Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Doctor, New Methods

So I went to my new GP this morning. Well, my new old GP, he was actually the first doctor I saw after we stopped going to my pediatrician after he almost killed my brother by making a stupid mistake when I was six.

So now I'm seeing him again. The GP, not the pediatrician. The pediatrician is dead, actually, come to think of it.

The first thing new GP did was take me off Celebrex, which is crazy weird since I've been on Celebrex for over a year now...but he's right, it's not really doing anything for me and isn't worth the possible long-term effects to my heart. So he started me on Lyrica.

He asked why my old GP didn't put me on Lyrica to begin with since, from my description of my symptoms (the "bugs" and pinches, burning, nerve jumping...), Lyrica is an excellent idea for me. I told him that the other doctor was concerned about my weight, but the new GP, Dr. S, said my weight is really the least of our concerns-- that once I start feeling better I'll be able to do more and the weight will just fall off.

Which is true, really, when I was at the Internship from Hell I dropped 15 pounds like it was nothing. I eat well, I just can't do anything. He also said that since I'm 5'4" by their measure (yeah, I'm suddenly 2 inches taller. Don't know when that happened.), my BMI is 31 which is really only 1 point out of the normal range, which works out to about 10 pounds. Here and I thought I needed to lose 60.

I should lose 60, and I will eventually, but holy crap-- 10 pounds from the high end of normal? Word. Up.

Dr. S also said no more milk and no cruciferous vegetables, which is harsh because I loooove milk (5 English Foods We Need in America) and cruciferous vegetables are some of my favorites (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, horseradish)...he said we'll try it for a year, then I can start them again and if I don't notice a difference in the way I feel I can have them back. I whined a little and he said, "Hey, I like redheads, but my wife is a blonde." It made me laugh.

So I took 75 mg of Lyrica and I feel strange...I know something's different, but I'm not sure what. I almost feel a little dopey. It's weird.

My stomach really hurts, and it's not even the real pain yet-- I'm really scared. Dr. S gave me some baby Vicodin, Norco, but only 6. Six days of relief...

I kind of feel like I'm in a fog. Like my head is cloudy.'s even almost like I'm underwater, like I'm moving in slow motion and it's taking things that happen longer to get to me, like the sound from the TV. I've got a little headache, though, so that could be part of it.


I might have shattered my mother's brownie dish this afternoon...I'd used it to make some frozen pizza [Dr. S said occasional cheese was okay :) ], and it was so super hot it was burning my hand through the oven mitt, so when I put it in the sink I thought I should run some cold water over it so nobody would get burnt and...well...kkkshh!! Many, many pieces. Many pieces. Oops.

It gave me the idea for a new tag for you, though, so some good comes of it. "Learn from My Mistakes".

Well, more than some good, really, because now I know what to get my mother for her birthday.

Edit: While I was making dinner I also broke one of my ramekins. I have suspended my own "touching things" privileges for the rest of the day, for my own safety and the safety of others and our possessions. It's better this way. Spaz Girl Walking

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The False Friend by Myla Goldberg

"Myla Goldberg sets a steady hand upon her brow
Myla Goldberg hangs a crooked foot all upside down
Pretty hands do pretty things when pretty times arise
Seraphim and seaweed swim where stick-limbed Myla lies"
-- from Song for Myla Goldberg by The Decemberists

Myla Goldberg has officially made my list of favorite authors. She's written 5 books, but as my library only has her three novels that's all I've been able to read-- the 4th book is a non-fiction "walk in Prague" called Time's Magpie and the 5th is a children's book called Catching the Moon.

Goldberg's first novel, Bee Season, was brilliant. Eliza, the daughter of a Jewish scholar, was an average student until her talent for spelling was found. The talent takes her to the National Spelling Bee twice (unlike the movie) and she begins to study a word-related arm of Jewish Mysticism with her father, while her mother's mental health slowly breaks down and her brother explores Hinduism.

Her second novel, Wickett's Remedy, was excellent-- and managed to have a unique format, and when was the last time you saw a novel with a unique format? Exactly. Lydia Wickett and her husband begin a mail-order business in the late 19-teens, and after her husband's sudden death the 1918 influenza epidemic hits and, compelled to act, Lydia joins a (historically accurate) medical study of the deadly flu using convicts on a remote island facility. Running through the novel is fan club literature and information on QD Soda, whose secret recipe is suspiciously close to that of Wickett's Remedy. Throughout the story is also a running commentary in the margins provided by the souls of the dead, correcting or expounding on the thoughts, actions, and memories of the living characters in the story.

This newest novel, published in 2010, tells the story of Celia Durst-- a woman in her early 30s struck one day with the memory of a childhood friend, Djuna, she is convinced she saw fall down a well in the middle of the forest, not getting into a stranger's car like she told everyone after it happened. Celia returns home to tell everyone the truth, but no one believes her. As Celia goes through reconnecting with people she hasn't spoken to in 20 years, details of the moments leading up to Djuna's disappearance are brought back to light for Celia, including (and especially) their bullying of a classmate, leading to the fight between Celia and Djuna before she disappeared.

This book is an absolute must-read for anyone who wants to better understand women and their relationships to each other, and just what the hell was going on between the girls on the playground.

Parts were extremely emotional, remembering...just remembering what it was like. Goldberg so perfectly captures the delicacy and brutality of the world of young girls you have to wonder what Goldberg herself went through.

Goldberg even deftly handles what it's like watching your hometown and parents age-- it's difficult enough to live through, let alone write about.

The writing is sharp and witty, the pacing is tight, and the characters and their relationships are realistic. It packs a lot of punch in its 250 pages and I couldn't put it down.

5 stars

See Blauthor, Blauthor! for more of my reviews!

Monday, September 26, 2011


This thing, whatever it is, has made my daily life so surreal. And complicated.

I'm sitting here, waiting for the pain to start. Just waiting for the crippling pain to come, and I really can't do anything else. I've moved some things, made some preparations, because once it comes I won't be able to do anything at all...I can't look for a subbing job even though I desperately need the money, because who knows what condition I'm going to be in this week?

So I have to just sit and wait.

It hasn't started yet, and if it doesn't start tomorrow and it decides to start the 28th I may not be able to make it to my doctor's appointment, but I need to go because I need all of my many prescriptions renewed because my insurance no longer covers them under my old doctor.

I'm also out of the good pain pills my father gave me, and if he's out, too, I'm extraordinarily screwed.

Mick and Debra had their meeting with the child study team at Manny's school so we're all waiting for their call.

So I'm waiting.

Arthur's Christmas present last year was to be a Doctor Who-esque scarf that I never finished, so now that I'm going to see him Saturday and he's been complaining about his scarf-less-ness I'm trying to get it done, so I'm knitting while I'm waiting.

Did I mention I was waiting?

I'm already sore, and the whole deal has been making the fibromyalgia worse since it started, so I'm miserable, sore, knitting and waiting x 2.

Waiting sucks.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Summary and the Electric Mayhem

To those uninitiated to the Saturday Summary here at Salami & Orchids, it's basically just random things that occur to me or happen to me through the week before that aren't really posts in themselves, but are entertaining/informative nonetheless.

New Beginnings: The Food Network or "Background Music" launched a new show Thursday called "Sweet Genius"...basically "Chopped: Desserts". If you don't watch Chopped I insist you do so immediately, it's like Iron Chef turned up to 11. In each of three rounds (appetizer, entree, and dessert) a chef is removed from the competition based on the taste, originality, and plating of a dish made from 3-5 mystery ingredients introduced at the beginning of each round, starting the first round with 4 chefs. The mystery ingredients range from average fruits, vegetables, and meats to the craziest or foreign fruits, vegetables, and meats, or pre-prepared items like boxed Mac & Cheese, teething biscuits, Raisinettes, or hot cross buns. The chefs have to transform the ingredients and make them fit into their dishes seamlessly. The winner receives a $10,000 prize.

It's freaking awesome.

So Sweet Genius takes the same format (4 chefs; 3 rounds; mystery ingredients; $10,000 prize) and applies it to desserts. Unfortunately, it's not exactly the same. What they changed is kind of disappointing, they added strange gimmicks. The show is hosted and judged by one guy instead of three judges and hosted by Ted Allen of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" fame. Instead of Ted and the judges explaining the more obscure mystery ingredients, the 2 mystery ingredients are revealed and described by a kind of creepy, disembodied, robotic woman's voice. The judge also gives the chefs an "inspiration" and only one of the mystery ingredients, then the second is introduced halfway through the round. It's pretty annoying.

And I wish there were more judges-- more judges means more opinions, and if you have a judges that doesn't particularly enjoy an ingredient a chef used (like on Chopped, judge Scott Conant hates raw onions) then another judge that likes them balance each other out.

Don't get me wrong, I'll still watch the crap out of it, but I won't be as happy about it as I could be.


Nephew Talk: Oh, the boys, the boys, the boys...

Deb and Mick's son Manny is still struggling in kindergarten, but nothing more than expected, really. He hasn't been to the behavioral specialist yet, but the school's child study team is meeting with Mick and Deb on Monday, so it'll be interesting. What we currently think is happening is mild to moderate Asperger's or high-functioning Autism with a severe Auditory Processing Disorder, but it's all speculation, we just have to wait. The waiting is frustrating, though, because the poor boy is being punished at school for not listening or following directions. The thing is, he doesn't care he's being punished-- he has no concept of being in trouble or doing anything wrong, he just floats through the day while his teachers cite him to his parents as being a behavioral problem...we're much more upset about it than he is. It's a strange situation.

Arthur and Janet's son Sean has started preschool, and after being sick only one day of his life he came out of two weeks of preschool with two ear infections, pink eye, and a cold. Poor little thing. We're going to see him next weekend because he's turning two on October 2nd, and I'm so excited. I miss his little face. We talk to him on the phone a lot-- Arthur and Janet put the phone on speaker so we all get to talk to each other and talk to him. It's interesting because we can actually talk to him and ask him questions about his day and he can answer, mostly "yes" and "no" but when he babbles he does it with purpose, he's trying to tell you something-- which is leaps and bounds from a conversation you have with Manny. Even when Manny is trying to tell you something most of what he says is gibberish.

Manny did tell me yesterday that his brain is in his head, though, so that's pretty cool.


Told You I was Bad: You know, or should know, that I want you all to learn from my mistakes (The Internship from Hell). Remember when I said I had $10 in library fines in Saturday Summary +8? Turns out it was actually $33 because they thought I'd lost the books. They ended up only charging me $15 because I "found" them...oops.

I got out 3, and I'll probably get all three done and reviewed before I finish Middlemarch because it's so enormous, so look forward to more book reviews coming soon.


Apparently nobody has an answer as to why people (like me) have vinegar cravings. That's really, really annoying...when I Google something random I want an answer, damn it. At least I got an answer for Why I Crave Junk Food When I'm Sick...apparently it's because getting sick as stressful to the body as emotional stress, the same emotional stress that also makes you want junk food. Interesting.

Oh my god, I WANT VINEGAR. I'm seriously considering just dumping a ton on my dinner...just thinking about that is making my mouth water. Or maybe for a snack tonight I'll roast some potatoes and dip them in some...


Finishing up today I'd like to say a great big Happy Birthday to one of history's greatest entertainers: Mr. Jim Henson. I grew up on Sesame Street, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and The Muppet Show and it breaks my heart that he's gone, that there will never be anything new from him.

Sleep well, Mr. Henson, and thank you for making me laugh, feel, and learn in my past, present, and future.


Upcoming Posts really do include Fight Club & Self Injury, as well as Chandler's and my review of The Lion King, the first appointment with my new doctor, and a pause in posting due to the return of the pain. And in lieu of next week's Saturday Summary I'll be posting all day from New Jersey to Maryland and back.

Remember to return any overdue library books!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Blanc-ing Out: A Reintroduction

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a sad announcement to make.

My friend Blanc is no more.

Or, rather, no longer. No longer Blanc.

What with my dear friend's quest for fame and fortune, the upcoming debut of our co-authored movie reviews, and the launch of his blog Comedy is Serious Business, it's been decided he should be referred to by his given name, Chandler.

Of course, Chandler may become rich and famous overnight what with the results of the New York Television Festival's Comedy Script Contest being announced tomorrow, Chandler being a finalist. I'm so excited that I'm actually nervous for him, Lord knows how I get nervous, even about things completely unrelated to me.

Something that is related to me, though insignificant in comparison, is I will miss calling him Blanc and all of the Blanc/Blank puns I could have made...

I got up "early" this morning to go to the library, so now it is most definitely nap time. Or try to get to sleep, anyway-- don't you hate how it's so hard to fall asleep when you're sick, but that's all you want to do? Le sigh.

Tomorrow will be the summary, as usual.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sometimes Right

There's this hilarious site called Not Always Right and it features quotes from the customers of the world who...let's just say they're not always right.

Sometimes, though, sometimes the customer is right. Like today, when the GYN's office finally called.

Naturally, as with all phone calls you're waiting for (or I'm waiting for, anyway), I missed it. The voicemail said, "Hello, this is Dr. Tra-la-la's office and we have the results of your ultrasound. Please call us back as soon as possible at 555-GYNS", so I call right back.

Receptionist: Hello?
Me: Hi, the office just called me?
Receptionist: No.

No? No?! Really. Wow. That's amazing how the voicemail just magically appeared like that 30 seconds ago. rude!

Me:...uh...yeah, I received a voicemail saying my test results were available.
Receptionist: *annoyed sigh*

I'm so sorry for interrupting you from doing your job by asking you to do your job!

Receptionist: Who called you?
Me: They didn't say.
Receptionist: *clearly irritated* What's your name and who's your doctor?
Me: Plum Jo, I see Dr. Tra-la-la.
Receptionist: Hold.

It was like a command. I was ordered to hold. So held I did-- I'm nothing if not obedient. I held for 15 minutes.

After those 15 minutes a much nicer receptionist told me my ultrasound results were normal (Yay, I think...), but that my primary doctor hadn't sent my most recent blood test results, so we can't do anything yet. Once the doctor gets the blood test results he'll call back with the next step.


So I called my old primary doctor's office (I'm still in the process of switching GPs as the first appointment with my new one is the 28th.) and left a message for them to send over the results ASAP. Why did I leave a message? Because the records/referrals lady only works until noon.

What the crap is that? People have to wait a whole extra day if they can only make the call during their lunch break? Or if another doctor gets back to you after 12? Harsh.

And as for jerky receptionist up there, it's your job to talk to people and be pleasant. I'm pretty sure this was the same jerky receptionist that, before my first appointment (Natural Disaster Rag), had me announce all of my personal information in front of the entire waiting room. Like name, birthday, social security number, that kind of thing. You know, the kind of stuff that an identity thief is just praying to hear, and the kind of thing you fill out on those new patient forms so she was about to get all that information on paper in front of her anyway.

She also kind of looks like my bitchy aunt.

But lucky(?) for me my credit is in such poor standing that an identity thief would get laughed at if he tried to take out a credit card or something in my name.

Not even kidding, the interest rate on my credit card is 29%. My dad said he's going to close the account to see if he can negotiate a lower rate since technically it's his card, too. Jesus, I hope he can...I'd really like to be able to afford to move out some time before I'm 30. That'd be nice.

Sickness has unfortunately pushed back some pending posts...I don't know why I even bother teasing them anymore, they still never get out in a timely fashion. I'll work on that. Probably tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tattooed Croatian Grandmothers

My grandmothers were never a big part of my life. My father's mother committed suicide when I was only two, and my mother's mother passed when I was 11, but she spent the last six years of her life (and therefore most of the time I was, you know, conscious) taking care of my grandfather, her husband, who'd had a devastating stroke.

I really missed out on the grandparent front, like I said in My September 11, 2001, so I've always had a peculiar affection for older people. Enjoying my elders and loving history and personal stories as I do this article I found hit an awesome trifecta: Tattooed Croatian Grandmothers.

Croatia, like most of Eastern Europe, has had a turbulent history-- rife with wars and invasions. During this a Catholic sect (or cult...) of women began identifying its fellow members by distinctive hand tattoos. Mothers then began tattooing their children to help prevent kidnapping. When the communists took over, though, these tattoos identified the women as Catholics which led to their persecution, so the tradition died out.

How interesting is that? I love it. The link above takes you to the article which has a lot of pictures and even notes on the process (apparently breast milk was an important ingredient).


I'm feeling better today, thank goodness, maybe this cold will be a short one. Stay well, everyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Can't Catch a Break

But I am perfectly capable of catching a cold, because I really needed something else to annoy me and cause additional discomfort. And there's the added bonus of swallowing additional personal best for one swallow is now 13.

My head is all fuzzy. I had a legitimate reason for posting but now I can't think of it.

I'm going back to bed.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Excuse Me

I was going to do a real post, I swear, because I feel like I've been neglecting you all...but I'm in serious pain, and I really do want to hang with Blanc tomorrow. Sorry sorry.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Summary Plus 8

-10: The end of an era: (Jon and) Kate Plus 8 aired its series finale this week. It was interesting to look back and remember what the show was like before Kate became unbearable and the whole thing became awkward and contrived. I wish they hadn't sold out like they did, what made the show special in the first place was that it was real.

It takes a strong, strong person not to change under those circumstances, though. I like to think I'd be able to maintain my sense of self with people throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars at me but of course there's no way of knowing.

Those poor kids. At least with Jon around Kate's...self...was diluted by some kind of sanity, but now it's just them and her. I don't envy them even a little.


+ 20: A new feature I'm thinking of starting is actor analyses; articles detailing the careers of actors and actresses, strengths and weaknesses, upcoming projects, whatnot...I'm excited about it. Blanc and I are going to talk about our joint movie reviews on Monday, so once we get that figured out we'll have that going, too.


Still: Jobs for Smart People-- Anyone? Anyone? Why am I getting so much traffic from such a random, unrelated place? Not that I'm complaining, just curious.


Gaaaah: My GYN still hasn't called. Frick. Now what? Do I call him Monday? Or wait? This is such unnecessary stress...I mean, does he think the ultrasound cured something? Like, "Oh, the ultrasound is clean, no big deal." Frick again.


Dusk: Alright, look. I'm not going to lie to you, I do enjoy a little Twilight. It all started when Robert Pattinson jumped out of that tree in the fourth Harry Potter movie, you know? He's a handsome boy. The first movie was a couple months from coming out and I knew Robert Pattinson had been cast as this Edward there'd been so much talk about, so I was curious what the deal was. I mean, there had been a big to-do about the Harry Potter books that I ignored and would come to regret having done, so why not? Plus Gayle said she liked them and they were worth giving a shot.

So I did. No, they're not great triumphs of literature, but they're entertaining enough...beach reads, you could say. In fact, one of my first ideas for the other blog I've been playing with (but haven't launched...I'll let you know) was rewriting Twilight to make it suck less-- but the Twilight camp is really, really serious about suing people and I don't want to be sued. I'd've been doing it as a parody and critique but it'd be walking a very, very fine line of fair use and...I really don't want to be sued.

That being said the movies are amusing as well, Robert is still handsome, and the soundtracks are about the closest I get to modern music anymore. Debra enjoyed the books so we see the movies together. Breaking Dawn was my favorite of the books, so I'm looking forward to seeing the movie-- especially since the trailer just came out.

And it looks alright, much better than the others so far. How fantastically busted do they make Kristen Stewart look? Holy crap. It's worth it just for that.

Yeah, not a fan of hers.


The Final Frontier: Is it just me or has NASA been discovering stuff all over the place all of a sudden? I mean, I've widened the parameters of my StumbleUpon preferences, so maybe I just haven't noticed it before, but it just seems like as soon as they ended the space missions they're discovering stuff left and right. Planets similar distances from their star as we are to ours (superearths), water, even a planet with two suns like Tatooine!

I want us to find life elsewhere so badly. I really do. Just to know what their lives are's so exciting.


I've Been a Bad, Bad Girl: I've managed to rack up $10 in library fines. Oops.


Back to the Future: You know how we look at old-timey ads now and we're like, "Geez, people were stupid! They took cocaine for toothaches!" or whatever? 50 years from now people are going to look back and wonder why we're so obsessed with colon health. Probiotics, regulatory yogurt, pills, powders, candies...we're going to look ridiculous. If you're so worried get a magnesium supplement.


On that note...upcoming posts include: Helen Keller, Fight Club and Self Injury (for real!), and Badass Catholic Grandmothers.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another Day in Hell

The past few days have been brutal, and as such I'm terrified of the pain that's coming...since this thing changes with my cycle I know I've got a little over a week before it becomes excruciating again and there's nothing I can do about it...from now til then the discomfort's going to grow incrementally until the day comes when it's unbearable. Considering that it's been getting worse with every month that goes by and last month it was so bad I cried I'm really, really scared of what's coming.

I haven't heard from the GYN about my ultrasound results. Chances are that since the CT scan didn't show anything that the ultrasound won't show anything either, but it's still nerve-wracking-- especially since they wouldn't let me see the images during the test so I don't know what the doctor is looking at, I can't be sure there's nothing.

I keep going over the CT images, making sure there isn't anything that the doctors might have missed being too focused on my stomach and intestines, any blip of anything, but there's nothing there.

So then I think maybe the ultrasound got a different angle or something...but if there was a cyst or tumor the doctor would have called right away...but maybe he hasn't even seen it yet?

So then what's next after that? An MRI? Surgery is coming as long as these things keep coming up negative.

I don't know what to do. Do I keep applying for jobs? What if I get one? Can I handle it? How can I be reliable when I know I've got semi-random crippling pain several days a month?

So if I can't work, then what? Disability? That's barely enough to live would I pay my bills? Medical, credit card?

And if I went on disability, would I still be able to write? Like if I open the new blog with ads, or by some miracle I get an agent interested in me?

I'm stressing myself out now. I'm going to go knit and pretend that I'm normal.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Mark your calendars, here's an occasion where the movie is better than the book.

Not a lot. Just enough to not be a tie.

But that's not to say that the book isn't good, because it is. Sometimes? I'm not sure how to organize my thoughts here.


Okay, I've got it.

Things I liked:

I liked the honesty of the relationships between Bridget and her friends, like how Bridget's friend Jude stays with her boyfriend Vile Richard despite his vile-ness and all of her friends saying she'd be better off without him. We all have that friend: miserable but just can't let go for whatever reason.

And I liked the honesty of the relationships between Bridget and her family, and family friends-- like the unending parade of parties, picnics, and celebrations you're forced to attend, plastering a smile to your face. And Bridget, like all single women, are hounded with the same question by them all: When are you going to get married? I was only 14 when Arthur and Janet got married and even then I was getting "When's it going to be your turn?" Bridget really is the voice of single women everywhere, it's not an exaggeration.

Bridget's relationships with men are spot-on, as well: waiting for the phone to ring, checking 100 times to see if maybe you missed a call when you weren't paying attention, and the flirty first stages of getting together and the constant nagging doubts, "Does he really like me? Really? No, I mean, but really?"

And Fielding summed up the amount of work that goes into womanhood better than anyone or anything else I've ever seen:

6 p.m. Completely exhausted by entire day of date preparation. Being a woman is worse than being a farmer- there is so much harvesting and crop spraying to be done: legs to be waxed, underarms shaved, eyebrows plucked, feet pumiced, skin exfoliated and moisturized, spots cleansed, roots dyed, eyelashes tinted, nails filed, cellulite massaged, stomach muscles exercised. The whole performance is so highly tuned you only need to neglect it for a few days for the whole thing to go to seed. Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if left to revert to nature- with a full beard and handlebar mustache on each shin, Dennis Healey eyebrows, face a graveyard of dead skin cells, spots erupting, long curly fingernails like Struwwelpeter, blind as a bat and stupid runt of species as no contact lenses, flabby body flobbering around. Ugh, ugh. Is it any wonder girls have no confidence?

How right is that? She's inside my head.

Also inside my head, and also a little inside Mia's from The Princess Diaries head (the novels, not the movies), Bridget thinks it's hot when boys get authoritative-- and Lord, ain't it the truth. Whew.

Thing I mostly liked but really sort of didn't:

The deal with Bridget's weight. This is delicate because Bridget's obsession and confusion and struggle and up, down, up up up up, down, up, down, down, up up up up, down, up, down, down, down dance with the scale are all deeply realistic, the amount of weight being talked about (and sneered about) is paltry. Bridget spends the book at about 125 pounds and is fixated on losing 6.

And I know when you're slender and always have been that those few pounds really seem to make a difference but we need to collectively, as a world, start getting realistic about numbers. Nobody, no matter how cruel, will say about 123 pound woman that's over 5 feet tall, "I thought you said she was thin." This is the kind of thing that fuels eating disorders and shouldn't be portrayed as "normal", like everywoman Bridget Jones.

To rectify this situation with myself I mentally added 30 pounds to each of the weights Bridget claimed. Made me feel much better.

Things I didn't like:

Certain elements of the story bothered me. In fact, the worst subplot of them all was excluded from the movie and the movie was the better for it, it was just too, too unrealistic.

I also didn't like some of the style Fielding used for Bridget's writings, at times it felt far too slangy...but then, I was never the type to doodle or shorthand in my own diaries, and it grated me in The Princess Diaries, too. That's probably just a personal thing...

And I wasn't a fan of Mark Darcy's part in the book, I think his character was also handled better by the movie. While I liked how he loved Bridget all along, flaws and all, he was colder in the book, and when he comes through for her in the end it seems to almost come out of nowhere. Especially what he goes through for her before they're even properly dating! Not kidding, he goes to Portugal. I felt like a queen when Herbert once stopped at Wawa for me on his way to my house and he didn't have to go a foot out of his way to do it. AND we were dating at the time.

Another thing, that was a complete surprise, was the confrontation (read: fight) between Mark and Daniel doesn't happen in the book. That was surprising. Maybe it's in the following books, I don't know, I'm just saying that it doesn't happen in this book. And I was disappointed.

In the end, it's a good book-- a light, entertaining read with genuine heart and solid writing.

3 stars out of 5.

See Blauthor, Blauthor! for more of my reviews.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My September 11, 2001

How gorgeous is this? It was taken by Katie Weisberger a few months before the attack. It was beautiful before, but now it's stunning.

I was sixteen when my last remaining grandparent died, and I regret never having talked to them about their experiences growing up-- like during the Depression and WWII. And I didn't know, and neither did my brothers, until after our grandparents had died that my mother was actually 100% Slovak. We knew my mother's grandparents didn't speak much English, but they had died when she was young and we never met them. It's strange now knowing that I'm actually half something, something specific, but I know so little about it.

So now I want so badly to record histories, as much as I can, for anyone curious about what life was like for someone, somewhere, sometime. So here's my 9/11 story, for anyone forever.

I remember like it was yesterday. I even remember what I was wearing. It started out as any normal day-- I was 13 and had just started the 8th grade. During first period the fire alarm went off and everyone filed outside. There had been a "smell" in the school's kitchen, and they were concerned that it might be leaking gas, so they had to evacuate the building while firemen did an inspection.

I can't stress enough how beautiful of a day it was. The temperature was perfect, there was a slight breeze and the sky was the most amazing blue I'd ever seen-- before or since. We all ended up sitting in the grass of the field behind the school and talking for about an hour before we were given the all-clear to go back into the building.

This may be hard for younger readers to remember, but way back in 2001 iPods were not as prevalent as they are today. "Not as prevalent" as in they hadn't been released yet. They were still just a glimmer in Steve Jobs' eye. Back in the day we had Walkmen. Walkmans? Walkmens. The new Sony Walkman is infinitely cooler than the radio/audio cassette combines we had then but that was all there was. And we weren't supposed to have them in school. I don't know why, exactly, but we weren't supposed to have them, so when our 2nd period teacher asked us if anybody had a radio we all thought it was a trap and said no. I'm going to say more than half the class had radios in their lockers, my own was 2 feet from the door sitting in my locker, but we all played dumb. "No big deal, " she said. "A plane just flew into one of the Twin Towers, and if somebody had a radio we could listen to the news about it, but it's alright." And we moved on.

We thought it was an accident. It'd happened before, why would this time be any different? The pilot was probably drunk. Who hits a building?

Third period our teacher didn't even bring it up. Looking back I'm completely unsurprised-- it's so like her. I didn't understand it that day but I know now that she was protecting us. Those forty minutes were the last of our lives before we found out the truth. That time diagramming sentences...that was it. I'll always be grateful to her for that-- like getting us get one last night's sleep in our old lives instead of waking us up in the middle of the night to tell us our father died. We found out later that day that just about everybody else was hearing the truth and freaking out around us while we were having a completely normal class.

Fourth period I was one of 9 kids in a music appreciation class that I'm absolutely certain I was put into to give the teacher some support because, beside my friend Raquel, the other 7 kids in class were the worst behaved boys in our grade, 3 of which I had gone to elementary school with.

That day they were incredibly well-behaved.

Because our teacher came into the room with red eyes and a red nose, her voice all strangled, telling us to sit down, that she had to tell us something. We thought she'd had a death in the family or something, that she was going to tell us she was leaving as soon as the substitute showed up. "There's going to be an announcement in a few minutes, but there is no point in waiting. Some of you know, some of you don't, the plane that flew into the World Trade Center this morning was no accident. It was followed by a second. Another plane has hit the Pentagon. Our country is under attack."

I had to run from the room to throw up. It was so surreal, I was staring at the toilet and people, thousands of people, were dying.

The rest of the day was a whirl of hugs and going to the classrooms with TVs so we could watch the news. Everybody was hugging everybody. The random kid on your bus you never spoke to before? You hugged them. Everyone asked everyone else if they were alright, and parents were coming in to take their kids home. Our band teacher had us play, and we did, but only halfheartedly.

One of my teachers kept going outside to see if he could see the smoke from New York, even though we were 2 hours outside the city.

Walking home from the bus stop was so weird. The roads were completely empty, the streets were absolutely silent and it was such a beautiful day.

Arthur and Janet were living in Wyoming at the time and were on the phone with my parents when I got home, Arthur wanting our parents to send me to him there.

Watching the news was so strange: watching the towers fall over and over and over and over again, hearing the people scream and curse and the newscasters apologize for the language in the video but basically saying "We really don't give a fuck about that right now."

Living through that day, I think, permanently breaks a part of your heart. Part of me cries and aches for every person lost or hurt because of that day or the aftermath.

People don't have to say "Never Forget". You can't forget. There's no chance of ever forgetting. We should be saying "Tell Your Story". Tell your part. Somehow. Leave your story in the comments or just leave a link to your story. Remember the hugs you got, remember how close we all were that day, and how caring.

United we stand, and God bless America.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Busy Busy Saturday Summary

The past couple of days have been crazy busy for me, sorry about that, not neglecting you.

Thursday was my ultrasound. So here's

Ultrasounding Off: So what with the possible endometriosis, I had a pelvic ultrasound ordered by the GYN. Genius idea, really, when someone is having lower abdominal pain, let's take a stick and jab it around those places that hurt. The conversation between me and the technician went like this

Me: *flinch*
Tech: Are you okay?
Me: Mm-hmm!
Me: *flinch*
Tech: Are you okay?
Me: Mm-hmm!

Repeat that 7 or 8 times. I had to keep saying "Mm-hmm" because it hurt too much to talk. And you know what else sucks about those things? The technician isn't allowed to tell you anything. And they won't let you see the screen. So you could have massive tumors hanging off your internal organs, but they can't say anything. Like when I broke my leg (Spaz Girl Walking), I asked the nurse taking my X-rays and she couldn't tell me. She did make a face, though, so I knew, but really. You're scared and in pain, knowing is infinitely better than knowing something's wrong but not knowing what.


Friday: I overslept like, 5 hours for going on errands with my mom, but the more pressing matter was a phone call from Debra. It's sad, but I predicted this: Manny isn't doing well in school. I'm no expert, but I'd say his social, life, and motor skills put him at about age 3. I know it's hard to think of 5 year olds as being self-sufficient, but they do need to be (to an extent) in order to be able to handle school.

They need to be able to feed themselves, they need to be able to follow a set of directions, they need to be able to go to the bathroom alone. Manny's having trouble with these things. He's also getting in trouble because he gets frustrated very easily (common with autism) when he has trouble with things. My poor boy, I wish I could hug him. Maybe I can talk my mom into visiting tomorrow.

I also made killer cinnamon rolls last night. Found the recipe here at Whipped the Blog's Ultimate Cinnamon Rolls. Incredible. They were delicious, and I managed to make them without brown sugar (I substituted white) and vanilla (I substituted nothing). I can't imagine how good they're going to be when I'm able to make them for real because these were awesome. And pretty easy, too.

Oh, and my two cents, when you're cutting the individual rolls off the log it's way easier to use the thread than it is a knife.


Today: Today I got to hang out with one of my best friends from high school, Linus. Aaaah, Linus is awesome. We had a long talk about relationships and work and was great.

I also picked up a study book for the GREs. Holy crap, I'm going to fail, I'm going to fail so hard. I've got the language part, that'll be fine, but oh, man. The math? Not good, not good at all. Flipping through the book I saw triangles. TRIANGLES. I know the area of a triangle is one half times base times height, but that's all I remember about triangles. Crap.

At least I have the book...


Upcoming Posts: Movies based on books has been postponed as Blanc came up with a great idea for tandem movie reviews so we're going to talk about that. The Fight Club & Self Injury post is still coming, I just need to feel good about the final draft. Tomorrow will be the obligatory September 11th post, of course. Also definitely coming is a review of Bridget Jones' Diary, the novel, and I might have a substituting job this week and those are always entertaining.

Stay tuned, it should be a good week.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Joanna: The Best Worst Name in the World!

I loooooove names, of any and all types. I like finding out where they come from and what they mean-- the more unusual the better. First names, last names, doesn't matter. I've been through them all.

In fact, I don't know if she knows it but one of the meanings of a friend of mine's name is "Goat." Not kidding. (No, Gayle, it's not you.)

"Goat", I figure, kind of negates any of the good qualities this particular name has. Kind of like when Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise named their baby Suri-- a very pretty name with several pretty meanings in different languages, including "Princess", "Queen", and "Rose". In other languages, though, it means "Pickpocket", "Pointy nose", and "Llama." (See?) Llama's not as bad as Goat, but "Pickpocket" is pretty harsh. And that's not even an obscure language, Pickpocket, it's in Japanese. Not exactly Sorbian, is it?

But "Joanna" is different from Suri and The-Name-That-Will-Not-Be-Named-But-Means-Goat, if only because of its sordid modern history. Joanna has been the go-to name for troubled and trouble-causing female characters in books, movies, and TV in a way no other name has formillennia. No, really. You may not realize it but you've been conditioned to associate the name "Joanna" with annoying, immoral, and evil women.

I know I'm biased, and more likely to remember uses of my own name. Maybe, hopefully, at the end of this I'll get comments from Natashas or...I really can't come up with any other female antagonists that share a name. And, really, to be honest, I can only come up with two characters named Natasha. Neither are paradigms of morality and sense or manners...but 2.

Joanna is the English spelling for the feminine of John and Hebrew for "God is Gracious". Anna, Hannah, Janet, Jane-- they're all derived from Joanna. That being said, it's not, as modern trends would make you think, a combination of the names "Jo" and "Anna"-- it was a single unit before those were taken from it. Its first recorded use was in the New Testament and it was downhill from there:

Joanna was one of Mary Magdalene's reformed prostitute friends. She was one of the three women that went to Jesus' tomb to anoint his body and found it empty after He had ascended to Heaven. This is pretty cool, but if Mary Mags is still called a hooker, so's Joanna.

Joanna was the ugly, armless and legless doll that nobody wanted until Beth took pity on her in Little Women.

Joanna is the name of a girl in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) that has a baby out of wedlock, causing a scandal in the neighborhood that eventually leads to the other women in the neighborhood stoning her.

A former Queen of Spain, Juana, the mother of Charles the First was apparently off her rocker and, in English, has gone down in history as "Joanna the Mad".

The wealthy bitchass Goldie Hawn plays in Overboard is named Joanna before Kurt Russell rechristens her "Annie" when he kidnaps her amnesiac self.

Joanna is Jennifer Aniston's character in Office Space, and though the character is generally okay I don't like Jennifer Aniston, so it counts.

A minor character that brought me no end of grief in elementary school: Joanna, the pet goanna lizard (think small komodo dragon if you're too lazy to click the link) of the main villain in The Rescuers Down Under. I was often told "These are not Joanna eggs!" I don't know why several teachers showed us that movie, but they did. It was also played a lot when the weather was too bad for us to go outside during recess.

I can't think of any others, but you see my point. The trouble with my name is more than just never being able to find my name on personalized tchotchkes, or people managing to pronounce it wrong somehow (my favorite so far is "Joan-a"), it's the negativity associated with it from all these characters. The best I've got are the 1.5 Joannas in Love Actually: Sam's beloved dead mother and the classmate he's got a crush on, the coolest girl in school. I count 1.5 because Sam's mother never gets to talk...she's just dead.

I love my name. I just wish it had a better reputation.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What Kind of Day Has it Been?

I love days like these...rainy, nothing to do, nowhere to go days. Tomorrow I should probably do a few productive things (defer student loans...order GRE study book...make doctor's on room reorganization...shark substitute assignments online...), but not today.

I miss having days like this in college...the girls and I would drink coffee and play games. Those are the days I miss most. It's what we did when Gayle threw that party for Lisa a few weeks ago and it was the happiest I'd been in a long time.

Today was Manny's first day of school, hard as it is to believe. I got a little teary over the picture of him wearing a backpack and holding a lunchbox Mick posted on Facebook this morning. My mother was there when he got home from school...she said he was as unfazed about it as he is about everything...and he's been placed in a classroom with other special needs kids, with two teachers and an aide, but I'm still worried-- we don't know what Manny's place on the autism spectrum is and whether the school is equipped to deal with it. The whole deal is frazzling my nerves.

I've been distracting myself with Regretsy and Facebook games...A&E On Demand...and setting up another blog to publish a trashy novel I've been playing with off and on for a few years-- then maybe others, I don't know, I'll have to see how the first one does if I ever get around to biting the bullet about it. In the meantime I'm going to play with the design templates and ponder about whether to write one or two stand-alone "About" pages.

I'm watching Intervention and this 30 year old girl is sleeping with a 75 year old man that pays for her drugs. Umm...I can deal with that if somebody would pay my bills. How often can a seventy-five year old want it? Damn. Well...what, 68, technically, in my case? Shoot. Steve Martin's 66 and I'd totally hit that. Kevin Kline's 64. I'm game.

Old, wealthy men: pay my bills and I'll seriously consider dating you. Cute, old, wealthy men: pay my bills and I will probably date you. Cute, wealthy men: pay my bills and I will definitely date you.

Just putting it out there. Like that challenge to Microsoft that my 5 year old computer is waaaay better than anything new coming out now. Seamus the Lappy forever.

Today's pain has gotten harder to deal with as the day has gone on...I've got an ultrasound coming up on Thursday. I'd tell you to cross your fingers for me, but I don't know what to hope for. Especially since I don't understand what an ultrasound could see that a CT scan couldn't. If I've already had a more detailed test for the same person, why order the weaker test? Part of me just wants them to cut me open already and dig around to find out what's going sure, whichever doctor I see first (my GYN or new GP), I'm getting painkillers at my next appointment. Be. Sure. I'm not going through another cycle of this pain, I'm not. I don't care what it takes.

And poor Herbert's so sick and nobody knows what to do with him...

Tension headache. Hahaha, this was supposed to be a relaxing post-- what happened?!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Reindeer Games are Next

My fourth post included a section where I talked about Monkey Hookers. Long story short, a group of scientists taught a group of monkeys how to use "money" and almost as soon as they did they noticed a monkey exchange "money" for sex. So...monkey hookers. No, I'm not kidding.

I love animal stories. I love animals in general. In fact, when we took Manny to see Cars 2 there was a trailer for Dolphin Tale and I started crying, just from the trailer. I can't even think about Homeward Bound...Free Willy, My Dog Skip, Beethoven...I won't even watch Marley & Me or I Am Legend because I know the dog dies and that'll tear me up.

Interesting, in that last sentence you could read it like "tear me up inside" or "to tear up while watching Brian's Song" and they're both right.

When I said I love animal stories I meant I love news stories about animals and the cool things they do that are human-ish. Like prostitution.

Another article, published about a year ago, really made my day but my parents didn't care. I think it's awesome: gorillas play tag. Like, "Tag, you're it!" tag. How great is that? It's like those stupid rhymes and songs you learn growing up, like one of my all-time favorite books (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn-- get it and read it. Read it now) says, all kids learn the same group of songs and nobody really knows why or where it's from, or how it started. In tag's case, at least, it's something we're born with. One monkey punches another monkey then runs away, and the punchee chases after it. If the punchee manages to punch the first monkey back they switch roles, just like kids. How cool is that?

And you know what else? Parrots name their babies!!! Parrot parents (say that 5 times fast) assign each baby a sound and the baby keeps it for life-- even other parrots use the baby's sound to communicate with it.

Animals aren't nearly as dumb as we tend to think they are.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Unemployed Saturday Summary

Jobs for Smart People: I'm getting a strange number of visitors coming from a site called "Jobs for Smart People"-- anybody know why? Is it some kind of publicity stunt of theirs, to make me curious and use them to find a job?

The job search is continuing, of goose egg after another. My mother was talking to her hairdresser about her search for a receptionist and she said that she was getting all these applications from people with crazy amounts of experience, but she couldn't hire them because as soon as something better came along they'd leave and she'd be left without a receptionist. I already have two resumes (and a million cover letters...), one for educational jobs and one for craft jobs, but maybe I need a third for the secretary jobs I'm applying for, and make another set of cover letters that include a line about sincerity and loyalty for positions I'd stick with. Couldn't hurt...I mean, things couldn't possibly get worse.

The upside is that school is restarting so I'll be able to sub's not great money but it's good enough for now. It'll make for some interesting posts, anyhow.


In a similar vein, a friend of mine-- with a master's degree-- has gotten a job in cable installation. Another friend, also without gainful employment, is going to grad school, like I'm probably going to do. Blanc got a job in a call center.

I never wanted to go to grad school. In fact, the reason I didn't go into Library Science to begin with was that I didn't want to go to grad there's no choice. I know I brought this up last week but it's all sitting on my head...I'm starting to get tension headaches again. I need to go lay down.


Upcoming Posts: The Story of Joanna: The Worst Best Name Ever, Movies Based on Books, and Ultrasounding Off.

Friday, September 2, 2011

5 English Foods We Need in America

Here in the US, English food has a reputation of being bland and weird. While I didn't have spotted dick, and I'm not one for bangers and mash, there were things there I loved and miss so, so much. 

1.) Milk        

It may sound ridiculous, but I miss English milk every day. Every day. 

The English pasteurization process is different from ours and strips less of the deliciousness from milk. Their milk is thicker, sweeter, creamier, and delicious-er. Their "skim" milk is like our 2%, their "partial fat" milk is like our whole milk, and their "full fat" milk is like an orgasm. It's the same kind of indescribable yumminess as a runny egg yolk. 

Plus, this fabulous milk makes all of their dairy products tastier as well: the cheese, the ice cream, the

2.) Chocolate

I know they look a little weird but, oh, my, so tasty. The chocolate itself is tastier (extra yummy milk inside, remember?), but, as you can see, over there they play with the texture of the chocolate more. Think about it-- our chocolate is all the same, it just comes in different shapes! Or, if anything, we just make it denser and softer in truffles and fudge. But there's other ways in the world, I promise.  

At the top of the picture is a Flake, a bar made of a thin sheet dribbled onto itself so it gets the appearance of being folded and folded and folded and folded. It's super crumbly and practically disintegrates when you bite into it, which allows the smaller crumbs to melt from the heat of your mouth while you chew the larger pieces, and therefore stopping the eternal question: Do I chew this bite or suck on it? 

Bottom right is an Aero Bar, a bar made of aerated chocolate. I finally got to try the Air Delight, Hershey's version of the Aero. Texture-wise, the Air Delight is spot-on, but I was thrown by the Hershey-ness of the chocolate. For some reason I didn't take into account that the bar would taste Hershey-y, so capturing the memory wasn't perfect but it's the closest I've gotten. The aerated chocolate is lighter (go figure) and melts easier, and my mother compared it to eating a regular bar of chocolate that had melted a little. Still tasty, though. 

Bottom left is a Kinder Bueno. KB is a wafer...thingy...with big pillows filled with hazelnut cream, the whole thing covered in chocolate. Muy bueno. Muy, muy bueno. 

3.) Pizza

I'm a proud born and bred Jersey Girl (more Bebe Neuwirth than Snooki), and we Jerseyans know our pizza regardless of Italian heritage or lack thereof. That being said, the idea of eating pizza in England scared me. Like the thought of eating Chinese food in England...England, the home of Bubble and Squeak

But then I realized that Italy is practically down the street from London, and, good was fantastic. Boardwalk pizza fans know the importance of grease, to which I say that on every table in every pizza place in London is a bottle of chili oil. Let that soak in. And up. And all over your face and the 15 orange napkins littering the table. 

4.) Fry Ups

Also called a full breakfast or a full English breakfast or simply a full English, it's all the best savory breakfast foods on one plate. Does America really need more fried eggs, bacon, and sausage? No, but...beans are good for you! And mushrooms! Tomatoes! And it's important to eat breakfast at all, isn't it?


5.) Crisps

Look familiar? No? 

What about this?

Yeeeeeeeeeeah. And you know what? Your beloved Lay's have been holding out on you. Yes! Holding out on you! Lay's, Walker's in England, gives its best love to England and leaving you the pitiful leftovers and you don't know the difference. I'm telling you the truth, though. American consumers are Lay's slutty mistress while Walker's has a home and family across the pond. It's why they're called Lay's here. 

Don't believe me? 

Walker's potato chip flavors available in England, not in America: 
Thai Sweet Chili
Cheese and Onion
Chicken & Thyme
Vintage Cheddar and Red Onion Chutney
Steak and Onion
Prawn (Shrimp) Cocktail
Lamb and Mint
Turkey & Bacon
Stilton & Cranberry
Roasted Chicken
Pickled onion...

Makes you feel a little dirty, doesn't it? Lay's has been holding out on us. Thankfully, McDonald's stopped when they brought their Sweet Chili McNugget sauce over here...Lay's is next, I say. Lay's is next. 

Now I'm hungry. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"The Big C" and Mental Illness

I really enjoy Showtime shows, and I watch (or watched, as the case may be) almost all of them. Weeds, Dexter, Nurse Jackie, Shameless, The Tudors (!), I even enjoyed the first two seasons of The United States of Tara, even with its corny name.

And I enjoy The Big C. I think it's a clever premise, I mean, it's got a built-in tidy ending so it can pretty easily avoid the cruel fates of Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me. The cruel, cruel fates...

The Big C tells the story of Cathy Jamison, a suburban teacher, wife, and mother suddenly diagnosed with stage IV melanoma. The show follows Cathy using her remaining time to live her life to the fullest, reconcile with her family and past, and seeking treatment to extend her time. It's got an awesome cast and fabulous writing, realistic story lines, humor, and genuine heart.

But for all its good points, and there are many, The Big C has been toying with mentally ill characters and I'm not entirely sure they're handling it well.

The first hit came during the premiere of season 2, first airing June 27, when we suddenly find out-- with no warning, no build up-- that Cathy's fundamentalist environmentalist homeless freegan brother is bipolar. This revelation turns Sean from an awesome, funny Earth warrior to an unmedicated nutcase, which destroys his credibility because it turns his truthy diatribes on the evils of the first world into paranoid ramblings. The sickest part of it is that it seems the only reason they did it is so they could have Cathy say, "I'm fighting for my life and you're throwing yours away" when she's convincing him to go back on his medication. I understand wanting to put that in there, but it could have been done so much better in so many different ways. It just felt cheap.

And you can see the change in the way John Benjamin Hickey plays him now, Sean isn't the uber-genius disillusioned with life, he's darker now...angrier. He talks a little louder, a little fiercer. He doesn't play Sean's ideas as reasonable anymore, they're obsessive thoughts that Sean will hear no word against.

On the August 22nd episode, "A Little Death", we're introduced to a new character played by Parker Posey. Poppy is a childish woman in her 30s that befriends Cathy's teenage son Adam on an online forum for cancer patients' children. Soon after Adam, and we, meet Poppy in person we see a series of parallel scars on her arm from cutting. Adam makes a face when he notices them but doesn't say anything. On the most recent episode, Poppy takes Adam to her high school reunion where, after an uncomfortable encounter with former tormentors, Poppy locks herself in the bathroom to cut herself while she sends Adam to buy feminine hygiene products for her. Adam sees the marks, and makes another face, but again doesn't say anything to her.

Later in the episode Adam asks Cathy if she remembers a little neighbor boy that used to bite himself, and asked her why she thinks he did it. She responds that the little boy was going through some hard times, and Adam responds that what happened wasn't the boy's fault. Cathy says she thinks it was because when some people go through things they take out the hurt and frustration on themselves instead of others. Adam says this is "f***ed up" and Cathy agrees. I don't have any problem with this, makes sense and realistically demonstrates the average person's understanding of self injury. I'm curious to see how this plays out in future episodes.

But then Sean's instability is brought back into focus when he, still reeling from his fiance's miscarriage, runs away after hearing his new neighbors singing to their perpetually crying baby. Sean leaves a note saying as much, which Cathy finds...scrawled onto the wall of Sean's living room in paint.

I wonder about the research the writers of shows do regarding these things. The United States of Tara handled Tara's mental illness well, but they never touched on the chronically ill. The Big C is doing a great job analyzing the angles that come with being sick, but so far their treatment of the mentally ill doesn't feel as sensitive or realistic.

I'm going to keep watching, but it's definitely something that's affecting my viewing experience. Anybody else?