Thursday, January 28, 2010

Out of the Closet

I am in the process of trying on all my clothes.  Ohhh, this is an arduous undertaking, let me tell you!  The reason is twofold really.  As many of you know, I have gained a lot of weight in the past year.  The reasons why are a whole other post for another time, but the fact remains.  I'm not happy about it, but I've made peace with the situation for right now.  Also, I've really re-structured my nutrition, the way and times I eat everyday.  I still work out sporadically despite my best efforts, but that's better than not at all.  As usual, though, I digress ...

As the few people who can claim to have ever been my roommates can tell you, I have an abundance of clothing.  I mean, I have a veritable shitload of every category!  I love clothes and fashion, for one thing.  And then there's the whole matter that over the past few years my size has fluctuated so very much due to medicines and my illness and stress and such (that's right, another post!).  So my collection of clothing is just every size and shape imaginable.

Because I've been home the past few months, I've gotten into a lazy habit of wearing and re-wearing the same handful of newer, favorite clothes all the time ... leaving the rest (some other favorites buried and forgotten, I've discovered!) smashed together in my closet.  It has been in the back of my mind that I want to organize them, perhaps storing the smaller clothing for a time when maybe I have lost some weight again.  If it's something I no longer like or think I'll wear, then I plan to give it to my mom, who makes regular donations to places that give clothing to those in need.  But like I say, this idea of organizing has been pushed to the back of my mind in favor of ... oh, I don't know, any old excuse:  sleep, the holidays, a migraine, cat care ... anything really.  I'm afraid it's one of those things that I want to be done but I don't want to do.

Well, I started the process this week, pushed along by the fact that I have a trip coming up.  Also, I am just sick of the disorganization.  This is how I operate; things pile up or wait, I procrastinate or whatever ... and eventually, I snap and won't deal with it anymore, and I just do it.  I'm going to Hawaii in the middle of March ... yes, I know, how fun and glamorous and whatever, but hold your applause.  I was actually tricked into agreeing to this particular time, this particular trip.  I suppose I should explain how such a thing could possibly be anything less than amazing and exciting.  I guess I wouldn't believe it myself unless I lived it.  So in an upcoming post, I will tell you that story too. 

I am finished trying on all my short-sleeved shirts, about half of which did not fit any longer.  Bummer.  Fortunately, my closet is hyper-organized by style and season, etc.  so that I can now try things on in the same manner.  Now I've moved on to dresses and next skirts.  Dresses is almost finished, with really only a few of my extensive collection fitting me.  That's a real bummer, because I have amassed a smashing dress collection, if I do say so myself.  So I just keep focussing on the fact that soon I will have a pretty, organized, neat closet in which everything fits and can be chosen quickly and efficiently each day.  And when I travel this spring, it will be easy to figure out what i have that I can wear and pack, and what I still need.

Speaking of which ... I have always loved to rock a bikini!!  In fact, I just don't like to wear a lot of clothes!  It sounds funny, maybe, yeah!  But so true.  I never wear socks, unless it's winter, and unless I'm going OUT in the winter.  Even then sometimes I just slip on my boots over bare feet.  I don't know what my deal is!  I would rather wear shorts or pants and a bikini top or tank top.  I always keep my apartment super-warm, so I can do this.  I often forget that not everyone is into being summertime warm like I am, and therefore I forget to dress for the weather when I go to other people's houses.  I would do best living in California, Florida, some place like that, for sure.  And because of my preference for bikinis and barely-there outfits, well, I really would like to be at my "ideal" weight and fitness.  It just makes sense. 

The closet thing sucks though, I have to admit.  I mean, I don't even like to try things on in the store before I buy them!  I don't know what it is; I just don't like it.  But it must be done, so I try to make it fun, or do it in parts.  Tonight, for example, I am watching a fun TV movie ("The Pregnancy Pact" ... I love made-for-TV sensationalistic movies ha ha!) and trying a few things on at each commercial.  One thing is good:  I have already found that I have more clothes to wear in Hawaii than I previously thought.  I went into this thinking I really had to buy practically a whole new wardrobe.  Ugh!  Not only expensive, but time-consuming and upsetting!!!  I think swim gear is my main need. 

Back in my closet now!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Neighborhood Rant

So far I have kept my blog-mouth shut about my neighbors, have I not?  I think that - save for maybe a word or two of irritation? - I have left them out of it.  But no more!  NO MORE!!!!!!! 

My floor in the apartment building has four units on it, arranged roughly in a horseshoe.  I am at one end of the 'shoe, and said neighbors are at the other; thus, they are directly across the landing from me (about 10 feet is all).  Around the tiny corner, next to me, is a single man, The Drunk Guy, I call him.  He bothers no one, as far as I can tell, and I really never even know when or whether he's at home.  I don't think he works or owns a vehicle (I'm sure we can sadly venture a guess as to why); so I often see him staggering up the cement porch steps and swaying in front of the building door while he fumbles for the proper key to open it.  He always slurs a hello.

The neighbors next to him used to be a little bit annoying until these others moved in, placing the former in the fresh light of comparison.  The third ones, next to Drunk Guy, are Mexican as most of the tenants in this complex are (and no, that is not especially significant, except that it describes the demographic and the reason their children often shout things into the hallway that are even more unintelligible to me than those which American toddlers shout).  Well, the two toddlers who live in this third apartment, seem to be twins, and I swear, there has to be something wrong with them; I'm not kidding you!  I mean, I'm not a parent, so maybe one of you can tell me ... I am not exaggerating even a little bit when I tell you that every single time their apartment door opens, every time they are coming or going, both of them are screaming!

Seriously.  Like most of my friends and family, you might not believe that this is true unless you witnessed it, but I tell you the truth.  Why would two little twins be screaming at the top of their lungs every time they are being brought to and fro like this?  And this is not happy chatter or peals of laughter; no, this is screaming, near to crying, but more like shouting to be put down or to be let go or to express anger ?????  Two separate family members of mine suggested the kids might be Autistic or something!  I don't know anything about the symptoms, but there must be something wrong.

Well, now.  You can imagine how the other neighbors are, the ones across the landing, if they have driven all attention for the twins from my mind.  Okay, now, really.  The family is Mexican also.  I know, because two of the ladies that live there were discussing their move here from Mexico one night in the laundry room.  They were just shouting right over my head, at the top of their lungs, one lady at the far end of the dryers, and the other at the end near the washers.  They had two tiny little kids with them, each one running full-speed through the laundry room, each one eating a huge, dripping apple, each one's voice bouncing from wall to wall through the building.  We could hear it all the way into my bedroom, up on the second floor, while the laundry room is in the basement!  What's with the bad manners and noise?  And another thing, when I came down there to remove my things from the dryer, both little kids, dripping apple juice, came and stood on either side of my basket, saying "Hi" "Hi" "Hi" "Hi" non-stop, even when I answered them.  They stared at every one of my intimates as I placed them quickly into my basket and got the hell out of there. 

SIGH!  It's not that I am embarrassed that a kid has seen my bra or my cami or whatever.  If you know me at all, you know that I'm really not shy about that stuff around anyone!  But that's another post.  It's the fact that these neighbors of mine just let their kids 1.) scream, piercing the shit out of my ear drums while I'm down there, and reaching every apartment at least up to the second floor, and 2.) stand right in my personal space where I'm trying to get a task finished and they are all in my business!  It's just something that I would not have been allowed to do as a child, because the former would be considered behaving like a fucking animal, and the latter is just plain rude. 

That's four of the people who live there, two women and two kids.  But judging from the numerous pairs of shoes that they feel free to leave outside their doorway, piled out onto our shared landing (typically 8 - 10 pairs at a given time), there must be about 8 people living there.  Hell, maybe there are 10, one for each pair of shoes!  I'm not sure, but I have seen at least three different men that live there, and possibly some younger girls or women that the ones who were doing laundry ... I can't be sure, because I've never seen them all together.  Um ... I'm pretty sure that not more than four or MAYBE five people are supposed to be registered to a unit, because we only have two-bedroom apartments here.  But they have found a way to avoid crowding one another, so don't you worry about them!

Yes, when everyone that lives across the hall is home for the evening, and as you might imagine, the home is getting crowded as all getout, they have found a solution:  they open their apartment door and simply spill out onto the 10 x 6 ft shared landing between us and sometimes onto the staircases as well.  What do they do there?  Well ... the children cry a lot, and they scream, and they play loudly, as children will do.  And the older people seem to be taking cell phone calls, chatting on phones and with one another, you know ... socializing!  Hmm ... So if I am in my living room area, watching TV or whatever ... taking a nap perhaps :) ... they are just on the other side of the wall.  And if I go into my bedroom, then they are on the other side of the wall, plus about 15 feet. 

The other night, it was pretty awesome.  After they had been out there doing their thing for a bit, and I was in a crabby mood at the moment, I remained where I was, on my couch with my back to that "shared" wall and shouted "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" and went on drinking my coffee.  I'm not yet comfortable confronting ten people of various age and gender, while I am but one lone female, and they know where I live, ya know?  So I just shouted in a manner that would carry my voice sort of through the air, up through the mutual vents.  HA HA HA!  It was so awesome, why?  Because it WORKED!!!!!!!  They were very quiet for a second, and then everyone ran inside and shut the door.   I suppose there is a slight possibility that this was a mere coincidence, and they just planned to go inside right then; but I doubt that somehow. 

Well, that was my small victory, but a victory indeed.  I am someone who loves to sleep with windows open in the summertime, and I really never mind hearing outdoor noises and summer sounds, like music wafting in during the hot nights.  It seems weird to me that those things don't bother me, but this neighbor stuff does.  I don't know; I just know that in the summer, with windows and screen doors open, I expect to hear all sorts of sounds, from birds and wind blowing to other people's activities ... whereas when I'm in my apartment, and everything is closed, and it's winter, well, NO.  I don't want to hear your phone and your talking and your crying.  That's just how it is.


Who else watches the A&E program, "Intervention"?  If you have never caught an episode, I personally think you should check it out at least once.  People that I've spoken to about the popular show have shared with me all different opinions on what they love and hate - and love to hate - about it, as well as what they think makes it so beloved by its fans.  I always find our conversations on this topic quite interesting, because I personally have a difficult time figuring out what the hell is so addictive (haha, pardon the expression) about this show!

I don't feel like I have the space or the ability to do the program justice here trying to describe what it's about and all that goes on in a typical episode (if there even is such a thing as a "typical" episode).  But in case you really have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll just tell you the basics:  "Intervention" deals with those suffering from addiction, addictions of all sorts, including substances, gambling, cutting, and anything else that follows the addiction pattern.  The families and loved ones of the addicted are documented as well, and at the end they stage an intervention, with the help of a professional.  Some people agree with this method of treatment and some people don't, but I'm not here to debate that issue.  I just want to talk about the television show.

For one thing, this show has actually taught me a great deal about addiction as a disease.  Before watching this show, and then seeing some interviews with those involved in the show afterwards, I had some misgivings about how much of addictive behavior is a choice, how much is just a chosen behavior or whatever, how much is just being weak and not wanting to do what's right for oneself or one's loved ones.  Now ... before I go further in my own thought processes on this, I have to tell a few things as a matter of full disclosure.  I grew up with an alcoholic in my immediate family.  And I have addicts suffering or who have suffered in the past with different substances and issues on both sides of my family.  Finally, I believe that I, myself, have displayed some addictive behaviors or tendencies in my lifetime ... this is all a large part of why I work hard to learn as much as I can about the illness.  I want to understand the people I have seen and known and their behavior as well as my own moods and mental states that I want to keep healthy and strong.

I know that I think it's important that the show graphically shows and depicts the different addictions.  It can be difficult to watch people cutting themselves, smoking crack into their lungs, and shooting heroin ... or any other behaviors that they are doing because of their addiction.  I'm sure it is even more painful to watch for some viewers who have lived or are now living through these experiences.  However, for me, it's actually comforting in addition to being informative.  Maybe that's difficult for others to understand; but for me, it's helpful to see that this goes on with all sorts of people, in all different kinds of families, all ages and races, etc.  One thing that addiction (both for the user and those close to him or her) does is push people into isolation.  Addicts certainly isolate themselves because of fear of judgment, fear of ramifications if what they are doing is illegal, because they are often depressed and angry, and all sorts of things like that.  For their families and friends, it can be just as isolating, because they begin to feel helpless.  They become depressed too.  They don't know how to help.  They feel angry at the person.  They don't understand the addiction and so don't know how to explain to others who might come to the house or ask questions.  At some point, everyone starts living in their own little addiction shell.  Those who are not part of the family or part of the addiction are kept at arm's length.  And in this way, everyone involved becomes isolated ... which is really the LAST thing to do to stay sane, to get help, and to gain the support that is out there!

I know a lot about the isolation.  When I was a kid, we behaved in this way.  "Intervention" has taught me a lot about the reasons for this behavior, and because of what I've learned on the show, I've been able to forgive people in my family to a certain extent.  I've been able to understand why things happened.  And I have been able to see truly how addiction is a sickness, and it's a sickness that infects the entire family, not only the one abusing a substance.

I guess now that I write this, it is easier for me to understand why I like to watch this show.  This is why I write after all!  It helps me clarify things in my head and to find answers!  ... But moving on ... tonight I was watching a few episodes On-Demand that I had previously missed.  And I started to realize something.  I used to think that I only had this reaction to a few individual families and people on the show, but I'm starting to think that I almost always have it.  That is, I find myself getting really pissed off at the parents and siblings and other "enablers" of the addicts.  Yes, I can plainly see how the addictive behavior is making the users sick and causing them pain and leading to possibly fatal consequences.  But these families!!!!!  They make me sick!

One example that I just saw a few minutes ago:  An anorexic girl, who had been anorexic for awhile and gotten herself down to 80 lbs, at 5'7" (my height), went to her parents and asked them to get her help.  She knew what she had, and she knew she needed help, and she WANTED the help.  Guess what the parents said.  No, really, can you guess?  They said that she would be "fine" and that she just wanted attention.  It was three more years before she got a diagnosis (the show didn't say how or who got her the help).  I really have compassion for these people!  I can see 1.) how they freaking GOT into these illnesses and situations, how they got so much pain inside, and 2.) how they have remained in it and no one around them has done anything but bitch and hurt them more. 

Then a 25-year-old woman got raped while in her active addiction to alcohol and her whole messed-up lifestyle ... and when she told her sister, she was super-cold to her, and said on the documentary:  "I told her to take my advice and stop putting herself in these situations where she's drunk and in danger, so if she doesn't take my advice, what am I supposed to do?"  HELLO!  I don't know about anyone else's family, but in my family, even if we think someone made a bad choice or used bad judgment, the time right after they GOT RAPED would NEVER be the time we shared our opinion with them about that.  If that happened to someone I love, I would just run to them, get them help and comfort and whatever they needed.  At the very least, I would show my love as best I could.

Earlier I saw a guy who refused to have any sort of relationship with his older brother, who was a crackhead, because he (little brother) said he was responsible and worked hard and took pride in himself.  He was all macho and tough-guy like that.  So he basically judged his brother and didn't want to associate with someone who was sick and NOT all tough and having his shit together.  That's how I saw that.

There are almost always people like this around the addicts, and I'm starting to think this makes the difference between someone who is able either to pull themselves back from a dangerous dependency or to go and get help and someone who never does or isn't able to or doesn't value themself enough even to try.

The big, gigantic whammy that I've seen is a dad who told his daughter after she stole money:  "If you really want to kill yourself this badly, why don't you actually be successful at it?"  What. The. Fuck.

I see a whole lot of people with wimps and cowards and people in full-blown, pathetic denial on this show, and most of the time, it isn't the addicts.  I can see how people are broken and hurting and just so lost beyond knowing how to get back on track ... and there is no one around them to love them or value them or just give them a soft place to land.  It really makes a difference in life, I can tell you from just being another human being with my own unique life experiences. 

I wrote earlier in this post about my own immediate family having someone with addiction.  And I have a few other people close to me who have struggled, on both sides of the illness.  It's important for me to explain that I in no way excuse the behavior of addicts and alcoholics and people like this, all the hurt they place on their loved ones.  However, I am saying that I understand it, and I really, really feel compassion for them.  I believe that an adult is responsible to get help when he or she needs it; be it for an addiction or depression or any other kind of trouble inside of themselves.  Although many of us grow up without all the tools we need in the world, many of us grow up in dysfunction, I believe we are now (as adults) responsible to try and change it.  I can't stand it when I see people who can't communicate or can't get out of depression or can't cope in certain ways ... but they do nothing to try to change!  Having the lack of skills or having the depression, etc., is not the bad thing.  It's the un-willing-ness to change!

Obviously, as is made clear from "Intervention," addiction and other mental illness that sometimes lead to it are complex issues.  I guess I just believe that, as with everything in life, love and understanding win the day.  They have to.  I have no sympathy for these families who don't show love to their families who are suffering, no matter how frustrating they might be.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Okay then!  Today's topic is one that you might know is near and dear to my heart.  I once had a page devoted solely to this subject matter, and it has only continued to provide bloggers like I was with material, endless, fluffy material!  It's celebrity gossip!

This is a ritual among many of my family members and friends, yes, especially the females but not nearly ONLY the females.  We gossip about celebrities, simple as that!  My mom and I (brother too, can't lie for him) love to flip through the fashion and music and gossip mags, wondering aloud whether this story and that are true, admiring one star's new hair 'do, bashing the latest lothario of the music industry with the great gusto of those who know their target is most unlikely never to hear their barbs.  Ha ha ha, isn't it fun to slam the people who are larger than life (well, and also envy and adore and admire)!?  Ahhhh.  Yes, this is a double - edged sword in American society, as well as other nations.   But the purpose of this particular blog entry is not to examine our laws and social mores where celebrities are concerned.  Nor is it to approach the laws that are, should or could be on the books regarding privacy and papparazzi and such.  Nope, sorry, this is a gossip site today.

SO ... What has been happening that has caught y'all's eye?  I've noticed not one but two of the pop divas that were at their peak when I was just coming of club - age:  Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.  Apparently, both are kind of, sort of "back."  Is this good?  What are they doing?  Well, I do know that Brit worked (hard?) on national and international tours this past year ... ask the Australians how that went.  Don't know any Aussies?  Well, then good thing you're here:  All reports out of that country were that angry concert - goers (and I read, but am not confirmed on this, that it was Spears' very first time EVER in the country) were demanding their ticket prices (often equal to $200) be returned to them when they saw within minutes of the opening of her show that lip-synching was the only vocal performance they would get out of the former Disney star.  I mean ... did they expect anything else?  These lip-synch accusations have followed Britney from her very first knee-sock-and-mini-skirt clad concert performances right up to this international "comeback" of hers and always right to the bank nevertheless.  I tend to like Britney for some reason, despite it all.  I don't respect the fact that she doesn't sing live.  I do understand the industry, and I would expect that a pop solo act like her would have major back-up singers employed or more likely backing tracks (with all the high-production effects) to support her.  I have no problem with that kind of track being used when the act is high-action dance and almost acrobatic performance.  You simply cannot sing every note yourself while performing that way.  But most pop vocalists, groups, boy bands, whoever DO sing their lead vocals while dancing, jumping, ripping off their shirts and whatever else.  You are a professional, you have all the best training and rehearsal tools in the world available to you, and you are being paid ridiculous amounts of money.  Sing the lead vocals.  That's my word...

Still, I like the chick in her own little niche of Britney-ness.  I think she has an undeniable star quality that makes your eye follow her and whatever she's doing, be it dancing, singing, acting, walking into Starbucks fifteen times a week, or freaking out and bashing in a car with an umbrella.  There are those among us who could do that and not earn more than a raised eyebrow from the passersby.  But there is that certain something that draws you in, a charisma, a thing you cannot name, that makes someone a star, more than just a pretty girl or a talented dancer.  She has it.  She seems at times to try her best to destroy it and make it ugly, but you can't.  When ya got it, ya got it.  Ok, but here's the thing.  I just saw Brit on a magazine cover with a new brunette do.  GIRL, no you didn't!!!!!!  I'm telling y'all ... Everytime Ms. Spears go brown, she is in a dark and crazy place.  Watch out!!!!!!!

Now.  Christina Aguilera really has nothing in common with Brit except that they both began careers in music at "The Mickey Mouse Club," and both were marketed as sweet pop singers early on and at the same time.  I don't think the ladies could be much different in stature, in talent, in style or personality though.  I can't see anyone arguing that Christina is NOT the superior vocalist by a million miles.  I think she has a beautiful voice with amazing range.  I also love her innate sense of rebellion and soul and feminine power, all of which just seem to BURST forth from her tiny 5'1 or 5'2 (not sure but she's short) body.  She's an amazing talent, the owner of a gift that stands alone and apart from her make-up, relationships, drama in her life, hair color changes, and any other life choices she makes.    I know a lot of women who just hate the way Christina does her make-up and hair.  I have to say that it's not usually the way I would personally choose to accentuate my features if I were her... but have you seen the girl very pared-down?  She's beautiful.  She is fair-haired and blue-eyed, with pearly skin and delicate bone structure.  She looks very small and young and fresh under all her costumes.  But see, I envy that she has that.  That's what fashion models can do:  if you have that perfect bone structure and delicate beauty ... Then  you have a great canvas to just slap gold eye shadow and orange blush and purple sparkly false eyelashes all on your face and work it out, creating a whole new look!  This is how people take a model and create someone completely new.  Not all of us can do this, but it's so fun!  Anyway, I dig Christina, I relate to her in some ways.  She's rough and tumble, she was never going to fit that bubble-gum pop image for very long, and she just really speaks her mind.  Sometimes she has said stupid shit...just plain stupid crap and then years pass, and she grows a little and shows a new opinion.  That's all of us.  I like that she tries to be someone real, tries to stay true to who she is, even as that person is growing up and changing as we all do. 

BUT.  What made me think of her is that I hear she's doing her first movie, something about burlesque or ??? I have basically no information about it, except that all I can think of is "Glitter" starring Mariah Carey and many J-Lo flops.  I fear for the endeavor, but hey.  I could be too pessimistic.  I hope the girl kicks ass.  ...So she's on the cover of my new Marie Claire magazine, I guess in promotion of the movie and whatever else she might be working on now (I'll let you know what I read).  And the headline reads: I'M A DIFFERENT PERSON NOW.  Oh my word.  Seriously?  I don't know who sucks more, the staff of the magazine or Aguilera.  How many times have I heard her say that, with every change of her boyfriend or her clothes or her marriage or whatever-the-fuck!?  Let alone, how many times has EVERY celeb told us that after stints in jail or rehab or perhaps a combo thereof?  I hate that cliche.  Christina, you are NOT a different person.  You are the same person you were last year, the same one who sang "Genie in a Bottle," the same one who was in "The Mickey Mouse Club," and the same damn one you'll be tomorrow.  Please.  See, while I respect that she talks about changing and growing, let's not every time we come out with a new project pretend that we are a completely new star, 'kay?  Is it just me?

Well, moving on ... That got a litte long about the divas, so I'd just like to add a few random thoughts and observations on other pop culture thangs:
1.  Sir Charles Barkley is hosting Saturday Night Live tonight!  Don't think I won't be       parked right here on this ass at 10:30 p.m. CST!

2.  I am not feelin' this Lady Gaga phenomenon.  I mean, obviously everyone has their own subjective taste in music, and that is the beauty and nature of art.  Okay, but she is just so beloved by so many really various people I know, that I thought okay, usually when someone can pull a lot of different "demographics" like that, they are really bringin' it.  But man, I watch her videos, I hear the music, I read interviews with her, see things she says, and I don't get it.  And let me just seal the deal with my observation that I especially wasn't feelin' her I'm-a-naked-skeleton-nylon-thing-so-I'm-obvs-fashion-forward outfit at the American Music Awards this past year.  That is all.

3.  Let's see, last but not least, for now ... Hmmm.  Oh! Okay.  One, I think that Levi Johnson is hot, and that's that, so eff off.  And two, I'm very sorry that we lost the talented Heath Ledger in such a tragic and untimely way; however that doesn't make me want to see this new movie.

That is all.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Get Your A$$ in Gear...It's a New Year!

...This is what I've been telling myself all week anyway! I know, I know, it's so stereotypical, so cliche ... But there's just something about the freshness of a new year that makes me want to join in and make a new beginning on many areas of life.

What really inspires me is the fact that all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays has ended. It's more the fact of all that hullabulloo having passed -- and if you have gotten through the season without ever feeling just the slightest bit crazy, depressed, tense, hysterical, etc., then please send me the name of your dealer psychiatrist! -- So yes, it's more the fact that all of that has passed and a new season is upon us.  And yes, yes, sure it's a new year as well.  I don't make resolutions, per se, but as the heading of this particular post suggests, I do begin to feel I need to get in gear, get something in gear anyway! 

Now that the shopping and celebrating, the crying, pushing and shoving, and the merry-making have ended, would it not be a great time to get started on that workout plan?  Finally wean myself from that last little nicotine patch to which I've been clinging for dear life?  Finish my stupid, boring, engaging, mentally-stimulating class finally, after the extensions I've been given to do so?  Yes, it's time to attend to these matters in one way or another.

As my long-time readers know, there is a rather chaotic backstory to all of this.  I mean, approaching the new year and all of the possibilities for renewal or redemption that I see ... it all reveals itself to me in a brand new light, in the new perspective of how my life has totally changed.  The routine, the pace, the focus ... Everything has changed.  I am home now, I do not work, I receive my government check.  Just having come to this place, just having fought (and fought, and fought...) that battle and finally won is cause for me to wake up smiling every single morning.  Even when other things are completely shitty, really, even when I'm sick and in pain and stressed about anything that might be going on ... even when I'm troubled trying to navigate this new way of life ... I am always grateful and feeling so blessed that I have received this gift. 

Unless you know me and have been along for the ride, I don't think you could possibly understand the blessed, sweet relief this has brought to me.  It is truly a shelter from what had become a terrifying, cruel, and brutal storm.  My life had become completely disastrous; all I was ever doing was surviving, and barely that.  Each day was painful, physically and emotionally.  I became more and more stressed by the physical illness, which rendered me unable to perform up to my normal abilities at anything in life.  I sucked at my job when I could even make it there.  I was unable to gather thoughts enough to write, even to write in my pen-and-paper journal, which has always been an outlet and a therapeutic tool for me.  I stopped enjoying any music and did not have time or the presence of mind to find new music.  And then the secondary issues piled on, as one might imagine.  Money became a horrible burden due to the medical bills I was incurring and the inverse proportion that I was able to work (or unable to work, as the case was).  Life was just shit.  I didn't know what to do but to keep shoveling it...

But now!  Now I am here, and I won't go into thanking and blubbering over all of those who helped me get here, but I didn't do it alone.  I have thanked them in person and in other posts and intend to continue sharing my gratitude with them.  So enough mushing for now :)

It is a whole new world for me.  I am just getting started.  I spent the first few months of this time "off" seeing doctors, visiting hospitals, getting tests, trying medications ... But I was able to focus on that, and a good treatment has started to come together.  I have some really bad days still that remind me I have to keep doing what I'm supposed to do to take care of myself, that remind me we are not finished working toward a perfect treatment plan (or as close as we may find).  But I have begun to experience good days too!  Lots of them!  All in a row!  I can't tell you how long it had been in my life since I had two good days in a row, let alone the way life is now. 

When I do feel my best, when I do have those good days, I have been finding myself again.  I have said before that this disorder stole my life during the years I had it at its worst.  It really and truly took the best of me away from the past ten years of my life.  It might not make sense to some, but I know that in many ways I am still only 24 years old.  There are things I don't know about myself yet.  There are thoughts I have not even begun to express or examine.  There are feelings that I could not explore or give myself time to feel because life was just about survival.  And on a more basic level, there are things I plain don't know about ME.  I don't know what I like to do the most with my free time.  Sometimes it occurs to me that I really don't know what kind of hobbies I want to pursue, or what I'm good at, or what I might like to TRY to be good at.  Like ... my dad loves to cook and has always enjoyed doing activities that involved cooking shows and contests and, of course, making stuff, in his free time.  My mom enjoys spending time with her large family and getting any event going that involves socializing with them.  She loves to see movies that are fun, funny, and/or romantic.  She likes to watch "The Bachelor."  She loves children and babies.  And my brother is an expert on comic books and movies of all sorts, the ones you never even heard of as well as the blockbusters.  He likes video games and good music.  He likes to be with friends, socializing.  We love to get together and watch a funny tv show or movie or just be funny together and laugh.

But as for me?  I'm trying to use this time to find out something about myself.  After a decade or more of only being able to react to life, to a painful, chaotic, stressful life, now I want to see what I might do in a different environment.  THAT is why this is such a gift.  I'm not sure what I like to do.  I'm not sure what my favorite music is anymore.  I don't know whether I like to go to the movies anymore.  I don't know what I really like to watch on TV, or if I like it.   One thing I have fallen in love with again is playing sports though!!!  I got my Wii Fit last year, and then I got the Sports Resort, and when I'm feeling energetic (or like I need to get that a$$ in gear), I play that for HOURS some days.  I even do the cheerleading one sometimes (but it's hard!).  When the weather is nice again, maybe I will be outside playing some non-virtual sports again.  Who knows what 2010 will bring?

Saturday, January 02, 2010


Difficult to know how to begin, or where, when blogging about the new year, the new decade that we celebrated last night. I decided to have a rare quiet night "in" with just my beloved cat (with whom spending time is an enjoyable activity in itself) and my guy. I have to admit that I wasn't sure at first whether I would regret this decision; and I did wish that I could somehow combine my plans with plans to go celebrate with my mom and aunt, as they do at chez-my-aunt each year. But it was cold and plans were last-minute, and it just didn't work out. Next year, methinks!!

Anyway, I wasn't convinced my plans would pan out to be the best decision, but after Christmas - which was fun but inarguably exhausting - and the additional stresses of my illness this fall ... I needed this low-key evening. I wondered whether I would later wish we had done something more "festive," but no! It turned out to be a blast and just what the doctor ordered, as they say :) We played literally hours of Wii Sports Resort in the early part of the evening, before the shows about the new year, and about the "old" year in review, began. I love to watch those and in fact intend on watching them all weekend while they're on! I love the reviews of celebrity scandals, but hate those of political scandals; I guess because celebrities are really inconsequential in the grand scheme of life ... but politicians are actually important and are supposed to be doing important work and being responsible while they are out participating in their scandalous behavior, whatever it may have been. ... Anyway, I also love the music and video reviews, the best of different genres, etc. In fact, I am currently trying to add to my own collection of music (it is especially fun because of the new and amazing mp3 player I was gifted for Christmas!), so I am curious and attentive when someone talks about what music has been important or even just popular, "buzz-worthy" over the past decade. And if my readers have suggestions, please do suggest!!

That was my night, so perfect in it's good, pure fun and beautiful simplicity. As I have mentioned in the recent past, this year has been dubbed (by me, naturally) my Christmas (and when that was over, my New Year's) Miracle. And I did not allow anything to stand in the way of it living up to its name. I have spoken a bit in the past about the trials and tribulations (although perhaps that is a played-out saying, it really does apply) that led up to this holiday season for me, and the coining of my "miracle" title for it, I'm really sort of going to treat this year's blogging as a whole new thing. New readers have come on board only recently, and with any luck (and talent!), more will follow. As you'll notice, a new layout has been created (tweaking is most likely still to come), and I plan to change the tone of my writing a bit. I've spent a great deal of the last month reading my favorite blogs and paying attention to what makes them so beloved by myself and others (quite a few of my favorites are quite popular). More on my observations later ...

I will be updating my "Favorite Things" list ... actually, maybe tonight, but if not, in the next day or two. The new list will reflect those blogs and bloggers who I feel really have "the knack" for it. I began blogging and reading others' work and communicating with the other writers years ago when I was going through a terrible time. My life - as theirs - really required writing as therapy, and I found a supportive, non-judgmental community among the other writers. Most of us have now lost touch, but what got me reading all of these again in the past few weeks was the fact that I did re-gain communication (or at least, blog links) with a few of my old "friends." It brought back memories and a kick in the ass as far as writing quality and subject matter goes. So stay tuned for new and improved and different "stuff"! I hope you'll like it and that, if you do, you'll pass it on to your friends.