Monthly Archives: September 2011

sparklers as fire hazard, an old catty cat, and the proper care of scapegoats and peruvian donkeys

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i just don’t know where to go with this today. first of all it’s friday. secondly the playoffs start tonight (MLB), thirdly i leave for a san diego vacation/biz trip tomorrow, fourthly i’m going there with my hot guy and my baby girl, fifthly i’ve got a telecon with my mentor and coach later before she heads off to pet her donkey in peru (that is not a joke) as i’m cruising beaches and a killer tattoo shop, sixthly i’m just really happy and motivated, perhaps even energetically annoying to those less cheerful. and i’ve had exactly one cup of coffee. zoiks. even my horrorscope tells me that i can have it all…every exciting thing i see in front of me. so i’ll just shut up, soak it up and put the cheerleader in me back into the “pom poms, yeah right” closet.

so i went searching for a story to play with. not much there, frankly (or bradley or ashley or sara lee). scanning headlines, i found only the most vaguely humorous or interesting stories…some brilliant thing Rick Perry mentioned about a mythical love-child GOP front runner named Newtman Caingrich…PETA’s upset over chicken porn…the record for the longest living two-faced cat has been broken (18 lives? he(s) always nice to your face but so catty behind your back?)…the Red Sox Nation found this year’s scapegoat for their total and completely predictable implosion (one comment from announcer Dan Shaughnessy during a 7th inning rain delay in the last game of the season jinxed Boston for the rest of the game, and retroactively, for the entire month of their 7-20 september – hey, if it makes you feel better and keeps you from setting cars on fire, it works for me)…and i learned 9 facts about my ears, including that our ears help us taste. that is just so freakin’ weird i don’t know even know where to file that in my head (behind the eustachian tubes?).

that’s the run down and way too much cheesy humor. you can read more headlines on your own about war, the attack of the e. coli melons, some political romper room fights and lots of sad deportation threats. the rest of my thoughts and plans involve a lot of happy, happy, joy, joy and running around all day wielding my master to-do list, sporting sparklers in my hair (as opposed to fire…though – BIG WARNING: i have set my best friend’s hair on fire with a sparkler…sheepish grin.) people tell me i’m allowed to be this happy, that life doesn’t necessarily come along and smack the grin off of shining faces like mine just because it can. i’m a little skeptical, a touch guarded, a few of my wounds of the past couple years still a tad seepy. but neither simple nor severe injuries ever kept me off the playing field for long…my bench time is over for now…and this sports metaphor is making me tired.

happy friday, readers. take some of my smiles if you find yourself short. i will, this time, forewarn you of the dearth of posts you will likely experience in the next week. any and all words from vacation road will be my bonus, and your onus to read should you miss me. (i’m hoping “onus” really isn’t the word you’d use to describe reading my blog…the “onus” is only on my dear friends and/or family who are required to provide constant reassurance and convincing compliments).

so…for the moment, it’s good-bye. but we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies…  – j. kerouac.

 

 

 

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boston’s beautiful blunders and rays of rivalry sunshine

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wow. what a wednesday, bleeding right into a great thursday. my to-do list lost much of its spectre of doom yesterday as i handily checked tasks TaDone! all day. then i got a freebie no-baby evening and had a blast last night missing the biggest news story of my sporting year. waking to headlines has rarely been so sweet…sweet enough even to rouse my dormant desire to watch sportscenter on repeat all morning.

even if you aren’t a fan, you are probably hearing about the spectacular end to regular season baseball coming from every news ticker that’s ticking. it’s the most spectacular finish i can remember, and carries enough passion, drama, tears, jeers and screams to fill out a nice, thick baseball movie script (and i’ve never met a baseball movie i didn’t like). i’m kind of glad i missed it. i may have cried. i certainly wouldn’t have slept. i have goosebumps thinking about it, full on shivers watching sportscenter. i love feeling like a kid…i love this spark of excitement and watching myself hop like a flea about my kitchen and living room doing the squiggly, giggly butt-shaking dance of the gloating.

unreal. here’s the deal. i am first and foremost a fan of the game of baseball and all that makes it good and fresh, predictable and unpredictable, meticulous or crazy, precise or a sandlot scramble. secondly, i’m a Yankees fan which makes me a fan of any team playing the Red Sox. last night that was the Orioles at Camden Yards, my local AL park (Go O’s!). then, first headlines this morning had me cheering out loud for the Tampa Rays in their come-from-behind win over my Yankees. confused yet? not if you are any part of this 100 year old Yanks-BoSox rivalry. in their own field of dreams moment, the Rays beat my Yanks (aka this late in the season as the Trenton Thunder), coming from a 7-0 deficit in the 8th to take the wildcard from Boston, who was busy losing the wildcard on what could have been their star closer’s last pitch. hehe. drrrrrama. love it. a tie coming into the last night of the season…an obvious ending in sight…then wham, flam, a crack of the bat and the ol’ switcheroo…and Terry Francona is scheduling tee times instead of team workouts.

i know there are thousands of people writing about this and i’m not trying to be a sports columnist…though had i seen the Linda Cohn years coming, i may have actually attempted to use my broadcast journalism degree. i coulda woulda (i don’t believe in shoulda) been great at it…but that’s a life for another dimension. i’m just here to note that once again, all is right in the world, the stars are properly aligned and october ball is here…time moves on, patterns repeat and familiar stories comfort. there is something so timeless about watching the BoSox go from stellar to cellar in a month. don’t hate me if you are Sox fan (ok, fine, go ahead. i get it.)…this is what makes the game great.

(add to all of this that my brand new tires are already mounted, balanced and tested,  my car happy and whole in the driveway, by 9:40am, all accomplished with me in my pj’s. i wonder what the cutie tire tech with the stretched ears and easy grin thought of my one fish-two fish pajama pants. i know he thought well of the tip i handed him when this magical mobile tire delivery thing was complete. and it is magical, believe me. it makes me want to buy more tires just to marvel at the convenience , price and service.)

anyway, i’m rambling while a thousand disparate thoughts explode like pop rocks in my brain. i’ve been called silly for my devotion and thrill over professional sports. the cynics always have at least ten arguments in their pockets about why i shouldn’t care, but today the glee in my chest and steps and these little sparkles in my brain are my heart thumbing it’s little nose at the all of the killjoys.

play ball. have a thursday. smile a lot. and do a squiggly, giggly butt-shaking dance just cuz you can.

sleepytime town and a storm of tempurpedic proportions

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what an odd morning. i woke in a dark room from a sad and terrible nightmare. i noticed a yellow-orange daylight peeking through tree leaves and curtain edges as i shuffled to the bathroom. downstairs, i fumbled with a fearfully small number of coffee beans, pleading with the Universe for my own fish and loaves moment, and saw the strange yellow-orange glow deepening…not like sunrise, but something more surreal.

my twelve beans ground and watered, prayers for abundance prayed, i plopped down on my couch to check some headlines and read a post or two. i heard the coffee pot plodding through its typical morning motions, water hoses stretching, dumping black-enough liquid down the yawning throat of my carafe. through the french doors to the deck, i noticed the glow grow more haunting and less natural by the minute. i double-checked my sanity and a light switch, the outdoor lights are broken, they cannot be on. right? 

having lived in lots of tornado towns and a few hurricane alleys, i felt compelled to peek at yahoo weather and then at the sky. the forecast was unremarkable, but a strange september glow permeated all of the air, all the way up  to a cloud deck unsure of its own thickness. half asleep, i dismissed the eerieness and thought about falling backwards in time…just a few more weeks until we stop saving up our daylight for the harvest.

by then, black-enough liquid was wafting its siren scent and a day’s promises through the morning air. i grabbed a cup and softly smiled at the mixture, ever grateful that my fish and loaves brewed up this strong. it won’t be a lot of coffee, but it will be good coffee…and there is a starbucks on my way to work…an office i’m actually going to today in a rare show of executive dedication. as i walked back to my laptop, the day’s deadlines, my wordpress pages and a snoring couch dog, i heard the noise, unmistakable and soothing, of a morning deluge. in the next few minutes, a few booms of thunder and a thousand buckets of rain washed that yellow-orange glow right out of the sky.

i knew it. the color of a storms coming. green electric air or orange incandescent air…they both bring up my hackles gently, like hot breath at the back of my neck. it’s calm again now, everything soaked, the air a mundane morning grey. today feels soft so far, though i suspect it will grow chaotic as more brightly lit hours approach. this mood, this morning, is unexpected after the excitement and rollercoaster ride of recent weeks. i take pause to breathe. i try to muster an enthusiasm i don’t feel, while savoring a calm i don’t often experience in the middle of a work week.

it feels like a draw-the-curtains-and-sleep-all-day kind of wednesday. that feeling couldn’t be further from the reality that’s warming up my google calendar as i type. i do get this dreamy, this sedate…when the air gets heavy enough to weigh down my eyelashes, when the world outside doesn’t want to wake up any more than i do. and here i am looking for humor and wit and brilliance to share while all i have is this soft mid-week sigh.

yawn. dream. drink. dress. do. i’ll find something to laugh about. i’ll find enough coffee and company to turn myself into the spazz we all know and sometimes love. for now, i’ll let the silence in my heart and head wrap this day in a blanket of humidity, humility and humanity.

(and as i proof this, the first sound of a real wednesday pokes  my quiet morning mind…my cat is hurling. on hardwood. oh yeah. and the coffee pot is empty already. God help me. starbucks delivery anyone?)

clarity is in the coffee cup of the (be)holder

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mmm. sip. sip. sigh.

i woke this morning in a shiny little tuesday mood. i got my overwhelm out in yesterdayze post and got down with my master spreadsheet of lists. i feel good about where that’s going. i’ve got a special nerd flag on order for the unveiling later this week, and for what it’s worth, i’m ok with the neurosis suggested by compiling my to-do lists into a spreadsheet of many workbooks. i think i needed to succumb to the overlord within and place my feet firmly atop terra-kinda-organized.

and in an effort to flex my priorities, i carved out some time in my yesterday to see a friend, a piece of my heart, as she visited quickly and departed my metro. our lunch and laughter left me lighthearted, and inspired some musical meditation on a sunny drive home. here’s a funny thing about feeding your soul with friends, or spending some moments thinking about nothing but the exact moment at hand, the clouds in the sky, a voice lifted in out of tune appreciation…this is the kind of stuff that seems to magically insert extra time and focus into a hairy, hectic day. the “i don’t have time for this” demons settle into their back seats for a snooze cruise, hardly fighting over who i think is most important, who is an “on purpose” task and who was an “accident.” they all snore lightly, nemo snacks spilling gently onto fuzzy, sticky floor mats of accomplishment, until i get them home and into their proper routines again.

mmm. sip. sip. sigh.

so i woke today in this great mood, my responsibilities no less than yesterday, ready to plod along methodically through the rows and columns i so lovingly labeled with due dates, the sheets i marked each with a one word purpose. i opened my laptop, wondering what profound thing might come alive at the end of coffee-sweat fingers in a grand central station full of thought trains. as i scanned some internet “news,” the following words leapt from a BBC page, the foaming cappuccino thumbnail next to them swirling soft cinnamon scents from the hands of my imaginary barista:

Coffee May Prevent Depression, Scientists Say http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15059266

HaHA!! one more sign that all is right in my world! now…in the name of fair reporting, i have to say that coffee did not/has not exactly prevented depression for me, nor for some other debbie- and danny-downers i know. however, the following quote from the article made my caffeinated heart sing and the starbucks card in my pocket hum with joy:

Despite valiant efforts to show how dangerous coffee is for us, it is not proving so.

reading deeply into the article, the statistics are not as compelling as i’d like…(except for the 4-cup threshold for best-in-class depression control…thank you for the tip!)…in fact the argument for the prevention of depression is tepid at best…but no one can take what they want from statistics better than i when i try! and though this particular study makes no mention of coffee as adjunctive therapy to antidepressant medication or mood stabilizers, the raised, quivering hands of medicated and over-caffeinated respondents suggest preliminary anecdotal support for the combination.

i’ve studied this independently for years, my own uncontrolled statistics left lying around in a bowl of crazy things i wish were true, under the coupon i have for “good” gevalia coffee. it seems these days that science is validating my instincts left and right, right and left. it’s inspiring. in fact, it’s downright humbling to be so ahead of our time…to feel so gifted.

so if you haven’t figured out by now that i’ve finished almost a whole pot by myself already this morning, you clearly must needs more cups yourself. pour on, my dim-eyed morning reader…it’s about prevention, prevention, prevention! an ounce of coffee is nothing (less than a 5-hour rush!)…and if you happen to stop by your local roaster today, feel free to pick me up a pound of that cure. whole bean please…something bold. and some half and half. mmmm. sip. sip. sigh.

 

a moody maniacal monday menagerie of imaginary management magic

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ahhhh! there is so much going on right now. my action figure life peaks plaintively from behind this blinking cursor…my friend and frenemy…and i’m left wondering where all of this input is supposed to settle in my brainscape. a lost week and some lost momentum, and now i want to believe that this blur forms one bigger, messier image…the kind of image that begs a wider viewpoint in search of its broad, obvious pattern, a pattern i won’t likely see until my deathbed or later.

so i’m down here in the weeds, and my thoughts argue like schizophrenic contrarians as i sort out my today, tomorrow and someday lists. the toughest concepts i consider are cluttered with possibilities and probabilities, and little pieces of scrap paper that say things like, has boston been kicked out of the wild card race yet? and ooh, saints 2-1…when’s a good time for a football party? or i wonder if a truckload of mulch in the back yard would make the last month’s worth of dog crap go away?

i want to do too much, i know. my bucket list is 5 lifetimes long. sigh. take a deep breath, trish. as i do, my mind skips around on wilco tunes i heard live last night, to the place where i recharged my soul the way i do, by sitting in front of screaming speaker stacks. now it’s monday and i’m thinking about my trip at the end of this week and the details that go into business travel and vacationing with a two year old. at the same time, i’m wondering when i’ll get my daughter down to see her grandparents in florida again, when she’ll grow into a big girl bed or out of of diapers or how i will manage preschool next year. someone asked me this weekend if i had a costume picked out for my dog for halloween, which made me look at them funny and then wonder if i could just take him for another overdue walk and pretend he’s my daughter...oh, this? i found a new pattern and some fabric on sale…what does roscoe say, honey? 

and there goes everyone telling me to get ahead of myself again. (a lyric drifts maniacally through my headit’s still summer somewhere, and i guess i better go there…). meanwhile i’m trying to remember to get the trash to the curb, take my medicine on time, get my daughter to daycare and home, make a follow up appointment for the bleeding kidney thing, figure out when i can weed the front yard, get my animals to a new vet, get my teeth to a new dentist, my car to the new tire and brakes store (right next to the new tire and brakes money machine), and (EGADS!), i could do this forever. holy overwhelming life. one day at a time, trish, one day at a time. oh, and there’s still that full time job thing.

i think this is my midlife crisis. i’m not sure what it’s supposed to look like on a woman. i want to begin my second half, the next 40 years, if only for a second, with all my ducks in a perfect little squawking row….so i guess i’ve got about 9 months to sort it all out. Haha! is it so strange that i want to start with a fresh and clean to do list of tasks and dreams, in place of the churn i feel each morning as a i wake? still, i’m willing to bet that’s a dragon i can’t catch, no matter how earnest the chase. somewhere in college, everything i i thought i needed to do fit on a list. i kept that list tidy and up to date (three lists actually, non-electronic, cross-referenced in case i lost one – um, yes, it was clinical and i’ve addressed the issue). i’m not even sure when i lost control of that list…or when the somedays turned into tomorrows, then todays and then yesterdays. i’m guessing it was probably about the time i started Living.

and now it’s all about priorities…lists that never end, items that simply slip from place to place in order of perceived importance, relevance…some that linger at the bottoms of those lists only to nag and drag at my sleep in perpetuity. the best i can do is prioritize well. i’m writing this realizing, for the 100th time, that i will likely never feel, “all caught up” again. sigh. it’s almost too much.

so i’m going to crawl back to my coffee carafe, try to sort through some of these priorities and cheer up. i want a simple life. is there such a thing? for trish? perhaps keeping that simple life alive in my imagination is how i prioritize, how i keep the outrage to a lovable, livable roar, and the closest i’ll get until it’s all as simple as soft food and activities of daily living. some people like to tell me that if i don’t slow down, i’ll get there sooner than i think. sigh. i’m 39. my child hasn’t even started pre-school yet. i haven’t officially opened doors on my own business yet…the one i see as the backdrop for the “second set” of my life. did i miss intermission? i could have used the pee break.

plans and painkillers…out the window and through the looking glass

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so there i was, just blog, blog, blogging along…i believe i mentioned something about wine and pills, or was it whine and pills? suddenly, out of the darkness emerged a villain not even actionfiguretrish could challenge by herself…and so our intrepid heroine goes down in torturous, multi-colored flames of delusion and pain. plans? what plans? i missed a pig roast, wasted concert tickets, fell behind at work and home…you know the drill.

ever have a kidney bleed all on its own for no apparent reason?  me either. ever have an infection bad enough to make your kidney bleed and not even know it? me either. anyhoo, enough about bleeding things. the point is, i’m at home on my beloved sofa, in my beloved writers’ living room, surrounded by Jack K. and my library of books and vinyl, on the first day back that feels something like normal…at least normal for me. ahhhh.

so, i apologize to all 11 of you who stop by to read my blog sort of regularly. i thought about writing while i was institutionalized but something about an opium haze sapped my concentration and led me instead on somnambulatory adventures to hospital room bathrooms and giant, noisy, futuristic, tubes meant to elucidate my sorrows.

i don’t have any grand lesson to share here. even the one i peddled from my soap box two fridays ago really didn’t help me out much until my body was screaming in a plaintive, dying whisper…like yelling in a dream…”Geeeeettttt Ouuuutttt (-side to the car and get your butt to the ER).” it’s like tornado warnings….sometimes you get enough warning to get all your important papers, your kids, your pets and anyone you know without a basement into party mode complete with special drinks named after the storm. other times, it’s all you can do to dive under a table and pray. maybe it was that dive under the table that bruised my kidney.

so today is really a big thank you to the friends and family who reached out, cared for my daughter, covered me at work, sent good wishes and told me to sit the heck down until i was well. this is a shout out to all the incredible staff at the INOVA hospital where i sojourned and watched the clock, whining for pain meds every few hours. and to my second roommate with the possessed hospital bed, who made the visit funnier and much more interesting than it could have been; and who made me feel sorry for the very infirm older lady who spent quite some time trying to convince her caretakers that the bed sometimes moved on its own. her wasted words reporting a ghost in the machine were lost somewhere between her startled non sequiturs upon waking every ten minutes from the realistic nods that come with strong pain meds. sometimes she yelled them in german. “sabberst du oder hast du tollwut?” sometimes in accented english, “i said, ‘no porkchops in my jello!'” she was 6’1″ and over 300 lbs. she can shout anything she wants.

i missed writing this blog, but really, my ramblings are incoherent enough without brain addling fevers and iv drugs. and though i’m still recovering, i am finally looking at my laptop again, pondering and pontificating, and lamenting the new facebook landscape that rolled into town when i was staring down the nurse call button and watching jerry springer. did you know jerry springer was still on tv? reruns i presume. or perhaps that was an opium nightmare. please forgive me, Universe, my options were so limited. i actually had to bang on the side of the tv to get reception for that show. and it’s hard to read a good book when your eyes perceive everything in triplicate.

i could write at least five columns after the people- and hospital-watching i did this last week. they’d probably be funnier to me than you, so i will try to shake off my hospital stay and move on. this actionfigure is convalescing with laundry, pets and my baby girl…my sweet 2.5 year old who brought her bee pillow to my bedside to cuddle, told me that i wasn’t sick anymore and wanted to put a bandaid on my back to fix it. (requisite, “awwwe.”)

now my oral pain meds are sinking into my soft tissue, so i must stop typing before this thing grows twice this size and half as interesting. life and its curveballs….this was not part of the plan. sigh.

an organic liquid fire…a class B extinguisher i think? shoots wine and pills…

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i think i’ve developed a new phobic condition, undocumented so far in my obsessive research in search of a single case in the general population. like most phobias, its genesis is woven throughout some of the oldest images in my life tapestry. see, i spent a lot of time as a kid, and later as an adult, with some significant and long term health problems. some were obvious, some more mysterious, some likely the culmination and interaction of lots of different dis-eases i stumbled through from childhood on. i suffer little anymore, my toddler seems to have cured a few ailments, and my days of being a “sick person” seem like a different lifetime.

still, as a result of that experience, i’ve developed a phobia regarding hypochondria. now, there are tons of articles and mentions of hyphochondria as a phobia or non-phobic obsession. it’s characterized by a recurrent or consistent fear of catastrophic illness, real or perceived. that’s not what i’m talking about. i’m talking about a phobic fear of becoming a hypochondriac, or even being perceived as one. call me crazy (it’s a big club), but if you know what i mean, you know what i mean. if you’ve ever been a medical mystery for a doctor who would rather make you feel crazy than be wrong, you can probably relate.

and so my whine elucidates its fundamental source, the rock of ages from which the purest drips of my soul drop into moods of all colors, shapes and sizes. i would think that this particular brand would no longer fool me with its tired disguise. i’ve come to the following realization some countless number of times in my life, so why is it still capable of presenting as a sneaky little surprise? i can remember specifically at least three separate occasions where i told myself, if you find yourself feeling this uncharacteristically whiney for no obvious reason, and become a drippy, drawling, mewling complainer who assigns Hal-like intellect and intention to your household trashcan and annoys even yourself…you are getting sick. 

simple enough. the life i thought was going so well just days ago is actually going well. the happy drugs i really need are some simple, old-school antibiotics. i’m once again reminded to listen to my body instead of my mind especially when my body is screaming, UTI! and my mind’s best argument is, nah, you don’t have time for that right now and it could be something else that’s causing three days of fire pee. sorry for the TMI, but the mere absurdity of my internal argument compells me to share.

i’ve ignored this out of a sense of obligation to other things, boredom with the idea in general and some hesitance about my lack of a GP since moving. i’ve ignored it until it’s making me queasy and bringing on a headache. i’m grateful for MinuteClinic and hoping they treat this kind of thing, but there are plenty of places for me to address this issue. my excuses are thin and easily overcome. thankfully this type of illness doesn’t preclude weekend company nor ask that company to risk life or general well-being to entertain me. thankfully i’m an ol’ pro at these…an amazing 37 years experience under my belt…so i can treat, fix and weather them well.

but really, how silly can i be? my whole morning resonates with one big, well, DUH! once again i’m amazed at how capable i am of ignoring what i don’t want to address. i can’t figure out if, overall, it’s helped or hindered me in this life. i mean, sometimes things you ignore do just go away. i’ve seen it. and by the power vested in me by myself, i thought i could command those little bugs right out of reality. out germ! out of my nether regions! out of my imagination! i thought i banished them, sent them off to swim in the Eternal Vat of Imaginary Wine i pretend to drink on this blog. (i swear i really don’t drink that much and that it’s NOT why i get UTIs or kidney stones. i don’t mean to be misleading…i treat all forms of alcohol with equal reverence and try to maintain a healthy balance between them.)

so, pee in a cup, i will. smile over a cup after my recovery, i will. listen to my body as soon as it starts complaining instead of waiting for my mouth to say it louder, i will. rest up a bit, i will. and save the rest of my words for a more creative moment, i will.