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 Hello again--

First I wanted to say thank you to everyone who donated money to the CCFA for the Take Steps walk I'm doing. It makes me feel good to be doing something to help research towards Crohn's and Colitis and I really appreciate those of you who supported me in this.

The walk I'm doing is the Western Suburbs walk in Lisle, IL. It will be taking place on Sunday June 8th. If you don't remember my first email, the CCFA (Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America) sponsors an event called Take Steps for Crohn's
and Colitis (http://www.cctakesteps.org), a fundraising walk for the organization. The money goes towards funding research done on IBD, which we really need in order to find out more about it, find more and better treatments and hopefully someday discover a cure. The walk also helps to raise awareness about the disease.

If anyone still wants to donate but hasn't yet, there's still plenty of time! You can donate securely online at:

http://www.active.com/donate/takestepsCWS07/rachelsstorm

Or you can send me a cash or check (made out to the CCFA) if you prefer. If you don't have my address, leave a comment with your email and I'll send it to you. I'll screen the comments so that no one can see it.

Again, thank you to the people who did donate because it means a lot to me. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this.

My fundraising effort

 Hello all--

Some of you know the health issues that I've been dealing with for the past year, but some don't or aren't as familiar so I'll summarize. Last Fall I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which is a chronic auto-immune digestive disease with two main forms, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis-- so far I'm diagnosed with the latter. Science still hasn't quite figured out what causes it, so there is no cure for IBD. People who have it have varying experiences, but generally have times of being very sick alternating with times of remission. It can affect people of all ages, from young children to seniors and varies in severity from person to person. People with IBD rely upon treatments, medications and sometimes surgery to control their symptoms as well as induce and maintain remission.

I tell you all of this because the CCFA (Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America) sponsors an event called Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis (http://www.cctakesteps.org), a fundraising walk for the organization. The money goes towards funding research done on IBD, which we really need in order to find out more about it, find more and better treatments and hopefully someday discover a cure. The walk also helps to raise awareness about the disease.

This June, I will be participating in one of the Chicago area walks. If you can, I would really appreciate your help in raising money for this cause. At the following secure website, you can donate any amount of money you choose and receive confirmation of your donation through email.

http://www.active.com/donate/takestepsCWS07/rachelsstorm

Finally, I'd like to ask that you forward this email on to anyone else I may have missed since I don't have everybody's email addresses. Or for that matter, anyone else you know who would like to donate to this cause.

Thank you so much for reading this, and for all of your help!

 - Rachel

Feb. 2nd, 2008

 http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/15185914/detail.html

THIS is exactly why you should NEVER EVER leave your children alone in ANY PUBLIC PLACE, including a library. No one ever believes that criminals, molesters, rapists, etc. could ever possibly wind up in a library. It's not like we scan people's morality at the door!

Please God let this be a lesson to every adult out there who ends up responsible for a child.

Free Knitting Classes

For anyone who's interested, I saw this in the chicago-cheap community:

"Sulzer Library is offering a free knitting class Saturday, January 19 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the community meeting room. I bumped into this super nice lady at Borders and she asked if I knew anyone who might enjoy learning and practicing knitting in a laid-back atmosphere. FOR. FREE. I told her I would spread the word.
I think she has a 24 person limit, so if you're interested, please RSVP at merylkle@yahoo.com, so she can anticipate the class size. I'm not sure if the class provides yarn and needles either, so it's probably a good idea to ask that as well. If you've always wanted to learn to knit this is a GOLDEN opportunity. Conrad Sulzer Regional Library is located at 4455 N. Lincoln Ave. ,Chicago, IL. 60625. Their number is (312) 744-7616. Again, if you wanna participate, RSVP at merylkle@yahoo. "
 
I just stumbled across this and although it was written by somebody with Lupus, it's still something that's helpful for any average person trying to understand what it's like to live with a chronic disease.

http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/2004/11/the_spoon_theory.php

Enough

I've said a lot of things about myself in the past that are self-deprecating and misleading. About being a bad friend, about being socially awkward. It's way too easy for people to see things like that and either have a lightning quick, punch-in-the-stomach "No you're not" reflex or to just let their eyes glaze over and move on to the next webpage without a thought. I won't lie, I really do feel that way-- all the time. But like I said, it's misleading. It's misleading to me, and it's misleading to others.

First of all, I'm leading myself to believe that others have the expectations of me that I have of myself. And... you know what? I don't think there needs to be a second point. Forget the second point, it's going to be conjecture anyhow. The first point is important enough.

It's not a big surprise that I'm really good at being alone. I find things that I enjoy doing myself, I have fun all alone in my apartment, I don't need to be constantly surrounded by people to feel secure-- and I'm super proud of that. It's a nice skill to have. It doesn't mean I don't get lonely, but it also means that I'm not suicidal. But the only reason I'm good at that is because I've had to learn how. I wasn't born with that.

In fact, I was depressed a lot when I was younger-- even up through college. When I say I'm socially awkward, I mean that I have a skewed view of social interactions. I don't know where I learned this, but in my head I believe that if someone wants to be associated with me, they'll approach me. If they don't, then they don't want anything to do with me and I should leave them alone, or else I'll annoy them and they'll hate me. I have this guilt complex where everything I do is wrong and if I want people to like me, I should just be quiet and let them guide our relationships. Wait... I was raised Catholic. That may have something to do with it.

But I don't know anyone else who operates this way. You have no idea how much I struggle against what my mind naturally tells me about my relationships with others. These voices that tell me people don't like me, they don't want anything to do with me, that I just do things wrong and don't deserve their friendship anyhow. So naturally, when I hang back quietly and don't initiate interactions with people, they don't think twice and therefore never get to know me. Except for the ones who are somehow drawn to people like me, or else those who catch me in a rare moment of normalcy. I fear for the former, and the latter are proof of good luck.

I'm not saying that this is a rule, but the ones who are attracted to people who are quiet and non-assertive tend to be people who are not good for me. They're looking for mystery or else someone to walk all over. I am neither, and if you get to know me you find that out. I tend to leave my life an open book, and while I may be easygoing about trivial details I don't take kindly to people who use or abuse me.

In certain ways, I have not been very happy lately. When I'm not trying to distract myself from health problems, I think about the people that have been and are in my life. I have a lot of regrets about who I was when I was younger. I didn't give a lot of people a fair chance, either because of my fucked up conception of how people interact or because I was so cynical and unhappy that I just put blinders on and didn't want to bother because I figured they would fuck me over anyhow. I only dreamt of the day I could get far away from everyone I had ever known and start over. Secretly I yearned for the complete opposite.

I paid much more attention to everyone than anyone else probably did, and definitely more than anyone might have suspected. There are people from my past that I'd almost like to yell at for being such jerks to me, until I realize that they were just stupid kids like I was, and that there's no point in doing so. There are others that I think I'd really like to say something nice to, people that I remember doing something nice for me, or people who I really enjoyed interacting with, or people that I just wished I could interact with more, or people that I envied and looked up to. Saying nice things, that's much more worthwhile.

It's so much more satisfying to say something unexpected and pleasant, something kinda weird and surprising to shake someone out of their comfortable life a little. It's fun. Something to laugh about, you know? And oh, I had so many crushes on boys all those years. I could spend an entire day writing letters out to all the boys I adored. Yikes.

All of that makes me think about my present, and how I don't take advantage of the people that are still in my life, just tapping them on the shoulder to say something random. Or even being normal and just asking how they are if I haven't talked to them in a while. It's pathetic. How much have I really learned if I can't change for the better? I'm just slipping right back into old habits because they're so much easier and comfortable.

Still, just because I regret some things from the past doesn't mean I really want to change it. I can't imagine things being different, and there are too many things I wouldn't want to be different. Even if I haven't been happy about many of my friendships lately, it doesn't mean I'm not happy. I have problems but I have more than a few reasons to be happy too. I just need to finally move past my hang-ups and accept that I *have* moved way past who I used to be. Now I can start acting like it.

Stop blaming MySpace

Our entire society is *diseased* by a lack of personal responsibility. MySpace is just one area in which it's become blindingly apparent. Unless we do something about it, it will *destroy* us-- mark my words. The following are not my words, but read on, and hopefully repost it wherever you can.

Read more...Collapse )
This is frighteningly hilarious. In an article about Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin's book SKINNY BITCH, Freedman was quoted as saying the following in response to reader's anger over the book's false advertising and misrepresentation:

“They’re mad that they spent $14 on a book that was not what they thought, but they’re not mad that chickens are having beaks chopped off their faces?” asked Ms. Freedman, who now lives in Hollywood. “How is that possible? I can’t even wrap my mind around that.”

Well Ms. Freedman, that's because chickens are freakin' delicious. Being told you're buying a diet book when you're really being fed a vegan agenda-- that's not so delicious.

I don't have anything against vegetarianism/veganism per se, just like I have nothing against religion per se. What I have a problem with is people pushing their agenda down your throat, and crying about how right they are and how wrong everyone else is.

Sorry girls, some of us are omnivores. I start salivating just looking at fat pigeons. This past weekend while observing some geese hanging out at the zoo, I counted off: "I'll have you grilled, and I'll have you on a sandwich, and I'll have you with some pasta..." Foul is incredibly delicious and is packed with protein which helps build muscles, something skinny bitches don't have.

I know it sounds like I think veg's are lame, but I don't. I don't care, it's their choice. I just find it hilarious that this author couldn't understand why readers might be miffed, AND expects everyone in the world to care about a chicken's right to life. As if her way is the only way, and anyone who doesn't agree is a monster.

Well yes ma'am, I am a monster. Hand me an axe, I'd like to cut some chicken faces off myself. Yum! Thanks for the visual!

I've got a fever, and the only cure is...

Of all the things the doctor mentioned I might have, I really hope it's this one:

Giardiasis (also known as beaver fever)

Just so I could have the following conversation with people:

Friend/Family member: So, how are you feeling? Did they find out what was making you sick?

Me: Oh, yeah they did. I had beaver fever.

Friend/Family member: ???


It sounds like a really bad euphemism. Either for greatly desiring women, or for menstruation. I can't decide which is funnier!


I have to somehow find humor in my affliction, otherwise I'd kill myself.
I realize that very few people know what's been going on with me lately, so here's the scoop.

I haven't been doing that well, health-wise, ever since I had that stomach flu back in February/March. It's weird to explain, and I don't want to get into too many details. But basically I have the usual various digestive problems, including a couple weird things. My latest last week was that for a couple days, I was hungry no matter what I ate. I had trouble sleeping on Thursday night, I was absolutely starving even though I'd been eating all day. Thankfully, that seems to have stopped-- or at least greatly lessened.

These digestive problems may or may not be related to something I'm eating that I shouldn't be, but I have no idea what it is. Furthermore, I'm some degree of tired almost all the time. Sometimes worse, sometimes better. And I also am experiencing some kind of sensitivity to light. My eyelids often feel heavy, and everything seems brighter/of higher contrast than it should. Once again, sometimes this is worse, sometimes it's better. I tend to be incapable of staying up much past midnight, if I make it that long.

In summary, my body is obviously fighting with something.

This past Friday I went to the doctor because I was tired of starving and was afraid something worse might happen if I didn't get it taken care of. I didn't see my doctor, but I saw another one in her office. He listened to all of my symptoms, but wasn't sure what could be causing the hunger problem. He had me tested for a few more things, and suggested that if these tests come back negative, I might want to see a specialist.

I got the results of the tests, and they were negative. Which on one hand is good in that I don't have what they tested me for (assuming there were no false negatives). But on the other hand, it's bad because I still don't know what's wrong with me and will have to see a probably very expensive specialist who may or may not be able to help me.

And in the meantime, there's little I can do except try to eat the best I can, get the most rest I can and enjoy each day as much as possible since I never know what type of special gastrointestinal hell I'll be put through. I try to appreciate the times when I don't feel as bad, because I know I could feel much worse. And the times when I feel much worse, I try to remember that there are people out there much sicker than me. It's the only thing I can do to keep myself sane.

I would do absolutely anything to feel healthy again. I've been like this for about 3 months. Whatever it takes to heal, I'll do it... I'm only waiting to be told what to do.

So... now you know :) That's what's going on with me, health-wise.