September 14, 2004

Weird thing.  The little 1" horizontal, just-above-the-pubis scar from my 5-year-old tubal ligation has been bothering me lately, being itchy and irritated.  It shows absolutely no sign of redness or true tenderness.  It's just sensitive and itchy feeling, like a heat rash or something.  Maybe it's because of all of the babies I've been around lately (Aiden and Morgaine).  I also got my fertility charm (although strange, I could have sworn it was bronze and this one is silver or pewter) back from a person I lent it to (who conceived twins within two months) and I touched it to check it out.  Maybe producing twins sucked all of the color out of it.  Hmm.  Nope.  Reading on that old page linked above, I definitely mention it as bronze.  Did I also mention "strange?"  Oh, and "weird?"

Movies!  Let's talk movies!  I actually got to go to one.  I found out that Placerville does have a theater (that's the 40 minutes away town) and Delena and I went to see the second "Princess Diaries" movie.  It completely did not disappoint.  I dislike chick movies and as a rule, dislike little chick movies even more, but both of these were complete winners (we must also allow for a serious Hector Elizondo crushing I've got going on).  I also loved "Freaky Friday," so sue me.  Also, under duress from many friends, got "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" from Netflix and it was extremely funny.  Watched "The Big Lebowski" for the 100th time and I loved it again.  ("Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."  "Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."  "Hey, careful, man, there's a beverage here!"  "Yeah, well. The Dude abides."  "Fortunately, I'm adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug, uh, regimen to keep my mind, you know, uh, limber."  "I do mind. The Dude minds. This will not stand. This aggression will not stand, man.")  I'm all about the movie lines (as my friend, Ves, well knows).  I also LOVE Maude Lebowski.  Talk about the consummate Diva!  She rocks.  Here's a line from her.  I also happened to catch "Wonderland" on HBO and it was wonderful.  Val Kilmer is an incredible actor (but I've heard he's an ass as a person).

Speaking of "Wonderland," this picture (left) is, I am swornfully assured, Janeane Garofalo.

What happened to my healthy looking, near-gothy, Nihilist, ambivalent little sweetheart?  I'm devastated.  Wherefore art thou, Dark Princess?  I felt sad to see the word "lost" to the right of her.  I feel like I lost her.  Joe once stood next to her at a "Hole" concert.

Remember my aquarium?  I wrote last week that Nathan cranked up the heater and dumped in fish food.  Of course, after some time and ice cubes and a good plecostamus, the water is fine now.  We lost 5 fish total:  two neons, one rasbosomething, one zebra and one pretty female guppy with a blue tail. The interesting thing is that while I was tracking a floater, I found a baby guppy!  Then another!  We've ended up with a breeder net of 7 babies and one McGuyver guppy baby that I can't seem to catch.  He's too slick for me.  I hope he's also too slick for the big fish in the tank.  So I'm actually 2 ahead of the game and will evidently be guppy heavy in the long run.

The last of my "here and then not friends" just moved away.  I hadn't really done a full scale friend evaluation in quite some time, just mingled with the people who happened to be in my life circle and not thinking much about it.  About nine months ago, a friend of mine disappeared for a couple of months, then wrote to me telling me that she missed me.  I was a bit stunned and my reply was impulsive and less than kind.  She's not in my life at all now (she's not the one who moved away.  This is a whole other story) and we're both at peace with that, although I miss the fun parts of our relationship.  It was through my interaction with her that I recognized that I had a LOT of "here and then not" friends in my life.  These were people for whom I cared deeply and who I presume care for me, but who would just "go away" for months at a time.  I can definitely understanding needing a few days to oneself from time to time and I think anyone who is in my circle of friends would say that I am anything but a high maintenance, needy friend.  I don't need a babysitter and I don't need constant advice, company or reassurance.  I do, however (it took me a while to learn this), need friends in my life on whom I can depend to "be there" on a consistent basis.  As I did my life review in the category of friends, I saw many times where I created dynamics of being the strong one, the wise one, the independent one who could get through anything and emerge stronger, forged in the fire.  Those months ago when I parted ways with the one friend mentioned before, I carefully considered the people in my life and the balance of giving and receiving.  In that moment, I was a Janet Jackson song, "What Have You Done For Me Lately?"  I thought of all the times that things were going insane in my life and how I had often felt I had nowhere to turn except this journal and some dear online friends.  A good number of my friends were on holiday from our friendship, taking care of their own life exclusively until they happened to miss me or need something.  Oh yeah!  I remember her!  Now that the dust has settled, I ought to look her up!  Lemme count.  I can think of 4-5 people who wouldn't think twice about going months or weeks without connecting with me, usually without explanation.  I mean, these were my good friends, not just casual acquaintances.  There would be no reply to my attempts at contact; e-mails were ignored, phone calls not returned.  They just went away.  As I went through this review, I realized how frustrating I found this to be and how I deserved better than that.  As I became aware of this, these people started drifting away for good (I presume since I've not heard from any of them).  By identifying this trend in my relationships, I was able to be more comfortable letting go of the relationships, even though in most cases, I didn't do anything to facilitate the parting.  Now, the last one has moved away and the people who are in my life, both cyber and in person, are ones on whom I know I can depend.  They are there for me and I don't have to wonder if they are going to just disappear for long periods of time without contact.  I have learned about me that I don't do well when my support system has giant, gaping holes in it where someone took off without warning.

It got me to thinking about the fragility of online relationships.  There are several (really wise) people I know who give little credence to online friendships. I'm not on of them.  I don't feel less of a connection to my online friends than to my in person friends.  Sure, it's much more fun to hang out in person.  There's little to me that is more fun than the few days a year when I get to spend oodles of time with my EOS staff.  They are some of my dearest friends and we get along perfectly.  We knew one another well enough through our writings that it took almost no time to get over the shock of actually seeing one another (then say, "OK, enough of THAT") and dive into some really excellent conversation.  It's total bliss, especially for a person like myself who is fairly isolated from the world.  I have several online friends and they are all as dear to me as if they lived next door.  A couple are like daughters.  Several are like sisters and I've even got a mom or two!  (I love you, Hope!)  My son met his wife online and their relationship is amazing.  He even moved to Canada to be with her a year or so before they married.  I could pick no one else to be a better partner for him (or daughter-in-law for me!).  I can't imagine my life without these people in it.  If it weren't for my online connections, I wouldn't be able to talk to my beyotch, Georgia, nearly so much since she UP AND MOVED AWAY ON ME.  (Not the moving away person mentioned before. That was someone else).  My daughter wouldn't have nearly as close of a relationship with her biological father and brother (via said bio father).  Because of online relationships, she has more people in her life who love her.  So I put a great deal of value in the relationships I have forged online.  About a year and a half ago, one of my online friends just disappeared.  She didn't just disappear from me.  She totally "went away."  She stopped returning all phone calls, answering any e-mails or responding to snail mail. She had been a vibrant and wonderful part of The Sagebrush Ranch message board and was just *gone.*  We even had people who lived near her go knock on her door.  One of us spoke with her sister-in-law who simply said, "Eh. She does this sometimes."  We all miss her so much and even went so far as to check funeral homes in the area.  We still don't know what happened or why she went away.  We loved her.  We thought we knew her.  Then she was gone.  Strange.

If you have online friends, be sure and leave provisions with SOMEONE to let them know if anything happens to you. It's important.  I am reminded of a column my dear online friend, Sherry Mercurio, wrote around the time our friend left.  It's here.  I'm not going anywhere Sherry.  I promise.  


OK, enough mush.  Time for a long bath and then a lot of deplorable house work.

Take care, folks.  You're in my heart and my prayers.