Monday, April 30, 2007

the perfect line

Everyone knows you should avoid drunk dialing. It's okay, we've all done it, that's precisely why we know we shouldn't. Ouch. Likewise you should avoid drunk writing. You know, the amazingly funny, beautifully moving story you had to write down: on a bar napkin, with a pen frantically begged from that super-sweet bartender (you remember, the one who was so hot that you had to have sex with him in the bar's bathroom after closing that night). The line that was such genius you couldn't believe it came out of you... and the next day when you pulled the damp and crumpled ball of napkin out of the back pocket of the jeans you'd slept in, thrilled that it survived, anticipating re-reading your burst of inspiration, smoothing it out with shaking hands, only to read "ldkfslkdfjslkdkllllmnmmm HAMMN!! BEST O lkjljrrrvstivleing!!!" And cringe that you could actually imbibe enough tequila to make that seem legible. We've all been there, too.

Okay, okay, I've been there. Stop judging, Aunt Mabel!

But what about dreaming? What about that delicious state where you're almost awake, but not quite, when you know the alarm is not set so you can lay there and indulge your subconscious in a near-dream state without fear of interruption? What if you come up with the perfect opening line for a novel in that state? I mean PERFECT. So great a line that should you manage to commit it to paper with a pen, pencil, crayon or blood it will lead you effortlessly into a full-length, final-draft perfect version of the greatest American novel ever written (or at least a blockbuster best-seller and a shot on Oprah) what then?

Should you hop from your drowsy slumber and scrawl the line on the wall, capturing it before it can flit away back into the land of dreams? Or should you lay there and relish the sleep, and know, because of its perfection, it's rightness, that it will stay with you and there is no need to move your head from the pillow: because the line will be with you always.

I wish I'd done the former instead of the latter.

It was such an amazing opening line! I fell in love with it, wanted to buy it dinner and take it to a movie, but I was lazy. I stayed in bed and believed that the line would be there when I was able to finally face opening my eyes to the light of day. I had faith the magic would last.

Oh my honeys I should have known better. Faith has always been my downfall.

This morning, when I finally attempted to transcribe this golden, dream line into ordinary English: it was not the same. I had lost the sublime wording that made it universally desirable, I had lost the magic wording that would have made it as well-known a line as "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times". I felt bereft.

Of course, the reality is that I still have a really nice line. It's probably just as good as it was when I was dreaming it: but the hazy sleepiness made it seem soooo much better than anything anyone has ever written.

I do wonder though, had I attempted to write it down in my clumsy sleep hand.... what might have come of that.

Then again, is dream writing all that different from drunk writing? Probably not so much.

At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Basil speaks... and sneezes

Unfortunately so do I. This was from some time back, before the livingroom was re-done - so it's a holy mess.

Sometimes

There are days when nothing goes right. Then there are days when good stuff just seems to fall into your lap.

Today seems to be the latter.

I've been thinking: I need to find a way to make a little money, I don't need a lot and I don't want to make myself crazy about it. It would just be a good idea to have a little 'income' come in, if ya know what I'm saying.

So I'm diligently working towards that end by uploading video of my dog onto photobucket.

Yes. I know. But tell me you haven't done the same! Procrastination is part of being human.... isn't it?

But I have been THINKING a lot about the income situation and how to make that happen. Since I feel strongly that you have to put the energy out there (and I hate redoing my resume) I've been VISUALIZING. And don't you know, the phone rings!

Way back in the olden days when I worked 4-5 jobs concurrently one of my minor sources of cash was market research; primarily for a haircolor company which I won't name as I imagine that would be a big market research no-no. It's been so long since I've done this that I thought surely they had taken me off their list, or they no longer do it, or something. Surprise! I'm still on the list, and next week I'll be sniffing various fragrances for cash. This is the kind of money making enterprise we can all get behind, right? Well, certainly I can.

The great thing about this is that I really was thinking about this company just the other day, and how it wouldn't hurt to get back into that focus group pool and make a little sumpin' sumpin' to at least pay one bill a month instead of dipping into the savings for everything. And bingo here they are calling me and telling me that the last time they had me in was 2003! So yeah, long time alright.

I'm going to continue with my video uploads... sometimes procrastination pays!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Free Comics... a minor PSA

Free Comic Book Day is May 5th. Easy to remember because it is Cinco de Mayo. Awww wouldja look at that: comics + Mexico = happy me.

I know comic books are not everyone's thing. "kid stuff" "geek stuff" etc. ... but I still love 'em. I don't read them quite as much as I used to - mainly because this 'kid stuff' ain't cheap! But there's a helluva lot of 'comics' out there that just ain't for the kiddies. Those are the ones I like. Go me. I consider it a semblance of maturity. Don't argue with me.

I mention Free Comic Book Day because 1) it's FREE; 2) if you do have little ones, and they are not 'feeling the love' when it comes to reading - comic books are the doorway to booklove. They really are! My friend Gary, a first grade teacher, has found comics to be a great teaching tool. My own kookie Mom used comic books to reach the unreachable readers she tutored as a Jr. High School teacher's aide. Comics bridge the gap from picture books to chapter books for kids nicely - and the best part: they don't even notice that they're *ick* LEARNING TO READ. Oh sure, it's a little trickery, but frankly, instilling a love of reading is the greatest 'trick' you can pull on a kid. And it lasts a lifetime.

So check out the Free Comic Book Day website. Put your zip code into the 'store locator' to find a store near you that's participating and go pick up a pile. And if you don't have kids: so what? Get 'em for yourself!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Today's Tasty Treat is......

MISS X is back in the 'hood!
She seems pretty excited. The first thing she did was go for the bed. This pup knows what's what. You take a 10 block walk on those tiny toes and baby needs a NAP! I wish I was that clever.

Basil is Mr. Nonchalance. Always trying to maintain his cool. Unless he hears It's Raining Men (he likes the RuPaul remix)... then he starts dancing. Trust me, it's hilarious. So far that's the one song that always gets him hopping. I'm not going to discuss the whys of his musical choices. I hope one day to catch it on video.
But it's clear he's happy to have her back. Though she seems a little nonplussed here, I think that's just her reaction to cameras. Basil, on the other hand, knows exactly what to do for a camera. Pose. Camera whore that he is.


I will be heading off to various fun errands... the gym... the laundry... I hope these two can find something to do while I'm away. Hopefully this will not involve ganging up on the cat.

These two? Nah. Never.

Monday, April 23, 2007

some days you should stay in bed....

Okay, I don't really mean that, but honestly some days nothing goes right! Or at least there are enough "whoops" or "awww crap" moments to make you want to start the day over.

After my amazing klutz-apalooza at the gym yesterday I was supposed to see a play. It was a matinee, I left myself a full hour to get to this show. I felt all calm and relaxed, it was a gorgeous day. I thought I might walk to the show (which was completely on the other side of Manhattan) but after the gym... well... I thought I'll take the bus across town and walk home after the show - when there would be no rush about being on time.

HA HA HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Good luck sister.

I missed the crosstown bus by seconds - literally. But still, I had a full hour so I just patiently waited for the next bus. And waited. And waited. And waited. Day turned to night, seasons changed. And I waited. Yeah, well it seems the buses stopped running. Now I had no choice about walking, I would never make it on time, so I made the big splurge and hailed a cab.

Oh man, will I ever learn?

Seems there was a parade of some kind. (Let me say right here that parades are one of my least favorite things. I just don't get the appeal.) This meant Fifth Avenue was closed and every other avenue was a parking lot. Not to mention my cab driver didn't know about the parade and had to make a detour - aren't they supposed to know about roads being closed or am I a complete innocent here?

Any way.

The show was at 3:00. As I had now gone approximately 11 blocks (not including the detour) and was STILL on the East side at 2:45 I gave up the fight. Got out of the cab ($10 later) and walked home.

Okay. So I missed the show, which SUCKS. It cost me $10 to do that. Which sucks. But it was a gorgeous day and I had some free time, so I decided to return a phone call to my friend. Now this woman has had the same phone number for what... 12 years? I call her all the time. For some reason yesterday I could NOT dial. I called 3 wrong numbers before I pulled out my phone book -- I swear I was hitting the right numbers. Oy.

I opted to stay in for the rest of the day.

Why tempt fate?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Gym or comedy club?

I have been going to the gym for several years now. Not that you'd know it to look at me, but I can do an awesome 120 sit-ups in 2 minutes. Let me brag - the humiliation is forthcoming.

I'm usually a big old lazy ass (yes, that you can tell by looking), and only work with the weights when I'm with my trainer, the wonderful Rafael. There's a reason for this aside from laziness - it's utter and complete klutziness. I'm okay with it when I'm working out with Rafael because somehow it's less embarrassing when I bang into poles if I'm with him... also, I sense that people will not cruelly mock me so much when he's around as he could kick their asses. God love him.

But since I'm not working, and since I have a stupidly high co-pay for my physical therapy sessions, I can not actually afford the assistance of the sensai. He is beyond being a doll however and has spotted me for the past few weeks for free - because he's a big nut and generous to a fault. Plus I think he needs a big geek like me to discuss the latest horror movies with... but that's another story.

Yesterday he sent me a txt message full of weight training exercises that I should do, in addition to the running that I was planning on. So okay, when the trainer specifically says "do" you do. (see above for ass-kicking)

I went in and bravely did the lower body stuff (also p/t for my knee) and then ran. It was great - I actually pulled it off without a hitch and even have an achy ass to show for it today! go me!

This morning I ventured in for the upper body work and another run, feeling confidant and secure that I can do this on my own. Oh Joy, you are so silly.


See this machine? That's the lat pull down. It's something I like to do, because ... well, because I can, plus I've never had any 'issues' with this machine. That is, until today.

Oh dear lord how I wish someone had a video camera for this one! See that bar you hold onto? Well, I held onto it and did my reps and then ('cause I'm short) I stand to gently lower the weight stack back down and the bar goes up. For the second set I stood, grabbed the bar and sat back down to do the next set... except my ass SOMEHOW missed the seat and I went down, down... down... in slow motion no less, HOLDING the bar the entire time until I ended up with on my ass on the floor sitting behind the machine, legs akimbo - STILL holding that bar and LAUGHING my ass off.

When I'm with Rafael we are usually in hysterics, and people look askance: who laughs like that in the GYM? This is serious shit here, we're SWEATING! But here I am by my lonesome laughing like a lunatic because I have proven yet again that I am as uncoordinated as a newborn colt. And of course now I really know how a comedian in flop sweat feels. Not one person acknowledged my faux pas, no one even blinked: and I'm giggling like a school girl as I try to 'gracefully' get myself up. Not so easy with the funky knee... would have been easier if I thought even once to let go of the 70lbs BAR! Oh no, I was not going to let those weights crash and make a big noise. I just struggled and looked ridiculous, I'm sure, trying to get up and keep hold of the bar.

But I did get up. And I finished my sets and moved on to the free weights and my little run. But I kept giggling to myself for the next hour (especially when my Ipod went flying off on the treadmill) and I wondered, why have I worried about making a fool of myself? Why avoid the weights on my own for fear of a non-injury (except to my pride) inducing mishap? I'm sorry that everyone else was so serious and staid, that can't be much fun.

I figure, if I have to do this stuff: and god knows I need to do this stuff, I'm sure as hell going to get a laugh out of it. And I certainly did today. I'll go back tomorrow and hopefully not do too much damage to my pride, but if I do at least I'll have a chuckle. And you know... maybe I can work myself a career in slapstick?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Do you know how to get to.... Why yes, I do.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a horrific sense of direction. As I have also mentioned, I do not get through a single day without being asked directions by SOMEONE. Why does this irony arise daily? Ah the mysteries of life.

The thing that never ceases to amaze me is how often I can actually give the correct directions. I get lost the minute I cross to the West Side of Manhattan - ask anyone who I have been late meeting. But if someone else needs directin' - I have the answer! I guess it's like psychics not being able to pick lottery numbers for themselves.

Since I had one this morning I thought I'd try to recount some of my direction encounters.

At the doctor this morning. I'm waiting for the interminably slow elevator to arrive when a woman comes up behind me looking very lost. She asks the concierge sitting across from the elevators where the medical group is located. They have 5 floors in this building. "which doctor, he asks her. She tells him. Turns out it is one of my many doctors, so I happen to know what floor she needs. The concierge looks stymied. *sigh* Instead of letting the poor woman suffer while he tried to find her doctor's floor I piped in with "fifth floor".

On the No. 1 train (that's the subway). It's a west side train. I have plotted my course with great care with the help of hopstop.com as I am seriously at a loss with west side transportation (see above). So here I am on this train - I know ONLY where I'm going and yet a couple with a baby and a toddler feel that I am the person who can help them. They need to get to Radio City Music Hall. Somehow it just comes to me... get off at 50th Street, I tell them. They thank me, and yet moments later I hear them asking someone else. Someone equipped with a subway map. Someone who tells them "get off at 50th Street". Uh. Yeah. I felt betrayed. Yet as they exited the train I told them that the traffic on 50th runs East, the direction they need to go, so they should just follow the traffic... I felt bad they had the little kids and had a significant stroll ahead, it seemed right to steer them in the right direction so they wouldn't have to backtrack.

Here's the kicker: My directions were all correct, yet I have NO EARTHLY IDEA how I knew this!!!

Honestly. I get LOST. Yet here I was directing these people as if I actually knew where I was sending them. Is there such a thing as being an idiot savant about directions... and yet able to get lost going somewhere you've been many times?

One of my favorites was the maternity wear store.

I was walking down the street when a woman with a stroller asks me where the maternity store is. Um... yes, I need to drop a few pounds but... okay. The thing is, I knew immediately what store she meant. And I knew that it had moved locations over 6 months previous. HOW THE F DO I KNOW THAT? It's not as if I shopped there - I had never set foot inside (I wouldn't want to jinx myself... that mommy stuff... it's scares me!) Yet, I knew exactly where to send her. Could I tell you now? No. But it was like a directory of maternity wear shops opened in my mind and I sent her off.

And, of course, the best have been when I've been asked in other countries. At the Cancun airport in Mexico (on my first trip): do you know how to get to the American Airlines gates?

On the London subway (many, many years ago): Do you know how to get to Piccadilly Circus? (again, on my first visit).

The sick thing? I actually knew.

This could qualify as one of my most boring entries to date. But people, I got nothing else today. c'est la vie.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Niagaras

I'm not going to hard sell this. Here's the information. You can ignore this and not go, thus losing a golden opportunity for a good time... or go see them. It's your choice.

Friday, April, 20 2007
at
THE RED LION
Corner of Bleecker and Thompson,
NYC, New York
Cost : $5

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Pigeons... the pigeons...

Last night I was out with the dog, he has developed a new neurosis: he only wants to go out in the dead of night. No peeing in public while the sun shines for my boy. Yeah. It's pretty awesome, huh? At around 3:30 a.m. we were doing what Basil likes to do outside: stand in front of the building and hang out. *sigh* Boring. But it's probably just as boring to him when I'm on the computer, so fair's fair I guess.

There was not a helluva lot of activity on my street last night. Not even another dog walker. So I was staring up at my windows, because I love to look at them from the street now that I have such bright and cheerful window treatments up. While admiring my own decorating skilz I noticed a pigeon on the ledge under my window. I miss the pigeons.

When I first moved into this apartment lo these many eons ago, there was what people referred to as a pigeon problem. I didn't see it as a problem. I loved them!

The problem was that we have a fire escape on the front of the building, and there is a ledge under the bottom platform of the fire escape (right below my windows) that makes an ideal spot for pigeon nests! Because it sort of has a roof, slated, but still it's some protection from the elements and it's pretty much impossible to get to... unless you're a pigeon.

I didn't see this as a problem because for the first time I got to see baby pigeons! You know, living in New York, or any larger city, you see pigeons constantly. They are everywhere. But you almost never see babies. They start looking like adults very, very quickly and so you can't really tell if you're seeing an adult or a young bird. Having the nest outside the window was really fun. For me. I like the animals, I can't help it. Not everyone feels this way.... so the pigeons were eventually 'dealt with'. I'm not sure exactly what was done, but they have been absent for at least 12 years. Lately, however, they seem to be making a come-back. Hurray!

The one I saw last night was sooo sleepy it was adorable. He just kept stretching and trying to get comfortable to go back to sleep. Usually you see them wandering the street: tough guys, full of attitude, nothing scares 'em, 'we're here, we're pigeons, get used to it!" and I love that about them. Seeing a sleepy, sort of cuddly-seeming pigeon last night reminded me of how it used to be when they were ever-present.

I was told that the woman who had my apartment before me used to let the pigeons INTO the apartment and feed them. Which explains why it was renovated before I moved in - so many thanks to her for that. It also explains why they felt so at ease when we'd look into their nest. And why they had a real thing about mating outside my bedroom windows.

Yes. They did it ALL the time. It was like a pigeon playboy mansion out there!

I first noticed it late one night as I was attempting to sleep. Me and sleep... we have serious relationship issues. So I was wide awake. I had the windows open, my bedroom has a great view: air shaft. Oh yeah, very pretty. And I heard, what I believed was an old man snoring. Which would make sense... though I was unaware of any old men living in the building. But that's what it sounded like - and sound travels in that air shaft like you would not believe.

After awhile I found the sound oddly comforting. Which was odd, since snoring is usually annoying. Then I realized what it was.

I was experiencing a rare event: sleep. When a sound woke me - it was like someone trying to get in through the window. What it actually was, was the incredibly raucous mating of a pair of pigeons on the bedroom windowsill! It was quite a display of preening and then... you know, lots of banging and flapping. All that snoring I'd been hearing was the mating calls of pigeons!!

When people would sleep over I warned them about the pigeon sex fest that would likely happen. Because of the air shaft view my bedroom is like a sensory deprivation tank - people who sleep in there awake feeling like they could sleep for days. that was always happy news for me, the insomniac. But they would report that they had heard the snoring sound too, and yes, they thought it was soothing as well!

When the pigeons left, they left the nesting, and the orgies as well. I lost the white noise of the pigeon snoring. And in all the time I was so depressed and shit was constantly hitting the fan in my life, there were no pigeons. I'm a little better at sleeping the past couple of years, and redecorating the bedroom has really helped that - it's really serene there now. And just recently I've noticed a sound... it's like an old man snoring.

I think it's a good sign. The pigeons are coming back.

Me likey.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hmmmm.... April + Depression = Taxes!

Oy vey, I swear I do NOT enjoy doing my taxes. The saving grace at this point is that it seems my episode of depression and anxiety has lifted (there is a strong possibility it was related to certain pain medications that were prescribed to me that I took... without being completely certain that they would be okay - because I like 'em... - UH DUH, lesson learned.)

Luckily my physical therapist is making amazing strides with my kooky-numbness, so I don't so much need the painkillers as I WANT the painkillers.

Have I mentioned my somewhat addictive personality?
Yes, thanks Joy, you might have touched on that... ever so briefly. A-hem.

And there ya go. I'm feeling MUCH, MUCH better - and so, SO grateful for all the support from friends IRL and here in the ether (and in the 'verse! - that one's for Whim). Really, I hate feeling like such a whiner, but you know when you're down you're down; whether it be your brain chemistry going off to do something voluntarily or with a gigantic nudge from some magic pills given to you by your 'pain specialist' doctor. I'm actually relieved that my trek into the darker places was from the latter rather than the former. I stopped taking the painkillers and TA-DA! feeling much better now. If it had been something physical, my brain unhinging all on its own, it would be a whole different story to find the solution. And that would be a complete mess. For me, any way.

Feeling better now, the sun is shining, metaphorically, because it sure as hell didn't shine here today. We have flood warnings in effect, and I saw a strange old man with a crowd of animals following him down to the pier... hmmmm... nahhhh, couldn't be. Despite the torrential rain here I'm feeling pretty freakin' happy, I ran... a little too hard because now my knee is swollen... damn, I watched a dvd, played with the dog, wrote a lot, and then my bubble of fun and procrastination was burst: April 15.

Yes I know we have until the 17th this year, but I have stuff to do Monday and Tuesday and I wanted to get this particular horrorshow out of the way before then.

There was only one year I did my taxes ON tax day and trust me: it was a nightmare! I swore I'd never let that happen again. So far, so fine. But that year I had to go to the 34th Street Post Office at 10:00PM to get my envelopes sent. I finished filling out the forms around 9:30... ugh.

This last minute filing, I don't know how it is in other places, but it's a big deal here. The news crews go down to the 24/7 Post Office to chat with the great procrastinators... usually the same people who start their Christmas shopping around 5Pm on Christmas Eve. And that one year I was among them. It was an experience. Stressful, but still an experience. It was actually like a Shrove Tuesday fest. Wow... notice all the religious and biblical references here as I talk about Tax Day. I don't suppose I need any help interpreting that symbolism! But that's just me.

So I did my taxes today, and can't efile them until tomorrow because my bank transfer into my checking account won't go through until then and at present my checking account is proud to be holding my $1.94. Yay! Thank you Checking Account!

Naturally I owe the IRS slightly more than $1.94.

Not as much as I feared, so I'm more relieved than bummed.... okay, that's a total lie: I'm BUMMED!

But it's not so bad. I'd rather be bummed than Depressed, it's annoying, but a lot less painful and scary.

Happy Tax Day.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

....and she's** outie

For the past week I have been working very hard at forgetting how great it is to be alive. I'm sorry to say I've been doing a fine job at that (if nothing else). Letting myself fall into old, damaging thought patterns and behaviors and generally frothing into a lather about why am I going downhill and how much I despise myself and my loser-ishness.

At the same time I have to admit to trying to turn that around (not a great success there).

It is NOT easy!

Anyone who has experienced Depression or depression knows that the one thing you cannot do is 'just snap out of it'. That's like saying to someone who fell into a 12 foot deep hole, hey, just jump on outtta there! Sure. No problem. IF YOU'RE SUPERMAN!

Let's clear it up: I'm not Superman.

I also doubt that Superman is reading this. (If I'm wrong about that, please let me know - and I'll start taking anti-psychotics, pronto!)

I've been trying all the little tricks I've worked up over the past 2 1/2 years, to only the mildest of success. But as noted one post below, I was getting the Drama Queen to leave... slowly. However, all my little feel better, stay healthy tricks (mostly talking to myself and remembering how much better I've felt in the past two years as compared to everything before that) weren't doing the magic they had been. Used to be I would just remember the night of my epiphany and I'd feel better - *ping* just like that! I got too complacent I guess. Keeping demons at bay is a job that does not allow for complacency.

(Okay, okay, I'm not Buffy either, but I'm closer to that than Superman... you know... we're both female at least.)

Seriously though, I always knew that just taking Zoloft wasn't going to make everything perfect... well... I wished it would, but I knew it couldn't be happy happy joy joy all the time. (sorry... couldn't resist) But considering how I felt before I started the medication it may as well have been happy happy all the time. It makes it a little harder when the bad thoughts hit ... because of the fear of not being able to get back to the 'happy place'.

Something I did forget in my past week swimming in the slough of despond was the kindness of strangers. And this from the kooky goofball who found hope through a total stranger. Go figure. I guess complacency and forgetfulness are human nature.

This afternoon I had a reminder of the impact thoughtfulness, total unadulterated kindness, can have.

A very sweet gesture from the charming Bella. I hope she doesn't mind the plug - she's getting it regardless.

She sent me a song! She picked perfectly too. It's Nellie McKay's The Dog Song and I wish there was a way I could upload it here for you all to hear... but I think that might be sorta illegal. Hmmm. Okay so I won't. But I'll tell you, it seems to me that ol' Nellie wrote this about me and my dog... of course in the song she walks her dog and my guy won't do the walking thing.... but still! The song, and far more so, the gesture from out of the blogosphere... very, VERY potent reminders of how lucky I am to be alive and how much I want to BE alive (and happy). And yeah, I've been there, done that. I'm not going to entertain my dark thoughts any more. Pushing them away may not keep them away, but this life is MY party and they are gatecrashing and will not be tolerated.

Oh I sound so tough, huh?

Catch me going through a box of Puffs like they were potato chips then tell me how tough I am!

But I feel like the despair is lifting - because I remember who I've become over the last two years. I like her, and I don't want that other me to come back (ssssh... don't say anything, but that other me? She's a big nut and a pain in the ass - she's SOO not invited to my party!)

Okay so am I miraculously 'cured' through the kindness of strangers? Of course it's not that simplistic. But do I feel immensely better? YES. Do I feel hopeful again? YES. Will I be back in happy land soon? Damned well better be YES.

I write this not only as an update for anyone who might be 'concerned' about my mental state, but also as a validation of the power we have to help each other. There is no way that Bella could have known how much that little song would help - unless she's a psychic (are you Bella?). But just imagine the enormous effects we can have on each other without even realizing it. You can do or say some little thing to someone and seriously turn things around for them. Let's hope in a positive way, of course. Think of the power in that! That's a power we ALL have. We don't always know it because we tend not to tell each other how much we mean to each other, or in the case of a stranger, or someone we barely know, you might never have the opportunity to tell them what they did for you.

I'm a firm believer in letting people know. Even if it comes out all mushy and nutty... and I have a strong feeling there are some people who do wonder just how nutty I am because of this... but that's another story. Because I think we all need to know how important we are, and how much power we have simply by being alive.

It's something I need to remind myself of as well.

So once again, a huge THANK YOU to Bella, the bold and brilliant for the generous reminder of how wonderful life is.

**Sadly the Drama Queen still has a key, but I'm working on getting the locks changed.

The Drama Queen has left the building....**

Actually she's still in the hallway signing autographs, but she's promised that she is leaving.... though her promises are worth the paper this blog is printed on.

Exxxxactly.

I do feel a bit better, I think the running helped, and the sweet comments to my Pink post below - thanks people, it helps.

I'm still jumping out of my skin if someone walks near me on the street or talks too loud... or breathes near me... gee, no wonder my poor dog is so neurotic - what choice does he have living with ME (and occasional visits from the Drama Queen). But I'm trying to stay calm and focus. Not easy. I'm feeling stupid overwhelmed by pretty much everything at the moment and instead of taking one thing at a time I'm letting it wash over me in a wave of I HAVE TO GET THIS DONE - BUT I CAN'T GET THIS DONE. Which is not a good way to deal, and I know that. It makes me want to go to sleep. Of course I can't sleep which makes the attempts a total waste of time.

grrrrrrrr

I think I've probably assigned myself too many projects, there's a little too much to do, not enough time in a day to do it and I'm letting that make me crazy -- which leads to the "I'm a failure" thoughts, which leads to the comfy Depression zone.

Then I turn on the damned television and see endless commercials for 'maybe your depression medication isn't working' and I want to scream!

I feel overwhelmed by having to go anywhere, and am getting vaguely hysterical because I have social things planned. You know, with PEOPLE. Nice people, sure, but still... people. It's not the people I know that I'm talking about so much as being in public with people... my current mood of jump out of my skin combined with the urge to strike anyone invading my space (physically or verbally) make the being in public thing a touch on the iffy side. Just a touch.

So I'm worried about events that are planned for more than 4 days from now (and AFTER!) ... as if I had to do it tonight. See, that's overwhelmed.

But the Drama Queen of the Razorblades is in fact backing off... oh I still see an occasional flash-bulb go off from the hallway so I know she's still here with her fans: self-pity, anxiety and general sloth; but I'm pushing her and her pals out the door as politely as possible. Hopefully if I can just chill on my self-imposed ToDo list I can get her to leave quietly and not make a return appearance for a long, long time.

**Thank you so much for reading. And thanks for braving my bizarre attempt at a metaphor in this odd little post.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

You need some Pink

It may be a surprise to hear that the past few days have been, shall we say. FER SHIT for me.

Of course the collective gasp as the millions of people who read this every day discover this shocking fact will be heard around the world.

Or not.

I'm not happy with the way I'm feeling, it's bothersome. It's also a little tempting. Yes, tempting. Depression is my familiar place, why wouldn't it be tempting to go back there... you know... just for a little while... for a visit.... can I huh, can I??

Yeah, no. I really can't. It's a bad, bad place and I really do NOT want to go back. Feeling like this makes me ... ugh. It's like all the work I've put into this happy little piece of internet is just so much bull. Just a big fake.

I find this really distressing. I wanted to be some help here to someone... just one person... and here I am, the big fake.

How much does that suck?

Oh so much. Especially as this relapsing has been my biggest fear right from the start. Oh listen... do you hear that?

That's the sound of me SUCKING.

*sigh*

So last night my friend calls me. I debate: do I want to talk to anyone? Not really. But because she's just gone through some stuff I think maybe she needs to talk and I shouldn't be such a loser-selfish-bitch and I pick up the phone.

Seems she's doing fine, which is great. And before I know it I'm doing exactly what I didn't want to do and I'm spilling my boring sad ass guts to her. Poor woman. Not like she hasn't heard this crap for YEARS. But I guess I've been in a good place for long enough now to actually HEAR what she is saying to me instead of wallowing completely in my brain chemistry misery.

You know this will pass, right? It always passes. You KNOW that!

I know.
(of course I felt like the queen of bullshit as I said this)

So it's okay.

Yeah.

Girl. You need some PINK!!

It took a minute for me to process that.

Honestly, I'm so confused lately... I'm thinking to myself... but Zoloft is blue.... Xanax is white... pink? what's pink?

GO load up some Pink on your iPod. DO IT.

Oh THAT Pink. I see.

So I yes-ed her to death and this morning I loaded my iPod with some Pink... and some other empowering sort of happy music... and I went to the gym to run for an hour.

I'm not entirely sure it worked. But at least I did something positive.

What I really wanted to do was hide under the covers and explore the depths of my inner sorrows. Yeah, 'cause that'll keep me away from the razor blades.

So a little Pink, a little angry Lisa Marie Presley, hey wait where's my 4 non-blondes? And of course, a little Wrong Way Up are tucked nicely onto my iPod. And tomorrow when I get up, we're all going back to the gym again to run some more until this crap in my head gets worked out.

Because my friend is right, this will pass. It always does.

In the meantime, I need a little Pink.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

this is not a food blog...

This blog is about loving life and working through and understanding suicidal tendencies and depression.

It's also about how every day brings something wonderful to be happy to be alive for - something to experience.

Today's delight is Red Swiss Chard.


It may seem simplistic in the face of all the world's horrors and the day to day crap we may have to deal with. But when I see something this gorgeous... I can hardly believe it's edible. And yet it is, and is super nutritious as well as delicious. So simple, and so great.

I had never tried it before this year - just one more reason to be grateful to be alive.

By the way, those leaves are twice the size of my hands! It's an amazing veggie.

Friday, April 06, 2007

ah gots me some new spectacles - and some vision

I actually have a second pair on the way, but my prescription is soooooooooo special that it takes weeks to find someone strong enough to grind down the giant coke bottles into something I can wear on my face.

For now I have this pair, which I think are rather adorable and fun. They might not go with everything, but neither do I.

I picked these up earlier this afternoon, part of a really lovely day - and yet....

Okay, from the top:

This morning a friend of mine called to meet her for an impromptu breakfast - fabulous! We had a great time, great diner chow, big laughs --- and she paid! God love her.

Then it was off to pick up the glasses - fabulous! They are fun and I can see well enough to read a book without squinting again! Yessss!

After the glasses it was on to a birthday lunch for Josh, whose birthday is actually Monday. Everyone wish Josh a Happy Birthday! - fabulous! Indian food is far too delicious to be legal.

Then to see Sun for a haircut - fabulous! I love Sun, she always does exactly what I ask her to - or exactly what I really want (not always the same thing).

What is not fabulous: the thoughts I had on my way to all this fabulousness. Waiting on the subway platform for the 6 train.

I don't like that I had these thoughts, and I do NOT like admitting them. But I think it's important to mention it here, because I think it's part of the process. And I'm all about the process; it's what I started this blog for. To help others, and to help myself too (if needs be).

This morning, as the train was coming in, I had some ... urges ... ones that I used to have daily: I thought how infinitely simple it would be to step in front of that train. One step and ....

yeah. believe me, I know. Not one of my finest moments.

Now I do not believe that my medication is losing its curative powers, though I did accidentally miss a dose this week (which NEVER happens) I don't think that has anything to do with it. Also, I am not feeling depressed in any way. In fact I'm feeling pretty damned terrific.

So why would those terrible old thoughts pop into my head?
And worse, why would they seem so appealing?

Complicated questions.

I think I understand what it is though - at least for me. And I bring it up because it might help someone who hasn't had a chance to work it out for them self, or who might not be strong enough just yet to push those thoughts back where they belong - the past.

I think what it is, is a combination of a couple of things.

1) environment. Subway platforms were always a temptation. Being on one... well, sometimes... it's like a reflexive habit. It's what my brain was used to thinking in that environment and it just popped back to the familiar.

2) anxiety. I'm having a little anxiety at the moment and though I'm not actually flipping, it's there. Just a little low-grade anxiety, nothing horrible.

3) much as I hate to admit it, I think suicidal impulses are not dissimilar to any other addiction. And why wouldn't they be? It's something people generally think about for quite some time before they decide to do. I'm sure some are more impulsive, but I think in my case, and probably a lot of people are like this, suicidal thoughts are with you for a long time before it becomes something you truly feel is an option.

I have no doubt that living with these thoughts creates neural pathways just as any habit does, smoking, drinking, nail-biting... putting the roadblocks up on those pathways isn't so easy as simply saying "no". It's something that was bound to pop back into my brain at some point, and honestly I think I always knew that it might happen.

In fact, last July, I got myself a little safety net, in case thoughts like this should ever become an issue again. I got this tattoo to remind myself that suicide is not an option, and that life is wonderful and worth living - and no matter how bad I may feel I have this reminder of the time I was going to kill myself and then discovered that there is always hope and there is always a way to make your life better - suicide is NOT an option.

When I got this tattoo I thought: it will be there - forever. If I ever ended up in that black pit of depression again I would see it and remember that amazing night that snapped me out of myself enough to get the help I needed.

It didn't occur to me that there might be a more impulsive urge, like on a subway platform, that would not afford me the opportunity to look at that tattoo. Oddly enough, when that urge hit me, the urge to step out, I felt almost as if I were someone else. Someone watching someone else thinking about stepping off and my thoughts - directly on the heels of the 'step out' urge - were "DON'T YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!!"

Okay I know that sounds like I'm developing split personalities or 'hearing voices', but I'm not that far gone... I promise! That 'other' voice in my head was me. Me now: healthier, saner, safer. The 'step off' voice was me back then: the sad, sick and suicidal.

I'm not thrilled to say that my 'roadblocks' got knocked over this morning on that platform. But I'm really happy to say that they are fully repaired now... or at least I know I can work through it. But to be on the safe side I'm going to steer clear of the 6 train for a little while, you know, just to be sure.

So today actually was fabulous. I got new glasses, and I think I learned to see myself a little more clearly.

All in one day.

Now tell me - Ain't life grand? Why would I ever want to give that up? I don't want to. I want to stay. I want you to stay too. I really do.

Life is grand.

Damned straight it is.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

in which I prove my ultimate dorkiness



Always in my top 10 favorite movies is Die Hard. Alan Rickman... Bruce Willis... hilarious. So yes, I'm excited here. I know, I know. Some things we cannot help.

Die Hard 4. Yes. My name is Joy, and I'm a Die Hard addict.

Now you say: Hi Joy.

We'll have a meeting and some coffee and quote from the original movie.

I'm getting help. I promise.

Talk to me...

Since the diagnosis of a pinched nerve in my neck, I have been seeing a physical therapist twice a week. Essentially I'm getting awesome massages so it's not like the painful physical therapy you might have after a broken bone. It's actually pretty wonderful: I do some little exercises and then just lay there for the next 45 minutes. Nice. And I have a really fun, and EFFECTIVE, therapist. Effective meaning, this seems to be working. I find it hard to believe that some ultrasound, some good old fashioned deep tissue massage and some traction are actually able to uncramp a trapped nerve, but it does, and hopefully someday soon I won't have any numbness at all.

The reason I bring this up is because my therapist has re-illustrated something that has been happening to me my entire life: she talks to me. I mean spill the beans, open the soul, this is my life type talk.

After our second session she told me she could not believe she was telling me these things, she is normally very private about her problems and her personal issues. Yet there she was telling me things from her past, from her present, just stuff she never talks to anyone about.

P/T: WHY am I telling you all this?!
Joy: Dunno. Happens with me all the time.
P/T: But I don't do this!
Joy: I see. And how does that make you feel?

I mean really, I'm the one laying on the table supposedly getting the 'therapy' yet she's the one who is spilling her soul. And yet, to me this seems perfectly natural. Because it really does happen all the time.

I will meet someone and within an hour I'm hearing about everything from their sex-lives to infidelity to why their mother didn't love them or why they eat and purge to can you interpret this dream? (I usually can). They often seem surprised to hear themselves talking. I never am. I mean, I do note that it is unusual but I am also so used to it that it doesn't really feel unusual. I've heard stories that would curl your hair... yet to me they seem... normal. I'm hard to shock.

I have not figured out why this happens. I've thought about it a lot. I think about EVERYTHING a lot. But I can't seem to put my finger on it. I know that the same thing happened to my mother (of all people) and her mother as well. It leads me to believe there is something in my matriarchal lineage that causes people to open up, maybe it's some auld Irish mysticism. It may be that there is some instinct that lets people know they are talking to someone who will be nonjudgmental. Because I'm pretty open-minded. Unless you're a bully in which case you can expect me to dislike you and ignore you.

Oddly enough, given all my own soul spilling, I haven't met many people who are like me. For me, I mean. Which may be why it's so hard to figure out why it happens.

I'm very big on the honesty and speaking my mind and such so it would seem I don't really need someone like me to spill to... but the deep down stuff? Well. That stays pretty deep. Though I have met someone who I have found myself spilling to (though I've caught myself before it all comes out) for no conceivable reason. This does lead me to believe it is some sort of instinctive feeling of 'you're safe with this one, you can say anything and it'll be okay'.

So how did I become an amateur therapist? Who the hell knows? I just accept it. It's not much different that the way I'm asked for directions on a daily basis.

And how does that make you feel?

Useful.