Monday, April 27, 2009

Anxiety Ho!

I really do look forward to the day when there is no anxiety in my life. I have a hunch I'll find SOMETHING to worry about... like whether my green fingernails really go with my tye-dye stockings... or if anyone else notices the tiny run in my green-and-black striped socks. Is it too cliche that I have striped socks in far too many colors??

Alas, I'll still covet that day... when the anxieties swirling in my head involve the mundane, regular things that the so-called "normal people" sweat out each day. I'm ready to stop living in my cage of food fears and regulations... my heart-stopping panic whenever I see a certain type of car in beige from a certain state... my seeming inability to sleep without being visited by someone from my past, reminding me of all the work that has yet to be done before I can commence the pleasant banalities of normalcy. 

I'll admit it, that last sentence was concocted to use the word "banalities" - SAT/GRE vocab moments make my inner geek smile in a big, metallic, chipmunky grin.

The real reason for anxiety today? Naia. My baby goes in for the whole operate-so-you-never-have-babies-or-go-into-heat-and-act-like-a-slut-cat-thing on Thursday. This means I take her to my friend on Wednesday afternoon who will take her to another friend who runs animals down (3 hours) to the shelter that does free spay/neutering. Naia will be fixed first thing Thursday morning (an expression that I hate as there is NOTHING broken with my baby!!!). She'll spend the night doped up on nice, kitty-friendly drugs and then return with the 2nd friend on Friday, who will bring her back to the 1st friend. I won't be able to pick up my child until Saturday evening...

... in the midst of all of this is opening weekend for the Renaissance Faire... with performances on Friday and Saturday before I get my kitty back, as well as opening-first-coming-out show for the East Nashville theater group. 

Most people worry about learning lines or forgetting a cue. Or that your wings fall out in the middle of the lanes, or some creepy person decides to take a liking to the moving pine tree (that's me). And don't get me wrong, I'm anxious about those things too... but the huge-oh-my-god-is-that-a-mountain-or-a-billy-goat-on-steroids thing on my chest? Naia. I'm scared to death that something will go wrong, or that they'll find some hidden danger that will take her away from me. The nightmares have already begun... and I wake up in tears. I lost Kaida before she reached Naia's age... and so help me... I cannot handle the THOUGHT of losing another kitten. 

So please keep my baby girl in your thoughts and prayers... she has never spent a night away from me and her big sister... at least Raven and I will have each other to cuddle with while she's gone. But she's going to spend FAR too long with strangers in a cage... frightened, not knowing what's going on, then in pain. That cage... the same one that Kaida died in... you might start to understand why I'm so freaked out. If ANYTHING happens to her... well... I can't even finish that sentence. She has to be fine. She just... has to be. She's named for two powerful Goddesses, may they please watch over her this week while she is away from her mother... and may they smile gently on those of us who will be missing her during every living moment.

There are tears in my eyes. I think I am way too attached to my cat-children. Surely this level of love and connection cannot be normal. Or is it??

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Prrrrty Please

On a whim, I checked my internet this morning and was almost knocked backwards in surprise when I discovered it to actually open up my favorite homepage, Okay, I'm not really partial to the page, but when you haven't had internet at home for a week, you get pretty darn excited when you recognize the familiar start-up screen! I'm afraid to say this "out loud" - lest the Gilbert Gods hear me and re-privatize the connection. I do nothing illegal... I'm not about that shit... but I have no qualms using unprotected, unpassworded, unsecured internet. Hey, those waves are wafting through the air, penetrating my windows and latest deal-centric purchases... so I figure I have a right to them!

I decided to upload some pictures of Dave's birthday party. Who is Dave? Well.. if you have to ask, then you clearly do not know him. He's the husband of a very dear friend of mine, and he celebrated his birthday in grand style at Rose Pepper this past Wednesday night. I was the DD for the evening, and partial-photographer. One thing I adore about Dave? His ability to let go and have a grand ole time, no matter who is around or what etiquette says is polite. I admire his childlike simplicity-outlook to the world. Oh, do not get me wrong, he is a very wise, been-through-serious-shit guy... but he's still in touch with his inner-faerie, and that just makes me smile. 

I am laying on my carpeted floor (you know, where the kitchen table would be if I ever got around to getting one) and typing this out. I've got the baby (Naia) to my right. Wait, she moved... now she's on top of me... now she's chasing a mouse-toy under the dresser... back to the point. She's got her "Prrrrrrt" on this morning. It's akin to the sound she makes when she glimpses her sister (Raven) sitting on the coffee table, staring off blissfully into the world (perhaps pondering the meaning of life, or at least tuna)... tail twitching gently, as it always does. The baby will crouch down as low as she can get herself and then... with a loud "Prrrrrt!" she pounces. The humor? Raven actually lets her do this a few times, building up her confidence that the tail IS in fact a toy, before bobbing her good on the ears. 

Life must be good for a cat... at least these two spoiled little angel children. They are enjoying the warmer weather and corresponding open screen doors. AND, my good little girls? They did the one thing yesterday that I tell them IS their responsibility in this house... they killed a spider. Okay, so I stopped them from eating it... those cute little pink sandpapery tongues wake me up ever morning, and I don't want to be licked by someone with arachnid-breath. That's just gross. So bugs beware, I've got two little lionesses laying in wait. 

I'm off. It's in the 80s today and bright sunshine. This means I'm in heaven right now... and will spend as much of my day as humanly possible in the sun. :) 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Zigzags and crossfire

Life has been very overwhelming these last few days. I find myself very frustrated at the moment. Hey, I was in such a funky mood this morning that I started lecturing the pot of dirt on my balcony for not growing into the herbs I wanted to use for cooking. Because giving a plant a "stern talking-to" has been known to do LOTS of good. Seriously.

The recent cause of these frustrations? Finding out yesterday that I was rejected from every single graduate program that I applied to - 7 out of 7 rejections. Not even an interview. I find this exceptionally frustrating for multiple reasons. First of all... I've been a brainiac all my life. Suddenly I'm not good enough for a PhD? Really? Second of all... HOW many people told me I was being ridiculous when I was worried I wouldn't get in. Yeah - all of you folks?s GUILT. Because I failed. I didn't get in. My fear came true. The anxiety was real and, as it turns out, legitimate. So if all those people who believed in me and were convinced I was a sure-in... what does that mean now? I live in fear of disappointing people. 

There's the theater director that went off yesterday about how this production is not enough to earn our keep. It's a second job, a hobby, a fun adventure. But it's not going to pay the bills. Well... fuck. Because it's the only "real" job I have right now. So back to the drawing board on that one. Except... I have no clue what to do. I no longer have confidence in my nonprofit/program manager abilities after rejection-rejection-rejection. I doubt my artistic abilities and I'm really trying to avoid working retail/restaurants. Where is my life going? I have a Vanderbilt education... for what? Unemployment lines??

I feel as if I'm wandering and wandering and wandering... found a shiny object and started chasing it, found another, dropped the first, and sprinted after a third. Now it's getting dark and I've lost my way... no clue what the path even looks like, let alone knowing which direction leads me to safety once I find it. Shiny objects keep me occupied by day... but that's not going to pay the bills. How did this get to be my life? How do I get back to a path... and how will I know it when I find it? 

The one positive... at least I'm already in Nashville. If I received this news in New York... desperate for graduate school to serve as a ticket OUT of that environment... it would not be pretty. Not be pretty at all. At least I have friends and family of choice here in town to help me  stay upright. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Maternal Instincts

Snicker of the day.... Went to get something from my purse just now and found a giant, purple, fuzzy mouse in there. Apparently Naia (the kitten) thought I needed to take this with me. What was even MORE adorable? Her favorite toy - a smaller orange-and-yellow mouse that she and I frequently play fetch with... was ALSO in said purse. It's adorable... it's like she knew I needed some extra support today and packed away HER favorite toy in MY bag. :P  

You my think I'm personifying this cat... you need to meet the child. She puts the green and red balls back away in her basket. She will drop the fuzzy mice in the shower as an offering (after I'm done, but before the shower is dry). She nuzzles up against my chest/head every night... she tries to comb my long hair with her claws when it's all dangly and loose. She once picked up my dirty kleenex from the floor and brought it over to the trash can.  

I've never met a cat quite like this little girl. All the while purring her head off and giving a slight "purrrrt" when she wants me to pay attention (and/or play fetch). She appreciates it when the patio door is open just a bit so she can stare at the birds outside... and she will chew on the string attached to
the door, pulling with her itsy weight until I get the hint - open this door please mom. She has come up and licked the tears off my face when I'm upset... and she will clean up the peanut butter bits on any plate that has PB in the snack/meal. She shares everything with her big sister... except for tuna, but then again, her big sister would eat her out of her serving if she tried to be nice on that one.  

Once, when she was younger, SHE slept in my purse. It was like she wanted to go wherever I went - so adorable. So I had to share these "awwwwh" moments. She's my little fluffy baby. I've got nicknames for the girls now. Fluff is Naia (her hair keeps getting longer and loner!) and Stuff is Raven (who likes to sit in EVERYTHING).  

Monday, April 13, 2009

An Excerpt from Illness

In my recent descent into the disordered mind, I wrote several pieces that I am now submitting to various poetry contests. They are not perky... but they capture the desperation and exasperation of a woman trapped by anorexia and losing her grasp on life itself. I wrote these in January. Several of my friends have commented on my disappearance as I've isolated myself and stopped reaching out. I am in the process of reconnecting to the world - have completed the program at Renfrew and am trying to sew new roots in slightly more solid soil. 

Here's one of my pieces. I'm calling it "Banished" - please let me know your thoughts.

Positive thoughts and optimistic ideals
Lower weights conflict with rational mentality
Evading silent tears, fitful rages and joyous squeals
Attempting to thwart another ana-tragic fatality.
Some days she wonders if her existence even matters
Engrossed completely in this disordered commonality.

Helplessly wandering, a soul in tatters
Eclipsed by overwhelming fear and negativity
Lifelessly moving about according to some temporary plan
Praying for something to break through the automatic reactivity

Maintaining the perfect mask, as completely composed as anyone can
Except that the deadliest piece of all is the implied passivity.

Banished from view, her soul is a 
Refugee inside a hostile world of violence and rage,
Encumbered by the memories of the darkest winter day,
Awakened by force, trapped in this bodily cage
Kiss her while you can, before she fades away.

Friends have come and friends will go, this disease
Runs wild with the slightest opportunity,
Egging her on in her path of destruction, wrought with rules and decrees
Erasing her at last, finally, from the land of the living community.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Pick a pattern, any pattern

You know you live in Nashville when you are applying sun tan lotion/oil one day and then bringing in your plants to avoid a frost the next. Or when you leave your therapist's office with a friend on speed dial because you are trying to get home between tornado sirens and storm cells. Seriously - it's a whole new definition to safety planning when you check the doppler radar to figure out if it's safe for you to leave his office.

The whirlwind of my life continues to grow and expand... some of it good, some of it not so good, some of it yet to be determined. Some of the highlights? I am working with this OUTSTANDING theater company. Opening night is May 1st. I have two smaller roles in two of the four pieces we will be doing. We have an in-house reading on the 19th of April (I have the lead in this one!) and are working on going from there. It's great fun to rehearse with the other actors... what a group of people! Soon, soon this dream should become reality. Hopefully real enough to include a paycheck. At this point, I won't even mind paying taxes on income... I just want an income!

My kitten is getting bigger... as they do... and is much fluffier than anticipated. She's a riot... was chasing her tail just this morning, confused as to what happens once you catch it. We were playing fetch an hour ago... she has several mouse toys that she enjoys playing with this way. When she can't find the mouse, she comes running with another toy in her mouth for me to throw. It's quite adorable. 

My artistic side continues to flourish. I've got a small gallery growing in my living room. Plant random assortments of acrylic on one canvas, stir gently with variously shaped brushes, allow to dry. I'm having fun with it - might even invest in some frames. I have a new favorite haunt for materials... GOODWILL! Seriously. The usefulness of these stores goes unrivaled. My best buy to date? A huge canvas (easily 24 x 36) for about $2. So what if there is something already on it... acrylics are KNOWN for their flexibility in painting over things. :) 

What else is new? Well... I clipped my kitties' toenails today and didn't get scratched. This may seem random to you, but I consider it an accomplishment. I still have scars from the first time I tried going after my Raven with the nail clippers. What caused this random act of grooming? The baby has taken to sleeping on my head/face at night. The teenager has taken to spooking the baby when she is asleep. The combination has left a rather awkward scratch on the tip of my nose to the right side... so if I remove the tips of the claws from BOTH cats, perhaps my face can avoid unplanned piercings. 

That's my random installment of randomness. Enjoy!