Friday, August 29, 2008

you better be good to me

Dudes.

I have been quite literally walking my feet near to death. I walk three or four days a week, from work to at least penn station, but often all the way to times square. The shorter route is 3.5 miles. On top of that, my caloric intake is steady at no more than 1,500/day, and fast food is no more than once per week.

And I'm killing my body in the process. I keep getting huge blisters on the bottoms of my feet (like completely covering the ball of my foot), blisters on top of blisters, and the skin keeps rubbing off my heels and the tops of my toes (of course I have good walking shoes, don't be ridiculous).

The pounding my feet take is so bad that by the time I get home, I can barely waddle around the apartment because I'm in such pain. My knees are only slightly better. As in it hurts to bend them and to straighten them.

Also, while my workouts in the past ended with me getting a second wind and feeling energized, my exercise now leaves me so nauseous that I fear I won't keep my lunch down.

And yet, every morning when I get on that scale, those same three motherfucking numbers stare up at me. For three. weeks. and. counting.

I can't do anything about the menopause, because I can't take hormones anymore (because of the blood clot). I'm hoping that after I meet with the endocrinologist later in September that I can get back on synthroid...maybe that will help a little.

But I keep fighting, keep walking, keep eating better. I keep telling myself that the weight doesn't matter as much as eating better. That blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood pressure are more important than getting an actual waist back. Than fitting into the clothes I wore a mere six months ago. Than having a man actually look at me with desire.

I'm afraid my argument isn't convincing. At least, it's not convincing me.

Today's walking music courtesy of Tina herself:



Cooldown on the train by anonymous 4:




(this song is not from the cd, but it's the only one on youtube)

Did you catch the Balki-ism?

Just how did Tina get through menopause and come out looking like that, anyway?!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

everyday people

There is a post office at the corner of Varick and King in the city. Every day that I exercise walk from work to penn station, I see a man standing at the entrance. He holds the door open for those entering and exiting, shaking a styrofoam cup of change in his hand. He is pleasant and smiling always, with a have a good day on his lips whether the passerby drops change in his cup or not. Tall and thin, dark brown skin, greying short black curly hair.

Since he's been there every odd day I've walked by, I assume he makes a daily routine of this. I wonder sometimes...is he unemployed, is he a minimum wager trying to pick up a little extra ('cause we all know you can't pay the rent on m.w. in nyc)? How much does he actually pull in with his little gig? Apparently enough to make it worth his time.

I don't believe he is homeless, though, unless that's a fairly new condition for him -- he doesn't have the leathery skin and cracked hands that people have when they are subjected to the elements 24/7/365.

+++++++++++

I walked a little extra today, going to times square instead of stopping at penn station. I moved toward a seat between two people and some bitch actually scooted over to take up two seats so that I couldn't sit there. I stood there long enough to give her the evil eye -- not that she would actually meet my eyes, she wasn't stupid enough for that -- then took a spot on the end next to a door.

++++++++++

Later I noticed a guy standing (there were no seats available) with three large trays, and one smaller tray, of deli sandwiches stacked on top of each other. He held them with one hand, over his shoulder, using his shoulder to help carry the weight. Delivery, perhaps?

Then I noticed the other guy with him, a big sack of packaged food items on the floor between his feet (typical for people carrying things on the subway). They were both wearing business caps, and I tried to look without seeming to look.

Mendy's. Must have been the one on 34th street. Making a delivery. On the subway. Looked like someone was having a party. They got off at 79th or 86th, I wasn't watching that closely. So someone uptown had Mendy's tonight. 'Cause Mendy's delivers. On the subway.


Sly and the Family Stone:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

exiled on main street

So I'm assuming most people are familiar with a show called My Super Sweet Sixteen...even if they've never watched won't admit to watching it. We love to hate those self-absorbed, selfish little twats with everything we have, while still watching, fascinated by the lavish, obscene spending for their "coming out" party. It's like the train wreck you can't stop watching.

Well, the network has one-upped that series with something called Exiled.* Exiled takes some of those sweet sixteens, a couple-of-years- and-not-a-whit-wiser-or- less-materialistic later, and sends them to third world countries.

I was curious enough to watch the preview episode that introduced the kids and mentioned the places to which they would be exiled. In introducing the girls, parents were interviewed and the common theme among them was the following passive voice:

Little Susie was spoiled; she has no idea of the value of a dollar or what it takes to earn it, and she does nothing around the house, not even making her own bed. So she's being sent to Bora Bora, so that she can finally learn some values.

I'm sure you all know where I'm headed with this.

What the parents should have said:

I spoiled little Susie rotten, didn't make her do a bloody thing growing up, handed her everything she ever wanted, and created a fucking monster. Now that monster is out of control and I'm going to send her to some other country and expect them to teach her the values I cheated her out of by not doing my job as a parent and teaching them to her when she was little. On top of that, I'm going to let MTV exploit third world countries and further erode US relations abroad by sending them the worst that the US has to offer -- my sniveling, whining, rude, obnoxious, ethnocentric, selfish brat.

Way to go there, mom and dad. You should be proud of what you've accomplished, raising your kid so successfully. Really.

Tumbling Dice, from Exile on Main Street.



Loving Cup:



I used to have this album, back when there were albums. I never replaced it with the cd version.

*Does anyone else remember when MTV just ran music videos 24/7, with the original VJ's? Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, JJ Jackson, Nina Blackwood, Martha Quinn? Now that was MTV.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

and this means...

So when the doc's office leaves you a voice mail message after 6 pm asking you to call the office in the morning about the results of one of your tests...

tests that were just taken this morning and last saturday...

that's not a bad thing.

Right?


Sigh.

Not surprisingly, I'm too nervous to sleep.


~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~

Updated Thursday afternoon to add:

It appears that my CA-125 is elevated, but the other tests were in normal ranges.

So, they want me to redo the CA-125 in three months.

So, no worries.

Right?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

a quarter century

I stopped by Staples on Monday after work to pick up new folders for my courses. I haven't yet hit on the ideal folders to keep each course's materials together just the way I like.

Boy, did I walk into chaos. The line for the register went clear to the back of the store. If I hadn't really wanted those folders, I'd have come back another day. And I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out what the run on Staples was all about.

Then, as I wove through the line toward the back of the store, as I saw kids too, and checked out their purchases, it dawned on me:

It's back-to-school supplies-shopping time!

And then it dawned on me further:

This is the first August in roughly 25 years that I haven't had to do the whole back to school rush of supplies, backpacks, and clothes.

The first time.

In 25 years.

No back-to-school shopping.


Dudes. I finally made it.

I'm free!


On another note:

Is it proper for someone in a motorized wheelchair to motor their chair past everyone standing in line and jump on the first open register, ahead of everyone who has been standing there fucking-forever?

I mean, is there any reason they can't stand sit in line with the rest of us and wait their turn?

Or is that just totally un-pc of me?

(photo)

Monday, August 18, 2008

i've got that joy joy joy joy down in my heart

I am ever amazed at how tunes wind up running through my brain. This one is from an old tape of christian tunes for kids that one of the rugrats used to listen to on and on and on. Can't remember which rugrat. But it feeds into that post on joy from before.

Papa. She calls him papa, not daddy. How did I miss that all those times, only to hear it differently later? Did I want it to be daddy?

Tonight she stood at the corner halfway up the hill, waiting for him to cross to her. She was so impatient for him that as she waited, she hopped up and down on opposite feet, back and forth almost like running in place, but with her hands up in the air.

For a step or two, he imitated her as he crossed the street, a hop or two, hands in the air and a big smile on his face. Then he was across the street and lifting her up in his arms once again.

She held a paper fan in her hands, the kind that kids decorate with glitter and punch-outs, folding carefully. He took it, opened the folds, and fluttered it at his face with a huge smile.

I told myself today that I was going to bring my camera and try to get shot of them without being noticed. I wanted to post a photo with a blog post, so everyone could see them, see the joy. But I've decided not to. I think the lack of a photo allows everyone to see what they most want to see in their minds. It allows them to create the joy as they most need it to be.

Last week, she yelled papa! and leaped into his arms, and four other people were close enough to hear their laughter. Every one of them smiled, or audibly chuckled, as they continued on their way.

It's infectious, you know. This joy.

It makes me want to cry.



(photo mine, a closeup of Springtime, by Pierre-Auguste Cot, 1873)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

the soundtrack of my life part III

the soundtrack of my life part I
the soundtrack of my life part II

She didn’t know what it was this time. What had precipitated this particular run. It could have been physical, it could have been emotional. She just knew that if she didn’t somehow get out of the house and away from her mother, she would lose it. She would seriously hurt someone, or she would seriously keep hurting herself with the beer and sex.

Her mind was still set on New York, so she packed a bag, threw it over her shoulder, and headed for the same freeway entrance. It was already late afternoon, and she had to turn and look into the setting sun as she put out her thumb. It wasn’t long before someone stopped. Of course it was a man…she was a young, thin, fairly pretty girl. He was probably in his mid-to-late 20’s.



They made small chat as he drove. For her, that meant answering any questions he asked, as briefly as possible. She wasn't exactly a great conversationalist. He clearly thought she was older than she really was. As it turned to evening and they were driving through Idaho, he asked her if she wanted to stay the night at his place. He would put her back on the highway in the morning.

He had a very minimal little house, two rooms, sparsely furnished. He offered her a beer, and took one for himself and turned on the tv. They watched tv, had a few more beers, and he began to touch her arm, her back, her thigh. But by then, she’d had enough beers that she didn’t follow his lead like he no doubt expected. It was then he asked her if she were a runaway. Yes. How old are you? Seventeen, she lied. She knew she looked it.

He stopped coming on to her, and then told her he would drop her back on the highway. She didn’t know what had happened to spending the night, but she didn’t argue. She got back in his car, and he drove her in the dark back to the highway on-ramp and left her there. She was out of his hands, and he hadn't touched her. He was safe.

She tried hitching, but this wasn’t a heavily populated spot like the last on-ramp, so cars were few and far between. She decided she’d be better off walking while she hitched. It must have been close to midnight. It was dark as hell out there on the I-90, no street lights, and no cars. It was lonely. And scary.

Then she heard a car coming, saw the headlights, and turned around to stick out her thumb again. And the car stopped. And a state trooper got out. She hadn’t noticed in the dark that it was a state police car. Yeah, hitching is against the law. He tried talking to her, but it was clear she’d had a few too many, so he guided her to the back of the cruiser and put her in.

They were literally in the middle of nowhere; the nearest small town was about 20 minutes away. She can no longer recall the name of that little town. No juvenile hall, just a regular jail. That’s where he took her. The jail was very quiet inside. Few staff, fewer prisoners. At least there was a women’s side. And only one other woman in the cell.

She lied about her name and phone number, because she wasn’t going back home. They called a female officer to come in and check her. They took her bag to check and document the contents, and the female officer took her into another room and made her take off everything but her panties while she watched.

She was 14 -- she'd never undressed in front of anyone, not since she was a babe. It was humiliating, and she looked at the ground and tried to pretend it wasn't happening. The officer made her put on this ugly orange jumpsuit way too big for her 100 pounds, and a pair of sneakers with no laces that slipped off her heels when she walked.

No one was mean, or rough, or forceful. They were all polite and professional, let her walk on her own, no handcuffs or anything like that.

She had missed dinner obviously, and she was hungry. But breakfast wasn’t until 8 am. There were only two meals served each day in the jail – breakfast and dinner. If you weren’t there when they were served, you went hungry till the next one.

The other girl in the cell wasn’t scary, she was pretty nice actually. Talked a lot. It wasn’t like the jails she’d seen on tv. The cell was big enough for quite a few people, but it was just the two of them that night.

She needed to pee badly from all the beer, but the toilet was out in the open and she was wearing that fucking jumpsuit. What if someone walked by while she was sitting there? Finally her urge overcame her fear, and she peed as quickly as possible, heart beating wildly the whole time, afraid one of the male officers would come before she was done.

She slept some, but it was cold, they had no blankets, and every little sound echoed hollowly in the building. In the morning, breakfast was one of those swanson tv dinner-style breakfasts, eggs and pancakes. She ate as much as she could, since there was nothing else till dinner.

In the early afternoon, someone came and got her from the cell. As they walked to one of the offices, she saw her mother and her soon-to-be stepfather standing there. Fuck. Her heart sunk. There was her mother, acting like the injured party. Like she had no idea why her kid would up and run like that. Ungrateful kids. You do everything for them, and this is how they thank you. She knew her mother would be angry as hell at her for the public embarrassment. Her mother would find a way to get even for this.

By this time, her mother’d become a damned good actress. She fooled everyone. Later in life, fooling people wouldn’t be this easy. But right now, at this moment, she fooled them all and made her daughter the problem. And right now, at this moment, her daughter wanted to kill her. Grab the cop’s gun and empty it into her body. Watch her flop to the ground, spurting blood, the shocked look on her face as she realized she was going to hell for everything she’d done to her kids.

The cops released her to her mother. Made her go back with that woman, to that home.She held back the tears all the way home, sitting in the back seat, refusing to talk, refusing to cry. After all, her mother was the one who had told her all the while she was growing up...shut up and stop crying, or I’ll really give you something to cry about.

In 1974...

Terry Jacks, Seasons in the Sun:



Redbone, Come and Get Your Love:



John Denver, Sunshine on my Shoulder:



Jim Croce, Time in a Bottle:



(photo me at 15...I don't have photos from the 13-14 years)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

by the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes

The traitor is my body. It betrays me once again.

Something may be growing inside of me. And it ain't a baby, despite the pregnant-looking tummy.

It's nothing to worry about, nothing at all. We're just doing a few tests to be sure.

CA-125.

Pelvic sonogram.

From blood clots to ....

My body has never been my friend.



(the enid, something wicked this way comes)