Happy New Year and Shit

With about 19 minutes to go before the ball drops and 2008 begins, and about 20 minutes to go before my sorry old ass can get to sleep, I figure now is as good a time as any to reveal my latest batch of resolutions. Well, not resolutions, per se -- it's really hard to improve yourself when you're a veritable Mary Poppins*. But stuff I'd like to work on in the new year, just the same:

10. Make a flaming dessert. Not "learn to make one," because I already know how to make at least three (two of them intentionally), but actually commit to actually making one.

9. Be less artsy and more fartsy.

8. Stop getting into discussions with anyone about the Philadelphia Eagles. If necessary, I will use my father's gambit on this and say that "my anger management counselor told me I am not 'allowed' to discuss religion, politics, or sports."

7. Eat more vegetables.

6. Learn to say "please," "thank you," and "fast" in as many languages as possible, in case I ever end up on The Amazing Race. Also, learn to drive stick shift.

5. Forgive Santa for giving my husband "Guitar Hero II" for Christmas.

4. Somehow, some way, forget the words to "Surrender" and "Possum Kingdom," and replace them with the words to "Strutter," "Tattoo Love Boys," and "Jessica." Heh.

3. Blog more regularly.

2. Finish the goddamned novel that I have been writing in my head, little by little and piece by piece, since I read my first Judy Blume book when I was 8 years old.

1. Live well, laugh often, and love much. Especially myself.

And not that you asked, but the best part of the last year? This minute, right here:

* = Practically perfect in every way. Heh.


Dōmo Arigatō, Mr. Super Mario

Dear Nintendo Corporation of America,

As a person who watches entirely too much television, I watch a lot of commercials every day. (Well, hypothetically, anyway.) In the run-up to Christmas, I saw shills for several thousand products, but I believe that only one did as advertised and brought our family together.

So, thanks for the Wii. We didn't get one for Christmas because we already had one, but we did get a lot of use out of it. My husband, father, and brother-in-law all have rotator cuff injuries from playing the Home Run Derby game. And we're actually going bowling for real later this week!

It's been so long since I've worn rented shoes, and I have the Wii to thank. Happy Holidays, Nintendo.



Crazy Is Contagious

Another one of my many mental ailments: I am a wicked hypochondriac. Like, if I smell coffee or bacon in the morning, I am instantly convinced that I have a brain tumor or nasal polyps or epilepsy or something, and not until I am actually holding a plate in front of me and bitching about how this pigmeat isn't crisp enough does it ever once occur to me that I might be smelling strange things because someone is cooking something.

Example: from time to time I wake up in the morning with a sore throat, cotton mouth, a splitting headache, and absolute killer death-breath. According to WebMD (the Internet is a wonderful thing, no?), I might have Sjgren's syndrome, or acute kidney failure, or constipation, or mono (which I'm pretty sure I already had when I had "the flu" in college for six damn weeks, but who knows?), or even leukemia -- OK, leukemia isn't technically on the list, but I know that different kinds of cancers manifest in different kinds of ways.

Of course, what I really have? Is a hangover. It's the great-goddamn-grandmother of all hangovers, but still. God. Weirdo. (But I can't really help it that I'm allergic to having a good time.)

But the point of all of this is that right now I have a cat with the sniffles, and so of course I am freaking the fuck out. You can ask my husband about last night, when I lay in bed weeping and shrieking hysterically because I was terrified, absolutely inconsolably convinced, that something is seriously wrong with the cat. Practically at death's door. Making funeral plans and picking out an outfit and everything. I mean, come on! He's been hanging out in the bathtub, ferchrissakes!

Plus I recently discovered WebDVM, which is like WebMD for animals, and ... Christ on a cracker, the horror! Owen has been sneezing and coughing, which could mean kennel cough, or feline herpes, or heartworm. He also has the sniffles and some congestion, which could be COPD, or distemper, or pneumonia. And he's been drinking a lot, which could be diabetes, or kidney failure, or a thyroid problem. Every single one of these things sounds horrible. A simple cold, which is probably what he actually has, is almost anticlimactic now.

I figured out what will fix him, though: Valium. Lots and lots of Valium. Or Zoloft, or Xanax, or Prozac, or some other mood stabilizers. Oh, not for him, though. They're for me.
UPDATE 12/14/07: G took Owen to the (craptacular) emergency backup vet today, because he wasn't sounding very good overnight into today. Poor little bugger is on antibiotics ... and now I need to watch out for amoxicillin allergies, because cats can be allergic to amoxicillin, and since I'm allergic to amoxicillin you just know the O-Bert will be. If Something Bad happens we might have to give him steroids or epinephrine. Like what happens to me, only I don't know if you'll see his hives under his fur. Oh, and feline herpes is apparently a possibility. Sometimes the worst-case scenario is actually possible. Oy vey.


Um. So. On my way home from work today I was sort of planning this whole long post about how on the day before Thanksgiving, November 21, a day that shall live in infamy forever and ever, amen, G and I had this interview for a potential adoption placement and we finally got an answer and the response was, basically, FUCK NO YOU CRAZY GODDAMNED LUNATIC AND WE'RE SORRY MR. G BUT DO YOU KNOW YOUR WIFE IS INSANE AND UNFIT?, quote-unquote, and how now I'm all spiralling out of control because the whole entire world and parts of Mars are conspiring to commit this whole nuclear complete annihilation of my soul and all that rot, but ... well, I'm just not really prepared to deal with it right now, so I won't.

I mean, don't get me wrong: I'm hurt and angry and pissed off and tired and I want to rend my garments, hypothetically speaking, but then again I just bought this sweater on Friday and it really reminds me of this sweater I had back in the day from the United Colors of Bennetton but then my boobs and my ass got too big to fit into it any more and now I don't know where it is, somewhere in the black hole of my mother's house, I think, but anyway this particular sweater is new and I just wore it once and I only have the one stain on it so far, so maybe I'll rend something else later, OK? Not right now.

It's tiring being told over and over again that things just aren't going to work out for you. Never in my life, not seriously, have I ever had to take "No" for an answer, and something just does not compute. Now matter how many negative pregnancy tests I take, no matter how many times different counties or caseworkers tell us that we are denied, no matter how much blood and hormones and money and sweat and tears and actual tiny little pieces of my heart the doctors take month after month, week after week, day after day, even two years after I've stopped giving myself shots in the stomach literally one day before I'm supposed to get on the plane for my sister's wedding, no matter how many times and how many days and how may tries and how many ways, I just can't figure out how to let it go.

Some people, they keep telling me, are just not meant to be parents. Their purpose is broader or wider or higher or different, but I just can't wrap my head around that. I don't care. Even though I know, somewhere deep down there where all my primordial feelings live and breathe, that this thing I want so much is just not going to happen for me, I can't give it up. And it is killing me. I am killing myself, and I can't stop it. It makes me ridiulous, irrational, irritable, eleventy kinds of crazy, and I just can't shut it off.

And I am just not prepared to talk about it. Not right now.


One of my super-secret mental illnesses, one of the so very many I have but definitely one of the less visible, is my absolute love -- LOVE! -- for wrapping presents.

Yes, really.

No, I am not making this up.

Although I've never talked to a therapist about it (because, let's face it, the fact that I am a Type-A paranoid borderline schizophrenic with half an Electra complex, inappropriate rage issues and an obsession with LOLspeek tends to take up a lot of lot of time on the couch), I believe this is part of the reason why I start shopping for Christmas presents so early, and why I buy so many.

It might be part of the reason why I became a retail terrorist, hunting high and low for the absolute best bargains anywhere, so I can get the most things for the least amount of money, so there are more things to adorn with shiny paper, curling ribbon, gift tags, and 47 metric tons of Scotch tape. (When the Grinch looks down on Who-ville and notices that Christmas "came without packages, boxes, and bags?" I always think, deep down in my heart, that this is bullshit, because while I believe that World Peace is a beautiful thing, I am also smart enough to know that it's even more beautiful with a little bit of sequins and a gift tag.)

And if you know me even in passing, you're probably vaguely aware that I am something of a grown-up Garanimal: everything must match. So it will come as a surprise to approximately no one that I spent more than a hour in a T.J. Maxx store back in October, trying to find three rolls of gift wrap that matched this year's wrapping theme. (Note also that I was doing this in a store where I wouldn't have to pay full retail.)

When I'm shopping, I am often drawn to gifts that come in weird, strange, odd, or oversize packages, so that I can challenge myself when I wrap them. Wrapping is not an obligation to me, a traditional formality; I believe that it is the thought that counts, and I want the thought to be: "I care enough about you to fold this paper with hospital corners and match the patterns and tape every single seam and make you earn this present, dammit."

Of course, the problem with this is that I go through something that is maybe like postpartum depression when people open their stuff. I watch them tear into everything that I took such time and care to prepare. Not because I am afraid that they won't like their gifts -- sometimes I honestly believe I might not even care about that. But because I put a lot of work into wrapping those things, and I want my family and friends to stop for a second and say, "Hey, wow, this really looks too pretty to open." Admire my craftsmanship. Call me an artist.

And then: gimme gimme gimme. Pass the loot. Because even crazy people like presents, you know?