Well, that was fun

Yeah, so I’m back from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, where they held an event today to honor the missing children of Ohio. Although I showed up in an unofficial capacity only, I had a blast.

I mainly came cause Gina DeJesus, one of the Cleveland kidnap survivors, was speaking. The event was at the Messiah Lutheran Church. I showed up slightly late and had to sit in the back. There were several speakers before Gina, and I spent some time trying to figure out which one of the people sitting in the audience was her. It was fairly easy because half or more of the attendees were black, and most of the rest were white. I zeroed in on two brown-skinned women in the front but couldn’t figure out which one was Gina. They turned out to be Gina and her older sister Myra.

My view from the back of the church; Gina is on the right and Myra is on the left.
My view from the back of the church during the sisters’ speeches; Gina is on the right and Myra is on the left.

Anyway, Gina read a speech off several sheets of paper about how it was important to pay attention to missing persons bulletins, and it was important to pay attention to your surroundings and the people in your neighborhood and so on because you never knew who might be hiding something. I mean, people went inside Ariel Castro’s house and had no clue about the women held captive there. I think a lot of that is because the idea that your friend, neighbor or relative might have three kidnapped women locked in his basement is just something that would not occur to most people.

Myra spoke also, and talked about what life was like having a missing family member. One of the things she mentioned was how a man known to the family told her parents, reassuringly, something like “Don’t worry, they won’t find her dead.

That man was named Ariel Castro.

There was an intermission before a middle school choir showed up to sing a song. I went around talking to people — not Gina, I was not sure whether to approach her or not at that point — and handing out business cards. There were booths about various topics set up in the lobby and an adorable remote-controlled talking boat that went around telling people about boat safety. I told the boat about the time I nearly drowned in Lake Michigan at age five, failing to mention the fact that this near-tragedy did not involve a boat, just some poorly supervised beach time.

Me and the talking robot boat.
Me and the talking robot boat.
Gina (far right) with members of the anti human trafficking group Break Every Chain.
Gina (far right) with members of the anti human trafficking group Break Every Chain.

So after all that was over we had a balloon release in the parking lot. Fortunately the wind cooperated.

Just before the balloon release.
Just before the balloon release.
Post balloon release. Each one has a missing child's name attached.
Post balloon release. Each one has a missing child’s name attached.

Just before we all left, I decided to approach Gina after seeing some other people do so. We didn’t really talk but she consented to have her photo taken with me before we parted ways. I wish I had remembered to smile in the picture. It was one of those days where it was cloudy out (it rained later) but the light hurt your eyes anyway, and I was squinting so hard I forgot about smiling.

Gina DeJesus (right) and me.
Gina DeJesus (right) and me.

And then I went home.

Altogether it was a most profitable visit. I made some contacts and hope to return next  year.

Merry Christmas!

Hi everyone! Merry Christmas! I think my new medicine is starting to work finally, and Christmas went surprisingly well. Here’s a pic of me taken yesterday at my mom’s house. The only problem is that the puppy is not mine — it belongs to my cousins. He’s a six-week-old Jack Russell Terrier named Edison who got rejected by his mom. I kept making jokes about slipping him under my coat and stealing him because he’s so darn cute.

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I had my hair chopped off and dyed bright pink, obviously. I had it done last Sunday. It was almost a spur of the moment thing — I was thinking about getting a pixie cut, and was checking them out online Saturday night, and many of the pixie cut photos I saw had the hair dyed pink or green or whatever, and I thought: why not? So the next day I went off to a salon and here we are. I’ve never dyed my hair any non-natural color before, or had it cut this short before. But I really like it and so does everyone else.

2016 seems to have kind of sucked for everyone, including me. I hope 2017 turns out to be better (though I’m not at all confident about that) and that many missing people get found this year.

Michael took this pic of us the other day

I thought I’d share a photo Michael took of the two of us at a Japanese hibachi grill restaurant last weekend. Last weekend was quite a special occasion — a Charley Project Irregular met me face-to-face for the first time ever. He’s not in the picture though.

Through some strange quirk of the light, it looks like I’ve started coloring my hair red again. I haven’t. It’s still the natural ash blonde. And it looks shoulder-length in this photo; it’s actually really long.

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*waits for That One Commenter to start criticizing my appearance again*

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody

I hope everybody has had/is having a good Thanksgiving. I didn’t go see my family. I went to a restaurant with the Lianezes instead. Afterwards I was planning to go spend time with L.’s family also. (BTW, I’ve decided I’ve mentioned my friend L. often enough on here to upgrade her from Initial to Pseudonym. Henceforth, L. will be called Larissa. That isn’t her actual name; her actual name is another name that begins with L. But I want to protect her privacy.) But I’ve been so sleep-deprived lately that after we finished at the restaurant and got back to Michael’s, I went to bed instead and didn’t see Larissa after all. I did let her know I had changed my mind and asked her to pass my apologies on. I slept till 9:00 p.m.

I love the excuse to play dress-up and today I took advantage of the holiday to put on a royal blue velvet dress. For a coat I wore the very fuzzy fluffy sage-green coat/sweater Michael got me several Christmases ago. It’s real fur, but sheared, so no animals died to make it. Rabbit, I think.

Here’s two pics of me from today. One’s a selfie taken in the car on the way to the restaurant:

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And this one was taken by Michael, showing me in the restaurant before dinner started:

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No med side effects, yay — and other stuff in my boring life

I had previously said I might have to drop out of sight for a bit because I was taking a new medication and might get some bad side effects until my body grew accustomed to it. Well, I’ve been taking it since Tuesday and don’t feel any different physically or mentally: no muscle tremors, no loss of balance, no problems with concentration, no nothing. Yay! Dr. Bruno said it was a “very gentle” drug and I shouldn’t expect side effects; I’m glad he turned out to be right.

I just hope it works. Psychiatric drugs often take weeks or longer to become fully effective. I’m not sure why. I’ve been feeling anxious and miserable all autumn and I’m frankly tired of it. Of course my life has been kind of stressful these last two months. The car wreck, conflicts with Michael’s mom, etc.

Today I started physical therapy for my back (again). Ever since that horrible episode last month my lower back has not been right. I’ve had back pain before but never in this particular spot — the very, very bottom, basically right where my spine begins. Whenever I have to bend over, or twist, or sit down, it hurts. Sometimes it hurts bad enough that I will wince visibly and gasp out loud. So it’s PT again for me.

They did the evaluation today and said my range of motion is pretty good and so it my general strength; the problem is just the pain. They’ve prescribed some gentle exercises to begin with and we’ll go from there. Three times a week for up to six weeks. I go again on Monday. I told the physical therapist about how I have back pain a lot because I spend too much time at the computer working on my website, and gave him one of my business cards. Like most people, he was curious about it, and I gave him the rundown of how it works.

Let’s see…what else. Not much really. I got a new office chair. My previous chair broke after a whopping one year and four months of use. It was really cheap and I suppose you get what you pay for. I like the new one much better; it’s much more comfortable. I’m hoping it will last longer. I purchased the two-year warranty for it, which I suppose guarantees it will break on Day 731. (Speaking of the chair, I don’t understand Facebook. When I posted a photo of the chair on the Charley Project’s Facebook account, it got a “reach” of 3,560 people. Which is a much greater reach than most of the articles I post on there about missing people. Go figure.)

Here’s two selfies I took yesterday. I’m wearing makeup in the pictures; I don’t wear makeup that often but yesterday I was feeling kind of rotten so I thought I’d try to cheer myself up. It did feel nice to look nice. I think I like that shade of lipstick — it’s mauve, I guess. I seem to do better with pink shades than red ones. You can see my natural hair color here, a sort of ash blonde or light brown.

11-15-2016

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*waits for whoever-she-is to comment and tell me I look an old hag and my turtleneck is tacky*

New business cards arrived

I first got business cards for the Charley Project almost two and a half years ago and they’ve served me well. But I ran out and so I ordered a new set. They arrived today. I’m glad I didn’t bother to pay extra for fast shipping. I picked economy shipping and they weren’t supposed to arrive till November, here they are, well ahead of time, only two or three days after shipping.

As you can see the design is slightly different from the original cards. These new ones are better I think. I highly recommend Vistaprint.

Front of card:

businesscardfront

Back of card:

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Well, I’m up anyway

Yeah, still feeling horrible. The night before last, after I completed the previous entry, I was sick many times. I finally fell asleep around five a.m. and woke up in the early afternoon to the feeling of a large fluffy cat named Carmen lying on my back making biscuits and purring. I’m just going to say she knew I was sick and felt sorry for me, and not that she was trying to wake me up because I hadn’t fed them at ten a.m. like I usually do.

Carmen had mostly been ignoring me all week but Aria has been very snuggly, lying on top of me purring and licking my hands. I took this picture of her the other night.

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I stayed in bed all day yesterday, except to go to the bathroom and feed the cats, but I didn’t get sick again. Today I decided to get up, on the idea that I’m on the mend and the main reason I feel horrible now is that I’ve been lying in bed since Tuesday drinking almost nothing and eating even less and not showering or anything. Wednesday Michael made me a cup of chicken noodle soup, but I could only have like five spoonfuls and couldn’t keep it down. Last night he came home with Saltines for me and I had two. That’s the only actual food I’ve had since Monday.

So I’ve taken a shower, which felt good — I had felt really gross and icky — and now I’m sitting at my computer. My back still hurts and frankly the Tylenol 3 is not helping. Maybe if I stay out of bed it will stop hurting. Now that I’m up and not so smelly, Carmen has started meowing at me and rubbing herself against me again. I’m going to try a few more Saltine crackers.

Tuesday morning Dad called me and announced he’d gone out and bought me a car. I can pay him back with the insurance settlement. (I haven’t been able to talk to the insurance company this week due to my illness but I’ve got a bone to pick with them: they offered something like $100 for the inconvenience of me being without a ride for ELEVEN days, and NOTHING for the pain and suffering.) I had wanted to go car shopping with him and seek feedback from friends and stuff, but his selection sounds really nice: a 2006 Cobalt, half the age of my poor Buick. He says it’s orange, meaning it’ll be difficult to lose in a parking lot, LOL.

This afternoon he’ll drive the car over. I’ll have to drive him back to his apartment and then return on my own, a three-hour round trip. So you see why I needed to get my butt out of bed.

But if I keep improving I daresay I’ll be able to resume duties tomorrow. As for Ed’s podcast, it’s coming out next week.