Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

29 June 2011

facebooking from the edge: Night of the Living Insomniac

facebooking from the edge: Night of the Living Insomniac: "My lack of sleep is becoming an entity unto itself; the stuff that Urban Legend and Unsolved Mysteries is made of. There will come a day w..."

Night of the Living Insomniac

My lack of sleep is becoming an entity unto itself; the stuff that Urban Legend and Unsolved Mysteries is made of.  There will come a day when a group of innocent campers are huddled around a smoldering fire while one of them holds a flashlight to his face and tells the frightening true tail of the Girl Who Never, Ever Slept, Ever, Not Even By Accident, insuring nightmares and terror amongst the impressionable audience.  

I have taken to staying up, reading or watching tv, until I decide that maybe, just MAYBE, I'm tired enough to doze off.  Maybe.  (This usually happens because I'm bored or hungry.  I don't want to eat at 2 a.m. and there is NOTHING on tv at that time.  Nothing.  True freaking story, y'all.)

I sneak into the bedroom, careful not to disrupt Dan's snoring.  (God forbid.)  I climb into bed, close my eyes, and will my brain to shut up already.  Maisy wedges herself between us, managing to hog ALL of the covers and somehow use her compact 18 lb body to take up my entire half of the bed, and instantly falls asleep.  She is able to time her snoring with Dan's, so that not a second shall pass without a snore being heard.  


Maisy:  *pause*...SNOOOOOOOORE...*pause*.... SNOOOOORE...

Me:  *inhale*  *exhale*  *inhale*  *exhale*  


Ad infintim.  

I would love nothing more than to blame Dan and the dog for keeping me awake with their charming duet; (in fact, if truth must be told, I may or may not have been known to do exactly that), but alas it wouldn't matter if they were simultaneously humming a lullabye or being as silent as death because the problem is that I just don't sleep.  


The rest of the endless night goes something like this:



Me:  *violently kick off the covers are hard as I can then lie there, spent and furious*


Me:  *flop over as hard as I can onto my right side, sighing loudly and deeply, uprooting Maisy and <accidentally> kicking Dan really, really hard*


Me:  *spastically thump pillow five or six times then flop down again, causing bed to shake, Javi to startle awake and bark, and Dan to bounce* (no easy fete considering he's 260 lbs of dead weight)



(Okay, I'm not proud of myself for doing that,  but the snoring is so effing annoying whether it's keeping me awake or not.  Besides, if I'm awake?  He should not be so damn comfortable.  Word.)

(I'm inexplainably pissed off that he's asleep.  Bastard.)

Dan:  *Grunt*  <fart>  *SNOOOOORE... SNOOOORE...*

And so it goes.  I toss and turn and he sleeps and snores.  Crickets chirp, dogs bark, owls hoot, and Dani lies awake.  I entertain myself by elbowing, bumping, and kicking Dan while he remains oblivious, snoring as if he were being paid to do so.  By 4 a.m. I am filled with a homicidal rage which is directed towards all sleeping things... and then finally, FINALLY, I nod off just in time to be jolted awake by the first blast of the alarm.  Dan smacks the snooze button about 15 times and each time I drift back off mere seconds before the alarm goes off again and again....

25 June 2011

facebooking from the edge: Brennan and the One Legged Man

facebooking from the edge: Brennan and the One Legged Man: "My brother-in-law asked me recently, after one of his kids had behaved atrociously in a restaurant, if my kids had ever embarrassed me in pu..."

Brennan and the One Legged Man

My brother-in-law asked me recently, after one of his kids had behaved atrociously in a restaurant, if my kids had ever embarrassed me in public.  

I felt a little smug when I answered:  "No, of course not!  My children were always perfect when we took them places.  PERFECT."  I could feel the halo gleaming over my head as I piously informed him that I could take my kids anywhere, at any time, and know that they would behave, because I was that freaking fabulous of a parent and my children (unlike his) were not spawned by Satan.  (Okay, I left out that part, but it's true.)

(Side note:  This is not a good way to make the parents of rotten children warm to you, just so you know.)

And they were.  My boys were polite to adults, stayed in their seats at restaurants, were quiet and respectful at movies, and never threw tantrums in the grocery store or Walmart.  Considering that I had three boys, I view this as quite an accomplishment.  (Thank you, boys, for not embarrassing Mommy in public.)  

(Notice how I'm not saying anything about how they behaved at home.  That was a different scenario entirely.)

Then I remembered... Brennan and the One Legged Man.

This is the one and only time I wanted to climb in a hole and die due to the actions of one of my children.  I wanted to move to a new country and change my name, never to be seen or heard from again.  

When my youngest son, Brennan, was 3, I took him to the corner market to pick up a few groceries for dinner.  He was still little enough to sit in the basket in the front of the cart, and he loved to ride around carrying on long conversations with people we passed.  He was so precious, so cute and charming, with his blonde curls and his dimples and endless stream of information.  (When Brennan was in 3rd grade, during a parent-teacher conference, his teacher said to me, "Brennan is so cute!  I just love him!  He's quite... informative!"  All I could picture was my sweet boy telling his teacher every single horrible and inappropriate thing that I'd ever said or done in the presence of my children.  I couldn't bring myself to ask her for details.)  

On this particular day, he was dressed in his little blue denim Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls and cowboy boots.  We were cruising through the aisles with a cart full of goodies when we came across a man on crutches with one pant leg tied up around his knee, making it very obvious that one of his legs was missing.  He hopped on past us and Brennan did a double-take.  

Then he said, "Mama, that man just have one weg!"

"Yes, I know," I said.  (I mean, what was I supposed to say?  No he doesn't?  He obviously only had one leg.  I'm pretty sure that HE knew he only had one leg.  Brennan stated the obvious, I agreed with him... time to move on.)

Only in Brennan's mind, it wasn't time to move on.

He reiterated, a little louder:  "That man just have one weg!"

"Yes, Brennan!" I said, "He only has one leg.  Now, what kind of cookies do you want?"

Brennan:  "But that man just have one weg!"

Me:  "Yes, I know.  Shhhhh!  Cookies!  What kind of cookies should we buy!"

Brennan:  *voice getting louder"  "BUT THAT MAN JUST HAVE ONE WEG!"  

This continued down the aisle, around the corner, his little voice ringing through the store as he repeated, over and over, "BUT THAT MAN JUST HAVE ONE WEG!  THAT MAN JUST HAVE ONE WEG!"

Nothing would distract him, nothing would get him to quiet down... I tried cookies, candy, even soda... Anything to get him to stop.  

But Brennan, being Brennan, was unstoppable:



I finally stopped my cart, picked him up by his coverall straps, grabbed my purse, abandoned my groceries, and hauled my awful child out of the store while he continued to scream, "THAT MAN JUST HAVE ONE WEGGGGGGG!"

When I got him to the car and buckled him into his car seat, he fell silent.  I explained to him in language a 3 yr old would understand why people may or may not have the correct number of limbs and how we should not point it out and continue to point it out, especially in public where they might hear us and get their feelings hurt.  We drove home, grocery-less, while Brennan mulled over this information in the back seat.

When we got home, his dad and brothers wanted to know where our groceries were.  Not wanting to set Brennan off again, I took his dad aside and explained what had happened.  Meanwhile, from the other room, I could hear Brennan's little voice rising above his brothers as he announced to them, "Dat man just had one weg!"

I didn't leave town and change my name, but I did switch grocery stores for a while.  

Thanks, Bren!

facebooking from the edge: Learning to shut up

facebooking from the edge: Learning to shut up: "I believe that life is a learning experience; that each of us is born with baggage from a previous existence and each life is a chance to le..."

Learning to shut up

I believe that life is a learning experience; that each of us is born with baggage from a previous existence and each life is a chance to learn from it and correct it.  If we choose to remain ignorant, we'll just drag it into our next incarnation, and so on and so on until we figure it out.  It kind of follows my rather vague notions of Karma and reincarnation. (I'm not trying to preach some hippie Voodoo shit to anyone who happens to believe we live, we die, we enter Heaven or we burn in Hell... this just happens to be MY opinion.  As the Good Book says, opinions are like assholes... we all have one.  Personally, I have wayyyyyy more opinions than assholes, but perhaps that's just me.)

About 15 years ago, at a particularly horrible point in my life, I started to re-evaluate myself.  I actually wrote a list of all the things about myself that could use a-changin'.  The list was frighteningly long.  (In fact, some might even say it was embarrassingly long.)  A lightbulb clicked on above my head and I had an epiphany:  I am an obnoxious pain in the ass.  (No wonder so many teachers hated me when I was a kid... I knew more than they did and didn't hesitate when it came to letting them know.) I tried really, really hard to stop believing that I'm always right, to quit arguing just because someone has a different opinion than I do, and to stop appointing myself Judge, Jury, and Educator of All The World (complete with super hero cape and a uni-tard with a giant R emblazoned on the front for Captain Right Fighter) because dammit, I'M RIGHT, and I'm not going to shut up until you agree with me.   (This was before Dr. Phil showed up and started asking people if they'd rather be right or if they'd rather be happy.  I had to figure that out for myself.  Thanks for nothing, Dr. Phil.  Too little, too late.  I've already had a changing day in my life.)

I was the child who was sent home from Confirmation, time and time again, for arguing with the pastor.  I was asked to leave a Bible Study about Women of Excellence because I scoffed and snorted about God being the Head of Man and Man being the Head of the Woman and the Head of the Household.  I would argue bitterly in debate class (I never actually participated in competitive debate... weird, right?  I did dramatic interpretations and poetic interpretations but I never debated.  As much as I loved to argue, I hated debate, mostly because I wasn't allowed to pick the topic and name calling and cheap shots weren't allowed.  What a yawn)  and get wildly butt-hurt if my impassioned diatribe failed to change everybody's mind.  (I honestly expected everyone to stand and cheer, or do the slow clap, because I had opened their eyes and their minds.)  I spent a lot of time in my room for arguing with my parents because dammit, I WAS RIGHT, and even if it meant sacrificing my freedom via groundation I was not going to step down or change my mind.  

One of the most difficult things that I needed to work on was learning when to shut the hell up.  "Pick your battles, Danielle!" I would tell myself, as I continued to argue and argue and argue (ad nauseum) until my opponent cried "Uncle!" just to make me stop talking.  It finally occurred to me that I'm not going to change anybody's mind any more than they were going to change MY mind.  (Why would I change my mind, for God's sake?  I was right!)  

I stopped talking and started listening.  (Usually.)  

I closed my mouth and opened my mind.  (Really... I did.) 

I stopped forcing my opinion on the masses whom I deemed to be wrong and accepted that their thoughts and beliefs were just as valid as my own.  (Even though they were still wrong.)

When I state my position on a topic, I try not to argue the point and just say, "This is what I think" and leave it at that.  Or (and this is where I'm sure eyes will roll) I just say nothing. (You have NO idea how hard that is.)

I've quit discussing politics and religion with people who have different beliefs than I do and actually will tell these people, "I refuse to discuss politics or religion with people I love and respect" because, as it turns out, most people get really hot and bothered when it comes to these topics.  (Who knew?  I thought it was only me.)  I come from a family of die-hard Right Wing Christian Republicans (of which I am not one) and I can honestly say that I haven't discussed politics or religion with anyone in my family for the past 15 years.  

(Those of you who've known me since the Dawn Of Time are no doubt skeptical, but I assure you, it's the truth.  No, really... it is.  I swear.)  

Sadly, it took me over 30 years to figure this out, and I'm still branded with the title of "She loves to argue" (which seriously pisses me off at this point... Don't you hate it when you try to change yourself to become a better person and no one notices??) but fortunately, I learned it prior to death, so I can assume that in my next life, I'm going to spend less time bickering.  

Today's Hot Topic is New York passing a Same Sex Marriage law, allowing gay couples the right to marry.  I think this is fantastic, and I hope that the remaining 44 states also jump on the band wagon.  I've been on Facebook reading posts by people on both sides of the issue and I am pretty darn proud of myself for only responding to one post that viewed this as a negative thing.  I was respectful and polite and just voiced my opinion (and even tossed in a couple of Bible verses... who says I didn't pay attention in Confirmation?) and... *gasp* then let it go.  I didn't even respond to the asshole who made the token "The Bible says Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" argument.  (I know, right?  Talk about showing heroic restraint.)  I'm not going to change any minds with what I said, but I felt the need to say something.  The Adam and Steve guy needs to die a slow and painful death, but since I believe that ignorance is painful, I'm pretty sure he'll get his in the end (and come back as a homosexual in his next life and have to try and explain to people just like him why he was born that way and how it isn't a choice.  And the part where I said "getting his in the end" was totally an unintentional pun).  


Shutting up now...

Dani out.

24 June 2011

facebooking from the edge: When the Weiners Opened Pandora's Box...

facebooking from the edge: When the Weiners Opened Pandora's Box...: "Let's face it, the name Weiner? Funny every damn time. It's impossible to hear or read about somebody named Weiner and not snicker and sn..."

When the Weiners Opened Pandora's Box...

Let's face it, the name Weiner?  Funny every damn time.  It's impossible to hear or read about somebody named Weiner and not snicker and snort like Beevis and Butthead and say, "Heh heh... heh heh... You said 'Weiner'!"  Certain words turn us all into 5th grade boys.  It's a fact of life.  (And if it doesn't?  I probably don't want to know you.  If you can't get a good old fashioned knee slapping chuckle on over a weiner, butt, or fart joke... well, those of us fishing our minds out of the gutter feel sorry for you.)  

Let's all pause for a moment to reflect on the recently disgraced Anthony Weiner.  Not only has he spent his entire life cursed by the name Weiner, he flashed himself into a full-blown (pun absolutely not intended but funny anyway, tee-hee) political scandal by exposing his weiner and sending pictures of it to unsuspecting recipients.  On one hand (the hand holding his weiner, perhaps), he could have said, "What?  That's my business card.  Weiner, get it?"  Or even pull a Bill Clinton and insist it was absolutely not his weiner until Linda Tripp showed up to investigate. But no... he's not as clever as I am.  Instead?  He stepped down in disgrace, amidst a flurry of dick jokes and guffaws on late night television, taking himself and his weiner out of the spotlight and, for all we know, into oblivion.

(Seriously... why do men think we want to see their business?  We don't.  We really, really don't.  We'd rather see your bank statement and your credit score, thank you very much.  If you send me a picture of your man parts I'm going to be more likely to laugh my ass off and then forward the picture to all my girlfriends so they can laugh, too, than to get all excited about seeing your junk.  True story, yo.)

Mr. Weiner was not  a stand-up guy.  

Pity da foo'!!  

Anyhoo, I was cruising through some previous blogs of mine and I came across one that is simply beyond appropos.  It's almost like it was meant to be.  Kismet, as they say (if "they" are Hindu or Buddhist or, well, me).  

The Ghost of Blogs Past...

So Dan and I were watching Unexplained Mysteries tonight.  On the show were the four college students who were infamously abducted by aliens on a camping trip back in the 1980s.  

(I remember when Unsolved Mysteries did a show about them... Shea was about 9 and happened to watch it at a friend's house.  For about a week he was acting strangely, even more so than usual, at bedtime.  Finally, I'd had enough of him throwing a fit and demanding that his brothers sleep with him and I insisted that he tell me what was going on.  In a tear-choked voice he said, "I'm afraid I'm going to get adopted by aliens."  I said, "What?!"  He said, "I saw a show about aliens coming and adopting kids from a camping trip.  I don't want aliens to come and adopt me.")
Anyway.  We're watching this episode (Dan and I) and two of the men who were abducted and anally probed were twins named Jack and Jim Weiner.  Right?  Weiner?  Okay.   We manage to get past that hurdle (Dan has the sense of humor of an 8 year old boy and the name "Weiner" was met with guffaws, snorts, and knee-slapping) when the paranormal investigator who hypnotized them and reviewed the case said, and I quote, "The Weiners opened Pandora's Box..."


The rest of the show was lost to me.  Getting past the Weiners opening Pandora's Box was simply not going to happen.   Dan had to hit "pause" about a thousand times because he was laughing so hard he couldn't hear the dialogue and we kept having to go back and re-hear the guy say, "The Weiners opened Pandora's Box..."  because it never quite got old.

And?  It was funny every goddamn time.

(Okay, I admit it... I laughed, too.  And also repeated the line about 200 times, falling all over myself laughing every single time.)

The Weiners opened Pandora's Box...

Yep.  Still funny!

23 June 2011

facebooking from the edge: The 7th Circle of Hell

facebooking from the edge: The 7th Circle of Hell: "So this heat and humidity that New Yorkers spend their winter months dreaming about? I'm over it. Actually, I was over it before it ev..."

The 7th Circle of Hell

So this heat and humidity that New Yorkers spend their winter months dreaming about?  I'm over it.  

Actually, I was over it before it even started.  I've never been one of those girls yearning for tropical beaches (not that I'd turn down a trip to Hawaii or a weekend in Cabo, but I'd rather be on an Alaskan cruise ship than one that's heading to Jamaica, mon).  I grew up in California's San Joaquin Valley, where summer begins in April and ends in December, with temperatures of 100+ degrees frequently making our backyard pool too hot to swim in.  (I know, right?)   When it was 114 degrees, jumping into a pool the temperature of a warm bathtub was not the cool, refreshing rush you might think.  (Not that we didn't do it anyway, since my mother was a freaking air conditioner Nazi.  It could be 120 degrees in our house, we'd be literally melting onto the hardwood floor, and she'd say, "Turn on a fan."  Okay, newsflash, MOM:  All the fan does is blow the same 120 degree air at you.  It's not a magical fan, with mad refrigeration skills.  It's just a freaking FAN.)  

So yeah, as much as I adored being tanned, I also hated the heat.  

When my ex husband got out of the Marine Corps, we moved way up the coast of California into Del Norte county.  Between the ocean, the mountains, and the redwoods, I honestly believe there isn't a more beautiful place on this earth.  One of the perks of living there, other than the view, was clean air.  The downside?  The weather sucks.  I went from valley heat to north coast rain, wind, more rain, more wind, (and the occasional tsunami, just to keep us on our toes).  I loved it, I hated it... You know how it goes.  I loved the weather when I wasn't out in it.  I hated it when it was sunny but the wind was blowing so hard that you couldn't go outside.  I looked forward to that one day a year when it was 70 degrees.  A beautiful sunny day was a treat, kind of like a reward for surviving all the shitty weather that the other 364 days brought forth.  

Living on the coast changes your perspective as to what a "warm day" actually consists of:  A warm day in most places is in the 70s and 80s, with a hot day being in the 90s to 100s.  Right?  On the north coast, a warm day is any day without rain, when the sun is actually shining.  A HOT day is any day that the sun is shining and there's no wind.  So if it was 65 degrees outside, sunny, and not windy, Northern Californians were stripping off their clothes like a 2 dollah hooker and heading to the beach or river (depending on whether you wanted to turn right or left off of the 101).  

When we first arrived here in New York, it was rainy and yucky.  I felt right at home.  Then BOOM!!!  The damn heat laid the smack down, and while native New Yorkers were dancing and cheering in the streets because the snow had thawed, the lonely girl from northern California was planted in her apartment in front of a fan bitching up a storm because, um, hello?  It's a thousand degrees out there, people, with a bazillion percent humidity.  This isn't pleasant.  Not being a huge fan of sweating, I'm not having a good time.  

People keep telling me, "Oh, just wait until it's 40 below and there's 15 feet of snow outside.  You'll wish for this weather."  

I'm all, "I don't think so."  

I can come in out of the cold, y'all.  I can turn on my heater, wrap myself in a blanket, drink a hot cuppa coffee and warm my chilly ass up.  Right now?  When I come in from the heat and humidity, I'm just walking into MORE heat and humidity.  I can crank up the AC and turn on a fan, but it's still flippin' hot.  There are only so many clothes I'm willing to take off and I refuse to sit on my couch naked.  (Because, you know... ewwww.)

You think I'm a-scared of winter?  


22 June 2011

facebooking from the edge: The Hair Up There

facebooking from the edge: The Hair Up There: "You know how on Top Model, when it comes time for the make-overs, there are always a couple of girls who sob uncontrollably because they fin..."

The Hair Up There

You know how on Top Model, when it comes time for the make-overs, there are always a couple of girls who sob uncontrollably because they find out that if they want to be on top, they have to cut their hair?

Yeah... I'm not impressed.     

I'm usually sitting on my couch rolling my eyes and saying, "Suck it up, you big baby!  It's HAIR!  IT GROWS BACK!"  

Because I?  Am all about whacking off my hair.  

When I was little, I had very long hair.  This was not MY choice... it was my parent's.  (My parents were more attached to my hair than they were to me, I think.)  I spent years of my life with long heavy hair hanging off my head, getting stuck in the zippers on the backs of my dresses (remember when dresses had zippers?), getting caught in the wooden slats on the back of my desk chairs (dear Lord I'm old... listen to that sentence:  "wooden slats on desk chairs"... I'm like friggin' Abraham Lincoln, for God's sake). This was before the coming of the blow dryer and hot rollers, so on Saturday nights or before any special occasion, I would spend hours sitting in a chair while my mother rolled my hair in prickly curlers, then put a plastic cap on my head which was attached to a rubber hose which was attach to her hair dryer.  There I'd stay, for at least two hours, with my scalp itching and burning and the curlers heating up to a thousand degrees, until my hair was dry enough to go to bed.  Then I'd get to try to find a way to sleep comfortably with spikes sticking into my head (not possible, FYI).  In the morning, when my mother would take out the rollers, there was always... ALWAYS... a chunk of hair that didn't dry.  So I'd have beautiful bouncy curls and then one long, lank hunk of hair that would droop down my back.  (This was a very common look among little girls with long hair "back in the day"... because chances are, we'd ALL spent the previous evening sitting under a hair dryer whining, "It's itchinggggggggg meeeeeeeeee!")

I was taught to suffer for beauty at a very early age.  (Thanks, Mom.)

When I was in 8th grade, ice skater Dorothy Hammil twirled into the media spotlight with her darling wedge cut hair.  I begged and pleaded with my mother to let me get my hair cut just like hers.  Finally, after my relentless whining had stomped her last nerve into oblivion, she allowed me to make my appointment and get my hair lopped off.  

It was the best day EVER.

Since that exact moment in time (I love it when I can pin-point life changing events TO THE DAY... I just wish my most eventful life changes weren't usually so shallow and superficial, but whatever) I have been addicted to changing my hair.  In my lifetime, I have cut, shaved, colored, hacked off, whacked off, and tormented my hair.  I have blow-dried, hot rollered, curling ironed, hair sprayed, moussed, gelled, waxed, and cemented every strand on my head at one time or another.  When I'm tired of my hair and no one is available to cut it for me, I will cut it myself.  (This has led to many "Oh shit" moments, when my impulsiveness has been, shall we say, not pretty.  I feel like when that happens, I'm doing a community service by keeping my local stylists in business, because I'm a giver like that.  You're welcome.)  

I have had some pretty drastic screw ups.  Most of them have involved me getting annoyed with something my hair is doing and grabbing a pair of scissors.  What follows goes something like this:  Snip, snip, saw, whack, snip... "Oh CRAP."  Bzzzzzzzzzzz.... "SHIT!!!!!"  Snip, snip, snip... "FUCK!!!!!"  Snip... Snip... Snip... snipsnipsnipsnipsnip... "SonofaBITCH!"  *ringringgggg*  "Hey, it's Dani.  Remember how I told you my hair was getting on my nerves and I should probably make an appointment?  Uh huh... well, yeah... Pretty bad.  Scissors.  And clippers.  I know.  Cool... I'll be there in 10."  

I will then don a hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses, and take myself to a salon and listen to the stylist (9 times out of 10 a friend of mine) tell me how she should let me walk around with hideous hair for a week or so just to teach me a lesson.  

Since moving to New York, I haven't made any stylist (or stylish, for that matter) friends, so my hair has been more or less on it's own.  A few weeks ago, in the dark of night, after a long, hot and humid day during which my hair drove me nuts and I consequently wound up wearing a hat (not my favorite look when it's a million degrees with a gazillion percent humidity), I took my husband's clippers and buzzed my entire head.  


I clipped and trimmed the parts that were sticking out and longer than other parts, so I eventually ended up with a style previous only rocked by Pink and Annie Lennox (and possibly some fever victims back in the 1700 and 1800s).  I'm sure it's hideous but whatever... I'm working my short, ugly hair like it's my job.  

When I see those sniveling teen-agers on Top Model hanging on to clumps of their hair and bawling, I think "Amateurs.  Accidentally dye your hair purple and then shave half of it off in an attempt to fix it.  THEN you can cry."

Not that I ever did that... *cough*

21 June 2011

facebooking from the edge: Insomnia 101

facebooking from the edge: Insomnia 101: "I don't sleep. I haven't slept in 48 years, more or less, other than my two year or so affair with Ambien and possibly the first year or tw..."

Insomnia 101

I don't sleep.  I haven't slept in 48 years, more or less, other than my two year or so affair with Ambien and possibly the first year or two of my life, which I can't remember so therefore don't count.  (GOD I miss Ambien.*) 

(*Author's note:   Remember the movie National Lampoon's European Vacation, when the daughter is pining for her boyfriend Jack, and they're in Germany and are served brats and sour kraut?  And she looks at the enormous sausage sitting on her plate and she says, "GOD I miss Jack!"  *snort*)

When I was a little girl, I would lie awake all night waiting to die.  I was pretty sure that if I fell asleep, the Lord my soul would take (thanks to that uber comforting children's prayer, "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep."  The part of "if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take" didn't become politically correct and leave out the death part until the 1980s or 90s.  Until then, children were encouraged to say their prayers and fear God because if they didn't, and happened to die during the night, they'd most likely wind up in Hell). Being a very logical child, I figured that if I didn't fall asleep, I wouldn't die.  (Right?  Makes sense, yes?)  Ergo, the location of my soul would not be an issue.  

My mother went nuts trying to make me sleep.  I was plied with hot milk and honey, cough syrup, and even red wine (again, this was not the politically correct era of the recent past, where destroying your children's brain cells is frowned upon.  This was in the 60s and 70s, when parents were encouraged to drug their children into good behavior) and would still be wide awake, covers clutched against my chin, little body shaking in fear, waiting for the Angel of Death to come and collect me.  I wasn't trying to be naughty, I was just trying to stay alive, dammit.

When I was about 7, our parents left  us with an old German woman as our babysitter.  Since my dad was a high school principal, we usually got really cool cheer-leaders and drum majorettes to come hang out with us while our parents went out, but for some reason, this time we got Freu Hitler.  (I'm thinking my mother got a little tired of perky teen-age babysitters telling us about their boyfriends and allowing us to misbehave, and kinda hoped that the Freu would whip us into submission and, even better, force me to go to bed and fall asleep.)  After an evening of absolutely no fun,  I was still wide awake at midnight and Freu was getting annoyed.  Finally, she asked me why I wouldn't go to sleep.  I explained about dying before I woke (seriously, in all my years of wakefulness no one had ever thought to ask me what the problem was) and to my surprise, she suddenly became very soft and sweet and told me bedtime stories about her childhood in Germany and promised to sit by me all night so that I wouldn't be over-taken by The Lord and His Army of Death Angels.  

(I found out when I was much older that when my parents got home, Freu Hitler chewed my mother a new ass about teaching me such a horrible bedtime prayer and informed my parents why their daughter hadn't slept since she was two.)

The next day, my mother taught me The Lord's Prayer.  

Turns out, she was 7 years too late.  Once a childhood insomniac, always a childhood insomniac.  My parents felt so guilty about ruining my life (my interpretation, not necessarily theirs) that I was generally catered to about all of my sleep fears.  If  a brand new frilly yellow bedspread is what I needed to help me feel safe at night, I had it. A new teddy bear?  Nuff said... here ya go!  Hot milk and a cookie?  No problem!  Just freaking fall asleep already!!!  (They never said that exactly but trust me when I say it was implied.)  

(My grandmother solved the problem quite simply by feeding me liquor and a cookie every night at bedtime when I would stay at her house.  I slept like a baby there.  Not only do French women not get fat, they don't have an issue with giving small children goblets of Creme de Menthe or Amaretto to encourage a good night's sleep.  This led to a slight issue of me expecting to be served a cocktail in the evening before dinner, also, but that's a different story.)  

Adding to my nighttime phobias was a rerun of Lassie, which featured Timmy befriending a blind boy.  I do not remember anything about this episode except the part where the blind boy was explaining to Timmy about the day he went blind.  He said (and I remember the exact words to this day because they had such a huge impact on my life), "Then one day the lights when out and I was blind."

Did I mention how I was quite a literal little girl?  

I took this to mean that someone flicked off the light switch and when they turned it back on, he was blind.  Are you following me?  Darkness = You Go Blind.  

This created my intense fear of the dark.  I was convinced that every time the lights were turned off, there was a high probability that when they came back on, I would be stricken blind.  Once again, my poor parents, in a desperate attempt to get some sleep, catered to my whims.  A pretty green Josef's Original figuring nightlight was set up on my yellow dresser and I would open my eyes frequently throughout the night to look at it and make sure I could still see.  

Looking back, it occurs to me that I was an enormous pain in the ass.  (Not to mention more than a little weird.)  

Who knew?

I did eventually grow out of my fear of being rendered blind, and I did stop fearing the Lord and His Soul Snatchers, but I never figured out how to fall asleep.  

Last night, as I was lying in bed listening to Dan fart and snore, Maisy fart and snore, Trailer Trash Barbie"s little dogs yapping their asses off, crickets chirping and Mr. Awesome banging his latest floozy, I tried desperately to turn off my brain and just fade into nothing-ness.  Unfortunately, every 5 minutes or so my eyes would pop open and I would glance at the bedside clock, with it's glowing numbers, and feel an intense relief that I wasn't blind.  Or dead.  

Therapy, anyone?

18 June 2011

facebooking from the edge: When Death By Butt Injury Will Be My Destiny

facebooking from the edge: When Death By Butt Injury Will Be My Destiny: "(I wrote this blog in 2009 and just happened to re-read it today... and sadly, I haven't progressed much as a person in the past 2 years bec..."

When Death By Butt Injury Will Be My Destiny

(I wrote this blog in 2009 and just happened to re-read it today... and sadly, I haven't progressed much as a person in the past 2 years because I still find this freaking hilarious.)

February 16, 2009

I don't have to work today, so I'm spending the morning sipping my coffee and watching a few episodes of Forensic Files. It's ugly outside and nice inside so I'm feeling blissfully content doing three of my favorite things: snuggling with Maisy, drinking coffee and watching my true crime crap. Basically? It's a perfect morning in Dani Land.

So I got sucked into an episode about a woman who drowned in her toilet.

Yes, you read that correctly: She DROWNED in her TOILET.

And rather than focusing on the tragedy of the situation, my very first thought was, "Oh my God... how embarrassing!" followed by, "That's something that would happen to me."

I mean, granted... the woman is dead. And as it turns out, it was her husband who drowned her in the toilet. That aside, it's freaking funny.

Which is why I know for a fact that I'm destined for Hell. Because I can't get past the fact that she drowned in the toilet. If I read it in the paper, I'd be snorting and guffawing and calling my equally evil friend, Teri, to laugh myself SICK over it (and I know she'd be laughing just as hard, because that's how we roll. We plan on sharing a room in Hell).

I can't take the death of Elvis seriously, either... because the man died on the toilet.

Which is why I'm pretty sure that I am going to die in some humiliating, butt-related way... because I find it so goddamn funny.

You'd think impaling myself in the ass with a steak knife (which was decidedly unfunny and hurt like a red hot BITCH) would cure me of this tendancy to find other people's butt-related tragedies wildly amusing. (And FYI? My evil friend Teri is the one who drove me to the hospital that night and laughed herself into a coma, along with the doctors and nurses, when the cops showed up to ask me if I was sure it was a self-inflicted stab wound... and she also has been repeating the story for the past 10 years to anyone who will listen. Bitch. I don't think it's an accident that shortly after my stabbing incident she sat on a burning stick of incense when she was working at the street fair and continued to sit on it while it burned a hole in her pants AND in her fanny and kept musing aloud that her ass was burning... but never checked to see why. HA.)

Anyway. I watched the entire episode but got so distracted by the toilet drowning and the fact that the investigators and cops that they interviewed never cracked a smile while discussing this case that I have no recollection of how it actually ended, other than that her husband did it.

And of course I had to pause it long enough to make a few phone calls to share the fact that this woman drowned in a toilet.

Genell Plude, wherever you are... I'm sorry for laughing at your misfortunate. But you gotta admit... it's FUNNY, dammit.

17 June 2011

The Legend of Sid Vicious

When my kids were little, they were constantly beating the drum for a new pet.  We had cats, dogs, birds, fish, even a freaking duck (most of which still live with me, while the kids do not), but I drew the line at rodents.
Rodents freak me out.  Their sharp little teeth, their sharp little claws, their twitching little noses... *skeeve*
My friend Terri was my boys' biggest champion.  If they wanted something, she had a tendency to give it to them.  Since she also gave her daughter everything she wanted, a lot of that spilled over into MY house.
Such was the case with a three-legged hamster.
Her daughter wanted a hamster.  Consequently, her daughter got TWO hamsters, a fluffy white teddy bear hamster and a nasty, three legged one.  The fluffy white one went into "hibernation" shortly after moving in ("hibernation" is code for "the hamster crawled into a tube and died but no one knew it for about a month because we thought it was hibernating").  The other one, whom they named Tri-Pod, spent the next two years sleeping by day and jogging on his squeaky hamster-wheel by night.
One day, Terri asked me, IN FRONT OF THE BOYS, if we would like Tri-Pod to come and live out his twilight years at MY house.  I said NO.  The boys whined.  She assured me that he would only live a little bit longer because hamsters ONLY live two years and they'd already had him longer than that.
Okay, fine.  I caved.  I agreed to bring the damn thing home to die.  Whatever.
He took up residence in a 5 gallon fish tank with a screen lid in my livingroom.  He would snarl and bare his teeth when we'd approach him, charge and try to bite the hand that was attempting to feed him, give me the finger when I'd threaten to feed him to the cat.  I changed his name to Sid Vicious because given a chance? I'm pretty sure he would have eaten us.
Sid developed a tumor on his side that made him look oddly lopsided.  I was pretty sure death was imminent.  
Several months later, the tumor disappeared, then reappeared on his other side.  Again, I was positive that death was imminent.
Several months later, the tumor disappeared.  Sid continued to sleep during the day and keep me awake all night by jogging on his stupid little hamster wheel.
I would get up, turn on the light, glare at him... and he would stop for a moment, give me a surly look, call me a nasty name, sharpen his switchblade and then continue his exercise.
I hated that stupid hamster.
Sometimes, in the dead of night, while he was jogging away, I would yell at him from my room,  "Oh good GOD!  WOULD YOU JUST DIE ALREADY!"
Two years my ass.
We had that damn hamster for about three years, after the two years he lived with Terri.  For THREE YEARS this rodent lived in a glass fish tank in my house.  THREE YEARS of his snarling, nastiness, switch-blade wielding personality.  Who the hell has a hamster that lives for five freaking years?  Good GOD, y'all!
And then?  One morning we got up... and the tank was empty.  The lid was still intact... but Sid was gone.
There was no way he could have climbed up the glass sides of the fish tank, lifted the screen lid, climbed out, replaced the lid, and gone on his merry way.  NO WAY.
But he was gone.
The boys accused me of the heinous crime of hamstercide.  I swore up and down that I had nothing to do with his disappearance. I mean,  I KNOW it looked bad... but I swear on all that is holy that I did not make three little cement hamster shoes and send him off to sleep with the fishies.  I did NOT do anything to that hamster.
I plead my case in the following ways:
A)  I was scared to death of him.
B)  You couldn't have paid me enough to pick him up.
C)  I don't touch rodents.
D)  If I was going to kill the hamster, I wouldn't have waited 3 years to do it.
E)  All of the above.
So anyway.
We searched high and low but Sid was nowhere to be found.  We never found his little carcass anywhere, never found any remnants of bones or teeth or hamster fur.  He just simply....
Sometimes, late at night, I hear the faint sounds of a squeaky hamster wheel... and I wonder....