Fun


Photo via Visualhunt
For people who have known me since childhood, this isn’t an unsurprising revelation. It was when I first told them. My friends would always ask me why and it was difficult to explain. It wasn’t a religious thing. It wasn’t that I hated Halloween — I will always love Halloween. It was more a habit born out of a lack of safety in the neighborhood I had once lived in. Before I was 8 years old, I lived in a rather unsafe neighborhood. Gang fights on my corner were not unusual. If I was out after dark in our neighborhood, both of my parents were with me. My dad wasn’t typically home early enough to go trick-or-treating, and my mom did not feel comfortable taking me out without him. So we gave out candy to the few kids who decided to brave it. Usually, we were done by about 7 because it just wasn’t a big deal in that neighborhood. Right after my 8th birthday, my parents and I moved into the house with my grandfather. He lived in a safer neighborhood, so it would have been fine for me to go — I could have even gone without my mom. But I didn’t. I handed out candy. All of my friends who lived in my neighborhood seemed to come by my house, and I got to see all of their costumes. It was pretty awesome. I never felt like I was missing out on the fun. If we had candy left over at the end of the night, I could pilfer it. (We typically didn’t.) The only time I really went out trick-or-treating, I went as a chaperone for my foster sister. I was fifteen and she was twelve. We only walked down our street, but it was fun. I still didn’t get candy — since I wasn’t really going out for that. I did get some money from one of the neighbors. Instead of candy, he was giving out coins for people who could correctly answer math problems. I had always been in advanced math classes and was in Algebra II that fall, so racking up money was pretty easy. Regardless of where we lived, I dressed up every year until middle school and once as an adult at a church dance. One year I was a purple bunny. Another I was a ballerina. I dressed up in an antebellum-style dress the year that I discovered the movie Gone with the Wind. I even dressed up as a clown one year. My favorite costume was when I dressed up as Maleficent, my favorite character from Sleeping Beauty — actually, she’s my favorite from any Disney movie. My mom made my costumes and didn’t seem to mind that I always wanted to dress up in fun styles, even if I didn’t go out asking for candy. I’ve attended events that were Halloween-themed, as a child and as an adult. I’ve been to haunted houses and mazes, which weren’t all that thrilling. (I don’t get scared when watching thrillers and horror films, so that makes sense.) I’ve gone to autumn festivals at school. When I was 8, I had a Halloween party and three or four friends came over. It was actually the day after Halloween, which made getting food and stuff a lot easier. (Yay, post-holiday candy sales!) We had a cookie cake and used toilet paper to turn each other into mummies — you know, without the wire hanger up the nose and the organ preservation. (Yeah, I went there.) Being the day after also meant that we didn’t dress up for the party, which was probably a good thing since it was a rainy day and everyone had walked over. When I was 24, I went to a Halloween Young Single Adults (YSA) dance with other 18–30 year-old members of the LDS church in my region. I dressed up as a hippie that night and won the costume contest. I also lost one of my favorite earrings in the world on the side of I-65 that night, so there were good times and bad ones. I didn’t enjoy the good as much as I should have because I had already had a bad month — one week earlier, my friend’s car caught fire when I was in it, then I sprained my ankle later that night — so losing my earrings just added, for lack of a better phrase, fuel to that fire. RIP beloved earrings. Anyway, I digress. I know that for people who aren’t from the United States that missing out on something like trick-or-treating might seem like it isn’t that big of a deal, but it sort of is. It’s a part of our culture, especially if you’ve been privileged enough to grow up in a place where it is safe to go out. So not having that experience did sometimes make me feel like an outsider, but I didn’t really feel safe enough to have that experience — even when it actually was safe. It’s weird that I do sort of regret not having the experience. But I’m also okay with not having it. I guess that’s one of those complicated things about being an adult — coming to terms with the stuff that you experienced or didn’t experience when you were younger. But I hope that if I have kids some day that I get to take them out trick-or-treating or, at least, let them dress up like their favorite characters because I think that getting that night of fun and make-believe is really important. Happy Halloween.

I Never Went Trick-Or-Treating As a Kid   Recently updated!


img_6655
Well, I never mentioned how the rheumatologist appointment went. I guess that’s because it happened almost exactly as I a predicted. It was bad. How bad was it? It was so bad that I wish I could time travel to the past and let Rodney Dangerfield use it as material for some of his “How bad was it?/It was so bad” jokes. Everything was fine until the doctor came in. He half-listened to my complaint, said that anhidrosis isn’t a symptom of anything he treats, and told me that all that he ever saw me for was “loose joints” and pain. I told him that the family doctor said she thought my “loose joints” and lack of sweat were related. He said no. I said she thought he should treat it because he treats connective tissue disease. He went into a long rambling session about how my family doctor meant that he treats autoimmune diseases and that “loose joints” aren’t really a connective tissue disease because they don’t involve the immune system. He said that “loose joints” are a collagen issue and that they only cause problems in the joints themselves. I tried correcting him on his ignorance, but when I did, he repeated his rambling.  My mom asked if it could be from the Sjögren’s/UCTD. He said it was possible, but that those were connective tissue diseases & I didn’t have connective tissue diseases. She mentioned Mamama had Sjögren’s and he said it was possible that I inherited it from her. That “Sjögren’s is genetic” part of his ramblings was almost verbatim from the ramblings he made that time seven years ago when I tested “positive” for the antibodies related to Sjögren’s. He looked in my mouth and said it was dry. He asked about my eyes & I told him that the ophthalmologist had done the paper test years ago. He asked about the results and I practically rolled by sore, dry eyes at him as I told him that they’d been dry. He said he would test me again for Sjögren’s and that if it was positive he might consider putting me on Pilocarpine.  He then said something about Pilocarpine costing $95/month and insurance never covers it. You know, so I wouldn’t expect a prescription for it. The funny thing is that I knew he was bullshitting on that part. You see, I had been given a prescription for a medication called Salagen given to me by the UAB doctors a few months ago. They’d noticed my mouth dried out too much for me to talk. Salagen is the brand name of Pilocarpine. It costs $1.20 for 120 pills; 120 pills is a monthly supply. I left the appointment feeling like the air had been sucked out of my lungs. By the end of the appointment, I didn’t know whether I was pissed at him or myself. The longer he rambled, the more I felt myself retreating into the “doesn’t speak up for herself” zone. I started feeling incompetent. I started feeling like maybe I was the one who was uninformed.  But my family and my therapist wouldn’t stand for that thinking.  I’m not the one who: Doesn’t understand that connective tissue disease is an umbrella term for many kinds of diseases.1 Doesn’t understand that many autoimmune and non-autoimmune diseases can cause sweating to cease.  Doesn’t keep adequate patient records.  Doesn’t listen to the patient or their family.  Failed to prepare or educate myself before the appointment.  I’m not the incompetent one. He is.  My mom said I need a new rheumatologist. When I told Debbie about the appointment & about the phone calls, she said I need a new rheumatologist. Guess what I discovered in my search got rheumatologists who take my insurance?! I’m pretty much stuck with a doctor who doesn’t know what the hell he is doing.  I hate the phrase “fuck my life” but it almost seems appropriate here.  Photo credit: C_Dave via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC Joint Hypermobility Syndrome & Ehlers-Danlos are connective tissue diseases. ↩

Call Me Janet the Divine. On Second Thought, Don’t. 



img_1950
A few weeks ago, I decided that I definitely needed to start wearing makeup again. But there was a problem. I’m not sure if I’ve ever even mentioned it. You see, I’m a ginger. I know, I know. It’s so surprising. I’ve never even had the courage to tell my parents. But it’s a relief that I can finally bring it up.  Being a ginger means a lot of things: not getting to wear orange, buying sunscreen by the palette, having my parentage questioned, being touched without my permission, and having limited choices in makeup. Or so I thought. As I perused the Internet for makeup suggestions for redheads, I came across article after article by non-gingers that, more often than not, had no actual redheads in them.1 I was beginning to lose hope when I came across this video featuring makeup artist Mary Greenwell. She was explaining how she did Jessica Chastain’s makeup. I figured that a professional makeup artist who has worked with a natural redhead might know get shit when it comes to makeup for redheads. In the video, she said redheads can wear any color. After recovering from the massive fainting spell that caused, I began to wonder if that could possibly be true. So I got myself some lipstick2 and decided to try out her theory. And to save my fellow gingers3 from having to look at pictures of Emma Stone & Christina Hendricks, I decided to post about it.4 I don’t have any dark lipsticks, nor do I have any neon/vibrant color lipsticks. I want to buy some plums and darker shades, but, because I can’t otherwise see myself wearing them, I will only try vibrant ones if someone else foots the bill for them. In all of these pictures, the only makeup I have on is the lipstick that I’m demonstrating. OMG. Emma Stone, Christina Hendricks are NOT redheads. A bottle of dye does not a ginger make. Stop saying they’re redheads. ↩By got myself, I mean that I bought them and the comments listed below are not influenced by any company, spokesperson, etc. They are my opinions and words. ↩Because I’m nice, not because I’m a shill. ↩You’re welcome. ↩

Lip-Shtick Service 


IMG_0955
This is a meme that I participate in every year on LiveJournal. Even if you get nothing, it’s still a fun meme because it allows us to be kids again and make Christmas lists. Let’s face it, that kind of dreaming and hope is fun. So here’s my wishlist this year. If you want to make one, leave me a link and I’ll post it here. THE ORIGINAL MEME: STEP ONE Make a post (public, friends-locked, filtered… whatever you’re comfortable with) to your LJ. The post should contain your list of ten holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related (“I’d love a Snape/Hermione icon that’s just for me”) to medium (“I wish for _____ on DVD”) to really big (“All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV”). The important thing is to make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want. If you wish for real life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it’s your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) can get in touch with you. Your home address is not required! Make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your LJ so that the holiday joy will spread. STEP TWO Surf around your friends list (or friendsfriends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. And now, here’s the important part… You needn’t spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn’t to put people out, it’s to provide everyone a chance to be someone else’s holiday elf – to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not – it’s your call. There are no guarantees with this project, and no strings attached. Just… wish, and it might come true. Give and you might receive. You’ll have the joy of knowing you made someone’s holiday special. THE LIST I have listed more than 10 things. Shot glasses, coffee mugs, teapots. I collect these, so I would love to have some new ones to add to my very small collection. Crafting stuff. Knitting, crocheting, quilting, sewing, adult coloring books. Toys for Amy Pond. She’ll be 3 years old on the 21st of December. She loves squeaky toys, Kongs, pillows, blankets…basically, anything you put in front of her. She’s also a tad destructive on most things, so the less destructible, the better. Home repairs. I have a GoFundMe donation page set up because my house has serious issues and needs to be fixed. We’ve got leaks in the bathrooms, cracks in the walls, a broken window with a piece of metal over it, and we have to walk around on the concrete slab in most rooms because the carpet had to be taken up years ago, but we didn’t have the money to replace it. Our laundry room needs to be rewired and/or we need a new dryer because any time that we try to use it, it knocks the power off. (We have to hang dry all of our clothes in the bathroom with a space heater.) We also need a new roof and siding (some of ours has rotted) and home insurance. (We can’t get any because of the problems listed.) And at some point we’d like to have central air-conditioning back in the house so that we wouldn’t have to rely on window a/c during the summer, but that’s not as necessary as the rest of the things needing to be fixed. The city I live in can sometimes donate siding and shingles if a person has a group willing to put make the repairs, but we’ve got no one willing to do the work. Any help would be really nice, even if it’s in the form of recommendations for groups that help with this sort of thing. Help with my domain hosting bill. It is processed through PayPal, but the money doesn’t go to me. It goes directly to DreamHost, the company that I get my site hosted through, and is automatically applied to my account. The minimum they’ll allow is $10. Help with other bills. I have a GoFundMe for that as well. Guitar. No, I don’t expect anyone to get this for me. I would just like to learn how to play guitar sometime. Gift Cards. Specifically: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Lane Bryant, iTunes, Starbucks, Target, Torrid, Walmart – Amazon for books, movies, and other things. B&N for books. Lane Bryant & Torrid for clothes, accessories, etc. Having a gift card means that I’m a lot less likely to abuse my credit card with them. Target & Walmart would be used for groceries, makeup, clothes, and conditioner. (My hair dries out easily–which leads to matting and breaking–and Target sells a conditioner that keeps it moisturized.) And iTunes for new music and, in case they never get around to bumping the song limit up, converting my music library to iTunes purchases, so that I can listen to the rest of my music collection. Starbucks is so I can get the occasional drink when I’m not at home.  Anything from my Amazon.com wishlist. Anything on the list would be great. I’ve tried to arrange things from high to low priority, but, as you can probably figure by it simply being on the wishlist, I actually would like to have it. And if you see something on the list that you could get at a cheaper price or used, I’m good with that. Fandom/care packages. Makeup. I’m a ginger, so I have very pale skin. Any colors that look good on people with really light skin will be fine. (I’m not afraid of bright or bold colors.) I mainly wear nail polish, lipstick and eyeshadow. Accessories. Hats, socks, scarves, headbands, purses, barettes, necklaces, bracelets. I absolutely need a wallet. Belts if they’re made for plus-size women. Stuffed animal/plushies. Well wishes. I had knee surgery on the 3rd of December, so […]

Holiday Wishlist Meme 2015









Since these tweets are all related, I thought I’d do it in one big post. A Tumblr user asked for me to include my disability diagnoses, so I added those to the descripti… http://t.co/BmIGGybIzI — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 The full text of this update: A Tumblr user asked for me to include my disability diagnoses, so I added those to the description. I also want to thank those who’ve donated. I also want to thank those who’ve shared the link without donating. And I want to thank those of you who have offered your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate it all so much. Wow. In the last 24 hours, I've gotten $45 in donations on .@gofundme. A big thank you to those who've donated. It means so much. — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 That $45 will get me out of the red for August's bills a day early. — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 And it eases the anxiety I had over the first round of bills for September. — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 So I am very, very grateful for the help. — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 Follow @JanersM on Twitter.