Hello! Welcome to my blog! Here I post my thoughts about my family and whatever else I feel like talking about. Feel free to comment!

Monday, July 6, 2009

An article I like...

I sent this article to a friend of mine today, and thought I would post it here. I got it from Stacey, a dear friend of mine from Luther College, after my mom died. On a lighter note, I typed this into my laptop today, and honestly, I have never used so many quotation marks in my LIFE! And I write fiction! Hope it provokes some thoughts.

Hurrying healing

By Ellen Goodman, Globe Columnist, 1/4/98

I don't remember when the words fist began to echo in the hollow aftermath of loss. But now it seems that every public or private death, every moment of mourning is followed by a call for “healing” a cry for “closure”.

Last month, driving home in my car just 24 hours after three Kentucky teenagers were shot to death in a school prayer meeting, I heard a Paducah minister talk about “healing”. The three teenagers had yet to be buried, and he said it was time to begin the healing process, as if there were an antibiotic to be applied at the first sign of pain among the survivors.

Weeks later, at a Christmas party, a man offered up a worried sigh about a mutual friend. “It's been two years” he said, “and she still hasn't achieved closure.” The words pegged her as an underachiever who failed the required course in Mourning 201, who wouldn't graduate with her grief class.

This vocabulary of “healing” and “closure” has spread across the post-mortem landscape like a nail across my blackboard. It comes with an intonation of sympathy but an accent of impatience. It suggests that death is something to be dealt with, that loss is something to get over-according to a prescribed emotional timetable.

It happened again when the Terry Nichols verdict came down. No sooner had the mixed accounts of guilty and innocent been announced, than the usually jargon free Peter Jennings asked how it would help the “healing” for Oklahoma City. Assorted commentators and reporters asked the families whether they felt a sense of “closure”.

The implicit expectation, even demand, was that the survivors of 168 deaths would traverse a similar emotional terrain and come to the finish line at the same time. Was two and a half years too long to mourn a child blown up in a building?

It was the families themselves who set us straight with responses as personal and diverse as one young mother said, “it's time to move on” and another who described her heart this way: “Sometimes it feels like it's bleeding.”

In the Nichols sentencing trial last week, we got another rare sampling of raw grief. Laura Kennedy testified that in the wake of her son's death in 1995, “I have an emptiness inside of men that's there all the time.” Diane Leonard said that since her husband's death her life “has a huge whole that can't be mended.”

By the second day, however, the cameras had turned away, the microphones had turned a deaf ear, as if they had heard enough keening. Again, observers asked what affect a life or death sentence would have on, of course, “healing” and “closure.”

I do not mean to suggest that the people who testified were “typical” mourners of the Oklahoma bombing a “typical” way of death. I mean to suggest that grief is atypical-as individual as the death and the mourner.

The American way of dealing with it has turned grieving into a set process with rules, stages, and of course, deadlines. We have, in essence, tried to make a science of grief, to tuck messy emotions under neat clinical labels-like “survivor guilt” or “detachment”.

Sometimes we confuse sadness with depression, replace comfort with Prozac, and expect, maybe insist upon an end to grief. Trauma, pain, detachment, acceptance in a year-time's up.

But in real lives, grief is a train that doesn't run on anyone else's schedule. Jimmie Holland at New York's Sloan Kettering Hospital, know that “normal grief may often become an ongoing lifelong process.” Indeed, she says, “The expectation of healing becomes an added burden. We create a sense of failure. We hear people say, 'I'm can't seem to reach closure, I'm not doing it fast enough.'”

Surely it is our own anxiety in the presence of pain, our own fear of loss and death, that makes us wish away another's grief or hide our own. But in every life, losses will accumulate like stones in a backpack. We will all be caught at times between remembrance and resilience.

So whatever our national passion for emotional efficiency, for quality time parents and one minute managers, there simply are no one minute mourners. Hearts heal faster from surgery than from loss. And when the center of someone's life has been blown out like the core of a building, is it any wonder if it takes so long even to find a door to close?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Star Trek Musings and other griping....

This is actually two of my LiveJournal posts posted here into one. Yay for you!

Let's try this again, shall we? I started this last night, but realized I didn't have the energy or though process to finish it. The thoughts were still with me too flipping early for me this morning.

The hubby and I went to go see Star Trek again Friday. The 4th time, and probably the last, because my husband was falling asleep in the theatre. I was fine, and I'd love to see it again. and again. This was the first time at this theatre, the first week at the 2nd run theatre. Tickets, pop and popcorn at Wehrenburg, the first run theatre, was about $30, and at Collins Roads, the 2nd run theatre, the total was about $17. And that's with real butter for your popcorn.

I had some random thoughts about some things in the movie, and I can't really express them anywhere but online, since my husband says I overanalyze. Of course I do. I'm a fangirl and a Trekkie. duh. So in no real order, my thoughts.

How exactly did Kirk get his "Enterprise clothes"? When Kirk was brought on board, he was still wearing his cadet uniform, although Bones did say something about "getting changed". I've seen an article about the designs of the uniforms, and the male cadets wore a red undershirt under the red uniform, and "cupcake" had one on when his shirt was open after the bar fight. How did Kirk get a black shirt and pants? He wouldn't have his own uniforms on the Enterprise, since he wasn't assigned there. I suppose Kirk could have "cheated" and wore the black undershirt under his cadet uniform, but I don't know if he would have even possessed any of them, as he had no real ship to go to, and get them. (Like that would ever stop Jim Kirk.) Most likely, he probably borrowed them, from his boyfriend best friend McCoy, although at least with the shirt, it probably would have been too big. But now, we couldn't have our hero running around in red or a too big borrowed shirt, right? Sure. At least it does give us something nice to look at. Chris Pine is easy on the eyes, most definitely.

Why was Dr. McCoy helping with the Kobyashi Maru? I know he was there to support and roll his eyes at Jim, but honestly, Dr. McCoy knows how to check to see if the Klingon shields are down? I guess there is something for doctors to be cross-trained, but man, that's something else. No wonder McCoy is so busy, learning all the nuances of Starfleet along with all the medical stuff. Another quick note about McCoy. I really hope if they are going to do a sequel that McCoy can be a little bit happy. I swear, the closest we got of a smile from him was when Kirk asked about who Spock was after his hearing. Honestly, some happiness for the good doctor, please.

I know that McCoy and Kirk are BFF's, but I really don't think I could smuggle my best friend on my ship just cause he didn't want to be left behind. That is some dedication by McCoy. I wonder if he really got into much trouble for getting Jim onboard, afterall, Kirk did save the whole damn planet, ya know.

I have more, but I'll wrap it up for now, with kids and chatting, it's taken me an hour to write this much. Progress, I know. Have a good fourth, if you like the holiday. I don't but that's just personal reasons. Til later.

Let's see if I can get this done. I'm kinda a crabby SOB today, so, yeah. Maybe I'll explain that more later.

Star Trek thoughts..

Sulu seriously doesn't get enough credit for saving the Enterprise. If he hadn't forgotten to take off the "parking brake", the ship would have been with the rest of the fleet, and reduced to space trash. Between his error and McCoy's smuggling of Jim onboard, the planet has a lot more people than just Jim Kirk to thank for the saving of Earth.

This is the point I tried to explain to my husband, who proceeded to give me his best McCoy eyeroll. I asked why Chekov got the conn in the movie when the Captain is elsewhere, saving everyone's hides. He said, "because that's the way it's always done" I guess he means in TOS. Fine. But for me, giving Chekov the conn in the movie, was CRAZY! Pike gives it to Chekov when Spock, Kirk, Mr. Red-Shirt Olsen and himself were going to visit Nero and the drill. Pike couldn't even remember his name 20 minutes before! And later, when Spock was going to beam down to Vulcan, I believe Spock gave it to Chekov again. I don't remember if I heard it or not, but when Spock and Kirk beamed onto Nero's ship, he probably had it then. I'm sorry, but HUH? I love Chekov, don't get me wrong, he's cute, and smart, and Anton Yelchin is great, but giving the captain's duties to a 17 year old kid? As McCoy said, "Oh Good, he's 17." Maybe he wouldn't have total captainly duties, or he's just babysitting the bridge until the Captain gets back, and doesn't make any real decisions, but, yeah. Maybe TOS Chekov had more responsiblities, but I just don't see this AU Chekov as mature enough to be captain if the situation arises. What's Sulu, chopped liver? And in the TOS we know he got to be Captain. See previous thought. Luckily, everyone made it home mostly safe, so it's kind of a moot point, but, thought provoking, for me.

I saw an LJ icon that said, "Jim Kirk and the terrible, awful, horrible, no good very bad day." Yeah, that about sums it up. I have no idea how Kirk could even TALK with having the life almost choked out of him by Spock, and Ayel, and beat up by about everything in between. One tough cookie. Or stupid cookie. Or both.

Friday, June 5, 2009


The Linn County Sheriff's Office just stopped by. A little unnerving, seeing a deputy at your door. Anyway...He says we are being garnished.. Apparantly some sue happy dude has decided that the trailer park that we live in owes him about $750 for some reason. He's suing them for that amount. So, somehow SOMEBODY decided that OUR money that we pay the trailer park needs to go to this person. We haven't paid our lot rent for the month of June yet, we were going to do that today after work, and the deputy said to mail the rent to an address on the papers I got instead of going up to the office. I don't know how WE got picked to be the lucky ones to pay off this guy, maybe random pin the tail on the schmucks that live here, but whatever. I am definitely keeping all my receipts and papers and stuff, and I guess if the trailer park has any questions THEY can call the Sheriff's office. And no, I don't know the guy suing. We have lived here for 2 years, we are buying the place from a private seller. His first name is the same as the suer, but we are keeping up on the payments, and we won't be done with that til sept or so, unless mr. seller is using an alias, but I doubt it. He wouldn't be suing the park, anyway, he'd be suing us. Why the park hasn't coughed up the $750 themselves, I don't know. Wait, yes I do. They're so cheap, they've probably been ignoring him for years, and figured he wouldn't do anything about it. Well, he did. Congrats to us for having to get involved in crap that isn't our business and we know NOTHING about. We have until the end of September to get this resolved, and two or three months of paying our lot rent (about $320) to the Sheriff's office to calm down all parties involved. Ugh. I feel a headache coming on. At least it wasn't anything we personally did, so I'm not too worried. Still, my first thought, and still kinda is on my mind...is...WTF???? Yeah. rant done.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Healthy living through chemistry. Or healthy eating choices. Details.

Went to McDonalds today. Haven't eaten there in about a week, which considering I used to work there, and gained most of my pregnancy weight with Heidi there, is an eternity.

Ordered a Bacon Ranch Salad for myself, a 10 piece nugget meal, and an extra 6 piece nugget for my daughter. I didn't really need a 10 piece nugget, but they sounded good, and I could split the fries with my daughter, and keep the iced mocha. I know it's cheaper than ordering it all separate.

I got home, put the salad in the fridge for later. Found no salad dressing or silverware. No surprise, but no biggie, either. I have ranch dressing in the fridge, and last I checked, I still had some forks. I wasn't interested in the salad, right now. I wanted nuggets and fries!

I ate 3 nuggets, and my half of the split french fries, and felt kinda icky. The strong mocha probably didn't help, and I know Travis said it wasn't that good, but I thought it was okay. I won't gross you out, it wasn't bad, but...dunno...I felt off. I gave up on the nuggets, and went for a walk.

I am now eating the salad, and I feel better. Out of curiousity, I went to the McD's website, I pulled the nutrition facts for roughly what I ate. For a 4 piece nugget, small fry and iced mocha with whole milk, it is 730 Calories. For my salad, Bacon Ranch with Grilled Chicken with Ranch dressing, it was 440 calories, it is 440 calories. I know calories aren't everything, but, it's a start.

Sorry, Double Cheeseburgers, no ketchup mustard with mac sauce, I think our days are done. And can I say Thank goodness.