Wednesday, March 25, 2009


my life, my struggles, & my issues have just been shoved into stark perspective for me today. today i got an email from my mom saying that my uncle joe is really sick, the cancer is winning, & he probably doesn't have much longer. i don't even know how to react to it, in a way i'm just kind of numb. obviously i'm sad & i've cried. i've cried today at work while thinking about it. i'm not as close to him as i'd like to be. i'm closer with my uncle john who is also my god father.

quick interjection: joe & john are not biologically related to me. their family took my father in after my grandfather died. the carusos basically raised my dad, called him one of their own, & treated him as one of their own; it was an unofficial adoption basically. i was raised with joe & john as my uncles. their parents as my grandma & grandpa caruso. & it never occurred to me that we had no blood relation, that they had just "adopted" my father & raised him from the time he was 13 & on.

even though john lives in north dakota i'm closer to him than joe. maybe because my dad is closer to john. maybe because john is my god father. maybe because somewhere in my memories i still hold onto the three years i spent in north dakota where he & sharon & jason (my cousin) were my closest family besides my parents. but while i'm closer to john, my uncle joe is someone that i really enjoy having in my life.

he's the kind of a guy that there aren't many around anymore. not saying it's good or bad, just is. he still lives over in the "old neighborhood" where they all grew up in the west 7th area of st. paul. he restores old cars & rides a motorcycle. he has a deep, gruff, gravely voice. his laugh reminds me of santa. if santa was a smoker. besides john he's my dad's oldest friend. not many people hang onto friends that long. my dad'll be 61 in june. he's known the carusos for so much of his life he probably doesn't remember a time without them. i know that i don't have any friends like that. i have some that are close, but not quite.

my uncle joe's time is being counted down now. if each life has a certain number of grains of sand his is almost empty. my dad tried calling his house earlier today & there wasn't any answer. joe may be on his way to the hospital again. my uncle john is stuck in north dakota because of the flooding & now snow that has pretty much shut the state down & isolated them. i'm stuck in limbo just waiting to hear something from someone. i really hope my dad gets to see joe one more time. i know that no one wants their last memory of someone to be when they're sick. but i also think it's important to get another chance to tell someone how much they matter in your life.

for me, one of the last times i saw joe was this past summer at a restaurant down on west 7th. i think it was this past summer. i was there with my parents, my uncle john & aunt sharon, & my brother. it was an italian restaurant & this was after my surgery so i didn't eat much, i only had a small salad. & i couldn't stay long. i don't remember now why i had to rush off. in hindsight it must not have been that important, the reason i couldn't stay. but it seemed like it at the time. but we had a good time, all of us talking & laughing. & it's always so bizarre for me to see this side of my dad, when he gets together with joe & john & they talk about the old times & the old neighborhood & all these stories bubble up about my dad, his childhood, his antics, all these things that i never even knew about. things i never even suspected.

the time i remember before that is at my grandma caruso's funeral. uncle joe was wearing a suit, which is much different than what he usually wears---jeans & a leather jacket is what i always remember. & i read a poem at the service that i wrote for my grandma caruso. & i met his daughter for the first time that i could remember. & her kids. & i had to leave the funeral early to go to a friend's wedding. & on that day i found out that my best friend tina's grandma died. may 13 2007 was one hell of a day, really.

here's some pictures of my uncle joe. i pulled them from his caring bridge website (which is linked above in the first paragraph). i'll update as i find out more. in the mean time, i'm sending lots of love & energy & healing into the universe for my uncle joe, my uncle john, & everyone that loves joe.

Monday, March 23, 2009

pscyh update?

yeah yeah yeah, i've been avoiding it, but i know i need to update what's going on with the psych eval that i had friday. the dr was really nice. can't recall his name for the life of me, i think his first name was peter, so yeah, we'll go with peter. i'll be seeing him again in a few weeks. when i got there he asked me why i was there & i was point blank honest with him & said that my therapist & regular doctor think i'm depressed & should consider meds & so i made the appointment to appease them. i'm not sure if people are usually that blunt with him, but he definitely seemed taken aback by that. i mean, i guess on some level i was there because i figured it'd be best for me, but that was the main reason i was there, so why lie about it?

i've been seeing anne & amy for so long now that it was weird having to start back at square 0 & tell someone all about me & my problems. & an hour is definitely not enough. did i cry? yeah, i did. but, i had some pretty heavy BS go down the night before with my family, so it's kind of amazing that i even showed up to the appointment & then work afterwards. so he asked me some questions & i did a lot of talking. A LOT.

in the end even though i told him that no i don't feel i'm depressed he said that he thinks i meet the criteria for being clinically depressed. yeah, whatever that means. so i had four options: the first is do nothing & come back if i decide to try a medication, the second would be to try a liquid med in a pediatric dose & increase dosage gradually over several weeks, the third would be to try a half pill dose of medication & then after a week or two bump up to a full dose, & finally the fourth would be to just start out on a medication at full dose. i chose the last one. i don't want to take meds, but i'm willing to do it temporarily if i have to. & if i'm going to do it i may as well just do it & not fuck around with anything like a half dose or a liquid med. so i'm now taking prozac, the smallest dose they can give me without it being a liquid or splitting a pill.

needless to say there are lots of people not happy about this. me for one. my parents are really not happy. some of my friends are upset on my behalf too. i know, if i really don't want to take the pills it is completely within the scope of my control. i don't HAVE to take them. bit i'm going to try. i took the first one saturday morning. i take one pill, once a day, in the morning. now considering the fact that often times i have trouble taking my vitamins this may or may not go well. we will have to see on this. i am trying to be better about taking my vitamins too. i know that i'm only hurting myself by not taking them (there will be another blog about this AND my unhappiness in relation to my clinic & my unnecessary trip to urgent care last friday evening).

in 3 weeks i go back to see peter to check in on the medication thing. my main goal between now & then is to just take the prozac every day. since i'm very pill challenged lately i think that's a pretty decent goal. what i will say, & i say this LOUDLY & publicly: IF THIS FUCKS UP MY CREATIVE PROCESS & IMPEDES MY WRITING I WILL IMMEDIATELY STOP TAKING THE DAMN PILLS. i have absolutely no sense of humor on this one, no wiggle room, & no leeway. i'm meeting with deborah on wednesday & we're going to put together a schedule, a plan, for me to finish my damn mfa already so i can get on with things. try to get a teaching job, try to just move on with my life. i've been swimming in lame little circles without any forward progress & i need to move on. if these pills help that, then great. but if they make my life, my writing, more difficult then i say screw them hard, i'll go it alone.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

with six you get eggroll

welcome to the family, marley!

yes, for anyone keeping track i am now the mom to SIX fuzzbutts! little marley was looking for a new home. her mom had gotten a promotion at work. which is great, especially in the current economy, but it wasn't so great for little miss marley because promotion=more responsibility=more work=less ferret time.

i went back & forth for a while if i should adopt marley or not. yes, i have five, which is a lot of ferrets. but then, on the other side, cassidy seems to really miss lily because nyddah is sundance's BFF, & podo & doodle will kind of pair up, which leaves cass all on his own. so i was thinking it may be nice to get a little girl to see if she'd bond with cass, or at least somehow even things out. & then Z told me i couldn't buy love & that it'd be wrong to try to replace lily in cass's heart & i'd be evil. so then i was thinking no.

well, two things happened while i was in cali. the first, i decided to tell E that if cass & lily seem super upset to be separated that i would let him take cass most of the time so the two of them could be together. i know, that's super huge to give up one of my ferrets. but i really want my kids to be happy & if cass is really happiest with lily i want that for him. i also just put the marley issue out into the universe & said if she's meant to be part of my family then she will be, & if not i hope that she finds a really great home.

i had emailed marley's former mom before i went to cali & spoke with her & told her i was going out of town & i'd talk with her again when i got home. well, after returning to MN little marley was still looking for a place to live. i then decided to get a second opinion. i asked E what he thought because he knows how much work ferrets are & he'd be the one that i would wind up asking to watch her (&my other fuzzies) if they need a sitter. he didn't even hesitate & told me right away to adopt her. that pretty much blew my mind because i figured he would tell me "beckah, you have five ferrets, that's more than enough, you don't need another one, you crazy ferret lady." guess there was just something in the universe saying little miss marley was meant to be part of my family.

she's a smart little girl with TONS of energy. she fit in right away with the gang. i had E's ferrets for a few days because he was really sick. so when i walked in with marley tonight (er, saturday night) she right away wanted to play & run with the other kids. i held her for a little bit & then picked up the other ferrets one by one to sniff her, but then she wanted to just run & dook & play. there weren't any tempertantrums or bickering amongst the kids. they right away just accepted her as another one of them. she also seems to be in ferret 7th heaven with all of the fuzzbutt toys that i have & the fact that she went from being an only ferret to haivng five siblings. as i type this she & doodle are cuddled up together in the plush fish in the cage.

i've kind of considered changing her name from marley. it's a cute name, but it's not exactly what i would have chosen. she does answer to it though, which makes me feel a bit guilty about changing her name. & then there's the fact that her other mom really loved her & i feel sorta bad changing her name. i didn't feel bad about changing sundance & cassidy's name from what they were previously cause they didn't answer & i couldn't pronounce them anyway. & nyddah's, well, that was another situation. i did leave podo & doodle's names. so guess it's a toss up. i was thinking if i did change it that maybe i'd change it to harley, it rhymes with marley so she should still answer to it & it's super cute. we'll see what happens with that.

here are some pics of marley (harley?) with her new siblings & cousins (E's kids are her cousins. harley (i think i'm going to see if she answers to that) is the one in the middle with the two dark patches on her head with podo above her. doodle & nyddah are missing from this picture, but otherwise the rest of the gang is there. the fuzzbutts all really love each other, which makes me happy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

looking forward

back from cali & i have a bit of a plan. still not too sure on some of the finer details. but here's what i've got so far:

~march 20th meet with the shrink at the emily program for possible medication
~march 25th meet with deborah at the gls house to talk about my thesis/mfa
~mid april-beginning of may meet with larry also about my thesis
~some time in the next 12 months head out to cali again

um, yeah. so, good plan. to quote Z "great talk." i did make some lists of some things that i want to do in order to "reclaim my life." or, at least that's what i'm calling it. lately i've let some things get out of my control & i need to get everything back in order. while in cali i did get some stuff figured in terms of my writing. & just in terms of my life in general. & i took a long hard look at what i'm doing right now, what i want to be doing/where i want to be in 5-10 years, & now i'm trying to map out a path of how to get there.

the first step/stop on my journey is getting my mfa. like i said in my airport message i feel like things will start to fall into place once that is done. i'm going to put the novel aside, work on just my poetry & get the damn degree already so i can start looking forward to other things.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

me + my luggage = what?

the new things with airlines is no luggage no extra fee, but you want to check a bag & you're going to pay for it. when i was in cali i did a BUNCH of shopping & got some nifty new stuff (mainly clothes, but also some dvds & new lights for my bedroom). so i had to buy myself a duffel bag to get all my stuff home because i didn't feel like boxing it up & shipping it, or making dev ship it for me. so yesterday morning at the airport i had to pay an extra $40 to get myself & my luggage both back home. i know, highway robbery. it was $15 for the first bag & $25 for the second one, but, i did get tons of stuff out there & it was pretty cheap. i know shipping it probably would've been cheaper, but, like i said i didn't want to deal with that.

so the airport employee had my bags up on the scale & just for kicks i asked how much it weighed. 57.8 lbs for two checked bags. hrm. so let's see. i am about 160 + two checked bags of 57.8= 217.8. & the last time i flew back in 2007 i was 263. so myself & my luggage combined weigh almost 50lbs less than the last time i flew, but they're charging me an extra $40 to check luggage because of increased gas prices. anyone else feel snookered here? cause i know i do. i know it's just a way for the airlines to have higher revenue coming in while appearing to have lowered ticket prices. because seriously, who doesn't fly with checked bags? especially when the size allowance on carry-ons keeps getting smaller & smaller.

personally i'm thinking if gas prices is what is driving the airlines to adjust the prices of flights then there should be some changes to the pricing. how about each ticket giving you a weight allowance. you + luggage is less than or equal to X no additional fee. you + luggage is greater than X & there is a sliding scale fee. i was just told at work "just because you're skinny don't hate on fat people." & i don't hate on fat people. i was one not that long ago & still see myself as such even though dev has nicknamed me his SLB (skinny little bitch) friend. isn't it odd that i still see myself as a fat person? talk about body dysmorphia.

not sure when i plan on flying again, but i may need to just get a bigger suitcase. so instead of two smaller ones & having to pay two luggage fees then i'll just have to pay one fee for one bag. that'll work, right? i know i'll be headed back to the bay within the next year, but just don't know the exact when. in the mean time maybe i'll have to learn how to pack more stuff into a smaller space. lots of possibilities here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

california dreamin'

once again i'm sitting in a california airport waiting for a plane to take me back to mn. i was only here for 6 days/5 nights but i got a lot done in that time. i physically did a lot. i saw the winchester mystery mansion, went to alcatraz, ran all over pier 39, haggled for silk robes in san fran, bought so many new clothes using my 30% discount at gap that i had to get an extra duffel at target for the trip back, got drunk off one B-52 in a souvenir shot glass at the hard rock, saw a body tales performance, took some bubble baths, drank lots of long islands at dave&busters, cruised in a convertible, sang karaoke, did some writing, reconnected with my poetry, fell in love with avocado, laughed over burning man memories of elephant dick & the orange tent, hung with one of my best friends in the world eating 100 calorie bags of popcorn watching random dvds, & did a lot of thinking/soul searching.

where does this leave me? i just said: sitting in the san jose airport on free wireless waiting for a plane to take me back to minnesota. i can't even say back home because i just don't know. it's been almost two years this time between my trips out to california. the last time i was here it was for my 30th birthday to get my fairie tattoo. before that i'd been out here a few times, visiting my friends & hanging out. there is something about california that i really love. talking to my friends that live here i see the ugly side too, they have some really fucked up laws (ie ferrets are illegal) & the tax is even more ridiculous than mn & the gas prices are way more. but still, there is something about this place that i really love. & i feel at home here. i just don't know if i could move here. a big part of me loves it to that point, but i know myself & i'd need to have a very strong support system out here. friends are great & can be a great help, but sometimes you can only lean on a friend so much.

i still don't know what the fuck i'm doing. i'm not going pretend that i took a long weekend trip & i know everything that i'm going to do with my life, because i just don't. but i feel more focused than i did before. before i came out here i was a mess. i felt like a mess, i was chaos in a pair of low rise blue jeans, docs, & nightmare before christmas hoodie. my head was a swirl of confusion & i was lurching from one thing to another doing just what i could in order to get by & onto the next day.

still no answers, no great over arching epiphany, but i do feel more centered. dev was wonderful this past weekend. i could not ask for a better friend if i tried to place a custom order for one. every day he asked me what i felt like doing & even though i was kind of lame saturday & sunday night & just wanted to stay in with microwave popcorn watching movies he was fine with it & we had a great time. sometimes i feel like going out & dancing & drinking & partying. which we did friday night & it was awesome, but sometimes i need to be more still. & he was great about letting me just be still & being there for me while i was. i just really hope that one day i will be able to repay him for everything he did. i don't feel like a hug & a thank you & a hallmark card can do enough to convey my deep appreciation for his friendship.

so back to mn to try to put all of this back together in some meaningful order. i'll be meeting with deborah soon about my mfa. it's time to finish that up & move on with my life. to do that i may need to cut my loses & focus just on my poetry manuscript. it wouldn't mean abandoning my novel because i will finish it, but i may need to just set my novel aside for right now & focus on getting my poetry manuscript together, complete, as strong as it can be so that i can obtain my degree & have that one chapter of my life completed. but i'll figure out more of that in the upcoming weeks. for now. i'm going to shut down my laptop. repack my carry on luggage. & get ready for the flight home. maybe pop an ultram for pain. maybe take a nap in flight. either way i'm leaving california better than when i got here. & leaving behind pretty much one of the best friends a girl could have.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

movie time

this link is a really cute twist on the movie the watchmen. if you haven't seen the movie yet i suggest you do so. very soon. it was fabulous! i've seen the movie twice & plan on seeing it again in the theater, i think. & if i don't see it in the theater again i will definitely buy it on dvd as soon as it comes out. i haven't read the book, although i am currently in the middle of reading (see the action shot below). so far the book is really great & if it continues being so, which i'm guessing it will, i recommend both the book & the movie!

Monday, March 02, 2009

my life is messy

so E called me late friday evening. one of his ferrets, moxie (my favorite one & one of the ones that i asked him to give me in the break up) was sick. she'd been at the vet earlier that day, but she was sluggish, stumbling around, & had a small seizure. yeah, i know, scary. he called me to ask if i had any ferretvite, which is a high calorie supplement to give ferrets when they are sick. it can be given to healthy ferrets too, a bit at a time, as just a multivitamin, but it's also good if your ferret is sick to help them get better. basically he suspected that she had insulinoma. basically that is the ferret version of diabetes. well, with fuzzies since they're such tiny little guys they can go from being a little sick to seizing & dead VERY quickly. so poor moxie was having trouble walking & had a small, or a couple small, seizures. well, since she's my lil girl i had to rush right over to see her, ferretvite & all my other treats in tow.

i did have plans for friday night, but the universe was somehow working towards me taking care of my moxie because my plans fell through about five minutes before E called to tell me she was sick. what would i have done if i would have still had plan/been out with my friends & E called me to say mox was sick? i'm really not sure. she's my little girl & i adore her to pieces, but i also know that he can't expect me to drop everything in my life at a moment notice because he needs something. & there was a part of me that wanted to tell him i was busy, even though i wasn't, just so he doesn't think he can expect me to come running whenever he calls. but, if something would've happened to mox i would have been devastated that i didn't get to spend just a little more time with my baby.

this whole being civil & remaining friends for the kids is hard. WAY hard. not like i hate E or anything, because i don't. but seeing him & knowing that there is a wall between us cuts me. i know it's trite & over used & totally cliche, but it feels just like a knife being twisted in my chest. & i'm starting to think that maybe i shouldn't see him at all for a while. i want to talk to him & i miss him, but seeing him kills me right now. & i don't know how much longer i can keep torturing myself.