Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I am completely indisposed for a bit, thanks to a disgusting case of hives. I'm doped to the eyeballs and can barely see this screen.

Thank you so much for helping me, LB and luscious morsel Teach, you're the best.


PART DEUX: What a stupid thing to be extremely allergic to! This is the third time in my life I've been rushed to hospitals, covered in scary-loooking welts and wheezing, all because of insecticide. As soon as I wake up from my Benadryl coma, I'm starting a Ban Toxic Insecticides movement. Yeah...let me get right..on...that..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

PART TROIS: 8 pill bottles in front of me, hope I'm taking the right amount at the right time, given my hazy eyesight and loopy brain. I don't know who I feel worse for, me, or Superfly boyfriend, who is far away and quite sequestered, worrying about yours truly. Sleeping my days away and generally being quite useless. I want to tidy up his apartment and give him a proper welcome home, but dammit, I keep nodding off. At least the hives are getting better, so I won't frighten him when he gets here. :) THANK YOU so much for your well wishes. It means everything to me to have such caring friends. MWAH!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Aloha, hot boyfriend! Posted by Hello

Today, June 26, is Superfly's birthday. Mahalo for joining me in wishing him safe travels and a wonderful day. Miss you, baby!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Good advice and Movie Ratings

YaYa Posted by Hello

I think I give pretty good advice to those who seek it. It's sort of a "Take my advice, I'm not using it" situation. Worse, I tend not to take anyone's good advice. Invariably, I have a coulda-had-a-V8 moment once my failure to follow good advice results in disaster.

Usually, this advice takes the form of "Don't". For some reason, the word "don't" ignites a passionate response in the opposite direction. In other words, I can't wait to "Do". Previously in my life, this led to some spectacular mistakes.

I've learned--I swear I've learned. Plus, I've had lots of therapy to deprogram my brain from being a whirling batshit spaz.

There I was, bored and sore from the gym, on the couch with the remote. I don't usually watch TV much--half because I'm easily distracted by shiny objects, half because TV is wretched. Anyhoo, I was flipping channels and came across "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood". I paused, feeling guilty and ashamed. You see, I've never seen the movie because it looked retarded, more importantly, I have never watched the movie because my sister Allie said, "Under no circumstances...and I'm being serious...Don't ever see the movie "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood".

Naturally I want to know why. Giving me her most solemn and meaningful stare, she said, "Just don't". I love my sister very much and I value her opinion on all things, because of the four of us sisters, she's the most practical and responsible. So, instead of defying her good advice, I just decided it had to be really retarded and forgot all about it.

So, I'm watching the opening credits of this movie and it does indeed look to be exceptionally retarded. I can't, however, make my fingers pick up the remote and change the channel. I watched the whole damn thing. Now I know why she recommended I not see this movie. There's something in it that triggers horrible memories and feelings. I was disturbed anyway, but damn.

Of course Allie's right, she's always right. Of course I didn't listen, I never listen. We both saw "Prince of Tides"--even after reading the book, and we were fucked up for a long time.

Ever since I became damaged by "Trainspotting", I've enacted a peculiar rating for movies: DBF or The Dead Baby Factor. I absolutely cannot tolerate any movie that has scenes of kids in mortal danger, or dead kids. I will absolutely walk out. So, I didn't see any movie until a friend or relative saw it, to determine the DBF. The list of movies I was told had a DBF I still haven't (and won't) watch.

Now I must enact a new rating: PHMT or Potential Horrible Memory Triggers. I also must learn to take advice, even for something as simple as movies. I'll start there and work up to taking good advice about real life.

P.S. "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" is retarded.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Dr. Evil? Is that a Drug Rep in your pocket?

Let's try THIS with your brain chemistry! Posted by Hello

Now, I have a couple of medical problems. Serious, incurable, but not contagious or life-threatening. Mostly just incredibly annoying. I see a slew of doctors, nurses, lab technicians, on a regular basis. Usually, the front desk person won't even lift their heads when I come in, they just point at door to the inner medical office sanctum.

After two years of this, I'm pretty blase. I go in, we chat, I pull out my detailed diary of medications taken, side effects and other symptoms, etc. (I'm down with OCD, yeah, you know me!) I go down the hall to the vampire's den and have a few vials of blood drained from my arm. 30 seconds after leaving the office, I've dismissed the whole experience from my mind.

I recently took on a new doctor, a specialist. So in demand is this medical specialty that I couldn't find a single practioner in my town who accepted new patients, they were so booked. So I find Dr. N, a full hour's drive away, and set up an appointment.

When I arrived, the front desk had no record of my appointment. I must have registered the ("urge to kill, rising...rising") feeling on my face, because they quickly offered to squeeze me in. I met Dr. N and was immediately put off. Forget the thick accent, it was his attitude: hurry up and let's get this over with. What the...? That's MY role, not yours!

Then, without reviewing my extensive medical records, Dr. N decides to add a medication to my already vexing cocktail of drugs. Writes a prescription and sends me packing. I'm thinking: it's not like I have a bad cold, I can't just take something without a serious cost/benefit analysis.

Once home, I talk with Superfly boyfriend about it, and he very sensibly recommended I get a second opinion. Unfortunately, that just isn't feasible. So, the next best thing is obviously internet research. A few hours later, I was satisfied with the choice of drug and dosage, and confident it wouldn't jack up the other ones. I made a follow-up appointment to review my Medical Diary.

Today was that day. Once again, there was no record of the appointment I stood in front of the clerks and made, two weeks prior. Once again Dr. N is irritated and distracted. He's disinterested in hearing how the drug he prescribed is going. He wants me to take yet another drug! When I protest, he insists in a way that lets me know he thinks I'm a throbbing moron. Needless to say, I'm pissed!

This time, when I research the drug in question, I find that it's on the verge of being recalled by the FDA because it caused a statistically significant number of deaths. DEATH! Further internet snooping finds that the drug company is redoubling its efforts to convince more physicians to prescribe this medicine.

Obviously, there's no way in Hell I'm ever filling that prescription. That, and I'm in search of a new doctor, no matter how frigging far I have to drive to see them.

Dear readers, do you feel I'm being paranoid, or right on? What would you do? Believe me, I value your input.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Super Bendy Trouble

yoga Posted by Hello

Oh, how I love yoga. For years, I resisted, thinking it was all hippy meditation and weirdness. Plus, I was a dancer before becoming an exercise instructor, so to me flopping around on the floor didn't seem to count as working out.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Yoga is by far the hardest workout I've ever done--even harder than classical ballet! I sweat like Michael Jackson at a Boy Scout Jamboree and every damn muscle (especially the ones I didn't know I had) throb and stretch. Which means when I leave yoga class I don't feel sore at all; I feel taller, fitter, and (bear with me on this one)like my whole body sighs a great heaving sigh of relief.

Having mentioned my previous athletic endeavors, you might think yoga would be a piece of cake. I wish! Where ballet and aerobics are kinetic, moving with purpose and speed to raise your heart rate and burn calories, Yoga requires being very still and focused.

Every class has people of all size/shape/ability, and the instructors give excruciatingly detailed how-tos with every pose, so you're much too busy trying not to collapse to be bored, or to worry about what anyone else is doing. The most advanced do the same poses as the novices, they're just able to go farther with the wraps (those scary elastic people who can fold themselves into human origami). How many times, while holding a difficult pose and wobbling and sweating, have I wished I'd gone to Jazzercise instead? About a million times, I'd say.

Those who know me well, know that I am a spaz. Seriously, a total spaz. How shocked would they be to see me all serene and peaceful, smiling contendedly as I say, "Namaste" to my instructor. Namaste=the peaceful love in me salutes the peaceful love in you, or something like that. Why, when I leave the club after yoga, you can't make me swear at the colossally stupid other drivers, when I usually have Tourette's about that. [example: {"Does that @$%!@!$$ car have a !%!$%!%! gas pedal, you %!%!%!#@?{"] Instead, I smile and toodle on home in my roller skate car, at peace with the world and all its idiots.

Anything that causes THAT effect has got to be powerfully good! Another item under Trouble Highly Recommends!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day

Pop Posted by Hello

Now I know most people don't take Father's Day very seriously, and the holiday is all about goofy golf cards, ties, and a free nap pass for the dads. I totally respect that, it is as normal as can be.

I used to get depressed on Father's Day, like a lot of people get depressed on Valentine's Day. I'd mope around, wishing I had a normal father-daughter relationship and could stick a "Daddy's Little Girl" bumper sticker on my car. Don't get me wrong, there's not a thing wrong with my Dad, he's a peach.

What happened was your basic kidnapping. It was 1972 and my parents were going through a divorce (something about mom and my dad's bridge partner, but that's another blog) and my mom moved my three sisters and I to an apartment building a stone's throw from my dad's house. The only things I remember about that time in the apartment is learning from mom's boyfriend that Cold Duck was not make from ducks, and me--all of five years old--running away from home. To my dad's house.

I was too young to know exactly what was going on, but the upshot was the boyfriend moved to Colorado and wanted mom to join him (he didn't want her bringing her kids, but I guess she was banking on changing his mind. He didn't.) When my dad strongly resisted this idea (cops, lawyers) she decided to handle things her way: she gave us sleeping pills (ages: 3, 5, 9, 11) and drove us to Colorado in the middle of the night.

We grew up in Colorado, moving to increasingly poorer and more dangerous neighborhoods, even being removed from our home by Social Services. Our dad would visit at least once a year, often the only bright spot of that year. Eventually, mom moved up in the world and came into a lot of money. We moved to the all-white, middle-class suburb for our middle and high school years. So many tragic and horrible things happened in our childhood, it's a wonder all four of us aren't serial killers.

It wasn't until college, when my younger sister and I went to stay with our dad, did we re-establish a relationship with our dad. When we told him everything that we'd been through, and he told us everything he'd been through, we were stunned into silence. Everything sort of came together and was somehow resolved in our minds.

Well, my mind still isn't resolved. For years, I couldn't figure out why I hated Colorado or why I would have panic attacks every time I went back there. Through the wonders of psychotherapy, all was revealed: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Yeah, that's right, me and Vietnam Veterans and the families of 9/11 victims. I do feel stupid, thanks for asking.

Apparently I was exactly the right age and temperment to be deeply traumatized by the separation between me and my dad. Which reminded me that when anyone in the family talks about that time around mom, she often says to me, with no small amount of disgust, "You cried for a whole year." Ok! This is all starting to make sense now.

Interestingly, now that I know this, it's no problem to go to Colorado.

Back to Father's Day: I guess you have a feeling now for why I take Father's Day a tad more seriously than the average daughter. My dad is a loving, caring, smart, and extremely goofy guy who can answer every question on Jeopardy and talks babytalk to the cats. I love my Dad.

Happy Father's Day, Trouble's Dad!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Big Bummer

karoke2 Posted by Hello

It's absolutely nothing for me to go out by myself. In fact, I rather prefer not having to deal with other people, i.e. providing rides or getting rides, and being subject to a friend's moods and/or drinking habits. I can go out if and when I want and leave when I want, with zero drama. For nearly a year now, I've jumped in my car and gone to karaoke, alone and on my own terms.

I feel safe at the places I frequent because I know almost everyone there, and I trust they'd have my back in any hassle. These guys won't hesitate to toss some dude who is disrespectful to one of the ladies.

A swell time was had by all last night, and it was great to see them after being away for awhile. The crowd was in a good mood and there was little drama, comparatively, with the break-up of Dragonfly and Mike providing entertainment in the form of a massively drunk Dragonfly being attended-to by Irish, and Mike trying to lay his mack down on a barful of horrified women.

I don't drink anymore, so I just chatted with friends and sang a few songs. It felt like the perfect karaoke evening.

Imagine my surprise then, when I'm driving home last night, singing to the radio, and an SUV roars up behind me, flashing its lights. Since I am not completely mental, I sped up to a 24-hour diner with a well-lit parking lot before pulling over. I was relieved to see one of the karaoke guys; a sweet, happily married guy with kids--I thought maybe he was trying to tell me there was something wrong with my car.

He motioned me to come over to his car and asked me to get in. I told him no, I was going straight home to bed. He asked me for a hug and, since we karaoke klowns all hug one another all the time, I did. He grabbed me tight and kissed my hair. He asked me to get in again, and said, "Don't worry, I won't rape you---unless you want me to." That's when I split.

He followed me a little while, but I managed to lose him. By the time I reached home I was in a full panic attack. Yeah, he's just a drunk idiot, but it just so happens that in 2003-2004 I was terrorized by a stalker for real. You might say I'm a little sensitive to these things.

It's time to rethink my solo outings idea. It's recently come to my attention that it's not especially safe to do so. From now on, I go out with at least one other person or not at all. And if whats-his-guts says one word to me I don't like, he's toast.

Off to ponder what it is about me that attracts stalker loonbags...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

No Huli! --or How I Learned to Paddle an Outrigger Canoe

Paddles up! Posted by Hello

"Hut!" "Ho!" signal you it's time to switch sides of the outrigger canoe, when paddling. This transition was the second-hardest part of learning to paddle. I splashed everyone, I smacked the paddle against the boat, and I had to be extremely careful not to bash the paddler in front of me, during the switch. More difficult was overcoming my deep-seated fear of boats/being out on open water. It's an irrational fear, making far less sense than my fear of clowns (especially since I happen to be an excellent swimmer), but it's nonetheless a powerful fear.

Superfly is an experienced paddler and a photographer, the official unofficial one for the paddling community. I've tagged along with him to races and other events, met his friends in the community, and eventually decided to give it a try. No one pushed or forced me, because, well, no one can make me do anything. Heh.

In any case, Superfly and I went to the Hamptons and spent a glorious weekend with his friends at their place in East Hampton. I watched as he and another paddler rigged the canoe (tying the canoe to its outrigger, or amah, with strong rope) and listened as the hosts talked about their association with Tony Duke (yes, those Dukes, who founded that University---go Blue Devils!) and the Boys and Girls Harbor program there.

Superfly gave extremely helpful hints along the way, and another paddler, in his one-man canoe, monitored our forward progress and told me I was doing great and that I was a natural. *preen* It's exhilirating and a tough workout. Fun! File this under "Trouble Highly Recommends"

Leaving the Hamptons totally sucks! Now I want to become a billionaire solely to afford a house I can escape to in the Hamptons.

Living the good life (albeit as a tourist) didn't end there: next stop was a photo opportunity at a charity golf tournament in Westchester, at a chi-chi country club with a goofy name: Wykagyl It was hotter than the 6th Circle of Hell, but I very sensibly stayed inside and sipped iced tea, while poor Superfly and his camera melted at the 9th hole, taking pictures of the foursomes, also melting. I could sure get used to this Country Club lifestyle, I tell you what. The food was excellent, the service impeccable, and the stuff being sold at auction blew my mind: a hockey class with a NY Ranger player for your kid? Lance Armstrong's autographed, winning jersey?

Don't you think for one second that I don't know how lucky I am--I'm so lucky, I should go stand by the corner store and have people rub my arm before they buy their Lotto tickets.

And now back to reality, with a minor sunburn and a major attitude problem.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Superfly boyfriend

Us Posted by Hello

Everyone asks us how we met. Our preferred answer is: I was found by Superfly on the side of the road, holding a cardboard sign. Actually, we met at a non-sanctioned JDate event, a chat party on February 19. Neither of us wanted to go, and each spent most of the night alone and bored. An incident over Listerine Breath Strips got us talking. Well, I tried to talk to him over the din, and he mostly said, "What?" Anyway, we connected

Long-distance relationships are notoriously hard and rumored to be a waste of time. Through some wonderful serendipity, he and I have seen each other nearly every weekend since February, talked every day, and shared some really wonderful experiences.

What do I like about him? Everything. :) Especially his smile and his sense of humor, but also that thick Noo Yawk accent and the way he always laughs at me when I cuss people out in traffic. That's all I care to share with this blog.

Divining the Future

Posted by Hello How many of us are leading the lives we'd invisioned back in high school? When I was branded Most Likely to Ditch Graduation, did that foretell future calamity on account of stubborn refusal to do things I don't want to do, at a time and place someone demands I be? If I'm being honest, yes.

I attended my 10-year high school reunion in 1996, and was not at all surprised by how my classmates turned out. The jocks were indeed all salesmen, the popular girls all soccer moms or desperate party-girls. My group, which I secretly hoped would produce geniuses out of reclusive geeks, turned up as reclusive adult losers living with their parents or dirty poseur artists and musicians. Every single person was shocked to see me with long, blond hair and no black clothing. Married, with kids, running my own event-planning business, I'd really come a long way from the punk chick with a gigantic shoulder chip.

My 20-year reunion is next summer. I'm trying to decide if (a) I'll go, (b) if I go, will I lie about my profession and/or personal status, or (c) just go and have a good time.

I think if I'd looked into a crystal ball when I was 18 to see the me of today, I would've jumped off a bridge. But, if I'd seen me at other times in my life, I might have been happy and proud. Knowing how quickly life changes, is divining the future really a valuable thing?


I love the show Bewitched, and not just because I'm told I resemble the cartoon Samantha. Even with the '50s dialogue (Darrin to Samantha: "Why isn't my breakfast ready, again?") the show had so much style and character. And who didn't wish they were a kind and chic witch, able to redecorate her house or turn an impolite dinner guest into ceramic frog, with just a twitch of the nose.

At various times in my life I've been called a witch--and not just by my exes! I remember being embarassed and exasperated, waiting for my (now ex-) husband to finish getting his nipple pierced and grimacing at the extremely hippie-gypsy looking man staring at me as he exited some dank back room. He approached and spoke to me in a trembly tone, saying he sensed a powerful witch in the shop and came out to investigate. While I waited for his patchouli oil-and-magic-beans sales pitch, my husband roared with laughter, shouting, "Yeah, she's the Wicked Witch of the West, dude!"

I'm happily Jewish and not at all inclined to the supernatural or mystic, but I've filed these strange comments away over the years, and am intrigued to find they mostly concern witches. Go figure!


On Writing as a Profession

Writing is an inherently solitary pursuit; except when you are a reporter. Newspapers and magazines have an atmosphere of urgency and panic your senses take in the moment you walk through the reception door. Every worker, from production intern to advertising account executive to the Editor and Publisher themselves, is in a constant state of anxiety. The writers are under pressure to get the scoop, produce story ideas, write something brilliant, and get it done before deadline.

I loved this life: It's tailor-made for arrogant whippersnappers like me. The older writers called it "showing off", but I prefer to think of it as grace under pressure and natural talent. *sniff* Anyway, if you think talent and attitude will get you ahead in this business, you are out of your damn mind! What gets you ahead in Journalism are the same things that get you ahead in every other line of work: knowing the right people/kissing the right asses/fucking the right dupe, and successfully navigating the shark-infested drama sea. I chose the latter and after being the go-to person and problem-solver for a great number of complete yutzes, found myself deeply back-stabbed and on the chopping block. Disgusted, I hid from my boss and resigned to the Business Manager, pre-emptively quitting. Ha!

I tried to bring that electrified atmosphere to 'zines I worked for and the one I created, but something was missing. It took me ages to figure out that something was: misery.

Now that I am a freelance writer, solitary and not miserable, my writing has dramatically improved; a new focus and an expansion of natural style replaced competitive cleverness. As my friend Martha Stewart would say, it's a good thing.

Welcome, Trouble seekers!

I've been known as Trouble for most my life; it seemed the most logical online nickname I could use. After all there are more people who only know me as Trouble (or who have forgotten my first name). The only people who refer to me by my full first name are people I most definitely do not want to talk to. Besides, if I went by that name, I would certainly have to wear my tiara ALL the time?

Names, shnames. What constitutes the World of Trouble? For starters, it's: the misadventures of a girl called Trouble, her random thoughts on things and other stuff, and various silliness and superciliousness.

You are encouraged to leave comments! Be forewarned, I adore picking fights.