Back By Popular Demand: Halloween List -Sunday October 31st


Top Ten Most Awkwardly Slutty Halloween Costumes Seen by the Poor Lucky Me Team:


1. Slutty Bee
Bees are not sexy. They’re not even friendly. They are threatening and terrifying. They chase you around and sting you when you’re just trying to have a good time at the park.


2. Slutty Pirate
Pirates are really too dirty to be considered slutty. Plus, eye patches aren’t really a turn on, they’re more of a medical or warfaring necessity. That’s just my opinion though.


3. Slutty Teddy Bear
I disapprove of all child related sexiness. A teddy bear should be sweet, snuggly, or comforting, but never sexy.


4. General Slutty Person
This costume is for people who don’t feel like coming up with a costume, but don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to ho it out on Halloween.


5. Slutty Clown
Everything is wrong with a sexy clown. Face paint: not sexy. Child related thing: not sexy. Giant clown shoes: not sexy. Etc.


6. Slutty Angel
What’s the point of being a slutty angel? It makes you look like you’re unclear on the concept of angels. Slutty devil is a much better costume, because devils are probably way more uninhibited.


7. Slutty Prison Guard
Like clowns and pirates, there is really nothing sexually alluring about a prison guard. People aren’t like “Ooooo ummmm it’s so hot how you deliver food trays to people in solitary confinement. Ooooo yea work that big set of keys…”


8. Slutty Baby


9. Slutty Gold Digger
Disrespectful to chaste gold diggers.


10. Slutty Construction Worker
Getting turned on by a slutty construction worker may indicate that you are a repressed homosexual.

Step One – Sunday October 31th

Ok it’s go time! Thanks to the suggestion and support of a dear friend, I’ve committed to National Novel Writing Month.  I’m really really excited.  It’s not just the thrill of devoting myself to be a neurotic agnst-ridden self absorbed writer for a month.  And it’s not just that I will have a real purpose for holing up and obsessing about my feelings.  It’s also because I think I can do it.  I really think I can write 50,ooo words in 30 days.


I’ll let you know how it goes.

More of the Same – Thursday October 28th

I’m having a tough week. Not soooo tough, I just feel kind of hard-edged. I feel like one of those Lego guys, all plastic and square. It’s hard to not default to drinking booze when I feel like this. Drinking, although it’s effects are unpredictable, can help put my skin back on. But I can’t be on a constant diet, have my life completely open on a blog, and get drunk all the time. So, I’m trying other things.


I think that the pills are making a big impact too. It’s harder for me to write, but the violent depression is gone. It’s still a struggle, but now my brain will tune in and remind me that these episodes will pass. If I can grasp at that concept when I’m really really sad (I can’t always get it) it usually just takes a walk with Tom and Ramona to snap me out of it.


That being said, I still feel so disconnected to the person I used to be. I wish so many things, but today I wish that the people in my life understood that I’m not the same anymore. The new me is a lot like the old me, it’s still certainly looks like me and sounds like me and cracks jokes like me, but it’s different. Actually I’m usually surprised to see myself in the mirror, looking just like myself. I always expect to look radically different.


I realized recently that the whole month of December might prove to be a challenge. The date we conceived, the date I got a positive pregnancy test, the date we told our families, stupid Christmas. You think when you suffer a tragedy that things will slowly get better. You think that as time passes your heart will heal a little more everyday. Really what happens is that just when you think you’re getting somewhere normal, you get hit in the face with a date, or an item of clothing, or any other little thing that you would never have guessed would just wipe you out.


What a charmed life I led before. I’m so lucky that I had no idea about any of this until the roof caved in.

Hope- Monday October 25

The kitchen counter is filling up with stuff again. Unopened mail, picture frames lying on their backs, ipods and their snaking headphones, halloween candy, a confetti of crumbs, old gum from the bottom of my purse- peeling wrappered and crusty, a bowl of apples, a granite owl, two misplaced coasters and a thick metal bracelet spew across the granite countertop like the aftermath of a tsunami. I rip one of the envelops open and stare at the contents without inspiration. I suppose I should throw it away, but perhaps I should shred it. I don’t have a shredder. I could bring my mail to work and shred it there. Yes, that’s what I’ll do- so no reason to keep opening it here. I pile the long envelopes up neatly and pretend I’ll remember to put them in my purse tomorrow.


The dog and I walk under the EL for a few blocks. She doesn’t seem to mind the noise, and I enjoy it. The rattling roar hijacks my mind for a few seconds every few minutes. Sometimes I stare up at the passing train. The dog always manages to steer my shuffling feet towards the park, but I don’t mind because it’s narrow and full of trees and dogs. It’s a nice place to go. My preference is to just stand or sit watch the dogs play, and smile. But if I’m really happy or sad I’ll call someone, and chat on the phone. I try not to be one of those people who’s dog is misbehaving while they talk on the cell phone, not paying attention. Sometimes though, I am that person.


When we get home, she wants chicken jerky and a drink of water. I stare at the kitchen counter again. I open the balcony door so I can hear the EL again. The dog pushes past me, out the balcony door and stands looking down on Grand Ave. Her tails wags lazily. I join her and we breath in the smell of chocolate and traffic. I like to watch the dog sniff the air like she’s watching an opera. She hears Tom come in the door before I do.


I step in from the balcony and the fading evening light and walk right into Tom’s smile. The dog dances around his legs, I’m flooded with hope. Every time I see him, I’m flooded with hope.

Still Awake – Sunday October 24th

I’m awake well after midnight. There is something about the night that makes me restless- it always has. Even in high school I would stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning- just reading books or writing in my journals. Occasionally sneaking out to smoke forbidden cigarettes. I have always dreaded lying in bed, eyes open, my mind spinning.


Sometimes Tommy Jr’s death feels so far away I can’t remember why I feel so messed up. The surgery and the hospital stay seem far away too. I think back on all the wonderful nurses who cared for us and I can’t even remember some of their names. At first I was so eager for our lives to fast forward pas the pain. It turns out that doesn’t work and I still feel so offended by the pace of life.


It’s the end of November. In a blink it’ll be Christmas. Another blink and Tom will be graduating from law school. While I sat in the hospital room breathing in the canned air and dreading phone calls from the NICU, I knew that time would be so precious. I miss those days more than any vacation, any time in school, any victory. I would give anything to be back in that room of rolling furniture and beeping machines. It was my own little womb where other people protected me and supported me and cared for me.


Towards the end I started being bothered by all the flowers for me, and not one “Its a Boy” balloon. I was so glad when Tommy Jr got a name tag with a dinosaur drawing on it next to his little incubator. Behind all the worry and the grief, I was still a mother who wanted her baby honored just like any other boy. It was impossible though, I understand that. Too many people were worried about me and too many people just didn’t know what the hell to do (myself included). If I had thought of it, I would have asked for an “It’s a boy balloon”. So many of my loved ones would have be happy, eager, relieved to be given a direct order that might lend me a little hope or joy. But I didn’t know I’d want it until it was too late. I remember so clearly when Tom Sr and I walked out of the hospital in the exact opposite way we had come in: slowly, alone, quiet, without a baby and without an inking of hope. I wished out loud that Tommy Jr had gotten a balloon or a cigar in his honor.


It’s getting later. The Sunday night clock is relentless. Tom just called for me from the bedroom. I hate how non-specific my sadness is now. That makes me feel more disloyal than laughing ever did. And worse, I know that the searing grief will get lighter and lighter, til it only haunts me on certain days or after seeing certain triggers. I think I’d rather wallow in the acute pain of my child’s death, then just let him become another part of my past.


Maybe you could help me. The next time you have a fine glass of wine or something, maybe you could just think to yourself “Here’s to Tommy Jr”. I’m just so desperate to keep him close.

Good Days and Bad Days – Thursday October 21th

My face crumpled and the tears started pouring out before my brain could catch up. I sat in the car crying and trying to put my finger on what the impetus was. It had been a few days- maybe more than a week- since I cried last.


I looked at the phone in my hands and I tried to catch my breath. Finally I realized that I was crying for all the ripples that came after Tommy Jr’s death. My shaken relationships, my paralyzed confidence, my feeling of being trapped and alone and wedged in all at the same time. Mostly though, it was the relationships. It’s hard to believe that people who say they love me just cannot understand what I need.


But that’s just what I think when I’m crying. When I stop crying, I know that it’s the easiest thing in the world to believe. As my wise sister-in-law pointed out, Tom and I are the only ones living every minute with this grief. Everyone else has their regular lives to go back to- just like I have done when my friends or family have suffered. It’s a fact of life. It’s the most normal thing in the world. And it can be utterly heartbreaking.


But before we all get too sad, I have to remind myself of the people who have been wonderful. The people who always answer their phones and say just the thing I needed to hear. I’m so lucky and grateful to have those people- and so many of them- in my life. It sucks that the crying jags are so exhausting and intense, but the good days are just even and quiet and good. They’re not explosive, they don’t leave physical reminders. They just pass in and out of the bad days like little ghosts. I have to write it down sometimes just to remind myself I have them (and I have them more and more often). I wish the good days were as wild and consuming as the bad days.

Baby Reality – Tuesday October 19th

I was in Whole Foods this weekend and while wandering around the cheese department I heard two skinny yuppies talking about their new motherhood.


“It’s just so hard” said one “because when she was inside me she was so sweet and snuggley. Now all she does is shit and cry.”


“Oh I know” the other one said “and no one warns you might be annoyed or resentful or get sick of changing diapers. No one tells you the bad parts.”


I would have thought that I would have a bad reaction to overhearing that conversation. I would have thought I’d be angry or resentful or at least sneer at the two women. But instead I felt sympathy for them. It’s true, no one tells you the bad parts. I don’t resent them for not thinking that having a baby is the easiest, greatest most fun thing to do.


If anything, I just wish that I had a chance to feel the same things they’re feeling.


Poor little Tommy Jr. He’ll always be the perfect baby. He never had a chance to cry. He pooped once and Tom Sr and I rejoiced and called our family to report the news. One glorious poop. He thought it was hilarious to pee on his nurses when they undid his diaper. We all thought it was hilarious really. I got to help change his diaper twice, I couldn’t even do it on my own.


But he was gone before he could challenge our patience, or doubt our ability to be good parents. We’ll have other children, I know that. But those moments we had with Tommy Jr will be so different then when we experience them with our other children. I think they’ll be joyful tinged with sadness. I hope I don’t judge myself too harshly when I get frustrated by my next baby or all the life changes that accompany a living child.

Thank you for your submission! Friday October 15th

I did it. I submitted some writing. Now I’m working on keeping tabs on my hopes- which are UP. They are so far up I’d be embarrassed if they were visible. Like I’m pretty positive that this submission is going to change my life forever.


Actually, I suppose in a way it already has, right? Just gathering the courage (which took weeks by the way) and getting the project done, and actually submitting it, means that my life has taken a dramatic shift. I don’t have to cry into the couch about not being able to move forward anymore. I also have a little less ammunition for my bad self- the self who tells me I’m a loser and a lazy turd. So suck on that bad self!


Now, if I could just finish unpacking my apartment, lose these 15 pounds, outline my book, finish a screenplay, and make my hair grow 10 inches, I’d be in the money. In the meantime, I guess I’ll settle for a box a week, a pound a week, and writing as much as I can. Even these little accomplishments remind me how far I’ve come from May 16th. That day that I felt like my veins were filled with cement and my heart was ground into a pulp.


I’m alive little baby, and I’m living for you and Daddy. And I’m going to make you so proud of how I used the gifts you gave me.

Does This Ad Make You Uncomfortable? Tuesday October 11th



Right outside the balcony of our new apartment is a big, well-lit billboard. I love how often they change it and how low-budget the ads always are. My favorite so far has been Burger King’s $1 Cherry Icee. I liked the Clear ad so much I signed up for their service. But I woke up this morning to the most glorious billboard of all (pictured above).


The copy asks “Does your furnace make you this comfortable?” then pictures two naked guys playing what seems to be the tiniest pool table in the world. Is this billboard saying that their furnaces make you so comfortable you’ll explore your bi-curiosity? Or so comfortable that you won’t scream and pass out when you find a naked bearded ginger playing pool in your miniature rec room?


I just hope they leave this one up for a while. It’s so relaxing to be sitting on the couch, gazing at two naked dudes made ambiguously comfortable by their furnace.

Bump – Sunday October 10th

Sometimes I’m struck by how adult I feel. There are all these responsibilities hemming me in and forcing me to make rational decisions. But most of the time I feel like I’m going through a second set of teenaged years- this one marked by events instead of age. Hormones are still a suspect. I’m obsessed with my body, no one understands me, I have wild mood swings, I’m painfully unsure of myself.


It’s hard to change without getting tripped up by all the real and imagined things in your way. Remember that movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”? I wouldn’t erase the pain of Tommy Jr leaving us. I would erase the anxiety filled spelling tests of grammer school, the times-table races that I always finished last while the other kids would stare quietly at my scratching pencil. I would erase the failed auditions for public high school plays, the public speaking performances when the judges never understood why I presented “Waiting for Godot” as a comedy. I would erase the poetry class I took at boarding school with the professor who thought my work got worse the harder I tried. I didn’t get a good grade until I completely gave up and wrote the poem “Why I Hate Poetry”. I got laughs but resented having to make a joke out of something I wanted to take seriously.


It’s not reasonable to resent going through the little hardships of life. It’s just that those are things that sometimes tug at me when I’m trying to really change.


I want to read “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath, and my friends keep sounding relieved when I tell them a Kindle version hasn’t been made yet.


Tommy Jr would be five months old today. I’ve decided to stop wondering when I’d stop calculating how old he’d be, and what he’d be like now. I haven’t been able to stop wanting to snarl at people who come too close and sneer at people who’ve stayed too far. I went into Marshall’s and got a punch in the heart when I walked past the rows of hilarious baby Halloween costumes, and the little onsies that say “I’m Thankful For My Grandpa!” and other clever sayings written and orange and yellow block letters.


When the baby first died I went back and forth between wanting desperately to get pregnant and wondering if I’d ever be able to try again. Now that I’m sure I want to try, and pretty sure when I want to start, I think the time will pick up again. Lately the daylight minutes have dripped along, torturing me summer traffic. Then when it’s finally late enough to go to bed I lie there with my eyes open, watching the clock slip towards to morning.

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