Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What were YOU doing on Christmas circa 1998?

The other day, a woman who I've known virtually all of my life sat down with me over a cup of tea and reminisced about Christmases Past.  We each talked about how when we were kids, we had great family Christmas memories, complete with playing touch football in the front yard before dinner.  Back in the day, (and locale of where we each grew up) the Dallas Cowboys were God's football team.  Seriously.  No, really.  SERIOUSLY

So, in the spirit of Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Roger "the Dodger" Staubach, and countless other 1970's football heroes, we romped in the yard with our fathers, uncles and cousins.  Yes, those were the good ole days to be sure and of course, our beloved grandparents would visit each sibling's family and share in the gift giving, left over dinner and so on.  The belts were loosened around the girth of the men and little girls learned from their mothers and aunts that cleaning up was "our" duty.  Well, some of us learned, anyway. (That's code for NOT ME).

Then, as time passed and the memories and innocense of Christmas became more difficult to conjure, we each grew into our adulthood.  As I took another sip of tea, my friend confided in me and told me that 1998 was the year that were a multitude of "firsts" for her.  "Hmmm?" I asked in mid-sip.  She leaned forward as if ashamed and admitted to me that she was gay.  She had hidden it for years and even was in denial about it.  Then, as they say in Texas, "Things happened and it came a gully wash."  Which meant, that crap happens. 

She was so profoundly sad about learning that she was gay that she didn't think she would ever be accepted into heaven.  She even considered the fact that if God wanted men and men, women and women to be together, surely he would have concocted a way for procreation as homosexuals.   I mean, if homosexuality was "right" or "correct" in God's eyes, then this would be the divine way.  Ya know, Adam and Eve not Steve.  We talked at length, as I never knew that this secret was burning a hole through her soul.  You never know the grief and pain some go through, all without saying a word.  She told me about Christmas 1998 where she cried for hours on end, hating herself and even wanting to "off" herself.  I mean, this wasn't normal. 

When I asked her how she came to grips with it, here's what she said:

"It was Time to Clean Out My Closet.

Isn’t it amazing the things that you accumulate in your life? If you need a reminder, try cleaning out your closet. You know, the one you came out of at “that moment”.

I found myself doing just that a couple of weeks ago. I walked into “that closet” and took a good look. It was very good at keeping my personal things out of sight. It made everything look like it was in order and functioning just fine, thank you very much. I knelt down and opened some old boxes and started going through some of my childhood memorabilia. I had to chuckle to myself, here is the lacey dress with petticoats that I wore when I was about 5 years old. Oh wait, the patent leather shoes….My God, here they are. Did I really wear all that? Oh, yes. Wait, here’s another box of photographs. I’m wearing my ever-present Shirley Temple hairdo, courtesy of my Mom, hair rollers and significant amounts of Dippidy-Doo and Aqua Net. I was the frilliest, most feminine little girl I had ever seen.

Then I looked at myself really closely. I think my eyes said it all. I was different. So different it was absolutely painful, and I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why or how I was different from everyone else. I looked like all the other little girls in elementary school. I looked at another picture and something caught my eye. I was standing in front of my elementary school smiling for the camera, and someone had written on the brick walls, “Queer”. As I saw this phrase scrawled behind my right shoulder, I realized that it had been following me all my life. There it was, always right over my shoulder.

It wasn’t for quite a few years that I turned to a counselor to help me clean out my closet. Together we talked, I cried, felt relief, anger, denial, guilt, and a plethora of other emotions. I had to experience them all to get where I am now. I put the lid back on the boxes and neatly arranged them in my closet. I turned out the light and quietly closed the door and thought to myself, I’m glad I had the courage to clean out my closet."

Need help with cleaning out your closet? Don’t hesitate to contact a counselor, trusted friend or parent. You’ll be glad you did.

By the way, if you haven't figured it out yet, the woman I was talking to was ME.

More Musings Later-

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Corporate America and the Asterick

In the past, I have freelanced for quite a few clients who either owned small businesses or were CEO's of Fortune 100 companies.  Here is what they all have in common:  BUZZWORDS. Oh, you know the ones...come on, everyone join in: 

Synergy, Strategy, Strategic, Sales Nurturer, benchmarking, Component, deliverables, facilitate, fasttrack, Let's put our arms around this,  thought leader, mission critical, scorecards, metrics, take it offline, succession planning, weekend retreat, win-win and a million more.

Unfortunately, along with those words come the embedded office politics that kill off the good employees and keep the crappy ones that are devious.  I know that my readers have had at least 1 experience where they were stabbed in the back by a co-worker in order to score points for the boss.  Whether it was to take credit where it wasn't due or just to stab you in the back for the sport of it.  Either way, it stinks.

In fact, when I used to work for a major coporation (wait one moment, I am having a modified convulsion at the mere memory).  I rememmber that we had just gotten a new EVP of HR in corporate.  Now remember, we had literally hundreds and hundreds of HR staff around the country.  A curious mass email was sent to these hundreds and hundreds of HR Staff by error.  I knew it was sent out "by error" and immediately saved it to my hard drive.  Now, most people didn't save it or even were in their email at the time.  Heh-heh, but I was.
I reviewed the document that was immediately rescinded by the sender.  It was titled, "HR Succession by Location."  Oh, that's a lovely title and contained more drama than a bad reality show.  I looked for my location and saw the infamous asterik mark next to my boss's name.  I had to agree.  My ex-boss was crappy at her job.  However, his corporate EVP of HR had made no "error in sending this email out."  In fact, I made a call to her admin assistant and asked what the astericks meant.  (Knowing full well it means - "You're canned, get ready to stand in the unemployment line.")

She sounded panicked.  "Uh, um...you saw that memo?  Oh, it's nothing...just a memo I was working on for the EVP...it's really nothing...really...(gulp) no really.  You saw it?  uh...ok, don't worry about it, just trash it, ok?"  I could literally hear the sweat spilling from her temples on to her desk.  Corporate America sucks.  Then, I called my boss at home who was taking a mental health day and told her to sit down.  I read her the entire memo and told her about the asterick.  My ex-boss asked what that meant.

"Uh, it means you will be wearing sweats all day, eating Fritos and watching Oprah and Judge Judy on a daily basis." I replied.     My boss woo-hooed loudly to be laid off from her misery.  Me?  I simply called the Director of HR for my region and pleaded with her to lay me off.  She couldn't believe it, but I had enough of the office politics, the buzzwords, the firing of people because they exhausted FMLA, regardless of whether they wee terminally ill or not.  I just had enough.
The last thing I said after the asterick fiasco was...UNCLE. 

And so began my writing career.

More Musings Later-

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Diabetes SUCKS

Alot of people hate giving themselves injections of insulin.  To me, that's not a big deal, especially since I only take it twice a day, morning and evening. I remember when they put me on 2 different insulins; so much of this one, so much of that one and if my blood sugar is high, then more of that one, not so much of this one.  What a bunch of crap. 

Yes, diabetes has made me extremely grumpy.  Why?, O' let me count the ways.

1.  My doctor at the hospital put me on 40 ml. of 70/30 insulin.  That means they combined 2 insulins together so that it's not such a pain in the ass to take it. 

2.  40 ml is too much insulin.  Know what happens when you take too much insulin?

3.  HYPOGLYCEMIA - I had this as a kid.  You feel like you could eat anything not nailed down, you shake (which I do anyway), break out in a coldsweat and feel crappy and exhausted.

4.  I call the doctor...tell her what is happening.  "Take only 36 ml. of insulin"

5.  My blood sugar goes down to 44.  Like, that's not good.  More shaking, more eating of everything in the house as well as Orange Juice.

6.  Dr says, go down to 32 units.  I say to myself, "screw it, going to 30".  So far so good.  We'll see how it messes with my blood sugar.

Eating a Diabetic diet is a pain in the ass

Morning Routine:
Take my blood sugar.  Write it down in the Blood sugar in the pocket tablet.  Write down what I'm going to eat along with the total carbohydrates for that meal. 
Measure 30 ml of insulin, poke my stomach and then fix the following:

1 cup of Cheerios with artificial sweetner, 2/3 cup of fat free, skim milk, 1/2 banana or 1/2 cup of fruit and 1 piece of whole grain toast with 1 tsp of margerine.  Don't go over 45 grams of carbohydrates.

Who the hell eats a 1/2 a piece of fruit???  That's downright weird and it irks me everytime I do it.

Noon Routine
Take blood sugar.  Write it down in the Blood sugar in the pocket tablet. Write down what I'm going to eat along with the total carbohydrates for that meal.

Fix the following:
1 oz Turkey and Cheese sandwich with wheat bread, 1 tsp of Mayo, Lettuce/Tomato if desired.
10 Tortilla chips
Yogurt or 1/2 piece of fruit
maybe a sugar free pudding  Don't go over 60 carbs.

Take blood sugar. Write it down in the Blood sugar in the pocket tablet. Write down what I'm going to eat along with the total carbohydrates for that meal.

Fix the following:

Piece of Meat (usually chicken or Hamburger patty)
Vegetable (I usually fix frozen okra with onions stirfried together in 1 tsp of EVOO)
If I add Green Beans, then I count the carbs (????) Green Beans are 5 carbs.
Eat more flippin fruit or yogurt.  If I want a snack I can eat 10 almonds or cashews.  Woo-hoo!

2 hours after, take my blood sugar again, write it down, poke myself in the stomach again with my insulin shot, curse my doctors and my liver and go to bed.  However, I do chuckle sometiems because I remember when my ex-brother-in-law would comment on Momma Judd's medical condition when her liver was messed up and she thought she was going to die.  He simply would say, "Oh, she'll tour again with Wynonna...it will be called, "My Liver is Better Tour" or maybe, "I'm not Quite So Yellow Tour"  I love sarcasm.

This is a weird diet, I'm sorry.  I am getting used to it and I go to "class" early next week.  As John Lennon would say, Most Peculiar, Momma.

More Musings Later-

Thursday, November 26, 2009

In Observance of Avoiding the Eternal Dirt Nap

As I mentioned in my last post, diabetes nearly got the best of me.  Thank God, I'm still upright and breathing on a regular basis.  That's always a good sign.  The insulin is a pain in the ass, but it is doing the job, so woo-hoo for insulin.  As I thought about the possibility of dying, I wondered what heaven or hell might be like if I were to take the permanent dirt nap.  So without further adieu, Top 10 signs that I've reached Heaven or Hell, in no particular order.

Top 10 Signs I've Reached Heaven
1.  I would see family and friends that have passed before me and get to spend unlimited time with them.  Ask them questions about how Heaven works and what happened to them.

2.  The setup would be similar to "Defending Your Life," with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep.  Everyone would stay in fabulous hotels and be able to eat whatever and whenever they wanted without worrying about gaining weight or eating too many carbs or sugar.

3.  A box of ding dongs would be placed on my pillow each night.  

4.  There would be a pub where old friends and family would gather to have a few and watch the TN Titans play football or to play along with Wheel of Fortune.

5.  I would look up Norman MacLean and Ernest Hemingway and ask them about writing.

6.  While defending my life, there would be authority in the court (like Defending your life) that could show me key moments during my life that affected my destiny and why.  I guess I want to know stuff like that.

7.  I would be able to astral travel to friends and family still living and observe them and hopefully, catch their attention. 

8.  One of the first people I would visit would be Alan Solomon.  Then I would walk upon Loi Kroh Road, albeit in a virtual state.

9.  I would be allowed to ask questions and write down the answers from Jesus.

10.  I would love to visit Michael, the Arch Angel and ask questions about Armeggedon.


Top 10 Reasons I know I'm in Hell
1.  When I'm dying, I am in the same hospital that I just got out of.

2.  The first people I see are the people that have hurt me most in my life.

3.  Once I pass from this life and enter the eternal; I am made to watch Paula Abdul judge on American Idol.

4.  Then I am forced to watch her videos of her "singing" and dancing.

5.  Ty Pennington is yelling at me with his megaphone.

6.  Everyone at the Pub I mentioned before are hateful and mean. 

7.  Instead of watching TN Titan Football and Wheel of Fortune, I am forced to watch Extreme Home Makeover and cry at all the obvious spots.

8.  Laughter isn't allowed here and no one appreciates sarcastic humor.  

9.  "How come?"  isn't allowed here.

10.  A bowl of beets and cottage cheese is left on my pillow each night.  And, every calorie counts.

Did I mention that Paula Abdul would be there???

More Musings Later-

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Top 10 Stupid Things I Heard While in the Hospital

By now, you all know how I feel about doctors and hospitals. Particularly the one I seem to continually visit on a regular basis. I must have done something very bad in my last life to repeat this bad karma. Oh well, at least I have my cheery disposition. (yes, that is sarcasm).

Without further adieu:

10. After waiting over an hour for my discharge paperwork to be done, I ask how much longer I have to wait.

Response: "Oh, Are you ready to go?"

9. After taking my temperature and noting that it's low, a nurse tech puts his hand on his hip and asks, "Girrrrrl, What you do last night?"

My Response: "I went to a Martini bar and went clubbing all night. What do you think??"
8. When checking my glucose level, the nurse tells me it's high and asks in frustration: "What did you eat last night?"

My Response: "I ate what the doctor ordered, it's not like I snuck out for a chocolate shake or something."
7. After noticing that a sign was placed on my door and cleaning crews were coming in with masks and gloves to clean, I ask what is going on. "Oh, it's in the computer that you had an infectious disease (vasculitis) in 2008 and we didn't clean and separate you properly from hospital staff the last time so we're doing it now."

I have no response and begin looking for Tom Bergeron to pop out of the bathroom for an episode of AFV.

6. I call the nurse and request a glass of ice water.

"Oh, are you thirsty?"

My response: "No, I'm just checking to see if the intercom works."


5. A nurse I call "Grumpy Greta" comes in and gives me an insulin shot. I ask if she isn't supposed to wait until my lunch arrives first before giving it to me.

Her gravely response: "Yeah, but my feet hurt and I'm trying to save myself some steps. I hope your food comes soon."


4. I'm in awful pain from my arthritis and I ask for a pain medication.

The nurse's reply: "Will Tylenol do?"

My response: "Only if it is the Tylenol that is spelled L-O-R-T-A-B"


3. A nurse comes in and begins handing medication to take for the day.

"Here's your Methotrexate, Haladol and..."

I interrupt: "That's not my medication."

Nurse: "Oh crap! This is for across the hall. Where is my head?"

I silently think, "Sadly, it's attached to your shoulders."


2. A Nurse walks in and pats my hand and says she's sorry to hear I have HIV.

My Response: "I don't have HIV. I have Vasculitis which is an infectious disease."

Her Response. "Isn't that the same thing?"

And the Stupidest thing I heard at the Hospital was:
1. After the Dr says that she noticed that my blood sugar was high 2 months ago;

My Response: "Well, then why didn't you start treating me for Diabetes then?"

Her Response: "Well, I guess I should have caught that."

My Internal Response: "Ya Think?"

More Musings Later-

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Avoided the Eternal Dirt Nap

Yep, I had all the signs for the past 2 weeks and it dawned on me what it finally was; Diabetes.

You know the signs:

  • Extreme thirstiness (as in you would kill something for a bottled water)
  • Even more exhaustion, losing a significant amount of weight in a short period of time (as in 23 pounds in 2 weeks.)
  • Blurry Vision
So, this past Saturday night I look up my symptoms and deduce it must be diabetes. I took my glucose level reading. Der, not good. In fact, alarming. Sunday morning, take it again, even worse. Ok, a call to the dr first thing Monday morning. I start to get irritated because I've been to the doctor on a regular basis and I finally see on my labs that my glucose was notated as "high" and my doctors said or did nothing about it. Don't even get me started. In fact, 2 of them noted that I had an "enlarged liver." and that "the high glucose is most likely steroid induced."

So you don't do anything? Jeez my knees, I feel like I must be my own doctor. I guess from now on, I will need to pore over all my medical and lab reports. The health care system is truly broken and in a complete state of disarray. My only thought about it is pure disgust.

So, schedule a physical with my doctor cause that is the only way she can see me fast. So on Tuesday I go into the doctor and she goes through the motions. I tell her to test me for Diabetes. "Why?" she asks...UH cause I have high blood sugar readings on my labs, hello?? She asks my symptoms and I tell her. So I do the urine test and they take my glucose reading.

Can we say "595"???? My doctor's jaw is on the floor and she walks next door to another doctor and tells him what is going on. She comes back in and takes a breath and tells me I'm dangerously close to having convulsions, having a stroke or worse. I HAVE to go into the hospital. The blood is running out of my face and I sit there drinking cups of water as fast as the nurse is handing it to me to try to stay hydrated. They think I have (DKA) Diabetic ketoacidosis an acute metabolic complication of diabetes characterized by hyperglycemia, hyperketonemia, and metabolic acidosis. DKA occurs mostly in type 1 diabetes. It causes nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain and can progress to cerebral edema, coma, and death.

So, off to the hospital I go for 3 days. After getting insulin IV's, poking my fingers and veins full of holes for glucose readings and labwork, they pronounce me well enough to come home. So I am learning to be a Carb counting machine and to quote a line from one of my favorite movies with my own spin:

"I may be exhausted and weak; hell, I may even be gimpy, but Dear God, I'm still here."

The dirt nap will have to wait.

More Musings Later (thank God)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Finding Me

Facebook is a clever tool. I've been finding college friends, teachers, old co-workers and others. Each time I see their pictures, the memories flood back to me. It's like looking through a time capsule of each person I've known. Sometimes the person they are today is exactly as I expected, sometimes it's a total shock.

This one person that I found falls into the category of shock for me. In college, she was the life of the party, had a fantastic sense of humor and had that intangible something extra special that some call "it." Not that she still doesn't have these qualities...I'm sure she does. She has just taken a 180 degree turn in the direction of her life. Again, not bad, just very different.

Somehow, she saw something in me as a music student that she was able to mold. I was 12 years old when I first met her. I was in awe of her, wishing I could be exactly like her. She was talented, great with people, funny and admired by countless other music students. And, I was her student. I didn't have much confidence in myself then and she helped me to discover that I was good at something. I felt that we were the antithesis of each other.

When I competed for musical awards, everyone of stature knew I was her student. When they heard me play, I remember to this day the way they looked at me. The next thing I knew, I was a 12 year old sitting in a college level class for music. With each achievement, my confidence grew. It formed my identity. When I wasn't supposed to hear, I would overhear judges and other teachers whisper, There goes her student.

Those experiences are a huge part of who I am today, even though I'm not a practicing musician any longer. Those childhood experiences with music helped me have the courage to audition at Juilliard in New York, play for operas, musicals, symphonies, marching and pop bands. I had a wondrous and complete education in music, life and myself.

Juilliard's late, great Saul Goodman with his crank tympani invention that I actually auditioned on that fateful day of March 3, 1980. Incidentally, Gene Krupa was his student.
I have been wanting to thank this person for many years. I was unable to locate a mailing address or email address until I saw her on Facebook. I finally thanked her. It may not seem like a big deal to some people, but she is clearly owed a thank you from me and perhaps more. And, I gave it.

One teacher I had signed my yearbook with these sage words:
I hope you got something out of your musical education besides the music itself.

I did.
More Musings Later-

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Matza, Challah, Black and Whites and Noodle Pudding

The title above references a hodge-podge of Jewish cuisine. Had someone rattled off that menu to me years ago, this Southern Texas girl wouldn't have known what to make of it.

However, I have a Jewish spouse who regularly laments about the lack of "Jew Food" in Nashville, TN. In the land of Fried foods, starchy vegetables ladeled with a multitude of gravies and cornbread o'plenty, my poor spouse often recounts the days when her father would visit the hometown deli and order tongue sandwiches, Challah, sour pickles and other Boarhead meats always placed on rye bread.

Here? How about chicken fried chicken on a lilly white piece of bread with Hellman's mayo? don't forget the cream gravy!

One of the few times I saw my partner swoon over food is when I brought her to "Noshville Deli." She ordered tongue sandwich, knish, sour pickles and a cream soda. Then, for dessert; Black and white cookies. I think I even saw a tear in her eye.

NOW: I totally get it liking the food you were raised on. And, I like alot of Jewish food. Matza is pretty good with tuna fish or chicken salad, y'all. Sour pickles are good with sandwiches, Challah and Black and Whites are really tasty as well. But let's get real: NOODLE PUDDING?

Noodle Pudding is the following: Noodles which are boiled in water, drained, put into a baking dish and combined with beaten eggs. No salt...no pepper, no cheese, no gravy....nothing. Then you bake it until the noodles on top are crunchy. My partner eats this like it is the most delicious thing she ever tasted. I've tried it, it tastes like crunchy noodles without salt or pepper.

I like unusual food, but to me, some Jewish food is only good if you had a little southern trinity. The southern trinity: Cheese, onions, cream and bacon fat.

To each his own, and if you ask me; Give me Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac and cheese, okra with buscuits slathered in butter, honey and iced tea. It will always be my "Jew food."

Shalom and Bless your heart,

More Musings Later-

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You can take the girl out of Texas, but the Texas memories still linger...

It's true...funny, but when I lived in Texas (for entirely too long) I felt every inch the misfit. In Texas, the earth, moon and sun revolves around one thing and one thing only; High School Football. I kid you not. Sort of like College football in Tennessee. I'm still scratching my head over that one.

Are you getting a feel for why poor Janis Joplin didn't quite fit in Port Arthur, Texas in the 50s and 60s? She was decades ahead of her time, bless her heart. I never met her, as she was already a star and living in San Francisco by the time I was old enough to meet her. It seems strange though, to have gone to the same college she did (Lamar University) and hear some of the stories about her. Believe me, they were very unkind. In fact, I remember one of my professors in the Music Bldg told some of the most hurtful stories about her and relished the telling and retelling of his sordid tale. I let him know that I didn't care for his "story." He simply grinned and gave his eyebrows a shrug. He was a very handsome man with a slew of college girls swooning at his every move. I found his reliance on his looks to be sophomoric and extremely troubling behavior for a 30ish year old professor. I guess I felt a kinship with Janis and didn't even really know why at the time.

Nonetheless, Texas wasn't an easy place to live amid the rednecks, refinery workers and cowboys. But, I do have fond memories of the local landmarks such as Lubys Cafeteria, Port Neches Park, Jefferson City Mall, The Sea Wall, Nearby Sabine Pass, Satin's Restaurant (demolished by Katrina) and Gulfway Drive ("The Drag" for teenagers to drive up and down on the weekends). And, those crazy friends we had courtesy of parties, CB Radio and more.

One of my fondest memories is when a large group of us would pile into a couple of cars (where we communicated with each car by CB) and drive to Port Neches on a Saturday night around 11:30pm to "Sara Jane Road." The road was known to the locals and no one else. If a tourist came through this area, then they were lost.

The following is a brief synopsis of "The Legend of Sarah Jane Road":

A young mother driving a horse-drawn carriage down the roadway at midnight, many years ago.She had her baby daughter, named Sarah Jane, in a basket beside her. Heavy fog had descended and when she crossed the middle of the bridge the horse spooked and the carriage overturned — throwing the baby into the water. Sara Jane was never found. The tale goes on to say on Halloween night when it’s dark and foggy you can hear the mother calling, “Sara Jane, Sara Jane”, looking for her baby.

Of course, the guys would be extremely quiet as we creeped along the bridge listening for the haunted voice where one guy in the other car would hide in the woods and do his best creepy moan for Sarah Jane. It scared the crap out of us, which always erupted in screams and laughter. Little did I know that one day, they would even have a My Space page dedicated to this legend! See for yourself.


The Legend of Swamp Witch
In Acadian tradition, and on their usual visit to the swamplands, they stumble upon the fabled Swamp Witch. No one had actually seen the Swamp Witch before, she was not only insane, but she was violent as well. No one dared to cross her path for fear of what would happen.

We also visited "Swampwitch" where she lived near the Louisiana border of Texas. Again, we traipsed to this location trying to see her. The driver of our car whispered to us to be quiet as he was going outside the car to investigate. All of the sudden, he grabbed a figure that had a billowy robe on in the night sky and threw her on the hood of the car pretending to fight. Relief, laughter and plenty of beer was consumed during our rides to these outlandish places. We knew they were legends, but it was fun just the same.

The Beach
Years ago when I was in high school; I was friends with a few young men that were gay. Of course, I was clueless about myself, but I did enjoy my friends! Flying down the freeway until we heard that wonderful, unmistakable ebb and tide of the ocean. It was beautiful...the moonlight danced on the top of the ocean like diamonds sparkling in the sun. As we sat in the car listening to the ocean, one friend turns to me and says, "Let's skinny dip!" I am horrified and shout back, "Are you crazy? NO!" He turns back to me and says, "C'mon! we'll have a story to tell our grandchildren!"

Although I knew the only grandchildren he would be having would be poodles, I reconsidered. We ran toward the ocean, stripping clothing as we went. My 2 best friends and me.

Running into the ocean was exhilarating and exciting. It was a rebirth of sorts. One where I felt so comfortable being ME. Doing something daring and spur of the moment.

It was the moment that I was really...living. That's what it's all about, isn't it?

Friday, September 18, 2009

When the Crap Rains Down, It's Nice to Know there's a Roof over your Head...

  • Lately, I've had the feeling that crap has been raining down on me with the force of a Texas thunderstorm. And, if you've ever visited Texas during a thunderstorm, it can be summed up in 1 phrase, courtesy of Moby, a DJ of Houston's yesteryear: "It's raining just like a cow peeing on a flat rock."
  • So, you get the gist of my comparison. Why did I feel this way? Lord, let me count the ways:

Crappy Economy which directly affects my and my partner's income

  • Income problems leads to arguing with mate

  • Lack of income requires us to sell everything that isn't nailed down.

  • Insurance is running out in December for us...we are the Pre-existing poster children

  • Insurance is expensive...which full circles back to lack of income

  • See arguing with mate

  • More health crap - more pills, more steroids, more blood tests.

  • Paying notes to hospital already for Dec 08 hospitalization, should be paid off in 2 years.

  • Lack of income making it difficult

  • There's that full circle shit again.

  • Steroids are causing severe depression...cry at the drop of a hat, very grumpy.

  • Apathy sets in which is a scary place to be.

  • Then placed on more medication...gotten to where I don't much care about money or lack of it anymore.

  • Slowly climbing my way out of Apathyville

  • Starting to feel like me again, although still feel sick.

  • I begin to set personal goals for myself. First time in a long time. Apathy is losing it's grip.

  • I got news that my sister is CANCER FREE. I cry with joy.

  • Feeling crappy has made me more emotional. That's not all bad.

  • I realize that contrary to my popular belief, I'm NOT all that easy to live with . Particularly when I'm on steroids.

  • Come to find out, I suddenly realize my partner has been and is being patient with me. In her own, gruff, adorable way.
I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I realize how lucky I am that I have a roof over my head right now. I'm grateful to have objectivity about myself. It stings sometimes, but other times it's healing. I'm looking forward to having Earl Grey Tea when it becomes cold at night.

Goodbye, Apathy.

More Musings Later-

Saturday, September 05, 2009

"Daddy" is Retiring

No, Charles Gibson is not my daddy. After watching him for years on GMA and now the ABC Evening News, I have always wished he was.

Why? The answer for me is easy. My own father was noticeably absent from my life growing up and so when I see doting fathers, I sometimes feel a twinge of longing. I remember one time when I was watching GMA and Diane Sawyer and Charlie (he was Charlie in the morning and Charles in the evening...go figure) were outside Times Square with the crowd. Diane asked the cameraman to get a long shot of Charley and his daughter in the crowd. It seems that she had just gotten her first important network gig and the smile and warm embrace from her Daddy spoke volumes.

Another time, Charley was at the news desk giving facts and figures regarding the Afghanistan war, Vladimir Putin's views of the latest U.N. Treaty, and Congress's continual battles on the hill. He paused and glanced down at his notes and considered his news tone by stating:

"On the local front, I am proud to announce that my daughter has given birth to our first grandchild. Or, I should say, grandson. And, that's the news at this hour." He never broke the news tone or demeanor, but once he delivered the news, the cameraman put the camera on Charlie instead of Diane and Robin. He caught an uncharacteristically ecstatic Charlie Gibson grinning from ear to ear as they showed a picture of his grandson from just hours ago.

That was it...I dubbed him 'My Daddy'. When the nightly news appears on my screen each evening, my friends, partner and I exclaim with excitement, "Daddeeeeeeee!"

You also have to love a guy that professed his love for Julia Child on national television. Together they laughed, giggled and traded barbs as Julia cooked her French specialties on morning television. And as usual, they both would yodel the familiar "Soup de Jour!" upon completion. He wasn't afraid of acting silly...it seemed natural and fun.

And now Daddy is retiring. You'll never guess why. His daughter moved to Seattle and of course has that grandson with her. You can't separate Daddy from his beloved daughter and grandchild now can you?
I'll miss you, Daddy.

More Musings Later-