Monthly Archives: March 2006

The Story of Medicine

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Okay, I've been thinking about medical stories to share so I can finally join in on a meme.  I've never actually done a meme, and I decided to try one.

Then comes the fun of figuring out which one(s) to share.  I'm afraid my personal medical experiences are mostly negative. I had never really been exposed to doctors until my first pregnancy, and then I think I met every stinkin' one of them [including students, residents, and attendings] in Columbia, MO [University Physicians, teaching hospital, which means they get all the best equipment, and probably the best docs, but you have to deal with students, which means every test, poke and prod in triplicate.]

So anyway, it's not that the docs at U.P. were incompetent, it's just that they were not very compassionate [and some had the dreaded 'god complex' which meant that they didn't listen to anything I said, because I'm a patient and can't possibly know my body as well as they do]. 

So I was sifting through all my medical memories, remembering some of the stuff that was traumatic, but then I thought, why talk about the bad stuff?  There were a couple of funny/positive things that happened during my pregnancies, too, so I'll share a couple of those. 

During my first pregnancy, I was in the hospital for four days when I was about fifteen weeks along.  I had tachycardia [when I was admitted, my heart rate was averaging 156 bpm, with spikes over 180 when the docs pissed me off, which unfortunately happened a lot] and the cardiologist wanted to do some tests to find out why. [Is it just me, or do cardiologists generally lack the organ they specialize in… the woman was a nightmare, honestly.]

So they were doing their tests, and it just happened to be the weekend Princess Diana died, which was weird, but anyway, at one point I had a resident [maybe?] come in to ask me some questions.  We were talking about the fact that I had felt the baby move, and that I hadn't gained much weight yet [I'd been throwing up several times a day for fourteen weeks, so I couldn't eat much yet].

Somehow, he got it into his head that I must be farther along than I thought, because I couldn't possibly be feeling the baby move, and a bunch of other nonsense.  

I told him I knew exactly how far along I was since I knew the exact day we had conceived [May 26, 1997, thank you very much].  He kinda said, "Whatever," and left.

I got an ultrasound later that day, and they confirmed that I was indeed fifteen weeks along.  

Here's the amazing part:  The resident actually came back in, apologized, and said, "You were right."  :-O  Given the experiences I'd been having that week with the other docs I was dealing with, I was truly amazed and impressed with that guy.

The other one was when I was pregnant with Michaela [number three, if you're just joining us].  I'd had a c-section with Matthew [I was 36 weeks, my fluid was low, they induced, Matt went into distress two contractions into labor, and we headed to the OR.  Matt weighed 3 lbs 11 oz, I guess because of the meds I was on, and we spent two weeks in the NICU.  I got to watch the big 2000 election fiasco while I was on Vicodin, woo hoo!]

So anyway, third pregnancy, same complications as with the other two [tachycardia].  They decided to induce again.  I started out dialated to two centimeters, and after a couple of hours on pitocin I was still at a two.

One of the great things about UP, is that they are pretty up on the new wisdom in medicine, so they were okay with giving me an epidural early on in the process.  Plus, with my heart problem, they didn't want to stress me out with pain [hee hee, I wasn't gonna argue with that:-P]

So my parents and Steve are in the delivery room with me, and we're relaxing and visiting, waiting for the pit to do it's work.  I remember that my contractions were never closer than two minutes apart [don't know why, just know it's true.  Even when I was pushing her out, we'd have to wait a couple of minutes for the next contraction to hit so I could push again].

They check me after three or four hours, and I'm still at two centimeters, so they strip my membranes and kinda stretch my cervix while they're at it.  That's one of those things you don't want to happen without being numb.  They told me they wouldn't have done it if I hadn't had the epidural.

So when she was done, I was at a three or four.  A couple more hours pass, and we're still chit chatting.  They had given me a PCA pump so I could click every time it hurt.  I was clicking, but Michaela's heart rate was dropping so they made me stay on my left side.  

The medicine in the epidural was a little off balance because of that, so I could feel cramping on my right side, but couldn't move my left leg at all because most of the medicine ended up on my left side.  That was fun when it came time to go to the bathroom, let me tell ya!

So after, I dunno, eight hours of labor, I was still at a four, and they started talking c-section.  The doctor suggested it, said we hadn't made any progress in like four hours or something, and maybe it was time to do a c-section.

I didn't want to.  I'd had one of those, and it wasn't fun, so I said, "Give me one more hour, okay?"  He agreed, and for the next hour, I didn't talk to anyone.

Each time a contraction hit, I would close my eyes, pray, and visualize my cervix opening.  An hour later when the doc came in to check my, I was complete [10 centimeters] and we started pushing.

One of my pastor's wives had had an epidural with her third pregnancy and hated it because it took away her urge to push.  That's true I guess since I've never experienced that urge [at least not when giving birth] but just because I don't feel the urge doesn't mean I can't do it.

So I pushed twice and Michaela was born.  It's some kind of strange irony, don't you think, that I'm sick, bedridden, and miserable during my pregnancies, but I can push the little goobers out like it's nothing.

So this [finally] is the cool part.  After it was all over, the doctor came in to ask me how I was doing and everything, and he shook his head and told me I was one of the most amazing women he'd ever met.

How cool is that?  I guess it's because I'd gone eight hours without dilating on my own at all, and during the last hour I went from four to ten centimeters.  I was pretty impressed with myself too, to be perfectly honest. Hee hee, so there you have it folks!

Good night. 

Controversy, Continued

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Tomorrow will have to be the medical story meme from Doug's place.  I gotta finish this first.

Last night I talked about my spiritual background.  I hadn't really intended to go that long about it, but sometimes these things kinda get away from me.  I think it was good, though.  It made me realize that between myself and Steve, my background might actually be the better one.

Here's why.  [We have to continue my story to do this, so bear with me.]

When Steve and I met, I was twenty.  I was coming out of a really bad time with my self-esteem [ironically, so was Steve].  I had pretty much decided that I was going to stop looking for a boyfriend/husband, and that men were nice, but not too bright.  I decided I could do without if I had to.

Within a month, I met Steve.  We started out as friends.  He was engaged to some one else, and I wasn't interested in him romantically, so we stayed platonic, and that was good.

I knew before I met him that he was a Christian, and while I respected his right to his faith, I was leery of religious talk because I figured he'd judge me.  Steve has never been one to beat people over the head with religion, so it never came up, you know?  

Well, until we got engaged.  I wanted to go to the courthouse and get married, but Steve had done that with his first wife, and the marriage was a freaking train wreck, so he wanted to be married by a pastor, and to let his family know well in advance [his mom made him swear after his first marriage ended that if he ever wanted to get married again and she told him it was a bad idea that he'd listen.  He promised, but amazingly, Linda liked me so she never had to warn him off.]

Steve and I went to 'pre-marital counselling' which was a requirement along with regular attendance of a church [not necessarily his, but a church somewhere].  Since I didn't really have a denomination [wasn't even a Christian at the time] we went to the Nazarene church.

Again there was boredom with the service, but the people embraced us like family, and because I cared about them, we continued going to the church even after we were married.  It was because of the love of those people that I came to Christ and Steve 'rededicated.'

Things got kinda weird then.  The pastor started out befriending us and kind of taking us under his wing.  We had a discipleship time with him where he taught me about fascinating stuff like entire sanctification and various other Wesleyan Doctrines.  

Steve had been raised in a Nazarene home, his grandparents [on both sides] were Nazarenes, so he was never exposed to anything outside Christian beliefs except to be told that they were wrong.  Some were even dangerous and evil and to be avoided at all costs.  He never learned anything about other religions except that which was taught to him by his parents and other church authorities.

I've been struggling with this whole faith business for months [okay, actually it's years now, but I've only been actively searching since November of 2005].

Not too long after Steve and I became active members of the church.

Oh, you remember my tendency to be a 'scream it from the rooftops' kind of girl with my first conversion experience?  I didn't learn from my first time out, and tried to share what was going on in my life with my friends, who were Agnostic and not the least bit interested in Christianity. 

My poor friend Bec.  We went through some really rough times because I wanted her to 'get saved' and she wouldn't have anything to do with it.  We had a lot of religious arguments, and I almost alienated her completely. Bec, if you ever read this, I'm so very sorry for behaving so badly.

After the first blush of religion, I started feeling depressed and didn't really know why.  Our pastor would preach about devoting our lives to God, and becoming 'holy as He is holy,' and then point out things that weren't holy.  Usually it was anything that was selfishly motivated, but sometimes it was specific things that he felt were selfish, that maybe, looking back now, weren't so bad.

There was also an attitude that he couldn't get people to do what he wanted them to do, and if someone refused him, they were refusing God [because God told him where the people of the church needed to be serving].

I ended up 'serving' in a lot of ways that I'm not cut out for, and the things I was good at, were given to others.  I fell into this big vat of guilt and almost drowned in it for several years.

I remember kneeling by the couch at home one night [Steve was at work, I think] and just sobbing because I knew I could never be good enough or truly worthy of God's love [and the guilt of knowing that he loved me anyway  was there, too. I knew that I didn't have to earn his love, but I still wanted more than anything to be worthy of it.  Probably doesn't make sense, but there you go]

So I was praying and I finally said, "You know what?  I give up.  I'm not even going to try to be holy anymore because it's freaking impossible and this sucks, so I give up."

I swear I heard a voice [not out loud]say, "Good, now I can use you."

Before I got pregnant the first time, I started extension classes through the Nazarene Bible College to eventually become an ordained elder [that's what they call the pastors in the Naz church].  I felt called to preach, and I began the process.

There were several things that happened that made me shelve that 'call.'  One was the little weasel who told me point blank that he would feel 'very uncomfortable' with a female pastor, and that he wasn't the only man who would be. [Grrr 😦 ]

Then I got pregnant and it was a nightmare of health problems and depression and I just couldn't concentrate on much of anything besides surviving the pregnancy, you know?

But there were other things as well.  Our pastor [who had been brand new when he married us.  Like two months new] was having serious troubles with burnout.  He was becoming very legalistic and judgemental, and extremely negative about the people in the church.

He finally turned in his resignation, maybe half hoping it wouldn't be accepted, that the people would realize the errors of their ways and fall into line [maybe, I can't say that for sure, of course, but at the time it was the impression I got.]

I was relieved in a way, and when he left, Steve and I left the church as well.  We moved on to a new church, and after I was no longer under the influence of our former pastor, my guilt and depression lessened considerably.  I began the first tentative steps of figuring out who God was.  Again.  

As I studied and prayed, I began to realize that what I'd been taught for seven years wasn't necessarily what God taught. I was moving toward a God that made more sense than the iron fisted god who would never be satisfied, who would always demand more sacrifice of myself so I could become more like Him, and who could never get enough.

[*NOTE* It's possible that I misinterpreted what was said to me.  I had other things going on with hormones and depression, so my perception was more than likely skewed. I honestly don't know what his intent was in some of his teachings, only how they affected me personally.]

So at the new church, I began to question and look for answers on my own instead of asking others what they thought about it.  A lot of Christians think that's a good way to be led astray.  I've noticed that independent study is encouraged, but independent thoughts and conclusions that differ from the party line? Not so much.

Then I got pregnant again, and had two years and eight months more of being miserable and partially brain dead.

Which is when I began this blog [well, the Blogger one] and this spiritual journey.  I don't want any more kids, and we're in the process of permanently making sure we don't.  That's partially because for whatever reason, I can't focus on anything outside my immediate family during the pregnancy and the two years following the birth. 

There are studies that confirm this [for a lot of women, although probably not all].  But I'm definitely one of those who are affected by this phenomenon, and since I really like my mind when it's here, I really don't want to lose it again, you know? 

But, when my mind is fully active, I start to do research.  I stop taking other people's word for it and go find out for myself.  People who have the ability to hear that a religion is evil [or that the president is a good man] from a religious authority and accept it without question boggle my mind.

I think that people who see things only in absolutes, in black and white, are good examples of people who have never done any research [or at least not much] of their own and looked at information about the other side [from the other side… listening to hearsay from someone else who agrees with your point of view doesn't count].

Up until a few months ago, I literally had no idea that you could be a Christian and a Democrat at the same time [I know, stupid, but I believed my 'authorities'].  I had never read anything about 'practicing' gays and lesbians who are also Christians from the perspective of the gay or lesbian who is a Christian, only from religious leaders who say it isn't possible.

I have done some [limited] research into other religions, only to find that they aren't all that different from Christianity [well, the teachings of Jesus anyway].  I've also been truly disturbed to find that Christians, Muslims, and Jews are 'Abrahamic' religions, and that they all worship the same God, but none of them believe that the other two will go to heaven.  

Those people are the more conservative of their respective religions, not all of them believe that way.

When I look at other world religions, either they don't believe that they are the One True Way, or if they do, they are mostly labelled as delusional fanatical cults[esp. by the other ones who know that they are the One True Way].

So I'm wondering here.  The main theme of most religions comes down to loving [showing respect for, whatever] your creator and your fellow creatures. There are probably billions of people in the world who do that every day of their lives.  Yeah, I'd say that's accurate because most people choose to do good, to help rather than to hurt, right?

So I see God in these people, regardless of their religion, and I love them just as I believe God loves them.  And this is the part that scares the hell out of Steve, and probably all of my Christian friends.

Because if you can know God without first accepting Jesus, than what was the point of Jesus's death on the cross?  Where does the atonement come in?  Did he lie when he said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me." [John 14:6](hit the link on 'me.' It can mean "That which I possess"  what if JC was talking about his teachings, not his person… then anyone who follows his basic teachings, which, by the way were also taught by a lot of other great teachers, can come to the Father, right? 'What if' is all I'm saying.)

Sorry for the digression.  If we follow the 'what if he lied about being the only way,' thread, then everything he said must have been a lie, right? Then the whole Bible is a big book of crap, and we have to throw it all out, right?

I'm sure there's a logical fallacy in that statement somewhere [anyone who knows which one, please share!]

That's where Steve was coming from the other night.  My questioning Christianity and coming up with some decidedly non-Christian conclusions are freaking him out, because if I'm right about all this shit, then everything he's based his entire life upon is crap and he has to start all over in a quest for the truth.

Yeah, I get that, really I do.  But I can't stop this thing I've started.  And now, I think I've finally reached a conclusion about the other post I wrote that originally freaked him out.

The freaky part is toward the end, the first part is a rant about racism.

I'll change the date stamp so it shows up after this entry [maybe, if I can get it to do it ;-)]

Hey, thanks for listening.  Comments are always welcome, and encouraged, even if you think I'm nuts [but, um, if you do think I'm nuts, please be polite about it, okay?  Being mean is, well, mean, so please don't Thanks, I really appreciate it. ;-)] 

I Thought I’d Take A Day Off From This

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*Edited to add, here's the big controversial post [the controversial part is toward the end], which may not seem so controversial to y'all, but there you go.  I decided to leave it like it was, so it's all there, the good, bad, ugly, and possibly heretical[is that a word?]* 

But then I got to thinking about something that happened a couple of weeks ago, and it pissed me off, so here goes.

Steve and I met a dear lady a couple of years ago at our old [Nazarene] church in Sedalia. She had ended up there because she and her husband had been traveling in Kansas City, and while there, he had been mugged and beaten so badly that they didn't know if he would survive. If he did survive, they weren't sure whether he'd suffered a brain injury. When he came out of the coma, they realized that he would have some recovery to do, and somehow he ended up in a nursing home in Sedalia.

Well, this lady said that the people of Sedalia [meaning the pastor and his wife at the Nazarene church] had embraced her and helped her, so she was going to try to make a go of it there, even though she and her entire family were from Houston.

So anyway, this lady is a 'Doctor of Divinity,'and is without a doubt one of the most joyful people I've ever met. She exudes love and just being around her makes you want to praise God.

She nursed her husband back to health, and sold her house in Houston, basically severing all ties to her home, and at the same time began struggling to make a life for herself in Sedalia.

For some reason, she hasn't been able to find a full-time job. She teaches at the local college part-time and has applied for a full-time position several times. They've always told her that they don't have a full time position, but she sees ads in the paper looking for professors at that college all the time.

One has to wonder why she hasn't been hired on for full-time work.

This past summer, her son came to town to visit his mom, and while he was there, he went to some stores in Sedalia. Each time he went into a store, the sales people would follow him around, refusing to let him browse in peace.

Did I mention that he is over six feet tall and African American? Did I also mention that in all of the college, there is only one full-time African American professor [she teaches in the nursing program, and taught there when my mom went through the ADN program as well as when I went through two-thirds of the PN program.]

The lady said that people look at her applications and tell her she's 'overqualified' for some of the jobs she's applied for. I suppose that could be a legitimate reason not to hire some one, but it smacks of bullshit to me.

Is it possible that what she and her son experienced is racism? Yeah, I thought so. Un-fucking-believable.

And the thing is, this shit's so widespread. Not just white people getting all stupid about black people, either. People will get stupid about any race, religion, culture, or sexual preference different from their own if it makes them feel uncomfortable, or if it helps them justify treating another person as less than human. 

The thing is, all people were created to be good. Not all choose to do good, but that doesn't mean that God intended them to be bad. And the vast majority of people are good and do good.

Most people love their families, and would protect them with their lives, regardless of where they are from. And they were all created in the image of God. They all carry part of the divine within them, and I don't give a shit what religion they follow, every human has the capacity to know God intimately, and ultimately, to go into whatever afterlife there is with God's approval.

That probably makes me not a Christian in some people's eyes, and quite frankly, I don't care anymore. Call me a heretic, disown me, or excommunicate me, whatever.

I love my Jesus, and he loves me. He also loves every other person on the planet, and I really don't think he or the Father give a shit what you call them [him, her, whatever] as long as you call.

So seek God, people. Don't expect him to be a magic wand and rescue you from your problems, and then refuse to believe in him when he doesn't. Just look for him in the sunset, in nature, in whatever place you think you can find the true creator.

And when you find him, expect the strength and peace to get you through whatever shit comes your way, but understand that he may not make the pain stop. I wish I could explain why that's true, but I can't.

Shit happens, and there's no rhyme or reason, and sometimes I see the suffering in the world and I get pissed off at God. I mean WTF? you know? I don't have the answers, but when the shit comes down, I have a peace that I can't explain.

I scream and yell and rave at God, and when I'm done, he just comforts me. Nothing about my circumstances changes, but I can feel a Presence, and I know that I'm not alone, and somehow that strengthens me until the next time the shit falls and I repeat the process.

*here it is* 

And you know what? I still feel his presence even though my views on exactly who he is and what he's all about have changed. God's grace has grown beyond what I thought was possible, and that's scary for me, but exhilarating at the same time.

So to make this clear so there's no misunderstanding. I don't believe that "Accepting Jesus As Your Lord and Savior" is the only way to find God. I believe that people find God every day through most religions, and sometimes maybe through no religion at all. Can't say for sure on that, but who am I to say for sure on any of it?

To my Christian friends who read this blog, I have been praying about this for so long now. I've been trying to figure out if this is really true, or if it's some kind of horrible lie to mislead me and eventually send my soul to hell. I suppose it's possible that it is all a lie, that you really can't get to heaven without 'getting saved,' but the more I look into it, the more I feel like I'm still heading in the right direction.

Where does that put me in the church? In your lives?

So there it is, and still I'm confused, and nervous, and a big dumb wuss.

Matter of fact, my instinct is to nix the last few paragraphs. I'm gonna read it again, and if you read this, well, I guess you'll know I've decided to throw caution to the wind and invite whatever comments y'all may have.

The Controversy

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The other night, Steve and I had a long talk about a post I had written, but wasn't yet sure if I wanted to publish it.  Steve stopped reading my blog entries on a regular basis after the first week, so he has no idea what I write about most of the time.  

I did show him the one about Napoli because I had never really gone into very much detail about my first time with anyone before.  Figures that the first time I do, it would be in a venue where everyone and their brother can read it.  Oh well, it's one of those things that if it can help someone it's worth it, you know?

But enough about that, we were talking about my hunny.  Steve and I come from completely different religious backgrounds.  He was raised Nazarene, while I was raised in a slightly more eclectic environment.  My parents disagreed about which denomination to be a part of, so neither one of them went to church.  My grandma [on my dad's side] watched Jimmy Swaggart and Rex Humbard on TV and read her Bible and called that church because she didn't drive and couldn't get anyone to take her.

Unless you count the few times we went to Black Oak Church when my uncle would drive grandma, my cousin Tresa, and me down to the middle of the boondocks, to hear my grandma's second cousin [yes, in my family all that mattered] preach. 

My uncle Jake refused to take us back after the cousin preacher misquoted a well-known scripture numerous times in a sermon ["Father forgive them, for they know not what they do"… he said, "Father forgive them for they know what they do."  Jake threw a fit and said he'd never go back. I don't think he ever has, either.] 

I must confess that I wasn't heartbroken about it since the preaching was boring as well as being scripturally incorrect.  Plus, there were no other kids who went, so it was all pointless.  I was related to half the congregation, too, but I didn't really have anything in common with them, so I just felt uncomfortable being there.

My mom didn't like Jimmy and Rex, and was very vocal about it, so I learned to be suspicious of televangelists, and various other 'Christians' that various relatives had problems with.  [Everyone has an opinion in my family, and most of them are different].  

My mom was always interested in the occult, so I had access to books about Witchcraft and various New Age practices.  I never had her telling me that a certain religion was 'the right one.'  My dad never really talked about his religion, but his values and morals were pretty much in line with Christianity [for that matter, so were mom's, minus the mystical stuff, of course].

Yeah, so anyway, my other grandma was a member of an independent Christian Church [no link to the denomination since that's the point… each individual church pretty much runs itself.  I think there's a loose affiliation, but I have no clue where to find it].

So my Grandma pestered my mom for years to let me go to church camp, and after seventh grade, I finally went.  I remember that I flipped the camera off in group pictures that year.  It was also the year that I watched Stand By Me and it changed my life. 😉 I don't know how many of you have seen that movie, but it's rated R for language.

I really loved that movie, and I still love to cuss.  So anyway, there I was, an all-out heathen in a Christian Church Camp.  Hee hee.  I was myself, and the kids all pretty much liked me, but I imagine the counsellors thought I was something horrible.

No matter.  My nature is to not give a shit what the  'authorities' think of me, and develop my own ideas and opinions, so I wasn't too worried about it. 

I became a Christian the first time when I was eighteen.  I converted at church camp.  It was the first time in my life I had really begun seeking God's face, and initially, I found A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson.  About halfway through the book, it was time for camp again.  It was the last year I was going to be able to go, so I went. 

I was very vocal about my search for God.  I knew I needed Something in my life, but didn't know what it was.  I felt empty, and was trying to figure out how to fill the void.  So at camp, I gave my life to Jesus, and went home.

I am by nature an enthusiastic person, and I was really excited about the new joy I felt and I just knew that as soon as I told my friends what had happened to me, they would all want to become Christians too.

Well, I was only eighteen.  My friends [who may have been Satanists, I'm not really sure] stopped speaking to me.  I had no church family to go to for support, and after a couple of weeks, I prayed and told God that I couldn't do it.  I literally renounced Christianity, and promised that if I lived long enough, I would come back to him later, but at that time I just wasn't strong enough. 

Weird, I know, but typical, don't you think?  I didn't disrespect Christians, but if someone asked me if I was one, I always said no since it was the truth.  I always felt it was more important to be honest about stuff, so I always told the truth as I saw it, and dealt with the fallout as necessary.

I'm still like that [dammit] which leads me to the problem I am currently dealing with. 

Heh.  I've written a freaking book here, so this will have to wait until tomorrow to finish.

Sorry.  I got diarrhea-keyboard [maybe it was that loogie from earlier! 😛 ]

Unbelievable

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Read this.  Am I the only one who feels sick about this?  Bush and Blair talked about attacking Iraq regardless of whether they found weapons of mass destruction or not.  They thought it would be a simple matter to go in, take out Saddam and his army, and rebuild Iraq into a democracy.

Dear God, did they even have one functioning brain cell between them?  Can you say MORON?  Three years after Bushco started this shit, Iraq is in worse shape than it was when Saddam was in charge, and he was a horrible dictator.

I remember hearing that some cultures spit after they say the name of someone they are disgusted by.  One example that I heard several years ago [not sure if it's true, but I'm giving it anyway… if anyone knows for sure, please share] was that when the old testament Hebrews would talk about a Samaritan, they would spit after they said the word.

Yeah, so anyway, picture me spitting on the floor each time I write W's name [in any form].  What a horrible, wicked man.  I am disgusted.  [hawking a big loogie and letting it fly out of my mouth with a big, wet, thwack onto my computer monitor… my aim sucks, so it also lands on my desk, keyboard, shirt, and chin, but damn, I feel better!]

A Break

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Just for tonight. I'm tired, I've been reading all day [which is dumb, I know, but they were really good books and I couldn't stop myself… more about that tomorrow] and I need to turn the computer off now, so this is it for tonight.

I'll see you all tomorrow, friends.