Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random thoughts with string accompaniment

I get restless when I don’t post anything. That means I’m writing this without there necessarily being anything worth saying. But it relieves my mind and by golly why else did I start this blog anyway?
  1. Last night the second graders put on a little musical. Firecracker was so excited because she had a speaking role, delivering a line about “strng and compassion.” Yes, that’s what it sounded like. I showed up with a nearly dead cell phone and a nearly dead camera. Of course all the other parents had whipped out their camcorders. I’m the mom who still has all her photos in boxes instead of albums. I can’t concentrate on watching and recording so I thought “screw it.” The kids sang about recycling and diversity. It was almost like being back in the 70s. They all wore virulent yellow T-shirts, which Firecracker insisted on wearing again today.
  2. Firecracker now has a cape and some fake blood so that she can be a vampire for Halloween. DramaQueen will be a vampire slayer. We have still to fashion a stake and find some way for her to carry that along with her “holy water” (a spray bottle which we will label and she can use to annoy her fellow trick or treaters). DramaQueen is into verisimilitude, but she told me that it “doesn’t have to be real holy water.” Thanks, sweetie. Firecracker told me quite firmly that she doesn’t want fake blood on her face, which kinda defeats the purpose of buying it. Perhaps I should just have her carry around a little faux juice pouch of blood. The new generation of vampires knows how impossible it is to get blood out of a good white shirt.
  3. The Halloween store had some truly disgusting set pieces, including one of a man being eaten alive by rats. The contrast between that and the toddler ladybug costumes was disconcerting. It made me want to shake some sense into someone.
  4. My therapist thinks I should try something called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Instead of struggling with negative feelings and trying to fix my various problems, I am to observe them with a sort of Zen-like detachment and get on with whatever needs doing. I’m not great at letting my feelings float by like debris in a stream (they tends to swim around in me as if I were an aquarium), but I was struck by the novelty of simply giving up on trying to control depression and anxiety. Easier said than done. Right now I feel anxiety smoking out the long-suffering residents of my internal world. I did try to visualize my anxiety, which for some reason appeared to me as a green lima-bean shaped velvet cushion.
  5. One problem is that I really don’t know what needs to be done at the moment. I have a lull in my workload. That makes me feel guilty, as if I should find some envelopes to lick. So I’m listening to a very odd CD by Final Fantasy, who is actually a violinist named Owen Pallett, who I gather did the string arrangement for one of Arcade Fire’s albums. In live performances he plays his violin into a sampler and then plays over that. I love hearing the violin, so I’m enjoying this. That’s one of the reasons I like Patrick Wolf, too, as he uses a violin so frequently. Anyway, here is Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy doing strange things with a violin.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Music Is the Food of Life

I think Patrick Wolf is nine kinds of brilliant, so since I'm bored and depressed, I'm just going to amuse myself by promoting him.

(but you can hear the lyrics better here)

Monday, October 05, 2009

I am small, and needy

Gray in several ways

It’s the right sort of weather to be melancholy, and I am. I am definitely at low tide. You can go pick up the dead fish and seashells, if you like. This morning I finally filled out a questionnaire I’ve been putting off. As part of my reconstructive surgery I have a silicone implant, which the manufacturer is following quite closely to make sure no one gets sick. Of course, this reminds me that I have an implant. Not that it’s all that easy to forget, but I definitely play an evasive game with it. Of course I’m grateful for the vast strides in plastic surgery and would much rather this than say, being dead, but I have my moments when I feel a bit sorry for myself. Or maybe it’s just the residue of the experience. When I visited my brother in the hospital recently, I was uncomfortably reminded of my many visits – the circular drive in front of the main entrance, the color of the carpet and walls, the smell of the soap. . Actually, I get a little quaky just thinking about it now. Dear Husband would say that I never really dealt with it. That could be right, or maybe I just never knew what it would mean to deal with it. I was pretty fraggin happy that I didn’t have to have chemo or radiation at the same time that I was astounded that you could need a mastectomy for grade 0 cancer and someone with a grade 2 could get away with a lumpectomy. I had no lump – just widespread tissue change. On the scale of catastrophe, I thought it was pretty small. Even on the scale of familial catastrophe it seems small next to Firecracker’s preterm birth, her Tuberous Sclerosis, her brain surgery and Dear Husband’s chronic illness. Yes, a walk in the park compared to Firecracker having her skull sawed off, electrodes stuck in her brain and her skull stuck back on temporarily with wires snaking out for a week of videotaping and testing only to find out that it was a big friggin waste of time. I wish I hadn’t thought of that.

I’m also looking at my gray hair. I feel ambivalent about it. Is it really so dowdy as people seem to think. It looks sort of pretty to me. I’m ticked off that the world and pretty much everyone I know covers their gray. Dear Husband is definitely in favor of hair dye, which I usually do. I often feel like I would just like to be gray, dammit. Let it be. But then part of me is holding on to youth, because I still feel as gauche and unformed as a 20 year old. There’s a woman at my church who has beautiful silver hair. She also has an impeccable figure and good bones. She makes gray hair look like something you could flaunt saucily. I don’t have sauce, unfortunately.

I googled “going gray gracefully.” Gracefully means that you have your hairstylist do lowlights and highlights and generally fuss about so that your gray grows in prettily. In the past 10 years I’ve had my hair dyed professionally perhaps twice. Not a big fan of dropping $100 at a salon. Dear Husband thinks I lack some female gene because I don’t labor over makeup and my hair and nails. Seriously, screw it. The only time I was interested in such stuff I wore black nail polish, blue lipstick and dyed my hair pink. THAT’S fun. Manicures, eyebrow waxing – give me the money and I’ll go buy a book, thank you very much.

Well, this all reminds me that I need to get my anti-depressant refilled, play with my kids more and give Dear Husband more kisses.