August 19th, 2002

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I'm up late watching Terms of Endearment while I pay off eBay auctions. I love this movie, but I hate it too because it hurts so much to watch it. Not in the same way that it hurts to watch say Sophie's Choice, but it hurts. Maybe more. There's so much ordinary pathos and it all feels so real to me. I think because it reminds me so much of my life, being married to a selfish, immature, man who cheats, but loving him so much that you just can't let go, having an affair myself, trying to juggle both relationships at the same time and a home and a child, and having a dominating, opinionated, complicated, ambivalent mother who is messed up about sex and obsessed with her age, her looks, and being proper. And this cast, oh man does it get any better? I wish Shirley Maclaine and Debra Winger would work more, they're so amazing, and Jack Nicholson and John Lithgow, well, wow. I keep wanting to turn it off because it just keeps hurting worse and worse, big heavy sigh. The scene where Shirley Maclaine screams at the nurses, "Give my daughter the shot. She's in pain. She only had to hold out until ten. Give my daughter the shot. Give my daughter the shot!!!!!!!! And then Jack Nicholson shows up. Makes me cry every time.

I spent a long time at the hospital with my Mom today. She was able to sit up, which was amazing, but they have her on so much morphine for the pain that she's kind of out of it. I think she's doing so well considering they just cut out a third of her lung yesterday, (was it just yesterday?), but I'm worried about how she'll feel, how she'll be able to breathe, when she comes off the pain medications. I keep thanking God for letting her survive the operation. I'm just going to have to hang in there with her until Thursday when we'll learn whether the cancer has spread.

It's such a weird creeping process, cancer, the way you learn about it, face it, cut it out, deal with it, fight it, do battle with it. My friend Mary said that a doctor described it as being like a fire in your house. It helped a lot to talk to her, I've been so busy taking care of my mom, talking to her friends, running my own life on the side, that I forgot that I need some support. Oh and oh God I have to get up and deal with my Aunt Jani tomorrow, the woman who always treats me like the black sheep Fuck-up daughter my Mother must describe me to people as being. When I spoke on the phone to Jani yesterday she said, "Well, your Mother has led such a charmed life, she had fabulous parents, a fabulous career, a great husband and uh yeah she's been really lucky." Hmmm, something was missing in that, now what was it, oh yeah, she has a really loving daughter who never left her, who stuck by her no matter what.

At my dad's funeral I got stuck for a ride home with her and she spent most of the time talking about how actors are all very skinny, short, and with such big heads. No matter what I do, short of losing ten billion pounds, becoming wildly famous, having a fabulously decorated house, and marrying a CEO of some amazing company, will win her respect and approval. I'll always be the little girl who spilled grape juice on her plush white carpet. I feel like for all the years that she's known me, she wished she could trade places with me so she could run my life better than she thinks I do, so she could have my mom for a mother and have the privileged life she feels I've led. OMG I can't believe it's three, that's it, I'm done, I'll just blow my nose from crying here because Debra Winger just said goodbye to her boys and died, and go to bed. Let's hope my cats will let me. Jake is pissed off at Lucilla and keeps smacking her for some reason.

Life, hunh?
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(no subject)



Whoops I forgot to go to sleep. I just wanted to tell you that I saw Blue Crush today. It was just what I needed. I managed to find a couple of hours in between leaving the hospital and having to pick up the kids at Beau's friend's house. I really liked it because it was just what I needed, beautiful people, beautiful Hawaii, gorgeous water, surfing, lovely, lovely, yeay.
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Billy Bob Thornton, Mom's New Roommate, Aunt Jani's Visions From Beyond, and a Couple of Bushisms

I'm watching the Billy Bob Thornton Profile on Bravo. I really like him, he's such an amazing actor and I think he's a pretty fabulous director as well. I would so love to see his cut of Pretty Horses. He just seems like some kind of mad southern genius. I was soooo happy when he and Angelina Jolie hooked up because they are both so unique, and vulnerable, talented, and loving. I've written about when I met her and talked to her for a while and she was so genuinely caring, I just adored her, and I just noticed that my neighbor is selling his GTO for him on eBay.

I wish I understood or knew what happened between them because they were such a cool kooky couple. I loved that they did their own thing and didn't let publicists dictate their behavior; the whole blood charm thing, getting married over and over again, good for them. I hope it wasn't her adopting her son that broke them up. And I hope that it isn't true that he just bails when he wants out of a relationship. I remember reading that when he was with, (oh man my brain is so fuzzy from days of stress and lack of sleep), what's her name, (what's his name's daughter, Jurassic Park, well, you know who I mean), they had been living together and she went off to work on a film and when she came home he had moved out and married Angelina Jolie. I read that the same thing went down with Angelina. If that's true then that is so sad and something that is super hard to respect in a person, relationship cowardliness. He doesn't seem that way though, he seems so humble and full of heart. And what the hell do I know anyway, yeah, right on, none of my curious business. It's just that we're fed so much personal information about people on TV and in the magazines that it's hard to disconnect from wanting to understand things that happen in their personal lives.

Here's something he just said that I can so relate to, "I'm happy and sad every minute. I don't think I've ever been happy without being sad at the same time." God I so relate to this.

I hung out with my Aunt Jani today and it was about ten times better than I thought it would be. She was so pulled together and I can't believe that she's sixty-nine years old. I'll always think of her as being thirty-five or so. She had these little black and white Chanel sandals and the cutest straw purse with bamboo handles. I could tell she really loves and cares about my Mom. She was so worried for her. I can't handle being with people who are kind of uptight and high-stress-judgemental for too long though because I'm so damned sensitive it just feeds my own anxiety and I wind up taking it all on like some kind of extra-sensitive human feeling receiver.

One of the things that I really like about her is her openness to all things dreamy and psychic. She's so damned perfect and normal and pragmatic that anything oogy that's ever happened to her just seems that much more real when she talks about it. I've already written about the time my beloved Uncle Doug's spirit appeared to her after his death, but today was the first time she told me about this kind of connected vision that she had with him after he crossed over. It happened four times and every time she was standing at her ironing board ironing. She would just be kind of going through the motions and then she'd look down and have this vision, the exact same one every time.

There is this beautiful moving liquid gold splash of color spread across whatever fabric she's ironing. She described it as dripping and in the center of this shining golden liquid there is an image, like a film that's playing. It's a library, an incredible, beautiful, enormous library, with a great big domed glass ceiling. There is a library ladder and way up near the top of this tall ladder is my Uncle Doug, swinging out from the ladder as if there were no danger of falling. It seems so like him to be careless of worry and to be swinging like that. He reaches for a book that he has to kind of stretch to get too. It's a beautiful book, the binding and the gold, it's gorgeous, but kind of slim for such a beautifully bound book. He climbs down the ladder with it and slams it down on this refectory table. It is face down and he opens it from the back, left to right. He flips through a few pages and Jani realizes that it is a book of her life. There are pictures, black and white pictures of different moments in her life. He comes to the last page and on the lower right hand side there is another color image, only it is moving in real time, and the image is Jani herself at that moment standing at the ironing board. Doug seems to feel comforted and relieved by this and closes the book. The image then vanishes.

Years later she was shopping at The Bodhi Tree, a New Age spiritual book store here in West Hollywood, and she said that she looked across the room and there was this book that was sort of shining and calling to her. This had never happened to her before so she went over and picked it up. It was a paperback, Edgar Cayce's readings on Atlantis. She bought it and set it aside never reading it. Years later she found it again and thought she should read it and when she got to this description of the library she screamed and dropped the book because it was so much like the library in her vision. Interesting and comforting don't you think?

She liked a ring I was wearing so I took it off and snuck it in to her purse. I really like this ring it's a deep violet pink and so pretty. I just bought it, but I love giving things to people when they compliment them and I can bear to part with them so I did. Later when I was dropping her off she was looking in her purse for a pen and found it. She kind of startled and said, "Oh Jacqui you dropped your ring in my purse." When I told her that it was a gift she wouldn't take it. No matter what I did she wouldn't accept it. It worked out okay, I got to do a generous thing, and I got my ring back.

I'm going to go see Mom later than usual tomorrow, give myself a little break. I'm looking forward to that. She got a new roommate today, yuck. This woman is so loud and demanding and doesn't like that Mom needs to have her privacy curtain pulled around her. I put up with her all day. She moved in and just took over; took all of the chairs, had so many friends over. Apparently she had fainted and was in to figure out what happened. She looked fine and was driving the nurses crazy with her incessant demands. They'd look over at me and roll their eyes. One nurse grabbed me and acted like she needed to tell me something very important in the hallway just so she could get away from her.

After hosting what sounded like a frat party for old ladies for most of the afternoon, she had the nerve to get on the phone and tell someone how loud we were and how annoyed she was with us. She said, "Well, I can't do anything about it, they don't seem to have any more private rooms. Yeah, I guess they can't afford their own room. I just wish I was by the window. She has to have that damned curtain closed all the time so she can use her little toilet." Man I so wanted to go over there and pinch her but instead I waited till almost everyone had left the room and on my way out I said, "You know my mother just had lung cancer surgery the day before yesterday. They took out two-thirds of her lobe. She can't sit up, eat, or go to the bathroom by herself. She needs quiet and rest so she can get well. You're just sitting here on the side of your bed complaining like this is the Paris Hilton and you know what, you're so lucky you can do that because my Mom is having trouble just breathing, so would you do me a little favor and just shut the hell up."

Oh My God, they're showing a video tape of an Al Quaida poison gas experiment using dogs. I can't watch this. I don't know who to trust any more, you know? The bad guys are running things. How do we know any of this is real? Are we being manipulated by our own government for bizarre shadowy financial gains? I'm just not about to forget that it was only a blink and a half ago that George Junior was saying things like;

"Will the highways on the Internet become more few?"
-Concord, N.H., Jan. 29, 2000

"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
-Greater Nashua, N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000

"This is Preservation Month. I appreciate preservation. It's what you do when you run for president. You gotta preserve."
-Speaking during "PERSEVERENCE Month" at Fairgrounds Elementary School in Nashua, N.H. As quoted in the Los Angeles Times, Jan. 28, 2000