Monday, May 24, 2010

I've got a golden ticket

I'm on the mend, for sure. I'm just a pain in the ass when things aren't the Tiffany blue, happy and embracing life way I like them to be. I'm a ball of mess, emotional eating and drinking and yelling at the cat and cursing traffic. But once I'm past it, everything will be golden.

I've been trying to remind myself I am a writer not a monkey at the laptop, but the piece now being written in my head is about me and you and so many people around my life in this moment. We all seem to be in a tight, tough spot and can't put a finger on it. Maybe because spring means rebirth and we have to clear our desks and take care of kids and move and get that project on deadline before we can go run in the grass.

And I just can't get this song out of my head. I don't mind, really.

Come with me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination
Take a look and you'll see into your imagination
We'll begin with a spin traveling in the world of my creation
What we'll see will defy explanation

If you want to view paradise simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it

Wanta change the world? There's nothing to it

There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination
Living there you'll be free if you truly wish to be

Sunday, May 23, 2010

(Still) want to be Diablo Cody. And Corrine Burns.

Watched Juno again this afternoon for, what, the seventh time?

That's one doodle that can be undone, home skillet.

Dialogue so inventive and crisp I eat it up like popcorn. Yes, once the movie made the leap from indy to darling the backlash began and it was mislabeled by some a snarky teen comedy. Too quippy language, too much pop culture, a hamburger phone for fucks sake. The phrasing is fast and unexpected machine gun fire, lightning quick banter much like Amy Sherman-Palladino's fabulous Gilmore girls series.

It's also how I talk. I like to think it's how I write.

Of course I saw it coming that Jen Garner would get the little bean but didn't feel doing so tried to pull some weepy emotion out of me – see any chick-with-a-cough flick for any tired example. Allison Janney is an amazing comedienne, you must watch her in Drop Dead Gorgeous over and over and over. Still have a crush on Jason Bateman, the grown up version even more so.

Next up another watch of Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. Diane Lane as Corrine Burns shaped who I wanted to be at fifteen, all punk rock attitude, panties over fishnet hose and two-tone-hair. I was simply a chunky, mostly lonely girl living in the Midwest. Grown up me still chews on the tasty leftovers.

"You are so jealous of me. I'm everything you ever wanted to be."

"A cunt??!"



Saturday, May 15, 2010


There’s a girl, a woman, I want you to know.

Tomorrow morning, 20 years to the month of my college graduation, she'll earn her bachelor’s degree.

Only the second in the family to do so, two decades later.

In July she begins graduate school, the first in the family to do so. She’s just 23 and has done more professionally and personally than some do at 33 or 43 or in a lifetime. She alone paid for school. She worked full time along the way gaining skills in phlebotomy and as an EMT, in hospitals and ER's, sales and outreach, health care administration and policies. She has the position and thoughtfulness and reputation among peers to align jobs to friends and family in need of employment, and has.

She’s married to a man who’s forthright and tells things true and who stands by her. And she loves him right back, hard and for real. They have dogs and a garden and a home they bought together. They just put in new hardwood floors.

She likes to carry Coach purses and can afford them. The trajectory of her career has been meteoric, a testament to her smarts and drive and her "it" quality. Many grads will awake Monday to job searches and retail positions. She’ll head to her office and high profile supervisory role to await the call from the executive assistant to the man who wants to interview her for management. She's worked hard for the success she has, and she's worked smart, because she knows that knowledge is real power. And money the bonus.

I want you to know she's quirky and funny. She gets things done, she tries every new thing and says exactly what's on her mind without being hurtful or spiteful or judging. She wants to be recognized, occasionally celebrated because, in truth, she never really was. She was overlooked a lot, third born, always last in line and craning her neck to be seen.

I want her to know how sorry I am others don’t always seem to see her like I do. It’s a mystery why they don’t, worse yet a shame.

When she graduated high school I wrote in a long letter tucked into a hard cover book that those who say “you can’t” or “it’s not possible” are simply too afraid to try themselves. She never was. She isn't.

I want to tell her I’ve paid attention, I’ve watched and wished along and can’t wait to hear what comes next.

She is worthy and deserving.

She gives me something more to aspire to.

She is my family.

Friday, May 14, 2010

If you prick me, do I not bleed?

I have a high tolerance for pain.

Years ago while running up the basement stairs in too long flannel pants, I caught the big toe of my left foot under the hem, propelling me forward. Limped and bitched into the kitchen to stop the bleeding then casually went back to cooking dinner. I began to fade a little, felt oddly warm and sank to the kitchen floor for a quick sit. Awoke a few minutes later flat on my back, the banana clip holding up my hair broken in two pieces under me. It was the first (and only) time I’d ever fainted and it was weird. I wondered if that’s what dying instantly is like, one minute your sauteing and the next, not so much.

Found the cat sleeping happily in the next room, oblivious to my antics. So much for pet heroics and dialing 911 with a paw (at least she didn’t try to eat my eyeballs while I was out.)

I stumped around on a growing-ever-more-purple toe for the rest of the weekend. Family came to visit, my then sister-in-law pampering me with a super gentle pedicure complete with gold leafing over polish to boost my gimpy mood. The other ran by with the Advil (I had only Bayer circa early 90’s in the house) and I recall her look of horror as I emphatically stated, “No, no! It can’t be broken. Look I’m wiggling it. See?” She smiled and nodded, then I caught her sideways glance and mouthing, “I don’t see it.”

So 72 hours later, and unable to fit into any shoe cute or not, I acquiesced and headed to the doctor. I’d fractured my big toe nearly stem to stern, one continuous horizontal break, holding on by a thread. Such an impenetrable shield can be good. The tiny tattoo buzzed and pricked over my ankle bone two decades ago felt mostly like an annoyance.

And bad. Today I met with an orthopedic doctor. He tapped my knee with the Fred Flintstone hammer, bent me this way and that, laid me down flat to push my legs over my head and watched as I walked on tip toes then heels. X-rays taken last week showed an old avulsion fracture to my hip and the primary care clinic insisted a specialist follow up. He asked a lot of questions, pulled and pretzeled my lower limbs into interesting origami shapes. He confirmed the X-ray showed “past trauma” (his words). We looked over the images on his laptop (my bones, btw, thin and gorgeous) and he pointed out a tiny area where muscle had pulled away a bit of bone, a smooth tiny thing like a polished fresh water pearl. It was old, he said, and shouldn’t be the cause of pain now. He suggested PT, just a few sessions and guidance on alternative yoga poses and stretches. Possibly an MRI down the road. We chatted as he wrote the prescription then stopped suddenly.

“That’s odd.” Something in the X-ray caught his attention and he squinted in closer. “Let me look at this again. Huh!” He looked at me puzzled and asked, “Do you have any hamstring pain?" No, no pain I said, just tend to be a little tight.

“This here,” he said, bringing my focus to what looked like a tiny, thin worm inching up my pelvic bone. “I didn’t see this until we zoomed in, but compare the left and right.” He swept his pen side to side over the portrait of my lovely bones, then stopped over the worm. “This is another avulsion.”

Two hip fractures, both old trauma and I have no idea when or where or how or why. Told the manfriend he’s welcome to upper arm punch the guy pals and claim a sexual injury at his hands (“I hit that so hard, I cracked her!”)

I do feel things. I'm absolutely timid to resume physical activity. That makes me feel sad. I’m on self-imposed cowgirl straddling lock down. That makes me feel frustrated (however alternative positions are doing wonders for his abs). I'm feeling apprehensive about what lies ahead since there remains the possibility (given the age of the avulsions) the pain in my hip is “referred,” or pain felt elsewhere than at its true site. Like in my spine. It makes me feel worried.

Do I exalt in the strong bitch or fear the girl who can burn herself with matches and not feel much of anything?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

People who need people*

He doesn’t talk much and I wish he would, about more than work or how his day was but his feelings, his feelings about me. So I asked, “What do you like about me?” He shared lovely words like fun, funny, thoughtful and good in bed (always a crowd pleaser). About how my ENFP compliments his ISTJ (and vice versa). I held a beat expecting he’d ask back.

He didn’t. But then I know him to be a man more of action than words.

Like when he picked me up for dinner Thursday night, handsome in a garnet-colored dress shirt, flat-front slacks and tie. In 10 months I’ve never seen him in a tie (and he wore dark – not white – socks). How he looked at me over the table during a festive and chatty 6-course wine dinner served family style. We found ourselves in a party of five others, and he found himself out of his comfort zone of strangers forced to mingle. He was wonderful, talkative and engaged yet always connected, holding my hand above or ankles touching under the table. Often, he simply looks at me and smiles, like he’s about to say something melt-worthy. He rarely does, but the look sounds lovely.

He doesn’t say much, but there was the morning he drove 20 minutes out of his way to my door to deliver a fresh scone from my favorite bakery on his way to work. Or the movies I mention once that he queues up in our “to watch” pile. Or his Valentines night surprise of dinner at the restaurant I first met him at. He opens doors and let me claim side of the bed first.

And after our lavish and luscious wine dinner, early into the next morning, he sat in bed and watched over me with round, concerned eyes as I writhed and wiggled and folded into a ball of child poses, trying to rock away pain. A muscle strain had been building and growing deep in my right hip, so much so by that evenng I could barely walk, and at the height of it found myself shaking hard from the surprise, the fear. I tried to steel and still myself so he wouldn't find me so weak, so human as to tremble from pain. I tried not to cry out as I danced over the duvet cover, up then down and side to side, desperate to find a place to softly lay bones that felt on fire. He didn’t orchestrate, he didn’t sleep. He simply watched over me, touched and stroked and told me in his actions he was there. It went on for nearly two hours when I finally found a spot, sitting straight up with my back against the headboard and legs outstretched, where I sat and did yoga breath of six counts in, exhale. He curled up and in, scooped in my arm and I told him, “It’s okay. Go to sleep.” Eventually we both did.

And he was there the next time I woke up.

He texted almost immediately after my late afternoon doctor’s appointment and X-rays the next day, asking how it went, what was next.

He doesn’t talk much, really.

He doesn’t have to.

*and girls who like boys who like boys to be girls who do boys like they're girls who do girls like they're boys

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Let’s break down Jodie’s day so far, shall we?

Three (more) hours tutoring and so overwhelmed learning InDesign in 10 hours or less that I break down in tears - in front of my tutor.

Leave my bank card in the ATM and drive away. It was shredded.

And the phantom hip pain I've been placating with massive doses of Advil every 7 hours for a week blew up so big I now hobble instead of walk.


...the cherry on top, another medical bill, this one in the $200 family and not covered by insurance. The insurance provided by the employer whose needs and demands are killing my soul and talent a little. Oh heck! Who wouldn't shell out a couple Benjamin's for the pleasure of having ones uterus inflated? Climb on board!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

How the blog was first written

I give, calling any Uncle who’ll still claim me and throwing him the towel.

Fuck that the sun will come out tomorrow, this morning the sky is again the color and texture of cheap gray suede. The trees outside unsure when to bloom green so instead they snow down cupful after cupful of white and hot pink blooms, the pink grinding and staining easily and often into my light indoor carpet, brought in on my feet and on the cat.

Haven’t gone into great, gory detail of the endless hours spent in doctors and specialist offices the last couple months, the new prescriptions introduced and the ways my body rejected most of them and retaliated with a fleshy 10 pound protective shield or kicking into menstrual overdrive (two ultrasounds show I have the juicy ovaries of a 15 year old; I'm going to be that 70 year old lady exploited in People Magazine for naturally conceiving – twins no doubt – at 80 or 90) and how anemia and Kotex pads the size of a small shoe are now the norm and a goiter that sits in my lower throat which really makes a vibrant girl feel less than that, because damnation if goiter doesn’t conjure up the least sexy of all physical conditions of the elderly, right after thick yellow toenails.

The packed on pounds are the worst and I’m to blame for most of them because when one feels bad they do what they can to simply feel good, to medicate away the pain. And that comes in the form of extra salty and briny, crunchy or buttery. There are five pairs of dark wash jeans hanging in the closet that explode the weight, most which hangs on the middle third of my body, into a pasty kneaded ball of dough over the waistband. Nothing can camouflage that, Spanx doesn’t come in that strength.

I envy, envy, envy those who never take exercise. And even though I could pound the cardio crap out of a size 2 Gap girl with zero muscle tone, I wouldn’t mind for a week or so to live in a body that requires no work to simply look enviable and sexy on the outside.

I’ve been fat from birth, will probably be fat by most standards at death and in between I don’t need to be skinny or even slender. I see my silhouette in the yoga mirrors and like the black widow spider shape. Soft round edges that curve like a cello. I find it sexy, so fuck you if you don’t. But I want to and will be 10 pounds lighter than I am right here and now. Screw it, really 20. Who am I kidding, 40. And I’m serious about my health, not Kirstie Alley committed to simply dancing about or pushing a bit of Bow Flex and hoping for stunner abs. I eat real food, clean food not a potion of concoctions. I’ll never bow to the Jenny Craig or Nutra-System gestapo approach to food, a bite or two of protein served in a damp cardboard container.

You vill eat this and only this and enjoy it.

I can tame myself.

I can keep taking my ass to yoga, to calm both body and spirit.

I can realize that even when my eyes see the worst, others drink me in. I can declare without blushing my ever plumper and heart-shaped ass has been grabbed in even greater appreciation of late.

So excuse me while I head to yoga and a steam, then brunch with the manfriend. I think I'll have the steak frites, bitch.

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