Monday, December 31, 2012

"Goodbye's" Too Good A Word, So I'll Just Say "Fare Thee Well."

It's going to take more than a few *accidental narcotics overdoses to kill The Offbeat Drummer for good.

Alas, we've come to the end of 2012. My ex-husband & I both lost our jobs. I turned 40. I upset a lot of apple carts. I made people uncomfortable. I played drums. Luke rocked & grew like 5", & never did finish Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason."  Got a few tattoos & more piercings. I finished 25% of a masters degree. Had a couple of surgeries. Icky shit went down and I was annoyingly stalked for months by the office asshole brigade who used to work with me. Your usual year of rejection, deflection and unnecessary but unavoidable heartache. In 2013, I don't foresee it being much more than the same shit as 2012, minus perhaps the surgeries, with the addition of more gut-wrenching music, another semester of school & ringing things in tonight at home with my mother watching "One Few Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and NOT being drunk.

Not one to make or keep resolutions, next year, I should probably exercise more, cuss less & learn not to let incidental crap over which I have zero control affect my moods either positively or negatively, because I tend to live my life perpetually walking a tightrope. Eh, fuck it. What people without serious mood disorders fail to recognize in people WITH mood disorders is that, especially during the holidays, and the Ultimate Shitfest that is New Year's Eve, the normal people try to convince the sick people as to how wonderfully they're doing, while the sick person silently slaps his/herself with a taut, "You fucking idiot. You can't even successfully pull THAT off," THAT being an operative term for any number of destructive things.

Raise a glass, it's Monday.

*Or were they?

The Twelve Days of a Guy Friend Christmas: Day 6.

It's a really beautiful, delicate, fancy, silky scarf. I absolutely love it, and that's the truth.

Guy Friend is mad at me again, most likely because I've been critiquing his gifts this whole time. He's insulted that I would even imagine that he re-gifted anything he's given me, when he hasn't. When I picked up the phone last night, he said, "Hi, it's Dr. [Guy Friend's last name]." I thought that oddly formal, and he called from within the confines of Camp Guy, sounding extremely downtrodden.

It was weird because he asked me at 8:40pm if I was still awake. I said yes, I was. He wouldn't call me until over an hour later, during which, for whatever reason, he felt compelled, unprompted, to read a few blog entries from home.

He either was weary of all the family shenanigans or just totally emotionally beaten down by my mouthiness and ill-appreciation as of late. The conversation didn't go well at all, and was brief. I did a lot of sedate "Ok, yeah, alright's" & he tried to explain further why he would never come to see my band play at church, to which I owe no one except my best friends an explanation, and it's not because of the Pope (entirely, though Catholicism has something to do with it).  He said he would call me back today (New Year's Eve), though I'm not sure why he'd bother when all I imagine is me once again stringing along another long response of agreeable and accepting "Ok's" because I don't have handy a petition signed by my legion of fans and loved ones who all think that he is a few leaves short of a clover.

Woke up at 6:30, unable to get back to sleep. That priest hole I mentioned in a previous blog? Yeah, I'll be hiding in there. Kate told me not to despair. A little late for that. Ok, hello Major Depressive Episode via the Entrance of Total Rejection. It's been literal days (a week, maybe?) since I felt so awful that I self-increased my Zoloft dose up by another 50 mg.

The best advice I could give any woman at this point is to never, ever let yourself become so vulnerable that a guy knows exactly how much you love him. The tailspin isn't worth the bullshit. I have to remember that I'm neither of my 2 best girlfriends, one local and one far away, who are both knockouts who sparkle, dazzle and rock. I'm far too nuts, complicated, and me-like, which historically, eventually sends everyone fleeing.

Nonplussed, even about joining a gym with Luke as my workout buddy, this is pretty much how I feel:

After toying with another memoir title, "Sorry, I Must Have Dozed Off Again," I think the new working title is "History Repeats Itself." 

Well, fuck.

All There is To That.

To the nosy, unwelcome, thought-I-was-long-rid-of reappearing reader: You wretched nit, your pimply hyperbole and lack of internet savvy is not lost on me, so I wish you'd crawl back into the well from which you came. My life is interesting, though, thank you, I have most of my sanity back since we last sparred and I'm 1/4 done with my master's degree & could psychoanalyze all of y'all to death, and 90% of you need psychotherapy and a psychiatrist to begin with. In short, GO AWAY. For running a newly computerized office, you once again did a pretty shitty job of visiting me *not* under a proxy IP, but you're nothing if not stupid and I'm nothing if not brilliant. So sod off.  Slow holiday season for the Former Supervisor of The Offbeat Drummer, Who Never Earned Anyone's Respect...because she is incapable of an intellectual thought.

That is all.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Twelve Days of Guy Friend Christmas: Day 5, Gift 5

The tag: "Life's a beach. Then you die." 

Evidently, sandcastles smell a lot sweeter and more confusingly candy-like than sea air. Or sort of like disinfectant, which has charmed my son unbelievably so, so I gave the candle to him under strict Grandma scrutiny that he not burn anything in his room. He likes the candle, so I let him have it.

Oh, Guy.

This is what I should've given him for Christmas, minding that there's been a teensy-weensy security breach within "Rhythms." (For example, Google Chrome users may be put off by the Chrome browser's implication that since TwitPic is at the bottom of every individual entry, you are entering a malware-loaded zone at your own risk. Not like reading my blog wasn't enough of a mental landmine in the first place...Chrome users: click "Advanced" and then "enter at your own risk," though that's pretty self-explanatory.)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Twelve Days of a Guy Friend Christmas: Day 4, Gift 4.

"For a doubly sweet Christmas..."

What's doubly sweet? The cocoa, how quickly it's prepared--its instantaneousness, or me?

Frango, to Chicagoans, is sort of an institution. Originally only available (in candy form, etc) at our former Most Famous Store, Marshall Field & Co, the local chain was bought out by Macy's (boo!) several years ago, & we thought that would be the end of Frango. Macy's continued to produce it, though it's kind of schmaltzy & lost most of its charm since, but they still put out a good product (kind of like me). I've never had their cocoa before, but was impressed with the Starbucks cocoa I got from my cousin last Christmas, along with the design-and-bake your own giant mug, on which Luke drew a walrus for me, his name and date (I think he did it on New Year's Day last year) and wrote on it, "Settle Down, You Crazy Bitch." Fortunately, the flagship Marshall Field's on State Street downtown's building still bears their name and wasn't extracted by the Macy's chain, on the facade anyway.

I was so excited this afternoon while waiting in line at the pharmacy for my fuckload of sedating drugs that I texted Guy Friend that, after an epic migraine yesterday, during which I tried but failed to get back to sleep after therapy but couldn't, and required 2 nausea pills and implied that it was all his fault because I was preoccupied with "my imagination" of him, I slept 10 hours last night. Apparently, that wasn't *enough* sleep, and in the middle of emailing SuperJuls this afternoon, I conked out for another 3+ hours.

Guy left me a voicemail from work & said he'd call me back tomorrow, & wanted to know how I'm enjoying all of his presents so far. They're great, Guy, but my HANDS ARE STILL COLD. (My backup Kate Spade handwarmers shipped yesterday.) I was 90% asleep in a long winter's nap (again) that I kind of slept though his phone call, but he left this long, rambling voice mail, which in the middle of, he said, "Oh yeah, this is [insert Guy's name]. Kind of "Duh."

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Twelve Days of a Guy Friend Christmas: Day 3, Gift 3

Ok, the enthusiasm is waning. Never a big fan of holiday-only, discriminatory picture frames, Guy gave me...a Christmas seasonal photo frame. Who's picture am I supposed to put in it, his? Actually, my girlfriend had a great idea which was to put my favorite Christmas picture of Luke in it, so I will fill it with this, from when he was 3:

It's no small coincidence that the Kate Spade hand warmers I asked for in the first place went on sale yesterday with a 25% coupon. Too challenging to say if they're overtly in the wrapped packages, I am thinking I will order them anyway, and I can always return them if it is a double-gift, which I'm sensing it would *not* be.

The frame itself isn't objectionable, it's just only useful for about 20 days in the year.

Still waiting for a feat of superhero proportions under the tree....

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Twelve Days of Guy Friend Christmas..Day 2.

Guy Friend puts the Irish in, um, well, the Irish. And damn proud of it!

He's also German, but I never saw him in lederhosen or anything....I'm still trying to ascertain if he has hair on his chest or not, with the limited view I'm so frequently offered. I've never seen him in shorts, so I can't comment on his legs. When my mom saw him on Christmas Day after not seeing him for a year, she said he looked thinner (he's pretty slim anyway).

So, Day 2, Gift 2's card reads: "Never piss on the Irish or their sod! --Santa McClaus"  (reminiscent of the bag of Irish authentic soil/ sod I gave him for his birthday in May (4 days before mine!). I jokingly said I was giving it to he AND Lady GuyGuy since she was there (Hi, awkward! Fumble ball!), but in which I wrote in the gift card for his eyes only, "For an Irish dirtbag..." which Lady GuyGuy didn't like (because she's lame and not funny or sarcastic) , in which Guy and I found much hilarity.

Here's the note:

And the ornament! My, but it's heavy. And made in China!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment, which'll probably also be on East Coast time. I know, I'm cheating a little. But what's an hour?

Yesterday, everyone was ga-ga over the Nexium sample. It's apparently a big win to have a bottle of it!  Don't come, break in and steal my acid reducer! But I like the ornament. It's uniquely Guy Friend taste. Either that, or it's something they got, hated and regifted. PS, the Kate Spade hand warmers I wanted for Christmas just went on clearance sale & I also have a 25% off coupon. I've shaken and handled each gift from Guy, but I can't tell if any of them have the warmers.

I'm strongly resisting the impetus to respond with this:

"The Future Is Bright."

There's no need to hide. This is a great piece of film. Better to be happy with someone you love who loves you too than to to be lonesome and scared. Psychologists and therapists are on board to help 24/7. Be fearless, be brave and proud of yourself for living the way you were intended to live.

The Twelve Days of Guy Friend's Christmas...Day One

Guy Friend is trying to out-gift me, if not by quality, by quantity.

He was in the major dog house recently, I mean really badly. And he knew it.

So on Christmas Day, he came over (to the house! And Jesus, Guy, don't smell so good if you don't want me to ka-pow! my arms around you & sniff, even in front of my mother.) and dropped off not one, but 12 gifts, one to open every day until Epiphany on January 6th.

I'm cutting him a ton of slack, because coming up with a gift more awesome than The Who cufflinks is going to be pretty damn difficult. My girlfriend collective all said to open all of them at once, dying of curiosity. I won't, though, because Guy took the time to write a little message with each day assigned to each gift. I'll honor that and not ruin his surprise. It's really very sweet.

That said, today was Day One, Gift One.

The tag read, "A gift of relief for the holidays."

An Rx sample acid reducer! Nexium is the elusive crown jewel of the office sample closet at Balderdash & Verities. When the office gets them, they disappear pretty quickly. So way to go, Guy! Narcotics would've been more relieving , but you know, his morals aren't that loose (rats!).  I don't have acid reflux, rarely get indigestion, but it's good to know the remedy for it is on board should the need arise and the next time I'm having a belching fit, I'll pop the little purple pill and cross myself in thankfulness.

Admittedly, when I shook the box, it sounded like a pill bottle in a box. SuperJuls waited up with me until midnight last night, 2 minutes after which I opened the first gift, and she and I jovially giggled and went to sleep.

Last week, I was prepared to nail a copy of Martin Luther's 95 Theses to Guy's forehead, to which I alluded but took the original ranting post down yesterday because, as he is wont to do, Guy humored and charmed his way back into my good graces (I am nothing if not a sweetheart, and a sucker when it comes to him) over the weekend. Most of that blog post was regaling my disdain for the Roman Catholic church, which I still loathe, culminating in a harsh dig on the Church from my rogue-Lutheran perspective and essentially portrayed Guy and his clan to be robotic ritualistic elitists. I'll try and summarize the highlights of that post here, with the understanding that I have since forgiven Guy, pretty much, but I feel he still has some major sucking up to do.

The last communication by me to Guy had been on December 20th, the result of utter aggravation after our last dinner date. I was so heatedly mad that I told Guy what I missed most about my late father was the fact that he'd handcuff anyone who upset me (or any boy who eyed me) to a doorknob and would leave them there until they started to cry.

I had said in my blog this, a week ago, Sunday:

I'm the first to criticize my own Protestant denomination, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Anyone with an historical knowledge of my blogs is fully aware that I take issue with the depths of the LCMS's conservatism and am the black sheep/rogue Lutheran/Hindu/Buddhist/Liberal/Crazy Insane Drummer of the congregation, about which I make no bones and refuse to apologize. While I check myself regularly for the mark of the beast, it's not there and I still firmly consider that I am one of the saved by the grace of God with Jesus Christ as my Savior.

Yes, the fundamentalist nature of my branch of Protestantism is a huge pain in the ass sometimes, because everything is so literal and Biblical, denouncing reason, rationale, science, logic and, dare I say, the evolution of the progressive human mind, which I believe God didn't just bestow upon us so that we'd fuck things up while He shakes His Almighty Head with a facepalm. But if anyone should facepalm, it's ME. It's taken me quite some time to realize, given recent events, Lutheranism isn't as set in its ways as some other Christian denominations, and that considering the 1500's, at the time of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther was kind of a rebel punk, like that baby hippie in the manger who's got a birthday coming up in a couple days, Jesus.

Having had dinner with Guy Friend this week, to which he almost BROUGHT HIS SISTER for protection from my wily seduction, the subject of my church, my minister (who is considered one of my platonic guy friends, whom Guy has met, with whose family my family had dinner last night) and my band came up.  For being as interested in the shenanigans going on within the walls of St. Paul Lutheran, I had no idea Guy huddled in as deep a contempt for Protestants as he clearly must. I can't think of any other reasoning. 

(By the way, Pastor Dave really hates being mistaken for a priest when he's wearing a clerical collar. I can't say I blame him. Too many people in this world call him "Father" to his face, even when he's with his obvious wife, daughter and nieces. At the day school Christmas program, parents who, um, don't realize their children are enrolled in a Protestant Lutheran school, and don't attend our church, called him "Father," which, according to him, made him want to say, which he told me, "I ain't your daddy.") 

Perhaps "pestering" is too strong a word, but I certainly have invited and tried to encourage Guy to come to one of our contemporary Saturday night services (held twice a month, at which I play drums/percussion) for like 3 years, to see my band and better understand what I do and why I love to do it. I went so far as to infer that it would be alright if he brought the missus, the church being more neutral territory (read: I probably wouldn't spaz out) than Guy having brought her (uninvited and unanticipated) to my 40th birthday party in May at my house, where she felt so threatened by me and disgusted to the point of almost crapping her khakis, after she was done harshly criticizing 2 of my singers' wardrobes to their faces, after her impolite promulgation that she was going to "empty her bladder," after which she proceeded to insult the name of my parakeet, she almost dragged Guy by his balls out of my house and gasped for sanctimonious oxygen. 

My dinner date with Guy Friend on Tuesday night was fun and chatty but felt rushed. I can only imagine how strange it would've been had his sister joined us, which she didn't because she'd spent the day in the ER with Guy's mom, who busted a rib. "Oh, hello, Third Wheel. Allow me to explain ME. I'm kind of in love with your brother and I don't give a damn. What do you think I should do about that?" He was wearing The Who cufflinks I gave him for Christmas the week before, which looked nice. They were as badass as he could get while still dressing appropriately doctor-like. I presented him with Part 2 of his Christmas gift, which was Neil Young's autobiography. He still hadn't gotten me anything for Christmas, never mind that I'd emailed him a link as a suggestion as to what I wanted this year that wasn't like the book about my least favorite band which he gave me last year. Only 9:00 pm, I asked him what he wanted to do after dinner, implying that we could go elsewhere for post-sushi merriment. He wanted to go home, enduring an extra half hour at the restaurant sitting with his jacket on while I lingered over my beverages and talked. 

(Had things worked out and we'd eaten much earlier, he was thinking of going downtown to the Park West to see Graham Parker play live. Already knowing this, having seen the venue schedule, I'd spent some time familiarizing myself with this musician and his library vis-a-vis some musicologist friends and critics. Alas, it was too late, as the show started, I believe, at 7:30 pm.) 

Pulling the car aside in the alley behind my house, we talked a little while longer, during which he said I was "rambling," when in actuality, I was waiting nervously for him to forcibly shut me up by kissing me. During our farewell hug, I said, "I love you, you know," stroking the back of his hair. His response? Nothing. I didn't even get a Han Solo freezing in carbonite "I know." I was nerve-wracked, but I'm fairly certain he just allowed my proclamation to be uttered without acknowledgment. In any event, it was an anti-climactic ending of an anti-climax. There is no louder a din of disappointment and the piercing of eardrums as awkward quietness after one has lowered her guard enough to be totally vulnerable. For all he cared, I could've just said, "Onions ripen in the spring, especially when it is raining." The conviviality of the evening had been smashed to smithereens with zero chance of recovery, which was literally killing my buzz. 

There are things that could be much, much worse than frequently being at odds with the state of hyper-conservative Lutheranism.

How so, you ask?


His suggestion that we get together do "do more stuff" was A++. His follow-through of "with other people" was unheralded and met with exterior indifference and an interior bummer. Once his lips were within shot, I smacked upon him a non-reciprocated, cold pursing. If there'd been a priest hole in which to climb out of the car and in to hide, I and my wounded pride would've scampered away. I began to gather my things, disregarding my leftover vegetarian sushi which Guy threw in the back seat. 

The subject of my band (and my pastor, on whom Guy has a strange, curious interest) came up again, and I asked, again, if he would come and see us play. He intimated that no amount of coercion, neither by virtue of my alluring green-eye batting nor the extension of an agape Christian-to-Christian olive branch would loosen the noose of his seeming anti-Protestantism. In other words, no, he is never coming to a contemporary service at my church, either with or without The Short Blond Protector/Deflector. The invitation remains open, we don't spritz you with holy water when you walk in, it doesn't matter what you're wearing, and we don't discriminate our Communion to pre-approval or scrutiny. 

Guy's rigidity extends to his misconception about pop/rock music being played in a house of worship, preferring the bland repetition of the chants to which he's grown accustomed, which in Latin, I believe, translate loosely to "Where's the fucking bar?" There's this rock band comprised of solid Irish Catholics who play to tens of thousands of people in one sitting and reap outrageous profits while often revisiting their roots in Christian-based tunes. Apparently *we* aren't justifiable, but U2 is. (Ed. Note: That was the subject of one of my texts to Guy on December 20th.)

My only mindful, reasonable and intelligent token of responsibility can ultimately fall into the lap of a mortal named Joseph Ratzinger and his legion of hysterical sinister virgins who prance--bejeweled, infallible and holy, or, more simply, The Pope and All His Minions, who are successfully convincing impressionable relic worshipers that, while the Catholic church no longer sells indulgences, you pretty much still have to buy and earn your eternal salvation. Some 600 years after Luther effectively nailed it, for Christians anyway, strict Catholics spend more time gathering gold (though they claim it's all in the name of altruism) than they ever do paying remote attention to what Christ Himself told His followers. (Hi! The Beatitudes!) The Vatican is worth somewhere around $500 billion dollars, and is funding trials and re-trials of hundreds of child molesters in their befuddled inner circle and half of the world is still starving to death. (Which, to me, is one of the largest problems within *any* organized religion.) 

You realize, Chickie Babies, that, if you're going to choose the path of Christianity as your spiritual walk, which, hey, you know I'm totally open-minded about religion, it makes more sense to follow the Savior directly than it does to continue to finance tongue-tripping antiquity, fables and Men in Beanies who waft an Italian shrine with choking incense, pray to dead people and think there's a waiting room to get into Heaven. Comparatively, my Lutheran church might seem a little bare-bones and minimal, but "the church" is the people, not the building; the Spirit, not the symbolism. My pastor isn't entitled to God-bestowed upon perks that aren't likewise extended to me because I participate in the music ministry, nor to the un-involved congregant who simply shows up to worship. There is no pyramid of salvation in our version of Christianity. We all have an equal shot at eternal life, which God promised us, if we believe in and love Him. That's essentially it, no bullshit. No amount of "good works" will earn you any bonus points in the express lane at the gates where St. Peter scans your preferred customer card, nor will God admonish you for any particular sin He deems unforgivable, because they're ALL forgivable if one repents. In my educated opinion, anyway, we'd all be better off if we quit judging ourselves and one another so harshly and nitpicking "sin" to the point of absurdity. 

If by reading this, you deem me a hypocritical harlot in no position to champion religious practices because I have feelings for Guy and have half-assedly acted on them, I, unlike Mr. Ratzinger, am not claiming holiness or purity. Not even close. I sin, you sin, Mr. Ratzinger sins, ministers sin, Billy Squier sins, and unlike Guy, I am not in denial about my unconventionally intense attraction and find guilt to be sort of useless. I texted him that just because he's breathing, it doesn't mean he's living. It's worthy of mention that I don't conspire solo in the intermix of (very little) action in the Guy/Annie relationship. He's just as, if not more involved in instigation. But he's chickening out and I'm getting bolder. That imbalance of interpersonal power unsettles Guy, who, for once in his life, seems to have been in charge of something instead of being at the mercy of All That Estrogen. He apologized again for being "old and boring." I keep insisting that he isn't, yet we only get one go-around in life, & for being as smart as he is, he's being really sorta dumb. I might be younger but am wise enough to understand chemistry and the thrill of reticent release and ego-boosting that comes along with a friendly pairing with the opposite sex. But while my patience has been perpetually even-keeled, and Guy's not even at baby steps (he's barely sitting upright), I was pissed off enough to send him verse 2 of Pink Floyd's "Run Like Hell" after I settled back in at home, which probably came across as more psycho than I honestly intended.

My last text to Guy was 3 days ago, and I'm just hanging in the down-low as the influx of the stress of Christmas comes upon me and the flurry of familial obligation and celebration have me scrambling outward for anxiety pills. In the text, I told him that even my atheist ex-boyfriend came to see me drum (and sat there stone-faced, and in hindsight, I wish he'd been struck with lightning), and the tone I was iterating was that of being both rejected and insulted. I said that if he meant to upset me severely, he succeeded, unapologetic. I am trying very hard to *not* feel like *I* fucked something up, because uniformly, those friends in the know assign the responsibility to Guy, not me. 

Naturally, just hours after I posted my viscous rant, while out with Luke for some pre-Christmas zaniness at the Polish store, Guy started texting me pictures of his increasingly horrible holiday tie collection. An ice-breaker, or an "Are you still mad at me?" He said that he finally finished my Christmas shopping, was headed out to dinner for his sister's birthday, and I bid him adieu. Late Sunday night, I told him that it's true that it's really hard to stay mad at him for any length of time. 'Cause it is. (Damn dimples!)

Christmas Eve was totally merry (read: stressful) enough within my own immediate family gathering, having my brother & nephew over with Luke, my mom and myself. It wasn't until after I got home from my church's 7pm service (Oh snap! I hugged the pastor!) that I noticed I had a voicemail on my phone which was like a 10-minute pocket dial, during which I got to hear a decent portion of A Very Guy Family Gift Opening. It was hysterical (to me). He was embarrassed and apologized, but I rather enjoyed being a token, vicarious member of the family for however brief a time, and it saved me the trouble of planting a bug in his house (or wherever the hell he was). One of those "Oh, to be a fly on the wall!" moments when you actually get to be a fly on the wall. 

On the original blog post, Best Male Friend, under the guise of "God and/or Satan," said this, and I DO love the new nickname for Guy's missus:

"Remembering the birthday party aftershock, Guy made some pretty big flubs, maybe purposely. Either he didn't warn Lady GuyGuy that you were kind of pretty, kind of smart, and kind of talented, or he did and she did a really shitty job of trying to outwit you, which, as we all know, is close to impossible...or he was going to enjoy probably the only occasion in his life where 2 women were getting catty over him. In either case, I'm sure the cold church snub hit you right where it hurts the worst, which sucks. Maybe better that you don't play in bars, though, where Lady GuyGuy would throw beer bottles at your head. Guy's totally unfairly threatened by your pastor for some reason. He can't have it both ways--be possessive & critical then blow you off."

I wholeheartedly agreed with BMF and appreciated his quasi-complimentary comment. I said something afterwards to the effect of the fact that Guy couldn't just come out and say "I'm really sorry I hurt you," but instead, humored back into my forethought, in which he never really left. I'll update the gift haul until Epiphany and see what he has in store for me. I told BMF (and he agreed) that it is all very thoughtful, and that I told Guy I was very touched, but if one of the gifts is "six geese a'laying," I feared they would suffocate. Maybe next time Guy lands totally in the dog house, he can take a cue from his fellow Irishmen, U2, and do this:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fuck Christmas.

I have diagnoses of 4 out the 6 above referenced mental conditions: Bipolar, PTSD, GAD and Panic Disorder. According to the chart, I have a 4/6 chance, which reduces to 2/3, which rounded is 67%. I have a 67% chance of committing suicide. If you cross-include MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) and don't lump it in with the depressive side of bipolar, my odds are even more grim.

And little makes people want to commit suicide quite like the holidays, which is a statistical fact. In general, getting through Thanksgiving through New Year's without offing yourself is something of which to be proud, if you're lucky.

I'm not listening to Christmas music this year, really, not even my favorite, which is "John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together." I just can't get into it. Instead, what was on yesterday's playlist?


When we were young, my brother and I had this little tune, more like a jingle, really, where we'd sing "I am so happy on Christmas Eve." Because we were. We looked forward to Christmas like every other kid. We looked forward to the Christmas party at Dad's firehouse and Santa and the Sunday school Christmas program, and spending time together, the whole lot of the season. That was before the rug of reality was pulled out from under us, our family literally shattered, and disillusion slapped us in the face. We weren't so happy, and grew more unhappy as each year of Christmases passed by.

It is a whole, separate, not-yet-written blog post as to why I'm so disillusioned this year in particular, but suffice it to say, as a teaser, it has to do with Guy Friend disappointing me on a number of levels of varying degrees of indifference and intolerance.

I took my son to school, and am still sleepy, so I think instead of wrapping gifts or, like, getting showered and dressed, I'll just leave you all with this while I go back to sleep. Eric Idle (Monty Python) is as good a songwriter as anyone out there, and his sentiment in this Christmas classic is no exception.

Fuck it. Just fuck it.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Atypical Literal Heartache.

I think back to years ago, when George Harrison played a handful of dates in Japan with Eric Clapton, it was still several years before he developed throat cancer. The above clip is the most appropriate I could find under the recent circumstances.

"Give me hope, help me cope with this heavy load, trying to touch and greet you with heart and soul...OM, my Lord.  Please take my hand, that I might understand you." 

That's right, Lord, help me to understand you and your divine "plan."  God's been allowing innocent children to be slaughtered since as far back as the book of Exodus. 

Many of us are undoubtedly shaken, shocked and horrified from the unfathomable CT mass murders. I spent the day following the coverage online, had to run an errand after I dropped Luke off at school, where I joke that he's lucky I stop the car at all and throw him out because he dilly-dallies way to much, and is always 2 steps late. He called and texted me though, so at least the lines of communication are still open.  I felt so bad Thursday night for being relieved that I had the weekend off. I just wanted to hold my son and tell him how much he is cherished and wonderful to me, but as it turned out, I didn't end up seeing him until Sunday at church. 

My son tends to internalize his grief and fright, and snips off at his dad and other grandma about just about everything. He's not like that with me. Our arguments and disagreements are infrequent. Everyone says he's "wise beyond his years," but that's only because his childhood innocence was stripped away from him at an early age  (at age 7). People say he's my personality wrapped up in a Craig-like body.  Still in all, I was sitting at my desk last night thinking of Wednesday night, when he spontaneously came up,wrapped his arms across me from behind me, and just sort of whispered, "I love you."  Then  I closed my door and started getting choked up.

Luke gave me this Christmas card he'd made for me on Thursday. I keep focusing on the "I love you Mom." 

Saturday was miserable. I think I had an all-day-and-night anxiety attack that my medication didn't help. Chest pain is atypical for me in an anxiety attack, but I felt like I'd been hit in the chest with a baseball at fast speed, a heavy ache in my sternum. It didn't respond to baby aspirin, Tylenol or anxiety drugs. I texted Guy Friend, who encouraged me to stay away from the news yesterday and to not come to the ER. I told him the only way I'd end up at the ER was dead-on-arrival. I texted him again later Saturday night to tell him that the pain hadn't let up, but didn't hear back. I guess I could've died in the meantime, & he'd be none the wiser, but jeepers, Guy. You were on call! Text me a virtual hug, at the very least!

Friday night, I'd been plagued with murderous dreams of Chris, my asshole rapist ex-boyfriend. I was furiously trying to get Luke to safety when Chris and my freshman year at Knox roommate, Christine, whom I can't stand, were both trying to kill Luke and I. I know it was a PTSD reaction, which could've precipitated the chest pain yesterday, though it's atypical of how my body processes stress. I think my grief over what happened in CT was overwhelming my physical body. 

Saturday was no easier in my unconscious. Dreams of drowning, holding onto Luke, trying to swim to the surface of the water, but we were in old-school "Speed Racer" Japanimation. Racer X was nowhere to be found to rescue us at the last moment. That was freaky. Gasping for air with my child, but we were cartoons.

I mustered enough energy to play at Sunday's carols and readings service at church, led by my band, the adult choir, the high school chancel drama club & the Sunday school children. My band did "Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel" and "Go Tell it on the Mountain." It was hard and heartbreaking to watch the preschoolers and younger kids get up and do their Christmas schtick in light of so many children their age dying. I had to try to focus on what I had to play instead of the heartache, because if I let it get to me worse, the chest pain would come back. It came back anyway and lasted all evening.

It's just so weird, because I've never had anxiety like this before in my life. Actual pain. Nervousness, diarrhea, throwing up, rapid heartbeat, sweating, sure. But never chest pain. I guess when they talk about a broken heart, that's what they're talking about.

On a lighter note, there was one good burn and one bad burn during the church service. The joint was packed to the gills--something like 170 people (which, for us, is a lot), and Luke was sitting in back with Craig's girlfriend, who's only about 4 and 1/2 feet tall & couldn't really see my band, who I don't think she realized was playing. Plus I was sitting down playing the djembe, so even more out of the line of sight. Craig's girlfriend said to Luke, "Wow, the drums sound amazing today! Who's playing them???" and Luke answered, "My mom..." which he said made the girlfriend super grumpy and harumphed. (Bwahahaha.)

The bad burn was when the chairman of the Board of Elders got up to thank everyone who participated in the service for their contributions: the adult choir, the Sunday school children, and the chancel drama club. Pretty much everyone except my band, though we're used to that and call ourselves the "bastard child of the music ministry." Unless you come see us on a Saturday night, evidently at St. Paul, you really hate us. We try not to take it personally. Harumph.

We continue to pray for the families of the victims of this senseless violence.

"Give me love, give me love. Give me Peace on Earth."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

You Made Me So Very Hoppy. I'm So Glad You Came Into My Life.

Monday was the last day of school. Ethics. We had 2 presentations to watch until our professor, bless her heart, who had a sinus infection, wanted to get the hell out of there, made no bones about it, and she certainly wasn't going to hear any gruff from us. In one of the groups presenting were my friends, Jorge and Sean, and their other partner, who is, quite frankly, The Biggest Douche on My Shitlist at School. Dare I say, I've not met a more opinionated, always-right, cracker-ass full of buzzwords with no shred of intellectual backup in my life. He's a Colorado skateboarding snippy snot, Sloan. (That's alliteration, which Sloan thinks is a string of words that rhyme, when in actuality, it's a string of words that all begin with the same letter. For example, "Fucking Idiot" is not an example of alliteration.) He persists on bringing a large, blue reusable drink container to class, filled with a yellow liquid, which, while on the surface might present as Mountain Dew, I'm fairly certain he's consuming his own urine.

I had said (to Jorge) that I hoped the professor wasn't going to sit next to me that day, because I needed to multitask during the class period. Sloan opened his big, unwelcome mouth, and said that "humans are incapable of multitasking." My eyebrow raised. My jaw would've dropped, but stupidity doesn't usually shock me in the crowd of early 20'somethings who are my cohorts in grad school. I was in college when they were born, or getting married, or doing something else grown-up-ish, like snarfing down buckets full of narcotics. Before I went nutso-crazy on the young, Caucasian, privileged, want-for-nothing, doted-upon, ecstasy-frequenting stoner, I went out for a smoke.

On my way to the elevator, I jokingly (half) told another member of our class to kindly tell Sloan that I wanted to kill him, not expecting she'd actually be serious enough to fucking TELL HIM this. But what do you expect of kids? It's something I'd expect of 7th graders like Luke, but I went out and sucked my cigarette anyway. Returned to a frazzled Sloan (who clearly forgot to smoke a joint before class & chill the fuck out) and had my barrels loaded.

For time's sake, I didn't get out everything I wanted to pose. But when one talks about multitasking, my immediate thought turns to motherhood. It's the ultimate in multitasking. Juggling a child who needs attention, a spouse, the household, throw in some laundry, keep the joint clean, shower yourself, and produce meals is multitasking. Playing the drums, with each appendage simultaneously doing something different all at once is multitasking. Answering 4 phone lines, making patient appointments, faxing medication refills & keeping 4 doctors' examining rooms full is multitasking. Or as Guy was wont to point out in his last email correspondence--studying, emailing, Tweeting, listening to music and chugging drugs all at once is also multitasking. True enough, Guy, that it leaves you with precious little of your psyche left to concentrate on whatever is deemed Task #1. But point being, multitasking is ENTIRELY possible and I'll be damned if some little brat with 2 weeks' worth of a red Freudish beard is going to tell a 40-year old single mom who goes to school full-time that it can't be done. I pretty much shut him up with every idea in my head other than my usual comeback of "Fuck off, Sloan."

Part of Sloan's end of the presentation was a YouTube clip of some film called "50/50," in which a young therapist becomes embroiled with her young, cancer-stricken client. (I think. He didn't explain it very well.) As the presentation was about client/therapist boundaries and the potential ethical violations thereof, this clip was (kind of, obscurely) befitting. The young therapist comes to the client's house, like to babysit him or something, whereupon this (roommate? friend? caretaker? brother? boyfriend?) dude tells the therapist that there's a pizza, movies & a medicine cabinet full of Vicodin just in case, so all bases were covered. The group asked some questions after the clip about what boundaries were crossed, what the therapist did wrong, etc. No, I didn't even broach the notion that the therapist could be a retired junkie who, once she finds out his house is full of Vicodin, steals it all, tells him to do deep breathing exercises, and bolts the fuck out of there.

(The Man Who Used to Be Married To Me can't comprehend how *I* would get an A in Ethics and Law, knowing my M.O., thought patterns, behaviors, amoral dingle-dangle, history, compulsions and sneakiness since we met almost 21 years ago (read: a fuckton longer than my cohorts at school have been of the legal drinking age). To me, it's just testimony as to why I'll be such a good intern dealing with addicted gamblers next semester, from the comfort of my own home, where, unfortunately, there is no Vicodin. PS-Luke is teaching me how to play poker.)

Anyway, the class lasted 2 hours and soon enough, All the Young Fledglings were on their way for celebratory beers, on which I took a pass. Why? Because, as I said, I had to go home and....multitask. On the way home, I made fun of Sloan with a friend of mine (a young Fledgling who's sweet on me), which is also multitasking, but let's not overdo things. I hadn't been feeling all that well--fighting a pesky but light head cold for upwards of 2 weeks--and just wanted to go home and collapse, not having Luke that night. I settled into my multi-multi-layered lounge clothes, ate cereal for dinner, and got on the phone with Kate for a deep discussion.

While I was talking to Kate, a text came in from Guy Friend, which said: "Congrats on your last day. Taking a dinner break soon from Marathon Monday. What's open after 9 other than Wendy's?" Dummy me took him literally because, well, Guy is pretty literal and maps his life out day by day, spontaneity being his least notorious trait. I replied to him that Wendy's chili was actually quite good. I then said, "It's not Zagat rated, but at this juncture of the day, I wouldn't be discriminate. I had cereal for dinner. We REALLY need to whoop it up, like stat." I didn't mean THAT VERY MOMENT, given I'd taken my fuckload of pharmaceuticals like an hour beforehand and planned to be dead to the world by 10pm. Guy said, "I will settle for dinner & coffee. Pick you up in 40 minutes," to which I answered "Oh Lord."

I hung up with Kate and texted SuperJuls for reinforcement (read: I was having a panic attack.) My most clever comeback, after telling Guy I would be in my pajamas was, "You're either a) lucky I have clothes on at all or b) very unlucky." I only had one of his Christmas presents ready, and it wasn't even wrapped. He was like, "No gifts," which, please, just because *he's* ill-prepared doesn't mean I have to be. (They were custom The Who cufflinks! How awesome is that?)

He picked me up, as I pounded on the car window because the door was locked, and he was blaring the blues on WXRT. (He likes the blues when he's in...a mood.) We meandered aimlessly into Rosemont to look for somewhere to eat, me only slightly disappointed that he hadn't the forethought or wherewithal to have booked us a hotel room. Looked at the pretty lights, found a restaurant & settled in. I wasn't hungry, and was even less hungry gazing at the menu, which listed the meat-related items under which noise the deceased animal made: "Moo," "Oink" and  "Cluck." When I made a yucky face at the idea of him even having shrimp, he chose a vegetarian salad, because he's considerate like that. (No, I'm not sure what kind of sound a shrimp makes before it's deprived of oxygen long enough to die.) What appeared at first to be raw tuna on top of his salad turned out to be pears, and the waitress further confused him by citing that one of his little cups contained dressing; the other, glaze. I'm not sure why the hell it mattered, since it all got mixed into one big pile anyway.

We laughed and joked about the usual things; including, but not limited to the absurdity of his collection of Christmas ties and the young men chasing my old ass around, and the irony of the fact that Guy, himself, was in college when *I* was born, which is immaterial, because I go for older men, which is more socially acceptable. "You can put me on the back burner," he said. As if. I told him that wasn't going to happen. Why not? Because, as I told him, I love and adore him too much, to which he gave me his classic, "Oh, Annie, what am I going to do with you?" look and shook his head. (Which usually is responded with a "You could pretty much do anything you wanted to me and I'd be totally okay with that" look.) And yes, for about the 8th time this week, I had to explain to someone who Ralph Fiennes is and why he is, historically, a significant contributor to my fervor for the British.

I *did* notice that Guy's hair was recently cut, to my chagrin, because, as I pointed out to him not long ago, I like the way it starts to curl in the back when it gets too long, which he probably views as further evidence of my obsessive psychosis. Meh. If you're gonna be gorgeous, be gorgeous. Speaking of my brain devalue, nobody at school kind of just tolerates me. They either bow to my flailing light saber as I sit in the Yoda position as the Jedi Master of Nutso, or they can't fucking stand me because I'm a crotchety old bat who takes pleasure in criticizing everyone. Only a select few acquaintances are in the know that every single case study I wrote or presented, every scenario I thought up, every idea, from the mundane to the insane, came from my own experience or that of my family and friends.

Guy needed a refresher on my newer tattoo, the Sanskrit "smriti," or mindfulness. In person, I think even he was a bit taken aback at it's largeness, and I again reminded him that had another responsible adult accompanied me to the studio, as opposed to Luke, it might have been a fifth of the size it ended up being. (Not that I wanted him to feel guilty, no, no.) I also told him I'd be more inclined to BE mindful if I actually saw my tattoo more often, but that I infrequently wear short sleeves. He asked me if I was planning any more piercings, and I told him that, in all seriousness, 10 holes in my head was probably enough. Then it dawned on me...all the *other* places one can get pierced and no, I wasn't even going to GO THERE. That being said, 2 eyebrow rings, 2 cartilage rings, and 3 holes in each ear is plenty.

He had a "hoppy" beer, the scent of which I'm not sure how he was going to explain when he got home, but we decided to leave when the heaviness of my eyelids surpassed my capacity to actively engage in playful banter. He'd asked me when he picked me up if I'd prefer we go out next Monday, and I said I was alright, and was gleeful to spend time with him in any regard. Parting company is always tension-filled. We never know how to kiss goodbye. After a string of half-lip, half-cheek smooches and hugs, before I had the chance to restrain and jump on him, we said goodnight. Making plans to make plans to make plans before Christmas seemed to stress him, so it'll be me who has to take charge once again and consider his Spontaneous Late Dinner a Rare Treat Unlikely To Happen Again in a Very Long Time.

Hey, Chickie Babies, if it comes down to me wearing a Mariah Carey-inspired salacious Santa suit, I'm prepared (?) to do that. He doesn't have to get me a gift ( is having a sale!).

I queried him about getting together next Monday, about which he said he'd get back to me, citing the blunt fact that I'd be "shocked if he wasn't vague, non-commital (sic) and a procrastinator." True enough. But I really like to nail....down my Luke-free-night activities, so I promised I'd start bugging him about it later in the week (which I guess means tomorrow). This is kinda what I had in mind, though I denied it:

So we'll see how next week goes.

This morning, having managed to stay alert and not having gone back to bed for 5 hours, my annoying, lingering runny nose and I had an "A-ha" moment and I ignorantly took 2 Sudafed. It's been so long that I forgot that it aggravates my tachycardia by elevating my heart rate (which is high enough already, hello, Yin Yoga!) by about an extra 90 bpm. I told Guy that I titrated my beta blockers accordingly after racing in Olympic hurdles towards my drug stash. Lest we forget, not only did he steal my heart, but he also medically regulates it. It was with great pride that I explained to him the other night how I likewise wrangle the Russian Drug Czar psychiatrist into Rx'ing, in tandem with my own medical knowledge, what *I* think is appropriate with regard to my bipolar and anxiety disorders. I don't have a giant Physicians Desk Reference on my desk for show, y'all.

It is with both deep sadness and exuberant joy of spirit with regard to the passing of classical Indian sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, whose physical body was eternally rested at the age of 92. His protege was the late, beautiful George Harrison, who bridged Western and Eastern music in the late 1960's to new highs. The essence of these two geniuses and peaceful souls is remitted in my conscious and I'm sure they're enjoying their spiritual reunion. Below, an early sitar lesson between Shankar and Harrison in 1968.

Rest in Peace, Ravi.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Double 0-Oof! or The Offbeat Drummer Goes to the Movies.

I'm not one for natural blonds or redheads (though I married one). Nor am I necessarily enamored solely by a chiseled frame, as is obvious when one looks at my Fairly Fucking Obese last boyfriend. Nor am I necessarily fond of the fact that I've spent roughly 8 hours of my life seeing "The English Patient" twice, which apart from the bathtub scene, is Snoozeville. Furthermore, what I find sexy is typically, certainly an acquired lusting which few other women taste (see Guy Friend). I will say this: I don't give a damn if Daniel Craig has been trying to get out of playing James Bond since "Casino Royale" and I found myself rudely texting in the dark (not that the other 2 patrons in our theater could see) the following Facebook status update: "Jesus, was anyone going to tell me Ralph Fiennes was in the new Bond flick?" It was quite literally almost Too Much Anglophile Eruptive Blue-Eyed Majestic Virility for The Offbeat Drummer to Politely Absorb While Sitting Next to a Preteen Boy.

Attention! Spoilers!

Daniel Craig has blue eyes. Maybe it's digital movie magic, but 007 has BLUE EYES. In "Skyfall," we get to see him swimming in a pool. And doing sit-ups. And doing pull-ups. His sharp-shooting skills are zero, after having, well, you know, died and come back to life again. And undergoing a free association psychiatric evaluation, all of which he fails, but since his boss is Bond-fond, she lets it slide. He's later deemed an alcoholic with substance abuse problems (my favorite kind of person!) and unfit for duty, but he presses onward.

Fiennes' girth has, well, expanded since his blockbuster, Oscar-nominated performances in the 90's, and not having seen any of the "Harry Potter" films, my son could only associate him as having been the former husband of the character who plays "River Song" in the new "Doctor Who," Alex Kingston. Ralph is sporting more the Amon Goeth physique of his "Schindler's List" days and his hair is really thinning on top, but that's an aside. He's convincing as M16 executive Gareth Mallory, who ultimately takes over as "M," furthering his secure place in future Bond movies (yippee!). 

Luke had seen "Skyfall," the latest in the Ian Fleming-inspired James Bond series (50th anniversary, by the way), previously, but was totally up for another round with Mom. It's safe to say, however, that he didn't expect Mom to be napkin-requiring drooling throughout most of the film. Bond films have historically been box office Gold for Hetero Guys, who anticipate the Bond Girl du Jour, the bombshell who steals the show. 

"Skyfall," however, was a treat for those of us (male or female) who dig extraordinarily handsome British men. Javier Bardem plays the villain who used to work for M16 but went loco, who's trying to kill the big boss, "M," played once again by impish but ballsy Dame Judi Dench. (Never mind Bardem, who's really freakishly ugly.)

The film is wrought with typical Bond shenanigans, car chases, explosions, sharp-shooting, and gadgetry courtesy of a new young "Q." DestructoBond is unstoppable and heroic. Fiennes comes through trying to save the world.

4 stars!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Money For Nothing and Your Chicks For Free.

Sorry I've been so lax in my blogging. I'm sure you've all been dying to know what's been going on in the last week. (Feign enthusiasm, won't you?) It was finals week at school, so that should tell you enough as to explain my absence from leisure writing. Today, I'm going to see the "Skyfall," the newest Bond flick, with Luke, and picking up some drugs (from the pharmacy, you sillies).

I have a slight cold and exactly one more afternoon of school left, tomorrow afternoon. I guess I'll try and take the notes I did jot down during the week and go from there. I kept trying to write, but being bogged down in studying, and even the Offbeat Drummer can't multitask THAT well, although I'm notoriously distracted.


All day, I've had the phrase "One down, one to go" looping through my cranium, because I have my Theories final tomorrow morning (which you all know is my most fantabulous time of day), then am required to show up Monday afternoon to endure enjoy 2 final Ethics presentations, which I'm sure'll be a pip. After that, the semester's a wrap, 1/4 of my masters is done, and I get 3 weeks to dilly-dally through the holidays. (And by "dilly-dally," I mean "I really need want a snugglefuck with Guy for a while.")

I (and by "I," I mean "Luke") did the math to ascertain how well I have to do on the final in order to get the requisite B in Theories, minding that anything equal to or lower than a C is failure/repeat class/academic probation at my graduate institute of higher learning. I'm pulling A's in my other courses. Provided I did well on the Theoretical Orientation paper I did at 3:30 am last night (and polished this morning, and hey, some of it made sense, though no, 4 commas in the middle of a sentence are,,,,a bit much) and I get at least 50/70 on the final, I'm fine.

Ah, the nightly cocktail. Some folks relax with a glass of wine after a long day. Others veg out in front of the television. Some read books. Lucky Fucks get their tense muscles massaged. Extremely Lucky Fucks get laid. Perhaps a whirlpool bath. Me? 13 14 different medications, most of which zone me totally out in a matter of hours. I waited as long as possible to ingest my pharmaceuticals but I have to take them by a certain time of night to remotely guarantee I get a decent night's rest. The following song kept running through my head, in tandem to the loop aforementioned:

Luke picked a particularly bad night to pester me incessantly about trivial matters. I know he's attention-hungry. I know I haven't been the best mom this semester and have had to juggle a dozen things at once, and he wound up kind of low man on the totem pole. I reassured him that next semester, he'll have a lot more time with me since I've cut my course load in half to be with him. In any event, his constant outbursts and interruptions while I was trying to cram were most unwelcome, and for which he got into a heap of trouble. There were midnight screaming matches, Ma getting out of bed to yell at both of us, Craig being summoned on the phone...oh, it was just a great time. Finally turned the lights out for a couple hours' sleep at 3:30 am, to get up at 5:45am.


I'd gotten almost 3 hours of sleep before my Theories final. It was a multiple choice, essay and bonus true/false exam. Luke and I calculated that I had to get at least 50/70 on it, and 40/50 out of the final paper in order to pass the class with a B. Talk bout barely squeaking by. I ended up getting 43/70 on the final and 47/50 on the paper, evening things out for a B in the course.

The final was impossible. It didn't help that I kept falling asleep during it, or that I resorted to employing Luke's statistically proven "If you don't know the answer, guess 'C'.'" Literally, my face was down for the count onto the exam more than once, and I was one of the last people to finish it. Rumors have gone around school that his particular exam is one of the hardest in the whole school, so to have achieved what I did at all was amazing. 

Wednesday's total bitch slap? I thought I was cruising in to an A in Life-Span Development, having gone into the final with 100% as my total grade. Never, in my dreams, would I have imagined I did as poorly as I did on the final paper. I haven't failed writing a paper in the ENTIRETY of my academic career, like since grammar school. I chose the subject of giftedness in adolescents and wrote a lucid, comprehensible 15-page paper, with journal citations and book quotes and (this is starting to sound like "Alice's Restaurant") what did I get on the paper? 29%. TWENTY-NINE PERCENT. It wasn't researchy or scientific enough. Not enough empirical data. Quotes that the prof thought were irrelevant. It became apparent that I literally could've handed in a set of haikus about my topic and would've scored higher. The F on the paper bumped me down to a B- for the class. Dayum! 

What sucks is that this professor kissed my ass the whole semester. She was really nice, and accommodated my mental challenge and disability, and was, in general, a peach. There was no indication in our email correspondence (this was an online course) that I was going to fail at anything. I was just stunned.

I guess it worked out alright, seeing as I got an A in Ethics/Law and an A in Psychotherapy. So 2 A's and 2 B's. Given it took what few shreds of sanity I had left, to me, anyway, that's pretty damn impressive.

Continuing the bitch slap from earlier in the day, I had excitedly told Guy Friend how I did on my finals. What'd I receive back? Only like THE RUDEST email in the annals of emails. If he was trying to be humorous, he failed. If he was trying to be congratulatory, he failed. If he was trying to teach me an "it could be worse" lesson re: school, it didn't come across that way. You, Guy, acted like a horse's ass.  A brief snippet:
"I won't begin to lecture you on proper study habits. You obviously thrive on deadlines, lack of sleep, messing up your diurnal cycle and medications, and cramming a semester's worth of review into several hours while texting, tweeting, emailing, and playing music simultaneously. That leaves about 2% of your brain prepared for the final exams. Congrats on pulling A's and B's in your first full semester of grad school. No - I didn't read any of your "critical" emails. Still have 88 others to filter through since Monday."
Ok, Guy, fair enough. While I find it extremely hard to believe that he has 88 personal, non-spam emails of correspondence to weed through, If he didn't plan on lecturing me about my study habits, why'd he write an entire paragraph on criticizing my study habits? After another few paragraphs filling me in on the ills happening in his clan, with which I sympathized but were a little vapid, he ended on the following note:
"So I say to you - keep working hard. Don't waste your life. Some people are crazy, some are unlucky, some are just plain dumb. You are a smart lucky SOB surrounded by a lot of caring (and crazy) friends and relatives. Get some sleep."
 I hadn't realized I was wasting my life, but thanks. What REALLY crept out and ticked me off in this email? Being called an "SOB." Men don't just call women sons-of-bitches and expect to get away with it. My friends are crazy? They'll be glad to hear that interpretation of them. I didn't get through my first semester in grad school because of luck, which he should know by now. I got through because, amid tireless adversity, I worked my ass off. And yes, thanks, GF, I got some sleep.


I text slapped him back, letting him know how unappreciated his sarcasm was on me. I told him that if he considers my third psychiatric medicine adjustment in 5 months a win, he is essentially ignorant about bipolar disorder. Thursday, I was adjusted again.  Upped the mood stabilizer another 50 mg. The Russian Drug Czar gave me something to help regulate my circadian rhythm. (Read: Sleeping pills, but my mom doesn't need to know that.)

No word from Guy Friend after my retaliatory comeback, so I attended therapy with an out-of-control Luke and an increasingly depressed Craig. Comparatively, I was the sane one of the bunch, which speaks volumes about the psychiatric condition of the rest of my family.


Knowing the weekend would be raft with family obligations that Guy resented on the missus' side of the family in Indiana, I didn't expect to hear back from him. Being the overly forgiving and conflict-averse little frittle I am, I sent Guy the following vague someecard:

It was the strongest semblance of an apology for the whole scene I could muster, and he viewed it on Friday morning, but I obviously heard nothing back from him. And shit, if either of us owes the other an apology, he's him and not me. My texts in response to his snotty email were biting to say the least. Meh, he can mull it over as he makes nicey-nice with his crazy in-laws and family & I will ride shotgun on the Peace Train.


Luke and I found ourselves bored to death early in the afternoon, so we took a trip to Walgreens to look around. A little old lady stopped Luke and asked him if he were a little boy, which clearly he isn't anymore, would he prefer a penguin hat and gloves or a puppy hat and gloves. He and I both chimed in that she should go with the penguin. It was at that point, I noticed that my son must've grown another 2 inches taller, because he's zoning in on my height at 5'8". Granted, he had his Reeboks on, and they give him maybe an inch, and I had high tops on that keep me at my normal level, but the boy's growing, no doubt about it. 

The plethora of unintentionally obscene items is really rather remarkable at Walgreens. In about half an hour, we found all of this (Safe for Work, since it's only perverted in my mind):

Dryer Balls: SuprJuls swears by them. I find them humorous.

I didn't realize cries for help regarding non-suicidal self-injury came in $5 little packages, but walk away from the blade. It'll be okay.

What if you're skinnier now than you were in high school?

If you want a little sumpin'-sumpin', you best have a pair of Hot Booties nearby.

Greatest Walgreens score? (These aren't to scale...they're tiny) Beatles lunch boxes, perfect size to hold my nightly pills when I'm on the go. $1.99 apiece. Got an Elvis one for my mom too. (Early Christmas present.) 

We had Contemporary last night, so my band played. We really should have a better band rider, as I found myself in desperate need of a Chapstick and none to be found. That and Tylenol or Advil. I was too late to have Luke bring me any of the above. I also had no idea it'd be as hard as it was to text/type in the fingerless traction gloves I was wearing so that my drumsticks don't go flying out of my freezing hands (they're extra-slippery when I'm cold). The thought finally occurred to me to, well, take them off when I wasn't playing. I'm kind of slow that way.

Then, I started laughing to myself in the car before the service, listening to the radio. What should come on but this, which reminded me of the band:


The Chic-Chic tea place (Argo Tea) by school is featuring my usual lunch item. The Mate Turkey Cheddar Panini. Tea-poached turkey (???), cheddar cheese and spinach on a whole wheat panini roll. I had no idea the turkey was tea-poached, but no wonder it's like $6 for a tiny 400-calorie sandwich. Good news! I've had so much tea this semester that I've earned my free cup of tea, on my "LoyalTea" card, of which I'll take advantage when I go to school for the final class of the semester. Though, if I want to stay awake during my last class, I best not order one of these:

The Vegan Green Tea Muffin. Dense, Soft, Gummy, 400 empty calories of barely-tasting delicious. To de-veganize them, a big ol' slathering of butter would be really, really good. Perhaps had I not had one of them before my Theories final, I wouldn't have fallen asleep during the test, during which I wrote incomprehensible "letters" indicating my answer on half the test, only to go back, read the actual questions and pick a fucking legitimate answer.

Love this one. Hemingway said this, well, before he killed himself, obviously.

We'll see if Guy surfaces this week with or without his tail between his legs, and yes, I still love him regardless, even when he acts like a prick. Last week, he was like a totally different person. I even commended him on his thoughtful and bounteous communication. This week, he was throwing expletives at me, what the fuck? I should screen him for multiple personality disorder. 

Happy Hanukkah, by the way, Jewish friends!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Best Picture I Saw All Week.

Ravi Shankar & George Harrison, 1990's. Hare Krishna.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Offbeat Drummer's Guide to Human Reproduction

The Birds, The Bees, The Flowers and the Trees. Humans + Nature. All that delicate subject matter we danced around somewhere in between diapers, Goodnight Moon, pre-kindergarten, "Star Wars" (the original trilogy), Lollapalooza, "Star Wars" (the prequels), memorization of the books of The Bible, Doctor Who, briefs-to-boxers and equal amounts of wispy hair in one-armpit-at-a-time...well, here we are. Puberty!

(No-Small-Coincidence-iTunes-Shuffle: "Teach Your Children," CSNY.)

Craig promised he'd handle the human reproduction talk with Luke if I tackled the concept of evolution. Fair enough shake, though historically, Craig's been way more attune to evolutionary science, whereas, I've read the Kama Sutra. One might assume Craig'd be better at the sex talk with Luke since they're both....uh, guys, and I could explain evolution because I'm a, you know, total heathen.

Up until a year or two ago, Luke's Lutheran school handed out, during registration, an "agreement" for parents regarding the subject of "sexuality" for the seventh and eighth graders. I honestly didn't read it when it came out because at the time, it didn't pertain to Luke. They've since stopped handing out that agreement, so I literally have zero idea as to when and what my son is going to be taught about human sexuality in junior high.

When I was in 5th grade at Luke's school, we began learning about God's miracle of baby making. It was impressed upon us that sex was chiefly something married people did for the sole purpose of procreating. This could very well be the actual film we watched. In any event, it's totally hysterical and uninformative. And wrong. And misleading. And silly.

In order to propagate the human species, according to this video, you must ponder (or believe) the following:
  •  People from other religions and cultures don't make babies, and it's all God's plan. According to the video, if you're not Christian, or not married, you're not having babies.
  • You have to be married in a fundamentalist Christian church, by a minister, and remain committed your entire life.
  • Women release an ovum "every so often," with no explanation of menstruation, which'd come in handy for little Suzanne. There's quite a difference between "every so often" and "every goddamn month for until you hit menopause, for about 40 years, but that's yet another topic for another day. Maybe when Pregnant Mom is feeling more gracious, or when she and Suzanne are in the store and pass the pad/tampon aisle and Suzy innocently asks WTF all that stuff is for.
  • You cannot have a baby unless you're married, because single people who sit next to one another don't have sex. Single people are all abstinent. 
  • "Special love time," where son Jeremy asks if it's all about "hugging and kissing," Mom and Dad are shown seriously close to one another on a couch. Through the power of osmosis, as they're both clothed with their knees tightened together, the ovum will hang out with one of millions of sperm and BAM! You're expecting a baby. It's that easy!
  • The sitting close on the couch probably explains why my Polish grandparents had plastic covering on all of their furniture. We're all too familiar with upholstery stains, by any means.
  • Bottle-fed infants' mothers don't love their babies as much as breastfeeding mothers love theirs. 
  • Sex ceases to exist in this vignette. 
  • You may or many not grow even bigger than your parents. God planned it that way.
  • It's all "just as God planned."
  • The uterus is a special place God made to hold babies. It's located behind your urethra and in front of your asshole. The children in the video are aghast that the young baby the couple is expecting isn't wearing any clothes, to which my answer would be, "We sort of don't put clothes on babies until they're, like, born". Too difficult a concept?
  • Jeremy and Suzanne need to stop holding hands so much. I'm getting a Luke/Princess Leia flashback, which is freaking me out.
  • The baby, when it's time to come out, passes through the uterus, which has no other function, via the vagina, which is otherwise a useless body part.
  • On a boy's body you can see more of the "outside parts." 
  • God planned that an equal number of boys and girls on the planet. Tell that to China!
  • say nothing about a breech presentation? Wait. That isn't NORMAL enough. When my son, as a youngster, asked me innocently from whence he came, I graphically told him he was scooped out of my abdomen, after I was ripped open from stem to stern with a 6" cut through my belly to have him surgically removed.
  • God's plan for every family is the same. All people began life in the same way. Because that was God's plan.
  • No, Mom, you didn't answer your children's questions more frankly when they asked you for more detail.
  • God is happy when 2 people decide to get married and start their life together with His blessing.
  • The kids bitch at the end about the mother being pregnant...again. "God answered our prayers. Isn't that exciting?"
  • The list goes on...
Those were the main points I got out of the segment--I'm sure more will pop up (ha! literally) but be very careful sitting next to a woman of childbearing potential.  That said, you can all flock to me, fellas, because I'm barren and safe to sit next to!!