Friday, January 4, 2008

Misguided Priorities

I was watching Bill Orielly this evening and was taken aback by his opening commentary. He was talking about each candidate and when he came to John Edwards, he said "and John edwards still talks like a loon". He then showed a clip of John Edwards saying "every night in america, elderly war veterans are sleeping under bridges and we need to do something about this". Then Orielly came back on, with a visible sneer, and said "see folks, democrats don't want to talk about illegal immigration, instead they talk about this stuff". I wanted to scream at the television!!!!!! Here is this pompous ass deriding the fact that Edwards is calling attention to the number of homeless veterans in our country (estimates put the number as high as 20,000 homeless war veterans) and Orielly thinks this message is misguided? It is conservatives like Bill Orielly that give good, well meaning conservatives a bad name. I am not saying this simply because I am a liberal, I am saying this because it is an undeniable fact that certain elements of the republican party need to focus their energy on issues like homelessness, poverty, etc. Unfortunately, they accuse the democratic party of being "weak" because we put such a high priority on these issues. If that's the definition of weak, then I am a proud weakling.


So I am through episode 16 (of 25) of the first season of LOST on dvd and so far I am very, very impressed. LOST is, quite frankly, the most unique television show that I have ever seen. I am well aware that the other seasons of lost, according to most people, pale in comparison to season one. I suppose I'll make that judgement for myself when I begin the other seasons. For now though, I am captivated by the show's premise. The two biggest complaints I have about modern television are the lack of originality and the lack of character depth. LOST renders those complaints obsolete. The plot is truly original, the only television show with a plot even remotely similar would have to be the 1950's version of the twilight zone, but that show did not have recurring characters...each and every episode was independent of the others. Also, the character depth in LOST is amazing and refreshing. The show actually takes the time to make you care about the characters as you are slowly introduced to their backgrounds and what made them the person they are. True, the acting is not the best in the world, in fact it's my only complaint; however television has never been known for it's great acting. The originality and character depth make this show something to behold, at least season one anyway. I can't wait to see what the remaining nine episodes have in store!

Iowa Caucuses

I was rather facinated following the Iowa caucuses tonight. Obama won by a rather substantial margin over Hillary Clinton, which was a bit of a suprise...not neccesarily because he won, but because of the margin and the fact that she came in third (John Edwards came in second). Watching Obama's victory speech inspired me. I obviously was not alive to see John F. Kennedy, but seeing Obama makes me feel that this is what seeing JFK must have been like. I am going to support whoever the democratic nominee may be, because I like all three frontrunners. I like Hillary because of her experience and resilience and also because I feel that perhaps we need a female president. I like Edwards because of his populist message...his desire to narrow, if not altogether close, the gap between the "have's" and the "have nots" resonates with me. And I like Obama because I see him as a visionary - someone who is passionate about what he believes in and someone who will provide us with a much needed reprieve from the nasty partisanship that has consumed this country for the past 15 years. I am very excited about the field of candidates on the democratic side and cannot wait until the two nominees are chosen...this is the most important election in our nation's history!

Lip Service

So today I had an appointment with the plastic surgeon. We arrived at around for my 2:30 appointment and the receptionist said "the doctor was unable to come today didn't you get a call from us?" Needless to say we didn't or we would not have been there. She said that a P.A. would see us though and to have a seat. This made me very cranky, I was looking forward to seeing the plastic surgeon for a consult and now I was going to have to see a P.A. who most likely would not be able to tell me anything I needed to know. After waiting over an hour and a half, I was finally seen. A doctor walked in who looked like Doogie Howser minus the perm. Essentially he replaced the perm with rudeness so I guess he thought it was a good trade-off! He didn't realy seem to know what he was supposed to ask or do so I was frustrated. He said "I suppose we could take some of the stitches off, is that what you were here to do?" I was thinking "You tell me dumb ass how am I supposed to know what you are supposed to do." So they took off some of the external stitches and said that the internal ones are made to dissolve in a few weeks since taking them out would be both too early and excrutiatingly painful. Actually taking the external ones out was very very painful due to the location and injury but I was just glad to get it over with. He said that it would be months before any cosmetic surgery could be discussed because my lip has a very long healing process ahead. All in all not a productive appoinment but I figure at least I have the external stitches out and don't have to deal with U.K. hospital for a while. Actually, I am thinking about, when the time comes, having a consult with a plastic surgeon from St. Joseph's hospital. Until then, I have a long way to go but great friends (all the well wishes and calls I have gotten prove that) and I appreciate you all and thank you for all your kind words!


Sunday evening, Dec 23rd, the majority of my upper lip was amputated by a dog bite. The paramedics rushed me to UK where the oplastic surgeon, to my horror, told me that they would not be able to reattach due to the severity of the injury. I was so unbelievably scared and emotionally devastated because he was essentially tellnig me that I would live the rest of my life with no upper lip. I had nothing from the bottom of my nose on down, all you could see were gums and teeth and the remaining part of the lip on the edges of where a mustache usually grows. He started to clean and dress the wound when another plastic surgeon came in the room and heavily sedated me, though I was still aware of my surroundings. I felt them working on the wound but was so numbed up that I could not feel much, they were not able to put me comletely under since they had already given me morphine. I kept hearing them say "looking better, looking better" and I was not sure if I was haluccinating or not. After about an hour of this stitching and cleaning, she took another picture (she had also taken one prior to any work being done on it) and showed me, I was AMAZED! they were able to pull both remaiing portions of my upper lip together by stretching the rest of my face and sew it in the middle. Yes it does look horrible and it is a disfigurment, but compared to what I looked like prior to this work being done, I was amazed that they were able to salvage anything. It will be a long time, several surguries, and require a little luck for me to look normal again, but I have realized that it could have been much worse and I need to be thankful for what they were able to do, and I am. I feel this has changed me for the better. I know there will be days in the coming months where I will want to feel sorry for myself and will be down and sad, but I also know that this is natural to feel that way and that my life is not over simplt because of a physical deformity. If anything, I am going to look at this as a new beginning, one in which I appreciate life more.

Free Will vs. Determinism

Last fall, a friend of mine on myspace blogged about "free will v/s determinism" and then a couple of weeks ago, for a project in my Psych 390 class, I researched Julian Rotter's "locus of control" theory in relation to "free will v/s determinism"....The connection was very interesting and my professor (the legendary Dr. Olson lol) suggested that it would make a wonderful Thesis for graduate study. Rotter's "locus of control" theory stated that we all attribute our fortunes and/or misfortunes to either external or internal factors. Although Rotter was thinking of this concept in scientific terms, I feel that the connection between, for instance, those with an "external locus of control" and "determinism" is very tangible. I have always been a believer in free will as opposed to determinism. This has been debated in philosophical circles for hundreds of years. Personally, I feel that determinism and morality cannot logically coexist....for an immoral act could not possibly be looked upon as immoral if there was an absence of "choice" to begin with. Consequently, there is a mistaken belief that "chance" (or fate) and free will are mutually exclusive; this concept is fundamentally flawed because it presupposes that the mere existence of free will renders "chance" an my "locus of control" is internal, as opposed to external. Proponents of determinism (External l.o.c.) argue that although we may agonize over certain decisions-changing our mind from one minute to the next until we have made a choice-we are mentally oblivious to the fact that there was one, and only one, choice to begin with and that the alternate choices we agonized over were merely "illusions"....that they were not choices at all....they were nothing more than a perceived surrogate. The mind is a beautiful labyrinth....there is nothing on this planet as complex, and misunderstood, as the human mind; it is impossible for me to believe that something so wonderfully abstract is nothing but a "puppet".

A Haunting Melody

This wouldn't be so difficult
If not for that clock
A constant reminder of my fate
I cannot ignore it
This room
So lonely
11 minutes..
Looking around me
At least I'll stop smoking
What sweet irony
You were wrong mom
Smoking won't kill me
Sweaty palms
Should have taken that sedative
Where did it all go wrong?
That night is but a blur
Too late now
Amazing grace
At least the meatballs were good
This day
The cruel finality
No more relationships
No more laughter
No more pain
God, are you there?
Are you real?
Are you Santa Claus?
What will it be like?
The agony of anticipation
I hear the footsteps
Growing closer…nearer…louder
Stay calm
Is this it?
I will maintain my dignity
Can I?
I still hear them
He says nothing
Unlocking the door
Sympathetic eyes
"It's time"
I'm fine
Deep breaths
No need for shackles
After all, where am I going?
The walk
Not as dramatic as I thought
The comforting chaplain
Measured steps
Avoid the cracks
The door
This is it
Maybe I'm dreaming
I feel cold
Their peering eyes
They hope for solace
I have none to offer
I hate needles
Now I lay me down to sleep
I see my reflection in the glass
I do not recognize him
They need an explanation
I have none to give
I feel their rage…their scowls…their hateI feel …peace


Life is an amazing thing. Sure, you may think you realize something but deep down you may not really know if that's real. But recently I have come to discover my realization of what I really want and how I really feel. I've realized that I may never be a certain way, and that's okay with me. There is an amazing feeling that comes with someone "getting you" and I would never change that for a circumstance where I am momentarily applauded for a decision or action. Perhaps I need a moment of selfishness that for once doesn't include putting everyone elses happiness before my own. I know that I am extremely far from perfect and that's okay with me as well. And last but not least I have come to realize that I have approached the point of being more grounded, determined, and stable. There is a lot that I no longer need in life and so much that I am wanting to gain in my quest to find myself. I suppose I am ready for the journey ahead and keeping a few promises along the way...