Monday, December 31, 2012

Oh, The Places We'll Go

Well, here is it...New Years Eve.


2013. Remember as a kid the year 2013 felt like forever away, and surely there would be flying cars, and robot servants (followed by a robot uprising), and all sorts of other bizarre futuristic things? Of course, those things do exist, just not how you thought they would. Give it a few more years. Shit just keeps getting stranger.

Time for reflection, or something, right? Fun.

This year has taken us so many places...and nowhere at all.

Living in England for several months. (glorious)
A road trip around North-Eastern United States with James (and meeting a whole bunch of people from Twitter!).
Two offers down on houses, both lost. (one pretty much stolen from us).
A seasonal job, our first job in the United States since 2004, since we last lived here. (the last day was December 24th)
Personal growth? Probably not. It's been a struggle of a year, mentally and physically (can't win them all...)

Here we are, still living in The Mother's basement (one of those things we didn't win); we expected to be not by now.

James got a job though, he should start promptly in the New Year (as soon as they get his urine test back). Good pay, with a good company. So that's awesome.

We (James, and us) have been seriously considering moving out of the city we currently reside in, to a town 40 miles away. It's small, with a population of less than 1000. The housing, both prices and taxes, are more affordable; the market where we are currently living being a seller's one. The idea of being so far removed from what we all consider civilization, is making us nervous. The cities nearby being what they are anyway (not very populated, and simply full of "box stores"), and not at all like the ones near the property we looked at this past summer, several hours away. It's making everyone involved nervous. It equals a long drive to work everyday, in the winter it can be dangerous. It equals a lack of culture, amenities, convinces; however, it also equals silence, few distractions, plenty of time for us to paint, to garden, to develop more recipes for a cookbook, and work on other writing. And generally get all the alone time we're likely to need, for a bit.

The primary residence of interest is a large white two-story, 3 bedroom turn-of-the-century house on a giant lot, with the potential to buy an empty lot next to it. The price is unbeatable, despite it needing massive amounts of work. It hasn't had a thing changed, interior wise, since at least the late 50's (some of us are excited about the interior design work that needs to be done). It also needs a new roof, and the siding could use a fresh coat of paint...at least. Probably the electrical needs to be updated. And it only has baseboard heating from what we can tell. It's marginally better than the previous house we put an offer on, and far better than our beloved Weeping Willow property (except for the lack of the 40 acres)

Probably the biggest thing? The day after Christmas we applied to go back to University, to finish a bachelors degree. The job market is limited with simply our culinary arts degree, and with the kind of physical problems we have; so after months of looking for work here at a wage we find fair, and coming up empty, we decided perhaps it'll be better to finish our degree. We have to do something, after all.

So, we're going to be a University student again...(if they re-admit us). There are a wise range of feelings about this.

It's part of a long-term goal anyway. Long-term, ha! Those never work out...but they are sometimes fun to make, as long as you don't get too "married" to them and can be flexible when things get uprooted.

So, this year has been one long "adventure", punctuated by sitting around, with promises of more to come in the New Year. Oh, the places we'll go (just a little homage to the late great Dr. Seuss).

In the meantime, why don't you sit around a little...and read some of our archives (or don't, what the fuck difference does it make).

While we've written loads over the last couple of years, the entries below are representative of some of the "better" (coherent, topical, apropos, etc.) things we've written, ranging from topics such as sex, life, mental illness/health, relationships, current events, artphilosophy, food, and more.

(Also: The Stories of Us - A grouping of all the entries we've written about our past. Contains some material not suitable for sensitive people and those under the age of 18.)

May you go many places, do many a thing,
meet all kinds of people; or sit, doing nothing.
At least be inspired by life as it goes,
and add to things your brain already knows.
(by Just Call Me Frank, as inspired by Dr. Suess)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


The Mental Health Entries:
- Mostly Dissociative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder Related
2012
2011
The Other Girl - Stuff She Wrote:
General Health:
2012
General
2012 
2011
"Standby"
2011
"Fuck Face"
2011
James/The Boyfriend:
2012


2011
Friendships:
2012
2011
Work:
2011
Life:
2012
2011
Travel:
2012
2011
Food & Cooking
2012
2011
Opinion/Philosophy/Current Events:
2012
2011
Art/Poetry:
2012
2011
Humor/Fun/Sex/Random:
2012
2011
Social Media: (Social Media is ever evolving, older information may not be up-to-date.)
2012
2011
Guest Bloggers:Our Guest Blogger, Kerry Stott (@kerrystott), Writes About...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Crossing Over...

We've made an "extended-family safe" Facebook account.
It's full of people who, if they knew this blog, if they knew...well...anything about us, really...

We'd never agree to see them again.

Dad, Mom, and both brothers (and their wives), know their way here. For over a year now, they've been able to find it all. It's been confronted face-to-face.

But extended family? No. Some of them know. One, that we know of. Dad told one of his brothers...about our..."condition".

There has now become a grey area...between us...and..."me". There is no me. There hasn't been...forever. Just the façade of one. We got of "her"...but now. Now, she'd come in handy (as much as we hated her).

It was easy to avoid when we lived in other countries, in other states, too far to travel from for family gatherings.

It's all changed now. Now we're back "home". It's harder to avoid.

Their Christian principles, their overall NRA-backing principles...anti-abortion, anti...most things we stand for, and everything those things entail...if they crossed paths with our uncensored honestly...with us. This blog. Our Twitter(s). What we maintain as our real Facebook account.

Well. We can't even imagine.

Now we balance two Facebook accounts. It's like a split, within several others.

This should be...fun.

A project in being...normal. Probably.

The day we accidentally cross the two accounts should, at least, make a good story...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

So Different

It's getting close to the end...of 2012.

We don't have regrets; but personal choices over the years...we don't forget. We've learned. Of course. Some people have regrets forever, other's learn, and move on.

Sometimes we miss people from our past, even two years ago.
Two years ago, 2010...we had a beautiful New Year's dinner at a fancy restaurant with the woman who is now our ex-bestfriend. She didn't deserve, probably, how our friendship abruptly ended.
Her, and her boyfriend...and a man who was in all likeliness was in love with us (Standby).
Weeks later it all changed. But. It was the last time we probably felt normal.
Silently miserable; but somehow...well, we can't put it into words. Which is odd.

Now. Now, it's all different. So different. It's going to be so much more different. It makes us...nervous? Scared? Sad?

We just might be mourning it all, our past...a little.

Which is also fucking strange, and new.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Something

Backache that is making our eyes burn, cold and hollow in their sockets.

It started Saturday night as body pain, it hurt to have our skin even lightly touched, and we could feel our bones. This morning we went to work and it grew worse, now it's everything that hurts.

Since getting home from work we've spent every minute with a hot water bottle and a glorious fleece blanket, on the sofa.

Now we've poured a Gin, in hopes the pain subsidies and it makes us sleepy enough to pass out at a reasonable hour and sleep through the night, after tossing and turning last night until 4:30 am from the discomfort and pain.

Today was our apparent last day of work though, with suggestions that they may call us in for a couple more days the end of the week, or at least before New Years Day. We'll see. Of course we'll do it; we could use the extra income.

It's Christmas Eve. We're not really into Christmas (most of us anyway...Gifts make many of us uncomfortable. They make me uncomfortable, anyway), but Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday anyway.

Apologies for the very lame entry. Or something.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Testing...Testing...One...Two...

James got a job today.
A pretty good paying one too.

Meaning if we can't find a house to buy within a month, we'll still be moving out of here (The Mothers house)...only into an apartment instead, for a bit.

Our last day of work is Monday. It was temporary, so expected. That's okay.

We wrote this tonight...because we want to see if it will stick (granted it's a done deal...he only needs pass a drug test...and he doesn't do drugs).
But.
Seems like everything good and promising we've written about here this year has turned to shit.

Testing...testing...one...two...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Mental Illness Rant

This ranted started out as this:
"Let's just make people scared of the mentally ill.Thanks media, fucking thank you for erasing years and years of work to erase the stigma."
We posted it to Twitter.
Then to Facebook.
And then we started a comment, and as the comment grew longer, we knew this was the place for it.

This rant, if you will, is related to the tragic event known as the Sandy Hook Massacre (December 15, 2012).

You can't turn on the TV without hearing about it. CNN has been gleaning every dark nook and cranny for information that can be sought. It's rating feeding frenzy  Goodness even knows what's being said on Fox News. We shudder to think.

Today, on a treadmill, we finally reached a breaking point. One of the journalists of CNN was interviewing a man who said that the mentally ill should be locked up.

Some things are better said in a Tweet.
Watching the news this last week, listening to people bang on about mental illness, we have become...deflated, sad. Maybe even a little scared.

Some think that the mentally ill should all be locked up, but how do you choose who is "too mentally ill"? The child who had one violent outburst? Two? Three?; The person on anti-depressants?; The person on anti-anxiety medication?; The person who went to a therapist once, twice, three or more times? The person with a 10 year old diagnosis of schizophrenia, who hasn't been on anti-psychotics in years...

It's not the mental illness, it's the person. A person in not their mental illness. A person is a human animal, with urges, and desires. Sometimes that's sadness, sometimes that's anger, sometimes that's frustration.

A man gets angry, and hit his wife once. Is he mentally ill?
A child gets angry, and kicks a wall. Is the child mentally ill?
A mother screams out of frustration, throws a book against a wall. Is she mentally ill?
A little girl comes home from school, locks herself in her room and cried of frustration. Is she mentally ill?
A woman goes through a divorce, and needs anti-depressants. Is she mentally ill.
A college student is anxious about their future, and finds comfort in anti-anxiety medication. Are they mentally ill?

Any one of these people could be capable of committing a violent crime. You could be capable. You just don't know it yet.

Under the sheets in an Orwellian nightmare, this country has managed to turn everything that makes a person themselves, uniquely them, into a mental illness. The only feeling and emotion not considered a mental illness is happiness...as the country shovels happy pills down their throat. A billion dollar industry.

Who is mentally ill to the point being lock-up, and who isn't. Are mere threats of violence enough? Did the boy who shot up the theater in Aurora Colorado have violent tendencies (no). Who gets to decide? Call us crazy, but the government shouldn't be the one, and neither should you, or me, or us. When you start locking people up because of your irrational media driven fears, that's just another freedom taken away.

Some people who fear the loss of their gun rights are deciding that they could easily blame the mentally ill, instead of take some responsibility, and embrace a little compromise; perhaps, we should just lock up "the crazies"...because people who hug their guns tight, despite glaring problems, are obviously the sane ones.

No, we're not anti-gun, we've written numerous times here that we aren't. We are pro-regulation. Guns have a purpose: hunting and home security. Assault weapons, and many semi-automatic, are not designed for any of that. They are designed to kill a lot of people, fast. That's it. (A real man can kill a deer/animal, with a simple rifle).

People are people, they've been killing in the name of religion, in the name of land ownership, in the name of love, in the name of war, for all of existence. And it's never been considered a mental illness before.

There will never be an easy solution in country as large as the United States, with such a diverse population. There can be compromise, but the compromise shouldn't be blaming the mentally ill.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Alone, To Be Desired

One week of work left, then hopefully we'll have some time to devote to writing while we look for another job - which we have been doing for weeks now with no luck. There are only about three new part-time postings in this city a week, and for right now we're only prepared to work part-time (for physical, and mental health, reasons).

It's been hard to find time to write, and we have some things we need to get down on paper. Relationship related things...

Needless to say, every day has been a bumpy ride these days. Clashes in relationship-styles are coming to a head; primarily our desire for alone time not being adequately met (in most of our opinions) without an expression of passive-aggressive anger; whether is be on purpose, or not. If a request is met with snarkily served up comment like "subtle", or similar...or a tone of voice that is meant to convey dissatisfaction, then one can only be led to believe it is on purpose. And meant to make us feel guilty.

If James has his way he would be with us every minute possible. We rarely even shower without him.

From our side of things, we are uncomfortable always being in a room with someone, and it's not so that we can do anything bad, mostly it's just a desire to sit in a room, alone. Undistracted  With nobody in "our space". We like being alone; as a matter of fact, many of us love it. People are distracting to many of us, just their presence can be too much, makes up feel angry, makes our head pound, makes our eyes burn, makes our jaw clench. They don't even have to be saying anything. Hearing them walk, breath...smelling them.

He doesn't understand it. Probably you don't either.

Not to mention, even when we get 10-30 minutes alone, The Mother, or Step-dad, walks through the room, and they always have something to say, most of the time that's not important. Talking for the sake of talking. Sometimes it can take 15 minutes for them to day it, because they repeat themselves.

He understands that, at least.

He doesn't think it's normal, or healthy, that we desire just to be in a room without him, without anyone but ourselves. We explained to him that couples do that, that they don't spend every moment together. They don't do everything together. He thinks that's not healthy somehow, for relationships to be like that. He thinks it's odd that we want, sometimes, hours of time alone (even if it's just to play "alone" on Twitter and watch the news); that it should be just fine for him to sit next to us all the time, and do his own thing. That we are odd for thinking that it's not the same as being alone.

There are other things too...other things for another day. Mostly things in response to his most recent blog post about life with us (http://frank-from-the-outside.blogspot.com/2012/12/changes-and-changes-and-nothing-changes.html), but for now...for now the major problem is...we guess...that he we don't want to spend every waking minute with anybody. We already do that with many, and have no choice.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gun Debates...

We're growing weary of the gun debates...

We're also becoming desensitized to all the senseless mass murders.

In the 8th grade the first boy we ever like, that liked us back, killed himself with a shotgun in school (personal story). It was sad, and tragic.

Still.

We're not anti-gun. We're pro gun control. ('Guns, Guns, Guns...and Freedom' http://just-call-me-frank.blogspot.com/2012/07/guns-guns-gunsand-freedom_20.html).

But in the last couple of years, or further back, since Columbine even...there is a growing need for something...different. 

You may "cling" to your gun (if you oppose any control, you are clinging), but so do the children of the parents who don't lock them up properly; so do the kids, and adults, who can just get them freely, with few regulation check points; so could people who accidentally find a gun in meat shipment.
They cling to the gun too, while they take the lives of others.

Something is not right in this country. Something needs to change. Taking away guns isn't the answer. Regulation and control is. Lives lost, overshadow freedoms, sometimes. When the people in the country can't act responsibly, what hope it there.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Deflated

We put an offer on a house last week.
It was a lovely house that needed a lot of TLC...more than a lot, really.

Like the last property, this one was on the market for months with no movement, no bites; and like the other property (the one we lost the signed agreement on in October, Weeping Willow), this one suddenly had another offer after we submitted an offer on it. This time, the day after.

Needless to say, the seller went with the other offer. Which we just found out in the last hour.
There may be an off-chance the sale won't go through after their inspections are done (we had waived inspections in our offer), but we won't find out if the sale is completed for about 6 weeks.

So, we'll keep looking, waiting for a miracle of some sort, because we have exhausted all the houses in our price range in the city.

We're a little...deflated...tonight.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Edgar Allan Poe, and Other Things We Don't Know

It would probably come to a surprise, to some, the great classics we've never actually read. Most people make it through high school English having read the works of those such as Bronte, Faulkner, Shakespeare, Longfellow, Hemingway, and so many more. We skipped eleventh and twelfth grade English, and by the time we finally made it to University English, well, you're supposed to be familiar with those works already. About two years ago we finally got around to dipping out toes into Emily Dickinson.

We revere the writers though. You don't have to be overly familiar with their works to appreciate the contribution to the world of reading, writing and education (and even film and art) they have made. It's just more to add to the list of things we don't know. The older we get the less we know; and the older one gets the more there is to know.

Last night we watched The Raven, a 2012 film, staring John Cusack, based on the writings of the poet, author and literary critic of the 1800's, Edgar Allan Poe. (We highly recommend watching it, if you like disturbing and bloody imagery.)

We became ashamed to have never picked up a single work by Poe. Barely familiar with his work in even a general sense, we were astounded to find the themes of his work to be so...relatable. Exciting. Intoxicating. Dark and twisted. Our perfect cup of tea, as it were.

I began to regret the path we took in high school, opting for secondary technical (college) courses in Technical Writing, in lieu of eleven and twelve grade English. At the time, having no drive or encouragement to apply to University, we figured it would be more useful than, say, reading Shakespeare. Technical writing taught us writing skills for trade work, like technical handbook writing skills, how to put forth an idea/instructions/plans in writing as concisely as possible, and résumé writing. Who needed to read Shakespeare anyway? We were top readers, had read reams and reams of books by the time we got to high school. If the plan for High School English was to make a person better at reading and comprehension then we had that down. Five years of private Christian school, sitting in a cubical desk all day reading through PACE (Accelerated Christian Education) booklets (60 PACES a year, for 5 years, at a 35 pages per booklet average) in a "self-instructional" education environment, forced one to be good at reading and comprehension. We got so good we'd finish out our year PACES weeks before the other kids, and have nothing to occupy our time with, except for moving on to the next grades PACES.

So, yeah, reading and comprehension, we had that down. Writing? We had that down, we'd been writing poetry since before we were 12 years old, and by high school we were writing dark odes. Ask us where Florida was when we entered the 6th grade public school system, forget it; ask us 5th grade maths questions, forget it. Knowledge of 5th grade history and science? How to take notes, study, and read a chalk board? What? Those were all things we struggled to catch up on. Things we didn't know.

Put us in a bible sword drill*, though, and we'd wipe the floor with you.

So, we never read the greats, we were reminded last night as we watched a man being sliced through his midsection in stages, with a giant pendulum, a huge sharp blade attached to the end, in a recreation of Poe's The Pit and The Pendulum; but the twinge of regret disappeared. There are things we don't know, that we probably should, as someone who writes, enjoys reading, and cherishes learning, but it will always be the case.

Not having read so many of the literary greats, does that make our writing less legitimate or authentic, in a world where you're not really a writer unless you have an English degree to back it up, and/or have been published? Maybe. We rationalize that this also made our writing, and some day the things we hope to write, more pure, in a slight way. Inspiration coming from within, and influence from our own life, our own experiences, our own dark recesses. So then we began to feel fortunate.

There is plenty of time to read the greats. We have started over the years, and we will read them all someday; and someday we will know more.

~ Frankie (et al)

[*A Bible sword drill is common of group religious exercises, such as during Sunday bible classes before actual church sermon started, where the teach has you place your book spine down on the table, thumbs poised at the pages and calls out a book of the Bible, chapter and verse. Whoever gets to it and starts reading it first, wins. There was usually a sticker or piece of candy to award the winner]

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mere Bright Spot

Today wasn't the greatest day, though it did have a few bright spots. Well, one or two. Well, one (unless we count going out for wings (we hardly ever get to go out and eat). Work is exhausting, though we like it. The weather is cold, which makes some of us miserable. We've only made it the gym once this week. And we're craving moving out...

We took a look at the house that we, and James, feel is our best option in the city (mostly as an affordable means to get a place of our own for awhile). That was our bright spot.

Tomorrow we're putting an offer on the house, we've looked at twice this week. It's going to be a low offer. I'm not feeling optimistic about it being accepted.

The house also needs a lot of renovation: new kitchen (including removing a wall), new bathroom, new flooring, all new paint (and removal of a lot), and a deep deep cleaning...someday new siding, and it needs gutters...and that's just off the top of my head; a lot of work, like all the ones we looked at in the country this past summer. It makes me tired just thinking about the work.

We're just focusing on the room in the basement slated to be our painting studio and office. Or as Mother and James joke...The Frankie Cave...

~ Cassandra (et al)

Pain

Somewhere between the second drink, and the last, is the sweet spot of no pain.

Like a never ending search, but nary found. No pain pill has ever helped, over the counter, in any case.

Worked only three and a half hours today. Two in, the burning...searing pain...rubbing the neck on the few seconds break we had, moments of relief. Then gone.

Today work exhausted us, we couldn't make it to the gym after work...could barely walk through the front door.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Waiting

Still employed (19 days left because it's seasonal).

Still living with The Mother and Step-dad, but looking for houses in this city now, instead of fixer-uppers in the country (the market is tight here), because it's winter, and the Midwest winter is not a good time to buy a "fixer-upper". James needs to get work, and we need to get a job after this one, and need to get a place of our own.

Still...just...feeling like we're in limbo.
Waiting.
For something.
Waiting.
For everything.
And nothing.
That's life though, right?...

This kind of waiting life is new to us. This kind of limbo is new to us. We usually just push forward...

Hopefully we don't go "stale", just waiting...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

He Deserves Better

Source
Last night one of us told James (The Boyfriend) that she (I think it was she it could have very well been Sam) doesn't think she likes him anymore, and told him that two of us don`t like him at all. There were also other things said about our relationship, the validity of it, that were not very nice.

James has always known that there are those among us that don`t like him. He increasingly has more issue with it. We can't force each other to like someone they don't like...only to get them to be more tolerant and accepting of the situation.

The stress of living in this house, with The Mother and Step-Father, takes a toll on the relationship James has with each of us, too. Some of us have a hard time living here, and so choose to do it as little as possible. Some of them are his favourites, which means he has to spend time with those of us he doesn't like as much. While he says he loves us all, he does not love us each equally. It's just something we have always understood, and it's something that makes sense to us. Each of us is different, and not always in a good way.

We don't know how to be honest and not hurtful sometimes. This causes issue. This caused me to wake up realizing something bad had happened, and not fully understand until James icily breached the subject. We had hurt his feelings bad.

It is true that some of us don't like him (Emmie, Brooke), he's not their type. We won't go into too much detail about their type, and juxtapose it with the rest of ours', because it will probably sound hurtful without extensive context; and we have said enough seemingly hurtful things in the last 24 hours.

He deserves better. He deserves more than we give. He deserves more than some of us want to give.

Most of us are selfish.

This is our first relationship being "out of the closet" DID. I'm not sure how well it works for other people with the same condition...but some of us are starting to not like it. There's nothing we can do about it now.

I am not signing my name to this blog entry. It's here to hold in place facts, and I am not going to reveal who I am, because it would be nice to finish the day without argument.

In other news hopefully we (James and us) will be looking at another house this afternoon. We have seen four others this past week three were disasters, one was overpriced. This next one is in a neighbourhood that we lived in last time we lived in this city nearly 8 years ago. Next door to the house we lived in, as a matter of fact. I already know we plan to put an offer on it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Kerry Stott Show Interviews Just Call Me Frank

Those familiar with our blog knows Kerry (@KerryStott), she is our friend from England, we've meet her, we've stayed at her house twice, she has guest blogged for us, she is wonderful. She is a great friend.

Kerry interviewed us a couple of months ago, for her radio show The Kerry Stott Show, and as it often does, life happened, and pushed back the broadcast date.

But at long last, here it is...in there somewhere, towards the end of her show...listen to the whole thing though, bathe in her brilliant (sexy) Northern British accent. (Listen to her radio show each week at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/eghmedia/2012/11/29/the-kerry-stott-show)


Listen to internet radio with EGH Media on Blog Talk Radio

This marks our fourth podcast interview to date, and is probably our best so far (even though it sounds nothing like us, James says, and we agree). We discuss mental health, art therapy, and a bit about us, and have some laughs with Kerry.

In the end, if you have any questions just write a comment on this entry, or, you know where to find us (on Twitter, mostly). Please, no e-mails.

Our Recommended Archived Mental Health Entries:

- Mostly Dissociative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder Related
2012
2011
The Other Girl - Stuff She Wrote:
General Health:
2012