Tuesday 26 November 2013

Religion, Religion, Religion

     Religion is zerious stuff.  People blow things up in the name of their religions.  People kill each other with the blessing of their favored god.  People get bent over cartoons depicting their religious icons.  Even Bill W. gets in the act by accusing people who question the evil done in the name of a religion as not concentrating on the right things.

     Enter humor.  Humor can be a way of saying "Enough." 

     True humor is not designed to be politically correct.  I never cared for P.C. [political correctness, not personal computer] even when it was in its heyday of popularity.  P.C. turned out to be just another justification for censoring ourselves and each other.  P.C. has been replaced by "positive people, positive thinking, positivity" in some percentage of recovery circles.  Because we must be the best recovering people we can be.  We must join the sheeples and the masses in order to gain some of that social and societal acceptability.

     But life and living has got to be about more than assimilation into the masses.  And acceptability does not equal recovery.   

sapphoq needing a coffee very badly says:  Below are some comics about religion for your viewing pleasure or displeasure.

[Codes disintegrate and links break over time.  The links worked as of today and there are no guarantees that they will work tomorrow].

@Oatmeal on twitter (r)
@TheOatmealRss on twitter

This site ran seven years of the omgz comic strips and is now dedicated to Shivian's two books featuring all of the strips for seven years. 

@ohmygodscomic on twitter (not updated at the moment)
@OhMyGodsRss on twitter
@shivian on twitter





Friday 15 November 2013

Egofags in Recovery

One of the platitudes that I've heard "in the rooms" to the point of wanting to puke goes like this:  EGO means Easing God Out.  Frequently coupled with that is the notion that we must strive to become "selfless."  I call bullshit.

Recovery is not about becoming selfless.  We have to think about our selves.  The ego is not something to be avoided or killed off.  Merging into anyone or anything to the point where there is no longer a separate identity is not an admirable goal.  [Possible exceptions might be sexual union between adults and the feeling of inter-connectiveness in a crowd].  The ego-- or "the self"-- is the framework from which we experience others.  Our self-esteem is based on what we think about our own selves.  [Esteem based on a deity might better be labeled as "god-esteem."  Esteem based on others might be an expression of true co-dependency].  When I experience my self as enough, adequate to meet the challenges inherent in everyday living and strong enough to meet some extraordinary challenges, and as a unified or at least a semi-organized front, I [think that I probably] have a better crack at discovering true inter-dependency.  Just as the map for human relations ought to include inter-dependency rather than total independence or total dependence, the map for recovery has room for the self.  I am not interested in becoming selfish nor selfless.  I am interested in the evolution of my own true self.  The expression of my own true self is a catalyst for action. 

Those who claim to be working toward "selflessness" are [in my anecdotal estimation only] egofags underneath their glitzy exteriors.  Who else but an egofag would have the audacity to claim that their god has eased or is easing their egos out?  An egofag secretly may strive for the attention garnered by seeming to possess special little snowflake status.  The egofag, like the failed psychic or false prophet [N.B.: which is "all of 'em," folks], is not satisfied with being an ordinary human being just like everybody else.  In that respect, the egofag is a close relative of the famefag and the leaderfag.

Egofags, famefags, and leaderfags all serve a necessary function.  But then they refuse to get off of the stage after the curtain closes.  They are addicted to other peoples' attention.  They must be recognized for the good work that they do-- and some of them achieve the extraordinary-- and written up in the anals [misspelling intentional] of history.  They are legends in their own minds and they don't allow you to forget it for one instant. 

It is our own FALSE EGOS that we must strive to save our selves from.  A healthy ego is an asset to recovery.  I would no sooner strive to obliterate my ego that I would strive to use the word "we" all the time in all sentences in place of the word "I."  When I got up this morning, I brushed my teeth.  "We" did not brush "our" teeth.  The wait staff in the restaurant who says, "How are WE doing today?" is annoying.  The ego is the psychological center from which I move in the dance of relations.  Why would I want to obliterate that?   

sapphoq itching for a coffee says:  Perform in the play, but then G.T.F.O.  Stay for the curtain call, go to the party, collect the flowers but then go on home.  I am not here to cater to your grossly-inflated FALSE ego. 

Monday 28 October 2013

How Not to Get People Motivated for Recovery from Addictions

Here is a somewhat incomplete list of what to do if you do not want someone to stop some sort of addictive behavior and get healthy.  Or if you want them to flee from your version of recovery back into the streets and possibly to die.

If you don't want them to get into recovery or remain in recovery, then you will:

 1.  Dictate who they can talk to on the telephone or write letters to or hang out with.

 2.  Tell them exactly what they "need to" do in order to get as "healthy" as you are.

 3.  Pull rank.  Remind them that they are problem people and that you have the answers.

 4.  Quote from recovery literature extensively, force them to read it, and teach them how to talk in clich├ęs and platitudes.

 5.  Insist that you know what they need better than they do and insist that you know them better than they do.

 6.  Force them to find a male god similar to or the same as your god whether they are non-theists, polytheists, or other.

 7.  Demand that they "forgive" everyone who abused them in any way and demand that they talk about "their part" in the abuse.

 8.  Show them what "Tough Love" is-- even though you yourself know nothing about the history of the "Tough Love" movement or what an abomination it is-- and show them how to apply "Tough Love" to everyone else around them.

 9.  Take away their privacy.  Living in a fishbowl is oh so healthy.

10.  Give them a damning psychiatric diagnosis that will follow them for the rest of their lives, preferably one that ends with the phrase "personality disorder."

sapphoq itching for a coffee   


Saturday 19 October 2013

When a friend heads back into addiction

Art is still drinking and still claiming that his drinking is not a problem.  Art has not drank in front of me.  And there are no bottles at his home.  Perhaps he is only drinking at camp.  I don't really know.

Art's personality is not being improved by his intake of the drug alcohol.  That is for sure.  I've noted a ruder and cruder Art emerging over coffee in the last week.  Consequently, I've had to make a tough decision.

Art has to go.  Or, to put it another way, I have to make myself scarce as far as Art is concerned.  I have found myself mourning the friendship that we have shared over the past decade or more.  We've had lots of good times, he and I.  We've done quite a bit of traveling and drank quite a bit of coffee together.  But that is done for now.

I cannot jeopardize my own well-being for the sake of another.  Art is not an evil human being.  At this time, I cannot afford to hang with him.  Art has returned to a past lifestyle.  I cannot do that.  I don't want to be around the drama that is Art when he uses.  When and if Art is ready to quit using again, someone else will have to help him.  We've been too close.  I can't do it.  There are other people that I can have coffee with and travel with and have good times with.

We become what we do.  And we become again what we do again.  I wish to journey forward as a human being, not backwards into the bondage that is true addiction.

          Where's the coffee?

Thursday 3 October 2013

Thinking of alcohol as different...

Thinking of alcohol as different from other drugs has caused a great many addicts to relapse. Before we came to N.A. many of us viewed alcohol separately, but we cannot afford to be confused about this. Alcohol is a drug. We are people with the disease of addiction who must abstain from all drugs in order to recover.
~ from the N.A. Recovery Text reproduced on-line at  home.mchsi.com/~ciana/NA_Basic_Text_Fifth_Edition.doc

A close friend of mine recently decided to drink again after more than a decade of being abstinent from all drugs.  Art's justifications [not his real first name] for drinking were many and varied.  At the top of the list was the disclaimer, "I never really had a problem with alcohol.  I could take it or leave it."  But marijuana, he told me, was an entirely different story.  He had been unable to moderate his use of pot back in the days of active addiction.  He decided three weeks ago to take up drinking again.

"How's that working for you?" I asked.  [N.B.  I did not ask with a snarky tone of voice].  "Great!" he replied.  Art assured me that he was not overdoing the drinking, that so far he wasn't having a problem with it, that he was enjoying a social drink when out at the bar with a few buddies.  He told me that "no one wants to hang out with" someone who doesn't drink.  He said if he starts to develop a problem with alcohol, then he will "cut back."

Art was not asking for my help in this his latest endeavor.  I had to accept that.  In many ways, I would be the worst person for him to ask for assistance.  We've known each other since high school days, although we ran in different crowds and consequently never used together. 

There is a problem with thinking that an addict can return to using one drug safely, or can pick up a new drug and use that safely.  What we do is what we become.  If we've done it before, we will get in trouble with it again.  If we haven't done it before, we will get in trouble with it for the first time. 

"Trouble" does not necessarily indicate legal involvement or loss of income or relationships or stuff.  Trouble at the most basic level indicates being in trouble with oneself.  We can lie to others as much as we care to about anything.  [Most of] us do not get away with lying to ourselves.

Alcohol is a drug.  It is a chemical with a specific chemical formula.  It is physically addictive.  The addict who has never drank ought to endeavor to stay clear of alcohol.  Similarly, the alcoholic who has never used marijuana [or another street drug] ought to strive to not go out and experiment. 

A high percentage of people [90% is the commonly quoted number, but the number may actually be higher than that] are not addicts.  They don't experience any consequences from social drinking or social drug-taking.  That's great news!

A minority of people [10% is the commonly quoted number, but the number may actually be lower than that] cannot drink or use safely.  Bad things happen to them and around them when they do.  The addicts among us-- including those who are addicted to the drug alcohol-- may repeatedly endeavor to do it differently with or without excuses, justifications, or rationalization.  And just because addicts [including this one] cannot use safely, it does not follow that no one should.  I am not a prohibitionist.

To be honest, I also do not believe that addiction is a "disease."  I understand the sort of thinking behind this claim but I do not agree with it.  Labeling addiction, obesity, co-dependency, and other conditions as a "disease" is a legal and dimly medical argument to get insurance companies to pay for treatments.  I think that there are some numbers of etiologies underneath addiction.  I prefer to think of addictions as being conditions rather than disease entities. 

I am vaguely aware that some work has been done [in Canada, after being run out of the United States] by the Sobels in re-educating known alcoholics to healthy patterns of drinking.  I don't know enough about it to proffer an opinion about harm reduction in general.  I do know enough to know that I am myself beyond the point of being able to return to social usage.  My social use period was over with almost immediately after I first picked up.  I almost died and I am not willing to risk my life or my health on something that might kill me this time.

I am an addict.  I cannot control my usage once I've begun using.  There are drugs out there today that were not out there when I was using-- crack, beer with lime flavoring, hard lemonade, certain "designer" drugs-- but the bottom line for this addict is that what I do is what I become.  So I don't even flirt with the idea of trying them.  The powerlessness over my addiction for me specifies that now that I am an addict, I personally cannot go back to a state of being a non-addict.  I cannot use safely.

That is not to say that I am powerless over "everything."  I certainly am not.  I have a lot of personal power [N.B. power is not the same thing as control] and I intend to use it to my benefit and probably to the benefit of some other people around me.  Systems-change work involves the use of personal power of many members of a community of activists and stakeholders in order to challenge an archaic system.  I have hope today that justice can be had by people who have been and are being denied justice.  I have hope today that a closed system which demands compliance in order not to suffer set consequences can be mediated to include the freedom of individuality and self-expression.  I have hope today that we can create change.  I've considered the possibilities and I have picked my battles.  We need to change the systems that stifle us.

I wish the best for Art.  I really do.  I hope that his flirtation with drinking proves that he can drink safely or I hope that he is able to stop drinking [again] if he needs to.  And I hope he does not return to street drugs or to the abuse of legally prescribed drugs.  Meanwhile, I have some living to do.

                             Where's the coffee?

Monday 23 September 2013

Vacuuming the Cat

This is a funny video on You Tube showing a cat being vacuumed.  The cat refuses to move and apparently likes the vacuuming.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQAzDVupJPc is where to find this if the embedding thingy doesn't work...

The cat is a calico.  Of the calicos and tortoise shells in my life, I have found all of them to be opinionated.  I've enjoyed them and there is one tortie in particular that left a hole in my heart when she died.  Netta had rabbit fur.  It was so soft.  If she wanted to be picked up, she would sit on the floor near a doorway, just waiting for one of the humans to pass by.  Once she got picked up, she went limp like a ragdoll [and like I imagine Ragdoll Cats to do].

She also taught Twinkle, my red headed kitty who departed for the rainbow bridge this year, how to catch mice.  Who knew they had to be taught?  Netta caught a mouse, killed it, and brought it to Twinkle.  When he tried to kick it back to her, she hissed.  When he leapt upon it, that was acceptable and so she didn't hiss.  Some time after that, Netta and Twinkle came tearing up the stairs and through the cat door.  Twinkle was making excited baby mews.  Netta deposited a dead mouse at my feet.  [Usually, she hid them.  I guess she was showing Twinkle what was expected of a proper cat].  I traded them a saucer of milk for it.

It has been said that female cats are better than male cats at mousing.  Twinkle turned out to be a excellent mouser.  I miss both cats very much.  That is my favorite memory of the two of them together.

sapphoq hunting up coffee

Saturday 14 September 2013

Dangerous Lunatics

Sunday's sermon was on forgiveness. Toward the end of the service, the minister asked, "How many of you have forgiven your enemies?" About eighty percent of the congregation raised their hands.

The minister then repeated his question. All responded this time,
except one small elderly lady.

"Mrs. Jones?  Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?"

"I don't have any." She replied, smiling."Mrs. Jones, that is very unusual. How old are you?"

"Ninety-eight." she responded."Mrs. Jones, would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years and not have an enemy in the world?"

The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the
congregation, and said: "I outlived the bitches."

     Religion has been the butt of some number of jokes, the bane of many a gathering [along with political opinions], and the source of admittedly sometimes heated discussions between theists and non-theists on Twitter [and in "real" life].  I recently received a mass appeal e-mail from an elderly relative written to the un-churched among us asking us to please allow his god to be our god too.  We were to return the e-mail to him after agreeing to this so that way he could be assured that we would find each other in the same heaven after we are all dead.  How unabashedly cheerful! I thought.  Not.

     Since today is Yom Kippur, the Wall Street Journal has published an article at http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-financial-cost-of-religious-faith-2013-09-13?siteid=yhoof2 by Charles Passey about the monies that the faithful spend during the course of their attendance at organized religious gathering sites.  And in order to remain in good standing with said places.

     Folks in detoxes and rehabs for addictions treatment are almost immediately confronted with the word "God" usually followed by "as we understand/understood Him" in the form of The Twelve Had Betters of traditional 'self-help' or 'mutual aid' programs.  If those folks continue in out-patient and with attendance at meetings after their stint in a hospital, they are sure to find people suggesting that they use the group as their "Higher Power" for now.  They will also be "reassured" that without such a "Higher Power" in their lives, it will be impossible to achieve sobriety/ remain in recovery/ sober up/ stay clean.

     Believers everywhere grouse about the atheists, Dawkins atheists, new atheists, Those People who are ungodly Satan worshippers.  Non-believers everywhere grouse about believers, theists, fundamentalists, fundies, dangerous fundies.  Some folks firmly believe.  Some sort of believe.  Some don't believe.  And some don't frankly give a damn.  Contrary to popular opinion, one can be both an atheist and an agnostic.  One can also be an adherent to an organized religion yet be more of a deist [think "generalist"] in actual philosophy and practice.  The shouters proclaim that the "other side" is full of dangerous lunatics.

     We are all dangerous lunatics.  Every one of us [in a general way] is a dangerous lunatic.  Regardless of where we fall on the spectrum labeled religion, we humans [in general] have proven ourselves to be argumentative, explosive, impulsive, full of hate, and prejudiced.  We humans [in general] have also proven ourselves to be capable of peace-making, thoughtful, deliberate, loving, and willing to celebrate our differences.  Is it our individual stances on religion that separates us into petty categories?  Or is it something else?

     Perhaps our ancestors' ability to survive in a harsher environment depended partly on the ability to conform, to surrender individualism in favor of the group, to bond together in order to confront dangers both known and unknown.  In learning to use language as a tool of communication, we've also learned to label.  This is good.  That is evil.  This is acceptable but that isn't.  That I am able to mentally masturbate on these things is a definite sign that I have a First World Life with First World Problems.  People who have to struggle to find potable water or shelter or safety don't have the luxury of massaging their brain cells with supposes.  I bitch because the recent spat between two mega-companies has left me without the ability to flick a switch in order to watch a series about a fictional serial killer for several weeks.  Some other folks worry about their next child succumbing to a poverty-induced disease.  I have many pairs of clean white socks in my dresser drawers and other human beings go without the basics.  I find within myself exists a certain apathy that shields me from the harshness of true poverty and deprivation.  It is my apathy that renders me a dangerous lunatic.  Whether or not I am a believer of any sort, I am allowing myself to be lulled into a state of macro-consumer.

     It is neither my religion nor my lack of religion that determines my state of being.  There is first the accident of birth.  The facts of my birth determined that I would be a native to First World Problems, that I would not grow up in a bombed out city, that I would have access to an education and transportation and leisure.  The genetic code entrenched in my DNA determined the ease in which I would move around this First World.  The lack of genetic diseases or lethal birth defects gave me a pretty good shot at an average or better than average First World life expectancy.  The functioning of my brain influences how I exist and how I think about my existence.  My choices determine my health risks, how I deal with my assets and liabilities, my challenges and what I do with my abilities.  Birth.  Genetics.  Neurology.  Experiences. 

     Any choices that I make within the religious arenas are also determined by the timing and the geographical location of my birth, my genetics and neurology, and my experiences.  Were I born within certain timeframes and geographic indices, I might not have been ever presented with the dazzling array of religions to choose from as an adult.  Had I been born with a fatal genetic mutation, I might not have attained the age of majority or the ability to choose from various religions.  Had my brain functioning been sub-par, my experiences certainly would have been different than the ones that I've had to date.  It is birth, genetics, neurology, and experiences that determine what choices I have even in respect to religious practices and beliefs.  My tentative conclusion is this:  Religion is a function of rather than a causative factor in the makings of us who are the dangerous lunatics of the world as we know it.

 sapphoq itching for a coffee

Monday 2 September 2013

A Stalking That Wasn't

     You know who you are.  You work with my housemate.  You make snide remarks to and about housemate during work, particularly during staff meetings.  Housemate has complained about these things.  Oh well.  

     Then, you had to push the envelope in a big way.  The other day, you didn't appear to notice that I was also there in the public venue when housemate went to say "hello" to you.  You have accused housemate of "stalking" you because we happened to be leaving the public venue at the same time that you were leaving.  Actually, we didn't even see you leaving.  What is your problem?

     All three of us hang out in certain places where the coffee pot is integral to the setting.  I have brain damage.  I am not brain dead.  I am aware of your discomfort with atheism.  I am not comfortable with your "new age" outlook.  So what?  This should not be a big fat hairy deal.  Neither of us have ever attacked your person because of what you believe.  Neither of us have ever called you names.  We are adults.  The places where we hang out are not schoolyards populated by bulliesWe disagree with some things that you say.  You disagree with some things we say.  A disagreement should not be perceived as a threat, period.  

     Your latest public complaint that my housemate was "stalking" you was both spectacular and puzzling.  Calling someone a troll or a big fat meanie fecal-encrusted head or disagreeable is quite different from claiming that someone was "stalking" you.  I know this particular claim of your is false because I was there.  I don't care for this latest drama.  If you really believe that housemate stalked you because we allegedly left at around the same time that you did, I invite you to register a formal complaint with the police.  Go right ahead. 

     Quite frankly, the second that my housemate reports any repercussions from your maniacal twisting of an ordinary event, I will be contacting our attorney.  Meanwhile, just stay away from both of us.  You mess with my housemate, you mess with me.

No Love,
sapphoq itching for a coffee 


Wednesday 14 August 2013

A Progress Report ... Regarding Food

This is an open letter progress report about some changes in my thinking and actions regarding food:

     I never wanted to write this sort of thing.  I always thought that the rehab exercises in which countless addicts are told to write a goodbye to drugs letter was rather corny.  I think the word "addict"-- like the word "addiction"-- is grossly over-used.  Addiction has a precise meaning yet even the professionals among us often use that word when the word "habituation" would serve better and more accurately.  

     Although I have resorted to some of the language I know best, I draw the line at labeling myself an "overeater" or a "food addict."  Those words do not begin to describe my relationship to food or my behavior adequately.  At times I have restricted my intake, especially when I was "dieting" in TOPS.  The numbers on the scale did not dictate my emotions so much as they dictated what my eating habits looked like for several days before each weigh-in.  At other times, I have eaten more than my share as if a great hunger had taken over my being.  At still other times, I ate too much junk and not enough nutritious food.  And sometimes, I have forgotten to eat.  My eating had range to it.  Sometimes too much.  Sometimes too little.  Sometimes an average amount.  

     Forget the disease concept.  I don't believe that addiction of any sort is a "disease."  The disease concept grew out of a need for insurance companies to foot the bill for all of those expensive treatment centers and rehabs that sprung up in the heyday of booming companies invested in making money from the hoards of people who needed to stop and from some folks who genuinely wanted to stop.  I am not a consistent over-eater.  I am not a food addict.  I don't have yet another politicized blasted disease.  I have some really bad dietary habits which have needed intense correction for some time.  I have a condition.  I've had an unhealthy and immature relationship with food.  I am a Foodie.

     The vast majority of people don't have problems when they drink socially or use socially [and yes, I believe that people can and do use socially] or when they fill a script.  But some people do have problems when they do these things.  If they catch themselves early enough, they are able to moderate or stop their habituation.  Those who don't continue on into genuine addiction.  Of those who are successful at quitting, they learn that they can live successful lives without using alcohol or street drugs and without abusing prescription drugs.  Food isn't exactly like that.  We cannot really do without it.

     Many years before I had heard of TOPS, I had tried O.A.  The people who attended the meetings that I'd gone to were all abstinent from certain foods.  Some eliminated-- or attempted to eliminate-- all sugars.  Some spoke about dumping all carbs.  Others added beef to that list.  Still others, salt.  And so on.  I had a sense that there was something about having a list of forbidden foods was not healthy in and of itself.  I knew that we need some carbs, some protein, a few fats, some dairy in our diets.  I went on my way and never looked back.  My food list at the time included a certain regular brown soda, sugar, chocolate, chinese beef brown broth, ice cream, bread in any form, salt.  That list was to change throughout the years.

     I've come to understand that the problem for me is more complex than any singular or multiple categories of food.  The problem isn't even food itself.  My problem is that I like to eat.  The recent diabetes scare was enough to motivate me to truly change my eating habits.  I was no longer interested in having a list of healthy foods and a list of foods to be avoided or to cut out completely.  I wanted to eliminate or at least mitigate my unhealthy eating-disordered behaviors.  And I've stuck with that.  My focus is not on "I can eat this, but not that."  In continuing to strive to change my relationship with food, I have discovered that it is my habits that need re-vamping.

     I eat breakfast and lunch now daily.  [Skipping dinner is not one of my problems].  I've upped my intake of green vegetables and fruits.  I don't restrict my eating anymore because I know that I will be weighed in a few days.  I endeavor to eat a protein whenever I reach for a carb.  I eat a tablespoon full of cottage cheese most nights before bedtime.  And I continue to exercise regularly, whether I want to or not.  My sweet tooth is very much alive although I have found that fruit satisfies it.  I don't treat myself with a sugary food or more on a daily basis.  

     In changing my eating behaviors, my relationship to food has changed.  I have re-learned that in order to change my thinking, I have to change my behavior.  Some folks report that they can do it the other way around.  I am not able to.  It is action that gives life, not just thoughts.  Here are my "ifs" that I live by:  

          If I could think myself into better circumstances I would      
  have done so long ago.
          If I want something different, I have to do something 
          If I wait until I "feel well enough" to do something, I'll be 
  waiting the rest of my life.

I don't identify thinking as positive or negative.  I have borrowed a bit of buddhist thought.  I refer to my thinking as right thinking and wrong thinking.  Right thinking can be positive or negative.  Wrong thinking is not practical or logical.  I continue to eliminate any remnants of magical thinking through any means necessary other than magical thinking.

     This isn't really a "goodbye to food" letter.  It is a progress report of sorts.  I made allowances the other day in my food plan to allow for a small treat.  The world did not fall over.  I did not go home and immediately consume hideous amounts of pastries or chocolate.  [The treat was a salted caramel tart with a chocolate shell.  It was delicious!].  I was not bothered by earth-shattering cravings.  I enjoyed my bit of dessert and then my life continued.

     There is something about moderation which calling myself an "over-eater" or a "food addict" would not have allowed for.  Moderation is possible when it comes to food and in fact is to be encouraged [unless a medical professional advises otherwise].  I am not interested in restricting my food intake for several days before the weekly weigh-ins at TOPS or in restricting myself from certain categories of food as is commonly done in the O.A. meetings that I have experienced.  I want the health benefits that are to be had by engaging in mindful eating.

sapphoq itching for a black coffee with no sugar or white stuff in it 

Monday 5 August 2013

Dietary Changes

After a routine urine test, the doctor came back into the examination room.  He frowned at the paper he held in his hand.  "Your urine came back with traces of glucose," he said.  "I want to send you for more bloods."  I took the paper and left.
The next morning found me [starving] at the blood drawing station.  Four tubes and one bruise later, I left.  The entire next week found me exclaiming at anyone who would listen, "I lost all of this weight and I might have diabetes anyway!"  I was angry.
Never mind that I had abused my physical body for many years via the ingestion of large quantities of sugary snacks, not eating breakfast or lunch consistently, several experiences with yo-yo dieting, and little attention to nutrition.  Even my aborted experience in TOPS and a "successful" maintenance of a 65 pound weight loss for more than a year did not result in consistent healthy eating habits.  And yes, in one year's time, I had gained back 24 pounds of the 65 pounds that I had lost.
I made a decision.  The night after my bloods were drawn, I decided to begin to follow a healthy eating plan regardless of whether or not I had diabetes.  And I did.  I have eaten breakfast every day since that night.  I have eaten lunch every day since that night.  I have eaten fruits and vegetables every day since that night.  I have concentrated on healthy snacks instead of garbage snacks. 
I went back to the doctor the following week.  I had lost two pounds.  "Your bloods came out normal," he said.  I told him that I had been talking with acquaintances who have diabetes type II and I have found no one that follows their prescribed food plans.  "That's why we have so many bad diabetics here," he told me.  "By 2050, one of every three Americans will have diabetes II."
It is now a week later.  I am still following a healthy eating plan.  I think I could get used to this.
cross-posted to several other places

Sunday 21 July 2013


It's Caturday.  Glory!

black half grown kitten resting on brown cushion.  caption under him in yellow reads Terrifying kitty is terrifying.
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The kitten has the stares tonight.  This is the one that plays fetch, runs up and down ladders, rolls over when I roll my finger in a circle, and does a sideways jump.  The picture of him on a brown cushion was taken shortly before he decided that we had to play fetch.

black kitten on a brown cushion w the caption "Aye nao haz puppy" [that's I no have puppy."]
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Kitten is a mischief maker who loves to play.  He plays with the dog's tail and leaps over the older cat with utter abandon.

Kitten informs me that every day is Caturday.

sapphoq needing a coffee 

Sunday 7 July 2013

Must Have Coffee

I love a good cup of coffee.  Coffee is an acquired taste.  It is not natural for any of us to want the stuff.  We have to learn to appreciate it.

I was a tea drinker until one day the tea ran out.  There was coffee-- only coffee-- and I was thirsty.  "Why not water?" you inquire like some health freak.  I've got nothing against water in general.  I drink water.  And not the flavored kind you pay for at the grocery store either.  The problem on that particular day was location.  The water in that particular town was undrinkable.  Period.  Tasted like sulphur.  So water was out.

Actually, I truly don't remember any such day like that day.  I suppose that over a period of time, I decided that drinking coffee was more adult than drinking tea.  By the time I had grown out of that sort of thinking, I had acquired a taste for the stuff.  By personal accounts, coffee makes many people wake up.  They drink it and they get more alert temporarily.  I drink it and it calms me down.  I can go to sleep on coffee if I am tired enough.  

So yeah, must have coffee.  Must calm down a bit.  Or relax.  Whatever.  It's coffee for me please.


Monday 1 July 2013

These Truths I Hold: part 3

These truths I hold to be self-evident, in no particular order: Part 3:

50.  Atheism rocks.
51.  Believing in something just because it "feels" good or right or comfortable is not enough of a reason to believe.
52.  Believing in something just because others believe in it is not enough of a reason to believe.
53.  Evidence, evidence, evidence.
54.  Which god?
55.  Which collection of literature?
56.  Rewriting history does not change what actually happened.
57.  Science saves lives.
58.  Funny how I didn't spot the unicorn in Isaiah when I was a fundy.  I was willing to deal with a talking snake and a talking donkey.  I don't know what I would have done with a unicorn.
59.  Evolution is not something to believe in.  It is something that you accept or reject totally or in part.  There is a common misuse of the word "theory" as in "only a theory" when the word "theorem" might be better suited.

60.  Homosexuality does occur in nature.  Ask any farmer who has had experience with a bull that turned out to be homosexual.
61.  Strawberry plants, blue-green lizards in Arizona.
62.  Adults can be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or asexual.  Sexuality is fluid, not static.
63.  Insisting that "we are born that way" cheapens the fight for civil rights for all civilians.  Some folks may have been "born that way" but we do not really know yet what makes people straight or not straight.  It's a science thang, not a morality/sinner thang.
64.  Adults can identify as male, female, androgenous.  It's called gender identification and it too is not a morality/sinner thang.
65.  Some babies are born with an intersexed state-- which means they may have the genitalia of both sexes present at birth.  
66.  Babies who have A.I.S. [Androgen Insufficiency Syndrome] are genetically male.  Because their bodies do not respond to androgen, they are by necessity raised as female.  100% of A.I.S. female adults are either bisexual or lesbian.
67.  Transfolks who take hormones in the process of correcting their gender to correlate with their perceived gender will sometimes have an un-looked for change in sexual orientation.  The basis for wanting what is referred to as a "sex change" in the vernacular is NOT sexual orientation, as was commonly supposed in the sixties and is still supposed in some circles now.  A genetically male transfolk who is attracted to women may find that she is attracted to men, or both women and men after she begins hormone treatments. 
68.  The majority of cross-dressers [who are not interested in "correcting their gender"] are heterosexual males.
69I am not interested in being "tolerated," "toleration", or "tolerance."  If you cannot celebrate me for who I am and I cannot celebrate you for who you are, then it might be wiser for each of us to not engage each other.  Celebrate Diversity.

sapphoq itching for a coffee says:  Whether or not the United States was started as a Christian nation, we are now multi-cultural.  As a nation of many peoples and cultures and backgrounds, we are not all fundamentalist Christians.  Religion ought not dictate politics.  The public arena should remain secular-- including city, state, county, and national government; public schools [if you want your kids to pray in school then please send them to a religious school of your choosing...]; federal lands; courtrooms; any place that accepts public funding should be bound by secular public laws.  The laws that govern us all should not enslave us.  Not all of us are believers.  Even among believers there are differences.  Please get out of my vagina.  Don't dictate to me who I love or what I do and I will have the courtesy and respect to allow you to love who you love and do what you do.


Thursday 27 June 2013

These Truths I Hold part 2

These truths I hold to be self-evident, in no particular order: Part 2:

30.  DOMA-- the Defense of Marriage Act-- was ruled as unconstitutional today by the Supreme Court.
31.  I haven't had any evidence so far of a stampede of people rushing to marry their pet horses or their favorite zoo giraffes.
32.  "If there were only gay people in the world, that would be the end of civilization" is not a true statement.  Some of us do it with volunteer donors or with turkey basters.  Yes, people who are not straight can and do have kids.
33.  Kids growing up in households where the parents are not straight do not have an increased percentage of "turning out gay" than kids growing up in households where one or both parents are straight.
34.  Religious straight people do not hold the monopoly on morality.  Religious people do not hold the monopoly on morality.  Straight people do not hold the monopoly on morality.
35.  Most pedophiles are in fact straight.
36.  I don't care for NAMBLA either.  I think civil commitment for life is a great idea for people who have been convicted of sex crimes with children. 
37.  The Supreme Court justices are there to interpret the secular law as it exists; not to tread on the toes of anyone's Almighty.
38.  I think the Government should get out of the marriage business altogether.  If two people get hooked by a religious clergy, that is marriage.  If they get hooked by a justice of the peace or a judge, that is a civil union.  Both should have the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities.  Papers that ask about marital status can ask, "Are you in a legally recognized household partnership?" instead.  Or: Single, Together, Divorced, Widowed.
39.  Civil rights for all civils. 

40.  Trolls are defenders of freedom of speech.
41.  Trolls ask the questions that everyone else is too polite to ask.
42.  Trolls with mad skillz are witty and endearing.
43.  Trolls are necessary to life.
44.  An internet without trolls would be a lifeless, dull thing.
45.  The trolls have trolled us by writing all that mean stuff on the internet about trolls.
46.  A wonderful troll forum gave us Anonymous.
47.  Whether you suck or not, you are bound to get trolled sometime.
48.  Trolls do it for the lulz.
49.  Troll the Government.

          ~ to be continued ~