It's probably been time tested in the blogosphere that you'll lose a lot of your readership if you talk about menstruation. But people talk about poop on the internet and raise their readership eleventy thousand fold!
Screw it, you want my daily life that's what you're getting. (Grumpy. Surprised? Shouldn't be, this is a period post!)
There's a quote that an ex of mine was fond of, I don't know who said it first, "I don't trust anything that bleeds for seven days and doesn't die." Now I know the boy meant it to be all anti-chick and wanted to get a rise out of me but I really agree. In his case he made a point to refer to the whole woman but for me, man, if I could sit down and have a conversation with my reproductive parts it'd be like:
Them: What? You got a problem?
Them: It's just...necessary.
Me: I don't believe you.
Them: Oh sweetie, don't be a bitch, it's just the PMS talking. Go have a nice bowl of ice cream, or veggies, or maybe a pizza, no, PUDDING, have pudding and everything will all be all right.
Them: Shoo now, I've got a gut shot straight here and the left elbow is about to play right into it, you're salting my game. Bring me back a tequila while you're at it.
No, really there's a period (heh) of between 2 and 48 hours where I feel sort of crappy, nonspecific but with a hint of puking-to-come while also shot through with actual digestive distress. (TMI? Oh please, you people read DOOCE!) This not exactly specific ick feels bad but not bad enough to warrant staying home or taking medication or anything. It's the sort of thing that you think, "I need to find something to settle my stomach."
It was with this in mind that I headed out for a short break from work today. My mouth thought it could use a nibble, my throat wanted to pull an Exorcist and my stomach was starving despite my having finished lunch already. My mouth won and had us hunting for pudding. I entered the least used deli in hopes of pudding and when I saw none the following Faulkner Moment occurred:
"No pudding, why no pudding? Should I ask? Oh, there's rice pudding. I hate rice pudding, that makes me want to yak. Crap! If there was chocolate pudding it would be with the rice pudding, right? Fuckers ate all the chocolate pudding and left the rice. I wonder if Ona wants rice pudding? Should I bring some to her? Maybe they have packaged pudding. Where would that be? Oh, hey, salad bar. I could have salad. Should I have cottage cheese? Would that settle my stomach? Ick, nope, apparently not. But fruit, and veggies, if I have those the cramps won't be so bad. Or is it exercise that does that? If it's exercise it's way too late for this month. I really need to start exercising more. Well at all. You know I really want pudding..."
I ended up with salad bar salad and fruit and still have an intense craving for pudding.
The bleeding commenced about 2 hours later.
The reason I mention this is that I know that a variation on the theme of this inner monologue happens to me every month and yet, with the exception of rare cases like today, I don't recognize it for what it is. Every month I start to feel sort of crappy in the PMS week and I think, "Man, I feel shitty, how can I be coming down with something, I've got no time for this. I should go eat something to settle my stomach."
If I had could figure out how to talk to my one month older self I'd say, "Bitch, you're coming down with YOUR PERIOD! Are you STUPID?! Just get the goddamned pudding and shut up!"
OK, enough about me. You don't want to talk to me today. I'm crabby. Go here instead and read a new and fabulous blog. I promise, it'll be worth your while. If you don't go I will just talk more about bleeding out my coochie! (This is absolutely the sort of introduction she was looking for, I'm sure of it.)
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Auntie Blanche turns 95 this Tuesday. There are celebrations planned. I'm very much looking forward to seeing her and to essentially bathing in lobster with her. I've also got many things planned for the show I'm marketing to high schools. Keep your fingers crossed for good things to happen on that front. I'd really like to close the deal on some of these prospects so I can feel as though I'm making some progress.
Again I'll be in the land of (mostly) dial up and I've got a pretty full schedule. I'll have a good chunk of drive time to create blog entries but I probably won't have time or the ability to post them. To make up for that I give you some pictures. See you next weekend!
The hard core New England meeting house that holds the roots of all my mother's crazy family. It's in Stetson, ME. If you think this is small town I'll post a picture of their "office building" later.
The House Hippo, gone but not forgotten. We hope he's living in a house where the walks, the belly rubs and the hamburger are all plentiful.
Just a bug, not a Joss Whedon masterpiece.
Old man B, the dog Emily is currently displacing from the pictured couch until she comes home with me on Saturday.
So easy to tell that this is where they keep the crazy people. Well, those of us they can catch.
Last but not least, 2 of my cohabitants in a rare and glorious moment of repose.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
So, everyone is married. I've got two 95th birthday celebrations (same birthday girl, just 2 parties) to go and then the summer of enormous life events will be a sweet, confusing memory to be sorted and mulled...like cider...Mmmmmm, cider, I like mulled cider.
OK, I'm back. Here are those thoughts I promised.
Cupcake wedding cakes are a good idea.
It doesn't matter how expensive or well made your fancy shoes are, eventually you will need to rip them from your feet and throw them at a wall...hard.
I haven't had the pooch with me this week (This break sponsored by Papa Kizz and P. Thank you!) and partly it's made life a lot easier. I mean, to come home from a late night out or a long day working or a combo platter (hello, yesterday, I do not miss you) and not to have to then get changed and walk the dog or to have to get up early enough to walk the dog before those days is an enormous treat. But walking home last night and tonight I've realized that I'm also missing that part of getting home where there's a little structure, a method of decompression and that walking in and giving the dog some attention and hanging out reduces my blood pressure and as much as my legs don't miss it my soul does. Turns out that it helps me more than it helps her. Who knew?
Last but certainly not least, the person who devised a health care plan that does not cover breast cancer treatment should rot in hell. Soon.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
For the past couple of months I've been bitching and moaning about all the traveling I have to do this month. Don't get all excited, I'm not taking any of that back. It's frigging expensive and tedious and the logistics of where to bring the dog and how to spend time with all the right people and also, you know, sleeping are exhausting.
Yet today I started thinking that I'd really like to add a trip to the itinerary.
I want to go to Texas.
Unless you've been living under a rock or you don't know me at all you've figured out why without clicking on the link. I'd like to grab a case of beer and some sunblock and maybe my mom and go meet Cindy Sheehan.
If I were Doots I'd probably already have a cheap ass ticket and be on my way.
But, alas, I am not. I'm me.
I'm not a political blogger. I'm trying to become better informed politically but maintaining that tricky balance between enough news to help me win a finely nuanced political debate and not so much news that I end up cowering under my bed waiting for the bomb to drop is a delicate job.
Which means that I can't tell you what good I think I'd do by going to Texas and being one of the many who stand in the orbit of a brave and intelligent patriot.
I just admire her. (Just?) I suspect she's a great mother. She didn't agree with her son's choice to join the army but she'd brought up a boy, a man, who held to his convictions and she supported him even when their moral compasses pointed in different directions. Now that her son's choices put him in harm's way, and finally killed him, she is honoring his memory by sticking to her own principles and asking politely but firmly for an elected official to do his job.
When I think of her and her son I also think of a particularly headstrong 15-year-old athlete. He's at a point in teendom where he feels invincible. It's also a stage where it's entirely possible that if anyone over the age of 25 told him not to jump off a cliff he'd be inclined to do it anyway.
In three years he will be 18. In three years he will be eligible for registration in the Selective Service and be able to legally make his own decision about serving in the military. In three years, according to Mr. Rumsfeld's timeline, the US military will still be "working" in Iraq.
This athlete is a boy close to my heart. I loved him when he was 8 and got yelled at for "hanging around" when he said he was going out to play and it turned out he was waiting to say goodbye to me but didn't know how to ask. I loved him during his mom and dad's wedding when he was on his best behavior until everything was over and then dissolved into inconsolable temper tantrums and crying. I loved him last week while we sat across from each other at the dinner table and train wrecked our conversation to a point where it ground to a complete halt in a shower of misunderstandings that finally had to be explained to me by another adult. I don't share blood with him, I didn't meet him until he was 6 ot 7, I only see him a few times a year (and these days we can barely cobble together dialogue when I do) but the thought of him going over there, learning what you can't avoid learning there, of dying there in a place where I can't even give him the crappy communication we have now makes me want to...to...well I could try out some fancy words but I'm sure I can't even imagine what it would be like.
What if I were his parent? What if I were Cindy Sheehan? Is a conversation with someone who arguably put him in harm's way such an unreasonable thing to ask?
As I walked home this evening I passed a couple of vigils in support of Mrs. Sheehan. I thought of joining the larger one but it turned out to be a bit of a loud and frenzied discussion about our current president and that's not really what I'm looking for. I can't bring myself to think that these things are actually helping, will actually bring about change, will reduce the number of sons and fathers who do not return but...
I just want to stand beside her, beside all the mothers and fathers and veterans there, to stand close enough that they know they are supported and to take up enough space that the president and his handlers cannot overlook her.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
So, I'm off to a land of dial up (mostly) for a busy, busy schedule of activities. I can't promise but you'll probably see wedding pictures on Monday.
In that spirit I leave you with quote of the week:
"A nice husband, the accessory that never goes out of style."
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Since I wrote about my dear friend who is dying I've had a few people talk to me about it. It's a new phenomenon for me to see when people will comment on the site and when they only feel comfortable doing it one on one. They were nice comments and I felt good about it.
Last night ChemE called so I could keep her company while she fought the technology gods and got her laptop set up (wireless, baby!).*
As she poked buttons and fussed and fumed (rightly, I might add) she dropped into the conversation, "I read your blog..about Mrs. X."
Wow. I had no idea she was reading. I thought she had probably lost the url and wouldn't be interested.
And then she dropped the bomb, "I get it. Me too. So, what do we do now?"
This is one of the gajillion reasons that I love her. Just when you think she isn't paying attention you find out that not only has she been paying close attention she's gotten right to the heart of the matter while the rest of us were dicking around with details.
I have no idea what we do now. I'm hoping one of us figures it out soon, though.
*ChemE: I'm wireless!
Me: Are you in the bathroom yet?
ChemE: No, there were things and I had to put the line into the modem and then I was on the phone for an hour waiting to talk to someone in INDIA!
Me: Oh so you had to wire up to something?
ChemE: No, I'm wireless!
Me: So go into the living room.
ChemE: It's doing stuff. Antivirus stuff.
Me: From the internet, right?
Me: Go into the living room
ChemE: Ooookaaay, I'll see if it...oh! hey! It's still working! I'm in my living room!
Me: Cool, huh?
ChemE: Wow the light in here is so much better.
Also the comfy chair, the TV and the dog. I didn't tell her that I wandered my apartment (much smaller than her house) for days flipping from blog to blog to see if it worked in every nook and cranny when I went wireless.
Monday, August 08, 2005
How shitty a person does it make me to leave my dog with my dad for 2 weeks just to make my life easier?
I love my dog. Surely you can tell that from the many pictures and fawnings.
Here's the thing, though, I'm driving to NH this weekend, then back to NYC on Sun, working a couple of days, doing much wedding stuff for at least 2 days, then driving back to NH for a week. Whenever I'm in NH the pooch stays with my dad in MA. The regular rental car routine is:
1. pick up rental car in Manhattan (it's cheaper, it's an insurance thing, I don't know)
2. drive to Brooklyn
3. load dog and stuff into car
4. drive to MA
5. drop dog/visit dad
6. drive to NH
Then you reverse that process on the return.
Also the dog isn't a fan of being left behind. Lots of separation anxiety. So is the answer to soothing that only leaving her once but for 2 weeks or leaving her 4 times over the course of 2 weeks, not counting days when I'll have someone else taking care of her in Brooklyn so I can do wedding stuff?
We've had a lot of bad dog news in our neighborhood over the past year or so. In the realm of living each day with your dog as though it could be your last I hate to go away from her at all. But I did just get her checked up and she's said to be in rip roaringly good health. So, I don't know.
I'm open to thoughts and suggestions. Anyone?
Sunday, August 07, 2005
This is a picture of my pooch. Doesn't have anything to do with this entry, I just like her.
Remember when you were 20 and you could pretty much rip off your own foot to play the drum part of Yankee Doodle Dandy on your head while hopping ten miles in a parade, re-attach your foot, have a couple pitchers of beer to celebrate, go to sleep and wake up in the morning with no signs of damage. And remember how you knew you were better? You felt better.
I am not 20 anymore.
I know this is not news. I know that I'm closer to twice 20 than Oksana Baiul is to complete anonymity but I haven't somehow learned the lesson that healing is a different ball game now.
On Friday I made the most enormous mistake of saying out loud, "Wow, my neck and shoulder really feel better!"
On Saturday I realized, "Wow, I aggravated the injury yesterday and I'm in a lot of pain."
So, being that I'm still unaware of the rules of over 25 healing, I decided that I would put off taking the muscle relaxants because those would make my brain fuzzy.
After a 2 hour nap as a vain attempt to reduce the pain I got up and headed to Manhattan. The mission: a wedding present and wrapping for said present, disposable heating pad, dog biscuits.
2 hours later I was home again with a wedding present, wedding wrapping (that it turns out isn't going to work), bags to pick up after the dog, disposable heating pads and $100 worth of new clothing.
As it turns out pain makes you just as shitty a shopper as pain medication. Huh. go figure.
Pony Express says that muscle relaxants don't make the pain go away necessarily, they just reduce your Give-a-Shit about it to manageable levels. They reduce your Give-a-Shit about everything else, too. Worried about finances? Oooo, pretty jacket. Worried about hydration? Mmmm, extra sweet soda to juggle with backpack and 62 shopping bags. Hungry? Oh, nice, there's peanut butter and ice cream and cereal, yay!
I took a muscle relaxant a couple hours ago and now I'm going to pay some bills. Hee! That should go well.
Lesson: I'm not cured. I'm not. Feeling better? Not a sign that I'm cured. Stay careful. For, apparently, 6-8 weeks.
Friday, August 05, 2005
I asked for blanket permission from friends about posting pictures. My first OK has arrived, so here's a picture of Tae Bo. Apparently for a while there he forgot how to smile. I remember that happening to me when I was around 6 and I think I looked like this too.
Friends and neighbors, I am loving this! I can post pictures! I should have given Alex a big wet kiss for this!
I was hoping to give you a picture of my brand new million dollar haircut and color but I can't figure out all the logistics of not taking a picture solely of the flash going off. Perhaps this is why Dooce always takes her self portraits in the car or the bathroom.
Hey, wait, I have a bathroom. Hold on.
Nope that's not it, it couldn't possibly be that Heather has a fabulous camera and knows how to use it, could it?
Well here are some other pics, just 'cause I can.
Oh and linking? Also easier now.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
I wear a Livestrong bracelet most days. Mostly I wear it because I like the sentiment, just the word "Livestrong", and I started using it as a secret reminder tool not to freak out and beat a certain co-worker to death with my stapler. So far it's working and really, why mess with a good thing?
Initially, though, I wore it because there's a lot of cancer in my orbit these days.
Don't get me wrong, there's been plenty of cancer in my orbit for quite some time, I grew up near and during the construction of a New England nuclear facility. There's no scientific evidence that it's causing the number of cases of different kinds of cancers in my hometown area but anecdotal evidence would suggest I was smart to get the hell out and a Silkwood shower upon returning from a visit would not be completely off the deep end of the crazy scale.
This year there's cancer back home and here in New York, with people who have lived near the hometown for years and with people who have lived there a relatively short while. And at least one of them thinks the Livestrong bracelet is stupid. Which is fine, I can take it off when the time comes.
One of the women (they're all women) has lung cancer. And here's the thing - she's dying.
I don't mean in that, "We've all got to go sometime" kind of way. I'm talking about the way where the doctor gives you a number in years or months or weeks.
My front brain, the part in charge of getting up every day and getting out of bed and doing what needs to be done has heard that and accepted it and made the appropriate plans, the sort of plans that result in me and one of my friend's daughters telling each other to SHUT UP because we don't want to cry in the office. I'm good like that, all about the practical, very good during a crisis.
DURING a crisis. Not so good by myself in the thinking mode, though.
The thing that's keeping the front brain moving and doing and walking the dog and going to the movies and planning for the legion of weddings in my near future is a tiny voice whose job is denial. That tiny voice in my head is a pro, I tell you, expensive and worth every penny.
"Dying, right, like dying as in she's going to be really sick for a long while and it's going to seem like forever but then things will even out and Christmas will be like we always do it so there's no need to change the picture of what Christmas looks like in your mind because we won't need that, we need that space for my collection of Cleopatra memorobilia so, please, just use the old Christmas picture, it's fine, we can keep doing things that way. Now, get your ass out of bed and feed the cats 'cause there ain't no denying that those beasts will eat you alive if you don't get a can of tuna surprise open in a damn hurry!"
But the thing is - she's dying. We might get another summer. We might only get another Christmas. We might get less than that. And, of course, we might get more because the more we learn about cancer the more the lesson is that we don't know jack shit.
I don't have much of a reason to be telling you this but I had to anyway. A conversation this week (one that happened outside my head) cleared the fog from this information and led me to believe that the shorter estimates are being used to plan so I am slowly and carefully shutting down the expensive tiny voice because if I don't I might do this wrong and that would be regrettable.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Last night, while extracting this week's most fabulous quote from Miss Julie, we discussed the concept of the Head Table at a wedding.
We agreed that being a member of the wedding (and not in the Carson McCullers sense) would be made much sweeter if one were promised a seat at the "Head" table, where the person of your choice could hunker down under the table cloth and give you a little bridesmaids' gift, if you know what I mean.
She wrote me a lovely song that she will sing at my wedding. I won't publish it here since I forgot to ask permission and I want it to be a surprise (preview: "...shit tied with a bow") but I promised her that she'd be seated at the "Head" table at my wedding.
If I have a wedding.
She asked me if I was magnetizing the right boy to me.
I told her that I think my poles are pointing in the wrong direction.
Wasn't until today that I realized that's as dirty as a "head" table.
I talk dirty without even knowing it, I'm a CATCH, what's wrong with these boys?
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
I work with a Career Counselor/Life Coach/Personal Cheerleader. I understand that a lot of people do face to face meetings for this sort of thing but my lady works differently. We work over the phone. Since it's a group of us it's a bit like Mork's reports to Orson but you get used to it.
The disadvantages are few, you wouldn't know some of these people if you tripped on them in the street despite the fact that you know them pretty well from the calls, you can't read people's facial expressions and gauge their interest in you, big phone bill if your designated time isn't during free night and weekend minutes.
The advantages are legion, really, cheifly no one can see your facial expression and gauge your interest in them. This is an enormous help if someone gets all actory and self important or if there's a particularly compelling episode of Two and a Half Men on. Seriously, though, you can do the meeting in your PJs, you can get up and get a drink whenever you want, there's a mute function so you can even take a pee break without disrupting the group.
There are times, though, when it's just odd. If you want to get all philosophical about it, it becomes a microcosm of real life where you're trying to carve out a specific time for something that's important to you but life has a way of intervening.
Case in point: last night. It was the final night of this particular session and we were focusing on our successes over the last 12 weeks and our goals for the next session. I went first (I pretty much always go first in this group) and managed to work out that I'd done a lot of stuff, in a period where I didn't feel as though I'd moved much closer to any of my goals and had felt some setbacks deeply (and from that sentence you're supposed to glean that, though I talk about this in a properly self deprecating fashion, I do take it to heart and feel it's worth every penny). After I finish my say the group can chime in and tell me how cool I am and what they remember about my work over the session and generally pat me on the back. I've been talking for about 7 minutes straight so I reach down next to the couch for my drink but it's not there. I whip around and it seems that somewhere at the beginning of my 7 minutes of fame I knocked over my go cup and it has been leaking slowly out over the floor the entire time. The cat is lying next to the seeping pool and watching it expectantly, deciding I assume, when to try and make the problem worse.
As a result I bolt off the couch and spend my designated ME time gathering a trash bag and a roll of paper towels and furiously mopping up my living and dining room all the while hmmming encouragingly, thanking everyone for making me feel like a Princess and sternly glaring at the cat. And no one on the call ever knew.
Monday, August 01, 2005
So, I go to the ladies' room and when I get back everyone is standing at the window looking down. Never a good sign. I've seen the result of a high rise jumper up close and personal before and it's really not an experience I wish to repeat.
Turns out it wasn't a jumper, it was a hanger. No, not that, thank goodness.
Some guy had rented a hotel room across the street, hooked his climbing gear to the balcony and hung himself by a harness off the balcony alongside a banner and then threw a bunch of fliers out onto the street. We couldn't read the banner and rescue services blocked off the street pretty quick so we never did find out for sure what his plan was.
I did the color commentary:
"See that guy, the one on the balcony above? He's a firefighter. See how he has a helmet on? He's going to get his harness on and repel down to the guy's balcony. It's safe, he's trained for this, he probably had to beat out 6 other guy's for the privilege."
And he did. Then he opened the door to the room so more firefighters could come out to the balcony. There was plenty of personnel from the city's fire and police departments to get one guy off a balcony. Many of them stood around and pointed and discussed the best course of action but it does actually take probably a dozen guys to effect such a retrieval. The guy had made his harness short enough that you couldn't just haul him onto the balcony below and unhook him and he was too belligerent to pull him back up over the top so some guys held his legs (and probably applied some handcuffs) and other guys took down the banner and figured out how to give him enough rope to get him lowered onto the balcony below and into the loving arms of the Peace Officers who later frog marched him to a waiting cruiser. It was fascinating in a grim/stupid way.
Later on the receptionist got a little more info. I was headed out for an errand and there were a lot of firefighters hanging around but they were so beautiful and I got shy and then I saw one guy that I thought I could approach but when I really looked at him I realized that I could be old enough to be his mom so I ran away. Hence the calling of the much younger than me receptionist to do a little detective work.
She was told that it had something to do with Miami tourism (we're not sure if he's pro or con) and that he claimed to have explosives on him (and yet they didn't evacuate the hotel from which he dangled, not sure how that works) but it turned out he didn't.
Nothing like a little excitement to liven up a dull Monday afternoon. If my live depended on guessing correctly what he was protesting I never in a million guesses would have thought "Well, of course, Miami Tourism."
It's nice to sing with a band. I mean, it's nice to sing, period, but it's really nice to sing with a band backing you up. I've only done it a few times before and I keep relegating it to "Special Occasion".
For the past month or so I've been getting together with Marky B and C-ann to prep a song we're singing for ProfDoc's wedding and man it's FUN. Practicing is fun (I am the worst about practicing, if I ever practiced in my whole childhood I'd actually be able to play the piano now, but I didn't so I can't). But when you have a band and everyone comes in knowing at least SOMEthing then you can practice and every time you run through a song everyone learns something and, you know, we don't sound half bad.
As I unpacked my knapsack this morning I pulled out the tape we made yesterday so I can rehearse on my own (since I didn't practice the piano, or the guitar or the trombone or the clarinet or the spinnet or anything else when I was a kid I need the musicians who did and do practice to make me a tape) with the back up and everything and I sang before I left for work. And let me tell you, singing makes me feel good. I got up late, I rushed a bit, my house is a wreck but I felt good from the singing.
This is the point at which, if you're working with a career counsellor or life coach, you hear the following:
"That's good. Let's acknowledge that feeling and see if we can incorporate it into your long term goals and find actions to further that goal in the short term. Nice work!"
As a matter of fact since I do work with one of those people and I will talk about this tonight I'm going to hear a version of that sometime in the 9-o-clock hour. But, since I've been working with her for about 4 years I said all that stuff myself and I realized that I've got to do more singing.
Which all comes down to: I'm going to make that CD.
What CD? you ask.
Carolann said I should make a CD (she heads her own record label, she can say stuff like that). I've been idly listening to music and trying to figure out what songs to sing (suggestions are welcome, please put them in the comments) but I've been dragging my heels a bit due to the price tag. Estimates agree that it will cost around $10,000. For someone who is saving her pennies manically for a time when she could maybe take 6 months off to write and read and rehearse and create, spending money on pretty much anything is hard. I really wanted a stupid Chantico from the Evil Empire this morning but the mean CPA in me was glad that the one Stormtrooper didn't know what the hell I was talking about and the head Stormtrooper confirmed they didn't have any.
I think I'm going to start with the title track off this disc. I better go e-mail Miss Julie and ask her to send me the chart.
I mean, really, it's not like they're going to ask me to pay it all at once, right?