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Monthly Archives: September 2012

So I spent the last four hours on Pinterest instead of doing anything productive like finishing the overdue library book, walking the dogs or (gasp) working.  Yesterday I spent nearly eight hours on Pinterest.  I felt incredibly guilty at the time, but don’t now.

We all need vacations or our mental health suffers.  If you’re like me, you cannot afford to take an actual goes-away-from-the-house vacation.  For me, a vacation is curling up with a good book, watching the Olympics on TV or goofing around on Pinterest.  I consider it a mental vacation as opposed to a physical vacation.

I discovered Pinterest a few months ago and rarely have I ever become addicted to anything so quickly.  Even my fight against Xanax addiction pales in comparison.  I got off Xanax with a sympathetic parent, a tough doctor who refuses to perscribe me benzoddiazepines anymore —  and loads of Ben & Jerry’s.

Now I need a Pinterest fix at least an hour a day.  I’ve gotten to the point where I get some work or household chores done FIRST and then go on Pinterest as a reward.  Only problem is that then I wind up staying on Pinterst until 2 in the morning.

So how do I cope with Pinterest addiction?  Do I stop going to Pinterest?

Are you insane?

My theory is that  if I overdose on Pinterest, I’ll eventually get bored with it, leave it alone, and get on with my freelance writing so I can earn money for my medications and my ice cream.

In the last month or so, I’ve created Pinboards devoted to my job in order to justify my hanging around there. Some people like my Pinboards so much that I pin on three public multiple-user pinboards. I have 108 boards now, including boards for Mental Illness & Mental HealthNew Article Ideas and Books I Haven’t Read Yet.  I have thousands of articles on the Internet.  Any with an image is getting pinned so I can get more readers and make more money.

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

So I have no reason to suffer from Pinterest guilt.

None at all.

Excuse me as I go stuff some Chocolate Therapy ice cream in my face.

I lost my heart and shirt to Peter Gabriel Okay — true confession time.  I lost my shirt at the Peter Gabriel concert at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia last night. During Sledgehammer, I found myself tossing off my shirt and dancing around in my bra.  I did leave my pants on but they managed to slip down a few times.  Thankfully, I was wearing knickers.

So, why did a completely sober and reasonably quiet 42-year-old depressive strip like a teenager and gyrate for a 62-year-old mostly bald Brit with a paunch?

Right now I suppose you are expecting a really inspirational and profound answer as to why I danced in my bra at the Peter Gabriel concert.  I’d love to write you one, but I would be lying.

I fell in love with Peter Gabriel in 1986, when I was a teen.  Even then I’d look in the mirror and realize that with my lack of looks, I had absolutely no shot with PG.  I’ve never been a good-looking gal.  I’m the type always described (after a pause) as “cute.”  (Pause cute = you’re one notch above a goat.)

No, I’m not a fan of my personal appearance.  Hey, I know I’m ugly.  I’m at least 30 pounds overweight, my hair is so unruly it should have its own Social Security number and I STILL have teenage zits.  Makes a great counterbalance to my wrinkles.  I don’t even shave my pits ’cause it makes them itch like hell.

But for an hour or so last night, I didn’t care.  Peter gave me a show and so I gave him one  (And yes, he did see me because I was in Row 4 center stage.  Didn’t phase him one bit, darn it. Made bassist Tony Levin and drummer Manu Katche laugh, though!)

People with depression tend to hate how they look.  I still know I’m ugly, but when the opportunity presents itself, there are times when you can forget this.

Thanks to Tony Levin for not posting any photos of me in my shirtless state on his blog page — although there is one of me in a soundcheck audience photo and this photo of PG.  I’m the dark-haired woman with glasses under PG’s butt.  (Hmm — that would be a good epitaph.)

No wonder this kid is smiling

Despite the example of literature’s most famous depressive, Prince Hamlet of Denmark, it turns out he is not an accurate portrayal of the people now living in Denmark.  This is because in the study, Denmark was the happiest country in the world.  This is because, like other countries in the top ten, the citizens not only have access to money, but they also are allowed the freedom to express themselves.  Contrast this to the unhappiest country in  the world, Togo.

Oddly enough (or perhaps not), the countries that allow homosexual relationships to exist are the happiest countries in the world.  It’s no wonder homosexuals are called “gay”.  The top 10 also are comparatively wealthy countries. Also, the happiest countries were democracies.  Togo is supposedly a democracy too, but human rights advocates might debate that.  The top 10 happiest countries in the world are:

  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Canada
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Ireland

I remember a happiest country survey was published in 2008 and Denmark was tops then, too.  The country at the bottom was (unsurprisingly) Zimbabwe.  The big change since 2008 was the United States of America.  In 2008, America was a lowly but respectable 16 out of over 90 countries surveyed.  (Bhutan was excluded because they sponsor the surveys.)  Now, America is number 11.  It must be from winning all of those medals at the Olympics. Or perhaps it was due to the new candy corn flavor Oreos? Let’s ship Oreos to Togo and see what happens.

Either that, or we know which countries lie the most on surveys about how happy they are.

Good news if you are breeding jockeys

From the Where the Hell Do They Get The Money For This Stuff Department:

A new study of over 6500 kids conducted by the prestigious Johns Hopkins University suggests that kids grow shorter than average if their mothers suffer from depression within 12 months of giving birth. The full study will be published in October’s Pediatrics.

Well, this seems to be good news if you are trying to breed jockeys.  The shorter kids do not suffer from dwarfism but are just 40% more likely to be shorter than average. 

It is unknown why depressed mothers and the height of their offspring are seemingly linked.  In order to find that out, more studies need to be done.

As if Moms or Mums don’t have enough to be depressed about, now they have to worry about causing their kids to be nicknamed “munchkin.”

The study’s lead author, Pamela Surkan, did note that the study shows that mothers-to-be and their doctors need to be more alert for signs of postpartum depression.  Since new mothers may not be familiar with the symptoms of depression, they may assume that they cannot be cured and so do not bother seeking help.

Personally, I fully understand that postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious issue for women.  Mothers suffering from PPD have committed suicide for what is a treatable condition.  But I don’t see what’s so bad about being 40% shorter than average.  Seems like a strange motivating factor to increase education about PPD.  Are we that desperate for champion basketball players?  Or have we, as a species, been so accustomed to asking our kids to get items off of the top shelf that news that they may become 40% shorter than average horrifies us?

The Jockey Club has not issued any statement on the study’s findings.

SInce I’ve been very depressed this spring and summer, I’ve been looking harder than ever to find reasons to keep from committing suicide.  (Not that I know a painless way to commit suicide, but that’s beside the point.  Anyway –) Behold — I have found a pretty damn good reason:

There’s books out there to read in them thar hills.

These are the books that everyone (or seemingly everyone) says that I should read and I never get around to them.  You know those bibliographies in the back of non-fiction books?  I read those bibliographies and sometimes I read the books listed in them, too.  But even in fiction books or short stories, some character will refer to a famous novel that I haven’t read yet.  Now I have to read this novel in order to understand the joke.

So earlier this month, I came up with a list of 100 Books I Need To Read Before I Die.  The beautiful thing about this list is that the 100 books never decreases.  Whenever I read one of the books on the list, I delete the title and replace it with another.  In this way, I will always need to read another 100 hundred books before I can die.  Hmm – perhaps I’ve discovered the secret to eternal life.

Here is a very incomplete list of the books I’ve read this spring and summer:

  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover (DH Lawrence)
  • The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner)
  • An Invisible Sign of My Own (Aimee Bender)
  • The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
  • The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow (Joyce Magnin)
  • The Ritual Bath: Book 1 of the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Mystery Series (Faye Kellerman)
  • Sacred and Profane: Book 2 of the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Mystery Series (Faye Kellerman)
  • Milk and Honey: Book 3 of the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Mystery Series (Faye Kellerman)
  • Day of Atonement: Book 4 of the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Mystery Series (Faye Kellerman)
  • False Prophet: Book 5 of the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Mystery Series (Faye Kellerman)
  • Grievous Sin: Book 6 of the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Mystery Series (Faye Kellerman)
  • Sanctuary: Book 7 of the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Mystery Series (Faye Kellerman)
  • Justice: Book 8 of the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Mystery Series (Faye Kellerman)
  • Horse Heaven (Jane Smiley)
  • Picture Perfect (Jodi Picoult)
  • The Bonesetter’s Daughter (Amy Tan)
  • A Murder on the Appian Way (Steven Saylor)
  • A Mist of Prophecies (Steven Saylor)
  • Judgement of Caesar (Steven Saylor — yes, this was another series, but I’m not getting into it)
  • Parson and Jack Russell Terriers: A Complete Pet Owner’s Guide (D. Caroline Colie, PhD)
  • A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)
  • Lady Macbeth: A Novel (Susan Fraser King)
  • The Cleft (Doris Lessing)
  • The Great Match Race: When North Met South in America’s First Sports Spectacle (John Eisenberg)

And this just scratches the surface of what I’ve read this spring/ summer.  Off to read now.

This is an excellent documentary about people suffering from egomania or narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).  People who are narcissists probably won’t seriously try to commit suicide, but anyone living or working with them probably do.  Although this documentary focuses on white male narcissists, it can happen to women and men of other skin colors, too.

There are about nine traits of NPD and you do not need to have all 9 to be diagnosed with it.  You only need 5 and need to show those symptoms Don’t worry — it’s difficult to be diagnosed with NPD since there are many other personality disorders that have some symptoms.  Perhaps the scariest part of the video is discovering that some people in England really do talk like actors in EastEnders.

This documentary lasts just over 47 minutes.  If you don’t have enough time to watch the whole documentary, check out Narcissism 101.  Enjoy.

oy — election time again

NOTE: I wrote this back in 2008, came across it today and realized that in four years nothing had changed.  So here it is:

I don’t know about you, but I SO wish the Presidential election was over and done with.  I’ve gotten to the point where I hate all of the candidates just because I can’t get away from their faces.  I couldn’t entirely duck the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections when I lived in England, either, because whatever politics happens in America greatly affects Great Britain.

I was living out in the woods and other homeless people would come up to my camp and quiz me on American politicians and how to correctly pronounce Ronald Regan’s name (“Ray-gun.  Just remember — ray-gun.”)  There are days when I still wish I was sitting in the woods.  Here are some of the things I’m doing that helps me deal with the Presidential Election.

Limit Access To News

Because of my job as a freelance writer, I can’t cut national news entirely out of my life.  I have to scan the paper, television and the web in order to make my living.  However, this doesn’t have to read anything beyond the headlines.  I also don’t have to pay attention when the candidates come on TV.  I can choose that time to vacuum the living room floor.  There — I’ve accomplished.  Don’t I feel better about myself?  The dog is a little tired of seeing that vacuum, though.

Swearing

Only choose appropriate places to swear out loud, otherwise, do it inside of your head.  Swearing doesn’t work for everyone.  For some people, even thinking a curse word can get their blood pounding.  I’m a little different.  I find just the right amount of swearing at certain times of the day — such as when any of the candidate’s faces appear — to help lower my blood pressure.  It relieves stress in the same way that sometimes you have to tense up in order to relax.  You could also just talk back to the TV with or without swearing.  Keep your ranting down to under five minutes, or your blood pressure will certainly shoot up — as well as the blood pressure of anyone that can hear you.

Hate All Of The Candidates Equally

Either love then equally or hate them equally.  In this way, you can’t be accused of party bias or any other kind of prejudice.  Personally, I hate the candidates because they are all men.  Now, granted, I know this is illogical and I fully accept that I’m being illogical.  But yet I feel so much more relaxed going throughout my day.  Things just seem to fall into place better and I don’t waste time foaming at the mouth.

Ice Cream Helps

Self-explanatory.  If you can’t have ice cream or ice milk, try either water ice, sherbet or yogurt.  A little sugar helps get you through to November.