No, it was the herring who did the juggling.

No, it was the herring who did the juggling.
Tiny little ginsu knives. Really very dangerous. One false move and they could have filleted themselves.

Friday, January 29, 2010


I made it to the concert! And it was AWESOME.

Also awesome are my new concert shirt and hoodie. I absolutely love metal concert merchandise.

I often find it disconcerting to return to the `real world`after a metal concert. The real world is so bright, and so loud, and is populated by so many irritating people. Yes, I am aware that a metal concert is loud. But it`s a different kind of loud; it`s deep, you can feel it in your bones, and it is awesome. Also, the limited light of the concert helps balance the intensity of the sound.

So while I am often irritated that the real world isn`t more like a metal concert, I am at least pleased that I have the option of periodically escaping into the dark awesomeness of metal.

And my exciting real-world tasks for today include:

Buy cat food. (Maybe if I do this my youngest will stop yowling pathetically when I try to feed her the high quality, and not cheap, food from the big bag I bought only recently.)

Finish a second load of laundry. (It turns out that I own, and wear, a surprising number of metal concert shirts, and all but my newest are dirty. These shirts aren`t exactly appropriate work attire for me, but hey look, I seem to have just now discovered one unexpected benefit to being off on sick leave yet again. Now sure, if I had a choice I would pick the ability to consistently earn enough money to support myself over the freedom to wear concert merchandise on a daily basis. However, I don`t seem to have this choice right now, so at least I am comfortably attired in yoga pants and a shirt that says Pure Fucking Metal. Who needs to earn money to pay for one`s mortgage, right? Sigh.)

Go to the food library*. Buy lemons. Go home. Make lemonade.

So yeah, that`s my day. And chances are I won`t be well enough to do all of it anyway! Awesome.

* Food library = grocery store. This is a Metalocalyypse reference, which probably is made clear in these screencaps from the very awesome episode The Curse of Dethklok.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You dare to challenge God?

I am in a foul mood.

Why? Because I am in so much pain I can barely think, I keep throwing up in my mouth, and the muscles in my right hip and foot are determined to cramp up by shortening themselves to what feels like about 10% of their original length. Oh yes, and because I am supposed to be going to a metal concert in about 3 hours. And not just any metal concert either. No, I have a ticket to see an awesome band (Arch Enemy)...again. This is my third attempt to see them. The first time I managed to get myself to about 100 metres from the concert when I was hit with a porph attack so bad I had to go home. The second time I had a ticket I was too sick to even attempt to use it. I will be most annoyed indeed if I am unable to make it yet again today.

I was recently re-watching the Dethtroll episode of Metalocalypse, and I was struck by Cardinal Ravenwood's line that I've used as the title of this post. To put this in context, Dethklok has summoned a troll and Cardinal Ravenwood is squabbling with ... uh ... with that Satanist guy whose name escapes me right now. Anyway, Cardinal Ravenwood gets huffy with Satanist Guy for suggesting that the troll and other such creatures are as strong as God, which leads to the "You dare to challenge God?" line. I like this for many reasons, not the least of which that I'm an athiest with a fairly strong disdain for religion. So yes, I dare to challenge God.

Ugh. I had a religion/health rant all planned here, but I'm in too much fraking pain right now. I'll save it for later.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Do you know how many of these stinking hot toddies I have to drink to keep on a happy face?

One of the reasons I enjoy this particular Golden Girls episodes is because it is one of only a few in which we see Rose acting snarky. I've always disliked when characters are written too consistently, such that they show little to no variation from their "type." Rose is almost always kind and polite and generous, but in this episode she snaps at Blanche and Dorothy when they're all stuck together with the flu. And I particularly like what she says when she snaps - that she is finding herself in need of alcohol in order to hide her flu-induced grumpiness.

Now me, I don't drink alcohol (it is one of the biggest triggers for one of my delightful illnesses) but holy CRAP do I ever understand the concept here. It isn't just the actual symptoms that make chronic illness difficult; it is very hard indeed to present oneself in a pleasant and appropriate manner when, for example, one has thrown up five times in the last two days, spent a total of several hours unable to move because of temporary upper body paralysis, haven't slept for more than two hours straight in a week, etc. I find that the people close to me, my family and friends, are usually very understanding if I am acting quiet, or sullen, or snippy with them. (I try very hard not to do this, but it doesn't always work.)

However, one cannot bite the head off of strangers in the line at the grocery store because their loud voices are stabbing into your head like a large collection of knives. And one certainly cannot lose it at one's co-workers when they complain to you at length about how awful it has been for them to have a head cold for the past few days. This latter example has happened to me on several occasions, and a couple of times the co-workers knew very well that I have, in essence, had a migraine and the flu* every day for years. And I'm not talking about someone mentioning in passing that they've had a cold; I once had a co-worker (a health professional, no less) go on at me for 10 minutes about their stuffy nose.

Now let me be clear here that I truly do not believe that "normal" (i.e., healthy) people have an obligation to constantly pat us ill folks on the head and tell us how sorry they are that we're sick. Not at all. But for the love of the gods, is it so hard for people to devote even a tiny portion of their attention during a conversation to the perspective of the person to whom they are speaking? I wouldn't complain about the size of my home to a person living on the streets, as I can imagine how this would be upsetting and offensive to a person without a roof over their head.

This issue of consideration of and for other people is one of the things that irritates me most about this species of ours. I think Dorothy's facial expression here nicely represents my feelings about this:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Welcome to Mordhaus

Given that this is my first post ever, I suppose I should say a bit about my blogging intentions. However, to do so I have to actually know my intentions in this regard, and I can't say that I do.

I have chronic illness and pain. Despite my best efforts I seem to be getting more ill and more impaired, and as a result the last few years have been...well, shitty. Sure, I still have some pleasant or even good experiences, and I don't spend every second of every day in agony. On the other hand, I haven't had a day without pain in so long that I literally can't remember what that feels like. (My best guess is that I last experienced a blissful pain-free 24-hours sometime early in this century.) I also have the priviledge of having a sleep disorder (i.e., narcolepsy) and some gastrointestinal and muscular problems on top of my pain, and I am continually amazed at the creative ways my various symptoms can interact with, and intensify, each other.

It has been a rough decade.

I often ponder the distinction between whining about one's troubles and facing/coping with/adapting to them. I intellectually understand the difference between these behaviours, but one of the many joys of chronic pain and illness is that it can be hard to tell the difference when almost all of your attentional capacity is devoted to the liquid fire that has appeared to replace all of the fluids in your body. However, I don't care nearly as much about other people's opinions of me as I did in the past, and I've come to realize that I am willing to take the risk of being viewed as a whiner if it means that my cogitating helps me figure out how to make my life less shitty. And if my yakking here is at all useful to any of the many other people who have to deal with pain and illness, then I say "yay."

Ok, I'm going to wrap up this oh-so-exciting first post by answering two possible questions that might occur to any people who somehow meander by this blog:

What do herring have to do with anything? And why in the world are they juggling?

Well, my friend, if you're asking this you clearly haven't watched enough of Golden Girls. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Anyway, if you read the herring references at the top of the page you might be able to come up with some way that Rose's words can be interpreted in light of coping with chronic pain and illness. Feel free to do so, as did I, but when it comes down to it I just fraking love that Golden Girls scene and the mental image conjured by the phrase "herring juggling act."

What is Mordhaus? Why are you welcoming me to it? And do I really want to be here?

No, you probably don't. Mordhaus is the wicked cool (read: dark and creepy) home of the band Dethklok from the animated show Metalocalypse. This show is brilliant. Should I actually continue to post to this blog I'm fairly certain there will be many posts that reference Metalocalypse. I have found it to be a very effective distraction tool, and it seems as good a place as any to end this post.