Friday, October 31, 2008

I Just Play a Witch On T.V.

I am no sorceress, but I have been accused of witchcraft many times in my life. To be truthful, at my most experimental, I have tried only 2-3 "white" magic spells in my whole life. I would not really call myself religious in any way, and that includes Wicca. I just have my own thing going.

But I have a vibe for certain people. Spooky, kinda. Some folks, usually the bible-thumping sorts, get it in their heads all the time that I am a witch. At this point in my life, I would say that says a lot more about them than it does about me. I think it has a lot to do with the uncanny way I have of unnerving people who have something to hide. Honest, open, and loving people seem to get along great with me. I'm a cuddly sort with an earnest, philosophical nature.

Some people really, really hate me though. I'm intense and sometimes just too loud. I'm just excitable. I'm always kinda shocked when I get the full venom from people, however. Like, "who, me?"

I found out today that the people who sued me for libel and lost (could that really have been 1999?) actually appealed the case, which I was unaware of (why is that, I wonder?). They did appeal it to the Nevada State Supreme Court and lost again in 2002. Then they asked the SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES to hear them out in 2003. I need to research this and see what happened.

Clearly, this case was not heard by the court, or I would have had reporters at my door. It would have been a big deal First Amendment case about the world of restaurant reviewing. Yes, all of this vitriol was over a restaurant review. I did not enjoy my lunch and said so in my column.

They have spent quite a bit of money on fighting this thing. Years after that libel suit has become interesting cocktail party chatter for me, a story about my days as a freelance journalist, they are, as far as I can tell, laboring under the impression that I am capable of "malicious intent". Anyone who knows me even a little would find that laughable. Cynical, sure. Bitchy? Sometimes. But malice? No freaking way.

But these people hate me. They think I ruined their lives. They think I single-handedly, or with the help of complicit editors, took them down out of some kind of spite. I didn't know who they even were before they let down my palate one Friday afternoon. I was just working on a deadline and needed a place to review. If I could go back in time and go to some other restaurant that day, I would do it for several reasons.

I don't like it that someone would hate me to Supreme Court proportions. That is just a fucking trip to me. Yes, I wrote an article that caused them to have a downturn in business. It was a dramatic event for them. Ultimately, the restaurant folded. But guess what? Most restaurants DO fold. Even good ones who deserve more time sometimes can't make it. It is a tough business, and dealing with cranky critics is part if the gig. Taking those situations in stride can make all the difference.

I'm just not sure that hurling almost a decade of maledictions at an erstwhile underpaid reporter is going to undo the hurt these people feel. I think I got paid about $75-$100 plus expenses for that article.

So, that is my scary Halloween story. Apparently I am the most foul, loathsome creature to ever wriggle out from under a rock. I must be stopped, before my untenable snobbery hurts another innocent purveyor of victuals. Horrors.

Actually, I just found out that the wife of this husband/wife team has written a book about their experience. I'm guessing that they used my real name in it.

There. I just gave them a free plug. Anybody want to get a copy and tell me if I should sue for libel? They called me unethical and overzealous in the dust jacket copy. I wonder if the book is making enough money to cover all those legal bills?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Chambered Nautilus

In my next life, I think I am going to be a chambered nautilus. It seems so orderly to start small and make perfectly proportionate and beautiful steps as I grow. It also seems like it would be relaxing to be an invertebrate and live in the ocean, just floating along with my other squishy friends and eating sushi and building a beautiful house that I take with me wherever I go.

Yes, school has finally turned my brain to mush, for me to basically want to be a squid with a shell who swims backwards in my next life.

After that I will be some kind of exotic bird. Then a monkey with a prehensile tail. Who's with me?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Red Ochre

I had a dream about six years ago (more or less) about a modern architect making a tall and breathtakingly elegant building that was red ochre in color, inside and out. The dream had a scent of the supernatural about it, and I have remembered its details very vividly. More vividly, even, than the details of real events in my life. I wish I had a talent for drawing, because the architecture of that building and the design of the lush grounds around it was heartrendingly moving. It was spiritual. It was as iconic in my mind's eye as the Eiffel Tower or the Pyramids at Giza.

The building was used for some important diplomatic purpose. The people that gathered inside it had a primal understanding that to be within meant to strive always to be honorable and to move in all ways from the heart. The view from the 3-story windows on the upper floors was panoramic and in harmony with nature's divine proportions. It was stunning.

In my dream I knew the architect. I was immensely proud of him. He was a young man, with dark hair that brushed his forehead and penetrating but kind dark eyes. The kind of eyes that saw you, flaws and all, and accepted you utterly. The kind of eyes that crinkled at the corners when he smiled or laughed. He wore dark, dramatic, but comfortable clothes. He had gentle and articulate hands.

I have never seen a building like it, but the color was familiar.

The clay used to produce red ochre is thought to be the "red earth" from which the Hebrew's God created Adam in the Book of Genesis.

It has been used as body paint, in creating some of the earliest cave paintings, and in sprinkling over the corpses of the dead. It is one of the pigments (along with vermillion) found on the Shroud of Turin. Australian Aboriginal artists use the pigment in their work. Multiple cultures have used it throughout the history of mankind. Its resemblance to the color of oxidized blood made it a part of religious rites going back to prehistory. It is the color of life, death, and rebirth.

From the womb of the Goddess we have come, and to it we will return. If we can leave behind one red handprint on a sheer rock wall while we are here, then we have done something.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Next Up: The Freak Show!

Maybe I am a freak, maybe not.

I have a fair bit of psychic ability, even for the people in my family, where such abilities are more the norm than the exception. My grandfather and his mother were both known for having startling premonitions that came to pass. My mother can see auras. As for me, I got the mixed bag of things that I see and hear that sometimes give me the Heebie-Jeebies. I get the dreams, the visions, the auditory input, you name it. And as the veil gets so thin in late October, everybody without a body wants to chitchat. I feel drained. The world is so full of fear right now that I would very much like to stay in the house and burn sage and not enounter any of it. Honestly, sometimes I am on more of a psychic level than a literal level with people, and I'm talking about something deep inside them when they didn't ask me to dig in there and they only want to discuss the weather.

"Ohhh! How INTERESTING!" You say.


"What a flippin' bullshit artist." You say.


"What a sissy-girl, scaredy-cat, panic-ridden FREAK." You say.


"Are you just trying to get attention?" You ask.


"How the hell do you know that about me?" You ask


"Who the hell do you think you are?" You demand to know.

The answer to all of that, or none of it:

I'm just me. Maybe sometimes socially out of sync. Maybe loving and maybe dismissive, depending on who I am dealing with. Maybe worth your time as a loved one if you can put up with my serious side long enough to make me laugh. Maybe your soul sees something in mine, and we could be kindred spirits and boon companions.

But don't call me to ask for my take on which pony is gonna place in the 5th. It doesn't work like that, and even if it did, it would just offend me to be used like a human Magic 8 Ball.

I'm just the girl in the third tent down in the sideshow of life. For a dime you can take a peek at me, but to see my underpants will cost you ten grand.

That is all.

Owls and Bhangra-A Snapshot in the Life of Stacie

I was out having my walk this morning, and saw a HUGE owl similar to this one in a tree about ten feet over my head. He was eyeballing me something fierce. It stopped me right in my tracks. He was so beautiful and ferocious looking, a real WILD looking animal. I was overcome, and had to just stare at him and smile from ear to ear. I felt...honored in some way to have seen him.

Weirdly, I was listening to an Indian song on my iPod at the time. Varaaga Nathi . I had been doing Bhangra shoulder bounces and sorta dancing around on the sidewalk right before I saw that owl. So it was sort of a typical Stacie moment: surreal and incongruous, but unaccountably connected and meaningful.

Yes, I was dancing down the street in my neighborhood like a spaz. I choose to think that is one of the charming things about me. That whole free-spirit thing. It was a really unguarded moment, and I almost feel as though I was rewarded with an owl sighting.

Here's a little metaphysical perspective on owls. It is certainly about clairvoyance and magic. My life has contained a lot of both lately.

I am grateful for owls. And also for bouncy Bhangra music that puts me back in touch with my optimism.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fuck this shit. I want cake!

Midterms are over. In the bizarro world of nursing school, 90% is a B. Gotta have 92% for an A. So I ended up getting mostly B's on all 4 midterms, missing the A by 2% or so. I'm just gonna say okay.

I want cake. I am just tired and chocolate sounds good. But it has to be really GOOD cake or I don't even want to bother. And I don't want to actually bake. I may have to go in search of cake.

Maybe I'll get cake, have one slice and send the rest to work with Tony to spare myself the temptation. I need cake like a hole in the head.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Parenting: The Straight Poop

Normally I don't talk much about my parenting. For so many years (a decade plus), I had been actively longing for a child, so once I got one I figured I would just count my blessings and keep quiet. I had wanted to be a mother ever since I could remember. I did tons of babysitting as soon as I was old enough, and as a foster parent I even received dozens of hours of actual training about parenting. I had read about attachment theory. We baby-proofed our house. In short, I felt prepared.


Once our (then 2 1/2 year old) bundle of joy moved in, I found out just how unprepared we were. Now, maybe some of that has to do with the fact that Little A is a foster child and came to us with certain special needs. But I have talked to friends and family with new babies and I am finding the experiences at least a little similar.

There are some things that have been unexpected and some suspicions I had about parenting that were confirmed. Since today marks the one year since we met Little A for the first time, I thought I would share a few. I'm still keeping A's details confidential, but this more about parenting in general.
  • The Culture Shock: Even with lots of advance preparation, being suddenly responsible for the safety of a small person who would surely lick the light socket without your eagle eye on them at all times is jarring. It is something that drains you even when the little one is sleeping. Getting used to that is hard. So much harder than anyone ever told me.
  • The "Mommy Club": And to a certain extent, the "daddy club". I always suspected that becoming a parent was a rite of passage, and that parents had a sort of clique that I was missing out on when I was not a parent. That part really is true. I find I bond pretty easily with and am accepted by other mothers very readily. It is trippy. Now that I am a parent, I can see how "clueless" some people without children can be. Not everyone, mind, but some people just say lame things, usually that begin with "Why don't you just...?". Those comments always make parents roll their eyes at each other behind your back.
  • Feeling OLD: Maybe this one just is because I AM old. But I notice that my friends who are childless, or child-free by choice, seem so much younger in attitude to me. They still can run away for the weekend or off to the movies on the spur of the moment. I have to meticulously plan everything. That and even Little A, at 3 1/2, already talks to me sometimes like I am terminally uncool. That is a little hard on the ego.
  • Everything takes so much longer: Oh my gosh, going anywhere becomes an exercise in "how much of a pain in the ass is this gonna be?" math. And babies and kids always have so much dang STUFF. Holy hell. And most of it lives in my handbag when she gets tired of carrying it. Nothing like going out to dinner for once with my husband only to find out that there is a squirmy, squishy rubber gecko in my purse.
  • The bodily functions: Having kids is really messy business. There is nothing that shows a mother's love more than not freaking out when a kid barfs in your hair. You know you love them when all you care about is making them comfortable again. I wish I could tell you that it stops at barf. Every body fluid you can imagine and a few combinations you would rather not imagine WILL come out of your kid. On you, on your furniture, your carpet, and even on your pets. Buy a carpet cleaner now if you are even contemplating having a kid. And for god's sake, wash your hands like there is no tomorrow, all the time.
  • The cooties: When you send your kid to day care or school for the first time, prepare to be sick (yourself, your spouse, and your kid) for about six months. Oh, the humanity. I am talking "kill me now" levels of sick. Colds and flu and coughs and vomiting for endless months. I started thinking I would never, ever be well again. And parenting while ill is no picnic. Your patience goes right out the window.
  • The Love: Ok, people did tell me that I would love Little A. But articulating the depth of feeling there is very difficult. It goes aginst reason, really. In a lot of ways, becoming a parent has matured me in good ways that involve a deeper compassion for all people. I'm a better person for having her in my life, no doubt.
  • The Killing Urge: It is hard to explain how you can adore someone to the depth of your soul and still get frustrated with them to the point where you have to remove yourself from the room or you are sure something bad will happen. This is one of those things that parents understand that non-parents just don't get. Even if you are the most abiding, patient soul in the world, your kid will test your limits. It is kinda their job.
  • Feeling like a failure: Because I am a foster parent, my parenting is actually supervised to a degree by a number of "specialists". I am gratified to hear from social workers and therapists that I am not just a good mom, but a great mom in their opinion. That's nice. I still feel like a total failure sometimes. The thing is is that every parent feels this way, and apparently we were all sworn to secrecy about it.
  • The Uber-Parents: Or as I like to call them, Assholes. There are always driver-driver, overacheiving parents who read all the latest theories and buy all the funky developmental toys that will look at whatever you are doing and sneer. They are jerks. They were probably jerks before they became parents. You only know them now because they are parents like you are and it is all about the "Mommy Club". Whatever.
  • Feeling like a genius: On the flipside of feeling like a failure is the feeling you get when your kid masters something they have been trying and trying so hard to learn. Parental pride is like heroin. It feels great when they do something that will prepare them to be productive adults one day. All because of you. Yay!
  • Tiny kisses and that first real hug: Totally priceless. Having the love and trust of a child is a lot of responsibility, but the reward of having that little one say "I love you mom" just makes your heart jump out of your chest and dance for joy. It is pretty damn good stuff. Sorry if that sounds sappy, but it is true nonetheless.
So, have a kid if you want. Don't say I didn't warn you. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


There you have it, folks. The mysterious Twinkie-Henge! Some say these Twinkies were dragged by hand all the way from Wales...


Anyway, I was totally drained last night and went to bed at 8 PM, and slept 12 hours. I really needed that. I don't exactly feel refreshed, but it felt good to just be in my bed as long as I wanted. Since the semester began I have not slept in one single weekday. But I hit the wall yesterday. I need to recharge a little or I will never make it until December.

Doing that extra sleeping meant dreaming, and my dreams are always amusing and sometimes disturbing.

Unsurprisingly, due to my recent stress levels, I dreamed I was back in the kitchen. In my dream I jumped in behind the line to help my old boss, and now lost to the sands of time friend Curtis. I was in the weeds immediately because I didn't know my way around and couldn't find so much as a saute pan to work with. It was really frustrating. I was doing a lot of bending and searching for things under the counter.

What on earth does this have to do with Twinkies? Well, in my digging around, I found some, and decided to cut one open. I was essentially dissecting it and poking at the filling, wondering what the hell it was made out of.

I have not eaten a real Twinkie since I was eleven and was told that they never actually went stale. I grossed out on that and never ate another one. I have no memory of how they taste, and they still look gross to me.

After that my dream shifted and I dreamed about visiting a friend's house up in Washington. I have never seen his house, but in my dream it was grey.

There was something else about my mom having a new house and it was enormous, like you could get totally lost in it. I dreamed that I went into one of the bathrooms with the intent to take a shower, and my old friend Kristy was in there. Kristy and I had a huge falling out almost 2 years ago and despite my mother's efforts to smooth things over, our decade-plus friendship was fractured beyond repair. Seeing her in a dream was a little unsettling. She wasn't all that happy to see me in that dream, either. I wonder how she is.

All that dreaming has my head all jumbled this morning. I'm sipping my coffee and just sorta contemplating what my overtaxed brain is trying to tell me. I need to study today, but I need to rest, too. I'm thinking some sofa time with an old James Bond movie might be in order.

I'm not curious enough to buy any Twinkies, though. Not even as a sculpture medium.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What's Up, Bill Clinton?

You might be wondering how this title and photo go together. If you have known me a long time,you already know. Back during Bill Clinton's first election run, I had a dream. This is nothing like the dream Dr. King had. This one was about tacos.

I dreamed that I had made some fish tacos, and Bill Clinton stopped by and we ate them. Only we were in a hurry to get somewhere, so we didn't have time to sit down to eat them. So we stood side by side over the kitchen sink and ate. It was a very friendly and comfortable situation. When I woke up, I knew he was going to win the white house, and he did.

Bill Clinton is going to be on my campus today. That means that I had to come to school early to get a damn parking spot. I did get one, but if I showed up 10 minutes later, I'll bet I wouldn't have.

The part that sucks is that he is going to be speaking right when I will be taking my nursing miderm, so I will miss it. If I am going to be inconvenienced by Bill Clinton, I should at least get the chance to meet him or something.

Tony asked me if I was going to get in the queue to ask him a question. I replied that I didn't really have anything to ask. He said "You could ask him if he likes fish tacos." *snicker* All these years later, that still sounds dirty.

Bill Clinton has been the only President of the United States that I have ever written a letter to. I got an official form letter response from the White House, too. Pretty cool, even if a copy of that letter is probably sitting in my FBI file or something.

What did I write to him about? Why my dream, of course. That and a few other items of political concern to me at the time. Probably reproductive freedom of choice, or something. But the fact remains that I once wrote a letter to the President about eating fish tacos over the sink.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

No Way!

No fucking way. I think I am getting sick again. I have a hoarse voice again, and I haven't been talking much today, so it isn't from over-use.

I am tired and achy. Fuck. Fuckfuckfuck. I have a test tomorrow. A BIG one! I need my head to be CLEAR.

  • Yes, I took vitamin C
  • Yes, I am drinking tea with honey
  • Yes, I am resting
  • No, I don't have a fever, YET
  • Yes, I wanna cry
  • Yes, I need a hug

I Disapprove-Littering

I usually avoid the use of the phrase "pet peeve", since I generally disapprove of a lot of things. That is a lot of pets. But one thing that really gets my dander up is people who litter.

I can't tell you how many times I have been in a beautiful setting like a national park or hiking trail, only to see other people's trash out in the middle of nowhere. It makes my blood boil.

When I was a kid, two of my favorite friends were Woodsy Owl and Smokey the Bear. My grandparents were careful to instill the value of a well maintained campsite in me. Whenever we arrived at a new campsite, my grandparents often would be about the business of setting up the camper and would hand me a small trash bag so I could tidy up. I seem to recall getting paid a penny for every piece of trash I picked up in the campsite. Sadly, I always had money for gum, because I often found discarded bottle tops, etc. to pick up. We always left our campsites in better condition than we found them, without fail.

One of my walking routes around my neighborhood takes me past McQueen High School. I can't tell you how much damn litter I see around there. Not just little stuff, either. Whole red bull cans, pizza boxes, ice cream cups, plastic spoons. If I chucked my litter out a car window or just threw trash on the ground like that, my grandfather would come back from the dead just to kick my ass. It bothers me a lot.

That sounded dangerously close to a "kids these days" comment, didn't it? I think most people are just pigs. I would seriously have to rethink my friendship with a person if I saw them litter in the street. What the hell is wrong with people? Grrr.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Writing Has Dropped Off

Ah, it was so nice while it lasted. Stress and school and whatever whims affect these things have caused my muse to retreat a bit from me. In any case, I am not writing. No poetry, not much blogging, and a stallout on prose. It is a little sad.

It isn't that surprising, considering all that is going on. I am smack in the middle of two weeks of midterms. That I don't have time or energy or passion for composing sonnets should not even disappoint me. I know it will straighten out soon, but writing is a good catharsis for me, so I have been a bit emotional these last few weeks.

So I am walking it off, even on really frigid mornings where I must put a turtleneck under my sweatshirt so I don't freeze. I could be working out at the gym, but I am following the wisdom of my late grandparents and getting as much fresh air as I can before the weather gets really inclement.

Sometimes I get writing ideas while I am walking miles away from my house. So I know it is the stress that is tamping it down. But by the time I get home I fall onto that pile of textbooks and force myself to attend to the practical matter of getting through school. My ipod is my constant companion, and many days my only one.

It is all good, but wow. My brain hurts from all the stuff I am cramming into it. I read while Little A plays or watches TV. I read while I eat. I read while I blog. (It is true; I have my Medical-Surgical Nursing book open in my lap as we speak) If I could read while I sleep, I probably wouldn't be a little behind like I am now.

I have to go into campus early on Monday, and I am not too happy about it. But President Clinton is going to be speaking on my campus that day, and I can't be late for my midterm because I am looking for parking. I guess the Obama campaign would shuttle me from the Grand Sierra Hotel, halfway across town. So now I have to decide what I am going to do: chance getting parking a few hours before my test and skipping my morning walk, or schlepping all over town on a politically provided bus on a day when I have a huge test. Nice. I think I am just going to have this stress headache until December.

Ha Ha! This will be fun to write about (?) when I get loosened up later. Sheesh.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bedside Manner and Other Useful Things

I got a very nice compliment from one of my fellow students today. She overheard me when I was doing my practical midterm (which involved elaborate role play) and said that she thought I had a great bedside manner. That was super nice of her to say. I really respect her opinion, so I will savor that comment.

That would be one of the applications in life where having the gift of gab comes in handy. I don't have any difficulty talking to patients, even about complex medical things. In a clinical setting, I find it very easy to speak to strangers, so long as I am the one wearing the scrubs. All that theatre background works to my advantage.

I am the most extroverted introvert I know. In certain situations I can be very shy. Most people who know me only superficially would never believe that. But I have my secrets and am a very private person in some respects. I have funny quirks about my social life, and it takes a lot for most people to breach my outer wall.

But I have a very open face. I always remind people of their niece for some reason. Or their favorite outspoken cousin. It is actually a little funny to watch what happens when people underestimate me because I look so soft and cuddly. I do have a spine under all of that, which people find out when they try to test me. Most folks don't try twice, because when provoked or hurt I can have a volcanic temper.

Luckily, I don't really stay angry for long. In most cases I am very forgiving, with only a few rare exceptions.

I think I may manage to be a good nurse after all. I was surprised to see how broad the scope of nursing is, both in the spectrum of what you need to know and be responsible for, and in the latitude for actually being caring to people and advocating for them. It is pretty interesting how much better I am fitting into this than I thought at first.

Anyway, that is the randomness for today. I still have 2 more midterms. I thought I had one today, but it is next Thursday instead. That's fine, but I will be so glad when next week is over all the same. Then I get to write a paper, whee!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Secrets and Other Confidential Things


The stories I could tell, just about today, if only I were permitted to.

I'm having an interesting life lately. It is just that most of the stuff that is happening to me is going on behind the scenes and I am either prohibited from sharing it due to privacy laws or out of a sense of my own shame.

This week the big life lesson is about controlling my temper in moments where it would be totally understandable to melt down.

I knew in advance that this was going to be a stressful week. My school calendar tells me that this week and next are going to be challenging. What I didn't count on was the personal life stuff that apparently just can't wait.

This is my adding insult to injury week.

Insult because communication breakdowns are causing MAJOR misunderstandings. Mercury goes direct on the 15th after a period of retrograde. Mercury in retrograde is a good time to lay low and connect in non confrontational ways with people from the past. It is not the time to try and settle any new business. Usually I like to keep track of things like Mercury retrogrades, but this one snuck up on me and I think it is fair to say that it has been an unmitigated disaster. I have had some very difficult conversations this week, and today is only Tuesday.

I have gotten a new and not so flattering nickname from a fellow student at school. Apparently, I am "Band Camp Girl", because I talk too much about my employment experiences about the VA. Crap. My experience is that once a person has decided I talk "too much", there is no fixing that, even I were silent the rest of the year. It bothered me enough that I went to my professor and asked her directly if I participate too much in her lectures. She looked at me like I was a crazy person and said that if that ever happened, she would let me know. I think my query amused her, actually. That might have been a first for her.

Really, when people tell me that I talk too much, that just makes me feel like what I have to say is of no value to them. That hurts, but what are you gonna do?

Luckily for me, I am making some decent and lovely new friends out of the people who listen long enough to hear that there is a cogent point in there somewhere. I even meditated before the test with Christy. We were so happy to have been assigned to work together on the midterm that we fell into each other's arms with relief. She's a peach, and seems to get where I am coming from on a holistic level.

Injury because I had to hold it together after Little A pitched a major tantrum and ended up slapping me really hard in the face today.

Um, yeah. And this is directly after I had finished my skills lab midterm (dunno how I did yet). I was still reeling from a long and stressful day at school, and my kid had to sock me right in the gob. Nice. I had to give myself a time out to deal with that one. I didn't lose my temper with her, although I am not sure how. My mother has new found respect for me as a parent, because I told her what happened and she figures that if I had done something like that when I was a kid, she woulda just killed me.

Yes, Little A got discipline for that. She was in trouble for sure. But there is no spanking at our house. I don't think I could spank this child even if I were not prohibited by law. She's too sensitive. Today is just one of those days when I have to breathe a sigh of relief that my daughter is now sleeping. She always looks so angelic when she is sleeping.

I'm going to go curl up in a ball on the couch now. If you love me, please say so.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Whoo Boy-Midterms!

I have been living this monastic lifestyle for half a semester, with mostly good and some mixed results. I am not immune to stress, by any means. I am doing much better than I thought I would by now, but exams always get my goat to an extent. And the midterms are going to fill my life for the next 8-9 days. There are four exams: 10-13, 10-14, 10-16 and 10-20. Ack.

I have made very little time for friends and family, and for the next week it is worse. I made sure I got in some quality time with Tony and Little A this weekend, especially today. I feel guilty for being so emotionally labile and holed up in my office or the Library down the street, or gone because I am out walking to try and manage the stress. Sheesh!

And what time I am making for people, I am so disordered because I am all business about school so that brings a strange intensity to how I interact with my friends. I want to figure things out, settle them, get them in order. That isn't my job to sort them out. Sorry guys.

Maybe not during winter break, but next summer I think I need to tour some theme parks and ride roller coasters and act like a big kid a little to shake off all this serious. Holy Moly. I have a headache at the moment and just the thought of cotton candy makes me a little ill. I have had very little sugar in my diet lately.

Where should I go? Great America? I haven't been there in ages. I used to love to go with my friends in high school when I was still living in Palo Alto/Los Altos. Anybody wanna go with me?

We are talking about taking Little A to Disneyland next summer sometime. She'll be four then and should get a kick out of it. Or she'll be tired and cranky and we will lose our minds. Who knows?

I am so "Ipso Collapso" right now: so stressed I think I am going to fall down. Thank goodness that even though I complain about the pressure, I tend to do just fine, academic-wise. It isn't luck or natural genius, I just work my ass off.

And speaking of my ass. It is smaller. All my dang pants are falling off me. No time to shop. This is silly, but it is a problem I don't mind having. All that working out is doing something. Even Tony noticed that there is less of me. Whew. About time, too.

I'm just trying to abide, like The Dude says.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What an Awesome Day!

I have had the most amazing day today. I feel so fantastic right now.

First, I got up really early-the stars were still out-and took a 4-mile walk. It was cold outside, but beautiful clear skies and stars and lightening pre-dawn skies. Usually I don't go that early, but I woke up with a fire in my belly today. I just felt good and wanted to get a workout in before going to class at 9 am.

It must be because I rested yesterday and connected with some friends and family on the phone, because I felt strengthened as I headed off to school after a good breakfast. I felt fortified and relaxed but alert.

School was great and totally stimulating today. I ate a salad for lunch and got philosophical with a classmate who was feeling down. I felt so good it was cool to be able to encourage her. I didn't have to worry about my own stuff and could really listen to her.

I just feel totally spiritual and energized. I'm loving life. Sure, a few people gave me funny looks because I was so cheerful, but how can they really argue with it?


Then when I got home, I got a care package from my buddy Ted. It was this Japanese mayonnaise that he is totally obsessed with. He always sends me cool culinary things I can't get in Reno. I'll have to try it and see if I am a convert. It made me smile, though. It is so nice to have such stalwart companions. Just that little gesture made me feel cared for. I still need to drink that goat beer he sent me. That shit is strong, though. He knows I need a stiff belt from time to time. So thoughtful.

Oh! And every song on the radio on my drive home was on my list of favorites! Yay!

Good stuff.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Being a Grownup

Just a random thing or two:

  • I love the comic above, from:
  • I want to be more like the person who fills their apartment with playground balls. That rules. As long as that gets me the love of people who also appreciate that.
  • After the analysis was done on it, I got a 90% on my exam I took on Monday. I am relieved because I was not in the best state of mind while taking that test.
  • I have already reached the part of school where I need to keep my grades to myself, because some people that didn't do as well are not too happy with me for doing better. Presumably this is because they don't like me for the reasons most people who don't like me state. I'm not even going to dignify those reasons by repeating them.
  • I need a hug. Or ten. This week is just kicking my ass.
  • If I love you, you know it. Even if I am a prickly bitch sometimes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Rum Makes You Dumb

Yeah, man. Nothing like taking the wholesome blended juice you bought for your child and spiking it harder than the Nike womens' beach volleyball team. I need a drink.

Sorry for the psychotic mood I have been in for the last few days. I am in the process of snapping out of it. I think I need some Audrey time. Must go down to Sacto sometime after midterms and hook that Amazon Goddess up to a steady source of Captain Morgan until we get the girlie giggles. Just not enough for me to get melancholy like last time. *note to self: do NOT drink a whole bottle of champagne, Stacie*

I need to exorcise the demons of stress out of my noggin. All work and no play makes Stacie a dull hedonist. I am working so hard and I really am almost halfway through the semester, it ends mid December and I get 3-4 weeks off of school for winter break.

By December a few things will happen.
  • I will have a birthday and can kiss my thirties goodbye and perhaps good riddance. Still hemming and hawing over party plans. I need to turn over the planning to a friend with some energy, because I lack verve for it. I keep having this vague idea that I want to start with fondue and cocktails at the chocolate bar and then find a spot to dance to some '80's music like the retro junkie that I am. If I can swing getting in the middle of another 2-man sandwich on the dance floor like last time, then I will call the evening a success. *fans self*
  • We *might* know what the heck is going to happen with Little A's legal issues. Enough to plan for the future? Say it isn't so! We really want to take her to Disneyland. That kid is princess-obsessed!
  • I can resolve right now to make no resolutions for next year, as per my usual custom. Check one thing off the list for 2009!
But for right this second now, it is about having a drink. I need a little umbrella for this. I think that the deeper I get into this glass, the less sense this post will make. And it will STILL be more pleasant and less cringe-inducing for my friends and family to read than the last few things I have had to say in this space.

Pretty sad that I only made it, what, 7 weeks into the semester or something before getting all twitchy? I am just built so much more for Bacchanalia than for endless work. Believe it or not, I am one of the more level headed ones in my class. I am not bursting into tears over my tests, YET!!! All that exercise and clean living must be good for something. I'm proud of myself, but I am also tired as fuck-all.

Still, I would rather be lounging and drinking inky Syrah and having my toes sucked and staring up at starry skies and composing impromptu poetry, and giggling, and perhaps sighing, and stroking skin with skin, and making time disintegrate.

Soon, my lovelies. Soon I will take off this lab coat and put on the thing with the plunging neckline and dare you not to stare. Soon I will lubricate my limbs with upturned martini glasses and show you why I am High Priestess of the "Whooo!" people.

Yeah. Like that.


This is how I feel this morning.

I'm okay, I just have an exam today and didn't get much sleep last night and am running on adrenaline, pretty much. So I am roaring.

Since we are at the time of the year where the veil between the world we can see and the world where the discarnates live thins to the point of easy crossover, I don't get much rest. I am extremely sensitive to the activity of the people around me that are without bodies. Most of the year I take it in stride or brush it back or whatever. October is always hard.

So, unless you fine people have the answers for my nursing school exam, kindly shut the hell up for a few hours. It isn't my fault that people on the other side aren't paying attention to you. I am not in the mood to perform parlor tricks today.

And if you don't know what the hell I am talking about, don't sweat it. I'm fine, just annoyed.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Peculiar Passage of Time

How is it possible that time is both flying AND dragging? On the 22nd of October, we will have had Little A in our lives for a whole year. She keeps getting bigger and smarter and faster. I think we spent the first four months just stunned from suddenly becoming parents. But the decade-plus wait to be parents seemed to drag on forever.

And the three weeks until the first Termination of Parental Rights hearing is dragging forever, and that hearing is only the beginning really of some complex legal wrangling to seek permanence for this child.

Time is warped for me right now. On the one hand, I can't believe that it is October already, and mid-month I have a slew of midterms. On the other hand, May 2010 (when I graduate) seems so far away as to be effectively forever. I got overwhelmed last night just thinking about all the work that lies before me and how far away that goal feels. I know when it is over I will probably say that the time flew by, but right now looking ahead feels vertiginous. I can't look in front of me for more than about 2 weeks without feeling dizzy. So planning anything after that feels dangerous or even impossible.

And yet I am doing a lot of big picture thinking about what I want out of my life. I am dreaming big. I just haven't figured our the steps in between here and there yet. Even my short term goals are a little on the hefty side.

I wish I could say that time is on my side, but I just don't know. There are some things I wanted for myself that are out of the question now because I am getting too old. I am quietly grieving the fact that I will never experience pregnancy now. I thought I was done with thinking about that, but it has reared its head and demanded my conscious thought lately. Even so, Tony and I are not done building our family, and we are open to adopting again in the future at least one more time, even though the process can be harrowing emotionally. We are still reeling from all the drama we have had over Little A, and that isn't even resolved yet. We are still figuring out how to be married and be parents and be all the other things we want to be. It isn't flowing naturally at all. But I don't feel "done" yet. I would like a second child. I'm not in a hurry, but in the next five years I expect to be a mother of two instead of one.

I used to feel the spirits of my children around me when I was younger. The ones that wanted to be born through me lingered on the edge of my dreams and spoke to me. They have either found other ways to be in my life, or they have given up on me, because those little voices are still now. I don't know when it stopped when I think back, but I realize that I have been sad about it for a while. All the babies that were going to share DNA with me are simply not going to be. They are gone, lost to fickle time and faulty biology. It is almost like they are dead, snuffed out before they ever had a chance. I feel responsible somehow for failing to find a way to give them what they clearly wanted from me.

I'm writing a bit of prose to work through that, but school is keeping me pretty busy at the moment, so processing big life pain might have to wait. Grief doesn't work on timetables, though. Like a shark attack, it takes a bite out of you when it chooses to. I think the fact that I am so open to learning new things right now has put me in a space to learn all kinds of things unrelated to school. So my lessons are moving in on me at top speed. I'm pulling smoking Rockfords in my life and chasing down all kinds of things.

Time flies and time drags. It pools and rushes over cliffs. It eddies in slow trickles and threatens to stagnate just as it spews forth in hot and terrible geysers. Time is an illusion, just like control. While I think I am watching it slide by me, I fail to realize I am in it. My little coracle without a paddle is taking me somewhere. I hope it is somewhere I have tried to plan for, someplace I have manifested for myself in a moment filled with hope instead of dread.

We'll see. In time, all things reveal themselves in truth for what they are. Waiting is hard. I want some little rewards along the way for the ways I am trying to be good. Hear that, Universe? Some cosmic lotto winnings or pleasant little surprises this week would be good. I'm open.

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