Friday, January 30, 2009

A Curious Case of Human Nature

Days after watching THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, after leaving the dark, escapist theater where I shed more than a few tears, after returning home to pick up the kids, do homework, dinner, dishes and bedtime, I still suffered from a lingering sense of melancholy. I knew it was just a movie, a movie based on an impossible conceit no less, but I was disturbed by how watching a man age in reverse made me feel about my own life.

I’d heard of people who came close to death and returned with a new appreciation of living; their priorities simply and suddenly in check. Benjamin, having been born old and frail, was like one of those people. He had an unusual perspective that allowed him to understand early on the fleeting nature of the journey. He drank life in the way his tugboat captain drank his liquor. Daisy, on the other hand, had a less illuminated purview. She, like me, like most I presume, lived in denial of the finite while living very much in fear of it.

She wasted time, focusing on the frivolous and the immediate, fighting off the specter of death with each impulsive, life-affirming pleasure. While Benjamin walked, taking in all of what life had to offer, Daisy ran her race in a constant state of want, never opting for a moment of peace.

When I was young, I couldn’t wait to be an adult. When I was just out of college, I couldn’t wait to find a soul mate and success. After I had babies, I couldn’t wait for them to grow older. I always focused on what came next, hoping it would be there that I would finally be satisfied. Older people warned me I would miss the days I so often bemoaned, advising me to find happiness in the present. But like Daisy, I didn’t listen. I didn’t know how.

(click here to continue reading at LA Moms Blog...)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Give Me the Grateful Life - Monday

And here we are again, another week, another mountain of mundanity reason to be grateful!
(Mundanity really is a word - I looked it up.)

I'm feeling a bit of the "what the hell happened to my weekend" blues, so I'm gonna dig right in in an attempt to gain perspective and improve my mood.
  1. I am grateful that my husband came back from his business trips, even if only for a few days, so he could take on some of the carpooling because he's nice to have around.  ;)
  2. I am grateful for the groomer who gave our dogs a much needed bath.
  3. I am grateful for the rain.
  4. I am grateful for my iPod and exercise bike - they are incredible stress relievers.
  5. And, oh yes, I am grateful for PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA! YAAAAAAAAY!
Okay, that did help my mood.  This gratitude stuff works!

What are you grateful for this week?  There's gotta be something...

*photo courtesy of Google Images

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Funeral For a Vagina: An Open Plea To Oprah and Dr. Oz


"My vagina is dying," my friend told me on the phone yesterday.
"Come on!" I replied as I put down my tea and instantly started doing kegels.
"No, really.   My vagina is literally wasting away. My doctor says I have vaginal atrophy."
"No, shit!"  I said as I pictured gravity having it's way with my friend's once taut pelvic muscles.  "What's it from?" 
"No estrogen.  Fucking"

My friend is a few years older than me and close to (if not already at) the dreaded "M".  Which is actually just the closing ceremony for the preceding and interminable PM.  All the mood swings, hot flashes, painful sex, weight gain, and other fun hormonal fluctuations that lead up to actual menopause are the real work of perimenopause, it's evil younger sister.  Otherwise known as the P.M. of your life.  Otherwise known as Pretty (freakin') Miserable.

"You have an angry vagina, the doctor told me," my friend continued.  "My fucking vagina is red and swollen, shedding away, and withering on the vine.  My vagina's angry? I'm the one who's fucking angry!"

Of course, I couldn't stop thinking about our conversation long after we hung up.  I'm in my mid-late '40s and have had some signs of "PM," so naturally I couldn't help but think "there but for the grace of a few years go I."  I googled vaginal atrophy and did some armchair research.  Here is the Mayo Clinic's definition:

Vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) is a thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a decline in estrogen. Vaginal atrophy occurs most often after menopause, but it can also develop during breast-feeding or at any other time your body's estrogen production declines. 

Symptoms include dryness, burning, painful intercourse, incontinence and a host of other "shoot me now" ailments.  The silver lining on this dark and itchy cloud is that the discomfort is treated quickly and simply with creams or medication.  The discomfort.  Not the fact that your genitalia is dying.

My morbid curiosity got the best of me and I linked to other related sites (thanks Google);  sites about pelvic organ prolapse, vaginal rejuvenation, and other side-slapping, life-affirming topics.   

Nothing makes you feel your mortality like a decomposing vajayjay.

The research states that many women suffer from this ailment in silence, out of ignorance or embarrassment.  It made me wonder, where's Oprah?  Shouldn't she be out there warning us about this?  Obviously her producer's let this one slip through the lady business cracks.  

I mean, who is going to support us in our post baby factory years if not the big "O"?

And for that matter, where's Dr. Oz?  I feel betrayed.  Abandoned.  Is this just another brick in the wall of the male conspiracy to keep women down?  I don't see mens' penises shriveling up.   Ohhhh noooooo.  And, please, at the first signs that their machinery was aging, the pharmaceutical companies (run by men) and male medical researchers were up and adam developing Viagra, Levitra, and whatever else to keep those joy sticks pumping.  But women?  Nobody's rushing out to help us with our plunging pelvises and volatile vj's.  Instead, we're told that the way to prevent having to dead-head our lady gardens is to have more sex.  Lots and lots of sex.  Ugh.  Sound suspicious?

So where does this leave us?  I'll tell you where...with husbands running off to find young, blushing pink, smiling privates, while we stand alone at the funerals for ours. 

So, Oprah and Oz, you've got the world talking about evolution's reason for pubic hair, the size and color of our poop, and most recently (thank you) hormone therapy.  Here is my suggestion for your next topic:


The world is ready.  We have you and Eve Ensler to thank for that.

We women want our vaginas back.  NOW.

Thank you.

*photo courtesy of google images

Monday, January 12, 2009

Give Me The Grateful Life - Monday

I am under the wire but according to my PST watch, I am SAFE!

Hello readers, Happy Monday to you.

I'm pretty wrecked from the day and have to get up way early tomorrow so I'm going to get right down to the gratitude business.
  1. I am grateful for SCHOOL.  That's right, today was my son's first day back after a three week vacation.  Hallelujah.  I do believe there is someone up there looking out for me after all.
  2. I am grateful that the kennel cough my dog caught when we boarded her this vacation (first time ever boarding any of our dogs!), seems to be mild and slightly improving.  And that she learned early on to hack it up outside.
  3. I am grateful for having time to read my cookbooks this weekend and plan some actual homemade meals for a change.
  4. I am grateful that my hubby is coming home from yet another business trip tomorrow - now HE can get up at 6am to walk the dogs.
  5. I am grateful for the gorgeous weather Southern Cal is having and that I can, at least for a few days, feel the breeze while I sleep.
Please tell me what you are grateful for this week.

**Oh, and also, before you go, I know this is not P.C. for a gratitude post, but I need HELP.  Can someone please give me advice on how to instill manners in my way-too-cool-for-school son.  I am seriously embarrassed when we run into people we know and he refuses to say a proper hello (or goodbye).  Short of smacking the snarky little sucker, WHAT DO I DO?  Nothing I've tried to this point has worked.

Edit:  Thank you for your suggestions.  I combined some with ideas of my own and things have definitely improved.  And just so you know, I was kidding about the smacking.  Merlotmom can be a bit snarky herself.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Resurrection: She's A-L-I-I-I-V-E!

No, I am not referring to myself as Young Frankenstein (although if you catch me first thing in the morning...maybe).

I'm referring to my long, unintended, unannounced absence from my blog. I have no idea if any of you are still out there (and I suppose if you're not there is no one to blame but myself) but if you are THANK YOU.  I even missed my own blogging anniversary (Dec. 30) - can you say L-O-S-E-R?

I initially took a break to concentrate on a writing course I'm taking at UCLA (which I have LOVED).  But, I also left to pull myself out of the debilitating internal competition I was having with Sitemeter, Feedburner and Statcounter (not to mention you other bloggers out there (you know who you are) who get dozens or hundreds of comments for every post no matter how large or how small.)  To be honest, that is just hard to take.

I believed myself to be above all the high school popularity nonsense.  But I-just-couldn't-tear-myself-away from checking in numerous, time-sucking, mentally distracting, confidence-shattering times a day.

So I bailed.

But I missed you guys. 

So I'm back.

Sort of.

I've never considered myself a flake in IRL.  I'm actually very much the opposite.  But somehow, in blogland, I've taken on a personality flaw that I refuse to tolerate in others: visiting when it suits me, taking and not giving back (I am still reading though I have resorted to lurker status).

So, for those of you still around, forgive me.  I will try my best to visit and comment with more frequency, and of course, write on my own damn blog.

I hope you'll put up with me join me.

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