Fighting The Bear

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything of real meaning here. (As in March of 2018. I told you, it’s been awhile.)

It’s not that I haven’t had things to say or stuff to talk about, it’s just that blogging hasn’t been a huge priority for me. Then 2020…

Let’s not talk about 2020.

I’m here today to talk about fighting the bear.

Once long ago I was talking to a friend about my annoying bitch of a disorder and how most people (50%) who have had MS as long as I have (15 years this year) develop a secondary type that is relentless. Over the next 10 years, that risk increases to 90%.

Now, we all know I’m evil and a fighter. No, not that kind. A literal fighter. Combat-trained, street brawler, knife fighter. It’s a long story, but I’ve said before my upbringing was unique. My first knife-fighting lesson was at age 6, and I loved it. But I digress.

Before this autoimmune nonsense, I was also a bodybuilder. Not the ripped Cory Everson type, but I spent a lot of time in the gym with weights and drinking protein powder. I still use some of what I learned from the Body-For-LIFE book back in the 90s. (I also have the Women’s version of the book and the cookbook.) I give my training and pre-diagnosis physical condition credit for how well I’m doing right now.

And I am doing well. You have no idea how lucky I am to be in the condition I am for this late in the game. Many, many others are in wheelchairs or are unable to drive or get themselves to the toilet. For all my limitations (and there are several; don’t get me wrong), I can still do those things. I need things like a shower chair and a cane to walk outside, but I can still feed and dress myself and hug my cats.

But one day, that won’t be the case. And when that day comes, that’s the day I fight a bear.

Fighting The Bear Art

Dina vs. The Bear by artist Doruk Golcu

Yes, that is me. My Friends of Awesome commissioned this custom piece of art from the amazingly talented illustrator Doruk Golcu. They gave the artist the gist of the scene (okay, a lot more than the gist; there were some specifics that the brilliant artist didn’t bat an eye over, proving he is One Of Us) and some procured reference pics of Yours Truly, collaborated with Mr. James, and surprised me with it for my birthday. I absolutely adore it. Beyond adore. It’s my desktop wallpaper, my iPad screen, and the framed print they ordered and sent to me will be hanging in my living room.

Here’s the reason I’m fighting a grizzly bear, and what the painting truly means.

As I told my Friends of Awesome, when I am diagnosed with secondary MS and am at the point where my quality of life has deteriorated to an unacceptable level, I will take my Tank Chair (because I’ve been promised, when I need a wheelchair, it will be Tank Chair) out into the wilds of Canada to knife fight a grizzly bear. A male one, at midsummer, just before he gets super fat for the winter but has had enough time from the last hibernation to pack on the pounds so he’s not starving. Now, I will either win the fight and return home dragging a bear carcass behind my chair, or I will lose and they will never find my body because Griz ate the tiny Goth girl who came for him with nothing but a knife.

That piece of art means more to me than you might think. It’s a huge metaphor for my daily outlook. Because every day for me is a bear fight. Seeing that painting on my desktop or my iPad or in the frame reminds me of who I am. I fight bears. There are some days when the bear wins, and some days I win. As time goes on, the bear will win more often, but as I’m fond of saying: today is not that day.

via GIPHY

Some days, when just getting out of bed costs more spoons than I have, I remember I still have knives.

If this is your art, please let me know so I can credit you.

If I still have knives, I can fight. Maybe not as hard as I used to be able to, but I can still do damage. (And, in all fairness, my worst day is still better than many people’s best, so there’s that to take comfort in, I suppose.)

So why am I here, right now, blogging about knife fighting a bear? Because I said I’d tell the story behind the art. And that’s the story. It’s a gift from people who care about me that shows how they see me, even on my worst days. It helps me remember (because with MS, sometimes you need a lot of help to remember things, as it’s related to Alzheimer’s disease) that the bear fight is (probably) not this day. It’s been an uncomfortable week for me with my condition, and for awhile there I thought it might be time to find a bear soon. I did some Googling and found out the reason behind my bad week (here’s a hint: when the answer isn’t “you have cancer,” it’s “move your ass” AKA “get some exercise and you’ll feel better”), and I think (hope?) that I’m coming out of the spin I’ve been in.

Turns out, exercise really DOES help! But it’s a vicious cycle. When I feel like crap, I don’t move, and because I don’t move, I feel like crap. That means the only way to deal is to power through, but when you’re out of power, that can’t happen, so…yeah.

via GIPHY

Now it’s late and I’m tired, but I have written a blog post, which is more than I’ve done in months. Not quite ready to fight a bear, but I’m working on it.

WARNING: RANTAGE

Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

Like the pirate talk? It’s appropriate, because I’m going to rant in this post about e-piracy. This post will have language and various other “Dina has been sent into orbit” visuals.

You have been warned. NSFW, 18+, etc.

Still here? Read on. Continue reading

Guilt By Association

Unless you’re a fan of one of the authors involved in what I’m about to address and read their blogs or follow them on Twitter, you may not know about this particular debacle.

Then again, you may have heard about several authors withdrawing their stories from a particular anthology.

Here’s the original post that brought the main issue to light. It’s important to read that link so you’ll understand the rest of this post.

Go on, I’ll wait. Continue reading

I’m Blogging This

It’s interesting (and dangerous, really) to not only be friends with (or married to) a writer, but to go out anywhere with them.

Writers are reclusive by nature, so when we leave our hidey-holes…yeah.

So I was out tonight (don’t faint) with a friend (I have them!) and we went to one of my favorite local restaurants. I do so love this place.

Tonight…well…a lot of things happened tonight that just….

Yeah. Continue reading

The Great Office Cleanup of 2011

Catchy title, huh?

Yeah, it’s not as great as it sounds. For those who aren’t following me on Twitter, here’s a partial recap of the event. I was going to live tweet the progress, but I was cleaning my desk for the most part, and the lappy had to be moved. So I did a recap, and now this blog post about it. Continue reading

We’re Sorry

The person you have reached is experiencing technical difficulties. If you feel you have reached this message in error

GUESS WHAT? YOU HAVEN’T!

/frustration

Anyway, yeah. My laptop is fried. It’s a long story, but the short of it is that it has to go in for repair, and that will take anywhere from two weeks to a month to get back. Hopefully – HOPEFULLY – it will be done and sent back in a week or so, but this being the holiday season, “7 business days after we receive it” may as well translate to “don’t expect it anytime soon”.

But there’s always hope, right?

Right?

I mean, the laptop is less than a year old and still under warranty, so I’m not going to have to take out another mortgage or anything to pay for it, or buy a new one (that I know of…yet). I don’t even have to pay shipping, so that’s good. This came at a seriously unfortunate time, but it’s not the end of the world, no matter what it feels like (and it does feel awful – everything is on that laptop, but the really important things are saved and available, namely my manuscripts! Weekly external hard drive backups FTW!).

So it’s not the end of the world. It’s just the (hopefully very temporary) end of the lifestyle to which I’d become accustomed. Yeah, I’m bummed bigtime – I has a BIG sad 🙁 – but I’ll bounce back soon enough.

I’m trying to look on the bright side of this crisis/fiasco/craptasticness (and believe me, I did NOT need this today on top of a few other…issues I’m dealing with that I won’t detail here.*sings* “Always look on the briiiiiiiiiiiiiight side of life!”) – lappy is under warranty, I don’t have to shell out big bucks, it will come back nice and shiny and fixed, it’s good that it’s in because there’s obviously a big problem that needs serious attention, I have the most important things backed up or otherwise available, I have access to other computers, etc. – but anyone who knows me knows I’m a pragmatist, and I adapt well and make the best out of a situation and make do with the tools I have.

If that means mustard ends up on the ceiling, well, that’s your fault for letting me in the kitchen, isn’t it? It’s not like you weren’t warned! It doesn’t mean I’m unaffected by the situation or that I won’t complain about how much it sucks before I get on with it.

Sometimes “getting on with it” isn’t ideal, but it’s what you’ve got, so stop whining already and go. I believe the phrase is “suck it up and move on”. I’ve had my frustration vents and moved through the stages of grief already. This note is just to let you all know, really, that I’ll be scarce the next however long, as I’ll be borrowing computers and connections to get what needs doing done.

So being a pragmatist helps. As do cupcakes and a borrowed laptop.

Cheers,
DJ