Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Always Something

I haven't posted for a while. My heads been in a muddle since receiving news last week that a dear friend had passed after an amazingingly courageous nine year battle with cancer.

She left behind two beautiful sons who are mostly grown but she had lots of parenting left to do as well as daughtering, sistering and friending...and lots more stuff, too. 

In other words, 53 is just too young to say goodbye.

So, that's been on my mind and has kept my heart heavy.

In the midst of this, there have been a few life obligations that have also weighed on my tiny, little mind. I have worked to cross them off my list...and, with their completion, breathed a sigh of relief as they were a source of stress.

Lo and behold, this morning -- as is the nature of life -- another stress-inducing obligation popped up on my personal horizon and I found myself saying, "Man, it's always something, isn't it?"

Well, yes, it is. It is always something.

Thank God.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fantasia vs. Chaka or Happy Memorial Day to All!

It looked even worse on TV and yes, that is a slit
on the side of the leg.

I am still recovering from Fantasia Barrino's outfit on American Idol last Wednesday.

Between her and Chaka Khan (who I have loved since she sang with Rufus many years ago), I have had to lie down frequently with a cool rag across my forehead and a basket of assorted carbohydrates by my side.
Chaka then...

I am all for people expressing themselves in their outfit choices. After all, taste is personal...individual...and risky.

And I would NEVER comment on anyone's weight unless you're LeeAnn Rimes, that skinny husband stealing witch.

Fantasia and Chaka took a risk by packing their very "solid" selves into unflattering outfits and are taking the heat as a result. Such is the life of a diva.

The worst part is that they both sounded terrible.
....and now.

Fantsia simply looked insane. I think Chaka lost some weight recently and was determined that we all knew it...but her skin tight sequined Spanx, worn on the outside, was not a good look.

Luckily I have the Memorial Day weekend to recover.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone and remember, we are celebrating a lot more than a watermelon cut into the shape of a bowl and filled with more watermelon.
A Memorial Day treat

And, we are honoring a lot more than the mega-sales at Macy's...

Thank a veteran if you have chance to. If not, say a prayer for the souls of all those who gave their lives.

And, don't forget to have fun!

Here's Chaka -- circa 1974 -- when she sounded  g-r-e-a-t...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

High Anxiety

Today I ran across some erroneous information and feel the need to set the record straight.

Some idiot did some research (it consisted of playing Twister with his assistants and your tax dollar probably paid for it) and has come to the misguided conclusion that people who experience extreme anxiety emit a scent that, while undetectable to humans, is repellent to mosquitoes.


I am the Empress of Anxiety. If tiaras were handed out for worry and self-induced stress -- based on either real or imagined events -- I would be wearing a towering stack of jeweled crowns because, simply stated, worry is what I do best. It's my thing. My forte. My spec-i-ality.

I can take any event and twist it into a pretzel of horror over which I will perspire and twitch for hours.

Ex. Are you a minute late? Then you must be in a ditch, outstretched hand a few inches short of being able to reach your cell phone as you bleed into the mud. Or, are you traveling outside of the tri-state area? A tornado, flood, hurricane will affect your plans. Taking a cruise? I hope you're a strong swimmer.  Enjoying an outdoor event? Beware of drive-by shootings. Adopting a puppy? What if it grows up to be Cujo?

Pretty impressive, I know...and I'm not even warmed up. Yet, despite this so-called "research," mosquitoes love me more than any other human alive today.
Is "Susan Says..." here???

In fact, this summer I should finally act on my plan to get rich by renting out my services at summer parties...

If I attend your backyard soiree, no one else will get bitten. The mosquitoes will ignore all others and just line up in a hovering queue to wait their turn to chomp any exposed part of my irresistible flesh... including eyelids, knuckles and the backs of the knees.

This has gone on since I was a succulent little girl and my mother, ahead of her time in her mistrust of harsh chemical sprays, tried all kinds of natural, homemade potions to save me.
Remember this?

Lemon eucalyptus...useless. Clove oil...nope. Even the popular Skin-So-Soft by Avon -- used successfully by hunters and fisherman in the swamps of  Louisiana where mosquitoes are the size of peacocks -- could not stave off those flying bloodsuckers once they'd caught sight of my chubby arms.

And, being card-carrying Hungarians we, of course, tried garlic. So, not only did I stink to high heaven but I got bitten to hell and back anyway.
Calydryl was our choice.

Vampires steered clear of me, though. And that wasn't a bad thing since, at the time, I had little interest in living forever in a drafty stone castle. Although it seems like a perfectly acceptable lifestyle to me now.

As a kid, I was a connect-the-dots of calamine lotion every summer evening. My mother would shake the bottle vigorously as she dreamed up new combos of herbal aromas while liberally daubing me with the pink liquid, dmonishing me to "sit still" until it dried.

Back then adults used to comment on how sweet I must be to make the mosquitoes love me so much.

For a while this made me feel special despite the red, itching welts that covered my body. But I soon decided that I would rather taste like curdled milk spiked with urine than endure the voracious devotion of every mosquito in New York City.

I can't imagine who this guy based his research on. They must have been amateurs when it comes to real anxiety--just pretending to lie awake at night muttering  about flesh eating bacteria, pit bull attacks and David Wright's fragile emotional health.
"Why, oh why, have I never reached my full potential??
Whether anxiety invites bites or bites cause anxiety, I already have my first one. With Memorial Day less than a week away, it's right on time.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hanging Tough Around the Finger Sandwiches

I attended a bridal shower yesterday and had a lovely time.

Held under a tent, I sat at a lace-draped table and partook in the traditonal manifestations of commitment and love that result in the coming together of friends and family on a beautiful afternoon as well as the forcing of a perfectly nice young woman to wear a paper plate on her head.
The dreaded ribbon hat

But enough about that, people.

Love, shmove, I say--this is about finger sandwiches! And Susan Says loves her some finger sandwiches.

Tuna and cucumber, egg salad and chicken to name but a few...piled in tempting pyramids, there were thousands of them...maybe millions. In fact, I am quite sure there may have been a billion. Yes, a billion finger sandwiches.

If, in my building delirium, I had overturned the tables, tipping over the tiered trays and platters, I could have rolled around in them and still had plenty to enjoy with iced tea and lemonade once the fever passed.

But guess what? Susan Says is trying to lose weight.

Punishment enough under normal circumstances, cutting back on a day when there are a billion finger sandwiches within stampeding distance and the only thing between them and my tummy is a bunch of frail old ladies, is a feat of superhuman and character building self control.

Factor in trays of lady fingers with clotted cream and individual strawberry short cakes served in teeny little teacups and the fact that I did not begin speaking in tongues was pretty amazing.
And I love you, too, petit fours.

Thank the good lord there weren't petit fours* or all would have been lost.

I cannot resist a petit four under any circumstances so when attempting to stick to my goddam diet fully embrace this lifestyle change of eating in a more healthful manner, I try to avoid environments where they may be present...bridal showers are risky.

There could be a snarling, snapping pit bull blocking my path and I would toss him aside with one swipe to get at a tray of petit fours. The Berlin Wall could not have kept me from petit fours. 
Back off, Cujo. You're going to lose.
Finger sandwiches are a close second.

When the hostess announced that it was time to attack the finger sandwiches eat, I kept seated for a few moments to gather my strength.

Watching the trays carefully, I was prepared to strike like a crazed mongoose if I felt the towering and artfully arranged piles of cunning little sandwiches, crustless and cut in triangles, were being significantly diminished by the locusts disguised in heels and colorful summer dresses.

After visualizing terrifying combinations of cellulite, thunder thighs and back fat for several minutes, I rose and slowly approached the table,
Dr. Oz crusading against cellulite.

Breathing exercises helped as I concentrated on keeping my balance in the tent-shaded grass.

I grew closer and closer, nonchalantly taking a plate from the stack. Instead of following my impulse to bend at the waist and eat straight from the platters using no hands, I placed no more than four on my plate and, as Buzzy does when he is given a piece of ham, took my food into a corner and growled while I ate.

And I did not go back for seconds. Victory was mine.

I tried not to look at the food table for the duration of the event.

So, here I am...guilt free and feeling feisty. Today, finger sandwiches. Tomorrow the world.

* I used to think that petit fours meant "small fours" but it really means small ovens.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Donna Summer: A Quiet Passing

I think I've mentioned that I was a musical snotball when I was young.

In the 1970s when many of my peeps were disco-mad and wore the clothes to prove it, I had long hair parted in the middle and actually wore a green army jacket with a peace sign stenciled on the back to school.

I campaigned actively against disco music which, ironically, in my older age not only doesn't sound so bad but brings me right back to a carefree time when my worries were no more serious than which Bay Ridge diner we'd hit after the movie...and would I order cheesecake or breakfast. 

I listened to Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel, The Doors and sang Janis Joplin to my mirror when I was alone.

But breaking through this hippie-wannabee haze was always the strong voice and pulsing songs of Miss Donna Summer.

Today she passed away of lung cancer at the age of 66. She believes it may have been a result of inhaling the toxic air of 2001 New York City after 911....but who knows.

She will get a mention on the entertainment shows tonight and maybe a few more tomorrow. I doubt there will be public tears and huge crowds. Unlike Whitney, her passing -- not from self-abuse and a disregard for her own legacy and welfare -- will not be sensationalized and rehashed.

But Donna was, indeed, sensational....have a listen: 
                                                                 Thanks for the music, Donna.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Congrats, Rachel Berry, All is Forgiven: Glee, Three Years In...

I may be the last person I know who watches "Glee."
Tremendously popular during it's first season three years ago, the show has lost viewers steadily as it scrambles to maintain a fresh approach to human nature via the assorted contingents of a middle-American high school.
I suspect it has kept its core audience--kids, plus a few TV addled middle-agers like me whose kids are grown and therefore do not feel as threatened by the show's encouragement of teen sex, celebratory drinking and extreme use of hair gel.
Glee has also driven at high speed through many barriers with a panoply of gay characters. In fact, based on the actors and their actual, as well as pretend proclivities, the show has become a veritable smorgasbord of open-minded sexuality.
The original kids are nearing thirty about now and, for the most part, look it. Thank goodness most of them are graduating. While I have no idea whether certain characters will be followed once they leave the slushie-spattered halls of McKinley High, I am far less interested in the group which appears to be the heirs-apparent of Finn, Puck, Santana, Kurt and Quinn.
Yes, I know their names. Let those who are without sin (and aren't similarly addicted to Family Guy), cast the first stone.
The good news is that they finally won Nationals yesterday. The bad news is that I cried.
How could I not? A group of middle-aged students and a team of dysfunctional teachers with whom I've been growing old and have been following through identity crises of every type imaginable, finally achieved their goal.
From my recliner I have endured occasional horrifying episodes so bad that I had to peek through my fingers to survive (this year's Christmas show), immigration isues, the homeless becoming strippers, cougars in bathing suits, dread-locked home schoolers, Brtiney Spears, student-teacher sex, self-discovering lesbians, the fake handi-capped, OCD, sexual repression among the teaching staff as well as the student body, tough Jews with mohawks, cheerleaders who wear their uniforms every minute of every day, subverted authority, loss of virginity, politics, middle-aged pregnancy, domestic abuse, tiger fathers, adoption and then some...
How could I not get misty when the McKinley High Show Choir and their intense but sincere choir master won the coveted trophy? Fast forward to a scene in which it is made very clear, in slo-mo no less, that Mr. Schue is rewarded by finally getting laid and what's a viewer to do?
Not to mention my relief that Rachel finally made peace with classmates she'd been at odds with thanks to her single-minded, ego-driven ambition.
While the final episodes of the third season neatly salved over rivalries and resentments far more smoothly than it would ever realistically occur (Don't you feel just as crappy around miserable people from high school 40 year later?), it was nice to see conflict resolution by the lockers as well as the subsequent musical numbers.
And, yes, the show shamelessly whores around with the week's most popular I-tunes, enhances everyone's singing voices and advocates sexual exploration among the very young it also stood up for abused women (although Coach Beast could have wiped the floor with Cooter), illustrated (however superficially) the dangers of texting while driving, gave a prominent role to a lovely actress with Downs Syndrome (whose unspoken thoughts and fantasies were voiced by Helen Mirren) and gave a face to a youthful demographic that craves acceptance.
It also brought my attention to this song which I cannot seem to stop singing...
Good work, New Directions! See you next season!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Sand Painting

Working hard...
I'm sitting here with the boys right now. In fact, one of them is within patting distance but despite all the hugs I've forced them to endure, I sit still and quiet right now.

I am taking shallow breaths, not moving except for the gentle tapping on my laptop because it's almost as if they are part of a sand painting that might be easily or carelessly destroyed--the colorful grains scattering if I exhale upon the design.

They came for an all-too brief visit and, as the moments tick down and backpacks, shoes and books start making their way into the car, I begin to quietly panic.

Wait, we didn't play that trivia game we used to love. Hold on, we didn't watch the movie we'd discussed. Slow down, I didn't kiss or hug you enough. Why must you go so soon?
The many colors of sand

I gaze about me. The house is a disaster.

There's a cereal box on it's side. Books cover all available surfaces, computers lie open, bright screens staring. There are shoes in the hall, t-shirts draped over the backs of chairs.

There's a cat here, a pair of socks there. Water bottles are forgotten, half full and Tom, not feeling well has left his Advil open next to an abandoned magazine.

I cooked a lot. The residue of stuffed peppers clings to dishes in the sink, glasses still hold an inch of juice, milk or my Diet Coke. There are crumbs of corn bread under the chair and the cat food has been tipped. Charlie's cat, Tito, who came along for the ride, is furtively crunching.

When they leave, I will clean it all up.

I will scrape pots and soak pans, scour the sink and wipe down the counters. I will be making their beds as they head south on the Turnpike and bury my face in their pillows before I punch them back into shape and lay them neatly on the quilts. I will run the vacuum and start a laundry. Then I will sit down and sulk. In fact, I can feel it coming a hot balloon right behind my eyes.
Don't sneeze.

I am, of course, over the moon that they visited...especially for Mother's Day. We were a Hallmark card for a few minutes today as I opened gifts and received affection. It was all I dreamed off but why, if they like me enough to give me cards and presents do they leave soon after?

What would be the problem with moving back into their rooms where sports trophies from junior high and a second grade Halloween diorama collect dust on the shelves. They would get free meals and snacks, no rent would be expected and the outside world could be kept at bay. I could insulate and shape their worlds like I did when they were suggestive sit-coms, haircuts after school, only whole grains and fresh veggies.

The finished.....

I get it. That's over. Now it's girls and cars. Sex and rock 'n' roll. Nah, it's not that either....although there are girls, they drive cars and like music. They are grown-up.

Unfortunately, I'm not.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers and Trees

At first, you might not think that mothers and trees are similar beings but, upon closer inspection, the similarities cannot be ignored.

Trees and mothers come in many different sizes, shapes and colors. So do sofas for that matter…. but sofas are not brave steadfast and proud…. trees, and mothers, are.  

Trees put down roots so that their branches will grow strong and be nourished just like mothers do for their children. And, trees are appreciated, respected, enjoyed and also, occasionally, peed on, just like mothers.  

They are also sometimes taken for granted as we lean against them for support not unlike how mothers are occasionally thought of, or not thought of, by their children. They are part of the landscape, dependably blending into the scene but when it’s raining we rush beneath their boughs for comfort and they become exactly what we need.  

And, trees are beautiful…..just like mothers.
Happy Mother's Day

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Mother's Day Tribute: A Letter to My Future Daughters-in-Law


Dear Future Daughters-in-Law,

I look forward to encircling you in my arms as a mother as well as welcoming you to our family. I know we are going to be great friends.

But, first, I want you to know to whom you owe a great gift of gratitude. For it was she, at whose slender feet I learned what to do when we, someday, share a last name.

Her name was Louise but I called her Weezie. And, simply stated, she was the best mother-in-law in the world.
Louise, as a young

When I first met her, 30 years ago, in a sunny and beautiful apartment in the Park Slope section of my hometown of Brooklyn, she was wearing faded jeans with holes in the knees and a blue and white striped oxford shirt.

She welcomed me with a big smile and a delicious meal and any anxiety I had about meeting Seth’s mother fell away. I was at home in her company from the day we met and  remained there until she left us--- growing to love her more as the years passed for so many different reasons.

From the minute I walked through her door, I became one of the family. If she may have felt a little put-out by the arrival of another woman in her son’s life, I never saw even the slightest trace of it.

The three of us spent an idyllic summer together in Brooklyn that year and I will never forget the laughter, the relaxed dinners, the political discussions or the sight of Louise standing on one leg, leaning against the doorframe with her head thrown back in laughter.

She was genuinely my friend and I cannot recall a single uncomfortable moment in her presence. How many can say that about an in-law?

Her grandchildren called her “Granny” which is funny because one might be inclined to picture a granny as a bespectacled old lady wearing gray hair in a bun and knitting as she sits in a rocking chair. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Louise was glamorous, beautiful, full of life and energy and the envy of all my boy’s playmates. She would sit on the grass during baseball games and charm all my friends with her ready laugh and smile.

She loved her children and grandchildren passionately and protectively, worried about them, exulted in their accomplishments and was very, very proud of them. And, we—in turn—were very proud of her.

She was a fiercely protective mother, as well. I learned early on never to even hint that Seth might possibly be less than perfect. The look in her eye would change and the temperature in the room would drop a degree or two.

I also used to bow out, after the first few rounds, of the endless political discussions that she and Seth would enjoy for hours. Louise was incredibly well-informed both historically and politically, astute and deductive and I, simply, could not keep up with them.

She was a gracious hostess and a fantastic cook. She played the piano and loved it when we all stood around and sang and could make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear when it came to setting and decorating my Thanksgiving table every year. Never being one for crystal or fine china, she would take what I had and put Martha Stewart to shame with the results.

A typical pose.
Louise taught me what it means to be an excellent mother-in-law. My cooking was always delicious, even when it wasn’t. My home always looked beautiful, even when it didn’t and she never, in all the years I knew her, said a disapproving or unpleasant word to me.

I fully intend to pay this gift forward to you, my future daughters-in-laws.

Unfortunately, you will not have the privilege of meeting the originator of this legacy but you will reap the benefits of Louise’s kindness, support and total acceptance.

She and my own mother were great friends. I hope they still get to hang out together although they are no longer seen at my kitchen table, chatting late into the night.

So, future daughters-in-law, while I cannot expect to totally live up to her and will never, ever possess her style, grace or dress size, I will try to live up to her legacy as a good mother-in-law and all that comes with it...and that includes free baby-sitting. You're welcome.

Love and happy Mother's Day to all,
Your future Mother-in-Law, Susan Says...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The John Travolta Mess or Say it Ain't So, Vinnie Barbarino!

As Tony Manero
Have you heard the newest lurid lawsuit stories making the rounds of all things tabloid?

It's about John Travolta.

I just finished reading about it and even though I'm all alone, I'm feeling a little uncomfortable. Susan Says is no prude but there was enough talk about dangly bits to make a cat blush.

Not that you asked, but I feel this is a multi-dimensional issue.

John Travolta's sexual orientation has been murmured about for a long time now. Chances are that where there's smoke there's fire which brings me to my first point: It's a shame that, under any circumstances, one has to keep their sexuality (in essence, their true selves) under wraps.

In Hollywood, however, secrets have been kept since silent film stars were expected to be sexual paragons...straight sexual paragons, that is.

Rock Hudson, the iconic heartthrob of the 50's and 60's, famous for his brawny looks and way with the ladies on screen, was gay and everyone knew it except, at the time, the public.

I understand why gay actors who earn their reputation as romantic leads choose to keep silent and, no doubt, that will continue -- and that is their choice, just as their sexual orientation is -- but if the scandal-seeking media smells a story, God help you.
The cast of "Welcome Back,

John Travolta, first known as the adorably dopey Vinnie Barbarino on "Welcome Back Kotter," got most famous in the 1970s for being Tony Manero, the horny dancing phenom of disco-fied Brooklyn. While Tony Manero was certainly not gay, the man who portrayed him is an actor. The actor may, indeed, be gay. John Travolta is not Tony Manero.

However, if he is gay yet chooses to keep his sexuality under wraps, he should not be asking for peenie rubs from a masseur, either.

I told you this was complicated.

Now if things weren't controversial enough, let's toss religion (and, in this case, I use that term very lightly) into the pot. John Travolta is a Scientologist. Scientology believes that homosexuality can be cured (their words, not mine). 

Most of what I know about Scientology is what I've learned from the true source of all things: South Park.

But since, we're friends, I will admit to being pretty sure that it's an insane cult that calls itself a religion...but hey, I can name a few traditional religions that have trouble maintaining their integrity thanks to some pretty awful stuff, who am I to say anything (but I still think they're nuts).
So sexy as Danny Zuko
in "Grease"

The point is -- again, my opinion --  that you can't cure (eliminate, alter, modify, unlearn, alleviate and a thousand other words) homosexuality. It's biology. Boo-yah. Is it ever-so slightly meaningful that Travolta and his gay-rumored pal, Tom Cruise are Scientologists? Who knows?

And, finally, why is any of this law suit material? 

The words "sexual battery" have been used. That terminology refers to an act of violence yet I have not read of anything other than some exceptionally smarmy verbal aggression and highly icky but otherwise non-violent behavior.

The two masseurs bringing the lawsuit should have walked out of the room...or punched him. Leave the lawyers out of it.

Let's say this is all true. Would they be satisfied with an apology and a nice bundt cake? I doubt it...they want two million bucks apiece.

Supposedly there is proof that Travolta wasn't even in the state when all this supposedly occurred. Plus, he's planning on suing his accusers for besmirching his character because, whatever his sexuality, his reported behavior was definitely creepy. Unfortunately once you're accused of something, you are forever identified with it so a vigorous counter-suit might look good.

Maybe, since his reputation is no secret, his accusers smelled money. If it's total horse hockey (and I bet it isn't) and that can be proven, they deserve a good beating.

In a perfect world, we could all openly and publicly be exactly what and who we are. Since it's still kind of a tricky concept in certain circles, let's all just be honest and well-behaved.
Well, hello.

I will end with the words of my favorite gay man, Mr. Ricky Martin, before he came out abut his own homosexuality, "Fantasize about me any way you want."

Well played, Ricky, well played.

             Gay, straight, scientologist? Just enjoy this....

Monday, May 7, 2012

Alone and Unsupervised...Spring Edition

Some of you already know that I really should never be left alone for more than one or two days at a time.

When left to my own devices, things can fall apart pretty quickly.

Seth, due home this afternoon, was recently away for nearly five days and, as I sit amidst the laundry and dishes I was planning on doing the minute he left, I am left to wonder why I am incapable of sticking to a productive plan.

For me, and most people, the longer I have to complete a task, the less likely it is to get completed. Is it not possible, however, that the to-do list I substituted for mundane tasks such as dishes, laundry and the organization of closets was just as compelling?

I actually consider it to have been a very constructive five days. Here's how I spent it...

1. Conducting a socio-feline experiment, complete with note-taking and placebo cat treats, by calling Buzzy the Cat, "Bugsy" to see if he noticed. He did not.

2. Unsuccessfully trying to coax "Bugsy" off my newspaper so I could both read it and do the crossword. Suffice to say that I have no idea what's happening in the world and my word skills are significantly diminished.

3. Watching the Food Channel and becoming irrationally angry at my cookware. Why do they all get such gorgeous pots when I have such old crap? Might it be that they are network stars and I am not? Note to self: ponder this..

4. Deciding that if I come across one more article about tricked-out yuppies whining about how stressful it was to travel to exotic locales with their toddler, I am going to take hostages. Those damn toddlers can list Machu Picchu on their travel dossiers. I have been to Elizabeth, New Jersey. Once.

5. Concluding that if I ever see Montel Williams weeping during another television interview, I plan on shooting out the TV screen just like Elvis used to do. Note to self: apply for gun permit because you and I both know it will happen again.
And we know how this worked out.
6. Thinking about Chinese food

7. Drunk dialing Tom and Charlie.

8. Thinking about Mexican food.

9. Watching endless cat videos on Youtube.

10. Trying to film cat videos for Youtube.

11. And last but not least, deciding what I would name my rock band if I had one. Here are the finalists:
  • Fat Chance
  • Touch Me and I End You
  •  Varicosity
  • Get Out of MY Lane NOW
  • The Electric Hormones
  • Crampy Pancakes (my favorite)
I also spent an undetermined amount of time engaging in my hands-down, all-time favorite activity when alone--sitting and staring.
Alone but not lonely

Occasionally punctuated by sobbing, during these sessions it may appear as if I am idle but I am actively creating problems, analyzing past mistakes, rehashing troubling events, second-guessing myself and wallowing in regrets. This is neither productive nor beneficial in any way which is exactly why it's so satisfying.

Last time I was left to my own devices, there was lots of eating, too. I am trying very hard to not over indulge and regretfully acknowledge that self-control is not nearly as entertaining as desperate excess. For this, I sincerely apologize.

If it's any consolation, I did crochet a small vest for Bugsy and attempt to put it on him. I wanted him to wear it for the video but it didn't work out.
A good listen for those all by themselves.