Baby

Standard

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 1.36.45 AM

Meirma always called me Baby. That was her name for me for as long as I can remember. She called her cat Kittycat… and her turtle’s name was simply Turtle. I never saw it as uncreative, it was a cute little thing that Meirma did. She was from a Different Time. We continued this tradition of literal names ourselves, naming our little baby poodle Puppy, (Puppy Luv officially, just to save face at the Vet), and my bunnies are named BunBun and Isobel Bun. She just started calling me Baby when I was a baby, and it stuck.

I remember a time when I was a Naughty Bad Child, and had to go to a place for bad kids where they tried to reign us in. My problem was the fact that I was always treated as an adult by my very young mother, hanging out with her friends and listening to Adult Talk that I probably shouldn’t have heard at that tender age. I felt that I was their equal because I was treated that way by everybody around me.  I was raised around adults and didn’t hang out with other children until I was much older. This made me very defiant to authority, and that has stuck throughout my life. I don’t regret it one bit, though. It made me who I am.

At the Bad Kid Place, the shrink had the brilliant insight that I “acted like a baby” because Meirma called me Baby. They instructed my mother to forbid Meirma to call me that. It made me livid, and Meirma would have none of it, of course! Good for her!

Every time I came into her house, and later, her awful room at Hylond senior care centre, her eyes lit up and she exclaimed “Ba-by!!!” I miss that so much. Nobody will ever call me that again. I was always her baby. Her first granddaughter.  I was so lucky to grow up next door to her and Poppy. He doesn’t call me Baby. Poppy calls me Sugar. He talks kind of funny, so it doesn’t have the hard “SHHH” sound. It’s a softer, snakey “S”, like the word Sweet. Soon enough the time will come when I’ll never hear that again, either.

So here I am on Mother’s Day, crying my eyes out thinking of Meirma, wishing so hard that I could hear her call me Baby one more time. I wish I had a recording of her voice. A video of her adorable face when it lit up with joy.

I went to a nursery today and saw the same beautiful flowers that I used to buy for her every year. A gorgeous Delphinium in purple and pearl shades that looks magic. A beautiful Petunia in vivid violet with the coolest yummy green ruffled edge. I would always buy one for me, Meirma, and Mommy. Meirma had a way of keeping hers alive longer than the rest of us. We have Green Thumbs, but she has a Green Soul! She is the Queen of the Flower Fairies. I bought flowers for myself, but really, they are for her. I want to give them to her and I will, in my own Witchy way.

I’m crying like a baby. I am nothing but a baby. I want my Meirma back and I will never know true happiness again without her in my life and without her sweet presence on this earth. I want to stomp my feet and scream “Why? Why? Why? It’s not fair! I want her back!” I am a total baby when it comes to Death. I hate Death. I’ve declared War on it. And in my own babyish way, I almost believe that if I wish hard enough, she will return to me.

Camellia Show

Standard

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 3.19.55 PM

Ten years ago I went to the Camellia Show at Gallo’s – a grand place with peacocks (albino and regular), 60 foot tall Wisteria and white Lady Banks growing wild in a dried-out riverbed, and a huge pretend lake with an obscene fountain shooting water unceremoniously into the sky. I went with my mom, little sister, and Meirma. The only thing I really remember about that day, besides the wind that turned a showy peacock inside out just like an umbrella in a cartoon, is Meirma, walking slowly. Waiting for Meirma to catch up. Meirma loved Camellias.

Today I went again, this time with my mom and her sister. Both of them are somewhat like Meirma, but I only want the real thing. I walked slowly on two new hips, admiring each flower, reading the names and hometowns of each entrant. Though I tried to dawdle, I ended up far ahead of my mother and aunt. I started talking to Meirma in my head, and pretended that she was talking back.  At 33 years old, I finally have my first imaginary friend, and it’s my own dead grandmother.

“Meirma!,” I exclaimed in my head, “Look at this one! It’s just like yours… but of course yours is prettier.” And in my head, almost as if it was real, Meirma smiled and laughed and agreed with me. “Hey Meirma, look at this one! The petals look like a lotus! And this one looks like a weird rose.” Meirma corrected me, telling me that it looked like a cabbage rose specifically. I hadn’t remembered that name and needed her to remind me. I went on, talking to her about each flower, showing them to her, asking which ones she used to have, talking about the colours and the petals. I asked her questions and she answered me. She asked me to read the names to her, and I did. Swan Lake, Lipstick, Ava Maria. “Isn’t this one cool?,” I showed Meirma a Camellia that looked like it was a snowflake, cut out of paper. She laughed and said “Yes, it’s cool,” the way she used to. Cool has two syllables when Meirma says it.

I was enjoying our visit, but eventually it got to be too much, and I walked around the show blinking tears away. I had to go outside. It continued. “Hey Meirma,” I asked her, “How would you like to live here?” She laughed at me and said “Oh sure, I’d love it. Let’s move in!” “Well guess what – I bought it for us! We can live here forever! We can have picnics right here with the peacocks, and concerts in the hall with the Koi fish…” She didn’t believe me, but I convinced her, and I pretended it was all true.

My mother and aunt took forever. Forever and ever and ever. I wandered around, stole some white peacock feathers, and smiled sweetly at the little old women who reminded me of her. I went back to my mom and aunt and tried to force myself to be in the moment. These two, after all, are the closest things to Meirma anymore, besides Poppy and their third sister. Meirma made these women who they are. Different as night and day, but they are the same when it comes to flowers. The same as Meirma, me, my sister, our cousin. Plants and flowers tie us together more than blood ever could. And just like clones of plants, we are all cuttings from Meirma. My back fence is covered with a cutting from her fragrant pink climbing rose, and it will live on even if her rose dies. I can make more cuttings and keep it going for forever, if I want to. It’s the exact same plant, a copy, but it is it’s own plant, too. I like to think that if plants have souls, my rose retains the memory of being cared for by her. My aunt was pointing out which Camellias they used to grow at The Old House. I tried to go along with them and listen, but my desire for the real thing was too strong. I drifted away and started talking to Meirma in my head again.

“Hey Meirma, isn’t that the one you had at The Old House?” “No,” she sniffed, “Ours was bigger, and the petals came out like this.” She waved her hands a bit. It kills me to picture her little wrinkled hands and beautifully filed nails. The way she used her little hands when she talked, not really illustrating anything specific with their small flaps and flutters. I worry so often that I will forget the sound of her voice and her mannerisms, but so far it’s all still there, in my head. It’s only been a couple months, though.

I grew morose and claimed to be on my period so they would take me home. I told my boyfriend the other day that I have effectively turned Meirma into a “friendly ghost.” Meirma the Friendly Ghost. I talk to her a lot, especially when I’m in my own garden, but today was the first time I’ve allowed myself to get this lost in the fantasy, and have an actual conversation with her. I worry a bit that this could be turning into some kind of psychosis. Am I willingly partaking in my own mental decadence? What if I end up in a crazy house with nobody but my pretend grandmother for company? Well actually, that doesn’t sound so bad. I think I’d gladly give up my sanity in order to spend even one more hour in her presence.

Lots of Shit

Standard

It’s been a while. I don’t think I have Bi-Polar at all, and the shrink didn’t push it. Those meds made me insane. I’ve been living for so long in chronic pain, I never realized the strong connection that had with my mental state. People just don’t really talk about that. I’m not crazy, I’m *hurting*. My moods fluctuate because I am in agony and can’t do anything that normal people do for fun, or even for basic every-day life. I can no longer care for my garden, my animals, my house, my own self.

Ten weeks ago I got my right hip replaced. There was so much panic and fear. I threw away my sex toys in case I died during surgery. I didn’t make a will, because if I had, it would look something like this:

“I, Yum Yum Meow, hereby bequeath my vintage toy collection to whoever wants to sell it or throw it away.  My books, whatever. You should read them. Most are pretty good. My personal writings, please throw that shit away without reading it. Make sure my animals go to a good home. I want to be buried under a tree, I DO NOT want to be embalmed or in a casket, and I don’t want a funeral. Thanks. Bye.”

The replacement went ok. I was insane for a while afterwards, with fear of bloodclots (My grandmother died of one after getting her hip replaced), and mostly, the fear that I just wouldn’t get better. That fear was pretty much spot-on. Shortly after getting a new right hip, my left collapsed. So while other hip patients were learning to walk on crutches and a cane, I was sitting on my walker, hating my life. I still am. I’m just existing in Purgatory, housebound for the most part… panicking at the thought that I have to walk up two stairs and through the whole house just to go and take a pee.

I have Avascular Necrosis, which means that my hip bones were/are DEAD. Dead bones just hanging out in my body, being dead and crumbling like chalk every time I move my leg. The dr says he cut all of the dead bone off, and it was just shattering and crumbling little bone fragments that they had to pick out of my meat. My new hip feels great, but my left now feels the same way as my old one used to feel. The pain is a grinding, rotten, evil feeling. It feels like a shrapnel bomb is going off in my hip constantly. It radiates down to my knee, encases it in frightening, rotten agony, then moves down my shin to finally stop at my ankle. This is constant.

I was so caught up in feeling anxious and depressed, I didn’t realize that it was because I am literally trapped in my body. A horrible, painful trap. Who WOULDN’T be depressed? You can’t go to the park, the beach, bike riding, shopping, a little walk, nothing. You have to say “no” to everything. Worst of all is I can’t dance. I’m not a dancer. I suck at dancing. But I miss it more than anything you could imagine. When a good oldies song comes on, I want to leap and stomp around, do the twist, dance and sing. It’s just not the same when you are sitting on a walker with a dead bone throbbing and screaming at you.

I have read that this pain only compares to the pain of bone cancer. I wonder how they know that? How many poor bone cancer patients have had AVN earlier in their lives and then said “Yup, the pain is pretty much the same!”  I can’t imagine that! So how do they *know*? I can say it is excruciating. It is all-encompassing. And no meds can touch it. It laughs at pain meds.

So I’m waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting to have a life and be able to drive if I want to. Drive to the bank, the feed store, to visit my Meirma and Poppy. I’m waiting to play music in public again. I’m waiting to learn how to actually  be a person. What do you real people do, anyway? Wait, wait, wait. I hope they replace my other hip soon. As much as I dread the operation and the pain and confusion and illness afterwards,  I want to be a Real Boy.

How It Feels To Have A Panic Attack

Standard

* a disclaimer: I’m having a ridiculously mild “surgery” tomorrow. I’ll be knocked out for about five minutes while they give me a pain shot in the hip socket. However, medical situations of any kind are a gigantic panic trigger for me, and instead of taking a nap this afternoon, I began freaking out. So I decided to do what my wise old shrink advised, and attempt to “write the demons away.”  I hope that nobody who reads this sees it as any sort of cry for help or sympathy. I can handle my scandal…. This isn’t about attention, it’s about getting this shit out of my head. And maybe if you identify with any of it, you’ll feel a little less alone. Or more insane. I don’t know.

 

HOW IT FEELS TO HAVE A PANIC ATTACK

 

  1. Bad Thoughts

Bad thoughts start swirling around in your head. Well, they don’t actually start, seeing as how they are always there, lurking beneath everything in your life. Every smile is shadowed by the Bad Thoughts. Every decision is flavoured by them, always. Every outing, event, holiday, evening, fresh new morning, song on the radio, new flower that blooms, tampon commercial, everything. But when a Panic Attack starts up in earnest, the Bad Thoughts have a way of pushing themselves to the forefront of your mind, and taking over. Reason is a word that no longer exists. The Bad thoughts swirl like a whirlpool, sucking you down into their darkest depths. They eat their own tail, like an ugly black Ouroboros; one Bad Thought leading to another, and another, and they just circle around like a giant toxic turd that not only refuses to flush, but grows more malignant with every cycle.

 

  1. Forget How to Breathe and Have a Mini Heart-Attack

Soon, you’ll notice your breathing become more shallow and quick. Every time you try to take a breath in, your stomach will tighten and your breath will hitch, and each subsequent breath will be more shallow than the one before it. Soon you’ll notice that your heart is racing, your entire body seems to bounce with the loud, hard, impossibly fast beats of your broken, black little heart. “Oh,”  you might observe, “so this is how it feels to be drowned.”

 

  1. Make Creepy Sounds

If you are lucky, you are capable of crying silently. I’m not one of the lucky ones. With a Panic Attack, the sounds usually start with the realization that you are suffocating under the weight of a thousand mountains and that you will probably die any second. Cue the keening. It starts with a whimper or a sigh or a big, audible hitch in your breath. Then it becomes a broken keening with every exhale. Even though it’s coming from me, I’m painfully aware of how desperate and primal my sounds become at this point. When it first happened, I was amazed. This was the sound of a pain so deep, I almost looked around for a wounded animal. I only needed to look in the mirror.

 

  1. Everything Hurts

Not only does your heart hurt, and your feelings, but it seems as if every single cell in your body is in physical pain. Every hair follicle, every inch of every limb. All of your internal organs feel as if they could explode with the pressure and pain tormenting your body and psyche. Your blood is filled with spikes as it courses through your veins, and your skin burns. You now understand the old accounts of demons suffocating people in their beds, because it feels as if twenty of them are hanging out on your chest.

 

  1. Freak Tha Fuck Out

You start to hyperventilate. Crying, screaming, unreasonable tantrums; knowing that everybody you love is going to die and you will be alone, that nothing will ever get better and things will only continue to decline (your health, relationships, creativity, etc., etc., etc.), that there is no god and if there is, you fucking hate his guts for doing this to you; that when you die there is nothing because if there was something, why wouldn’t your dead grandma or cat come back in a dream to tell you not to worry, when they should know damn well how much this shit bothers you? You try to break up with your boyfriend for his sake, but don’t say that part, and only relent once he finally gives in and says he’ll leave; cry about how ugly you’ve become, how you’ve wasted your life, how you are in debt, how nothing is good and nothing will ever feel as good as when you were a little kid ever, ever again. Feel super guilty that your boyfriend and family have to put up with your worthless insane ass, and worry that each time you do this he loves you a little bit less. He definitely trusts you less.

 

  1. Cry Yourself To Sleep ~or~ Take A Xanex (or two)

Pretty self-explanatory. For me, it’s usually a mix, if I’m deemed worthy of the Little Yellow Pill that month. When you wake up, pretend that everything will be okay from now on. Try to smile with your eyes, even though they are absolutely dead, and your mouth twitches with how unnatural a smile feels on it. Tell yourself you won’t ever let it get that bad again.

 

  1. Repeat

Repeat all of this shit another day, the next time one of those Bad Thoughts worms it’s way to the surface to start nibbling on its tail once again.

 

First Youtube video of me singing

Standard

So I’m going to start doing that. Youtube videos of me singing and playing my uke. Here’s the first one! I’m a little rusty, but I can’t wait for Springtime! I’ll be performing in public this spring if it kills me. And it might! So practice, practice, practice, and write, write, write! And hopefully within the next two months, my own real video!

Heaven

Rock Wall of DOOOOOOM

Standard

Cherubpainty1

I haven’t been feeling myself lately. I was diagnosed Bi-Polar a month ago, and the medicine they gave me made me totally cray. So I had been working on this rock pillar for the next video. I went wild and destroyed it, kicking it in, hating it and myself and my life and everything in the universe- hate hate hate hate hate!

I don’t know if that was an accurate diagnosis, but since I stopped taking that pill, I’ve been much happier. The damage to the pillar isn’t un-doable, and since I could start fresh, I decided to make what I had really been wanting to try – a rock wall!

I started laying crap all over the ground in the garage. My guide in this process was this cool guy on Youtube who makes papier machie sets and has lots of funny, instructional videos on them. So I threw everything I could think of onto the floor…. piles of t shirts we bought in bulk from the thrift shop, plastic bags, mannikin heads, real rocks, and I tried to give the edges a cavish curve by stacking apple shippers – they are like egg flats, but flatter, and nice and big. For this thing to work, it has to be huge.

So my first layer was Dark Blue. My second was Fleshy Blah. My third looks like it will be a lighter  mixture of Dark Blue and Fleshy Blah mixed together. The Cool Guy said he uses 5 layers, but I’m doing something he didn’t. I’m using old paint on paper instead of flour/water or glue. I’m hoping and dreaming that three layers will be enough! Once you see the pictures, you’ll understand. The way i have to bend over to apply the paper kills my back, so its taking a million years longer that I had hoped. The bottom is an absolute mess… The goal is to have this wall hangable and portable.

paintspread

I spend my days dressed like a painty little goblin, smoothing paper onto paper. Thank god for all those awful junkmail ads and phone books and free community papers! My fingers are permantely painted. Even if i scrub them with a brush…. you have no idea how badly I want to paint my nails right now!

rockorange

The Panduhs NEW vid Rock N Roll

Standard

So it’s been finished for a month now. Making videos is both sad and fun. When they are finished and you send them out into the world, it’s like you’ve released your baby into the ravenous wild!

I’ve noticed that I get really depressed after releasing a video. It’s sort of like it’s died, and all the work you put into it gets watched once on an I phone, while the watcher is half distracted. Even my mother will spin her head around like a demon to comment on something, while i sit there silently screaming “You just missed 40 cuts!!!!!!!!! Cuts that I laid down with such meticulous thought!”

I’ll have to get used to it, though. We are working on a new one for The Panduhs that will probably be the most awesomest thing ever.  It all depends on my paper mache’ skills, Ben’s lighting, and getting the choreographed dancing right. The other viddy is for ME!!!!! Finally! Its going to be a 60’s inspired dream<3 A mix of flowers and fluff and pink, 17 mag photos from ’69, and GLAMOUROUS GLAMOUR!. And I get hair extensions, too! I can’t wait! It’s for my song “I Know you Know My Baby” (awful demo I recorded here) which Neil is doing a fantastic job producing. I’m just so excited about it! I wish I could share the finished version, but I currently have the Plague, and cant lay down those last two vocal tracks. Booo!

I hope you like the newest Panduhs video!