Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sick of this

Can September please end now? This month has just sucked. Sucked, I tell you.

And not just for me. People all around me have been going to funerals, losing money, getting sick, and suffering disillusionments of various kinds. Is this Pluto's revenge?

No more posting until October.

Hey, a lot can happen in four days.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Disturbing Realization of the Day

I learned recently that someone I went to high school with - who took one of my best friends at the time to prom - who was someone I always thought highly of - has a blog. So I went and read it.

He's married, has a rugrat, lives in Queens. His posts are all... happy. Disgustingly so. So I'm not going to email him and say hi, because I don't want him to read my blog. Because my blog is too depressing.


Does Ouiser not want to contact this person because:

a) Seeing how happy this person's life is has caused self-loathing and humiliation to envelop her like so many layers of suffocating plastic wrap

b) She's embarrased to let someone whose mother is friendly with her mother read her blog

c) She can't handle going back to high school in even the slightest of contexts

d) She's afraid this person might reveal himself to be as screwed up as everyone else, and his shiny blog persona will be exposed as fraud?

Tuna got this trick question. Answer is E: All of the above. Can you believe we've only shared one cocktail? Must remedy that next time you're in town, girl. Smooches.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Yoga, Meditation, and Hope

I won't go into the details, but I have reason to believe all is not lost as far as the school thing goes. So until these chickens hatch, I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing - working my ass off. I'm good at that.

The end of my job was something I'd been looking forward to anyway, albeit not so suddenly or in such a nasty fashion, so given the additional stress I'm more glad than ever to have my days free. I spent this morning doing Yoga and Meditation, and tomorrow I'm hitting the gym. I did a bit of grocery shopping yesterday and might do a bit more later, after I swing by the bank, but for the most part I'm taking it easy on the errands and the chores and just giving myself this week to recuperate and practice some extreme self-care. Thank the goddess I haven't forgotten how to do that.

I'm not really angry anymore. I'm sad, and a little scared, but mostly I'm just tired. At the same time I'm ready to do whatever it takes to graduate on time. I find energy to do the things that have to be done. I just find it somehow.

So.. I'd better get to it.

Thanks for the supportive comments and emails, folks. You have no idea how much it helps my mood, helps me to dig a little deeper to tap into my strength.

Or, maybe you do.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Thank You Sir May I Have Another

I enrolled in this program at this school because it was a) reasonably close to where I live and b) it would give me enough hours to be eligible for New York Licensing.

I didn't learn until I was almost 1/3 of the way through the program that the New York State Licensing exam is only offered twice a year. As soon as I learned the test was offered in January, I felt better. I graduate in October. No problem.

Not too long after that, my class learned that in order to be able to sit for the January licensing exam, New York State must receive all our paperwork, including the official program completion notice from the school, by November first. This caused some nervousness, but we were assured that we would graduate on October 26th. We'd just barely make the deadline by one week.

My class learned about two weeks ago that, thanks to an error on the school's part, we will not graduate until November 6th.

We panicked.

There is only one class holding things up. That instructor is sympathetic. He's basically a great guy. He agreed to meet with us on the weekends, so we can complete that extra week of class early, and still complete the program on time. We all agreed to check our calendars and schedule something soon.

A couple of Tuesdays ago, on September 5th, I got into a car accident. I was driving G's car. It wasn't my fault, and it wasn't serious, but it was the first accident I've ever been in, and I was quite shaken up for some time. It took a week of making official statements with the insurance company and dealing with the approved local auto fix-it shop before the whole situation ended. I missed two mornings worth of work (and pay) dealing with that, and grew several grey hairs. I wasn't injured, insurance covered the repairs, and everything is now fine. But damn.

Last Tuesday night was the night my class scheduled the makeup classes. We scheduled one for yesterday (Saturday, 9/23), one for today (Sunday, 9/24) and one for next Sunday (9/30).

Last Tuesday night at about 8pm, I was informed of my unceremonious booting from the temp job.

Then, about 1/2 hour later, we scheduled the classes.

Wednesday night, I had a Pathology test.

Thursday, I received a bill for just under $700 from a collection agency. Apparently I never paid an ambulance bill from February of '05. I never paid it because they never sent me the bill, even though I called and asked for it twice after the date of service. I stated that to the agency, and insisted they put that on record. They agreed. G sent them a check for the full amount yesterday... but that's a pretty pile of coins, and every time we have a major expense crop up, I see my wedding date disappearing farther and farther into the future.

Friday night was Yom Kippur. I remember being depressed that the local temple charges $500 per couple to attend that service. We made a nice little holiday for ourselves at home, but I remember feeling somewhat excluded from a lot of things, in a rather universal way.

Saturday, I completely forgot about the class.

At about 2pm I got a phone call from my classmate Ally. I didn't pick up because my phone was on silent - I'd forgotten to turn on the ringer. I got the message about two hours later, and immediately called Ally back. She sounded grim. "Nobody came," she said. "Nobody showed up. I was the only one who came."

"Holy Crap," I said, my stomach churning. "Oh God."

I mean, we knew Penny and Vic would be late, they have to work today," Ally continued. I could hear her puffing her cigarette. "Everyone else just didn't show. The teacher is pissed. I mean he's really pissed."

My heart sank. My knees buckled. "We're fucked, Ally. We are so fucked. All of us. Fucked."

"He canceled ALL our makeups. He said he's nobody's babysitter, and that we could all graduate late, take the exam next August, and it's not his problem."

I don't know how I kept from throwing up. I wanted to call the teach right then and apologize, but Ally warned me not to. My head swam. All the seventeen- and eighteen-hour days. Rendering myself unemployable during the holidays last year, because of my insistence on leaving jobs by 4:30. My complete disappearance from life, from my friends, even from my relationship. For this.

Somehow I managed to tell G about my amazingly awful brain fart. Possibly the worst fuck-up I have ever committed in my life. G did not yell and scream at me, but he is furious. Not so much at me as at the school, for putting my class in this situation to begin with. He's got a point, but I don't trust the administration to see things that way.

I called my classmate Vic. He knew. He had showed up just in time to see Ally and hear the bad news. He suggested I apologize like crazy on Monday, and maybe the teacher will show leniency, given the fact that I've never missed class or clinic the entire time I've been in school. "Give teach a couple of days, maybe Monday he'll cool down."

When I hung up, my cell phone rang. It was Penny. "It's gonna be ok, Ouiser." I cried into the phone. I ranted and raved. "We're gonna figure this out, Ouiser," Penny said soothingly. She and I brainstormed on what we might be able to do about this - sit in on some morning classes, work extra clinic shifts, whatever they ask.

When I go into class on Monday, I'm going to get there early, lick my teacher's feet, offer to wash his car with my toothbrush, and tell him how horrible I feel that he had to waste his time on a beautiful Saturday, and apologize for being a complete flake at the worst possible time. I might ever-so-slightly allude to the fact that I've been a little distracted lately, but I'm not going to harp on it. I'm not going to make excuses for myself. I'm just going to grovel.

This is no joke. I have worked too hard for this. We all have, but nobody's worked harder than Me, Ally, Vic and Penny. We are all honor's students. Ally showed up, Vic and Penny had pre-approved excuses for not being there on time. I'm the only fuck-up, and I've never fucked up before. Not allowing me to graduate on time, even if I work extra clinic shifts, even if I sit in on day classes - that punishment doesn't fit the crime.

All day today, I keep thinking of this tarot reader I met last year. She could see that I was exhausted and emotionally broken from all I'd been through with my old job, the temp agencies, the loss of my apartment, and my numerous failed efforts to build something out of my life. I told her that I had just started Massage Therapy School - that this was my latest attempt to live a constructive, happy, productive life. I told her that I was depressed, because I 'd had too many disappointments. I had no reason to believe the 15 grand in student loans I'd just taken out would be worth anything. That I was afraid that, like everything else, something would come along and screw this up for me. Or I'd make one false move and ruin it for myself.

That nice lady took my hands and told me I needed to relax, refocus, and trust. She said it was time for me to do the work I knew I needed to do, and then trust that the Universe would step in and play it's part.

Stupid bitch.

Oh no - I meant me. I was the stupid bitch. I actually believed her.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I was dismissed from of my temp job yesterday. I was informed at 8pm, while I was at school, on my dinner break. I am not allowed to return even for 15 short minutes today to retrieve my sweater poncho, delete my internet cache and history (it's a good thing I'm boring), or empty the trash can at the cubicle.

I'm going to miss that sweater.

I pretty much knew right off the bat what had precipitated this, and my suspicions have been confirmed. It's not about me, and it's not my problem. Never was. I feel quite at peace, and I truly wish those poor, poor, well-meaning people the best of luck.

I never really wore that sweater much anyway.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Jam off the Spam*

When I was in grade school, my art teacher asked each student in the class to bring in a piece of trash - an empty soup can or a plastic 8-pak ring - and make art with it.

This text came from a bit of spam I found today in my gmail. Before the ad for lower mortgage rates came a bunch of random phrases in no discernible order. Somehow, in the time it took to reach for the mouse and drag the cursor to the delete link, I managed to read some of the sentences. I found the images curiously haunting. I deleted the spam, but I saved the text.

I left the sentences intact, but arranged them into paragraphs. This is what I came up with:

The motor-cars returning to town left early, in a little group. The curious seed-rattling hum of voices that filled the plaza was hushed. The whole village was in that state of curious, reptile apprehension which comes over dark people. A people that has never been redeemed, that has not known a Saviour. A race old in subjection to fear, and unable to shake it off. Unless there comes some Saviour, some Redeemer to drive a new way out, to the sun.

But the police in most countries are never present save where there is no trouble.

Even the fifis had a pistol on their hips. She lay absolutely crushed, in a kind of quiescent hysterics, tortured. Their very naked torsos were clothed with a subtle shadow, a certain secret obscurity. And the flesh would mortify around every claw.

In the absolute silence could be heard the soundless stillness of the dark lake. And herself woman, wheeling upon the great wheel of womanhood. She had been sitting at a little table, with Juana for dueña, sipping a glass of absinthe. "It has five shots," he said, showing the weapon. Then he looked at Kate with flashing black eyes, very much the man to the rescue. "Till I saw beneath me white breast-tips of my Mexico, my bride." The heavy, evil-smelling weight of an unconquered past.

There was neither urge nor effort, nor any speciality. They sat still, talking, listening with a second consciousness. At the same time, she was listening intensely, with a clutch of horror.

So hear now, you men, and you women of these men. The ghastly fear of the rabble; and during the war, nations were nearly all rabble. Ah, Niña, we poor women, we need a man and a pistol.

And Kate turned to the darkness of the lake. "If you open the door in the night, you must say a word to me first." She grew quieter, shut up with the dusky glow of her candle. In the cave which is called Dark Eye, behind the sun, looking through him as a window, is the place. She would lie and listen to the thickening darkness. "And so hear now, you men, and you women of these men. When men forget me, I lift the back of my hand, farewell!"

Thus the big word was spoken behind the back of the world. Just as I, without the sun that is back of the sun, am nothing.

*What do you mean, you don't like spam? I'm having spam, jam, eggs and spam!