Saturday, June 30, 2007

Things I'd Love to Write About Right Now

I'm in that place where I'm thinking a lot, up late, but completely and totally unable to coherently write anything. I want to write. If I could only hone this craft, I believe I could be a writer. I'm okay at this. But, I've had this lifelong issue with actually getting things written. In 6th grade, I won this mystery short story contest put on by a local talk radio station. I was the proud winner of two autographed novels by a couple of mystery novel writers, I have no idea who they were or the first clue what the books were about as I never ever even tried to read them, but I got to go on the radio and talk about writing, which was a really cool experience. I remember telling my parents that day that it was going to be the best day of my life. I remember my mom telling me that she honestly hoped I would have better ones that that. And Mom? I so totally have.

Anyway, the story was about how I lost my creativity. I can't quite remember the particulars about this story, and I'm sure we could locate it somewhere in the labyrithine basement of my mom's house, but I know it involved some kind of neurotransmitters acting as private detectives for my poor, forlorn brain stem robbed of it's creativity. I believe the neurotransmitters located the creativity somewhere in my gut, where some evil bacteria was planning to have me poop it out with last night's dinner. The lesson in that story? Take Acidophilus. Also, this writer's block shit I have had again and again and again (does anyone who was my friend through the evil horrible writer's block that was my last semester in college, when I had to write my honor's thesis, still read this blog and care to comment on my propensity to sit at a computer and not have the first clue how to write down all that I've been talking about incessantly for 18 months care to attest to this fact?) is something of which I've been painfully aware from a very young age.

And so, I have all of these fabulous posts in this brain of mine, while some evil bacteria is instigating bowel movements imbued with my precious, precious gifts of gab (that guy in Dr. Strangelove was so right, it is all about the bodily fluids), and I can't seem to get them out on time if at all, and so, in short:

1. I can't stop thinking about The Sopranos finale. It's been three weeks now. I may need to find a support group.

Do any of you watch the Sopranos? Because dude. It ended with the most magnificent mindfuck of any and all mindfucks I've ever been, um, victimized (?) by. I BAWLED when that last scene started. I knew, since forever ago (Entertainment Weekly obsession, thanks), that the final scene had been filmed at Holsten's (which sounds like the world's best place for a Sundae Sunday), and as it started, I said, "It's Ending!" The last scene was all anticipation and anxiety, that first time, and as it cut to black, I thought, wow. David Chase is an asshole. He just refuses to end this story. But how beautiful, how fitting, how ambiguous, how just like the hours and hours of film already devoted to these characters:

I watched the entire episode again, immediately. And I noticed Tony peeling the orange. And that orange cat obsessed with the picture of Christophuh. And the guy in the Member's Only jacket going into the bathroom, as if following the script from The Godfather. Also, Onion Rings which are Best in the State are to The Sopranos are what Veal that is Best in the City is to The Godfather.

The intervening weeks have only made me crazier. I read that the color scheme of the final scene is only grays and blacks and oranges (it is), Member's Only is the title of the episode in which Tony is shot, previously, and the man in the diner is wearing a Member's Only jacket. Episodes prior to the last, Tony talks to his brother in law, and this conversation is alluded to moments before this last scene, that you wouldn't probably hear a gunshot, that everything would fade to black. And Meadow. She can't parallel park. But she tries twice, unsuccessfully. That third time? Bingo. Tony? First time he's shot, unidentified black males, bottle of orange juice in his hands, not killed. Second time... In the gut, doesn't die. Third time? Perhaps?

So, now I'm kind of thinking Tony is whacked in that scene. But how beautiful and horrific and torturous of David Chase to make us figure it out.

Buon Anima Sopranos. Thanks for fucking with my brain, still.

2. Camp. The Kid has been going to a special needs day camp for the last two weeks, his final week is coming up. It's been FANTASTIC. I'm completely humbled, as I've now met kids and parents of kids that have challenges that so far outweigh our own, that I feel like I can never ever complain again for the rest of my life. I wish every child could go to camp with these kids, get some perspective, learn some empathy, and learn that a child with autism, or cerebal palsy, or any other of the myriad disabilities that exist in this world, are children, are funny, get grumpy, have great days, have bad days, eat food, love swimming, like challenges, and jokes, just like any child, I don't know. I think the world would be a better place if more people gained that perspective.

Also, The Kid is in such a great environment at this camp. He benefits from the people employed there. He still has some tough moments, needs guidance and could definitely not function in a 'camp' or daycare that didn't have staff trained to cater to his needs, but the overall prognosis is AWESOMENESS. Overall, awesome. He is having fun, he is working SO HARD to stay calm, to work the social skills and calming skills that he's learned in the last year in his various therapuetic settings, I seriously could not be more proud of him.

3. My best friend forever is moving back to Canada. I have this entirely beautiful post planned, not specifically about Shannon and her marriage, but about marriage in general, how it mystifies me. How marriage must be so preferable to singlehood, that so many people make the choice to not be single. But I have no concept of that whatsoever. I can't imagine, at all, having another person in my life (other than The Kid) so important, that I would change my course for him. I simply don't own that handbook. What's the deal with that?

But also, Shannon, specifically, is moving back to fucking Canada. Land of socialised health care (and British spelling). I know the distance won't hurt our friendship, I'm not worried about that at all. She's got me for life, and she knows that. She's pulled me into her her incidious web of love and friendship, and I will never be able to escape the pull of being a friend to such an interesting, intelligent and, well, hot woman. But I won't be able to babysit for her from Canada, and that makes me sad. As does the prospect of memorial day weekends without her.

4. Wilco's new album is fantastic. It makes me think of The Beatles. And hot days. And hot days when I used to be able to drink 8 beers on a Thursday afternoon. How is it that an album released in 2007 can make me nostalgic for 1997?

The Hold Steady is the best band in America right now. They make me think of Bruce Springsteen, but I never ever really thought about Bruce Springsteen before, because I'm of the generation sandwiched one layer too young to 'get' him. They are making me reconsider Bruce Springsteen.

Amy Winehouse makes me want to drink to excess in a way that Cat Power does not.

5. There's the fabulous academic shitstorm going on about the diagnosis of bipolar in children. It begins, I guess, with the death of Rebecca Riley, about whom I've written on this blog. The Boston Globe has been a hotbed of this coverage, as has the NY Times.

First up, one Dr. Biederman of Mass General in Boston is challenged on the bipolar child paradigm.

Next, some doctor from Walnut Creek, CA calls Dr. Biederman a murderer.

I believe, as I've said before, there will be some refining of what constitutes "bipolar" and what does not, in children, that will hopefully come out of this. And perhaps, doctors will consider options other than medication (or along with) to help treat the behaviors. We've been doing incredibly well lately on a slew of supplements and very slight dietary changes (this could be item #6, but I'm not quite ready for that yet).

Then, the NY Times cannot be outdone. Of all doctors making money from pharmaceutical companies, psychiatrists rank number one. This could be due to the fact that it is difficult to have large fund raisers for research of mental illness, simply for the fact that there is such a cultural stigma on it (Susan G. Komen Foundation being and established charity for a disease--breast cancer-- which is largely accepted and commiserated with in our country, which what I'm thinking about here[in no attempt to devalue the great things they've done or the importance of cancer research!!!]), but also, numbers this large, it's hard to imagine that there would be no influence on the research. Like, who is funding research on schools and mental illness in children (environments that are more helpful vs medicating and then fitting square pegs into round holes). I've been battling this bipolar child shit for three years now, and have not found a single doc who knows the first thing about natural supplements until our current psychiatrist did say that Omega 3 is beneficial. No changes to diet suggested. No vitamins, no testing of the rest of his body (specifically his digestive tract!!!).

Anyway, as a spectator, it's been interesting, and if you are interested, you may also want to follow the sport from Furious Seasons, a psyciatric-establishment-dubious website, and a great resource for the latest and greatest in the field.

6. I wish I could blog about my sisters. They are fascinating.

Maybe if I could ever figure out how to write, I could write the best novel of all time based on those three women.


mr lady said...

The Retropolitan said it best when he said that the new album is the Whiskey and Cigarettes album. Pardon me... the Whisky and Cigarettes album. True dat. All I know is, 13 hours into a road trip, the turn into Utah is greatly enhanced by Sky Blue Sky.

And ugh, the Canada thing. Ugh. If I had that answer, I'd give it. Maybe we should write that post together.

Uneasy Rider said...

Interesting that, of all the people bashing Biederman, I don't think a single one has a kid who has been diagnosed as bipolar, by Biederman or anyone else, and I haven't seen a single person who has first-hand experience with the MGH child psychiatry unit in general, or Biederman in particular, level any criticism at him at all. Seems to me like all the naysayers and mud-slingers either have their heads up their butts on this issue or are just trying to stir up a controversy. Including that quack from Walnut Creek, CA, who is probably covering up a case of the guilts for his own lack of expertise.

Also, in interest of fairness, I wish some people who are doing the Biederman bashing would at least listen to his side of the story, if not listen to families who have had first-hand experience.

Peggy said...

Heh heh ... best novel of all time? Based on me, Beans and Fafs? I should hope not ... the plot would be incredibly boring, unless one of us murders another, or something like that. In which case, well ... I hope I'm the one murdered. I'd like to be remembered fondly, thank you very much.

andy said...

So, no idea about Shannon's timetable for returning for her stuff, but are you joining us at the Blogger Bash this weekend?

The turnout will be STUPENDOUS! (And if I comment on enough local blogs saying that, I am firmly convinced that wishes will become reality, and somewhere a little girl will get her wish for a pony).

Anonymous said...

Just a comment by a friend who was there through the evil horrible writer's block that was your last semester in college:
This was the only time in your life that I've ever wanted to tell you to shut up.

The only time. I swear.

Love you.

mamacumquat said...

M, You are wonderful. I loved this post.

Leslie Dillinger said...

Yes, I've been thinking about how to respond to this post for a while now. You slay me, dude.

Robert said...

What camp did you send him too? My stepson is bipolar and will be visiting us next summer, this sounds like it might be a good experience for him and for us.