Archive | January, 2013

Just another (not) Manic Monday

28 Jan

Baby-Horse-Running-Wallpaper-240x180I want my mania back.

Now, if you’re normal, you probably can’t understand why someone with Bipolar Disorder would even contemplate wanting a ride to the top of the roller coaster, particularly when what’s waiting on the other side of the climb is a drop into depression.

Even if you’re Bipolar, you might not understand remembering mania wistfully. Getting deeply in debt, driving drunk or high, having sex with strangers…why would anyone want to live that way? Certainly, I’m in no hurry to return to my wicked, pre-medicated ways, but the life of lethargy I’ve been living lately has seriously outworn its welcome.

A little mania and my house wouldn’t look like, well, like someone was too depressed to straighten. The cleaning ladies are scheduled to come tomorrow, but even that isn’t uplifting. Without straightening, it won’t even look like they came except for the telltale trails of a vacuum cleaner. Add in the fact that we can’t afford the mostly ineffectual crew but don’t have the heart to fire the now 70-year old woman who has been cleaning our home since my son was two and who just lost her retirement savings in a series of ill-advised real estate transactions, and my morose mood is more understandable.

A little mania and I wouldn’t be feeling like a parental failure because my son—who carries my genetic code—barely scraped together the four Cs and an A on his recent report card while my daughter—adopted from China—came home with all As . . .ok, one B+. Sure, my son also had an A in PE, but PE doesn’t count. I know, I know . . .a class focused on activity suits his ADHD brain, PE is an important class in a society full of couch potatoes , an A is an A. Yada, yada, yada. And I know that lots of kids get Cs, even lots of kids we know and lots of kids we know who got into colleges they wanted to go to. Cs aren’t Fs, but that’s the problem. To me, Cs are just Fs with a silent F. Unkind and unfair, I know, and further evidence that I richly deserve the depression I’m in.

A little mania and my creative well wouldn’t have run dry. I’d have posted witty commentary on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, how I came to love the running skirt, watching my husband writhe in pain. Well, maybe that last one wouldn’t have been witty. I might even have finally figured out how to get my son’s obscene sense of humor featured in a blog with a PG13 rating.

Just a little mania, that’s all I’m looking for here. Of course, there’s no such thing as a little mania. Oh, at first I think there could be, that I can keep the momentum from building out of control. But it always escalates so that what started as a trot through the park turns into a wild gallop and a crashing fall.

So, I took my meds. I let the house be cluttered beyond recognition. I sat my ass down at the computer and I wrote, even though writing was the last thing I thought I could do, and pulled these 600 plus words out of some secret place even I didn’t know existed. Pretty soon, I’ll put on my running gear—it might even be warm enough for a skirt today—then get my ass off the chair and onto the trail. I’ll ignore that the unseasonably warm weather is most likely caused by global climate change which will lead to the early demise of our planet. At least, I’ll try.

I’m sure all of that will help. But I’ll still miss my mania.


Follow Me

18 Jan
Image: Beyond Bliss Poodles

Image: Beyond Bliss Poodles

Just about every blogger I follow has done the Search Terms post. Because every one else was doing it, I did it, too. And, no, I would not jump off a cliff if everyone else were doing it.

For the uninitiated, the Search Terms post is about the terms people type into Google that then lead them to a blog. I know lots of bloggers who have really cool search terms in their records, like “the most beautiful chickens.”

Me? I get people who are either really kinky or really worried they’re kinky. A while back, I wrote about accidentally seeing my son’s penis. Since then, my top five search terms always include at least three referencing “son’s penis.” Today’s top search term was “son wants to drop out of high school.” I sympathize; my son has spoken the same blasphemy, causing me to write a letter to Dave Grohl. When I finally become a Twit, I will tweet Mr. Grohl and see if he tweets back—or whatever is supposed to happen. Hey! I should do that! Blog Fodder!!

Of course, the next three terms included “son” and various words for penis. Coming in at number five was the disturbing “dark skin women titties.” I don’t think I ever want to meet that person; I certainly don’t want him (I never said I wasn’t sexist) anywhere near my daughter. And it better not be my son.

Because I am completely preoccupied most of the time and when I am not preoccupied I am being interrupted, I only recently discovered that my computer keeps track of the terms I have searched. I research just about every situation I encounter so my Google search history has become a sort of historical record of Janice.

Some search terms I remember using, like “shark socks.” My son’s girlfriend has a sock fixation. Among her favorite foot coverings is a pair of Batman socks, complete with little capes. My son decided she needed shark socks, so I searched for shark socks. I was hoping for something ferocious, but most were really lame and barely recognizable as ferocious man-eaters. I did find a very cool pair I could have knit for Girlfriend, but I’m pretty sure the “don’t knit a sweater for a boyfriend” caveat probably has a corollary: don’t knit socks for a girlfriend, especially if she’s not even your own girlfriend. My son settled on Robin socks to go with the Batman socks.


I frequently search for information related to my kids, like “how much water should a 10-year old drink,” “puberty for girls,” “good curfew for teen,” and “getting high with morning glory seeds.”

The reasons behind some of my search terms seem mysterious if you aren’t particularly familiar with me. “Three squatting myths that refuse to die” could be about Occupy Wall Street or whether squats are harmful to runners’ knees. You might think I was planning a murderous rampage if you saw “how many rounds can a semi-automatic rifle shoot in one minute,” but the opposite is true.

Some of the things I’ve searched are just plain gross, like “phlegm and coughing after exercise.” Some I’m not even sure I actually searched. While I agree with the sentiment, I have no idea why I searched “and i feel so much depends on the weather” or if I even searched it. I know I didn’t search “pandas” and “giant panda coloring pages.” I bet if I looked in my print queue, I’d find someone printed  35 copies of a Giant Panda coloring page. I also bet she’ll soon be searching “discount price on ink jet cartridges.”

I have a pretty good idea who searched “when will Earth die.” I know I never would because I just get depressed when I think about it and, with bipolar disorder, I don’t need any help getting depressed. I do a lot of searching about bipolar disorder and bipolar meds. I remember why I searched “forgetfulness and Lamotrigine,” but I don’t remember what I learned.

I search medical issues for my family, too. Recently, I searched “kidney stone pain,” and “Edward Hospital ER wait time,” then “ureteral stent,” and finally, “can probiotics stop diarrhea.” I learned that kidney stone pain is worse than childbirth, particularly if the person who is experiencing the kidney stone pain has lousy veins in his right arm and the medical worker doesn’t listen to the person’s wife when she says the veins in the left arm are better until he’s blown out two veins in the patient’s right arm. And, yes, probiotics can help stop diarrhea. You’re welcome.

Following the flurry of kidney stone related searches and their attending life events, I did something I swore I’d never do, so I’m glad I only swore it to myself. Looking for a cheap thrill, I’ve searched “standard poodle puppies” for the past two days. Yup, I’m reduced to looking at pictures of puppies to escape the fun and frivolity of living with a man in constant pain, a daughter who regularly criticizes everything from the way I wake her up to the way my bingo wings flap when I shake a pair of dice, to a son who is more mercurial than Mercury.

The poodle puppy pity party was effective. For a few minutes, I imagined myself and FiFi, jogging along the prairie path, the wind ruffling our hair, Fifi perfectly trained so that even the occasional pheasant didn’t cause her to break stride. In fact, poodle puppy pictures were so soothing that I upped the ante today. I’m blaming a book I am currently reading but I’m still almost ashamed to admit what I’ve been doing. In fact, I think I’ll do a search: “is it weird to look at baby pictures on the web.”

Extra credit: There is an inside joke about the Boy Wonder socks. Guess what it is and I’ll write a post about your blog next week.

Oh, no she didn’t!

15 Jan

My daughter is a fountain of funny kid stuff.

Every evening, my daughter tells me when she would like to wake up. Last Thursday, she told me to wake her at 5 a.m. so that she would be awake by 6 a.m. to study for a test. I have no idea why it takes her an hour to wake up, but it’s her beauty sleep so I go along.

Five a.m. I woke her, saying “Sweetie, it’s 5 o’clock.”

“I’m tired!” she groused.

Five fifteen. “Peanut, it’s time to get up.” Grousing was the reply.

Five thirty. “You told me you wanted to me to wake you at five. It’s five thirty.” Again, grousing.

Five forty five. “Leave me alone!” was the reply.

At six a.m., I told her it was six a.m. and went downstairs to make my tea, telling her I was going downstairs to make my tea. I left her grousing self to get dressed.

At seven a.m., I came up stairs. (Even at seven, she had plenty of time to study.) I was greeted like this:


“Sweetie, I tried waking you up for an hour.”


Confused, I said, “What was I supposed to do that I didn’t do? I tried to wake you up and you kept telling me you were too tired.”

“If you were a regular mom,” she said, “you would have said, ‘GET YOUR ASS OUT OF BED!’ ”


Where’s Janice?

14 Jan

You may have noticed that I have not posted anything other than my daughter’s smart aleck  remarks in a while. This is largely due to the shit bucket that my life has become. Not only were my children on a break long enough to make it appear as if going to school were the break, but my husband was also on the same schedule. He has a tendency to not use up vacation days until the last minute, the last minute being the week between Christmas and New Year’s and whatever straggly bits there are because Christmas landed on a Wednesday or some nonsense like that.

Finally, every one went to school/work and I had my life back. I made progress on my website, I ran, I identified companies to target for writing assignments, I read “The Outsiders” for work (how cool is that?).

Four days after my real life began again, my husband came home from work early. He came home so early, in fact, that my daughter and I were still in bed. I was convinced a prowler had entered our home so locked the bedroom door. I heard footsteps on the stairs and grabbed the phone when the door knob jiggled.

“Why is the door locked?” came my husband’s voice.

“Because I thought you were a prowling rapist thief!”

Turns out my husband did not throw his back out, but was passing a kidney stone. A rather large one, apparently. Six millimeters for those of you in the know. Two trips to the ER later, he had a disgusting sounding procedure that had me thinking of Luke Skywalker shooting into the Death Star. Actually, the doctor inserted a camera/laser thingie, located the stone and blasted it into chips. I’m hoping husband will be home soon, but then he’s likely to be HOME, not at work, for a while. Sigh. This is all about me, you know.

In the interim, I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine and her blog. Emily, author of “Not the hardest part,” chronicles her adventures as mom to one of the cutest babies in the world. She’s kinda sassy, has more than one degree in English and is therefore immensely cool.

Here’s a link to Emily’s latest post. Make sure to click around on her blog and find those adorable baby pictures.

My Essay on Eloise.

My daughter says funny stuff

8 Jan

I have come to the conclusion that this will likely be my daughter’s spotlight for some time. My son says very funny things, but most of them are so politically incorrect or obscene that they are, to my mind, not fit for publication. I may decide to write a heavily redacted version of some of the things he says, but until then, here is another gem from the Empress.

Empress is now in the orchestra program in our school district; she plays the viola. She related this exchange with the orchestra director from the middle school her brother attended and that she will attend next year. You may recall my son has ADHD, as did at least one other boy in the cello section.

Empress: She said my last name was familiar when she was tuning my viola, then she asked me if I had a brother or sister, so I told her who my brother is.

Dad: Did she say, “Poor you”?

Empress: Sadly, no.

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