Huckleberry Hound

Kerry said she was thinking about writing in her LJ again & I told her if she did then I would. Well, she hasn't posted yet, but it got me thinking about posting, so here I am.

Of course it's been a few months since last time, so several things have happened, so I have lots of things to write about and well I'm more than likely not going to get to them all. I'm tired of writing/talking/thinking about my headaches and I just got back from the neurologist so I'm not going to talk about that today. Maybe next time.

Today I'm going to talk about pups.

You know we had to say good-bye to Winston over a year ago. And we needed some time to mourn him, some time to heal from the hurt of losing him. It was months before I could think about or look at photos of The Face without crying. But the more time passed and the more Robby and I healed and talked about him, the more we were ready to let another dog in our lives. We had somehow heard of a shelter called Secondhand Hounds and I started following them on Facebook. I started spending a lot of evenings looking at their available dogs and showing them to Robby. It was a lot of "awwww wook at dis faaaace. he's so cuuuute" and then babbling incoherently. If you've ever seen me around a dog, you know what this sounds like.

One random Saturday in October, I saw that SHH was going to be at a dog adoption event and Robby and I decided to stop by, knowing full well we may meet our future dog. The first dog we saw was it. I recognized her from the website and already knew I liked her and Robby fell in love right away - her name was Annabelle. We did a little more walking around and met a couple other dogs, but our first love was it. We spent another 20 minutes or so hovering around her, fully planning on shooing away anyone else who spoke to her. OUR DOG. BACK OFF. We spoke to the woman who had been fostering her since the summer and found out a little more of her story - she even mentioned that there was a YouTube video about her if we wanted to watch it. We watched it immediately when we got home, honestly almost aching that she wasn't with us already.

Not even one week later, she was home with us.

Before getting her home, we knew we didn't want to keep her name as Annabelle. It just didn't feel right to either of us. So we started a list. It honestly had 11 names on it at one point. We were looking through favorite books and mythology references to look up possibilities. It was a big deal to us. We considered Calliope, Adler, Alanna, Scout & some others I've forgotten Once we got her home, we settled on Clementine.

She is a big weirdo and hardly ever barks and a total cuddlebug and falls asleep on us and cries when she leaves the dog park and paws at us when we ignore her for too long or even sometimes while we're paying attention to her and she's adorable and totally part of our family and annoying and wonderful in all the ways a dog should be.


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Elliot: Toby Benes has a no-hitter in the 7th.
Dana: Put Benes in the teaser, if he takes it to the 9th, we'll patch it in on 1...
Jeremy: We shouldn't put it in the tease.
Dana: Why not?
Jeremy: It's bad luck.
Dana: It's bad luck.
Jeremy: To talk about a no hitter.
Dana: It's bad luck for the pitcher.
Jeremy: Yes.
Dana: We don't work for the pitcher.

Except in this situation, I'm the pitcher and my no-hitter is no-headache days. I have been reluctant to talk about times/days when I'm feeling well because inevitably that means everything will come crashing down on me tomorrow. So, here's hoping, folks!

I just wrote the first draft of this and omg it was LONG. I'll try and sum up, instead of 'splain.

Things are getting better, finally. One of the doctors I'm seeing is a nutritionist and her theory is two things: 1) I have a food intolerance (not allergy) 2) my stomach doesn't make enough acid and therefore food doesn't get digested correctly or well enough. Through trial and error, we learned that casein (cheese & yogurt basically) and corn are my intolerances, so I've been avoiding those for about 2.5 months now. This includes things made from corn and hey, idk if you know this but EVERYTHING IS MADE FROM CORN. Corn starch, corn syrup, corn flower, Splenda, dextrose, maltodextrin, xanthan gum, etc. That shit is in EVERYTHING. Especially those last two. Bane of my existence, srsly. Anyway, eventually I will be able to have these foods again, it will just mean that I can only have them every so often.

But Janna, wth does this have to do with headaches?

Well, let me tell you.

I've had stomach or digestive problems for about 10+ years now. They even have their own tag as well as most likely dominating my daily injuries tag. My regular doctor, several other doctors, including GI specialists, haven't been able to figure out what is wrong with me. And since this has gone on for 10+ years without being solved or helped, my body had to keep coming up with more and different symptoms in an effort to get my attention.

Anyway - it seems to be working. I can actually go days (Yes! PLURAL!) without a headache or at least without a headache worth mentioning. Plus, the nice thing about not having a job is that if I feel a headache coming on, I can go lay down or sit in the dark and that will almost always keep it from getting worse.

So yeah. Things are looking up and I just wanted to share that. :D

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Deep Breath

image from

a mix for when you need a moment to wallow in anger, a moment to take a deep breath, and a moment to remember how much you believe in yourself.


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So. How are you?

Legits have 400 things to write about and as per usual, that's what's kept me from updating at all. I don't want to wade into everything in one entry but then where do I start and where do I end and then the more entries I post the more I'll be behind on updating and OMG THE PRESSURE.

I'm going to hit the major points. And unfortunately not all of them are happy, but I'll try and keep things from getting to murky.

1. hiss
I still have my bad headaches & I don't seem to be much closer to finding the source of them. I am now seeing several doctors (acupuncture, biofeedback, nutritionist, etc) at a health & wellness center to see if any of those methods help with symptoms or find a source. As much as, yes Jesus, I would love to know WHY these are happening so they can GO AWAY FOREVER, at this point I would just like to find something to make them less frequent or less painful. Because so far nothing has done that. I just started going to the big health center this month, so we'll see if it spawns anything.

2. Photo on 10-3-12 at 6.37 PM #4
Back in December, we had to say goodbye to Winston. He was about 15 years old and his age had been becoming more and more evident. His health was really up and down and it got to a point where Robby and I knew what we had to do. It was a terrible night (we had to take him to an emergency vet around 3am) and still makes me cry when I think about it, but we know it was the right decision. Thankfully we were in Wisconsin visiting Rob's mom, brother and brother's gf at the time so we were surrounded by people who could take care of us. We miss him so much and talk to him still almost every day. I know we'll get another dog some day but we are still mourning Winston and aren't ready for another pooch just yet.

3. Slide 16 (my dad snow-shoeing in 1971)
Right before Thanksgiving, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. That was pretty terrifying, obviously. He and Mom spent the next month or 6 weeks doing more testing to ensure the stage and the location of the cancer and decide on his treatment. During this time, he told me that if he didn't know he had cancer, he wouldn't know he had cancer - he was feeling just fine; that was a certainly a blessing. Eventually Dad started doing hormone and radiation treatment, which ended at the end of May. He was his usual amazing self during the radiation. He certainly tires more easily and quicker than he used to, but he's adjusting to it by simple things like taking short naps, actually resting in the middle of the day and only golfing 9 holes instead of 18. So, it hasn't upset his life too very much, for which we're grateful. In another couple weeks, he'll go back to the doctor to see how successful the treatment was and if the cancer is gone. Prostate cancer is pretty common in my dad's side of the family - his dad and his uncle both had it and his uncle lived with it for 20+ years. The reality of my dad having cancer hits me from time to time and scares the shit out of me, but for the most part, we're all hopeful and confident. Get those yearly physicals, ladies and dudes. That stuff they say about early detection is, ya know... true.

Those are the faces of two unemployed people. Not at the time... but now. Robby finished his student teaching in April and so he has his teaching license/certificate for language arts 5-12 and has been looking for teaching jobs. In May, my health, both physical and mental, was so poor that I was crying every morning before going to work and I knew I couldn't keep living that way. So I put in my notice, even though I don't have anything else lined up. It's scary but I am fully confident that I made the right choice. Partially because getting out of bed in the morning is 300% easier now and because even without my health, I needed out of that job. So yay for getting out!

I think those are the biggest parts for now. I know I keep saying that I'm going to post here more often, but I'm hoping to actually get in the habit of it during this unemployment stage and then I can stay in the habit again when it's formed. But for now, I am going to go finish another book and work on another cross stitch. At least those are constants.

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YESTERDAY WAS MY LIVEJOURNAL'S BIRTHDAY WHICH MEANS THIS THIS IS 11 YEARS OLD. That's cray. Holy lord am I happy I'll never have to live through the rest of my 20s again. Those were some rough years.


If you've been around for any period of time, you know that I'm crazy about Wicked. The first time I saw it, Elphaba was being played by Shoshana Bean, whose voice was so spectacular and overwhelming that it brought me to tears. Her second album, O'Farrell Street, came out today and it's friggen fantastic. If you like soul, you simply must listen to it, then come back here and we can gush over it together.

I'll wait.

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Can we discuss Spotify? And how much I love it? Because how often are you talking to your friends and (for example) someone says 'free your mind' and you (obviously) immediately respond with 'AND THE REST WILL FOLLOW'...

which then takes everyone down a trail of En Vogue discussion of how he really is never ever going to get it and yet, she's going to give him something he can feel and then you think, 'Now I want to listen to those songs," but it's not like you want to spend money on a song you're going to listen to once every 6-12 months and you don't want to take the time to dig through your old CDs in the basement and really do I care enough to go torrent the entire En Vogue discography? How many times has that happened to you?

Probably never but you GET WHAT I MEAN. You can just go there and find the song and it's glorious and free. Of course then there's the day that you think to yourself "LOL REMEMBER THE JETS?" and then go find some of their stuff and your friend sees it on their feed and tweets about it. #busted

The other thing that Spotify has taught me is how PM Dawn songs are just COMPLETE GIBBERISH.
The channel, a professional liar.
How I long to contradict those vibes.
Joni help me, I think I'm falling.
It's not the love and I quest the why.
I don't know, If I'm right, I'm right.
But if I'm wrong then show me I'm wrong.
The fear of pity is always awake.
But infinite sympathy is completely gone.

what is that i don't even

yeah that's all i got for now.

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Less soapbox, more me

I was pretty preachy in my last two posts but I CAN'T HELP IT. I HAVE FEELINGS.

So today you get less of that and more of me. Unfortunately with where my life has been the past few months, this is could be a bunch of complaining. So stick around! Who doesn't enjoy reading that?

Here's the super condensed tiny nutshell version: In July, I got a migraine that lingered for 3 days. Since then I've had a headache every single day1. So far, no one has been able to explain why or even find a medicine that gets rid of them. That's over 15 weeks and over 100 days.

1If we're truly keeping score, I've had 3 days with zero headaches what so ever and about 5 days with only very minor headaches.

I've seen 6 or 7 doctors and all of the tests they've done have been negative. Clean MRI, nothing weird in my blood work, all my reflexes and responses are normal. I've been put on 10 different medications and none of them have gotten rid of the pain. There was a period of time where I was taking 1600mg of ibuprofen, 1 capsule of Fiorinal and 50mg of Vicodin. Every. Single. Day. And I was still in pain, still getting headaches. Granted, it was at this point I learned that ibuprofen causes rebound headaches. So I was constantly taking pills to deal with today's headache that was caused by taking pills yesterday. But even when I went off the ibuprofen, I've still had the daily headaches and migraines about once every 2-3 weeks.

And now, I've been given an additional prescription to help deal with the nausea that's a side effect of this most recent medication. And a side effect of the anti-nausea medicine is headache.


Luckily, I haven't had anyone say (to my face), "It's just a headache. What's the big deal?" There are headaches and then there are headaches. Even when my headaches aren't at migraine level, it hurts to do almost anything. I've had days when it hurts to walk, because it feels like my brain is being tossed around with every step. I get shooting pain in my eye where it feels like I'm being stabbed with a poker or someone has shoved a blade in the top of my head and keeps pushing it around. For those of you who have never had a migraine, you are lucky and you will never understand just how terrible they are. Mine are usually sound sensitive, so even the noise of the refrigerator, a fan or a car driving by is completely excruciating. There was a day when I wanted to shut my dog in the basement because he was BREATHING AT ME.

So these past few months have been pretty tough on me. Having headaches like this is lonely and boring. I can't have conversations because talking is too loud. I have a difficult time being in the same room as someone else because things like chewing or typing are too loud. I can't always be on-line because the computer monitor is too bright. Same thing with watching TV on mute. I've been reading quite a bit but even that starts to hurt my head after awhile. I've lost count of how many friend gatherings and parties, how many derby practices, how many hours of work I've missed.

The toughest part for me at this point (well, at least today when my head isn't awful) is the emotional part of the constant pain. It's draining and depressing to be in pain all the time. It's depressing to constantly be alone. I am so tired of feeling this way every day and I'm really annoyed that not one doctor (except for the in the ER) has bothered to bring up the concept of WHY I feel this way. I am hoping that my current neurologist will get to that at our next appointment.

So yeah. That's been my last 4 months.

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Part the second: Girls vs. Girls

When watching Amanda's story, many parts of it upset me. A LOT. I had originally planned on posting about all of them, but I'm not sure I want to rant on for a month. So I may just talk about this part and move on. We'll see.

There's a part in her story where Amanda 'hooked up' with a guy from her school. To her knowledge, he didn't have a girlfriend and he was friends with Amanda; she thought he liked her but it turned out he was using her. Obviously, a huge jerk move on his part. But that's not even the part I want to talk about.

I want to talk about the guy's girlfriend's response, which was to threaten and then physically beat Amanda.

No. Just no. No no no no. Your boyfriend messes around with another person, and SHE'S the one you get mad at? Now I'm not saying that there shouldn't be some anger directed at her, but how about you take some of that righteous fury out on your cheating boyfriend. He is the one that is supposed to be respecting and honoring you, but you're deciding to take it out on someone else? Explain to me how that is fair - not even fair, explain to me how that makes SENSE.

There is something in our society and social rules that continues to pit women against women simply for also possessing a vagina. (Also, I will more or less be using the word 'girl' to represent teenagers or younger and 'woman' for adults). Girls and women can cross paths with a complete stranger and immediately come to some decision about her status as an enemy.

Is she skinnier than me? Does she dress better than I do? Does it look like she thinks she's better than me? Is she talking to or dating a guy that I want to talk to or date? Does she dress like she's easy? Does she dress like a school marm? Is her make-up up to date? Is she talking too loudly? Is she prettier than me? Is she judging me? Does she hate my clothes? Does she smell like a baby prostitute?

We've got to stop this. We have to stop judging and hating other women before we even get a chance to get to know them. I'm not saying we all have to get along - dear lord, no. Many of us should avoid many others just for the sanity of all involved. But - if you cross paths with someone, maybe give them a chance to disappoint you before you start hating.

I am absolutely guilty of doing this through most of my life, and obviously not just with other women. I've also had the chance to get to know some of the women that pre-judged and had I stuck to my original opinion, I would be missing a very important and very important supportive friend. I am actually looking for books and research about why we do this and where this started - and by that I mean I searched for general topics on Amazon. Which, on a side note, was hilarious because they had a Bible and devotional books sorted in the Social Sciences category. Yeah, idk.

Part of what I'm asking of people goes back to my previous post: Put more love out there. Celebrate the victories of your friends. Constantly tell people things you appreciate about them or something positive you've seen in their behavior. Say I love you. Show people you love them with hugs, gifts, thoughtful words, remembering birthdays, offering support, asking about their days.

And when you see a woman on the street with an adorable haircut or rockin' a pair of pants you don't think you'd have the guts to wear? Tell her how great she looks. You'll probably make her day. And who doesn't love making someone's day?

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This is a video that Amanda Todd, a teenager living in Canada, made and posted to YouTube about a month ago. She tells the story of the past few years of her life and how she was bullied, assaulted, stalked on-line, isolated. Today, she committed suicide. It was her third attempt.

This is in no way the first story of bullying and suicide that I've heard. But I just sat here on my couch and yelled and cried at the injustice and unfairness of it all. And how it's completely avoidable. I have a lot of things I want to say in relation to this subject. It's unfortunate that this is the thing that gets me out of my posting silence, but I just can't shut up. This won't be my only post about it. They won't all be short and they certainly won't all be positive.

To Write Love On Her Arms is an amazing non-profit that "exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery." I learned about them because I saw Amy Lee wearing a t-shirt that said those words and I googled it to find out what it was. If you're on Tumblr, you should absolutely follow them. The posts can be long, but it is so full of hope and encouragement that not one second spent with their posts is a waste of time. Their tumblr is how I found out about Amanda, actually. Like this:
Screen Shot 2012-10-12 at 8.49.42 PM

When I tell people about TWLOHA or mention how much I love their work and everything they stand for, I feel that this entry is a great example of why. They are discussing the suicide of a teenage girl. Many people would find that subject too morbid or depressing to even bring up. They also aren't trying to make it something it isn't - a child is dead. This is a serious and terrible topic. But my favorite part, the part that I always go back to, the part that I try to focus on, is the HOPE that covers everything they post. They are using this awful, terrible, heart-breaking event to try and remind people that they aren't alone, that they aren't the only person hurting, that someone out there cares about you.

And I just want people to remember that.

I bought a hoodie from their store (and it is, btw, amazing soft and comfy) and the main reason that I chose that specific one (it was a difficult decision!) is because of the simple message: LOVE. In no way do I ever remember to love everybody. There are people that I have to encounter on a very regular basis that get on my nerves, are rude to my face, are mean to people I like, or are ungrateful of the help that I give. I have a very difficult time loving those people. But, as any good Harry Potter fan will tell you, love is so important. It is so strong. The simple act of loving someone can bring substantial healing. (Yes, I do believe that love is simple. I don't believe that it is easy - loving people who are human and therefore imperfect is not easy. But it is simple.)

So, with the threat of sounding like a public service announcement, just get out there and love people. Love the people that make your life better, be they family or friends or even someone you may have met a few hours ago. Tell those people you love them; they need to and want to hear it. Because it comes down to this: Nothing we do will be made worse by bringing more love.

Like I said, I'm going to say more. But for now, I'm going to stop here for now.

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Whaddya think?

First, I think it's interesting that I recently changed my default icon to Alias, considering I also just decided to rematch the series. My brain... it thinks sometimes. And man that show was great.

Recently, I've been contemplating doing a 365 photo project again. I did it back in 2007 (holy balls that was FIVE YEARS AGO) and usually enjoyed it. Also, can I just say how surprised I am that my hair was red the entire year? Anyway.

Then on Tumblr, a lot of people are doing a 100 photos of so-n-so meme, and it always makes me want to do one. But then I remember 1. all I ever post are Angelina pictures 2. therefore it would be redundant 3. Finding 100 pictures of someone else would be a lot of time that I probably don't want to spend 4. I don't have Photoshop anymore.

Which OH YEAH. I HAVE A NEW LAPTOP! :D :D :D :D MacBook Pro 15 inch screen. She's so pretty and so fast and she can run several programs at once and she can install updates. It's incredible. So yeah, no more PS which really sucks. I have barely cracked it open in the past year but I already miss having it.

The other thing that would make this project difficult is the whole not having a camera thing, but I could probably make do with the Mac camera, my phone and probably borrowing Robby's camera.

So, to sum up: I'm thinking about combining these two photo projects and just doing 100 photos of myself. And I could do it with old pictures. Or I could do it with new pictures. Or both, maybe 200 pictures. The options are ENDLESS.

I mean, you could see stuff like this on a regular basis:

Oh yeah, I have pink in my hair now. :) Thoughts?

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