Happy Halloween!


Jack-o’-lantern (Photo credit: wwarby)

It’s one of my favorite holidays! The day that everyone dresses up in costume and trades sweets!

Who cares that it’s steeped in Christian (and pagan) mythology? Not me. It’s all about CANDY and COSTUMES, people. Candy and costumes. That’s what you’ve got to focus on. Not “the reason for the season” because the real reason for the season is generosity, sharing, and creativity.

When else do we teach our children that they can go up to strangers (ok, neighbors) and ask for candy and receive it? When else do we teach our children that when they grow up, they will go to the stores, and buy candy for strangers? Only on Halloween.

To tell the truth, I’m slightly ashamed of myself.  Usually, I go all out for All Hallow’s Eve and make some sort of really fantastic costume, but this year, I’m just a plain-jane witch giving out candy.  Honestly, I think it’s because the group of friends we have out here didn’t have some sort of ridiculously awesome costume party like our L.A. friends Rose and Or do every year.  Their sort of epic fun-fests just can’t be matched.  (No offense meant to our Chicago-based crew. Y’all are the tits. It’s just that no human can match the unbridled awesomeness of a RoXor party without somehow ending up with a massive party foul or having cops called.  It’s been tried.)  One of these days, I’ll sew myself a dinosaur suit and be as cool as Rose, minus the Ultramarathons. 🙂 One of these days…I’ll actually learn how to use my sewing machine. *smirk*

Anyway, I hope that everyone reading this has a fun time tonight and stays safe!  Remember, it’s amateur night on the roads, and everybody thinks they’re “ok” to drive. Don’t hesitate to take a cab if you have even the slightest inclination to do so.

And eat an extra piece of chocolate for me during the binge.  It’s all calorie-free tonight, didn’t you know? 😉

Chapter 76: Swear Off Power

People are born soft and weak,
they also die solid and strong.

Grass and trees also are born soft and brittle,
they also die dried up and rotten.

This is the reason that
an unyielding and powerful person is death’s disciple,
and a soft, yielding person is life’s disciple.

To be like a well-trained and powerful army,
extinguish power that is strong like a tree,
powerful but easily broken.

Therefore, the strongest should reside below,
while the weak and tender should be elevated.

In Memory of Elwyn and in Tribute to the Future

In Memory of Elwyn, a sweet foster kitten who will be missed.

Yesterday, I lost a foster kitten.  She was barely 6 weeks old. No idea why she stopped eating or why she died.

Elwyn was the only daughter of Arwyn, and she was born in our second bedroom.

Arwyn had to be taken from us only a day after she gave birth to her three kittens because she had tears in her uterus and masticulitus (an infection of her milk gland). I had bottle fed little Elwyn since her second day of life.

Many things occurred to me yesterday, as I held her, tried to keep her warm, and forced fluids…  I wondered why this tiny creature was suffering.  I wondered why I couldn’t do anything to stop it.  I wondered why nature took her and not me.  I thought about how badly I wanted her to be able to live, and live well — and how this must be an inkling of how my mother feels watching me suffer with MS and seizure disorder and suicidal compulsion issues.

A Bit About Suicide

I want to make sure that everyone knows that I want to live.

I talk a lot about suicide.

I’m open with how suicidal ideation and compulsion fucks with my life, and how dangerous sometimes it is, just being me, dealing with the delusion as it pops up in my head — and how I fight it with all the strength I can muster at the time.  But the truth is, always, that I cling to life with everything inside me, even when bawling my eyes out and talking about how I feel — venting the distorted bullshit that the voice in my head screams through me.

The truth of the matter is that I very much want to stay alive and live a very good life.  The truth of it is that I know that I belong and that I have a very loving family and group of friends who make me feel loved and that I belong.  I am blessed in ways I can never be thankful enough for.

Coming off of SSRIs is sometimes like walking through a hall of mirrors that distorts even the most beautiful scene.  Having MS with cognitive fog on top of it can make it seem like you don’t even remember who you are or whose life you’re living.  You get trapped in this chemical loop of “What the fuck is happening to me, and how can I stop it?” that just doesn’t end without being at the ultimate point of frustration and tears.

It takes more than a commitment to living to get out of that. It takes a strong hand pulling you up out of it.  It takes my husband reminding me of where I am right this minute, as opposed to where I used to be. It takes remembering to be in the moment, and that life is something you build and create, not something you simply watch or experience.  That is why meditation is so important, because if you can hear your own wishes, your own words, “May I be safe; may I be happy; may I be healthy; may I live with ease,” sometimes you can drown out the wishes of the compulsion.

The only way to beat the Demon Suicide is to remind it that it has no power over you. You have to remind it that it is a liar, and that you are more powerful than all of its lies, and that it can’t do anything without you being complicit with it.  It’s not enough to not want to die. It’s not enough to not want to hurt other people. You have to possess the power to tell the “kill yourself” command, “NO.”  And everyone has that power. You have to tap into it, regardless of how weak you feel or how much you agree with the delusion at the time, because…

The Liar Demon Suicide cannot touch you. It cannot harm you. It can only tell you to do things. It can only whisper or yell suggestions. It is not your friend.  It is the devil on your shoulder, begging for your demise, wanting another soul.

And this is where I get very Taoist:

You do the greatest good by doing nothing.  It is a very rare circumstance that you can kill yourself by choosing to do nothing. More often than not, suicide requires an act of harm against yourself.

So, if you’re like me, you can piss your demons off repeatedly by simply choosing, when they are at their worst, to sit, to go to sleep, to listen to music, or to exercise… if you can motivate yourself that much.  I tend to run to the bed to sleep it off.

Anyway. Everyone’s life path is different. I just doubt suicide is the way most of us were intended to end our journeys.

Chapter 75: Harm from Greed

The people are hungry,
because they are taxed by their superiors,
who are also hungry.

The people are difficult to govern,
because their superiors have become difficult to govern.

The people make light of dying,
because their superiors demand that they give of their lives generously,
thus, they make light of death.

Man alone lacks the ability to give birth;
to be worthy, focus on precious growth.

Chapter 74: To Regulate Confusion

If the people are not frightened by death,
how can one frighten them by it?

To seem to cause the people fear of death,
and act as the most wonderful (God),
I ought to execute this plan and kill him (that breaks the law),
who dares (break the law then)?

Often there is controlled killing of killers.
For generations man has controlled murderers by killing them,
we’re talking about as far back as when craftsman started carving wood,
infrequently is there no injury to one’s hand when working wood.
The same can be said of cleaving humanity.
(Thus leave the shortening of lives to the Tao.)

Chapter 73: Taking Responsibility for Your Actions

Bravery born out of daring leads to slaughter;
Bravery born of humility leads to life.
These two sides might benefit you or do harm to you.

Isn’t Heaven actually loathsome which causes one to become aware of their Reason?
To be like Saint Jew, fret about it. (Make knowing your purpose your problem.)

Heaven’s Way is to fail to live up to expectations and still be good and victorious;
It is self evident: good to respond to, not to summon like tap water.
Repair correctly and plan well.

Heaven’s Net is greater than great.
God may seem negligent, but He misses nothing.

A Convention Just For Us

There are days where I wonder to myself why I ever went to law school.  Today is one of those days.

I woke up after a really excellent dream.  I had put together a convention for my Facebook friends and their Facebook friends only.  It was by invitation only. Everyone had fun playing board games, dice-rolling RPGs, and watching movies and bands.  All of the bands that played at the convention were friends of the group.  Folks like Schwarzenator, Joyce Lee and The Killing Shoes, and Esque.

I got to thinking today, and living that dream is totally plausible.  I have a lot of event coordination experience, and some truly excellent friends.  I bet I could make one hell of a convention/party for about a thousand people or so.  I think it would take at least a year to plan properly. I just need to make a business plan for it, and get some people on board to help with it.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: why not just get your friends to go to a convention that already exists?  I mean, there’s ComicCon, GenCon, DragonCon, AwesomeCon, and so many others that I could go on… and honestly, it’s because I don’t want to do what’s already been done. I’m not looking to do the same thing that’s already out there. I’m looking to get us computer geeks together in a social atmosphere.  I’m not looking for cosplay. (Though with my friends, I wouldn’t rule it out…) I’m not looking for comics. (The books — funny people, however, I *am* interested in!) I’m not trying to force people into playing games with strangers. I’m looking for a party with friends and friends of friends.

One of my friends, Reichart Von Wolfsheild, started BIL – the Southern California counterpart to TED.  He’s a huge inspiration to me. One of the things I can see happening at this convention is inspirational talks by folks like me who have chronic illnesses who are letting people know how they cope with their issues and live their lives to the fullest.

I think I’d also have some people in the entertainment industry, like folks who are involved in TV or who are professional musicians come and talk about what their daily lives are actually like.  Maybe visual artists too.  I’d call the track “Secrets of the Universe.” 🙂  Because that shit needs to be demystified and de-glamorized.

Anyway, I think getting this idea out of my head and into the real world is the best that I can do for myself and for the world today. It’s a step in the right direction.

By all means, let me know what you think – positive or negative. Just don’t be surprised if you’re negative if I don’t listen. 😉

Chapter 72: Loving Yourself

The people don’t fear power, until a large power arrives.

They lack intimacy in their homes, and lack loathing where they grow.

A man does not object to this;
To be according to (the Tao) do not object to this.

To be Saintly yourself, be aware of your uneasiness;
hold yourself admiringly, since you are precious.

The reason to leave that (uneasiness) is to choose this (preciousness).

Chapter 71: To Know Illness

To be aware, unknowingly, is the highest achievement.

Unknowingly, to be aware (of your illness), is also an illness.

Saints are not diseased. They are sick of sickness.

Only a man who is sick of sickness is not ill.


As one who has a chronic disease, this passage speaks very strongly to me about learning to live with the way your body is, not how you want it to be.

Through The Looking Glass

English: Screenshot of Alice from the trailer ...

English: Screenshot of Alice from the trailer for the film Alice in Wonderland (1951). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This past weekend, I traveled to San Francisco to attend a vow renewal ceremony of two very dear friends.

They had an Alice in Wonderland theme, and the event took place in a beautiful house with a view on the Bay that was breathtaking.

Of course there were the mandatory jokes about how great it was that each of them was marrying their spouse, but to be honest, as someone who had just celebrated her second anniversary with her husband, it was great to see 2 people who love each other so much at 10 years that they’d marry each other all over again.

To tell you the truth though, my favorite part of the event was seeing them interact with their 3 year old daughter, Lily, whom they had given up for adoption to John and Mikio — a wonderful gay couple who came in with her all the way from New York to attend.

And in a subtly-annoying-but-ultimately-serendipitous sort of way, John, Mikio, and Lily got tied up in traffic — so the ceremony that was set to start at 4 didn’t start until after they got there — much closer to 7 — which also happened to be the same time that Grandpa Ray made it to the party. And because of that, it was so much more romantic! Guests from ages 3 to 95 were there, and it was right at sunset, or twilight, if you prefer…

Lily was blowing bubbles through the whole ceremony and dancing and cheering.  And so was my heart.

A child really is the embodiment of 2 becoming 1. You couldn’t help but see the beauty, joy, and femininity of Deb in her, and the strength, intellect, and attention-commanding presence of Jason all present in her at the same time. She made me think about what a child would be like if it were a mixture of Adam and me… and it made me want one all the more.

I’ve been really hung up on getting pregnant with Adam’s child and coming off of my meds in order to do so.  Last week, though, I had to temporarily go back up to 60mg of Cymbalta because I was having suicidal thoughts again.  I know for a fact that it’s a chemical thing, and not me, though.  Life is so great right now, with Adam. We have family here in Chicago who love us, friends who like to hang out with us, plenty in the city to do and to explore. And there are always friends and family members that we love and want to visit all over the country, and even some in different countries.   No, I want to live. I want to bring more life into the world — so any suicidal thoughts — I’m blaming those on medicine, or lack there of.

I was doing okay at 40mg for a couple of weeks, so we’re going to try to bring me back down again to that level over the next 2 weeks. Then we can do the 6 week taper to nothing.

Trying to come off of SSRIs is so much more difficult than I thought it would be. It requires far more patience with myself and with the process than I anticipated, and a stronger commitment to meditation than I previously had.  It can only be a “some days” thing if I’m around friends and family.  If I’m mostly alone, I had better be letting the thoughts go their merry way by order of meditation every day.

But, on the bright side, I’ve noticed a significant decrease in seizure activity.  I don’t know if I can attribute this to the decrease in Cymbalta or to the increase in exercise, or some combination of the above.  Either way: I only had 1 seizure while I was with my friends this weekend, and that made for a great mini-vacation.

All that, and I even made new friends at the party.  In my new, pretty, shiny party dress.

*contented sigh*  Life is good, readers.  Right now, life is good.