Friday, April 28, 2006
Auntie Matter
"Run along to Ito and tell him to bring me a light breakfast - black coffee and a sidecar. Oh, oh. And a cold towel for your Auntie Vera."

I plan to be an Auntie Mame to Ace, if of course, my sister and brother-in-law will permit. Being a spinster-aunt, in my opinion, is a very important job. Fine, I am married but I’m not having children. (insert misuse of "spinster" observations here – contention to follow.)

If I can use "y’all" because I live in Southern California I can use "spinster aunt." Since I like to have a rationale behind my opinions (I’m so talmudic!) here goes:

"Spinster" is defined as free, single, and unattached. These are lovely terms. The synonyms for "childless" include, sterile, fruitless, unproductive, barren and nulliparous. Hideous! I’m using spinster as a substitute. Because imagine my beloved nephew/niece Ace having to say to his/her classmates,

"You know, my dear nulliparous Auntie Faith is taking me to Zurich this spring!"

Doesn’t spinster sound way more fun?! Hey, if y’all come up with another way of saying it, I’m game.

Anyway, the modern role of the spinster aunt involves spoiling the crap out of your sister’s child(ren) and at the same time, taking said child(ren) off the hands of very tired/annoyed/overwhelmed parents.

It involves having loads of disposable income that comes from not raising children. These heaps of cash can be used for spoiling the child.

It involves some very subtle hints letting the child know that if one has a sensitive issue to discuss and does not want to speak to one’s parent, the spinster aunt does not tell tales.

It involves teaching child(ren) how to mix a good drink long before they are legally permitted to imbibe. It just occurred to me that if, in fact, I am to become Ace’s auntie Mame, I really should start drinking again. If only to say that, "Auntie is hung."

It especially includes teaching child the difference between Art and shit slung on a canvas by some moronic, under-employed 28 year old.

More to come on this topic.


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Thursday, April 27, 2006
These are not a few of my favorite things.
Are you ever worried that:

  1. you're becoming one of those crazy self-help book junkies?
  2. you're going to go bald?
  3. you will lose all of your tried and true coping mechanisms and your head will explode like a Peep in a microwave?

I am.

The coping mechanism crap is a big one. Food is my drug of choice. It relaxes me. It makes me feel like I'm in control because I can have it whenever I want (which was not always the case). It numbs me out so I don't have to think so hard. Of course then I'm all pissed off at myself for having eaten for all of these "stupid" reasons (still trying with the compassion for myself stuff) and I get rid of it. Then I'm all cranky and tired but at least I don't have the food to contend with and it starts all over again with the numbing out.

This is how I have coped with stuff for a long, long, long ass time. Like a good 30+ years. It's really hard to break old habits like these. But I'm trying. Actively trying. For instance:

*I am trying to understand that I don't have anyone to rebel against anymore. Everyone does, but this is ridiculous.

* I am learning that if I unconsciously call myself names all day long, I start to get depressed.

* I am more aware that the food will always be there, and that waiting until I'm hungry does not mean there won't be any left.

* I am more aware that even if there isn't any left (for instance, the box of See's candy in the break room right now), I can go buy some for myself if I do really, really want it later.

Of course there is a list twice as long of things I logically know I should be able to do but can't seem to wrap my head around yet. Right now, I'm just trying to be a little more aware of what I'm doing rather than basically going "la la la I can't hear you!!" by focusing on my body, food and other such distracting crap. Like not using food as anything but food and having my head explode like a Peep in the microwave.

BTW - so embarrassed saying all of this to you but it somehow helps to get it out there. Perhaps, even, a few of you might relate...?

I would say that the self-help book issue is second. I don't feel so bad about this since I don't spout on about reading these books and I feel like any sort of insight they might give me on my eating disorder and any other trauma I might have had is a big plus. Besides, it's not like I'm reading Dr. Laura...

The bald issue is a very distant 3rd since I love wearing wigs and if I actually went bald, it would give me an excellent excuse to wear all the ones I have - I believe I'm up to 7 or 8 now. Frankly, I think white chicks should start wearing more wigs. Black chicks have the whole wig thing down. They know how to wear them and are really good at it. Perhaps I will single handedly bring hats and wigs back into fashion for the white chick...what do you think?

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Emergency post on Gallows Humor
This is an emergency post based on the gross nature of yesterday's post and the fact that this blog was featured on Crazy Aunt Purl. Frankly I'm a little scared that when y'all see the grossness, not to mention the complete lack of compassion for the person who had the "issue", you will think poorly of me. That perhaps I am a heartless bitch.

Hence, I write a new post to explain myself.

Gallows humor is a big part of my life. I have worked in HIV Inc. for about 15 years now (with a little sabbatical) and I have had lots of friends kick it. The list would be hideously depressing. In fact, I must admit, were it not for the early demise of the beautiful and talented Shane, I would not be where I am today. Sad, yet true. Finding humor in work that is stressful, frustrating or dangerous is important in order to continue doing a good job.

To familiarize you all with this particular brand of humor and just for the fun of it, I have included one of my favorites.

A conversation between two clients overheard in the halls of an APLA included, "You look great! Is that a new cane?"

Jeff used to say I was an death junkie. I wish he was still around so that I could explain that no, I'm not a death junkie, in fact, I hate the dying part.
  • I want to remember everyone I've lost
  • I want to do what I can to help stop the dying part
  • and I want people to know that they can ask me the hard questions, the embarrassing questions, the gross questions. I like being a resource for people. It makes me feel good about myself.

This is why I am still doing this job and why I still love it. Even when I talk about mucus.

Love y'all.


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Tuesday, April 25, 2006
OK - this is going to be gross, just so you know...
I had to share, because here I am, sitting at my desk reading about fatal mucus impaction.

Told you.

When I got to that part of this journal article - I laughed. Which is why I felt I needed to share this with y'all.

I'm not sure how I avoided the squeamish gene, but I did. Now, I don't particularly like watching fully grown 21 year old girls in bikinis on reality tv shows eating raw cow rectum, but the fact that I can handle it without retching is more to the point.

I guess I'm a little disappointed in myself for not having enough self-knowledge when I was in college to go pre-med. After all, I like medicine (in every way), I'm kind of a science geek, I don't get all queasy when I see blood and guts. I learned a couple of years ago how to draw blood and I started giving myself shots at like 11 years old.

All I knew was that medical school wasn't an option because I disliked (and by disliked I mean nearly failed) math. I dismissed the idea of it and held on to not being, what we called at the time, a "scantron major." So I majored in Religious Studies. A lot of good that's done me.

Now some of you cheerleaders out there may say, well, you can still become a doctor, it's not too late. Actually, I would disagree with you. It is, in fact, too late.

You see, there are parts about becoming a physician in one's mid-thirties that I am not willing to undertake. These include, but are not limited to:

1. Going more than $100,000 into debt with nothing but a piece of paper and two letters after my name to show for it.

2. Then starting out at the bottom of the totem pole as an intern.

3. Going to school with a bunch of 22 year olds who can stay up past 9:30 without taking drugs.

4. Spending less time with my husband and friends than I already do.

5. Having to start taking math seriously.

Frankly, now I want a house more than a degree. I'm just a bit wistful for what could have been.


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Friday, April 21, 2006
Speaking of Jews...It's short attention span theater!
First off, this is going to be a totally random, free-association post. If you don't have a very extensive attention span, this one's for you.

I think I have to have this book, Bar Mitzvah Disco. It made me nearly pee my pants. Multiple times. Definition of "It's funny because it's true." I have some great photos that I swear Ellen, I will post this weekend, of myself in a Gunny Sax dress with a fairly high lace collar and sleeves down to my wrists. I look like I just escaped from Colorado City.

Thanks for asking, work is going well (though I am blogging, but it's also lunch-ish time - guilt!!!). Anyway, I have business cards that have my very hookie poo* title on them and I'm about to meet my first real deadline provided I get some doctors to sign some papers and frankly...not as easy as it sounds.

Then I start on a big huge protocol for an experimental drug. I'm actually looking forward to it. My office mate, one Dr. Cranston feels secure in letting me know that there are drugs for that sort of problem. Great, just what I need, a few more psychoactive medications! Which, by the way, still seem to be working fairly well, if I do say so myself.

Today is Jeff's 35th birthday. If he had lived this long he would have had a few stray gray hairs and he probably would have been really pissed off about that. He also, I think, would have had a job at APLA or a similar organization, he'd be clean and sober and he'd probably have been a great 35 year old, despite still being a huge pain in the ass.

On another note, I went to Whole Foods this morning on my way to work to pick up lunch and they had the "Fancy Water" for sale. It was called Metro Mint. I love mint, I need to drink lots of water, I bought the water. Guess what. It tastes like that crap they make you spit out at the dentist. No wonder it was on sale. I've spent the entire day being pissed off at my water for reminding me that I should make an appointment at my dentist. A brilliant way to spend my time.

Also, just a total weird aside on the topic of going places that give root canals, yesterday I hauled my ass to the DMV. Guess what? I had a pleasant experience. Everyone was nice. I had an appointment but I was there early - nobody sneered at me. They moved me to first in line and I saw some woman who has clearly been working at the DMV for half an eternity who was lovely.

I walked out of there as if in a trance, went across the street to the verizon store prepared for a 50 minute wait and the store was - no, not full of smelly people trying to get some free phone deal - empty. That's right. I said it. EMPTY! I figured out my shit and left before my time had run out on the meter.

Only one thing this can mean. The earthquake is coming...

*Hookie poo - also, big Kahuna, Grand Poobah, top banana


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Wednesday, April 19, 2006
My Peeps and Jews
Hey. Sorry. Really - I am. I've been a total loser with this blog. I keep it up for a while and then, something sounds like a damn diet.

Not that I don't like blogging. I like it a hell of a lot more than I like denying myself chocolate chip cookies, but there's the expectation that I have that I'll be brilliant. And some days people, I'm not feeling so brilliant.

Unlike this blogger chick who has documented her experiment with Peeps. I know there have been a few Peeps blogs, I just thought, this one is freakin' fabulous. Imagine that much sugar....

Anyway, I stayed away from the Peeps this Easter season (because it's all about the marshmallows!) and this morning, I finally managed to join the 24 hour fitness (or fatness as one of my dear friends likes to say). The gym is in my damn office building so it's not like I have to go out of my way to get there.

I also bought a pedometer yesterday and have been using it all day. 4,100 steps so far today - only 5,900 to go...shit.

Anyway, New York was a blast. I can't put proof up right now - work and downloading photos...y'all know. Anyway, Michael and I had a great time. We went to the Empire State Building and to Ellis Island and to the house Michael grew up in on Long Island. Without M, I ventured out to The Strand bookstore (18 miles of books), ABC Carpet and Home (heaven on earth) and Stitch n' Bitch NYC which was a blast.

By the way, who knew there were so many Jews in New York? Certainly not me. I grew up in L.A., we have us some Jews.

I went to Camp Ramah and Camp Tinokim and Camp Shelanu and Dor Hadash and Havurat Noar and various and sundry other Jew kid haunts.

Damn though, that was nothing compared to NYC. In LA I am usually I am one of 2-5 Jews at any given Stitch n' Bitch. In NY, it was all about what everyone was making for Pesach and how they had to do Bedikat chametz (searching for every last little crumb of bread in the house and getting rid of it, traditionally by selling it to someone non-Jewish and then buying it back when Passover's over), and the whole thing about Kitniyos (beans - a common Passover drama - though not in my house where we eat any old thing).

I guess I'm a lot more amazed than I thought I'd be. First, it's not like I've never been to New York before. I have. And it's not like I'm not surrounded by the Jews. In fact, I work in Kosher canyon I am surrounded by Congregation Mogen David, the Orthodox Union, some Yeshiva (a boys high school) and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. I see Jew people. I am Jew people. I guess I was feeling my roots.

Anyway, I did get some knitting/crocheting done in NY and since I've been back, which is a good thing since between M's not so secret gift, Shannon's Ace and Sara's Figgy and everyone else and their uteri trying to get knocked up, I've got some work to do.

Love y'all.


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