Nanowrimo --- 50,000 words in 24 days! Wooo hooo!
Congrats to all the writers!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
It's that time of year again....Halloween and then the start of NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 words in one month. This is my third year participating, and damn it, I'm getting to 50,000!
Sign up and good luck!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Unprecedented Number of Sell-Outs Reported Worldwide for First Showings of 'Michael Jackson's This Is It'
Unprecedented Number of Sell-Outs Reported Worldwide for First Showings of 'Michael Jackson's This Is It'
Sure I got my tickets. I don't know what I will do to keep myself together if I go see it. I'm very conflicted. The melancholy part of me still wonders if God got some wires crossed right there the end of June. Another part tells me I'm here for SOMETHING. I'm having trouble expressing what I'm feeling, which, if you know me, is quite uncharacteristic.
I am, perhaps, in the middle of a middle age crisis.
I keep thinking of what Anne asked me as we looked at the picture of Michael on the cover of Rolling Stone -- the one with the article entitled "Hope and Ruin". She asked me, "You identify with that?"
Yes. I do.
She sent me a link of the Vanity Fair articles by Tim Russert's journalist wife. Excellently written and insightful. Very interesting and intelligent. Did they convince me that Michael was guilty of child molestation and got away with it?
Do I feel that Michael might not have used the best judgement concerning certain things? Yes.
I know there are many who say Michael was predatory and knew exactly what he was doing. In my head, I turn it around. I think he was a duck in an arcade shooting game when faced with kids, especially sick kids or kids from disjointed families. His own youth made him a sitting target. Kids were his Achilles heel and indirectly contributed to his eventual demise.
So now I wonder about the movie...and what I'm gonna do. I did arrange to go with 3 women I met recently who are MJ fans to the end...which may help me get through it.
It never is good to cry alone.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
A wonderful lady I've bumped into along my Michael Jackson travels has started a blog to organize a fan march for MJ.
Just check in and say "Hi," if you're interested in taking part -- details will be worked out as it moves along.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Yeah, I understand how you feel--another birthday!
But today on Michael Jackson's 51st birthday, take a moment to be kind, to be tolerant, to help someone in need. Think love, think compassion. Think about putting yourself in someone else's shoes. No matter how you feel about MJ, it's just a good day to think about the importance of love, respect and understanding--just as it is everyday.
Happy birthday Michael!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I have been traipsing around the internet and on michaeljackson.com reading posts by people who are just overwhelmed by sadness and loss. As I am not feeling too perky myself over his loss, I thought I would take a second and post something that might help.
I didn't think about this until tonight, but I seem to be a bit older than many of the Michael Jackson fans I ran into. I grew up in the same era as Michael and only 50 miles away. I remember Michael -- and Donny (gotta love him) Osmond -- as little boys slightly younger than I. To give it some perspective, I remember running to the store to buy my first Beatles album (vinyl in mono!) for $3.00 and I also remember seeing our President shot in a car on a Dallas street on television and years later seeing his brother killed as well.
I have seen and experienced alot and have been a chronic fan most of my life (even though I've managed to have a complete life with family, kids, job, cats!!). My point is that when horrible things happen like Michael's death, it is normal to grieve and be sad. But as sad as I am, I know that eventually it gives way to a sense of amazement and gratitude--and a sense of joy. The feelings you had when you saw "Thriller" for the first time or watched him moonwalk or shook his hand or went to his concert will NEVER go away. And some day when you have your own family, you will pop that DVD in of "Scream" and tell your kids that it was completely innovative for it's time.
Sure, they may roll their eyes at you, but you know. You know what it was like when you saw it the first time. And you are gonna smile.
I guess the only way to really explain all this is for me to talk Beatles. I was absolutely heartbroken and horrified when John Lennon died. I cried so hard. I couldn't believe it. I had to pull my car over to the side of the road when a song of his would come on the radio -- or even a Beatles' song -- because it made me so awfully sad. He died several days before my birthday and I don't remember if I even celebrated.
His death, like Michael's, was unfair. I felt cheated. John Lennon had so much to live for--music to write, a family to raise. Just like Michael. And John was maligned much like Michael--his peace efforts, his nude album cover, his recordings of Yoko screaming, Yoko -- period, his drug use, his outspokenness--the FBI file on John Lennon was practically as long as a football field and he was constantly threatened with being thrown out of the U.S. His son Sean was 2 years younger than Blanket when his father was murdered.
But I can tell you with 100% certainty that the pain over Michael's death will slowly ease. I know mine will because my sadness over John Lennon's (and subsequently George Harrison's) deaths eased -- and we are talking Mount Everest of sadness. Now I go to a Beatles Convention once a year (since 1982; John died in 1980) and the message of John, George and all the Beatles---of love, kindness and peace is still very much alive. Their music is alive. The charities are still strong. The fans come and the fans bond and the fans talk and fans have fun and laugh and remember. Now, the fans bring their children and there is a whole new generation of Beatles' fans...and there is alot of love.
So it will be with Michael, as hard as it is to believe now when his loss is so close. His legacy of love and caring and his incredible talent will live forever. You will be so incredibly grateful to have been a part of it that there will be a time you will put in "Michael Jackson Number Ones" and not have tears flood your eyes. You will actually smile and laugh and call your kids in and help them learn a dance step or two (while they think you are crazy) or amaze them that you still know all the words to "Beat It". There is a continuum and a constancy that is comforting. I rocked my babies to sleep with Beatles' songs and you will rock yours to sleep with Michael Jackson songs.
With Michael, we've all been a part of something amazing that will never happen again. Just as there will never be another Beatles' or another John Lennon or George Harrison, there will never be another Michael Jackson. And for all of us, we are so grateful that we've learned when someone says "I love you", we answer: "I love you more".
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I met with a person from our company's IT department, and somehow Star Trek and Captain Kirk was mentioned. I am always up for a Star Trek/Captain Kirk discussion, even in the middle of a work day. Anyway, this IT person was talking about how computers "talk" to one another (I still don't get it, but I've got IT--do I REALLY need to "get" it?) and he used the idea of the Star Trek "Universal Translator".
Well, he started it. It wasn't ME who mentioned Star Trek.
I interjected with one of the enormous questions that have plagued me since 1966. And that is: Star Trek is based on going "where no man has gone before". Is that right? And yet, they had a universal translator which communicated with beings that they have never even had contact with. For example...you are going in space. You end up at Omega Triphon 17, where NO ONE had visited before. On Omega Triphon 17, they speak Zilliswanni, which has no written alphabet. BUT! The universal translator is gonna figure it out so those speaking zilliswanni can understand you and you can understand them?
I think Gene Roddenberry took TONS of literary license with that piece of equipment.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Michael Jackson's death has caused me to write more, blog more. Which is good for me. There is the floating theory that I am using this to distract me from my current set of problems, but I'm not so sure that it's a bad thing. I really am stuck in the camp that going through my feelings about MJ's death have liberated some of my glossed over neuroses.
But anyway, should fans wish to find a place to share, go to www.michaeljackson.com. There are forums and lots and lots of cool things. Great pics, terrific links, stuff, updates and even a conspiracy theorist who showed up today. I'm not sure though if he is trying to prove that Michael Jackson died months ago or is still alive. Part of the beauty of this website is that it is filled with people from all over the world and I've learned that some things get lost in the universal translator.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I spent the weekend at BeatleFest *(Don't Ever Call It BeatleFest Again) and laughed my ass off with my oldest and dearest, Anne. Ronnie Spector (jail-bird Phil's ex) was there and didn't seem to impart any sadness over the imprisonment of her one-time husband. We didn't get a chance to ask her how many times he brandished a gun at her. Since she was in lock down most of the time, maybe he didn't have to wave a gun at her face.
The Hudson Brothers were there also. Always a treat! Anne said a couple stories had the ring of old vaudeville routines, but even if so, they were delivered with the Hudson particular brand of humor. And no need to mention Martin Lewis or Wally or Terri. I purchased several teen magazines from the 1960's and we laughed ourselves nearly to death as we looked back into our teenybopper lives.
But Anne and I had several long discussions about my recent posts and the Michael Jackson Death Blues. One thing became apparent. She will take over my life as I seem to have gone down the Stony End.
I don't really have any problem with that. Anne always has my best interests at heart. I know that. She has since she was 6--and it is always so clear to me when we talk for hours on end that she is a much better friend to me than I am to her. She always puts others before herself...and she is as smart as she is funny. Her heart is never in any place but a kind one.
After I dropped her off at home, I thought about some of the things we talked about. We had a discussion about Michael Jackson and she feels in her heart of hearts that he is/was a predatory human being who prayed on young boys. In her eyes, the travesty is that no one believed those boys whom he damaged--whether it was physically or emotionally. It falls right into the idea that female rape victims were historically brushed under the rug and not believed either.
When my son came home one day from baseball practice and wanted to quit because of sexually inappropriate remarks from his high school coach to the team, I of course believed him. I ended up going to the school board and making a formal complaint, for which I got some apology in a letter that was 4 lines long and a total joke. But Sean was off the team and that was that.
I think it is mandatory for adults to listen to children and believe them. I believe it is mandatory for police and hospital employees to believe a woman who says she has been raped.
So how can I believe Michael Jackson? Was he a victim of his own life? Yes. Did he set himself up for potential trouble? Yes. Did he intentionally hurt anyone? I think not, but people who's opinions I trust and admire believe he was a pedophile. And yes, a jury of his peers found him innocent in 2004--but the justice system is not infallible. So what do I think? How do I reconcile that I feel children should be believed and yet I feel that MJ was largely innocent?
I think I will not think about it. We love who we love. As the Elvis Presley fans have told the Michael Jackson fans, focus on the music and the dancing and the entertainer and the humanitarian. I believe I will place Michael Jackson in a separate compartment of genius and uniqueness. For if there is one thing I know, he is the last of his kind. There will never,ever, be another like him.
And I'll be damned....but his loss still bothers me. Perhaps it's our wires crossing at Anesthesia Avenue and Xanax Boulevard, I don't know. I do know that no matter what, Anne will get to the bottom of it.
Monday, August 10, 2009
As I continue down the rabbit hole of my own insanity, further analysis of the case of MJ’s death may indicate that the stupid, inept, moron of a doctor probably killed him---with stuff that Michael wanted anyway. I’m sure the doctor didn’t tie him to the bed and force the IV in his arm against his will. You can argue that Michael was genuinely ill with a sleep disorder and panic and depression and anorexia and didn’t get the help he needed. That’s true. But he might not have wanted the help either—drugs are faster than years of medical tests and therapy. There’s a lot of gray areas there surrounding professional responsibility and personal responsibility. And, in his case, celebrity. Being a celebrity didn’t help Michael Jackson one bit.
All this reminds me of the John Belushi drama. The woman who supplied the drugs that he took of his own free will ended up paying a price too. If you drive drunk, the person who supplied the liquor is responsible too. But that doctor had a professional responsibility that he completely ignored. His creed says “First, do no harm”. And for that…and for all of them that did that….may they all rot in hell (preceeded by a nice stint in jail).
Back to the issue though. Don’t get me wrong. I love anesthesia. Wouldn’t have an operation without it. Working in medicine and being a chronic patient, I know how anesthesia works. I know how it feels. Some knock you out flat. Some give you moments of a type of relaxation just before oblivion that is something that can't be found in nature. Slipping away and not coming back is what I wanted. Slipping away for a nice long nap and waking up for another day is what Michael wanted. Maybe God switched the wires and something got lost in translation.
But no matter what, I wouldn’t hook it up to my vein in the privacy of my own home even with a doctor there. Common sense tells you that it just has some kind of bad. That it’s supposed to be used in a hospital cuz people smarter than you with initials after their names said so—probably after many mishaps. But all of this is really water under the bridge, which brings me to my next point:
It is clear to me considering the circumstances between me and MJ that he reached the Bridge of San Luis Rey before I did. We read that story in school -- it’s a Thornton Wilder Pulitzer prize winner from the 1920’s. The story surrounds a group of people who, by chance, meet at a rope suspension bridge. The bridge collapses and everyone is killed. The Father who witnesses the accident begins to find out about each of the people who were killed and discovers they were all at points in their lives when they were looking forward. They had let the hurts and disappointments of the past go and they were focused on a goal in front of them. The issue then stands --- did they die at the perfect time for them? With no fear of their past and only forward to go? And as it is with death—it’s always sadder for those of us left behind---does it make it doubly sadder that we missed out on their triumphs?
Don’t look at me. I have no idea. I find it hard enough to deal with MJ and my karma trains crashing at the anesthesia crossing. But I think this story defines what happened to Michael Jackson better than anything and makes me feel good for him, bad for me. It seems that with the O2 announcement, he was looking ahead. Putting the past behind. And he knew his fans still loved and wanted to see him. He had his children and it appears, a plan for their future as a family. It does seem that he even had a plan to get his health back.
Of course, we don’t know. We like to analyze and pray and speculate and ruminate to help us get past painful things. To help make sense of them.
I don’t know if I understand why our paths crossed the way they did. It could, in the words of David Steinberg, just be God’s will… “and that mystical sense of humor that is only His.”
I'm working on it, ok?
I should first explain I am indeed an MJ fan. Stating that is quick sand and understandably so. He tried the patience out of all of us. However, I spent untold time and energy preserving who Michael Jackson was to me. Several years just didn't happen--like say, 1993, and almost completely from 2003 to 2009. I told Anne once that it is my God-given right as an American to turn MJ off the television. Any good fan should have....because it preserved him as a true wonderment. And maybe I'm mourning that wonderment now.
He was a true dancing, singing miracle in "Thriller". He was sexy but safe (thrusting pelvis aside) in "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Bad" -- the short and the full 18 minutes and "Beat It" -- showed sides of him we didn't know before. I was never that crazy about "Billie Jean" -- but I loved those white socks and loafers dancing down the lighted sidewalk floor. Then I remember watching the "Black and White" Panther version and thinking: I wish I could slap him. What the hell is he thinking? Apparently John Landis thought the same thing and it was re-edited without the violence at the end. Here, I thought--ok. He'll be ok. But no. It was vitiligo (not his fault of course, but it was ONE MORE THING). Then surgeries on the nose...and his discovery of the Lancome counter. Then the Beatles catalog (a shrewd business move, but McCartney was his FRIEND), then court and rehab...then Lisa Marie and are they or aren't they?...and then I don't know what else. I remember Anne trying to talk to me about the Bashir interview, which I never saw until after his death. I had just stopped looking. Michael Jackson reverted to that sexy but safe guy chasing the girl down the street. I'm no dummy. I know where to land my fantasies where they are safe and sound.
I stuck a toe in every so often, careful to guard my fantasy. And he didn't always make me run for my 1980's cover. I loved "In The Closet". I saw the "You Rock My World" video and the director's attempt at hiding MJ's face only distracted from his great dancing. I loved "Blood on the Dance Floor" and thought he looked absolutely great. But then that cover of Ebony? He did that on purpose! And that face on the mug shot from the 2005 trial? It was something created from fear and isolation...pain and illness. Way too much reality for me.
I heard about his appearances on music shows, read about his comings and goings. I knew he was alive and walking and talking somewhere or another. I heard he was a great dad. I, like everyone else, wanted to see pictures of his kids. But then I wondered how he could tell his children they had no mother....and oooppppps.....too close. Reel it in, boys....back to my man in "The Way You Make Me Feel." Phew. Thanks.
I grew up with the Jacksons and the Osmonds--me, Donny and MJ hit 50 within a year or so of each other. "Stop the Love" is one of my all time favorite songs and it was put on my iPod from day 1. I worked in disco radio back in the day and "Rock with You" was practically our theme song. I heard it 250 times a week.
So perhaps my problem stems from: exceptional bad timing and an incredibly well honed fantasy system that had MJ stuck in the 1980's disguised as a healthy, happy guy in his 20's. No illness, no trials, no identity issues, no (more) plastic surgery, no cosmetics.
Now I have been inundated with the misery and mystery of this human being that I froze in time. It's like I never knew him at all--which I didn't. (Yes, even my fantasy brain knows I don't know Michael Jackson AT ALL). So armed with all this new information, I want to understand because I'm sorry I didn't before. I know there will never, ever be another like him. For good or bad. And in the back drop, I will never, ever be a young girl watching a young boy and his brothers sing on tv, or a young woman working at a radio station with her life in front of her, or a young mother dancing with her little one to a Jackson 5 song.
Maybe I went to a place where what has gone before is more interesting than what lies ahead.
Sure, in the previous post I said "And that's all I have to say about that", but if you know me, I've always got more to say. Especially if I have all the time in the world to say it.
Anne has told me that I need to blog my way out of the MJ Death Blues. I am incredibly sad and can't believe I am fixating this way. I know what you are thinking: and yes. I've had my meds adjusted.
What can I say?
You won't believe what I can say.
I believe his death hit me at the wrong time. I was home just post-surgery. I was watching the news and began listening from the moment someone mentioned that Michael Jackson was being taken from his home to the hospital "apparently in a coma". I really thought it was going to be a Karen Carpenter situation. If you don't remember, she died from complications from anorexia. I'd seen Michael over these last months. He looked frail and not well at all while being wheel-chaired through Vegas. And I thought it was very suspect that when he announced the O2 gig, he was fairly well covered. Big glasses, hair around his face. You can't really "get" a person if you can't see their face--particularly their eyes. If he was gung-ho, ready to go, London-here-I-come, you would have seen it in his eyes -- but we couldn't.
But besides that, I have been tossing around my own demons and having a particularly tough and rough time with depression. My panic disorder, funny enough, seemed to be under control, prompting me to think: do I need to choose between bouncing off the walls at 2am in a sweaty panic or laying on the couch wishing I was invisible? But anyway, in a fit of depression, I wished that once I went under the anesthesia for surgery, that I just wouldn't wake up. I asked God. I wanted it. It was time on my clock.
Not on God's however. I woke up. And several days later, Michael Jackson allegedly used anesthesia to just get a good night's rest. And never woke up.
You can see here that the timing was bad...can't you? Our karma trains crashed. But why? I don't get it either.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
See this horse? Beauty, isn't she? Well, one just like her pitched my daughter off during a horse riding lesson.
While I saw in an instant how our lives could have changed and had a vision of Christopher Reeve in my head, I sat quietly in the background and allowed her trainer to handle the situation. Erin was shaken up and bumped up, but her trainer handled it very well. Had her shake it off, talked her through it and immediately got her back on the horse. If I were Erin, I'm not sure wild horses could have gotten me back on that animal. But Erin is a tough cookie. I know that underneath the tantrums and mood swings and lashing out, there lives a tough broad. Enormously tougher than her mother or her brother.
I was so proud of her and I told her. She was still shaking a bit, but she walked her horse back to the barn and started to take off the saddle and bridle. As her next lesson was canceled because of the holiday, her teacher told me that if Erin wanted, we could work in a lesson during the week, or just wait the 2 weeks. I figured I would just ask her later. But while untacking her horse, Erin asked when her next lesson was. A part of me feared that she would want to stop riding because of the fall. But when I told her she could wait 2 weeks or we could see if her teacher could squeeze in a lesson another day next week, Erin wanted to ride and not miss a week.
Again, I was so proud of her.
And I was so proud of me. You have no idea how much I wanted to run out into that arena and pick Erin up. But I knew I couldn't. I wouldn't--unless the trainer asked me to come over.
I told Erin later that the worst part is over. She doesn't have to be afraid of falling off the horse ever again. She did it and she was fine...and I told her one of the most important thing about riding a horse is knowing how to fall off.
And my daughter did it like a champ.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Today I began the journey of pushing my son out of the nest. You may recall the horror of the last oh, 2 - 2-1/2 years. Depression, anxiety, anorexia, doctors, hospitalization, vicious mood swings, pot, speeding tickets, possession of cannabis. Sean never really withdrew from me or his friends completely---and maybe that's what kept him alive. There were times I couldn't get a hold of him and I was sure he was dead. A suicide. My dear sweet son. There are times still when I think that if anything happened to my kids, I wouldn't survive it.
But here we are today. Today Sean is on his way to Phoenix to work with 2 friends on a CD of original music, to jam, to play music all night, to enjoy, to work on setting up some band concerts over the summer and have fun. He will be staying with a friend and his mom. I haven't met the mom, but I trust Sean's instincts. Besides...he will be 19 in 5 days. He's got a credit card and a cell phone. He can get home if he needs to.
The plan is for him to stay out there about 2 weeks. As I sit here this morning just after waving goodbye to my young man, I realize that we have never been apart that long in our lives. Sure he was supposed to spend a couple of weeks over the summer with his dad---but THAT never happened. A long weekend yes....2 weeks? No. There was a 10 day trip to Florida with his friends last year, but this seems different somehow.
You may be saying to yourself....Dear God, how dysfunctional! But I think being so close became a double edged sword. Maybe it contributed to his hard time breaking away. But maybe it kept him alive too---all the times I sat up all night talking to him and going to work exhausted were well worth it.
Last Saturday, Sean and I went to lunch and to see the movie "Star Trek". Just him and me. It was a birthday present and a going away present. I think when my son comes back home, it will just be a pit stop on his way forward. The thought makes me cry and laugh at the same time.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I've had a whammy (that is an official "informal" substitute for epiphany). I have a closet full of beautiful clothes that I do not wear. Wool suits, lovely Laura Ashley dresses, sweaters of all colors and Pendelton skirts. I mean, really, really nice stuff. Coats. My mother's camel haired coat and an black lambswool that would keep you warm to -120 degrees.
May I mention shoes? I'm by no means a shoe-aholic, but I have nice higher heeled shoes in all colors. And purses? Please. Let's not go there.
So why are they in my closet?
I'll tell you.
But FIRST, why. Why now? Why look at this stuff today, as opposed to say, 2 weeks ago, and think about it completely differently?
I don't know. I do know that I had to empty a closet full of those clothes when a pipe broke in the back wall. And as I looked at them, they were beautiful reminders of my parents, of my youth, of shopping with my dad, of who I wanted to be, of who I was at 25 and a size 8.
When I looked up Laura Ashley and Pendelton online, I realized the clothes I held onto were not only 4 sizes too small, but were considered "nostalgic".
Yea. No kidding.
Those clothes remind me of my dad telling me to buy quality, not quantity; they reminded me of looking young and sharp, they reminded me of being a size 8, they reminded me of a time I wasn't worried about mortgages or kids or long term care insurance. They reminded me of a time I could drink all night and jump out of bed looking like I'd been to the spa.
Yessirree, they reminded me of a time that was long, long ago. But I held onto them not wanting to admit I aged, not wanting to admit that size 8 is something I'll never see again, not wanting to admit that I wasn't going to be a high powered executive who needed snappy suits to match her snappy comebacks.
There sure was alot of weight in that closet.
So I've decided to give some away and sell some and maybe keep an item or two (instead of 30 or 40). I haven't quite given up on seeing a size 8 again--hope springs eternal. However, should my scale ever go counterclockwise again, I have promised myself and my dad a brand new suit.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Last year my ex took me to court in order to "get relief" from child support. Ok, fine. Sean hit 18. Never mind he's still at home healing from an emotional problem and finally inching back to his old self. He got his GED...and is finally looking at college again. But, you know, whatever.
As a sidebar to this pathetic story, I never went after my ex for more money, never asked to see his W-2's to get a hike in child support when his salary increased. I figured....whatever. It was fine. Let it go--it all works out in the end.
So I get a letter from his attorney stating that he is looking at severe financial hardship this year. Well, the economy is suffering -- ok, I get it. He's looking at a 25% cut in salary and a reduction of hours from 40 to 35 a week. I'm reading along and I get to the last point. Something about me paying his attorney and court costs.
Like that's gonna happen.
Then I get a sob-story email about how he can't pay for summer camp for Erin at the YMCA. It's too "cost prohibitive". He's not paying for her horseback riding lessons either. Never mind that it's a healthy outlet for someone with ADHD and anxiety.
Then I see his paystub from last year showing he made $15,000 more than what his monthly child support was based on. So in other words, he paid for an attorney to get relief from a child support payment that was based on a salary that was $15,000 less than what he made. Who's missing something here?
When I showed my attorney, he laughed himself out of his chair. He figures that with owing me back support from last year and adjusting his current salary with a 25% decrease, he will end up owing me almost MORE than he paid before he asked for "relief".
As Anne says, "What a cluck."
Oh, and don't worry. I won't have to pay his attorney or court costs. He just may end up paying mine.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
A friend of mine had told me to read "An American Journey" by Colin Powell because she had enjoyed the book far more than she had thought she would. I took the book, it sat in my TBR (to be read) pile and I didn't give it much thought.
Then I decided to pick it up and browse. I got hooked.
My family isn't a military family in the formal sense -- but my grandpa was in WWI, my dad in WW2, an uncle in Korea and a cousin in VietNam -- and I was raised to honor our military and the men and women who serve. War isn't their fault.
And I'll be honest. I was raised during the Viet Nam War and understand more about WWII and Korea than I do Viet Nam. But this book really isn't about war. It's about a man's journey through the military, through war and peace, through his life. And an exceptional life it is.
There are lessons about family and honor and life and duty and respect and courage and fear. It is one good read.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
For those of you really struggling with your mortgage, there's an organization called Hope Now. They will work with your mortgage company on your behalf to renegotiate -- maybe a refi, maybe a short term reduction in the interest rate. I know when I called my bank for information, since I'm current on my mortgage, I was basically SOL.
But I have mountains of medical bills that I drown in every month. Perhaps a short term lowering of my mortgage rate would help me get out from under.
Anyway, when you go to their website, you need to fill out a form with your mortgate info and basic rundown of where your money goes. Food, medical, utilities, car payment, etc. Then you will hear within 5-7 days if they can help you.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Yes, for god's sake -- it's a rat. A RAT!
My Dear Sweet Sam's son, Thomas, is a rat afficionado. There was Roxy and a nameless one, Grande, and now....Fred. Thomas saved Fred moments before becoming snake food for his friend's enormous boa and I admire that.
Now I'll be honest here. The first time I saw Roxy, I could have screamed and stepped on her. But then....I don't know. I went soft. The tail still grosses me out to no end, but the rest of them is so sweet and soft and cuddly. We'd take the rat out in the summer when we had locusts and the little rat would eat the locusts! Which was fine by me. I hate those damn things.
But I have come to love rats. They don't live long - 3 years tops, but they are great pets surprisingly enough. Clean, affectionate, smart.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go buy some Yogurt Dip treats for Fred. We found out recently that Fred is actually Fredericka, and she needs her calcium.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
My Erin will be 13 this year. I can't believe it! I had to think of something to give her that she would never forget. And I found it.
She and I are going to the Drake Bell concert. Just the 2 of us.
I'm a good Mom, right? Or am I going because I want to relive the Bobby Sherman concert Anne and I went to in 1969? Am I going because I never got to see the Beatles up close in concert? Or am I going to remember the time I saw Andy Gibb or Shaun Cassidy or even, dare I say it? Frank Sinatra!!!
I asked Anne if it would be okay if I listened to something else on my iPod at the concert or if that would be RUDE!! But really. Can't I listen to "Shadow Dancin" or "Julie Do You Love Me" or whatever Shaun Cassidy sang or "All the Way"? I mean -- you know -- to take me back?
Nah. I'll enjoy it. He's cute (really -- look at him!), talented and Erin LOVES him. She and I will see him together and she'll never forget it.
Neither will I.
Friday, March 13, 2009
My DSS (Dear Sweet Sam) works with a man named Harry, who has come up with a fool proof method for surviving in this economic environment.
He makes about $75,000 a year. He lives with his girlfriend and her daughter in a condo. He has nasty debt from gambling and a court order making him pay back $25,000 to a women he dated, dumped and never looked back at. But Mr. Judge said, "Pay Back Time". Harry thought, "Bitch."
But Harry has had it. Poor Harry. Struggling to pay off gambling debts and the "bitch" he borrowed money from -- for damn's sake, he had to get a second job! It's too much. And the girlfriend he lives with? She can't hold a job if her life depended on it!!
So what has he decided to do?
Just stop paying his mortgage. It's now barely worth what he bought it for anyway...and well, what the hell. He figures he can save 6 months worth of mortgage payments before the bank repossesses and he can take the money and whittle down his gambling debts -- and hide some money under the girlfriend's name. Then he'll file for bankruptcy, get off the hook, get help from the government and start all over. Never mind those people who honestly, truly need the help.
Makes you want to puke, doesn't it?
I see alot more of this...
and alot more of that in my future.
I wish I didn't love the things I do. They are all bad for me. Bad. I have an unhealthy relationship with food, which goes along with all the other unhealthy relationships I've had.
Dean Ornish wrote that book called "Love and Survival" and he was interviewing a woman like me--overweight, she drank and she smoked. He asked her why she did things things to herself when she knew they would shorten her life. She answered, "What the hell do I care living an extra 10 years when I can't get through tomorrow?"
That my friends, is the rub.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Today I went to work after the business meeting nightmare. I had an early meeting with my boss's boss (COO of the ultramegamedical conglomerate) who was very understanding of my battle in the office.
Anyway, as I headed back to the office (after picking up Erin who got sick at school, parking myself in my own bathroom for 20 minutes (antibiotics....), I got to work and immediately started to feel..."off". It's the only way I can describe it. OFF. And then my left arm started to hurt which for any heart attack surviver is like some someone pouring gasoline over your head and approaching you with a lit match. Am I gonna get it? Am I not gonna get it?
So I decided to have my blood pressure taken by one of the nurses. It was a hefty 160/100 on the first run, 158/98 on the second. I took klonopin and within 2 hours, it was down to 131/82 and then a delightful 119/75.
Erin and I went out for a bit where we ran into some credit card disaster. I went to buy milk and my credit card wouldn't work because they had noticed a fishy transaction on it (which turned out they were right) and put a hold on my card. So I got home and fixed that. Then I noticed my cat Mena is missing. I've called her and called her both inside and outside the house. She must have slipped out -- so anyway after looking for her I sat down for awhile and took my BP again. 141/94 first try, 138/92 on the second. 132/82 after deep breathing with my eyes closed, another klonopin, 2 aspirin and a celexa.
Could this be my wake up call? I don't know. I'd love to spend a week at the Duke Health Hospital in North Carolina. Then I thought I could take a week off and do it myself at home. Order food from Seattle Sutton. Gentle workouts everyday. Meet with a dietician. Meditation. A massage or two. And it wouldn't be as expensive as going to The Duke with it's $3000 price tag. But I'm worth it right? Yea, right.
In today's eonomony I'm struggling to pay for my 6 week hair cut and touch up. I just CAN'T give up on that. CAN'T. I'll starve first. Which isn't likely.
So what I'll do....I don't know. I need to take care of myself and I'm not good at it.
But I'll try.
Don't get me wrong. I like my job. I feel like a make a difference. 80% of the time, I don't mind getting up and going to work. I think those are pretty good odds.
But there's one thing I don't understand.
When I'm at home, day off, putzing around, I NEVER overeat. Weekends? I'm fine. The second I go to work on Monday, I'm looking for anything to shove into my mouth. I'm not even hungry and I'm searching out something to eat.
It's like a disease.
For example. I work for 4 doctors. One has decided that I am the reason for the stock market crash, her failing marriage, her sick kids, the fact that her husband lost his job, world hunger and paper jams. Ok. Fine. Whatever. But THEN, she had the nerve to pile up on me at a business meeting. She's done it before and both times I held my own (BTW, she double-teamed my boss also) but afterward I threw a Big Mac down my throat faster than you can say "heart attack on a sesame seed bun".
I was so poised in the meeting. No one would have known that I was so angry except my boss, whom I'm predicting might have thrown a Big Mac down his throat too. She told him that she had discussed this "issue" with the other docs, but didn't include him. He's the president of the practice. C'mon. Really. But she did it to get the other 2 physicians on her side, because she knows the president and I are in agreement about the issue she's concerned with. At that is.....she wants us to hire her kids to work in the office over the summer. Hello? Nepotism calling. And as I had to police her daughter last summer ("file? I don't file...") I wasn't looking forward to babysitting both her son and daughter THIS summer.
I was saved however, by the ultramegamedical conglomerate that we merged with last June. No hiring of the kin in the same office. I told her we could get them a job in the company, just not at the office. What the frick is the difference? Well, she didn't like my answer, ladies and gentlemen. So I am the evil one.
She is a pain in the ass, has no understanding of the term "group" practice and has never, ever, given anyone a compliment at the office. She's miserable, self centered, a blow-hard and has told the other physicians that I'm "out to get her."
Please. Me? I've got enough on my damn plate. Besides, I avoid confrontation. I HATE it. But if you corner me, like she did at the meeting, you won't get me to back down. I back down in the privacy of my own car as we whiz through the drive thru.
I know. It's bad. It's not healthy. The only person I'm hurting is myself. I KNOW this. But she pissed me off and well, I ate.
Perhaps I should just accept this and move on, realizing that acknowledgment of your eating disorder is the first step.
uh huh. Ok. Sure. Anybody got the number to Weight Watchers?
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I went to Romper Room today and looked through the mirror. I saw Mary and Susie and ... well, they were all younger than me.
BUT....this is a big advantage when it comes to going back to school. Enormous. For nearly the first time in my life, I am not intimidated, I'm not afraid, I'm not concerned. I'll be fine.
I am stunned by all the help college students have now that I never did before. You can download manuscript templates that will format your entire paper, including citations and references. No more index cards with the books and magazines you referenced all written out in longhand. Nope. You push a button here, plug in a term there and WHOOSH --- term paper. It corrects your spelling, grammar. The only thing it cannot do anything about is your brain. I take that back. Before you send in your paper, you can email it to the writing resource center for someone to critique it BEFORE you send it in!! I REFUSE to use it. I refuse on principle. What that principle is, I don't know. But I'm still not using it.
Not only do you submit papers individually, but you also work on teams. My team sent in the rough draft of a paper we were working on to the writing center. It came back in good shape which is fine because I'm not sure I would have taken their advice how to change anything I had written. Maybe I'd do it for the benefit of the group, but for me.....N-O. I'll take my term paper red mark lashings like a man.
Another point....our team of 3 women has one that is....well, her personality is very opinionated, pushy, dominant, Type A. And her Type A came up against my Type B easy going, harmonizer, let's be nice personality. Years ago, I would have backed off of her rather pointed postings, but now? What's she gonna do? Erase me? Ha! I let her have it right back. If there's one thing I can do, it's write like a smart-ass.
And so far, I must be doing something right. My first class? A-. So far in my second class? A. So for those of you returning to school -- go for it. You'll be fine. Trust me. I can see you.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I miss blogging! Between suffering the worst bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder I've ever had in my entire life--and kids and work and a social life and school -- well time is short, you know? But there are some things I want to accomplish this year and one of them is blogging again faithfully. I miss it for me.
Since the temperature has risen above 5 degrees and the sun is out semi-regularly and there is the hint of "green acres" in the air, I am feeling much better. Winter just DOES something to me. The holidays DO something to me. My plan, instead of moving to California permanently is to be out there for Christmas. I don't care if it costs me my house, car and kids. I won't go through another winter like I just did. It started after Thanksgiving and took me to -- ummmm.... -- March 1. If I can spend the holidays with my cousins, I think it will help me. We'll see. We'll see if I have a job come December and what a flight to CA costs.
We are all going in July when my little cousin turns a whopping 40. That's all set. Now I just have to keep checking over Christmas. Another winter like this one and I'll never make it to 2010.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I was thinking about the new year and decided that I was never going to speak of 2008 again. I wanted to wash the slate clean and start something new.
So I decided to go back to school.
Sure. Tell me I'm crazy. Like I don't know that already. But the University of Phoenix was screaming at me to try, once again, to get a degree in SOMETHING. I have majored in many things over my life: bio-chemistry, english, teaching, radio/tv. And I've been in medical administration the longest. So....a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration sounds good, doesn't it? Well....doesn't it? What's 18 straight months without a break? Right?
I start tomorrow. Wish me luck.