Monday, June 29, 2009

who doesn't love a little drama

Well, I for one am not a fan.

My last post was clearly not written by someone who is a role model for the upside of mental health. But maybe it's good that I put it out there. This survival thing, this getting through bad days, weeks, months maybe that's the real point. Staying alive when the world seems bright and cheery and you feel happy and content, well that's easy isn't it? That's the fun part. Not taking refuge in thoughts of razor blades and punching out your time-clock permanently when everything is bleak and you're lonely and feel abandoned and ugly and useless and so damned sad that nothing matters, that's the hard part.

The other hard part is recognizing when it's a matter of chemistry.

I feel lucky to have gotten a hold on my recent downward spiral towards the comfy black snugglies of a deep depression by increasing my medication slightly. I hesitate to say that I'm 100% okay just yet, but things are infinitely better than they were. It astounds me how easily I started slipping down that slope to the slough of despond, and how even seeing it happening I felt helpless to stop it even though I knew I could certainly TRY a little more medication. It's really like an angel and devil on your shoulders. The angel says: hey, how about we've been here before and we try a little tweaking of the meds before deciding to off ourselves, eh? And the devil says: Fuck it all. You suck and you always have, always will and you may as well spare yourself more of the same.

It's a lot easier to listen to the second guy. After all, he's a snappier dresser.

But I did start taking more meds, it has started to help and I'm going to be far more vigilant that this doesn't happen again in the future. It's hard though, I mean it's hard to recognize it when it first starts. Is it just a 'bad day' or is it the start of a tumultuous war of self-loathing vs. rational thought? Sometimes it's just impossible to tell.

And to those who offered some support - I do appreciate it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

So much for that

Despite the title of this blog I seems I've lost my infatuation with myself. It's pretty much a struggle to remember to comb my hair lately. I mean I just don't see much point. Am I gaining weight? So what. Am I wearing make-up. Who cares. It's like an endless attempt to be someone that nice, someone people like, someone desirable and that struggle is all uphill and yields nothing much.

This is not to say that from time to time I don't feel appreciated, just this past week a surprise care-package of the coolest kind arrived in the mail from the delightfully inventive Miss Jill. The selection of fun-stuff in the box was perfect, and exactly what I would have packed up for myself - if I liked myself enough to care. And it really made me smile and giggle and feel happy, truly I couldn't have been more surprised or grateful: music, a book, vegan chocolate and even a mirror ball (of a sort) and more. I know there are so many people so much worse off than me, I do know that. And I'm trying so hard to hold onto that feeling and let it be enough.

But I'm such a miserable bitch that nothing is ever enough.

You know when you have a spill and you try to sop it up with a brand new, totally dry sponge it takes FOREVER for it to absorb the spill? That's me. A damp sponge sops up spills in a blink, because it's already primed. So I'm a dry sponge. Every now and then a drop of water hits it but by the time the next one comes it's already dry again and so it's never able to really function the way you want a sponge to function.

I'm a non-functioning sponge.

In a desert.

With a blow-dryer.

Jesus, cue the violins, eh?

I guess it's just that the older I get the more I wonder why I'm here. And I've wondered that since I was a kid, so imagine how much I think about it now. I'm tired. I'm tired of being a non-priority, even to myself. I'm a second-stringer at best. Afterthought, non-weekend friend. And clearly I'm too heinous to expect any romantic overture to be anything more than a means to make someone else jealous, or worse, a gag at the ugly girl's expense.

I've never been first in anyone's life, not even as a baby... I know, I know love yourself first. But when that doesn't work... well, then what?

Then I guess you end up like me. Wanting more than I'll ever have and trying to be happy with what I do have.

I'm just tired. Really tired of myself. And I'm tired of proving my parents right.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

T.V. in the Kitchen

Tools of distancing members of my small family were plentiful in my house growing up. The pets were always good - talk to the dog when nobody was speaking to each other (which was often). The television however was the most popular tool of 'keep away'. There was a television in the livingroom, one my parent's bedroom, a small one in my bedroom and of course one in the kitchen. Given the fact that we were three people living in a small two bedroom house I'm going out on a limb here to say: that's a LOT of televisions.  

The fact that my father was a notorious miser, it may seem more than surprising that there were so many televisions. Ah-ha! Stay with me as I decipher the logic here. 1) my dad had a television repair license, something he got in high school or just after so he was greatly enamoured of fiddling with the machines. There were tubes (kids, google it - televisions used to need things called 'tubes' in order to operate) of all shapes and sizes all around the house. So having multiple television sets was something he enjoyed. Also please note that each and every one of these were of the B&W variety until I was... um... I think I was in college by the time that house saw a color tv. And believe me, there was an aeriel antenna on the roof until the day my father died. Cable? Please. And 2) it was a great way not to have to talk to anyone. So here we are, three people who have a deep seated need to be apart with a tv in practically every room - and in the summer, my father would run an antennae line out the window so he could hook up the tv outside. I kid you not.  

My parents had divergent tastes in televised programming, so the only one who went both ways (as it were) was me. In an attempt to 'connect' I would, when the chill in the room wasn't too frosty, watch with them whatever they happened to have on. Star Trek, The Twilight Zone and Fawlty Towers with my father (the latter of which was watched in its entirety outside in the backyard during a PBS fundraising marathon and followed by a raucous fun weekend of Dad's famous violent rages... well, watching tv never stopped anyone from downin' their beer now did it?) My mother on the other hand was a Daytime Soap or as we called them back then 'serials' fanatic. I cannot tell you the number of actors I have seen on stage or on the street that I grew up watching on 'the serials'. She was also big on the half-hour sit-coms. And let us never forget that she used I Love Lucy re-runs as my baby-sitter, teaching me at a very early age how to speak with a Cuban accent.

Now me? I'd watch anything, other than sports. I was a bored child in the suburbs in a bad family situation - if my head wasn't in a book, I was glued to the television. Can I just say right now how much I loved the Bowery Boys growing up? I mean really, I was so crazy about those goofy East Side kids solving crimes and hanging out in the soda shop that it was... well... it wasn't right. But of course not much about me was 'right'. I had a foot in so many different decades it's no wonder I didn't fit in where I was.

Now aside from the soaps and sit-coms, my mother did have one totally out-of-character show that she was very much addicted to, for a time. It was called Sunrise Semester and was broadcast at the crack of "why the hell is anyone who doesn't have to milk a cow up at this hour?" My mother being the earliest riser known to humanity, and my father being the night owl of all time... oh I digress. Sorry. So my mother's up at the crack of - and the television is turned on before her eyes even open all the way. Seriously.  

Being the competitive insomnia champ of the house I was up all night and still up at dawn so when I heard her puttering around - meaning when I heard the t.v. go on - I'd head out to the kitchen. Because that one summer Sunrise Semester was on. I missed the first episode, but by the second I too was hooked. You see the 'semester' was spent dissecting a novel. Hello - t.v. + book = get the popcorn! As I said, this was not my mother's typical show so I found it fascinating that she was so hooked on it too. Well, turns out it was the professor's voice she was really addicted to. Ah well... whatever works, huh? I don't remember exactly how old I was but I'm guessing maybe 9 or 10 years old. The novel up for study was Emile Zola's Nana. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do - it's amazing. However, I don't think it was ever intended for the 9-10 year old market. Yet I stuck with the show, fascinated as Dr. Zulli talked about Zola's life, the characters in the book and the story line. When it was all over I was a bit blue - the next course up was something about ... I dunno, science maybe? Didn't have the hold on me that Nana did. Many years later, when I was in college, PBS's Masterpiece Theater ran a two-part dramatization of another of Zola's books Thérèse Raquin. Oh my GOD I wanted to be Kate Nelligan. What a great role, what a great story!

Seeing it reminded me that I had never read Nana. I actually went to the bookstore and could only find Thérèse, so I read that. Some time later I got my hands on a copy of Nana from the library. I cannot explain how odd it was to finally read this book when I had spent so much of my life with it 'in my head' from such a young age. The world of that story... it was already embedded in my brain, reading the book was like filling in the lines in a coloring book. Again, I highly recommend it.

So while the television was a tool of interpersonal avoidance, it was also a window to new worlds, at least for me. It may not have been much, but I worked with what was available to me. I still have a special place in my heart for Zola, and for Dr. Zulli (who did have a really nice voice). I tried to find some video of him on the 'net but came up with nothing. But you can see him here.

Friday, June 05, 2009

I may be Vegan, but I still love me some cheese

THIS kind of cheese!




How can you not love Charo? She's kooky and wonderfully silly but also dead-serious talented and clearly has a heart of gold. I love matador outfits, but that's the ONLY good thing about bullfighting. Brava cuchi-cuchi girl!

Monday, June 01, 2009

WHY am I so tired?

Oh the weather is making me nuts, honestly.  This hot cold hot cold hot cold crap - I mean it's like one of my past relationships.  (And I do mean EXACTLY like.)  Annoying!

I also think it's partly responsible for my feeling draggy and weak.  Maybe I can't really blame the weather, but I will any way.  It's more likely that I'm working my anemia again.  Probably explains why I'm cold-blooded.  Har-Har.  

I went for a run this morning and could barely make a mile and half, in fact I'm surprised I managed to get that far.  I just wanted to lay down and take a nap... the sidewalk was looking mighty alluring what with it's rough edges and broken bottle shards.  Just the sort of place I could curl up and nod off.  Yeah.  I am a total riot.  But it is a fact that I have a history of being able to better fall asleep in odd places than in my comfy bed, so the curb-appeal, if you will, isn't really a stretch.

*sigh*  Could this be less entertaining?  Why sure it could... but not by much.

In the interests of being more entertaining, I will share with you more of the "Joy Got a Mac: Watch Her Play with IT!" show.  Computer + Doggies + Paul Robeson =  sweet Jesus I really need to get a life.  But perhaps it will make you smile.  Here's the pups.

video

And yes, 'Trixie' is Miss X... I know I've slipped in the past and given away her true identity, but I hoped nobody would catch on.  Now it's out for reals peeps.  Yes, fame comes at a price, but her tiny little paws are chapped from all the paw-prints she has to sign on the street.  So please, at least for now: no autographs.

It should go without saying, Basil NEVER does autographs.  So don't be offended.