Strange as it may seem, this life is based on a true story." - Ashleigh Brilliant


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name: shanna
age: 28
sign: scorpio
live: louisiana
feeling:
The current mood of shanna at www.imood.com

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Pin-up girl by Rion Vernon; used with permission. Header design by the totally awesome Rose. The rest by moi.


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Thursday, May 26, 2005

I've recently (and not so recently) been tagged to do a few memes by my dear friend, Rose. Time to play a little catch-up...

First:

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to save? Roget's Super Thesaurus. I cannot live without this book.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Are you kidding? I've been in love with James Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's "Highlander" series since I was 17!

The last book you bought is:
I bought a few. You see why I try to avoid even stepping foot inside a bookstore:

"As a Man Thinketh" - James Allen

"The Worrywart's Companion" - Dr. Beverly Potter

"Taming the Tiger Within" (Meditations on Transforming Difficult Emotions) - Thich Nhat Hanh

"Soul Catcher Journal" (A Journal to help you become who you really are) - Kathy & Amy Eldon

"A Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation" - Paramananda

"Oriental Love Poems" - Michelle Lovric

The last book you read is:
"The Last Unicorn" by Peter S. Beagle

What are you currently reading?
"The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown & "The Worrywart's Companion" by Dr. Beverly Potter

Five books you would take to a desert island:
"Star Signs" by Linda Goodman
"The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffennegger
"The Witching Hour" by Anne Rice
"Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte
"The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas

I'll pass the torch onto Lux, Katie & my sweetie Matthew.

That was fun. This is one I was tagged to do quite some time ago (sorry Rose), but oral surgery set me back a few. Better late than never:

1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video:

I honestly don't know the exact number, but its quite a lot. I love owning my favorite movies.

2) The last film I bought:

"Foxfire" (I used to own it, but loaned it out and never got it back)

3) The last film I watched:

"Napoleon Dynamite"

4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):
"Practical Magic"
"What Dreams May Come"
"Wuthering Heights" (the one with Binoche & Fiennes)
"Fried Green Tomatoes"
"Fight Club"

5) Tag 5 people and have them put this in their journal:

Paul
Kat
Andy
EJ
Pinky

I absolutely love doing these things; sometimes I'll do them on my own and not post the results - a little self-exploration. So, *wink wink nudge nudge* - tag me anytime, folks.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 5:50 AM
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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

It's been awhile since I've shared any irritating-scam-spam-crap emails forwarded to me by co-workers. It isn't that I haven't been getting them, just that it was only more of the same bilge. This one, however, caught my eye (me in italics, like you didn't know):

You have just been KISSED by the Dancing Baby! .

Oh...yay?

something good will happen to you at 1:00-4:00 pm tomorrow, it could be anywhere.

What could be anywhere? My "something good" is a "what" - it's a thing? I'm going to get a tangible "something good"? Bring it on.

Get ready for the biggest shock in your life if you break this chain u will be cursed for the next 10yrs.

Wait a minute. I thought we were friends - I thought you were going to give me some good thing b/tw 1-4 tomorrow. And now you're *threatening* me?! What happened? Where did we go wrong? Ten years? I mean, come on - you only get seven for breaking a mirror. I'm going to get *ten years* for not forwarding this stupid piece of crap on? Oh, the inhumanity!!

Send this to 10people in 15min

Nah. I think I'll take my chances with the bad luck, rather than piss all of my friends off by sending them threatening letters. Maybe my luck will be shitty, but at least people won't be blocking my email address.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 11:13 AM
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You've got to be fucking kidding me!!!

Check this shit out from TechRepublic:
California state senators approved a bill on Thursday that would ban hunters from killing animals over the Internet.

Hunters can currently stalk prey online at Live-shot.com, a Web site linking firearms and cameras so customers can point, click and shoot antelope, sheep and wild hogs on a Texas ranch from thousands of miles away.


See more here.

I am completely appalled that this website even EXISTS! Hunters aren't my favorite lot to begin with, but to be so lazy as to sit on your ass at home and shoot animals from your computer. What do they do with the bodies? At least if you're out hunting in the wild, you bring home the bodies and eat the meat; this is a complete waste! This is NOT sport!!

Thankfully, states across the U.S. are working to ban this type of website before it leaves its homestate of California (where a ban is already being written up). There is also a federal bill in the works that would outlaw such websites in the United States, period.

I just can't find one good reason why a website like this should exist, and I have to say that I'm amazed it even does.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 5:15 AM
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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Okay, I've updated you (below) and let you in on what was going on. Now, it's time to lighten up. It's gotten entirely too serious over here and that's no fun for very long.

I've got a lot of catch-up blogging to do. I've been tagged for a few memes, I've taken a few quizzes I'd like to share the results of, and, even in my harried state, there have been things I've wanted to bitch about! Last but not least, my sis sent me a few new juicy tidbits from everyone's favorite The Westside Shopper. Much to look forward to in the coming week..

Let's start small, though. In trying to catch up on my blog-reading (I've missed all of you!), I saw that Justice had taken a cool quiz that I just had to do. Here are my results:

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative

94%

Idealist

88%

Materialist

75%

Postmodernist

50%

Romanticist

50%

Modernist

38%

Existentialist

31%

Fundamentalist

25%

What is Your World View? (corrected...again)
created with QuizFarm.com


What about you?

More to come...


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 9:47 AM
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Update

Over the weekend, I was able to talk to a trusted friend who is very familiar with the world of mental problems and the medication that is prescribed to help it. Her advice on the Lamictal was not to take it if I did not feel comfortable with it or the doctor (I didn't). She said she felt the doc shouldn't have prescribed something so strong for me right at the start without any additional therapy or tests to see if *needed* something like that.

I made the decision to start off smaller. Lamictal is said to be prescribed for those that didn't take well or get relief from other anti-depressants. Years ago, Zoloft worked for me. I have the starter pack and a 'scipt my primary care doc gave to me before I saw the psychiatrist, and I started it last night. We'll see how the Zoloft works out. If it does work, I won't even have to get on the much stronger stuff.

Thanks to all of you for the kind words and wonderful support. It really does help to know that, no matter what, I'm not alone.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 5:15 AM
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Friday, May 20, 2005

Okay...the jig is up. There's been a lot of days-long absences, and lack of quality posting around here and you guys deserve an explanation. No, you do. You come here faithfully every few days, you check on me, you voice your concern when I go M.I.A. - you care and I want you to know what's up.

As I've mentioned on and off here in the past, I am struggling with mental problems. These have recently gone from bad to worse to absolutely unlivable. Everything sends me into a panic, the simplest of tasks seem overwhelming and nerve-wracking, and even my sleep, which is usually unfettered and my only escape, has been afflicted.

For example, driving to and from work is hard. I am nervous, shaky and unexplainably afraid. Of what, I couldn't tell you. I just am. It's like that a lot now. I'm terrified. Added to my growing mental-problems' inventory is now, also, social anxiety. Whoopee. The blunt, outspoken and normally charismatic, open and friendly me has become quiet, withdrawn and jittery at the thought of being around large numbers of people. Even going out to dinner, which I love, is difficult lately.

If I had to categorize it, I say it's a hefty amount of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, mixed in with a healthy dose of Severe Depression, a smattering of Social Anxiety, and all backed up by a solid case of Bipolar Disorder. And there's the Self-Mutilation thrown in, time to time, for good measure. Yes, I've been cutting again.

Not exactly the most fun way to live life, I can assure you. So how bad has it gotten? I've decided to take the Happy-Pills-Plunge. Yes, I'm finally admitting that I need extra help to get out of this slump/funk/crack that I've fallen so deep into. You might remember, in the past, that I had a pretty firm don't-want-to-do-that stance on taking pills. Yet, I told you on May 11 that I was going to the doc and ask to be put on Lexapro. A bit more has happened since then, and I've been trying to deal with it - trying to get it straight in my own head before I came out with it here.

Then, this morning, I read EJ's wonderful & brave post about her own struggles with mental problems and medication, and I knew it was time to speak out. Thanks, EJ; it takes courage to "come out" like that, but you did it beautifully. Everyone who's struggled with this kind of stuff should take a moment to read her poignant poem "Bi-Polar".

To bring you up to speed, my doctor prescribed Zoloft rather than Lexapro, because I'd been on it years before and it had helped. But he wanted me to see a psychiatrist. I did so; she wasn't the nicest of people but was very to-the-point and professional (almost too much so) - the only time she showed any emotion is when she asked to see my scars. She did a double-take and an astonished, "Oh my god"; nothing like shocking the seasoned veterans, I tell ya. She said she did not think Zoloft would be enough for me and prescribed Lamictral.

I'd never heard of it, but I've learned a lot from scouring the 'Net the last few days. I'm terrified - of course - about taking any medication, and my spirits weren't buoyed to read labels on the pill bottle saying "Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while on this medication" and "Wear identification that says you are taking this medication while on it". Nice. If anyone has been, or knows someone that has been (or is), on Lamictral, please share your stories with me.

My body has a weird way of reacting to medicines, so we'll have to see how it goes. In the past few days I've bounced around from deciding not to take it all to giving it a try on Saturday (when I'm home and have nothing to do, in case of a bad reaction). Right now I'm planning to take it, but that could change. I'm scared.

I just wanted all of you to know what is going on with me, why I've been so distant or not really here. The simple act of living has become almost impossible to maintain, and I've just been trying to fix myself. All I know is that I'm tired of living - or not living - like this. I'm tired of crying, of being stressed out, of having panic attacks, of being scared all of the time. It isn't me; not the real me - I'm not like this. Let's hope this journey I'm about to begin can lead me back to the old Shanna.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 8:24 AM
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Thursday, May 19, 2005

I am so wickedly enjoying this post on Yahoo!'s Buzz page:

Gingerly Handling the Truth - Britney and Kevin
Celebrities intent on staying in the public eye have some options. A scandalous affair is a popular choice and one that guarantees plenty of press. Others chase endorsements and become highly paid hucksters for cell phones and perfume. And more than a few bid adieu to dignity and broadcast their private lives on television. Paris, Ashlee, Anna Nicole -- they've all done it with varying degrees of self-humiliation. Well, move over ladies, 'cause Britney aims to one up all y'all with the help of hubby/houseboy/former backup dancer Kevin Federline in their new show, Britney and Kevin: Chaotic.

Searches on the show, who's title presumably refers to the pair's always on-the-go lifestyle, jumped 229% and into our top 50 movers. It overcame premiering on UPN (+162%) - the network of broken dreams. While some may scoff at the show's popularity in Search, not to mention the lame "Can you handle our truth?" tagline, questions must be asked. Namely, why would anyone want to watch grainy video footage of K-Fed? No, really, why? Do the queries come from pop culture aficionados who know a so-bad-it's-terrible trainwreck when they see one? We'll never know the level of irony in these searches, but perhaps that's appropriate. 'Cause if we did know the truth, something tells us we probably couldn't handle it.


It's nice to know I'm the not only one who realizes Brit has completely trashed her hard-earned career all to hell with her tawdry, dim-witted skankiness.

Hey, I'm in pain, I'm allowed to find joy in the downfall of others, ok? Bye, bye Britney - no one will ever take you seriously as a performer/entertainer/celeb again. There is some justice in the world after all.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 11:30 AM
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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

If I leave the house today, people are going to think I got beat the f- up. My face is still swollen & I have two large bruises just underneath each cheek. Very nice; I'd be so in vogue if the battered woman look was in.

I've been wanting to post, but the haze of prescribed narcotics I've been on has made my brain a tad fuzzy.

Freaky ShitMy strange mind state was not helped out one bit last night when, watching hours of "Law & Order" (my latest favorite indulgence), I saw another one of the damn freaky-as-hell Burger King commercials. I had nightmares. Is anyone else a little spooked by the silent and over-sized plastic king head? Is it just me?

I wish I had more to offer, but the pain pills are sucking most of my brainpower. Just wanted you all to know I'm still alive, and afraid of the Burger King king. Later.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 7:47 AM
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Friday, May 13, 2005

Two things.

I'm writing this from my bed because:

1. My wisdom teeth were removed a few hours ago. I'm hurting, but not terribly, and just hoping the bleeding stops soon.

2. I HAVE A NEW LAPTOP!! Courtesy of wonderful man. More details when my brain is not so addled w/ pain pills.

Have a good weekend.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 12:18 PM
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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Another chunk of IM-insanity:

This was great. I was prodding and trying to find out just what the freak was offering to pay me for, but he was very shady. And apparently he will only "help" you if you have a cam; people without cams need not apply. Everyone else, robert36h (who claims to be from Kentucky but types like all the other asshat foreigner freaks that IM me) has money to give; contact him.

Anyone that IM's robert36h, here, asking for money & gets a good chat transcript with him, email it to me; if we get enough he may get his own page on the Halls of Stupid just like Mango Boy did.

robert36h: need to make some money?

robert36h: Are you there?

ranting_heathen: Was asleep. Why did you ask me if I wanted to make some money?

robert36h: how much do you need?

ranting_heathen: I'm sorry, why are you asking me this?

robert36h: i like helping other peoples

ranting_heathen: You send money to random strangers for nothing?

robert36h: ok

robert36h: turn your cam


ranting_heathen: No, not ok. You tell me what the deal is here. Quit trying to be sneaky, and be up front & honest.

ranting_heathen: I think if you're offering up something like that, you'd be up front from the start.

robert36h: sry i'm not here for fun

ranting_heathen: I didn't say you were - I'm asking you what you are here for.

robert36h: i already told you

ranting_heathen: You didn't tell me what I'd have to do to get money from you, no.

robert36h: i told you that like helpinothers

robert36h: dou understand


ranting_heathen: And I'm asking - you send money to strangers for nothing in return?

robert36h: ok

robert36h: turn your cam


ranting_heathen: I understand you like to help people, but I think you want something.

ranting_heathen: Why would I do that?

robert36h: wanna see you to can help u

ranting_heathen: I don't think you need to see me to help me. That's ridiculous.

ranting_heathen: What difference does that make?

robert36h: cool it's your point

ranting_heathen: English isn't your native language, is it?

robert36h: but i hope you see my point too

ranting_heathen: I don't see your point, when I ask you what you want in return you tell me "ok". You aren't being very informative.

robert36h: already i told u all that i have

ranting_heathen: Ok, so how do I get this money?

robert36h: sry can't help you if you don't want helping yourself

ranting_heathen: I keep asking you what you want me to do and you won't tell me. Stop playing games, please.

ranting_heathen: Are you going to tell me?

robert36h: look i'm not here for fun i told you so please dunnnn hurt me cuz i'm not going to hurt others or you

ranting_heathen: Look, quit putting my words in my mouth. I'm not here for fun either. Just be open and tell me what you want.

ranting_heathen: I think it's a pretty simple request.

robert36h: I'm not here for game do u understand?

ranting_heathen: Do you understand that I am trying to ask you WHAT you ARE here for? I don't play games.

robert36h: ok

robert36h: turn your cam


ranting_heathen: So what do you want, really?

ranting_heathen: You tell me what you expect me to do once that cam is on. I think I have a right to ask.

robert36h: wanna see you to can see how i could helpi9n u

ranting_heathen: Why do you need to see me?

ranting_heathen: ?

robert36h: please i'm sry i can't help you coz i'm not going to get you to jail please leave me alone

robert36h: bye


ranting_heathen: Who's talking about jail? No one's going to jail.

ranting_heathen: I want to know what you're offering me money for. I think I'm being very reasonable here.

robert36h: Please don't bother me anymore

ranting_heathen: You "bothered" me first and
I'm trying to figure out why.

ranting_heathen: Don't I have a right to ask these questions?

robert36h: turn your cam if you like help you

ranting_heathen: Do you want me to do sexual things on the cam? If so, why can't you just say that?

robert36h: why do you say dat

robert36h: what's wrong w/u


ranting_heathen: I can't figure out why else you'd NEED to see me on cam.

ranting_heathen: And you won't tell me.

robert36h: ok

robert36h: when you like answer you turn your on may i could reply u


robert36h: nite

ranting_heathen: When you answer my question, I may turn my cam on.

robert36h: nope

ranting_heathen: You're not being fair - why would I do it if you won't tell me "why'?

ranting_heathen: That's creepy.

robert36h: don't need it yet

ranting_heathen: Don't need what?

ranting_heathen: You're acting scary - no one is going to do what you ask.

robert36h: you said that i answer ur q then you may turn it and i said don't need it

ranting_heathen: There are dangerous people out there on the web, I won't show myself to a stranger without a good reason. Doesn't that make sense?

ranting_heathen: Fine.

ranting_heathen: I still want to know how you send money to strangers. Do they give you their address? I'm curious about this.

ranting_heathen: Do you use Paypal? I mean, how do you do it?

ranting_heathen: And WHY?

ranting_heathen: And do you only "help" people with cams?

robert36h: ofcourse

robert36h: when you turn your cam may answer you


ranting_heathen: So you won't help someone if they don't have a cam?

robert36h: nite

ranting_heathen: Answer me. I don't want to play your little game so you don't want to "help" me anymore?

ranting_heathen: You're such a good samaritan but you only like to help people that have cams?

ranting_heathen: It sounds like you're paying people for sex shows, honestly.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:27 AM
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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I wish I could say I've been away because of my wisdom tooth, but that would only be a half-truth. The docs have me on antibiotics (the pain was the result of a bad infection) and I go in on Friday to have all four of the suckers removed.

But my absence can be attributed to other factors, considering I'm not in constant and agonizing pain anymore. I'm depressed. I don't know exactly when it started but this blackness has been growing and threatening to swallow me up for some time now. Worse than that, I'm stressed; not for any real reason in particular - rather, the simplest tasks throw me in a tizzy. Every little thing overwhelms me. Not that many years ago I was cool-headed and laid-back. Now I'm a freakin' basket case, panicking over the slightest events that present themselves. Driving to the post office has become a nerve-wracking ordeal for me.

I know it has something to do with my on going leg problems - as you know, complications stemming from surgery I had almost three years ago (the original surgery was in July of 2002). I'm quite aware of how living near-cripple for this long period, and with no end in sight really, has made me bitter and anxious. I know I need to fight, but I still don't know what I'm supposed to do exactly. I was making a lot of progress after the "clean-up" surgery I had last summer, but the winter threw me for a bad loop; when the cold came in I froze up stiffer than a board and was unable to continue my rigorous physical therapy I was giving myself. The last visit with my doc (in March) did not go well; he says I'm almost as stiff and "frozen" as I was before the surgery and he wanted to see me again in six weeks. He told me to up the weight pressure from the Dynasplint (yes, I still sleep in that thing every night) and he expected me to be more straight when I returned. The progress wasn't good, so I simply didn't go back. I know that's bad, but... I'm tired of bad news; I just don't know if my battered soul can take much more of it.

When you're depressed, which I have been since all of this started, you lose the will to fight. It has hindered my progress with recovery, I know it. I give up when, before, I would've continued to fight. A few weeks ago I made the decision to get some help. We all know therapy didn't do it for me, and I go see the doctor on Thursday to ask him to put me on happy pills; I've finally succumbed to the fact that I'm in so deep I'm going to need some help getting back out.

I'm going to try my hand at Lexapro, which numerous friends and acquaintances have recommended for depression and generalized anxiety-disorder. They claim it has no side effects, and has worked wonderfully for them. I know a good friend who has been taking it a year, and have noticed the positive effect it's had on him.

Once I get my mind straight, I can begin to focus on my leg again. It's nearly impossible to stay trained on such a time-consuming and serious recovery when you're suffering from daily panic attacks and a general feeling of "uck".

I sat down this morning to write a post about flying fingernails, and all of this just poured out of me. It's helped me put things in perspective, though. As always, thank you all for your continued support. Someday I'll have all of this beat.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 3:44 AM
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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

It started last Thursday; the old wisdom teeth started aching. I've known for years they needed to be cut out but lack of a regular dentist and, more importantly, dental insurance had me always putting it off.

They get achey every now and again, and I can't eat on that side of my mouth until it stops aching - usually a few hours or a day or so later. All four hurt - different ones at different times.

This past Thursday it began - both sides of my lower jaw, the right being the worse. I waited, but the few hours or few days didn't end; instead the pain got worse; much worse. I knew something was more wrong than usual. I spent the entire weekend drunk just to alleviate the pain (hey, it worked).

Monday morning I called a dentist and was able to get an early Tuesday appointment. To demonstrate the severity of the condition, I offer you this shot of my x-ray from this morning's appointment (my tooth gives new meaning to the word "impacted"):

My Impacted Wisdom Tooth

Let me just say, for the record, it hurts every damn bit as much as it looks like it does.

If you're having trouble figuring out the photo, let me help. The white arrow is pointing to my horizontal tooth (the wisdom tooth) which is forcibly pushing on my regularly vertical teeth. See? Yeah, it's a bitch.

The dentist said it would be a "very complicated extraction" and referred me to an oral surgeon; he also sent me home with antibiotics and pain pills until I can be cut open. I made the appointment with the oral surgeon - tomorrow at 10:45am; I'm expecting the surgery to be scheduled fairly quickly.

I haven't been posting, and now you know why. If I don't post again soon, you will still know why, and if I do and its incomprehensible you'll know it's because I'm on killer pain pills just so that I can stand the horrible and agonizing torture going on inside my own mouth.

Wish me and my stubborn wisdom teeth luck.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 9:13 AM
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