Monday, August 24, 2009


my body numb and tingling,
throat closed, hands trembling
I cut you half so that I don't fall asleep

in just a few minutes my eyes will grow heavy
I'll float like an angel on a warm fluffy cloud
high above the trouble down below
high above the electric bill and the dirty clothes

my body numb and tingling
throat open, hands steady
I feel like I'm drifting off into darkness.
The sun is still shining. I'm just not ready.

A cup of tea and stubborn resistance
is all I have to keep me awake.
Imagine how I'd feel if I took the whole thing
if this is how I feel from the little I take.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Diversions/Critters a.k.a. Cat Massage

What better way to end your week than
by learning a new technique.
We're never too old to learn something new.
Today's lesson is in the art of cat massage.
I can't think of a better way to spend my time
and energy. I also couldn't imagine a better teacher than this woman.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

30 Days

Today is 30 days of not smoking.
Let's just call it a month.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Waiting to Inhale

This is my old familiar friend, the albuterol inhaler. I used to carry one of these around with me all the time to deal with both allergy and exercise induced asthma. Well, I think I may have gotten to the bottom of this whole panic attack thing. The doctor I saw on Thursday gave me a new inhaler but told me that if I was having panic attacks then the inhaler would make them worse, so I have not been using it. Well, on Saturday, I was having a bit of labored breathing and decided to try the inhaler. In fact, I found that I could breathe again. It seems that perhaps my quitting smoking has brought back my asthma. The combination of stress, allergies and my lungs purging themselves of crud has gotten me to this place of having trouble breathing. The trouble breathing is causing me to have panic attacks. So, I am back to carrying around this little friend and hopefully I have found the root of the problem, so that I can tackle the world unhindered by a lack of air and a feeling of panic.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 26

I have not had a cigarette for 26 days.
However, I'm now on anxiety medication.
Life is a give and take. Time to explore new ways
of releasing my tension.

Panic at the Disco

Ok, so this title isn't exactly the best to describe this post but it will have to do. This has nothing to do with disco. It has nothing to do with the band Panic at the Disco whose music I don't know, though I'm sure it's totally awesome and stuff.

Yesterday I had a panic attack, the third bad one in three weeks. The first attack happened on a crowded train. I ended up getting out of the train 4 stations before my stop because I couldn't breathe. It felt like I was having a heart attack. I climbed up the subway steps and suddenly I could breathe, so I waited for another train to come thinking I was ok. A train pulled into the station packed full of people. When I looked at the crowded train, suddenly it started again. Just thinking of being on the train took my breath away. I ended up walking home after calling Konstantine completely freaking out. He met me and walked with me.

I used to think panic attacks were something people made up, a sort of fake disorder used to get drugs from a doctor or draw attention to ones self. I now know that they are a very real very scary thing. Yesterday, I truly could not breath. It felt like I was going to die. My fingers started to go numb and tingling. I ended up in a clinic hooked up to an EKG, had my blood pressure checked twice, my breathing listened to via stethoscope back and front multiple times, had three viles of blood drawn, etc. My EKG was normal though my heart rate was a bit fast. My hands were shaking. My blood pressure was high. My temperature was normal. The doctor told me that I am having panic attacks and prescribed anti anxiety medication. I started to have another panic attack this morning but was able to calm myself down and stop it from getting as bad as yesterday. I played happy music in my head and focused on the music. My throat and begun to tighten and I was getting to a place where it was hard to breathe, but I just focused on the music and let it be the only thing that existed. My hands were shaking, but I kept my focus on the music and it brought me back. I refuse to let this take hold of me and turn me into an agoraphobic who can't leave the house or deal with crowds. It seems that most of the attacks have happened on crowded trains, in crowded grocery stores, etc. I am going to try my best to get to a place of calm and relaxation. Knock on Wood, this too shall pass.

I just have to tell myself Don't Panic

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Death of a Harddrive
a new play in two parts

A couple of years back, my laptop stopped working very suddenly without any warning at all. I self diagnosed the problem as a failed hard drive. Despite my friends' pleading and apprehension, I decided to fix the computer myself. I have never been so nervous, sweat so much or seen so many tiny screws in my life. I managed to successfully replace the hard drive on my laptop and get it back up and running. It felt like a real victory. At that time, the true loss was the data on the hard drive. I was living from sofa to sofa doing shows promoting my album and everything was in storage. I did not have an external backup of my data so everything was lost.

As a result, I bought an external hard drive and another one to back that one up. Well, I must not have truly learned my lesson because tragically over the weekend my external hard drive died. I had just moved a bunch of files temporarily to that drive because I was out of room on my laptop and the other drive. In my long list of to dos for the week was the purchase of an additional drive to back everything up. Unfortunately, death came to my hard drive before I was able to do that.

I have lost music that I was working on, but oddly I am not freaking out. I am trying to work with the company that makes the drive to see if it is an issue where the data may still be recoverable. If it is a failure to the power part of the drive only, then this is a possibility. If not, then sadly I will have to start from scratch on a couple of songs. Luckily 90% of my music is on another hard drive which is still operational. I am waiting for the arrival of another drive tomorrow and I will back that 90% up onto that. The one good thing is that even if the drive that died is completely dead it is still under warranty so the worst case scenario is that I will be given a replacement drive.

As someone told me when my laptop died... "It is not a matter of IF your hard drive will fail. It is a matter of when."

Always back up the data that is important to you. It could happen at any time.

It's a broken hard drive. I know what to do. I just need some duct tape and superglue.

Diversions: Roisen Murphy

I must admit that when I was first exposed to Roisen Murphy I was less than impressed.
I have sence begun to shift or rather clarify my view. She is a very talented live performer but I am not crazy about the style of production used on much of her recorded material. Regardless, I am completely transfixed by this performance of her song Ramalama Bang Bang. Enjoy

You can learn about the former singer for Moloko by visiting her website.

Woman - Hear Her Roar?
or Open The Door!

A strange thing happened in September of 1968. A protest against the miss America pageant literally eurupted into groups of women burning their bras (among other things).
This was one stop on the long bumpy road toward equality for women, which many argue is still going on to this day. A mere 4 years later in 1972 a young woman named Helen Reddy shot to the top of the billboard music charts with a song titled "I am Woman" as in I am woman hear me roar. The song became an anthem of solidarity for many women at the time.

I am by no means a historian or expert on the women's movement. Yes, I know these are only two instances, blips if you will in a long struggle towards equality for women. It's a struggle that has become convoluted to some extent in a post feminist world.

There are two questions I would like to pose and I will clarify shortly. Can women be treated equally to men? (and) Do all women really want to be?

I know there are some women who feel completely content and fulfilled baking cookies, ironing shirts and driving the children to soccer practice. If that is their choice, that is perfectly fine. There are still others who wish to grab the corporate world by the balls, fly into outer space, become professional body builders, or even run for president. Recently we saw the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor as a justice for the US Supreme Court. She is only the third female justice to hold that honored position. Still it is progress.

So, the two questions I have posed were presented with a promise for clarification. Here goes. There is one thing I have never understood and that thing is this idea of chivalry. If women wish to be treated equally to men in society (as they should be), then why is it not offensive to them that men open doors for them, give them seats on the subway, let them walk out of the elevator first. It's the strangest thing to me. It makes no sense.

To me, seeing a man open a door for a woman comes with an implication of weakness. as though a woman is too feable to open the door for herself and needs a man to do it for her. My one exception to this thought is when it involves an older woman for example with a cane or a walker or a woman who is pushing a baby stroller and fighting with a door. That also goes for a man with a cane or walker or a man with a stroller. To me, yes opening the door for someone is a very sweet polite thing to do, but this whole idea of men specifically opening doors for women bothers me. Perhaps it doesn't bother women. I have not seen a woman once complain or see it in this way or at least expressed such feelings to me.

I have been given dirty looks by people on the subway because I sat in one open seat and there is a perfectly healthy able bodied woman standing there. It's as if I have slapped that woman. Why should that woman be more entitled to that seat? Why am I being rude when I am merely treating that woman the same way that I would treat a man? Should I treat her as weak and feable and give her the seat? I'd rather see her as strong. In these instances I find an inconsistency which to mean is in conflict with feminist principles.

So, should women have their cake and eat it too? Is it I am woman hear me roar? Is it, I am woman, open the door? Is it both?

One Foot in front of the other

Photo by the deliciously noteworthy Ms. Carrie Thomas

Well, I am quickly approaching a month of not smoking. It is day 24.
Thus far it has definitely had it's ups and downs.
This week, I'm finding that I'm dealing with some shortness of breath
and insomnia. I know that it will pass. I've been walking a lot in the evening to try and push my way through the stress. I think I've walked around 11 miles in the last two days. It is the evening when I most want a cigarette. Instead I have been trudging through the city despite the fact that we are going through a full on heat wave. I end up returning home drenched in sweat, but I know it is therapeutic for me right now. I changed the inner tubes on my bike as the tires wouldn't stay inflated. I'm going to start biking soon and get back into running. All of these are things which I know are a good replacement for the cigarettes and a step in the right direction for my desire to acheive some renewed sense of physical fitness. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other. I am ready to tackle the world with renewed strength and purpose.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Cooking and Cleaning and Scrubbing the Tub

Yesterday I went into a cleaning frenzy the likes of which hasn't been seen in our apartment in quite some time. I enlisted the help of K and dove headfirst into an all day scrub fest. Bucket of bleach and soap with yellow rubber glove in tow, I scrubbed every inch of tile and swept like a crazy person. We gave the apartment a very thorough head to toe cleaning. We took a break to make a brunch of sorts with poached eggs, steamed spinach, oatmeal and my good friend bacon.

We completely rearranged the living room which does double duty as my office/editing suite. We decided to part with two chairs that the cat has basically destroyed. They were these beautiful danish midcentury modern molded plywood chairs that someone had thrown into the trash. K and I had found them when we first started dating and he helped me carry them home. We carried both chairs out to the curb and ashes to ashes, dust to dust, the cycle was complete and they returned to the place from where they once came. There is a new zen quality to the space and everything is so much more open and flowing. It feels good to get rid of some of the clutter and get the space to a place where it can breath again.

The desk used to face a wall and now it faces a window. It seems so much more inspiring to sit looking out the window rather than staring at the cold plaster wall.

I feel like I'm going through my own personal spring. Doing the spring cleaning and preparing for my own garden to start blossoming. Lord knows it feels like spring with how much rain we've been getting. It never seems to stop. I know it will soon enough though. There are good things ahead.

Day 15

I promise that the Rant has not turned into a glorified quit smoking log, just a temporary one. Today is a day of note, Day 15 of not smoking. This marks the beginning of week 3 in my journey. I'm settling into a comfortable place and feeling like I'm going to make it.

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