The 2012 Act Three Journey of an Actress/Coach/Writer.

Archive for the ‘Political’ Category

Day 309 Election Day!

Posted by themirrenlee on 07/11/2012

I spent most of the day watching the U.S. election. Luckily, my friends get CNN, and it was just mesmerizing to watch it and its technology. It was like watching the computer wall in “Minority Report”. The future is here.

They spent every minute preducting, debating, going over past elections, showing us in real time every vote that was cast (or so it felt).

I can’t remember any election being wrapped so quickly! I was very glad about that.

And ecstatic and relieved that Obama got back in. I hope the Republicans will take a good, hard look at who’s co-opted their Party, and get some decent candidates. We need a good opposition in a democracy, not a bunch of nutters.

For me, personally, the two things that matter the most in trying to live in America is affordable health care and a decent minimum wage. Living in a country that has both, I simply have never been able to comprehend why “the greatest nation on earth” has neither.

It’s been a pain day, so that’s enough.

I’m just celebratin’ …

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Day 236 Ducks, Buffalos and Dentists

Posted by themirrenlee on 23/08/2012

Okay, well, it’s just all too complicated to explain until I can get my ducks in a row – remember them?

I’m never quite sure why we’re supposed to get ducks in a row, as opposed to, say, buffalos, but who am I to argue with well established advice?

I live in Australia, which has socialized medicine. It’s kind of like Canada with kangaroos.

I know Americans imagine that socialized medicine means that we all wear Mao jackets and salute a Supreme Leader or something (hey, I’m half American, I know the thinking over there on anything “socialized”), but in actual fact, it’s much simpler than that: our taxes help pay for our medical care. Makes sense to me, especially since I have a chronic condition like Fibromyalgia that needs a lot of medical help.

I have NEVER been able to understand why Americans don’t want part of their taxes to go towards their health. It’s not like the U.S. government doesn’t tax its citizens for lots of other things, just not things that, like, keep them alive.

Anyway, I just found out I need a million dollars worth of dental work done. Now, dental work is also subsidized, but not as much, and it’s VERY complicated to claim money back. That’s the problem with any system that involves bureaucracy – the paperwork hurts your head. (At least curing it is subsidized.)

I’ve been researching it for days to find out exactly how much I’ll be out of pocket, basically so I can figure out if I can afford now to go to Hollywood in October. I may have to postpone. Or hey, I just thought, I wonder if I put my dental work as a “project” on I’d get funded?

Time out to look at my new haircut, as promised:

Yes, I know it’s out of focus (in Hollywood we call it “soft focus” to look younger), but I have one of those phones where I have to shoot backwards – you know what I mean. This was the best of a LOT of tries – my finger got tired.

Normally, I wear it messier, but it had been a long day being told I had to have a million dollar’s worth of dental work. My hair was in as much shock as I was.

Back to our regular programming:

Yes, the Internet is better, but we’re waiting on a new modem to make it totally strong enough. Unfortunately, now the house phone doesn’t work. I keep warning people about Telstra, but no one listens. I expect not to have a phone for quite awhile, but we’ll see.

In other news:

I’ve been taking Circadin, which is slow release Melatonin, for 3 days now. Last time I tried it wasn’t a huge success, but now instead of not being able to sleep – you’ve all heard THAT enough times – I can’t seem to stay awake. I just spent 36 hours in bed! Thank god for my massage today because I was like the Tin Man, but the brilliant woman I had got me moving again – even walking without pain!

What a messy little post, but that’s what happens when complicated things happen in life, and then I say for days I’m going to talk about something but forget what that something was, and so it gets all rambly …

The main thing is, I have to make a whole bunch of decisions about the dental work – which is supposed to be done under a general anaesthetic on October 4th – and the trip on October 27th, and going to Sydney in the meantime to be with my grandson, blah blah blah. I’m sure your problems are much more interesting.

So back to ducks: tomorrow I’ll have a conversation with government people who will undoubtedly confuse me like crazy, but hopefully after I ask enough questions (at which time they will be annoyed with me, but I will persevere), I will know exactly how much I’ll have to pay if I get the dental work done, which will then help me make the decision about the trip.

My life kind of feels like I’ve run a marathon, and I’m tired but I know I’ll get some food and water and then a good lie down, until an official comes up and tells me that they’ve changed the rules and I actually have to run ANOTHER marathon before I can rest, which I do, and then I get told AGAIN I’m not finished, etc. I mean, talk about buffalos stampeding across my life …

There’s just something inherently funny about buffalos. Especially when I got this photo while looking for an image for travel!

This entire post feels like a giant Senior Moment, but that’s because I’m sleepy. I wonder if it will last? Wouldn’t that be a giant step forward for me this year?!

A lot to ponder, and make decisions about. Hopefully, by tomorrow nite I might have all my ducks, I mean facts, ready so I’ll know which path I’m taking. And here I thought all my plans were set.

As Woody Allen said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

I DO believe everything happens for a reason, and I really believe the book title, “You Can Have Anything You Want, You Just Can’t Have it All at Once.”.

So that means I should just settle down and listen to my instinct, and watch for those signs, while I’m fact collecting.

I’m just ramblin’ …

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Day 68 Aren’t You Sick of The Negative?

Posted by themirrenlee on 08/03/2012


If a person can't be positive about something, neutral would be better than the amount of mindless negativity we're seeing.

Aren’t you sick of the negative?

Don’t you miss kindness?

Did the Internet kill it?

I am so sick of people being mean to each other online. I am so fed up with anonymous bullying. No, not flaming, that sounds too abstract. Bullying. WHY are people so mean on the Internet? Why are they so NEGATIVE?  

I am not only weary of the negative backlashes to positive stories, but filled with great sadness at ALL the “mean” online. Evidently, we’ve come to accept that people can be as nasty as they like about anything, and then hide behind a made-up user name, or simply “anonymous”. We accept that people say things to each other online that they would NEVER say in person. Cowards. Bullies.

If I were the Internet Queen, I would make it a law that you HAD to use your real name when posting anything. That might get rid of a few bullies, not to mention the trolls.

It’s not a minor issue; we know that kids are killing themselves over Facebook bullying.

I can handle anyone disagreeing with me; I love a good discussion with differing viewpoints. We learn from each other that way. I don’t even mind having a strong back and forth with a bigot, a racist, or anyone I consider to be a bit unbalanced. It helps me to see how the other side thinks! That’s not what’s happening here. We’re talking about nothing but PERSONAL ATTACKS. Which doesn’t help dialogues progress one bit.



Why do there always have to be backlashes to positive events? Don’t you think if a person doesn’t have an alternative solution to a problem then they shouldn’t criticize those who are trying to solve it – whatever it is?

The main event today that set me off on this rant is the negative online comments about the Joseph Kony/Invisible Children project I wrote about yesterday. They got over eleven million hits on YouTube. They accomplished what they set out to do: raised enough awareness of this criminal’s actions so that they can get help to see him captured.

Lots of positive feedback online at first. Good on you, well done, keep it up, here’s my support, etc. …

Then, of course, the backlash has to start. Whether because the person simply had an unkind nature, or wanted to be a contrarian, just for the sake of getting their views seen as another “take” on things, we had all sorts of shit being flung at this wonderful organization trying to do something of a purely humanitarian nature (well, they’re certainly not going to get power or oil out of it!).

So here are some of the questions that came to me in response to some of the negative comments:

  • Did you not hear him say on the video that he was trying to connect his son in people’s minds with the fact that if it was him being abducted and brutalized, there’d be an outcry?
  • Do you not take on board that they’ve been going for 10 years, accomplishing great things, and even losing one of their own in the Uganda stadium blast?
  • Do you not BELIEVE that governments won’t do anything for just a humanitarian result – only for security or financial benefits?
  • How can you be nothing but supportive for a wonderful example of People Power?
  • Don’t you think an end to apathy in general about the world’s suffering would be a wonderful outcome?
  • How do you reconcile criticism about not helping places such as Rwanda with their genocidal war to criticising people who ARE trying to help a terrible situation?
  • Aren’t you FED UP with the “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” mentality?
  • Does it really not move you when he tells the abused child, Jacob, who is sobbing for his lost brother and saying that he might as well be dead himself, that he promises he will help him – and he DOES?!
  • Do you really think these people are not walking their talk?
  • And finally, how can you not be filled with awe for a group that has miraculously managed to overcome “compassion fatigue”, one of the biggest problems for any aid organisation?

It DOES matter what’s happening online. It’s being reflected back in our society. We have never seen such nastiness as that in the current American political climate. Vile and disgusting personal attacks on every single issue, and the people connected with it. Mostly coming from the “conservatives” (not the conservatives of another era – Reagan was always a gentleman, for instance, and is probably turning in his grave), the “Christians” (not very Christian-like behavior), the Republicans (Barbara Bush says it’s the “worst campaign” she’s ever seen because it’s “so ugly”), and the right wingers, who appear to be turning into a synonym for bullies.

Then we see the bullying take hold in schools, because it seems to be so acceptable online and in the media.

no bullying online

I'd love to see the world united in helping to create a more positive online community.

There’s a scene in the movie, “The Help”, where the lead bully is asked something like isn’t she tired of being so horrible. That’s what I feel like asking everyone who’s spreading such unpleasant negativity, unkindness, and vitriol online.

We all know by now that when we post something online, we need to gird our loins for attacks. I don’t think it should be that way, do you? Do you think you should feel anxious when you show yourself online? I know people who won’t add their opinions for just that reason. People who have something important and intelligent to contribute, people with viewpoints that should be heard.

The Internet shouldn’t be held captive by bullies and mindless negativity for its own sake.

That’s why I love The Invisible Children project – because I sense behind it kindness. Compassion. Caring. Plus great, wonderful, fantastic positivity.

All of the things that we need so much more of to help heal the world. Can anyone really deny that the world is hurting? Not just the greater world, in the sense of refugees and war victims. People like you and me. People who are out of work, sick, alone, feeling hopeless. People who wonder if things will ever get better. People who now, because of the general atmosphere of negativity and bullying, are being told that it’s THEIR FAULT if they’re hurting.

“Get over it, get a job, get rich, get healed, get out of my way, I don’t want to think about you. I certainly don’t want to help you. But I’m ready and waiting to criticize anyone who does,” posted by Anonymous.

I’ve had it up to here. But can we do about it? Well, I for one am just going to speak up online WHENEVER I see it happening. I’m going to walk my talk and defend those who are being positive, and speak against those who are being viciously negative, even if it’s hidden in passive aggression (watch out for that one; it’s subtle). We have to tell people it’s NOT okay to set an example of this kind of bullying negativity. About anything or anyone.

To paraphrase the “It Gets Better” campaign: it’s not yet, but I’m going to add my voice to see that it does. I hope you do, too.

I’m just fightin’ the negative …

Posted in I'm Just Sayin', Political | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Day 67 Invisible Children

Posted by themirrenlee on 07/03/2012

Joseph Kony

Joseph Kony - the man who murders children.

Invisible Children | Kony2012.

Please read my post and then click on this link to see what it’s all about.

I’m a Baby Boomer, a child of the ’60s, an old activist from way back in the last century! I marched with other Boomers for civil rights from my early teens, then for women’s rights, and then against the Viet Nam war.

As Boomers grew up they stopped protesting about anything anymore. Worse yet, they didn’t seem to instill a social conscience in their children, much less a thirst for activism. It seemed to me that the more we connected the world through the Internet, social media, and even 24 hour news, the less we seemed to care about the wrongs and injustices in it. I wasn’t even sure what I could do anymore, besides giving a few bucks here and there, because the apathy just seemed so endemic.

Then the Occupy movement came along, people started making noises in different parts of the world, and Time magazine voted “The Protestor” as their “2012 Man of the Year”. How prophetic. I felt like the world was waking up. It gave me a wonderful, hopeful feeling.

I still wondered what activism I could get involved with, especially living in Australia, which is a country that is overall very comfortable and doesn’t need a huge amount of protesting about anything. Then today my attention was brought (via Facebook) to the link above, and I watched the half hour doco video that has been made about The Invisible Children. And I cried. I cried because it is such a horrifyingly tragic subject, but also because I was so happy that there were so many people in the world who were caring enough to do something about it.

If you have never heard of the Lord’s Resistance Army, then you are in for a shock. If you have, then you may be surprised to hear that they are still going strong under the criminal Joseph Kony. I know I was. Because we hadn’t heard anything about it for so long, I thought they’d disbanded. Far from it. If you have children, know any children, care about children, or have ever been a child, then you have to care about stopping him from enslaving them. He kidnaps them from their homes, turning the boys into brutal soldiers, and the little girls into sex slaves. If they try to escape he brutally kills them. It is nothing less than horrific. And he has done this to over 130,000 children for over 20 years.

He is Number One on the list put out by the International Criminal Court, and yet very few people have ever heard of him. He gets away with what he does mainly because he is unknown. The goal of the great people behind The Invisible Children is to make him famous! Their goal this year is to make him known, and make him gone.

When you hear about what they’re going to do in April to bring attention to this cause, it will amaze you.

PLEASE watch the video. If you don’t feel at least a lump in your throat, I’ll be surprised. Then do something to help these children. You can imagine how wonderful I think the people behind this are when they’re so organized that they tell you exactly what you can do to help stop the horror. They give you lots of options, from writing to a politician, to buying a T shirt. You can make a one off or regular payment donation, or run a fund raiser. The options are many, and what they’ve accomplished already is fantastic, as the video shows.

When you see the video, you’ll see why there’s a time limit on this. If Kony is not captured by the end of the year, then he may never be stopped. For the sake of all the children’s lives who have been ruined or ended, now or in the future, this can’t be allowed to happen. They’re helpless. We have to be their voice, their hope, and their rescuers. If you’ve ever been through rough times, and someone has helped you, this is a good way to “pay it forward”.

You will be hearing more about this as it spreads through the Internet. I hope you’ll help spread the message, as well. Individuals CAN make a difference, and even more so when they work together.

I’m just sayin’ …

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Day 63 Single Parent: Duhhh …

Posted by themirrenlee on 03/03/2012

Single parent. Duhhh …

That’s what I was at 16. I got pregnant at 15, but didn’t know until I was about 5 months gone. I’d never had regular periods, so that didn’t warn me, and my weight gain was minimal. We had daily P.E. (physical education) classes in school, so I exercised a lot. At the time of getting pregnant, I was actually doing a term of gymnastics, wondering why it was getting harder to balance and tumble! I also began to notice my stomach pushing out my leotard a bit. The nausea I had been experiencing, mostly after eating, I just thought was some kind of bug.

In short, I was clueless. My friends and I would talk about sex, but the conversation was on the level of, “Do you think you can get pregnant through underwear?” Words such as “erection”, “ejaculation”, “sperm”, “orgasm”, “birth control”, were never mentioned. (Forget about “STDs” – herpes, chlamydia and AIDS hadn’t been “invented” yet! We’d heard of syphilis, but we thought that was just a guy thing.) All we knew was that sex could lead to pregnancy, which was highly shameful, but we didn’t know “how far” we could go before it was a risk. Without sex education (unknown at that time in schools, and parents wanted to pretend like we’d never do something like that), we didn’t know that sperm are tricky little things, and can sneak in without the guy actually having to “go all the way”. Nor did we know that “pulling out”, if we did go all the way, is not an effective means of contraception.

Do you know how I even found out I was pregnant? I was lying on my bed, complaining to my mother that I had “butterflies” in my stomach, making me feel unwell. She put her hand there, looked shocked, and said, “Oh my god, I think you’re pregnant, and that’s the baby moving!” Again, clueless much?!

This was the Swinging Sixties – the greatest irony of all. The Pill came on the scene in 1960, but in 1966 was still not in widespread use, and of course most parents didn’t want to give it to their daughters, anyway (because that would admit that sex was actually happening), while many Catholic doctors wouldn’t even prescribe it. People forget now why we NEEDED a sexual revolution – to bring it all out of the closet, and give us some control over protecting ourselves from unwanted pregnancies

In Los Angeles, where I was raised, teenagers got their driver’s licenses at 16, and then practically lived in their cars. Those of us who came from “challenged” environments, as I did, couldn’t take people home, so we used our cars for just talking and hanging out, as well. It was a breeding ground for intimacy. Not surprisingly, many of my classmates that year (my third year of high school) got pregnant, including the Homecoming Queen! The tragedy was that everyone I knew was given the choice of either giving their babies up for adoption, or being kicked out of home. One was not allowed to work if under 18 without a parent’s signature on a permission slip, so there was no choice – the babies were adopted out. One girl I knew had twins, and struggled trying to keep them for a few months, but eventually caved in, gave the babies up and went back home. How do you forgive your parents for something like that? Or ever forget the babies you’ll probably never see again? How do the parents turn their backs on their grandchildren?

I was reminded of all this by two things: a comment from Hollie McKay asking me what it was like being a young single parent, and what did I think of the single parent reality shows; and the news today on Huffington Post that Glenn Grothman, a Wisconsin State Senator (would you be surprised to hear he’s a Republican?), wants single parenthood to be legislated as a form of “child abuse”. He says single parents choose that lifestyle so that they can get government benefits, and this is a way to stop them from doing that. I had to stop and take a breath over that one.

I answered Hollie’s question in the Comments section. In a nutshell, I was already Mom and Dad to my 6 siblings because, as my mother once told me, “We wanted a girl first so she could look after the others.” I had no idea I had gotten pregnant; I still thought I was a virgin! No one ever believes this, but it’s absolutely true. I was going with my first real boyfriend, and I always thought I stopped him from going “too far”, but obviously I didn’t. You had to be there.

Once it happened, even though I was pressured first to have an abortion (ooops, too far gone), and then to adopt him out (no way), he was just another one to look after – and he was probably the easiest of the lot! The story of being pressured to get married, to a man I ultimately found out was sleeping with my mother (!), is for another time, and gives you an example of what I mean by a “challenged” family.

The really tough thing was having to drop out of high school in my final year. I had David in June, and started my Senior year in September, but it was impossible to continue after a couple of months. First, my “husband” turned out to have major, major issues which made me leave him, and then back home I had my hands full looking after my family. One thing my parents were never going to do is kick me out of the house – they needed me to look after their children.

As for the esteemed Senator’s belief that ALL single parents are of the same mindset, and in the same circumstances, well, just … really? Are you really that stupid? Oh, wait: Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman … hmmm, I guess he might be. He says he’s talking about “non marital parenthood”, but uh, duhhhhh, unlike when I was raising David, being an unmarried parent is now as common as dirt. For goodness sakes, women are going to sperm banks precisely to BE single parents! Of course, it also smacks of racism because the feeling is that it’s black women doing this “sponging” off the government (as if people get rich on food stamps). Unfortunately, the photo used in the Huffington Post article was of a black woman and her daughter, which doesn’t help. So what kind of “ism” is it when against single parents? Singleparentism? I know, to even talk about it gives it too much credence. The man is obviously just insane.

The one thing, though, that I really haven’t ever understood is the single parents who struggle to raise their children, and yet keep having them. There are no excuses today for contraception ignorance, and being a good parent is too difficult and too important to blithely keep churning them out without being able to give them the right environment to grow up in. Which is what my parents did. I had Sarah 20 years after David; and I put the fear of God into them about having children before they were ready. David was 32 when Nicky was born, and Sarah, at almost 25, is not even sure she’ll ever be ready for the responsibility. I scared the shit out of them about parenthood! My work here is done.

So this will be the first post to start explaining my upbringing in the “A Different Kind of Normal” Category. There is a lot more to my pregnancy story, and the weird marriage to an insane bigamist, but another day …

BTW, Hollie is a fantastic Australian friend I’ve known for years who is now a highly respected Fox News Entertainment reporter, who both writes a column called PopTarts, and appears in entertainment news segments on TV. Catch her at this link:  Entertainment News | Latest News, Videos & Photos on Celebrities, Movies & Music | Fox News.

Finally, a note about my Cast of Characters post yesterday. Wow, I didn’t preview it and so when I saw it published I realized the formating was almost unreadable! Note to self: preview everything before publishing it! I will redo it soon.

What a long, complicated post. This time,

I’m really just sayin’ … a lot!

Posted in A Different Kind of Normal, I'm Just Sayin', Political, The Grumpy Bitch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Day 50 Screw Rigid

Posted by themirrenlee on 19/02/2012

Screw Rigid.

Don't screw with my flexibility!

God, I am so fed up with rigid. Rigid people, rigid viewpoints, rigid schedules, rigid belief systems, rigid rigid rigid everything. If a tree is rigid, the wind breaks it; if it’s flexible like a sapling, the wind dances with it. The more people try to be rigid about things, the more they will be laughed at – and toyed with – by the Universe. It’s the basis of John Lennon’s quote: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making plans.” But still they insist on rigidity in their lives because it feels “safe”, “structured”, “immune to change” (and to paraphrase South Park, they think: “Change is bad, mkay?”).

Flexible seems to be a dirty word. It’s applied to porn stars and strippers. People who want flexible lifestyles – more time to do what they love other than just making a living – are considered flighty. Hippies. My daughter wants to do more traveling this year. Not a holiday, real wandering-type traveling, both to places she hasn’t been before, as well as places/people she wants to revisit. She’s not sure when she wants to leave yet, or how long she’ll be away for. Flexible. The message she’s getting from everyone around her is that she’s “not settling down”. My god, they say, you’ll be 25 next month – what about university, career path, babies, house buying?! You know, the rigid schedule we must all adhere to. Flexible is irresponsible.

Tell the people who decided to take the day off work on 9/11 how “bad” flexible is.

I made a decision today in the face of rigid behavior: I’m not making any more plans with people. My new motto will be: “Let’s see what happens.” Funnily enough, that’s one of the main directives in Theater Games that Viola Spolin (the creator) talks about. She says to go out there with our mind focused on what problem we’re trying to solve, and “just see what happens.” Most people are afraid of improvisational work, but not the ones who follow this directive.

“Let’s see what happens.” The ultimate “living in the moment”. Not fretting about yesterday, or worrying about tomorrow, just being RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME. I’m having a cup of coffee and reading the paper. You want me to go shopping with you on Tuesday? Well, let’s see what happens.

Okay, I’m not saying we should, or even can, live every moment like that. But a bit more of it certainly wouldn’t hurt. Especially for people with chronic illnesses/conditions. I have to take into account with my Fibromyalgia how many Spoons I’ll be starting the day with, and how many I’ll need for the plans. (See yesterday’s Post on The Spoon Theory.) I also have to know if it will be a “day off” or “day on” in terms of what I’ve been doing on other days. Making plans – which then seem to get locked into a rigid “SHOULD”, “MUST’, “CAN’T CHANGE IT” with most people – ends up causing guilt feelings if I don’t feel up to it on the day. I have gotten into the habit of making up excuses because the guilt is followed by shame that I can’t control my condition. Which, of course, is not only illogical but causes me stress that makes my condition worse.

Today I had to break a plan. The good news is I had a breakthrough at the same time. I didn’t make up an excuse; I simply said I wasn’t up to it. The guilt tripping games started. Okay, they said, they’d go by themselves. Never mind, they said, they understood, but oh dear, it was messing things up once they’d been planned. Rigid. I started to feel bad. Then I started to feel mad. Mad is better. Screw rigid. I can’t do it, and that’s that. Go by yourself, if you want. Don’t go at all, if you want. Or wait for me to feel better. Wait and see what happens – with me and my energy. I’m worth waiting for. That’s the crux of it right there. You either believe I’m worth being flexible for, or you don’t. And if you don’t, well, then, that tells me something about our relationship, doesn’t it?

So I feel good about how I’m going to handle rigidity now. If it feels rigid, screw it. Simple. I’m not going to be attached to commitments. I’m going to live a flexible life, and I’m pretty sure it’ll take another layer of stress out of it, which will only make me healthier.

Commitments are important, don’t get me wrong. But no commitment is worth your health. If you wreck that, then you can forget about being able to make any commitments at all.

If only it were that easy to convince the media that their rigid adherence to only bad news isn’t helpful for society’s morale (which is tied in with society’s health). The motto they live by: “If it bleeds, it leads,” really needs to be changed to, “If it’s fun, page one.” Wouldn’t you love to see feel good stories with happy endings first, and all the bad stuff at the end? (Then you’d know to when to avoid it completely!)

If it were only that easy to convince politicians that sticking to a rigid platform of attacking each other is also bad for society’s morale. AND makes people stop wanting to read about politics at all. (Side note: how can we stop the bullying epidemic if that’s all we see in our leaders?) It’s also stupid for them to appear rigid because how many times do their previous stances and quotes come back to bite them in the ass! Of course people change viewpoints through the years – it’s called growth – so why pretend that it never happens to them?

Wouldn’t it be unbelievably wonderful if just once in awhile one politician praised another for their efforts? I know, the Winter Olympics will open in Hell before that happens. Sigh.

If it were only that easy to convince society in general that they make the rules, and the viewpoints, and the value systems, and they’re different for different societies – and they can change them. They think that mindset is written in irreversible blood, but it’s not – it’s just groupthink. And it’s kind of scary, because it’s hard to fight against. But if you want to do something more flexible than what is expected of you, find the courage to say, “Screw rigid.”

I’m going to be the flexible change I’d like to see. I sure hope I see it in others, as well. Otherwise, as Dr. Phil might say to them, “How’s that rigidity working out for you?”

There’s only one rigid fact of life you can’t change, and that’s death. Why not get the most of out of your life by being a bit more flexible before the real rigid comes?

I’m just askin’ …

Posted in Fibromyalgia/Chronic Conditions, I'm Just Sayin', Political, The Grumpy Bitch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Day 47 Fogs & Republicans

Posted by themirrenlee on 16/02/2012

Fogs and Republicans.

I’m not a fan of either.

Fibro Fog, Menopause Fog, Republican Fog.

As I was making my coffee this morning, I tried to eat the lid of the milk bottle. Luckily, I realized in time that the cracker was in my other hand and saved a tooth from getting broken.

I couldn’t find my glasses anywhere. Took me a minute to notice I was wearing them.

As I searched for my coffee, I found I’d put it in the fridge with the milk.

No, not Alzheimer’s – Fibro Fog. It’s a fun symptom that, when combined with the fatigue, makes the sufferer take note not to “operate heavy machinery” while under its influence.

It’s especially amusing when combined with the Menopause Fog that some women are unlucky enough to get hit with. I count myself among that group.

Take into account my natural ability to be a bit “fey”, and you can understand why I often look for my cell phone while I’m speaking on it!

I don’t do mornings well. Every day I wake up feeling like I’ve just come out of a hundred year coma. Call me Rumpelstiltskin. It takes me at least an hour to form full sentences. Between the pain and the fog, I had to get a daily pill box to help me take my medications. Even then, I’ll often look at an empty spot and have no recollection whatsoever of having taken whatever’s missing.

I’ve learned to adapt my life to what my body dictates. I go to bed in the middle of the night and get up in the middle of the morning. I make afternoon appointments. I create at night – writing, planning, working at whatever is on my lists that I can do when it’s dark. Like a vampire – quite trendy really.

I’m getting ready to go back to doing private coaching and open classes. They’ll be in the afternoons and evenings, of course. I find the time difference between Australia and the U.S. great cuz I can Skype coach in the middle of the night here.

So that’s what my fog is all about. It’s worse on days when I’m having a fatigue flare. That’s when I try not to handle sharp objects.

It makes me realize how horrible it must be to have a condition like Alzheimer’s, where the fog just progresses until the memory starts to go, and a mist of blankness smothers the sufferer. As the saying goes, there’s always someone worse off …

What I have trouble understanding is those who intentionally put themselves in a foggy state, through drugs or alcohol. No matter how good the “high” might feel, there’s still an element of fuzziness attached to using and I can’t stand living my life without clarity. I know all the arguments about addictions being a disease, and I still need to write about my feelings on that standpoint, but for now I’ll just say the foggy feeling alone would be enough to put me off the “drug/alcohol haze”.

And then there are the people who are foggy just because they are so stupid. Actually, that’s not fair to stupid people – they can’t help being stupid.

I’m talking about those who are so fucking ignorant. Invincibly ignorant people. Like Republicans. They must choose their words, their viewpoints, their hypocrisy and their lies in a fog – how else to explain why they are so irrational and inconsistent? They seem to forget today what they said yesterday, and when asked to clarify, give foggy answers. Following the Republican primaries at the moment is like being at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in San Francisco. I keep expecting someone to offer me half a cup of tea.

I read Huffington Post as part of my waking up routine, to help clear away the fog. Today I read that Tricky Ricky Santorum (please Google his last name) and DumbWit Romney are actually looking like the final contenders for the position of Presidential candidate of the United States. Really?! We’ve reached the extent of the Elephant’s candidates?! Really?!

Oh god, please make it so. Then we can all relax about Obama getting another 4 years. I don’t care how many conservatives, right wingers, tea party nutters, birther bozos or religious fanatics there are who might support them; I don’t think it’s possible for either of those 2 idiots to avoid falling into their arrogant, smug, un self aware fogs long enough to not stick their feet into their respective mouths repeatedly. I believe that between them they’ll be spouting more than a few Palinisms before they’re through. Enough to concern even their most ardent supporters. The Tea Party may be offering half cups of the stuff, but I see full fogs in the future of both candidates. Already they’re being reminded of things they said years ago, that they “forget” now.

What got me really worked up this morning, and cleared away the last of the fog, was the continual coverage on reproductive issues – birth control, abortion rights, now declaring a fetus “personhood” so that even more control can be gained over a woman’s body. To quote Cher’s eloquence when Junior Bush got elected the second time: “Has the whole fucking country got Alzheimer’s?” We’ve fought these battles before. And before. And before. And won.

How many times do we have to fight to protect reproductive rights?

It’s just fucking insane. There are so many far more important issues that need addressing, issues that go to the heart of people’s survival and happiness, issues like, oh I don’t know, maybe jobs and healthcare.

And it’s always the Republicans. Why in hell do they want naming rights to my womb? STAY OUT. There’s no womb there for anyone but me. (Sorry.)

So as you can see, I’m not foggy when it comes to my opinions.

I just wish they weren’t all so foggy when it comes to theirs.

I’m just sayin’ …

Posted in Fibromyalgia/Chronic Conditions, I'm Just Sayin', Political | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Day 26 Australia Day

Posted by themirrenlee on 26/01/2012

Sydney Harbor, with the Opera House and Bridge, is a wonderful background for fireworks. No wonder it gets all the New Year's Eve attention!

Australia Day.

Today is Australia’s day to celebrate itself as a country. I can hear the fireworks going off in the distance, and smell the BBQs all around me – the traditional way Australians celebrate anything is by having a “barbie”, pronounced “baabie” (like the sound a sheep makes).

Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a problem holiday for Australians, fraught with minefields of political correctness and sensitive feelings. Even what it’s commemorating is not something noble, such as a glorious battle for independence from tyranny, which is what makes the Fourth of July and Bastille Day so moving. No, it is simply marking the day the First Fleet landed in 1788: 11 ships inadequately provisioned to start the settlement of a brand new country, bringing with them boatloads of convicts. (Beating the French at the mouth of Sydney Harbor by only a few hours. If the weather had been better, Australians today would be speaking French!)

These poor wretched souls were kicked out of England in order to start a penal colony far away from the Empire itself. This was necessary because America had defeated the British in its War of Independence, inconveniently making itself unavailable as a possible place to put the “human refuse” (of whom many were convicted for stealing a ribbon or a slice of bread – not exactly heavy duty gangsters).

The history of the whole thing is quite fascinating, although most Australians don’t know anything about it, and in fact think it’s quite boring. It’s anything but, as I discovered when I did the research needed to create a show many years ago called, “Hysterical History”. It was devised using Theater Games, and we toured it around dozens of schools, as well as performing it for history teachers, hoping to inspire them to make it more entertaining for students! Today, Australian History is not even a required subject in high schools. That both astounds and saddens me.

I learned so many interesting facts, and got a whole new respect for a country that really SHOULDN’T HAVE SURVIVED! The English were so inept, so arrogant, so rigid about how they set the country up that there were famines, rebellions, and cruelties as a way of life. Then, of course, there were the stories of the convicts themselves – who, ironically, in the midst of great hardships often ended up having a much better life in a new country free of England’s restrictive class system.

Reading the seminal book, “The Fatal Shore”, by Robert Hughes (now an American art critic!), gives one new respect for how anyone DID survive those early years, much less flourish and prosper. I recommend it highly. Wikipedia also gives a pretty good overview of Australia’s origins, as well as the timeline of how we came to have an Australia Day at all – it has gone through many name and date changes, and there is still debate going on about moving it again. Can you imagine that happening with the Fourth of July or Bastille Day?

Australians have an ongoing identity problem that includes which day they should celebrate their creation, whether they should have a new flag that gets rid of the Union Jack, and who they should actually identify with, i.e., are they still part of the British Empire or are they now part of the whole Asia-Pacific region? Both the flag and location issues divide them about whether or not they should “get rid of” the Queen and become a Republic. Their identity issues are so chronic, and at times acute, that they haven’t even been able to create a successful tourism ad campaign since Paul Hogan told you to “put another shrimp on the barbie” last century!

The really controversial part is that Australia was established on the backs of the Aborigines, the natives indigenous to the country at the time. (Curiously, to me anyway, the word Aborigine means “indigenous native”, so it’s always seemed redundant to refer to them by both titles.) The black humor comes in when one finds out that England claimed Australia for itself under the terms of “terra nullius”, or a country that is uninhabited and therefore up for grabs! And it wasn’t like the Aborigines were hiding – the English just didn’t “see” them.

No wonder Aborigines refer to Australia Day as “Invasion Day”, or “Survival Day”. If you read their history, you’ll be appalled at their treatment, from the beginning to the current day. At least the Indians in America started getting casinos as some compensation!

So that’s Australia Day. A conflicted holiday, at best. Even the shops close for only half a day, so it’s not even really a total holiday. Never mind, any excuse for a barbie, a few beers and some lovely fireworks in the evening. It also, like America’s Labor Day, marks the end of the summer holidays, with most students going back to school next week.

Read some history about Australia; it really is fascinating. A taste: Australia’s first female doctor, Constance Stone, was not allowed into medical school here because she was female, so she got on a ship (a big trip at the end of the 19th century), and got her qualifications in America, Canada and England, and then went BACK to Australia (I would have said fuck ya’, I’m staying where it’s not so hard) just in time to be allowed to practice. Most Australians know nothing about her, even though she had her own stamp once, and yet I see the film version so clearly in my head, with Emma Thompson as Constance (whose first name was actually Emma!). I’ve done a lot of research about her, but come up against many brick walls of information gaps because of the inexplicable apathy about Australia’s history.

Of course, the really important thing about Australia Day for me is that it’s 3 days before my birthday!

I’m getting a whole new fresh start to my identity this year. That’s what I think Australia needs, too, don’t you?

I’m just wonderin’ …

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