Monday, March 28, 2011

Tough Seasons

I have noticed lately that a lot of people I know are going through some very tough times.  A friend from college just lost her mother suddenly and as did another just lose her father.  A few folks I know are going through divorce.  We are dealing with the illnesses facing elderly family members. 

And while we are pushing through domestic issues, there are people in Japan who have just survived an earthquake and may be facing a nuclear meltdown.  There is a civil war going on in Libya and there are protests all over the Middle East for democracy.  There are places in Africa where everyday for the past twenty or more years has been a constant struggle for survival.

I am tempted to wonder why...someone asked if I thought this was the beginning of the end, since 2012 is rumored to be the end of the world.  But that seems too simple--that the world is coming apart because we are about to disappear.

I am a person of faith.  I do not believe Obama is the anti-Christ.  I do not believe in the end times.  I believe we are going through a tough season because that is the nature of life.  People die.  Marriages do not always last.  Illness happens even if we try to keep it at bay.  Natural disasters happen as do man-made disasters.  People fight when they see no reason to get along.  Poverty exists while others have too much. 

Life is unfair.

But the solution is not to wonder why or to rend our clothing or even take to the streets.  The answer is to stop, take stock in what we have, and then press forward.  This too shall pass. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

So I knew this day was coming, and I avoided it for much longer than I should have, but I am officially broke.

So I have no where else to go but up.

I am a hustler.  I am not a con artist, but I am a person who makes lemonade on a regular basis.  My back is against the wall, and I might need to sell a kidney, but I will make a way through this crisis. 

I am not asking why, because I know why.  I am not upset with God because grace is the only reason why my chips weren't called in until now.  So I need to make a lot of changes and sacrifices to get to my breakthrough.

I get that.

If you thought this meant that I would just give were wrong.  I might not be able to game my way out of this.  I might have to suffer.  Alright, then I will do what I have to do.  But, I am a fighter.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's Me or Your Dog

...Cat, bird, hamster or any other furry friend that lives in your house.  I have allergies.  And though I might be an invited guest in your home, it is clear that your pet is going to win in this showdown.  So here is my official letter of resignation.

I have had allergies to animal fur/hair/dander since childhood.  (Additionally, in case you were wondering, I also have seasonal hay fever and eczema.)  And no, I have not outgrown them, and no they are not specific to any particular type of animal (except maybe fish).  The cycle of my reactions have been consistent all of these 30+ years...when invited to someone's home and unbeknownst to me, there is an indoor furry creature of some kind who is allowed free reign of the place, after about 30 minutes, I start to sneeze.  My eyes water and then my chest starts to tighten.  Generally I can only take another 30 minutes until things become unbearable and I have to leave.

Yes, it makes everyone feel uncomfortable, but there really is nothing I can do to except to suffer.  Or leave.  Or die right there in your living room.

Before anyone thinks to ask if there something I can take...the answer is yes, I can take an allergy pill 30 minutes in advance of my exposure to your little furry darling.  But please note that I need to know that you have a pet before I cross your threshold.  Otherwise, I have only 30 minutes before total allergic reaction shutdown.  Of course, if I do not know about your pet, then it is not your fault that I can still detect its existence even if I never lay eyes on Fluffy.  Yes, my allergies are that sensitive.

So, what are my options?  Well, as a precaution, I can take allergy pills all the time, which should inoculate me from a potential reaction.  Yes, great for you and your pet--not so great for my wallet or my inner ear (prone to infections every Spring thanks to my seasonal allergies).  Well, shouldn't I be used to this?  No, because prior to the recent crop of allergy medications that are available now, my only choices were Sudafed and Benadryl, which were very effective at making me drowsy.  In advance, they only worked when combined with a hot cup of tea after I was already exposed to the allergens.  When the better allery drugs like Claritin, Allegra and Zirtec were developed, they were very expensive and only available with a prescription.  Which would have been fine until I discovered that in some cases, the side effects were worse than the actual allergies that I was trying to prevent.

Now, no excuses because I can take the OTC generics.  And while I am happy to do my part, YOU pet owners could be a little more considerate.  Maybe it is not a good idea to let an animal shed on all of your furniture.  Or if you know that company is coming over, maybe you should vacuum first.  And I do not think it is asking too much that you temporarily banish your pet to another room if I start sneezing.  And no, discussing the allergies while I am in the throws of a reaction will not lessen the intensity...

Because looky here, in the off chance that I might get caught off guard and suffer the Big One, would you be able to live with yourself if I actually died right there on your sofa?  OK, that is rather dramatic, but it is a little annoying to think that if there was a choice between the suffering of a human being and that of an animal, most people would be content to watch my head explode.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Winners and Losers

I am reluctant to admit that I have been following the recent Charlie Sheen meltdown with the same rubber-necking-on-the-highway curiosity that has enthralled the rest of America.  And I was content not to admit it until I saw the news reports about the actress from "The Wire", Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, and her recent arrest in Baltimore.

The level of attention paid to these stories is not really my issue here, although it kind of is the issue since Charlie Sheen's rapid spiral is seen as "winning" while poor Felicia's situation is downright tragic.  She is probably headed back to jail, while Sheen, who has never been a choir boy, will probably get a reality show.  But hey, that's show biz for you.

I was not a fan of "The Wire" primarily because I do not have HBO.  And as great as I have heard that this show was, I do not have the time to sit through a DVD marathon of episodes, so in all likelihood, I will not know whether Pearson ever had any acting talent.  I do remember her from those Vh1 Black to the Future and I Love the 2000s shows, but that was not exactly the same as acting.  And I thought she was a boy...

I also do not watch "Two and Half Men", so I am missing out on Sheen's apparent weekly brilliance.  Actually, I have seen the show, but it never struck me as "must see", so I've probably only seen it in syndication.  Of course, I have seen his work before...Major League and Hot Shots were riveting!  But honestly, I have had a problem with him even being on TV since his problems with drugs, alcohol and spousal abuse have been so well documented.  Seems like someone who has that many problems should be getting therapy, not millions of dollars in encouragement.

The difference between the outcomes for these two troubled actors is all about how we exploit celebrity.  On the one hand, a lot of people have made millions on Charlie Sheen, and as long as he kept his private life in the tabloids but off the set, no one had any reason to say anything, let alone fire him.  So in a twisted sense, he might actually be right about how the distribution company and the network took full advantage and owe him millions for breach of contract. 

Then on the other hand there is Pearson, a troubled young woman whose real life was as compelling as the character she portrayed.  It might not be fair to suggest that the writers and producers who made money on her have abandoned her, because that is not the case.  But they employed her precisely because she could bring realism to their story; however, Baltimore is no longer the subject of gritty inner-city melodramas (now it is New Orleans), and apparently she turned back to the streets.

Of course, Sheen is a bona fide star who comes from a Hollywood family and who stars in the highest-rated sitcom on network TV.  Almost no one who gets to his level in Hollywood goes to jail, just look at Lindsey Lohan.  Pearson was already a convicted felon when she was cast in the critically acclaimed, but low-rated drama on premium cable.  Why should anyone feel sorry for her? 

Well, if she had been arrested in California and not Maryland, there is a strong likelihood that she would have gotten probation.  Had she been more attractive, she could have gone on Dr. Phil and after a mild tongue-lashing, he would have sent her to rehab with Dr. Drew and she could have appeared on the next season of Sober House or Celebrity Rehab.  Had she been more charismatic and less androgynous, she could have parlayed that into an appearance on Celebrity Apprentice or other stupid reality show that could have given her a few more months of infamy until our attention got pulled in another direction.  But she is not some good-looking rich guy from Malibu...she is poor black kid from Baltimore.  She had already lost before the game even began.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Lost and Found

I have been railing over at the BBW blog about the loss of my makeup is a very trivial thing, but right now the fact that I cannot find it is truly blowing me (to borrow a phrase from my brothers).  I also lost a glove the other day in New York City.  I don't think I've lost a glove since childhood. 

Last Saturday, I could not find a pair of earrings, but they were found in the pocket of a pair of jeans.  The difference in misplacing my earrings and losing stuff is that I implicitly know that I will find whatever I might have misplaced.  Stuff that gets lost generally never reappears.

This might just be a series of coincidences, and I am definitely making a mountain out of a mole hill.  But this is just the phase I'm in...I need things to work out just for the sake of my sanity.  I can accept that things will not always go my way.  I can accept that isht happens, and you just have to deal.  I can make lemonade out of the lemons.  But I am tired and I just want to find my makeup bag...

And my glove.  Well, in all honesty, I can live without the glove (I inquired about a replacement pair today and for $60, I think I can wait until Christmas :)