Renewal

I’ve waited until nearly the last minute to renew my domain name here on WordPress. It isn’t that I dislike their services or anything, it’s just that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue to pay for a service I’ve barely used.

It’s all me. I just haven’t been writing lately. Not blogging. I have been writing. Writing and submitting and being rejected and waiting and all the fun crap that goes along with writing. I haven’t been posting many new stories here, and even some of the older ones have disappeared, because they are going off into the wild blue yonder to be read and sent back with a note that says, “We really like your creation, but a) it’s not fit for our magazine b) we don’t have room for it in our magazine c) we don’t care d) we hate you. Kidding about those last two. The “we don’t care” usually is communicated by the lack of communication at all, meaning no response whatsoever. No one has ever said they hate me, at least not in a rejection letter.

To say I was at any time disenchanted with the writing world would be inaccurate. I knew and still know the game. Magazines, agents, and publishers are inundated with material. There’s a reason it’s called a slush pile. To say I write as often as I should be would also be inaccurate. I don’t. I procrastinate and get distracted by life in general. I come to choose sleep over writing. Trust me, there was a time when that was not the case. But I’m still trudging along, although slowly.

I’ve thought of self-publishing, been encouraged to, even. Why don’t I self-publish, you ask? Well, the answer is simple. That arena is also inundated, simply over-saturated. Not only that, but it takes money to do it right, and I simply have none.  That’s a lie. I have  some. But, it’s already been allocated to things like food, shelter, and making sure my son is supplied with the things he requires for his  medical condition.

So, I suppose that’s that, then. I renewed my domain here at WordPress because I want to keep writing, and I’m too lazy to go about changing all of the links everywhere on the interwebs to a different address. I also love spam comments, apparently. Kidding. I don’t like spam.

 

http://www.sodahead.com/fun/do-you-like-spam
http://www.sodahead.com/fun/do-you-like-spam

Mega Crush

Peter Parker’s been deceased for a year. A year. Sigh. I suppose it’s time to move on. I simply cannot love Otto Octavius, even if he is in P.P.’s body (ASM #700 in case you were doing anything other than pining for an expired comic book super-hero last September). I thought I might have been falling for Tony Stark briefly, but it was a passing infatuation. However, I’ve recently become intrigued by a new fictional cartoon boy.

screen2do
“Ollo.”

We recently purchased Megamind for the boy, at my urging. (He really wanted it. Really.) I’d seen the movie already and, like many of Dreamwork’s cartoon movies, it caused me to laugh my ass off.  Even still, it wasn’t until watching the movie a few times that I developed my new admiration for the bad to good super-genius with the complexion “of a popular primary color.” Firstly, he has some similarities to P.P., well only one, his scientific genius. That’s really all the two have in common. BUT, I realized there was much Megamind and I have in common. For example, we have the same taste in music. His wardrobe is quite impressive, except he’d might have to give up those baby seal skin leather boots. I can’t deny they look cool, though. And, in some ways that are similar but different, we both decided to change our lives toward the positive. Also, we’re both short.

The only video I could find that I wanted to use here has Asian subtitles, so, if you can read them, COOL! If not just ignore them and watch the video. K thanks.

Beside what we have in common, he makes me laugh. That always really wins me over. I’m really into blue, too. A lot. It was one thing I loved about P.P., his red and blue suit. And while Megamind: Defender of Metrocity might not look as steaming hot in the Black Mamba as P.P. looked in his tights, he has kind of a cute tush. I also enjoy his languid movements, and evil laugh. Oh, just everything.

megamind_evil_overlord_by_zeroxkinz-d473br9
Minion’s pretty cute, too.

But alas, there is Roxanne Ritchie, whom Megamind deserves. Because they’re both fictional cartoon people, and I’m just a fan-girl with unrequited, and possibly psychosis linked, love interests.

 

(Disclaimer: Megamind and everything with his likeness on it is the property of Dreamworks Animation and Paramount Studios. Peter Parker, Spider-Man, and any likenesses thereof are the properties of Stan the Man Lee and Marvel Comics [and now The Walt Disney Company].)

(Disclaimer Disclaimer: While I am a fan of Will Ferrell, please don’t analyze my Megamind crush as some Freudian, unconscious desire for his body. Thank You.)

 

Achievment Attained: Zombie

New Orleans City Park the day prior to the Zombie Run 5K
New Orleans City Park the day prior to the Zombie Run 5K

As those of you who’ve been with me longest know, my interests lean toward the macabre. I’ve been interested in horror films, books, and culture for as long as I can remember. My mother even tells stories of my napping in my toy box as a kid and pretending it was my coffin (because I was a vampire, of course). It probably goes without saying that many of my friends share my interests. Like most nerds belonging to any genre, we would have lengthy discussions about certain things in movies and what not, and one of those things we’d discuss in-depth was the matter of zombie-ism. These were days long before the zombie culture was accepted in the mainstream-or maybe it’s just that more of us have crawled from our crypts to claim our rightful place among everyone else. During these discussions, I’d always declare that in the case of a zombie invasion (this was before the term “zombie apocalypse” was even widely used or even coined, possibly), I would want to be a zombie. I’d rather be one than be eaten by one, you see. Because zombies scare THE EVER LIVING SHIT OUT OF ME! I won’t lie. If I watch a zombie movie, I WILL without doubt have nightmares. I’ve had many detailed nightmares about zombies, and I will probably have nightmares tonight just writing about zombies right now. I love to watch zombie/horror movies and read scary stories (and write them!), but in real life, I am a big old ‘fraidy cat once the sun goes down. I was, until very recently, terrified of the dark. When I used to work dayshift, and I had to leave early in the morning while everything was quiet and everyone was still asleep, I would get into my car with a quickness as I would terrify myself with the thought of a Dawn of the Dead scenario. The problem with zombies is that they’re like cockroaches. If you see one, you know there are more.

zombie_sign

For some reason which I can’t pinpoint, over the last several years zombie culture has become quite popular. Not only with horror fans, but with people who wouldn’t normally be into “that kind of thing.” I don’t know why this happened, but as you can all imagine after having read my first paragraph that my brain constantly being bombarded with zombie related information caused me some unease. It did in the beginning, then like most things, I became immune to the constant bombardment, and the nightmares stopped-mostly. I would like to note that in my nightmares, I have always been the victor. There hasn’t been one yet in which I was the victim of a zombie bite, although in one my husband was bitten, and it ended with us shutting out the zombie hoards and my looking at him with the knowledge that I would have to kill him. I mean. It’s the only way. Also, I was once a zombie crime scene investigator who had to eat the remains of the victims of crimes in order to discover their means of death and catch their killers. Or maybe I was just hungry. I dunno. Analyze that, okay.

La moi
La moi

When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in late 2012, and after battling pediatric brain cancer alongside my son for nearly ten months, I was almost totally unable to do more than move around a little and then lie back down again. I was fatigued beyond explanation, and I was in pain. Lots of it. I decided it was time to get serious about my health. I knew I wouldn’t be able to care for my son otherwise. My body was in a very bad state then, physically, mentally, emotionally. My rheumatologist prescribed me medicine to help control the fibro. I started doing yoga again. I started eating well again. Eventually, and slowly with time, I was able to do more than yoga (and am doing much better with my yoga poses now). I’ve lost a significant amount of weight.

Somewhere in last few months information came across my Facebook feed about a 5K zombie run. I’d never done a 5k, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to really run a 5K (not yet, anyway). Even though I am getting into much better shape, I have to be realistic about my limitations. I decided, though, there was no better opportunity for me to be a zombie and set a goal for myself. After all, folks with fibromyalgia feel like their stricken with rigor mortis most of the time, anyway. I know I do. I am fortunate in that although I do suffer from fibromyalgia, I don’t suffer from some other-and far more detrimental-ailments that people with fibromyalgia can have. Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are just two of those. I do have osteoarthritis, early onset of osteoporosis, and mild scoliosis. But, they’re not going to be crippling in the way rheumatoid arthritis or other forms of rheumatic diseases are. Fibromyalgia, for what it’s worth, doesn’t get worse over time. This keeps me positive that I can give myself a better quality of life by taking care of myself-eating right, exercising, sleeping. I stopped drinking (sad face), but it really is for the best, and as the bottle of Amaretto in my pantry whispers my name, I remind it that not only have I stopped drinking but I’ve also given up eating or drinking anything with a lot of carbs after a certain time in the day. (Bad Amaretto! Bad! Bad!) I digress.

Pre-zombie. We had to arrive at 5am for our transformation, so I had to leave home at 3:30am. Yes, I did this willingly.
Pre-zombie. We had to arrive at 5am for our transformation, so I had to leave home at 3:30am. Yes, I did this willingly.

I wanted to register for the zombie run because it seemed like fun and I got to set a goal for myself and I got to be a zombie. Win. Win. Win. During the months leading up to the Zombie Run, I trained hard. I knew if I didn’t work hard that I wouldn’t even be able to endure the heat and running after the, well, runners. (Honestly, I let a lot of them go because really, they were in great shape. I told one guy, “I’m not out-running you. Go ahead.” He had like 2% body fat and looked like he ran everywhere just for fun. Free pass from this zombie.) And although I sprained my ankle during that time, I noticed that it became easier for me to lift my son and that I was in less pain after moving him and his equipment around. My fatigue has all but diminished, and I really only sleep in the day when I don’t get enough sleep the night before. (The CPAP machine helps a lot, although it’s left a bald spot on my baldness. In other words, the strap that goes across the top of my head has rubbed some of the hair completely away. I sleep with a handkerchief between it and my scalp now, but it might be too late for that one spot.)

My bald is bald. It's not too bad, but it is noticeable and I can feel the difference when I touch my head. It's like a big divot. On my head.
My bald is bald. It’s not too bad, but it is noticeable, and I can feel the difference when I touch my head. It’s like a big divot. On my head.

Zombie Run day came, and I was up with the vampires at 3am since we had to arrive at City Park at 5am. I live a good ninety minutes away. I drank a protein shake with some yogurt and did some yoga and went on my way. My friend, with whom I’d have the zombie discussions years ago, and her stepson joined me for the race. We didn’t really know what all to expect, but we knew some stuff. Like we got professional zombie make-overs from some of the best make-up artists in the area.

makeup
Me getting airbrushed
I gave the artist complete creative freedom. I told her she could do something on my head. She was all about it.
I gave the artist complete creative freedom. I told her she could do something on my head. She was all about it.
Look out for those fat zombies. They really like a lot of braaaaaaiiiinnnnsss.
Look out for those fat zombies. They really like a lot of braaaaaaiiiinnnnsss.
xie&masonzombies
Xie & Mason zombies

The artist who did my make-up works at the 13th Gate, a haunted house attraction located in Baton Rouge.

She did a pretty awesome job, I'd say!
She did a pretty awesome job, I’d say!
zombieface2
Post-race. My shirt was white. As you can see, it’s a little bloody.

There were also members from the House of Shock involved in our zombie training and blood spattering. When I was up to be spattered, they said no one wanted to roll around in the blood on the big blue tarp that was catching the burgundy puddles. So, of course, I said I would. Then my friend’s stepson did it, too. Because we’re cool like that. It was fun, but I had fake blood squishing in places that were bordering on unsanitary. Still totally worth it.

Blood spattering station
Blood spattering station

While we knew we wouldn’t be running the entire 5K behind the runners, we didn’t know where we’d be or that we’d be set in a cordoned off area and not allowed to leave our assigned zombie stations. We got onto a bus and were sent to a part of the park that is just an open field, and it made for some really good chases. I did a lot more running and with not as much effort as I thought I would. I survived the heat and the physical activity, although after a few hours we’d transformed from Dawn of the Dead super-bath salts-zombies to straggling, moaning, slow-moving zombies. All in all, I was very proud of myself for being able to actually chase and keep up with some people. I felt bad going for the kids, so I just hung back and some people were visibly exhausted so I told them to hide behind a tree because I might be an undead brain eating abomination, but I’m still sympathetic.

walkingzombie2walkingzombieIt’s suffice to say we had a great time. We were too tired and hungry to stay around for the after race activities, so we went out to eat where we freaked out no more than everyone. (One lady thought we’d been in a bad accident. I guess she feels the Golden Corral’s breakfast buffet is just that good, and it’s on the way to the hospital anyways?) It was my first time doing anything that physical, at least since I was a kid when I ran around for the hell of it all the time just because, and I was famished beyond words. I was glad the breakfast buffet had two types of bacon (yes TWO types). I was a good girl, though, and my second plate consisted mainly of fruit, even though I was eyeing that chocolate fountain pretty hard.

I just look like I still have zombie make-up on because I was awake for like 20 hours.
I just look like I still have zombie make-up on because I was awake for like 20 hours.

I definitely plan to attend next year if there is another Zombie Run. As a zombie, of course. I’m also pretty interested in another 5K that is taking place just two days before my birthday, and it looks pretty intense. The Nola Zombi  run is set-up with a military style obstacle course. I haven’t registered, yet. Yet. According to their website, I still have 84 days 1 hour 58 minutes and 51 seconds.

allthreezombies
Zombies do to where sunglasses. A lady tried to steal mine. After I left them in the grass on accident after someone took our photo, my friend spotted them on the lady’s head. She was a real life zombie it seemed, because she was zoned out on something. I got the sunglasses back though. Because they were $4, and zombie don’t play that.

It’s Okay to be a Bald Girl

Selfie!
Selfie!

I used to tell my husband, who has been bald since we met, that if I could get away with shaving my head I would. I was so envious of his ability to take a 2 minute shower and be ready to go any place within  minutes. No combing, no prepping, no worrying about bad hair days.

When the opportunity came to fulfill two desires, helping St. Baldrick’s Foundation raise money for ped cancer research AND being bald, well of course I was excited. I was so anxious for that day, mostly because I wanted to participate in something important, but also because I wanted to feel my hairless head. I bought a tee shirt that reads, “BALD AND BADASS.” Shaving my head was on my proverbial bucket list.

Hair is overrated. Very much by our society. If someone doesn’t have hair, especially a female, we automatically assume something is wrong with said person-either physically as in illness or something psychological: “She’s just a freak!” Sesame Street has an annoying-as-all-shit song in which the puppet sings for two minutes about how great it is to have hair. I can’t express how incredibly frustrating it was to endure  it while my bald son, who was in the midst of chemotherapy, watched. What is so important about hair?

There are the obvious answers: It protects your scalp from the sun. It keeps your head warm. It’s there to flagellate your face on windy days-if your hair is long, that is. The societal custom of idolizing people with “good hair” is not so logical. People with incredible locks are considered more worthy, as is the case with everyone deemed more attractive. But, does having hair make one more attractive?

Obviously that answer is no. Many chrome domed male celebrities are considered handsome- Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Bruce Willis, Patrick Stewart (yes he is handsome), Michael Chiklis (Come on. The Thing, Fantastic Four), Andre Agassi (who I thought was more handsome without hair than with), Jason Statham (who isn’t completely bald but pretty much), Chris Daughtry (the only reason I ever watched American Idol, ever), Shemar Moore (hoooooot).

An old photo of my hubby looking like Bruce Willis
An old photo of my hubby looking like Bruce Willis

 

So, we’ve established that men without hair are sexy. All right, not all bald men are sexy:

I'm sure he was very handsome, in his day!
I’m sure he was very handsome in his day!

But what about women? Why is it so unusual for a woman to be bald? Are women less attractive without hair? Well, maybe if you’re head is shaped like a warped cantaloupe (but we can’t all have perfect domes, now can we?)

After the first shave, I decided to keep shaving. I don’t wear wigs. I don’t wear hats, except when it was colder. I don’t hide my baldness. There are reasons for this. One of them is because I can strike a conversation with someone that leads to me telling them about St. Baldrick’s Foundation and the necessity of funding and donations for ped cancer-that is the point, really, isn’t it? Another reason is that I feel there is no shame in being hairless. People who lose their hair should not feel the need to cover their heads out of self-consciousness. If they choose to cover their heads because of personal preferences, then so be it. But no one should feel less worthy because they have no hair. I have to admit I also don’t wear wigs or cover my hair because I’ve always been against adhering to gender roles, and I like to force people to experience their discomfort at something totally innocuous, and then maybe they’ll realize it’s unwarranted. I don’t have to have a hair style. Shaving it is a style. I choose to go bald because I like it, and you know what else? My husband likes it, too (He’s really always had a thing for G.I. Jane). Other reasons I choose to remain bald are that I want to stand in solidarity with  my son, who now has more hair than me. Although, it is obvious his hair isn’t growing in a usual way. I also choose to stand in solidarity with every other woman who has lost her hair due to chemotherapy and radiation, or for other reasons (Lupus, Scarring Alopecia, Alopecia Areata, Trauma . . . Read about some of the causes of hair loss at the Locks of Love website.) Lastly, I am going hairless for the summer because this is New Orleans and it is VERY HOT. Not having hair will be a plus (I will be sure to wear sunscreen). My plan is to start growing it in the fall, and by March next year, I’ll participate in another St. Baldrick’s Event. Lastly lastly, I have absolutely NO TIME for hair. I wake up, work all day taking care of RB and housekeeping, running errands, and on the phone with eighty different coordinators acting as my son’s nurse administrator, then I pass out with my GOD FORSAKEN CPAP MACHINE , but that’s for another blog.

Now, are women less attractive without hair? Let’s see: Sigourney Weaver, Charlize Theron, Robin Roberts, Kellie Pickler (who also shaved her head in solidarity with someone close to her with cancer), Natalie Portman, and Demi Moore.

Photo http://standard.co.uk (http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/health/whats-all-the-buzz-jaime-winstone-shows-how-to-wear-the-close-crop-7654534.html?action=gallery&ino=2)
Photo http://standard.co.uk
http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/health/whats-all-the-buzz-jaime-winstone-shows-how-to-wear-the-close-crop-7654534.html?action=gallery&ino=2

 

I admit I’m no Demi Moore or Natalie Portman, but I am bald. And I’m a girl. And it’s okay.

Hypnos

So I decided to spend an exorbitant amount of money to have a night away to sleep in a quiet room where I will have no distractions.

Just kidding. I’m having a sleep study done tonight. But I am spending an exorbitant amount of money.

My primary care physician has this idea that because of my fibro, I also have sleep apnea. I tried to explain to him that in order to have sleep apnea, I would have to actually have time to sleep. Robot Boy was with me at the appointment, and the doctor admitted he understood I probably didn’t get to sleep much or for long periods of time. Still, he insisted my daytime fatigue is caused by sleep apnea. Not, you know, the fact that I sleep two hours and am up for three to care for RB, then sleep for another hour, and so forth. That has nothing to do with it.

Image Marty Feldman (Igor), in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein

At any rate, if I want to get this Igor Eye corrected with surgery (that is the medical term for the condition, BTW), I must be cleared by my PCP. And he won’t until he is certain I do or don’t have sleep apnea.

Image “Damn your eyes!” Gene Wilder to Marty Feldman, Young Frankenstein.

At least the digs are nice here at the hospital. I was expecting an uncomfortable hospital room, utilitarian and quotidian-like the rooms I’ve been living in for the last year. I’ve seen RB have three sleep studies, and none of them looked comfortable or tempting.

He was covered in electrodes and wires and had belts strapped across his chest. How one is supposed to sleep in that condition, I don’t know.

Image Harumph
Image A real bed all to myself.

I will have to be attached to these things as well, but the room resembles more of a comfortable hotel room than a hospital room.

I have a notorious love of hotels. Don’t ask why, because I don’t know. I have just always felt comforted and excited by staying in a hotel. Maybe it’s a reminder of the excitement involved with vacationing. Maybe I’m just a freako. Who knows?

This room seems nice and soothing. I hope I can sleep with all those wires and whatnot attached. I am so looking forward to a night of uninterrupted sleep. I’m also looking forward to getting the results of the test that will hopefully show I do not have sleep apnea.

We don’t need RB and me on a CPAP machine. I wouldn’t even have time to wear the damn thing!

Hypnos, may all go well tonight.

Image Comfy