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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Alois Bell

Photos of receipts going viral is kind of fun to follow.  I've never once, even thought about writing something on a receipt other than the dollar amounts and my signature.  There's been quite a few stories lately about random bills and receipts with things written on them.

My favorite was a good story, about a Red Robin family, with a VERY pregnant wife.  The manager added in the computer a coupon and called it Mom 2 Bee, and gave her meal free.  I thought that was sweet.

This one.  Not so much.  First of all, the woman, Alois Bell, is a minister.  She wrote she gives God 10%, so why should this waiter get 18%.  It might sound logical at first.

However, if you really are giving God 10%, you are giving God 10% of your TOTAL income, not of one restaurant bill.  You're a pastor.  You are in the word of helping God's people.  That means everyone, just so ya know.

And if you're going to be cheap, don't admit who you are and that you are a person of the cloth.  This will just go into my reasons for not wishing to have any part of organized religion.

What have I gotten myself into?

I have a ... date Saturday!   I don't date.  I fall for friends, coworkers, professors, etc, but I don't just date someone.  And yet, Saturday, I am.  I'm so not cut out for this.  I imagine awkward conversations, weird feelings and potential heartbreak.  Oi Vei.

I think I'd rather have MS than date someone.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

finally, a flu day to myself

The last couple of Avonex injections have been coincided with lots of things to get done.  Therefore, I've had to just suffer through flu day and not deal with it.  Today, finally, was flu day, and I had nothing to do.  I was able to just sleep and be.  I enjoyed it.  I've rather missed it.  It was miserable, and I was up for most of the night feeling feverish.  Even so, I've enjoyed the day as much as one can.

I saw a new doctor this week.  I wanted, and the hospital scheduled me, for an appointment with a local neurologist.  That will be much more helpful than my wonderful doctor, who is too far away.

I'm in the examination room.  She comes in, and introduces herself, but tells me I can call her Yvonne.  I just smile and warmly say hello.  She then looks at me, and says, "You don't recognize me, do you?"

I don't and have no idea where I would know her from.  All the doctors from the hospital were male, so that can't be it.

She then tells me she was a nurse for me at Camp Howe years ago.  Her name is familiar to me at this point.  Thing is, I can't remember if I liked her, or disliked her as a nurse.  Now, she's a doctor.  That's pretty cool.  As a doctor, I like her anyway, even if I didn't back then.

Friday, January 25, 2013

365 posts

25. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards and just do what you know is right?
I think its always the time.  But it's so hard to do.  This question is impossible, because there is always a moment to calculate rewards and risks, and a moment to just do what is right.  I guess, its always better to do what is right and not spend time thinking or worrying about risk and rewards.  

26. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
In many ways, I think I'd be young.  I have the personality of someone in their early 20's.  But my body physically, would be in it's 50's, I'm sad to say.

27. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
I definitly would.  I'm analytical, and I'd try to work within the confines of the law, but if I had to, I'd break it.    I'm not sure what laws I would break. Speeding seems the most likely.  I'm not certain that there's many laws I'd face that would help someone I loved.

28. What makes you smile?
Memories.  Great memories of summer camp, of people I admire or enjoy to be with.  Moments when I am proud or feel accomplished.  Cute puppies.  Gilmore Girls.

29. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
I don't think so.  I try to do a lot of what I say.  I tend to, try at least, practice what I preach.  

30.If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?  Be accepting.  Tolerate others.  Learn to celebrate diversity.  In all aspects.  If someone doesn't agree with you, that doesn't make them a bad person.  That just means you have a difference of opinion.  That's ok.  Agree to Disagree.

31.  If the average human lifespan was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
Wow.  I'd be almost dead by now, or at least facing mortality in the fairly soon future.  I think I would have spent more time worrying about having a partner or children.  Right now, I still see time for those things and while I'm pretty sure I don't want children or my own, it's not out the question yet.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

winter, work, wages and words

It's flipping cold right now.  Granted, in much colder in many parts of the world, but for here, its a deep freeze kind of cold.  I think its going to get to 20 below tonight.  Today was a high of 6.  I'm talking farenheit here, cause of course, I'm in the US - Massachusetts.  It's cold.  Even I'm cold and I'm seldomly cold.

I was in Virginia last week.  I went to celebrate Christmas with my family.  I work the day after Christmas, so I went to celebrate in January.  When I left, it was snowing.  I was a little worried about my train, but it was still running.  I got down there.  The first day was lovely.  Then, it snowed down there.  It barely snowed, but school was canceled in the area on Friday.  Then, I came back.  I came back to it snowing.

The snow has stopped, and there isn't much of it, but now, it's cold.  Very very cold.

And the family.  I really want to love my family.  But, they make me so nuts.  I find the whole thing depressing.  My nana is really old.  She's almost 90.  She's the last of her siblings to still be alive.  She's forgetful, lost her sight and hearing and generally, not good.  I'm sad to say, the next time I go to Virginia will probably be for her funeral.  Of all the family down there, she's the one I really like.

My dad also isn't doing all that well.  He has Parkinson's.  It sucks, big time.

With all that going on, I can't find compassion for them.  I have so much hostility in me.  After I was there about 2 hours, I remembered why I haven't been down there for 4 years.

And work.  I don't know what is going on.  They aren't paying their bills.  They aren't talking to the people we owe money to.  That's something I would do, not something a huge corporation should be doing.  Are you kidding me?

And the pay cut with the social security increase has hurt me, pretty big time.  It's only like $30 a paycheck, but its $30 I can't afford right now.  I can't wait until I get my W2's and can file my taxes.  That refund will help a bit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

365 posts

16. Have you done anything lately worth remembering?
No, I can't say I have.  I've been a little petty lately.  I'm not proud of that, and I suppose that is memorable, but not for a good thing.  Tai Chi maybe, that will be worth remembering I guess.  Maybe it will turn into a lifetime thing.  Maybe.

17. What does your joy look like today?
Children.  Children having fun, learning, taking risks, and enjoying life.   That's joy, pure and simple.

18. Is it possible to lie without saying a word?
Yes, definitely.  Not saying something is also a lie.  Especially when it's something that you should be saying. Sometimes we do it to protect ourselves and other times we do it to protect others, but its still a lie.

19. If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?
Not long at all.  Geez, I speak so horribly to myself.  I can't imagine even making a friend that treated me the way I treat myself.

20. Which activities make you lose track of time?
Reading, surfing the internet, scrapbooking, talking with friends

21. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
I would teach camp related things.  My best memories and life moments came from teaching staff during training and during the summer.  I loved teaching them how to teach, how to work with behavior problems, how to do their jobs.  It was the best time of my life.

22. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?
Multiple Sclerosis?  I'd love to not have that in my life.  I think maybe I'll regret the single life.  I like it now.  In fact, I prefer it now, but maybe one day, I'll get lonely.

23. Are you holding onto something that you need to let go of?
Anger - with myself, my friends, my family.  Jealously with all the same people.

24. When you are 80-years-old, what will matter to you the most?
My health.  I hope it will be good by then!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

bad moods

I'm totally in a cranky mood.  Nothing seems to make me happy.  How do I get myself out of this??

Thursday, January 10, 2013

star gazing

I spent a long time outside last night.  The sky was so clear and I could see tons of stars.  It felt like I could see every star in the universe.  I love looking at the sky.

At camp, we would often star gaze with the children.  While laying on the grass, I enjoyed to tell them the story of how the stars came to be.

It was long, long ago.  All kinds of animals roamed the earth.  This was before people were even here.  It was sunny all the time, and animals played, sang and danced in the sunshine.  Life was good and they enjoyed the sun all day, everyday.  Night never existed back in those days.

Then, one day, the animals started to bicker.  It was just a little bit at first, but it quickly grew.  The animals became jealous of each other and could often be heard calling each other names.  The elephants told the squirrels they were better, because of their size.  The fish told the birds they were better because they could swim anywhere they wanted.  The earth was no longer pleasant.  The animals were so mean to each other.

Mother Earth was displeased.  She tried to talk to the animals.  She tried to make each one of them see that they were valued on the earth.  It would work, for a little while, but soon, the animals would start fighting again.  She didn't know what to do.

One day, the name calling and fighting was especially bad and she was very frustrated with all the animals.  She took a big blanket and threw it over the earth in complete frustration with the fighting.

The animals were shocked!  They never saw darkness and all of a sudden, everything was black.  They called out to Mother Earth, "oh please, make this darkness go away!  We want the warm sun back!"

After a while, Mother Earth thought they learned their lesson.  She told them she would take the blanket away, but they could not fight anymore.

The animals promised to get along.  That promise was soon broken, as they went back to their old, angry ways.  Teasing, name calling, meanness and arguing were common place again.

Mother Earth got so upset, she put the blanket back and refused to remove it.  If that was how they wanted to behave, then she felt they could live in the dark forever.  

The animals begged and called to her to remove the blanket.  She ignored their pleas.  She refused to remove the blanket.

After a long time of darkness, the animals figured out Mother Earth was not going to remove the blanket.  They did not like the darkness though.  They started talking to each other to try and figure out how to get the blanket off.

The giraffes were the first to try.  They stretched out their long necks as far as they could, and tried to grab the blanket.  But, they were not tall enough.

Next, the squirrels tried.  They climbed to the very top of the tallest tree there was.  They took a leap, hoping to grab the blanket!  But, they were not tall enough.

Finally, the birds tried.  They thought they could fly way up high to the blanket and yank it down.  But, even they could not reach the blanket.  

All the animals thought it was hopeless.  They kept talking and trying to figure out how to get that blanket off.  None of them was able to get to it.

Then, they had an excellent idea.  No animal could do it on their own.  But maybe, if the animals all tried together, maybe they could do it.

They started with the biggest animals.  Elephants stood strong and proud.  On top of them, the horses stood.  On top of them, the donkeys stood.  And so their tower continued.  Animals sitting on top of other animals until they were taller than even the tallest tree.  

The birds finally crawled up to the top.  They stood there, higher than they had even flown earlier.  They took a deep breath and soared off into the skies.  They got close, very close to the blanket.  Their beaks poked through, leaving holes in the blanket, but they could not bring it down.

The whole tower of animals toppled over.  The animals were frustrated, but they thought they might be able to do it.  They built their tower again, this time with each animal standing a little taller and prouder than the first time.  The birds climbed their way to the top, then took flight, aiming for that blanket.

Again, their beaks poked though, but they could not pull the blanket off.  The tower toppled again.

The animals felt they were so close, they sure if they tried one more time, they will see success.  Each animals helped the others to be just a little bit taller.  This time, the dogs stood on just their hind legs.  The giraffes held their necks as tall and straight as they could.

The birds climbed up to the top.  They took off, soaring higher than they had ever been before.  And yet, still not enough.  Their little beaks poked more holes into the blanket, but no matter how hard they tried, they could not get the blanket down.  All the animals collapsed onto the grass in exhaustion.

Mother Earth had been watching all of this.  She was very proud of the animals and how hard they worked together.  They were not fighting, but helping each other every step of the way.  She came to talk to them.

"My friends.  I've been watching you.  I saw how well you all worked together.  There was happiness once again on the Earth while you helped each other.  I am very proud of you.  I am going to take the blanket away, because I saw how well you could behave with each other.  But, I am afraid you will soon start fighting again.  Each day, I will give you plenty of time to enjoy the sunshine.  At night, though, I will put the blanket back, to remind you that you should always help each other and work hard to take care of each other."

And the stars you see at night?  Those are the holes that the bird's beaks made when they tried to take the blanket off themselves.  As you look at the stars, remember to help others and work hard to take care of others.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

365 posts

Back again!

9. What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?
I guess there's a lot of things I believe and other disagree, but then again, those same things, there are plenty of others that agree.  Politics, religion, all those controversial things - they would fit.

I guess my future, I seem to disagree.  I feel like I will be alone forever, and that is the way it is meant to be.  I'm fairly content with it.  Most people think that's just hopelessness talking and that I'll find someone and be better off with them.  I disagree.  I am good on my own, and I don't have to worry about becoming a burden to someone.

10.  What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?
I'd have to say open up in therapy.  I used to keep so much to myself, that really, there was no point whatsoever in going.  With this therapist though, who I've been seeing almost a year, I'm much more likely to open up.  I'm fairly proud of that.  I think that it's going to turn into being more honest and open with my friends.\

11. Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?
Well, for others, I think its a great thing, when they can cry.  I think it's a great release for them.  For me, I think it's a good release.  I feel better after a good cry.  But, for me personally, I feel like crying in front of others, its weak and I hate doing it.

12. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
I would handle my MS differently.  I would be more honest with people about what I really think and feel about it.  I'm mostly honest on my blog, cause well, no one I know irl knows about it.  But to those I know in real life, they know very little about how I really feel about MS.  If I knew I wouldn't be judged, I'd be more honest about it.

13. Do you celebrate the things you do have?
No, not nearly enough.  I have amazing friends, a brother and sister that are better than no other, a roof over my head, a kind landlord, enough money for what I need (although, more would always be nice!), a supportive boss, a job with wonderful staff and kids (mostly) and most of the time, I focus on what I don't have.  I want to get much better at celebrating the good things!

14. What is the difference between living and existing?
Living is enjoying all that life has to offer.  Existing just happens.  Everyone exists, but not everyone truly lives.  Living is necessary for a fulfilling life!

15. If not now, then when?
That's a question I need to ask myself daily.  It's a great motivator and a great way to approach each day.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


This girl, who is now and adult, but I knew her well as a camper and then staff member, well, she recently got married.  Her now-husband is the best friend of my brother-in-law.

Anyway, she texted me a couple weeks ago and said her mom (who is CRAZY in her own right), wanted to set me up with someone.  Would I go to a barbecue in which this girl was also invited?

I agreed, thinking it could be fun, and it would be easy enough.  There would be lots of people and who knows, it could lead somewhere.

So yesterday, the mother calls me.  She said she gave this girl my number and she'd call me in a few days to set up lunch or coffee or something.

BARBECUE.  Summer.  What the heck just happened?  That's not what I envisioned, and I don't date.  I suck at it in fact.  I end up falling for people I am friends with first, and thus relationships happen.  It definitely doesn't come from blind dates.

Now, I'm stressed about this woman calling me and what exactly I am going to say.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Things that make you go hmmmm

I think I know what spasticity is.


On the night of my shop, I typically wake up around 4am with a fever from my Avonex.  Last night was no different.  

I got up, ate something, took some Tylenol PM and went back to sleep.  I wonder, if this medication thing is the wrong choice for me.  I know lots of people with MS who don't take meds, and I know people who MS who do.  How do I know what is the right choice for me?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tai Chi

I've signed up to be part of a MS study.  It's taking 3 weeks of Tai Chi and seeing how to that helps people with MS and improving balance.

I did a study a few years ago at the same place.  I've lost feeling in the bottoms of my feet since then.  The first time, I could feel the smallest bristles, and this time, it was like the 4th and 5th ones I felt.  That's sad.

Tai Chi though, is going to be very cool!

Friday, January 4, 2013

365 posts

I've determined, posting one question a day is going to get very difficult.  Perhaps I shall do them in bunches :)  That will be a bit more manageable.

4. What gets you excited about life?
The promise of potential.  Anything can happen at any time, and I'm usually excited about that.  I'm not talking about the bad stuff - I mean the good things.  Great things can happen every single day and I look forward to the little surprises life has to offer.

5. What life lesson did you learn the hard way?
That would definitely be what happens when you mess with friends and relationships. I hurt someone I deeply cared about, and although we're civil to each other when we see each other, the friendship is no longer there.  She was someone I considered a good friend, and now she's barely an acquaintance.

6. What do you wish you spent more time doing five years ago? 
5 years ago, I was in college again.  I was a great student, but I will I made more social connections.  I always felt out of place, because I was the "old" returning to school student, but I think it let me avoid things too.  I could have done more, met more people...made some other friends.

7. Do you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know?
I think I'm pretty good at asking questions, especially about subjects that interest me.  I like to learn.  It excites me.  I guess there are things I could ask more questions about things I don't care so much about to learn, but, that's kind of life.

8. Who do you love and what are you doing about it?
I think I'm pretty unlovable these days.  There is one person that I will always love, I reckon, but I'm not doing anything about it.  I can't and shouldn't.

Interestingly enough, I took that question to mean romantic love.  I love lots of people in a friend love way.  I should make sure to appreciate them more.  That would be good, but I think I also tell them that I love them.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I'm so ridiculously proud of myself tonight.  I brought up a subject that I've been struggling with a lot lately in therapy today.  It was so hard to bring up, and I stumbled and stuttered and muttered around, but I brought it up.

It's a pretty big deal for me.  It seems silly, and one should be able to talk about anything in therapy, but that's not me.  And therapy started, and we made small talk and talked about the holidays, and I thought I could carry on and not bring up the topic I was avoiding.

Then, I just told her I had something to talk about that was really difficult for me.  She was patient, kind and just let me ramble, for what seemed like forever.  (I have to give her credit - someone pussy footing around like I was would drive me insane.  Totally not a profession I could ever do!)

And finally, I spit it out.  It's not even someone I would post on here, but I guess I feel better about it.  At the very least, I talked with someone who wasn't judgemental about it, and just listened to me.  She wasn't (at least that I could tell) horrified or appalled by it.  She just listened, and offered a perspective I hadn't thought of.

I guess, it's still there and still something that worries me.  But it's not a burden that I am carrying all by myself.  I'm going to be ok.

365 posts

3. What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?

You won't die from MS.  You will die with MS.

I was completely scared about MS.  I had no idea what to expect, or what it meant.  It felt very much like a death sentence.  I didn't know which way was up and I felt like I was just sucked punched.  I was so ridiculously scared.

My doctor said this and it put a whole lot into perspective.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

365 posts

2. Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?

I compare myself to a lot of people actually.  It's never good, but I compare myself to my coworkers, my friends, my boss, even strangers.  Generally, I see the really good things about them and the not-so-good things about myself.  I guess its a good way of looking at the world, but not a good way to internalize it.  

If I am looking at someone else poorly, and think I'd better, stronger, whatever, then I only end up feeling bad about myself.  It's kind of a no-win there.

365 questions in a year

  1. When was the last time you tried something new?
Well, I tried some new foods on New Year's Eve.  I guess that counts.  I also tried the water aerobics class at my Y before Christmas break.  I enjoyed that, and will do it again.  Other than that, haven't tried a lot of new things lately.

My goal, within this month, will be to try something new.  Perhaps knitting - that's not new, but something I haven't done in a really long time.  I'd like to get back into it.  So, I shall knit again - and learn a new stitch, so it counts for something new.

If you can make it through the night, you will see another brighter day.

Today is a much better day.  With vacation last week, and a brand new year, I had a lot to do.  I feel very accomplished when I get to cross many things off of my to-do list, and that's the kind of morning I had.  I was just crossing them all off.  It was very nice.

I think I have our field trips worked out for Feb vacation - that's rather nice.

All the billing is done and sorted for December vacation.  Also nice.

I have a few more things to do tonight, but nothing too taxing.  I'm pleased with the day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013

My last thought of 2012 - "Is something really wrong with me?  Am I crazy?  Is there hope for me?"

My first thought of 2013 - "The world would be much better off if I wasn't around anymore.  If I could find the perfect way to die, I totally would."

Ugh.  I hope it's just tiredness, annoyance and fatigue.  In the morning, I hope to feel better.