Monday, September 21, 2009

Shake Your Love, I Just Can't Shake Your Love

Ah, 1989.
Age 12.
The gangly sort of time where you kind of had boobs, but they were weird and pointy. And even if they weren't pointy... you thought they were weird because you went to bed one night wearing your underoos only to awaken the next day with something dangling off the front of you. Well, at least if you were me this is what happened.

A mouth full of metal, gigantic hair, and even gigantic-er earrings... and let's not forget the black bolero hat.

That's right. I was like, totally, like Debbie Gibson's like number ONE fan.

From the Sears Wishbook -- you remember that right? The Bible, the Holy Grail, The Holy Grible if you will -- the MOTHER of all catalogs. The Sears CHRISTMAS Wishbook. That's right baby. I circled that sucker and begged for the Debbie Gibson sweatshirt. I thank my Auntie Linda and Uncle Ray for this that which I would like to bring to you today:


(if you click the photo you can see my Debbie Gibson sweat shirt up close)

I finished this winter look with a cheerleading jacket and scarf to match my BFF at the time, Katie. Note the Debbie Gibson black bolero hat... because wearing a photo of your favorite star isn't enough.

Katie and I both cheered for the same team. I thought I was so wicked cool with my side pony tail.



But mostly. I loved Debbie Gibson. I didn't really listen to anything except for Debbie Gibson. I did occasionally listen to Billy Joel and Elton John since my parents did -- oh and also -- because like, they were Deb's, like idols and stuff. And so, anybody she thought was cool, I did too.

I danced for HOURS AND HOURS to my Debbie Gibson Out of the Blue (Live in Concert) VHS


I wore my hair in a pony tail with a bandanna tied in it.

I wanted that damn cheer leading Letterman jacket so I could be just like her ( I wanted our team colors to be BLACK AND WHITE DAMMIT, not red and white):



And if you spy really close... you'll see that Buddy... the guy on the left has been dancing with her since 1988!




When I saw her in concert this summer, I was amazed to see Buddy! I knew just who he was (I even remembered his name!) and H, I could tell, was so impressed when Debbie made this point while on stage. (I think she smirked at me.)

This past summer, Buddy did NOT do any aerial somersaults:



I desperately wanted to be one of those little girls that she brought up on stage. (Preferably the girl in the pink and white, she totally had the better moves.)

I thought my life might have peaked this past June, when 20 years later, I finally was able to meet Debbie Gibson. And can I just say... WOW. So gracious. So. Very. HOT. and... so very tiny.



Her smallness is further exacerbated by my gigantic boobs. I'm sorry Debbie. I'm sorry that I almost suffocated you with my doughy (no longer pointy, but definitely more dangly) bosoms. She does look a little frightened, doesn't she? (Photo props go to H for being my super human hero photographer even though she has a STRICT policy AGAINST being anywhere near famous people. And also many thanks to Canon for making it allllll possible.) I'm still mad that I didn't have money on me for a t-shirt.

Anyway. I really thought life could not get any better. Until... I went to acupuncture last Thursday. My friend Keri, and acupuncturist extraordinaire, presented me with this:


I think it might be one of the best presents I've ever gotten. :)

Her father's friend used to deliver mail to Debbie's house and he got this autographed picture for her.

She learned of my childhood (and what seems to still be so in adulthood) crush when I told her all about how Debbie Gibson was at Pride.

She went home for the weekend to celebrate her father's birthday and dug this out of the attic. How cool is that?

I love the fact that it has tack marks in the corner and the edges are a little yellowed. I think about how cool it must've been to hang an autographed photo of Debbie Gibson on your wall as a kid.

I heart it. I'm thinking about where to hang it. I might just frame it and put it in my bedroom for old times sake. :)

Thank you Keri!!!

Bought the Farm

So, I've deliberated about whether or not to post this. I'm concerned about it seeming dramatic, and angsty, and attention seeking, and such. Hopefully I can pull off sharing this and avoid some of those other characteristics that I mentioned.

On Thursday, I received the most awesome gift. (I'll blog about that later.) The gift required that it be scanned. Well, I required that it be scanned -- the gift made no demands. In the midst of the scanning, I got this burning need to scan the letter my dad left for me when he died. It's something I've been meaning to do for awhile now, but never got around to doing. It didn't matter that it was 8:05 and I was supposed to be at work at 8:30 and that it takes me 40 minutes to get there. I HAD TO DO IT RIGHT NOW. Once I thought of it, it became the center of my universe. I panicked because I had put it in such a safe place that I couldn't find it. I did finally locate it and it was just where I thought I'd left it.

I scanned the letter. I read it. I sniffled. I went to put it back in the envelope and noticed the date that it was written was today's date. I never ever noticed before that my dad wrote it 8.5 months before he died. I felt so much gratitude at that realization. I was always grateful for the letter, but it just felt so much more significant seeing that he set out so purposefully to do it. Everything about his death was so selfless. He arranged his own funeral, had advanced directives drawn up, had his will completed, and generally took his illness like a trooper. He joked, he laughed, he smiled, he loved, he shared, and it put everything in place in a way that would enable us to look back and see more than just grief.

My dad was sick for 5 years -- he could easily have made this a time that was absolutely horrible -- a time that would've been impossible to look back and see any good. When I look back, when my family looks back, we see joy all around. His cancer was a small part of that time. He didn't go sky diving or rocky mountain climbing but he did livestrong. He took the bull by the horns, had his surgeries, chemo, and radiation and joked about it. He joked one day about how all of his hair was falling out. He informed me (and poor H) while waggling where his eyebrows would've been, that even "the boys" were bald and that he felt 12 all over again.

If asked to do things that he wasn't keen on doing... he quipped in his best mock, pathetic, whiny, pouting, voice, that he was "sick" and couldn't. "I'm sick."
"Can you get me a popsicle? I'm sick."
"Come here quick! Don't make me wait, I might not be here long. I'm sick."

He was totally inappropriate in every way, but it worked. It worked for our family. It helped to laugh. It helped to talk about things in this way. To acknowledge without dwelling. We were never a family that was big on tradition. He started little things. His last Christmas, we had a fondue on Christmas Eve. We all knew it was probably going to be his last. I soaked up every minute of it. He said very matter of factly, "This was fun. We should do this every year as a tradition. " And so we have.

He was so selfless. He was in hospice for my 29th birthday on June 10th, he stayed alert and chipper through my parent's 30th wedding anniversary on the 11th, and on June 12th took a sharp and definitive decline. He was not consistently alert again after that. He would let us know that he was still around in small ways, to let us know he could hear us. He was even making us laugh right to the very end. 3 days before he died, my mom was telling him how much she loved him... not realizing that he could understand or hear her. My mother has a tendency to go on and on and on and on... and this was no exception. At one point, my mother said, "I just hope you know how much I really love you and I wish I knew you could hear me", and my father -- who had not spoken for 26 hours, responded adamantly and rather comedically, "I. Think. I've. Got. The. Hint." He smirked, and then fell asleep. My dad and all of his personality was there almost right to the end. He waited to pass until both my mother and I were present. And he left the physical world with each of us holding his hand.

I always thought that knowing that you were going to lose someone would be worse than losing them suddenly. I've changed my mind on that. Knowing that my father was sick, enabled us to tie up loose ends. We said the things we needed say. When he died, there were no regrets. We had our closure.

I'm not sure why I'm sharing this. I think because I'm proud of it. I'm proud of him for doing it. It must've been a terribly difficult thing to do. I'm proud to be his daughter. I'm proud of the father that he was to me. I hope that one day, that I can be the kind of selfless parent that he was. I hope to be strong. I hope to make my child feel as safe and unconditionally loved as he made me feel. I hope to be a parent that my child will be proud of. Most of all, I hope to be a parent that HE would be proud of.

Click the photos to enlarge and the won't be cut off anymore.





Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Things I Am Enjoying

You didn't think you were going to get two real posts in a row did you?

I bring to you my very first ever "Things That I Am Enjoying" in honor of Torrie at I pretty much hate everything.
  1. It's oh so mean... but oh so VERY entertaining. People of Walmart
  2. This was sent to me today by H -- she doesn't remember how she found it, but I am so glad she did! http://www.dooce.com/2009/09/16/your-momma-said-you-ugly (it takes a little while to load)
  3. Jenny over at Something Made Different has made an adorable music video of her dog Lila. I look so forward to reading Jenny's posts. They're funny, different, and they make you want to take adventures. Jenny's an archaeologist who has a boyfriend that she refers to as "the Guatemalan" and a dog that is always getting into hot water. Oh, and she got H to go white water rafting. If that's not magical, I don't know what is.

What are you enjoying?

PS. Blogger spell check cannot seem to handle more than one Vagina at a time. It recognizes the possessive Vagina's, but not multiple Vaginas. Vaginai?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't Go Down That Road of Counting Chickens

I was reading one of my favorite blogs last night and came across this comment from m at http://countingchickens.wordpress.com/ :

"Anonymous m said...
Though it doesn't help reality - I try to think of things this way: this time next month/year/week/etc. this will have worked out. We'll have managed it somehow. It's not going to not work, that just doesn't happen. Lame as it may be, it works!
September 14, 2009 2:54 PM"

After reading this comment, I immediately took a big sigh of relief. It's totally simple, right? ( I also like how their blog name and their comment are totally in line with each other. That's hardcore non-counting of unhatched poultry.) I am a person who is perpetually thinking beyond to the next thing. While I'm a fairly flexible person and can be spontaneous, I like to have a plan. Not an etched in stone kind of plan, but at least a vague idea that I have my shit together. (or at least the illusion of having my shit together?) For this, I blame my mother. I should be hearing from her any day now about plans for Christmas and what's on the menu.

This whole idea that I'm going to make this baby all by myself is kind of terrifying. I mean, I won't be REALLY by myself -- I have great group of friends, a totally supportive family, the lovely people of the internets, and the most selfless giving friend/roommate/bff on the planet (who is actually kind of afraid of children, but will let me continue to live here with a kid.) It just won't be the way I always thought it would be. I'm single, I'm broke, and the list goes on.

It's sad to me to think that if it does all finally come together and I can (and by some miracle DO) get pregnant, that there won't be anyone else to share it with. No one to say funny things to my belly, no one to rub my feet, no one excited to hear the heartbeat, or discuss hospital vs. home birth, vax vs. no vax, or circumcision, or which breast pump to buy. Every decision will be made exclusively by me. Parenthood is a humongous responsibility, SINGLE parenthood is even more so. It seems almost irresponsible to choose this. This poor child, my child, will face so many odds. It seems cruel. I find myself wondering if it is selfish.

This is where I go wrong. I'm not pregnant. It could be YEARS before it happens and it may never happen. While 2 years from now seems not all that far off, it is also an eternity. I have no idea what my life will be like by then. Shit, I could be dead. And here I'll have wasted all this good living time thinking about things that may or may not happen.

When we had reached the point, during my dad's battle with cancer, where we knew no conventional treatments were working, my family adopted the phrase "Don't go down that road". Sometimes it was a warning, other times it became a mantra. Most often, my dad would say it when we would have our talks on the way to Dana Farber. He expected that I would be fine if he died. Not that I wouldn't be sad, but that I would be able to move forward and not be crippled by my grief. He said it matter of factly. We had these amazing conversations in the car. We knew why we were having them, but most of the time we didn't acknowledge it. So, when he said these things to me, if I started to REALLY think about them and get what he was saying, he'd hit me with "Don't go down that road". He demanded in me a strength that I never thought I would find. He expected that I would hold my mother and my sister up. Largely I did, much to the detriment of my own grieving. When he did die, I never cried; I spent the entire year that followed in an angry, bitter, battle with depression. For a long time, I couldn't acknowledge the grief. I knew if i acknowledged it, I would never be able to get back on top of it. "Don't go down that road", I'd say to myself.

I would take pieces of my grief out, from time to time, and play with them. I would sort them, label them, and refile them. Never too many pieces at a time, just the ones I could immediately deal with. The anger though, I was a real trooper at handling the anger. I really had no limits in that regard, there were no filters, no patience, and often no warning.

What the hell was my point?

Oh, right.

This baby thing needs to be addressed in the same manner. Most things require that you deal with them one step at a time. A marathon, a death, a new job, whatever. Thinking about how I will deal with things that aren't even remotely in the cards is a waste of energy. Trying to figure out how I will pay for child care at this point is a waste of time. I have wasted countless hours thinking about this. From what I can tell, daycare has the potential to suck up my entire salary. I don't even want to put my baby in daycare. I always hoped to be a stay at home mom. On the other hand, I've also had 3 different people offer to take the baby for a day a week. Three down two to go, right? By the time it matters, I may have a new job. Who knows!


I need to focus on the one or two things in the immediate future. Thinking beyond any given month is pointless until I find my long lost Aunt Flo. I need to focus on getting my lard ass up and moving. I need to be conscious of the things that I'm putting in my mouth. I need to remember not to go down the road of counting chickens before they hatch. Instead of trying to deal with everything all at once, I shall tackle what is manageable and practical.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

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So this morning, I went to my usual Saturday acupuncture appointment. On this day, the owner was covering for the acupuncturist that normally works.

I should explain that I go to a community acupuncture clinic. This means that instead of having individual treatment rooms, clients are treated in common rooms using distal points. This requires that you remove your shoes and socks, roll up your sleeves past your elbows, and your pant legs above your knees. Occasionally, if I'm having an LH surge, they will have me discreetly unbutton my pants and put a series of needles in my abdomen. In an effort to maintain privacy/dignity/(and in my case self respect), those needles are then covered with a light silk scarf. Today, my appointment went as usual and did not contain any points in my abdomen.

A short time after I settled in, another client came in and joined me in my room. This particular room can accommodate 4 patients since it has 4 recliner chairs. So, Cris is talking with the newest person to join the room and working on putting her needles in. The wispy new age naturey music is playing in the background. The white nosie machine is whirring quitely behind me. Suddenly (and rather abruptley, I dare say) someone enters the office kramer style. She walks past the curtain, then back to the door, and back past the curtain again into the check in room and says rather loudly "excuse me". So, I'm thinking this lady is clearly new or she is in not in the right place. Most people enter the office slowly and quietly, taking care to close the door softly behind them. Her entrance was none of these things.

A few minutes go by and I sort of forget about her. I continue to look at the framed photographs on the walls and try to give the illusion of privacy to the other woman being treated next to me. Due to the fact that I snore like a 747 at take off, I refuse to take a nap during my treatments. Too risky. Too embarrassing. So, I try to be respectful (and not creepily gawk at others) if there are other people in the room with me. So, Kramer Lady exits the check in area and is headed straight for my treatment area. I notice something about her is kind of... off.. but I'm trying not to look (although at this point I kind of can't help it). She appears, out of the corner of my straining eye, to be sort of I dunno, lumbering? Her head is kind of... forward, shoulders hunched... kind of reminds of me of the hyenas from the Lion King. She was definitely looking kind of wild eyed. Mostly when I think back, I remember her eyes... and also her nostrils were prominent.

So, she REALLY looks at each of us as she comes in the room. She inspects the chair directly across from me, pauses, and decides to pass it over for the one diagonally from me. She, I notice, is carrying a purse, keys, and what appears to be a white t-shirt. She places these items on the floor next to her chosen recliner. What happens next, I swear on my father's grave, is the Goddess' honest truth. She turns to face me and takes off her sweat shirt. For a moment, I'm like "oops, her other shirt is stuck inside the sweat shirt. Wow, she mustn't have any feeling on her back... HOLY SWEET JESUS SHE'S NAKED." For just a moment longer, I'm thinking that this poor woman is suddenly going to be living one of those naked-on-the-first-day-of-school dreams -- that is... until she just sits down. Bold as ever, with her SHEER white lace bra, she sits. She does not cover herself self consciously with her arms. She does not casually fold her arms in front of her. She just places her arms on the armrest of the chairs and sits casually. Meanwhile, Cris and the receptionist are in the process of leaving the room. I was unable to determine if either one of them noticed this happening as it was taking place. Just before I slammed my eyes closed, I did notice that her nipples were in fact visible.

By this point, I'm am desperately trying to think of anything else because I'M ABOUT TO LOSE MY FUCKING SHIT. I'm biting my lip as hard as I can and grinning, I'm sure from ear to ear. Inside my brain, I start reciting the alphabet as quickly as I can BACKWARDS to msyelf. I say this about 6 times and it just keeps getting easier. I'm still barely keeping the bursts of laughter from escaping my lips. My eyes are closed, but i am certain that there is nothing relaxed looking about them. They are clenched so tightly that I'm surprised I didn't pop my eyeballs. So, I'm like "shit! this alphabet shit is not working. Think sad thoughts. Dad! Dad dying... trying to picture the horrible last few days of his illness, oddly this makes things worse because I can't stay focused. My brain rushes forward with the thought that if my dad WERE here he'd be fucking busting a nut laughing. This makes me start tearing from witheld laughter. " Dudes, I was so dying. For 20 minutes I sat like this. As soon as the last needle was out, I threw my socks and shoes on and I rocketed out the door. I finally reached the car and I did not stop laughing for the 20 minutes that it took me to drive home. I called H and I cried through telling her the story. I was in the kind of laughter hysteria that normally is reserved for 3am. It was a bad scene.

The several people that I have relayed this story to, have tried to sort of come up wtih an excuse for why this might have happened. I cannot imagine how this could happen... unless it was on purpose. It was all very surreal. Like, I was thinking, "maybe I should open my eyes and look for the camera. Maybe I'm on candid camera (thank god today is not a belly needle day!)" My mom offered that perhaps "she wasn't really sure what to do?" H suggested that maybe she had shoulder trouble and maybe didn't own a tank top. To this I say, if you're in a new situation and you're not sure what you should be doing? Do you just whip your shirt off? It'd be like walking into an allergist office for the first time, not knowing what to expect, and taking your shirt off, then calmly sitting amongst the other people in the waiting room. I'm sorry, but when in an unknown situation, my first instinct is to leave my clothes on. ALL OF THEM. Also. Everyone else in the room was clothed. Aside from shirt sleeves, everything was fully buttoned. I cannot imagine what about that room (or the people in it) said NAKED to her.

After what seemed like an eternity, the owner came back into the room. I still had my eyes clenched tightly closed, and I hear her say "Can you put your shirt back on?" I'm still not sure how I survived that. Nor am I sure how Cris managed to say that with a straight face and how she managed to not laugh. I do applaud her professionalism. I'm not sure that I could've pulled it off. I do wish however, that I could've seen her face when she first noticed that the lady was nekkid.

The second best part... while I was sitting there after the Nekkid Kramer Lady had her needles in, I felt someone staring at me. So, I open my eyes and she was STARING AT ME. And I actually kind of jumped because I totally met her eye when I opened mine. How unnerving. Did someone pay her to come in there and do that?

Maybe I was just giddy, but this lady just seemed WEIRD. I could see maybe if the rooms were private or if there was no one else in there to start with that MAYBE it would seem the right thing to do? Or even maybe if she was getting that cleansing back treatment thingy, that would actually make sense. But I'm thinking... at least wear an opaque bra. Would she have done the same thing if there were men in the room? I dunno. The whole thing just really struck my funny bone. Is it me? I'm not bashful, but I also wouldn't take my clothes off in a room full of strangers.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Moderation

Twice today I was moderated at the same forum. Twice. Once for starting a thread that wasn't relative to the geographic area (oops) and once for including this blog address in my signature (oops.)

This blog isn't really going anywhere I noticed... that's because my cycle isn't going anywhere either. One day dear readers (all 3 of you), I will have something to say. I'm sure of it. Until then, you will be subjected to other useless drivel that I deem appropriate for this venue. And because it's my blog, I'll post off topic if I want to.

Other things I should do in moderation -- consumption of chocolate, pickles, and other salty items. I don't know if I'm just practicing, but I had pickles for breakfast EVERY DAY last week. I cannot get enough pickles! And not those bright yellow looking pickles either, no, I'm talking about a nice crisp fresh deli dill pickle.

Is anyone else freaking out about swine flu? I mean, I'm totally a germ-o-phobe. I'm actually starting to wonder how, in just a few short weeks, I am going to be able to leave the house. I wish the media would shut up about it already. If I'm going to die, I don't think I want to know about it in advance. I've been talking all kinds of non-sense about stocking up on hand sanitizers for fear that when the flu hits, that it will be impossible to find it in stock anywhere. Can you really predict a flu like a hurricane? The constant blow by blow is sure to have me institutionalized before the middle of this winter. I am truly certifiably emetophobic so the winter months are already torture for me. Add death to the list of possible afflictions also associated with puking and I'm bound to be rocking back in forth in a corner by Christmas.

I'd also like to give a shout out to a friend of mine who is working on this story. I'm totally hooked already and boy is she going to regret giving me that link. I'm a nag by nature and I want the next installment like... now. So, check it out: http://www.killerserials.net/

OH! I'm wicked awesome. I was supppose to cat sit for someone this weekend... and I forgot. Like I forgot to show up. For the record, I just want to say that I've NEVER forgotten to feed my cats or my dogs. Also, their cats have a free feeder of dry food, so they didn't starve at least. I was only suppose to show up and spoil them with good treats and some wet food. I still feel like a jerk. I can totally handle taking care of a kid, right?