Thursday, January 31, 2013

Letters I write in my head

I wrote this a few years ago.

So, I'm always composing letters in my head. This usually happens as I'm falling asleep, I think of replies to emails, letters to rude clerks, notes of appreciation, and even random rants to no one in particular.

Here's an example of the stuff that swirls around my brain at the midnight hour (appropriate that it's almost midnight):

Dear Safeway:
I loved your delivery driver last week. He was so nice, carrying all the groceries into the house in the rain and even waiting when we weren't here yet because my senile ass forgot. All that and he wouldn't even accept a tip. Crap, I totally forgot his name but I hope you give him a raise anyway.

Dear Doctor's Office:

How can you, in good conscience, bill me for a late fee when I was only late 7 minutes, yet you made me wait an hour and 12 minutes last time I was here? You suck.

Dear eyeglasses store:
I would totally come back to you for glasses this year because I love your selection but your technician is so rude that I cannot stand to be in his presence. Even the way he answers the phone makes me angry. Fire him and I'll come back.

Dear furniture store:
I really am just looking. Do not talk to me, do not trail me around the store and do not comment on pieces I linger around. Just because my eye falls on it does not mean I need to know it's origin and history from creation overseas to date. If you MUST introduce yourself, fine, but go away as soon as your name falls from your lips. When I have a question, I will ask. Until then, you are distracting me from your own end goal: imagining your furniture in my house. If you pester me too much, I will leave and never return. Back off, 'k?

Dear [every catalog that appears in my mail]:
You annoy me. Take me off your damn list!

Dear dog:
No, you may not go out. You were just out for 5 hours. And now it's raining. I am not cleaning muddy paw prints off the carpet for the rest of the night. Suck it up.

Dear website:
Why must I sign up? When you go to the store for eggs and milk, you can do so without a username and password. Plus your animation is obnoxious and unnecessary. Customer needs analysis FAIL.

Dear obnoxious driver:
You tailgated me aggressively down the freeway for 20 minutes despite not one but TWO open and available lanes for passing. Jerk.

Dear dysfunctional roommate,
You and I both know you stole that jacket.

To the guy invisibly hitched to my rear bumper:
You realize that this will not increase the traffic speed of the long line of slow cars in front of me, right?

To the man wearing a tricolored umbrella skullcap: I love you for making the seedy parts of Good Luck Road a fun place for a moment.

Dear cat: there is no more food! Stop trying to kill me with your purring and leg-rubbing.

Dear spider: don't even THINK about coming in.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

more diary entries

So, since I'm on a diary kick, I found a bunch of really old diary entries that I've been storing in a "journals" folder. I don't have dates for them but they're ANCIENT.

I hate everything and everybody. I hate school, I hate work, I hate being an advertising assistant for the shitty school newspaper, men suck and someone stole my jacket.
A few days ago I tried to introduce two of my friends to eachother. They both hate eachother now.

I'm sitting here in a dirty, grungy gas station where it looks like all the employees are ready to kick someone's ass. I hope it's not mine. My car failed inspection this morning and a big fat guy thrust the FAIL card in my face and boomed, "Ya FAILED 'cause ya pollutin' the environment!!" Great.
My benadryl itch stick leaked out all over my bag's contents on the plane. Now everything smells like sour medicine and I probably have dimenhydrinate (sp?) all over my fingers.
I thought it was universally agreed upon that dark olive was a hideous choice in paint. Didn't we learn anything from the 60s & 70s? Yesterday in Home Depot, a couple turned to me for my opinion. "We have a tiny room we're trying to brighten up. What do you think of this?" BRIGHTEN?? Are you HIGH??? You deserve to sit in a vomit-colored cell for even THINKING that would work. Get the damn olive paint.
This day could not have gone worse:
1. woke up when I was supposed to leave
2. lost my glasses and was even later
3. dumped bottle of water over in my backpack soaking checks for the bank deposit, notebook for important meeting, passenger side seat, new contract, forms, newspaper articles and phone numbers written on little slips and my entire backside.
4. slouched too much
5. bit my tongue while eating lunch and I couldn't do anything but talk like I was brain-damaged the rest of the meal.
And the day's not even over!!

  1. finish that damned comm law stuff (homework)
  2. finish that damned astrology stuff (side freelancing business)
  3. finish that damned AIDS article (for the school newspaper)
  4. put in a note off for work / Feb. 1 & dentist & Dr.'s app.
  5. Go to the stupid bank and make a dumb deposit.
  6. Pay those stupid shitty parking and speeding tickets. (Got in trouble parking on campus, UGH)
  7. Buy the stupid damned books and read the stupid damned material in them. (Semester just started, time to buy books.)
  8. Stop being so damned hostile!

Monday, January 28, 2013

I was a heavy heart to carry

"I was a heavy heart to carry
But he never let me down
When he held me in his arms
My feet never touched the ground."
~Heavy in Your Arms, Florence and the Machine
Friday feels like a million miles away. I'm finally starting to recover physically.

Saturday I headed off to the Cyclist's feeling a wee bit shaky and, because the screenwriter of my life decided it would be fun to give me something ELSE to juggle, promptly got accosted parallel parking on a crowded side street. For whatever reason, parking authorities happened to be behind me and when they saw me eying a tight but available spot, got on some kind of a power trip where they decide to both block me from parking AND hold up the entire street.

I didn't understand what was happening at first so quietly waited for them to pass and then when it became clear something weird was going on, got out of the car and waved them by. "Go ahead!" I said, (at first) cheerfully, since they hadn't seemed to notice my blinker.

"NOPE, we're gonna wait RIGHT HERE while you park."

"But I don't have enough room if you're right behind me, go ahead around."

There was plenty of room for them to go around me but they didn't budge, and then it dawned on me that they were TRYING to be mean. And suddenly it turned into some kind of idiotic standoff, ending with me abandoning that spot (although not without fantasizing about sitting there all fucking afternoon out of spite, except I didn't want to punish innocent people for someone ELSE being a dick). I took pictures of the stupid "HOW AM I DRIVING?" hotline number on the back of their dumb truck and begrudgingly moved my car.

A bystander noticed the whole incident and came over with her dog and kindly said, "I don't know why they act like that, they're awful. Here, I'm leaving in a few minutes, you can have my spot!"

By the time I parked and headed to the Cyclist's apartment, tears were leaking out so I put on my sunglasses and hoped he wouldn't ask how I was doing. Of course he asked but you know, seconds after seeing his handsome face, all my moodiness melted away. He was his normal, stable, sweet self and that calmed me. I crawled onto the couch, wrapped my arms around him and lay there for a while until I warmed up and then everything felt fine again. It was a wonderful weekend with him, maybe the best ever. It feels like we are getting closer. It will be 5 months soon.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What helps you get closure? (A discussion)

From a discussion on Facebook:

Define closure. If you've attached to something -- a person, place, material thing or idea, what helped you leave that attachment behind & obtain closure?

"I have gotten to a place in my life where I've decided that there's no such thing....we just get to a place where we're comfortable moving on."

"Drinking to excess, hooking up with lots of random low-grade poon, and time. The last one's probably the only one that actually helped, but the first two treat the symptoms until the cure kicks in."

"For me, booze & tunes."

"I find that writing always helps me find my way. Just get out a pad and a pen and write whatever comes into your head for ten to twenty minutes every day. After a few days, maybe 4 or 5, you'll find yourself speaking to yourself more clearly through the writing. It's gotten me out of many many jams - close friends dying, losing lovers, etc."

"When the body is in the ground and I'm tossing that last shovel full of dirt over the hole."

"I started with alcohol, moved to journalling, and then time and i mean a good healthy amount of time,lol...and then one day you realize, poof, you are not as the mean time, be gentle with yourself...they are tough feelings."

"Writing a letter to that person has helped me (though I didn't send it) and also writing in my journal."

"I think "a sense of closure" is a notion invented, as a sort of utopian emotional state, to ease ourselves through tough times. If you find yourself eating food, drinking water, sleeping and occasionally enjoying the company of other people, you can learn to live with the arrow piercing your chest, awkward though it may be to wear a shirt over it."

"Time. Eventually I have a moment where I realize closure has somehow already happened. What a sneaky duck!"

"If you're looking for closure as a full set of parentheses, though (not just your half, which is the one that lets the sentence continue, like this --> ), then I have no advice for you. Sneaky ducks aren't good at grammar, I guess."

"For me it is realizing my time and energy are better spent on something else, then proving it to myself by redirecting my time and energy until I find a better focus. This is true with a job, exgirlfriend, family member, or addiction. I can't do it while standing still. Have to redirect. But that's me."


"Well for me, it depends on the attachment. Time has healed a lot of that...and the closure aspect comes from allowing myself to no longer hold onto things, objects, or people because of what I've lost and valued, but allow myself to let go to move forward. I'm about to sell/get rid of a bunch of stuff from my ex, for example, that I felt obligated to hold onto because they were valuable in 'price' alone. but the longer I am away from that caustic relationship, the more I realize, they only remind me of the past and the value is merely dollar signs at this stage of the game... nothing more."

"Roadtrip with lots of time alone to think, write, and process."

"Validation from friends and family, time, and walkabout are good for me. Also, I think something (event or action) needs to frame the closure in your mind. You forget things when you walk from room to room, because crossing that threshold moves you past thoughts in your head. Things like funerals, receiving your final divorce papers and graduations frame the closure and make it solid in your head. Conversely, if you lose your keys and never find them, or if your house burns down and they never determine the cause or if your child is kidnapped and you never learn what happened to him, you are kept from closure, because you never receive anything to frame the loss in."

"Closure is overrated: a pop psychology term. Time, and the will to move on. Whether you ever come to terms with it (i.e. "closure") or simply move past it and start dealing with the new stuff: immaterial."

"Is there such a thing as closure..I think not!! I have lost friends and family over all my years..even a dog and a horse that I cherished...I have never gotten to closure. Sure--things get better with time if you keep yourself busy...but--and here is something to contemplate...say your child is kidnapped and you do find out all the grisley you relly get is the most overused concept there is."

"Closure's overrated and sometimes even nonexistent, but the world continues to spin and the sun rises & falls regardless of whether we're ready and so we march forward calling upon whatever resources we must. I wonder how animals process stuff and cope?"

"They shake it off--literally. (Been reading a book on trauma for one of my training programs...)"

"I'm not sure I can comment on closure really although maybe I can call it non-attachment. (the Buddhist sense) And maybe sometimes it can be called evolution. LOL."

Friday, January 25, 2013

"When?" "Someday!!" (waves hand dismissively) <-- favorite Meg Ryan line ever.

I spent so much of my energy over the past month dealing with a set of crises that I put on a shield of armour and tried to act strong for everyone. A friend would say, eyes crinkling kindly, "That's really sad news," and I'd find some way to comfort them back so they didn't have to be burdened with my misfortune.

But the truth is, I'm hurting. I want to lean on someone but I don't know how.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

wanting what you have

"Relationships are complicated, but happiness in a relationship isn’t: it’s just wanting exactly what you have. Wanting something else is dispiriting." Carolyn Hax
I haven't been this content in a relationship in ages.

You know, when I pictured the thing that I thought would make me happy, I envisioned effusiveness and romantic gestures and soul-baring connection. This isn't that. But it's more: ease, trust, openness, coziness, warmth, joy.

The thing that stands out: it's so darn EASY in his company.

I tried to describe how I was feeling to my sister the other night. "I don't know how long this will last and I don't know how he feels about me. But somehow this is exactly what I need right now. It's wonderful."

I don't even want to think about anyone else. (Well, except to compare how I am feeling with other past experiences.) Somehow he makes me feel heard even when we are not speaking.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

that nagging voice (funny text convo)

nephew: It sucks when you have to get up in the morning... your bed all warm, ur pillows r so comfy..your blankets happen to slide over you. zzzz

me: yes! Sooo snuggly & warm. And the house all frigid.
nephew:  But then there's that nagging voice in your head that kicks in after you already fell asleep for about a half hour.

me:, yeah, that's called "MOM"...!

Monday, January 21, 2013

the storm is over.

I don't know what to write, but I feel I should write something. I will want to remember this someday.

The storm is over. There's no reason to mourn, even -- it's the best possible outcome, and yet...

I am weary.

I crawled into the Cyclist's lap earlier and cried. He held me until the corners of my mouth turned upwards.

You learn a lot about someone's character during a stressful time, and what I have learned about him: he is the calmest, most level-headed, consistent and even-tempered guy I have ever met. He's also the most confident person I've ever seen with zero ego. I always thought some amount of ego HAD to accompany confidence. Or maybe self-possessed is a better word, I don't know. But he's absolutely selfless.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A letter to my stress

Holy cow, I just glanced in the mirror and OMG today's culmination of stress is all over my face. It's red and blotchy in a way that even the worst crying fit doesn't usually engender.

Okay, stupid new age philosophy, I'm going to find something to be thankful for:

Dear awful situation,

Thank you for waking me to priorities. I had so little energy to process extraneous stuff lately that I can now more clearly see what is worth more focus.

Thank you for teaching me who my friends really are. I let go of two connections that were not positive today.

Thank you for letting me experience this with someone who is not reactive or mean, because that would have made it exponentially more terrible.

Thank you for helping me build -- and fall back on -- the kind of support network I cherish; years ago I did not have one and I will not forget how lonely that was.

Thank you for giving me some ideas for writing and for giving back.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do the scariest thing of all - be vulnerable in front of other people and let them in.

Thank you for the glimpse into the window of a very different life.

Thank you for medical technology and scientific advancement.

I don't know how I'll remember all this when the waters run calm again, but I finally feel like it will be okay no matter what.

(Sent from my phone)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

stress dream, and something nice

Last night, the stress of recent times wrapped itself around me like a vise and squeezed until I couldn't breathe. It started because I got home close to 9pm feeling nauseous and exhausted and sick and alone, simultaneously facing freelance deadlines and pings from people wanting to catch up and all I wanted was to spend my ONE HOUR before bedtime being left alone.

When I finally fell asleep, I dreamt I was on a special ship that had been commissioned to do something impossible: combat a vortex of swirling water to go in a direction never before imagined. The ship was engineered like a space shuttle with scientists on board for this first experimental mission which required perfect timing with a coming tidal wave: launch directly into the wall of water until we dropped into an angry vortex.

The idea was that this vortex would whirl us around and spit us out in the complete opposite direction. You had to time it just right or everything would fail. It was a very dangerous and terrifying mission and I almost fell out several times.

So, yeah. Some stress.

I'll end this on a nice note though. I spent the weekend with the Cyclist and I'm starting to get that "cozy" sensation in his company, the one that accompanies familiarity. It's getting easier to be natural. I'm still shy around him sometimes. But how could I not adore someone who treats me so sweetly?

Sean Penn said in a recent Rolling Stone magazine that all anyone really wants is to be loved. I don't know that everyone feels that way, but maybe in that vein, it won't be scary that I am beginning to adore this handsome, dark-haired man. I won't tell him now (although he might guess) but will instead put my arms around him and be happy. It is actually a wonderful feeling to care about someone and to feel very tender for their heart.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

avoiding common mistakes in a relationship (link)

I read this piece, last night, on avoiding common mistakes in a relationship (GREAT article, BTW):
"Engaging in outbursts of anger and disrespect literally repels your partner and encourages him/her to be dishonest, which does not improve your marriage in any way."
So that's why people shut down. They're afraid of how their truth will be received.

Friday, January 11, 2013

I ate bugs.

(I wrote this a few years ago, posting now.)

So, I ate bugs.

And/or their excreta.

I was starving. And trying desperately to avoid the candy jar. "I will be healthy!" I thought. "I brought raisins and by god, I will eat them!" Living with parents who've been raised by folks who made it through the depression has made me frugal. I do not waste food easily.

Now, I have just moved back home this past weekend after being in Arizona for 5 months. I spent all of Sunday unpacking and haven't really gone food shopping yet. I mean, I picked up a box of frozen salmon but I can't really snack on that at work. So when the afternoon rapacious, greedy, insatiable hunger demon attacks, I need to be prepared. Yesterday's weapon of choice was an old, wayward box of stiff raisins that I clumsily grabbed as I was tearing out the door. I had no idea how old they were. But raisins last forever, right?

Fast forward to 4pm. Normally I get hungry around 3 but I was particularly uninterested in my anti-starvation arsenal. I waited until my stomach started to digest itself and then, while composing a response to a guy wanting to sell us his useless vinyl record collection, I tore into the box of raisins. They were dry, crumbly and unyielding (a particularly unappetizing combination in a raisin) but I mindlessly jammed giant handfuls down my maw anyway. I downed nearly the entire box this way, not even looking.

Now down to only three raisins glued to the back of the box, I clawed blindly but they were out of reach. So I tore it open. And made the mistake of looking.

And that's when I discovered something very wrong inside:

Not a normal box of raisins

Um, raisins are not supposed to look like this, right?

I looked closely, unable to help myself. Yep, bugs. Little segmented parts, tiny hairs and ingested raisin excreta all over the box. I don't know WHAT ate them, but I clearly did not get there first.

I stood there a moment contemplating the philosophical cleansing of a good retching session.

And then I emailed my workout buddy:
I have just discovered I have eaten bugs. The retching session might not end in time to workout. Call before you go anyway, might need someone to call for help.

Cruel workout buddy:
If they were in the popcorn they were good.

No. It was the raisins. kak!

Cruel workout buddy:
oh that is bad. See, in popcorn they would probably be killed during the microwaving process. Not so in raisins. they'd probably be rather plump and juicy from all the good sugar. Like when I ate the cereal and I'd see all these tiny brown specs and think "I don't remember tiny brown things like that in Wheaties." So yes, you ate good, healthy, plump, bugs. Hopefully they washed their claspers and legs after defecating.
I reread this and stared back into the box looking very carefully at droppings from most certainly unwashed claspers and legs. Then I called him, said, "I hate you," and hung up. And spent the next 10 minutes brushing my teeth. (Yes, I keep a toothbrush at work.)

I have since learned this is not the first time I've eaten bugs. The FDA details the number of allowable insect parts in its Food Defect Action Level publication. Although this contains unallowable amounts, and even though I am not a math whiz, my brain saw this and instantly calculated the reverse: acceptable levels of insect fragments, parasitic cysts, thrips, mites, aphids, rodent hairs, mold, and worms in our food. Read on:

Unacceptable food defilement levels:
  • Herring: 60 parasitic cysts
  • Sauerkraut: 50 thrips
  • Spinach: 50 or more aphids, thrips and/or mites
  • Mushrooms: 20 or more maggots...75 mites
  • Broccoli: 60 or more aphids and/or thrips and/or mites
  • Brussel Sprouts: 30 or more aphids and/or thrips
  • Peanut Butter: 30 or more insect fragments...One or more rodent hairs
  • Wheat Flour: 75 or more insect fragments...1 or more rodent hairs
  • Tomatoes: 10 or more Drosophila (fruit) fly eggs, or 5 or more fly eggs and 1 or more maggots
  • Popcorn: 1 or more rodent excreta pellets...1 or more rodent hairs
  • Pepper, ground: 475 or more insect fragments...2 or more rodent hair
  • Peaches, canned/frozen: 3% wormy or moldy...1 or more larvae and/or larval fragments
  • Nutmeg, ground: 100 or more insect fragments...1 rodent hair
  • Oregano, ground: 1,250 or more insect fragments...5 rodent hairs
  • Macaroni &amp; Noodle Products: 225 insect fragments...4.5 rodent hairs
Like, it's ok to have 29 thrips in your brussels sprouts but not 30. They draw the line at 30!

Also, according to this piece from NPR, coffee is absolutely infested with roaches. If you want it free of roach dust, get beans that are ground on the spot.

So, um, enjoy your meal!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


It is a personal quest of mine to have a sparkly bathroom and so I am constantly scrubbing it down. This has worked most of my life, but yesterday while shopping, I found myself entering a strange state in the cleaning aisle. The kind of state brought on by exposure to the electromagnetic mind-erasing mechanism known as Really Bad Bee Gees at Safeway.

I happened to be in front of the toilet cleaners when "How Deep Is Your Love?" sung by a chorus of eunichs scratched over the supermarket loudspeakers, completely scrambling the electrical activity in my brain.

I blacked out.

I awoke later in the bathroom holding what appeared to be a PlaySchool syringe.

Or an applicator worthy of shotgunning a month's supply of horrid genital medicines into unoccupied diseased-ridden orifices.

I opened this box to find an applicator full of a mysterious green gel.

The instructions commanded one to take charge -- grab the applicator, aim and shoot. Clear!

And voila -- one more North American commode is now radioactive.

Anyway. The toilet should smell nice, as pleasant as plutonium-scented flowers might be. Let's see how it holds up!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Social media and WHAT HAS BEEN SEEN CANNOT BE UNSEEN and truths about exes

Gawd. Sometimes I hate social media. I logged onto Instagram, saw that an ex "liked" a photo I posted yesterday and thought oh, huh, enough time has passed that I can probably "follow" him again. I popped over to his profile only to have my eyes scorched by a glaringly-intimate photo of bare naked female legs sprawled out on a bed with a bowl of whipped cream tucked into the crook of her knee. B+ for artistic nudity but seriously, did I need to see that?

Also, seriously, you're posting that on the internet, dude?

So, a coupla things:

1. This is the truest truth you will ever read:
Once partners become exes, their lives become one big giant orgy where not only are you not invited, but it is a well-known scientific fact that the need for sleeping, eating or working is replaced with the need for sex with people who are not you.
2. Why should it bother me when I ended it? Maybe they are really happy together and he's a different person now, or with her, who knows. In which case I should man up and graciously welcome their joy. But grr!

Monday, January 7, 2013

on the topic of ginormous breasts

There, do I have your attention now? Good. But in case you wondered if this post was about MY ginormous breasts, sorry. It's not. (Regular readers will note that the above photo is not one of me.) No, this post is about how, even though I am not INTO ginormous breasts, I still notice them. (Or at least I do if they're being thrown into my face.)

Here's what happened.

I was at a meeting one day with one of my old coworkers and we were sitting at a table shuffling papers, discussing the efficiency of loading a full ream of paper into the printer every third Thursday (or some equally riveting topic). She seemed uncomfortable and kept shifting her body; twisting around the chair, heaving upward and rotating upon some strange axis before settling back down. She would not stop fidgeting.

Look, it's not MY fault that she was wearing a shirt so low-cut that her boobs swung out like wrecking balls.

So I looked!

Everytime her girls swiveled into view, the sheer size, weight and momentum yanked my eyes downward. I couldn't help glancing. I really couldn't. I tried not to notice but she kept whipping them into my line of sight. If she was trying to get me to stare, she couldn't have done a better job. But she wasn't.

Finally she outright handled them. Yep. She picked her breasts up with her hands, gently cupping the bottom, and gingerly settled them down on the table.

What would you do?

You'd notice.

I've never seen someone fuss so with their torso. But she wasn't doing it to get my attention. I thought she was either just a nervous, active person, or she'd drank 78 espressos that morning, but either way, I DID notice.

She suddenly grew shy after my last averted eye attempt. After resting them on the table, she looked at me uncomfortably, glanced down and slowly pulled her shawl forward, draping loose burlap-like fabric over her cleavage, hiding all evidence of the shapes that lurked beneath.

I thought I'd die of embarrassment. BUSTED!

She actually had to cover herself because of me.

"I don't care about your boobs!" I wanted to cry. "Stop hurling them in my face!"

Really, if she'd been swiveling her elbows about, I'd be noticing them too.

And trust me, I have ZERO sexual interest in either body part.

I now sympathize with some (SOME) guys who shift their gaze downward now and then. I'm not even INTO them and couldn't help it!
Chelsea Charms and her ginormous boobs