Believe in the Flowers.

Carol of the Zombie Jesus!

To those who are angry because the Chinese are being "brought down" by the controversy surrounding their medals:
First, there is controversy for good reason. A lot of information has been found and then mysteriously destroyed or edited by the Chinese government. This information has consistently shown that SEVERAL of the female Chinese gymnasts - not just He - were under the current age limit (16 years of age by the Olympics in question) while competing in Beijing. Despite having proof of all of this information that has existed and yet disappeared after discovery, the IOC has thus far chosen to ignore protests from EVERY OTHER COUNTRY, not just America, and not investigate the ages of the gymnasts. Only within the last couple of days has the IOC agreed that an investigation is necessary, and who knows how long it will be before someone comes to an actual conclusion as to whether or not everything is in order (please note that while the IOC accepts government-issued passports as identification and proof of age, these documents are easily forged if it's done by the government that issued them). It might well be time for the next Olympics, and if a decision isn't reached by then, these same gymnasts - who are far more likely to be of age by then - will probably be competing again and will not be excluded from the games in 2012. China has, throughout these games, done their part to swindle the rest of the world, including giving TV networks pre-filmed fireworks footage to use during the opening, dubbing the voice of a seven-year-old girl over that of a nine-year-old girl because the original singer was not as cute as her older counterpart, and forcing migrant workers out of the city and quelling family protests over the recent devastating earthquakes to ensure that the rest of the world sees only the "new, positive" face of China and Beijing.
Second, America is well behind in the medal count for golds. China is beating us, and this holds true for gymnastics as well as in general. When Nastia Luikin tied for the gold only a couple of days ago, the tiebreaker software decided that she was the silver medalist, and one of the Chinese gymnasts was the gold medalist. America could have tried to protest this decision, but instead, we held our heads high and were proud that we were on the medal stand. There were many times when the commentators agreed that there were gymnasts from not just America but other countries that had better routines than the Chinese gymnasts that won - but nobody protested these decisions formally. The USA actually won very few gold medals in comparison to the Chinese, so those of you who are upset about whether or not the judging was unfair must be referencing another competitor who won numerous gold medals, which makes me think you're talking about Michael Phelps. Michael is probably going to be undergoing a lot of scrutiny brought forth by not only doubting, pessimistic Americans but jealous other countries who don't believe that one man could have possibly broken the old gold medal count record. He will probably have to take numerous drug tests and undergo the same sort of unwrapping that the Chinese gymnasts are about to go through. I sincerely believe he understands that this scrutiny is part of the process and is as ready for it as anyone can be - as I hope the Chinese gymnasts are.
Third and finally, America is not the only nation disputing the ages of the Chinese gymnasts. We look like the "bad guys" because the only media that we as Americans see is our own (and occasionally that of another country from a world-wide media page like MSN or Yahoo!). The USA is not the only country who wants an investigation into the ages of several of the Chinese female gymnasts. Just keep in mind that when you live in a country, you are more likely to see only what that country reports.
Keep these things in mind next time you believe that China is somehow being wronged.


I would start if I knew where to. We're finally done living with Mom, and if one ignores a few leftover bits of laundry that have been temporarily abandoned at her house, we could accurately say that we've moved out. It's more or less official that we're living here at 12th, and we're working slowly but steadily on our finances. It's a tough maze to navigate, but we're managing somehow. Don't ask me how, because I've no idea.

Last night at Hy-Vee, I fell. I was wearing sandals (flip-flops to some of you) and apparently the floor was wet, but there was no sign stating such. Down I went, to land on the side of my right foot and rather hard on my right knee. It was a rough tumble, and I'm sure that by tomorrow I'll have a couple of decent-sized bruises to show for my trouble. True excitement.

The palsy is improving. I would say at my worst that I had maybe 20% functionality on the left side of my face, and now I'd say that I have a good 90% back. I can tell that I still lack some control, and I have lost a slight amount of muscle tone, but it isn't so bad that I feel as though I'll never be the same. Those few weeks during and just after my diagnosis were frightening, mostly because I had no idea what was going on. Having half of your face completely out of your control out of the blue is certainly not something I would wish upon most people (although I might consider bestowing a lack of muscle control on my enemies) and saying that it is unpleasant is an understatement. Those of you who have had a friend or close family member who has experienced this will likely understand where I'm coming from and why it is so disparaging. I don't think it will be much longer before I'm back to 100%, or as close to it as I'm ever going to get. I'm hopeful, and honestly? I think it might happen.

Past that I guess I don't have much to say. I'm busy unpacking and putting everything we own away, and I'm not making as much progress as I'd like to think!

So I haven't written in a while - a long while, in fact - for a plethora of reasons that include laziness and busy-ness. I would say "business" but that's a very different word. Anyway. There has been a lot going on here, some good things and some not-so-good. Life has been okay, which I think is a satisfactory description of how we've been.

I don't know what day I'm on since I was diagnosed. I do know that by now I should have finished my prednisone, but I haven't yet, mostly because I chose at some point last week to halve my dosage and then stop taking it completely for a couple of days to give my body some time to get off this sick-feeling steroid high. I hate what they do to me, how they made my face hurt at points from the unnatural swelling that they cause. So I decided to do something about it, to go against the recommendations on the label and do whatever the hell I want with my medication and my body, because I kind of think that's my right. If I'm more miserable on the medication than I am taking it, well, don't I have the ability to say, no, I want a couple of days off to let things get back to normal? I'm pretty sure that most medical professionals would at this point roll their eyes and shake their heads and say, you silly patient, thinking you have any right to control your medication in any way. There's a special place in hell reserved just for you. At which point, my thought becomes, well, I was heading there anyway, so knowing I just upgraded from coach to first class is kind of nice. Of course, I'm still trying to figure out what I need to do, short of killing someone, to upgrade to a VIP seat.

There have been a lot of interpersonal problems that are better discussed one-on-one recently, things involving a lot of people that classify as both "friend" and "gaming group." They are interesting problems, things that won't be easily solved either within the respective groups or outside of them - for instance, discussing these issues on a public forum (which my blog is, sort of) will really not help them, which is why I'm not going into a lot of detail. I'm hoping some of them can be fixed.

I am also hoping I will stop being a lazy jerk and start posting more.