February 28, 2009 at 1:55 pm (Art, Music, Writing) (, , )

Self sent a twister
A-tearin’ after me
Gonna bust my house to splinters yes
An’ take all that’s dear to me

You say you saw it comin’ yeah
But still you did not flee
I was too weak i couldn’t move
Held by growth of a tree

An’ yes i fell upon that rock
I did not die jus’ badly broken
An’ in time my healin’ it will come yeah
By the words that he has spoken
I fell upon that rock

Who is it now that loves you
Straight in the front door
An’ crooked out the back yeah
What is it now you’re a slave to
On your knees out in your shack

I fell upon that rock yeah
He’s beyond the shadow
Of your doubt an’ mine
He’s no man’s opinion
He is truth divine

Self sent a twister
A tearin’ after me
Done bust my house to splinters yeah
An’ took all that’s dear to me

Who is it now that loves you
Straight in the front door
An’ crooked out the back yeah
What is it now that you pray to
As your world begins to crack

I fell upon that rock yeah
He’s beyond the shadow
Of your doubt an’ mine
He’s no man’s opinion
He is truth divine

An’ yes I fell upon that rock
I did not die jus’ badly broken
An’ in time my healin’ came yeah
By the words that he had spoken

– 16 Horsepower, “Splinters”

People tend to be attracted to art that somehow reflects them, and music tends to be the same. You can form a very clear image of a person just by looking at their music, how often a song has been played, the artists, the style. If not about the person themselves, then at least about their personality.

I hereby conclude I suffer from dissociative disorder in terms of my music. Or something along those lines. I should have thought of listening to this last night when I was feeling really out of it.


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Oh Lord.

February 28, 2009 at 1:34 pm (Music) (, )

Was this song only popular in Europe? Because it’s kind of deliciously campy, what with all the terrible aerobic outfits and whatnot.

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February 25, 2009 at 11:34 pm (Art) ()

I like trees. I spent most of my time at the Neighborhood Association Meeting scribbling a tree onto a notepad.


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Gen Psych – A Gathering of Idiots

February 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm (Life, School) (, , )

I sometimes get the impression that General Psychology (Psych 102) brings out the innermost idiots in people. There is one girl in particular who irks me to no end. She’s one of the skinny blonde-types, incredibly arrogant and spoiled; all of this is topped off with a really annoying voice and a dialect I can’t quite place.

Dr. W handed us an article on Ms. Elyn Saks, who published a book dealing with her life back in August. An autobiography is nothing special; Ms. Saks’ is because she has suffered schizophrenia since she was sixteen. Unlike (sadly) many others, she did not turn out to be the screaming, raving woman hudling on the street corner. Instead, she is a very successful woman with a Ph. D. who is now the assistant dean in charge of research at USC. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that will probably never cease fascinating people.

At some point, the conversation in class turns to the stigma associated with schizophrenia and any other mental illness. Those who are mentally ill typically keep their diagnosis to themselves because it can drastically alter someone’s perception of them. I understand this and am aware of this. My object of annoyance goes off on how it’s not fair and everyone should be treated equally, those with mental illnesses shouldn’t be discriminated against.

I mostly agree with this, except for this: I think there are certain job fields that those with severe mental illnesses should not be in. These are usually high-level stress jobs such as working for the police, FBI, CIA, Secret Service, Army, Navy, Air Force, whatever. I politely told her there are certain job fields I would not want to see someone mentally ill in.

She, however, does not let me make my point. The military actually has a policy on not letting anyone with a history of mental illness in; they have been less strict with it in the past few years because the number of voluntary enlistment is at a real low. “NO. There are many people with depression in the military! Why shouldn’t they be able to hold those jobs?!”

Frankly, my dear, I don’t think you’re seeing what I was trying to point out. The military has an incredibly high suicide rate. Anyone with a mental illness, especially bipolar, unipolar or borderline disorder, should not be in the military, not even on medication. Basic training is brutal, as is the culture of manliness and macho that is perpetuated among military ranks. Lack of sleep, hard physical activity and drill sergeants will break you down and trigger off any mental disorder you may have at the time.

Next, let’s get to this: Imagine you’re mentally ill and sent to the front lines. Enlisting and being E5 and below means you get to see the front lines, period. Enlisting at all, even at a higher rank, will always mean you could end up in a warzone, so don’t give me that shitty “But surely they could be enrolled if they only hold office jobs!” argument. Do you think anyone who has a history of severe depression could handle that? What about someone with schizophrenia? Do you SERIOUSLY want an officer who might have psychotic episodes despite his or her medication in charge of thousands of soldiers’ lives?

Finally, give me numbers. Honest to God tell me what statistics you have to back up your “lots of people in the military have depression!” argument. Lots of people in the military do have depression or PTSD, I will give you that – however, they do not have these conditions inherently, but instead they are caused by a witnessed situation. These conditions of depression are, in most people, temporary. Anyone suffering severe PTSD is discharged.

My mom works with this kind of shit. Don’t you try and out-smart a military brat, bitch. I will cut you if you open your mouth again without being able to argue properly.

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Etsy = Addictive

February 23, 2009 at 7:57 pm (Fun, Life) ()

I know many of you are already addicted to Etsy. I wasn’t entirely sure what all the hullaballoo was about, but I was shopping around for birthday gifts today and thought I might as well give it a shot. So I went and searched jewelry for my two sisters, one of whom just turned 30 on Feb 20th and the other will turn 16 on March 6th.

mushroomMiriam is a great fan of whimsical jewelry. I stumbled across these lovelies through a friend who linked me to the LJ community called Craftgrrl. The mastermind behind these mushrooms had just posted some of her new stuff that she would put up on Etsy.

Mushrooms have always been a bit of an inside joke within our family. We bought Miriam a pink floppy beret ages ago that she at first hated; she changed her mind after a while and started wearing it, and called it her Mushroom Hat. From then on, she and I sketched pictures of happy mushrooms frolicking in forests, meadows and doing other assorted weird things. Miriam, for some strange reason, considers mushrooms to be cute-looking.

turtles This is the second pair of earrings I purchased for Miriam.As stated above, she likes the whimsy and she also likes turtles. Chibi turtles seemed the right way to go. They’re currently sold out because the seller only had one pair in stock, but I’m sure she’ll get around to making some more. I expect this pair and the above will arrive sometime later this week, which means I can send them on.

Miriam will actually be getting a third present; Carmen found this voice recording picture frame while she was cleaning up. I’m planning on printing out some fun or meaningful pictures, maybe including a small drawing of sorts, and then sending it off to her. Miriam and I are pretty close to each other, if you couldn’t tell. Heh.

silver pendantLast but not least, we have the pendant I bought for Shana, my older sister. I had a hard time figuring out what kind of present I ought to get her. We’re not as close as we could be; this is mostly my fault. There is a brass version of this pendant but I’m not entirely sure she isn’t allergic to brass, so I went with the silver version instead. She’ll have to replace the chain because the one it comes with is absolutely hideous. I hope she won’t mind doing that.

This Etsy seller has a bunch of lovely jewelry in her store that I think everyone should check out. I’m sort of in love with a lot of her designs. Thankfully, though, I am a stingy bitch and consider buying anything for myself to be a waste of money. Etsy can only do me so much harm! Ha! Take that!

My mother sent me a package that arrived today. Inside, there was clothing. And dog hair. I’m still conflicted about whether or not the dog hair was intentional, but I thought it was pretty hilarious nonetheless.

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February 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm (Fun) (, )

I normally hate insects or slimy, creepy crawly things with more legs than is necessary. But I stumbled across this and just had to share:

You can find and order the DVD here. I thought it was adorable; they’re CG bugs superimposed onto real life nature films.

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February 22, 2009 at 3:04 pm (Fun) (, )

Britni posted about the Durex condom ads, all of which are brilliant from a marketing perspective.They all made me giggle because I sometimes have the humor of a twelve-year-old boy. Durex appears to be a reputable, safe brand. They’re also made of awesome because they are currently financing a campaign for the British military.

Take Cover

They are handing out these brilliant little packets with “Take Cover!” emblazoned on them. I love it. There’s also a shirt or two that my mom has been wearing around the house that makes me laugh hysterically. They’re doing a world of good.

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February 19, 2009 at 6:23 pm (Life, School) (, )

Somehow, we ended up talking about borderline disorder in Psychology today. I was reminded of why I could never work in the mental health field. Just talking about self-mutilation set me on edge in a way that was both achingly familiar and absolutely terrifying.

I generally try to be open about my issues. They are a part of me, they helped shape me. But, in class, in college, I can’t. I’ve heard some of my fellow students say some absolutely horrific things about those suffering mental illness. People actually laughed when Dr. W tried pinning down the thought processes of a self-mutilator, which were admittedly a bit feeble. No one who hasn’t been there can even begin to describe what goes on in your head.

I’ve suffered from depression since childhood; I can somewhat fuzzily recall visits to a psychiatrist’s office when I was about eight or nine. The reasons why I had to go are murky, I am afraid to ask my parents, but can only assume I already displayed early warning signs of what was to become more prominent during my teenage years. I almost feel like I suffer from bipolar disorder rather than unipolar – on some days, I am great. I am wonderful. I can take on the world. And then I will have episodes every few months or so where I just shut down and cannot even drag myself out of bed. I just want to die and I cry and I scream and it feels like I’m suffocating. These episodes are absolutely terrifying; those who lived with me in boarding school witnessed one and I’m not sure they ever viewed me as entirely sane afterward because of it. I had a terrible, raging, screaming fit for over an hour and I cried and very nearly turned violent. I am reluctant to self-diagnose myself on this matter, but the symptoms seem to coincide with typical bipolar behavior patterns. I also do not want to go back into therapy because I feel like I have myself under fairly good control on most days. Where my family was concerned, I most often got the impression my father especially just wanted someone to fix me and was surprised that it would take a long time and a lot of conviction and work on my behalf.

When the conversation in class turned to the fact that teenagers self-mutilate, I had to look away, anywhere but my professor. I got antsy. There was this achey, nostalgic feeling in my throat and suddenly I felt hyper-aware my left arm, most often the target of my anger and hatred for myself and the world around me when I was younger. It’s not that far back. The memory is still relatively fresh. It’s not excitement, it’s a sort of sickening feeling of realization that I would really like to do it again because I do believe I should be punished for some things I did. Cutting myself relieved me of a great burden that weighed me down.

I started fidgeting in my seat, pulling my sleeve down, and up, rubbing my arm. I couldn’t sit still anymore. It was as if something was swelling up inside me that needed to be let out. My throat closed up for a brief moment; it was a good thing because it meant I could concentrate on something other than hearing my classmates laugh at the described misery of teenagers who do suffer depression. I agree that many teenagers overdo it, but on the other hand, teens are going through major hormonal confusion and development. Their entire frontal cortex is being remodeled to suit a grown-up lifestyle.

After this class, I will not be taking a course in psychology again because just talking about such matters sets something off inside me that I don’t like very much. I experienced something similar when we watched a short video on depression, in which, during a voice-over, you could see a teenager talking to his therapist. The moment was brief and I don’t know if anyone else caught the significance of the boy making a cutting movement across his forearm. I very nearly died in my seat, right then and there. I wrestle my demons every day; each day that I do not reach for a sharp object is a small victory for me. It’s a matter of setting one foot in front of the next. It’s about working around and with them, if I have to. It takes a lot of willpower on some times to just get out of bed and look at myself in the mirror.

I am, however, not a coward. I refuse to let a genetic set-back sap my strength. That’s what many still have to learn and I’m glad that lesson was pounded into my head at a fairly early age.

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February 18, 2009 at 9:39 pm (Music) (, )

I just realized I was at this gig. In the first row and not visible – but hitting on the performers and vice versa. It was good times.

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Taste The Rainbow

February 18, 2009 at 6:31 pm (Life) (, , , )

A care package from Germany arrived today, sent by my loving family. Inside, I found the following:

  • medication
  • a scarf
  • gloves
  • gummy bears
  • Yummy Dough

Yes, you read right. Yummy Dough. This goes back to my father’s investment firm having recently taken a look at investing into a company producing a truly edible equivalent to playdough. He brought it up once and my younger sister and I thought it was so hilarious we wanted some. Play-Do is edible, yes, but it does not taste good – Yummy Dough(tm) is mixed with from powder and water. The powder comes in four colors per package: red, green, blue and yellow. You mix it, roll it, play around with it, make odd shapes and whatnot, and then bake it. After it comes out of the oven, it is tasty and edible! (Or so the packaging claims.)

Yummy DoughWhen I opened the the care package, I burst out laughing. I had totally forgotten about the entire story. My dad also tends to be a bit on the flaky side and doesn’t necessarily remember things well. (Case in point: He actually tried signing me up for schools with a wrong birthday – Dec 17th, 1989 instead of Dec 18th, 1988. Repeatedly.) The fact he had that little exchange with my kid sister and I at the back of his mind spells awesome to me.

And here I was worried that I would run out of things to write about.

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