Consciousness: the new sexy

I can’t remember when I last slept for eight hours straight. Five hours of sleep means I spent the day playing spider solitaire and watching reruns of the X-Files. Six hours follows running a marathon, cleaning the garage, and drinking a quart of warm milk with a handful of aspirin.

Napping always puts me in mind of my Grandpa Matti. When we visited our grandparents, Matti would retire to the Sauna each afternoon to sleep on a hard wooden bench. He found splinters in his butt preferable to listening to pounding on the piano and the constant clink of the glass lid on the candy dish. Weird.

I’m way too proud to lie on the bed (or rest my head on a 2” by 4”) in the middle of the day. This means that my napping is done on the couch, while watching said reruns of the X-Files. Shortly after the opening theme song, my eyes slam shut, my mouth hangs open, and drooling commences. I am not a sexy sleeper.

Movies tend to romanticize sleeping. When the heroine wakes up, she doesn’t have hair smooshed down on one side of her head, her false eyelashes are not migrating towards her ears, and nobody has morning breath.

This morning my husband said he woke up during the night. He went into a mild panic when I stopped snoring. Apparently, my temporary lack of a sinus serenade was cause to check my pulse and call for the coroner. There is nothing sexy about being mistaken for dead if I’m not snoring.

I haven’t worked since my neck surgery a year ago, so at least I’m not drooling on a computer keyboard for the entertainment of coworkers. That’s not a starring role I want posted on YouTube.

My husband has seen me sleeping and still thinks I’m sexy … when I’m conscious. I could be decked out in the Victoria’s Secret wet dream ensemble and he still would not wake me for sex in the middle of the night. Every man has his limits.

Surviving the sixties

For my 60th birthday, my husband wanted to surprise me with some romantic bedroom action. I was all excited, so I trotted into the kitchen to check out my over-the-counter pharmacy.

I shot him flirty looks as I began. “Let’s see. Anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants … that should do it. Give it a little time to work, and in one half hour let the spontaneity begin!”

Nobody wants to admit that they are more fragile than they used to be. In the old days if I fell on my butt, it would be an occasion for snorts of laughter. That was before my bone density scans showed that I was calcium challenged. Now when I fall, I freeze for a moment, take a full medical inventory, and (barring a splinter of pelvis jabbing out of my Levis) snort.

I live with two dogs who have been carefully studying football games for new and painful ways to show me their joy at seeing me when I come home. Lately, their favorite is the chop block. One gets behind my legs while the other jumps up against my chest. Unable to step back to brace myself, my only recourse is to yell, “Timber!”  At times like these, I wish I had shoulder pads and a helmet.

Rather than call the 800 number to order a wrist band that will have somebody remotely monitoring my blood pressure while I poop (operators are standing by), I watch survival shows. You may wonder how watching “Survivor-Guy” or “Nude and Screwed” can prepare one for spending all day alone with ninja canines. Don’t make me come over there and smack you!

Survival shows are about using the materials at hand to (as the title would suggest) not die. I can now make a splint out of old National Geographic magazines and stale bread. In a pinch, I’ll just drag myself over to the pantry where I can live indefinitely off of dog kibble and cooking oil.

In the spirit of idiotic independence and misplaced pride, you won’t find me calling an ambulance when I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. I’m the moron who drove herself to the emergency room while in shock, with a shoulder broken in three places.

So with the help of reality TV I can easily take care of myself in an emergency.  And on the odd chance that I break a hip while having sex, at least I will have loaded up on anti-inflammatories in advance.

Going viral

flu“Only old people get flu shots!” How many times have I said that to well-meaning doctors and friends? (Answer: I don’t remember BECA– USE I’M OLD!) So Friday, when my stomach shut down, I figured it must be an intestinal blockage. It was, but that’s beside the point that I never considered the flu as a possibility.

Saturday, when the tickle in my throat became a cough; the floor started buckling under my feet as I crossed the room; and I collapsed panting and sweating after tying my shoes, obviously, the blockage had turned into septic shock. I tried to remember if I told Dave the location of my Last Will and Testament.

Sunday I went to the doctor.

His diagnosis: “You should have gotten a flu shot, ya’ putz! Oh, and you need to clear that blockage.”

Since I had spent my first 48 hours in denial, it was too late to start an antiviral medication. That left me with the horrifying prospect of toughing out the flu, and removing twenty pounds of impacted poo from my colon. Honestly, if untreated this can be a life-threatening situation. There was no way in hell that I was going to let my death certificate read: cause of death – constipation.

Now you must understand that lesser men have cracked under the pressure of the kind of torture I was facing. The process involved drinking some gacky tasting concoction, then becoming intimately acquainted with lubricated tips. Lather, rinse, repeat until either the blockage is cleared, or you’ve given away the position of the U.S. nuclear submarine fleet.

I’m happy to say that I’m starting out the new year with a sparkling clean colon, without compromising national security. I’ll be out of work until next week. My coworkers didn’t want me touching their stuff with my influenza-riddled paws. Way to use up my 2014 sick leave before the ball finishes dropping!

This year I resolve to blog more, get plenty of fiber in my diet, and swallow my pride and get a flu shot. Just in case, I’m still well stocked with lubricated tips.

A good day to Twihard

As many of you know, I’ve been in the job market. For the last month I’ve been posting my resume on job boards, and avoiding all the openings for Pizza Hut delivery persons. When you need a job to continue your lavish diet of beans, rice, and the occasional Big Mac, being without one raises a certain level of anxiety.

I’ve chosen to combat fear with compulsive behavior. Doesn’t everybody? I naturally rented Bruce Willis reprising his role as John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard, but chiefly, I’ve been watching the entire Twilight Saga, again, and again, and again. In some karmic twist of fate, I’ve fallen victim to another type of vampire.

While walking our dogs in the woods, my daughter and I have been attacked repeatedly by mosquitos. We don our OFF clip-ons, and tiny fans ablaze, we confidently cross enemy lines. Since I was wearing shorts, the OFF resistant buggers decided to attack me in intimate places. This is why I’m not currently wearing panties.

The little bloodsuckers left a trail of destruction along my panty lines, causing further unsightly bulges when I wear tight pants. These are places that have heretofore only been seen by my husband and my gynecologist. OK, there was that one time that I went in for a Brazilian. I wouldn’t recommend it for the faint of heart, which I’m sure is what the esthetician was also telling herself just before she announced, “I’m going in!” But I digress.

thongMiss Manners would have an aneurysm if she knew that I’ve been scratching at my yoo-hoo area in public, especially since this involves contortions that I haven’t attempted since High School. The problem is that panty elastic further irritates welts of a size that would impress a Hollywood monster make-up artist. In total desperation, I went into my panty drawer and excavated a pair of prehistoric thong underwear left over from the Jurassic Period.

Let me first say, that everybody over the age of forty has a moral responsibility not to bare their ass cheeks in public, except in dire emergencies. This definitely qualified. Having a string of dental floss jammed into my lady parts had the desired effect of distracting me from the itching and burning only a few inches away. It was a bittersweet victory. Since I’m not a total masochist, I’ve lately opted instead for going commando.

Next week I’ll be going in for a job interview wearing nothing but hydrocortisone cream on my backside. I’ll be trying to keep my legs crossed under my dress while telling my prospective boss where I’d like to be five years from now. If I slip up, the interviewer will know more about me than just my qualifications and experience. I may have to update my resume.

I’m sure that she’ll be impressed with my ability to multi-task. This morning, I’ll be practicing my skill by watching Breaking Dawn 2 while thinking of interview questions and digging at my privates. I think I’ll soon be in line for a promotion. Yippy-Kay-Yay!

A double espresso to go, please

The winds of fortune shat on me this week (have shitten?) I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to devote all my time to writing and publishing for the last few years, a fiscally foolhardy courageous move on my part. I’ve made some amazing online friends and have published two books and a couple anthologies. That’s something I can hang my hat on.

A financial disaster has struck our family. Since I’m not willing to stand on the street corner with a cardboard sign that says, “Will rite for cheaz,” I’m forced to once more seek employment of the type that provides a regular check, health care, retirement fund, and a major time sink. This means two things: I’m going to have waaaay less time for writing, and I’m going to have to change my underwear every day (well maybe not on weekends).

sleeping on the jobJobs are scarce around here, so I can use all the happy thoughts I can get during my job search. Fortunately, I got my start in fiction when I became the family résumé writer. Advantage: Karla. Unfortunately, self-publishing is not going to be an option. Realistically, I’m not going to have the time to market my books, and energy went out the window about the time I hit hot flashes. (As it is, I’m going to have to start exercising my eyelids so they’ll stay open during staff meetings.)

I plan to keep writing, and look for traditional publishing while slaving away in the salt mines. Am I bitter? Surprisingly not, although I reserve the right to become cranky in the future. I’ll keep in touch as best I can between scribbling on legal pads, hanging post-it notes, and stuffing envelopes.

Humor has been a life-saving necessity, so I’ll keep posting off-color observations on my blog. Wish me luck as I start this new adventure, and don’t be surprised if I become even less coherent (if that’s possible) than my normal babbling self. This is your brain on 5 Hour Energy drinks.

Dromedaries gone wild

I’ve never been on the cutting edge of fashion. My normal winter attire consists of jeans, sweatshirts, rag socks, and a truly hideous fuzzy bathrobe. After menopause, my weight shot up 20 pounds, and I did what most women do: I kept a crowbar in the closet to pry myself into my jeans for as long as I could before giving up and buying a larger size.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

I freely admit to sporting camel toes and muffin tops in the meantime. I’m not proud of it. Recently I’ve managed to lose five pounds, which equates to one bag of flour and a little shame. My jeans no longer feel like instruments of torture. (I’d sing like a canary if anyone so much as threatened me with the rack, scraping their fingernails on a blackboard, or liver and onions.)

My daughter told me about a friend who had to explain to her 80 year-old mother what camel toes are. I can only imagine the conversation.

Continue reading