Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Saw Myself in Forty Years and It Ain't Pretty!

While adopting (or trying to) a new healthier way of eating, I had to scrutinize the pots and pans in my pantry. Because pans that are hard to clean because they have scuff and scratch marks, are not used and therefore useless.

Yes, that's why I have not lost weight. Bad pans.

I promptly threw my two pans out and was left with one cake pan. That was two months ago. A sensible person would have run out and bought a new one, maybe ordered two pans online.

But no, I had to almost burn my whole apartment down to get the job done..

I was steaming some brussel sprouts and grabbed the hot pan with a cloth napkin I had stolen from The Beverly Hills Hotel. Having not shut the burner off, it promptly caught fire and I had to drop the burning cloth on my hardwood floors and douse water all over it.

Note to self, "Don't be shocked if you don't get your rental deposit back."

So off to Marshalls I go because I love a bargain and I love even more that they have a nice selection of Cuisinart pans with non-stick cancer causing Teflon. Sold!

Of course, I can't be at Marshalls without perusing the clothes.

I'm looking at a cute hot pink sleeveless number that would probably fit over one of my shoulders in about forty pounds when I see a woman... maybe 60, or 65... okay, maybe 70, (I'm not good with
numbers). She is holding up a pair of pants that might fit over one of her hips in about forty pounds and exclaiming to her friend, "Maybe I should just get them. I can hang them in the corner until I lose the weight."

And that's when I realize that I am seeing me, at Marshalls, in forty years.

I buy things that don't fit and hang them in the corner. There they are, bathing suits and jeans and little summer dresses. It's like my bedroom has become some museum for my size 8 future.

But the more I keep adding to the collection of "Clothes That Will One Day Fit," the more crowded the room becomes, the more used to it I become, until all the jeans and bathing suits that are supposed to serve as a reminder, only fade into the background.

My shrink did once give me one great piece of advice. "Stop futurizing." It means, stop living in the future when I think I'll be thin, when I think I'll be worthy to dress better and look cute. I tried to put it into practice, but it never registered fully until I saw "Future Me" at Marshalls, buying herself pants that were four sizes too small and hoping that they would one day fit.

So, right there at Marshalls, I circled back my shopping cart to the place where I had found two of the cutest tops and exchanged my "future size" for my "now size." That felt good because now I can actually wear these tops this week instead of "date of unknown origin."

I even came home and packed up my clothing museum. Off it went, into a drawer.

Although, I'm not perfect. As I unloaded my new purchases from Marshalls, I had to laugh. There was just one "future me" shirt I could not resist. But only because it was the last one and on sale for $5.00. Tahari for $5.00! Intricate sequins! The most beautiful blue color that flatters every face and skin tone!

I know, I know. But progress, right? I'm a work-in-progress, people!

This blog is dedicated to veggie hot dogs with the works.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Emotional Well-Being is Directly Linked to The Size of My Butt

My butt is big.

Today I got a postcard from the ladies at Weight Watchers. They want to know where I've been. They even signed their names, Jenn & Deb, in different color pens in fancy cursive so I would know it was "personal."

I imagine them in a corporate meeting:

Big Time Corporate Type Guy with 3% Body Fat: "Okay and we're gonna need to figure out how to push more of these 2 point bars and where is Adventure Grrl? Our stock has taken a drastic downturn since she's not paying for weekly meetings and hoarding all the Thin BBQ Pretzels."

Debbie: "We've canvased all the "Sizzlers" and "Outback Steak Houses," we can't find her anywhere. Usually she can always be spotted within five feet of an All-You-Can-Eat baked potato bar."

Jen: "This is serious. We should send her a postcard."

PS, those pretzels are laced with crack and I don't care if they are in individual size packs - I want three at a time or I want none. Okay, I just want three at a time.

Yeah, I've fallen off the WW wagon. My butt is big and it's starting to get hot out and here I am facing another summer with a big sweaty butt. Sometimes, because I can't see my butt, I mistake it for a smaller size butt and then I will like, knock a glass of wine off a table because I didn't think my butt was all the way over there.

I want to be thin. I'm just in a weird head space where I just don't want to do the work to get there. Which makes no sense because I used to LOVE the gym. In a really unnatural way. Like be sad if it was closed or refuse to go to a hotel that didn't have one or get into brawls with people hogging my favorite machine.

Right now I want to make a t-shirt that says, "I Used To Be Thin." I just want to say, "I'm not always like this, I swear." I don't want my big chunky butt to define me and hold me back from things.

But I feel it is and it does.

You should see how I can get out of a pool party in four moves or less.

"I don't have a bathing suit"
"You can borrow one."
"Um... I have really bad period cramps."
"Oh, you know what's great for that? Soaking in a jacuzzi, we'll get it heated up!"
"I think I broke my leg/arm/pelvis."
"That's okay! We have one of those harnesses that lower you into the pool from when my Grandpa visited!"
"I have a rash called fearofnakedflesh-ititis and it rapidly spreads if it's near any kind of water. Sorry."

And VICTORY is mine. I gotta remember just to lead with that disgusting rash thing. Or maybe... just head back to WW.

This blog is dedicated to diet products laced with crack.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Because You Asked That I Be Honest

Inner Dialogue while writing this post: "Are you sure you want to blog about this? You know, you have that funny story about how you're sure your viginity has grown back. Maybe you should tell that story. Give the people what they want."

Sorry looks like you're gonna have to wait until Friday for that one. Instead, I give you this and say, it is taking every fiber of my being not to hit "DELETE."

When I was 24, I felt like my world was falling apart. My Dad was sick again and needing a kidney transplant. I found myself not only stunned, but just as unprepared to face this surgery as I had at 14 when he needed a heart transplant. How could I be in the SAME place in my life, twice in my life?

Scared, unprepared, emotional, angry, regretful, powerless.

It's amazing how all your unresolved issues will come back to haunt you when you've done nothing to deal with them the first time.

Today, there were so many things I wanted to post about... silly things, like the joys of half price Easter candy. But I could feel that I was trying to hide from something. An uncomfortable feeling that reading all these old journals of mine was giving me. I hoped if I stayed with that uncomfortable feeling and continued to turn pages, it would show itself to me.

And then it did.

In this entry, I am writing about the unimaginable death of my cousin Michael when I was 14.

"The thing about Michael, that loss has always haunted me. It's weird how I feel... I guess I'm surprised that I actually FEEL. I'm crying because I miss him but also because I know what it's done to me. I've put up this wall to my friends, my family, to the people who should mean the most to me. And it freaks me out that I could put up a barrier where I won't let anyone mean ANYTHING to me.

"I just don't want to go through it again. (At this point, I had no idea, that I would indeed go through it again with David's death). I don't want to be torn up, devastated again by losing someone I love. It feels better just to feel nothing than risking ever feeling again. But I'm only 24."

Ten years after Michael's death and I still had not moved one inch away from my grief and I let it TAKE so much from me.

When David died two years ago, I was so used to just retreating into myself. It just did not occur to me to handle it any other way. Or so I thought. Then I read this from the day I found out David had been killed:

"And he says (my boyfriend at the time), 'What can I do for you?' And I say, 'Nothing.' But I want to say, 'Please don't let me be alone. Come over, come into my bed and hold me. Be there for me like I've never let anyone be there for me before. Let me be vunerable and scared and cry and feel comfort.'

Instead, I hung up the phone."

I knew that if I started crying, it would never end. I would cry for David, but certainly, all the pent up grief from Michael's death would drown me.

Same place. In my life. Twice. And again.

I started this blog because my uncle told me that he was not going for the death penalty for the person who killed David because my cousin would want his killer to have a second chance. As David's second anniversary of death was looming, I thought of that story. I thought, "David would want me to have a second chance, too."

That's when I got out of bed and started telling the truth about my life. Letting you guys be there for me like I have never let anyone be there for me before.

This blog is dedicated to blogger's remorse and holding back from the delete button.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Single White Female Seeks Wounded Puppy/Man-Boy:
Directionless, Mother Issues, In Love With Dysfunctional Ex-Girlfriend a Plus

This weekend, I found myself doing the most important of pre-preparation tasks for my mother's visit. That is, bundle up all personal journals, place in box, double duct tape, mark with sharpie "TOXIC: DO NOT OPEN, place down in garage under a filthy drop cloth and place something very heavy in front of it, say an old non-working air conditioner.
(This is why I keep old non-working air conditioners, because of nosey mothers.)

But before I boxed my them up, I stacked them up by the bed and decided the take a break from "The Other Boleyn Girl" and read my journals, the writings of my past. Only, instead of curling with what I thought was the equivalent of "Bridget Jones' Diary," I found I was reading some kind of horrifying Stephen King novel.

In all my years of dating, I dated THE SAME MAN. Their names may be different, but their pasts were interchangeable. Emotionally distant, lost, difficult relationships with parents (one that was almost always an alcoholic), usually still in love with an ex-girlfriend (my specialty) who, herself was "special needs."

"Special needs" is these cases meant: a cheater, anorexic, mother who committed suicide, brother who died of a heroin overdose, heroin addict herself. Yeah, I know how to pick 'em.

The more they love someone else, the less they could love me. The less the could love me, the more comfortable I felt. Maybe I didn't feel lovable enough. Maybe I thought if the spotlight was on me instead of their exes, they'd find all my flaws and surely, we'd be done.

There was one love, in particular, who I especially lived in the shadow of his ex-girlfriend. She was blond and very thin (heroin will do that). There was some sort of... elegant mystery to her. Beautiful pictures and his warped sense of reality in the stories he'd tell me about her, did that.
Years later, I saw her on a documentary on "Bravo."

She said she believed in time travel and extraterrestrials.

That's who I was intimidated by, haunted by. All those years, that's who made me feel unworthy and less than. Extraterrestrials... AND time travel.

The last BF, though, he was a good one. A man. No visible or invisible signs of scaring. Had we not started dating just before my cousin died, it might have worked. There were carefree months of bliss when I thought, "I finally broke the pattern."

And then David died and I retreated into the inner regions of myself. Somehow I excelled at work but I blew chunks at "relationship." Days on the sitcom I worked on were filled with laughter, the best story ideas, incredible joke pitches; the evenings I drove home were filled with tears and the nights, Ambien.

There was no time to connect. And that led to, well, the disconnect, the downfall, the end.

And now I am here. Shockingly, unbelievably grateful for my mother's visit. Without her, I wouldn't see -- is it how far I've come? Or how far I don't ever want to go back? Either way... either way.

The last one, before the good one, I did make the declaration, "Never again." No more men with mother issues, ex issues, drinking/emotional withholding/lost in the head light issues. I just don't have time. Not because I want to get married or have a baby or that I am on any kind of time clock.

Just because I don't have time. For suffering. For crumbs when I want the whole cake. For picking myself and dusting myself off. And there's fear in that, the decision to only want to give time to the good ones. Because from now on, I can't build men into something they are not. I can't give everything when there is nothing for me. I can't lose myself in someone and be secretly grateful that I will have to show nothing of myself.
But there's some sort of exciting challenge in that. And I like that, in an oddly terrifying sort of way.

This blog is dedicated to champagne & "Peeps" on Easter.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

To Tell The Truth

Yesterday I was buzzing with excitement, totally psyched about a new project I was working on when my phone rang. It was my friend L, speaking in very hushed tones. Hushed tones, to me, are reserved for speaking about something scandalous like bad boyfriends or perhaps, robbing a bank or a convenience store.

L: "I think I found a massager for you mother."
Me: "You don't have to do that. I have everything figured out--"
L: "But it's right here at CVS. It says it's for your neck but it's
so obvious it's for your (lowers voice) clitoris."
Me: "Could you NOT say (lowers voice) clitoris?"
L: "Fine. Neck massager... for your lady parts."

And even though I begged off, she would not be diswayed and proceeded to stalk me with cell phone photos of discounted "vibrators" disguised as neck massagers.

See, that's what happens when you keep a blog about your life? Nothing is private, ever again.

Several years ago, before I became a writer, I was on a TV show as a post production supervisor when I ended up writhing in pain and decided I probably had a good twelve minutes left to live and, liking living and wanting to continue to do so, promptly drove myself to the
hospital and checked in.

The next day, they took out my IV, clipped my lil' plastic bracelet off, and back to the office I went. I never told anyone that I was having complications from donating my kidney to my father. Why? Because I knew my Dad was ashamed that he had risked my life to save his. So we never talked about it. We never even "pre-surgery" talked about it. (For historical accuracy a letter was exchanged. But letters are not talking.)

He said, "I hear you're coming home." And I said, "Yes, I am." And then when I did, on the day of the surgery, my mother drove us up to Boston like we were going to the Aquarium or something but instead, we went went to the hospital, donned cotton gowns and caps, they sawed us open and took something out of me and put it into him.

Not many of our relatives knew but one did send me a Coach purse. That's when I realized the magnitude of what had happened, because, Coach purses ain't cheap.

The point is, I used to think, "I must not tell this story. My dad will not feel good if I tell this story."

Now I know, it's my story to tell.

Still, if I were to tell the truth, the truth would be, as far as I've come, I am not really ready for everybody to know every story about me. Yesterday, after finding out some very important persons were going to be looking at my blog, I mini-freaked and raced for the phone. My friend A answered.

Me: "Take down my blog from today!"
A: "What? Why?"
Me: "Because! Just do it!"
A: "But I haven't even read it."
Me: (Monster voice) "TAKE IT DOWWWWWWN!"

I have a very scary Monster voice.

I was later told that A went careening through her house, shoving and everything anything out of her way, to get to her computer and erase the post.

It was too honest. I was not ready.

I hope there will come a time when desperate calls from CVS about (sighs, eye roll) $14.99 massagers or stories about my and my dad's surgery or even the experiences of these past two unimaginable years will not stir fear or self-consciousness in me but for now... the delete button is a beautiful thing.

I'll get there. I will. You'll know. Because I promise to re-post the post I took down, when I do.

This blog is dedicated to relentless friends with camera cell phones.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Let's Talk About Sex Part 4
Mom, "V"s & Double "A" Batteries

All your advice has been so amazing. First, I thought the most brilliant plan would be to shop for one or two ("sighs", shakes head) "sex toys" before my Mom comes and then present them to her when she asks when we can go shopping.

But then someone said that right now my Mom needs support and that made me think that, if, the second she brings up the idea of us going "V" shopping together, I throw rubbery, vibrating things at her in disgust and run out of the room, well, THAT would not be very supportive.

Clearly, the person with the problem here is me. And after being raised ultra-Catholic, I have kind of resented having to find my way around my own sexuality with no help or advice and certainly many times too mortified to ask for help or advice, only to wish that I had: "It does what???? It goes where???? Wait, is that last thing he suggested even legal????")

(PS, for the person who said they didn't even know how to use a tampon in the comments section, well I thought I did - I put THE WHOLE THING IN. Yes, THE WHOLE THING.)

So, here's my Mom, still young and perky at 62 and she has had no one to ask about these things either. I would like to try and be that person. I just have to practice not going completely white, fainting and throwing up each time a "V"... ugh, a vibrator is brought up.

The solution (besides wine?): I am going to go with my two sexperts pals L & S on a maiden voyage to the sex store. It'll be like a pre-shop where I can ask the people what would be best for my Mom and get myself a little more comfortable. (We might need ten of these trips. They'll be like fire drills, except with chardonnay and barf buckets.)

Deepest fears? I think it's when commenter EM said that she once went shopping for "oils" with her Mom. It never occurred to me that there might be BROWSING and LINGERING in the other aisles of the sex shop. First, it's oils, next it's ticklers, then it's bondagey handcuff thing-ys!!! I thought the vibrator was my problem? Instead it's only the gateway drug to whips and full body rubber suits!

Perhaps I should not have given up my therapist.

This blog is dedicated to Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Let's Talk About Sex Part 3
This Time... There's No Escape

Yes, we're going to talk about naughty things but before we do that, let's talk some BLOG BUSINESS. I see you lurkers out there, peeping my pain for 20 or 30 minutes at a time, hundreds and hundreds of you a day. And you don't leave comments? What are you savages??? You comments are directly related to my self-esteem!

Okay. Let's get to the sex. I'll set the scene. My mother and I are in the hospital waiting room before we go see my Grandmother who we've just learned needs open heart surgery. My Mom says she has something she really wants to talk to me about.

Let me add that my mother has a Prayer Day for each of my family members and went to Church three times this week, once on Sunday, once on "The Feast of the Blessed Mother" and once on "The Feast of the Epiphany." Three times! She is a GOOD GIRL. I've never heard her swear in my life.

Okay, we're at the hospital. And... Action.

Mom: "I really want to talk to you about something."
Me: "Sure."
Mom: "I think I want a vibrator."

Inner Dialogue: "Do Not Laugh. Do not laugh. Do not LAUGHHHHHHHHHHH."

Me: (tentatively) "Okay."
Mom: "And I would like you to help me pick one out."

INNER IMAGINATION: I pass out, I'm spayled face down on the waiting room floor. Nurse: "We've got a Code 51: Daughter down due to too much info about Mom's SEX LIFE! We need a crash cart and a time machine to erase the last five minutes of her life."

Somehow I got out of it, what with keeping vigil by my Grandmother's bed and my mom going to Mass 24 hours a day. Soon it was time for me to leave. The day I left, my Mom and I are having a tearful GOOD-BYE in the driveway.

ME: "Mom, don't cry, I'll be back soon."
MOM: "But we didn't even get a chance to look at the catalogues."

You know... for her vibrator.

I swear she said it as sincerely as if she was saying, "But we hardly had a chance to spend any time togther." ("LOOKING AT VIBRATOR CATALOGUES!")

I go back to LA... and it's not long before she calls me. She coming to visit. She already has a plane ticket. Won't spending some girl time together be fun? (No, no! It will not be fun!) I don't want to go vibrator shopping with my Mom.

What was the point of dedicating all that time making me ashamed about sex and my body like a good Catholic Mom just to throw it all away?

Deepest fears? I think it's when commenter EM said that she once went shopping for "oils" with her Mom. It never occurred to me that there might be BROWSING and LINGERING in the other aisles of the sex shop.

Oh, God.

Perhaps I should not have given up my therapist.

Feel free to guess how soon my Mom will bring up the topic. I'm guessing within 24 hours.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Importance of Being Fierce

It's amazing if we open ourselves up, how much we can learn from others. Right now, I am learning so much from a 15 year-old girl who has flown from NYC to Vegas to be with her sister who is very sick with cancer.

This girl is the very definition of fierce. I might even call her ferocious. And I cheer her on and I send encouraging emails and I tell her to kick ass if she needs to.

Because when I was her age, I wish I had done the same. We had just learned my cousin had been in a skiing accident and there was no hope, no sign of brain activity. All I wanted to do was get on a bus and get to him and be able to hold his hand while he was alive and say, "I love you."

But I didn't. I was a good girl and good girls don't stand up for themselves or make foolish requests. My dad and mom were 3,000 miles away while my dad was having a heart transplant and I was living with a different family. I knew I was expected to not make waves or inconvenience anyone, so I stayed quiet. It is always been my greatest regret that I didn't just take a bus to the Greyhound Station and take the three hour trip.

Because even though I would have gotten in trouble, I would have been true to myself.

So, here I am, chatting online with a fifteen year-old, that quite frankly, I find stronger than most people I know. I don't think one person would even think to say "no" to her. She is very scared for her sister, but she still knows what she wants, how she wants her sister cared for and she GOES FOR IT with fierci-osity.

I don't know what the outcome will be. I know her sister through an online community and I am sick with worry everyday, waiting to hear what we may or may not want to know.

But for today, I take this lesson of a girl who is not thinking about being polite, or a "good girl" or just doing what she's told. She will have no regrets in life, because she will always be true to her heart.

I want to be like her. Kind of like I've never wanted to be like anyone. So, just like she is sitting by her sick sister, whispering in her ear healing thoughts and ferocious words of encouragement, I will imagine, she is doing the same for me.

This blog is dedicated to dogs that kiss with tongue.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Adventure Bowl Week 2
Feeling the Rush, Of the Blue Crush

This afternoon, I swished my hand inside the Adventure Bowl and prayed I'd get a goody. Something that would be adventurous and be accomplished while lying down would be pretty sweet!

I reached in and it said, "Today you are going skim boarding." I'm not going to lie, I didn't want to do it. But Rule #1 of Adventure Bowl is you can't say "no." Oh, yeah, there are rules, people!

If you don't know what skim boarding is, at first glance, it looks like surfing for losers. You take the skim board which is 1/3 the size of a surf board and very thin, and hurl it into the end of a wave like it was a Frisbee. Then as the board is moving, you jump on and ride the last bit of the wave. You go really fast and really far and it can make you feel SUPER TOUGH.

Unless of course, you have not skim boarded in two years and in that time you have gained an EXTRA ASS and as you jump on your skim board, YOU SINK REALLY FAST. In front of people. On a crowded beach. Which happened to me, on this adventure.

Right after it happened, this little six year old goes whizzing by me, showing me how it's done. I SWEAR HE WAS METAPHORICALLY GIVING ME THE FINGER. Since drowning a six year old to make myself feel better was out of the question (I could never run fast enough to my car after, the sand slows you down), I instead went over to the surf shop to rent another skim board.

A big girl's skim board (eye roll).

"How much do you weigh?" said the kid behind the counter.
"I don't know." (Oh, I know! I know very, very well.)
"Well, what would you guess?"
"Um... is there a board for 'a lot,' as in 'I weigh a lot.'"
"No. There are people behind you. Just give me a ballpark."
"Okay, I weigh what you weigh (small voice) plus, like ten pounds more."
"There's no way you weigh what I weigh. (LOUD VOICE) Hey, Tyler, this lady is trying to say she weighs what I weigh."
"Hey, can you pipe down just a little!"
"Sorry, M'am."

UH!!!! What???? Did he just call me "M'am." He did. He recklessly M'am-ed me. A young lady like me.

Yes, I got another board. A hefty girl's board. And I skimmed and it felt awesome. But what was crazy was that it wasn't the skim boarding that made my day. It was realizing that doing this adventure gave me the feeling of perseverance, even in the face of embarrassment.

For me, it would have been so easy to pack up and go home. But I don't want to pack up and go home. I want to do things. Things that defy my abilities. Things that test me and make me come out a winner. So I took the strength I got from doing the last adventure and I brought it with me today. It was like a little voice, "You are stronger now... you can do this... keep your promise to yourself."

And I did. And now the next time I want to give up, I'll remember trudging back down to the beach with my new board and riding it kind of bumpily but mostly awesomely and victoriously.

In your face, onlookers!

This blog is dedicated to fearless six year-olds everywhere.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"And Then I Started This Blog About Being A Comedy Writer Who Goes Through Depression and Gets A Big Fat Ass... But It's Funny... I Swear"

I love Studio meetings. You only get the meeting if they like what they've read, so already you're going in with people liking you. I like when people like me. And then they ask you questions about your life and you feel like you must be very interesting, like your on a hipper version of "The Charlie Rose Show."

The thing that always comes up is, "How have you been spending your time since your last show?"

"I produced two plays, wrote a spec, an awesome pilot and outlined a second." But I always fantasize about adding this lil' diddy, "But right after the last show, after my cousin was killed and my mom had a nervous breakdown, I mostly laid on the couch with the heat cranked up and the curtains closed. That's even if I've even gotten out of bed and had my breakfast of Doritos and Diet Orange Shasta."

But if you say that, the meeting ends, your sticker pass is abruptly ripped from the blazer you're going to return to Bloomingdales after the meeting and security leads you out and takes note of your license plate so the mistake of letting you on the lot never happens again.

The thing is, now that I have started this blog and gotten tens of thousands of hits, and I hear "the blog is the new and hip thing" and there's nothing better that I like than to be is "the new and hip thing" unless the choice could be, "the new and thin thing," I really REALLY wanna brag about this blog in a meeting.

But sometimes when I start with the story that is impetus for this blog - the murder of my cousin, the losing of my job, then my boyfriend, my mother's nervous breakdown after my cousin's trial all in the course of one year... the room gets really silent.

"I swear though... it's really funny." Crickets, crickets, crickets.

Maybe it could have never seemed funny, ever, even to me. But the reason I wrote this blog was because some of the things that happned were so HILARIOUS, so ABSURD, that I felt like if I didn't write them down, I would not have believed them myself.

For example, my Mom was having her nervous breakdown and it was after midnight. We were afraid if we brought her to the hospital like that they would committ her and it would make her condition worse. My sister and I just looked at each other, trying to come up with a plan, and at the same time said, "Ambien."

So we drugged her. I know I'm laughing! Because it was absurd. A glimpse of human nature of two scared daughters who thought the way to protect their mother was to drug her into sleep so they could catch their breath and come up with a plan.

E took Mom upstairs and I went into the kitchen to check on my Dad. "How are you?" He fingered a can of tuna my sister had brought back from Europe. "This tuna... I won't eat it. I only like tuna packed in water."

That's how he was doing. He was not there.

At the hospital, we brought water, fruit, nuts, magazines and two dozen donuts. It was like we were packing for a road trip. My sister and I went in one car and my father and mother in another. My father dropped my mother, a woman who doesn't, now, even know her date of birth, off in front and parked the car. My mother entered the emergency room and seeing the Au Bon Pain restaurant set up in front, thought she was in Au Bon Pain and left.

We had lost our mother at the hospital. Maybe I'm a bad daughter. I didn't find it funny then, but I do now.

'Cause that's how we heal, when we can laugh about these things. Maybe they're not stories for meetings but they are a hell of a bunch of stories, proving that you can go through hell and come back the other side... and even find some of it, kinda funny.

This blog is dedicated to tuna packed in water.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Adventure Bowl Week 1
Callous Cream is Your Friend

So here's the deal. From now on every week, on a Saturday or a Sunday, I will be doing some fun little adventure in order to get my butt out of bed, give myself a reason to shave my legs, all while connecting with humanity and keeping the ugly depression monster at bay.

This past weekend, I reached into the adventure bowl and pulled out a beauty, "Go get a pedicure." Rock on! For Week One, I needed it to be something simple. Kayaking in Malibu would have sent me under the covers.

Now you're saying, "What kind of adventure is getting a pedicure. Some people do that once a week. Slutty socialites even do it twice a week." Hey, if you have bed sores from being practically ambulatory from a soul crushing depression, an adventure is like, sleeping on a bed that's actually been made in the past week, okay?

Pipe down.

I have only had a pedicure maybe two times in my life. The reason I put it in the adventure bowl was because my feet look "broke down," they are like monkey feet if monkey feet had talons for toe nails. My heels are cracked from be-bopping around town in flip flops. Plus, there was the whole luxury angle, the literal "taking care of me."

I headed over to the pedicure place, grabbed red nail polish a color WHICH I HAVE NEVER USED IN MY LIFE. But these are adventures and adventures beg for adventure toes.

The woman who was doing my pedicure took one look at my toes and feet and put on plastic gloves, a surgical mask and plastic goggles. I half wondered if she was going to ring a bell for a surgical team who would confer and decide it would just be easier to amputate my feet rather than administer a pedicure.

But instead, this woman WENT TO WORK. She had to pull out some sort of power tool that most resembled some sort of circular sander and she power buffed and fluffed my feet while shards of cracked heel went every where. (When she wiped the sweat off her brow, I buried my face in "InStyle" magazine hoping no one was noticing.

She painted my toes the most gorgeous ruby red and I was dazzled. My heels looked beautiful and I felt like a real live girl. I said to her, "Thank you so much, they look so beautiful." She said, "Yes, when you come in, SO GROSS, but now so beautiful." Her frankness almost made me fall out of my chair.

So there you have it. Week One down and so many more to go. What's your adventure? How are you thrilling and surprising and taking care of yourself?

This blog is dedicated to Boston Creme Donuts.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'll Take Big Butts for $200

I'm in a crap-tas-tic mood. What has put me here is fear, anger, finances, futurizing, re-writing the rewritten rewrite, an empty fridge, a non self-cleaning house, cups of tea that cost $5.00 (WTF?), unsupportive people, bad drivers, over due library books and no sex prospects.

All this and it's not even like I'm having my period.

So I'm trying to cheer myself up. I've decided that it would be really funny if my life was a game show, like "Jeopardy."

"Alex, I'll take 'Big Butts' for $100."
"They're savory and delcious, just don't burn your fingers when you're making them."
"I'll take 'Big Butts' for $200."
"They may be for a woman with child but you can wear these in a pinch."
"Okay, Alex, I think I'm going to change it up a bit. I'll go to 'Disappointing Your Mother' for $50."
"She would probably love you more if you were what?"
"No, I'm sorry, the answer to that was 'thin.' She would probably love you more if you were 'thin.'"
"Um, Alex, I feel like that question belonged in the 'Big Butts' category. It makes no sense being in this category."

Then Alex and I argue on national live TV and I am dragged off the stage by security which is really embarrassing because I'm wearing my jeans that are too tight and tied with a scarf because the zipper is broken but they are the only ones that even come close to fitting and I can only imagine that my mother, who thought she would finally have something good to write about me in the Christmas Newsletter is now at home shaking her head and thinking, "Alex is right, I would love her more if she was thin."

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Matthew is my cousin David's younger brother. Now Matthew is an only child after David was taken away from us by a raving lunatic who somehow slipped through the system and was let out of the crazy hospital too soon only to score some crystal meth and decide that that night he would really like to kill someone.

When I see Matthew, who we now call Matty, who is our baby, who walks on water, who we pay for everything when he is around to somewhat make up for having his brother be murdered, my heart kind of breaks and I always feel very emotional after.

It's because he is wise and smart and sensitive and forgiving and loving and commpassionate and has forgiven his brother's killer and is easy to make laugh AND he is LIV-LIV-LIVING. How easy it would be, to be the opposite of all these things.

He is touring with his band. After his brother died, I think he got the sense that, anything can happen at anytime, we are all so... unsafe from having our lives ripped out from underneath us all. I think he thought, "I'd rather have my life ripped out from underneath me living my dream and playing my guitar than stuck in a cubicle banging on a computer keyboard."

So he is touring in L.A. E, my sister came to town to see him. They are like new best friends, closer in age than Matty and I, yet their is this fierceness to E, fiercely protective and loving of him and I think if someone hurt him, they would have to deal with her and that would not be pretty.

He said to us this morning, "You guys treat me like I'm a baby." Yes, we do and we will. We don't want you to suffer or worry or want for anything ever again. No one can hurt you if we are here. Did you see the brick wall we built around you? No one can get to you without getting through us.

Then he talked about driving all over the U.S. of A., in a van, with his friends and he said, "It's amazing how kind everyone is, people are so friendly and nice. I needed to see that of humanity, it's very healing for me." I know he's speaking of David's murder, it's in the room again, which is always firsts jars me and then comforts me. He knows he is safe. He can talk about anything with us.

We kind of, me, he and E, took a drunken pact one night that we would not be like the generation before us, keeping secrets and telling lies and holding all the pain is. Matty said that night, "I feel like I lost my brother but I got three sisters in return."

He is a good boy. He says, "I love you" on the phone and he says "I love you" instead good-bye. Sometimes, I think he's the strongest one of all of us.