Header snip originally from giphy, added onto to by other enthusiastic fans, and then I took it through memedad.
-Mobile continuation from Xanga blog PinkyGuerrero
-Most of the graphics and vids click to sources.
-Personal blog for Janika Banks.
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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

if I may

from lyrics

Can you hear my heart beat in this bond
Do you know that behind of this bond
Lies the deep desire I'm in love hey
Make a wonderful love if I may
All my dreams to be all I can do
Only I love, only love
And you say I knew we should find a new way
Make a wonderful love if I may

Can you hear my heart beat in this hurt
Do you know that behind of this hurt
Lies the deep desire I'm in love hey
Make a wonderful love if I may
All my dreams to be all I can do
Only I love, only love
And you say I knew we should find a new way
Make a wonderful love if I may

Can you hear my heart beat in this hurt
Do you know that behind of this hurt
Lies the deep desire can you love hey
Make a wonderful love if I may

Make a wonderful love if I may
Make a wonderful love if I may
Can you hear my heart beat in this hurt
Can you hear my heart beat in this hurt





Monday, January 30, 2017

ate my heart

This fanvid very quietly steered us through two weeks of uber anxiety, and forever burned the Xanga announcement into our brain. Almost a year back out in public, and finding out our fleet was going down, rerouting our work schedule, and The Plan.

We had no one to believe in but ourself. There was nothing we could do but brace for the crash. We could have bailed, but we knew if we did we would never be back...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

bossy Pinky



It's like I'm in the third grade again doing sticker charts, but I love it and of course I'm crushing it, just like I did the timed multiplication table.

I've discovered I can dye leather, and even enchant it. There is a tie-dye option I'm going to try soon. The light stuff is enchanted iron, the tunic is leather.


Up to 300 3X a day on gabapentin now. Actually makes a difference, but definitely still feel what it's muffling. It's like adventuring into the nether regions of weird. Just keep moving.

Oh, yeah, keep reminding myself to update my medical bracelet. One of those meds.

Most of Christmas is paid off, did that yesterday. Calendar sync was off again, no idea wtf I do messing that up. I can have someone in my ear TELLING me THIS DAY and I still write it all on the wrong day. It isn't until I see upcoming appts on a list online that I realize I got the day wrong. See, this is why Pinky gets so bossy...

Pinky is also noticing the we snacked our way back to first of the month weigh-in. 😠STOP THE NACHOS, GUYS. Sheesh. Oh, right, we're blaming the med dose increase, NO WE'RE NOT. STOP. EATING. Dang it, always cleaning up after a party...

#transparency I had to *learn* to think of me as "I". #aspienado has been 'we' since we were a small child. We're working on that in psyche therapy this year.

Oh, great, my headphones just went out. *breaking out the next pair* That's right, I have 3 more on standby...

world of spin

World of Spin started a long time ago as a poem called Equational Elapse. That poem is nearly 30 years old now, originally typed on shiny dark purple craft paper and signed with my ex surname because I was divorced and hadn't yet met Scott. We first published it on Geocities, then again on Xanga, and lately on Blogger.

World of Spin is our oldest still active tracker on a world fan site. No one knows what that means. Janika is working on that part and telling us to be quiet.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

I choose a mortal life

Living, learning, loving, leaving,
Giving, growing, gaining, grieving,
Mindful muses interweaving
Everlasting self-perceiving...

In our last lives we did not yet know how to weep. We are on the weeping world now. Everyone who comes here must weep to move forward on the board, climb higher in the rank. It's a risky world- some are irreparably broken and get stuck, or worse, make the weeping harder. Some freeze up and forget, some fire up and torment. Some feel sick of it, some find strength in it, but in the end, we all learn what weeping means. We learn cost.

Pinky is on break. Bluejacky is posting while Janika works. We aren't sure where Yablo is. Pinky said we could autoschedule and not worry about linking, because it's still kind of checking in. Besides, some know where Pinky is, and that is enough.

Friday, January 27, 2017

tell me


The 5 Stages of Treatment & Healing on Social Media


The only thing wrong with this picture is regaining the weight I lost. 😡 This ramping up the gabapentin thing has me wanting to snack like a pot smoker or something.

Here comes a thought.

The 5 Stages of Treatment & Healing on Social Media
by Janika Banks
(inspired by The 5 Stages of Grief & Loss)

1. Dissociating and disappearing

The fastest way to kill a blog or facebook and go dark is to start revealing and recoiling in horror at what you just did.

2. Outrage

Letting people know that no one understands when they try to reach out, fuming over others sharing what your new awareness is suddenly highlighting as everyone is doing it and loathing that they 'speak' for you.

3. Arguing

Going on massive research sprees and targeting #actually proponents with gleeful negativity memes and alternative information.

4. Despair

Feeling utterly stuck in a body and a world you utterly reject, and the only way forward is the way you weren't planning on going with your life.

5. Embracing

Meds, lifestyle, whatever- you are who you are and it's comforting to know you're not alone on whatever scary path this is.

It's real. Internet is just as real as real life. Connecting to other real people is just as difficult on media as it is in real life. Sharing who we are, our fears and joys, whatever we perceive our flaws to be versus whatever we perceive others are pointing out our flaws to be- all experiencing is real. Even if we're making it up, experience itself makes it real. Whatever illusion we create for ourselves, or that the world creates around us, it is very real to our hearts and souls.

We all have fears. While others are able to project their fears outwardly on vague presidential nightmares and whatnot, some of us dwell with daily fears of cytokine storm or SJS. Sticking to treatment is difficult, going out in public escalates anxiety, sitting home alone can become suddenly overwhelming.

The hardest thing some of us do is keep talking on social media. We don't want to be needy, we aren't trying to get negative attention, we hate baiting for response- we just want to worry about the stupid little things like ordering online going screwy or getting the wrong order in a restaurant or being stuck in traffic. Well, we don't like those things either, but given bigger picture, anyone on lengthy treatment dealing with personal demons or cancer or crippling diseases tend to take the little things more in stride after awhile, or simply lump it into everything sucks.

I've been on social media a long time. I've been in an out of groups and forums, on and off both facebook and twitter, moved around both publicly and privately on a few blogs, and I've seen just about everything that can go down. Everything I see out there is redundant. It all eventually boils down to Who am I? and What do I want? There is nothing I can plug into that will ever make my depression or anxiety go away, no person I can lean on without eventually breaking them, no cause I can stick through without dealing with some kind of burnout. In the end, it really does come down to Who do I want to be?

The sky is the limit. Your brain is your infinite possibility manufacturer. It's all real, and you're part of all of us, even when you think you're not. We are here to Be Someone and Do Something, and as far as I can ascertain after all these years stuck in my stuff and seeing other people stuck in their stuff, we can all still learn how to be Kind.

Kindness isn't about patting people on the head or being a yes person. It's not about fixing things for other people or trying to *make* them feel better. You can't really do any of that, and if you try, you'll sooner or later become very frustrated.

Kindness is allowing people to be themselves without stomping on their heads for being stupider than you, or kicking them with truth when they're already down. Kindness is about recognizing that we all have a very short time here, life sucks for all of us in some way or another, and what you revile in someone else might be a completely erroneous perception and definitely gets in the way of kindness.

A thing that struck me growing up in the bible was that people had to be told to be kind to animals and slaves. Let the oxen eat while they are tied to a giant heavy wheel. Treat your slaves fairly and justly, and make sure they are taken care of when you set them free so they aren't just turned out onto the streets. The idea that we can use others without recompense or thought, even on social media, is a prevalent concept in our lives.

We have the power to remake the world around us. We may be riddled with fear and anxiety, drowning in self loathing and depression, flaming the world around us in vitriol, but our power lies in ALL OF US learning the art of Kindness. We can go down with our Titanics, or we can remold our illusions into something much more useful.

Way too thinky.


#transparency Med dose adjusting sucketh. Plz to forgive if I meltdown, & if anyone needs me I'll be making nachos. Bcuz weird head stuff. I can do this. I'll keep touching bases and hopefully this won't get too weird. Kinda went a little 2012 all sudden yesterday.

Where's my workout jam? Here we go.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

arguing with my phone, I say lightly

Abandoned Jawn & pretending I'd rather be on the couch anyway for no other reason than I'm my own worst bully & I can't take the beating myself up any more today. I can usually juggle the voices, or kinda stifle them staying busy. No one really likes you, they just put up with you. Like I care. I'm aspienado, I'm the worst for dismissing others without noticing. But you suck and you're failing again. Where is this even coming from? Did you not get the chocolate? Helloooo. You may as well just give up and close it all down and admit this is an elaborate ruse to entertain yourself while you go mad. #facepalm OK, first of all, you know all I hafta do to make you shut up is pop a xanax, so you're not even real. Second of all, I've been putting up with you for years anyway, who even cares. Third of all- ok, you got me, I'm talking to myself on a phone through a blog. You're right, we're official, can you just please shut up now? *crickets* That's better.








obsession alert



obsession alert
Oh, no, she's using comic sans...

I take comic sans very seriously. As does CERN. --> Know Your Meme


click for an actual real thing bcuz some of us really dig fonts

All my blogs used to be in comic sans.


I still can't go there. I can't rewatch yet. Way too many triggers. I just shut down after the last time I talked about it. I could LIST the triggers in this season.



#transparency 

The long muscle running up the side of my spine on the right side feels like thousands of splinters mashing around all along in there whenever I lean back or lay down. It used to be an itch, now it's stabby little jabs. This is a new thing in that area. New things raise eyebrows.

I'm ok with it. I know it's 'fake' (it's very real, just referred from nerve trunk in my spine), and it's surprisingly easy to adapt to it. It's very different from stabby joint pain or stabby trigeminal ear pain. After how numb it's been for so long (left side all the pain, right side numb), I'm just glad that nerve network still works at all.


The important thing is to keep moving, no matter what.



I'm trying not to be a brat. I've had baditude all month, first from cutting back on my coffee, now from cutting down on my xanax, so I'm trying to be sweet, but sometimes you just gotta flog someone with the flowers you pick, knowhutImean? Srsly tho, I am successfully down a quarter pill on the xanax this month, and for protracted benzo, that's a big deal. If I can keep this up, I hope to be cleaned back off xanax by summer. Go slow on that one and do your research before you just jump off that stuff, it gets really hairy and people wind up in hospitals over it.


This color is super light pink. It looks yellow to me on this kind of purple. I imagine there's a perspective metaphor in there somewhere applicable to social media, but I'm not caring at the moment.

This song was playing in Walmart yesterday. I am so glad to see this video. It's kind of saving Pinky's week.




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

getting all laid back like

Original pic from memecenter
I memed a meme
Well. Might get interesting. Had to skip my blood pressure med last night. My pressure came back up enough to take it this morning, 124/83, but last night without any help at all it was 117/73. I've had to take a blood pressure med twice a day for 2 decades trying to keep my crazy blood pressure controlled, have been through so much stuff over it. Get a little air pressure while I sleep *bing* fixed.

The interesting part is that one of the reasons I'm on this particular med is for breakout SVTs, even after surgery. You don't just stop a beta blocker when you have those. I'm very curious to see if the breakouts were symptomatic from what is now being addressed. If my BP stays down and I don't have any more breakouts, it's conceivable I'll be able to get off my BP med. Conceivable. Not holding my breath yet.

Exciting for me, boring for you. Moving on.

Not really here to yap, actually. Need to get groceries today after an appointment, nice out but cold, not complaining one bit because this beats snow and ice. This will be my first jaunt out since doubling my gabapentin. I've been a little stare at the walls, but I think I've adapted enough to do this today. H*o*p*i*n*g I get my minecraft launcher figured out tomorrow so I can get back on multiplayer. In the meantime, playing survival in a realm and doing awesome stuff even though my compatriots have abandoned me for multiplayer. I made 15 blocks of obsidian from survival scratch, time to make an enchantment table. Running cross country looking for a village library to raid, if I don't find one soon I'll just kill a ton of cows on the way back and make my own books. When I get on multiplayer, I'm going raw and totes gaining status and wealth from my super chill skillz.

Loving the new Sherlock fanvids coming out. They're very spoilery and super dark, so for now I'm going with this goodie just to be ornery. If you haven't seen season 4 yet, GO. NOW.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

saving the saves

125/76. I'll take it.

Random realm shot. Kai interrogating the prisoners.
+_+ #coffee Blogger doesn't have a coffee moji. #fail

Aeo's new digs.
I'm having to wipe and reload all my minecraft stuff, so I'm going through a folder search and seize blitz first. I think the saving the saves thing got a little out of hand last time I did that. My folders seem to have had babies or something.

Got a little carried away playing with mushrooms.
This one turned into a 3 story apartment complex.
I should go back and find the finished structure sometime. It's even bigger than this.
:edit: I found it, yay! I'll probably eventually develop it into something cooler.



That mushroom complex is kinda near my mesa digs where we interrogated those prisoners for Kai's first woodland mansion map.


I can't even remember which world this is from. I found a box canyon and played with lava and water source placing.


Yeah, went on a lava binge.

Anyway, I've been on CPAP only one week and already I've hit a 99 and 100 twice on myAir resmed scoring, and my blood pressure is already coming down. I'm 5 days into the gabapentin dose increase and already having an easier time with the overall nerve chatter. Still waiting for my brain to catch up. Kind of coasting through a partial shut down spaz and not terribly cognizant of the world at large.

So today is the perfect day to do mundane things like go through folders and empty my recycle bin and piddle around on a realm, get lost in random searches...

clicks to more Strong Bad on pinterest
Can you imagine if Strong Bad played minecraft? I regret nothing.

Monday, January 23, 2017

a state of meh


Power point-

✍ Final draft has commenced. Wrote a bit through a haze of numb and tired and am exceptionally pleased with the result so far. Maybe I needed to reach a state of meh to really arrive. 😄

🎮 I'm hearing that the new Mo Creatures is up and running now, yay! 😍

😴 myAir says I've earned my silver badge and I'm now going for the gold. ⭐

😋 Bunny chomped down an entire BIG raw carrot yesterday. I've never seen a little kid do that. 🐇


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pinky parked O_O ok j/k

Last night I dreamed that Amy Poehler 'parked' her twitter. It was a cool new thing twitter had made where verified accounts could 'park' their accounts, like a parked website, meaning they could revert to a cover page instead of a timeline and leave a message, like Amy had left a message that she 'Parked' (pun intended bcuz Parks and Recreation) her twitter for now due to getting ready for this or that and please wish her luck with it. And then there were big buttons tweeps could push with a range of emojis on them in response, kinda like facebook, but no way to tweet back because tagging would no longer tag since the account was parked (so no notifications to accounts that are parked, right). And then it became all the rage and celebrities were parking their twitters left and right and just updating occasionally instead of tweeting any more. And while it was a cute dream, I'm kinda seeing it as a death knell if they ever really do something like that, because it amounts to nothing more than a blank website cover page hosted by a content curator stalled on curating actual content and essentially puts a wall back up between elites and peasants, as it were.

Thoughts this weekend-

  • CPAP is a great way to smell your own breath for several hours. 👍
  • I can't help wondering if pets being able to talk would be a lot like 3 year olds being able to 'talk', a stream of continual gibberish with real words mixed in and disastrously misunderstood thoughts, and then bursts of emotions, and then more distractions. You know, like when you throw out the dead mouse gift and stuff. 👍
  • M&Ms and cheese fix ~everything~. Keep standby stashes on hand at all times. 👍

That's it, not a lot of thinking going on right now. Doubling (pre-tripling ramp up) my gabapentin dose has got me a little goofy and somewhat less inhibited on the stabby side, so I'm trying to stay off anything personal on social medias. One of my 2017 decisions for Pinky blog was to be more transparent and yet less wordy- get to the point. So here's the point today- Even my neurologist asked me if I'd ever had shingles. Everyone asks me sooner or later about shingles, and I've never ever ever had them. Ever. I live with the kind of nerve pain that people associate with shingles, and it never stops. Years and years of this.

That's about as boiled down as I can say it. I don't like dwelling because that's a great way to make depression go off a cliff, and while I might kinda joke about pain levels being 3 walls off the smiley chart, it's a very personal thing and difficult to actually be real about without reducing myself to a weepy mess.

So while I'm med adjusting and CPAP adapting and Bunny hosting and generally dealing with winter, #itsnotyouitsme (unless you're bombing my facebook fan group with an unrelated political joke) and you know I'll be deep in minecraft for distraction and glitchy brain training. 👍

Friday, January 20, 2017

braincation in wonderland

I am here today. It clicks to more info.


Neurologist  firmly insisted yesterday that I bump up my 'tiny' gabapentin dose, so over this next week I'll be doing the ramping up to next level thing. There aren't any particularly pressing symptoms other than my whole nervous system coming more and more 'on' (as I call it) over the last 6 months despite intensive physical therapy, but since insurance allows another brain image, it's in queue on standby in case this year goes downhill. Sticking to my backup noncompliant nature, I made sure it's ok not to go get that done right away. I think he said the last one was 2013. I can't find evidence of it (shock, right? I document everything), and I have a horrible memory for time framing stuff, so I'm going with that. It's been long enough that if this year goes off the rails, it's time to see if there is visible change going on. I've lost count of all the brain scans I've had since my 20s. Can't remember if I've at least had a CT head shot since 2013, but I'm betting yes.

Calendar sync was a little off the rails this morning, but I think that's all fixed now. Not sure how, but still balancing to the penny with my money.

I guess in between minecraft surges (usually 15 minutes long) I'll be getting ready for a possible Bunny sleepover tomorrow. I'm on point for the rest of the debris field from years of mobile office to magically fall into place now, will mostly be a bit of drudgery through keep/toss & find homes kind of stuff. My mobile work area has been slo-mo remodeling into permanent work area last couple of months, and I'm so ready for this to get done. Another diligent month or two will hopefully establish my dominance in this house. I say that knowing Bunny will probably be inspecting like a store visit from regional by the time she hits 4... You know what I mean if you've ever retailed.

Me and minecraft irl.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

You are looking at the world's fastest CPAP adapter

You are looking at the world's fastest CPAP adapter.

lol, Kai is looking at you

It's just such a cool machine, I played with it through most of the first night and set up the app account at midnight because I still wasn't asleep. But last night I knew what I was doing. Got the warm up going, set ramp for 15 minutes, humidity at 3, plopped my headphones on and watched youtube vids until pressure was normalized, then tossed them aside and rolled over into 7 hours of bliss. I remember sorta barely waking up to reattach one of the band loops, but otherwise I think I just had my first normal night of sleep in decades. I don't even remember dreaming. I always remember my dreams, usually very vividly.

They say blood pressure drops, mine was a bit dramatic. First reading this morning was 105/69 and I just laughed. 30 minutes later it's at 125/78. I'm one of those 140/90 people (170/110 sans BP med), and my doctor is happy if it's 138/87 kind of stuff on BP med. (We've tried everything over the last 6 years.) Fasting glucose was 88, nice to see it below 90. They say you lose weight too, looking forward to that happening. *crossing fingers*

I'm very surprised my neck isn't bothering me too badly. Usually when I sleep hard, I wake up with rather vicious neck pain. This is fairly mild.

Of course, this could all go horribly wrong tonight, but for now, I'll take it. 20+ years of super insomnia might be over soon.

So, when I first went in, I was lapsing into 78% O desat and not waking up a lot, compared to some people. Some people wake up anywhere from 40-100 times an hour. I have felt for a very long time like sleep is bad, and I spent years making myself stay awake until it was just part of me to be a super insomniac. I grew terrified on pain meds and muscle relaxers that I wouldn't wake up one day. My brain was doing everything in its power to jolt me awake enough to breathe, even ten years ago when they first tested me and didn't find apnea (but they kicked me out early because I wouldn't sleep), and over the last few years it's like my brain is too tired to keep doing that any more. I get so super relaxed that I just stop breathing, even if airway is clear, and I used to wake up to horrible adrenaline surges and tachycardia events. The tachycardia was real, got surgery, but I'd still wake up into super anxiety attacks after that. It was like my brain was doing everything it could to make me breathe in my sleep. Years and years and years of that, and over time it's like it just can't keep that up any more.

I can't help wondering if this is partly from the injuries in that car accident. All this neck stuff at the top of my spine, right under my skull, nastiest pain for many years, and it took years of physical therapy and chiropractor and home stretches and core strength to finally break through all that pain static. But the pain coming down a little didn't make sleeping any easier. One position for too long wakes me up in a slamming headache across the back of my head right above my neck, so this whole fibro-pinched nerve thing is pretty miserable sometimes. So if that amount of problem is going on right next to my brain, I wonder how it affects my brain. Then you throw handfuls of narcotics and benzos and a variety of other colorful goodies onto that, and no wonder I've been fighting sleep most of my adult life. I stop breathing when I'm not conscious. That was my number one motivator cleaning off meds.

Also, not sure yet if this is being said prematurely, but I'm not having the stuffy nose or sneezing at all this morning. I think I don't handle humidity well. I grew up in the desert southwest, and I feel like I'm hanging out in a heated swimming pool area when I'm breathing summer humidity in MO, so I think I was overreacting to air that was a little too moist for me yesterday morning. Time will tell.

So all y'alls who live way more normal lives and think CPAP sucks, just wanna put it out there that I love mine and I really hope good things come of this. If I come to hate it later, this is here for me to remember that it started well.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Alice in Lava Land


Ok, sexual orientations of all ages, (remember when we used to just say 'boys and girls'?) (Is that politically incorrect now?) (Because personally, I am alt-aged in my head, I am both young at heart and old of soul, and even though I don't take offense at someone asking my age, I don't see how that has anything to do with anything unless you need to know if I'm a meemaw on medicare.), where were we...

This is a 3-part update thingy because things. Minecraft (pure survival), the sleep study fallout and consequences, and my git'r'dun list for the rest of the month. (If you are only interested in the CPAP fallout, I copied that part to my spaz blog.)

MINECRAFT

uffda- Singleplayer, no cheats except being able to see my F3 coordinates. Everything is from scratch. I've had the launcher open in play mode (not paused) for 52+ total hours over the last two weeks, first mentioned in Pinky vs @bonenado. During those 52 hours I have died 10 times, slept in a bed 111 times, harvested 2K+ coal blocks and made 3,573 torches, established my dominance at world spawn and several perimeter outposts covering almost 1000 square blocks, and have lately finished building a sweet very big 3- story house on the edge of an extreme plateau. I killed 18 horses to make books until I found a village and swiped all theirs, set up a library, then went about learning how to make obsidian from scratch (which involved very dangerous climbs to lava sources with buckets), and last night made my first enchantment table from scratch. I have yet to run into a single cow, so I don't have milk for cake, but I did make my first pumpkin pie yesterday, also.

Minecraft survival requires extreme braining skills. Over the last year I have gained orientation and planning strategy skills that I've noticeably been able to apply to real life.

Also, minecraft has been phenomenal for getting through anxiety. If you've never reeled off a cliff into PTSD induced anxiety surges and an hour of weeping just writing a blog post or book chapter, try it sometime. Get on that old roller coaster of confession and start screaming, it's a real trip. You guys don't see how many times I walk away in mid sentence while I'm writing because it's so real and immediate just addressing memories and feelings and reconstructing those into readable format that it's all I can do sometimes to come back. Minecraft is a really awesome relief diversion for me, plus it keeps me creative and on my toes.

CPAP

My apnea-hypopnea index was 17 (I was told that meant I woke up an average of 17 times an hour), and my desat was 78%, which is importantly not good and scary bad. Blood oxygen saturation ideally shouldn't fall below 80%, and if it does, it's considered critical. (Simplistically, I'm on my way to congestive heart failure if I don't correct this, if something else doesn't get me first.) During sleep study, according to the document I link in the next paragraph, 75-80% is considered moderate, and less than 75% is considered severe, so I'm kinda cutting that one close. (Ever wonder how people just die in their sleep? Now you know.)


How to Interpret Your Sleep Study That's a pdf document, so give it time to load, actually very cool with pictures and graphs of how it all goes down on the testing end.

I have 4 out of 6 qualifying CPAP symptoms- daytime sleepiness, hypertension, insomnia, and mood disorder. I've lived with all this for 2 decades. I've never yet had a stroke and never dx'd with heart disease, although both are prevalent in my mom's side of the family, and once that stuff hit my mom, she went down fairly quickly. I have been doing everything right- nutrition, exercising, med monitoring, excellent bloodwork and health according to everything I'm tested for. That means nothing if I'm not getting enough oxygen.


Last night I found myself ripping my mask off at first, but that stopped and I slept great after I lowered the humidity. This morning I'm sneezing and runny nose stuff like allergies, but apparently this is common and someone in comments said lowering the humidity even more helped, so I'm going to try that. I'm already on round the clock zyrtec with benadryl on standby, but we haven't started cedar pollen here in Mirkwood yet, so I need to figure this out before successive allergy seasons blow back up on me. Unless I actually have a real allergic reaction (and you know I'll be watching this), I think the O sat level coming back up is important enough to keep trying. At any rate, saline mist helped to dissipate that discomfort this morning.

Top 10 Ways To Solve Common CPAP Problems and Discomfort

Side note- I'm finding out that sleep apnea can happen in all ages and body types, and you don't have to be old and fat to 'get' it. I had a sleep study done 10 years ago that I wish they'd followed up on more rigorously, because even though they didn't see apnea, they did see brain rhythm lending to insomnia, which I was probably born with. I'm sure nearly ripping my head off ejecting from a vehicle crash didn't help anything, but for years I've lived with so much neck pain and weird sensations, including pain with swallowing, I can only wonder if part of my need for CPAP now is from an ongoing degeneration around the nerve injuries I acquired in that wreck. It's interesting that I barely weigh 5 pounds more than I did at the time of the first sleep study ten years ago, pretty sure 5 pounds wouldn't cause apnea on its own, especially since I'm currently 40 pounds down from highest weight. If you are holding back from looking at the possibility of a sleep apnea diagnosis because of stigma, you might literally be holding your life in your hands, so check into it if you're having symptoms.

TO DO

Forms... ug.

  • Representative payee report for social security is due.
  • Out of network transport provider wants insurance info.
  • Could have sworn there was something else and apparently I've already misplaced it, great.
  • Get a birthday card out before it's late.

Since I'm on my make a Plan stuff, may as well toss in that I'm past two weeks cutting the caffeine in half and about over that nasty withdrawal headache, so now I'm working on the slow xanax taper I wanted to start last fall but wisely decided to wait until after holidays. Absolutely no idea if that enhanced my big meltdown, but I'll be conservative and say probably. GABA receptor stuff is no joke. Me and low dose benzos go waaaay back. This ain't my first rodeo getting off the stuff, and I know that patience is my biggest virtue on this little journey.

I'll be honest, the weird left side intractable nerve pain I live with spiked quite a bit overnight from the extra stress of learning to sleep with CPAP, and it's not pleasant sitting here feeling little pain spikes down my left ribcage and shoulder (fibro related costochondritis) (my heart is so conveniently in between, so I'm also dealing with the anxiety that pain lends a hand to), my sinus feels stuffy and uncomfortable, and I'm sitting here thinking 'and it's not even bitterly cold and snowy/icy and there's no big allergy season YET', so I need to divert myself back into chores around the house and MINECRAFT. It's all about survival. I'm using virtual survival to survive both depression and very real medical challenges, so it's back to the lava I go.

I can do this.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

down the rabbit hole


The Woodpecker Wars are going full defcon this winter. Over the years @bonenado has been plugging up holes in our siding, which is problematic because most of the holes are at least 2 stories up and very difficult to get to. Tufts of insulation sometimes trail out and look really bad. If you've never experienced what a tiny bird can do to a big house and can't imagine it being a big deal, all you have to do is search 'woodpecker damage'. And since I live in Mirkwood, it's a big deal. We get at least 3 different kinds of woodpeckers drilling holes, and since we've had flying squirrels move into birdhouses, we're wondering if we've got a flying squirrel (or even a regular sized squirrel) living in the attic now, and while some of you go 'awww, how cute!', it's actually really gross if it dies inside the house and stinks for 2 weeks. We've had mice and even a snake die in the walls, so yeah, kinda need to stop the hole makers.

(Can you imagine if that were a minecraft problem? Egads.)

I've been noticing my normally expected anxiety attacks around showering seem to be calming down lately, so I guess I'm successfully dealing with my crisis. This big meltdown thing came between Bunny's mama and I while I was dealing, didn't talk for 13 days. Reconnected yesterday, I think we're ok now. Getting through the rest of the month intact will be about focusing on my own path and not using other people's distractions to jump willy nilly hither and yon, triggering and retriggering like mad and risking burninating the peasants.


So... I went down the rabbit hole.

I've been holding back from a real rabbit hole for ages. I have a history of 'disappearing', so I made sure my personal support network was solid and that my launch platform was secure, and took the plunge. After a wonderful day with Kai blowing craters into the landscape spawning everything conceivable in minecraft all at once, I did a quick assessment and made an executive decision to release my inner rabbit and see how I do.

I made a new singleplayer world called 'uffda', which I mentioned the other day, and I have been playing sans cheats nonstop. I started with absolutely nothing, and aside from using F3 coordinates to see where I am once in awhile, and using beds I make to force the night to switch to day, I haven't cheated once. I haven't switched to creative mode at all. I went hard- missed meals, ignored TV, stopped bathing. I immersed myself until I was minecrafting all night in my sleep. But every morning I made myself touch base on Pinky blog first, and I made sure that I was tearing myself away in small time batches to run laundry through machines and make food for Scott. Otherwise, excepting brief spurts checking notifications, I have logged hours and days of solid minecraft.

While I've been super absorbed, I've managed to cut my caffeine in half, lose 5 pounds, and out of the blue coordinated my launch again. I'm writing. Sweet, unintended side effects. But realistically, every bit of this has been monitored and I'm checking in with people because I just got through one of the worst meltdowns I've had in years, like super crumble and stand back lest ye be consumed with flames while this ship goes down. This aspienado has reached a place where there is *nothing* anyone can do or say to make me feel better, and my dearest risk their lives just reaching out to get me talking. I can't say enough for one brave soul who has no clue how their own world became my float device a couple of times.

If I weren't involved with Lexx groups on facebook, I'd have shut my facebook down this last week. If I weren't focused on future sales launch, all my blogs would have gone into private this last week. If I weren't determined to see this project through that I've been working on for several years, I'd have closed my twitter account this last week. Pinky made a promise not to go away again, plus real people have access to me now. I have real friends who can actually make real life contact now, and I. am. answerable.

I came back out to rebuild bridges.

theme, focus, execution for Existential Aspie.


Monday, January 16, 2017

It's a Pinky Life

It took that long to get an upvote...
That clicks to source, btw.
And don't start asking me questions on Quora, I won't answer them.
In case you don't get it, a Perdue chicken isn't a chicken breed.
Perdue chicken is a product.
I know, "in" makes you think recipe or something.
A contracted Perdue chicken farmer later shared his story.
So the whole original question wasn't about actual feathers at all,
and I'm amazed no one jumped on my answer before now.
But we still don't know who is conning whom...
I mean, I get Tyson cornish hens with feathers left on all the time...
I complained to Tyson about it and they sent me a wad of coupons,
so I got a whole bunch of free cornish hens...

Finally just had to pull my 'control' post back that I made back in November to draft mode. 244 hits on that one, never linked, never shared anywhere by me, and every single day it got pounded by one particular country. So I guess I have my answer. Since that was posted over 2 months ago, mathier stalkers could probably figure that into a percentage of the total views I've gotten since then. Yeah, I know, I could've left it out there to keep adding to my view count.

I've been debating whether to leap to a new Pinky blog (this one is the second) and keep watching the numbers here. The first Pinky blog went super dead once I left it. This blog has lots more material that pulls in specific searches, but aside from that, it's also a little compromised to bot activity, which I still blame on lingering post paper.li code embed, a Ukraine app, and occasional Semalt blitzes. (The Brazil thing is nothing compared to these other bots.) The rest seem to be fairly random, but all that still accounts for less than 10% of total traffic I've gotten here. Still, 10% of 70K is 7K, which is a pretty hefty number. Actual real people pageloads from link shares and continued reading are probably more like 50-60K, which is respectable. I'm leaving some leeway for random incoming, like the whole Rick Lagina crowd surfing around and bumping into Pinky being silly.

But not right now. Counting drafts, I currently have 888 posts here now. And yes, people do settle into them once in awhile and go through about 20 before they get tired and go make some food or something.

I'm teetering on a brink of wallow vs get super pissy. Generally, turning to the pissy side usually saves me and I get lots of stuff done. Either way, I'm a real drag to be around irl when I'm like this, so thank God for internet, right? I used to try to power through, and I do have good content out there from that, but I can also tell you behind some of my best public content are some of my worst days.

Today is the kind of day where I'm telling myself to get some real clothes on, put some shoes on, walk around a bit. So hang on...

Here we go. Double dose of bacon today.


I see people blog about depression all the time, but don't really see much about the nitty gritty about how a person really feels inside after destroying a weekend for someone else and then everything is awkward and no one feels like talking and the depression level spikes all to hell but you know you have to really super pretend now that everything's ok because you can't lose the last friend you've got, blahblahblah. Yeah, one of *those* mornings. One of those glitchy spoonie aspienado mornings where I know I can change the world but I wanna sink into comfort food and a pillow and forget the world for awhile. Except minecraft. I had an ***awesome*** idea in my sleep last night, so I might be trying that out sometime. In the meantime, between banging my head over what really aren't lost causes (or wouldn't be if I'd get the lead out) and actually having laundry going already before 6 a.m., here I still am, getting a Plan on for Today.

OH. Almost forgot! @bonenado was gerbil cleaning in our closet again and ran into some really old paperwork. At one point in my life, 1999, I had an actual merchant's license and tax identification number for Janika Banks. Proof of ownership! *evil laughter* I've been toying with reestablishing my property name, even if I never sell anything. Back in the day I was beading and other things and thought about selling online, but it never went anywhere because I wound up in retail. And besides that, I have a paid contract with a publisher now for pen name, so I need to get my butt going on something real.

Real is an interesting word. I'm making this all up as I go, my own reality. I'm creating a reality, creating myself, making myself REAL. So much of the time none of this feels real. But I really am here, I really am someone, I really am scribbling I WAS HERE on a wall and strangely feeling not real at all. You wanna know what mental illness feels like? Wanna understand depression? Start with It's a Wonderful Life. I know, I dis that movie like crazy in this house. I don't suppose anyone remembers when The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley cartoon (1988) did their parody version of that movie. Wo, just found the series on Amazon, sweet.

See, all this stuff I'm feeling that grabs me and holds me back or pulls me down when I'm doing my best to do something cool- I'M NOT ALONE. A whole buncha people out there feel just like that, too, and I get warm fuzzies just knowing some of you are still in your pajamas reading this (or wishing you were back home in your pajamas), and I'm dressed and ready to GO because Pinky blog is a life saver.

When I remember I love you guys, I feel better and then I GET TO WORK!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

you can tell I'm being extra serious because there aren't any pictures

@bonenado keeps getting contacted about beagles people in other states think we have for sale. Beagle puppies around here generally start at $450 and ship all over, so whoever messed that up, that's a pretty serious typo. I did a quick search and actually found the site, asking price for this particular pup was a little less, but there it was plain as plain, our phone number for contact. I sent off an email asking them to please fix that since we're getting calls about their dogs... And then I did a quick search that included the town name listed, bing, I'd be able to roll into town, knock on their door, and ask for a finder's fee every time they sell a dog because we redirected for them. noobs

Had a proper meltdown yesterday. I go months in between, so it was a big deal. I've been trained from childhood NOT to cry, NOT to make stuff about me, NOT to be a big baby, so it really does take a lot for me to go there, but once I do, it's just a rough day. I'm glad @bonenado was home, poor guy. Afterwards, I made some executive decisions based on the triggers that crescendoed me into the nether regions, and today I'm installing padded walls all over my facebook, and may soon go on an extinction hunt on twitter if a couple people don't stop. I'm finding myself associated with a certain mindset that assumes I enjoy grossness for it's own sake, and after the kind of tag jolt I got on twitter yesterday right on top my meltdown, I nearly threw up. It was that difficult for me to see. Whatever kind of joke that was, I didn't get it, and it was disgusting and revolting for someone to pull that not knowing me better. It came out of the blue, I still don't understand why it even happened, and I don't care. All I know is that's going to stop. I don't care if someone's been my friend for years on social media and is even an avid Lexx fan, if I'm continually sharing and blogging about neurodiversity and handling depression, that was just ignorant and completely dismissed me as a person, and I can't help wondering if part of that is because I've become so associated with the grosser side of entertainment via link sharing that someone assumed I'd automatically find it funny.

I would love to reassure people that I'm ok. It would be so easy to just say it's all cool and I'll be fine. But that's how people die, isn't it? That's how suicide happens. I said once that I don't want to do something that I really don't want to do but can't tell what's happening because things don't feel real. (One example is keeping a deck door locked with the shades drawn while @bonenado was out of town for a week in case I might do something stupid out there, like just flip over the railing onto the river rocks without a clue I was even doing it.) I'm currently going between several doctors about meds that are affecting my head and whether or not to start new ones or increase dosages, and these meds all have the side effect of disconnecting me from reality. While some people think it's awesome to get wasted, I have proven to be a poor decision maker on meds, and have found myself turning down the wrong way onto one way highway ramps, and even being driven home by highway patrol. I have been choosing to live with outrageous pain levels so I can remain cognitively competent and functional, which is very tongue in check given my cognitive disability ruling.

Writers generally research what goes into their books. I'm actually living mine, and it will be including disturbing things I'm working on with my psychologist. It's one thing to write or say this and that happened, it's another thing to live with the PTSD and disassociating and delayed response from having lived it, and THEN trying to talk about it and write it well. So many considerations are being taken for my parents' feelings and their own justifiable histories, so this is very intense work. And it. is. work. It's especially a lot of work being so careful with social medias and public blogging while I'm actually writing and proofreading and discussing the mundane technicalities with others, and often doing all these things while running dialogues on the side with family and friends or helping others take care of real life problems and setbacks.

So, and I'm sure very few actual people who follow me will even read this, please don't take it personally if I'm not interacting with you somewhere. I've been trying to keep up with several fairly big groups of people, and although I'd love to tit for tat, I really cannot.

Also, I keep falling for the talking to new people thing, and I've really gotta stop that, as well. I can't be doing the #actuallyautistic dance with a whole new group self discovering now. I've been out about my autism for a decade now, I've seen all the crap, and frankly, I'm kinda burned out just talking about autism. Those of you still writing ten thousand word blog posts every night describing every little facet of being *you*, brava, but I've got way more stuff going on, and when I talk about becoming an integrated Pinky, it's about my journey being past the self discovery part and seeing a much bigger picture now. Anyone can write a book about being autistic. Existential Aspie is about so much more than that...


Saturday, January 14, 2017

weird bacon


Let's be honest, bacon isn't really the cure for everything. Only *good* bacon is, but bacon in general is one of those hit and miss things. I've been bacon experimenting for years- brands, cuts, flavors, saltiness. I've tried it all. Or so I thought...

I had a heads up the other night and at the time it was so weird that I just blew it off- I was dreaming about white bacon. White bacon? Where was that coming from? Weird. Chuckled and went back to sleep.

IT'S REAL. AND I THINK I GOT HOLD OF SOME. Granted, probably some under the table *cough* mislabeling, but dang.


I was tired, the little store I was in (famous for it's meat counter) didn't carry my extremely particular kind of bacon, saw an identical description on a different brand, almost thought better of it, and then thought how bad could it be?

Well, for crispiness, it's perfection. I have never had such a delightful crispiness in my mouth at the peak of cookness. The flavor is really throwing us off, though. The hardwood hickory smoke is but a faint hint, and I'm completely missing *bacon*. At first we thought maybe it had gone bad, but nothing at all smells wrong, looked great both raw and cooked, just maybe a wee lighter color... Or a lot lighter. I mean, it seems to be bacon... It's just this super light golden color like I've never seen before in bacon.

I have discovered white bacon is a real thing. This clicks to that link.


It's edible, just unexpected. I think, basically, it's difficult to make lower sodium salt pork pretend to be regular awesome bacon. That weird flavor coming through is really plain- nothing. I feel like someone sliced up a big slab of lesser brined pork belly that had been hung in a smoker area just long enough to be legal for a smoked label. Don't get me wrong, I've had really bad fatty bacon that looked and tasted just fine cooked but was miserable getting it cooked because the cut area went through the sorts of fat that either super curled or wouldn't crisp up or whatever, but this package was perfect for the fat just chillin into heavenly crispiness without putting up any fight whatsoever.

And yes, clever readers have noticed that I ventured into white bacon and completely sidestepped that I dreamed it ahead of time. I almost wrote 'white bacon' into a post the other day before I found out it's a real thing. I've never seen it in print or expressed like that in a recipe. I've known about salt pork for a long time, but I don't cook with it. So I'm having one of those Matrixy moments, and it's baking my noodle.

5 Things You Need to Know Before Cooking with Salt Pork

~couple hours later~

So I was having this deliciously lazy morning back on the couch watching the weather channel from my blanket igloo, eventually taking a vote about whether to stay in pajamas all day. Every cell in my body enthusiastically sang *pajamasssss*, and, evil dictator that I am, I kicked the igloo off and was just about to strip into some real clothes when I remembered I wanted to get a shower this morning.

It's cold.

I don't feel like getting wet. Yet.

Pajamas it is.

Every cell in my body sang *huzzahhhhh* while I walked back into the kitchen looking for hot chocolate to go with my minecraft.

Gonna be one of those days. Gonna hafta show these cells who's boss. 😈

Friday, January 13, 2017

slow but positive navigation

May hafta bullet point because I've walked off from this blank page for nearly 3 hours now.

  • I'm down 4 pounds now since 1/1, technically 6 but I'm not counting that 2 pounds that kept bouncing on and off all through holidays.
  • Blood pressure was 132/70 at my primary doctor yesterday, a super rare event since I usually have white coat syndrome in his office. Not sure that losing only 4 pounds would knock it down that much (I'm a solid 138/84 kind of person), but maybe adding the meh thing from yesterday's post helps, because my anxiety was down and I spoke well.
  • I'm preferring to hold off on increasing my gabapentin dose until I touch base with neurologist next week.
  • May have seduced my psychologist to the minecraft side. Hauled Jawn in and gave him a live tour and had a really good session about that memory impacting me, and it really was cool seeing how it expressed in my build. I'm cutting visits back to once a month through the winter so I won't have to drive in weather, but I think I'll be ok because I'm doing so well blogging and daily touch bases with key people.
  • Got crucial restock done, poor house has been wiped clean after holidays and we needed so many things. Promptly conked on the couch after I got all that in (it really was a long day for me) and Scott woke me up coming in from work, so that was a solid nap like I haven't had in forever.
  • Tentatively shooting for pushing the publish this year, so I may not be on social media as much as in the past. I had plans to push the Mantrid post out already, get content moved to SyfyDesigns and write for Cryonet, but the moved tonsillectomy and sleep study all at the same time really blew my personal time table out of the water, and picking up pieces is always slow. Doesn't mean I'm diverting or walking off, just means my ship is creeping through hopefully the last of an asteroid mine field.

That's probably plenty of that. Got a 5# pork roast into the crockpot a little bit ago, and I think I'm going to spaz out and play minecraft off and on today while I'm in spoonie fatigue mode. I'm not thinking and talking out loud very well this morning.

This is really easy on the brain.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

collecting myself after collecting my thoughts


It's amazing how settled my nerves are this morning after that long post yesterday. Normally on appointment mornings I'm a tad 'distressed' underneath everything I'm doing, but today I'm like meh because that post yesterday took all day long, and I'm so worn out with the work and material that I'm kind of sick of it, lol. 😐😒☕

I'm sure they'll unsettle on the road. Long day in town today, temps already dropped 30 degrees in the last couple of hours, lots of big cold wind and and possible sleet, ice pellets, or freezing rain, depending on the weather service you check with.

Actually balanced to ye olde exact pennyage on my $$ sync today, first time in many moons. Calendar sync still on point. Had to move a couple of things already going on later in the month, but so far it's all good.

Wrapping my head around getting out the door...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

psyche analyzing minecraft again- going hardcore

I know I said I'd put minecraft over on my Bluejacky blogger, but this is Pinky stuff and needs to home here.

Every bit of this was unintentional and has been coming out fairly slowly since Christmas. It actually started around my birthday a few months ago, came up immediately with my psychologist, kinda got put on hold for holidays, ramped up as a very real personal problem right after holidays, evidently started spinning out on a friend's realm in minecraft until Sherlock blew me up again, so the minecraft thing super ramped up this week until I realized what was happening yesterday, and tomorrow I see my pyschologist again, so this is me organizing my thoughts, like I did before with my Mo Creatures builds that I psyche analyzed over this last year. Something about minecraft (and Sherlock before that) is really pulling my past out of me.

It started with this video.


The only clue I had at first was the sudden compulsion to dig up everything I could on Atlantis, and even wound up requesting a really cool book through our regional Mobius system lending.

Hang on, discussion with @bonenado before he heads out to work, actual live blogging-

He's reminiscing about having $7 in Kennedy silver half dollars (1964 mint) and 3 buffalo head nickels when he was twelve years old. His mom prompted him to open a bank account, he asked the teller if he'd get THAT MONEY back, got a yes, and bam, promptly lost what is now worth a load of money. Naturally, that turned to time travel, and I was like yeah, if you could legally go back and fix, say, 5 things, but it all had to be very strictly monitored with lots of interrogation about not changing anyone else's timelines so it would probably all end up being about money or something, and he was like yeah, everyone would be going back like crazy, and I was all like yeah, it would be the lastest get rich quick scam for the time travel agencies springing up.

He's out the door now, got more coffee, where was I? Ok, the theme music up there. Atlantis is something my dad was interested in, along with hollow earth, UFOs, numerology, end world prophecies, and lots and lots more stuff. For some reason, the Atlantis part has always stuck with me, and I have particularly enjoyed shows based around it, including Stargate Atlantis, which I even purchased.

I grew up with a terrible fear of water and refused to learn to swim in a special swim class for pre-schoolers and had to be pulled out. Describing the scenario would start out like very young autism spectrum child entering a pool area for the first time with a nervous and self conscious yet very determined mother with a load of untold emotional baggage, and basically both of us being asked to leave and me getting griped out all the way home and then spanked real good when we arrived. (I grew up with a lot of very angry spanking borne out of a frustrated young mother who got absolutely no moral support whatsoever, but surprisingly, this will all turn out to be about my dad...) I'd say it was one of the worst days of my life, but I've had stacks of way worse than that, so of course I blocked some of the details, but I sure do remember that much a little too vividly. Over a few years, I grew interested in swimming, took my own initiative, and actually became a pretty good swimmer for awhile, even though I nearly drowned one time (funny story, actually), and by the time I met @bonenado, we took our kids out swimming quite a bit and I got into the pool with them as much as possible unless I felt too ill, because anything pool related is a bit rigorous when you're a spoonie with chronic fatigue, so I obviously overcame that fear of swimming and conquered the water.

But around and in between all that, I have a very long history of fearing water itself, and becoming obsessed with water. After I graduated high school, I got so jumpy over a dripping sink one summer that my mom sent me to live with other people, stuff like that. I've had many dreams of drowning due to water filling up rooms I'm in with no way out, and they were so real, like I already knew exactly what it feels like to stop breathing and 'die', and over time in the dreams, I even just accepted it and let it happen. Trying to fight it with a last breath never helps at all. Since this all began in tiny childhood long before sleep apnea, none of this is prompted by sleep apnea, and I don't dream of drowning just because of that. In fact, it's been awhile since one of my drowning dreams, so I had no urgent prompt to dive into this. Get it? Dive. K, nevermind.

So I've had this combination of minecraft and Sherlock going on in my mind's background where I'm not seeing it, right? And then season 4 started back up, and of all things, death happened in an aquarium, under all that water. I didn't realize it, but subconsciously my mind must've exploded, just in time for an ocean village to be discovered on my friend's realm (super rare, I had never run across one in all my own playing), and before I knew it, I'd launched from there to a nearby mesa my friend had also mentioned finding, and I started in without even thinking about it. Just piddling away on this in between chores around the house, right? It has felt like something I've wanted to do for a very long time, but I couldn't put a finger on what or why until I was nearly all done and then just broke down over a memory finally 'talking' to me. It really does take a lot to see what's underneath who we become.


I'm seeing this is going to get quite long because 30+ screenshots, so if you're not up to either minecraft or the personal psychology behind this new build, see ya. It's important to me, and that's what Pinky blog is for.

I've often thought it would be cool trying to build some kind of apartment complex into a natural tower. I didn't get before pix, so here is after.




You can see I'm the sort who likes preserving natural structure. The very first thing I did was start at the top of that tower and create an open top floor with a bed. Even though I did all this in creative mode and I don't really need a bed for respawn after dying, it felt right to make that a sort of loft bedroom. Looking back, my bed is the closest thing in this whole build to the sky. I didn't notice right away until I came back after I was all done that the emerald (I'm not a 'green' person) is the symbol for communication, which is at the head of my bed where, in minecraft, I would come back to life after dying somewhere. Quite literally, my head is trying to tell me something, apparently, but at the time I did this I felt quite spacey and was just piddling around. I had never put an emerald into an item frame before that I can recall. Emeralds are the currency with villagers, and you trade them for maps. Maps, of course, symbolize journeys and destinations.


The next thing I placed on that level (remember, this is the highest level), was an ender chest. If you don't play, anywhere you put an ender chest immediately connects to all other ender chests you've put things into, so you don't have to go back for stuff. Kinda like Pinky blog storing all my rememories for me...

And then I placed another ender chest right below that one on the next level down with a lilac above it. My mom loved her giant lilac bush in our New Mexico house. That's right, I'm building on the edge of a mesa and the first flower I feel like framing is a lilac, above a chest of things I don't want to lose.


This level is like a mezzanine, an in between place. There's not much on this level, but guess what- right next to that chest and framed lilac is a couch... Do I have a special floor for my psychologist? It feels like a very quiet floor with lots of viewpoints, and also feels very much like a cave, but high enough off the ground to feel safe. I find this color of clay block very comforting. I did every bit of this on a whim, but going back, these are the impressions I'm getting.


The rest of the floors and walls on this level are blank, but I love the views. This is what being in my head really feels like when I'm quiet and not interacting with people. Stuff is going on 'out there'.




The next level down is a little more complicated, just above ground floor. There are views, of course, but there is a whole different feel to them. The entire floor feels much busier, like I have stuff to do. Is that cozy little table and chair where I do my writing?


And I can step out and see what's going on out there. Maybe that nearby village is social media. Ah, yes, you see my springboard. I made that a little later. Cool, huh?


I ran around adding flowers a bit later, too, so this is my view now. The lilacs and sunflowers had to be planted, the rest came from just throwing bonemeal on the ground. I was very surprised at the tulips showing up, kind of how I feel when I go back and proofread, perhaps.


When I go back through that double patio door, this is the wall I see. I loooove maps, usually make one for nearly every place I go. I wonder why I didn't put any furniture around.


That window, though. I think just about my favoritist thing about minecraft is perspective, any way you use it, especially metaphorically. It's like stepping into art, and art comes out of heads. I still don't know what's coming out of my head, but for some reason I am really liking this part. I should have been a cat sleeping in sunlight coming through windows. I feel like I could stand here forever. Maybe someday when I'm a ghost I'll stand at windows like this. Do you ever think that? I've been thinking it for years, how peaceful things feel when we can freeze moments.


The other end of that level has paintings on the wall, and a regular chest. I don't like it, but I haven't changed any of it for some reason. Maybe everything I need is at this end of the room.

The next level down is ground level, which pops up in my mind as 'real life'. I have loads of doors in real life, apparently... There is absolutely no furniture or wall decor whatsoever on this level. All my attention making this level was on doorways. This first one is the 'back' door. Believe it or not, as inconvenient as it is, Janika uses it the most to run in and out making things and looking things over. There's probably some big meaning in that. I love all the blue... It's like part of me is surrounded by it or something.


You don't see the far door down the hall in this pic, which goes out to a steep hidden mine. The big double door out to the pretty area has already been dubbed the Pinky door in my mind.


Yes, very definitely feels like the sort of doors Pinky flings open for the world. Pinky is accessible and claims to be transparent and sees all the things lurking around behind a screen. Really digging the yellow floor, too, whatever that means. I'm generally not a yellow person, but sometimes I really like it. I'm standing on lots of yellow. I hope that's a good thing. Yellow brick road stuff... Some of you know exactly what this means.


And I'm already calling this my Bluejacky door. It's guarded with a bunch of sticky webs and prickly things so no one wants to come in that way. Bluejacky likes to go down rabbit holes and disappear...


Before we continue with that thought, let's go run out the Pinky doors! We could already see a springboard looking down from above, but there was something else, too.


It's all orange. Nearly everything in there is orange. It's tiny and private right out here in the open and the sort of innocent thing that immediately evokes suspicion. My mom's favorite color for awhile was orange. She had a big orange vinyl tablecloth made, and lots of orange started showing up in the kitchen when I was in middle school.


And I know what you're thinking- if this winds up being about my dad, why is all this mom stuff showing up?

My original house-tree-person in my Guidance and Counseling masters degree was very strongly about covering up a lot of anger underneath everything. My house, representing my relationship with my mom (on paper), was a floor plan, like the guts of my thinking without any signs of emotional connections. My tree, representing my relationship with my dad, was a Christmas tree cut away from the roots and covered over with pointy baubles, a very angry looking tree, and my person, representing how I see myself, was a showgirl in a bikini on the back of a circus horse with my eyes closed and a big toothy smile, basically disclosing a difficult personality with interaction problems. I am finally seeing my mom around me on 3D minecraft, but I can't help but notice that trees are conspicuously absent. Interesting. My dad is still alive, my mom is not. I wonder where my head is going next.

I still didn't have a clue at this point. I had built a springboard, went running right off it, placed a row of 3 sea lanterns where I wound up very far down in the dark, measured out a line of sea lanterns across the gulf floor, and then went back into the mesa to tunnel down and out. I had no idea how it would look later, but here's what I got.


Ursa Major, anyone? I loved that constellation growing up. Except the cup of this is pointing south instead of north, so if that's a deeply subconscious thing, maybe I'm wanting to tip the water out? The line of single sea lanterns is following the ocean floor, and the aquarium room is parallel to it. I had a little trouble with the ocean floor breaking through into a cavern, so you're seeing other sea lanterns in the cavern, which amusingly adds to the Big Dipper outline.

I started this venture at the top of the mesa closer to the sky, and what I'm seeing looking down is a picture from the sky I had growing up, but it's under water. There is a saying in archaeology- As above, so below. It is thought that indigenous peoples build on the ground what they see in the heavens above, and that some architecture mimics constellations. I don't know if that's true, but I have a dipper from the sky in the water. And we're about to go down there...

I know, right? It's creepy what can come out of your head when you're not really watching.

I'm going to interrupt before we go on with the real life personal problem that started kicking flashbacks at me again.

I grew up tough. I could handle anything. I have seen death and torture so many different ways, and I never cried about it for many years no matter how personal it got. Over the decades as I've gotten older, I started breaking down over seemingly 'little' things, like a pet chicken dying, and soon after that I couldn't watch anything bloody on TV for a couple of years. I've gotten past that part, but now I've got grandkids and find myself spiraling into emotional dilemmas I never had raising my own kids. Most recently, we had to try to make Bunny take some medicine after a tonsillectomy. That kid is one of the strongest 3 year olds I've ever seen. She was drinking cold milk and telling me THAT helped, so she didn't need medicine. She finally reached a point where she was crying and really did need it, but even though she's taken medicine for us just fine in the past, she had no trust this time and did everything in her power to resist, despite being able to drink milk (and even eat) and feeling so rotten. Something about holding her down while she was already so miserable to force her to feel like she was choking on top of such a bad sore throat through all the crying and slimy bubbling coming out her mouth- *flashback*. I had a horrible couple of hours after that. I kind of blew up about it, firmly stating I would never force her to take medicine again, and that if anyone else has to, I need to leave the room. I understand sometimes you have to force it, especially if the child really needs it, but I couldn't be the one to make it happen.

That is a very big thing for me to admit. I'm the one who was by my dad's side puncturing sheep bellies when they bloated (it's an emergency life-saving 'surgery'), helping him carry and bury puppies whose heads he'd stomped in (quietly weighing the conflicting idea that neither life nor spaying were 'necessary', and kindness to the poor mother dog's anguish over every litter lost to a master's whims was never even considered), helping him catch another dog so he could beat it half to death over a chicken (which never made sense to me, he never hit Mom or us kids), killing cats before he could so they wouldn't suffer because he was so bad at it (if animals don't feel pain, what are nervous systems FOR?), holding livestock and pets down during bloody procedures that also included birthing and butchering, butchering animals myself. Death and the torture I've seen and all the pain I've lived through have made me an extraordinarily strong person. But I broke apart trying to make Bunny take a little bit of medicine. Fortunately, my sploit came to my rescue with some suggestions, because I was appalled at a pharmacist telling Bunny's mama that sometimes you've just gotta plug a kid's nose and force it down. From what I can tell, forcing medicine isn't all that different from waterboarding if it's done in a way that a child feels like they're not just choking, but being forcibly restrained and then choking by someone they are supposed to trust. But perhaps I'm just overreacting because I went through a little too much of it myself. I grew up feeling dismissed, in the way, doing my best to earn being 'necessary'. Along the way, I learned to close all my feelings off the same way my dad did.

I recovered a memory a few months ago that was directly triggered all over again seeing Bunny so terrified of us holding her down while she was in pain, because I have my own vivid memories of being held down and forced through tortuous pain (beyond the stupidity of dripping olive oil up my nose to coat my throat, which burned like hell, and many other home remedies that never worked), and I wasn't yet aware playing minecraft that I was about to relive the emotion of something so rough that I had blocked it out and was finally remembering it.

Despite my fear of water, I do love beaches and ocean vistas, read everything I could get hold of about pirates on the seas in my teens, and even use checks and return address labels with an ocean and beach motifs. You'd have to heavily sedate me (and keep me that way) to get me onto a cruise ship, but I do love everything ocean for some reason, and I've been playing around on several minecraft worlds with underwater builds. I'd had this particular idea for some time to practice building underwater from beneath the ocean floor coming up, and was ready to try it out.

So, back inside the mesa tower on the ground floor, I tunneled straight down to a cavern, and naturally I lent an aquatic feel to the experience.


I love this entrance.


A cavern wraps around this room, looking a bit like an outer work area, plus I did the ceiling in blue glass for an underwater effect. I really love these gray walls from the polished andesite. I've been around a few mechanic and machine shops, so this whole below area feels kind of like a headquarters section of a big operation.



Opening one of the doors steps out into a river, so I slabbed over it. That little square of rushing water right by that door really bothered me, like a sick feeling, but I liked seeing it for some reason, so I left it. In my mind, seeing it like that feels awful. Still wasn't getting any hints why, until the idea of water flushing through entered my mind. I quickly shut the door and went to work on the opposite side of the room.


Before all the water was there above my head, all of that was an ocean floor of underwater gravel above me, so I was able to dig up and create very easily.


And then I kind of made myself feel sick again. I mean, I love it, but it's triggering lots of memories, particularly of smells, and I don't feel well looking at it.


I decided to go back down the stairs, go back up the ladder, and then fly over the top of the ocean to see how it looked so far, which is cool because it's very visible from above the water.


And then I went down into the water on the outside of the glass and looked in. It felt very different then, having a buffer between me and that room. I love how I made it, but something about it just keeps triggering a lot of stuff, and I may have to fill it with some greenery and furniture or something before I'll feel comfortable with it. Maybe a few villagers.


While I was standing there down in the water, I noticed that I could also see down into the room below. It looks like there are two paths to the same room, one without any water in it, and one covered in water, like a sort of visual trick.


I decided to dig the rock out over the room below about my height like a secret pocket cave over it all, which created one of minecraft's weird illusions. Water doesn't flow the same way in minecraft that it does in real life, so the water came in only so far. I wound up with a sizable air pocket that mimicked walking on water because of the blue glass.


And as I cleared away all the rock that is now this empty air pocket, I noticed the walls above the illusion of water, and the whole memory clicked into place, and I cried a little bit. Nothing weepy, just a couple minutes of acknowledging I have a thing in my past that has affected my entire life without me ever understanding why.

Walls. Fear of water, love of walls. It all started on the same day.


I've seen my dad resuscitate animals. I've seen him start newborn goats and lambs breathing by blowing into their mouths to inflate their lungs. He never learned it watching TV or in a class or by knowing anything sciencey. He knew this because he believes in the Breath of Life, and that is how the world works.

Just after my birthday, listening to that song up there, I remembered why I know what it feels like to stop breathing and 'die', probably more like just passing out. I was small, probably about Bunny's age. I was once again going through a familiar ritual that used to be common in civilized households around the world, before the medical field became more sane and started calming people down. I remember trying to convince my dad I could do it, I just needed a little more time, but I was a tiny person and tiny people weren't listened to in my world. I was forced to lie over a closed toilet and was held down very tightly to where I couldn't move at all, and when my very young mother protested my screaming because my stomach hurt so terribly bad having all that water shoved into my bowels and my dad wouldn't stop and I heard my mother's screams escalate because mine were escalating (I feel really bad for my mom going through that, she was just a young mother and I was the first child, it must've been so horrible seeing me go through that and not being able to stop it), my dad did the only thing he could at the moment to handle the situation, which was to quell some of the noise. Years later, he again held his hand over my face to make me shut up my whining, which he felt was interrupting him trying to listen to my mom having a little crisis. I think I was about ten maybe, and I remember thinking he was too busy talking to notice I couldn't breathe. I struggled and he held me still, which was even more terrifying, so using all my wit, I decided to go limp so he'd feel that I couldn't breathe, and it worked, he let me go. I left the room immediately and he never seemed to notice. But remembering all these things, I also remembered with a whoosh that the reason why I so detested the smell of my dad's breath on his harmonica and in general was because I had woke up to it in my mouth when I was very small. Technically, I passed out and he revived me, just another one of his pragmatic actions in a very long history of pragmatism. But realistically, he killed me. If I hadn't started breathing on my own and he hadn't known how or been able to revive me, I could have died.

You know what? That's not the part that got me the most upset, which might sound weird. I trusted my dad growing up (but don't mistake that for being close to my dad) because I saw him do the impossible so many times, and have never since met anyone who has worked as hard all their life. The problem was that he had found a way to turn all that noticing what he's doing to others off inside himself, or at least that anyone else could see, and that's a whole other history of what the crap must he have gone through as a kid, right? Because as a boy he was like a chicken whisperer, and had a dog he loved, and his stories are profoundly deep sometimes. So honestly, I'm not upset with my dad. But I am extremely sad and relieved that I finally know what really broke me. I have so many memories of screaming or crying around water, about being afraid of getting wet, and even though I might seem to be ok in photos or just living life, I'm definitely not ok. I've been through anxiety so bad that I couldn't even get a shower for days, or had to have someone in the house with me just to bathe. For decades I've had nightmares of being trapped in the dark by water around me and the only thing I could feel in the dark was a wall, or of drowning in places that I should be completely safe from drowning with no hope of escape.

And standing there in the dark pocket under an ocean that didn't even get me wet, I remembered I fear the water because I suffocated while I was being inflated with water, and the wall was the only thing that held my hand when I reached out through all that pain and fear for comfort before I blacked out.

Somewhere, way down there, was a tiny child lost in a very dark place, under an ocean of water, and I went down there and dug her out.