Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Year I Nearly Ruined Christmas

When you are a kid, Christmas is the most magical time ever. It is full of anticipation, excitement, mystery and wonder. I don't think I can remember feeling more excited about anything in my life at that age. The only thing that came close was the excitement I felt the year I had my eighth birthday party at the roller-rink.

I see the same joy in my nieces faces and it warms every single cell in my body. This year was no exception. However, this year, I also got to watch the dreams of two five-year-olds shatter like precious china hitting a marble floor. Yes, it is true. I publicly admit that I nearly traumatized my poor little nieces and made Christmas a life long PTSD experience of heart break and disappointment. 

My previous blog details a list of the things I love and hate about Christmas. I was talking about the blog with my sisters at Christmas and they suggested I read it aloud to everyone. I obliged but felt a little nervous at the same time. I was so focused on not screwing up that I wasn't really paying attention to exactly what I was saying. However, I realized something was not quite right when I read number eight on the list because my nieces, who were giggling and commenting the whole time I was reading, suddenly became silent. I turned to look at them and what looked back at me was something that will be forever burned into my memory. I saw the innocence of two little girls die a horrible death in front of me. Their stark white faces were etched with betrayal and I swear I could see the last sparkle of holiday magic burn out in their eyes.

Picture this face on my nieces. Pretty much the exact look.
I wondered what in the world I could have said to cause this reaction. So I read number eight again to myself: "Reliving the day I found out that Santa isn't real." The first thing I did was say the word "Fuck!" really loudly and watched as their jaws dropped even further open. Then I slapped my hands over my face. Oh. My. God. I had done it. I had achieved my Everest fuck up. Not only had I brutally murdered their Christmas joy, I polluted their pure, sweet ears with dirty profanity. I scrambled to some how smooth things over. "It was just a joke!" I said looking around the room, nodding "Right, Everyone?" Praise be to every deity that I've ever heard of that they seemed to buy it and we were able to quickly move on to another subject. 

The whole day, I wrestled with the doubt that they fully bought it. I asked my sister if she thought they did and all she said was, "They better have!" She was pissed that I nearly took away a huge source of behavioral blackmail from her. She would no longer be able to threaten them with having Santa's number in her phone and saying she will call and tell him how naughty they were being if they didn't listen to her. Can't say I blame her. I mean, what would she do then? Tell them she has Jesus on speed dial? Exactly.

I am happy to report that my nieces still live in the bubble of holiday bliss. Santa is still alive and well in their hearts and minds. It was a near miss of a plummet into a dark place. However, this year will always be remembered as the the year that my dumb ass almost ruined Christmas. I know I will never be able to live it down and expect to be receiving loads of coal in my stocking for years to come. 




Saturday, December 24, 2011

Love/Hate Christmas List

Like it or not, Christmas comes every single year. Without fail, elves begin making toys and Santa makes the circut around every local mall. He smiles his jolly smile at each adorable little snot factory as he sets them on his knee and listens to requests for pretty jewelry, trampolines and luxury vacations. OK, that is actually what I asked for myself before he had a chance to throw me off his lap, but whatever.

All my adult life, I have had a strong love/hate relationship with the Christmas holiday. I wish I was one of those wacky holiday enthusiests who wear ugly, light-up Christmas sweaters and sing carols everywhere they go. However, in reality I'd have to say that I fall somewhere between a cheerfully neutral person who plays along with the festivities and someone who wants to commit homicide via candycane. In the spirit of goodwill and holiday cheer, I decided to list some of the wonderful things that I love about Christmas. As a person who places a high value on balance, it is in the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge and Mr. Grinch, that I also list some of the things about Christmas that make we want to become Jewish immediately.

My Christmas Loves:
1. Food, food, food. Delcious food.
2. Watching the faces of my five year old neices as they open their presents.
3. Mistletoe, muah!
4. Christmas lights. They remind me of beautiful Christmas fairies!
5. Christmas movies. Espeically, "White Christmas" and "Elf."
6. The scents of Cinnamon, Pine and baked goods.
7. Taking a lovely Christmas nap by a fire or other cozy spot.
8. Belting out awesome Christmas songs at the top of my lungs. My specialties are "Let It Snow" and "Baby Its Cold Outside."
9. Getting Christmas cards with pictures of people, their families and pets. Pictures make everything more fun.
10. Bell-ringers. Normally, people find theses people super annoying. I find them inspiring. I think its great that people volunteer to spend hours in the cold trying to raise money for the needy.

My Christmas Hates:
1. Christmas shopping or trying to go anywhere near a store this time of year.
2. Trying to coordinate seeing all the parts of my family. It makes me feel like a one-woman road show.
3. Crappy Christmas songs. Especially that particularly nauseating one known as, "The Christmas Shoes." Yep. Threw up a little in my mouth just thinking about it.
4. All the hype leading up to Christmas and then the let down when its over.
5. Tacky, overly decorated houses that look like Christmas just threw up all over them.
6. All of the wrapping paper that gets thrown away every year. I swear, if I listen closely enough, I can hear the sound of entire forests crying out in horror.
7. The pressure for everything to be perfect. The meal, the decorations, the presents etc. Can't we just order pizza and enjoy each other's company?
8. Reliving the day I found out Santa isn't "real." I've decided to remain in denial about this one.
9. Two words: fruit cake. Is there really ANYONE out there who actually likes that poo-loaf? Ew.
10. Remembering that "holiday spirit" does not mean alcohol.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and if things go badly this year, next year I will be wishing you a Happy Hannukah. Mozel Tov to you and yours!

Monday, December 5, 2011

TIABM #3 (Things I Abhor Beyond Measure)

There are many things that I love and treasure with pleasure. However, there are also many things that I really can't stand. The following is a list of things that make me want to bunch a baby or worse. Otherwise known as "Things I Abhor Beyond Measure."

* Wood ticks.
* Super clingy people (human wood ticks).
* Stepping in dog poop...or poop of any kind.
* Being late for anything.
* Scraping snow and frost off my car.
* People who are chronic complainers and never have anything positive to talk about.

* The sound of nails on a chalkboard (you just cringed thinking about it, didn't you?)
* Taking a bite of an apple you expect to be crunchy and crisp but then discovering its soft and mushy.
* Traffic jams.
* People who refuse to see or take responsibility for their actions.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Spirit on a Psych Unit



You know it is that time of year at the hospital when fake, over decorated pine trees start appearing all over the place. Even our own crazy little unit gets a "safety approved" tree. Santa's elves, otherwise known as "Joe" and "Marvin" from facilities management, delivered our tree the Monday after Thanksgiving this year. 

Mariya (my co-worker) and I were sitting behind the desk and watched as the "elves" wheeled in a six foot tall tree, decorated with all plush and light weight ornaments. Admiring the new festive addition to the patient lounge, I turned to Mariya and said, "We should really start taking bets on how long that tree lasts before someone messes with it." She laughed and replied, "That is actually a really good idea." We turned back to our respective computer screens and gazed over them at the cheery symbol of holiday spirit, twenty feet away in the patient lounge. 

Approximately fifteen seconds later, a particularly psychotic patient walks calmly into the lounge and spots the tree. "Oh, a Christmas tree." She said, as she casually makes her way over to the tree, throws it down on the ground, stomps on it and calmly walks away. I am not kidding you, this actually happened. Her timing could not have been more perfect.

Mariya and I just started, gaping mouthed at each other; trying to figure out if what we witnessed had really just occurred. Chocking back fits of laughter, we made our way to the lounge to tend to the situation. Being Jewish and allergic to all Christmas related paraphernalia, Mariya handled the patient while I took care of the tree. I had set the poor, abused thing upright again and was collecting ornaments off the ground when another patient approached and exclaimed, "Oh! Are we decorating for Christmas?" I had to smile. "Yes we are!" I said as I gave her an armload of ornaments. "You want to help?" She smiled back as her head bounced up and down like a dashboard toy. Together, we redecorated the tree and proudly admired our work when we finished. 

This holiday season, that patient gave me two of the best gifts without even knowing it. The first thing is the gift of laughter. She provided me with one the funniest and now favorite memories ever from my job. The second was being able to share the experience of connecting with another patient through redecorating the tree. You never know what will happen next on a psych unit. It might be funny, heart warming, heart breaking or down right scary. In any case, it is always interesting and the stories you have are better than the ones you could ever make up.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful

I met someone. Not just a random stranger that I bumped into with my cart at the grocery store. I met someone who decided to challenge me to a game of Grocery-Cart Chicken where neither one of us gave in before the point of impact. To me, that makes him someone special. So there you have it. I met someone special. He is laid back and easy-going in day to day life. However, he is a take charge kinda guy and rises to any challenge presented to him. He is kinda like a super hero that way: all cool and Clark Kent-like but then turns into Superman when he hears the need call to him. He has been like that to me in so many ways. Not like I NEEDED him to save me or something screwy like that. However, he has heroically made some pretty sucky situations suck far, far less. Anyway, I will refer to this lovely, amazing person as Clark. 

He is one the most interesting, multi-faceted people I have ever met. His interests are incredibly varied and will be touched upon in the following list: Blacksmithing, computers, playing guitar, forestry/botany, martial arts, history, reading, inventing/creating, gaming (video, strategy, cards, role, etc.), cigars, travel, wood working, singing, ethnic food, yoga, personal growth, I mean seriously. This guy is so neat to talk to because he is knowledgeable about so many different things. Not to mention he is very smart and personable. He is passionate, dedicated and hard working. Clark is an intellectual, introverted, self-proclaimed geek. This fact only multiplies his charm by seven thousand, four hundred and sixty-nine. 

Clark is a person who is complex but straight forward. He has a depth that is not just deep but full. Full of experience, knowledge, interests and dreams. He is the kind of guy who is illusive and a bit evasive at first. However, as I get to know him, I am discovering a certain clarity that comes with understanding him as a person. Its like putting together a puzzle and having no idea what it will ultimately look like. However, I find that it is more and more intricate and beautiful as I put each tiny piece in place. He is fun like the satisfaction you get after seeing an incredibly hilarious movie. He is intellectually stimulating like a good book. He is amazingly self-nourishing like a day at the spa. He is comfortable like a soft, warm blanket and cup of tea. He is feeling care free, like going as high and fast as possible on a swing. He is inspirational like a great song and just as hard to get out of my head.

One of my favorite things about Clark is how amazingly understanding and supportive he is. This is especially evident surrounding everything that has to do with Simon. From the very beginning, Clark has never been put off or threatened by my feelings about Simon. When I am sad, he is right there with a hug. When something reminds me of Simon, he never minds me mentioning it. He listens to stories about Simon and laughs with me at the funny ones and supports me through the tough ones. I will never forget the day that he said, "You know, Simon sounds like such a cool guy. Maybe this is a really weird thing to say, but I wish I could have known him." I don't think he knows it but my heart melted and I had to fight back tears after he said that. He also said, "Simon is and was a big, important part of your life and that means he is a big part of mine." Ummm, where did this guy come from? Honestly!

With the holidays approaching, I know that it there will be moments of sadness. I would be a big, fat liar-liar with pants on fire if I said that I didn't miss Simon. I still think about him every single day, multiple times a day. However, I can not help but think about how thankful I am for all of the blessings in my life. I get to spend Thanksgiving with my entire family. This includes Simon's mom, Lynne (who I absolutely adore and will ALWAYS be a mother to me) and Clark. Who the hell am I and what did I ever do to deserve all this good stuff? I am not sure the answer and I am not even sure I care. I am just grateful and appreciate what I have - which is more support than I could ask for, more joy than I anticipated and more love than I ever imagined possible. I am a lucky, lucky girl who has so much to be thankful for and I know it full well.

Friday, November 4, 2011

TILT #12 (Things I Love and Treasure)

For me, so much of the happiness I find in life is found in the simple and small things. One of the things I like to do from time to time is make a list of the things that have recently brought me joy and made me smile.
* The smell of autumn in the air.
* Sitting on my deck in the morning while drinking super hot coffee.
* Throwing sticks for and playing with an awesome an german shepherd.
* Daydreaming.
* The show True Blood.
* Being in my thirties. SO much better than being mixed up in the cluster fuck that was my twenties and teenage years.
* Star Wars
* The Renaissance Festival.
* Taking pictures of sleeping animals.
* Snuggling when I am cold.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Has Anyone Ever Told You...

I have never been told that I resemble a celebrity. That is until Lindsay Lohan sprouted boobs and developed an adult face. ALL the time, people at work, in the grocery store, at restaurants and in line at the pharmacy would ask me the same question: "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Lindsay Lohan?" A coworker even used to call me "Lindsay" on a regular basis. Initially, I was very flattered. She is a pretty girl and people thought I looked like her! Then she blossomed into a narcissistic, alcoholic brat and I just wasn't sure how I felt about people telling me how much I looked like her anymore. Regardless, it is hard to deny the resemblance between us and I have come to terms with the fact that looking like her does not make me like her...at least on a good day.
Kinda frightening, isn't it?
Then, a happy blessing appeared in the celebrity world. Her name is Emma Stone. You are likely to recognize her from the movies Easy A, Zombieland and most recently, The Help. The first person to tell me that I look like her is my friend Aimee. She was like, "I was watching the movie called House Bunny the other day. There is a girl in it and she looks so much like you. Her mannerisms and the way she talks is so much like you! Her name is Emma Stone."

I immediately jumped on the Google machine to find this Emma girl. I was delighted to discover that she is not only void of a sorted drug history, but that she is freakin' gorgeous! Now, before you start thinking I really do have the Lohan variety of narcissism, I actually had to do a handstand and cross my eyes before I could pick out any kind of resemblance.

I will let you be the judge. Please keep in mind that I am wearing nowhere near the amount of makeup that Emma is. Clearly, she is a Hollywood starlet and I am...well, me- an average Minnesota girl. Which of course means her beauty and glamor factor is much higher than my own. So, try to look past all that and see if you can find some similarities:


So, what do you think? I am still not totally convinced I resemble her in a major way. However, it was a good excuse to have some fun with trying to match up our pictures!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Speechless Speaker

Half of the world and most everyone who knows my name also know that I am in therapy for an eating disorder. Specifically, Compulsive Overeating/Binge Eating Disorder. I have been in recovery for almost four years now and as I pubically announce on a regular basis, it has changed my life in everyway possible. I go to the Emily Program which is an individulaized treatment center for people eating disorders and body image issues. Again, I pimp out this program every chance I get - it is truly amazing. It is like God opened up the clouds and plopped down the Emily Program building on Como Ave in Saint Paul, Minnesota at just the perfect time for me.

I hardly even recognize myself sometimes these days. I think back to when I first started meeting with my therapist, Kate and I can not even believe how much work I have done - really hard work that consists of being very vulnerable, honest, introspective and fearless. I am very proud of how far I have come and I feel like a new person. No, actually, I finally feel like the person I have always been inside but who was burried under a huge load of insecurity, fear and counter-productive thinking.

Recently, during a therapy session, Kate asked me if I would be willing to be a speaker at Recovery Night which is held once a month at the Emily Program. Recovery Night is a night were clients come and listen to the inspirational stories of other people who are recovering from eating disorders. At each Recovery Night, one client is invited to get up and share their story. They want ME to share my story?? Wow. My first reaction besides being completely honored was total shock. Truth be told, I don't view myself as particularly inspirational and I really don't have the first clue as to what I would even say.

I did accept the invitation and I know that it will be a very positive experience for me. However, I still have no idea what to say or even where to begin. I want so much for my talk to be meaningful and inspirational, not a bunch of nonsensical psychobabble. How does a person sum up their epic story in twenty minutes or so? I am stumped, people. Any ideas? I would be most grateful if you could help a sister out and throw me a bone on this one!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reasons To Be Child-free

In my younger days, I really wanted to have kids. Now, the older I get, the less and less I want them. In fact, there seem to be more reasons NOT to have kids than there are reasons to have them. My personal list of reasons not to have kids numbers into the hundreds. Here some of the highlights that inspire me to remain voluntarily barren.

#742 You can't swear all the fucking time. You really have to watch your damn language and that is really difficult for assholes like me.

#398 Two words: other parents.

#295 Just plain royally fucking it up all together and making a complete mess of the kid.

#784 Kids make you look like a giant douche bag with their unabashed public screaming fits. How can one two year old's voice be louder than a restaurant full of adults?

#823 Breastfeeding is unnatural. I just simply can't wrap my head (or boob) around it no matter how I try.

#526 If you don't have kids and are up until four am, its your own damn fault.

#612 Not having kids benefits your wardrobe greatly. Every piece of clothing you own will be free of someone else's vomit or excrement. (Again, your own damn fault if your clothes contains these substances).

#132 Babies destroy your body (and mine is enough of a mess already!)

#58 A trip to the grocery store requires strategic packing and planning. A vacation or get away trip out of town? Might very well be easier to strategically plan world peace.

#417 Kids have to go to the bathroom at really inconvenient times.

#36 My vagina is just fine without having the experience of taking sixteen hours to push something the size of a watermelon out of it. Thank you very much.

#572 I would get ragefully jealous of the kid during nap time.

#642 Wearing heels and slinging a baby around don't mix.

#204 I hate people telling me what to do. I would quickly develop homicidal ideation toward anyone who would try to tell me how to parent my own child and it is hard to parent from prison.

#183 I like leisurely mornings of sipping coffee and slowly waking up. I like to be able to meet a friend for a drink last minute. I love staying up late if I want to. I love my free time and my me time.
#338 In my mind, I am still like 17 years old. I am still learning how to take care of myself, let alone another completely dependant being.

#731 I absolutely hate cleaning. I hate picking up after myself and I am pretty clean person to begin with. I can just see myself growing to resent my child for throwing food on the ground, coloring on the wall and leaving their baby crap laying around all the time.

#592 Potty training, potty training, potty training.

#978 Kids will suck the life from your bank account...and your soul.

#819 I love to sleep. I will kill anyone who tries to take it away from me. I don't want to kill my kid.

#263 Marriages take effort and time to maintain. Studies have proven that marriages without children are more satisfying and last longer.

#449 Dear God, have you ever seen Barney, the Wiggles or any other "kid shows?" I've heard of televisions committing suicide after having to play those shows. It's really quite tragic.

#540 The only paraphernalia I want around my house is drug related. I don't want random pacifiers and rattles laying around or accidentally stepping on legos in the middle of the the night on my way to the bathroom.

#285 When you have kids, your car turns into a dirty juice box and crayon graveyard.

#742 Having children is for conformists. I am not a conformist.

Friday, September 9, 2011

TIABM #2 (Things I Abhor Beyond Measure)

There are many things that I love and treasure with pleasure. However, there are also many things that I really can't stand. The following is a list of things that make me want to bunch a baby or worse. Otherwise known as "Things I Abhor Beyond Measure."

* Humidity and muggy weather.
* Waking up to an alarm clock.
* Feeling hungry as I am about to go to sleep.
* The butt sweats.
* Peeling oranges...so much damn work!
* Sleepless nights.
* The feeling of guilt.
* Feeling out of control.
* Being a control freak.
* Letting certain things take control of me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mermaidia

 
When I was a little girl, I wanted nothing more in the world than to be a mermaid. I would slip a pillowcase over my legs and flop around on the floor like fish out of water. In my mind, I was the most beautiful creature beheld by land or sea. This was all before Little Mermaid was even a twinkle in the eye of Disney. I am still somehow convinced that if the filmmakers has seen me contorting my little body on the livingroom carpet, they would have been inspired to make the movie a decade sooner.

My love for water has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. Whether it was a swimming pool, lake, puddle or simple glass of water, I was mysteriously drawn to it. I remember standing at the bathroom sink playing in the water for hours. I loved the sound it made as it splashed, the way it looked as it dripped and swirled and the way it felt gliding over my hands. As soon as I was able to walk, my parents enrolled me in swimming lessons, which only fostered my connection with water.

Water is still a great source of comfort for me. I love to just sit near it, look at it and smell its sweet, distinctive fragrance. This is an especially powerful experience near the ocean. I love to stand on the shore, watching the waves rhythmically caress the sand and feel the salty water pulling on my feet as it glides back into the vast sea.  
However, nothing can compare to the feeling of being fully submerged in it. There is no sense of peace I have ever found like being completely suspended with nothing above or below me but cool, clear water. It is my ultimate utopia of freedom and tranquility, my own personal world where everything is just as it should be. It is quiet, calm and even the loudest sound is reduced to a soft, muffled hum.

I am the most present in my body when I am underwater. I feel connected to every thought and movement. Being underwater helps me slow down mentally and every move I make is purposeful. I am weightless and safe from any stress or outside influence. My body is the true definition of beauty and grace. Nothing wiggles or jiggles underwater. I am fluid and one with my surroundings. I maneuver with elegance as I twist and turn my body upside down, in summersaults and stretch my limbs in grand, sweeping motions. I glide gracefully like a ribbon of silk on a gentle breeze.

 To me, mermaids are the fairies of the water. Naturally, this makes me want to be one even more. Sometimes I still look down at my legs and try to will them to fuse together. Alas, I am destined to exist in this world as a two legged creature. I realize it is for the best as it would be significantly more difficult to navigate the solid terrain of everyday life with a giant fin. I would gladly settle for a strategically placed set of gils though. That way I could at least breathe underwater and experience my happy place for longer than the forty odd seconds I can hold my breath.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Celebrating 5,000 Hits!

Today I noticed that my blog has reached over 5,000 hits! Holy moly, I can hardly believe it! Could this be my little bloggie blowin' up the online universe? 5,000 is a lot of hits being that I only post a few blogs a month. Let's face it, when I started writing my blog on the first of the year, I thought I'd be lucky if my reader base consisted of my mom and possibly two or three bored prisoners.

I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read my senseless ramblings via the interwebs. I am flattered, surprised and slightly disturbed that you folks actually enjoy my blog. I've gotten tons of great feedback and I appreciate it so much!

In addition to extending my gratitude, I'd also like to extend the invitation for suggestions on how you think I might make my blog an even better experience for people to read. However, please don't suggest I swear less or change the content to something more wholesome because that will never happen. But any other realistic ideas are very welcome!

Once again, thank you to my precious, wonderful, faithful readers. You are cherished deeply in my heart and I love you more than an emo kid loves skinny jeans!
A kiss from me to you! XOXOXO


Monday, August 22, 2011

Amish Paradise

"As I walk through the valley where I harvest my grain
I take a look at my wife and realize she's very plain
But that's just perfect for an Amish like me
You know, I shun fancy things like electricity." - Weird Al Yankovic - Amish Paradise


I can't help but hear this song in my head each time I make the drive to southern Minnesota to visit my mom and sister. They live in Lanesboro, MN (about an hour south of Rochester) and this region is densely populated with Amish folk. It isn't uncommon to be driving down the highway and encounter a horse-drawn buggy piloted by a lady in a black bonnet or man with an extra long beard. I find the whole notion of the Amish way of life completely bizarre. No electricity, no running water or indoor plumbing and the only singing allowed is in the form of a hymn. No drinking, smoking, dancing, premarital sex or anything related to fun. I think I'd rather join a convent. That way, at the very least, I could raid the stash of communion wine and find myself a lesbian lover.

My sister, Samantha works as deputy for Filmore County (AKA Amish County) and the number of stories she has about Amish offenders and law breakers makes me quiver with glee. One of my favorites is about the repeat DUI offender named something like Jedidiah Yoder. Did you know that it was possible to get into a hot pursuit chase in a buggy? Yep, that happened too. Then there are the Amish kids who throw huge keggers when their parents leave town to visit family in another state. Can you imagine it? Drunk little Amlettes falling off horses, stumbling around in the dark, puking in haystacks and having unprotected sex in the back of buggies. Sounds amazing and the only thing I find troublesome about this is the fact that I didn't get an invite.

Ummmm, what? I saw this in a local shop. It was handmade by an Amish chick. Pure lifestyle, my ass!
I recently made a trip to Amishland to visit my mom and celebrate her birthday with her. My mom is the proud inventor of the term "toodled" and has been using it for the past seventeen years as a way to make the term "drunk off your ass" sound sweet and innocent. I am proud to say that this year, my mom found herself in the adorable "toodled" state on her birthday. Being pocket-sized does not help one maintain sobriety very effectively. My mom was holding strong and matching me drink for drink...for about three glasses of wine. I continued on and left my mom in the drunken dust.

Just as my mom was about to pour herself another glass, my sister pulls up in her squad car. I took the opportunity to snap the following picture of her:

We had begun some casual chit-chat which naturally progressed to us making fun of our drunk mother. Suddenly, I got a brilliant idea. "Sam! Give us sobriety and breathalyzer tests!!"

My mom thought this was a great idea too. "Yes, that sounds like fun! Do you guys think I am drunk?" My mom asked innocently. She then proceeded to fail each and every test.
Blow harder, mom!

And it goes up...
Over the legal limit now!
Final stop at .083 = drunk momma!

I, on the other hand, can handle my liquor like a boss. I passed with flying colors.
Blowing like a pro
Someone get me the car keys, I am legal to drive!
 The fact that she failed the PBT test didn't phase my mom in the least. In fact, she proclaimed her self "the winner" because she got the highest number. Given the fact that it was her birthday, we let her believe that she was. Next time you blow into a PBT machine and fail, think of my mom. You tell that cop that you didn't break the law. No, you tell them that you are a winner! Then get into your buggy, "giddy-up" your horses and get the hell outta there because there is sure to be a field full of Amlettes looking for someone to show them how to really have a good time!
Cheers to the winner! Isn't she adorable??

Sunday, August 21, 2011

TIABM #1 (Things I Abhor Beyond Measure)

Dane Carlson is awesome. He happens to be the husband of a good friend, a brilliant writer and an all around awesome individual. Dane and I read each others blogs. If you have never read his stuff before, I am going to take the opportunity to pimp this inspired ho. Dane is firework, OK? Come on, watch his colors burst. "I Just Got It. And I Get It" is his blog and I highly suggest you check it out before I cut you.

Dane and I. Can you just smell the awesomeness?

As many of you know, I occasionally post a blog called "TILT (Things I Love and Treasure)" which is a short list of random things that have made me happy or smile in the recent past. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but what do you call it when someone blatantly rips you off? I'd call it the next best thing to being transported back to 1989 and getting some over the shirt action back stage from one of the New Kids on the Block. I'd like to personally thank Dane Carlson for being my proverbial Jordan Knight. Not only did Dane rip me off, but he made my blog idea even better! He changed TILT into TILWP (Things I Loathe With Pleasure) which is a short list of random things that he hates or simply annoy the piss out of him. Incredible.

I have been trying for the past several months to come up with a way to counter-rip off Dane. I have spent many sleepless nights trying to create something equally as brilliant. Since I am pretty lame, it has taken a long-ass time to figure something out. In a frustrated quest for inspiration, I even turned to Dane himself for suggestions. Being the ever self-less and giving person that he is, he offered to let me borrow and use his TILWP title. While I deeply appreciated the offer, I knew I had to take some sort of mental laxative to get the creative juices flowing and come up with my own damn idea. I am happy to report that after multiple glasses of wine, a handful of quaaludes and firm knock on the head from the tumble down a flight of stairs, I think I have it: "TIABM! Things I Abhor Beyond Measure!" OK. Maybe its not exactly literary gold, but its all I got, OK?

Think of TIABM as the naughty twin sister of TILT. Maybe she is less polished, sparkly and perky than TILT. Maybe she isn't popular with the jocks and preppy dudes but she can stand on her own. She is the darker, saucier sister who gets caught making out with the hot science teacher under the bleachers. She is the one we all turn our noses up at but secretly wish we could be. So, here it is: the launch of my very first TIABM blog post! Enjoy!

* Underwear that refuse to stay out of my butt crack.
* Melodramatic love songs (especially heinous if preformed by Celine Dion).
* Radishes.
* Golf (The only sport that inspires homicidal rage in me).
* People who chew with their mouth open.
* Finding dead animals on the street/sidewalk.
* Close-minded people.
* The smell of cat piss.
* The A&E show "Intervention." (It depresses me so much that I want to use drugs after watching it).
* Going to the gyno (however this sucks much less now that my gyno/doctor is also a good friend).

Monday, August 15, 2011

TILT #11 (Things I Love and Treasure)

For me, so much of the happiness I find in life is found in the simple and small things. One of the things I like to do from time to time is make a list of the things that have recently brought me joy and made me smile.

* Reconnecting with old friends
* Bonfires
* Coconut, a new found favorite flavor!
* Blogging
* Fireworks
* Painting - my newest hobby!
* Playing guitar (finally doing that again after months and months)
* My co-workers
* Watching my garden grow and flourish
* Sleeping with a fan on

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dating? Disaster!

*DISCLAIMER* I wrote this blog a few weeks ago but hesitated in publishing it. I realize that some people who read my blog may not realize that my sense of humor is incredibly inappropriate and irreverent. This is especially true when it comes to my life and my struggles. It has always been my motto, "If you can't change it, find a way to laugh at it." Keep that in mind as you read the following post.

So, I am sure that the world is sick of my sad, angry and tortured blog content as of late. Not to discount the validity of those feelings and my writings of them but quite frankly, I am starting to depress myself these days. So, I got to thinking about what it might be like to date again. The simple thought of that alone sent me into hyperventilating hysterics. For those of you who were present for my dating life before Simon- whether you witnessed it, heard about it or god forbid - we actually dated, you might remember the neurotic cluster-fuck of a hot mess it was. Since Simon's death, friends, acquaintances and even a psychic told me that I'd find love again someday. They've all said in some way or another: "Simon would want you to date again and be happy." While I can see the logic in that, I have my serious doubts considering Simon essentially left me in this world as a crazy cat lady with four feline babies. If there was one surefire way to prevent any man from getting close to me again, that tactic is the proverbial grand slam.

But in all reality, while he was here, Simon only ever wanted me to be happy and I know that is certainly still the case. So that being what it is, I figure why not have some fun with it? This would be my golden opportunity to give back to the dating world some of the asinine karma it once bestowed upon me. The following is my daydream fantasy of what dating again might look like for me. So sit back, relax and chew on this tasty nugget of courtship candy:

Why not go back to the scene of where the dating crimes began: online dating. I'd set up my account and begin with the basics:
Name: Lady Stefany Martini of Grey Goose
Age: Of which personality?
Location: My own world
Hobbies: Naked origami, fairy hunting, collecting rare poop fossils and drinking Capri Sun (or anything from a bag)
Religion: Sesame Street
Occupation: Psych Nurse (don't really have to embellish that one too much)

My main profile picture would be one of the professional pictures from our wedding: me in my dress, holding my bouquet of roses looking wistfully out into the distance. Then I'd throw in a couple of our engagement pics and all the rest of photos would be of my cats doing random adorable things like sleeping upside down or wearing funny hats. In the "About Me" section, I'd post the lyrics to "Don't You Forget About Me" - theme song from the 80s hit movie "The Breakfast Club." (I suggest you check out the link for full lyrics...creepy!)

Once I lured an unsuspecting man into my evil plot, for our first date, I would insist that we meet at my place. When he arrived, I'd answer the door wearing a cheerleader outfit. I'd greet him squealing the inappropriately early-given nick name: "Fuzzy Wumble-Bum!" Then I'd throw my arms around him and hug him for about ten seconds too long. Then as I reluctantly let go, I say "Do you like my outfit? I picked it because I'm your number one cheerleader!" Then I flash him a big cheesy smile and kick my leg up in the air with a loud "Yay!"

Then I would give him a tour of the living room. I'd stand by quietly as he browsed my bookcase, overloaded with disturbing self help books with titles such as: "Embrace the Bag: The Entertainment Value of Douching" "Primal Sneeze Therapy" and "From Necromancer to Romancer: A Guide to Dating on the Dark Side." Then I'd gaze at him with a half glossed over look in my eyes and say, "Sorry if I seem kinda out of it. I haven't fed yet today."

Without skipping a beat, I'd say: "There is someone very special I'd like you to meet. I hope you don't mind but I invited him to come along with us tonight." At this point I'd present the urn with Simon's ashes to him with a very serious expression on my face. "This is my husband. I don't date anyone he doesn't approve of. His opinion is very important to me so be sure to make a good impression. I hope you understand." Then I'd lift the urn up to my ear, nod a couple of times and say, "He says he has a good feeling about you! Something about wedding bells..." as I give a wink and wiggle my eyebrows at him.

At this point, I lead him over to the couch, sit him down and dump a bag of cat treats on his lap. Within seconds, he would have all four cats crawling all over him. Then I'd strike up some casual conversation. "I try very hard to keep myself young at heart and not take life too seriously. Sometimes I poop my pants just to remind myself of what it was like to be a kid...you know, when times were simple and carefree."

It is at this point, I would expect him to make a bee line for the door. I would run after him and block the doorway. I'd start crying and whining, "Don't leave me! Please! Why don't you like me?" Then I'd throw myself on him, hugging him and wiping the snot from my nose onto his shoulder. "I can't stand being alone! Please, don't leave! I love you!" I'd let him struggle a bit to get out of my grip and watch with amusement as he runs for his car and burns rubber out of my driveway.

Smiling to myself, I'd go change out of my cheerleader outfit and call up my girls to meet for a glass of wine. Who needs a guy when you got the best girls around?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Back in the Saddle...Then out...Then back in again.

I don't hate people who are happy. I don't hate people who are in love, getting married and popping out babies. I don't even hate people who are not alone because they have their special someone. Nope. I don't hate those people at all. As a matter of fact, I loathe them. I should actually clarify that statement: I don't hate the people themselves but I am jealous as fuck that I, A) used to feel pretty darn happy on a regular basis. B) Was happily married and approaching the point of someday pushing out my own child. C) Was so grateful that I finally didn't feel so lonely because I had found true love. But the shitty ass part remains that it was ripped away from me before I even had the chance to get used to signing my married name instead of my maiden name. "Waaaaaah. Poor me!" I feel so sorry for myself - like a sad little bitch sometimes.

I suppose the good news is that I finally made it back to work again. That is good news, right? Most of the time, I believe it is. The night before I was due to start my second attempt at a first shift back to work, my kind and tender hearted friend, Kelly hog tied and abducted me. She proceeded to throw me into the trunk of her car and force me at gun point to face my work environment. She did this all with great love in her heart and for my own greater good. Boy, am I ever glad she did. The dry run of driving there, walking around work and saying hello to my amazingly supportive coworkers made it so much easier to show up for my first official day back to work the following evening. I also can't say enough about how amazing my coworkers have been. They have all greeted me with hugs, kindness and love. It feels good to be in a place where I feel so supported and cared about. It also feels good to be doing something productive with my time. Getting back to work was like riding a bike and even though I cried a lot, it felt good to be back in the saddle again.

As of this post, I find myself in a very weird place emotionally. Last weekend, I had a three night series of dreams about Simon that have stuck with me into my waking life. I dreamed that Simon was actually still alive and the dreams were SO REAL! I would wake up feeling so confused and it would actually take me a few minutes to remember that it was just a dream. Each morning, as that reality sank in, an intense sadness would follow. I've been walking around in a strange, sad haze of denial that has lingered for the past week. That state of being has triggered a lot of anger within me. Anger because of how real it felt to dream about him and then be slapped in the face with the reality that he is not here and never will be. SLAP! Oh, look at that couple with their beautiful new baby: SLAP! I have to sleep alone again tonight: SLAP! People growing old together: SLAP! Shit, I am single again: SLAP! This is so unfair: SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! I feel beat up by life lately and am getting pretty sick of being smacked around so mercilessly.

Lately, life has been a series of falling down and getting back up again. Getting into the saddle and slipping out again. Over and over. Sometimes I have the strength to stand back up. However, there are times when I take a tumble and want nothing more than just to stay in the messy, heaping pile of sadness and self-pity I landed in. Being brave and strong is exhausting and some days I just don't want to do it. Some days I physically and emotionally can't. Some days I don't want to face the challenges and difficulties of my new life. I find myself wanting to simply hide until I can muster up the gumption (or enough guilty feelings from neglecting life) to get up and go another round with my new reality. Up, down, up, down. Right now I feel like if I can avoid a TKO with gloves still on, then I am doing pretty good.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Work Release

Today was supposed to be my first day back to work since Simon died. I have been trying to prepare myself for this day but now that it is here, I don't think I can face it yet. I made the decision to call in to work and let them know I wouldn't be there today. I feel really badly and guilty about it but my frame of mind is not what it should be today. I feel extremely distracted and unfocused. I feel really anxious and jittery. If my job duties didn't involve the well-being of other human beings, it might be a little different. I mean, you can't give a computer or stack of paperwork the wrong medication or say the wrong thing to a fax machine. I just don't feel comfortable being at work in this frame of mind. It actually adds to the anxiety when I think about it.

The other aspect of all this has to do with the fact that Simon died at the hospital I work. Granted, it was a different unit but nevertheless, I spent so much time there with Simon. That place holds a lot of emotionally charged memories for me. It is hard to have to go to a place that reflects so strongly on both the professional and personal aspects of my life.

The thought of going back to work today is about as daunting as standing at the foot of a mountain that I am expected to climb in eight hours. I am sure I have it blow out of proportion in my mind. However, my current mentality is my current reality. I just couldn't seem to muster the ability to do it today. It know it sounds stupid, but I feel like a failure in a way- like I am a big wimp who can't handle her shit. I am sure that it won't be as bad as I imagine it will be and I am willing to bet that the distraction will be good for me. *Sigh* Tomorrow is another day and I will try again then.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Only when its darkest...

So, I went and picked up my husband's ashes, death certificates and coat that he wore for the wake/funeral. It is so strange to think that everything I physically loved about him has been reduced to the contents of and ten by six inch black box. It is actually a lot heavier than I expected it to be. I guess I didn't really know what to expect. I plan to take a trip to fulfill Simon's wishes of having his ashes spread into the Pacific ocean in San Francisco where his father's ashes were spread. But what do I do with them until then? Do I put them up on the mantel above the fireplace, on a bookshelf, his side of the bed or in a closet?

Ashes. Hmmmm...it is just so strange. His body is now ashes. It is his body but not him. All these esoteric ponderings I seem to find myself in lately. Physical versus spiritual. Here versus "there" (where ever that is). I am trying to wrap my head around his new world in comparison to mine. I wonder about all that is unseen and all the things I don't understand about his new world. At the same time, I am so much more acutely aware of the physical world around me: colors seem more vibrant, I notice more subtle scents and physical sensations. I feel almost hyper sensitive to it all. I am not sure what the meaning of this is. All I know is that it is confusing, comforting, heart-wrenching, annoying and stupid all at the same time.

I was looking through the pockets of Simon's jacket that I picked up from the funeral home. The contents consisted of a few receipts, gum wrappers and a fortune from a fortune cookie. The fortune was an interesting one and knowing Simon (who was the eternal optimist), I can see why he saved it. It read: "Only when it becomes darkest can you see the stars." The past week or so has be particularly difficult for me. I've been feeling really sad and lonely a lot. I miss Simon and not having him here makes me feel so lonely. I've been wanting to sleep a lot and isolate myself from the world. I know that while I feel lonely that I am not alone. I am blessed with incredible people in my life. But still, when it is quiet and I am alone, that is the time it hits me the hardest. For me in this process of grieving and life reorientation, it certainly gotten the darkest I think it can get. At times I think I can see a hint of shimmer in the sky but I guess I am still waiting for the stars to fully come out.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Who?

Who is going to wake me up and comfort me when I am crying out during a bad dream?
Who is going to remind me that I am lovable and special?
Who will surprise me with breakfast in bed?
Who is going to understand me when I am struggling with my difficult issues?
Who am I going to talk to when I can't sleep at night?
Who is going to make me laugh like you did?
Who will pester me to get out of the house when I am feeling like a shut-in?
Who is going to love our kittens as much as we did together?
Who is going to take me for motorcycle rides?
Who am I going to call everyday on my break at work?
Who is going to be "Chief of Engineering" at our house?
Who will be so patient with my control freak tendencies?
Who will warm up my feet when they are cold?
Who will cook me pork chops and rice-a-roni?
Who is going to make up and sing songs about how much they love me?
Who am I going to cuddle with when I am feeling lonely?
Who can I send adorable pictures of our kitties to?
Who will I watch and talk about Ghost Hunters with?
Who is going to care so much about what I am needing at any given point in time?
Who is going to build a volcano in our back yard?
Who can I talk to about my day when I get home from work?
Who will want to go visit the animals at the humane society with me?
Who will I be able to share our inside jokes with?
Who is going to pray with me before going to sleep at night?
Who is always going to help me look at the positive side of things?
Who will leave half consumed cans of coke around the house?
Who will ever love me as much as you?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dear Simon

Dear Simon,

It has been almost three weeks since you died. So strange, the way it feels like the time has gone quickly but taken forever at the same time. I still think about you thousands and thousands of times every single moment I am awake. Everything I see reminds me of you in some way - even the strange little things like ice chips, peonies and motorcycles.

I still miss you so much. I feel like I am caught between the world of the living and dead. I watch as the rest of the world goes about their lives as if nothing has happened. I definitely don't feel apart of that existence. I also feel so tied to you. I wonder where you are, what you might be doing, seeing and what you look like. I wonder how you are feeling and if you have a greater understanding of life and the world that once was your home. I wonder if you think of me and if you can see me. Do you hear me when I talk to you?

You will be happy to know that they are finally filling in the pot holes in our neighborhood. I remember how you would bitch about that with the same fierce intensity each and every time we got in the car to go somewhere. You would love how the garden looks. Linda and my mom took over planting where you left off and I added my decorative touches that I think you would love. I have been watering that garden every single day. I have not mowed the yard yet. You know how much my butt puckers at the thought of yard work of any kind. I suppose I am going to have to get over that or find some kid I can pay to do it for a few bucks.

The house, even though it has been busy with people coming and going, is so different without you here. It  is so eerie and strange. All of your things are still in their place, exactly like before you left. Your clothes, toothbrush, car, magazines and medicine are all evidence that you lived here but serve as a reminder that you will never be coming back. The kitties miss you like crazy, especially Paisley. She still walks around on your side of the bed looking for you. I can't say I blame her. I sometimes expect you to walk in the door at any moment and greet me with your usual "Hey, Babe!" I wonder when I am ever going to get used to this new life without you.

Everyday brings new feelings and memories. I am doing the best I can right now with all of it. I hope you know how much people still love, think about and talk about you. You made such a mark on this world and everyone who knew you. I miss you and wish I could hug you. I love you for ever and ever, amen.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wandering

Now what? What now? My life had a path, a plan but along came a bomb that blew it all to pieces. I find myself wandering aimlessly around my house sometimes, not sure what I should be doing. I was married and widowed in less than 8 months. Now what? I just can't seem to put my finger on just what I am to be doing.

The people around me tell me that I am so strong and brave. But in reality, what choice do I have? I have to face this. I have to deal with it. If drinking wine from a sippy cup and smoking like a chimney is considered brave and strong, then I suppose I am. I however, feel lost. Waves of all different emotions wash over me when I least expect it. So far I have made an ass of myself in Rainbow Foods and at the AT&T store by breaking into random sobbing fits. In between the waves, I find myself numb but sad at the same time. Its like I am a cake. A numb cake with sadness frosting. I feel numb inside but the sadness is always sitting on my skin waiting to sink in and take over at any given moment.

I had an entire day of unexpected rage. I was so angry and so pissed off at the world and everything having to do with it. I found myself furious at Simon. How could he leave me like this? That asshole left me just when I truly least expected it. I wanted to take a baseball bat to every window and glass object in my house. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that I am pretty sure that my homeowner's insurance doesn't cover damages caused by enraged, grieving widows.

Then there are other times when I miss him so badly that it physically hurts. My bones, muscles and joints ache with the agony of losing him and I would give anything to hear his voice or just hug him one more time. It almost feels like crying isn't enough. I am vibrating with grief and feel like I could explode with sheer loneliness. There is gaping hole in my soul that bleeds grief. Sometimes it trickles and other times it gushes. Simon was my best friend and not having him here feels like I've had a part of myself ripped away.

It just feels so unfair. A year ago at this time we were planning our wedding and our future together. We both knew that Simon's heart condition made his future uncertain but I think we both really believed we had more time. We didn't have lofty aspirations. We just wanted the kind of life that your average couple gets: fights, making up, time with family and friends and the experience of parenthood. Simon would have been an incredible father but I will never get the chance to see that unfold. It just doesn't seem right.

I miss him, our kitties miss him, his mom along with all of our family and friends miss him. He made our lives richer and better just for being who he is. There is a huge Simon-shaped hole inside all of us. I don't know what will ever fill that for me. I don't know how to begin healing that gaping wound. So, I guess I will just keep on wondering and wandering aimlessly until I somehow find a new direction.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Phone Fanny Fiasco

I wrote this blog a few months back and never published it. Simon said he was alright with me posting it but I never did, just to save him some face. However, I think this blog is a perfect picture of his character and crazy ways. I think he would want us all to have a good laugh over the events in this blog. So, enjoy and remember that crazy, purple skinned, red headed guy who we all love so much.

It was one of those days yesterday where I was feeling irritable, attention-seeking and just down right bratty. My clothes fit like a sausage casing, the cats were looking at me wrong and even though it was a lovely day, the sun shone in my eye in a way that was unforgivable. Which of course meant that even though my husband could do nothing right to save his life, I wanted his full, doting and undivided attention.

In an attempt to distract from my foul mood, Simon and I decided to sit down and watch some TV. I was curled up next to him in his soft robe and long underwear when he attempted to make a phone call. Wrong move on his part. He was supposed to be spending time with ME! So, I did what any reasonable, mature adult woman would do in my situation: I took his phone hostage.

Naturally, he tried to pry his phone out of my hand. Not being able to get it free from my death grip, the situation quickly evolved into a full blown wrestling match on the couch. Arms and legs were flying and bending in unnatural contortions. Panting and huffing, I managed to get the phone safely under my ass. Given the weight advantage of my posterior, he was unsuccessful in freeing the phone from beneath me. In attempt to gain some leverage in the fight, Simon jumped up and grabbed MY phone.

"Ooooh," I taunted, "You really got me now!"

As a reply to this, he slowly moved my phone toward the waist band of his long underwear.

"NO! Do NOT put that down your pants!" I cried.

"Then give me back my phone." He calmly requested.

"No." I hedged. I had upped the ante and I knew it but I wasn't ready to give up the fight just yet. Simon then proceeded to drop his pants, lift his robe and put my phone dangerously close to his butt.

"NO!" I screamed, "Don't fart on my phone!"

"Then give me back my phone." He again requested. He had me. Check mate. Almost.

"Fine. You give me mine first and then I will give you yours." I offered.

"Hell no!" He replied, seeing right through my plan. We stayed that way for a good minute, me sitting on his phone and mine within inches of a stink blast. We had ourselves a good, old fashioned stand off. As a tumble weed blew past us, I decided it was time to make my move. I lunged toward my phone with a near miss only to watch as he shoved it between his butt cheeks. Yes, ladies and gents, we are talking BARE butt cheeks. I watched in horror as my pretty purple phone sat squarely planted between his buns like a shiny, metal thong. I couldn't move. I couldn't breath.

"Whaaaa-!? You just- OH MY GOD! You didn't! OH MY GOD, you just- WHAAAAA-?!" I stuttered.

He stared back at me over his shoulder with an equally shocked expression. "I don't know! I just panicked! OH MY GOD!"

I slowly stood up and left the room. I started up the stairs to our bedroom where I laid face down on my pillow. A few seconds later he came into the room.

"I can't even look at you!" I cried, "You desecrated my phone!"

"Well you should have given mine back like I asked!" He replied as he extended his hand toward me with my phone in it.

"Get that thing away from me!" I screamed, "I won't touch it until you disinfect it!"

After being given a thorough cleaning with wet wipes, mouth wash and a few other household cleaners, I finally accepted the phone back and returned his. We sat in silence for a few minutes when he finally spoke.

"I am sorry I put your phone in my butt."

"So am I." I whispered, "You have no idea."

I am not sure if this experience brought us closer together or if it was a buzz brought on by all the cleaners, but we hugged and giggled. I don't think this was what they meant when they said that marriage would provide challenges and experiences like nothing else. I guarantee that this was not covered in any of our premarital classes. All I do know is that I will be promptly changing his ring tone to "The Thong Song."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pissed Off Rage Rant

Limp Bizkit's song "Break Stuff" is my anthem today and I listened to it on repeat today on the way home from work. Mr Bizkit's eloquent words seem to fit my mood perfectly today: "Its just one of those days when you don't want to wake up, everything is fucked and everybody sucks. You don't really know why but you want to justify ripping someones head off."

For the past five days, while my husband is in the hospital, I have been trying to manage working, taking care of four cats and now a new puppy who I didn't really want to get in the first place. He is a darling animal and good for a puppy but I have to watch him like a hawk, making sure I have an eye on him constantly so that he doesn't piss and shit on the floor or start chewing on something he shouldn't. Simple, everyday tasks such as going to the bathroom and making dinner is now twelve times more complicated. Forget relaxing, I am on constant puppy patrol. Additionally, I have had to rely on the generous favors of others to let him out potty while I am at work.

Then there is finances. I have missed days of work due to Simon's hospitalization which have tipped our already stressed budget into a scary state. And being in the hospital, he is unable to work as well. I hate taking vacation days to cover my absences because I am trying to save them up for a trip we have planned in January - a trip that I am stressing about paying for given the current shape of our finances. I had the opportunity to work a double shift today which would have given a nice relief to the financial tension. However, I had to pass that up because why? Oh, that's right. I had to come home and take care of that damn puppy I didn't think was a good idea in the first place.

On top of that, Simon is physically ready to be discharged from the hospital but is sitting around waiting for special financing to help pay for is $2,000.00 a month prescription he can't leave the hospital without. So, there he sits while our life is wrapped up in red tape and paperwork. Frustrating doesn't begin to describe it. Meanwhile, I am stuck crunching numbers while chasing around a puppy, four cats and wondering when something is going to finally give.

Then there is the other casual worries I have regarding Simon and his health. Sure, he might be feeling better for the time being but I can't help but wonder when that will change, as it has been doing swiftly and without warning lately. It is super fun to be constantly on edge, worrying when we get to start the whole hospital routine where I get to experience more fear and anxiety all over again. You know, the whole "Oh my God, is he going to die? Are they going to be able to figure it out this time?" song and dance.

Yes, I would like some cheese with my whine and some french-cries with my hamburger. I would also like someone to call a whaaaamulence to take me away. Welcome to my sorry-ass pity party. So, enough about me. How are you today?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Baby Banana Bliss

Today was a very, very special day in my life. At work, as I was gazing upon the patient snack basket, I beheld the single most adorable fruity sight in my lifetime: a tiny, darling miniature banana. I pointed it out to one of the patients and said, "Ooooooooh! Isn't that the sweetest, most darling thing you have ever seen?? I have to take a picture of it!" To that, the patient replied, "Are you sure you should be working here? You can have my room if you want because I think YOU have gone bananas!" I snatched up that cute little yellow munchkin so that he wouldn't get eaten. I had to save his life and bring him into mine. And yes, I took a picture of him. You can see his petite-ness next to a regular size banana in this picture:



I decided that I HAD to keep him. He was far too much of a horticultural wonder to end up in a toilet as someones poo. I named him Baby Banana Bliss. I call him Bliss for short because that is what I felt in my heart the moment I laid eyes on his precious, teeny yellow body.

Me and Bliss (I made my poor coworker take this shot of us):




I tucked him safely away in my purse and at the end of the night, I brought him to my car and secured him carefully for the trip home.




Once home, I introduced him to my husband and kitties. I think he is fitting in great so far! Here he is, kickin' it with Peanut:




It was a long day and Bliss was exhausted but very happy to have a special new place to call home. Here he is cuddling with my husband, Simon:



I know our time together may be short but my love for Baby Banana Bliss will live on forever in my heart.



I love you, Baby Banana Bliss!!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

TILT #10 (Things I Love and Treasure)

For me, so much of the happiness I find in life is found in the simple and small things. One of the things I like to do from time to time is make a list of the things that have recently brought me joy and made me smile.

* Soft, cuddly sweaters (like the one I recently got at a clothing swap!)
* Laying in bed, putzing around on my laptop computer.
* Caramel Praline Crunch ice cream by Blue Bunny. It is the perfect mix between salty and sweet!
* People and dogs named "Bruce."
* This really cute ferret I met at the pet store. She was so sweet and I named her Molly.
* Starburst Jelly Beans
* Free underwear coupons from Victoria Secret
* Sitting outside on my deck
* 89.3 The Current radio station
* Funny and unique pet names for people (Please beware that this video contains a lot o'swearing and vulgar language so if you are easily offended, you may not want to watch. However, it is completely hilarious!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Life's Ironic Irony

For two days in a row I had the most frustrating patient ever at work. Working in a psych ward as a nurse, I experience many challenging patients on a regular basis. However, this patient had a special way of pushing all my buttons and getting under my skin. Both days this dude was UP MY ASS with constant demands and talking down to me like I was a complete moron. This guy brought a whole new meaning to the word "intense." He was like a fully automatic M-16 that relentlessly peppered me with insult and demands. I tried for 8 hours each day to deal with his behavior in a calm, professional and therapeutic way. By the end of the second day, I had just had it. I was simply worn down and raw from his constant criticism and defiance. I could feel a not so subtle wave of sheer rage wash over me and I was within less than a millimeter from completely freaking out and letting this guy have it.

Me: "It is now quiet time. Please go to your room until it is over in an hour."

Patient: "I don't have to do anything! It is my right to sit here if I want to. What kind of nurse are you? Have you ever heard the Patient Bill of Rights? You can't tell me what to do!"

Me: "You know what? You have been nothing but condescending and rude to me all day. I am tired of being talked to that way. I don't understand why you can't simply follow the unit rules like everyone else is expected to."

Patient: "Oh, I'M condescending? I DEMAND a copy of the Patient Bill of Rights and suggest you familiarize yourself with it!"

Me: "What the fuck is your problem, Asshole?! What makes you think you are so damn special that you don't have to follow the rules like everyone else? Who died and made you Shit King of the World? I am sick of your never ending stream of verbal abuse! Now, get the fuck out of my face you narcissistic ass jacket!"

OK, so I didn't really say that last part but it is what I would have ended up saying if I didn't walk away at the very moment I did. The next day I arrived at work and did what I have not once done in the 3 years I've worked there: I requested to not have that patient again. I just could not face another day working with him. Everyone understood and thankfully, I didn't have to work with him that shift. However, I dreaded walking onto the unit for fear of being verbally assaulted again.

To my cautious surprise, the first thing he said to me was "Happy Easter, Stefany." AND it was in a nice, calm, dare I say, pleasant tone. "Happy Easter?" I replied as I flinched, ready to duck under the desk if necessary. He simply walked away and I just kinda stood there, not sure what to think. I went about my business and later on I went to sit in the lounge and hang out with the patients. He spotted me and immediately sat down in the chair next to me. He then stuck up a casual conversation with me, like the past two days never happened.

Patient: "Blah, blah blah, small talk."

Me: "Mmmhmm, yep. Small talk response"

Patient: "So, I was on the phone with my mom last night and I asked her what exactly 'condescending' means and she said 'you.' I love my mom because she always gives it to me straight. I was pretty pissed at you yesterday but I realized I can be a jerk sometimes when I am manic."

Me: "Yah? Well, I can understand that. I've experienced it with patients before."

Patient: "I don't know how you deal with that kind of thing. I'd be flipping out at people all the time."

He then changed the subject to talking about a past girlfriend and through that conversation, he gave me some pretty sound relationship insights. He recommended a book called Five Love Languages which is about how people generally have five ways they express and feel loved in relationships. I looked it up on my break and found it very interesting. Its now on my list of books to read. My husband and I talked about it when I got home and we found out some very interesting things about each other that has made our relationship better!

Talk about coming full circle. The very same patient who had me close to a full on rage spiral helped my marriage become stronger. I am still reeling from the strange irony of it all. I look back the experience and feel quite good about what I learned from it. A person is much more than they may seem to be. Even a complete stranger with the ability to make me want to rip my own hair out, one piece at a time, also had the ability to enrich my life in a very unexpected way. Life is wonderfully serendipitous that way and I freaking love it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

TILT #9 (Things I Love and Treasure)

For me, so much of the happiness I find in life is found in the simple and small things. One of the things I like to do from time to time is make a list of the things that have recently brought me joy and made me smile.

* Nice fitting bras
* Wireless Internet
* Getting a new haircut that I really like
* Grapes
* Going to the mall on a week day and no one is there!
* When my job feels rewarding
* Extreme couponing
* Thrift stores
* Driving on road that are not covered with snow and ice
* Ebay (I love this a little too much)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Christian Music Crisis

I heart music. I heart music big time. I like all kinds of music and it makes me especially warm and fuzzy when I have the perfect music to suit my mood at any given time. Rage Against the Machine when I am angry, Beyonce when I am feeling sassy, Raffi when I am feeling nostolgic, 50 Cent when I am feeling gansta. You get the point. There are also times when I want to feel uplifted and spiritual. It is those times when I turn to our local christian rock station: 98.5 KTIS or "The God Station" as I like to call it.

I have to be very honest and say that I can only handle that station in very small doses. I am very dissatisfied with the variety of music they play on that station. Seriously, all the songs sound pretty much the same but maybe with a different rearrangement of the words: Jesus, love, praise, forever and blessed. I feel like I am listening to the "Lite Rock" station that just drank some Jesus juice. All the songs they play on that station basically refer to the same imagery of strong mountains (that god made, of course), birds flying free and walking (as in walking the path toward, with or beside God).

I was driving home the other day and decided I needed my small dose of God tunes, so I flipped on the God Station. What I heard disturbed me to my very core. I heard a man belting out the following words: "Jeeeesuuuuus, I am so in love with youuuuuuuu....." Ummmmm, huh? My face twisted into what can only be described as a contortion of pure dumbfoundedness. Did I hear that right? Then he did it again: "Jeeeeesuuuuus, I am so in love with youuuuuu...." Yep. Heard that right the first time. Now, I love God as much as the next person but this was bordering on creepy. Actually, scratch that. This brought the meaning of creepy to a whole new level. I think I understand the sentiment that this song is trying to get across but the execution was waaaaaaaaaaay of the mark. I am sorry, but if God is supposed to be our "heavenly father," then I want nothing to do with the gay, incestuous relationship this dude is droning on about. Freaky.

I was pondering these things as I was listening to this horrible song when a flash back of a South Park episode came to mind. It was the one where Cartman decided to start a christian rock band. His formula for composing christian songs is hilarious. Please refer to the video below:



I can not help but note the truth in this video. The creepy song I mentioned above could have easily been written as "Baaaaabyyyyy, I am so in love with youuuuuu..." Maybe someone did actually just switch the word "baby" for "Jesus" and called it a christian song. Weird. If that was the case, then I need to quit my job and start writing christian music for a living because I am sure I could come up with some really good stuff. My first album would be as follows:

1. Hit Me Jesus One More Time (to the tune of Brittany Spears song)
2. All That She Wants..Is Another Jesus (Ace of Base song)
3. Born To Be My Jesus (Bon Jovi)
4. Jesus, You Can Drive My Car (The Beatles)
5. I Got You, Jesus (Sonny and Cher)
6. Jesus Got Back (Sir Mix A-Lot)
7. Jesus Can I Hold You Tonight (Tracy Chapman)
8. Keep On Rockin' Me, Jesus (Steve Miller Band)
9. Jesus, Come Back (Rod Stewart - Think the Swiffer commericals)
10. Jesus, Don't Forget My Number (Milli Vanilli)

To be fair, there is actually a descent amount of good christian music out there. For some reason, they just choose to mostly play the crappy stuff on the radio. Just because I want to get my God music on, doesn't mean I want to be bored to tears. And I DEFINITELY don't want to feel so creeped out that I need to take a shower. (See the bottom of this blog for a list of Stefany approved christian songs).
For your listening pleasure, the following video is a compilation of christian songs by Cartman's band, "Faith + 1." Enjoy and be inspired!



Stefany Approved Christian Songs: (Just a small list, there are many more!)
* Home - PFR
* Awaken - Natalie Grant
* More Than It Seems - Kutless
* Rebirthing - Skillet
* God of This City - Chris Tomlin
* You Led Me - Barlow Girl
* Enough - Barlow Girl
* Famous Last Words - Jars of Clay
* Pretty much anything by Rich Mullins, he's old-school cool!