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2014-12-26 08:12 pm
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2013-11-23 10:12 pm
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mmexlibris: (uncle einar)
2013-09-17 07:38 pm
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"It is women who love horror. Gloat over it. Feed on it. Are nourished by it. Shudder and cling and cry out-and come back for more."  ~Bela Lugosi
mmexlibris: (Default)
2012-10-23 11:51 am

Hallowed be these frozen fields

[Starlight - The Wailin' Jennys]


So I wanted to write today. This means using my phone to write while waiting at the bank. Writing a blog post in Evernote, wondering if I'll ever get to finish it. Splitting my focus between my Dad and this tiny screen that I somehow got syrup on from breakfast. Nephews love to share the sticky, bless.

Let me back up to July and how real life finally succeeded in eating my head completely. The weekend before the Fourth of July, my Dad took my mom home from skilled nursing care, against the doctor's orders. This not only lost her spot in a posh, six bed private facility, that was basically a private home, it reinforced her belief that she could order my father to do anything and he'd just cave. He was convinced he could take care of her at home, with the help of a part time caregiver. He'd completely forgotten how bad it was in January when mom first entered detox.

All well and good until she started to get violent. She started by scratching and biting my Dad, grabbing at the steering wheel when he was driving to our group therapy appointments. She got into the glove box, grabbed a screwdriver and stabbed the caregiver who was trying to restrain her from the backseat. There were multiple trips to the ER, which all resulted in nothing happening. Because she had insurance, no one wanted to have her committed against her will, even though it was clear to everyone that she was a danger to herself and others. Tina, my sister, attempted to get her in to see an addiction doctor here in Ventura, but she ended up in the ER here, completely out of control. It took five people to get her out of the car, including a police officer. (Not the first time that law enforcement was involved in this whole hot mess.) After a desperate, exhausting night in the triage area, she was discharged to the local psychiatric facility, who refused to take her because of her advanced age and disabilities. So he took her home again.

I don't know how, but Tina finally convinced him that she needed real help, and that the closest geriatric psych facility was at UCLA. After trying to wait for a bed for a direct admit, he ended up just taking her down to the ER at UCLA. Without the caregiver. With her in the backseat in improvised restraints. How they arrived without killing themselves or anyone else, I have no idea.

[cont'd in October]

She was admitted as a 5150 (a danger to herself and others) to UCLA's geriatric psychiatric facility, and spent 17 days there. They are an acute care facility only, and at the end of the 17 days she was moved to a large, albeit beautiful, skilled nursing facility in Oxnard. Her behaviour was such that she ended up getting herself put in the dementia ward, not because she lacks the mental faculties, but because she won't stop screaming. She was scaring her roommates, so she got herself into her worst possible scenario. She's since had one trip to the ER for being utterly out of control, scratching and hair pulling the nurses. She screamed herself hoarse. We stayed away, and didn't reward her outbursts by running to her rescue, though it was difficult to convince my dad that that was the best course of action. Since then, she's had her antipsychotics increased to the point where she's mostly stable. She has good days and bad days, though recently the good have outnumbered the bad.

In the mean time, my dad has been living in my guest room. The Saturday after mom was admitted to UCLA, he called my sister in a panic, not knowing where mom was. So Bill and I took off to Lompoc, took him to the ER, got him gone over with a fine-toothed comb. No cardiac event, no neurological event, a little higher than normal blood pressure, but nothing impending doom-like. We insisted he come home with us, and he didn't object. Since then, he's had an appointment with a neurologist, who deferred a decision on his driving ability to Tina & I. (Chicken shit.) And today, 10/23, dad is finally getting his psychometric testing done with a neuro-psychologist. This is an extensive four hour series of tests to determine his mental capabilities and determine better if it's dementia or pseudo-dementia, which is is how major depression presents in the elderly.

He has good days and bad days, too. If things are emotional and stressful, as they are when we go home to work on the house in Lompoc (we're preparing to sell the property), then his memory is terrible. He literally doesn't remember things from minute to minute. When he's relaxed, well-rested, and fairly calm, he does much better, but it's still about a thirty minute loop.

So I haven't been able to do any art, because he follows me around everywhere, with 'helpful' suggestions on how I should do everything. I can't wash the dishes without getting an opinion rendered. He's talked about rewiring my garage, would be cool, except I've seen the plans he had for putting in a lawn irrigation system at his own house... I appreciate the thought, but I don't want to get this massive project going to have him lose his focus and drift away from it in the middle. He's also helping out with the household expenses, which is good, because there's no way I could go back to work now.


One thing I've discovered about myself in the midst of this shit storm, is that I still love my dad. I still crave his approval, to an unhealthy extent. And I am an emotional sponge. I feel everything he feels, and it's been like having a hurricane in my head. There is so much frustration, confusion, sorrow, anger, and hopelessness, it's making it difficult for me to get out of bed in the mornings. I'm filled with rage at my mother for letting him get so far gone, and only focusing on how his memory loss could work to her advantage. And having to be in proximity to her again also makes me brush up against the reality that I still love her as well, and I still wish I could fix whatever has broken her head and her heart so terribly. I'd gotten to a place where I could sit with the fact that there was no making her happy, that nothing anyone could do or say would appease her, but the little girl in me is still desperate to make her smile. And I kinda hate that part of me, too.

The one good thing I've been able to do is get some spinning in, because I can sit and relax while I'm behind the spinning wheel. I'd forgotten just how much I adored that headspace. My hands itch to make stuff, don't even really care what it is. I have great plans for my studio, for forging copper, and for more mosaics, tiny this time, not huge. I just can't get anchored long enough to do any of it.

I felt like I was making headway before this landed in my lap. I haven't been to any artist gatherings, I haven't worked on anything new, I've got a commission languishing, because I can't get enough minutes stuck together in a row to be productive. Right now, I'm sitting in a Starbucks inside Target, with a gorgeous view of the vast empty parking lot, palm trees, and a pale blue autumn sky, writing this while waiting for him to break for lunch. I feel like I should post this right quick, before the next phone call jerks me away.

So we're coming up to Halloween, and I'm still (mostly) alive in here. I'm just neck deep in real life, and it doesn't seem to be letting up any time soon.

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I promise.
mmexlibris: (Default)
2012-05-28 05:43 pm
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What is your greatest fear?

I think I may have forgotten how to write.

The fuck is that all about?
mmexlibris: (white noise)
2012-01-06 07:16 am
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Depression lies

I've wanted to write about it for a long time, but the words just won't come. Hence, a link.

Art helps. Family drama makes it worse. Watching a community you used to participate in, like someone in the nosebleed seats, well... It actually helps, to know that the story goes on. I miss you all.

Let's hope the New Year holds great things.
mmexlibris: (A2A Gene Says Relax)
2011-08-13 09:12 pm
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mmexlibris: (typewriter)
2011-02-08 11:37 pm
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[quote] Pockets

We Need Enormous Pockets
From "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" by Jonathan Safran Foer [orig]
mmexlibris: (Default)
2011-02-06 02:15 pm
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"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." ~Samuel Beckett"
mmexlibris: (Default)
2011-02-05 11:43 pm
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"Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there." 
~ Henry Miller, Sexus
mmexlibris: (Default)
2011-02-03 10:04 am

[writing] Working the muscles

Writing exercise from Inkpunks.

Part One:
Write a paragraph of narrative, 100-150 words, in sentences of seven or fewer words. No sentence fragments! Each word must have a subject and a verb.
Part Two:
Write a half-page to a page of narrative, up to 350 words, which is all one sentence.

(Original fic, Captain Wednesday, Sea of Dust)

She woke to the sound of shouting.  The ship was listing, the world tilted.  In a breath, she was moving.  Barefoot, she was on deck in a heartbeat.   Her firstmate pointed.  The veil parted on the beast's back.  It was magnificent, broad and grey.  She thought she was looking at land.  No, it could never be so simple.  Land didn't surge and roll.  Land didn't roar and make the ship shudder.  The leviathan was directly beneath them.  She shielded her eyes against the sun.  There was no end to it.  She shouted to the helmsman for altitude.  It was no good.  No dust meant no traction.  They were caught in its wake.


(Ashes To Ashes, S3, Alex)

Everywhere she goes, he is there with her, in the dim grey reflections of the windows as she walks to work, in the grimy corners of the station, in the shadows of the threadbare trattoria, even when she lays her head down to sleep; she can't seem to get the image of his half-destroyed face out of her head, can't escape from silent plea of his one good eye, haunted by his youth and the strange outline of his silhouette in the doorway of her bedroom, the leaden weight of his questioning gaze upon her, and the thing that scares her the most isn't the ragged edge of bone and skin above his jaw or the blackness she feels crowding around them both, pressing in from all sides, razor sharp teeth stealing away precise bites of memory, devouring the very things that she's trying most to cling to, no, that isn't what scares her the most; the real thing she fears is that he feels
real in a way she can't quite put her finger on, in a way that draws her forward through the numberless days, case after case disappearing behind her, and still he eludes her, making her reach and stretch herself thin, makes her give more of herself than she even imagined she had to give, and she does, because when she looks in his eye, she knows that finding the truth, his truth, is the most important thing she has ever been called upon to do in her life.
mmexlibris: (typewriter)
2011-01-31 07:25 pm
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"There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you."

~ Zora Neale Hurston

(courtesy arsvitaest)
mmexlibris: (typewriter)
2011-01-26 04:09 pm
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"I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while."  ~ Haruki Murakami
mmexlibris: (A2A alex)
2011-01-25 03:09 pm
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"When we were children, we used to think that when we grew up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability, to be alive is to be vulnerable.  ~ Madeleine L’Engle
mmexlibris: (Default)
2011-01-23 06:29 pm
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“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without the benefit of experience.”

- Henry Miller
mmexlibris: (MM Sherlock)
2011-01-22 10:41 pm
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“There is nothing more to be said or to be done to-night, so hand me over my violin and let us try to forget for half an hour the miserable weather and the still more miserable ways of our fellowmen.”

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Case of the Five Orange Pips”
mmexlibris: (A2A leap of faith)
2011-01-21 07:00 pm

Jury Duty

So, um...  I hung a jury today.  Yeah... Eleven not guilty, one guilty.  That was me. 

Because* when you call three separate people and tell them you are going to kill someone, I don't think it falls under the category of "venting".

*This is a vast oversimplification of the facts of the case. The defendant is seeking anger management, if he can afford it through his insurance.  (And because he is a veteran, I made the specific recommendation to his attorney that they put him in touch with the VA, because they have services specifically tailored to his needs.)