Post-Traumatic Media Disorder

Today, I was invited to a group on Facebook that had someone’s name in the title in such a way that it made my heart drop. Before I realized what it was (nothing bad, something lovely, actually) my heart dropped and I stopped breathing for a second. Please, no. No, don’t let this be another memorial page for someone I know and care about who was suddenly dead. That’s what I immediately thought. Dead. Someone’s dead. Someone else is dead, oh no, no, please not again.

Not again.

This summer I lost people. I lost far too many people. One minute they were there, and the next they were gone. I cried too many tears, screamed into too many pillows, cursed and threw things and finally went numb. But when that FB notification popped up, everything came flooding back. Not. Again.

That jolt of terror is the same one that I get when the news breaks into regular programming or if I see a plane flying too low. It’s the same jolt I feel when a door slams or a car backfires. It’s classic PTSD, of course, but in the age of 24 hour media, when “RIP” suddenly pops up on your newsfeed without warning, or “This is a CBS Special Report” interrupts Judge Judy, even if it’s something as dumb as the stock market closing low, I feel like I’m going to throw up. This is the age we live in, and this is how we get our news. In 140 characters on Twitter. In a status update. In a special 24 hour news channel “this just in.” It’s instantaneous. Gone are the gentle phone call chains where the person on the other line tells you to sit down before they tell you what happened.

I was on the phone last night with a dear friend who lost a loved one this summer. When it happened, I told him that his stoic exterior would crack sometimes, and it would come out of nowhere. He told me that a song made him crack that day. And that was so normal, I told him. There was nothing wrong with that. And it wouldn’t be the last time that happened. And that it was okay.

I cracked too, when that FB message came up. I gathered myself very quickly, and again, it wasn’t a bad thing, not in the slightest, but after this summer, I’ve kept my loved ones closer than ever. I can’t tell you how many times a day I ask Holden if he’s okay. Because I need to know. How are you? How are you feeling? Do you have any pain? How are you mentally? Do you need any support? Are you okay?

Are you still alive?

That’s the big one. If I don’t see someone for a while that I’m used to seeing on social media, I hunt them down. I send search parties. I tell people they can always call me, always count on me, they can text me at 3 AM, just promise me you’ll stay alive. I’ll do anything if you just stay alive.

I was talking about this in group therapy a while ago and the moderator said “You must think you’re awfully all-powerful if you think you can keep everyone okay and alive all by yourself, huh? Who appointed you God?”

“I’m an atheist” I mumbled, my face growing hot with embarrassment. But I heard what she meant. I can’t keep people alive any more than anyone can keep me alive. That’s up to us. But damned if I’m going to sit by when someone seems to be in trouble and just let them go.

But that’s the kicker about death, eh? It happens, BLAM. And there’s nothing we can do about it once it happens. But in this age of 24/7 social media, we CAN do something while our loved ones are still here. We CAN reach out when we are able.

HOWEVER. We NEED to take care of ourselves first. You can’t run a car on two dead batteries, my friends. You know how you’re told to put your mask on first and then help the person next to you on the airplane if the cabin loses pressure? Apply that to your emotions too. You’ll just pass out from lack of oxygen if you don’t.

Hold on to each other.
Hold on to yourself.
I love you all.
And I ain’t goin’ anywhere.

Uh. Asses. I love your collective asses.

Uh. Asses. I love your collective asses.

Before You Bash Millennials, Consider The Source

I was recently alerted to an article that made me pause. The title, “Generation Crybaby: Why Millennials Are A Fucking Joke” certainly grabbed my attention, so I explored this little ditty to see what the author had to say. I expected to find a frustrated Gen X’er desperate for the days when “those youngin’s” were politically active, believed that they could really change the world, and wore ragged flannels and Doc Martens. People like me. Fine. I was looking for something I would write without taking the time to write it myself. What I found was 500 words about how these “pussies” are the worst and should fuck off into the sea. I appreciate the author’s frustration, but said author didn’t go into nearly enough depth for my liking. After forming two overly long Facebook comments, I paused and said “Uh, Miss B. Don’t you have a forum in which you could explore this issue? Something called a blog? Remember that?” So here we are.

Listen. I GET IT. Millennials can be downright infuriating. But don’t you think WE were infuriating as well? When I dashed out the door my senior year of high school to jump in my long-haired boyfriend’s crappy car as my mother shrieked “YOU ARE NOT GOING OUT OF THIS HOUSE DRESSED LIKE A HOMELESS PERSON” do you not think I was giving her the finger? Kind of like the same way a millennial, glued to her iPhone running out the door to her boyfriend’s car that he “traded” good grades for is doing right this second? All generations are assholes. Yes, yours too. Yes. Yours too.

I was an asshole, and so were you. And that’s okay! We who were raised by Baby Boomers cannot comprehend the generation raised by Yuppies. My peers with kids now? I think they’re RAD. Their kids are going to be PERFECT because they were raised by Generation X. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous and a grandiose generalization? That’s because it is. Because we are always going to think our generation is the best. Wait, strike that. We’re always going to think WE are the best. It’s only natural.

So if you see a Millennial with a therapy dog for anxiety and helicopter parents who wrote to their child’s college of choice to say that their special little snowflake just HAD to be accepted even though their grades were crap? And you’re blowing your stack and screaming into the abyss that this generation is a giant pile of shit and the world is coming to an end? Take a second and think of what our parents thought when we all went to art school and campaigned for change and took jobs in this weird little thing called the internet that was going nowhere. Think about their parents who remembered World War II and watched their kids become flower children. Think about how every damn generation looks down on the generation that comes after them. We did it first, we did it harder, and we did it better. Generalizations again. And again, it’s only natural.

Our movies, music, culture, and lifestyle shape us. And we’re always going to think those things that shaped us personally are the best. Do I want to scream at those dang kids sometimes? You bet your sweet ass I do. But I WAS one of those dang kids once. And you were too. All of us were. And maybe, just maybe, we need to remember that before we start calling an entire generation a bunch of pussies. Just a thought.

This Is Not A Star Wars Post Except The Parts That Are

First and foremost, thanks to everyone for reading the last post. Sponsored posts are SO not my thing, and it was really weird to write. Even my mom said “it wasn’t you. It wasn’t funny.” And I think that’s why I probably won’t be doing those any more. There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with doing sponsored posts if that’s your thing. Not at all. And hey, who doesn’t like free stuff? But there were things that were not…me in that piece. So I think I’ll stick to my own yammering about random stuff and leave the sponsored posts to those who do them a lot better than I do.

This is not to say I LIED. I didn’t lie. I omitted. Because I didn’t want to seem ungrateful. ANYWAY. Yeah, sponsored things…not my bag. ONWARD.

I have no idea when or if people will read this because as we know, it is STAR WARS WEEKEND and everyone is talking about STAR WARS and NO SPOILERS and all that. I don’t have a single problem with this. I still remember what “Return of the Jedi” SOAP smelled like. So yes, I am a big Star Wars fan. Not as much as other nerdoms, like the Marvel Universe or the Whedonverse or Harry Potter, but I have absolutely no quarrel with Star Wars and it’s really cool to see so many of my friends geeking out to such a huge extent. So that’s nice to see. I probably won’t see it till it’s on Amazon Prime, but that’s fine. The rabid fans can have my seat. Save that seat for me when Deadpool comes out. Even stevens.

Although, and I am not lying in the slightest, if you were on Rte. 287 North this morning around 9 AM and saw a white Pontiac roaring down the road with a lunatic with purple hair rocking out to the Imperial March? That was totally me.

So I’m not at the movies tonight. I got back from group therapy at 2:00 and immediately changed into my jimjams and have no inkling of doing anything but veg out this weekend. Oh, and wrap the Smalls’ Christmas prezzies. And goof off with Holden, of course.

Me: Hey Holden. Hey. Baby. HAAAAAAAAAAAY.
Holden: ?
Me: Say something funny for the nice blog people.
Holden: silence
Holden: I said a hip hop,
Hippie to the hippie,
The hip, hip a hop, and you don’t stop, a rock it
To the bang bang boogie, say, up jump the boogie,
To the rhythm of the boogie, the beat.
Me: Thank yooooooooooooou. You can go back to Minecraft now.
Holden: Consider it done.

And with that, I bid you adieu. May the Schwartz be with you.


A Day of Pampering At The José Eber Salon

To say that getting my hair cut and colored at the José Eber Salon at 284 Millburn Ave, Millburn, NJ was a luxurious experience would be a gross understatement. On a mission from A Madison Mom to write about the experience, I gave them free reign over my tresses and ended up having a great time.

The salon is a grand place, gorgeous in its scope and spaciousness, and I was greeted warmly by one of their extremely helpful and glamorous employees.

This place is GORGEOUS

This place is GORGEOUS

Mr. Eber himself was there for the day observing and giving consultations, and I found him down to business and someone who truly delights in his work. “What is your lifestyle” was the first thing he said to me, and when I told him I was a bit of a funky free spirit, he told me immediately, “this haircut is too old for you. We will make you fresh and young, with very vibrant color. Does this interest you?” I heartily agreed, because when José Eber tells you what your hair should be doing, you do it.

So off to get shampooed I went, and then to Yoav Tauber, the master stylist, for a preliminary cut. Off came months and months of grown out and two toned hair (I have a bit of an obsession with hair dye) and I learned that Yoav had studied under Mr. Eber himself in Beverly Hills before opening the salon here in New Jersey.

My hair cut to a piecey pixie, I was whisked off to Creative Colorist Nicole Dapuzzo, a delightful and bubbly woman who described how she was going to remove the black dye from the bottom half of my hair before coloring it a rich purple. Having never had bleach in my hair, I was a bit nervous, but Nicole was wonderful.

A deep conditioning treatment and the coloring followed. Afterwards, I was brought back to Yoav, who finished my haircut. It was a big change, and I have to say that I loved every second of the process. The staff was lovely, and the salon was spotlessly clean and beautiful. All around me were women and men getting fabulous haircuts and color, and everyone looked very happy indeed.

I would highly recommend the José Eber Salon to anyone who wants to be pampered for a day. I give all my thanks to Mr. Eber and his team for a fantastic experience. Getting an experience like this doesn’t happen to me pretty much ever, so this was super exciting and fun!

Before and After!

Before and After!








*haircut and color were provided in exchange for this post

I Can’t Think Of Content, Much Less A Title

Common Sense: Will you just SIT DOWN AND WRITE SOMETHING?
Me: Yup.
CS: You’re looking at tattoo ideas.
Me: Yup.
Me: Yup.
CS: Are you even listening to me?
Me: Yup.
Me: Yup.

So that’s basically what’s been going on since the 12th of whenever. I get all these spectacular ideas, usually when my sleep meds are just kicking in, and I swear to myself that I’ll remember them, and I never do, and the blog gathers even yet still more dust and GAH, WHATEVER.

Seriously, this sullen angst is not a good look on me. I’m far too old to be bellyaching about writing. As a dancer dances, a writer writes. In this particular case, the writer writes about writing, which, hello, meta and overplayed, but what do you want from me, I’m getting back in the swing of things.

Okay, quick recap:

The world has gone to hell. My health went to hell. I got better. Psych meds are good. Donald Trump is a worm-ridden yam with teeth. The holidays are upon us. I can’t write about the goddamn snow because New Jersey has not had a day colder than 60 degrees yet. Tiny and Small continue to be awesome, and they will hopefully freak RIGHT OUT at their Christmas presents. Holden and I are nauseatingly happy in our weird, long distance, nerdy love. Say hi to the nice blog people, Holden.

Me: That all you got?
Holden: ?
Me: Say something funny.
Holden: Eats chutes and leaves.
Me: Okay, you’re not helping. Go back to your game.

I Star Wars’d myself, lookit:


I learned the hard way that I am not mentally and emotionally able to work yet. I tried, I failed, I’ll try again someday. I lost a lot of people this year. Too many. One would have been too many, of course, but fuck, man. I lost a LOT of people. I gained some people too. Good, fine, upstanding people who help me keep my head on straight.

GodDAMMIT, I hate for this to be a post about nothing, but my brain has been fuzzy lately since I started a new mood stabilizer but the side effects seem to be subsiding.

OKAY. I’m signing off. Consider this a placeholder. And get on my ass if I don’t get back here soon, okay? I need to get my groove back.

Fiction Challenge: What Christine Told Me

I was challenged to write a short fiction based on the prompt “What Christine Told Me” and this is what I came up with. I hope you like it, fiction is not my forte.


“So you’ve been out and about again, eh?”
“Ah yeah. That’s kinda what I do.”
“Things been pretty tough at home.”
“So I’ve heard.”
“World’s going to feckin’ hell.”
“That’s why I wander.”
“Cause the quote, right? Not all are lost and all that?”
“Not all.”
“That’s lovely, really. I wish I could wander.”
“What’s keeping you from it?”
“Christine, I’m not brave like you.”
“That’s shite. We’re all braver than we think.”
“You still wear those awful concert t-shirts?”
“Well you gave them to me, didn’t you? It’s not like I’m gonna throw them out.”
“You still think of us? I mean…”
“Of course.”
“Really? Even me?”
“They talk about flings and experimentations, and I don’t think they realize that those are important too. They’re all part of the circle, luv.”
“If you break out into “The Lion King” I will punch you in the tit.”
“You haven’t changed.”
“You have. Look at you. You have little laugh lines.”
“I don’t sit at home moisturizing, you know.”
“We’re getting old.”
“It’s grand. I’ve met 101 year old women who are perfect in every way.”
“Tell me more, Christine.”
“In time. We have all night.”
“So we do. So we do.”