Archive for the ‘Disorders’ Category

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.

 

Kim Kardashian Is A Virus

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

kim's paris boobs

My name is Sister Wolf, and I’m addicted to Kim Kardashian.

I write about her at my ‘day job’ but when I’m off-duty, I find I can’t quit her. When I’m out walking with my husband, a dazzling view of the ocean at hand, I’m talking about Kim Kardashian.

This week has been emotionally draining for Kim Addicts trying to keep up with her adventures in Paris. They’re not actually adventures. They’re more like sightings of a rare and horrible primate.

It’s not just me, either, not at all. Each time she emerges from her hotel, there is complete fucking pandemonium. Someone is going to get trampled, mark my words. People are risking their safety to get a glimpse of this creature. She is no longer human, by her own choice. Maybe that’s the source of the fascination?

Her new blonde hair nearly gave me (and the world) a seizure of joyous horror. It was so hideous, so wrong, so absurd, it was a brilliant move on Kim’s part to ensure that all eyes would be on her and not the actual fashion shows she was in Paris to attend.

Boldly reveling in her new image as a blonde bombshell, Kim went all out, flaunting her bare boobs and pursing her tumescent nude-glossed lips, vacant of all expression, striding around with her phalanx of bodyguards through a gauntlet of paparazzi and tourists.

Kanye seemed thrilled with his newly blonde wife, cuddling her amorously and proudly attempting to cup her giant ass in a gesture of ownership. He is one satisfied customer. But fuck him, he is of no importance, except to himself.

kim nails it at balmain insert

Now I’ve come home to find that Kim has bleached her hair even lighter, almost white, after 3 hours in a Paris hair salon. My heart is racing. What the hell is wrong with her and how did she get a colorist to agree to this?

kim platinum 2

When will her hair break off or fall out? When will she change her expression? When will Anna Wintour take her aside and say, “Kim, you’re killing us. Get a fucking stylist for the love of god!”

I want to make it clear that I’ve only seen one episode of her TV series so I don’t know what she’s like when she’s trying to act like a person. I only know her as a visual monstrosity that I can’t look away from. I am gladly ending that sentence with a preposition, just as I allowed myself to write “phalanx” for the first time in my life.  The Kimmania triggers a giddy sense of unreality where no one has to observe standards or boundaries.

Because Kim is a pathogen. Western civilization is the host. If I’m wrong about this, please explain why. And show your work.

kim with fur crap

The Headache

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

deathrow burger

One day last week, fresh from a shower, I swaggered into my husband’s home office, made eye contact, turned around and walked away. He put his guitar down and followed me to the bedroom.

There, we embarked upon an  intrinsically evil and gravely immoral marital act *.

Concentrating mightily, approaching take-off, I was visited by a crushing pain in my head, like being hit with a brick. FUCK, I thought. Determined to reward Houston, I persevered. Then, I announced that something was wrong.

I know a little about aneurisms, or at least I know the symptoms. If you have ‘the worst headache of your life’ and it came on suddenly, go to the ER.

I waited a few minutes to see if the pain would go away but it continued, pounding furiously and somewhat rhythmically. We called the 24-hour nurse hotline that comes with my health insurance. A nice old lady with a smoker’s voice who was probably wearing a housecoat advised me to call 911.

We drove to the nearest hospital and I put on lipstick in the car. I don’t go to hospitals without lipstick. The pain didn’t budge.

A nice doctor decided to give me a CAT scan, based on the pain level and my sky-high cholesterol. Even before leaving the house, I had decided against having brain surgery. Brain surgery meant shaving my head, so no. I tried imagining myself with one half of my head bald, wearing a scarf, and having a nice enough personality that people would still love me. I was skeptical about pulling this off.

The CAT scan guy told me to remove my earrings and that was annoying. I couldn’t get one out so he had to help me. He asked me what I did for a living and I said, “I write gossip crap.” He asked me where I wrote it and I answered, “a dumb website.” He gave me a look and said disapprovingly, “You sound like you don’t like what you do,” as though I had offended his sense of propriety. I gave up on bonding with him.

We waited for the test results. A nurse stuck an IV in me and I was sure it was intended for someone else. The doctor appeared and said my brain looked okay. The pain was a migraine, he determined. I mentioned when the pain had occurred and he said, “That happens.” I whined back, “It’s not going to happen again, though.”

A nice nurse with a fake flower in her hair told me she was going to give me some morphine. I was careful to hide my delight. She said: “You’re about to have the ride of your life.”

Are nurses supposed to say that when they inject you with morphine? We talked about her son, who had just joined the Navy, then she turned off the light to let me ‘rest.’

It took a few minutes for the pain to stop and my husband told me to be patient. We decided that since I didn’t need brain surgery, we would go get hamburgers.

Another nurse gave me some aftercare instructions and prescriptions I planned not to fill. I asked if it was okay to eat a burger and she hesitated but agreed there was nothing better than a burger and fries.

I told her that I’d decided to have a burger and fries for my last meal if I was ever on Death Row. She shrieked, “ME TOO!” and we shared a high five.

The burger from Bunz was totally fucking amazing. I can’t recommend it highly enough, whether or not you’re about to die.

Eat Already, For Fucksake!

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

please eat

Toilets

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

front-porch rules!

If you’ve been following this story, you will be glad to hear that the Window Treatment issue has been sorted out.

We are getting blinds in fake wood that looks really real, ordered from a fantastic Persian lady who also showed me curtains with little Japanese guys in boats that would cost $2,000 for one room!  It was a huge relief to get the window decision behind us.

We disagreed about the couch placement in the living room and got people to come over and render judgements and help move stuff around. When I told my psychiatrist about the couch dispute, he shared that he and his wife had a couch dispute a few days earlier, with one of them using the phrase “over my dead body.”

I have not been moved to say “over my dead body” so far, but I did start writing a song called “I’ve got a bridge and I’m gonna jump off it.” We live a couple of short blocks from a park that overlooks the ocean, with a steep drop that I can’t look at without the thought of jumping.  If I jumped, it would have to be a sure-fire fatality. It would have to be several stories high and I would have to be more despondent that I am at this moment.

No one likes to hear me talk about death. Death is with me every single day, as a heartache and and a fantasy solution. My niece came to visit and was happy to talk about death, which was a delightful surprise.  She had given the subject plenty of thought. I confided that my husband once got angry when he told me he wanted a coffin burial and I asked what he wanted to wear for the occasion. She responded, “Probably because he has too many choices,” referring to his collection of 94 shirts.

In any case, I can’t die before I get the pink toilet I so richly deserve.

We walked into a plumbing shop after finding that the tile shop was closed. There, I asked if they had a pink toilet, and the girl told me Sorry, pink toilets are a thing of the past. Armed with my knew Toilet Knowledge, I said smugly, “No, Gerber still makes them.” She went to her office to look this up on her computer, and I heard her exclaim “Unbelievable!”

I felt wonderful, more informed about toilets that an actual toilet girl! She took me to a hallway decorated with toilet seats in every color ever manufactured. She was a genuine Toilet Enthusiast. She pointed out a color called ‘Merlot,’ a deep wine color, almost like Chanel Rouge Noir, and noted that it’s the hardest color to find. We discussed the wide variety of green hued toilet seats.

The Toilet Girl ordered a pink toilet for me. Did you know that the  seat comes in both wood and plastic?

I want to be best friends with the Toilet Girl and talk about toilets until the end of time, or until I get a Tile Guy to bond with.

Dumbing Down

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

big-ass library

We are packing our shit and preparing to leave our house, the house where nobody likes to throw anything away.

I like the idea of a fresh start, in terms of starting over in a clean empty house and pretending that we’ll learn to not pile things on every available surface. We’ll want to keep things tidy because we’ll be motivated by the nice empty canvass of the nice empty house.

Ha.

But still, I am trying. I’m giving shit away and getting rid of stuff I can live without. So I started getting rid of old books, the kind that are really yellowed with tiny print and smell really musty. Eventually, I had boxes of books to take to the thrift store.

I realized that now when someone visits me, they won’t know I was once smart. They won’t have any idea of how well-read I am! Most of the fiction I bought over the years was in the form of cheap paperbacks, with a few rare exceptions when I felt justified in splurging on a hardback edition. I packed up dozens of wonderful moldy books that I would still recommend to anyone who likes to read.

All that Balzac, Zola, Bronte sisters, Goethe, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Nabokov, Iris Murdoch, Hermann Hesse, Tolstoy, Fitzgerald, Doris Lessing, Camus, all those great books that helped me to understand human nature while escaping the awfulness of being me.

If you know you’re not going to read those yellowed pages again, why should you keep them? Do people keep enormous ‘libraries’ of books just to remind themselves how much they’ve read? Or because books are too sacred to throw away? I really don’t know the answer. I will still have tons of books that are in good shape, because they’re newer or because they’re big art books made from high quality paper.

But people who meet me now will think I’m some idiot who just reads dictionaries and books about street gangs and mental disorders.

Meanwhile, my mind is now preoccupied with stuff I’ve never thought about in my entire life. Toilet seats! Kitchen cabinets! Media consoles! Wicker porch chairs!

It’s pathetic, these new preoccupations. We even discovered this TV channel where ALL THEY DO is buy houses, knock down walls, and argue about tile! It’s a whole new world, a world I never thought I’d relate to.

And it’s brought me and my husband a new kind of intimacy as we mock those losers who always talk about ‘natural light’ and always, always manage to say the word ‘granite.’

And Now I’m A Fucking Midget

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

PRINCESS tiny

I’m sad to say that Pico is gone, as you might have predicted. Life seemed so miserable for him.

I will blame myself for making the call, because I don’t know how long he would have lasted, despite the chronic pain and cognitive issues.

I miss him terribly but I’m not traumatized, because it seems like I’m already stuck with permanent PTSD that time won’t budge.

However! I am still capable of being dismayed.

I fucked up my back when I had to carry Pico inside from the backyard. He was only 40 pounds but I managed to lift him improperly.

So after whimpering (i.e. screaming) about my back for two weeks, I went to the doctor. The first blow was when she measured my height. I am supposed to be 5′ 6″ but now I measured 5′ 4 1/2″ for a loss of one and a half inches of valuable height!

Fuck me! I can’t believe this, even though I know that age and shitty bones lead to shrinking. What next? A dowager’s hump? I’ll probably go bald and whatever else is available to elderly women. I had to have ex-rays of my back, which revealed a degenerating spine or something that sounded like that. All those years of weightlifting, for nothing.

I’m going to get physical  therapy for my back, but for now I have two new prescriptions plus a bottle of Pico’s narcotic pain-killers.

To further drive home the old age thing, my husband and I were talking about TV hosts and we couldn’t remember Larry King’s last name. It was a moment of shared horror as our eyes met and we silently acknowledged that our brains have turned to mush.

Trying to retrieve Larry King’s last name was like gazing into an infinite black hole where a memory bank used to be. I hate Larry King now. I would say He’s dead to me, except now I’ll probably remember him as a symbol of senility, both his and mine.