I’ve Been Published~! (and the title suits me well…Ha~!)

That’s right…I’ve been published and the book is sitting at #7 on the Kindle Store (Amazon) Best Seller List. You’ll find my short (short) story on pages 88 & 89. But, in addition, are many other great stories…and loads of fun/yummy recipes. And all of this is for a good cause, Hurricane Sandy relief compiled by the flat out amazing, Lori Randall Stradman.

Tasty with A Side of Tacky: Southern wit, wisdom and eats to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy. [Kindle Edition]

Book Description

Publication Date: November 21, 2012
A collection of tasty recipes, lighthearted stories of the South, and just a little tacky, written to help victims of Superstorm Sandy.

This cookbook is a compilation of over 60 recipes by 37 published authors, food bloggers, and business people from all over the world who want to show their love and support by sharing their tasty recipes, with a side of Southern tacky, in honor of “Cousin MeeMaw.” You will find authentic “Possum Stew,” along with down home Southern Fried Chicken, and some of the best divinity you will ever have the pleasure to sample. [<--that's mine~!]

For you, the buyer of this outrageous cookbook, THANK YOU. I hope you get a laugh or two and some really tasty recipes, nestled among the… well, the more rustic ones and outrageous stories.

About the Cause

There’s something at once charming and intimidating about New Yorkers. They’re tougher than shoe leather, and yet continually open to possibility. I love them.
Only eleven years ago, they navigated the unthinkable as they recovered from their experiences of the twin towers crashing down and the mental, physical, and emotional clean up afterward. Now that Superstorm Sandy has unleashed her power, these same amazing people are again recovering from a disaster.
Some lost everything and are struggling to keep their families warm and fed with Winter coming. This book is for them. All of the money that comes in from the project goes to the American Red Cross. Please share this project with your friends and families.

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Aunt Lita’s Divinity ⬅ The Devil’s Work

My friend, Lori and a couple of her friends are putting together…on the fly…a cookbook to sell and donate to those who have been, and are still, suffering from the effects of Sandy.

She put out a blanket request to her friends for contributions. These are flowing in~! (Another in a very long list of brilliant ideas from our Lady Lori — find her here: Social Media Design.)

So, I’ve sent in one already…going to work on #2 this morning.

I know though, right? It’s simply ludicrous to think of me in a kitchen…they are such evil places. Remember: meatloaf is the devil’s poop.

Anyway, here is a preview of my contribution…I’ll absolutely be loading the finished link as soon as it becomes available.

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I don’t cook. I stink the big one at cooking, and it’s all my father’s fault. He was an Army Officer who loved considering himself to be an amateur gourmet chef (such an oxymoron.) Mom was absolutely okay with that. When he retired he took the hobby even more seriously. He did ALL of the cooking. Mom was still okay with that. But I wasn’t. I couldn’t even walk into the kitchen to put together a PB&J without him standing in the doorway to make sure I wasn’t messing with his prized knives or opening jars incorrectly. Yep. My main complaint growing up was…[in VERY whinny and emotive voice] “Dad, can’t we please have hamburgers tonight? I’m tired of escargot.” Yes, tantrums were had.

This, of course, lead to the fact that I’ve never dated a man who couldn’t cook, much less married one. Because I sure as tooting’ wasn’t going into any silly kitchen.

Dad passed on awhile ago, so it was mom’s turn to learn. Again, I was saddled with the role of ‘taster’ or as I refer to myself–Child Bedeviled By Beginner’s Borscht. She turned to her sisters for help; one is in Louisiana, the other in Texas, so all of the recipes she got from them were loaded with butter, or, for heaven’s sake, Lard!

This actually made me quite happy at times. Sugar, butter, lard and I became friends. Yeah, I’ma bad girl. Lard is like the leather jacketed bad boy on a Harley in recipes these days. I love that bad boy. (I did once try to establish myself as a Vegetarian…my dear Mother laughed so hard she squirted Dr. Pepper out of her nose. Which wasn’t pretty, because she had peanuts in that soda, too. Yep, she’s from Texas.)

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Now, for the rest of the story…and the recipe…just hang on to your ass…it’ll be coming SOON.

* smoochies, dolls

Aunt Lita's Evil Divinity

Four Fucking Years–No Alcohol, Lots of Bipolar…Yeow~!

Today is a very special day for me.

On this day, four years ago, I stopped contributing to a personal debilitating and destructive addiction, alcohol. Until then…I had never gone more than a very few days without drinking since I was 12 years old. Yes, you read right…12 years old. And I never drank just a little…I drank a-motherfuckin-lot. By my last days, I was consuming a average of a liter of Brandy a day. I’ve missed much living because of the blackouts, hangovers and not going places because there wouldn’t be any alcohol. I’ve missed 40 years.

Now…mix that addiction with my Bipolar Disease and I was a powder keg (<–no pun, honest~!) The amount of alcohol I consumed directly corresponded with my Bipolar highs and lows. When I was becoming very manic, I drank to bring me back to a more ‘normal’ place…and when I was headed towards a dark depression, alcohol and the Bipolar LOVED each other. The isolation, the crying, the Oh-Woe-Is-Me crap was duly fed and comforted like an old friend.

There were actually only one or two events when I would not drink…1) whenever I was performing (theater, including rehearsals — but not including my other aspects of theater involvement, like directing) or 2) whenever I was working with teens…including many years back, at the Lane House, teaching, leading and being creative. Those events alone had the ability to fill that thing inside of me that otherwise could only be filled with alcohol.

These last four years without alcohol have been spent just learning how to walk, talk, breath and understand how to truly feel, emotionally. Additionally, learning about this Bipolar thing…without the self-medication of alcohol…whoa~!…it’s been a fucking trip.

But, with perseverance, I’m learning how my brain works. I had no idea how deeply the Bipolar goes…how real, how prevalent the suicide tendencies are, how angry I can truly get, how paranoid I am, and how the years of taking medications (the doctor ordered kind) were basically a waste…the alcohol nullified them. So now (or actually, four years ago) I began the process of finding the right meds. On average this can take up to two years to achieve for my type of Bipolar (yes, there are different types.)

Last year I had a fucked up alarm go off, which physically slammed me into a wall. I developed Tardive Dyskinesia (mini strokes) from one of the Bipolar meds I’d been taking and also began having ‘absence’ seizures. As treatment, all of the meds I was on at the time had to be cleared out of my system. Eventually, I was left with just me. Another first.

Both alcohol addiction and Bipolar Disease are alike in that they are progressive…whether they are being treated or not. Example, if a drinker stops for a year, and then starts up again…that person will quickly escalate to right where they left off, and usually the need has even increased. With Bipolar the similarity lays in the fact that left untreated (or removed from medication) causes the disease to escalate exponentially.

When my time came to begin the treatment cycle again…we knew it was going to be a long haul. The medications I was once taking didn’t work on the second go around. It was time for trial and error where new meds take up to six weeks to judge their affect.

It’s during this half time show I got slammed by a full blown psychotic episode. The beast grew for a couple of months…which read on the surface as if I was really doing well. That ‘well’ was actually hypomania, the lower, beginning stages of a good old fashioned manic attack. Unfortunately, I was not being medicated…and I started spiraling up.

But I hid these facts from everyone…I just wasn’t sure, I had never been through an episode without my alcohol or drugs. It was a whole new feeling. Without the alcohol to help me suppress the mania…it grew and grew and grew…in the early stages it mimicked my bouts of Tardive Dyskinesia and the seizures. I was confused. It wasn’t until I started ‘seeing’ shit and hearing the voices that it became clear I was experiencing psychosis. I shook all of the time. I didn’t sleep for days…or just barely. My paranoia was huge. I disengaged from all of my closest friends. Spewing hate so they wouldn’t try to contact me. I covered my windows because I knew people where looking in to see what I was doing. I stopped answering the phone. I didn’t trust anyone. No one.

Okay, all of that was a process, blahblah…and I’m okay today, I made it…but I began writing this not to focus on the Bipolar…but, for one reason…to celebrate. That’s right, celebrate~! No alcohol for FOUR FUCKING YEARS…and damn, it feels so very good. This is huge for me, friends. Huge. And I’ve got to let this post dangle a bit because I just got all weepy and need to go hug my mom. Wow. Four years.

Dear Hallucinations, I’m going to miss you…

Today I watched  a tiny elephant walk across my bed…I heard a radio talk show (I don’t own a radio), watched a woman sit down on my couch…and MORE and more and more…when the new meds/dosages begin to work (4 to 6 weeks) I’ll be good again. Maybe. we’ll see.

 

Today was unique…it as the first time I had hallucinated an interaction, talking to my mother. Later I would ask her something about our talk…and she said we never talked about…whatever. I did that three times at least…

aww shit, I gotta go…here’ a vid:

 

Ah…I’m Done. It’s just too hard.

News: I avoided the latest on-coming mania carnival…thanks to meds which have taken away my personality and left me flat and uncaring. So I’m heading into traffic…
The rest of it:
I don’t sleep. I don’t want to take the new antipsychotic my Doc prescribed, because the voices and visions were fascinating…when they didn’t scare the holy living shit out of me…they were my ONLY source of entertainment.
I’m SUPER paranoid. I don’t trust anyone. NO one. I even convinced myself that one of my dogs didn’t really like me. I deleted over 200 Facebook friends. Closed several other social accounts.
I have constant pressure behind my eyes.
Emotionally I’m either flat or angry.
I isolate.
I have a very difficult time expressing myself beyond a keyboard. I’ve started and trashed so many posts since my last video. I get a couple of paragraphs written, my mood changes and I chuck it. I’ve also tried to make another video…but I hesitate, too often trying to find words…and I just become lost.
So, fuck it.
Additionally, those of you who express ‘I’m so sorry, Janet’…’Just get some rest’…etc., move me to feel nothing but the desire to puke on your shoes.
Carpe your own motherfucking diem, motherfuckers, I’m off to inhale meds and try to sleep.
And to all of my friends who have disappeared…I guess I must have unwittingly gotten in your way when you asked for my help. I honestly didn’t know that all of you were just using me.
I’m such a fucking idiot.

Hey, Motherfuckers…

Not so good the last several days…after i was sent home from the hospital I have been removed from most all of my meds (maybe not such a bad idea…but) I am currently experiencing what is referred to as Mixed affective episode or a Mixed state (psychiatry)
In the context of bipolar disorder, a mixed state is a condition during which symptoms of mania and clinical depression occur simultaneously. Typical examples include tearfulness during a manic episode or racing thoughts during a depressive episode. Individuals may also feel incredibly frustrated in this state, since one may feel like a failure and at the same time have a flight of ideas. Mixed states are often the most dangerous period of mood disorders, during which substance abuse, panic disorder, suicide attempts, and other complications increase greatly. (thanks for some of that info, Wikipedia.) So…I’m reclusive, and unable to concentrate on anything. The phone is off…as will facebook, soon…my anger is uncontrollable and my meds are just fucking me up further. That is what meds I have…since I go to a free clinic, I run out (cold turkey =extreme danger) all of the time. The car and the hose are looking pretty good to me today…only holdback, Wanda. I would never do anything to cause her pain. SO…my phone is off, I’m unlogging from facebook for a while.

Laugh while you can, Motherfuckers…life is a pile of monkey feces…take a bite, it tastes like your soul.

Say It Forward – Bipolar Awareness Day

Today is International Bipolar Awareness Day.  You can reach the official site at Say It Forward – International Bipolar Awareness Day

Yesterday I recorded this YouTube video for my personal records, and then realized it’s timeliness.

Do you ever…

It’s a feel good day…and I’m rollin’ with it~!

Rant…for my closest:

Okay, time to get something off my chest. Since I’ve been ill many of my IRL friends have disappeared. Friends I’ve had for decades. And I don’t think the ones who did come to visit and or who have called know how much it’s meant to me. Like Marsha Ball Edwards, Barb and Cris…and all of the support I received from the gang at The Coffee Pot.

Additionally, when I had to leave City Council because of my strokes and seizures…did anyone call? Did anyone send me a stupid fucking card? Or one goddamn raggedly-ass balloon? Nope and that hurt. You’d think that they’d have recognized my situation in some manner. I dislike saying it, but it mattered to me. I worked hard studying, trying to do my best for this town. So fuck those assholes…from the Mayor to everyone of the shits that sat around the table. Every. Last. One. Fuck them. This may sound like I feel entitled…but, it’s just good manners, for Christ’s Sake. (saying Fuck a lot may not be good manners either…but fuck it, I’m getting rid of internal shit that’s been hurting me for sometime.)

Happily, I’ve developed amazing friendships on Facebook…people who call me, help me when I need to remember that I am sick and legally disabled. Debby Polis Carter and Kristin Farley-Deem are two. Both walked me though a couple of very bad times involving ambulances and hospitals… and they both live in Florida~! Also my friend Linda…she and her husband even came up from New Braunfels TX to meet me last summer. I loved it.

I’m still ill…and now, although I’m home I still experience paranoia added to my visual and auditory hallucinations and constant seizures. I wonder if more than a handful of people knew I was in the hospital most of the last week?

Okay, I’m done. To the good ones, Thank You.

To the users…fuck off.

In honor of my grandmother, May Alexander on Grandparents Day