Trigonometry

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What the heck is this crap and why do I have to learn it!?

Trigonometry has absolutely nothing to do with what I want to be… “I’m sorry, I can’t seem to direct you to the bathroom because I can’t figure out how long this wall is and I seem to have forgotten my calculator”, or “I’m sorry, I can’t give you any medication today because I can’t seem to find the hypotenuse of this non-triangular device. What is this anyway? Is this a rectangle!?”

What the heck school?

Why doesn’t school work where you learn what you need, and if you decide you want to do something with math, you get to learn this crap? I don’t want to be a rocket scientist, and here’s a big surprise… scientists use calculators, so why am I having to show all this crazy work!?

a² = b² + c² – 2bccosA.

Okay, okay, no, I can understand that well enough, but c’mon now. This is hurting my face. I’m actually feeling quite nauseated just looking at these… things…

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What The Hell Is Columbus Day?

And why are you celebrating it?

Supposedly, Columbus Day (I cringe every time I type that) is to celebrate him “discovering America.” How many people still believe this? Are there really people that still believe this?

  • He didn’t set out to prove that the earth was round. The ancient Greeks had proven that 3,000 years before Columbus was even alive. Everyone knew the world was round.
  • He didn’t discover the New World. Remember the First Nations? They were here 14,000 years before him. Also, what about the Vikings? Leif Erikson was here 500 years before Columbus ever set sail.
  • He never meant to find the Americas.
  • He thought it’d be easy to conquer the Natives and when he returned, demanded that his men were given gold, food, and their women to have sex with. When they refused, their ears and noses were cut off as a “warning” to the others.
  • When the Natives rebelled, Columbus found an excuse to go to war, and people were commonly being fed to hunting dogs, alive.
  • When he didn’t get as much gold as he wanted, he took approximately 500 Natives back to Spain to be sold as slaves.
  • More Natives were enslaved in the New World and were forced to feed, care for, and carry Columbus’s men on their backs. When they fled to escape enslavement, the men would hunt them down for sport, and use them for dog food.
  • Columbus felt like he needed more gold, so Natives that brought him gold would receive a “get-out-of-jail-free card”, aka a token around their neck that extended their need to find more gold. Those who didn’t have gold, had their hands cut off to be worn around their necks.

How many of you knew any of that? The first two points should be a given. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know these things, a lot of American history books were changed to make them come out on top (ahem, look at the wars!)

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I don’t think Columbus was the worst man on earth, but he was far from the greatest, and I don’t believe he should have a day to celebrate him. I think he got caught up in greed and the idea of glory.

No, Canada doesn’t celebrate this day – today is our Thanksgiving! But we constantly hear “Columbus this, Columbus that” and it becomes quite aggravating. It would be different if people didn’t idolize someone like this, but it isn’t like that. People think he’s one of the greats, and he’s not.

It breaks my heart that American history books are wrong, but please, learn your history.

Review: Secret Daughter

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Pages: 342

Genre: Adult Fiction, Cultural, Mom Lit

My Rating: 3/5

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“On the eve of the monsoons, in a remote Indian village, Kavita gives birth to a baby girl. But in a culture that favours sons, the only way for Kavita to save her newborn daughter’s life is to give her away. It is a decision that will haunt her and her husband for the rest of their lives, even after the arrival of their cherished son.

Halfway around the globe, Somer, an American doctor, decides to adopt a child after making the wrenching discovery that she will never have one of her own. When she and her husband, Krishnan, see a photo of the baby with the gold-flecked eyes from a Mumbai orphanage, they are overwhelmed with emotion. Somer knows life will change with the adoption but is convinced that the love they already feel will overcome all obstacles.

Interweaving the stories of Kavita, Somer, and the child that binds both of their destinies, Secret Daughter poignantly explores the emotional terrain of motherhood, loss, identity, and love, as witnessed through the lives of two families – one Indian, one American – and the child that indelibly connects them”

I have to start this review by saying that I had to read this novel for my English class this semester.

I thought this was a well-written piece, though not being my piece of cake. Within the first few “chapters”, it had me wanting to throw it at a wall. Seriously! The subject of birth and parenthood and… it just upset me. You go on to find that Somer has issues with her body and it made me so upset because I also have ovarian problems and there’s a good chance I can’t have children, not that I want them this second, but still is remains. Reading that really caught me off guard, and when Kavita was actually giving birth to the children, I couldn’t help but scrunch up my face in terror. I am absolutely petrified of childbirth, and reading that did not help me at all!

And Jasu! Gah! I feel a bit bad for Jasu. It seemed as though he really did care about his daughters, he just knew he couldn’t keep them. But poor Kavita… could you imagine having to give your child up just because they couldn’t work in the fields? That would absolutely destroy me! And obviously, it haunted both of these parents.

My favourite part about this book had to be Asha (Usha). She’s my age, is a journalist, and is so confused yet so aware. It’s difficult to explain why I liked her, I just really enjoyed reading her “chapters.” She’s a child that doesn’t know her birth parents, has difficulty with her adopted mother, and is trying to figure herself out. But that brings me to my next point…

The end of this book was so sad… well, I guess it was actually quite happy. Very happy. But it made me say “awe” out loud. Just a couple of years… (to keep this spoiler free, read the book and you’ll understand)

I suppose this book gave me an insight into India though. I’ve never known a lot about India, I won’t lie, and it’s fascinating. It’s like any other place, just… different. One day, I hope to go – it can’t ALL be bad and depressing!

Secret Daughter was a quick and easy read (the terms you don’t know are at the back of the book), it kept my interest, but I only gave it 3 out of 5 stars because it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have (I’m a read for pleasure type of gal), don’t get me wrong though, it was well written.

Enjoy and happy reading!

This was a half-assed review, sorry.

Please, Don’t Touch Me

Today has been insane. It has been pouring rain all night and day and this is, what? The 5th day in a row? I’m sure a lot of people get depressed here, especially in the winter, there’s never any sun and it’s either always grey or always raining…

Oh, and it’s been windy too. Some of the branches came down.

I’ve been noticing that my new pills are affecting my sleep. The ones before were a sedative, they’d knock me right out, but these, these have been making me need less and less sleep. I woke up at 1:30am feeling well rested despite only sleeping maybe an hour or two. Then I couldn’t get to sleep until 3 or 4, and when I woke up, it was 7 and I wasn’t going back to sleep. Weird.

* * *

All 3 of us had to go for blood-work this morning. That is, my siblings and I.

I had 3 or 4 vials drawn, another random test, and my EKG. I’ve never had an EKG before, it was weird. Actually, it was kind of awkward, I’m thankful the nurse was a woman! They make you take off your shirt and bra and attach all these little diode things to your chest (and your legs!). I dislike bearing anything to anyone, I’m a very conservative person, well, compared to most. It was funny though, after a few minutes of her putting them on she turns to me and says, “I have to ask… did it hurt?” I just laughed. Then we started talking about nipple piercings.

I think a lot of people have issues with piercings, not just the “adult” ones. Even just talking to Cheesecake Queen, because she has them done, when she went in for surgery, she got suuuuuuch awful looks. It’s as if as soon as you get nipple piercings, you’re deemed a slut. I am faaaar from a slut! And it isn’t as though I go around showing everyone I meet! They were done for me and me alone!

I just found it funny. We started talking about them after that. I also didn’t get sick after getting blood taken! Booyashaka! I still have to set up this 24 hour heart test – I think it’s called a “holter test”? I asked a bit about it… hopefully when I actually have it with me I’ll have palpitations. Sometimes I go weeks without them just to get them super bad for a few days.

I hate palpitations.

* * *

We saw Brad! It’s been a loooong time since we’ve seen him last. He disappeared to work in the oil field. It seems like everyone I know is heading that route…

* * *

It’s raining more. Harder.

We decided to go to Hell. By Hell, I mean Walmart. I despise Walmart, I boycott it as much as humanly possible, which is sometimes quite hard considering their prices tend to be lower… for some things anyway. But they’re the scum of the earth (no, not all the employees! The company!).

I walk funny, that’s fine. I lean against the buggies to help with the pain. When I stop, I do this thing where I stand on one leg to take the pressure off of my spine, I don’t know how I learned to do this, I just did.

We were in line, waiting to check out; a woman behind me starts talking to me, albeit quietly, she’s talking to me.

Her name is Marjorie, she’s an 80 year old woman, though she doesn’t look 80. She asked what was wrong. I’m not really embarrassed or ashamed of it anymore, so I explained. She went on to tell me that she’ll pray for me and God will fix me.

Ugh.

I’m not rude, I don’t throw off anyone’s beliefs. I’m very open to religion, even if I don’t believe in it. To me, God is not a “single being”. God is in everything and everyone, and everybody experiences it differently, therefore, the fighting between religions is stupid because it’s all the same. Anyway, that’s a briefing on my beliefs. I’m spiritual, organized religion pisses me off, but…

I’m fine. I tell her thank you, and asked for her name (she asked for mine first). She just went on and on saying God will fix me, if I believe in God I’ll be saved. That’s all fine.

Then, she touched my back.

You do not, under any circumstances, touch S’s back.

EVER.

Unless I have given you specific instruction to or I trust you, you do not touch it. And even when I ask people like my Mom to put stuff on it to ease the pain, she’s very careful and doesn’t like going over my scar because my back is extremely sensitive. Touch it the wrong way and I’ll drop to the ground and I won’t get up.

Thankfully, she didn’t really hurt me, it just really freaked me out. I don’t enjoy being touched. I don’t really mind that people believe in God. I’m not an elitist Atheist or anything, I think everyone needs something to believe in, sometimes it gets annoying though. It’s even worse at Christmas time. If I decide to go to the mall or pretty much anywhere, I get bombarded by people wanting to pray for me.

I accept that you believe, that is fine, I’m glad, but please, if you’re going to pray, pray for someone that needs it.

Anti-Bullying

Okay, so as you all know (or maybe you don’t), it’s pink shirt day. What is pink shirt day? It’s an attempt to raise bullying awareness and blah, blah, blah. I don’t know if it’s world-wide or just Canada-wide, but there you have it. A wonderful blogger’s post inspired me to speak about bullying, it’s a very touchy subject for me.  There is definitely going to be heavy cursing, if it offends you, don’t read it.

I also got my mind whirring when I wrote this on Facebook:

“Again with the pink shirts. Instead of following a trend, why don’t you get off your asses and DO something about bullying? Bullying fucking ruined my life, you don’t see me wearing a pink shirt, no, because it isn’t going to help. What needs to be done is people getting off their lazy asses and actually DOING something about it, administrators caring about their students. I don’t care if you smash that bully’s teeth in, send him to prison for a week! Expel him! Turn him into soup! Niceness doesn’t work, and wearing a pink shirt when you’re not popular makes you an easy target. What the fuck is wrong with society? Don’t just jump on a bandwagon because it’s easy. If you’re really THAT anti-bullying, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.”

I sound cynical.

Surely, this isn’t right, is it? Someone that suffered at the hands of bullies, not liking pink shirt day? No, I am ALL for awareness, but I don’t like what it has turned into. Doing this is trendy, people that have never been bullied in their life, people that don’t even care, people that ARE the bullies, wear these shirts because it’s cool. All because it’s cool. What the fuck is wrong with you? You should be wearing a black shirt that says, “I can’t participate because I am the bully,” seriously, go fuck yourself!

I can remember the first time anyone ever called me a name. I admit, I was always a chunky kid, but I was healthy, I played sports, I was fit, I could run without my ribs hurting. I was 5 or 6 and this kid, who was my “friend’s” brother, came up and called me “fatso”. What the fuck is a fatso anyway? I’m fat…so what? No, seriously, what the fuck does it mean? And what made it even funnier, was the fact that he was probably 10 years old and he weighed more than I ever did!

And I understand that. Sometimes people that are bullied or are insecure bully other people.

That’s no excuse.

I think elementary school was the greatest experience for me. I was bullied, but to a lesser degree. Eventually, I started walking funny, so now, not only was I fat, I walked “like a retard.” In middle school, I knew everyone, everyone knew me, but they still made fun of me. This was a different breed of people though, they were absolutely great to my face, but once I wasn’t there, oh the things that were said. And after I got out of school with them, good lord, the things they said to me. These weren’t nice people, they were awful!

High school was the worst experience though.

I remember being scared to walk home alone. If Tim was there and he had to leave early, I’d fake sick just so I could leave with someone. Walking by that alley was the worst thing… My first year of high school wasn’t thaaaaat bad. I was bullied, but it was stupid things like, “oh, she’s fat” and “oh, she’s stupid”, just childish shit like that. Eventually, it grew to be worse. Much worse.

I attempted suicide multiple times throughout high school.

Yeah, I’ll admit it.

High school… well, it ruined my life. I lost all self esteem I had for myself, I’d hurt myself because it was the only way I could deal with things, I didn’t really have friends, or so I believed. Ugly girls don’t have real friends, you see. And the people that were my friends, only were because they felt sorry for me. Or so the story goes.

So aside from being scared to walk home alone, I was threatened quite a lot, laughed at a lot, and I attained a shitton of nicknames. My favourite, of course, being “the waddler.”

My friends heard things I didn’t. I had become so used to the abuse that I was able to ignore it and keep smiling. Of course, I never really ignored it, that’s not how it works, but I rocked that smile and boy did I fake it well.

I think one of my favourite comments was “she’s so fat, she broke her legs.” Yeah, because that makes sense. I loved that comment, I thought it was great, real original, you know? Not.

So we’ve gone through the whole, “you’re ugly, no one loves you, you’re stupid, you should kill yourself”, now’s where it turned physical.

My friends say that if they knew about it, they would’ve done something, but I thought they knew about it. I remember walking home with Tim after school one day and we got rocks thrown at us. I was pushed into things, I was hit. And guys, you always say, “no guy hits a girl, I’d kill them!” Well where the fuck were you when I was in school? Nobody stood up for me, nobody did anything.

I quit going to school because I was afraid. I was depressed, I was anxious, I was suicidal, and people kept on pushing. Me quitting school is what ultimately has ruined my life. I’ll be 21 with no diploma soon, and while I’m trying to get it now, it’s hard work. Sometimes I like to say that I should’ve just toughed it out, but how can someone deal with THAT much and continue? And don’t tell me I should’ve “told.” At first, I did the whole, “it hurts more if you tell”, but eventually I couldn’t take it. I was SCARED FOR MY LIFE! I can’t run away, how the hell am I supposed to deal with people trying to kill me? I told the Counsellor From Hell (I’ll talk about her some other time), I told my teachers, I told the principal, and lastly, I told the police. I was with Tim and the Friendly Giant the first time we went to the principal. I’m not sure they even remember that, or even know why they were there, but they were with me. The principal gave me a policeman’s phone number and informed them as well. The police woman came in and flat out told me that they were known to them and they’d do something.

Nothing was ever done.

I figured maybe they’d have to go to another school, or maybe the bullying would lessen. Haaaaa, no. In fact, it got worse. Nothing was ever done for me. Sometimes I wish I succeeded with suicide, it seems schools only pay attention when you’re rich or you’re dead.

Despite this being a shortened, less-involved story, you can tell just how much I hate bullying. I despise it. I’ve stood up for people (who later get mad at me, WTF), I’ve fought back, I’ve ignored, I’ve told people, I’ve kept it to myself… nothing fucking works. For the longest time, I wanted nothing more than sweet revenge. That is such a terrible thing to say, but these people made my life a living hell, why do they get to get away without paying any price, living happy, fulfilled lives? That’s not fair.

I’m the kind of person that believes everyone should be nice to everyone, even if you don’t like the person. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” And definitely don’t punch the person.

It just angers me because this is such a popular thing, but it seems like no one’s really getting to the root of the problem. The administrator’s don’t care, and the parents of these bullies should be whooping their asses, literally, preferably with a wet leather belt.

Bullies are just going to keep getting away with it, the world will be in shock for a week when a kid kills themselves, and things will return to normal.

Bullying didn’t “toughen me up”, it’s different now than it was back in the day.

It’s unnecessary.

Pink shirts don’t solve anything. If you really feel strongly about anti-bullying, DO something. Go speak at schools, talk to your children, talk to other peoples’ children, even write a newspaper column. It’s just going to continue to get worse, so get off your asses and do something. Fixing it (though it’ll never completely disappear) isn’t as easy as throwing on a pink shirt.

This Is Why I Hate You

Why is it always the same thing with doctors? I have yet to find one that will listen to me.

Yesterday, I had to go see my neurologist. The first thing that I don’t like about him is how he treats me. He speaks to me slowly and names everything as if I haven’t heard of it before. When it comes to having myelomeningocele, there’s a high probability I know more about it than the doctor does; I live with it!

(yes, this is my spine…)

Being born with spina bifida is a little bit weird, it’s a snowflake effect, every person born with it is affected differently; not to mention there’s different kinds. I have what is seen as the “worst” one. When I was born my spinal cord and nerves were outside of my back in a little sac. A lot of people who have myelomeningocele use wheelchairs, but I don’t.

Since I was 17, I’ve suffered from a tethered cord. What that means is, my spinal cord has attached itself to scar tissue and is now “caught” instead of being free-flowing. It HURTS. Between this and the spondylolisthesis, I’m not sure what pain I’m feeling, so we’ll just pretend it’s neither and I actually have a little gollum in my back making stone art.

I’ve had one detethering in my life, aside from the one done at birth, and they screwed it up. So for the past 10 years, I’ve been living in physical agony every day of my life. But the good news is, you get used to it! So it isn’t always as bad as it seems… unless you try and relax.

Unfortunately, there is “nothing” that can be done for me! My doctor told me that everything I’m currently dealing with is minimal, which I can understand, but it doesn’t FEEL minimal! I’m completely fine avoiding going under the knife, but I should be allowed to live a life relatively free of pain. When I asked what could be done, he told me to take Advil and that was that.

I have tried so many pills over the years, from Tylenol and Naproxen to Oxycodone and Demerol, to things like Gabapentin. None of it has worked. I think the closest thing to ever helping has been marijuana. Luckily, where I am, medicinal marijuana is legal, but that doesn’t mean I like smoking it! Yesterday I was so ready to march to the doctor and get him to prescribe me some, but after thinking about it, I don’t even really like it. Once in a while, when the pain gets so intense I can’t handle it, I love it, but that doesn’t mean I want to depend on it for the rest of my life. I shouldn’t have to, and I won’t.

So I spent most of my day upset. No one will listen to me. It has literally gotten to the point I think I should start responding with, “let me cut you with a chainsaw and you tell me if it hurts. I’ll give you some Advil to ease the pain afterwards.” That’s ridiculous, is it not? Of course it is! Now you understand the vexation I have with doctors!

I think I’m going to try and find a pain management specialist. If no doctor wants to help me, I’ll do it myself! Like I learned from my mother and like I’ve done since day one!

Engarde!