I was so enchanted that I begged him to make a post, and here is the beginning.
There were spiders dropping down from the ceiling and into my wife’s cleavage. The wall behind her was a huge, stretched expanse of hairy green flesh, breathing slowly in and out. Phantom janitors stole in and out at the edges of my vision, sweeping in places they could not possibly stand and then vanishing when I tried to talk to them.
And my response was, “Oh. That’s interesting, what my brain is doing.”
These ridiculous hallucinations happened during my extremely traumatic 52-hour post-surgery recovery phase, when I was in tremendous pain and could not sleep. And yet, I think about the only other time I hallucinated, having dropped acid on a very hot summer’s night… and I found it disappointing. Yes, my vision was flexing and distorting, and I witnessed all sorts of curious artifacts as my brain’s visual processing center went into overload – but I quietly dissected each illusion, breaking it down into its interesting components, and in such a way I reduced what could have been a wild trip down into a series of interesting quirks.
I don’t really hallucinate, I don’t think. I know what my brain is up to. And today, I realized why:
It’s because I’m a depressive. I don’t trust my brain.
My brain has been a chronic liar for years, telling me how everyone hates me (when they don’t), how I’ve never accomplished anything of any note (I have), and how the world would be better off if I just killed myself (unproven, but I use the other two false conclusions to keep that one in the “bad idea” zone). I live a very strict life of having to double-check every input my brain gives me, for it routinely distorts a mundane “Oh!” into an encoded “You suck, Steinmetz, everything you ever liked was a fraud.” If I don’t, well, I ruin my life.
So when my brain starts providing false visual information, I do the same thing: I question it. I compare it to reality. And if it doesn’t make sense, I ignore it.
This makes me a little sad. I mean, it did protect me from a full-fledged freakout when I was in the hospital… but it means that while others experience an exultant joy with acid and peyote and other crazy drugs, seeing the face of God, I’ll never be able to flow with that illusion. They can trust what their brains give them, accepting most inputs safely and without harm, and so when some external source causes the brain to deliver crazy input, they can just run amuck with it like a kid whirling on a playground.
I’m off to the side. Analyzing. Breaking it down. Questioning relentlessly. Because that’s my survival. That’s what I do.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/304609.h
"Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics"
Pope Francis rocked some religious and atheist minds today when he declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists.
My friend, who is a genuinely good person, was pleased by this, as though it was a good thing. And yeah, compared to "all who are not devout Catholic are going to hell" I guess it is. Anything that cuts down on the justifications for abuse is a good thing. Far better behavior than his unlamented-by-many predecessor.
Like the Mormons posthumously "baptizing" Jews and claiming them for their heaven, this strikes me as vaguely offensive chutzpah. He's saying "it doesn't matter what YOU believe, we're going to co-opt you anyway through OUR belief." And I'm not sure how that's supposed to make us feel better about our relations with the Church.
Dude. Try asking. If we want to convert, we will. if we don't, we've got our exit plan worked out already, thanks.
The best I can describe it is that the skin irritations produced by Vectibix sometimes express themselves as very tender, painful calluses on my feet. Being on my feet so much yesterday afternoon put so much pressure on those calluses that I could not be on my feet any more.
Next Monday, I start Regorafenib, a medication which is much harder on the feet (and hands) than Vectibix. This is only a taste of things to come.
Cancer erodes me, piece by piece, until there will be nothing left of me but laboring breath and the last guttering sparks of my will to live.
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
The workshop at work
( Photos under cut for f-list mercyCollapse )
Photos © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and Carrie Vaughn
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and Carrie Vaughn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Barbed wire, Washington state. Photo © 2008, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Kicked out of the mall — for an anti-cancer hat — The most insensitive mall cops ever aggressively escort out two teens who just lost their mom. That's family friendly, alright. (Via
The 5 Ugly Lessons Hiding in Every Superhero Movie — Interesting. (Snurched from Andrew Wheeler.)
German software firm recruiting autistic workers — German software firm SAP is recruiting autistic workers. To help the company hire autistic workers, SAP has hired Specialisterne. Together, SAP and Specialisterne will recruit individuals with autism that can work as software testers, programmers and data quality assurance specialists.
Pavlof Volcano, Alaska Peninsula — Oooh, pretty.
What the State Birds Should Be — Seven cardinals but no hawks? Come on! (Via JL)
Bitcoin Hits the Big Time, to the Regret of Some Early Boosters — The first major conference for the digital currency suggests it is gaining legitimacy, but in a manner disappointing to some early enthusiasts.
Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD — (Snurched from Freakonomics.)
Tornadoes and Global Warming: Is There a Connection? — Will the future bring more twisters to Oklahoma and Tornado Alley? The science isn't clear yet, on account of unlike politics, science doesn't make up its mind in advance of the evidence.
Portland, Oregon rejects drinking water fluoridation by wide margin — Public health measure goes down amid vague concerns about safety and purity. Even progressives can be idiots.
Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics — Why does any religion get to claim the good done by non-believers. Christ really didn't die for me, or for anyone else who isn't a Christian. While I surely appreciate the gesture of tolerance, it encloses a spike of arrogance. (Thanks to Danny Adams.)
Atheist lawmaker opened with Carl Sagan quote instead of prayer — (Via
Ken Cuccinelli Loses Petition To Uphold Anti-Sodomy Law — Yeah, pushing for a ban on oral sex is certainly one way to make the GOP more popular.
Dear Oklahoma: We Feel for you, we love you, but do us some favors — Shorter version: As you sow, so shall you reap. Unfortunately, the rest of America also reaps what you sow. So, sow better.
Reaching the 'weather weapon' stage — [T]he guy raising the specter of Obama using "weather weapons" to kill Oklahomans is the same guy helping influence several Republican policymakers in 2013. Another of the many reasons why rational human beings everywhere think American conservatives are absolute lunatics. The GOP and its politicians embrace this kind of mind-melting insanity instead of rejecting it out of hand. (Via
QotD?: Eaten Tibetan lately?
Writing time yesterday: 0.5 hours (WRPA editing, otherwise on workshop time)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a
Number of FEMA troops on my block scamming disaster aid slush funds: 0
Currently reading: Night Watch by Terry Pratchett