Sunday, March 3, 2013

White Picket Prisons, Another Bout of Stupidity and Schizophrenia

This part of the post is long overdue.  Shocker, I know.  About 17 years ago, Phil Taylor of The Phil Factor blog, contacted me requesting that I read and review his book he self-published, White Picket Prisons.

I agreed and he most likely immediately regretted it.  He wanted to send it to my ipad.  I don't have an ipad.
 
He wanted to send it to my kindle.  I don't have a kindle or anything remotely similar.

He send it to my e-mail in a PDF.  I know.  So pedestrian.

Oddly enough, it had exactly the same words as it would have if it had been read via ipad or kindle.  *gasp*  I KNOW!



And it was an easy, fun read.  I read it over a weekend and while there were parts that had me scratching my head in disbelief, I enjoyed it.  While the plot continuously encouraged me to enter into a willful suspension of reality, it was enjoyable.  The characters almost made me want to look up some of the guys they reminded me of from back in the old school days.

Almost.

You can check it out for yourself here or here or check out Phil's own blog here.  I know he would love some more reviews of his work. 

Speaking of work, (I know, totally smooth segue) Kianwi and Ken decided to host K&K's couch to 5K and encouraged everyone, wherever you were, to join in. 

Like an effing idiot, I signed up.  Enthusiastically, even!  Awhile ago.  And then did virtually nothing to prepare for it.  OH!  Except I did hang out with a friend before-hand where I enjoyed a vodka cocktail...or two. 

No big deal.  I could still do it.

My trepidatious self-portrait on the way to the gym.  What?  I was driving.  And feeling more than a little apprehensive.  
 How difficult could this possibly be?  I was going to a gym.  Inside.  On a treadmill.  I was practically cheating!

And yet, it didn't feel like cheating.  It felt like a monumental effort just to keep myself from pitching off the back of the stupid treadmill.

I was sweating.  And glaring.  And daring anyone to make eye contact with me.  And mentally cursing Kianwi and Ken.  Not really.

Yes.  Really.

Eventually, that stupid little digital number got to 3.1 and I hit that giant red STOP button.  I wasn't going one step further than was required. 

I gasped my way to the locker room, collected my belongings, and stomped my way to my Jeep that transported me home where I immediately collapsed and didn't care how this proved how pathetically, deplorably out of shape I am. 

But dammit.  I did it!

One last thing for anyone still with me.  A good friend of mine, who happens to be plagued with schizophrenia, has agreed to let me interview him on Thursday.  He's always been very open and candid about his disease and if anyone has any questions they'd like me to include, let me know, either in the comments or by e-mail.

Okay.  Stick a fork in me.  I'm done.

68 comments:

  1. Yay! You did it! Don't worry, I was cursing Ken and me, too ;) I appreciate the effort so much, I can't even tell you. I am terribly out of shape, too, but I am feeling like I am on my way now. Thanks for including us in your post!

    Both my aunt and uncle have Schizophrenia, so I will be excited to read your interview!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did it!! Sort of. Now that it's over I can tell you what a great idea that was. :) Which reminds me, I still need to read Ken's post about it.

      Man that sucks. I'm sorry to hear that.

      Delete
  2. Oh *gasp* indeed, he had to send a PDF to you?! I don't have any tablet or Kindle either. I still read REAL BOOKS, because I enjoy them very much indeed. I like turning sheets of paper as I read.

    And YAY you did it!!! 5K!!! I wanted to go to my gym as well and do it on a treadmill so I could get a better time (BHAHAHAHAH, NO!)... Ehm... Yeah sure it would've been a faster time on the treadmill... That's what I keep telling myself. At least we did it, good job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm totally right there with you. Besides, what else am I going to put on the bookshelves?

      A better TIME??? Ha! You're nuts but I'm glad you did it too. :) :)

      Delete
  3. Awesome! I didn't know you were doing it too!! Very cool. I wasn't really in shape to do it either but just happened to be in Florida for the occasion so it made it easier to do.

    You are seriously the coolest chick I know. Love it. Your after pic is great. So apparently you drank before - I had a lovely 'rita after. So much for chugging water after a run...ha ha! Maybe if they do it again, we'll have whipped our collective bootays into shape. :)

    Look forward to your interview. Very interested in neurological disorders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you run on the beach? I have so much catching up to do.

      Isn't that disgusting? My face has already turned that alarming red color when I exert myself.

      I think saving the celebratory drinks for after is definitely the way to do it. I'm an idiot.

      Delete
  4. Well done running the 5K. I signed up, but couldn't do it due to sickness (yeah, a likely story, I know).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Weird. I'd have thought you'd go with the no legs what with being a pickle and all, excuse.

      Delete
  5. Good for you! I was just commenting on Kianwi's blog that I feel SO LAZY for not even attempting it this weekend. You guys are showoffs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I probably suffered enough for the two of us.

      Delete
  6. So in other words it was enjoyable? haha congrats on the 5K too, well done by you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OH EM GEE!!! It was SUCH a blast. I felt so alive and invigorated afterwards. It's just super important to keep your electrolytes up, ya know? You gotta make sure to stay healthy.

      Yeah. It sucked.

      Delete
  7. VERY impressive! I feel like I should be doing something more than sitting here eating right now... xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha!!!! Nice. I hope it was extra salty.

      Delete
  8. That would be an awesome interview. I happen to work in mental health, so in a way, I can relate.

    I gave you a Shout-Out on my blog today. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you really? Do you write about that often?

      Did you? Is this "shout-out" in the form of a cautionary tale?

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Can't. Gave up bathing for Lent.

      Delete
    2. HA! No you didn't. You're not even Catholic. xo

      Delete
    3. Damn. You DO pay attention.

      Delete
  10. Good on you for the 5K. I know flying wouldn't count so you are one best of me there.

    I will have to look up the book, it sounds interesting.

    I am interested in the interview, but as far as questions go- at the moment I am drawing a blank.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just love how 5k sounds way more impressive than the distance in actual mileage run.

      You should!!!

      Not meeting with him until Thursday so if any come to you, let me know.

      Delete
  11. You are going to interview yourself? I thought that was just a neat quirk of yours - I didn't know you actually have schizophrenia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been sitting here for a full 2 minutes and I can't think of anything fittingly disparaging to say to you.

      Delete
  12. Hi VV,

    Thanks so much for joining up with us on this. I liked the picture of you in the chair at the end, which is where I wanted to be after I had finished. Instead, I had to spend the rest of the day on hard wooden bleachers at the school watching basketball. Nothing like bleacher butt to take your mind off wobbly legs. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man that's rough! That is the absolute WRONG way to recuperate from such an exhausting endeavor. Although I do like the sounds of "bleacher butt". Just kinda rolls off the tongue.

      Delete
    2. Feel free to use it whenever you want. Just don't get it confused with "bleach your butt!" Which is something completely different and using that will get you looked at oddly!

      Delete
    3. Depends on where you hang out.

      Delete
  13. I like how you took the whole thing full circle: couch to 5k to couch, very rinse and repeat, hold the repeat. I am basking in my gym clothes as I type this. It's a preparatory phase for going later, always later. I am pretty jazzed to read your interview. The onset of schizophrenia is fascinating. Though less literal and more of a mind-f (can I say french connection UK here? I don't know, are the kids watching?) Anyway, there is a great book that you can read, skim, delete at: http://1000littlehammers.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/anti-oedipus-fixed.pdf
    thats a PDF by the way, so its vixen-ready.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally missed the whole full circle thing! That made me laugh. I don't know if the kids are watching either but if they are, I'll wash their eyes out with soap later on so fire away any time you please.
      Making it Vixen ready is so very appreciated. I got to page 18 before I realized I should probably be working. So far, really interesting. You're awesome for sending it.

      Delete
  14. Interviewing your friend with the schizophrenia is an interesting idea. As for questions, the first few I had were tricks to make the poor guy even more nuts, like "do you see that masturbating minotaur over there?" but that is just cruel and not funny. Yeah, it's funny, but of course I would not want you to do that to the poor guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I SO wish I had read this before I met with him today. He would have laughed.

      ...I think.

      Delete
  15. I agree with Amanda - it's so neat how you brought it all full-circle. Happy Friday my friend :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Friday to you as well! Well...4 days late...or 3 days early? Either way, happy day!

      Delete
  16. Congrats on the 5k! As a former therapist, I'm looking forward to reading your interview. Im sure it will surprise a lot of people. As a blogger who is tremendously grateful for your read and review of my book I want to say thank you so much. I'm glad you liked it and I appreciate the extra effort that you put in reading it on your computer. : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was SO interesting to listen. I wanted more time with him but I had to get back to work.

      It was my pleasure and I appreciate your patience with my Jurassic preferences.

      Delete
  17. Good job on the run! I have to tell you that personally I think running on the treadmill is much harder than running outside. It's super-boring and I always just want to stop!

    Looking forward to that interview.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is pretty boring in there but the sweat sock souffle smell (I'm totally quoting you, right?) helps motivate me to get in there, get it done, and get the hell out!

      Delete
  18. Sounds like a good book. Congrats on the run!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should check it out! And thanks! :)

      Delete
  19. You're a champ. I'd die if I tried to do a 5k right now, and that's not just because I'm toting an extra 30 lbs around with me. I'm just a lame face who also happens to be a crappy runner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your version of "champ". I already knew I liked you but this just solidified it.

      Delete
  20. OK, this self-publishing thing has every blogger in the entire world writing books now! Even me.

    So you ran a 5K on a treadmill? I hope you wore an iPod or something to keep your brain from exploding. I hate running on treadmills. It's mindnumbingly boring. I'm supposed to run one next month and I'm totally unprepared.

    If I weren't so tired I've have some snarky, stupid questions to ask your friend, but I'm collapsed on the couch and my brain is already asleep. Ask him if he likes the Cowboys or the Redskins. Ask him if he thinks, as someone suffering from schizophrenia, that anyone in our Congress might be schizophrenic. Ask him if he is as upset as I am over the cancellation of "Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do have an ipod but have never bothered to put anything on it that is very motivating. It's hard to get pumped while listening to Norah Jones or Damien Rice. Better than the molester-like breathing from the dude huffing away on the treadmill beside me I suppose.

      Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23? I kinda wanna google that but I'm not sure I should. It IS you after all. Who knows what that could be.

      Delete
    2. I'm a Steelers fan.

      Nobody in congress is schizophrenic, there are, however, several sociopaths

      I didn't ever watch it because I don't watch too much TV. Always have the risk that they may talk about you... (Tongue in cheek. Although, that did happen to me once... but only once.)

      Delete
  21. Replies
    1. I have about 90 minutes of recording to go back through. I'm hoping to get to it by this weekend.

      Delete
  22. Don't blame you one bit. I had been running as my workout for 1.5 years, and a few weeks ago, I stepped on the treadmill and found that I WEIGHT THE MOST I EVER WEIGHED! The hell? Also, my hips and lower back were killing me from all the pounding. So I am back to my old workout of elliptical and weight training. My hips and back are thanking me. The scale is still a dirty SOB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh hell. Just one more reason to NOT do it! Cause I needed another one? SOB scale or not, you're one hell of a sexy beast and you know it! Or at least you should!

      Delete
  23. I'm an e-book author with 5 titles for sale and *I* don't have a Kindle or tablet either. I just read it on my computer screen like an old person who's afraid to embrace technology. Or a poor person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that like, blogger sacrilege or something? I feel like I should probably report you but I'm not sure who the proper authority would be. I'll get back to you.

      Delete
  24. But dammit, you did it! If I wasn't wearing my PJs right now, I'd go out in the snow and run Forrest! Run! Well, maybe in Spring.... ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dammit, I DID do it! Enjoy the pj's now. Spring is here in another couple of weeks. I think?

      Delete
    2. That's what you think. I've got this friend who's dressed up as a James Bond polar bear spying on a bunch of Eskimos who tells me this Winter won't end before April.

      Delete
    3. P.S. You did it and now it's time to relax. Guess where? Right HERE.

      Delete
  25. Ugh, I keep feeling like I should attempt a 5K, but it may actually not work since I can only run for about a full minute before almost dying. Damn it. I'm always a great runner in my dreams. In real life I suck. Way to go on finishing strong :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jessica! If your idea of finishing strong is collapsed on the couch in a disgusting, dejected sweaty heap, then I think you and I would get along just fine.

      Delete
  26. wow, i cant wait to read that interview. That could be very interesting stuff.

    p.s. if you ever want to interview me, im game. I suffer from well-hung-itis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was pretty fascinated. He's an amazing guy.

      P.S. I'm down for the interview whenever you are. And I have just the cure for you. I'll bring the scissors.

      Delete
  27. I'm totally impressed. I did a 1/2 K once; but recovery from it was a biotch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've found recovery is helped along nicely with a Costco sized magnum of wine.

      Delete
  28. I was married for ten years to a lovely, sweet, kind, gentle soul who descended into schizophrenia and never returned. The man I once knew is gone from me and the world. He is a shell of who he once was and no longer functions in society. Ten years after leaving him I am still filled with guit, confusion, anger, loss, despair and grief over losing him/leaving him. I've often wondered if he just gave up and succumbed to it. willingly? Could he have fought it off? Could he have done some early intervention with therapy and medication to still be a functioning human being today? What the hell happened to my life and my husband? Was it my fault? All of that still echoes in my head. Sorry to leave such a long comment. I'm haunted by this subject matter. I've obviously moved on with my life and have had two lovely children and a fantastic new husband, but still. I have so many unanswered questions about what happened to my first husband. Maybe your interview will answer some of those questions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. I don't know the specifics of your individual case and I would understand if you didn't want to share them; but I can at least try to tackle some of this. SZ is a horrid disease and very difficult to live with. The odds of getting Paranoid SZ are around .63%. The odds of functioning at my level are around 1-2%. You did what you could and your husband was destroyed by a malicious, vicious and horrifying disease. Treatment does work, but we all function at different levels. The most frustrating thing is that you are unable to do anything for us. You don't fix this, you treat it and pray you don't get worse. As a caregiver, the transition can be difficult and, in some cases, impossible. If the afflicted is violent or abusive (which is also quite rare actually), there is nothing you could have done. Every time a psychotic episode happens, it alters you forever. Non reversible. You will degrade and there is no stopping it. I'm extraordinarily lucky. I don't have the social withdraw and I know what I experience is not real, but I have to go through it anyway. If he wasn't medicating, there would have been nothing you could have done. It's horrible that you got to the point that you could do no more and I am very happy that you have a great life now. The most important thing from your experience is that you understand. My wife often tells people that, unless you live with someone sick with this disease, you have no idea how absolutely cruel and hopeless it can feel to you. We all have our limits, so try not to let the guilt get to you. If my wife ever wanted to leave, I would totally understand. It is a difficult thing to have to deal with. None of it was your fault... just a horrible roll of the dice. One that, sadly, I rolled.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your comment. He was never, ever violent or abusive. He was a very sweet and gentle person. He would never hurt anyone.

      He just slowly faded and disappeared into his imaginary world. I have no better way of explaining it. I didn't even know it was happening. For many years I thought he just didn't like me anymore.

      By the time I knew there was something seriously wrong, it was too late. Or it was too late for me, anyway. I do wish I'd stayed and tried to help him. I wish I could redo the way I left. But I can't. And so some of my guilt is deserved.

      This is a brutal disease that takes completely undeserving, sweet people. Steals their lives and their loved ones. It breaks my heart. Thank you for your comment. It brought tears to my eyes.

      Delete
  29. Oh Mandy! I had completely forgotten about your experience with this. I got goosebumps reading this comment and my heart hurt for you all over again.
    Matt does answer a lot of these questions. He's pretty amazing and I hope his interview will help bring a smidgeon of closure for you.
    And don't EVER apologize for your comments. Yours have always been some of my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sending me back over here to read Matt's comment.

      Delete