Needles and What They Do to You

Today's post is about pain. Mostly from tattoos and piercings and stuff.

Yesterday, I got my second tattoo and my seventh piercing. I got my first piercings, earlobes, done before I can remember. My mom had them pierced for my first birthday, which I understand now is a very controversial decision. When I was in seventh grade, my mother talked me into getting my bellybutton pierced. Terrible idea. I went into shock. It grew shut a few months later. Last April, I decided on a whim to get my earlobes pierced a second time.

In October, I got a third lobe piercing in my left ear. A month later, I got my first tattoo.
It's my grandmother's signature. She raised me, and now she is dying of cancer that started in her pancreas and is now in her liver and all that other awesome stuff.

The first tattoo was addicting. I couldn't WAIT to get another. I've got a whole list of them I plan on getting sometime in the future.

Yesterday, as I said, I got my seventh piercing (a daith in the right ear. Look it up. I didn't choose it; I kinda told my piercer to surprise me.) and my second tattoo.

For the uninformed reading, it's a yin yang with the symbols of the Rebellion and the Empire from Star Wars. My brother has the same symbols tattooed on his forearms. We're a cute, nerdy family.

My mother has 11 tattoos. My brother has three. My grandmother has three. My grandfather has one. Of the family I am aware of, every member has at least one tattoo, though my uncle has several more. I was the last member of my immediate family to get a tattoo. No one ever thought I would go through with it, myself included. I've never been known for having a great pain threshold. But I did it, twice now, without crying OR going into shock OR passing out. I did sweat like a metaphorical pig yesterday, though. It was kind of gross.

Anyway, onto the point. My fiance hates tattoos and piercings. Though he says he isn't mad that I have them, he gets kind of moody and sullen about it, like he is disappointed with me. Tattoos, however, are a part of my family. Some of my earliest memories with my mother are of her getting tattoos, and me being afraid to look at the needles, and the artist giving me some temporary tattoos so I could be "just like mom."

Aside from the deep, personal meanings I associate with my two tattoos, and all of the ones I have planned for the future, my relatively new obsession with needles has even deeper significance for me.

I am not a healthy person. Genetics have been against me my whole life. I live every day in considerable pain. I have suffered from chronic headaches since I was a child. When I was seven, I fell from a hayloft and injured my back, which turned into mild scoliosis, which has now turned into spinal stenosis. That causes me lower back pain along with severe sciatica in my left leg. I suffer from TMJ which causes severe inner ear and jaw pain. Most recently, I have been having troubles with my gallbladder, which my doctor thinks I am going to need removed. Back before I was on birth control, my monthly periods were so taxing and painful that I missed at least a week of school every month. I suffer from clinical depression and bipolar disorder, both which cause body aches.

I am not in very good control of my pain, though I have tried. I have done physical therapy for my spinal stenosis. Taken opiods for my sciatica, an NSAID for my TMJ. Over the counter, therapeutic, you name it, I've tried it. A lot of my pain comes from sources that have no good reason, and can't be seen. My pain controls me, and I hate it.

With tattoos and piercings, I am in control of the pain. I can give it meaning, and look at it and say, "Okay, I hurt, and here is where it hurts, and this is why." And other people can see it, and understand that it is pain. Just because I am in control of it doesn't mean it's not real. But it is a release of a little bit of stress. It's amazing how controlling just a little bit of something makes the rest of it easier to bear.


Traveling with Pandas

First, a note. I suck at keeping journals.'s been awhile since I've written anything here. And it'll probably be awhile before another post gets written after this. Not that anyone reads them anyway.

Anyway. For the past week, I've been on vacation in Michigan with my grandmother. It's "spring break," even though my school's break is the end of February. But I guess today is the meteorological first day of spring, so there's that.

I have done a whole lot of traveling before. Mostly in the car with my grandmother or mother or grandfather. A few times by plane, once by train. This time I flew, by myself. It was awful. One of my boarding passes was printed with the wrong terminal on it, so I almost missed my flight because everyone was sending me in the wrong direction, and I ended up jogging half-way across O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Which resulted in shin splints and a chest cold, because I suck at health.

Not only that, but there were my fellow travelers. I wish that I had remembered to pack my iPod, because then I could put in headphones and avoid contact. They don't like me using my phone, even on airplane mode. My first flight, I was seated next to a grandmotherly lady who asked me to help her find a word find word for her. Second flight, I was seated to a girl about my age with the worst case of dandruff I have ever seen on a human being. My third flight, my neighbor was a young man who almost immediately fell asleep with his mouth wide open, and ended up on my shoulder when the plane took off. How embarrassing. Tomorrow, I've got two more flights home. I can only imagine the delightful persons I shall meet. At least I don't connect in Chicago again. I don't need that stress again.

People traveling are strange. Everyone gets into this defensive mood, and you couldn't pay them to be courteous. Then there are the other side of the coin-persona, like myself, who get ridiculously courteous and a little bit scared when traveling. I am hyper-aware of myself when I'm traveling, particularly if I'm alone. I like to stay out of people's way, get where I'm going and stay quiet. Then, because I am being extra polite and courteous, I try to extend this to my fellow travelers, who are usually rude as hell, and then I get offended. Traveling sucks. We stopped being nomads eons ago. We should really just stay where we're put.


Technical Theater for Nontechnical People

First things first: the title is unrelated and irrelevant. I couldn't think of a title, and when I clicked on the textbox, I was greeted with AutoFill text I have typed somewhere before. I think this is the title of a textbook from last year, that I tried to sell on eBay, but no one bought it. Which is understandable, because it was an awful book.

Second: since the title of the blog is what it is, you can (safely) assume* that I am pro-gay marriage and all the other stuff like that. What I am not going to do is shove any of it down your throat. But a (boy)friend of a friend got into an argument about gays today and just the premise of it rubbed me the wrong way. I totally get people who are against gay marriage. I mean, I think it's stupid and you're probably stupid, or at least do pretty stupid things like buy and wear Pajama Jeans**, but I believe that you are entitled to your opinion. The thing about gay marriage is that it is absolutely not affecting you, unless you are a gay person trying to get married. How much does it affect you, really? I stand by what I said to my friend's friend: if you don't like gay marriage, don't marry a gay person. I don't like being told what to do, so I don't go to church. But the people who do go to church? Doesn't affect me at all. So please, just shut up, before I start making out with a woman in front of you.


That is all.

*Never assume. It makes an ass of of you and me.
**If they made Pajama Jeans for men, I would buy some. Because I prefer men's jeans.


Too Young to Say Goodbye

My second post was supposed to be a mildly entertaining anecdote about myself. Unfortunately, life got in the way and changed my schedule.

Friday evening, one of my friends died. She was in a head on collision with an old man who was driving the wrong way in the wrong lane on the highway.

Her twin sister is still alive. They are 21. Only about a month and a half older than myself.

Twenty one is too young to say goodbye. It wasn't even the sort of accident you could explain and validate. She wasn't texting (she didn't even own a cellphone, last I knew), she wasn't drunk, she wasn't speeding. There was a sheriff's car in front of her. He swerved out of the way and avoided the old man. There was a prisoner transport vehicle behind her. That vehicle hit my friend's car from behind.

My friend's name is Katie. Same as me. Her twin sister's name is Kristina. We used to jokingly call ourselves the KKK. It's missing a member now. Kri
stina and I are good friends. Or, we used to be, in high school. Everyone's drifted apart since then, of course. But I was always better friends with Kristina than I was with Katie. I can remember the last time I saw Kristina. But I don't remember the last time I saw Katie. I don't remember the last time I talked to Katie. And now I'm forced to say goodbye to her. I'm not ready.

I can't even imagine what Kristina is going through. It's one thing to lose a sibling. But it was her twin. Her other half. My heart hurts as much for Kristina as it does for Katie. What is it like to be the survivor? How do you deal with that? I know there is such thing as survivor's guilt. But what does it feel like? How do you live through it?

Anyway, this is for you, Katie. You are terribly missed.

November 15, 1990 - January 27, 2012


Obligatory Intro Post

Good morning, internet.

I made the executive decision last night to delve into the world of blogging. I do not expect to become an overnight sensation, mostly because I do not think I am terribly interesting.

You may have seen that the title of my blog is "Part-time Lesbian, Full-time Human." Pretty clever, right? I was showering and it came to me. Isn't that interesting? No, not really. I know. I'm trying, okay?

My title does actually mean something, however. I am a bisexual human being, with a tendency to be more attracted to females than males. Females, in general, smell nicer, and don't have beards. I'm not big on beards. I've gotten some crap about being bi, aside from the whole homophobic argument itself. Some people seem to think that bisexuality isn't real, that it is just an attention-seeking ploy. Some say it's just a way of hiding being fully gay. Whatever. Argue with me all you want; I am not changing my view. Nor do I feel the need to defend myself against you.

Now that that is out of the way, I can continue onto this blog. I'm still not sure what I want to make of it. It might just be a personal rambling site. I'm not good at keeping journals. Do you know how many LiveJournal accounts I went through in my teen years? Only one, but that's not the point. I didn't post shit on there. Oops, there's the first one.

I swear a lot. And I told myself I wasn't going to on this blog. But that would defeat the point of it being about me, because me swears. Frequently, and sometimes when I don't really need to.

So, I might be bad at journal-ing, but I am good at rambling. Which I suppose some people may consider to be the same thing. Except I feel that journals are full of more personal details of what's going on currently.

Currently I am: laying in bed next to my cat, Jack, who is ignoring me because there are birds outside the window. I am wearing orange pants with an orange and white baseball tee, some underwear and a bra, and my glasses, which are purple. I haven't gotten out of bed except to throw my other cat, DC, out of the room, because he drives me crazy otherwise. I am sort of hungry, but I know there's not any food in the house, so there's no point in me getting up yet.

Okay, well, that was actually sort of fun to write, but not very interesting. Perhaps later I can blog about me in a more interesting introduction. I think this post was supposed to be that, but I suck at staying on task.