A Life Changing Dysfunction: TMJ

For the past 2 months I've been having a serious problem. Maybe it's because I talk too much but I have been waking up without being able to fully open my mouth and having to pop my jaw. I literally move the bottom half of my mouth to the right side and "POP" I'm able to yawn normally. So of course I immediately go to Dr. Google to see what is going on and "I" have diagnosed myself with TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction).

I tried avoiding it and putting aside going to the Dentist but then the symptoms began. It began with my jaw popping, then it moved down to my shoulders. I would find myself sitting at work popping my shoulders to a consistent rhythm. The popping moved down to my legs and I began walking with a little hop. It happened at random times of the day and there was no stopping it.

Just when I thought the popping was a problem I began thrusting my hips ..

Occasionally going on the tips of my toes ..

This one time I was walking to the car and did this little kick that turned me around and I began moon walking ..

And that was when it hit me.

It was a 50/50 chance of getting one or the other. I had already diagnosed myself with Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction that I had exed out the other possibility. It was clear that I had TMJ (The Michael Jackson).

It spread quickly like a virus. I would occasionally blurt out a "HEEEE HEEEE!" and when I would sneeze I would finish it off with a "WOOOOO!" It was a severe case.

My hair began to curl, my pants were rolled up so my white socks were visible, and I found myself constantly wearing a fedora.

And then one day I was washing dishes and I slowly whispered, "Shamone" and a white glove appeared on my hand and then I knew that the transformation was complete.

It was official. I was the King of Pop.

& to think it all started with a popping jaw .. TMJ.

{ECard from Someecard}
{First & Third GIF from itseulonzobitch}
{Second GIF from eae-brou}
{Michael Jackson image from International Business Times}

Is Ignorance Truly Bliss?

Recently I have done a lot of research on Celtic ideology and found it to be quite interesting. The Celts were viewed to be these barbaric, uncivilized people, but in reality they were finding a way of escaping post colonialism and the new reality of what their life had become.
Celtic Traits (The Fairy Land):


But, maybe escaping the depths of your mind and living in a perfect Utopia doesn't seem bad at all. 

I just finished watching 'Pleasantville' and fell in love with the whole notion of living in a perfect society that only sees in black and white.


No color
No sex
No toilets
No fires
No war
No fighting
Basic emotions
Nothing new
Nothing changes
But everyone is always happy

And then I began to think:

Would living in Pleasantville be a better way of life than what we are living in now? Maybe the problem lies with the many distinctions life gives us or in reality the destinctions that we create. We have to many emotions, colors, changes, wars, and fighting so if we stripped it all away would we live in a more peaceful world? 

Throughout the movie we see changes in Pleasantville as certain things and people start to develop color and they are segregated as the 'Colored' people (oh, the irony). As more emotions develop, more teens are having sex, which causes a huge revolt leading to riots, burning of books and new developments in the society. Sort of what we live in now.

But before that everyone lived in a perfect world.

So maybe ignorance is truly bliss.

You know where I'll be booking my next vacation ..

{Kermit Image by Paisdelocos.com}

The Day I Broke It Off With An Author

I have a problem. I'm not completely psycho, but just a little. If I were to diagnose myself, I'd say OCD. I'm a clinger, a needy person, a collector. I come across a book I really enjoy, the words touch the depths of my soul and it's no longer about me and the book, it's about me falling in love with the author.

I wind up needing to read every piece of writing that has ever been created by that specific author. And it begins to consume my life and becomes the topic of every conversation even if someone is talking about food, cars or sex.

My recent obsession: Chuck Palahniuk 

I remember walking through Barnes & Noble and seeing the cover of his book 'Damned' and thinking, "That's a bad-ass cover. I'm gonna read it." I know, I did what we learn not to do our whole lives .. I judged a book by its cover .. there I said it! So I take the book home not knowing anything about the author and I automatically fall in love. I went through:
  • Invisible Monsters
  • Survivor 
  • Cannibal
  • Rant

I couldn't get enough of him! Our relationship was stronger than ever. We even exchanged tweets on Twitter like:

As you can see, we clearly had something special.

I wound up going back to Barnes & Noble recently and where do you think I'm immediatey drawn to: Section Fiction- Letter P. I purchase two more Chuck books: 'Fight Club' & 'Invisible Monsters REMIX'.

Let me remind you I already have 'Invisible Monsters' and the REMIX is just the way he intended the book to be with a few more chapters. This obsession had gotten out of control. I didn't even know who I was! I was lost and had become a product of Chuck P. He was the food for my soul, he filled the emptiness inside of me, he had full control. I had to do the unthinkable, I had to break it off.

It was time to experience new authors and new styles. So I did it the only way I could:

It must have been hard on him because he never wrote back.

I'm sorry Chuck.

PEOPLE: The True Pitbull

Working in an animal shelter really opens up your eyes to many things. I think I've seen it all: starving, abused, beaten down, broken, unloved animals. Families coming in willingly giving up their pets because they barked, or bit them, or pee'd on their 'expensive' rug-- stupid reasons that with time and patience can be easily fixed. Give them a chance! These are animals that have never had a home and if they did it was filled with abuse and abandonment. But people expect them to automatically become accustom to their lifestyle meanwhile they are still adjusting to their own after being saved from a harmful environment and learning that not all people or households are the same.

One thing that struck me being around these animals are how friendly, lovable and mushy Pit bulls are, or shall I use the correct term: The American Staffordshire Terrier. The term 'Pit bull' comes from 'Bully in the Pit' a phrase used for dog fighting. So, let it be known that these dogs were forced to kill one another while the peanut gallery cheers them on, injects them with steroids, and locks them back up in cages playing doctor so they don't get caught. And somehow they fall into being some sort of monster that people fear because of people themselves who throw them into these deadly situations and make money from their death.

People, the ones we assume have some form of morality, of logical thinking, of common sense.

People, the ones we assume know what's right from wrong, have superior intelligence, and are civilized.

These same people, or shall I say monsters find pleasure in the pain of these animals. These innocent animals.

And now they forever hold this negative connotation in the eyes of uneducated people. They're blinded because of the aggressive advertisement of these animals. Ignorance.

So who is the true 'bully' here?

I will never forget the day my boss called me and told me that whatever I did that night to try not to cry. I couldn't wrap my head around what I was about to walk into. I knew we had just rescued a pit, but how bad could she be? I hesitated opening the door to the back room but I took a deep breath and walked in. There she was a beautiful blue nosed pit, nothing but skin and bones running right towards me, barely being able to keep herself up. This poor animal, the starvation, the abuse she must have went through. She ran right up to me and rubbed her head against my leg. As I placed my hand on her and rubbed her chest, she licked me. Deep down inside after all the pain she endured there was still hope for love. The reputation these dogs have causing people to fear them, but no one takes a step back to see the true monster that would do such a thing to an innocent animal. To have stripped it away from food, from love, from life. But here she is, trusting another human, trusting they aren't all the same as humans assume they are. And with open arms I embraced her allowing myself to give into my pain and cry. 

Her name is Hope and that's exactly what she is-- Hopeful for a better tomorrow, for love, for a home. 

And she finally got it. 

The Day I Found God On A T-Shirt

So I have stressed in a previous post my resistance to religion and to God, but I have witnessed a sort of sign that has left me thinking.

Out of all of the craziest things I've done in my life, one of my memorable would be signing up to do a half marathon (13.1 miles). One would ask, "Why do that to yourself?" Well, I just don't know. From the very beginning I was panicking because I felt that I wouldn't be able to finish this race but I sucked it up. It's all a mental game, when you think you're tired it's because you're psyching yourself out of it. If you're mind is in it 100% you'll be able to go beyond 13.1 miles, but I'd like to think I was in there only 75%, so a half marathon was beyond my reach.

When I start running I listen to loud music and imagine myself in a movie like some sort of Superhero going around trying to save the world. I keep a steady rhythm, dancing to the music having a party with myself. My mind is the only thing that is going to get me through this run so I must keep it busy to not focus on how many miles I have left and how my legs feel like breaking off of my body. After a good 6 miles I start to get what we call a 'Runners High' and that's when you get lightheaded and you're body feels numb and you occasionally hallucinate. So, there I go a little over 6 miles in, in Central Park and I can't help but think how fluffy the grass looks on the side of the road. & my brain begins to wonder:
  • What would happen if I just took a 30 minute nap? 
  • What if I ran to get a coffee?
  • I really have to fart.
  • What if I just stopped running?
All of these thoughts are going on and I'm already up to 10 miles, good! I need to find a new motivation and the first thing that pops up in my mind: Cinnamon Bagels. MMM ... they give these out at the end of every race and 2 delicious round bagels have my name on it awaiting my arrival. So I start to move faster as every time I breathe out I manage to whisper under my breath: "Food, Food, Food, Food ..." This time, time seems to be moving much slower and I feel my body giving up. The last 3 miles are pure adrenaline and I'm already worn out, my legs feel like jello and my head is on another planet.. DUNZO!

But a miracle comes strolling along on my left side. This woman with long legs, a nice stride, swinging her ponytail from left to right runs right in front of me and the back of her shirt reads: "God Will Lead the Way" I look around and think, "Oh God! You gotta be kidding me ..." and then I think: "Did I just say 'Oh God' .. he's inside of me!" AND THEN I THINK: "Did I just say 'inside of me' OH GOD!"

Out of all the things in the world, it had to be the most ridiculous thing to get me through. Here's this woman swaying her stupid ponytail, a running advertisement for the Lord. It was as if the Lord was like: "Pssst .. Girl with the pony .. Display this personal message to that hopeless girl that looks like she's about to collapse." So now I'm stuck behind the Lord's message of hope and I'm annoyed that I have to stare at this shirt because I have no energy to move left, right or forward. So I manage to look up and decide to respond to God:
Dear God, 
Thank you for your lovely message. Although, it won't get me through this race, it was a nice gesture. Next time you want to help, try sending me a mule. 
The Girl Who Still Looks Like She's About To Collapse 

{Image by SocietiesMirror.com}

An Ode To Pizza

I've had a revelation. A life changing experience, an instant high. It caused me to sit and think about my life, my 'self'. And one would question how something could cause such a drastic impact, what can make you reevaluate yourself? 

Two words: Artichoke Pizza 

I'm not just talking about pizza 'with' artichoke but of 'capital A' Artichoke 'capital P' Pizza. Now you don't know what life is until you sit down and take in this luxury of all pizzas, the pizzas of all pizzas, 'the' pizza. I thought I had myself figured out: I'm a girl, I'm human, I'm alive but I was wrong. Artichoke Pizza is a drug that opens up your senses, your pores, your eyes and you realize that you haven't really lived until that drop of cheesy goodness slips into the cracks of your lips and makes its way to the surface of your tongue. When I experienced this drug (Artie) I found myself losing track of time. I sat outside in 20-degree weather taking in the fumes of the artichoke and cheese, letting it fill up my lungs while my hands froze, but I was so high I had lost all sensation. My hands were 2 seconds away from being frost bitten and there I was worried that I didn't lick every last bit off of my fingers. 

I was lost in a street fair with music and jewelry and a stand called 'Mighty Balls'. I could see the future and I saw a girl approaching me and asking if I liked 'The Hobbit' and I turned around and there was a girl approaching me and asking if I liked 'The Hobbit' and I said "no" even though I really do but it's because I see the future and saw a lot of talking about nonsense and little did she know I was high off Artie and I was the Hobbit. 

And then my friend and I thought of all the ways we can cure diseases and illnesses by rubbing Artie all over it and making it go away. A man who can't walk, easy: strap on some slices on your knees. A woman who can't see, easy: rub the cream on your eyes. It's the solution to war, to calculus, to physics. It is the secret to making a spaceship, a submarine, a satellite. It is the key to peace, love, and happiness. 'Capital A' Artichoke, 'capital P' Pizza: a new religion. Amen. 

You Can Never Win With Mothers

A bonding activity I usually have with mom would be our trip to the Supermarket. Now, she doesn't ask me so I can keep her company or just to hang out, I'm more of her Supermarket Slave. I'm only there to push the cart around, read off her list, and bag the items. The only words that come out of her mouth are, "Get that" "Come here" "Pay attention" and "No." As you can see there is not much communication but that is how we bond. She'll occasionally toss me a smile but that's only because she got a good deal on an item.

So I'm driving the cart around and we stop to get cold cuts, which is right next to the Produce Section. At this time my mom allows me to step away from the cart and roam free while I get some of the things off of her list. My mom is a very particular woman who likes her fruit and veggies to look a certain way and I'm the total opposite and can't tell the difference between what's good and what's bad. Half the time I'm on my own I always call my mom to get her approval so that I don't have to hear her say, "No."

I finally get the fruit, but before I get the chance to put it in the bag I start to scream, "MA!" *no answer* "MA!" *no answer* "MA!" *no answer*. Meanwhile, 15 other mothers are looking at me because they think it's their child or because they feel bad that I'm waving around an apple and my mother won't pay any attention to me. I'm pretty sure my mom knows it's me but she chooses to ignore me because she is on her phone either texting or on Facebook and couldn't be bothered. And, I refuse to walk over to her because I'll be making a million trips back and forth like a choo choo train. So, this is my final attempt and I grow some balls and utter the worst words any mother can hear from their child ... "CLAUDIA!" ... *dramatic pause*

I know I have crossed the line. I don't even feel good saying it but at this point it is the only way to get her attention. There may be a million mothers in the world but to her there is only one Claudia.

My mom whips her head around in disgust and says, "DON'T YOU EVER CALL ME THAT AGAIN!" and turns back to her phone and continues to ignore me. Now I'm pissed because I'm standing there screaming "MA" for the past 10 minutes and I have yet to get the approval for the apple!!!

You can never win with mothers ...

{Image by Sharideth Smith}

The Truth Behind The Creative Process Of Writing

Leave it up to schools and especially English Professors to butcher what could have been a good book. Once you set foot into high school, a simple 5-line poem turns into a full school year analysis. ANALYZE, ANALYZE, ANALYZE! Books are not meant to be taught but are for the enjoyment of the reader. We are taught what it's 'supposed' to mean. Writing should not have to be a puzzle we try to piece together, but should be an adventure and we take what we want from it. They come up with such abstract meanings and you're looking at them scrunching your face thinking, "WHAT THE F$%!" I bet you half these authors are sitting on their toilets writing 'The Best Novel of All Time' while Scholars, Critics and Professors find some profound meaning to the book that was created on the toilet when in fact their inspiration was probably the way their poop splashed in the water or the texture of the toilet paper. We become these analytical robots, which in turn reflects on our lives when the word "OK" is no longer "OK" and you begin to analyze what you could have possibly done to receive such hateful words!

In my Creative Writing class last semester we were told to read an essay and prepare questions for the writer who would be attending our next class. Being that we were taught to overanalyze and never accept what is being given, we came up with crazy questions about the position of the text, the deeper meaning behind the use of punctuation and the reasons for the choice of font (which looked like Calibri, the default font in Word). So the writer came in ready to tackle or so we thought our intellectual questions. Sadly, we weren't getting the answers we were expecting.

This girl even said, "I love the use of that quote in the beginning. Was it to reflect on your childhood?"

And he said, "Sure, if you want to see it that way ..."

OK .. (and I mean OK at its face value with no deeper meaning intended)

He concluded by saying that his writing doesn't mean more than what it already is and it reflected upon what he felt like doing at that time. We were all taken aback-- So what you're saying is that what you have written is what it 'really' is? .. WELL DUH! Here we are expecting some mathematical formula and not taking in the beauty of the simplicity of his writing and grasping the real story, rather coming up with a million questions as to why he put an exclamation point instead of a period!

Now imagine the authors of the books we were learning about sat in the back of our classrooms. They would probably also look at the Professor with a scrunched up face thinking, "WHAT THE F$%!-ETH!" and say, "The deeper meaning behind my story lies in the depths of my toilet bowl."


The Man Behind The Shower Curtain

It's late at night and you get the sudden urge to use the bathroom. There it is draped and motionless-- the bathroom curtain. The only way to peacefully use the bathroom is to check behind it. The last thing you need is to be undressed from the waist down and being attacked by that 'something.'

I'm assuming I've watched way to many movies and read a lot of books to create these illusions in my mind, but what IF there were to be someone there! We've all done this at one point in our lives. Maybe as kids, teens, ADULTS! We're already doomed the moment we turn on that light. They're already prepared to pounce. Once our hands touches that curtain it's all over for us. It's the fear of the unknown, the dark side, the shower curtain! And due to a recent study I've done, I am not alone.

So what do we really expect to find behind the curtain?

A MAN: Majority of the people I've asked regarding this topic feel as though a man is waiting to attack them. I'm assuming the man slipped in through a window, front door, through the walls and is waiting to get you in the middle of the night while you are vulnerable on the toilet. Nothing screams vulnerability like having your pants down and submitting yourself to your body.

A DEAD BODY: Well, if you are checking to find a dead body then you might want to reevaluate your life.

THE MAN/ WOMAN OF YOUR DREAMS: Don't we all wish to find this behind our shower curtain! Our naked dream guy/girl showering in our shower waiting for us to take a peek and possibly join.

NOTHING: Some of us already 'know' there is nothing behind our shower curtain but we check because we're just paranoid. We open it slowly 'just in case' to see an empty tub and at that moment we are free to use the bathroom peacefully.

Here are a couple of tips on how to protect yourself from the late night creeper.

TOILET PAPER STAND: (this is a lethal weapon) The first thing to grab is the toilet paper stand! And if you don't have one I suggest you go get one. Once you see that shadowy figure ready to attack, you grab a hold of the stand and wack it around as hard as you can. There is no getting away for them.

SHAMPOO: Keep a bottle of shampoo right by your bathroom door. When the creep opens the curtain you squirt the bottle in his eyes. This will give you an opportunity to run!


INDIRECT THREATS: While walking to the bathroom say, "This knife is really sharp," "I love this new baseball bat that I carry around with me EVERYWHERE in case there is someone in the house!" "This rifle is feeling rather lonely & UNUSED!"

SEEK HELP: Maybe it's all in our heads, the paranoia! Try talking to someone to find a way of getting over the fear.

Let it be known, we've thrown ourselves in danger many times risking opening that shower curtain. We are reckless!

All in all, your best bet is to keep the curtain open!

{'Knife' image by Adam Bowie}
{David Beckham image by METRO}
{Toilet Paper Stand image by Linens-N-Things}