Ever get annoyed? Ever feel like someone needs to be told where the dog died? Or handed a crowbar and a tub of Elbow Grease to help them pry their head out of their arse? Congratulations--you've come to the right place.

And when I'm not commenting on the latest thing to piss me off, I'm trying to figure out my own twisted life. Because, hey, I'm like that.

On a gentler note: for anyone dealing with depression, anxiety, and other assorted bullshit: You are NOT alone.

And if you're looking for a laugh, search on the key word "fuckery." It's just my little thing (as the bishop said to the actress).

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shame of the Scion...

... Or, Connecticut is the Asshole of the Northeast

Greetings from East Bumfuck, PA. After almost nine hours (eight hours and forty-five minutes, to be exact, from the Prime gas station at the corner of School & Summer streets in Somerville to the middle-of-friggin-nowhere AND WHY THE FUCK AREN'T THERE ACCURATE STREET SIGNS, GODSFUCKINGDAMMIT, AND STREETLIGHTS! WHERE ARE THE FUCKING STREETLIGHTS?!?!?!? central Pennsylvania), on the road, I have arrived at KJ's place, three hours later than I predicted and 2.5 hours later than she predicted.

All because of Connecticut.

Fucking Connecticut. It is the BANE of my existence. The best things that have come out of Connecticut have left it (and include several lovely people whom I know). This is the first time I have ever been foiled, well and truly FOILED in my travels by an entire state. I mean, I have dealt with the drama of domestic airline travel (two words: lost luggage), but this is the first time when traveling via car I have ever, ever, EVER been delayed THAT badly. I mean, I am the Scion of the Massachusetts Satellite--I am Speed Racer, I am a demon on wheels (but a safe one! I always use my turn signals and say thank you when someone gives me a break).

But Connecticut... Argh. How the fuck can a state that connects major metropolises--Boston and *gak* New York--HAVE ONLY THREE LANE FUCKING HIGHWAYS?!?!?! WHAT GENIUS DECIDED THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA??!? Seriously. Three-lane highways. Some of which go down to TWO lanes around major metropolitan areas.

This is sheer fucking stupidity.

BTW, in case I haven't explained the whole "Massachusetts Satellite" thing... that was the nickname my father gave to my mother's father, Jack. He drove like a fucking maniac--I have (very bad) memories of his driving... him going so fast up Route 2, his Ford Grand Torino was shaking like it was having an epileptic fit; "GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY!" his eternal battle cry... Yeah. Well, I have his attitude--although my battle cry is, "GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY, YOU IMBECILIC SON OF A CUNT!" (Yeah, I know... I am a delicate flower of femininity, especially behind the wheel.) I definitely drive with his turn of speed, but I have a little more common sense. I think.

Anyway, it's sod-all embarrassing to take an extra 2.5 hours for a 6.5 hour drive. It's just NOT DONE, at least when you're me.

I do have ONE positive thing to say about Connecticut--the service I got at the Sbux off of exit 14 off of Route 84 south was excellent. (The coffee sucked, but you can't have everything, I guess, and I almost got t-boned by a rich bitch in a Caddie who was too important to pay attention to the stop sign in the parking lot. She had so much hairspray in, you could have bounced a brick off of her head and not done any damage.) Was awesome to know that the Sbux locator app I downloaded to my phone works like a charm.

Anyway, I am here in PA for a few days to hang, party and spend time with my best friend and godson before returning to the rat race.

I may have to consider taking the bus to the Jim Jefferies show.

Wait. No fucking way am I trusting my safety to another driver. And not after the NYC experience. Guess I'll have to drive through Connecticut again. This time, perhaps, with explosives...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Few Words On Being a Fat Chick (At Least for Now)

Note: Written around 3:00 a.m. on 29 Dec 2010; later on, I DID go to Planet Fitness and join; I have a training appointment next Wednesday morning once I'm back in Boston. GO ME! *wiggles bum*

Wow, the past three days have been weird. I’ve been in Writer Land which means writing until five or six a.m., sleeping all day, waking up, checking FB & Twitter, eating, putting on the headphones, playing a few games on the lappie, and then writing and editing, repeat… The blizzard that dropped a foot and a half plus of snow on the area gave me a good excuse, too, not to venture out, but the snow’s cleared, I have many, many chores to accomplish, and a trip to take on Thursday, so back to normal. Well, what passes for normal with me.

I’ve been playing with this blog post for a while; I’m coming up on the second anniversary of my surgery at the end of January, and being me, I’m evaluating my progress. I’m considering the idea of eventually turning this blog into a memoir thingie… possibly using bits of it for the one-woman show, as the old script is good, but dated, at least in its political content. Who knows? I have to get the querying done on Broom Closet first, once the agents reopen in January. FIRST PRIORITY (artistic, at least).

One of the themes that comes up in Broom Closet (because, honestly, Becca is just another aspect of me—she’s me if I had chosen to go the academic route all those years ago, and the acerbic voice you hear in this blog is pretty much the voice the Kinsale novels are written in) is her size. Now, Rebecca is not as large as I am, but because she’s in theatre and is NOT Vogue-tiny, she has definite body image issues. She’s about the same size as Kate Winslet in Titanic—think full-bloom English rose plus about 25 to 30 pounds—Victorian ideal, not quite Rubenesque, but definitely not American False Standard.

So the whole fat thing has been on my mind. Because while I am all about accepting and loving myself for who I am, I am also about being brutally honest and not falling into the Fat Acceptance trap. Because it is a trap and a load of horseshit.

I finally caught up with Jim and Eddie’s podcasts; with the holidaze, I’d downloaded but not had a chance to listen to episodes 4 and 5. So wrong… those two are just so FUCKING WRONG. Beautifully, horribly, piss-y’self-funny WRONG. Who knew Jim Jefferies is a comic book geek? And a Marvel boy, at that.

I am utterly amused.

One of the constant themes of the podcast is the weight issues of their hapless couch squatter, Jason. Jason’s around 260; no clue how tall he is; not the healthiest weight, and considering that Eddie is in fabulous shape, and Jim is definitely height/weight proportionate, Jason takes a lot of shit about his size. (It’s sad, actually—feel for the guy, but at the same time, totally understand why the guys fuck with him. The kid has talent and needs to get it together.)

Now, I am NOT small. Almost two years post-surgery, over 100 pounds have come off, and I’m shooting for at least another 100 before the end of this year (and after shoveling out the car from under a foot and a half of wet, heavy, post-blizzard snow, I’m happy to see the upper body strength has not diminished as much as I thought; ditto on the endurance. Huzzah!). I’m not a big fan of fat jokes—never have been, never will be. I find most of them incredibly, horribly mean and ugly, and I don’t like them. Partly because I see myself in them (whether it’s true or not), partly because I fear the other person sees me in them, and partly… yeah, they’re just mean.

I’ve mentioned (I think) that the one fat joke I’ve ever laughed at is from Jim Jefferies’s I Swear to God DVD—the bit about his mother. The joke is cruel—abso-fucking-lutely cruel—but hysterical because of the set-up: the chair. The Throne of Misery. (I have a story I’ll share with y’all later about my grandfather [actually have outlined a few Jack stories]; the inaugural one is going to be about the Day We Destroyed the Throne of Power. Picture three adults, a crowbar, an axe, a handsaw, and a Craftmatic recliner.)

Fat isn’t an easy issue. It’s really easy to pass judgment—the Fat = Lazy stereotype. I wish it was that simple. I know my story; I know all of the factors—some of them beyond my control, some of them completely within my control. What it boils down to for a lot of people is a combination of factors: medical, emotional, personal, physical, and environmental. The medical encompasses everything from prejudiced doctors (and if you think I’m kidding…), to inadequately tested drugs, to missed diagnoses, to improperly treated conditions. Emotional… abuse is the common factor in weight issues, whether you’re dealing with obesity or the other side. Rape is a major factor for women. Physical… again, undiagnosed or improperly diagnosed conditions, bad food (the FDA needs to be dismantled; ditto for the American food industry; READ YOUR LABELS, people, and if you can’t pronounce, DON’T EAT IT; the rise of the “obesity epidemic” can be directly connected to the rise of the pre-processed food industry); lack of exercise. Environmental… pollution, tainted food, tainted water, improper education, lack of access to good food (whether because of location or economic factors). Christ, it’s ridiculous. There’s a reason why I dream of owning a self-sustaining B&B/artists colony in Nova Scotia—I want to know where the hell my food is coming from. Sheesh.

All that being said, I am NOT making excuses for obesity. The bottom line is that every one of us is responsible for educating ourselves and taking care of our bodies. And taking responsibility for our lives.

This is also why I’m not a fan of the Fat Acceptance movement because honestly, it’s bullshit.
NOT because it’s a bad thing to accept yourself and your flaws—that’s a necessity. I hate our superficial, media-driven culture; I would love to see the women’s magazine industry get pulped—it does far more harm than good between pushing the crap nutrition, fake sex information, garbage fashion, and every #@$%^&*() fad diet known to man because hey, they’re in the pocket of their advertisers: the food industry (and check the labels on most of the shit they advertise and you’ll see why there’s an obesity epidemic in this country; ditto on ADD & ADHD, and probably most of the depression-related illnesses; one of these days, I will blog about food and healthy eating because it’s an obsession of mine), the drug industry (because, hey, we all need drugs! The legal ones, at least), the collectibles industry (because who doesn’t need the latest piece of Thomas Kincaide merchandise!), and feminine hygiene products. Oh, and make-up. Don’t forget the make-up.

*slams head on the desk*

I came of age in the 80’s, the most superficial decade of the 20th century. From the time I hit high school in 1981 up until I got into acting school in 1991, I wouldn’t go outside the door without makeup. And we won’t discuss clothes. Gaining weight had one positive influence on me: I got over the whole obsession with designer names and got more into quality. Legs had to be shaved at least twice a week; ditto on the pits. EVERYTHING had to be PERFECT. PERFECT. FLAWLESS. Because, dear Gods, I was so flawed.

These days… well, I don’t always remember the makeup, I will sometimes wear my glasses to work, and remember to shave about twice a month (more in the summer, obviously, and if there’s regular sex in the offing, because hey, there are some things that are just important). I’m always clean, always smell good (yummy, usually, thank you Lush), and dress if not for the runway, at least appropriately for the library. When I go out, I doll up. But not for work.

I grew up being told how pretty I’d be “if you would just lose weight.” This is not good for the self esteem. What really pissed me off was seeing a pic of myself at age 7 in my Brownie uniform (yeah, I was a Girl Scout; yes, I sold cookies; LEAVE IT ALONE): I was almost a foot taller than the younger cousin standing next to me (who was only 2 years younger) and there wasn’t an ounce of fat on me. I was big, yeah—tall, big frame, wide shoulders, etc., but so not fat. The fat didn’t come until I broke my leg at age 11, and that was going when I got into high school. Things took a turn for the worse (I’ve told my tragic story—excuse me, need to wipe up the sarcasm I’ve dripped all over the keyboard—before), the weight came back, dealt with a doctor on the take trying to force me on to a liquid diet that in part contributed to the kidney disease my mother is fighting right now and who refused to treat the thyroid disorder, went another 8 years, lost a baby, nearly died from the asthma, multiple lung infections treated with steroids—oh, prednisone, how I hate you—body systems out of control, yeah. In short, I gained more than double my body weight over the course of twenty years, woke the fuck up and said, hey, I’m gonna die if I don’t do something about this! got into a gastric bypass program (note, I said PROGRAM), did the homework and the groundwork, changed my eating habits, changed some of my thinking habits (some of them… it’s like being an alcoholic or a drug addict, there are addictive behaviors and ways of thinking that are a lifetime struggle to keep under control; sometimes you stay clean, sometimes you fall), and the weight has come off.

One of the things that I realized during this process is how some of my issues weren’t really my issues to begin with—they were my mother’s and the other women’s around me, but because I was a Nice Fat Girl suffering from severe Fat Girl Syndrome, I’d internalized their issues and made them mine. Which meant I had change my way of thinking about myself and my life. (See comment about addictive behavior.)

It’s not easy. Nothing worth having ever is, honestly. I’m pissed about some things—the fact that I currently live in a house with someone so completely unself-aware that she has no clue about the damage she’s doing to herself and attempting to do to me. I cannot tell you how many times I have talked her out of takeout—deep fried crap that leaves her sick every time (and me, vomiting. I have realized that the only Chinese place I can eat these days is Changsho or Asiana Fusion, and even then, I’m going to have to be careful). I can’t go near Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFried, Taco Bell, or any of those places (couldn’t do them before surgery, either, but it’s worse now). I can’t touch anything with high fructose corn syrup, high fat, high sugar—forget it. I even have to be careful with steak. Trying to explain this to my mother is like talking to a small child. And she keeps buying crap food and complains about the prices at places like Trader Joe’s. And yet… she loves my cooking. And doesn’t get sick from it. *shakes head* Whatever. I can’t understand how someone could go from being over 300 pounds down to 150, drop from a size 28/30 to a 10/12, and still act and think like she’s big as a house.

It brings me down, but I’m fighting it.

Now, I’m going into what I consider the “final” phase—the serious toning and conditioning, the weight lifting stuff I love so much and have missed. I know I’m beautiful; I know I’m hot. Gimme another year, and I’m going to have a body that shows it.

Why? Because a) I am sooooooooooooo vain. I really am. I LOVE being checked out. Nothing makes me feel better than a man checking out my tits. Seriously. One of the biggest ego lifts I’ve had recently happened a couple of months ago when a friend I hadn’t seen in years could NOT STOP checking me out, and this guy—who is so NOT a pig—could not stop looking at the Girls, cradled in a very sexy bra under a flattering shirt, all natural and still lovely. One of the best memories I have of Brit Boy #5 happened in Sbux last January; I made a comment about being hot (meaning temperature wise), and he looked me up and down, grinned, and said, “Yes, you are.” I do miss that man… every inch of him. And, no matter that I’ve let the performing slide, the bottom line is that I AM AN ACTOR. Worse, I’m a SHAKESPEAREAN actor—ham, thy name is Hamlet! And no one, no one, no one is going to cast a fat, 43-year-old neurotic except as a sidekick, and FUCK THAT. I am NO ONE’s sidekick, Batman. (Did I mention I’m an egomaniac?) I like being front and center, and while I am never going to be a size 4 (and never want to be; *shudder* with my frame, I’d look like I belong in a concentration camp photo), I know I can carry a size 16 with utter grace and dignity and will need to beat the men away. Even at this size, I still get hit on when I turn on The Shine.

I also like pretty clothes—HOT clothes. Pegged jeans. Low-cut blouses. Sexy, push-up bras. Leather boots with a nice little heel to them. Hey, I said I came of age in the 80’s; my tastes are a cross between 80’s hair metal, punk and goth with a heavy dash of the New Romantics in there; add the fact that I’ve been designing costumes for Shakespeare productions, Ren faire garb, and living history, I have a pretty eclectic sense of fashion that is so seriously stylish and sexy. And people, let’s be honest here—there are just some things a fat woman SHOULD NOT wear. Tube tops. *shudder* Belly shirts. *gak* SHORT skirts. *puke* Tight leather dresses. *choke* A little jiggle is one thing; however, if your body resembles a stack of Jello, DON’T EXPOSE MORE FLESH THAN NECESSARY! At least in public. It’s just not dignified.

Funny story (well, I think it’s funny)—I was driving one summer afternoon and coming through Union Square. I had someone else in the car (don’t remember who, but it was another chick). Now, Somerville Ave in Union Square in Somerville, for anyone who hasn’t driven through it, goes from two lanes at the lights by SCAT to three and then to four, all in the space of about 20 yards. If you’re coming around the corner, taking a left into this mess, it goes from four lanes going one way to four lanes going two ways, and then widens and narrows. In heavy afternoon traffic, you’re dealing with stupid pedestrians, buses, cop cars, fire trucks, 18-wheelers, taxis, and a lot of other drivers. Getting over into the right lane is not the easiest proposition, but I managed to do it.

And got honked at and heard the asshole honking yell, “Get in the right fucking lane, YA FAT BITCH!”

WRONG thing to say to me. I turn (it was summer and my windows were down) to yell something appropriately nasty to the bastard (because I HAD used my turn signal) and promptly laughed and said, “Who you callin’ fat, you tubby-assed ugly mother fucker!” because in the car next to me is sitting this FAT bastard—and I mean FAT, FAT, FAT tubby schlub with tits as big as mine wearing a TANK TOP—not a nice tank top, either, but a fucking white ribbed Hanes out-of-a-pack-of-three tank top, his rolls of fat spilling over the tops of whatever was covering his ass, and—the piece de resistance—A FUCKING BURGER KING WHOPPER DRIPPING SAUCE AND SHREDS OF LETTUCE IN HIS OTHER HAND.

AND HE LOOKED AT ME LIKE I WAS NUTS! I mean, this sonofacunt was EASILY as heavy as I was, and HE was calling ME fat? I BEG YOUR FUCKING PARDON, SHITHEAD? I mean, c’mon, even at my heaviest, I could find my cunt; you can’t tell me he could stand up to piss because there was no way, even if he was packing long, he could find his dick in all that.

And he was calling me fat.

“You better put down that sammich and get yourself a salad, FAT BOY,” I said. “And think before you open your mouth.”

The friend sitting next to me (like I said, don’t remember who it was except that it was one of my skinny, pretty friends) was staring at him and laughing.

I think that made him cry.

Cruel? Yeah. It was. But the fucker asked for it. I really have never understood that double standard—the fat guys who think they are smooth, hot and irresistible as-is, and yet feel they have every right to criticize women who aren’t even half their size. I love it when one of them tries to pull that shit on me. Love it. Because yes, I have made more than one of them cry. Or at least impotent for several weeks. Hypocrites… I so love to fuck with them.

But I digress.

The other reason—the IMPORTANT reason—I want to drop the weight is for my health. I was out shoveling for a good hour. I needed my asthma inhaler when I got in. OK, granted, it was 9th Circle cold out there, and I’d shoveled out a fucking Buick from under at least 18” of snow. The driver’s side, I might add—the side with the frozen, plowed-in snow. PLUS I cleared part of the driveway so St. Teresa can actually get from the house to the car. (Because I am NOT picking her ass up off the sidewalk. It’s great that I can deadlift 150 pounds; I just don’t NEED to deadlift 150 pounds of parent.) My back is NOT hurting right now. My arms aren’t hurting. I’m actually feeling pretty damn good after that little workout. Let me take a nice, long, hot shower and I’ll feel like a million fucking bucks. THAT is an ego boost; the knees have been giving me major gyp of late, and to be able to shovel and only be a little wheezy is AWESOME.

HOWEVER… I’m not out of the heart attack zone yet. I’m not fully out of the diabetes zone yet. I’m getting towards the age when they’re going to do mammograms every year, and breast cancer runs in my family. It’s hard enough to find a lump in a DD tit; I don’t need to make it any harder for them. I LIKE my tits—I don’t want to lose one to cancer, thanks. I don’t want to deal with the asthma again; I am hoping to have a child, and considering how I lost the last one—I caught a cold which turned into a lung infection; because my asthma wasn’t being correctly treated, my lungs started to shut down, and I ended up in the hospital for four days and lost the baby 11 days later. What I didn’t know at the time is that, during pregnancy, a woman’s immune system is compromised because so much of her body’s energy is going towards feeding and protecting the growing baby. I want my body in ultimate shape not only to have a healthy pregnancy (because at my age, it’s chancy enough), but also because any child issuing from these loins is going to be a demon.

I know this. I was a demon as a child (yeah, yeah, still am, I know); I am not attracted to boring men, either, so you know that the two highest qualifications for a potential partner are going to be intelligence and humor. If he doesn’t make me laugh and think, I don’t care how pretty he is. Combined with my intelligence, etc., this will mean there’s a good chance the resulting offspring will be genius-level intelligent. Evil genius level intelligent. (Or thoroughly retarded; who knows? It’s such a crapshoot.) I will need to be in tiptop shape to be able to keep up with the little bastard (and the way I’m going and the way I’m feeling about relationships… yeah, nuff said). I was walking before I was a year old. Running, I should say. I guess I didn’t even bother with creeping/crawling—I wanted to MOVE. When we lived in Missouri when I was two, I brought home animals—not sweet things like bunnies and kittens, but BIG things like killer German Shepherds and runaway horses. With ZERO fear. And considering that I refuse to be a helicopter parent—my little demon will do things like play in the dirt, build forts, and do things that I won’t find out about until much later because she/he will be intelligent enough to know that if she/he wants to continue to enjoy childhood, they better NOT tell me what exactly they’re getting up to. I was a bit of a ringleader, too—always thought up really cool games to play. Not safe, but cool. Yeah.

What does all this have to do with the Fat Acceptance movement? Well, like I said, the important reason I want to continue to lose/tone/shape up is for my health. I know that my thighs are never going to be perfect and slim. I know this. My ass… even if I go down to my “optimum” weight/BMI, my ass is going to be like my tits—a double handful. Or, as one of my muscle boy friends like to put it, a “cushion for the pushin’.” Which is FINE. I’m good with that—I like my sex to end rough. My nose is a bit too long, I have a little gap in my front teeth, and I’m missing the right index finger tip. I’m good with it. My white hair I cover up with Lush henna—glop it on, let it sit for a couple of hours, soak in the tub, wash it out… Lovely, soft, fairly natural looking auburn glow restored. My skin is in fairly good shape, thanks to Lush. My face… it’s my face. I like it. I’ll keep it. I like my eyes, too, despite the fact I’m blind as a bat. Feet are too big, but I can wear hi tops again, so I’m cool. And with the exception of Edwad, NO MAN has ever complained about my skills in bed—those with the balls to get beyond the tough bitch exterior have discovered a ready, eager and happy wench. And on the occasions I’ve gotten it wrong, I’ve been sweet enough to ask how to make it right. Because I am intelligent and genuinely enjoy getting my partner off.

I accept my flaws; I’m good with them. What I dislike about the current state of my body is about what it’s preventing me from doing—fucking hot, younger men; being able to chase a small child around; acting, performing and directing; and generally getting into very active trouble. I’ve never been “sporty,” but I do enjoy playing. Being too heavy prevents this. My knees can’t take running right now which really pisses me off because I LIKE to run. I like to do stupid things like play Frisbee. I’d like to try snowboarding. Not rollerskating. One broken leg is enough. And not bicycling—not here, at least. Trail riding, maybe. But not city cycling. I wouldn’t mind giving rock climbing a go; used to love that as a kid. If my lungs can handle the ocean again, I’d even like to try surfing.

In short, I want live life to the fullest. My birth certificate may say I’m 43, but my soul knows I’m still 16. I want my body back so I can live like that.

All of these people I see in reports on Fat Acceptance are NOT healthy—they are NOT able to live life to the fullest. They have serious health issues; they are in pain. Their lives are in danger because of their size.

And the people who “love” them… *shudder* Please. I have no issue with a man who likes a “real woman” or a woman with curves, or whatever euphemism you want to put in here. I do have an issue with chubby chasers—y’know, the guys who like really fat women. As you can imagine, I’ve known a fair few of ‘em, and honestly, I don’t like ‘em. Why? Because they’re either looking for a victim or a mother (or both). They’re looking for a woman with zero self esteem to take their shit out on her. I was married to an avowed chubby chaser; I’ve been involved with a few others. I’ll pass.

The women who go after fat men aren’t any better, either. I knew someone who specifically went for heavy men because they made her look so much prettier—because they had a man with zero self esteem who thought he was the luckiest guy in the world to have a pretty girl as his own, and he’d do anything to keep her, including give up his dignity, self respect, and his (metaphorical) sac.


Used to have friends like that, too—skinny chicks with zero self esteem who liked having a fat friend around because she looked so much better by comparison. Until, of course, the men realized I was the smarter, funnier, and more talented person, but I still didn’t get the guy because hey, they’d rather bang the skinny chick even though she treated him like shit and couldn’t give a blow job worth a damn.

So, I’m going to the gym this morning. Because, while I do love my gorgeous fabulous self and am perfectly capable of shoveling all that snow, I’d rather snare me a hot, younger babe to do it for me, and no way is that going to happen at this size. Besides, the gym… muscles… lots of sweet, sweaty muscles…

What do you expect from me? ALTRUISM?

A final note about the gastric bypass: a lot of magazine time was given to some famous folks who had this surgery. Some of them have been successful, some of them haven’t. This is how it goes with weight loss surgery. I was lucky—I considered it back in 2001 and didn’t go through with it (had a baaaad feeling about it; turned out that the first hospital I considered had a lot of unreported deaths from complications). I reconsidered in 2008 and this time, went to my mother’s surgeon. The program I went through took about a year from the first phone call to the surgery. I had to go through not only the hospital’s program—which involved visits to a nutritionist, a psychiatric evaluation, physical, multiple tests on my heart, liver, and everything else, attending the monthly support group, and visits to the surgeon to monitor my weight loss progress (damn little—my weight yo-yo’ed the entire time I was in the pre-surgery program)—but my insurance company also required enrollment in their program that involved biweekly phone calls with a life coach. Yeah. Overkill, but at the same time, not because not all hospitals have a program. The program is the key to success; the support group, the commitment, knowing that there is someplace to go for information and help if you’re feeling overwhelmed and alone. I don’t make it to a lot of the post-surgery meetings; my bad on that one. I get frustrated with repetition of information and the cliques, and honestly, I have really had enough of hospitals over the past six months. (Yep, there are cliques. Put more than ten people in a room, a clique will form.) Again, I was lucky—I went to the surgeon who is one of the pioneers of this surgery. He’s bloody amazing—a tough sonofabitch and quite possibly the most compassionate, committed, decent human being I’ve ever met. Thanks, Dr. Randall. You saved my life.

And if anyone reading this wants information or a recommendation, ping me. If you’re in the Boston area, go to Lawrence Memorial in Medford—their team is the BEST—all of your information is coordinated and shared so that none of the team is in the dark about your treatment and where you are in the process (surgeon, nutritionist, psychiatrist, office staff, hospital staff—finest care ANYWHERE). I was treated with consistent respect and compassion, a rare thing in the medical world.

The Glamour of Writing

Note: written on the evening of 28 Dec 2010, prepping to edit...

Random observation: Dave Grohl is a fucking god.

The above observation has been made because I am listening to the Foo Fighter’s Greatest Hits as I prep to write. I should say, as I work through my pre-writing anxiety attack. Because I get anxiety attacks many, many times before I start writing. Not a “GIMME A XANAX!” kind of anxiety attack (usually, although I had one of those last night because I REALLY jacked up Broom Closet a few notches; great stuff, but a bit taxing on the psyche). This is why I need music before and while I write—it works me through whatever is making me nuts, almost a bit like hypnosis. I have a few artists/CDs that I write to—the soundtrack to Queen of the Damned is really excellent for writing Rebecca. It sums her up in so many ways (although, seriously, that bit in the middle of “Down with the Sickness” is just EMBARRASSING; great song otherwise, but… *sigh*). The Foo Fighters are also good. My workout mix is pretty good because there’s a lot of angry, rhythmic stuff on there. I have a habit of getting stuck on a certain song and just playing it over and over again (the Foo’s “Long Road to Ruin”—Gods, I love that song).

I am currently huddled in my dining room, lappie set up at one end of the table under the Xmas tree (don’t ask), and freezing my arse off. According to the Weather Channel, there is approximately 19” of snow outside. Argh. SHOOT ME! After an incredibly healthy dinner (decision to eat healthier is happening: demolished a pile of Sorrento salad mix with just a touch of Raspberry Vinaigrette, half of a single tomato puff pastry pizza, a tangerine—why are they so more-ish? swear I could eat five of ‘em at a sitting if my stomach and common sense would let me—and a cup of chicken soup; I really can’t live anywhere I can’t get to a Trader Joe’s), I’m at the keyboard with a couple of pieces of homemade peppermint bark and a trenta (thank the Gods for Via—no fucking way I am venturing out today). Eddie Ifft sent out a twit today that is making me itch to get back in the gym (bought some toning bands and workout equipment last week, so once I clear out the big space in my room, I have some room to actually EXERCISE REGULARLY. Body is screaming for it—a GOOD thing. I will be really, really happy if I can get another 50 pounds off before April, and another 100 before my b-day).

My writing ensemble is very glamourous—navy blue sweats, thermal undershirt, navy blue fleece shirt, lime green fuzzy socks (thank you, Vicki!), fleece carpet slippers, forest green fleece bathrobe (dotted with cat fur clumps—Piddy likes to sleep on it when I’m at work) wrapped around my back and legs, lime green fleece throw over the gap in the chair back to block the draft, grey Red Sox hoodie zipped up to my chin, and black half gloves with Jack Skellington grinning at me. Oh, and hair shoved up in a pony tail (think the scrunchy is hot pink), glasses (can’t wear contacts if I’m going to be staring at the screen unrelenting for an eight hour stretch), and yellow rubber duckie earbuds stuck in my ears to block out the world and keep the music in.

Shit. Have to go and fetch my bottle of water from my room. Can’t work without hydration—the coffee doesn’t count. Meds & cell phone to the right of the lappie, USB cord for the Zune to the left (on top of the CD case for QOFTD), box of tissues just past that, emergency chocolate for the 1:00 a.m. slump under the tissues, and more tangerines, apples and cheese in the kitchen for the 4:00 a.m. refueling. Right. Now, just to fetch the water and the Carmex (nothing more distracting and annoying than chapped lips), and I can get writing.

After I finish typing this, have a bit of peppermint bark, drink some coffee, and play a couple rounds of Chuzzle.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It Is Accomplished

For the record, at 5:28 a.m. E.S.T., I finished the rewrite/edit of One Flew Out of the Broom Closet.

I am exhausted. I am PSYCHED. I am also incredibly proud of the work. I feel like I am at the top of my game as a writer-the work is strong, intelligent, exciting, and funny. It's a DAMN goof story, the single most important factor-it's compelling, unique, and told in the voice of a character whom I truly love.

I can't wait for people to read this novel. I can't wait to write the next one. Well, i can wait a few hours because I am falling asleep as I tap this on my 'droid.

G'night, my cherished darlings. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Adult ADD, Thy Name Is Empress

Editing is going.

I really want to get One Flew Out of the Broom Closet finished & get querying. AND I want to get cranking on the sequels. Becca, Get Your Broom has been started, and i wrote so much for book 3 years ago; just need to change the voice and update the characters a bit.

The problem is that I have other projects I want to work on. And I just realized I forgot to call Ferd about the logo and website yesterday. Shit.

I've been designing clothes again (on paper, at least), and finally unearthed my pattern stash & dressmaking dummy. I miss working with my hands-miss sculpting & sewing.  And i want my wardrobe back to being flash.

But I am NOT making another wedding gown. *shudder*

One was enough.

And i want a proper silk shirt. Seriously. Something really 18th century flavored, something William Richardson would covet. I'd like a proper captain's coat to go with it.  I'm thinking sage green... or peacock blue... and I would REALLY like to create an outfit like the ensemble at the of Alice in Wonderland... Gods, the costumes in that film...

OK, back to editing and getting the first of the Kinsale Chronicles put to bed.  Maybe i'll do some sewing tomorrow... after shoveling out. And laundry. And all the other stupid chores. Argh.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Cookin' Up a Storm!

So let’s talk about the POSITIVE side of the holidays!

I have been doing a truckload of baking. I actually LOVE to cook and bake for other people. There is nothing happier for me than having someone gush over my cooking. Really. It’s a simple thing, a little thing, but there is something really satisfying about baking a really great cookie or cheese wafer or whatever, and having the recipient a) get excited about receiving homemade yummies, and b) later on, praising them. There is a real satisfaction in feeding people.

When I finally finish the cookbook (which is not a priority project—it’s an accumulating project because all of my recipes are mine, some of them from the ground up, some of them adapted from other people & enhanced, tweaked and just made better). My cooking talent is inherited, both genetically from my great-grandmother Lyons (“she was five-by-five, and had a left on her…” who came to the U.S. from Newfoundland as a cook on her father’s fishing boat) and osmosis from my Nana Risley (my dad is adopted, but I learned to love food in her tiny galley kitchen in northern Missouri. I knew I was a great cook the day I tasted one of my sugar cookies, and it was better than hers. One of these days I’ll develop the intestinal fortitude to attempt a proper fruit pie from scratch. Her pies… OMFG... her PIES… ULTIMATE comfort food for me because it brings her back for just a few bites).

This is the time of year that I bake up a storm. This year, I did snickerdoodles for the first time (thanks to Heather, who told me they were just sugar cookies with cinnamon. Not bad, actually—I’m not too fussed on cinnamon, but they were good); mint chocolate chips (although my recipe didn’t come out like it usually does. They were good, but not as good as I’m used to coming out of my oven); chocolate (and chocolate pecan) banana bread; peppermint bark (a mix of milk, bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate… none of that grease called “white chocolate” PAH!); and the piece de resistance, violet shortbreads. I have discovered my newest favorite ingredient (and finally bought myself a pastry blender—the old “two knife” method of incorporating butter and flour just ain’t cuttin’ no more). Violet syrup from France… *dreamy smile* OMFG… the shortbreads were a masterpiece.

And, of course, my cheese wafers. I still have to make another batch of cheese wafer dough. People don’t know how lucky they are that any get out of the house—I am covetous of those things. Utterly, utterly DELISH… Mind you, I use at least five different kinds of cheese in them and more cheese than the recipe calls for, because let’s face it, you’re eatin’ ‘em for the cheese, not the flour.

One of the last happy memories I have of my marriage happened in the kitchen. It was a Saturday night during the last six months Rick and I were together. I was experimenting with a wok and wonton wrappers—different fillings, savory and sweet. I was standing in the kitchen, in my grubby sweats—no underwear, no bra, hair shoved up in a pony tail, zero make-up, futzing back and forth from the table to the stove as I chopped, mixed, stuffed, sealed, prepped… all the crap that goes into cooking, and I looked up, my face furrowed in concentration, and happened to catch Rick just staring at me with a smile on his face. And I’m like, “What?”

“I love to watch you cook.”

“Well, yeah, of course—it means you’re getting a good meal.”

And he shook his head. “No, you are so beautiful when you cook.”

And I looked at him like he’d grown another three heads. “Are you serious?” I mean, I already told you guys what I was wearing. I’m sure I did not smell like a bouquet of roses—I mean, I’d had a shower that morning, but hot oil tends to make everyone around it smell like a fast food joint.

And he shook his head again and laughed. “Yeah, I’m serious. You get so into it—you focus so hard, and you just create… You LOVE to feed people. And you’re good at it, Lee. It’s so amazing. You’re so amazing.” And he took me in his arms—dripping hot wonton, sweaty sweats and all—and kissed me.

I may curse his memory, but I will always love him for that gift of a moment and a compliment from the heart. Whenever I think about shelving the cookbook, that memory comes back, and added to it are the piles of compliments that have come over the years from the folks who’ve had my cooking. I always love passing on a recipe (and yeah, I will keep my promise about posting the recipes from this year, as well as the Guinness mac & cheese once I finally get around to making it). A former co-worker (whom I really miss!) posted the loveliest compliment on FB last week—she still has the little cookbook I made up YEARS ago and uses the recipes.

The teacher in me comes out, too, when I write them up. There’s nothing I hate more than incomplete instructions—I think that’s why so many people get intimidated by the idea of making things from scratch, whether it’s cooking or crafting. Many of the books out there don’t give you ALL of the details, and let me tell you… details are important, especially if you’ve never done it before. I was lucky—I had a Nana whom I got to watch cook, and ditto my mother; I was introduced to the secret of good Italian bolognese sauce (or "gravy") by my childhood best friend's mother, may she rest in peace. I was sent to my first cooking class at age seven. And because I’m such a picky fucking eater (I am, I admit it, and the allergies and gastric bypass are only a part of it—I am FUSSY, Gods damn it, FUSSY about what I put in my body, and it had DAMN well better taste FABULOUS) I had to cook for myself from a very young age.

It also doesn’t help that I have a really highly developed sense of smell & taste—I am one of those “lucky” people who can taste something and analyze the spices. I can tell the difference in certain types of salt (Alea sea salt… *sigh* may I never eat a steak that is not graced with a light sprinkling of Alea sea salt…), a tomato ripened in a field vs. a greenhouse, a Pink Lady apple grown in New Zealand vs. Chile (Chile = #fail—BITTER!), and a Honeycrisp grown in New York or Vermont vs. one grown in Nova Scotia (NS = #WIN—gotta be a difference in the soil and pollution levels). I can tell the difference in quality of chocolate—Cadbury from England = bliss, whilst Cadbury from the U.S. (unless it’s been imported from Canada) = eh; which is why if you have one of my Christmas chocolates (my peppermint patties are legendary; still haven’t decided if I’m making them this year or not), you will have very happy taste buds and tummy. I don’t use those @#$%^&*( candy melts. They are CRAP—grease with chocolate flavoring. I use top quality choccie because dammit, I like to snack on them too!  My snobbery = #win for everyone.

We won’t get into me and cheese. Mmmmmmm… cheese. Cheese is one of the happiest foods on the planet. The last time I crashed up at Camp Atherton, I happened to have some Spanish Mahon cheese with me. Ferd and Laura had never tried it. They happened to have a beeeee-aaa-yoooooooteeeful tomato, the last of the summer tomatoes… OMG, that tomato… (Yes, I haunt the farmers market in July for the first of the summer tomatoes. Because with summer tomatoes comes tomato pie!) The three of us were having a foodgasm over the combination of that tomato and the Mahon cheese with a sprinkle of salt… Heaven. Bliss. In-fucking-credible. And made for a really happy memory, the sharing of really excellent food with incredible friends. One of the reasons I want to do book tours—I want to explore local food, find different tastes… I have more bookmarks in my web browser from magazine articles about some place in East Bumfiddle that makes an incredible jam from berries grown ONLY there, local cheese, a sausage speciality, bread, fruit, cheeeeeeese…

(Am currently munching on leftover chopped pecans… Food Nirvana, thy name is Trader Joe’s. My dessert after having some of the leftover white truffle mac & cheese from Tavern… I may have to invest in a bottle of white truffle oil. We’ll see how the Guinness mac & cheese comes out.)

And now… now I have to bottle up the ginger-infused plum cordial. And maybe start the pear cordial fermenting. Hmmmmmm… I wonder how that would mix with St. Germaine….

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Why is this my life?

Sorry, my blurking darlings, that I've neglected you this week. It has been a very rough one that has gone from unpleasant to awful to, just when it seemed all had turned a corner for the best, disastrous.

I left here last night around 3:00 a.m. after putting a bunch of stuff on ebay--the trip to PA that was cancelled is now happening. Huzzah! I get to see the fabulous KJ and my equally awesome godson, Hayden (and earn a gazillion points for being the coolest fairy godwitch on the planet--I know this because every guy I know to whom I have mentioned what I'm getting him has gotten this look on his face of complete, total envy and immediately transformed into a 5-year-old boy in front of me with lust for it--yes, the piccie above is Hayden's Xmas gift. Shhhhhh! Don't tell him!). So I need to raise a little dosh to pay for gas down and back, especially with Xmas pressies to buy next week.

I left here in a damn good mood--felt like I'd really accomplished something. Ten minutes later when I walked in the house, that mood evaporated. KABLAM! Why? Well, the cleaners were at the house yesterday. I had had a long chat with Bob, the guy who runs the service. We were clear--working in the kitchen. Getting the kitchen cleared.

Well, one guy worked in the kitchen. The other guy, however, worked in the dining room. An Amazon box with a very important present is missing. A SEALED Amazon box. I found things thrown, unorganized and without regard for damage, into crates--my webcam, for instance, was at the bottom of a crate with books and CDs piled on top of it. Fuck knows where the USB camera cable that was on the table has gone to.

The worst of it, and by far the most serious of this, is the fact that all of the research--all of the papers--that were on the table and in files at the end of the table--is gone. Research for my paper on Hamlet--the paper on Ophelia I've been toying with for two decades, what I was hoping was going to be my first ever conference presentation. Research for Richardson's War. ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT PAGES for at least three novels. Edits for the one-woman show. Research on the supernatural, paranormal, writing, ritual magic... research touching EVERY FUCKING GODSDAMNED THING I'M WORKING ON was thrown out. Without discretion. Thrown out.

Why? Because my mother told them that I am not taking this cleaning thing seriously, so they could work in the dining room. She denies saying this. Knowing what her memory is like, I'll take Bob's word.

I'm in shock right now. A bit numb. Been crying quite a bit today. I feel like I've been shot through with a cannon ball. I'm at the end of my tether. I blew up this morning--she threatened to hit me. I made it clear that if she hits me, she's going in the grave and I am going to jail. No one will EVER FUCKING HIT ME ever again. Especially as her utter daftness has driven me to the brink of a nervous fucking breakdown. (And for anyone who doesn't know me personally, I can put a fist through a wall easily. As a result, I do not use violence, and only strike others if struck first. It's an ethics thing.)

On Monday, I will have to stand guard over the mountain of trash bags in my driveway to make sure that Asshole doesn't put them to the curb. Because he will--to be spiteful. Asking him not to will not work--he's evil that way. And blames me for everything. She's pissed about the drum kit sitting in the living room; well, I can't carry a full-size set of drums over a 3' thick wall of laundry that has been piled chest high at the bottom of the stairs to the third floor. I can't move ANY of my things off of the first floor with those stairs being regularly, routinely blocked by Herself. She did this when I was living up there--would block the bottom of the stairs. I can't tell you how many times I almost broke an ankle climbing over her shit piled at the bottom.

My mother says she's never "run me down" to anyone; she says she's done a lot for me. What she doesn't see is all the horrible things she does TO me. And she thinks she's going back to a "normal" life soon. That once the house is cleared out and she moves into Elder Housing, she's going to be driving and doing everything she used to do.

*slams head on the desk*

She doesn't see how she's behaving; she doesn't accept that she has been thoroughly irrational, and that the reason I end up yelling is because she ignores me when I talk to her. She has admitted as much--"Oh, I always listen. I just choose to ignore you sometimes."

This is not a rational person's statement. Especially when what she chooses to ignore are things that directly impact her personal safety and health and well-being.


A little advice to anyone else out there dealing with an elderly parent (or a parent approaching being elderly): Cut off all communication, especially if they're not married or partnered. Move out of town, change your name, email address, phone numbers, and don't let them know where you are.

You'll thank me for this advice. I wish to fuck I'd taken it when I had the chance.

So, my goal for the next six months is to get Hell's Vestibule cleaned out; sell as much of my shit, give away, recycle and donate as much of my shit as possible. Get my finances in order. Finish the rewrite, find an agent, and polish up both my theatre and mundane resume. Anyone knows of awesome opportunities, let me know. I'm ready to do whatever--maybe get into event planning and management (because as my theatre resume and experience here proves, I am sooooooooooo fucking good), maybe look at getting into marketing and promotions, maybe get another library job, who the fuck knows? I'm done. I'm worn out, I'm spread too thin, and I am burnt out.

And I'm done. I am not playing politics in this office any longer; I am not dealing with manipulative middle schoolers masquerading as adults who need a good swift kick in the arse. I am not dealing with unnecessary bullshit from our "roommates" here who act like we're the evil landlord in a pantomime western, trying to swindle them and cheat them at every turn, when in reality they're stiffing us left and right and getting a sweet, nearly free ride whilst abusing the good nature and professional services of some very dedicated and lovely people (and yes, myself included). I am done with all of the passive-aggressive cowardice, the "Lesley way," that is SUCH BULLSHIT! I am done with the double-standard of treatment. I am done with the inadequate wages. I am done, done, done, done, done, so utterly fucking DONE.

And I am sick of whining at all of you about how miserable my life is.

So let's state a few POSITIVE things:

1. The lovely antiques dealer in North Cambridge still had the sewing machine I bought back in July that he graciously stored for the past five months. If you are looking for a good deal on lovely furniture, odd knickknacks, clothing, bits and bobs, go into All and Everything in North Cambridge on Mass Ave. LOVELY people, fair prices, good quality.

2. I am going to Pennsylvania in a week and a half. HUZZAH!

3. I will be returning to Nova Scotia in April. HUZZAH!

4. I am surrounded by incredibly lovely, lovely, kind, generous, gentle, caring and good people who when they see me in such distress, reach out with kind words, support, gentleness, and reassurance that I am a good person and worthwhile. And that my family are fucked in the head. Some days, you need to be told that you don't belong in the asylum because the inmates can make you crazy by association. Thank the merciful Gods for friends.

5. Despite feeling awful, I am NOT suicidal. THIS is incredible considering how down I was earlier in the week.

6. Did I mention I have awesome friends?

7. I was able to download all four of Jim & Eddie's podcasts to my lappie. This means I can listen to them while I'm baking tonight. It's the little things, as the bishop said to the actress.

8. Sbux. Dearest baristas, I love you for the jokes, the good cheer, and the coffee.

9. The Solstice is Tuesday. The sun will be coming back. Finally.

10. There are some great bids on my ebay stuff. I will have at least an extra $100 crucial dollars for my trip.

That's all I can think of right now. Not bad for someone who's been weeping all day.

I hope everyone else is having a better day. Really. I wouldn't wish this shit on anyone.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Learning to be Lonely...

Child of the wilderness
Born into emptinessLearn to be lonely
Learn to find your way in darkness
Who will be there for you
Comfort and care for you
Learn to be lonely
Learn to be your one companion
Never dreamed out in the world
There are arms to hold you?
You've always known your heart was on its own
So laugh in your loneliness
Child of the wilderness
Learn to be lonely
Learn how to love life that is lived alone
Learn to be lonely
Life can be lived
Life can be loved
Alone. - "Learn to Be Lonely," Phantom of the Opera

There are two songs going through my head right now... "Learn to Be Lonely" from Phantom of the Opera (yeah, yeah, I know I hate Andrew Lloyd Webber, but I'll give him a break for Phantom) and "Jane Says" from Jane's Addiction.

Just had what I hope is the last convo with Potential Paramour. I called him out. And he had a snit and signed out.

Which is fine with me.

Anyone reading this blog knows that sex is one of my main topics of interest. I love it; always have, from the first time I discovered how to make myself feel really good (it involved my backyard swingset when I was still in single digits). Sex--masturbation, fuck I hate that word--WANKING!--and occasionally, sex with another human--is probably the only time I enjoy being physically incarnate.

I've never been exactly healthy. From the time I was little, there have been a lot of physical ailments--whether allergies, bronchitis, injuries, depression-related crap, and then the weight problems (thyroid, arthritis, whatever)--and the only good things about being alive were being creative and having an orgasm.

Because I'm a curious person (in the sense that I am curious about things--I am curious in terms of being a bit of a curio, true), I want to know more about everything that affects me; I want to understand what makes me tick, and why I react to the world and others the way I do. The way I find out about stuff is to talk about it--directly to people, in this blog these days, whatever. The cool thing about the interwebs is that there are a lot of people out there and more ways to connect with them. I have a number of friends whom I have never met face-to-face, but whom I love dearly because via the wires, they have become key parts of my life. (To be honest, I have met most of them face-to-face; there are still a couple I haven't.) I have a few on-line fuck buddies, too--men who are good friends and occasionally, we get it on via IM or text or whatever because we are of the same mind about things, and for whatever other reason, a face-to-face relationship won't/can't work, but we are on the same groove level sexually, and it provides us with an outlet.

I'm not going to debate the "morality" of it. I'm just not. I can't. We have a connection, and we provide each other with a necessary release. I love these men for what they give me--a very private part of themselves that keeps me from losing all hope. What's passed between us has come from very serious, honest discussions about sex--very open, real and wonderful conversations. Now, I've been accused more than once of thinking too much like a guy (which baffles the shit out of me, but there you have it). Maybe it's true; I have a sense of honor that is much closer to a man's than the way most women operate. Maybe because I'm both a historian and a Shakespearean--my grounding is firmly in the past, in times when your word meant something, when Honor meant something real, rather than just a funny concept in books.

I also find sex hysterical--I find the dance that men and women do, quite frankly, ridiculous. I DON'T GET IT. If I tell a man he's hot, I mean it--I find him hot. What makes him "hot" to me isn't about his looks--well, not STRICTLY about his looks--it's about who he IS and how the whole package fits together. I'm not looking for some stupid storybook romance. I'm looking for a damn good friend I can share my life and my body with, and maybe, just fucking maybe, he and I can make each other's lives a little happier. I don't need perfection, I don't need Prince Charming--please, dear Gods, SPARE ME!--I just need someone with a sense of humor who can deal with my shit and who has the kind of shit that I can deal with. I don't give a damn about hard work--every relationship worth having, whether it's with a partner or a friend--requires hard work to keep it real and keep it working. The thing is, when someone matters to you, the work is WORTH it.

I have a very limited supply of hope left. See, Potential Paramour has been going on and on about us having an emotional and intellectual connection (his words, not mine), as well as a sexual one. *sigh* He's lonely, he wants love, he wants a partner, he wants he wants he wants he wants he wants...

Yeah. What fucking ever. HE wants. And he sporadically gets in touch--there's been a three-month-long IM convo going. I've blogged about it here and there, but I really couldn't take him seriously because well, it's been going on for three months without a phone number or a meeting, and the sporadic nature of his contact told me that I was his "fall back," not his main objective. Which is fine, but he keeps trying to corner me--nail my feet to the floor about a commitment.

Excuse me?

"You are not ready to be a wife."
"You are not ready to be a mother."

EXCUSE ME? The man who starts out a conversation with telling me that he's horny after I haven't heard from him in how long, and who pings me at 1:00 a.m. looking for IM sex, and he's telling me I'm not ready for serious commitment while trying to get to make a serious commitment without having met.

Yeah, right.

Now, I live on the outside of my skin in a lot of ways. There's some stuff I have no problem with people knowing about because hey, I think the whole lace curtain Irish shit is bullshit. Look at the state of the Catholic Church right now, and you KNOW it's bullshit. If you don't talk about the bad stuff, it keeps on happening. I talk about it when people do lovely things for me. I talk about how awesome my friends are (because they are). I don't talk about some stuff because it's private; there's information you need and information you don't, and that's that. When I tell a story, I don't tell people the stuff that I don't think they need to know.

Specific example: the Jim Jefferies review from NYC; there were a few comments, a bit of information, that I just didn't think should be shared. Nothing gossip-worthy, nothing career-impacting, just stuff I don't think anyone else needed to know. Just because he's a public figure doesn't mean every moment in public is for every member of public's consumption. It's like my view on charity--it's a private matter. No one needs to know what I give or how I give it. It's not charity if you're doing it for the laurels. And I'm sure as hell not going to i.d. my internet fuck buddies--what passes between us is a private matter. I don't give a damn what you know about my kinks--theirs, however, are a confidence.

Anyway, I am pretty open about what is going on in my life, particularly the struggle at home. It's difficult; I am dealing with an elderly parent whom I love but who has also taken over my life. Dear friends--GOOD friends, beloved friends, decent human beings--have told me to get the fuck out and leave her and my uncle to their own devices and demise, to take care of myself and forget about it. I cannot do that; I cannot abandon my mother. Whatever emotional abuse and pain she has inflicted on me over the years (and it has been horrible and awful, and there is a part of me that hates her passionately), while she emotionally abandoned me years ago because she was afraid of the child she brought into this world--afraid because I was everything she wanted me to be and so very much like her, yet without the horrible fetters her family put on her, and because she was afraid, she put fear in me... *sigh* In short, because my mother is human and didn't have herself for a parent, she made mistakes. Physically, she never abandoned me. Whenever I have needed something of a tangible nature, she has done her best to provide--a place to live when my ex took off (and when he came back, so she knew I was safe), and stuff... whether an extra $50 to get me through until payday, or paying for my drum kit (my Xmas pressie, Gods love her), she has been there.

That doesn't make any of this process easy. I want my life back. I want to be living on my own, as a functioning, independent adult, responsible only for myself and the things I WANT to do--like writing and performing. I want to be in a relationship, but how the fuck do I get involved with someone when I can't give the relationship 100%?

Now, I have been open with him about what's going on. There has been no information shared on his part. I know nothing about his family, nothing about his job, I know what town he lives in and that he has a roommate. Oh, and that he won't bring a woman back there because the walls are paper thin. *rolls eyes* Please.

So, after all this bullshit--and him saying that we hadn't met because we had no place to go afterwards and he didn't want to fuck me (his term, not mine) in a motel--and him pressuring me to tell him what I wanted and didn't I think we had potential, I threw down. I said, "Maybe. I won't know unless we meet."

And got the run-around and a lot of fucking excuses. He got pissed when I quoted his own words back to him. Made the point that he said he's not looking for a fuck buddy, but is never in regular contact. That he only gets in touch when he's horny. That I knew nothing about him. That I have half a dozen men and a bunch of chubby chasers on POF who want to fuck me.

All of a sudden I was being a bitch and twisting his words.

I'm feeling very, very bitter right now, and I think it's time to give up on the idea of finding a relationship. I know I've said this before, but... *sigh* I think it's time to go to Plan B for having a family, and stick with the IM fuck buddies. At least there are no lies, no illusions, no bullshit, no one trying to manipulate me into being something I'm not. I wish to Hell there was a man out there with whom I could be open and just be me with, and be together. Seriously. It just pisses me off that I accept people--everyone in my life--for WHO THEY ARE. I don't ask anyone to promise me things they can't give, I don't ask for anything I'm not willing to give. Why the hell haven't I found a partner who can give me the same?

So much for dreams. Better to spend my time on my work--at least I can give my characters happiness.

Hugs accepted gratefully.

Blog Shog: Black Dog: Well, doesn't THAT just explain it all?

Well, here's a bit of non-information for those of us who deal with it...


"Artists, entertainers, writers
These jobs can bring irregular paychecks, uncertain hours, and isolation. Creative people may also have higher rates of mood disorders; about 9% reported an episode of major depression in the previous year. In men, it’s the job category most likely to be associated with an episode of major depression (nearly 7% in full-time workers). 'One thing I see a lot in entertainers and artists is bipolar illness,' says Legge. 'There could be undiagnosed or untreated mood disorders in people who are artistic…. Depression is not uncommon to those who are drawn to work in the arts, and then the lifestyle contributes to it.'"

(Teachers are also on this list.)

A friend passed this link on to me and I had a dual reaction:

1. WELL, FUCKING DUH! Tell me something I don't know, ferchrissakes.
2. I need to print this out and share it with all the normos in my life--everyone who DOESN'T get it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blog Shog: Fa-la-la-la-la-FUCK YOU!

OK, I am going to echo a friend's sentiment of last week (and I forget whom)--there needs to be a universal ban on Xmas song remakes.

Because, if I owned a gun right now, I would take out EVERY FUCKING SPEAKER IN THIS BORDERS!!!!!! *slams head on the table*

Jesus, it's an abomination. Der Bingle's dust is whirling in its grave.

My Brain Hurts!

That's all. Need to be said.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled Sunday.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Blog Shog: I Finally Figured It Out

My issue with DumFux: they're whiners. Loud-mouthed, ignorant whiners, true, but whiners none the less.

See, I don't have a problem with other countries having a laugh at the U.S. We're a big country-we can take it. Well, we used to be able to take it. Now... *sigh*

Now, we need to put on our big kid pants & man up & start acting like adults again.

My two pennies.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blog Shog: Black Dog Fading to Grey

A very quick update for those of you traipsing along in the wake of my Black Dog posts...

The experiment with the meds seems to be working. Cutting back the Effexor dosage has definitely made a difference, and I'm feeling more like myself.

I don't know if I'm fully out of the woods, but I would be over the fucking moon if this was just a case of nine months of too much medication. Sadly, not unheard of, especially with psychopharmaceuticals.

Be safe out there and have an awesome weekend. To quote Jake Blues, "EVERYBODY GET RIPPED!"

Talkin’ Shit about Talkin’ Shit with Jim & Eddie

“Two douchebags on a couch
One’s an asshole, one’s a grouch
And relentless are their mouths…
Jim and Eddie… TALK SHIT!”

OK, now regular readers know I have a thing for comedian Jim Jefferies—to the point that I kicked off my desperately needed vacation in October with a road trip down to NYC to catch his act at Caroline’s in an antibiotic haze the day after starting to go into anaphylaxis (I said it was a much needed vacation), and I’ve “reviewed” the show and his latest DVD here on the blog. (There is going to be a second reaction to Alcoholocaust at one point when I get a mo, but with the holidaze approaching, Mum being in the hospital, the mid-year report at The Job, the novel rewrite, and fuck knows what else, I actually haven’t had the effin’ time to watch the damn thing again—I’ve been able to listen to it with the commentary track a couple of times while working which has kept the body count down.) I’m one of the regular fans on his FB, etc., and unless there’s a Boston date announced before the Foxwoods shows, I’m going to suffer for my Celebricrush by driving to a fucking casino in the middle of the Asshole of the Northeast, aka Connecticut, during the second ugliest month of the year, February. (Coming soon to the Blog Shog: Mum—Too Daft or Too Cool? for my worst nightmare possibly coming true.)

Sooooo, anyway… Jim and his roommate, Eddie Ifft, another seriously up-and-coming comic, have started putting out a weekly podcast on www.stitcher.com, Talkin’ Shit with Jim and Eddie. I’ve held off on writing the review because I was on the fence after the first couple of episodes; after episode three, I can definitely come in and put the Imperial Stamp of Approval. (Hey, I love Jim’s stand-up, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to love everything he does.)

After catching some of the appearances Jim did on Opie & Anthony via YouTube, I was looking forward to hearing the podcast—there are constant pleas on his FB for him to come back on their show because Jim is always good for a laugh and utterly unpredictable as to what he’s going to say (and he will say damn near anything; nice to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t give a manky fuck about what people think, especially when it comes to discussing sex).

Episode #1 was released the day before Thanksgiving; I popped on the headphones in the office and listened whilst trying to wrap shit up before the holiday (and before having to deal with driving Mum to her charming sister’s in NH in holiday traffic). I actually stayed over time to listen to the whole thing. Now, I’m going to be honest… it kicked off fabulous. The first twenty minutes are bloody awesome—incredibly funny, riffing and ribbing. It’s great to listen in on two genuinely funny, intelligent guys ribbing the shit out of each other and having fun—couple of guys just being guys, the kind of convo I’d like to be a part of, just to see if I could hold my own with them.

Where it stops being enjoyable and starts being uncomfortable listening is when Jim, Eddie and producer/assistant Lindsay start harassing Jason, their friend/couch squatter/poor hapless bastard of a hanger-on. Some of it is funny, but you know that it’s gone too far when Jim says they should call the show “Bullies.” Jason is too easy a target; whatever personal issues he’s dealing with, it just gets cringe-inducing after a while, a waste of the guys’ talents.
Now, let me be fair—compared to the garbage heard on talk radio, this is funny. Seriously. I am so not the fan of Howard Stern and Opie & Anthony and all the others of that ilk. It’s not my kind of humor; I just don’t get into the comedy of cruelty—it’s not my style. I don’t mind harassing those who deserve it—take all the shots you like at Alaska Barbie and DumbFux, anyone who sets themselves up to be taken down, go for it; easy targets, though… Jason is just sad (or in a bad place in his life—I don’t know and it’s not my problem), and seeing two talented guys take shots at such an easy target… eh.
I'm leaving out the details of my favorite bit because I don't want any of these guys to get sued; but thank you, thank you, thank you, for Barista to the Stars.

To their credit, they kick off episode #2 by stating they apologized to Jason after the first episode, although the taunting they put him through… I seriously thought at a couple of points the guy was going to cry. The set up with Match.com… Jesus, guys, at least go for plentyoffish.com—it’s free and the ex-criminal/spammer/psycho screening process is much more thorough. Jason doesn’t need a girlfriend (although he may definitely need to get laid)—he needs a good therapist and a better divorce lawyer. Or perhaps a really good assassin—women like his ex deserve to be removed from the gene pool permanently. “Cunt” should be a pleasant association, not an apt description.

The best, most memorable moment of episode 2 is when Jim goes off on Henry Rollins. Now, I have seen Henry live—he’s fucking hysterical. He handles hecklers well (“this is not an interactive experience, madam,” is the line I remember from the Berkeley Performance Center a few years back). His live Thai Sex Show story (which I caught on Comedy Central one night in the weeeeeee hours) is funny, but I’ll take Jim’s I Am the Egg Man bit over it any day. The reason… Henry IS funny—he’s erudite, forthright, strong, opinionated, and in-your-face. What makes Jim a better performer—and a funnier one—is vulnerability. Henry laughs at himself, yes, but Jim doesn’t give a rat’s ragged arse about his dignity. It’s all about the story and letting it be there for what it is; there’s a rhythm in the language, the delivery that is natural. He may have been telling that Egg Man story for four years now (maybe longer; earliest version of it I’ve seen is the Minty’s 2007 clip), and while the polish on the performance has evolved, every version of it out there is piss-y’self-hysterical because whenever he tells it, it’s Jim himself, squatting in that hotel room, his insides being tortured (and if you’ve never had issues in your colon, get down on your knees and thank whatever Higher Power you believe in for their mercy), reliving his agony and humiliation, and laughing at himself and taking his lumps for his own humanity.
THAT, kids, is real comedy.

The point.. Jim is dead on when he says that what Henry is doing is not “spoken word”—it’s comedy. It’s stand-up, the same kind of shit that Carlin did, and calling it “spoken word” is incredibly fucking pretentious and makes Henry look like a precious tit, and to hear easy-going, bemused Jim suddenly get absolutely fucking pissed off, “I am out there, busting my ass…” (and any of my friends reading this, STOP LAUGHING!) and hear the genuine passion he has for his art… There is a reason I respect the man. I would LOVE to be there for a throw-down between the two of them. Jim is constantly playing down his own intelligence—my two-bit amateur analysis is that a) he knows just how fucking smart he really is; and b) he’s afraid to admit it. He’d give Rollins a run for his money and then some, particularly with Eddie in his corner.
The other reason I’d like to see the Jason shit go away… I don’t want Eddie to end up in jail for murdering Jason because honestly, I thought he was going to whack him with the laptop at one point (and I wouldn’t have stopped him if I was in the room). And honestly, while I'm willing to take a bus to NYC or drive to the Asshole of the Northeast to see Jim, I'm not going out of my way to see Henry. He inspires no empathy in me, no cameraderie... His work is too intellectual to touch my soul.
Sound a bit airy-fairy? Fuck you. I don't want to listen, read, groove to an "artist" who can't put their heart and soul into their work and their ass on the line when they're on stage. End of story. One of the reason I've pulled back from the open mic is right now, I don't have it to give out there. I don't, and I'm too much of a fuckin' pro to cheat an audience. Here, in words, I can give it all right now, so I have no issue putting the blog out there. As I've said before about Jim--he puts it out there. He DOES bust his ass--there's nothing precious, nothing reserved about him on stage, and he has put his life on the line. Ever had a family member stop speaking to you because of something you've performed? *raises hand* I have, and what they were upset about was fiction--a play I'd co-written, co-directed and co-starred in--and ironically enough, the scene that upset her and offended her wasn't even one I'd written. I still find that amusing. If the nasty old cunt had an ounce of backbone, she'd have spoken to me about it and cleared the air... whatever. Life in Irish families, not relevant ATM. When Jim tells stories about his family... I give him incredible props. My mum isn't allowed to read this blog (and thankfully does not have internet access ATM); otherwise, well... it wouldn't be pretty. But would make for GREAT stories! The best work--whether it's music, Shakespeare, writing, comedy, painting, whatfuckingever--has to have a piece of the artist's soul in it, commitment. Otherwise, it's shit. And when you let your brain have a say over your soul in your work, you're cheating yourself, your art and your audience.
/end rant
Props to Lindsay for holding her own with those horndogs, BTW. Sometimes, it’s a blast being the only girl in the clubhouse; sometimes… *sigh* Sometimes, you really understand lesbians. (Well, not the sex part, obviously. That’s just nasty. Or the ugly clothes. *shudder* Gods, protect us from the Walrus Women…)

Tuesday saw the release of episode #3, and with another comic as a guest, the guys REALLY started to hit their stride. They kept the recap of Jason's Match.com brief and funny (and after seeing the bit Eddie posted on YouTube of Jason parodying Radiohead... Jason, you can sing, you can play the guitar, I'll even give you points for having nice eyes, but saying a chick is too heavy for you... Here's the crowbar, here's the KY--pop your head out of your ass); Jim repeats his bit on hemorrhoids (and makes it sound like an off-the-cuff story) after talking briefly about quitting drinking, and throws in his rip on 9-11 and American dating system (yes, we do everything backwards. Deal with it); Eddie's story about having to follow a guy in a wheelchair at a gig in Pittsburgh, and just talkin' shit. Fuckin' hysterical. And then they bring on the guest.

The guest, a nice Italian boy* named Brian Patrick Murray, whose humor is on par with Jim & Eddie’s (of course) was with them, telling an incredibly vulgar and FUCKING HYSTERICAL story about his drug-dealing days in Manhattan and fucking a really sketchy Australian trannie. “Great fake tits, but once you saw the ass, you knew she’d been a guy.” And we won’t discuss frozen gummy bears. (I never understood why Coldstone Creamery offers them as a mix-in; Brian’s story has guaranteed I will never, EVER order them.) EVER.

Any fantasy of a threesome with a trannie (and Captain Strap-on allegedly had a line on one) has now been completely, utterly obliterated (although not the pre-op one… at least everything below the waist is still natural). Oh, Gods, I think I need to go and bleach my brain. I don’t know what should disturb me more: that I had no issue with what they were discussing; that I was laughing my arse off; or that I was bummed that I didn’t have a story to compete with that one. Seriously. First time I’ve ever felt even vaguely innocent in over two decades, and I’ve made Highlanders blush. (Yeah, the same guys who sing, “The Seventy-eighth, they went to Hell, they fucked the Devil and his wife as well!” and go commando in high winds. I miss those guys.)

What’s interesting in episode 3 is to see the cultural differences. This is always something I watch—as someone who hangs with Canadians and who used to have a fair few friends (and exes) in the UK, it fascinates me to see the differences in how the three countries interact (and while Jim lived in the UK for quite a while, he’s from Australia). Eddie and Brian are completely in-your-face American brash; it’s a trip to hear Jim actually taken aback, a little withdrawn in the face of it. Holding his own, but still, alien in the moment. It will be interested to see if his next round of new material is about the differences between living in America vs. living in the UK as an outsider in both countries. There is such a difference in his manner in the podcasts—the interactions with Eddie and Jason—vs. the conversation with Brett Vincent in the commentaries on Alcoholocaust. It ain’t easy being a stranger in a strange land, although it does provide a wealth of material.**

Are the podcasts for everyone? Well… not for the prudish and those lacking a sense of humor. It’s two white guys yakking on their couch while other guys are taping them, giving grief to the only chick in the place who gives it back sometimes, and sometimes plays along for shits and giggles. Give ‘em hell, Lindsay, and give that woman a raise, Eddie. They’re guys being guys; what elevates it above a lot of the dreck that passes for humor is that they’re both intelligent, funny and talented.
I’ve never been a big fan of the female buddy stuff—Futurama did a gag in the third movie where Fry is laughing at the Stooge-like antics of Mom’s three sons, and Leela and Amy don’t find them at all funny, but think the 4 Shallow NYC Whores Show that HBO ran that has spawned two films was funny. Gimme the Stooges over that shit ANY day. Maybe it’s a flaw in my personality—maybe my final XX chromosome is missing a little chunk on one of the legs—but I really prefer the guy humor. It’s not twee, it’s not coy, it’s not bullshit. I can deal with the sexual bravado, the ribbing, the talkin’ shit—it’s better than the fake tits, expensive shit, and shallow bullshit that passes for “girl” comedy. *slams head on the desk* (But then, hey, I’ve always lived on the Island of Misfit Toys—we’re not quite geeks, we’re not really nerds, we’re not retarded, we’re not popular, we’re not in the in-crowd… but fuck, we are coooooooooool. Because we don’t give a fuck—we just are.)

BTW, why are you guys “shit at promotion”? (Yeah, like either will ever read this or get this far.) (Jim’s words, and I won’t disagree after the three-year-old press release in the Caroline’s program. Yes, Jim, I’ll stop being a pain in the ass; after all, you’ve retired it from being abused. Pity, me with a brand-new, unused strap-on. Sorry, it’s nearly 3:00 a.m. as I’m typing this; getting a bit punchy and haven’t had the daily tension-reliever.) Where else is this getting promoted besides your FBs, Twitters, and Jim’s spamming, excuse me, begging, via both? Each episode has gotten better; none of them were shit, either, for all my bitching about the Jason-baiting—ten years from now, this stuff is going to be gold for both of you and your fans as a glimpse of the creative process and how it works—how talent feeds on talent and grows.

This is the kind of talk show (or sitcom, because as a premise, it works if the scripting was kept to a minimum and the improv sculpted) I’d actually sit through if it was on a channel that didn’t censor language (i.e. HBO or Showtime; sadly, Comedy Central could only air it in the Secret Stash uncensored, and there goes the fucking audience. If there is such a place as Hell, I hope John Calvin and his ilk are slow roasting, the Puritan fuckwits. “Puritans… people so uptight the English kicked them out.” Thank you, Robin Williams). I’m not a fan of the comedian-centered sketch show; I could deal with Mind of Mencia because Carlos was so utterly fucking WRONG, and yet so dead right on the money (the bit when he called the CA DMV trying to get a vanity plate and could not get ANY version of the n-bomb*** approved, but WETBACK wasn’t a problem... he spared no one, and that’s the whole point of stand-up). I hope you two have got a decent marketing plan once you’ve got a few more in the can (thanks for the twit back, Eddie—I hope it IS weekly, I don’t mind springing for the data plan on the phone for an hour with you two)—at least some kind of postcard campaign for your gigs with the promo photo that shows up on Stitcher during the playback with a tentative schedule. Sorry, this is the shill in me. (Besides, you’re both hot—USE it, dammit.)

BTW, are they downloadable? I was able to download episode 1 and save it to the lappie, but not the other two. (Annoying, as I don’t have internet at home & couldn’t figure out how to save the damn thing to the phone, and I’m not technologically retarded [says the woman who blasted a virus before it could take over and wreck her hard drive. *insert victory grunt here*] Oh, yeah, getting punchy.)

I know I’ve dwelt on Jim far more than Eddie in this review; that’s because, honestly, I’d never heard of Eddie before the first podcast. (I’d never heard of Jim before August.) I’m also the first to admit I am so not in the loop for the most part, and I like it that way. I find out about what I want to find out about; time isn’t something I have a lot of, I don’t like to waste it, and I’d rather spend my time doing/experiencing shit that makes me happy and inspires my own creativity/art/whatever the fuck you want to call my personal version of insanity. So, before completing the review, I did a little surf around YouTube. (Yeah, this is where the adult ADD and pure female ability to multitask comes in handy--I can get the "real" job done while having a damn good laugh. SCORE!) I'll sum it up like this: check his FB page; search him out on YouTube. There isn't a lot out there, but what's there is fuck-all funny. I especially appreciated his bit on being an American going through customs in a foreign country. (This why I have a Canadian flag tack pin and need to find a replacement for my David Bowie Earthling tour Union Jack pin--it throws them off. "Wait, American passport, but sporting parephenalia that too intelligent to be American... we can let this one in without comment.") The material I saw is not as unabashedly in-your-face as Jim's, but it's GOOD. (Doesn't hurt that he's also quite hot; and I have a soft spot for Pittsburgh, thanks to some damn good friends and awesome times visiting there.)
So, there it is. For anyone who cares or made it this far, get over to www.stitcher.com, either download the app for your smart phone or click on the "listen" button and then search on "Talking Shit with Jim & Eddie." I've put the search in as "talkin' shit with jim and eddie," as well and that turns up the same results. Listen at work on your headphones--scare the straights. They need a little shaking up.
Happy fuckin' Friday--I'm off to collect St. Teresa from the hospital and Be a Good Daughter. *slams head on the desk* And tonight... Six Strings Down and hopefully a little tequila. Fuck knows, I've earned a drink.

*This is an old Boston joke, FYI. It’s not a good joke, it’s just an old one—anyone having either a very Irish name—like Brian—would be referred to as a “nice Italian boy.” An Italian guy with a very Italian name—say, like Mario Vittorio diAngelini—would be referred to as a “nice Irish boy.” (BTW, also applied to black guys; yes, I know, we bogtrotters are the n-bombs of Western Europe, whatev.) Because hey, we’re not the least little bit bigoted in the old neighborhood.

**Yes, I am exploring this in the new novel. No, I’m not going to talk about it here. Even if I did write the best fucking sex scene, pardon the unintentional pun, I’ve ever done in my fiction. My erotica (i.e. porn with proper spelling and grammar) doesn’t count—that’s all fact, disguised with bits of fiction to protect the guilty.
***This is the only word I censor. Sorry, but I won’t use it. My best friend is African-American, as is my beloved godson. I have never forgotten the day she called me, weeping, after a Boston bogtrotter dropped the n-bomb on her because she wouldn’t give the skankrag drunken piece of dogshit her phone number. He dropped that word on one of the finest human beings I have ever known, my fellow Pro from Dover, one of the two people in this world that if they ever called and said, “I need you,” I would be in the car and headed their way, and after hearing that person’s heart break with humiliation and pain, I just can’t use it. We won’t discuss the consequences if anyone ever calls my little man that.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Blog Shog: My Beautiful Barista Boys

Greetings from Mum's hospital room. The bad news: she's still here. The good news: they're releasing her tomorrow. Hurray!

My work day started with me discovering I didn't have my cell phone. Now, I am tethered to my 'droid; the idea that I may have lost it was disturbing. However, there was a library budget to be balanced and shit to get done, so I put the worry to the side, and dived into the job.

I dashed out of the office at 2:45, swung by the house, disturbed the cat, tore the bed apart, went back over my path... no cell phone. Swung into Sbux, nope, they hadn't found it. Bugger. Started to head out the door, Austin yelled, "Riz, where ya goin'?"

"Late for a meeting--I'll be back!"

Did my meeting, went back home, disturbed the cat again, called the phone again, still didn't hear "Sweet Child O'Mine" ringing throughout the house, kept looking, and there it was... on the kitchen floor where it had fallen face-down on the floor. Huzzah!

Had dinner, fed the cat, and went to Sbux before going up to see Ma. Well, I'm standing in line, Jeff gives me a wave from behind the Fount of Caffeinated Blessings, Austin asked how I was, and I looked up as Jeff straightened up from the fridge with the coffee they'd prepared for me three hours before--chilled to perfection.

I laughed my ass off. And yeah, threw a decent tip in the jar. Jeff, Austin and Andrew laughed at my reaction--but it was pure delight. I love those guys.

I realize this is not my usual doom-gloom-fuck-off bullshit, but hey, once in a while, I like to share something really awesome. THIS was really awesome.

Got another funny story for y'all tomorrow--this is a Mum story, proof that my mother is either completely cool or really has gone completely daft (and I'm either a total loser or the hippest daughter on teh planet). And with any amount of luck, I'll get to do the review of Talkin' Shit with Jim & Eddie podcast--episode three is up for listening on www.stitcher.com, and after sitting on the fence for the first two, the third gained a serious thumbs up--the guys seem to have hit their stride. (Don't faint, folks--I don't think Jim Jefferies walks on water.) Need to do a little research on Eddie Iffts first--I hate giving an uninformed opinion.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shooting the Black Dog, Part 7: Mother's Little Helper

Well, I may have jumped the gun on the bipolar issue, and I gave myself the clue I may have needed to solve the problem.

I commented earlier in one of the Black Dog posts about medication--the fear of the loss of efficacy of the meds because it has happened before. You want hell... being at war with your own mind and every thing that you try to fix it stops working after a while... it's why the idea of needing the Xanax more has had me freaking. What had me even more upset was the idea that the Effexor's efficacy may be earing off. I've been on Effexor XR since 2003--it's been the best fucking drug I have ever taken for this mess that is my brain.

Well, I had a little brainstorm the other day. My doctor upped my dosage last February after the suicide attempt, from 150 mg to 225 mg., and lucky me, they didn't make a caplet that size, just a horse pill. So, after a bit of an argy-bargy with the doctor, I got him to prescribe three capsules per day to make up the dosage. (Didn't help that the fucking 226 mg horse pills, even though generic, weren't covered by my worthless health plan, so instead of $10/month for the generic 75 mg or 150 mg capsules, it would have been $45. I shit you not. May not sound like a lot of money, but when you add in the money for the inhaler, the Singular, the levoxyl, the other inhalers... the supplements that are no longer covered by the fucking tax-free account... Yeah, the meds cost keep climbing.)

One of the things that can happen with broken switches in the head, because they are chemically activated, is that too much medication is as dangerous as too little. I have gone through this before, usually with the thyroid.

Yeah, the thyroid. That which has fucked up SO MUCH. *slams head on the desk*

So, if the thyroid--which has dicked things around so badly before--has stabilized, perhaps, just perhaps, thought my thinking brain, perhaps it's the OTHER head med that's off now. *BING* Lightbulb appears over the redhead. And because of the way my med is being administered, I can do this without involving the doctor to see if the hypothesis is correct. (And go back to the higher dosage if the lower causes problems.)

And the other part of this is that I may have to vary the dosage at different times of the month. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am the living chemistry experiment, and with the exception of the occasional indulgence of marijuana, all of it legal.

Sad. But better than another attempt to check out. I came too close to success last time, and succeeding would mean failing at world domination, and that would utterly fuck things up. ;-)

It's not even that I fear Death; I met him once, back in '95, while I was dealing with the aftermath of the miscarriage. The ex was being his completely utter dickhead of a self, I was going through hell, housesitting for a friend (which was what kept me from checking out--the thought that she'd have to come home to a corpse. Just a complete violation of hospitality, and when having to chose between relieving extreme soul pain by violating the most ancient of courtesies and honoring hospitality, well, I just had to take the course of honor. Because I'm funny that way). Anyway, the episode got so bad, I started hallucinating. Or perhaps I was seeing what was really there, who knows? I know enough about the subconscious and filters and the human need to deny reality to believe that anything that can unhinge the modern mind is screened out, which would make the mad people really the sane people because they had a real grasp of what was there, but then... that's crazy talk. ;-)

ANYWAY... at the lowest moment, when I was right on the edge, Death was there in the doorway, waiting like a lover, arms open, a figure of light, and I knew that if I stepped into his embrace, there would be no more pain. It would all be over--the pain would finally end. And this was the only lover I could ever trust 150% not to hurt me. All I had to do was surrender.

I am not good at surrender. You may have figured that out about me. While I do have a submissive side, I am definitely on the equal footing/dominant side of the sexual spectrum. I wanted to cross the room--I wanted the release he was offering. But I also knew the price of surrender. I have never, ever been so perfectly poised in balance between life and death as I was at that moment. Of course, I chose to fight on. Because I'm like that--I never take the easy way.

I can't say I regret the choice; there will come a day when he returns, and it will be my time to surrender, and I hope I'm at the age where it's been so long since I've had it, I welcome the attention of a young man. ;-)

(Yes, I find my own drama highly amusing. I have to. If I didn't, I'D BE DEAD. So laugh along with me, will ya?)

But I digress...

Since the gastric bypass, I am not supposed to take large tablets because my stomach tissue is a bit delicate: the bottom part, where all the acid lives (the stuff that breaks down everything), is cut off, so it's harder to digest things. It's why reputable gastric bypass programs require you to go to a nutritionist and attend support group meetings--so you learn the proper way to eat after surgery so you can stick to the program and actually have some weight loss success, not just in the short term, but so you can keep the blubber off.

Of course, with my elevated stress level over the past few months, things have fallen by the wayside. Like it or lump it, I'm going to have to cut back my coffee intake. (My internal four-year-old is on the floor, throwing a massive tantrum at the moment, kicking and screaming, and insisting this will not happen. I will spank the little bastard and knock 'im into line. Because it's my INNER four-year-old. :-) I'm also going to have to get back on an eating schedule--I've skipped breakfast too much of late, completely gotten off my Greek yogurt kick, and we won't talk about all the missed supplements.


And the insomnia. And the headaches. And the mood swings.


And it's winter time, so all I am craving is comfort food. Luckily, my idea of comfort food is stuff that I've worked pretty hard to adapt to healthier versions, and I happen to be an amazing fucking cook, if I do say so myself. (Can I just say how flattered I was when one of my baristas, when I was talking about holiday baking, raved about the Guinness mac 'n' cheese--an experiment, the very first attempt. You know you're good when... ;-) *sigh* So it's time to put up a bit pot of beef stew and Guinness mac & cheese (with three cheeses & Greek yogurt mixed in, and don't forget the grilled chicken... now I'm hungry, dammit).

So, my game plan... because I am not going to let the Black Dog win...
1. Cutting back the Effexor dosage to 150 mg a day & taking it ON SCHEDULE.
2. Remembering my multi-vitamin. ON SCHEDULE.
3. Eating a PROPER breakfast. BEFORE 11:00 a.m.
4. Ass BACK in the gym.

Four easily achievable things, the combination of which should get me down to a size 20 by April and a smaller bra band. Provided I can get my brain to function through the fog of anxiety and residual depression and stress. *slams head on the desk* So tired of being told how strong I am, and that if anyone can conquer this, it's me. I'd be good with Prince Charming rescuing me right now, even if it was just for a weekend and a long, hard shagging. Seriously. I'd never be comfortable with a permanent rescue--I really prefer standing on my own two feet, and don't trust anyone trying to solve my problems for me. Life doesn't work that way.

But I'd take a short-term rescue... a little pampering... possibly involving a hot tub, champagne (optional), lots of Lush bath bombs & massage bars, a king size bed and a lot of sex... Yeah, that would work.

*sigh* IF ONLY!

Although... going to the gym means exposure to... muscles. Muscles. On men. Oooooooooo... *swoon* *dreamy smile* Sweaty, hard working muscles... Lickable, kissable, delicious MUSCLES... OK... motivation acquired. Most women, offer 'em chocolate for motivation. Me? SCENERY. Loooooooove muscular arms... forearms and biceps. And thighs... *sigh* Rugby Boy... The thighs on that man... (we won't talk about his other parts and the great ink; there's a reason I kept the pics. And the vid!) *swoon* Yeah, I can forego carbs for the joy of muscles. And the chance of getting a nice set of 'em nekkid!