August 10th, 2003

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"Scientists are asking the NIH for $100 million to expand and modernize the eight research centers and to pay for new background research on other monkey species for scientific use."

Oh God I'm so pissed off at AOL right now! I woke up like I usually do, filled with memories of my last, last night's dream, and feeling hopeful as always. I always, always, always feel hopeful in the mornings. I'm so grateful for this bit of luck or grace that allows me to feel this way when I wake up. Since I've been remembering my dreams so vividly lately I thought I'd run right in here and type it up for you, well, for me really, but also to share with you. But when I got here one of the first things that pops up on my screen is a report from Reuters, or AP, or somewhere that AOL has decided to blast across it's news headlines about there being a shortage of Macaque monkeys for animal research.

Now, if you don't know this about me already, I'll say it again for some of my newer friends, who are welcome to flee in droves if they disagree, but I was, (and still remain in my heart), a hard-core animal rights activist for many years. Lets just say that I strongly believe in breaking into facilities that graft tumors onto beagles and allow them to deliver puppies and live in their own feces, or places where little macaque monkeys are blindfolded with lead wires attached to their heads that go nowhere but look spiffy, so that so called doctors can parade suits with money around and show them the fabulous "research" that they will need millions more for, or baboons who are having their heads crushed while students stand around, making jokes and laughing, or animals who are having their testicles pinched with pliers to test their levels of pain tolerance, or rabbits who are held in stereotaxic devices while some callous bastard prays caustic chemical solvents in their eyes so they can write a warning label on their product telling us not to do the same, or cats whose skulls have been removed and are kept alive in cages, (I saw this UCLA experiment myself when I was still in high school), or any of the many, many, more, evil fucking experiments that go on day after day, minute after excruciating suffering minute. I believe that people should break into these places, liberate these animals, and then tear these places to fucking shreds. And every single thing I've just written here is true, documented and photographed by people who have risked their freedom to do so, and I am a fucking coward for having backed off and sat here on my ass for the last decade or so. I've become a selfish, blind, lazy, comfort-seeking, complacent fool. There, I've said it, does that tell you where I stand on this?

I do not advocate harming anyone. I do not belive in taking any life, any at all, animal, human, or pre-human, and this gets me in trouble with people whose political views I am so closely alligned with, but who on this one issue I am so diametrically opposed.

While I know that there are tons of people out there, myself included, who have benefited tremendously from advances in medicine and science, I do not believe that these advances are attributable to the absolute evil and fraud of the multibillion dollar animal research industry. I could go on and on with facts, statistics, stories, books I've read, doctors, scientists, former animal researchers, and various people I've interviewed, when I had an award winning cable television show, but I've become defeated and reclusive in my stance on this and I just really and truly do not want my own personal journal to be a place for debate on something I feel so strongly about.

I'm just taking this moment to express my anger and outrage at the state of the "Animal Right's Movement" that has seemed to be on a losing downward spiral for the last dozen or so years. What have we accomplished with our graphic photos that were meant to shock, but that now have become promotional tools for the bad guys? Otherwise why would a numbed out public allow articles like the one on AOL today, capped with a picture of a tiny little monkey, either long dead or about to be fucking vivisected, be allowed to go by unchallenged? I mean where is the opposing point of view. Even the local television news, as full of bias and crap as it is, will always try to present the other side's POV. I am so enraged at the evil, the barbarism, the cruelty, and the outright fraud that is perpetrated against these tiny innocent beings, and against you and me that I want to fucking hit someone right now! But I won't because I was raised in the era of Billy Jack and I am basicaly a pacifist.

Instead I think I'll just do the usual e-mail, etter writing, and phone calling, and move back towards getting more involved. I'm telling you the process of shedding this weight, of uncovering what I've covered up for so many years, is a rollicking wild ride. Who knew how many pounds of fat I had to add to my body to mute the empathic pain I felt for the countless animals who suffer every second in hidden labs all across this country, all across this world?

I will be sorry to see those of you who choose to leave my friends list at this point go, but being able to speak my truth means everything to me now. Truth really does set you free.

And BTW here is a terrific article called Children Choose Hot Dogs
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Aunt Lucy Died, Tracy Is In Trouble, I Will Have To See My In-Laws For the First Time Since We Split Up Five Years Ago, Divorce Despair, Someone Beat Me In My Sleep, and Dreams About Fish





Okay, now that I got that miserable last post out of my system I can go back to my usual blathering.

Yesterday my cousin by marriage Christina came by. I knew something was very wrong by the sound of her voice over the intercom. I haven't seen or spoken to her more than a few times in the last dozen or so years but I grew up with her, we worked together for years, I love her, and we will always be family. She came by to tell me that her Mother, my ex-husbands vibrant, kind, and very loving Aunt Lucy had just died and she wanted me to come to the funeral. We hugged and cried and talked for hours. It was very sad and also very cathartic.

I love Robby's family and miss them very much. I'm going to go to the funeral tomorrow at Holy Cross and this will remind me of when Robby came to my Father's funeral. I will see people I haven't seen in more than five years and I am scared but I have to go, Lucy would have wanted me too, and it's the right thing to do.

I tried to call Robby last night to talk to him about it but his phone wasn't working. He only has a cell phone and the message machine on it is often not working. This makes me sadder for Beau than anything really. Maybe I'll try to call him again after I post this.

Okay I did but just like last night I got disconnected, then I tried again and after about fifteen rings I actually did get the machine and then I poured my heart out with tears slowly coursing down my cheeks.

Talking to him is always so painful, I'm just filled with hurt, loss, and regret. Now that I am past a lot of the anger at him, I feel guilty and sad for how his life has turned out. I can reason with myself about this, tell myself that I did everything I could for him for as long as I could stand to, until I finally had to take matters into my own hands and attend to my own needs, but it doesn't take away the fact that it makes me sad that he is often homeless in between short bursts of being a forty-two year old man who still lives at his mother's house. And it doesn't take away the feeling that I could have done just that one smidge more to have made it work somehow or to have at least parted from him in a better way leaving him a better person for having known me.

I feel so pathetic for feeling so much for a man whose feelings appear to be so flat and dead for me. I know he still feels some kind of maudlin self pity and affection of some kind for us, but not in the same way that I do. Years ago he responded to one of my desperately emotional outreach calls with this weirdly disconnected, "uhhhh...ummmm...I'm sorry you're still having so many...uhhhhh feelings about this." And I really got it, got that he had moved on long ago, and even though it hurt so bad, it helped me to get it, helped me to move on and stop reaching out to this ghost man who was no longer there, and may not have been for years.

The other day I was listening to Dr. Laura, (always a big mistake), and a young woman called in and was asking for advice about marrying a man she was in love with, but who her family thought was not her equal in terms of finances, education and background etc. This was exactly how my family felt and I thought they were all a bunch of completely insane unreasonable bigots. I believed in loving for loves sake and thought that if you had enough of it, it would see you through anything. So this girl said that she didn't care about any of those things either, that she thought he was brilliant, a genius, and that she loved him deeply but that she felt shallow for letting any of her parents desires for her future, (having an easier life with financial security being one of them), to creep in and color her feelings for him.

I was surprised when Dr. Laura said that, "If you love this man, you will let him go. If you marry him you will absolutely destroy him and ruin his life." Of course this set me off on a long course of guilty feel-think about Robby because I could have easily have been this young woman calling Dr. Laura when I was eighteen or nineteen and so in love with Rob. I really, really, did love him and would have done anything for him. I hung in there so long until I just couldn't hang in there any longer. Hung in there through the lies, the cheating, the countless betrayals, the endless fuck-ups, the laziness, the selfishness, the abuse, just hung in there and hung in there hoping for him to grow up, and then when he never did, and it was clear that he blamed me for everything that was wrong in our relationship I got involved with Scott and that was the beginning of the end, because once I fell in love with Scott I couldn't sleep with Robby anymore. I could love two men, and suffer the torture of all the lying and the covering up, and being in two intense relationships at the same time, unable to choose between either one of them, but I couldn't be lovers with both of them.

Meanwhile Robby who had been cheating on me all along, while we were dating, while we were living together, while we were engaged, while we were married, and then before, during, and after my pregnancy, just escalated his cheating, and things went from bad to worse until he abandoned me for a mentally unstable, crack-addicted stripper, who he lived in cheap sleazy motels with, ending up marrying her in Vegas before remembering to divorce me, uh, whoops, then fighting with her so badly he started to strangle her, but I've told you all of this before, it's boring and painful and I hate rehashing it, but having contact with him or his family brings it all up again.

I couldn't see all of these people who I loved so much, all of my relatives on his side, during the upheaval of our separation, without speaking ill of him, and I didn't want to do that to him or to them so I pulled back. Actually my closest in-law-relatives pulled back first and that broke my heart, and then when they were ready to come around again, about a year later, I stayed clear. Now I have to go back into the heart of all of this in just one day. They are an enormous family, with hundreds of relatives, I love them so much and am so looking forward to seeing them, and am so afraid at the same time.

I've mentioned this before but the best sermon I ever heard, at the best funeral I ever went to, was about how in dying we can bring people together, that our dying is an act of goodness and beauty just the same as any other sacrament or momentous occasion in our lives, like birth, baptism, first communion, marriage etc., and I truly think that bringing me back into the fold in some small way is a gift from Aunt Lucy. I think that now that she is infinite she wanted Christina to come over and get Beau and me and bring us back to her family and create this healing that needs to take place, and I also think she is probably doing this same kind of thing in countless other ways for others.

The saddest thing I learned yesterday is that my one of my other cousins by marriage, Christina's sister Tracy has become a heroin addict and is wasting away in some cheap hotel room near Pico and 14th street. I had all kinds of fantasies last night about finding her, getting her dressed and bringing her to the funeral. I so want to do this for Tracy and Lucy and Uncle Phil but it feels so enormous and beyond me to try to undertake.

Uncle Phil gave Christina some money to take to Tracy so she could buy herself something to wear to the funeral and so that she would have cab fair. He told Christina to tell Tracy that if she doesn't show up at her Mother's funeral that he will never speak to her again but we all think she'll be in so much pain she'll have to use it to get a fix.

I just got off the phone with the flower shop. I sent gardenias, Lucy's favorite flower to Christina at her apartment, and to her Dad and Lucy at the church tomorrow.

In other more health related news, I've found a lot of bruising on the inside of my thighs, and some on my outer left thigh. They're big and long and they hurt when I press on them just slightly. They look like someone took a long hard switch and whipped me a couple of times. It's not from anything as exciting as good hard sex or anything like that, or even anything I can remember. I just found them and they're pretty scary looking.

The only thing I know I did yesterday was to take two long walks. I did however jog/sprint a bit across the hot parts of the sidewalk and the street when I would reach the end of a block. Would that be enough to cause this weird bruising? This is in the territory of, so embarrassing perhaps I shouldn't write about it, but I have this loose skin thing going on because of the sudden and drastic weight loss, do you think the fact that I never run and was suddenly sprinting a bit yesterday might have shook up my skin so badly as to cause it to bleed internally and cause this bruising? Or could this be a vitamin deficiency sort of thing? I can't eat a lot of fruits and veggies yet, fruits have so much sugar they cause a reaction lovingly referred to in the WLS community as "dumping" and veggies have too much bulk and roughage for my newly assembled parts. As far as vitamins though, I'm taking everything I'm supposed to be taking. I think I'd better take this to my WLS buddies and ask them.



Last night's dreams, (or the last one I remembered), were about beautiful fish and aquariums. I'll put them behind the cut. Collapse )