My take-no-BS friend had insisted that I see a counselor.  I asked a bunch of people whom they might recommend and took absolutely none of their advice, choosing instead a person who purported to have deep Christian faith.  She was very condescending and it was just not good all around. 

 

I discovered that I didn’t need to pay for that kind of s**t.  She told me to be assertive, so I fired her.

 

I feel great now sans counseling.  Thanks to yet another bad counseling experience, I know I am better off without it.

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I realized that my valium (which I need to function because of ongoing muscle spasms) is the exact same color as the Statue of Liberty.  It gives me freedom.  It keeps me from being stiff like a statue.

 

I love symbolism. 

 

I also love life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and valium- and all that Lady Liberty represents- give me these.

For some reason I am very weepy this morning, on our American Independence Day.  Usually I hate holidays’  interruption into my daily routines and find July 4th to be one of the silliest displays of “Ugly Americanism” possible.  But somehow today, I started thinking about the Statue of Liberty and how she was the first thing that immigrants saw as they disembarked awful, stinking steamships–  if they had survived the journey at all- the tired, the poor, the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” 

And it got me to thinking about how my ancestors got off those boats and had their last names mangled and Americanized (by possibly well-meaning and overworked Ellis Island employees) and lost part of their identities in exchange for newfound freedoms.  You know not everyone survived the journey; of course even now many people from Mexico die for the same reason.  Trying to enter Los Estados Unidos with a dream of a better life, just as my European ancestors did- and we mangle their hyphenated names too, our computer systems unable to handle the not-even-very complex system of ….well I digress.  My maiden name is unpronounceable and unspellable even in its Ellis-Islandified version- and I’ve seen it in the original language.  Jack’s is “odd” as well.  My dad’s ancestors were some of the few survivors of a ship that burned off-shore in a horrendous blaze visible for miles.  My maternal grandmother’s great-great-grandmother came over on a sailboat.   But our families came here- to America- with hope.  Hope and faith that carried them through steerage and seasickness and storms and uncertainty and probably even the separation from family back home awaiting the letter – in any language- telling them that it was finally time to join Papa in the new country.

I also have been thinking too much about this stupid ongoing war that we are still in for no reason. 

This year it is not a stupid picnic for me.  Nor just a stupid parade (though I will be there).  Not just a gun salute by the fewer-and-fewer surviving WWII veterans.  It is an actual celebration of freedom- well, the ones we still have and need to continue to fight for.  Fight with your pen (or your computer, or the library’s computer if you don’t have one) for it is mightier than the sword.  We the people elected our officials.  They need to  know what you think.  Tell them.  Write them.  Call them.  Even meet with them- they just might agree to it (yes, I know this personally.)

I wrote before about how death would be a sort of freedom.  Maybe that is why I am weepy today- because my ancestors were the ones that did not die while seeking freedom.  That, my friends, is irony: the best and most beautiful kind.

God bless America.  Let freedom ring.

Today was an ok day at work.  My boss was gone.  Days always go better when she is gone.  She micromanages me:  she only allows me to use one certain restroom in the building.   She has actually followed me to ensure that I was not planning to urinate elsewhere. 

You see, we have two groups of  coworkers: those that don’t have the decency to poop at home (alright; it can happen to anyone, but don’t plan it into your daily work schedule and get freaking paid to do it every day, ok?  [don’t get me started on the daily bagel rituals]) , and others  who cannot tolerate the scent of poop.  Therefore, we have automated dispensers in all but one of our tiny restrooms that spritz the horrendous  Amrep product Snappy Apple at regular intervals.  Snappy Apple has its own MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet.  I looked it up: it “treats up to 6,000 cubic feet in high occupancy areas.”  These are single-seater bathrooms, maybe 400 cubic feet each, and definitely not “high occupancy.”  (You know, not clown cars.  Really.)

 

So, one time I was minding my own private business in the restroom, and Snappy Apple automatedly dispensed a puff of Snappy Apple poison, and I had an asthma attack.  On the toilet.  In a locked single-seater bathroom.  Oh, the filling out of forms that was involved once bronchospasm abated (near-death=lots of paperwork).

 

 An action plan then had to be created.  Logic would indicate, dude, smash the damn Snappy Apple dispenser with a hammer.  I’ll clock out and joyfully do this for the benefit of all- (asthma is a common diagnosis; perhaps the 18th most common).  I actually used to remove the cans from the dispenser and throw them away, but locks then mysteriously appeared on them- funny how change occurs quickly when it is to human detriment.  My online research and subsequent letters to occupational “health” went unheeded. My guess: MY BOSS IS THE CLOCKED-IN POOPER  WHO CAN’T STAND THE SCENT OF HER OWN SHIT.  Is this a benefit of middle management? 

 

But getting rid of an unnecessary, toxic, too-concentrated, life-threatening product in a health-care facility was not the plan.  Once my survival was assured, I had to visit every restroom with my boss and find the only one that didn’t conveniently dispense poopsmell “disguiser”.  That is the only one I am allowed to use. Ever.  If someone else is using it (to poop, perhaps); or worse, if the adjacent rooms are locked (as often happens),  I just have to suck it up.  Like grade school.  Yeah, I’m ten years old again, raising my hand or waiting for recess.  I drink a lot of coffee to cope with work.  I pee, you know, a few times a day.

 

But, on a nice day like today, I could hold my breath, pee anywhere I liked, and feel free.  Free!  How wonderful is that?  Ah, the little pleasures of life. 

Nude!  Nude!  Elves and sprites, nude and frolicking in sylvan splendor!  Click here now!

 

I am so freaking sick of sp4m, I could barf Lucky Charms.

Well, I finally don’t (usually) need a cane to get around. It’s kind of nice. But on the other hand, I’m going to miss the thing. Here are a few reasons why.

1. It just looks damn cool. So jaunty, so Fred Astaire, so proper– yet so steampunk at the same time (unfortunately, mine is not also a sword, but it can be a decent weapon). It was like a fashion accessory. Since I’m so trendy, I noticed all the other hipsters started using them too, so that’s the real reason I’m not using it much anymore. I have to stay one step ahead. Fashion is cutthroat, man.

2. Canes make you look smart. House, anyone?

3. It’s a great conversation piece. It offers variety, for one thing: on two separate Christmases, I had to use a crutch to get around. Do you have any idea how many times I had to hear “God bless us! Every one!” Barf. Come up with a new joke. (addendum: I did hear “you’re you’re just using that as a crutch” at least once too).  The cane, on the other hand, inspired a million hilarious comments, including a rendition of “One Singular Sensation” (every little, painful step she makes…) I laughed so hard my sides hurt even more than they already did!

4. It’s great for waving angrily at motorists that declined to politely slow down for me to cross the street- p a i n f u l l y s l o w l y. If my other hand was free, I could give the finger too at the same time- imagine that! That hurt, but hurt so good.

5. It made a great cat-grabber. If Sheba was doing something naughty (which is too often), I could just kind of hook her off-stage, a la The Gong Show.

6. It’s great for picking up inanimate objects too. Dropped keys? No problem. Shoulder bag? Piece of cake. Same with reaching for high objects. Hook ’em.

7. Moth killa. I love wool. Moths love wool too. I stay up late at night with the lights on; moths come in, ravenous for fiber. Pop! Sheba ate the slowly dying ones. Once I can really move again, I’ll finish getting the woolen items put up until next winter. Until then, moths beware.

8. Clearing out the clothes chute when something gets stuck in there, clogging the thing with two stories worth of clothes. Um, Jack? Yeah, be more careful when you put your clothes in there. That’s why you don’t have any clean “draws.” Thanks.

9. Getting offered seats. I went to see a lesbian band, and I swear those fans were some of the nicest people I have ever encountered. I had not seen more overalls at a rock show ever (the band members are all super-cute; their fan base is by-and-large twice their age. It’s rather sweet, actually). I never had to stand. Seats were premium, and generously offered. Good show, too.

10. Same with getting to the front of any bathroom line. Sort of like how we always let pregnant women go first. We really do.

11. Pulling the car door closed. That trick earned me a look of awe– from someone obviously easily impressed, but nonetheless.

It’s wonderful to have the thing. I found it in a dead man’s basement that I cleaned out several years ago (in exchange for getting to keep the stuff!)- along with war memorabilia and a few other amazing items; I always keep it where I know I can grab it when needed. Because, you never know: I might need to pull stuck clothing from the chute, or have an uninvited moth to kill. Or put my back out sneezing. It could happen to you.

This post at Cheeky Pink Girl– a wonderfully thoughtful (and smart, and interesting) blog- is about me.

Charlotte- the blog’s author- is the only person that I could have even mentioned these things to. (Jack- bless his heart-has circuit overload when I try to talk about it. He’s wired a bit differently than most, too: don’t judge). Char and I had the most wonderful, loving phone discussion. When I say love, I mean tough love: the kind that she knew I really needed.


Usually I am an optimistic person, but sometimes the dark clouds take over- for instance, severe lasting physical pain brings them on, but also the winter SAD that for some reason was the worst this past winter than ever. I can get into a hole that seems to have no escape route other than exercising my free will to…well…but Char helped me find the some real escape routes: Prayer- of course; even the simplest of prayers; ways to find the right fit of a counselor; and possibly antidepressants just for the winter, and just getting the stupid light box already!!! (I had forgotten to tell her about my horrible EAP experience and our ridiculous stepfamily counseling sessions that hurt more than helped.   So my fear of finding the wrong counselor is not irrational). And then she opened up the discussion to her thoughtful and kind blog readers. People whom I have never met, and likely never will- except online!

What a blessing. What a cloud of believers on the Internet. Think about that- people’s souls- never having met IRL-, touching each other, praying for each other, in the ether, on the way to eternity. It is a beautiful thought.