Monday, December 26, 2011

A Very Mr. T Christmas

         Adeste Fideles, y'all. Hope your Fesivus was as fantabulous as ours. As it was lovely spending the last 4 days 7 hours and 32 minutes (but who's counting) at our cozy vacation home, my sister and I are sadly heading back to P-Town and leaving my parents and short people behind. And by sadly I mean reluctantly. . .and by reluctantly I mean my sister may or may not already have the car idling even as we speak. My sister, Holly made the sage decision to remain childless and while she lovingly dotes on my short people, she is about one Pokemon video away from freebasing a cocktail of Ortho-Tricyclen and Ativan so we had best be getting her home, STAT.

That's not to imply that we didn't have fun! No, as aforementioned, my family's sense of humor is so whickety-whack that we could have turned the Jonestown Massacre into one big game of Kool-Aid Pong. Unfortunately, we had promised the short people snow and apparently Al Roker is a lying, fat bastard because the only white stuff I saw was the citizenry of Bend, Oregon out celebrating a "Very Special Caucasian Christmas". Of course, that didn't stop my dad from whipping out his iPhone every ten minutes to show my son M the weather report and its promises of flurries. Do you know what is like crack to a child with autism? Schedules. Do you know what is a fucking Crispin Glover narrated nightmare for a child with autism? Things that don't adhere to schedule:

"It's supposed to snow today."

"Poppo's phone says it will snow by 2 pm."

"Mommy, it's 2pm...where is the snow?"

"Mommy, Poppo PROMISED it would snow!"

"Jesus in a Jamba Juice, MAKE WITH THE FUCKING SNOW!!!!"

After smashing dad's iPhone with my Cynthia Rowley handbag, I attempted to explain to M the capricious vaguaries of winter weather. Suffice to say, for him my lecture on all things meteorological was harder to understand than Marlon Brando reading "The Jabberwocky" underwater. There comes a time in each parent's life when you simply have to abondon logic and move on to distractions and blatant bribery. So, with such purpose in mind, we corralled the shorties to downtown Bend and the candy mecca known as
Powell's Sweet Shoppe.

Powell's is everything that is good and right with the world. It is a candy store to end all candy stores; the walls lined with bins of bulk sweets, a glass counter encasing decadent chocolate delights, approximately 15 flavors of gelato, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" playing on a constant loop on a theater screen. . .*

*The original Gene Wilder version, not the one with that capped tooth, spastic freak, Johnny Depp

. . .and every candy you can recall from your youth. Marathon bars? Charleston Chews? Yup, got 'em here. Violet Crumble bars I haven't had since living in Australia? You betcha!*

*Of course, they cost $8.00. Holly kept eating hers saying "Yup, that bite was $1.25. . .yeah, this one is $2.10. . ."

But did that stop us? Oh,hell to the no. Of course, I can't actually ingest anything in a candy store at present so imagine my joy to find the great expanse of novelty gifts. There was an entire wall of vintage Pez dispensers, Angry Birds and I Love Lucy memorabilia and. . .oh Sweet Baby Jeebus bestill my heart. . .an Entire. Wall. Of BACON! They had bacon gum, bacon toothpaste, bacon wrapping paper, bacon action figures, gummy bacon, chocolate covered bacon. . .if I could only have found a gummy Nathan Fillion at Powell's this would truly have been my Elysium Field. And then I found it, buried beneath the Choclate Virgin Marys and the maple sugar Last Supper. . .the one item to complete my Christmas. . .the Pocket Mr. T.

"I PITY the fool that don't buy me candy!"

Now Lord knows I have not been perfect this year. On Santa's "Nice" list my name has more eraser marks than Jessica Simpson's SATs, but something told me the jolly fat man wanted me to have this, and I thought "what better way to ameliorate my families suffering this holiday season than by hearing Mr. T tell them to 'QUIT YO' JIBBER-JABBING!' every few minutes?" I'm a giver like that.

So, despite having weather that sucked worse than the televised versions of "Charlie's Angels" and "Friday Night Lights" combined. . .*

*You know what TV DOESN'T need? More Minka Kelly.

. . .we did have an ungodly amount of sugar which kinda makes up for it in my book. We also had lots of board games, good food, inspired gifts and a shit ton of holiday love to go around. In fact, Holly and I would most likely be staying an extra day if it weren't for the karaoke microphone M received yesterday. I like J-Lo as well as the next person (well, actually I loathe her, but I digress), however; listening to a nine-year-old singing "On The Floor" ad nauseum would make Michelle Duggar lose her shit so we're heading up and moving out!

        On a slightly sappier note, I want to say thank you to everyone who has been reading my blog this past year. I started this as cartharsis when a dear friend passed away. She always told me, "Girl, you have GOT to write this shit down!" Well, I did, Nancy. . .and people seem to actually be reading it. I miss you so much every day but I know you're up at the Pearly Gates Starbucks laughing your ass off. Thanks to all of you; your comments make my day and I love hearing that I can occasionally bring a smile to your face. You guys are the best!

        I also want to send love to some of the miraculous people I've met through the blogging world. Noa, you started all of this. . .I hope you're happy! Shane, thank you for calling me on my shit, I am honored to be part of your Court. Mark and Jaime, warm up the poutine 'cuz I'm coming North! Kevin, I could never properly pay homage to your poetry and mad rappin' skillz ((*fist bump*)), you are truly my British brutha from anutha mutha. Paula and Johi, my fellow Sister Wives, you have given me Fuck You Friday and ponies...what more could a girl want? Liz, Sars, Becca, and Tazer (aka my Twitter-Ho's), we will make Vegas happen. . .be very afraid. Bex, my crazy Kiwi hooker; your tales of excrement and hot rugby players complete me. And to Misty. . .words can't describe the affinity I feel for you, my long-lost twin. I have a special post-holiday gift on its way (but I'm sure as hell not using campus mail this time). I love you all.

       To the 'real-life' Jess, Alex, Gina, Kelly and Max; thank you for always keeping it real, making me giggle-snort with laughter, and letting me put our "Stupid Crap" in print for all to see.  You guys are so very wrong in all the right ways.

       And I would be remiss if I didn't give a holiday blessing to my extraordinary family. Mom, Dad and Holly, you have seen me through more shitstorms and rainbows than anyone on the planet and have never stopped believing I was capable of greater things. Thank you for the love, support, and laughter. Most importantly, to M and J for you are the reason behind everything I do. You two are my heart and soul made manifest and I am in everlasting awe that God saw fit for me to be your mother. I love you to the moon and stars and back again.

Much love to each and every one of you. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Psst! Chelsea Handler? I Have Your Liver.

Do you know what I’m eating right now?  Blueberry yogurt.  Not carcinogen-laden Yoplait Fruit on the Bottom artificially sweetened goodness, but plain yogurt. . .plain. . .with blueberries. . .and wheat germ.  OK, stop laughing; no I haven’t joined the Dark Side and embraced the Gwyneth Paltrow school of macrobiotics, nor am I attempting to shed that little extra sumpin’-sumpin’ before the holidays.  No, this new regime comes courtesy of my doctor; or as I like to refer to him, Dr. Downer McBuzzkill.
A while back I posted about my visit to the cardiologist as WebMD had managed yet again to convince me that my fatigue and general feelings of “meh” were symptomatic of everything from heart cancer to erectile dysfunction.  As my heart appeared to be behaving nicely for once and yet I still felt about as energetic as a narcoleptic on Xanax, hi-ho-hi-ho, ‘twas back to the doc I go.
He started by doing some basic blood work to rule out the obvious things like anemia, leukemia, and pregnancy*
*Although ‘tis the season, the odds of yet another immaculate conception are pretty freaking rare, but I humored the man.

All we could tell is that “something was off” but Dr. House still seemed baffled, so he started burrowing through my medical records and randomly tossing out possible diagnoses.  I swear to God, there was more random guessing going on in that room than Dyslexics Week on The Wheel of Fortune. 
"Are you SURE you've never been a Columbian drug mule?"

Finally he stumbled across a random tidbit of data hidden in my files.
“Wait,” he said, “you didn’t mention you had mono a year ago.”
“Umm, well…yeah.,”  I replied, wondering why I felt guilty for having contracted the Epstein-Barr virus.
“Was it bad?” he queried.
“Well. . .yeah.  I mean, it was MONO.”  Seriously, I don’t know how I could have forgotten those three months of hell.  The short people and I had to move into my parents condo so Dad could corral them while Mom attempted to keep her sweat-soaked daughter’s fever below 104.  I was knocked out so flat I made Sunny von Bulow look like Carrot Top after a quad-shot Americano.
“You DO realize that mono can permanently damage your liver and kidneys. . .right?”
Well, shit, I do now!  Thanks, Dr. Kevorkian; as though the amount of grain alcohol I pumped through my system in the late 90’s wasn’t enough, now you tell me my little bout with ‘the kissing disease’. . .*
*Which I didn’t even get from kissing, so where’s the fucking justice there?
. . .has given me the liver of a Kennedy on Spring Break?  Lovely.  He then went on to ask about my current eating habits.  I thought about lying, but my renal system was obviously waiting to rat me out, so I begrudgingly admitted that my eating habits were about as under control as Herman Cain and Bill Clinton at a Miss Hawaiian Tropics contest.  I mean, seriously?  You set me loose in a Starbucks or a Taco Bell and I’m happier than an autistic kid in a pinwheel store. 
Suffice to say, after conducting a liver function test it was surmised that years of alcohol abuse + Epstein-Barr virus + eating habits of a frat boy on Spring Break = my liver is jacked-up, yo.  So, the good doctor hooked me up with some ‘cleansing’ meds and prescribed a Spartan diet that would make a Carmelite nun’s look like All You Can Eat night at the Golden Corral.

Now, I am all about change.  I love to try new things, and like a vampire (or Keith Richards) I thrive on fresh blood.  But do you know how hard it was for me to keep a straight face while Dr. Killjoy von Douchenheimer blathered on about things like soybeans and cruciferous vegetables? I hate to burst your bubble,, but all the Bragg's Amino Acids in the world are not going to make a flaccid chunk of tofu taste a goddamn bit like bacon. I get the whole animal rights thing (to an extent), but come on.  I'M a goddamn animal; so who is there to protect ME from cruel and unusual punishment? Where was PETA with their placards and cans of paint when I signed my marriage license in 1997, or when the doctor suggested that I give up caffeine indefinitely? 
Yeah, you heard me.  No.  Caffeine.  Ever.  Apparently caffeine (as well as meat, sugar, salt, and joy) will get your liver's ass kicked harder than Ann Coulter at an Occupy Wall Street rally.*
*Much love, Ann ((*fist bump*)).
So at present my diet consists of the following: raw or lightly cooked vegetables, raw organic fruits, raw nuts and seeds, small amounts of lean meat, little to no dairy, no salt, no sugar, no preservatives, no caffeine, no over the counter medications, and drinking so much water that if you jammed a tap in my stomach you could reenact the Tennessee Valley Authority project. Basically, this food plan is about as creative and inspired as the dialogue on your average ABC Family show, but if it’s going to help my liver regenerate like a starfish, let’s do it.
My immediate concern with this diet plan was how restrictive it was.  Not because I thought I’d be strangling homeless people so I could lick the coffee from inside their change cups, but because I have a long history of disordered eating.  I have been treated for both anorexia and bulimia and now that I am able to eat in a relatively normal (albeit non-nutritional) manner, the thought of putting restraints on my eating worries me that the bossy little food-bitch I’ve locked away will chew through her restraints and bitch-slap me back into submission.  Moderation is not a word used freely in my vocabulary, so I am nervous as a whore in church that having restrictions on my diet will make me backslide into food obsession. Fortunately I know that my family will be watching me like a ‘tween at a “Twilight” marathon, so I feel relatively secure that they’ll ‘keep it real’ when push comes to shove.

So here we are.  Day 4.  The caffeine-detox headaches have started to abate; I no longer weep when I pass a Starbucks*
*Which is every five fucking feet in this city
And I’ve stopped fantasizing about stabbing puppies for their moist, juicy flesh, so I’d say that’s progress!  As for my liver, it appears to be relatively well-behaved at the moment.  At least it’ll have some kick-ass, hookers-and-coke-in-the-hotel-room stories to share with my kidneys and pancreas at the next block party; it’s good to know that at least one part of my anatomy is worthy of a VH1 ‘Behind the Music’ documentary.