Sunday, August 28, 2005
Hurricane Katrina

I wish I'd seen New Orleans just once before it got completely shredded. I fear it will be a very different place tomorrow, having lost much of its historical structure. Life below sea level seems a bad ideer.
Written by phlegmfatale
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Unshockability and awelessness...

I started taking an anti-depressant daily in late April. I had been feeling listless and depressed and hopeless, and that month started with what could be described as a 1-2 punch that turned into a raging cluster of fuck-uppedness. The first few days of medication were a glorious jolt from what had become the norm: I felt speedy and super-motivated within hours of the first sacred tablet. This was a nice transition from the perennial blues to a more remote, don't-give-a-shit phase. Oh, I still feel everything, but I feel it all differently now. The troughs have been resined in and the tops have been lopped off the peaks. While it's difficult for me to feel the depths of despair but not impossible, I don't think I could muster true euphoria if I won the lottery. I got a new vehicle a month ago, and it was not even "woohoo-giddy-new-car-smell-yippee" but more of a "oh, ok, alright, whatever, I guess it feels nice." Likewise, I was leaving work on Friday, and two women had a wreck impacting their vehicles about 10 feet from my bumper, and I was watching as if in slow motion thinking, "oh, they're gonna hit me. huh." They didn't hit me, amazingly, but my little heart gave nary a flutter, no rise in blood pressure. I don't get that shitty fluttery pre-diarrhea feeling when I drive by a police car. Nerves of steel, baby. Of course if you've read my humble blog previously you know that I have been devastated by the loss of my beloved grandmother, but other than a few protracted crying jags, that has been more like ripples spreading in a pond, the daily realization she is not there saddens me but I have to move on. There has been another shocking death in my family I'll tell about soon here, but it didn't affect me so deeply. Getting on Lexapro didn't fix everything that was wrong with my life, and it didn't make the people around me less assholian, but it did make life's stresses less emotional-rollercoaster and more navigable rocky road. After those first few giddy days, I settled into a feeling of normality for the first time in years, not haunted by constant negative thoughts. I almost never drink alcohol, I've lost a bit of avoirdupois, generally been more active and more motivated, and more in the mood to be around people occasionally. Work has been more tolerable. Better living through chemistry. I have settled into a ritual of getting an almond steamer daily from Starbucks (blessed be) and then I take my pill with that yummy drink. I feel drowsy nearly every afternoon, and if I don't get a midday nap a couple times a week, things can get a bit rough around the edges, but I can still cope. If the trade-off for feelings of despair is an overwhelming urge to sleep at times I must deny myself, I'll take that trade any day. I don't know how long this will be effective-- anti-depressants are notorious for needing tweaking right out of the blue-- but I know that for now I'm closer to contentment than at any time in a very long while, and I am resolved to be on them as long as I feel the need. If everything else on the planet falls to shit, I pray that my pharmaceutical provider holds it together for my sake. Momma needs her medicine.
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Saturday, August 27, 2005
HE: You're looking smarter every day.
ME: Why? Because I'm not involved [in the big project at the office] like the rest of you?
HE: (laughs, pulling the enormous liner from the dustbin) If a man empties the garbage and a woman is not there to observe it, did it really get emptied?
ME: (staring, smirking)
HE: That's one thing Mary simply will not do - she will never take out the garbage.
ME: Nor should she--that is man's work. It was ever thus.
HE: You too?
ME: Naturally. We pick the apple. You kick it to the curb.
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Friday, August 26, 2005

I depend on me.


Brilliantly illustrated by the band Elbow and the clever bloke at rathergood.com
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I had my braces adjusted yestiddy, and the Dr. put a 3 link segment of evil rubber rings on 3 of my lower teeth, and yeowch! It's hurting like a mutha. I will not be sad to see the last of orthodontic pain - it is evil.
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Monday, August 22, 2005




So, at last, the thank you letter has been written.

In the week between my grandmother's death and her funeral in early July, I composed a letter of thanks to the staff at the amazing Good Samaritan Medical Center in Arizona. The first draft was long, sentimental, an obvious stab at self-therapy in the wake of a devastating loss. Happily, I am a procrastinator by nature, and had time to go back and heavily self-edit. The letter has been much on my mind these 7 weeks, but I haven't had the heart to print the final draft. A few days before the funeral, I busied myself by going to a fine stationer's and purchasing a new quill, ink, and some fine paper for the task, and still it has been a sword of Damocles hanging heavy in the air above my head. It's rather like flipping through my address book on my cell phone and I can't bring myself to delete her phone number entry. Too painful.

Today, I finally put ink to paper and will send it off at last. This grief is terrible. Bertie understood and loved me unconditionally, and you don't get many of those in this life, and such a blessing if one of them is a grandparent. For posterity, this is the final cut:

"Dear Dr. Kalayah, Dr. Syed, et al,
Recently you and ICU staff at Good Samaritan shepherded my grandmother, Alberta Kent, through her final hours of life. I wish you could have met her in other circumstances, but I want you to know that it was a tremendous comfort to me that you so capably attended her needs at that time. Your direct but gentle presentation of options to our family was, for me, an anodyne after a battery of confusing diagnoses elsewhere. Thank you, finally, for allowing my sister and me to visit her one last time early on the morning we departed Arizona. As I left, I was too overwrought to adequately convey my gratitude. May you be eternally blessed for the work you do. Best wishes, etc..."
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Friday, August 19, 2005





The greater North American doglet in her native habitat.
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Monday, August 08, 2005
Today is a day of gloriously leaden skies with crackling thunder and flower-hammering rains. Only the arrival of a biting chill in the air could render this day more perfect. Fittingly, I have lolled away the day in a fit of languorous dissipation. I have fiddled with plants, napped, ate at my favorite Indian eatery - Pasand - napped, read a book, napped, read magazines, read my book some more, and now I'm overdue for a spot of napping. Heaven.
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Saturday, August 06, 2005
A mortgage company asked for a comment from me after a recent transaction, which they have posted on their website front page. I can't believe it. "Thank you so much, you just increased my monthly shoe allowance by $230." Seriously.
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Guns don't kill people: flip-flops kill people.
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Thursday, August 04, 2005
I think I scare the shit out of my husband, and yet he seems mesmerized by me. He loves me so much despite the obvious fact that I possess all the cuddly qualities of a pit viper. I think it's Pandora's box for him - as long as he doesn't understand me, he'll be intrigued. Hiss!
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Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

I'm not whining;
I'm unburdening.
FATALE ABSTRACTION


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