Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pictures of My Cat


Yeah, that's what I'm reduced to. Not actually, though. I'm thinking about everything everyone else is thinking about (the New Year, resolutions, year-in-review, etc.), I just don't feel like writing about any of it, not right now at least. So I thought I would introduce you to the newest member of the family.
This is Yin Yin. She's adorable, isn't she? She was my mom's cat, one of the two I had to take to the shelter when I was there in September. I felt hideously guilty, especially since her pal, a long-haired Siamese boy, was adopted right away. She basically just hid in that scary environment, so there wasn't much hope of her finding a home. I told myself, and NSA, that if she was still there when I went back, then I was going to bring her with me. And I did, even though we have two cats already and NSA is slightly allergic.
She's a little thing, about five pounds, half the size of my other two. Jezebel and Delilah, big, grey tabbies, are like linebackers compared to Yin Yin's calico/Siamese ballerina. And they're jealous, of course, but they're getting over it since she's pretty inoffensive. They give kitten kisses, and she doesn't, so they've got that, but she is a real cuddler, often in my lap and sleeping on top of me.
We've really bonded. I don't know if it's because I smell similar to Mom, or if it's just because I'm the nice lady who rescued her from the bad place. But she's one good, tiny thing that's come out of the bleak morass of the past few months.
I like the glowy shadow effect the camera gives when she moves around during the low light function.
(teh flash is TOO bright!! it makes me squinchy-eyed.)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Blogiversary To Me

I can't believe it's been a year already (well, actually, a year and a day, I'm a little behind, as usual), and what a year it's been! A huge amount of heartbreak, sadness, pain, but hope too. I labelled 2007 the worst year of my life, and I think that still holds true (so far). 2008 has been pretty rough, but good has come from the tragedy. I think I've grown up considerably in the last twelve months, pain and loss will do that, though I definitely have more growing to do.
Strangely, I feel like I'm getting back to my old self; the happy, unworried person I used to be. I can't say exactly why this is, except that I'm gaining perspective, and whereas before I was unworried because not a lot of bad things had happened, now I feel I'm unworried because bad things have definitely happened, and I've survived. I've had moments of crushing anxiety, crippling emotional hurt, urges to just give up and run away, and I haven't. I've done the mature thing and tried to deal with my problems in a sane and rational manner. It hasn't been easy, but I'm more honest and straightforward than I ever have been.
This blog has helped a lot. Being able to express myself without self-censoring, without fear of judgement or criticism is fantastically freeing, even if I have to do it in relative anonymity. And there is so much wonderful support out there in the blogosphere, especially from Susan and Anya, Cat and Sass, Lisa and Amy and Miss P. All of your kind words, helpful comments and understanding, help probably more than you will ever know. Thank you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Little Something

I heard this on the radio while I was in Alaska for Mom's funeral. It made me laugh when I really needed it. I don't know who read it, but if it's the author, Jonathan Goldstein, then he sounds a lot like Mo Rocca. Please to enjoy. *bows*
http://www.guiltandpleasure.com/index.php?site=rebootgp&page=gp_article&id=14

Overrated/Underrated

So, yeah, I think I stole this idea from Miss P., who I'm sure copied it from someone else. Like Shakespeare said, "There is nothing new under the sun." (And how many years ago was that?)

Five Overrated Things:

  1. Jessica Simpson- I personally think she sold her soul to the devil. How else can someone that untalented remain so successful?
  2. Flip-flops- But mostly the people who wear them constantly. Unless you live in Southeast Asia.
  3. Christmas- Seriously, it's fucking crazy how much time and trouble people put in to this holiday. And I prefer personal holidays anyway.
  4. Award shows- Thank God for DVR, because I'd never be able to get through the dreck otherwise. And seeing them live is even worse.
  5. Non-GMO foods- I'll probably catch some shit for this one, but really, people have been genetically modifying stuff since the beginning of agriculture. Crops that freeze at lower temperatures, need less water and resist bugs without pesticides are good things.

Five Underrated Things:

  1. Jennifer Jason Leigh- Wicked smart and super talented. Not conventionally beautiful, and so, underappreciated.
  2. Black beans- Yummy, high in fiber, and go with just about anything.
  3. Good tires- I get terrified every time it rains because so many assholes in Southern California are driving around on bald tires and don't remember what "braking distance" is.
  4. The U.S. Postal Service- If you've tried mailing anything from many foreign countries, you understand.
  5. Silk Soy Nog- Seriously goooood shit with almost none of the bad crap that's in regular egg nog.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Maniacal

Do you ever have really destructive tendencies? Like, elaborate and well-thought-out revenge fantasies that are frightening in their detail and specificity? Or pitch-black thoughts that make you suddenly realize how Dr. Mengele must have felt? Yeah, me neither.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Ass Is SORE!!

And not for any good reason (like horseback riding, you with the duurrty minds!) No, my posterior is tender from the SERIOUS chewing out it got from my boss yesterday. See, this past quarter, my performance has been off, not surprisingly, what with my mom dying and all. So, in the spirit of Christmas, my boss calls me on the carpet to tell me that my job is in danger. This from the same woman who offered support and proffered understanding, but hung me out to dry when it came down to it. What really burns me is that I know of at least two other employees who are having the same problems I am, without the same obstacles. I have consistently been a top performer, so it feels really unfair to bust my chops over three bad months.
I've long suspected that my boss is pretty heartless when it comes down to it. Last summer, a co-worker had a really bad stomach infection, he was in the hospital for a couple of weeks and then out for about another six weeks recovering. The way she treated him when he returned, you'd think he pissed on her grandmother's grave. She treated him like total shit because he got sick. He tried to warn me when I talked about what Mom was going through, but I thought maybe he was exaggerating, I didn't want to think she would be so uncaring. Boy, was I wrong!
In all fairness, I think she's worried about her job too. In these shaky economic times, everyone's feeling the pressure and no one is immune, but her anger and anxiety do nothing to endear her to me. Time to step up the job search, get my exit strategy in place, and be happy that the GFOD (get the fuck outta Dodge) fund is pretty healthy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

In A "P" Mood


...meaning, pathetic, pitiful and pissy. Also pretty, but pimply too (WHY is my back breaking out? And my neck? I didn't have these problems when I was a teen...) I'm also stressed, but in this case, "put-upon" is a better phrase. I know that even with everything that's gone on this year, I have a lot to be thankful for, there's so much goodness and beauty in the world, but it's hard to see when you feel eaten up by fear and worry. And the holidays remind me of a lot of bad shit; old arguments and dashed hopes and the constant thought that next year will be better. There are good memories too, but right now, my mind bends towards the bad.
It's weird, and hopeful, that while economically, things are tough and people are struggling, I've never seen so many Christmas lights and displays in the neighborhood, a lot more than in years past. And it makes me a little happy, until I think, Oh sure, unemployed people have waaay more time on their hands to do things like decorate.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

So I put these stupid boundaries on my blogging, what I'll write about and when and a certain order to things, and I end up not writing anything at all. Or starting a bunch of posts, but not finishing or publishing them. Which is most definitely not the point of blogging! (When did I start writing in sentence fragments? When did that become acceptable? Mrs. Parsons would be so irritated!)
These past couple of weeks were pretty rough. NSA had a CT scan Tuesday, November 25th, and we had to wait for the results until the following Wednesday. He has a steady pain in his lower left back that could be a lot of things, but one of the possibilities that his gastrointernist, Dr. Valkyrie mentioned, almost casually, was pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is one of the worst, meaning that by the time you show symptoms, it's pretty much already too late. Average lifespan is like five months from diagnosis to death. And it just so happens that one of my favorite comedians of all time, Bill Hicks, died of it. I was freaking out a little. Okay, a lot, given my recent history, but trying not to show it.
The "cancer answer" was, thankfuckinggod!!, no. (But I did have a post planned titled Excuse Me While I Freak Out For A While, if the answer was yes, because I definitely would have needed a break from blogging.) And a part of me, that strange little detached part, whispered that if NSA did have cancer, that it would be almost unbelievable, that it would stretch the bounds of reality, especially in the blogosphere, to have my mother, my husband, my father-in-law, and my mother-in-law all have cancer in the same year. Who would believe it? So now I have something to celebrate. The "cancer answer" was NO! (Although we still don't know what the pain is...) Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Right Now




  • I'm feeling pissed off and lonely and whiny.
  • I feel like I have my head so far up my own ass, I might never see daylight again.
  • I really want to watch What To Do In Case Of Fire, but I'd have to get it from Netflix and I won't be able to see it until probably Monday, at the earliest.
  • Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the six-week anniversary of my mother's death. Joy!
  • I wanna go to Disneyland. I haven't been to an amusement park in years and it's been on my mind a lot lately. I am in dire need of some mindless fun.

In any case, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 17, 2008

One Month Yesterday

It's weird how you mark time after a tragedy or significant event, Sunday was one month since my mom died. It doesn't feel like it's been a month, but then also, it does. It's strange because now for me, Thursday is the day she died and Sunday we buried her and Wednesday was her memorial. I know this will fade over time, but it's still so fresh, so present for me, and I'm not dealing with it well. I wasn't unprepared for her death, but I underestimated the impact it would have. I thought I could handle it, I thought my defenses were in place and I was strong, but I'm floundering.
I miss her a lot, much more than I thought I would. I call her cell phone just to listen to her voicemail greeting; I don't want to have it turned off because then even this tiny little part of her will go away too. A friend of hers wrote that Mom was one of her "anchorwomen," someone who kept her grounded, who was always there, and now she's gone. What happens when you lose your anchor? You're adrift, it's hard to stay stable.
I'm suffering because there were things I still wanted to do with her, because I thought there was more she wanted to do. I guess both of us thought we had more time. And I wonder, if she had a grandchild, would she have treated herself better? Sought treatment sooner? Had more of a reason to live? So there's guilt, and anger, and regret. And questions remain, with no answers.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Reasons To Go, Reasons To Stay

I know you're not supposed to make any important decisions for like, a year after a traumatic event, but NSA and I were considering this one for a quite a while before Mom died, so I'm not sure if that holds true. And I've never been one to just go along with the rules, which is a good and bad thing.

The Pros and Cons of Leaving SoCal and Moving to Colorado:

  1. Living in perpetual summer gets pretty boring.
  2. This job has been getting to me really badly lately,
  3. BUT, it pays well for what I do.
  4. If I quit, there are about 250 things I no longer have to worry about.
  5. If I quit, there are several major things I have to worry about right away. (Like finding a new job.)
  6. Which might be difficult in this economy.
  7. Closer to NSA's family (both a pro and a con.)
  8. Weather/smog conditions better for both of our health in Colorado, but particularly NSA.
  9. Fewer people.
  10. Colorado is now a blue state.
  11. Easier access to green spaces and hiking/biking trails.
  12. Cost of living is less.
  13. Would need a car, which would probably mean
  14. giving up the scooter.
  15. Moving is expensive, time-consuming and stressful.
  16. Winter is not the ideal time to move to Colorado.

I'm torn, but I think that a Spring move to Colorado is probably the best idea, if I can stick it out at this job for another four or five months. So, what do you think? I would really appreciate outside perspectives, particularly from those of you who have lived/are currently living in Colorado. Please share.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sunday, October 18th, 2008 (part 1)

Because my mother chose not to be embalmed, the burial had to take place relatively quickly. She was a very organic person, and pragmatic too, so the idea of being pumped full of preservatives and laid to rest in an expensive and otherwise useless container was antithetical to who she was. She had told me about my grandmother's death a couple of times; how she had washed and shrouded Gramma's body, how it was very simple and uncomplicated, not particularly awful or gruesome. And so for my mom, I felt that I could do no less.

I realize that this might be shocking to some, indeed, I think the visceral reaction most people, at least Westerners, have to a dead body is to get away as fast as possible. Certainly not to touch, or even look at, as if the mere sight of a dead person might be deadly. And in these modern times, we have such a sanitized way of dealing with things. The websites I looked up for "When a Loved One Dies" were a little helpful, but there was always a line like, "...and then the funeral director will come for the body." And what if he doesn't?

In the days before modern mortuary services, and in places where those services still don't exist, family and friends took care of dead loved ones. They were cleaned, dressed and laid out in the parlor, the special occasion room, until marketing and science took over, and now we have "living" rooms, and hand our deceased over to qualified strangers. All very clean and sanitized and scientific, and artificial and numbing and unreal. But then, reality is often messy and unpretty, unpleasant to deal with, and so I guess it's easier, although, to my way of thinking, drastically depersonalized.

At least I wasn't alone in my endeavor. Mom was quite popular locally, well known and generally well loved, with a wide circle of devoted friends. Very, very devoted friends, as it turns out. There were logistical things to figure out, things that a funeral home would have handled, like a burial permit, and transporting the body. I had hoped that someone who knew her would have felt moved to build a casket, that was what happened when my little brother died, but not in this case. So a litter was built, and beautiful, purple hemp-blend fabric was offered as a shroud, which my mother would have liked greatly. I found a lovely cloth, again in deep pinks and purples, with a tree of life and ornamental birds on it, maybe intended as a wall hanging or furniture drape, that seemed perfect for covering her.

Since it was Sunday and I hadn't been to church since high school, I attended the Episcopal church my mother had been a member of for decades. (To be continued...)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

OMFG!!

This makes me really, really happy!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

"It's Alright To Cry,

crying gets the sad out of you. It's alright to cry, it might make you feel better." From the '70's animated musical Free To Be...You & Me, featuring Marlo Thomas, Mel Brooks and Alan Alda (who my mother completely adored.) A friend of mine had the record and book, so we spent a lot of time singing along. My favorite part was the exchange about gender roles between the baby boy and baby girl when Mel Brooks exclaims, "A cocktail waitress!"
I guess I thought of these lines for the obvious reason, I've been crying a lot lately. This morning I was bawling and called in to work a couple of hours late because it's my fifteenth wedding anniversary, and Halloween, and while I'd like to go out and do something fun, I just don't have the heart. I feel like curling up under the covers with a couple cases of hard liquor and not emerging until I feel better, which might be a while. Right now, I'm thinking vodka, tequila, and maybe a decent Scotch, just for variety.
Of course, I'm still hurting from my mom's death, and the legal/financial mess she left behind. And the problems NSA and I have been having don't help. And the fact that I really dislike my job, but the economy's not doing so well and I'm afraid to quit. Fuck.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

1939-2008

My mom died October 16th at 6:05 am. I found out about three minutes later. I was already awake when the call came, which was a little odd for me. I wasn't shocked, of course, but it's still a hell of a hit. Like when you see it coming, you have time to brace yourself, so maybe it hurts less, but it still hurts. NSA was asleep, so I took a little time before I woke him. I was in a daze for most of the morning, calling people, trying to get ready. My dad really came through for me, buying a plane ticket and making travel arrangements. I'm glad, because I don't think I could have done it myself. I wish NSA had come along, but for his health and general sanity, we decided it would be best if he stayed home and took care of himself and the kitties. The actual flying time from San Diego to Alaska is only about six hours, but with early arrivals and layovers, that stretches into around twelve hours, a long and tiring day.
I left early the next morning. From San Diego to Seattle, passengers were sparse, I had a row of seats to myself. Not so on the flight from Seattle to Anchorage, and while the guy next to me was clearly in a chatty mood, my teary face didn't encourage conversation.
I arrived at my final destination in the late afternoon, took care of some necessary paperwork, and went to see my mother. An old friend of hers was already there, keeping vigil with candles and incense. The morgue is located in the old part of the hospital; a small, locked, unlabeled room containing two horizontal refrigerators, some filing cabinets, and various bits of office equipment. It also allows access to the telephone room, a fact that I'm sure the poor repair man resented, since he had to contend with the two of us and my mom just to do his job.
She looked kind of beautiful in the candle light. Her eyes and mouth were closed (something I was worried about), brow smooth and hair sleek. Her expression was peaceful, seemingly slightly concerned, like maybe there was some small matter she had forgotten to tell me about. With the overhead fluorescents on, she was, I guess the right words are deathly pale. Except for the beds of her fingernails, which were slightly purplish, strangely dark. I sat and talked to her for awhile, not because I was sure, like her friend, that she would hear me, but because I needed to, and because it felt like the right thing to do. I told her I loved her, and that I hoped all of her questions were answered.
(More later...)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Personal and the Political

It's kind of weird when I think about it, but it seems like my life started to go off the rails about the same time the country did (and if you don't think the country is off the rails, I don't even want to look at you.) The 2000 elections were mind-blowing; I mean, it seemed like a dog-and-pony show better suited to some banana republic than the U.S. I'm not big on conspiracy theories, but why did all the shit have to go down in the state where his brother was governor? Political scholars and wonks might argue, but for the first time I can remember, it felt like democracy in America had failed, that the president was appointed rather than chosen.
And then 9/11 happened, and the path got really dark and twisty, and Americans grew afraid and suspicious and demanded protection pretty much at any cost.
I made some bad career choices, NSA was in a car accident and became disabled, a close friend's eldest daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. There were some good moments, and the 2004 race gave me hope, only to be dashed with that same smug, smirky face. Things trudged along, getting slowly worse for the majority of the country. And then when the economy is tanking, the Dow bouncing like a Superball, my mom faces a crisis of her own. Barring any miracles, I know what Mom's outcome will be, I can only hope the nation fares better. It might sound strange, but when I see the micro reflected in the macro, I feel like maybe change on a larger scale will help me personally, too. Like maybe a leap of faith taken with an honest-to-goodness idealist is exactly what America, and I, need. I guess I'll just have to see.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Limbo

I'm in a weird and difficult place right now, trying to prepare for what's to come. I say "trying" because, how do you prepare, really? I've made some arrangements, there were financial and legal matters that Mom let go unattended (no will?? WTF?!), that I took care of as best I could. Other than that, I'm just waiting. Waiting. Waiting for something bad to happen, which is not a fun place to be. Not like when you were little, waiting for summer vacation or Halloween night or Christmas morning, that's happy anticipation. This is just inevitable dread that sits like a rock in the pit of your stomach, making it hard to think about anything else, making you wish you were somewhere else, someone else, even.
Emotionally, I'm glad I was able to spend some quality time with my mom while she was still cognizant and continent, I'm glad I spent the extra week. I don't know why I initially thought one week would be enough.There wasn't a lot left unsaid between us or anything, so we watched movies, listened to the radio and chatted with lots of friends of hers, an exhausting amount, really. Until she was spending more time asleep than awake, and, when she was awake, pressing the button on her morphine pump frequently. I hated leaving, but I couldn't afford to stay, and there wasn't much point really. We've said our goodbyes.
The really sucky thing is that, other than the cancer, she's in pretty good shape. Her heart is strong, her blood pressure is better than mine, so she might linger for a while, which isn't what she wanted at all. But unfortunately, there's not much that can be done about it now, so we're waiting. Waiting.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fractured Pieces

So here I am blogging when there's so much else that needs doing, but I want to share, need to share, I guess. Pardon my grammar and coherency, both are liable to fall by the wayside.

  • Having to leave my mom while she's still alive is causing me a fair amount of guilt, even though her condition deteriorated greatly while I was there, and before I left, she was spending most of the time asleep. I keep reminding myself that she's surrounded by friends, and she never lived her life to please anyone except herself.
  • Not having been back for a long time, I forget how beautiful Alaska is, how heart-stoppingly gorgeous. And how much it feels like home. I'm also tempted to forget how long and dark the winters are.
  • I realized that October 23rd will be the thirteenth anniversary of my little brother's death, and I don't think my mom will make it past this date. October, which used to be my favorite month, is pretty much going to suck forever after this.
  • Some children actually inherit stuff when a parent dies. I'm inheriting a lot of personal memoribilia and some debt. Turns out, my mom no longer owns the land she wants to be buried on. Oh, and I'll get a yellow 1987 Chevy pickup too. Sweet!
  • More guilt in that I had to take two of my mother's sweet kitties to the local shelter. They are healthy and and adorable and will be kept until adopted, but I felt so fucking bad that I coudn't keep them myself, and I couldn't even explain to them what was going on. I'm more than a little pissed that none of Mom's friends were willing to step in and help out.
  • I have a vicious cold, which is understandable considering the long flights and the fact that I lived in the hospital for two weeks. Mom's in the hospice room, which is better appointed than a regular room, and family and friends are welcome to stay the night. That's one thing about small towns, it seems like it's easier for people to be accomodating.

Well, it isn't over yet, and there's definitely more to tell, but that's all I can muster for now. I went back to work Monday and am still cleaning up the mess from when I was gone. Sheesh!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Still Kicking

Oh hello. Yes I do still intend to blog and I've been trying to keep up with everyone else's blogs, I'm just pretty overwhelmed right now. These past couple of weeks with my mom have been a mixed bag. I'm glad I'm here and able to spend time with her, even if it's just sitting by the bed holding her hand. Let me tell you, cancer is a fucking ugly way to die. I'd rather get hit by a Mack truck. I've got a LOT to tell, but it will have to wait for now.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Some Small Resolve

I slept really badly last night, mostly because a) I was worried about my Mom being back in the hospital, and the possibility that she could die before I see her, b) my boss was being less than supportive about me going to see my Mom (!!!) and c) I'm missing NSA badly and am stressing because he's always been there to support me and offer help. If you've read some of my past entries, you know that I can be really critical of my mom and the choices she's made (like NOT TREATING HER CANCER), but she's still my mother and I love her dearly and I will miss her when she's gone. I'm not looking forward to cleaning up the mess she'll leave behind, but that's a whole different post.
My boss was giving me a hard time about taking a fucking week off to go see my dying mother. This is even though I have weeks of vacation time accrued, not to mention over a week of sick leave and a couple of personal days too. I know I didn't ask for the time off the requisite month in advance, but I think this qualifies as a personal emergency and FUCK the rules, help me out here, like I do when you come to me with a project that must be taken care of immediately. She did come through, I just had to toss and turn for a night first.
NSA is sorry he went out to Colorado, it hasn't been great for his health and most of his family are wallet-draining vampires, but he's been able to see his father and spend some time with his mom, so it's not a total waste of time and money. And I've discovered some things too, like, you know how sometimes in a relationship, one person loves and cares more about the other person? Not that they don't love each other, but that it's not exactly equal. That was how I felt about NSA, like he loved me a little bit more than I loved him. Not any more. I took him for granted, which was childish and selfish, and I love and miss him deeply. It's like losing a leg, I'm functional, but hobbled and hurting without him. I'm glad I understand that now.
So Thursday, I'm off to the wilds of Alaska to see my mom, probably for the last time, with my very expensive plane ticket (but isn't that what plastic is for?) I'll take pictures, and maybe even post them, so you can see where I come from. And that might explain a lot.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Drunk Blogging, Palin, And Monster Hurricanes

Too much cheap merlot (two-buck Chuck, for those of you in the Trader's Joes know), and easy Internet access are a dangerous combination. Hopefully, this is vaguely coherent, if I even publish (but I'm stupid that way.)
Palin reminds me of all of the things I dislike about Alaska, when there's so much to love. She's narrow-minded and convinced she's RIGHT, no matter what. She has good qualities, but somehow, they end up wrong, like wanting to protect her family. She looks at the wonderful bounty around her, because Alaska IS huge and lovely and bountiful, and fails to realize that much of the rest of the world isn't that way. So much of the world is desperate and impoverished and simply trying to survive. An example; while most Americans received an economic stimulus check of $600.00 this year to help offset gas prices, residents of the state of Alaska will receive over $3000.00 for each man, woman and child (yes, that's over three thousand dollars per person)(or, for a family of four, a down payment on a house) in addition to the paltry six hundred bucks that most Americans got from the Federal government. This is thanks to the PFD (permanent fund dividend), which was set up by some enterprising public servant by way of sharing oil royalties with the Alaskan general populace. And oil prices have been high this year, so boo-yah!! I guess what I'm saying is that Palin's perspective is limited. Alaska is a small, rich state (much like Beverly Hills), and I don't understand why someone from Missouri or Oklahoma would want a privileged white woman (despite the "hockey mom" status) dictating (at least in part) how the country is run.
Ike is headed for Texas, where he's pretty much sure to cause a lot of harm. Scientific research has shown that human beings are responsible for the factors that cause hurricanes to be more powerful (despite what the Bush administration would like us to believe), and so I say, how many lives and how much property must be lost before we wise up and realize that we control our fate, that we are the captains of our destiny? We are one of the few thinking animals on Earth, we are obligated to take care of it, even the Bible says that we are the stewards of this magnificent creation. And yet we treat our only home like a frat house. Fuck the plumbing, fuck the rottting floorboards, we are here to par-tay! The next residents (i.e., our children and grandchildren) can pay the price.
Wow!! Drunk blogging is seriously hard! A bottle of wine later and my typing skills are shit, I find myself backspacing a lot. I'm going to go ahead and put this ramble out there, although I might seriously regret it later. (Can someone tell me, does The Birdhouse still exist, or did the owners not rebuild after the most recent time it burned?)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Buried In An Avalanche Of Shit

This is what's going on in my life right now, and, FUCK ME!, am I ever sorry I complained about last year. I guess I was just asking for more punishment with my bitching.
NSA and I are in a trial separation. He's in Colorado visiting his family, trying to spend time with his father, who has prostate cancer. His dad, however, is not inclined to see much of his family, since mostly they want his money and don't have much regard for him. NSA couldn't give a shit about his dad's money, he's just interested in spending time with the old man before he dies. He's being tarred with the same brush as the rest of his siblings though, and his father's new wife is playing dragon at the gate and keeping everyone away. NSA is understandably pissed off and frustrated. It took a lot out of him just to get to Colorado, and he doesn't particularly enjoy living with the bitching, petty jealousies, and infighting that make up his familial interactions. On the plus side, comparatively, life with me in SoCal now doesn't seem so bad.
My mother is in the hospital dealing with the symptoms of her cancer. She's had to have fluid removed from her right lung again, and she's in a considerable amount of pain. She's to the point where she'll consider surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but, according to her doctor, it's probably too late. Probably just a matter of months, weeks maybe. The cancer has metastasized to her lung and possibly her bones as well. So I'm trying to plan what will most likely be my last trip to see my mother alive. Thank you sir, may I have another?
I'm trying to practice the survival techniques you're taught for bad situations, like avalanches. Things like, don't panic, remain calm, assess the situation. But I feel like my air is running out and I'm afraid help won't arrive in time.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Am Turning Into A Teenage Boy

During the past three days, I've started to question my gender identification. I'm definitely engaging in behaviors not typical of a thirty-something woman. Such behaviors are:
  • Staying up waaay too late watching TV.
  • Said TV consists of Ninja Warrior, Skins and Unbeatable Banzuke. (I don't think the target demographic for any of these shows is working women over thirty.)
  • Sitting for hours in front my computer, watching videos on YouTube and searching for music.
  • Eating mostly crap, including frozen dinners, Reser's Potato Salad, week-old pizza, chips, and drinking margaritas straight from the bottle. (I haven't started guzzling Mountain Dew yet, but if my computer time keeps going up, I probably will.)
  • Sleeping on sheets that haven't been washed in a month.
  • Texting with a cute girl who wanted to know how I am and what I'm doing.
  • And, tonight I had to remind myself three times that the trash needed to go out! Sheesh, kids these days.

Of course, if I were really turning into a teenage boy, then I would probably be watching a lot more porn, and playing with my breasts.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Small Piece Of Wisdom

When drinking pre-made margaritas straight from the 1.75 liter bottle, Reser's Potato Salad for dinner makes a very poor base.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Random Bits II

Last week I encountered no less than three people going the wrong way on one-way streets. This isn't really a big deal on my scooter, since the streets aren't that tight, but it's still kind of amazing. One was a guy on a red motorcyle who looked like he really didn't give a damn, maybe he's a cop's kid or something. Hell, maybe he's a cop. Next was a Hispanic guy in a work truck looking confused and anxious. Last was a small woman in a large SUV who still gave me attitude even after she knew she was in the wrong, like it's worth risking someone's life because you weren't paying attention.

Here's a news flash: If you want people to use public transportation, it has to be reliable. And don't tell me it can't be done, especially in SoCal, when weather is almost never a factor. I hate seeing billboards and PSAs encouraging the use of a system that is SHIT. I mean, it is a severe annoyance when buses are supposed to run every fifteen minutes, and you wait for half an hour only to have TWO of the same bus arrive simultaneously. Other cities and countries somehow manage to have decent public transportation, why can't we?

Strawberries are finally down to a decent price. They're grown ten miles from here, so why have they been $3.99 a quart for most of the summer? That's what I'd expect to pay in winter.

At McDonald's a few days ago, this lady with a deeply Southern accent almost made me laugh out loud when she asked for a glass of "ass-water." Well, it was actually more like "ahhss-water," but still, brought to mind all sorts of unpleasant images.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Favorite Job Ever!

I loved this place so much. And no, it's not a strip club, but it is just blocks away from one. I'm really, really sorry I never had the chance to go back after I left. I knew 'Keys was looking to retire, and since he wrote the shows as well as playing keyboards and owning the place, if he wanted to retire, the club pretty much had to close. It wasn't like he could just hire a replacement. The Fly By Night was an Alaskan institution, I mean, how could you not love a place who's motto was "Spam, Booze, Rhythm & Blues"?
I cocktailed there for two and a half seasons. The money was good, the atmosphere was wicked fun, and the club was closed January through March. Alaska, besides being a wealthy state, has a lot of typically seasonal work (timber, fishing, tourism) and so the unemployment laws are pretty liberal, I collected unemployment while the club was closed ('Keys usually spent some time in Hawaii during those dreary winter months.)
The shows were pretty good, funny, but after three or four months of seeing the same routines, they did get a bit monotonous for the staff. However, you could work in costume if you liked, so there were ways to liven things up. 'Keys routinely poked fun at tourists and typically Alaskan stuff; fishing, slow RVs, wildlife encounters and wild assumptions. He LOVED election years for their goldmine of material. He would have had an absolute heyday with Sarah Palin's VP nomination and Don Young's corruption indictment, and he would have pulled no punches in being wickedly funny about both Bristol's name and her pregnancy.
I had a lot of fun times at that club, Cadillac margaritas and double shots of Patron for staff after hours. There's nothing quite like emerging from a club, half-drunk, with a bunch of cash in your pocket, into the eerily early dawn of an Alaskan morning. Jesus, I miss that feeling.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

No Thinking, Just Doing

I'm not in a good place today. The long weekend wasn't relaxing, it was just more personal bullshit. NSA leaves Saturday to visit his family, for how long has yet to be determined. I'm just floating, getting some work done, not tying myself up in knots like I could be. I remind myself that nothing's permanent. And, for today at least, no thinking, just doing. Mindlessness can be a good thing.
(Check back later in the week when I might have something more interesting to say. No guarantees though.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Doing Good

I want to come out on the plus side as far as doing good in my life, and I have some questions.

My current favorite blouse is a warm purple color that I love. It has "Made in China" on the label, which generally gives me a bad feeling but, I bought it from a charity thrift store. So does the secondhand/charity angle make up for the fact that it was probably manufactured under environmentally- and worker-unfriendly conditions?

I generally conserve water, don't run the tap while I'm brushing my teeth and do only full loads of laundry and dishes but, I like long, hot showers. How does that balance out, or does it? (Because I feel guilty, but apparently not enough to change my behavior.)

I absolutely love my scooter, there's no doubt that it's better for the environment and saves on gas and money when compared to a car but, I take it on long drives just for fun and I use it for trips that are within walking distance. I feel positive, even righteous, about this choice, but if I did use my scooter less, that would be better. I mean, walking causes zero pollution.

I give money to those on the street that ask for it. I know that certain groups think this encourages alcoholism and drug abuse, but I don't have the heart to deny people who obviously have so little. My mother used to offer food or a meal in lieu of cash, but that's time consuming and inconvenient. I'll give spare change, because I can afford it, and because it just seems mean not to.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Favorite Poem

Just in the mood to share...

The Fish
I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled and barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
--the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly--
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
--It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
--if you could call it a lip
grim, wet, and weaponlike,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts,
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels--until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.
~Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Feelin' Pervy

So I was watching Skins on BBC America last night, a fun, sexy teen fantasy that I'm sure was written by a bunch of thirty-somethings looking back on their high school years thinking, "If I'd known then what I know now, I would have been so much cooler!" It had that sort of unrealistic tone to it, but it wasn't pretentious, just fun and a little ridiculous.
The lead, Nicholas Hoult, being an attractive young man, caught my attention. Sure, I thought, he's a bit young, but boys grow up. And I thought he looked familiar, although I couldn't immediately place him. Apparently, my subconscious went to work, because this morning I woke up going "He's the kid from About A Boy! I'm old enough to be his mother!" (A teen mother, but still, quite a bit older than him.) Ewwww. I felt slightly creepy, lusting after someone younger than my stepson, but hey, with the whole MILF and "cougar" thing going on, I know I'm not the only one.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bad Morning=Sucky Day

(Warning: It's a completely crap post today, so if you want something funny or uplifting, go here or here.)

It's never a good thing when you're woken from a bad dream by your alarm. The remains of the dream just seem to stay with you for the rest of the day. If I could have stayed sleeping, then maybe I would have dreamt something else. I made coffee and cried on the living room couch, NSA drank tea in anger in the bedroom. I finally felt a little better after my shower when the caffeine kicked in, but my eyes were puffy, clear evidence of crying, and I hate that. I've successfully avoided pretty much everyone at work, and one of my co-workers is out with a bad cold, so maybe my sniffles and puffy eyes are because I'm getting sick too (total lie, but I really haven't been feeling well lately, for obvious reasons.) It's afternoon now, not too much longer before I can go home, not that that's much to look forward to, but at least I don't have to pretend. I have a bad headache and all I really want to do is turn off the lights and put my head down on the desk, but that's not really an option. Jesus, I hate days like this.

Monday, August 18, 2008

This Weekend

  • Took a long, lovely ride on my scooter. I love driving up and down the hills around here, the breeze and the sunshine feel really good, and the smells are incredible. Sometimes nice, sometimes icky, but always present. Down one long hill, there's a particular scent I would call Desert Sage, but that sounds too heavy. A light, warm, spicy odor. I also passed a guy pruning the rosemary hedges in front of a school, that is a heavenly smell.
  • Vacuumed up about three cats-worth of hair. It's been warm, they shed like fiends and hate being brushed, and I don't enjoy being scratched. So sucking up their fur is pretty much the only option.
  • Helped NSA go through some stuff, trying to figure out what he needs to take with, what can stay behind and what can be mailed later. Everything is just sort of cool and efficient now, but I was awake for two hours last night turning things over in my head.
  • Won a whole $2.00 in the lottery. A pretty piss-poor return on $6.00.
  • Had a couple of shots of Irish Cream in my evening chai. Very tasty and a nice warm feeling without the temptation to overdo it like other liquors might inspire. I still have the urge to get really, really stinkin' drunk though.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dodged a Bullet

Sweet relief!! (On a completely unrelated note, I just told the FedEx guy that his "little thingy" [stylus] wasn't any good.) I had to go to court today to defend actions taken, or actually, not taken, by my predecessor. This situation has been a source of worry and frustration for several months now, since I initially lost the lawsuit and have been waiting anxiously for the appeal. I WON, even though I was very doubtful that I would. And it feels wonderful. My boss thinks I'm a hero, I saved the company thousands of dollars (not that I really care), this is the best thing that's happened in a while.
Basically, I was asked to clean up a mess that started six years ago, four years before I started. Since my predecessor no longer works for the company, it fell to me to sort it out, which was difficult considering I wasn't around at the time and didn't have all of the information. There probably wouldn't have been any real repercussions if I had lost, I really couldn't be held accountable, but it's hard to tell in these situations. No one wants to be responsible for costing their employer money, and I was afraid for my job if it went badly. Bad will is a significant factor when it comes to lay-offs, promotions and internal politics, so it's usually a good idea to be on your boss' good side. And now I am again.
I think I'll have a drink and buy some lottery tickets tonight, 'cause I'm feeling lucky.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cool and Gray

It's cool and cloudy this morning and that suits me just fine. I didn't sleep well last night since there was some drama going on around the complex that involved much screaming and slamming of doors; I hate most drama now, I have enough of my own thankyouverymuch. NSA will be going to Colorado for an extended family visit soon, probably within the next week or two. His health isn't good and he really isn't up for traveling, but his father is letting his cancer go untreated and NSA is really unhappy with me, so it seems like the best option right now. No paperwork has been filed and I'm thinking of it as a temporary separation. We'll see if time and space make a difference, good or other. (A part of me thinks that since his family is so fucked up, he'll want to come back after two days. That he'll see our situation isn't so bad and I'm not that hard to live with, considering.)
My mother was in the hospital over the weekend. She didn't call me until one of her friends said that if she didn't, the friend would. She felt short of breath on Saturday, and a trip to the emergency room revealed that her right lung was full of fluid. They drained her lung and kept her overnight. While it doesn't look like the cancer has spread to her lung, apparently the tumor is seeping fluid. At least now she's willing to consider chemotherapy, only seventeen months after finding the lump in her breast.
My mood is cool and gray too. I'm feeling foggy and dispassionate, just limping toward the weekend hoping nothing will happen. I don't think I could handle anything else right now.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Oh, Johnny Boy

Words can't adequately express how glad I am that John Edwards didn't win the Democratic nomination, only to reveal himself as a liar and adulterer. Not that I care, I mean, morally I think sexual indiscretions are primarily the concern of those involved and not a measure of leadership or political savvy. Far less damning than being corrupt. But so many Americans do care, at least publicly. I did view Edwards as being the most electable of the Dems running, and I would have voted for him, but I will happily vote for Obama (and would have unhappily voted for Hillary), because the possibility of four more years of the current state of the nation scares the living shit out of me. McCain is just more of the same, only slightly less to the right than Bush, and temperamental, a sort of Cheney-lite. I don't think he will do any good for the economy or foreign policy, and if he's elected, I think the U.S. will continue to decline, both internally, and in international esteem.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Favorite Movie Mini-Review: Enchanted April

I have a lot of favorite movies, most of them not typical Hollywood fare, and since I generally love movies and the film-making process, I thought I would share why each of these made my list.

Enchanted April is a small, girly movie starring Miranda Richardson and Alfred Molina. It's a sweet, quiet movie about four English women sharing an Italian villa in the 1920's. There's a line about Miranda Richardson's character looking like a "disappointed Madonna" and a dinner conversation about how freeing it is not to wear underwear that I particularly like. The cinematography is gorgeous, making good use of the beautiful locale. It's a romantic movie about the power of love and friendship to transform; each of the women is hurting in some way, and each is healed by time spent at the villa. It's a bit sappy, probably not a good pick for youngsters or action-flick fans, but perfect if you're in the mood for something gentle and lovely.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Things I Don't Talk About

People blog for various reasons. I love people like this, who try to tell you what you should write about, like there are some hard and fast rules to blogging (I particularly like #3, I mean, Heather Armstrong is only one of the most successful bloggers ever, and she mostly talks about herself, her kid, and her dogs.) Some people blog to make money, but personally, I think that proposition is sort of like those "make millions at home in your spare time!" deals; someone, somewhere is doing it, but probably not you or anyone you know. A lot of people blog as a way to keep in touch with family and friends; pictures of the little ones and the latest vacation, faster, easier and more economical than letters. (Does anyone even write letters any more??)
I blog for purely selfish reasons, to get things off my chest, to share my opinions, 'cause doesn't everyone want to know what I think? I write about things that I can't or don't feel comfortable discussing with family and co-workers. Seriously, I keep it waaay anonymous because some shit would definitely get me fired. I share more because of the anonymity factor. I write about things that are very personal, but in a sort of impersonal way because I don't want to reveal too many identifying details. Having said that, here are some things I've been avoiding writing about, for one reason or another:
-I think NSA and I are splitting up, after nearly eighteen years together. A lot of it has to do with his health, and my often poor reaction to it, but it also has to do with mistakes made in the past that are much more meaningful now that he is disabled. I'm horribly regretful and guilty, hopeful that a trial separation will give time to mend, but also kind of relieved.
-Details of my sex life, past and present. Even though there are some really juicy stories there, maybe someday I'll fictionalize them, it seems a bit tawdry and pornographic to share. Yes, I used to dance naked for a living, but some things are just personal.
-Much of my childhood. I think I'm saving most of my past for my autobiography, and although I've had the impulse to tell more in my blog, I've stifled it because leaving out pertinent details to maintain my anonymity makes it kind of generic. The details provide richness and authenticity, so anonymous=bland.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Snarkfest

I am SO glad it's Friday! This week felt about ten days long. I'm feeling snarky and thought I'd share.

Don't stand in my office and complain about how you can't lose weight while sucking down your 1,000 calorie "morning coffee." That thing isn't a cup of coffee, or even a full-fat latte (or two), it's a fucking caffeinated MILKSHAKE!

Please, please, do not try to talk politics unless you really want my honest opinion. As much as I might want to, I will not smile and nod just to get you to shut up, and it's rude to discuss touchy subjects in a business relationship. Don't get offended and whiny when I say I won't talk about it; my boss will totally back me up on this. And to answer your questions, yes, I do think Obama has enough experience to be president, and yes, I also think that McCain has anger management issues.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The State of the Prostate

Remember what I said about my father-in-law having prostate cancer and maybe being smarter than my mother about treatment? Well, no, he's definitely not. Apparently, his doctor recommended surgery, but instead, he's opted to seek treatment from some shamanistic healer type, because he truly, sincerely believes all disease is in your mind. Whatever. That vomiting you're doing? Not from the shrimp salad you ate for lunch, no, must be that anger you still harbor towards your first grade teacher. You have diabetes? Certainly not because your Islets of Langerhans burnt out prematurely, what unresolved issues do you have with your grandfather?
And what pisses me off the most is that he doesn't see it as a form of suicide, as an incredibly self-hating and self-destructive thing to do, he just thinks he's smarter than the whole medical community. People who go into the field of psychology are NUTS, and trying to resolve their own issues.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Opening Line

The first line of my autobiography:
"When I was four I tried to drown myself, twice."

Yes, it's true, it really happened; obviously, I wasn't successful. I think it's a pretty killer first line, gripping, makes you want to read more, don'tcha think?
I love to write, have for a long time, but this whole poking-around-in-the-past thing makes for sludgy going. It's not really very fun to dredge up old memories, even if they make for good storytelling, even if it seems somehow important that you write all of this shit down. It sort of feels like like cleaning out a closet, (not a very original analogy, I know) like you have to go through and sort out all of this crap before you can be done with it. And even if it's a closet full of Chanel couture (or maybe just knock-offs), a closet that might net you a lot of money, it's still not exactly a pleasant task. Okay, enough of the closet analogy, you get my meaning.
And then I worry about what's going to happen after the book is written and published, because there's a good chance that there will be controversy, or at least, scandal. I get waaay ahead of myself, I worry how my life might change and what unforeseen consequences will come my way, because if there's one thing I've learned, there are always unforeseen consequences. Boy, I guess I'm pretty good at hobbling myself, huh?
Anyway, all of this is to say that I'm not making the progress I'd like when it comes to my writing and I'm feeling frustrated. Boo-hoo for me. But still, a good first line, don'tcha think?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What I Would Miss If I Were Suddenly Transported To 1808

I spent the whole morning in a pointless meeting, I'm feeling crabby and irritable, so a little exercise in appreciating the here-and-now.
  • My husband, because he never would have survived his childhood in the 1800's. He was born in the '60's and is lucky to have survived then.
  • Refrigeration- even more than air conditioning, there are so many things we can keep, eat and do because of portable cold.
  • Air travel- Sure, I haven't done much lately, but the thought that I could jump on a plane and, in a matter of hours, be in Australia or Brazil, France or Japan, helps get me through.
  • Penicillin- I guess this an obvious one, but neo-Luddites like my mother really fail to realize how much modern medicine has improved our lives. I mean, I'd much rather take Tylenol than laudanum for a headache. And if I got an infection while stranded in the past, you can bet I'd be scarfing all the moldy bread I could find.
  • Entertainment- Yeah, yeah, I watch waaay too much T.V., I could be crafting or doing something productive, but fake Hollywood deaths seem far preferable to me than public executions.
  • Foreign cuisine- While I'm sure 1808 probably had some of the best buttermilk biscuits you could ever want, we have access to so much more now. Like sushi, and tapas, and really, really good Italian. And while I know that food safety has been a huge concern lately, you're not going to get typhoid or TB like you could have in the past.

I guess my point is that while people tend to romanticize the past, now really is the best time to be alive.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vivi the Greyhound

A tale to warm the cockles of your heart, if they need warming.
In my excursions around the neighborhood, I encounter many "lost pet" notices. Some have happy endings, like missing kitty Orian, who's owners wrote "Found!" in happy-colored marker on the notices when he was recovered safely. Others, I'm left to wonder about. Did Katie the parrot make it home okay? Did anyone claim the rewards offered for Baghdad the black cat or Molly the Yorkie? There are coyotes around, even in this urban environment, and house pets must make easy prey.
One Saturday morning, I saw a notice for a lost greyhound. It was colorful and looked almost professionally produced. Vivi went missing after having chased a cat and gotten away from her owners, something I guess greyhounds are wont to do, give chase. The notice said she was shy, not to approach her if spotted, that she might be hiding in someone's bushes or under a garage. I didn't think about it a lot, but I paid attention when I was out.
A few weeks later, the notices were tattered, and I wondered what became of Vivi. On the way home from working out one morning, I saw a middle-aged couple with a tall, brindled greyhound taking down the notices. I asked if this was Vivi, and they said no, but that she had been found, dehydrated, exhausted, but basically okay, hiding in a ravine. Missing for twenty days, she had made herself a "scrape" and was seen by someone from their back window. I said I was happy that she was home and safe, and walked away quickly because I was a little embarrassed. I wanted to talk to them more, but I was teary over these stranger's dog, and it seemed silly. Such a little thing, to be glad that someone has their pet back, that this commonplace story has a happy ending, and such a big thing too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

That Bitch Inertia

I haven't been posting much lately, like at all!, I guess because I've been falling into the "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything" trap and I've been feeling whiny and complain-y mostly. I end up feeling so shallow and ungrateful when all I can do is bitch and moan. Yes, currently my life kind of sucks. Yes, there are millions of people in much worse circumstances than mine. Yes, I don't see a clear way to get to where I want to be, blah, blah, blah. I just want to tell myself, Christ, woman! Stop your pissing and moaning and DO something! And I do, and it doesn't seem to help much.

Part of it is that I'm coming up on the two-year mark (I hate to say "anniversary" because in my mind, anniversary implies something pleasant and I don't feel that way) at this job. What was supposed to be a temporary measure until we got back on our feet has become more permanent, and I'm hating it right now. It doesn't fulfill me in any meaningful way, there's a lot about it I don't like or agree with, and it's becoming harder for me to stuff my feelings and show up every day. This is dangerous territory, because historically, when I feel this way, I do something to sabotage myself and force the issue, which is a stupid way to live your life.

Part of it is that NSA's health hasn't been good. This has been true for quite a while, but in the past nine months, we've gotten more and more bad news. Yesterday afternoon was spent at the hospital getting a lengthy stress test on his heart, which should help his cardiologist decide if he needs surgery. Heart surgery. For my forty-four year old husband. So when he gets depressed and feels worthless and says he doesn't want to put me through all this, it's pretty understandable. And part of me feels resentful because it's all on me. If I want things to change, I have to change them, he's just not capable any more. It's a one-woman rescue team, there is no outside help coming, our asses need saving and I need to figure out how to do it, sigh.

I think I need to watch Touching the Void again, to remind me what human beings are capable of.

It all comes down to what I can and cannot do, or more like, what I am and am not willing to do. In college, I would wait to do my term papers until the week, sometimes the weekend, before they were due. I would rush to do research, find sources, write, edit and rewrite. And I got A's and B's. Got quoted by my professors. Was generally rewarded for doing what I considered a half-assed job. The trick was the deadline, the absolute must, the need to bring myself to task and focus. And I did it, consistently, successfully. The same thing applies in the real world, when there's a deadline I have to meet at work, I do, and with good results. Why do I find this so hard to do for myself?? If I disappoint myself, there's no immediate consequences. If I let myself down, I'm the one who suffers. And family and friends are no real help; they're not motivators, they're distractors. I need to find some way around this, this boulder on my path labeled "lacks self-discipline," otherwise I'll probably end up fat, unhappy, living in a trailer park and bitching about the neighbor's kids, with squandered gifts and a wasted life. Reminds me of Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Christmas in June!

Christ! An illustration of how my mind works, or doesn't. I wanted to write about my 14 things, but got busy (typical excuse), and then, I absolutely wouldn't allow myself to blog about anything else until that entry was done! End result: no posting for two weeks, while still regularly commenting on other's blogs. How fucked up is that?

I received a package of thirteen things from Susan on Friday the 27th, the "delightful thing" having arrived a few days earlier. I guess a large envelope is less threatening than a box, at least to whomever is responsible for making sure that American borders aren't violated by all sorts of unimaginable horrors.
The package and envelope were both beautifully wrapped in gorgeous red, handmade (I assume) paper. And my post office gives me crap every time I try to send anything that's not plain and brown.
  • The delightful thing was a print of Stephanie. I love the colors and the soft-focus, and Susan remembered that I had admired this photo when she posted it. Now I just have to find the perfect framing, something I'm pretty good at when motivated.
  • Beachy things- a lovely little collection of beach glass and spiral seashells, so delicate and yet so hardy.
  • Several papery things, including a hot-pink journal, a beautiful page from an antique, hand-printed Chinese book, and a book that sounds really good, Not Wanted On the Voyage, by Timothy Findley.
  • Thing that costs less than a dollar- A mix CD. Really like Breathe Me by Sia Furler and Must I Paint You a Picture by Billy Bragg, neither of which I'd heard before. There are also a couple of favorites of mine, Don't Speak by No Doubt and Your Latest Trick by Dire Straits.
  • The soft thing is a gauzy orange and grey scarf, filmy and lovely.
  • A once-useful Chanel stamp bought at the post office in the Eiffel Tower, attached to a wonderful post card. I'm kind of awed that there are Chanel stamps, how cool is that?, and this item means a lot to me, since I haven't been to Paris since I was twelve and would love to return.
  • The red thing is this polaroid. I love that Susan loves to share her art; it's so personal, intimate, and frankly, brings tears to my eyes.
  • Two traditional food items of Nova Scotia maple syrup, delicious!, and summer savory, an herb I've never tried.
  • Two favorite candies: A fish Ticklestick and a Canadian Cherry Blossom. Really enjoyed the Cherry Blossom, I love chocolate-covered cherries and usually reserve them as a special treat around the holidays when they tend to be on sale. Although the Ticklestick was pretty, I'm not a big fan of gummi things, the texture I think, but happily, NSA is and liked the break from his usual bears.
  • Something found at the back of a drawer- A beautiful pewter pin of two rabbits and a snail, absolutely lovely and makes me wonder what other fantastic things Susan has hidden away in the backs of drawers.
  • The once-living things are a mermaid's purse, which is the egg case from a whelk, I think, and the delicate shell of a small, male (fairly certain) crab. Lovely, lovely sea treasures from the Atlantic Coast, and reminders of a childhood visit to Cape Cod.
  • A favorite recipe for seafood crepe pie, printed on the back of a map of Nova Scotia. Sounds decadent and yummy, definitely a meal to blow your diet over.
  • With a middle initial of A, Susan includes a print of her "Red Dog, Yellow Dog" illustration, which I certainly think qualifies as art.
  • Just Us chai tea, a gentler version of what I like to enjoy in the afternoon.

The 14 things swap really was better than Christmas for me. There were genuine surprises, of the good kind, and many lovely things, without the stress that usually accompanies the holidays. Susan obviously puts a great deal of care and attention into the things she does, and I find her inspiring in many ways.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Freedom Five Friday

'Cause it's Friday afternoon and I'm feeling flip.
  1. Chiwetel Ejiofor- First noticed him in Love Actually as the guy marrying Keira Knightley, and had an eyes-wide, "who is that??" reaction. I've adored him ever since.
  2. Viggo Mortensen- Incredible actor, poet and photographer. Politically aware, humble, and gracious as all hell. Sure, he might be a little intense, but he totally does it for me.
  3. Jet Li- YUM-MY! It must be the eyes...and the jaw...and the chiseled body, the way he moves...etc., etc.
  4. Jesse L. Martin- A long-time Law & Order favorite. Sure, Chris Noth is good-looking too, but Jesse has waaay more sex appeal.
  5. John Barrowman- Totally gorgeous in a classic, timeless way. Not well-known in the States, but meltingly hot nonetheless. The fact that he's gay does nothing to detract from his attactiveness, in fact, it only makes him more appealing.

Runner's up- Willem Dafoe, Vin Diesel, and Mathew St. Patrick.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What Doesn't Kill You, Wounds For Life

A fantastic line borrowed from a song by Strange Advance, and so apropos.

I was sexually abused when I was young. I had the hardest time talking about this, admitting it, to anyone for a very long time. I was ashamed, humiliated, and just plain grossed-out. I mean, the "ewww!!" factor is pretty high when discussing most things sexual anyway, and if it's perverse or deviant, then even more so. I think this is part of what's wrong with American culture, an inability to be open and honest about things that make us uncomfortable, but I digress. I will say that an atmosphere of secrecy and denial, much like the current administration, allows evil to flourish.

I was abused by two men over the course of about ten years, from age five to about fifteen, when I was finally old enough to protect myself, make myself unavailable. I wasn't the only victim of these men. I'm pretty sure there were at least four others girls, possibly boys too, and the numbers could be much, much, higher, since these men were respected in the community, traveled internationally, and lived long lives. They had access to dozens, maybe hundreds, of children. I didn't do anything about the situation even after I was an adult, which might have contributed to my little brother's suicide, but I'll never know.

It's taken a long time to try and come to terms with what happened to me. For the most part, I tried not to think about it, to put it behind me and just live my life, but some things are not so easily gotten over. For the longest time, I didn't even think about the fact that I probably wasn't the only one, until I started to research and discovered that pedophiles typically have more than one victim, and that the profile of a serial abuser is a white, religious male. The publicity surrounding the scandals in the Catholic church helped, made me realize that it was more common than anyone wanted to admit, made me feel less ashamed and less alone. I didn't want to think of myself as wounded, because I so desperately wanted to be "normal," to have a happy, fabulous life, and so I denied the past. But as Faulkner said, "The past isn't dead, it isn't even passed."

I don't know if Mom was aware of what happened, she says she wasn't, that she had no idea, but who lets a grown man, a boyfriend, bathe with her five year old daughter? Someone, a friend of a friend, she'd known for weeks, maybe months at the time, not years. Of course, time of association doesn't really mean anything, abuse typically happens at the hands of a friend or family member. The spectre of the shadowy stranger, of "Chester the Molester" lurking around playgrounds simply isn't reality. And pedophiles recognize vulnerable children, seek out circumstances where their activities will go unnoticed or ignored. It's a hunter-prey situation, and the fact that my mother was tag-teamed by two men she trusted mitigates her culpability, at least in my mind. She doesn't go unpunished, though. I know part of my reticence to have children stems from my childhood. You were a bad mother, so no grandchildren for you!

Experiences shape you, mold your perceptions, and so effect future decisions. My stripping and Internet modeling, my desire to act, my passive-aggressive tendencies, I'm sure much of it comes from the lessons I was taught. I'm trying hard to create new patterns, new behaviors, new ways of being, but the past is sticky and old ruts are familiar if loathed. I can't, won't, let my future be dictated by the perversity and sickness of two fucked up old men, both dead now. I may be wounded, but I'm strong, and I can live with the scars.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mosaic Meme

I liked this idea, so I ripped it off from Pants! I had a lot of fun putting it together, although some of the answers were unexpectedly difficult.
Here's the meme:
A. Type your answers to the following questions into Flickr Search.
B. Pick an image from the first page.
C. Copy and paste the URLs for the photos into fd's mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

And then I had a lot of trouble saving and posting the mosaic, but I tend to be technologically-challenged.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Things That Never Fail To Lift My Spirits

  • A long scooter ride in the sunshine. It's just so damn fun!
  • Coupons for Chipotle! I know, I know, they're only burritos, but what burritos they are! And free. How can you beat free? Definitely worth rooting through the mail room trash.
  • Jezebel stretching and rolling around on the carpet, begging for attention and exposing her soft tummy.
  • America's Funniest Home Videos. Sure, some of them are just stupid, and the commentary is inevitably insipid, but there's always a couple that make me laugh out loud.
  • Laurie Anderson. Certain songs on "Mr. Heartbreak" and "Strange Angels" are my definition of perfection.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cheesy Ass

NSA opening a bag of shredded cheddar-"This cheese smells like ass!"
Me, sniffing-"You're right, it DOES smell like ass!"
NSA, sticking his nose back in the bag- "Wow, it really smells like ass!"
Me-"Then why do you keep smelling it??"
There was nothing wrong with the cheese, perfectly edible, it was just very fragrant.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Favorite Porn Star

Back in my L.A. days, I did some extra work at a small studio in the Valley. Not a big deal, film called Marissa, just a day of work on a party scene (pre-SAG). Except, and I should have realized, what shoots in the Valley is mainly porn. Yup, the San Fernando Valley is home to the biggest names in smut production. At first, nothing unusual. I get to the address a little early, there's gaffers and electricians setting up, a little disorganized, but some productions can't seem to find their ass with both hands. There's me and a few other extras hanging around waiting to see what happens. Then, the "talent" arrived. On a small film, you don't necessarily recognize the leads, they're not major players, they might never be, but this group was definitely different. A handsome, dark haired guy named Alex needed to change, and so dropped trou in front of everyone, no underwear, and a very nice ass. With my background, it didn't really phase me even when I realized it was a porn shoot. I thought it was kind of funny, actually, but another extra started to freak out. Brooke's claim to fame was that she had been a hand-double for Mena Suvari, and "Oh God! I can't be in a porno, I want to have a real career!" I pointed out to her that they weren't doing any sex scenes, more than likely no one would know about it unless she told them, and if she left, she wouldn't get paid for the day. She ended up staying, but you could feel the attitude from across the room.
I was feeling kind of at home, talking with a muscular blonde named Adam. He was a minor player, not terribly tall, but well-built and sweet, definitely attractive. He said he had his SAG card, but porn was easy and paid well, he'd pretty much given up his acting aspirations and was just putting money in the bank. I was glad the days of guys in porn looking like Ron Jeremy were over. We ate lunch together, chatted between takes, had a pleasant day. Besides a few risque jokes, it was a pretty typical shoot. He asked me out to dinner, but I regretfully declined due to being married and all. Adam looked disappointed enough to give my ego a nice boost. It feels good to have that little electric frisson run down your spine, especially after having been married for nine or ten years at the time.
He told me his porn name was John Decker, so of course I had to check him out. I guess that's a little weird, but I was curious. He didn't disappoint. And, yes, NSA knew all about it. When you make a life-long commitment at nineteen, your partner should be understanding enough to allow for a little wiggle room. I still think about Adam once in a while, file that memory under "sweet, but not meant to be."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Favorite Movie Lines

From Brain Candy, regarding a popular new head-med, spoken by a cabbie with an Armenian accent: "You know, it's made from monkey cum."
Also from Brain Candy: "Where's your father?" "Upstairs masturbating to gay porn again."

From The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. A transvestite is petting a codger's dog. "What's your dog's name?" "Herpes, 'cause if she's good, she'll heel."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday Observations

  • There are a lot of women in Southern California that dress like strippers. That's assuming they're not all strippers, they just dress that way.
  • Maybe it's just me, but I don't think gray-haired grannies should wear toe rings. It looks weird, and their feet aren't usually pretty.
  • To a cat, nasturtiums on a balcony are hummingbird lures.
  • I hate when I'm having a good dream, like playing with a group of kids at a water park, only to wake up having to pee really badly.
  • The more stressed I am, the more my job suffers and the more I'm inclined to fuck around.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Kicked When I'm Down

I honestly woke up feeling okay this morning. The nasturtiums NSA planted in the window box smell good, I never even realized nasturtiums had a smell. I have a lot to do, but I'm getting through it, the sun is shining and I'm feeling capable. And then, a call. My father-in-law has prostate cancer. JESUS H. MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST!!
I'm floored. I just need a break, a little time when there's nothing going on, no one to worry about, no shit happening. I feel like I just barely get a grip on this slippery eel, and it twists it's way out of my grasp again. I'm left feeling desperate and inadequate, hopeless and frustrated, I just want to run away. And I'm pissed off, because nothing is ever simple or easy or clean. It's not just that my F-I-L has cancer, it's also that he's retired military and splits his salary with my M-I-L, so if he dies, there goes half her income, health care and shopping benefits. Which she uses to support her grandson directly and the rest of the family peripherally. F-I-L is the same kind of asshole as my mother, believing in the power of the mind to control all things, so we'll see what kind of treatment he opts for, if any.
And I'm befuddled and bereft, shaking my head and wondering, what the fuck am I supposed to do??

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

NOT Happy

Feeling like a pissy six year old today, wanting to throw a raging hissy fit and stomp around with a scowl on my face, but knowing that I'm a "big girl" and too old for baby tantrums. Sometimes I just want to revert so badly, to the days of "but it's not FAIR!" and "HE doesn't have to, so why do I??" It's not like I expect the universe to smile and grant me my every desire tout suite, it's just that sometimes things feel so unnecessarily difficult.
A co-worker's husband died over the weekend, and I feel so bad for her, and it's cast a pall over everything. Additionally, a shitload of paperwork arrived on my desk yesterday that needs to be completed ASAP! because we're in review time and if it's not completed perfectly, WE COULD ALL GET FIRED! Which is really very unlikely, but that's the kind of pressure being brought to bear. I just want to stick out my tongue and scream "NO!" and I don't care if I have to go sit in the corner because sitting in the (quiet, comtemplative) corner would be really, really nice right now.
It's days like this that I'm particularly envious of Susan. I love her blog, because even when she's unhappy, there's a certain serenity to her posts, a calm gentleness that's just missing in my life. And she has faith that things will get better, that she can make them better, and I lack that too.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mother's Day

*Note: Originally written on Monday, 5/12/08, the day after Mother's Day.

So I read other people's blogs, mostly women, and I read about their mothers and their kids and their miscarriages, the assorted tragedies of being a person on Earth at this time. And I, like most people, compare my life to what I read, not necessarily in a judgemental way, just comparing, measuring differences. Quite often, the biggest difference is motherhood. As in, I'm not a mother, and most likely never will be. I think there is a biological component. I'm fertile, as far as I know, but I'm at an age when most women have either had children, or their biological clock is booming like a Taiko drum, and mine isn't. It would probably not be easy for me to get pregnant now, there would be a high risk of Down's Syndrome and other abnormalities related to aged eggs, and yet, there is only the tiniest whisper of If you want it, it has to be soon. Mostly, there is deep ambivalence when I think about pregnancy and a child of my own. I don't want it the way most women seem to, the way one friend did, desperately trying to get pregnant even though she had serious doubts about her fiancee. Or the woman who's husband didn't want kids, so she poked holes in his condoms. To me, that speaks of a yearning I don't feel, lengths I'm unwilling to go to. I don't know what I expect, maybe a deep clutching sensation in my uterus, but it's just not there.
My mother wasn't a particularly good one, not like some mothers I read about, sacrificing for their children, making sure they're taken care of. I admire women who are that way, who want better for their kids and work hard to ensure it. I had some interesting, mind-expanding times with my mom, but generally I feel she was selfish and neglectful. She did things because she wanted to, and dragged her kids along when she had to, often leaving us behind. Which is a good way to make a child feel abandoned and unloved. I think my little brother felt it more than I did, since my early childhood was more stable than his.
I like kids, I babysat a lot when I was younger, and I enjoy being around little ones, but still, there is only the barest thought of Do I want a baby? Maybe it's a balance thing, I don't feel I have space in my life for pregnancy and kids, what with having a disabled husband and a job and aspirations of a literary nature. Or maybe I'm just pathologically lazy, kids are a lot of work and I don't want to have to deal. I do have the idea that I could be like Josephine Baker and after I'm wildly successful, adopt a huge, multicultural family of needy kids. That seems like a really cool thing to do.
I had an uncomfortable conversation with an elevator inspector once. He was asking about my family and if I had children, he had six!, and when I told him I was childless, he looked at me with pity and condecension and asserted, "Why? Children are the joy of life!" I made some flip comment like, "Not always." or something like that (I mean, were Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Manson really the joy of their parent's lives?), when what I should have done is given him a teary, wide-eyed look, and said sadly, "I was in a horrible accident when I was young and I can't have children." Would have served the presumptuous dickhead right.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Partially Hydrogenated

Ok, so I wasn't paying attention when I bought some bake mixes that were on sale. And since they were on sale, I bought more than I usually would. I mean, we like cake and muffins, I make pretty good reduced-fat versions, and the expiration dates are far off. That should have been the clue. Fuck Pillsbury, and Betty Crocker too, with their partially-hydrogenated crap!! I didn't realize that the stuff is banned in some European markets, and yet American companies can still get away with feeding us unhealthy shit. Oh, but there's no trans fat, which is really bad for you, there's only partially hydrogenated. Which is like saying, well, we'll kick you in the nuts with our sock feet. Gee, thanks.
Oh well, my bad, I've got to read the labels more carefully. I guess I'll donate it to our local food bank, can't bring myself to throw it away, at least someone more desperate than I won't have to pay for the shit.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ch-ch-ch-changes

This morning, I read Susan's blog over at 29 Black Street, and I can totally relate to how she's feeling. I need to make some big and serious changes in my life, changes for my health, sanity and future. Right now, I'm spinning my wheels, getting nowhere, paying bills and surviving, but not much more than that. I'm in this place, physically and emotionally, as a result of bad decisions and unhappy circumstance, and I need to figure out how to turn it around, preferably sooner.
I have a job I don't like. No big surprise there, that describes 90% of the people I know, but it pays the bills and keeps a roof over our heads, which is important, even more so when your spouse is disabled on a fixed income. I don't like being the sole breadwinner, and it makes it that much harder to change jobs or take time off. Everything I do has more impact because it's not just me I'm making decisions for. That was a hard-learned lesson.
It's occurred to me lately that I was happier when I was stripping. I know it sounds weird, but I was married, had flexible hours, worked with people I liked, and had a lot less stress than I do now. Of course, other things were different too. NSA wasn't disabled, was much healthier, and I was younger and more optimistic. I have determined that I don't enjoy making already rich people richer, it cramps my soul and I feel withered and diminished.
So I've got to come up with a workable plan to change my life and lift my spouse and myself out of this situation. I don't think it's going to be easy, and I know it will take time. And I've got to be careful, because rash decisions and poor implementation are why I'm here now.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

MMMmmm

Because it's just before lunch and I'm hungry.
  • Honey-roasted turkey breast with avocado, tomato, mayo and lettuce.
  • Refried spaghetti. Fry the noodles a bit in olive oil before adding the sauce for a better texture.
  • Reuben with light Swiss, ultra-thin sliced brisket, homemade 1000 Island dressing, grilled to perfection on Jewish rye.
  • Loaded oatmeal. Frozen cherries and blueberries (thawed), chopped walnuts, cinnamon, vanilla and a dab of butter.
  • Steak Diane, medium rare with a mushroom-onion cream sauce. NSA used to make it, haven't had this in ages.
  • Grilled asparagus with homemade hollandaise. Full of fat and cholesterol, but incredibly tasty.
  • Raspberry-cream cheese anything, actually, just cream cheese anything pretty much.
  • Pan-roasted Chilean sea bass with chili-peanut sauce. Conscience won't let me eat it any more because Chilean sea bass has been severely overfished.
  • Hot & Sour soup from Pick-Up Stix. Loaded with chicken, shrimp and tofu, the perfect blend of spice and tart. I've tried other local restaurants, none of them measure up. I also tried to make it myself, with disappointing results.
  • Swedish pancakes with lingonberry jam and sour cream. Also, crepes with carmelized bananas and whipped cream, and ricotta-stuffed blini.

Not a complete list by far, but a decent start.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Okay Day

Last night I went to bed early, around eight o'clock, since I wasn't feeling well. Like too warm, achy, stinging eyes kind of not well. I thought I was getting sick. But I woke up this morning feeling okay, not wonderful, but alright, despite being woken up by a whiny cat and a wheezing husband at four in the morning (the cat is just a little bitch sometimes, and the husband forgot to take his asthma medicine before bed.) And that makes me think my symptoms were pretty much psychosomatic, that I had a bad day yesterday and my mood was low, so my body just went "can't deal, give it up."
Today, even after a restless night, I'm okay. The sun is shining and there's a bit of a breeze, it's supposed to be warm for the rest of the week. Sometimes, it's hard to figure out what I need, am I drinking enough water?, should I take an iron supplement?, but sometimes, all I need is to get through the night and wake up the next morning. Sometimes that's enough.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Random Friday

I hate it when guys I don't know call me "honey" or "sweetie," it seems presumptuous and just bugs me, but I don't mind it when women do the same thing, especially if they're older and have that kind of whiskey-and-cigarettes voice. Then I think it's kind of cute.
Jerry Orbach is my all-time favorite movie dad, I loved his character in Dirty Dancing. It was pretty heartbreaking when he left Law & Order, and then died.
My tadpoles aren't doing well, there's only one left. And even though I was forewarned that they're hard to raise, it still makes me a little sad.
Speaking of Dirty Dancing, Jennifer Grey was in a short-lived sitcom about L.A. called it's like, you know, that I really enjoyed. But she had such radical rhinoplasty that she really didn't look like herself any more. She didn't look bad, but I think her nose was kind of her signature, and after that, her career didn't seem the same.
I miss going out dancing with NSA a lot. We used to go out clubbing at least a couple of times a month. I miss not dressing up in fabulous clothes and shaking my ass in a gorgeous place with fun people; staying in on Friday nights makes me feel old and boring.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Peter Scolari Syndrome

What, you might ask, is Peter Scolari Syndrome (PSS)? Good question. You might recognize the name, particularly if you're a fan of Bob Newhart. But maybe not, not in the way you recognize, say, Tom Hanks, who is a cultural icon on par with Jimmy Stewart. And that's where PSS comes in, since once upon a time in the early '80s, these two young actors starred in a sitcom together. Neither of them had much success before the show, and both of them have had acting careers. It's just that in 1993, Tom Hanks had his Oscar-winning role in Philadelphia, while Peter Scolari starred in Infected (also titled Ticks, a horror movie about, you guessed it, mutant ticks). I'm not dissing Peter, he's spent his adult life acting, which in itself is an amazing achievement, but you gotta wonder how he feels about Tom. Is he resentful, envious, a tad bitter, or is he just grateful that he's been able to spend his time doing what he loves? He appeared in That Thing You Do!, which was written and directed by Tom, so his resentment (if there is any) doesn't likely run too deep, but I think it must rankle him at least a little, to look back and think, Why him? Is he that much better than me? And I wonder if he blames his height, his mother, his first acting coach, or maybe just dumb luck.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Nasty Little BASTARD!

A few days ago, a client comes into my office and proceeds to chew my ass ROYALLY! Screaming and swearing and practically hopping up and down he's so angry. I'm rather flabbergasted at this rat's asshole, especially since his complaint is completely without merit, but I manage to keep it together, for about ninety seconds. Then I let loose on him, minus the swearing, and escort him out of my office. I was completely rude. After I shut the door in his face, I immediately called and left my supervisor a message to let her know what went on. Then, I called our lawyer just to make sure I was in the clear. The attorney was very reassuring, stating that even if the client's complaint was legitimate, that's no excuse for (dumping a pile of shit on me) abusive behavior, and that his actions were borderline criminal.
My supervisor returned my call, sounding a little nervous and saying that she'd have to talk to the higher-ups about the incident, which made me nervous and antsy, since I didn't feel like I'd done anything wrong, but sometimes you get fired even when you haven't done anything wrong. And so I waited to see how this would turn out, not sleeping well, reprimanding myself, and obliterating my right pinkie nail with my teeth.
Yesterday afternoon, I get a call, my supervisor wants to see me in her office first thing in the morning. And I'm thinking this is not a good sign. Usually we communicate through phone and email, a face-to-face meeting is rare. So I get to her office and she does this thing where she looks you over from head-to-toe, not subtly I might add, and either says "You look nice today," or says nothing at all, which you can take to mean she thinks cat puke looks better than what you're wearing. This day, she likes my outfit. And then she wants to chat, haven't seen you in a while, how's the family, blah, blah, blah. And the whole time, I'm just waiting for the axe to fall. But it doesn't. Instead of the write-up or, at the very least, verbal reprimand that I was expecting (and sort of felt I almost deserved), she tells me that she's sending a letter to the client about how abuse of the associates will not be tolerated and if he doesn't behave civilly in the future, then he can take his business elsewhere. YESSSSS!! Score one for me against the little shitheads of the world. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to provoke the Napoleonic douchebag into going off on me again so that I won't have to deal with his vile self any more.