Tuesday, December 09, 2014

As a child packing for our horrid family camping trips, my mother would always tell us to "pack more underwear than you'll need."
This seemed like reasonable advice and so I've always heeded it.
Packing for an upcoming trip to Texas, I realized that in fact, I've never once needed an emergency pair of underwear whilst on vacation, and good lord, I hope it stays that way.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Confessions of a Shoe Pervert

I sort of hate the whole "women love shoes" trend that's been foisted upon us. I'm going to blame Sex and the City. It made women feel like they should love shoes, and it made men think that any woman who owned more than 3 pairs was a Carrie.

And the thing is, I have heard many a woman declare "I love shoes" while wearing evidence to the contrary on her feet. In fact, the shoes she was wearing might be evidence of having given up, or of something she found on sale at Giant Tiger after Octo-Mom picked through the bin, of something worn for comfort and bunion-support rather than fashion. But of "love of shoes"? No.

So I kind of hate that I myself feel a definite pull toward shoes. I really wish I didn't, but I always have. Even as a little girl, I'd refuse to play Barbies with my sisters unless my Barbie had shoes. Now, only someone who was once herself a little girl would understand this: every Barbie comes with shoes. Pretty high-heeled shoes, necessarily, because her feet are molded in an upward arch that will only accomodate very high heels. But those shoes are teeny tiny and they get lost about ten seconds after you open the box. So even in our house of 4 girls and probably 200 Barbies (no joke), you'd have to search forever and be lucky to come up with a single pair. So before any Barbie playing could commence, my sisters would oblige my demand and spend probably 30 minutes to find me one pair. One stinkin pair. And every other Barbie went through life barefoot.

Fast forward to high school, which for me, was in the 90s. Ugh. So many regrets. Platform Candies. Cowhide. Those stupid shoes that were like cowboy boots but without the leg. Patent leather MC Hammer shoes. 90210 hightops. Oh yeah. And, embarrassingly, shoes that my friend Kelly once declared were "so ugly they're kinda cool" as if that was the point, although up to that moment I'd seen only the cool and none of the ugly. But with that one comment I could suddenly see them for their brown orthopedic gender-neutral ugliness.

Now I have money and taste (I think. I hope.). And closets full of shoes. Three closets, and still my shoes bleed all over my house. Both my car and Sean's have pairs of my shoes in the trunk, and in the backseat (it's hard to drive in heels!). I have shoes in the garage. Shoes in my gym bag. Shoes at work. I have shoes in various animal prints. Shoes that have equal parts neon and bad-assness. Shoes that are glitter AND gold. Shoes so high that my nose bleeds. Okay, no it doesn't. But I do have tonnes of very tall shoes. I have a very tall husband, and still he has to stoop to kiss me. And I hate myself for the excess, even as I get a little thrill in my down-south parts just to try on a new pair.

And my poor feet. I've been very hard on my feet, which were shoe-resistant from the start. I have horrendously flat feet. I'll never have to go to war, but I also can't do anything without having extreme pain in my poor little tootsies. Like, crazy pain. It's absurd even to me that a lack of arches could cause such profound pain, but it's true. Add to that a terrible fall down a flight of stairs wherein I managed to sprain my foot in 3 different place, and then take off for Vegas just a few days later, leaving my crutches behind at the Bellagio because the casino floors just don't have a lot of room for disabilities (although they got me through airports like nobody's business). So needless to say the foot didn't heal. In fact, after a night of quite literally dragging it behind me as we made our frenzied way up and down the strip, I had to buy a pair of soft near-slippers, because my foot had swollen so much that my ballet flats had cut a ring all the way around my foot, I had this perfect bloody halo that was starting to look infected, and the congealed blood was starting to stick in the wrong places, and give me blisters. But I went back to the hotel that night to ice my foot in order to cram it into sky-high sparkly shoes because we renewed our vows at the Graceland Chapel and a girl cannot get married in flats. It's a sin. So that foot is now misshapen. Small price to pay, right?

And then I had a bike accident that resprained that foot and the truth is, it's now more of a club than a foot. It gets me around, but barely. My foot is somehow hump-backed. So most of the shoes in my closet, all those purchased pre-foot-deformity, don't really fit. So I have to force the bones of my foot to reconfigure in order to jam the shoes on. And then I sweat and swear and send up mental SOS flares all night long, deeply regretting my choices, but never ever making the right one because the outfit looks so much better, not to mention my legs, when I wear the crazy heels.

Yup. I really, really hate this about myself.


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

How many assholes does it take to review a movie?

Started a movie review blog with some friends:

www.AssholesWatchingMovies.com

Please visit and join us in our sometimes thoughtful, sometimes thoughtless discussion.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Something's in the water.

I sometimes have a love affair with water.
I mean, I always like it, and I definitely always need it.
But sometimes it's just so damn good.
Like, sometimes I can literally feel it nourishing my body as I drink. I can physically feel it plumping up the cells on my cheeks.
Is that just me?
And I've really learned the very pleasurable sensation of ice water post-hot tub. The cooling sensation spreads out in your flushed body and brings you back to life. It's so good.

Can you tell that I gave up Diet Pepsi a while ago?
It wasn't that hard to stop and I don't really crave it, so much as miss it, if that makes sense.
Like, I miss having an option besides water. Because I don't like the taste of regular Pepsi, and wouldn't want to drink that much sugar\calories anyway. And I don't care for juice. So it's water and then of course alcohol, and that's about it. It's given me an even deeper appreciation for water, but also sometimes a dispassion for it. Water just doesn't feel like a treat, whereas a Diet Pepsi I could bring with me to work and wait until the exact moment I needed it most and pop it open and immediately be flooded with relief. It was a pick-me-up, my only source of caffeine since I don't drink coffee or tea.

I'd been meaning to give up Diet Pepsi for a while, because of the whole brain cancer thing. But every time I gave it up for a while, I'd drift back because Diet Pepsi is so pleasingly sweet, and brain cancer is not an imminent threat, I don't think. Easier to ignore, at any rate, than a certain emptiness around 8pm where a frosty can of DP would do me an enormous amount of good.

Then my naturopath asked me to give it up. Asked me to trade it for regular Pepsi, even. Take the sugar, she said, give up the aspartame. And I knew she was right. In my readings about my disease, aspartame was listed as a potential cause of destroying the healthy bacteria in my stomach. So it was time to go. I thought I'd seriously have to detox from it. I thought I'd get the sweats, or visions. And really, I just stopped. So I wasn't as addicted as I feared I might be. I just really liked the stuff. Brain cancer tastes good to me.

So now I'm  on water. Lovely water. Sometimes I try to dress it up. Fancy ice cubes, glittery highball glasses. Bendy straws. Carafes intended for imported wine. And most of the time, water really does get the job done. It's the perfect beverage in many ways.

Until it starts giving me brain cancer too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I live my life avoiding bedtime. Like, not only do I avoid it, but as it gets darker and Sean's eyelids get droopier, I start with distraction techniques. Like a marathon of the latest must-see, cliffhanger-heavy non-network TV series. All 6 seasons! And sex! And chicken nuggets! And hot tub! More sex!

But not reading. Reading is bad. Reading makes other people fall asleep even quicker. Reading is a sleep aid to a frustrating number of people. Me? I can never have less than 3 books on my nightstand. I never travel with less than 7. When I'm not sleeping, it's not uncommon for me to read a book a night. A whole night of tossing, turning, snapping on the light, picking up the book, reading, feeling a sliver of hope, turning out the light, pretending it's working, hoping it's going to work any minute, and then tearfully admitting defeat, turning on the light to read and repeat. But Sean? Four pages and he's out. OUT.

And it leaves me alone. And there is no lonelier thing than another night of not sleeping. Nights are long, and I dread them. I truly dread them. They make me sad, and every minute that ticks past 8pm makes me sadder, because I know what's coming: abandonment, frustration, anger, sickness.

It's hard not to feel resentment toward the person sleeping peacefully beside you. I know it's wrong. It's not their fault. They're doing what bodies do, and what life and health require. But it sucks, when you are in the depths of sleep failure, to have a perfect, shining example lying beside you, teasing you, accusing you. It's awful.

It's also incomprehensible. Like, why is my body refusing to do the thing it needs to do? And why me? I pay my taxes. I take warm baths, keep a bedtime routine, don't drink caffeine, exercise, keep my bedroom a "sleep shrine", practise yoga and mediation and deep breathing and drink bad sleepy time tea. I do all the right things. All of them. Sometimes for 72 hours straight. It's not fair, and that hurts.

It's almost funny how quickly frustration at sleep in general (or unsleep in general) turns into anger toward myself. Like, real hatred. I beat myself up for not sleeping. I get down on myself. The negative self-talk starts and then escalates, because it's the middle of the night and your thoughts are the only thing keeping you company so of course they go bananas. And it's all your fault for not controlling them! I start punishing myself. I'm not allowed to have a snack, or even water, because I don't deserve it. I can't watch a movie or check Facebook. I keep myself in strict isolation because if the alternative is bad enough, maybe I'll learn to just sleep already. Except I never do.

And I never will. I know that now. I've been a bad sleeper since day one. I couldn't sleep at night as a baby either. My grandfather summersaulted me over his head because flipping the baby would flip my schedule. Except all I did was barf on my grandfather and went back to not sleeping.

School was the worst. It starts so goddamned early and I would be lucky to fall asleep minutes before I needed to get up. Alarms are an extra layer of pressure for an insomniac. They keep exact count of your failures and count down to your misery. The pressure is this awful weight and every minute is full of rage. Setting an alarm will always trigger my insomnia. Always. But 3 days a week, I have to be at work for 7am which means I have to be up in the vicinity of 5am, which means I won't be getting any sleep that night. AT ALL. So for those three days a week, guaranteed I'm a zombie, and every day I get closer to collapse, but I collapse into a nauseated, achy, head-hurting puddle of CONSCIOUSNESS. I never collapse into sleep. Because it doesnt' work like that. Insomnia doesn't cure itself, it only feeds on itself. Eventually I'll need to give myself a blank space of time where it doesn't matter when I sleep or for how long. But that means carving up pieces of my life, or my work. Because I don't get to be productive or sociable when I'm up by myself in the dark hours of the night. I spend my days barely lucid, and in a great deal of physical pain because the wear and tear accumulates and the muscles never get their needed rest and replenishment.

People can't really understand the toll it takes on your body. Doctors always gasp over your blood pressure. I push through crazy stuff. I keep going. Sometimes I hit a wall, randomly, and have to call to be driven home because I just can't anymore. Which doesn't mean I'll sleep. It just means I'm useless. And that's how I feel half the time. Just completely useless. And I can't do anything about it, nobody can. All I can do is lie there and think good thoughts. Maybe it'll be tonight.