Archive for the 'friends' Category

the other kind of social disease

The Meriam Webster Dictionary defines the term “social disease” as the following:

Main Entry:  social disease

Function: noun

Date: 1891

1: venereal disease.

I’d like to respectfully submit a second meaning:

2:any disease or condition that significantly impacts ones social life, friendships, relationships, and general interaction with society…

I was recently diagnosed with CFIDS or Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome.  I have seen doctor after doctor after doctor.  I take medication for anxiety disorder and an inability to manufacture enough GABA (the stuff your brain makes that allows you to physically relax) and have for more than ten years.  These are realities I’ve come to deal with and are, for me, not terribly debilitating.  Sure, I don’t sleep well, but I’m I don’t have agoraphobia or claustrophobia or any other phobia that keeps me from fully enjoying my life- having several large circles of friends, enjoying the blessing of living in NYC and all that it brings, traveling the world over for business and pleasure, finding absolute nirvana being a stranger in a strange land.

I have been sick and tired over the years, suffering bouts of exhaustion and increased pain that left me cranky, sleepless and with an intense desire to hibernate.  Some attributed this to a latent depression or the aftermath of being hit by a van whilst crossing the street almost 20 years ago.  The accident did a good bit of damage to my body, the effects of which are felt more intensely and impact my life more acutely at times.  Spoken or not, most people assume the former, not having been in my life for the accident and all that followed. 

By people, I mean my friends and acquaintances.

I’m not going to lie.  I found this to be frustrating.  I have seen internists, orthopedists, physiatrists, therapists (physical and emotional), psychiatrists, neurologists, accupuncturists, every kind of “-ist” one can think of.  I’m very proactive about my health.  I don’t despair.  I have rare moments of sadness over the some of the tougher aspects of my childhood/ young adulthood.  I always pull through and I’m always OK. 

The last six months, however, have been out of control.  I was out of work for months, for what I thought was some crazy-mutant evil sinus infection.  I’ve had surgery, taken steroids, exhausted supplies of anti-biotics, changed my diet, everything.  I just couldn’t get better.  And I didn’t know what to do.  Staying home all the time because I was too tired or dizzy or fuzzy to go out didn’t leave me with much to talk about other than what was wrong with me.   Naturally, this affected my relationships with people.  I mean, how many times can a person listen to someone complain about the awful smell or electric mucus or fatigue or headaches, or whatever.  It’s a drag. 

You see, just because you’re anxious or tired doesn’t mean you’re depressed.  And even if one IS depressed, it doesn’t mean you’re not physically ill.  My affect has always been positive, regardless of my circumstances, and I’ve yet to meet any one of the “ists” that felt differently.

Continue reading ‘the other kind of social disease’

i can say i knew her when

maybe i’m a total doofus, but i just got really excited because one of my best friend’s improv groups is referenced in the NYTimes today.  And called nonsensical (the name, not the improv)!!!!

sileva is famous

also, when i got to my brand new office today and my brand new job, there was a ringwraith riding a fellbeast figure hanging from my ceiling.

home at last.

the (e)star wars girl

so, it’s been a long couple of weeks.  the cb situation continues to spew it’s rumours, budget meetings and consternation.  i had a marathon 36 hours in miami beach with my latin american agents.  i went straight from the airport to say goodbye to a dear friend moving to the left coast.  i got up early to attend a three hour introductory meeting to one of the possible solutions/ possible bad ideas to end the great cb crisis of ’07.  then, a giant storm came in on friday and has knocked my body back about nine months.  (dratted positive post from two days ago, you jinx!)

no worries, though, there has been a very bright silver lining during all this:

twice in the last week i have been told i am referred to as the star wars girl.  or, according to the argentinian, the estar wars girl.  i can’t imagine a greater compliment.

once by bmw, who told me he was talking to his friends about me and said they asked “oh, you mean the star wars girl?” and then from the smoking hot miami-beach located agent.  we had long, draining, but productive meetings on our mutual business, he bickering with his female co-worker and me with my male tv consultant, mr. brekkies. 

i got to geek out with the smokin hot, suave, hilarious argentinian out over an extremely expensive, tantric themed dinner (poor ximena will never live that choice down) while mr. brekkies and ximena looked on with stoic silence. 

the next morning, when picking us up for the second day of meetings, señor caliente showed me all the light sabres, action figures, replicas, comic books he’d traslated into neutral spanish for marvel (of course) and his titanium web slingers.  he let me raid his toys for some souvenirs.  quite delighted, we left the office for the airport and the flight home.

while in the elevator, señor caliente told us all how he went home the previous night and told him how his boss at insert licensing company here (me) was an estar wars girl.  we laughed.  mr. brekkies asked what she said.  señor caliente: i cannot repeat it.

awesome.  i’m a virtual homewrecker- i unnerve wives, but never get any action.

then, to put a cherry on the sundae, there was a bulldog in the lobby, ending my bulldog-spotting-drought of nearly five months.  i did the usual giggle, jump, clap and point routine, which was pretty much a repeat of my reaction to all the toys in the office upstairs.

star wars girl

both of these things will tide me over for weeks.

it’s the little things, friends, the little things.

ricky nelson, i salute you

enough of the brain problems, back to the fun.

we went back to the temple bar again the last night.  we’d gone to see casa mila (la pedrera) late in the afternoon and hadn’t accomplished much else that day.  because, as i explained to cs, that we had a problem.  we couldn’t leave our hovel because the sun was out there.  despite all this and our well-laid plans to go to bed early for our early flights, cs declared that it we had to go out that night.  it was our last night.  no fighting that logic.

we met up with the hilarious irish girl we’d seen the previous two nights and her cohorts.  she’d gathered some boys from roscommon and they asked us to join their group.  they twisted our arms by buying us a couple of pints of fat frogs and then two baby guinness shots.  i have since determined they were evil plants from the planet of teaching responsibility through reverse psychology.  just when i thought i was doomed to sink into an irish hole of drunk, maurizio showed up!  huzzah!  david was not with him.  boo!

maurizio came because he thought david might show- they have a very informal friendship and just meet up there sometimes.  he and cs bonded about italy, amongst other things, i’m sure, while i pined and wished for my imaginary boyfriend* to show.  alas, he never did.  to buoy my spirits, maurizio told cs a secret: david thought i was cute and tried to call me the previous night.  unfortunately, he only had my office number and not my blackberry.  curs-ed fates!

we all went off to find a disco and with maurizio’s guidance, found one on las ramblas, relieving us of a long cab ride to porto olympico and an 18 euro cover.  he couldn’t join us because he had serious research work to do in the morning.  we bid him a warm adieu and followed the irish upstairs.  of course there were many swirling, twirling lights on the dance floor, so cs and i hung at the bar.  it was hot.  i turn my head for one second and when i look back, cs is talking to three fine looking, but barely post adolescent, boys: jose uno, jose dos and alex.  and they were from?  tenerife.  seriously. we had to fly 2247 km (1,396 miles for those of you on the SI system) to find natives of tenerife.  it was no hoax.  they showed me their papers.

though they were all cute, and cs had her weary eyes on jose uno, we realized we didn’t want to be there.  we didn’t want another drink.  we were tired of sweating and breathing in the musty air.  we were tired period.  we decided to head home. 

on the way, we passed the slightly unhinged israeli girl we’d ditched on the way to the disco (mostly at the irish’s urging.  but they were right.  she was kind of crazy.  and very intense).  she was talking to a nigerian man selling trinkets on las ramblas.  we trudged up to our hole for the final time so i could pass out for a few hours and cs could shower in time for her flight to roma.

i left the next day and had smooth, uneventful flights home.  on a lark, i checked my email.  god is good, folks, because i had an email from the catalan waiting.  he wanted to know if i was going back to the bar that night- he’d run into maurizio who told him he’d seen us the night before and he wanted to see me (sniffle).   he wrote that he’d wanted to spend the night with me the other night and tried to follow us to the disco (sob).

unfortunately, i was now back at home, 6169 km away (hysterics).

i wrote him back and told him all this.  he said he was leaving on holiday that day, but would be on messenger at 22h on 2nd september.

sigh.  a girl has to have dreams, i guess.

so now, i’ve decided my immediate life goal is to emulate ricky nelson and have a man in every port.  this trip was a good start towards that end.

 oh, and BMW came over the day after i got home.  a girl has to eat.  more than once a month, too. 

*he’s an actual person of course, just not my boyfriend.  not yet, people, not yet. mwahaha mwahaha (curling imaginary** handlebar mustache). 

** the mustache is not real.  not since we went to el corte ingles, anyway.  zing!

a motorway for rabbits

 cs lewis and i spent much of our first three days lounging beside the resort pool or on one of the beaches.  tenerife has black sand beaches, with a finer grain than those of hawaii, and a remarkable natural beauty and varied climate, which is marred and scarred by the endless strips of english snackbars and souvenir stands.  i guess this is inevitable in tropical isles that are developed, but it is disconcerting nontheless.

desiring to see more than ads for 1 Euro happy hours and packs of english families clutching the comforts of home and dragging them the thousand miles to this beautiful spot off the coast of africa, we decided to take an island tour.  no, not the most “authentic” of experiences, but a diversion and a chance to learn about the actual island itself was a welcome change of pace.

we boarded a bus full of the usual “excursion” suspects, with a wonderful and incredibly funny guide named pieter, who hailed from holland.  i won’t give you the digital version of your grandparents strapping you down for a slide-by-slide narrative of a trip to boca raton, but i will mentions assorted factoids and anecdotes (forgive me, my sweets).

long story short: tenerife was formed by volcanic activity eons ago, the island was once populated by prisoners from north africa, was taken over by the spaniards when eight of the ten kings were captured and the remaining two suicided, became a giant banana plantation, and then the tourism began. 

we got to see the dragon trees, los gigantes (or, as i like to call them: the cliffs of insanity!), the oldest town on the island (ovataro), puerto de la cruz and the black madonna of las candalarias.

cliffs of insanitycliffsofinsanity1.jpg

we had brits, germans, russians and a nice wee french madamioselle on the bus and pieter impressed and shamed us by speaking all fluently and with flawless accents.  i think that cs and i were the only ones to get his humor, or maybe it only worked in english, but this dude was hilarious.  cs and i were hysterical at nearly everything he said, not to mention our own ridiculous jokes (alright!) so we giggled the day away.  i’m pretty sure that pieter thought we were high and/or drunk, but it was like that the whole trip.  i must send a quick shout out to maya rudolph’s whitney houston impression for a good fifty percent of the laughs.  or cs’s version of it.  either way, it was amazing. 

eh, i just decided not to go into the whole day.  i’m sure everyone’s grateful.  i need to fully recover my senses in order to report on barcelona, alcochofa y tomate, rio grande and the catalan boy que deseé poner en mi bolsillo….

what do you get when you cross a hedge fund trader and a longshoreman?

well, that depends on whom you ask, i guess.  but according to ronnie of carle place, long island, what you get is what i, apparently, need. 

cs lewis and i met at the beer garden for a drink after an especially painful stab therapy session.  as i’d suspected, cs lewis’d made friends by the time i arrived.  ronnie and ralphie, two mooks of the highest order (a sincere compliment in my book).  they were waiting for friends, too and had invited cs to sit with them whilst she waited for me.

i was in a foul mood.  work had been especially rough, i’d endured 6 hours, 2 cancelled flights and several delays at cleveland hopkins airport.  i’d had to meet corky st kurtz, the ‘creative’ head of my division in the president’s club and had a very awkward conversation.  you know when you know that someone just does not like you, especially for no good reason, but you have to have polite, civil, and hopefully productive conversations with them?  and then they condescend to you and tell you to remain there after they leave and have some drinks because they’re free?  did i mention that i’m pretty much the only person out of seventy plus in the division actually bringing in revenue? 

couple that with the painful therapy and the fact that i had to get up early the next morning for an mri, and i was so close to going home and burying my head in my pillow.  luckily, i kept my date with cs because these guys were hilarious. 

ralphie and ronnie were joined by mikey and val.  the former being a high school english teacher living in his parents long island basement with a prodigious early eighties porn collection and the latter being a french immigrant working in technology who thoroughly enjoyed all the racist slurs and gallic slander we could conjure up.  ronnie was married, waiting for his wife to get home from a girls night out so they could celebrate their first anniversary together.

i must tell you that a night out drinking with a quadrumvirate of ball-busting mooks is exactly what the doctor ordered.

they gave very helpful advice on men. mostly from ronnie, who told me i scare the shit out of the stronger sex and that’s why i’m single (yeah, ronnie, that’s what i tell myself).  other roundtable topics included favorite authors, the best lines from fight club, shaving/ hair preferences and personal styles, why, exactly, mikey still lived in the basement, the diamond trade and nifty blackberry tips.

i had intended on going home early so as to avoid being hungover for my MRI, but stayed out late because it was such a fun and relaxing evening. 

i also learned it’s possible to play wingman via text (good luck with frenchy, cs!).

we definitely have to hang out with those guys again.  and, yes, daphne, you’ll be there.

it happened again.

i had another desperately sad deja vu this week when a wonderful,  gorgeous, funny, nice guy i work with asked about my boyfriend and when i said  i had nothing, he couldn’t believe it.  he was shocked that i’m single and told me that all the guys on his team think i’m the coolest.  he couldn’t imagine a world in which i was single.  if he wasn’t engaged…

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
 
it wasn’t sleazy, and i know he meant it as a compliment, but i really hate it when they say that.

but, it’s not just me. 

a lovely, fun and beautiful friend of mine, ms. savory, has had her share of troubles.  she was telling me just last night that she met this funny, nice guy who was pursuing her.  they had talked about maybe taking a next step towards exclusivity and after spending a few fun and margarita filled hours with me at our hell’s kitchen local discussing rimmers with our flirty, friendly, irish bartender, she went off to meet him so they could make the advances they’d discussed.

fast forward to this morning.  i receive a text from ms. savory:

last night he asked me if i wanted to be exclusive and take the next step.  i said yes.  then he said his ex moved back on tuesday and they’re giving it another shot.

no shit.

i mean what the?  why’d he ask? 

me confused.

Protected: names have been changed to protect the clinically insane

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when the good ‘ship sails

literalism!

it is so much harder than walking away from a best friend than a boyfriend (girlfriend), no?  there can be something so much more intimate about a true, close friendship than a romantic relationship.

for one thing, a truly good friend really likes you for who you are.  they appreciate you for you.  that’s why they’re here. 

think about how many couples you know who love each other, but don’t really like each other.  you know the ones, “honey, don’t do that.”  “baby, that’s not funny.” “oh, not this again.” 

friends also support you in a way that a signifiliteralism!literalism!literalismcant other often cannot.   they don’t have an agenda for you other than your happiness and/or well being.  it’s not about them.  it’s about you.

i’m talking true friendships, not co-dependencies, people-habits (e.g. you grew up with them, they’re not so bad, etc.) or the friendly acquaintance.  they can be rarer than relationships and truer than family because you actively did something, no matter how big or small, to have them in your life. 

and realizing that the shoulder that you can always cry on has turned away, even a small degree, is a cruel, cruel reality.


truth

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

truth

Upon common theatres, indeed, the applause of the audience is of more importance to the actors than their own approbation. But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value - john adams
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from the man who taught me everything:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”

bygones