As Scroogy’s World Turns

I put Lala and the Loopster to bed about 3 hrs ago.  Since then I had dinner, watched Big Brother 14, caught up on FB and Twitter and texted my Sister-in law, then settled in with some vino to watch today’s GH.  There’s another apocalyptic event in Port Charles.  A psycho unleashed a pathogen into the water supply.  Who will live?  Who will die? All the while new connections are made.  Old ones are fizzling (Jax is back?  Bye-bye Johnny!)  What will happen?  Stay tuned….

From carlyandjax.net

Now, I’ve been a soap opera viewer since before I went to school.  I have flashes of memory as a preschooler watching Days of Our Lives while Mom and Brother napped on the sofa.  I think I was drawn in because there were two popular characters named Doug and Julie (my Dad’s and Aunt’s names).  Incidentally,  Doug was originally married to Julie’s mother and his daughter, Hope, is Julie’s stepdaughter and sister, so…  Only in soaps.  Or on Springer.

Later, babysitters and my grandparents further sucked me into the lives of Bo & Hope, Victor & Nikki, Brooke & Ridge/Taylor & Ridge,  Luke & Laura, Erica Kane, Lucinda Walsh, and Vikki/Nikki.  My life has intertwined with the lives of the residents of Salem, Genoa City, Port Charles, Pine Valley, Oakdale, and Llanview, and fictional version of L.A. throughout my life. From my last days in Baltimore City before we moved to the suburbs as a pre-teen. (My last “official” babysitter got me hooked on As The World Turns when rich bitch Lily Walsh fell in love with stable boy Holden Snyder.  I think it’s Holden’s fault I’m a sucker for longish hair.  *side note- my Grandma somehow knew the mom or grandmother of the last actress who played Lily.  She was also on Loving* Also, as we packed up our little rowhome, I vividly remember watching Terri walk down the street of that small town in her wedding gown in hysterics as she was about to marry Kevin O’Connor… maybe I’m remembering wrong b/c I don’t find a damn thing on YouTube)

Then in my teen-angst days in Bel Air (My stepfather Bob and I watched Bold and The Beautiful many afternoons as he lay sick in the hospice bed in our clubroom. He didn’t know what was on, and the antennae down there really only picked up CBS).  Then in college, my freshman year roomie acquainted me with Y&R as baby Nicholas choked on a dime, only to be saved at the last-minute by his father, Victor.  I think I’ve blogged before about my Granddad and his “stories”.  His favorites were the Erica Show and the Dorian Show.  I guess Poppy liked ’em feisty.  All leading to today’s episode of General Hospital.

See, Peeps.  I really have been a soapster.

Soaps seem to be dying off.  And no one is more Scroogy about it than I.  Soaps may be looked down upon by pop culture or by thespian elite, but they are part of many, many lives.  Even Bestie’s bro-in-law admitted he was gonna trade in his Man Card b/c he was just as thunder struck as I was that Duke Lavery was the one holding Robin on GH.  I mean, I grew up with Robin Scorpio.  I remember her meeting her father Robert for the first time.  And that’s not all… I remember Starr “Shorty” Manning when she was in her awkward phase.  (Seriously, I had to fast forward through the scenes of her losing the big V.  I couldn’t take it.)  Same with Michael Corinthos III.  I remember that cute little ginger kid that was so annoying. like anyone’s little bro or cousin or neighbor…  I cried when Vikki said goodbye to Dorian on OLTL, b/c I was there when they were the original frenemies.

I mean, look at these ladies.  The love, the admiration...

 

These characters, family trees, towns, histories are so intertwined with so many of our memories.  They have survived generations.

How can we let them go?

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The Eternal Sunshine of the Scroogy Mind

So…  I’ve gone and decided to seek therapy for my friggin mental health issues.  Finally.

I called today and asked to make an appointment and the lady took a message.  Is that weird?  Is that how therapists work? I feel like I dialed the wrong number and I’m being punked.  Anyway, just one of the things I’m worrying about as I await the beginning of treatment.

Here’s some more:

– My husband brought home his used tupperware and utensils from lunch and there were three butter knives in the bag that aren’t ours.  My logical mind knows they either belong to the office kitchen or to a co-worker.  My crazy mind thinks they belong to his svelte, smart, funny, adventurous new girlfriend who meets him at lunchtime for leftovers and a little afternoon delight.  I know in my head & heart that he is faithful, it’s just that my ego’s all effed up.  See, Peeps, my Dad was an open womanizer and oh yeah, also the only other guys with whom I’ve had long-term relationships were big ol’ cheater cheater punkin eaters.  Poor Hubby.  He really didn’t know what he was getting himself into.  Good thing I’m smart enough not to actually vent these delusions in his presence.

– I have some lower back pain and something wrong with my left hip (bursitis or whatever??).  But every time I have a twitch of pain, I’m sure it’s The Cancer.    Then I swallowed too much air or some junk when I gulped down my gallon of water a day and therefore have indigestion and then I’m sure it’s The Cardiac Arrest.  (Cause I’m gonna die soon, remember?) Then I start to have a panic attack…  It’s good times.

– I sit here at my desk to use my netbook b/c if I went in the living room, I’d see the giant mess the kids made with their teeny tiny Barbie and Lalaloopsy toys and the menagerie of stuffed creatures that certainly must multiply overnight.  How did we accumulate so many?  And if I really sat amongst all that, and the dust on the TV stand and the dusty picture frames and clock and the goldfish crumbs on my carpet I’d go absolutely bonkers and decide to clean it all up myself and then I’d hurt my back/hips even more (like I did last Monday) and then, well, see the above craziness, and also… I’d get all sad and depressed and self-loathing b/c I have these issues b/c I’m so overweight and I did this to myself and what kind of person does that and…  It goes on and on, one thought steamrolling into another until I just wanna go to sleep or eat a bag of Doritoes with sour cream and onion dip or drink a whole box of cheap Sangria.  Seriously, you guys, the Franzia is calling my name as I type.

– I gave up my job and some glimmer of ambition to go for my MBA to stay at home with my kiddies and now I’m so out of the loop that I don’t even know what a dongle is and I wish that damn Samsung commercial would just shut the hell up.  Surely a dongle isn’t a real thing.  It’s just something Madison Avenue invented to make stay at home Mommies feel like they have missed out on some sort of technological revolution and they’ll never fit back into the workplace.  I mean, it sounds just ridiculous.  Dongle.

-And while I’m ranting about career ambitions…  WTH was I thinking, pronouncing myself a “writer.”  Stupid.  Gah.  I can’t even stick to a goddamn writing schedule.  And it’s something I love.  Why can’t I do something I love to do?

Oh, that’s right.  I’m fucking depressed.

Why won’t that therapist call me back?  Seriously?

Top 10 things I do instead of writing

1. Read tweets from the Real Housewives of New Jersey and Rainn Wilson.

2. Stare at the picture of the bike I want on the Huffy website.

3.  Oh yeah, parenting.  And housekeeping.

4. Watch teaser trailers for the new season of American Horror Story.

5. Google Baltimore ghost stories.

6. Did I mention I have twins?  And I’m waaaaay behind on laundry b/c of my damn lumbar radiculopathy.

7.  Read everyone else’s blog.  http://xenogirl.com  is my new favorite.

8. Catch up on Hotel Hell. (side note: As I was waiting for the on Demand ep to start, I got to see the scene from The Hunger Games where Katniss volunteers as tribute for Prim.  If you don’t get a little choked up watching that, well, you’re dead inside.)

9. Spark People.  Need help and support anywhere I can get it.

10. Checking FB and Twitter and WordPress to see if anyone, anywhere reads what I write.  *sigh*

The most lovely sight

So, gonna get weepy here, Peeps.

Ya know how I’ve been all Debby Downer about my fear of ending up like my Dad.  I don’t need to go there again.

But this kinda relates.

This weekend, I have been enjoying watching Lala and Loopsy rediscover the Cabbage Patch dolls they got this Christmas.  I’ve been calling myself Grandma and having fun with my granddaughters Kayla and Macy.  😉

This evening, the girls wanted me to teach them the night-night songs I sing each night so that they could put their babies to sleep.

So, I had Lala and Kayla on one half of my lap, and Loopsy and Macy on the other, and we rocked together and they sang along with me to Me & Bobby McGee.

I watched my daughters, so serious, so loving, rocking their dolls and singing quietly and I felt just especially blessed.  It was the most lovely sight.

(stop laughing at me)

I hope with all my heart that I’ll be able to watch this moment unfold for real in 25 years or so.  I will consider myself the luckiest Grandma on Earth.

How did I get this way?

I blame FB or maybe rather, credit FB for giving me opportunities to read controversial or politically charged articles that I, on my own, wouldn’t put the effort into reading.  And I do read both sides of the fence. Because I have friends and loved ones on either side of the spectrum.

Tonight, I had a great night after Lala and Loopsy were sung to and tucked in.  I tuned into some great trash TV and texted with a good friend and had some wine and some laughs. 

Then I logged into FB, where Akin’s (is that his name?  seriously, I’m typing too furiously to google and be sure) asinine comment is still making waves.  I see one of my idols, Anne Rice, post an article about the Pro-Choice movement.  I get part of the way through and I’m like… I must BLOG.

See, Peeps?  It’s all b/c of social media.

Anyway…

I am vehemently PRO CHOICE. And I will defend a woman’s right to choose to the bone.

Why?

Because no one, not her partner, her parents, her congressman, her priest, or her God has any right to her power to procreate.

Because once we allow OTHERS to tell a women she HAS to carry a child she isn’t prepared for, we are really one small step away from telling her she CANNOT carry a child that she wants.

Reproductive freedom is a door that swings both ways.

Stay out of our uteruses.  Uteri?  Whatever.

 

Seriously.

Ya gotta have faith?

Perhaps George Michael said it best all those many moons ago.  Do you have to have faith?  I think so at least.  But what does that really mean?

I have been searching and struggling with my own spiritual beliefs for several years now.  To be honest, meeting my husband really was the starting point of this quest for “what is my faith?”.

Here he was- a smart, sensitive, kind, generous, happy man.  And he doesn’t believe in a higher power.  And he’s fine with it.  He’s moral and good.  It was like a light bulb for me.  Morality and religion are not mutually exclusive.

But, still, I find it hard to believe that he doesn’t.  Believe that is.  I still sometimes ask him… “Look at that sunset!  What a lovely sky!  Can you look at that and still not accept that there is a God?”

He’ll say, “It’s just a matter of light filtering through the atmosphere and blahblah rotation of the Earth blahblah seasonal blahblah…”  I zone out at that point.

What’s odd is, he’s not some intellectual or scientific person.  He’s really just, I don’t know.  I guess the best word I can think of is pessimistic.  For example, the past two seasons that the New York Giants made it to and went on to win the Super Bowl, he spent most of his time saying “They just don’t have what it takes.  They’ll never make it all the way.”  I’m pretty sure he does that to protect himself from disappointment.  Sometimes I think his stance on religion is for the same reason.

But, really, back to the topic at hand…

I was born and raised Roman Catholic.  I even went to Catholic school for 1st through 6th grades.  And then when we moved to the suburbs and I started public school, I attended CCD until 11th grade when I was confirmed.  I always imagined I’d get married in The Church and raise my kids the same way I was raised.

But Hubby’s ideals really challenged me to look at my own.  Especially since he was brought up Roman Catholic as well, and had also, for a time, attended Catholic schools.  His father and I discussed it once.  I told him that Hubby didn’t consider himself Catholic.  My father-in-law said, “Once you’re Catholic, you are always Catholic.  It’d be like saying he wasn’t Italian anymore.  You are what you are born to be.”

Is that true, though?  Was I all my life buying into the thought that because of how I was raised, that is how I believe?  The student/teacher in me bristled at the idea.  No.  We can all change ourselves.  We own our destiny, our hearts, and our minds.

This revelation was freeing, but scary.  What is my faith?  Without the structure of Mass, how will I communicate with God?  Without lighting a candle and/or saying a certain set of words, how can I be sure He hears me?

Twice since this quandary began, I have pledged to attend Mass every Sunday, and both times, I’ve given it up.  The first time, was just around 9/11.  I was drawn back “to the fold” only to find that I didn’t get any comfort.  So, I gave up.

I was okay with my distance from The Church.  Even through all the wedding planning.  I didn’t feel it was necessary at all to be married in a certain building or my a certain person.  I just wanted to marry Hubby.  Our marriage.  Our way.    I did, however, get Lala and Loopsy baptized.  Mostly out of a sense of tradition.  But there was still that deeply instilled idea of freeing them from Original Sin and all that jazz.  I want my kids to go to Heaven…  Anyway…

(Side note:  During the Baptism prep class for parents, I learned that, even though becoming ordained as a priest is a Holy Sacrament, and so is marriage, taking vows as a nun, is not a Holy Sacrament.  This stuck in my craw…  More on that later.)

The second time was last year, when I began my Mojo journey and I was searching for something, anything, to guide me spiritually.

I was very gung-ho about it.  I even went to confession.  That was incredibly cathartic, and I see why people do it.  Giving up your guilt and fears to God, knowing that you can let it go and have a clean slate, is very uplifting.  The priest to whom I confessed is very down to Earth, very real.  The kind of man you could see cheering at an Orioles game or laughing over a cocktail at a picnic.  Someone like my Dad, actually, now that I’m thinking about it.  Just a Dude.  So, attending the masses over which he presided were comforting, centering, and I felt like I was embracing the faith of my family, the faith I was born into.  I felt a sense of communion with others with my beliefs.  But then…

Other priests took over the Sunday 12:30 Mass rotation.  The homilies started to be more about how we should “properly worship” and less about actual worship.  I started to notice little things about my fellow parishioners.  One family spent the mass either reading the bulletin or writing a check for their tithe or looking through their bags.  Once, the mom was clipping coupons.  I also noticed this older lady who NEVER smiled.  She didn’t sing along with the hymns, she didn’t shake anyone’s hand or even say the words during the “Peace Be With You” time….  in fact, she looked miserable and it was sad to me.  Why were these people there?  Why go to Mass, if not for a spiritual experience? (I was also sort of oddly put off by the fact that the Eucharistic Ministers would use hand sanitizer before giving out Communion.    I mean, we’re supposed to believe that God has transformed the wafer and the wine into the Body and the Blood, but we don’t believe he’d protect us from the sniffles?)

I realized that I was searching for a connection with the Lord, a Higher Power, my Maker.  I had sought the comfort and familiarity of the rituals of Catholic Mass, but I was put off by the emptiness of it all.  I came to the conclusion that being a Roman Catholic is probably not for me.  (See, it’s so engrained in me that I can’t even say this definitely.)

Then, I read an article about the mistreatment of Catholic nuns by the Vatican.  This really blew me away.  I mean, these ladies devote their lives to their faith and their community.  All while not even blessed sacrament-wise.  They teach our children, for crying out loud.  They should be revered.  But, no…  In fact, they are under “investigation” because of their charitable work for homeless and *gasp* gay people!!!!  The horror!  I mean…  The Vatican works its tail off to re-assign and hide pedophiles (allegedly), but they are taking away homes and security of their Sisters for providing comfort for needy citizens?  What the???

I started to be appalled by the hypocrisy.  Do I want to bring up my daughters in a faith like this?  For them to be taught that even if you live a chaste, charitable, Christ-like life, you are still not good enough in the eyes of The Church?  I definitely do not.

I’m a little heart-broken that I won’t be seeing them all dolled up in little white dresses and veils for their First Communion.  Heck, maybe I’ll still have them do it.  I dunno.  It is a rite of passage.  And I’m not going to force my own beliefs on them, especially considering I’m still figuring it all out myself.  This Parenthood thing is no joke, right?

Gah.

All I know is, my God hears me.  I pray to him nearly every day.  I live the best life I can, I am open-minded and open-hearted.  I try to live by Christ’s example.  (The turning the other cheek and forgiveness part still trips me up, I’ll admit.) I ask for the blessings of my ancestors, my lost loved ones too.  I believe in Angels, and wishes, and even a little bit in Magic.  I know that our world is full of wonder and of miracles and that we need to be attentive to them and grateful for them every chance we get.

Does that make me so un-Roman Catholic?  I have no answer.  I’m still trying to figure it all out.

Dead Beat Scroogy

Yes, I know, I know.  I’ve been absent from my blog for way too long.

There are many reasons/excuses.

1.  I was too tempted to jump on the bandwagon/soapbox and beat the dead horse that is the Chick Fil Apocalypse.  NOH8.  Mmmkay? 

2.  All I’ve been thinking about lately is how my back hurts so bad, I’m having crazy charlie horses and eye twitches and my back medicine is giving me mad dry mouth and heart burn.  I WebMD’d myself and decided I must have Multiple Sclerosis.  I’m a looney toon.  Yes, I did make a doctor’s appointment.  Just in case.

3.  I’m writing and rewriting and just really tinkering with my novel.  I love it more and more. 

4.  Got a new laptop (Hubby and I have been saving for it).  So…  I’m just learning all it’s little nuances.  Like how the space bar is really sticky and the mouse pad thingie is really too sensitive.  But I still dig it.

5. I’ve been reading a ton.  Finished Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness in less than a week.  It’s a long one too.  I really enjoyed it.  Now I’m reading The Lady of the Rivers by Phillipa Gregory.  It’s part of her series on The Cousins’ War (War of the Roses- Lancaster vs York).  I’ve always been so fascinated by this time period. 

So, dear Peeps, those are my reasons/excuses for not blogging.

See ya soon.  Probably.