Jul 31, 2012

Waiting for the bus...

Bus station in Nashau, New Hampshire 

I just got back from a business trip to beautiful New Hampshire that I took on a Greyhound. The trip was about 24 hours each way and I was unable to get any sleep on the bus at all. I did enjoy the whole experience and the opportunity to take all these pictures, especially the pictures of people, which I mainly took on my trip home in the Cleveland Greyhound station. This was supposed to be a 5 hour layover, but I missed the Detroit bus along with 4 other nice people, all who were very confident that we were not supposed to get into the Detroit Express line. This taught me to not so blindly trust other people, even if they seem like they know exactly what they are doing! Because of this little mistake, I had to stay in Cleveland for an additional 4 hours, making it a 9 hour layover. I also got no sleep at the station too, but took lots of pictures, ate some fries, M&M's and drank a couple cups of coffee. When I was outside taking pictures of Cleveland from the station at dawn, a young lady started talking to me and she asked me where I was from because my accent had a "twang". Lol, I really thought my accent was relatively neutral, growing up in Florida, the melting pot of cultures. Well that was a nice Greyhound station, but the metal mesh chairs were not comfortable at all and I had to sit on my pillow. The a/c was turned down way to cold and I'm glad to be out of there!

I found the juxtaposition of the stuck in the 19'th century devout religious Amish people with the modern, hedonistic, colorful and high tech 21'st century society, which is full of sin and technological advancements quite interesting, as well as the lobby full of people who probably didn't seem very happy to this Amish family,  even with all these worldly objects surrounding them. Scroll down to see a few of these pictures.

I also learned that Worcester is pronounced Wooster and that a 24 hour bus ride is way more grueling than it seems like it would be, however the opportunities this gives to take pictures of people is priceless.

In some future blog posts, I will share the beauty of New Hampshire and maybe a few other places I also saw on this trip. Scroll all the way down to listen to some groovy music that I listened to a lot on this trip if you want to totally immerse yourself in this experience.

The first bus ride of return trip. This driver amusingly told me Worcester is pronounced "Woosta"

Man and his seeing eye dog in Hartford, Connecticut

Sitting in the back
Worcester, Massachusetts Union Station w/ Christopher Columbus statue on lookout

Worcester, Massachusetts Union Station at dusk
NYC through the bus window with lens reflection over city

An Orthodox Jewish man catching sleep late at night, with his bike next to him

Floor reflecting the Arrivals doors in Cleveland Greyhound station

Cleveland, Ohio Greyhound station at dawn

Cleveland, Ohio Greyhound station at dawn

College kids in sleeping bags at Cleveland, Ohio

The sun is coming up in Cleveland, Ohio

Amish couple waiting for the bus in Cleveland, Ohio

Amish family waiting for the bus in Cleveland, Ohio

Amish man walking around the station

Behind the Cleveland Greyhound station in the smokers area at Dawn

Waiting patiently at Cleveland station

Cleveland at Dawn from the front of the Greyhound station

In front of the Cleveland Greyhound station in smokers area at dawn

People watching the Olympics in Cleveland , Ohio at dawn

Waiting patiently at Cleveland station

Bus parked at loading bay behind Cleveland Greyhound station through dirty bus window

Emergency Exit

The sky up there, through bus window

The lovely Detroit City through bus window

Detroit Motor City modern art deco building

Here's a little soundtrack to these pictures...
I listened to many of these songs on repeat during this trip.

Jul 22, 2012

Broken Mirrors of Freedom

Irrevocable freedom
Caught in the twilight of insomnia
Thoughts penetrated where you need them
The differences like shades of gray
Embedded in the atmosphere
Somewhere in the fray
And won’t stop bleedin
Just another act of a familiar play

Ferocious wanderings, unapologetic endeavors
Sacrificial offerings blinded by broken mirrors
Boundaries are lines in the sand
Still floundering on this dry desert-like land

Wilderness of rambling roses
All lined up along the wall
Each one unique
Meaningful ideas
Different poses
Drastic surveillance
Regretful wishes
Elastic turbulence

Bloody clinched fists
Bruised and blackened
Too many lists
Chained up inside
And still… freedom-less.

Stacy Young ©2008

Jul 19, 2012

Dream of Albert Einstein's office and working as a janitor and running naked through an office

I've been having some really crazy and vivid dreams lately. Most are drawn out adventurous sagas. This is a dream I had last night.

I was with my cousin at a place like Disney. Not sure if it really was Disney, or just another them park like Disney, but we were walking around looking for a place to get a drink. I remember feeling like having a good drink was all I could think about. Maybe I just felt like getting a buzz, maybe it was a form of escape or maybe I just needed something to take the edge off the stress of life. In real life, I don't usually drink very much or very often too. I'm also not sure who this person was that was supposed to be my female cousin in this dream.

So we finally found a single $5 mixed icy alcoholic girly drink. We seemed to finish it off immediately and then I was on the hunt for more. I was very conscious that I didn't have very much money to get a drink with and was a little hesitant, since we were at Disney and everything there was totally over priced, but I really wanted a drink! After walking around a bit, looking for a suitable place to get a drink, we wandered into a casual restaurant and we each got a $5 small glass of beer. Mine was dark, stout and very tasty too. Then we walked further into this restaurant and ended up in some small attraction that showcased Albert Einstein and this particular room was a set up reenactment of his office, including his desk and everything else he had in his office. I was fascinated by this and just quietly studied his entire setup, every object on his desk too. I remember feeling like I wasn't supposed to just hover there for too long and should be moving on to the next exhibit, but I couldn't help but just stand there and absorb as much as I could of this wonderful opportunity that lay before me in this exhibit. Then a lady who was in charge of the exhibit came up to me with a little Albert Einstein doll and some other nick knacks that were part of the exhibit and she told me I could have them cause I really seemed sincerely interested. At first I wasn't sure if she was joking or if there was some kind of catch to this, but I realized that she was being completely serious, so I took those items and held on to them really tightly, as I sat there and watched a very long presentation in this room with maybe a dozen or so other people. Some of these people seemed jealous that I had these items and they seemed like they would try to take them from me if I set them down. I remember this Einstein doll sort of morphed into something that was electronic and more complicated during the course of my dream.

When this presentation was over, I took a walk down a long hall that seemed like it was part of an office. Then someone who was in charge of that office, asked me to run the vacuum cleaner real quick, before I left. I obliged and as I was vacuuming, noticed that the floor had a lot of little objects like pencils and other graffiti that I wasn't able to vacuum up and was trying to vacuum around. I finally decided I needed to stop running the vacuum and actually pick up this stuff and put into the trash, then also take care of the trash as well, before I resumed vacuuming. I also realized that this was no longer going to be just a simple and quick little job but that it would take a lot more effort and time to do it right.

This is all I remember of this dream. I may have woken up about then. Many of the small details of this dream have already faded, but I have enough of the basic story to be able to recount the main thrust of this dream.

Another night I dreamed of being in a capsule sitting back facing the sky, watching a bunch of symbols, numbers and code flashing before my eyes. I asked the pilot who was sitting next to me, what was happening. He told me it was a time machine. Just then the capsule turned to the right and we took off, flying around just above the ground and apparently trying to dodge the fire from other strange looking crafts and vehicles, some were friendly, some were enemies and I just wanted to get out of there. The next thing I remember was landing back inside the building where we started, which was apparently a place I was working. I got out and right then I saw my boss through a window looking into some kind of sauna. He was in the room with a bunch of other people and he was also totally naked. I remember thinking how on earth could he be doing that! Then I realized I was naked and my clothes were no where near me, but on the other side of the building. So I ran through the building into a room that had my clothes and slipped them on, with thankfully no one seeing me naked. This is all I can remember of this dream.

I don't know who this boss was because I am currently looking for a job. Maybe this was a bit of peering into the future? The office setting was very modern and yet was unlike any place I've ever worked before too.

Please feel free to interpret either of these 2 dreams as best you can, even if you aren't an expert dream interpreter. :) If you leave your interpretation as a comment, I will publish it, unless it's full of hate and venom, then I will delete it of course. lol thanks for reading!

Here's a nice little song from Red Hot Chili Peppers from their Californication album called "Parallel Universe". It's not only one of my fave RHCP songs, but seems to sort of fit with the theme of this post as well. Enjoy!

Jul 14, 2012

Saturday Morning in Mt. Clemens, Michigan

I took a walk around downtown Mt. Clemens this morning on my way to the library. It was a very warm and muggy day and I was glad I made this walk in the early morning instead of waiting til later. One thing I noticed today with all the people I saw is that everyone seems to be in a trance. No one was smiling or even seemed happy at all. Is life really this miserable for so many people? At least they have a lovely little town to live in. In the near future I hope to take a much longer photo walk around Mt. Clemens, including some of the very quaint residential areas too. All these pictures were taken with a little Sony Cybershot "point and shoot" camera, which does just that. I hold it up and press the button and that is all I do. No messing with settings such as F-Stops, aperture, ISO, color temperature, exposure or shutter speed to worry about. I do miss my big, heavy Nikon D90 that really served me well for almost 4 years, but I don't miss lugging such a beast around whenever I wanted to take pictures. So it's a give and take, much like life in general. It seems everything we do has that aspect to it and if you don't think so, then you probably aren't fully experiencing your life. Not that I am fully experiencing it, don't get me wrong. This is just my observation and nothing more. Well, enjoy these pics of this lovely little town. I briefly thought about embedding the Chicago song, Saturday in the Park, but that would be a slight cheese overload. There's already enough cheese in this blog post and just in my life in general, so...instead here is Bush "Prizefighter" from the great album "The Science of Things". This is one of my favorite songs off this album. Just to avoid confusion, this band has nothing to do with either of our former Presidents!

One of the Administration buildings in Mt. Clemens from the River Park

The old Macomb County Administration Building

Mt. Clemens Clinton River Park

JFK overlooking the city of Mt. Clemens

One of the courtyards in downtown Mt. Clemens

This one looks like he really means business!

Sculpture outside of Coney Island

I wonder what they do at the Masonic Temple?

Quiet downtown on a Saturday morning

Anton Art Center - Downtown Mt. Clemens

Jul 12, 2012

Tramadol, Doctors, Still Job Searching and Smashing Pumpkins

Hi everyone, I'm gonna write a little update since it's now been a week since my last post. I went to the first visit with my new primary care doctor 2 days ago. Since I don't have income or health insurance, I had no choice but to go to an office that mostly sees welfare and low income patients. That's me! This doctor was a resident physician that is overseen by a more established doctor, who also popped in to introduce himself and ask a few questions, however I was very impressed with the primary care physician who seemed to sincerely care and also spent a great deal of time talking to me. It was sort of a relief after dealing with the slew of doctors in the hospital who could only muster about 1 minute of their time every time they came in to my room.

Because of being in the hospital for a week and from experiencing all kind of different pain relievers, and since I at least try to use my brain to think things through, I had a pretty good idea of what kind of pain reliever actually worked for the kind of pain that I have. This happens to be hydrocodone, but the doctor told me that it was a new law that they were not allowed to prescribe narcotics on the first visit and even though I told him that Hydrocodone worked quite well and the pain was a 7 on a scale of 10, I got a prescription for Tramadol. (BTW, don't you think that the auto speller here at Google would recognize pharmaceuticals...especially since the pharmaceutical companies have so much clout?) OK, anyway I've been taking the Tramadol for 2 days and they are doing very little for the pain and may be slightly more effective than acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but not by very much. They do however make me feel much less inhibited and a little high even...more so than the supposedly very addictive hydrocodone. So I guess that maybe the makers of Tramadol have worked out a little deal with the DEA...wink wink...to promote them and not label them as a narcotic or very addictive. But I can definitely see how these could be valuable on the street and I'm surprised that they give them out like candy... but then again, I'm actually not really all that surprised since they still consider marijuana a dangerous drug, yet it's just hunky dory to drink ourselves into oblivion instead! Sorry but I'm a little grouchy since this pain is still unbearable and now I have a bottle of pills that aren't helping, just so I won't become addicted to vicodin. Do they really care if I become addicted? That's a bunch of crap for sure.

Now on a more happy an upbeat tone. I've been happily listening to the new Smashing Pumpkins album, "Oceania" and I have been so pleasantly surprised by this wonderful work of art. After listening to their "Zeitgeist" album, I was so disappointed and was almost ready to write off Billy Corgan as perhaps another washed up musician and was gonna wait to see him showing up as a lounge act and also releasing even more greatest hits albums with new artwork and the same songs, just in a different order. But Oceania is such a wonderful gem of an album and I've been listening to it on Spotify non-stop...at least when I'm near the computer. Unfortunately I don't have $15 to purchase an album, but I will be checking with the library to get a copy of it. Although I would never dream of ripping the CD onto my computer! But would have it for 3 weeks to listen too all I want. :)

In the meantime, besides just trying to heal and recover from the surgery and dealing with the pain, I've been applying for jobs...probably a few dozen more since my last post talking about this. I'm going for another long walk around downtown and will take more side streets, stopping in to businesses asking if they are hiring. Something has to happen and maybe, just maybe some business will just happen to be looking for someone to sweep their floors or so some kind of crap that most people might not enjoy doing and I will just happen to walk in at the right moment and before they post the job opening. Maybe they will see my happy face and willingness to do just about any job and eagerness to learn anything new as well and I will get a job using this technique. I'm really trying to stay positive about all this and also trying my best to avoid resorting to just selling myself as a sex slave or a number of other shady and/or illegal activities just out of desperation. OK, I am kidding about the sex slave thing. It's not my thing, but I can see how some women do this. It's a rough and cruel world and I'm finding that getting a job does not always have to do with having the right skill set, experience and attitude,  but does instead seem to be more to do with "who you know". Since I've recently moved to Michigan and don't get out socializing much, I don't know anyone, so that I think is the main reason why this is so much of a damn struggle. Not to mention that Detroit is one of the worst job markets in the country too.

Hey if anyone reading this knows of any job opportunities, please let me know and consider at least talking to me about it. I am welcoming the chance for an interview and also open to all possibilities too!

I leave you with the song "Violet Rays" off the Smashing Pumpkins new album, Oceania. :)

Jul 5, 2012

Healing, lungs, doctors, pain meds, habits and fourth chakra

 So now it's been 13 days out of the hospital and I ran out of the pain pills yesterday. Yesterday I also had the follow up appointment with my surgeon and was hoping to get more since hydrocodone is the only lower powered pharmaceutical that really helps with the pain. Even taking 2 or 3 of the 400 mg Motrins does nothing for the pain I'm having. So the doctor did a really quick checkup which only involved checking my blood pressure and listening to my lungs. He then removed the bandages and the stitches and told me I need a primary care physician. I asked him for another prescription for the Vicodin and also told him that it was the only thing that helped. He then told me to take Advil. I told him how Motrin didn't work at all and how much pain I was still in, as well as asking him how long he would expect this pain to last. He told me another 6-8 weeks. So I asked again about getting a refill on the Vicodin, then after a slight hesitation, he told me that his DEA license was not active right now and he was expecting it to be renewed soon and that there was nothing he could do, unless we both wanted to get into trouble with the DEA. So I went home and pondered what to do as the pain kept progressing until I couldn't take it anymore and decided to just go to the ER tonight and see about getting a refill there. While there, they took some more X-rays, just to make sure nothing was out of whack again and since it was July 4th, they were quite busy. This whole ordeal took a good 4 hours, but I got 15 Vicodins for this effort, which I am so thankful for. Now I should be able to sleep well tonight and just deal with all of life's other obstacles a little better. The heat here in Michigan, as with most of the country is unbearable still too. The heat index today was up to 108 degrees... and we still don't have a/c. The combo of the continuous sweating on every inch of my body, starting from the time I got up this morning and the intense lung and chest pain didn't put me in the best of moods, let alone in a productive or even festive mindset. As I sit here now writing this, there are still fireworks going off all around and now that it's officially July 5th, as of 15 minutes ago, I finally feel like I can enjoy it. The drive home from the hospital tonight was actually rewarding too, since I got to see lots of fireworks in all directions the whole way. So I'm thankful for that too.

Anyway, reagarding the Vicodin...I realize that there are a lot of people who abuse narcotics such as Vicodin. One prominent example is House M.D., who probably helped make it famous, but this pain is certainly very real for me and I would gladly trade no pain for the need to take these stupid pills. I can't even sneeze or cough without really intense sharp pain in the lungs, and when just doing normal activities, it still hurts and throbs. But I will try to just deal with it. I realize that many people in this world have far worse pains and horrible things to be dealing with.

I also realize that all things happen for a reason and maybe one of the reasons for my recent lung problems could be greatly due to an imbalance in my Fourth Chakra, the Heart Chakra. This imbalance can be the root of emotional instability and also the repression of emotions. I do know that I've suffered from these last two things, so by basically being forced to address the vayu/air element which manifests with giving and receiving in the form of touch, this may be what I needed more than anything. It's a rather painful lesson, but a very important one. Of course, I'm sure that in a purely physical sense, this imbalance has been brought on simply by the act of smoking, which I have finally quit for good. What would drive someone who is very health conscious for the most part at least, to do something so stupid and damaging as smoking? Maybe this is where the more spiritual aspect that I'm talking about comes into play. This is all very deep and I have enough inquisitiveness and curiosity to drive myself to further study the cause and effect of how all this is related and how it all manifests. I do know that most of my life I have tended to sort of breathe in a shallow manor, rather than deeply in and deeply out. I can see how this can be related to giving and receiving in life and even has to do with the shyness that I've often labeled myself with. I know that I'm probably just scratching the surface, but I do see just a glimmer of light as I pull back the curtain just a little.

I do wish that I could just practice a completely holistic lifestyle, to the point of not needing these pain pills, but I'm not there yet for sure cause I've been utterly miserable without them. This pain shouldn't last forever, so I'm willing to take them while I can still get them... legally at least. I have been walking every night since getting out of the hospital. It's starting to become a habit and a very good habit too. Perhaps my walking is one of the good habits that I've used to replace smoking. Walking has also become the high point of my day and I do it no matter how tired I am because I enjoy it so much and because I've now had enough life experience to know that if I miss just one night for whatever reason which may seem completely legit, that the habit will be broken and it will be all that much easier to totally stop. I don't want to sabotage myself like that, so after I finish writing this blog post tonight, it will be very, very late, but I will be walking for sure...then, falling into bed.

Jul 3, 2012

Dream of escaping the hospital in a go kart

A dream I just had while taking a long nap.

I was in the hospital and they were talking of moving me to another room, which was across an alleyway in another  building, yet I was talking to them across the alley in this other building. My new room was supposed to be  something with a couch and a lot of political info to read, listen to and study. This room was also more of a public  room and I wasn't too thrilled with being taken out of my little private room.

So I escaped in a go kart and drove and drove...out of the city, across the countryside on hilly and windy country  roads, for what seemed like hours. At one point I was at a high point in the terrain and was able to briefly look  out over the tree tops and see for many miles in all directions. My view was a lot of mountains and I remember  thinking that I could probably see 3 states from there on a clear day... then I thought that maybe it was actually 4  states. I'm really not sure, but it sort of seemed like I was near Atlanta perhaps, so maybe those states were  Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama...that is if I was actually in North Georgia in this dream.

So I just kept driving my go kart further and further away and getting more and more lost. Eventually, the day  turned to night and I was still driving. I remember how hard it seemed to just get up some of those hills too, with  my foot pressed all the way down on the accelerator. I got behind a man who was walking for some reason I was  debating whether I should try to pass him. Then I started to notice a gun hanging from his side and beige pants with  a black stripe running down the side of the leg. I realized that he was a cop and this scared me a little. Right  then, he turned around and I smiled and waved at him. He smiled and waved back as I passed him, but was barely able  to pull away since the kart was so underpowered for the steepness of those hills. So I kept driving for quite a  while still and I passed a Taco Bell on my right. I was so hungry and my usual 2 bean burritos sounded really good,  but I fought in my head about whether I should indulge in such a thing at that point. Finally after a few more  minutes of driving, I decided to go back to Taco Bell and was also thinking that maybe I would then go back in the  direction I came since I was just getting more and more lost and it was night. I pulled over and dug through my  purse, getting the correct amount of money out so I wouldn't have to fumble with it when I got there. I was just  looking for $1 bills and kept finding $5's and $10's. Then I found 3 dollars, but just then decided to get a  Mountain Dew too, which in real life I haven't drank in probably a few years and this also used to be something I  drank a lot of before I gave up sodas completely. So I pulled out a $5 bill and started to turn my go cart around  and go back to Taco Bell.

Just then one of the neighbors lit off some loud firecrackers and I woke up. Kind of anti-climactic.

Nothing's Impossible

Just give me a reason, some kind of sign
I'll need a miracle to help me this time
I heard what you said, and I feel the same
I know in my heart that I'll have to change

Even the stars look brighter tonight
Nothing's impossible
I still believe in love at first sight
Nothing's impossible

How did we get to be this far apart?
How did we get to be this far apart?
I want to be with you, have something to share
I want to be here, I am not there

Even the stars look brighter tonight
Nothing's impossible
I still believe in love at first sight
Nothing's impossible
Even the stars look brighter tonight
Nothing's impossible
If you believe in love at first sight
Nothing's impossible

I still believe in love at first sight
Nothing's impossible
Depeche Mode  ©2005