We could alternately title this post “What Do You Do with a Degree in STEM on Not FMLA?”
I have never seen Avenue Q. This, in and of itself, is not that unusual, even for someone who likes musicals. I’ve never seen Hamilton, and that boils down to nothing more than the fact that even the cheapest tickets are multiple hundreds of dollars! For many years, Avenue Q was the Hamilton of its day. I had the soundtrack on my playlist, but couldn’t afford to see any production of it as a poor grad student.
However, eventually, I got tickets for it. I got tickets for it no less than *three* times in fact, and each time something managed to happen. One time, it was a major argument with my Partner that was triggered by – what else? – PTSD symptoms. That argument ended up being very instrumental in us getting to where we are today, so I don’t regret it. It helped me to learn to trust. It helped me learn that sometimes things can unravel and still be stitched up again. It also meant I missed orchestra section seats to Avenue Q.
The second time we attempted, I honestly don’t remember what kept me from actually using our tickets. It might have been 9th Circle of Hell stuff or work stuff: I honestly don’t know anymore! The third time we were just plain too sick to use the tickets. By that time, we were no longer risking big money. We simply had tickets to a local community theater production, but still, my Partner and I were ‘cursed.’
We talked briefly about seeing if there was a local production of Avenue Q during my not-FMLA, especially one before we returned to the 9th Circle of Hell. It’s probably good we didn’t, as we both have spent the past several days incredibly sick. We’d likely have missed the show again, were we to have tried.
Although I just posted yesterday, I’m going to go ahead and start my blog awards series today. I’m only, oh, a week or so later than I claimed! I have already acknowledged I have blog awards going back to July 2017. If I don’t just start posting, the ADHD forgetfulness probably means I’ll forget again until it’s too embarrassing to bring up.
I take back everything I said about WordPress’s new save feature. I patiently found all seven of those blog awards and saved them on the app on my phone. Guess what posts are no longer showing up? Sometimes technology works, and you are the broken one. Sometimes the beta version really is broken, and that is absolutely what happened with the WordPress save feature! I planned to start with the oldest post and work forward, but I’m starting instead with the most recent. It was the easiest to find!
Today’s entry is from Ashley of Mental Health @ Home:
1. What breaks and never falls and what falls and never breaks? Ashley’s answer of dawn and water is clearly the right answer to the riddle, so I’ll take poetic license here instead. The heart that pumps my blood can break but never fall, while the blood it pumps can fall but not break. (Dysautonomia means my blood pressure falls regularly – and makes me fall with it! – but my heart itself is not actually the cause of the symptoms. My nervous system is to blame!)
2. A farmer had 752 sheep and took one shot that got them all. How did he do it? He blew out the lock on the gate and they all ran away. Sheep aren’t smart.
3. What’s your favourite morning drink? As much as I’m obsessed with coffee, I tend to drink that later in the day, after the stress has built up. In the morning, I just drink tea and a water bottle full of water with lemon to start the day hydrated.
4. What is your favourite number plus 16 times 5 minus 7? Again I have to agree with Ashley that order of operations matters here. Since my favorite number is pi, though, I probably also need to ask to how many significant digits you want the answer?
5. Well done, you have made it onto the local baseball team, which position are you? Mascot. I think I’d have fun making 20,000 people laugh and getting them to do idiotic stuff on camera at my command…
6. What will your favourite colour resemble once you have added pink, green and orange? My favorite color is purple, and pink, green and orange are all also colors that represent various diagnoses that have impacted my life. I think it would look like one of my prior Where’s Whoopsies!
7. All-time favourite sweet/candy’ … why? Charleston Chews. I never see them anymore, though. And, now I want one. That’s just not fair.
8. You are offered a meal out at a restaurant of your choice, what do you pick? Whatever San Pellegrino/50 Best Restaurant’s current #1 restaurant in the world is. I know how to rules-lawyer genie wishes to their fullest extent…
9. Who comes first? A close friend in need or a distressed family member? Depends on which particular person it is and whether it’s actually in my ability to help them. I’ve been in enough no-win situations in my life that I’d probably try to pick the one where I can accomplish the most, period. I want to actually make a difference, you know?
10. If animals could talk – who would be the rudest species? Still humans. Animals have nothing on us for treating our own like crap.
11. Which is the best head wear style to date? The messy bun. I like styles that don’t require me to lift my arms over my head for long periods of time.
12. When wearing socks, which foot do you dress first? My right. I’m motor dominant on that side.
13. If we count sheep to fall asleep, what do they count? I really shouldn’t have let the farmer blow the lock on that gate. Now I see that that pen held all *my* sheep. They’re gone, and that’s why I can never get any restful sleep!
14. Why do we HAVE to keep up with the Joneses? I grew up in the ‘burbs of a Stepford Wives-style Red State. If you see me keeping up with the Joneses, immediately ask my Partner to enact the proper protocols we’ve put in place to determine if one of us has been replaced by a clone. I’m pretty sure I have been.
15. What is the ‘secret of success?’ Winning the birth lottery. We live in a world where the zip code a child is born into is one of the biggest predictors of their future educational success, wealth and life expectancy. The American Dream that we are all equal in opportunity is a bald-faced lie. It’s time we truly comprehend those statistics and fight to change things for the better.
16. What would be better than the fountain of youth? Umm, the fountain of equal opportunity? I think I just made a good case for it up above.
17. How much do you exercise and does it help? I am having to re-learn how to do a lot of my preferred exercise types to be safer for dysautonomia and EDS. It’s rather annoying.
18. Why do they say ‘drown your sorrows’ – what happens if they can swim? Umm, there is a reason why people with PTSD have much higher rates of substance abuse or other addictions? I’ve totally gotten on a rant over the past few questions, but since I’m on one anyway: we need to stop stigmatizing substance abuse and remember that treating it successfully requires trauma-informed care. There is no shame in a biopsychosocial predisposition to addiction.
19. How do we truly know that the world we live in is the real one and that we are NOT just the fingertip of some giant? Why would our world existing on the fingertip of a giant make it any less real? And, really, since we’re all living in the world of our own cognitive heuristics, what would a shared reality matter anyway? For better or worse, we’re all living in a reality of just one brain anyway.
20. If you had one week left of life as we know it, how would you live it? I instinctively start singing I’ve Got a Little List from the Mikado when I see questions like this. However, realistically, even the people on my “list” are just individual incarnations of a broader epidemic of systemic abuse that would take way longer than one week and a list to solve. Treating a few symptoms of the disease doesn’t eradicate the disease itself. So, after I work through my revenge fantasies and return to the ‘real’ world, I’d probably just try to visit as many places and eat at as many amazing restaurants with my Partner as possible in the time I had left.
21. Jolly Green Giant and the Big Friendly Giant are fighting over beans, who is going to win. I know I read the BFG. But, it’s one of those books I can’t actually remember anything about. I’m still going to say the BFG, though.
22. … and why? Because I don’t remember the Jolly Green Giant ever being on any cans of beans. I don’t think he actually likes legumes, so I’m guessing he’d concede the fight. Well, unless the “beans” were actually “green beans” – then he’d probably be pretty motivated. Also, someone should really make sure neither giant gets his hands on any legumes. A giant-sized fart could probably flatten a town…
23. If you could do it again, would you choose the same path or take another one? Can I keep some parts, like my relationship with my Partner, and get rid of other ones?
24. What sort of music do you like? Euro goth, oldies, classic rock, classical, geek pop and other satire songs, generic Top 40, musicals. My Pandora has multiple playlists, and what I listen to probably says a lot about what kind of day I have had.
25. Do you see the glass half full or empty? Mostly empty, because PTSD has that pesky “sense of foreshortened future” symptom.
26. What is your passion? Although I see the glass as half-empty, my passion is apparently trying to use statistics to change the world? Making economics no longer the “dismal” science, but the roadmap to social justice? Or just ranting about doing so on blog award posts? I’m a walking paradox.
27. Do you have a “bucket list”? Stop reminding me about lists! I just talked myself out of wasting my hypothetical last week to live on a shameless revenge fantasy! I’m not one of the evil INTJs, I swear! In fact, I’m pretty sure I just decided right now that my bucket list should be to visit all seven continents and eat at each of the Top 50 restaurants in the world. Or, if I have long enough, I could be totally unrealistic and say I want to visit every country on Earth? Is that something people who aren’t billionaires ever achieve?
28. Is creating something concrete or abstract, therapeutic for you? Isn’t a blog by nature both abstract and concrete? Thus, isn’t the answer pretty much guaranteed to be “yes” for any blogger nominated?
29. If you could take only one book with you, which one would it be? This one is actually really hard. I think maybe Arthur Miller’s The Crucible?
30. Does the weather affect your moods? Yes. Heat is horrible for all of my physical symptoms, which tends to make it harder on my mental ones too.
31. Are you more of a cat or dog person? My spirit animal is some kind of a cat.
32. Do you have a tendency to drive fast or slow? Umm, more fast than slow, but I tend to speed more because I’ve just not noticed how much my speedometer has crept up rather than from any inherent love of fast cars. I actually really hate driving.
33. What is your most meaningful dream? I have entirely too many creative varieties of nightmares. If I started putting stock into my dreams, I really would just give up and stop trying. I prefer to leave my dreams behind the moment I open my eyes.
Need a recap of anything I’m talking about in any post? Check out the Glossary of Terms.