Blog Archives

accidental happiness ~ first day of the new year

so today has been a fabulous kick off to 2012.

first we started off with a movie at midnight.  and margaritas.

then we watched football all day today, along with some Twilight Zone marathon

We also had fun with my friend’s new Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/30-Day-Classic-TV-Challenge/213301222081272

this was fun to ponder all day.  along with enjoying more margaritas and some pizza.  today’s question was “Favorite All Time Classic TV Show”, which was easy for me, as i am obsessed with The Twilight Zone.  but Mark (my friend) has listed all the questions that you should answer each day, so we sat and tried to figure out what our answers will be this month.  very fun, very old school, very couch potato.  and fun to read everyone else’s answers.

if you have a Facebook account, hop on the page, or go to his other old school TV discussion page,

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marks-Classic-TV-Guide/152892888086161

famous last words

These three words always set the mood for pondering, don’t they? Immediately we think of a famous, well beloved general lying on his deathbed, encouraging his soldiers to be stalwart with his last breath. Or maybe it conjures up sad romantic endings in your mind. The lovers parting at an airport, rain pounding the pavement, and he whispers out “We’ll always have Paris”. Damn. How am I ever going to get to see Paris if this old guy still has it? Stingy. But what are you supposed to call all the other words? All the funny sayings in between the long goodbye and the last goodbye? Take for instance my niece. She’s a beautiful young woman now, gorgeous, funny, kind, silly. She is interesting and curious and sweet. And yet she has so many good little sayings that I repeat in my head often, because they make me laugh. Like the time she was in the locker room with her mom after they’d had swimming lessons. She was probably only three at the time, and as they took off their swim suits, she looked up and said in a funny little frowny voice, “Them you’re boobs or sumpin?” She did very much want to be a cowboy at that age. Or a football player. Or ballerina. Then there was the time she was half scolding her younger sister. This might have been at the ripe old age six, when younger sister was asking about the difference between boy hardware and girl hardware. She was conspiratorial as she said to her mother, “Whew, it’s a good thing she didn’t use the F word.” “Hmmm,” said mom, curiosity getting the better of her, “and what word would that be?” “Fagina”. Ahhh, the stuff stupid sitcoms are made of, only funny. Funny enough that I tell all my co-workers this little story as often as I can, and sometimes total strangers. Like you. Because this is hilarious! But certainly not her last words. So what do I call these little, hilarious sayings I am bound to quote a thousand times before I die? “Famous last words of a child?” No, child isn’t dead. That sounds like the child is dead and those were the last words before death. “Funny words of a child?” No, that’s just stupid. Kids say the darnedest things sums that up better, and obviously that has been taken. Wait, some of you might be too young to know that was a famous book and I believe a TV series back in the day of black and white TV. Yes, television used to be black and white. God, didn’t you ever even look at your schoolbooks? Oh well, I guess I’ll have to work on this and come up with something unique and witty. Any suggestions?

super speed (also a Minor Rebellion)

My sister and I love movies and TV. Say what you will about the power of television and its ability to turns brains to mush; we find this form of entertainment magical. Watching a TV show like LOST, Fringe or Survivor often leads us into lengthy, interesting discussions. We get mad and yell at competitors, comment on how cute Jeff Probst is, then sit and analyze the sociological behaviors of the players and wonder how we would fare in the game of Survivor. Would we turn catty and evil, and backstab those we built alliances with? Would we try to fly under the radar, or be so obnoxious that we got booted off the island first? Would we be able to braid our underarm hair by the time we got home?

Movies are good for our brains as well. It doesn’t seem to matter what the genre is or what era the movie is from, we continually discover new information about ourselves and our world, and often find nuggets of spiritual challenge, growth or revelation. Not to mention the fun of movies. The fantasy. The magic.

One day our friend offered to lend us a movie they’d rented. Cool. Who doesn’t love freebies. We just had to be sure to get it back in time, and drop it off at the right rental store. No problem. The movie runs, we are engrossed, time flies. Maybe we forgot what time the place closed. Maybe we started the show too late. Maybe the movie was so amazingly eye-opening that we had a four hour discussion about life, and vowed to advance our spirituality and karmic levels immediately. I don’t recall, but suddenly it was very obvious that we had to get this movie back to its rightful home, and do it NOW.

Pressure situations aren’t always a great time for us. We get tense, snappy, defensive and worried. We don’t always like to be rushed, or pushed, or nudged. We don’t like to be hurried. Hurrying makes us forget things, like bottled water that I will need two minutes after starting the car out of the driveway. Or glossy lip balm, because my lips might feel chapped, or I might find a cute stranger that looks like he has something on his face that needs to be cleaned. With my tongue. So supple lips are important. I hate being rushed. I never want to be ill prepared for a potential spontaneous make-out session. But this day was different. This day our magical television training paid off.

As we headed down the road and started to break the speed limit, I said we should pretend we were driving Wonder Woman’s invisible airplane. No one could see her plane, right? It’s invisible. She can go as fast as she wants, and all anyone will really know is that a woman in a star spangled bathing suit and red go-go boots is flying through space somehow. Whose going to arrest a half-naked woman in sexy foot wear? So we pictured our car as the invisible plane, and we sped like demons through the streets. Zoom past this guy, Pow past that one. We flew down the roads in record time, and our super hero driving got us to the drop box just before the villainous Late Fine was able to make his presence a reality. Being invisible has its advantages. Hmmm, plus I could kiss a lot of strangers that way.

I’d better go purchase some more lip gloss.

 

thank god for television

 

Back in the old days – by which I mean the seventies and eighties, when I was a kid – we didn’t have the selection of television we have today. Today you can watch TV 24-7. You can turn on the tube at 4:00 in the morning and catch a movie or a cooking show or sports updates. You can watch primetime TV whenever you want, if you DVR it. In my day, back when there weren’t cell phones and iPods and we’d just invented butter, there was still a wacky annoying signal at around 1:00 in the morning, when the television would stop playing EVERYTHING and just show you bars of color and yell at you. Or sometimes it showed the head of an Indian, I think, or some other symbol. Or maybe that was my stint in Oklahoma; maybe that was a local symbol. Anyway, you couldn’t just watch whenever you darn well wanted to.

And the selection was severely limited. News at night. 3 channels worth of drama, soap operas and sitcoms. Saturday night movies. Cartoons in the morning and Saturdays. The end. Oh yeah, PBS. J Now there are whole channels devoted to cooking, or the weather, or *FOOTBALL* (we have NFL Network on all the time)

So my recent happiness is this: Lie To Me (which isn’t a recent happiness, really. I’ve been in love with it and slightly obsessed since the show came out. A. Tim Roth is DELICIOUS in this show. could the man have more intense sexuality and charm? hardly possible. B. It’s fabulous, fascinating, funny, charming and witty. ) and then recently The OCD Project. For obvious reasons, but if you’re new to me here’s a helpful hint: I have OCD.

I can’t recall having ever seen a show that specifically talked about people with OCD. Movies, like the Aviator and Dirty Filthy Love, have broached the topic. But I can’t remember ever seeing something on TV myself that dealt with this issue. This show was fascinating. And disturbing. I certainly don’t have the condition to the severity that the people on the show did, but I could appreciate what they were going through. One girl is afraid of killing people when she drives. Her father was killed in an accident when he was a pedestrian (I think; I missed that episode) and now she is terrified she is going to kill someone the same way. When she drives up to a busy intersection she gets nervous, panicky and has to circle around the block a couple of times to make sure she didn’t accidentally mow someone over without noticing. It sounds like she developed OCD just after her father’s death. Another girl developed it after her fiancée died of cancer. She flips light switches on and off about a jillion times, and does this with the water faucet as well.

On. Off. On. Off. onoffonoffonoffonoffonoffonoffonoff.

It gets tiring being this way. But I was glad I got to see this series. I had the chance to see these people calm themselves down. I missed the episode where they teach the OCD’ers how to gauge to what degree they are freaking out, but they all talked about “levels”. “What’s your level right now?” And someone would say 100, or 85. Level of crazy discomfort, I know, but I have to find out how they determine what the numbers are. The interesting thing about this whole condition seems to be that it is built around trying to stave off emotional disturbance. These ticks, or habits, or “rituals” – as the doctor on the show calls them – develop because the person is trying to avoid something. A situation, a memory, an emotion. And to avoid that fear, the person develops little things to occupy their attention. And then those things develop a life of their own and sort of take over, like The Blob. As these people learn to deal with the panic they are feeling about whatever issue they are working through, they start to ride through the emotion instead of run away from it. In one episode a girl who was attacked by a stranger struggles to keep her sanity while the doctor puts his hands on her face. She has a fear of men, and intimacy, and touching now that she’s been attacked, and he walks her through what is called an “exposure”. Exposures force you into the thing you are afraid of. So she sits and cries and cowers as he holds her face in his hands. And at first she is so tense you can feel it in YOUR stomach. But he stays there. And after a while her “levels” start coming down. And you can see she’s doing better. It’s a slow process, but you can tell her face is calmer, her body is less rigid, and she isn’t about to explode.

This was so helpful for me, as an OCDer. And also watching an episode of Lie To Me, where they had an ex-soldier who had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They did a similar thing with him, walking him through an old upsetting memory, until he had recovered it more accurately and could then determine why he had the erroneous belief that everyone was trying to kill him. (it wasn’t everyone, just one guy in particular) I, too, struggle with thinking people want to kill me, because there have been several people in my life who have threatened to do so, or tried. But hey, not EVERYONE wants to. So these shows have been showing me how I can walk myself through these situations. I’m trying to learn that what I’m feeling will pass, and the panic will subside. I’m trying to get past the hammering of my heart, and the way my legs go out from under me when certain situations make me feel vulnerable or insecure. There is a particular situation that does this to me every time, and my knees buckle, till I think I’m going to land my ass on the floor, and my heart is about to jump the confines of my chest, and my head is dizzy and the blood is pounding in my ears. I wonder what level that is? But I guess the thing to do is ride through it, and hope my heart doesn’t explode as I do.

nightmare on me street

 

i’m frozen.

it’s early in the morning, and i am afraid to go back to sleep. afraid i will dream again.

i’ve been watching a TV show, which is now off the air. my sister watched the last few seasons of the series before it went off, but since i’d missed the first few, i told her i’d wait and catch the episodes later. so here we are, working our way through the storyline, DVD after DVD. it’s an amazing, addicting, fascinating show. and surprisingly difficult for me.

this show is all about war, and survival. the end of the human race. and maybe you know it, but i’m afraid to write the name down. because it is such an amazing show, and i’m feeling so very besmirched by my own dark side, i wouldn’t want to sully it. because the show’s intensity, and fear, and tension; the dire circumstances, the threat of death at every turn…it all reminds me of childhood. it reminds me of home.

i dreamt a horrible dream last night. a dream where horrible things made me take flight. i was lucky enough, because in this dream the horror wasn’t happening to me, which was not true in my childhood. but i blew the whistle on the situation, and then the flight was mine, and the fight as well. i drew attention to myself, like i’ve done too many times in my life. i don’t know why i can’t just shut myself up. and because i was trying to protect someone else, my life was suddenly being threatened.

so i raced down the hall, knowing that my life was in eminent danger, and tried to bury myself in a room, as if locks and doors could keep away those in power. i ran to the windows to try my way out, but the two in the room were the tiny, slanted windows you find in basements. they were long, foreshortened, narrow and opened up at the top, while staying hinged at the bottom.

and in the dream, it is just like it was in real life: the hard beating of the heart as i try to squeeze my body into a tiny space. the heat of my skin, as my body revs up, preparing itself for a fight to the death. my head pounding, vision unsteady, eyes betraying me and wanting to cry, while my breath is ragged and forcing itself out of my chest. my hands shaking, as i try to do some task – take the screen off the window, HURRY! – while my brain is racing twelve steps ahead, and my body feels like it is running through a field of molasses. i’m wild. i’m feral. this is the place i call “scritchy”. i could claw someone’s eyes out. i could climb myself out of a cavernous pit, just using the chewed-down nails on my fingers to pull myself up with. i’m so goddamned determined to live.

it would have been easier if i’d just laid down and died. in the dream and in real life. it would have been an easier outcome if i’d just ended the whole journey somehow. but in the dream, as in real life, i truly manage to get out the window. and in the dream, as in real life, i still can’t manage to get away in time. i’m caught in the back yard of the house, thinking i will be able to be free finally, of the nauseating scene from inside the walls. but i find this woman outside. she’s one of the bad people, and it doesn’t seem she expected me, but i don’t think she cares. i think she’ll be happy to kill me, surprised or not. so i take my long handled scissors, and plunge them into her.

THAT i never got to do in real life. and thank the gods, because it’s messy. and reminds me a great deal of the TV show i am watching. somehow this show seems to capture it. the horror. the fear. the intense anger. the craziness of it all. and then the need to proceed on to the next day, where it will all start over again, and you will have to continue the same fight, with the same players, and pretend that you have the strength for it, and pretend that you aren’t so tired that if you blink too long you might stay asleep forever. so you pick up your weapon, wipe the blood off of it and your face, and you have yourself some breakfast. corn flakes, perhaps, because those are nice and predictable.

and when you think you are crazy enough, you try to go back to sleep, and tell yourself this time you will dream about marshmallows and dancing colored teddy bears, instead of the life you lived so long ago, that you’ve been trying so desperately to avoid.