Snowmaggedon 2016.

I wanted to come up with a witty nickname for this post.  Alls fair in snow and war.  Something quirky.  Nineteen eighty snow.

Then I realized there is nothing else to call this storm other than Snowmaggedon 2016, since that’s what everyone else was calling it on the Twits, TheBook, and whatever else out there that I post on.  Maybe it’ll bring more followers if they are searching for blogs about #snowmaggedon2016. Or just #snow?

It has been snowing since around 2pm yesterday.  That means we are going on close to 27 hours of snow.  I’m unsure of the accumulation at this moment, but I would guess that it’s around 27 inches.  27 is just going to be my favorite number at the moment.  I’m tired of doing laundry.  The dogs are sleeping. I’ve shoveled twice, or maybe three times? I lost count.

The wind is blowing so hard outside that I can’t really see too well across the street.  I can barely see Laura’s car now, just little smudges of black in the white snow.  Surprisingly so, my day has consisted of animal care, doing some work, netflix binging, eating leftovers, starting (and not finishing) laundry, and sitting in front of my giant light doing a little light therapy since I haven’t seen the sun in a couple of days.

I let Tripp out earlier in his new coat. He came back, sans coat.  I’ll never find that thing, at least not until the snow stops falling.

 

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Lessons Learned.

I (along with my wonderful friend, Mr. L ) advise a group at my school called Equality Matters.  Equality Matters stemmed from an idea to have a Gay Straight Alliance, but then there was a need for more than just discussions of equality across the lines of sexual orientation.

The group began with myself, Mr. L, two 6th graders, and one 7th grader. It has grown to two sections (6th grade and then 7th/8th grade) with around  21 students involved all together.  Today, my 6th grade group watched a series of videos dealing with racial inequality.  We discussed the differences in the points being made between Jada Pinkett Smith & Janet Hubert.  We discussed Christopher Columbus “discovering” America and how normal schools are taught to not talk about parts of history that are poor representations of our “free nation.”  We discussed the Japanese internment camps, segregation, and the books that portray slavery with smiling faces.  We talked about what schools really teach children, and how its not always in the material but in the things we convey to them.  I feel teaching these kids must go far beyond how to write a research paper or how to solve for x.  It must teach them to think. To question. To be curious about the world around them.  To defy what they have been engrained to believe and think in.  These kids below said it perfectly….so, I’m just going to leave this here:

 

A Broken Mind

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Maybe you’re wondering what it’s like to routinely take medication for anxiety, adhd, and depression regularly and then forget your routine for two days.

Here’s a hint….don’t wonder, don’t be intrigued, because this hot mess is NOT pretty.  Let’s just take a little looksy at how this lack of important medication affects my different “issues.”

My diagnosis of Adult ADD – Inattentive Type makes most people assume that without medication, I must just struggle with paying attention to details and remaining focused for longer periods of time. They think “oh she just zones out” when she forgets her dose. And they’re right if they think that, but they forget the other parts of ADD that can show up. The impulsivity that sometimes manifests itself in vastly different ways: mouthing off or spending money. The inability to properly handle and express my emotions…or hell even coping with those emotions at all. The irritability that comes from dealing with the after-math of my impulsivity or harsh tongue or emotional meltdown or rageful blow up. Those people with their assumptions haven’t been there when I can’t sort my feelings and take it out on a wall (silver lining – I get to brush up on my dry wall skills.)

The fact that I’m diagnosed with major depressive disorder doesn’t mean I sit around and cry all the time. It means I might cry a lot more than normal, but I might also not know why. Lacking medication to stabilize the chemical imbalance in my brain means that I could feel nothing at all, I could feel everything at once, or I could feel angry. Angry that I’m sad. Angry that I’m attached to a stigmatized diagnosis. Angry that people think that I’m depressed because its hereditary. Sure, it can be, but my depression isn’t anyone’s fault, especially not mine, and especially not my parents. I am the product of an amazing up-bringing by caring, loving, involved parents. Sometimes depression just happens, because of a gene carried throughout time and may lay dormant through generations. I guess the cosmos just assumed I’d be able to handle the imbalance. Thanks, stars! And dammit, I do handle it well, especially since I not only do medication therapy but also CBT. I make it and when I can’t, my family holds me up.

Medication for a panic disorder probably makes people think I’m a Xanax junkie. I’m not. I have a fast acting medication, yes, but I opted for the longer acting, less addictive option. And I don’t need those all the time. Rarely, actually. I am lucky to say that the SNRI that keeps the above mentioned chemical imbalance balanced, also acts on receptors that enable me to handle myself in a surprise moment of perceived lack of control. In reality, I am in control of my life in every aspect. But, in those haunting little moments that hang in the balance (that sometimes sneak up behind me to scare me in a moment of assured comfort) I remember that sometimes the things I’ve endured have made their way through the walls to remind me that I can’t do it without support.

I guess it is a big deal. Such a big deal that my therapist made me set alarms today and show her. No more broken mind.

Broken Body?

I can’t believe that I’ve let 5 days pass between my last post. What a horrible blogger I am.

***warning: if you don’t deal well with blood and sickness, don’t read this***

I’m riding the metro to work this morning and I feel this small bump on the inside of the right cheek towards the back. Being the fatalist I am, I automatically assumed it was cancer. Of course, I couldn’t help but press my tongue against it. It was the size of one little drop of water…maybe smaller. Maybe a little larger than a cooked piece of quinoa.  Aaaaand, of course I had to touch it with my finger (no worries guys, I used hand sanitizer prior which means my finger tasted like alcoholic flowers).  I pressed again and suddenly my mouth was overwhelmed with a taste of iron. 

Blood. 

I gagged and pulled my digit from my mouth to see the tip of my finger covered in blood. There must have been some on my lip from the process because the scholarly looking grandpa near me leaned over and asked if I was okay.  Thank god for tissues.  I NEVER have tissues. Point for me for being prepared.  Subtract a point because I created that mess in the first place.  This means at 7am, I am currently at 0.  Fresh start, I suppose.

Speaking of psyching myself into thinking I have cancer, I probably should have posted my train of thoughts after my most recent endoscopy.  Yes, I said most recent. Lucky for my gastroenterologist and my urologist (unlucky for me), my body likes to add reoccuring kidney stones and stomach issues (erosive gastritis, irritable bowel, and constant acid reflux) to the list of medical maladies I deal with. I’m 29 and I’ve already had a colonoscopy and two EGDs. Most recently, after having severe acid reflux and indigestion that made it nearly impossible to eat, I found a new doctor and his endoscopy showed all kinds of loveliness.  A gist tumor at the end of my esophagus where it empties into the stomach, severe erosive gastritis, and erosion in my esophagus as well. The doc assured me that my tumor was most likely benign (yay, no cancer!) BUT that I need to see a specialist and have it ultrasounded (apparently, ultrasounded isn’t a real word…screw you Webster) and then removed. I’m on 40mg of prilosec a day, a restricted diet, and I have to drink Gaviscon before meals. Gross. If you’ve never had Gaviscon, its like swallowing something as thick as  Anyways, you best believe that I believe that tumor to have grown and its taking over. Thank you over-anxious mind. Appreciate it!

Two weeks after my endoscopy, I passed blood. There’s nothing scarier than a toilet with your own blood in it. I’ve seen it with kidney stones but never dark blood from my intestines.  And the back pain that accompanied it made me sure that I was dying from the inside out. Couldn’t take anything for the pain either, thanks erosive esophageal gastritic (made up another word) mess. My next gastroenterologist appointment is Monday, so maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll schedule my second colonoscopy before I’m thirty.  I’m starting to wonder if I could get a new body, this one seems to be broken.

In other news, can it be the weekend yet?

Idiom, you idiot.

First off, just enjoy the picture attached up above.  We are awesome.  I look a little like  I belong in fight club, T reminds me of Popeye the Sailor saying “put em up put em up” and L… well she’s just awestruck by our muscles.
You ever think of those sayings…THOSE SAYINGS…that a lot of people know, especially from where I’m from (in the south, of course) and think of funny meanings behind them? Like, where did the saying “colder than a witches’ tit” come from?  Did someone actually identify a real witch? And after this, did they request to feel said tit? Most importantly, was it cold enough (or at all) to use it to compare against other cold things?  I’m curious to see how many people are really comfortable enough that they are just going to walk around talking about witches’ private parts.  Freaks.
Makes ya think, right?
Last night, my best friend asked me what other ways there are to say “angry.”  I start rambling a list of words, beginning with livid and fuming, which he quickly told me were “too strong, too strong.”  I said “mad,” and he looked at me like I’d slapped him with my use of such a mundane, boring version of angry.  Finally, I said….”beside myself – like saying I am so angry I am beside myself.
Then, it hit me. ONE OF THOSE PHRASES.  And because my brain is so special I think it means to be so mad you’re jumping outta your skin and standing next to yourself.  Like maybe  you become so angry that you start to shake and you shake so hard that you split into two kind of like a cell duplicating itself.  Or something.
Also, this whole time I have been perusing the dictionary in my brain, trying to figure out what the name is for phrases like those mentioned above.  Mind you, I’m the daughter of a VERY well-read, intelligent, and cultured english teacher (I’m not sure what culture has to do with this, but whatever, my mother is lovely). I’m sure that at some point in my life she (or one of her teacher friends who became like second-mothers to me) taught me the word for it. I kept wanting to say “cliche” which works…but the word I was really looking for is IDIOM.  I like it because its so close to IDIOT.
My favorite is “who let the cat out of the bag?” I can’t help but imagine Henry David Catreau being let out of a bag that he was being kept in.  He’s a cat so of course he enjoys climbing into bags and boxes – but have you ever closed a box or a bag that a cat is in? It’s scary.  They become little angry pissed off gremlins with satan in their veins and start yowling and freaking out.  Hell cats. They become hell cats, because SOMEONE just HAD to let them out of the bag.
Meowzers.

Why I Say Amazing/Awesome

This past Christmas at my dad’s, I heard my aunt slyly sneak in a mocking “Awesome, Awesome, Awesome” when next to me as we admired my Dad’s new tv set up in his room.  Here’s the thing, I had just said 10 seconds prior “That TV is awesome, Dad, just amazing.”  A moment of silence passed (as it normally does with my Dad as he is doing his hallmark “I heard you, I’m just thinking…gimme a min.” and I repeat “So Awesome.” only to hear my aunt echo me moments later. I pretended to not hear her. But I did.  And it bothered me a little, not because of what she said but because she doesn’t know why I say things like that repeatedly.  I’ve never told her, it’s not her fault, I just haven’t shared that part of my introverted attempting to be an extrovert self to her before.

I say awesome and amazing because they are comfortable go-to-words for me when I’m unsure of what to say.  WAIT – I don’t want that to sound like I say them without meaning them.  I mean what I say, MOST of the time. This is one of those times that I meant what I said.  Awesome and amazing are comfortable positive words for me.  When writing, I can use all kinds of exquisite tasteful reach out and touch the feeling kind of words – however, when I speak it all seems to me to sound a little off, a little unfeeling, a little rehearsed.  Maybe because I get nervous? I don’t know. Maybe its the introvert in me holding the reigns of the extrovert just so that it can speed forward but not break the human barrier.

Did that make any sense?  It did to me.

Just like I say “oh that sucks” for my negative go-to-comfort word.  I’m an awkward, very anxious kid, and I feel sometimes that people in my family don’t realize that about me…because with most of them I have shared my issues of anxiety with, in conversation from time to time so they at least know I’m a little tweaked to the left diagonal of normal (wherever that may be).

I’m not one for new year’s resolutions but maybe I should try harder to be open with those around me. Just a thought.

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Meet Henry

I have decided that you readers out yonder (as we say in Kentucky – not really…okay, maybe) should know a little more about The Animal Kingdom.  Sometimes, I feel like The Animal Kingdom could be its only little miniseries of a blog or blog or whatever….these animals in my household (the pets, not L & T, although they can sometimes be animals especially when not fed on an interval basis – hehe) are ridiculous.  Absolutely ridiculous.

So, first in line will be our newest addition to the Taylor – Newby – Green household (my god, we are just too20151128_120254 much aren’t we?), Sir Henry David Catreau (see the resemblance? I see it, shut up!) henry david thoreau
His name prior to me saving him from the depths of pet store hell, was Hunter.  Because he liked to hunt things. No shit.  He’s a cat –
they’re predators.  He’s one of a kind though.  He h
as the fast cycling of an unmedicated person with Rapid-Cycling bipolar disorder. Henry will be sweet one moment and absolutely crack addict wired the next moment.  He’ll be curled up on my chest, asleep, and purring only seconds later across the room tackling our shitzu with the force of a linebacker. I’ve seen him torture our sweet Saki Samuel into hiding under a Christmas tree hoping he won’t be noticed. **Bad hiding spot, Saki, Sir Henry David Catreau thinks of the tree as his mini-kingdom.** 

 

Henry often climbs on parts of the house that he shouldn’t be able to climb on. Like screen doors, Christmas trees, bay windows, rod-iron railings, the bigger dogs, my legs, my back.  It’s painful, especially when its a body part.  Just this morning, I was sitting on the couch and Henry jumped up from where he was behind me sleeping, and proceeded to jump on my back in an attempt to climb up my t-shirt.  His nails were out so not only did he climb the t-shirt, he also climbed my back.

His favorite thing to climb, is the screen door.  He’s a lunatic with the backdoor.  I don’t even think he wants to go outside as much as he just 20151227_142011.jpgwants to climb to the very top in hopes that we have placed a bell he can ring to notify the cat-gladiator world that he has DEFEATED THE GAUNTLET!  See below, for his latest victory run on the GAUNTLET!

And of course after all that hoopla and carrying on, he lays down next to his frenemy, Saki Samuel, to take a little snooze before hunting again.

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Tamir – As 12 year olds do…

When I was little, I used to run around my neighborhood with toy guns – water guns, cap guns, wimpy bb guns. I used to shoottamir plastic BBs with my friends-a scraggly crew consisting of 2 little white boys (brothers, if I remember correctly) that were always so dirty from full spring days of tackle football, a black kid with a gap between his front teeth but a nice smile, a freckly tow headed pale girl who helped me navigate the neighborhood, and my best friend at the time would sometimes make an appearance when she was spending time with her dad.  There was a smattering of brothers and sisters older and younger than us that clung on the outskirts of our little group, whether to wrestle with us when we did something wrong, or to point us in the “right direction.”   I felt like we had our own little ecosystem and honestly didn’t think much went on outside our world.  I didn’t pay attention to the cars that drove by and I didn’t wonder what they thought – were we a danger to our community? No. Did we look like it at times? I’m sure.

We played football, we raced bicycles, we drank kool-aid, we played hide and seek, told ghost stories in the old woods, and caught crawdads behind our house, played tag, chased one another around with the BBguns that didn’t even sting when they hit you.

At times we would sit around and wait for one another. Sometimes with BBgun in hand, practice shooting the different imaginary mind made targets around us.  I’d even go as far as to say that I probably pointed it at people driving by, crouched down in the grass being as incognito as possible. Pretending. Alone and pretending, as 12 year olds do.

Like Tamir Rice was doing. Maybe he was alone. Maybe he was waiting for his friends, as 12 year olds do.   As I did.  As many kids do.  Children now have airsoft guns, that look a lot like real guns but so did ours back then.  They have BBguns.  They play with and against one another.  They shoot at targets alone.   What’s changed?

Despite time changing throughout the years (although in this  I must admit I’ve seen kids be so enveloped in the games they are playing that they forget the reality around them – as in, stop playing that game and listen to me teach you things!!), I still see kids playing outside. Cops and robbers. Good guys and bad guys.  Pretending. Playing. As 12 year olds do.  As Tamir Rice was doing, sitting on the playground.

The difference? I was a white kid living in a low to middle class neighborhood.  He’s a black kid.  A black CHILD, age 12, with an air-soft gun.  Maybe he didn’t have parents who told him to not point it at people, maybe that would make things different, maybe not.  Hell, as an adult I’ve rolled around in the leaves hiding from my nephews in Tennessee pretending to shoot things at one another.

It makes me sick that Tamir was killed not just for being a child, but mainly for being black.

The Holidays

I haven’t posted in some time, and for that I am very very sorry. Life has been busy lately and this seems like the first time I’ve gotten to sit and breathe and just be.

There’s something about the holidays that has the ability to make me epically sad and ecstatic at the same time. It’s somewhat of a mind fuck to be honest. I think it’s due to seeing family and going home only to have to turn around and come back. I miss my parents all the time. I miss the comfort and laid backness that is my old stomping grounds. And when I’m there, I desperately miss my home in Maryland.  I think about my dogs and cats, my family, my home and how relaxed I am there as well.

It’s conflicting. I miss home when I’m home. I feel guilty about wanting to be home when I’m at home, whichever home I mean at the time. 

It’s just hard. But, it’s the Holidays.

Where’s Adam Sandler When You Need Him?

Let me tell y’all about Thanksgiving.  This is the first year that I didn’t fly home for this holiday, and although I missed my family I definitely had an eventful time at home.

This was also my first year teaching somewhere that we got off the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It made my break seem a week longer than what I’m used to.

Anyways, a majority of my break was spent binge watching “How To Get Away With Murder” with Tay on our couch, playing Madden 16 on the xbox while relaxing in my indoor hammock, and preparing to cook on Sunday for A Crew Thanksgiving. For those who don’t know, the Z Crew is comprised of myself, Cindy, Laura, and Tay…Laura’s nickname LGz sparked us to all refer to ourselves in the same manner – CTz, MTz, CCz, and LGz. 

Our first Thanksgiving in the lovely Taylor Haus of Ill Repute consisted of a ridiculous amount of cheese especially when 2 of the 4 of us try not stay away from large amounts of dairy. Hell, I drink almond milk nowadays with my cereal. I think there were around 3 pounds of cheese in the Mac and cheese. My gods, it was perfect though.

Turkey. I touched a naked, raw, turkey. If it were up to me, that damn thing would have worn a sweater. I hate the feeling of raw meat and poultry. I’m gagging thinking of it, right now. If you’re lucky, I’ll post the video of me cleaning (or trying to) out the naked bastard. It went like this….

Taylor: come on, sweets, time to clean the turkey out, I can’t do it with one hand.

Give it some colace, or mag citrate, that’ll clear it out.
Me: okay, I’m coming.

Tay: you have to get the gizzards out, and the neck. 

Me: wait… What?  I didn’t sign up for turkey innards.

The next five minutes were me staring at this giant 16lb bird, poking it occasionally, gagging constantly. 

Why didn’t we get turkey breasts, like my mom said?  Why do I have this giant bird, naked and slimy in my sink, for four people?

Taylor wouldn’t stop laughing at my meager attempts to unhook the legs of the turkey from one another to really do much else, so Laura came to the kitchen to help. She informed me that the legs were bound by skin from the turkey that was stretched to make the legs stay closed.

Me: wait, what?  Skin?  I don’t do skin.
Laura: Move, let me do it.

I stood back in horror as my hero dismantled the turkeys bondage skin and removed gizzards…IN A PACKAGE.

I watched Laura and hummed Adam Sandler’s turkey song…couldn’t remember all the words but the comic relief helped in my head.

Me: how they going to do that?  Take things out, package them, and stick them back in and close it up with SKIN? twine wouldn’t work?

Next thing I know, I enter back into the kitchen to see Laura remove the neck…which looks like a thing I won’t mention, in the unlikely case that you have virginal angelic eyes. Let’s just say, I screamed. Maybe not outloud but on the inside I was terrified of the turkey…thing…that was just pulled from the turkey’s butt, or what exactly had I been reaching into?

You know what, I can tell I’m not mature enough for this, and that this turkey diatribe is going no where it needs to. Wait for the video.

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-CT