…Because That’s Why They Have Xanax

Nanny McPhee and the big bang - Emma Thompson

Image by WorthingTheatres via Flickr

It’s all Jonathan’s fault.  No seriously. This dude (NOT my nephew Jonathan) called my Aunt at 10:35 last night pretending he has searched for her because he has always loved her. Romantic? Not so much. He knew her name and of course, instead of just hanging up on him, she engaged him. (‘Auntie Joan, its not the 60’s anymore.’) Afterwards, she freaked out  and kept the phone in her bed and ever since then weird things have happened in MY home. Lights are buzzing mysteriously, the oven is playing drums while it is baking Ghiradelli chocolate brownies and my daughter’s confident voice sounds timid like a sleepy mouse with slippers.  Something is going on and I am not sure what it is. I admit it, the brownies are frightening me and the washing machine is terribly noisy with a beat like swish-swish, a-swish, yes, you heard me, swish-swish, a-swish. It’s as if the dirty laundry is sneezing it’s resentment straight through the walls and into my agitated shell-like ear drums.

I am trying to breathe deeply but it is not working. I look for toothpicks and come up with a cow bell; I am trying to act like a grown-up but I am spooked.  Sure, I could reach for the anti-anxiety pills but this is too disturbing for even that. I’m too anxious to take an anti-anxiety pill.  Do I sound vaguely like Charlie Sheen?  I feel sorry for him in one way because I really do think he needs help although he could just be a friggin’ genius putting us all to shame and running to the bank with buckets of dough. Neither option is good. “Charlie, get some help and don’t even think of doing a reality tv show.”

I watched   “Nanny McPhee” today and I do think they need a warning label for adults. First, did they not realize that it is a plain rip off from both “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music” intertwined with LSD or perhaps some crack cocaine? That movie, for scary pups like me, should not be watched alone. (Do you hear that Tammy Lou?!)

Thank goodness the Ghiradelli brownies are done so I can escape the scary kitchen and go upstairs to hide. The FedEx guy just appeared like a shadow until my dog started barking furiously as if there was an imminent threat. Am I watching too much TV? I’m not talking comedy shows like the impeccable “Modern Family” or the lovely, realistic show “Parenthood” not even “The Celebrity Apprentice.” (Wait, did I hear something about Donald Trump wanting to run for President or was it another victim of my overworked and anxious mind?) I did see a flash of the news today, the real news and even watching it for two minutes made it leech into my brain and stay there giving “fear” company for “anxiety.”

I should practice the art of meditation. Do I really need to learn how to meditate? I mean do I actually need to pay money (at this point I think there’s no denying it) to teach me to cross my legs and breathe deeply, in and out, in and out, exuding calmness and harmony? Shouldn’t breathing be a natural process? I can make up my own “mantra.” Thank you.

I am trying to calm down, I shouldn’t watch those “scary” movies all alone at my ripe old age of 54. Next time I want to be scared silly, I will order “Nanny McPhee Returns” ( I actually can’t wait) from Netflix and take half a Xanax beforehand. We live in an insane world, how could we possibly feel sane all the time? It doesn’t work; I’m the example. Tonight I will eat calming foods, such as: the meatloaf I made yesterday drowned in ketchup, rice with butter and salt, and mango peach applesauce. I’ll be fine after that, I hope.

My Top Celebrity Sightings

Promoting "Staying Alive" in Sweden

Image via Wikipedia

When I was “oh so very young” I worked at Paramount Pictures in the Corporate Offices on the East Coast. I never did anything remotely related with stars but oh…the elevators. The biggest star sighting was seeing Diana Ross in the elevator. The doors opened and I was right there to see this regal beauty, I swear she looked seven feet tall. It was a moment, one I will never forget. She had such amazing presence. Shortly after that, I also saw John Travolta and that was JUST as special, maybe even more so. I was covering the front desk of the executive floor as a favor for a friend. The telephone board was so confusing and I was trying really hard not to lose anyone! When I finally caught a breath, I looked up and into the beautiful, warm, enchanting eyes of a very young John Travolta. He didn’t want to interrupt ME so he waited until I looked up. He was such a sweet young man, with wonderful manners and a smile that was brilliant. He then thanked me with a big grin and a wink!
I saw other “celebrities” but some were cranky or had attitude. A true star, to me, is one that is beautiful not only outside but inside as well. Thank you, John Travolta. Love, The Young Me

for MaryBeth C.  who made every day fun! I hope we can reconnect.

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The World Is A Scary Place

Holding the Punishment Cane, Waiting for Siste...

Image by theirhistory via Flickr

Yesterday, the sun was shining, the color of the sky was that of a red robin’s egg, a perfect speckled blue. The trees nearby danced, gently swaying, together in the light breeze like two limber young dancers. Just a moment or two later, I heard the sound of engines whirling and scraping and banging at the same time. I heard deep, angry rumbling coming from the back yard and my first thought was that there was gunfire and bombs exploding. I couldn’t move to take a very deep breath; for a second or two I couldn’t even exhale. What was I supposed to think? There is way too much angst and terror and suspicion in the world and there is no one, no one that can tell us it will be all better now or that the problem has been fixed and will never come back.

President Obama, Anyone? We need your strength and assurance now. All of us are asking questions but not getting answers.  I realize no one can promise, no one can soothe our fears and it is terrifying but I am searching for some, small, secret. A medicine for our pain. A healer to soothe our fears because I fear that I am not alone in this suffering. We all need hope and a positive role model, right now we need to feel strong and hopeful and confident. How will we ever get THAT back? I can’t watch television anymore because seeing the visions from Japan and hearing the cries remind me of the horrors in the world and I am back again at 9/11 and the airplanes crashing into buildings, people jumping, screaming, crying. Now there is one tragedy after another.

Earthquakes, terrorism, tsunami’s, mud slides, water, abductions, pedophiles, murderers, two ongoing wars, a new attack on Libya, (when was THAT approved?) hurricanes,  nuclear reactors, radiation etc. and that’s not to mention the everyday fears of health and welfare:  sickness, cancer, death, mystery illnesses, chronic pain,  MS, ALS,  Alzeimers, and so many other horrible sicknesses that we have no cure for. I feel like something has shifted in the universe and no one knows what to do or feel. The only thing I can do is try NOT to feel but that is hard and unrealistic. Right now, I feel scared and alone and helpless.

My head pounds like the sound of jack hammers on cement, throbbing with no break. I am slumped over in bed, with chronic pain and an excruciating, dark, headache. I don’t know what to do to make me feel better.  Usually if I stay in bed and am able to hide and sleep I will feel better slowly. Now? I can’t sleep soundly. The world has been sucker punched, and sleeping is no longer, my designated safe place.

I am terrified and I am probably not alone though most people don’t talk about it. It seems like a land mine that could go off anywhere, anytime and in any place. Nobody is safe anymore. We are helpless onlookers as the world changes incredibly fast. Perhaps fear is what we all know we have in common. I just wish it didn’t have to come to this to find our link to one another.

An Author I Admire (Plinky Prompt)

Joan Didion at the 2008 Brooklyn Book Festival...

Image via Wikipedia

Joan Didion

I read her memoir: The Year of Magical Thinking about life before, during and after her husband died. I would ask her where she got the strength to carry on day after day. I would ask how she could distance herself so emotionally from the situation to write a book that does not seem too emotional but more like a step-by-step account of the little things that went on when her husband died; the little details, the reading of the newspaper, the steps to overcome. What happened after you finished the book? Did your perspective change? Was life different? If you had to write the same book over again now, years later, what would you change? What new advice could you give? Were there things that you would have done differently? How has your life changed and what is your life like today?

With great respect,

Yours Kindly,

Hibernationnow.wordpress.com

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The MeMeTastic Award (which one is totally TRUE?)

The other day I received the MeMetastic blog award from my cyberfriend  Rosemary Lee of Seeking Equilibrium. Come play with us and try to discern which of my 5 posts is completely TRUE. Many have bits of truth in them but others are not totally  true. Can you tell which one it is? Post your comments and thoughts and I will reveal the answer very soon

There are a few rules that go along with the privilege/honor:

1. Proudly display the award in a post.

2. Post 5 tales about yourself; 4 must be made-up and one true. Now, there can be elements of truth in all the stories. Adding to the fun of creating these self-tales, is that readers can guess (and post in comments) which of the 5 they think is ALL true.

3. Pass the award along to 3 other deserving bloggers. I pick Selena of “My Aches and Pains” and Tammy of “Spicyt’s  blog” and Wendy Burnett’s ” GracefulAgony.” (it’s really 5 deserving bloggers but I didn’t want anyone to have to do it twice!!!)

Here we go:

1) Everybody who knows me knows I love FOOD! Went out to dinner once with hubby after reading a review of this restaurant in the newspaper. It got such a rave review that when we called for reservations they only had a 5:00 seating. Knowing how much we love going out to dinner we decided it must be worth it. We arrived at our “early” time and were surprised to see people eating there already. We were starving. The layout of the restaurant was tight, as if we were in a big city restaurant not a suburban eatery. The menu had some nice things on it and they even had a couple of specials. The specials sounded amazing and I ordered the steak and shrimp special. You know a restaurant is good when that buttery feeling just slides down your throat in degrees of happiness. My husband ordered a glass of wine and I ordered my usual, a Diet Coke. In the beginning of the dinner after we finished our roll, the waiters came to clear the bread plates away. I was surprised, what if I wanted another roll? When we finished eating, looked at the dessert offerings but decided (unfortunately) we were too full. The prices were fairly steep, ranging from 20 dollars to 42 dollars but was worth every penny.

2) Growing up we lived in a lower/middle class neighborhood.  My mother used to work at night at the local hospital in the ER and there was a Doctor who kept literally chasing her around the desk. My dad made her quit but she wasn’t happy about it. She ended up working for a BMW dealer whose owner would take her for rides and they once picked me up from school on a street corner, when I was sick, in the newest, flashy BMW. Later my parents bought a black jaguar with leather interiors and real wooden trays from this same man. We used to ride to all different neighborhoods and into NYC, waving to people as if we were in a parade and we were royalty. People all around us would wave back and stare into the car trying to place “who we were”as if we were actors and actresses or royalty from another country. We used to go to various restaurants or museums and the entire family, starting with my father, would write in a guest book signing Prince Robert Charles and we would follow suit with our own impromptu titles. Once we were stopped by the police and he asked us for the Drivers license and our permission permit to ride in a parade. Oops, our bad! We were caught and escorted out!! (That was NOT fun)

3) I was once in (what was then) the beautiful country of Yugoslavia with my mom, on tour, for two weeks. Once there we heard men whisper all around me, everywhere the words “kicki ricki.”  We were convinced since we kept hearing the same thing that this was some type of creepy dark, underground drug sale. Wherever we went, in open spaces people, on street corners, people kept saying the same things over and over again in hushed tones. My mom decided she would find out what they were talking about and entered a vastly crowded type of beer hall where they all stared at us and continued to say those odd words until I was practically surrounded by the men and their weird sayings. I was scared to pieces but finally, my mom, went straight into one of those small little enclaves, walked up to one of the men and said in a loud voice “what does kicki ricki mean?”  They stared her down and as I was about to run and grab my mother they too ran away quickly. What were they selling? What on earth were they doing? It couldn’t have been good because it all felt weird, and, we felt like we were being followed. It turns out that they were not selling drugs or beer or alcohol or hashish, what they were selling were “peanuts.” Peanuts?

4) My family traveled a lot and once we went on a vacation to Portugal. Once there, in a little fishing village called Cais Cais, my older sister wanted to explore. She dragged me down the village to where local fishermen were grilling sardines and offered us some. No way did I want to eat them but my sister grabbed the sardines from the fire and starting eating them with her hands. There was a man and his friend who offered my sister to show us around a private island. We had to go in a very small fishing boat, a row boat. As soon as we stepped on this island where there were no people, no stores, no houses, no nothing, the men decided to separate my sister and myself and wouldn’t let us see each other. I was frantic, calling for my sister and not hearing a word from her, all the while having a guy following me. He almost caught up to me when I thought I would die there alone and never see my family again. Finally, a few horrific hours later I was reunited with my sister and the four of us went back to the village where the fisherman gathered all around us, someone found an old camera and they took pictures of the two of us. Months later, a local friend of ours, sent us the little paper the village had and it featured an article about the “Two American Sisters” that had joined in the local ceremonies! I was so mortified, my sister was so proud!

5)My mom’s best friend lived in Florida first and then San Francisco.She was married for a long time and then got divorced. Her husband’s name was George. We all loved this woman like an aunt. She was the slowest eater I had ever seen, we would be finishing up our meal and she would just be starting to pick up her fork but she was wonderful and kind and sweet. She was a lovely woman and once I spent a week with her when she was living in San Francisco. I spent a lot of time walking around San Francisco, going shopping and seeing the sights. She had to work so she couldn’t come with me but I loved exploring different places on my own. I was taking black and white photographs and spent a lot of time outdoors photographing people. When my “aunt” came home for dinner we would eat, slowly, in her house. After dinner, she had a tradition, she would make me come with her and circle the streets where a man lived that she had a crush on. My aunt was 50 years old at the time and we had to keep going around the block for at least half an hour to see if his light was on, if he was home, etc. She was also in love with the opera singer Placido Domingo and knew that when he was singing on stage, that he was singing directly to her. She was convinced that eventually he would notice her. Years later, after the slow disappointment of the first two, the other man she was in love with was a contestant on Jeapordy, she watched the show when he was on and knew that they were meant to be together. She actually wrote a letter to the network, found out his name and wrote him letters. She couldn’t believe when he answered her letters and they ended up going on a real date!!! A year later they were engaged and I was the bridesmaid at the wedding!!!

My Favorite Museum

NYC - MoMA: Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'...

Image by wallyg via Flickr

NYC

 

My favorite museum, since I was a teenager, was the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. While other kids in High School would cut school if they had free time, and hang out with friends and smoke cigarettes, I would hop on the subway either by myself or with my friend Elizabeth and that’s where we would go. The museum was a wonderful place full of sensory overload, modern art, photography exhibits, even film. “MOMA” as it is called had a sculpture garden where, in the nice weather, you could read outside, eat ice cream and dream if you wanted to, your face being warmed by the sun. I knew a lot of the paintings by heart and where they were placed. It was always comforting to go there. I also used to go with my sister where she would inevitably charm the guard we had known for years and he would let us slip in for free, something I was too shy to do on my own. There are few places that I can go to and feel like I was “home” yet feel excited to reunite with my favorite paintings. In the small gift shop (before it was redone) I nestled with the postcards and books and always bought a few postcards as a reminder of the time I spent there. Even now, if I had a choice, I would head to MOMA, but I would practically have to take out a bank loan since the admission prices now are so high. I still plan to go again, hopefully this year, because in reality, happiness and art and feeling alive, is priceless.

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Saint Patrick’s Day 2011

Green Carnation

Image via Wikipedia

It’s March 17, 2011 and it’s St. Patrick’s Day;  top o’ the morning to you!  Enjoy the bright sunshine outside lass and lassie. Since I was a wee child myself, I would hunt for a green sweater and become Irish for just this special day. When I worked at Boston College, many moons ago, my boss would bring in a box of green carnations for all us wee lassies to wear. This happened every single year, a tradition we all looked forward to. Every year on St. Patrick’s Day while we sipped our early morning coffee, we would look up and around for the inimitable Leo O’ Sullivan to come in. His twinkling eyes, always dancing the Irish jig would smile at each one of us as he proudly brought in his big white box of spray painted green carnations that he held under his arm. There was a flower for every one of his “Irish employees.” There is not a single St. Patrick’s Day that goes by that I don’t remember him, elf-like and impish.

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A Heart Broken

broken vase

Image by Leonard John Matthews via Flickr

I remember the first taste of flirtation, just a whiff, like the softness of a pink rose petal; it was enough to intoxicate me. A feeling that went straight from my head to my toes, a fluttering. Eyelashes blinked at a slower pace, my deep, green eyes  warm, sexy and coy, sending messages. It was the attraction that comes from nowhere and heads straight across an apartment, from the front door to the living room, in two seconds.  I was wearing a white cabled sweater, my hair was long, brown, full and curly like gentle ripples in a slow river.

I miss those days of how just thinking about someone could make a flush run deep in my cheeks, and I would smile openly in the air, not caring what other people thought. My feelings became so intense that I ended up getting jealous of my own fantasies. He had eyes of brown velvet, there was no denying the attraction that happened at first sight. No getting away from it either, the pull of a fierce rip tide tugging at my heart and body.

This kind of physical attraction was new to me and it frightened me as well as consumed me. I was 18, home from college and met him at a party. Only later did I find out he was married with a wife back in Alabama about to give birth to their second child. I stopped cold and the sensuous side of me changed to brittle cement that settled in and stayed.

I did not want to become that person that snuck away to a hotel, I was young but not stupid.  Back in my dorm room I wrote his first name down in sketchbooks, a soft blush of pencil,  angry strokes of red and black. I had fallen in love with someone who was not available; I felt betrayed, angry and unhappy with the world, with him.

It was nothing and everything. It was waking up a side of me I had not yet known. Attraction, the physical energy with a stranger. His eyes locked on mine and we did not leave each others’ side after that. It was a party yet no one existed except the two of us. He was my first love, my first introduction to sensuality and feeling wanted. It did not have a fairy tale ending but it gave me an education, it was a glimpse into the future from a very brief, innocent, romance, one that I could not forget.

i want outta here

Fist by David Shankbone

Image via Wikipedia

i’m sicka my body, sicka my self, cranky as all hell for bein my age and my character and my illnesses. so sick i wanna steal someone else’s body and call it my own so i can feel myself for who i really am. know what i’m sayin? i don’t wanna be a granny, too old for who i am inside me. my body doesn’t match what i feel in my heart. i cant be happy anymore least not tonite because now my ear hurts and i dont wanna go to see my doctor cuz i am sick o doctors, doctors o every kind. i got lots of different doctors one for everything, and then some. none of them ever did me much good an i don’t care if they are hotshots. no cure, no care.

i wanta be another person in another place, or maybe me in a different time. i want ta be in hawaii like when i was 30 and in love and slim and my green eyes were dancing and my legs, arms, face, body was tan, like with healthy skin not like some tanner beds they have now. i was as brown as milk chocolate and equally sweet. i was someon way back when and i mattered.

now im just old and hurting and i ache so much all the time that it makes my mind go unhappy and a little nervous ass too. who am i now, i dont like this stranger, this whiny mess, she is not me but afraid she is me. i just dont like her anymore, not the way she is today. bring back that girl with the twinkling, brazen green eyes and the perfectly shaped lips. replace her sagging jowls with happiness and the black circles under her eyes, make them disappear too. you are old now and sick and there will never be a witness to who u were before you got these chronic illness like fibro and hashimotos thyroiditis. you know what it means. it means you hurt all over, all your muscles and all your bones and nothin makes you feel better any of the time except maybe when you sleep. sometimes when i sleep i wake up at 3am and then everything is just worse than usual because things get scarier and you feel really alone. try to sleep tho, because its your only escape from relentless pain. try.

jus remember in the mornin, you gotta start all over again, cuz there never is a tomorrow that is different than today. because sometimes life is not so fair even tho there are people that have it worse. but after awhile when u don’t get a break you think you gonna just lie this way forever and someday get smaller and smaller but you will still be lying on that bed, under blankets except the bed will stay the same but not you, no will just go on and disappear, like angry dust in the air.

Dear Me (in response to Phylor’s blog)

Cast all your anxiety

Image by Lel4nd via Flickr

Dear Me,
I keep asking myself why I hurt so much. Why do I feel like razor blades are cutting into my shoulders, why does my back feel so tight that it could break completely in half at any minute. My joints ache yet I haven’t been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis….yet but a friend told me she tested a false negative for five years. Is that something I am supposed to look forward to?
My mind and body are also anxious. It comes out of nowhere and I don’t know why it’s been happening lately. I do get anxious once in a great while but this has been going on for a little while already. Stop. OK, please stop. I’ll do anything to get rid of those pests inside my brain and my body that are hammering on my insides until they get through to my skin and I want to attack them like I would swatting at flies.
I’m not happy, nor am I happy. I feel dull, blah, not joyful yet not tearful. I want to feel something but I am incapacitated at the moment. Perhaps I fear my own fear. The world at large is a very scary place, I want to help, I can’t ignore it but we have no control over our lives. None. That is some scary stuff right there.
Just when I want to have an adventure I have to think about my Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Why did I have to get these together? I can’t even differentiate pain anymore because I ache all over. Muscles, joints, legs, all of it together, all the time. I am getting scared and angry at this stupid disease that doesn’t even have a cure for it yet. I’ve tried all kinds of pills, I’ve done everything I can do, yet nothing helps. Worst of all, some people don’t even believe that what we have is real. Why would anyone make up pain? So, there it is, my ups and downs, my sad to bad feelings, my utter feeling of helplessness in a world that is scary enough without any control whatsoever.