Friday, January 22, 2016

Willpower Reboot (or hide all the sugar in the universe)

Every January it's the same.  After a holiday season filled with my mother's impossible-to-resist butter tarts, whipped shortbread and banana-cherry slice;  after the boxes of Turtles, bars of Toblerone and Chicago Mix popcorn - I'm basically fucked. How is it that I make it through the first part of December relatively unscathed, only to then lose my mind in the safe-haven of my parents' home between December 24th and December 27th?

It just doesn't make sense.  I love being at my parents' house.  I don't have deep-seated anxiety when I visit.  Visiting my parents is something I actually choose to do.  So why, why, why, WHY for the love of stable blood sugar, am I unable to control myself when I'm home?  Why do I emotionally eat the moment the door opens?  It's not like I was raised on a diet of sugar and white flour - we weren't a dessert every night kind of family.

And now it's the New Year.  Now January is 3/4 over and I am still jonesing for sugar.  And I'm unable to stop myself if there is a box of chocolates just lying around.  I'm pretty much wired to eat like I might never eat again.  And I'm doing my best, I really am.  I'm doing my best to eat healthfully.  I have salads for lunch EVERY SINGLE FUCKING day at work.  I drink lots of water.  I'm hydrated, I take vitamins. 

I thought I'd had a breakthrough this week.  We'd had to drop off coffee and Timbits to a work crew.  A box full of Timbits, all coated in Liquid Heaven, just begging me to shove six to ten of them in my mouth all at once and then sink to the floor in a white flour and sugar coma.  I didn't do it.  Instead, all surreptitious-like, I leaned over the box and breathed in their deliciously demonic scent, because I knew... I knew that if I had just one of those Timbits, I'd be at the point of no return.  I'D HAD A GOOD DAY!!!  And then the other night, I blew that progress all to hell while at an after-rehearsal gathering.

How do I get back to eating only when I'm hungry?  I'm not talking about crash dieting, or starving myself, but shutting out that inner voice that tells me...


How do I shut out that binge-eating, verging-on-the-schizophrenic voice?  How do I shut out the 2:12 p.m. voice that tells me that I'm insane to think that a decaf Earl Grey tea with stevia is going to satisfy the sugar slut in my gullet?  I feel like shit when I give in.  I want to crawl into a Slanket and give up on the world as I weep pitifully and wait for my blood sugar to calm down.  I'm nothing.  I'm no one.  I have no willpower.  Except... I do have willpower.  I only smelled that box of Timbits on Tuesday.  I'm not 'nothing.'  I'm someone for fuckssake!

All right then.  Cold fucking turkey it is.  I will breathe.  I will square my shoulders and do my best to ignore Sugar Nips' sultry voice.  And if I fuck up, I fuck up.  I can start over.  I'll just start over.  I can do this.

Monday, January 11, 2016

One girl's Bowie.

In 1983 I thought David Bowie was Elton John.  Modern Love had just hit the airwaves with its pop-happy sound.  I glommed onto its vibe as something dancy and fun and cluelessly mistook his voice for the Rocket Man's. At 15, I wasn't familiar enough with Bowie's work to make the distinction.  I do know that I couldn't remember hearing Bowie singing happily.  It wasn't until two years later, when the lyrics of Changes appeared at the end of The Breakfast Club that I thought to learn more about him.  And in '85 you couldn't just do a YouTube search and mainline every video he'd made, like I've done today.  By the time Absolute Beginners, with all its kitsch, schmarm and ridiculousness, was released in 1986 - he had cemented himself into my still-evolving psyche - a British rock idol, chewing the scenery with a delicious American accent - my teenaged heart fluttered wildly.

Last week I saw a meme.  A grown up Jennifer Connelly standing with the Goblin King behind her, his hand resting upon her slim neck.  Return of the Goblin King - visual wishful thinking for the Generation Xers.   I did a quick search, hoping against hope that it wasn't a hoax, only to find myself disappointed.

Bowie's extensive personae provided enough visual stimuli to give people a smorgasbord of fashion and musical style.

From decade to decade, sometimes from year to year - he redefined his sound and his look: glam rock, plastic soul, rock & roll, industrial, experimental.  I didn't realize he had actual pipes until he did a cover of Nature Boy for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack - I had to look that up too.  Who was this man with power and vibrato killing the tune? The Bowie I knew spat words out - rapid fire -  held no notes, spoke/sung his way through songs.

I don't know another actor/singer who has imprinted so completely upon me.  I can as easily picture him as Ziggy Stardust singing The Jean Jeanie,

as I can visualize him 'dancing' with La La La Human Steps, 

or morphing into Tesla in The Prestige.

I shall miss the Thin White Duke terribly.  I was waiting for my teenage daughter to appreciate him on her own -  that process will now be jump-started.  A crash course in Bowie - she can pick and choose which persona to love most - if I know my kid, 80s Bowie will be her in, but 70s Bowie is going to steal her soul.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Passport Panic Attack

"Hey Love.... where's your passport?" asks David while I'm finishing up on the treadmill.

"It's up in our bedroom.  In the thing..."  I say patiently.  Boys.  They don't know where stuff is...

"Ummm... I looked in the thing...  Your passport isn't there."

Sighing, I turn off the treadmill.  If I get up those stairs and that passport is there...  I open the thing where all our passports are kept.  Only two passports.  Rissa's passport.  David's passport.  My passport is not there.

The "H" of HYSTERIA is born in the pit of my stomach.  When did I last use my passport?  When I went down to NY in September.  Okay good.  I know when it was out of the house last.

It's been stolen.

Shut up.  It is now January.  I remember that I'd had it with me when I came back, I know I did because they let me out of NY and back into Canada.  Where was it??  I had put it in my purse so that I didn't have to open my suitcase for it.  It was in my purse and I moved it someplace safe.  Unless I didn't actually move it someplace safe and it was stolen when my friend Jon met me at the airport and we went for coffee...

"Look, I'm sorry," says David.  "I shouldn't have even mentioned it.  I shouldn't have.  It'll turn up.  It's around here somewhere."

It was stolen.

Shut up. Did it fall out while I was getting my stupid pumpkin spice soy latte? (I look in the box on the piano.)  I ordered that ridiculous latte, feeling all autumny and now I'm fucked.  I am fucked because I wanted something sweet and ridiculous and some sketchy fucking hipster probably took it and hid it in his beard.  And why did I even have a latte?  That September day had been more like June, not September,  it was perfect - really I should have gotten a fucking iced latte - what was I thinking?  I remember aaaaaaaaaaaall that, but I don't remember where the passport is.

Because someone stole it while you were enjoying your ridiculous latte Heather.

Shut up.  It's not stolen, it's just missing.  (I look in the suitcase I took to NY.)  In this house somewhere.

It's been stolen.  Someone has now stolen your identity and you won't be able to get that car you thought you were going to get because another woman, probably in some eastern European mob, is out there pretending she's you. 

Shut up.   (I look in all the suitcases that I didn't take to NY.)  

"Really, love," says David.  "It'll be fine."

"No it's not!!  What if Endzela has now taken over my identity and she is ruining our credit rating right now?!?"

"Hey, hey, hey," he says in his calmest animal whisperer voice.  "Nothing has happened to our credit.  We're fine, we're good."


 "Why don't you go up and have a shower.  It's okay.  We can look again when we get back from the movie."  He is now patting me.  PATTING me.

"WE CAN'T GO TO A MOVIE!!"  I take a breath.  "Okay.  Okay.  I'll go upstairs..."  It'll all be fine.  It's all good.  A shower will help this...

I run down the stairs naked and look in my old purse that I didn't take to NY.  Fuck.  FUUUUUUCK!!  The stress-induced angina begins now.  I head back up into the shower.  I bang my head against the shower wall, sobbing.  Where did I put it??  I put it someplace safe.  I PUT IT SOMEPLACE SAFE!!!  Nope. Nope, I am not doing this.  I am stopping this panic attack now.

Naked and wet, I run back downstairs.  I go over to the butler's pantry and grab the Scotch.  I claw  ice from the adjacent freezer.  I take a deep swig, letting it warm my chest.  I square my shoulders.  I breathe deeply.

Then I walk over to the box on the piano, reach in and take out my passport which had been placed in the first section, next to the spare change bowl, with its back to the bowl, hiding its gold emblazoned front, all camouflaged-like.  I tilt back the rest of my Scotch and head back upstairs to finish my shower.

It just might be possible that I have disproportionate responses to stress.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Husky, deep... Barbara Stanwyck

Rissa and I are watching bingeing Gilmore Girls.  Cats blanket our already afghaned laps.

EMILY: Oh look -- Barbara Stanwyck. I just love Barbara Stanwyck.

LORELAI: Oh yeah, she's good. 

EMILY: She had that wonderful voice -- that husky, deep voice. I just love that voice.

LORELAI: You know Mom, you have kind of a Barbara Stanwycky voice.

EMILY: Oh I do not.

LORELAI: I mean it. You could have gotten Fred McMurray to off Dad if you'd really wanted to.  

EMILY: Oh you do enjoy teasing me, don't you?

(There is the tiniest of pauses before Rissa repeats the last line in a voice from The Exorcist.


"What are you doing?"


I snort loudly.  The cats startle.

LORELAI: I know. (pause)

EMILY: You did a lovely job.

LORELAI: Thank you. 


"Stop it. I'm going to wet my pants," I say.


I am now in emergency Kegel mode.  We both giggle madly as the show continues.

RORY: I don't know...having my boyfriend defend my honor. It's weird. 

DEAN: Uh, boyfriend? 

RORY: What? 

DEAN: You said 'boyfriend.' 

"BOYFRIEND,"  Says Rissa - convulsing with laughter.

"STOP IT," I say, snorting harder.

"I CAN'T."


The pair of us can no longer breathe.  That's when David looks up from his computer and pulls off his headphones.  "What are you doing?"

Both of us in unison intone "HUSKY, DEEP VOICE."