Freaking Out Squares

Monday, April 03, 2006

Periods! Prison! Periodicals! Posts!

I'm recovering from a nasty bout of PMS, although since the worst of it technically hit during my period, I should probably just call it MS. Except there's already a far more serious condition out there with those initials, so that won't work. (Apologies to any MS sufferers out there, or to anyone who does the MS Run/Walk. The preceding comment was not meant as a tasteless remark about MS; it was simply an illustration of my inability to encapsulate the precise nature of my condition.) Anyway, we're not talking the women-and-their-wacky-uteri moodiness Lifetime sees fit to depict with a host of mildly pouty women massaging their aching heads and fiending for chocolate. No, mine is more like Vivienne Elliot meets Joan Crawford for a cinematic swordfight while "Carmina Burana" plays in the background. No wire hangers, indeed! Yes, it's all fun, sun, and cute guys here at the ranch!

The upshot of the situation is that I'm going to see a holistic gynecologist at the end of April, a woman who bills herself as a "PMS expert." Probably a good idea to remain healthily skeptical about said claim, but the holistic part is definitely a good thing, and if nothing else, I'm 99% sure she's not going to stick me on the Pill the second I walk in there...but that's another story. Genug with the uterus, already!

Well, almost genug. On the second evening of this female fun fest, I popped a Midol Complete sometime around 9 p.m. and settled in for a good six hours of hyperactivity. Turns out that negligible amount of caffeine in there is not so negligible, after all. Oops. Around 3 a.m., I decided to put down the knitting, turn off MSNBC, and cuddle up for some tossing and turning. I've been an insomniac since I was a baby, according to my dad, who had to rock me and sing "This Old Man" for a good hour and change before I even thought about closing my eyes, so I've developed a fair number of somnambulatory strategies over the years. These include, but are not limited to, falling asleep in an imaginary lover's arms, imagining myself curled up in a bed at a Swiss chalet after a long day of hiking the Alps, and pretending I'm in a psych ward hooked up to a Thorazine drip. Stark raving as I was, the imaginary lover strategy was out. (Even my imagination has some basis in reality, and I think, given my behavior over the preceding 36 hours, the imaginary lover would have banished me to the guest room, provided he had the chance before I did it myself.) Same with the Alps--the last thing I was feeling was hale and outdoorsy, and the psych ward...well, that just hit a little too close to home at that point.

So, what cheerful scenario did I envision for myself? Prison! Yes, that's right--the Big House, the Pen, the Club Fed. How soothing! It was soothing, which is the utterly pathological part. (Oh, and get your minds out of the gutter and turn off the wah-wah pedal and the synthesizer. MY prison fantasy was clean, thank you.) The prison in which I was doing a 3-year sentence for...I couldn't quite figure that out, but it had something to do with social justice and government frame-ups, sort of like Ethel Rosenberg, but without the death sentence...anyway, my prison was a feminist, sisters-helping-sisters paradise where we made dolls out of tampons and copper wire (I read that somewhere--no lie), took writing workshops with Eve Ensler (again, no lie--there's this great documentary called What I Want My Words to Do to You that features her doing just that. If you want to check it out, go to the PBS homepage and check out the POV section, which should be under "Shows A-Z"), and bonded together against the fascist guards who would rob us of our dignity and humanity. What happened to my imagination having a basis in reality...? Anyhoo, within a half-hour or so, I was slumbering deeply, and oddly, my dreams were as lyrical and romantic as if I'd envisioned myself drifting off in a hairy, male embrace. (In Part One, Manhattan below 14th Street morphed into a lovely seaside village; in Part Two, which had no bearing on Part One, Scarlett O'Hara confessed her love for Rhett Butler, to which the intrepid blockade runner responded, "Huh? Really? Are you sure? Does this have something to do with the Honorable Ashley Wilkes?" Oh, and then there was some kissing, but since it was 1939, it stayed clean.)

Does anyone know of a prison like that, just in case? I don't anticipate committing any major crimes in the foreseeable future, but in these troubled times, one never knows if one will stand accused of passing state secrets to the you-know-whos, which start with a capital T, which rhymes with P, which stands for Pool.
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
In lighter news, here are some of the publications I've been devouring of late, when they aren't strewn about my bedroom floor.

Issue #30 of The East Village Inky arrived at my door on Wednesday, occasioning a lot of jumping up and down and yelling "Dude!" The EVI, for short, is a 'zine authored by the "evil lactating genius" Ayun Halliday. I don't think she's still lactating, since her younger kid is five, and I don't know about the evil part, but I'm happy to attest to the genius label. Named for her older child, Inky, The EVI is Ayun's quarterly postcard-sized paean to her kids, Inky and Milo, her husband, Greg Kotis (who wrote Urinetown: The Musical) , and la vie Boheme in the Big Apple. This issue's piece de resistance is "The Incredible Idealized Adventures of Coco, the Class Bear," an adorably snarky epic dedicated to young Milo's kindergarten class project. Check out Ayun's website, subscribe, and send Ayun a condolence email on the passing of her notoriously crotchety old feline, Jambo. Oh, and check out her blog, Dirty Sugar Cookies--the link's to your right. You're welcome.

Cosmo, suck my left one: BUST's April/May 2006 issue is available at the Barnes and Noble on 22nd and 6th in Chelsea. If that's out of your geographical area, click the link above and check these gals out. No "Perfect Abs In Thirty Days!" or "How to Make Him Want You Real Bad" nonsense here, thank Goddess (hee, hee). BUST shows you how to craft nifty placemats from pencils, discusses whether the Hitachi Magic Wand or the Rabbit is more adept at satisfying your self-stimulatory needs, and keeps you apprised of various punk-rawk-DIY-grrl-power events throughout the globe. Don't forget to read Ayun's bimonthly column, "Mother Superior." ( that right? I mean, the magazine is bimonthly, but she's in every issue, so...oh, forget it.)

If vibrators and crafting are not your thing, the current issue of The Nation contains an article about Ralph Reed, Christian evangelist/right-wing prick extraordinaire, who, shock upon shock, took money from Jack Abramoff! Who'da thunk? He seemed like such a nice boy. There's also an interesting piece about how socialism has become nonexistent in the American political discourse. I look forward to the day socialism is reinstated to dirty word status, myself. I wish I could be more detailed about these articles, but The Nation is somewhere in the imbroglio known as my room, and I really have to wrap this thing up, so I'm not going to go tearing the place apart to find it.

And finally: I changed the post options so now everyone, not just fellow bloggers, can put in their two cents as they see fit. Ass-kissing is welcome, but not necessary. Civility is mandatory.


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