The thud heard 'round the world

It wasn't my plan to make any grave commentary on current events on this forum, but I found this particular experience so very unsettling that I felt I had to set it free from my mind:

While I was busy compressing time and space this weekend, a small bit of grist for the YouTube mill was coalescing on TV screens all over the world. Rachel Smith, the USA delegate at the 2007 Miss Universe competition slipped while traversing the stage and fell on her backside. I didn't watch the broadcast myself, I've grown rather weary of beauty pageants lately, and this year's lack of a Trinidad & Tobago delegate all but guaranteed that I would be paying no attention at all to the night's proceedings.

But even I, amid the jumble of boxes and disassembled furniture that have overrun my life, could not escape the news of the (in my opinion) unfortunate event. The general lack of decorum and hospitality exhibited by the Mexican audience was also a source of controversy.

Now, I am certainly not above the odd bout of schadenfreude (who doesn't appreciate the occasional proof that even the beautiful people aren't perfect), but it seemed that I was one of a tiny minority who didn't find the evening's developments all that funny. Good for a momentary embarrassed giggle perhaps, but not gut-busting hilarious by any means. And I most definitely thought the booing was in poor taste. It's a freakin' BEAUTY PAGEANT for crying out loud! Hardly the place for you to express your deeply entrenched loathing for a country that thousands of your citizens are fighting to live in on a daily basis.

But the thing I find most disturbing about this entire episode, is the realization that a lot of people found this entire event uproariously funny, until they learned that Miss USA is black! Lo and behold, the same people who were cackling with glee in between clicks of the 'replay' button are now speaking out in sympathy and regret at 'sistah' Rachel Smith's plight. And they don't seem the least bit conscious of the dramatic flip-flop that they've performed.

Am I so far out of the loop that I've failed to realise that racism and hypocrisy are no longer things to be ashamed of? Or maybe these people are trying to follow in Ms. Smith's footsteps - if you fall down, get up immediately, shake it off, and act like nothing happened. Well, it couldn't win Rachel a crown..


Mergers and Acquisitions

It's finally here! The long Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. All over the city, barbecue grills are flaring, flip-flops are flapping and you can almost hear the snap-snap-snap of a million tubes of sunblock flipping open. New York City is gearing up for fun in the sun. Lush, green spaces are beckoning, with grasses plump, cool and healthy from copious (and some would say excessive) doses of spring rain. The lunchtime crowd jostles daily for precious fountain-side seats. The very air, it seems, is trembling with anticipation.

But for me, at least for the next few days, anticipation is all I will have. You see, my boyfriend of many years, my sweetie, my honey bunny, my one and only, is moving in with me this weekend. And while the vast majority of Gothamites will be heading off to their summer retreats, sprawling their winter-pale bodies over every available inch of grass, consuming tremendous amounts of grilled meats, or raiding Old Navy for cargo shorts and tank tops, my sweetheart and I will be re-arranging furniture, packing and unpacking boxes, and sneezing our way through a truckload of dusty knick-knacks.

This move has been a long time in the making. I rejected the original plan of each of us vacating our apartments for a bigger space. The expense, and the trauma, would have been just too much for me at the time. But he kept pushing, and I kept rejecting, and finally he hatched a dastardly plan. If he moved in with me, he surmised, I would be so maddened by the cramped quarters and lack of privacy that I would eventually cave in and start searching for a bigger place for us to live. In the meantime, we would save money on rent and utilities, which will come in very handy for the inevitable rental deposit for our next 'crib'. In light of the fact that I've pondered a hundred different ways to fit all his worldly goods into my Hobbit-worthy domicile, and come up miserably short every time, I think the evil genius might be on to something.

But before we start thinking about the next big move, we've got to get this one out of the way. This weekend, I must become a master manipulator of space and time. I firmly resolve to have a place set aside for every scrap of clothing, every stick of furniture and every electronic monstrosity that he chooses to bring to the party. And I will do it all in the space of three short days, not because I want to prove I'm some kind of superwoman, but because I really don't want to risk tripping over a guitar and cracking my skull open when I get up to pee in the middle of the night.

Who knows, maybe we'll do such a good job that Memorial Day will actually turn out to be a real holiday for us. Or maybe we'll end up having to share the bed with a microwave and a set of stereo speakers. Whatever happens, we are determined to make it work. Summer is calling, and we're not about to let a few wayward appliances stand in our way.

Save me a hamburger!


Much Ado..

Just to give everyone a quick update:

The biopsy results are negative. Just some surface irritation that should go away eventually. I have to schedule another pap test in three months to make sure all is well.


Now I can get on with the business of having a fun (and very hectic) summer!

Thanks so much to everyone for your good wishes and support. It truly meant a lot to me.


The Phantom Debt

A couple of months ago, with the help and support of someone very dear to me, I became, for the first time in about 10 years, entirely debt-free.

Of course, there should be high-fives and abundant celebratory toasts at this momentous occasion. But instead of being at peace, and revelling in my new found financial freedom, I seem to have become downright terrified of spending money.

I can only compare this to the phenomenon that many amputees claim to have experienced, a sensation that the missing limb is actually still there! I still feel the weight of the appendage that I carried for over a decade. In fact, I've found myself checking my credit-card balance several times a week, each time believing that my burden would suddenly re-appear, and each time finding the balance at zero, and each time being strangely disappointed that there was no balance due. And I've taken to wringing my hands in anxiety over the 'extra' money in my bank account at the end of the month. Was there a bill I forgot to pay? A check that hasn't been cashed? Surely there must be something I've missed!

In the weeks leading up to my liberation, I made a very modest list of items that I planned to buy (with cash) when I finally reached my goal. But to this day, not a single item on the list has been acquired. I feel as if the slightest indulgence will send me spiraling into a sticky pit of finance charges and ever growing balances. I know this won't actually happen, but I can't seem to behave in a rational manner when it comes to spending money.

And why does this insanity not manifest itself at the supermarket, or the drugstore? I won't scramble to find the cheapest brand of cereal or toothpaste if the one I prefer is more expensive. But I'll be walking down the street in a pair of sandals that are about to fall apart, stop at the window of one of the many neighborhood shoe stores, stare longingly at the wonderfully colourful offerings on display, then just continue walking along - or rather, shuffling along - as if nothing had happened.

I know I'm going to crack sooner or later. Summer is just around the corner. The dresses are to-die-for, the sunglasses are Jackie-O-fabulous and don't even get me started on the handbags! But I think the splinter of ten years of debt is too deeply imbedded in my psyche to be shaken loose by a flashy pair of shoes. I'm very confident that I will be able to spend within reason, if and when I finally get started. Because even though I'm still feeling my phantom appendage, the joy of being debt-free is beginning to grow on me.


There's a little chunk of me floating around in a test tube somewhere..

The colposcopy was not as painful as I anticipated, but it was a lot messier! Results in about two weeks.


From the ashes

I am just emerging from a blistering, hectic week at work, followed by a Saturday replete with "I really should do [insert boring weekend chore here], but I'd rather take a nap" moments.

I will post again soon. I promise!