Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, March 30, 2002

I'm saddened by the news of the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother today.

The BBC is running a series of news stories and retrospectives. I have always had a great deal of respect for the Queen Mother, especially in her rapport with Britons and her strength of character during the Blitz, but also in her zest for life and the style in which she lived it. She was both tough and fun, the picture of a lady, and she represented a century of great change. Here in Kentucky, her passion for horses would be dearly understood. Although death is inevitable for each of us, she seems to have lived her life to the fullest with great dignity, and to have died in peace having touched many hearts. I'm not sure any of us could dream of better.

The BBC is also allowing people to mail in tributes/condolences and posting them to their website. I haven't seen an official condolence book posted online yet (as they did when Princess Diana died), but if I do, I'll pass that along.

Friday, March 29, 2002

What colour am I?

You're blue — the most soothing shade of the spectrum. The colour of a clear summer sky or a deep, reflective ocean, blue has traditionally symbolized trust, solitude, and loyalty. Most likely a thoughtful person who values spending some time on your own, you'd rather connect deeply with a few people than have a bunch of slight acquaintances. Luckily, making close friends isn't that hard, since people are naturally attracted to you — they're soothed by your calming presence. Cool and collected, you rarely overreact. Instead, you think things through before coming to a decision. That level-headed, thoughtful approach to life is patently blue — and patently you! The world is about 16% Blues...

What colour are you?
Ah, it's nice to know I'm not crazy. I reference the following Warning Signs of Insanity. I only answered 'yes' to one. I'll let you guess which one it was.

I however did have a crazy dream last night where I was back in an old apartment of mine (which was in actuality a rat-infested dump that was all I could afford as a starving student); somewhere along the dream it enlarged to a large building with interesting nooks, non-Euclidian angles, and both a mezzanine and penthouse. Some people showed up whom I used to know; they had been good friends until they went off in a huff because 1) they found out that a friend they'd known for years was Jewish, and were afraid he would somehow 'contaminate' their nicely pagan house by bringing in his G-d if he came over, and 2) we'd made fun of their son-in-law's insistence that there were non-electric radios and intelligent viruses out there. Go figure--I've known a lot of characters in my life. There really wasn't any purpose in them being in the dream; they just sort of floated in and out, and were surprised that I was successful. In the dream, I had been given the house because I had been 'chosen'. Apparently there were 23 other people in the world who'd had a life-changing experience like I did in my dream (I don't remember what that was--I think I was pushed off a roof.) 11 of them were basically angels; 11 were basically demons. There were two special ones who were locked in a personal battle until one was killed, at which point another person would inherit that quality. I was the good one (hey, it was my dream). I had a special power to shoot light rays from my hands. The evil one looked like the actor Michael Ironside (he's played too many bad guys in the movies, I guess). At some point I became Scott Bakula (really, I haven't been watching sci-fi lately). I had a sidekick/bodyguard who looked like Samuel L. Jackson. The bad guy didn't have an obvious ability--he could cause incredible pain/death, but without outward signs. But we had this sort of battle where certain patterns had to be done in order to win, like chess. He'd popped in and warned me at one point, taunting me because I hadn't learnt to control the power yet. My posse of Scoobies hung around protecting me for awhile, but eventually he caught me alone and blocked the others from coming back, and we had our duel. I remember there was one room full of books, very traditional in its looks, as opposed to a very contemporary white-on-white look in the rest of the area, that was a safe place. It had a dog. It may have been the beagle from Enterprise. I woke up before I found out who won; we were at an impasse for a good while.

So what does it mean? I haven't a clue. I like to think of them as very vivid and unpredictable movies. I think the patterns may have been a factor of OCD--I woke up having a lot of trouble concentrating. It's like my frontal lobe has a hamster running around in a wheel that goes nowhere; I'm not even aware of what the thoughts are--they go by so quickly. That's usually an indication of a bad OCD day or low blood sugar, and it eased up after I took my medicine and got some food in my system. I was definitely fighting some cosmic war to save humanity. I think I've played too much Call of Cthulhu. I'm also reading Lynn Abbey's Time series at the moment, so that could be a factor. I would like, however, to know how the fight turned out.
This morning I woke up feeling awful. I don't know, maybe I just had too much happiness yesterday. More likely, though, it was because of the line of thunderstorms that were on the way. I feel better now that they've gone through, although we don't really need much more rain at this point. My garden is being used by the birds as a giant bath at the moment. I did manage to snap a picture of a rainbow when the sun broke out of the clouds briefly. Here it is:

rainbow 03/29/02

Even with the storms it's pleasant enough that I have my windows open, much to the delight of my cats. I decided to spend tonight rearranging the study. I've got bouncy Enrique Inglesias music going, so it's been working pretty well. I know, it's not what we would call "deep" music, but the man's voice is pure seduction, and it's great to do chores to, so what can I say?

Speaking of overcoming adversity...

Sharbat Gula, then and now

When I was home from my first year at college, I was captivated by the cover of one of my grandfather's National Geographic magazines. It had a picture of a young Afghan girl with haunting eyes--a picture that has since become a sort of icon for NG and for the troubles that Afghanistan has endured. I've often wondered what happened to her. Now they've found her. She was not aware that her face had been published around the world. Like other Afghan girls, she was not able to pursue an education. She has since married and has had children of her own. Partially in her honour, NG has created the Afghan Girls Fund to help educate young women in post-Taliban Afghanistan. This is a chance to do something to help girls attain their dreams as women.

To paraphrase: I feel giddy, my head is spinning...

Today I felt the best I had in a very long time. It was sunny, warm enough to not need a jacket and to push the envelope on wearing sandals (hey, they weren't white, and I try to let my feet breathe from about March to November when possible), with a nice spring breeze. We've had lots of rain (too much rain--it's been flooding all over the area) and everything is greening up. The forsythia and sweetblossom shrubs are blooming. There are crocuses (croci?) and daffodils, and...well, you get the idea. I have spring fever. I very nearly danced on the way in to work today. (Okay, I did actually spin around a couple of times, although not while I was walking up the road, just in the hospital driveway with no one about. What can I say? I had on a folksy full kind-of-broomstick skirt on. It's fun to spin with the skirt out.) The little creek that runs by my house was at that perfect babbling-but-not-inudating/carrying you away stage. There's a mourning dove pair already nesting in our courtyard at the apartment, and the cardinals were making out like crazy on my way to work. (Yes, for those of you who are uninitiated, birds have sex. I've had to explain this to no less to two coworkers in the last few months. Yes, that's a strange topic for work. But as a librarian, I have a reputation as a 'font of all knowledge', so they tend to do things like point at a random duck couple that spent a couple of days in the hospital courtyard to take shelter from the storm and ask 'so how do they get ducklings'. I might add that these people are normally a good deal older than me, and probably never had sex ed in schools. Maybe they just think birds are fighting when they're doing all that flapping. But hey, it's nice that they're curious enough about their world to ask. I have to admit, I had a hard time with the follow up, "but how could a dozen eggs fit in that little bird?" I should probably look it up; one, I'm curious myself now. Two, it'll no doubt come up again.)

I love my work, my work environment, and my coworkers. They are usually very savvy people; many after all make life and death decisions all the time, and even the non-clinical people have managed to raise families and overcome a good many obstacles. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that, especially since most of them have no clue that our journals are alphabetised by title, or that the labels on the book spines have any real purpose. But its not the academic environment I'm used to. I'm probably one of the most liberal people there, and there's one person I'm slowly exposing to my radical ideas (mainly because she comes in, reads the papers, and asks what are probably rhetorical questions that I go ahead and give my take on). And there are sometimes some handicaps to being a reader. I can't use words like "drake"--see aforesaid duck discussion--or "gnosis" without getting strange looks or a request for a translation. There's one woman whose dialect (I'm being very kind--one thing they drill into your head in linguisitics is that you study descriptive grammar [how people talk] rather than prescriptive grammar [how you think they should]) I can barely make out--and I can understand everything from Yorkshire to Harlem English to someone with major Turette's syndrome. But I have a lot of respect for her. She was orphaned as a young girl and grew up with a foster family who saw her as more of a servant than a child, I suspect. I think she was sick a lot, too, and so wasn't in school much. I'd say she's in her 60s, probably from that last generation where rural kids weren't always sent to school if there was work to do on the farm. She married very young to get away from the family, then farmed, raised her kids, and worked very hard to make sure they didn't have the same sort of upbringing that she had endured. This all came out in a talk we'd had around Christmas about what kids expected today vs. in her youth. She was describing her childhood unselfconsciouslly--she couldn't imagine any other sort of upbringing, and while she realised it wasn't ideal, I'm not sure she realised how abusive it was, because it was normal for her. But she was proud of overcoming it. I remember thinking at the time how much more she deserved, how much more all children deserve, and I was proud with her. I'm sure a lot of people I went to school with would just see her as an ignorant hillbilly. But I understand the older rural mentality so prevalent here--some of my family come from that world as well. It's a world where independence is valued far more than education, land is more important than salary, community influence is more important than money or things, and family is sacrosanct. In many ways, rural Kentucky culture is a continuation of the highland cultures in Britain from which it derives. I kind of feel like I'm somewhere between that world (which I grew up in only tangentially) and a more cosmopolitan world (the legacy of my travels as a child and my education). I guess one of the best things about my workplace is that there are so many different "real world" viewpoints that I wouldn't have been exposed to if I'd stayed in academia. And I've learned that one of my greatest strengths is that for all that I'm phobic about groups, one-on-one I can find some common point to connect with just about anyone.

Hmm...I'm not sure whether there was a point to that rambling bit of prose. Suffice to say I'm glad it's spring, I'm already tired of rain (although it's doing a lovely job of greening everything up), and I'm just, well, happy. I took a long walk yesterday and walked my dog along the brook today and let her go for a roll in the grass. I can't watch her roll with such abandon without being happy. It's just so unusual to get a break from my normally depressed mood that I've felt almost manic in comparison, ,but it's just really being content and happy and enjoying being alive. I highly recommend taking one bit of nature today and focusing on its sheer beauty. You'll be glad you did. :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Sick. Wrong. Pong.

Pong as we never envisioned it in the '70s. Check out Pong the Movie.
An icon is gone. Uncle Miltie is dead! Granted, he was 93, but no man ever made a dress so hilarious, and it seemed like he would go on forever. That's the trouble with movies and television--they make it seem like the players are forever frozen in youth, immortal in celluloid. And closer to my generation, Dudley Moore also died today. I will never forget watching him in 'Foul Play' as the weirdo with the fold-down bed, disco lights, and blow-up doll. Two comedians in one day seems a bit much. When we have high drama in the mideast 'peace' talks and another bomb blast in Israel, I think we need all the people who can make us laugh that we can get.
And here's another 'sweetness and light' one. Heh. I'm not quite gay. :)

I am Sunday's Child

What day are you?

I must admit, part of my problems lately are probably due to an impending birthday (April 2nd--my mom refused to have an April Fool, so even though she went into labour that day, she held out for the next morning). I'll be 35. Funny how 30 didn't bother me so much--I had just started my job and was still juggling my school schedule because I'd started working mid-semester and really didn't have much time to think about it. My friends (yeah, I know) made up a poster saying something like "this librarian is 30 and her ovaries are withering--date her" that they were going to fax to work, but they didn't know the number. Fortunately they were also broke, as someone mentioned something about a picture on the city buses. 35 is a little weird because my parents were 35 when they divorced and they seemed so old when I was a mere 15. I think it's just that. I'm pretty happy with how things have turned out. I mean, I'd like to be a little more financially stable so I could maybe have a working car and a small house to call my own, and it would be nice to have kids and/or someone in my life to snuggle with, but really, I'm pretty happy as I am. Zabet's going to help me with setting up budgets, paying bills and working on my debt, etc. for my birthday present. So, maybe by the time I'm 40 or 45 I could have a little house with a garden that I could call my own. Or, at the very least, a car that'll make it to places like the zoo or planetarium and other places outside the city.

Yawwwwwnnn...Okay, I really am going this time.
Oh, ack. Here's another one, and I'm not sure I like the result.

What Flavour Are You? I am sweet, like Sugar.I am sweet, like Sugar.

I am all sweetness and light; fluffy bunnies and dancing fairies; happiness and joy. Too much of me will make you sick. What Flavour Are You?
A thousand apologies. It seems forever and a day since I last wrote, and I have no excuse, as the car is (once again) down. Well, actually, it's in perfect working order. It's just liable to have a wheel fall off at any moment due to a bad tie rod, so it is parked outside Zabet and Hubby's house so I'm not tempted to go out for ice cream and get myself and a few others killed. [Warning, rant on how awful my pre-menstrual &^&$^%^ week went to follow. But, hey, in DBT they have this thing called 'comparison' where you cope with distress by comparing your situation to something else far worse. So maybe this will help you in your day. :) ] Okay, first the car: this latest probelm came on top of a bad battery, replacing the battery which was, thankfully, under warranty. After two weeks thinking I was going to have to buy a new alternator followed by one day of mobile bliss, there was the troublesome battery connector that had to be squeezed together as hard as we could get it so that I could start the car and head over to the auto parts store for some new clamps. On the way I shredded a tyre. No trouble, I say, I have AAA! I am somewhat used to breakdowns, so I called the number, used the bathroom at the filling station, bought muchies and gloves (the temperature was dropping fast) and waited for my knight-in-shining-tow truck to come change the tyre. (Lest you think I am a weak, wussy female, let me assure you that I can change a flat. I've done it nearly a dozen times. However, it was cold, I'm allergic to rubber, and that is, after all, why I pay $85 a year for road service). Again we had to smush the clamp to get the car to start. So I finally made it to the auto parts store, bought new clamps, windshield wipers, and some tools of my own so I could stop bumming pliers off of others. The funny thing about this car is that so much has gone wrong, I'm actually learning what everything is, so I can actually pull my own spark plugs and trace my electrical wires. Who would have thought? So after a quick bite to eat, it was over to Zabet's to pay off a loan she'd made. Turning into her neighbourhood, the tyre that had just been put on shredded, too. So, I called AAA again, and discovered the wobbly wheel. So after a nice visit, they took me home. The way my luck was running, it seemed best.

The next day they came and picked me up at work (it's only a block to my house, but it was very cold, so it was much appreciated), dropped me off, and then Zabet noticed my cat was sitting oddly. I checked and it looked like a piece of his rear end had been snagged. We went to the emergency room and discovered he had an anal gland abcess. He'd been fine the day before. Apparently it had ruptured. For those of you who care to know, anal glands are found in dogs and cats (and thankfully NOT people) and seem to function in the wild for scent-marking and to ward off predators as the animal runs away (much like a skunk). If they get impacted, the animal will often scoot on the floor. If the animal cannot espress the stuff out of them on its own, you may need to take it to a vet or groomer who will do it. You can do it yourself, but it really, really stinks, so most people don't. Buns (yes, that's his name; he came that way) hadn't given any real sign of trouble. I've been concentrating on getting his coat and weight back to normal (he has food allergies, and has to have a special diet of venison and green peas food), so a little redness near his rectum wasn't much to think abolut. He'd gone from 9.5 lbs to 7 over the year or so it had taken us to eliminate other allergens and had a mohawk of hair wherever he couldn't lick. He'd licked himself raw. No he finally was looking somewhat like his old self, except for a giant hole on his butt. Poor thing.

They were very nice at the hospital but wanted to do full-blown surgery, and beyond the cost, I didn't think it was such a good idea to put a 10 1/2 year old cat under anaesthesia, put a drain in the wound, and hope it would stay put. So I had them clean him up really well, and told them I'd check with my regular vet (who would let me make payments) the next day. Imagine if you will a small cat, with a head that looks way too big for his body because he's thin, with big, lemur eyes, being brought out into a room with dogs barking and an Elizabethan collar around his neck. He looked like a little alien kitty. Want an idea of what I mean? Go to Hallmark, choose one of their 'groovy kitty' free e-cards, and then imagine him with a plastic cone around his head. Yeah, I'm not sure Buns'll forgive me.

We went to the vet the next day and she said she'd keep it open, apply antibiotics, and let it heal regularly. Abcesses can be worse if you close them up, and like I thought, putting a drain in might not work and could just rupture open again. Everything went fine for a day or so.

Monday I woke up, couldn't find the cat, finally found him curlded up underneath the centre of my bed, and quite frankly panicked when he wouldn't respond. Once I'd fished him out (after pulling up the mattresses), I found that he was very red, hot to the touch, limp, and unresponsive and drooling. He would not eat or drink. At most he would walk a step or two, then lay down. He sat next to the water dish but couldn't drink. So we made another emergency trip to the vet (thankfully, during regular office hours), found that he was having a reaction to the antibiotic, and she gave him a shot to help with the reaction and a different medicine for the infection. By that night, he was eating again. Today, he purred and is back to normal, with everything healing. [Rant completed.]

My thanks to Zabet and Hubby for their help with vet runs and with the finances. They wound up spending every penny I had just repaid them plus about $50 more. Sigh. Also, even though Buns was sitting like he usually did, Zabet somehow knew something was wrong. I might not have caught it until much later that night.

On the bright side, while I went in late yesterday due to the vet visit, I got a lot accomplished both then and today at work. I had a good DBT session last night where we talked about radical acceptance. I had never really thought about the fact that I am in a sense grieving for a father I wanted, but never had. Nor had I really realised how much I had taken for granted that it was my job to make sure my mom was okay emotionally as I was growing up. She needed me, and I'm glad we've been as close as we have, but it was probably not a great position for a kid to be in. I understand my mom a lot more now that I've dealt with depression and anxiety. She's come a long way and seems truly happy with her life now. I hope that continues.

No blog entry would be complete without a quiz. So, here goes:

You are Spaceman Spiff!
Zounds! You are the intrepid Spaceman Spiff, the engaging explorer ensconsed in an unending universe of exotic and evil extraterrestrials! You're brave, but you should give that dictionary a rest.
Take the What Calvin are You? Quiz by contessina_2000@yahoo.com!

Gee, that tired me out more than I expected. Guess that's what happens when you blog in one spurt rather than daily. I think it's time to put my CPAP mask on, curl up with the cats and dog, and go into dreamland....

Monday, March 11, 2002

Six months ago, at 9:46 am, I was standing at a co-worker's desk, catching up from being a bit late to work, going through my normal routine, when someone asked me if I had heard a plane hit the World Trade Centre. I thought she was talking about a small plane, maybe a four-seater--it's happened before, so I was like, "oh", curious, but not alarmed. Then someone came out of an office and said, "a plane just hit the Pentagon".

I replied, "that's embarrassing". I mean, we're supposed to be the most powerful nation on earth. The Pentagon's our military's brain centre. Like most people, I didn't understand what had really happened yet.

I went back to my office and decided to look up the news on the Internet. I couldn't get to Yahoo!, CNN, any of the news sites. That made me afraid. It meant something big was happening, due to all the traffic.

So I went into one of the rooms at work that has a TV, and found a bunch of people sitting around watching the twin towers. Then it began to dawn on me. I sat down, and spent the next couple of hours watching it unfold. At one point, about fifteen minutes later, a resident from New York and I were the only ones in the room. He'd just pointed out where his cousin lived and had told me his girlfriend went to the WTC every morning.

Then the tower collapsed.

We just looked. He kind of crumbled in on himself, and had to leave the room. I sat there staring--I didn't really understand. I'd never been to a city as large, as concentrated in population, as New York. I'd never been in a building higher than 26 stories. I didn't realise that standard procedures called for the fire department to set up on the first floor of a high rise. I thought they were in the street, and that they were in danger of the debris, but I didn't know it came down right on top of them. I hadn't realised that people had been jumping to their deaths. I didn't realise how long it took to evacuate those buildings. I didn't realise the full problem, in fact, until sometime in October when I watched an analysis of the attacks and the aftermath. I couldn't comprehend, because it was outside of my experience, and my mind refused to realise the full horror. I still thought most of the people were safe. And all, in all, I guess that was right--I mean so many did make it out. But I didn't understand that in that one moment, thousands died in front of me. My mind just froze. And I stayed, and then the second one came down, then they talked about other planes in the sky, someone said one had been spotted in our region; rumours ran rampant, fear was in the air. And for the first time, I got an inkling of what the end of the world could be like. I kind of wonder if it ever happens, will we realise what's going on before it's too late?

Six months have passed. Death tolls have been revised. Stories have been told. Memorials have been created. We look a little differently at our mail. A police car sits in front of our water supply. Our world has gone on, but it's been changed, at first blatantly, now more subtly. We were never really safe, but we had an illusion that has now been stripped away. In the long run, I think that may be good. We will change, adapt, evolve.

But at a price. Nearly 4,000 people died that day, in the space of about an hour. More have died since, in the war that has ensued. Death is a natural thing. Some would argue that death caused by hate was a natural part of our world, our species. Maybe so. But it can be so much more, and in the meantime--it is such a shame upon our species that hate and terror should be so devastating.

It is 10:05 by my computer. May those that died be remembered, those left be comforted, and may the Gods give us wisdom to overcome.

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Oh, I finally created a Friend Test. Are you up to the challenge?
Those of you who read Zabet's blog, and you should, may know about her project, Femme Fatalia [hopefully you can view that page; her server's a bit wonky, as she puts it, so if you have no luck, try back later]. We were discussing the site's hostess/mascot and there was an instant image I had in mind, but I couldn't remember the character of a comic series I used to read that it reminded me of. I stumbled across it again the other day (serendipity, perhaps?) Modesty Blaise was a pulp-fiction heroine thief-turned-superagent from the 50s and 60s. This woman would be great going head-to-head with Mrs Peel (hey, no hate mail, I'm a big Avengers fan with a special thing for catsuits--on other people, as I would look like an overstuffed body bag in one). If you're not familiar with Modesty Blaise, check out this fan site, or go to amazon.com and check out the available titles.
I've often wondered if this blog represented...well...my personal side in such a way that I wouldn't want co-workers/bosses, etc., reading it. But I just went through the archives, and well, I think it gives a pretty decent snapshot of me without being too odd. That's sort of reassuring in its own way. Besides, I'm pretty much myself at work. Yesterday I was telling a co-worker about a dream I'd had the night before where I was pregnant, very pregnant, having contractions, but nothing was happening. I was in a ward, and everyone else was having their babies. A couple of the guys at work whose wives are (in real life) pregnant came by and showed me pictures of their little ones. But mine just wouldn't come. Weird. I think it's because my co-worker, the one who got the lovely flowers on Valentine's, finally had her baby and I think she was feeling like it would never happen. Even once they induced her, it took awhile. But she has a healthy son (nearly 10lbs at birth!) About the time I mentioned the guys, one of them walked up, overheard me, and said, "well, maybe you're pregnant." At which point I informed him that if that were so, we'd need to call the Pope. Too much information, I suppose. But it is a running joke with my friends, that I haven't dated in so long. My co-worker said she'd had the same sort of dream when she was a kid, over and over. I wonder what it's supposed to represent? It certainly sounds Freudian, doesn't it?
As a medical librarian, I come across some strange things. Here's my public service bit for the day. There is apparently a post making the rounds on the Internet claiming that in the event of a heart attack, a person can perform CPR on him/herself by coughing.

Yeah. Right. I thought that too. So I did some checking. Now where do I go whenever I come across an e-mail telling me to mail this "true story" to 10 of my friends in order to do some great deed? The Urban Legends Resource Page, of course. They've got a great write up on this one, including links to various agencies in the know.

Turns out there is a tiny grain of truth in it. Apparently hospitals do sometimes have people cough during certain cardiac procedures to help make sure they do not lose consciousness/go into a dangerous heart rhythm. Now, this was done in a hospital, surrounded by people who had the knowledge and ready access to medicines used to prevent heart death, while a patient was on a heart monitor and they could tell the patient when to cough. Someone probably heard about this and decided that it would work when a person was speeding down the interstate in a car alone. As the page above indicates, many people do not actually recognise a heart attack when it happens, but if they do, or if someone else does, the best thing to do is call 911, have the patient take aspirin (which has been proven to help in heart attacks), keep the person calm and still, and get the person under medical treatment immediately. In some cases, coughing could actually endanger the patient.

So please, the next time you get an e-mail that purports to be true, throws in a couple of well-known names (or variants) of advocating organisations, tells you something wonderful that you should spread to everyone you know, but doesn't list any specific proof, check them out on the above website or one of the other Internet hoax sites before forwarding the e-mail. Even if it does list a source, check that out, too. Don't accept a newspaper or newsletter as proof--often these things get printed in the regular media as well. In the case of the story above, it did make it into a support group newsletter before the error could be determined. You don't want to perpetuate something that's as insidious as a virus and potentially harmful in its information.
My horoscope for today (courtesy of Verizon):

Aries: You've been the stodgy cerebral for just about long enough. Now is the time to shed that old and brittle skin and let a new and more youthful you come out for a while. Tune into the physical, the sensual and the tactile. Dance to melodies that nobody else can hear, and let yourself be moved to tears by things nobody else can see. Perceive the world through your hands, fingers and skin. Enter a world where words are totally unable to contain or convey the wonder and mystery of the experience.

Note to self: This can get you put away if done with abandon.