Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Don't Judge The Judge

As I walked through the lobby of my building after work today, I couldn’t help but notice the frisky blonde that trotted just twenty feet in front of me. Four-inch heels. Hoop earrings. Big sunglasses. Gucci purse. I silently snickered as she gawked at the reflection in the bank’s window as she passed.

So captivated by her image, she nearly missed the exit and veered right at the last possible moment towards the building’s main doors. I shook my head and snickered again, continuing straight towards the garage as I thought about what a shallow girl she must be.

I quickened my pace to beat the five o’clock rush, when something in the sprawling, reflective window of the gym caught my eye. It was her, Ms. Burberry, standing firmly in the threshold of the high double doors, staring intently at me.

I wilted under her gaze.

I continued walking as the grey pants I was wearing for the third time this week became painfully obvious and my black, five-dollar t-shirt screamed cheapskate only slightly less than my flat sandals doctored with permanent marker to hide last year’s scars. I cursed the good lord as the strap of my $50.00 purse slipped from its buckle, and the princess turned away.

I limped the rest of the way to the car, assuring myself that being a plain Jane was admirable; it proved external forces didn’t control me.

And as I forced that thought repeatedly through my mind, a vision of just 24 hours earlier came into focus. There I laid, crying on the couch, loudly proclaiming that “I hate[d] my life,” because, (brace yourself)… a burrito with beer was not included in the night’s itinerary.

As I watched the image of myself wreathing on the couch in such emotional pain, I realized I had the same flaw as the beauty queen in the lobby. It just manifested itself in a different way: hers an obsession with style, mine an obsession with burritos and beer.

And even though we scrutinized each other in the brief moments that our paths had crossed, it’s obvious upon reflection that she and I—the beauty queen and the plain Jane—are unwitting sisters in slavery.

Poor mental health makes for strange bedfellows.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Outside My Window

Embarrassment fear and shame
Torment from shadows
Anxiety clogs the mind

I woke up feeling creative this lovely Saturday morning, so the above is my attempt at a hypo style haiku. I wrote it while I sipped decaf coffee and listened to violent hail beat at my roof. I love nasty weather. I don’t understand why they call it nasty, I think it’s soothing.

I was born in San Francisco on a Thursday morning in November; I’d like to think it was raining.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Poetic Justice

"I was suddenly in love. It was amazing. We seemed to be stuck in the same kind of miserable marriage," - Sana Klaric, 27. There was just one small problem, the anonymous stranger she was chatting up on the internet was her husband. They're now filing for divorce and accusing each other of cheating. Now that's what I call comedy.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Moon is in Hypo

Now that the tonsillectomy is behind me—and all I have to show for it are a drug habit and a healthy throat—my good friend hypochondria seems to be rearing its head again, and rearing it wildly, I might add.

Things were relatively quiet for that two-month period surrounding the surgery. Of course, there was the death by anesthesia obsession and visions of violent post-op hemorrhaging; but those delusions aside, that period was relatively calm. There were no strokes, no heart attacks, no deadly blood clots and no brain tumors. All of which I encountered this weekend.

The brain tumor appeared on my radar Friday morning, after I repeatedly experienced severe pains in the same spot on the left side of my head. By the time lunch arrived, I was smelling “weird” smells—like my brother did in the days leading up to his diagnosis—and although I wasn’t peeing in closets or asking people to take off the sock that I wasn’t wearing—like my brother also did in those days—I was certain that there was a rapidly growing tumor in my left frontal lobe that was seconds away from crushing my brain until blood spewed from my eyes and ears. And frankly, I’m still certain that that tumor is lying in wait.

The blood clot made its debut Saturday afternoon as I attempted to enjoy a little more than a little Chardonnay with my HGTV after reporting to work. In my peripheral vision, I spotted a deep purple mark the size of a quarter, on my left inner calf. I nearly spilled my wine as I jumped up to investigate, but before my feet hit the ground, sharp pain engulfed the entire area surrounding the bruise. I limped around the room for a good four minutes in agonizing pain before I realized that the bruise could only mean one of two things: leukemia or blood clot. I decided on the latter and sat back down to finish my wine, acutely aware of the fact that the blood clot would fatally encounter my heart in less than twenty-four hours.

But, before I could reach that twenty-four hour mark, the heart attack hit. Hard. In my chest. Then my arm. I did my standard heart attack dance around the house, gasping for air while grabbing my chest and stumbling through the halls. Rey sat unconcerned in front of a rerun of NFL Playbook. I finally slinked back to the couch, grasping my chest in one hand and my thermometer in the other.

Oh, must I go on? To relive these “episodes” is humiliating. What seems so true in the moment, seems so pathetic in the now.

It’s beginning to sound like hypochondria is my favorite past-time, and in that spirit, I finished off the weekend with a bang. A bang in the form of a stroke, right in the middle of the finale of Design Star. And before I continue, let me clear my good name by saying that I am not a reality TV whore, I actually despise most reality shows, but HGTV is my weakness and that stroke couldn’t have hit at a more inopportune time.

I had already missed the premier unveiling of the new Design Star, (in lieu of watching the Patriots/Chargers game), and it was 10:00 p.m. as I laid in bed, away from the TiVo, when the second showing finally arrived. Not fifteen minutes in to the long awaited show, my left foot went numb. A sure sign of stroke. It was all down hill from there. I couldn’t breathe, I was disoriented, my vision was blurry. I became convinced that I would die a slow painful death in the bed, as Rey laid there engrossed in the finale, so I resorted to pacing the room, at 10:30 p.m. mind you, so that it would be obvious that I was dying when I hit the floor in a brain dead stupor.

Translation: I’m back.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

There's No Escape

“…he’s [Frank Gore, 49ers running back] having a conversation with his mother that he’s had everyday of his life; and this will continue even though, she’s passed away at the tender age of 46, because of, kidney failure…”
~Anonymous NFL Announcer

And I thought football was safe. At the tender age of 22, I can feel my kidneys failing as we speak.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thank You, Tongue!

Had I not been so overworked these last couple of days, I would have apprised the blogosphere of my newly developed condition. It came to my attention early Tuesday morning that my tongue was…acting up.

Ever since that fateful day, when I found my rogue tongue lodged in my throat, strategically restricting my oxygen supply, I knew I was destined to die. In my sleep. From suffocation. By my tongue.

It’s like that bastard can’t accept the loss of its good friend, the tonsils, and is going to take it upon itself to fill the void, and kill me in the process, if necessary.

Every time I turn my head, I find that damn tongue waded up in the back of my throat, sitting there like a pouting child. I’ve spent the last two nights fighting off sleep, after twelve hour work days, because I’m terrified that fucker will slip into my throat the second I dose off.

I’ve been conflicted on whether or not to mention this phenomena of the animated tongue to my doctor. Rey advised against it, so as not to reveal myself as the crazy that I am. But this afternoon, when that white coat cornered me in that cold, little hospital room and asked me “how I was doing?” with those all knowing eyes, I cracked. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. That tongue came alive, and I spilled it, I told him everything.

His response? “Normal.”

And when I carried on, like the lunatic that I am, about my newly developed sore throat, that was silently infiltrating my kidneys and killing me, he suggested, “a refill of the pain medication.” I nearly fell out of my chair.

The tongue was all mine as I spattered and stuttered about what a great suggestion that was. And as the white coat left the room to fetch his pen, it hit me, that unruly tongue was on my side, it was all a ploy for more drugs.

And tonight, as I sit here next to my 400 mg of liquid bliss, I introduce to you a body in harmony.

Monday, September 10, 2007

She took yer JOB!

I’m not a Mexican, but today I stole a good American’s job.

Unbeknownst to me, the bigwig senior attorney in my office demanded to work with yours truly. It just so happened that the bigwig senior attorney previously “belonged” to my thirty-eight year old, female, recently separated, legal secretary, stalker ex-“friend.”

(For those of you who pay attention, that’s the same thirty-eight year old, female, recently separated, legal secretary, stalker, “friend” who I spoke about several times several months ago and then never again. I never elaborated on the “ex” part—when I probably should’ve—because the story of me and her turned out to be the story of my life: it didn’t work out). Oh, you can also read about our adventures here, if you’re looking to gag yourself.

But that’s beside the point, this reassignment of me to “the bigwig” is headline news in local office politics; something I try to stay miles away from. For the last three days, since the news hit the floor, doors have been shut, and whispers have filled the halls. At least in my mind they have.

And despite all the drama and petty power plays that are accompanying this change, the reassignment is a great career move for me. The bigwig isn’t just a bigwig in my office, she’s also a bigwig in the city and a great contact to have. She’s one of the first women to graduate from Stanford Law and a very successful, independent woman to be associated with. Not to mention, I think she suffers—though it hasn’t impeded her—from anxiety, so all in all, she’s a great woman role model to have in my life.

The bottom line is, even though I essentially stole someone’s job, I’m pumped!

And in my state of glee, I’d like to take a moment to thank my anxiety for this feat. Without thee, I never would’ve been able to bust my ass so hard at crunch time, or do my job so meticulously. There’s nothing like self-doubt and anxiety to fuel that oh-so-important attention to detail and speed that I wield so easily. I guess anxiety isn’t all bad after all, at least not today.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Rise and Shine

I never really noticed it before, but my house is directly under the flight path for incoming and outgoing planes of the nearby international airport. I’ve lived under this flight path for three years and the planes have never bothered me, I never really noticed them; until a couple a weeks ago.

Every morning, at about 6:20 a.m.—twenty-two minutes before my scheduled 6:42 a.m. wake up—I’m jolted from my state of comatose by what feels like a thirty ton meteor crashing into my house.

Everyday, as sure as shit, I find myself vaulting out of bed in sheer survival mode, as the sound barrier is broken above my house. Some days I know that earth-shattering sound for what it is: a plane crashing into my bedroom. Other mornings it’s a bomb, alien invasion or terrorists.

And, so my morning started today: in a state of pure panic, and that panic has somehow followed me into this evening. Mid-afternoon I developed a severe case of pneumonia and I hold that damn plane responsible.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Apparently there’s a new computer game designed to show how the brain reacts to threats. The game, modeled on Pac-Man, has a predator chase down a player; if caught, the player receives a shock. The results of the study are allegedly explaining why some of us unfortunate souls suffer from anxiety and panic.

"When our defence mechanisms malfunction, this may result in an over-exaggeration of the threat, leading to increased anxiety and, in extreme cases, panic, he said. Although brain-imaging studies like ours cannot directly help to cure such disorders, they do improve our understanding of how the emotional system operates. This is the first step to helping people with anxiety-related disorders."

Huh…I’m not sure what to make of this. I guess one could say I “overreact” to certain situations, but, when your heart starts pounding, your palms start pouring sweat, your vision becomes blurry and your arm goes numb, it’s kind of difficult not to overreact.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Or Does It?

"Just because you're crazy and we're crazy does not mean we're related." ~Nancy Botwin

Ten dollars—that's fake dollars, not real dollars—to the first person who can guess my most recent DVD obsession.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

On Tongue Hair

I feel like I have a hair tied in a bow around the tip of my tongue. I have no idea what implications this may carry, but the sensation is terribly annoying.

Had I not been dealing with this “tongue hair” for the entire morning, I might be convinced that I’m actually in the initial stages of a stroke, but as the hours have passed I’ve lost faith in that theory and have really no idea what this could be.

I figured I should at least document the sensation, in case this ordeal turns into something serious. Tongue hair update to follow shortly, assuming I’m not dying from some rare tongue hair disease.