Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why Study When You Can Dance?

Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!
Thanks, Dale. I'm easily distracted.

Two For Tuesday (Sweetness & Co. Edition)


Today's two are inspired by Sweetness and her friends and what I hear coming from her speakers and her friends' iPods. First band up, Metric. Headphones were gleefully stuffed on my head by one of her friends as she walked in the house. We now have tickets to see them at the end of Spetember.

KLAXONS-It's Not Over Yet

Sweetness herself tends towards the more abstract and fantastical. This is her pick for who she'd like to see this fall, because she thinks they would have an interesting show. I feel pretty fortunate to have such a cool kid. As she once said about a peer, "She was sucked into the hip hop vortex." I think we're both grateful it didn't happen to her.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mirror Neurons

I've been studying about mirror neurons. Is it wrong that everytime I think of them, I think of this?

I hope that watching this doesn't cause me to imitate this action, or God help us, those haircuts.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dedication to Medication Vol. III


Day Three-Half dose. Migraine in the middle of the night last night has left me a little worn out today. My sinuses are still messed up and today I feel more calm, but more detached. I'm actually enjoying just sitting at home watching the rain. I dreaded taking my dose this morning, because I never know what it will bring. I'm hoping I won't have another night like last night. I realize this is not thrilling reading, so I'm not offended if you bypass these posts. Honestly, I feel like I'm sick and want to crawl in bed and stay there. Not much energy for anything else. I'll be more fun soon. I promise.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Echo Back

Here's the game. Every time you hear the word "sexy", insert the word "Echo." Our leader has returned from his exile in the wilderness. All hail the king of the GEWS. Echo! Echo! Echo!

Dedication to Medication Vol. II


Day Two-Half dose. Since this is not my first ride onto meds, I have memories that are flooding back now. Woke up this morning with a sore throat and sinus pressure. I remember this from before. It's actually a documented side effect, so I know I'm not just getting sick. My head hurts because not only do my sinuses hurt, but my jaws are so tight that it's contributing to the general headache I've got going on. This is why I've put this off for so long. I know I'll feel better next week, but this week is going to suck. After a day of alternate mania and exhaustion, I fell asleep at 9:30, which is really early for me. I actually slept really well, which surprised me, as I've had issues with insomnia in the past. I can feel the weird dreams coming. I enter a dream state much quicker than I typically would and they are always more graphic. I still remember one of the dreams I had last time I was medicated. I could feel the rain. Really feel it. And if you ever wondered if you can dream in color, you absolutely can. Vivid color. Yesterday when I dozed off in the afternoon, my dream had a soundtrack going.

In general, I feel kind of tense. My muscles occasionally twitch or jerk. I feel like a walking experiment at this point. I'm glad I have the day off today, as I certainly am not feeling myself. I don't feel slow or groggy in any way, but more like my body is detached and on a ride of its own. If anything, I feel hyperaware and a little tense. I definitely understand why some people refuse to medicate and don't make it past week one. If you didn't know what to expect and weren't able to ride it all out, you'd give up before you felt the full effect. I know this is going to be good for me in the long run, so I know I have to ride this out. It helps to have a supportive family.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dedication to Medication Vol. I

Day One- Half dose and I'm pretty much feeling like I could take over as the lead singer of Fishbone. I'm jittery and wired for sound, yet oddly can tell I need a nap. I'm purposefully making trips up and down the stairs to burn off excess energy. Stomach is a little queasy. Hey, I'm a Master's student in psychology. I figured I'd document the whole ugly cycle of leveling out on meds. As far as I can tell, I am behaving like my cat Edward, who occasionally rips through the house like a white tornado only to crash fifteen minutes later. Hey, this should keep me entertained for the rest of the summer. Just don't let me do something stupid like sign up for a marathon while I'm feeling like this.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Bridge That Broke the Camel's Back

How thoughtful of them to build a new bridge next to the bridge that sealed my fate. When I was about 21, my friends and I piled into a car to take a daytrip to the Isle of Palms off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Up until this point I had driven around with no problems to speak of for a good five years. In perspective, that's not very long, but at the time it felt like forever and so I confidently got behind the wheel of the car and drove towards our destination. I had never been there before, but it was a quick trip and I couldn't possibly have guessed how a few minutes would so radically change my life.

As we neared the Isle of Palms, the only way to get there was to go over the Cooper River Bridge, an old steel bridge with pretty narrow lanes. I approached the bridge with not a worry in my mind. As I began to drive across the bridge I had what was to be the first of many panic attacks. My hands go numb, my body stiffens, my breathing rate and heart rate increase dramatically and everything gets a little dim around the edges. I had four other people in the car, including Lulu who was there for a visit. She was in the front seat with me and noticed I was having problems. I managed to make it over by staring at the bumper of the car in front of me, but was concerned the entire time that I was going to pass out. There was no place to pull over either. Lulu drove over the bridge on the way back, but that first crossing sealed my fate forever.

From there the attacks grew and spread to include other things like high overpasses on freeways and eventually to all freeways. It's a classic phobia I've been told. One where you begin to build all these behavioral responses to certain stimuli. I feel like I'm on a runaway train when the attacks start. My mind knows that it's ridiculous, but I can't seem to stop the reaction that my body goes through. When the attack is over, I am spent. It exhausts me and ruins what is left of my day as I'm usually left with a wicked headache and my body is busy mopping up the massive adrenaline overload.

I initially tried the cognitive-behavioral therapy route. After many months of therapy there was no improvement and because it involved driving, doing desensitization was dangerous. I was left with one option and that was to try medication. Three drugs later, I've found that an SSRI called Lexapro is the one that works for me, although I'm left dealing with some of the side effects of that which include tiredness and some weight gain. I've been off my medication for about two years because I just needed a break from it. But now I have new clients that I literally can't get to unless I'm medicated. I often feel like I am a prisoner in my own body. My freedom in life has been curbed by some crazy chemicals that don't behave like they're supposed to.

So back on the meds I go. I know I need to, but I don't want to. In general I function much better when I take Lexapro, because along with the panic attacks, I suffer in general from bouts of depression and have a generally high anxiety level. Funny, Lulu and I were talking about which Winnie the Pooh character we were one day. I immediately answered Tigger, but Lu corrected me and said I was more like Piglet. I don't think I like that. Lexapro lets me be Tigger, so I guess it's a good thing.

Two For Tuesday


Today's 2 are from the same band. It's a Now and Then kind of pair. Crowded House is back together again. Although sadly missing Paul Hester, I expect that they will not disappoint. Neil Finn seems to have a knack for writing perfect introspective pop songs that get under your skin. They always sound so shiny on the outside, but have a brooding quality just under the surface. I'm happy to say that Mr. Ten S and I will be seeing them live on Sunday night. If it's half as good as The Finn Brothers show I saw a couple of years ago, it will be fabulous.

CROWDED HOUSE-Better Be Home Soon

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Quiet Place in My Head

When I am stressed out or depressed, I really do have a quiet happy place that I go to in my head. My place is everything that is good on this earth. It represents peace, which as far as I can tell is what I really want from life. Our family has been vacationing at Sugar Maple Lake in northern Wisconsin since I was a small child. My own children now vacation there and have since we returned from California.

What makes this place so special? The biggest town that the lake is near is Eagle River. Even though there's a fancy new bypass around the town, the main street is relatively unchanged. Some of the stores are different, but many remain, including the ice cream and candy store where I bought many treats as a child. There's nothing fancy about this town. The little town closer to the cabin we rent is even smaller. Phelps has not changed at all since I was a child. There is still a bar, a small grocery, a post office, a bait shop, a boat rental and repair shop and a cafe. That's it.

As a kid, my brother and I would ride in the back of the station wagon on the way up, counting cows and watching the puffy white clouds in the blue Wisconsin sky. The ride was long enough to really feel like you were going somewhere, but short enough that before you knew it, you were there. I loved all the little towns we passed through on the way as well. I remember throwing open the car door and immediately running down to the lake, just to make sure it was still there. We always got called back up to help unload the car. Mom was smart and packed our bathing suits and towels right on top, as she knew the first thing we'd be doing was going for a swim.

When I was younger, the week was spent swimming, catching tadpoles, playing board games in the evening and riding around in a rowboat with my dad's small outboard motor on the back. As I got older, I still swam a lot, but really enjoyed reading out on the raft and just laying in the sun on the pier. This was when I developed my love for that exact feeling, the one I go to when I'm losing it. My moment of true peace is laying on my towel on my stomach in the sun with my ear to the boards on the pier. It's more about sound than anything else. It's the sound of the lapping of the waves against the boat and the boats bumping gently up against the pier. I can instantly go there anytime I need to. It's the nothingness of the moment, I guess, that makes it perfect. It's knowing that there is no rush, that it's OK to relax and that in this place I am always surrounded by those I love. Having returned to this place as an adult, I can say that it is as true today with my family as it was as a child and a teen. It's a reminder of when all is right and gentle and perfect. I hope that my kids find their moment of peace as well.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Two For Tuesday

SPOON-The Underdog

This song hooked me on the first listen. Sure, the horns are clean and bright. Yeah, the lolligagging beat eases you along, but it's the lyrics that immediately caught my attention. "You have no fear of the underdog, that's why you will not survive." Now those are some powerful words. They made me think about everything from politics to daily social life. Put this one in heavy rotation.


Hear some similarities? I was listening to Spoon thinking that it sounded new and yet familiar and then I realized that they reminded me a lot of Van Morrison. Similar arrangements, don't you think? Happy Tuesday, everybody!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Crazy T & Lu's Bargain Sale!!!!!

Last chance for a crack at some of Lulu's books and other priceless treasures. It's that time of year again. Time for the Ten S family's yard sale. This sucker is huge as some of our friends do this with us. You name it, we've probably got it. This weekend only from 9-4 Saturday and Sunday. Leave a comment if you want directions!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Got the Blues in Chicago (Imagine That!)

I'm a Master's Student
Duh Duh Duh Duh
I study all day
Duh Duh Duh Duh
While everyone is playin'
Duh Duh Duh Duh
I'm makin' hay

Cause I got the low-o-down
Master's Student Blues
I'd rather be playin'
But it's studyin' I choose

My friends they keep leavin'
Duh Duh Duh Duh
I'm lonely as sin
Duh Duh Duh Duh
I'm an aging punk rocker
Duh Duh Duh Duh
Going through crisis again

Cause I got the low-o-down
Master's Student Blues
I used to go playin'
But now it's studyin' I choose

OK, well, I'm not exactly Muddy Waters or Buddy Guy or even BB King, but you get the point. Sick of school. Migrating friends. Irritating job. Shit, y'all, I just need to go to bed. Sleep will cure most any kind of illin' you have.