Live! At the Whiney-A-Go-Go!

August 31, 2006

You need to buy these things! No, really!

Filed under: life — letslucky @ 10:51 am

My very excellent niece is finally selling her awesome jewelry. She underprices it, but other than that the stuff is perfect. I’m wearing some right now!

Here’s an example of a bracelet:

bracelent

Find more at her store:

Nothing Too Fancy

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A minor writer of some local import, perhaps.

Filed under: life — letslucky @ 10:26 am

I’m famous! OK, I’m a talking head on a sales video for some random website. But still.

The site plays sound, which annoys me. But whatever. Click “San Mateo” to see the video.

http://www.smalltown.com/

August 28, 2006

Are you an adventurer?

Filed under: friends, life — letslucky @ 8:04 am

Mark Twain: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

I think he’s mistaken. I think it’s more like twenty minutes from now. Thanks to Enrique for the excellent link to that quotation site!

August 25, 2006

Control! Now with added freakiness!

Filed under: life — letslucky @ 10:40 am

I tried to keep a rosebush alive once. I’m bad with plants. Anyway, this one had a fighting chance because it was on my balcony in SF, sturdy variety, suited to SF climate, nice large pot, lots of breeze for good airflow (important for preventing fungus). How do I know these things are good? I researched it on the internet.

It got aphids.

No problem, I said. I’ll just get some ladybugs! I know this will work because I researched it on the internet. So I bought a carton of ladybugs (about 1000 I guess). Happy me, they are my insect slaves! They must do my bidding! An army of tiny red-armored soldiers fighting the aphid battle of my choosing!

I shook a few onto the rosebush. They promptly flew away. See, ladybugs are highly migratory, and are unlikely to stay where you put them unless they find food instantly. (How do I know this? Guess.) Not that this was a problem, since the bush was teeming with aphids. Ungrateful little wretches spurned the food I’d provided.

A little more internet research, and I have a new plan. Spray a few leaves with sugar water to make sure that the ladybugs will stay. OK! So I mixed the sugar water, sprayed a few aphid-covered leaves, and sprinkled a few ladybugs. Who flew away.

Sugar water is sticky. Maybe I can glue the bugs to the leaves?

That technique did not come from the internet. But as you might guess, it also failed.

Finally I got a huge handful of zipper baggies. I carefully sprinkled a few ladybugs into each, then slipped each bag over an aphid-ravaged rosebud, zipping the bag as far shut as I could. Then I covered the whole bush with a transparent dry cleaning bag.

Let’s see who flies away now, motherf**kers.

Ah, the beauty of roses. I could look out my window every day and see a carnage of baggies, dead ladybugs, ants (attracted by the sugar, no doubt), and aphids, all wrapped up in tattered plastic blowing in the wind.

The ladybugs all died. The ants ate all the aphids, then infested my kitchen. And the rosebush got a fungus and died.

cheesecake2

Filed under: life — letslucky @ 9:57 am

Fun new software lets me play with art materials without getting messy. But I think I need to establish a rule: no painting before work. I had to run out of the house with no makeup, no hairstyle, no jewelry. The painting looks better than I do.

cheesecake2

cheesecake2,
originally uploaded by letslucky.

art! art!

August 24, 2006

No comfort, no tuna, no.

Filed under: life — letslucky @ 8:27 pm

J carpools sometimes with a friend who is about the same age as he…

and who died of a massive stroke yesterday.

Heart issues are not unknown to us.
All the men in J’s family have heart attacks in their 50s.

I’m 8 years younger than he.
All the men on both sides of my family live to their 80s or 90s; women last well past 100.

I’m feeling very lonely already. I have decades of widowhood to look forward to..

I crave experience; I want to meet and delve into and KNOW as many people as I can.

But there are times when I feel like that is futile. Everyone I know and love is going to die, and I get to stand around and watch it happen. I was there when my dad died, I’ll be there for Mom too. I’m the youngest, so I’ll probably stand by the gravesites of all six siblings.

I will almost certainly outlast J, and I can’t imagine (and don’t want to imagine) a world without him.

I don’t fear death. My own death is easy — a moment and it’s done. It’s the survivors that feel the pain and the loss.

Is it worth it to love someone? When you know that either they will die and cut you to the quick? Or you will die and hurt them beyond all repair?

This is one of those times when I feel like I don’t want to live anymore. I don’t want experience, I don’t want pain, I don’t even want dullness. I want oblivion and relief.

But instead I put J to bed for a nap, and I make the most comforting food I can imagine. Tuna casserole. And I’m so flustered that I forget to include the tuna.

August 11, 2006

I’m weird about money.

Filed under: life — letslucky @ 9:43 pm

Growing up without much money forms some attitudes about it, I’m sure. My siblings will tell you that the family was flush with cash when I came along, which might be right. On the other hand, being the youngest of seven means that your mid-career parents might bring in more, but they’re also paying for the boys in college. But just the boys. In my family, girls aren’t sent to college, as a rule. But that’s another blog posting.

In any case, the friends of my adulthood have tried very hard to break me of my attitude that everything is scarce, and if it isn’t now it will be soon. It took a long time to get me to trash the tattered, safety-pinned cotton panties that I was convinced could last yet another five years. And boy, ain’t that sexy. I still cringe to see movies in the theater, I use teabags at least three times, and I steal all the hotel soap I can get my hands on. But I’m trying to be a little more self-indulgent. It’s much easier to be generous to other people than to myself.

In my world view, any purchase is considered like this:
1. Do you have it already? If not, then you obviously don’t need it. You’ve gotten along just fine without it so far.
2. Ok, so you have it already. Is it lost? Then obviously you can’t be trusted to get a new one. You’d just lose it.
3. You know where it is, but it’s broken? Ditto above. You’d just ruin the next one too.
4. You have it and use it constantly, but it’s old and tired. Join the club. We’re all old and tired. You’re not going to toss me aside when I’m old and tired, are you?
5. You have it and might even use it, but it’s ugly and you don’t like it. Well, that’s what you get for having preferences. Shed your opinions and take what you can get, and you’ll have nothing to be unhappy about.

So put all these in a blender, add a dollop of I-can-pay-for-it-MYSELF feminism, sprinkle a couple of terrifying years of unemployment, and mix well. You can see why I’m a cash frappe, a smoothie of parsimony and self-inflicted neglect.

And has all this scrimping and saving gotten me anywhere? Not really. I’d be sitting on a mountain of useless cash and prying gum-cemented pennies from the sidewalk were it not for a husband with expensive tastes and a low tolerance for this sort of bullshit. He’s also the one who helps curb my generosity when it’s getting out of hand, like when I’m about to spend a couple hundred bucks on a “just because” gift for a friend. And yet I travel without my trusty earplugs because buying a new pair would be at least $2 and I still have mine somewhere, I just can’t find them right now.

But I still won’t let him buy me any real jewelry.
Nor replace the fabulous Coach lipstick case that I moronically left on a plane once. Back when you could bring lipstick on a plane.

I can’t get on a plane, I’m made of water!

Filed under: life — letslucky @ 9:20 am

The human body is, what, 98% liquid? And guess what I can’t carry onto a plane.

OK, really, every one of my atoms is made up of mostly empty space. Maybe that’s the next thing on the TSA “No” list.

But I’m being unfair. In reality I’m glad that finally, the things being inspected are the things that are actually dangerous. Shoe bombs instead of nail clippers. Liquid explosives instead of my toothpick-sized bamboo sock knitting needles.

And yet, dang! It’s hard to figure out what you’re carrying that’s liquid when it’s something you never considered.

Of course you have to check your toiletries now. Pretty much everything in there is verboten: gel antiperspirant, toothpaste, contact lens solution, moisturizer. But what about the stuff in your purse? Do you have a sample vial of perfume hiding in there somewhere? A moist towelette perhaps? A pair of contact lenses? Hand lotion? Lip gloss?

LIP GLOSS???

Just today they loosened the restrictions so that you can bring lipstick on board. Until then, if you worked at the airport behind the security barrier you got to have dry lips. I can’t imagine working on the tarmac in the midwestern winter without chapstick.

I wonder if they would allow you to carry on that gum that has a liquid center?

Even after you get past security, you can’t carry on anything liquid that you bought at the airport. No half-finished drinks, no bottles of water, no Body Shop goodies to get you through the flight. Flying overseas without hand lotion is happening to thousands of people right now. My cuticles weep for them.

The overhead luggage rack is going to be blissfully empty, I bet. Almost every person who is traveling overnight is checking luggage. If you plan to brush your teeth in the morning, you’re in the bag check line. So all those airports that reconfigured themselves to handle gigantically long security lines? Their security lines are quick and short. Now it’s the checkin lines that snake around the sides of hallways, across walkways, down stairs, out into the parking garage. Ah, San Jose airport. I fondly remember waiting in a security line outdoors several years ago. At least now I waiting in the covered garage.

Lucky I’m up at 5am anyway. That’s what time I’d set my alarm to make sure I would catch my 11am flight. And I did get through with a few minutes to spare, so I’m taking advantage of one of the perks of not sleeping: you never just woke up, so it’s never too early to sit in Gordon Biersch and sip a Martzen.

Mmmmm beer. Foamy.

I wonder if a lip gloss would fit undetected in my pocket? It wouldn’t show up in the metal detector… Hm…

Then again, I always manage to get chosen for the full frontal search. Better not risk it.

August 9, 2006

Meta meds

Filed under: life — letslucky @ 8:13 am

You know the meds rollercoast I talked about earlier? I’m on it again. Whee, it’s a fun ride! Whee.

Depression meds often work great for a while, sometimes a few years, and then they just stop working. And then the patient gets to deal with being in the dark hole at the same time they’re tapering the old meds, getting through SSRI discontinuation syndrome (lots of doctors won’t acknowledge that this exists; they are wrong), dealing with the return of the med’s side effects, starting up a new med, wondering if it’s going to work at all, tweaking the dosage, and dealing with its side effects.

Whee.

A few weeks ago I had to admit that my meds have started to falter. So my shrink and I decided to supplement the one I’m on with another that’s compatible, rather than stop this one and start a new one. Cool. I get the liver tests and blood pressure to make sure I’m OK to ramp up the crazymeds, fill the script, and start the rachety jerking chug up the coaster’s first hill.

I think the new one is too much.

Lemme see…. I think it’s been about 2 weeks since I’ve slept more than 30 minutes at a time. Lately I’m up at 4am or so most days. The tremor that was tolerable before has been intensified. Not quite to the extent that I have to worry about driving (a jerk of the wheel would be a bad thing on the freeway), but it’s getting kind of old to lie there while not sleeping, taking out little bets with myself about which body part is going to spasm spontaneously next.

I’ve made several social blunders and pissed off a number of people in the past few weeks, enough to decide that it’s a pattern of basically exercising bad judgment. That one actually is making it kind of scary to drive, since I can’t trust my decisions.

Speaking of poor judgment, perhaps I shouldn’t be pouring all this out into a public blog that anybody can read? (Hi Mom!)

I just realized that all those waking hours I wasn’t really getting anything done. I was on a dozen shopping sites. Luckily I’m a total cheapskate. That could have been bad. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to have dozens of boxes arriving on my doorstep in the next few weeks. On the other hand, my wallet is missing about $200 and I honestly have no idea what I spent it on.

Sheesh, why bother with all this behavior analysis to figure out my symptoms? I should just go xerox the Manic page from the DSM-IV and check off all the boxes.

And here’s the kicker: there’s another thing I need to put on the list for when I see my shrink about all this. I knew it a second ago but it’s gone now. Several times in the past week I’ve been unable to hold a thought for long enough to get it from brain to pen.

Oh yeah, that was it. I seem to have developed a weird sort of forgetfulness.

Whee.

August 8, 2006

It’s All Fun And Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye

Filed under: life — letslucky @ 7:42 pm

A short time ago, a friend brought it to my attention that I have, apparently, a different take on things than most of the world.

Duh.

But this one took me by surprise. See, when you have disorders like Major Depression, you get used to answering questions like “I am more self-blaming than usual” (what the hell does THAT mean???) or “I often think of suicide or death.”

What’s often? What’s thinking?

I always assumed that the question was about actual plans, ideation, or even making schedules and gathering the necessariy materials. I haven’t done that for a long time, so I always jauntily checked the “oh no, I’m perfectly fine!” box.

Then my friend suggested that maybe I wasn’t really getting it, and pointed me to yet another suicide survey that worded things a little differently.

“I think of suicide or death several times a week for several minutes.”

Well, duh. Who doesn’t? As far as I know, everyone looks at the world the same as me. Every question, every decision, every junction has the option of suicide. Should I apologize to my best friend for stealing her boyfriend, or should I kill myself instead? Should I stay up all night to finish this paper or maybe find something to plagiarize and then get some sleep, or should I just off myself? Hmmm, what’s for breakfast, Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, or suicide?”

You can see why I never walk into a video rental store. Too many decisions, and all of them have what I’ve come to call Option S.

Now, now. Don’t go calling the me in white suits for me — it’s really not that bad. I don’t generally consider bullets instead of cereal anymore. But still, is just the idea really such a factor for diagnosis? Do people really go weeks without the thought even entering their heads? I’m not sure I can measure it in hours, even on my good days.

A couple of my very close friends were shocked when they saw this particular aspect of my thought processes. “Why didn’t you tell me before??” It’s a wierd question. For example I have no idea how my best friend chooses to go about the process of clipping her toenails. There are many approaches. We have never discussed details. I would bet folded money that it never occurred to her to bring it up.

I’m the same way. Why on earth would I bring it up? It’s as much a part of my background thought processes as the way I start to describe things in literary third-person phrases when I’ve been spending too much time reading, or how I get all mucousy after lunch and have to blow my nose a lot. Big deal.
This is my idea of mental stability. I’ve never known any other.. I had no idea that when the doctor would ask about feelings of suicide that I was supposed to report about the last 10 minutes of my thoughts. I thought it was just about the important stuff, like buying the gun. So I always said no, I don t THINK about it. I just think about it.

think (transitive verb)
1 : to form or have in the mind
2 : to have as an intention <thought to return early>
3 a : to have as an opinion <think it’s so> b : to regard as : CONSIDER <think the rule unfair>
4 a : to reflect on : PONDER <think the matter over> b : to determine by reflecting <think what to do next>
5 : to call to mind : REMEMBER <he never thinks to ask how we do>
6 : to devise by thinking — usually used with up <thought up a plan to escape>
7 : to have as an expectation : ANTICIPATE <we didn’t think we’d have any trouble>
8 a : to center one’s thoughts on <talks and thinks business> b : to form a mental picture of
9 : to subject to the processes of logical thought <think things out>

Maybe I should not have assumed that meaning 1 was the intent. Maybe they were asking about meaning 2. Maybe I’m not as healthy as I thought.

Then again, I can’t imagine living life without the built-in Get Out Of Jail Free card. It’s unfathomable to try to face some of the what the world throws you without considering the option of just checking out. If “ordinary” people really don’t do that, I honestly don’t know how they get through the hard times.

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