Thursday, May 14, 2009

Catching Up Post

I have no organized post prepared for you. I'm just going to tell you all about some things going on recently and see what comes out.

As you may recall, the week I left for my trip I had been suffering "flu-like symptoms" and this was at the peak of the Swine Flu hysteria. As I got to the airport I was coughing, congested and feverish, but I didn't really feel all that bad and I had been sick almost a week already so I figured I was completely safe to fly. The problem was that the other passengers didn't agree with me. Every time I sniffled or coughed people looked alarmed. In line I was tempted to make comments about my recent trip to Mexico City, but I thought perhaps this might be in poor taste and not as funny in real life as it sounded in my head. I made sure I told everyone that I didn't have Swine Flu. I don't think anyone believed me. Once on the actual plane, the dry air made my cough about three hundred times worse and I began to hack. My Ludens cough drops had no effect whatsoever. I was sitting next to a girl who was on her way back from a cruise and she was really friendly and nice, so I made sure I explained to her that I did not in fact have Swine Flu and she said she wasn't concerned because she had already had the flu two weeks before and then she proceeded to pull what looked like a 2 Liter bottle of codeine cough syrup out of her bag.

"This is the only reason I'm not coughing too," she said, "I take it so I can sleep."

Then she fell asleep. I began to wonder if I could get away with slipping the bottle out of her bag while she slept so I could swig a couple teaspoons of it to quiet both my cough and the fears of the other passengers, but she had the bag wedged under her arm and I didn't think I could pull it off.

I continued to hack. An extremely old woman, who must have been at least 90 at who wore fake eyelashes and deep blue eyeshadow, sat in front of me. At one point she turned around and pointed at me through the crack in between the seats. It was extremely traumatic, especially because she had filed her nails into sharp points. Why do old ladies do that? Both of my grandmothers do the exact same thing with their nails. It must have been the thing back in the 50s or something.

Still, I coughed. A woman across the aisle from me, who had looked wary of me from the security check point told me I should be wearing a mask and then asked me if I wanted one because she had a whole box. I declined. If she were worried about getting sick, shouldn't she have been wearing the mask? I tried to tell her I didn't have Swine Flu, but she definitely didn't believe me. She wanted to move seats. I'm honestly surprised I didn't cause them to divert the plane over my coughing.

Luckily, my cough had sufficiently disappeared for the return flight and I didn't scare anyone, but I did see some people in surgical masks in the airport.

In other news my Uncle Bull is running for mayor of Millpond and it looks like the campaign is really heating up. You may recall that he is a grass roots political activist and has been on the national news and all sorts of things for the work he does. I can totally see him going all Sarah Palin - starting off as a small town mayor and somehow ending up in or near the White House. At the same time, Uncle Bull is also opening a BBQ restaurant due to the success of his catering operation. He has also run a successful trucking business for the past thirty or so years, so he is a busy man. I don't know where he finds time to do all this stuff.

I'm definitely a big Uncle Bull supporter, but unfortunately not everyone in the family feels the same way. Uncle Garble, who decided shortly before Christmas that he wanted to murder the entire family (which wasn't really a serious threat being that he is agoraphobic in addition to being too strung out on Vicodin to actually leave the house to kill us) has gone on an Anti-Uncle Bull smear campaign. Uncle Garble has been writing, from his dilapidated trailer, a series of scathing letters, mostly insane rants, about how horrible our family is. Most of it slander, exaggeration and the product of mental illness and jealousy. He sends the letters to the local paper, local figureheads and has even posted hundreds and hundreds of trollish diatribes on a Millpond website. He got himself banned apparently and the web master removed some of his posts, but it looks like he has several names and accounts that he uses to post more. You should see the terrible things he said about my grandmother and mother, not to mention Uncle Bull. It's really a shame. Uncle Garble really is a lunatic. I'm glad I haven't seen him or his dirt bag, Irish Traveler wife since I was in the eighth grade. But you know, there's a fucking asshole in every family.

Speaking of family...Poor Aunt Kiki. Aunt Kiki is almost fifty and she's really been feeling her age lately. She's lived hard and spent too much time in the sun, so she's concerned about her crows feet and forehead lines. At a recent gynecologist visit, the doctor offered to give Aunt Kiki Botox. Unfortunately, the gynecologist wasn't a Botox specialist, didn't know what he was doing and hit a wrong nerve in Aunt Kiki's forehead, causing her left eye to droop as if she had a stroke. Now she looks worse than she did when she started and she's distraught over the whole thing and wants to stay in the house for the next six months until her eyelid stops resembling a vagina. Bless her heart.

My parents have never been better. We had a beautiful Mother's Day dinner Sunday when we got back which included a great deal of lobster and butter and a glow in the dark jellyfish tank which fascinated me to no end. My parents currently have zero wacky house guests and life is generally calm, full of abundance and happiness.

In my life I got some more good news! I won a teaching award which was huge for me because I work so hard at being a great teacher and this will really help me to get a new job. I got offered a kick ass summer job that doesn't start until the end of June, so I'm off until then. Monday I got another letter in the mail telling me that not only had one of my poems been chosen for publishing, but that it had also won an honorable mention award. And I know that's not a "real" award, but to me it is and I was really excited. It appears that I'm on quite the winning streak! It's like American Idol! Then things got even better when I got to puppy-sit an adorable, smushy, velvety, bitey four month old black lab.

But unfortunately something terrible happened, which I am not permitted to write about, that really brought me down and didn't allow me to enjoy my accumulating successes this week and that truly sucks. It cast a pall over everything and depressed me to the point where I didn't even want to write a new blog post for you. I needed to just sit and recover and meditate about the situation. I went to my parents house and sat by the pool and swam for several hours, got a little sun burned in spite of my SPF 50 and felt somewhat better without coming up with a solution. I'm sorry for being cryptic. So all this great stuff happened to me and then one terrible thing happened that sunk me into a depression, caused me to have late night anxiety attacks and then because I was profoundly upset I began having symptoms of my stupid lupus-like condition, which always happens when I get too upset. I guess in some ways this condition is in a way a blessing of sorts because it reminds me, in a way that I can't ignore, when I'm doing too much, stressing too much or getting too upset over things. It reminds me that I need to move more, sleep more, relax more and find more peace. I'm working on that. I'm working on getting my disease to go back to bed. It's like a bad kid. I've got it tucked back under the covers, but so far it refuses to fall asleep. I'll get it there though. Pilates, sleep and eating well should do the trick.

I have many, many stories in the works for you. It's good to be back.


mizscarlett said...

We Lurve you WL - Take care of yourself!

Mamie said...

I'm so glad you're back, and I'm REALLY looking forward to your stories! Happy for you for the good things, sorry about the tough stuff... why does life do that to us - just when things get rolling along nicely, slap us down? Hand in there.

Albany Jane said...

I like your attitude! Sometimes it can be really hard to see the brighter side, but getting into that mentality is half of the battle (or more like 90%). And congrats on everything you won!

Sara said...

Hope everything is okay. First, congratulations on your degree and awards. I enjoy reading your posts - you're a great writer (I feel like we're sitting at the kitchen table having a cup of coffee) Sending good energy your way!

MtnMama said...

Oh, honey – I’m so sorry that it had to rain on your parade. I know what that is like – when I was going through my pregnancy (something I was THRILLED about and had waited a LONG time for) I was also dealing with some of the most difficult and emotionally devastating stuff at the same time, and I remember feeling mad that it was killing my baby buzz. I was mad that I couldn’t really enjoy that time the way that I’d fantasized about.

But, I hope in the same way, the outcome will be great and stay with you, far beyond the crap that’s descended on you now, and the bad will eventually fade away.

And the plane story cracked me up even as I was saying “of course!”

Living in Muddy Waters said...

Sometimes you need the bad to make you appreciate the good. Other times the bad just sucks. But I'd buy your books or magazines that had your stuff!

booda baby said...

Those surprise Bad Things end up being really good things, in my opinion (just to distinguish it from everyone else's ... :)). It's as if they appear just to make us face up to it. The 'successes' are ephemeral and a little bit artificial unless we have a solid and genuine happiness with what we ARE sitting in us. Still, I'm very sorry for you.

Also, as a frequent traveler - sigh - I'm on the side of sick people keeping it to themselves. Swine Flue,shmein flu. Flu picked up in transit feels almost as bad. I know there's not much anyone can do when they get sick on the even of traveling, but it was kind of nice of the woman to offer you a mask.

Susan said...

As a fellow southern I must say...

Best usage of "Bless your heart" EVER!!! Poor Aunt Kiki.

I hope whatever is wrong turns around for you soon. I'm glad a lot of good things have happened for you as well deserve it :)

JoeinVegas said...

Sorry about the illness and other problems - but there is the sunshine and pool and relatives to tell us about. I hope the summer thing doesn't take you too far away from us.

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