Friday, July 11, 2014


It takes about 25 minutes of writing to find a rhythm, then the discipline to go back, restructure the essential rhythm, then presentation! Maybe it doesn't. Someone told me that a concussion can alter a personality. That same person told me that a single episode of drunkenness can do the same. That same person has never been drunk in his long life. That same person annoys me.

A while ago, I wanted to write a blog on how to restructure yourself after severe pain. Ah, it's not even 4am, and Lenard Cohen beat me with his insomniac letter, Famous Blue Raincoat.

Being a nerd, or being in love, or caring about something that unites us, is like being lost in a wave. You lose your footing from that cynical cement, and understand.

Life is chaos that people find individual order to, day by day.

When day three of no sleep tenses up your spine and breaks you down to anger, use that anger. That anger can keep you from suicide. That anger is a tool to climbing out of the tunnel of pain.

After my brother died, I was put on Valium for a long time. Almost a year. I missed an nurse practitioner's appointment, and I was cut off cold turkey. A great way to drop a lot of weight. It's the Hollywood diet! Talking to a therapist at the time was very important, because all these emotions come back like a tire iron to the skull. I'll tell you what got me through it:

A used bookstore. I was shopping for a Christmas present in a cluttered maze of topics: Poetry, massage, art history. The titles were so intriguing at that moment, because I forgot for so long what it felt like to care about anything at all. It was a mental orgasm. There were so many options, interests, directions to go into. Re-entering life after you don't care takes time.

So a few days ago on zero sleep on day 2.5, at 3am (I always say if you can make it past 3am, it's a cake walk), I youtubed, "How to deal with pain." A man was rambling, like me now, for a while, but there was a gem inside his inarticulate speech. He said that drugs, alcohol, and porn (why porn? I don't know) are an escape from life. We all know that. He followed with, "You are not living, and you might as well be dead." People that take their own lives are often angry. Once that anger is not a tool, it's dangerous.

God believes in blood.

My point: On day 3 of no sleep, I called a nurse about a scheduled sleeping pill to allow me to sleep. Oh how I love it! Laying in bed (for many reasons) is one of my favorite things to do.

Side Note: In my early 20's, I'd lay in bed and just talk and talk and talk.

When I spoke to this nurse I was raw, fragile, and she was rude without a reason, and hung up. At that moment I realized that I was angry enough to get through anything they throw at me- in style.

Alcoholism, for example, is like being on a raft tied to a dock by a rope that slowly comes undone. There is a pier, and you can slowly see your ability to get off the raft and back on the pier slip away and that rope comes undone. Then you're alone on that raft in a sea, going further and further away.

I hope we all make it back.

The closer a nervous breakdown- however short or long- the more you're realize how fucking awesome it feels to be able to smell, breath, to chose.

After my brother died, I had this need to know if he ever went to a certain rock that overlooked the ocean. I wondered if he smelled the ocean air. I wondered how deeply he laughed at a certain Mystery Science Theater movie. I needed to know all the joy he had to have discovered.

I'm often overwhelmed by the choices we have. In a good way. Now find a gem in that mess of writing, if one exists.

In the meantime, music, lots and lots of music, sounds best while in pain or in love. Just keep listening to music. You'll get back on that pier.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lawsuits 101

This blog is my 1st in over a year.

Last May 31st, 2013 (a Friday), I had to stop writing blogs due to being severely injured in an accident.

One vain California driver in a white Nissan Murano SUV hit me off my brand new Veno Classic (it's the Japanese version of a Vespa) and instantly branded me with the first few digits of her license plate. At that exact instant, she turned me into an Austin resident. The bitch branded me. Austinites drive poorly.

Here is a play by play of the accident, which is tattooed in my brain. This bad driver was coming out of a huge Chase bank and waiting to merge into Austin's busy, Jetson-like highway: The Mopac. Her front windows were tinted and rolled up. For some reason her boyfriend was in the back seat, and she was talking to him by looking up at the mirror while simultaneously checking herself out.

Now, here is where my case gets...murky in the legal sense. Yeah, I was driving on the sidewalk. Yep, that's me. It's not as bad as it sounds. The road to get the grocery store is about four miles one way. You can take the same road on the other side back, but there is a moment where one must cut through the Chase Bank parking lot (small and most accidents happen in parking lots, my aunt always told me) OR you can slowly take the L shape of the sidewalk length of the Chase parking lot back. It's about 30 meters, as opposed to going the "correct way" which is a good twenty minutes of road merging, danger Will Robinson scream your Rosary-type scary. I chose the sidewalk. Actually, I've been using that sidewalk every day for over a year. So I've successfully communicated with the person/people driving out of the Chase parking lot about 365 times without getting into an accident.

Now I measured it: After you pass the outlet for the bank, there is two yards of sidewalk before a "path" takes you directly to my home. The word "path" is important. Unfortunately, there is a huge red sign that says, "WRONG WAY" directly were that woman hit me. But its's directed at cars on the road. Not Vespa's on a sidewalk. My apartment complex was so close. Let me add that I saw a huge Harley driver do this sidewalk.

No motorized two wheel vehicle can go fast on this sidewalk. You will die. The reason is that a pole holding up a light post is at the end of the L. If you go over five miles an hour, you'll slip out into traffic. Simple physics. You have to go slow.

Back to the memory before the accident. It was an automatic look I now know, but impossible not to know at the time. Many times people do not give me permission to pass. Many times they do. Many times they don't see me and I notice so I stop. But since she did her automatic glance at me while I was slowly wrapping my Vespa around the pole and on the sidewalk parallel to her and yards away, her brown bob shifted left and right. She was smiling. She gave me the necessary room to pass her.

My helmet is DMV certified, and ugly as hell. Expensive too. I look as though I should be slowly bouncing off a ladder in space onto a unknown planet.

The epic thought that went through my mind when her bumper hit my thigh- not my Vespa (appropriately named, "The Love Generator")-was:


No curse words. No James Joyce like conclusion that, "Will no one understand?" Nope. Simply that I could not believe she hit me.
That accident was one of the greatest mishaps to happen to me. First, it gave me a nasty concussion. Even with my space ship helmet, which dented after my head bounced off Austin's fastest highway (The Mopac), I still thought it was pretty cool that I had my first concussion.

The accident was double the pain. Now, over a year later, I can laugh at the screaming message I left in my California doctor's general mailbox: I was in an accident and it tore the skin off my arms, knees, my stomach! All because I'm fat! I could not wear jeans because I'm too fat for anything but shorts! Go to hell, please.

That's true. My insomnia in California is treated with this stupidity pill with a side effect of sleep. I literally gain a pound a day, until I flat line at 150 pounds. Usually, I'm not even close to that heavy.

Side Note: That stupid pill is also dangerous. I took one more then I should have in California, and I had to go to the emergency room. That particular hospital saved my sorry ass more then once. Here is the trick which you should only use if you have real insomnia! I kept yelling, "I have classes to go to tomorrow. Let me out of here!" The doctor on call was from Kansas. He said he is from a state that gives medication to people who need medication, and not weird drugs with extreme side effects. He immediately released me with a prescription of Ambien.

Later a friend saw the same doctor in the same emergency room asking for Valium. He was given nothing more then a lecture, and security escorted him out.

Okay, on to the legal part:

In a nutshell, this is how our country's legal system in accident claims works:
You call the insurance company who was responsible for the accident. They ask for photos. Red flag!

Also, imagine me taking a picture of the actual scene of the accident. WRONG WAY!

Can I add that the woman also had three inch stiletto heels on? Tinted windows rolled up while looking in the mirror, talking to her boyfriend (who was allowed to be included as a witness on her behalf) and spikes for shoes.

Sending in your own photos of your vehicle injuries and your injuries means that the other insurance company will give you nothing. They know you know nothing if you take on a big bad insurance company like Rambo. This is why we have lawyers.

If you go all Rambo, they will string you along until your superficial injuries heal, then deny your claim like a cold heart gangster. Now once your claim has been denied (and they will) they will use severe fear tactics to scare you from getting a lawyer. They deny your claim and the bastard who tells you so on the phone while your mouth has dropped to the floor will hang up and accept their new promotion.

The person who does the stringing along and calling and denying has two years of college training on this subject. My nightmare's name was Diane Grace. When my jaw hit the floor after she said in the sweetest voice possible (not joking), "We decided to give you n-o-t-h-i-n-g." I responded in shock that I am going to have to sue her company. Her response, "Go ahead and get a lawyer. I'll explain the law to him too."

Know this: A lawyer is not allowed to practice law until after they pass a three day long bar. A former neighbor's son had a stroke while taking the bar. My ten year, on and off relationship with a law graduate with a high IQ does not help me get ninja-like revenge on all who hurt me, because he has not passed the bar yet. It's been six years too. You can not take the bar at your leisure. Once you fail, you have to wait a year or more.

My point is that it is very hard to be a lawyer. So when the claims agent tells you on the phone, just as she told me, "Get a lawyer. Go ahead honey. I'll explain the law to him too." Keep your cool. Actually, you should have never gotten to this step anyway. If you are in an accident, get a lawyer as soon as possible. Also, go to the emergency room as soon as possible. The more hurt you are, the more work a lawyer will put into your case. They get a percent.

The claims agent putting the fear of God into you is part of their formula. Get a lawyer to escape this trap. Otherwise, regardless of how win-able your case is in the eyes of the law, the insurance company at fault will always reference that your first claim was denied.

My lawyer was probably the best in Austin. Certain a very moral, handsome, young, family man. During our first meeting, he had to excuse himself to join his pregnant wife for a lamaze class. I liked him almost instantly. Remember, your lawyer works for you. They are paid to worry about this stuff for you. I kept thinking he would assume that my personality is repugnant and drop me. I stopped writing blogs. Writing is my favorite therapy.

Side Note: There is always going to be some jealous soul that looks for spelling mistakes. Or blemishes. We all have flaws. This is the age of the spell check (though my blog template does not have one) and airbrushing. Fades in body shape, clothing, writing styles- they all change. I'm a damn good writer. I'm still young. Live and let live.

My lawyer only spoke to me in person three times. I worried that my case was not worth a lot to him and in reality it was not. He took a pay cut to give me more spending cash. He negotiated deals with my physical therapist. Everyone reading this needs to get at least one back adjustment. They are about $43. They feel amazing! Essentially, I went from one orthopedic surgeon to a physical therapist to MRI tecs, getting muscle relaxers, pain killers, back rubs, and words of compassion. Every other day in physical therapy I listened to good music (it's true that Austin has the best music in America- at least the best in the most unlikely of places) got the pain rubbed out of my back, and talked to my chiropractor about what my essay will be for my Master's to come. Like the L. Cohen song, "The Sisters of Mercy," these people worked together to tackle my pain.

I took my insurance money and put some in stocks. Actually a new topical pain medication that came out when I was hit by that damn bad driver looking in her mirror as she excellerated with three inch heels. My angels where there to protect me. Other then some cool looking scars, I'm a more careful driver (though it was never my fault) and I appriecate life more.

As for these blogs. My greatest blogs are the words of others: William Blake notes. I'm still rusty from a year. The January 7th Nativity blog marked the point when I was allowed to write something. I used one finger on a tiny smartphone to type that blog. Yes, I am rusty. But I'm getting back to writing again.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy Nativity

It's been a half a year since I wrote a blog. There are a lot of reasons why I stopped writing. If my ego shows, my words are selfish. Tread lightly. There is enough cynicism in the world. I started to feel a responsibility to write quality work or nothing. However, I have excellent taste. I can point out what will help. But not today.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Marvin Gaye, I'm With You

I remember a rant from Holden Caulfield about his brother selling his talent out to Hollywood. Vaguely remember. Something about two people of the opposite gender dropping a book, giggling, and picking up the book. Then WHAM! Instant love. Out of boredom I watched the awful movie, "How to Lose a Man in Ten Days"

-Ha! I can lose them in two days!

These uninspired movies, countless, forgetfull movies like,"Love and Other Drugs" always end with the female character taxi-cabbing it or Greyhounding it to this 'Secret World'. I guess they have jobs lined up that pay high amounts for impulsive employment. These jobs also hook them up with rooms for rent too. And bonus: in a world where love is everywhere, they never lose their beauty and values, so they live out their lives in eternal youth, blarring Joy Division, and owning the best Marc Jacob purses that their limitless money can buy. These women are smart, love never dies, conflict does not exist, nor does sexism. They get high pay in important cities for their brilliant minds (although they still look like movie stars.)

Unfortuantely, some of these women never get to this utopia where everyone recognizes their brains, not bra size, because, like that latter movie I mentioned, their love interest pulls the bus over (or a cab in New York City Traffic on the way to the airport to utopia). Then 40 non-drug addled Greyhound folks sit quietly while the unhappy couple hash out their drama and mend their love. Then she gets back in the dropped down convertable and returns to the world that everyone knows about except these gorgeous women who always have an "out" when love sours.

That's not what is bumming me out. How do I try to articulate this? I have the soul of an elderly woman. I watch Dateline Mystery before I fall to sleep because I have unemployment personality. I can write this blog. A few days ago my cat was lost for a long time. Locked away in a working couple's home because the noise of the gardening crew scared him. A crack in the fabric of my sanity became an earthquake in my spinning sense of hopelessness. And it all went back to these Dateline Mysteries.

Dateline Mystery is entertainment for the white, middle class world. The homecoming queen gets stabbed to death. But the case gets solved after 15 years. Why is a family's misery 'entertainment'? Because it did not happen to them? The lead narrator tries to get the family to pour their hearts out. In one episode a brother flatly said, "I'm not going to give you the details of my sister's body when I found her. I see that image every day!"

Next are these comments, not just for Dateline, but most YouTube comments. Just insults. A new generation is 'finding their voice' on-line in comments to YouTube stories. And it's a hostile enviornment. Oscar Wilde said, "Give a man a mask and he will tell the truth." I say that when a person wears a mask all manners go.

In fact one Dateline murderess blamed the Internet on why she killed a rival. She said that the computer screen gives false confidence. Personally I try to keep tact while e-mailing, because I've had hateful e-mail that would never have been sent had they seen my face's reaction. I'd like to cling to the belief that people are not inherently mean. Just insecure.

The sad fact is that a lot of people are boring. Boring people don't say exciting things. And talent that is fresh is often rejected. I can't wait to do a blog on Tarantino. But first I have to blog about how out of control my 'unemployement personality' has gotten. That I chase Lucian (my cat) around with a glass of wine screaming, "I love your shiny hiknee!"

Does it take trauma to circulate blood faster? No. I don't have that answer. I can't focus on this blog because my cat, The Big L, is crying for attention. And it's simple things like that that make me happy. Life is a blur. But if you assign love to people who deserve it (and our furry friends), you won't notice the bad, the mediocre, my poor spelling, the injustice. That's the only answer I have. Love those who are worth it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Basketball Game

Years ago, before I got the call that my younger brother took his life, I had a dream. I was so fresh into my relationship, the bed was still on the opposite side of the wall. This was before I cared about what my new home looked like. This was me beginning a loving affection for my new fiance. In real life I slept with him on his NASA bed. In dreams, I had a nightmare that a hot Asian woman moved in as a roommate and seduced my new fiance. I woke up shaking. This was so long ago, I doubt my (then) fiance remembered me nervously reciting my dream.

"A woman came in here and stole EVERYTHING. Your heart. My new life. Everything that was perfect was gone." At this time I knew crystal clear that I loved my life. Loved everything about my quirky and handsome fiance who stayed with me through a long isolation period in Nebraska. Who remembered snipets of me when I was only 26. A gentlemen who I loved against my will. The plan was to move my sister and brother in his three bedroom home. Have an affair on the side. But I fell hard for him after only a few weeks in his company. I had everything I've always wanted. I was happy.

Last night I had the first dream of it's kind in 22 years. My mother asked me if I loved her. When I said, "I think about you all the time," She asked again, harder and more stern: "But do you love me all the time?"

I never knew how good I had it. This is not a tabloid. I have no intention of writing down the soppy details of a death. But I'll tell you how happy I was before I got that call.

My fiance and I never fought. I blarred Air Supply jokingly. There were many family photos of us and our spruced up home. I digged his vast knowlege of music. His snobbish food choices. His ambition. Then a phone call shattered my reality.

The bridge between happiness and such extreme grief is a long way to hell in a milla-second.

From there I knew I lost. I could no longer insult mean people. Because it only took one mention of my brother's departure to destroy me. I was so fragile. I am so fragile. It never ends. I watch these Datelines or 48hours about death on YouTube and they never focus on the loss. But it's the same univerisally. Those 48hours on YouTube have ONE SENTENCE on loss. Because people don't want to break their stride and focus on their lottery ticket to eternal sleep. Death of a loved one reminds us of our own death.

When my brother died I went drunk off of Vodka to the emergency room. They turned me away for being drunk. A woman named Raven saw me the next day at the E.R. She said, "It's a struggle that never goes away." And if I could take that pain from my family I'd die a happy person. It's sick to see others grieve. Unspeakable.

I went out to get the Vodka. I went out to the E.R. I went to the doctor yelling of killing a random politician though my words meant nothing. I knew this was the end of me. No, I will not go into details. But I can not longer drink Whiskey because it will kill me. I nearly died from anaphactic shock from the corn in Whiskey. I drank for so long that my body rejected certain alcohol.


One morning I woke up crying uncontrollably and my finance said, "Whoa, this is a nightmare." He meant what he had to go through. All my happiness was turned into nightly sweats and day terrors.

A week of walking on the beach, talking to people, crying in shock- you never lose that shock, and soon it becomes terrifying to lose the idea of not caring. My fiance took me to his classes. One day I saw my first roommate, who knew my brother. Three days after getting the news. I saw her at a computer lab. I whispered in her ear, "Ambrose committed suicide three days ago." She mumbled something like, "Well that's what happens..." Then she started talking about sex and still owning my sister's bras. I felt sick. Physically sick. So I went back to my fiance's class.


After a little more then a week I went out to watch my fiance play basketball. I was watching his adorably dorky friend repeatedly say, "Hey, I keep forgetting that you're on my team." I started laughing. It felt so awesome! I felt the wind on my face. The air. I could feel that life would go on. Yes, I'd always miss my brother. Every single day he is in my thoughts. And at night he comes into my dreams and mainly still, my nightmares. I watched that basketball game bring me back to life. It's funny what you remember. I don't remember the ocean wind on my face. I don't remember sleeping that night. Or who called to say they were sorry.

Actually you cling on to their memory and live for their values. Even at your own expense. Some douchebag made a joke about my brother's death while in my living room. A few months later, I got an e-mail saying the only reason this person tried to be my friend, was because my brother died. Not hateful people. These were people I thought were my rock and support. I know better now.

Ambrose died on Leap Year. That year, I jumped off a massive rock into the green Trinity river. I figured, if I could take my own life, I can take this risk. I have two people to live for now. More then two people. But these are the blood of mine own. No time machine would allow me to scream, sing, and dance in a thunderstorm. I learned how fragile life is again. I'll never forget so I don't have to be reminded though shock.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Belgian Symbolist: Fernand Khnopff

OKAY, I come to this lounge for free wi-fi. Two redneck t.v's are on each side of this lounge. One is blarring on about Jesus Christ. The other is a football anaylsis.
I thought I'd downloaded a painting of Khnopff to show his genius. But I can't seem to find that e-mail. So this blog is going to be on my limited knowledge of this sublime painter (Oh, relief...I turned off one of the boob tubes rambling annoyance). After I exhuast my love of him, you should probably check for yourself. God bless Wikipedia.

Hands down, my favorite artist is not Fernand Khnopff. It's Yves Klein. And I've wrote more then one blog about a martial artist, French, highly spiritual genius who died of a heart attack at 32 (I think 32.)

At twenty, I was assigning the beauty I did not know that I had in myself to other people; I treated the idea of them as if knowing their secrets rested my entire salvation.

During this phase I did great things- always alone. I would take the Redding train at 3 a.m. only to visit the MOMA in San Francisco. The third floor was my favorite. There was a ritual around the trip. Dress well. Drink one cup of black coffee. Limber my thoughts and off she goes!

There was the eye candy of the Germans. My favorite art visually is watercolor with black pen on grainy paper. Dreamy. Then there are concept pieces. And the best can mix both or stay polorized. Fernand Khnopff, a Belgian Symbolist painter, did both.

And damn that I could not upload a painting! They are angelic, golden- his speciality is piercing eyes. Visually he is on cloud 9. But what I loved the most was reading about his life. He loved his sister in a very strong and rightgeous way. Most of his paintings on on his sister.

During this time I innocently stalked a man who was, by all means, more beautiful a soul then me. He launched baloons with hand written letters inside them asking, "Are you the one for me to love?" I mention him because he had (or wanted, I don't remember) a tatoo of his only sibling- his sister. I thought he was so wired in life. All my life, I've only been an observer. Not because I don't want to get out in the World (sacred words get capitalized) and LIVE, but because I am nearly cripplingly insecure. Now that I am starting to adjust to my looks, I'm damn near old enough to run for President of the U.S.of A. I spent my 20's not understanding....

Side Note: In large part, my insecurity came from dating mean men, who said things like, "You are not a paticularly beautiful person." Made jokes about family tradeties that made me appear crazy and uncredible. And never showed me real love.

....that I was attractive, and I was not crazy. No one can move alone so often like I have- a couragous act- then retain all your previous friends and bend with the new cultures. Hey, this blog is called "themaladjusted" for a reason.

I love Fernand Khnopff's love for his sister. His hauntingly stunning paintings. And if one loves their sister so much, they are not cold like Worhal (sp?) So I'll try to upload a photo soon.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Self Love: Important as our Air Supply

A few years ago, when I was living with a man I loved, I learned something that would outlast our time together. Like armor. He would get lost surfing the Internet, and I'd come into the computer room to rub his shoulders and peer over his head at the screen. He was looking at the Myspace photos of a musician- a wealthy, young, lustful man who knew it. I saw clever captions in posted photos of mainly himself alone. "We live, as we dream, alone."
I said, "This guy is really into himself." My ex said, "If he does not love himself, who would love him?"
I recently blocked a woman who I lived with for ten years. My step sister. Who has time for people who never reciprate your love? And I loved her so much. The World has far too many good people to hang onto those who are cruel. In our early twenties I took four seperate buses and trains (the subway in D.C.) to see her. Most of the time I'd take a few hours with the transfer, and when I got to her house she said the same thing: I forgot that I have to work, so clean my room and do the dishes before I get home." She had such an entitement complex. I was working then too. This girl was rock hard. A thorough snob. A bitch without a reason. One night I was cleaning her room and I found a list she had written. Ten years spent with this girl and I'd never in my most imaginative state, think she would write this list. It was a self esteem check list. She was a beautiful woman, with big green eyes and long blonde hair. An artist too. Well, good at drawing and painting and creating. No soul injection.
No one is more interesting then you are to yourself. Its a lesson everyone should learn. BUT...self esteem is something earned. If you're a cruel person, one day everyone will leave you. Feeding into mean people makes the statement that it's okay to be mean. There is no God to penalize you. No confession booth to dissolve your sins. You create your scene.
I'd rather make a movie on my own life. Tenesse Williams had a quote that changed my motives when I read it: "Look at them. The glamorous people. Eating it up. Living life. People go to the movies instead of moving themselves."
That turned me into a gypsy.
That blog on my cocktail waitress days brings me to the subject of grace. The meanest girl there- my co-worker- now works in town at The Sushi Spot. When I see her I make a point to say hello, and when she is our waitress I tip extra. But I don't believe in that, "Kill them with kindness" shit. Or to turn the other cheek.I'm not the one to write the Bible. Rules are left to the individual- not a blanket morality check list for a society in general.