Kakigōri & Michael Flatley

June 6, 1999

The girls and I headed to Epcot at Walt Disney World, me in an Electric Convenience Vehicle… an ECV… and they walking.

ECV

I always had my camera equipment and we carried our yellow Mickey ponchos for the inevitable afternoon thunderstorms.

poncho

As we wended our way around World Showcase, we went inside The American Adventure to listen to the Voices of Liberty, an amazing a Capella group that sings beautiful songs about America… and a couple of Disney tunes thrown in. (Not quite sure where the other voices are coming from, but they vanish around 2 minutes in.)

America Gardens Theater

When you walk out of the The American Adventure (which we had been in dozens of times so did not go this day), across the way, is the America Gardens Theater. I have to show you several pictures because they will be relevant later in the story.

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America Gardens Theater, Epcot, Walt Disney World

It’s a wonderful theater with great acoustics.

The day we were there, Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance was performing. I had never seen them before so was really excited.

Because I had the ECV, we were led to the Handicapped Section. It was about 8 rows from the stage and I was on the far left of the benches.

photo 2
This is the handicapped row. I was sitting on the other side by the man walking in the blue shirt. You can see how close we were to the stage.

Kakigōri

It being June in Florida, it was damn hot. I tend to get to places early (movies, shows, parties, etc.) and this was no exception. Waiting, it was suffocatingly hot. While we always carried water, that Kakigōri booth in Japan, which is next to The American Adventure, beckoned. We needed something cold!

Kakigōri, a Japanese treat, is a sort of snow cone, or if you know Hawai’i Shave Ice, it is similar to that as well. Besides the syrups they add (your choices), some people enjoy cream in theirs. (Blech!)

kakigori

Not long after we were sitting in the flippin’ hot sun, the girls were sent on a mission to get the Kakigōri cones. I love cherry, and when they have it, grape. Yum! We three sat eating our snow cones, waiting for the show to start.

It finally did.

Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance

The show began with an amazing display of Irish dancing, men and women, moving in unison, the legs kicking while the tops of their bodies were stock still. It was delightful fun!

Midway through the show, a soloist came out and began singing the most lovely ballad… her soprano voice soaring into the air around us.

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Feedback

Then the feedback started. A blaring eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee that was the strangest thing ever! Disney is meticulous with their sound systems, it was bizarre having feedback.

People were looking around. Why hadn’t the sound people fixed it yet? Crazy!

Then I see a Cast Member wending his way through the crowd… in a hurry… was everything okay? Holy crap, he was heading… towards… me?

“Ma’am, can you get off the ECV’s horn?”

I looked down and my bulging fat belly was leaning on the red horn button, causing the horrid “feedback.”

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

I leaned back and, miraculously, the feedback stopped.

People everywhere were staring. Right at me. I was filled with embarrassment.

And then I started laughing.

The girls and I got the sillies, thinking about me causing all that ruckus. It took every bit of control to not howl with laughter through the rest of the performance.

We’ve continued laughing for almost 20 years now.

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Touching Base

This is a bullet point list of my life at the moment.

  • I am distraught over the “Zero Tolerance” bullshit happening. I know those women. I caught those babies when I worked in border towns. I know in a visceral way what those women feel like in my arms and those babies in my hands. Did you know the kids in the “shelters” are not allowed to be held? The siblings are not permitted to hug each other? That “policy” is to keep abuse from happening. But what of the extreme violence of abandonment? I can barely breathe sometimes I am so upset.

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  • I was sick for so long and we finally… FINALLY… figured out it was a Biliary Obstruction in my liver. I should have had my gallbladder out 10 years before it was taken out, so that is where the obstruction began. Taking the gallbladder out did not end the abdominal pain, in fact, it got worse. Then the itching began and I was scratching my back with scissors, deciding to go to the hospital for help when I had blood from my back on my bed sheets. The itching was the most unbelievable in the world. It is easy to see why people kill themselves when their liver is failing and the itching is relentless. My liver labs were not terrible. Until they were. My urine turned to rust color with each itching episode, then when the color lightened, itching would go away. I dashed back to the liver doctor when my Alk Phos was 1085 (39-117 is normal range), my AST was 76 (range 0-40) and my ALT  was 116 (0-32 range) and they did several imagine tests, finding the obstruction in my liver. We began looking at surgery to remove the blockage and then, one day, I went from feeling like shit to feeling normal… for the first time in MANY years. My labs normalized. The imaging showed the blockage had cleared on its own! And I continue pain-free in my gut. Pee is clear. No itching. I thought I was near death and had a DNR. I have rescinded the DNR.
  • Work is going really well. I am getting better and better with guidance from friends there, one of whom is the busiest there. She has taken me under her wing, showing me shortcuts to promo work and how to garner more clients. I am having a wonderful time still, and my love for what I do seems to shine through to the folks that call/cam/email/text and now Second Life.
  • Work has moved into Second Life. How I missed SL for all these years (it is 14 years old) is beyond me. SL is the most fun I have had online in a couple of decades. I am learning as fast as I can, but the learning curve was steep for me because I have never played video games ever in my life. SL is NOT a video game, per se, but a Virtual World. If you are in SL, email me and I will tell you who my non-work Alt is (NavelgazingWriter@Gmail.com).
  • My HgbA1c went from 7.0 to 8.3 in one 3-month period. I was doing my insulin incorrectly (not pushing the insulin in slowly and leaving the needle in for 15 seconds or so afterwards) and since I changed, I have had no BG over 140, even post-prandial! I’ve had several low BGs (the lowest was a scary 40!)

40

  • So I lowered the Lantus down 4 points, then 2 more points and my fastings are always under 100 and my pre-eating checks are equally as low. I am giddy excited to see my next HgbA1c.
  • I am really fat. As fat as I was before the gastric bypass in 2001. I am just resigned to being fat.
  • My teeth are falling out of my head and I look like a hillbilly, so do not want to go anywhere I don’t have to lest I have to talk.
  • One of the most beautiful experiences in my entire life occurred when Meghann brought the grandbabies to Orlando to visit hillbilly grandma. Gabriella read to me.

reading

GABRIELLA READ TO ME!

  • Meghann took me to Epcot (during Flower & Garden Festival!) and I went even looking like a hillbilly. I had a flippin’ BLAST with my baby and grandbabies.

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  • I live with a childhood friend (who I consider my sister) and her husband (also a childhood friend and brother-in-law) and 2 of their kids, both of whom I was with the moment they were born. What started with the flu ended up making my brother-in-law very ill on February 14th and he died on May 24th unexpectedly. Out household and family are coping, but we miss him terribly.

 

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  • My blog life is in limbo at the moment. I am moving some of this blog to another host, but think I am going to just move the Food Stuff over and give it a new name. I miss writing my thoughts here. I wrote an amazing piece on that stupid giuliani person when he talked about Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) and had to put it in my work blog because I didn’t have another place to put it. It should be seen by more people!

Well, that is it in a few bullet points. I miss y’all lots and thanks for those that have contacted me asking if I am still here and alright. Thank you for that. It is for you that I want to write more.