Archive for the ‘My lunch with…’ Category

So Older Son asked for a Dr. Spencer Reid bag for his backpack this year. He is probably our favorite character on Criminal Minds.

Dr. Reid and his bag

I had to deflect a few times because he didn’t know he was getting it for his birthday, but now that he has turned 15 (how the #@$@&&#$$ did that happen?), he has opened it. Heck, he’s already filled it with his school supplies.

We love Dr. Reid. We love that our sons see him as a role model. Matthew Gray Gubler’s portrayal of the character is one to which my sons can easily relate. He’s super smart (probably written a bit smarter than my guys), he’s true to himself, and through that, he has confidence. There are worse options for a role model.

Neither of my sons have an eidetic memory, and I know at least one of them won’t go into criminal forensics. But I do know one plans on a PhD (the proud owner of the Dr. Reid bag) and wouldn’t be surprised if Younger Son ends up with a PhD too.

All of that is lovely and relatable for my two sons, but I think they may have another connection that is even stronger.

Dr. Reid has a mom who has schizophrenia too. Not a lot of characters on television or in the movies align that well with my sons’ lives.

Jane Lynch does an amazing portrayal of Diana Reid. The relationship of mother & son has grown to be wonderfully detailed. It offers a glimpse into caring for a parent who has a mental illness and the complexities that go along with it.

I hope I don’t follow the same path as the character, but I suppose it doesn’t hurt for the boys to realize I might need some help when I’m older, depending on how good my mind stays (or doesn’t). Obviously, Hubby will help too, and mostly I hope I stay basically as I am now, but…

So thank you to Gubler & Lynch for creating and portraying our “normal” in mainstream entertainment. And for a really neat bag.

Older Son with bag and a hint about his PhD.

@gublernation @janemarielynch

And thank you for being in C. Guest’s movies, Ms. Lynch!

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“I’m Richard Dreyfuss. I don’t need this! I was in Jaws!” We love him. Jaws is one of, if not, younger son’s favorite movies. I love too many of his movies to list. But I will comment on how much I love Jaws The Goodbye Girl, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Mr. Holland’s Opus, and I love him in Postcards From The Edge. And The American President. And Moon Over Parador. Of course, Down and Out in Beverly Hills. See? Love so many. Once Around. And What About Bob?

Although…that movie did/does contribute to the misconceptions of Tourette’s Syndrome…so one point deducted.

Obviously we also love him in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and he was kind enough to sign my lunch box what’s with the quote, “This means something”. He said that was one of the most important lines in the movie and, while he may have been blowing smoke up my ass, I think he probably was being truthful. He says the line twice in the movie and then another person says it a third time.

Mr. Dreyfuss was quite kind talking with my sons for several minutes about their names about presidents and treasurers. He really likes Civics and the history of our country and I think that’s pretty cool. He had a good appreciation for my sons’ names although they aren’t named after presidents or treasurers.

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Lunch was actually at a little pizza shop. I will never complain about the price of pizza in my hometown again. A pizza in Manhattan requires a small loan. It was really good pizza.

Younger son and I went into New York City with the band and select Chorale for the musical field trip. This year’s show was Hello Dolly starring Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber. I thought the show was phenomenal- great costumes, sets, amazing choreography. And Ms. Peters is phenomenal. And I love Victor Garber. I had the good fortune to see Bernadette Peters in Annie Get Your Gun when a friend of mine was in the cast. It’s great to have seen her in a second show and I don’t know how she has the energy she does at age 70 because I, at age 47, was exhausted just watching the show.

It was a great day with younger son and I had a really fun time making that memory with him at his first Broadway play.

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As we said hello to the lovely Kathleen Turner, my sons told her they mostly know her as Chandler’s dad. She laughed. I love that she directed folks on the camera angle to use. Her voice is amazing, so sultry and captivating. It demands that you listen.

Ms. Turner recommended I introduce the boys to Serial Mom. An excellent suggestion.

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Hubby and I met the awesome Tim Curry at the stage door after we saw Spamalot. Hubby loves to tell how I turned into a twelve year old girl. We got his autograph, but this was before cameras came standard in cell phones, so no picture.

Yesterday at Monster Mania 39, the boys got to meet Tim Curry. They first saw him as Pennywise, but then became fans of Tim in Clue, Psych, Monk, Scary Movie 2, and on and on. They thanked him for all of his work. They told him how since they were little, after first watching It, when they passed a sewer, they would say, “Hello, Pennywise!”

I got to tell him about meeting him at Spamalot. What was sweet was that Tim then asked me how Hubby and I liked it.

Each of my sons extended their hands to shake his hand. Tim Curry asked each their names, ages, and then chatted with them for a few moments. Older Son did his Pennywise impression for him, while Younger Son was wearing his Pennywise shirt.

Joining us in the adventure were friends who became family long ago. I enjoyed most of all watching my sons interact with someone they admire so much. And seeing how confident and comfortable they were talking with Mr. Curry. I know they will hold this memory for a long time.

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I don’t know what we’d have for lunch, but truly I don’t think I would have time to eat. So John could pick the restaurant. As long as it has something chocolate. And sweet tea. And actually, it would be great if there was a way I could smoke too, but then we’d have to use the HTTM to go back to the 80s.

I went into the movie on faith alone that John Cusack would deliver one of his fabulous performances. I like the Beach Boys, I like Wilson Phillips, but didn’t know a lot about them. Learned a little during W-P heydey because the publicity talked a bit about the rough relationship with their dad and I assumed drugs. So truly I thought Love & Mercy would be about Brian Wilson’s rehab and yada yada yada.


1:36:00-1:36:35. If you watch no other part of this movie, cue up these 35 seconds. That’s me up on the screen. No, I’m not a tenor from a beloved American band. But that is me. I know Brian lived it and he and I could have several lunches together comparing notes. Mr. Cusack nailed it. Without bullshit around it, without sensationalizing it, just being there in that moment when you are finally tired enough to trust someone with the words, “I hear voices.”

And as immediately as the words pass over your lips, the look of anticipation expecting the person you breathed the words to to laugh, walk away, call you crazy without realizing that you are trying to express that very sentiment in a very real way. Then from 1:36:36-1:36:49, Melinda says, “lets go” and Brian says, “I don’t know how.” I wish I could explain how true that was and how well it was delivered. You forget how to do things on your own. I was lucky my psychiatrist was amazing. Dr. O was incredible at cognitive behavioral therapy. Yes, there were meds and yes, they make you fall asleep, feel nauseous, and basically numb, not really alive but rather simply functioning. But you really don’t know how. You have to relearn everything.

I couldn’t make even the simplest decisions. What to wear, what to eat, which way to walk to classes. And Paul Dano at the table with the cacophony of noises. Dear God, make it stop. That still affects me today, noises that I can’t control that become all too loud, deafening, and never-ending. The fixation Dano had throughout the “past” scenes. The exhaustion and complacency Cusack had in the “future” scenes, worn down by decades of living with it.


As I believe I have written before, I was lucky, I got treatment after only seven years from onset. I cannot fathom decades without treatment. I have permanent re-wiring from just the seven years, and a few minor episodes since initial treatment, and I can only imagine the amount of compensation Mr. Wilson has to do every day. I had long-term side effects from my meds. Some went away once I got off of them, like the glaucoma, but the neuropathy in my hands and feet is here to stay. I no longer notice the tardive dyskinesia, it’s been there that long. Again, I can only imagine the side-effects Mr. Wilson contends with on a daily basis.

Oh my lanta, the withdrawal he must have gone through when he finally got out from under Landy’s control. I am so glad they did not show that because it had to be wicked and painful and long. And I am happy Landy got what he deserved. That wasn’t vengeance, that was justice and protecting others from his disgusting behavior.

The auditory hallucinations were portrayed in an incredibly authentic way and the speech patterns for both past and future had just enough of the “classic” schizophrenic speech. Side note-my theory on the speech, from a sample size of one, so not very scientific, is that I was just trying to keep up with the voices and the people around me. The style of the film resonated as true too. I have snippets of my youth, scenes, and I can flashback to them quite vividly, almost on command. But a perfect timeline does not exist.

I read in a comment or a review somewhere that the movie moved a little too slow. Then that person is either lucky enough to never have lived with mental illness or is living with it still and had to distance himself. Time moves so differently when you’re in an episode. Not just for the person, but for those living or working with him. You try to keep up with real time, but you’re not sleeping, eating, or thinking properly. It’s harder than it seems.

Obviously I didn’t see this in the theaters, but at home courtesy of Redbox and thank goodness. I hate having a runny, snotty nose with big tears running down my face in public, even in a dark movie theater. Plus I had to pause it a few times to compose myself. Any movie that can evoke emotion is one that I love and this one goes way up to the top of my list. I saw myself, a true, real, believable portrayal of me, on screen. Thank you, John Cusack, Paul Dano, and, most importantly, Brian Wilson for sharing your story.


And yes, peeps of my generation, I would thank John for some choice earlier roles, showing us that not all guys were going to be dicks, but that some would actually treat a lady nicely. And of course, 1408. And Grosse Pointe Blank. I’m no idiot.

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I’m not good at taking an actual lunch break at work.  Today I really stopped and ate food (a lovely stuffed shell left over from Sunday night’s dinner).  I am playing music and decided to take a few minutes for me, and in turn, you Gentle Reader.

My boys are sick.  I hate that.  Older son got sick on Saturday.  His fever spiked as high as 105 at one point but today it is hovering around 100, so he’s almost all better.  He also has his energy and appetite back-both good signs.  Younger son came down with it yesterday and is still in the thick of it.  His temperature this morning was 103.  He is feeling very achy and I really wish I could be home with both of them.  They caught it from Hubby (he caught it from a patient) so I’m the only one it hasn’t gotten yet.

Hubby truly understands that as much as I want to be at home, I really can’t call out from work at the moment.  We’re in training mode and there isn’t anyone else here to step in and cover.  My boys understand too and besides, Dad doesn’t make them rest in their rooms like I do.  I’m sure the three of them are in the living room watching some cartoon or another.  Knowing I couldn’t stay home today either, Hubby ran around last night taking care of stuff that he knew he wouldn’t be able to take care of today.  And he surprised me by putting out the garbage.  I had the biggest smile when I walked out of my house this morning and discovered he had already put the trash to the curb.

When Hubby did get home last night, we watched Scary Movie 2 (again) because it makes us laugh every freakin’ time.  (I better use my strong hand…)

The boys have been helping each other with taking care of the pets, depending on who is feeling better.  They are so cute and cuddly when mildly delirious from fever!

Ah, lunch with myself.  Time’s almost up.  Gonna go call my three stooges and see how they are.

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“There is no rhyme or reason to depression, no rhyme or reason to suicide. He was tired.” Dr. Jeff on Fox this morning about Robin Williams.
I’ve read a lot online today about Robin Williams, all beautiful. He had mental illness and he was tired. There was a quote from him about only getting a little spark of madness and being careful not to lose it. I like that quote and a little madness is a good thing. A lot of madness makes one tired.

I’ve been that tired. And when the only answer seemed to be the path Mr. Williams sadly chose, I walked the streets of Philadelphia on that night 25 years ago trying to determine the best way to do it. Luckily for me I wandered near a friend’s apartment and after he opened his door and invited me in, he didn’t ask any challenging questions. He was just there with me. I don’t remember the evening very well, don’t know how long I was even there, but Mole just let me be. And it was enough.

I was tired. Tired of the voices yelling berating comments at me all day and night. Tired of trying to keep up with classes and not showing the truth to my classmates. Tired of the paranoia that everyone in my class hated me and all were out to sabotage any efforts I made. Tired of trying the rituals even though they hadn’t worked in months. Tired of not sleeping.

I know how tired Mr. Williams had to have been. 

We cannot be ashamed or hide who we are. With treatment, I’m just like you. But if I can’t talk about the mental illness because of the actions of someone with untreated mental illness, we will continue to have unnecessary tragedies in our world. When we realize that untreated mental illness causes such sadness and stop hiding it because it makes us uncomfortable we can start to make progress.

I have schizophrenia. It does not define me, is simply part of me. Didn’t ask for it, but it has helped shape who I am. And I think I rock.

You know someone with mental illness. You have for as long as you have known me. So it is a part of your life too. I’m probably not the only person with mental illness that you know.

Help the conversation grow and become loud. If we talk about it and find ways to help all people with mental illness, we can stop sadness like the loss of an actor who has been a part of my life since I was 8. We can stop tragedies like school shootings where innocents die for no reason but a lack of untreated and uncontrolled mental illness.

Oh captain, my captain…not sure when I’ll be able to watch that movie again. It was hard to watch 25 years ago. Hard again now for different reasons.

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Okay, so it wasn’t lunch. It was a Q&A after the show tonight in Philly. I went out for a ladies’ night out with my friends, Steph and Kasie. What does one do on a ladies’ night out? See their favorite transvestite British stand up comedian in Philly. We even drove the wrong way down a one way street, but only for a brief bit, about half a block. And it was the sun’s fault. I won’t say who was driving. So you’ll have to guess. Eddie was wearing a fabulous suit…beautifully tailored, the sleeves were perfect. He suggested we all curse more often, so absofuckinglument! (He also suggested it be in different languages.) And the guy in the seat next to me during the show had no concept of personal space.

The show was hysterical as usual. Hubby and I saw him during his “Sexie” tour. This was “force majeure”. And et viola! The man looks better in a dress than I do and that still frustrates me. It should inspire me to get more fit, like the lions. The thing I like about Eddie’s comedy (yes, one question allows me to be on a first name basis) is that is intelligent and full of history. You actually get to use your brain. It’s not potty humor (except when the soldiers are pooing on the horses…that really made me laugh and I don’t know why exactly).

Anyhoo, during the Q&A Steph suggested I ask him about entering politics based on an interview with him that I read last week. He did say that he is planning to run for Parliament in 2020 and would be an Al Franken-like politician and so et viola! I was impressed that he could see one so short all the way in the back. I could really only see him by holding up my nexus and watching it on the screen. We took pics with the marquee and I will add one as soon as I can.

And the parking guy was wrong. There. The last word. Subject closed.

(top photo copyright Andy H)
(bottom photo copyright Idil Sukan)

#eddieizzard #forcemajuere #philly

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I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the return of the Twinkie.  I actually missed these little snacks.  I tried some of the knock-offs, but they just didn’t cut it.  The Twinkie I had yesterday filled me with joy.  And filled me with all the bad crap they are made out of but I didn’t care one bit.

Just think, now the scene in Ghostbusters will continue to make sense to future generations.

Tell ’em about the Twinkie.

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