Monday, November 19, 2012

piles and fans.

Okay! Monday! Let's do this!

I actually woke up with energy today, which is rare for me and, I suspect, what waking up is like for a normal person (e.g. one whose mind does not spiral into a whirling dervish of shoulds and have-tos and whys and rumination upon waking).

Pottery Barn York headboard and a well made bed, chevron pillows and task lamps

After--listen closely for the very self-congratulatory tone here--making my bed!!!, I decided to tackle a bedroom eyesore. Is it the clothes pile?

clothes pile
Just keeping it real.

Nope. Not that one. Yet.

Today's eyesore was the ceiling fan. It was the singular thing I did not like when I found this apartment. It made me think Florida hotel room and tiki torches.  I don't know why that was my immediate association, but I knew I wanted it out. Here's the ol' Hampton Bay model we have:

hampton bay ceiling fan redo

removing the glass and hardware from ceiling fan
 Oh, I hate it so much. It looks worse in person. A few months ago, I got so sick of it that we just took the ugly yellow glass part off and have been bare-bulbing it in the bedroom.  I feel like that calls to mind things I did not intend it to.

bare bulb ceiling fan

Anyway. At one point, I rigged something up using these binder clips and this lampshade. You are correct in assuming it was bad.

But today... I found a solution! It's not without its faults, but it is a solution nonetheless. I'll be back with details later.

Until then, interesting reading from the last few days:

One. A friend sent me this article called The Hazards of Growing up Painlessly. It follows the life of a young girl who is incapable of feeling physical pain. Choice passage, discussing the physical ramifications of emotional hurt:

“[Ashlyn's] life story offers an amazing snapshot of how complicated a life can get without the guidance of pain,” [Dr. Roland] Staud said. “Pain is a gift, and she doesn’t have it.”

Staud wondered what Ashlyn would be like as she became an older teenager, if she would begin to disobey her parents and what the implications might be for her health. “We know very little about this in the long term,” he said. “How will she be emotionally? How will she evolve?” We sometimes experience emotional pain physically — Staud used the tried-and-true example of heartbreak, how the end of a romance can cause a physical pain — and he wondered if the relationship between the body and emotions also goes the other way; if a person lacks the ability to feel physical pain, is her emotional development somehow stunted?
-Justin Hecker for New York Times Magazine

Two. This article from last year is about Marsha Linehan, who developed the model of therapy known as DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy). She revealed her own struggles with mental illness and how it influenced the development of her therapy techniques. I actually saw a DBT therapist for about two years in college when I was younger and more self-destructive. It's actually quite practical, and was one of the first therapy methods to train patients to be mindful, which is now a word on everyone's tongues, cognitive behavioral therapists and yogis alike. Another feature of DBT was opposite action, or, as I like to call it, pulling a Costanza. Choice passage:

No one knows how many people with severe mental illness live what appear to be normal, successful lives, because such people are not in the habit of announcing themselves. They are too busy juggling responsibilities, paying the bills, studying, raising families — all while weathering gusts of dark emotions or delusions that would quickly overwhelm almost anyone else.

Now, an increasing number of them are risking exposure of their secret, saying that the time is right. The nation’s mental health system is a shambles, they say, criminalizing many patients and warehousing some of the most severe in nursing and group homes where they receive care from workers with minimal qualifications.

Moreover, the enduring stigma of mental illness teaches people with such a diagnosis to think of themselves as victims, snuffing out the one thing that can motivate them to find treatment: hope. 
-Benedict Carey in Expert on Mental Illness Reveals her own Fight, for the New York Times