Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The blog.

The blog will be back soon. I've been having some tests run this week that kept me from blogging, and prior to that, thinking about the tests kept me from blogging. I'll be back with an update soon and maybe something remotely interesting to say.

So, Sam, in answer to your question: Neither the blog nor I are dead; simply resting.

Thanks so much for all the lovely phone calls and emails wishing me well this week. They meant a lot. Once the sedation fully wears off, and I'm able to eat again (haven't had an actual meal since Sunday night -- fasting, definitely not for me), I'll be up and running again.


Monday, August 22, 2005

Six Feet Under

Many times, when I post here, I've thought about what I want to say and, sometimes, how I want to say it. Others -- obviously -- I haven't. This is somewhere in between.

I just finished watching the series finale of Six Feet Under. I quit watching it for a while because I found it too depressing, but for some reason, this season, I missed only one episode. If you watch it, then you know how it all ended. If you didn't, the very short version is, in the end, they all die. The entire Fisher family, one by one, in the future, at their given moment in time. And there was something simultaneously heartbreaking and life-affirming about those deaths playing out against the backdrop of Claire driving away from home to start her own life.

It should go without saying: Life is short.

Sometimes we forget. Often, I do.

I was talking with my boss a week or so ago about marriage and family and life and time. He asked how old I was and I told him I will be 35 in September. I'm not happy about it, and I told him that, too. He said, "You've got a good 35 years to go."

I didn't like his answer. It didn't sound like much time. I'm terrified of time passing.

And yet, I live almost exclusively in a regretted past and an imagined future; rarely in the now. Maybe that's because the times that I decide to forget about things that have gone wrong before or worry about what could go wrong in the future and just go forward anyway, I've gotten burned. But (as I mentioned in my Grand Gesture post) aren't there worse things than getting burned?

That may sound like I think we should live in Grand Gestures, and perhaps I gave that impression in the earlier post (or even in the sentence above). If so, I'm amending it here. Respect the fact that today even exists enough not to waste gestures -- grand or otherwise -- on anyone or anything that isn't worth it. Take chances on people, sure. Give people second chances, the benefit of the doubt. But don't give them everything. Don't give them your power. Especially when they've done nothing to prove themselves worthy; especially when they do the opposite. Today is it. This is all we're guaranteed, and we aren't even guaranteed the whole day. This minute. Right now.

Eradicate the unnecessary. Embrace those who are willing to be embraced, and willing to embrace in return. And if you are one of the unembraceable, you have a choice: Give up the act; allow yourself to be vulnerable; let someone in.

Or not.

I have been in an increasingly deepening valley lately with these tiny spikes in-between. I'm tired of it. Those of you who are around me daily are probably tired of it too. I can't promise I'll wake up tomorrow ready to take it all on, but I hope that I will. I hope I'll respond to the challenges that face me tomorrow as I just did the bottle of sesame seeds I knocked from the counter moments ago leaving me with glass and sesame seeds everywhere -- right after I'd cleaned the whole kitchen.

I cleaned it up.

I moved on.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The remedy for an unbelievably bad mood:

Go dancing.

Big hugs to:
- The Girls (you know who you are; you know why)
- Sandmonkey (bear hug right back at you)
- Fiddleman (thanks for coffee & Abe; he's doing backflips at this very moment)

Also: Full moons make people crazy.

Happy Saturday.

Friday, August 19, 2005

You know. Whatever.

I am not one who cries. Out of all of my best friends, maybe two have ever seen me cry anything resembling much (Kym, Carrie?). I cried a lot at one of my grandmothers' funerals. I cried for days straight when Larkin died. But regular life stuff rarely makes me cry. Almost never, really.

Today I have cried four times.

My eyes hurt now.

It's ridiculous.

There are a lot of reasons for it, but none of them particularly good or compelling. It's been an unbelievably busy and stressful week at work, but it culminated in a successful meeting (out of town, in front of the boss--and by that I do not mean my boss, but my boss's boss). Plenty of little reasons, and I guess they are just all adding up.


I'm a f*cking disaster. I would write it out. I don't care. It's just letters, it's just a word. But I know at least one of you cares at least 85%. I don't know why I care that you care, but sometimes I still do. Who knows why.

The last time I cried was several months ago after I told the last person I dated I didn't think we could be friends. I cried two tears--one from each eye--and that was it. We're friends anyway. Well, I haven't seen him in forever. But we're still friends. Anyway.

I don't cry.

But today I do. And it sucks. And it's stupid.

I hate being like this.

When I sober up, maybe I'll come back and delete this. Or maybe I won't. I just don't care anymore.

What I do care about right now: Amy, Jen, Tressie, Stacy... you guys are awesome. I'm lucky to have you.

I'm going out.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

if I had a dollar...

for every time my mother said the phrase, "Well, Dr. Laura says..." I'd be a rich woman.

Monday, August 15, 2005

I'm so bad with restrictions.

So I just finished stuffing myself with Chipotle then followed that up with a bunch of cinnamon candies from the work candy bowl. I was bored with what I'm supposed to be working on (and am still supposed to be working on [still bored]) so I pulled out the sheet that tells me what I need to do to prepare for this stupid test I'm having run in the morning. Here's what it says:

"The night before your exam, eat a light supper. Limit meal to items such as a small sandwich, soup, or broth. Do not have anything else to drink or eat until after your exam. This includes no smoking, chewing gum, or eating hard candy."


It also says I can expect the test to take 1-4 hours. Because I have nothing else to do. Like, you know, go to work.

Oh, and I had a beer with my dinner. Because my days of drinking beer are very numbered once these tests come back if they come back as they expect they will.

It's all ridiculous. I'm going to starve to death when they take away all my food options. It's on the horizon. And I have no willpower for things I want. Zero. Witness the Lifesavers.

Grr. Argh.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Grand Gesture

Grand gestures are largely missing in our lives these days. No one wants to put themselves out there to that extent and risk, what, rejection? Failure? Response? Probably all of the above.

Probably most of us live so much in an imagined future that we can't muster the guts for a grand gesture -- even if that future is one minute from when we've pondered the grand gesture. You know those moments I mean. You know what you think about doing in those moments, if you could just eradicate the fear that the person won't respond how you want them to -- or, worse, that they will. Because, let's face it, we fear success as much as we fear failure. I don't know why. Perhaps because success sets up another -- deeper -- level of possible failure.

In case you don't know what sorts of things I'm speaking of, here are some pop culture/real life Grand Gestures:

- John Cusack and his boom box in Say Anything. (Sure, it's now cliche, but you can't deny it basically defines the term.)

- Adrian Brody and Halle Berry at the Oscars. (Okay, it bordered on sexual harassment, but in such a grand way.)

- Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch to signify his love for Katie. (The Urban Dictionary has now defined that very move as a way of expressing insanity, as in "I couldn't believe Smith ripped off all his clothes and licked Mike's eyeballs in the meeting today. He's really jumped the couch." But is there any mistaking the grandiosity of the gesture?)

- My grandfather proposing to my grandmother the day he met her. (She made him re-propose a month later before she said yes. They were married almost 60 years before she passed.)

To be fair, out of the four grand gestures I chose as examples, we wouldn't really want the outcomes brought about by all of them, or even most. But that's what makes a grand gesture Grand -- you might fail. But if you're going to fail, why not go down in flames? Def Leppard said it best: It's better to burn out than fade away.

Yes, that's right. I just quoted Def Leppard.

And if you don't fail? What about that? What if you get something more grand in the end than your Grand Gesture could ever hope to be?

Think about that for a while.

One last thought: Consider that what may seem small to you can seem extraordinarily grand to the person on the other end. Three of my friends today asked about test results I am waiting on (results that I am, honestly, quite worried/stressed about). They might not have thought much about remembering to ask. But the fact that they did meant everything to me.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


So I haven't posted in a while. And at least four people this weekend complained about it. If I had anything interesting to say, I would have posted.

Actually, I have plenty interesting to say. I'm just not going to say it here.

I thought about just posting my response to Carrie's latest survey from MySpace, but I'm sure Mr. Stringer would post a comment something along the lines of: "Weak, PCP. Very weak." And I posted my answers a week ago, so it would kind of be a cop out. Instead, we'll go with Saturday Night at the ER Is an Interesting Place to Be.

Saturday Night at the ER Is an Interesting Place to Be
We had a BBQ on Saturday for my friend Jen's 25th birthday. One of the highlights has to be swimming in the midst of a pouring rainstorm, lightning be damned. At some point, Stephanie came running out of the club room calling my name. I went in to find Amy laid out on the concrete floor, a towel pressed to her bleeding chin, having slipped and fallen on that same concrete floor. One quick removal of the towel made it clear to all of us that a band-aid would not do the trick. Amy herself took a bit more convincing. Jen's logic of, "Go to the hospital: no scar. Don't go: scar. It's as easy as that." didn't quite work. But once Amy saw the cut for herself -- and what appeared to be tissue staring out from it -- she agreed to be taken.

The ER, as you might expect at 9-something on a Saturday night, was packed. We gave the triage nurse Amy's information and were summarily dismissed to the overflowing waiting room. We managed to grab three chairs for the four of us. We waited a few minutes. I went back to the triage nurse and pointed out that my friend was bleeding. "I don't see any blood," she said. I asked her if she was joking. "Bring her up here. I don't see it." So I brought her back up. The nurse opened the door to the back and said, "Come here, baby." She strapped a piece of gauze to Amy's chin and sent her back out to wait.

Sometime later, Steph and I went to the vending machines for diet Cokes and animal crackers. This is about the time that a child sitting catty-corner from me begins to pet me. Literally. He'd "sneak" over, as if I couldn't see his hand creeping at me, and start petting my leg. Then my arm. I moved closer into Stephanie in our shared seat, but the child was persistent. I finally said, "Can you please stop touching me?" to which his drunk/high father said, "He can't hear nothing. He's deaf." He grabbed the child by his arm and moved him to sit next to his younger brother. I asked if the child knew sign language. "No." "Read lips?" "No." "So how do you communicate with him?" The drunk/high father simply shrugged, then said, "He's autistic." as if that answered the question. The two children begin eyeing our animal crackers. We share.

Then, we buy them their own bag. These children were extremely thin. They ate four or five animal crackers with every bite. In between all of this, Vince (my new hero) and I take turns bugging the nurses to find out what's going on and where we stand on the list. We play Good Cop/Bad Cop. I am not the Good Cop. One of the nurses points out that she has gunshot wound victims waiting. I look around. I don't see anyone with a gunshot wound. I tell her this. She isn't interested. We don't even get checked in until we've been there an hour. Then, finally, we're called back to Minor Emergency.

Moments later, our new friends come there as well. Amy's name is called and she and Vince go up so she can answer some more questions. The petting child begins to make his way to us. I instinctively start to shrink into my chair. But he's not after me this time. He's after the diet Coke that Amy left sitting on the table. Just as he slyly went after petting me, he goes after the diet Coke. He grabs it without looking and starts guzzling it as a teenager might guzzle a beer snuck from a parent with his back turned. An older woman across the room who's talking to the father calls to us, "He can't help it. He doesn't know what he's doing." We nod; we understand. He looks at us. We tell him he can have the coke. He takes it. He goes back across the room and takes a Pop Tart from a woman.

Amy and Vince go in the back for her to be seen. When they come out, Amy has gone from crying to calm with five stitches across her chin. Vince has gone from calm to pale from having watched her get stitched up. We tell everyone in Minor Emergency goodbye. We go back to Brett and Stephanie's and eat Sun Chips.