26 YEARS LATER…

I felt the need to write this today and I’m not sure why… I graduated 8th grade in 1987, a very long 26 years ago. I didn’t have the greatest time growing up. I was harassed quite often. When I say ‘harassed’, I don’t mean the general kind where little boys pull your hair or girls make fun of your clothes… I mean the big time, torture…the stuff you read about in the news and hear children committing suicide over.

Yes, that kind of harassment. The kind that never fully goes away. The kind that no matter how much therapy you receive or how many times you try to tell yourself it wasn’t your fault, you still carry around a piece of lead in your heart that doesn’t fully permit you to open up to new experiences or make friends easily.

I wasn’t just picked on or made fun of. I was bullied, pushed around, and extremely mentally abused by my peers, the kids in my class. Some of these names will stay with me for the rest of my life. Some of these names still bring shudders to my heart when I hear them. For most adults that are able to survive this kind of horrible punishment to self, once they move past it, they don’t need to think about seeing these people again. They can move out of the towns that tormented them and they can build lives, find a career, have families and find people they can trust not to hurt them. They develop a tough outer shell that lets them get through life and while that pain is never fully gone, they can often become satisfied individuals.

Until the onslaught of Facebook, I felt somewhat proud of my accomplishments. It took me many years to move into a life that was somewhat stable for me. The torture of grade school, continued into high school and once of college age, I made the mistake of marrying a man that was good looking AND fully tortured me as my peers once had. Saying things to me and sometimes being violent so that the string of abuse just continued all through my twenties…

It wasn’t until my divorce from him at age 30 that I was able to conquer a few of my fears of people and new experiences, finish college, find stability in a career and figure out that I had talents in quite a few things and was actually above average in intelligence. I was eventually remarried, had a child and for the most part have a fairly happy life.

However, Facebook, reconnects a person with all that old, still familiar torment. The few friends I had are sometimes friends with others that are friends with THOSE EVIL FUCKS! Even if it’s an indirect connection, I still sometimes get wind of those people that once made my life a complete and utter living hell.

I had a very good friend growing, whom I still talk too…she is the sweetest, kindest, most open minded giving person I’ve ever known…even in the midst of the other kids harassment of me, she never wavered in her friendship with me. However, her kindness was so great that she was also friends with one of the worst offenders in my young mind. My friend didn’t see why me and so and so couldn’t get along… she didn’t understand exactly what this other girl did to me. And of course the other girl was so manipulative and hurtful that she was able to continually stab me in the back while remaining friends with really the only friend I had.

As time went on I found a few more friends and together we were somewhat of a group. Spending Friday and Saturday nights at each others houses, watching movies, going to 7-11 for donuts at 6 in the morning… it is still one of the few rare, good memories of those times that I have. It is a sacred memory to me. There were 4 of us and these weekends are the only thing that made me feel normal, during any of that time. The four of us were so close… I always felt lucky to have those memories.

Until today…until Facebook in all it’s innocent wisdom, in a completely odd and indirect way took that away. Until the tormentor I mention above left a note mentioning those weekends, watching movies with the other three girls in our group. Frankly, I don’t remember her ever being there…except maybe once when my friend tried for us all to get along and there was no way that was going to work… yet she made it sound like that was her childhood memory, her nostalgia…like those weekends were hers. Most amazing to me is the fact 26 years later and all I’ve accomplished and become- this woman calling out those weekends, mentioning the exact names of my friends and claiming them as her own puts a very sour taste in my mouth!

Does that make me petty? Crazy? Unable to forget the past? Perhaps yes, in some sense… I think most importantly it makes me realize that those years of being continually harassed, pushed around, made fun of,  having my lunch stolen (I was a diabetic and a stolen lunch caused me to go into diabetic reactions, which then became a life threatening problem, that the kids then harassed me about), having my clothes stolen at gym time, having horrible rumors spread about me, having kids surround me at the playground to yell taunts at me… WILL NEVER GO AWAY!!!

That deep pain of having hardly any friends, of having people stop being my friend as time went on because other kids didn’t like me, that extreme feeling of being a freak, will never go away. The few good memories I have can still be taken away by those people that took away my ability to ever feel fully secure in my life, no matter what I do.

I will say though that as I’ve gotten older it is far easier to tell those people to FUCK OFF. That what they did as children was wrong, I hope someday they have to live with the shame of how they treated a young child, of how they made a little girl feel like something was wrong with her and I truly hope that the smirks some of them still wear today are washed off their face at some point. The fact that even today, 26 years later, they can still be so callous and unfeeling is just a testament to the fact that people rarely change. And in that sense, I feel justified having hated those people all these years, and in some sense Facebook and it’s openess, gives me reassurance that my hatred isn’t unhealthy but is just a matter of life. People like that won’t ever change. While my memories are somewhat tarnished, I’ve still come a long way and I’ve still got a long way to go. And that bitch with the big teeth and freakish curly hair… you’ll always be uglier than I ever was!

Occupy what?

To Whom it May Concern:

I am truly a nobody. I don’t have a special name, I’m not famous, I’m not wealthy, I barely eek out a living, I have huge debt, I have a family to feed, I go to a crappy job every day, I am creative but creatively unsatisfied… I have no hobbies, I go to school to try to earn a better life. I guess this makes me a college student. I am the percent of people not at poverty level on paper but the money I actually bring home is at poverty level. I use gas in my car and feel no guilt over it. Most of all I think A LOT.

I think about what I want to believe in, I think about what I want to say. I think about who I hurt and who I give my love too. I think about how I’ll eat lunch tomorrow. I think about how my actions affect those around me.

Yes, more than anything I think about how the things I do affect my family and friends. Will I hurt them if I do this? Am I hurting them by not doing something? It is a rare occasion that I do something with my own feelings in mind. Lately, I’ve been thinking about Wall Street… especially the OWS movement…

Why are you protesting Wall Street? What did Wall Street do to you? Did you go to college and can’t find a decent job? Did Wall Street over inflate your mortgage and then go on a trip to Hawaii? Did Wall Street steal your medicine and leave you to die? Did Wall Street take YOUR summer trip to Europe?

I’m struggling to understand what exactly it is that caused Occupy Wall Street to take off? I can’t find the reasons and more importantly I can’t figure out how they affect college students? I’ve been searching the internet and newspapers to figure out… Who is Occupy Wall Street? What is their message?

Do you realize their is no clear leader, there are no clear foundations for a movement. Inequality is cited a lot but inequality of what? You want everyone equal? Equal pay, equal home values, equal jobs, equal food resources? What is it exactly that Occupy Wall Street wants? I’ve heard some mutterings about the US Government and how it “hides” things from the American people… well DUH! For a very long time now the United States has had an organization called the CIA. They hide so many things it would probably blow your mind away. There is a reason for their hiding of things and part of it is because of simple human nature.

Since time began humans have proven that they cannot handle even the simplest of truths. Have you ever watched Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men”? His quote “You want the TRUTH? YOU CAN’T HANDLE TRUTH!” has more truth in it than much of the ideology that is spewing about today.

If you want the truth about your government, your chances at a good life, your healthcare, the world… then come off of your high moral horses for a while and take a look around you. Put down your rage fulled (even though your non violent) protest signs and see what’s truly going on.

There is a movement out there that makes the cops look like bad guys and the protesters look like angels. There is a movement out there that is politically dividing people and families. There is a movement that claims to be doing something but all it is doing is DIVIDING!

Yes, Occupy Wall Street or #OWS, or Occupy Chicago, Occupy Oakland, Occupy Idaho is dividing people, friends, families and in a few short months our very own United States of America. There is a long history of economic crisis that dates back to the dawn of time, there is a long history of inequality, unfairness, some people getting ahead while others simply just exist and die.

That is the Truth. The simple truth of survival of the fittest, the simple truth of moving on through life and just doing it! There are smart people, pretty people, rich people, jerk offs, ugly people, abuse, murder, scandal, infidelity, people that die without medicine, war, famine, poverty… the list of lifelong injustices is endless.

There is NO UTOPIA! That is the truth. It sucks beyond all belief, it is the one truth that I believe can be unanimously agreed upon! Inequality has always and will always exist. Do you really believe that it is only in the last ten years that things have become unequal? Do you really believe that it is just today that college is so expensive? Do you really believe that now all of a sudden people cannot get jobs?

Do you not study history? Go read about the world in the 1920’s, go study the Greek-Turk feuds of the past, go ask your grandmother where her parents came from, go ask your father what it was like fighting in Vietnam, go to an old folks home and see what one of those little old ladies did during WWII to feed her family… better yet, ask a Jewish person what Auschwitz was like. See if you can find a farmer that tried to earn a living in 1936 or how about a Pilgram that came over on the Mayflower in the 1600’s. The dark ages, the Vikings, the Salem WITCH trials… that’s right WITCH TRIALS when people were crucified if they managed to somehow live through a mysterious illness. Study Jesse James for awhile and traveling on trains during the gold rush, look into child labor during the Industrial Revolution or dying from Black Lung Disease brought on by working in coal mines. Have you ever been witness to someone describing the sound of their father as he coughed and ultimately chocked to death because of the coal mines?

There are a few facts in life, the number one thing being that YOU are going to die. One day you will take your last breath and die. You may or may not be remembered. You may or may not have children. You may tell the story of how you once protested Wall Street greed and your children may look at you in silence trying to understand why you started a movement that ultimately had no focus, no regard for laws that were designed to help people work within a system to achieve things. The lack of regard the protesters have for law enforcement is only one of many ills regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement. That police officer that you are ignoring is only trying to feed his family. The college administrator speaking to your protest group is only trying to make sure his students still get to attend class.The government official trying to regain control of his city is only trying to make sure the violence doesn’t get worse. OWS is violent, no matter how you try to disguise the foul smell of rotting meat, it still stinks, whatever the intentions of OWS passive IS NOT one them.

The world IS NOT full of evil people trying to screw up your life. The men on Wall Street, they are ambitious, they are trying to make money, that’s the curse of being a stock broker but do you think they care whether your degree in liberal literary studies gets you a job or not? No they don’t. Frankly, why should they?

Part of freedom is accepting that not everything is going to go your way. The degree you paid so dearly for may only be good for working at Taco Bell. Majoring in Jane Austen Anthologies may not have been the brightest thing you’ve done. However, standing on a college campus “silently protesting” that you can’t get a job isn’t going to bring you a pay check any sooner.

Does it sound like I’m simplifying this too much? Tell me why Occupy Wall Street is such a good idea, tell me why a silent protester is any better than the police officer trying to do his job, tell me why government and law enforcement should allow thousands of people to camp out on college lawns while others are there to actually go to class, tell me what exactly the inequality is and how you expect that the government might rectify it…

Tell me why Occupy Wall Street will work and what it’s plans are to fix the inequality and injustice… maybe then, just maybe, myself and the rest of the world will listen…

Sincerely,

A Truth Seeker

Nothing will change…

Some days I just have too many ideas I want to write about. Ideas for stories, ideas for articles, ideas about government and politics, ideas to debate and ideas to fight for…

Then my unbelievable apatheticness comes through. Yeah, me who’s always preaching about doing something, about changing the world, about making things better… I have a deep driving part of me that is truly apathetic, that just doesn’t give a rat’s ass about anything going on in the world and frankly thinks that so much of the BS that goes on around us is fucking crap.

Yes, I said “Fucking crap” and the world is full of it. There are so many big mouthed, opinionated, bigoted, narrow minded, stubborn fools out there. Then they all decided to come together at a point and shove it down the throats of everyone else.

Right now I’m mostly talking about the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. What a bunch of garbage. I’m truly sorry to those of you that believe it, I truly feel that you want to do something, that you are out there living in filth at a public park and using all kinds of cool technology to get your “Message” out there. You are tired of not working and not having decent healthcare, you want your kids to have a better education, you want a home and a car to drive to work in…

I GET IT! I live at my mother’s 2 br condo with my 6 year old daughter while my husband lives across town with his mother. I get wanting more, wanting better…I pay out the ass for my healthcare and I have diabetes, as does my husband who also just had major back surgery and hasn’t really worked in years. Until my piece of shit car blow up I was driving a 17 year old Audi A6 that ate gas and cost me almost a grand every time it needed fixing.

So yeah I get it! I see my tax dollars going to waste all the time. I see politicians getting crazy salaries to make up legislature that may or may not help the country. I see investors playing with the stock market all the time… and I see the cost of everything going up.

Guess what? You helped make it that way. You, who are sitting there in your sleeping bag and many weeks old clothing, helped those investors get rich. You helped them get to the top of their game… HOW you ask?

Buy spending all these years participating in a society built on capitalism. By making the internet popular, by demanding better phones, cable TV systems, media centers, home computing etc, etc, etc… Those investors didn’t just suddenly decide “Oh lets create all these cool gadgets and then charge too much money for them when everyone loses their jobs!”

Remember the late 1990’s… when everyone was making a lot of money and spending it just as fast? And for those of you that were children in the 1990’s…shame on you for even being part of this movement now! You have no idea what it’s like to raise a family on practically nothing!

What’s going on in the world right now has to do with greed on so many people’s parts, not just Wall Street; yes it’s your greed too! And now you’re mad because costs are rising because there isn’t enough money to fund schools?

Did you know that you can HOME-SCHOOL your child? Yes, you can teach them the curriculum you WANT and if you aren’t an educator, you can learn how to teach. Between the library and the internet your child can learn everything they need to succeed in the world. Instead of sitting out there in the park why don’t you put together a home school system with several of your neighbors and fashion an education you believe in…

Don’t have enough food? Go to the store and plant some seeds. Yes, that’s right, plant it and cultivate it! I was tired of the cost of fresh basil… so guess what I grew my own. I have a huge basil plant now that will last me all winter long. I had some fabulous peppers this summer too.

Sitting in a park, screaming at Wall Street investors isn’t going to make them stop the Stock Market. It’s part of society as it has been for the last roughly hundred years. It goes up and down, as do gas and food prices… You want to change something go stand outside your local hospital for several weeks and demand that they standardize health care costs, or stand outside the Blue Cross/Blue Shield offices and scream at them for the out of network, in network, participating provider option and ask why a doctor charges $250 for an office visit, Blue Cross arranges a network charge of only $100 and then I pay $25… Why not just charge the $100 in the first place?????????

There are options people, there is change to be made everywhere, there are ways around every situation… and ways to get by and survive. Standing outside for months and months yelling about change and greed doesn’t do anything but make for more conflict, more strife and no real change.

Go check out your Tea Party friends, they believed in change; in a government system that was for the people… and now they are just another outlet for the Republican Party. Just like your movement will become an outlet for the Democratic Party… and in the end nothing will change.

My parents age…

When my parents were in their late thirties/early forties, they were going thru a divorce, trying to raise 5 children, 2 of them with diabetes, they’d made it thru the 80’s recession and still had their home. They’d lost a baby girl, they never had a new car but just kept purchasing used cars that needed more work then was worth it. Somehow my mother still managed to eek out several thousand dollars in a savings account that they split up in the divorce, along with the eventual sale of my childhood home which had seen better days.

I can’t imagine what life was like for them. My dad went to work everyday, while my mom stayed home and took care of us and the bills. Dad came home at night, ate dinner with us, sometimes worked on homework with us, went into his basement den to work on computers, where we could sit and watch him and then he went to bed. Some nights he listened to the jazz station and just stared into space… we were always allowed to sit with him and it is this memory that perhaps I treasure most.

I understand my father better than my mother because I have become my father in the sense that I am the working parent. I go out everyday to a thankless job while my husband home schools our daughter. I am grateful to him for doing this but I also envy him. I’m not sure he even realizes what an amazing experience he is having everyday. I am thankful that we can do this…

Money is tight though and medical bills are many. There is no easy way to balance it all and at thirty-eight years old, I don’t know where I am going or where I am headed. I know my parents did a total 360 on our lives when they divorced and while I understand what they feel was an inevitable break up, I am still conscious of the everlasting effect it had on me.

I have been divorced yes, but I had no children with my ex-husband and have never talked to him again. I cannot ever imagine divorcing my daughter’s father, no matter how completely insane our life is. Does this make me more like my 1940’s anscestors who also would never get divorced?

OR does it make mean I just can’t imagine going thru what my parents went through at exactly the same age I am now? Am I more dedicated to staying married because it hurt so bad watching my parents suffering? Or do I love my husband that much to just keep fighting through it? Is it better for my daugther to have her parents married? ABSOLUTELY… we are committed to raising her to be strong, independent, intelligent, loving and together we do this, without interference from others and without second guessing each other’s concerns and disciplines.

Twenty-three years ago I couldn’t imagine being the same age as my parents and now I am and I’m still not sure who/what/where I am in this big world…

A Diabetic Journey to Health and Happiness

What a vague concept, diabetes… it says so much and yet says so little. Most people think they ‘understand’ diabetes or their grandma has it or being that I’m entering my 40’s, now my friends have it… but unless you’ve lived with it your whole life, unless you’re taking insulin on a regular basis, unless you’ve gone from one doctor to another with no success and you’re still suffering from complications, you don’t ‘understand’ it.

The American Diabetes Association advocates that 40-45% of your diet come from complex carbohydrates. It stresses lower protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. It is firm on keeping things low-fat.

Now, a type I diabetic, Dr. Richard Bernstein, who’s been complication free for decades, advocates a lower carb, higher protein diet to stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent, even reverse, complications.

I have had diabetes for 34 long years. It has never been easy but the last few years have been nothing but hard. Tumultuous blood sugar levels, crazy triglycerides, high cholesterol, A1C’s that fluctuate like the changing seasons… and recently I’ve started having complications. I never thought they would happen to me. I always thought I would manage somehow and yet I’m not. And to boot, I have medical insurance, I have an insulin pump, an endocrinologist, a gastrointestinal specialist, an ophthalmologist, an orthopedic surgeon… I know more doctors in the south suburbs of Chicago than I do grocery stores. We won’t even mention my internal medicine doctors!

All of these ‘special’ doctors have a few things in common: there office visits amount to all of 15 minutes, they cost me quite a bit of money, they all tell me “Well you do have diabetes”, and NOT one of them provides a solution to my problems other than to raise insulin doses. I’ve been going to doctors quite often the last year because I want help… and yet I’ve received NONE!  

I know I’m overweight, I thought losing weight might help my diabetes and some of my pain problems, so I joined a gym. A gym I couldn’t afford but had child care so I could take my daughter with me and not worry about here while I ‘got healthy’. I went 5 days a week, for 1-2 hours a day… I did this consistently for 6 months, I lost a total of 4 lbs, my insulin needs went down slightly, my bloodsugars fluctuated even more though, they went super low while I exercised and then shot up for long periods after. My A1C went up! My triglycerides went up! My cholesterol went up! How could all of these tests go up when I was watching my food intake and exercising?

I also noted patterns in my bloodsugars and food intakes. Carbohydrates made my bloodsugars soar, even those complex carbohydrates- the whole wheat’s, the multi grains, the high fiber items, brown rice, sweet potatoes, basically any carb item with more than 15 grams of carbs in it sent me soaring for hours and hours.

I found that my morning blood sugars were the hardest to control. Starting at about 6 am until well after lunchtime I was at a constant 250… I started getting up early and taking insulin earlier with some small success… but then suddenly that stopped working too. I noticed my bloodsugars in the afternoon hours from 4-7pm were always good or running low. My two hour postprandial glucose after dinner was fine whereas other times of the day it was well over the recommended 160 mg/dl.

Was there any wonder my diabetes, A1C and lipid profiles were out of the whack? Recently, I discovered I had some complications I didn’t know were complications and it has scared me beyond all belief. I cannot believe the simplest thing is a diabetes complication. It sounds crazy but an early sign of nerve damage is when the hair on your legs stops growing… I thought it was just getting older but sadly no it’s the beginning stages of diabetic neuropathy which also explains the slight tinges I’ve been getting in my feet recently. Top all of this with my frozen shoulder, trigger thumb, bad hip and weakening eyesight and you have a diabetic who’s going into “Diabetic Hell!”

“Diabetic Hell!” is a state I cannot describe without using words, like torture, slow progressing pain, amputations, blindness, kidney dialysis, uncontrollable aches, insomnia, extreme fatigue… all of the things you can imagine that you could never handle multiplied by a hundred, maybe a thousand. AND YES IT CAN AND IS THAT BAD. Don’t dismiss it or say I’m over reacting because you haven’t lived it and you don’t know what it’s like to live with these fears and the beginnings of these ills. Or because you know a diabetic that’s 70 years old and in good health, do not tell me I will live that long or I’ll be okay… it doesn’t work that way. Some diabetics do great, others sadly do not.

It’s not a matter of simply eating better or exercising more or testing your blood more. It’s not that easy… but yes, there is hope. There is one last fighting chance for me.

And god damn if I’m not going to try it and see if somehow in this crazy world I cannot fight the carb intake, fight the overweight issues, fight the abnormal bloodsugars and live longer… I am only 38, I am not ready to die, I am not ready to lose my sight, I am not ready to give into this disease or it’s complications.

So everyone around me who wants me to do this or do that, who needs me for something or thinks going low carb is against the rules, which yes it is, do not expect me to give up my quest or go along with the ‘norm’… the ‘norm’ isn’t working for me. The 9-5, cookie cutter, eat your carbs and take your insulin IS NOT helping me to live a healthy lifestyle. So when I say I have to eat dinner at home or I say I can’t have any of your fresh made cookies or I beg off on an event because I need to exercise, I sincerely apologize, it doesn’t mean I don’t care about you,  it just means I care about LIVING more than not hurting your feelings. And don’t tell me low-carb only lasts as long as you make it last because this is my life now, this is the only way I will survive to be as old as my 92 & 93 year old grandmother’s and YES, I want to live that long.

Tomorrow, I will tell you more about Dr. Richard Bernstein’s fabulous “Diabetes Solution” and you can watch as I go on this journey to a healthy diabetic life and happiness!

The blues…

I’ve always thought of Blue as a happy color. A color that brightens the skies and makes skin glow. It can create an aura of elegance when transposed into a billowing evening gown. It can portray innocence when used to tie up the curls of a young toddler. Blue creates warmth when used as the floral centerpiece in a bouquet of fresh summer flowers. It has an open ended invitation to make people feel cheered in spite of it’s status in being the color blue.

Blue has the unfortunate luck of conveying sadness and depression, of being something one gets, as in “The Blues…” It conveys Gothic mystery and darkness when applied to the roots of a teenager’s black hair. As a horror show it back lights strange forests and creates shadows of indifference and evil.

It’s not fair though that a mere color can convey emotion on so many human levels and go deep into one’s soul. It can be argued that blue creates emotion in the very essence in which it’s used.

Being Monday, the blues have hit me pretty hard, trying to call them something else just doesn’t work. Ever heard of “The Blacks?” Really I’m down and glum feeling because I’m inside a cold metal factory box and I really just want to be sitting in front of a lovely body of water, feeling fresh breezes on my face, drinking Caribou Coffee and writing my masterpiece for publication, and getting paid to do such without fear of what will happen to my home, health, child…

The blues are unfortunately something I suffer through every Monday, it doesn’t seem possible that my life could take a turn when on Monday I was doing something to earn money in a why that didn’t cause me to have this melancholy…this overwhelming urge to run away. 

Alas, tomorrow will be Tuesday and they’ll shift to the light blues… gradually fading into a pure essence of bliss cummulating in  Friday afternoon…

Pictures have always been a part of my family. Before I was talking I was part of a family that snapped, flashed and photo processed. In the days long before digital downloads and using electronic photo processing centers, there was something called film, negatives, metal canister reels, developer, toner, stop and a host of other things that smelled up a room and forced you to go outside for air every 30 minutes or so. I can still smell the chemicals that my father used to turn those little rolls of film into bright, black and white photographs that would line our living room walls.
I never thought that process would be replaced by a memory card and a few clicks of a mouse sending it to the local pharmacy or a service that mailed the photo prints back to me. I studied photography in college, right at the cusp of the digital era. We still studied chemical photo processing and put more hours in the darkroom than I care to remember. I was a perfectionist when developing my prints and often spent days getting that one perfect image.
Do I miss it? I miss the idea of creating perfection, of working so hard and long into the night that when you finally left the darkroom you breathed in the crisp fall air and let your shoulders fall in a sigh of “Ahhhhh… I did it!”
I don’t miss being hunched over an enlarger for hours on end, hoping you captured the darks and the lights of the image while maintaining a gray scale, breathing in horrific scents while you moved your photo from processing tray to processing tray… I especially don’t miss the final moment when you’ve let your photo dry for an hour and then take it out into the harsh light and you realize it still isn’t right, the darks aren’t dark enough, the grays overwhelm the image, your negative wasn’t as sharp as you had originally intended… you have to do it all over again…
Digital photography is easier and you have so many more chances at getting the right image. You also have six million out of focus images, cut off heads, hands with no arms or kids blurred in a fuzz because you snapped as they were running. Digital photography lets anyone think they can be a photographer and it assumes that all good photos have been photoshopped, which isn’t fair to the amazing photographer behind the lens that still believes in framing their perfect shot.
I love photography, I always will, it is an art form to me. I am amazed at the images I’ve managed to capture… what I love best about photography is that there is a memory created, a moment in time that I can go back and look at and remember. I can remember the emotion I felt with every perfect picture I’ve taken and that memory keeps me sane when the rest of my life is mirrored in the insanity.
I remember this beach and I remember being carefree and happy as I wandered along with my darling husband and beautiful baby girl. I feel the breeze and I smell the saltwater, I see the dolphins in the distance and I know I will go back, I know I’ll see it again and until then I have my perfect place to look at… that’s what makes photography perfect to me.

Pictures have always been a part of my family. Before I was talking I was part of a family that snapped, flashed and photo processed. In the days long before digital downloads and using electronic photo processing centers, there was something called film, negatives, metal canister reels, developer, toner, stop and a host of other things that smelled up a room and forced you to go outside for air every 30 minutes or so. I can still smell the chemicals that my father used to turn those little rolls of film into bright, black and white photographs that would line our living room walls.

I never thought that process would be replaced by a memory card and a few clicks of a mouse sending it to the local pharmacy or a service that mailed the photo prints back to me. I studied photography in college, right at the cusp of the digital era. We still studied chemical photo processing and put more hours in the darkroom than I care to remember. I was a perfectionist when developing my prints and often spent days getting that one perfect image.

Do I miss it? I miss the idea of creating perfection, of working so hard and long into the night that when you finally left the darkroom you breathed in the crisp fall air and let your shoulders fall in a sigh of “Ahhhhh… I did it!”

I don’t miss being hunched over an enlarger for hours on end, hoping you captured the darks and the lights of the image while maintaining a gray scale, breathing in horrific scents while you moved your photo from processing tray to processing tray… I especially don’t miss the final moment when you’ve let your photo dry for an hour and then take it out into the harsh light and you realize it still isn’t right, the darks aren’t dark enough, the grays overwhelm the image, your negative wasn’t as sharp as you had originally intended… you have to do it all over again…

Digital photography is easier and you have so many more chances at getting the right image. You also have six million out of focus images, cut off heads, hands with no arms or kids blurred in a fuzz because you snapped as they were running. Digital photography lets anyone think they can be a photographer and it assumes that all good photos have been photoshopped, which isn’t fair to the amazing photographer behind the lens that still believes in framing their perfect shot.

I love photography, I always will, it is an art form to me. I am amazed at the images I’ve managed to capture… what I love best about photography is that there is a memory created, a moment in time that I can go back and look at and remember. I can remember the emotion I felt with every perfect picture I’ve taken and that memory keeps me sane when the rest of my life is mirrored in the insanity.

I remember this beach and I remember being carefree and happy as I wandered along with my darling husband and beautiful baby girl. I feel the breeze and I smell the saltwater, I see the dolphins in the distance and I know I will go back, I know I’ll see it again and until then I have my perfect place to look at… that’s what makes photography perfect to me.

Fat Linda

I bent down in between the flower beads trying to weed out the pesky crab grass that constantly invaded my tulips, daffodils and gerberas. I spent so much time cultivating their beauty in an attempt to surround myself with peace and calm. I didn’t have a bad life, I’d always enjoyed the things that were part of my everyday but since I’d married Andrew several years ago there was an added stress to my life that I still couldn’t gain a grasp on.

"Ripppppppppp…….." a loud splitting noise caused me to drop my garden sheers and look behind me. I heard the silly giggles of my oldest son James and saw him pointing. "Mommy, mommy you broke your pants!" It couldn’t be, could it? Did I really split my pants? The same pants I had been wearing for years now. The pants that I was so proud to be able to fit into even after having 2 children, the pants that for some inexplicable reason defied my youth. The youth I had given up freely without thought when I married Andrew at 19 years old…. it wasn’t possible was it?

I was mortified beyond all belief. I couldn’t believe it and yet I could. The last few months had been harder than usual and in my frustration I had been eating more than usual and although chasing after 5 year old James and 3 year old Gabriella exhausted me everyday, it wasn’t a substitue for the calorie burning I was used to from my gym work outs. For some reason, the last few months were just wiping me out.

I whipped my gloves off “James, it’s not funny when someone rips their pants.” I tried to be stern with him, while in his mind I’m sure it looked hysterical, me bent over with the middle of my jeans split in half and my underwear showing through or in my case, bare ass, since I typically wore thongs, I didn’t want him thinking it was okay to laugh at people’s misfortune.

James continued his melodic, little boy giggling, the sound that only lasts a few years as I would soon learn and now had his little sister Gabby laughing…”Broke pants, Mommy.” She laughed just as freely as he did and realizing that they didn’t know any better I gathered them in my arms and giggled with them.

After all the pants were probably ten years old already and while I may still feel 16 at times, it was time to retire them. I was being ridiculous. I’d always maintained an excellent figure and ten year old pants were bound to lose their strength, especially ones worn as much as these. As for the little voice inside my head whispering “Fat Linda…” I would just ignore it. It didn’t mean a thing.

We went inside where I changed my pants and put on a more roomy pair of short sweats and put my damaged jeans in the delicate cycle on the wash… maybe I could patch them or sew them. I couldn’t get rid of them…

Personal Psychology

I’ve long discovered that a mere twist of turns can turn my day upside down. What can start as a totally awesome day can diminish into just wanting to run to bed. And to my embarrassment I take strange twists in the day and use them to ruin the rest of the day? What the F is that?

I had a great day all planned out… mostly because I should be picking up my new car today. The car I’ve searched and searched for, read tons of reviews on, did price and mileage comparisons many times over. I have looked within a 100 mile radius for this car and found it 2 miles from home which is great should I ever have problems with it.

I put a deposit on this car, financing has been secured BUT because of one stupid innane commment someone made to me at work my whole awesome day/mood has shifted and now I’m second guessing everyhting. I’m feeling bad and in a funk and today was supposed to be great. I haven’t had a new car in 10 years… my last one blew up, literally the engine blew up on me, engine coolant blew out everywhere… it is time for a decent running car, one that doesn’t cost me an average of 900 dollars per repair.

However, because I deal with idiots at work and one idiot really hurt my feelings I am all in a tizz. And totally MAD at myself for letting someone do this. My brain keeps telling me how stupid it is to place this much emphasis on one comment and that the rest of my day doesn’t have to be bad because of this…

Yet my heart, the spirti inside me just feels let down… and I know this person will apologize because they always do and I will get over it and we’ll go back to working together just fine until he says something stupid again…

I don’t want to be ruled by my emotions but sometimes (even in non PMS moments) I just am..