feelings, we all have feelings

I am occasionally frustrated by how fickle my feelings can be. I think I'd say for a large portion of my life I've struggled with feeling depressed. Sometimes it's hit me more than others but I used to describe it as this well of sadness that I could never quite escape. I would drink from that well on some occasions more than others. Sometimes I got the impression that God would drag me out of depression to get me to keep going. Sometimes I also got the impression that I was just throwing a pity party I had no business throwing.

This past few weeks has taken a lot out of me. Today at school a professor said something to me that I normally would probably have shrugged off but it really bugged me. I borrowed a DVD from him and forgot to return it. When I apologized he said that "sorry wasn't enough" and something to the effect of "you gave me your word I didn't have to worry about getting it back." Normally something like that would probably bug me since I don't like disappointing people, let alone people I respect and/or look up to, but it wouldn't make me all gloomy afterwards. Today that's just what it did, and I realize it's not just because of that one thing but it's just the cumulative emotional effect of the past few weeks. Maybe even of the past eight weeks since Belle was born. But even the time right before Belle was born I remember looking forward to her birth so I could take a step back from everything else in my life and recharge. So who knows. All I know is right now I am pretty depleted and quite looking forward to the end of the semester.

I have also been reminded in this season that when it comes to spending time in solitude and prayer, spending time with God, it's not the sort of thing that you do in order to please God. Sometimes I get the idea in my head that I "should" read my bible and pray because that's the right thing to do. In reality I should do it because I need to do it. As time goes by I have a tendency to slide farther away from a vital connection with Christ and God just becomes the idea I center my life around rather than the driving force of my life and my loving Father. And that's the whole thing with God - He's not an idea or a cosmic impersonal force. I often trade in the fact that I study and talk about God with much of my time for the actual heart and soul connection. And that leads me to a place where when I'm beaten down a bit by life I'm throwing pity parties for myself instead of drawing on the strength God gives me every day.


still not sure

The good news is on Thanksgiving Day, in the evening, Janelle's pain subsided. Since then she's only had occasional pain and it generally hasn't been as severe as it was before. The bad news is the doctors don't know what's wrong with her and it's like pulling teeth getting them to pursue the issue. Janelle put a message in with her doctor today and we're hoping they'll follow up and not just let this fester until Janelle is incapacitated again.

Also, the 49ers blew a 4 point lead in the last two minutes today. They should've beaten the Rams and be 6-5. Many people will criticize Mike Nolan for his decision to kick a field goal instead of go for it on 4th and 1 toward the end of the game. I think he made a fine decision. Gore was out, Robinson had just been stuffed on 3 and 1. All day the 49ers D had been playing pretty well. Giving your defense a 1 TD lead to hold onto with 2 minutes left is totally reasonable. I think you put way more pressure on your D if you make it so they can't even give up a FG. So Mike Nolan, I think you made the right call. The next right call you need to make is cutting Hudson, who incurred a delay of game penalty by laying on top of Steven Jackson like a sack of mentally deficient potatoes. That just may have cost us the game because the Rams were out of timeouts and the wouldn't have had time to organize the winning TD pass to Curtis.

I remain happy about the direction the 49ers are going and hope to see continued development. The big problem is you never know with injuries and free agency how many people you can actually count on to be part of the team. So I hope the Yorks are able to do something they've been up to this point unable to do and not screw up a good thing with the 49ers. They need to keep Nolan, keep the coaches, and keep this core of players. I'm okay with losing Kwame Harris to free agency though.


still waiting

Wednesday morning Janelle had a radiologist appointment and had an ultrasound in order to hopefully reveal the location of her gallstones. I called this morning and as it turns out no gallstones were visible on the ultrasound and her organs appear normal. I made an appointment for Janelle with a Doctor, and the Doctor said everything appears to indicate gallstones but in the absence of any gallstones on the ultrasound he does not want to schedule a surgery. If she has this surgery and the problem isn't solved then it was a big waste. He gave her some medicine to take 30 minutes before she eats to help reduce the pain. He said to give it a couple days, try trial and error with food, and then wait to hear from her Doctor to figure out what to do next.

Upon returning home Janelle had taken the medicine and ate a persimmon and a little bit of Malt-o-Meal. Her pain returned and steadily increased, seemingly undaunted by the presence of so many drugs in Janelle's system. She is once again curled up on the bed in pain, sleepy from the meds. There is really no end in sight to this. Blech.


perdue medical station update

Janelle went to the ER last night around 12:30 because the pain was so intense. Thankfully my Mom came into town last night and is staying with us so she's been playing chaffeur since she got here. She spent a few hours there and the result was she got some Vicodin and an appointment at the radiologist for this morning. She went there at 9:30 this morning for an ultrasound and the initial response of the radiologist was that they didn't see any gallstones. A doctor will review it over the next couple days (one of which is Thanksgiving so I'm not particularly hopeful regarding the expediency of the medical professionals) and get back to us. I'm hoping if this isn't gallstones it's something they can quickly identify and treat.

Since she got home with a couple more prescriptions Janelle has been laying in bed in pain, even with Vicodin in her. I 'm pretty sure she's been asleep most of the time which is better than her writhing in pain. There's not much we can do at this point but wait, as we've done what we can to get them to take her seriously. Supposedly the doctor at this latest ER visit was more sympathetic than any previous doctor and seemed interested in getting to the bottom of this, so I hope he's involved in the continuing unfolding of whatever it is that's happening to Janelle.

On the bright side Belle has been an angel and my Mom has been helping me watch and take care of her. Thank you to you guys offering help/support/etc. I'm not really sure what could be done at this point unless you have miraculous Word of Knowledge or voodoo that will take the pain away and fix what's wrong with Janelle. My Mom being here is helping a lot with the little things I might ask you for. But rest assured if I think of something or something comes up I'll let you know. It means a lot to know we have friends willing to help and stuff.


an update on the update

Janelle is still in pain, went to the doctor's today, and now he thinks she does indeed have gallstones. She has to call tomorrow to schedule an ultrasound or catscan or something to locate them. If she has them she will require surgery to have them removed. Until then she experiences intense pain periodically in her stomach and back. If you know Janelle you know she's not a wuss, so the pain must be severe. Sucks. At least I'm better, so if Janelle goes under the knife Belle won't have a sick dad taking care of her for a while.


update on Janelle

Well the good thing is Janelle didn't have to spend the night at the hospital and they don't think she has gallstones. At first the doctor said she thought she saw some, but now she says she doesn't think there are any. Instead she thinks Janelle had some sort of gastric attack and that there is too much acid in her stomach or the lining in her stomach is weakened, or something like that. The treatment is for Janelle to take Zantac every day, avoid spicy/fatty/chocolaty/tasty food, and hopefully she'll get better. I think the fact that she got the stomach bug and lost her appetite resulted in less food in her stomach for the acid to interact with so it decided to party with her stomach lining which didn't appreciate it very much.

So lucky for Belle, and lucky for me, Janelle is back at home and it looks like she's going to be fine. It might act up again and if it does she's supposed to go back because it might be a gallstone. She also had some count in her blood that was way higher than it's supposed to be so she needs to return in 10 days to have her blood checked again. If it's still high she may have some sort of parasitic infection. But I suppose that can wait.

Now I must restore my stomach to health so I can eat proper food to strengthen up for the flag football game and subsequent feasting on Thanksgiving.


shaken not stirred

This has been a pretty mixed week and weekend. Janelle came down with something Tuesday putting her out of commission. It was some sort of stomach bug or something. So while she was down I did my best to take care of Belle and by Tuesday night and Wednesday Janelle wasn't fully recovered but she was doing well enough to help with Belle. Thursday I started to feel pretty sick, sort of like Janelle did before. I was nauseous and my stomach hurt. I didn't have much of an appetite and got a pretty bad headache. Friday morning came and I actually passed out while leaning against a door in my office and fell down. I went to the doctor's and they said I was severely dehydrated and probably had some sort of food poisoning. After eight tries they got an IV in me and put a liter of a saline solution in me to get me rehydrated.

Upon returning from the doctor's in the afternoon I holed up on the couch, having developed a fever. Sometime later that evening the fever broke and I was left with just the nasty feeling in my stomach and no appetite. I've downed numerous gatorades and eaten countless flavorless breadsticks and bowls of applesauce since then. All Friday and Friday night Janelle took care of Belle solo because I was feeling so ill. Usually she does most of the work anyway but she did it all during this time. Keep in mind during this time Janelle is having some stomach pain and not feeling great herself. Saturday night and Sunday (today) morning I was committed to singing at Crossroads so I was gone. I'm still unable (or afraid) to eat regular food and Janelle is feeling progressively worse.

This afternoon when I got home Janelle had some pretty severe stomach pain. After a while it became obvious she was having some real trouble and I encouraged her to go to the ER. By 5pm she agreed and her sisters came to take her there. Janelle just called and they think they found a gallstone and they're having her drink some solution to test if she has pancreatitis, which is some sort of pancreas infection that may be caused by gallstones. She's hooked up to an IV and morphine and all that. At the earliest they'll do the test on her in a couple hours. She may need some sort of surgery that will require a 1 week or so recovery time.

I just got Belle to go down to sleep and she was fussier than she's been in a long time. I think she's missing Janelle. Janelle has been really good with getting Belle on a schedule of sorts and Belle's been great the last few days. I hope I'm able to take care of Belle and not screw that up. And I hope Belle sleeps well tonight, I hope Janelle's okay and gets well quickly, and I hope my stomach issue clears up soon. Most of all I feel sort of clueless trying to take care of Belle. Janelle has taken the lead with it and I feel she has a much better clue on how to do it.

I'm also not sure how in the world I'm going to get stuff done that I need to get done this next week, especially if Janelle has a surgery or something. It's the end of the school semester and I'm supposed to preach after Thanksgiving...we'll see I suppose. It's just a lot of stuff all at once. This isn't a great time for all this stuff to go down successively. Not that it ever is, of course.

At least the 49ers won today. Mike Nolan looked awesome in a suit, even if it was Reebok issued.


i saw something on the freeway last night

Last night I was driving home from school and the traffic was pretty bad. It took me about forty minutes to cross the Richmond-San Rafael bridge, something that shouldn't take more than a few minutes. After that traffic thinned out and things were moving well until I got to the vicinity of the Oakland Coliseum. Things started to get backed up and I thought it was due to the Rolling Stones concert. I discovered that the two or three faster lanes were closed off and had to stop and merge. There was some sort of accident in the leftmost lanes. I saw a lot of cars stopped on the right shoulder, and a few cars in the left lanes. None of the cars looked particularly damaged so I wondered what was going on.

As I crept forward I noticed something in the road, it looked like someone laying down. Upon further inspection it looked like a mangled body with its entrails spilling out. My heart sort of jumped. Once I realized what I was looking at I looked away. It was pretty strange looking. When I got home I didn't see anything on the news about it and didn't find anything on the web about it. Just now I did a search and found out that what I saw was indeed a man's body with his guts spilling out. It was an older guy on a motorcycle who had swerved to avoid a dead dog's body. He flew off his motorcycle and was subsequently run over by a truck. And to think I was upset about having to sit in traffic.

jessica's law

Upon further reflection I have decided to vote no on Prop 87, also known as Jessica's Law. I've reached the conclusion that it hasn't proven terribly effective in the places it's already been passed and if we're going to create a $500 million bureaucracy we should make sure it's effective. Just spending this kind of money on stuff that's of dubious value (other than to make us feel safer) isn't a good way to go about things.

Go vote today!


jackson's voter guide

This Tuesday is Election Day, so in order to encourage you to vote, even if only to cancel out my votes, I'll let you know how I'm voting on some of the stuff. For some I will provide more reasoning than for others. Politically I'd say I'm probably fairly conservative, especially fiscally, but I prefer my thinking and my votes to inform your opinion on y political leanings rather than any words like "conservative" or "liberal" or "moronic."

I largely consider all Props to be, unless I somehow learn otherwise, plays by certain groups for power or money with little regard to the bigger picture. So unless I see a compelling reason to vote "Yes" on a Proposition my default position is no. With candidates I'm largely ignoring the candidates outside the established two because I'd rather have my vote count for something other than a protest. I think the only time I'd seriously consider going third-party with my vote is if (1) I really believe in what they say or (2) I really hate the other options and think my vote would contribute to some point being made. If there's a serious third candidate for President in 2008 I may vote for them.

I would consider myself semi-informed. My information is coming from the California Voter Guide and any commercials I've seen (none of which I take seriously)...other than that I'm just following what I think and I may be missing some large pieces of information but I'm going with what I have.

Governor - Voting for Arnold (R)
I watched a debate between Arnold and Phil Angelides and was duly unimpressed by Angelides. I am not the biggest Arnold fan but I am less excited about Angelides plan to rebuild California by redistributing income. Granted, I'm not in the tax bracket he'd be raising taxes on but I am generally of the opinion that the government does not need more of our money but rather it needs to manage the money it already has more efficiently. This view on government/money plays a large role in my voting decisions on every level.

Lt. Governor - Voting for Tom McClintock (R)
Garamendi says that Al Gore and Dianne Feinstein share his vision. That's enough for me. Also according to Garmendi Tom McClintock wants to "dismantle our public schools." I'm curious to see how he'd do that so I want to give him the chance.

Controller - Voting for Tony Strickland (R)
Strickland says he believes what I do - that the government has enough money and needs to manage it better. Chiang, his Democratic opponent, says he wants to "fight for full funding for quality schools." To me that translates "we need more money." No you don't.

Secretary of State - Bruce McPherson (R)
He's supported by the California Teacher's Association, which is pretty liberal. He's also the incumbent and it doesn't seem like he's screwed everything up.

Insurance Commissioner - Steve Poizner (R)
If you Cruz, you lose. Seriously - Cruz Bustamante actually has a commercial saying "I was fat! But I promised I'd lose weight and I did. I keep my promises."


Prop 1A (Limits on how gov't can spend gas tax money) - Yes
If you take my money and say you're going to use it on roads, use it on roads.

Prop 1B - 1D (Sell bonds for various things) - No
That's an awful lot of bond money. Over $32 billion in interest? Too much cost, find another way to do it.

Prop 1E (Bonds to fix levees) - Yes
We need to fix the levees. It does suck that we're going to pay 3.9 billion in interest but I think the costs will be greater if we have some more flooding and aren't ready for it.

Prop 83 (Jessica's Law) - Yes
I am somewhat persuaded by the argument that this law hasn't been helpful in the places it's been passed. I'd want our law enforcement agencies to not be tied down with unimportant stuff, and I'd like to not waste money. But in my opinion anything that makes life harder on sex offenders, whether violent or not, is probably worth voting for. So I vote yes but I'm not totally excited about it.

Prop 84 (Money for Drinking Water etc) - No
Ten Billion dollars? No thanks. Also I hate children and don't want them to have clean drinking water.

Prop 85 (Parental Notification for Abortion) - Yes
Yes I do think the doctor should have to tell me if my teenage daughter wants to get an abortion. I realize some kids have terrible parents and whatnot, but the idea that a 13 year-old could get an abortion without her parents knowing about it is ridiculous. And if a parent is bad enough the child can try to get an exception so they don't have to tell their parents if Prop 85 passes. Yes it sucks but I think it sucks more to not allow parents to know what's going on with their kids.

Prop 86 (Cigarette Tax) - No
People sure are greedy.

Prop 87 (Oil Tax for Alternative Fuel) - No
Take more of my money and give it to some governmental agency tasked with pursuing alternative fuels? What happens if they don't do a good job? What happens if they inefficiently handle my money? Will they repeal the tax later? Riiiight... I'd rather let the private sector take care of this.

Prop 88 (Parcel Tax for Education) - No
Take more of my money to fund some education programs? Use the money you already have more efficiently. Stop trying to raise taxes, people!

Prop 89 (Changes money-gathering for elections) - No
It looks shady to me. I'd rather not vote something like this into law. Why is the Nurses' Association the primary backer of this thing? I'd rather not have a special interest group defining rules of campaign contribution.

Prop 90 (Constitutional Amendment to Eminent Domain Stuff) - No
Looks like some butt-hurt people trying a short-sighted fix to a problem.

Wow, that was a lot of stuff. If you think I've got it all wrong, make sure you head out to vote and cancel out my contribution to the democratic process!


sorry to see

Unless you've been completely ignoring the news over the past few days you've heard about Ted Haggard, the prominent evangelical Christian leader who has experience a massive impact between the fecal matter and the proverbial fan. He's a very political figure, well-known for his opposition to things like gay marriage. If the accusations are to be believed, he has carried on a relationship with a male prostitute/meth dealer for the past few years. The prostitute didn't know who this guy was until he saw Haggard denouncing gay marriage on TV one day. Apparently this horrendous hypocrisy prompted the man to go public.

I'm not entirely sure what the facts of the matter are. Jones (the male prostitute in question) failed a polygraph test about the alleged sexual nature of their relationship. Today, however, Haggard's church fired him, citing "sexually immoral conduct." As far as I know Haggard has publicly admitted to purchasing meth from Jones but says he didn't use it. Haggard also admitted contacting Jones in order to get a massage. The whole thing is pretty shady.

I have to wonder what Haggard is thinking. Politically I am not quite a member of the so-called Religious Right and was only vaguely aware of who Haggard was before this. This almost seems fake. I mean, one of the most influential anti-gay-marriage political figures is patronizing male prostitutes for gay sex and crystal meth? It's so bizarre. I think the biggest victims here are Haggard's family, who have to be absolutely devastated. Of course there is collateral damage to things like the message of Christianity, the integrity of Christian leaders, Haggard's disillusioned followers, and so on.

I don't suppose I have any original thoughts on this. It sucks for Haggard and his family. It's also pretty weaksauce that someone would work so hard to keep gay marriage illegal while at the same time carrying on this kind of relationship with a guy (if the allegations are true). I'm personally of the opinion that gay people should have the same legal rights as others. I do think that marriage is something between a man and a woman but that others should be allowed the same legal status and perks and all that.

But anyway, this Haggard thing is a reminder that if you let some little secret thing linger it can grow into a monster that destroys your life, and you'll have nobody to blame but yourself.