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Showing posts from 2018

a slice of life: winter in massachusetts

Last blog post was a nostalgic look at high school and today while grocery shopping I used my Super Stop & Shop bag and got all nostalgic for winters in Massachusetts of all things.  Here's a little blurb I wrote the last time this happened to me.  And let me just say it is easy to romanticize Massachusetts winters when you haven't experienced one for a while.  You'll see....


“on the way to work”
The car heater is whirring and I’m wishing I had purchased the heated seat option like Kristi has in her minivan.I’ve got the radio cranked up and tuned into the local pop station where Bruno Mars is singing “Grenade”, his current block-busting hit about unrequited love.As always I panic as I pass over the iron drawbridge, terrified of getting caught vertically on the ledge, or even worse falling into the water.But all is well and I continue on through the industrial part of town that is my short cut to work.To prevent skidding I try to follow the other cars’ tracks that cut th…

high school confidential

Yesterday I ran into someone who I went to high school with and we got to reminiscing about hanging out in the smoking section at school.  Can you imagine!?!  A smoking section in a high school is almost as bad as the days before cars had seat belts.  AND I often used to smoke clove cigarettes.  Does anyone even smoke those anymore?  I eventually stopped because I got a bad throw-uppy hangover after a night of drinking cheap sugary wine and smoking cloves and I am sure that even today the smell would make me want to puke.  On the other hand, I still love the smell of average burning cigarettes even though I quit them cold-turkey in 1992.

Being underage it was sort of hard to buy cigarettes (cigarette vending machines were often the best bet) but I somehow always had them.  My school lunches regularly consisted of cigarettes.  I either had Tab, celery and carrot sticks, and a couple cigarettes, or I had Tab, peanut M&Ms, and a couple cigarettes.  Today I would be horrified if I fo…

untethered

I just moved from an ugly city to a pretty city and I'm scared.  I upheaved my whole life, got what I wanted, and now am having to deal with all that entails.  Some of you may have read my blog posts rambling on about whether I should move to Massachusetts or not, so you might be interested to know that I decided to stay in Silicon Valley.  I thought it would be the easier of the two moves to make but now I am not so sure.

I had been all gung-ho to move to Massachusetts, the land I loved, and had made all kinds of vision boards, colorful affirmations, and inspiring pictures that I put everywhere to ensure it happened.  I was certain it was meant to be.  But the expenses of such a huge move were adding up and there just weren't any decent apartments for rent in the area I wanted to be in.  I had been looking for a couple months when I started getting really sad to leave my family, friends, and support groups here in California.  It felt like I was trying to force a square peg …

3 things of interest

Huge apologies for not having blogged for over a month!  I was in the middle of moving house and it was a big big mess, both physically and emotionally.  That coupled with the fact that I am absolutely incapable of multi-tasking.  The whole thing took a lot out of me and today is the first day I haven't felt like a zombie.  Well mostly.   But on to the point of this post, I've had several realizations since we last met.


#1  The other day I concluded that playing dolls with my 5 year old niece is in many ways similar to having phone sex.  I don't mean that in a pervy way so please let me explain.  In both instances I disassociate.  I am physically but not mentally present.  I am people-pleasing and faking that I am having fun.  I am acting.  I am roleplaying.  And I am too much of a control freak to let go and enjoy role-playing.  The main difference between the two situations is that with my niece she will correct me if I say or do something she doesn't like with the B…

depressed in Cancun?

Is it possible to feel depressed while on vacation in Mexico?  The ocean is warm for god’s sake!  But I left behind my neck cream which was a huge mistake and it is taking a toll on my self esteem.  My neck cream was my safety net so now I feel fat and saggy and unattractive to the opposite sex. Or any sex. 
Not only that but my natural constitution is lethargic, and my metabolism isn’t just slow, it’s non existent.  I am attempting to make up for all of this by pumping myself full of a lot of black coffee.  I’m trying....
Anyway, I’m on this family vacation at Club Med in Cancun and if you didn’t already know Club Med is a French company.   Which means there are a lot of skinny French women walking around in bikinis. The skinny bitches!  But I found it interesting to discover that everyone in my family (except the little kids) is feeling fat.  It must be the all-you-can-eat buffets and copious amounts of alcohol which, having been in AA for twenty years I forgot had a lot of calories. …

do I stay or do I go?

You know what makes me feel good?  To see a 50-something woman with a soft jawline; someone with that delicate tender pooch beneath her chin.  This makes me feel better about my pooch, my neck, my chin.  If it is happening to others then it must be ok that it is happening to me.  There is safety in numbers.  However, sometimes I am of the mind that it is ok for someone else to have such-and-such wrong with them but it is not ok if I have that same thing wrong with me.  Comparison is the thief of joy.  This is even true if you compare yourself with yourself, like your younger self or your used-to-be self.  I am doing this a lot lately because I am not feeling as brave and fearless as I once used to be.  For example.....

I'm supposed to be moving across the country in a month and even though I've made this same move seamlessly several times before, this time I am terrified.  I've consulted friends about this dilemma and the consensus is that by the time we are our age we ha…

why 1998 was the best year ever

It's time for me to do what they call in twelve-step groups a  "geographic".   A geographic refers to when you move somewhere else to avoid any uncomfortableness in your current life, instead of dealing with the problem head-on.  It's when you are certain your life would be better if only you lived somewhere else.  But then there is the catchy phrase "Wherever you go, there you are."  In other words, you bring all your emotional baggage with you.  As you can imagine "geographics" are often frowned upon.  But I have extenuating circumstances.

My live-in boyfriend and I broke up six months ago but due to the insanely high rents (that continue to skyrocket) in my area, neither one of us could afford to move out locally on our own.  So we both stayed put until we decided where to go and what to do.  Needless to say, it was pretty uncomfortable at first.  We both had a lot of rage and resentments and general irritation with each other.  The first few m…

love & connection

Today I dressed for Bruno Mars.  That's right, I planned my outfit as if I were going to run into him.  These days he's a pretty flashy guy with the Versace and gold chains and my old punk rock friends from high school would be appalled by me liking a pop celebrity.  But I don't care, I have a mad crush on him.  I have a real thing for short, slight men; that's my type.  I mean, come on, look at Prince  (my high school friends would approve of him).

Anyway, the point is to dress with intention.  No more over-sized tops and leggings!  I'm trying to dress with some excitement and enthusiasm, as if I really cared which I don't because I am in a slump.  It's only a minor slump but still, it does feel better when I make an effort and put together some dark-wash skinny jeans with ankle boots and my denim jacket lined with pink faux fur.  And makeup too.  Because it's about loving and respecting myself; cherishing and celebrating and decorating the body that …

bus riders, the homeless, and my sister's Taiwanese Street Dog

der·e·lict ˈderəˌlikt/ adjective 1. in a very poor condition as a result of disuse and neglect.
"the cities were derelict and dying"
synonyms:damned, doomed, lost, condemned to hell;




the cure for boredom

The tug of sleep.  The tug of the bed.  These are the bane of every depressive's existence.  But if I am honest with myself, this time I might just be bored.  I think I've got anorexia of the soul, and boredom is one of my seven deadly sins (I refuse to count sloth).   In AA they have the acronym H.A.L.T.  - Hungry Angry Lonely Tired.  As in, watch out for any of those states of being because they can trigger a drink/relapse.  And for me I need to add B for Bored.  B.H.A.L.T.  My soul is starving for something good to do and I best not get into any trouble.

Trouble for me could be anything from going to Krispy Kreme and ordering three (OK, four) donuts, to over-spending on a shopping spree, to getting involved with inadvisable men.  I've been sober over twenty years so I probably wouldn't pick up a drink but you never know.  Besides none of those would actually nourish my soul, either in the short term or long run.

I love to bake but am attempting Weight Watchers righ…

inner beauty, outer beauty, and defending Carrie Fisher

Next to mental health and personal growth stuff, beauty is my favorite thing to talk about.  And since my last couple posts have been pretty heavy-duty, today let's talk about beauty.

I have worked in the beauty industry off and on since the mid-eighties, with a serious concentration in it the last twenty years.  Now I follow a lot of beauty influencers on YouTube and blogs and will watch and rewatch my favorite ones as a way of self-soothing.  I rarely watch TV, and I rarely do much on my computer except for write or watch my lovely YouTubers.  When beauty journalist Sali Hughes goes through another influencer's stash of skincare products to discuss them it is like porn to me.  Or sometimes she does makeup porn, which is my second favorite (see Sali in action here).   Still, it's not good to get too obsessed because obviously there are more important things in life.  If we are not careful the world of beauty can lead to a lot of criticism, judgementalness, and perfectioni…

hindsight is 20/20

I realized something the other day:  my parents were scared.  When I was going through my teenage rebellion/budding alcoholism they did their "tough love" thing (very popular in the 80s) because they didn't know what else to do and so latched on to something that promised to help them.  All these years I just thought they were mad at me and didn't like my personality and individuality but now I believe they were terrified and only wanted me to be safe.  Perhaps they felt they were hanging on by the skin of their teeth.  Maybe they weren't actually rigid autocrats out to spite me and flex their power like I thought they were.  Maybe they felt out of control and unable to protect me.

Because I was a handful.  Not that I regret any (or much) of my trying to assert my independence because it is probably what saved my life.  Their (at the time) East Coast, preppy, WASPy point of view felt so hypocritical to me but I now know that if I had a teenager who was drinking …

hopes and dreams

"I allow myself my hopes and dreams" is an affirmation that was recommended to me years ago yet it remains one of the very hardest things for me to do.

Last week in one of my 12-step groups we were talking about hopes and dreams; specifically what ours were when we were kids.  Many of us had lost sight of our original dreams so trying to recall them, to bring them into the present, was very healing.  Now the next part is to have the courage to pursue them as adults.  Or pursue any dream, whether old or new.  Why is that so scary?


When I was in grade school my desire was to perform.  I did all kinds of dance (but failed miserably at all other sports) and I used to dance and prance all over the house all the time.   My biggest dream was to be on the PBS show ZOOM.  Those kids danced and sang and performed an eclectic mix of joyful skits.  I had completely forgotten about this until - 40+ years later - my group discussion brought back the memory.  Could it be that I would want …

God & Showtunes

Does anyone else out there drive around listening to the Godspell soundtrack?  No?  Just me?  Well, the cheese stands alone.  But I just find it very comforting and inspiring and it helps me to remember to connect with the Universe or - as some of you may flinch to hear me say - God.

Godspell was the very first musical theater I ever saw (I guess you can't really count The Nutcracker) back in the early 70s, and it was only done by a troupe in my local hometown, but I was mesmerized.  I made my mom take me back to see it a couple more times.  I couldn't get enough.  Godspell was super popular back then and was around at the same time as the famous Andrew Llyod Weber hit Jesus Christ Superstar, but was more like its quieter, less flashy younger sibling.  Interestingly there have been a few revivals of it including a Broadway one in 2011-2012.

If you are unfamiliar, Godspell is a series of vignettes/parables of Jesus and his followers, but as a child, none of the Jesus stuff rea…

linked by loss

Death.Real death.As in The End.Never coming back in that body that I know and love so well.
I really don’t want to write about how I had to put my beloved doggie to sleep last week.In fact, I really don’t want to write anything at all.I took some time off but I do think that grief and loss are worth mentioning.
I’m not crying often anymore but the tears are still stuck in my throat and I can hardly swallow my food - I keep choking on it.  I sleep with her little jacket beside me in the bed right where she used to lay, and sometimes it feels like she’ll be coming back any minute.Or that she’s not really gone at all, just in the other room.It’s nice to feel that she’s with me in spirit but sometimes it’s more literal than that and I can only assume I am in the denial stage of grief.

Annie and I found each other in Fall 2002.My cat had recently died and my fiancé at the time and I thought we might get another pet.I went to the local shelter just to browse the cats but as I was doing so I g…