Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Semper Fi Guiltas

So, Pops hasn't exactly been the model of health. A year and change ago he had a stroke. A few weeks later, he was back in th hospital. Too much too soon. Then, last week, he was admitted yet again with the signs of a stroke. A hundred tests run and they couldn't quite pin the cause down.

Today I found out that once again, he's in the hospital. Near they can say is - it might have been caused by a spike in blood pressure because (are you ready for this?) they were in the process of tweaking his BP meds and he decided to enjoy a dinner of ... Bratworst and Bubba Burgers.

I've been a vegetarian for most of my life and can attest to the benefits I've experienced. But I would NEVER proselytise (sp?) to the meat eaters. But that being said: Dad eats Keilbasa and Bubba Burgers. Bologna. Kraft cheese. He might as well be slathering cholesteral on his arteries. I know that older generations don't necessarily realize the food concerns that younger gens do, but...

Above and beyond all of this is my duty as a daughter. I've been rushing home at the indication of a sickness or a hospitalization. I love my Pop and in no way would I ever ever ever want anything to harm him. But... I have an opportunity this weekend to make triple my usual "under the table" income. Holiday weekends are generous for unseen workers.

As one of my fellow workers pointed out: "Not for nothing, but if you could get sick when it wouldn't cost me a fortune, that would be great."

I don't want to be the kind of daughter that leaves her family high and dry. I also don't want to be the kind of daughter that has to keep asking for a loan because I had to skip work...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A-ha redux

I've been feeling really good lately. Happy drugs? Maybe. Sunshine? Maybe. But I've also been revisiting times in my life that stand out as times I am proud of or happy of.

And it might not be a big thing to think of a concert as a big thing. And lord knows, I've beat it to death on this blog. But I really think of it as a victory on my part.

Ages ago, when we were not on the greatest terms, I told Good Buddy about the advent of the concert. "There have been four people in this world I've wanted to meet. I've met three of them. I never thought I'd have the opportunity for the fourth. And, dammit, I'm going to make it happen."

It's a frivolous bucket list, but it's there nonetheless.

I've blogged about it before, but I still feel proud that I've met, spoken to, and touched, Morten Harkett of A-ha. Many Americans know them for Take on Me and little else. But they are the soundrack fot my life.

So how does this play out from my other A-ha posts

I've been super duper depressed. What reason is ther to get out of bed? Why should I bother?

Then - I got onto a new prescription. Say what you want about psychiattric meds. Within days...

I remembered the joy and energy I felt at the concert. AND the confidence I had talking to the people in line. Today, I felt joy in talking to the people I was selling wine too and happiness at being where I was.

I will never - EVER - be able to replace the ecstasy I felt watching my idols perform. But I can also hold that in preciousness while I live day to day in joy.

So, those of you who dismiss mental health, fuck you. Life is great. Life amidst your heroes even better. Life ignoring the healthy you need ... sad and I hope you figure it out...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kitties always know

Many moons ago, my mom came down with a pretty severe case of pneumonia. During the entire time she was bedridden, our cat, Sandy, stayed with her. She snuggled up on her bed and remained close by throughout her entire illness.

Fast forward many years. This weekend, I wound up dealing with some random summertime flu. I spent much time in bed. Mostly sleeping with occasional bouts of reading and bad movie watching. The entire time, Eliza stayed close by my side. When I got up to go downstairs, she came downstairs. When I turned off my light to take another nap, she curled up beside me.

Today, I finally made it up and out. I had a doctor's appt and that was pretty good inspiration. Here's where it gets funny.

I went into the bathroom to blowdry my hair. Eager not to let Mommy out of her sight, Eliza followed me in. But then I started the dryer. Eliza, shocked, jumped into the bathtub. She looked at me with fear and confusion. She hated the big loudnoisething but loved Mommy. Bigloudnoisething. Mommy. What do I do? The confusion in her eyes would have been sooo adorable, if it hadn't been so painful to momma's little fuzzbucket.

I opened the bathroom door and now she was confronted with another moral conundrum. Escape loudnoisething? Stay with mommy? Escape? Mommy?

Finally - she made the decision and bolted out of the room.

But she definitely gave it the Girl Scout try.

She's so cute. So dumb. But so cute.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Remembering the "Dream"

When I was a Junior at Colby College, I was involved in an intense theatrical production, later termed "Dreamcatcher." The first part of the production consisted of the cast keeping dream journals and reading books - both analytic and theoretical - about dreams. And then we started to that together. The movement was organic and based on the results of our dream creations. The music was both original and foung to fit our creation.

It was an intense process. It was telling, personal, spiritual, insightful and inspiring. I don't have any idea how well I performed. Maybe my movements were ungraceful or out of rythm or nervous and stilted. I don't care.

I just found out that the performance was recorded and fashioned into an acutual production. A preview is here. An artistic pursuit that consumed - both physically and spiritually - nine months of my life, has been captured on film. I'm no Gelsey Kirkland or Dame Helen Mirren, but this is a BIG THING for me.

My parents don't get it (shock). Even some of my friends don't get it.

But I am proud and grateful and amazed and awed.

Anyone who has been a part of something amazing that is bigger than themselves and their reality will understand what I mean. And how blessed, how unbelievably grateful, I am to have been a part of it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just one thought

I met with Amazing Therapist today. And after all I've been through and the depression I've coped with, here is the lesson I took away:

'I am so glad to be crying because something wonderful has happened instead of the opposite."

I won't go into all of it. I had a change in meds. My parent's owned up to (some) of their shit. I had an overwhelming community response to my needs AND I applied for a couple of jobs that mostly wouldn't suck.

But the biggest thing for me was realizing that definitions of success are SO relative.

I was at the Middleton Famrers' Market yesterday and having the time of my life. It was hot but not too hot, I was chilling and chatting with my neighbors, buying fresh produce, life is good. A guy I knew from my past life wandered in, clearly just from work with his khakis and button-down-collar blue shirt. I'd run into him a bunch at the office and, don't get me wrong, he seemed a REALLY nice guy. But he did everything he could to avoid hitting the Alfalfa Winery Tent. As if it would embarrass him - or embarrass me.

I am not ashamed of what I am doing. I LOVE what I am doing. The Adelman's turned the farm into a vineyard because they didn't want the acreage to be a "storage" farm for animals. They wanted it to be productive. To be a FARM.

And it turned into a vineyard. And now MA has agreed to acknowledge that locally produced wines are part of agricultural enterprise in the state. And I help that, by representing the wines at local venues.

I don't want it to be my only job nor my career. But I am very happy and proud of being a part of this enterprise.

So to see someone from my "corporate life" afraid to acknowledge my "new life" is, well, telling.

I am happy now. I love what I'm doing and the people I'm doing it for. And while I know I will soon have to return to "corporate life." the life I'm living now is neither demeaning or depressing to me.

I spend three days a week talking about wines and local vineyards. Two of those I get to hang out with organic farmers, crafters, bakers and yummy-makers.

That's nothing to be ashamed of in my world. People feel free to walk barefoot or talk about compost piles or harvesting early tomatoes durng a downpour.

What I -- we -- love isn't clean. In fact, it's dirty. But it's good, clean dirt. And nothing - NOTHING - to be ashamed of.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Words words words...

Above, a quote from one of my all-time favorites, My Fair Lady aka Pygmalion.

Still, as dismissed as words are in Shaw's masterpiece, their importance is stressed in the Inkheart trilogy from Cornelia Funke.

It was a story of words within words. Of stories within stories. Of characters made of flesh and of ink. And to a girl who used to read in her closet with a flashlight; who's best friends growing up were Caddy Woodlawn and Abigail Adams - these stories and friendships were close to heart.

Over 1800 pages I grew to know and love Mo, Meggie, Resa, Dustfinger, Farid and, yes, even Fenoglio. I discovered why I loved Jasper and respected Rosenquartz. I imagined the Nests in the Trees and believed that the White Women are the closest humanity will ever come to understanding Death.

So, yeah, I've spent a lot of time in the Inkworld. And, while I cried publicly at the end of the tale (not a popular activity in Gloucester), it also left me thinking about the impact of words.

We say them every day: "I'd like a coffee." "Let me get that for you." "Bless you." "Fuck off!" "Fuck you!" "How are you?" "What's happening?" "Are you shitting me?"

So many words. So many ideas. Put together, they have so many meanings. Torn apart, they have even more.

I used to scoff at people who played semantics. But maybe, just maybe I'm starting to believe it's time we started paying attention to what we're saying, how we're saying it, and why.

I'm not encouraging an outrage or an uprising or a flashmob. I'm CERTAINLY not advocating for uber-"PC-ness" - I'm just saying ... words mean a lot. They can make things reality and unmake things. Not unlike the Inkworld. It's just a crazy theory from a woman who was once a girl who read books in her closet by a flashlight.

Yet, as the Inkworld showed me, even words meant for good can cause unknown pain. And sometime the words we pay the least attention to can save our souls. But above all, if we mean them for good, good will come. Eventually.

It cycles me back to a theme I've often revisited: We are all but drops on a sunlit sea." The words we utter - and the energy behind them muttered - can change the whole of the world. Not just OUR world. But THE world.

I have the privelege of knowing my friends mutter good words. And I hope that I do so as well.

It's like one of those pay it forward games. I give to you good words, given to me by wonderful people. How will you use those words?

Yes, it's theoretically and philosophyical and blah blah blah. But it makes me feel better. When I ask someone "how are you?" and they seem surprised that I mean it. I like it. And when I offer a sneezer a "bless you" and they look up surprised, it makes me happy. And, yeah, I don't mind I'm doing a good job and its appreciated.

Words help us. They are emotional ties to the things we've done right and the things we've done wrong. They are no match for the personal and/or physical reassurance we as humans need. But they help. Everyone needs, at the end of the day, a pair of arms to wrap around us. But if they know the words that we need to hear, that might prove just enough.

Be kind to your brothers and sisters. They may just be hearing those words for the first time.

The difference between law and reality

Today was another wonderful day of pimping Alfalfa Farm Winery at the Middletown Farmers Market. Sun, fresh food, good company - I've always said that's the best way to spend a day.

Today, I got a visit from a certain GM from a certain burrito joint which shall reman anonymous but rhymes with Chewpotle. Said GM was very friendly and maybe (?) was trying to keep the conversation going... Be that as it may:

I mentioned that I prefered Chewpotle over its competitor KewDoba because it was organic, but that said, competitor had more vegatarian options.

Wherein we began the discussion: to be labelled an "organic restaurant" means to use only certified organic ingredients. So, even if GMs know the local foods are, in fact, organic but not necessarily certified, they, by needs, must import certified organics. Ergo, to offer additional vegetarian options, they needed to have a local organic supplier who could meet demand.

And this is where my issue lies: Many moons and lives ago, I worked at a local CSA which was organic (I KILLED potato bugs for allsake) but not certified (way tooo expensive for a small community farm). The restaurant I was training at was "certified organic."

So in order to be legit, it had to have certified organic produce. Which meant, from a legal perspective, should buy from an orgainc farm in California - a continent away from Vermont - instead of buying from a local, hand-cared, non-certified organic farm.

So, said GM and I had an interesting discussion about pro's and con's of local vs organic. And the answers are still so unclear.

As for me, I prefer to keep buying from local farmers. Some use all organic methods. Some use only "mostly." But at least I know who runs the farms and I know they eat the fruits of their labor. So, they might not be certified, but they can be identified.

What does that mean for "corporate" organic? And does that not become a complete oxymoron?

These are REALLY import questions - which often spiral out of control. But with the world the way it is, I think it's time we at least start thinking about them... I don't have answers. But hopefully asking the questions will open the issue to insight.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Having Mono

I had Mono as a kid. Don't know how or who I got it from. But it was a series of briefly being awake and mostly being asleep. And the awake part was a grumbling of "I wish I were dead."

Those grumblings didn't really mean I wished I were dead. Just that the symptoms were so yucky that any relief was welcome.

Fast forward.

I finally got around to writing my goodbye letter to Peeps. People get a eulogy, why not pets who've played a huge part in our lives? but writing it broke my heart and reading it and knowing I will give it to the ocean, well.... Heartbreak.

Then, I finally wrote a letter to Good Buddy. I tried to set up the what's what. He's read it and assured me, yes, we're okay. But as for the rest.

Finally, I've found myself email bound once again. This was a habit initiated by CBL. And my initial relief from it was profound. So why now...? Maybe it's because I've felt it's time for me to dip my toes back into the "formal" job world. Even though it's a different direction I've decided to take, I might just be hoping for a response. Or maybe it's because, right now, I'm in that "sosickIwanttodie" mode that email or FB is my only link...

So, all of this lends me to being prone to hanging out in bed. My brain knows that, of course, I don't want to die. But the part of me that keeps crying and thinking and analyzing is tired. It has brain mono. I want to let it sleep. But I don't know which is more healthy - giving into the sleep or getting the fuck up and saying fuck you to all the shit in my life right now.


Conformity to be or not to be?

During yet another night of insomnia (seriously?) I was waxing nostalgic. I was trying to remember the moves to a certain cheer (yes, I was a cheerleader) that we did in H.S.

While looking on FB for former cheerleading friends, I noticed that so many (read: all) were married with children. Just like the sitcom said. And for a moment, I was sad.

I am not married. I don't have children. What was wrong with me?

And then I realized: Fucking Nothing.

I don't want kids. 1) the world does not need more people. 2) I don't actually like kids. 3) I have a lot of stuff on my plate that I love that, if I had kids, would have to wait another 2o years give or take.

I was married. Didn't like it much. I wander a bit here and there and fluctuate in my ... desires. OK - I'm a hedonist. And until I find someone that I love enough to share a hedonistic lifestyle with (and it can be done, witness Ultimate Leo Party 2011) well, not so much with the interest.

I was often berated in school for not being "non-conformist enough" to be "non-conformist." But here I am, unmarried, childless and still searching for meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything. So who's non-conformist now bitches?

And in all of this - I do NOT in any way demean those who have partners, jobs, children, careers. I admire those who can and do. I'm just saying, for me, not so much. And I'm TOTALLY okay with that.

Exit Stage Left

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

4 a.m. Craziness

It's been a weird weekend/beginningofweek. My birthday was rough. I had a good time just hanging out, don't get me wrong. But I also had a massive issue with where I'm at and where I want to be... Not just personally, but professionally and spiritually.

Good Buddy showed up. And part of me was so glad. And part of me was pissed. He showed up because I'd said to him (and I quote) "you come up because you're worried about Friend A. You come up because you're worried about Friend B. You don't come up for me. And when you do come up, you rarely "get" to see me. And, short of your son. you claim I'm your best friend."

So, he made sure I knew this time was for me.

Which is great. But here's the kicker. He didn't tell me he was coming. And then he expects me to drop everything and hang out. Don't get me wrong, the hanging out was awesome. We laughed, like we always do. We waxed philosophical, like we always do. And we napped because, well, he's a really good sleeper. It felt good to fall asleep in his arms and to wake and hear "kisses?".

Good Buddy and I work on routine. I know he's going to forget where his keys are so I always double check. And he knows what makes me laugh and he indulges that.

But a few days ago I swore this relationship had become one of my favorite episodes of
Seinfeld: I had "hand" and I wasn't gonna lose it.

Yet here I sit, 4:13 a.m. (maybe b/c we took a 2-hour nap) and despite how tired I am, I can't sleep.

My head knows how very wrong we are together. My heart is even starting to believe that. But he has a 12 year-old hold over me.

Why am I crying? Why am I up at 4 a.m.? He'd have reasons and theories for that. And some of them might be true. But I think, at the end of the day (ha!) I am grieving because I know that that 12 year-old hold may be wearing away.

A break-up is one thing. You go throught the stages of grief and move on. But how do you put years of feelings behind you and and still keep someone close to your heart? Because no matter what he's done to me and I to him, and no matter what shit we've been through, the reality remains: he knows more about me than any other human on this earth. He gets me - the light and dark of me. For whatever reason, I share with him things I would not share with the best of my friends (I wish I coud but...)

So, here I sit. A change is imminent. But why? But how? And what do I do?

And, more practically importantly, how do I get to sleep? I have work today. A work I like. But a pretty exhausting work. So, Mistress Sleep, please claim me.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Irony oh, Dear Irony

I have so many wonderous things to say about this birthday weekend's events. But, n'est-ce pas, they'll have to wait.

As you might have guessed, Handsome Man and I have stopped dating. It wasn't so much a break-up as a ... peetering out. We're still awesome friends and still talk all the time. We just don't kiss or do what amounted to being intimate. (I won't go into extensive details, but I'm in my 30's and he's in his 50's and he doesn't believe in Viagra.......).

That said, I'm still Farmers' Market girl and he's Farmers' Market Guy. What's awesome is that I have found a way to be paid for being farmers' market girl by pimping Alfalfa Farm Winery products. In said activity, I have come into contact with "Chef Man." (he might be renamed later, but what the hell.)

There has been some serious flirtage. Actually overt flirtage. Not so much that either of us has asked the other out, but I sense that is immenent.

Here's the awkard part. He works with Handsome Man. Not only at the set-up/tear-down of the market, but also works FOR him. Handsome Man, in his wonderful and philanthropic nature, offered Chef Man an opportunity to paint with him...

So, this morning, in the interest of transparency, I mentioned the flirtage, emphasizing the points that 1) it may come to absolutely nothing and that 2) his friendship meant more than a potential relationship with a guy I barely knew.

HERE'S THE KICKER: Handsome Man seemed overtly jealous. To the point of pointing out flaws and shortcomings of Chef Man. Which leaves me to wonder - is he just looking out for me? Or feeling a little "to have loved and lost..."?

I told him I'm (now) 36 and can make my own decisions, but he didn't seem to buy that.

Oh what tangled webs we weave...