Step Out & Step Up

..can’t sleep

Well, hello old friends.  It’s been a while since I’ve logged in and touched base.  I have been working harder than I have in years, hence my absence.  Between the radio show I host with my partner 5 days a week, I have also added a Saturday radio show to the roster that I host alone.  I’m broadcasting 6 days a week.

“C” has begun a new job in another city.  We will be leaving Saint John New Brunswick.  I am currently staying in Halifax, Nova Scotia- where I’m from.  The city has changed a lot in the three years I was gone.  Some areas I barely recognize due to gentrification.  Thanks Hipsters for driving up rental costs in the city.  Much appreciated.  I have some questions though.  How many micro breweries does one city need?  What’s the big deal with craft beer and Hipsters anyway?  Why the man-bun?  I’m just gonna say it… Craft beer= glass of farts.  There I said it.  You’re all thinking it but I said it.  “C” and I are frantically searching for a suitable rental.  I say frantically because ALL the apartments have been taken by students.  Damn university town.  Guess we know who’s really drinking all that extra gassy craft beer.

On another front, I have somewhat kicked up my medical cannabis activism game.  I’m a newbie; no where near as experienced as many of my peers, but I see injustice.  I hate injustice.  I see people suffering with a plethora of illness ranging from chronic to terminal flailing around a medical system hell bent on prescribing this and that only to manage symptoms, never addressing the cause.  Pharmaceutical tyranny I call it.  I see a void in our current system and I feel like I have just as good of a voice as anyone else.  I have partaken in a video that’s going viral, standing with other patients addressing how invaluable dispensaries are to us.  I have also given an interview with a local paper- it just came out today.  Change doesn’t happen without fight; without discord.  I am stepping out of my comfort zone and stepping up.  I think more of us need to do this in our everyday lives.  Step out, step up.  A little tip?  We won’t die nor break as a result of stepping out of our comfort zones.  As a society, we have become complacent much to our detriment.  We allow ourselves to be distracted by things that don’t affect us, don’t matter or don’t serve us, and when it’s suggested we put forth an effort, suddenly, many people simply “don’t have the time”.  It’s true that there are many demanding professions and careers out there, but let’s be honest; you have time, you just couldn’t be bothered and you’re not a cardiovascular surgeon.

“Leave it for someone else”

“So and So will take care of it”

“Surely the government will step in”

No.  These are incorrect statements, and they stink of naivete.

Your government doesn’t care about you.  You know why?  Because democracy is a misconstrued notion.  It’s a dead sentiment.  Countries are run by corporations.  Money and lobby groups dictate policy and laws.  The FDA?  A laughable organization.  It’s about who can contribute how many dollars.  It’s bullshit studies done by the very same drug companies trying to patent their poisons medicines.  “Surely there are drug trials and tests” you might retort.  Yeah there are.  Two.  Two tests.  Often performed by the drug companies’ own teams.  That’s not biased at all.  You know what else happens in government?  Nepotism.  Look at how many Trumps are fucking up running the White House.  Here in  Halifax, Nova Scotia, the city police chief is our Premiere’s brother.  You can’t make this shit up folks.

Two days ago, my best friend’s dispensary was robbed in broad daylight by police raided.  A lot of people are left without medication now and two people who volunteer their time to help other patients, one- a single mother of three- are now facing charges and court appearances.  Is this necessary?  Is this fair?  This friend  has given me medication at no cost many times so that I am not sick, so that I can function at a reasonable level and enjoy a reasonable quality of life.  (It’s not illegal to give or trade cannabis among patients- just an FYI) Do you know how grateful I am?  This friend has given medication and has offered a compassionate ear to virtually anyone truly in need.  There are thousands of patients that rely on Higher Living Wellness Centre.  Thousands of people have been made to feel safe, welcome, listened to, and many have developed life long friendships, and enjoy a peaceful sense of community with other like minded individuals.  We harm no one.  We bother no one.  We have medical prescriptions for cannabis.  No one is served without a prescription and ID.  The patients they serve range in ages all over the board and the cases range from things like cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, to Fibromyalgia, to rheumatoid arthritis, to PTSD and other painful life altering conditions.  Conditions that many doctors simply give up on.  It becomes a game of “let’s try this” “let’s increase that” ” I heard good things about this drug”  Doctors are in the game of symptom management.  Although here in Canada, doctors can’t accept “kickbacks” they CAN accept training in places like the Bahamas for 2 weeks or a nice golfing vacation.  Doctors are still bought here in Canada, they just accept a different currency.

For many of us, we have come to rely on communities like this.  Let’s not forget, the fast approaching legalization debacle was built on the backs of compassion clubs and dispensaries just like Higher Living Wellness.  It’s infuriating to me that the people with all the knowledge, the care and understanding of this plant; this GOD GIVEN plant are being locked out of an entire industry.  It’s infuriating to me that the government thinks it’s OK for a stage 4 breast cancer patient to get in line at the liquor store behind two twenty year olds looking to enhance their bar game that night.  It’s infuriating to me to tell someone dying of cancer that he has to log in on a computer with a credit card to a faceless entity for his legal medicine?  There’s no one you can ACTUALLY speak with when dealing with LPs.  It’s all email.  There no recommendations, there’s no teaching moments between an LP and a patient.  This is access for sick people??  Are you joking?  This must be a joke.  No one really treats the ill like this do they?  They do in Canada.  They do in Halifax Nova Scotia.  The Nova Scotia government doesn’t care about us, they don’t care about you.  I have already lost faith in doctors, I have since lost faith in my government, I have now lost faith in the police.  It’s become clear to us that we are nothing in their eyes.

We can’t have that.  I can’t have that.  I cannot foresee a future where all my rights have been stripped and I am forced to live a bed bound isolated life again and not have at the very least TRIED to fight back.

I have always been a fighter, I will always be a fighter.

Maybe cannabis is not your fight, that’s fine.  But I bet there’s something you need to be fighting for.  Don’t let your hesitation fester in to a life long regret.  Don’t be caught off guard and steamrolled; governments are notorious for silently removing rights while you’re playing Candy Crush or taking the latest Facebook quiz.  Take action.  There is SO MUCH wrong in this world right now, pick your battle and fight for it.  Fight with everything you have.

Step out, step up.

HLWC shirt

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

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Comments.. Anyone?

Comments?? Anyone?
First, let me start off noting how much of a terrible blogger I am. Since February, wifey and I have been doing a Monday to Friday live radio show on Higher Living Wellness Radio, an internet radio station. I also write a blog for them. It surrounds medical cannabis, cannabis news and reviews from a Canadian perspective. We also play music to medicate by. A lot of harder rock, alternative and metal. That keeps me pretty busy.
After the show, I’m usually over stimulated from constant web surfing, tweeting and interacting on several social media platforms all whilst listening to metal music. This has resulted in my reluctant absence from my blog. I mean, I want to blog. I’m just too damn tired.
One thing I do often have energy for is reading random web comments on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit posts. I’m a bit of a lurker. If you ever want a snapshot of a microcosm that amplifies ALL that is wrong in our society, read some internet comments, but not for TOO long, as you will quickly lose all faith in humanity leading you to the conclusion that we are all doomed as humans.
People are rude. Not just rude, but outright savages with one another. It’s amazing how people seem to feel free and entitled to unleash the most obscene, vulgar, hatred upon another person. It pops up in the most unexpected places too. For example, today, I was scrolling through my news feed when I saw a post on one of the (far too) many dachshund groups I belong to. Someone needed help to pay for an expensive surgery for their dog and right away someone felt the need to judge this person for paying a lot of money to save her companion. First of all, most people think of their dogs as family, many people only have their dogs and no one else, and if something happens to your family- you take care of it. Is it a lot of money? Yes? But who am I to judge? I’d do it too if my Lucy got sick and I was able to raise the funds to make her better. This simple post turned into a hate fest, begun by one person. Things often escalate quickly in the comments section of an internet post. It can go from “Stuff it” to “I will peel the skin from your face and turn it in to a soup to feed you with” in literally seconds.
The problem with spending too much time reading comments is that it ultimately leads you to the temptation to participate in the discussion. “Well, I don’t like THAT, here’s MY opinion.” Why do we feel the need to do this? Who does it serve really? Yeah, you might get off some quick witted zingers to your satisfaction but who cares? Why contribute? When I saw all the strife this post caused I eventually DID comment. I commented with the fact that statements like this individual’s are meant to incite anger to create fights online. Some people have very little in their lives, some people can’t process things, some people are just having a bad day and some people are just plain mentally ill. You can’t reason with these people. The best thing to do is ignore responses like that. Don’t give that person any attention, after all, this is what they seek so denying them the satisfaction is like snuffing out a candle. It can stop there if you want it to. Just don’t engage. The original poster of the offensive statement attempted to initiate an argument with me. I responded with a simple, “Nope- not engaging, sorry- have a nice day” with a big smiley face.
There is so much wrong with our world I can’t even begin to write about it, but the thing I see most frequently, is how terrible we treat one another. How quickly we can verbally assault or attack someone online from the comforts of our home and the protective barrier of a computer screen. It’s disparaging. The lack of respect we show to other human beings is overwhelming at times.
Where do comments like this come from? One word. Pride. People have over inflated senses of who they are now with the popularity of social media. Everything is about ego and making one’s self appear “better” than what one truly is. We need to step back and take a lesson in humility. Learn to be humble. Resist taking part in these types of negative engagements online because it only spreads negativity. Why let some random person you’ll never meet have the power to sour YOUR day? Exercise restraint, scroll past and move on. I feel like we all need to start BEING the changes we want to see in our world.

What does the Bible say about pride and humility?

Jeremiah 9:23
This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches

Philippians 2:3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves

Proverbs 8:13
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Proverbs 21:24
The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name— behaves with insolent fury.

And finally,

James 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up

Be better than the comments you read. Be that change.

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,
Sam

photo credit

https://phys.org/news/2016-12-news-sites-online-comments-electorate.html

The World Votes to Keep Internet or Scrap it Altogether

Tonight, I asked “C” a hypothetical question.

If all the countries of the world simultaneously held a vote on whether to keep the internet or go back to the old ways, how would you vote? 

Before Internet

We both had to think about it for a few minutes.

I think the internet has had both negative and positive impacts on our society and the way we live.

Being instantly connected, at all times can be both a blessing and a curse.  I can’t possibly be the only one that finds instant this and the texting and the constant barrage of beeps and dings intrusive and bothersome.  By the same token, being able to instantly answer any question you have no matter the topic via a quick web search or through programs like Siri is time saving and convenient.

Having internet and a good device, allows you limitless possibilities.  Convenient ways to network, immediate access to information, easy ways to shop, thousands of games and millions of cat and dog videos.  It’s brilliant!

I was first introduced to the internet when I was in University.  We had computer labs where you could go and check your Pegasus Mail on a monochrome screen.  I remember the first time I sent an email.  Pointing at the little flying envelope icon, I marveled at how simple it was.  It was an easy way to stay connected with other students that you may be doing group work with.  Text messaging was still a few years away at that point and this was as close to instant as we had.

I couldn’t believe how far we’d come as people.  Before email, at best, we could leave a message on their home answering machine and just accept that you wouldn’t be resolving this today.

When it’s being used leisurely, I love the internet.  It’s great.  I’m totally one of those people who constantly check their phone.  I love Netflix and I love that I can take my iPad to bed with me to watch videos until I get tired.  But when you have a job to do, and it’s being slow or your computer crashes or a program doesn’t work like it’s supposed to.  I curse it.  I curse the day it became publicly available.  Which, according to the internet, is August 6, 1991.

Internet and technology certainly has made life more challenging at times.  For example, I spent the last week and a half preparing for our first broadcast on internet radio.  Well, we spent hours and hours learning new programs, searching for good topics, writing out bits and the flow of the near 3 hour show only to learn upon setting up for broadcasting live- our Windows 10 has expired.  Apparently when you buy computers now, it comes with Windows and Office but no one tells you it’s only registered for a year.  After that, you are required to pay $165 for a new activation key for Windows.  What a scam!  We can’t afford that right now and without it we can’t broadcast, do our podcasts or get important Windows updates.  The very thing that has allowed me such an opportunity, has taken it away just like that.  The irony, is bitterly painful.

Despite the obvious nettlesome aspects of virtually living on the internet, there lies a darker sinister element.  The crime, the hacking, the pedophiles, the identity theft, the loss of privacy, the dark web, the cyber-bullying and the way people talk to one another online behind the protection of anonymity.  It’s made us colder, shortened our attention spans, affected relationships and has changed the way we even spend time in person with one another.  It’s made us less trusting and more paranoid.  It’s turning us in to simulated zombies.  It’s confused us with fake news and propaganda.  When we think we’ve become smarter, the internet lets us know with a leak or a whistle blower just how dumb we’ve actually become.

I think that I would vote to go back to the old ways.  If nothing more than to not be hunched over a computer or device everyday.  Do you remember sunshine?  I miss the smell of outside.  Can you remember peace and quiet?  I miss face to face communication.  I miss the bliss of ignorance and not knowing every foul detail of every wicked deed done.

ignorance is bliss
Ignorance is bliss

 

How would you vote?

A)  Go back to the old ways

B)   Keep the internet

I’d love to hear your feedback!

Make sure you’ve clicked Subscribe and are following me on Twitter!

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

 

Images

Life Before Internet  https://ricardobarroselt.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/life-before-the-internet-a-conversation-lesson/

Freedom  https://pixabay.com/en/woman-happiness-sunrise-silhouette-570883/ User jill111

The Price is… Too Much

Firstly, I apologize for my recent absence.  With the holidays and travelling and personal matters I cannot share at this time, and an officially broken wrist, I have been too distracted, tired or sore to go on social media.  I needed a break (pardon the pun).

Not much has been going on here but a few minor observances and a shit load of Netflix watching.  I’ve watched a few movies I enjoyed like I, Tonya, and the Disaster Artist.  I was pleased to see Franco take an award for that.  I blew through the Wormwood series in a day, I enjoyed the biographical movie All Eyez on Me about the iconic Tupac Shakur.  It’s been pretty quiet here.

Quiet.  That’s something I enjoy.  Peace and quiet.  I don’t like loud things, loud movies, loud shows, loud noises.  I’m an aficionado of documentary films and quiet quirky humor without the blatantly obnoxious laugh tracks.  I’m a big girl, I know when to laugh, thanks.  Even my musical tastes have changed.  When going for my MP3s to accompany house cleaning, I’m beginning to shy away from the loud raucous rock and metal that I used to listen to, opting for Radiohead, Wilco or, most recently, Diana Ross and the Supremes.  You can’t go wrong with Motown.

Cannabis brownieWhich brings me to the crux of my story.  Recently I acquired a medicinal brownie.  I’ve been pretty blunt and upfront about the fact that I have a permit/prescription to possess medical cannabis for chronic pain and PTSD.  So, I got this brownie..  Keep in mind I am very experienced, a veteran of cannabis if you will.  I have been using it for about a decade for pain, I have done my research, I know my strains and I know my doses.  I have never had a bad experience… Until now.

This brownie was about 3 inches long and maybe an inch wide.  I split it in half.  It’s a Saturday night so I offer the other half to my partner so she can relax.  Apparently this was not a 2 dose brownie.  I repeat, NOT a 2 dose brownie.  In actual fact, this was a four or 5 dose brownie.  So we unknowingly nibble at our brownies while enjoying a cup of coffee with a little Baileys in it.  Mistake number 2.  Do not mix said brownie with alcohol, even the wee bit of Baileys you dumped in your after dinner coffee.  I put on a recent episode of The Price is Right for shits and giggles.  We don’t have cable so occasionally I find game show episodes online for us to watch so we can feel like real people that have cable.  The Price is Right was mistake number 3.  It was at the second big wheel spin to see who the showcase showdown opponent was going to be when the brownie took hold.  

Holy fuck.

Too much
Too much The Blog BroadThere were flashing lights, bells ringing, thunderous applause, ” It’s a brand new car!!!” , people screaming and molesting Drew, saying hello to every fucking person they knew, people losing their shit screaming down aisles flailing their arms, people pushing past stunned models to grab at their haul of prizes, people screaming random numbers at shocked contestants, weird T shirts begging to Drew to love them, flashy costumes, honking horns, that yodelling Swiss guy, then it’s topped off with guilt about the unneutered pet population.

How do people watch this?

How the fuck does Drew Carey sleep at night?  No wonder he’s lost weight, poor bastard probably has PTSD.  I sure hope they pay him well and he has a good benefits package.

How did Bob Barker do it all those years?  I mean that guy was old as shit when he retired. 

That show is like an overdose of Aderall with a hit of meth all in one 21 minute episode.  It was too much.  TOO MUCH.

This brownie was too much.  TOO MUCH.

All we could do was go lay on our bare bed, (I had the brilliant idea of washing the bedding pre-brownie).  We had been over stimulated.  We grabbed the comforter and threw it over us like a protective fort.  Looking at each other under our fort all we could do, was repeat “Too much.  Too much.  Too much.”  

The lights were too much, music was too much, smells were too much, touch was too much, The Price is Right  was TOO MUCH.

I vomited a couple of times and crawled back into the fort with “C”.  We fell asleep.  I eventually woke up and finished the laundry but “C” was out for the night.  Lesson learned.  Well played meth brownie, well played.

It did get me thinking about how The Price is Right kind of mirrors American society.  

Play the game, win prizes!

The more shit, the better!

LOUD LOUD LOUD!!  with some screaming for good measure

It’s all about advertising, but throw in some literal bells and whistles and flashing lights and no one’s the wiser!

I want it all now now now

Who cares about the fine print, like duties and taxes that need to be paid, a lot of people don’t even take their prizes because it costs too much.  Nothing is truly free but it looks like it is and that’s all that matters


Yay!! America! 

yeesh… 

Too much. 


Live Humbly, Start Small, Live Cautiously,

Sam


Images

Hank Hill/ too high  http://media.ifunny.com/results/2014/02/06/yqeg15gwyf.jpg

Price is Right gif  https://uproxx.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/tpir.gif?w=650

Brownie/Selfie are my own.

Find Your Niche They Said, It’ll be Good They Said

Blogging image
I’ve been blogging for 5 years now.  This is actually my fifth blog.  I wrote under a pseudonym for the first 4 years (Sparky Lee Anderson);  I also wrote a blog called The Canine Companion that was about dog health and training.  I then ventured off in to Blogger to create a blog about living with ME/CFS called My Life in Fog Goggles and I begun an additional blog called My Whovian Take solely about Doctor Who.  I guess you can say I was trying to find my niche.

Finding my niche has been my greatest struggle.  I see so many women doing Travel, Beauty and Lifestyle blogs and that’s just not me.  I mean, I wear make up sometimes, but I’m poor so frugality is a big thing in my life.  I know nothing about new make up trends, Sephora, or $100 serums.  I’m here in my closet sized bathroom slathering St. Ives and Clean & Clear on my aging, acne prone face.  I still use baby powder after my showers and I buy whatever lotion happens to be on sale that week.  I don’t even buy women’s razors.  I refuse to spend more money for a pink handle.  Fuck that noise.  So as you can see, a Beauty blogger I am not.

I don’t think anyone is interested in my travels seeing how as I mainly only travel from the bed to the couch to the bathroom, with periodic jaunts outside in my Pajama pants to take my dog out for her pees.  Every so often I walk up to the corner store for a Diet Coke.  Sure, it’s all first class travel; because I said so, I’m wearing my good Chucks, my dog is dressed in her finest jacket and I’m drinking a whole can of Diet Coke, not half a can in a plastic cup with airplane ice cubes in it.  I also insist on carrying hot towels with me at all times and a sleeping mask should the mood catch me.  If I wrote a book about Travel it would be called, “I don’t have to put a bra on do I?”.  I’d probably only sell a few copies to other women who hate bras.  It wouldn’t be a fruitful venture.

That brings us to Lifestyle.  Well, if your lifestyle includes things like eating peanut butter with a spoon out of the jar at 1 am over the kitchen sink, or house cleaning in your underwear, maybe I’m on to something.  I could write about the dinner parties I throw.  Ok so it’s not so much as a dinner party as it is Supper for two people.  I could write about my Clubbing adventures.  Sure, it was the nineties and we danced to C&C Music Factory while downing $1 watered down beverages and I haven’t stepped foot in to a club since Clinton was in office but hey.  Maybe I could write about things like Home Decor.  I can do amazing things with TARDISs and old movie posters.  Do you like Christmas lights year round?  Functional furniture that doesn’t match?  Let me be your Ghetto Martha Stewart.  I can show you how to fold take out napkins into little squares that fit discreetly in your purse in case you ever need to pee roadside.  I can offer you a hundred ways to use Baking Soda.  I can reveal secrets like; Did you know you can do laundry at least once or twice without soap thanks to the soap residue and build up in your washing machine?  No?  You’re welcome.  I just saved you $3.  Perhaps I’m on to something.

I don’t know if I will ever fit in to a niche any more than I fit in to my skinny jeans.  I’ve always been kind of an outside the box kinda broad. 

Are you a niche blogger or do you have a theme you tend to write about?  Share your links below, I’d love to learn more.

Are you one of these people that put eyelashes on your car’s headlights?  If so, please remove them, they look ridiculous.  This statement really has nothing to do with this post, but I just saw one drive by and had to voice my opinion.

Please check out one of my top posts like this one and don’t forget to subscribe to my mailing list and follow me on Twitter @LezGeek

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously, Shag it,

Sam

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Welcome to the Circus That is my Mind

I have a racing, wandering, rambling mind.  I always have.  It has at times, distracted me from doing schoolwork, doing actual work, carrying on conversations, running errands, reading books, completing my house work, having sex and most certainly- sleeping.

The best way I can relate how it feels would be to equate to having a job to do at an office.  You have to get those reports in by 5 and it’s already 3 pm.  You’re just able to focus when the phone rings, and it’s an important client.  Then, Susan from accounting stops by to review numbers.  Two minutes later, your co worker has a melt down at your desk.  You’re trying to finish this damn report but Dan from sales is re-enacting a scene from Breaking Bad while standing directly behind your chair.  Your boss pops by every 15 minutes to track your progress.  While this is going on, there’s a visiting travelling Circus in your office complete with a petting zoo, trapeze artists, tumbling clowns,  Firedancers, sword swallowers, helium filled balloons, and that traditional circus music blaring from all four corners of your office.

Each random thought that pops in to my head is like a different act in that circus.

The Circus of my Mind
Basically… My brain
The tumbling clowns are all the funny things I have seen or heard that replay back in my head.  This act is reserved for things like old Seinfeld episodes, my favorite Saturday Night Live sketches, and Family Guy gags.  It also includes funny things my partner or friends have said, and contains the time my cat got a bag stuck on his head and he peed the entire length of the hallway, running, while the bag flapped behind him like an unfortunate parachute.

Then there’s the Trapeze act.  These are things I think I should be doing but am still only in the thinking stage, not the acting stage.  I’m afraid of heights.  I’m afraid of people.  I’m afraid of foods past the expiration date.  I’m afraid of a lot of things.

The petting zoo consists of all the animals I want to pet.  Baby goats, poofy dogs, fluffy kitties, that arrogant dog down the street that won’t let me pet him, rabbits, hedgehogs, squirrels and pigeons.

Subdermal Implants
Why? Would you do this??
Then there’s the sword swallower.  These are all things that make me go Yeesh while shaking my head wondering why anyone would want to do such a thing.  This includes but is not limited to; subdermal implants, RFID chips, eye tattoos, collagen fillers, Trump supporters, racism, random acts of violence, the Kardashians and general crime/politics.

The fortune teller encompasses all the things that perplex me.  Things I am curious about.  Things that have led to me being labelled a Conspiracy Theorist in the past.  They say Conspiracy Theorist, I say truth seeker or just curious is a more accurate depiction.  I mean, I’m not one of those people that think the world is flat but I do question things like possible false flag attacks, fake news and what the government tells us.  I questioned the whole 911 narrative, the JFK assassination, the moon landing, whether aliens are A) real B) here C) demons D) the original inhabitants of this planet and maybe WE are the aliens.

Aliens or Demons?
WTF ARE they??
The Freak Show are aspects of myself that I try to hide.  My insecurities.  My quirks.  My obsessive compulsive behaviors.  This is where I clip and examine my toenails and remove my blackheads.  This is where I listen to and sing along loudly to the formidable Kelly Clarkson.  This is also where I borrow that voice I talk to my dog in.

The tiger and elephant parade reminds me of things I can appreciate and value but not touch.  The beauty of the sun gleaming across the Atlantic ocean, my gratitude for some of the wonderful people present in my life or my lover’s laugh and smile.  This is where I store the way I feel when she puts her arm around me in the middle of the night until I drift off to sleep.  My dog’s face is there too.  The face she makes when I hold her and rub her head, the face she makes when she’s running through the grass.  These are the precious things.

The Firedancer envelopes all the things that frighten me.  Impending war, losing my love- my partner, running out of money and food, the future, whether being gay will lead me to the fiery pits of hell.  Will I get fat again? (even though I’ve kept it off for a decade) Will the world just get worse?  Just how dumb are people going to get??

helium filled balloons
All my shitty ideas
The helium filled balloons represents each idea I have had that has either popped, backfired or I never got around to.  The big red balloon just out of my reach?  That’s my book.  The blue one that’s floating up up up to the ceiling?  That was my art business.  That annoying yellow balloon that keeps bopping me in the face despite me trying to swat it away?  That was when I moved to Newfoundland for a fresh start and lost all my belongings.  Everything I owned.  The little ones floating away?  Those are my exes.  Quick!  Give me a pin!

The Ringleader or Ring Master, is God who tries to keep me on track.  He tries to organize my thoughts in to manageable compartments and keep me focused on the task at hand.  He tries to make me a better human.  He gives me warm peanuts and sticky cotton candy.  He gives me hope that the next act will be better…

Ringleader
The Ring Master

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

 

 

Images

Old Barnum & Bailey Poster  http://blog.tripbase.com/photo-essay-history-of-the-traveling-circus/

Subdermal implant  http://randomstory.org/bizarre-body-modifications-in-different-cultures/subdermal/

Three Grey Aliens  http://ipost.christianpost.com/post/aliens-extraterrestrials-are-really-demon-spirits

Floating balloons  http://balloonsdelivered.com.au/balloons/floating-balloons/

Ring Master  http://www.thedrawingclub.com/workshop/ringmaster-2010-theme-photo-and-artwork/

On Sprains, Pain and Being Vain

Wow Sam.  Where the hell have you been?

The Blog Broad Sprained Wrist

Nursing a sprained wrist.  I injured myself, falling on to an outstretched hand.  My wrist is swollen and black and blue.  It’s my right hand (I’m right handed) so I’ve been trying to use lefty as much as possible.  PAIN IN THE ASS.  I’ve mostly been laying around feeling sorry for myself.

Crazy old cat lady
I can’t throw with my right hand

I can’t use the hair straightener so my hair is in an awful state.  I’m a bathrobe and 5 cats away from looking like a crazy old cat lady.  When did my hair get so frizzy? and where the fuck did all these grays come from?  Why didn’t I notice before?  Is that the real power of the flat iron?  Masking your hair flaws?  I need it back!

sad dog
Sad puppy

 

I can’t pick up my dog.  So I’m just following her around petting her from above.  She’s a mini dachshund so she’s very short.  I usually pick her up for kisses and squeezes several times a day to tell her how pretty she is.  Now my dog’s self confidence will plummet and she will be thrust in to a world of doggy depression and self dog loathing.

Jedi Mind trick it

 

I can’t cook.  So I’m just lightly grazing around the apartment.  Find a corner, eat some nuts.  Eat a bowl of sunflower seeds and forget about that hamburger you’re craving.  Spaghetti is a 2 handed food Sam.  Here are some almonds.  I can’t even open my eggs.  I just keep looking at them in the fridge trying to Jedi mind trick them in to a mushroom omelette.  It’s not working.  I need to try harder. 

Writing is fucking hard challenging.   I’m typing with my left hand and right index finger.  It hurts.  It feels like my fingers aren’t quite attached to my hand, and my wrist feels like it’s separating from the rest of my arm.  I’ve been downing CBD oil for pain like a fallen soldier in the field downs whiskey before amputation.  I think it’s time for more.  I think it needs wine.  Please send wine.

Big-eyebrows
this poor bastard

I can’t tweeze my eyebrows.  Dear Lord I’m turning in to Groucho Marx over here.  Who knew tweezing with your alternate hand would be so difficult?  What if they just keep growing eventually becoming part of my hair line?  How much conditioner will I go through?  How will I style it?  Will I have to join a circus act and rename myself Sam, the dog faced Broad?  Help!

Have I mentioned I’m a lesbian?  I don’t think I need to go too far in to detail to explain how detrimental a bum hand can be to my love life.  Long story short male readers:  My penis is damaged.

I can’t play my video games.  Before anyone rushes to ask me whether I play Call of Duty, I should mention I play silly little games on my IPad.  Needless to say, my restaurant is full of flies with expired dishes and my crops have all rotted.  I have not collected my daily Jeopardy bonus nor can I play World of Tanks Blitz on the laptop.  I have resorted to Netflix as my sole entertainment provider.  I binged on X Files over the weekend (a Scully-a-thon) and I watched things like Death Note and Family Guy.  The best thing I watched this weekend was a new 2 part documentary about former INXS front man Michael Hutchence which was exceptional.

 

Honorable mentions for things I can’t do right now go to:

Not Being able to pull my pants up with both hands after using the ladies’ room

Unreachable itching 

Vaccuming

Zippers

Holding a hot mug of tea with two hands and reflecting upon the day

Hugging like I mean it

Bras

Puppetry

Welding

Hand modelling

 

When was the last time you injured yourself?  What couldn’t you do?  I’d love to hear in Comments.

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

 

 

Images

Jedi Mind trick https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/competitions/10449

Crazy cat lady  http://www.laughinggif.com/gifs/e10yymsnps

Sad dog  http://moziru.com/explore/Puppy%20clipart%20sad%20animal/

Big Eyebrows https://www.thetrendspotter.net/mens-essential-grooming-hacks-10-annoying-problems/

Discarded Cups…

Sam Clattenburg loves Doctor WhoFresh pot of coffee on a sunny Saturday morning?  Don’t mind if I do.   I have been dragging my ever increasing ass all week.  I have been incredibly tired and have had a lot of pain in my legs, back and neck.  I’ve also been experiencing a lot of inflammation lately.  I’m supposed to be gluten free, dairy free, caffeine, refined sugars, alcohol free but I don’t always follow the rules.   Not because I don’t want to, it’s because I’m poor and would rather eat a sandwich than go hungry.

My partner and I are trying to get by on just her income and it’s just not enough to support all the things I’m supposed to do to try and keep symptoms at bay.  “Have you tried acupuncture?”  “Why don’t you take this?”  “Why not get a massage?”  What part of poor and uninsured do you NOT understand?

It’s being stuck in a situation where you need a job to pay for all the things you need, and are supposed to do but not being well enough to keep a job, even a part time one.  Since 2004, I have been fired from 11 jobs.  Not because I wasn’t a fast learner, fun to work with, a good salesperson or a hard worker.  It was because of illness and calling in sick.  

I have NEVER called in sick unless I physically could not make it to work to do my job- I couldn’t afford that luxury supporting myself.   I don’t have a car so that means walking everywhere to get to bus stops, standing and walking and walking and standing, no matter if it’s pouring rain or minus 30 degree weather.

I am now 43 years old with severe arthritis and ME/CFS, degenerative disc disease in 3 spots on my spine.   I have a hard time some days taking my dog out for a pee.  Days where I spend my shower time laying in the tub absorbing the heat letting the water pound my skin because I can’t stand.

I would love to have a job and be a normal contributing person.  No one chooses disability, illness and poverty.  No one.  I’ve had to resort to doing things like selling my paintings when I was able to paint.  I have dog sat, hemmed pants, blogged for dollars on paid blogging sites that don’t seem to exist anymore.  Currently I do laundry for a neighbor, I offer to walk my neighbors dogs, I have offered to make sales calls for a friend’s husband, I have created a site for my friend’s business and blog for that.  The money is minimal but it makes feel like I’m doing something.  I just need more.

I get depressed and bummed out a lot because I can’t do the things I want or need to do.   Most recently, my dog has gotten fleas.  Now, she is a city dog who is indoors and on sidewalks and always on leash.  I don’t give her regular flea treatments because she doesn’t really need them.  The only thing I can conclude is that my neighbors who have cats coming and going all the time are carrying fleas.  My neighbors, although nice guys are rather irresponsible and dirty.  They also have multiple pets in a one bedroom apartment.  Our apartments are very close and we share a (very dirty and cat sprayed) back hallway that leads to the rape basement and laundry area.   Plus any time my dog comes into contact with the neighbors’ cat, she seems to get fleas on her.  I don’t know, either way, I can’t afford the meds my dog needs to be rid of them.  I had one tube of Advantix left that I put on her after a bath.   I can’t tell you how guilty I feel for not having the things my dog needs.  She also needs a vet check up that I can’t afford.   It makes me feel like a bad dog mom.  

Feeling like a failure is a common theme for my days.  Even if it is beyond my control, I feel like I have failed at life.  A lot of my friends my age have homes, families, cars and go on trips.  Their Instagrams read like travel brochures then there’s mine.

LesGeek on Instagram

Lots of bath, blanket and book pics.  I also commemorate good meals I have enjoyed.

I really want to upgrade my blog and get my own domain.  It costs $60.   I don’t have it.  If we have $60 it usually goes on food and toiletries.   It’s so frustrating.  I always feel like I’m hog tied and told, “Ok, now do life.”  

Discarded CupI don’t even qualify for government services because I live with my partner.  The government says she makes too much for me to get help.  With that and the way my family treats me I feel like a discarded coffee cup that’s been tossed out a window and kicked to the curb.  If you’ve ever driven anywhere in Canada, you’ll see A LOT of discarded Tim Horton’s cups on the highways, streets and overflowing in city trash cans.  I bet for every one of those cups that have been deemed used and useless by someone, there is a disabled person struggling to live.  Discarded Cups

I brew my own coffee at home and use a travel mug.  

I believe everyone has a purpose.  

Maybe mine is providing a voice for others who are suffering.

How do you get by if you suffer from chronic illness/pain?

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam


Images

Tim Horton’s cup on street http://ecofriend.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/tim-hortons-coffee-cup-street_CFUMo_18770.jpg
Trash can full of Tim Horton’s cups https://i.cbc.ca/1.2111753.1382068838!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_1180/technology-100706-tim-hortons-cups.jpg
Instagram and Doctor Who mugs my own 

Sorry For Trying to People With You

Avoiding People with cell phonesPhones.  They’ve come a long way from their early rotary ancestors.  I am among the many who grew up –pre cellular technology.  It took forever to dial a phone number as it click click clicked to your desired destination.  

I got my first smartphone, a Blackberry, in 2010 and it changed my life.  I spent hours on Facebook, on Twitter, reading, playing games.  It was amazing.  I did however grow increasingly annoyed with the fact that people were now beginning to spend their time together, while in each others’ company, on their phone instead of interacting.  It seemed rude to me then and it still seems rude to me.  Maybe it’s my age.

I’m not going to say that smartphones are evil.  I can’t poop without mine.  You laugh, but you probably can’t poop without yours either.  You’re probably pooping right now in fact.  You animal.

My problem is that it’s quickly become a replacement for human interaction.   My partner, “C” is always on her phone. From the time she comes home until the time she goes to bed.  She’s an obsessive reader and Redditor and fervent Jeopardy World Tour contestant.   Sometimes I try to talk to her and she shoots me the look that instantly lets me know I have disturbed her game and quite possibly, cost her precious points. 

Sorry Babe.  Sorry for trying to people with you

Annoying cell phones
It’s just like that now.  In addition to evaluating a person’s body language to determine whether they will be receptive to conversation, you now have to consider whether they are playing a game, responding to an email, commenting on post somewhere or tweeting.  I mean, if we have to start waiting for people to meet our eyes to start engaging, it’s going to become an awfully quiet world.  The only noise will be that of periodic beverage sipping and occasional chuckles over a meme or a thread or a tweet or, or, or.

Sure, there some very valuable benefits to keeping your phone nearby at all times.  I certainly feel smarter when I can interject a random piece of trivia in everyday conversation. “Actually a yurt is an entirely different building structure from the early Turkish culture which vastly differs from a tipi from Native cultures…”

I can also stay up to date on all the latest dog and cat videos.  I sometimes catch myself looking at food porn or secretly trying to keep up with the Kardashians thinking to myself, “what am I doing with my life?”

Shoutout to Pinterest for all those craft ideas and recipes that will never come to fruition.  An honourable mention to Tumblr for introducing me to Gifs back in 2011.   It literally changed my life.

I’d like to close with a promise of using my phone less but, let’s face it, I’d just be lying.

Are you addicted your smartphone?  What’s the longest you’ve gone without checking it?  

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam


Images

Cell phone humor cartoon- https://i.pinimg.com/736x/e9/19/16/e919160d81c7c9a24509d7455cc75771–pet-peeves-funny-things.jpg

Hands and phones image https://www.menshealth.com/sites/menshealth.com/files/styles/article_main_custom_user_phone_1x/public/young-people-dont-know-how-to-talk-to-eachother.jpg?itok=jBvMzIEP×tamp=1490800552

I Used To Be Pretty 

Ugh. I used to be pretty.” I mumble to myself in the mirror as I tweeze the stray hairs from between my eyebrows.  Like most women, my eyebrows are not naturally perfect.  In fact, I have a unabrow that I have been taking care of since junior high.  I really don’t care who knows because there are pictures of me floating around out there sporting big black thick caterpillars so I’m not fooling anybody.  In the nineties, it was all about the skinny brow.  I wore those too.  Back then I looked constantly surprised.  We all did.  It was a frightening time.  That’s where The Macarena lives.  I take my eyebrows seriously now.   I have left specific instructions with my partner as well as close friends that if I am ever hospitalized for any length of time, for the love of all things holy, please have someone come in and do my eyebrows.  Anyway, moving on, I used to be pretty.  I’m really noticing my age now when I look in the mirror. 

I have creases and lines around my darkened eyes that I try to hide with concealers and light eyeshadows.  I have noticeable lines around my mouth from laughing out loud and deep frown lines in my forehead from wincing in pain, and from saying “what in the actual fuck?” too often.  I have coarse gray hairs sprouting where my soft wavy auburn ones used to be. 

Things creak and snap and pop in a much older, much rounder version of a girl that used to dance with reckless abandon alone in her room to the B52s.  The girl who used to stay up all night finishing a Stephen King novel before she went to school now, at 43 holds that Stephen King book much farther away and prefers e readers because you can make the font large and these days, I’m all about less squinting.

I’m aging.  It seems to have snuck up on me somewhere between season 1 and season 7 of Game of Thrones.  

One night you’re washing your bar makeup off and when you splash your face and look up, it’s 20 years later and there’s some old broad standing where you once were with an “I’m too old for this shit” look on her face.  She thinks your music is too loud and that young people suck.  

I guess I’m not at that aging gracefully stage as there seems to be nothing graceful about it. Things drop, sag and hang and all the push up bras and Spanx in the world can’t hide the lie forever.  Why are my hips widening now?  The time for babies has passed.  It really seems like overkill.  

I’d like to conclude by saying something like, “oh but I am so much wiser.”  I am.   I’m wise to the fact that I’m looking and feeling haggard and old.  


This blog post brought to you by Queens of the Stone Age Villains.. On repeat. Thank God for Rock and Roll…

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Tell Her She’s Pretty,

Sam
Sam Clattenburg