Monthly Archives: April 2012

Why A Meteorite, You Ask?

Wikipedia (not ALWAYS the most reliable source – but definitely okay in this instance) defines a meteorite as:

A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the Earth’s surface. A meteorite’s size can range from small to extremely large. Most meteorites derive from small astronomical objects called meteoroids, but they are also sometimes produced by impacts of asteroids. When a meteoroid enters the atmosphere, ram pressure (not friction) causes the body to heat up and emit light, thus forming a fireball, also known as a meteor or shooting/falling star. The term bolide refers to either an extraterrestrial body that collides with the Earth, or to an exceptionally bright, fireball-like meteor regardless of whether it ultimately impacts the surface.

I once saw a fallen meteorite at the Griffith Park Observatory on a field trip. It was 1982. I was immediately obsessed. [Consequently, I also observed a Tesla coil on the same trip, and while entranced, strangely enough I did not become immediately CERTAIN I would die by Tesla Coil.]

There is something so random, so amazingly deadly and yet, surprisingly statistically impossible about death by meteorite. It was PERFECT. A random, statistically insignificant and yet grimly repugnant way to die.

Historically, there have been few reported incidents of meteorites hitting anyone or anything – well few if you consider the length of time that man has been recording things falling from the sky versus the fact that meteorites actually fall with virtually equal probability everywhere on Earth – relatively few reports – and as far as I can tell, literally no one has actually DIED from a meteorite.

There are several reported instances of falling meteorites having killed both people and livestock, but a few of these appear more credible than others. The most infamous reported fatality from a meteorite impact is that of an Egyptian dog that was killed in 1911, although this report is highly disputed. This particular meteorite fall was identified in the 1980s as Martian in origin. However, there is substantial evidence that the meteorite known as Valera hit and killed a cow upon impact, nearly dividing the animal in two, and similar unsubstantiated reports of a horse being struck and killed by a stone of the New Concord fall also abound. Throughout history, many first and second-hand reports of meteorites falling on and killing both humans and other animals abound, but none have been well documented.

Don’t worry – I haven’t let the FACTS stop me from being obsessed with the idea. In fact, I calculated the exact angle that a meteorite would have to be falling at in order to kill me in bed – and placed our furniture accordingly. I used to switch sides of the bed with JW just to keep the probability numbers in my favor. I believe the odds of being killed are somewhere around 1/700,000. Wow, that just doesn’t seem low enough for me.

I mean, I’ve survived several car crashes, being thrown from a moving car (there WILL be a post about this), nine years of torture, being stabbed, the Cerritos Air Disaster (I was there, on a cul-de-sac at a BBQ), two abusive marriages, eight surgeries, four miscarriages and six live births.

Seriously, what IS going to kill me?

I plan to live a LONG, LONG life, if only to irritate my children (especially Jr. Asparagus). My grandmothers lived to 95 and 104 respectively, so I’ve got that going for me – plus – I live a relatively low-risk life (except my penchant for  risking life and limb to hang from a circus hoop for photo shoots while suffering from a herniated disk in my lower back) and I am in amazingly good health overall.

Death Defying

And we all have to die of something, right? I fully expect to die by meteorite.

P.S. I’ve left instructions for JW (just in case) on how to stage it to look like I’ve been killed by a meteorite in the event that I kick off from something entirely unrelated. 😉

P.P.S – I have also planned for the eventuality of the Zombie Apocalypse. Just in case.

Family Portrait

Yes, this was our 2010 Christmas Card. You're welcome.

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Panic!! at the Dentist?

I have OCD. It stands to reason – I have survived what many therapists have described as nine years of ritual abuse. Sometimes I have anxiety attacks. Most of the time when they happen I can ride them out, waiting for the panic to subside and the irrational fear to ebb off a bit.

But sometimes….

The last time I had a major panic attack was at the kid’s dentist. It kind of stands to reason – what is more fear inducing than taking several small children to the dentist? I had Bean (5) and Jackers (6) with me, and we had already finished their cleanings etc.

My kids go to a large pediatric dental practice in downtown St. Paul. The staff is very professional, and frankly, I know that I could not survive a day in that place – with all the screaming children (even if it is for their own good).  My kids aren’t screamers (thank God for small favors) but they unfortunately both had a cavity.

I am certain that the dentists and hygienists don’t mean to make a parent feel bad – but somehow – that’s exactly what happens. The anxiety started building during the second child’s exam (Jackers) – because he was going to need to have a tooth pulled. He was born with an extra canine tooth (we called it his “shark tooth”) that was small and a bit weaker than the other teeth.

Now – when you have five small children – you spend a lot of time, an inordinate amount of time, helping them brush & floss etc. We do our best, but sometimes your best isn’t good enough.

This was the trigger. IMPERFECTION! “You aren’t good enough. You have failed, and it’s going to cost you!”The accusation, of “you aren’t really doing your best, are you?” had begun to buzz in my head, and my stomach began to knot.

I barely got out of the office before my chest tightened and I couldn’t breathe. We got into the elevator and down into the car before the full force of the panic hit – and I was able to hand my Kindle Fire! back to Jackers & Bean to keep them busy.

I told them not to be scared – as I completely broke down crying, unable to breathe, unable to talk – panic and anxiety washing over me with fear and guilt. Realizing that it was getting worse, I was able to dial JW’s cell. I don’t think I could even talk at that point, simply crying into the phone “help!”. It scared me to think the kids were scared – but Jackers was very calm and brave – and kept Bean busy playing some game while watching me in the rear view mirror. “It will be ok, mommy”, he said, completely as if he believed it.

Sometimes I think JW has a transporter beam – or is secretly a NASCAR driver – because I think he was there in under five minutes. His presence causing a strange mix of calm and additional tears. Somehow, JW is safe, he is that elusive “Home” that my heart and soul have craved – and it calmed me enough to be able to drive home with him following.

He stayed until the full force of the attack had gone, and checked to make sure the kids were fine (which they were). In fact, they seem completely unaware of how awful those minutes were.

I am trying not to avoid the kid’s dentist. I am nervous to go back, afraid a bit that it will recur. But I know it’s not the “place” – the physical in any account – but the “place” in my heart where imperfection and failure equal physical pain and shame that is the problem.  How or when will that heal?

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Fair Warning…

This blog is mostly for me. I am going to post links on my FB page to these sharings  I feel the time is right for me to write, and while I’d like to have the time (or the ability) to write my memoirs, the best I can do at the moment is a [semi-] daily blog post. I truly hope that in releasing some of this into the blogosphere will help someone, as much as it is helping me. If you find a post that resonates – please share it with your friends.

I am not planning on this taking off and finding myself on Ellen anytime soon (or at all thank you very much), but I do hope that someone, somewhere will find hope in knowing that someone like me can come through this life and end up [semi-] normal.

But here’s the warning – I plan to write about my life. Some of it has been charmed, but a there are parts that are really (what word do I use?) BRUTAL. Since all the people involved are not yet dead, and some may actually find this blog – so for them, the truth is the truth. I truly can only think of one person who I would be worried about reading this for fear it may hurt them. If that is you – please read no further posts.

I am not invincible, but I am tough. Which is why this is what will eventually kill me.

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