Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry and Bright... finally

Well Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, Rock-on Saturnalia, and all. I spent this festive day watching a ton of movies, cleaning and at long last - decorating my Christmas Tree. Yeah. Day late, dollar short that's me.

I mean I bought the tree and put it up right after Thanksgiving. Put a string of lights on it about two weeks later and then today actually got my ass in gear and pulled out a box of bulbs. It's a tiny tree so a dozen bulbs and candy canes pretty much did the trick but man oh man WHY did it take until today to do it?!

Well... couple of reasons. 1) the insomnia situation - which seems to have finally resolved itself with the help of serious 'calming' teas and a fabulous little holistic pull recommended by a friend called Formula 303. This stuff is chock full of the dreaded stinky Valerian Root, Passiflora and Magnesium. You have to take it throughout the day to get the desired effect (SLEEP) but it certainly seems to work. I've been playing catch-up with Mr. Sandman for the past week and a half and let me tell you - it's NICE! Sure it would be nicer to have just slept normally every night instead of no sleep for a month followed by nothing BUT sleep for weeks but I've never been really good with moderation.

The insomnia left me awake but ambitionless. The sleeping has given me the energy and a rebound of some ambition (like actually giving the dog a bath!) but since I'm unconscious most of the day and night now I haven't had the TIME to do much of anything! Really. There's just no winning with me.

I did however manage to make a pan of Baklava (veganized, nice.) which is nothing like my usual Christmas cookie festival of baking, but at least it's something. And putting the few ornaments it will bear on the tiny tree has made me feel like it's finally Christmas... of course tomorrow it won't be. *sigh* Not that it matters - it's just a day after all and as long as the tree isn't dropping needles the way Basil and Nick shed there's no reason to take it down just yet.

But now it's after 10PM and I am simply wiped out from the frenzy of putting 12 small ornaments on a tree and plugging in the twinkle lights so I'm going to go back to bed, curl up with my 4 current books and promptly (wheee! I love that) pass out.

Merry Merry to everyone.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lazy, yes - but funny

Okay, okay maybe grabbing vids from youtube and using them as posts is a little lazy, but honestly I think these are so funny and adorable I couldn't stop myself. And let's face it, it was this or no post so I figure I'm doing okay.

These are from the fabulous Vampire Cowboys who do some of the most clever, innovative and plain ol' fun theater in New York.

First: Holiday Greetings

and now to get you through those holidays - instructions on making the Perfect Margarita

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Movies

Thinking about my current bout of insomnia (for anyone keeping track I actually clocked a massive 5 hours last night with the help of a sleeping pill... not bad... oy.) naturally made me think of Christmas. Ho-Ho-Ho you say, Wha....? You see the insomnia has been with me since I was about 7 years old. I trace the roots directly to being awakened in the middle of the night by my parents fighting. It was the first fight I recall, the first of many. And it was a hushed sort of fight, you know the kind, when you still care about not waking the kid... To this day if I hear voices in that 'tone' through a wall I tense up. Any way, it was that first nocturnal sparring match on the other side of the wall that was, I believe, the primary cause of my lifelong sleep problems. Ah well, c'est la vie. Or c'est la guerre to be more precise. You'd think I'd be past it, yet I suppose I still have that deeply ingrained vigilance, as well as the fear of the vulnerability of sleep.

How in the hell does that remind you of Christmas, you ask. Good question!

Because I was up all night any way, I started my own little Christmas tradition when I was very young. One of the local tv stations would broadcast A Christmas Carol (the 1951 Alister Sim version) every Christmas eve at midnight. I would make hot cocoa for myself and grab a candy cane and whichever dogs and cats were around and watch the movie while my parents slept. It was a solitary, calming way to start off the one and only holiday that was peaceful at my house.

To this day, if it is being aired on television I will do the same. Of course, if it's not being aired I do have my own copy.

But while A Christmas Carol has its special time-slot and tradition, there are many other movies that say Christmas to me. These must be watched at this time of year, though several are year-rounders. (Have I mentioned how very much I need to get out more????) So here, in no particular order, are my holiday movies:


Die Hard

The Holiday

Miracle on 34th Street

It's a Wonderful Life

Strange Days

The Twilight Zone: The Night of the Meek

The Man in the Santa Claus Suit

The Little Drummer Boy (for when you REALLY want to get weepy!)

Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Home for the Holidays

and of course
A Christmas Carol

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Let's talk about Valerian Root tea for a moment, shall we? Yes. It isn't knocking me out the way I thought it might, but apparently it can take a couple of weeks of use before it starts to kick in. In the meantime it does seem to be having at least some relaxing qualities in my waking hours... which is good since my waking hours outnumber my sleeping hours by... a lot. Don't ask me to do this kind of ratio math. I have had a hearty 3 hours a night for the past few days. YES! Sounds like a lot huh? Think maybe I'm sleeping too much? Could be. ON JUPITER MAYBE!

So every night I'm mixing my sleeping draught... mwahahaha my magic potions... I feel like I'm in the 19th Century drinking my sleeping elixirs. Where's the laudanum, huh? WHERE? Oh the good old days when you could just get it over the counter.

I'm all for the natural sleep cures, I really am, it's just that I'd like to have something just knock me the hell out and let me sleep for more than 3 hours at a clip. I'm not asking for the moon here am I? Just 8-9 hours sleep a night. An Earth night. I know there are pills out there that will (or should) put you right to sleep. The fabulous 'dolls' of old... your Seconals, your Nembutals and other such "mother's little helpers". Oh sure there's reasons to avoid them. Things like that morning-after hangover, messing with REM cycles and of course that silly little problem of addiction but seriously I WANNA GO TO SLEEP already!!!

And I'd like it to be soon. I'd also like it to not have to be accompanied by cups of really, really foul smelling tea. I'm here to warn you right here, right now: Valerian Root S.T.I.N.K.S!!! Truly it smells absolutely awful. There's nothing about this fragrance that says: Yummy let me drink some of that and then go beddy-bye. No. It's nasty. (Though it does seem better mixed with something else, a little chamomile or another sleepy-time tea blend. It cuts the stench somewhat and makes it taste a little better too.)

Despite the fragrance issue I'm not discounting its efficacy. At least not yet. As I said, I am giving it a couple of weeks to see how it goes and even then (if it doesn't work... please, please let it work!) I wouldn't be able to discount it for anyone else. I'm a tough sleep. I can stay up and read, watch foreign films (subtitles, you know), play computer games, take the dog out, clean the apartment - all on two Lunesta. So I'm just pointing out that if the Valerian Root doesn't work for me, doesn't mean it won't work for someone else.

I just really, really wish it would work for me.


Sing with me, won't you? All I want for Christmas is a good night's sleep, a good night's sleep, a good night's sleep... See? This is what happens when you don't sleep. You post inane blogs about how tired you are. *yawn*

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Tree, The Tree

Last night I went to see August: Osage County on Broadway. What a fun show... dark, sure, but I love that sort of thing. Last night was also the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Tree. It is a huge event here, the type where seemingly millions of people push and shove to see the lights turn on a tree. It's the type of thing you want to avoid. I did attend the ceremony once back in the '80s with my mother. Let me tell you: it's as bad as Times Square on New Year's Eve - or worse. Too many people with no clue how to behave in a crowd. Or any where else apparently. But I was able to avoid most of that mess because I was happily sitting in a Broadway theater with one of my best theater buddies seeing a Pulitzer-prize winning hoot of a play.

But because I'm a sentimental Christmas-y sort I did bring my camera with me so that I could grab some 'first night' shots on my way home from the theater. Since the lighting was at 7PM and the show let out at 11PM I figured the crowd would be thinned. It was. Not entirely, but it was okay - if you knew where to walk. And as I've done this sort of thing before (note: Christmas sentimentality here) I got my views of the tree with no irksome crowding.

Here's a little slide show of my walk from the theater on 45th & Broadway to Rockefeller Center.

It's a touch bigger than the sweet little tree I picked up for my apartment on Tuesday (and have yet to decorate). But mine smells really pretty, it grew in North Carolina (hi Whim!) and truth be told who would want to deal with cleaning up the needles from that behemoth in Rockefeller Center? Not I, my friends, not I.

Despite being really tired (STILL!) I have been dealing with that ol' friend o' mine: INSOMNIA. So this evening I bought a box of Valerian Root tea. Here's hoping this stuff does the trick. *yawn*

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Good Mojo

A few days ago, despite my favoring dog-talk to human-speak of late, I got into a conversation with a very nice fellow who told me he could tell I had "the good mojo" by looking into my eyes. Which gotta tell ya, was nice to hear but hmmmm.... Now this was in the course of a conversation about suicide and mental illness so don't let's think someone was trying to pick me up. Let's take a moment to giggle uproarioulsy at the mere idea. Ahhhh... that was fun, eh?

The discussion was about some people in his life that had been through, and are still working through, some of the same issues I've been dealing with my entire adult life and it reminded me that, of course, that was the reason I began this blog in the first place. To offer some hope to others tht it is possible to overcome your demons, or at least keep them at bay, so that you can actually live your life.

For a long time now this blog has just been about what I've been doing with the life I had every intention of ending in 2004. I think that's valid, a show by example sort of thing. But I also see that by not delving much into what brought me here in the first place I might vereing off track a bit.

The trouble is that at this point I find it hard to go back and talk too much about the 'bad times' because in some ways they are still here. Not that I'm suicidal - just that sometimes I get tremendously blue. Navy to black blue. I'm sure some of it is due to my ill-thought out decision to wean off my Zoloft a few months back. I imagine my poor serotonin levels are still recovering from that silliness. Never again kids - the pills are a 'go' for life. Literally and figuratively. But then again those blues may just be a result of the fact that I still have no feeling of purpose. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. And that's a shame because... uh... grown-up here.

Still, there is something to be said for just living. In fact there's a lot to be said for it. It's unfortunate that I have a little itch in my soul to actually BE something. To do something meaningful, important and maybe (if I may) something that I might be remembered for after. It's unfortunate because I don't have any idea what that might be, and as things stand, I don't see it happening. Of course we never do see what might be around the corner. That's the surprise of living, yes? Maybe my 'mojo' will bring me to a place where I can turn that corner and find a purpose. Maybe not. But at least I'm alive - and nothing is impossible as long as we're alive.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

How do you read?

I was talking a bit with Miss Jill, the salty, when she was here in my pretty city, about reading. Miss Jill is one of those folks - you know the kind: they READ. Like books! I'm always on the look-out for a new (to me) author that I can fall in love with and devour everything they've written. It's always best when I discover them late and they've already got a pile of things I can catch up on rather than waiting anxiously for the next new book to come out. But that's me, I like my gratification to be instantaneous. Waiting sucks. Surprising just how much waiting I actually do, considering how much I hate it. Okay, that was a tangent. Back to the books.

Whenever I meet another reader, I mean someone who when asked what three books they'd take to a desert island looks at me as if I'd asked them which limb they'd like removed, I like to see what they have read or are currently into. I'm also someone who will pry shamelessly into your bookshelves if I'm in your home because it fascinates me to see what people have on their shelves. The books they keep. The ones they can't part with. With bibliophiles who have not broken the addiction this can be quite an eyeful.

But another thing that I've only recently started asking people is how they read. Not just what they read. It's interesting really. Some people only read when they're on the train, or commuting. Some only read right before bed. Some only do audio books... huh? Others have a book with them at all times for those odd times waiting on line or to meet someone and can dive into the pages for a bit. Some people read the last page first to see if the book will be worthwhile... which I could never do. (And in the case of certain books I wish I had!) Some read methodically - one book at a time, never starting a new one until the first is finished. Some swallow books whole, some savor them slowly and carefully.

My reading style is a lot like the rest of my life, which is why I think it's interesting to see how people actually read - I think it gives you some insight into their personalities. I have to have several books going at the same time. I can't bear to only have one at a time. This has always been my way since I was very young lugging tons of books at a clip out of the library. Oh wait... I still do that. Hmmm. The reasoning behind my reading style is that if I'm engrossed in a book, really swept into that world to the point of distraction, in love with the author's voice and never want to go any place else it is actually heartbreaking to me when it ends. I've been known to weep hysterically. So much so that I cannot even look at another book for weeks at a time because it's not THAT book. A new books means I have to shift gears, learn a new language, meet new characters and it makes it very difficult for the new book to win me over. Usually I end up leaving it. Those, sadly, are the rebound books. But I have found that if I start a few books at a time I will have a taste for that particular book banked in my mind and then I can go through whichever one pulls me in the most while still holding onto that glimpse of world in the next book(s). This way I'm not starting from scratch when I finish something I really loved. It makes the heartbreak easier to go from one beloved read to one that I've already begun and know will make me fall just as hard.

That's all for fiction, or biographies, of course. For non-fiction I'm a holy terror of never, ever actually reading the book through. I'll start somewhere in the middle, bounce around the thing picking out what I'm interested in and then put it down. Something about non-fiction just says research here, no need to follow the rules here, move it along people. But fiction... well, that's where the love is and that love is compounded if you find an author you can't get enough of and you're lucky enough that they have written a lot - all equally compelling (to you). That's a special love affair. If they are living you can catch up and then there is even more to come! If they are already dead, well... at least you know you will be able to read every-little thing they've written.

So how do YOU read? Come on, spill. I'm curious.

Monday, December 01, 2008

oh hai*

I have been completely wrapped up in the land of the wondrous and lovely doggies full time to the point of exhaustion for more than the past two weeks. It has been incredibly fun (you want to pay me for this??) and incredibly ass-whoopin'! Walking more than 7 hours every day - every day - can really take a toll. Of course one toll it took was removing 1.75" off each of my thighs. Hellll-o. I think that's kind of a 'gift from dog' as it were. Oh sure the scale hasn't budged, but I went down a jean size and you know, I'm really not going to complain about THAT!

Trouble with all that dog-time is that you forget how to communicate with people who don't have tails. I mean, humans. Full sentences that follow a logical pattern, with an actual point are typically expected. This is difficult after a day full of "Good BOY!" and "What a pretty, pretty baby!" Oddly I don't usually talk to the dogs that way, in fact when I do it to Basil he gives me the stink-eye. How DARE I speak to him like he was some ... some ... infant!! I typically speak to Basil, and the other dogs, in full sentences and as if they will in fact answer me in similar fashion. Not that they ever do, but it often seems they might. Still when confronted with human conversation during this canine-intensive time I have found I'm making little to no sense when I speak with people. I'm thinking it's because I've been so tired. Either that or the brain has finally decided to pack its bags. (I'm hoping for the fatigue.) I think I have more empathy for stay-at-home moms who forget how to speak-adult after a while. You're tired, you get into a rhythm and all that comes out of your mouth is "HOW CUTE ARE YOU???" Of course, I think puppies are far cuter than any human child, but that's me.

I've also been doing the bulk of this wild-eyed walking on the Westside. If you've read here before you might recall that I am an Eastside girl. I get confused once I cross west beyond Fifth Avenue. So avoiding getting lost while escorting the pups has added a level of stress that probably made me more tired than it would have if I'd been on my home turf. The fear that those Westsiders would somehow smell the Eastside on me and boot my ass back across the park was strong. For the most part however it was fine. There was the one encounter though...

I was walking the incredibly cool Bull Mastiff, who I will call Mr. D in the small park area that sits behind the Museum of Natural History on Columbus Avenue. On my way to pick him up I had noticed a polar bear on the roof of the museum which I am PRETTY sure I'd never noticed before. It being the sort of thing you would notice. While Mr. D and I were strolling we met an older woman walking a teeeny-tiny little Yorkshire Terrier. Cute as hell to see the giant dog and the petite puppy making friends. While the dogs made friends the woman asked me, completely out of nowhere if I knew where the Museum's ice-skating rink was. Now I have been totally out of touch with the world - no news, no nuthin' so I hadn't heard anything about this thing. But I HAD seen that Polar bear and I told her about it. We agreed that must be where the skating rink was located. Score! Then she asked if I was from the neighborhood and I told her (sheepishly and stepping back so she wouldn't hit me) that I was from the Eastside. She huffed, "EASTSIDER" and turned her back. (then she turned back, it was a joke - but a very, very appropriate one). Shocking... I didn't think anyone over there HAD a sense of humor. She must originally be from the Eastside. I have mentioned the New York East/West thing to people before (people who aren't from these parts) and they have scoffed at me. Because I'm clearly a big dork who knows nothing (I get this a lot). This small exchange was quite validating in that NO, it's not something I made up! Ooh, I must be angry with someone, huh? ;) Of course the East/West issue is not a feud of Hatfield/McCoy proportions, it's just a New York 'thing' and in fact I DO have some friends who live or have lived on the Westside... I hardly ever think badly of them. (I do feel a little sorry for 'em, though.)

So welcome to December! I hope the perkiness I'm feeling today will continue I feel like I haven't written anything in years.

*for those of you who are not quadruped-lingual, according to the hilarious site I Has A Hotdog that's "Oh Hi" in dog (and cat).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm so sorry

This is possibly the most evil thing I could ever do... but I was compelled by the power of PUPPIES!


5 weeks old today... my biological puppy clock is TICKING!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

First Time

Yesterday I brought a book with me to wait on line to vote. I only got to read for about 25 minutes because the line was not quite as long as it had been when the polls opened -- when it circled the block twice.

We all knew the voter turn-out would be huge yesterday, four years ago my particular polling place was more crowded than I'd ever seen it before so it was not brain surgery to expect yesterday's crowd would be even bigger.

I vote every time I can. I do the primaries, the city council stuff, any time I have the opportunity to pull the lever in that little booth I do it. I have been doing that since I turned 18 in 1980 and my first election was for president. I was devastated when I heard my candidate had lost. It wouldn't be the last time. But despite losing faith, despite extreme cynicism about politics, I never, not once, gave up the opportunity to exercise my right to vote and have never understood how anyone could. When I was away at college I submitted absentee ballots - okay my presidential candidate lost that one too, but still - I voted. My feeling on it is, if you don't vote you lose the right to bitch and moan about the government. You vote, you have a say. And as a woman not voting is a slap in the face to all those women who came before us and fought for and won the right. So crowds or no, I brought a book and got on line. I was the 211th voter in my election district, and one of the volunteers running the table for my district was named JOY. She was a BABY people, she was born the year I graduated college! But while I waited for my turn to go into the booth we shared "growing up Joy" war stories. Ren and Stimpy, Three Dog Night and of course the lovely hell of Christmas carols. But we both agreed that after a certain age the name ain't so bad. And we also agreed that the privilege we have, the RIGHT we have to vote is a very special thing indeed.

I was so gratified to see so many 'kids' so many first time voters turning out - regardless of who they were voting for the fact that they actually were galvanized enough to get out and get their voices heard was so incredible, so uplifting. And it reminded me so much of the excitement I felt that first time. I still feel it to varying degrees, but I never forget that very first election and how proud I was to cast my ballot. I had been the wacky ├╝ber-politically aware kid - I don't know how the hell I was so into it, but when McGovern lost my heart broke. I was ten.

I voted early in the day yesterday - I intended to go when they opened but a neighbor warned me about the lines and since people have to get to work in the morning and I don't have to get any where I saw no reason to hold them up when I could go later. After I did vote I had a lot of running around to do and had (amazingly) put the whole thing out of my mind - though I fully planned to watch the results later that night.

In the evening, between two dog walks I stopped at the pet store (hello Joy, it's always the dogs!) to get Basil's food. The cashier was a kid - but he must have just turned 18 this year because he asked me (as people will... honest, I must look like information central) if he could register to vote any where. I was so upset, thinking he hadn't registered and I would have to be the one to point out to him that it was too late and he would miss the chance to vote in this election. But it turned out he had registered, what he meant was could he just walk in and vote at any polling place. WHEW. I set him straight and as he was getting out of work at 8pm he said he had plenty of time to get to HIS assigned polling place. I said: "You have to do it!" He said: "I WILL, I can't WAIT!" And I felt that same rush I had when I was 18 and knew that I had the power to make my voice heard. I imagine his candidate won (unlike my first election) and I hope that rush stays with that kid as long as it has with me.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


The last week has been an unmitigated whirlwind for me. Busy just like a little, tiny beaver over here. Putting together a grant proposal for a friend - last minute as ever (it's good I work best under a strict deadline!), meeting the WONDERFUL dogs I'll be temp-dog walking later in November - which naturally happened on the coldest, freezing rainiest day of the week, cleaning my apartment - you know... a little, making a nice comforting pot of vegan stew, holding a girl's night of playing hairdresser where I actually cut curly hair for the first time and dyed black hair red and it looks GREAT!, meeting a friend for lunch who I haven't seen in AGES, walking my weekend dog during the week for my friend who is soooo sick (but her new red hair looks awesome, so what's a little flu?), sadly finishing a book I've been reading as slowly as possible to make it laaaaast because I LOVED it so much (The Way We Live Now, Anthony Trollope - read it!), attending a reading of a new play that was awesome, just generally running around like the proverbial chicken without a head.

So um, yeah, busy. And it ain't over!

Today is November 1st which means NANOWRIMO started at midnight! Undaunted by the past couple of years failure to complete the month-long free-for-all novelling process that is NaNoWriMo, and absolutely unprepared to try again, bolstered by the fact that I DID finish it once, I am trying yet again this year. I put 1,847 words down sometime around 3 a.m. which means (for today at least) I'm ahead of the projected daily wordcount of 1,667 (which, if done diligently, will bring you to the 50,000 word minimum required to claim winner status at NaNoWriMo).

So now I am sitting with my own head full of peroxide and some shade of red, who knows what - but yeah, it's my natural color... sure, okay. And trying to figure out the best route to go straight from my dog walking to Groove, where Comic Tales of Tragic Heartbreak are playing and where you should be tonight as well... Seven to nine p.m. people. I assume that somewhere around 9:15 I will be ready for a nap.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I want to go to Cleveland!

Sadly I can't go. But if you live in Cleveland or nearby maybe you could go then tell me all about it!

My favorite cross-dressing comedian/actor doing a Q&A with they guy I wanted to be President.... If Comic Tales of Tragic Heartbreak were going to perform with them I suppose my head would explode right now.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Eyes! Hair! Mouth! Figure! Dress! Voice! Style! Movement!

There's a lot about Sarah Palin that has reminded me of Eva Peron. Wonder why? Hmmm.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I finally did it!

I have a tremendously addictive personality and it does me no favors in many areas of my life. One of those addictions that has come and gone my entire life is television. I can spend hours watching marathons of shows I've seen hundreds of times and then when it's done I realize how much time I've lost to a seriously mindless time-suck. It irks me!

My addiction to that moving picture box is such that for a time when I could not afford cable -- which you absolutely need to get any sort of reception in NYC -- I would watch ANYTHING. I lived in a huge apartment building in Brooklyn and there was a video camera aimed at the front doors. It was hooked up so that you could actually watch it on your tv, so you could see who was ringing your buzzer and such. People, I would alternate between watching that for hours and the two other stations that came in on my non-cable television. Those other stations being the Home Shopping Network and some local station that aired Ben Casey reruns at 3:00 a.m. (Insomnia has it's benefits, huh?) Needless to say I am now an expert on video survellience of the pizza deliveries to a certain building in Brooklyn, Technibond jewelry and Ben... Ben Casey.

I also have a wonderful friend who would video tape the one show I NEEDED and mail me 8 hour tapes full of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (but I only love it when Joel is on!) I still have those tapes. Thank you Sandy! When my boredom with my three channels overcame me I would pop in the videos and have them play endlessly in the background while I did other things. For some reason I could walk away from the show I wanted to see and was riveted to the others. Hmmm. It's like when you see a movie you love and want to watch and end up falling asleep but when it's something that you're hating you can't seem to look away. Or is that me?

Since living in Manhattan I have had cable. This has been so, so bad for me. Endless programming I have no interest in... and I cannot seem to look away. It's not quite as bad as my computer addiction which let me tell you, frightens me sometimes it's so bad, but it's bad.

So this morning I finally bit the bullet and cut my cable down to the absolute basics (so I get the news, um... you know the news). I'm so delighted with myself I can't express it. Of course when Battlestar Gallactica returns I'm going to be mighty upset, but that's what dvds are for, right?

Now if I could just stop playing online Canasta....

Monday, October 13, 2008

We The People...

Under the flashier election headlines and the stock market craziness more sinister doings are going on in the USA. Very, very terrifying stuff. So terrifying in fact that we who have taken our freedoms for granted all our lives cannot wrap our minds around it. To ignore this will be our ruin.

It runs 27 minutes, but trust me - you have the time. Watch it.

The Rep. Brad Sherman clip mentioned in the clip above is here.

The buried videotape of arrests during the RNC can be seen at under "Step 9" here.

We all know that eight years ago the election was stolen. If that can happen, what else can happen?

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;

And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;

And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;

And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

Friday, October 10, 2008


I'm sure there are others of you who will agree with Bette Jo's comment to my previous post. Stepping out on Basil... it is not pretty. But it's just walking - honest. Okay there may be a treat involved... and a chin scratch - but that's all! Honest! I want to be true to my one and only but how much can a woman take? How many eye-rolls and fake-outs until you finally say, Hey, I do love you best, but I have needs. I'm going to walk other dogs. How long people?

This is an minor example of what I deal with every single day, several times a day. This tug-of-war if you will began after Basil indicated quite strongly that he did need to go out. It's first thing in the morning after he ate his breakfast.

Every. Single. Day.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Again with the pictures

When I go running I don't bring a camera because, you know, running. But on the weekends when I do some dog walking (we'll call him Mr. B for his anonymity) I have pockets, and am not running, so I bring the camera.

I originally just meant to take a shot of the many signs that tell people what is not allowed on the running track (not that they think that applies to THEM) but it was just about sundown and things were looking so pretty I just couldn't stop.

Then of course when it really got dark and the moon was out...

Probably needless to say but I also managed to get lost because it was dark and my uncanny sense of direction was in full force. *sigh* I was thankful to have a dog with me who does know where he is and I don't think he minded that our walk went a little long because of it. And neither did I.

Basil on the other hand is not thrilled with my coming home smelling of other dogs. It's unseemly. Apparently.

Though as I told him: if you won't walk with me, I'll find someone who will.

Yeah. I know. I need to get out more.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Don't Vote

Think your vote doesn't count? Guess again. It's your right. It's yours. Use it.

If you haven't registered yet go HERE to see what the deadline is for your state.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Describe Yourself!

To thine own self be true. Yup. I'm back in Hamlet land. (but just for a sec, promise!)

It's not always easy to be true to yourself, but it's a helluva lot easier than describing yourself. Being true to yourself: that comes up situation by situation, and you just 'do' what you have to do. But when asked, "tell me about yourself" what the hell do you say?

I suppose we all have a quick 2-3 line intro prepped for those first-time meetings with people we either want to impress, ingratiate ourselves to, or simply fuck; but does that intro line really say anything? Is it possible to distill your entire personality into 100 words or less? If it is... is that someone you want to be? Personally I enjoy being more complex, though it can be a pain sometimes. Having exceptions to all rules and being extremely open to possibilities makes my 2-3 line intro really sketchy.

When I first meet people I tend to go for the most outrageous stuff I can make come out of my mouth. I figure, if they can take me at my weirdest/rudest (though funny, not cruel 'rude') and get the joke, then they are worth my time. If they go cold, they will NEVER understand me. Besides, if you can't play along with me, I really don't have the energy. I've spent too much of my life placating and pussyfooting around with people. It's not only a drag, but boring as all get-out. So that's what I do. Get out.

Guess I'm just a bitch. I don't like to be bored. Much as I dislike admitting it, there's a lot of people out there that just bore me to tears. It's not that they aren't nice people. It's not that they are actually particularly boring. It's just me. I think I need more stimulation than a lot of people, and I need conversation that provides that. The fact that I'm rarely, if ever, bored when I'm by myself indicates (to me anyway) that what really enervates me is feigning interest. God it takes so much energy to pretend to be interested when you're not. I suppose too that the quality that bores me in these altogether nice and pleasant people is a lack of passion... or a passion for something that leaves me thoroughly cold.

Something I've found is that even if we seem total opposites, if someone has a great sense of humor they never bore me. I used to work with a woman who, on the surface, could not have been more opposite from me. She was meticulously put together, I would oftentimes wear to work the very thing I slept in the night before. Yeah, I'm serious. She was on top of the current fashions, me... okay let's call it semi-classic with a touch of eclectic. But the thing we did have in common was a tremendous ability to see the humor in things - and to be thoroughly goofy. On first meeting the two of us I would put money on the fact that people would not be particularly surprised if I hid under a desk in say a law firm, as a practical joke. Funny thing is that SHE actually did it - not me. Oh lord did I laugh.

So where the hell am I going with this giant ramble? No idea.

I feel like I'm at a total loss as to who I am. I'm sort of all over the place and rudderless. Plans... I'm thinking having a plan would be a nice thing. Trouble is, I have no idea what that plan might be. Goals... again nice but I've had goals and met them and in the end what did they get me? Not at all what I'd thought.

I have probably got more email addresses than anyone I know. Each is for something different and I use 'em. My bookshelves go from Shakespeare, Victorian novels to chick lit and religious tomes and comic books. My record collection goes from old soul to Irish traditional to hymns, early punk to ... Wham!. (stop laughing) I'm all over the place in everything I'm interested in and where does this broad range of interests and likes get me? Unfocused and good at trivia. Whoopee.

My life's not getting any longer and I still feel like I'm in Junior High trying to figure out what the hell I want to be when I grow up. The closest thing to being a million different people I could find was acting, except it's not something I seem to have the necessary drive to actually do. Then again what do I have a drive for? Oh. Sex. The one thing that seems to be sorely lacking.

And believe me, admitting that in a public forum is as ego crushing a thing as I can do.

So there's my description of me. Long, unfocused and terrified that in ten years I'll be in the exact same place and in the words of Susan Hayward in Valley of the Dolls "wondering what the hell happened".

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ahh-Chooo! What was THAT????

Despite not posting on anything even resembling a regular schedule, I do often compose blog posts in my head. Sadly by the time they are completed in that rickety place I call a brain I lose interest in recreating them in a concrete way (however concrete the internet is) and they are lost to the ether and the labyrinth that is my gray matter.

I was talking to Gary briefly this morning about this very issue. He's having the same problem. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this. See, my mother used to take a bath every morning and would always go on about how she had written several letters while she was soaking. Needless to say there was never an actual letter. I defy anyone who ever knew the woman to come forward with an physical letter. Didn't happen. Though a few times she did manage to make a taped letter. Talking, so much easier. Any way when I compose these things in my head I fear it is an hereditary flaw and I'll just never write again. Like some genetic time-bomb has finally gone off in my head. Okay I mean like some OTHER genetic time-bomb has finally gone off in my head. But it seems to just be 'a thing'. A thing everyone goes through from time to time.

Another hereditary flaw that seems to have finally shown itself is allergies. My mother was a runny nosed, water eyed sneeze machine when the forsythia was blooming. Me: I'm allergic to two things: broccoli and metal. Otherwise nothing bothers me. Strong peasant stock right here. Send me into the potato fields! But a couple of weeks ago I was doing my little run around the Central Park Reservoir and feeling all full of myself since I can go around 3 times like it's nothing. For those keeping score that's 4.8 miles and I go a little further to up it to 5. So go me. Whee. I had plans that night, was all pumped from the run, took a shower and out of NOWHERE couldn't breathe through my nose and my throat was on fire. I assumed it was some insane cold that hit out of the blue. Though I've never had a cold come on with no warning like that... then I realized (after mentioning it to several people who know better) that colds do NOT happen like that. Nor do they pass so quickly. So yeah, seems I've developed some sort of allergy. Dammit.

On a less damn my genetics note my apartment is immaculate for a change. Due to the fact that I was having a couple of people over last Friday. Gary, Mark and Gregg (I do so love a house full of the handsome menfolk - what can I say?) came over for what was to be a preliminary blogger meet. Gregg aka Junk Thief flew in from California and it was his birthday so it seemed appropriate to have a little mini-event. What this meant to me was GOOD LORD I NEED TO CLEAN THIS DUMP! Seriously trapped within me is a 12 year old boy. I've gotten him to stop collecting sci-fi action figures and such, but he simply refuses to be tidy. Kids. So there was a mega cleaning needed 'round here before I could even dream of having anyone walk through that door.

Happily I got it done in time and now I reap the benefits of lots of cleared horizontal spaces and a really clean kitchen floor. Sure 'the kid' won't keep it up for long, but I figure I've got a week or so of neatness. Anybody wants to come by: do it now before the clothes start piling up on the kitchen table again.

Gregg was just lovely and I wish I'd gotten to meet the others who were gathering on Saturday. Unfortunately I have no gift for scheduling or directions and while I thought I could make it to the big meet-up I realized too late that there was no way. See, I've got a little job. YEAH, I know what a riot, huh? I'm walking a dog on the weekends (thanks to a couple of mah dog-lovin' sistahs who usually do it needing a sort of 'temp' dog walker.) So I'm donning my slut-wear and walking a dog - in a few weeks I'll be walking 7! It's like canine party time for me!

The photo above was clumsily taken later Friday night at the Rodeo Bar where Gregg and I went to see Comic Tales of Tragic Heartbreak. My batteries were, as usual, on their way out so my photos are sort of um... not so great. Well that and I was, how shall I put it? Oh, I know: loaded. Oy. I should never be allowed near an open bottle of red wine when I'm nervous. I'm told I was funny. Which is better than being obnoxious. So I'll take it. But Gregg was a real peach and took some video for me and the band was great so really, all in all a fabulous night.

Now all I have to do is try to keep the apartment decent, run without inhaling pollen, steer clear of wine and actually put my fingers on the keyboard here and everything should be dandy. That is... until the next thing, and there's always a 'next thing'.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Seriously, We REALLY Can't Have That

This is Your Nation on White Privilege by Tim Wise

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Making... like with my hands

For the past few months I have had little or no interest in talking to people, socializing or writing this blog. For someone who loves to run her mouth and loves words (the reading of and the writing of same) this loss of interest is just plain wack-o. Losing interest in things that you love or give you pleasure is, of course, a sign of Depression. However, when I was suicidal I wrote REAMS. Granted it was very boring, pity-party stuff, but reams of it nonetheless. I also yammered on and on to anyone who would listen. So this lack of interest in communication, whether spoken or written does not strike me as any sort of warning sign. Especially since my medication does seem to be kicking in again.

But despite my lack of wordy interest, I do feel the need for some sort of expression. Hello teaching myself the recorder? Yeah, that qualifies. But I have now found something else. Something that (HOPEFULLY) will prove not only rewarding creatively, but also monetarily (at least a little bit!)

I started an Etsy shop! Just like the clever, funny and crafty (as in crafts - not as in sneaky) Bette Jo I am making jewelry! Now granted mine is fun and cute, but it's not high fashion jewelry design like hers, but I would wear any of the pieces I've made. In fact I have been wearing some of the ones that have imperfections and that I wouldn't feel right about selling to someone but that work just fine for me.

So far I have only put up a couple for sale - it's a whole new world and it's taking me some time to navigate. But I'm making a couple of pieces a day so there will be more available soon.

Shameless self-promotion? You betcha.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I'm straddling complete enervation and total hyperactivity. It's kinda sucking. I have this 'on the verge' feeling and I'm not entirely sure what the verge is. My apartment is currently reliving its former life of complete disarray and clutter because I got it into my head that NOW was the time to paint the closets and finally, finally get rid of the last of the tchotchkes I want to sell on eBay or give away to charity. Believe me, I have more tchotchkes than a thrift store right now and that's after ditching hundreds of items. It's terrifying really, to think how much stuff I had and how much I still have. How is it possible? Well, partially because when people know you have the collector gene they give you things. I used to love getting stuff. The more stuff the better. Now I cringe at the thought of anything that is not actually USEFUL coming in my door. And I mean really useful. I'm so tired of getting rid of things and still never seeming to be done. Much of it is my own sentimentality and inability to let go of things. I am getting better about that. I actually gave my juicer to a thrift shop the other day. My JUICER! I loved it so! It's been in my closet for close to 10 years and I used it last, um... TEN years ago! Yeah. It's like that. So I'm a little brain fried right now. I don't even want to sort through this stuff - I just want to put it in the trash. But I can't make myself do it. I haven't honed my cut-throat de-clutter skills enough for that. Maybe one day. Maybe one day I won't need those skills any more because there will be nothing left to ditch!

I imagine if I continue to keep up my anti-social behavior I won't have to worry about it as I will have no friends left to give me stuff. So there's that.

I don't know why I have no desire to see or speak with anyone. It's that 'verge' thing. It's why I'm not interested in blogging so much lately too. I just don't feel like 'putting out' I guess. I don't feel like I have anything to say and I'm not in the mood to make it up. I think that what I want right now, and for a long while, is simply not something you can get from your friends.

On a less whiny note, these are some photos I took on a walk through Central Park last Sunday. The new photo up top is from the same day.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Matthew 7:3

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Oh hell, you're thinking: Joy's done gone over to the evangelical's at last. Well, it was bound to happen. After all a woman who wanted to be a nun as a child... Gotcha! I may not be gettin' any, as the kids say, but I'm not ready to check into the convent just yet. (give me a couple more years... at least.)

The Bible quote above, which of course is a part of a larger piece bashing hypocrisy, reminded me of a story. So I thought I'd lead off with that because... ya know, been away for a while and I'm not really sure how this blogging thing works any more!

A few weeks ago I finally got my ass to the optometrist for an exam. Reading has become a nightmare of squinting and holding books up to my nose, it was clearly time for new glasses. What a shock. Happens every year, just like taxes. I got a new scrip for glasses (which I have yet to fill because I've been, as mentioned, preoccupied with other health concerns). But I did get a new contact lens prescription and even ordered a supply of lovely, comfortable disposable lenses. I can even (sorta) read with them - which is a new development for me with contacts. Usually they are for social events only. Some of you may remember the last time I socialized in my old contacts and the hilarity that ensued from that little foray into blindness. So now I have new lenses that I can actually use to SEE! Fun! But I also still have a couple dozen of the old not so much good for anything lenses. I HATE waste. Rather than ditch the semi-useless lenses I did find a use for them. I wear them when I work out! I pop 'em in to go running, when I'm done I pop 'em out and throw them away (they are daily disposables after all). This saves me 'wasting' the old lenses and also saves me cleaning the new ones (they are weeklies). It's been working out really well.

Until last week.

I came home from a really hard run on a really hot day. I got into the shower and then remembered to remove my lenses. No problem it's not like I need a mirror to do that I can just reach into my eyeball and pull those puppies right out. So I did. But when I took out the left lens I felt a searing burning pain. Clearly some shampoo had gotten into my eye while I was removing the lens. I rinsed and rinsed and it finally felt better so I finished my shower, dried off and proceeded to collapse on the couch.

About 4 hours later - out of nowhere - the searing pain was back! WTF??? I ran to the bathroom and started rinsing my eye again and could find no relief. I was sure there must be a dog or cat hair in my eye, because they are both white it's often hard to spot a hair that gets in my eye. Yes, yes, this has happened before. Life with domesticated animals, it's a given. But no matter what angle I tried I could not spot the hair that was causing my eye so much pain. Then I spotted it. Something that completely freaked me out. There, in the white of my left eye, was an air bubble!

All I could think was somehow my eye was popping a blood vessal, or something like an optical aneurysm was going on. I was terrified. I tried to stay calm - no health insurance in this country means no E.R. without careful consideration and/or impending death. I stared into the mirror looking at the air bubble in my poor eye wondering if it meant I would soon be doing a Sandy Duncan/Sammy Davis Jr. and possibly having a really cool party trick to do in future when I noticed the jagged line. There was a jagged line in the white of my eye! DEAR GOD WHAT IS GOING ON???

Yeah. You've probably figured it out. Took me a bit longer. Seems the air bubble was not in the white of my eye but instead trapped under the half of my contact lens that had torn off when I removed it in the shower. When I pulled it out I didn't look at it I simply reached around the shower curtain and flicked it into the trash. What's to look at? Well, if I had looked I'd have known that the searing pain I felt and thought was shampoo was in fact the torn edge of the lens scraping against my poor delicate eye. Ouchie!!! D'OH!

Unfortunately the lens was now pretty hard to get out - being in half and all so it took some extensive, one-eyed, internet searching (Google: "how to remove a torn contact lens") and then a lot of flushing with contact solution and laying flat (laying down with your eyes closed apparently moves the lens back into position so you can get hold of it if it has migrated up under your lid. Good to know.) I finally managed to get the torn bit out with no lasting damage to my eye. It was a bit red the next morning from all the poking an prodding, but by the evening it was fine again.

Had I LOOKED at the lens when I removed it I would have saved myself a world of pain, trouble and desperate web searching. Look first to your own eye, before you can remove the mote from your brother's. See how that ties into the Bible story?

Yeah. I thought it was a stretch too. But you know I had to try.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Oh hi again

A number of years ago (and by 'a number' I mean something like 15-20) I bought myself a plastic recorder. At the time I had never even heard of a recorder and was shocked to find it was such a common instrument and in fact was often used to start teaching kids music. I had never seen one, nor heard of them until the time I actually bought one. Yeah, sad, I know. But to my defense I must say I do not believe they were used in my school, I mean I saw flutes, clarinets, trumpets, trombones, xylophones and of course drums. But never once a recorder. So I think I have a vague excuse for being so ignorant of an instrument that's been around since approximately the year 800(C.E. or A.D. your choice).

In a burst of defiant "oh yeah, you THINK I can't play an instrument" ... (and by 'you' I mean me) I bought a seriously inexpensive Hohner Recorder. Practiced for about 17 minutes and promptly forgot about it. Probably due to the fact that I was too busy doing god only knows what.

The past few weeks (or more, I have no sense of time lately) have been stressful far in excess of what they ought to have been. I had a little 'girl' issue and while I'm normally pretty cool about going to doctors and having tests for some reason this one really took hold to the point that I was literally shaking last Friday when I went to have a consultation with the Oncologist. Ovarian cancer is no joke, and the fact that it is so difficult to diagnose makes it very tough to find early. Thanks medical researchers for working so hard on that one. Yeah. So I was pretty much a basket case. And I have not been myself even a wee little bit. Readjusting to going back on Zoloft wasn't even a part of this one. I was just freaking out.

I was also absurdly unproductive. I'd get up in the morning, spend the day doing pretty much nothing and oh lookie, it's time to go back to bed. And I wouldn't even notice how much time had gone by because I was so preoccupied with 'keeping my mind off it'. Because that worked really well. Uh-huh.

After weeks of this sort of nonsense I decided it was time to DO something. So I decided to paint my hall closet. I have left-over paint from the great apartment redo so I went to work on the inside of the closet which was one of the few spots in the apartment that was still white. While dumping out the closet I found the recorder.

That afternoon waiting for the paint to dry so I could put back the things that weren't getting donated or thrown out I heard what sounded like a kid practicing, of all things, a recorder. It went on for about 10 minutes and it was clearly early on in the learning process and very clearly a recorder. So I dusted the poor little guy off and hit the internet for 'how to play a recorder'. I thought 10 minutes a day was something even I could do; something I could commit to and not feel overburdened with guilt if I missed a day. It's September, back to school time, why not try to relearn how to read music, and actually learn to play an instrument that you could play a melody on? Why the hell not?

So I've been practicing for a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of an hour every day. I have not heard that kid practice again since that initial 10 minutes and now I wonder if I really heard it at all (cue the Twilight Zone music). But I've learned the fingering for 5 notes - whoa... sloooow down! And while I'm still clumsy with it, and given the way my hands cramp up I'd be surprised if I ever get really proficient, but I'm getting better. Maybe in a few months I'll even be able to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, or something equally compelling, without squeaking. I'm thrilled that it doesn't bother the dog or the cat. I figure if the notes were really bad Basil would absolutely be making a fuss. So maybe I'm on the right track.

In the meantime the Oncologist set my mind at ease in that he saw no reason to believe that I have anything other than a simple cyst - and even better - one that doesn't require surgery. (Which is really great since I no longer have health insurance and I live in the United States of America where it's okay to have a socialized school system, police force, fire departments, etc. but not socialized medicine. HELLO? And thank you Mr. Nixon you sonofawhore. Sorry, no, I'm not going there right now because I don't want to get myself riled.)

Any way. I'm pretty damned delighted and I'm going back to practice my 5 notes for another 10 minutes. Look out Twinkle Twinkle, IT'S ON!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ahhh-OOOO-Gaaaaa... boing

I have not been in the cheeriest lately. Preoccupied. Blah-blah. But this segment (actually all the coverage of the Republican Convention) is so hilarious I actually laughed so hard I cried.

So the RNC is good for a laugh. Not much else, but a laugh.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The sad, sad truth presents itself once more...

After 3 weeks of being Zoloft-free I think it's time to face the cold hard reality that my poor little brain just has not learned how to deal with serotonin on its own. I was so hoping it had. Dammit. I wanted to just ease off it, avoid the nasties that come with going off, (which I did btw) but it turns out that now that it's all out of my system I'm, well, let's be clear: I'm fucked.

I am Sooooooo disappointed. No, seriously. I was absolutely certain that this was something that I could do. That I really didn't need to be on anti-depressants any more. Hahhahahahahaha on me. Too many bad thoughts, too many weepy days and with my current health situation being what it might be, I am in no position to attempt to brave it through. My brain simply can't seem to have a 'bad day' like normal people do. My brain - all about the drama - decides to go to the deepest darkest, murkiest well of despair it can find in which to wallow, design horrible scenarios of my desolute future and sip a frosty margarita. This is not cool brain. Reallly not cool. Okay the margarita is kinda delicious, but.. NO, stop it with your seductively dark thoughts! bad brain, bad, bad brain. tsk.

So much for my experimentation with living drug-free. Guess I'm the "just say YES!" poster child.

Of course I'm devastated. Um... that might be because I'm NOT taking my meds. Helllllooooo. But while I have my pride, such as it is, I have decided that being on meds for the rest of my life and maybe not quite 'feeling' everything to the nth degree ain't the worst that could happen. So this morning out came the remaining 'happy pills' (which is such a cavalier euphemism, but hey gotta laugh to keep from crying, right?) and now I'm reversing the process I've spent the past few months doing. Now I'm building up the amount of those kooky blue pills that I take every day until I get back to my old dosage and feel more often happy than despairing. Luckily that process goes much faster than the weaning off process and I should be back to my regular dose in 2 weeks.

It's a sucky lesson to have to learn. For me, these pills are the thing that keep me from going down dark roads that lead to thoughts of sharp implements, lots of alcohol, and a warm tub of water. Given the fact that I have an appointment with a Gynecological Oncologist in a couple of weeks, it might save the hassle to just stay off the pills. Gotta go one way or t'other, right? But despite feeling really, REALLY low at the moment, I'm not quite low enough to want to give up.

I know what the worst feels like: I'm not there, but I could get there mighty damned fast. I'm like one piece of bad news and a mean look away from getting there. I also know what the best is, and that's what I want back. So until these pills start kicking in again, I'm trying (none too successfully) to keep the good thoughts on my own. But it'll be okay. Lesson learned. Take your pills. And remember:

Actual health-care reform — wow!

HR 676 is sponsored by Congressman John Conyers, Dennis Kucinich and several others. The bill would provide for a single payer medical system. Introduced in 2003, the bill now has 91 cosponsors. It is currently in the House Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Health.

read more | digg story

Friday, August 15, 2008

You Get Me!

I can count on more fingers than I have on both hands (and maybe a few extra) how many times I have heard this phrase from men. Always stated with a level of excitement normally reserved for the discovery of a new country. "Holy mackeral, a woman who understands me!" When I was young and foolish (as opposed to now where I'm just plain foolish) I took it as a great compliment. More than a compliment it was a sign from the heavens that we were a match made in . . . something less than hell. OF COURSE no one else 'got' them. They were sooooo complex and mere mortal women were far too mundane to understand their varied hues. Their incredible depth. Except guess what? Not so much.

Frankly, I didn't 'get' them. Not in the end. Because they were always off to women who didn't understand them at all. (and they made this quite clear! "she doesn't get me" so... wha... Huh????) SO much for that 'getting'. It pissed me off. But not nearly so much as the fact that of all these charmers that I was so "undertanding" of not a single one of them ever 'got' ME.

Now I'm sure they thought they did because let's face it, I had a habit of getting involved with complete losers who thought they were geniuses. They weren't, well okay one was but we were kids so that probably doesn't count. What they were was selfish immature guys with limited scope who saw only their tiny version of the world and they belonged with women who were truly like them. Despite the fact that they 'didn't get them'. Their ambitions were small. Their minds were smaller. We will not discuss anatomy.

All these guys that I 'understood' and really 'got' would think they 'got' me because they saw what they wanted, heard what they wanted and believed what they wanted to about me. All evidence to the contrary. What I really am was never something they 'got'. Like the ones who knew I wanted to get married and bless the world with the fruit of their loins. Yeah. Uh... Right. Cause that's me: mommy material. Yeah. IN HELL I'm mommy material! Move over Satan, Big Mama's in town. Oy vey. Or (one of my all time favorites) "Joy's not the kind of girl you just fuck, you'd want to marry her." WHAT?????????? Are ya kidding me? Talk about projecting, pal.

The truth is I'm pretty good at picking up on things about people. Early training in a violently dysfunctional household will teach you lots of things, among them: low self-esteem, anxiety and an uncanny talent for noticing things that not everyone notices. The twitch of an eye, the tensing of a breath that mean more than what the other person wants you to know. Possibly more than they are aware of themselves. I used to think everyone did this sort of reconnaissance, the careful watching of people and what they say and do to determine their next move (and if you needed to duck) but I found that is not the case. Truth is most people never see the subliminal cues other people give off. Dogs do, but people? Not so much. So I guess I've got a minor talent. Is it a money maker? Yeah, again: not so much.

I bitch and moan on this blog quite a bit but the truth is I'm pretty damned tolerant. At least I used to be. I used to put up with the crappiest behavior - or just the most incompatible behavior - for far longer than any less tolerant (read stupid) person might have because of that easy-going nature and because of my early training which taught me that I deserved the most abundant crappy treatment I could find. Of course I told myself that I had broken that cycle because I would never EVER tolerate someone hitting me the way my mother had. And they never have. But I let them 'hit' me in other ways... I was too 'tolerant' to see it for what it was.

Happily I've learned not to tolerate quite so much any more and have learned that people do in fact show you their real selves very quickly, very early. Which can cut down on the amount of toleratin' you might need to do and if you're not inclined for putting up with bullshit in your life any more; you can nip that nonsense in the bud and move on! Because, amusingly enough, people will often show you exactly who they are right away. They say it outright "I'm lazy" (followed by a cover-up laugh) or slightly more subtle, they actually show you (if you're watching closely). Of course the beauty of the reveal is that we almost NEVER BELIEVE it when it first comes up! Nahhhh, couldn't be. That's just a self-deprecating joke, etc. After some time we see it, but not at first. "Oh yeah, wait a minute.... he did say 'sex isn't the most important thing'" (FYI: that phrase coming from a guy is an impotence/sexual dysfunction tip-off. Remember it ladies and run for the hills. Unless that's the type of thing you're looking for, in which case mazel tov!)

I'm teaching myself not to be quite so tolerant any more. It goes against my grain, because being 'nice' is a big part of who I am (or who I'd like to think I am. . . maybe I'm not really so nice. THAT is entirely possible.) But right now? I just don't care any more.

Get me?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Farewell, A New Start

Friday, August 15 marks a bittersweet occasion for me. For others as well I'm sure but I feel a particular pang about this and so naturally I'm going to whine about it. My blog: my whining.

Oh hush, you love when I whine. Don't you? No really, don't you? Hmmm. Any way. . .

There are two things I have been seriously consistent about in the time since I decided not to kill myself in October of 2004. Everything else has been variable, sometimes stickin' - sometimes passing. But two things that I have been consistent with as I have been consistent with few other things in my life are: 1) my daily dose of Zoloft and 2) my attendance at every Niagaras show I could physically make it to.

Both of those things are ending this month.

August is going to be tough on Miss Joy lemme tell ya.

As I've mentioned, I decided to wean off the Zoloft and while I did have a couple of days in July where I thought maybe it wasn't the wisest decision, overall I think I'm actually fine. I'm just adjusting to life without the support system of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It's cool: I'm relearning what it feels like to FEEL big time. Not saying it's a breeze, but it's going to be fine. Feeling is good. Sometimes hard, but still good. I'm much stronger now. I can handle it now. I couldn't before, but now I can. I think it has a lot to do with finally learning what 'happy' actually feels like and hanging onto it. And hey, if I find I can't deal and sharp objects start looking pretty again, I have my reminder tattoo and I can run to the doctor begging for scripts. I'm REALLY hyper-vigilant about suicidal idealizations, don't worry.

The second one is . . . tougher. That one I have no control over - WHAT?! Don't I control EVERYTHING? Guess not.

On August 15, 2008 The Niagaras are ending a run of many, many years which I was fortunate - in the extreme - to have fallen into at exactly the right time for me. My regret is not having known of them longer so that I could have seen them play more, but things happen when they will. Such is life. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to see and hear such an amazingly talented group perform as often as I did. Possibly more often than is strictly on the sane side, but still.... just under three years of seeing them play an average of twice a month (sometimes more! yay! ... sometimes less. boo!) seems like not nearly enough. But when it's time to make a change in life it's time and no amount of whining from outside, or inside, sources can keep it from happening.

Some people tell me I should stay on the Zoloft, but I know it's time to come off it. I'm sure some people tell the Niagaras not to stop performing together, but they know it's time.

I've become very attached to Niagaras songs - there are always a minimum of 3 on my iPod at any given time. They come running with me because an awful lot of Niagaras' songs have just the right beats per minute for running. (Yeah. That's why. Sure.) There are songs I've never heard live because they just don't play 'em any more. So now I guess I never will hear them live - Charitable, For Some Reason Leah or Train of Thought anyone? No? FINE. Be that way.

There are Niagaras' songs that piss me off, simply because they contain lines that I find heart-clutchingly perfect not only in terms of capturing themes of the human condition but also in terms of clever and evocative poetry and I'm envious, jealous, and a little angry at myself because I would never have thought to have written such things - and I wish like hell I could.

So I'm sad that there will be an end to this band which I have come to feel so proprietary about while at the same time magnanimous (and a little pushy) about sharing with everyone I know. I'm sure some of my friends will be happy not to have my 'come with me - c'mon, c'mon, c'mon The Niagaras 10pm (sharp)' emails because of my not so subtle and tenacious digs about the fact that they should be able to stay up past midnight on a FRIDAY night once in a while and come with me to see this band that makes me so happy. Of course, when they could or when they were in town they did come - but nothing's ever enough for me. I'm greedy and impatient like that.

You know that part in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy first begins her walk along the yellow brick road? You know that part in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy first begins her walk along the yellow brick road? It always irked me that she started from the absolute center of the spiral and followed that damned thing when she could have simply stepped off and gone directly to the part that went straight and just gotten on with it! It seemed so pointless and time consuming to walk that little spiral of yellow bricks, singing with the Munchkins and that kooky Glinda, and yet... the truth I've come to learn at this stage in my life is that you really can't skip over the spiral. You've got to start at the beginning and follow along, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the yellow brick road, as it were. There aren't short-cuts, everything is a process and sometimes you get to the Emerald City and things change. A lot. I have always maintained that change is good. To remain the same is to become stagnant. And so, though it makes me nervous (the Zoloft) and a bit sad (the Niagaras) I know in my heart that change is good - and only good will come of it. It's time.

I know I'm greedy in that I wish, WISH, WISH The Niagaras would always be. Would always be playing someplace I could get to within a reasonable amount of time so that I wouldn't have to wait and pine for too long for my 'happy' fix. Selfish, I know. And patience is NOT one of my many, many virtues. A-hem. But we all have to do the things we have to do, when we have to do them. These Niagaras boys are no different. It's a gut feeling. It's a knowing that this is the path. To fight against it is to fight the tides. You'll lose.

People leave, new people come, the world turns and we go on. If we are brave enough and wise enough to flow with that change, what wonders might we find?
The Niagaras final show will be at The National Underground 158 East Houston, between Allan and Houston, NYC 10PM (sharp) More info here

After that the always wonderful Robert Whaley will be performing with his new band Comic Tales of Tragic Heartbreak. Of course I've seen them - what a silly question. Of course they're fabulous - don't be dense. It's a different sort of vibe, more soulful abd deeo but still warm and welcoming and yes, funny too. And yes, I'm still envious of the lyrics here too. I'm just green with it. Oh well. More info here