All That Blood

“All that blood looks really good on you. It brings out your eyes,” said Attie.

“Mom, you are weird. This is not exactly the look trending right now at my high school, “ retorted Ellie as she wiped away the massive amounts of blood.

“Oh, honey. You need to embrace the cup half full mentality. Always look for the positive in a situation,” her mother encouraged.

Stating the obvious, Ellie looked into her mother’s eyes. “Mom… I’m covered in blood.”

Attie swiftly began tidying up, with the elegance of Mary Poppins. “Sweetie, sometimes we have to make choices in life. They are not always easy. This is the life I chose for us. It may not be popular or trendy….”

“…. or ethical….” Ellie interjected.

“Hey now…” Attie paused for reflection. “ I have high moral standards and am very particular about the jobs I take.”

“We take…” Ellie reminded her.

Attie picked the leg that Ellie had carelessly discarded. “ I take. You just happen to be a fabulous apprentice! You have a little glitter on your right cheek, honey.”

Ellie looked in the mirror. “I’m pretty sure that’s brain matter, “ she corrected.

“Hhmmm. So it is,” Attie conceded. She continued shoving tools in her Gucci handbag. “It’s quite shiny. Could you please help clean up a little faster? We are a bit short on time here.”

Ellie looked around the room at the mess. .“Well, if that lady hadn’t gotten a chance to use her cell phone…”

“Now. Now. Positive, sparkling, shiny thoughts, please!” Attie exclaimed. “ No one wants to be around a Debbie Downer, you know. Your eyes really are quite lovely in this light – almost emerald, I’d say.”

“MOM!” Ellie was exhausted after all she had done. She wasn’t in the mood for her mother’s Mary Poppins attitude, but she glanced in the mirror. Mom was right. Her eyes did look quite magnificent – if you liked all that blood and gore splashed across her cheeks.

Attie circled, as she often did after a job. “Right! Right! Focus on the task at hand. Speaking of which, can you give me that hand (pun intended)?” Attie began giggling like a school girl.

“You really aren’t normal, mom,” Ellie said as she passed her mom the meaty chunk.

“… and you take after me quite brilliantly if I do say so myself.” Ellie gave Attie a look only a 14-year-old could produce. “WHAT?” her mother exclaimed. “ You do! Do you know how much skill it takes to use a knife like that? It is a true art form… and it affords us a life of comfort, and you deserve that, my sweet, precious girl!” Ellie knew her mom was right on that account. Although this life wasn’t always easy, it did pay for lots of Disney Cruises – Ellie’s favorite way to travel.

Ellie checked the room. “Can we just get out of here? I think I cleaned up the last of the blood. This is such a messy job.”

Attie shook her head in agreement. “Ah, but someone has to do it, my love. Life is full of necessary evils, and we are just the girls for the job!”

Ellie grabbed her bag of tools. “Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction.”

Attie shut the door behind them as they walked out into the brightness of the midday sun. “And… sometimes truth is confused with the delivery of justice, my sweet angel. Let’s get out of here.”

“Thanks for taking me to the audition, Mom,” Ellie said as she opened her car door.

Attie started the engine. “Of course, honey! All of your work in Special Effects and Acting are paying off! Shall we take the next cruise to Hawaii, you think?”

Ellie smiled. She could smell the surf and sea already. It was going to be a great summer.

What’s Inside My Head?

I have always laughed that all the worrying I do would cause some sort of damage to my brain. You know, anxiety induced tumors or something. Because, then I need to
worry about that as well.

It was all fun and games until I found a bump on the back of my neck. I went to my doctor, and he ordered a full battery of tests. I’ll stop you from worrying right now. There was no tumor.

Instead, the doctors found something much more incredible and unexplainable. There is a pill-sized piece of something lodged between by brain and skull.

The doctors aren’t exactly sure what it is or how it got there (other than it probably has metallic properties since it showed up on X-rays). There is nothing in my medical history to suggest any sort of past injury that would have lodged an unknown object into my skull.

And… they can’t remove it since it seems to be fusing to my skull.

Diagnosis: (and this is no joke) it is a UFO – unidentified fused object.

The doctors have prescribed more testing partnered with constant monitoring.

So, I’m less than thrilled to become their new test subject, and now, I am beyond stressed out over what is in my head and how it got there.

I’ll keep you updated on their findings.

Accepting the Social Limitations of an Introvert

carToday, this Introvert went to a car dealership all by myself… I know, right?! That’s like sending the lamb into the lion’s den… covered in raw meat.  I did not enjoy the experience at all despite the fact that the salesman was very nice and had an awesome Jamaican accent.

Don’t get me wrong.  If my extroverted husband had been with me, it would have been fabulous.  I could have listened to the man talk all day.  But, I was the center of attention, and he kept trying to get personal information out of me – you know, because he wanted me to buy a car.  Newsflash, people! Introverts can’t handle giving up personal information to strangers. It’s none of your business, so back off (please)! I will not let you see inside me.

What’s worse – he was trying to appeal to my emotions to make his sale.  I wanted to shout at him, “Dude! I am a shallow, emotionless creature that only finds comfort and solace in logic, creation, and reading about others’ emotions. Stop it!”  But, I didn’t. That would be rude. Spending large amounts of money on objects should NOT be an emotional decision. And again, I will not let you see inside me.

I said, “Just give me the facts.  Spinning tall tales and making small talk won’t help with me.  You are just going to make me shut down even more. Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear, because I see your deception.  You are full of BS, and it is exhausting.”  No.  Not really.  That would be rude.  So, this Introvert high-tailed it out of the lion’s den and went home to write about the experience from the safety of her home.

I will have to return there again.  But, I will never go back without my extroverted better half in tow as my shield.  He likes to play the game I am not capable of or willing to play. I know my limitations and accept them as my truth.  introvert



Why Suicide is Not an Option

I don’t like sharing this story, so I’m not sure why I feel compelled to share it with you. It takes a leap of faith to understand – at least for me. It also takes understanding that some people’s feelings are “bigger” than others – higher highs, lower lows.

Several years ago, my family was in our car at an intersection.  I saw it coming out of the corner of my eye – the car that was about to hit us at full speed.  The next few seconds stretched out in slow motion over several minutes… and, I watched from outside of my body (right above to be exact).  I watched my body being flung around the car, but I felt no pain – not physically or mentally.  It was almost a feeling of being free.  I knew something bad was happening, but I had a sense that all was okay – peaceful, really. I had no anxiety, no depression, no OCD, no stress whatsoever.  It felt good – like a secure, warm blanket. I began to drift further away from my body.

As I moved, my eyes shifted up – just barely.  I saw that I was moving away from my husband and children, and I felt my connection to them.  I can only describe the feeling as having a cord that ran between each of us.  As that cord stretched further, I felt the strain – and the pain came on stronger than any pain I have ever felt before.  The anguish of losing them, the suffering of them losing me – it was all there in that moment.  I knew if the cords broke, I would spend forever suffering their loss.

Then, in a blink of an eye, it was over.  I was back in my body, and I began to react to the reality of the accident that had just occurred. It wasn’t until long after the accident that I was able to process exactly what had happened in those seconds.  It is not something I could ever truly explain (or want to try for that matter).  All I know is, it happened.

I think back on this moment sometimes when I need to remember – even though I don’t like to because the pain of those cords stretching pulls at my heart fresh and new.  But, once in a while, my very big emotions get the best of me, and I feel my family would be better off without me.  Then, I remember.  Suicide will never be an option.  The lowest of lows, no matter how unbearable they seem, are temporary.  Losing my family and being the cause of their deepest grief would be an eternal sentence of despair. I chose each day to stay on this side of the pearly gates as long as I am allowed to be.

Every day is not rainbows and unicorns.  But, I love my family beyond the boundaries of our existence. And, I have learned, that is enough.


Weight Loss Study

I participated in a study last week on weight loss.  I figured, why not? Get paid to lose weight? I’m in.  (The results varied among all the participants.  I think some got placebos.  I definitely did not.)

So, drum roll, please…. I lost 15 pounds in one week doing nothing but eating, watching TV, playing on my phone, and sleeping!  Sounds too good to be true, right? I was shocked when the week was done.

Again, this was an experimental study.  I had to sign lots of forms with all of the risks, etc.  But, the way I lost the weight was so cool! I had to go into the clinic several weeks before the study began to get all of my body measurements.  Then, on the first day, they had these suits that were tailor-made for each of us. It looked like a wetsuit, really.  But, it had all of these wires and electrodes attached to it.  When everyone was suited up, we all looked like we were on the set of the movie, Tron. I wish I could have taken a picture of us!

The doctor explained that we would often feel like we were working out but were instructed to stay seated – you know, fast heart rate, a lot of sweating – but all while I was sitting still!  It was amazing! I burned 9,000 calories per day according to my data (over what my intake calories were).  I will admit, it was harder the day I ate pizza for the entire day.  My heart was working hard to stay ahead of the calories I was taking in.  But, the other days were a piece of cake (pun intended!).

I won’t bore you with the science of it all (not sure I understand it anyway)- but, they were in control of my heart rate, my breathing, my fluid intake, and other details while I was in control of eating and sleeping (which got much easier after the first night).

The only side effect I have seen so far is that my skin is a bit loose.  But, they promise it will tighten up on its own after a few months.  The suit was supposed to help with that part, but they still have some work to do.  (I guess that’s why they called it “experimental”!) I hope the doctors get this suit approved by the powers that be soon, so I can lose a lot more weight with no effort!

Ladies and gentlemen, start thinking about how to accessorize a wetsuit.  They will be all the rage!