Monday, 29 August 2011

I'm a guest poster!

Thanks to my darling friend Elle from This Is Mommyhood, I am officially published on a blog! (Other than the two I operate myself.)  Fame!  Finally!  Just what I've been waiting for!  Now I can retire and bask in the glow of my ever-lasting popularity.  Like the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block.  Oh... wait...

Anyway, this is what I wrote for Elle.  But you need to go check out my Q&A on her blog.  It will not be a waste of your time.  That's for sure. 

Also, you should read some of Elle's posts.  I like this one in particular.  Or if you've ever had kids you might be familiar with a little devil cartoon called Caillou.

PS - Elle and I combined our mutal brain power to come up with the title of this post - which I think was an EXCELLENT idea.

****** 
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Mary Poppins is a parenting inspiration.

Alternate title: Marianna will shank your ass if you eff with her, and parenting thoughts from the *almost* left handed amputee.

When my dear friend Elle began hunting for guest posters, I wasn’t sure I was the best person for the job. You see, Elle is so sweet, kind, genuine and funny. I, on the other hand, am kind of an asshole.

And on top of that, I don’t have kids, so I rarely have helpful advice for her the parenting department. I’m pretty useless, actually.

HOWEVER, my uterus has been pretty riled up lately, screaming at me to grow something inside it, so I’ve been doing some thinking about what kind of parent I want to be. Alors, here is my list of goals for my yet-unborn children.

Elle, I know you’ll find this extremely helpful. You’re welcome.

What my kids will inherit from me
Remarkable grace. And the ability to be tolerant, open-minded, and understanding. They had better not EVER assume that they know the whole story. They need to hold their judgments. Unless they’re judging Snookie. Snookie is an idiot of immense proportion.

What my kids will have to inherit from someplace else
The confidence to under-achieve. What I mean is, the confidence to know they are “successful” even if they don’t over-accomplish every little stupid thing in their whole entire lives. I don’t want them to lose their marbles like – ahem – someone I know. I want them be happy, not stressed.

What my kids will inherit from me
Willingness to read. I don’t really care what they read, as long as they read something. I think I might get them started on Twilight.

What my kids will have to inherit from someplace else
A distant relationship with television and the internet. Unless they’re watching Ellen. Or Jimmy Fallon. Or So You Think You Can Dance. Or The Young and The Restless. Or Roseanne. Or unless they’re blogging. Or reading blogs. Or watching Youtube. Or tweeting. No Facebook though. I HATE Facebook.

What my kids will inherit from me
Artistic ability. They should write, or draw, or act, or dance, or make macaroni castles. A creative outlet to express themselves is KEY. As long as they don’t collect old beer cans and build a beer can wall in the backyard, I’ll be on board. Maybe even then.

What my kids will have to inherit from someplace else
Athletic ability. In team sports. With other people. For the FUN of it. With Hubby to drive them to their games and practices, because I’m too lazy for that.

What my kids will inherit from me
Honesty. They should be straightforward and out-spoken. Passive aggression annoys me and I won’t receive it well from anyone – fruit of my loins or otherwise. They should speak their minds.

What my kids will have to inherit from someplace else
Politeness. Those little brats better be nice to people. They can have their own opinion but they better choose the right time to open their big mouths.

Finally, what my kids will inherit from me
Intelligence. They’ll be smart. I know it. They’ll even be smart enough to know that I’m always right. Oh… and English and Science and stuff.

And what my kids will have to inherit from someplace else
Patience. I’ll be there IN A MINUTE! If those little shits yell “Maaahhhhhhmm” one more time I’m gonna LOSE it.

So. Elle. There you have it. My top ten list of things all kids oughta be. Get on it, already, won’t ya?

*******

Thanks Elle.  Love ya. 

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Ouch, dammit.

Remember when I decided to sue my best friend (and her cottage dock) for causing me undue hardship and emotional distress? Not to mention compensation for the physical damage that results from the amputation of a left hand?

Well the stakes just got WAY higher.


Yeah. That’s my hand. Rather, what’s left of my hand. I finally got the damn dock shrapnel extracted yesterday, and that, up there, is the result.

Despite the fact my infection seemed to subside as my flesh healed last week, the foreign particle continued to fester. It was only a matter of time before surgery became necessary. This is the kind of wound that KILLED people not that long ago, folks. I could have DIED.

I asked Hubby if he would donate his hand to me in the event that mine could not be saved. He thought carefully and then asked: left or right? Left, obviously. I don’t want two right hands. Well, that wouldn’t do because his left hand is his guitar chord hand. In fact, I couldn’t have either hand, because he needs both. So he offered me his foot instead.

Um, thanks?

So off I went to my doctor’s office to drain yet another 45 minutes of publically funded physician salary from our health system. Luckily my lovely doctor had no intention of causing me harm – bring on the numbing serum! Only, I don’t know if anyone has ever driven a sharp needle – filled with numbing serum or otherwise – into the palm of your hand, but it hurts like a motha.

At least after the needle struggle, my palm and fingers just felt fat and tingly. I could feel her cutting and digging around in there, but I refused to look. At one point I had to ask if that was rubbing alcohol or hot blood dripping down my wrist. Apparently I didn’t want to know the answer to that question.

She eventually found the enemy buried in my flesh. It wasn’t as deep as she expected. Really? So why did you carve me open like that? It seems she wanted to “make sure we got it all".

Oh… um, ok…

She showed me the offender. Imagine a very small, but very sharp, cat claw covered in blood. Ew. But I feel do much better having the little effer extracted. And I’ll look forward to having the two stitches removed next week.

Until then, that picture may become my screensaver. 

_

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Praise me please!

If you've ever spent a lot of time treating yourself like shit, you know how difficult it is to JUST QUIT IT ALREADY. 

So.  Counting the things to be proud of in my day is my new approach to being less crazy. 

Here goes.

The good news: I got up at a reasonable hour today. And I got my ass washed and dressed in time to - wait for it - TAKE THE BUS TO WORK.  You see, the bus takes longer (usually), so lately, driving to work has become a more convenient let-me-sleep-30-minutes-more-for-the-love-of-all-that-is-good-in-this-shithole-please-just-30-minutes-more way of life.  But I have to get back to the bus routine.  Maybe you haven't noticed, but gas is kinda pricey.  And today I did it!  And I arrived relatively early.  Good for me. 

But the bad news?  "Relatively early" still means 15 - okay 20 - minutes late.  So SUE me.

Good news:  I did some work today.  Real work.  And I wasn't in an asshole mood about it either. 

Bad news: I'm still putting off some stuff.  Procrastinator extraordinaire.  Some things never change.

Good news:  I am very nearly done my first book since this whole shit-show began.  It's taken me a long while, but I am three mere chapters from completion.  Concentration is an issue, so getting back to reading is a huge accomplishment.  Believe it.

Bad news:  I read blogs more than I read books.  Actually, that's not bad news, is it?

Good news:  I've been eating better this week.  Lots of veggies and less crap. 

Bad news: "Less crap" excludes pizza and Oreos. 

And here comes the big one.  Drumroll please....

Good news:  I WENT TO THE GYM.  Yes.  Yes I did.  Thanks to my dear friend V's encouragement and company, I managed to handle an hour of high-impact cardio kickboxing.  Without dying.  AND WHILE WEARING MY NEW FUCHSIA X-TRAINERS.  Uh huh.  You heard me. 

Bad news? I won't be able to move tomorrow.  Somebody get me a fucking wheelchair.

_

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Silver lining

I'm feeling much better today. Your comments were such a relief - you helped pull me from the wreckage and back to reality.  Where I belong. 

I can't thank you enough. 

Today, refreshed, I know I need to be careful with myself.  Someone told me recently I had to wrap myself in bubble wrap.  And I effing HATED that he said that.  But it was - gulp -very true.  I need to take it easy.  I jumped in with too much at one time, and I didn't pay enough attention

So tomorrow I shall get back on track.  And in the meantime, I'll keep trying, and concentrating on the good.  My lovely and wise friend V told me today (with this post) that there is always a silver lining. 

And there is.  There are many, in fact.

First, in our ten years together, Hubby and I have never gotten along better than we do now.  Not that we tore each other's throats out on a regular basis or anything, but we communicate better these days.  We're gentler on each other.  And we're working on shit together.  Like a little team project.  It isn't perfect - and I'm no summer peach - but it feels good.

Second, being so frighteningly candid about this garbage has helped me (and others) to acknowledge that I am SO not the only one.  No matter how much stigma, no matter how much denial, we've all had a brush with tough times.  Everyone can relate to me in one way or another... Someone had to drop out of school for a semester because it was too difficult, or someone passed away and someone else was lost without them, or someones mother, father, sister, brother, had a bout of depression once.  The list goes on.  So what does that mean for me?  It means it's ok to talk about it. You can't shut me up, people.   

Finally, I feel like I can actually make progress.  I know the potential is there.  I CAN crawl out of this hole, and there WILL be people waiting for me at the top, willing me to succeed.  I feel liberated from myself.  I finally know what's wrong, and I can work toward fixing it.  I don't have to live in the dark anymore.  I can find peace. 

_

Saturday, 20 August 2011

A sliding scale

This one's for real.  And it's just for me.  If you're not in the mood for serious, skip this.  I'll see you soon with something more fun. 

***

What does it feel like to be depressed?   Well, there's a scale - a variation of pain - that hits me in different ways on different days. 

When it first started, before I even knew it was happening, it was mostly just a total loss of motivation.  And exhaustion. I was so exhausted. I just wanted to sit around all the time and I told myself it was because I was taking a "break" and because it was Winter

But when warm Spring days came, I seemed to be getting worse.  This was the next stage on the scale - the stage where getting out of a bed was next to impossible.  Work was still a reason to get up, but on the weekends?  Hardly.  I remember laying in bed and so desperately wanting to go out and enjoy the sun but just being utterly incapable of it.  Like there was a weight on my chest holding me in place. 

That was the wake-up call.  That's when I broke down and finally admitted - reluctantly - that something was Wrong.

I started with a visit to my doctor and a few psych appointments. 

And then I hit the bottom of the scale.  I was devastated all the time and clinging - CLINGING - to whatever form of normalcy I could, but with little hope of survival.  Soon the panic attacks started and the constant chest pain followed, and I spent more than one morning collapsing on my bedroom floor knowing I couldn't go to work.  And even when I could, it became a TOTALLY RATIONAL idea to just hide under the deskNo one would know I was there. I'd be safe.

Then I started thinking about suicide now and then.  How would I do it?  It would be so much easier. Hubby would be better off.  Etcetera. 

That was the point at which medication became necessary.  And time away from work. 

So I spent the next several weeks making TREMENDOUS effort to emerge from bed every day.  It took everything I had to just get in the car and go on an errand with Hubby.  I remember visiting my mom and just sitting on her stairs for days without the basic capacity to leave that one spot. And I rememebr trying to choke down a few bites of food.

After four weeks of meds I was supposed to be feeling the relief everyone told me would come. And I wasn't.  Sure, I had one or two tolerable days, but nothing like what I was expecting.  I sat on my bedroom floor leaning on the bedframe and just crying to myself that I just. wanted. to. feel. better.

Back to the doctor.  An increase of meds and a plan to go back to work part time.  Psych appointments continued and the goal was ultimately to get back to day-to-day functioning.  Get out of bed. Shower. Eat. Go to work. Hold it together. Don't panic. Go home. Rest. Start all over again. 

Painful. 

But then I started feeling some relief.  Miraculously.  My brain was no longer 100% occupied with forcing myself to breathe.  It was not quite as exhausting to function.  It was hard, yes, but it didn't take up every single minor ounce of whatever energy I had to just keep going. 

I could feel the change.  I could feel it getting better.  And I could start paying some attention to the things in my life that made me this way in the first place.  I had a crutch to lean on while I worked on the other stuff.  A backup battery. 

And then Hubby's Poppy died.  Setback.  But I managed.  I was able to recognize what I needed and allow myself that space.  I took a vacation day.  And we went to the waterpark.  It was magical - just what I needed... to laugh and feel joy.   

And then someone else died.  And that was more complicated.  She was an awful and dangerous person from my childhood, and dealing with a lack of sympathy for someone's death was a whole new experience for me.  Brand new.  And miserable. 

But my therapist got me through it and she said I was turning a corner.  Fatigue was still an issue and mornings still sucked ASS, but I was sticking to my Diversification Plan and making some progress.  Finally. 

And then my pseudo-grandfather died.  And because of tricky family dynamics I didn't go to the service. And that was heartbreaking, because I didn't like having to admit that my fragile heart and mind couldn't handle it. I hated it, actually. And the guilt washed over me until I thought I might drown. 

So instead of going to the service, I went to the cottage, as planned, which only made me feel worse.  Everyone said sitting at home would not have been better for me, but I'm not convinced. 

I felt myself sliding, very slowly and desperately sliding down the scale again.  Falling into the abyss of depression that not even the meds could pull me out of. 

I saw it coming. It was harder to concentrate and I started preferring to cover my head with the blankets and hide from the world.  And then yesterday I couldn't get out of bed.  And then those nasty thoughts came again.  I know they're irrational, and I don't think they're sincere, but there's something inside that just lets me go to that place.  Something deep beneath my surface that likes to entertain the idea.  It seems to let some of the pressure out. 

So I slept on the couch for a few hours yesterday afternoon/evening, and just couldn't be bothered to get up.  I'm not even that tired.  I just can't face the alternative. 

And the worst part of the sliding scale?  It feeds off itself.  I am so ashamed and so desperate.  It pulls me down and down and the lower I get the harder it is to pull myself out. 

So there it is.  That's what it's like, for me, to be depressed.  Logically, in my mind, I know I'll probably be ok.   I'll dig UP and find a way to drag myself out of this dark hole. I don't know how yet. But I will. 

But in my heart? In my heart, it's not that easy.

_

Thursday, 18 August 2011

My first Wordless Wednesday... on Thursday

Cottaging...

My coffee-ground moo-stachio.


My splinter wound. It's worse than it looks. Trust me.

How many sunglasses can YOU wear at one time?

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

I'm going to sue my best friend

We were at my best friend's cottage this weekend and I may have to amputate my left hand. 

I think I could live without my left hand if I really had to, but if I do have to cut it off, I will most certainly sue my best friend for mal-treatment via cottage dock and severe emotional trauma. 

I was TRYING to do something nice, too.  One of my fellow cottage guests thought it would be a good idea to put her dog into the canoe.  I don't know about you, but I know very few people who can stay balanced in a canoe, let alone a damn dog. 

So I was trying to help the friggin thing out of the boat, leaning over the edge of the dock.  (And I can neither confirm nor deny the consumption of alcohol on said dock - because that could be detrimental to the outcome of my legal proceedings.)  I was kneeling on the dock, leaning over the side into the canoe and trying to help Hubby lift the doggie to safety. 

Well.  Somehow I shoved my hand into the edge of the dock and managed to jam 324 pieces of ancient wood chips into my palm.  And it's possible that something I ate or drank - I'm not sure what - may have inhibited my ability to recognize and respond to my impending panic attack. 

Basically, I shouted at nobody in particular, showed my bloody wound to Hubby, and then took off up to the cottage to find... I don't know what. 

Luckily my nurse friend Sarah was able to save me from this crisis situation by offering to conduct a cottage-style open-hand surgery. 

I sat at the picnic table with my left hand face up on the table and my right hand on my white wine anesthesia while Nurse Sarah dug out the 752 pieces of dock shrapnel that were embedded into my flesh.

I tried to read a book as a form of distraction, but mostly every other word just came out as "fuck". 

Our other friend came up to table and told me that Hubby asked if I was ok.  I looked up, and there was Hubby frolicking in the lake beneath a capsized canoe.  "Yeah.  He looks really concerned." 

In the end, Nurse Sarah couldn't even get the last bastard piece of shrapnel out of my hand.  She said the laceration below was a hindrance to a safe operation.  And she didn't have her scalpel.  She said my skin will hopefully discharge the foreign body within a day or two. 

Either that, or we'll have to amputate. 

And by the looks of it, it'll be the second one. 

UPDATED:

Given that my palm is two times its normal size, leaking some really nasty shit, and isn't even the correct flesh colour anymore, I went to see a nurse today.  After digging around in my hand for a few minutes she determined that I'll have to come back for another medical "procedure" on Thursday. 

Awesome.

This cheesy post also appears on Cheesy Bloggers.
_

Friday, 12 August 2011

One thing after another

I'm sorry I've been MIA this week.  It's been a pretty bad week.  It didn't start out that way, but it just seemed to go down hill from Tuesday night onward.  Although I did have to go back to work after a week off, which meant I wasn't really in a good mood to begin with. 

Sadly, I've lost another loved one.  A pseudo-grandfather that has been a loving part of my life for many years died this week.  And I haven't been able to see him in a long while.  To be honest, I'm pretty devastated.  And, to be even more honest (and cryptic at the same time) there are some other complications that make it difficult for me to go to the service. 

So. 

Here I am.  Feeling sad and guilty and DAMN tired. 

And I'm supposed to go have "fun" at a friend's birthday cottage party this weekend, but I haven't quite figured out how to accomplish that yet.

All this just when my therapist said she thought I was turning a corner.  Turns out there's a giant bus coming straight at me on the other side.  

Enough about that, though.  

There are other things that have upset me this week, and it only makes sense that I share them with you too. 

First, this:
I can't even talk about it.
And then, this:

Really? MILLIONS of people watch this? REALLY?
And finally, this:

Bert and Ernie should damn well be allowed to get married. What year is this?
_

Monday, 8 August 2011

Somebody get me a baby. Immediately.

Hubby and I recently went to our friends J & M's house, and luckily for us, we got to visit with their 8 month old baby boy K.  

CUTEST EFFING BABY IN CANADA. 

This baby has the biggest happiest smile you've EVER seen (just like Papa J's) and the biggest brownest eyes of ALL time (just like Mama M's). 

When I started walking up the stairs into the living room, Baby K leaned out of Mama arms with that big smile spread across his face and reached out for me.  I kid you not, that child has NO idea who I am.  Not a damn clue.  And yet he was so excited to see me.  "Oh! Somebody new! Gimme!"  It was PRECIOUS. 

We played with Baby K on the floor, watching him try to walk and hearing all about how he's the nicest, most pleasant baby that has ever graced Gaga's green earth. 

So then I put him in my purse and took him home. 

Ok, not quite, but almost.  I did insist that I be allowed to babysit.  Well, I demanded it.  Whatever. 

Hubby agrees that the cuteness of Baby K is completely infectious, and I don't think he was even particularly opposed to me kidnapping the little guy.  But he swears he's not ready for kids yet.  And it couldn't hurt to get my own shit together first, too.  

So fine.  We're waiting.  And in the meantime I plan to steal and/or babysit all my friends' babies. 

Hubby, on the other hand, has a different plan.  He wants a dog, dammit.  He talks about it all the time.  Problem is, I'm not sure he really understands how much work is involved with a dog, nor does he appreciate how much I friggin hate them. 

But today Hubby spent some more time with Baby K, and guess what?  He admits that a baby might be just as good (if not better) than a dog.  He says he just needs a little minion - something to mold, influence, train.  Something to teach tricks to and play with. 

And then, immediately after we talked about having a baby and being excellent parents, our fat cat Patches started eating our dumb cat Tuxedo's food and Hubby proceeded to shout at the top of his man-voice lungs:

"PATCH!!!  PATCH!!!  PAAAAATCH!!!!!!"

And then he banged on the coffee table with the palm of his hand three times. 

BANG.  BANG BANG!

And then, and I am not exaggerating here, he shouted:

"I WILL BEAT YOU!"

And then he stood up and started to march over to Patches with that murderous stomp and evil glare mean old men have when they want to intimidate a child who is playing on their front lawn. 

At least Patches stopped eating Tux's food.  And at least I know my babies will be scared senseless into submission well-behaved. 



_

Saturday, 6 August 2011

I'm basically your personal GPS device.

Hubby and I have been living in this city for almost 3 years a very short time, and as I've said before, it isn't always easy to navigate.  Sometimes the streets move around or change direction over night and the next day I just can't find my way. 

But Friday my mom and quasi-stepdad came ot visit and when I started driving us all downtown for lunch and window shopping Mom mentioned how impressive it was that I knew where to go.  Yes, I said.  I am very impressive. 

So I decided to draw a very advanced colour-coded map so if you ever decide to hang out here for a day you'll know how to get around.  You're welcome. 

I know you want to click on this so you can see it better. You don't want to miss anything.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

My Last Will and Testament

My stay-cation is awesome.  It's nice not to have to go to work.  Not to have to go anywhere, actually.  Like the old days when I was unmedicated and missing my marbles.  

Friday I was lazy but decided at the height of mosquito hour - 8:30pm - that it was a good time to mow the lawn.  But then I MAY have accidentally cut the electric mower extension cord in half.  Maybe.  It was one of those "wow, I'm awesome" moments that we can all be pretty proud of. 

Saturday Ma- and Pops-in-law came to see Hubby's concert.  It was great.  Except that Hubby sent me asked me to go to the mall to buy him some new shirts.  When I got home he quickly tried on - and quickly dismissed - every last one of them.  All five shirts.  Whatever.

Sunday was Twitter movie night, and it was awesome.  Except Johhny depp didn't join us.  Bummer.

Tuesday was supposed to be "return to the death coffin waterslide" day, but the weather wasn't nice enough.  So instead we went back to the mall and exchanged all of Hubby's shirts. 

Then I finally bought a bike helmet and we went on a 15 km bike ride along the river.  That's long for me.  Shut it.  Hubby later said that it was fun, but he won't be doing it again any time soon.  I loved it, but my back is nearly immobile today.  Pathetic wimpy back.  (It didn't help that some harmless after-biking garden weeding eventually became two and half hours of obsessive/compulsive gardening, trimming, raking, and generally green-thumbing all over my yard.)

After all of that, Hubby said his highlight of the day was me in the aisle at dirty Canadian Tire trying on numerous cheap (and of course too large) bike helmets with the tags hanging in my face and the helmet sliding off the back of my head.  Yeah, that was HILARIOUS.

Today was saved for a pedicure and lunch with my lovely pregnant friend.  Her fortune cookie said she was more influential than she knows.  True dat.  Mine said to be a teacher I have to be a student.  Fair play. 

All of this has been speckled with reading my book in my back yard, napping, laundering, and cuddling with my cats.  If the weather cooperates, I will attempt to conquer the death coffin waterslide again tomorrow.  It was nice knowing you all. 

I leave my new bike to Angela, my fuchsia x-trainers to Chick, and to Miss Sarcasm I leave all my cheese and my twitter account (so Jimmy Fallon can follow her too). I want Elle to have my wheelbarrow so she can return the favour.  (She knows what that means.)  And I think Theresa needs my "pool" for her "cottage", and maybe Carm needs all my underwear.

I love the rest of you, but I don't have any other cool stuff, so tell me what you want and I'll try to arrange it.


*This is not my real Will. Hubby gets everything. Maybe he'll honour this, and maybe he won't. You'll just have to wait and see.

_

Monday, 1 August 2011

Who's on first?

A conversation Hubby and I just had:

Me:  What's Beyonce's last name? Beyonce Knowles-Z?

Hubby: Umm...

Me: Does Jay-Z even have a real name?

Hubby: Does he have a real name? Yeah.

Me: Yeah, like, I know he must, but what is it?

Hubby: I think it's Sean Diddy Combs.

Me: Yeah!  Like that!

Hubby: Are you even listening to me? Did you hear what I said?

Me:  Yes, honey, I heard you. 

Hubby: I don't think you did.  Sean.  Diddy Combs.  Sean Diddy Combs.

Me: Yes, honey.  Like that. 

Hubby:  You're not listening to me.  That's P Diddy.  Puff Daddy.  Not Jay-Z. 

Me:  I know honey.  I meant that his name is like that.  Like Sean Diddy Combs. 

Hubby:  I know what you meant but you weren't listening to me.

Me: Frig! YES I WAS. I WAS SAYING HIS NAME WAS LIKE THAT.  NOT THAT EXACTLY, BUT LIKE IT.  Like a real name as well as his nickname.  I know it, I just can't remember what it is. 

Hubby: Ok, but that's not his name!

Me:  OH MY GOD.  AHHHRG!  You are SO exasperating!

Hubby: You're exhausting.

The End

Oh wait.  I just tried to tell him about this post and he wasn't particularly happy about it.

Hubby: I don't need to relive this.

Me: Oh, really?!

Hubby: Yeah.  I was quite upset.


Huh.  Soooo... not funny yet, eh? 

_