About Me

My photo
Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
TO POST A COMMENT: Click on any "orange-colored" post title and scroll to the bottom.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

animal farm

here piggy, piggy, piggy...

when a pig is roasted on a spit, polynesian style, it turns slowly, glistening in the tropical sun. on an elaborate rotisserie it twirls, like an aging ballerina, agonizingly slow. the spectacle, flame-licked from below, shadowdances upon its crusty skin, screams forever silenced; maraschino-topped with a pink lady crunch and a burgeoning laie.

this little piggy went to market...
this little piggy stayed home...
this little piggy liked roast beef...
this little piggy had none...
and this little piggy went, "NOOOOOOOOOOO!"...all the way home.

wee piglets. so dear, so darling, so dinner. so irresistibly raw in their pretty in pink, puppy stage. their squealing vocal gymnastics drowning out our hypocritical ooh's and ahh's...

[blt, anyone?]

throwing an e, t, on the end, infantilizes the objects of our affection.

piglet is to pig as petting zoo is to pork chops.

but throwing an e, t, t, AND e on the end, breeds the most defiant, baby dane south of the 49th parallel, the loner wolf of the brat pack, and devout follower of tantrum buddhism.

henriette is to hen as hen is to pig.

so heavy with shameful bloat and bloated shame, she hauls ass and hollow assets with defeated grunts and snorts.

[i think, therefore i itch.]

god. let me scratch that itch.

splayed in the mud, she grinds her filthy past into a muddied, shallow grave. soothing squalor.

but, pigs cleanse in mud. pigs are intelligent creatures.

and as clear as mud, hen is not. can she scald the blistering history of her subversive soaks...

xanax, jacuzzi and wine...

[a tale of two addicts. one pig in a casket. one pig in a blanket.]

tenting herself from a world of animals, cannibals, life.

she's a pig who can't fly.

a wannabe hen again.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

loo behavior

mere minutes after i was born, i took an enormous dump in my mother's lap, promptly deposited my thumb into my wailing trap and fell asleep.

[shit disturber from the day she was born.]

of course, that was never my objective, never the job description i aspired to marquee, and, like an antibiotic, that title has most certainly run it's course.

the good, the bad and the sickly. we showcase our mandated armband, strain to herculean heights, yet, barely qualify through our olympian, toilet trials. all in the name of the ceramic bowl.

our hurdles: illness, procedures, surgeries, medications.

 when side effects become forces of nature. news at 11.

a passing wind, unpredictable drift; an interpretive gust nudging you over the rim. every morning on overimmunosuppression, a new odyssey. the commode chronicles: a tale so winding, so dense, the bathroom is the only place to attempt to conquer it.

so it was with a sunrise shiver of relief, that this fragmented soul noticed one, very solid piece to slot back into her cracks.

one. whole. complete.

there is no normal in this house.

[please. what's normal in blogging about your poop?]

with lowered lashes, and chin to chest, she still slogs her husband's clothes over her shameful bloat. for 120 days straight she's wrung out her eyes until salt blisters her view. and today's first craving for white wine oozed so potent, it could have sanitized a preschool.

one. whole. complete. this was like divine evacuation.

so if that shiny turd is a celestial beacon to a future of fewer side effects and greater relief.

then holy shit.

Sunday, February 12, 2012



i had lunch today with my friend, s. we met in rehab two months ago. one of those friendships initially staked in geography, but blossomed from a je-ne-sais-quo spritz of mutual adoration. i love having friends like these. people that speak the truth, who don't wade around in a kiddie pool of passive remarks that splash icy droplets. rather, douse me with the cold, dank truth as soon as i swipe off my shades.

"yeah, you look a little tired around your eyes..."

"i know. i finally got to sleep at 3:45 am, then woke up at 6:40 am... "

"show me your bloat..."

and so it went. because for us to stay sober, we must be honest and willing and free from ego.

[and this grey garden hair-sprouting, acne-covered, un-cover girl-ed, men's clothes'-sporting, gobble-girl, currently on disability with no immediate prospects, is free from ego and just about everything else...]

so he told me two of our alumni had gone out on heroin. and another alumnus had hanged himself. someone i remember seeing at meetings. with 34 days, back again with 16 days, back again with 5 days; finally, never coming back at all.

from a vampire's kiss, the blood began to drain from the nape of my neck; warm, throbbing, dull.

so when i pulled into the 24 hr. fitness parking lot, it was no great surprise, the bite of the undead had mutated into a migraine's aura; ache muscling throughout my entire body, aggravating my tissues, my vessels, my every drop of lifeforce.

and underscoring the raging, muffled scream i unleashed inside that parked, ford coffin, was an unapologetic, desperate cry for relief, for escape, for painkillers.

please, please, please, please, please, [gimme me], please, please, please, please, please, [help me]...


7:00 pm los angeles time: CNN reports that whitney houston is found dead at 48. then. she was the first black woman to grace the cover of seventeen magazine.

43 hours earlier i blogged about exactly that in "princess bridled (one moment in time)".

impossibly prophetic. incredibly sad.

the first rule of journalism is to never assume, so it was with more than a fair bit of self-righteous amusement that i gorged on CNN reporters swerving and snaking around whitney's unknown cause of death, like a precious game of twister.

everyone; reporters, broadcasters, guests, were tiptoeing around the proclamation sure to be trending around the world if it comes out that she died from an overdose. salivating with such transparent, nail-biting, zit-picking anticipation over the prospect, that i took a cloth to the condensation, coating slick my television screen.

but, not tonight...the hackle-sharpening descriptions of her "issues" and her "troubles".

and, not tonight...the dangerously glib "what a waste" and icy ignorant "not surprised".

and definitely, not tonight...don't blame bobby brown...he's not a french sauce you can reduce this down to...

because now i am on the other side of the fence, peering through the white picket slats into the lives of the lucky and the clueless. the ones unyielding in their discrimination of us as those who can't seem to "pull it together".

[but, you see. drugs are never the problem. they become our solution...]

beautiful, talented, diseased.
the bow! the rhinestones! the dress! and, oh, the whitney!

["how will i know?"]

why did i think to write about whitney 2 nights ago?...

was it coincidence?

was it the universe?

was it a godshot?

[i am rattled, scared, and humbled. like a summer's june bug, my black lacquered armor is surrendered to the mud; exposing my pulpy underbelly for all to preen, prod and pillage.]

when you've cried so much, you can no longer see straight...you look up...

when you lose sight of everything you've ever known...you look somewhere you've never looked before...

the view from my knees is pretty radical.

[i hope her view is the greatest view of all...]

Saturday, February 11, 2012

hurts so good

there are two hours in the day when i feel sane.

the time i spend at the gym.

and any hour spent at a meeting.

the rest of the day i straddle the newly-erected, immigration border, keeping hair-flying, screeching hysteria from immigrating to my delicately, balanced insanity.

duly questioned might be the quality of time spent with my husband. this is usually spent writhing under a self-inflicted, pounding headache; my judge and gavel, savagely sentencing my guilt and self-esteem to life without parole. it's been so long since i've seen my self-esteem, i'm hoping it'll appear like random chocolate eggs that go missing easter sunday, and show up in your flour canister when you least expect it.

today i tried on a couple of pieces from my untouched wardrobe, for the first time since mid-december.

it was not pretty.

and neither was the series of events that followed.

rip off several pieces of clothing over distended belly. weigh self on scale. pull on kevin's clothes again.

commence with the ugly cry.

i have never known side effects like these.

physically, i am a shell of my former self. within that hardened casing is a slimy, swollen slug who drags herself away from temptation at the speed of unlight.

emotionally, i'm tearing through tornado alley. daily. i've got nearly 4 months of daily meltdowns that would rival any terrible-two's, notched under my bloat.

so driving over to meet a friend today, my heart strings plucked out a single melancholy tune,

"i just feel so alone".

the kid's been acting up lately, misbehavin'; twitchin' and pullin', and it always makes this mommy a little nervous.

[but, no fever, right?]

my maternal instincts kick in and i reach to cover sharp corners of coffee tables, pick fallen change off the ground and blow cool air on her food.

but recently she's been poking at existing boundaries, with a very taut, very precise finger; testing my patience to the very limit.

"do as i say, don't do as i do..."

"when you live under my roof, you live by my rules..."

"this hurts me more than it hurts you..."

bottom line is, i can't control "the kid". i can girl guide her with a flashlight, and pray she finds the way.

because if "the kid" goes all rebel without a cause on me, i'm fucked.

"i just feel so alone".

and so i arrived at my friend, m's, house; chicken salad and iced green tea in tow and a silly, slapped-on smile. as i curled up next to her bedside, knit into the comfort like lifelong friends, a common connection was so quickly fused, i saw sparks. with her lupus in remission, she safely laid in my lap her tales of chronic illness and struggle, to muse, and her marathon with prednisone and its beastly afterbirth, to ponder.

shoulder replacement therapy.

no, losing her shoulder to prednisone was not the startling artifact of the day. i have always known about the inherent dangers of 30 years of prednisone, since i was diagnosed with osteopenia at age 32.

no, the treasure that i nicked and slipped into my purse was the sun-beaming joy i felt from listening to and sharing with someone else, the challenge of chronic illness and recovery.

"i don't feel so alone".

so although i emptied the ducts a few more times today; i did add one more hour.

one more hour of sanity.

3 out of 24 ain't bad.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

princess bridled (one moment in time)


the cracked-out cry that launched a thousand parodies.

i remember reading about a young whitney houston in "seventeen" magazine. after 13 years in a private girls' school, it became my bible on how to stand and deliver my teenage years through high school. me, an awkward thirteen; fashion senseless, gangly and green. and whitney, so ripe, so resplendent as a teen model; column quoted, "dreams of becoming a singer"...

i actually remember the headache caused by rolling my eyes.

[aren't all models really rocket scientists?]

what, me, bitter that i stopped growing at thirteen?

but, whitney did rocket with talent so extraordinary, that even if her music for the masses and lacquered lyrics accelerated your breakfast just a little too quickly, like haley's comet, she was undeniably one in a million.

[or at least once every 75 years...]

so it was within a collective tongue, tsk-ing tumult that whitney's addiction was revealed.

the headlines were so pedestrian. so unimaginative. so unscrupulously gleeful.

"houston, we have a problem..."

dive into the melee, tear up the mosh pit...oh, how we love to watch them fall. with a patronizing tilt of the head, we calmly stand tall over our cannibalistic trophies. panting, self-righteous. back of the hand to the lips. blood smeared. blood sport.

"it's a shame about that whitney. she had so much potential."

beware famebaggers. today's disco ball headlines are tomorrow's compost mulch.

there's a surge before you crest that wave of adrenaline; like the anthemic build of a perfectly crafted pop song. it wiggle, wiggle, wiggles the french tips of your pedi., body surfing through to its hair tossing conclusion.

ah, but today's was a natural high.

"we got your cell cept level back and dr. k. feels comfortable lowering you to 750 mg twice a day".

[hot dog!]

and so i extracted a past only 10 months old. and emptied. and emoted.
[holy cow, can i emote...]

she used to take 23 meds a day. now she takes 4.

and i thought.

i could, "what if" all the live, long day about the increased potential for rejection...
i could, "what if" my side effects don't improve...
and i could, "what if" i relapse...and...and...and...

but, instead i thought.

this is one moment in time. it will never come again. and you are so rip, torn happy, your head might explode if you don't soap a smile on that mopey mug.

"give me one moment in time...when i'm more than i thought i could be..."

[me and whitney. who knew.]
                dear whitney,

                       thank you for the stinky, cheese ballad that soared through my head all afternoon.
                       in high school, i thought i was you for a hot minute. oh, and everywoman, i feel your              
                      pain. every minute of every day.
               love, the little red-haired girl   xoxo   

and so this galvanized gladiator lay down her sword, glistening with chunky giblets, and sighed.

because tomorrow she will begin the fight again.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

clipped wings

cedars has a stank.

i noticed it as we were walking the halls friday morning.

like any monolith, it creaks and strains under transparent propaganda, presenting the image of a well-oiled machine, when underneath it's a faulty tower like the tin man, parched, smacking lip service for a drop of oil.

there's no way to dress up the rot. like a moldy sponge doused in antiseptic fragrance, the toxic air scrapes the back of my throat, spoon-gagging, dry heaving denial that i was already back.

arms pumping, i reached for the door handle and yanked open the reveal.

a portrait of sad, suffering sardines, collapsed into chairs, collapsed into chasms. waiting to be poked, waiting for answers that might spackle the fissures between their past and their now.

much too stark a sunrise for this shadeless, night owl.

in a word. loathe.

"i loathe this place", i thought bubbled. blowing up infatuation for this word. a gooey, sticky, explosive declarative of not just friday's hospital pit stop, but the entire sick journey one chews upon, until all the flavor has gone.

"i loathe this place".

with a bandaged arm and one wounded wish, we left the lab and bumped into kevin's transplant coordinator, a.

"hey guys, how's it going?"

her casual greeting should have comforted, but it was like gorging on hot 'n spicy chili; warm and soothing going down, then hitting it's destination with the violence of a vandal's brick.

not even a raised eyebrow of surprise that i was back so soon.

[was her thought bubble, "ah, the loud redhead is back...paper, rock, scissors who gets her?...]

cedars is my "cheers". where everybody knows my name.

"i loathe this place".

then i remembered my friend, l. who blogged about loathing the cancer clinic she goes to up in eastern canada. and how she inspired me to begin blogging.

no matter what.

because it's my body. and my life. and my blog.

like a jack in the box, i will always pop back up to reign in this manic circus. because when i hear words like "always overimmunosuppressed " and "medication guidelines" ring-tossed around, i not only think outside the box, i take a fire-eating torch to the foundation.

"four walls won't hold me tonight"...

[i never thought i'd be quoting michael jackson...]

gone are the days of squashing our pain into ass-flattening oblivion. there is no badge of honor in "never complaining" or stoic silence.

[silence is the oxygen of disease; snuff it out with your screams...]

so i'm going to own my kindergarten moniker of "chatterbox" and never stop asking...

[to take one less jagged little pill...(a black fly in your (sigh) chardonnay)...isn't that ironic?]

because when we close our eyes against all illness, the fluttering of our eyelashes ceases still, and the butterfly effect is arrested.

and we are all punished...

[call me a minion of the new order of transplantation. a slick part and parcel of it's 21st century advancement. obligated to lead, to show the white coats; we are not just pill popping, zom-plants. but people terrified to reduce our medications into rejection episodes; yet, so held hostage by relentless side effects, that we ooze unrecognizable desperation from our voices, our faces, our hearts; then wipe the panic from our chins, and beg again for that which paralyses...]

we will bare witness to the individual patient's gloriously chaotic order running free through random data; random research and not a clump of patient "guidelines" stopping up the flow chart...

and when they open their eyes and see; like a moth to a flame (retardant)...

we'll take wing. and take flight. and go. go. go.

"i loathe this place".

in her frustration, l. chose a word that fluttered in my heart, years later. she doesn't even know it, but on friday, as i walked those masked, halloween-ed halls, she slipped her hand in mine.

and squeezed.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

all apologies [death and taxes]

they've been playing a lot of nirvana on terrestrial radio recently.

which is great, because i need all the nirvana i can get.

it was over 20 years ago that nirvana was unleashed on the world in all its rock-righteous, unbathed glory, but they still sound as volume-cranking, adrenaline-swelling, fury-injecting fresh as ever.

yesterday i began the hauntingly resonant chore of catching up on back taxes.

["my child arrived just the other day,
he came to the world in the usual way,
but there were planes to catch and bills to pay,
he learned to walk while i was away..."

[last will and testament of 1978: 3 years of back taxes.]

but i'm here to complete ours...

and as i thumbed through endless papers, like a worn deck of cards, i listened to the receipts tell a copyrighted, bound and printed story that had never been issued.

first edition. published 2010. a year in the life of an addict.

in true golden state style, this girl was the healthiest, well-balanced addict; hitting up all 5 food groups as hard as she hit the bottle.

"cherry tomatoes, salmon,  1 L vodka..."
"avocado, tempeh, 1 L vodka..."
"cantaloupe, cottage cheese, 1 L vodka..."

but it wasn't those white light receipts that paper cut my heart. just a solitary piece of paper with two lines:

"water. tums."

and the image of a man, with tired eyes and a mortgaged future, pulling into a parking lot; desperate for relief. desperate for release.

[if a paper's worth a thousand words...]

remorse, slather me thick; cake hard and heavy; sandbagged soul.

[i didn't know.]

hose me down, power wash me; filthy, four-legged, fuck-up.


squinting into the florescent backlight, she flinches at the pharmacy's mistake. 120 fioricet, not 60. ecstatic horror. like she's drunk dialing her lover, deep fried in a guttural orgasm, pan seared in rapturous, rock star fantasies...this isn't going to end well...

but for a few hours, i didn't have to be me.

because, follow the paper trail,...who would want my life?

oprah likes to starfuck this phrase to exhaustion, "my friend, maya angelou says, "when you know better, you do better...".

[i didn't know.]

i don't care. you don't have to believe it's a disease. i know it is. relentlessly pinballing, silver streaks of sanity slipping away.

we're sick and we're selfish.

[now i know.]

"all in all is all we are...".

i just prefer nirvana.

["and i swear that i don't have a gun"...]

kurt and i. we're all apologies.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

bad harem day

i think i need to switch machines.

the elliptical i currently mount is parked in front of a plasma screen, that despite my best intentions, sucks me in and zones me out, like huxley's soma of a brave new world, the telegenic variety. today's movable feast was a chat show with some exhaustively market-researched title like, "the chat!", "the talk!", "the crap!". this transparent "the view" rip-off was just trying too hard for it's own good; straining for progressive hipness so eagerly, i could see it's hernia a mile away.

the multicultural panel was there in all it's blooming, peacocked glory. the white lesbian! plaid clad! the hard-nosed asian reporter! suit-jacketed! the sassy black actress! fashion sequenced! and as they proceeded to discuss with furious self-importance, with unfurrowed, botoxed brows, restylane-d, implanted cheeks and juvederm-ed, pursed lips, whether demi moore's 911 call should be released to the public or not; (for the privacy of those whom have made it their life's work to become famous?), the nausea slowly began to rise in my throat, feeling less like lactic acid build up and more like toxic shock at the decline of the journalistic empire.

[who watches this stuff?]

then this panel, assembled, i assume, under the guise of true north, strong and free, healthy discussion between women of all colors, creeds and cultures, much like a tampon commercial expounds the sheer rapture of playing tennis (read: under false pretenses); proceeds to gleefully gossip about a "d-list" celebrity, who'd been bullhorning from the hollywood sign about her recent, sexual escapades with gerard butler; who apparently had zero recollection of said, loudly declared, shenanigans.

[hopscotch over: the barely disguised, cannibalistic cattiness.

gag me with: a hairball...

cut to: the sassy, divisive, black actress.]

"oh, snap. in the words of my people, oh, snap..."

what people?

women? inane talking heads? starving actresses with crazy, distracting fuchsia eyeshadow?

cue: rolling of my eyes.

newsflash, aisha tyler. ALL WORDS BELONG TO ALL PEOPLE.

this is why we still have racism (in this country).

fine. [jutting arm on protruding hip] who am i to make such a posing, political pronouncement? but am i the only one who is just so tired of this dated vernacular, the exclusive ebonics that should be recycled for gone, out with my vodka stash?

this was my clique in high school. 1985.
[and this was me, when i thought i was victoria principal for a minute.]
on the outside, the dork factor may be at defcon 5, but on the inside, i now realize we invented the reservoir dogs strut.

because while this tv show's panel is sweating bullets trying not to look redundant, up in the big smoke in '85, we were shooting holes in pigeonholing.

[that's canadian for ghettoizing...]

i'm not saying we don't have racism in toronto. of course we do.

but maple syrup runs through my veins...

and i'm so grateful i grew up with my chinese-korean-scottish-french-canadian-jamaican-latvian-danish posse.

we never minced words.

just hairstyles.