Monday, November 30, 2020


     I never thought I'd add that to my resume at the ripe old age of 47 but our house has been on the market since March and hasn't sold so when an acquaintance texted in distress three weeks ago - her house sold in a week and she had to be out before Thanksgiving - to see if we would consider renting I jumped on it. Double mortgage since July sucks. My financial advisor told me to look up rent on Zillow and charge 200 bucks less good renters are priceless. Her cousin lives down the street, she only wants six months bc they have their eye on a FSBO on 2 acres. He's a farmer and wants lots of land, she's a busy SAHM of three girls. 

    She called me this morning and told me she didn't want to bug me over Thanksgiving but two things, one, there's a black rat in the cupboard in the kitchen (we killed a baby white rat in the Spring and were worried there was another one) and Dow, her husband, was testing all the lights and the one on the back porch sparked scarily so she called an exterminator and I called an electrician and I hope I passed my first test as a landlord with flying colors because she is really amazing and I want to count her as a friend. She's agreed to deliver the meal I plan to cook for my friends two doors down on Wednesday - I'm stuck at work - so I plan to bring her a housewarming and thank you gift when I drop off the food tomorrow night. After family pictures take two. I hope she shows up I was originally off tomorrow but a partner is having emergent surgery so I agreed to come in.

    Don't recommend The Nest the woman was an interesting character but overall it fell flat. Big wishes that his next is as good as his first. That cult one has lingered.

    The funny thing about the rat is that they heard it and thought it was in the attic - but her youngest Virginia was like no I hear it it's in the kitchen. And they had heard their alcohol bottles clinking around at night - Dow put them in the cupboard above the stove. They are used to country living - so not afraid of animals - but not in their living area I agree. She told me that they once had rats in their garage, the reason they like they alcohol bottles it that they pry the labels off for their nest. I thought that was lovely, honestly. I would never have guessed that in a million years. 

    Just finally emailed/figured out the senior ad thing. I found a quote that made me cry when I originally read it - Neil Gaiman's Blueberry Girl. Don't tell Cecelia she doesn't read this and it's a secret. If I recall correctly he loved Sarah McLachlan's music so much he wrote it for her little girl. I read it at Barnes & Noble and quickly introduced into my daughter's nightly queue. It is one of my favorite children's books I've ever read I need to get it for Rennie.

    Busy day, nice to be relaxing, hope you are too - much love, E

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Lazy Sunday

     I've just been helping my daughter with college scholarship essays - she really doesn't need much help I just edit and discuss and give suggestions. She's been writing college level since early high school - one of her papers on human trafficking won best in the region at Model UN in tenth grade. She has so many accomplishments - Student Body President at Central and National Merit Semi-Finalist (I never got close to that) but I'm most proud that she has good core values. She wants to follow in her mom and dad's footsteps, despite the fact that I've told her on many times when supporting her through life that I don't care if she is a greeter at Wal-Mart as long as she is happy I am happy. Putting those essays together - meeting new prompts with old content - is like playing word Jenga. But you get used to it, it gets easier as you go along.

    Before that I was lazy as Hell been having a Sean Durkin fest after reading about him in the Atlantic this morning. I meant to watch Martha Marcy May Marlene when it came out nine years ago but it slipped my mind and so I watched it this morning it was amazing, definitely some rough scenes to watch but the psychological study of being a cult leader was so on point there were these amazing clues in every scene not just out loud but visually. In the middle of the Nest now it's equally as jarring a psychologic picture of horror but this time wealth, not a cult leader, is the villain. 

    I've also been reading some Anthony Chekhov stories of women - a great thing about moving is discovering books that you have that you never got around to reading and I've got hundreds of paperbacks. Not sure when I picked this one up but it's a gem. It's funny how people have the same problems and feelings and stories that travel time. I really liked Wretchedness. I've had trouble reading lately but I just ordered ten copies of Mitch Albom's The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto - my hair stylist lent it to me (if you call ponytail a style lol but that's my fault not hers) and it is my favorite book of the year so I've got to gift it. I googled him after I read it he's quite an amazing person he uses his gift to give and I admire that quite a bit.

    And, like everyone else on the planet, I watched Queen's Gambit it is so good she is amazing those eyes can say more by looking than anyone could ever say out loud. And of course I loved that her name was Elizabeth but she goes by Beth I've never done that. 

    I'm off tomorrow gonna grocery shop and try to figure out this Senior ad thing that is a mystery to every parent of a Senior at Hendrix we lament about it in a Facebook group. It's due Tuesday. I was commenting to follow the other day and I saw my therapist comment I felt like I won the jackpot and Facebook stalked - just his cover photo to see his wife and kids. 

Hope you all had a restful weekend - much love, E

Monday, November 23, 2020

Fugue States

     Man I'm so tired but this stuff is literally swarming my brain so I'm gonna run with it. 

    My new psychologist Yousef, who I started using at the beginning of the pandemic based on a friend's recommendation, is brilliant I can tell. I feel like I have a sixth sense about brilliance. We had about six or seven phone meetings before I met him in person. I do this thing with people I admire, I deify them, so much so that it is a detriment to me and them. I imagine a lot of people do this, but with me it's very intense. It was really intense with Yousef because he was like this disembodied voice imparting wisdom from the Heavens and he makes himself available to certain clients for after hours sessions and I used that a lot in the Spring - not only pandemic but was having kid crises and work stuff was really stressing me out. I thought I had graduated from therapy after the divorce but nope, here I was again seemingly back again at square one. 

    Once we met in person it got better - he was less God-like. He told me that when I called him sometimes in crisis he could tell I was in a fugue like state. He asked if I remembered the late session at Beaver Lake when 45 minutes into the session I realized I was on the phone with him and was confused how I got there. The last time I did it I was on the back porch of my house and I started normal but ended fugue and woke up in my bed thinking, "Well that was a waste of a $200 session." I googled fugue. It's not very common. It happens in times of deep crises. I do realize when it happens and I get really embarrassed, like what the hell did I do or say it's non-recoverable.

    When I was little, I sleepwalked. I wonder if this is related. I'd wake up on a couch in the house far away from my bed and wonder how I got there. My sister would recount entire conversations we had that I had absolutely no memory of. I researched the pathologic version, maybe dissociative disorder - but I'm not that bad it usually only happens when I'm really stressed out and it's not like I wake up in another state wondering how I got there it's usually only a few minutes or an hour or two and I'm back. I told Yousef that I wanted to meet with him weekly until I stopped and he complied. That was a couple of months ago. I recently went three weeks without a session. He agrees I'm much stronger now than I was in the Spring.

    When I met Jesse McKenney I had another strange sense of brilliance. I soaked up every moment I had to learn from him because I realized he was just starting out but was going to go far. But when you put people really high on a pedestal you are putting yourself down it doesn't work out too well. Plus, they eventually fall, we are all human. With Jesse it was one time when something nasty and political was happening in the department - I was a resident - and I vented to him and wanted him to take up my cause and support me - start a freaking revolution. He balked. I realize in retrospect this was self-protective and smart - academics can be brutal and he didn't yet have enough experience and power to wield. But I was so disappointed it was like he fell from the Empire State Building and I drop kicked him into another dimension, that's how intense it can be. 

    And take Rex Bell, my partner. He is retiring in June I'm already beginning to mourn. When I first met him I was dazzled. I say knowledge is sexy but musical talent and quick wit are a close second and third and he had all three. I love his wife and mean this to be complimentary not weird. I'd wander into his office and he would be being interviewed by NPR based on his accomplishments as a jazz pianist. When I was telling him today about my weekend with my husband on the porch in the rain with drinks and Fritos and bean dip he said "So you got gassed and gassy." I swear it comes so fast I can't keep up. Once a few years ago we got into a tiff about a billing charge he was checking I made and error and I took it too personally and exploded. I got him so out of sorts he sent another partner to tell me if I had a billing error for FOUR years he is just now comfortable with me again. Except that incident this Summer. For a future blog. I really can have a temper. And I love that despite all of his accomplishments and talent he still wears his heart on his sleeve.

    Recently Jesse and I were sharing kid pics on texts and comments about new crazy ass lung cancers. He is at the Cleveland Clinic - career pinnacle. So impressive, and I take a little pride in knowing that I predicted it. So human mistakes are recoverable. But my experienced outtake - sliding into 50 like an anonymous bad DM, is that I need to quit deifying and start having enough confidence in myself to being equal to even those I admire. Like pretend I'm sitting in a room with Obama and have a not weird normal conversation and not sweat. Because we all sweat and have anxiety and sit on the toilet. No matter how accomplished we are, anonymously or publicly.

    I've been winding down to Dave Chappelle at night. I was in residency when his show came out and missed all that. It's kind of fun reliving the Bush years and he is so funny I LOL that is the best medicine after a long day of cancer. Happy Monday. Much love, E

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Near Death Experiences

     One of my favorite questions that my husband asked me when we first started dating was, "I like your sunglasses. How long have you had them?" I almost LOL'd. Smart right? Like a thinly veiled "Can you keep up with your actual shit?" I appreciated this, considering my ex loses his iPhone about every other month, which is an endearing trait the kids and Rachel and I laugh about now that I'm no longer at odds with him. I proudly announced I'd kept up with them for years. We were still in the honeymoon phase  where you can't really let your guard down - it took me months to even be able to take a shit around him. Which made for a very awkward trip to New Orleans - I'd held it in for awhile so excused myself at the aquarium and was totally prepared (and inwardly triumphant) when I emerged from the bathroom and he worried, "It was taking so long." I replied, "Oh, you know women's bathrooms. The line was eternal."

    S and I spent a few summers vacationing at a dude ranch with the kids. One year I wanted to go white water rafting while the kids were at their day camp, it was a blast. So much so that Cecelia wanted to do it with me the next year. Since S had already done it and Jack and boats don't get along - he can't even watch a 3D movie without getting a massive headache - C and I embarked alone on the three hour journey to the raft site one day. It was the same tour and frankly not really scary at all there are hardly any rapids but a lot of great scenery and the guide was a grizzly old guy with campy jokes. The spotter in the back was a PA who did this on her off days. If I recall C and I were the only other ones on the boat. 

    I was enjoying the day - it was cold so we were in layers. It was June in Colorado so glacier melt was still happening there was no getting in the water for a swim but we enjoyed a light lunch on the bank and stopped to see an actual dinosaur footprint. I could tell C was a little disappointed - she was only 12 but already had a thrill seeking nature and expected more. So when we hit a fun rapid the guide announced that he could turn around and do it again. As he was doing a 180 I fell from the boat and plunged into the icy cold waters. I apologize if I've told this one before but it came up in therapy this week so clearly it needs more processing hopefully with new twists and turns. 

    I emerged under the boat in shock from the cold and thinking I needed to get out from under the boat that was my single minded goal. I struggled for what was probably only a minute or two but it felt like an eternity. The guide pulled me from the water by my jacket back onto the boat and once he ascertained I wasn't in any health risk he ripped the spotter a new one. I shivered in adrenaline rush and thrill for just being alive. He got me in some semi dry clothes and towels and thirty minutes later the trip concluded. My single regret was that I lost the lens of one side of my sunglasses.

    My glasses are covered by my health insurance. So while I thrift shop and sale shop all the time for clothes I luxuriate in glasses. My current readers are Tom Fords and those sunglasses were Versace. S and I researched on the computer back at the cabin to see if we could find a replacement for the lens but they were out of rotation. I lamented and said "Let's just throw them away I'll get new ones."

    I needed reader sunglasses by then anyway so I got some cute Tiffany & Co. ones I've had ever since. S and I were conversing a few months later and he confessed that he couldn't bear to throw them away so he went on a hike we had already done where he remembered there was a hole in a tree trunk and put them there. So I like to think of them buried, like in a vault, up in Colorado where I spent all that time teaching my kids to enjoy nature and horses (them anyway horses scare the shit out of me) and hikes and gourmet food.

    Looking forward to breakfast, speaking of food. Hope you are having a lazy happy Sunday. Much love, E

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Happy Place

     It's kind of nice when you plan a long hike and nature says nope I'm going to rain all day so all you get to do is eat and drink and read and write and get a massage. Just finished breakfast at my favorite new brunch place yum poached eggs over sausage with a bloody Mary reduction sauce and of course plenty of Tabasco sauce. Bombadil's. It's a little out of the way from this bed and breakfast but feels a hell of a lot safer than Mudd Street Cafe that breakfast den feels like a Covid bed and there are never very many people at Bombadil's it's kind of hipster.

    The last time I was up here we did another underground off the path cave tour and it was just me and S and a cheerful tour guide who reminded me of Mindy Kaling. We got to the end of the lighted part of the tour and she asked me to climb on a very scary boulder - the drop offs were vertiginous, and as I sat there with the point of rock invading my ass she said, "Now you are going to want to climb here and then put your foot up here." I looked up and tried to pay attention through my fear and saw that she had her foot going into another room above her head - she was already a head above me. I made a snap decision based on the fact that my foot had not been that high above my head since I was on the Pom Squad in high school. "Y'all go on I'm going to stay here." 

    As they ascended into the dark recess I realized that I was too frightened to get back on the path so sat on the scary rock for twenty minutes contemplating my fate. Luckily they emerged to go into a different part of the cave and recognized I needed help and got me down. So I spent two hours by myself in the lit part of the cave where people tour and took pictures and sang Cowboy Junkies - the acoustics were amazing and thought how lucky I was to get to do this at night with no one else around. S said I made the right decision the things she had him do were scary and not fun and there wasn't even much to see. He said the other one we did back in the summer was better that guy always gave you a safe and a scary option and the scary options were nothing compared to what Mindy put him through.

    Lisa tells me it's ok to take something from nature if you ask permission so I felt really bad because I took three tiny rocks from the cave and forgot to ask permission but hopefully if I ask I will be forgiven. They sit on my bedside table reminding me of the adventure. 

    The last time I was fascinated by religion was in college - I took a world religions class I loved from Jay McDaniel. I had a huge crush on him. I can see where college kids and professors might get in trouble  entangling because knowledge is about the sexiest thing on the planet. Throw on a Scottish accent and you get Dr. McAinsh, a history professor. Some days I had to use all my self control not to run to the podium and throw myself at him. I guess as long as you keep that shit in your head it's ok. When he came up to me on my graduation day and sought me out to tell me my final essays written for a class I forgot was the best one he ever read in his entire life I was so pleased. Dazzle em with your brains:) 

    Anyway, I became fascinated with Kali, an Indian deity, during world religion class. I even made her my Twitter handle at one point during my divorce but then I never got on Twitter which is typical. I'd kind of forgotten her but when Lisa told me to order these goddess mediation cards and read the accompanying meditation I brought them to my office and opened them up and guess who I picked. So I read the mediation and it looks really cool but it's been about six weeks and I've yet to try it. Moving. Election. Pandemic. We've discussed this. I found a Kali statue my mom brought me from India in college that was hiding in a cabinet and took her to my new house. She's important, somehow.

    Well I'm  going to go pick one of the seven books I packed to start and read until 1:00 massage. Hope you all are having a wonderful Saturday. Much love, E

Friday, November 20, 2020

Ascension Sickness

     I should tell you about Wednesday. Not really yesterday but it's past three a.m. so time is a little murky. I was off, I planned a few long weekends to unpack. I'm about 75% done but there is still much to do. We had family pictures planned so I slept in and showered and went to a salon in Hillcrest my stylist recommended to get a blowout. I hadn't had one of those since I turned 40 so it was a real treat. The stylist was super nice and gave a great head massage - we talked about the astrological signs of all the people in our lives and what they meant. 

    My histology department is in real distress. We had one out on quarantine and one is on maternity leave after bed rest and our night person quit so we aren't getting slides until around noon it's kinda crazy. Therefore I had a bunch of hard cases I had to order immunos on that needed my attention so I went into work for about three hours. I sighed as I gave a 22 yo metastatic leiomyosarcoma to her bowel mesentery and a 30 yo nurse with an upcoming wedding metastatic ovarian cancer to her entire abdominal cavity. WTF is up with cancer. It's running rampant. It's not just the virus we have a real health crisis on our hands.

    I'd had an egg for breakfast and I ate the rest of a fruit cup dumped in Boulevard ginger dressing for lunch with corn nuts. I swear I could drink that ginger dressing. I finally wrapped things up and headed to get a gift for my new friend Sean - he had a hard day at work the day before - he's a barista at Baptist Boulevard - and I was excited to see him. We were chatting outside his apartment and suddenly I had to sit down. Then I had to lay down. I was tanking and he told me I needed to come in his apartment. I scooted into the front entryway and my hands grew numb and I almost passed out. His boyfriend was on the couch - I was excited to meet him but apologizing profusely for invading their space. He was super kind and offered me a pillow. "It's clean I just washed it." I said, "I'm not a neat freak I let my kids eat mosquitos to build their immune system but I appreciate it."

    I was turning grey and Sean offered me some lemon sorbet. I ate it so fast I got a second cup and then had a cup of raspberry sorbet. I think I was hypoglycemic from lack of food - I told them both this hadn't happened to me since I was in residency I had a GI bug and grew numb and paralyzed from low electrolytes. It was supposed to be my first day on forensic rotation at the crime lab I had to call in for the first time in residency. Trent talked about a Karen incident with their adorable chocolate lab Roxie, who they were holding back until I revived and was able to sit on a chair. I told them to let her over I was feeling better and had to be at Two Rivers in twenty minutes for the family pics. They worried about me driving but I assured them I was OK.

    I arrived at the park and C called me from her car saying that the photographer had DM'd her on Insta at noon to say she had to postpone but C doesn't get notifications so she just found out. She was crying. I told her no worries we can just take some pics but she clearly wasn't in a state for pics so S and J and I wandered over to some trees and took pics of each other. I told her I'm off again the Monday and Tuesday after Thanksgiving so we can reschedule but she was in melt down mode so I supported her for 20 minutes over life and such. She worried over her dripping mascara and I told her she looked beautiful like a goth queen. They drove off to their dad and stepmom's for supper.

    Ever since this summer I've had to have a cough drop in my mouth to prevent me from dry heaving. It's super annoying. My therapist, Yousef Fahoum, thinks it might be new allergies but I googled it it's ascension sickness. I think all of our souls are ascending right now. Sometimes, like the other night, the cough drops aren't enough and I throw up. S and I were planning to go to dinner but it was put on hold as I tossed all of the lemon and raspberry sorbet into the kitchen sink. Then I needed a whiskey and Arnold Palmer - my new fave drink - I learned about Arnold Palmers from someone a long time ago at the Racquet Club. 

    When I recovered S and I went to Santo Coyote - new Mexican chain in the hood - and ordered a big plate of nachos with pulled chicken and ground beef. My only complaint was that there wasn't enough cheese dip on it I'll have to ask for extra next time. The jalapeno margarita was large and plenty full of tequila but a little sour. 

    Yesterday C told me she rescheduled the pics for December 1st when I'm off. I'm kind of glad bc I want to wear a different outfit and I thought I looked a little washed out I don't wear makeup bc I don't understand it and it's an extra step to the day I'd rather avoid. She told me she would help me with makeup.

    I bought some of the lemon sorbet at Kroger yesterday it's going to be one of my new comfort foods it's so good. Trent told me that they have tried them all and strangely the Private Selections brand at Kroger is the best (I won't be going to the Heights one any fing more) even better than Haagen Dazs and Ben and Jerry's. I also got the mango and the black cherry to try. I should probably wind down and catch a few more z's before my trip tomorrow. I hope Lisa is proud I'm writing.

Much love, E

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Grocery Store

     This morning I had a nine o'clock appointment with my psychic, Lisa Dawn. I don't think I've told you about her. I heard about her from my hair stylist - her mom is a psychic and in professional circles she's known as one of the best in Arkansas - she's in Eureka Springs. I met her in 2016 on a long weekend in May - I went for a Tarot reading on a lark and she said some things to me that really helped me heal my relationships with my family. I've done lots of journey work, usually on the phone in my office. Lately I've just been doing energy clearing and Reiki, because pandemic and moving and life is stressful. She told me I need to write more, because it was inspirational. LOL I don't know about that but it is something cathartic to me so I will try to be a little more of a frequent flyer around here.

    My husband asked me to go to Walgreen's today to pick up some gum and mouthwash for him. I'm off, and decided to go to Kroger instead to get some basics and try out a new soup I found on Tasty this week. It's a vegan soup I'm making for an acquaintance I recently learned it battling a nasty cancer - sarcomatoid carcinoma - it's like cancer on steroids. I'm going to make a test run on Sunday night but add Italian sausage and cheese instead of lentils. She's so wonderful and she's my age and she has kids my age and I've cried about it three times since I learned on Monday. I signed up for the December 2 meal - lasagna soup. I learned from googling that most store pastas have no animal products.

    Kroger was crowded and the lines were longer than I've ever seen them. When I finally got to the register I was making small talk with the checker until she was dogging the vaccines and how early they were coming out and I was like ugh. Who is this crazy person. When it finally came time to pay the bill it was rejecting my debit card. Then it rejected my credit card. Then it rejected my check. I checked my account and sure enough there was plenty of money to cover the bill, so I told her I wasn't leaving without my food and she called the manager. Freaking Opie walked up with slick backed red hair and a vapid face and said the machine was not communicating with my bank. I told him that was ridiculous - it's freaking Regions, and he needed to fix it so I could take my food home I'd shopped over an hour. He said, "Ma'am, I cannot let you walk out of this store with 280.00 worth of groceries without paying." I just sighed and wondered what the hell I did to deserve this stupidity and prayed as he handed me over to a cute guy from guest services to try to ring me up on another computer. 

    I worried, "Are you going to have to scan everything again?" Thankfully no, and he saw the problem was one that she made and fixed it. I paid with my debit card. He apologized for the trouble and I looked him in the eye and said "No thank you so much you are a lifesaver." I hope he told Beavis and Butthead that it was their problem not mine.

    Lisa has taught me that if animals show up a lot in your life you should google the Native American meaning because it means there is something they are trying to tell you. Back in my old house on Foxcroft we had a stink bug issue. So much so we paid a bug service to close off external entrances to our home. When I moved here I saw, guess what, a stink bug. So I googled. Turns out they have a lot to say I'd tell you but google it yourself I'm not long for this journal. My husband rescued the one from my bathroom the other day - I told him they were important - and when my cousin Eleanor came over she noticed the biggest stink bug on the planet outside of our keeping room on the screen. It looked prehistoric. So I told her about them I think I shocked her a bit. The next day there were two giant ones on the screen door if they made babies one of them showed up in my bathroom this morning. I'm going to get S to rescue it when he gets home from work as a single mom I dealt with many bugs for my kids and I was happy to pass that torch when I remarried.

    OK I feel better. My husband is grabbing brats on the way home we are going to grill in the new backyard and have a bonfire we are headed to Eureka for the weekend. I'm so excited. Won't see Lisa bc Covid but we made a phone appointment Thanksgiving morning. Talk soon. Much love, E