Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What An Email to Guy Friend Looks Like.

In the interest of saving time, as I covered most of what I had planned to blog about in the first place, some of which to my readers, is repetitious, I am cutting/pasting my email last night to Guy Friend. An inner-sanctum look at our life. I've corrected my half-awake typos and random errors, like going totally off-topic, mid-sentence. I shouldn't type emails when I'm tired. I like how I am trying to explain auto-correcting on smartphones in a sentence that makes no literal sense to begin with. I was half asleep at the time. FYI, another sleep walking night without Luke home to shepherd me back into bed. Ack.

Note to self: When out smoking and really tired, try not to pick up the can of seltzer and accidentally try to start drinking out of the cup-shaped ashtray. Blech!

Guy Friend best get a new phone NOW, to avoid such lengthy catch-up emails with me.

Part One: 

Hi (Guy Friend):

Jeepers creepers, you could've told me half the reason you are compelled to join 4,000 different professional associations was because it looks good on your CV!

Yes, journals, and research, and conferences...bippety boppety boo. Time to bite the bullet and start networking, which I'm notoriously horrible at doing. 

I'm now a member of the Illinois Counseling Association and the American Psychological Association. Me. In the APA. What does that REALLY mean, in practicality? They're letting the loonies run the asylum.  My Adlerian therapist, Elena, would be so elatedly amused right now. I should look her up in the alumni directory. 

Speaking of my Adlerian therapists, who did I run into today but Harumi, the dumbshit they paired me with at Swedish after Elena left last year. Her misuse of the English language was strike one. Strike two was how I had to not only ask, but answer all of my own questions while she just sat there like a stump, neither guiding nor providing me with anything of practicality. And she's a PsyD candidate for the sake of Christ!  As was my right as a patient, I was thisclose to asking to be re-assigned a new therapist when Harumi abruptly quit "for personal reasons." Ended up with Erin, who was super, though she goes to the IL School of Prof Psych, which is like the bottom-of-the barrel of the local professional schools. Adler is the only one that preps you for licensing of some obscure nature that supposedly really, really engages potential employers. I can't remember what it's called, but "CRAP" is part of its acronym. De doo doo doo, de dah dah dah.

Oh shit. I smell skunk. I best sit still and turn down The Police. No, it really smells like skunk. And it's not the neighbor's marijuana for once.

I went 2 hours early to get my official ID and CTA pass. That only took 1/2 hour. Copped a squat at a table in the hallway & pumped up my laptop for some pre-class fiddling (er, like figuring out if all my Amazon orders shipped. Like 6 books arrived today, and I had a hell of a time matching them up to all the syllabi and folders I have meticulously laid out in my room.). Today was 3 hours of  professional ethics. (Hang on, I had to legitimately yawn. Twice.) It's interesting, if not a tad ironic at best. There are 9 gregarious, forthcoming students in the class. I'm one of the remaining 2, who are observant introverts, who naturally got paired up to give a presentation in December on the broad issue of "confidentiality." Gee, perhaps a case study in Dr. B*******ka, when she had both Craig and myself as patients, though we were separated, blabbing to Craig that I'd come in for a pregnancy test in '07. Hell, it was either confidentiality or subpoenas and court orders. That was all that was left after my shyness trumped the chance to present end-of-life issues and child/adolescent ethics. I need 7 peer-reviewed citations, and a group activity. Maybe I'll play the game with them where I confidentially tell one of them something specific, have them tell the next person, so on and so forth, to see how fucked up the end resulting story is. Granted, it's not very scientific. I'm sure Quiet Girl and I will think of something animated and interesting. Pray for mania!!!!!

My statistics book came today. Thank GOD that class is online. I was near tears just thumbing through it. Luke. Where's Luke? I have 3 assignments due by Sept 12th in it. He better get crackin', as long as we're talking about ethics and shit, and make Mommy proud. I need at least a B. Seriously. He could totally handle this and I would buy him as many packs of collectible playing cards as my grad budget allowed.  You could've told me it required not only algebra skills but also geometry, both of which I failed in high school!  (No, I'm not serious. I'll do the damn math.)

Spent most of last night armchair counseling my next door neighbor/church friend, who lost her mother yesterday. Her mom was really good friends with my late grandma. So I have wake/funeral shenanigans Thurs/Fri.  The now-deceased was in hospice for only 24 hours when she took her last breath, surrounded by family. I tried my best to explain the grief of losing a parent as coming in waves, especially when you know it's looming and inevitable. Sure, it lessens the shock of losing a parent prematurely and suddenly, but I assured her there are going to be moments of grief and joy and resentment over the shitty way her mother treated her, of which she complained relentlessly. The mom, while still coherent, asked for no more tests and no treatment, as she was 85 and felt like the tests were all torture, and it was pretty clear she had bone cancer. They started the famous morphine drip on Saturday, from which she'd never regain consciousness. The world just celebrated the 116th birthday of the Oldest Woman on Earth. Bravo! Luke asked me when I'll be 100. In 2072, I told him. Luke'll be 72. He has every faith that modern medicine will come up with some longevity-producer by the time I'm elderly, and feeling extra grateful I didn't crap out on him when I was this young. That goes for you too! Stay alive, I need you. 

Still looking for that elusive campus part-time job. I might just apply for the writing tutor one and tell them I can work all day Fridays, but not Tuesdays and see if they'll break the job into 2 people. More jobs are reportedly to post soon, which is good, because anything involving Excel and Outlook and non-envelope stuffing seems unattainable. Like I have time for this shit.

See, now it smells like weed. Hard to tell sometimes.

Tomorrow is 4 hours of "how to counsel people," where we role play and whatnot. For that, I had to buy my own digital dictaphone. No tapes with these mofos. It converts the conversations into mp3's which go on a flash drive for the professor. Without training in medical transcription, We have to dictate progress notes on our pretend sessions. That'll be fun because even though I think we'll be given "roles," it lets my inner nutcase come out and I can use my practical knowledge and experience. You had cadavers. We all get to screw with one another's heads. 

Weds are 3 hours of theory/theorists/history, and an hour-long weekly meeting w/our academic advisors, mine whom I ran into in the smoke hole outside today. She's alright in my book already. No, I'm not quitting until that check for my stipend comes in the mail. Weds night is a meeting at church re: Luke's confirmation. Woot! He asked me what's different at church once you become a real "member" after confirmation. I told him, "You get offering envelopes and you can vote in meetings. Apart from that, nothing."

(Friday night practice was great. I went in the sacristy--the little room where they prepare communion and flowers--and opened the fridge to put in my extra water bottle. Literally, the Consecrated Remains of Our Holy Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came flying out of the fridge, in a jar that came opened, and I stood there picking up the gluten-free version of Jesus' body and shoving the wafers back into the jar, which Pastor Dave caught me doing. "I'll bless them again later," he said. Whoops.)

Still don't know what the online Life Development course is all about, but it doesn't start until Sept 10th. Maybe they'll help explain why the Christian right wing insists a clump of cells deserves more human rights than a living mother, and people who are misguided and naive will stop referring to me as a Zygote Murderer for being pro-choice. I know, I know, you're Catholic. "An eminence front...it's a put on..." as The Who so aptly said. 

That's it in a nutshell. I'll get used to the schedule and material and it won't seem so daunting. But it's all good. It's all God. But I'm sorry, I'm not going to enter into a discourse with a 22 year old on how "psychodynamic" my semester is packed. In casual conversation!. 

Get some rest, I can see why you want to come home and veg out. I get it. 

Let me know when you get a new phone! This is insanity! Wait until you have to type with your fingers directly on the smartphone, or it'll automatically correct in appropriate solutions, direction aside. Try to get the text-by-spoken word that's in the new on the iPhone-s-i think it's called. Could be very useful for your purposes.

I really am excited and happy to part of the Adler organization. I just feel a little out place with all the young people. I'll get into the swing of things by next week. But a a fuill-blown manic episode would come in VERY handy right now. Too bad I'm stabilized.

Shoot me a few when you get a chance. I couldn't wait to tell you all about it.  :)

Lots of love,
Annie xoxo

Addendum this morning:

I, again, really shouldn't type when I'm half asleep.I I just re-read this and half it is laden with typos and half-thoughts, oh, the horror. Sleep walked into my mom's room asking her some random question at 11:30 pm, had closed Luke's door though he wasn't home (as is typical when I sleepwalk--I go looking for Luke), and lost my glasses AGAIN. Where'd I find them? In the kitchen drawer where the eyeglass cleaning towels are located. So at some point in my half-consciousness, I went to clean my glasses and put them in the drawer & went back to bed, my mother furious, as is also per usual. At least it wasn't 4am. Now it's 6am and I'm totally coherent. More or less.

Enjoy your day at work. I have a new perspective on how hard you work even after just one day at Adler. And what you had to go through to become a doctor. For that, you have my eternal respect. You must be in peak fitness and used to the frantic pace to keep up with what you're doing. I just pray I have your wherewithal after I'm a shrink.

I forgot to tell you that after we graduate, we can practice as licensed counseling psychologists for 2 years under supervision of a PsyD, PhD or MD for an additional set of initials after our names, and at that time, if we pass that board exam, we can open a private practice. Not that I want to do that, as I'll probably work in a non-profit or other social service organization that treats substance abusers and alcoholics. Plenty of time to sort that out.

We'll have to start making plans to make plans to make plans after Labor Day. My schedule's packed but I have nights free (except for every other Thurs, which is Luke's therapy).  It's looking like October for Tattoo #2, the word "mindfulness" in Sanskrit, bigger and on the inside of my LEFT arm. This time, P'Dave's taking me, as I'm tagging along with his niece, Chloe, who is getting 2 tattoos. Dave's thinking of getting his tattoo filled in. 

Wow. on iTunes, a George Harrison song ("Woman, You've Been on My Mind," or something to that effect, from that demos CD I gave you) which segued directly into a song by his son, Dhani's band, thenewno2. It sounded literally just like George but doing electronica. Bizarre.

Hare Krishna!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Infectious, Motley-Minded Codpieces!

Late Sunday Night:

Short, but sweet, as I'm running on empty and going to bed in a moment, for I have to awaken early:

The qually, onion-eyed minnow who called me a "boring housewife" and a "shitty writer?" checks in the blog like 4 times a day for any late breaking news, going to the extent (or suggesting to his friends) they Google "blog Drozd Big in Japan drugs."

Jeepers, Youth of America. Cut a bitch some slack & let me write a proper blog entry, when I have more energy than I do now. You'd think, having zonked out at noon and sleeping all afternoon, I'd be wide-eyed and blowing my second wind. I am, however, virtually closing my eyes. Graduate school starts tomorrow, so I think my body was trying to compensate for the "this is the last decent sleep you'll have for the next 2 years, so enjoy!"

Spent my evening armchair counseling my next door neighbor/church friend who's mother just died.

Heard from Guy Friend this morning, likewise short but sweet, and he promises to get a new phone ASAP & then call me to catch up. He was covering for another doctor all weekend and last night was the first night he wasn't awakened after midnight with some emergent issue to tackle half-asleep. I feel for the man, I truly do.

Thus, half asleep I will publish this and addendum in the morning. Slow-nerve-action and Big in Japan? Please, find something to do that doesn't involve me, Steven or drugs. And who is it in Lenexa, KS, who keeps visiting? Subscribe to new posts so you don't have to visit as often, sheesh!

Monday, An Hour Early for My First Grad Class:

Who should I run into, after procuring my student ID and semester-long CTA pass?

Harumi, The Useless Therapist. Remember her from blogs and blogs ago? She was the one to whom I was assigned early last summer, who literally asked me NO questions, delivered no practical advice and has zero capacity to be an effective therapist. Had she not left abruptly "due to personal reasons" a few months into my course of therapy (after which I was assigned Erin, who was wonderful), I was going to ask to be reassigned. Harumi never asked me any questions. She didn't squeeze any information out of me that I didn't voluntarily offer. I came up with my own solutions. She rarely spoke, and our conversations were being taped. She's a PsyD student, majoring in Being Sucky, it would seem.

All the fresh faces look eager but apprehensive and everyone keeps methodically checking the wide-screen TV's for where the hell our classes are meeting. I forgot to bring a snack, so I should probably go eat something quickly. Overhearing kids crabbing about their new apartments and glad I live rent-free at home, 5 minutes away from the train. "This should be a very psychodynamic semester!" one student just said to one another. Is that really how they converse around here? What about a flat "I'm scared to death and had to blow an extra $100 on amazon.com today to buy myself a fucking digital voice recorder." 'Cause that's what they'd get out of me. Holy shit, I can't wait for my living stipend to arrive in late September.

More later, as I cannot blog in class. I can't Facebook in class. I actually have to pay attention and just take notes. What a foreign concept!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Human Bingo

Just the idea of walking around a crowded room being forced into interacting with 200 people at once to obtain answers to questions as profound as "Do you have a pet?" and "Have you ever traveled outside the US?" in an effort to acquaint myself with my fellow students made me verily nauseated, never mind that I left the anxiety drugs at home. (I'm on my 2nd Zofran of the day.)

With a typical colleague base in their early 20's, as most of them are fresh out of undergrad school, I was a rare "I am a parent" target in the "Human Bingo" game. Most of these kids, as I told Guy Friend, are kids without kids yet. (My tattoo also came in very handy.) Half the reason I chose a small, private graduate institution is because I like my social environment and academia, well, small and private. (Knox College, where I infamously managed to nearly flunk almost everything, which didn't seem to trouble Adler, only had 1,000 students at the time, my high school twice that size.) Had I chosen a large state university, while cheaper, I'd be one in a lecture hall of 250 students, with little attention and personal interaction with the professors. Quite satisfied, as is typical, with the 10 other students at my own table during orientation today, we were fed like cows all day and listened to the drones of representative after representative of the school community, introducing themselves, all receiving an odd round of applause. "You're in charge of financial aid, WOOT WOOT WOOT!" They gave us a "free breakfast and lunch," "free" pens, "free" messenger bags bearing their logo, a "free" book..."free" t-shirts in the Human Bingo raffle...until I coldly told my table, "You do realize, we DO have to pay for all this stuff eventually, right?" which served to dampen the enthusiasm of the young adults, who all started to complain about how we were all hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and class hadn't even started yet. I guess I'm nothing if not a buzzkill.

No, really. Look at it critically. In the last 2 days, I've not only been a collegiate buzzkill. I've also been deemed a zygote-murder-endorser by radical right wing Christian conservatives, and a "self-aggrandizing, boring housewife who's a shitty writer" and, evidently, am, get this: "obsessed" with my ex-husband, if I'm to believe what's being said about me on the, again, unofficial, unsanctioned Flaming Lips fan forum.  Slow-Nerve-Action must be awfully slow yet no less nervy this week. They're more "knee deep in the hoopla" than Starship circa 1986. They kicked me out and are still talking about me. 

Pause for just a moment, shall we? Let's dissect these accusations. 

Collegiate buzzkill: Hey, just trying to interject a little realism into the young minds of my colleagues who erroneously believe that our educational institution is giving us anything for free, which was further cemented today as I electronically signed my life away & finalized my student loans, so math-inept and challenged that I needed a calculator to figure out and was pissed that Luke wasn't home to help me with the mandatory student loan government tutorial online, with all its percentages and dollar amounts and factoring how much I spend on things like "entertainment" and "other" every month in determining my resources vs. my projected future earning potential. I put a lot into the "other" category, actually, because raising a young man costs a lot of money, and furthermore, there was no option in which to lump your child's private education, food, clothing, streaming Netflix, and growing playing card collection when Dad's child support is about enough to feed the kid and not much else. 

I think it's kind of silly to have to perform a work-study job as part of my financial aid package, when I'm loaning out enough money precisely so that I wouldn't *have* to work. There was a great job as a writing tutor 2 days a week posted for which I'd certainly qualify, but I am unavailable on Tuesdays, one of the required days. What I loved most about substitute teaching at my old high school was the extensive time I spent tutoring in the writing lab, naturally encouraging the students to un-learn everything their instructors were trying to teach them because, by the time college rolls around, you want to nurture writing in creative minds and let them fearlessly pen, no-holds-barred, and while a few rules are meant to be adhered, most of them are secondary education's required doses of useless bullshit. (The English department chair hated my guts and my rogue teaching methods and wanted the kids to stick to the agenda the district and its instructors had carefully laid out. My attitude, naturally, was "Yeah, fuck that. I'll teach you how to WRITE-WRITE." I helped a lot of kids. Then I was relegated to supervising classes on sewing, when I can't even thread a needle, or the vocational classes where all the misbehaving boys liked to torture the substitute, or to simply proctor exams in a given teacher's absence for the day. I still can't really complain, though, seeing as I cleared $100 for less than 5 hours of work a few days a week for 5 years.)

Wait. I forgot. I'm a "pretty shitty writer," according to the online persona "Big in Japan" on slow-nerve-action.com. All this hindsight. While I'm SO self-aggrandizing as to write and publish an autobiographical blog, I can't claim to be holy but still feel a little bit like Jesus riding the donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. He was praised and revered, palms waving to fan and celebrate His arrival, only to be crucified by the same people a week later. In other words, don't compliment my blog and post links to other entries that were likewise witty and amusing, encouraging others to read my work, then banish me from your microcosm of--face it, you're ALL creepy  "superfans"--rumors and hypotheses, in your nerdy, unofficial little Flaming Lips fan forum. My bachelor's isn't in Shitty Writing, you twats. 

As for being a boring housewife who's life *isn't* fascinating? Go ahead and color me egotistical, but my life is seldom "boring," which my regular readers would probably agree upon. What I write keeps enough people reading and engaged, even people who frankly can't stand me, because it's seldom a yawn-fest. I don't lead the mundane life of a "boring housewife," for certain. It's worthy of mention that, throughout my 11-year marriage, I was never a "housewife." I never stayed at home being a frau while my husband worked. I continued to teach after I had my son, Craig and I trading work shifts and parental duty so that one of us was always home with Luke, and I followed that up by running my own very successful eBay home business. What we grown-ups call that is being a "stay-at-home mom." I generated enough income on my own that when my ex-husband was unemployed, I was making enough for all of us to live a good life. I'll be the first to tell you that I fucked that up terribly due to mental illness and addiction, but why that should concern Big in Japan, I'm not sure. Now I'm divorced and still not a housewife. I'm a new graduate student in psychology, I play drums in a band, and am still raising a young man, and am presently romantically entangled with two men at the same time. If my life is honestly *that* boring, and I'm such a "shitty writer," why have hundreds of blog hits generated from slow-nerve-action in the last week and still persist? Why are the forum members still talking about me and my "drama?"  If you're indeed happy you banned me, move the fuck on. 

According to my personal blog tracker and Blogger's statistics, over 80 visits came from your site today alone, via some anonymous proxies, through my locked Twitter account, from Google and slow-nerve-action. But I'm so boring....

Forum member "The Amazing Invisible Man" sarcastically said that he "liked" my blog's play-by-play of the event that was the Rolling Stone article, "instead of me just saying that Steven was fine and Rolling Stone was wrong." What a bland piece of music criticism and interview reviewing THAT would've been. Had I said simply that, I doubt my blog ever would've landed on slow-nerve-action's radar and I was going to defend my friend, while your forum hung on my every word and piece of information, until The Mighty Kliph's feathers were ruffled and the forum (who are claiming "the band" wanted me booted, which is an out and out lie, because they didn't take a vote as a group. It was Kliph's idea, not Steven or Wayne's) banned my privileges and deleted all my posts.  

Yes, I pointed the members of the forum to my ex-husband's extensive 2-part interview with Steven from last year, because I thought the superfans would find it really interesting. If that makes me "obsessed" with my ex-husband, why don't you base your statements on wrote fact as opposed to mere speculation? Listen, Big in Japan, I could frankly give 2 shits what my ex-husband does with his life unless it affects our kid. He and I are still friends and involved in one another's life. But we've both moved on, and I see no further point in defending my relationship with the father of my child. That's Douchebag Point #2 for you. Please, Lord, if you read my blog, it's blatantly evident with whom, if anyone, I may or may not be "obsessed", which is a really harsh accusation in the first place. And it's not Steven. 

Quite honestly, your little online world, slow-nerve? It's laden with Flaming Lips masturbation and all you've managed to exhibit is overt, petty jealousy that I have access to someone you all wish you had access to. If you want your forum to be a friendly, lively place of discussion, and instead of sitting around jacking off to either prove or debunk Wayne's non-contextual remarks, you should fucking allow people who actually care about the people in the band to have a voice. Why ANYONE thinks I would just sit idle and let anyone, even Wayne, perpetuate negative, untrue rumors about the Steven is a mystery. 

I firmly believe this, and I know I used it with reference to my former co-workers, but it bears a repeat, as I believe Kliph would fall into Category 3, and The Slow Nerve Superfans fall into Category 1:

Unfortunately, the slow-nerve-action nimrods will never get to be me. That's both a good and a bad thing. Not everyone can say they survived narcotics abuse and alcoholism, grave mental illness, divorce, multiple surgeries and hospitalizations, domestic abuse at the hands of a crazy ex-boyfriend, non-suicidal self-injury, romances with more than one married man, recovery, a job that drove me into anorexia due to stress, moving back in with my mother and trying to parent a 12-year old, playing drums in a band, & being blessed with the greatest friends a woman could ask for, including one of the Flaming Lips. If that makes me stupid and boring, y'all need something more than the Lips in your life. I'm totally cool with being totally cool. Don't forget: I love the Flaming Lips too. I'm just not "obsessed" with them enough to dissect their every move in an online forum. If I want to know something, I have "insider information..." 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Todd Akin, You're a Twatwaffle. With Twatwaffle Friends. And Anyone Who Believes You is a Double Twatwaffle.

I'm crazy? I'm the crazy one in the family? In the townhouse complex? On the block? At the church? In town? In the county? In Illinois? In the USA? Well, turn me upside down and paint me blue, because I guess it's true after all.

Suffice it to say, certain people close to me negate things that are factual in favor of, how do I put this politely? Let's just call it "God's plans." And that this close tie to me, in particular, who believes the Earth is only 4,000 years old and that carbon dating is erroneous, actually, firmly believes the extraordinarily outlandish GOP anti-abortion exclamation from Republican uber-douche Todd Akin that the female body has the biological capacity to functionally incapacitate her own reproductive system based on the type of sexual intercourse in which she's involved.

Wowzers! We womenfolk are SO controlling yet amazing that, if we so need, we can reconstitute our own body chemistry to filter out and kill off mean, cold-blooded, heartless semen from yucky men who hurt us while warmly welcoming loving, tender, passionately happy (and ideally, Christian) sperm anxious to turn us into mommies. But hey, if a baby comes out either the unimaginable terror of rape or incest, let's all celebrate! Thanks be to God for this little baby born out of and at the stake of my life and safety. It's the divine plan! Bullshit.

Remember, I'm *insane.* Thus, you'd think, I should also believe that when bitten by a chemically-altered, experimental spider-gone-loose, Peter Parker could suddenly shoot motherfucking webs that stuck to buildings with G-force out of his goddamn wrists. Wait a sec. The latter is a cartoon character. What has Akin, in concurrence with the Romney/Ryan/Republican campaign and right-wing media effectively accomplished, really? Turning women into cartoon characters as well. Why? Because Shit. Like. This. Is. Fantasy. All of it.

Ask any woman who's been raped if they would conclude there exists such a separation as "legitimate" vs. "illegitimate" rape. Or forcible vs. what, exactly? "Sorta-coerced?" "Somewhat allowable?" "Your duty?" "I didn't hear her say 'No'?" "She asked for it?" Rape is forcible, in EVERY way, on every occasion and its legitimacy is never in doubt. If the woman does not wish for nor consent to any sexual encounter, into ANY orifice of her penetrable body, it's forcible rape. To even be forcefully required to touch a man in a way that scares or hurts the woman, that's rape too. There is no gray area here, despite what utter fucking retards like Todd Akin and the hyper-conservative right wing might wish the people of the United States would believe.

"But Annie," you logical-thinking people say, "It's scientific fact that women can and do get pregnant as a result of rape!" Well, that's Defense Exhibit A. And the result of those pregnancies, if they are allowed to develop, produce people who, while they may be part of God's Great Kingdom, fucking didn't have to be born to women who, by their very existence and nature, detest the resulting spawn, resent it having to be born and most likely wish "the father" to have his balls tied up and ripped off. "It's not the baby's fault the mother was raped," or "You can't blame an innocent soul because your brother made you have sex with him!" I've heard from right-wingers I know. "She can always put the baby up for adoption but don't MURDER the baby!" people say.

Look. Medically. Biologically. Scientifically. Hell, take rape out of the equation and just insert "badly timed, unprotected sex" and I will argue you down to a pubic hair strand that taking a sequence of two pills to prevent a zygote from forming isn't "murder". That having an embryo or a fetus removed isn't "murder." Yes, I'm taking God out of the equation. If you believe in God and are against abortion, that's your right. Just as I believe in God and believe it's my right to choose whether or not to be pregnant. (I guess when it comes right down to it, in this great nation of ours, I "chose" to have my hysterectomy. No one forced me into it. Not having one would've killed me, but meh...my Calling of More People To Annoy outweighed my Should I Die of Cancer? I killed my uterus! My baby-holding machine! GASP!)

"Science-schmience," my close tie would argue. "Scientists believe in things like, gasp, evolution too, and crazy ass shit like that!" Todd Akin is on the House Science Committee. He shouldn't be. He's a clueless motherfucker. That's Defense Exhibit B. (Though this person would never say something as vile as "crazy ass shit.")

Look, Chickie Babies, I don't care if you're an atheist, an agnostic, a Christian (Catholic or Protestant or whatever hyper-Bible-enthusiast), a Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Unitarian, a Zoroastrian or if you've wiped your ass with the Shroud of Turin. Rape is rape. Rape is a crime and women who are raped or the victims of incest should get Priority A in their right to, if not to rapidly receive the Plan B/Emergency contraceptive, then early and safe abortions, and furthermore, the rest of us females in the world certainly deserve the right to choose it too. And it shouldn't be in some back alley-come-medical facility with dirty instruments that threaten the woman's life. Roe vs. Wade passed for a reason. So that women's lives could be saved. In that regard, yes, the Supreme Court decided the mother's life was more important than that of the unborn zygote/embryo/fetus.

All my close tie will do is defend the rights of the unborn, without regard to my rights as a grown woman. That makes me very sad, He's all for liberating the zygotes and letting women suffer through a traumatic pregnancy via a traumatic rape, to bear a PTSD trigger you have to raise into adulthood because that's what God wants us to do? Somehow I doubt that very highly. This person, who I've unconditionally loved my whole life, has put his love for me upon the condition that I agree with him that rape or incest pregnancies should be maintained and not aborted.

The Prosecution's Only Exhibit? That I, myself, was forcibly raped repeatedly, against my will, on what had to amount to literal hundreds of times, but at no time did a pregnancy result. "Well, there you go!" Akin would argue. (The rapes all occurred before I had a hysterectomy, permanently ending my potential for conception, via any means.) That's what my dear one argued. Believing the notion that a woman's body releases certain "baby-proofing" hormones if a woman is forcibly taken sexually, "That's why you never got pregnant," I was told. Sigh. Seriously?

"Ok....but I also failed to become pregnant during the several years when Craig and I were TRYING to have another baby." I failed to conceive on fertility drugs and constant monitoring. It was determined through extensive SCIENTIFIC TESTING that my body amassed so many adhesions, so much scar tissue, as a result of the cesarean birth of my only child, that it became anatomically impossible for me to impregnate period. After the c-section in 2000, I had laproscropic surgery the following year to attempt to separate my bladder and uterus, which had merged together via scar tissue, causing me enormous pain with intercourse. That much was fixed, though the scar tissue continued to amass over the years, making it relatively difficult to dig around and remove my uterus in March.

For being such a Bible-based, thoughtful, enthusiastic Christian, my dear one, who abhors hatred of any kind and thinks all abortions are "murder," he's quick to judge me and call me an egotist for putting my body before that of a collection of cells in my (former) uterus. It makes me sad that he's so willing to defend his ultra-conservative principles and Biblical beliefs, yet refuses to even attempt to understand the scope of what happened to me at Chris' hands. He said, "It's not that I'm pro-rape..." and I am thinking to myself, "ARE there people OUT THERE who ARE PRO-RAPE?" How fucking frightening is that? (The rapists themselves must comprise this grouping or something.)  If my ego is to preserve my life over that of a collection of cells that hasn't even developed human bodily characteristics, yes, I'm more important to the world than that.

My rapist threatened to kill me, on numerous occasions for various reasons, usually sadistic pathology, just because he knew he physically could. I told my dear one that obviously he'd never been pinned down by a 280 lb man, with a dog collar on your neck, being choked, slapped in the face, sliced by a knife, then urinated on and told to clean yourself up, as if you were a complete piece of leftover reheated piece of meat.

He doesn't understand the lingering fears. The lingering anxiety. The lingering dreams. The scent of something or seeing something that reminds you of your rapist, a neighborhood, all of which are psychological triggers that manifest as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I live with that every day. And unless you've lived through it, whether you're a  Democrat, Republican or Independent, you can't begin to understand the long-lasting psychological ramifications of being a victim of rape. It's insanely difficult and painful.

"Judge not, less you be judged." That's somewhere in the Bible, isn't it?  It's an almost impenetrable wall to fight with someone on the radical Christian right and win. In the meantime, however, we've still got Planned Parentood's wonderful services. They put out this short vignette today about how far the GOP has gone:

A Rare Case Where Something Actually Works Out Smoothly. Er, Mostly.

Yesterday, as I walked into the Adler School of Professional Psychology for the last step in my Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology application process, I was wracked with nerves, and checked in with the receptionist at the front entrance desk. I hadn't remembered her, but she remembered me having been at the winter school tour/meet-and-greet/Q&A with my mom. I told her I had an admissions interview and asked for Jake, my admissions counselor. "You're gonna do FINE," she said. "I'l bet you come back down and you'll have good news!" she said. I was hesitant but knew I was supposed to go to the 15th floor and didn't need directions.

Jake came to fetch me as I sat twitching and texting friends after about 15 minutes, directing me to the office of the Chairperson of the Counseling Psychology Department. I anticipated being interviewed by a panel of people, so to find out it was a one-on-one interview was actually relieving. I could see she had a series of green papers, stapled together, that included questions, lines for answers, and grading scales from 1-6 on them rating my responses to her questions. 

Not typically the best interviewee (at Balderdash & Verities? "I'm really good with old people!" when in actuality, they sort of drive me batty), I animatedly poured out my inner psycho-smartypants half-assed extrovert and jibba-jabba'd my way through questions ranging from how I would adapt to providing therapy in a cultural or socioeconomic situation to which I was not accustomed or comfortable (the "Listen, sister, I endured a psych ward detoxing from alcohol with every race, creed & color out there, witnessed what would otherwise permanently scar a lesser character, accidentally OD'd & shook from the effects of Narcan,  & have more practical lunacy with which to draw from than, I guarantee you, any of your other present applicants"), and why I thought psychology was a science ("Duh, it's in helping people who have brain illnesses, which are no different than any other bodily diseases and should be treated with as much dignity, as many ethics and the same compassion as patients with epilepsy, diabetes or cancer, and my belief is that psychologists should work more in tandem with psychiatrists in constructing a holistic, well-rounded treatment plan instead of blindly Rx'ing medication after medication until someone finally juggles with and cracks the right egg.")

(Aside: I'm watching "The Dark Knight" with Luke, as we watched "Batman Begins" the other night, and I asked Luke if Morgan Freeman's character was made CEO of Wayne Enterprises, given he was a lowly techie in the basement in the last film. Luke just looked at me and said, "That's Morgan Freeman." Yes, I suppose that's reason enough...don't mind me, dumb question.)

The Chair asked me what my opinion was of Alderian psychology methods. I was honest with her and told her that in the 2 psychology classes I'd taken thus far, while I knew who Adler was, we hadn't comprehensively studied his methods, or really had gone into deep analysis of any particular theorist's methods. It wasn't held against me, as she glanced at my Knox transcript and saw that my degree was in English-Writing, and I believe my retort thereafter was something about how fascinating I found Abnormal Psychology, because I learned so much about what's wrong with me and, after being prompted, I explained why I wanted to work with patients grappling addictions and substance abuse in particular, to which I alluded in my entrance essay. 

I told her, "I'm coming to Adler as a PATIENT, first and foremost. To LEARN to be a clinician." What, I told her, stood out when she asked me why I was choosing The Adler School, was what I repeated from my essay: that on Medicaid and a perpetual in-therapy intern's guinea pig, I'd worked with student therapists from the 3 major schools in Chicago specializing in training and licensing psychologists, and it was my honest critique that my Adler intern was the best of the lot, as I've said in previous blogs. I complimented the Chair and the school for how they trained her to conform her therapeutic approach to my many moods and that, at any given session, a different, more complex version of Annie would walk in (no, I don't have multiple personalities, just rapidly shifting moods), and I told the Chair that while cognitive behavioral therapy is the most widely studied and practiced approach to therapy right now, the seeming cure-all, it doesn't necessarily work for everyone, and while I thought it had been effective on me in some respects, there were times when Elena and I would shift to behavioralism, or just talk therapy, or no structure at all...

When she noticed that I was keenly observing what she was penning, my eyes rapidly shifting, my hands in motion, reading upside down and alternating that with looking her straight in the eyes, she began to tilt her paper upwards, in order for me not to view her comments, making it difficult for her to write. It was such a flurry, and with me, flurries induce temporary amnesia, that I honestly couldn't tell you the rest of the questions she asked me from her list, other than her wrap-up question, which was to tell her something special about myself that I hadn't mentioned in my entrance essay, nor had (most likely) those who recommended me had said. I told her that I was a passionate musician, at which time, she wrote down "a passionate musician." I told her how I taught myself how to play the drums before my legs were long enough to reach the pedals, and I'd practice and play whenever my brother or folks weren't around, and that after a church friend saw me play on her son's toy kit, I was encouraged to answer the call to the music ministry at my church, upped and joined our Praise Band, never having played in public before, and nearing 7 years with the band as of right now. I explained to her that I think in song. I think poetically. Yet I can think objectively and critique fairly. 

We dabbled with my Knox transcript and she flat out told me the grades I received as an undergrad were pretty much shit. I put my finger on the transcript and told her, "That young woman, in those records, is not THIS woman (pointing at my chest) as a student anymore." That I somehow managed bipolar disorder by self-medicating for almost 20 years with drugs and alcohol. That even now, balanced and medicated, I have symptomatic episodes, and that when they strike me, with either hypomania or depression, I get hit hard and cycle very rapidly. I told her that it was my belief that everyone deserves a second shot at this life, and that I felt called (yes, political correctness be damned) by my God to enter into this profession. I said, "My comorbidity as a psychiatric patient and recovering addict/alcoholic isn't an isolated occurrence." That it happens "more often than not." I sold myself on the notion that my perspective and personal experience did a lot of the training that will be foreign concepts to many of the new Adler students, but that I was uniquely capable of extending empathy and care to my patients. I told her that my undergrad grades are not remotely a present-day signature of my intelligence, intellectual ability or capability of handling graduate-level coursework. In essence, "bring it on." 

I was given the opportunity to ask my own questions, which were all more or less of semantics and practicality, and she said it was a pleasure to meet me, was glad I was interested in the school, and that she'd make a decision soon. I was escorted back to Jake, who sat and penned out my next steps in the event I would be accepted, which he was already confident I was. He said it normally takes 12-24 hours for an admission decision, but not to panic, given classes start Monday. He shepherded me to the financial aid office and said he'd see if he could find out any more information. He barged in on us in the aid office and said, "Guess why I'm smiling! It took her 10 minutes to decide. She really, really likes you. You're in!" 

I gave him a hug, finished with financial aid, and was handed materials regarding the mandatory orientation later this week, during which I will meet my fellow new students, be assigned an advisor, or "cohort" as they call them, learn the ins/outs of the Adler School (including the free yoga/meditation studio), and then embark on a (yawn fest, please, I live here) double decker bus tour of Chicago. Luckily, Friday's orientation events are all elective, and I think I can skip yet another architectural boat tour of Chicago, having been permanently scarred by how I froze my ass off with Chris and our friend Sharon on one a few years ago. No thanks.

I went back down to leave and again ran into the receptionist, who's name is Ivy, by the way, and who has amazing intuition. I threw my hands up in the air and said, "I made it!" and she said she knew I would. I briefly explained why I wanted to be a psychologist, and she wisely said, "It's God's time. It's your time. To pay it forward, pay it forward." Which is exactly what I plan to do. Not only to prove all my naysayers wrong, those who regard me as an utter failure, and make up for the mistakes I made years ago. I'm becoming a therapist to assist and care for all the people I will meet who desperately need the listening, wise ear and expertise that I will provide to my patients. Ivy said we'd be seeing a lot of one another soon, and she was genuinely thrilled, as was I. 

Immediately, as I found a quiet smoke hole, I texted family and friends about what happened. Talking to Guy Friend would have to wait, since his cell phone pooped out and he's awaiting a new one (but he called me today). Best Male Friend knew. Everyone else who mattered knew before I got on the subway to go back home, and I texted my Facebook status update with the news as well. Everyone knew except my mother, whom I wanted to tell in person, and Kate, whom I had to email. What I thought was a very good omen and fitting send-off awaiting my train? A street performer in the subway with an acoustic/electric guitar and a microphone, who, as I came down onto the platform, began singing "My Sweet Lord." I was SO close to jumping in with the Hare Krishna part but alas, my train came. My mom burst into elated tears when I got home, an unusual move for her, as she's usually crying out of desperation or anger towards something I've fucked up or how I've behaved against her grain. "Prove them all wrong," she said. 

Today, I reflected on what this first semester will include: 6 classes (2 online, 4 on-campus), a campus work-study part-time job, taking care of my son, playing in my band and somehow finding my way to things like AA meetings and even my own therapy, though some friends have suggested I just talk to myself and be a self-therapist. Please, that's fine. I talk to myself all the time. The elusive visit with a new psychiatrist I'd been trying to book for 4 months conflicts with school and has to be rescheduled, as I can't miss class. Guy Friend was expecting me to be frantic, manic and frazzled when he called, when I'd actually just received my schedule and was working on my financial aid. I thanked him again for his wonderful letter of recommendation, and we said we'd take a look at our schedules after Labor Day to get together again. 

My mom thinks I should abandon the blog while I'm in school. I disagree, for this is my little sanity outlet. It's part of *how* I take care of myself. To not internalize my feelings. For sure, posts will be less frequent and maybe a week will be condensed into one sequential blog, but I told my mom that writing helps keep me sane, and if I couldn't write for leisure, I wouldn't be sane anymore. I told her that my mental health and stability had to be taken care of in order for me to be a successful student. Journaling, actually, will be part of my coursework; now, whether that winds up on "Rhythms" or in a notebook, I don't know yet.

I'm too tired to check in on Slow Nerve Action's web pissing in the Lips forum today. All I can tell of the blog as that the hits are coming in the hundreds the last week versus a few dozen visits a day, most of which are still coming, for some reason, from Slow Nerve Action, even after they banned me and took my related posts down. I think some of the Lips fans are looking for more information, more juice on drugs and the band. Sorry, I have none. The only energy between Steven and myself in the last 24 hours was my good news text, which he said he thought was "good news!"  If he's mad at me because of the whole board/blog clusterfuck, I'd have known that by now. But he's not that kind of guy. Slow Nerve? Slow day.

And it was. For once. Something worked out as it was supposed to. I managed it all. Now I just have to MANAGE it. Sanely and successfully. A B average is the minimum GPA Adler will accept. You get a C and you're on probation. You get caught checking Facebook in class and you get a wrist slap. I'm not paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to dick around, y'all, after all...

Monday, August 20, 2012

You Damn Kids? Get Off My Intellectual Property Lawn!

Ok, this is kind of a load of bullcrap. A Flaming Lips web forum of which I was unaware until a couple of days ago and only joined in order to better manage what was being linked to my blog under my name, has banned me from their site. Call the Uh-Oh Squad!

Slow Nerve Action (http://www.slow-nerve-action.com/), an UNOFFICIAL fan-based Flaming Lips web forum must literally ejaculate when Kliph, the drummer, decides to post something on occasion, like it's The Fucking Rapture. They revere his words and opinions.  As per my last (exhaustingly drone-ish) blog, I waved my beef about Kliph's "we can speak for ourselves, we don't need you interfering, who the fuck do you think you are?" and all this bullshit Wayne's spewing about drugs, et al, and I will go to my grave with my heart in the right place for attempting to defend my friend, which I believe he would understand inside his own heart and mind, though he himself vocalized the absurdity of his personal life being dissected online on Twitter this morning. (By the way, Kliph...you're not using Sunflower Broadband on a Mac in Lawrence, KS, or am I mixing you up with another freakazoid? It's been such a whirlwind day that I lost count of the visits from this particular place. And, like, how many times do you have to read it over again before you, you know, understand it, whomever you are?)

Was I wrong in openly defending Steven's well-being amid rumors of his untimely demise? I still don't think I was, but IF I was, that's between Steven and me, not a web forum, not the rest of the band, no one. I wasn't touting "Oh, I know stuff y'all don't know and I'm going to pontificate!" I was simply interested in, on the web forum, monitoring how *I* was being quoted, how *my* statements were being twisted around, and to clarify snippets of my own writing with regard to the Rolling Stone article versus what I knew to be (here we go again) verities and what was balderdash about the whole shebang, all stemming from statements attributed to Coyne himself regarding members of his own band, who are his friends.

Here's what the dopes at Slow Nerve Action don't seem to understand, because they're probably all ON dope. I never would've gotten involved in your cliquey bollocks and retarded favoritism had you not overtly, publicly, blatantly violated MY, um, we call them "INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS." Most of you, at the time, appreciated my clarification and contribution to your little site, hell, some of you even endorsed it and encouraged others to read it further. But reading it is one thing. Linking to it or quoting from it is quite another, and no, at no time did I give anyone my permission to do so.

I'm sure, in the forum members' dissection of my own work, they never scrolled down to the little statement at the bottom of each blog page that says this:

c Andrea C. Miklasz, All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without permission.. 

And what was the forum doing? Reproducing and distributing my original writing, links to it, and quotes from it without my permission. Hi, guys. That's ILLEGAL. If you don't understand that as an example, as perhaps it's too literal for your small brains and pot-soaked synapses to wrap around, maybe you'll understand this example:

Wayne Coyne turns on his TV to sit and have a cup of coffee in the morning, over his English muffins, and a commercial comes on featuring "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate" in an advertisement for ant and roach spray. "What? I didn't license my song to RAID!?! What the fuck? They didn't ASK me if they could use our song! Get Booker on the phone and let's sue!" he says. "My song's not about killing roaches!  They misheard me!" Wayne says. All discombobulated, copyright attorneys, managers, accountants and The Guy Who Tunes the Guitars all get together and find out, trace, and locate how the fuck the song got in the godforsaken commercial in the first place, when Coyne/Drozd/Ivins and their publishing company didn't expressly grant the Raid Company their permission, nor were they paid any due royalties, for the use of their material in a context, place, time, or mind-frame sanctioned by the intellectual property owners (they themselves or their publishing company, whoever oversees that stuff). 

Just because I write a blog that's published online and is open to the public doesn't a) mean I somehow don't own all it or b) give anyone permission to, while at first I appreciated the virtual nod and the traffic, rub me on a cheese grater over a piece I wrote on music publication criticism (Rolling Stone) regarding ill-founded rumors about a friend of mine who deserves more than the benefit of the doubt, only to be forcefully banned from a forum I wanted nothing to do with in the first place, but felt the need to watch. I didn't HAVE to speak up and introduce myself. I could've joined and not said a word, and none of you would've been any the wiser. But just as I don't hide behind a pen name, I don't hide, period. Being a silent observer of how my work is distributed doesn't suit my personality and is but one mark of an honest-to-God writer. 

And what's doubly ironic? I'm still getting dozens, if not hundreds of hits to the blogs about the Lips directed from Slow Nerve Action or other exterior links, or Googles, or bookmarks, etc. They banished me from their little web world for being intrusive, then turn around and hang on my every word on my personal blog. In reading what's left of the thread about the upcoming album, "The Terror," whomever moderates the board decided to get rid of all of the Annie-Action, drug-talk/speculation and happy hoohah. So they created a *new* topic to follow, just based on *Wayne's* drug use speculation. Enjoy. You all know how much Wayne appreciates the publicity and idolatry that turns a profit, even, it would seem, at the expense of how others might feel or be affected personally. Up to the point where these 2 interviews were published, I had nothing but love in my heart for Wayne. He has lost quite a bit of credibility and respect as a result of his recent stunts.

What particular sentence that I wrote unnerved the Slow Nerve Action readers the most, I think? My exclamation to Kliph, in my blog yesterday, in which I said, "I'm a writer, sir. I have been trained in manipulating dialogue to form a fictional but contextually accurate piece of prose. " THAT statement, which was taken UTTERLY out of context, painted me as a fiction writer, when I'm not. Like I'm making all this shit up.  My life might live out like a fucking Harlequin bad romance novel, or a modern-day adaptation of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," but it's MY life story, and that of my friends, peers, loved ones, mentors, lovers, siblings, band, family, down to the pastor of my church. What I implied, and, again, the "slow-nervers" didn't pick up on, was the fact that I could see the forest for the trees with regard to the implications in the Rolling Stone review. 

Someone on the board suggested I write record reviews. I mentioned that I actually had, in the past, to the extent where I did a semester-long music criticism (live shows and records) independent study under the guidance of and being mentored by former Chicago Sun-Times rock critic (now on NPR and his own blog), Jim DeRogatis, who coincidentally wrote the official fucking book on The Flaming Lips, "Staring at Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma's Fabulous Flaming Lips." So much has changed in the lives of the Lips since the publication of that book that perhaps it's time DeRogatis amended or updated it, for it reflects the band from inception to a tiny microcosm of the present-at-the-time.  Consider the original Lips blog I wrote, about the Rolling Stone magazine, a piece of music or literary criticism, if you will, that happened to involve the reputation of someone I know, so my stake in the criticism was a bit more heart-felt and personal. 

Ok, Chickie Babies, you can go back to your vague and quasi-humorous, yet utterly, ultimately clueless fandom. I guess that some of you are douchebags must really ring true. Just don't ever expect to quote me again, reference my blog's URL, talk about me personally, or otherwise misuse the information and words presented on this blog, for I it belongs to ME, without my expressed written consent. Or I'm coming for you....

Ok, new creepy stalking-worthy people? Why are you Googling "Andrea Mlkesz drummer blog Steven Drozd?" Fuck, if you want to google me, at least look at my page more closely where my name is SPELLED CORRECTLY. Fucktard.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

One Singular Sensation?

I just Tweeted the following: "I'm not used to causing such a ruckus." But you can't see that unless you follow me, and to date, I've only allowed 118 people that dubious honor (?). Twitter's sort of the last place I have where I can openly vocalize with little retribution, unlike here on my blog, which is open to the public, as I keep my Twitter account secured, for good reason.

Wayne Coyne might be used to causing a ruckus, but I'm not (despite evidence to the contrary at my son's school). And I just want to slap him upside the head sometimes (Wayne, not Luke). Like now, for example. He's off giving interviews about what's tentatively entitled "The Terror," the next Flaming Lips record release. Wayne is buzzing around the internet fueling drug rumors within the Flaming Lips, even about himself and his own drug use (which is a highly questionable thing) but I've found myself joining forums, stamping out fires and sticking up for the good name of my friend, Steven, who's been rumored to be presently grappling with active addiction, when in truth, he isn't, and sticking up for myself, defending my own honor, to overly sensitive fans who think I've discredited, ill-framed, misunderstood or otherwise insulted them because of *how much* they love The Flaming Lips. Like I said before, The Flaming Lips love you. Trust that. They've shown that immeasurably. And now I find myself defensive against ONE of The Flaming Lips, neither Steven nor Wayne.

It would further appear, in a comment from tonight on the message board I joined to introduce myself and wage my opinion based on the few details Steven gave me to the legions of really, legitimately worried about Drozd fans, that drummer Kliph Scurlock is on the "Annie overstepped her boundaries, Pro-Wayne" brigade. That's fine. The Slow Nerve Action message board was forwarded to me, as the RS article was forwarded to me by literal dozens of fans and friends who were speculating, assuming and believing Wayne's statements as Biblical truisms, that Steven was in a REALLY bad place right now, when, as I'm sure, Scurlock already knows he isn't.  My original blog was complaining about the Rolling Stone article and equally blaming both the journalist who penned the piece in tandem with what any intellectually reasonable individual would recognize were quotes taken out of context and were "shaped," if you will, into a cohesive and dramatic story. I'm a writer, sir. I have been trained in manipulating dialogue to form a fictional but contextually accurate piece of prose. I spent quite a bit of time as a music critic/reviewer/radio show producer. I can look at an interview or an article from a critical standpoint, I know when enough is enough, and by God, when my ex-husband interviewed Steven last year, the volume of crucial information they shared had to be split into 2 parts. My ex is a critic, and a very good one. He asks the right questions. The RS douchebag didn't and Wayne answered them poorly.

I don't talk to Kliph, their touring drummer. (To the best of my knowledge, Drozd still plays the drums on most of the studio tracks.) I've run into him probably 5 times in the last couple of years and he is too busy being a rock star (far more aloof than Coyne even is) to even give me a second glance; hence, I guess I wrote him off as a lost cause a long time ago and could quite honestly care less.

 Scurlock's snippy comment:

Reply by Kliph

Hey, Andrea, the members of the band are more than capable of speaking on their own behalf if and when such a thing is deemed necessary.  Your positioning of yourself as some kind of insider is coming off in such a way that would drive you up the wall if someone else was doing it, so maybe you can just let the good people discuss what they wish to discuss without feeling you have to correct everyone.  I mean, what else is there to discuss about the new record until it leaks?

Actually, you're dead wrong, Kliph. If there were rumors or conjecture floating around for millions of people to see, about my personal life and my past history, and my friends and fans saw it but I didn't...while Steven feels strong enough to fight it of or ignore it, he needs to protect the fragility of his family at any cost, as would I with my own family. (Though I'd get into a shouting match with someone first.) If I were faced with the challenge Steven had this week via Wayne via the press, I'd be pissed off too.

The gang at Slow Nerve Action were discussing the new record. I *clearly* saw that.  I only joined the site so I could defend my blog posting, after a random forum member had posted a link towards my blog to Slow Nerve Action and the subject of Steven's condition came up in the forum. What else is there to talk about until the record comes out, Kliph, let me see if I remember?????

Oh yeah. Two articles/interviews with Wayne that made it online in the last week directly implying that someone I care about was in a very dark, dangerous place, writing death songs and taking a lot of drugs, perpetually schnockered.

I might be a professional agitator, but it doesn't seem like many people pay much attention to the shenaniganathon I rouse here and there, and I was more or less content to stay out of any shit storms, certainly on forums and boards I of either knew nothing or didn't frankly care regarding the band.

Understand, Kliph, that I was pointed towards Slow Nerve Action and only signed up for posting on it 2-3 days ago. I generally stay away from fan boards and forums because if and when there's something I want to know that's out there, yeah, call it what you want, but I have some insider information. To the best of my knowledge, I "corrected" no one on the online forum. Reassured them, more accurately. I was in the middle of writing a blog that had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the Lips until the streams of concern came flooding me, the Tweets, the Facebook links, etc. and I could tell on my blog software that most of my hits were coming from Slow Nerve Action, a site I'd never even heard of.

I was sent to the site, saw that my blog entry (my intellectual property) had been posted and was going around, and felt compelled to introduce myself and clarify some of what I had written. Part of that is because I hold copyright laws on my intellectual property and don't want to see it misused, misquoted or misconstrued without me being able to back myself up. Have I since found out MORE "insider" information? Yes, but it's none of other fans' business, nor does it directly, forcefully affect you, Kliph. It affects Steven. He's the one who has to, and by all his graciousness and dedication, clean all the shit off his shoes.

Do you have a single clue as to what it's like to be in drug and alcohol recovery after years of abuse, when such substances, like liquor, are readily available and socially acceptable at your local grocery store? Couple that with the pressure of the road, and everyone drinking or drugging, and that causes the recovering addict a tremendous amount of anxiety, regardless of how centered your chakras might be. Addiction is insidious. No matter how healthy you are in mind, body and spirit, the impetus to fall from grace is CONSTANTLY there. Steven might play it down, the same way I do in front of all of my friends, but I'd be uncomfortable too if I were him, surrounded by enticing mayhem.

Did I want to become an internet phenom? Yeah, I totally wanted and prayed for thousands of interested parties to land on my blog and enjoy my daily snippets of insanity in hopes that one day I wind up published or with a paid writing gig, at least. Did I want to become an internet phenom who was either loved or hated by legions of fans of The Flaming Lips, all over my last blog of substance? I'm honestly not sure. I wholeheartedly appreciate the readership, which has grown in spades, but felt the need, on one board in particular, to vocalize a little bit of my annoyance regarding what's presently being published about the band online, which is largely Wayne's fault, but that it hasn't really bothered Steven terribly (as of a couple days ago), or he hasn't taken it very personally, knowing Wayne better than just about anybody and brushing off what can be easily misconstrued as REALLY bad press in order to promote a new record.

Is Wayne flipping out on drugs? I highly doubt it. According to a reliable source, there is conjecture on various message boards and within Facebook groups of fans trying to frame Wayne's recent press with anecdotal "I heard from a guy who heard from a dancer that Wayne hasn't taken acid since he was 17..." and "There was that one picture of Wayne drunk on absinthe..." Just all sorts of rumored crap. People LOVE to speculate. People love to conspire and guess and conclude lots of things that have no basis in reality.

No, I completely don't think Wayne is low enough and is being quoted in the manner as an effort to exploit Steven for the band's general gain. As I've said before, the very first night I met the band in 1994, I journaled what I thought of each of them and said that Wayne was "hot and acted like a rock star," and Steven was "cute and nice." (I also said that I had trouble telling if Ronald Jones was a man or a woman, and that I didn't hear a single word come out of Michael Ivins' mouth.) Wayne STILL acts like a rock star. Wayne wants to sell records and concert tickets, for that is the business his band is in. He's a consummate professional rock star, even when his judgment seems illogical. I think, if anything, Steven's being TOO nice about the recent press which portrays him as a hot mess. He's hot, for sure, but a mess? No. He said tonight that he was unaware of "the suicide part" of the Rolling Stone interview/angle, and was frankly, now at this point, "pretty pissed about it."

I'm getting mixed reviews about my blog entry. Some sources related to the publicity and public knowledge about the band are very kindly promoting my blog in general, enjoying lots of various entries, though I haven't, myself, seen the entirety of the feedback about the "Raging Against the Machine" entry, as a lot of it is taking place in a private Facebook group that, to my knowledge, I'm not a member of. A lot of people were happy that *someone* cleared the air and put some rumors to rest, happy to hear Steven's doing okay. Still others took offense to my moniker of "Superfans," suddenly feeling self-conscious about their level of fandom and wondering who and what the hell I have to do with the whole scene.

Above: one of the photos from last summer's first Chicago "Soft Bulletin" show, where Steven and I met up after the show along with my Guy Friend to visit. (For the sake of Guy Friend's anonymity, I'm not going to post pictures including his face from the evening in which he was included unknowingly taken by like a dozen over-enthusiastic fans.) Does Steven *look* like he appreciates the flashbulbs inundating us as we greeted one another? Not so much, to me anyway.  But nobody can accuse Steven of not being a good sport, even when he's trying to carry on a private conversation with someone and keeps getting interrupted and people amusingly keep photobombing your discussion. My feeling was, "Look. This is OUR time. I don't get to see this guy very often and I wanted to visit with him and have him meet Guy Friend. Can you give us some space?" which I guess was an entitlement I didn't deserve. But that means Steven didn't deserve it either, which is douchey. I completely comprehend that after a show, he's got dozens of people to visit with, me being only one of them, but we barely got out our mutual "You look great!" to one another before the flurry of cameras and interruptions began, honestly sort of spoiling my time.

Ok, we're just trying to have a little chat. From the photograph, we look like we're in a heated debate over abortion rights, or Glen Beck, or killing baby bunnies! He's trying to piece together my old man + me, and asking me if I thought the show was really appropriate for my then-11-year old son the next night. Did all of Facebook need to see that in pictures? No, not really. What *could* we have been talking about that made Steven look so intense while I was probably rambling randomly like I always do? He looks, like, deeply concerned. About God knows what.

On one of the forums in which I felt compelled to get involved, I explained that earlier that evening, as Guy Friend and I sat in the VIP balcony, Guy Friend enjoying the free beer!, I was yanked over to the edge of the velvet rope separating the section and seats by an usher who said that a young lady wanted to talk to me, recognizing me from Facebook. Attempting to get backstage, and aware of my friendship with Steven, I tried to politely say "no" to her when she asked me for a pass. It's not that I minded meeting either her or any my other "Facebook/Twitter Flaming Lips friends," because some of them are awesome and it was a nice chance to see one another face-to-face in the real world. Honestly. There are some terrific Lips fans out there who I'm happy to have met.

This young lady, however, is the frame--the embodiment--of what I termed in my last blog as a "superfan." She's asked me in Twitter direct messages how I can even *compose myself* to *talk* to Steven, when he's so beautiful and amazing and a genius, feeling that she'd turn into a pile of mush in his presence. The answer? Very easily. Because to me, his celebrity notwithstanding, he's just A GUY, people. I think it's neat that he's in an awesome band that puts out great music, whose shows are spectacular to witness. I like it when I can talk openly and frankly with him about things we have in common, which are many. I appreciate it when he calls me out on my bullshit, or when he tells me I'm annoying him (which isn't typical, but my God, the saddling with which I've burdened the poor man over the years...if he's "used" at all by me, it's as a sounding board/advice giver/confidant, of, frankly, more crap than he wants to know about, though he finds endless amusement in the stories of my relationship with Guy Friend, "The Cardiologist").  He's really fucking smart and funny, even wittier now that he's healthy and not blabbering about booze all the time. His warm reception, patience and friendliness are all wonderful qualities in him, as is the case with Wayne and the other Lips. They are gracious, kind, mannered, easily-relatable men with their hearts in the right place. Scurlock? He's proven himself to be kind of a douche.

Gasp! I'm posting a pic w/the vague back of Guy Friend's head and torso. Pretend you don't see him. But it's another example of us being bombed trying to have our conversation:

The young lady has, what I would psychologically term a "fantasy" discussion with Steven (in the event she ever had a chance to talk to him) about his family history of suicide, about the status of his mental heath, about drugs & alcohol, and separately, music or photography. She has, in her head, a litany of topics and questions she wishes she could ask him, which I've told her I'm either unaware of the total picture or it's not my place to discuss, because some things are just none of anybody's damn business.  She says she can relate to a lot in his life, but I flatly told her that there are certain parts of Steven's life he isn't comfortable talking to anyone about--it's not a personal slight, he's just entitled to his own thoughts and feelings and working them out for and by himself.

The reason why I brought her up (anonymously) in the online forum was purely fueled by my aggravation (and please, I'm sure there have been times when my own constantly blinging phone has irritated Steven himself when he's in the middle of things) last week when, as I said, I was in the middle of my Adler School timed, impromptu pop culture essay required for admission to the school.  I did answer her direct messages, but vaguely and quickly, just to get them to go away while I worked on my essay. (Note for next time: turn phone OFF.)

My mom tried explaining, over dinner, her idea of fanaticism about a celebrity. She said that, back in the day, if she knew someone who knew Elvis Presley, she'd be all over that person to get an autograph or meet him. That she's go nuts trying to get to Elvis. She said that when she was young, obviously before social media, fans bought music or film magazines religiously and wanted ALL the information on an artist or group (hey, I was no different in the 80's with Menudo, for crying out loud). I understood her perspective, truly, I did.

Now, George Harrison is/was/will always be my favorite musician of all time. About maybe 15-20 years ago, when I was attending Beatlefest annually, because I'm a Beatlemaniac, George Harrison's elder sister, Louise, was making the convention rounds trying to promote interest in her burgeoning environment-saving organization (the name of which has since slipped my mind). I introduced myself to Louise, and offered to volunteer for her organization working tables, including helping out securing a raffle prize of a gym membership (to my local gym) for her charity's appearance in Chicago the following summer. Louise and I continued to correspond by mail for quite some time thereafter, though her charity went belly-up and she sort of retired to life in rural IL, of all places.

But it's like this: I was thisclose to a Beatle, my favorite Beatle. My favorite artist EVER. At the time, I never once even gave it a thought to remotely even ask Louise if she could procure for me his autograph (I'm not a big autograph hound anyway) or somehow get me in touch with George. Because even as a late teens/early 20's youngster, I didn't feel it was right to use somebody to get to somebody else. It's just not in my personality makeup, and while I can see where this young woman Lips fan is coming from, I've learned a lot about celebrities and perspective, as well as their quirks and rights to privacy, having worked with, met, corresponded with or otherwise landed in the same boat as lots of famous people in my life. Celebrities/musicans/artists/actors...they're all just people with people things to do and on their minds.

That being said, I am guilty as any of the superfans in as much as when Steven worked with Yoko Ono on New Year's Eve last year, I lambasted him with texts asking if he could PLEASE Yoko to sign something for me. Anything. Steven made no promises, though he collaborated with the Plastic Ono Band for 2 nights in a row. It wasn't because he forgot about it, or didn't want to, but he told he me that in all, he was allotted about 10 minutes during which to converse with Yoko himself, her personal security staff very visible and involved. I think, in all the time I've known Steven, I've over-extended a request and acted like a hungry hound douchebag myself that one time. Fortunately, he didn't get angry with me but surely must have felt pestered and I know he would've done what he could do if he'd been given the opportunity. He didn't, and that's ok.

Blog tracker randomocity: Someone just Googled  "Corellation Doesn't Equal Causation Tattoo." Some psychology nut out there is picking out a theory for a tattoo and on my blog. Brilliant!

I really should sort of be planning out my strategy for tomorrow's make-or-break interview with The Adler School of Professional Psychology, where I hope to be enrolled for the Fall of 2012, beginning to earn my masters degree in Counseling Psychology by the END OF THIS MONTH. Because, after all...

The favorite photograph of that night with Steven was this one, taken by a highly had-to-be jealous Guy:

Jeez, I think if I can (see blog "The Growth Chart") of Luke based upon photos of the years of the two of them together (Wayne and Luke) and how Luke's grown, I could likewise start on an album of Steven and I shrinking. Give these two people a Snickers bar, for God's sake!