Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Happy Blechdays!

photo credit: arbyreed Mucus Containment System via photopin (license)

Have you had it yet? You'd know if you'd had. I don't know how I got this year's dose, but perhaps it's best to leave those details behind. The thing is, you know when it's happening and you feel the doom of acceptance--put up a good front and pop a few Advils and vitamin C before pulling up the proverbial covers. When it came down to the nitty gritty, however, I had no way to fight off this disgusting thing. Days and days of fever, chills, aches, coughing, sneezing, sleepless nights, lying on the bathroom floor. Someone should give me a ribbon for reaching the end of the internet, because I must have looked up every topic on Google and watched every video on YouTube in an attempt to entertain myself while lying on cold linoleum. What it taught me is the world is gaudy and YouTube is the greediest monster ever. Ads upon ads. Ads you can't click out of. Ads that have nothing to do with the video you're watching. Ads about timeshares and fried chicken. I mean, come on. Oh, and then the ads turned into 'Do you have chronic cough?' Why, yes. I do. 'See our specialists.' They're listening.

I also found out that the early bird catches the worm when it comes to hitting up the clinic. Try as you may to figure out a good time to go sit in a public lobby with germs festering the air like dust, but you'll never figure out a good strategy other then just going in and waiting for the rest of your stricken life. "You'd better give me antibiotics," I said when seen at last, "because I've been coughed on by everyone and their mother." Zombies with dripping noses. I got my antibiotics.

The stupid flu made me miss New Year's Eve and Day and the days after. My children covered their ears at the coughing and said it was okay that all their fun holiday activities were over. I'm still trying to make up for it.

A few more things: many are still out. I noticed on Sunday the stores and streets were empty. We need to bring back the old NyQuil so folks like me who slept on the bathroom floor in complete misery can just medicate ourselves into spaceland. Stupid meth heads ruin everything. Sorry, that's harsh, but so is the flu.

So, I hate to ask again. Have you had it? I hope not. Run, hide. Find a safe place. Stay well, my friends. And until next time . . . stock up on good tissues, or if you're cheap like me, three-ply toilet paper. Good luck.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Liar, Liar . . .

photo credit: torbakhopper the tool shop sells tax evadaince pinatas, scott richard via photopin (license)

Should Trump be impeached? I think yes, he clearly broke the law. But if you're still questioning this, look at his pattern and why believing his innocence is akin to believing a magic fairy will bring you a million dollars on your birthday.

Trump's pattern of lies:

1.      The birther crisis—he said Obama was not a US resident, calling him a liar and a fake. For years he went on talk shows toting this false claim until the election was over, then he admitted the lie and let it the whole thing go. Oh yeah, he says, I lied.  This started when Obama roasted him at a public event, thus triggering Trump’s fragile ego and need for revenge.

2.       Hilary’s hidden email server. This whole thing started when it became clear she might win the election. But not only was it the hidden emails, Hillary became a rapist, a murderer, a criminal. Cries of “Lock her up” could be heard at all of Trump’s campaign rallies, much to his puerile happiness. The FBI investigated these claims countless times and came up with nothing, so then Trump went after them. Perhaps that’s why, in desperation, he called upon Russia to help.

3.       John McCain became Trump’s anti-war hero. A crook, a criminal, a liar, a murderer (see the pattern?) because he voted against the new health care laws Trump wanted to put in place which threatened to end Obamacare. This angered Trump so much that he still bullies McCain—a dead man.

4.       Elizabeth Warren became his new scapegoat after she battled his claim she wasn’t a true American Indian. When she had a DNA test done and only a small percentage showed such heritage, he continued to call her Pocahontas, a racist term which he still uses today. And no one in his camp call him out for it.

5.       Joe Biden—Trump made up a false claim that Joe’s son Hunter ran corrupt business in the Ukraine. Claiming it was his duty to end such corruption, he used the famous quid pro quo term “do me a favor” to new leader Zelensky. It alluded to a secret operative meant to dig up (or create) dirt on the Bidens—as we all know Joe is currently running for president. What a coincidence! The words ‘do me a favor’ are straight out of mob speech, like the term rat—don’t rat me out. Guess who’s used that term before as well?

6.       Greta Thunberg. A young autistic conservationist with a passionate zest for all things of the environment. Who knows what started this ego war, but when Time recently made her person of the year, putting her image on the front cover, Trump lost his mind. He went on to bully her on twitter then had a doctored cover made with his face photoshopped on top of hers. A low move from a grown man—a president.

The point I wish to make is this: we have a pattern. In each case a false narrative is started by Trump—usually after some event in which he feels slighted or challenged, then it goes into full blown conspiracy meant to derail if not imprison the innocent party. The claim that Obama wasn’t a US citizen went on for years. Trump spent countless years, time, energy sticking by his lie until it wasn’t needed anymore. He makes up detrimental, hurtful lies to destroy what he sees as an enemy, and vehemently asks the world to believe him. He hires lawyers, search teams, goes on talk shows, radio shows, and twitter stating false facts over and over again. He breaks laws. As president, he makes up his own rules and does whatever he can to win. Including obstruction and collusion. Clearly, he’s lying about the innocent party, yet he gets by with it over and over again. It’s a pattern. He lies. He’s a liar. He lies to destroy people. Even children. When people still seem undecided over whether he should be impeached I say, look at the pattern. When has this man shown himself to be telling the truth? And why does America deserve to live in the shadow of his falsehoods one moment longer than today?

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Fa la la la la . . .

I'll be going somewhere similar at a point in the near future, piped versions of Last Christmas by various artists blasting from mystery speakers high above; my desperation is intense because it's getting close to Christmas and I have not done a speck of shopping as of yet. How about you? Have you filled your bags with goodies and emptied out the purse (wallet)? Shopping is a slippery slope of selflessness and gluttony--One for them, one for me. Hello, new socks with glittery snow bears on them. Who wouldn't like an 'AS SEEN ON TV' toilet light? It's on discount. I'll see you when I get back. If . . .

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


Last year I took a film class that turned out to be a literal film class where we were given cameras and assignments and lots and lots of creative stress. My first thoughts: I can't do this. I'll have to quit. This girl knows nothing about lighting, cameras, storyboards, production, editing, etc. A quiet voice said: hang in there . . . do it anyway.

The first assignment was to shoot an uncut one-scene project about ourselves. It could be done in any way, any length, but no cuts. In my head came an image of what I wanted my project to be, but then came the voice again: You crazy? You can't do that. Quit now. You don't have an SD card. You don't have time to film. 

Do it anyway . . .

I drove to the store, bought an SD card, then went to the lake and filmed the shot exactly as I had seen it in my head: a landscape seen through a clear glass jar filled with water. Slowly, I dropped in black ink until the water was clouded and became a mirror. The idea was to show how toxic words can be, and how others' harsh opinions or actions slowly contaminate us until we become a mirror to the abuse. 

That night as the kids were busy watching cartoons and gaming, I peeked at my video and felt horror. My God, it was ten minutes long, indulgent, horrible, boring, etc etc etc. I dreaded the day I'd have to show it in class in front of the others, and when it came time to do so, I sat back in horror, somewhat hiding my face with my hand, wishing I could shrink into nothing. The lights came on and the teacher spoke about elements he'd liked and not liked--the lines of the landscape, the repetition, the colors. I chalked it up to constructive criticism and nothing more. 

My grade turned out to be a Perfect A. He wrote down that it was only the second time he'd given someone that score on that particular project. I was in shock, but happy. 

A few weeks later I showed my mother the grade and she was happy too--little did I know she'd be gone within months. I'll always be so grateful of that memory. She and I did not always get along--we were like the mother/daughter duo in Terms of Endearment-always at odds, too alike, too stubborn. There was toxicity between us both, but also love. Sometimes we can fix the past, forgive, and sometimes it never happens. Sometimes it takes a while and it's ourselves we need to forgive.  

Like art, life is to live, learn and let go. Once it's done, you leave it for others to judge, enjoy, own, hate. That part is not up to you. I'll tell you more about the film class later. And if can upload the damn thing, that'd be great. Thanks for reading. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Pup Cup

Last night my period started, this morning I put my essentials in a bag, grabbed my dog, got in my car and drove nowhere in particular as the destination. My life is a mess. I’m a wreck. Current diet: whatever I can get with my dog in the car. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, fast food, heart clogging food. Soda, coffee, fries. You got a pup cup? Damn, Starbucks has a pup cup. That’s okay, give me a vanilla cone. We share.

Saturday night I lost it after years of being told I was nothing, digging my mail out of the trash, reformatting my documents, looking in the mirror to see if I was as old, ugly, stupid, crazy as he made me feel. Was I anything at all? Sometimes I’d pray for guidance, just keep me alive. But don’t make me feel.

I told him to go. He told me to go. But the kids . . . I stayed all these years for them. Did everything, for them. How can I leave? I stood firm. Okay, you’re right. I’m crazy, I’m wrong, I’m the bad guy. Please, just leave. This is the moment I feared. That violent change of seasons where the wind and rain and electricity come together to battle. I’d held it together so long, like a Mentos in a two-liter of diet coke. This is the moment I dreaded but knew had to come. He’d raged over the cat. Raged and raged. Stormed through the house, accused, thrashed, threatened. Death, hatred, vile, vile creature. Memories of my father’s rages came back to me: the time he threw beer cans at the kitchen wall and said Satan was making him miss the trash can. The time he held my stepbrother upside down, baby food shoved in their mouth, and smacked their diapered bottom full force. That fear of not helping, of doing nothing, of being complacent, yet fear of my own death—and now that of my children as well as pets. I stood in the backroom, body drained with shock, head filled with angst. No more. No more. Toxic. We all die in this anyway. Please leave. I stood firm, and won. He leaves and I call the cops. The next day my kids help me change the locks.

A few moments before the fight, after his rage and before my reaction, I walk out and he verbally taunts me. What’s wrong with you? I do something wrong? Him, him it’s all him. I turn around. A million women fly out of me. GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE NOW, NOW, RIGHT NOW. He stands up, comes at me.

Then the war.

I’ve lived Vietnam. And survived.

You, sir, are my Vietnam. I hid in the trenches, mud on my face, leaves in my hair, itching, burning, stinging, awaiting end.

You were the Ak-47, words as bullets. The oppressive invisible assault of fear flung at me daily. And now I had to face the front.

You can only hide so long. You can only hide your own bullets so long. At some point you have to leap, like a fawn, from the trenches and fight the motherfucker who’s held you hostage.

But now that it’s over, and the dance of life has sprung into a new pirouette, now that I’ve blown my cover--it’s frightening. And you know it. And I know it.

This is where you’ll find a new leverage to haunt me. But do I hide again?

Even Nixon, that smiling snake, ended Vietnam. At some point we have to lay down our arms and move forth. Not together. As two opposite continents with a peace treaty.

I'm in this car. Avoiding. Because there's no trust in war. Or peace. The master keeps coming around and I have to flee. Because that's how you do it. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

I like light

I like to take pictures in the morning light coming through the back door blinds. Also, I'm bi. It's a big announcement, the blinds and all. Don't get upset about the blinds, they're okay. They've only been on this one door their entire life so they're not weird or anything. It was just time to open up a little and let the light in.

Friday, August 23, 2019

photo credit: mattlemmon Mother and Child Sculpture Closeup via photopin (license)

June was a beautiful month. I could forgive the rain. Then came July. On Independence Day I began to have a strange inclination to see my mother and didn't know why. Nothing else mattered, not the picnics or fireworks or sitting poolside with friends, I just wanted to see Mother. It was overcast and unseasonably cold when my daughter and I drove to her house; we had a good afternoon catching up. Mother bought $5 in fireworks and we all laughed when an angry neighbor drove through an air of smoke and fire. Seeing her laugh made me feel better, though her appearance had lost its vigor--a strength that had been constant from childhood. She'd gotten through the depression, had traveled the world, survived three cesareans, had gotten us through the divorce, through meager funds, through teenage drama, high school and beyond. My mother was a strong woman.

A week goes by and I start to worry again. Gone With the Wind is on TV and it reminds me of how how she'd cry every time Scarlett returns to Tara, only to find out her mother has died. The next day, a Saturday, I call to check up on her. In my ear, a voice shaking and weak. She needs help. I drive down then rush her to the ER. 

Hour after hour goes by with no real help or answers. Bronchitis, heart issues, they all say. They never hook her up to an iv or offer medicine. Finally a nurse comes in and mentions the word 'cancer.' Stage 4. Terminal. Shadows on the lungs. It started in the ovarian and has spread. Mother keeps saying she is ready to go, but that is no relief. I don't want to hear those words and go into a cognitive dissonance. Time for miracles. Divine healing. This is not going to happen. The nurses wrap a DNR band on her wrist: Do Not Resuscitate. 

A few days they send her home. Hope. Nurses come by, there are dietary restrictions, physical therapy. Mother has to use a walker. There will be chemo, lung drains, xrays, meds. It all becomes a blur as I drive back and forth between my house and hers--my kids are veritable orphans existing on ramen noodles and Netflix. Though summer has grown hot, we never go to the pool, we never take a vacation or see a movie. My mission: save Mom. Ten more years, I say in my car to no one. Please, God, ten more. 

Chemo, more operations. They put a stint in her lungs, then the next day my siblings and I watch how to drain it ourselves. We never had to put our knowledge to the test. The next day mother is rushed to the ER again, and then hospice. If you don't know what that means, congratulations. Here's to never having to know.

Through it all there is peace in knowing that somehow this was all meant to be, and at least Mother isn't suffering too much. Hospice is calm, and ironically healing--for those in emotional turmoil. it was a fast, horrible journey. In three days she takes her last breath, her three children there with her. 

It is beyond painful to know that I'll never see or hear my mother again--in this realm. Earth. But I know she's out there. At the store a white-haired woman will walk by and I feel so damn jealous. Why do other people get to have parents still? Or grandparents? My voice of reason is gone. I'll never talk to her on the phone again, or see her on my birthday--she always took me out to lunch. She'll never knock on my door again, or complain about my hair or call me her angel. It hurts so much.

It's funny what you remember in times of chaos. At one particular appointment when she was supposed to get chemo, her doctor said she could hold on a few more months, or heal enough for two more years. Chemo could save her life for a while, or kill her now. Mom was quiet when I drove her across the street afterwards to get a new xray. I dropped her off at the door to park my car, then went into the lobby only to find her coughing. She'd swallowed wrong on a drink of water. Little comfort, people stared, a man took his baby outside even though it was July hot. Mother slumped and began to cry. She said to me, "Let's just get this over." And I knew what she meant. Then, when the nurse called her, she straightened her shoulders and we got the damn xray. On the way home I bought her a smoothie at McDonald's. That became our ritual. Appointment? Xray? Smoothie. It was about all she could eat. I bought her one two days before she went into hospice. 

My mind is playing tricks on me. I pretend she's still alive in some alternate timeline, and if I could just get to her, all will be fine. But the truth is, she's free now and I have to accept it. Never felt so painfully alive before, in the worst kind of way. Hug those you love. Don't take them for granted. Tell them how much you love them. Go buy them a smoothie. 

Happy Blechdays!

photo credit: arbyreed Mucus Containment System via photopin (license) Have you had it yet? You'd know if you'd had. I don&#...