Monday, October 31, 2005

It's like Halloween and Valentine's Day...all wrapped up into one

Happy Halloween! Hope you've expressed your inner self through your costume today. I especially enjoyed the time I attended a Naval Officers' Wives Club party in my full punk regalia. I was surrounded by slutty pirate's wenches and french maids...and I think I scared the shit out of them. My (now ex) husband was mortified. I loved it.

But I must admit I'm exhausted and cranky today, so this may be short and sweet. I got about two hours of sleep last night (this morning?) after having a big fat row with Mr. Blogger last night.

Yes, that's right. The perfectly in love couple shouted it out.

But you know what? That's ok. And we'll be fine. I'd be more worried if we held it in.

My friend S, whom I've known for more than 11 years and all three husbands, once asked me if MB and I ever argued. Now, while it's nice to think that we give off the impression of never dreaming of such a thing as to disagree, we're HUMAN. Plus, as one of my male friends likes to remind me, I am the "Fiery Latina". So it's in my genes.

I did have a marriage once though, where we NEVER argued. Ok, ONE TIME we got into it and, I kid you not, it was over punctuation.

I was proofreading a proposal he had written and we could not agree on this issue. I was pissed that someone would dare disagree with me in regards to writing skills, and he was stubborn. It was so infrequent that we fought, that the next day he sent me a dozen roses at work. Every time someone walked by and asked me what the occasion was, I had to say, "A misplaced comma". I got a lot of stares for that.

But as lovely as it sounds, that marriage turned out to be more about two good friends than two impassioned spouses. Passion goes both ways. You may fight hard but you love harder. I finally figured that out with MB.

I was watching "Martha" the other day with Bette Midler as the guest. When they turned it over to the audience questions, one woman asked the Divine Miss M what the secret was to her 21 year marriage. She told them it was as simple as the fact that they were committed to it. Through the ups and downs, through the general trials and tribulations of life, THEY WERE COMMITTED TO MAKING THE MARRIAGE WORK.

I warned MB a long time ago that I may go off, and explode, but then it's done. I don't hold grudges and once I've said (ok, shouted) my peace, I'm over it. The silent, brooding routine was never going to work with me.

And our fights, while "fiery", are generally within all the fair fighting rules. There's never a doubt that at the end of the day, we love each other above all else.

But I would additionally kick anyone's ass who DARED to mess with him. He likes that about me. Well, he didn't marry me for my cooking and cleaning abilities...that's for sure.

Now I need to go put on my sexy witch costume that he bought for me, before he gets home. We have lots of making-up to look forward to.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I'll start singing "Kumbaya" if you will

Thank you everyone who wrote such supportive comments to me regarding yesterday's blog...but then again, you're my friends and family, so I would expect no less!

But seeing as how Lissa hasn't checked in yet, I wanted to give a short addendum to what I stated, and what you shared on the topic. And then I hope to not burden you with any more. It seems to get me in trouble.

I only guessed that she may be British due to her spelling and vernacular ("shite", "realiSe", etc.). There was nothing else to go by since it was an anonymous comment with no linked blog or email address. I could be completely wrong.

But what M-I-L has described as the current Mental Health system (or really lack thereof) in Wales is beyond shameful. I really hope she is able to find the care she needs, wherever she may be.

I too, have had friends who have committed suicide. One was a sorority sister and one an employee of mine at a credit union. Both broke my heart.

The "sister" had been a close friend and to this day, when I see the pictures of us at various events, it pains me to remember that she's not here. She was caring and sensitive and had an enormously good heart. Since she lived in the room next to me in the house, we had many long talks out on the balcony and became quite close. But I guess I never really knew fully what she was going through. And it still bothers me that I couldn't have helped her.

The employee was a wife of a youth pastor for a very large Christian congregation, where his father was the pastor. The two had met in bible college in her Midwest home and she followed him to California when they married. She couldn't have been more typically innocent and sweet. When they had a beautiful baby boy, she decided to be a stay at home mom and we all wished her well, making her promise to come by often with her son. There was no way of knowing the horrific post-partum depression she was suffering, since it wasn't in her nature to ask for help.

I could never have predicted the outcome for either. I was sad and shaken and felt so horrible for their families, whose grief was palpable and enormous. OF COURSE I didn't think they were cowards. Mostly, I was just upset at the horrendous waste of it all. I never blamed or judged, only knew that they both must have just thought that there was no other option.

But it wasn't until I began to experience that same black hole of despair that I truly understood. I know all too well how it feels to think that no matter what you do, no matter what you may say to or ask of others, it will never get better. Depression is a disease, and you wouldn't be angry with someone who had cancer, so why judge those in the grips of something equally debilitating, be it in a more mental than physical manifestation.

I also know, however, that there is a tiny speck of realization in you, be it ever so dimmed, that somehow there has to be a way out. That's where the FIGHT, of which I often speak, comes in.

Perhaps "cowardly" was the wrong word to use, and for that I apologize to anyone who relates to it. I was using it to describe the difference between the "way out" and the chosen way to it therapy, meds, family and friends' support, or just a stubborn refusal to give in to the demons. It isn't easy, and it is NOT a quick fix. It IS, however, a way to get through one day at a time.

I get angry at seeing those we have lost to this disease and I DO wish they had screamed at the top of their lungs for someone to listen (see the original post that started this debate). My own experience (and it is simply MY opinion from having gone through it) has shown me that I do have a right to say that life IS amazing and worth fighting for.

I even joked in the title of that post about being on my soapbox, because I feel like it is my responsibility to tell others that you CAN get through it. I am, QUITE OBVIOUSLY, not perfect, or healed, or all done with my fight. If I were, I wouldn't be on disability as we speak.

I keep thinking though, that if I weren't here today, I wouldn't have found the man who is the love of my life and I wouldn't have known how joyful the cacophony of my complicated existence can be.

Now, for those who know me, you will please forgive this somewhat jarring change of topic...but this wouldn't be my blog if I didn't mention the UCLA game yesterday. It seems trivial, following the heaviness of all of the above, but guess what? That is one of my joys. I won't apologize for that. But I also wanted to tell everyone how my husband's actions, day after day, remind me why he is perfect...for me.

(Just now I even asked him how I was ever going to gracefully transition to the topic of yesterday's miraculous Bruin comeback, given all I addressed so far. He looked incredulous and stated, "You HAVE to talk about the game!" Thank you Honey.)

When we were down by 21 points with only eight minutes to go in the game, Mr. Blogger mentioned something along the lines of it probably being over. After shooting him The Glare (and yes, it is capitalized), I berated him, quite emphatically, with "You NEVER EVER say that!". My mother is very familiar with this attitude, since I have been equally angry with her when she too loses hope.

He left the room, in what I thought was a huff due to my stern reproach. While I tried to silently WILL my team to get it together and not give up, he came up to me with the reason for his absence...a homemade card to make me feel better...

(The left is the front of the card, while the other is the inside.)

I never said MB was an artist, and you'll notice how the receiver's football is roughly three times the size of his head...but is that not THE CUTEST THING YOU'VE EVER SEEN???

Up until this point, UCLA had not scored a single touchdown, just one field goal, and I screamed and paced and waved that card with all my might (thus the crumpled mess that I made of it). I even threw up in the kitchen sink from all the stress. It was totally worth it.

In those eight minutes, plus one overtime, we scored FOUR touchdowns to win...ALL BECAUSE OF MY HUSBAND. I'm sure of it.

THAT, my friends, is one of the reasons why I'm here today. When you have a man who loves you when you're grumpy, loves you when you're down, loves you when you're ridiculously devoted to a stupid (for some!) game...and UNDERSTANDS thank your lucky stars every single moment of every single day that you stuck it out. And with his help, will keep at it.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Where I learned that the blogosphere can bring both approval AND derision

Oh boy...I got my first anonymous hate mail today! Well, semi-anonymous since she gave a name, but nowhere I could reply.

I deleted it because:

A. I can.

B. I thought that there was no reasoning with anyone who wants to debate that suicide is a reasonable solution for some.

You know Lissa, my first impulse was to go off on you (and you were sorely mistaken to have called me "uneducated" me, you do not want to get into a battle of wits with me). I could give you a point-by-point rebuttal to your post, and I could defend myself, my opinions and my own history with the topic.

But then I re-read what you had to say.

You seem to be in trouble. And you quite obviously feel very strongly about everything you mentioned. I was initially more bothered that you stated "one such as yourself might have a little more compassion than that", but when I was able to step away from my own ego-bruising, it occurred to me that you are the one who is in need of this compassion.

Now, the fact that I linked to other "boring" blogs, IS my prerogative. I am entitled to be as snarky as I like in this arena. If you have a blog, you are welcome to do the same. If people don't like it, they don't have to read it.

But, I AM worried about you. And if you knew me, you would know that I do care very deeply and empathically about others' feelings.

I don't know you, but I have figured out that you're British (or at least I'm fairly certain). I've been in those cold, dreary surroundings at this time of year, and know that could get anyone down. It gets dark at 2:00 in the afternoon for crissakes.

But I am going to be very adamant when I tell you this: You CAN stand up and fight like hell. And it is NOT arrogant for me to say so. This has nothing to do with my own arrogance. To the contrary, it has to do with my belief in the strength you have yet to uncover.

And I can say this, because I have SEEN it, over and over again. I have had friends in the hospital that were so severely anorexic they weren't even allowed to walk anywhere. As I pushed their wheelchair, we talked about what would happen when we got out of here, and could we really get out of this horrible, all-encompassing abyss.

I would never be so naive as to say that everybody made it. But a lot of us did. I'm living proof. It took far too long, and I had to KEEP AT IT, but I'm here. On the other side.

I don't even care if you think I'm being too optimistic. You were right when you said that life is a hurdle. In fact, I can't agree strongly enough. But what you can't see and I can is IS possible to get over.

So instead of being offended or hurt, as I am wont to do, I will look at the comments as YOUR small step forward. You reached out, whether you realize it or not. By telling others how you feel, even cloaked in anonymity, you're actually looking for someone to care.

I said that suicide was a coward's way out because I think it is FAR more difficult, and takes far more guts to fight. But there are medical professionals with meds and therapy out there who will be the ones to truly help you with that. LOOK THEM UP.

In the meantime, Lissa, at least you can be assured that I heard you. If you click on the envelope at the end of the post, you can send me an email. Or you can just post your comments in the usual way.

But be confident that even if you rant and rave at me, I'll take that as a good sign. At least you're still fighting.

Friday, October 28, 2005

I'm telling you though...British TV is NOT for the prudish

When we were living in London and I was waiting for Mr. Blogger to come home at 5:00AM (from his SECOND job), I would watch music videos 'cause there was nothing else on. For those of you who have never been to the UK, there are an insane amount of video channels...practically one for every genre. I would flip around like a crazy person, just to have something to do. Yes, I suppose sleeping was an option, but nah.

But in the end, I was quite up on my British popular music, even though if I saw one more Sugababes or Girls Aloud video...I was gonna hurt somebody. And Europe being the non-nipple-obsessed continent that it is, showed stuff UNCENSORED. N.E.R.D.'s "Lapdance" actually scared me.

In case you hadn't noticed though, here in the US, MTV (Music TELEVISION) and VH1 (VIDEO Hits One) never actually play videos. Between airings of Laguna Beach and/or The Surreal Life, who has time for such nonsense. But as any good insomniac will tell you, check them out in the wee, wee, wee hours. THAT'S when they show 'em.

I have a long history with music video obsession, being a proper kid of the 80's. I was so excited when we got cable, and therefore MTV, that I would sit transfixed for HOURS. I even wrote a thesis paper on The Role of Women as Victims in Music Videos (let's just say...not much has changed there).

I even interned at a video show called "Goodnight L.A." which aired every Friday night on Los Angeles' ABC station. I have some tapes of the times I, or even my voice, was on camera. That was one of the most fun times of my life. I especially enjoyed the time we were brainstorming a year-end Top Videos of 1984 show and I DEMANDED that Duran Duran's 'Save A Prayer' be on the list. This was how we decided actual chart toppers or anything there...just what BROOKE WANTED.

(One day we'll talk about my all-encompassing obsession with Duran Duran and the fact that my future husband would turn out TO HAVE GROWN UP ON THE SAME STREET AS SIMON LE BON. I mean really...M-I-L will attest. I am consistently amazed at how meant-to-be Mr. Blogger and I are.)

So I decided to veg out in front of the big screen this morning and give you my report for the clips I saw between 5:45-7:45AM. Unfortunately, I didn't think to actually blog about this until about 10 videos in, so some of this is on memory. Some, I actually was the uber-geek with a pad of paper as I watched. I swapped back and forth between the channels, so as to avoid commercials, but note HOW MANY TIMES some of these played.

And I'll link to the ones I can find so you may play and enjoy (or the case may be) in the comfort of your own home. Most of them are Artist links on, just click on the video you want to see. (And be patient...some of them take a minute to start playing after the ad.) Hey, never say my blog isn't interactive!

1. Kelly Clarkson - Because of You (on THREE times between the two channels in TWO hours)

I like Kelly. She seems a reasonably down-to-earth gal and has done very well with her 2002 American Idol crown. Her music isn't necessarily my cup o'tea, but I can appreciate that she does have talent. And "Since U Been Gone" was my "I Want it That Way"-type guilty pleasure of the year (rock it Kell!).

But I hadn't seen this one before and NO ONE PREPARED ME. Oh, the bawling! Let's switch the channel 'cause I can't take it...IT'S ON THE OTHER CHANNEL TOO!

Do NOT watch if depressed or in the throes of any kind of daddy-used-to-hurt-my-mommy-drama.

2. Madonna - Hung Up

Oh Madge. Yes, yes, you have the rockin' bod of a woman half your age (and may I add, a video that lovingly soft-focuses on your taut bee-hind). And I understand that you're trying to get back to your dance club roots. But I don't care that you even resorted to sampling ABBA just doesn't quite work. The song is boring and the video sure ain't your best.

And I feel like you're so tightly wound that I fear and/or pity Guy Ritchie.

3. The All American Rejects - Dirty Little Secret

Every time I see this, I find myself trying to hurry up and read the "secret card" before they're off to the next one. That's the problem with a gimmicky video. It's memorable, yes, but you really don't pay any attention to the SONG (an exception to this rule - Fall Out Boy and the crazy Deer Kid, but catchy and Jimmy Eat World-like song "Sugar We're Goin Down").

Although all in all, it's fun to read all the secrets at least. But I may have lost some faith in my fellow man.

4. Pharrell feat. Gwen Stefani - Can I Have it Like That

You really needed Gwen to come in...just to say "You've got it like that" over and over? Yes, SAY, not even SING. Whatever.

5. Black Eyed Peas - My Humps

I'm sorry, did you say something? I was too busy LAUGHING SO HARD "Cause of my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump. My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely lady lumps". WHO WRITES THAT?

At least Fergie looks better. There are times when she is just freakin' fugly.

6. Destiny's Child - Stand Up For Love: 2005 World Children's Day Anthem (on twice)

Ladies. I understand that this was for a good cause and all. And outside of the part where you look like you're all standing on a giant cardboard applicator tampon, you are quite lovely.

But I keep expecting to hear the words, "I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way...". Leave this crap to Whitney. Now get back to being Bootylicious.

7. Avenged Sevenfold - Bat Country (for someone so obscure, surprisingly on twice)

Vegas in Hell (that may be redundant) with a kind of kitchen-sink approach here. Or a "let's throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks" one. And they stole the whole bug eyed, freakishly distorted faces idea from Black Hole Sun.

I like the verses, and even the wacky bridge, but not the chorus. It's as if they got tired of writing in minor keys and switched over to major.

Side note...MB walked in at this point and said, "There sure are a lot of tattoos in this band".

8. Mariah Carey - Shake it Off

Mariah sure does enjoy her body...and would like to share it with the world!

I still remember the first time I heard Vision of Love and I was STUNNED at how amazing this new girl's voice was.

You have THAT Mimi. You don't need to be parading around in a the street. But I did like that in said scene, the little chubby African-American girl on the payphone was having such a good time upstaging you.

9. Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To

Now we're talking! Adorable Scots crashing the pretentious art gallery party in matching ever-so-fetching satin jackets...WITH a jammin alterna-disco beat? This girl could not ask for more. Lucky're so lucky...

10. Common - Testify

Very high concept. Very high drama. And lots of actual actors with a SURPRISE ending.

Amazingly, I like it! But don't ask me anything about the song. I was too busy watching the movie.

11. Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends

The one that makes Kona Girl cry. I've seen it a hundred times so it doesn't have the resonance it once did, but that being said, it's a perfect blend of song and concept.

And Evan Rachel Wood gets to emote almost as much as she did in Thirteen.

12. Lil' Kim - Lighters Up

Now THIS is one I would have liked to have seen while in the UK. There's so much editing that it resembles a cell phone connection with a bad signal. Words just drop off and it's up to you to decipher it.

And somehow I DON'T think she was really saying "Shut up chick" at the beginning.

But I like the reggae beat and I feel for her 'cause she just went to prison. Note all the cameos from celebrity friends who also must have felt bad.

13. Nickelback - Photograph (on THREE times)

When I first went to London, "How You Remind Me" was on every radio station ALL THE TIME (well, that and "Hot in Herre"). MB loved it and loved to sing to it, so I beared up, but I didn't like it.

I had to eventually admit one thing though; it was damn catchy. And, try as they might, no one can replicate Chad Kroeger's voice to do any other version justice (see: reason for Constantine's early shock ouster from AI).

I feel the same way about Photograph (both the song and the video). It's OK, but it doesn't thrill me. And if MB wants to sing along, I'll join in as usual.

Holy moly, I'm exhausted. Tomorrow we review Great Authors of the Twentieth Century, you know, to cleanse the palate. And to welcome back my "couldn't-understand-and-therefore-took-off-after-My-Humps" poor, poor mother.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

She's SO sweet that my mom even likes her tattoo...if it were on me, things would get ugly

I have now been up the whole night and I know I'm gonna pay for it later, but I TRIED, really I did.

I went to bed with Mr. Blogger at about 12:30 and proceeded to read, and then toss and turn for HOURS. I feel very restless and my mind won't relax. I feel like there's so much to be done, but not in a stressed-out bad way.

I may even break into "Something's Coming" soon, so watch out (my Mother is SOOOO going to be the only person to get that reference).

So I figured it was better to just get up and do something productive instead. And may I first say, most importantly, and above all else that may be said for the day...


You don't look a day over 21...really! (Hey, if I don't then you don't.)

There are so many, many, MANY stories to tell about KG and me, and how we've always been the bestest of buds. I'll try to tell the least embarrassing, but I can't make any promises.

I know I've mentioned it before, but it can't be stressed strongly enough that KG and I were UNBELIEVABLY good girls growing up. Seriously, we did NOTHING wrong. It's sickening how sweet we were. But that was the norm for our group of friends. Especially in high school.

For our senior year, I had the brilliant idea for all us gals to buy a small ad in the back of the yearbook (I was the Activities Editor so really, I was just helping out the Advertising Editor). Everybody liked it so we decided to take a picture of all (I think) sixteen of us...arms around each other, smiling brightly under a tree. I even got one of the professional photogs we had doing some portraits that day to take it. Ok, he was really really cute and I wanted to spend more time with him. But it was just a win-win situation if you ask me.

When we got the proofs back, TO A PERSON, it was the best picture any of us had taken. It was literally the type of group shot where no one has their eyes closed, everyone's smiling and everyone's got their own individual look and pose, but it all just WORKS. Everyone looked just...radiant.

After much research, I captioned it "Friendship is a Sheltering Tree...Samuel Taylor Coleridge". Oh how the little soon-off-to-be-an-English-Major in me loved that.

(Come to find out, the following year when I happened to go visit my old Journalism teacher to tell her how The Big Important College Girl was doing, I saw that year's yearbook proofs and about TEN different groups of friends had bought similar ads. We had started a trend and didn't even know it.)

I should tell you first though, about what amazingly promising girls these were. OK, our group had lots of cheerleaders in it...let's just get that out of the way...but we also had the smartest, most talented, most involved, most interesting girls in the school as our friends. And, Mom back me up here 'cause I'm losing my audience, who are currently tuning out the egomaniac monster I seem to have become.

We were all very close. And always so proud of each other's accomplishments. Competitive as hell, sure, but also proud. But none were as close as me and the KG.

KG was the kind of friend who would tell you how the guy you had a mad unrequited crush on through all of high school ( he's not even HALF as cute as Mr. Blogger) was SOOO into you. It was sooo obvious. He was just a jerk who didn't know what to do about his feelings. And when he went to the Prom with someone else, well, he was sooo stupid. And his date was sooo stupid ('cause of course she wasn't anywhere NEAR the caliber girl you were). And your date was sooo much hotter than The Crush anyway. And it's sooo his loss.

She could make you feel better about ANYTHING...even something as soul destroying as that. And when Mike Otsuka tried to take over MY Editor-in-Chief position on the school newspaper, well, he just better BACK OFF. KG was going to tell him a thing or two!

We would have sleepovers (yes, sleepovers at 17...THAT'S how sheltered we were) and talk of course about boys (oh how the OP Boy broke her heart), but also our hopes, fears, dreams...all those cliche things that really ring true with best girlfriends.

She was brilliant and vibrant and sunny and lovely to EVERYONE. She was smart and popular and cute and had so many boys after her, but she was as kind to the smartest guy in her Pre-Calc class as she was to the Varsity basketball player after the game. She surfed every morning before school and yet, was the cutest little preppy dresser you ever saw when she was done.

Today...oh so many years later, Kona Girl is all those things and more. She's an amazing wife and a mom to THREE boys (or Testosterone Central, as she is prone to call her home) and both of us can't get over how her oldest is actually now OLDER than we were when we met. She is still the kindest person I know. And she is still my Best Friend.

So, Miss Kona Girl, on this special day, I have picked you a batch of Plumerias and wish for you...LOVE. In all its abundant forms and mysterious turns. In all its toe tingling excitement and heart-stopping, chance-taking ways...LOVE is what you are.

And LOVE is what you deserve.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What I Did on Tuesday Brooke Blogger

1. Made like a good little wifey-poo.

When Mr. Blogger came home, not only had I cleaned up in the kitchen and done all the dishes, which were plentiful, but I made cookies! Then, I made a little cream cheese and salsa appetizer for MB to nosh on while we tried to figure out what to eat for dinner. It's SCARY how good I'm getting at all this domesticity. OK, I hardly greeted him at the door in plastic wrap, but I only do THAT at the spa.

2. Watched The Biggest Loser...While Eating Spaghetti

It's very hard to concentrate on your carb rich food, while the people on TV are doing five hours of cardio a day. I mean, did you SEE what Pete looked like after he'd gone home!! I felt so bad that he was kicked off, because he may have won it all had he continued. MB and I just watched with mouths agape at the"After" pic. He lost 137 pounds people!!!!!!

I wish I could do that. OK, back to my spaghetti...and where are those cookies!

3. Came THIS Close to Throttling My Husband

Now I know MB is a trusting sort, and does maintain a normally delightful innocence about people...BUT ARE YOU CRAZY???

The doorbell had rung and I, being in my jammies already, ran to the bedroom to hide so he could deal with it. Mind you it's nighttime.

I heard him chatting away with two kids at the door, who I assumed were selling something, and I waited for him to do the "thank you, but no" speech I had taught him years ago. I'm not a bitch, but I just don't buy things being sold door-to-door. There are too many scams going on out there.

So what does he do, this accommodating husband of mine? HE LETS THEM IN THE HOUSE. I can hear that they're all sitting around chatting and I am about to scream bloody murder if things take a turn. I also hear them remarking on what a great TV we have. Oh yay!


I have to resort to calling for him, even though I'm wondering what they might make off with while he's away. DID YOUR PARENTS' RECENT BREAK-IN TEACH YOU NOTHING??

And did I mention...I'm FREAKING out.

While exhibiting some truly new forms of profanity, I convince him he is insane, and to tell them GOODBYE. He sulks back to the family room, tells them no go on the donation to the local high school football team, and off they go.

(I of course called that school's Athletics Department this morning and surprise, surprise, THEY HAVE NO SUCH FUND RAISING.

I am convinced that our home has now been "cased" for future robberies and/or we're getting seriously egged on Halloween. I'll take the latter, thank you. At least we have an alarm and a very advanced security system from the previous owners. But that doesn't stop me from closing every blind and curtain in the house...and there are a LOT of them.

3. Stopped speaking to husband

After crying my eyes out and using yet even MORE previously unheard of ways of swearing, I just freeze him out. I'm so mad I can't think straight and that's never a good place to be while yelling at your husband.

Well, up until the part where we needed to stick with the every-other-day PROCEDURE schedule. I'm not letting any hoodlums stop ME from having a kid, dammit.

But Mr. Blogger is no longer allowed to answer the door.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

And if I ever get the chance to be exhausted from being up all night with a newborn, please remind me of today's blog

Could NOT get up today. I'm actually starting to feel better, and the penicillin seems to have kicked in, but I felt like I got hit by a truck or something this morning. I just lay in bed for hours reading, because I couldn't muster up the strength to move. Between coughing fits and restless nights, I just feel really exhausted.

At least it was a good book.

Thank goodness Emily called with the latest on her sperm saga, and therefore got my butt moving and out of bed, or else I'd still be there. But I feel like this is just the tail end of THE SICKNESS, and I am getting better. (Insert Hallelujah chorus here...and if you don't know it, my mother would be happy to sing it for you. But she only knows the alto parts.)

In talking to E about her and the wife's drama in getting pregnant, it dawned on me that I haven't discussed too much of that particular topic myself. I know I've mentioned having miscarriages, but not the fact that we are continuing to try. But "try" almost sounds like too simple a word.

The first time we got pregnant was on our honeymoon. It was such a wonderful surprise, especially because frankly, I had never wanted kids with any of my other husbands before (I sound like Erica Kane or something, but you know what I mean). But this was different. Mr. Blogger had two kids from a previous marriage already and I knew he was a good dad. I also knew he would help get me through all this with a sense of calm...a word that does not come trippingly to the tongue for me. In case you hadn't noticed.

So I attacked this, in the same way I do everything else, and read every book known to man. I was an expert on anything and everything having to do with pregnancy. It never even occurred to me to worry about it not going well.

But in my 11th week, I went for an ultrasound and the technician said I must have my dates mixed up or something, because this was the size of a six week pregnancy. I did NOT have my dates mixed up. But I felt fine, so there must have been a mistake. I was told to come back in a week.

With all apologies to M-I-L, this is the part where my Mom will go OFF on the UK and their prehistoric NHS. Maybe she's looking for someone to blame...I know I was.

I ended up hemorrhaging the next night, going by ambulance to the ER, and experiencing the most horrific pain imaginable. And I've had a hypodermic needle in my eyeball.

When I was admitted into the hospital, imagine my surprise to see something out of a WWII movie...a ward with rows and rows of beds, each containing women in varying degrees of pain and/or illness. There was ONE bathroom and shower for all of us. And it was down the hall.

It was also the middle of the worst heat wave ever to hit Europe AND THERE WAS NO AIR CONDITIONING. I just lay in my bed in horror. Visitors who were kind enough to bring standing fans to their loved ones were appreciated, but good luck finding enough outlets. If you wanted a TV, they would wheel one to your bed for a small fee.

I mean, who lives like this? I felt like the ugly American, but I couldn't help but judge. Others may think we're all fat and pampered; I just kept wishing I were home. For many, many reasons.

Honestly though, the heat and the pain and the nightmarish wondering of what the woman in the next bed might have and was it contagious, was nothing compared to the emotional pain.

This did NOT just happen. I did NOT lose my baby. It was all a bad dream and when I woke up, feverish and scared, at least I'd know everything really was ok.

Of course it wasn't ok. By a long shot. I had tried to be so brave about the physical pain...I had bruises on the palms of my hands from where I had gripped the bed rails with all my might, rather than scream or cry. My cousin with three daughters and a hell of a lot of common sense later told my mother, "Well of course she was in pain. She was going through labor."

At least with the pain of labor though, there's the most wondrous joy. I had no such outcome.

MB was by my side the entire time until they made him leave for "quiet time" on the ward. It was only a couple hours or so, and they had wanted me to sleep. But you would have thought they just told me I was to be left alone for eternity. I couldn't get through this without him.

I had no choice, so I told him to go get me a Diet Orange Fanta while he was away at least. That was my "cigarettes and alcohol" that others give up when pregnant. I hadn't had one in months and somehow it seemed like a way to mark the significance of the day.

When they released me, I finally went home and cried and cried and screamed about how it was so unfair. I'm not the only woman this had happened to, not by a long shot, but it felt like I was.

When we moved back to the US, it took a while to get MB here legally. Visas take forever and I was so lonely without him. But pretty much as soon as he entered the country, we got pregnant.

It wasn't as bad as the time in London, but it was the same result.

A month later, we got pregnant again. At our first ultrasound, I was scared, but I prayed with all my might that this time would be the one. And I'm not usually a big praying-type person (lapsed Catholic and all that). I leave that to Mom the Newly Christian.

Everyone I knew was confident. My pregnant sister-in-law said she would be waiting to hear the good news of a heartbeat.

I was eight weeks along. The doctor looked concerned and said that it appeared to be the size of a...let me guess...six week pregnancy. I started shaking and as I lay on the table, tears silently rolling down the sides of my face. The doctor was busy staring at the screen, but Mr. Blogger looked at me. And he knew like I knew. He brought me the box of tissues.

Since then, I haven't had the strength, physically or mentally to go down that road again. After numerous painful and invasive tests, it was concluded that...there's absolutely nothing wrong with me. Part of it is my age, I'm sure. But I keep reminding myself that I can't do anything about the fact that I didn't meet THE ONE until this late in life. He was worth waiting for. The rest will go as it goes.

My doctor has put me on supplemental progesterone just to be sure. Since GETTING pregnant doesn't seem to be our issue, she's thinking that perhaps it's just a lack of progesterone to make it "stick". So this month we started to try again, in earnest, for the first time in ages.

But I can tell you that when and if I get pregnant again, I. WILL. BE. TERRIFIED. I can't help it. I'll go to prenatal yoga, and think calming thoughts, but when it comes time to go to that first ultrasound, I may have trouble getting one foot in front of the other.

If anybody wants to pray/meditate/think good thoughts for us...I'd like that a lot.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Those little whippersnappers...sometimes they can teach the old folks a thing or two

It occurred to me this morning, as Mr. Blogger downed yet another energy drink while shaving, that I am very much enjoying not having to get up in the morning for work. Granted, I'm not too thrilled with the reason I'm off the merry-go-round right now, but the getting-to-sleep-whenever-I-feel-like-it part is a nice bonus.

I do, however, miss the boost to my self-esteem and general bastion of good gossip that the workplace provides. My job was always the one thing that gave me a sense of accomplishment that nothing else could mimic. I knew that I could pretty much climb any ladder, and attack any task, and it made me feel better about myself (as you well know by now, finding something to do that is quite the quest for the Holy Grail around here).

What I really miss though, are the people. And I especially miss being a (or really their) manager. In the last 17 years of managing in this industry, I've made more friends than I can count. And most of them were once a member of my staff.

In case you hadn't noticed, most of the comments on this blog are from my most recent gang of misfits (it's a term of endearment!). Emily, G/\\R*E, kiwi, et al, are actually the crazy kids who talked me into writing to begin with. After I had left that job due to the overwhelmingly mountainous levels of stress that even I had to just throw up my hands and say "GIVE!" to, I tried another on for size before the body and spirit ultimately collapsed.

Since we were all still in touch, it pained me to let them know I was going to have to be on disability...AGAIN. I was ashamed and embarrassed, so I took the coward's way out and sent a text.

I got an e-mail back from Emily:


we were talking that maybe you should consider just writing. i can totally see you with a blog, but X thinks you would be awesome maybe going along the lines of a column or even a book. just freelancing. fuck banking. what good were those college years if you didn't drink and you aren't using your degree anyway? alright, my idea is being vetoed. Y agrees with X, they've got your next 10 years planned out doing editorials but they're arguing over what you'd write about. Y is voting for you writing about music. X is leaning more towards "she has the sophistication to not only be a guest columnist but even a ghostwriter for a book... she could write about anything she wanted to in any style she wanted to."

anywho, just an idea. something that's still considered working but no boss, no timeframe, no limitations, NO CUSTOMERS. you'd get the validation of " XX Visitors to this Site" and/or "My work was featured in ________" yet without having to set any true expectations or standards.

(Anyone who has not given me permission to use a real name has been X'd and Y'd...the last thing I need is to get them in trouble at The Company With No Soul.)

As is obvious by now, I started with the blog idea, and may yet work my way up to more. Their belief in me is appreciated, but still slightly unwarranted...I haven't determined if I'm really just as talented as they seem to think.

And lest I forget my own mentors, I must mention I've also been lucky enough to have some AMAZINGLY TALENTED bosses over the years ( rule!) . They showed me through their leadership that it was possible to be an excellent manager, and yet still maintain a kind and caring demeanor with your staff. The old "lead through instilling fear" mantra was a load of crap. I heeded their advice.

So thanks to my staff, and their encouragement, and the relationship we were able to build, I'm finding that the writing gives me a reason to STOP sleeping and actually get up in the morning. I had no idea it would become that important.

I'll take that boost over an energy drink any day.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Thank you...oh gods of football and good marriages

Well praise Jesus, Buddha, Allah, etc (football is an equal opportunity sport) wasn't a nailbiter for once!

51-28 UCLA over Oregon State baby!

Someone must have taken pity on me and realized I needed to stay as quiet as possible for the good of my throat. That's not to say I didn't yell...a little. Hey, I'm only human.

Then, after all the excitement died down, I went to bed at 9:30 (!!!) and slept for 14 hours. Holy moly. Guess I needed it. But I was just shocked that first, I was able to get to sleep after only having been up for 9 hours. And secondly, that I was able to sleep that long! But I'm all for whatever may help me get better...really, I am.

P.S. My butt still hurts, and nothing seems to have kicked in as of yet.

This blog is starting to descend into the ranks of this , so I'll try to pep it up. (I swear, I just search around in Blogger for these examples; I don't know anyone personally. If I did, I'd feel pretty mean...)

As I was sitting here trying to think of SOMETHING interesting to write about, I heard Mr. Blogger switching around channels in the family room and then settle on watching...Sleepless in Seattle.

(Poor MB... he is so often the topic of my blogging, but what can I say...he's damn adorable blog-fodder.)

My husband likes, no, loves chick flicks. (He's in there cracking up as we speak.) He isn't ashamed to admit it though; it's one of the first things I found out about him after we'd met.

The first time we went to a film together in London, I searched the paper for options.

"Well I want to see this, but you won't." (What can I say, I'm used to the male testosterone-filled choices of American men.)

"Sure I do!"

"Really...'About A Boy'?"

"Yeah...why not?"

"You do know what it's about don't you? There's no naked people or car crashes or anything."

"I It's supposed to be really good."

"But it's a chick flick."

"I LIKE chick flicks!"

And off we went. I may have stared at him a bit on the way though.

We even ended up going to Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus afterwards to get the soundtrack. And we bought the DVD when it came out...that's how much we loved it.

But, a confession to my husband. I did, and do love About a Boy. I can quote the lines, I've seen it so many times.

But the reason I wanted to get everything and anything having to do with that movie is this: THAT was the first time I knew I loved you. It hit me like a bulldozer as I watched you running around Tower trying to find the CD.

No man I knew would have done that with such enthusiasm. No man I knew would have even admitted to liking the movie. (OK, no man I knew kissed so well either...but that's a given.)

So every time I watch Hugh Grant trying to find a way to both save Marcus from embarrassing himself at the school Talent Show, and tell Rachel he really does love her, I'm reminded of the time I looked over at you waving the CD...

"Here it is...let's go home and listen to it!"

Saturday, October 22, 2005

I bet you didn't know it was possible to eat 27 popsicles in one day

Poor Mr. Blogger had to leave at 5:00AM this morning to go to Whittier for a work function...and I just woke up at 12:30PM. 7 hours later. But he would understand. He was there yesterday when they gave me a shot in the butt. He KNOWS how sick I am.

So yes, I did finally make it to the doctor, and she confirmed the strep I knew I had. But then the mean nurse lady with the needle came in. And OW. Not so much the shot, but the freakin' penicillin...which, did I mention, STINGS. It's not as if the stuff was just invented, oh medical community...can you not fix the issue of it burning like the acid those creatures bled in Alien/Aliens/Alien 3/Alien: Resurrection/AVP: Alien Vs. Predator? Ow ow ow ow.

All of that, however, is nothing compared to the pain of NOT BEING ABLE TO GO TO THE UCLA GAME TODAY. I feel like the time I was told I wouldn't get to go to The Police concert because I had yes, strep throat...and my BFF Kona Girl and I had saved up our money, because we had crushes on them (well she liked Sting, while Stewart Copeland floated my boat) and we were 17 but had NEVER BEEN TO A CONCERT BEFORE. And we had arranged for our parents to drive us and EVERYTHING. (I may have forgotten to mention that we were both very very sheltered, and had very very strict parents.) But then I had to go and ruin it and she didn't want to go without me.

Don't feel too bad for us though, 'cause eventually we did get to go to our first concert together. Yes, it was Rick Springfield, but it turned out the show was being taped for an HBO special and since they had to leave the house lights up for the whole thing, we had a chance to notice that Ricky Schroder (at the height of the Silver Spoons era and definitely NOT "Rick" at that time) was staring at us. He ended up flirting with us the entire time and invited us to a party afterwards. But his sisters laughed at him when he tried to impress us (!!!) by saying he was 13, and they then reminded him he was only 12, so we passed. I mean really, we were mature women who were going off to college in a month.


Anyway, point being, I feel like poo. Taking my game away from me is like cutting off a lifeline. We had planned to go up to LA last night to stay with my aunt and uncle, leaving plenty of time for MB to go to work this morning, then come get me for the game this afternoon. But noooooo. Now it's all work and no play for Mr. Blogger, and I plan to get in a good, long day of pouting.

And you KNOW if they (lose) , I will take full responsibility. Whatever shall they do without me?

I should probably tell MB to tape my moth shut while I watch it on TV though, 'cause the screaming...IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTAIN.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The view from my soapbox is getting pretty good

I have decided that mentally I must be getting a LOT better, because I just finished watching Sylvia and frankly, she was pissing me off. Yes, I read The Bell Jar as a teenager. What complicated, emotional girl who was Editor-In-Chief of her high school newspaper doesn’t relate to that book…well to all of Sylvia Plath really…she and Anne Sexton. Tragic, gifted writers with romanticized mental illness are a big draw at that age.

But while watching the movie, I couldn’t help but be annoyed. That may have nothing to do with Sylvia and everything to do with Gwyneth, but I don’t think so. I kept wanting her to just shout from the rooftops or something. Tell someone you’re fucked up. Tell your husband to sod off. ASK FOR HELP. I know she tried, in her own way, but ultimately she took the coward’s way out. And that makes me mad.

She was brilliant and published and had done more than so many women at that time were told to think possible. She had CHILDREN and a life. OK, so she also had a philanderer for a husband, but that’s no reason to check out.

The damn, crying shame of it all really got to me. It’s not as if I didn’t know how the movie would end. But it just occurred to me while watching it, that she could have gotten better. She could have done so much more with her life. I’m not blaming her AT ALL (to paraphrase a line from Friends…hello kettle, this is Brooke, you’re black) and I know the hell she must have gone through.

I know the hell because I’ve been (am still at times?) there. And that’s probably why I’m all the more upset with the loss.

And not to harp on an already much-blogged about topic, but depression sucks major ass (as I’m sure Ms. Plath herself would have put it in one of her poems had she been around today…she may have even had a blog!). The amazing thing though, is that there IS a way out. And the old adage about suicide being a permanent solution to a temporary problem is unfortunately all too true.

You have to fight. Like hell. And you have to find WAYS to make it to the other side. It would sound so repetitious to say that one of mine is writing…I’ve already made that point previously. It’s also arrogant as hell for me to say so, because we’re talking about Sylvia Plath here, people. Um…I THINK she may have used writing as a form of therapy as well. I could only DREAM of emulating her success.

If I’m coming off as proselytizing, I apologize. Maybe I’ve “found religion” or something. Or maybe I’ve come to realize how amazing life, with all its flaws, is. Sylvia knew that too. She just lost her way.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Now...with even MORE TMI!

I’m cheating and actually starting to write this on Wednesday night in Word. That way, if tomorrow morning I feel as big a shitbag as I do now, then I at least have a head start.

I mean, seriously, this isn’t funny any more. I caught a stupid cold on 10/4, which turned into a flu/fever/chills etc. a couple days later. After a week and a half, while still hacking up an organ, I at least could tell I was getting better. Then on 10/18 (yes…TWO WEEKS LATER), I got much much worse.

I now have strep, can’t swallow, spent tonight vomiting in the shower (oh chill out, it was mostly popsicles and Slurpee), and am on fire from a raging fever. While I may have mentioned that I had no voice earlier, at least it was a semi-recognizable squeak. It is now mostly air.

My glands are swollen, I’m sniffling again and my ears are blocked. So not only can I not speak, I can’t hear either. I’m a barrel of laughs on the phone.

I have had to cancel just about everything I was supposed to do this week. Somehow, I’m going to have to pull it together for my doctor’s appointment on Friday. Even though I know she's just going to say, yup, you're still sick.

And Mr. Blogger, the former EMT, is just having a field day with Mrs. What The Hell Is Wrong With Me Now? You should have heard me trying to call him from the shower, because I was afraid of passing out from all the puking. Amazingly, even though he was rooms away, and the shower was running, he managed to make out the loudest whisper I could muster. That’s my Honey…better than Lassie.

At least there was good TV on tonight. So while I caught up on ANTM, Martha’s Apprentice and Sex and the City reruns on TBS (although the way they have to edit out all the good sex and swearing is just CRIMINAL), I was able to lounge on the couch and suck on more popsicles. And Mr. Blogger made me homemade Fresca Slurpees (which we resorted to because even I won’t send him out a second time) and mashed potatoes.

Then (and I realize that by divulging this information, someone’s going to end up nominating him for sainthood…well that, and wonder if I’m really just THAT good in bed), he gave me a foot massage with The Body Shop’s Peppermint Cooling Leg Gel. I’m telling you dear readers, BUY THIS STUFF NOW. Ok, and get a hot man/woman/whatever floats your boat to massage your feet with it.

But then MB realized that the peppermint part was going to hurt his hands…currently in the throes of his winter dermatitis and often cracked and bleeding. He wasn’t going to say no to The Invalid, so he went to the first aid supplies.

And when he returned, there was my adorable husband, blue Zee Medical Nitrile Gloves donned, ready to do battle with the Leg Gel.

When he inevitably catches what I have, and is the sneezy, coughing, pukey mess I am, I owe him at LEAST a foot massage. I think this is what they had in mind when they said “in sickness and in health”.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

But I did forget to mention that I have strep throat now

Oh boy. I should have known what this would bring. After the myriad phone calls and comments I got yesterday, I wanted to assure everyone that yes, I really am fine. Then again, you’re often reminded that you aren’t allowed to use the word “fine” in the ED unit…that and “full is not a feeling”. Long story.

When I told Mom that my point was never to concern people, or worry anyone, or even to ask for validation, she immediately said, “Well you should say that then!”

But that’s Mom. She wants to make sure that everyone understands me and what I intended with the blogging. I kind of wanted to leave it alone. Heaven help her if I ever get around to writing the book I always wanted to and she immediately has to set out to contact everyone we know to make sure they know I’m really not as bad as I made it seem.

But I always was the perfectly behaved child.

So I hope everyone knows the following:

1. I do believe people when they tell me I am loved. I don’t just believe it, I feel it. I have had more love in my life than many could ever hope for and I never, ever take it for granted. My friends, my family, my pets…you name it…have quite literally saved me too many times to count.

I am reminded DAILY that a husband like mine is the most miraculous and precious gift I have even been given. And you know what? I even agree with the notion that I have given the love that was required to find him. Karma and all that.

2. But believe them when they say I’m beautiful? Sorry guys. I blame no one but myself, and let me get this part clear…I DO NOT EXPECT YOU TO CONVINCE ME. I appreciate all the kind comments, but it’s a challenge that goes too far back for anyone to “fix” but me.

Mr. Blogger tells me on a daily basis how amazing, sexy, gorgeous blah blah blah I am. And it isn’t just to appease me…he REALLY means it. It’s everything I can do to just say “thank you…uh…right back atcha’!”.

I know I’m smart. I know I’m a fairly ok writer as blogs go. I know I am a hard worker, and a caring and supportive friend/daughter/cousin/I hope wife.

I don’t even blame the parents who told me that they “assumed I knew I was pretty and therefore didn’t need to tell me, because don’t intelligent people just pick up on such things?” I really really don’t. These were two HIGHLY intelligent people who also both thought, no, KNEW they were DAMN fine looking as well. Trust me, there was no lack of ego or self esteem there. Their assumption about any offspring from such impeccable genes is COMPLETELY understandable.

That’s MY choice to not have dealt with by now. I mean really, get the fuck over it Brooke. That’s what I tell myself. One day…ONE DAY…I’ll believe it. And if not, well then, I’ll get closer at least.

I do think I have pretty hands and nails though. (See…progress!)

3. Yes, this IS good therapy for me. So expect it to therefore be like me…some days it’s up, some days it’s down. Either way, it’s honest. And I appreciate your patience with my need to express it. I think you know me well enough to know that THIS was never my goal.

(Oh my god…seriously…read that thing. It’s so boring I don’t know who would make it past the third paragraph. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.)

Damn I’m bitchy!

4. Eminemily…I can always count on you for a break from the touchy feely.

Of COURSE I’ve read Levenkron…fiction and non-fiction alike. And Girl Interrupted. And Prozac Nation (although in that one I did kinda want to slap Elizabeth Wurtzel and tell her to snap out of it!)

And I read them all before some Hollywood actress decided she wanted Oscar-bait and optioned the screenplay.

(I’m also snooty.)

And most importantly, 5. Yes Mom, you reminded me many many times that even if I turned out to be an axe murderer, or drug addict, or even (gasp) a Republican, you would love me anyway. ‘Cause that’s what parents do. They love their children unconditionally. Well, good parents do anyway.

And that you are.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Well, I did say I would talk about anything and everything in this blog

Can't sleep can't sleep can't sleep.

It's a combination of the coughing and the self-loathing. Can't be sure which is worse. Or which is the better catalyst for insomnia.

But it's making me nuts. And I have a doctor's appointment in a matter of hours, so that should be pleasant to endure while exhausted.

I'm reading some good books though. My latest just arrived today and I tore into it immediately. Mom had given me an gift certificate for my birthday and I finally figured out what I wanted last week.

The resulting order, I believe, encapsulates my personality perfectly:

Shipping estimate for these items: October 18, 2005
Delivery estimate: October 26, 2005

"A Million Little Pieces (Oprah's Book Club)"
James Frey; Paperback; $10.46

"Chariots of Fire (Two-Disc Special Edition)"
Hugh Hudson; DVD; $20.24

"Conair QC1CS Pro Color Accents Temporary Hair Color Kit"
Health and Beauty; $24.88

Yup. Books on addiction, British Academy Award winners, and ways to get the highlights my stylist won't let me do in the normal bleaching way since I already get it chemically straightened and single-process colored and you don't want your hair to fall out now, do you?

That's me all right.

I will state right now that I love love love any books on addiction, recovery, alcoholism, etc...which is strange considering that not only have I never dealt with any of these issues in particular, I've never had so much as a sip of alcohol in my life (control issues much?). This year alone, I've read Dry, Smashed and now A Million Little Pieces.

And drugs? Holy crap...I won't even take Tylenol.

Aaaaaahhhhhh...but my favorite topic of the genre? Eating disorders. And that I CAN relate to. I would say that Wasted is my favorite, but I've read them ALL (and what is the deal with all the one word titles?).

Seeing as how this blog entry began at 3:00 in the morning, you were probably already prepared for the darker tone. Nothing peppy ever happens at that hour, unless you're out on a Saturday night at a really great club, dancing until you can't feel your legs and ready to hit Denny's for a Diet Coke the size of Texas and a big ol' platter of fries to divvy up with that man who not only loves to dance with you, but shares your love of all things greasy in the wee hours.

Anyway, the best thing I could say is that eating disorders, as a whole, and there are a WHOLE LOTTA them, suck. I've been through the anorexic teenage years, the bulimic college years (and post college years...and post marriage years...and pre next-wedding years...oh get the point...FUCKING BULIMIA STILL HAUNTS ME), the compulsive overeating I'm-a-responsible-adult-with-responsibilities years, the compulsive exercising 'cause-I-need-to-get-all-that-compulsive-overeating-weight-off adult years, etc. etc. etc.

And they all are a big fat (excuse the pun) waste of time. And energy. And heartache. And perfectly good teeth that are now starting to number more crowns than actual teeth.

Don't get me wrong. I couldn't hate my weight and appearance more at this moment, except maybe if I went bald or something. But I am not willing to go down that road AGAIN. It's been 26 goddam years since "The Summer I Decided to Stop Eating" started a trend that has gotten really, really old. I don't mind talking about it now solely because of the fact that I just don't see succumbing to it as a possibility any more.

So I am unashamed. Three stints in three separate eating disorder units of three different hospitals in three different states will finally add up to something, if you just let it.

But books about it? Bring it on! I can't get enough of both the fiction and non-fiction, clinical and flowery, 12-step and self-help volumes that threaten to take over my library. I guess I never want to get too cocky about my unwillingness to relapse. That's another thing they teach you.

Then again, when I was moving to the UK and trying to decide what books, videos and DVDs to bring...Mom took one look at the inventory and declared, "You have a definite dark side there, kid."

But as I said earlier, that's me all right. And that's ok.

Monday, October 17, 2005

"Took me, like, three hours to finish the shading on your upper's probably the best pumpkin I've ever done"

Man...LATE start today. Must be the rain or something, 'cause after waking up at about 6AM, I went back to bed and slept and slept and slept...and slept.

Then I woke up and had to call my doctor about my appointment tomorrow and NO VOICE CAME OUT. I didn't realize it would be that way until I tried to speak. That's fun. You try talking to the nurse about your disability forms when sounding like some sort of prank-calling squeaky chipmunk.

I can't believe that after almost two full weeks of catching the motherfucking cold on my motherfucking birthday, I STILL HAVE NO VOICE! This is ridiculous. Do the cold and flu gods not realize that I kinda depend on that attribute? Is this some sort of forced Zen moment to see if I can get by...alone...with my thoughts...

Screw that people! I'll just learn to squeak VERY LOUDLY so you can understand me. Yeah, THAT won't be annoying. (P.S. I wouldn't call me today, or you're gonna be doing a whole lot of "WHAT?")

I think I might have gotten worse sitting out in the drizzle yesterday, carving my pumpkin. (Go ahead, say it.) But I HAD to go. I'm starting to get the reputation among my friends of being just a teeny tiny bit flaky. You know it's bad when you go to someone's birthday dinner and the first thing everyone says when they walk into the restaurant is, "Oh my god...Brooke's here! Hey did you see? Brooke's here!".

And that's not just 'cause they miss me. It's truly in amazement. We've already discussed the "I'm always sick for everything" lament, so I won't bore you further, but I consequently had to go carve pumpkins in the rain to PROVE A POINT.

And that's so surprising because I'm not usually in the least bit stubborn.

But the party was a lot of fun, even though Mr. Blogger and I only knew two of the people there...hey, we're social animals, we can get by.

Some people had used really intricate patterns to carve their pumpkins and I just did my usual triangle eyes, nose and buck teeth. MB did Angry Pumpkin With the Evil Eyebrows. (They're kind of next to each other in the pic above, in front of the one with the giant round eyes. They make a nice couple, don't you think?)

One guy was sitting out there for hours with all kinds of delicate pumpkin-carving tools, a template he had downloaded off the internet and more patience than I could ever muster up over a damn pumpkin.

And NONE of us could tell what the hell it was. Various guesses were a sea horse, a ghost, a atlas. Nope. He started to get tired and annoyed and finally said, "Oh forget it. It's done."

Then, since it was getting dark, we could finally light them all with candles and see the group's final results. The hostess suddenly shouted, "Oh my god! It's Napoleon!". The candle had done what none of us could...make sense out of all those itty bitty carvings.

The pictures don't even really do it justice, since they're a bit blurry and at the wrong angle. But we all must have stood there and stared at it for a good half hour. Others in the apartment complex would happen to walk by and then, without fail, would shout, "Oh my god! It's Napoleon!".

So the hostess' roommate did what any good "ND" fan would do, run upstairs and come out fully dressed as the man himself. OK, maybe it wasn't the rain that did me in. It was the "I (heart) Tater Tots" t-shirt.

Did I mention Mr. Master Carver happened to be this guy? I have seriously been working at the wrong banks.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

To my mother who turned the game off because we were losing by so much

(It's Sunday. I'm going to talk about college football. Get used to it. And no, I don't know that man...but that's what you get when you plug in UCLA + pumpkins into Google.)

It was this close to being the best football Saturday ever. (That would be when SC loses and UCLA wins.)

But it was also THIS close to being the worst. (I'm sure you can figure that one out.)


Of course SC had to win in the last seven seconds. Of course that game is now being called One For the Ages.

USC always wins. Always. There's some kind of golden halo surrounding that team. AND IT MAKES ME SO MAD.

But then again, we were losing to Washington State by 21 points (TWICE) and still came back to win in overtime. My favorite quote from that article...

"I might have a heart attack one of these days, but I'll tell you what, if I have to win them all like this, I'll take it every time," Dorrell said after the Bruins won their third consecutive tight game. (Dorrell is the UCLA coach, for those not in the know.)

Jeez maneez, even when I don't actually go to the game (no, I was not going to fly to Pullman, Washington), they're STILL TRYING TO KILL ME.

Truly, oh gutty-little-Bruins...why why why do we always have to come from behind? I was screaming so loudly in my own home, that I'm sure the neighbors thought the men in the little white coats had arrived, and I was fighting my institutionalization.

Again, when you already have no voice from being sick...hmmmm...these types of football games...NOT HELPING.

I need to get ready to go to a pumpkin-carving party now. Maybe I'll make a USC voodoo pumpkin and relish the carving that much more. They'll still win. But I'll feel better.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

You're gonna make it after aaaaaaalllllllll!

My in-laws' London home was broken into last night (insert sad and/or crying smiley here). They didn't get too much and at least no one was hurt, but it sucks nonetheless. Oh, but the car was stolen and M-I-L's Dooney and Bourke bag, which she had purchased on a visit to the states, was taken as well.

I was so upset to get this e-mail this morning though...please tell me how the woman is so calm...

Hi Brooke,
We have a bit of a problem here. Last night we had a break-in and amongst a few other things, my mobile phone was stolen - and my Dooney & Bourke bag! :*-(

Oh, and they took J's bunch of keys and stole the car as well! So we've had to have all new locks and I'm currently making a list of what's missing and trying to remember exactly what was in my bag - could you name everything in yours? Show me a woman who can! :-(

The cats - particularly Lyra - woke me at 4.00am but I thought they were just being pests. Lyra was running round and round the bed with her tail like a bottle-brush and scrabbling at the pillow beside my head. And I scolded her and shook her by the scruff of her neck! Poor little guard-cat, doing her best to warn the household and getting told off and 'scruffed' for it! I'll never ignore her trying to get my attention again! :*-((

Anyway, must go now - lots of clearing up to do! Not too much mess thankfully, but clouds of finger and footprint dust!

Keep 'blogging' by the way! I really look forward to reading it every day :-)
Love to you both;

(Lesson learned? LISTEN TO YOUR CATS.)

But um, yeah. My blogging is the real concern here. Must be that stiff British upper lip or something.

Years ago, I was feeling particularly independent for having moved out of husband numero uno's home, "making it on my own" (picture a Mary Tyler Moore-like toss o' the beret), and getting along just fine without anyone's help, thankyouverymuch.

Then I went away for the weekend...only to find that someone had broken in, stolen a few items, left a window open (which thank god my kitty didn't jump out of) and generally made a big, fat, upended mess.

It wasn't until a few days later that I suddenly realized the jewelry box I had kept on my dresser was missing. It was only for jewelry that I hardly ever wore...mostly heirlooms, treasured gifts, and pieces with only real sentimental value to me. IT. WAS. GONE.

I cried and cried and cried over the fact that these people (which turned out to just be a punk 15-year-old kid in need of daddy's attention) had no idea what this stuff meant to me. Of course, he had just probably pawned the lot, and I'm sure it didn't bring much.

The VCR...I got that back for some insane reason. 'Cause heaven knows, THAT was irreplaceable.

But I did learn that you can bounce back from all that crap. OK, I moved out in order to do said bouncing. But I did eventually stop wanting to throttle the punk.

I'll never get to wear my grandmother's opal ring, but I have the memory of having to wait until I was sixteen to have it bestowed upon me. I was so excited and I couldn't wait for that day...I had been trying it on since I was a child. And I did pull it out every so often on special occasions.

But my Gaa, of all people, would have told me to get over it and move on. Maybe she was British.

P.S. Go Bruins!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Just you'll be stuck in your head too

Whew...let's perk it up a bit today, shall we?

I'm actually on my way to go meet this friend for lunch, so I need to make it short. (Heaven forbid I not blog or something though, 'cause the world may fall off its axis or something.)

Not only am I excited to see her and reminisce over the time the pledges stole all our underwear and hung it across the courtyard, I'm just glad to get the hell out of the house after so many days of being sick. Woman cannot live by soup alone. Or at least, she doesn't want to. Cheese enchiladas, here I come!

So for today...only topics that make me laugh. Have I mentioned Mr. Blogger leads in that category?

Last night while watching ER in the family room, I couldn't help but notice the distinctive voice of Cartman singing "Kyle's Mom Is A Bitch" coming from the computer room (scroll down a little and make sure your speakers are on to experience the fabulousness that is Cartman). Not only that, but it appeared MB was in there just cracking himself up like there was nothing funnier IN THE WORLD.

Then he started to sing along after the third or fourth viewing. And clap.

I couldn't even concentrate on the new mean nurse manager on ER, BECAUSE I HAD TEARS STREAMING DOWN MY FACE.

He wasn't even aware of my laughing since I was in the other room...he was just having a good ol' time and didn't care what anybody thought. That's pretty much my husband in a nutshell.

So what did I do? Came in and joined him of course. Well, that and tell him about the time I was at Lips for Bitchy Bingo Night and they handed us all the words to that very song and seeing as how I sung it to the top of my lungs then...why not now?

Could we be any more perfect for each other?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

And you thought YESTERDAY was a downer...

It is just after 3:00 in the morning and I CANNOT sleep. I am really pissed off at this fact because for a while there, I was doing so well. Ok, for a couple weeks anyway.

I was maintaining the whole "get up when Mr. Blogger does and go to sleep at a fairly decent hour" schedule. I was taking a shower in the morning...not at 5:00PM, in the sudden realization that MB was soon to be home and well, I'm sure there are SOME limits to that man's patience...his wife's cleanliness perhaps being one.

I did laundry, and errands and even doctor's appointments. And most importantly, didn't sleep the entire day.

I don't CHOOSE to stay up all night and sleep all day. (I do, in fact, realize that the rest of the world does not operate on a vampire's schedule.) It chooses me. And it always has.

As long as I can remember, if I ever had an extended amount of time off for vacation, holidays, illness, etc., my natural body clock would take over. I would find myself little by little staying up later and sleeping in later, until eventually I truly was completely turned around. Get UP at 9:00 at night and go to BED at noon, I always say.

But it's not just an "I Hate Mornings" lament. It's a "Perhaps I should have been born on the other side of the world" one. Nah, I'd just do the same thing there.

But then again, with all the therapy and self-help stuff I've been involved in lately, I have also realized that as long as I can remember, I also probably had some form of anxiety and/or depression. I'm thinking it all might go hand in hand.

I have often told Mr. Blogger that I feel this strange sense of calm (now stay with me, 'cause it won't make sense to you, but you may see MY logic anyway) being awake when most others aren't.

It's as though I don't have to be afraid. I'm on top of things when no one else is. I don't panic as much over something that's hours away, and there's just TIME.

Time to hang out and reflect and try to pull your shit together when everyone else is sleeping. Time to convince yourself that in the coming hours, it would be a new day, and that one might be better.

But then the sun comes up and the fears all flood back in and I'm reminded of everything I should be doing, or achieving, or just being. I never feel adequate, or accomplished or RIGHT.

So it's so much easier to just go to sleep at that point and avoid it.

Except sometimes, I get so scared that I just don't sleep at all. And then I get sick. And then I go on disability...AGAIN.

So tonight (this morning?), I will attempt to go back to bed, even if it's just for a few hours. I will cuddle up to the warm, stable, loving man who keeps me sane. And I will remember that I have so much to be well FOR.

Yes, yes, yes, the Grammar Freak just ended a sentence with a preposition. But sometimes putting my faults out there is the best thing I can do for myself...and for that man.

We both deserve the effort.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A blog about a blog

The problem with being sick with a cold/flu/unknown entity causing seals to appear at your door because they thought they heard you say something about free fish, when really it was just your honking that you have spent most of your day lounging about and feel you have nothing of interest to say in your blog.

And then when you do take the time to write something up, you make the mistake of penning a second entry for the day, which completely throws your mother...She Who Hath Had a Computer In Her Home Since 1977 But Still Doth Not Know Of What 'Internet Explorer' Mr. Repairman Speaketh.

Of course I call her because heaven forbid she miss something...

"You didn't comment on my other entry. Didn't you like it?" (I'm a wee bit sensitive.)

"What other entry? I always get to the part where it says "Comments" and I just stop there."

"Didn't you notice the next one with the picture of The Graduate above it?"


"Did you keep scrolling down?"

"What's scrolling?"


"OK, I'm reading it now...'Last night we had a little get-together...' "

"Mom, I don't need to have you read it out loud to me, really. I'll let you go."

"No,'ll just take me a minute."

"OK Mom, I need to go, but enjoy reading."


"Enjoy reading. I need to go now."

"Oh, sorry I wasn't paying attention. I was reading."

"That's ok."

"Do you care if I make comments, because I just find this so entertaining and therefore feel I should. It feels like I'm talking to you. But is that stupid?"

"NO NO...I LOVE the comments!" (Again, I need validation and approbation on a consistent basis, people.)

"I get up in the morning and if you haven't written yet, I wait for you all day!"

"Well thanks, and I'll try to write faster."

I do try. But honestly, if you can believe it, lately I feel self-conscious about a blog being so MEMEME. I don't want to put people off and have them think that I'm so self absorbed, I have nothing better to do but foist upon you any and all childhood stories I can recall.

I mean, who really cares that when I was about six, I once had a cat named Felix who was SO INCREDIBLY SMART that I noticed him meowing under my classroom window one day...and to this day we don't know how he got to the school (it was miles away and I went there with Mom by car), or MY PARTICULAR CLASSROOM. He was just that freakin' smart.

Ok, I care. Obviously. But he was just the best cat EVER. And then he was run over by our neighbor's car, and I didn't stop crying for YEARS about it.

See, now I've just brought you down. Excuse me, I need to go get a tissue. For my cold. Yeah. My cold.

ANYWAY...every morning I rack my brain trying to think of something or someONE else to write about, and then I'm aware that I don't want to disturb anyone's privacy, so telling you about the best friend who had sex on the tennis court the other day may be out of bounds. (Oops...but that's ok...the person doesn't read this anyway. They're too busy having sex on tennis courts.)

I must be having some sort of Existential Crisis Day, because now that I've re-read this, it sounds even MORE self-absorbed to say I'm worried about being self-absorbed.

I need to go lie down. Tomorrow, I'll be sure to tell you all about it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Number 16, my friends. NUMBER SIXTEEN.

Just had to add this for today...


The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born
We're taking a look back into the recent history of rock.

Blender, October 2005

There are people who will tell you that all the best rock songs come from the 1960s and '70s, the Golden Age of Genius-Level Hall of Fame Rock Immortals. These people are called baby-boomers, and they’re the same people who are bankrupting Social Security and invented the male ponytail.

Blender has never bought the myth that rock & roll declined at middle age; the last 25 years were as good as the 25 before them, unless you somehow think Eminem and U2 aren’t as Genius Level as the Moody Blues and Captain & Tennille. So we’ve constructed an alternative rock history that begins long after Woodstock stopped smelling bad and the Sex Pistols quit with dignity, a list of the 500 greatest songs since 1980. And believe us, it was hard to stop at only 500. Sometimes, the good ol’ days were yesterday and today.


And the whole list too...

But what they didn't tell you is that in real life, Anne was only six years older than Dustin!

Last night we had a little get-together at our house. As I sat there chatting and trying to keep Emily away from any more guacamole, it suddenly occurred to me that excluding myself, the average age in the room would have been about 24. If that.

I was actually having a heart-to-heart with people who could ostensibly be my kids. OK, well G/\R*E could, and Emily would be pushing it. Sorry Kiwi.

When you're old, people look to you for like, advice and stuff. But it still surprises me that I'm not in my 20's myself. I mean Anne Bancroft was FIVE YEARS YOUNGER THAN I when she seduced Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. I AM NOT THAT OLD! Am I?

(See, now, I've already lost my audience . They've never even heard of The Graduate. It's a classic, you whippersnappers. Rent it.)

The friends I have who actually are my age feel the same way, I assure you. The Singletons still size up 20-something boys as potential beaus, the Fashion Conscious can't decide between the Brass Plum or Savvy departments at Nordstrom, and the Hot Moms pick up an extra Boogie Board 'cause they can size up the surf in Maui better than their sons.

We are definitely not our parents. Generally, we settled down later, had careers before babies and still go to really, really loud concerts for fun (if your ears ain't-a-ringin', you weren't sitting close enough). We're officially the last year of the Baby Boomer, but identify more with Gen X.

But young as I feel, it makes me shudder to think how quickly time is going by, and how much more there is for me to do. I try to go with the flow for now, seeing as how I'm not even remotely what I thought I'd be at this age. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's an adjustment.

I often think that I kind of lived my life backwards. I was so settled, so young, and had everything mapped out and decided by a far too early age. When I woke up and broke free, I decided to act my age and have fun. OK, I decided to act my age and cry every night over really crap boyfriends, but you get the point. And I of course never wavered from my "Brooke-the-conscientious-career-chick" role, but my social life was at least a heck of a lot more interesting.

One of the dangers of an extended adolescence however, is that you turn around and BOOM, you're forty. In my case, while I had finally settled my "relationship life", I was really questioning my career. How I ended up doing what I do (did?) is beyond me, but I do it, and do well at it, and I thought that would be enough.

It's not. Thus the midlife crisis/wake-up call/panic attack in the middle of the night where you can't breathe and Mr. Blogger has to bring you the oxygen tank to calm you down.

And thus the blog. But that's a whole other story for a whole other incredibly long post.

In the meantime, at least "Desperate Housewives" has made 40 semi-cool, and definitely hot. And the teenager-like oily skin that plagues me has also made me fairly wrinkle-free.

I'm also excited that we have FLOOR seat tickets to go see Depeche Mode next month.

But I'm considering ear plugs.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bruins, "Boys" and Blinkies

Image excerpt provided by Clipland
Excerpt/Image shown under fair use. All rights of the respective owners reserved.

Continuing with the scattershot blog today...can't be exceptionally witty while trying not to cough up a lung.

(I know my talking about being sick is getting old, but seriously. At what point do you know it's pneumonia? Just asking.)

1. I think poor Mr. Blogger might be catching it this morning. How he stayed well THIS long is a mystery. And it's gone international...M-I-L said that MB's sister-in-law's whole family (did you get that?) was sick for her birthday party in the UK.

Freakin' bug has a passport apparently.

2. Oh the game, you ask?? I COMPLETELY lost my voice, probably got sicker from being out in the night air, made BOTH knees worse from jumping up and down too much, and got NO sleep that night from the aches and pains of all of the above...AND IT WAS COMPLETELY WORTH IT. Even my USC-loyal uncle told me on Sunday that I was lucky to be at such a thriller. It was a doozy to beat all doozies. But do we have to keep coming from behind to win at the last minute?

And did I mention...

Associated Press

Penn State is in the top 10, Michigan is out again and UCLA is on the rise in The Associated Press Top 25.

Southern California is No. 1 for the 25th straight poll, receiving 58 first-place votes in the media rankings released Sunday, BLAH BLAH BLAH...

In the AP Top 25, No. 11 is Florida and UCLA is No. 12, moving up eight spots after beating California 47-40.

The Bruins (5-0) haven't been ranked this high since the last poll of October 2001 when they were ninth.

Yeah BABY!!!

3. Yes, I really do have other things on my mind.

Reason number 52,875 why I love my husband...he is very easy to take on road trips.

It took us almost 4 hours to get to Pasadena on Friday night and even with all the bumper-to-bumper traffic, we can still have fun. Best of all, he doesn't mind singing his heart out to all the same music I do.

The first time he came out to visit me in the US, we of course had to go to Vegas. On the 5-plus hour drive, I had brought along a mix CD, and it had some really random stuff on it. (That was back when Napster was free and I just went nutty with the mixing.)

I figured that would be a true test as to whether we could get along...all those hours in a car with a woman who apparently had a taste for both Radiohead and one song from the Backstreet Boys (Oh put your eyes back in your head..."I Want it That Way" is a brilliantly executed, pure piece of pop!).

While I wailed away on the "RUUUUUUUUUUUUN" part of "Creep", eardrum/windshield-shattering as it was, MB didn't flinch.

And, perhaps best of all, he joined in on "IWITW". There is nothing cuter than my husband singing, "Tell me why...ain't nothing but a heartache...". NOTHING.

4. Don't go to The Cheesecake Factory hungry. You too, will spend $120. Their menu is so has ads in it, for pete's sake.

5. My family RULES at entertaining. Thanks go out to them for the gathering on Sunday, but I'm still not so sure about coming over to an SC household after the USC/UCLA game...I will either be chased with sticks or teased mercilessly. Hmmm...

But we do like to party. I am having people over today for a quasi-birthday celebration and I actually got up at 7:30AM to do laundry and clean. Did my mother take over my body at some point and no one let me know?

6. Kona Girl...your family loves you, your friends love you, everyone who has ever met you loves you...never forget that.

7. Have you ever read some random person's blog and thought, "Who gave this person a computer?". This...makes me want to scratch my eyes out.

Ok, now I feel bad. I'm sure they're perfectly lovely people and their daughter is adorable. It isn't that. It's the freakin' "cutesy" crap. If I ever put a blinkie on my blog...shoot me.

But pictures of the Backstreet Boys are ok. That's IRONY.