blogging · Drama · Family · Uncategorized

The Real World: Portland

The last month has been nothing but drama at my house. If I wanted this much drama in my life, I’d have stayed in the theater–Shakespeare’s got a much better vocabulary than we do around here.  His insults are better, too.  Half of my family seems to be convinced that we’re the cast of some over-the-top reality television show, including swearing-screaming-crying-tantrums,  death threats, drunken parties, random sex,  mood swings and come close to fist fights. Our wardrobes are nothing like the Real Housewives (we’re much better dressed than Honey Boo-Boo), but I’m betting our theatrics are equal to theirs any day.  
Yes, I love my family. And right now, I am actually pretty happy living with them, even with all of this going on. Things are better in this house, mostly, and I don’t feel the need to escape like I did a few months ago. I do, occasionally feel a strong urge to duct tape one or two family members to a chair in the garage, and gag them so I won’t have to listen to them anymore!

Families are always messed up, I guess. Nobody is perfect, or even close. I’d be miserable if I had to be part of some sitcom family. The Brady Bunch always annoyed the hell out of me, all so damn perky & blonde! Only Jan was a normal person, and they were awful to her! The Cleavers were even weirder as far as I’m concerned. I’d probably be happy with the Addams Family: all the black clothes and weirdness would make me feel right at home.

There are other things going on in my life. I discovered that the pain in my arm is tendonitis, which will get better, apparently. I managed to make a total fool of myself in front of Dr Jeff, and will be embarrassed about it for a while. I had a birthday. It sucked. The anniversary of Michele’s passing came. That sucked even more. (I’ve a post half ready about that…) I was reminded that so many men are jerks, no matter their age, and that really sucked. And, I read a couple of books that I haven’t reviewed yet.

I am having lots of computer issues, which is why I haven’t posted sooner. In the next week I will hopefully have some of those issues fixed, and will be able to write a bunch at ya’ll. I know you’re waiting for it!  I’ll be back.

 

blogging · Glee · heaven · Michele · Music · reading · Sherlock Holmes · teenage behavior · writing

Talk Nerdy To Me

Let’s talk about nerd-dom. My nerdiness. It’s my blog, nobody reads it but me, I’ll talk about what I want, and you can’t do a thing to stop me, nyah-nyah-nyah. I can write all about how I spend way too much time reading Drarry fanfiction, or watching Glee (or listening to music from Glee while reading Drarry stories–that’s the best!), and nobody would care! Ah, the joys of the internet.

tumblr_m4lozoOdM21rv6s6lo1_500But first, I must point out that I am not a geek, or a dork. A geek is smart enough to create and fix things like computers, etc., and I am not. A dork doesn’t really get anything. A nerd both understands and is into really cool stuff. That’s me.

Yes, I do enjoy Harry Potter fanfiction, and I do not care if you think that makes me a nerd, because I embraced my nerdiness way back in Junior High when I sang a Barry Manilow song in front of the entire school. Yes, I am THAT big a nerd. I am a Barry Manilow-loving, Doctor Who-watching, Firefly-missing, Sherlock-worshipping, fanfiction-reading, nerd. And I am damn proud of it. In some respects, I guess this makes me a hipster, because I was dorky long before it was cool, and I was happy being this way. I’ve never really wanted to be anything but who I am.

In high school, I had good friends, and while we weren’t the popular crowd, we got along with everyone, and we had a ton of fun. We were primarily choir and theater geeks, and most of us made good grades as well. At the time I thought we were all staying away from drugs and alcohol, although I know now that wasn’t true for all of us; either way, we had a lot of fun just being totally stupid, as teenagers tend to do. I never remember wanting to be any “cooler” than we were; I thought we were fabulous then, and I still do. Mostly. Except for the friend I’ve since discovered was stoned pretty much since eighth grade. That just pisses me off, although it does explain a bit about him.

In college, it was pretty much the same. Weird friends, just older. Different states, different things, and eventually, a bit of that alcohol. Either way, we were all some kind of misfit toy, and it worked.

Anyway. All these years later, even with Michele gone, I am still listening to Barry, still spending most of my Friday nights watching bad movies and occasionally eating pizza. Not the same movie anymore, thank god. And nobody will let me get Hawaiian pizza anymore, which is okay, since I’ve had my fill.

I’m still a nerd. If I had friends nearby, I’m sure we’d be sitting around a coffee shop somewhere, laughing until one of us spit coffee out our nose. Heaven for me will involve lots of time in cozy cafes with Michele, Elissa, Louis, Doug, Andy, Demere, Marina, Christopher, Lori & Don, Marty, Eric, Kathy, Karen, Leslie, Kenny, Wes, Teri, Monica, Fay, and so many more. Lots of time just being nerdy with the friends I love.

tumblr_lr4l8gu8Od1qivdpl

change · epiphany · exercise · goals · lessons · Michele

20 Questions for my 45th

Yesterday was my 45th birthday, and on the whole, it was pretty anti-climactic. I spent most of the day enjoying the benefits of Comcast on demand by watching Season 1 of Shameless. Between that I sat outside in the sun and read, which was lovely. Just having sunshine was a luxury! Oh, and I answered all the birthday greetings from friends on Facebook; that was excellent. I got a wonderful birthday gift from my sister & nephew, which they picked out weeks ago at a reptile show they went to. No, it isn’t a lizard, it is an awesome Southwesterny owl necklace. I love it!

The last year of my life has been full of so much turmoil, so many ups and downs. While I have made some changes, I’ve mostly been sitting here, in my chair, stagnating. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that stagnant water STINKS! I am so tired of my life stinking. Starting now, starting here, I am churning up the water, changing my life. (Yes, I know I’ve said that dozens of times before. Shut up. I mean it this time.)

These questions came from a post titled 20 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every questions20Sunday on a blog about productive living. I am using them here as a way to give myself a guide for goals, etc. Honestly, this seems like a lot of things to worry about every single Sunday, and I’d only ask myself all these questions every six months or so. Don’t expect profound answers, people. If you are looking for genius, what the hell are you doing here? Seriously? Anyway, here we go.  Text in italics is from the original post, these are my answers.

 

  1. What did I learn last week? – If you have trouble answering this question, it’s time for a change.  It doesn’t matter how old you are, you should learn something new every week.  That baby powder doesn’t get rid of ants; that baking with gluten free flour is not that easy; and that I have no wish to date or do anything else with guys from Craigslist.
  2. What was my greatest accomplishment over the past week? – Reflecting on your accomplishments is a healthy way to raise self confidence and contentment.  It’s also an effective way to track your progress.  Umm, I didn’t do much of anything last week. Big fibro flare, all sorts of health issues. However, I managed to read about 6 books, not a record for me, but pretty good. And while I have not lost any weight, I’ve not gained, either.
  3. Which moment from last week was the most memorable and why? – It may open up your mind to new passions and goals, or simple pastimes worth revisiting. So much fun just goofing around with Max. He was on Spring Break, and was sick half the week, but when he was feeling good, he and I took turns teasing each other in the odd little way that we do. It reminded me how much I love kids, and love being social, things I miss, hiding in my room.
  4. What’s the #1 thing I need to accomplish this week? – Everything else is secondary, and should be treated as such.  Nevertheless, this question will also shine light on other noteworthy tasks. The same thing I needed to accomplish last week–get my ass out of this chair and EXERCISE!! My biggest goal for this year is to get healthy, and lose weight. The only way I can really do that is by exercise, which I never do. 
  5. What can I do right now to make the week less stressful? – Set reminders in your calendar, get your laundry done, fill the car with gas… organize yourself. My doctor said I should schedule in exercise, thinking that would make me more likely to do it. When she told me this, I, of course did nothing; now I am thinking it’s the right idea. 
  6. What have I struggled with in the past that might also affect the upcoming week? – The idea here is to learn from your struggles and better equip yourself for future encounters. Pain. Last week was full of pain. And the coming weeks likely will be, as well. I am hoping that more exercise will help with some of the pain, and will allow me to break free of the evil ibuprofen monster which is messing up my tummy. 
  7. What was last week’s biggest time sink? – Steer clear of this in the future.  Setup physical barriers against distractions if you have to. Television is always my biggest distraction. I may have to hide my remote. And the chargers for my electronics, so I don’t spend too much time online. 
  8. Am I carrying any excess baggage into the week that can be dropped? – Physical clutter, mental clutter… eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary may shine bright. Oh, I could spend weeks cleaning up just physical baggage. My little room is small, and I will work on getting rid of more junk this week. I got rid of a lot of clothes a few weeks ago. But magazines, papers, and other crap still needs to go. Big fun.
  9. What have I been avoiding that needs to get done? – Pencil in a time to get these things done.  For any 2-minute or less tasks, consider scheduling them first thing Monday morning. Didn’t I just cover this?
  10. What opportunities are still on the table? – If it’s still available and you want it, make a concrete plan to go after it this week. I’m writing. Not as much as I should, but I am. And I will figure out two things soon: a job, and a place to live. These will be on hold until after my disability hearing on April 18th. Once this limbo is decided, one way or the other, I will make a decision. 
  11. Is there anyone I’ve been meaning to talk to? – Regular communication can solve problems before they fester.  Always keep an open line of communication to those around you. Yes, some near, and some far. I’d rather not mention names here, but just know some of you will be getting a phone call or email this week.
  12. Is there anyone that deserves a big ‘Thank You’? – Take time each week to thank the people who have helped you.  Your kind gesture will not go unnoticed. My baby sister, Jolene. She’s been here for me throughout everything, and never gets enough credit from anyone for everything she does. Same goes for my mom. 
  13. How can I help someone else this coming week? – The easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.  If you help them, they will remember you when you need help. I am a lazy bugger, and do very little around the house to pull me weight. I chip in when asked, but I should do more…
  14. What are my top 3 goals for the next 3 years? – You’ll never make any progress in life if you don’t setup realistic goals for yourself. This is a difficult one. Three years, three things. 1) Get my own place again. 2) Get my book written  3) lose 100 pounds
  15. Have any of my recent actions moved me closer to my goals? – If the answer is no, something needs to change. I’m starting on writing, but on the others, not so much…
  16. What’s the next step for each goal? – Knowing the next step is the key to accomplishing the whole. I don’t have an answer for this. Any ideas?
  17. What am I looking forward to during the upcoming week? – The answer can act as a great source of motivation.  If nothing exists, schedule something to look forward to. I don’t have plans yet, but I’m working on it. Suggestions?
  18. What are my fears? – Consciously address your fears each week and slowly work on resolving them.  It’s all about taking baby steps. My biggest fear now is about that upcoming disability hearing, and it’s outcome. I’ve been waiting for a year for this to happen, and I am, frankly, terrified, that these people who know nothing about me, will decide that I am “cured” of a lifelong disability, and will  cut off my health insurance. I can figure out a way to get by without the money, but I need that insurance; without it, I have no way to pay for medications, doctor visits, etc. And then I am back where I started, with seizures all the time, pain and suffering.  
  19. What am I most grateful for? – It’s a smart way to keep things in perspective, and something you should never lose sight of. Every single day I am grateful to be alive, grateful that I have a family who loves and helps me. 
  20. If I knew I only had one week to live, who would I spend my time with? – Another helpful reminder… Life is short.  Spend more time with the people you care about. I’d tell my family how much I loved them, every day. I’d find a way to get to Albuquerque, and see the friends there that I miss so much. Elissa, Kathy, Karen, and the rest (anybody else hearing the Gilligan’s Island theme song?). 

 

These are my 20 questions, and my answers, such as they are. Someone told me last week that 45 isn’t a landmark birthday. Well, for me it feels like it, especially since I know so many who never made it this far. I miss Michele every single day, and will, for the next 45 years, or until I see her again.

BFF · breast cancer · cancer · Michele · reading · Shel · tears · writing

A Howling

I’m writing this post on an airplane to Grand Junction, where tomorrow we’re having a memorial service for Michele. Whenever mother called to tell me of the service, and ask if I would like to say something, there was never any doubt in my mind. Yes.
That was just over a week ago, and I am still unsure what I’ll be saying tomorrow.

Since Michele died in April, there has been a gaping hole in my life. A small tear that opened when she first told me she was sick, and grew larger with each progression of theater, until that day when she was gone. Leaving this rent in the fabric of my world. Our world, for there are many of us grieving her.
I’ve tried to read books by others who have lost loved ones, but never repast the first few chapters. Then I either begin crying so hard I can no longer see the page, or I become annoyed at the self-righteous tone taken by some, and my anger overflows. Either way , I end up crying.
While reading ‘Wild’  by Cheryl Strayed, a memoir about a woman who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail after her mother dies of cancer, I stumbled on a passage that summed up exactly how I have felt in the last year.
“I almost howled in agony. I almost choked to death on what I knew…. I was going to live the rest of my life without my mother.”
Strayed says she felt this way from the moment her mother received her diagnosis; her cancer was so advanced there was no hope. Yet for me, these words say exactly how I have felt since I received that phone call, saying Shel was gone.
Inside my mind, my soul, there is a constant howling, a never ending scream of pain and sadness, loss and grief. The person I loved most in the world is gone, and I am alone. For the rest of my life.
We will never race wheelchairs through the rest home, and annoy the nurses. We’ll never make it to see Barry Manilow sing in Vegas, or do our Copa dance wearing the feathered hats we made. I’ll have to sit through the next class reunion alone. And without her, I have nobody to call and tell my life to.
Every day I miss her. That will never end. I believe the noise of grief inside me will quiet down; I’m hoping tomorrow’s memorial will help with that.
Until we are together again, I will grieve. I miss you, Michele.