Friday, January 31, 2014

Drip..... Drip..... Drip......

Everyone knows how the Chinese Water Torture works, right? Prisoner is immobilized, slow dripping water set to slowly drive them insane by dripping on their forehead. I'm sure this would be a most effective means of torture. It's non-lethal, and it's relentless. I can think of an even better way to torture someone. Make them itch. Make them itch so badly that no matter what they do, no matter how much they scratch, even to the point of rending their own flesh, the itch never goes away. It will break them, I guarantee it. Not right away, of course. But over a long period of time, if it never stops.. non-lethal*, yet relentless.

Welcome to Psoriasis.

I remember when I was younger, my mom using tar-based shampoo that smelled horrible and made her hair very thin, and trying various medications, and being out in the sun every chance she could get. Her body was peppered with psoriasis plaques, small red patches with silvery white centers that itched. Her feet were thickly calloused, and toenails very thick and tough. I don't recall her ever actually complaining about it in my presence, though I could tell it bothered her greatly, and did a number on her self-esteem. My aunt and uncle also suffered similarly, as well as her daughter, my cousin. I remember being terrified when I was little that I would inherit this, since it seemed to pass through the women in our family primarily. When would I start seeing the blemishes on my skin? When would I start itching?

After reaching a certain age, you feel like you've done it. You beat the odds! It skipped a generation - Yay!! It started out as something trivial, a small itch between a pair of toes. Surely just athlete's foot. It didn't go away, even after a strict medication regime. It spread, first to the other toes, then to the soles of the feet. My hands started to itch, and flake, and crack and bleed. I was thirty-six for godssakes. I was SAFE. I made it through my childhood, teens, into adulthood. THIS SHOULDN'T BE HAPPENING. And yet it was.

I've always had sensitive skin. Make-up has always been a trial to me, no matter how organic, hypo-allergenic this will NEVER EVER BOTHER YOUR SKIN EVER!!  Yeah. They always do after awhile. It's not just my face. I'll be sitting, and nothing will have changed, but suddenly I'll get red welts on my skin from who knows what, something that blew onto my skin, or that I brushed against inadvertently a few minutes earlier. Grocery shopping in short sleeves is a trial because I always forget and lean on the shopping cart handle, and then spend the rest of the trip itching the raised red areas on my arms that touched it. Snug clothing irritates horribly. The running joke is that I hate pants and bras.. well.. considering the entire time I'm wearing them there's at least a couple points of snug clothing contact that are itching and driving me nuts, can you blame me?

I know I shouldn't complain, my hands have cleared up and really my outbreak is confined to mostly one foot. But it gets so bad I will scratch til my skin is torn and bleeding, just because pain is better than the non-stop itching. It keeps me up late at night, since there's no distractions to help me ignore it once I'm laying in bed and all is quiet. It wakes me from sleep and takes me hours to get back to sleep. I've tried lotions, creams, scary tar-based concoctions (hi mom!) with dire possible cancer-causing warnings. Nothing has really helped. I suppose I shall go back to the dermatologist and see whatever crazy treatments they can come up with. Perhaps sun lamps, lord knows we don't get enough sun in Seattle. Til then, it's just the relentless drip, drip, drip.



*yes, I'm aware that some severe forms of psoriasis can in fact be fatal. I am blessed in that I have a very mild form.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's Tradition!

In the last few years, every Christmastime we've created the tradition of our kids putting together Gingerbread House kits with the family. This year, I opted to try for a Train instead. My son, being almost 18 and unenthusiastic, went to bed. Spoilsport! My daughter and I then proceeded to make The Christmas Train. Or, as my daughter dubbed it, the "S.S. Cow Killer".


Here's us figuring out where all the pieces go. We have the caboose already "glued" together and setting up, some Christmas ribbon holding it together.

Next we put together the main part of the Engine. Later we realized we used the wrong sides for it, and it's short, but that's okay because we decided this is a train for Santa's elves, so it needs to be smaller.

 Getting the Engine roof decorated.


Working on all the decorations, now that we let the main parts set up a bit.




 The back of the caboose. NO COWS ALLOWED!



The completed train! Complete with the cow it hit on the way to the North Pole.




I had to explain to Megan what a "cow catcher" on a train was for, it seemed only fitting we make use of it. Merry Christmas all!


ps. no actual cows were harmed in the making of this.



Friday, November 29, 2013

One Down, One To Go

I've done the Black Friday insanity shopping many years in the past. It was good when the kids were little, and wanted *toys* and video games, because it made it worth getting up disgustingly early, and freezing my ass off outside in a line to get in and save hundreds of dollars. Also nice for electronics, but I'm not in the market for any right now. Nowadays, they're old enough they mainly want money or gift cards to Gamestop. The little stuff I can get just isn't worth the hassle of fighting crowds. I'd rather pay $10 more later on.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, now it's just the craziness of decorating for Christmas, multiple birthdays, Christmas shopping, and figuring out the logistics of everything. Is it January yet?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful

As the U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving today, I'm thinking about what started this whole thing: trying to find a place that you can be yourself without oppression, seeking freedom, and happiness. And, somewhere in there is a meal where we sneezed on the indigenous population and wiped them out with small pox and then oppressed them and stole their freedo.... er... yeaah. I'm going to focus on that first part. I'm thankful to live in this country. Every time I watch the news, and see the what's happening in other countries, I'm so glad this is where I am. Granted, I'm still holding a slight grudge my parents didn't raise me in Ireland or Scotland, so I could have that TOTALLY COOL accent, but I guess I forgive them. Maybe.

Any time I start getting whiny about my life, the people and situations I encounter in my daily life remind me that it could be SO much worse so stop sniveling and look outside myself to how I can help with THOSE things. Most of the time, when I'm helping someone else, it does me good too. I'm thankful that I get that perspective-check, so that I can take a step back from the moment and get a bigger-picture outlook rather than become overwhelmed with the Now.

I have some really great friends. They keep me grounded in reality, they listen to me bitch and whine and freak out and cry, they make me laugh when it doesn't seem possible I'll ever laugh again. They give me hope that I'll get through things okay, and they're always there for me. I am so blessed to have them in my life, and I truly give thanks every day for it.

My family is pretty dang cool too. I know I can talk to them any time day or night if I need to, they are supportive and understanding, and they tell me hard truths when I don't want to tell them to myself. My kids are the reason I'm still breathing air on this good earth. They have given me a reason to keep going when nothing else would, I love them so much. Kids aren't easy to raise, and they can break your heart sometimes when they make bad choices, but I wouldn't trade a second I've had with them for anything.

I hope everyone takes a few moments today to think, REALLY think about all the things they have, the loved ones they have, and be thankful. Now, make a habit of doing that for a few minutes every day, and don't take stuff for granted.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

UGH JUST WATCH IT YOU WILL LOVE IT!

Don't you hate it when you feel strongly passionate about a TV series, it's amazing and awesome and you could go on and on and on about it forever, and you have someone that you KNOW would totally love it, but they won't watch it. AAAAGGH!!  Just watch it. Just.. just a couple episodes. Even in some cases just the first episode. You will be totally hooked, I swear! You try to casually bring it up, in a "oh hey your discussion of Obamacare is fascinating, but OHMYGODHAVEYOUSEENTHISITISAWESOMEOHPLEASEWATCHITSOICANTALKTOYOUABOUTIT!!" kind of way. For some reason, a lot of these discussion end when the other person backs away slowly trying not to make eye contact or any sudden moves. Obviously they are deep in contemplation about the show I just rapid-fire fan-girled all over them about (handing them a towel is always a good move at this point too.)

Then of course you get the people that have finally, FINALLY watched something you recommend, and like it, and keep watching it, and you feel like you should actually call up the producers of the show and get their personal congratulations for converting another poor clueless person to The Way. Hallelujah! They have seen The Light! What's terrible is when you recommend something, someone watches it, and comes back with a tepid response. What?! How could you not like it?!! Obviously, we'll need to rethink this friendship, I mean.. COME ON.. it's (insert famous actor or actress name) ferchrissakes!! You then try to convince them to *keep* watching, because maybe they just didn't "get" it the first episode and further watching will enlighten them on the error of their ways. Eventually you may have to concede that they just aren't as far along as you on the evolution scale, and perhaps as they mature, they may come to see your wisdom in this matter. Next!!


p.s. Yes, I swear to God Kristy I will watch all of Stargate someday. Really! And Torchwood. And the half-dozen other series I haven't even started that I know I would love.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Aint Feelin' It

I'm not really feeling the Holiday Spirit this season. Thanksgiving is in a few days, but I'm highly unmotivated to do a big Cooking just for myself, although a few days later there may be feasting at The Aunt's house, if we can coordinate properly. I don't think I'm going to do any Black Friday shopping, I have to work that morning, though of course with how crazy early things open, I could easily hit a few sales before going to work if I go early enough and camp out. There's really nothing I've seen this season that is The Thing that I need to get, esp since the kids are older and just want money or gift cards to Game Stop. Of course the sundries, such as socks/PJ's/misc stocking stuffers are a possibility. We'll see.. getting up to venture out in the freezing cold mega early, I may just pass and do some online shopping instead.

The thought of having to dig out my Christmas decorations, and sort through them, and then put up my segregated decorations fills me with a vague sense of sadness. Are we still doing the PJ's tradition? Normally we all get to open one gift on Christmas Eve here at our house, and it's always PJ's, and you MUST wear them on Christmas morning or you don't get to open anything. Dunno. I haven't started listening to Christmas music yet, once Thanksgiving hits one of the local radio stations plays NOTHING but Christmas music until the holiday itself, so perhaps I'll tune into that soon and see if the music inspires me. I really just want it to be January, to start the new year and start moving forward, hopefully.

Monday, November 25, 2013

What She Said

Just back from watching the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special on the big screen in 3D. IT WAS SO AWESOME!!!  There were tons of Doctor Who fans in line, most wearing Doctor Who t-shirts, or bowties, or TARDIS hats, purses, tights, dresses, even a remote controlled K-9! We all chatted and played with sonic screwdrivers, and it was like being at a big family reunion except in this case even if you didn't know the people you still had a bunch to talk about.

The show itself was amazing. It was so worth going to see. The kids loved it, the audience responses were great - laughing, gasping, clapping and cheering at times. For a great run down and I agree complete, check out my friend Kristy's blog post about it at: http://kelektra.tumblr.com/post/68140453196/you-never-forget-your-first-doctor  (Spoilers, Sweetie)

As we were leaving we ALMOST stayed to watch the later showing, just because the second it was over we wanted to watch it again. And again. And again. They really did a bang up job on this one, I can't wait til the Christmas special and the next series starts.

Some random pics I took of the folks waiting:


This gal was there with her grandparents. Her grandma had a red Just Say No To Daleks shirt on, and her grandfather had a sweater vest with ?'s all over it, and a bow tie, and 3 sonic screwdrivers (#4, #10, #11). He let me mess with them and we all got a pic together for them (they liked my shirt and tattoo).


The remote control K-9. It's ears spun, tail moved, mouth part extended, you could drive it all over and IT TALKED IN HIS VOICE! It was very, very cool. 

Such a totally wonderful night, the kids and I chattered excitedly all the way home about our favorite parts and how clever the writers are to tie stuff in from past series.