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The nausea would come and go, but I was able to make it go away by blowing in short bursts like I was blowing out a candle. At one point I felt something on my foot, I felt it so clearly and distinctly that I sat up and grabbed my head lamp. I covered it with my fingers as not to blind anyone and shone it along the floor to see what I determined to be a tarantula the size of a teacup saucer scurrying away.

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We stayed in the ceremony hut the whole night along with the other new people. Paul and I decided we could walk back to our huts just after daybreak. As we walked along the path butterflies flitted by and I could hear monkeys and exotic birds awakening in the treetops and then I saw life sized black paper cuts out of men walking across my path, some look as if they were cut in half by scissors.
It was broad daylight and I was still having full on hallucinations.

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I had read quite a bit about people's experiences taking Aya. One of the things that fascinated me were the archetypal experiences among users regardless of their background, sex, age, etc. One is that you will receive instruction/guidance/assistance from small green entities. These usually appear in a form that is filtered through your cultural references; some people see Jesus, Buddha, the Holy Virgin, aliens or fairies. This no doubt explains the prominently displayed Yoda statue. I would loved to have met and talked with the person whose guide turned out to be Yoda. '...unfolding the universe is, vomit you will, mind what you have learned!'

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The next morning after a short flight we were landing in Iquitos. You can only get to Iquitos by plane or boat, there are no roads that lead there. For our next vacation, just to be contrary I think we should logically go to Rome, which ALL roads lead to.
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Flying into Lima Peru was fairly uneventful although it was a long seven hours. My anxiety over the coming Ayahuasca ceremony would wax and wane from moment to moment.
I was worried about literally drinking the stuff. I had read all sorts of accounts about the foulness of the thick brown liquid boiled out of the crushed aya roots and various jungle leaves. I was terrible at drinking shots, what if I could not get it down my gullet due to the horrible taste? I imagined an elaborate slapstick worst case scenario where I did a spit- take all over the Shaman who would immediately curse me and my entire family.
Do shaman's curse people? I made a mental note to look that up as soon as I had internet access.
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There are endless stories coming, but the recap is I tripped balls for three days, retched into a bucket, had the universe take me apart and reconstruct me.
Also passed a sign on a hut that said "100% natural disco."
We are flying to Cusco in the morning - Namaste bitches!
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I want to say up front that I have a healthy respect for doctors, even ones that seem stupid because they finished medical school and I got thrown out of college after two semesters for a poor GPA and a bad attitude. That being said, I do not take everything they say as gospel. I read articles about what they tell me and research medicine that they prescribe and try and make as informed decisions as I am able.
It is tricky thing to take the advice of someone who has knowledge and experience beyond yours and say, "I don't think what you are telling me is right," and yet here I am.

Paul and I have currently come to a critical point in his care. He has been medicated heavily for over eight years of his life now for chronic debilitating depression. The medicine has made him gain weight, his hands shake, he has constant insomnia, migraines and the build up of chemicals has begun to break down his liver. There other choice side effects that I wont mention here, but they are unpleasant. He takes pills because the alternative is him being functionless to the point of coma or eating the barrel of a gun.
He takes them because no other options were given to us.

And so now he has been informed that his depression is "med-resistant" which we suspected about five years ago. The option now being dangled in front of us is electroshock therapy.
We researched it thoroughly and to be frank - it scares the bejesus out of both of us.
After preening through the driest of medical journals, mind-numbing statistics and ghastly new age hippie sites, we found an alternative that seems oddly appropriate and at the same time utterly insane.

In a few months we are flying to Iquitos, Peru and taking the Ayahuasca.
And so I, a person with a fair amount of common sense and a reasonable amount of intelligence is leaving her husband's care to a shirtless Shaman deep in the Amazonian jungle who will blow smoke in our faces and sing after we drink a horrible brown liquid, begin to hallucinate and vomit furiously into a bucket courteously provided.
I am honestly terrified at the prospect but it scares me less than doctors anesthetizing Paul on a table and shocking his brain until he has a seizure. The main side effect is memory loss which they claim often returns in a month or so.
The only reasonable argument I have under my belt for doing this batshit crazy thing is the oldest medicine of the many Paul has been taking is less than twenty years old, they make him sick and uncomfortable, are killing him in incremental amounts and he is STILL depressed.
The Aayhuasca ritual is hundreds and hundreds of years old, there is some research backing up relief from depressive symptoms and there is no record I could find of anyone ever dying from taking it.

A homeless guy who lived under a bridge once told me once that at the crossroads of insanity and desperation is the bar where the devil drinks. Clearly he had been to that bar and I feel strangely as if I have just pulled up a stool and asked for the "special."
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One of the stories I love to retell is regarding my days as a homeless teen making a deal with a women's clinic. In exchange for medical services, exams, antibiotics or God forbid rape kits I would be spending my Friday and Saturday mornings in their parking lot making sure the pro-life people didn't throw paint onto the cars in the lot.
When the imperial wizard of the unborn: Terry Randall showed up, the whole place turned into surreal carnival. There were a myriad of indignities I bore from the pro-life folks: shouting, spitting, prayers for my destruction, and sailing photocopied bible passages folded into paper airplanes. "Jeremiah 1:5" hit the bullseye one afternoon right into my cup'o'noodles.
The most bizarre of these antics was the rubber unborn babies they would pelt at us. There were two kinds, the ones that were soft and pink like a dog toy. These had squeak boxes in them that wheezed out some version of "ma-ma" when you crushed them between your fingers. The second were the hard rubber kind we really hated; they left a mark if they hit bare skin but when they hit the asphalt they would bounce high like creepy super balls. The clinic said it would pay $5 for each rubber baby we managed to retrieve but usually they just bounced right into the sewers.
Every time I tell that story I wonder if person I am telling it to thinks I am lying about it because sometimes it sounds like utter bullshit even to me. Then I saw this story: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0715/roswell-high-school-students-sue-confiscated-rubber-fetuses/

Those are the exact damn things that used to get thrown at me! I wonder if the school knows they can go downtown and $5 a piece for them.
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Okay I entered the "fifties" design fabric contest on Spoonflower.  It is palette restricted which always makes these things more challenging.
I have some stiff competition, but I am feeling good about it so if you feel so compelled please vote for me so I can get some free fabric for Third Half Studios.
My entry looks like this
You can vote here (You may have to scroll through to find mine)

Thanks for the votes you guys!


May. 18th, 2010 10:32 am
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My initial impulse is to soften the ground on this story by repeating that I may be on the Autism scale personality-wise but I need to stop saying that when it comes to stories in which I am really just being an asshole.
This is one of those.
When I was younger I was just a tool, I had no empathy, no sense of other's perceptions or any idea that what was coming out of my mouth most of the time was rude superior bullshit. I am to this very day surprised I only managed to get punched in the face once before the age of 21.
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In a box of my mother's old things I found a tiny piece of a hand written letter, with an obituary for Dr. Robert Parke Chase from San Francisco. From the small bits of handwriting on the back I have gleaned that he was treating the person who kept the obit, presumably one of my relatives who lived in the city. I would like to imagine it was my great great grandfather Marcus Marks who was friends with Levi Strauss, but really it could have been anybody.
The obit was coming unglued and on the back I spied the following (partial) op ed piece from the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Wednesday June 25th, 1884 - Outlandish Names - Parents who can't give their children decent names ought not to have any. The other day a young man died in this city burdened with the name "Philadelphia Careless" and a boy named "Prosperous" was tragically run over by a wagon..."

It is weirdly comforting to me to know op-ed pieces were just as stupid one hundred and twenty six years ago as they are today, however any child I produce from here on out is now in grave danger of being named Philadelphia Careless.
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Okay I have decided this is the last time I am going to bother you people with this. If I can't win this time then I have no business entering. It is a Steampunk Fabric design contest this time. There are not so many entries maybe I have a fighting chance. There are three pages and my design is the only one featuring Abe Lincoln:
As always you can vote for more than one design if you feel moved. Thanks for your support!
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This is Rosalie - [livejournal.com profile] theinnocence
I dig her in a way i am not sure I could articulate. I worked hard to be her friend because at the begining I kept forgetting that I had met her or where she lived because I was being a tool. I think it was I not remembering to be still and see the world. There were so many things coming at me at that time, so many people and I just didn't see her right away, like a tiny jewel half buried in the sand.
We love each other now though and she wants to start a business, some place where artists can go and make a living and be seen, a collection of jewels plucked up from the sand and put under glass.
She is selling all she has to make this happen, so please go look and buy if you feel moved and if you can't buy, wish her luck as we all need plenty of that these days.
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Not only did I NOT win the last Spoonflower fabric design contest I came in the bottom half of over 80 entries. However extreme humiliating failure only makes me more determined and for those of your keeping score, that makes me the most determined person in the world.

This time they wanted a "toile," oh they GOT a toile!
See the carnage here: http://vb.ly/1yyy
Vote here (it may not be on the first page)
You just never know when a giant flying squirrel is going to turn on your ass...
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See the deal is - I am broken.
Unlike most healthy people I am completely unable to express love or affection in any kind of normal way lest I turn to a pillar of salt.
So I make things for people, overly elaborate and strange things. I think it is about forty percent upbringing and sixty percent people who have taken that information from me when I have uttered it and misused it in a really spectacular and scarring way.
So I spend most of time consumed in projects that I will never keep and sometimes will never see again and the weird part is, I HAVE to love it. If I don't love what I am making then I can't give it away, which means my house is littered with half finished projects that I despise. This of course leads me to believe that I have zero talent, the jury is still out on that.
I swear it is like a fucking Greek tragedy over here.

I just wanted to say it out loud to anyone who isn't clear about that, or anyone who ever got something from me and wondered what the hell it was or why they ended up with it.
If you haven't gotten anything from me thus far and are now wondering if I hate you, don't. It just means I haven't gotten to you yet. It is also possible I started something and decided it wasn't good enough. That happens a LOT.

Anyway I just finished something, it took forty three hours total and I screamed and clawed my face and gave up on it at least three times, but in the end I gave it away because that is the only way it can work for me.

I started with a German Christmas Pyramid. In case you aren't Euro trash like me and are unfamiliar they are wooden, rotate, and generally have the nativity happening somewhere in there. They look like this: Christmas Pyramid
I have loved them since I was a little girl and my mother was loathe to let me destroy ours. I finally found a reasonably priced source in October and bought two. I took the thing apart and popped all the little wooden figures off one by one. Baby Jesus was being stubborn and so I had to chip away at him with a screwdriver until he released his kung fu grip, came flying off like a bullet and lodged into my cactus.
There is something sort of satisfying about taking an innocent and simple Christmas decoration and turning it into something disturbing and wrong.


Happy Holidays everybody!
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I am announcing the official opening of Third Half Studios website and store, we are open for business! Everything we sell is not quite up yet, those items will be trickling in the next few days and weeks, but our best sellers are up there now.
Happy Black Friday everybody - Bang a gong!

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me: "The doctor seemed impressed with your recovery so far."
"Well the explanation is - I AM amazing!"

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To whom it may concern,

Let me first say that as an annoying intellectual type who gets a boner every time she hears the words "lost civilization," I have enjoyed nearly all of your documentary efforts thus far.

Read more... )


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As some of you may or may not know the Commodore suffered a small hemorrhagic stroke about a week ago.  Dutifully I hopped a plane to Portland to take care of things out this way.  The only damage that occurred happened in his language center.  His motor skills and logic centers are mercifully unaffected.  The woman at the rehab place where he is (as he puts it) "incarcerated" says she is impressed with his recovery overall and his prognosis is good.
It is interesting to see in real time his brain try and re-route around the damage, while he searches for the word that he means and his brain replaces it with something that seems related.  It is pretty fascinating really.

Of course this makes his already bizarre discourse all the more entertaining, if not more confusing.  I have to explain to the staff frequently that he was "like this before the stroke."

So without further ado, direct quotes from the Commodore:

me: Dad what are you doing?
(while pulling a bottle from a panel in his desk) I am having a little gin.
me: Are you crazy, you can't have that!
no it's okay... it is after 3:00.

me: (walking in on him surfing porn) Dad!!! for the love of God please shut that off right now!
What? you don't want to watch this?
me: No, I really really don't!
Is it beause she isn't a natural blonde?

I still haven't gotten my stuff from the Veterans's administration, so I thought you could write your friend for me and ask him to help me out.
me: What friend are you referring to?
You know that guy you worked for and like so much, he has the good looking wife and kids...
me: Are you talking about President Obama?
That's it!

You know I have a lot to offer a woman...
me: Like being feeble and verbose?
I am also very tall.

You know I still can't believe your mother went all "rogue" on me before she died.
me: Are you talking about her converting to Catholicism?

You know I watched the woman put the code in to shut alarm off for the front door (rehab) last night - I think I can make a break for it.

me: I don't understand why we have to drive all the way to the urologist's office when we can just pay this bill over the phone?
We HAVE to go there, you need to drive me right now!
me: But why?  There is a phone number right here on the bill?
(yelling and shaking his fist) Don't you understand?! I am in love with the receptionist!
me:  I thought you were in love with that woman at the dentist office.
oh yeah... well, I love her too.



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This is the nearly identical conversation I just had with TWO of the major credit companies, I am frankly afraid to call the third.

"Hello this is 'insert name here' credit company, how can I help you?"

me - "Good Morning, my mother is recently deceased and we were notified yesterday that an account had been fraudulently opened in her name. I have filed ID Theft case with the Social Security administration and spoken to the State Attorney General's office about how to proceed. They both recommended that in addition to sending the death certificate to the companies involved in trying to collect the debt, that we also send a copy of the death certificate to all three credit companies however it was strongly suggested we send them certified mail - return receipt requested. All I am able to locate for your company is a PO Box, do you happen to have a street address?"

"I am afraid I cannot help you with your mother's account, she will need to call us herself to address any problems or concerns with her credit report."

me - "Well since my mother is playing cards with JESUS right now, I think she is a bit busy to phone.
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