Yes, I Am A Little Cracked...

So, if you've read certain of my past postings, (and if not, why not?) you may know that I am 'in recovery' from alcohol and drug addiction. And if you never read any of those posts before, well, now you know. I have 9008 days and nights of continuous sobriety, which roughly translates to 24 years and 8 months. As for my shoe addiction, that is one I am still 'practicing', which means, in 'normal people' terms, I am still actively acquiring and wearing shoes. In my defense, that one is much harder to deal with, because, as everyone knows, humans do not need alcohol or recreational drugs to survive, but they DO need footwear in order to survive, at least in this saturated bog we call Seattle. It's akin to a food addiction; where do you draw the line between eating to live and living to eat? It's just in my case it's between 'shoe shopping to live' and 'living to shoe shop'. Soooo, anyway, you can start to see here just how hard it is being moi.

The last 4+ months have been some of the hardest ever of being me. I have had a couple of sudden, unexpected deaths, two very serious illnesses & subsequent surgeries/recoveries, one injury requiring tricky back surgery, all in my family, and it all started off with someone I love telling me they would much rather not be in a relationship with me. Ouch. That still hurts. Every fucking day. Over 3 years ago someone I was in a relationship with also left me, and even though my pride was hurt my heart kinda went, "Meh..." and my head kinda went, "Whew...", BUT! and this is the salient point: the end of that one was followed by job loss & injury (to me), deaths of favorite people and still more injury (to me). So, if I were going to subscribe to 'logic', (Hahahahahahahaha! Good one.) I would naturally conclude that being in a love relationship or it's (meh) equivalent, will always result in a.) it ending (so far that is true, whether by my decision or someone else's) and b.) will always result in untold tragedies befalling yours truly, right? Right??? Well, I mean, if I am going to be all scientific about it and all... So that leads me to conclude that the end of my love (or (meh) equivalent) relationships causes said tragedies to occur. That is, on the surface, some straight up sound logic, bitchez!

However, (I love saying "However..." Have you noticed that? I have) here is where the logic starts to disintegrate: right at the spot where I realize that those things would have happened anyway, whether I had been in a relationship or not, whether I had even been alive or not! - because, and get this, it's not about me!!! Those things are not about me! They didn't happen to me! (Well, except for the one where he told me he'd rather not be with me, that one actually happened to me.) They just fucking happened. And they SUCK! And I. AM. NOT. HAPPY, GODDAMN IT!!!!!

That's the bad news. The good news is that that's OK. Here's how am I thinking about myself today. (Side note: I think of myself every goddamn day. Can't help it. That's why I write. Otherwise all this shit would just rattle around up in my noggin' and I'd start voting republican, or shopping at Walmart or some shit.) I'm thinking, today, that my life before I got clean and sober was like a giant paving project and I spent my entire life covering up those damn cracks and potholes that would appear on my surface area. (Drugs and alcohol really are but a symptom, people.) Now, there are permeable, and impermeable surfaces one can use. If you are a control freak like moi, you will use the impermeable kind because you don't want anything to seep under the surface. You want to control your "run off", so to speak. And that's what I did, but because the 'climate' in The Unikate, or Katieverse, if you will, (Think Benifer or Branjolena) was always either boiling hot or freezing cold or flooding or earthquaking or all 4 at the same time! - I was constantly on pothole & crack patrol, and all my energy went to cover those darn cracks up with that gooey asphalt/tar stuff. It was exhausting. Then, I got sober and I started to let some cracks appear and learn to live with them. The cracks are where I am imperfect and therefore, vulnerable. And vulnerable is where I have to start to deal with the reality of who I am. I even started to admire some of my cracks a little, and grow fond of or attached to them. Eventually, though I had to then learn to properly patch my cracks with eco-friendly surfaces such as tolerance in place of condemnation, and maybe a little calmness in place of calamity, a little tranquility in place of drama. I know. *YAWN* In the last few months some major cracks have appeared, and my first instinct is still to cover that shit up, because I want my street to be all pretty and smooth and for all the neighbors to admire it and for everyone who drives on it to be like, "Ooh, this is one smooth and pretty street right here! We should actually call it a 'thoroughfare' or a 'boulevard' and make it an arterial, it's THAT important!" I start giving myself imaginary commendations on my street maintenance and pretty soon I'm accepting awards from the Mayor and giving commencement speeches. (See??? It's really, really hard being me! But, to indulge in complete truthiness, (Steven Colbert made that one up, not moi) it's also kinda fun.) So I started doing something a little different. OK, maybe I should just be ovaries-to-the-wall honest: for me it is actually COMPLETELY different because inside I am such a judgmental bitch most of the time. And I have always been fine with that. I thought to myself, "Well, it's OK to be judgmental if your judgment is superior" and crazy shit like that. I also am a gossip. I hate to spread such a vicious rumor about myself, but it's true. Now, if you tell me something and let me know that it needs to be kept "in the vault", I will not divulge that, but the everyday 'character assassinating', 'he said, she said' bullshit makes my nipples hard. It is psychic crack to me. So, the 'different thing' now is I started actively patrolling my judging and my gossiping, instead of my cracking. I would go off on my knee-jerk "judging/gossiping" tangent in my head, and I'd notice it, stop, back-track and then say something nice about the person either out loud or in my head, or I'd literally bite my freaking tongue damn near clean off and NOT retell the juicy dirt I just heard about so-and-so.  And guess what? When I did begin to notice the cracks in me, I noticed that those cracks are where the light comes through. (Side note: I am practicing this new behavior/attitude, not perfecting it. Sometimes I still blurt out unkind things when I get spun-up in some drama in my head and it's all phlegm-spewing, justifiable-resentment mayhem, and no one gets out alive.) I have to let myself crack open in order for there to be some truth and honesty and imperfection, so that I can be a person among people, and not some high and mighty judgmental a**hole among people.


"...Binders Full of Women..."

OK, anyone who is undecided by now, must just be fucking brain dead.

I'm going to go point by point on things I noticed, as I see it, in no particular order. Because I can.

1.) Martha Raddatz RULES! Candy Crowley is no Martha. But she did say, "If I could have you sit down, Governor Romney." So now I'm in love with her. I might actually go gay for her.

2.) Also, Ms. Crowley did fact check Romney right then and there regarding whether or not Obama called the attack on the Ambassador to Libya & his staff an 'act of terror'. I loved the President being all presidential ("I'm the President." Word.) smacking that punk-ass Romney down. Mittens was accusing the President of NOT calling it a terrorist attack. Obama calmly said, "Get the transcript." And then Candy said, "Yeah, he did say it." So there. Do your homework.

3.) Romney's patronizing stance on women. That is, "...if you're going to have women in the workforce..." IF???  And don't get me started on the "...binders full of women..." Yep, I have 'em! Binders FULL of them. Um, Mitt, how many Elders in the Church of Latter Day Saints are women? None? Oh, I see. You have to see the Hillary Clinton meme of her looking at her iphone in her sunglasses and the caption reads, "Romney still uses binders? LOL"

4.) When a woman asked what would he do to keep AK-47s off the streets, Romney said, basically, "mommies and daddies". He said he has no interest in proposing any legislation which would have any kind of impact on gun violence (thereby effectively kissing the NRA's ass. Oh did you know the NRA has a shit ton of money? A SHIT TON. And it's all going to the white guy for president.) but that education (which the Romner/Ryan Plan would eviscerate) AND having two parents at home would go a long way towards stemming the inevitable tide of violence on our city streets. I can't make this shit up. But, by the way, didn't the dude who shot up that theater in Denver this summer come from a 2 parent home? And those Columbine kids? And the guy who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords? Huh. I'm just sayin'...

5.) Oh yeah, Romney's plan for reducing the deficit by reducing taxes "across the board" (which makes NO SENSE AT ALL), and helping the middle class by getting rid of the Capital Gains Tax!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Capital Gains. Right, Mitt. Who has those anymore? Not I.

6.) I noticed that conspicuously absent from Mitt's sack of lies was the "six scientific studies" that back up his ephemeral "economic plan", since that was largely blown out of the water earlier today and yesterday. What the "six scientific studies" were in reality were 3 blog posts, 2 partisan "reports" and a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed. Oops! Well, what do you expect from a guy who DOESN'T BELIEVE IN SCIENCE, people?????

7.) Then there's the 'I'm gonna create bazillions of new jobs' b.s., while simultaneously shouting that government doesn't create jobs!!! Which one is it, Mittens?

OK well, that's all I have time for tonight. But I'd like to end with a quote from my brilliant future OFW niece Brooke, who posted to Facebook during the debate, "Ugh put your nose even further up Ronald Reagan's dead ass and you'll be accused of necrophilia."



And The Winner Is...

...Martha Raddatz!!!!

Ugh, it aged me several years to have to watch that lying sack of shit Paul Ryan sit there and well, lie his ass off for an hour and a half. But that Martha, SHE'S GOT SOME SERIOUS OVARIES! My only complaint is how little time was allotted to things like abortion. However, when it was brought up I threw up a little in my mouth when Ryan told about his kid's nickname of 'Bean'.

Now I gotta go brush my teeth and gargle...


No, I Don't Celebrate Columbus Day, and Neither Should You

Why in this day and age are we still celebrating Columbus Day? Why aren't we celebrating Chief Joseph Day, or Indigenous People's Day or even fucking Dances With Wolves Day?

Christopher Columbus was a conscienceless mass-murdering, misanthropic and greedy bastard, as were his "men". Well, if you were lucky you were murdered by them. If not you were raped, enslaved, maimed, tortured, then murdered. Columbus himself wrote that his men favored 9 and 10 year old girls as sex slaves. And he didn't see anything wrong with that. He either ordered or condoned some of the most barbarously cruel tortures and genocides that set the tone for the 'policy' towards the whole of the Americas, and yet we read nothing about the actual facts in our history books. And as everyone today is well aware, he didn't 'discover' anything, he was fucking lost and ran into us and mistakenly thought he had found India. Fucktard! I have read several accounts, including portions of Columbus' own account, and especially the account of his contemporary eye-witness Bartolomew de las Casas' "A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies...", who called for Columbus' punishment for his inhumane atrocities. But Columbus was so effective at lining the pockets of the King and Queen of Spain that they turned blind eyes and deaf ears to reports of native babies heads being dashed upon rocks in front of their mothers, of native peoples limbs being severed for not working fast enough, of native people being decapitated and disemboweled for sport. The native people were told that they (the Spaniards) were acting in the name of God. But their God was apparently gold and silver and gemstones. Their God was cruelty and greed. Human beings would commit mass suicide rather than be caught by Columbus and his men. The Spaniard's sadism knew no bounds, and their greed was their justification for their behavior. If you ask me, anyone who is descended from anyone who made their fortune off the backs of the enslaved and murdered Native Americans should be forced to hand their money over to the remaining few. Oh, I know it will never happen. I know "it's not their fault." But they are still profiting from blood money obtained illegally and immorally many years ago, and native people are still largely living in poverty. Not all native people, but a larger percentage in this country than the general population.

Other people say, "Well, it happened a really long time ago. You guys should be over it by now." Really? How do you get over cultural and literal genocide? Would you say that to a Jewish person who survived the Holocaust? Not unless you wanted your ass kicked. And rightly so. So why do you say that to, or think that about us? Seriously, how do we get over that shit? There is such a thing as group consciousness and the Native American group conscience has been systematically raped, tortured, maimed & murdered for over 500 years. It burns a hole in your psyche which is then passed on from generation to generation. It takes a lot of heart to get over that, and that is if circumstances are in your favor. Which they decidedly are not in this case.

After the Holocaust, the Jewish people wanted to establish a homeland where they could be free and feel safe. I don't blame them, who would? But they have used foreign aid, power and might to displace and wage war on people who were already living where they wanted to be. They say they were there first as a way of justifying their actions. The other side says the same thing to justify theirs, and it's really so complicated and messy and maybe no one even knows the truth of who was there first. The people who live there now weren't responsible for the original Jewish ouster and diaspora, but they are being made to pay. But everyone knows the truth of who was here first. We were. There's no denying it. So why isn't the same aid, power and might being brought to bear on Native American's behalf? The U.S. government goes all over the world defending people who are oppressed and trying to set them free (more or less...), but won't settle it's debts to Native America. So yeah, I'm still pissed.


"...Before You Speak of Love."

I have been hearing people say for years now, "You can't love anyone if you can't love yourself first." I've been thinking about that lately & I have come to believe that that is horse shit. I think that is putting the cart before the shitty horse and I'll tell you why: All you have to do is look at a new born baby. If you are truly honest (and not the parents) you can see nothing but a pitiless innocence there, and it's chilling. Sure they are usually cute and adorable, and everyone oohs, and aahhhs over them, but that's mainly because most people are terrified of them: They have no loyalty, no conscience, no scruple, no qualms, and the reason, evolutionarily speaking, that they can't do anything for themselves is that they'd probably go on blood-soaked killing rampages, murdering everyone within range of their merciless gazes, whenever anyone made them cry, if they had that physical capacity. We learn to love ourselves by being loved, just like it says in The Velveteen Rabbit. And that takes time. I feel like I have been loved very well by a great many people and animals, all out of proportion to what I deserve, and I try to love others back, as well. Certain others. Not all. First failing. And my love itself even when bestowed, is not perfect, it's a work in progress, and will never be unconditional as say, a dog's love is for it's companion (I detest the term "master" when referring to human/animal relationships almost as much as I detest it when referring to human/human relationships.), or as universal as say, St. Francis' love, (second and third failings) and I know this for a fact because I believe we reap what we sow. (Let me interrupt myself here to say that I am aware of the dissonance inherent in knowing something for a fact based on my beliefs. I'm not mounting a crusade based on them, nor am I persecuting anyone so I'm just going to let it slide here, OK? It's just a blog.) I would much rather not be a victim of love gone wrong. I would rather hope that I have the capacity to learn, change and grow. But the evidence, as made apparent by my results, is that I have learned nothing, changed mostly just my hairstyle, and grown only in girth. It's very painful for a coward such as myself to look at my real actions, my real motives, my real intentions. Going back to 2001 when I had PTDS (Post-Traumatic Divorce Syndrome), I hooked up with a man I'll call John, because that's his name. We met in Divorce Group Therapy (Hahahahahaha! I'm a genius), so of course it was doomed, and seriously, I just wanted someone who would be nice to me and tell me I looked pretty and have sex whenever I wanted to and he fit the bill. By the time the relationship ended we were both pretty much done with each other and to this day there are no hard feelings over that. The second one was also the very last one. Why did I think round 2 would be any different from round 1? Because, I am essentially the same person, that's why and apparently I still believe in fairy tales! The third was Brian, who was hysterically funny and DYN-O-MITE in the sack, but was missing a few emotional chips. He was my rebound from #2 and if I am completely honest (Ouch! That hurts!) I used him to bolster my ego and get over #2 (like my friend Meg says, "The best way to get over one guy is to get under another!"). Unfortunately, after about 6 months we got attached or at least I got attached, and then I ended up getting hurt when the scorpion acted like a scorpion and stung me. I really had no right to be surprised, cheating cheaters who cheat will always end up cheating, just like scorpions and bees will always sting. Then there was He-Who-Shall-Never-Be-Named, mainly because I am ashamed that I ever let it get as far as it got. He annoyed the FUCK out of me, (come to think of it, they all except #2/#5 annoyed me, but he was the most annoying of all) but he pursued me relentlessly and for a really long time and I finally just gave in. I was tired and vulnerable and it looked like it would be a little more fun than introspection so I went along with it, and I distinctly remember thinking to myself, "At least he'll never leave me...". So, one night about 20 months in, as I was trying not to listen to his inane blathering on and on about something or another while cooking me dinner (Gawd, I'm a self-centered bitch and apparently all you have to do to get me to stick around is feed me), that little inner voice, the one that I always know I should listen to but usually don't because my ego is running the show said, "You're settling." I was a little startled and then I said back, "Yeah. I'm OK with that." Well, apparently the Universe was not OK with that, because a month or 2 later he left me for a newly sober, overweight crack-head (how does a crack-head get fat, anyway?) he met while visiting his daughter in jail(!!!) Yes, I am aware that I dodged a huge fat fucking bullet. HOWEVER! What does it say about me??? It says I am insecure. I am afraid. I look to others to 'save' me. So in all my dealings I was never honest, at least not with myself, and I got back exactly what I put out-dishonesty. With #2/#5, I tried to be honest, as honest as I could be, but I was concentrating on walking a fine line between sharing and dumping. I kept some big things from him. I told myself it was a burden and he didn't need to know. But the cold facts are these: a.) my ego was in image-management mode and b.) there was a kind of irrational caprice at the center of him that would strike without warning every now and then. And I deliberately chose to ignore that. So there I am - being all dishonest with myself and others, and whadday know? I got hurt. Huh. Who'da thunk it? My therapist says (he doesn't claim to have coined it, just passes it on) "Love, before you speak of love." I'm going to give that a try. It's going to be a stretch.


The Velveteen Rabbit, or How To Become Real

As you may have surmised from my last couple of blog posts, or if you know me personally, I was 'let go' by my man-cub, about 3 months ago. He's a wonderful person, and I understand him not wanting to be with me, I mean, shit, I frequently don't want to be with me, but I'm stuck here. Still, it blows. To add insult to injury, I was invited to five - count 'em! FIVE weddings this late summer/fall. (I'm not sure what heinous deed I must have perpetrated in another life to engender this particular type of payback bitch-slap, but it must have been a doozy!) Four of them were dear friends of mine, one was a dear friend of his who is now a new friend of mine (but of course I let him have that wedding...I'm not a monster).

The first, my dear, darling friend Meg's, was a beautiful 4 day event starting with a BBQ and including a spectacular Wedding Eve dinner cruise on Lake Union and culminating in a sweet, simple and elegant ceremony outside in the 'back yard' of Cafe Juanita, with dinner inside afterward. The food was simply amazing. The bride was GORGEOUS and well, how many times can I say elegant before you say, "OK, elegant, elegant, we get it."

Next up was his friend Jennifer's wedding, and since I did not attend I can't give any first hand accounts, but according to posts on Facebook it was almost as  lovely as the bride herself.

Third in line was my dear, sweet, charming, kind and perfect-in-every-way friend Sarah (not to take away from any of my other friends, but well, Sarah IS perfect, and no one else on the planet is. Sorry. You are all FABULOUS and I love you but Sarah is special, as anyone who has ever known her will attest). The wedding weekend took place in Leavenworth at the splendid Sleeping Lady Lodge (she married a Sikh; there's no such thing as a small, modest, laid-back Sikh wedding. It was a freaking BLAST!!!!!!). I shared a cabin with my Favorite Cousin Lily* who was flown in from NY to photograph the nuptials (www.lilykesselman.com/) and all the surrounding activity. I have known Sarah since she was seven years old and I was on the wrong side of 30. We did not have a faux mother-daughter relationship, or an auntie-niece relationship, or a mentor-student relationship. We were friends, from the get-go. I know it sounds odd, but she was always wise beyond her years and I have always been immature and petty, so when she was seven we were a pretty good match! She was only a little more mature than I at that point. She finally met a man (Virtaj) who understands that he (likewise, I) are not worthy of her, and he vowed to spend the rest of his life trying to be deserving of her love. (We all heard you, Virtaj. There were like, 120 witnesses.) One of the readings, which I usually kind of hate and secretly roll my eyes over during all wedding ceremonies, was from The Velveteen Rabbit. Leave it to Sarah to find the one passage that could have made me cry, and to see past the child's nursery theme into what is at the core of the matter, which is of course, love. I want to share it with you, dear reader...

THERE once was a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid. He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink sateen.

For a long time he lived in the toy cupboard or on the nursery floor, and no one thought very much about him. He was naturally shy, and being only made of velveteen, some of the more expensive toys quite snubbed him. The mechanical toys were very superior, and looked down upon everyone else; they were full of modern ideas, and pretended they were real. The model boat, who had lived through two seasons and lost most of his paint, caught the tone from them and never missed an opportunity of referring to his rigging in technical terms. The Rabbit could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn't know that real rabbits existed; he thought they were all stuffed with sawdust like himself, and he understood that sawdust was quite out-of-date and should never be mentioned in modern circles. Even Timothy, the jointed wooden lion, who was made by disabled soldiers, and should have had broader views, put on airs and pretended he was connected to the Government. Between them all the poor little Rabbit was made to feel himself very insignificant and commonplace, and the only person who was kind to him at all was the Skin Horse.

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive and boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those play things that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But those things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."

That passage gets to me in so many ways, on so many levels, not the least of which is the disturbing term "Skin Horse". What the fuck is that? Anyway, "Does it hurt?" Hell yes. I wish I didn't mind it so much, but I will take it over the alternative. I'm pretty sure I don't break easily, or have to be too carefully kept, but I prolly have one or two or 18 sharp edges. Working on that.

The fourth one was Genevieve and Peter's wedding, this past weekend on San Juan Island. They are a lovely, delightful couple, and well-matched in every way. She is particularly beautiful but more importantly, wickedly funny. I arrived solo (as usual) and was instantly set-upon by a youngish man I know who accosted me and said, "Hey Kate are you still dating that cool musician guy, D_____?" "Ummm, no, no I'm not", I replied. "Oh. That's too bad. I really like him", said he. "Yeah, me too. Thanks for bringing that up. Here. Now. In front of everyone. At a wedding." Asshole. OK, to be fair, this guy is definitely NOT an asshole, but I have been in a really bad mood now for like 3+ months and I'm getting a little short tempered. (OK, fine: more short tempered than usual) Anyway, this darling young woman I know sidles up to me as I'm standing awkwardly, alone, at yet another fucking wedding reception and asks if I perchance know the man with the dark curly hair I was just speaking with and if I know whether or not he is single. I answer affirmatively and then I decide to be the bigger person and introduce them, and then I decide to become somewhat officious and meddlesome (OK, fine: more officious and meddlesome than usual) and arrange the place cards so they are sitting across from each other at dinner. Well, the rest, as they say, is history because he asked her out and they had their first date the next night and their second is coming up. So I guess you can add "match-making" to my skill-set!

The fifth and final wedding is being held at the end of the month in Hawaii, and I won't be able to attend. Too far away, too much money, and this time I'd be stuck on an island thousands of miles away at a wedding, all by myself, with no one to talk to or hang out with. Sorry, even I am not that much of a glutton for punishment. I adore Kristi, but I just. can't. do it. Forgive me, Kristi! I'll send a nice gift!

*I'm contractually obligated to call her Favorite Cousin Lily. Don't get your panties in a bunch, all hundreds of other cousins!!! See the August 2011 post for more information on Favorite Cousin Lily.


If It's Physical, It's Therapy

So, I discovered, much to my undying chagrin, that my therapist is correct. Why I am chagrined that someone I hire is actually doing a good job is beyond me, and something maybe I'll need therapy about later, but I digress (as usual). He says I can't get over my feelings, I have to get through them. Which sucks dirty goat balls wrapped in dried donkey shit (as my friend and promising future OFW Alison might say). He also says I must exercise every day (I'm not-I'm only doing it like every other day. Ugh. Why is everything so HARD???) and write every day if I am to avoid the deep depression that lurks on my peripheries. See, I may have already told you this, but I have a brain that wants to kill me, and I have a disease that tells me I don't have a disease (alcoholism). I chose the crusty old guy as my therapist because he doesn't believe in anti-depressants. I do believe in them, but I can't take them. (The list of things I don't believe in is staggeringly long, and includes but is not limited to: unicorns, organized religion, astrology, flavored vodkas -well, except for vodka flavored vodka, bans against wearing white before or after certain arbitrary holidays, and intelligent Republican Presidential Candidates.) The reason I can't take them is because they all (well, only the 14 I have actually tried over the years) give me the worst migraines the world has ever seen...een...een...en...nn.

Anyway, my therapist believes the drug companies are criminal pushers, and that many doctors are nothing more than "mules" and "lackeys" of the U.S. & International Pharmaceutical "Cartel". I pretty much concur about the drug companies, but I happen to know one or twelve actual physicians, and they are all genuinely concerned with their patients well-being. But what-EVER, I can't take them so I found someone who would NEVER prescribe them. Well, he's not a doctor so he couldn't even if he wanted to, but my point is he's got other tricks up his sleeve for treating depression, which don't involve pharmaceuticals, or cults, or shedding clothing, or supporting public television, so I figured, what the hell (By the way, I support public television and you should too. What? It's my blog, I can say what I want). So he says I am NOT depressed. He says, "You are sad, grieving and your heart is broken. That is not the same thing as being depressed. Quit whining." Fucker. He says I need to sit with my feelings and cry when I need to, not ruminate on or dramatize about why I'm crying (fucker) then get on with whatever I was doing before I burst into tears. And he says if I feel angry go ahead and tell people what I am angry about, but I don't get to flip people off in traffic, or yell at or call people names, because, "While anger is a perfectly natural, healthy emotion, flipping people off, yelling at them and calling them names is abuse." Fucker.

He also believes deeply, reverently and fervently in physical fitness and thinks it's the cure for most all of what ails us. He's been combining talk therapy with personal training for about 50 years (I told you he was old) and during a typical session after I bare my soul he makes me lift weights and do sit ups and jumping jacks (fucker!) and I'll be damned if I don't feel better. The first time I lifted weights with him, after the 3rd set of 15 reps I said, "This is hard!" and he actually yelled at me! He said, "I never said it was easy! If it was easy everybody'd do it. Quit whining." Fucker. Burgess Meredith has nuthin' on this guy. (You youngsters can google Burgess Meredith and Rocky) He's been telling me (nagging me, really) to get off my ass and start writing again if I want to be all fulfilled 'n shit...but I have been too lazy, too slothful, too...scared. But yesterday I broke through my own metaphorical blood-brain barrier and wrote something down. And it didn't kill me. And I felt better. Not great, but better. I'm not exactly on a roll, but things are loosening up. Fucker.


Just Because I Don't Talk To You Anymore Doesn't Mean I Don't Love You...

Her: How long have you loved him? Me: Since the day I met him. Her: How long ago was that? Me: Eight years, four months and around 2 days. But no one's counting. Her: But you have been with others since the first breakup, over eight years ago, right? Me: Yes, of course. I am not a saint or a martyr. Look, think of it like a wheel: There is the center hub, which is him at the core of my being. Then there are spokes radiating to the outer rim of who I am. All the others attached themselves out there. The center position was already filled. By him. Her: Are you sure there's no chance you will ever be together? Me: Yes. Her: How do your know? Are you psychic? Me: I know because at the end of the day, no matter what I say or do, no matter what he says or does, no matter what anyone in the universe says or does, I am still me. Her: Oh. I see. I'm sorry. Me: Me too. Her: How do you keep, you know, going on? Me: I think when you strip away all the stuff clinging to who I am, what I am most of all, despite all outward appearances, is practical. It isn't practical for me to not go on. It is too easy to die. Anyone can do that. It's much harder to endure pain and keep living, and keep my eyes peeled for happiness, or peace or even just fun. Also, I'm naturally very curious and I frequently startle myself by how easily my grief is able to be pierced by anyone or anything that makes me think. Then I start thinking and wondering and imagining and paying more attention and then I know dying of a broken heart is not something I am capable of. But it's OK, I'm good at other things. Her: Like what? Me: Like talking to strangers like you on an airplane, for instance. Her: Huh. Yeah, you are good at that.


It Appears I'm Going To Live After All...

So I saw the charming and talented Dr. H this morning. Upon entering the room he exclaimed, "It's so good to see you again, young lady!" See why I adore him??? I have been on the wrong side of ahem, 40, for more than a decade, so I lap that stuff up! Then he asked me why I waited so long to see him after the onset of symptoms & I told him I was afraid of looking like a hypochondriac. He assured me he doesn't come in on a day off for hypochondriacs, said my cough was really bad, and asked if I preferred "evil western medicine medicine like I'd take myself if I had what you have, or some more naturopathic-type remedies?" I said I thought the time for natural remedies had come and gone. He said, "Smart lady." I mean really, I am all for natural remedies if they work, and sometimes they do, but sometimes you gotta bring out the big guns that have actual science behind them and can kill germs and stuff. So I got my evil western medicine medicine. He said I can go back to work on Monday and said, "Don't drive after taking your cough syrup." I think I can handle that. So it looks like I can put off having, "I told you I was sick!" put on my tombstone for another day. He told me never to wait so long to see him again when confronted by an upper respiratory ailment & I promise I won't!


Long Time No See!

Bet you thought I died, huh? No postings since the end of August of 2011! Well, I'm not dead. Not yet, anyway. But a lot has happened. I'll try not to bore you to death as I fill you in... First, on August 28th, I officially got a boyfriend! I know, I know. How can an Old French Whore have a boyfriend? Isn't that against the rules? Well, it's not against the rules, which, by the way, I make up as I go along. Plus, he's both UNEMPLOYED and a MUSICIAN! So, I got that going for me. Now I know again what you're thinking. (It's so cool to be psychic) "Does an OFW have to support her boyfriend to retain her status as an OFW?" The answer, mes etre cheris, is "Mais NON!" OFW's DO NOT support boyfriends!!! EVER! Well, emotionally they do, but that's all. Unless they are filthy rich, which I am not. So, let's just say he is self-supporting through his own contributions made to himself while employed by a certain behemoth local software company for many years. So he enjoys the lifestyle that all us OFW's aspire to: one of laziness and sloth. Well, I aspire to laziness anyway. Sloth I think I have down pat. Even though I HATE the sight of the word, I admire his ability to live 'frugally' (it's such an UGLY word!). Now here's something about this OFW that you probably don't know: I'm crazy about the bass guitar. Always have been. As a kid I was always listening for the bass line. While others my age were listening to The Partridge Family, I was listening to P-Funk. Get it? It's in my blood. Now that I think about it, though, not sure where it came from. No one else in my family is a bass freak. Must've been the mailman...just kidding! My sainted mother, may she rest in peace, would never have cheated on my father. Anyway, my personal crest, if I had one, would read "Verdere Bass!" Which is of course Latin for "Turn Up The Bass!" And my fella is a BASS PLAYER!!! How cool is that? A whip-smart, smart-ass, computer-geek musician! I hit the mother load!!!! As grandma would say, I must be livin' right. Aaaaanywayyyyy, this musical genius is always transcribing chord tones, writing books about Triad Pairs, attending and participating in "Jam Sessions" around town, composing music, and making tremendous messes in my kitchen. Be still my heart. It makes me swoon just to think about it. Sigh... Secondly, my job has literally (OK not literally, figuratively. Sheesh.) eaten my brain. Between having a brain-eating job and a boyfriend, I haven't had the time or energy to devote to my most unimportant blog. Until now. Now that I have been sicker than a dog for 17 days with an upper respiratory infection from HELL (which I contracted from the BF while nursing him back to health. Hmmm....he must pay.) So today, I broke down and called my pulmonologist, the charming and talented Dr. H. He's the best in town and he's been "mine" since 1999 when he correctly diagnosed me with Atypical Walking Pneumonia and lung abscesses (eeewww gross!). My G.P. kept telling me I had a cold. For 7-1/2 months. While I was coughing up blood. When I pushed her for some tests, she called me a hypochondriac & recommended I see a therapist. I may be a hypochondriac, and I certainly need therapy, but I think maybe she shoulda ordered a chest X-Ray and a culture, dontcha think? Fucking doctors!!! Some of them are so good and some of them should have just gone to plumbing school. Then 15 months ago, while being treated for a spine injury with long needles (it's a technique called 'dry needling'. Sounds nasty, huh?) the incompetent nurse practitioner performing said treatment punctured my lung! I ended up in the E.R. I walked in clutching my chest. The man at the desk said, "What seems to be the trouble?" I said, "My chest hurts. I think my lung is collapsing." I shit you not, he pushed a button and 3 nurses rushed through the double doors and grabbed me and whisked me into an exam room. "Slow night?" I asked, head swiveling between the three of them. "Heart patients have priority", one of them said. "I'm a lung patient, not a heart patient", I said. They ignored me. The E.R. Doctor came in and barked orders and told me I'd be OK. I said, "I'll be OK when you get my left lung to stop collapsing." He actually argued with me. Then he got surly, & after all my heart tests came back negative, he asked me, with a sneer, "WHY do you think your lung is collapsed?" I told him about the 'dry needling'. He said, "Well, your blood pressure is through the roof." I said, "Well, what happens to your blood pressure when you're in pain and no one is listening to you?" He was not amused. But he ordered a chest X-Ray which showed that, indeed, my lung it was a-collapsin'. "Whaddaya know, she's right!" He said. Asshole. Anyway, I digress. So I went back to my trusty pulmonologist then, and he being the. best. doctor. ever. said, "Well of course you weren't having a heart attack! You're too young and pretty for a heart attack!" I love him. You gotta love a physician that insightful. Soooo, I called his office this morning because if I don't work I don't get paid, and I cannot afford much more of this staying home sick crap. I told his nurse my symptoms and asked, "Should I come in or am I just being a hypochondriac?" She says, "It doesn't sound like hypochondria to me. Let me talk to the doctor and call you back." She called back and said, "Dr. doesn't see patients on Wednesdays but he wants to see you tomorrow at 10:15." So now I'm not sure whether to be relieved or scared. After all the work absence from this illness I probably won't have a job to worry about anymore, so I'll probably be writing more often. Silver linings. I'll let ya know how it goes tomorrow...