Monday, May 30, 2005

No thank you- I'm not Hungry

Fussy. Picky. An inconvenience. It's difficult when you feel as if your beliefs are putting someone else out. To not be able to participate because the "normal" actions of others make you feel alienated and ethically alone. Something as simple as eating becomes a time to dread because you know that your different beliefs will make an issue for others. I haven't eaten meat since I was 11. A vegetarian for 12 years and over half my life. A family of meat eaters although surrounded by friends who either are like me or sympathize. However entering a new family environment always brings about new questions and new ways of having to explain your way of life. I used to enjoy telling others the reasons I choose to live my life differently than they do. I now dread the questions.

The lake house owned by Gary's aunt is wonderful. In fact, I'm sitting on the dock now writing this journal. The lake is less than 5 feet from me, the sun is out, and there is a cool breeze. Next to my feet, there is a fishing rod. Over on the porch, everyone is eating chicken. I was offered the veggies that were cooked on the grill. And when I replied "I know it make seem fussy, but I don't eat food cooked on the same grill as meat," Gary's mom said in response, "Oh Jeez', we put it in foil girl!" How was I to know they put it in foil. Is that standard for cooking? I politely smiled and after a moment excused myself. It's not worth explaining yourself when people will only think of you as radical for attempting to keep to yourself and not make a fuss. Plosk understands most of the way I think about eating. He had already known I probably wouldn't eat something cooked with the meat.

Plosk didn't understand why I didn't want to be outside while people were fishing. He didn't get that keeping my mouth shut when something I believe to be cruel is taking place isn't easy for me. In no way do I want to shut up. But I know that me making a fuss will turn no ones head and I will only be seen as a fanatical brat who is judging the world around her. I am silent. If someone asks, I will share my knowledge, my ethical code. But that has become much more tired in the last year. So much judgment towards me has made me grow weary, and people don't realize that I hold my judgment so they should really hold theirs. But no, I try to keep my face static, and my emotions locked. I'm really tired of doing it. Sadly, to live in this society one must deal with certain "Evils" and this is mine.

The topic of furniture came up earlier. Cheryl expressed her love of the leather couches we were sitting on and mentioned that when Plosk and I get the money, that we should really think about investing in one. My response, "I wouldn't buy leather." "Oh, right, I forgot." Plosk then said, "Well that's going to be a problem because I'm going to want one." My response, "Well my money wouldn't go towards it." "That's fine."

Sadly, it's not fine and this will be a topic of conversation. I don't want a leather couch in my living space. I will sit on them just like I'll sit in a car with a leather interior, but I'm conscious of it. Doesn't mean I don't picture the cows it came from. I don't want corpses in my house. Having a couch to me isn't worth the life of something else. These are issues I'll have to deal with. These are always issues have to be dealt with. As Jean would say, "Always stand up to be counted. Even if it's not popular." Well, that's what's to be done, but in no way do I look forward to any of it.


A day goes by: Since writing this journal I have talked to Plosk about how I was feeling. He said he knew since it was being made a big deal of, that I was getting tired of it. It's similar to his choice not to drink, and how others need to make a big deal of it because they don't understand. He's good like that. Then we talked about the couch situation. He said, I think you're missing the fact that fake leather can be used. It's just a longer lasting couch. That is a valid point. I still think they look ugly, but I get what he's saying.

In any case, that was my vegetarian rant. Oddly enough, I didn't mention any of my reasons for my choices. I simply talked about reactions to my choices. I'm always amazed at how much inaction makes a fuss.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A new home

So this past Friday, we finally got the word that we were board approved. This means that in 37 days, Plosk and I will officially move into our new home together. We celebrated all weekend by tagsale shopping, movie watching, and uno playing with miss lori. I have finally relaxed and embraced the tempur by sleeping peacefully. No more tossing and turning at 4am. This has made for much happier mornings.

Now I just have to start packing all my books, clothing, and other possessions so we are ready for July 1st. It gives a nice amount of time to not feel rushed or bothered, but instead I'll be able to sort through old clothes and things I just don't need anymore to have a clean start at 11o1. There is something so soothing knowing that you are about to own a home. At the age of 23, I never would have imagined it. Six months ago I wouldn't have imagined it. Armani suits must wait. My money is being invested in my future.

Two of my other friends are also embarking on owning their own homes. Kar is buying a lovely studio in White Plains, while Miss Heidi.......well, I can't reveal that yet, but lets just say that I'll have a decadent place to visit whenever I feel the need to be an ex patriot. They are both feeling the anxiety I had felt before I was approved and are waiting for their own approval. Being approved is such a funny process. But we were accepted as we are. No lies or half truths. Just as ourselves. And there is nothing better than being accepted for who you are.

Everything is really "Serious" as I like to put it. In a wonderful way. And contrary to parental warnings on the way life twists you around: I only see it getting better.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


It seems like one bit of stress keeps coming as soon as I get rid of the last one. Right now the current stress is waiting for board approval for Plosk and my apartment. We've put literally hours and hours of work into this and all could be denied by 3 people we met the other night. I don't think that will happen. We were charming and happy and it turned into an hour and a half conversation - however I never like to think something has happened until it has been told to me. I have all these images of what I want the apartment to look like, and how my life is going to be living in an apartment I own with my boyfriend and partner. How we'll go shopping for antiques and slowly make the apartment our own. My imagination has taken the fantasy so far that it is literally painful waiting for approval, and knowing that the end of a long process is only a few days away.

In any case, anticipation isn't a bad thing. I'm not controlling it as well as I once did, and I'm not quite sure why. The other night I had a burst of emotion while with Plosk, and was so rattled, he literally said, "Emma, what's wrong: I'm scared." Sadly I couldn't tell him exactly what's wrong. I'm the happiest I've ever been in a relationship. A few months ago, I made the decision to start my first book (although it has been on hold for a few weeks while my mind has been otherwise occupied). I'm spending more time with friends and have so many exciting summer plans. Yet, I still had this emotional uproar and I have no idea where it came from. I can only guess it has to do with the apartment, and wanting it so badly. I used to be so proficient at handling stress, and suddenly I'm unable. I find this more confusing than the actual feelings.

In any case, possibly as soon as tomorrow, the answer to my questions shall be answered, and hopefully I'll be packing and moving away from 21 to start my own life and future with the person I love. Writing and reading on our balcony, and watching bat gal as we unpack. This is my fantasy. Oh, and of course being a famous author, but that dream is as old as me. The rest are all new.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Jean Pattison

Last Wednesday at 1 am, a bit over a day before her 94th birthday, Jean Pattison-housewife, citizen of the world, from Hastings on Hudson passed away. Today was her funeral.

There aren't many people in the world you can honestly say, "I've never met anyone like her." She was a close friend of my mothers or perhaps more accurate would be to say that she was her stand in mother and my stand in grandmother after my Nan passed away a few years ago.

I have found lately that I have been able to relate my own experiences to women much older than me and for both of us to have gone through the exact same experience. I've visited Jean many times in the last few months while she was at Cabrini. Her attitude and memory much more positive than the internal fear and anxiety she showed to most. During her violent coughing fits, she would continue to attempt to speak because the gift of time remained more important to her than her physical deterioration. Because of my experiences with illness, she and I were able to talk about the fear we both knew so well. The feeling of not being able to breathe. The long and frightening nights where you just hope to see any sign of day. I shared with her my fears of illness, and she did the same. The daily fear she went through simply by being in the body of a 93 year old with a mind and memory that didn't bend to time's inevitable destruction.

She and I also shared a secret and I send my thanks for keeping my secrets. I found out today at your funeral that you had a few of your own.

My mother told me that in her last few weeks, something that had brightened her life so much and helped her through the really difficult physical stresses was having me bring Bico to meet her. She said that nothing made her happier than knowing how happy we were together and gave us her enthusiastic approval. When we arrived at Cabrini, and I introduced her, the first thing she did was touch his face. A blind artist never gives up the imagination of sight.
The funeral today was religious and therefore not my exact cup of tea, but the speeches made by friends and family were accurate in their portrayal and it was nice to hear shared memories from people I had heard so much about, but only today was able to meet.

Her collage "Matsuyama" will hang in my new apartment come July 1st and the cards and gifts she has given me through time will also stay close. As my mum has said, "It is the end of an era."

(From one who knows, the two most difficult times in the last 94 years were the great depression, and WWII. Experience counts for all.)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Over Medicated

I don't much like taking any kind of pill. The body was meant to work without chemicals so I figure, the less foreign objects, the better. If I have a headache, I'll usually suck it up. I will take liberties with excruciating pain and perhaps take something. A good example of that would be on the flight home from the Dominican Republic where I felt like my head was going to explode. But that was a severe and rare occasion. The body is meant to hurt, and get better, and hurt some more. For the most part, I believe in naturally dealing with that never ending cycle.

Then came last fall. I had to begin my thyroid medication. One pill everyday and two on Saturdays. No longer having a thyroid gland, I had to make due with a drug called Synthroid and allowing it to regulate my system artificially. So, I can't complain. Cancer's gone and all I have to do is take some pills. Ok. I guess that's fair. Now, close to seven months later (yeah, it's been seven months) I have been feeling an increase in anxiety. This overwhelming feeling in my chest as if I was about to take an exam or get some terrible news. Imagine this feeling staying in your chest for a few weeks off and on, and then pretty much all the time for 3 to 4 days in a row. At work, it feels as if I am going to jump out of my skin.

I called my Doctor to find out what I should do. His response to me is that I'm supposed to have a high dosage of meds, because the higher my intake, the less chance I have to have my cancer grow back. However, the amount of meds I'm taking right now is making me feel as if my chest is going to implode. Hmm. Cancer, or anxiety. I would choose anxiety, but I'd rather not have to make the choice at all. So, I'm going to take less medication for a few weeks, get my blood reworked and see if it makes a difference in my physical feelings. So I thought I was done with Sloan for another 6 months but it turns out I'll have to go again in early June.

Last night I was however able to finally relax a bit. Bico and I spent some nice quality time together eating ice cream outside, warming up inside, and then I knit while he read his comics until I fell asleep and he continued to read and try and get the internet to work properly. He succeeded in relaxing me just like he said he would. I'm hoping the feeling of anxiety doesn't kick in too high today or this weekend. Perhaps if it does, I'll just head outside and run a bit to tire myself out. In any case, I'm going to figure out a proper balance so I can both stay healthy, and feel healthy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Gris Grimly's Muddy Spud

"Little Jordan Ray's Muddy Spud" delivers exactly what the title promises: an imaginative bizarre concoction of storytelling and illustration that brings little Jordan Ray and the other characters of Gris Grimly's world to life. Written in verse, his work has an elegance and sophistication lacking in many children's books, while still enticing the reader with his macabre sense of humor. He has the ability to challenge children verbally while drawing the child into his often gruesome world.

I was fortunate enough to meet Grimly at his art opening in Soho last weekend. His art work is reason enough to want this book, however after purchasing it and having him sign it (I had only previously seen his art), I was very happy to learn that the stories that tie his work together are as wonderful as the images he produces.

We follow Little Jordan Ray through a world filled with nymphs, mad hares, and other characters that are both frightening and inviting. Much in the tradition of Jack and the Bean Stalk, we are watching this child go off on his own to sell his family's possessions to help with their financial woes. Grimly does a wonderful job of meshing traditional storytelling with a more contemporary vibe that allows the new generations to relate and enjoy the challenging and engaging material.