Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My Summer from Hell- Part Two: She's Going To Die

While I was waiting this summer to find out if I had cancer, the night after my cat got the cat equivalent of heat stroke, I got a call from my sister letting me know that she was in the ER with our mother who was about to be flown in a helicopter across Montana to a hospital in my city because she was having a cardiac event that was giving her trouble breathing. The next morning at 5:30 am, I got a call from the ICU doctor telling me to get my ass to the hospital to say goodbye because my mom was about to die.

Thankfully, the hospital is about 8 minutes from my house so I threw on clothes and booked it to the ICU where my mom was absolutely dying. Her lungs had filled with fluid and she was drowning, but she had refused intubation so they couldn't do much to help her.

I entered the room with a crowd of people around her, she was fighting them and was almost unrecognizable with a CPAP mask over her face, out of her mind from the lack of oxygen that was making its way into her blood.

They sort of pushed me forward and told me to talk to her. My mother and her mother didn't get along at all and it just so happened that it was my grandmother's yahrtzeit (that's Jewish for deathaversary, which I always thought was "yard side" as that's how it's pronounced). I grabbed my mom's hand and made her look at me, "It's 7-11, you're not allowed to die today! I'm sorry, but if you insist on dying, you're going to have to put it off so you don't share your death day with grandma."

And my mother is so spiteful that she immediately stopped dying. She did have to go have heart surgery immediately afterward to sustain the whole living deal, but as soon as I got there and reminded her to breathe and fight, she cleared her lungs and was able to be transported across Montana yet again to go to another hospital for her surgery.

It was that night when I got home from the hospital, that my computer died.

And then my husband's computer died, having just died and been replaced two months earlier.

And then I had a hysterectomy.

And then I had weird side effects from my hysterectomy like white-hot leg pain, and 96 hours of full body itching, and phantom uterine cramping that felt like it was tearing me in half.

And then my car died. Twice. (It was the alternator, and then the starter, in a week's time).

And then I found out my neutered cat was an attempted rapist when we let in a cute little neighborhood cat who'd been meowing at our door, then immediately put her out because my cat is horrible and gross, but then she stalked us for five whole nights, howling like she was using a bullhorn outside our windows which, of course, made Stevie howl inside at the top of his lungs for 5 whole nights.

And my state elected a reporter-slamming jerk.

And then I was diagnosed with a breast tumor which probably isn't cancer but might still be cancer.

And then my camera died.

And I was turned down for disability because I have a good attitude which, of course, precludes actually being sick.

And the jerks in our government spent the summer trying like hell to take away my health insurance, which would have meant that I wouldn't be able to be treated for all the Schrodinger cancer I had (or didn't have as the case may be), which I was constantly worried about, which of course made my illness all that much worse (and of course, they're still doing it).

So yeah, my summer had a lot of suckage that just kept on pooping down on me, like a way less appetizing fondue fountain at Golden Corral.

But now that I have a computer again, and  the use of a working camera and I feel slightly less like spending every waking moment binge-watching Netflix (almost done with all eight seasons of Dexter) and playing Candy Crush on my tablet to drown my woes, it is my plan to make up for lost time with content galore, which I hope you will come back for and share.

I also have an actual smartphone now (for the time being, seeing how things go for me) so I'm all over social media as "cheeseblarg" and I'm actually posting stuff, so go ahead and follow me!

So what days of the week are you most looking forward to something to laugh at? Let me know so I can get on setting some kind of schedule, please.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

My Summer from Hell - Part One: The Surgery

I just got a computer, yesterday, after 5 months of being without so my first task after restoring all my files and programs is posting for you guys. Thank you, Black Friday sales for decent computers cheap enough I can afford. The last time that I was without dedicated computer access for this long was in 1994, my freshman year of college, but most people didn't have computers then, so it wasn't quite as jarring then as it is now, especially when my entire life exists online.

So I wrote on Cheeseblarg's facebook page a while ago that y'all would find it hard to believe all the shit I had been through this summer, for those of you who aren't following along there, and you probably won't, but I assure you, it's all true, and it's absolute bullshit.

My wish for the upcoming year is that I never have to hear the words, "We're afraid it might be cancer," ever a-fucking-gain from a doctor. This summer started with a mysterious mass in my cervix. I went to the doctor in June because I was experiencing this weird feeling of all of my insides dropping when I stood up for more than 15 minutes which in itself is pretty alarming, but it was accompanied with sweating and feeling like I was going to pass out. Once it got to the point that I couldn't stand long enough to shower without feeling like I was dying, I decided I should probably do something about it, so I bucked up and went to have my lady bits probed by a stranger. I mean, she was a professional, not just some random person on the street with a speculum and a hankering for some gynecological exploring.

An older man with wild gray shoulder length hair and a bushy grey beard, no shirt with a large tuft of grey chest hair, is wearing a labcoat with a speculum in the pocket and dirty green cargo pants with the fly open. On his head he wears an old fashioned doctor's head mirror. Standing on the corner of a city with a CVS and parked cars visible in the background, he holds a cardboard sign that reads, "Will PAP 4 food."

Since scraping my lady bits turned up nothing, we went to the next step of sonic spelunking. This revealed the aforementioned "mysterious mass" and then we went to the next step of traumatizing me forever and ever, amen.

Frankly, the whole business gives me more ammunition for the idea that there is a grand conspiracy of hatred for women in this world because I cannot believe that any kind of human rights coalition would allow the equivalent to a cervical/uterine biopsy to be done to any man without general anesthetic. And I've heard that testicular biopsies are done under local and still hurt like hell, but I'm arguing that that is not really equivalent, because testes are not muscles that try to slam shut when you drill pieces out of them causing your entire body to try to escape from what's going on in your nether regions. It was really awful.  So awful in fact, that before I even left that appointment, I made plans with my doctor, before the results came back, to have my uterus and accompanying accouterments removed as soon as possible so I would no longer have a cervix so that procedure could never ever happen to me again.

And my uterus was mint, guys, never been used, though it had been remodeled monthly since I was about 10, so I don't know if I could have gotten full price for it. Anyway, it's totally lost its value now because I took it out of the box. At the end of August, I had them remove my reproductive organs (though I kept my ovaries so they can grow cysts and be generally annoying to keep me off of hormone replacement therapy), and I finally finished healing last month after one of the holes popped open in a cinematic fashion when we thought they were all almost closed.
So that's the story of how I spent 3 months worrying that I had cancer before having a hysterectomy. I didn't have uterine or cervical cancer, but my cervix was faulty and if I had kept it, I would have continued to need biopsies regularly and it would have continued to make me feel like I was dying, and frankly, I wasn't planning on using it anyway, and I'm much happier to have it gone.

Spending all the time in a gynecologist's office, of course, led to appointments with mammography. And instead of just being routine, of course, I got my next, "it might be cancer." I was supposed to be going tomorrow, in fact, to have a lumpectomy to ensure that the tumor they found in my breast during the first biopsy is completely non-cancerous, but I got an ear infection, so now I get to add two more weeks to my 3 months of waiting to find out that this one is nothing too.

And I know that countless people who aren't so lucky would love to be told that it is nothing repeatedly, but having six months of your body constantly trolling you that is mutating and is gonna kill you only to have it yell "PSYCH" after you've had surgeries and near constant stress diarrhea, is relieving as hell, but also really fucking annoying that you had to go through all of that in the first place when your body could have just stopped growing benign tumors in the first damned place.

So that's part one of my trauma. I'm thinking I can wrap it up in one other post, hopefully, next week.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Safety Net, More Like Safety NOT.

Cartoon JRose on the phone looks annoyed - cartoon Stevie cat hides behind her. A speech bubble coming from the phone says "We'd like for you to stop sucking so much."

I have been contacted by at least 4 of my 5 current medical providers in the past week chastising me for being an irresponsible jerk. The problem is, I am totally responsible and also, that kind of judgment is super bad for my health, guys, stop it.

As I've said before, I'm poor. Yes, we have the sweet sweet financial aid currently, that makes life so much more enjoyable, but since that is a gift from the government (that they expect to get back someday), and it only goes for basic living stuff, we still receive bare minimum safety net services, like Medicaid (Thanks, Obama), and when you have social services, there is a whole lot of hoop jumping that comes along with it.

And I'm not even complaining. I'm getting something incredibly valuable for free, basically. I mean, I paid into the system for a decade before coming to need these services, but I am almost entirely fine with having to fill out endless paperwork and report my every change to these agencies, because basically they are keeping me alive, and for that, I would do an assload of paperwork, man.

The problem is, I did my paperwork. A week after I moved. I went onto their website like their paperwork instructed me to, and I changed my Primary Care Provider, like they told me to, and I waited a month until my new coverage kicked in to make any doctor's appointments, like a super responsible girl, even though I desperately needed to see those doctors then, only to find out that the website we were all told to use, doesn't seem to be attached to anything!

Even worse, after getting the situation squared away by calling their hotline, I asked to make a complaint about the website not working and here's what I was told:

We know that there's a problem. We are working diligently to fix the issue that is making it so that the website collects data, tells you it registered you, but then spits the information out into the ether. It's a particular problem with the medical center that serves your area. Unfortunately, we can't tell those providers that this is an issue we're having so they stop chastising you because we have no way of knowing that you actually tried to sign up, you could be making it up and this whole problem could just be that you people are liars. This problem... that we've been trying to deal with for at least 3 months now... that countless people have complained about. Have you tried not being poor?

I might be paraphrasing slightly. Anyway, it's frustrating enough that I've written this novella about it. There's the whole myth of the Welfare Queen living high on benefits from the government, but being humiliated on a regular basis because technology is hard for the government doesn't feel very royal to me. All I'd really like is for Montana Medicaid's IT department to contact my providers and tell them there's an issue with the website and that their clients aren't just sitting around eating bonbons and laughing in the face of responsibility. Okay, maybe I would like some bonbons too, but I would really like them to take responsibility for their errors, instead of putting it all on the poor people who are trying to do the right thing on a broken system.

buy me bonbons!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Cheeseblarg Does Makeup: Twin Peaks Eyelook (and bonus Aurora Borealis)

If you've watched Twin Peaks, you should be familiar with the inspiration for my newest makeup look. If not, it will just look weird and really, welcome to Twin Peaks.

This video is not so much funny as it is nerdy (it's a little funny), and I think that is really the direction I want to go with my new makeup tutorial channel. There is Nerdy Nummies, for cooking nerd themed food and Super-Fan Builds (that starred my good friend Tim for a while there) for building nerd themed things, so I think I will probably gravitate towards nerd themed makeup looks. Mostly because I have naturally sort of started out that way with videos relating to Clockwork Orange and Astronomy and Cult TV Shows because those are the things that interest and inspire me (and I have an order of makeup on its way that my cat got me for Mother's Day that all happen to be Harry Potter colors, so a house colors video should be coming out eventually).

Anyway, if you enjoy makeup and nerdy things, please subscribe to my channel and go there and thumbs up my videos and encourage me with comments and shares! Or at least don't mail me dead animals as punishment for making them.

And a bonus video - Colorful Skies on you Eyelids! (with a fair amount of NSFW language)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Making Crap Laws Work for You: Religious Freedom

So D. Trump just signed yet another executive order.

This one is "guaranteeing religious freedom" and allowing people to opt out of government rules based on "closely held religious beliefs." 

Of course, this is going to be used by some Americans to treat other Americans like dogshit, and that is completely unacceptable. The rule needs to be overturned, and hopefully, the 9th circuit gets on that soon, but in the meantime, how can we make this order work for us so we can benefit from the fuckery going on?

Guys, I came up with the perfect idea. I may be an atheist, but I was raised Jewish, so I have a pretty good grasp of the old testament... and I totally hold this passage in particular pretty close to my heart, what with the whole perpetually broke thing.

Deuteronomy 15:1-2
1 At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts. 2 This is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the LORD'S remission has been proclaimed.

You know what that means?

Goodbye, federal student loan debt! After 7 years, you shouldn't have to pay that shit anymore.

According to Trump's order:
 "It shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom. The Founders envisioned a Nation in which religious voices and views were integral to a vibrant public square, and in which religious people and institutions were free to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government. For that reason, the United States Constitution enshrines and protects the fundamental right to religious liberty as Americans’ first freedom. Federal law protects the freedom of Americans and their organizations to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the Federal Government. The executive branch will honor and enforce those protections."

I say we practice the hell out of the Judeo-Christian religion by demanding that the Federal Government forgive all loans after a period of 7 years. If people can keep other people from taking birth control, or can control what we can or can't do with our own bodies, surely we can demand to have our loans forgiven as GOD proclaims!

Clearly, I don't have a law degree. But if shit's gonna be unreasonable, I say we at least try find ways to make it work for us.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Cheeseblarg does Makeup - Episode One

Despite being a lizard girl, I decided to see if I could actually produce a video of me putting on makeup that was entertaining enough to watch so that I can progress towards my goal of fancy makeup companies sending me free samples. According to my husband, it helps to actually care about putting on makeup when you watch it, which he really doesn't, but I did get a few laughs out of him when I held him down and forced him to preview it before I put my dry crackly face on the internet where hopefully I won't attract hoards of trolls who will mock me and make me cry for the rest of my life. Sorry, I digress. His final assessment was that it is worth watching and that I'm cute, and I like that sort of feedback, so here it is.

It IS somewhat long. I will learn in the future that blending times are times for quietness so I can fast forward through them without sounding like a chipmunk, but if you like makeup, or me, or just want to pretend that we hang out when I'm putting on makeup, maybe you could watch? And subscribe? And encourage me to make more and better videos of all sorts* where you get to see me doing things and talking? And even share it? Maybe?

*Like drawing... I have the technology to show myself drawing comics for the blarg while possibly speaking about what I'm doing.

for early access to videos and outtakes

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Lizard Girl- Beauty Vlogger

So I have been wanting to create some videos of me putting on makeup in fancy ways, but I have Behcet's Syndrome (BS for short) and BS* is fucking up my face.

No matter what product I use, my face is dry and scaly. From basically forehead to jawline, I look like I'm molting. I've tried using moisturizers but they all just irritate my skin further, so I get blisters on my face in addition to scales. And yes, I've tried sensitive skin moisturizer and natural remedies with no man-made chemicals; it's all a no go. Sometimes, even water is too much for it.

When I brought up the idea of makeup tutorials, my skin was clear and soft for the first time in... well, most of my adult life, thanks to the wonders of chemotherapy**. But for some reason now, on the same dosage, my skin wants to pretend it's an alligator, so until I can adjust my dosage to the point that it works, I can either hold off on making videos, or I can embrace a new identity:

Image reads: Lizard Girl Beauty Vlarger and shows a lizard with a bob haircut and bow in her hair, wearing a peach shirt with a fly on it putting on lipstick in front of a hollywood style mirror.

*quite the apropos abbreviation
** Chemotherapy is an accepted treatment for BS, which helps my body to stop attacking its own vascular system. I'm not just taking dangerous medicine to have nice skin, though it is a plus... when it actually works.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Neural Network Cookbook- Now Illustrated!

Janelle Shane, a research scientist, has been teaching cooking to a neural network. A neural network is basically Skynet if you didn't know. After letting it look at tens of thousands of cookbook, she set it free to create its own recipes, the best of which you can see here. Taking inspiration from the list, I have some cookbook illustrations for you:

to see additional cookbook illustrations 
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