Sunday, October 14, 2007

Verbal Vomit

So Tom was transferred to the Cleveland Clinic from Youngstown October 11. The irony truly broke my heart as they closed the doors to the transport van. I'd sat in the emergency room for six hours holding his hand waiting to find out why he was throwing up blood. We still don't have any answers (negative for ulcers), but at least my fear that he was going into liver failure (blood in the vomit with no other symptoms is often an indicator of ruptured varices in the GI tract due to cirrhosis, which is one step up from where he is now, with bridging fibrosis, which is stage 2/3 in the five stages of liver disease, in his case brought on by hepatitis C) is unfounded.

Oh, yeah, back to the irony. Cadence turned 3 that day, and it had been three years and a day since I'd been admitted to give birth. I actually checked him into emergency and then went upstairs to the OB desk, not even aware at that point that I was already almost 4cm dilated and well on my way to poppin' one out. Tom passed a kidney stone at some point during our stay in the hospital. I actually left with Cady two days before he was able to come home.

This has been the ongoing story of our lives, even before Cady arrived. And it turns out that the whole poor poor pitiful me act that my husband has been putting on is just that -- an act. At least, in my eyes. The last 2 times he's been in the hospital they've done tox screens. The first time it was because he did appear visibly high on something. Silly me, I thought it had been the weed we smoke. Turns out it's all kinds of other yummy illicit substances -- roxycet, oxycontin, and cocaine, to name but a few. And it's dawning on me now that yes, my husband has a lot of health problems that are beyond his control. But he also has the ability to alleviate some of his symptoms. And he's not doing it. He's just making it worse.

So I'm left with the haunting questions that linger. They bounce around my soul and leave me with a literal ache in my chest. I'm a woman who's already been down the marital trail twice before this latest matrimony. And frankly, I look back at the cheating and beating (on the other side, not mine) & I wonder if those weren't just dress rehearsal for the real gut wrenching.

Because this all just fucking sucks so fucking hard. I didn't know what shit was, really. This is shit. And I have all the power, all the resources to just walk away, but I feel trapped anyway. Trapped and angry and sad.

Have you ever gotten tired of crying? And it's not even good crying. I rarely feel better afterwards. Maybe it's because I do it almost 100% in private. I can't cry in front of my kid. I just can't. I remember seeing my Mom cry, quite a bit as a child, and it really rocked me. I can't do it.

That often leads to self-loathing, because I think, who the hell am I to cry? So self-indulgent. Crying -- and therapy. It's for pussies, right?!

Seriously. Christ! I am sick to death of myself. I mean, really, in the grand scheme of things my life really isn't shit. I have a fantastic and loving and supportive family. My Mother (whom my sister and I still refer to as Mommy, yes, I am a tard) is a saint. My grandfather has been known to secretly pad my bank account at the end of the month with just a little extra so that we don't get our electricity or water shut off. I have people at church who pray for us continually. I am healthy, my child is healthy, and my husband isn't dying -- though one might wonder if he's not trying to slowly but surely kill himself (the nasty bitch in me wants to add to the end of that sentence *fucking coward*). That's the anger and disappointment talking. No, I did not sign up for this, but goddammit if I'm going to get another divorce. I feel like a pit bull, hanging on. Anger is often the end result. It's poisonous, too, and makes me wonder if all of it is worth it.

Oh, but it is....I have this beautiful child, and I watch her every day and think, how could so much beauty spring from so much ugly dysfunction? How do two people who are so eternally and irrevocably broken make something so mind-blowingly amazing?

And of course I realize that we all started out like that. Every one of us, until our parents and life reached in and twisted us around. Rag dolls, all of us. If we're lucky, we're the Velveteen rabbit in the end. Right now, though, I feel like one of those headless dolls that populate the corners of my living room.

See? Like I said, I'm sick to death of myself. Boo hoo hoo. I'm the hysterical nun in Airplane, where is the line of people down the aisle waiting to smack me up?!

Interesting. I actually feel better. But that's to be expected; I always feel better after I puke. And suddently I'm struck with an image of ze frank spitting out scrabble pieces. Ah ha ha. And that's funny.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Acidic Ramblings

Thirty-seven Fourth of Julys.

As a sprout, in my knee high to a grasshopper days, the holiday was just another fun day in a long string of fun days in the epic months of summer. Golden days. Days when I ached with longing as I was tucked into bed, windows open (a decade before central air ever entered my life), the sound of waning birds and the far off laughter of the children with clearly more permissive and less wet blanket parents filling my ears, the last hint of daylight still visible at the bottom edge of the black out curtains.

Years later, it was fireworks and cruising boys, elephant ears and kisses under the bleachers.

After college, it meant I worked all day, when other people had the day off (I was an assistant manager in retail & low, lone woman on the rickety ladder of an AM radio station).

The underpinings never escape me; I get that it's an arbitrary date set by some dead people to commemorate our break with the Mother Land. The signing of the Declaration of Independence is like a grade school secular obsession equaled in scale, myth and magic to The Last Supper in Christian Sunday School classes. As a WASP, I was steeped in this shit. America the Beautiful.

Do I sound bitter?

I'm not. I'm in love with America as surely as I am my husband. Our imperfect union is just as peopled with skeletons, boogeymen, and ghosts. When you're stripped bare as a spouse, the Baby Jane leaks out of the corners, sometimes. Or there's a glimpse of the Vegas Elvis, peeking through the facade.

When the country seems to be falling apart, the government incongruously in tension with what the people are apparently's the same stomach-grinding stand off. But this is my home, my country, and Good Goddamn, I'm not giving up on it, because to do so, I'd be giving up on the people. People I don't know, will never see. But they're my people.

And then I think, aren't all people my people? It seems like globalization is the only way we're ever going to free ourselves of what is happening right now, all this fracturization and self-segregation going on. Our self-aggrandizing president waving from his bully pulpit, that smarmy little smirk on his Curious George face.

But we can't oversimplify, either. There has to be some way to rid ourselves of the melting pot, and think more in terms of a Salad Shaker (remember those things? The only thing I ever ate from McDonalds for years). Vive le difference, right? Can't we all just get along?! *dramatic sob*

Hillary can eat me, but her ghost-writer did have something going on with the whole it takes a village thing.

So I'm left wondering why in the name of Thor's Hammer are states like Minnesota passing laws that make it a misdemeanor to sell American flags that are not made in America with American textiles, and yet an organization like Child Workers in Asia even exists?!

"Dammit, Jim, let's make sure we get our flags from the US of A, but who gives a rat's ass where my Nikes came from. Oooh, a Starbucks!"

Friday, June 22, 2007

What My Grandma Always Told Me

My paternal grandmother, who passed away nine years ago as a result of a sudden stroke, was a health nut. She and my grandfather, I believe, lived a longer and healthier lifestyle because of their diet and exercise regime. Grandma loved Prevention magazine, and was always following up with us, copying articles and sending them in greeting cards. One particular article she mailed to me while I was in college stuck in my mind and has definitely affected the way I consume beverages.

Apparently, as early as the late 80s, there had been discovered a link between phosphoric acid and poor calcium absorption. This was of particular interest to my grandmother, because her daughter, my Aunt, was a big Diet Coke drinker. Granny was always on Auntie to stop consuming the stuff, at least, in such large quantities. Here is a nice article from Harvard on the subject.

And now, almost two decades later, I'm walking through the grocery store and see a little blurb on the side of a Diet Coke twelve-pack about how Diet Coke is a good source of hydration. They've even got an entire website dedicated to their products and how wonderfully hydrating all of them are. Yet I'm still scratching my head about the Diet Coke, because isn't caffeine a diuretic?

So I decided to do a little research on that. According to the nutrition advisor at

Caffeine also has a diuretic effect—that is, it enhances urine formation, often causing a need to urinate within an hour after consumption. Yet two studies with subjects who took caffeine before they exercised (1,2) showed no detrimental effects on hydration during exercise. Thus it appears that caffeine does not increase urine production during exercise. The extra adrenaline your body secretes during exercise may block caffeine's effect on the kidneys (3). However, responses to caffeine vary, so you should base your preexercise consumption on how caffeine affects your body.

After exercise, caffeine is a poor choice for fluid replacement. The safest bet is to tank up on noncaffeineated beverages just after activity, and then later, if you so desire, enjoy your favorite caffeinated beverage in moderation.

So, if Diet Coke might be okay while you're working out, but is overall a shitty choice for overall hydration afterwards, is it really fair or accurate for the Coca-Cola Company to be pushing the hydration thing on all of their beverages? I think not.

And it would piss my Grandma right off, may she rest in peace, that they're trying to make it appear as a healthful choice, in general. Assholes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What good is a police report & Satanic Brain Crack

That's what I'm asking myself.

My car got run over almost a month ago, and I finally decided to return the call made by the other driver's insurance company, the illustrious State Farm. Seems the tune Mr. Ford Truck was singing to me, and to the cop (as in, The Accident Was My Fault) is not the tune he's singing to his adjustor. Apparently, I am now the one to blame. He claims he had a green arrow to turn left when he did, meaning that I had a red light. Which is interesting, because, though I won't know this for certain until I camp out in the Denny's parking lot for a few minutes tomorrow, the left turn lane is also the STRAIGHT lane at that intersection. Rational minds would assume that a lane that moves both forward and left during a green light would be just that -- GREEN -- with no arrow. The right lane is right turn only. Rational minds would also assume that once the police file the report with their findings -- in this case, a big old "Failure to Yield" (but without a citation, go figure) -- there would be no arguing with it.

Thankfully, my awesome insurance provider has deemed me worthy enough to reimburse my $500 deductible, and are going to go after State Farm through their own channels. It would have really sucked it I'd had to go up against them with a lawyer.

You can betchyoass I will be recording the light changes at that blasted intersection and forwarding the video to my insurance company to use during their arbitration. I might even post the results here, if I can figure out how. I am getting really tired of watching all my friends post videos and thinking, "man, I should try that" -- GET THEE BEHIND ME, BRAIN CRACK!

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

I don't really like that song, but it's been kicking around in my head for a good 10 hours or so, ever since I willfully chose to drink two large cans of Guinness Stout at 3pm this afternoon, and then took a long nap nestled next to my child in a sweaty bed because our air conditioner is (again) on the fritz. My house looks like a family of traveling gypsies came through it. Only the traveling gyspies are my family, consisting of just me, my husband, and my two year old child. And we are as stationary as...well, a rock, right now.

Oh yeah, and my dogs are shitheads. They decided to unlock their cage during the night (okay, so it was me that just didn't latch it, but it's my story, it's my blog, I'm stickin' to it) and eat a poopy diaper that I had forgotten to put in the Diaper Genie that afternoon. Whoopsie.

So the house is a borderline health hazard, and I'm drinking in the middle of the afternoon and basically passing out with my kid. Can Child Protective Services be far behind? I mean, at high noon today, I was bawling my eyes out at the outer edge of the parking lot of the grocery chain down the street from my house. And I mean, bawling. Great, heaving, hitching sobs of pity me. My nose was running. I wiped my face with Taco Bell napkins (which suck for that, by the way -- Mc Donald's napkins are way better, but I don't eat McDonald's much anymore), and then hung out my door and splashed myself with lukewarm bottled water that I'd left in the car overnight. And drove home. Played with my daughter until naptime, sucked back the beer, and took a little neeper.

I woke up feeling pretty damn good. And I keep reminding myself that tomorrow is a new day; that Scarlett O'Hara might've been on to something.

Have I mentioned I'm premenstrual?!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sag thou pantaloons elsewhere, young stallion

According to this story, there will soon be a new law on the books mandating a $500 fine and up to six months in jail if you wear droopy drawers in public.

Now, I am just as annoyed with the trend as many others are, but come on. I mean, yes, I knew I was getting old several years ago when I watched a boy cross the street in front of me pulling down, hiking up, pulling down, adjusting the level of saggage to the appropriate position much the same way a woman might pull and tug on a skirt she's not so comfortable wearing. I thought simultaneously, "He looks like a dork..." and "Oh my Gosh, get a belt!" -- each thought riddled with disdain and amusement.

And now, it just gives me something with which to find a much needed quiet, private chuckle.

I certainly hope this law doesn't permeate the rest of the country, because, and perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but still, it smacks of profiling. You know what I'm talking about.

Furthermore, if there will be a law about this, then there needs to be a tandem law, that prohibits young ladies wearing short skirts and thongs at the same time. I would rather look at some idiot's ass crack than see bare sixteen year old butt cheeks walking by on a windy day. And the same could be said for thongs and hiphugger jeans. I saw waaaaaay more than I wanted to the other day, while I was at Chuck E. Cheese with my two year old, for cryin' out loud. A large part of me, of course, wanted to say to the young mother, "Work it girl" because she had three kids with her. 'Nough said.

Ultimately, this makes me laugh out loud madly, because no matter what the decade -- or the century -- there is always going to be something those crazy youngsters will be doing that will induce the ire of the next generation enough to make a friggin' law about it. Or doesn't anyone remember when skirts had to cover the ankle and it was considered unseemly for a man to wear his hat indoors?!

Where is Chaucer when you need him....

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cracked Rye

Why is Sean Patrick Flanery not wildly famous?

He is so incredibly talented, and woefully underused (looking at that word as I type it, I think to myself, "unda-roosed." That sounds like something small kids playing at being gangsta in their skivvies would say.) that he could be Nathan Fillion's brother from another mother. Now, in actuality, Flanery has been in way more stuff than Fillion, but there is a 6 year age diff between them (and day-um, I can't even believe Flanery's 41!). Thing is, neither one has been in anything that has rocketed into banality. Yet. Is that what makes them so good? They're like college rock in the 80s and 90s; once The Cure hit the radio with Friday, I'm in Love, it was all over.

Honestly, why are these two guys not in more stuff now? Is it really because someone as bland and one-dimensional and white bread as Tom Cruise captures the female imagination far more aptly?

I like my bread really hearty. Crunchy. Complex.

There is no justice.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Shot in the Dark

I accidentally stumbled upon Adrian Grenier's (Entourage)"new" (filmed in '99, released to little acclaim in '02 and re-released this year Hollywood-style as a result of his breakout role in the popular aforementioned HBO series) documentary Shot in the Dark this past weekend on the pay cable station. I have been a fan of Grenier ever since the crappy but cute movie Drive Me Crazy. Those eyes, that hair...he'd have kicked the shit out of Sanjaya, let me tell you. But thank God he just plays drums.

Normally I wouldn't watch this type of thing; it's just not in my line of interest. But I had an interesting year; my husband recently found out he has an illegitimate 17-year-old daughter, whose paternity is slightly in question, but I've seen pictures. There is likely no denying who her father is. Anyway, I've been having a hard time dealing with the phone calls and messages and emails; they never stop, it seems like, and I am not sure why, but I'm irritated and annoyed with it all. Even angry, sometimes. Despite the fact that I remember keenly what it was like to be seventeen, my sensitivity level is subzero. I find myself thinking, with shame, that I don't want this girl in my life. I've already opened myself up to the children from my husband's first marriage, and been heartbroken and betrayed by that whole mess (which I won't go into here, it would take too damn long and reopen wounds that still aren't healed, and frankly, I'm enough of a wreck right now, I don't need to go there). Now I'm facing the prospect of a raw teenager back in my life, and I don't like it one fucking bit.

But that was before I saw this film. I don't know why, but watching Grenier's almost casual approach to this topic, the reunion, made it an easier pill for me to swallow. And then once I was hooked, the real guts of the movie invaded my space and it was too late to turn it off.

I pretty much feel like an asshole, now, but at least I won't be an asshole, when the time comes.

If you like slow-moving but genuine documentaries, this one is for you. And interestingly enough, it's gotten me excited about the new season of Entourage, which I have yet to watch.