welcome to the danger zone

Posts tagged “snow.

The Robin Hunt

I made myself get out of bed and shower this morning. Blame the sun, all warm and golden, blasting through the multiple blankets that I use as curtains during the winter (over the real curtains) to block out the delightful breeze that cools my head which comes through these old windows in my bedroom. (also the reason I can hear every dog-damned word that is spoken/yelled/chattered in the street outside which is why I am sitting here typing instead of sleeping because I took two pills to try and sleep and no sooner than I was sliding into blissful opiate dreamland, inconsiderate people arrived home at 11:30 and had to make sure they slammed ever fucking car and house door they could find while merrily chattering all the way, and ruined that attempt.) So here we are.

In truth, I was going to write this entry early. Then I didn’t because I was consumed by a wave of darkness and to avoid contemplating the sucking blackness, I took a nap. However, after showering, I decided I needed to waste half of a tank of gas and get out in that sunshine and try and dispel the gloom that is wrapping itself around me like a blanket with static cling. I tossed on some sweats, a hoodie, and flipflops, because it is spring you know, and was at least 35 degrees, and out I went. I plugged the phone in for music, and then headed out to the valley. Driving around mindlessly while singing loudly always seems to sort things out, one way or another, so drive it was. I decided I wanted a peanut butter milkshake and a hot dog from Sonic, so I headed in that direction. Of course, my music of choice was loud and fast, as it usually is, unless I am trying to enhance a black mood, when we turn to something in the way of Elliott Smith. But today I needed to sing loudly about pain and depression and sorrow, past regrets and hopelessness, which would also be Elliott Smith, but without the painful plaintiff beauty of his chords. When I hit the quarter mile on the Brandonville Road, I laid my foot down on the gas as took it as it was meant to be driven, easing up as I hit the decline. It felt so good to be out, with the sunroof open, and have that minute or so with nothing more on my mind but that feeling of speed and screaming the lyrics to “Keep Falling Down” loudly, frightening the birds and friendly woodland creatures in earshot.

One good thing about winter is that it covers a lot of sins. Like garbage. Now that the snow is melting and everything is still dead dead dead, all the trash so carelessly tossed out the windows of cars is heaped along the roadside in the little streams of melting snow that run along the road, and around dead deer carcasses. Carcasses, carcassi? Whatever. The Ringtown/Brandonville valley roads are beautiful in spring, summer and fall. In winter, they leave something to be desired. Driving them brings up a lot of memories – from trips to the dairy to get milk with my dad and siblings, driving past the first home I ever knew but can’t remember at the #5 damn, picnics at Stauffer’s park when my parents would spend the day arguing and the kids getting splinters from the rickety old wooden merry-go-round, summer vacations “back home” when I was living in California when we would drive all day, cooler in the back, listening to a mix of Springsteen and Led Zeppelin, and top 40 and that new “punk” music I brought with me from California, and late night drives with quarts of beer between our thighs, laughing and carefree. And hours of driving and thinking. It’s my go to to try and sort shit out, just like driving the coast in California was – well not exactly, because well, oceans make everything better, right, whole. But drive I did. To Sonic. Got my milkshake and some popcorn chicken with barbecue sauce because I hadn’t eaten yet to day. And which I later regretted, because it wasn’t really chicken per se, just some chicken like substance with coating. Should have just stuck with the milkshake.

Anyway, as I drove I noticed that many more homes in the area are littered with shit. No other way to describe it, because it’s just like extra stuff that people own that they won’t throw away but have nowhere to store it so it’s just outside their houses in different states of decay. And I started thinking about whether the outside reflects the inside, or if these people don’t care how their house looks, and when did we start being so concerned with collecting so much stuff that we don’t even have enough places to store it. I always used to envy the houses in the valley because they were so neat and tidy, so pretty, and always wished I could live there, to be away from our too small, too old, too mismatched house. To play in a yard with grass. To not be surrounded with ugly black coal banks everywhere (for you young ‘uns, there was a time when our little town was in the midst of gaping scar of strip mining, surrounded by slate banks – much of that is covered with trees and shrubs now). The valley was where all the happy people must live. Now, I’m not so sure.

Anyway, in my critical analysis of what these signs of decay and garbage mean to society as a whole, I realized it was spring. And spring means robins. I must now find a robin. (Fact: Robins, while not seen much in the winter, do not migrate, they just stay huddled together for warmth. When spring comes, they emerge to seek food – robins are individualistic birds. They only get together to mate and survive winters).

This is now a quest. There are crows. Hawks. Geese. Red-winged blackbirds. Sparrows. Chickadees. No robins. (or bluebirds, for that matter) Where are the robins? I am not going home until I find one. As I continue to meander, I drive past places with memories, still trying to deal with all that is going on in my head. I figure that cemeteries, with their vast open spaces, will be a prime source of robin findage. I head in that direction. Then out of the corner of my eye, I spot a red breast, but I am driving way too fast to clearly confirm robin sightage. I am fairly certain that it was one, but until I can definitively confirm that it was robin, we shall continue to drive.

People who know me, know that cemeteries are like one of my favorite places in the world. I love the peace and sanctuary of cemeteries. Unfortunately, and in my opinion, oddly, the cemeteries are still mostly snow covered despite the last two days of sun, and their clear open spaces with direct sunlight. Much of the snow elsewhere is melted, but not really in the cemeteries. And no robins. I do notice a tombstone of a friend’s husband – her name is on it too, waiting for her. I think how odd, that your space is already reserved. Not that I don’t have plans for my own death rituals (which some of you will now be please to know, no longer include Andy having to chop up my body for the vultures to eat for a traditional sky burial, but do now include my ashes being made into bottle rockets and other firecrackers that can be launched into the sky). I am also looking for a trash can now as well as robins, to get rid of the evidence that I have been to Sonic. I check three different cemeteries, and nope, no robins. Just crows.

I’ve been driving for a little more than two hours now. I have managed to negotiate the roads well, missing all of the deepest and widest potholes. I feel bad for feeling sorry for myself just because I have cancer, since my drive has reminded me that many of my friends have recently suffered tragic losses in their lives and illnesses in their own families, and that there are people who live in countries that have no electricity or water. Some watch their families slaughter or live in countries at war where their homes could be torn apart by missiles or a tank at any moment. And here I am whining about having cancer. I need to be slapped. Don’t get me wrong, I am still depressed. I still feel hopeless, and scared and angry. But I am starting to see that it’s not as bad as it is for some people in this world. I decided I am going to take one more road to see if I can find robins, and then head home. My world is dark right now, but I’ll get through it. I’ve been through darker and more painful times, I’ve faced fear before. I just wallow a few days and get over it. But first, I need that robin.

I drive past the spring where we’d get water in the summer and wash cars and drink beer alongside the road outside of Brandonville. I remember being very stoned and listening to the Cars debut album over and over. And being very wet. We washed a lot of cars there when we were teenagers. And drank a lot of beer. I cruise through Mahanoy City, remembering a time when it was a pretty town, much like Shenandoah used to be, but now is just old and tired, full of rotting/abandoned/decrepit/burned out buildings, and covered in the grime of the coal region. I drive out towards Frackville, past the prison, and co-gen plants, sad that this is what’s left for this area. And then I see it. A fucking robin. No mistaking it this time. A fucking robin. Mission Accomplished. It’s all hopping around, looking for food on a partially snow covered lawn. Boom.

And I headed home.

Now I’m here. I am not sure how I feel, but I know I’m going to work tomorrow because I already promised to cover intake for someone since it’s Monday and they need to be in court. And I’ll be there Wednesday, because it’s a morale event, and I said I would bring cream cheese. Thursday we are headed to Pittsburgh to see Off With Their Heads play and stay at my brother’s condo. Friday, we are going to the Warhol Museum, and I don’t know what else. Saturday, we are going to see Pennywise in Philadelphia. Now this may seem like an expensive week, but the tickets for OWTH were only $12, and the condo is free. Pennywise tickets were only $25, and Andy is paying for those as well as for the Warhol Museum. We need to do something fun, to get us out of this rut we are both in. Fortunately, we like many of the same bands, so it’s something we can do together. So at least I have something to look forward to this week – and next week is…drum roll….CHEMO and another stretch of being confined to my bed for a week while I try to like the way water tastes. Life could be worse, and that is what I am hanging on to. Because when I lie in bed, tossing, it seems like there’s not but a black hole that’s sucking me in.

My friends, it appears that most of the neighbors have finally gone to bed, and the next sound to wake me up with be newspaper delivery in about 4 hours. Fortunately I had a nap this afternoon. Tomorrow is work, and more blood tests (it’s CA125 test day) and I get two stickers this time, because last time someone was in the sticker room when I was done my blood draw, and I couldn’t get one. I will have to share a pic of my prizes in the “no sticker, no blood” collection. I’ve got all kinds now, and will have to start another sheet soon. Hopefully, blood sucking will be followed by dinner with my shark sister Ashley at this Himalayan restaurant we both want to try. So there are things to look forward too. Life doesn’t suck that hard, I guess.

The itching of my eyes indicates I should rest, particularly since I still don’t know where my glasses are. Hopefully, writing tonight will keep me from too much tossing and turning. Sleep well my loves, and pleasant dreams to you all, and happy Monday. Be a busy worker bee.

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This, That and Other Random Stuff All Tossed Together

For the first time ever, I completely scrapped the post I was writing and decided to start over.

I’ve started and stopped writing entries several times these past two weeks, (there’s extra bonus writing at the end – a longer post I started and didn’t want to keep writing so I’ll just slap it on the end of this one as a bonus). I don’t know what’s keeping me from writing – anxiety, exhaustion, procrastination – I mean I know it’s not because I don’t have anything to write about. Sometimes I think that I avoid it because I don’t want to have to keep whining about this cancer nonsense. I just can’t help that the stupid monster inside of me just kind of pervades my thoughts every day.

I do think of other things – like getting a pet goat, what book I should be reading, how I wish I had a maid, how I am hungry for brownies, that the season premiere of Vikings is next week, how I would rule the world when I am Empress of the Universe, calculations for the diameter of watermelons at the store – you know, important things. It’s not that I don’t want to write – I do – but half of the time, I find myself slipping into medication-assisted sleep, and the other half, I nod off, unmedicated. Some days I am all fired up about some social issue, I get ready to write and then I get distracted and next thing you know, drool is slobbered all over my cheek and my own snoring wakes me up.

Which is exactly what happened after I wrote that last sentence – I fell asleep, laptop in lap, and woke up this morning at 7ish. I had my wonderful morning cancer killing tea, and just finished some yummy oat meal. I realize I have little to complain about this morning – I feel okay, I can make tea in my bedroom with my loverly keurig, and oatmeal too. I am warm, and comfortable, and I can just spend the day doing nothing, which is what Saturday is often about here lately. I’m still undeniably anxious and restless about next week’s events but I’m grateful that I have such amazing health care that I don’t have to worry about the financial side of this. This whole cancer thing does put things in perspective, but I’m still not in that “live every minute as though it was your last” mindset. I am still too scared about what is to come to get there.

But let’s move away from this cancer nonsense and talk about what is going on in the world. I am sure we all know it’s cold. Well those of us in the snowy areas of the northeast do. My county has finally established a foot hold for a shelter for the homeless, but it’s causing quite an uproar because the shelter is part of a store front in the business district of the biggest town in our county, or I guess what has been formerly known as the county seat. The frightened townspeople are afraid that the existence of shelter will lead to more homeless people. Really? Like a funeral home would lead to more dead people? I often wonder when stupidity and hatred became the norm. Why is there so much opposition – I mean there’s already a drug and alcohol rehab on the main thoroughfare, and we still have the same amount of salt heads as ever. The homeless are still gonna be here, people…they will just squat in vacant buildings or spend the day in the library or the night in a laundromat or Wal-Mart , doing what they need to do to keep warm and alive. How stupid people are that thinking helping people who are in danger of hypothermia or frost bite will lead to more people wanting to live on the street. I just have such a hard time reconciling the emphasis in this area on being good Catholic and Christians and then in the next breath not turning your cheek, but rather turning your back on the people who need your christian charity the most. I feel like hell when I am driving my fat ass to work and I see someone walking in this cold, and people here are too worried about their “things” than they are about another person. These are the same people who will wax poetic on the value of a fetus, until that fetus is born and homeless and grows up in poverty. Then they will call my office and ask someone to go out and “take those kids away” forgetting that this was one of those fetuses that they insisted be born into to poverty. End of soapbox tirade. I have others, I’ve just decided if I am going to post anything, it’s gonna have to happen quick.

Round 4 of attempting to finish this – this is just an example of how tired this stupid chemo makes me. This is my fourth attempt to finish this post. I fell asleep three different times. Even after I drank coffee This is why nothing gets done around here. I get all excited with plans, I get all the stuff out for whatever project I have planned, and then before I know it, I’m under a blanket, dreaming about being attacked by a vicious and violent kitten I am supposed to be pet-sitting. Needless to say, that did not improve my opinion of cats. But on a night like tonight, being warm in bed with many blankets is not such a bad thing. Of course, since Andy is out on the road somewhere with friends tonight after a hockey game, I am now awake because I am worried about his safety on this hellishly frigid night. I couldn’t fall asleep easily anyway, with this howling wind. My multiple layers of blankets on the windows isn’t even keeping the icy breeze off my adorable bald head. I don’t want to text him because I don’t want him checking his phone wherever he is driving considering there is little visibility with the blowing snow. I just hope he had the sense to stay put wherever he is. Motherhood. It’s like an itch you can’t get rid of.

Well, since I have failed at humor and don’t have much else to write about until after my Dr. visit on Monday, I’m just gonna put this lame excuse for a blog post out of its misery. But not until after I share this facebook post from a young man who was one of my students when I was teaching at Lebanon Valley College…it’s nice to read these things when I often wonder if I have made a difference in this world…and according to this, I apparently have:

Everyone please keep Diane Pietkiewicz in your thoughts, prayers, etc. I’m not one for religion, but I’m making an exception and praying to the big guy. Diane is the most memorable part of my Academic collegiate experience. Best professor ever. She consistently made me look at the big picture, taught me never to settle, and that the history of our nation is far from that which we’re taught in highschool lol. She is fighting a bullshit disease, and deserves all the support in the world!

And since Joe talks about praying, I just want to say this…all of you lovelies should know by now that I tend to follow Buddhist philosophy, rather than religion. I am not one for praying although I do chant daily but I do appreciate prayers, in whatever faith and form they come in, because I believe in the power of focused attention. For me, putting positive vibes and thoughts out in the world can’t do anything but good, so I am grateful for whatever words or thoughts you put into action. I spend time every day visualizing this damn puffercyst inside me shriveling up and dying. So pray on, or chant, or just think good things. As a matter of fact, I am really grateful for everything people have done/are doing for me while I endure this latest go with chemo – everything from offers to run things up from the netherworld of the office so I don’t have to, to sending me surprise packaged, to simply asking me how I am. And I apologize for not being as shiny and happy everyday as I have been in the past – I try, but as I’ve whined about, I am so tired all the time. In fact, today as I was rolling over in bed, I realized I would have made a damn fine bear. But not a polar bear, because apparently they don’t get to hibernate. But a grizzly. I would be a fine grizzly. I could be a panda too, but they aren’t really bears, and they also don’t hibernate – but they are pretty lazy, which if me right now.

And with that, I shall try get comfortable and warm in bed, while I wait to find out if my kid is safe. I tacked on the post I tried writing the other right at the end of this one – I promise to try and rein in my adult ADHD next time and stay awake from start to finish when next I write. So stay warm and dry my darlings. Bonne nuit.

BONUS READING:

(I started this on the 29th of January, or so)

On the first day after chemo, chemo gave to me…so far, nothing that I can’t really complain all that much. I ate some chili (not always nausea friendly, but I am not known for always making the wises decisions), had some tea and ginger beer, and some nuts. No fever, took a couple oxycodone and a zofran (super effective anti nausea drug) and I am drinking water like a camel ready to hit the desert. Of course, that means I am spending a lot of time running to the bathroom, but if it means I don’t get sick, I’ll do laps. Andy cut off his dreads today and then I buzzed the rest of his head, because he wanted to show his solidarity in the current situation. He was pissed that I buzzed the last of the zombie grinch or some other weird Dr. Seuss character hair without him, but I explained I couldn’t go out in public to chemo looking like that…I love making and wearing funny hats, but hats get hot pretty quickly inside, and frankly, I love my bald head. It’s a weird time of year to be bald because it’s freezing outside, so when I am in the cold, I need to wear a hat, but at home it comes right off, and now that I don’t look like I wondered out of a nuclear bomb blast, I won’t be wearing hats indoors at all except to make my doctors, nurses and small children laugh.

The day was long yesterday, my doctor was running late and then I found out my co-pay went up, and I got to chemo late. It was quiet on the infusion unit yesterday, but the day was fun since my friend and co-worker Heidi took a vacation day to drive me to chemo and hang out with me. We played the Chupacabra: Survive the Night Game which could be very fun in you add alcohol and make it a drinking game. Otherwise, playing to best three out of five is enough. But between the game, and conversation and people watching, the day went quickly. My nurse had a bit of hard time getting my IV started…she didn’t want to go with the vein I thought would be a good choice at first, so she tried my hand – no go. She then decided to try around where I thought would work, and hit one, but today it has a huge bruise, which doesn’t typically happen for me, so on my point scale of 1-10 where ten is I feel nothing and 1 is “oh my god are you doing this for the first time????”, she only gets a 4.8 downgraded from the 5.2 or 5.3 she got yesterday. I knew I’d have a bruise on my hand, but I didn’t think I would have on my inner arm. (as of February 14th, I still have remnants of this bruise) It doesn’t hurt, it just looks ugly. But the doctor did say that my blood work looked good and I looked good and let’s just see what happens by the 3 cycle to see if this thing shrinks, and that it’s important for me to just stop what I am doing when I get tired, and walk away from it. I know I don’t now, because when I am at work I don’t think like “I’m sick” and just do the work, and exhaust myself so I suppose I am just going to have to remind myself my body is in a fight, and I need to put it first. Alas, I also need to work to have health insurance and to pay the premium. I am very excited about my first paycheck since December tomorrow. I am going to do something crazy with all that cash…like pay rent.

And speaking of crazy, a couple weeks ago, there was a contest on the facebook group, Saving Money, Living Smart, that I belong to…at Christmas, there was wish list to put on the items that you wish you could get for Christmas, and I put down a Keurig. Well a couple weeks ago, the group owner asked a few of us if we got our Keurigs, and then had a second chance contest to nominate someone who we felt deserved it. Well I felt I did…I mean, especially today, the day after chemo, and then next week, when Andy is sleeping after work, and I am too sick to get out of bed myself and I want a cup of hot tea and can’t go get one and have to wake him up. I don’t know if anyone else entered me too, but I told my story about how I found out about the cancer two days before Christmas and blah blah blah, and today, the FedEx guy shows up and what? Whoa. I now have Keurig from Saving Money, Living Smart and the Keurig Company. How awesome is that? As soon as Andy gets up from his nap, I’ll have him take a picture of me and my Keurig…what a great surprise and what perfect timing. (Even though I bitched all the way down the steps about who was knocking on my door because don’t they know I am resting.) This is fabulous…I can’t wait to take it out of the box and check it out once I get a picture. I just need to get one of those reusable cups for my ginger honey tea. I am excited. (and that’s where I fell asleep that time)


The Satellite Dish Has Snow On It, So You Know What That Means…

Blog Entry!

Lucky lucky you!

What thrilling experiences have I had since yesterday? Well, you know it’s all about perspective. We had an early quit at work today. This aligned with the need to get a few gallons of oil to prevent lack of heat and keep the pipes from freezing on the one night of winter so far where we have single digits and negative wind chills on the horizon. Naturally, we would be below E on the tank when oil won’t be delivered until tomorrow. Why should this giant grasshopper plan ahead? It’s more fun to live on the edge of freezing.

Fun fact I forgot to share with you all yesterday: Spiders can live up to three years.

Back to my story – well, as I mentioned, I am doing this daily blogging exercise for the next 30 days. The first assignment is to explain who I am, and why I am doing this blog thing. This is also the 2 year anniversary of receiving my diagnosis of the big C. And tomorrow is the 3 year anniversary of this blog. So if you thought I started to write this blog just because I had a c-monster lurking inside, that would be wrong. That just happened after I started this blog. Why do I have a blog? I like to write. I like to be funny. Sometimes I get pissed off and need to vent. Sometimes I’m scared. Sometimes I am lonely. Sometimes I am sad. Sometimes I just need something to do. I like that people read it. I like that people think I am funny and hell, I like attention. I believe my life is supposed to mean something, so maybe just blogging and making someone’s day a little better after reading my pointless and inane little stories is all I am meant to do. I’m okay with that. I wish it paid better, or even paid at all, but hey, whatever.

I like words. I have favorites: llama, paradigm, milquetoast, porcine, twitterpated. I have other favorites too, I just don’t remember them. I also like to make up words. I believe the english language has too many rules, and rules, my friends, are meant to be tested. So my blog helps me keep my vocabulary fresh, and my writing skills sharp. You will note that on occasion I spell things wrong, and my grammar sucks. I do not do this intentionally. I abhor it. But when I read, my brain corrects all that stuff as I proof read so I don’t usually see it until days later. After I have visually shamed myself.

I think the who am I question is funny. It requires the use of labels. I don’t particularly like labels. I once had this assignment in one of my women’s studies courses where I was given a packet of labels that described women and was supposed to go out photograph women who represented them. Being the non-conformist that I am, I refused to do it, sort of. I still took pictures. But not of people, but of images that I thought was typical of that type. Pictures of shadows, or skateboards or barbies. I got an A. I just struggle with labels because they never give you a full picture of what that means to the person who takes on the label. Like feminist. I used to hate that label. I wouldn’t call myself a feminist because that meant I hate bras (and find me a woman who doesn’t, oh sure they are all pretty and sexy and whatever, but NO WOMAN, and I mean NO WOMAN wakes up in the morning and says, can’t wait to put that torture device on – I cannot remember a day after I started wearing the little beasts that I did not come home and be grateful to take that sucker off. Really, I mean at one time I had a whole collection of very pretty and very sexy bras – but what was their purpose? My pleasure? Uh no, it was to try to get someone to take it off for me! Duh! Because the reality is this, the prettier and sexier they are, the more likely they are to be uncomfortable. And here’s another one of my beliefs: though most women will say “they are really comfortable” I also believe that no woman enjoys wearing a thong) But we are not here to talk about bras. No, the theme is labels, and as a feminist, the belief is also that I should hate men. Again, wrong. Don’t hate them. Like them. Lots. Even have a few favorites. My future husband Johnny Depp for example. I don’t hate men. I hate certain behaviors some men have, but I also hate some behaviors women have. I’ve come to terms with feminist because I believe in equality for everyone, and unfortunately, women don’t have real equality yet. We’re much closer than we have ever been, but we aren’t there yet. I just wished we looked at people as people. But in order for many people to make sense of the world, they have to label things, or there’s confusion. They need a label to place someone or something into their worldview.

I’m liberal. I don’t know what that word means anymore, because it is so misused and maligned. I assume it’s the opposite of conservative. I don’t know what that means either to be honest. I know I believe that everyone walks their own path, and that good people are good people regardless of their skin color, or sexual orientation, or gender identity, or politics, or whether or not they own guns. I can disagree with the values or politics of a person and still think they are awesome. What I can’t tolerate is when a person can’t defend their position and simply parrots what other people tell them to think. I can accept any well argued position. I don’t have to agree with it, but if someone can say, here’s how I came to this conclusion, and here’s my supporting facts, I can be tolerant of it. When you come at me with an argument based in sound bites and an unwavering insistence that there is no other way or validity to someone else’s stance, then I just stop listening. I can be civil, but I give no credibility to anything you say, because I can train a bird to mimic me. I can’t train a bird to think on their own. It all goes back to having the courage of your convictions. But don’t give me faulty baseless logic. And for dog’s sake, don’t quote Michelle Bachman.

Well, the satellite is still snow covered, so you are stuck with me.

So who am I? I can be your best ally. I don’t hate anyone. I do dislike people, but I can honestly say I don’t hate anyone. That’s too much work, and too great a burden for me to carry. I can be mean, and viciously so, but I generally don’t mean to hurt anyone, just have a good laugh. I don’t like cats. I will not intentionally run one over or kick one, but if the beast crawls on me with its claws, I will remove it with vigor. I like board games but don’t usually have anyone to play them with especially if they involve words or trivia, because I usually win. I don’t like country music, or most rap, especially if it misogynistic. I like to read, and learn unusual things. I like things that are genuinely funny, not slapstick humor or humor that relies solely on bodily functions. I don’t like romantic comedies; I like black comedies and humor, British TV, horror, suspense and psychological thrillers. I hate every movie M. Night Shamalamamalalal ever made. Because they are stupid. I hated the Twilight books because they were poorly written. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s writing reminds me of velvet for the eyes. I like vampires. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a masterpiece of television. It’s like an oracle. Buffy can answer all of life’s mysteries. I hate singing and dancing and talent TV shows. I love the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, especially Jiggy. I like period novels and films, and like black and white movies and good foreign films with subtitles. Every Japanese horror movie that was ever remade into an American version was 100 times better in Japanese. I’m fat. I’ve been fat since I had Andy, and never really lost any of that baby weight, and I’m unhappy in this body and would like to be more motivated to do something about it, like eat better, but I’m not committed to that yet. I have had major depressive disorder for just about 19 years, because of a little over-zealous relationship with drugs that make you go fast. I don’t have “a significant other” or a “fur baby” – both terms I hate. I sometimes feel very lost and alone. Other times, I am perfectly happy being with myself. I waste too much time on the internet. The pig is my favorite animal to eat, particularly ribs. I love cherries in season, and peaches that drip down your chin. I think I am a complex person. I feel pretty dowdy these days because fat clothes are meant for the circus. I like my nails short. I believe everyone has a right to food, clothing and shelters, and I guess that makes me a socialist. I think a lot, especially in the shower and car. And I think that is enough about me. Oh wait, and two years ago I was diagnosed with a stage 3b endometrial cancer after having a ten pound tumor removed along with all of my reproductive organs. And I’m deathly afraid every time I have a CAT scan that the results will say – uh-oh. You see, the 5 yr survival rate for that stage is 50%. Having a positive attitude is great, and I believe I will be in the “survived” 50%, not the “dead” 50%, but I would be a huge liar if I said that I don’t spend the 30 days prior to my next appointment analyzing every change in my body and random pain in the context that this time they are going to tell me I’m not so lucky. But I am not going to dwell on that until Jan 24, because my appointment isn’t until February.

I could go one. I can safely say that no one knows everything about me, and even those who have known me a long time can be surprised every now and again. But I like that sense of mystery. I’m very open about who I am, but there’s plenty that just doesn’t tumble out of my mouth. But here’s a few other tidbits to chew on…most people know I love Sylvia Plath, but I also love e.e.cummings and Pablo Neruda; one of my favorite movies will always be The Big Blue because I don’t think I would mind death by drowning, but I have a weakness for Point Break, and White Christmas. I love salads but I hate making them. I’d like to be reincarnated as a squirrel. My favorite part of the Wizard of Oz is when the Wicked Witch sets free the flying monkeys. I wanted to set the baby dolphin free at Marine World when I was pregnant with Andy and cried for hours because it would never see the ocean.

And that’s just about it. Except this, because last night I had a revelation. When I was a little, I had SEVERE ear infections and lost hearing in one ear. I used to be given that deliciously nasty elixir of cough syrup with codeine for pain during those brutal episodes. That’s right, I was an opiate addict in first through third grade – and I used to have this HORRIBLE nightmare about cowboys, indians and dinosaurs attacking our town from side of the little mountain that borders one end of our town. You have no idea how many nights I awoke in a sweat in terror about that dream. Well, last night on Turner Classic Movies, there was a film about cowboys and gypsies finding a hidden valley of dinosaurs and battling them on a hillside. It was made right around the same time I was that age. I must have seen it or a preview and it  stuck in my brain. And when I watched it last night, it was pretty much exactly like my nightmare. Stupid poppies.

Nighty night my friends, there’s still no TV, but I’m gonna read. A book. In bed. Or I will once I find a pair of glasses. Keep warm, and hope for a work snow day!

Here’s some pictures… the massive snow storm that I am hoping cripples my ability to get to work, and the brave little tree on the porch.

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