Saturday, October 20, 2012


I first heard the song 'Shivers' on the 'Dogs In Space' soundtrack.  I love that soundtrack.  I have to admit that there are a lot of Australian bands on there that I had never heard of before (I saw the movie three years after it was released- and the movie was set in the late 70s).  Actually, other than Michael Hutchence, I don't think I knew any of the Australian bands on that album.  The other bands and singers I knew- Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, Gang of Four.  But anyone who was Australian was new to me.

My favorite song on that soundtrack is 'Shivers', by the Boys Next Door.  It would be many years before I would learn that they were actually The Birthday Party before there was The Birthday Party.  Before I would even realize that that was Nick Cave singing lead vocals on the track.

Friday night we were hanging out at home, making dinner, and listening to 480 minutes on Soma FM (aka BAGel Radio).  They played a cover of 'Shivers' by Divine Fits.  I was ridiculously excited by this.  Because I love Divine Fits and I love that song and the two of them together just made me a bit giddy.  And, to hear that song on the radio.  Which I don't think I ever have.  Giddy about that too.  The feeling is like the one that you get when you realize that you and someone else are both crazy about the same band/author/director/whatever, and you've never met anyone who felt quite the way about them that you do.  And you're just so excited to meet someone who feels that way too.  In that moment, I felt that way about Britt Daniel.

Seriously.  Fucking fantastic.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Anxiety Revisited

When I posted about this last week, I actually had no idea it was a real thing.

Shortly after my post I thought, well, let's just look up post-cancer anxiety.  What do you know?  I found this and this.  Interesting.  I will reiterate here that, having had papillary thyroid cancer, I don't feel that I'm someone who has truly looked death in the face.  Others may disagree with that, but this year, having known of a couple of guys in their late thirties who have really fought aggressive cancers (one has lost, and one continues to fight his colon cancer), it feels disingenuous to put myself in the same camp with them.

However, I will own up to the fact that I was scared, especially in the beginning, when I was just learning what it meant to have thyroid cancer.  And I will also own up to the fact that cancer took over my summer.  It was with me from May through August.  I couldn't stop thinking about it, couldn't get it out of my head.  At times it would seem to leave, only to come back a few minutes later.  'Oh yeah.  I have cancer.  Damn it.'

So, to have something with me pretty intensely, and then to have it just gone...  It's hard to just drop it and move on.  In reading these posts, I don't think I have depression- although I haven't made my follow up appointments (*cough cough* I need to get on that...).  I'm also not sleeping much.  Otherwise, though, I would say that I'm enjoying life.

I think my issue is that I'm enjoying it so much.  So much, that I'm worried that something- cancer, heart attack, whatever- will come along and take it from me before I'm ready to let it go.  It's no longer the cancer that is ever-present.  It's the anxiety that cancer, or something else, will return and ruin everything.  Worry, lack of sleep, and probably doing too much because I don't want to miss anything.  It's all coming together to make me anxious and restless.

You should see it around here.  The place is a wreck.  I'm too tired by day to get much done and too worried at night to get the sleep that I need.  In addition to obligations, I'm also trying to work in things that I want to do- namely write, exercise, cook, and see friends.  It's making my days packed with stuff to do while other things (cleaning!) are falling through the cracks.

I think I may be slowly coming to the realization that my life needs a little more balance in it and that (gasp) I may not be able to do everything.  At least not with a one year old at home.  I also need to realize that, realistically, I probably will not die next week.  Or next month.  If my grandparents are any indication, I should have at least another good 35-55 years left.

Realizations are good.  Convincing myself may be a bit harder.

Friday, October 12, 2012

High Anxiety & Political Phone Calls

Things seem to have been on fast forward these last few weeks.  Ever since school started.  Every week I think I'll have a chance to catch my breath, and every week I realize I still have a million things to do.  True fact: there is never enough time to get it all done.  Ever.

The sound of time rushing past has been brought to a fever pitch by my new anxiety.  I've always been a worrier.  That's nothing new.  Becoming a mother almost ten years ago made that even worse.  Nothing like having a whole other life completely dependent upon you to make you really worry and, in my case, over-analyze every. little. thing.

This anxiety that I've been feeling lately has a new edge to it though, maybe desperation?  I desperately want to get a million things done which of course I can't.  This results in insomnia, which results in sleepless or near sleepless nights, which results in me being too tired to do anything the next day.  That of course is worse, because then I get nothing done and things pile up...and on and on.  You get the idea.

I don't know if this is some kind of post-cancer anxiety.  Does that even make sense?  Like I was worried about dying, or leaving projects unfinished, and of course what would my family do without me.  That's really all behind me now, but the anxiety and worries are maybe remaining.  I think.  It's the best explanation that I can come up with anyway.  There is really nothing else going on that should be causing me this level of sleeplessness.  Well, except for all the things that I'm not getting done.  I guess.

                                                         I feel you Dr. Thorndyke.

On a lighter note, last week I had the following phone conversation with a young (probably) college intern working for Tom Smith.  (I won't link to his page, but he's running for the senate in PA.)

Her: 'If the election were held today would you vote for Smith or Casey.'

Me: 'Casey.'

Her: 'What if I told you xyz about Smith's plan for the economy?'

Me: 'I disagree with him on several other issues, so I would still vote for Casey.'

Her: 'What if I told you that Casey voted with Obama 95% of the time?'

Me: 'I would still vote for Casey.'

Her: 'So, would you like to volunteer some of your time working on the Tom       
         Smith Restoring the American Dream campaign?'

Me: 'Hahaha.  Does it sound like I want to volunteer my time for Tom Smith?'

Her: 'Oh...'

So, kids, the moral of the story is, don't always follow the script.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Friday I was browsing the interwebs when I came across this.  Holy shit.  Twenty five years old.

I remember 'Strangeways' coming out.  I was a freshman in college, and for the first part of the year I had a single dorm room.  I was getting ready for classes that morning and listening to our college radio station.  The DJs, Rondell and Darrell, talked about the new album by The Smiths for a little bit.  And then they played 'Girlfriend In a Coma'.  It was so absurd and I'd never heard anything like it before.  I fell in love.

I grew up in a planned suburb between Baltimore and DC.  Most kids I knew were either listening to top 40 or hard rock.  Me and my friends were mostly in the latter camp.  We had MTV, and I had sort of tried to branch out musically.  I loved The Clash and The Go-Gos.  I had the Modern English album.  When I bought Romeo Void's 'Never Say Never' ep and excitedly played it for my friend Karen, we got maybe a minute into the song before she informed me that it sucked.  I put on a Led Zeppelin album instead.  I tried very hard to find someone to go with me to the U2 'Unforgettable Fire' tour.  My boyfriend finally relented, and he talked a friend of his- who listened to country music- into going too.  The concert was great, but it was hard to get into it when the guys I was with just stood there like they couldn't figure out what they were witnessing.

In that way, college and our campus radio station had been a revelation. Some of the music was familiar to me- songs I had heard in passing at parties or on movie soundtracks.  It felt fantastic to immerse myself in these albums, and to do so with new friends who were just as geeked about the music as I was.  The Smiths quickly became my favorite- no matter that they broke up before 'Strangeways, Here We Come' was released.  They were amazing and their last album helped to push me into a whole new world of music.

I still love all of my Smiths albums.  And I still buy everything Morrissey and Johnny Marr put out. I don't know if 'Strangeways' is my favorite.  I usually go with 'Meat Is Murder'- 'How Soon Is Now' and 'What She Said' tend to give that album the edge with me.  But I do love 'Strangeways', and it was the first cassette I bought by The Smiths (yes, cassette- all my college music was on cassette).  When I was home for Thanksgiving break my freshman year I went shopping with Karen.  I bought it while we were out and she seemed rather annoyed with my new music tastes.  Honestly, I was secretly pleased.  We didn't really stay in touch too much longer after that.

So, to celebrate the 25th anniversary, here's my favorite song from the album, 'Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before'.  Classic video to boot, with many Morrisseys on bikes.