Oceans // Week 11

Last night the HBO series, True Detective ended. I knew it was coming but I couldn’t watch. That’s right I still don’t know what happened. I sat at my computer and cleaned out my inbox knowing that my husband was deeply embroiled in an entanglement of swamp people, twig sculptures, parish churches, dead ends and cover ups. It was a bit dark I admit, there is nothing entertaining about a story like that revolves around child molestation. But I see past that when I’m hearing dialog like this:

Transference of fear and self-loathing to an authoritarian vessel. It’s catharsis. He absorbs their dread with his narrative. Because of this, he’s effective at proportion to the amount of certainty he can project. Certain linguistic anthropologists think that religion is a language virus that rewrites pathways in the brain. Dulls critical thinking.” – Rustin Cohle

Writer Nic Pizzolatto is one talented son-of-a-biscuit eater. I still didnt watch the last episode. I just couldn’t accept that its over. I need more Matthew. Alright, alright, alright ?

Super B and I caught up on our SNL, we do this every Sunday, unless JT is hosting and then we are watching it LIVE, well west coast 3 hr. delay live. We love our comedy. His laugh makes ME laugh, its more like a giggle that makes everything that’s wrong in the world OK, even for just that moment.

See if this bit doesn’t make you do the same. If you watched Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech at the Oscars you will laugh even harder.


The plane is still missing. Heart wrenching that so many souls were on board. I thought my youngest knew because we have the news running in the background but when I prod I realize she doesnt and then I tell her it disappeared. I’m beginning to really doubt my decision right there. She replies with “that’s creepy.” I assure her they will find it and then ask her if shell mac n’ cheese is ok, like it’s perfectly OK to have a jumbo jet just disappear.

I can’t seem to wake up when it’s pitch black outside. I hit snooze but what is the point when my arrhythmia has kicked in. There is no going back to sleep when my heart is leaping out of my chest. I take several belly breathes and look for my slippers. I don’t like bare feet on cold tile at 6 am. I open my bedroom door to find Weebee not so patiently waiting for food. She starts circling my legs intertwining with mine, crying out in hunger and eventually I trip right over the top of her. I shoo her so I can get the coffee started by she sits from her perch atop of our refrigerator incessantly crying like an alley cat.  While the water boils I flip her some food and pull out the half and half. before I can get that first sip I hear little feet shuffling she buries her head in my robe and reaches up my sleeve to brush my arm with her hand. She is an enigma. How such a strong-willed child can also be so incredibly tender and mild throws me off.

One up, one to go.

As I make the final preparations of the morning I feel a wince of pain. I stop and check in. Was that? I make circles with my jaw and turn my head. I feel something. My ear is talking again. Damn it. Ok, deep breath this doesn’t haven’t to be the end I tell myself and I forge on. Its clear that this time the episode of ear pain that started in Week 6 is not gone. I have an appointment with my physical therapist who started working with me almost 4 years ago on this very problem.


I see her on Tuesday (three items in one of her treatment room). While I wait I notice the clock is wrong and adjust it to reflect daylight savings time. She immediately shuffles me to top of the cancellation list. In 24 hours I am back and receiving more pain management therapy. And then there’s the arrhythmia, we really don’t know what to do for that. She recommends I see a new naturopath, this will be the third person to mention that name to me. I agree with myself, all signs point to GO. I leave with a post it note, on it is my homework, get a copy of Atlas of Human Anatomy, its’ 71 bones! Argh. I contemplate buying a used copy of an older version. We have a Grey’s version around here, being my husband took some pre-med stuff in college. Oh and that book I found in the bargain bin in Week 7 maybe that will work. The homework was to learn the Trigeminal Nerve. Learn it, live it, breath it, know it kind of learn it. that leads me down the medical Google rabbit hole, that’s dark and scary and full of what-ifs?

But then I land on a page from NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) about trigeminal neuropathy and something inside of me lights up.

The “atypical” form of the disorder (called “Type 2” or TN2), is characterized by constant aching, burning, stabbing pain of somewhat lower intensity than Type 1.  Both forms of pain may occur in the same person, sometimes at the same time. The intensity of pain can be physically and mentally incapacitating.

Dare I say it but I think that this is my first real lead in solving the case of the mysterious ear pain.


I don’t think she feels good either. Her health has been in a slow decline. I promise her as soon as I figure out my neurologic problem then we will figure out hers. She ends up throwing up on top of the cable box. The smell is a cross between fish and burning plastic. Shudder. I bring the box to the cable store. I was upfront and explained the situation and they generously just swapped it out. I did overhear management say to the rep, “well that’s a first.”

I get an email that one of my photos from Week 6 was featured on the VSCO Grid, its basically a curated collection of photos tagged with #VSCO. Pretty cool. Im the blue sky palm tree photo of The Saguaro in Palm Springs. I think I was more excited to see my photo was next to Chris Ozers. 😀

http://grid.vsco.co/#/4 ScreenHunter_26 Mar. 13 11.26

My next find… more like an obsession is this song. A remix of Michael Jackson’s Stranger in Moscow. It had 2K listens and as of today its at HALF A MILLION!!!!


I read a story that my friend Tamar posts about the choking game and she worries about her son. Simultaneously I feel both regret and fear. Regret that I can say that when I was of a certain age I used to play that game. I thought blacking out was such a cool experience, it was a secret game I played in the bedroom of a friend along with a neighbor because well  back then this wasnt something you did by yourself like they do nowadays. I knew the feeling and when black out was inevitable. My fingers felt they were being poked by a million pins and suddenly I was dreaming and then I was not, awake confused smiling because my friends were kneeling next to be on the shaggy floor asking me how was it? I had no idea that evidence of those stupid days would show up on a MRI thirty some odd years later. Attached to my results in 2009 was a print out of this article on ischemic injury, in other words there was evidence that blood flow had been constricted to certain parts of the brain causing tissue death or hypoxia, the very same thing that has left my niece in a wake of debilitating injuries. I shake my head when I read about how middle schoolers are commonly partaking in the same game, but they are doing it alone and like the story linked above, some do not survive. I hit up Google again and learn that some teens are drinking Windex to get high, I can’t stand it and I immediately do a sweep in my house, throwing away every can that uses compressed air, permanent markers, super glue but I leave the Windex. I text my husband that I’m feeling paranoid. Its better to err on the side of caution I tell myself. That night I sit on his bed and watch him watching videos, I casually bring up the whole thing and tell him that his dad and I can’t help if he isn’t honest with us. He ssures me all is well. I remember telling that to my parents too. I think my only tactic here is to keep vigilant with the hugs.


Fudge. No one ever warned me how hard it would be to be a parent. I go to sleep that night worried. Worried I am ignoring him, that I spent too much time on the computer, take too many pictures, take on too many volunteer projects and I short change my kids. I feel like the worst parent in the world but somehow I manage to sleep through the night.

I feel better in the morning, I always do.

Wednesday is game day. I am shooting all of the JV games, I think this season I will make almost every one except one. This game was at 7:00, I’m shooting with lights but the colors are good because its a beautiful stadium with evergreen Astroturf. I crank up the ISO to like 2500, I have no worries about graininess. This is all just for fun and for the boys. The more I shoot the more I learn and love about the game. I have such a better understanding of the comrade and dynamics on and off the field. Team sports are so good for a teenager I tell you. Lessons in losing can’t be bad for you either.

140312_189_BHS JV V RSMC

140312_265_BHS JV V RSMC

140312_276_BHS JV V RSMC

140312_076_BHS JV V RSMC

140312_427_BHS JV V RSMC

Its definitely a big chunk of time shooting, editing, uploading and sharing with the team. I realize that I need to be mindful of how much time I spend editing, for that reason I will often shoot in JPG mode just to bypass that step, photogs you know what I mean.

Things are the same on the clean up front.


Thursday was a day of mixed emotions. Highs and lows. You know how some things just seem to come out of left field? And you think to yourself how could I NOT see it coming?  Sounds like a case of existentialism to me. If I don’t read that last chapter or I don’t watch the final episode, it’s not really over, is it? Just as I can’t be surprised if I refused to acknowledge that there had been warning signs along the way, which there had been. Not surprised everyone has their threshold. So I simmer and reflect rather than boil over and lash out.

Many people excuse their own faults but judge other persons harshly. We should reverse this attitude by excusing others’ shortcomings and by harshly examining our own. – Paramahansa Yogananda

I need to pull it together, tonight I have a special event. My sister was invited to share her story about Lily and how over the past year her recovery from TBI has made great strides with the help of the Shea Therapeutic Riding Center. The Shea Center (see them on Facebook) is run by over 200 volunteers a week. The are a private non-profit group that doesn’t not get one dime of governmental financial support. It costs them 2.5 million dollars annually to operate providing therapeutic riding as well hippotherapy. Most of the kids there suffer from a variety of different neurological and physiological disabilities including:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Developmental Delay
  • Mental Retardation
  • Aspberger’s Syndrome
  • Down Syndrome
  • Sensory Integration Issues
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as rehabilitation


The facilities are amazing and it just happens that one of the leading therapists, the one I saw this week in fact, is a specialist in equine visceral manipulation and volunteers as a medical support to the horses that live here. I take a deep breath and stall for a few minutes outside just long enough to catch a passing train. Time to put my social face on.


The night was a fundraiser they have every year for the ladies, a night to get out and celebrate volunteerism, which ironically is what I remember most about my mom as a kid, I knew she did a whole lot of stuff for free.  I hope she knows that she passed that torch to her daughters who know the value of giving your time to organizations that are making a difference in the lives of people around you. You will never find the time to volunteer, you must make the time.


As I sat next to my sister, I placed my hand on her tapping leg. She pulled out a set of index cards. I immediately declared she didn’t need cards. “You don’t need those, you will be fine just speak from your heart”. No set of notes are going to tell you what you already know – YOU LIVED THIS, just imagine that you are sitting here telling me what happened and how the center and horses are a part of the miraculous healing taking place within Lily. Of course she did BEAUTIFULLY…. so well spoken, didn’t stumble on one single word, it all just poured out met by sympathetic gazes and tearful smiles. When they clapped I stood up and hugged her, I was so proud. I know how hard it was for her to tell a group of unfamiliar faces about the depths of grief she has seen. Truly an inspiration and a reminder that my shitty day is nothing but a drop in an ocean of endless waves.  We both got this.


Next day is fun day, birthday lunches and work in between. As seen in the office parking lot on a purple Charger, B UNIQ. Amen sister.


I envy that the 20-somethings can still throw down a plate of fried food while the more advanced side of the table focuses on fiber. Although I had my share of mac and cheese polenta. Great Maple is a good find if you are in Fashion Island and in need of some good food (next to Nordstrom).


Saturday is warm, we have a Lacrosse game followed by a date night night with another couple.

140315_150_BHS JV v HBEACH

Delight isnt even the right word to describe the evenings company.  I felt the tenseness in my shoulders start to melt as I nursed the large Sapporo before me. I had black cod that tasted like the ocean and picked at garlic infused edamame. It remains one of my top favorite meals. I would share the name of the place but then I’d have to kill you (I kid I kid).  You can have one hint, it lives next to a pet store that sells fish. yeah the irony was not lost on us.


Our freakishly non existent 90 degree temp winter has everything including roses taken down to canes in bloom. Blueberries are already ripening. Winds continue to make neighboring pines rain needles and I’m afraid everything (except the blueberries) is suffering from over acidic soil. I have so much to do, I think to myself as I dead head.  Super A makes a bracelet for chompers out of lanata blooms. 

Bearded dragon

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and I have already declared we are having burgers. I gave up throwing away an entire Corned beef years ago. I manage to cook one dinner that week. Rotisserie Chicken.


But then I realize an hour and a half that the rotisserie burner went out and my BBQ went cold. I heave that bird onto a cutting board, cut up in large pieces and proceed to pan fry it to done-ness. The result? The crispiest skin you have ever had. I think this may just become a regular thing this finishing off in a pan. You’ll have to come back and visit Week 12 to see what I do with the rest of the bird.



  1. says

    Ok…I have to tell you that my mom was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia 2 years ago and gas finally found some decent management to her pain, but up until then the pain was excruciating.
    And oh boy…I did not need to read about the choking and Windex. So so scary. As soon as my 12 year old wakes up we’re having a talk!

    • says

      I have yet to pull the trigger on scheduling the appt. I can see how some neurologists are more into pain management then others. I think if I present myself when the conditions is basically in remission there won’t be much they can do, but it terrifies me to be seen when I’m having an episode I don’t want anyone coming within a few feet of me let alone touching my head. *Shudder* and then there are the reviews. It was almost better when everyone didn’t add their 2 cents to how they felt about the doctor, so much of the reviews are subjective. The one I was referred to hasn’t fared well on things like health rates or even Yelp. signed – Confused.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *