MS-iversary. I've been trying not to feel anything about today at all. I've failed, because I'm just sad. Every single thing about my life changed three years ago, leaving nothing untouched. I've obsessed over every choice I have ever made, wondering constantly if I would have had the life I do if I had been diagnosed with this when I was younger, or if I had questioned any of the crazy things my brain had done earlier in my life.

But mostly I just feel ugly and stupid. My cognitive issues plague me. I can't remember things and have constant problems with word selection and that makes me feel like an idiot, especially when people laugh at my stupid word choices. I still weigh 40 lbs more than I used to and I don't even recognize my body when I catch a glimpse in the mirror. My hair and skin have been fucked up since the mitoxantrone and no amount of skin and hair consultations have fixed it.

The good stuff is that Joe and I are still together, we're still very much in love and I would not be where I am if it were not for him. He's exactly 5 days away from finishing his BA in Poli-Sci and I could not be more proud of him for sticking it out and doing as well as he did in spite of the fact that he has a sick, crazy wife and very little money or available credit.

I have not used a cane in over three months, probably closer to four. I have not had to go to bed immediately upon arriving home from work in more than two years. I have a job that, while not incredibly fulfilling or interesting, pays the bills and does not leave me suicidal. I can walk, I have 20/20 vision, very little in the way of intrusive MS symptoms, and I continue to hope for a cure and a way to undo the damage already done.

My MS Walk page will be up in the New Year and I hope to work with Team Gl*tterB*tches to do one big event as well as our regular fund raising. I love my B*tches. They're great people and another bit of good stuff in my life.

I continue to put one foot in front of the other and suit up and show up for my daily obligations. I remain hopeful that one day I will figure out what I want to be when I grow up and that will allow me to not be broke while being happy.

I'm going to try to do things differently in the next year. I don't want to say what, or how, because every time I make broad pronouncements about what I want to do I fail miserably. One thing I have found out in the past year is that people who love you so very rarely hold you accountable for failures if they don't think what you're failing at is important or necessary.

I think about the past too much. If you've known me since before 2003 I'm probably thinking about you right now.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Brainz - An Update (I forgot to post this 3 weeks ago)

October 13, 2011

1) Seeing me makes my neurologist smile. My "initial disease presentation was as close to the worst as it gets" and the fact that I am doing as well as I am is pleasing to her.

2) My MRI remains unchanged from year to year. My lesion load is stable with no new lesions found.

3) I have 1-2% nerve damage in my fingers and toes.

4) I have some minor spasticity in my calves, the left being worse than the right and causing some uncontrolled movements.

5) My mission to learn how to run again has been improved by my neurologist because the latest recommended treatment for MS is 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. Running/fast walking for 15 minutes a day counts in her mind, though she told me to take it easy and don't push too far or too fast.

6) I am to continue doing "exactly what" I have been doing: Copaxone, Wellbutrin, 5000 IUs of vitamin D, and daily exercise.

***Edit November 1, 2011***

I feel really good physically and the change I made in employment has been a positive one for my mental health. Got some good news today regarding that job, so I'll find out later this week or next what my near-term status is going to be.

It is at times like this I wish I were more superstitious about other things than actions to take during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Just sitting.

Two weekends ago I had my house and my routine (that was going awesome and everything) totally upended. The first weekend was just awful, spent running around trying to fix things. I spent the two days of the weekend wanting to curl up in a ball and cry. The situation got fixed come the following Monday but it has cost us some space in the house. I needed a day or two to recover. I got up and went to work and that was that.

I started coming down with a cold on Saturday morning. I beat it into submission with liberal doses of cold medication, vitamin C and hot honey and lemon beverages. I still have some sniffles but I am mostly a functioning human being.

Which brings me to my life.

It's now been a week since the upheaval and everything is still not right here. I have zero will to go back to my routine. It's like it got messed up so now it's going to take me forever and ever (or until the mess drives me crazy) to get back to it.

These are the first words I have written in a week. I do not find them satisfying.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

All the Way to Up to Eleven

October 8, 2005 changed my life.

Under different circumstances I would not have been on the Queen of Capilano from Horseshoe Bay to Snug Cove.

I wasn't nervous because I knew that it was the only way we could be together and what I wanted more than to marry was to be together. Marriage was the only way I could get what I wanted. So maybe because of that I tried a little harder to make sure that I didn't end up being the one word reason as to why my husband couldn't have fun.

"Wanna go out Friday night?"

"No. Can't."



I didn't want to be that person.

One day he said he was going to talk to an academic advisor at the local college. When I got home from work he told me that he was starting college on Monday and had quit his job. I didn't freak out because I knew that whatever he had signed himself up for was going to be a good investment.

He worked his ass off and has got amazing grades. I'm really proud of him. He graduates in December.

When I got sick I told him that if he was going to leave because I was sick to do it then. I would be able to work out other arrangements.

He didn't leave. He hasn't been anything but supportive and encouraging.

There have been times, especially in the first year and a bit, when I threw my hands up and wondered aloud why I had done this. Why had I dragged a man out of his country to marry him when obviously it wasn't going to work out? How could I have been so stupid?

We ended up working that out. Since then there hasn't been a problem that we couldn't work out.

I don't know what the future is going to bring. I just know that after 6 years of civil marriage and almost 7 years together we're still a team. I also know that I have never committed to doing anything, ever, day in and day out for six straight years. Hell, in the course of that time I've been through 4 different hair colours.

We got through the chronically broke year of him not being able to work, we got through the nearly always broke year of his first three semesters of school, we got through the very, very broke 9 months of me on disability. We got through the terrible confusion and misunderstandings that happened in the 6 months after my diagnosis and relapse.

I'd like to think that we got through it because we wanted to be together more than we wanted to walk away; but I must admit there were times early on when only my legal obligations to him as his immigration sponsor kept me from packing my shit and leaving. With those obligations done I think that I stay for the same reasons I got into this in the first place.

I want us to be together. I married him because I couldn't live with the "What if..." of not knowing if it could work out. I don't know what the ending is yet and I'm in no hurry to find out what the conclusion is to our story. Every single day I am full of love, appreciation and gratitude that we decided to embark on this great experiment together.

Happy Anniversary, Baby. My love for you is turned all the way up to eleven.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I quit my job. I am more than stoked about my $1,100+ in unused vacation pay.

I have just been informed that my new job "thinks" I am cleared and I should report to my new job on Monday morning at 8:30 00 AM.


I am so happy and excited and thrilled to be leaving my job. It served its purpose - got me back into the workforce after my first MS attack and helped me keep Joe in school. But the ongoing challenges with having an elderly man as an employer were grating on my last nerve. I did my time for almost two years and now I'm moving on.

The only downside to my new job is that I'm only guaranteed work for a finite period of time. That means that I could be hunting for a job sooner rather than later. I'm hoping that this job will lead to further opportunities, but I can't bank on it.

I've updated my LinkedIn profile just in case. I'm squeamish about asking for recommendations or putting myself out there, but I guess you just gotta.

I fell asleep at 10 PM last night. As a result I have been up since just before 4 AM. The coolest thing about this morning is that I drank a cup of coffee and enjoyed it. It did not smell like barf to me. This is a fortuitous occasion as that doesn't happen very often.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

To Eddie... with love.

Until Facebook, Frank and I exchanged semi-annual emails - usually in the new year and sometime between my birthday in July and his birthday in November.

I last time I saw him was a few years ago; he had been living in Korea for years and quite unexpectedly announced that he was moving to Vancouver. I saw him shortly after he arrived. He was OUTRAGED that he had been there an entire WEEK and had not secured a teaching position. He was worried about living off his savings and going broke in Vancouver.

He asked me when the sun would come out. I told him "Next summer."

We had lunch. We went for a walk. He complained loudly about how badly his last partner had treated him. He met my husband and expressed surprise at my settling down. We sat together on the sofa and talked about mutual acquaintances and "Do you remember the time..." all afternoon.

He said he had some interviews lined up and he would be in touch. A hug, a couple of air kisses and a "I love you, Pats." "Cheers. Thanks a lot. Love you too, Eddie." and he was gone.

The next time I heard from him was months later. He sent me a Facebook friend request. That's how I found out he had gone back to Korea.

"Sorry." he said.

It was kind of a last minute thing. The next time he came back to Canada he'd book a stopover in Vancouver. We'll have lunch. Go for a drink. Something.

He never did.

We kept in touch via Facebook. We posted smarmy messages on each other's walls. Over the past few years I watched him literally work his ass off.

"I AM THIN AND GORGEOUS!" was our rallying cry. He was getting to where he wanted to be. He had plans... and none of those plans led back to Canada. Of that he was sure.

He apologized to me for being such a crap friend while he was in Vancouver. I told him that I was okay, that I love him just for being him and no matter what I would always be there for him. He promised again to stop in Vancouver the next time he was coming to Canada to visit his family.

That's not going to happen now.

Three weeks ago Frank, my friend - probably my oldest friend, dropped dead at 38.

I have known him for 19 years - half his life and just over half of mine. He was my friend for my entire adult life. I am glad he is my friend. I wouldn't love many of the things I do without his influence. He was the Edina Monsoon to my Patsy Stone. My life has an empty space where my Eddie should be. I'm sorry he won't be here to see what we all amount to.

Lastly, I hope they can find him an urn that he would be caught dead in. Sometimes fabulous friends can be high maintenance even in death.

"But is it art, Eddie?"

I hope so.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I did not write this

This land like a mirror turns you inward
And you become a forest in a furtive lake;
The dark pines of your mind reach downward,
You dream in the green of your time,
Your memory is a row of sinking pines.

Explorer, you tell yourself this is not what you came for
Although it is good here, and green;
You had meant to move with a kind of largeness,
You had planned a heavy grace, an anguished dream.

But the dark pines of your mind dip deeper
And you are sinking, sinking, sleeper
In an elementary world;
There is something down there and you want it told.
— "Dark Pines Under Water," The Shadow Maker (1972)

Gwendolyn MacEwen

When you wrap up some of the most painful experiences of your life in memories of places you were both young & innocent and crazy & out of control and tie them together with a present desperation for change... you get reminded of Gwendolyn MacEwen poems a man you once loved read to you in the half light of a cold November Sunday morning.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I want to punch my 24 year old self in the fucking head.

From here on in, when I hate myself now I am going to pull out one of these journals from pre-2003 and force myself to read what kind of bullshit I was thinking and living in.

I am also grateful that I have no real memories of this. Thanks for the cognitive issues, MS!

When you feel your life ain't worth living...

(I don't think this reggae beat is a good choice for this mashup.)

you've got to stand up, take a look around you then a look way up to the sky.

(What the hell is he trying to do?)

And when your deepest thoughts are broken,

(I get it... you love this song.)

keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die.

(Boy is right. He won't give up those metaphoric green tights.)

And as we all play parts of tomorrow, some ways we'll work and other ways we'll play.

It's 3 AM. We're both wasted. Would you just turn off the music?

But I know we all can't stay here forever,


so I want to write my words on the face of today.

(Good. It's done.)

and then they'll paint it

(Dammit. No it's not.)

And oh as I fade away,

(Apparently if you aren't going to fade away, you aren't going to let me.)

they'll all look at me and say,


Hey look at him and where he is these days.

(I wish I could change my mind about you.)

When life is hard, you have to change.

Dance with me until the sun rise.

When life is hard, you have to change.

You know this is the beginning of the end, right?

When life is hard, you have to change.


Edit: Lyrics in bold are from "Change" by Blind Melon

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My friend died.

One of my oldest friends apparently just dropped dead for no apparent reason sometime in the past 24 hours.

He's been living in South Korea for ever and ever and I haven't seen him since he tried briefly to live in Vancouver about four or five years ago.

His birthday was Remembrance Day. I'll never forget him.

Since I don't believe in an afterlife and I don't believe that he's reading this right now or that he knows that I will miss our talks online and be sad that we never got to see each other again, I'll just say it to you, dear Reader:

I'll miss talking with my friend, Frank. I am sad that we never got a chance to see each other again.

The previous three thoughts that I typed out and then deleted remind me that my attitudes about death aren't "normal" and I don't want to have the words come out wrong or with a tone and tenor that can't be heard in this medium, I'll just shut up now.

But I do know that I made a To-Do list for today and I have done everything but one. That feels good.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

10 August 2011 - 12:45 pm

I must scratch something
down before it rains and my
lunch ends. I must scratch
something down before the
end comes. I must scratch
something down before I forget.
It looks as though I have
already forgotten. I have forgotten
how to wake up. I have forgotten
how to be joyous. Not sure I
ever really knew. Glimpses,
Just out of focus on the edge
of my peripheral vision. Terribly
sad sad sad sad. True. True. True.
This is what happens when I listen
to myself.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Insert Witty Title Here

I did not get notifications about comments on my last post. I'm sorry that I didn't respond.

So, I didn't wake up in time to get to the parade. I was just so out of it.

I've been scratching out words on pieces of paper on my lunch hour, but I haven't input them into my project so I don't know where I am or how many of them there are.

I have been down lately. My life tends to be an open book, but this sadness is just too personal.

I hope that tomorrow brings something different. I am almost certain that it won't, but I hope.

This song gives me shivers.

It's not... What you thought... When you first began it...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I ruined my weekend

In 8 hours I am supposed to be heading to the Pride parade with my husband. But today I forgot that my life is a high-protocol-tightrope-walking-plate-spinning-balancing act of caffeine timed perfectly with high protein snacks in order to make it though a 9 hour work day. Today I ate breakfast. I had no caffeine. I made a plan to locate a parasol for tomorrow's parade to try to stay cool. A headache started pounding over my right eye.

Within 15 minutes I could not keep my eyes open it hurt so much. Within 30 minutes it took all my physical strength not to throw up. Joe brought me some toast and tea. I ate half the toast and drank a couple of mouthfuls of tea and promptly passed out for a several hours. Woke up at 8 PM and in order to stay awake long enough to eat something I had a bottle of Coke Zero. It is now 3:30 AM Sunday morning and I'm awake. Wide awake.

And Joe is stuck on chapter 11 of the NAFTA agreement and hasn't finished the paper he needed to have finished by midnight Friday, so he's not going to the parade tomorrow. I don't know if I will be awake enough to go, I'm not sure how hot it is going to be, I'm kind of scared about going out in the heat like that unattended, and I did not get the parasol I should have for being out in the sun.

I'm banging away on this laptop in bed trying to get these worries and disappointment out of my head in hopes that I will find the ability to sleep and more importantly wake up in the morning in time to get suited up for the parade... if I am brave enough to head out in the sun without someone with me.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

This is how my brain works

I have the drum track from this with the lyrics to this playing over it.

This is the weirdness my brain just comes up with spontaneously, because I haven't heard either track in months, if not years.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Profound desire...

to smash my head into this keyboard.

I find this all so frustrating.

I don't have words for this.

I have talked to my psychiatrist this week, and that's never a great time for me.

Apparently I'm just supposed to be grateful that the MS is stable and there are hundreds of thousands of people worse off than me right now.

So that's what I am going to do.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I spent some time on the phone with one of my healthcare professionals today. The progression of this phone call was a direct result of yesterday being my birthday. I am currently in the middle of what has become my annual existential crisis. It happens to coincide with my semiannual check in with my nurse when she asked about my mood. I was bored at work so I told her the truth. Her response was exactly this:

“Lori, maybe you just have to come to accept that there are some things you aren’t going to be able to do every day. Instead of habits, maybe what you need is discipline to start again after you have to stop.”

So that’s it.

I set up schedules, to-do lists, reminders and book appointments with myself. I start off really well, but then something happens:

Like I have a great exercise schedule going for four weeks and I’m on top of all the tasks I need to get done around the house and then out of no where I can’t keep my balance anymore, my calves go into spasm with every flex and I can’t safely lift a weight over my head. This goes on for close to three weeks, when I just give up and write myself off as broken and my house gets dustier and the clutter just moves around more;

Like I get all these healthy meals and plans together and it goes really well, until we have one bad month with bills. Then it’s food on the cheap and fast food lunches, because they’re the only ones around for $5 or less. I’d pack lunches to take to work, but my boss won’t let me cook food at work or eat at my desk because it makes the office smell. (Yeah, I know.);

Like I get this amazing morning routine together and then my body becomes broken and don’t have anything healthy for breakfast, I’m terrified that exercise will break my body further and I won’t be able to get to work, so I end up waking up in the morning unable to bring myself to do anything but slide into clothes, pull on a hat, guzzle a cup of tea and stagger to the bus stop;

And like when I start to fail at everything I want to be good at I end up swimming in this vat of sticky oozing self-loathing and anxiety that keeps me up until the early hours of the morning, wired on all the caffeine I had to drink all day to keep from falling asleep at work.

I realize that if I am going to have to type at work, some nights I am not going to have the nerves available in my hands/wrists to work on my book that night. Sometimes I will really have to rest them and not be able to type much at all on Saturday as well. But I can bang out a couple of hand written pages each day on my lunch hour. I go for a walk every day it isn’t raining or too hot (which gratefully is most days).

It doesn’t feel like enough. It is going to take 60 days for me to write my Book in a Month. Perhaps even longer. Tomorrow is payday, so fresh fruit and vegetables for dinner.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday night.

For the first time in what feels like half a lifetime, I am spending my Friday night trying to lay the groundwork for what it is I want to get done over the weekend. Here it is, 10 PM and I'm about 1/3 of the way done. I think I'll be up until midnight.

I'm hoping to get about 5,000 words written between tonight and Sunday at midnight.

I'm hoping to get two x-stitch prototypes completed in the same time.

I'm hoping to get my bathroom cleaned and my kitchen floor washed.

I'm hoping to get in a walk with Joe and an upper body weight-training session.

This is the weekend I'm going to figure out what the difference is between "MS-kicking-my-ass" and "Fuck-it-I'm-just-lazy", I'm banking on it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Posting from my phone

Because Shaw craps out at midnight for the past three days. Why? I do not know.

Taking two days off from typing has saved my wrists. So much better.

Goal= 2400 words
Actual=2154 words

Not bad, but I'm usually okay with making it over 2000 words.
Hopefully Shaw works their shit out tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Book in a Month - Day 5A

I have taken four extra strength Motrin liquid gels in the past 5 hours and they haven't touched the pain in my wrists and fingers. There's just nothing more frustrating than having body parts fail because I have to choose between something I love and a job that I hate.

According to the the x-rays, ultrasound and nerve testing I had last year there's nothing physically wrong with my arms. The theory is nerve pain and nerve fatigue as a result of MS.

I am so angry.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book in a Month - Day 4

Goal = 2400 words
Actual - 1680 words

I forgot to take Motrin before I started to type. If I want to have wrists available to do work I'm actually paid for I've got to pack it in tonight.

I really feel pretty good about that word count today, even if it did fall short of my goal. I managed to put it together in about an hour and forty-five minutes.

Going to ice my hands now.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Book in a Month - Day 3

Goal = 2400 words
Actual - 3235 words

Made up for the shortfall entirely and have 750+ words in the bank. Had to force myself to go for a walk as I spent 7 hours out of 12 working on this.

Tomorrow will be the big test. I've got to fit 2400 words into a day that includes 9 hours of work and travel time.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Book in a Month - Day 2

Goal = 2400 words
Actual = 2765 words

(Almost made up for yesterday's shortfall, but MAN are my wrists sore. Typing with MS can be stupid difficult sometimes.)

Book in a Month - Day 1

Goal = 2400 words
Actual = 1985 words

Friday, July 1, 2011

Book in a Month Contract

I, Lori Varrin Kidwell, agree to follow the steps of the 30-day Book in a Month system.

I will make the necessary changes in my life to accommodate this goal, and I will ask family, friends, and my fellow writers for help when I need it. I will organize my time well so I can do this, and I will set aside all non-essential tasks so I have time to achieve my goal.

I will work on my book 6 days a week (if I miss a day, I'll just keep going). I will complete 260 pages and get to the end. No matter what happens during these 30 days, I will just keep writing.

"I don't have the time" is not a good enough excuse for the next 30 days.

I promise myself that I will celebrate when 30 days are up, even if I only meet 75% of my goal. I will tell my family and friends to get ready for this celebration in Week 3, to further motivate myself. (It also helps that my 30 days ends the day before Vancouver Pride!)

This book is important to me. My future readers are waiting to read it and I owe it to them to finish it. What I have to say is important.

Original signed
Lori Kidwell
June 30, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Searching for the Words

In the story of my life, my Catholic Confirmation was really the beginning of my honest-to-goodness questioning of what faith was and what was expected of me. I remember going through the whole religious process with not a whole lot of concern for the spiritual aspects of confirming my belief that I would be a Catholic for the rest of my life. I remember being concerned that this was far too large of a decision for a 10 year old to be making. I remember really wanting my confirmation name to be linked to my family some way. (I chose Theresa, my great grandmother’s name) I remember being upset that my aunt couldn’t understand why I would ask her to be my sponsor because she didn’t remember that she was my godmother. I remember giving far more consideration to my appearance and remembering things we had to repeat than I was about any relationship I was supposed to be developing with god or Jesus.

Part of the process was going on a “spiritual retreat” to the convent nearest to our school. Worst. School. Trip. Ever. We went to the convent at Mount St. Joseph for a full day of prayer and contemplation of our future life as “full patch” members of the Catholic faith. I recall a nun and a priest giving a speech to us. I don’t recall any of my classmates taking it all that seriously. I spent some time just wandering around the grounds trying to figure out what the nagging feeling was. It was a feeling that something wasn’t right, not necessarily that something was wrong, but just… not right. I don’t know that I could put my finger on it even now, but I found myself walking in circles around the garden path trying to figure something out, to no avail. I remember a classmate teasing me for taking all of “this god stuff” too seriously. Was I taking it too seriously? Probably, but not in the way that I was being teased about. I was not devout. I was sure I was not doing the right thing.

What I really wanted was to grab someone and beg them to help me find the language to put that feeling into words. But I was there in a convent, surrounded by people who’s job it was to make me a good Catholic and my peers who were just thrilled we weren’t at school. I just wasn’t sure that confirmation was right for me, but I knew that I didn’t really have a choice about it. My robe had been rented. My stole had been named and symbols of my Catholic faith dutifully glued to it. My aunt was coming to be my sponsor and family was coming from out of town. I even managed to score a new 10-speed bike in black and silver out of the deal. I was going to be Catholic for life because that’s what my parents were and as their child I was going to be Catholic too. Catholicism was the only religion available to me so I didn’t know that there were other options, other than the faiths that would go door to door trying to spread their faith. I didn’t know then that a few short years later I would increase my vocabulary when it came to all things of faith.

This entry is an edited excerpt from the as yet untitled memoir I have been writing this year.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Because You’ve Got to Have Goals

I have been thinking a lot about never giving up on your dreams since last night when Lady Gaga won a Much Music Video Award. She said to never give up on your dreams. For most of my life I don’t think I had any dreams. Or at least not specific ones.

According to The Change Blog STEP ONE is Make a list of what’s important to you.

Here is my list of 10 things (in no particular order of importance):

The internet

STEP TWO is Ask "Why is this important?" for each item on your list.

Security because having it is the only reason I have to live.

Joe because he’s the reason why I show up for my life every day. I owe him so much and I do not want to let him down.

Walking because one day I may not be able to.

Comfort because, along with number security, it is the only reason I have to keep breathing.

Writing because it is the second thing I showed some aptitude for and enjoy.

Pajamas because when I am wearing them I feel comfortable and secure.

Intelligence because it is what keeps us from killing each other.

Sex because it is the first thing I showed some aptitude for and enjoy.

The internet because without it Joe would be the only person I like that I talk to on a daily basis.

Organization because it is the third thing I showed some aptitude for and enjoy.

STEP THREE is Use your answers to identify your values.

The things I value are security, being good at something, and self-preservation.

STEP FOUR is Use your values to set your goals.

I guess I’m going to have to get a little free associative with this goal setting thing because the only thing I’m getting from this list is that I want to be Hugh Hefner, only with a way better publication and brand to control.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I don't believe in happy endings

A man I once loved said to me, “No matter what, unless we die together, it will all end in tears.”

Happy endings seem to presuppose that changing the legality of a relationship, leaving a crap job or getting out of a place you don’t want to be is an “ending”. I have never known a single human being who’s life stopped at the point where John Hughes would end the movie. An ending, happy or otherwise, begets a beginning.

I have been laid off from jobs that I hated because of financial cutbacks no less than 3 times and was able to collect federal Employment Insurance benefits whilst I tried to find something more suitable. I have yet to find that job. I don’t believe it exists. So while the ending was filled with relief the subsequent financial instability and settling for yet another job I knew I would hate didn’t really make that ending happy. The new beginning it begat wasn’t very good either, and I suspect that when my current job does come to an end I will feel anxious relief. I won’t know where I am going, but it will be different from where I was.

Having never been involved with a team or project that had an ultimate goal or finite outcome, I guess I will never feel the intense emotion of that kind of happy ending. Upon further consideration I suppose that some of the work I did in politics could have been considered to be happy endings, but the election outcome was never the end. Winning political office is never the end all and be all. The work begins the next day to begin to hold office. Just shortly after you start to feel that things are flowing as they should, it’s time to run for re-election.

What I do believe in is happy beginnings. The stereotypical “Boy marries girl” is not my idea of a happy ending. In my case it was the happiest beginning of my life. If our relationship had a “Happy Ending” I would have to say that that was the day he moved to Canada to be with me; one month before the wedding and 10 months after the first time we spoke. It was the end of long distance phone calls, the end of trying to carve out time for travel, the end of trying to find a way to work out our schedules so that we could still have lives and take care of each other across two time zones and an international boundary.

I wasn’t sick then. He was just a month after donating his mum a kidney. He had just dropped everything - the life in the city he had lived in for the better part of two decades, the job he’d had for most of that, the apartment he’d rented for years and years at that point - to give his mother an organ, move to a foreign country and marry a woman he had known for less than a year.

I have been kissed a hundred thousand million times but there are three that I absolutely won’t forget. The first one ever, the first one with Joe, ever, and the first one with Joe on the platform at Main Street/Science World Skytrain station as I went to pick him up from the station. That was the first kiss I ever got from him that wouldn’t start a countdown to his departure. He was home, and I knew that I was ending all of the long-distance bullshit that had taken over my life in the previous 8 months.

That was the moment in my life when John Hughes would end the movie. But as suddenly as that happy ending was realized, it was over. That was a new beginning. That was the start of something that we carefully considered, planned for and fretted about for the previous 6 months. That was the moment our new life had begun.

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Hockey players wear numbers because you can’t always identify the body with dental records."

Duh da duddada - Duh da dadada



(your transcription may vary)

Now that summer is here (we hope) my biological clock is confused about my desire to spend a Saturday evening indoors watching hockey. My team’s been golfing for weeks, but the team of my adopted home is in the Stanley Cup final. (Game 3 is live from Boston as I type.) Watching the lifers and long suffering Canuckistanians get into it and celebrate has been inspiring.

I haven’t watched a Stanley Cup final with such interest in years. (18 to be exact - but who’s counting, other than every Montreal Canadiens fan in the world.)

Some of my earliest family memories - vague as they are - involve church-hockey-euchure on a Saturday night. I have quoted The Theme Formerly Known as the Hockey Night in Canada Song above. I am pretty sure that I could name that tune in two beats.

I know all of the words of the Star Spangled Banner - not because I’m the wife of a patriotic American, but because I was once a 5 or 6 or 7 year old Canadian who happened to watch or overhear a LOT of hockey. When I was a kid I thought that O Canada and the US anthem were just one long song. They just reversed the verses for what city they were playing in.

What’s weird is that there were certainly no classes or tutorials on this stuff - I just know it. I know at some point someone taught me the icing and offside rules but I don’t recall when or by
whom I was told. I suppose it was my dad, but it could have been an uncle or a family friend.

Just as I do not have a memory of not being able to read, I don’t remember not knowing about hockey. I don’t remember, even in my surly-anti-establishment-queer-community days, ever turning down the opportunity to watch a game.

Even as I write this the TFKatHNICS is ringing in my ears. That song is as much a part of my identity as my eye colour or where I was born. I have so few specific memories of my past anymore that I cling to whatever vague assurance I can get from my past.

The Canucks killed me tonight. My hatred of the Bruins is greater than my love of Vancouver. I am taking this humiliating loss a little more personally than I should.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mi amore vole fe

What do I want? I am far more certain of what I don’t want. What little I do know I want are small victories or pie-in-the-sky outlandish, never to really happen dreams.

One of the small victories I want would be to have then spastic tension in my left calf let go for just a day.

One of my pie-in-the-sky outlandish dreams is to write a memoir worth reading that won’t make what’s left of my family angry at me or get me sued.

I want to be able to smell coffee without wanting to puke, but I also dream of winning the lottery and living it up.

I want to know what the future would be like if I didn’t have MS. I dream of the day when MS is cured and I can stop holding my breath, waiting for the next bad thing to happen.

I want to have a spontaneous memory of my past that does not include an anxiety attack. I dream of the day when I can afford to have my hair, nails and toes done, brows and a wax job all in the same month. That dream seems pretty out there right now. I have expensive maintenance costs.

I want to be joyful a little more often. I dream that the next time my grandma sees me she will remember me. I want to be more creative on a daily basis, but I dream of being able to dance again.

I want to know what I am good at and I dream of the day when that is obvious. I want to show the world that logic isn’t terrifying. I dream of a day when all my friends are equal in the eyes of the law in every country around the world.

I want the day to come when I am able to stop making lists. I dream of the day when I am able to get through a day without forgetting something important.

I want to quit my job. I dream of the day when I own a real sofa. With cushions and stuff. I want to get more out of what little time I have. I dream of the day when I have enough energy to even attempt to take advantage of that time.

I want the Montreal Canadiens to win the Cup next year. I dream of the TD Garden and the Wells Fargo Center blowing up and taking their respective teams with them. (Not the players... but the buildings and franchises.) (Well, maybe some of the players.) (And Bobby Clarke... and hopefully Garry Bettman is visiting.)

I mostly want security; a most likely scenario going forward that gives me the odds on what kind of life I am going to end up with. I want to love my life and dream of knowing for certain what I am meant to do. I want to continue to love Joe.

I want to believe in myself. I want to believe that if I were tested I would stick with my values. I want to believe that there are few things worth dying for and that if I was faced with them, I would. I want to believe that I am a person of character. I want to believe that my personality doesn’t sell out my character.

I dream of loving my life.
(love needs faith)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Turn my sorrow into treasured gold...

I'm trying to change. Still.

The past couple of months have been a lot about just trying to find the energy to get through my day. 10 days away from work seems to have helped. 9 days being reminded of where I came from and recalling how I ended up where I am now has been emotional and at times difficult but probably what I needed.

I am hoping that the last half of this year brings more change.

The future starts now. I know that. I've probably always known that.

Oh, and in case you were wondering... it is not enough for the Canucks to win.



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Paranoia will Destroya

Two months ago to the day my mind and body just completely crapped out on me. I had done two straight months of being completely on top of my game and feeling great about it. Then one day, it all just broke.

My anxiety is constant and shifts from quietly lurking in the background to full out, screaming loud hyperventilation as it feels like the weight of the world has been rested on my chest. As I write this, I'm about a five on the ten point scale between those to ends. I'm terrified of everything.

Once again on my lunch hour I found myself in the self-help section of the bookstore scouring the shelves for the book, the program or the workbook that would help me fix my lousy fucking life. But it's not there. No matter how much I want it to be there, it's not.

My neurologist doesn't want me to do cardio (other than walking) or strength training every day because recovering from the nerve fatigue gets harder and harder with each successive day. So instead of figuring out a routine that would work I just quit. I just quit because I know myself.

Building a habit for me means I have to do it, practice it every single day. If I can't do something every day, I won't do it. I know myself. That's how I maintain my employment, I have daily routine that gets me out of bed and to the office and then home again. Any deviation from that can cause problems. Which is why I sit here.

I'm sitting here because I know I am being judged. I'm being judged by everyone I come into contact in a day. That is not rational, but I feel it. Every screaming loud hyperventilation trying to get out is telling me that I am a failure and completely worthless. No book or program or church or whatever is going to fix the MS to take this away.

My brain is broken. That is the most difficult thing for me to accept. I rebel against the idea on an hourly basis, but then reality smacks me in the face by making me bang into a door frame, not be able to lift my arm up, or just leave me so hopeless I wonder if there's any redemption in this world at all.

I keep making plans that keep getting blown up before they even taxi down the runway. It's gotten to the point that if the next plan gets shot down, I'm not telling anyone until they actually happen. It's just too devastating and makes me self-loathe with almost a religious fervor.

My friend Karen sent me a BBM after the MS Walk telling me that I am awesome and the over $2,100 we raised as a team was because of me. I never thanked her, because I was too embarrassed by her words. So Karen, if you are reading this... thank you. Your kindness humbles me.

So here I am with a sink full of dirty dishes left by Joe as he skipped the country, a disorganized house, a 1000 piece photomosaic jigsaw puzzle of the Canadian flag set up on the table, two cross-stitch projects started and one to just do the finishing on and all I can do is sit here and just obsess about how much my life sucks already and how what happened last night can only make matters worse.

I've been through enough therapy in my life to know that reality is what you focus on. I just don't know where you get the drive to just keep going through the motions. I don't have any goals that are important. The only dream I have is to have enough money that I can have a haircut, manicure & pedicure, waxing and threading scheduled in the same month. My only goal is to have a clean enough house and do enough writing in a month that I don't completely lose my mind. I'd like to lose 30 lbs, but that's highly unlikely given my strange food obsessions, fear of cooking and grocery stores and propensity to sit for hours and days on end.

I finally started to cry. That's where this ends.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Love and Pain

I love my MS Walk team. They show me that people are good and they will get up stupid early and stand in the rain to help a friend. I feel unworthy of their love. I feel unworthy of all the love I was shown by Team Gl*tterB*tches 30+ donors. Next year I swear I am going to get my stuff together earlier and try to reach more people.

(As a side note, donor pages are open for another two weeks. If every participant raised just $20 more, we would raise another 1.2 million dollars!)

It’s taken me a couple of days to write this, mostly because my wrists, elbows, shoulders and knees are screaming in pain most of the day. I save up my typing time for work because I don’t actually get paid to blog, but I do get paid to transcribe dictation at the office.

I’m settling in to watch the NHL playoffs whilst my husband leaves for a two or three week get-away to the US to see his friends and family once his final exams are done.

I’ve missed some work this month, which I always find aggravating. I find it upsetting because I really don’t know if I am sick or just sick and tired of my job. I keep pushing myself to show up for my obligations, and until yesterday I had been mostly successful.

My neurologist suspects that much of what is wrong with me stems from my psyche not my damaged nervous system. I suspect that she’s correct.

I haven’t cried in weeks… maybe months. I choke up every time I hear “Born This Way”, but that’s not the same as having the meltdowns I used to have daily. I kind of miss them. At least I had hope. Or something.

What ever it was… I don’t have that anymore.

Monday, April 11, 2011


GlitterBs by MS.Society_bc
GlitterBs, a photo by MS.Society_bc on Flickr.

"We're MS walkers, that's what we do.
Purple and glittery, that is our crew.

We have two doggies, they'll give you a lick.
But to keep it family friendly we can't say our name in public."

Thank you, thank you thank you to Margaret, Viktoria, Erin and Ray and especially Joe.

With your help we raised $2,150.68 for MS research and services. While I wish that I didn't have to walk, I did it.

And I'll do it again next year, because my team is amazing. My husband is amazing. And if I can keep these legs of mine moving amazingly I'll be there to walk for all the people who can't.

I have some other stuff to say about my lack of blogging over the past couple of months. Maybe I'll get around to that in a day or two. Or more.

Oh, and the water resistant tiaras were an ace investment.

Friday, April 8, 2011

TEAM GL*TTERB*TCHES (Ends at midnight on Saturday)

I'm only here to ask for money.

The walk is on Sunday, April 10, 2011. I'm waking up at 6:30 in the morning to go for a walk in a ridiculous amount of cosmetic grade glitter in (what is forecasted to be) the rain.

There will be photos.

We've raised $1,950. We're trying to get to $2,000 before the walk. You can help.

The last donor will win an official Team Gl*tterB*tches water resistant purple glitter tiara.

You want it. You want it bad. I know.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I think I'm broken.

That's the only word I have to describe it.

I don't know what to do about it.

I probably should just go to bed and forget about it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Apocalypse. Bring it.

I was going to sit down tonight and write about the next chapter in This Year I Will... but then I got reading the news and the posts in my Facebook news feed and all of a sudden I was just overcome by it all.

We, as a species, do not deserve this planet or opposable thumbs.

Just look at the front page of the CBC website. As I write these are the stories in the first screen view.

Tories slapped with 2 rulings

Quebec boy survives 3 hours in snow bank

Nurse disgraced in US working in Canada

UN investigator opens Libya torture probe

Egyptians clash in Tahrir Square

Chara avoids suspension for Pacioretty hit

Ovechkin has way with road-weary Oilers

(Okay so that last one isn't really bad news. Ovie is a loon, but I am so not an Oilers fan that I just can't bring myself to care.)

But let's break down the news of the day!

The party currently in power (aka the Harper Government) has an MP that misled parliament and the government hid the costs of items in the budget, putting them in contempt of parliament. There is so much snow in Quebec that you can lose one of your kids shoveling your driveway. Licensing bodies have no legal obligation to provide information to another jurisdiction when someone has been disciplined or been stripped of their license. The "government" of Libya is torturing its own citizens, as well as bombing and shooting them. The Egyptians who got together to overthrow a dictator now have found something else to fight over. And finally, it's okay to smash a guy's head into an immovable piece of metal, both rattling his brain and fracturing a vertebra, as long as you are playing hockey.

Got all that?

Then this petition showed up in my news stream.

You read that right. The New York Times wrote a story blaming an 11 year old girl for being raped by 18 boys and men. I could not believe it either. If you think that this is no big deal, get the fuck out of my blog and never speak to me.

The people of this planet suck. Why am I so worried about how to change my life or the size of my gut or getting a job I don't hate, when the entire human race is just interested in tearing each other down, exploiting the vulnerable and building small communities based on mutual scorn and mutual vengeance.

Maybe the secret to living sanely on this planet is ignorance? Maybe it doesn't matter what I end up doing with my life as long as I can stay medicated just enough to not pay attention, but not so much as I can't make it to work.

I'm really angry about the state of affairs. For tonight, I just throw my hands up.

Monday, March 7, 2011

More accountable

The week of February 28 through March 6, 2011 did not go as planned. I ended up working five straight days of overtime and coming home mentally and emotionally wrung out from spending the last 4 hours of the day being shouted at and told to drop one thing for one thing after another until we got it all banged out. My wrists and forearms screamed in pain every day before I got home. I didn’t write at all last week with only those two blog posts being the only words I put together to form sentences and paragraphs.

By Friday I was just a crazy wound up ball of frustration, so I ended up having chocolate pudding and beer for dinner and then handfuls of microwave popcorn, pretzels and tortilla chips on top of a couple of vodka and Coke Zeros. (Yeah, I know. It was a horrible freak show of food, but I wasn’t an idiot, so I’m okay with it.)

Saturday I found out that if I don’t start my day and keep refueling with caffeine at regular intervals I can’t stay awake for more than 2 hours. Since Joe was working on school stuff he didn’t really notice that I wasn’t around and just let me sleep. MS is just a gift that keeps on giving. Sunday was more awake than asleep but I was still really slow and tired.

This is where it gets hard. This morning my alarm went off at training o’clock and I just could not do it. I couldn’t open my eyes, I couldn’t lift myself up, I just could not get out of bed until well after 7:30 AM.

I’m terrified that I am getting sick again. I haven’t started going to bed at 5:30 PM yet so I’m not sure that the fatigue is a new symptom, but it is frustrating as hell not to be able to do what I could do just a week ago.

So this brings me to Chapter 2 (which was supposed to be published on Saturday) and Chapter 3 (which will put me back on schedule).

You’ve Really Got to Want This


What Need is Being Served by What You’re Doing Now?

Chapter 2 in a nutshell – Don’t bother setting a goal you aren’t willing to do the hard things for. You will fail. All the good intentions and hopes in the world won’t help you if you don’t really want it enough. If you really want it, you’ll do it through the setbacks and disappointments. That’s where I am at now. Do I really want this enough to do what is hard?

The key to Chapter 3 is coming to realize that what you are doing right now seemed like the solution to a problem but now the solution is a bigger problem than the original. If I don’t understand why I do what I do now, I’m unlikely to be able to change it.

What need is being served by what I am doing now? I have to get clear on that in order to succeed. Confession… I really think I do what I do now because sitting is easier than standing, standing is easier than walking and walking is easier than running. Not sure what need that is filling but I do know that cupcakes will not plug gaping chasm where your soul used to be.

Friday, March 4, 2011


I was supposed to write about Chapter 1 - Preparing for Change last night, but I ended up spending over three hours completing the job application for the government.

THREE HOURS (and I didn't even finish the cognitive skills test) and it left me just exhausted. So... I'll be brief.

Chapter 1 of This Year I Will... is less than two pages long. It simply warns against just jumping in and taking drastic actions when you haven't even thought it through. You have to prepare to take action.

Be clear about my motivation:

Why do I do what I do now?
What will help and support my personal changes?

Can't linger here, at least not for very long. I know for me one of my fail points is just jumping in and not realizing what I can actually fit into my life logically.

Before action - prepare.

I"ll be back tomorrow with Chapter 2 - You've Really Got To Want This

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Trail Becomes a Rut


1. Being vague about what you want.
2. Not making a serious commitment.
3. Procrastinating and excuse making – no time, wrong time, dog ate my homework.
4. Being unwilling to go through the awkward phase.
5. Not setting up a tracking and reminder system.
6. Expecting perfection, falling into guilt, shame, regret.
7. Trying to go it alone.
8. Telling yourself self-limiting rut stories.
9. Not having backup plans.
10. Turning slip-ups into give-ups.

From This Year I Will… M.J. Ryan – Broadway Books (2006) p.8-9
If you are like me at all, you get so fed up with your life that all you can do is maintain the status quo to the detriment of your personal wellbeing or all you want to do is start indulging in really, really destructive behaviours until you die. Or get fired. Or divorced. Or whatever.

When I was diagnosed with MS I found that,

a) I have another human being in my life who was counting on me to get as better as I could so we get our future in order together, and

b) I did not have the money, energy or youthful body I once had to set myself up for a downward spiral.

Last August I got my wakeup call. I found out that I was the fattest I had ever been in my life. I was crazy with menopausal symptoms, I hated my job and I just wasn’t happy with anything in my life. So I started trying to change.

And I did for a while until I stopped. I had a MS setback for a couple of days and just never picked back up where I left off when I was better. I knew that I was happier when I was doing the stuff I had decided that I wanted to do, but I had a killer case of the “Ah, fuck it”s.

I get those a lot.

In December I read a review of this book, though I can’t seem to find it now. It was on sale for $13 or something and I was already purchasing a book for my dad so that pushed me over the $25 threshold to get free shipping. Ta Dah! I had a book that might help.

Last night I re-read the first chapter of This Year I Will…, The Adventure of Living Your Dreams, and remembered why I thought that this particular book might actually help.

1) The author makes no time sensitive promise: “A New You in 30 Days” “Fix Your Life in 72 Hours”

2) states that people are capable of change in fundamental ways.

3) that giving up an old habit is really starting a new habit.

4) that there is no “one size fits all” answer, formula or system that will help people change.

So we are standing on the precipice of either jumping off or staying where we are. This is pre-contemplation. This is necessary. The questions I’m asking myself tonight are posed in Chapter One as examples of what others did before making a life change.

“What Will Truly Make You Happy”?

“What’s the Price of Not Changing”?

I’ve had my wakeup call. I’ve experienced some success, yet there are things that are driving me nuts about my life. That’s why I’m here, asking the questions.

So – where do I want to go with this? That’s why I am here. I have been informed that I can achieve what I set out to do, if I only have the skills and tools necessary to do them.

Go. Forward.


It's a new month.

I am fairly happy with the state of my resolutions.

I managed to meet all of my goals on 22 of 28 days in February, and got at least one thing I wanted to do on all 28 days.

Tonight begins a new set of priorities. I am trying to figure out what three things I want to create or maintain during the month of March, so I'll be reading and working through This Year I Will... over the next two months.

The biggest change is that I'll be blogging every second day. We'll see how that goes. Thankfully, there is a really public way of holding myself accountable. Either this space gets filled or I'm not living up to the contract.

It's almost bedtime. G'night folks.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Someone from my deepest, darkest past sent me a message today that said, "Wow, are you different!"

Bear in mind that I have not had a conversation with this person since I was 19 or 20 years old, so that comment should come as a compliment. I am SO HAPPY that someone noticed I am not the person I was 16 years ago.

As a result I started thinking about my resolution for 2011, and realized that almost 9 weeks into the year my resolutions are still on track.

Yeah, I know. I was shocked too.

In late December I started reading this book. "This Year I Will..." - I read a chapter every day in the month of January and now I'm reading the remaining ones every second day. (There are 48 chapters, mostly three or four pages)

I'm nearing the end and I feel that it has given me or reminded me of the tools that I need to still be in the game 50 days later. I'm really amazed by this simple and compact group of ideas. Why I am succeeding now makes sense, but I've also learned why I failed in the past - and that's huge.

I want to make some changes to my daily and weekly habits in March, and I'm going to be going back through the book to do it. I think I am going to stick with the every second day reading and focus and it occurred to me that I could blog about it.

So, gentle reader, would you be interested in reading my thoughts about change? This is a completely serious question, and all votes will be published. If you don't want me to know it's you voting NO, make sure you respond anonymously through Blogspot.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Anthem - 2011

Don't be drag, just be a queen
Whether you're broke or evergreen
You're black, white, beige, chola descent
You're lebanese, you're orient
Whether life's disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
'Cause baby, you were born this way

No matter gay, straight or bi
lesbian, transgendered life
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
chola or orient made
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born to be brave

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


It's a damn good thing that I was a card carrying member of Team No Babies in 2009.

It's official.

With an FSH level of 49 I am (drum roll please)


The ovaries are done, dude. Mitoxantrone cooked them.

The plus side is that I won't have to worry about o.b's discontinuing my favoured absorbency. Maybe I can sell what few I have to the highest bidder?

This feels kind of weird though. I mean, I'm only 36. Am I now going to start shaking my fist and telling those darn kids to get off my lawn?

I've been off hormone replacement therapy for about 6 weeks with little problem. I now have all the time in the world to decide if I want to go back on it or if I want to mitigate my estrogen loss in other ways like diet, exercise and supplements.

Stuff to think about that I wouldn't have to think about if it weren't for MS.

Stupid MS.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This is counting toward my daily writing total

I don’t have enough time or energy to work on my project and blog in the same day. Today… the blog wins. I’m in sort of a weird space right now.

On one hand I joined SparkPeople last year to try to lose some weight because I am unhappy with the way I look.

On the other hand I have some wonderful friends who are open and passionate about fat acceptance.

On one hand I completely love and accept their fat and the fat of others. On the other hand, I hate my own fat and will do what it takes to get rid of it.

What it takes to get rid of it does NOT include crash diets, pills, potions, powders, enemas, "cleanses" or hocus pocus.

What it does take is being mindful of the fuel I put in my body and taking the time and spending the energy to move that body.

I am NEVER going to be 115 lbs because I would look and feel sick if I was. I am, however, going to be 135 - 140 lbs and be strong. I hate my fat because it means, right now, that I have not been taking care of my body. But I am trying to change that.

I was talking with the MS nurse today and told her about doing cardio and weight training. She agreed that it was good for me. She told me that building lean muscle mass can help me recover from a relapse. Deconditioning, rather than nerve damage, can be the cause of many symptoms of weakness and instability. If you’re in good condition before the relapse it takes a lot longer to decondition and makes getting back in condition easier. Muscles have memory and triggering that memory can make recovery happen in half the time.

So, I’m trying to get in shape because I want a strong, fit body, not a skinny, helpless one. I am trying to get in shape because I’m watching my grandmother lose her mind slowly because she did not take care of her body. I’m trying to get into shape because my three dead grandparents didn’t take care of their hearts. I’m trying to get into shape because I love me enough to not want to be trapped in a body that doesn’t work. If MS takes my body, it’s not going to do it without a fight.

And when I manage to get my body back to where I feel sexy and together again, I hope you won’t sneer that I’m buying into some gender –normative social construct beauty myth.

Monday, January 31, 2011

1st Management Commentary for Month One of Fiscal Year

On resolution 1. of the Resolution of the Sole Shareholder of LVK Ventures Inc. progress has been remarkable. The shareholder has managed to not only make appointments, but arrive on time to them. She did not cancel a single appointment no matter how (potentially) unpleasant the appointment might have been.

This month, the shareholder made it to a bladder function test, a waxing appointment, a gynecologist appointment and a hair appointment.

Management looks forward to February's appointments - sewing lesson, a urologist appointment, a Meat Beat Manifesto concert, a psychiatrist appointment, a follow up appointment with the gynecologist, and the shareholder's third waxing appointment in as many months.

On resolution 2. art practice output was operating at or near capacity for 26 days out of 31.

On resolution 3. stationary biking happened 25 out of 31 days.

On resolution 4. the shareholder gave up the will to live three times in 31 days, by eating McDonald's once and KFC two times.

Management is overjoyed by the progress made on resolution 5. A goal of 250 words per day was set and output was a stellar average of 318 words per day. 9857 words were written in the month with 5,996 of them deemed to be usable or re-workable in a current project.

If output continues on this level in February and March, the output goal for Q2 will be revised.

On resolution 6. this post still doesn't count toward my daily and monthly totals. Lazy Brain is reportedly less bitter about this.

Lazy Brain also needs much less reminding about resolution 7. and is okay most days with the non-cumulative nature of the accounting. Except for the day they wrote 1093 words, LB was pretty bitchy about not taking the next day off.

The sole shareholder continues to engage in resolution 8. This is part of the reason why she is taking sewing lessons on Wednesday.

In the spirit of resolution 9. current productivity levels are to be maintained at minimum and increased where possible. To this end the sole shareholder has deemed that February will be 28 Day Bootcamp Challenge month to try to lose this 15 extra pounds her old scale didn't tell her she had.

We look forward to tracking next months progress with shiny stars on an Anne Taintor wall calendar. That month's theme:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stupid is as stupid does

I am making the stupidest mistakes.

I have an obsessive attention to detail gene and MS has broken it. I can barely think, let alone think critically or logically. My brain is a mess, my attention span shot and I'm missing errors that used to stand out to me like a neon sign.

I have a psychiatrist appointment in a couple of weeks. I wonder if it is worth having a look at. I just know that I am failing at my job because my brain is failing me.

I am so fucking tired of MS stealing things from me.

Is it not bad enough that it's stolen my looks, my ability to move properly or regularly, my fun and my ability to do something more challenging with my life? It has to steal my brain too?

FUCK YOU MS! Fuck you right in the ear.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Where I am at.

This land like a mirror turns you inward
And you become a forest in a furtive lake;
The dark pines of your mind reach downward,
You dream in the green of your time,
Your memory is a row of sinking pines.

Explorer, you tell yourself this is not what you came for
Although it is good here, and green;
You had meant to move with a kind of largeness,
You had planned a heavy grace, an anguished dream.

But the dark pines of your mind dip deeper
And you are sinking, sinking, sleeper
In an elementary world;
There is something down there and you want it told.

— Gwendolyn MacEwen - "Dark Pines Under Water," The Shadow Maker (1972)

(emphasis mine)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I haz dem. (pops out a pdf)

That may have been one of the most humiliating experiences of my life, and I went to some really stupid house parties in high school.

MS causes all manner of old lady problems. I could only have one cup of tea today, so now I am barely conscious.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gl*tterB*tches Are BACK!

Be the first to donate to my MS Walk team!

Or be the first to donate to me!

(This isn't the last you're hearing about this.)

(I promise.)

(If you were on my team, you could harass your own friends with this instead of being harassed by me.)


I don't really have anything else to talk about that isn't unspeakably boring.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I could deal with having MS much better if it didn't take away my balance and weaken my left leg, thus rendering me unable a) to wear a pair of high heels and b) to justify the purchase of a pair of Fluevog Grand Nationals. In red. "Pony" hair.

Seriously... this is the loss of ability I mourn more and more as time goes on.

Today's Earworm

Saturday, January 1, 2011



WHEREAS LVK VENTURES INC. is a fictional extra-provincially registered corporation headquartered in British Columbia, Canada;

AND WHEREAS the sole shareholder, LVK, acting as the only legally recognized adult that resides in her head has declared that she is “sick of this shit”;

AND WHEREAS sometimes the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the sole shareholder establishes the following guidelines for the year 2011:

1. The sole shareholder will make and keep all personal appointments, either health or mental health related, in a timely and proactive basis. These appointments include and not limited to:
a) Doctors, and other health care professionals;
b) Hair stylists; and
c) Estheticians.

2. Complete one hour of visual art practice each day, which will almost always be limited to the completion of counted cross-stitch works, usually including profanity.

3. Ride the stationary bike for 20 minutes each day, 7 days a week and preferably in the morning, and walk for 20 minutes each lunch hour on scheduled work day when a one hour lunch break is in place.

4. Practice mindful eating, realizing that when the mind says “mass produced take out” what it is really saying is “You’ve lost the will to live, because that ain’t food.”

5. Write a minimum two hundred-fifty (250) words a day, even if that means typing, scribbling, writing in flowing long-hand, or printing with the left hand the words “I have to write 250 words today” over and over and over again.

6. This resolution of the sole shareholder does not count toward that total. Though her lazy brain thinks that it should because it’s now well over 275 words.

7. To irritate lazy brain, the amount is not cumulative. That is, the overage in a daily word count one day does not allow that overage to be counted toward the 250 word count of the next day. So take that, bitchy lazy brain.

8. The sole shareholder is to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight.

9. This resolution shall be revisited daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually to ensure that adjustments are made for the health and capacity of the sole shareholder to act upon them.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered
on this 1st day of January,
2011 in the presence of: (original signed)
The people on the internet
reading this. Love you all.