Update on the Body…

So yeah, I was about to send @lolagetslife to my story about ovarian cysts, when I realized I haven’t provided a real update beyond the 2nd ultrasound & the hysterosalpingogram (see #5). I also started taking bioidentical progesterone after we figured out there were cysts at play. (You can learn more about this and other methods of managing cysts in Elizabeth Vliet’s book. The short of it is that the cysts -in my case endometriosis– are caused by an imbalance of too much estrogen & not enough progesterone. Taking progesterone that is most like the human form -rather than horse hormones- helps to restore the proper balance & keep the cysts at bay.) That helped limit the pain throughout December. By the time I got to the 2nd ultrasound, the cyst had shrunken. YAY! PLUS, I neglected to mention that I was also on a Daniel fast for January so I could purge my liver (the liver has all kinds of responsibility for estrogen). I was doing great – no pain in January, more reasonable periods, AND I had lost 8 pounds. MOAR YAY!


mmmm... harold's... waaawwwggghhh...

Then I got hit by a truck the first day of February. I couldn’t cook or clean effectively & thus my diet became Harold’s Chicken & Chinese food. And other things I can’t remember but probably weren’t actually food.

And now my cyst is hurting again. Plus, I’m up 5 of those 7 pounds. Damn. But I will say this – the progesterone is DEFINITELY helping me with periods and my sleep cycle (I’ve become quite manic over the past couple years), but I think this cyst situation is all about the diet AND the meds. I’m sure I knew this already, but I think it just goes to show how important food is to the body. We gotta stop eating all this crap!

So now, I’m making the transition back to being all-organic, all-pescatarian everything. As I said a few days ago:

i choose health

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wanna vote on my new glasses?

i’m incredibly indecisive with these things (and not feeling like doing any reading). i was thinking one funky pair & one classic, but i like being funky. of course, i also like being classic, so therein lies my dilemma. no, it should not be this difficult. shut up, you. (except with your decisions – i do want your votes.):

row 1:

row 2:

row 3:

and because that one pair is washed out for some strange reason:

let me know what you think by row number & location (e.g., row 3, left) – please post your commentary *on the blog* lol

also, if you’re shopping for glasses, by all means visit EyeBuyDirect.com (use code IFNC14TVAK & get 15% off)! None of their frames cost more than $50 & the price includes single-vision lenses 9and right now, anti-scratch). Other treatments cost extra, but are not prohibitive. As you can see, they have a nifty tool that lets you see how your glasses will look on you. Even so, if you get your glasses & they don’t fit (or they look terrible on you), you can return them within 14 days for a refund, or within 12 months for replacement. BONUS: They’re having a buy one get one FREE sale right now!

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Astrological Dating Plague

…at least that’s what i’m calling it.

i have a major crush on somebody right now. no matter how much i try to ignore it or to rationalize it away, the damned thing is persistent. and distracting. *scowl* this has happened to me throughout my life more often than i wish to recall. i thought i’d moved past this juvenile pining-from-afar madness, but clearly…

anyhoo, in my old age, i’ve come to analyze lots of things about myself because, well, i need to understand myself. fortunately, i’ve also decided to really pursue my interest in astrology & that’s been immensely helpful.

sn: by the way, if you’re looking for someone to give a great reading, hit up my twentor (twitter mentor) sam reynolds (@sfreynolds). he gives GREAT readings & is willing to work out a payment with you (a full reading is only $99, but he understands that gradschool life).

so tonight, @zodiacfacts decided to share some tweets on flirtation styles. (note: i’m not exactly the biggest fan of this account, but for some reason, i can’t turn away, lol. sometimes her stuff is spot on, other times i’m like, whatchusmokin’?) my sun sign is gemini, my ascendant is leo, & my moon is in libra. but also have a bit of cancer prominent in my chart (namely my ruling planet), so i generally pay attention to information about all four signs. as for ZF, tonight i RTed the ones that struck me & went on this rant… (i dunno how to embed in wp.com, so here’s the original: http://chirpstory.com/li/4412)

in case you have no clue what i’m talking about with mercury & venus see below. please note: i am *not* an astrologer (yet) & i may very well have some (or a lot) of this all mixed up (for example, i’m still sorting out this venus vs. moon vs. sun man/woman difference thing). i shall return with corrections, if need be. also, should i manage to find time for another reading with sam, then i’ll see if i was correct, lol!

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I Got Hit by a Truck… And Other Happenings

A ton of shit has happened since my last update…

  1. I split my blog. Although this site (TIM:AM) will link to my other blog (for the time being), I’m keeping all the originals of my personal posts here. My other blog is (theoretically) going to (finally) focus on my academic journey. This is an experiment; we’ll see how it goes (I feel like another caveat should go here, but I don’t have anything specific to add).
    • This is not only where I’ll post my personal ramblings, but it’s also where my funtimes will go. So look here for concert pics, ratchet (and not-so-ratchet) tumblr posts, and other fun, non-school/work things. ^_^
  2. >Insert disappointing academic things that should be posted to my other blog at some point.<
  3. I picked up my first client for my consulting business! It’s pro bono (perks of getting in first), but I’m really excited for what’s coming down the pike with this project. What’s that? You’re wondering what I mean by “consulting business”? What kinda consulting & when did this start? Gitchu some & find out! ~>
  4. I got hit by a truck. While on my bike. Despite being all the way to the right & having *sings* all of the lights. I’m doing alright, which is more than I can say for the bastard who hit me, slowed down, then drove off. I imagine s/he has been living a tortured life. Also, a witness got the plate number. *resists urge to post owner’s name & address*
    • As I said, I was being totally safe. I rode all the way to the right, had on my flashing safety lights, AND was wearing my bright orange backpack & reflecto-white helmet.
    • As “they” say happens with most accidents, I was almost home (I’d tell you where that is, but I’m smarter than that). I’ve taken this route at least once a week, if not twice, for MONTHS and haven’t had any problems. On Weds, Feb 1st, 2012 at 7:30pm, the driver of a black Chevy Tahoe apparently felt the need to take out his/her anguish over Don Cornelius’ death out on me. (I have to make up funny stories to keep from crying.)
    • It took me about 2 seconds to realize the loud BANG I’d just heard was the sound *I* made upon impact with the truck. >insert hysterical screaming & crying<. How I managed to dismount my bike, I’m still not entirely clear. I know I didn’t get thrown off, but I also didn’t intentionally/formally dismount, either.
    • I *do* remember seeing an SUV’s brake lights, then wailing in further horror as it sped away.
    • Thankfully, the deities of the universe saw fit for me not to lose consciousness or anything of that nature, so after a few minutes of wailing for all of Chicago to hear, I managed to call home. *wonders if mama j still has the hysterical voicemail from that night* It went something like: “MO-OMMYYYY! AHGAHHITBAHATRUCKANAHCAYNFEELMAHARRUM!!! way… *snorts, looks up* dihsumbaheecawluhpohleese??? (yes, baby we cal-) MO-MMYYY!!!”  I texted her & my buddy with the good arm & by that time the fire department had arrived.
    • #shoutout to the anonymous witness who took down that plate number & to the numerous people who informed me that the “tan truck” i saw was actually a black Tahoe. Listen, I was hysterical, full of tears, & the street lights are orange.
    • The firemen did some prelim triage: felt up my arm (it was back to hurting by that point), put me in a lil sling, & had me try to squeeze somebody’s fingers. Then the ambulance arrived.
    • I was still kinda disoriented when the cops asked me what I wanted to do with my bike. I was like, “But I have groceries on there…” >LAWD… don’t let the food go bad!< After walking around in a few person-to-person semi-circles, I decided to let the officers take off the front wheel & bring it to the hospital via squad car. Of course, I started to follow them to the squad car, instead of getting in the ambulance. LOL at everybody for just standing there watching me. I didn’t hear any laughter, but…
    • Anyhoo, the ER was packed AF (of course), but I managed to get some vicadin while I awaited triage. The officers met me there to start the police report (which apparently really wasn’t a report since there were no official witnesses, but anyhoo).
      • LOL @ me for offering up my right ass-pocket when the officers asked me for ID. What can I say? The one arm was busted & the nurse was putting hospital tags on the other. “Well, it’s in my back pocket, but I don’t mind being felt up if y’all don’t mind doin’ the feelin’ up… *grin*” (I didn’t feel high, but…)
    • #shoutout to @WarrenSkipper for a) leaving his small group to meet me at the hospital, b) driving my bike home, c) schlepping it up the stairs since I forgot to give him the gate/storage room key, d) putting away my cheese, yogurt, & bread, e) staying at the hospital with me until 3:00 A.M. (I got there at 8pm), & f) driving me to the 24-hr pharmacy so I could get some more vicadin before taking me home.
    • Apparently Officer J was impressed by my ass ‘cuz, although neither he nor his partner took me up on my offer to cop a feel, he called me the next day to see how i was doing & to ask me out to lunch. ^_^
  5. The next day, I went for my hysterosalpingogram. The radiology tech who assisted the doctor was shocked I came after the accident, but I was like, “Listen, it’s best we do this while I’m on the vicadin, no?” She agreed.
    • In case you didn’t know, cysts had tried to overtake my ovaries & fallopian tube. Read the saga here & then the great news here. Turns out, my left fallopian tube *is* completely destroyed (stay tuned for photos), but I don’t need surgery unless it starts causing me pain or I decide to do in-vitro fertilization (yeah, right). YAY! O/

So, a bit of drama, but I (finally) got a new pair of hospital footies! (You know, the ones with the traction on them.) Yes, that is SUCH a big deal to me; I LOVE those things, lol! Also, although I don’t particularly care about the status of my fertility, neither doc thinks my plumbing is completely hopeless, so that’s good for feminine health reasons. Plus, I still stand by my desire to *choose* whether or not to birth children, rather than having no chance of it ever happening.

Anyhoo, as I stated a couple weeks ago, my stance on religion is pretty multi-faith at this point in my life. (My handsome pastor friend is convinced I’ll be back, but we’ll see. I by no means think this evolution is complete, but church is just so… church.) Nevertheless, for whatever reason, I’ve been singing this song almost daily for a few weeks. Since I survived being mowed down by a truck, I figured I’d do something gutsy:

So yeah… I sound like a goat when I’m nervous. #NoTreySongz And yeah, that’s a bootleg-ass non-splice at the end. I didn’t like how I ended it the first time, but I felt like I would hurl if I tried to re-record the whole thing. The bootleg-ass non-splice is much less disgusting, I think. At any rate, I’ve been saying I would post footage of me singing for at least a year now. It’s by no means perfect (hell, it isn’t even that great), but I suffer from perfectionism and, as Detavio recently said, it was time for me to “Aim for Done.” One day, I’ll grow a pair & get better at this being in front of people instead of hiding in the choir stuff. Of course, if you think I shouldn’t, feel free to provide your constructive criticism. I will cry, but I’ll bounce back & be sooo glad you told me! :o)

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Religious Ponderings…

As I ponder my professional aspirations, I can’t help but remember my original dream: Out The Boat Ministries (aka OTB, bad grammar on purpose). It was basically an idea that came forth from a dream I’d been having since I was 9 or 10 years old. I watched a story on some newsmagazine show that talked about Roseanne Haggerty, founder of Common Ground in NYC. The gist: take over an abandoned building so that homeless people could live there. I remember specifically in the story that the residents contributed to the upkeep of the building, so they not only had a place to live, but also a way to build/maintain skills and have buy-in. The fact that I never forgot that story sixteen years later (and now, even more than twenty years) really sparked my spirit. And I accepted the call to ministry.

[Insert long story about how I was in training with my pastor in Philly, then moved to Atlanta. Although we were supposed to continue by correspondence, said pastor fell off the face of the planet. Turns out he suddenly left our old church (of which I was a founding board member) to pastor another church, have an extra-marital affair, & father that woman’s twins.]

Yeah… needless to say my ministry training didn’t go so well. Although I did try to work on OTB while I was down there, I had a lot of other things that I was worried about. Like not being able to get a job b/c I didn’t have a car. Anyhoo, I moved to DC, joined a new church & moved on with life, working on OTB on the side. A year later, I felt out of place in my new church & discovered that nobody really cared about me beyond a superficial level, so I left. Found a new church about six months later, stayed there for about a year, but really made some headway on OTB through our small group activities. About that time, however, I started to realize something: this church thing? It’s really not for me.

I struggled immensely with that, given the intensity of my religious history (there’s sooooo much more backstory that I’m leaving out). But I also started to look at the mission of OTB a little differently. I didn’t want to abandon the spiritual aspect, but over theprevious couple of years, I had started feeling nervous about the Jesus-y aspect of the organization. I designed the initial plan as a holy roller and Jesus was everything about everything. But I grew up a lot from the ages of 24 to 28, including a morphing of my relationship to and with God.

At any rate, I entered my first round of grad school in Autumn 2009 with the full intention of launching OTB after graduation. My program was designed to create leaders of social service organizations and it was easy enough to walk away with a complete business plan, as well as a degree. Perfect! But over the course of my program, I got the opportunity to participate in some great training that led to the a changing of the vision. In keeping with the tenets of mental health recovery AND my own motivations, I still wanted to include a spiritual aspect of my work, but not make that the underpinning of the organization. By this time, I’d determined that spiritual wholeness looked different for every being on the planet and I’d developed a sense of responsibility to honor that.

That said, I’ve been thinking about this religion thing a lot more recently; just over a year ago, I told Rosetta Thurman:

i’m not 100% sure where i stand at the moment, but your experience & reasoning ring very strongly for me. i used to be what i call a “superchristian”, even despite majoring in religious studies & seeing all the conflicting info, etc. over the past year or two, though; i haven’t been able to resolve my internal conflict over everything that the church seems to stand for these days. i know there are good churches out there & christians who are awesome, but i don’t even believe that the bible as we know it is even accurate after so many years of manipulation & translation. overall, yahweh asks us to love: the god-spirit, ourselves, & each other. that’s how i operate, too.

But more recently, I’ve become even more specific: I believe that the Creator is bigger than anything we can effectively conceptualize. But there’s no need to worry about that, because no matter where we go, we are covered, comforted, & challenged, as needed. I know this sounds very much like… well, damn near every religion on the face of the planet.* 

In essence, what I now believe is that the Creator’s energy offers itself to us in a variety of ways, thus meeting us in themanner, place, and time that we need. This manifestation could take any form or method, depending on our needs at any specific time or place (see also: Balaam’s donkey). I came to this conclusion right ’round the end of 2011 & am feeling really at home in my belief. Why should we limit God(dess) to [insert exclusionary tenets of any religion]?

I need to do some more digging, but based on what I heard/read a few years back and just read today, I think my line of belief iss a lot like what Bishop Carlton Pearson has come to understand (although I’m loathe to align myself with a man who not only has a personal website about himself but also managed to have his church’s website be more about him than about the actual church. I’ll let you find it…)

So anyway, I apparently needed to get that off my chest instead of working on my piece for the group project or eating. smh…

*sn: I gotta say, though, it does all remind me of what I learned about Hinduism: there’s Brahman, who is the end-all-be-all. Brahman manifests in various forms, most notably (to me), as Visnu. Some people worship Visnu, others worship one of his 10 avatara, based on whichever speaks to them (there’s a lot of family tradition & the like, but roll with me. Yes, after I took that eastern religion class in college, I seriously considered converting to Hinduism. That was probably the start of my spiritual ponderings, but I felt too guilty to explore it any further.

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Recap of FELA! & The Purple One at Madison Square Garden

so i got to see prince at madison square garden. it was only my 2nd time ever seeing him (my first was the musicology tour).  as usual, he put on an amazing show!  i tweeted it… or so i thought.  YAY for failed DROID twitter apps (booo hootsuite!).  fortunately, all the tweets are stored in my outbox… unfortunately they’re only in the outbox on my phone. but i love y’all, so i’ma type ’em over.

well actual, i saw FELA! earlier that day, too.  i didn’t take too many pics, so here:

1:45pm: well i tried to get a photo of me in front of the poster, but i was holding up progress, so this is what we have:

1:50pm: YAYAY! TIME FOR @FELAMUSICAL. BAND IS ALREADY JAMMING PROGRAM ONLY $5 (still dunno why phone gets stuck in all caps)

later: Interimission. Just wow. #FELA

around the same time: Also wow: they are giving directions to and INSIDE the women’s restroom. And there’s a line to get OUT.

still during intermission: proof that the #zombieapocalypse is coming: 

sometime during the 2nd act: “I will add: this actor makes me want to go research Fela Kuti’s ass, ‘cuz dude’s is on point!

the show was amazing. if you’ve got a way to fit yourself in before jan 2nd, i suggest you go! it’s off to london after that. and patti? do we even have to ask?

so… after a nap in a hard starbucks chair while charging my phone…

7:15pm: Something in the garden has my sinuses & lungs all full of madness, but this ain’t a bad seat!

7:30pm: Lights just went down; a good 40% or more of the crowd is still MIA… 

7:35pm: Ok, so Sinbad is up & apparently tonight’s guests are Larry Graham annem & Sheila E

7:45pm: Ummm.. Sinbad isn’t funny anymore.  I think I remember this happened a while ago, but I thought he’d disappeared into nostalgia.

7:52pm: Ok, he’s doin’ aight now, lol!

8:00pm: Graham Central Station rolling in on the marching band tip (sorry that it’s sideways; dunno how to edit yet. also, my phone does not take great video in these types of settings).

8:05pm: Larry Graham is on some typa anti-aging serum…

i dunno what time: A oooooooooonnnne inna miiilllyuuuuuunnnn… chaaaaaaaaance oooof a liiiifetiiiiimmme! ::waves hand in the air::

later: Now they’re doing old sly & the family stone hits!

even later: Thank you for lettin’ me be myself… again!  And somebody is gettin’ LIT UP in here! And prince jut came in w/ larry!

5 mins later: LOL @ the ppl who are JUST now realizing prince is out!

Intermission: Ok so when you buy a bottled drink at msg, they take the cap from you b/c dumbass hockey fans like to throw them. O_o

*sigh* so i’ve taken so long to update this post that i deleted the hootsuite app with all the outgoing messages.  suffice it to say the following:

  • love larry graham annem, but y’all know how i feel about stokely… **VERY** jealous of the folks attending on 12/29.
  • my new phone (EVO) sucks at capturing video in that space.  i blame the large crowd, arena, & the fact that i was in the 200s, but yeah…
  • spotted: questlove, alicia sleaze – i mean keys, cornel west, & i think i saw xhibit, but i’m not sure.
  • i was a bit mad that the show ended at 11pm. prince was up there on some, “i don’t care about no curfew!” and i got back to my hostel before midnight. ::scowl::

enjoy the pics & video!

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my dream is evermorphing, yet consistent in its presence
acclimating to new learning, evolving as my knowledge expands
i am compelled to let the vision flow through my hands…
‘cuz my eyes do not always filter properly.

not that the dream needs to be censored, but sometimes…
sometimes you just gotta sift out the bullshit.

to be continued… ?
(also: i feel compelled to encourage y’all to add on as you feel moved. just listening & trynna be obedient.)

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Ha! So I’m cleaning out my iPhone notes & discovered this piece I wrote a while ago. Hmmm…

despite all the blood, sweat, & tears i put into me [it]
i forever miss the mark
but this time, it’s different

i stay strivin’ for more knowledge, ever since i was a lil girl
as i’ve come into my grown woman, i’ve come to see that knowledge comes in many forms.

so yes, this time, it’s different.

i have officially entered a new era:
this new world order of me is founded on the basic understanding that amanda michelle jones can no longer afford to remain entangled in regret, self-loathing, self-doubt, or fear. building upon that foundation,
this new world order of me is all about paying attention to the ultimate source of messaging: my Creator.

see, I don’t know nothin’ ’bout your Creator, but mine gave me these gifts… and these ideas… and these desires…
and my Creator supplied me with an energy more powerful than anything you or I could even begin fathom outside of divine inspiration. and it’s mine. i need not be afraid anymore.
the only mandate of this new world order of me is that i honor me -and thus honor my Creator and all else he created- at all times.

so absolutely: this time, it will. be. different.

– Amanda Michelle Jones

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LOL @ The US Gov’t

Okay, I dunno if this is true or not, but it is hilarious. Came in the newsletter from my old church.

Humor from the Pastor’s Inbox

Part of rebuilding New Orleans caused residents often to be challenged with the task of tracing home titles back potentially hundreds of years. With a community rich with history stretching back over two centuries, houses have been passed along through generations of family, sometimes making it quite difficult to establish ownership.

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer three months to track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following FHAreply.

(Actual reply from FHA):
“Upon review of your letter adjoining your client’s loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin.”

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows:

(Actual response):
“Your letter regarding title in Case No.189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 206 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the United States from France , in 1803 the year of origin identified in our application. For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Queen Isabella.

The good Queen Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus’s expedition…Now the Pope, as I’m sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it, and the FHA. I hope you find God’s original claim to be satisfactory.

Now, may we have our loan?”

The loan was immediately approved.

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beautiful monster, you are most certainly
the ugliest thing that can exist is a person afraid of his own greatness

it tears me apart to still love you after all these years
…after such disappointment to be forever tied

but you can’t pray away true love

and you can’t force a man to be all he is called to be

the more i encouraged, the more you withdrew
eventually, i couldn’t see you at all

i used to believe that love was enough
until i loved you… and it came nowhere near close

the opposite of love isn’t hate. and it certainly isn’t just apathy

fear is a primal instinct that overrides all when you least expect it

you are far from ugly, yes, beautiful, indeed
but fear has turned you hideous

i can see into your soul,
how it yearns to live out its destiny

so sad that you’ve given up and you given in

such an ugly monster, overshadowing such a beautiful man

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