Friday, September 22, 2017

Scary eyes blanked by Mr. Happy

Being parents in the industrialised West we imbibe McDonald's—typically it's received via drive-thru after a late-afternoon event. theboy gets the happy meal and in one of those meals they were handing out Mr. Men books (which do include women; but it's like a Smurfette situation in that character universe).

We got double copies of Mr. Happy and I got one for the shed for display to make me happy—since he's literally called Mr. Happy and has a happy smile on his facebody. 

After the shed re-org my exercise bike faces the old desk hutch on which, on the top level, are the still-stuck on remnants of a pair of scary eyes, Village of the Damned style, from a rock sticker from the '80s from when it was in my bedroom. 

All that's left are the scary eyes, nose and right cheek but the eyes line up with mine when I ride the exercise bike as my default head rest is to the right and that's where we lock vision. 

It's deeply unsettling. Even theboy said so when he saw the eyes and asked "why do you have scary eyes staring at you when you ride your bike?". 

In the recent raid on a "hot dollar" shop I got some generic Blue-Tak. With Mr. Happy still in its protective sleeve I have stuck it over the scary eyes and instead of locking peepers with a pair of creepers I see a blissed-out Mr. Happy who later has adventures deep inside a magic tree. 

You have to take care of your exercise visuals; mise-en scène is everything when you're locked to a seat for an hour plus. 

Having those scary eyes staring back was like that bit from The IT Crowd with the monkey poster.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Novelty Jesus waves when shafted

When a relative stayed we did a "dollar shop" secret Santa for each other and I got the relative; she received a pair of ceramic frogs in a from behind embrace Dirty Dancing scene.

I got a solar powered novelty Jesus that rocks back and forth (or "waves"). I have it on my bookshelf but where it's positioned the light shaft lasts but a few hours. Of course it's a white Jesus which Jesus ain't and it's the before Jesus as opposed to the sad one who gets afflicted. 

I also got a back scratcher which, as a man with a hairy back, comes in handy. Like grabber sticks I have scratchers positioned in key spots around the house for all moments of back itching needery. 

I'm a prepper but for an itchy back—and I'll likely dominate the trade in such objects in any post-apocalyptic hellscape if I am one of the unlucky handful that survive.  

UPDATE: Novelty Jesus waves nicely to the beat of "Black Betty".

Friday, September 15, 2017

Conditioning chickens

I love feeding the chickens Pringles but I like to make it interesting for them—making it fun gives them pride of effort. Of late I've been throwing them onto the gray roof of the projected section of the old hutch—within an easy hop but out of immediate view. 

With my jittery hands and the wind I get about one in three Pringles to land. 

Initially I clicked my fingers and chanted "up!" in an excited manner and that seemed to work until it didn't work at all. It didn't work later after one of them had been up there eating them then hopped down without realising two were left. They were there for ages.

Today it worked not at all; there were three on the roof but none of them paid attention to it or my clicking.

I was in the shed an hour and that spot is sheltered from the wind. When I came out the Pringles were gone.

So I may have conditioned a chicken—or more—to go to the roof after a Pringle dash. But I haven't seen them do it.

Next time I'll throw them stand back to watch; no intervention—just see. 

Conditioning chickens—I used to nudge people and now I nudge them. 

It's funny that in a shrunken world we still try do what we do best.


UPDATE (many days later): I tried it; got five up on the grey patch and waited. But, I didn't know how far a chicken could crane its neck and one of the browns saw one, hopped up and pecked at it. The big grey chicken then hopped up making the other one hop off and it ate the last of the Pringle the brown was eating. Then, without turning around to see the other four Pringles behind it, the grey one hopped back down. 

It will be interesting to see if any of them go back for another look.  

Is the blade of grass the black cat's bowl of petunias?

In the infamously awesome Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series there is a bowl of petunias which was initially a nuclear missile but was turned into a bowl by the starship Heart of Gold using its probability field and the bowl's only thought as it plunged to the planet's surface is "oh no, not again".  

Later the line is explained by the fact that the spirit or soul of whatever it was in the bowl ends up in the bodies of creatures that have been killed by Arthur Dent—who activated the ship's defence's—across time and space.

Whenever the black cat gets out of the laundry door she immediately runs for the one long blade of grass on the left-side of the vegetable patch and then attempts to swallow it. Not chew it off, just jams it down her throat. It's usually in mid-blowie of the blade that you can catch her and return her to the house.

The cat has it in for that one blade of grass. Therefore it could be, if souls exist, the black cat's bowl of petunias. Except for the fact the cat has yet to kill it.

Maybe it's just toying with its linked souls bowl? Cats are generally harmless but this is something they like to do.

Whatever it is it's irritating. I can't bend without pain and use grabber sticks to pick things up. But you have to go hands and the lunge for an escaped cat and it's fucked on a body that couldn't survive long past birth without science-based intervention.

All hail the science!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Adventures with everyday objects

Thanks to my jittery hands—from injury and PTSD and meds V the effects of each—and fingers that spring open of their own accord I have difficulty with handling objects; the smaller and more fiddly the greater the difficulty. Sometimes my son will chuck a challenge at me like a peeling the wrapper from a Chuba Chub. 

I call these moments "adventures with everyday objects" in that I get to have these adventures with everyday objects: will he pick it up it? can he even hold it? are his fingers going to spring open and drop it? That sort of shit. 

I was near the back of the assembly at school and because I didn't have elastic (slash) rubber bands on my wrists to stop me picking at my face I picked at the wall instead, teasing out lumps of Blu-Tack that had clung to the bricks from posters past.

As we left I had a pea-sized lump of the good stuff stuck disc-style to my thumbnail. 

I forgot about it until I was in the shed then plucked it off and restored it to pea-size and shape. I had a poster that needed Blu-Tack so I reached with the other hand for it whilst holding the pea between thumb and finger-fore.

That's when the fuckers sprung open and I lost my pea of Blu-Tack to a shedfold—the gap between the concrete slab and the outside where the shed wall meets the floor and the outer rib of the shed metal allows objects to drop beyond the boundary of the slab.. 

There are at least 16 shedfolds where it could have gone. I gave up after poking at three after having lowered myself to the floor in the vain hope of finding it.

Then there was the two minute journey back to my feet of levering myself to my knees then shuffling to a position where I could push up because my gestational malformed skeleton cries havock if I try to use my legs—even though they're muscly as fuck for a man with bones that don't work quite right. 

So that was my adventure with an everyday object; a pre-loved pea of Blu-Tack I'd reclaimed from a wall then lost to the dark innards of a shedfold.

Jittery hands are balls [if you don't like balls].

Trigger warnings are appreciated by people who have triggers

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, has two states—constant and acute. The first is anxiety with physical expression such as hand tremour or a mental state of agitation. The acute is the severe anxiety attack with tunnel vision, panic along with crying and overwhelming dread.

One aspect common to sufferers is the sudden and or unpleasant noise scenario—which afflicts both states; it makes the constant worse and the likelihood of an acute moment triggering higher. I've been handling that better of late—the neighbour had a leaf mulcher going yesterday—but a child's cry is still a trigger easily pulled and the world is full of children. 

I went to an assembly with all the attendant risk of discordant noise for someone with PTSD knowing that I was risking exposure to triggers and I had two. The first t was a baby crying unable to be soothed (the mum had another kid in a stroller; she did the best she could). The other was a special needs kid who was chucking a toy metal car at a plastic seat over and over until his aide took him outside.  

The first one sent me out of the room and into the corridor on the cusp of fight flight with the reaction spreading and tears coming but with some deep breaths I got back to a stable place and re-entered. The second one was just unpleasant because it was irregular and felt like an attack sound.

I got through the assembly but I spent much of it hovering at the back in case I had to run for it.

Now people mock the idea of "trigger warnings" as being too coddling of society or precious people within it that need special protection. 

But some people need those warnings. When you have PTSD, yes the whole world is a trigger, but a veteran with it appreciates people who don't let off fireworks near their house. In the US they put up signs outside their house around firework-afflicted holidays to let neighbours know to do it elsewhere.

For those who suffered trauma from molestation then it's appreciated when someone in a room says "we''re going to talk about child abuse" ahead of discussing it so you can leave if you're worried about that trigger pulling—especially if twinned with PTSD.

You don't know what it's like to have PTSD or be in a state of acute anxiety until you've have it or you've been in one.

I for one appreciate trigger warnings—such as for loud noises and child abuseand I'm not a fucking snowflake for appreciating them. They give me a chance to assess how I am coping, think of strategies to cope or whether I have to leave the space all together.

Trigger warnings are valued by the people who have fucking triggers; if you don't have one then shut the fuck up about people providing them for those that do.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A backing battle anthem

"MMMBop" by Hanson.

The other day I was playing happy music and accidentally lapsed into angry oratory in the middle of "MMMBop".

And it didn't sound half-bad, either, with the song neatly backing the yelling.

If I can rage orate to "MMMBop" then I can probably do that to any form of music. 

Anyway, "MMMBop". If you're angry give a try at screaming into the teeth of that song and see how you feel.

Sushi bands V self-mutilation

I've put elastic bands from a sushi boxes on my wrists. I always know they're there because the sensation is not pleasant (but not painful).

But it takes my mind off picking at my face and if I feel the need to do something at my body I can rub the bands against my stomach. All that is at risk are wrist hairs and I can take bare wrists over a gouged face any day.

So far this technique is holding—it's been a day since I had a go at my face. 

I cried on the weekend as I confessed my failure as my wife gently trimmed my nails back then cleaned them so I wouldn't as much traction when I picked. She told me to forgive myself. 

A psych once suggested the elastic band thing—but to have it there to snap against your wrist if you had a bad thought to snap you out of that moment. So I've modified the advice to constant presence of light discomfort combined with gentle uncomfortable rubbing instead of an instant instance of deeper self-mortification.

I feel like I'm in Opus Dei but without the religion and magical box at the end of it (1). 

(1) Seriously, heaven is a thousand miles across box. It's in Revelations, people!

Monday, September 11, 2017

A sundering battle anthem

"Hey Hey Bad News" by Bad News.

Fun memory—listening to this on CD in my room as an adult (i.e. 18) with my older brother, therefore also an adult, and having my dad burst in screaming non-profanity laced invective at our fouling his house with such foul music and my brother having to talk him down from his anger attack by explaining the principles of musical satire. 

My brother was studying musicology at the time—hence the technical talk—but given he was the same height as my dad that was what soothed his ire. If it had just been me alone when he burst in he'd likely have throttled me. Yet another moment where my older brother had to physically step in to stop me being thugged over.

So, not a fun memory; a fucked one. They mostly are. When you get to be a parent that's when you go "what the fuck was that all about?!" when you rethink your childhood.

I guess we take what works from what they did and fuck what didn't right in its ear hole.

Ooh, that's just nasty.

Splayed leg V leg egg

Yesterday I rode the exercise bike for the first time since my mystery fall—which may have been due to low blood pressure if my new meds had "corrected" too far the other way—risking contact with my slightly receded leg egg as I peddled.

Because when I ride my legs are splayed, with my right leg even further more splayed than the average peep due to the shoddy gestational nature of my lower limbs (cowboy builders!), I was able to do it without rubbing against the egg.

It's one of those rare occasions a disability gives you a win—in addition to the parking benefits.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Near death

I've lost count of NDEs but this time I tripped and fell forward and barely caught the arm rest instead of dashing my skull against the radiator and bleeding out on the carpet. 

That or suffering brain damage; yay, the only part of me that works in a "shine on you crazy diamond" kind of way. 

So I dodged yet another near death; and as a confirmed "bright"—those of us confirmed we are here for one life and with blaze with as much intensity while can—that would be a shitty way to have gone. 

I talked to theboy about steles—the giant "selfo" monuments rulers of Egypt hoisted about the place to declare "I was fucking here and here's all the awesome shit I did". 

We were playing with magic sand—the sand with oil combo that allows the sand to retain a shape for a short while—and I told him of these things as I made a pillar of magic sand and etched it with a plastic blade.

I said I deserved one; a stele. It was monstrously arrogant, to say I deserve a pillar of stone as a testament to my greatness—but it was true nonetheless and I "stele" feel that way.

That's comedy gold; a recognition of disabling ego and with a pun as a closer.