Saturday, September 22, 2012

Something new

I'm working on something new. I think it's going to be absolutely great. It's something I enjoy writing about and studying (although I have no formal training, but doesn't that make me a perfect blogger?). What is it?

I'm not telling.

All I will say is that it's not something strictly religious, but I think it's a great way to promote culture in this society. It's about art. It's gonna be great.

It's also prolly gonna be a few months before I have it all up and running.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Belated updates

Hi everyone!

I have been so caught up in everything that's been going on that I haven't given much time to updating this. I'm glad to know that there are still people that check in and care :)

First, my arthritis: I am currently on take 3 of meds. It's been a slow and painful (quite literally) journey, and the outcome just seems to look more and more bleak as the time goes on. Yesterday was quite a rough day for me. However, I talked to the receptionist for my Rhumie (she's excellent, if it weren't for her, I'd have found a different doctor by now) and told her that I wanted to meet with the doctor to try something different. I'm currently on Orencia. It was great for the first month, but last month I've basically been living off of my NSAIDS (which I don't like taking because they say that they are very harmful to fetuses [I'm not pregnant, but it's one of those 'just in case' things]). I learned an important lesson, though... if you leave your 800 mg (ibuprofen) NSAIDS at work, taking four Motrin (800 mg of ibuprofen) is NOT an adequate replacement. Haven't figured out why yet... Anyway, when I started my Remicade (my literal cure for arthritis that I can't take anymore because it's not covered by my insurance and it's about $7k per dose), the doctor put me on an accellerated regimen for it. You're supposed to take it every two months, but because my arhtirits was so severe, I took it once every two weeks for the first month or two, then once a month for several months, and then I started taking it every 2 months (when I insisted upon it because cost was a concern). It literally cured my arthritis temporarily. I went to the doctor a year ago to try and start taking it again (a year since I had taken my last dose) and she said that I couldn't be approved for it because I had literally no traces of arthritis in my system. Unfortunately, that was short lived and now I wish I could find where I put my little Beebee, my blue cane. Yes I name canes. No that name is not permanent. Bartholomeu is retired because I dropped him so often that the finish started chipping away and gives me blisters to use.

Anyway, sorry about the random rant, my mind is going a million miles a minute right now.  I'm going to ask the doctor if we can start a similar regimen with the Orencia. We're quite running out of options here, and I want to get this show on the road. I have a lot of faith in Orencia because it's made very similar to Remicade. I just think we have to do this right. We'll see how it goes. If he isn't willing to try it, I can always go with another doctor (this isn't church, I can pick and choose until I find someone I like).

As for other parts of my life... marriage is going well. It's so nice to be around him all the time... most of the time. I really like being around him, but I'm learning that even extrovert me needs some alone time... and usually he wants to talk about stuff when I get home... which creates some interesting moments. There is no where to hide in my 585 square foot apartment. So I actually have to deal with problems when they come up. I don't like that, but I've found it's amazing for our relationship.

I joined the Schola. It's... interesting. I'm actually finding myself more and more isolated from the people that sing Schola every time I do it. You see, I'm a liturgical text follower (remember, I do that Traditional Latin Mass thing). I am not really able to pray when singing words that I don't know the meaning of (but Jane... it's LATIN, that makes it superior to anything you could ever do in your measly little brain!), so I bring my missal up there and follow along at every moment we're not singing.

You know what I can't stand about singing in the Schola? It's REALLY hard to concentrate. First, I missed the first meeting cause I'm a ditz and the director still hasn't been able to get me a book that I can sing along with. I find that incredibly difficult to deal with. He wants us to practice and such, but how do you expect me to practice when you don't give me anything to work with? The best I can do is practice pronunciation of the text, but that is unlikely to help because we spend so much time on one syllable (I'm beginning to find that I really enjoy low Mass). The director has been good to me, but I feel like such an outcast. Every time we have a pause from singing, I whip out my missal and begin following along like a fiend, and people around me are whispering and there is tons of page turning and such. Look, I will either scramble at the last minute to find the page we're on, or I will look on with the person next to me and pretend to sing (I need the music right up close to my face to see). But the director will hold up music for 3.5 seconds and 1) expect that everyone can see what he's holding up and 2) expect that people know where to find it (we have two books that look identical but have different types of music in them. One is labelled the "blue book" and I have yet to discover why... maybe once I actually get said books, I'll understand).

But the WORST part is that after we receive the Blessed Sacrament, we sing. I have no time to collect my thoughts, to pray or anything. I just have to go straight into singing. I always disliked when Scholas would sing right after the Blessed Sacrament. It's like, Hello, are you afraid of the silence? I find it much less irritating than when people try to make Communion time into an Organ concert but I still find it frustrating. Ugh, I've cried both times we've sung and that's happened. I still need to address my concerns with the director, but I'm having a difficult time writing them in a way that doesn't sound like "I'm all holy and paying attention to Mass while YOUR Schola is more concerned with what we're singing next!" I know that's not the case. If people are talking, it's usually for the purpose of enhancing the Mass ("What song is next?") and it's never idle chatter. I realize that some people pray really well while singing. I just don't. There is a part of me that is concerned about how well they do or don't pay attention, but I also realize that people pray differently, and for the first year or so, when I was first learning the TLM, I would just sit there and observe all of the movements of the altar servers and the priest, listen to the music, observe the statues and such, and that was the most effective prayer I had ever had up until that time.

I'm not planning on leaving the Schola yet, I think an honest discussion with the director is necessary first. I'm just frustrated.

On to another, rather exciting note.... I am officially looking into Third Orders! I went to the Discalced Carmelite meeting a few weeks ago. I had the most... interesting experience with it. Before the meeting, we stood around talking, and I thought that part was wonderful. There are a lot of people there and they were so kind and excited to see me and James there (he's looking into Third Orders, too, but I would be severely surprised if he ends up joining them). My main problem I had with it actually had nothing to do with the spirituality of it. There was this girl there in a Tweety bird shirt. She looked like she had to be around 30. However, she acted like she was 4 with a severe case of ADHD. I've seen people like this before. My Maid of Honor's sister has a pretty serious case of aspergers. I'm not positive that this is what the girl had, but it would have to be something similar if that's not it. Anyway, I had the hardest time because she was the BIGGEST DISTRACTION. She was constantly speaking out of turn, saying absolutely nothing in the most words possible (that' not entirely fair, the problem was that if someone mentioned a virtue, she would immediately blurt out how it was tied to a specific verse in Deuteronomy and would quote it verbatim. She must be going through Deuteronomy in some sort of Bible study because it was the only book she quoted and frankly... it's an odd book to quote when pertaining to the virtues) while we were supposed to be having a presentation given to us. And it seemed that no one there knew how to handle her appropriately. They allowed her to talk out of turn and just smiled and waited for her to stop (while looking around nervously at each other). I am not sure who her caretaker was (you could tell she is not high functioning enough to live on her own let alone drive herself there), but a couple of different people took her out at specific points and talked to her at the beginning and the end. It really didn't work. At one point the presenter said, "You can talk later but let me finish this one thing" and the girl was like, "Oh, but let me say this and then I'll be done" (to her credit, she didn't speak out of turn again for the rest of the 3 minutes left of the presentation).

Anyway, there really should have been a person sitting next to her (she did move her seat at one point to sit closer) and guiding about when it was or was not appropriate to speak. I understand that you have to be cautious in correcting a woman with Aspergers so that they don't feel like you hate them (this is very important with people with Aspergers), but there really should have been someone next to her, touching her hand lightly and saying "________, it's not your turn. Wait a few minutes until it is your turn. I promise I won't let them miss your turn." But no, there was nothing even similar to that. What really frustrates me is that I think I would have really liked the group outside of that instance. Oh well, perhaps this is God's way of keeping me in check... I tend to get Carmelite infatuation on a regular basis, so perhaps this is keeping me looking at this with a clear head.

Anyway, those are the three main things going on. We still aren't unpacked and I still have TONS of Thank you notes left... but such is life. I hear that you're allowed up to six months to get out the last of the Thank You notes... I still have two left.