Saturday, August 25, 2007

the last day

She had been taking things home from the office for a few weeks now. A little something personal each day, so that it wouldn't be noticed. She wasn't ready to face that she'd be leaving soon, so there was no major packing of boxes or moving things out all at once.

Monday, she'd taken the last of the photos, and her degree certificates, leaving clean marks in the dust on top of the cabinets and taking away little wisps attached to the bottom of picture frames.

She would be coming back to the office for three more Fridays, but today was really the last day of work, in her mind and in the minds of her boss and colleagues. So today was the day she would remove the few remaining personal objects, like her cocoa mug and reading glasses, and the poncho made of alpaca that she'd picked up at the market in Otavalo, Ecuador back in 2000 -- it lay across the back of her chair for five years, at hand when she needed warmth to counter the cold breeze of the air conditioning vent over her desk.

Toward the end of the day, she began to remove her personal things from the computer. Deleting cookies, internet history, bookmarks, and music. Removing every trace of her existance. Wiping down her desk and cleaning it one last time.

Driving north on the Bronx River Parkway toward White Plains, she began to really feel it. To understand what it meant. She'd spent five years of her life in that office, that chair, that desk, sitting at that computer. Five years. Five years of work and play and laughter and grumbling.

She felt tears burn behind her eyes, threatening to spill forth. This was the kind of thing that called for a few therapeutic hours at her favorite place -- Barnes and Noble.

Two hours of book loving later, she had moved from erotic stories, to novels, classics. She left the store with Sir Thomas More's Utopia, Willa Cathers' My Antonia, and WEB DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk. And her guilty pleasure: a copy of the latest People magazine issue.

When she had left the office earlier, she stood, pushed her chair under the desk, picked up her bag of personal items, and looked back. Nothing remained of her in that cubicle. It was as if she had never existed there. Five years erased.

And then her eye caught the business card laying on top of the CPU. Her business card. She reached for it, intending to throw it away, but then pulled her hand back. Let it stay there, she thought. It's the ony thing left of her here. Let it stay.

This the moment on sitcoms that cues turning off the light and closing the door on the past. Can't really do that in a cubicle. But it felt the same.

This was the end of five years of her life.
Now she would go on to something new.

It will be the end of her blog as well.
If she finds she just can't stop writing, she'll start something new somewhere else.
Just like her job.


The pain was as close to unbearable as she'd ever experienced. Similar to contractions during delivery, coming in waves, building to a crescendo, then easing. It had been going on for four hours or so, despite multiple doses of ibuprofen.

She feel the need to pee, so she headed for the bathroom, nearly doubled over in pain. As she urinated, the pain reached its zenith, and she felt, in that moment, blood gush forth along with three or four distinctive lumps...clumps of blood and tissue from her uterus...pushed from her body. Nearly instantaneously, the pain stopped. Abruptly. Completely. A sense of calm engulfed her body, no doubt helped along by the earlier multiple ibuprofen doses.

That was the difference, she supposed, between a normal period and one on anticoagulants. Normally, that blood would slowly seep from her body over two or three days. But without the clotting factor that would slow the process down, everything that coated the lining of her uterus was expelled pretty much in one fell swoop, the contractions pushing it forcibly from her.

All that mattered now was that the pain was gone. For good, it seemed. The pain had exhausted her. She needed a nap.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

book 'em dano!

So the rugrat had to go to court today.

Now you have to understand her bf's living arrangements for this to make sense. He lives in a two bedroom apartment with his mom, a younger brother, and an older brother. This summer, an even older brother dumped his two toddler nephews on them for the entire summer as well. Needless to say, there is constant chaos in that place, and if rugrat and bf want to have a private conversation, they take it outside.

There is a small park right next to the apartment complex that is a part of the adjacent grade school (where all the little ones in the complex attend school). So that's where they go to talk. To the park. They sit at a picnic table and talk. And while I'm sure there's some lip action going on as well, I prefer not to think about that.

So anyway, about six weeks ago, she and her boyfriend were talking one night in that park. It was about ten pm on a sunday evening, and she had just called me to come pick her up because bf was called in to work a shift for someone who couldn't make it.

Just after calling me, the cops who had been parked and watching them while chatting with two other cops approached them and wrote them each a complaint/summons to appear in court. Why? Well, it seems that Yonkers has a city ordinance that says no one can be on unlit school grounds after dark. And the park was on school grounds.

So they basically got a ticket for sitting in the park and talking. They weren't doing anything but just sitting there.

So they went to court today, and the judge threw her case out completely. Whew. But he went after bf, said rugrat, because 'he's the guy.' That was supposedly the judge's reasoning. I have to wonder though if it was that, or because of the color of his skin... Anyway, he was fined $25 bucks, and rugrat split the cost with him to be fair.

What have we become when a girl can't sit and talk with her bf in a school park after dark? It was only 10 pm, and they are 17 and 20, so that isn't late. And remember, in the winter it's dark at 6 pm. What do they do then?

Oh, and rugrat checked during the day, and that ordinance isn't posted. She couldn't find a notice anywhere. You're apparently just supposed to know it. Even though she doesn't live in that town. Sheesh.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

bogo bogo no no

So over on fella's blog, he was talking about clutter and I mentioned living in a small apartment, which meant getting rid of something in order to bring something new in. He asked if that included my shoes, and I said yes, but not on a one-to-one basis.

Then at dinner with friends (a munch for you kinky people), the subject of shoes came up, and it was decided that I have a shoe fetish. Yup. No argument here.

Unfortunately though, I've reached the stage of shoe ownership in which I will indeed have to perform a one-to-one pair exchange if I want to bring new ones in. That stage happened today. No surprise there, it's bogo. Yes, I know I should not have been shopping when my budget is so damned tight. What can I say? At least the bills are paid.

I actually bought a pair of flats today, believe it or not. But they were just too cute not to.

And I picked up two handbags.

I bought these during the last bogo, also for fall. Remember during the 80's disco era, when clear acrylic heels were all the rage? Anyway, I can't wait to wear them.

These are my only claim to anything designer. They are Anne Klein, and I picked them up at Marshall's for $20. As you can perhaps see just under the toes, designer shoes get scuffed and rundown just like payless shoes.

Just to put this into perspective, look at the shelves of shoes below (photo taken before my most recent purchase). I just added a shelf unit a couple of weeks ago, and I can add no more shelves to my 'tower.' You see that second shelf of shoes from the top...the one with the red suede heels on the left? Well, the top of my head reaches almost to that second shelf. I have to look up to see the top two shelves, and I have to stretch a bit to reach the top one. If I were to add another set of shelves, I wouldn't be able to reach the damned things.

I think I'll save the discussion about my handbag fetish for another day. Hee hee.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

fucking brass balls

She's at it again. Posted a blog titled "Now won't last forever.... So use it wisely...." and said it was "*taken in part from a class that i have taken in the past..."

Really, she got it from this site; or from the book 'Embracing Uncertainty: Breakthrough Methods for Achieving Peace of Mind When Facing the Unknown,' by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

Sure, she left a lot out. But what she did print is a word-for-word copy. Wonder what Susan Jeffers would think about that.

The woman has no shame. Or honesty. Or integrity. And this proves that she's the plagiarist, not me. But no one will call her on it. 'Cause she's a member of TIC. Fuck them all, for allowing this to go on.

Yeah, I know. I'm obsessing. I can't seem to let it go. But I really, really hate being called a liar. And I'm having a hard time getting past it, especially when she is still doing the same damned shite.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

my body on anti-coagulants, part deux -- or, klutz meets coumadin

I'm pretty much back to feeling normal now, whatever that is. It does mean no more pain or percoset. Percoset is my friend, but I have to be careful not to let my friend get too close, if you know what I mean.

The only prevailing semi-problem now is just getting my physical and mental stamina back to what it used to be. Today, a 20 minute walk to/from the local library just wore me out. BC (before coumadin), I could spend an hour on the elliptical and run 4.5 - 5 miles. But I'll get there.

Now the funny thing is to see how the person who almost never bruises, despite being a major klutz, is now full of bruises. Unfortunately, not the pretty purple and blue ones. They are dark brown ones that look, as rugrat said of the one in the photo below, "like an alien taking over your flesh, mom."

Most are just small little round ones gained by bumping into the ends of furniture, but guess how I got this big one:

Umm, that would be the time I was absent-mindedly pulling my hair back into a ponytail while walking toward the bathroom, and rammed elbow first into the door frame. And as is that wasn't bad enough, after this photo was taken, I did the same fucking thing. To the same fucking elbow. Can I just say that it hurt a lot more the second time around. I don't think this bruise will be going away soon.

So what's so funny about this? Well, guess which arm this is. Go on, guess.

Yup, it's the arm with the clot! So, the arm that is blocking the blood from flowing well is also the arm that is bleeding beneath my skin. How fucking funny is that?!

I can't do much about the major klutzes, but I hied myself over to babies r us yesterday to buy these to take care of the minor little ones covering my body:

Those are child safety devices, my friends. They go on the corners of furniture, so that baby won't crack her head (or some other body part) open and bleed to death.

I really am laughing my fucking head off. You should see me.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

some people apparently have balls of steel

So the one over on alt who plagiarized me (my experience with her is why I've hidden most of my blog here) and others (including a major, well established web site), and who then turned around and tried to pretend I had plagiarized her, has taken to writing poetry and putting a copyright date at the bottom.

Hypocrisy abounds.

I wonder how she'd feel if I copied one of her poems, posted it here, and took full credit for it.

Not that I would.

Her writing sucks monkey balls, and I wouldn't want anyone thinking for a mere millisecond that I had written that drivel.

OK, end rant. I'm all better now. :D

But my blog stays hidden to avoid any other potential attempts at plagiarism.

Monday, August 06, 2007

i'm waiting for my real life to begin

She caught the movie ‘becoming jane’ over the weekend. Average age of the audience, 60+. She’d always been an Austin fan. The quick, witty repartee. The lovely use of words. She wasn’t quick verbally herself; she’d have the best comeback about a half-hour after the conversation was over. But in writing, she could say anything she couldn’t manage to get out of her mouth in an actual conversation. If she ever became a ‘real’ writer – which she supposed meant published – she’d want to be compared to Austin more than any other writer.

Strike that. She didn’t want to be compared to any previous writer, no matter how exceptional. She wanted people to say that they liked her work because she wrote in her own way, her own words. Not because she reminded them of another writer. She wanted people to envision, as they read her words, that those words poured forth from her very soul, to her fingertips, to the keys on the computer – and right into their own minds and hearts and souls. If indeed that bit of human flesh really existed. The soul, that is. Jury’s still out on that one, though.

Friday evening, invited to an outdoor concert with a friend. She’d been looking forward to it as it was, but after five weeks of chronic pain 24/7, the evening became even more. Not just good music and a good friend, but a chance for a few hours of peace from pain. It took a dose of acetaminophen, but it worked. The concert was in an enclosed wooded area, complete with a stage on a pond. Situated so the setting sun was at their back rather than in their eyes. The trees protecting them from the heat, creating a breeze, blocking sounds of traffic…sheltering them from the outside world’s stresses and worries.

Green trees meeting blue skies, sounds of children playing, people talking, laughter. Sitting comfortably, resting, no pain. She closed her eyes and simply felt the moment. The warmth of the sun, the gentle breeze cooling her skin, a full tummy from the first meal she’d managed to get down all week. And her eyes teared up behind the sunglasses that hid her feelings from the world. So much pain for so long, and now this moment of utter peace. Perhaps that moment meant more because of the suffering that came first. The pain began to return as she drove home that night on the wet, dark highway.

She sat in the sun Sunday afternoon, in the little plaza outside of the mall and theatre. Killing time till the movie, after which she would pick rugrat up at work and let her drive them home. There were a couple dozen loungers sitting in benches around four spouting fountains. Most of them were with someone – a child, a friend, a spouse. Only a very few, like herself, were alone; all those alone were older, overweight, and greying. Well, at least she was covering the greying part. Those were always the kind of people who went places alone. You didn’t see the ‘beautiful people’ going places alone.

The fountains were on a timed setting to spout high and low alternately. The sound of the rushing water, and that wonderful warm sun on her skin, lulled her despite the pain in her back. She took one acetaminophen and hoped that would get her through the upcoming movie. And then she tried to calm her mind and body and enjoy the relatively relaxing, quiet moment. The little boy and his even smaller sister with the nerf-like softball, who discovered that if they threw their ball directly into the spouting fountain, the water would shoot it up in the air once before dropping it back into the surrounding pool, much to their delight.

Her favorite was the boy with the beautiful brown skin and eyes to die for, who stood in front of the four fountains swinging his arms ‘round and ‘round, back and forth, as though he were conducting a symphony of water. When his arms would rise and the fountains would follow, he giggled in glee, believing he’d performed that magical feat himself. She eventually roused herself, went up to the theatre, and watched a romantic comedy, ‘no reservations.’ Her choice of genre probably wasn’t the greatest, given how she was feeling about herself and her body lately (forgive the indelicacy, but how can one love their body when among other things, it is refusing to excrete the body’s waste), and she needed another Tylenol in order to sit comfortably through the movie. But it was, at least, distracting, for a time.

Her arm had seemed to heal, and the lumpy, swollen veins were no more. Only two small, indistinguishable lumps remained and would be gone soon. No more pain, finally, in her arms. But she’d been on the anticoagulant long enough now for some side effects: loss of appetite (with no accompanying weight loss, unfortunately), nausea, extreme physical and mental fatigue, and severe back/side pain. The first three of those symptoms were roundly denied by many doctors (including hers) and the maker of the med itself. Coumadin shouldn’t be responsible for that, her doc had said. But if you look online, you find hundreds, thousands of patients suffering those same debilitating effects while taking that particular med. Those side effects, however, are certainly not as serious as the clot, and so patients must simply bear them for their time on the med.

The last effect, however, was much more serious. Ongoing, nearly unbearable pain in her lower back, on both sides. Sometimes it throbbed endlessly, seemingly in concert with her heart – lub-throb, lub-throb, lub-throb, shooting through her back as she tried to sleep. Sometimes it felt as though something was tearing, ripping, deep inside. The only explanation for that kind of back pain, provided by the med manufacturer, the pharmacy, and online was…bleeding kidneys. No, that’s not a good thing. And yes, she’ll be contacting the doc again.

She feels as though she is on hold. Held in a moment in time, waiting. Waiting for the pain to stop, waiting to feel human again. The problem is, her life cannot be held static right now. She has three short weeks to complete her current job, and she must be prepared for her new job. She’s worried she won’t finish up, she’ll somehow fail her current boss. And she is even more terrified of not being ‘all there’ in her new job. How can she start a new job when she is still in pain, can’t think straight, and has no physical stamina. Even the commute to the new job will drain her dry.

And life goes on.

And on.