Our kids need to get out more.
Our kids need to get out more.
April Fools for normal folks. A must have product for folks with poo problems.
It will come as no surprise that I would personally love to save the world. But like most folks, well, I just couldn’t figure out how.
When the Women’s March happened, my hopes dwindled. How could I save the world and still be within reach of the bathroom? Ditto all the other spontaneous and planned demonstrations that have taken place since January 21.
But then I learned that Yes. I. Can! Really! I can save the world from climate change single-handedly. Really! Me!
You can’t though. Sorry.
You see, I just read this article that says that the city of Portland, Oregon has come up with a terrific way to produce electricity through poop. And pee.
I can do that. In fact, I often can’t NOT do that.
It’s true! They installed toilet turbines to generate power with every flush.
I volunteer to power the East Coast. Except for the White House and Mara Laga. Because I don’t give a shit about Trump.
It was a staple of my childhood. In fact these lyrics always pop into my head whenever somebody sings Jingle Bells.
Easter’s on its way …
The clip below was either produced by my childhood best friend, Liz, or other people sang our version, too. I’m guessing the latter.
And it is an early gift to me, and to you.
Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas! Leave the fan on!
In May 2012, about a year after I started blogging, I came out of the closet here on FiftyFourAndAHalf. Out of the water closet that is. I fessed up.
I posted this:
My life is shitty.
No, no, no. I can’t say that, they’ll think I’m suicidal.
My life is in the toilet.
Saturday, May 19th is World IBD Day. World Irritable Bowel Disease Day.
Recently I learned about this, umm, holiday. It is a very personal one for me. Way more personal than I want to admit. But of course it’s not my fault. I blame my sister, Judy.
You see, some time in the late sixties Judy pasted a picture on the front of the medicine cabinet above the toilet in our one bathroom.
Little did I know at whatever tender age I was that that picture would illustrate my life. Because in 1972, not long after it went up, I found out that I had ulcerative colitis. An inflammatory bowel disease. The bloody flux. I was in and out of the bathroom and the hospital for much of my teens and early 20s. What a blast!
Long story short, it ended up that I didn’t have colitis! But we only found that out when a bunch of men (led by Dr. Herbert Hoover) came at me with knives, removed my large intestine and reorganized my plumbing. That was when they found out that I really had Crohn’s Disease.
Crohn’s Disease, is, well, worse. Partly because I can’t for the life of me spell it. But also because it means I still spend way too much time in the bathroom (although I am very well read). Oh, and it can affect the entire rest of your body. Trust me when I say it’s nasty, and that there is no cure. I would be delighted if that were to change in my lifetime.
Fast forward to now, today, December 7, 2016. Today ends Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week. There will be a Thunderclap of posts, and tweets, blogs, and Facebook postings to call attention to Crohn’s and Colitis — to Irritable Bowel Disease — diseases that are often “invisible.” Because unless a person goes onto the Internet and proclaims that their life is in the toilet, well, nobody knows. Unless perhaps if they are in the next stall.
In all seriousness, 1.6 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from Crohn’s or colitis. These diagnoses are life changing — they cramp not just your gut, but your life. Your life really does revolve around the toilet.
So I have a favor to ask of you guys.
You’ve all been wonderful, supportive friends, who have laughed with me about my poop problems. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Or maybe just from my bottom.
But here is the favor.
I have been working with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America to get member of the House of Representatives to join the Congressional Crohn’s and Colitis Caucus. These Representatives will, hopefully, help direct funding into research towards a cure. To, in fact, get me (and 1,599,999 others) off the pot.
Please send an email to your Congressman/woman (you can find their information here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/) and ask them to join the Caucus. In fact, just cut and paste this into the email/form:
PLEASE JOIN THE CONGRESSIONAL CROHN’S & COLITIS CAUCUS!
Led by Representatives Ander Crenshaw (R-FL-4) and Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), the Congressional Crohn’s & Colitis Caucus is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress dedicated to educating their colleagues and the American public on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The Caucus works together to raise awareness, support IBD medical research, and protect patient access to care. The Caucus also works to assert the patient perspective in regulatory decision-making, including the development of a biosimilar regulatory pathway. To join or to learn more information, please contact Matthew Moore in Rep. Crenshaw’s office (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-225-2501), or Dana Miller in Rep. Lowey’s office (email@example.com; 202-225-6506).
Thanks. You guys are the best.
They always come off the shelf at this time of year. The Harry Potter books. I’ve read and re-read all of them until the pages are worn and grimy. They give me comfort when I am fighting off “The Missing.”
“When I find myself in times of trouble …”
“The Missing” — Sounds like a “who-dunnit,” doesn’t it. But that’s not what I mean.
Go ahead and laugh. But I honestly mean that the Harry Potter books — kids books — help me fight off the sadness of missing people.
You see, in Harry Potter, the folks Harry loves and has lost get to come back sometimes. Once in every few books. OK, in the first, the fourth, and the seventh. What — you need page numbers?
And each time I read how they, those dead people, give Harry courage, I find my own again.
And you know what especially makes a difference? Throughout the entire series, folks talk normally about people who have passed. Just as if they were, and still are, an important part of a person’s life. The characters do, and are expected to, think about people who are no longer around. Grief, missing them is part of life; an acknowledged part.
Real life, however, outside of books, is not at all like that. The bereaved are allowed 1 week to 1 year to grieve, depending on the relationship and the circumstances. Within that time, and especially way beyond it, talking about a lost loved one is awkward. It makes other people uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say. What to do. Where to look. It’s taboo.
Death in our society pretty much wipes a person off the slate — we say good-bye, are moved to shed tears, and then expected to get beyond it. We are essentially expected to metaphorically “unfriend” them.
Of course, we all fear our own death, so we don’t want to talk about someone else’s death. We just can’t deal with someone else who has gone to that wizarding school in the sky.
Reading Harry Potter helps me feel like my missing are close by. Let’s me feel that there are folks, even if they are fictional, who let me remember and who also remember their own loved ones. Very much like my bloggin’ buddies, who let me lean on them from time to time. For which I will be eternally grateful.
It’s coming on the anniversary of my sister Judy’s passing, a time that is always difficult for me.
Judy too was a Potterhead, although she only lived long enough to read the first three books. I’m quite sure that that is one of the things that most annoyed her about dying, actually. Nobody likes to miss the ending.
So I’m really hoping she’ll hook up with Alan Rickman pretty soon. Because she’ll show him the ropes, and he’ll fill her in on the rest of the story. A match made in, well, heaven.
R.I.P. to so very many people gone way too soon.
Thanks to Deb of The Monster In Your Closet for making me come out of my closet as a Potterhead!