Monday, July 18, 2011

Tamsir comes home

The new computer, named Tamsir (as promised), is home and we're trying to get up to speed -- or rather, I am.  Right now, I hate Windows 7 more than I could possible imagine, but maybe I need to learn it better.  It's absolutely NOT intuitive and its functions are very difficult to match to similar functions in Windows XP.  On the top of that, the file restore from Mozy is long and complicated and I have no idea where it's storing things or where I'll have to move them.  But I do have my anti-virus set up, did download WinRar and various forms of Java I need for various things.  It seems nice and fast and crisp, for the most part.

But I hate the length of time that the restore is taking and the incredibly confusing setup of the File Manager or whatever they're calling it now.  It's made me wonder about things like Linux or Opera or even a Mac.

The other thing is it cost a lot more than I'd anticipated, which means as broke as we were the past couple of weeks, we'll be that broke for a month.  This makes me dreadfully unhappy.

I'm going for intake on Wednesday at a sliding-scale clinic recommended by someone here.  There's stuff going on besides my chemicals, although my chemicals are none too good either.  Easy does it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

besides the fact that the home computer died a week ago...

This has not been the best few weeks.  First off, soon (I think) after my last entry, I think a couple of Tuesday ago, I had a terrible reaction to the meds my new psychiatrist had troubled, and became disoriented and basically really fucked up, and Barry had to come to work and haul me off to the ER.  No fun and really embarrassing.  I've gone back down to the old dose and am looking for my fourth psychiatrist.

Also going to intake for a new therapist on Wednesday.  "New" is not a replacement -- I haven't seen one for around 22 years, although I went on and off from the time I was 9 until I was around 30.

But I've been really crazy lately.  Lots of weeping, the kind of daily weeping I experienced when I worked at Penguin (except that I had a seriously horrible boss there -- hi Shanta Small! -- and I have seriously wonderful bosses here).  My job here gets busy and complicated, but that's not it.  I cry at home, too.  I worry lots and lots about money.  Supporting two people on one salary is really difficult, especially when it's the lowest salary I've earned since around 1995 (with the exception of Dweck).

So then our home computer breaks.  Not just needs-the-disc-wiped-and-Windows-reinstalled kind of break, the motherboard-is-fried-so-bury-it-at-sea break.  This was a week ago.  And so we had to wait until payday (today) to get a new one, which is irritating and embarrassing and just plain made me sad.  Everything makes me feel poor and less-than. 

I really suffer at times like this -- I feel like almost everything shows me how poor and dead-ended I am.  I got a very perky message on Facebook from a nice woman who is the older sister of someone who was a close friend.  My friend, the younger brother, used to feel like shit in comparison to his sister, who was tall (he wasn't), got into Yale (he didn't), and became a doctor (guess).  Anyway, I got this lovely note from her, asking about my career and my kids and so on.  Oops!  forgot to have a normal life!

Also on Facebook, I heard from M., who had been my lover some years back, when he was married and I wasn't.  (That was back in the days when I wasn't perfect -- oh, wait, I'm still not.)  M. was very full of himself and a lot of people didn't like him, but I couldn't get enough of the way he was fixated on me.  Plus the sex was great.  M. is now divorced and remarried, but I'm itching to talk over old times with him.  He really was a pal, at a very lonely time.

All times feel lonely now.  Barry has been an absolute rock, don't get me wrong, but I don't seem to have much except for him and work.

Can't seem to settle down with a book, either.  Can't seem to settle down much at all. 

We're supposed to go see Felix play tonight, but I may back out.  I love Felix to pieces but can't seem to go more than a few hours without crying.  It would be nice to get my chemicals in balance and my mind right.

Do you ever feel too poor to have friends?  Can't afford to get to where they live, or to go out to dinner, or to maintain a nice enough home so that people can visit?  I tried to get Robin and Ernie to come out to Felix' gig tonight, and she said, "I can hardly get Ernie to leave Brooklyn any more."  Leslie can't get Darin to leave New Jersey.  I don't suppose I need a lot of face time with people for them to be my friends, but it does leave me home alone a lot.

So, at least I got paid, and we can go out to Compustar and have them build us a new machine tomorrow.  I love Compustar -- they've been our repair guys for years, and built our first computer around 1999.  Of course, this means we'll be even more desperately poor coming into August 15, but what can I do?  At least we don't have to buy a monitor, keyboard, speakers or mouse.  And a dear new friend is going to provide me with a b**tleg of MSOff*ce.

It just makes me feel kind of sad that getting paid is such a huge event, and that the week before getting paid makes me feel like I'm living in the Great Depression.  Last Monday, I gave Barry around $25, and said, "Buy two pounds of ground meat and two packages of tofu, and a dozen eggs, I have a big bag of frozen broccoli, and buy a small bag of brown rice, a small bag of white rice, oatmeal, and onions."  Once or twice during the week we pick up half a pound of muenster cheese.  This is how we eat the last week before pay.  Barry has to do without soda, chips, ice cream.  He eats oatmeal for breakfast and I barely eat breakfast or lunch.  Maybe a cup of Greek yogurt in the morning and an apple at lunch.  It's seriously pathetic.  And this is without dropping $300-400 on a new computer.

I want to strangle every 18- or 19-year-old who talks about going to Berlin, Paris and Israel.  I want to strangle everyone who can afford a new skirt or a hat or even a manicure.  I can't figure out how they do it -- rather, I can't figure out how to live decently on what I earn.  (Forget about figuring out how to get Barry working.  I've thrown out every idea I can muster, but his heart doesn't seem to be in it, or maybe he's still frozen in fear after two years.)

I am so, so, so not a happy camper.  I'm happy about having a good job and good bosses, and also about having bought a nice summer wardrobe last year. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

good music, great music, really really great music

After carrying on endlessly about how wonderful the Holmes Brothers are, I finally saw them play again last night, for the first time in over ten years.  They don't play in New York that often, and sometimes it's at places I can't afford at the time, but still, I should have managed at some point in all those years.  Anyway, they certainly didn't hold it against me.  They may be the tightest, most diverse, and most purely entertaining band I know.  I'm not sure why it is that I'm getting older and they're just getting better, especially since I believe they're all past 70 now.  I was really spoiled in the 80s when I got to see them a couple of times a month.  Hard to believe that I used to carry the tip can for those guys at the ever-sleazy Dan Lynch Tavern (former scuzzy home of the blues in NYC).  And I used to go to some horrendous places to hear them, although it was mostly at Lynch's.  They'd play there one or two Saturday nights a month, just pack the place, and Sherman always said that if any guy hassled me too much, I could say he was my boyfriend.  I used that a few times and it worked really well. 

This Friday, Los Lobos are playing in Prospect Park, another very talented and diverse band.  And I have a terrible crush on David Hidalgo (file under Attractive Chicano Men).

I guess that thing about Sexy Jewish Men was a little silly, since the truth is that there are sexy men of every race, creed and color.  And as much as it makes sense that I did eventually marry a Jewish man, it still kind of surprises me.  I never really thought that way when I dated.  I knew that a guy was this or that, Jewish or Catholic or Protestant, Irish or German or African-American, my age or significantly older, and I appreciated all of the differences and nuances of each.  Good things to be said about all of them.  But it wasn't as if I would think, when I was dating a Jewish guy, "This might lead to something," or when I was dating a non-Jewish guy, "This won't go all the way."  For a large part of my life, I was actually not convinced that I would ever get married, although there were two men I did think about that way over all those years.  The first was German-American and older (I was 20), and the second was my age and African-American (I was 35). 

And speaking of the guy I wanted to marry when I was 35...I guess I owe it to him that I wasn't in the middle of Hurricane Katrina.  In mid-1994, after he had gigged in New Orleans, he started telling me about how much he loved it there, how much he could work there and how cheap it was to live, and that we should think about moving down there together.  We had actually planned a vacation trip down there to check it out, and I was thinking about getting a graduate degree at Tulane (this was about a year after I got my B.A., and grad school was much on my mind).  About a week after proposing this New Orleans thing, he broke up with me, saying he didn't want to get too seriously involved with anyone.  Commitment problems, you think?  So, I've still never been to New Orleans and managed to miss Katrina.  Still, I'm not really sure I ought to thank him...

I'm rereading The Right Stuff on my Kindle, one of my favorite books ever.  (I love the movie almost as much.)  I don't feel much about the Space Shuttle era coming to an end, but I have a real sweet tooth for anything about Mercury, Gemini or Apollo.  Not to mention, of course, that Tom Wolfe is a pretty amazing writer.  Reading the book is almost like watching a documentary film rather than reading non-fiction; it's vivid and wildly entertaining.

Even with all of the health stuff and still feeling financial pressure (I have a decent job, to be sure, but it's still one salary supporting two people), I always feel blooming in the summer.  It's my first full summer with my great summer wardrobe and trying on a particular style of dress/grooming, and I actually feel somewhat attractive for the first time in a great while.  I know people who will go to great lengths to feel attractive, which is not me, but I'm pleased when I'm comfortable and feel good about myself and it also affects other people.

Apropos of nothing:  I got a LinkedIn invitation from V's wife.  huh?  I have problems with her as well as with him, although he was my friend first and closest, and the break was primarily with him.  But it's really odd to be approached by her at this time and in this way.  She actually could have extended herself to me professionally around three years ago, when I lost a job in the same field that she works in, but she never did.  She never extended herself when I broke with V; she had always been supportive of our friendship, but according to him, she totally blocked our last effort to reach out.  I'm very curious;  Barry says, Ignore it.  V was always someone who hurt my feelings unintentionally, by not thinking, but she was mean at times and told stories and badmouthed me and accused me of lying.  Were we dear friends at times?  you bet.  Would that have been the case without V?  doubtful.

Anyway, this is me, trying to let it go....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

bad health shit

What I really would like to be writing about is Sexy Jewish Men -- and that was before re-watching Catfish, whose subject, Nev Schulman, is a prime example.

But Sexy Jewish Men will have to wait a bit, since they're rather eternal and Bad Health Shit happened last

Basically, I'd gone to see a new psychiatrist, since my old one took no insurance.  I felt that my lamotrigine (Lamictal) was working really well except for a few days every couple of months, when I would experience a depressive "dip."  So he increased my lamotrigine -- doubled it.  After about four days, I felt a little dizzy, but I looked it up and found it was a common but harmless side effect.  Then, a few days after, I started to feel extremely dizzy and disoriented, couldn't type straight, couldn't talk straight...bad.  This was exactly a week ago, and my husband met me downstairs and took me to the ER at Maimonides (we could have gone nearby to Beth Israel, but we're both pretty attached to Maimonides and my general doctor is also attached there).  They did tests and it didn't seem to be anything more wrong than the higher dose of meds, so I was told to reduce it to the old level and sent home.  I was told an appointment had been made for me with my psychiatrist for the next day, but when Barry called the psychiatrist's office, it seemed the appointment was for Friday, not Wednesday, and I made a huge fuss, etc etc.  I mostly recovered on Wednesday, and on Thursday decided to see my regular doctor , partly because I had what seemed to be a rash, which can be a serious side effect of lamotrigine.  So he sent me to a dermatologist, who said it was bug bites.  Back to work Friday.

It doesn't really sound so bad now, but it was horrendous on me and on Barry.  I'm not used to that sort of loss of control, or being on the receiving end of hospital care.  (The hospital thing actually went pretty well until there was some discussion of keeping me overnight, and the idea of being kept overnight in psych scared the hell out of me.)  But the whole thing also made me feel pretty leery about medications, especially psych meds.  No one even really knows exactly why or how most of them work, which is why they always try out different ones on different patients. 

My plan now is to see a new doctor and perhaps go back on Prozac, which "pooped out" on me after around nine years (believe it or not, that's the actual term psychiatrists use), but worked well until then and never had any bad side effects.  I'm taking the low dose of lamotrigine now, but I'm not happy about it.  It's some dangerous shit.  And considering that I take something like 10 prescription meds (antidepressives, antianxiety, blood pressure, diabetes), I'm not liking the whole prescription meds thing at all.

We'll get to Sexy Jewish Men soon, I promise.  Meanwhile, look at some of the pictures of Yaniv Schulman at IMDB.  And look up Oded Fehr, while you're at it.  That should get you all ready for that topic.