Monday, June 28, 2004

...answers to the name Lucky...

I remember this old joke, if that's one would call it, that brings an introverted chuckle out of me whenever it pops into my brain.

LOST: Dog with three legs, blind in right eye, half a tail, and recently castrated. Answers to the name Lucky.

I often think of that in hard times, because it keeps me grounded. That poor bastard, can't even find his way home and has everything against him, yet there are people out there that care enough to look and miss him. It's one of those half heart-breaking, half funny jokes that you giggle about when they come up.

This is brought to mind because I just found out today that I'm a pall bearer at my Aunt Eve's ceremonies. About a week and a half ago, I dislocated my left shoulder doing something stupid (not really sure how). It wasn't horrible, since it's happened before and it's loose and it's used to being out, but it's weak and mildly uncomfortable until it pops itself in properly. That happened about two days ago, and now I have full motion back without the pain. It just won't hold much weight.

I keep asking everyone to put me on the right side of the casket. I'll probably even ask the caterers who will look at me like the troglodyte that I am. I just have this horrible image of being on the left and my shoulder totally poping out, the casket falling open.... Just bad imagery.

I booked my flight from Florida back to Connecticut for tomorrow. A one way flight this close to departing time requires a donation of blood, an appendage, and a piece of your soul, but there's no way I'm going to miss paying my last respects. I also figure that my family is going to need a shoulder to lean on (that was way to punny), especially my mom.

Years ago, before I left for college, I had a friend die. The reason isn't really relevant, but he was a guy I became friends with as he started to clean up his life. It just happened that he fell back one night, and it ended his life. The horrible part is that I had been there to support him and his sister the year before when his father passed away. In about a year, they lost a father and a brother, leaving behind the mother and daughter. It was a cruel, cruel twist of fate. I just did what I could to make his sister smile. I didn't really have anything else to give her.

These tangential stories do coalesce, however. I'm strangely unaffected by death. The process of struggle makes me cringe a lot more than someone actually passing. Perhaps that makes me look like a truly apathetic, sterile person, but that's not the case. I'll miss the people in my life that I have lost, without a doubt, but I also know that the time I spent with them was great and the best I could manage. I don't regret, because I tend to think that just having them in my life was a blessing, and that they choose (on some level) the proper time for them to go. I'll always love my aunt, but perhaps she's in a better place now.

Many people think that my attitude is unnatural, and some have stated jealousy in my management of my emotions. What they don't realize is that things tend to hit me later, after all of the comforting and consoling of others, the rush and the stress. I sit down and then my mind has time to chew on it. That's when it hits me, and I cope with it just like anyone else, in my own way. I've matured enough over the years to know how I handle things, and how I need help. With the things that have happened lately, I'm a lot less afraid to reach out a hand and acknowledge to everyone and myself that I can't always do it on my own.

Even if that means I have to pay $300 an hour to someone just to rant and talk as non-linearly as this post has proven to be.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Bad Things Happen In Threes

The whole idea (superstition) that bad things happen in threes is beginning to take on a whole new meaning as of late.

I don't mean to levy a whole bunch of melancholy on the masses, but for some reason, collecting my thoughts in front of the keyboard on daily basis is a wonderful form of catharsis for me lately. And because of the amount of stuff that is shifting its way upon my shoulders as of late, I need more release than a jog, a workout, and a few self-involved friends to lean upon.

Today, I decided to take some time to rest and workout because my shoulder slipped out yesterday and I needed to workout to keep the muscles strong. At one point when everything slows down, it might pay to see the doc and find out what's happening with my shoulder, but I don't envision that happening any time soon.

I woke up late (slept until 1 p.m.) to my cell ringing right next to my head. Rolling over to find who awoke my ridiculuous slumber, I found out it was my mother calling. She called back right away. Usually my mother's pretty relaxed about everything, so immediately I woke up thinking I had done something wrong and was about to get chewed out. Granted, it wasn't rational thinking, but when one is half asleep, rationality is pretty much last on the list of thought processes.

So I get up to have a cig in order to clear my mind and get myself on track for what I imagine to be a lecture. Mom calls again. Now this truly is odd, so I pick up to find out what's going on. She was definitely upset, and my stomach dropped. She then proceeds to tell me about my aunt, but first, let me give you a little backstory.

My aunt on my Mom's side, who we shall call Eve, was that really cool aunt who broke all the rules when I was a kid just to see me smile. Unfortunately, she suffered from some thyroid problems that caused her to have big emotional swings. Regardless, she always put me on a pedestal and treated me like gold, and as a kid, the swings were something I was aware of but never judged. She was dating a guy the whole family disliked, even I as a child, and somewhere along the line, she wound up "falling" out of a third story window onto concrete below, and became physically and mentally impaired. She couldn't really walk, and she regressed slightly, but she still had a lot of spirit, but was entered into a nursing home.

So Mom basically calls and says that my Aunt Linda choked on a piece of food, aspiriated, and had resperatory failure, and that she was going to the E.R. to find out what was happening.

Long story short, my aunt had no oxygen for 30 minutes, was totally unresponsive to anything, and had nothing left in her eyes. They signed a DNR, and she died at around 10 pm.

I'm sitting here, outside, under a tin roof garage in Florida, listening to the hypnotic syncopation of the raindrops and wondering what is coming next. My Grandmother being really sick, my aunt just passing, and my shoulder falling out don't equate as the three bad things. I'm hoping that I'm seriously downplaying my shoulder and that this is the end of the three. I also now realize that I will probably have to fly twice in a week, which you all can gather from my previous flying article is not something I look forward to, nor that I enjoy. I'm thinking of looking for someone who does hypnosis down here quickly so that I can be strong for the family members that will need it for the next couple of weeks.

The benefit of all this, if I can convince myself of that terminology, is that my viewpoints and fears are changing. I'm growing up in an environment that is unavoidably complex and enlightening. I've realized that many of my petty fears and insecurities are so mundane and trivial, and that they either need to or are changing.

I don't want to be totally alone.

I want to die peacefully and quickly, whenever the time arrises.

I want to make the most of my life.

I want to love and be loved.

I want people to smile whenever they think about me.

I want to live, and live well.

Why Do They Breed?

The ignorance of people never ceases to amaze me.

I was at the hospital yesterday because my Grandmother is in ICU. Security at this hospital is remarkably lax, to the point of absurdity. I think I've actually seen a security guard maybe three times in the few days I've been there. Anyway, so my father and I are sitting in the ICU waiting room, which, when others are in there, tends to be a little bit heavy and sometimes morbid. People in there are usually nervous, melancholy, and generally reserved.

That was, up until yesterday.

A family walked in that had a member in ICU. Keep in mind, I usually would welcome a little bit of life and smiles in this situation, but this came nowhere near that kind of warmth. Literally, I think 12 people came in for one individual, and they varied from 60 to 6. They were loud, obnoxious, inconsiderate, and their conduct was unbecoming for the decorum of the waiting room. I heard a mother comment, REALLY loud about her daughter like she wasn't there, "God, she looks great. She lost so much weight she almost isn't fat anymore." The children are running around like rabid animals, screaming and yelling without any semblance of concern from the parents. I think they were tazmanian devils dressed in the disguised of children. I wondered if I could explain that to the police in a rational matter later if need be.

Two older women walk into the waiting room with heaviness on their shoulders. There are easily enough seats in the waiting room as it was my father and I, and empty chair, and the family taking up the rest of the place. Four kids were sitting in seats, and not one of them was told or asked to move by their parents. When I was younger, if I did that, I would've gotten my head chewed off by one of my parents. These parents just didn't give a flying __________. One lady sits in the empty seat, the other stands. I'm finishing up a pizza because we had an opportunity to eat which is something I generally seize at a given moment. Finally, my father and I got up so the other woman could sit. We left, before I really lost my mind, and I suppose I should be thankful for that.

Time passes, and we return. The status of the waiting room has not changed. These people are not only obese and aggravating, they're still being loud. The craziest part is the fact that it was DURING ICU visiting hours, so they could easily have gone in to visit. I was tired and borderline furious. I was figuring I could take out at least three of the men in a fury while keeping the children at bay. Such unchecked ignorance needs to be hammered down, and I was ready to split wigs. If the parents couldn't teach respect, maybe the children would learn from the fall of the parent.

Instead, I chose to be diplomatic and tell the ICU receptionist about the situation in as friendly a voice as I could muster. She seemed at a loss for words, but I figured she'd call security to quiet them down.

I never saw it happen. I left in the nick of time.

The funiest part is, the hospital has signs all over that say, "Quiet please. Healing in progress." I love that sign. I actually dreamt last night of walking into the room with that sign and saying, "Is anyone here literate enough to read what this says, and could you please read it aloud?" Then I started to beat some heads in. I guess it pays to be non-violent most of the time. I figured at least if I were gonna lose my head and get into a fight, we'd both be in the perfect place to recouperate. I mean, it is a hospital. I also figured that if they were there to visit someone in ICU, I could just put them in a bed.

It's a good thing I dream. I might be blogging from jail.

Note: I'm not typically violent. I like flowers and bunnies and big smiles. But sometimes I just need to vent.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Fly, Fly Away

I was reading a post at Leese's blog about airports and the emotional reaction and her childhood redux:

To me, airports represent two kinds of emotions: joy and sadness. I get happy whenever I pick someone up from the airport. I get really sad whenever I have to drop someone off at the airport.

It's a really insightful and well thought explained story. On my side of things, airports have never really had that much of a profound effect on me, but I have been affected.
I used to fly relatively frequently to see my grandparents in Florida. It was usually once a year or so, up until the end of high school and when my parents split up (these weren't completely concurrent).

A side note: this is why my posting has been later than usual for my three faithful readers. I'm down here now because my grandmother is very sick and in the hospital. Today was actually the first day she was able to speak for any period of time. She's an 89 year old spit-fire and the most unbelievably "tough old broad" (her words exactly tonite). In fact, she's probably one of the toughest people I know across the board. I'm pretty proud to say I have a little bit of her blood in me.

Anyway, over time and a decent amount of bad flights, which are easily attributable to my mantra of Murphy's Law (is it sewn onto my forehead?), I began to develop a few misgivings about Bernouli's theorem. Read that as I began to turn into the four-grade-girl-who-just-saw-a-mouse-but-doesn't-want-to-scream when I fly. So as I white knuckle my way into the sky, forget what moisture feels like in my throat, and locate my nearest exits and lovely white vomit bags, I always wonder, why am I flying? This time I had a good reason and solid motivation, but generally that isn't always the case. I just wish it wasn't so bad for me, because I actually like going places, and I like coming home. I just don't want to take 5 years off my life from ridiculous anxiety. I mean, really, what am I going to do if something goes badly, fly the plane? Flap my arms? Use my massive powers of telekinesis to deliver a multi-ton plane and its passengers to the ground?

For those that don't understand and think I am that little girl, I envy you. In the meantime, I'll make sure to either run up the airport bar tab, or see if my doc will allow me a few tranquilizers to see the world. Either way, bottoms up!

Friday, June 18, 2004

Things that Confound ME (part 1)

Good Afternoon, folks. My compadre started up a little list last week, and now I'm'a bring my own, of things that just make me a wee bit flabbergasted and awestruck.

1. It's one thing to create a motorcycle with a solid reputation for craftsmanship and beauty. It's a completely different thing to make an impeccable paper-craft rendering of the motorcycle. Now, That's love!

2. We've all had hangovers before. I had a hangover two weeks ago and actually wrote a brief, slightly curdled piece that was up here for a day or two before I stripped it, realizing that it was just plain dumb to highlight my own momentary stupidity and toxicity. I'm hungover today. In fact, I may bring that point into play in points 4, 7, 9 and 14 below, but you'll see for yourself on that count. In the meantime, take a gander at this summary of a hangover study, which basically gives yet another reason why women have the short end of the stick, ... so to speak.

3. Why something like the State of the Commons organization isn't getting more press is beyond me. I mean, I normally hang to the left, as you probably know, but this website just seems like a mesh of universal truths that only a dolt could deny. I mean, it says we're all richer than our wildest dreams!

4. I'm getting paid with full benefits to sit here and do JACK FUCKING SHIT! I mean, I don't mind getting a check for warming this seat and browsing the internet, and sending a vague smell of last night's liquors out across cubicles here every couple of minutes, but I mean, REALLY. When there's nothing going on at work, shouldn't they just send a mu'fucka home!! Can't he just go HOME and go to BED!

5. Here I am, still. Doing the same thing. Yes. And I feel so full of self-pity, I even went to this website to make my queasy belly turn again.

6. In honor of having seen Stephen Wright perform last night in Stamford, CT.... Here's a website (named The Dullest Web Site in the World) I can imagine Mr. Wright reading this with unbearable depths of enthusiasm.

7. Why this dude's stories about working at Barnes & Noble isn't on prime fucking time TV is way way WAY beyond me. It's absolutely brilliant. It almost makes me wanna work there just so I can have the misery that inspires that genius. But not really. Enjoy this one.

8. And why'n't I have an Uncle like this? With wise words like this?: "When it comes time to pick out that first tattoo, remember: it doesn’t matter how much you like that one comic book. There’s always a chance that eight years later someone will make a movie of it that stars Sylvester Stallone. And you’ll be fucked." And this: "Burt Reynolds? Nope. Tom Selleck? Uh uh. Try Chile D. Molester. Shave that fucking mustache."

9. For more on Stephen Wright's witty little quiplets.... A couple of my personal favorites: (a) If "con" is the opposite of "pro," then what is the opposite of progress? (b) Why do you press harder on a remote-control when you know the battery's dead? (c) If a cow laughed, would milk come out her nose?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Things That Counfound Me (Part 1)

  1. How is it that I’m single for quite a few years now, and I’m still giving out relationship advice that people heed and consider knowledgeable? Wouldn’t it be more effective if, you know, I applied it to myself effectively?

  2. How is it that I can actually look at my watch three times before I actually remember the time, and when somebody asks me what time it is, I have to look again? (Would the really George Carlin please stand up?)

  3. How does an MP3 player have a 16 hour battery life while my laptop has a 3 ½ hour battery life? MP3 players are probably 1/20th the size of a laptop… make a better battery.

  4. Why does Connecticut NOT allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays? Does it make a big difference? Does one actually have to plan ahead for Superbowl Sunday in order to relax while Janet Jackson has a “wardrobe malfunction?"

  5. Why do people forget to use turn signals on the highway? Is it really hard to push down the little lever?

  6. Why is it when you call for customer service, and press 1 for English, do you get someone who sounds like you pressed 5 for the pig Latin dialectic of Mandarin Chinese?

  7. How is it that Japan has a high-speed cell phone network, yet I can’t get service in my living room?

  8. Why is it that I can buy a product that will tightly seal food in a bag, but I can’t find a pair of shoes out of 50 that will fit?

  9. Why do they still build shower heads at the five foot mark? There is nothing more frustrating than trying to take a shower while practicing my limbo at the same time. In the morning when I’m showering, the last thing I want or am really capable of is an exercise of stamina and strength.

  10. And why do I always use that tiny little bit of the soap bar? It’s impossible to use that effectively. I might as well just use a quarter to try to wash. And it’s always when you’re IN the shower that you realize you need to get another bar of soap. Of course, why would I want to get out and use my nice dry towel or drip all over the floor to get a new bar? It’s much better to spend triple the time to try to get clean…