Archive for the ‘Disorders’ Category

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.

Big Sister, Part I

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

sisters in matching outfits

Years ago, I read a book called ‘The Sibling Bond‘ after reading an enthusiastic review somewhere. I remember its theories and insights as uniquely thought-provoking. Now, it’s all just depressing.

The sibling bond is like no other relationship. It is fraught with everything under the sun – issues of identity, intimacy, security, fairness, all woven together in  a complex knotted mess.

I’m calling it a mess because I’ve had a major falling out with my sister, the sister I grew up with, the sister who was half of what my mom called “You Two Brats.”

In healthy families, children’s roles and identities are not fixed at birth or rigidly imposed early in life. In other families, however, parents fuse their children, treating them as if they were the same. The children are lumped together, treated as if they were each other’s twin despite differences in age, stage, sex and temperament. The children can become fused in their minds, because they are fused in their parents minds.

Sibling bonds will become intense when, as children, the siblings have had plentiful access, contact, AND have been deprived of reliable parental care.

I remember myself as an anxious, fearful child who looked to my sister for warmth and companionship. She was two years older, husky and athletic. I was skinny and clumsy and still can’t ride a bicycle. We ate together, bathed together, were punished together and rewarded together. When we fought and I tried to get our mother’s attention, she would scream, “You two fight it out!”

I gave up on the hope that my mother would intervene and protect me. So when my sister devised tortures to try out on me, I learned to accept my fate. The worst came at bath-time. My sister would take my cotton undershirt and hold it under the hot water tap until steam came off it. Then, I would have to put it on. It hurt and I cried but there was no escape.

The other bath-time torture was the wet bar of soap: She would order me to choose whether I wanted it “in the eye or in the mouth.” I remember the panicky brain work of making the choice. The choice was always wrong, naturally.

My sister had a huge problem with being copied. She became enraged if she perceived any copying. If I drew with a blue crayon, it might be construed as copying. She made up a thing to yell when she started to do something, meaning it was her idea and could not be copied. When she decided I had copied her, there was ‘slavery.’ It was actually called slavery.

Did everyone grow up this way? I really have no idea. But I loved my sister, because she was all I had. We made up a private language that we could speak a mile a minute. She taught me how to shave my legs. We both had to smoke our father’s cigar when he picked us up for Divorced dad dinners in expensive restaurants. We both had to endure his criticism of our hair and our teeth, and his self-congratulatory appraisal of his latest girlfriend.

Once, my sister was determined to get even with some guy for something, and the only way she could do it was to sleep with someone. I tried every argument to change her mind. When she announced that she planned to pick a stranger off the street, I told her to just use my former lover, a compliant stoner. She fucked him alright. She fucked him for around six months. At some point, I begged her to stop, but she wouldn’t. She told me that she wasn’t through getting even.

It was still a choice of the eye or the mouth, but without the choice factor.

We spent years of our lives, fused together or enraged at each other. We used to rely on each other to be what we called a Reality Guarantor, to compare our experiences or point of view. It was so reassuring. Whatever I might be worried about, she swore that it was nothing serious, it would go away or never happen or that she had it too and it wasn’t cancer.

Now we have crossed a line. Too many grievances have been aired. I see her as pathologically competitive and sadistic. She has rewritten my history, casting me as the villain in pieces where I was once the clear victim. Maybe it’s better to be the villain. The truth doesn’t matter to her, and I am the truth police, as everyone knows.

According to her, I’m the devil himself. “You think your shit don’t stink?” she shouted at me over the phone. Who even talks like that? Who are we, Mob Wives? Shouldn’t she at least say ‘doesn’t stink’?

 

 

Could It Be Low T?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

poor low t couple

If you live in the US and watch TV, you have been bombarded with commercials touting drugs for low testosterone. Never mind that doctors agree only a small proportion of men – about 0.5% – need testosterone therapy.

The ads are funny at first, then it might occur to you that a lot of money is being made by pharmaceutical companies preying on mens insecurities. Not only that, but they are pathologizing the aging process.  But of course it gets worse.

High testosterone levels increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and death by 30%. Averse effects of testosterone drugs are creating a whole new class of lawsuit. But those constant ads keep nagging that if you just feel kind of icky, kind of grumpy and apathetic, IT COULD BE LOW T!!!

So I went to the website Is it Low T and took the quiz. I had a strong feeling, no, really an absolute conviction that I would test positive for Low T. Here is my score, where I lied about my erections because I wasn’t sure how to answer.

low t score

As you can see, I’m in big trouble. I’m not even a man and I have fucking Low T!

When I was a weight-lifter, in another lifetime, many of the guys at my gym were huge pro bodybuilders. At certain points in their ‘training cycle,’ they would bulk up by taking steroids and pure testosterone. You could tell which ones were using, because they were easily enraged and prone to acne breakouts on their backs and shoulders. Their feeling was obviously, Anything for bigger muscles.

Now, men are urged to raise their testosterone levels if they’re feeling sad or tired or don’t always feel like having sex. Look at that poor suffering couple above. He looks around 20 but awwwww, he can’t get it up. She’s not helping with that awful white bra. Is she a nursing mother or something? Anyway, this image comes from an article about Low T. I wish she would just masturbate and leave him alone.

Here is a chart showing the rise in testosterone prescribing between 2000 and 2010:

testosterone_4 chart

I don’t know about you, but I see plenty of repercussions.  Angry, acne-ridden men who want to fuck all the time when they’re not dropping dead of a heart attack. I’m just not into it.  If you or your sad and apathetic husband still see more testosterone as the answer to you problems,  bookmark this ad:

lawsuit Low-Testosterone-Treatment-Side-Effects