Archive for the ‘Disorders’ Category

The Famous Writer

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

famous writer

Late in 2012, I became Facebook friends with a famous writer. I considered him one of the most talented writers around, a truly unique and brilliant voice. His novels are dark and disturbing but also hilarious.

He not only accepted my friend request, but he sent me a message to say he liked my blog. It was like being blessed by the Pope, only better.

We started to write messages back and forth and exchanged email addresses, We shared a depressed but cynically amused world view and had many of the same literary heroes. We even shared a love/hate relationship with weightlifting.

We decided to talk on the phone. I loved his deep voice and I loved his ideas. Here he was, a living god, and he seemed to really enjoy talking to me.

Our conversations weren’t sexual or even suggestive, but it was like a love affair based on a mutual sensibility. That’s how I saw it.

We talked about suicide and his experience helping a deeply depressed friend. I told him that I was struggling, and his insights were comforting and useful.

He told me about a crazy girlfriend who had shattered his belief in his own judgement. She had bailed on him without warning and married some other guy. I agreed with his diagnosis of her and we spent many hours going over the awfulness of dealing with Borderline Personality Disorders.

We talked about the reasons I haven’t tried to tackle a serious writing project. He encouraged me to take the plunge despite my fear of failure and all the usual bullshit that people who can’t write a novel like to use as excuses for their lack of effort or talent.

Then, he offered to be my writing mentor.

It was like a beautiful dream where everything you ever wanted plots right into your lap! I was beside myself with excitement. And even hope. Now I would write something long, something that needed to be expressed in words, in order to both ensure my sanity and justify my worthless existence.

I started to write the story of Max.

I started with the end and worked backwards. I recounted every detail, trying to capture everything. the terror and shock and grief and remorse and most of all the love.

I sent him the six pages and he was supportive, although not exactly bowled over. He reminded me that you can’t just report things, even in a memoir. You have to create a whole world.

And then he disappeared.

He didn’t respond to my phone messages or emails. There was only silence.

I began to worry that he thought I was a stalker, that’s how many messages I left. I became paranoid, wondering if someone had turned him against me. I regretted writing the six pages of complete shit. How dare I have such an inflated opinion of myself to try to write something that mattered!

Then he reappeared. He was sorry about the long silence but things had been rough. However, now he had exciting news. He was deliriously in love with a much younger women but everything was perfect. She was incredibly talented and beautiful and was about to move in with him. They had only just become lovers but they were picking out name for their children. He would support her while she wrote her masterpiece. I think he even gave her a diamond ring.

I was stunned by his story, especially after the long silence. I tried to be happy for him even though I was pretty sure the romance would end badly for him. After another long silence, he called me to let me know that she’d disappeared. She left the ring but took the high-end clothes he bought for her.

We laughed about the clothes. I felt terrible for him. Two crazy girlfriends in a row, and I mean crazy.

Then he disappeared again. And I decided to forget about him. Maybe he was like my own crazy girlfriend, the one whose red flags I refused to notice.

I didn’t try to finish the Max story. I guess it’s a story to carry in my heart until I see him again.

First Wordist Manifesto of 2016: Voracious

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

the marriage feast

In the last few days, my sensitivity to words has been causing problems at home. It’s like a chronic low-grade illness that sometimes becomes acute.

I was starting to read an essay on millennials when the word ‘peruse’ caused me to make a snap judgement: Anyone who would use the word ‘peruse’, in the first paragraph no less, was not worth my time.

I brought this up to my husband, who saw no reason to react to ‘peruse.’

It’s hard for me to accept that some people just don’t care about words that much. Probably most people. It’s such a real, visceral response for me when a word is used poorly or is just intrinsically awful, like peruse.

Some words just make me cringe, even though they are apparently harmless to others. But peruse, come on! There’s just no reason to use it unless you’re deliberately trying to sound stupid. It’s like using ‘loquacious’ when you could just say ‘talkative.’ Or using ‘sans’ for ‘without.’

I wanted to think of a term for this category of annoying words that connote an effort to sound smart. I have only come up with ‘bourgeois’ but I’m hoping for something better.

Meanwhile, someone on the radio yesterday said this about some guy who died:

He was a voracious joke-teller.

My brain went AAAAAAAAAAAAH.

You can’t be a voracious joke-teller, I complained. Maybe the guy was an inveterate joke-teller. Voracious implies an appetite or hunger. It’s bad enough that people always use the cliche ‘voracious reader’ but at least it is used correctly.

I could not get agreement from my husband so I turned to my nephew, a wordist of the highest order. He suggested ‘avid’ for the joke-teller.

Genius, right? Meanwhile, my husband and I retreated into our separate worlds of not caring and caring obsessively about voracious joke telling.

I turned to the Oxford Dictionary online to soothe my nerves.

Definition of voracious in English:
adjective
Wanting or devouring great quantities of food
he had a voracious appetite

Voracious implies something you can take in or ingest, then.  So you can’t be a voracious singer, duh.

But then, there is a second definition:  Having a very eager approach to an activity.  The example given is his voracious reading of literature. Elsewhere I found the example he was a voracious collector.

I’m going to stick to my guns about voracious joke-telling. It is an improper use of a word that was employed just to sound smart but ended up making me furious, but not as furious as those who are sick of my fucking wordist nitpicking.

If you have perused this whole rant, kindly opine on my condition whilst I consider upping my meds.

Cheers.

*extra points if that ‘Cheers’ put you over the top

Thankful Or Not

Monday, November 30th, 2015

tom turkey small

I have been struggling with inertia, feelings of hopelessness, and general apathy. Thanksgiving made me aware of my resistance to the whole idea of being thankful.

Why do we have to be thankful on demand? Why can’t we just wallow in bitterness and despair?

My Thanksgiving turned out to be a happy one, by the grace of friends who cook and play guitar. I even made a festive centerpiece. But three days later, I’m still coming across lists of Things To Be Thankful For. I just found one with a full 100 things that some idiot or group of idiots managed to compile.

Number 1 is :

Your health- because it’s one thing that you should never take for granted.

Really? I thought health was the thing you turn to when you can’t think of any other reason to be grateful, a last resort and kind of a bitter pill. “At least you’ve got your health.”

Number 4 is “scented candles”. Hahahaha! Jesus. In my world, that would come right after paved roads.

“Friends” come in at Number 15. Oh well.

Number 32 is “Free Shipping.” LOL!  Actually, free shipping is a good one, I’m going to make it number 10 in my personal hierarchy of gratitude.

Number 65 is:

A cup of really good coffee.

Clearly these philistines know nothing about coffee.

Number 85 = Hummus. Whereas “Art” is Number 91.

I have to admit this list gave me some good laughs, so I need to put “stupid lists” in my top ten. Let me change my mind about the Thankfulness thing and offer a list of my own. I hope it’s clear that I’m making all this up as I write, okay?

1. Love
2. Art
3. Music
4. Coffee
5. Chocolate
6. Dogs
7. ???
8. ???
9. Stupid lists
10. Free shipping.

Anyone want to share their own top ten? Or to fill in my seven and eight?

 

 

Epiphanies From My Vacation

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Tourists

We traveled to another state for a family visit and it was an experience rich with epiphanies. Here are the ones I can remember:

1. I have zero fear of flying and no anxiety about things going wrong. I sat next to the window and enjoyed being up in the clouds. I realized that I didn’t care about the plane crashing; it was a genuine feeling of ‘So what? No problem.’ I’m aware this may not be normal thinking but it is incredibly liberating.

2. I don’t need a green crocodile handbag by Nancy Gonzalez. I have viewed this item as the holy grail of consumer goods for a long time. Don’t ask why. I planned to buy one when some nebulous project made me a million dollars. I went to look at one and when I touched it, I felt no surge of longing or quickening heartbeat, and certainly no spark of joy. Poof, the spell was broken! This frees up at least $3,000 of imaginary future money.

3. I really do wear a 32C and and not a 34B. The last time some bra lady told me to switch sizes, I refused to take her up on it. A nice, more persuasive bra lady named Vicky convinced me to make the change. It was almost like accepting Jesus into my heart only it was Vicky. Thanks, girl!

4. I am emotionally better off when deprived of media. A few days without TV or internet can tamp down one’s everyday sense of rage. One day back at home and I’m ready to fucking explode at that stupid bitch who won’t let same-sex people get married. Why do we have her?? Take her away!

5. Ice cream is more important than any other type of food. Keep your fancy entrees and give me ice cream instead.

6. Coming home from somewhere else is deeply satisfying. I love my own bed and it loves me. Even though we discovered a plumbing leak that may be catastrophic, home is where you can do what you want, where all your shit is, like your Waterpik thing and your skin products. Home is your sanctuary.

Oh and here’s one more, but this is more like a life lesson or general wisdom: If you break your baby toe, someone’s going to try to run over it with a shopping cart, and they will eventually succeed.

 

Help A Sister Out

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Silver skirt problem

Okay so I bought this skirt online because it was reduced from a billion dollars to just a fraction of its original price, and because I loved its shimmery quality.

In real life, it’s even more shimmery, the thinnest silk lame but lined with cotton. Really, it’s the shit, you will just have to trust me on this.

The problem is, I love the way it’s styled here but I don’t have a sleeveless shirt like this and I have no imagination. None. I can’t think of one single way to wear the skirt and make it look casual and tomboyish instead of trashy or hookerish.

I don’t want to look like a prostitute, as I’ve noted here several times over the years.  I know this because I made a cyber-friend who pointed this out and told me all about his pathological girlfriends before disappearing back into the ethernet. ( Hi, Donald!)

If I don’t want to look like a prostitute, why do I keep buying clothes that warrant this caveat??

I have no idea, alright? Just help me figure out a top to wear. I already have pointy oxfords so I’m good in the shoe department. I even have them in silver!

If I wear the silver skirt with the silver shoes, will I look like a prostitute? Only answer that one after you find me a top.

Be specific and include links if you have em.

Thanks!

Calibrating Distress

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Sappho

For those of you who use ‘social media,’ did you notice how quickly concern for the dead lion evoked angry complaints that ‘black lives matter?’

People weren’t done mourning for whoever they were mourning for and they resented the outrage about the lion. Then some geniuses wrote think-pieces suggesting that it’s not an either/or situation: We could be upset about black lives AND lions.

Me, I don’t know what to feel upset about, or rather, what to put at the top of my list. There is just too much going on.

Mass shootings, police shootings, dead lions, Donald Trump, dead Palestinian baby, starving children in Yemen, transgender teen bullying, more riots in Ferguson, and a little hippo being mauled to death (Daily Mail online, don’t look!)

I couldn’t even feel a thing for the latest movie theater episode, except to feel sorry for Amy Schumer. Am I broken?

I don’t understand why the poor Palestinian baby is worth more discussion that the dying refugees in Yemen, complete with malnourished babies who look like tiny skeletons.

And while we’re on the subject, I was unable to be horrified at Planned Parenthood for marketing fetus organs. If someone wants to abort a fetus, why can’t it be used to promote life elsewhere? Because ‘life begins at conception?’ Why do Americans care so much more about the unborn than the born?

Tonight, there is a woman out on the cliffs near my house, deciding whether to jump. There are helicopters and firetrucks and lots of commotion. I would personally go out to talk to her if I were allowed to. Meanwhile, people on our local community Facebook page are sending their prayers or complaining about the noise. A couple of people want her to jump and get it over with.

I’ll bet you anything that those people are beside themselves about the fucking lion.

The Joy Of Trying To Tidy Up

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

SnowWhiteClapping

In my continuing effort to make life livable, I’ve sunk to self-help books. It’s a poignant conundrum. The more you succumb to self-help books, the more of a loser you are, by definition.

Still. I have high hopes for The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. a worldwide best seller that makes a bold promise:

In this book, I have summed up how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever.

The book is slim, like The Prophet, and similarly filled with wisdom, only more useful wisdom. I vaguely recall stuff from The Prophet, like your children are arrows and sadness is a well or something. Great.

But compare that to the revelation that everything you own should spark joy. If you pick something up and you don’t feel any joy, YOU DON’T KEEP IT!

It’s such a huge but simple concept. All the shit you’ve acquired is shit that you have to put somewhere and there’s just too much of it. Duh, you know that. But you don’t know how to cull your stuff, and you’ve tried so many times. You can’t get rid of stuff because you paid good money for it, you might need it, you might lose weight. it’s a memento, it was a gift, it isn’t broken, one day you’ll give it to someone.

Anyway, the first brilliant edict from the author, Marie Kondo, that shook me to the core was this:

Don’t demote clothing to ‘lounge-wear.’

Right?!? Even my husband admitted to this practice. If something is too ugly or worn out to wear in public, you put it with your PJ’s.  Ms. Kondo insists that even when you’re at home, you should be wearing something that sparks your joy. Right now I’m wearing a green tank top that I’m going to throw away later tonight, because the color and cut bring me NO FUCKING JOY, none.

It’s that simple.

So, I’m not following Kondo’s instructions to the letter but I’m making a start. I emptied each drawer of my dresser and picked up each item. If there was a distinct No Joy feeling, I made a contemptuous face and threw it on the floor. If there was a ‘meh’ feeling, I hesitated.

But I did collect two bags of shit to throw away. I have to go around the house and do this with everything. It will be exhausting but I think I can eliminate tons of stuff from my amassed belongings, which have become burdensome.

I also got a book for parents whose adult children hate them. It is somewhat comforting.

Throwing shit out is the way to go, the road to harmony and contentment. Maybe the less I need, the less needy I will seem. I will be spartan, disciplined, and self-contained. I will accept no nonsense from green tank tops.

And throwing shit out puts you in a position of power, which is good. Like George Bush said about Donald Rumsfeld, I am The Decider.

Exciting News About Hideous Denim!

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

denimpile

Yay for me!

I have started a new blog devoted solely to hideous denim, so as to spare sensitive viewers (and impressionable children) from being subjected to this topic.

It you’re wearing your big boy pants, go check it out.

xoxoxo

Happy As A Werewolf

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Niraj Budhathoki, 12, sits under the shade of a tree a normal routine for the villager to spend time under a tree and speak with each others as there are very few televisions or any other means of entertainment at the homes of the villagers at Kharay

Earlier this month, I came across a  story about a family in Nepal who suffer from a genetic disorder known as Congenital Hypertrichosis Lanuginosa (CHL).  It causes excessive body hair growth and is sometimes referred to as “werewolf syndrome.”

The photos by Navesh Chitrakar are staggeringly beautiful. They show a very poor family living in a remote village in Nepal, making regular trips to a hospital in Katmandu for free laser hair-removing treatments.

Despite their unsettling looks, I thought I could perceive a kind of happiness that I’m incapable of achieving.

They are a family,  joined in a team effort to survive poverty and disfigurement. They are surrounded by natural beauty. The children look cared for and happy. They know what matters and what doesn’t.

I’m probably projecting a fantasy on them but it helps me to see how depression not only distorts everything, but how traumatic childhood experiences deprive you of something essential. I don’t feel okay being me. I feel disfigured and unlovable. I find it hard to be at one with nature. I want my mommy.

Devi Budhathoki

Devi-Budhathoki

Mandira-Budhathoki

Anyway, today I woke up to learn there has been a massive earthquake in Nepal. What about my werewolf family?!? It is unbearable. Are they okay? What about everybody else??

Let’s all give money to relief efforts in Nepal, because we are so blessed, no matter how miserable we are, to have somewhere to sleep tonight and to know where our loved one are.

Doctors Without Borders, Mercy Corps, and CARE.

Bad Girl

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

bad girl 1964

 

I had a close call the other day, when I came across an expensive and totally inappropriate fashion piece that ignited my fantasy of being an angry schoolgirl.

loser jacketLook at how bad ass this is! I pictured my self wearing it with a white tank top and black jeans.

loser jacket 2It even says ‘loser’ on the front! It’s so ME, I thought. It’s some kind of polyester and costs around $600, but I was THIS CLOSE to buying it.

Then I found a lookbook for the designer, showing sulky young girls wearing the jacket with a Goth Lolita flair, smoking cigarettes and clearly ditching school.

It suddenly occurred to me that I’m not an angry schoolgirl anymore, at least not on the outside.  No one wants to see grandma in her kooky jackets at this point. It was a highly unpleasant epiphany.

I’m still not over it. Yesterday, I waked into my husband’s home ‘office’ wearing a faded pair of Levi’s with a black wife beater and demanded, “DO I LOOK TWENTY-TWO?” He answered Yes, like a dutiful robot, but he may have been trying not to laugh. I don’t even know why I chose 22; it could be Gwyneth Paltrow‘s famous boast of a “butt like a 22 year old stripper.” That’s the kind of statement you can never forget. It’s part of why we all hate her.

beehive photobooth-girl

Sometimes I wonder about the function of fashion, even though I’ve read more than my share of long-winded essays on the subject. What are we really trying to express with the clothes we wear? Our coolness? Our amazing taste or ingenuity? Our credit card limit? Are we trying to project our inner selves or to create a false identity?

Normcore was a great trend, even though it was preposterously stupid. Normcore is like having a private joke with yourself: Haha, I look like a boring Nothing but I’m doing it on purpose, that’s how hip I am!

It’s so much better than the current trend of paying a trillion dollars to look like a bedraggled biker.

I just want to make peace between who I am inside with who I am outside. As if that could happen.