Friday, August 3, 2012

It's All About Sex

I will not be kissing my wife in front of a Chik-fil-A tonight nor anytime soon.  Although I may kiss her at Eat n Park or Emiliano's or one of the other restaurants we frequent.  I don't know.  It all depends on how I feel.  I can tell you this, we won't make out.  I hate it when you're out somewhere, and that sweet couple who just a moment ago was holding hands suddenly is all tongue and spit til you're finally like "holy crap, get a room!"   I hate that.

I guess I'm just old fashioned.  Nowadays it's all boycotts and Huckabee appreciation events,  kiss-ins and chicken sandwiches.  <Sigh>

I really am old fashioned.  I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school and attended church every Sunday.  My sibs and I were taught the importance of family and country.  My sister's a nurse in the Air Force.  One brother's a cop, the other's a plumber.  I've worked my whole life, taught school, worked with seniors, helped community groups, voted in every election.  I own a house and love my neighbors.  I'd like to shoot a gun someday.  And I'm married, but only in Canada.

Sunshine and Happiness and I can't get married here  because we both have who-ha's which makes some folks think we're perverts or  pedophiles.  Or that we have a gay agenda to indoctrinate the youth of today which in turn will bring the wrath of God down upon us all.  Some also believe because I'm a lesbian, I have no style, a bad haircut and wear sensible shoes.

I'll cop to that last one.

So old fashioned, God fearing, traditional marriage proponents want to protect themselves and their children from me and Sunshine and Happiness because if  we (and our who-ha's) can get married what's next?  Meanwhile married folks are participating in:

intercourse in the missionary and 63 other positions
 (or so says the Kama Sutra)
anal sex
oral sex
role play
S&M (Have you READ 50 Shades of Grey?)
premarital sex
monogamous sex
sex with multiple partners (divorce and remarriage)
sex with multiple partners (adultery)
sex with multiple partners (swingers clubs)
sex for pleasure
sex for intimacy
sex for fun
sex out of a sense of obligation

Unmarried folk and gay folk participate in these things too but straight folks also sometimes have sex, 14 kids and a reality TV show which I and other gay folks cannot do without third party involvement.

And THAT (to me) is what's really at the crux of this whole "traditional" marriage thing. When  straight couples stick thing A into slot B they can biologically reproduce (sans medical/age issues) without outside help.  Sunshine and Happiness and I not so much.  My friends Rich and Joe when they put thing A into slot C, not so much.  Which makes a sizable portion of this country believe us to be unnatural and an abomination. 

As for straight folks - some women are infertile, some men are sterile and what may I ask happens after menopause?  These folks can put thing A into slot B, not procreate and they can still marry.  And men and women who don't intend to ever have children get married all the time.  As for gays, we can choose artificial insemination or a surrogate mother.  We can adopt and foster children where it's legal.  Or we too can choose not to have children at all. 

Which leads me to conclude this argument about traditional marriage vs gay marriage is really only about  who-ha's and ding-dongs.  Who has 'em and who doesn't, where they stick em and what happens when there's not a thing A to put in slot B.  It makes traditional marriage proponents squeamish.  And because it makes them squeamish  they go all fire and brimstone on our asses.  The only way my marriage would be OK with traditional marriage proponents and I could have sex with their seal of approval is if my who-ha was a ding dong. 

And all the kisses in the world ain't gonna be able to change that.

Friday, July 13, 2012

We Are Penn State

I've been thinking about my childhood lately.  Things like the storefront one of our neighbors had connected to his house.  Freddie's is where my family went to get Town Talk bread, milk, Dolly Madison treats, penny gum and on special occasions chocolate ice cubes for a nickel.  I was partial to the candy necklaces I could fashionably wear and lick at the same time.  Freddie's had an awesome comic book rack and the cigarettes were kept behind the counter along with aspirin and other things only adults could buy like x-rated mags.  Freddie hung a sheet between the store part of the house and his actual living room  from which emanated the incredible smells of homemade sauce and the sounds of Bonanza.   Sometimes if the curtain blew open just right I could see Mrs. Freddie with a table tray in front of the TV eating her spaghetti. This mixing of worlds fascinated me.
A ways away was the neighborhood fire station which had a big red metal Coke machine.  I loooooved that Coke machine.  The firehouse doors were usually open and kids could take the change they'd collected delivering papers or scavenged from Dad's couch cushions to get an icy cold Coca-Cola sweat dripping down the green sides of the glass, bottle refundable for a nickel,.  Sometimes the firemen who sat smoking on the metal park bench in front would let us climb up onto the truck, hang from the back, put on their helmets, try on their boots and if we were lucky sit in the cab and honk the horn.

We attended the local Catholic School walking with our book bags which were not knapsacks but actual suitcase looking things and metal lunchboxes that scratched our legs as we walked.  My family attended mass on Sunday and my classmates and I went to morning mass on First Fridays and regularly scheduled weekdays.  In my homeroom everyone knew everyone else. We were a group, a collective, special.  It was the same students first grade through eighth.  We knew who would be in the turtle row, the rabbit row, who would get boxed around the ears by the nuns, who would volunteer for extra work.  We felt sorry for the public school students who didn't have the one true faith and collected pennies for the pagan babies in our pint sized milk cartons.  It was familiar and safe.

During the summer we spent our time at the local pool playing with the teenage boys who would pick us up and throw us like sacks of potatoes to splash into the deeper water.  Or  they'd pass us around like dolls from one to one another putting us on their shoulders, jousting with each other to see which  of us would fall first from our perch..  My favorite game was jumping as hard as we could on the diving board for height, distance, momentum and doing cannonballs trying to hit the lifeguard on duty with the splash.  I grew up with a pair of  enormous identical twins, older and desired by the girls who tried to bounce the bolts from the board's sockets and who always inevitably won.

At home we watched Leave it to Beaver, the Little Rascals, Mayberry RFD and Matchgame 76.  We ate dinner as a family, did our homework and were in bed by 9.  Life was simple, I was innocent. 

All  of the above is true.  And not. 

My childhood has a dark and twisty side, a shadow if you will.  There is an underbelly of shit that got stuffed up in the attic, down in the basement, anywhere it could be shoved while my family struggled mightily to maintain an illusion of all is well rather than face reality which scared all of us.  The reality of my childhood is one of love, presence, God and community.  It is also one of abuse, alcoholism, mental illness and cruelty.

I have spent the better part of my adult life struggling to heal from the things stuffed up in the attic and  basement.   On bad days I'm not sure I'll ever be whole.  On good ones I feel joy and gratitude.  I continue to make progress and one bit of wisdom I've gleaned is  my nostalgic recall of the innocence and simplicity of my childhood is fantasy.  Life's complicated.  Good and evil exist side by side.  When I was a kid though the evil was never acknowledged, the elephant in the room.  And because it was not acknowledged or called out of hiding it perpetrated itself. with impunity.   As Edmund Burke once said "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Which brings me to Penn State.  Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier, Tim Curley et al. stood by passing the buck from one to another while Jerry Sandusky continued to steal from boys who trusted him  as a father figure any hope of a physically, emotionally and spiritually whole and healthy adulthood.  It is also true Penn State espouses academic excellence, personal/social responsibility and the dignity of others as ideals to be upheld and has produced thousands of  graduates, including former football players who have gone on to become solid citizens and to lead moral, upstanding and successful lives.  These things coexist.  Good and evil.  Light and shadow.

Along with thinking about my childhood I've also been wondering if I were the janitor who witnessed Sandusky performing oral sex on a child in the locker room  would I have blown the whistle?   What if I knew it meant the loss of my job?  What if I thought no one would believe me, a janitor at the bottom of the institutional food chain, my word against that of a revered coach?  What if I told myself, surely someone else knew about this and would do something?  What if I feared Sandusky would sue me for libeling him after no one believed me?  Would I have called police?  Would I have intervened?  Would I have had the courage to act?

No one likes looking at evil.  By it's nature it makes good folks want to turn away, run, hide, do nothing and hope someone else will step up to the plate.

I'm afraid that if I were the janitor I would have just kept on walking.  We all have good in us.  We all have a shadow.  I need to look in the mirror and see what is there, unflinching not turning away and accepting what I see.  I need to acknowledge the shadow in me and then pray that by the grace of God I will do the next right thing.  Because what the mirror shows me when I dare to look is.....

We are Penn State.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Squirrel Cage

 A friend of mine refers to her head as a squirrel cage...

Fat Hamster

I prefer the term hamster wheel myself, because my thoughts go up and down, around and back while I spin furiously in one spot wondering why I can't get anywhere.   AA tells me the way to make this insanity stop is to take an action.  You know the saying, move a muscle, change a thought?

Seriously though. There has got to be a better way.  (Ice cream maybe?)

I'm thinking about the hamster wheel because right now my head is in an existential, dark and twisty place (which is why I'm writing this post.)  Well, you say, that's not moving the body.  Hey look Mrs. Smarty Pants, my fingers are tip, tippity-tap, typing away, so HAH!  Movement. TAKE THAT! (And at least it's not ice cream)

Anyway here's the thing.   There's a person (herein to be known as X) in my life who looks and acts pretty normal, appears to be a competent person and has done nothing to me but in spite of that I feel like there's something not quite right, something amiss.  I feel malice, ill will and contempt emanating from X in waves when I'm around but no one else seems to notice it.  Everyone acts as though they genuinely like X.  And this makes me feel crazy because I'm afraid  X has everyone buffaloed and is going to hurt someone I care some the future.  Ahem.

Now I'm a highly sensitive person and just a teeny tiny bit tightly wound.  You're shocked I know.  I know.   Fact is though, as hard as it is to believe, I am extremely sensitive - to light, to sound, to smell,  to vibrations, to shellfish.  You name it.   And I'm hypervigilant.  I react internally to the moods, feelings and energy of others.  So presently I'm reacting all over the fucking place.  Literally the hair on my arms is standing on end and I have the heebie jeebies just thinking about X.  It's almost like I expect the human skin on X's head to flap back revealing a reptilian one that's licking it's nonlips and going "yum, yum."

 Consequently, there's not much contact between X and me to be sure.  But sometimes we do end up in the same room and inevitably on these occasions as I'm sitting, listening to a speaker and not paying much mind to anything except what's being said I'll  look up and BOOM there's X leaning forward, arms crossed defensively, staring straight at me with a hostile/contemptuous expression  that seems vaguely ominous.  It makes me uncomfortable because it feels like a challenge or maybe even a threat.  Being the submissive that I am though, instead of confronting this, I immediately look away.   Most of the time if I dare look back    X eyes are still drilling holes in my head. 

What sucks though is that as much as I want to spin in one place in my little hampster wheel for forever, as I go over and over the things I think are wrong with X , I am sober enough to know that, wait for it, wait for it....

It's not about X. 

"It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed,
no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with

X is just a mirror.  As Pogo once said, "I have seen the enemy and he is us."  So it's me who needs to change not X.  Time to stop blaming the mirror.  Time to move a muscle - change a thought.

See how that came around?  Well I'll be damned.  It works.  It really does.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I'm so excited. 

Sunshine and Happiness makes her dance debut this evening at the Grey Box Theater in Lawrenceville as part of  a showcase for various up and coming choreographers in Pittsburgh.   Now those who know S&H know she is a total ham and that part of her bucket list has always been to be on stage, preferably in a play, preferably as the star despite the fact she's never acted a day in her life and can't stay in the correct octave EVER jumping from key to key. But.....

My girl can move.

To catch you up sweet peas, in the beginning of January S&H's life took a turn and so began an odyssey of  doctors and specialists with the final professional opinion being....her butt is broken.  Gratefully the condition is not life threatening and it's under control.   One change we had to make though is that now in addition to being sugar, flour and processed food free, we can no longer have gluten. Soon, soon sweat peas I will  be noshing on dandelions from the garden, but I digress.  (On another note, I really wish I knew how to use commas.)

Anyway, S&H also isn't able to continue power workouts, kickboxing or karate. (too much impact on broken butt)  Does anyone know how many endorphins these things produce?
  • Workouts, karate, kickboxing  = happiness and sanity.  
  • No workouts, kickboxing, karate  = much unhappiness/divorce.  
  • S&H without endorphins = Dark and Twisty lite.  
We needed to find endorphins and we needed to find them FAST.

Our first endeavor was to join join a gym /water aerobics class.  We found that these produce some happy brain chemicals.  Next S&H found an elliptical/cross trainer to run on. (at every opportunity I might mention)  And voila' -endorphins.  Yay! I climbed on S&H's  elliptical the other day just to give it a try and after a grueling,  oh, 2 full minutes I said  "to hell with this crap," and headed to the pool.."   Still though not quite enough dopamine

So she joined a country line dancing class. 

And then Dragon Boating.

Finally, finally (drum roll please) she found SWAG.  Ladies and gentlemen we have a winner.   SWAG if you're not familiar is Sweating with a Purpose - a mix of salsa, traditional  African and hip hop dance which apparently produces tons of endorphins.  Sunshine is back baby!  Never have I seen such joy.  Never have I seen such a glow.  Never have I seen such sweat. 

And so tonight .....the  debut a real public.   Yeah it's only 6 minutes long and an unpaid gig but I am so proud. so excited for her.

So relieved.

Shake your groove thing Sunshine and Happiness.  Shake that thang.

Click here to see S&H practice performance - S&H comes in at 1:43

Please watch and give my girl some love!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Time Wasters

<Credit SEO Blog>
Gonna try this blogging thing one more time.  It's Sunshine and Happiness' fault I haven't written.  She got invited to join Pinterest and I got invited to a new addiction.  I don't yet have my own account but I puruse hers daily - usually more than once.  It's kind of like when I stalked everyone from her Facebook account years prior to actually creating one of my own.

But Pinterest is more insidious because its got all those pretty pictures and I don't have to even read if  I don't want to.  I've gotta stop looking at sunrooms, gardens, shihtzus, funny shit, recipes and the like or she and I are gonna end up on an episode of  Hoarders.  The housework it is a -piling up.  As it is I hardly have any time to update my Facebook status, play Word Shaker and check my tweets. 

Just kidding.  I never joined Twitter.  I couldn't say anything in 140 characters if you paid me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Ummm, 17 actually.

OK, I made it to my first water aerobics class, participated, got my heart rate up and didn't die, though I wanted to.  When you hide from your body for as long as I have and pretend that you don't have one, it's kind of a shock to realize that yes in fact you do have a physical self and yes you have somehow become middle aged and yes you are going to be REALLY sorry if you don't wake up and start moving ASAP. 

 My body is a TRAIN WRECK.

But pain is a great motivator and I'm moving again for the first time in, oh, a decade and a half, I kid you not.  I swear I looked in the mirror the other day and thought to myself, holy crap, I'm not just a floating head.  Where did all of  THIS come from?  I have enough ass, belly and boobs to create a lifetime supply of soap.*  (Barb - that's a Fight Club reference.  See still Dark and Twisty!)

No one clued me in though that I was going to have all sorts of unpleasant reactions once I began to move again. (I can't even call it working out because I can barely keep up with the 80 year olds) But I am almost 20 years on the wagon and I kind of remember sobriety didn't feel so good at first either.  The key I think is to accept where I'm at and not judge or beat holy hell out of myself, which in the end will not be effective and will only keep me from doing what I need to do. This is how far down the scale (or up as it were) I've gone and I just need to accept it.

By the by, the last time I went with S&H to the gym, in addition to the water aerobics,  I attempted to ride a stationary bike.  This particular bike had a computer screen upon which one could see a virtual track and a pacer bike with the idea being to pedal and steer and STAY ON THE TRACK.  First Sunshine and Happiness had to help boost me onto the seat and then I couldn't keep my feet in the little footie thingies  (which reminds me of the last time I had my gyne exam and I almost got my foot caught inside the stirrup because instead of placing my heal on it like you're supposed to, I tried to shove my foot through it.  My doctor almost pissed herself.  She was like, "it's not a damn bicycle.")  Anyway I digress.

Turns out I wasn't able to pedal and keep myself on the track while watching my heart rate and rpms and I had to keep stopping to pull my shorts out my ass due to the friggin seat being up my anus.  Soooooo, I don't expect I'll be riding a real bike anytime soon.

It seems this whole getting my body to move thing is going to be an adventure. 

A really, really, long one.
D&T's Natural State
* It's possible to make soap from liposuctioned fat (just in case you didn't see Fight Club.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I Never

As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again
I walked everywhere when I was young.  My family never owned a car so unless where I was headed was on a bus route, I walked.  To school and to the store.  To the homes of relatives and to church.  Up and down the avenue with our bags.  On display to all of our neighbors. My father the Bagman and his brood.  Man, I HA-ated that.

It was though good exercise.

Because my family never owned a car, in addition to my constant fear of running into someone or something, due mostly to perceptual problems and frequent drunkenness, I never learned to drive.  When I was 30 and sober however, I thought that perhaps it was time to face my fear and finally learn.  However, as I've mentioned before, I don't know my left from my right, am directionally challenged and am  phobic about someone like me controlling a 2000 pound machine.  So I did what anyone would do and I went to a therapist.  There I practiced with a paper plate in place of a steering wheel as  Kathy, my therapist would yell out "left," "right," "right" "left" "left" and I would try to turn the paper plate in the correct direction.  Kathy also taught me how to deep breathe  when I got paralyzed because, you know, it's not good to be going 60 mph and suddenly freeze.   Eventually over time with the help of said therapist I was able to call the Will Rogers School of Driving.  Will Rogers in turn sent me a young woman who was a driving instructor by day but made her real money stripping in a club at night.  This 19 year old would regale me with stories from her evening gig while I would muddle through our driving lesson, hitting curbs, driving in the wrong lane, turning the wrong way and practically totalling the car while she completely ignored me, while telling me about the tips she earned at the Cricket the night before.  I didn't care though because no sane person would let me use their car and the Will Rogers School of Driving provided me with a vehicle on which to learn and my stripper/instructor would pick me up and drop me off for each lesson.  Also, did I mention STRIPPER INSTRUCTOR?

One day out of the blue, my stripper finally decided she'd had enough and that she and I should go and test for my license.  We drove to New Castle and wouldn't you know it, I pulled the big butch state officer as my test instructor.  You know the one who scares the crap out of all the high school kids and flunks them for not coming to a complete stop.  This though was fortuitous because she had an affinity for me.  She passed me even though I botched the parallel parking and forgot to brake going down the hill at the end of the course sending us flying into the parking lot.  In the end I got my very first driver's license and Officer Krumpky's phone number.

Anyway, afterward I bought a second hand Chevy Beretta  built like a tank.  All the better to protect me when I ran into things.  And long story short, this is why I relate to Scarlett O' Hara.  Because on the day I got my license and picked up my car I said to myself "As God is my witness, I will never walk anywhere I can drive to again."  And I haven't.  For oh, like 17 years. 

I also haven't exercised in those 17 years because, you know, IT HURTS and as a result I have become fat.  Really fat. 

I don't say this with pride, far from it but someone once said, "the truth shall set you free but first it's gonna piss you off."  So yeah I'm fat.   

Until now being fat never really hurt bad enough for me to do anything about it.  Unfortunately, no one told me that if you are fat, when you reach middle age you feel as if you are going to break in two.  My joints are so stiff and my cartilage so worn that I creak like a mo fo every morning when I get up out of bed.  I used to laugh at my Gram and my mom when they complained about their arthritis.  Let me tell you, I'm not laughing anymore.

So...though I once said I would never walk (or exercise) or put on a bathing suit again, I joined a gym and have registered for water aerobics.  I was told that water aerobics is good for fat, arthritic people.  I attended my first class on Sunday and again received a dose of humility. 

When I registered for water aerobics this is what I had in mind:

However, when I arrived at my first class, this is what I found:
Reality.  It's a bitch.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I Am the Neighbor Who Won't Give the Ball Back When The Damn Kids Next Door Hit It Into My Front Yard

Actually I don't even have a front yard.  Truth be told, I have no next door neighbor kids who play ball on the front street.  My Dark and Twisty self  just woke up cranky today and out of sorts.  For all intents and purposes, today I am a crank, crankity, crank crank.

There is a game plan worked out though for when this happens (just in case you ever want to borrow it.) 

And it goes something like this....(take me by the tongue and I'll know you.  kiss me when you're drunk and I'll show you) Oops. Sorry.  Got a little carried away.

Obsessively sing Maroon 5's Moves Like Jagger.  Check Facebook.   Post inane comments.   Surf  youtube and look for clips from the Hunger Games.  Get  Rickrolled.  Read email., skim blogs.  Check FB again.

Avoid housework.  Step over laundry on floor and think briefly about meditating.  Put tea towel over dishes in the sink and step down on garbage in can so as not to have to empty it.  Shove  recyclables that roll out onto the floor when cabinet is opened precariously back inside on top of the pile where they will immediately roll back out the next time.  Look at the dog bowls and wish to God they knew how to get their own food and water.  Think briefly about showering.  Decide not necessary.

Procrastinate.  Look at clock.  Limit self  to 15 more minutes on computer.   Think briefly about using weights to exercise.  Think briefly about meditating.  Steadfastly ignore healthy thoughts and give self another 15 minutes. Blog.  Look at clock.  Give up all pretense of doing anything productive. 

Oh, and I almost forgot -  Complain.

Me:     Kids today.  Pop culture. Technology.  Music.   I don't get any of it.  Grumble. Grumble. Bitch moan.    Holy crap. We need to move.  Have you read the paper?  The neighborhood is going to pot.  Pout. Fret.  I think I'm getting a migraine.  Did you see the wind blew Carla's  gutters off and down the street.  It's supposed to be like that again tonight. God I hope nothing happens to our roof..   Wait, what?  What did you just say?

S&H:  I have never in my life met anyone who loves to complain as much as you do.

Me:  It's true. 

If there's one thing I am masterful at, it's complaining.  I am a champion.  Maybe the all-time champion.

Because I am cranky, and when I am cranky I can be self-destructive (and fritter away an entire day) when S&H left for work she made me promise  I would be good to myself .  So I promised and then proceeded to go upstairs and waste time looking up every melancholy song I could find.

Melancholy Song

But now I seem to be running out of steam.  I'm finally tired of being cranky.  So I'm  rethinking that shower, those weights and maybe even some meditation.  It's time to get my ass in motion. Yeah. Yeah.  Take some action.  Move my body.  Have some face to face social contact..  Perhaps put on clothes and redd up the house.  Yeah.  yeah.  That's what I'm gonna do.

In just about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012




Monday, January 9, 2012

Adventures with D&T

Mr. Magoo
Growing up my family didn't have a car so we walked everywhere.  To school.  To church.  To the grocery store.  There we would load up on stuff and walk down the avenue arms full of bags.  Because of this my father's nickname was Bagman or sometimes Billy Bags.  This embarrassed me so I pretended  he ran numbers for the mob.

As a result I never learned  "car things"  like that there's a defrost button or a release on the shift lever, or a NEUTRAL.  Who knew it wasn't necessary to keep a rag under the seat to wipe the steam off the windshield?  Or that you have to push the release button in when shifting from park to drive so as not to strip the transmission?  And WTF is neutral even for anyway?

Once upon a time, my driving teacher instructed me to get into the left hand lane in order to make a left  turn.  I promptly complied crossing the yellow line and moving into the lane of oncoming traffic because... you guessed it.... IT WAS ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE. 

Yeah.  I'm THAT person.

Anyway, recently I started making deposits (for S&H) at our local bank.  Each time I'd drive there, park, go inside, visit the teller, chat, make the deposit, say  "have a nice day" and leave.  The parking situation is really tight though and some days I'd drive around and around before a spot opened up.  Other days I'd  park blocks away and walk  or sometimes just leave and come back later.  So...did I mention that the bank has a drive through window? 

One day, not much different than other days,  I thought,  I suppose I could use the drive through."  Brilliant, that.
Convenient Drive Through Window that I Never Thought to Use

So I drove up, the teller greeted me, I popped the deposit in the drawer, got my receipt, said  "have a nice day" and drove off quite proudly.   The only blip was that I accidentally "tapped" the car in front of me because, you know,  I lifted my foot off the brake while leaning out the window.  WHATever.  That's what bumpers are for.

Later after several successes it was evident that now I'm cooking with gas and it's time to try transacting at a DIFFERENT bank.  Confidently I rolled up ready for business and the first thing I see is this:
Intergalactic Tube Thingy
No worries though.  I'd just watched the guy in front of me.  Seemed simple enough.

Teller:  Hi may I help you?
Me:  (hitting the red CALL button) I need to make a deposit.
Teller:  O.K. go ahead.

So I put the deposit in the tube and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  A full 15 minutes.   In that time I managed to text some friends, play with the heat, listen to the radio and watch 3 other cars pull in, make transactions and leave.  Initially I assumed  the teller was helping them and would get back to me but as this didn't happen I began to get irritated.   I'd been there WAY before those other cars and she hadn't even sucked my deposit up the damn tube yet. Boy was I  HOT.   I decided to give her a piece of my mind and glaringly looked over at her, when I, for the first time, noticed a green SEND button. Right next to the red CALL button.  Right on the bottom of the intergalactic tube thingy.  Which I'd never pressed.  Hell, I didn't even know there wasSEND button.

Me: (sheepishly pressing the red CALL button)  Ah, should I send up my deposit?
Teller:  (in exasperation)  Well YEAH.

Yikes.  So I pushed the SEND button, whoosh up went my deposit and the rest went swimmingly.

You'd of thunk at this point I knew everything there was to know about how to do drive through banking but you'd of thunk wrong because the NEXT time I used a multi-service drive through I again waited for 15 minutes because the teller never said "Hi may I help you," (like they always do INSIDE the bank) and I thought it'd be rude to push the green SEND button to give her my deposit before she was ready.  Eventually I realized no such indication would be forthcoming (I'm quick like that) so I pushed the red CALL button and asked her if I should send up my deposit. And once more, a completely flummoxed teller said with much annoyance, "Well YEAH."

Additionally I thought that the communication between me and the teller was like a walkie talkie so I pressed the red CALL button and held it every time I replied.  Who knew that once the teller turned the MICROPHONE on she could hear me regardless?

Me:  (pushing red CALL button upon which a buzzer sounds inside the bank) Are you ready for my deposit?
Teller: Well YEAH.
Me: (pushing red CALL button thereby causing buzzer to buzz AGAIN) O.K.
Teller:  Here you go.  Have a nice day. (thinking to herself - now get the hell out of here)
Me: (pushing red CALL button, making buzzer sound one last time)  You too.
Teller: (in her head) Oh dear Lord, thank God she's gone.

Yeah.  I'm THAT person.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Obsessions of the Mind

Lizzie, a friend of mine, told me this story.....

Over the weekend, I went to see the movie War Horse with my wife and some friends.  What a heart wrenching movie.  If you go, bring tissues.  Animals are so much better than people.  Loyal.  Faithful.  Loving.  Go see it.  Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that when we got home from the theater and for the rest of the damn night I just could not stop thinking about that horse.  Brushing my teeth. Lying in bed.  Drifting off to sleep.  There it was.  The horse.  The next day at breakfast I said to my wife, "I can't stop thinking about that horse.  Are you thinking about that horse?"  My wife looked at me calmly.   "No," she said.

That happens to me all the time.  It doesn't happen to Sunshine and Happiness.  I'd still be thinking about that horse because I  have a  sticky brain.  Thoughts get stuck.  Images get stuck.  Ideas get stuck.  Feelings get stuck.  And for me it can be mighty difficult to get them unstuck.  Also for me, the things that get stuck tend to be things I'd rather forget about.  The incredible horror this world and human beings can dish out.  All of the things I am afraid of.   How I can't seem to stop ending sentences with prepositions. 

The other day I was flipping through the hundreds of cable channels that we now have and haven't yet cancelled and upon what do I land? I see the movie Untraceable on the cable guide and click on it.  Now if you're not familiar with it, the premise of this movie is one in which a serial killer who knows people (who are both curious and drawn to the dark side of things), will log onto an "untraceable" website where he conducts violent and painful murders LIVE via the internet.  The higher the number of hits his website gets, the more people who log on, the quicker and more violently the victim dies.  Not quite The Princess Bride.

Now I'd read about this movie and had successfully avoided it for 3 years.  It has notoriously gruesome murders graphically rendered.  Additionally, the movie's conceit that individuals, knowing that they're anonymous and unaccountable, will purposefully log onto a sight called "killwithme" in order to watch a  human being die is not the kind of idea that needs to be "stuck" in my head.  Talk about snowballing down into the dark and twisty.  Everything I fear about myself and human beings in general and our capacity for evil, apathy and darkness is front and center in this film.  And here I am in real life, watching this movie to be entertained.  So I KNEW, I was AWARE that the morally right, emotionally healthy, SMART thing to do (for me) would have been to turn off the TV or at least changed the channel.  But you know what I did.  I continued to watch.  I became captive to a horrific, stomach churning, disturbing murder scene and just like the anonymous folks depicted in the film, I couldn't look away.  Talk about meta.

And afterward I was sick and disgusted with myself for my self-destructiveness because then you know what happened?  As consequence for my behavior and for making a bad choice, the sticky brain thing happened.  I continued to see the murder scene as I walked the dogs.  I saw it lying in my bed.  I dreamt of it and woke up with it in my brain.  I'm thinking of it now as I type.  And I feel sick each and every time I replay it.  The only good thing (sort of) is that my brain doesn't seem to be able to become desensitized to this crap.  I'm horrified every time.  So right now because I hurt I will avoid any and all media of this, novels, video sites, movies.  Until I dip my toe in the water (flip through the cable channels and land on, oh, say SAW VII) and the obsession begins again. 

I used to do this with alcohol.  I would drink self destructively.  I would start, know it was a bad idea, unhealthy, hurtful, possibly fatal and I would do it anyway.  People would advise me to stop and I would say, OK but just one more.  Then I would get sick, disgustingly sick and swear off the stuff and avoid it like the plague.  Until I felt better.  And then I would do it all over again.  The more I fed the obsession to drink, the more I drank.

I think I'd better stop feeding this one.  I'm sure It's A Wonderful Life must be on one of those hundreds of channels somewhere.