November 2005

This is totally the type of smart ass, idiosyncratic remark that I would make:

Panicking when her two-year-old
swallowed a tiny magnet, my
friend Phyllis rushed him to the
emergency room. “He’ll be fine,” the
doctor promised her. “The magnet
should pass through his system in a
day or two.”
“How will I be sure?” she pressed.
“Well,” the doctor suggested, “you
could stick him on the refrigerator
and when he falls off, you’ll know.”

Marie Thibodeau, Nashua, N.H. as contributed to Reader’s Digest and printed in “Life in These United States,” December 2003.

In the gym locker room earlier at lunch, as I was pulling my workout clothes out of my bag to change, I realized that I had not packed my sports bra. I couldn’t believe it. I went thru all my stuff, and sure enough, wasn’t there. I actually stood there for close to 2 minutes, unsure of what to do. I had planned to do a 3-4 mile run on the treadmill, so I need the jogbra. Can I go in the bra I’m wearing now? Not enough support for running, and I don’t want to wear a sweaty bra back to work and for the rest of the afternoon. Light workout, no run? Not worth my time if I don’t sweat. My MP3 player was about to die on low batteries anyway.

So I drove to McDonald’s and had a fajita wrap, small Fruit n’ Yogurt parfait, and their Fruit Walnut Salad, sat in my car and listened to the antics of Heidi, Frosty & Frank on 97.1FM.

My trainee, however, busted her butt at the other gym doing a long cardio session at an increased resistance level. Shhh, don’t tell her all I did was eat and sit.

I watched Rent (the movie, not the musical, altho the movie IS a musical) over the weekend. I didn’t know until I talked about it at work on Monday that much of the original “Rent” broadway cast performed the same roles in the movie. No wonder. I thought the acting was brilliant. The actors embraced their roles and their music. I’m not normally a fan of musicals, but I thought the presentation onto film was done excellently, i.e. merging the snapshot-vignette expose’ of the individual characters akin to the style of soliloquys in plays, with Hollywood camera angles and editing. Impactive, definitely.

For those of you who don’t know much about the plot of “Rent” (like me before I watched the movie), it’s a glimpse into the lives — personal issues and interpersonal relations — of approximately 7 people (I’m too lazy to count) living in some slummy apartments in New York. The main themes depicted are relationships (homo- and heterosexual, and friendship), HIV and coping therewith, near-poverty and coping therewith. At first it seemed I couldn’t relate to any of the things or people in the movie, so it seemed like a good “escape” film. But I was wrong. The plot works hard to show that as removed as these ghetto rats are from the average person’s reality, they are still Everyman, and the same heart of humanity runs a rich thread through everyone no matter what the life experience.

It was a very tearful weekend. I cried thru much of the movie. If you decide to watch it, watch for the symbolism of when Angel (the cross-dresser) takes off his/her wig; the meaning of Santa Fe; the perfect body language between Angel and boyfriend Collins, from the eyebrow arches down to the fingertips.

One warning tho. Well, actually, two. 1.) If you don’t enjoy this movie, you’d be annoyed to discover it will pretend to end 4 times before it actually ends. 2.) If you have ever nursed someone through HIV to AIDS to death, you probably should not watch this movie before seriously emotionally bracing yourself. In a Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Studies course I took at UCLA, we watched a movie documenting a gay couple’s life from the onset of AIDS till death; we saw the social stigma that is their life, each emotionally painful step they took to get through every day. Even with just that detached, prior exposure to patients with AIDS, portions of Rent were very difficult to sit through.

Now that I’ve hopefully inspired* you guys to be good little spouses, lemme inspire you into making your bodies and health better.

*i.e., scared

Email chain between me and my gym trainee (adjusted for easier reading):

Her: You’d be proud of me I worked on my arms, abs, and did 20 minutes of cardio (x-cross trainer) on level 4. Monday I think I’m moving it to level 5. I was dying yersterday but it seemed easy today.
Me: I AM proud of you. =) Cardio is easy/hard depending on how much sleep you had, whether you had breakfast that day, how hydrated you are, and what time of month it is for you.
Her: I’m working my way to that one. Since I don’t were my medical card around my neck I don’t want to push it and end up in County hospital.
Me: haha! Hey, you don’t have any health conditions that may be exascerbated by strenuous exercise, do you? I should’ve asked you that first before we started training.
Her: high blood pressure. But that’s been great since I lost weight and started exercising. My doctor said it’s the best it’s been in years. To continue to do what ever it is I’m doing. 🙂
Me: wow, I’m so glad to hear that the exercise has more than cosmetic effect for you. I didn’t know that! You’re gonna save a lot of aggravation and money on blood pressure meds.
Her: People don’t understand why it’s so important to me. The doctor told me if I planned on being at my son’s high school graduation I better start acting like it. My body is not able to carry the extra weight. I had problem once I put on 20 pounds while I was pregant. 🙁 So I couldn’t be the happy fat (oops obese) lady even then. So it’s deeper than tryin to be cute. But I love giving the men something to look at too! Now if I can only do something with my hair.

We had a sheriff witness yesterday that didn’t sh0w up as subpoenaed because he was attending a colleague’s funeral in another county. That prompted my judge to tell me about a fiasco that happened a few years ago between a (semi-local) sheriff and a girl in a situation that escalated to a social war between the government and the public.

A bunch of sheriffs attended a wake after a colleague’s funeral, and they were at a bar afterwards drinking and doing guy stuff. One of these sheriffs started talking to a girl, and the two of them, both drunk, went outside and had sex somewhere. The story’s vague as to whether the sheriff took her somewhere, or they just did it in his car. Anyway, the girl walked away from the car and was understood that she would walk home, and the sheriff drove home to his family. Yes, he was a family man. Shortly after the sheriff left the girl, the girl’s “pimp boyfriend” as my judge called him, not sure if he meant literally, appeared from where he’d been following the two cheaters unbeknownst to them both, and killed the girl. The damning DNA evidence pointed to the sheriff as the killer because he had just been with her, altho the sheriff was never convicted. The public was outraged. There was even a segment on Connie Chung’s news show and there was practically a protest movement that wanted the sheriff canned for the murder of this girl, and the world believed that he was a sick murderer who got away with it scott-free. (Who’s Scott? Where did this saying come from? I guess he was free.) This got carried farther and farther, into wrongful death lawsuits against the Sheriff’s Department, other civil rights actions, and it raged for 3-5 years. Finally, finally, it was somehow proven or discovered that the real murderer is the girl’s boyfriend.

The judge was surprised I don’t know about this fiasco. I’d never heard anything of it before. My very moral, very proper judge is of the viewpoint that when these male scumbuckets get together in a bar, no good comes of it. I feel bad for the sheriff, who altho he deserves to get crap for cheating on his wife (but that’s between them only), did not deserve to be blamed for a girl’s murder and be sued and have all the negative life-altering events that ensued in public. This is also how I feel about Kobe Bryant’s fiasco. He’s an awful person, maybe, and an awful husband, but to have that girl create lawsuit after lawsuit to be paid off, claiming rape, and he lost all those endorsement contracts and had to buy his wife that huge rock and buy her mom that house…is a piece of arse worth THAT much? And what about President Clinton and his indiscretion? He’s an awful husband, but it doesn’t mean he should be IMPEACHED from office due to an affair with an intern. I know, I know, the “technical reason” for the push for impeachment was that he perjured himself on the stand. But still. I think the nation was just angry that he’s not — or at least couldn’t keep up the appearance of — the great leader whom we as a country want to be associated with; he subjected himself to a legal circus that had the entire world laughing at us. And you think the damage stopped at the courthouse steps? No. It’ll never be over. It rages on at home. It rages on in people’s jokes. It rages on in the histories of the country and of the family. A smear forever, perhaps lasting generations.

…for a piece of ass?!

People, people. Weigh the potential damage against the potential pleasure. Be more far-sighted. Prevention is key. Remember Richard Gere and Diane Lane in Unfaithful?

I’m sorry to pound the cheating issue into you guys, my dear readers, but I think it, like smoking, is one of the most preventable and most damaging self-sabotages.

Hey, I just saw that I passed 30,000 hits on the hit counter! 30,013. Let’s celebrate! Ice cream, anyone?

All right, all right, I’m just looking for any ol’ excuse to eat ice cream. (Only people older than 19 got the title.)

I’m not sure if I have jujitsu today. Jujitsu for this quarter either ended last Wednesday, or it’s ending this Wednesday. I missed last Wednesday because I was making my lowfat, low-cal chocolate cheesecake for Thanksgiving the next day.

Oh, speaking of the cheesecake, I had made 2 and frozen one. I brought that one to work today, along with a can of the lite chocolate Reddi Whip (15 calories per 2 tablespoons!) and the lite Hershey’s chocolate syrup. It was a huge success. So either I’m a really good cook, or County workers will eat anything. I know the latter statement is pretty true. Hmm. Can A and B both be true simultaneously? =P

Neither the TV in my bedroom nor the big screen TV in the living room has been on since I wrote that I would not turn them on. I’ve tried to fill my sleepless nights with either blogging (which leads to IMing, which has been extremely rewarding since it is still time spent communicating with my friends) or reading. The blogging is excellent for getting rid of nagging thoughts, as since childhood I was able to immediately quell mental hauntings by writing them down. Thus all the diaries, journals, elephant-memory. Reading is good for keeping a finally blank mind from wandering back into something self-destructive.

I’ve been trying to read the novel Sister of my Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, which is a national bestseller about two cousins in India. Grace had mailed it to me a couple of years ago and she had written the inscription on the inside title page

Dear Cindy –
This is one of the best
books I’ve read in a while.
The author captures the love
between two sisters beautifully.
I hope you enjoy it as much as
I do.

I’ve tried to read it upon receipt, but could not get into it because it opens with too many things foreign to me.
They say in the old tales that the first night after a child is born, the Bidhata Purush comes down to earth himself to decide what its fortune is to be. That is why they bathe babies in sandalwood water and wrap them in soft red mamal, color of luck. That is why they leave sweetmeats by the cradle. Silver-leafed sandesh, dark pantuas floating in gold syrup, jilipis orange as the heart of a fire, glazed with honey-sugar. If the child is especially lucky, in the morning it will all be gone.
Thus reads the first paragraph of Book One, chapter 1.

Now that Grace is gone, I am determined to get through this novel. I found the book on my bookshelf a few days ago in passing and read her inscription first. I gingerly passed my fingertip along the edge of her words, handwritten in blue ink, softly lest I unknowingly wipe away some of the essence that she left on those very pages she touched. I turned the inscription page and tilted the back of that page to the light. By studying the lifted lines left by the differing pressure of her pen strokes, I could almost relive her writing those words to me. The heavier downstroke of the D in “Dear” and the L in “Love.” I’d like to think that those letters were pressed more firmly because they bore more weight in her head as she wrote them.

She had thought of me when she read these very pages. I’d like to know why she felt this book was appropriate for me. There’s only one way to find out.

Off I go to read in my bed, as I had done in childhood, and prior to the days of falling asleep to the sound of sit com laugh tracks.

Wilco had said over the weekend, “He has a calming effect on you.”

Everything’s right again when I’m in his arms. What shouldn’t matter, doesn’t.

I think I hurt my mother very badly. I just realized why they simply turned and left today. How could I have let him make me do it? This is madness. He is cancer.

Oh my God, am I crying for the fourth time in a 13-hour period?!

My chest and my head hurt.

I was driving home about an hour ago, missing you because I hadn’t heard from you, and feeling exhausted from the sleepless nights, the emotional stress (I lost 2.5 pounds this weekend already, from doing nothing) and the very awkward obstacle(s) I dealt with around noon. Then this song came on and made me smile, because it’s you, it’s us…

CHANCES ARE (from the Hope Floats soundtrack)
Bob Seger and Martina McBride

Chances are you’ll find me
Somewhere on your road tonight
Seems I always end up driving by
Ever since I’ve known you
It just seems you’re on my way
All the rules of logic don’t apply

I long to see you in the night
Be with you ’til morning light

I remember clearly how you looked
The night we met
I recall your laughter and your smile
I remember how you made me
Feel so at ease
I remember all your grace and your style

And now you’re all I long to see
You’ve come to mean so much to me

Chances are I’ll see you
Somewhere in my dreams tonight
You’ll be smiling like the night we met
Chances are I’ll hold you and I’ll offer
All I have

You’re the only one I can’t forget
Baby you’re the best I’ve ever met

And I’ll be dreaming of the future
And hoping you’ll be by my side

And in the morning I’ll be longing
For the night, for the night

Chances are I’ll see you
Somewhere in my dreams tonight
You’ll be smiling like the night we met
Chances are I’ll hold you and I’ll offer
All I have

You’re the only one I can’t forget
Baby you’re the best I’ve ever met

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