Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One-Hit Wonders: February 2012 terms inexplicably pulling up this blog...
  • "hate valentine's day"
  • bedroom with caution tape
  • hubba hubba mila
  • where's my vodka
  • yard dog chainsaw review
  • pour liquor on the floor
  • two-headed girl
  • doctor pinky
  • constantly wanting people to take pity on you

Friday, February 24, 2012

Things to Do When You're Sick Again

or maybe that should be “still sick,” or perhaps “sick for four fucking weeks.” yep, four fucking weeks of the flu, a sinus infection and then a sinus re-infection. in that time, i went to the doctor twice, missed five days of work, had violent coughing fits that just fell short of vomitting, filled wastebaskets with tissues covered in brown mucus, left ricola wrappers all throughout my house, and spent several days alternating between doses of Dayquil and Nyquil. i engaged in a few other thrilling activities, outlined below, and available for replication as long as they don’t infringe on any copyrights.
  • lie in bed certain that you’re going to die alone, because who really wants to take care of the snotty, stuffy, wheezy, unshowered ass you’ve become, you pathetic little sick girl? in between naps, browse a few internet dating sites before closing your browser in digest, suddenly OK with the notion of dying alone.
  • convince yourself that you’re healthy enough to attend a friend’s birthday party in Long Beach. go to the party with a box of tissues in your purse and, for god’s sake, don’t cough on people when you talk to them. foolishly finish a second glass of wine that disagrees with the many decongestants you’ve taken that day and makes you feel naseuous and tired. beg the friends you came with to take you back to your car across town immediately, even though they are having a good time. pass out on your friend’s guest bed within seconds of arriving at her house. wake up at 1:30am with mascara smeared down your face to drive yourself home in silence and shame.
  • go to work like normal, because you’ve burned through too many sick days and it’s only february. ask your coworkers every day if you’re coughing less today than you were yesterday. wonder if you’re sensing irritation or impending illness in their eyes when they respond to you through clenched teeth with another suggestion that you should go home.
  • decide that you will attack the second sinus infection with homeopathic remedies instead of another round of antibiotics for fear of developing a resistance to antibiotics (whoops, too late). spend $80 at Whole Foods on Sinusalia, garlic drops for the ears, and a variety of juices, soups and teas to keep you hydrated. hide the garlic drops after your dogs try to burrow into your ear every time you use them. eat soup while sitting on your couch in your pajamas and catching up on 30 Rock.
  • spend your downtime proofreading 400 pages for a freelance client. reread pages numerous times as your head is cloudy and clogged, which has turned your normally eagle eyes into the eyes of a dyslexic toddler. ask the client for an extension.
  • go to acupuncture in an effort to remain au naturel in your pursuit of health. hold your breath while needles are inserted into your head and face. feel amazing right after the session ends only to feel like shit later when the lymph nodes in your neck swell to bodybuilder proportions, making it hard to swallow or breathe. endure a hellish sleep that’s punctuated with coughing fits that leave you gasping for air. cry because you’re sick of being sick already and when will it end and why does the universe hate me so much? i’m sorry for whatever i did to deserve this and i promise i won’t ever do it again, whatever it was.
  • wonder if this sickness is the result of you deciding to give up meat at the start of 2012 and if these are the elusive toxins entering your bloodstream, which is what all the au naturel folks say happens when you decide to go au naturel. consider having a steak to see if it makes you feel better. have that steak and feel gross afterwards, having added indigestion to your sinus congestion. decide to maintain the meatlessness going forward.
  • wake up the morning after your second acupuncture appointment feeling better. get worried that this is only a reprieve before the next relapse. blow your nose and feel almost relieved when you see brown snot in the tissue. confuse yourself with your thoughts.
today, i’m feeling mostly better, mostly healed, though my throat is still sore and my cough is still annoying. i have one more acupuncture appointment next week that will hopefully kick this thing out for good and then i have to get on with the business of packing my lost february into march.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why I Hate Valentine's Day

i realize how absolutely cliché it is to say you hate valentine’s day because it’s an evil nonholiday created by Hallmark to stimulate consumerism and what about the other days of the year you should show your sweetie you love them? blah, blah. we’ve all heard it.

and while all of it may be true, it’s completely unrelated to my disdain for this evil nonholiday, which will forever be symbolic of a nuclear bomb blowing up in my chest. for several years now, i’ve spent the day feeling like a jew on christmas, minus the chinese food and trip to the movies. but the indifference to all the gifts and seemingly sacred celebrations that are attached to some religious figure whose very existence is questionable is the same. at least we get the day off for christmas.

it started in 2004, which would have gone down as The Worst Valentine’s Day Ever had it not been for valentine’s day 2010. but let’s back up to 2003, probably my last good valentine’s day. i had a boyfriend named Pablo then, whom i was with for four years — good years during which we shared four very romantic valentine’s days that included dinner, gifts and all that schmooptie pooptie stuff you do when you’re a person who doesn’t hate valentine’s day. because back then, i was an enthusiastic advocate for the day, consumerism aside and included. the flowers, chocolates, expensive meals and great wine are enough to get anyone on board.

then came january 2004, the month Pablo cheated on me, effectively ending our relationship, annihilating me emotionally and lighting the candle of what would become my burning hatred for the day. a few weeks after the breakup, my friend Zahra dragged me to a singles mixer in Hollywood. did i mention that Zahra is a former beauty queen? no joke. (i encourage you to read more about that here.) in short, it was not a fun night, only adding to my heartache and filling me with an overwhelming desire to call Pablo and ask him to ask me for another chance. thankfully, i resisted.

after that, i spent a couple years living the single vida loca before beginning another serious relationship, the one that would come to define my life in ways no other relationship has — and i mean that in the most positive way imaginable. fast forward to valentine’s day 2006, a time when my then-boyfriend Mo and i were very much in love and living together.

in an effort to reclaim valentine’s day as something i could get behind again, i got Mo a small gift for the occasion and assumed he would reciprocate even though we had never discussed what would happen (or not happen) on that day. he, assuming i was too evolved to care about such a silly little nonholiday, didn’t see what the big deal was. an argument followed, which culminated in me attempting to destroy the gift like a total, mature adult.

after the smoke cleared and tears dried, Mo and i had a very civil discussion about our outlook for valentine’s day and mutually agreed that we would no longer observe it in any way. and, wow, what a HUGE relief. no more agonizing over gifts, trying to plan the perfect evening or piling expectations onto a day that’s too often destined for disappointment. the day had been neutralized and stayed that way for a few years with nary an acknowledgement by either of us. and the truth was that i didn’t miss it one bit.

fast forward to valentine’s day 2010, the day Mo and i broke up. yes, you read that right. because if there’s anything more cliché than hating on valentine’s day, it’s breaking up — or getting engaged — on valentine’s day. and no one does clichés better than i do. being a 35-year-old single, jewish woman who wants kids should be more evidence of my mad skillz. if i had a profile on jdate, i might win the Cliché of the Year Award!

in any case, the fact that Mo and i broke up on valentine’s day had nothing to do with the fact that it was valentine’s day. as unlikely as that statement seems, it’s 100% true. trouble had been brewing for many months and just happened to combust like a powder keg on that day. call it coincidence or irony or bad luck. the eventual end result — as Mo and i kept living together for a few months following the breakup (awful idea, by the way) — was the dissolution of our five-year relationship and the irreversible scarring of a day meant to symbolize joyful love.

now it just symbolizes the worst type of heartbreak for me — the type where you fall apart, certain you’re losing the love of your life. it’s bad enough to feel once, but feeling it twice is a special treat reserved for people who live in the third realm of hell. thankfully, the food isn’t too bad down here. a little on the spicy side.

in the weeks leading up to this day, i could feel the blues setting in, the memories racing back, the regrets bubbling up. i thought i had made peace with most of it and think i’ve done good work since my breakup with Mo, but i’m far from peace. there are still quite a few thoughts that make my blood boil or my lip tremble. you’d think the two years i spent thinking, rethinking and overthinking everything would be enough, but heartache is a scab and valentine’s day is the 7-year-old who can’t stop picking at it.

of course, i realize that i may not always feel this way and there could be a great love coming who will reverse everything once again and blah, blah. i’ve heard those clichés, too. could happen, could not, but at this point it really doesn’t matter to me. the only thing that does matter is getting through this day, so i can file away these feelings and memories for another year.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Things to To Do When You're Home Sick

this week, i was taken down by a very nasty flu — and i mean “taken down” the way a sniper’s bullet takes you down. i was sicker than i’ve been in years. i went to work with a scratchy throat one tuesday morning and came home after lunch with chills and body aches. then i spent the next three days in bed with my head in a fog, wallowing in self-pity. i did engage in a few other activities, which i’ve kindly outlined here in case you also find yourself taken down by this unkind plague.
  • lie in bed moaning loudly (and for all the wrong reasons). tell yourself to stop moaning loudly because it’s unnecessary and melodramatic. wonder if this is delerium setting in.
  • sleep 15 hours during the first night of your flu and awaken with hip and joint pain because you spent too much time lying down. sleep 5 hours the second night of your flu and awaken with a pounding headache because you didn’t sleep long enough. take vicodin.
  • refuse the many offers of assistance because you’re worried about getting people sick even though you desperately want people to come over and take pity on you. get a surprise delivery of soup placed on the trunk of your car by one of your favorite friends. realize (again) that your friends are super awesome.
  • play Words With Friends nonstop. get impatient when your friends don’t play their turn within 30 seconds of you playing your turn. search for more friends to play with.
  • worry your dogs, who begin looking at you as though you were dying. leave your bed, where your dogs are not allowed, to spend some time on the couch, where your dogs are allowed. negotiate the sibling rivalry between your dogs as they climb over each other in an attempt to sit on your chest and lick your face. choke on dog hair and then go back to bed.
  • tell your parents (who have begun calling you twice a day) that you will NOT see a doctor because you refuse to waste money to hear a doctor tell you what you already know — that you have the flu. wonder when you turned into an old jewish man.
  • wear your pajamas for three days straight without showering or even washing your face. wake up the morning your fever breaks drenched in sweat and realize that it’s time to take a shower. take a 45-minute shower and return to bed.
  • remind yourself that even though you’re 35 and without a boyfriend to take care of you doesn’t mean that you’ll die alone and unloved. that’s just the fever talking. consider joining an online dating service once you’re healed.
  • catch up on Teen Mom. catch up on Teen Mom 2. be thankful you were never a teen mom.
  • eat very little. drink three gallons of water. take no medicine except vicodin for your headache. miss work for three days. avoid doing your dishes. let all calls go to voicemail (except your parents’, who will keep calling back until you answer). bemoan your lack of energy. stand outside in your pajamas to catch sun on your face. cherish your health once it returns.