kiss off
Feb 29th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

through meanderings, i found this hysterical meme on flickr: what if you made a pie chart of a song’s lyrics? or some other graphic but quantified representation.

one of my faves: kiss off by the violent femmes. (yep, that one’s for you, auntie psycho from rutgers 😉 [naughty lyric alert for those of you listening in the office.]

i’m going to have to try that at home.

she blinded me with science
Feb 28th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

BC has a big science test today. we’ve been reading about the sun, the moon, the tides, matter, molecules, and atoms. she even drew me the little H2O drawing that we did in beginning chemistry. in 10th grade.

BC is in third grade.

i love the way the teacher writes out a plan of attack for studying. each day, we have been studying from a sheet; and each day, we add a little more, then a little more, then a little more. i hope this sort of thing rubs off on madam, as she clearly doesn’t seem to be a person who wants to study because, to quote her, i know this stuff already, mama.

it’s nice to be doogie howser, but you still need to study, darling.

girlfriend seems to be heavily interested in science these days. i’m secretly glad of this, as i somehow never got jazzed much about it. (in fact, i must say that i have probably learned as much about earth and rotation and revolution in this little study exercise as she has.) her TV faves include untold stories of the ER, diagnosis X, and of course my personal fave, trauma: life in the ER — with occasional interruptions from the shows about people having babies, which she likes, too.

while i am secretly glad that it moves her away from some of the crappy cartoons she is prone to watching, i often wonder whether i should be more concerned. girlfriend doesn’t care about watching actual bloody surgeries. and she gets irritated when i start to weep, especially when we watched these two egyptian twins get detached from each other’s brains.

yesterday, we watched a show where a western NJ boy (yes, of course, all magical things happen in NJ) got med-evac’d to UMDNJ in scenic newark because he sawed off two fingers in shop class (moral: mamas don’t let your babies grow up and take shop class.) i couldn’t watch as the kid showed his hands. girlfriend watched with keen interest.

mama, she always reminds me, if you can’t handle it, you should really leave the room. later, she asked me what the words in front of the show meant.

oh, i replied, you mean “viewer discretion is advised”?


uh, viewer discretion advised means i should use MY discretion over YOUR viewing time, sister.

valerie loves me!
Feb 26th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

well, actually, i love america’s sweetheart, circa 1980. valerie bertinelli, former wife of eddie van hamster (and ohmyGAWD he’s too cute in this clip) has written a tell-all book about her life, including bits about drug use (NO!) and infidelity (NOOOOOO!) and even dates with stephen spielberg (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!)

but valerie wins quote of the week, even this early, with this gem:

“I just figured, if they’re going to watch me lose 40 lbs. and I’m going to be embarrassed that way, and there’s going to be fat-ass pictures of me with my butt hanging out in Hawaii, I thought, ‘Why not let the inner me out, too?'” Bertinelli said. “Because the inner me is, I hope, prettier than the outer me.”

fat-ass pictures of me with my butt hanging out. words no publicist would ever write.

i love this girl.

hello, jenny craig? i’m bringing my fat ass down.

guilty pleasure monday: venus and mars/rockshow (wings)
Feb 25th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

it’s no secret i love the beatles, and i am ashamed very little by them (ok, so qualifiers include the entire magical mystery tour movie (motto: we’re stoned, and we don’t even care if the Queen knows it) and their worst song ever, mr. moonlight.) it must be apparent — one of the major search terms that brings people to wreke land is paul mccartney. and i cut wings a lot of slack. after all, i decided i would marry macca when i was 4; and i didn’t really switch favorite beatle allegiance to john until i was well into adulthood. i heart paul. and i still do.

(paul, if you’re listening: i’ll sign a pre-nup! really!)

anyway, i grew up with wings; since the beatles didn’t tour, it was about as close as i could get… i would wait with bated breath until the latest albums would come out, as late as 1980 before i began to wonder why i was still listening to stuff that older folks liked. i still think band on the run is a solid work; but i must confess that i also adore venus and mars, a loopy LP that i think paul clearly wrote with huge stadium concerts in mind. and the single venus and mars/rockshow totally caters to that idea. sure, there are adorably whimsical lyrics elsewhere on the album which i frequently quote when i am talking about my BS; and letting go is a killer song.

but rockshow is exactly what my 11 year old, never-been-to-a-rock-show self thought that rock shows must be like: loud and energetic and exciting… which they have been, though not always. there have been shows where i wondered why the artist even showed. (there have even been shows where i pondered whether the artist onstage was, in fact, a cardboard cutout propped on the stage. but i digress…)

i was a bit chagrined when i saw sir paul for the first (and only) time in 1993. i thought he was rather hammy: look at me, the cute one, i could sit here and fart and you’d cheer. it made me a bit angry at the time, especially since i had spent a lot of money for tickets that were waaaaaay in the back of RFK stadium. but since he lost his wife and then subsequently started getting screwed over by his second wife, i’ve softened a lot.

(if you’re out there, paul, i promise, i won’t marry you for the money. just let me hear you every day and that will be enough.)

no new tale to tell
Feb 21st, 2008 by wrekehavoc

my world is your world. people like to hear their names. i’m no exception. please call my name.

especially if you’re working in a doctor’s office.

today, i went to see a pulmonary doctor on the advice of both my beloved hematologist (AKA the man who saved my life) and the truly caring infectious diseases doctor who is able to procure my gammaglobulin since the aforementioned hematologist could not. i’ve been avoiding this, if only because my brother (AKA Brother The Doctuh), who is not only a medical professional but also has CVID like i do, already listened to my two lung CT scan reports and pronounced the nodules found therein as unremarkable. (actually, in big brotherly speak, he actually said that his nodules were bigger. yeah, he may be a doctor, but he’s still my big brother. i’m sure his crap is bigger than mine, too.)

but i finally broke down and went, as i respect the other two doctors and know that i would be in for a major can of whoop-ass should i not follow up, at least from my hematologist’s nurse practitioner (who has been extremely nice to me, especially when i was basically manic on prednisone and freaking out on her in person.)

i’m sure the doctor in question knows his stuff and is highly respected in his field, but this was not one of my better medical establishment experiences.

perhaps i’m spoiled: everyone at the hematologist’s is nice, from the receptionist (who was working in the back when i was due for my last appointment and stuck a little yellow stickie on my bill with Hi Ms. Wreke! 🙂 🙂 🙂 ; to the hematologist himself (who has called me at home on weekends to touch base about things.) the doctor who provides the IViG is very pleasant and thorough; and the awesome chick who sticks me every four weeks (and who reads this blog, so Hi, Summer!!) rocks — and i’m not just saying that because she comes after me with a sharp object each month, either. my primary care doc listens and cares and knows me for the medical freak i am (let’s see: shingles, ITP, CVID — he is no longer surprised by anything i bring him, and he knows i’m not crazy when i walk in and share something bizarre. plus, he’s from jersey.)

so today, i came in a half-hour early to fill in the paperwork. i brought CDs of my chest CTs as well as my latest blood results and my letter proclaiming that I have CVID. (i was prepared, people.) and, truth be told, the nurse called me in a timely manner to take my temp, weight, height, blood pressure, and even make me take a breathing test. then, i went into a room. and i waited. and read metropolitan home. and waited. and read good housekeeping. and waited. and read child magazine. and waited. an hour after my appointment time (and an hour and a half after i arrived at the office), the doctor came by and told me to come into his office.

why are you here? he asked. well, in truth, i don’t want to be here.

i’m here because my doctors want me to have a baseline experience with a pulmonary doc.


because i have CVID.

is that hypogammaglobulinemia?



people with CVID end up with bronchiectasis, and since since i have nodules, they want to know how often i should go for scans. the radiologist says twice a year; i am from nj and i don’t want to push my luck since i probably already glow in the dark.

well, i can’t read your radiology CDs — the pop-up blocker won’t let me see anything. this doesn’t happen with the CDs from Radiology Shop X.

you want me to fix it so you can see them? i’m a geek; i can do that for you.


i won’t go into the play-by-play, but i ended up with an x-ray which shows i have some minor bronchiectasis, but nothing screamingly-scary. and the upshot is that i should go for a scan once a year.

what really bugged me, though, was that i was supposed to get a checkup. and i suppose he did listen to me breathe. but every time i tried to tell him about my breathing issues (freaky little things like weather-related asthma, stopping breathing while i sleep — that sort of thing) he ignored me and pushed on, like i was making him late for lunch or something.

you know, i saw the sign when i first walked into the office: if you are 15 minutes late, you will need to schedule a new appointment. what exactly do i get since he was an hour late for me? a cookie? a lotto ticket? a break on my co-pay?

i would understand if i were at the OB-Gyn’s where suddenly, women walk in and start dropping babies. but no one stopped breathing while i was there, not even the elderly man who was just getting over the flu (and who showed the nurse how the cloth bandaids help him repair his portable air tank) and who still made it in to the doctor’s office, along with his wife, also getting over the flu. (thanks for sharing the bugs, people.)

i guess my point here is not to go after sick old men. my point is that i really hate when medical professionals treat me like i am some sort of inconvenient boil that needs to be lanced from the schedule. and it has happened plenty to me in my short but eventful career as a human. i often wonder what this experience feels like to people who are perhaps less educated, or poor, or elderly. does it feel like par for the course?

my brother once told me that people who lacked a decent bedside manner in med school usually went into radiology. i guess there are always exceptions; some don’t go into radiology. and, while i have encountered plenty of radiologists who have the personality of a small soap dish, i have also met radiologists who actually exuded warmth and caring — i’m thinking about times when i had a false mammogram scare, and i’m thinking about a day when i lost a baby.

medical situations can be scary. you can read all you want on the internet, but until you see a live doctor, it doesn’t really all pull together and make sense. so you need to. but it is a disconcerting experience when you come out of a doctor’s visit feeling like you shouldn’t have bothered, as it clearly didn’t matter to the doctor. it really doesn’t take that much to make a person feel like a person.

you know what? he never, ever, called me by my name.

big time
Feb 20th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

well, maybe not the big time, but a first for me. i actually stood up in front of real people, paid-ticket people, people i don’t even know (mostly), and dredged up bits from my ancient, sadly melodramatic journals for the DC mortified show. (proof here, thanks to master wine drinker/pourer kellyo.)

here’s a thrilling secret: i’m terrified at standing in front of people and talking. (don’t tell anyone, ok? 😉

seriously though, as i explained to BS as we drove into DC last night, i like to do things that scare me so that i won’t be scared of them. (neurosis ain’t the boss of me!) i hope my kids are far more fearless than i have been in my life. i intend to continue conquering each and every thing that terrifies me (okay, most things. i think shooting up dope and skydiving are probably not in my future. mom and dad, you can relax now.)

BS, being a most excellent driver, found street parking; and off we hoofed to HR-57. he was patting me all along, telling me i was going to do fine. i think after 20 years, he has figured out that when i get quiet, r e a l l y r e a l l y quiet, that i am nervous. and when i start singing along to the Grateful Dead on the radio, then i am all-out terrified. (oh, don’t jump on me, people. i like the Dead just as much as the next over-X-year old. i just don’t like singing along with them. except for this one and this one.)

(Public Service Announcement: rick. if you’re still out there. please explain to me who the doodah man is.)

anywho, there i was, singing along with truckin’, a song i don’t even like. and there was BS, trying to be the most supportive husband on earth. and suddenly, as i approach the door of HR-57, i hear a voice yell: “SHERRRRRR!” kelly arrived out of nowhere and told me that she, molly, and a friend of her’s from work were next door, tucking into some sake and dinner. i was so touched that they came out, sans tickets, and were going to try and get on the waitlist. (you dudes have no idea how much that meant to me.)

i was warmly welcomed by my producer andi, who should be knighted for actually making a storyline emerge from my written blather. BS bought me a red stripe, and the uber-producer, the divine ms. sarah disgrace, gave me my very own trapper keeper. so i was feeling pretty good about life. and then, my two pals (and a new one) were able to join us up front.


loved the two people who read before me. loved the people who read after me. and i think i did ok. i kept thinking, jeez, my voice gets squeaky when i’m trying to pretend i’m a teenager. what gives? it’s not like i was a teenaged b-o-y. ah well. but i talked about how i was so busy being superior to everyone else because i was superior to everyone else in my high school. (that’s a joke there for anyone who shows up here from TRN. a j-o-k-e. i certainly wasn’t superior to people like maria ressa, a really sweet, talented, and nice chick who probably doesn’t remember me from adam… okay. so, i might not have been superior to plenty of folks, k? nobody better throw punch at me or pull a carrie on me if i make it to the 25th reunion this summer.)

the martyr of toms river north survived, i tell ya.

after the show, a guy came up to me and said, “did you go to north? you mentioned mr. leonard — i went to TRN, too!” as it turns out, he’s about 10 years younger than i am, but we know similar people and went to the same day camp. in fact, i may have been his counselor. the world is strange and wonderful.

so much fun! so much wine! so much support! i hope i get to do it again if i didn’t eff up too much.

many thanks to the producers, especially andi and sarah grace, queen of cupcakes. many thanks to kelly, molly, and my new BFF elizabeth. humungous thanks to michelle (and you know who you are, madam) who helped me find an awesome friend of hers to watch BC and jools. thanks to my family for giving me years of fodder — and love.

and major thanks to BS. the proverbial wind beneath my wings.

(c’mon. we’re celebrating bad writing here. i had to go with it 😉

big me
Feb 19th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

today, i am going to be mortified. i’ve got a piece prepared about me as a high school egomaniac, and i’m going to share it with a sold-out bunch of people i probably have never met (and who probably will never want to meet me after this.)

in short, i am afraid.

but i’m sure it will work out. mortified, you see, is a fun program where people who have actually held on to their terrible, awful, nasty writings from pre-age-21 share them in a humorous setting. humorous for some; mortifying for the reader, i suspect. i’m sure i will upset someone out there (family?) after reading my piece. but this was me, snarky, moody teen girl writing. not me, snarky, moody grownup.

there is a difference. i think.

and ok, on the curb: you wanted a picture of me from my childhood. this is high school me. see if you can figure out precisely what is so dorky about this picture… it may not be quite easy to see, like the gypsy moth treatment on the tree.

high school

guilty pleasure monday: p. y. t. (michael jackson)
Feb 18th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

guilty pleasure monday, dubbed today g. p. m. in honor of my next honoree, michael jackson, and his early 80’s hit p. y. t.

oh please. if you’re over the age of about 39, you danced to this at least 10 times if you had a life back in the day. you know you did. and i did, too, at all those stupid fraternity parties i went to when i was a freshman who didn’t know that there was intelligent life out there beyond campus. yep, those delightful parties where it was 1000 degrees inside a small place where everyone was dancing? where stupid people like me drank the jim jones punch because we thought it was the non-alcoholic alternative?

and p.y.t. was one of the songs i remember from that time. of course, it has a more positive memory — a memory of times when we drove in my friend debbie’s car (she was the only one of my frosh friends i could recall who had a car) over the rickenbacker over to crandon park, where we would sit on the beach — and study! yes, i was that much of a dork to actually study on the beach at key biscayne. and better still — my friends studied, too!

yes: develop skin cancer AND develop your mind, all at the same time. it’s genius.

but i liked the song, enough to let my aforementioned friend debbie convince me to spend $30 dollars — 30 WHOLE dollars — to see michael and his brothers perform at the orange bowl. back then, $30 for a ticket was highway robbery. and i did it. what do i remember about that show? mostly a young african american lady screaming in my ear for what seemed like forever: MICHAEL, MICHAEL, I LOVE YOU, MICHAEL!

sometimes, i hear it in my dreams.

and considering the show they put on that day, it’s actually better that i remember her.

michael went downhill for me after that — i don’t think i really ever recovered much past ben, anyway — but man, i must admit — i didn’t own thriller — i am not one of the gazillion people who bought it and made it the best-selling album ever — but i sure wanted to borrow it and tape it.

which i never actually did, now that i think of it…

Feb 16th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

while chomping on my almonds today, i noticed something hilarious on the package (translation below the poorly-taken photo):


Almonds were first cultivated in California in the 18th century. Today, the state is known for producing some of the highest grade nuts available.

i didn’t even make that up.

::ducking before my CA friends smack me down::


reason to believe
Feb 15th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

i voted on tuesday, of course. and i never revealed how i voted.

but even after the primary, i have this uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. bill cusack sums it up well in the huffington post (led by arianna huffington, formerly an annoying social climber who is now the darling of left-thinkers everywhere.) not to brag, but i should be able to figure things out, things like where politicians stand on a few issues. i have a masters degree in public policy/political science, which entitles me to be a cynical savvy consumer of political information. and i read, people. yes, i did. and do.

and i can understand why i don’t care for john mccain. and i know enough about hillary clinton’s record to decide whether she earned my vote. (incidentally, i am incredibly annoyed that so very many commentators call her hillary and not clinton. it’s not like they think bill is running again so the confusion factor should not be an issue (and anyone THAT stupid should go back in their time machines and reset them for 2008 — or maybe 1208, for all i care), and no one simply talks about john or barack. it’s effing sexist and rude.)

but, as i asked BS the other night as we watched the tuesday returns, what exactly does obama stand for?

looking at all the signs surrounding obama, BS read aloud, obama stands for hope.

now, my snarky BS aside, i am really struggling here. i want to believe. i think millions of americans want to believe. but believe what? that someone will wave a magic wand and poof! years of our flawed (understatement of the year) foreign policy disappear? that our disastrous economic policies will be righted? improvements in health care policy? environmental policy? poverty?

i’m going to read the blueprint again.

but i have to wonder aloud. plenty of stupid americans conservative americans got caught up in the cult of personality when ronald reagan won two elections in the 1980s. he was charismatic, he blew winds of change (among other things), and people wanted to believe that the horrors and embarrassments of the 70s would be swept away (under a rug), leaving only the fresh scent of a carolina pine forest the free market system and superior american defensive strength. people on the left, like me, derided his cult of personality: how could americans be so incredibly gullible to be won over by this amazing orator who didn’t know squat about how washington works?

and now i think i know.

like i said: i am not necessarily knocking obama, but i won’t feel better until i have a better idea of what he’s planning to do. it’s not enough to say that the person was against the war from the start, for example. (i’ve heard plenty of people go off on clinton, for example, because she voted for the war, just like a lot of people who would normally not do something like that except under strange circumstances. which these probably were.) what the hell will he DO when he’s in office about the war? just pull us out and leave the iraqi people to fend for themselves in their shambles of a nation? or has he thought through precisely what he thinks we should do in a gradual way that helps to preserve lives — american and iraqi?

i have plenty of hope, i think. i am not sleeping. i do want to believe. but i need a lot more than that.

i need details.

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