Bipolar Diary: “Clocks”

I’m trying to figure out what the heck is going on with my mind. (Is there ever any figuring it out, though?)

The clock is driving me crazy. It feels, quite literally.

That Damn Clock

When the kids were babies, watching the clock was the worst thing I could do. I would look at the clock to see how long I had been asleep before being awakened again to nurse. With Tristan, I would get angry seeing it had only been 15 minutes… or 30… or 50… or even 3 hours. I believed I couldn’t get enough sleep.

Meghann was born when Tristan was 19 months old and I started the same frustrating cycle, feeling my anger rising again. Being angry at a baby isn’t a proper emotion with a newborn/baby/toddler/child especially when it is 100% their innate behavior, so I reached out and asked for help.

Best Parenting Advice Ever

My experienced-in-natural-birth-and-parenting friends had The Solution.

Cover the clocks.

If I did not know how long I had slept, I could stay in the moment and be the mom I wanted to be: present and relaxed.

I’ve since shared that advice hundreds of times, knowing the benefits first-hand.

Clocks Meghann
Meghann sleeping with newborn Gabriella… without a clock.

If There Were No Clocks

If we lived in the wilderness, the jungle, the desert, hundreds/thousands/millions of years ago, we would look to the sun, moon, and seasons for the passage of time. If the sky was covered with clouds, we would be guessing. Nursing moms would look into the eyes of their babies when they cried, not upward to watch the passage of time in a 24-hour day.

“Watch the baby, not the clock,” was a mantra I shared with all new parents.

Clocking the Time

My job requires a clock. I have to know the time a call starts, then look at the work timekeeper to see how long I have been talking. I have to write the time down for each call three times. While I can clock in and out when I want to, I have to “clock” in and “clock” out.

I look at my (now) blue glowing digital clock dozens of times a day for a variety of personal reasons pertaining to health and household needs.

The clock hangs heavy around my neck. Especially the digital one because it does this fluctuating weird shit I can’t explain. Sometimes it glows. Sometimes it’s 3-D. Sometimes it’s flat. Sometimes the numbers float.

Clocks

I thought when my hallucinations stopped, the clock was going to chill, but it has not. Instead, it’s taken on a new design of continuous motion within its metal container.

Disconcerting doesn’t begin to explain how it feels.

I wish I could cover it. I really wish I could yank the plug and throw it away. I’ve thought about getting a new clock, but the idea of a strange resident is scarier than what I have looking at me right now.

I’ll look outside the window as much as I can.

“Confusion never stopsClosing walls and ticking clocks, gonnaCome back and take you homeI could not stop that you now know, singing”

“Clocks” – Coldplay

Stormy “Love of My Life” – Writing Meditation

I came across this beautiful YouTube audio of Brian May playing Freddie Mercury’s “Love of My Life” on his classical guitar set to a wonderful gentle stormy night backdrop.

It’s an hour long – set on constant repeat for me – writing meditation. I thought someone else might benefit from this beauty.

Below the solo guitar is the video of Brian playing in concert while Freddie Mercury sings.

Exquisite.

Thank you, Freddie and Bri.

Thank you so very much.

Love of my life, you’ve hurt meYou’ve broken my heartAnd now you leave meLove of my life, can’t you see?
 
Bring it back, bring it backDon’t take it away from meBecause you don’t knowWhat it means to me
 
Love of my life, don’t leave meYou’ve taken my love (my love)And now desert meLove of my life, can’t you see? (Please bring it back)
 
Bring it back, bring it back (back)Don’t take it away from me (take it away from me)Because you don’t know (ooh-ooh-ooh know)What it means to me (means to me)
 
You will rememberWhen this is blown overAnd everything’s all by the way (ooh)When I grow older (yeah)I will be there at your side (ooh)To remind you how I still love you (to remind you)(I still love you)
 
Back, hurry back (back, back)Please, bring it back home to me (bring it back home to me)Because you don’t know (ooh-ooh-ooh know)What it means to me (means to me)
 
Love of my lifeLove of my life(Ooh, ooh)
-written by Freddie Mercury

“Mama Told Me Not to Come”

On the heels of my “How Can I Write This Crazy Drug and Sex-Induced Book?” comes Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come.”

“Want some whiskey in your water?
Sugar in your tea?
What’s all these crazy questions they’re askin’ me?
This is the craziest party that could ever be
Don’t turn on the lights ’cause I don’t wanna see”

Clearly, it’s encouraging me to just keep writing.

Everywhere I turn, there is The Message.

“She saw Fancy pressed up against a wall in Leo’s room while a muscular man held his head by the hair and, through gritted teeth said, ‘Spread your legs. I’m gonna fuck you, faggot.’” – In the Bushes/WIP by Barb Herrera

“Write, Barb! No matter how crazy. Just keep writing.”

I’m am! I am.

“More Kicks”: Me & the Faggots

I’ve been struggling with parts of the book I’m writing. I was talking to Meghann about them, how hard the sections with crazy, anonymous sex and copious drug and alcohol use are to write about with the post-AIDS knowledge we all have.

What Will People Think?

The book Faggots by Larry Kramer, written in 1978, that, when it came out, was hated and trashed, especially in the gay community.

A great read from the Hurray for Dead White Males’ blog post called “Faggots,” in part, explains:

“Published in 1978 to a storm of controversy, Faggots was one of the most infamous novels of its time, a giant glitter-smeared Fuck You to the gay community it satirised so ruthlessly.”

“What happened next is even more interesting, and nearly unparalleled in the history of satire. Within three years of its publication, New York was in the grip of the AIDS epidemic. The dire predictions in Faggots about the devastation caused by a life of hedonism had come true, in the most horrific way.”

Larry Kramer Didn’t Give a Shit What People Thought

When the AIDS crisis began, Larry did not just sit and say, “I told you so.” He went to work co-creating the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and worked his ass off to get politicians, medical researchers, and doctors to hurry up and save these gay lives. He was especially vitriolic towards Anthony Fauci who, decades later, became a friend, thanking Kramer for helping to save so many lives.

There are reams of articles, speeches, and books written by and about Larry Kramer’s intense and angry thoughts regarding those in and around the LGBTQ community and AIDS.

And how he was right all along.

Kramer died in 2020 at 84 years old after 60 years of work as an activist.

Larry Kramer’s Faggots & Roger Taylor’s “More Kicks”

I’m grabbing from Kramer’s frenetic energy in the book Faggots and adding Roger’s memories of his wild days in Queen as he sings “More Kicks” – both, for the most part, before AIDS hit our realities.

“Of the 2,639,857 faggots in the New York city area, 2,639,857 think primarily with their cocks.
You didn’t know that the cock was a thinking organ?
Well, by this time, you should know that it is.” – Larry Kramer

“I was young and stupid
I didn’t feel no pain
I was looking for trouble
I didn’t feel no shame

I was heading for a long day’s journey into the night… life
I wanted more kicks” – Roger Taylor

“I Didn’t Feel No Shame”

It is that line Roger wrote that’s bouncing around in my head.

Is it shame I feel about my/our hedonistic behaviors from 1978 until 1981? Is that why I’m struggling so much to get these sex and drug stories down? Why can’t I let go and write the truth of those days?

“Opening her eyes wide again, she saw the Top in a leather harness reach into the ubiquitous can of Crisco, slathering it onto -and into – the bottom’s ass before wiping his greasy hand on the bedspread, then jamming his dick into the collared man underneath him. The loud ‘umph’ came not only from the inserted, but several of the folks watching as well.” – In the Bushes/WIP by Barb Herrera

I want to be like Larry Kramer and Roger Taylor. I want to just write.

Can I ever climb over this hurdle?

I am hoping so.

Disney’s EPCOT Turns 40!

Four Days Earlier

I was there!

I was at EPCOT’s pre-opening on September 28, 1982, nine months pregnant with Tristan.

EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, was a complete unknown and took several years to find her feet. I loved it from the beginning and it remains my favorite park. Early on, it was quiet and easy to wander around, not contending with lines or cranky tourists. We went often.

And they offered alcohol! Not that I was drinking since I was nursing a baby once I went back, but it was a crazy concept to have a Disney park with alcohol. I will say most guests did drink and loved being able to. I’m sure it was one of the most beloved choices Disney decision-makers ever made.

Entering the Park

These next two pictures were taken as we walked into EPCOT that first day.

EPCOT 40th Anniversary
Sept. 28, 1982 EPCOT – Stepping off the monorail at the brand new park.

 

EPCOT 40th Anniversary
9-28-82 EPCOT – Walking towards Spaceship Earth from the welcome fountain.

EPCOT 40th Anniversary
9-28-82 EPCOT – China Pavilion

 

EPCOT 40th Anniversary
9-28-82 EPCOT – World Showcase Lagoon

EPCOT 40th Anniversary
9-28-82 EPCOT – American Adventure Pavilion

 

9-28-82 EPCOT – American Adventure Pavilion, Voices of Liberty

 

9-28-82 EPCOT – Pregnant with Tristan in The Land. He was born 10-20-82.

EPCOT 40th Anniversary
9-28-82 EPCOT – The Land, Kitchen Kaberet

 

EPCOT 40th Anniversary
9-28-82 EPCOT – Kitchen Kaberet in The Land

EPCOT 40th Anniversary
9-28-82 EPCOT – The Land

EPCOT 40th Anniversary
9-28-82 EPCOT – Last look at Spaceship Earth from the monorail.

Happy 40th Anniversary EPCOT!

My family has a date to be at the 50th Anniversary in 2032 for Tristan’s 50th birthday.

Meet us there!

Under-Appreciated: Hate/Love of Artists II

In Part I of Under-Appreciated: Hate/Love of Artists, I shared thoughts about critics, one in particular, John Rockwell of the New York Times who critiqued a Queen concert on the Jazz Tour in 1978. I saw a concert on this tour in Lakeland, Florida two weeks before he did in New York City.

Roger Taylor and Brian May
Roger Taylor and Brian May 1970s

More Recent Judgements of Queen

While I have not seen a Queen concert live since 1978, I have watched as many as exist on YouTube showing the Queen + Paul Rodgers tours beginning in 2005, continuing with the Queen + Adam Lambert tours beginning in 2011.

Being a Queenie, of course I love the following reviews, most taken during a Queen + Adam Lambert tour, and I agree with them wholeheartedly.

Amsterdam

“The show at the Ziggo Dome was nothing short of majestic and overwhelming.”

‘”…a setlist that goes from climax to climax.”

Cologne

“… in the sold-out Lanxess Arena in Cologne, the 51-year-old Queen presented itself breathtakingly vital, and it did not seem that this rocking monarchy with masterfully staged theatricality and glitter pomp is anywhere near its end.”

Berlin

“Champions, that’s what Queen were on that night…the show must go on, and that for years to come, it certainly wouldn’t be a mistake.”

“One could literally see their joy to play in May and Taylor’s eyes.”

Roger Taylor Brian May Getty
Roger Taylor and Brian May – Getty Images

“Queen anthems such as ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, ‘Crazy Little Things Called Love’ and ‘Love Of My Life’ all sounded really fresh…and May happily demonstrated again and again with impressive, but never too long, solos why he and his guitar have created a sound for eternity.”

Birmingham

“Brian and Roger put on an energetic display that would put most younger bands to shame. Cracking gig!! 5 Stars.”

“A wonderful night and a wonderful show. Queen still rock.”

“…an emotional universe and beyond.” 5 Stars

Belfast

“For any Queen fan, this will be the closest thing to a religious experience.”

“Two and a half hours of jaw-dropping spectacle and euphoria.”

“The rock icons blew the roof off the SSE Arena with a simply electrifying performance.”

What I Love

Roger Taylor Brian May
Brian May and Roger Taylor

Knowing the critics can see the joy and love in Bri and Rog’s eyes while they perform propels my continuing to read reviews at all. Queenies can’t be the only ones who get why Queen still performs.

If you have not watched or listened to Queen in awhile, it’s time you do.

Start with the last album they completed before Freddie died, Innuendo. It has become my absolute favorite. I still love Made in Heaven, of course, but Innuendo is incredible.

Enjoy!

12-Year Old Nandi Bushell Drops “The Shadows”

If you have not discovered Nandi Bushell yet, now is the time. Nandi’s YouTube channel will introduce you to her amazing talents that include incredible drumming, great guitar and bass playing, time on the piano, and now professionally showing us her singing skills.

Not only singing for us to hear, but she is demonstrating her beautiful songwriting talents, too.

Nandi Bushell Shadows

Nandi Sings for Her Father

As she tells it, her father fell into a depression earlier this year so she wrote him a song to let him know how loved he is and how he is not alone. What 12 year old understands the depths of depression in a parent so intensely, she writes a love song to him?

“When your fears have taken their toll
When the demons have gotten control
When the shadows won’t leave you alone
I’ll be there
When all your rainbows turned into black
When the sun has turned its back
When all of your power bled itself dry
I’ll be there
For you”

Nandi is that child.

Her family is so blessed to have each other.

Listen and Pass It On!

Roger Taylor Drops The Outsider Tour Live

Roger Taylor drops his new double album The Outsider Tour Live today and I love it!

Roger Taylor Outsider Live Tour

Rog, as he is affectionally called by Brian May and others, is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter in his own right, and the drummer as well as back-up singer and songwriter for Queen for the last 50 years. Besides his own songs, he’s written such hits as “Radio Ga-Ga,” “I’m in Love With My Car,” “A Kind of Magic,” “The Invisible Man” [which I adore], and more.

As I’ve written, I had a serious crush on Roger Taylor when we were all younger. Cute as fuck, he glows with sexuality and charisma.

Roger is also snarky (exhibited on this album by calling the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, a movie he helped make!, “Bohemian Raspberry” despite professing to love the movie) sarcastic, sometimes very rude, and, at least in his earlier incarnation, quite oversexed. Of course, all of this is based on what people have recorded and shared on YouTube and in the press over the years. So, I could be way off, but suspect he would laugh and nod along with my/their assessment. 

22 Tracks & Many Sooooo Good!

What shines through this music is Roger’s kindness towards humanity, usually an obvious trait reserved for Brian May. It is beautiful to hear Roger sing about the pain of domestic violence in “Surrender,” and our collective need to take care of others in “Foreign Sand.”

“As far as we know it’s the only way to be
Try to plant a seed, fulfill, the need
To make it grow, just say hello
And though you’re far from home try to learn what you could be
Your heart will tell you everything you need”

These Days…

“These Are the Days of Our Lives,” a song written by Roger for Queen, continues to bring me to tears, knowing where the birth of the song came from. As Freddie was dying, Roger penned this beautiful ballad as a reminder for where they had been and that they were, even in darkness, still all together. It was Freddie’s last recording on camera.

Roger’s solo version remains a beautiful gift for all of us, Freddie included. His voice, perfectly nuanced, pulls the emotion we share with each other into the time we have left and the reminder to stay present, even when things are impossible to accept or understand.

Who Has Control (And What Do We Do About It?)

“Gangsters Are Running This World” illuminates another part of Roger’s gentle consideration of humanity and what it does and should look like.

“I wanna fly on the wings of love
I want the clean fresh air in my face
I wanna tear down every border and wall
I wanna take part in the human race
I wanna fly on the wings of love
I wanna run down a path of hope
I wanna fly on the wings of love

Gangsters are running this world
You can shout but never be heard”

This is one of my favorite tracks, one I had not heard before this morning. It’s perfect. A deep ballad with a beat of walking feet that keep moving even with the realization that we don’t have all the control over our destinies. Roger implores us to reach higher than we think we can and not to give up. 

I promise, Roger. I promise you, I will.

Click Here to Buy or Stream The Outsider Tour Live by Roger Taylor.

It’s magnificent!

Under-Appreciated: Hate/Love of Artists

Nothing New

Critics are unable to decipher good music/art/books/fill-in-the-blank. This is not news to most of us, but when looking at a band like Queen and knowing how reviled they were for decades, yet are beloved now… this has to offer hope to other artists of all types.

“Good Company”

Painters not appreciated in their lifetimes include: Vincent Van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, and more.

Writers not appreciated in their time: Zora Neale Hurston (one of my favorite authors ever), H.P. Lovecraft, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, and surely many more.

Composers that had no acceptance during their lifetimes include: Johann Sebastian Bach, Igor Stravinsky, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and many others.

And Then There Is Queen

Queen

I remember when I was an older teen and Queen was hated by critics as well as by many of my friends. Of course, I was one who loved them and found other Queenies of the day who did, too.

Sitting back 44 years later, I’m amused at how things have changed over time. Sure, there are still Queen-haters, but, from what I can see, there are far more Queen lovers now than there were then. Especially with the critics.

The article “Queen Draws Fans With Flashy, Semiprogressive, Semimetal Rock” by critic John Rockwell oddly semi-s their music’s description several times. It came out on November 18, 1978 in the New York Times. He speaks about how Queen’s music is “mostly pretty empty, all flash and calculation.”

Empty? Queen needed to create a wide variety of styles and sounds in order to survive their tenure (with Freddie Mercury). It was a hallmark of the band. Queen refused to be pigeon-holed. They had an intense desire to be heard in a thousand different ways.

“Lyrically, Queen’s songs manage to be pretentious and irrelevant.”

I believe the intelligence of the band members remained a mystery to those who judged their songs negatively. Either they didn’t know each member had a degree in various specialties or, and this is my best guess, Queen’s band members’ smarts were so far above their heads, they used the word “pretentious,” as an epithet instead of confessing they didn’t understand the nuances of their songwriting or compositions.

Rockwell’s article came out two weeks to the day after I attended my only Queen concert at the Lakeland Civic Center outside Orlando. I had just seen the same concert on the Jazz Tour as he saw at Madison Square Garden, so feel good sharing my young opinion with you all.

Queen Ticket Nov. 4, 1978
(not my ticket)

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

Rockwell continues:

“Musically, for all the virtuosity — though it was cheating a bit to turn over the complex middle portion of their “Bohemian Rhapsody” to a taped version, with empty stage and flashing lights — the songs still sound mostly pretty empty, all flash and calculation.”

Empty? Flash? That baffles me.

I’ll agree with calculation. For fuck’s sake, they were incredibly perfectionistic!

If he means formulaic, that is absurd. Queen was/continues to be anything but formulaic.

With regards to “Bohemian Rhapsody” in concert, I have to wonder how the reviewer expected Queen to do the operatic section. I think they handled the dilemma perfectly.

I remember listening to/watching “Bohemian Rhapsody” in concert as if it was yesterday. The gong hung behind the drum set and it caught our eyes as we walked into the arena, the anticipation of its being slammed palpable from the beginning of the concert.

1977 BoRhap Concert
This is a photo of the stage during BoRhap on the same tour in 1977. You can see the gong in the back.

As the concert unfolded, Freddie playing piano and singing to us was exalting, his voice pouring over everyone in the arena. I remember having tears in my eyes from the gloriousness of that song.

Judgement of Freddie and Queen

Some reviews just suck.

“With this sort of (seemingly deliberate, but who can say?) pandering to an obvious need in the late‐teen and early 20’s rock market, Queen has won an audience, and that audience’s more flamboyant members certainly gave every sign of rapture Thursday. But it will be hard for the band to reach a really huge market this way, and at the same time, it will be equally hard for many people to take them seriously in ‘artistic’ terms, or even pop‐artistic terms. Still, it’s a living.”

Freddie Mercury 1977 Jazz Tour
Freddie Mercury on Jazz Tour in 1977.

Ahh, that word “flamboyant.”

In 1978, more than now, flamboyant meant gay. The underlying sentiment is Queen is “pandering” to the gay population and “regular” (straight) folks are left out of the mix, unable to have their musical needs and desires met.

With the word “artistic” in quotes, Rockwell uses yet another euphemism for gay and seems to be saying that even if the public can accept Queen’s gay terms/actions, they won’t be able to take them seriously musically.

Love Eventually Arrives

I have a Part II planned that shows the love Queen has gotten decades later and how they have grown on critics and the public. I wonder what took them so long to see what I saw way back in the olden days.

For you folks struggling to make it in the arts, hang in there.

You are in good company.

Tiny Boxes (via Scribbled Verse)

Afzal Moolla of Scribbled Verse put up this Pete Seeger version of Tiny Boxes (aka the Ticky Tacky song aka the Weeds Theme Song).

You know if it’s on YouTube, I am going to jump on it. This was a fantastic way to wake up this morning! Thanks, Afzal!

I wanted to put up the original by Malvina Reynolds, which is the one sung for the Weeds opening credits.

It is so darned perfect for today’s world, which is kind of sad since this originally came out the year I was born: 1961.

Enjoy!

Bipolar Diary: Stabilized (I Think)

My clock numbers are flat again. The blue has stayed, but not nearly as pronounced as it was. I swear they used to be red, so am really confused why they are blue now. Whatever.

I don’t feel sad or depressed… or even as flat as I did yesterday

I hope this is as low as I go.

I’m trying not to be bummed about losing the hypomania, enjoying what I have and glad it isn’t depression.

Tattoo

I want a tattoo. I usually get tattoos when I am manic, but right now am wanting one. A half-sleeve on my upper left arm under my Pulse tattoo.

Queen Innuendo

Queen, of course. From the song “Innuendo.”

“You can be anything you want to be
Just turn yourself into anything you think that you could ever be
Be free with your tempo, be free, be free
Surrender your ego, be free, be free to yourself”

I want to “Be Free with my Tempo.”

“We’ll keep on trying.”

 

Thanks to Brian May & Roger Taylor

A quick note of thanks to Bri and Rog for keeping their mouths and fingers shut about what happened behind the scenes with Queen, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, and their own foibles.

What we saw in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody was not only fairly public information, it was also a consolidation of events created for dramatic effect. That was fine by me.

Brian May has been open about his own mental health issues (and Goddess love him for it, too!) and his life as an astrophysicist, but he has been delightfully silent about the inner workings of Queen.

While there are snippets of arguments online and Roger and Brian have talked about their own head-knocking behaviors together, generally, very little is known about what went on amongst all of them.

I don’t expect any tell-all books after the remaining three from Queen are gone, either. They all respect each others’ privacy too much.

It makes me weep with gratitude they love and care about each other that much.

Too many others can’t wait to blab their dirty laundry.

Queen has class.

Queen

Bipolar Diary: Sharp Edges Being Rounded

My hypomania is fading and I am quite cranky about it.

I’ve been gloriously productive the last three weeks and now to have this needing-a-nap bullshit again is pissing me off.

My clock face is still glowing some, but nothing like the 3-D it was giving me last week. The blue color is almost flat.

Like me.

My Color Draining

For most of my life, I’ve been able to detect my mood just by looking at my imaginary mental health watch. I could look down at my wrist and gauge where I was at any moment. Good? Depressed? How depressed? (As if I could measure the depth by the minute hands on the face.) I have not thought about my mood watch in ages… until the clock on my bookcase became that touchstone.

Just a few days ago, I wrote about my digital clock glowing a 3-D azure blue, it having once been red. Today, the numbers are not dancing as much and the blue is less glowy. I am watching my mood’s colors dribble down the drain.

Bipolar Diary

And In Comes the Flatness

“Flat” is a term used with depression. “The lows can be flat and devoid of colour…” (It does also mean a flat affect, but that isn’t how I am using it.)

Like the clock face, I am becoming flat.

I’m still early in losing the hypomania, but I can already feel the pressure on my mood. It’s slight still, but it is most certainly there.

I’m crying knowing what is coming.

Hallucinations Vanish

The hallucinations have all gone. Nothing.

No random scents.

No ants crawling on me.

No seeing things.

All gone.

Would I rather have the bugs crawling on me and around the room? Probably not, but you see, there is a trade-off. I would take the bugs if I get the great energy and wonderful productivity.

Now, I have neither.

Too Short and Very Sweet

This episode was very short, but so wonderful, even if for only three weeks. Now I am left with the memory of that time and it, too, will fade. My words here in the blog will be the way I can recall where I was and when. If I had not written them down, they would have been erased by my brain within a few more days.

I’m so glad I did not agree to the Risperdal. I would be headed to a major depression at this point. I’m hoping to avoid that, but know it is always a risk and that I have very little control over the depths into which I will fall.

My Status Quo: Low Level Depression

I will most likely fall back into my baseline which is a low-level depression. Not terrible despair. No suicidal ideations. No inability to move or think. Just a place where I exist without fantastic joyous feelings. I feel love for people, family, kids, grandkids, but it isn’t an overflowing power I feel when I am not in my everyday skin.

That makes me sad.

Writing

We’ll see how much I continue writing. It was so nice writing a lot those few days.

Why isn’t there a pill to keep me in hypomania?

Bipolar Diary

“What’s a Centerfold?”

I heard that question today.

What?!

I came across J. Geils Band’s video “Centerfold” and listened to the Reactor ask what a centerfold was. They did not even understand the song, which shocked me.

Thinking it was a fluke, I watched another Reaction. Then another. And another. One after the next, people under 45 missed the obvious (to me) storyline of the song/video.

Litmus Tests of the Elderly

I’m one of the elderly now.

My life includes these experiences:

  • Party lines
  • Life without microwaves
  • TVs with three channels
  • No remote controls for TVs
  • Having to hang clothes on the line
  • Phones having cords on them and dialing the number one wanted to call
  • Prank calls
  • Rolling car windows
  • No seat belts
  • Phone booths
  • Waiting for pictures to be developed
  • Few divorces
  • Moms who didn’t work
  • Running around outside until the streetlights went on, never checking in
  • Driver’s Ed classes in high school

And surely dozens more we had in the olden days.

Ultimate Test of Age

Now there is the centerfold.

The young have never, will never, experience the joy of opening a Playboy (which stopped printing magazines in 2020) or Penthouse (which stopped printing in 2016), inhaling the wafting scent of manufactured pages, before immediately turning to the centerfold.

She, the woman whose body graced those double pages, opened herself to us, allowing us to see her body close-up, her eyes staring right into ours.

The Young…

…will never have the experience of having two pages stuck together.

That’s just sad.

YouTube-Gasm

Not an ad, I promise.

I did what was necessary to get YouTube without commercials and it has transformed the experience.

I’m weeping with relief from political ads. And every other mother-fucking ad they cram on there.

Added Bonus

Watch Roger Taylor kick ass singing and playing drums at the same time. (below)

He’s so pretty, so there is that, too.

Bipolar Diary: Hallucination Day

Sometimes when I don’t think there can be anything weirder than what I’ve seen, smelled, felt, new things materialize.

No sooner did I tell my psych yesterday I was not having Auditory Hallucinations, they pay me a visit.

Today’s Fun

  • I could smell the inside of my Flipper lunchbox from first grade all day long. It was there, then gone, sometimes there for half an hour, sometimes a flash. Olfactory hallucinations are odd because I would swear the item/scent was right under my nose. It isn’t a memory thing, it’s a real scent. Like lunchbox perfume. No idea what brought that to the forefront. I have not been thinking about first grade or lunch. I didn’t even know I still had that scent-memory!

Hallucinations

  • My clock numbers have become floating 3-D. They float out of the clock mechanism and glow a beautiful blue. They are usually red. 

Hallucinations

  • I am trying to think of the name for the blue. Azure.

Hallucinations

  • I had to keep YouTube off today because Steely Dan’s Aja was playing around the room. I did just watch a documentary about the making of Aja, but I didn’t expect my mind to bring the studio into my room. If I closed my eyes, I could hear the speakers in the corners near the ceiling and one floating speaker in a horseshoe around my head that followed me around the house. I had no headphones on. Aja was not on anywhere, TV or stereo, Alexa or radio. Yet, it was as if I was engulfed in the music. You would think I would love a studio surrounding me, but it was disconcerting after awhile. I put my headphones on, trying to play some Queen, but Steely Dan would have none of that. I surrendered and put Aja on and that made a Steely Dan cacophony for a few minutes, but I concentrated on what I had in my ears and the other music faded eventually. If I put anything on but Aja, the music came back. Loud. Insistent bitch, that Aja. That one album has been playing for 18 hours now, headphones on or off. Good thing I love it.

Hallucinations

  • The visual ants seem to be fading, thank goodness. They have not been replaced with other insects, so I’m happy about that. I still feel them crawling on me, but at least when I look where I feel them, I don’t see them too often. I hate things crawling on me, so am way glad to see the ants fade into nothingness.

Hallucinations

That’s pretty much been my day. I tried to meditate and/or nap, but Aja could not take a breath with me and I just laid there singing “Black Cow.”

Join me, won’t you?

 

Psych Visit Hilarity

Psych: “How are you doing?”

Me: “Great! I’m in hypomania.”

P: “Tell me about that.”

M: “Oh, just some funky olfactory, tactile, and visual hallucinations, but they are no big deal.”

P: “Okay. No auditory?”

M: “Nope, which is unusual.”

P: “Okay, just watch for them.”

M: “I quit taking the Risperdal. I hate it.”

P:  “No problem.”

M: (whew)

P: “Do you have any obsessions happening?”

M: “Oh, no… doing fine.” (completely avoiding YouTube and Queen)

P: “Are you sleeping?”

M: “Some. A couple three hours a night.”

P: “Well watch that and try to sleep more if you can.”

M: “I feel fine on two or three hours.”

P: “As long as you’re feeling good. We can up your Latuda for the hallucinations if you want.”

M: “Naw, they don’t bug me. (haha how punny am I?)”

P: “I think you’re doing great. No med changes. See you in three months.”

M: dancing like Disco Deacy

Disco Deacy
John Deacon of Queen, aka Disco Deacy

Roger Taylor Discloses the Realities of Domestic Violence

You are not alone.

National Domestic Violence Hotline – call, chat, or text

Roger Taylor Surrender

A song about domestic violence?

Yes.

A song about a common outcome of domestic violence?

It’s about time.

“Surrender” by Roger Taylor

Roger Taylor is not only a singer, songwriter, and drummer for the band Queen, but is an incredible solo artist as well. Roger has a new album, The Outsider Tour Live, and the first single released is “Surrender.”

This song has affected me in ways other songs about DV have not; given me shivers and tears of sadness for my friend Silvia who was killed by her husband, Wilbur Frank.

Silvia Frank was a midwifery client of mine through two pregnancies. During our visits, we discussed the domestic violence occurring and her need to leave, but, as is typical of abused people, she minimized the violence she was experiencing, even as she acknowledged the need to escape.

Silvia went to nursing school, becoming a labor and delivery nurse on her way to becoming a midwife. She saw this as the economic way to get out of the emotional and violent ways Frank used to control her.

Sadly, Frank ended her attempts at freedom.

He killed Silvia in front of one of their teenage daughters.

Wilbur Frank was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

“Surrender” Addresses Death as the Escape

The most chilling part of the song “Surrender,” is found in these lyrics:

“You can’t hurt me now, I’m gone from you
You can’t hurt me now
You can’t hurt me now
You can’t reach me where I’ve gone to
I surrender”

It is left open in the song whether the woman was able to leave, was killed, or died by suicide. I find the lyrics brilliantly vague because the possibilities are all accurate.

Hope Versus Reality

Most people believe all the abused person has to do is pack up the kids and leave in order to save themselves. The reality is the most dangerous time for them is within the first 18 months after leaving the abusive partner.

This is exactly the window in which Silvia was killed.

Thank You, Roger Taylor

Thanks, Roger, for illuminating the sad reality abused people face in order to escape the pain of domestic violence. I hope the song reaches those that need to hear it most.

Bipolar Diary: When Fire Flies

I light a candle each morning when I start writing. I have the candle in front of my Baby Buddha who wears a mala I had made for me by my dear friend Sherry.

Buddha

I got up at 3am this morning after going to bed at midnight and was wide awake, wanting to write.

Do I Have to See Things?!

About an hour into writing the previous post, out of the corner of my eye I saw a flare of fire mid-air. It looked as if someone lit a match and was holding it up, but the hand and matchstick were erased.

Fire

I assumed it was not really a flame flying around, but turned to look at it and it vanished, not quickly, but it didn’t dawdle, either, starting at the bottom and finishing at the top lick of the fire. Along with that came a strong sense of smoke which took me on a field trip around the house a couple of times to make sure nothing was on fire.

Nothing was on fire. There was no flying flame. But, they thought they existed and revisited several (random) times throughout the day.

Oh, What a Mind Can Conjure

Hypomania

Happily, no dead carcass smell for a couple of days. That makes me happy.

The parfum du jour has been mint toothpaste. It is so strong it’s as if I had the tube held right under my nose.

There is no toothpaste around here.

It’s a tad disconcerting to have the floor boards slithering. Especially since they are laminate and all one piece across the whole floor. I sneer at it because I don’t want to fall and will be very angry if I do. It behaves, for the most part, when I am sitting and holding it down with my feet. But if a foot leaves the floor, the game is on.

How Much to Reveal

Bipolar Diary

I see the psych early this week and am still having loads of fun being awake and productive as hell.

I know that hypomania (for me) is a one-way ticket up (to mania) or down (to despairing depression). My hypomania doesn’t usually last long. I can often get a sense of which way I am going, but am either ignoring it or unable to decipher the clues.

Not Sooooo Bad

Bipolar Diary

My previous manias have not caused me to lose touch with reality. When it gets really bad, the hallucinations make it hard to remember they aren’t real, but I can remind myself they are a figment of my tilted brain.

(I’m laughing to myself as I italicize words for emphasis but you can hear me saying them out loud, right? I get quite emphatic in this state. I want to be understood. Clearly, understood. And I assume italics makes that happen?)

Just Sayin’

I don’t want meds to fix/change this.