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Posts Tagged ‘addiction’

25 years ago at Thanksgiving dinner at our family friends’ house in a suburb of Detroit, I took my last drink of alcohol. I’m sure I had a glass of wine at least. More than one glass? A beer? That I don’t know. I was never picky. I loved all alcohol. If the occasion called for wine, that’s what I’d be drinking.

I remember driving north, probably on I-75, then I-94, to their house. I have no idea what suburb. Was it still Southfield where they lived or had they moved on? I remember the barren fields, the low winter sun, the flat landscape on the highway. Did we pass the huge tire on the side of the highway, did we pass one of the first super-flashy moving digitized billboards I’d ever seen in my life?

My mother lived in Farmington Hills, Michigan at the time. Paul and I would drive up on the weekends and visit her, stay in her ranch condo, rent about a dozen movies from the arty-farty video store a mile away, lock ourselves in the den and watch movies all weekend. Sometimes we would fight, inevitably we would have sex, sometimes we’d go out to eat, even if just for lunch, sometimes take a walk in the sterile “neighborhood” that was like all of the other hundreds of condo neighborhoods in the suburb I grew up in for a few years when I was still in elementary school. The condos and sprawl came later, after my family moved away to a suburb of Toledo.

I had skirted around AA for about a year, hanging out at Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings with another friend of mine from college. After the meetings, we’d go out and get drunk at one or two of my favorite townie bars in Kent.

When I finally went to my first AA meeting, after being invitied by a woman who I banquet waitressed with at a sprawling restaurant in Hudson, Ohio, I felt happy and at-home right away; not like I felt when I was around the dragged-down energy of the people in the ACoA meetings. The alcoholics were a happy, gregarious lot; the codependents were pissed off and low.

It only took me a month to know why I was so comfortable in the AA meetings. These were my people.

Last drink, Thanksgiving Day, November 1987.

And that’s all she wrote.

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(On Facebook)

YOU GUESSED IT:

SCRABBLE

These people are brutal, brutal I tell you!

I KNEW a particular random player was out for blood. Do you know how long she waited? She waited and waited and waited and she plotted and plotted. She held out for the triple word at the lower left of the board. She waited until she could take the spot for 81 points. 81 POINTS! That’s 9 squared, people (even I know that).

But guess what? She plotted and planned for so dang long that by that time, I’d beat her. I was so many points ahead that even her 81-point turn couldn’t get her ahead of me. Yeah. So let that be a lesson. I may not be the best. I may not even be a great player. But I don’t sit on my esses or my ass.

Ever since they cancelled my addiction-central game, SCRAMBLE (it was a Boggle-style word game that you could play on Facebook), I’ve been quite lost, you know. Until now.

I’m back in the addict’s corner. Bleary-eyed at midnight. My head swimming with letters. Filled with uncontrollable, sleep-depriving excitement and joy because I beat the pants of an unnamed repeat-opponent (you know who you are!) once again!

Okay, so this is not what I look like exactly. I don’t have a red shirt like this and I gave up smoking a long time ago. But if I keep up the Scrabble habit at this fever-pitch, I might have to switch to something healthier, LIKE SMOKING!

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In honor and preparation of the upcoming Wilco show in VT. Inspired by all things Top 10, including our 2010 Christmas card.

If I do nothing else right as a mother, taking my kids to 2 Wilco shows in one week should carry them to unknown places full of heart anyway. And the week after that? GOGOL BORDELLO BABY!!! I’m hoping Eugene’s pants are a bit looser than the last time we saw them.

1. Misunderstood (how long can Jeff hold an unresolved chord?) Here’s a recent live version, the opening number from a concert down in Alabammy this May

2. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

3. Handshake Drugs (best-ever version was pulled from the youtubes, copyright infringement being what it is)

4. Radio Cure*

5. Airline to Heaven

6. Passenger Side

7. Born Alone

8. One Sunday Morning

9. A Shot in the Arm (you might also like to look up the live version in which Tweedy dons the Gram Parsons tribute suit)

10. California Stars

*Radio Cure

Cheer up, honey, I hope you can
There is something wrong with me
My mind is filled with silvery stuff
Honey, kisses, clouds of fluff
Shoulders shrugging off

Cheer up, honey, I hope you can
There is something wrong wit h me
My mind is filled with radio cures
Electronic surgical words

Picking apples for kings and queens of things I have never seen
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable

Cheer up, honey, I hope you can
There is something wrong with me
My mind is filled with silvery stars
Honey, kisses, clouds of love

Picking apples for the kings and queens of things I’ve never seen
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable
Oh, distance the way of making love understandable
Oh, distance the way of making love understandable

Cheer up honey, I hope you can

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I still use a spiral-bound appointment book for keeping track of important dates and appointments

I take most of my writing notes in a notebook with a pen

I do not have an iPhone (Smartphone, Blackberry, etc) yet

as a family, we share one cell phone, an old-fashioned one without texting capabilities

I have never texted and no Twitter for me

I have been on Facebook for 4 years and think every change they’ve made since I joined has been a change for the worse

I have never printed a digital photo

I have never scanned a photo (but Hubby has done this for me)

I still own three 35mm cameras. One of them has film in it from 2 years ago. One, a Pentax, I’ve never used.

I still have fantasies of using my oldest camera, a camera my mother was given before she immigrated to the US in 1958. It is a simple and beautiful camera, a Retina, made in Germany (by Kodak in some roundabout way–follow the link). It doesn’t have a full range of f stops. It came with a hard-cover book for learning to use it. A hard cover, bound book. Can you believe it? The camera is all metal and a bit of leather. No plastic. It is fucking awesome to hold and to behold, to play with, to turn the dials on, to feel the clicks and grooves of metal-on-metal.

I used to use the Retina, even with its limited settings. It was my go-to camera for black-and-white photos. Beautiful. I miss it and I miss real black-and-white photos. I never mastered it as I wished because I switched to a (not so great) 35mm Minolta that did everything for me. I completely stopped using the manual settings even before I had kids. After kids, forget it.

I used to love to hand-crank the film in order to rewind it

Remember flash cubes? I love that.

My family never owned a Polaroid camera as far as I remember, but I confess, I did own a Kodak disc camera in high school.

I love the old black-and-white square photos from my childhood, the date right in the white border. Classy. God I love those.

In college, I took 3 semesters of film in the Art Department with the great instructor and filmmaker, Richard Myers. That was an amazing time. We would all smoke in class. Unfuckingbelievable.

In high school, we had a smoking area outside and we were allowed to smoke on school grounds (I think we needed to be 16 and have a permission slip).

My first cigarette was from a sample pack sitting on the edge of the built-in bookshelves in my father’s office. It was a pack of Kools. I went into the bathroom and watched myself smoke. I remember the cough and the headache, the menthol and the buzz.

Until college, I smoked Marlboro Greens. I eventually became a pack-a-day smoker. I quit smoking, cold turkey, at least 2 times (once for about 4 months, once for 8) until I quit for good many, many years ago. For a number of years before I quit, I had switched to Marlboro Light 100s.

I had smoking dreams for years after I quit. Those were very, very, very satisfying.

This reminds me that I also used to take a bottle of red wine to a lot of high school basketball and football games. I carried a large purse that could fit a whole bottle with ease, would down half a bottle in the bathroom stall and share the other half with my pal in the stall next door. Look, it’s not as glamorous as Larry Craig, but that was me, the budding alcoholic at 15. Where did I get the wine, you ask? Stolen (sometimes given to me by my mother if I was heading to a party, no jive) from my parents’ supply from a constant stock of cases.

I can’t believe I remember this shit.

Yes, thankfully I never had sex in a public bathroom. But did you see a movie called Captives with Tim Roth and Julia Ormond? Because that movie was not good, but it had the sexiest sex-in-a-bathroom scene that I have ever seen. The scenes between Tim Roth and Julia Ormond should convince any heterosexual woman that a man need not be good looking, tall, or have good teeth to be smolderingly sexy. Just try it. Tim Roth makes me melt. He deserves his own twinklysparkles‘ blog post.

I have never seen American Idol or Survivor, nor any of the current reality-dating shows, though I did see about 20 minutes of one once (these have been airing for about 10 years, right?). I have watched a little bit of Dancing With the Stars twice and I liked it.

I do love a good TV show, but I only watch on Netflicks.

Remember I said I would never tire of Led Zeppelin’s version of In My Time of Dying? Well, my kid played it in the car on the way to New Haven last week and guess what? It was once too many and I finally heard all of the silliness of Robert Plant’s singing in the third quarter (or is that the fourth fifth?) of the song (I still love the song and his pleading, but I had an epiphany).

I can tell that the labyrinthine pathways of neural connections in my brain don’t work like they used to. I don’t miss my sharper mind, but I can’t understand math or complicated instructions about mechanical things any more and that I don’t like.

When I took my One-to-One training section with Kevin, the blue-shirted Genius at the Apple store, he told me, “keep learning new things” when the subject of the elderly and technology came up.

Kevin was especially cute and kind, so I will take his advice and will try to learn Italian and fencing, African drumming and African dance. First, I have to get the damn taxes done, finish taking One-to-One classes for my Mac, continue to organize our finances, finish raising my kids (4-and-a-half more years ’til the little one is done with HS), apply for that new, less evil and less expensive credit card, continue my new exercise regimen, build my iron stores, make sure I don’t bleed for the next 6-8 months so help me god….

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Feeling too positive? Happy with life? Think we are here to be fulfilled and joyous? Come see how the other half lives as I, twinklysparkles, aka, Katherine, engage in a dangerous activity known as ranting….

the dead chipmunk in the side garden bed

the dead chipmunk in the back yard

the constant dead rodents all over my gdamn yard and driveway courtesy of my cats

Hubby says we are genetically determined to like or dislike cilantro. To this I say, “I was born with the gene that programs me to hate the Grateful Dead (except for the song Ripple).”

the new “GoBerry” frozen yogurt sensation in Amherst, Mass is made with its share of junky ingredients: WHY ME?

Frankenfood, including all the forms to which I am addicted: GoBerry original flavor, small please, with Oreo cookies layered on the bottom and top; Utz Red Hot potato chips (maybe the best bbq potato chips on the planet, including those ones I love in Germany); sugar; Starbucks coffee ice cream (even though they changed the original formula)

IF your blog is on a black or blue background, I will not be able to read more than 2 lines (prose) or 4 lines (poetry) at a time and I might get an ocular migraine. Do you really want to piss twinkly off with this black background on your blog? Think about it. I’m probably not the only one, just the only one willing to piss and moan about it.

tail+gate= asshole

tail+gate+highbeams=asshole cubed

idling your car for more than 15 seconds. You may be a Republican and/or Floridian and/or TEA partier to boot. But please, don’t remain ignorant and keep idling that fuel-injection engine.

If you cannot bring your own cup to get filled for hot or cold beverages and insist on littering America and funding the oil industry, then fuck it (not fuck you, just fuck the behavior)

Just because you come from a particular ethnic group does not mean you are not part of America. This cuts both ways.

Splintering into ever-smaller cultural factions whether they be based on gender, race, sexual orientation, parenting status, marital status, etc etc etc. Not sure how age fits in here.

Computer time causing an increase in near-sightedness and fat asses (including yours truly’s eyes and ass)

roadkill

speeding, unless I need to get somewhere really fast; actually, just speeding in town. Maybe highway speeding is okay. Hmm. I’m simply unclear about speeding

drivers not slowing down for bicycles

bicyclists in traffic on cellphones without helmets (I kid you not, people)

waste

bad drivers

potholes

broken appliances and/or lamps (current tally in twinkly’s household? appx. 33)

mildew

bleach

disposable plastic cups of all kinds

bad singing mistaken for emotionally-powerful singing

Natalie Merchant, her voice, and moreover, her incredible sincerity

insincerity

exclusion for the sake of exclusion

88 degrees on September 26 in Western Mass

100+ degrees any day in Western Mass

spring peepers on September 27 in Western Mass

While I appreciate (I AM SERIOUS HERE, I REALLY APPRECIATE IT) anyone’s need to split their writing into different blogs, ie, the good woman, the bad girl, the sexy girl, the bad mom v. the good mom, etc, I have decided that I need to keep my whole self here, present. So kiss my tattooed ass if you don’t love me or my tattooed ass (it’s really my hip, but “kiss my tattooed hip” sounds neither powerful nor fun; well, it sounds like it might be fun actually)

Be kind to me, or treat me mean, I’ll make the most of it, I’m an extraordinary machine–Fiona Apple

(I LOVE YOU, remember, just not your habit of idling your car and using disposable grocery bags and drinking cups)

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Buckle up, people, it’s a long one. It’s also a bit of a linkfest. Never been to a linkfest before? Here’s your chance.

YES YES YES YES I can’t stop it I am compelled to keep listening to these songs and isn’t that what Music Monday should be about?

After seeing Wilco at the end of June at the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA, 2 members of my family went a little nuts and listened exclusively to Wilco for several weeks. It got so crazy that there had been talk of renaming our cat Willow, Wilco.

Only recently has the spell been broken, but it’s been cast on yours truly, the twinklinator.

This is the song, this is the one, these are the words, this is the Tweedy. Look, I am not too far a fan of self-indulgent guitar solos and for the most part this goes too far. But it’s fucking great in spite of and because of it. Paulie says this is pure Tom Verlaine-style and yes, I hear it, and it’s fucking beautiful.

Inside out of love, what a laugh, I was looking for you

The whole song encapsulates what addiction is about, or at least a particular aspect of it. Nails it.

and then there’s this

and this

and my latest favorite, the amazing “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”

I am sure I don’t know what those all of the words mean except that they get to me.

Bible-black predawn and

I want to glide through those brown eyes dreaming,/ Take you from the inside, baby hold on tight

That gets to a girl, you know? Take you from the inside, baby hold on tight. Who writes like that? Tweedy, that’s who.

Yours to discover: Steven Colbert interviewing Jeff Tweedy around the time of the presidential run in ’08. Wilco performing on The Colbert Report on the same episode. Also this and this.

You know what I think I like most about Jeff Tweedy? You can’t sex him up. He’s old-school humble. It’s good to know that this still exists in this troubled world. Salt of the earth, a real mensch. Like you or me.

(Can you all believe how brilliant I am? That heart up there? Damn I’m good).

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