Saturday, November 22, 2008

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

It's that time of year when it's time to give credit where credit is due. After being bedridden for 5 1/2 months, I've watched a lot of TV. In fact, I'm currently engrossed in a Trading Spouses marathon. It's a real eye opener.

Growing up, I don't think I really knew how good I had it. I had two parents who loved me and always put my needs ahead of theirs. I had a big bedroom, my own bathroom, a walk-in closet, and a car I didn't have to pay for. I got a job because I wanted one, but I didn't have to. My parents never made me do anything they let me decide how I wanted to spend my free time. They supported me when I was a gymnast, they supported me when I was an actress, and they supported me during everything in between.

Now, it's hard for me sometimes. I have trouble seeing the silver lining, but I've been doing my best. Most days, I'm good at it. My health coach (yes, I'm serious) called Sunday, and we talked for about an hour. She said I was in the best spirits of anyone she'd talked to all week, and, as she put it, "and you're there in agony." I guess I'm using the blog to remind myself of the good things, because I had a bit of a meltdown last night. Being completely dependent on other people and lying in bed all day is a lot harder than it sounds.

As I told my health coach, I can't keep this pain from affecting my body, but I can keep it from affecting my personality and my psyche. I have a roof over my head. Somehow every day, despite being unable to get to the kitchen, I get fed. I can pay my living expenses, for the most part, and I'm doing a dandy job of avoiding those pesky collection calls for all of the medical bills that I intend to pay eventually. But this is a recession ... and I'm not convinced it won't be a depression of sorts. I'm not getting paid in full, and I sure do buy a lot of pills. I'm doing my best.

I have a great family to help. My sister comes over sometimes to bring me lunch, and we usually end up watching a movie or something. My grandparents have come to visit and bring food. Both aunts have helped transport me to doctor visits, and Beth did some cleaning and decorating. My uncles have helped out, too. My mom and Mike have been by, and I've even gotten to see my Dad and Laura a few times.

I have the best friends in the world. Dan stays with me and keeps me fed and entertained with board games and video games. Michael brings food, and her kids and magical husband. We have a good time together, and she's a great cook. Leslie brings food and cute offspring. Every time I see Jackson I can't help but smile. He is by far the happiest child I have ever seen. He is always smiling and laughing. It's like he already knows how many people love him. My woman Vicki comes over to make me Hamburger Helper and rock out with me on Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

I've been able to help out at the high school, going up there for an hour or two to help with the play during dress rehearsal or do improvs with the Theatre I classes. It's a good way to pass time and feel like a productive member of society. I can't stay long, and I have to up the meds, but it helps. During dress rehearsal, I got to read the part of the Cowardly Lion due to a family emergency that kept the actress cast in that role from being at rehearsal. It was fun to take that walk down memory lane.

So this Thanksgiving, I'm thankful to everyone who has supported me this year. To my family and friends, I am forever in your debt, and I will never be able to repay the kindness and support you have shown me. To my kick-ass doctor, Dr. Rickard - who is my favorite of all of my doctors - thank you for always listening to me and for being willing to spend a little extra time and thinking outside the proverbial box.

That is all for now. This episode has a lesbian couple that's trading a wife with a straight couple. Awesome! Sometimes TV is a good thing. Oh, I almost forgot: I am thankful for the Democrats winning in November! And I'm thankful I sold some of my stock before the market went to hell.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hell Yeah to the Chief!

If I hadn't been completely and utterly unable to tear my eyes from the television, I would have blogged live during one of the greatest nights in recent memory. Actually, due to my meds, I don't have that many recent memories, so I'll go ahead and say it was one of the greatest nights of my life.

Tuesday morning I woke up, donned my Obama hoodie and VOTE hat (which had the Obama logo as the "O"), and headed to the polls. While waiting in line in unseasonally warm weather, a guy from a local pizza place brought pizza for people in line. How awesome! It took me two hours to get from outside the church to the table where the workers confirm your voting eligibility and give you that piece of paper that you have to take to the worker at the booth. However, after that, I got to go to the front of the line! Sweet! I didn't ask to go to the front of the line, mind you, because if I'd already waiting two hours, another 20 or 30 minute isn't really a big deal. But the kind lady wheeled me to the first available booth, where I cast my ballot for Obama!

After some regrouping at the apartment, I went to pick up my cookie cakes. One was a domino cookie with "Obama 08" in blue and white icing, and the other was a chocolate chip cookie with "Jan. 20th 2008" in blue and white icing. Then I got some cheap, but surprisingly good, champagne. After Jeopardy, it was time to watch the country turn blue.

After we had secured Pennsylvania and Ohio, it was time for cookie cake celebrations! The champagne, of course, had to wait until polls closed in the West, ensuring a glorious landslide victory for Obama/Biden! I kept randomly outbursting things like, "We did it!" the rest of the night and most of today. I don't think I'll stop doing that for a while.

McCain gave a great speech, despite a few at his rally booing Obama. Why can't these people get a clue? McCain is a class act, and I believe his speech was sincere. As much as I dislike his politics, and as much as I am disgusted by the way his campaign was run, I do have tremendous respect for him. I know he has done good for this country. I know he believes in America as much as Obama does. I know he will be instrumental in uniting the parties after Obama is sworn in. The people at the rallies who have come to think that booing the President-Elect and shouting hateful things is acceptable behavior are doing McCain and the Republican Party a tremendous disservice.

As a side note, watching Palin was thoroughly enjoyable. She looked like a bad soap actress who just lost a Daytime Emmy and is trying to look happy for the winner. I think she thought they were going to win. I think she really thought she was going to be the Vice President and then the President. I think she really thought she was going to run the Senate! Go back to Alaska where they still like you. She gave a decent interview about needing unity, but I didn't believe her. She didn't seem to believe the words she was saying.

Now let's get to Obama's speech. I know I'm not the only one who teared up. I have never been prouder of this nation than that moment. His speech was incredible. I cheered, I toasted his upcoming term, and I felt that for the first time this century, we're on the right track. Last night meant so much, and it's not just because we finally reach a milestone by electing a black man. We came together and with a resounding voice we told the nation, and the world, that eight years is enough! We are ready, willing, and finally able to bring about some great changes, to make America live up to its ideology.

And then I couldn't help but feel saddened that during this monumental occasion, our President-Elect had to give his acceptance speech behind bullet-proof glass. We've come so far, but we have so far to go. But at least now, I am hopeful.

And, finally, California: What the fuck?! Prop. 8? Really?!

I have great concerns with all of this legislation about who can get married. What's next, banning interracial marriages? Banning marriages against socio-economic lines? Of course not. That sounds ludicrous. I feel about gay marriage the same way I feel about abortion: If you're against it, don't do it. Seems like a pretty easy thing to me. If you want a theocracy, so live in Vatican City. Try as you might, you cannot instill morality through legislation. And, to all you skeptical right-wingers, especially the evangelicals, you're missing the silver lining: gay divorce! If half of marriages end in divorce, what sanctity is there to protect?

"Sanctity of marriage" is a figment of someone's imagination. If it were true, there wouldn't be divorce. Granted, some people who enter into marriage believe in the sanctity of marriage, and that's fine. I myself plan only to marry once, and I plan to marry a man, but what is right for me isn't necessarily right for everyone else. Not everyone sees marriage in the same way. Not everyone sees a religious tie to marriage. Some people get married at City Hall. If you are a church, you are seperate from the government, and if you only want to marry heterosexual couples, I guess that's your prerogative. But don't let it ooze into the legislation.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

"Just a Small Town Girl, Livin' in a Lonely World"

Well, I'd be lying if I said I felt good today, but I had a blast yesterday during my brief foray into mainstream society, if you can call my friends mainstream, and I certainly wouldn't.

The day started with me trying in vain the change my eyebrow ring to a captive bead ring, but I couldn't get the damn bead in. I should probably ask my sister how she managed to do it back when she had her eyebrow pierced. Yes, friends of mine, my sister once had her eyebrow pierced. When I couldn't get the hoop in, I opted for a funky curly ring.

I donned a cute dress, tights, and my Mary Janes, and got all dolled up for the day. I even wore make-up! This was a huge deal for me, as I can count on one hand the number of times I've worn something other than sweats and pajamas over the past five months.

First stop: Kari's baby shower. When I wheeld into the house, I squealed with delight when I saw not only my Little Sister Kari, cute as a button, and Melissa, who we later discovered is my Great-Grand Little, but also Laurie, my adopted little. At the baby shower, I totally dominated baby games! It came with the awesome joy of giving Kari more baby gifts! I enjoyed reading the backs of the packages in my game show host voice.

After the shower, it was time to trek from Murfreesboro to the Old Hickory Country Club in the Hermitage area. I wheeled next to Amber for the ceremony. Amber's hair had grown out and was totally cute. I really think she could pull off just about any hair style. I also finally got to meet Cox's girlfriend Alana, who is super cool. It was a lovely reunion with Patrick, Loren, Lindsey, Amber, Cox, Alana, JR, Alan, Nick, Kristin, and Lonnie - and, of course, the happy couple whom I will hereafter refer to as Amanderson - Manderson and Amanda. If I forgot anybody, I'm sorry, but, as I'm sure you noticed, I was on a LOT of drugs.

At the reception, we had a great time. The food was really good, and the booze was free! Props to Amanda's parents for footing the bill for the gorgeous wedding. Cox helped me wheelchair dance to "Build Me up Buttercup" and Patrick wheeled me to the dance floor during "Thriller," balancing me on my back two wheels. What a blast! I also did my pop-and-lock style arm ripple, and shook what I could like a Polaroid picture during "Hey ya."

However, what might be the most memorable part was the combination of belting/screaming "Don't Stop Believin,'" which I have now decided should be played at every wedding. We all stood in a circle - except for yours truly, of course, as I cannot stand - and if our goal was to be as loud as possible, we certainly succeeded.

I got home around 10 last night and woke up around 4 a.m., getting a healthy seven hours of sleep. No, my math is not wrong. The time changed last night. I got more sleep, and those of you boozing it up afterward got an extra hour of drinking time. Now, here I am, typing, in an unbelievable amount of pain, which I expected. I was tempted to leave early, but as I told Patrick, I'd still be hurting if I went home, and I wanted to stay with everyone as long as possible, because who knows when I'll see everyone again. I'm bummed I didn't make it to the post-wedding festivities, but I really needed to get out of the chair and lie down.

All in all, it was great fun. Congrats to Amanderson, who were positively lovely. Amanda was gorgeous, and she was also entertaining during the ceremony. They looked really relaxed, like they were enjoying themselves. It's quite refreshing because so many weddings are so tense.

Today's agenda, or lack thereof, is uneventful compared to yesterday. Right now, I'm just trying to recuperate.