I want MY America Back

One of, if not the most remembered of speeches in our great history begins, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

This is no longer that nation. None are equal as long as the man who lives next door to me can marry, but I can not. As long as one man says that a woman has no right to her body. As long as these small collected and corrupt men dig the graves of every man woman and child who was not given as much as them. None are equal.

As each day passes, I find new lies being spread as truth. New pieces of a corrupted puzzle falling into place to create a country to which I am becoming more and more disillusioned.

Because I am young, because my body is still infirm by no fault of my own, because I find longing in the same gender, because I hold a different faith, I am denied life. I am denied liberty. I am denied the pursuit of happiness.

I am that upon which this once great country was founded. I am a different machine than any around me, and I am considered broken. Am I not tired? Am I not poor? Am I not a huddled mass, yearning to breathe free? Where now is the golden door beside which the lamp once was raised?

The road we are taking is one of great suffering and the man currently in power, the great man who sits at the helm is trying to turn us in the right direction. The vehicle he steers, though, is covered in excess, debt, war, bulky lies and unheeded warnings created by those before him. It is all he can do to first clear the mistakes of the past before the right path can be taken.

This man has my vote, because I know he can clean the face of our great nation from these mistakes. Because I know that he can lead us without prejudice and without fear. In the words of my own father, “I vote for him because I am a patriot.”

My thoughts on, well, whatever the hell this is.

Well, I woke up yesterday feeling fine, but not half an hour later, I felt that tell-tale “bee sting” pinch inside my chest. I had chemical pleurodesis last December and have felt relatively fine while on the mend (still getting pain when I yawn and occasionally when I hiccup). So, as a precaution, I went back to the hospital. I had an X-Ray done and the doctor came in relatively quickly and told me that they saw nothing out of the ordinary, aside from the scars from my pleurodesis.

Last night and today, though, I’ve had what feels like, and probably is, tiny bubbles moving around my chest. They’re all still localized to the area where I felt the bleb pop, but it’s still really a disconcerting feeling.

Is this just something I’ll have to get used to?

I’ve felt that tell-tale pinch before now, but I’ve never felt any of these bubbling sensations from them, at least post op. I have a feeling that, since the pinch was so, for lack of a better term, prevalent, and lasted so long, it was probably a big one (or, bigger one, I should say). Like I said, it started shortly after waking up and it continued long after I got home from the hospital six hours later. That’s the longest that the pinching feeling has lasted for me. The rest of the time it has been no more than an hour or so. I’m also thinking that, since I had the chemical pleurodesis, the feeling of a bleb popping might be amplified? I don’t even know.

I’m also thinking that the bleb probably popped because I recently came down with a cold that has had me coughing up a storm for a few days, now.

As a side note, I remember reading that people with a BMI of 21 or less have a much greater chance of having a pneumothorax and at the time of my first four, my BMI was around 17 to 18. Since the surgery, though, I’ve been able to raise it up to 21.

I’m really sad, too, because I was really looking forward to writing up a post for reaching the six month post op mark and letting everyone know that I was doing fine. Then, pretty much on the day, this happens.

The Science of Human Genetics and Offspring

I was watching something today about the genetics of domesticated dogs and it got me thinking heavily about the evolution of our own species.

There was an experiment done in Russia, where a woman took silver foxes and checked the aggression levels of all of them. 1% of the foxes chosen for the experiment showed no aggression, so she chose them for breeding. Within a few generations, the outward aggression and fear had tapered down to a bare minimum. Around the eighth generation, the foxes were acting almost entirely like domestic dogs. Shortly after, the outward appearance of these foxes started changing, and they started looking more and more like the domestic dogs we know, e.g., curled tails, some had the floppy ears and so on and so forth.

I’m really beginning to wonder about and would love to study our own species and these kinds of genetic traits. At one point in the experiment, the scientist took wild fox kits and gave them to one of the domesticated fox mothers to see if that would make a difference in the general attitude of the kits. There was no change and the fox kits remained wild.

In our society, we of course have the “bad seed” children, who so many people say all they need is a bit of love and encouragement. I’m starting to wonder if this is at all true. Obviously, if you are in a certain kind of living situation, your attitude will change, but there are certain things that never do. Your general attitude toward people will not change. This I can guarantee. I have felt the same way about people my entire life. I don’t like to be in large groups of people, not because there are too many, but because there are too many people who I think should be on a leash somewhere lest their stupidity comes out. I like small groups of people because there will be fewer people who should be on leashes. I have lived in a small town in New York, in a city in Florida, in small towns and cities in Australia, and I still feel the same way about people that I did when I was in second grade, when my teacher sent home a letter to my mother with my report card stating that she was worried about me, because I seemed to be a loner. I didn’t like the people in my class because I assumed they were stupid, and I don’t like the people in the supermarket now because I can assume they’re stupid.

Now, these “bad seed” children. Are they wild because of their living situations, their lack of proper parenting or is it actually entirely genetic? You know what these children look like. They seem to have a small chin, their upper jaws, especially around their front teeth protrude slightly, small and pointed noses, thin and heavily arched eyebrows on a forehead that has a bit of a heavy slope over sunken eyes and most likely, if they have very short hair, their bangs will naturally stick straight up or even backward. We all know this description and, unless we fit this description, we avoid them, because we know they are trouble.

There was a viral video a while back of a child who got beat up by another kid who had been the brunt of the child’s bullying for many years. If you haven’t seen it, HERE is the video. If you look at the suggested videos on the side of the page, you can see that the bully who got his comeuppance fits that description perfectly.

If you go into the physiological side of that appearance, you can assume that the sloped forehead suggests a smaller frontal lobe, meaning that the child might have a bit more of a primal attitude. The protruding jaw might be so that he could use his teeth as some kind of weaponry if needed. The sunken eyes and smaller nose would be less of a target. Even the bangs that stand straight up; if the child had longer hair, the fact that the bangs stand up would keep them out of his eyes if he were attacking someone or something. All of it really does point to a slightly less evolved human being.

I don’t know, I’d really love to actually be able to study this further. I don’t know how I would, but there are so many parts of this that go so deep that I would love to uncover.

What Makes You So Smart?

I like to think that I am smart. I don’t believe it in the way that the blonde girl down at the pub thinks she’s smart because she watches shows on The “Learning” Channel, which teaches as much as a retired and decrepit babysitter, though. I like to think that I am smart because I constantly break the world down into patterns of numbers and shapes far more complex than the average person. I play the guitar and view the neck, not for the strings or frets, but for the imaginary notes that aren’t printed or spaced in real patterns that people normally see. I can’t explain it to anyone, let alone my guitar students, but that’s how I see it. I look for the basic building blocks of the visible reality and try to understand what it is that I see.

But does that make me smart? No. No, that makes intelligent. I have the knowledge to understand, or at least try to understand the world around me and that makes me intelligent.

So what makes me smart? A lot of people will tell you that the two are synonymous, but they are wrong. I am smart because I know that I don’t know it all and what I don’t know, I strive to learn. That is what makes me smart.

I have wanted to be a teacher for quite a long time, now, but every day, I read articles like THIS ONE, and I feel my interest in it waning. The article is a good read, and it’s logical as well. Of course, it became liberal propaganda near the end, but the points still stand. We are living in an age of ignorance. No matter how many people say that the general population is getting smarter, they will be wrong. The next time you visit your grandparents, ask them if they have any old school papers. If they do, read them over and ask what grade they were in when they took that test, or did that homework or classwork or pop quiz. More often than not, you’ll find that your grandparents were studying in fourth grade what you were studying in tenth, if you’re older than twenty. If you’re younger than twenty, they did in fourth grade what you did in twelfth. If you’re not even in tenth grade, they did in fourth grade what you will do in your first year of college.

We are losing our minds, and it’s our own fault.

When I was younger, my mother wanted me to join the military. I told her that I didn’t want to. When she asked me why, I told her that I didn’t want to protect a country that cares more for its nail-polish and designer sunglasses than its intelligence and education. That still stands, and its stance is getting stronger every day.

An Open Letter to the Discovery Channel

When I was growing up, I watched the Discovery Channel more than any other channels combined. I used to love the knowledge that I gained by watching these shows that took me to underground caverns, to monasteries in the mountains and to the plains of Africa. I went out of my way to educate myself with the documentaries that the Discovery Channel aired. I firmly believed with my heart and soul that the world was just awesome.
In 2009, I moved to Australia with a friend. During that time, I did not have a television, internet or even a radio. I spent most of my days pining for shows such as Dirty Jobs, How It’s Made and Mythbusters. Occasionally, we would visit a friend who had a DVR, and he frequently recorded shows from the Science Channel, such as Discovery Magazine. From his DVR, I would get my “documentary fix”. When I returned to the U.S., the first thing I did after unpacking was to turn on the television to the Discovery Channel, hoping to see a documentary. What did I find? I found a marathon of The Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, Gold Rush and to put it plainly, pure and absolute drivel. There is no discovery in these shows. There is no education in these shows. What made the Discovery Channel into the Discovery Channel had disappeared in the same way that the music has disappeared from Music Television.
Before I went to Australia, shows like Whale Wars were in much fewer numbers. I was surprised to see that show on air to begin with, because it is nothing but a bunch of murderous eco-terrorists having their eco-egos stroked by being on television. I did not bother with it, though, because it was indeed a rarity. Deadliest Catch was picking up in popularity and aired with more frequency, but I did not bother with it, because there were only a few episodes aired every few days. I should have noticed the trend at this point. The time spent on documentaries and travelogues began to dwindle, as did my interest in the channel. I went to Australia and stopped watching television altogether except for the rare occasion when I visited my friend and his DVR.
Upon my return to the U.S., finding out that shows that offered no discovery, no education and nothing past a group of sweaty men cursing at each other over crabs and gold, I was devastated. There has been a long-running joke about The Learning Channel and how there’s nothing there to learn anymore, but the Discovery Channel? I would never have dreamed that my favorite channel, my favorite center of learning could sink so low. I have become ashamed to admit that I used to love this station. I mention to new friends that I watched the Discovery Channel and there are two predictable reactions. 1.) “Oh, I’m sorry.” and 2.) “Oh, Deadliest Catch, yeah?”
No.
I am sorry, but the world is no longer “just awesome”. When one of the greatest centers of learning outside of schools and libraries has allowed itself to degrade itself to the depravity of twenty hours per day of sweaty men cursing at each other through a collective amount of twelve teeth, there is nothing about the world that is “just awesome” anymore. I am proud to say that I no longer watch the television.
Thank you, Discovery Channel, for shattering my faith that the world is still willing to teach itself.

I hate and am sick of

People suggesting I declare bankruptcy to solve my issues with hospital debt.

That being said, I got my bill yesterday in the mail. $47,004.91 for my pleurodesis. My mom had a radical hysterectomy 14 years ago (in 1997…I suddenly feel really old…) and that cost her 2/3 of that. Her bill, to have an 8 hour surgery to remove her cancer and all of her lady-bits cost $32,000, while having the outside of my lung scuffed up cost $15,000 more? Sorry, that just doesn’t make much sense to me.

If anyone feels like getting indignant about me being angry about my bill costing more than a cancer-removal bill, my mom feels the same way I do, and it was her cancer being removed.

Back to my main point, that being declaring bankruptcy, so many people have suggested – willy-nilly, mind you – that I do so just to absolve my hospital bills. Two things pass through my mind immediately after hearing/seeing those words, and I shall dramatically reenact them with ragefaces:

Quickly followed by:

Reason being; I already have shit credit. I know, I know, you’re not really supposed to talk about your credit, but whatever. My credit is shit, because of the $20,000 I already owed the hospital from a few years ago, as well as a $1,000 debt to SunTrust from a few years ago, so if I declared bankruptcy, I’d be fucked for pretty much the rest of my life.

Now, the person of whom I’m speaking, the one who just suggested bankruptcy to me, she suggested this just after I mentioned that I am one notarized sheet of paper away from this: http://www.browardhealth.org/news/?sid=2&nid=648

Now, if you actually read through that, good for you. If you also understood it, pretty fucking sweet, eh? If you didn’t under stand it, you see you it says “charity” quite a lot in there? Well, the entire system is basically like this:

Me: “I have no money, oh noes!”

Government Man (Come from the Government): “That is not a problem!” (reaches into community chest/tax pile and pulls out a wad of money) “Here is enough money to pay off your last six months of hospital bills!” (hands wad of happy-paper to hospital)

So, a one time use free lunch/get out of jail free card, basically. Yeah, it comes out of community taxes, but that’s why I’d do my damnedest to make sure that it’s a one time thing.

So after I mentioned that I’m one notarized sheet of paper away from said out-of-jail-free card, she suggests bankruptcy.

Yes. I am going to fuck myself up for the rest of my life when I have the possibility of paying off almost everything I have ever owed to this hospital. I’ve already been told that if I can pay a lump-sum of $800, then my old debt from a few years ago will be taken care of in total and I won’t owe anything more for it. So, if I can get this one sheet of paper notarized and handed into the hospital along with $800, I’m home free with my grand spanking total of around $68,000 GONE.

YES. LET ME DECLARE BANKRUPTCY THIS INSTANT.

I reiterate:

Quickly followed by:

Beware the grammar, Nazis are coming

Something that irks the living hell out of me is the improper use of grammar. I have a tendency to actually, involuntarily twitch when I read, “alot” and “someone that”. Today, we’re going to focus on “only” and “just”. Apparently the proper use of these words has fallen into some dark abyss somewhere and only the most hardy grammar adventurers know how.

When using words such as “only” or “just”, it should be placed before the number or action you’re about to quote. So instead of saying, “I only got one hour of sleep”, you should say, “I got only one hour of sleep”. To say you “only got one hour” would translate to something like GETTING the time, but nothing else. So, maybe you were given that hour, yes, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you slept in that hour.

BUT THEN, OF COURSE, there’s the point of using the verb “to get” in place of other, proper verbs. In this instance, we can replace “I got only one hour of sleep” with “I slept for only one hour”, thereby using less words, being more correct with proper grammar and syntax and coming off as entirely more intelligent, even if you really are not.

Another example – “I only jumped once” versus “I jumped only once”. The former implies that I jumped, but did nothing more. The latter implies that, while I may have done other things any number of times, the number of times I jumped was just once.