The Bright Side of Suffering

The really fantastic thing about physical pain & disability is that you find out who your real friends are real fast & how to prioritize.

Will the world end if you don’t vacuum? No. Is the person who only seems to enjoy talking to you when you’re “on” someone you’d call when you’ve fallen & can’t get up? No.

You find out who is your friend & who is your therapy client. Your audience. You find out that certain people are more grown up than you gave them credit for, & some far less.

You realize you’ve been pushing someone away because you didn’t understand what they were offering. You resolve to accept it now. You learn that Doritos are not food. You learn to talk in plain English. You exasperate of games. And, as Kurt Schlichter might say, your tolerance for morons wears ever thinner.

You admit that even the smallest help is help.

You concentrate on the people who really matter.

You remember you have a body, & to accept that “mind over matter” is mostly a figure of speech.

You learn to say to no. You give yourself permission to ignore people who want too much of your energy.

You figure out what love actually is. It demands nothing but gives selflessly. There’s more than that, but that’s the first way to recognize it. And love sustains. It does not merely maintain.

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me to use fibromyalgia for good. I wouldn’t have sorted that out on my own.

No Candy For Those Who Kill

I’ve lived in Los Angeles long enough now that it’s starting to inhabit my dreams. The one I had last night was particularly California-y by way of J.J. Abrams, because it was supposed to be set on the Vermont/Canada border but looked more like Ventura & Kester. Yet was labeled on the “screen” of my mind in big block white letters as VERMONT/CANADA BORDER.

The coolest part of my dream? I looked like Eliza Dushku sometimes. But only sometimes. I was like a wereDushku.

It was clear I was on the well marked, Ventura-y border of Canada because some nefarious happenings were happening. For one, nearly everyone spoke French, which I could speak fluently though I’m pretty sure it was pig French. Also, people kept telling me there were human monsters in Canada, leaking through the poorly patrolled Vermont border, and I had to kill them.

Here’s the part where the boys get excited & then disappointed. The human monsters were infiltrating a Lesbian Conference, though it was French, so it sounded like less-bee-EHN. Lesbians (yes, all of them) were launching a product that would make people lesbian at will.

This product looked like the thing quarterbacks wear to protect their kidneys. No, I’m serious. You strap it around your waist, a lesbian blows it up like a water wing, & boom, you’re a lesbian. It was reluctantly demonstrated by a real life friend of mine who IS a lesbian, but in the dream she insisted she was not until she put on the LesbiFloat (I can’t make this shit up, people). After doing so, she proclaimed to the crowd, “Je suis une lesbienne!” and they all erupted in applause.

I then noticed out the corner of my eye a disturbance. My “mentor”, who was some nondescript weird Phil Collinsy guy, sent me after a girl, stating she was a human monster like a vampire, but not. I was to kill her before she ruined the LesbiFloat conference.

I chase her through what I guess are the quaint streets of Vermontreal, down steampunk escalators & into home made candy shops. I tracked her down to a house with a creepy little old lady. The lady was clearly scared, but creepy. She pointed me upstairs & I found the creature in the attic. She looked like Hilary Duff, but even scarier.

She lunged at me, hissing like a cat. We went out a tiny window, taking bits of rotting wooden frame & shutter out with us as we tumbled to the ground below. She grabbed a piece of wood & wielded it like a stake. She tried to stab at me, but the Phil Collinsy mentor & creepy lady were next to me, shouting for me to end her. I wrested the stake from her hand, caught her in the neck, then, slick with her blood, drove it up through her rib cage into her aorta. Blood poured out of her and she finally, silently dropped.

She did not go puff like a Buffy vampire. My mentor told me to leave the body for the dogs & go clean my hands off by finding a duck. I found several ducks & played with them in someone’s above ground pool, so I guess the whole point was to lead a vampire hunter to water.

I returned to the lesbian conference by free running over some roof tops. By the time I got there, my friend Amanda had gotten me a smoothie, but it melted. And Eliza Dushku stopped being me & stole all the gluten free candy. Fuck her!

Then I woke up.

Tonight, on the way home from work, I got a bag of peanut butter M&Ms. That’ll show Dream Eliza Dushku Me!

By Popular Demand

On Thanksgiving, I tweeted a photo of my Cuban sweet potatoes brimming with giant wads of garlic & other stuff that y’all didn’t seem to notice because GARLIC! And I promised to give out the recipe. And didn’t.

So I am rectifying that oversight now. Behold, as Eric Boehlert would say, the Sweet Potatoes de Cuban via Martha Stewart Except I Changed The Recipe Kind Of:

Take a bag of small sweet potatoes or a few bigger ones. You want enough to cover an 8×11″ roasty pan. Peel em while watching football. Cut em into bite sized pieces while talking to them. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and toss to coat. Put them in a preheated 425 degree oven in the middle rack. Set the timer for 30 minutes.

During that 30 minutes, furiously mince like a handful of cloves of garlic or a couple of elephant garlic cloves for milder flavour. The original Martha Stewart recipe calls for 4 cloves. PAH! I scoff at the timidity! Mince that shit up good.

Now take like a fistful of fresh cilantro. Stewart uses parsley; you are welcome to your New England foibles, if you so desire. I live in LA, so cilantro is as available as weed, except when it’s not. Mince the cilantro. Note: my fists are small. If you are a giant yummy man with large fists, use a pinch. Also? Call me. Wait. No, not cos of that. I can’t handle THAT.

BING goes the timer! Take out the potatoes & dump them into a large serving bowl. Now drizzle liberally w/ olive oil. Dump in the minced raw garlic, cilantro, then add salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste. Squeeze half a fresh lime into the bowl. Toss everything together until evenly coated, then eat!

These are good hot & cold, which makes them a great potluck dish. My old office loved the smell of garlic in the break room every time they opened the door. Or so they said.

Another recipe I’ve made today is even easier. It’s called Chicken Soup Rice, and goes like this:

Make a bunch of white rice, but use chicken broth instead of water. Voilà! Even men can do it.

My very first real boyfriend’s dad made this daily. However, he was from Mississippi & he added what I guess to be about a pound of butter per serving. If I actually have money, I will sometimes top it with cheese & minced scallion. However, if I’m poor &/or sick, or both like today, I just make it plain. It’s filling & good, & has the electrolytes you need to get better, but doesn’t upset your tumtum.

Last night’s dream? I don’t remember too well, but I was standing in line with Zeljko Ivanek & it looked all dour & Soviety. Nobody talked & it was raining. We were either oppressed Russians waiting for bread or there was a Justin Beiber signing at the Grove.

Skee Ball. Ski Ball? Skeeball? Meh.

As my political & pop culture writing will be featured on the exciting, sexy, totally new and uproarious Pundit League as of tomorrow, this site is now…just…me. Just me talking about stupid crap, or my feelings, though those terms are interchangeable, no?

My blogs of old, as some might recall, were just me documenting wacky personal events or complaining about pain or men or remembering dreams and trying to make it kind of entertainingish. If you don’t care for that sort of extended tweeting, as I now think of it, you’ll just want to check the Pundit League every Monday for my new posts. If you like the scary gelatinous innards of my brain, you are welcome to it. There’s even marshmallows.

I may even continue to post book excerpts & music I’ve recorded here. It sort of depends on whether or not I actually do anything ever again. If I also sound very defeatist right now, it’s because I am exhausted and I have a headache. See? Good old fashioned complaining, where I am neither entertaining nor insightful. Not that I claim to be that ever, but I try-ish.

But enough of that! as I hear your brain scream “Make with the funny, stupid!” Here is some stuff in my head lately:

Does anyone else refer to their curled up cats as Russian hats? As in “Look at the Russian hats on my bed!” Just me? Ok.

Cigars are harder to smoke than anybody told me.

I must have a squeaky little voice, because gay men always make fun of it.

I’m in a weird period in my life where I have more fun than money. So, college. Except I’m not being indoctrinated with how my lack of personhood as a woman is somehow destroying the marshlands. Or having any where near as much sex.

My friends are more convinced of my brilliance than I am, which is handy, as it insures that people still want to do things with me, even when I’d never do things with me. I still don’t tell them what’s really in my head though, most of the time, because my head is like Chuckie Cheese. In front there’s all these games and noises and it’s shiny. In the back are a bunch of Mexican guys furiously trying to make the inedible look like pizza. Behind the kitchen, in the alley, something rots in the dumpster, and also? They’re filming an episode of CSI.

And always the screaming. Always the screaming. And you get a ton of tickets that really only buys you a light up pen. All that skee ball, and all you got was a light up pen.

I’m sorry that all I gave you today is a light up pen. I know you want ComicCon 2010 Saturday. It’ll come to me. There was a lot. And I’m trying to figure out how to explain details of that day without revealing things about me that will make some of you want to be my friend, but for fake stupid reasons that will ultimately depress me.

Suffice to say, I can tell now.