HAMSTERS & HEROIN: Not all junkies are purse-snatching grandmother-killing psychos. I'm keeping this blog to bear witness to that fact.


Gledwoods deutscher Blog

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I used to take heroin at every opportunity, for over 10 years, now I just take methadone which supposedly "stabilizes" me though I feel more destabilized than ever before despite having been relatively well behaved since late November/early December 2010... and VERY ANGRY about this when I let it get to me so I try not to.

I was told by a mental health nurse that my heroin addiction was "self medication" for a mood disorder that has recently become severe enough to cause psychotic episodes. As well as methadone I take antipsychotics daily. Despite my problems I consider myself a very sane person. My priority is to attain stability. I go to Narcotics Anonymous because I "want what they have" ~ Serenity.

My old blog used to say "candid confessions of a heroin and crack cocaine addict" how come that one comes up when I google "heroin blog" and not this one. THIS IS MY BLOG. I don't flatter myself that every reader knows everything about me and follows closely every single word every day which is why I repeat myself. Most of that is for your benefit not mine.

This is my own private diary, my journal. It is aimed at impressing no-one. It is kept for my own benefit to show where I have been and hopefully to put off somebody somewhere from ever getting into the awful mess I did and still cannot crawl out of. Despite no drugs. I still drink, I'm currently working on reducing my alcohol intake to zero.

If you have something to say you are welcome to comment. Frankness I can handle. Timewasters should try their own suggestions on themselves before wasting time thinking of ME.

PS After years of waxing and waning "mental" symptoms that made me think I had depression and possibly mild bipolar I now have found out I'm schizoaffective. My mood has been constantly "cycling" since December 2010. Mostly towards mania (an excited non-druggy "high"). For me, schizoaffective means bipolar with (sometimes severe)
mania and flashes of depression (occasionally severe) with bits of schizophrenia chucked on top. You could see it as bipolar manic-depression with sparkly knobs on ... I'm on antipsychotic pills but currently no mood stabilizer. I quite enjoy being a bit manic it gives the feelings of confidence and excitement people say they use cocaine for. But this is natural and it's free, so I don't see my "illness" as a downer. It does, however, make life exceedingly hard to engage with...

PPS The "elevated mood" is long gone. Now I'm depressed. Forget any ideas of "happiness" I have given up heroin and want OFF methadone as quick as humanly possible. I'm fed up of being a drug addict. Sick to death of it. I wanna be CLEAN!!!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vorsprung Durch Technik!

I AM READING, or rather ploughing painstakingly slowly, through a mercifully short German novel I got from the public library called Evas ungewaschene Kinder by Sonja Ruf. In English the title means Eva's Unwashed Children but there isn't an English translation and I'm wading through it ever so slowly with a notebook and a dictionary, looking up an average of one word in ten (on a bad page) to one in twenty (on a good page). Everything I look up I carefully note down, complete with page number. And of course the translation. Here's my amateur translation of the blurb:

ONE DAY God came to visit and when Eva showed him her children, he felt full of hope. But some of the children she kept hidden because they hadn't yet washed and she was ashamed of showing God her unwashed children. God knew this and said, "What is hidden from me shall be hidden from humankind also." So ever since, these children have been invisible and live in cliffs and rocks, in hills and stones. Only when they wish it, can they be seen.

Here's what Google translate makes of it:
God once came to visit, and Eva showed him their children, he was quite hopeful. But some of the children kept them hidden because they were not washed, and she was ashamed to God their unwashed children to show. What did God, and he said, "What I should remain bent, will also remain hidden from the people." Since these children for their siblings, the people, invisible and live in cliffs and rocks in the hills and rocks. Only if they wish, they can be seen.

And the original text:
Einmal kam Gott zu Besuch, und Eva zeigte ihm ihre Kinder, die er recht hoffnungsvoll fand. Aber einige der Kinder hielt sie versteckt, denn sie waren noch nicht gewaschen, und sie schämte sich, Gott ihre ungewaschene Kinder zu zeigen. Das wußte Gott, und er sagte, "Was mir verbogen bleiben soll, soll auch vor den Menschen verborgen bleiben." Seither sind diese Kinder für ihre Geschwister, die Menschen, unsichtbar und wohnen in Klippen und Felsen, in Hügeln und Steinen. Nur wenn sie selbst es wünschen, können sie gesehen werden.

I don't get the phrase, "ihre Kinder, die er recht hoffnungsvoll fand" and had to follow Google's idea because translated literally that would say, "her children, who he found full of hope" which doesn't really make sense. Can of you Deutsch-ssprechender readers enlighten me here please?

The German language is closely related to English. In fact, 2000 years ago, so I read, there was only one Teutonic language named proto-Germanic. But this doesn't make German anywhere nearly as easy to learn as you might expect. The grammar is very complicated (far more so than English's. E.g. adjectives don't take inflexional endings in English...). It has fewer idiomatic expressions than English and far far fewer than French, which is strewn with them. Perhaps its biggest Verwirrungspunk or confusion point, as you might say, is its vast number of words that are so very similar to one another and yet widely divergent in meaning. E.g. Käfer means "beetle" but a Käfig is a cage. Fahren means "to drive", vor means before: but a Vorfahr is an ancestor! But vorfahren means to drive ahead and a Vorfahrt is a right of way! There are gerzillions of seperable verbs, even more than our "phrasal verbs" in English (e.g. to pick up: aufheben) and those can portray confusing shades of meaning. Plus you have to remember to look for the separated bit (e.g. the auf)before you search for it in a dictionary, else you'll get totally lost.

On the plus side, many German words echo English ones and have a lovely onomatopoeic quality, e.g. schmutzig = "dirty", die Verschmutzung is pollution. Others, like Geduld/geduldig (patience/patient) just sound to me like they mean what they do even though they're nothing like any word in English ~ and that I can't explain.

When I was little I thought German was incredibly funky for its pageoverspilling portmanteau nouns e.g. Unterbewusstseinstrauma = subconscious trauma, mysteriously dotted vowels and that weird blobberous ß-thing you find splurged in the middle of the linguistic entertainment.

Though most English people call it an "umlaut" the two-dotted vowelly thing, as it appears in English is usually actually a diaeresis ~ a vowel-separator in words like "naïve". The German umlaut marks a change of vowel that hit the langauge in a famous late-medieaval sound shift. It only ever appears over the letters A, O and U. Ä is pronounced exactly the same as E; Ö and Ü are oo-ey sounds English-speakers must work at to get right.

English, incidentally, underwent a comparable vowel-shift a couple of hundred years later; it was then that the so-called "magic E" appeared in English spelling, so "bake", which had been pronounced something like "bakkeh" became pronounced as it is today.

The blobberous ß-thing is called "ess-tset" ("SZ") after the appearance of a ligatured long S and Z in blackletter type, though it actually represents a double S. It used to appear in many words, but a still-unpopular 1996 Official Spelling Treaty signed by the German, Austrian and Swiss governments abolished this, the German language's funkiest feature from more than half of them, rendering the language vandalized and forever dullened. My very favourite word, "bloß" which means "naked" or "nearly" (such a German combination!) is now boringly rendered "bloss". The only gains in funkiness were the addition of treble consonants in compound nouns such as Balletttanzer, but that hardly makes up for the lost blobberiness. The disblobberation was challenged in a German court of law, which ruled that no government could tell anybody how to spell, except in school ~ though government departments were allowed to specify their own styles of spelling for official documents.

Anyway my German is still so retarted it's taken me ten hours over three days to muddle through eighteen pages of Eva's Unwashed Children. I shall let you know when I finish!


Syd said...

she was ashamed to show God their unwashed children--that's how it seems to me.

Akelamalu said...

Thanks for the German lesson Gleds. :)

Jeannie said...

Quite informative. I've never much liked the sound of German - so guttural - and we have many in our area. I have a number of conversations about various words with my daughter's boyfriend Sven about the language because of it's connectedness with English, I still find it fascinating.

Gledwood said...

Syd: aye ~ I'm totally stumped by it otherwise...

Akelamalu: you're welcome/herzlich Willkommen!

Jeannie: Guttural, unpleasant German??!? It sounds excellent for Grimms' Fairy Tales... Anyway it's not as guttural as Arabic that's for sure!!

Fishwhiskers said...

Hehe, Gled ... just read through it. Gave you an answer regarding the translation on my blog. Anymore questions, just email me on karina.stoitzner@btinternet.com. Maybe I should apply to translate the book :)

Take care xx

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Heroin Shortage: News

If you are looking for the British Heroin Drought post, click here; the latest word is in the comments.

Christiane F

"Wir, Kinder vom Bahnhoff Zoo" by "Christiane F", memoir of a teenage heroin addict and prostitute, was a massive bestseller in Europe and is now a set text in German schools. Bahnhoff Zoo was, until recently, Berlin's central railway station. A kind of equivalent (in more ways than one) to London's King's Cross... Of course my local library doesn't have it. So I'm going to have to order it through a bookshop and plough through the text in German. I asked my druggieworker Maple Syrup, who is Italiana how she learned English and she said reading books is the best way. CHRISTIANE F: TRAILER You can watch the entire 120-min movie in 12 parts at my Random blog. Every section EXCEPT part one is subtitled in English (sorry: but if you skip past you still get the gist) ~ to watch it all click HERE.

To See Gledwood's Entire Blog...

DID you find my blog via a Google or other search? Are you stuck on a post dated some time ago? Do you want to read Gledwood Volume 2 right from "the top" ~ ie from today?
If so click here and you'll get to the most recent post immediately!

Drugs Videos

Most of these come from my Random blog, which is an electronic scrapbook of stuff I thought I might like to view at some time or other. For those who want to view stuff on drugs I've collected the very best links here. Unless otherwise stated these are full-length features, usually an hour or more.

If you have a slow connexion and are unused to viewing multiscreen films on Youtube here's what to do: click the first one and play on mute, stopping and starting as it does. Then, when it's done, click on Repeat Play and you get the full entertainment without interruption. While you watch screen one, do the same to screens 2, 3 and so on. So as each bit finishes, the next part's ready and waiting.

Mexican Black Tar Heroin: "Dark End"

Khun Sa, whose name meant Prince Prosperous, had been, before his death in the mid 2000s, the world's biggest dealer in China White Heroin: "Lord of the Golden Triangle"

In-depth portrait of the Afghan heroin trade at its very height. Includes heroin-lab bust. "Afghanistan's Fateful Harvest"

Classic miniseries whose title became a catchphrase for the misery of life in East Asian prison. Nicole Kidman plays a privileged middle-class girl set up to mule heroin through Thai customs with the inevitable consequences. This is so long it had to be posted in two parts. "Bangkok Hilton 1" (first 2 hours or so); "Bangkok Hilton 2" (last couple of hours).

Short film: from tapwater-clear H4 in the USA to murky black Afghan brown in Norway: "Heroin Addicts Speak"

Before his untimely death this guy kept a video diary. Here's the hour-long highlights as broadcast on BBC TV: "Ben: Diary of a Heroin Addict". Thanks to Noah for the original link.

Some of the most entertaining scenes from Britain's top soap (as much for the poor research as anything else). Not even Phil Mitchell would go from nought to multi-hundred pound binges this fast: "Phil Mitchell on Crack" (just over 5 minutes).

Scientist lady shows us how to cook up gear: "How Much Citric?" Lucky cow: her brown is 70% purity! Oddly we never see her actually do her hit... maybe she got camera shy...

And lastly:

German documentary following a life from teenage addiction to untimely death before the age of 30. The decline in this girl's appearance is truly shocking. "Süchtig: Protokoll einer Hilflosigkeit". Sorry no subtitles; this is here for anyone learning German who's after practice material a little more gripping than Lindenstraße!

Nosey Quiz! Have you ever heard voices when you weren't high on drugs?

Manic Magic

Manic Magic

Gledwood Volume 2: A Heroin Addict's Blog

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