Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sad day

In a little over 12 hours, I'll be attending the memorial service for one of my cousins. He had a gentle nature, a kind spirit, and a genuine love of animals. The world has lost a good human being.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Can it be said enough?

I don't think so. I've written about this before, and in the wake of recent tragedies, I'm revisiting it.

From how the media is portraying recent events, one would think that we're in the middle of a wave of suicides by LGBT teens and young adults. I have a feeling that this isn't the case, but rather that social media is finally shining a spotlight on something that has been going on for centuries (if not millenia), but was always swept under the rug or politely overlooked. Bullying is real. Teen suicide is real. And the sad fact is that for far longer than I've been alive, bullying of LGBT and any kids deemed as "different" has been given a bit of a pass. It's ok, because what they feel and what they do and who they want to love is "wrong" to many people.

No, it isn't. God is love, right? So how can love for anyone be anything other than godly? We're taught "judge not, lest ye be judged", but apparently that isn't true for LGBT people. I guess I missed Jesus giving us that little caveat. And hello: Jesus chose to hang out with lepers and prostitutes - WHO would be their social equivalent in this day and age? People really think Jesus would have a problem with the LGBT community?

And on a slightly divergent note, I love the "It Gets Better" campaign. And I love that we live in a world of what many people consider "over sharing". Because 20 - 30 years ago, people didn't discuss these things. It wasn't "seemly". And people suffered in silence, not knowing that there were MILLIONS of other people going through what they were, some right down the street. As much as our voyeuristic culture often disgusts me, I can't help but be grateful for the fact that the idea of "normal" has been blasted to smithereens, and that people can share their most horrific experiences and find others like them who can help them cope, grieve, and heal.

It's a slow process. And it's far from easy or pretty. But I'd honestly rather live in a nation filled with Snookis than Betty Drapers.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Criteria

My parents might or might not be thrilled to learn that I'm getting over my tv addiction. I still blame them for the fact that depriving me in my childhood left me susceptible in my adult years to all the garbage most people with functioning brains are able to dismiss.

I think burnout + my recent forays into new areas of literature (including making my way back to good YA fiction) = lack of patience for sub-par programming.

As I was catching up on my tv tonight (following a lovely but busy weekend visiting with my family AND Chris's), I realized that some shows just aren't measuring up and I was actually getting frustrated with them. And then I found my new boundary.

Chris hates many of the shows I watch, chiefly among them: what I call "judge shows". I like a LOT of those, and try to reserve them for when he's sleeping, but they're the sort of show I only half-watch and don't get upset if I miss something. I have plenty of others I like that don't bother him, so I watch them when he's up. Tonight, some of those he also isn't a fan of were bad enough that I'd rather watch a judge show than them. I'd rather watch a show I half ignore than Show X? Why bother?

And so, I'm not. If I'd rather pop on Judge Judy or The People's Court, then a show has failed the basic requirement of engaging my interest and attention. My DVR has a much higher free percentage, my Season Pass list is shorter, and I feel like a free woman!

Monday, August 30, 2010


I don't know what to call this one.

As much as I wish it were otherwise, I'm not really a "good" person. I try my best to do what's right for me and my family, but I often fall short. My shortcomings - and awareness thereof - only help shine a light on my failures both in living my life and in exercising empathy. I cut no slack for myself or anyone else. I'm a judgemental bitch, and I give no one any quarter.

I'm in a bit of a crisis right now because I'm dealing with someone who is seriously neglecting the non-humans who depend on her. I want to whine and detail what is so upsetting me, but one of the things that's angering me the most is something other people I know (and love) have done with their own fur-babies. And while some of them did it long ago before vets and other pros in that arena finally spoke up and started saying why it was horriffic, others have done it more recently. So I don't feel like I can run to them and cry like I want to about what she's planning. And it's not even the worst of what has gone on and is going on in her house. If anything, it's the least of her crimes. But because it's still in the "contemplation" phase, it's what's upsetting me the most.

I've presented alternatives. I begged her to reconsider. I begged her to re-home the animals (the ones in this scenario AND the rest for several reasons).

I'm not a perfect mama when it comes to animals, and have never claimed to be. I've made so many mistakes that haunt me still. But I have never turned a blind eye to clear suffering and parasitic infestation. And I have never contemplated maiming my babies for our convenience. I would buy new furniture every year before mutilating an animal, or I would sit on the fucking floor and feel joy in knowing that I love my babies more than I do a sofa or a table.

And so now I'm in a corner I painted myself into and I'm whining to the internets. Because I don't know how to turn to the people I know and love without making them feel like this upset would be a judgement against them. And I honestly don't know that it wouldn't be, deep down.

I will always take the side of those who can't speak for themselves and who are denied self-determination. So in a human-"pet" situation, I will never be on the side of the human, even (or especially) when that human is me. We ALWAYS have a choice; they are forced to live with the decisions we make. And since that is the case, I can't, in good conscience, side with anyone but them. And when the decision isn't mine, and the outcome is out of my hands, and I've argued to the best of my ability, all I can do is scream. Silently. And hope against hope that I was heard and she does the right thing.

Monday, August 23, 2010


(yes, this title is a Depeche Mode reference)

I know I've been lame and sappy before. And I know I've whined at the other end of the spectrum too. But there are times - sometimes weeks on end, like lately - when almost every single moment of observing/contemplating my husband is one of extreme gratitude and appreciation.

He is no saint. I will not go into all the small, hilarious ways in which he makes it clear just how human he is. He's aware of this blog and has read it, but we haven't discussed my writing about him here to the point where I can be that specific, even though I'm sure he'd be fine and I'd love to share the hilarity. But I digress (so shocking!). My point is that I could elaborate ad infinitum on the myriad behaviors/incidents/tendencies that illustrate exactly why rose-colored glasses would never suit my vision prescription in terms of my darling dearest. It wouldn't pertain.

We've had difficult times and blissful times. But sometimes, like lately, we synch up so much that we complete what would be a sickening number of each others' sentences if someone else were present. Our views line up. Our plans line up. Our dirty thoughts line up. What we want for the future is close enough to identical that it validates all the decisions that led up to me deciding he really was the one I wanted, and all the decisions since then.

And I see him in a light that allows those small flaws to show, but at the same time illuminates all that is smart and funny and awesome and right for me, and he fucking glows. GLOWS! For days or weeks on end.

Though things like this
make me sick,
in a case like this
I'll get away with it...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Tonight, for the first time since her diagnosis, Garlic required a dose of ZERO units of insulin!!!

I have skipped doses in the past when her glucose was super-low and she was symptomatic, but that's different. This afternoon, based on dosing trends and her sugar reading, she needed just 0.5 units. Tonight her sugar was low enough that the next dose would have to be decreased by a half unit. Thus: zero!

After the recent losses we've suffered, and with Garlic's current unpleasant health situation, this was a much-needed little victory. Yay, Garlic!

Friday, March 19, 2010


I distinctly recall a point in the not-so-distant past when I wasn't anywhere nearly so whiny on this blog. I'm aware that I am the one responsible for setting the tone here (unless one chooses to believe that The Almighty/the universe has taken a particular interest in my life and how I perceive the events therein), and I'm really working to get back to a place where I have more fun here, and don't just vent the pain and frustration.

In the grand scheme of things, I'm happy to admit that I have a pretty awesome life. My husband is my best friend and fantastic in ways I will leave to the imagination. I live with a crew of loving (for the most part), amusing, and interesting critters. I am lucky enough - knock on wood - to have the care and feeding of the aforementioned spouse and pets as my "paying gig", and therefore am able to sleep on the inconstant schedule my body sets for me, with few repercussions.

I think a big part of me rebels against talking about the good stuff. Like doing so will resemble bragging, or jinx things. I have enough Russian and Irish in me that I tend to be fastalistic and almost pathologically avoidant of situations and statements that might attract universal irony. I'm seriously itching to delete the above paragraph for exactly this reason. But the alternative - only airing the painful and depressing shit that's already out there - is no option for me. I don't want to be a pessimist. Or a downer. There is a lot to enjoy during our time on this planet, and I want to write about that as much as (hell, more than) the painful-but-important things.

First item of fun: a drink! My mom invented a sinfully delicious new drink recipe recently, which I shall share forthwith.

Apparently there's a new trend of honey-flavored whiskey. The one she likes (which I tried) is Seagram's 7 Dark Honey. A quick internet search led to the discovery (for me) that there is some controversy surrounding this particular booze, because they are apparently attempting to circumvent the FTC blogging regs (which I, for the record, feel are a fucking joke considering that they hold bloggers to a ridiculously higher standard than people in print media. But I digress...) by having people (PR people, it looks like) comment on blogs without disclosing that they're basically spamming anyone who mentions the product.

My points in mentioning all this are that 1) I refuse to link to the aforementioned product, since they seem to be doing just fine coopting the internets via blog posts, and while I enjoyed said product, I am not their whore; and 2) because apparently I have to disclose the source for products I discuss in a remotely review-ish capacity, here it is:

MY MOM BOUGHT SEAGRAM'S 7 DARK HONEY AND MADE ME THIS DRINK, AND I LIKED IT. If they want to track her down and reimburse her for her bottle, more power to them!

And for anyone out there in copyright-land, this is her recipe that she created. It's fan-fucking-tastic, all her own, and something I know my Gramma would have given her stamp of approval. Steal it and I WILL hunt you down.

The Promised Land
1 oz. Seagram's 7 Dark Honey
2 oz. fat-free half-and-half

This is like a whiskey-based white russian, or something similar. The dairy cuts the burn of the alcohol down to almost zero, so you're left with a rich "milk and honey" drink that will give you a sneaky buzz very quickly. Perfect for a nightcap, or as a "drink" for those who don't like a boozey burn. And who doesn't like fat-free?

For anyone with raised eyebrows, I was hesitant myself. I generally am not a whiskey fan, and only drink it in the occasional sour. As for ff half-and-half, until now it was reserved for coffee. It never occurred to me that it might be a drink base, despite all the Hungry Girl drinks based on ff ice cream, ff syrups, etc. This is way more simple and delicious than most other "diet-conscious" concoctions out there. And no, I have no idea what the nutritionals are on this and no desire to find out.

In other alchohol-related news: Chris told me tonight that on his way home, he saw that our local Rita's Water Ice is open for the summer. With a warm weekend approaching, I'm declaring open season on bbq and Rita's 'Ritas! Yay, tequila!

Friday, March 12, 2010


I was getting caught up on my DVR recordings tonight. Last week's episode of "Numbers" was a sort of throwaway about a group of boys who had been molested by a teacher and who all became different people as a result. At the end, one character said that he wouldn't have become the man he was if it weren't for the molestation, and that registered. As painful as periods of my life have been, and as difficult as it still is for me to work through the repercussions, I often feel the same way.

I like myself. Hell, I love the person I am.

It isn't easy living with my brain, but I make it work. But I have a VERY hard time reconciling my current state of self-acceptance with the abuse I suffered. I feel like being happy with ME means being ok with the things that made me who I am. And that it's wrong to accept my flawed state of being, because it means accepting the terrible things that led up to it.

Do I think I might be a better, more healthy, more productive human being had I not been abused? Absolutely. But a part of me wonders how compassionate I might be. How accepting I might be. How forgiving I might be. I hope that my positive traits aren't solely a result of the abuse. I hope that I would have developed into someone similar without the trauma I suffered. But there is no way to know for certain. Not that anything in this life is knowable. I just get irritated that as a natural second-guesser, I was dealt an especially tricky hand.

And then, as someone who believes in some greater Something out there, I am reminded of Neil Gaiman's statement in Good Omens (I guess it could have been Terry Pratchett's assertion; stupid collaborations): "God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time."

I have to believe that someone knows what the cards mean. I'm mystified.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Careless Whispers

Yes, that "Careless Whispers" (by Wham):

I feel so unsure
As I take your hand and lead you to the dance floor
As the music dies
Something in your eyes
Calls to mind the silver screen
And all its sad good-byes

I'm never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it's easy to pretend
I know you're not a fool
I should have known better than to cheat a friend
And waste the chance that I've been given
So I'm never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you

Time can never mend
The careless whispers of a good friend
To the heart and mind
Ignorance is kind
There's no comfort in the truth
Pain is all you'll find

I'm never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it's easy to pretend
I know you're not a fool
I should have known better than to cheat a friend
And waste this chance that I've been given
So I'm never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you

Never without your love

Tonight the music seems so loud
I wish that we could lose this crowd
Maybe it's better this way
We'd hurt each other with the things we'd want to say
We could have been so good together

We could have lived this dance forever
But now who's gonna dance with me?
Please stay

And I'm never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it's easy to pretend
I know you're not a fool
I should have known better than to cheat a friend
And waste the chance that I've been given
So I'm never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you

(Now that you're gone) Now that you're gone
(Now that you're gone) What I did's so wrong
That you had to leave me alone

It isn't entrely appropriate/applicable, but whenever we lose a baby this song invariably works itself into my mind at some point during the grieving process. And tonight, just a few days after we helped Harriet to the Bridge, it came into my head while I was washing the bedding she last slept in.

I know it's my personality that makes the guilt ingrained, but I have yet to have a pet death that did not evoke that response. I always feel there was some avenue I should have explored, or maybe just that I should have done something sooner. I always imagine there was something I could or should have done to stave off the inevitable.

And the fact is that our lives with our pets - and other humans - are dances. Every relationship is different and special and irreplacable. So whether or not losing Harriet was even partially my fault, I know that I will never dance with anyone the way I danced with her. And I'd have given anything for her to stay, even just a little bit longer.

Monday, February 01, 2010


*** Warning – potential trigger(s) for sufferers of eating disorders (bulimia, in particular) ***

This isn't a Ye Olde Common Sense post, but still it's bulimia-related and needs the above warning.

I know I haven't talked about this stuff in a while. I always feel bad doing it, because it's not a nice subject to deal with, for me or anyone. Anyone who has dealt with an eating disorder knows that it will be a daily/hourly/minute-ly (is that a word?) struggle for the rest of their lives. And lately I've been doing better. A LOT better. The majority of my eating is healthy, and when it isn't, I can tell myself that the bad things I ingest are massively outweighed by all the good foods. And I've been maintaining a healthy weight. Not my ideal weight, by any means, but one that doesn't stress my body, and one that I can live with and not freak out.

But every once in a while, the things I've done to my body catch up to me. I can have a day of completely healthy eating, and feel so good about all the choices I made. But at the end of the day, it turns out I had one or two bites too many. Psychologically, I'm fine with it. But my digestive system just can't handle it. Food backs up into my esophagus because it just doesn't move at a normal speed through my system, and the pressure starts freaking me out. And then acid starts backing up into my throat too, and I get more upset. I take pepcid, pepto, gas-x, anything to relieve all that pressure and discomfort and burning, and nothing helps. And I have to do what I fight so hard NOT to do, because I can literally feel the damage being done: I purge. And I know that the anxiety doing that causes makes things worse, but once things hit a certain point nothing else helps.

And then it really gets hard. Once the deed is done, the self-recrimination starts. I second-guess every choice that led up to that last, awful one. Didn't I know that eating a few more bites of salad would be too much? How, at this point, could I not realize that even a couple more carrots would put me over the edge? Because I do know that no matter how healthy the foods are, there is a limit to the volume my body can handle before going into overload. And every time I go over it, I blame myself and I doubt my motives and I can't help but wonder if there was some small self-sabotaging part of me that was looking to undo all my work.

Because it is work, and I have been doing it. I have days-long stretches of abstinence, which is a pretty big freaking deal in terms of bulimia. When every meal, every bite, every drink (even of things as benign as skim milk) is a battle, a day of abstinence is a beautiful thing. Two in a row feels like a miracle. So when I'm not careful enough to maintain it, when I screw up and set myself back to zero, it feels like it must have been intentional on some level. Which is horrible. Thinking - knowing, if I'm really honest - that there will always be a part of me that is looking to take me back to a place where the disorder owns my life? It can be wearying. But I've come to terms with the fact that I am a self-sabotaging person(ality). A lot of my current hermit-ness is a manifestation of the very necessary care I am taking with myself, to determine how much and how often I can "put myself out there" without doing damage or triggering my destructive tendencies.

But the idea that it might be an accident? That a couple good days might lull me into a complacency that would land me back in that place simply because I wasn't being careful enough? That terrifies me even more. I know I will always fight with food. What it means to me, what I can eat, how I eat it, all that. And I know I will have to fight myself on several levels. I have come to terms with that. But I don't know how to deal with the possibility that I might allow myself to be lulled into a false sense of security by a few good days. DAYS. Not weeks or months - that, I could almost see. But days? When there is so much at stake and every hour is such a struggle after a fall from the proverbial wagon?

And again, I know that it is literally impossible to think about every single bite of food and sip of liquid over the course of a day, especially when one feels compelled to do so every day. But not doing so, even when eating a totally healthy diet as I have been doing, puts me at risk of hitting that physical tolerance limit. And once that has been reached, no amount of telling myself to wait it out (because it's just discomfort that isn't health-related) will avert the compulsion to relieve the physical and mental pressure. So how can I accidentally let myself eat too much? And on the other hand, how can I allow food to have so much control over my life? Am I not admitting defeat by allowing food, rather than my will (whatever that means, in the end) to have the final say?

I know I'm overthinking and being too hard on myself, but that in me which is fighting to beat this thing screams that I have to be, that I can give it no quarter. And sometimes I don't know how to live in a world where I can give myself no quarter. Hence, my difficulty.