Saturday, December 31, 2005


I woke up with the Genital Herpes commercial jingle in my head this morning. Don’t get me wrong, “It’s a Brand New Day” is a nice sentiment and a catchy little tune, but NOT when it is accompanied by the mental image of a certain blue-eyed brunette who we have all come to know and love by the name “THE HERPES GIRL.” I certainly hope she got paid triple scale for doing that spot. And I wish to kill the jingle writers at this very moment.

That said, it is time for the wrapping up of things as we end this year and head into the next. While it is simply another day where we wake and eat and work and make love and sleep or whatever it is we do – it has become, in our culture, a time to reflect on the previous year and based upon that reflection – to RESOLVE to do things differently in the new year. The New Year represents a bit of a new chance. A tabula rosa, if you will.

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind y’all of what my resolutions were this time last year:

1. Drink and smoke from the time I awaken in the morning until I pass out at night, daily, causing everyone within 5 feet from me to move away from my lethal stench.

2. Eat as much starch, cheese, chocolate, cheese, olestra free potato chips, cheese, ice cream, cheese, and cheddar-Parmesan goldfish in one sitting as humanly possible - at least 3 times a week.

3. Live a completely exercise free lifestyle.

4. Show up for work late.

5. Call in sick often.

6. Make loud and inappropriate noises from my cubicle at work.

7. Watch the TeeVee every day.

8. Throw temper tantrums in public often.

9. Be as California rude to as many people per day as I come in contact with.

10. Hug people who drive Hummers and thank them for contributing to the economy.

11. Talk about my bodily functions in a graphic manner at the dinner table.

12. Stop reading entirely.

13. Embrace mediocrity entirely.

14. Speak my mind without diplomacy or editing.

15. Be more proactive and agressive about leering at men half my age.

16. Eat as much starch, cheese, chocolate, cheese, olestra free potato chips, cheese, ice cream, cheese, and cheddar-Parmesan goldfish in one sitting as humanly possible - at least 5 times a week.

Well, I certainly did okay with some of them. Actually, I pretty much sucked at all of them, to tell the truth. I don’t actually drink – and while I did start smoking again a couple months ago, I am in such shame about it that I hide myself like the social pariah that I am. I discovered Spin class and got addicted, so there goes the exercise free lifestyle. I never missed work, or called in sick – partially because I had to take so much time off anyway, it wasn’t possible. I no longer work in a cubicle – so that’s out; I failed the teeVEE commitment and read the works of Jane Austen, Mary Wollstencraft, Emily Bronte, William Blake, Virginia Woolfe and a little Byron; I failed at cheese eating because when my little sister got cancer, the whole family switched to a macrobiotic way of eating in support of her regimen, lost weight and I’ve gone from 152 pounds down to 135. At 5’8” I’d say I’m rather svelte these days . . . hey wait a minute. Is it possible that in the grand tradition of breaking every New Years resolution ever made, that making resolutions actually nets one polar opposite results? HMMMMMMMM. You be the judge.

In any event, may everyone have a Happy New Year; a fresh start if you need it; a “Brand New Day.” (Herpes free, of course).

Here’s a little intention - NOT a resolution (that's Sooooo 2005)- I will try to uphold this year – and that is to do one nice thing per day for a total stranger and tell no one about it. If I learned anything at all this year – I learned that life is short and attitude is everything.

Be well, people. Be well.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Happy Holidays (okay those who wish to boycott reading this because it says "Holidays" can kiss my freakin' yule log)

Happy Holidays. Greetings, salutations, merry cheese eating, binge boozing and all that. The holiday gathering in St. Louis went truly well and a good time was had by all. Yours truly cooked again, and while we took a break from the macrobiotic eating (which I am now paying for), it was scrummy and fab. We had a gathering on Christmas eve that involved a tamale making party – okay, that was delicious. The people were fabulous, some old friendships and conflicts were resolved in the name of my sister, and of the holiday, for which I’m grateful.

Christmas day was typical of our family, in that it involved a couple of interesting excursions - the first of which was visiting Tennessee Williams grave. We brought him a poinsettia.

I must admit to still being in shock and feel somewhat violated by the “Our Lady of the Sorrow” WAY OF LIGHTS display. I can’t help but feel that Catholic charity and aiding the poor did not actually mean a multi-million dollar light display/passion play of the birth of Christ (“Angel, angel, what do you see? I see a camel smiling at me. . . .”) that one must drive through a la the wild animal park in San Diego. Behold, a picture of Jerusalem. That only took up about 40 feet – and it went on. And on. And on.

Okay, and here is a picture of the Gateway to the West – the St. Louis Arch at night. Pretty.

There is a truly awesome fun thing to do, which is to visit the City Museum, which is essentially a huge interactive sculpture created out of architectural salvage and requires a lot of climbing, crawling and general hands on touching type stuff . . .

With an aquarium.

That has a ferret one can hold. I’m not sure how the ferret fits into the scheme of things where sea creatures are concerned, but it was friendly. The turtle that I bonded with, however, desperately wished to leave.

There is a bar for the weary museum goers – that seems like a cross between stepping into Diagon Alley from Harry Potter and the fun house in the film “The Machinist.” Weird is simply not a descriptive enough word. A fun time was had by all risk takers.

I hope that each and everyone had a good time with family, loved ones; that no one got so liquored up that it was beyond embarrassing; I hope no one was arrested, and that everyone got a little something that they were hoping for this year.

Monday, December 12, 2005

What NOT to Play in the Waiting Room

Well, well, well.

I’m learning quite a lot about the world of those who must undergo chemo. I'm also learning that way too many people in this country are afflicted with some sort of cancer, given the fact that the stadium size waiting room at the Siteman Cancer Center is standing room only - starting at 7:45 a.m. Mondays. That's wrong, people.

I should mention here, that the swanky auditorium size waiting area also has a lovely player piano that tinkles the ivories while one waits for their treatment. There's just one little problem. Waiting room music can be considered to be extremely important to the patient's state of mind, and there seems to be a paucity of attention to the music programming at the very busy Siteman Cancer Center. Well, it needs to be made important, since the first thing we heard playing upon arrival of my sister’s first treatment was “Memory” from CATS. Followed by the theme from “Ice Castles.” I kid you not. We proceeded to sit there and pass the time by putting together our own little death soundtrack for cancer waiting room listening that would include, “Brian’s Song” the theme from “Love Story,” “The Wind Beneath My Wings” from BEACHES, followed maybe with a little Madame Butterfly and “These are people who died died!” by Jim Carroll.

Honestly, people.