Sunday, December 31, 2006

Just thought I'd share

FDA, finally, approves cloned food. Check out this one people. How nice of the FDA to join us here in the 21st century on something.

It's the end of 2006, thank god, and it's time to reflect upon all of the ludicrous things that I have seen and done this year. One main story comes to mind for the moment.

This tale is one about a fine sunny day in the Spring. I pulled up to my favorite coffee shop with an ice cream cone in hand and ready to pick up a paper as soon as I could find a parking spot. After a few crafty maneuvers at an adjacent parking lot, I pulled forward to take my position in the exit. A woman walking down the sidewalk stopped about 20 feet back from the driveway. An action I understood to mean she wanted me to go ahead, which I did. I proceeded to pull up to the same side of the street the woman had been walking (a one way street if you're trying to picture it). Since it was an unusually warm day, my passenger side window was down. While I fiddled around looking for change to feed the meter, the woman walking down the sidewalk stuck her head into my car through the passenger side window and just started screaming at me.

I just sat there in shock while she bobbed her head like a chicken inside my car, complete with all of the good descriptive expletives. Then she continued to walk down the street as if nothing had occured. Because I have absolutely zero self control, I jumped out of my car and ran after her. She had gained some ground by the time I was running in her direction. But, once the light turned green, I caught up with her on foot. Oh, I should mention that I was screaming at her all the while, "Come back here! What did you say to me, bitch?!!!?" Yup, screaming this at the top of my lungs in the middle of the street, in front of my favorite coffee shop. Lovely. I'm gonna make a great role model for my child.

Lunacy at its best.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Meming me.

The Six Weird Things Meme

So these are Six Weird Things about Me (Husband's comment on my request to help me think of six weird things about me: "Only six huh?...Well, I'm not taking that bait." Smart man.) :
  1. I hate it when my toes are squished together. HATE IT! If my feet are in close toed shoes that are a bit tight, I spend an inordinate amount of time spreading my toes out as far and flat as they will go.
  2. I simply can't eat an animal that I saw, recently, in its house. Thus, if I eat shrimp, my husband must do the peeling off of their houses, alone, I can't even peek or else I won't be able to eat them. Lobsters are only acceptable if they come evicted, therefore I can only eat lobster tail. No clams, oysters, snails. Eeew.
  3. I feel guilty when a store or restaurant goes out of business. Yes, I am self centered enough to think it is all my fault. If only I had gone in there to shop or eat, then they wouldn't have had to close up shop. It's not that I think that they were waiting for me, but I still think I could have done more to help.
  4. I want to tell everyone, everything, all of the time. But it, uh, kind of puts people off, including Husband sometimes. Poor guy. He puts up with a lot.
  5. I like to garden, but not with plants. I prefer rocks. All types of rocks. I just stack them up, build walls, lots of walls. Good times.
  6. I like to say "I" when I write my blog. Fun. In all of the other writing I have to do I can't say I. So I take great liberties when it comes to my blog ramblings and the use of the word "I". More good times. Oh, and using the word "you" is an additional good time.
Now, while I think that tagging someone is somewhat of a cruel joke to play on another, I am not that nice of a person actually, so I think I will tag the requisite six anyway. If I tag you it's out of love, if I didn't tag you its out of love too.

Tag your it, Veronika, Barbara, Sara, TheTwoWeekWait, Mary Taitt, Dino aka Katy.


Aurelia tagged me first, so you know who to blame ultimately.

By the way, here are the rules...
RULES: Each player of this game starts with the weird things about them. People who get tagged need to write on their blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says you have tagged them in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

For those I didn't tag, feel free to comment with at least one weird thing. Don't make me be weird alone...

Friday, December 29, 2006

Listless List Day

The movies one loves say a lot about a person. Especially intriguing are the loves from a particular year. So to celebrate the near termination of 2006, finally, I list here the top 10 TV/Movie DVD Series I enjoyed or discovered this year. We are a bit unusual in that we don't have cable anymore as I had it shut off. Thus, to get our TV fix we went with Netflix, and hence, watch a lot of DVD's. So much for trying to encourage less TV time and more book time. I guess I should have invested in a magazine subscription if I had really been dedicated to the idea. As a result of our choice we are behind in current popular movies and TV shows. It's actually kind of nice to choose without influence from the TV itself. The list is then a bit untimely and out of the totally normal. Just the way I like it.

By writing the list out, I come out just a little bit further. OK, so revealing movie loves isn't quite as exposing as actually revealing an alternative sexual orientation, but I feel outted nevertheless. Be afraid, be very afraid...
At this point they are still in no particular order, so until further notice...
  1. Little Britain
  2. Wire in the Blood
  3. Prime Suspect
  4. Sherlock Holmes, all of them
  5. Rumpole of the Bailey
  6. Grounded for Life
  7. Penn and Teller: Bullshit
  8. Good Neighbors
  9. Cracker
  10. Absolutely Fabulous
So someone commented that they had never heard of any of these. Huh, I knew I was a bit odd. Who else hasn't or has heard of these flicks? Also, won't you come out and play with me by commenting with your favorite finds this year? Join the flick fess up...

And then a miracle occurred

Last night was very rough indeed. The sandman was apparently having an affair with someone else because I didn't catch a single wink last night. I finally fell asleep on the couch after dawn and after a double dose of Seroquel. Didn't wake up until after 1pm today. Groggy, but finally rested.

A few minutes ago, I was surfing my life away and then a miracle occurred. Husband stands up and says to me in a sincere tone, "Have fun blogging, bloghead." So I ask where he's off to and he replies, "I'm going to clean the kitchen." Long pause now for the breath of air I am trying to catch as he walks toward the kitchen. I am all a flutter. Goosebumps as well.

Happiness is a clean kitchen in the land of Crazyville. He's going to be able to milk this good deed for awhile and I really don't mind. Crazyville is on the red level of the terrorist alert scheme when the kitchen has been taken over by other kingdoms, families, and genus. Yuck. When feeling heinously hypomanic-- which is my least favorite section of Crazyville and where I currently hang out--I am in a state of heightened alert, a montage thought pattern bombarding me with organized mayhem. I become an impatient toddler with obsessive tendencies. The carpet really NEEDS to be vacuumed so that all of the vacuum lines in the rug are parallel and the individual fibers all tilt the same direction to make it look the same tint. The knick knacks, scattered across tables and other surfaces, always NEED to be rearranged. And yes, it all has to be done right now. "NOW!" I tell you. This is a really bad part of town.

But, I seem to be able to focus on at least one thing for any duration. I blog and blog and blog til my head transforms into a more amicable pattern. It really works. And so I am left alone to blog while Husband cleans the kitchen. Awesome.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gifts that keep on giving

After going over Tertia's blog, I couldn't resist addressing her same topic. She asks her bloggers what their worst and best gift has been over the years. Love that she limits it to material things and takes the words right out of sappy people's mouths by outlawing cheesy responses like the baby growing in my belly reply. Yuck. I want materialism here. So I thought I would share some of the best and worst, but mostly the worst, from my gift getting history.

Worst all time gift for me has to be one from my first husband. We'll just call him ass to keep it short and to the point. Ass had a cat that was carving up all of my somewhat decent furniture. Thus, in his ultimate wisdom and thoughtfulness, Ass gave me a cat scratching tower for Christmas. Wrapped it up and everything. Lovely.

Second worst gift wasn't so bad, if I had given it to Ass for Christmas. During the same year as the scratching post, Ass gave me the CD box set of the Rolling Stones. I don't particularly care for the Stones, but he did. In fact, apparently, he loved them more than he loved me.

Another great gift from Ass said a lot about what he thought of me. A full length, full skirt made of black velour. Wore it once and everyone asked me if I was preparing early for Halloween. Perfect.

Towards the end of the marriage, it got even better. Instead of buying me CD's, he just burned some for me. Normally, I would appreciate the effort, no matter how illegal. Unfortunately, the source of music was questionable. Turns out the burned music came from his girlfriend's CD collection, some of the CD's were ones he bought for her. Well, at least he fucked women with similar tastes in music. I admire consistency and efficiency.

Best gift this year was my little shuffler iPod. This is definitely something I would never have bought myself which made it all the more special. It was a total surprise from Husband and he was proud as a peacock when I opened it. It comes with a lanyard so I can use it while I am working off the comments on my treadmill. So leave a comment damnit! I have hours of podcasts from NPR to listen to and need some comment motivation. Also, feel free to leave your best or worst gift in your comment. Love reading that stuff, especially the bad gifts. By the way, I am pretty sure Husband would put on his bad gift list the nose hair trimmer I put in his stocking this year. Well, it made me laugh, that's what's important.

By the way, Veronika, if you are reading this, I hope you get a good chuckle, it's the only thing I know that helps.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ahhhh, vacation

I am finally settling into vacation mode. It's a vacation without any money, but it doesn't cost me much to lay on the couch in my reindeer pajamas and blog in between naps. Good times. Husband is playing with his playstation while I nurse my headache. Headaches are guaranteed when I drink a glass a red wine too close to bed time. Oh well, it was worth it.

My new meds are wreaking havoc on my body. The reduction in Effexor with the addition of Zoloft has been a true assault on normalcy, not that I had a lot of normalcy left these days. The change in meds reminds me of the time when the doctors and I were desperately exploring all of the different mood regulating chemicals out there in an attempt to reduce the amplitude of my mood's sinus wave. During that time, I would nap in my car in the middle of the day, just to make it through. All of the med changes simply wiped me out and reduced me to a groggy fragment of myself. It's not nearly as bad this time around, but I am definitely spending extra time on the couch with the sandman. Hence, the two hour Christmas Day nap.

I made it through my weekend with the in-laws. My new approach of zero expectations works well. OK, I do have one expectation...I expect them to irritate me beyond control. Expectation achieved! My mother-in-law is aware of my bipolar disorder. I really don't know what possessed me to tell her, but I did. Ever since then, all of the gifts I get from her involve padding around in my pajamas. For Christmas I got four sets of pajamas, just from her. Apparently, mental illness for her involves a lot of well matched pajamas. Oh, and they come with color coordinated slippers. Message received... When you are crazy, don't leave the house, don't get dressed, don't get out of bed. No problem, that I can do.

Her second offense was equally subtle. This requires some background knowledge. For husband's birthday, his sister bought him the 6th season Simpson's DVD set. Husband and his sister have a thing going about the Simpson's that I think is cute. Whatever it takes to connect sounds good to me. Unfortunately, the Simpson's 6th season is in a different package than the rest of the other seasons that we own. Luckily, other fans must be as anal retentive as I am, because inside the box they give you instructions on how to send away for the normal non-Homer head box as a replacement. Yes, I am sick and thus I really need my DVD boxes to match. So, husband, not realizing that I didn't want to reveal ALL of my crazy tendencies to the in-laws, made the mistake of telling his mom about the replacement offer and how his crazy wife needs the boxes to be the same. Now it's important to note that the later seasons are offered in either the weird plastic box that drives me nuts or the normal version, unlike the 6th season which was only offered as one version, the weird unmatching one. For Christmas, husband received the 9th season from his mother and I will give you one guess as to which version she gifted to him. Yep, the fucking plastic Lisa head case. Since I was in the Christmas spirit, I figured I would give her the benefit of the doubt and said, "Oh, you couldn't find the other version, huh?" Her reply with a cackle, "Oh no, the other one was there, but I thought this one would be more funny because I knew it would bug you." Yes, she even admitted it, right to my face. Ugh. I will revenge this one, but it has to be equally subtle. The war is on now.

Christmas day was peaceful and restful, just what I needed. We enjoyed a made ahead breakfast casserole, yum. Then binged on pistachios, goldfish crackers, and a shameless Asiago dip. Good stuff. Dinner was cocktail shrimp followed by a dessert of homemade chocolate truffles. We didn't eat the special one though. The one that husband insisted I make. Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo. We are so proud of it that it is pictured here. Why have kids for your Christmas pictures when you can have a truffle shaped like a poo?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

I will survive

Feelin' fine. Thanks for checking in. Got over a rough hump and now I am enjoying the peacefulness of the holiday...finally. I'll be back, better than ever. For the moment though I am resting. Thank you to all who wrote in. Makes me know I am loved. And, oh my, do I need love. More good stuff to come.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I'm sorry

I am so profoundly sad today that it is difficult to see how to make it through the next hour, the next minute, the next sentence. So I will just keep typing and hope that something I write makes a little bit of sense. First of all, I am so so sorry. Sorry that you are reading this and perhaps hoping for something funny. I don't have funny. All I have is sad.

I didn't sleep much, if at all, last night. I keep having flashbacks of the life I have made for myself and how it has all gone so horribly wrong. I won't even bother to list all of the things that I am hating myself for right now. The best thing I can think of to describe bipolar disorder at this moment is a description I once read about it somewhere. Here it is...Bipolar illness is anger gone awry. When I am manic, the extreme anger faces outward and is expressed as hatred for everyone and everything. That was yesterday. When I am depressed, the intense anger faces inward. I hate myself, anything and everything I have ever done. That is today.

I have thought a lot about why it is that I think others want to see me fail and enjoy it even. Despite my husbands logical and reasonable assessment that if they want to see me fail, that's their problem not mine. It's especially self centered to think that everyone wants to see me fail, I know this, but that doesn't help me. In fact, it's just one more reason to loathe myself.

I have received so many Christmas letters from friends from college. While I am aware that these letters are a bit slanted and don't reveal everything that's going on, I am also aware that there must be some truth to their words. These letters tell tales of new homes, recently purchased property, new babies, new jobs, and loving families. It's becoming more and more difficult to fight off the idea that their happiness doesn't take anything away from me. Unfortunately, I do end up thinking of what I am missing, what I have fucked up along the way, and what a terrible terrible person I am for thinking of any of it. Not to mention what a terrible, ungrateful person I am in general.

I tried everything to escape my head this morning. The treadmill, writing my own Christmas letter (except it sounded more like my last post), meditation, yoga, sleep. It was all a tremendous failure. I cannot help but wonder if the new med I have added to my psych-salad is making things worse. In the past Zoloft hasn't created problems, but that doesn't really mean anything.

OK, that's enough puling. I can't stand to read this or write this anymore. I make myself sick.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

All THOSE people want for Christmas

Had a long discussion with my therapist today about how to talk about my lack of job offers when the in-laws ask about it this weekend. I have been avoiding them and anyone else who would potentially ask about my rather pathetic job situation. The thing is that if you have to ask then I haven't already told you about it. If I haven't already discussed it with you, then I don't want to or intend on discussing it with you. With the exception of a few people, I haven't talked to most of my so-called friends and family about it for a very good reason. THOSE people are the ones who get off on my misery and this includes the in-laws. I seem to have a lot of THOSE people in my life actually. In fact, I think that's all they want for Christmas this year is to hear about unfortunate events in my life. So because I am feeling a need to give, I think I will let them have what they want, my misery. It's a great year from THOSE people, Santa was generous this year. Here's a few fun time misery gifts the in-laws will get in their stocking on Christmas Eve...

1. Nope, no job offers. I am 0 for 6. Wow,school has a been great investment for me so far. So if you were angry that I got into the school of my choice, then revel in my $80,000 school loan load combined with no job.

2. Not enough for you? How about the fact that my dog died this year.

3. Still feeling deprived? My grandfather died too.

4. Back for more? Good thing I am well stocked... Not pregnant yet and bleeding in between periods. Sorry no confirmed diseases or cancers yet, but wait a month or two and I will see what I can do; my doctor couldn't get me in until mid-January.

5. Don't walk away yet, there's more... My bank account is $600 in the hole right now and counting.

6. Even our appliances hate me... Our microwave finally crapped out on us after repeatedly beeping at random intervals and then flashing the number 6:66 over and over again. I kid you not.

7. The new microwave we purchased blew up after one whole week.

8. No, we didn't purchase the extended warranty and no it cannot be fixed.

9. I have long curly black hairs growing out of my chin and out of the mole of my face! ON MY FACE DAMNIT!!!

10. And for the grande finale... the JRT ate all but one pair of my underwear. Why did she spare a single pair? Because I was still wearing them.

I could go on but I really don't want to spoil you. Let's leave some for your birthday. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wow, the fun never stops

I should warn you all now, there is nothing funny in this new post. I am plumb out of funny today. Finals are finally over and I am in the come down period. But that's not the only period I am enjoying today. Looks like I will be enjoying another month in Crazyville. I should just register to vote here, since it's possible I am going to become a permanent resident. I wonder what the license plates look like in Crazyville.

Youngest sister, age 19, just sent me a jpeg of her most recent sonogram of her little bean sized fetus. I really wish I could be happy for her, but so far that's just not happening. The arrival of the red tide, put a damper on happiness. At least I didn't have to aim at a precious stick; I think I'll celebrate and spend the money I would have saved by buying a good bottle of Zinfandel. I need something to look forward to after all. Scratch that, I need something that will last at least a week. Let's go all out and buy that Laguvulin scotch that I have been drooling over for the last year. Damn my neighborhood liquor store for stocking the good stuff, but I do love the damned.

I am spending the day cleaning our sty today. We are such gross people. Usually, the bare minimum I ask for in terms of tidiness is a fire lane from the couch to the front door. Apparently, even that's too much to ask for. Our household spiders are the only ones who seem to be keeping their areas clean. Too bad I sucked down their homes into our shop-vac this morning. It's cleaner in there anyway. To those of you who stay at home to keep house and take care of children or pets or whatever the hell it is you take care of, I salute you. Every moment I clean, I am just a little bit angrier and little more bitter. Poor husband doesn't even realize what he is walking into tonight when he comes through the door after work. If I warned him, that would take all the fun out of my day, and that wouldn't do at all. Wish him luck.

Monday, December 18, 2006

If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit next to me.

Love that quote from Steel Magnolias. I have desperately tried to memorize my favorite poems and philanthropic quotes but all I seem to be able to remember are lines from movies and TV shows I have seen hundreds of times, including Caddyshack, Fletch, Simpson's series, South Park, Monty Python's movies, all of the Vacation movies, and many other classics. Nothing ground breaking, only sarcastic remarks.

So, to stay with the theme, I will tell a tale of craziness contributed by my family. One of my mother's brothers, D (actually all of them start with the letter D but that's a whole other story entirely), has a lot of cats. So many cats, that there is never a current count that can be relied upon. D and his family are not of wealth in any arena except for pets. When D and his wife went away one weekend, they asked D's mother (my grandmother) to stay and watch their kids (4 in total). Despite the abundance of kids, their refrigerator is stocked with nothing but 2 liter Pepsi bottles. Grandma really didn't know what to feed the kids out of this well stocked fridge, so she resorted to the freezer to try and find something nutritious.

The freezer was well stocked with lots of foil wrapped things. After rummaging through its depths, she finally found what she was hoping would be a roast, it was the right size after all, what else could it be she thought. As the children stood around drooling, she carefully began to unwrap the item. At last, it revealed itself. It was not a roast, it was a frozen cat! The children looked unsurprised and just blinked at their grandmother as she screamed. The oldest one finally fessed up, "Well, grandma, what else are you supposed to do with a cat when it dies?" They ordered out that night and she never opened the freezer again.

Why was there a cat in the freezer? Well, the cat had died right before they left on vacation that weekend, and my uncle wanted to have it autopsied to discover the cause of death. So to preserve it for future discoveries, he wrapped it in foil and tossed it into the freezer until he could get to it and had the money to have the procedure done. Well, of course, that is a perfectly reasonable solution, after all, there wasn't any food in there anyway.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Seroquel and Sisters

I am slogging through the day, studying for my last final of the semester, and comforting myself with cheesy poofs. Love that nuclear orange flavor. Good thing I have dogs or else I would never be able to keep that stuff off of the furniture. At least they help out around the house, more than I can say for myself. The sandman continues to elude me. Sneaky little bastard. Apparently, 25 mcg of Seroquel isn't quite enough to bribe the sandman to stay. I guess I've been spoiling him over the years. Well, the party's over buddy, I can't hook you up forever you know. Jones on my friend.

One of my sisters left a long voice mail last week and I am still steaming over it. I just don't have any patience left these days for her bull. Yep, I am in that good of a mood. I haven't called her back yet, because I really don't have anything nice to say to her at this moment, nor in the near future most likely. Sister Sensitive called to tell me she was planning a trip to New York City in March. Great, only 5 hours away, can't wait to hop, skip, and jump my way over for a visit. She wanted to give me the dates so that I will make sure to include it in my plans for that month. Sure no problem, my life comes to a full and complete halt for people who are kind enough to come through my state without consulting a freakin' map. Next, she hinted that if I really couldn't make it out to the city to see her while she was there, she may (note the word "may") be able to schedule a day trip to my town. Wow, that's super generous of her dontcha think? I was impressed with her thoughtfulness. Next time I am in San Francisco, I will make sure to let her know that she needs to schedule in a quick 350 mile drive up North to say hi. Since I'm in the area and all.

However, I am not sure why I think that if she looked at a map that it would make any difference. Sister Sensitive once called me to settle a debate between her and her then boyfriend. Now, normally, I am a true believer in the idea that there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers, but she really challenged this belief that day. Her question, you ask? Get ready...wait for it....

"Uh, like, Nicole, is Alaska, like, a state or a country?" I don't think I have to tell you which side of the debate she was on in this one. After my reply, which I swear I answered with a completely straight face, she said to me, "Are you, like, sure?"

Friday, December 15, 2006


Tired of hearing me complain that bipolar sucks? How about bipolar socks then?




Even my socks are bipolar these days.

Crazy conversations

So I am definitely on my way to crazyville, where there are no meds but plenty of unsolvable problems. I am up to two total and complete breakdowns a day. Good times to be had by all. Studying for finals has me wanting to either eat my casebooks or burn them for firewood. It's both cold in here and I am really hungry all of a sudden. Sleep is becoming elusive, but when I am able to visit slumberland I have plenty of nightmares. The big fertility calendar that I am using says I may be able to detect the pregnancy hormone with a test on Monday. It's everything I can do not to test beforehand. The pregnancy tests sit on my bathroom counter and call to me everytime I am in there. They sing to me and say "Stick me in a cup of that warm, sunny, sterile stuff only you can give us. Come on you know you want to." Oh, and I do. "Why not use all five of us to be doubly sure of the disappointment of knowing that you are in for an additional month off your meds and an extended stay in crazyville. Those casebooks are so tasty and good for the colon."..."You can always buy more of us, in a hurry, at the drug store, for the mere price of one arm and one leg for just one precious test." I need to start wearing earplugs in the bathroom. Great, what's that gonna cost me?

My husband and I have conversations with our imaginary children, they go something like this...

Little crazy child: Mommy, why do you drink so much?
Me: Because you're bad.

LCC (crying): I am so so sad that I make you drink, mommy.
Me: Tell it to your therapist.

LCC: But I don't have a therapist.
Me: You will.

I am going to make a great mother, aren't I? I try to keep therapists and psychiatrists in business, where would they be without me?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Now that's just mean

Rage is the word of the day for me. Anger, frustration, and sadness make rage a good place to hide. I wish that I could say I am upset for a bunch of small reasons, but the reality is that I am in a lot of pain for a very big reason. As I have previously mentioned, I am in the process of looking for my Summer 2007 job. According to the rules of my field, we had to choose from our offers as of December 1st. I say choose because my colleagues were holding onto multiple offers from firms all over the country. I had no choices, not even one. Over the years, I have become accustomed to rejection and learned to live with it as a part of life, like most adults. But rejection from everyone is hard to get used to, no matter how many times it happens. Of the 6 firms I got an interview with not a single one sent me an offer.

I don't write this for sympathy or because I think I am the only one it has ever happened to. I write about it because I don't know how else to deal with it but try to get it out, and it certainly doesn't help to think that I am one of many. Responses from those who should know better have been pathetic. I cried in my career counselor's office and said I just want to be able to support my family and pay back my loans, in other words I don't have delusions of grandeur and I never thought this process would be easy. Her first response was, "Doesn't your husband have a job?" Uh... yes, but thanks for checking. Her next brilliant comment, "Maybe you should hold off having children for now." First, of all, that's none of her fucking business. Second, that means to me that I should be punished for my unemployment issue and don't deserve a family if I can't get a job at a firm. I made the comment that this is the next most painful thing in my adult life that I have had to manage, the first most painful experience as an adult was my divorce and the fact that my husband was having affair after affair after affair and I never had a clue. Her response, "Well at least it's not the worst thing that has happened to you." I glared at her on that one and replied that apparently she has never been divorced. She said no, but she is a child of divorce. While I am sure that is a terrible experience as well, it's not even close to the same. Wow, the verbal diarrhea that flows from her mouth indicates that she has a severe case of oral amoebic dysentery.

The next best part about the job hunt is that I have practically had to beg for a response from these firms. There is still one firm that has forgotten to send its rejection letter. I am not even worth the paper and effort it takes to send out a form letter rejection. Now that's just mean. It is everything I can do not to post the firm's name on this site. But I won't because I am infamous for my bridge burning, and the arson only ends up hurting me.

I think I am in need of some long term treadmill time today. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Chainsaws and Butter Knives

Husband and I had quite a row the other day over something of great importance. About a year ago, I clamoured for a chainsaw. With all of the dead wood on our property, we have some great potential firewood. I even shopped around for one that I could use. My husband hated the idea and fought hard against it. He won that round and I never bought a chainsaw. Not because I ever listen to him, but because we ran out of money and I couldn't justify buying a chainsaw when we were eating rice every night.

A few days ago, I asked him what he told his mom we needed as Christmas gift ideas. At the top of his list was a chainsaw! Incensed, I told him that it was just like him to turn around and want something once I had let the idea go. He protested vigorously and revealed that the reason I was not "allowed" to have a chainsaw was because I would surely cut my leg off. And, he asserted that if his mother did buy us a chainsaw, I would not be "allowed" to use it! Not sure where he got the idea that he was "allowed" to tell me what I could and could not do. There really is no better way to get me to do something than for someone to tell me I am not allowed to do it. If I want to cut my leg off with a chainsaw, that's exactly what I am going to do. He continued to review evidence of my propensity for accidents and injuring myself with dangerous tools in error. Nevertheless, I let the topic drop for the time being.

Yesterday, I was rinsing our butter knives before putting them in the dishwasher. Husband left crusty cake on a butter knife and it had turned to cement. Vigorously scrubbing that knife and muttering under my breath about people who couldn't seem to rinse their own silverware, the sponge slipped and I sawed into my index finger producing copious amounts of blood. Cursing myself while trying to keep the blood off the dishes, my husband looked over and asked what was going on. I cut myself with a butter knife! Instantly, I thought of the chainsaw discussion. I was sure he was going to bring it up, but instead to make me feel better he showed me a divet on one of his fingers. He had injured himself with one of his own fingernails. Neither of us should be allowed to use or have fingernails or butter knives much less chainsaws. Discussion over.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Procrastination

So I should be studying intensely for my next final which is Thursday and NOT open-book. I just finished my second final of the semester, and for those of you who are following along, it went much better than the first one. This isn't saying a whole lot, but I don't have lofty goals. I am going for a minimum grade of "B" these days. Sound a little low to you? Then don't look too closely at my transcript for the last couple of semesters.

Instead of studying, I am visiting other people's blogs (you know who you are!) and taking quizzes. I am posting my most recent quiz results and I have to say that I found the title rather misleading. It asks what type of inner New York you are. Turns out they are assuming that all of New York is on the island of Manhattan. There really are people upstate, I swear. We're just not as loud and don't tend to call attention to ourselves, relatively at least. For those who revel in Fall colors during October, it is not be missed though. Despite the serious problem with the quiz results, I post it anyway. Because, procrastination is the name of the game.

Back to the treadmill; thank goodness I haven't put a "will study for comments" pledge.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Outting myself

Warning! This discussion is a bit serious and may be somewhat controversial.

After a good discussion with my therapist, I have quite a bit about which to think. Once I informed her that I was writing this web log, she expressed some concern. Unfortunately the issue she counts is definitely something I had to consider. Exposing my mental illness shouldn't also expose me to liability, but it does as this is a world where nothing is perfect and humans are subject to discriminative thoughts. Bipolar disorder is widely misunderstood and frequently poorly characterized by the media. I am guilty of hiding my mental illness diagnosis in the closet for fear that I will be prejudged before I have a chance to show who I really am and am not. Certainly, I am not my illness, but of course it is a significant part of my life. Denying that fact would be denying a part of myself. Frequently employers change their behavior and expectations concerning employees who suffer from a particular mental illness. Currently, there are suits in our courts against universities and employers where a student or employee has been dismissed from their school or job upon discovery of any past history of severe mental illness symptoms. However, I refuse to issue a universal description regarding the characteristics of someone who suffers from bipolar illness, just to alleviate everyone's fears. Every case is different just as every person is different. All I ask is that no assumptions be made regarding my condition. And for now, I will continue to out myself in this blog as someone who is managing a mental illness. Sadly, such a risk compels me to maintain some form of anonymity in case a potential employer were to stumble upon my blog.

As another thought, I have put a lot of mental energy into the question that I see most frequently in chat rooms, comments, and message boards. "Why would anyone be so selfish to attempt to have a baby when they risk not only exposing their child to their bipolar illness but also passing on the genetic predisposition for the illness?" This is a very tough question. First on the selfishness issue, all I can say is that 99% of the time the decision to make a baby is inherently a selfish one. I do not deny that people make extreme, selfless sacrifices to give their child the best that they can. However, the initial decision to have a baby is usually made because the person(s) WANT(S) a baby, not because little eggs are begging their owners to fertilize them. Second, my illness is treatable and manageable. None of my sisters are bipolar. Despite my illness, I and any of my offspring have every opportunity to make life successful and be a happy, productive member of society. My genes are only one factor in the life of my child. Finally, there is the issue of exposing my child to my illness. A valid concern if I refused to acknowledge my disorder. Not the case here. Plenty of people have made extraordinary contributions to the world in spite of the challenge of their mental illness. Regardless of one's faith, it is difficult to deny that suffering gives humans a perspecitive on happiness that one could not otherwise have. Without suffering, I would have no compassion. Without compassion, I could not be the human that I aspire to be. I hope to pass on this perspective to my child. For those who cannot fathom how a person with a mental illness could contribute to the world, I give you one name, Abraham Lincoln. Don't believe me? Consider the book Lincoln's Melancholy.

I will cease my rant now and get on that treadmill.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Thanks, I needed that

Thanks to my new web friends I was spurred on to exercise for 25 minutes yesterday. I am hoping that my heart rate improves though. Seems that 160 beats per minute may be a bit high. Exercising daily should help to reduce that rate. At the ripe age of 32, I think it's time to start listening to my body. My family health history demands it. As a little background, my father passed away at 34 and all of the men in his family tree never made it to 40. We are the lucky holders of genes that give us the ability to hang onto the bad cholesterol like a chipmunk stores acorns. The women in his family never make it to 50. Thankfully, due to being off my meds I am starting to lose the weight that the Depakote put on. Cholesterol reducing medication doesn't work for our syndrome, so that's out. I don't eat a lot of meat because my husband is a vegetarian. However, vegetables are so tasty battered and fried. As far as I can tell, exercise is really my best option if I want to make it to retirement.

Speaking of chipmunks, we finally figured out why the fan in our car sounded like it was about to disengage and take flight on its own. Our friendly neighborhood chipmunks decided it was an excellent place to keep their Winter stash. While I love the return of a quiet fan, I feel a little bad that their stock room was cleaned out. There is no acorn deficit in our yard, however, and there is still a perfectly good storage place to be had in the Jetta that serves as our driveway ornament.

Last night my husband and I drove our friends to Syracuse to see Carlos Mencia. I would have let her or her boyfriend borrow my car, but for some reason my insurance has a prejudice against insuring blind persons to drive my car. Geese. Both of them have little to no eyesight left and since the buses stop running so early, they wouldn't have been able to get home without a ride. Consequently, my friend A. bought us tickets to the show too. As I told A. after the show, I never would have been motivated to go see this particular comic. While I originally thought he was entertaining, I didn't think he was $40 worth of entertainment. Amazing how things turn out though. He was an absolute riot and I could hardly stay in my chair for laughing so hard. It was definitely a mutually beneficial agreement in the end, as usually proves to be the case. She and her boyfriend got a ride home, and I got some badly needed comic relief. Thanks A., I needed that a lot more than you needed a ride home.

Thanks to all of you, I needed that.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Not...too...good

Thank you to Veronika, Jodi, and Barbara for the comments. I needed all of the motivation I could get to take on the treadmill today. Things are not too good right now. I could really use some meds at this moment, but the walking is almost as good. Thanks everybody!

First, I had my first final of the semester and it went very, very badly. After 45 minutes, I was still reading the fact pattern and trying to get it all straight in my head. It didn't get any better after that. Thirty minutes after it was all over, I sat in the car next to my bewildered husband sobbing into my coat. There's never a tissue around when I need one. A gore-tex coat doesn't really do the same job. You would think I would be used to failing my finals by now, but it's still a surprise everytime. You know things are bad when you are sitting there during the final wondering whether I really took this class.

Then, I got home and my 4th job rejection was in the mail. Four down, one to go. I should mention that this is for the summer of 2007. Everyone has their summer jobs lined up now, except for me. In a class of around 200, this isn't exactly where I would like to be. Sure I like to be different, but the number of ways I am "different" is starting to get a bit overwhelming. The most recent rejection was kind enough to tell me in their letter that I shouldn't think that I wasn't chosen just because of my qualifications. OK...what should I think then? Any suggestions? As I get deeper and deeper into debt, these types of comments don't exactly help.

No medication and no hope make Nicole something, something... Go crazy? Don't mind if I do.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Mom and Paunchy

Today I am studying for finals. Thus, I am particularly interested in tracking my blog and other people's blogs. Why study when you can wander aimlessly through the internet?

Recently we had to buy my husband a new cell phone because his old one sounded like it had a cold when it would ring. I am not much of a technophile so I rate going to buy a new phone right along with having to purchase tampons. I am overwhelmed with the choices and just want to buy something that will do the job. This attitude elicits a considerable amount of disdane from the salesman at our cellular service outlet.

My husbands attitude is pretty close to mine and we both hate having to learn the workings of a new cell phone. We are especially bitter about all of the options for messaging someone. Of course, we are probably just jealous of how the children of our friends deftly code messages using their phones at lightning speed. Why call someone when you can send cryptic messages with grammar and spelling that would cause my high school English teacher to wretch? To add to the pain, my youngest sister who is well-skilled in the art of text-messaging cannot seem to write a regular email message without resorting to all of her usual text-messaging idioms and acronyms. It's all I can do to not correct all of her spelling and grammar and send it back to her to make the revisions, telling her that I will reply when she starts typing in English.

New phone in hand, my dear husband was struggling with his new phone and trying to overcome the auto-text functions while he programmed in all his phone numbers from his old phone. As he attempted to type in "Mom and Paul" his phone tried to anticipate his entry. Upon typing in the "u" for Paul, his brilliant phone offered up the word "Paunchy". PAUNCHY?!?!?!? Is this such a common term that a phone needs to introduce it for you? So there it is, the phone number for our greatest and dearest family members, "Mom and Paunchy". We'll call soon, Paunchy.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Pouting

I am pouting today because I am not getting what I want when I want it. Of course, pouting doesn't make anything any better, but that doesn't seem to stop me. Ovulation is on the horizon and I don't seem to be able to attract or entice my husband into the game. So frustrating. Just as my body started giving me the clues is when he seemed to lose interest. Granted, I am ultra-sensitive to rejection these days and I interpret it all to mean the worst.

Rejection throws me into flashbacks, but not the good kind. My first husband told me everything I wanted to hear, but his actions always betrayed his words. He reassured me over and over again that he wanted children with me and loved me more than anything in the world. With hindsight I can be thankful that he couldn't follow through on the conception of a baby part. His body just wouldn't play along. Took me awhile to figure out what it all meant. So now, everytime my current husband doesn't show absolute enthusiasm I think of the last one. My poor husband lives in the shadows of my insecurity. Unfortunately, I am not in a state of mind to feel too bad for him. For now, I am just pouting and trying to keep myself from a complete a total freak out. Let's just say that the last time I felt this way I launched into insanity and did a bit of carving. Focus, focus, focus...

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

New do

Not a woman of wealth, I am constantly searching for a way to give without putting my husband out of house and home. One thing I have been blessed with is hair and lots of it. I seem to be able to grow hair quickly. So for the third time in my life, I cut off over twelve inches of hair to send off as a donation to Locks of Love. This amazing group takes donated hair to make real hair wigs for people who need them. Not only did the reduced load feel so good on my head, but the idea of giving someone else the chance to run their fingers through their own head of hair feels even better. I have put a link to their website on the side of this blog in case anyone is interested in finding out more about them. They take all colors, even gray, which is good because the percentage of brown on my head is reducing exponentially every year.

And now for something completely different...

I saw my psychiatrist today so that we could continue to adjust my meds for conception. We are decreasing the Effexor and Seroquel and replacing it with Zoloft. With so much more information and research available about the safety of Zoloft for pregnant women we both feel more comfortable with Zoloft than Effexor and Seroquel. I fought her long enough and hard enough about breastfeeding that she seems to be finally conceding to accepting my insistence that I be able to breastfeed. I didn't avoid breast reduction surgery just for looks. I am by all accounts, well endowed rack-wise. For years, I have wanted to lop about 50% off each one so that I can bounce without pain and get rid of the giant divots in my shoulders. Even my husband remarked about how heavy they were, asking how I was able to carry those things around all day. When I fretted about how much bigger they might get during pregnancy, his eyes lit up like I had just offered him a new car. Great rack for him, but not so much for me. Anyway, I always thought that messing with the mammaries may not be a good plan if I wanted to breastfeed so I opted to wait for breast reduction surgery until after I was done having children. So, I was none too pleased when my psychiatrist said it would be too risky to have to be off meds so that I can breastfeed. Her experience tells her that I am a prime candidate for psychosis and post-partum depression. Yippee. Sign me up. So as a compromise, she is switching me over to Zoloft as it appears safe for breastfeeding and gives me some level of protection against the great hormone slide.

Meds, madness, and motherhood, oh my.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Sisterhood

I am the proud sister of three younger women. Outside of my husband, they are the loves of my life. Sadly though, after living 3000 miles away from all of them for the last 10 years, I struggle to maintain a close connection to all three today. While the struggle has been successful with the two directly below me in age, the challenge to relate and communicate with the youngest one, J, remains strained. Twelve years apart in age, we are dramatically different in so many ways. We were raised under much separate regimes. Her regime, very common to the youngest, had a lot more money and as the baby of the family she was the product of a lot of indulgence. Plus, she effectively had 3 mothers within a 30-mile radius. Our mom, while very loving, is not at all smothering or overly involved. Her two older sisters took on that role instead. She couldn't make a move without someone voicing an opinion on it. Under no circumstances would I trade my life with hers. To add to the fun, she is about 5 years behind her actual age in maturity; on this point, everyone in the family agrees.

In an attempt to break free, she opted to get married to her first boyfriend after knowing him for less than six months (during this time, the boy didn't even live in the same state in which she lived), and then they immediately moved away to what could be the coldest spot in the continental United States. In making this move, she left behind her entire family (minus me), her new car, and her beloved horses. As so many predicted, she is now pregnant!!!

Oh, the fun we are having with this little piece of information. She called me to tell me her exciting news and I did my best to feign excitement. I felt especially obliged to be excited for her and support her decision to stick with the pregnancy when she relayed my mother's reaction. When J told our mom that she was pregnant, my mother responded only with, "Oh, that's cute." Can you hear the sarcasm in that response? After I got of the phone with her, I assumed the tantrum position, on the floor, legs and arms flailing, wailing like a banchee and then holding my breath til I turned blue. Not exactly cathartic, but the display has a direct approach that could be addressed by no other.

So, here I am the oldest of my siblings, trying to rid my body of meds to prepare for conception, carefully planning out our very limited financial resources, enduring wild moods, thoughts, and severe digestive distress as an effect of going off the meds that scare even me, all in the effort to provide the best possible conditions for a baby. I have been planning for years and years. The two sisters between J and me have the same ideas of responsibility when it comes to creating another human being. So, if all went well (what a giant "if" that is) I would be the first to bear my parents a grandchild. Being the first grandchild of my generation in my family, it all seemed so right, so logical. Why in the world did I ever think that logic would rule when this has yet to be the case in this lifetime? People joked that J would be the first to have a child and wouldn't that be funny if the youngest was the first to be a parent. Oh, how we laughed.

Ha, Ha, very funny mf! (Can't help but use Eddie Murphy's lines since I have none of my own. Can you name this reference?)

Did I mention that last night, J said her preferred form of entertainment now is getting drunk, setting up beer cans, and shooting at them with her own shotgun? I don't even know where to begin to comment on that one. Tough to relate to her when my preferred form of entertainment is listening to "This American Life" on NPR and reading books and essays by David Sedaris. Hmmm, genetics isn't everything.

The more I think about it, and trust me, boy do I think about it, the more I realize that being the first isn't so grand after all. I can't think of a single thing that was advantageous about being the first grandchild in my family. So if I keep reminding myself of what is important to me-a healthy, well supported baby with loving and united parents-then just maybe I can fight the bitterness that rises into my throat like bile. No doubt it will be difficult to keep this in mind if we turn out to have fertility problems and I have to go through more than the predicted time period without my meds. However, for now, I just have to beat it into my head. My oh-so-sensitive mother-in-law, upon hearing me relay my true feelings about my sister's pregnancy, instructed me that I HAD to be happy for my sister. As horns erupted from the top of my head I told her that if she wanted someone to be happy for J, then she had better do it herself, because I wouldn't be. So there! Wow, I get more and more mature everyday.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Doing it anyway

And so the fun begins...

My history is not exactly that of your average 32 year old, at least where I live. Maybe if I lived in NY City, I wouldn't be able to say such a thing, but living in a city that claims to be the most enlightened city in the US allows me to claim abnormality. Perhaps, that's why I have started this blog. In my search through Google I couldn't find anyone else who was blogging or sharing an experience that even remotely matched my own. When I say that I am over-educated, I mean that I have gone to school for too many years and still don't have a decent job (OK, so that's not so unusual even in my town of enlightenment and too many universities). So, yes, I am still in school. A glutton for punishment you might say, or perhaps simply an insane masochist whose chosen torture involves swarms of preppy twenty-somethings who have trouble avoiding the word "like". Besides my age and my mental illness, my divorce sets me further apart from my peers. My first husband provided a lot of fun during my twenties, but he also had a tendency to fuck other women. Once he filled me in on that minor detail I got the divorce that I never, ever thought I would want or need.

Fast forward a few years, and I have married a man who endured the same adulterous insult from his first wife. A match made in... let's see...not heaven because I don't believe in all of that, but perhaps a match made right here in the real world where nothing goes as planned. After a couple of years watching me manage a somewhat unmanageable series of bipolar manic and depressive episodes, he is still here with me and as dedicated as ever. And, what do you know, he still wants to have kids with me. So we stopped looking for more old dogs to adopt and started the exciting and unpredictable process of reducing my medication.

I met with my psychiatrist first to tell her of my plan to conceive and she had such encouraging things to say. Her initial approach was to convince me to adopt a child instead. A fine idea, which I have every intention of exploring once I have $20,000 in the bank and a law degree to start the process. In the meantime, I figured I would start trying to have a baby the old-fashioned way, sex and lots of it. So once I told her adoption was not a current option, she reluctantly outlined the process for going off of my medications. This was going to be loads of fun, I could tell right away. I am what professionals consider "high risk". While we did finally find the right cocktail to keep me upright, it was a complicated journey. For now, I will spare us all the details of my illness until a later time. Let's just say that I have sampled most drugs, legal and not, to try to control the wild undulations of my mood. Once I convinced myself that the not so legal drugs weren't working and convinced my doctors that Zoloft wasn't quite cutting it either, we eventually got it right. My drug salad of choice included Depakote, Effexor, Seroquel, Topamax, and Klonopin. Oh, my medicine cabinet is fat and happy. This drug combo worked great for me, as long as I was compliant, but they don't work so well for a fetus, or even an embryo for that matter. So six months ago I started down the very long road to becoming drug free. It was somewhat similar to Disneyland's Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Without the thought of a bouncing, smiling baby at the end, I surely would have disembarked way before the ride came to a complete stop.

Today, I am on a smidgen of Effexor and a bit of Seroquel, and I still don't feel the urge to put my husband's head through a wall. I consider the six months of drug weaning quite a success considering I didn't have even one suicide attempt and only experienced one cutting episode. Not bad, all things considered. So we are finally ready to start trying. The added bonus of going off all of the drugs is that my sex drive has returned better than ever. Thirty minutes to lift off is a thing of the past. Happy times are here again.

So the practicing has begun as we gear up for my calculated ovulation. We have a few days to go still, but I lay on my back afterwards for 30 minutes just in case. Honestly, I am terrified to know that it usually takes fertile women about a year to conceive. Given my mental history and need for mood regulating drugs, I really don't have that kind of time. I have been reading Julie's blog, "A little pregnant", to remind myself that things never go as planned and that I am not the only one operating under harried circumstances. Unfortunately this doesn't exactly make me feel any better, but it does give me perspective. At least while I am off the drugs, I am just crazy enough to try...