Days of my Life #40

Song in my head: Tossing n Turning

There’s always a reason stuff pops in my head when I first awaken. This time it’s obvious. I went to sleep itchin and a scratchin this annoying spot at my left wrist where some little hungry insect stuck their pointy fangs in me. Am I that tasty? Naw. Otherwise I’d be riddled with additional marks and that would’ve decreased my sleep even more.

I remember waking at three, determined to hunt down an effective remedy for my discomfort. With less than half my brain working, which half is debatable as the part I was working with was having a hell of a time focusing on the task at hand, I began noisily rummaging through the cabinet housing my various homeopathic vials of pellets, ointments and tinctures. Even in my sleepy itchy stupor I knew what I was looking for but either I wasn’t reading the bottles and jars correctly or I had neglected to open the right drawer, because it wasn’t until I methodically opened and inspected each of the twelve drawers twice in one smaller cabinet, did I finally discover the tincture “Ledum Palustre”.

“Aha!” I remarked loudly, half expecting daughter would run into my room asking if I were okay. Thankfully my “aha” was not loud enough to waken her yet now I was fully awake and ready to apply my discovered remedy to the point of my discomfort, the bug bite. Only now the squeezy thing for the bottle dropper was determined to stay attached to the bottle so that when I attempted to unscrew it, it wouldn’t fucking budge. “Grrr!” I proclaimed, enough to have Porter the lab raise his head off the bed, but not enough to get up to examine the source. It also didn’t move the the stopper.

I knew I had to calm myself or I would either wake up the entire household or break the damn bottle, neither would be the desired outcome of my wee hour foray for a cure to what ailed me.

Mumbling unintelligible sounds, even to me, I very slowly began to twist the tiny bottle top, eventually (and surprisingly not breaking it in the process), separating the upper top and rubber thingie from the lower bottle. “Eureka!” I whispered, this time, as I dabbled droplets of Ledum onto the little circle of red on my arm and waited for the pain and itching to miraculously subside, which it did, as I knew it would.

Now that’s I’m wide awake, because it’s morning and I’ve applied another few drops of tincture on the “spot”, I’ve had warm, brewed water processed decaf espresso and a freshly made sourdough bagel (thanks to the first fruit of my womb who is currently on a baking frenzy), I can say unequivocally that homeopathy works when one knows what they’re doing, even in semi-sleep, which I do.

Of course the debate about the efficacy of homeopathy continues elsewhere, because there are tons of people out there who are unaware of it, or have totally bought into the Big Pharma machine or are too skeptical for their own damn good. And I’m not here to explain homeopathy this time.

I, however, thankfully, learned over forty years ago, when facing the looming possibility of either radical or full mastectomy, because one of my breasts had grown into resembling a personal size watermelon while the other was not even a B cup, that it is a quite viable, effective and truly Hippocratic “do no harm” form of healing.

When three renowned breast specialists, one in Canada, and two in the USA and my frantic mother who worshipped regularly at “Our Lady of Kaiser Permanente”, told twenty-three year old me I’d need life changing surgery, I screamed “Stop!” After which my very helpful older sister drove me to the Herring Family Clinic in Berkeley California (it’s no longer there) for a two hour appointment with a classical homeopath. I had never heard of one before that, nor did I even know what homeopathy was.

I recall driving from San Francisco across the Bay bridge, filling out forms, sitting with a very nice youngish man who asked me even more questions than were on the forms, watching him look at me then writing some notes, after which he excused himself, and left the room for what seemed like at least an hour, or more. There I sat, with a ridiculously mismatched pair of boobs, scared, in a room filled with magazines I had absolutely no interest in reading, when he reappeared before me with a small bottle of teensy white pills. Handing me perhaps an eighth of a teaspoon full of the pellets he instructed me to open my mouth, insert the pills under my tongue, neither eat nor drink anything for 20 minutes, to avoid caffeine, camphor and mint and to report back in a week.

I left the office crying, bewildered, questionably thankful but determined to see this out. Within three days my watermelon was a grapefruit, within the week and at my next appointment it was a near match to its breast-mate. The knife-happy quacks were bewildered and in the land of denial when I reported the “miraculous” healing. I decided then and there I would henceforth make homeopathy my go-to health modality. And by the way, the watermelon never returned and I went on to nurse my two healthy children.

As I said, it’s obviously the reason that song popped into my brain this morn. My sleepless night was another reminder for me that homeopathy works. My itchy spot is now barely a memory. Homeopathy has saved my bacon more times than I can count.

Tune in.

Days of my Life #22

It’s another beautiful day. Who could complain with These delightfully sunny skies and gentle breeze. Certainly not I. I’ve been walking fairly regularly, up the hill, along the path, by the creek, as far from thoughts of pandemics and politics as I can muster…even though such thoughts are mostly unavoidable.

I couldn’t walk yesterday, partly because of the air conditioning snafu but also because my poor little toe is swollen from having smashed it the night before. Who would think I’d be bringing up my baby toe and it’s woes in a blog? Me. I guess I think it’s important. Well it is still irritated today – I am hobbling less but unwilling to trek hither and yon, over hill and dale. Guess the mat pilates will have to do.

Why obsess about something as minuscule as a teensy appendage. Because I want to walk on it, silly! For one thing I’ve had over a month to wake up and over think nearly every other part of my body, especially my lungs, heart and schnozola. Have you?

At the onset of the “coronavirus freak out” the thing to do was check your temperature, pop vast amounts of vitamins, do an assortment of breathing exercises, see if you could smell or taste and hide coughs and sneezes in your inner elbow. We progressed to religiously wearing masks and gloves, carrying about multiple bottles of hand sanitizer and keeping six feet apart, some of us even in our homes. Many of us, mandatory lockup or not, have chosen to stay safe, and order our groceries to be picked up two weeks later or have them delivered complete with melted ice cream and bruised bananas.

Our obsession with the state of our individual health is now universal given the fact that we are hearing reports that even the strong and healthy can succumb to the virus…though obviously those who have compromised immune systems are at greater risk. None of this is particularly funny though it has brought out a raft of totally bizarre responses, some of which are unbelievably stupid or downright evil. It’s too bad, here in the formerly United… States, we don’t have universal health care but the shit-for-brains turtle look alike (sorry turtles) senator from the great state of Kentucky, aka Mitch McConnell, doesn’t think people deserve to be well or alive. May the camel (or other animal that spits, you pick) of ten thousand viruses hock a lugie on him, repeatedly, til he gets IT…a bad case of the disease or a good dose of human kindness and social responsibility. Either, the sooner the better.

And then there is our unesteemed “leader”, spouting nonsense at his nightly (oh god, change the channel) news. WTF???Personally the idea of ingesting -orally or intravenously- a disinfectant is fucking loco and DIY embalming. But the craziest aspect is someone even considering it because the douchenozzle in chief suggested it. It is no wonder the rest of the “civilized” world, feels sorry for us. I’m considering a move to Ireland when this is over, even if it is wet and cold, there are few bloody signs to tell you where you’re going, and trees are in short supply. At least there they have better sense! Oh sure they’d take me. I’m half Irish, you see.

Well, well. I was gonna refrain from health and politics had I taken a walk, but since I couldn’t

I got to rambling about both. And now that I’ve reached a stopping place and you are possibly shaking your head or pouring yourself a stiff drink,or both, I’m going to leave you. Side note…are they holding Zoom AA meetings?… cause they oughta.

Tune in.

Days of my Life #15

I looked in the mirror a few minutes ago and was shocked at the resemblance of my current hair color to what I remember of my maternal grandmother’s curly coif when she had used a bluing agent to un-yellow her gray. Chuckles of irony emanated from deep within me. Or were they gasps of horror? I suppose a bit of both.

The passage of time has always fascinated me. I never thought I’d be an “old” person, which may be the reason it took me to be well into my sixties when I finally stopped dying my hair brown -to let my freak-gray fly. And now anything goes…since the reason I was bemused at my “funny, you look bluish!” reflection is that I had intentionally put a blue/purple rinse on my now graying hair! I’m certain my OGM is guffawing in the great beyond.

She was a very cool grandmother, (save the fact that her second husband was orthodox Jewish and made her life hell), who was a creative and playful artist (except when she had to slave for the fanatic). At the time I wondered how she had been hoodwinked by the davening-Tallis-wearing overlord, since everyone in our family had been progressive-reform I.e. lox and bagel on Sunday with the occasional bacon and eggs, Jews) but later I understood how grief (for my OriginalGFather) messed up her mind, making her do crazy ass shit, like marrying husband #2, until she eventually died of a brain aneurysm. I still miss her. She taught me things like copper enameling, baking coffee cake and designing costumes and Barbie clothes.

After my sweetheart died I too did things (fortunately not marrying a fanatic) which included allowing people to take advantage of my period of mourning. I had opened my home up to persons I never would’ve had my head not been so full of endless tears and I being a generous/hippy soul. I was fucked up and I didn’t even have to use legal or illegal substances to do it. One might think I was just plain dumb/naive/gullible to have been hoodwinked by those I’d lent a helping hand (and money) and in many ways I was, but when I consider how some people are reacting to our current global trauma I think, “Naw people just do crazy shit all the time, and now it’s just coming out in an epic-disaster-movie big-ass way”!

I know I’ve mentioned in previous bits of mental regurgitation that we, in some ways, “create our own reality”, but the current realities of some are so off-kilter it has provoked my questions as to why?

1. Is it easier to make a scapegoat of one (like bill gates) or more persons (biochemists) when the disease is in fact not a person? (even though yes, it is a person’s icky-virus-infused saliva falling in tiny droplets everywhere.)

2. Are there evil forces (I.e. corporate/government bad guys or off planet aliens) at work, wanting to cull the herd of the sick or aged, to make money off the dead and the living? Or is it that the virus is smarter than the numbnuts running things?

3. How much time will elapse before either the desperate or the suspicious (or both) pick up their penis compensators to do untold harm on innocent, well-meaning citizens who want to do the best for their friends, family and neighbors by flattening the curve and enabling the medical establishment to do whatever the fuck they can do to heal the afflicted?

4. Why do we have knuckleheads running the USA?…oh wait, I know because of Trumpublissians who, rather than MAGA are fucking up things big time..

5. Is the enemy us?

6. Why aren’t antivirals on the top of the list, rather than herd immunity vaccines, since viruses, as I said are smart fucking shape shifters, adapting to the terrain in their trip up and down the food chain? Could I be just taking a guess, there’s more money to be made in the vaccine industry? Or it’s a possibility we might get microchipped like our dogs? I fucking don’t know, and the thought of this makes me shake in my clogs.

And my list goes on, but you could add your own questions, since my brain is scrambling again, though you can’t really see it through my blue curly hair. Today I’m going to take a walk then make art. With that I leave you to go about your business. Enjoy the shows.

Tune in.

Days of my Life #11

Good morning campers! It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining and I slept through the night like a normal (whatever that is) person! The dogs are still asleep as is, it appears, everyone else in my house. Birds chirp outside and I imagine a soprano singing falalala like a Disney movie. Today, ladies and gentlemen, anything is possible. Can you feel it?

Oh no. My alter egos are awake. It appears Pessimistic Polly is tapping me on my metaphorical shoulder, reminding me that though I indeed create my reality, other forces are afoot which can do that as well. Shit! That’s a big disappointment. Do I need to now read the news to see what’s going on outside the comfort of my home? What if I don’t want to? Polly’s sister, Responsibility Rita just whispered, “It’s only right. You must see what you can do to help others today.” Alas, I agree. I shall put on my Changemaker costume and contemplate what I will do to fight injustice here, or there.

Oh dear, the pants are kind of tight. Did they shrink in the wash? Nope. Must’ve been the vegan chocolate pudding I ate for last night’s dessert. Gotta watch the intake. “A superhero still must exercise.” Reminds Fit Frida.

Spoilsport! Alas they are correct, but before I do anything else, just let me stretch my tastefully styled tunic over the pants. Uurghhh. There. Now the boots and cape. Where’s my N95 mask? Okay, I’m ready for my zoom call with my fellow activists.

Yesterday I committed to making art, and so I gathered up the gazillion plastic bags which have been accumulating in our house like rabbits on steroids, plugged in the iron, andgrabbed my scissors to commence fusing the unwieldy stuff. It’s truly awful how much of the food we buy is packaged in plastic…and why not use glass or paper or compostable wrapping, I ask, fully understanding the impact of evil corporate oil lobbyists, senators and congresspeople (and the slimeballs for whom they work) and their intent to completely fill our world with the nasty stuff as they fill their pockets with cash. I ask you and anyone wishing to chime in, “where the FUCK are they planning on living?” It’s obvious, they don’t care so I’m not asking if they do.

Anyway, I took out my iron and fused the bags together, all the while grumbling and swearing at the futility of it all. “God dammed The Graduate and every other movie, commercial and ad touting the benefits of plastic in our world.” I yelled aloud, startling even my poor deaf lab, Mocha, though it was probably because she was underfoot and may have caught my clog as I was doing my pissy stomp around.

And now, with resulting Coronavirus- germaphobia which everyone has actually caught, it seems stores are all packing our curbside purchases in additional plastic. Which we must now wipe down as we place said objects in fridges and cupboards. Could we just fog it all? Hmmm. I wonder what is worse. The indiscriminate virus or indiscriminate use of plastic or Lysol infused wipes? Probably a yucky combination. Now don’t get me wrong. I have been washing my hands repeatedly, daily, often back to back, so much so that my skin is looking reptilian. And I am wearing a mask when I walk the dog or if by chance to venture elsewhere in public. I’ve been out a total of three times in four weeks for no more than thirty minutes. So I’m doing my part. Sheesh!

Sure, I am tired of being cooped up much like the rest of a good portion of our World, except maybe the Trump University grads who can neither read nor spell and whose wardrobes include MAGA hats. I know, I know I should be more gracious and accepting of those who drank the koolaid and have yet to succumb, but I’m far too challenged to do so as yet.

I woke up to bird song and am now wondering what the hell is going on in the world. Go figure.

I’ll let you know tomorrow. Tune in.

Days of my life #2

Janet Bernson April 7; 2020

Imagine being rudely awakened by the sound of a dog puking. Yep, that just happened.But that’s not a big deal since I’ve been avoiding cleaning my floor like the plague. Now I have the opportunity to mop up the yuck splattered upon my oh so cool, artistically stained by me, concrete floor before my dog either tracks it across the house or laps it up. Double yuck…and gag.

Ok. I’m back. Job done. And lucid enough to write. I thought about writing a sort of “what happened yesterday” but there was little to report since I spent most of the day in isolation, while my sweet hyper grandson wreaked havoc, first loudly playing games on his iPad while my daughter attempted a Zoom meeting, and then in the front yard with a fuck of a lot of water, everywhere…while my daughter sewed masks. It was the day I decided I’m moving to god knows where, to do god knows what, but god only knows when, oh yeah, when the virus has eaten it’s last and we can go back to being cogs in the wheel of life.

As to my dreams…I remember little when I’m yanked out of slumber by gagging so unless my unconscious kicks in to share we are SOL for the dream telling. Too bad.

And now that my irrational escapism is out of the bag I cannot go back to sleep. Hell. See what you made me do? I just can’t take any responsibility for the situation in which we are all living, because I didn’t vote for this. I didn’t make the virus. Nor the idiots who think this is God’s punishment to gay people. Or rape the Earth…or incarcerate children or kill life-flora or fauna, well maybe a houseplant. I didn’t hoard toilet paper or disinfectant. And I’m certainly not the orange narcissistic weevil who is taking giant nibbles out of our government and refuses to take responsibility and blames everyone else. But I do vote. And call. And tweet and write postcards. And reuse, compost, donate time and money. Does that count? Anymore?

Yesterday, for me, the earth stood still, or I wanted it to, as I buried screams into my pillow. A vain attempt at my shutting down the reality of societal limbo.

One blessing I’d like to point out is: I’m not currently in a romantic relationship. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have wild unabashed and totally satisfying sex with a intelligent, sensitive yet strong, financially stable, healthy, environmentally conscious, male feminist who speaks French and cooks great French food, who also laughs at my jokes, loves my art, my kids, and my dogs and who also cleans up after himself… and when the dog pukes. But I am not delusional. And with my luck I’d be holed up here in Austin, social distancing with a beer-swilling, pot smoking, ne’er do well, or a cowboy, neither my idea of a good time. So I’m relatively lucky.

I guess for now I’ll just be satisfied with the life I’m living and thankful to have gotten this far, and wonder what today will bring. In the meantime I’m gonna attempt to go back to sleep perchance to dream of the French speaking dude. At least my floor will be clean when I get up. Tune in.

Days of my life #1

Janet Bernson April 6, 2020

Awake again. Is this my new covid-19 inspired circadian rhythm ? Well poo! I really would like to sleep some more since my damn dreams are so friggin crazy! Wow! I can’t believe I haven’t used shit or fuck yet. Oops. Okay I’m normal and not speaking abhorrently. This must mean I am awake. God forbid I should tone down my expletives for whoever you are who might be reading this, what shall I call it? Oh yes a rant.

My daughter has reminded me, or was it I reminded her? Whatever. That we probably would do better not tuning into the news. I mean really, how much do either of us want to talk about “it”. No, not death, not the fucking plague, not universal health, not the dreaded election, and not the scourge occupying the place formally known as the White House. No, we have to stop hearing that grocery curb alert is unavailable for the foreseeable future.

If we were to talk about it it would only cause distress since I blew it by not checking out of my shopping cart at the right time. Now she will have to go into the grocery store, adorned in one of our over-designed masks (hers has sloths on a dusty blue background), nitrile gloves, and raincoat, when our larders are scantily half full. Once returning I will blast her with homemade disinfectant, make her take a shower, then wipe down every package as if I had just spilled honey (I’m allergic to bee poop). Woe is us. If only I had known others would be blasting through the Joy of Cooking like it was a reality tv show?

Yes. Yes. I attempt to make light of this strange sci-fi-ish situation in which we find ourselves living. It’s as if L.Ron Hubbard created it…Scientology nerds might get my drift, and no, I was never one of those people who bought into that shit. Perhaps Twilight zone is more to your liking and a lot like the strange ass dreams I’ve been having. Can you imagine anything stranger than the fucked up, is this really reality, we’re in? Apparently my unconscious is working overtime to top it. Who knew?

I suppose you’re wanting me to now divulge tidbits of these inner thoughts, hoping for something risqué or otherwise delicious. Naw, I’d rather you delve into your own macabre night thoughts because to share mine with you, who might use them to implicate me in case I run for office…ah what the hell, here goes. Besides, I can tell you without compunction, in my youth I inhaled, I fucked some cute musicians who are now dead, and I did commercial fishing using gill nets.

A recent night story.

I’m standing in a forest, naked. Did I say I’m in my twenty year old body? Well I am, at least in my dream. And all of a sudden I’m clothed in a sort of camouflage armor that mirrors my surroundings. I’m feeling great! And it’s a damn good thing I am because there are villains around me…but hahaha they can’t see me. “Good ole armor I say to myself”, not wanting to divulge my whereabouts.

The bad guys I pick off one by one by using my magical powers – carefully blasting them into an alternate universe filled with “helpers” who de-program the captives, and teach them to be considerate human beings. Once the bad guys, now good, have completed their training they are released into transitional housing where they learn how to get along in the newly improved real world. Yes. My superhero name is The Changemaker. Cool eh?

Yes, there’s more romance and intrigue, but I’m not going to use up anymore of your precious time. I’ll let you get back to your email. Besides, I have a grocery list to make.

Tune in for the next…Days of My Life.

Necessity: Time to laugh and puppies.

It was pouring rain when I left my home on Saturday.

Errands then to the movies with my girlfriends. We were going to see Long Shot. But as luck would have it we went instead to see POMs. What’s that? I can hear whispers through the ether “that doesn’t sound like a particularly thought provoking endeavor” “you seem to have lower standards when it comes to movies” “tsk. Tsk.” Or is that my inner critics (yes I have many) who pass creative judgement upon me?

The fact is, we all need to laugh, a lot. Unfortunately the movie, like its reviews, was not very amusing.

Face it. The past two + years are quite a truckload serious bullshit for this socially conscious human (would’ve said f-load…but I’m working on my daily dose of expletives). Many of my friends agree we need laughter whenever and as much as is possible.

There is something quite wonderful about having people one can call/text/email and say, how about some laughter?” What’s even better is when they say “Hell yeah!” And so this is exactly what we did…we went to the movies, then out to eat and talk about the issues facing us. I felt somewhat comforted knowing I am not alone in this creepy time of peril.

Now reality is what it is, and as i sit here in my comfortable rental, my puppies asleep by my side, silently awaiting me to put down the iPad and don my shoes and grab leashes, I know that said danger, though not far away is as omnipresent as i choose. This may be the issue of why many people are not taking seriously the threat of evil, which is not a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong (or do, your choice) I am perhaps just as willing to vacate the awful, blood pressure raising feeling of dread at the thought of women being jailed for miscarriage, children ripped from their parent’s arms. rape victims forced to birth the product of assault, mass incarceration at the benefit of greedy scoundrels, people of color being murdered by cops, students being shot in schools, houses of worship bombarded with bullets, medical bankruptcy, gerrymandering, election tampering, species extinction (us included), natural habitats destroyed, and yes, people being told where to poop. Did I forget anything? Probably, and so you may add or put in the order your most importance.

So where to begin? I know I don’t have all the answers, but feel somehow we must work outside of the box – to change the ill tide, to come at this horrific mess o’shit (there goes my expletive limit) with a different, more effective means, because honestly, postcards get pitched into the circular bin, emails get deleted, as do phone calls – if they get answered by a human at all. Marches of millions have momentary impact though they are indeed community empowering. The Handmaids are visually effective.

I cannot or will not forget these many issues facing us and I feel it is my duty to remind others as I remind myself that we must envision and work toward remedying this awfulness! Even with necessary laughter and cute puppy breaks.

Massive, selective boycotting, pulling the plug on advertisers who support faux news etc., may be a more viable answer since it is one thing to walk the talk but to shop your talk is much more powerful. In our consumer/capitalist society businesses don’t like to lose money-the bottom line IS everything. And time IS of the essence here.

I’m spending the rest of my day making art, puppytime and doing research. Will keep you posted.

In the meantime, if you’ve read thus far, put on your (god is this making me sound old) thinking cap, then send me a note of what your ideas might be,