2005-05-13 @ 12:55 a.m.
Geeze, Tuesday I posted some of my photos, which I thought were really pretty nice and what a shock. I got such comments as "Your arms off" from Pandionna and "I fart in your general direction." from GoingLoopy and I was like WTF? And then I heard that favorite little voice of mine going, "Pssst, witty. Pssst! WITTY! They're quoting Monty Python.....
Thanks guys (me grinning sheepishly). hee, hee.
Wednesday was probably the busiest day I've had this year. And it was busy in a good way. Not busy enough to overwhelm me, but busy enough to make me feel like I was a viable member of society. And I haven't felt that way in quite a long time.
At noon I co-facilitated a women's group with my co-worker "L". I've worked with her before and she always makes me nervous by arriving like 1 minute, 23 seconds before we're supposed to start. I don't like that. I guess because I'm always early and also I wanted to talk to her about something yesterday. She leads the group and she has always told me that if I ever wanted to bring in some material to read and discuss in group that I was always welcome to. So, well, silly me, I actually took it to mean that she actually MEANT it. Well, she did mean it, but it was within some very thin parameters evidently.
I had already worked with her on a poster for the group and done something slightly different. I had scanned some broken pottery with floral print on it and did Celtic print and the poster was very pretty and she didn't like it. She didn't understand the Broken Pottery thing. I did...women with broken lives equals broken pottery. It was kind of a metaphor, but I guess it was a little too metaphorish, so I had to trash the poster and start from scratch and just do a "normal" poster with basic clip art. Yippee! So much for originality.
So yesterday, when she arrived like 33 seconds before the group was to start I was chasing her down the office aisle with a basket of art supplies. I wanted to try something a little different. I thought it would be cool for each women in the group to trace their outstretched hands on a piece of paper and then either write or draw who they are in or around the hand. It's just a little art exercise that anyone can do. You don't have to be artistic. You just have to be able to hold a pen in your hand and write something. But she was immediately...oh, I don't know. I already have an article about DEPRESSION. Oh...yeah! Yet ANOTHER article about depression. Arghhh!
Why do I feel like that? Because I have a feeling that everyone in the group can already go down the list in the internet article and go “yup, yup, got that one, got that one, yup, yup, yup, feeling hopeless. yes. feeling suicidal. Yes.” How original. Reminding people about something they already know they have. Helping them to wallow. But I didn't say anything, other than I just thought it would be good to do something a little different and more positive.
So we had the group and most of the people wallowed, which kind of bugs me. I guess its still the remnants from my other support group which was Wallow Central. I realize these people suffer from depression, but its really the way things are set up. Things are pretty much geared towards negativity. People are never asked if anything good happened, or about their successes. It’s always about how sucky things are or ow, my elbow hurts. At least in my old support group, we did have to come up with at least one positive thing at the beginning, even if it was only that you found a freakin' penny lying on the ground.
There was one woman, however, who was hellbent on making things better. Even though she's been in homeless shelters and such, she wanted to see some local organizations donate their services in a most unusual way. Beauty makeovers for poor people. Hey, don’t laugh....why the hell not? I guess some local television station was giving out a free Extreme Makeover which included hair, make-up, teeth whitening, some new clothing from a local store and even massage (YAY!!). I had been interested in entering it, because I like being pampered but I don't have the money for such frou frou activities. Unfortunately I had missed the deadline by one day. But this woman said, for instance, her teeth were really stained from years of smoking and no dental care and she never smiles because she's embarrassed. She said she would love to get her teeth cleaned and whitened. She said it would do a lot to improve her self esteem and not feel like "SSI Trash" as she put it.
I really liked the idea. Not just for me, but for all the women, many of whom have actually lived on the streets and never had anything new or had their hair done professionally or pshaw, ever had their teeth whitened or had a massage. Why not let them have something nice for once in their life? I guess I've been watching Ty Pennington on "Extreme Makeover" too much this season. I always break down sobbing uncontrollably every damn time some family gets a new home after living in some run down shack with like 10 brothers and sisters in one bedroom.
I'm such a damn liberal crybaby.
So "L", my CO-facilitator said she would look into calling the local massage school to see if they would consider donating time, but I kind of wonder if she will. We'll see.
We did end up reading the Depression Article in group and it pretty much went exactly like I knew it would. Everyone was nodding their heads saying yes, I have that one and I have that one and I have that one. "L" did ask me if I wanted to do my Hand Drawing thing, but I just shook my head no. I felt like she didn't want to, so I just buckled. Damn. I'm such a wimp.
After group I went to my cubical with one of the girls from the group who was going to have a job interview at our agency that day. I really like "K". She is a prime example of someone who has had a crappy life, but who is at least trying to make things better. So I thought I would give her a little pep talk before her job interview so that she wouldn't just be sitting nervously out in the lobby. All I was doing was asking her about her job experiences, when my CO-facilitator popped in and again asked me why I didn't want to do the Depression Article in group. I felt somewhat empowered having "K" there, so I told her exactly what I felt. That I thought it was a real downer. And why have something like that when everyone there already knows what depression is about. (Her answer: its something everyone has in common). And then I started in on how it was set up to be a whine-fest. And that people weren't really encouraged to report any successes. And that I thought it was our job to bring in material that gave people hope or something entertaining or role model they could emulate. I was really on a roll. I think I was even raising my voice a little. Yay me!! I may have even scared "L" just slightly. "L" looked over at "K" and asked what she thought of the Depression Article and she said it was ok, but that it made her feel "a little sad, because she had so many of the things listed in the article.”
So that was pretty much the end of the discussion.
After that I headed up the 4th floor where they were preparing for a company party. It was a 2 hour kick off to an all day staff thing in June. The theme was based on a Beatles tune and it was all 1970’s crap. Lava lamps, tie-dye shirts, beaded head bands, candles, 70’s tunes were playing. Since I got there about 40 minutes before the actual party I asked if there was anything I could do. I absent-mindedly mentioned I was an artist so they set me to work on two large posters on those big flip pads they have at office meetings. So I made one that said “Make Love, Not War” and the other one was the Beatles theme. I even drew a little Snoopy dog dancing with a Feelin’ Groovy message under it. Everyone seemed to like it and was happy with the speed I did it. Soon people started filing in, but the real treat for me were the LEGAL herbal brownies they had on large trays. Lots of them. Yum.
Naturally I was remembering the first non-legal marajunana brownie I ate in high school. My friend’s stepfather was an artist and I was over at her house visiting and they had some brownies. Now my father’s friend was a real creep. A major creep, in fact. He used to go swimming in the nude when my friend had her girlfriends over. First he’d walk through the house with the towel barely covering his nuts. And then sometimes he’d sit on the barstool in the kitchen and his towel would fall open. And then he’d walk out to the family’s inground pool in the backyard and the whole back of the house was all windows and he’d drop the towel about 1/2 way out to the pool. He was just a total freak.
Anyways, one day I was at the house with Becky and he offered me some brownies. And, of course, I am totally defenseless when in close proximity to chocolate, so I think I had two. And then WHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEE!!!! Were they ever goood!! And everything was great! And I didn’t even mind John sitting there in his usual white terry clothe towel being creepy. And Becky and I were giggling a lot. But, gosh, I sure felt funny. Especially when I slid off the barstool and nearly fell into a heap onto the floor. But I recovered ok. I just felt a little light headed.
So I walked home, because my parents were having a large party. I never liked their parties because of all the alcohol consumption, so I would usually just make an appearance and go to my bedroom. But I stayed out for the whole party. I sat on my piano bench slumped against my mom’s friend. We even have a picture of it. And man, I am totally wasted.
Thanks John. You fucking asshole.
The party at work was pretty good. I ate about 6 brownies and drank about 8 cups of sugary punch, so I was totally wired. I had inadvertently worn what someone referred to as a flowerchild dress. It’s just something I always wear any time its warm out. An ankle length flowered dress. What can I say? I’m a California Hippie Chick.
So at the party I was going around asking everyone whether they were hippies in the 1970’s. Naturally “J” the married man who I’m not supposed to be fraternizing with (Sorry “A”), immediately cornered me and was telling me how cool and handsome he was in high school. And that he wasn’t exactly a hippie but that he had long hair. Other people tried to talk to me, but he totally dominated the conversation the entire time he was at the party and then he grabbed my arm and gave it a rub when he left.
I didn’t do anything. Honest.
I did think it was cute. We have this young African American kid who works with me. He’s usually very reserved and quiet and rarely talks to me, but at the party, he looked at me in a dress and said, “Whazzup, girlie?” Yay! I must be so cool, to be called girlie at my age.
Finally after the party I headed to my drawing class. I was to co-host with Charlemagne the Obnoxious Frenchman. Or at least I thought I was. I don’t really have his schedule. I just have a vague idea that he hosts the first Wednesday of the month, but I knew he was in California last week, so it would probably be this week. He was late naturally, like he always is. I had already started setting stuff up with our Fearless Art Leader when he came flying in like the wingnut that he is.
It was good to see him. Did I mention that he’s a wingnut? Oh, ok. Yeah, he was running around like a wingnut, even though things were pretty far along. I, once again, took the money at the door, and unlike the last couple of weeks, we had a very good turn out. Naturally, Charlemagne took credit. He said it was because people knew he was hosting. I wondered aloud how people would have known and then suggested that maybe somebody had put out a bat signal up in the clouds like on “Batman”, except with Charlemagne’s likeness. He seemed to think that was entirely possible.
He once again did Trivia Games during the break which is something no one else does. And he does get people involved. I was trying to guess the answers too, since I could always use a free ticket when I’m not hosting and paying for tickets. But he does come up with good trivia questions.
After class is always when we have the most fun. Charlemagne, me, “L” the Hippie Chick and the Sci Fi Guy stay after to pack everything up and “L” and Charlemagne get in big mock arguments. Last night though, we were discussing a large mural which is being painted in our room. It’s really ugly. The cartoon characters being drawn kind of look like the undead, so we were going around saying, “OOOOooo, that guy looks like he just ate his brother’s liver” and “that girl standing in front of the school looks like she’s going to eat the janitor.” There was one drawing of an African American woman with large breasts and big hips and tiny waist, so I was bitching about how stereotypical that was. And Charlemagne turned to me and said, “Why would you be offended by large breasts....you have them!”
Anyways, all in all, it was quite an interesting day.
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty