30 December 2009

more crazy and less crazy stomp after one another through my brain. i keep hoping i will wake up and it will be over. please can it be over?

one of my aunts was a bit of a drunk and a bitch for christmas, but worst of all she fed us butterball turkey. i took my pills as scheduled in the car on the way home and then mouthed, "mother. fucker.," as pain seared through my chest. for fuck's sake, she's had cancer and she's a pharmaceutical rep. now i'm all spazz about it, worrying i'm feeling pain every time i eat and none of my underthings are comfortable. i'm fine, fine, just wishing i'd stuck to nuts for dinner.
i cook this thing which is not very sexy, but i like it. i boil a cup and a half of le puy lentils (small, french, not mushy) with some bay leaves and salt for about 15 minutes, until they are tender but firm, and drain them. then i heat up a tablespoon of olive oil and fry in it two diced shallots and some celery leaves. i add the lentils and fry to perk them up a bit. tonight i made them with rice (a complete protein), but they are also good with poached egg (the yolk makes a sauce plus some cultures consider this combination lucky), or sausages. i serve lentils with something sour (salad with vinagrette - 1.5 tbs olive oil, 1.5 tbs red wine vinegar, a squeeze of lemon and 1/4 tsp dijon mustard, or oranges) because vitamin c helps the body absorb iron, which is good for energy or something.
i have cleaned. my vice is paper. i have piles of notes, photocopies and magazines that i cannot throw away. mostly it's a matter of disguising their presence.

New wall decoration: I put plates from a Karl Blossfeldt calendar in my frames.

29 December 2009

all of this visiting has been worthwhile but i now feel as though i am having a constant panic attack. i like my quiet life. i am rerouting energy doing bendy things with my limbs.

i think my omi looks like marlene dietrich.
oh grandmas. i will put on some colour and get my teeth fixed this january. but some boys like crazy. they like crazy in carl jungs big red book, for real and available for gawking at oscar's on broadway.

28 December 2009

put into effect new years' resolution #2, eat less meat, adding extra tomatoes, wine and fennel seed to the bolognese.

27 December 2009

my sister cried at the mid-december family christmas thing after i talked about the kind of work i'd been looking in to, and she cried again about her thighs as we were getting dressed to go out for christmas. i put on goofy looking northern striped tights that didn't really match with the same dress. i don't think it helped. it was awful.
know what i like? brand new cushy knee socks.

26 December 2009

it is my new year's resolution to visit my grandparents more often. it is in such a spirit that i have collected the names of my great-grandmothers and their sisters: Amelia, (Magda)Lena, Cecilia, Marie, Maria, Hannah, Inge, Hella and Elisabeth. my grandmothers know lots of stories. i must do better absorbing them into my long term memory as well.

23 December 2009

baked yummy christmas rugalach. i recommend the recipe in dorie greenspan's baking. the whole book is awesome but you can find the recipe here.
a copy of "a disease or some ways of being human" has arrived for me via inter-library loan. i have received a bonanza of book requests for christmas.

21 December 2009

christmas shopping has left me feeling completely fucking insane. it was done yesterday and i thought i could maximize my enjoyment by returning an unneeded item and being done with everything, but that's not how it works.

last night my dad told a story about how the most flustered his mom ever got was to vocalize an exhale while shaking her head ("brrrrrr"). I am doing that now.
believing it to be a compromise between his wishes and mine, i stuck a collar and a leash on the cat and took him outside. he likes the smell of trees. he was taken aback by all the noise out there. he was completely horrified by the collar and since returning inside has adopted several of the dog's bitchy behaviors in protest. he is doing the kitty version of shouting, "NO."
for clarification. my ex-boyfriend could be so gentle,insightful, open, that despite all we didn't have in common i remember all my worst reactions. i am still trying to be more like him in those ways.

20 December 2009

hippocampus. part of the brain. damaged by cortisol, a stress hormone.
online disinhibition effect. internet as pathology.

19 December 2009

eight year old cousin walked up to me and called me mom, and as she was explaining that she'd named her walking puppy ella saw that i was not her mom. her eyes got big and she quickly walked away. i remember the horror of doing this when i was a child.

18 December 2009

my heavily accented german grandpa is going to be santa claus at a mall this christmas. we all think it is hilarious and wonderful. he has a new enthusiasm for life since a grandson was born and has been referred to as, "ergonomic opi" for his lap. his body is all in pain.
i found an ad for advocacy work - helping people fill out forms and appeal things - and am wondering whether i could hack it. i'm not scared of psychotic homeless people, but i am wary of my reactions to drugs, violence, and manipulative behavior. i'd bet there are pretty normal people dealing with unfair or not well accounted for situations. it could be a way of getting to know well how the community downtown works and becoming really good at problem solving. it would be a concrete and practical way of helping people, and i find those things satisfying. i'm not sure how i'd handle the stress. it feels like jumping in the deep end. thoughts? I'm thinking I'm for Hausmanization.

17 December 2009

i probably shouldn't, because these attitudes shaped my life in powerful ways, but it amazes me how entrenched ideas such as "psychiatry is a bad thing," or "psychiatric motives are bad," are, not just among the public (particularly people educated in the 1970's and early 80's) but within the medical and other helping professions and discourses of actually trying to get people help. it's a complete nightmare of a category that produces subjects as much as it is used in punitive ways against them, in a way that critique just doesn't, and it gets an amount of airtime that seems even more stupid when I think of how long and how powerful counter-discourses of compassionate care, biological cause, and pastoral care have been, and are.

16 December 2009

my imaginary daughter put in an appearance today as i was leaving the doctor's office, having had my ovaries explained to me. she was shouting something like, "retarded baby rabbits," or "deformed baby rabbits," and i thought she was a bit of a wicked girl (taking after her father, there.) then i started to laugh. since she is my imaginary daughter, i spent my bus ride contemplating what my response had been, and then my before-shift coffee in the parenting section looking at a book called, "the curse of the good girl." i don't want my girl to be stifled so i am educating myself with this pop-psychological social ecology of estrogen.

p.s. my ovaries are fine. we caught then ovulating on ultrasound and while ovaries are little, around 2cm long, follicles producing eggs are surprisingly large and produce in me a zinging pain when they burst. pornographic fascination.
sat in a theatre listening to a psychiatrist speaking fluent psychosis (the finesse was eerie, and he was mentally very fast), behind a medical student unmetaphorically greased with confidence. how do they make fluent speakers of psychosia out of them?

15 December 2009

got out for my walk in the dying light of the day, listening to stars of the lid and awed by the brightness of colours and dark grey clouds. cold water trickled in my boots.
i know that i was depressed as a child, and certainly before i got to highschool.
i never get used to just how dark it is this time of year. it's not even 3 pm and already i am turning on lights and thinking that i didn't get a chance for a walk this afternoon, because it is pouring rain and i had my heart set on the bog and going there with an umbrella doesn't seem right. it's pouring rain onto the snow and tonight it will freeze and tomorrow the city will be a sheet of ice with busses sledding down the streets.

13 December 2009

i'm contemplating not taking classes next semester, even though things have been improving. it's not enough...

it's snowing.

12 December 2009

there is a strong possibility that if my cat could talk, he would tell you that toys grow under the sofa. he lies on the carpet watching and waiting for them to breed and multiply to such an extent that i must go in and root out a population, and then he chases them all around the room.

10 December 2009

sister consented to see me at her place. she's not wanted to deal with me for a long time and i'd bribed her with kris kringle chocolate. she was lovely and beautiful. we exchanged notes and she made me late night toast. i was on my way home from the pub with classmates, sick after three beers, apologizing and discreet. Her fridge contains the exact same items mine did when i was 22. she is my (bipolar) twin, in absentia. i've never seen her so well.

09 December 2009

kombucha report

my kombucha is at this time perfectly fermented - fizzy and not too sweet. i am slightly disgusted by it, but also charmed that it is fizzing. i had to pour out the first batch because i left it too long, waiting for the mushroom to become substantial, you see, and it became vinegary. truly, my mushroom does seem happy in the closet.
all of the insightful things i had to say about psychosis spilled out in the er the first time i was hospitalized. "it's like all the anxieties that i had on the inside were being acted out externally." psychosis is internal anguish, but it is a radically externally oriented state. for me it wasn't creative at all and it is still difficult to produce my own abstractions and responses that are not strict reproductions of what i've observed elsewhere.

08 December 2009

psyched up and ready to go

i miss being smart. i am so tired of making things so damn difficult for myself, and so tired of working so long and it coming to nothing. yes this is the end of term and yes i do enthusiastically wish a break for the remainder of the evening.
this... is entirely disgusting. cat threw up a roundworm. could be the cause of his pot belly. poor little guy. he took his pill like a trooper. yet another disgusting cat ailment for which i didn't know i was required to be on the lookout.

07 December 2009

psychological autopsy

my imaginary daughter has gone away. i don't recall having imaginary friends as a child, although i did construct an imaginary world in grade four, and codes. so this is a special loss i guess, of what was a significant psychological event, because it wasn't a hallucination but a thought i had.
scrambled eggs on toast for dinner. i find they go well with preserved things: raspberry jam, real maple syrup, fried artichokes, preserved lemon chutney, lemon juice, chili honey butter, salt and pepper. not all at the same time.
it's so cold the ground has frozen. i had to bundle up to go out and still the only part of me that was warm was under a hat made by my slightly deranged grandmother. no one else was around. when i was a kid we lived someplace colder and i was known to build forts at forty below and ice skate on the standing water frozen over greenways. here the cold is damp and intolerable and i only go out to feel better.

06 December 2009

cat generously deemed my lap and inner arm a nap worthy place. a cozier sunday there never was.
this morning i was kris kringle and arranged candy in shoes.

05 December 2009

i probably would be pretty happy as a hunter-gatherer. not so much the hunting as the gathering. maybe i should look for work shearing sheep. i would be fine and simultaneously disappointed with myself the whole time.

the precise feeling of joy that is watching factory paint.

04 December 2009

bloodbath in a test tube, for me. last time the needle pulled as it drew blood and i hated it. this time there was only one vial.
a glance at the cat's bag of food has revealed the purpose of his gnawing: the face of the cat on the side of the bag has been removed.
the cat is dreaming. he is making strange noises and snapping his ears around.
ground my own garam masala after my favourite brand was discontinued. it feels almost as serious as eating mango pickle. it may still need some tweaking to the proportions, though i didn't know to lightly toast it the first time. hence a very small testing recipe. it went well with my chickpeas.

1 tbs coriander
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp caraway
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
5 bay leaves
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp cardamon

lots of indian people live in my neighbourhood. the stores are well stocked.

03 December 2009

on passenger pigeons
see also
today i went to that taxidermy exhibit. jars of formaldehyded reptile bodies, bird and animal skins stretched on styrofoam. locally collected, fifty to one hundred fourteen years ago. thought about the erosion of natural habitats and extinct species and the manufactured landscapes of zoos and tiny aquarium ponds for big whales, anthropomorphism and the potential emotional sickness as well as maintenance procedures of keeping house pets as the diseases of the nineteenth century and now our own, turning to dust. i wanted an adult conversation about it all but i'm not sure how to have one. i felt sick on the bus ride home.
if i were a monster i would be darkly, iridescently serpentine. and greek, obviously.

02 December 2009

weaving gently through the book stacks... in my bedroom. a stack to return, a stack to write a paper with, a stack by the bed with an open book on top, stacks on the bookshelf to jam in more books. stacks of photocopies for class. creating the stack to return makes me feel really organized.

01 December 2009

i feel like a very scary monster right now.
this is how the going-nuts of the past couple weeks has come home to roost: i have spent the past several hours trying to figure out what message my doctor is sending with her mary-jane Doc Martins (maybe i just had to spell it out?). the unflattering breige panty hose remain a mystery.