Friday, October 24, 2008


Today a woman (and I use that term loosely) approached me while dancing a lemur-like dance, with her arms waving in the air as she seemed to leap and fling herself with her hips, all while singing. Others in the room were heard as if their speakers were on a two or three, and her voice was booming at nine, causing me to recoil. It took effort not to protect my ears, as my hand instinctively wanted to do. My eyes decided to make up for it by blinking so rapidly that it nearly caused me to have a seizure. She roared and laughed out this story about how her parents only ever played 50s music when she was growing up, some 25 years after the 50s I should add, and she still loved it to this day. In fact, things in life all somehow corresponded back to various songs in her memory bank, and often she is overcome with the need to sing the appropriate song for the occasion.

All I could think about was how I would really like to punch her right in the nose.

You do not behave this way in public, and you certainly don’t walk up to a group of complete strangers singing, dancing like a rhythmless white girl, and then telling everyone around about your childhood music experiences, and how they turned you into a raving lunatic.

She was way too goddamn happy. Drugs? Mental illness? In need of a good ass kicking? Some pampered princess who has never experienced life? What? What makes someone this freakishly happy? Whatever it is, we must seek the cause and kill it. People like her shouldn’t be allowed to walk around behaving this way. And if they are truly this happy, they should be forced to keep it to themselves.

Singing when there’s no music? Um, no. This is why people like me hate musicals. Only deranged, drugged or damaged people do this. Dancing, and very badly at that, when there’s no music? Even worse. In public, surrounded by strangers? Oh boy. Stand back. And then telling them half your life story? Euthanasia is the only option.

Happy, loud people who share too much: hate them.

* * *

On Monday, I had a series of appointments with multiple doctors scheduled back to back to back, and the first took far less time than anticipated, so I found myself driving around Bannockburn, Illinois, wasting time until my next appointment.

Bannockburn lies among the other North Shore suburbs like Highland Park and Lake Forest, notorious for their wealthy residents. I’m not a huge fan of the rich. I worked in Highland Park too long and was treated so poorly by much of the clientele that I have a bitter taste in my mouth each time I drive through the area, even 13 years later. However, I had time to kill and I decided to take a gander at how the rich and famous live.

Do you know what? Most of those houses were fugly! Big, square, obnoxious monstrosities! Some had these hideous metal sculptures in their front yard, as if to give passersby the impression that the owner had avant-guard flair, which translated to me as a wealthy version of pink-fucking-flamingos. Tacky. My eyes threatened to sprain from rolling so much. Who the hell takes themselves this seriously? There were some gorgeous homes, don’t get me wrong, because not everyone who has money is totally in love with himself and is trying to persuade others to feel the same. How insecure can you be? Why would you live in a home that has only three windows and is shaped like a psychotic architect tried to incorporate every conceivable shape into different rooms in the same house? I couldn’t help but laugh.

It made me realize that we aren’t so different from the rich. They’re just as moronic and garish as we are, trying hard to be noticed. The only difference is they have more money.

Yet I did notice a few more differences.

For one, they had hardly any for-sale signs. If you drive through my neighborhood, there are easily two or more houses for sale on every block, and these don’t include the ones that sit empty, nor do they include the ones recently foreclosed. Everywhere you look, homes are for sale by me, and they remain for sale for months on end, until the signs rot and fall over on the lawn. So, unless the rich sell their mansions in a way that doesn’t include public signage, it seemed to me that the folks in Bannockburn aren’t struggling with the same economic problems we are.

Another thing I noticed was the street names. Tennyson, Keats, Kipling, Malory, and Shelley. No matter how ugly your house is or what nasty metal atrocities you install on your front lawn, you are automatically filled with self-importance when you live on Bentley Drive. This is in direct contrast to my ‘hood, where we live on streets like Misdemeanor, Pimp and Smack. There is no Masters Lane in my town, no matter how you interpret that. And there is no Martin Luther King Drive in the wealthy areas. There is no irony there. It’s just kind of sad.

Something that gave me a little bit of comfort was the fact that gas is a full dollar per gallon higher in Bannockburn than it is an hour away by my house, which is still 20¢ per gallon more than our neighboring states. Go ahead and speculate on what drives gas prices and if we ever should’ve been paying more than we are now, which is still too much.

* * *

While visiting my favorite doctor, I had a little conversation with him about drugs, because the meds I’m on are causing so much trouble for me. The anti-malarial drug is a chemo med, so in addition to the digestive disruptions, nausea, hair loss, fatigue, bruises with no known cause all over the body, and muscle weakness, the medication somehow interferes with whatever it is that tells the bladder to hold the urine until it’s full, so I have to pee about every 2 hours, around the clock, day and night. Boyfriend Extraordinaire thinks I’m having hearing loss as well, though I’m not convinced of this yet. All this doesn’t even touch on what the steroids do, which I’ve actually become accustomed to suffering from at this point. My doctor shook his head and was grateful that my other doctor discontinued the Plaquenil and gave me a diuretic to help with the fluid retention in my neck, hands and feet. However, he warned me that the diuretic will make me pee even more, which I thought wasn’t possible, but he was right.

He looked so distraught about my side effects that I felt I had to comfort him a bit.

I said, “Meh, all drugs have side effects. What I don’t understand is why are they all negative? Why do medicines make you nauseated? Or make your hair fall out? Or make you have to pee every 90 minutes? Why don’t any of them have a single GOOD side effect… like… whitening your teeth… or… making your boobs perkier?”

He laughed and said, “Oh, wait! There’s Rogaine! That was designed for something else and someone started noticing that people were growing their hair back.”

I replied with surprise. I had no idea Rogaine had other intended purposes.

He continued, “And there’s Viagra!”

I piped up, “Oh yeah! That was a cardiac medication, wasn’t it?”

“Yep, a cardio-pulmonary drug that had this interesting side effect. Hehe, and then they just changed the dose by a few milligrams, and charged A TON more money for the specialized dose, and that’s what Viagra is today. A total marketing scam!”

“Ugh, of course,” I moaned.

“I get male patients who beg me to prescribe it and say it’s for their pulmonary problems so that they don’t have to pay the high price for it, but no, I can’t do that.”

I giggled and said, “Darn, you should, and stick it to them!”

Then I paused, thinking of the great pun I unintentionally made and we both started laughing again.

I have faith that this doctor does not live in one of those geometric homes with sharp protrusions of oddly shaped rooms, tiny windows, and unsightly sculptures on his lawn. He’s way too cool for that.

* * *

Tonight, the premiere of “Celebrity Rehab” aired and I am already emotionally invested in some of the addicts. I desperately want Rodney King to do well, make friends, and have a good life. Steven Adler, I’m afraid to see where things lead him because he looks like he’s too far gone to save. I want the rest to do well, of course, particularly Jeff Conaway because I can’t stand the idea of him being back over and over. However, there are two characters (and I use that term accurately) who are going to make me have violent outbursts just watching them. Jeff’s girlfriend is one of them, and I actually hate her so much that I wish she’d just overdoes already and be out of the picture. The other is Gary Busey, but I think that if he hangs out for a few more days, the rest of the people are going to kill him. THAT will be a good episode to watch! Dr. Drew might even join in, and my crush on him will only intensify. Damn this show for hooking me all over again!


Leelu said...

If I recall correctly, Rogaine was originally designed to do what Viagra does now. :D

Happy Villain said...

I looked it up and Rogaine was developed as a blood pressure medication, so interpret that as you will. :)

Rachel said...

I love observing rich people. :D

I observed something really intersting this past week.
You know your library is doomed when the four people (including yourself) who work there are all looking for new jobs, at the same time. ^.^

oh and the word verification is exaltdju, which I find interesting as well :D