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, April 28, 2011

This Song is Over... Part 1, Ad Memoriam Chris Larson

The sad news came down that Chris Larson lost the battle with cancer on Wednesday. Ny heart goes out to his family, especially his parents. No parent should have to bury their child.
I wish I knew what to say.
I mean, there are a gazillion things I could say, but none of them... I've been crying off and on. I start to talk about it to people I really love, and I just start to fall apart. That's really not like me. I had to break the news to Ferd. Ferd is quite possibly one of the most gentle-hearted human beings on the planet, and the shock in his voice... he posted a lovely statement of farewell on FB that night. I haven't been able to get it together... I could deal with Marco's loss last year because it was an accident, a stupid freak accident that shouldn't have happened, no one could have predicted it would happen, but it did, and it sucked, but... Chris died of cancer. Colon cancer. ADULTS die of colon cancer, not kids like us. That's a grown up death, not the way kids my age...
But I'm not a kid any more. We're not still in high school, insulting the hell out of each other, making fun of teachers, dealing with all the stupid shit that happens in high school. We're not those kids who went to the prom, got hammered at parties, passed notes... did all those little things that shape the adult you become.
I miss Chris. I miss Luca, Pepoli, John B., Goldy, Mike, Amy, Kim, Mo, Trisha, Danni, Pam, Dave... I miss the kids we were. I hope the adults we've become are as cool and awesome as the kids we were.
My last words to Ferd on the phone the past two days have been, "Love ya, brother." Because right now, I'm feeling how tenuous life really is--how temporary every is. Except the bonds of love that shared experience creates.
And because I am Boston Irish, and because there are going to be a lot of tears over the next couple of days down at Doherty's (remember, the Irish get buried out of Doherty's, the Italians from Dello Russo), I'm going to throw in a laugh. Chris didn't introduce me to George Carlin--WBCN & HBO did that--but he DID introduce me to Carlin's famous bit, the Seven Words You Can't Say on Television. He did that in the limo, on the way to the prom, when I was head-over-heels in crush with him and trying to prove to him that the hoyden was really a lady. I blushed furiously and laughed my ass off, even though the long-line body armor under my fairy princess dress made it difficult. So this is for you, Chris. The Bruins won last night--they beat the Habs in game seven at the Gahden, and I think Horton may have gotten a little help from Heaven's newest angel. The clip ain't safe for work, but watch it and have a laugh and get in touch with your old friends. Remember the kid you were and be true to the best of it.
Today's title comes from one of my favorite songs by The Who. It was Chris's favorite band back in high school, and my crush on him was the reason I got into them. I wish you knew that, man. We fought so much about music; both of us were so damned stubborn and butted heads like mountain goats. I gave bands that I never would have a chance because of you. I'm glad I knew the kid you were; it hurts that because of the silliness of life, I didn't get to know the man you became.
Remember, kids, pride is never worth it. I learned that lesson after I'd walked away from my old friends because of the path I chose. Being right isn't the same as doing rightly, and the need to be right, to win, is why so many of us miss out in life.
I know a lot of folks in my life are going through pain right now, and it's easier to draw in and protect than it is to be open, but... try. Keep your heart open. Remember that none of us know when it's going to be over--when Whoever Is Calling the Shots decides that your ticket is punched. As long as you're breathing, you're still in the game. Everything happens for a reason (good or bad), and love... love in all its forms is the only thing really worth having.
Now, I am going to go and cuddle my cat because she is warm, fluffy, purrs in a very comforting manner, and getting very old, call my mum and see how she's doing, write another blog post, and be about my errands.
And please... if you haven't had a physical within the last year, please schedule it. Check in with your body, get the screenings that are recommended for your age group. Chris is the latest in a line of friends lost to preventable cancers. (Not casting aspersions on him--PLEASE, not doing that!) Get checked--get the pap, the scope, the mammogram, whatever. And don't think that you're too young. I found out when I was 20 that no one is too young, and thankfully, it was caught in time. Another friend of mine didn't. Please take care of yourselves.
/end Den Mother Mode
I wish all of you love.
Your Empress

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm not dead yet!

Hey, Folks.
Sorry it's been so long--the past two weeks have been a bit... well, "hairy" is the first word that comes to mind. "Hellish" is also pretty accurate. "Frenetic," "insane," "intense," "nervewracking," "frustrating," "upsetting," and "ridiculously busy" also come to mind.
The short version: Mum took a bad fall two weeks ago today and was rushed to the emergency room (I wasn't home; her brother was). I had to fight to get her admitted; the ER doctor missed the compression fracture of one of the discs in her back. I had to take Tuesday off from work and spent it making multiple phone calls, talking to several different caseworkers, and... yeah.
Three days later--right before she was transferred to a rehab/nursing home, I was laid off from my job.
Yep, I am unemployed.
The next morning, during my physical, my GP told me that the weird spells I've been having are caused by serious depression and stress. I've been ordered into therapy and need to find a new psychopharm because my GP thinks I need better monitoring than he can offer.
My insurance expires on April 30th.
An hour after seeing my GP, I saw my orthopaedist. Both of my knees need to be replaced. However, for the short term, I'm going to PT.
Did I mention my insurance expires on April 30th?
Yesterday, I saw my bariatric surgeon for the 2 year post-surgery follow up (four months late). Discovered that I have gained one pound since July (I thought it was more like 20; it FEELS like 20). Told him about the vomiting. The constant, regular vomiting and the fact that most food is so not my friend. He informed me that I needed to be scoped. Immediately. Because I may have burst my staples. Or could have an ulcer. No matter what, there's a problem that may require surgery.
Did I mention that I only have health insurance for four more days?
So this morning, I had The Ride deliver me to LMH at too friggin' early for me to be functioning. To be told that they couldn't do the test (I have to be sedated for it because of PTSD--basically, if I go through the tube-down-the throat-gagging test conscious, I will end up having a psychotic break at the level of stress I'm at).
Did I mention that I only have health insurance for four more days?
So, I'm off to the ob/gyn in a few minutes--I was ordered to get my arse in there, too, because I haven't had a visit from God's Final Insult since December (and I know that I'm not pregnant, sadly). And have a meeting at the nursing home to discuss/assess Mum's situation at 2:00.
Add to all of this... running to the nursing home on a daily basis... postponing the Nova Scotia vacation for a month... still need to clean out my desk... needing to clean out the house before either the bank or the uncle sells it out from underneath us... the Blue Bomber needs a new fender desperately (and a new dashboard array)...
I'm a little stressed.
What's funny is that I've had three people tell me I look happy. I find that really amusing.
On the upside... I am involved with a wonderful, supportive man whom I wouldn't trade for the world. AND I'm seeing Jim Jefferies in Pittsburgh next week. AND going to Nova Scotia once I get unemployment and insurance sorted out.
Despite the depression and stress, I feel ridiculously optimistic.
Yeah, I know. I'm nuts.
Admit it--you wouldn't want me any other way.

Monday, April 11, 2011

In Which I Challenge the Medical Establishment

It is 2:27 a.m. on Tuesday morning as I type this. I am FUCKING FURIOUS. I am also trying not to weep out of frustration, anger, anxiety, stress, and utter complete despair. Why? Well, it's like this... as regular readers know, my mother is dealing with kidney disease. She's in kidney failure and undergoing dialysis three times a week. She comes home from dialysis loopy--unsteady on her feet, out in left field, weak, and just not on this planet. She's also been falling. A lot. She's blacked her eye at least four times since December--she's fallen on her face on the front walk coming from (or heading to) dialysis. This is NOT a good thing. This is, in fact, a VERY BAD thing. And today was the kicker--she went out on my uncle and hurt her back. He had the sense to call an ambulance. They rushed her to Lawrence Memorial. He called me around 6 to tell me, I went up and took over the watch, and then, convinced they were going to keep her, left for home around 12:15 a.m. Yeah, quarter after midnight. I hadn't had dinner. I was exhausted (loooong but productive day at work). I had been trying to keep Ma calm while dealing with assorted head-splitting beeps and lots of horrible energy (psychically, emergency rooms fuck me up completely, and tonight, all four bays were filled with elderly patients; the woman in the bay next to us had the single most annoying son... I wanted to strangle him to make him stop talking; yes, my nerves were shot, and to have done so would have been MOST insensitive of me because the poor bastard was in the same horrible position as myself). I got home, reheated some leftover Harrow's chicken pie (mmmmm... chicken pie) for me and the cat (even though she has nothing to do with my mother, she still likes the company in the house--she likes to have someone to nag), managed to eat most of it (sans the bit for the cat) when the phone rings. It's 1:00 a.m. I KNOW it's the fucking hospital before I even answer it. Sure enough, it's the hospital telling me that they're releasing my mother because there's no reason to keep her. Allow me to repeat that: they are releasing her because there is no reason to keep her. Less than 45 minutes before, I had left my mother, ditzy and out of it, dehydrated, weak, in the hospital, secure in the knowledge that she would be safe for the night. She would be watched over in a place where they could monitor her and find some answers. Now, they were telling me they weren't keeping her. I put on my hoodie over my sweats (I had shucked the clothes and contact lenses), slipped on the sneaks, heated up another hunk of chicken pie and grabbed a water for her because she hadn't eaten since breakfast and I proceeded to drive like I was trying to qualify for NASCAR up to LMH. I found my mother still loopy, still dehydrated, unfed, undressed, and out of it. And they said she was fine. I lost it. To use a favorite Britism, I went spare. I flipped the fuck out. Folks, my heart is being ripped out of my chest watching what is happening to my mother, seeing the bullshit going on. She's dying. Slowly, horribly dying. There is nothing good, just, or clean about her decline. It's horrible, unfair, and if I had a direct line to God or whoever is running the show, I would call the fucker out and kick his or her ass six ways to Sunday for this, and FUCK the ineffable plan and everything happening for a reason. This is my Mum and she's suffered enough. The long and the short of it is that they kept her over night. I'm not going into details--suffice to say that the words "malpractice" and "lawyer" and "don't fuck with me" were used. I mean, she couldn't even sit up without help. They were going to let her go home? Over my dead fucking body. So now, I am going to finally get some sleep. I had planned to bake tonight. And make chicken chili in the crockpot. And maybe even some homemade pasta sauce (because my honey's back is out and I owe people cookies). Tomorrow, I have a slate of phone calls to make. Including one to her GP to tell him he's an ass and to her nephrologist to ask WHAT THE FUCK THEY ARE DOING TO HER IN THAT SODDING CLINIC! Plus Elder Services to find out where the fucking cleaners have been because her room MUST be cleaned out of all of the clothes in there so she can move around. I leave for Halifax in ten days. Provided Ma is functioning. And I don't end up in either jail or McLean's for flipping out completely. Pass the Xanax, will ya?

Don't Forget to Dance...

"Dan's a fan, and see all our shows... Don't want to spend my life livin' in a rock'n'roll fantasy..." "You walk down the street And all the young punks whistle at you A nice bit of vogue just goes to show what you can achieve with the right attitude As you pass them by, they whisper their remarks one to another And you give them The Eye even though you could be their mother You do the thing you love the most What separates you from the rest? And what you love to do the most And when they ask me how you dance, I'll say that you dance real close. Don't forget to dance..." Last week, my favorite (remaining) record store hit its 33rd b-day: Newbury Comics has been a part of the Boston landscape for 3/4 of my life, and all of my relevant musical life. I think I've only been in the original Newbury Street locale once (or twice). I bought my David Bowie tickets there--7th row for the Orpheum Theatre back in '97. I was just a few people back when the first show sold out; I thought it was going to Bruce in '87 all over again (I was THREE people away from the ticket window in sub-zero weather; I went home and cried like a jilted 13-year-old. Come to think of it, I FELT like a jilted 13-year-old). Then they added a second show... Glorious feeling. Scored those tickets and felt 14 all over again, just a kid in love with Bowie and rock'n'roll and gonna go see the show! I think that was my first (and only) Orpheum show. Yeah, yeah, I know, lived here all my fuckin' life, only seen one show in the Ahpheeum. (Yeah, slipped into Bawstinian again.) Been to Foxboro a buncha times... almost got crushed to death to see U2 back in '87... general seating on the floor, was just a couple of people away from the stage. That was FUCKIN' AWESOME! Joshua Tree tour... glorious. Cried a few times during their set, Bono was so ON. Pogues opened for that one, Pogues and Little Steven. Show was the ballz. Saw Bowie there... lemme think... three times, I think... '83 (that was with Maggie; my second concert evah... my mum drove us down because we were like 15 and 16 and naive Catholic school girls; totally sheltered. I still don't know how we talked her mum, Josie, into letting her go)... '87 for Glass Spider (overproduced, but still good), and 1990... 1990 was fuckin' A, too. The man is a GOD in concert. There's a portrait aging in an attic somewhere for him. Saw The Who there in '89. Holy fuckeroo, that was an AMAZING show... if religion had been like that, I'd have my own church, y'know? Roger Daltrey's voice filled that stadium with something pure and holy and glorious... and Pete, Pete one of the first Guitar Gods... Stones later that year were the biggest soddin' disappointment EVAH. Mouldering Bones, them, and they need to retire. Keith can keep playing, but for fuckssake, if Mick can't remember the lyrics (and he was reading them off a teleprompter), RETIRE, YA BORING OLD CUNT! Let's see... who else... oh, yeah, Floyd in '88 (or was that '87?). The River Rave back in 2002, just after it reopened as Gillette Stadium... Not a bad line-up, although I can't remember for shit who was there besides Jimmy Eat World (they were OK). Shit, just looked up the line up. Evidently, The Strokes played that show, along with Public Enemy (remember them), Sum 41 (kinda remember them), and Tenacious D. Tenacious D was fabulous. Utterly wrong, but fabooooo. U2 on the PopMart tour... (eh, although we did get to meet Bono in the parking lot.) I think there were more shows, but I can't remember. Back after 9-11, Newbury Comics was having a big back-to-school event across all the stores (remember, Bawstin is a huge college town), and Dickie Barrett from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones was signing down in Quincy. I was still trying to get my indie screenplay made at that point, and I'd written most of it while listening to "Question the Answers" (GREAT, AMAZING FUCKING ALBUM!). Dickie was a gentleman, just a stand-up kinda guy, because I asked if the Bosstones ever did a soundtrack--like music written specific for a movie. They'd contributed songs to soundtracks, but never done the music specific. He told me that if I got the movie made, to let them know, and they'd give me permission to use their stuff. And autographed the booklet for QtA with, "Good luck with the flick." Decent guy--that was a pretty bleak time, and he was incredibly kind and encouraging, saying he never thought he'd end up doing what he was doing for a living. Moments like that, they keep me slogging away when I'm ready to give it the fuck up. Newbury Comics wasn't always my favorite record store. I was a customer of Disc Diggers in Davis Square forever. I think 90% of my vinyl came from there. CD Spins was cool when I lived in Allston, ditto for Diskovery (which also had used books; HEAVEN!). I used to go to the Newburys in Harvard Square all the time back in high school. Got my coolest earrings there--zipper pulls. (This was before I was a serious DIY person.) And the black zigzags (I may still have one of them up in my jewelry box. Should look). And when I first got contacts, I got my mirrored wrap-around New Wave shades there. Gods, I loved those fuckin' shades. They were tha SHIT! :-D These days, I hit the Fresh Pond Newburys frequently enough to know most of the staff by name. Great bunch of kids... excellent customer service, and just NICE people. I know, I know... record stores are so passe. But not to me. I mean, OK, fine, the whole digital download thing is cool and eco-friendly and technically cheaper, but... OK, lemme share a story. I am STILL a fan of vinyl. I have ALL of my old vinyl still up in my attic. I also own a USB turn table so I can convert it all (because some of that is NEVER going to come out on CD, although The Fools' "World Dance Party" is, so I guess there's hope) at one point. The first time I bought CDs (one of 'em was the B-52's "Cosmic Thing"--considering seeing them with the Go-gos in June--another was Don Henley's "End of the Innocence"--both still great albums), I was at Disc Diggers, and I looked at the dude behind the counter, the guy who'd been waiting on me for years as I bought stacks of wax, hefted the bag with the three CDs in it, made my pouty face and wailed like a 3-year-old, "It just AIN'T THE SAME!" And Buddy nodded sadly and agreed completely. THIS is why I like record stores--the human interaction. The sharing of the love of music. The exchange, the laughter, the everything. So this dinosaur stomps into her local Newbury Comics (which has parking) at least once a week for my music, DVD, obnoxious pin, pop culture, toy, blind box, whatever fix. I even got my copy of "I Swear to God" from there. (Yeah, there's a Jim Jefferies reference for damn near everything. ;-) Because there is a little part of me that still lives that old rock'n'roll fantasy. There's a part of me that still hopes I die before I get old. At least in my soul. Today's quote is from the songs Rock'n'Roll Fantasy and Don't Forget to Dance by The Kinks. I had the horrible realization that I didn't have ANY of The Kinks on CD and bought a greatest hits compilation the other day at the Newbury Comics b-day sale. Listening to it right now, and it's making me very happy. Ray Davies has a voice that contains such sadness... such a resigned, "that's life" melancholy quality that is truly lovely, and the lyrics... well, The Kinks were always awesome lyrically. Anyone has a copy of "Give the People What They Want" on CD they want to get rid of, let me know.

Friday, April 8, 2011

"They sang another victory song..."


Tessie, 'nuff said, McGreevy shouted,

"We're not here to mess around.

Boston, you know we love ya madly

Hear the crowd roar with the sound

Don't blame us if we ever doubt ya

You know we couldn't live without ya

RED SOX! You are the only, only,

Oh, there is joy in Mudville today, my cherished blurkers. The Red Sox had their home opener against the Evil Empire (aka the NY Yankees) and kicked arse, winning 9 to 6.

Considering the bastards lived up to their old nickname of the Dead Sox (or the Hahtbreak Kids) this past week--losing SIX FUCKING GAMES, oh, boys, PLEASE! All the fans were saying prayers to the Gods of Baseball that they'd pull their bats out of their arses and swing for the Green Monstah.

OK, I realize that I have just lost almost all of my chick street cred by writing this, but, please understand that, as much as I hate professional sports (with the exception of hockey), the Red Sox are something else. They're almost a religion here, something that everyone from the sweetest little white-haired Nana to the droopy-drawered kid on the street loves.

And, by the Gods, we love our Sox. Bostonians talk about them like they're next door neighbors, either using their nicknames--Papi, Tek, Tito, Pap, YOOOOUKKK!--or their last names--Pedroia, Drew, Crawford--and always in the thick Bawstin accent. So, for Ortiz, it's pronounced "Paaahpee," fer instance. The best Sawx player's name evah rendahed in a Bawstin accent was Nomah Gahceeahparrah. We were all sad when Nomar got traded to the Cubs (and then the Sox won the Series; poor bastid), but he came back for a day to retire a Sawx.

Yes, I have dropped into my native accint. I'm tawkin' about THE SAWX!

'FNX played "Tessie" by the Dropkick Murphys this afternoon around 5. "Tessie" was released in '04, and for me, that song will always be the song of that year. I can't hear it without tearing up a little--'04 was a magical year in Boston. We reversed tha curse.

"The Curse" was the legendary (and semi-mythical) Curse of the Bambino, Babe Ruth, traded from the Sawx, leaving them to nevah win anothah series evah.

Until 2004.

Fuckin' magical, that year. To stage the greatest comeback EVAH, EVAH, EVAH INDA HISSTAREE OF BASEBALL! To come from three games down to the fuckin' Yanks in the ALC East to beat the shit out of them and win, win, WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP! Holy mutha Mary, you nevah saw such a celebration! Fenway, Kenmore... madness on the TV.

And then... the series.

It looked almost like it was going to be a one-of-a-kind, holy-fuck-NO-ONE-can-win-this-one when the Cubs were doing really well (and then their curse kicked in, poor sonsabitches). I mean, there were a few of us going, "Shit, BOTH teams deserve it--just call the fuckin' series and give 'em both the trophies."

But then, the Cahds (excuse me, the St. Louis Cardinals) who made it from the National League. The World Series was almost anti-climactic after the ALC; I mean, we shut down and shut up the fuckin' Yanks. (Which is why, for me, I don't give a rat's ass about the rivalry any more.) But the World Series... I called my best friend Keith and just said, "How 'bout dem Sawx?" Outside there were people running up and down the street--people came out of their houses, just to share the moment, just to say, "We won!"

Some crazy bastid ran down my street (which is a main street in my city) high fiving every single person.

It was the balls. It was history. All the faith... paid off.

Our Boys did it. And we LOVED that team... Damon. Tek. Papi. Pedro. Manny. Schill.

And there wasn't a one of us long-time fans, fans that grew up here in houses full of Sawx fans, who remember being taken to a game by their father, grandfather, mother, grandmother... someone long gone, who didn't say, "I wish s/he was alive to see this." Any cemetary you visited that year, you'd find Sawx hats, pennants, something, draped on graves, because even the dead needed to know that The Hahtbreak Kids had broken our hearts again, but this time with joy.

Nike ran a commercial that year... I remember talkin to a bud at work about it, both of us had teared up because it showed a family progression over the years from 1918 to 2004, going to Fenway, sitting in the bleachiz, both of us wishin' someone had lived to see it.

That's why when they won again in 2007, we were all like, yeah, '04 was for histaree, this one is for US! Never forget Pap and Tek... that monstah hug on the mound... Magic. Just magic. Mike Lowell. Dustin Pedroia. Jacoby Ellsbury. Kevin Youklis. Papi, Big Papi. Pap dancing on the truck in a kilt with the Dropkick Murphys, and the whole city, the whole damn state, turning out to welcome them home and show 'em the love.

That's the thing... we love our Sawx. There's something special about the Red Sawx. Boston fans... we're... well, we're fanatical. Some of us are fuckin' idiots, to be honest, but most of us... the Sawx are a paht of growin up. They're a paht of life. Y'got three seasons in Bawstin--wintah, baseball, and post-season. The rest... the rest don't mattah. You'll also notice one othah thing 'bout the Sawx and the playahs we love the most--they're good guys. Decent guys. The kinda guys you'd buy a beeyah for down th'pub. The kinda guys who give back--who take their paht of their salaries and staht charities, who support people who need it. Guys who give back. (There's a reason Rogah Clemmins ain't liked in Bawstin; ditto, Manny Ramirez--they're JERKS who treated people lousy and didn't act like gentlemen. In short, they didn't act like Sawx.)

And it also don't mattah if they don't make it ta th'Series. Just so long as they play their hahts out.

(And don't give me any shit about the color of your cap means the kind of fan you are--I'm a GIRL, ASSHOLE--I LIKE PINK! and red clashes with my hair, so fuck off. *rolls eyes*)

And while normally you couldn't drag me to Fenway unless I was bound, gagged and sedated, the Cubs are coming in next month. THAT could be wikkid frickin awesome.

So, fah me, Spring has sprung. Tha Boys are back at Fenway, the bats are swingin' & crackin', and all is right with the world.


Today's pic is the joyous hug between Jonathan Papelbon and Jason Veritek after the final out of the 2007 World Series. I still get a little choked up when I remember that moment... the young pitcher and the solid team captain, the moment of victory that was just pure, unbridled joy, a "WE DID IT!" I wish they'd made an action figure of that moment. It would be on my desk.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Smells Like... Actually, It Just Stinks

So, today, back in 1994, Kurt Cobain died. Depending on your view point, it was either suicide or murder. (My opinion: murder, but I am slightly hating of Courtney Love.) 1994 was quite possibly one of the single worst years of my life; Kurt's horrible end kept me from checking out at a time I was very close to just opening my veins and giving up. I'm dealing with a touch of the Black Dog today. I almost quit my job yesterday--almost walked out of here and never came back, I was pushed that far. I cried (and screamed) for at least an hour afterwards. I'm at the end in here (and no, I don't care who knows it). The retribution cycle has started for last week's conversation with HR, and I'm really sick of working for children. I'm sick of trying to do my job to the best of my abilities and dealing with interference from people who do not know the breadth and depth of what I do. In short, I got handed my ass for not meeting a (non-critical) deadline. The work was done, the final bit of data entry was not. The item needed had been ordered and shipped; entered into the Uni's financial database, entered into the records needed for the reconciliation I'm working on. However, because it hadn't been entered into the ILS, I was handed my ass. No credit for all of the work that had been done on Friday. No consideration for prioritizing. Just an unbending "THIS IS THE DEADLINE!" reaction. Technically, yeah, I was in the wrong. In the scheme of the bigger picture, however, I was not. I was acting "like a grade 24" and prioritizing my workload, treating the larger concern of the quarterly reconciliation--the final budget recon before I go on vacation, the admin goes on maternity leave, and the all-important month of May in the cycle of the budget year, the month when we spend everything down to the last friggin' possible penny, which means that Yours Truly must be on point and have all the ducks in a row and quacking in four-part harmony. The thing is, I'm damn good at it. Do Shakespeare, and managing five budgets isn't a big deal. The problem comes from the (lack of) leadership around here: insecure, passive-aggressive, micro-managers who can't just back off and let the work go on. Two years ago they finally adjusted my grade and salary to be more in line with what I actually do. I have had my face rubbed in it every time there is an issue. The thing is, I wasn't "given" anything. I EARNED that, and the pay rise was a joke. I am still not making industry standard for this position, even without an MLS. And I'm sick of it. I'm tired of whenever I demand that this place behave itself and give back, there's repercussions. There's outright revenge. The event I was a part of starting and running here has the slogan, "Lesley works because WE do." I coined that phrase. I've pushed that phrase because it's the fucking truth. This place isn't doing anyone a favor by "giving" them a job--it's a mutual benefit: the Uni offers the job with salary and benefits (which keep getting slashed), the employee offers skills and time. In economic times like these, the employers tend to forget this. So, I've had my bitch. I have to get my resume together, I have to start looking for/applying for jobs. I started looking around last night. I don't even know what I want to do. I just know it's not this. I hope everyone else has had a better week. I'll try to be more cheerful tomorrow.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Hey, kids. How goes? Greetings from an emotionally and physically exhausted Empress. My apologies for being so quiet over the past couple of weeks; it's been a bit rough. Folks who know me on a face-to-face basis know that when I get quiet, it's time to worry because it means that life is kicking my arse. And it has. I think my last post had to do with a sick friend and asking for some good healing energy for him while reminiscing about how he had provided me with one of my few (possibly only) John Hughes' Moment in my dating life. A few weeks back I mentioned that The Job was not a happy thing these days. Well, it still ain't. I had a meeting with HR on Thursday afternoon to discuss the situation, and while I can't say anything has been resolved, at least I got to put my concerns on the table. And now... the waiting game. I am not good at waiting. Speaking of waiting, I have another 21 days to wait before Nova Scotia. There is a God. The relationship (I think I can call it that) has reached the three week point. All is good. It scares the piss out of me--SO normal, so lovely, so NICE. We date. We talk daily. We see each other a few times a week. I am not obsessing about every single detail. I trust him. (As much as I trust anyone, and that's saying something.) I LIKE him. There are a couple of things that annoy me, AND I AM GOOD WITH THAT! If he was perfect, I'd be running for the hills tout suite. (What annoys me: smoking, constant TV. NORMAL guy things! If that's the worst of his flaws, sweet Mother Mary, I WILL TAKE IT!) I feel safe, I feel cared for, I feel... I feel accepted. I really enjoy his company, just being with him. It's pretty damn amazing. It's also stressful. Because I am so terrified of fucking it up. Although I've been doing pretty well at keeping my natural paranoia in check; this is a good thing. I really don't want to fuck this up. I'm hoping I've finally a) learned to stay calm and keep my shit together; b) gotten my med levels correct; and c) found the good, decent and loving man I've been praying/hoping/holding out for all these years. Ma is Ma. She's been sick this week, so she's been off her game. Didn't help that I was a headachy mess today and not willing or able to take her out (mind you, I had set aside Thursday night and then Friday night for her errands, and had been told that she didn't want to go anywhere today, and then she woke up and felt better and decided to change my plans; my body had other ideas). The problem with being at this level of stress is that it also shuts me off and shuts me down artistically. I haven't been able to write for days, not even to blog (as you all know), never mind work on my novel. I have been wound too tight. I haven't even been able to read, or craft, or anything. And I'm BORED. I HATE being bored. There's so much I need to get done, and I haven't had the focus to do it. You don't KNOW how much that upsets me. It's like being in an extreme state of sexual excitement and not able to blow--most FRUSTRATING feeling in the world. Writing is a lot like sex for me--it's a necessary release, only for my brain rather than my body. The feeling after a good writing session is pretty much like a the feeling after a good shag--everything feels lovely, I'm content with myself and the world, and I can sleep. It's actually funny... the correspondence between writing and sex. The type of "cum" is dependent upon the type of sex/writing--the friendly shag (good sex, no commitment, but we both had fun--some of the more fuckery blogs are like that); the hard fuck (slam-banging, prolonged, physically and emotionally exhausting--there may not have been an orgasm, but it was satisfying as all fuck--heavy emotional writing, painful shit is like this--I'm aching afterwards, but it was damn good); and the serious lovemaking (sweet, passionate, and involving heart, soul, mind and body--rare and wonderful). HOWEVER... the period of unproductivity is coming to a close. I had a breakthrough on Broom Closet today--I've been really unhappy with the last third of the book, and haven't been able to find a way into it to improve it and get it to the level of the rest of the novel. (And I'm a month behind schedule. *headdesk*) Well, today I figured out what was missing and how to fix the scene in Salem that, while pivotal and important, was just ringing flat and false. SUCCESS! I'm hoping to get a night of writing in at Sbux this week. There's too much mental noise in the house to get it done here without staying up all night (and sometimes that doesn't work--case in point, it's nearly 4:00 a.m. and Ma is STILL up, watching fucking reality TV. Shoot me!). OK, kids, I'm going ni-night. It's nearly 4:00 a.m., I have to meet the Fabulous Alicia at noon to muck out the storage space, and I'd like to get a little sleep and have a decent breakfast before that. I promise I will be a more faithful correspondent. I have a lot I want to write about on here--the list of upcoming posts just keeps getting longer--and I think I'm coming out of my stress-induced silence. Much love, Your Empress