thank you Ghandi

Apple Store San Francisco - Genius Bar

so i went to the snooty mall today, all anxious and not knowing where to go. my sense of direction is what legends are made of. as in i have no sense of direction, never did, never will. and jill was not working. yes, jill our gps helper person.  of course, when I have to go to the complicated mall jill just shows me an hour-glass going up, going down. i had no idea where i was going. had to stop a car in the next lane  and scream to ask for directions. it was all so seventies.  there was bumper to bumper traffic, what should have been a 35 minute drive took me over an hour and ten minutes. I was all jittery and hot and flushed since I didn’t want to be late for my appointment and nordstrom’s doors were locked tight and it was like totally dark in there so we were all milling around in the parking lot waiting to see if someone would unlock the doors because eventually they had to. right? i mean it is nordstroms….

i had a 10:15 appointment with the genius ( i kid you not, that’s what they are called) at apple and I was all running over shlepping my computer because the dvd player which I tried at home at least 12 times, was all of a sudden working. surreal, i know, totally  really surreal, like going to the doctor with a complaint and then as soon as she walks in the room, it’s gone. cured. just like my computer when he, the genius, put the Ghandi dvd in it that had scratches and i swear that Ghandi himself healed the computer’s dvd. no seriously, Ghandi himself fixed my computer and saved me about 200 dollars.

while my computer  was given a free, yes free, new keyboard, i walked around the pretentious mall and wanted to get an iced tea. there was a specially tea store and I swear on my life, they wanted me to pay $4.95 for a small herbal iced tea and i was so “i’m so out of here” because starbucks is even cheaper than this and i have a gift card. i walked around the mall slowly until two people (two different people) accosted me, shoving samples in my hand. and I was all fine and happy that i got free samples until I looked at them and saw they were samples for people with deep, severe, repeat deep, severe wrinkles. now i had two wrinkle cream serums and I thought to myself, omg, I must look so old and horrible and I didn’t even have an iced tea to drink to keep myself hydrated.

i’m in all sorts of pain and my back is all sore especially the lower middle back and i am tempted to cry but am trying to hold myself together because yesterday was a horrible day and everyone was in a miserable mood. today was a little bit better because it must be that Ghandi sent some more healing powers although it seems the genius who worked on my computer did something wrong and now my computer sounds like an airplane on a runway about to take off. but supposedly the dvd player is still fixed, just not sure if i can hear it now.

i met a really interesting friend of my mother’s who is an artist and somehow she inspired me in some sort of creative, optimistic way.  i am now thinking about taking an art class even though i know i have zero talent but i’m talking myself into trying again. i failed clay once and i’ve never forgotten it but i was in my twenties then and at 54 i really don’t care all that much. so i need a new hobby and now i have inspiration and a sunnier disposition to think about it. so i will plug away and maybe get involved in something new or maybe i won’t and will be the lazy slob i always have been and dive under piles of comforters and dream of spring.

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My Favorite Candy

Anything with chocolate is dandy…….

 

Sometimes you feel like a nut…

“Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t….Almond Joy’s got nuts, Mounds don’t. This is not to say that I don’t like Kit Kats, Twix, M&M’s, and 3 Musketeers..but one bite of an Almond Joy or Mounds bar is a quick, easy path to heaven on earth.

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We Didn’t Ask For This (FIBROMYALGIA)

27/365: fractured reality/grace under pain

As a Fibromyalgia patient I need to explain a few things that the general public doesn’t understand. Actually, there are things that WE don’t understand but we are clear on one thing. This is NOT in our heads. Whatever crack pot thought that one up was clearly not a pain sufferer. We didn’t ask for this disease that makes us  live in a state of chronic pain.  Believe me, no person would want this every single day of their lives, no person would choose this.  We live our lives on the edge of our seats for two reasons: 1) because sitting one place for more than three minutes will hurt and 2) we can’t make plans ahead of time because we don’t know how we will feel on any given day.  People ask me to do things and I always use the same line: “Let me see how I feel.” Of course I have said it over and over again but people who are not patients tend to forget.

Which reminds me: forgetting things, we start to speak and stop, we go upstairs to get something and then not remember what we are looking for.  No, we are not feeble-minded, nor are we crazy, old, senile or menopausal. (Ok, we could be a mixture of things) There is something called FIBRO FOG which makes us forget, makes us as cloudy as fog rolling in to San Francisco. It is not our fault. Do you think I like looking like an absolute fool? Don’t you think it stings when my children say “I just told you that”or “Mom, I’ve told you that story 100 times.” I’m sure you did but “Fibro-Haze” got to me once again. I honestly don’t remember the last time I had a totally lucid conversation. I seem to drift half-way through. My husband recommended that I take stimulants, the pills given to people with ADHD. Thanks, but I’m on a lot of medications (that don’t help) as it is. Please don’t play doctor, you can’t imagine how many people do that to us. We know you mean well, it just doesn’t help.

If patients, had wanted this stubborn illness our homes would be filled with Fibro-Friendly items. We would all have an in-house masseuse. The refrigerator would be filled with our favorite soft foods,  soup, pasta, cheesecake with an apricot glaze, soft and chewy brownies that won’t activate our TMJ. We would all have extra-king size beds so we don’t have to bump into our partners in the middle of the night. Hair stylists would fluff out our thinning hair to make us feel better about ourselves. Our bedrooms would be equipped with huge 3D, High Definition television sets, the exact height that is comfortable for us so we don’t strain our already tense and knotted necks and shoulders. All houses would come with nurses and aides, to drive us, do the laundry, cook dinner and attend to our every need.  Our medicine cabinets would be filled with newly invented “Miracle-Meds”, an innovative medication that actually helps and relieves all of the pain. Not cocktails of useless pills that don’t do anything except make our stomachs, and IBS,  feel all sorts of crazy weird.

Chronic pain, with no relief is horrible. Please don’t talk to us like we are  psychologically challenged. There is nothing wrong with us except that we hurt. We hurt constantly with no relief. We have pain that is relentless, pain that is constant, pain that we have no choice but to accept it in our daily lives. We also don’t want your sympathy, but we would love your understanding.

Pop Cop: Lindsey Lohan (Get A Grip)

This mugshot is found from http://www.perezhil...

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I read today that the quintessential Lindsey Lohan is headed back to rehab for violating the terms of her probation. Really. If it were up to me I would  boot her skinny white ass to jail where, I think, she belongs. Forgive me for being crass but let’s take the rich, glamorous, Hollywood glitz and celebrity status out of this situation and then do the math.  Replace Lindsey Lohan’s name with an UNKNOWN drug addict from ANYWHERE:  Hawaii, Nevada, Florida, New York, a tiny crack house in Los Angeles ( you pick) and then hand down your verdict. Remove the expensive lawyers, the media frenzy and the public’s fascination for Hollywood and where does that leave you? Probably in jail, with the rest of the people who don’t have a ton of money for rich, top-notch lawyers. If this case involved an unknown, “regular” person would they too receive the “get out of jail free” card? Not in my opinion. I don’t think they would get the same number of chances when they relapsed either.

How many “do-overs” would we get for the same exact crime?  Many people have drug and alcohol addictions and I am sure its an extremely difficult thing to go through but, in my personal opinion, it was made easier for Ms. Lohan.

I’m sick of a justice system that allows a young addict like Lindsey Lohan to go back to a rehab program instead of sharing a cell in the county jail (oh right, I forgot, she had her own private cell when she was in jail.)  Where is her orange jumpsuit now? What privileges have been taken away from her? They even removed the SCRAM bracelet that detects drugs and alcohol from her fragile, famed, skinny, ankle.

What’s next for Lindsey Lohan after rehab? Perhaps a movie career, a modeling job or a talk show host for the daytime diva.  I seem to be missing the part where she is supposed to say “I am totally responsible for my actions.” I don’t know what will happen to Ms. Lohan after her stint in rehab; I have no idea, nor do I truly care. In all likelihood she will be able to work on her clothing line in rehab and will reap the financial rewards when she gets discharged.

Will Lindsey Lohan go the route of Anna Nicole Smith? It’s a possibility, I’m sure. It’s in her best interest to finally get herself clean, I’m just not sure if she can stay clean and sober. For her sake, I hope she does. She has brought this upon herself, partying to all hours of the night with her friends; touting liquor like it was her favorite lipstick. Get clean Lindsey, you’ve been given yet another chance. Don’t mess it up.

Man vs Food #3 (Because You Asked For It)

Subliminal Nachos (Add-A-Note-Festival!)

Image by Lucky Bielka via Flickr

Welcome to Ann Arbor, Michigan home to deli sandwiches, stacked burgers and the University of Michigan. ENORMOUS EATS! That shouldn’t come as a shock since my friend, Adam Richman of Man vs. Food is apparently in town. A stack of greasy burgers is just waiting for him as he tries to bite, gulp, and swallow his way through the massive blimp-style burger. The  burger comes with various toppings, fried eggs, (I kid you not) salami, bacon, cheese, anything that you can think of. But wait, it’s only  1/10 of a lb. of meat so for Adam this must qualify as health food. What? I should have known: in this show you HAVE to stack the burgers. If you didn’t, it would mean you were practically on Weight Watchers! I forgot, It’s Adam’s world, (sounds like Wayne’s World only more gross, grosser?) and there must be a law somewhere about that.  Try bacon, egg and cheese on three burgers (heart attack alert?) Two to five (yes, five) burgers is the general request. However, I believe the record is for 43 patties… I’m sorry I must have misheard. I don’t think I can believe that. There are an enormous amount of burger combinations to keep your imagination alive: grilled items such as bacon and onions, and EVERY kind of cheese. Condiments include: olives, lettuce, tomato, mustard, ketchup. Keep eating these mountains of hamburgers, it’s guaranteed to increase your cholesterol by a good, say 200-300 points.

Then, there’s the Ann Arbor game day tradition, the Maize and Blue deli, huge, special, triple play Rueben sandwich made with two slices of thick sourdough rye, homemade Russian dressing, sauerkraut ( ugh, the smell) Swiss and Jarlsberg cheeses (as if you really needed that extra bit of Jarlsberg’s nutty flavor). Combine that with four ounces each of pastrami and corned beef and  grill, (because it’s not greasy enough.)   Adam talks with his mouth full, we expect nothing less. Yes, you did see the coleslaw fly out of his chubby mouth as he was eating, no trick photography there! And, to think,  he thought the only great rueben sandwich could be found in NY. Silly boy, as they said in SNL, you “kid the public.” Adam, keep your mind and big mouth open and you will discover all the riches of the gastronomical world, all super-sized.

Right in front of me you can see his swollen, greasy upper lip. The next  competion and challenge? Nachos: I had a small dinner so I was able to watch Man vs Food without actually gagging. I want to know this dude’s cholesterol numbers. Even mine are high and I don’t eat one percent of what this guy eats. This show is the only time I feel that I could possibly turn into a vegetarian, easily.

Next up: a 5 lb nacho challenge. Yes, read my lips, 5 POUNDS of NACHOS at Tio’s Mexican Cafe. Apparently they run on wolverine spirit ( as in school spirit) and eat like wolverines to boot. It’s game time: “Eat Adam, eat!!” At Tio’s mexican cafe, the epic 5 lb. nachos include:  blue cheese, (can he substitute?) coleslaw, pork, beef,  chicken, and cheese, (volcano style )and more cheese. First there is a giant layer of chips, and an elephant portion of refried beans. Refried, as if frying them once was not enough. This is followed by Jack and Cheddar cheese. We’re only on the first floor of the nachos tower so we need to go to the second floor which includes: more chips, beef, chicken, pulled pork, garlic and lavender (lavender? that seems so delicate for this monstrosity, I’m sure they said hamburger. After that another layer of…well everything.  It melts perfectly in the oven and is then served with gushers of sour cream, guacamole, onions, olives, tomatoes, and to top it off (TADA!) a kiddie pool of melted cheese. It looks like the kind you can get in a jar (just saying it looks like it, didn’t say it was), the ultimate in “queso.”  In 45 minutes,  Adam has to try to eat the “whole thing” in order to get into the hall of fame where he could win a T-shirt (I’m guessing extra-large) and his picture on the wall. If he loses (gasp!) he will join others in the  hall of shame. At this point I seriously hope he busts a gut, on camera, up close and personal. Before him sits 5 pounds of nachos, the ultimate challenge (aren’t all his challenges called ultimate?) There are crowds of people cheering this dodo on. Can he do it? Will he make it? Of course he does. I can rest easy tonight knowing that he made it through five lbs. of greasy nachos and came out of it a winner, a champion. Oh Adam….you have done it again. My hero. Not.

Optimist or Pessimist?

Just call me a “wide-eyed POPTIMIST.”

Bird Houses / 20071230.10D.46705 / SML

I think the word to describe me would have to be “Poptimist.” Let me explain. On the outside I am, without a doubt, a pessimist. I worry, I feel stressed, I imagine the worse. I annoyed my college friends when I thought for sure I had failed a test and then got a 98. I used to be so nervous every time I took a test that I thought for sure I had failed miserably. I held my breath when the professor handed the tests back. I sweated and trembled and thought I would vomit with anxiety. I always expected a 54, circled in bright red marker to further call me out as a loser. Honestly, that is what I really believed. I’m a horrible test taker and I never knew how I did. I just assumed I had failed even though I studied for hours on end. It was always such a welcome relief to get, not only a passing grade, but a really good grade. Self-protection? Of course. Defense mechanism? ABSOLUTELY! As I got older I became more of a pessimist; my mother is a die- hard pessimist and I know I got a lot of that from her. Nature and nurture. My father was an optimist for most of his life. Perhaps I have a tiny, hidden bit of my optimistic father deep inside me. I worry BEFORE I know the outcomes of things, call it anticipatory anxiety if you will. Yes, I do meet worry half way. I actually go up and greet worry and practically invite it home for lunch. But, way deep down, once in a while, there is a small voice, like a tiny, quietly chirping bird, hidden by a brightly colored bird house, that makes me feel if I make it through the stressful process, it just might turn out to be alright in the very end.

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If I Could Go Back in Time

Buttons in a bowl

There’s an internal button that was sewn into my soul when I was a baby, maybe even before I was born. It was a FEAR button which made me very unsure of myself when I was young. I took the easy way out when I could. I didn’t believe in myself and did not have any self-confidence. I needed to grow into that and embrace it. There was a job I interviewed for when I was 22, it was for a Production Assistant. It scared me, to be out and about in NYC getting props. I chose the safer route, the one I knew and I wish I hadn’t. Had I failed more, I would have had more experience but I played it safe. I would change that FEAR button and replace it with TRY.

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EARLY COLLEGE: A PARODY

Even though the SAT or ACT is preferred in dif...

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Dear College Board,

We are parents of a Junior and a Senior in High School. We know all about ” early decision” where students can find out their application status earlier than other students. We also know it is a binding contract and should be taken very seriously. There is also “early action” which is non-binding but still affords the potential student with information about their status from certain colleges with a rolling admissions process. We know it can be a very stressful and tense time waiting for the dreaded AND most eagerly anticipated, April 1st 2011 deadline.  Herewith, I am planning a proposal for yet another placement strategy that is called ” Early College.”

“Early College” are for those seniors in High School that are READY to be in college even though it is still the first quarter of their senior year. “Early College” is meant to help parents deal with their children’s “senioritis”: obnoxious behavior, arguments and their child’s apparent “superior- knowledge -in -everything.” Since these children seem to be SO advanced,  with their astounding wisdom and arrogance it seems fitting that they should have a temporary place to live at a college, any college, before they get officially accepted. Students  would be required to take the following courses: No Beer 101, No Weed, 101, No Lying 101 thru 501 (advanced placement offered after a failed a polygraph test), I Like My Friends Better 101, 301, and 501 and Trying The Patience Of Parents (can be repeated if necessary.)

Parents of the world have been suffering through this transitory stage since the inception of college as we know it today.  It is generally a process that starts in the Junior year of High School which includes, but is not limited to, the following:  1) driving permit, 2) PSAT, 3) tutoring for the SAT, 4) paying for the PSAT and SAT ) 5) paying for driver’s education course 6) paying for additional drivers on our insurance etc. We listen with an open heart to gripes about the PSAT, ACT, SAT, SAT 2’s, and those teachers that “hate” our children. We pay for additional tutoring with a smile and a hefty check and we shuttle those with a learner’s permit to and from: malls, movies, friend’s houses, malls, and malls. I am proposing a Junior program as well for those Juniors in HS that are not quite ready to take the big step away from home. It’s called the “Parent Appreciation Program & Smiling” program or PAPS as we call it. This program is for an entire week where students will have to sit through (or be sat on) courses such as the following: Eye Rolling, Superior Attitude, Cursing, and Selfish Behavior.  In these classes, teachers will parrot student behaviors and show students what it is like for parents every single day and night. They should learn how it feels and recite the following every ten minutes: “treat others as you would like to be treated.” That is, in our program, our mantra.

Thank you for your attention and consideration. We know that the aforementioned programs will bring a brief respite for parents and some important information for the Juniors and Seniors in all High Schools. Please let us know what we can do to expedite this program. I mean that seriously, please.

Yours truly,

Parents of High School Students Incorporated

Buying A Purple Shirt While Eating Jelly Beans

This is a picture i took for the Candy article.

Image via Wikipedia

This is the kind of post you want to read on a Monday afternoon when the clouds are all gray and gloomy and it is the start of a brand new week. The orange-green-red leaves on the trees are swaying and they look like they want to cry. I’m thinking about the future and living somewhere else where the sun stays out all day and you don’t have to wear a thick black jacket.  The only perk today is that our house is clean and it looks pretty. There are no cobwebs that I can see and the wood shines like a Pledge commercial. It smells lemony and the beds are made and the sheets are fresh and I am planning to take a hot bath tonight. It’s against house rules to put your dirty body into a brand new made-up bed with sheets and blankets that beckon you and smile.

It’s our friend Christina’s 16th birthday and she looked so sweet and innocent and happy like a shiny polished Macintosh apple. My son drives her to school and back every day along with his sister seated proudly in the front seat. Christina was wearing the soft beige scarf that my daughter gave her for her birthday. Her arms were packed with brownies and oatmeal cookies and chocolate cake that her school friends made for her birthday celebration. Oh to be young, filled with sweetness, innocence and incomparable joy. I see myself in young Christina, all eager and willing to please, her arms outstretched for a big, warm, hug.

I’m listening to music to quell the anxiety that has been plaguing me for the last week. It starts in the late afternoon and escalates until nighttime; my stomach clenches and my legs ache with unbearable pain. My aches and pains stem from stubborn, bossy, Fibromyalgia and sleep comes as a welcome relief.

I’ve taken down all the photographs of my children when they were very young and replaced them with an up-to-date picture of the two of them grinning, their eyes alive with mischief; my son’s arm casually draped around his sister’s shoulders. I had to beg and plead a lot for that one portrait. While I am extremely proud of my children’s independence I have had a few problems lately adjusting to it.  I can’t forget the moment last year when my son said patiently “Mom, High School is one big lie.” It is a message that has been burned into my brain and I think of it often.  I didn’t believe him then but I do now. Apparently, lies are commonplace but I need to force myself to look deeper, for honor, and not compare my past, unhappy and burdened youth to their present, over-indulged happy lives.

I am booking a massage at the local spa, a gift I received for my birthday, and I am looking forward to it. There, I will not think of the last year, tension pressed up against stress like two sweaty lovers: unemployment and illness together as one.  I will fantasize about traveling, seeing the tulips in Holland, a trip to Israel in the spring, perhaps the countryside of Spain. I will picture my loving husband’s face, his hand in mine, playing the punch buggy game in the car and competing in the “I love you more” contest. I will remember that when I asked him for a phrase, another definition for “empty nest” he threw his head back, howled loudly, with glee and in a snap of a second he shouted: “Freedom.” I love him so much in many ways but I especially love him for giving me that.

Dedicated to Danny