August 6, 2004
Ahhh those tranquil moments. Is it
any wonder that we can't thrive without them? I'm feeling much
better after being basically in bed for two days, sick as a dog.
Yesterday, I was at least able to graduate to couch rather than bed.
I got a good night of sleep, woke up around 5am, took more
analgesics, put hot water into a small drinking water bottle and
went back to bed until 8am. I do so love sleeping. I
feel 8am is just the absolute perfect time to get up. It's
early enough that you haven't lost the entire morning and the slight
chill is still in the air, but it's late enough that you don't have
to pry your eyes apart and force yourself out of bed, stumbling into
walls until the impact eventually wakes you up.
The mountain mornings have been absolutely
delicious. It's chilly enough that I need to wear my robe and
the air is even more fresh and crisp than usual. I think it
replenishes in the night. As the moon has been waning this
month, the night has been velvety black and the stars are like
thousands of little diamonds. I wish I could take a picture
for you of the night sky. Everywhere I've lived for years has
had at least a porch light or street light to offset the darkness,
but up here, the night wraps all around you to the point that you
can only see where you're going if the moon is out. Last
night, I needed to look for something in the shed, only a few feet
from the house, and I took a candle with me and it didn't even begin
to cut through the darkness. It was just one more little
twinkle in the night.
When I woke up at 8, I could feel that a
good bit of my strength had seeped back. I haven't been sick like
that in a long while. I'm not looking forward to cleaning my
house and would love to spend the day curled up in bed with my TV
remote and a mug of soup. There might be a way I can
compromise both worlds and find a happy medium. The house is
in sad need of attention and my energy is still low, so my plan is
to give it a solid hour or so and then spend the rest of the day
recovering. Tonight is Hamburger Night in Grizzly Flats, so I
won't have to cook. I do need to make a batch of oatmeal
cookies for the bake sale Nathan's school has there each week to
raise funds for expenses. It's my first time to be asked to
contribute and even though he's not even in the school until a week
from Monday, he'll definitely be benefiting from the money raised,
so I'm happy to help. I just wish it was a different day.
My dog is chewing on what I believe is an
old roast bone that looks and smells like a shrunken head.
Insert grumbling here.
I love it when a plan comes together.
I had a dilemma because I've started watching the show "Port
Charles" on SoapNet, having missed it the first time it aired (the
episodes showing now are 2 years old). I was very excited to
hear that one of my very favorite shows, "Chicago Hope" was to begin
airing on "Discovery Health" this month. Sure enough, the two
were on opposite one another and I'm not into recording things (they
tend to never get watched). Voila!~ I learned that
the current day's "Chicago Hope" airs at 4pm the previous day, which
is exactly where I had a big hole in my viewing schedule.
Perfect timing, perfect situation. Hurray. I love the
little miracles in my life.
The weekend should be quiet. Eric is
gone to visit his family next weekend, so tomorrow, being the last
Saturday before school starts, he's taking Delena to a water park.
He promised her about 2 years ago that they'd go and it just keeps
not working out. This time, he's committed. I'll be home
with the little boys, so I can finish any cleaning I don't get done
today. Sunday is wide open and unplanned. I can rest
then as well.
I have decided that I absolutely love the
Boost Mobile Phone commercial with the old people in it. ("Now
we're at this bangin' party, yo, gettin' 10 kinds of nasty.")
It makes me smile, especially the old guy with the low rider bicycle
and the old woman in the old man sandwich. If you haven't seen
it, you can watch it here:
That's the stuff that makes me smile.
Then there's stuff that makes me go "hmmm." Like the Dr Phil
families. Long time readers know that I love Dr Phil and over
all, his common sense wisdom is a welcome tonic for my frustration
in an "It's not your fault" world. Dr Phil changed my life
with his book, Life Strategies, not once, but twice. I
do not, however, hesitate to say that there is more than one place
where Dr. Phil's ideas and mine part ways. I do not agree with
all of his assessments by a long shot, but overall, I think he
likely has a better handle on things than most. But let's face
it, if you're chosen as the Dr Phil family, you have to know it's
your ass. For one thing, you're more interestingly screwed up
than the 470,000 other exhibitionists who wrote to him to be
selected. For another, like it or not, the man is about
ratings and he's going to exploit the wildest part of your personal
life in a particularly public forum. I've been a little
concerned about Marty. I was the first time the episodes aired
and so I watched the (inevitable) rebroadcast to see what I'd
Erin and Marty are "the Family Divided,"
not to be confused with "the Family in Crisis," which is Chris and
Stacy and a whole other mess. Marty and Erin were on the verge
of divorce (Marty had affairs and was a liar; Erin was cold and
disconnected and emotionally unavailable) when they learned that
their 15-year-old daughter, Alex, was pregnant. Their bratty
younger daughter, Katherine, routinely mouths off to everyone,
calling her sister a slut and advising the family of how to handle
its varied business (all the while, being coddled by Dr Phil as the
true victim in all of this). Alex is acting out sexually
because Marty let her down by not being a connected and "plugged in"
father and Erin is judgmental and argumentative about everything.
can hardly condone adultery, having been on the painful receiving
end of that rather large stick, I did feel sorry for Marty in
yesterday's airing, which was the same reaction I had the first time
the show was broadcast. The effort has been, since Alex's baby
was born and that hurdle was fielded, to deepen the trust between
Marty and Erin and see if they can reconnect as a married couple.
The show should have been subtitled "The Bludgeoning of Marty For
Ratings." Phil had Marty up
stage, asking him how he was doing and if he was more plugged into
the family and such. Marty seemed quite proud of himself and
seemed to feel he was making progress. Phil led the
questioning to whether or not Marty had been been honest with Erin
and Marty was very insistent that he had been. Phil then
proceeds to tell him that he has hard, factual truth that Marty has
been lying by omission and he wants Marty to come clean rather than
Phil himself having to spill the BIG SECRET THAT WILL CHANGE
EVERYTHING. ("We'll be right back after this commercial
break") You could see Marty wracking his brain, scanning over
everything that happened in his entire life, trying to figure out to
what he was supposed to be admitting. He took his time in
answering, for which I gave him credit. The guy could have
started throwing all kinds of things out there before he got to the
right one, like the old "got milk" commercials where the fella
admits the engagement ring is an CZ, etc.
Marty figures he's got the right one and admits that when he was
pumping gas, a woman with whom he'd had an affair drove up, they did
the "how have you been" thing and he told her that he was working
things out with his family. She made it clear she was still
interested and he made it clear he was not and that was it. I
have a feeling Marty actually saw this encounter as a good thing.
He'd been introduced to temptation and had resisted, instead
choosing to acknowledge to her that he was working on keeping his
family together and was no longer interested. I fully believe
Marty thought he was doing the right thing, but nope, the situation
as built up into a major revelation over several commercial breaks
and culminated with:
*HORRIFIED GASPS AND STINK-EYES DIRECTED
TOWARD MARTY THAT WOULD MELT SATAN*
Erin was destroyed and both she and her
daughters were fraught with "OH GOD, HOW COULD YOU HOW COULD YOU,
YOU B*A*S*T*A*R*D." I watched as Marty desperately tried to
get his brain in order. This was bad, why? Phil was
quick to point out how much better it would have been if Marty had
scurried straight home with a "guess who *I* saw at the gas station
today" story. Erin was quite sure she would have been gracious
about it, but I think Marty was unconvinced. I believe he
thought if he'd mentioned this encounter at all, he'd be wearing her
like a hat made of pissed off cats. He'd had what he
considered a very personal "attaboy" moment that was reworked into a
I think Phil was a bit short sighted
selling Marty out like this. I think Erin was full of shit
when she said how proud and honored she would have been if Marty had
come right home and told her the truth. I think Marty is
fucked and knows it. I was all geared up for the Major
Announcement that Marty had slept around again, but no, he had the
audacity to run into the woman in the small down where they both
live and committed the cardinal sin of not telling Erin. Had
they touched at all? No, Marty said they had not (and since
Phil evidently had a surveillance team at work and was going for the
gold, I'm sure he would have photographs of any handshake).
They spoke and he chose to keep that encounter private. I
understand that the whole basis of Erin's problem with Marty is that
he's evasive and keeps things from her, so sure, this would sting,
but I do think the whole thing was pretty much blown out of
proportion and I also believe that Marty should have some private
thoughts and actions.
While I think that Marty's previous
indiscretions earn him pretty much everything he gets, I do believe
he got the raw end of this deal. Does he completely lose the
right to have any privacy whatsoever because he made mistakes?
Overall, yes, but again, I think this went a bit far and that the
reactions people had were extreme, to say the least. It was as
though Phil was whipping these girls into a frenzy. By the end
of the show, Marty was pissed at Phil (no shit!!) and Erin had
refused to let Marty come home and the girls were crowded around
their mother like Greed and Ignorance clinging to The Ghost of
Christmas Present, hissing and spitting at him and demanding a
If I were Marty, I would have said, "Fuck
you people, I'm going back to the gas station." So you see?
Marty's a better person than I am.
Chris and Stacy are on my last never as
well. Stacy refuses to work and they are drowning in debt and
bankruptcy. This one hits home because I know this is how my
in-laws see me, but believe me, these people are way more screwed
than we ever were financially and when the going got tough, I was
out looking for a job while Stacey was on her nappy couch screaming
at her husband about their "deal."
Here, you see Stacy describing how small
Chris' penis is, thereby justifying her serial affairs.
This has got
to be the whiniest couple I have ever had the displeasure of
meeting. Much like the "Anatomy of a Divorce" couple, John and
Amy (left), Chris and Stacey are determined to bring out the worst
in one another and make sure everyone in America knows that they
have shitty taste in spouses and invested years of their lives
torturing the asshole just to make sure they are as miserable as
possible. Stacey has slept with so many men that the fish now
stop swimming when she comes into the room. She's pissed that
Chris doesn't want
her to spend
much needed money to go visit the child (conceived during an affair)
she put up for adoption.
son, Michael (right) was farmed out to a Happy Trails Penal Colony
For Boys and is much happier around sane people. The required,
much persecuted young daughter, Brianne, left, is there for
Phil to save and coo "It's all for you that I do this," much like
with Marty and Erin's daughter, Katherine. Little Chandler,
their only (born) child together, is recovering from his routine
beatings from the now absent Michael and a few shows into their
help, the couple announced that they were expecting another child
because they hadn't really seen a need for birth control at this
happy point in their marriage. How stupid are these people?
At least lie and say that the rubber broke so you don't look like a
total idiot. Jeez.
I was feeling bad for Chris,
long-suffering, all loving, persecuted yet dedicated husband of the
philandering Stacy (trust me, this woman has major "if it moves,
fuck it" issues) until the episode in which it was revealed that he
deliberately and gleefully fed pie containing liquor in the mix to
his young, dedicated-to-not-drinking stepdaughter just to get a
giggle. Now her tarnished digestive tract is now a prime
factor likely to keep her out of heaven. I am not here to
debate the disproportionate freak out this act demanded of an
already fried out teen, but more to say it was a really, really
shitty thing for Chris to do, not to mention that Stacy knew he did
it and still watched Brianne innocently eat the pie. These
people are just absolutely nuts.
Seeing how he has treated these two
families in particular, I'm not sure anyone will want to be the next
Dr Phil Family in Fearsome Jeopardy. Sure, you get expert
financial guidance, top flight correctional facilities for your
children and a chance to see the uber hot Jay McGraw (Phil's son) in
person. You might even get to hang with Robin and do a little
shopping. Is it worth it though, to be exploited like a dog
and pony show, have Phil watching your every move on cameras in your
home and your car, hearing you at your worst moments and having it
aired to the world?
Phil would probably be bored watching our
home. Our fights go like this:
"You're being a bit of an ass today."
"I am NOT."
"Yeah, you are, dude. Are you out of
"NO! ... yes."
"Want me to go get some?"
"NO!!! ... yes.... no, I'll go."
"Pfft. OK, get crackin or I might
have to start killin' ya."
"Do you think you can manage to clean the
house while I'm gone? It looks like a shithole."
"Pfft, maybe, if you bring me back a candy
bar and come back in a better mood."
"The house looks nice." "Yeah,
thanks for the candy bar." "We cool?" "Yeah, we're cool,
wanna watch Star Trek?"
Sure, every now and then we have one that
raises the roof a bit more, but that's the average and even those
are pretty rare these days. Hey, another little miracle to be
thankful for. Now I wish I had a candy bar. It's been a
After being sick for two days, I'm finding
that today, I'm very sensitive to the voices and neediness of the
kids. They were so great and well behaved and independent the
whole time I was sick and now, it seems like every view minutes,
someone is needing something. I think I still need to be
hiding under the covers. :)
I was able to arrange to get some
medication (antibiotics) that I need for my tooth, so I know that
situation will be better soon. My energy is higher today than
it has been since Monday and my bee stings are down to an itch and a
swollen red mound or 3. Now I am off to go work my magic on
the house and get it whipped into shape in a couple of hours in
preparation for a few days off. That sounds like a good
investment. Work hard for two days and take 2-3 days off.
I can deal with that!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend
and that life treats you well. I'm grateful that my life is
returning to normal and that for the things that are not, the
cavalry is on the way.
Gotta bring on those Moments of
Tranquility to keep us all sane. There's a fine line between
Moments of Tranquility and being raked out by Dr Phil for crimes
real, imagined and by all means, televised. Once you've
stepped over that line, it's your ass. Hmm. Maybe I
shouldn't clean house today after all...