Saturday, March 29, 2008


Last week when I posted about finding old New Orleans BBS buddies online, I learned a few things about my old "handle," Guenivere. At the time I "called the boards," as the term was, I was often accused of "misspelling" the name (usually spelled "Guinevere" after Tennyson) and had to defend my choice. For the record, the reasons for my chosen spelling were: (1) the diminuitives "Guen" (i.e., Gwen) and "Guennie" ("Gwennie") didn't really work--to my ear at least--as Guin and Guinnie. I prefer the softer "e" sound in the first syllable. (Of course, some pundits insisted on pronouncing it "Goonie.") (2) There is no "right" or "wrong" spelling anyway. The "real" name is actually "Gwynhwfar" with a modern English rendering of Jennifer. Anyway, I thought the spelling I chose was distinctive.

So today, when I do a Google search for "Guenivere" just to see what's out there, although the search engine dutifully asks me if I really meant "Guinevere" (and provides hits with that spelling unless I put "Guenivere" in quotation marks), it turns out that there are plenty (over 28K--so much for distinctive!) of hits for my "wrong" spelling of Arthur's queen's name. Perhaps some of them are also "misspellings" but it appears to be deliberately chose by many. There are a surprising number of women who use it either as a real name or as an alias, and at least two pop songs with "my" spelling in the lyrics all over the net. One song contains a line, "I loved you, Guenivere," repeated over and over again like a mantra. Another song says, "I'm no lady, I am Guenivere." (Well, humph.) It is also apparently a very popular name for cats.

So much for mystery, history, legend, and a commanding alias to hide behind while posting online!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Good news

I finally got my latest Vitamin D bloodwork results back and the numbers are well within the target range! Woo-hoo!

I will soon be moving on to Phase 2 of the Marshall Protocol, probably next week. I have had fairly minimal immunopathology for the last couple of weeks except for being consistently tired. A few symptoms are almost gone. I have a long way to go, but overall I'm very pleased.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I was able to go sing last night at Easter Vigil mass, which was a great pleasure. I really miss singing, and after the EV mass the choir always goes out for breakfast so I was able to visit with everyone. Got lots of hugs. It's nice to be missed. And it's nice to know that I still have a B-flat!

This was my sixth outing since starting the Marshall Protocol January 23rd, the third night-time outing. I was really pleased to be able to manage my meds successfully so that going out was possible. Honestly I don't miss going out very much; I've always been inclined to be a homebody and the darkened confinement suits me well: I feel protected and safe, and have no trouble keeping myself amused. The only thing I find a bit disjointing is the passing of the seasons. My mental image of outdoors is one of mid-January, so when I go outside at night and see plants and trees blooming it's a bit startling. Sometimes when it is very quiet I can hear the bees buzzing in the azaleas outside my window and it takes me a moment to identify the sound.

I am tired today of course and am staying home to rest. My parents are going to the usual family gathering, which is at my cousin's house about an hour away. She (my cousin) came here on Good Friday and spent the day with me, a very nice visit. I like having her back close by (she lived out of state for 15 years). She made me smile and laugh so much that my cheeks hurt!

Best wishes for a happy Easter to everyone!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Lately I've been making more and more connections to people I knew when I was growing up. My 20th high school reunion was last summer, and although I didn't go, it prompted several email exchanges with people I hadn't seen since then. Then a few months ago I got on Facebook, and made several connections there, some with people I've known since first or second grade. A few more showed up in LinkedIn. On my personal website I also have a bunch of class pictures up from elementary school-- more trickle in.

I especially love reconnecting from people from elementary school. I was lucky enough to live in the same place K-12 and so go to school with a group of kids that knew each other all that time. A lot of kids don't have that kind of stability. People you knew from age 6-10 know the real you, before you started trying to live up to the expectations of others.

Just a few days ago, I was thinking about all the people I met online during my last year of college, when "BBSing" was the geeky thing to do. This was before the internet existed. People would use a modem and call a computer which ran the BBS software. You could leave messages for other people and play some online games (all text-based). Most BBSes had only one phone line in so only one person could be logged in at a time. Some were networked, and so you could send messages across the country or around the world. (Along with the academically-based Bitnet, the Fido network was one of the first ways to share genealogical research online.)

In New Orleans, where I went to college, there was a distinct BBS community. (Later, when I went to law school in Chicago, I joined Chinet, which was the world's first BBS; I still log in there occasionally and it just celebrated its 30th anniversary in February.) One of the fun things about it was that most people used an alias to log in; I was Guenivere. Some people created lots of aliases and personas to go with them, but I was always just Guennie. I had friends with monikers like Alcor, Shinzu, Pundit, Awesome Heap, Homeboy, Flavius, Jezebel, Mortie, Socrates, Piano Man, Princess Toadstool, Wizard, Shinobi, Mr. Fender Jaguar, Thinker, Attila the Hun, Count Strahd, Limulus. . . the list goes on and on. These people, of course, are the opposite of those elementary school classmates of mine, in terms of being able to know the "real" person behind the exterior persona we all present to the world.

Anyway, this past week I was thinking about all this and I did an online search and came up with a nostalgic blog post by my old BBS buddy Jezebel about much the same thing. She told me about BBSmates, which is a site much akin to, but without the hype. So I found a bunch more folks I used to know. I sure would like to connect with a few more, though. (Not naming any names, Bruce!)

Yesterday I got email from someone who was my next-door neighbor when I was three years old. (Though when we moved it was only a couple of blocks away and stayed there until after I graduated from college--and his mom was my babysitter after school.) I think that one must be a record!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Lake House

I saw a movie last week without knowing much about it beforehand, and it took me by surprise how much I liked it. It's called The Lake House. It's about falling in love with a pen pal, and it has a timeline paradox worthy of Star Trek. (Of course, I love Star Trek, so timeline paradoxes don't bother me too much.) But this movie has a few other things that are quite special. A Pulitzer-winning playwright for a screenwriter and a director with a vision, just to mention two. Together they have created a richly textured story, with themes and nuances at every level. Every time I turn around I find another thread that ties back into it.

Themes of isolation, disconnectedness, distance, control, containment—also love, timing, meeting the right person at the wrong time, waiting, second chances, trust, and finally redemption and fulfillment. "Moving forward:" when is it really moving backward? Resistance to taking what (or who) is offered to you and having the courage to seize what (or who) you want instead. Taking risks, eschewing the "safe" alternative. Architecture, especially Chicago's, but also how it relates and creates feelings of connection (or disconnection) and control over one's environment. Yearning, waiting for the other to be ready. Identity, making a fresh start. The protaganists' lives are parallel, because they are experiencing the same things: losing their fathers, finding out who they are, trying to put the past behind them and make a new start, becoming a whole person. Light. Soul mates. Using hands—building, renovating, writing, drawing, healing—and touching, especially by proxy.

This film is definitely in my all-time top ten list. Rent it. Here's the trailer.

Monday, March 3, 2008

MP Phase 1, still chugging

The MP is a paradox in many ways.

Getting the immune system to work as designed, instead of the usual approach of modern medicine to suppress it (to make you "feel better") means that you feel much worse while you are actually getting better.

The MP is about regaining control of your life-- and yet while on it, you have no real control over how your body will respond and how you will feel.

You can control dosage amounts and timing, but that doesn't always control how you feel. Before the MP, I knew that if I took certain palliative medications, I would feel better within a given amount of time. With the MP, I can change my dosage and timing in an effort to ensure that I will feel well enough to attend an event on a certain day-- but there's no certainty that I will.

I have control in the broadest sense--I am following a curative therapy, I am in charge of what doses and times I take my meds--but in all the small, day-to-day things I have no control over how my body feels or will feel, and everything beyond making it through the next hour seems completely overwhelming.

I know that a lot of this is immunopathology. One of the guarantees of the MP is that all of the bad things you have ever felt--physically, mentally, and emotionally--come back. Not all at once, not one at a time, and sometimes over and over again. Part of the MP is understanding that, and owning it, acknowledging that the emotional and mental feelings as well as the physical ones are part of the disease. And then letting it all go.

Letting go, of course, is releasing control.

I've had a tough time these last couple of weeks, but I am making progress.