Monday, May 22, 2006

UNCLE RAY 5/22/06

My Uncle Ray died this weekend. He was old and a stroke took him. His wife my Aunt Mary died before him and my cousin Cindy died before her. Two other cousins and their families are still around.

Uncle Ray dressed up as Santa Claus one christmas delighting me as a child. My Aunt Mary let me eat Lucky Charms one afternoon. She didn't think that the rule about breakfast foods being only for breakfast was one she should enforce.

Aunt Mary was a stay-at-home mom and Uncle Ray was a bus driver. He used to take the old people on chartered tours. Cindy lived in Sri Lanka and on a reservation. Later in life, she became a doctor.

I miss them. When people die, we lose one person. The dead person loses everyone.

I don't care much for waiting "to be united" in a christian heaven that I don't believe in. Nor to I take to talking to dead people, channeling them, or calling them back in seances. Life is for the living.

One thing I can say about Death-- Death is ALWAYS inconvenient.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Try on this perspective of the world around us!

If we could shrink the earth's
Population to a village of precisely
100 people, with all the existing
human ratios remaining the same,
it would look something like
the following:

57 asians,
21 europeans,
14 from the west--
including both
northern and southern hemispheres,
8 Africans.

52 females,
48 males;

70 non-whites,
30 whites;

70 non-christians (not the same 70),
30 christians (not the same 30);

89 [assumed] heterosexuals,
11 [assumed] homosexuals,
[n.b. the bisexuals are
left out of this count];

6 people possess
59% of the entire world's wealth--
all 6 are from the United States;

1 (yes, only 1) has a college education,
70 cannot read,
1 owns a computer.

80 live in substandard housing,
50 suffer from malnutrition;

1 is near death,
1 is near birth.
[hmmm--or is it
more than one
nearing birth?]

When one considers our world
from such a compressed perspective,
the needs for acceptance,
celebrating diversity,
and education
become glaringly apparent.

If you woke up this morning
with more health than illness, you are
more blessed than the million
who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the
danger of battle,
the loneliness
of [false] imprisonment,
the agony of
torture, or the pangs of
starvation then
you are ahead of 500 million
people in the world.

If you can [choose to] attend
[or choose to not attend]
a temple,
church or other religious
meeting without
fear of harassment, arrest,
torture, or death..
.you are more free
than three billion people in the world.

If you have food in the
refrigerator, clothes on
your back, a roof overhead
and a place to sleep then
you are richer than 75% of this

If you have money in the bank,
in your wallet, and spare
change in a dish someplace,
then you are
among the top 8% of
the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still
alive, you are very rare,
even in the
United States and Canada.

If you can read this post,
you are more
fortunate than over two
billion people in the
world that cannot read at all.

thanks to jennifer for passing this on. ~sapphoq

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

CUSSING 5/2/06

*sign made at the sign generator site on the web*

After my car accident, I spent almost two months sleeping twenty hours a day, drinking a lot of coffee when I was awake, argueing with some bitch from the office at Running Sores over the telephone about forms she wanted me to fill out and which I could not make any sense of [sample question: What could you have done to avoid the accident? answer: Kill the bastard who decided he could smoke one joint before driving my car into a house. The lawyer suggested that I could please send the forms to him to fill out from then on], telling my 86 year old mother-in-law some rather filthy vile jokes-- none of which regrettably I remember now-- and cursing my head off.

I am not suggesting that pre-tbi my mouth was pure as the driven snow. It wasn't and neither was I. Post-tbi though, my cursing accelerated into a frenzy. I became total talking trash. Hubby would cringe every time I opened my mouth in public. Inserting the word "fuck" and variants at random-- several times in each sentence-- did not do a whole lot for my image or relationships with any medical personnel. It didn't do anything to endear me to the public around me either during the four hours or so that I was awake every day.

As a child, I didn't curse very much at all. I didn't talk much either. I was a quiet child. I came into my own with language as a teen. One time, my friend Peggy and I were walking the streets of Newark, New Jersey when some guys in a car made a rather crude suggestion to us. I screamed out the viliest epitath of my vocabulary at that time. "FUCK OFF!" The guys left real fast.

Peggy decided that perhaps I would enjoy seeing the play Grease after all. I did. At the show, several nuns in front of us went hysterical with laughter when one actor used the words "fucking A!"

My fuck memories pale in comparison to my vocabulary for the first two months after my tbi. Finally, one physical therapist told me that I could learn to control the cursing. Cursing is a universal problem for the recent brain-injured. I had read that somewhere but no one ever suggested that it could be self-remediated. I immediately set out on a course of language modification. That involved thinking long enough and hard enough for different words to show up in my damaged brain. [I have a form of mild expressive aphasia, though no one had told me that at the time]. I found that endeavoring not to curse was far easier than picking and choosing which social situations called for a mild showing of the four lettered words I know.

After about a year and a half of almost no cursing, I became healed enough to consciously follow simple rules. Eileen or Nancy = yes. Family dinners = no. Court appearances = no [with the attorney quietly cueing in the judge that my self-regulation was perilous at best under stress]. Sandi = yes. Most doctors and hospitals = no. While driving = yes. While driving with husband as passenger = yes with a cavaet: Be prepared for him to claim that I had become the potty-mouthed driver.

~grumbly sapphoq