Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I'm about the crank this baby back up!!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A New Perspective on Groceries

I took dad to Central Market on the day after he moved in with me. Did I mention he is from Panola County? As in, deep piney woods of East Texas, spitting distance to Louisiana, Panola County? Needless to say (but as is my style, I will say it anyway), Dad did not understand the groceries in Central Market. Hummus and pesto and the like freak him out.

Well, he has Alzheimer’s so he is a little bit confused to begin with, but I think the new-fangled groceries did him in here.

Me (standing in front of a 10-foot long display of varied lettuces): Dad, what kind of lettuce do you like?
Dad: (staring dubiously at the frisee and arugula): The REAL lettuce.

Yes, he meant the iceberg lettuce. We found an anemic-looking little head of it shoved back behind the gorgeous red leaf and moved on.

Me (standing in front of the deli counter): Dad, do you want to get some lunchmeat? Which do you want?
Dad (looking around everywhere except at the meat counter): The regular kind.

Yes, he meant the SQAURE lunchmeat. The filler-filled, preserved-for-evermore lunchmeat, only to be found in yellow plastic and shrink-wrap.

We left Central Market and headed straight to my Barrio HEB and spent $200 on over-processed, bleached out, pesticide-filled, cancerous foodstuffs that compelled me to apologize to the cashier for their very existence.

All of this only to come home from a 9-hour work day on Monday and have dad tell me that when he looks into our stocked fridge, he doesn’t see any food to eat.

He wants to go to the grocery store.

We go.

He becomes upset about how many people are there and how big it is.

He can’t read the labels because the print is too small.

He thinks I am rushing him.

He is agitated and I don’t know how to help him.

And later on, as I lay reading in bed, I heard him crying in his room.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I RAN (and there were no cops chasing me)!!

Vis-à-vis exercise, my mantra used to be "Run or Breathe."

There was just NO WAY to drink as much alcohol as I drank and eat as many pills as I required and ALSO do some kind (any kind) of exercise. You have no idea how time-consuming it can be to chewing up forty horse pills a day, swallow another 10 to 12 other assorted lil pills, and swill back half a handle of vodka. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

But, anyway, that was then.

This is now

Can you believe I ran a race? Me either. Stay tuned for Armageddon.

Friday, October 20, 2006

$28.26 or 2826?

So, I went to my local H.E.B. tonight to pick up a few things (including some sparkly mega-long fake eyelashes, a box of Cheerios, and some sewing needles). And the cashier says to me, “$28.26.”

But what I hear is, “2826.”

Not the same thing.

The difference is about ten years and five or six hundred tabs of X ago.

Instantly, I am back in Houston at Club 2826 (now defunct, of course. The only web reference I could find was in this DJ’s Myspace bio).

Pounding music pulsating, surging, reverberating through my body - packed ass to sweaty back with beautiful people grinding to the beats in a sea of Tanorexics and Glamazons, Strippers and Drug Dealers - strobe lights (or is it the drugs?) making everyone appear to be moving in flashes of freeze-frame photography – tracers of lights: blues, reds, whites, streaking through the smoky, thick atmosphere illuminating the faces of people so hyped up on GHB, cocaine, and Ecstasy that their eyes look like they may actually pop out of their heads, their tongues might succeed in wiping their lips right off of their faces, their shivery 98-pound frames might collapse into convulsions.

And there I am so hopped up myself that I can barely breathe – my eyes rolling back in my head – my barely-clad body broken out in tiny gooseflesh, shivering and sweating at the same time, oxygen eludes me, my boyfriend props me up like some limp, beautiful doll, while my head lolls to one side and my mouth gapes, stupefied.

Standing in the HEB, my stomach started to churn. I was sick. I needed to take a shit. Bad.

I paid the cashier and went home to my Real Friday night: curled up with my dog and reading.

I’m thankful to be alive and at home on a Friday night with my dog.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Comparison Shopping

I got an email this morning from a high school classmate that I hadn't thought about in 15 years. Damn - that really makes me sound quite old, which I am NOT, by the way. I am young and fabulous. I am.

ANYWAY, this classmate of mine has started a website for our graduating class (1990, if you must know).

Naturally, I perused it...

Then it started.

The Comparisons. Yes, The Comparisons. This one is a college professor. That one has started her own foundation. This one has won an Emmy. Those two are in business for themselves. There they all are with their babies and businesses and accolades and homes.

I didn't notice where anyone was a recent rehab graduate, just starting her life over in remedial mode. In all those photos, I didn't really see anyone with just her dog by her side... I have to admit that I became a little bit sad.

But then I was reminded of something an old guy in one of my first meetings said to me. He said, “It’s none of your goddamned business what anyone else thinks of you.”

And so I considered for a moment what I thought of myself.

And I was reminded of who I am.

And I was no longer sad.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Romancing the Drink

Did I mention that I am a successful attorney? Now, I understand that success is subjective, but let’s use my definition of success here (being that this is my blog and all). Within the context of my blog, to be successful at one’s job means to be deeply fulfilled and challenged by the work that you do, and also to be appreciated (perhaps not financially, the unavoidable reality of the non-profit world) and recognized by the people/company/clients for whom you do it. By this standard, I am wildly successful.

All of which brings me to this management retreat I am on right now…

I made a LOT of changes in my life when I got out of rehab (which, by the way, I enthusiastically recommend with a straight face to ANYONE WITH A PULSE just because it is so instructive on living life in general).

Before rehab, I traveled constantly for work, I worked around the clock, I was the youngest member of upper-management, I managed two teams of attorneys who had underwear older than me, I didn’t know how to turn down a case or a project, I was writing and presenting at conferences, I was on committees and boards and blah blah blah … And I couldn’t sleep at night without slamming a few shots of Maalox and a bunch of martinis (filthy, up, thank you very much) to wash down a handful of xanax.

So, when they finally let me out of the clink… um, okay, well they didn’t exactly let me out. I pretty much orchestrated a dramatic escape because, well dammit, it had been FIVE months, I didn’t have another 30K to stay on and I was ready to go home! But I digress…

Anyway, my first order of business upon returning to work was to resign from about 40% of my job, which went swimmingly, except that my silver-tongued long-suffering executive director would not countenance my total resignation from management. I was therefore prevailed upon to retain a Stupid Figurehead Title (you’re going to love this: Group Coordinator for Alternative Delivery Mechanisms. Do not ask me to explain) and to continue to oversee a small project that effectively runs itself. In this way, I have all the time I want to concentrate on the work that I really want to do (ask me and I’ll tell you all about it) and also have a life outside of the office, but I have a sleeper of an upper management job and thus am still required to come to these damned management retreats.

Which brings me to the real point on this entire posting: for better or worse, I work in an organization (and a profession for that matter) where the Drinking Culture is King. And when they wheeled the big galvanized tubs full of iced-down Shiner Bock into our meeting room at about 3:00 this afternoon, I REALLY wanted one. I felt, somehow ... left out. Like I was no longer part of the Cool Crowd.

I found myself remembering fondly previous management retreats where we were all toasty by noon, having heated drunken debates about contentious Constitutional issues (how best to sue the shit out of local police for Driving While Mexican arrests, for example) in the early afternoon, drooling lazily on our legal pads during late afternoon power-point presentations, floating the kegs before dinner, and skinny-dipping in the river by nightfall (or maybe that last part was just me).

But, to snap me out of my reverie and back into the reality of what it’s like for me when I drink, I need only recall that just yesterday as I was about to close a (pre-sobriety) case file – I found a dangerously close to malpractice mistake I’d made that I now have to fix. Yikes!

The wreckage of the past is still all around me… Although I hope one day to not be surrounded by reminders of my alcoholism and drug addiction, I do hope that I NEVER FORGET how it really was.

P.S. - I did NOT have a Shiner Bock

Friday, October 06, 2006

Makes Me Quiver

Okay. Is anyone else as completely freaked out about this as I am? Pan-seared foie gras is the only food I’ve discovered with the power to MAKE ME QUIVER.

Yes, that's right - I positively quiver with unholy pleasure when a properly prepared pan-seared foie gras just dissolves onto my tongue in its ablution of finely carmelized fruit … now fig … then pear … a hint of vanilla, perhaps. I am suspended in delight, blind and deaf to the world around me. Oh god ...

To take away my right to feast upon this, the most perfect dish anywhere, would be barbaric indeed.

Why, I’d be forced to seek out my fix on the black market (and rest assured, one would crop up if this dish were outlawed). Why, we could all be relegated to eating foie gras prepared by back-alley chefs without proper credentials and sterile utensils.

This is an OUTRAGE!!

One gem from the article: "In my opinion, the four farms that grow ducks for foie gras in this country -- especially the largest ones, in New York and California -- they ought to be made examples of by our legislators, not as places of animal torture, but rather as models of humane farming. Unlike factory hogs, which have their tails painfully cut off and never see the light of day before winding up as cheap grocery store pork, the billions of chickens that live packed wing to wing and live in their own ammonia-reeking waste, or the feed-lot antibiotic-laced beef -- if I had to come back today as an American farm animal destined for the dinner table, I'd choose to be a Moulard duck raised for my fat liver in a heartbeat."

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