I'm on a "recovery group" mailing list, where we discuss many different things, including life after Mormonism. I posted news of my affliction to the group. Here's part of the posting that didn't go up on my weblog yesterday:
How does this relate to Recovery from Mormonism? Sometimes, when I'm deep in the throes of an attack, I find myself screaming inside my head "why me, why me?" There is no answer. Occasionally I wonder if, since this occurred after my break with Mormonism, if this is God's punishment for an unbeliever.
Yet I view the TNA [Trigeminal Neuralgia Support --MPB] web site. Many millions of people suffer this disorder. Some are almost surely faithful LDS. The logical part of my brain knows that the failure of the myelin sheath on my trigeminal nerve is a totally natural process that is simply a failure in the way the human body has evolved. Perhaps in earlier times, it was a "neutral drift" in evolution that allowed these to happen, since although it's incapacitating, it's not fatally so. Or, maybe, this is a result of a car accident I was in 16 years ago, which resulted in partial and temporary loss of hearing in one ear, great pain and soreness on the right side (same side!) of my head for a few days, and reduction of my height by about one inch. Who knows?
I'm sorry I haven't posted much lately. Turns out that, in addition to everything else I get to do, I get the opportunity to be part of a community of people with an affliction known as "Trigeminal Neuralgia".
TNA, as it's sometimes called, is an irritation of the trigeminal nerve. From what my doctor told me today, the nerve leaves your brain and comes close to the skin just below and behind your ear. That soft little dimple just behind your jawbone, feel it? Yeah, that one. Well, anyway, through some poorly understood process, mostly involving positioning of arteries rubbing the myelin sheath of the nerve (although some people point to NICO, where infections cause part of your jawbone to die, as a possible suspect), this nerve becomes inflamed and just goes crazy.
Matthew has graciously allowed me to post a random thought here and there because honestly I don't have the wherewithall to run my own blog.
This is not the first or probably the last time I will turn to Mr. Matt for tools that allow me to do that which I can't on my own. It is the nature of our friendship, and so.. being that Barnson is so candid with his first person view of the world, I wanted to share a candid third person look at him.
My perspective on Matt is unique, in that he preceded me in many many ways. I arrived at Quince Orchard high school an annoying freshman who plunked on the piano and guitar and tried to write songs, most of which.. well.. sucked. I wanted to act, be in show choir, and above all not be an annoying freshman. Enter Barnson, a Senior who did everything I did.. but better. He was eccentric, loud, brave, and underneath a nice person. So, I bugged him and bugged him until he would be my friend. Well, that's probably the story he would tell.
Confident, and competent. I don't know what I can do to try to reinforce it more than that: Confident and Competent!
OCM (Outplacement Counseling for Management) consultant Don Martin animatedly paced the floor, talking with his hands, his middle-aged face the picture of wisdom and experience in human resources.
"You're going to get a job. Just get past that thought that you're not right now. Every person in this room is going to have a job soon! I have this little paper," he said as he held up an 8.5 x 11 inch photocopy, "that describes the phases we go through in handling stress.
Jon Brusco has an interesting take on George Bush Spending Our Money. I recently re-read this, and it bears mentioning again: we pay our soldiers pitifully for the risks they take. And we extravagantly overpay U.S. or other Western firms to undertake reconstruction that could be accomplished at a fraction of the cost by skilled local engineers and laborers in Iraq.
Oh, common sense, where art thou?
Oy, I went the whole weekend without a blog entry. Went to a LAN party at my buddy Damon's house over the weekend. Damon is just an incredibly cool guy. Anyway, the group of us twenty and thirty-something guys is called the ULANG, or Utah Local Area Network Gamers. We usually get about 9-15 people showing up to these things, which is just around the right size for Damon's house. Started at 7 PM, ended at 2 AM... these things rock.
So, shorten yer mizzenmast and pander ta yer bilgewater, folks; foreshorten the yardarm and polish yer sideiron! Learn ta talk like a pirate yerself, and join the "festivities", missy! Land Ho!
Or something... I don't do that very well...
Many of us are probably familiar with Orson Scott Card through his fiction works, such as the immensely popular "Ender's Game".
Well, Orson has something to say on copyright, that rings true to most of us. The RIAA was launched from the obscure agency that gave away annual "gold" and "platinum" album awards, to being the vocal opponent of peer-to-peer file sharing several years ago as it received more money from the record studios it represented. It is now turning into a blatantly profiteering, slanderous, and anti-competitive organization bent on destroying any technology that might endanger its current profit model.
Copyright owners are speaking out. I join my voice with Card's in support of this essay:
On a nondescript evening I went into Border's bookstore and nonchalantly made my way past the cappuccino swilling intellectuals and toward that one section of the store I know so well. Looking left and right I pretended to be looking at one, more respectable thing.. when in deed I was looking out of the corner of my eye at another. When no one was looking, I darted my grubby left hand outward and grapped my prey. I placed it on the counter face down, hoping no one would see I was buying it. I rushed the salesperson to put it in a bag, and nonchalant;y said, "some light reading".. chuckling, but ever aware of the judgmental thoughts in the middle aged woman's eyes. "He's one of THOSE" she must have thought.
The sound of crying echoed down the hall, jolting my ears with the harsh harmonics natural to the vocal folds of your average one-year-old human child. For a few scant moments, in half-awake state, I reflected on how interesting it was that Nature has provided us with such a stimulus-response pattern, engendered in our forbears and, with rare exception, honored by parents, to force action to the distress of an infant. Equally remarkable are the changes to the tonality of their cries, such that even by the age of three years, their tone is not so tuned as to arouse paternal responses in strangers, but instead engender annoyance.