Tag Archives: peeps

Migraine Awareness Month

It’s past the midpoint of June, so I thought I’d mention migraines again. I’m aware of them every month, but it’s nice they get a special one.


Image is from Migraine.com.

I’m one of the “lucky” sufferers, in that I can generally get almost full relief from the standard migraine Rx medication. But the unfortunate part is that I get so many migraines even with twice a day meds as a prophylactic. I also get regular tension and sinus headaches too, plus have chronic tinnitus. It’s a wonder I can ever write a word, but you do get used to things.

I admit it gets me down at times. I’d like to accomplish so much more. I’d like to not feel tired and blah from medication. I wish I could have more energy for writing and playing and exercising and living. But I simply do not. Sometimes just making it through another day at the office is a minor miracle. And we’re not even talking about backaches here, only head pain!

Migraine is a disability. Not that “normal” headaches can’t be horrible and crushing. I know they can. I had a persistent sinus infection in 2005 with the most horrible accompanying headache and face pain I could barely stand it. But when I finally got the correct antibiotic ~ poof! ~ all gone. But the migraines do not disappear; I only get temporary relief between attacks. But thank science/research/doctors for that relief!

Speaking of doctors, for a long time I didn’t have the proper treatment for migraines, but in the last 20 years I’ve lucked out and found good doctors here in Orange County. In particular, two doctors have given me excellent care and they are primary care physicians not specialists.

Sunglasses are a huge part of my life, unlike so many other things that I’ve had to give up. Bright sunlight is a trigger for me as well as flashing lights, persistent noise, alcohol, smoke, perfume/cologne, harsh odors, etc. Sometimes stress/anxiety will start one, but not always.

I try to keep in mind that others may be also suffering from hidden disabilities when they are slow or make mistakes. It’s doubly difficult because not only am I a naturally impatient person, but often when I’m not feeling well I just want to get home where I can suffer alone. Anything that slows me down enrages me. But anyone else might be in that same boat… not to mention the fact that I too can be spacey and prone to (more) errors when in pain and on meds. Which is… most of the time, lol.

I also try not to get angry when people try to do their “smile and be grateful” thing. Be grateful for chronic pain? Yeah okay. I’m grateful it’s not worse. But that’s bad too, since I’m comparing myself with others and my gratitude is at their expense. I’m terribly sad about all the people who have worse migraines. But maybe that’s how the S&BG types cope with their issues, so okay.

Now, I realize this post is going to generate comments asking me if I’ve tried wacky migraine remedies. Always happens. I try to preempt this by stating I am under good standard medical care and am not a fan of anything off the path. But people will do their thing. 🙄

Okay then. Migraines suck. Bottom line.

So Shall Me Me Me [SOCS]

Social is not an adjective people would apply to me. Then again, I’m not exactly antisocial either. I go to game nights and other peopley events nearly every week. I’m not a shy soul ~ I’ve done stand-up comedy. But I can’t bear huge, squashy crowds, like malls at holidays or giant indoor concerts. I hate feeling trapped up next to people… but I’m not claustrophobic because I don’t mind being in small spaces if I’m alone. In fact, I much prefer a tiny cozy room to the scary emptiness of a vast open field. And I do need a significant amount of alone/quiet time simply to “recharge” my emotional batteries. I can’t be around other people jibber jabbering night after night!

Speaking of people, I’ve believed for some time that social media has made us less social. I know that sounds contradictory, but hear me out. First, we’re buried in our phones 24/7. You hardly see anyone’s face when you’re in public. Gone are the days when you made idle conversation with someone waiting at the store or DMV or doctor’s office, etc. Why would you talk to them and interrupt whatever they’re doing on their phone?

Second, supposedly we’re all connected to so many more people now than ever before due to technology, but how many of these friends inside your phone would actually, physically help you in an emergency? Who, exactly, would you call? Yeah. I know. Me too. It’s basically down to a daughter who lives 40 miles away and another friend I had before social media and possibly a few others. But none of my twitter/blog peeps, even though we “interact” daily, would be on that list. Used to be, I made more of an effort to say hello and chat with neighbors, but why bother now? I have bloggy and twitter friends! 😂

Third, in the olden days, what did you do when you felt alone with your odd ideas or interests? Maybe you found a kindred spirit, if you were lucky enough and looked hard enough, and then you could happily share your weirdness. Or you decided to try to acclimate to a more mainstream hobby in order to have friends. Is that so bad? Instead of finding another freak to assist you in pulling off butterfly wings, you joined a bowling league. But now in the age of social media, you don’t have to compromise and go bowling to have friends. You can stay home and hang out with a few dozen wackos in a chat group from other parts of the world who also enjoy torturing butterflies.

I don’t think that’s better! Some interests should be suppressed. Some people shouldn’t be able to find each other. God only knows what horrible things people are discussing right at this moment… whatever you may imagine, I guarantee that it’s worse.

This will be yet another one of Paula’s Unpopular Opinions. 😜

Surprised by Stats

As I’ve said, I don’t obsess over stats, here or on Twitter. If I did, I’d drive myself (more) bonkers. But I do find certain things peculiar.

Forex, I’ve been steadily and slowly gaining blog followers, which is nice (waves to new peeps, who probably aren’t reading), but yet my views have decreased. Is that not odd? I find that odd. More followers should mean more views, one would think. Luckily, I do not monetize my blog, so I won’t be losing any advertising pennies over this. Hurrah!

I never go granular and try to figure out when the best time is to post to get the most views because… I simply can’t be bothered. I try to remember to spread out my posts a little, except when I forget and just hit publish instead of schedule for later. Oopsy.

Some posts get 20 likes and others get 50. Why? Who knows! Is it because a post is especially “good” that it gets more likes, or has a more eye-catching photo attached? Idk. I’m as surprised as what people like and don’t like here in Blogville as I was back in the murky, scaryland of dating sites.

But, as has been noted many times by me and others, liking often has little to do with the content of a post, amirite? Bloggers power through their feeds when the mood strikes, mass-liking stuff without reading any of it. We can tell, can’t we? It’s only a group of us who regularly read each other’s work, plus some occasional drop-ins.

Monday I wrote a poem on Twitter that now has 42 likes, which is nothing for that place, but a lot for me. Usually my poems there are lucky to get 4-5 likes. Why did that one get 10x more? Who knows?!

The Weekly Smile

I’ve skipped a few of these, my bad. Last weekend was pretty smiley though. Three days off work is always welcome (though I did some side work). Received the good news that a story I submitted in March will be published in an anthology soon. Had a fun Saturday night playing games with friends. Spent a sweet Sunday afternoon with my daughter and granddaughter. And had a nice relaxing Monday doing nothing, my favorite thing. Mmm nothing!

J/k. I actually worked on that old novel I’ve been jabbering about, only to discover that it’s a colossal mess and I can’t deal with it. I fixed chapters 1-5, which were reasonably chaotic, but then the thing jumps off a cliff. I’m not jumping after it.

Back to short stories, poems, and stuff I can tackle in short bursts, until I retire or die, whichever comes first!

~*~

The Weekly Smile

Not just my verse…

This is a chain verse, as you can see, starting with Guy, meandering to Di, and now apparently its fate rests with me!

A Guy Called Bloke’s Start

I am quite the writer you know, it has to be said,
My imagination runs wild, loose and amok,
Creating literary havoc within my head,
Luckily, however, I haven’t experienced writer’s block!

Fandango’s Addition

Each morning I think about topics on which to post
But what stirs my imagination by far the most
As I try to conjure up what it is I want to write
Is using the daily prompts while keeping my writing tight.

Leigha Robbins Addition

Sometimes the words leave me to struggle
But that’s when I take the words and juggle
To fit them into their proper place
Where they do more than take up space

Sandy’s Addition

The words they come, the words they go
At times MIA, a total no show
In the end, it’s all worthwhile
When flowing freely, one big smile

Angie of King Ben’s Grandma‘s Addition

More words do I read, than write, by far
Writers are my heros, like rock stars
Through all my troubles, pain and strife
Words have comforted me, saved my life

Grandma passes the baton to Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess

Writing is artistry without a brush but with a pen,
You start with a beginning and surprise yourself with the end
Word prompts, picture prompts, sentence prompts work on our imagination,
Where ever our minds take us, we end up with some kind of creation.

Beckie passed the challenge on to Tales From The Mind of Kristian

Here is Kristian’s addition:

These virtual worlds that we create in our heads
The possibilities, endless with more patterns to find
The plots, esoteric or quizzical with many varied threads.
Show the deepest, darkest recesses of the creative mind.

Kristian passed the baton to Sadje of Keep it Alive

I write for the love of writing and the need to say something
Crafting ideas and giving them expression on my space
Sometimes it is an effortless flow straight from my mind
Then there are days when nothing comes, it is all in a bind

Di delivers:

Writer’s Block can take a flying leap
As my imagination keeps me from sleep,
Dreams and music give me ideas
Though all is not as it originally appears……..

Now Me:

I always have much too much to say;
I could write endlessly night and day.
But don’t expect it to make any sense;
I can use migraines as a defense!

*

I’m sending this by raven across the USA to Larry on the other coast to see what he can add…

FPQ23: I Burn Whole Cities

Fandango provocatively asks…

“How do you manage or deal with stress? Is there a specific strategy or approach that you’ve found to be particularly effective?”

My post title comes from the HBO show Game of Thrones where dragons have been known to release stress by destroying cities with fire. I am not a dragon, alas, though I have gotten vicarious pleasure especially during stressful times by reading A Song of Ice and Fire and from watching the show.

In general, I find that losing myself in a fantasy world of a novel or movie for a few hours is a great way to deal with stress. I do prefer movies over series, or series that have finished, because I don’t want to have to wait for the next season (and these days, that can be so unpredictable), which ends up leaving me at the mercy of people yapping online about the show and giving their predictions. Annoying!

Depending on what the stressful even was, I may wish to talk about it privately, with a daughter or a friend. I’m careful what I say to whom these days though, so as not to end up with more stress from the convo itself. I may write about the situation in a diary for my own clarification. I find the act of writing words on a page/screen to be therapeutic.

For immediate relief, deep breaths work. For a 24 hour period, repeating the mantra that “this too shall pass” helps a lot. If I can’t sleep, there’s always the Valium or Benadryl last resort. It’s really bad not to sleep because then I’ll feel even worse the next day, which will increase my stress. Cuddling my kitty and spending time alone at home usually helps me feel better.

Here are some stress management techniques that are supposed to help but do nothing for me:

1. Exercise. I know it’s good for me, but it makes everything hurt more and I end up with a (worse) headache.

2. Taking a vacation. Way out of my budget and I would be completely stressed about the money I spent.

3. Glass of wine. This is a migraine trigger about 50% of the time.

4. Music. This is tricky because a lot of songs pull up sad memories for me. I have to be careful about music. Plus, Gatsby doesn’t like it. Mostly I only listen in the car.

5. Sex. With a man? This was generally the cause of almost all my stress and giving it up has reduced my anxiety to nearly zero.

Dracarys! 🔥🔥🔥

My Social Media Ranked

Although this reminds me of a game of pool, it’s actually a fun prompt from John Holton: rank your social media from most to least favorite.

(I was going to do them all, including ones I never had, by saying something funny. But then I realized my funny things weren’t funny, so now I’m just doing ones I know.)

1. WordPress, best SM site by far. I love to blog, simple as that. Love to write stories and poems and also jabber on about whatever at any length. Love that it’s easy to delete stuff as well, find other bloggers, comment, block commenters, and have a way of tracking comments elsewhere. Love the supportive camaraderie here and the vast variety of interests. Love how easy it is to create a new blog and keep it private, as I did for NaNoWriMo.

2. Blogger. Welp, if I didn’t have WP, I’d use Blogger, as I used to, and it would be fine, though not as fabulous. I’d still get to blog though, which is the main thing. The nice thing about Blogger is it’s connected to my Gmail and other Google products. It never seemed as glitchy as WP, but to be fair, WP has more features.

3. Twitter. I like Twitter for the poets and the poetry prompts. I get inspired there at times to write different sorts of poems from here. I’ll read some news too, but I stay out of the flames. It’s all the same crap I’ve seen forever on the internets. 🔥

4. Yahoo. Talking about the “old” Yahoo now. I deleted my accounts, including my Flickr, after their massive hack. But I have fond memories of the old Yahoo, where you could find new people to chat with in their groups and on their Messenger service. It wasn’t all hookers and spam then. Please excuse the nostalgia moment.

5. YouTube. This is a good free service for music and music vids. I don’t use it to listen to hideously annoying speeches or self-help garbage promo or political ranting. Gahhh! But I use their app several times per week to link to vids for music prompts and such.

6. G+. RIP. It was a good idea that never took off. I tried to participate off and on, but peeps couldn’t tear themselves away from the FB monster. One feature I lurved there was their filtering ability ~ you could easily make some posts and photos private to family or certain friends without others knowing they were excluded. 😢

7. Messenger. More FB nonsense. I have to keep it in order to chat with certain people who don’t like texting. It annoys me hugely, but wheee see Paula compromise. At least it can stay hidden, unlike FB itself, where every time you comment to a friend, one of their idiot friends picks a fight with you. 😡

8. Instagram. For me, IG was a relatively harmless time-suck. I only posted photos of Gatsby, food, sunsets, etc. But it’s connected to FB (see below), and more importantly you’re contributing to the insane consumer body image culture just by being on there. I deleted it with FB in March of 2018.

9. SnapChat. When I was on, it was indeed snappy. Now, I guess it too has been hacked and people are saving photos they should not. But I didn’t send risqué photos; I was using it for fun, not for flirting. I found it stupid and pointless though and deleted it after a couple weeks. 💤

10. DropBox. I found this annoying. Maybe I wasn’t using it right, or maybe you have to pay to unlock the best features. But I didn’t see the point. I can use Google docs or just text/email stuff. Do people chat on here? Not sure why it’s in the “social” pile.

11. WhatsApp. Another FB product, one that allegedly doesn’t compromise your privacy. Lol! Hey, I have a bridge for sale, interested? I used this for a while, meh. It wasn’t as convenient as Messenger, and now I have negative feelings toward it cuz of this one dickhead I was on last with.

12. Facebook. Horrible place that sucks out your soul while stealing all your data. Then they apologize and do more of it. Again and again. So glad I’m out of there permanently. Yes, I miss the handful of nice people I used to interact with, but hello I am right here. They have my email and phone too. It’s their choice to become strangers to me. 😛

Backstory

Alt title: Why Use One Word When 700 Are Available?

I wrote a prose poem about “who I am” that was really “where I’m from” a long time ago for a prompt, though I’m not sure if we called them prompts then. It might have been on Usenet, which we used to deride as a sewer, before every other form of social media became awful too. (I still think blogs are the best of the bunch.) The poem was short and not that deep, but then I pulled it up again and fleshed it out for another venue.

I’ve been thinking about Rory’s question (“who are you really?”). It’s a pretty easy question for most people to answer superficially. We generally give answers about who we are in relationship to other people. I’m a mom. I’m a wife, or not. I’m a good friend of so & so, a loyal employee of XYZ Company, yada. We’re plotting our position on axes of family and work, then friendships, maybe next our relationship to interests. I’m a fan of such and such sports team, rah! Or I love to garden, knit, read, write, pull the tails off little blind mice. Whatever.

We tell the world who we are in this multi-dimensional GPS system. Locate me here, in this spot: mom, ex-wife, legal secretary, poet, cat lover, Game of Thrones fan. This is me, right here. What if there are other humans occupying that position? I might have to refine it further. But does this actually even answer the question? Does this explain who I am? Do you know me from these factoids? Could you tell someone about the essence of me from my GPS position?

The other week I was playing a board game with some good friends I’ve known for a long time. It was called ImaginiFF. A question came up: “ImaginiFF Paula were a movie. Which movie would she be?” There were 5 random movies and then Doctor Zhivago, which was obviously correct in my mind for a variety of reasons. Everyone chose it, and this surprised me. I wouldn’t have expected them to know. But they did. And this made me unreasonably happy because most of the time I think people don’t even understand me at all, not even people to whom I’m closest. But I don’t think you would get the correct movie from a bunch of disparate facts about me; you’d have to spend years orbiting my weirdness.

Anyway, here is my GPS poem about who I am via where I’m from. I take the long way around.

Backstory

I am from the Big Apple, take a bite, glitter lights, lemon ice, museums, zoos, art and news, Coney Island hot dogs, Jones Beach sandy sweets, sharp shells stab soft carpet feet.

I am from the place where you pull the blinds, someone’s looking, where you smell your neighbor’s curry cooking, he makes you sweet tea with cardamom, next day Jamaican barbecue mon, the Filipinos have one record, sugar sugar aw honey honey, your father brings home Saturday pastries from the German bakery, “schwartzwalder kirschetorte,” it sounds funny, say it again, and the Japanese girl doesn’t know your words but can show you how to fold paper squares into gentle birds.

I am from the thorny Jersey berry bushes, blackpurple bursts against tanned sunfingers, slipping stones in backyard creek, crick, algae slick, willow fronds sweep redwood table pirate ship, hopscotch sidewalks toss a chip, Sunday French toast sausage brunch, leaves turning orangecrunch, rubber masks hiding smiles fake, the quickmelt of perfect crystal snowflakes.

I am from big city and small town, remain unclaimed, cheer for no team, believe in no crown, blood flows only down, I look out to starless airless zerodark, time past seems tissue-thin, walk back in, an afternoon of bubble toys, uncaring joy, turquoise dresses rhinestone sunlight, just once, golden flash, one more pass, because I am from a yard of girls with summerdrip popsicles, before the apple, before the crash.

I am from disconnect and strife, feudglue of life, mashed crookedly together, a puzzle I failed to see until I broke apart, alone, jagged on my own, and now I know why people stay, bicker low and graceless, get physical redangry splashwine in faces, because they can’t bear the abyss, yes, I missed, I get it all now, too late.

~*~

Show & Tell

Warning: this turned into a rambling pointless bunch of jabbering. More than usual. 😂

Melanie haz questions:

1. Was the last thing you read digital or print?

I’m not counting online “news,” since that’s like reading cereal boxes. Actually, it would probably be more informative to read cereal boxes (note to self: buy some Cap’n Crunch). The last book I read on my Kindle was Not Quite Dating, which I already reviewed for the alphablog and am now done with all those posts, yay! So, that leaves Us Magazine, which hits my mailbox every Saturday. Why? I dunno! I’m certainly not paying for it. Somehow, a free subscription has been gifted to me and it shows up every week. I spend a couple minutes paging through and then toss it. Can’t remember anything much about this one except the spread of celebs in their wine colored dresses. Every issue has two pages near the front with a clothing theme. I do like themes. Oh, Kate Hudson was in this issue too. She’s 40 and happy. I’m happy she’s happy cuz I like her.

2. Are you more an extrovert or introvert?

According to the definition, I’m an introvert. My friends also call themselves introverts, but they always want to get together, which I find curious. Shouldn’t they need to spend lots of time alone, as I do? Granted, I have been more social than normal lately due to Game of Thrones, but that’s temporary. It’ll be over in a month. There is something particularly compelling about the ending to this dramatic and complex show that makes it fun to watch and discuss with others. Most of the time however I have no need for that and prefer to watch things alone. I crave alone time to think and read and write in peace and quiet. It recharges me. Too much peopling makes me literally crazy and I feel the air getting so heavy with noise and vibration and other people talking moving breathing that my body will crush and implode if I don’t get away.

3. How is your life different from what you imagined as a younger person?

When I was a teenager, I imagined myself becoming a career-focused professional, possibly a scientist. I wasn’t dreaming of marriage and children, but that is what I did. Next, I assumed I’d be married for the rest of my life; when I divorced, I thought I should find someone else. It didn’t occur to me until relatively recently that I would spend my life alone, but now that I’ve accepted it, I’m fine. It might be the ideal state for me, even.

4. Do you think about dying?   Does death scare you?  Why or why not?

I think about it a lot. It used to terrify me ~ when it first hit me that I would die and be erased, I freaked out. I was 12 and in a car with my parents coming back to NJ after visiting peeps in Ohio. I knew earlier that I would die, of course, but the impact of the erasure didn’t affect me until that moment. I mentioned I was upset and my parents dismissed my concerns. For a long time, I was angry at them over this, but I’ve come to understand they did the best they could.

I didn’t sleep for a year ~ at least, this is how I remember it. I stumbled through the days, exhausted but somehow not letting on I had this enormous burden. And I must have slept some or I would have died or become ill, but I remember all that year lying awake utterly terrified, making words out of words in my head. My schoolwork wasn’t affected, so no one knew or cared.

Eventually, I grew to live with the bleak erasure knowledge. It’s what keeps me sympathetic to religious believers. Of course you would take the comfort of an afterlife option if it were intellectually available to you! You’d have to be nuts not to grab onto that if there were any way to make sense of it. Unfortunately, I can’t make it fit into my logical brainspace. I wish I could.

Lately though, I’m not so afraid any longer. Maybe it’s because I am just so damn tired of being in pain every day. At least that will stop, which is something to look forward to, blissful non-awareness of aches and migraines. I also won’t have to think about all the things I’ve failed to accomplish, what a freaking relief. Not to mention all the mistakes I’ve made, gahhh. All erased from MY mind, since there won’t be any more “my mind.” And if others criticize or gossip, I won’t know, so I won’t care. Nice!

Plus, things are getting old as I’m getting old. Samey same same same. Sure, I still enjoy stuff, but meh. As someone I once loved said: “Do I really care about seeing the millionth issue of the New York Times?”

It’s his birthday today, btw. Happy birthday to the man who broke my heart. Still much older than I am. Still living in a big lonely house with his wife and their money. Now we’re all unhappy, great.

5. Gratitude challenge: find something you are thankful for in nature.

California mountains and beaches and sunsets and flowers, of course…

The Perfectly Crazy Bucket List!

Game 2 – Season 1

Not Just My Verse, Your Two Two Too! Created by Rory of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

Welcome to ….

Not Just My Verse, Your Two Two Too!

Rory sez…

I will choose a topic, write four lines of Rhyming Verse then l will tag one of my readers who will in turn add four lines of Rhyming Verse to my mine and Tag one of their own readers, and then it is a case of wash rinse repeat and let’s see how far our topic goes in so far as a Rhyme?

Once the poem [Verse] leaves my blog, the next blogger along can take it where ever they want with regards their own four line verse but always staying on topic.

Got it?

The day is as long, as the night is young,
Four more lines of verse, to make another rhyme,
What topic shall we do to have some fun..
This time?

THE PERFECTLY CRAZY BUCKET LIST

So, so much to do, and with so little time,

I want to do everything, nothing to be missed,

But how do l plan it all, how do l define,

The perfectly crazy bucket list?

[Paula chimes in]

First up is a lush tropical jungle,

Jaguars and waterfalls… all quite insane;

I do hope my parachute isn’t all bungled,

When I jump from the doorway of this airplane!

[over to… Fandango!]