Thursday, July 24, 2008


But I am, in fact, in action.

First of all, thank you so much for the many compliments. I suppose I know I'm pretty but we all know what it's like when we're squirming in our own bodies, of which this week has been chockful of. This is the email I wrote my sponsor this morning in lieu of a formal inventory. It seems crafted enough to post here...

Monday: jury duty and my air conditioner died. Taking it out of the wall pulled out part of the wall.

Tuesday: Bought a new air conditioner for twice what I expected to spend. Called Craig's List guy to install. He did but my socket is so old it couldn't plug in. All stores closed for converter.

Wednesday: Found out there is no converter, the socket would have to be changed. Joe from CL brought an electrician friend over and changed socket. Plugged in air conditioner. It works for less than a minute before shutting down and flashing numbers at us. Called store -- they told us to return it. Joe went out to get tools to do so and saw his car being towed.

Luckily, the weather was cooling off. I went out and bought another fan because I don't have the time to go to store & be here for installation until Saturday if I'm fair to Joe & fair to myself.

So. I'm out approximately (and this is gonna hurt because I haven't added it up yet): 430 (air co.) + 120 (removal) + 25 (car service) + 140 (Joe, so far) + 40 (electrician) + 2 (subway): $757. And we still don't know if it's a matter of the wrong amp for air conditioner or the air conditioner itself.

AND the wall will have to be re-drywalled AND we need a sleeve for the air conditioner.

But I'm abstinent. My meals have been small and cold because I'm so fucking hot and so fucking anxious, but they have been self-contained and, if not weighed and measured, not excessive. Today is Day 14 and I've gone from 262 to 252, and yes, I've been drinking my water.

I woke up today and didn't pray. I thanked. Daisy and I stayed here last night rather than at Boomer's house; there were big thunder storms; it's cool but very rainy today. I'm thankful we could stay at Boomer's but we were both very happy to be home, even with the door on the chain, ajar, & fans.

I'm behind in meetings. Will do my best to catch up. One reason I nixed tomorrow night or Saturday morning for the air conditioner is that I want to go to live meetings. I need them.

I haven't done anything nice for anyone because I'm in a nasty, jealous mood -- they have air conditioning, let them put their OWN garbage bales back. I haven't felt in the least feminine -- hard to do when I sweat so much that my hair stand up in thoroughly wet spikes. The scale is part of my higher power right now because I know that every pound I lose will make the heat more tolerable and the walking less painful to my hips and back, and it will help me restore order to the Bat Cave, which is a wreck with a million sizes of clothes for all seasons that don't fit.

I've had to deal with workmen, sales people, hosts and sympathy calls from dog owners, as well as a distraught M, who is borderline suicidal over her eating and in desperate grief about a death in her family. I can only listen & pray and DEAL with what's on my plate and hope that she sees if I can do it, in the same relapse as she's been in, then, maybe, she can try too. She calls me because I'm probably the only person who understands the eating, the weight, the Rooms, the loss, the walking of dogs, and the jealousy of her clients who HAVE family. It's strange that the person who, in a sense, inspired my book (she broke off our friendship, which were the first strong Amazon posts I wrote), turns to me when she's grieving and hurting.

An odd thing about being so focused on one problem -- the restoration of physical comfort and a refuge from the outside world -- is that it takes me to the bones of my misspent life. All kinds of regrets, people, incidents come up as my sadness, physical duress and frustration bubble to near-tears. Things from 20 years ago are vividly in my mind. Other times that were painful replay themselves. I feel self-absorbed and guilty -- was it especially painful for M to walk Daisy (or try to: Daisy is extremely reluctant to walk with anyone but me)? How can I pay for Joe's towed car? Where are the words to address other people's problems -- R's stolen wallet, M's grief, Joe's car?

And why am I alone at 51, dealing with this shit by myself? My alone-ness is very evident.

OK. Enough. Breakfast: 1 c. rice, 1/2 c. cottage cheese, 1 nectarine; lunch: steamed kale & a tomato, 4 oz. chicken; dinner w/ friends, which will be abstinent.

Love to you --


Friday, July 11, 2008


In the last month, I have spent five nights in my own home. My latest foray was to The Land of No Irony, also known as Sun City, AZ. Actually, the town may have an Irony Store now, but it was too hot to find out.

One week of 110-degree days, my parents' very small lives, reading and sleeping and eating. I zoomed through a badly written but interesting book, Paws and Effect: The Healing Powers of Dogs, which my mother is now enjoying, Pride and Prejudice and The Starter Marriage. I slept for most of 36 hours. I filled their freezers with homemade cookies and found one of my father's long lost the Denver Post obituaries. I lopped off all my hair. My friend, A, said this morning that it's one shade away from overalls and flannel shirts and motorcycles boots.

It was awful but useful in sorting out some of the unmanageability challenge.

Here's the deal: Everything in my life is a mountain. Forty-eight hours ago, I wanted/needed:

  1. to be a good daughter -- helpful, entertaining, loving, companionable
  2. to pack
  3. to work on two editing projects
  4. to answer hundreds (I'm not kidding) emails
  5. to be in touch with old friends I've not spoken to in months or years
  6. to work on my novel
  7. to work on the tablecloth I've been embroidering since the 1970's
  8. to sort photographs and unpack boxes for my parents
  9. to help my father make pasties
  10. to tape record my parents' stories
  11. to blog
  12. to read blogs
  13. to return phone calls
  14. to rewrite my addresses in my Filofax
  15. to work on a guest blog for a major fashion magazine
And a few other things.

All of the above was in my power (or in my suitcase) to do. Instead, I started reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix while I ate cookies.

When I got up yesterday morning, I was disgusted with my food and still shuddering from the hair stylist trying to show me that back of my hair (I saw my profile as she turned me around and slammed the mirror down). I had a six thousand page book to add to my backpack that was already heavy with my laptop. I had done very few of the items above, except to chop vegetables and make pasty dough in the Cuisineart for my father, and [too often] grudgingly chat with my parents.

All of that stuff remains, as well as the last of the unpacking to finish, dogs to take care of, laundry that needs to be done, cleaning, getting to meetings, buying groceries and cooking, trade in my Montana driver's license for a New York license, get out of jury duty, and read a spate of books I need to read for my novel.

What got in the way? Laziness or exhaustion. Wanting to tune out my real life, the one in which my parents are feeble and my shoulders and right hand are yacked out from dogs pulling and the obligation to write.

These are fine reasons for not embroidering or writing chapter two except that I went there with Good Intentions. The best way to obliterate Good Intentions is to binge on flour and sugar.

My bowels are a mess, I'm looking at a seatbelt extender in ten or twenty more pounds, I'm NOT looking at myself, I have a mountain of self-loathing side-by-side with my mountains of flesh and my mountains of food.

That's three mountains I have to climb before or simultaneously with getting myself to the DMV or the washing machine. It was an opportunity lost to find out exactly who immigrated from Lvov in the 1880's. I'm still at one chapter when I'd like to finish this book by Labor Day.

Those are the mountains behind the mountains.

The Black Beast and the Red Demon are at war over the turf of me today. I should be calling writing this blog & getting to the bank a success.

But the fur is flying and the hills are alive...