Not Just Your Garden-Variety Neurotic Smartass.

Corona-Free.

I was seriously sick yesterday with a fever, aches, a nose running like a faucet, a cough, and a sore throat. Jasmine is sick too, and has been for a few days.

Naturally I assumed that we both had Coronavirus, because when I am sick it is usually the worst possible thing.

Today I feel much better. I have no fever, my throat doesn’t hurt, and I learned that the Coronavirus causes a dry cough, not a wet cough like I’ve had. I’d say I’m safe from this pandemic so far.

I am moderately worried about an outbreak of the virus in my immediate area, but I am washing my hands regularly and taking vitamins and not touching my face (which is harder than one would think); and I really don’t go many places. I think the hoarding of Clorox wipes is extreme, and it also royally screws over immunocompromised people who really need them. I don’t even know what to say about the hoarding of toilet paper. Were folks just not wiping before?

Makes you wonder.

Have a great day. Wash your damned hands.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

Good morning! Yesterday morning I went to Hyde Park to pick up trash out of a vacant lot through which kids walk home from school. I went with friends, and we met another friend out there who was organizing the volunteer work.

The lot was littered with junk – broken beer bottles, chip bags, countless plastic cups and water bottles, and even a ripped-up Disney Frozen tent. We collected big trash bags full of junk all morning, and then went to lunch at Medici’s, which was excellent.

I enjoy doing community service – it’s so personally rewarding, and it’s great to help out in any way possible. However, all the bending over and reaching has left my thoroughly trashed back and out-of-shape body stiff and incredibly sore, so I’m writing this while lying on the couch, zonked on muscle relaxers.

Oh, the pain of herniated discs. The fun never ends.

I’m very glad I went regardless, because A) I sorely needed to leave the house for something other than errands, B) it helped alleviate the mental health issues I’m currently going through, and C) it felt great to do something productive and positive.

Have a great Monday. I’ll be on the couch.

I Am Lite FM Old.

Yesterday my mom took me to the grocery store, as she does most Saturdays. When I got in the car, the music was uncharacteristically loud, and Lionel Richie’s”Lady” was playing. I of course got into groove mode and started singing at the top of my lungs and rhythmically swaying in my seat.

“Jenny, you should listen to this station! It’s Lite FM! They play a lot of stuff you would love!”

I scoffed. Lite FM. Sure, I could get down with some Lionel, but I listened to WXRT, which is Chicago’s best station. It plays a wide variety of rock, “alternative”, and indie.

Still, we listened on, and I… I liked it. They played “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper. I can’t argue with that. They played a lot of songs I remembered and liked. I knew all the words to every damned song I heard.

I have no problem admitting that I’ve gotten older. I’m 46 – and don’t you fucking dare say that I’m OLD, I’m not OLD, I’m OLDER; I have an almost-22-year-old daughter, and I’ve been through some shit. I realize that I’m no longer 23 with a hot body, and I’m ok with that for the most part. (Most of the time. I have my days.)

Still, hearing some stone cold jams that I really loved on Lite FM really fucked me up. Was I going to start wearing sensible shoes, too? Or get myself a shiny tracksuit and a sun visor? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHEN WOULD MY PREMATURE AGING PROCESS END??

I came home, looked down at my super-high-waisted mom jeans, and sighed. It’s inevitable. You’re going to see me in a floral sweatshirt shopping for Linda Ronstadt records.

Please be kind.

Fuckbrain Should Be In the Dictionary.

My psych meds have ceased to do their respective jobs entirely, so I’ve been something of a hot mess – going to bed at five PM, eating either too much or not at all, crying inconsolably – the usual depressive bullshit.

Yesterday I lost it entirely. I had a bad panic attack and was slamming my headboard with the flat of my hand (not wise – it still hurts) and screaming at the cats to “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY ROOM!”

I’m generally not a raging psycho, so this was certainly abnormal behavior. Afterwards I sobbed for hours and finally fell asleep at about five PM. My daughter took off to her boyfriend’s for the night, probably terrified of Crazy Mom.

Naturally I feel awful. I sent her a long apologetic text this morning, but I received no reply. She’s probably still asleep, or just still pissed.

The cats have forgiven me, since I feed them, scoop their litter, and give them toys. Simple. I wish my daughter was that simple.

I had a long talk with a friend that goes through similar issues early this morning. She gave me tremendously good advice. She told me to get a notepad and make lists – little things I am capable of accomplishing through the day and the week.

We made plans to go downtown on Sunday and help some people clean up a vacant lot so that it can eventually be a place for children to play. I need to do more things like that. Community service. Helping others and staying out of my own fucked-up head. I’m really excited about it.

I’m also going to attempt to bump up my shrink appointment and also, at the advice of both of my friend and my daughter, get a new therapist. I was getting nowhere with my old one.

All of these things give me hope. Even though my financial situation is absolute garbage and I’m stressed out to the gills, depressed, and anxious; my family and friends continue to support me and are there with far more love than I could ever hope for.

I’m so thankful.

Music Soothes the Savage Beast.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Tom Waits, who I just absofuckinglutely adore, and it’s helping.

I also talked to my mom last night about my depression and how lately it’s been eating away at me like a rabid coyote, and that was helpful, too. She urged me to count my blessings, which is something I really don’t do enough.

I have a beautiful, healthy daughter that always makes me smile and is a compassionate, kind person. She has a loving, giving boyfriend that does a lot for us. I have fantastic friends that stay by my side even when I’m in the bell jar. I have two healthy parents that are both still working and help me in immeasurable ways. I have pets that bring me joy. I have a warm, comfortable house that I am truly lucky to have.

Despite all of my health problems, I am lucky enough to have a family and friends that support me.

I’m really very lucky. I need to be mindful of that. Always.

Have a great Wednesday.

Treading Water.

Since my severe suicide attempt last summer during which I opened up my forearms and scarred myself unbelievably badly for life, I have been struggling to forget – to forget what happened, to forget the feelings that led me to that point, and to try to forget about my often-shitty life circumstances that bring me down on a daily basis despite therapy and meds.

It’s a pretty harsh struggle. Some days are tougher than others, and today was a particularly tough day. I had lunch with an old and dear friend, and afterward she was telling me how much she’d always looked up to me and thought I was cool. I should have been happy and flattered, but instead, that never-ending negative voice in my head simply said, “What’s to admire about you? You’re a piece of shit that can’t even work and take care of her own parents and daughter.”

“You’re a loser who has accomplished nothing in life.”

“You, my friend, suck.”

This voice has been ever-present in my head since I was tiny, and it gets exhausting. More exhausting is constantly having to pretend that I’m fine and that it’s not there. So bear with me, please. I’m going through a pretty strong rough patch. While I will still joke and laugh on social media, I’m hurting deeply.

Hopefully things will start looking up soon.

Be well.

Sleep, At Long Last.

I slept in until 5:30 today, which is rare. I feel absolutely great – so great that I am scrubbing down my entire bathroom. I’m just taking a short break to let the foaming Clorox cleanser do its thing.

I have a dentist appointment today, during which my new dentist will likely recoil in horror at the state of my choppers. At last count I needed two cavities filled, two root canals, and I have two broken teeth – one of which broke from eating Swedish fish a couple weeks ago.

This is what comes from being an ex-bulimic and anorexic – your teeth get completely weak and fairly fucked. I am already missing several teeth in the back and need a bridge, too.

It’s a wonder I can eat.

But off I go to clean and get then get my mouth repaired, and here’s hoping that my dental insurance will cover most of this work.

Have a splendiferous day.

Fat Fat Fat Tuesday.

Hello! Well, it turns out my recent lethargy was due to the fact that I was once again getting sick, and I’d like to have some words with the universe for creating the world’s worst immune system.

I am feeling much better today aside from being a walking ball of snot, just in time for the predicted fifteen inches of snow we’re supposed to have in Chicago. Yay.

However, today is Fat Tuesday, and that means paczki, and I am unreasonably excited about the powdered sugar-covered pastries.

Filled donuts are pretty much the bomb.

With that, I have nothing more to report, so have a happy Fat Tuesday.

Lethargy.

I have been the slackiest of slackers this past week; and UGH, does my house need cleaning; and UGH, do I not want to clean it. I want to sit on my couch and Netflix my Friday away until it’s time to go to bed.

I blame the weather. I am personally much more motivated to do things when it’s warm, and I can totally see why other creatures take this time to hibernate. I wouldn’t mind hibernating until spring rears its green little head. When the flowers emerge, then I will clean my dusty ceiling fans.

What I have been doing is spending an inordinate amount of time policing kittens. “Don’t play with the blind cords!” “Don’t jump on me when I’m sleeping!” “Don’t eat the TV cables!” “NO!” It’s like having two-year-olds in the house. They’re so stinking cute, but so very bad.

Loki, sleeping, for once not tearing things up.
Thor, peaceful, not eating the curtains.

I need caffeine. Lots of caffeine. Have a great weekend.

That Time I Got Busted For (Not) Selling Drugs.

I went to a high school that had open lunch, which meant that we as kids could just leave and go to any of the fast food places around to eat. My friends and I favored the local Burger King, where we could annoy the employees and eat cheeseburgers that would not yet gravitate to our then-slim thighs.

One fateful day during my senior year, I forgot to bring my prom money to school. My boyfriend went to a different high school, so I’d had the money for the tickets at home. My mom kindly offered to bring it to me at lunch, so I waited for her in the Burger King parking lot.

When she arrived, she handed me the cash through her open car window and I pocketed it; and the next thing I knew, two cops were in my face, asking what had just transpired.

I’m not saying that drug deals never went down in the Burger King parking lot; but if you saw my tiny, blonde mother, you might realize that she was an unlikely suspect.

We explained what had happened, and the cops both looked at us suspiciously. Surrrrre the money was for prom tickets! You’re both WEED SNORTERS! I was trying to hold back hysterical laughter while still taking into consideration my mom’s obvious panic and the crowd of kids that had formed watching Jen Trance and her mom get interrogated.

Finally, they let us go, still looking unsure as to whether we were dealing crank, and my mom sped off.

Sadly, justice was not served, and I wound up snorting lines off my hand in the bathroom – lines of the fine, fine, Colombian cocaine that my mother had delivered to me in the Burger King parking lot. For sure.

Have a happy Wednesday.