Sunday, June 28, 2015

"Boris" the "Torus" and the Onus Upon Us!

“Your CT scan costs $250.00.  We take all major credit cards!” the cheery receptionist at the Beverly Hills oral surgeon happily processed my Credit Union Visa a few months ago. 

Frankly I didn’t care for anything about the creepy place, let alone trying to sit motionless in a restraining chair while a computer scanned my head.  (I submit that not every idea in my mind is brilliant, but the thoughts are mine and I prefer to keep them to myself unless I choose to blog about them.)

And diagnosed with a “torus” in my mouth by Doctor Evil (whose actual name will just give me a spell-check headache), I accepted my role as a patient, and assumed that whatever ‘the Professionals’ know must be God’s honest truth; my gums would have to be ripped open and bones filed down with possible tooth extraction and some icky dead corpse (redundant) injected into my dental work.


Yet on a particularly hungry evening, craving some apple slices and suffering my very best at the pain in my mouth and tears in my eyes, I looked up a local West Hollywood place within walking distance that had lovely Yelp reviews.  Granted, there was no info if they actually had a surgeon on site, but I had to take the chance.  And calling my Credit Card Company, I let them know in advance that there might be a big fat medical charge within a day or so.


Awake at about 5:50AM (I don’t really sleep at night anymore); I popped up in bed and waited for the institution down the street to open at 9:00AM. 

Whilst I wasn’t particularly proud of my anxiety and weakness, I lit up half of a cigarette.  “Berate me all you want to, new Dentist/Surgeon.  I’ve already had my head checked” I rehearsed pragmatically as any good card-carrying Union Actress worth her salt would do.

But yes: another “Hmmm”...

I wasn’t entirely sure what was rolling around in my mouth, but hello!  Whatever the heck was trying to get out of my gums, it made its way out! 

And preserving “Boris” (the possible “torus”) onto a napkin, for the first time in months, I ate almost absolutely everything in my kitchen; cried , no, SOBBED that I could talk without my tongue getting caught on the nodule (seriously, I sounded like Drew Barrymore after a stroke);  and finally slept for twelve hours!


“Hi Penny.  How are you?” a weird voice called me from the security gate out in front of my apartment building.

“Who IS this?” I wondered.

Well, kind readers, as it turns out, I seem to have a stalker...  And whilst I won’t name him here, BELIEVE ME, my Mom has taken copious notes!  (And no, I don’t think he’s actually dangerous.)

But just when you expel one creepy thing out of your head, a new one pops in!

Now, can someone please explain to me in what alternative Emily Post universe of Etiquette it’s OK to just show up at a single woman’s front security gate???  You were an acquaintance ten years ago?  No, I didn’t know your wife passed away, nor did I know her name, or that you were even married.  But hey, feel free to show up at my apartment building?  How does he even know where I live?  And just what does this fellow think?  Sure let me buzz you in?  That’s seriously INSANE.  I wouldn’t drop by my best friend’s home under ANY situation without calling at least a month in advance!

But politely letting him know that yes, I was in fact busy, he quietly went away.

Now, usually, the “restricted” ring tone on my cell phone (separate from the land line to the security gate) lets me know it’s my friend “Rose”, but I DID make the singular mistake of once answering “What’s up, Buttercup?” to an unlisted Executive Producer.  (Not particularly professional, but I still booked the gig!)

So naturally, two nights later when I heard the “restricted” ring tone, I assumed it was either “Rose” or an employer.


“Hey, I just wondered if you had dinner yet.”

“Who IS this?”

OK, once is odd; twice is disturbing...  (Now, he has my private cell number?)


But as I’m not completely stupid, I did a wee bit of online window shopping as to a bit of home protection.  (My family in the Midwest are proud of their rights to “pack heat”, so why shouldn’t I?  And hey, I got University Credit for a riflery class!) 

“What’s a Desert Eagle 50 AE Spring Powered Airsoft Gun?” I ever so officiously contacted a Department of Justice friend who knows absolutely everything about these extremely powerful firearms, and whether or not $21.99 was a decent price.

“My dear, that’s just a BB gun” he replied.  “The most you could probably do if you have a semi-decent shot, is wing your creepy 90 year old shirtless neighbor that rakes leaves all night and every morning outside your window.”

“Well... that certainly wouldn’t bode well for the pizza delivery boy if I was experiencing a hot flash and hunger pangs!”  (I mistakenly thought I’d get a chuckle, but apparently the DOJ doesn’t sanction a sense of humor.)

(Yep, insert another “Hmmm...”)

Additionally, my Mom tells me that my youngest nephew Austin is incredibly gifted with accuracy and a blow dart gun!  (*scratch chin, and contemplate*.)


Viable as an alternative as that could be, I recently fell dead asleep in front of the television at two in the afternoon with a marathon of “Criminal Minds”; my glasses still on my face.  (Suffice it to say my frames are still wonky, and until I get them all bendy back normally, a blow dart gun would likely only blast a pigeon or accidentally take out my mail carrier...)

So what’s a girl to do?


*Ring* (9:45pm on my cell phone a couple of nights ago – “restricted”.)

“Hey, Penny, is it too late to call you?”

“Yes.  And who IS this?” (I recognized his voice immediately, but I felt the need to establish the fact that we have NO real personal connection and that this is simply NOT acceptable behavior.)

“OK, well, I’ll stay in touch.”

Oh, brother...


Personally, I’ve decided not to arm myself with an arsenal.  (Most likely, I’d end up shooting off my own foot.)

But if my body could fight off “Boris” and “Dr. Evil”, then I think I may be clever enough to elude my stalker...!

I’m admittedly a pathetic prevaricator, but so far I’ve established a fabricated tale (should the stalker call again), that my “boyfriend” is here (I really gotta think up a manly name...  Any suggestions?  Is “Thor” believable?  How about “Maximillian”?   (Told you, I’m a lousy liar)); but additionally, after “he” (the mysterious fictional boyfriend) finishes power weight lifting, “we’re” going to watch a violent slasher movie and eat a meat lover’s pizza.  (As an Actress, I’ve mastered a disturbingly believable baritone voice, so yes, I can play both roles.)


In the “mean” time, I’m just thrilled to chew!  I’ve officially designated “butter” and “chocolate” as necessary dietary food groups in the RDA pyramid. 

Additionally, “Pepperidge Farms Garlic Bread” has become a staple on my grocery list, and it’s my firm belief that “Stouffer’s Meat Lasagna” is the source of a significant life force.

But hey, that’s just me.  (And maybe the anti-vampire stench of garlic will fend off my stalker!)

Wishing you all epicurean delights!



Monday, June 8, 2015

Racking Focus on my Chinny Chin Chin


In a spectacularly brutal test of my personal endurance as a resilient and stalwart human being, the grand epic Universe (or a sickly person in the orange juice aisle who actually LIKES pulp and put the OTHER bottle back) opted for a bit of “fun” by biblically plaguing me with a head cold on top of my usual seasonal allergies. 
(I have absolutely no proof that this pulp-loving diseased individual actually exists, but I DO firmly believe that the world is a monstrous Petri dish FULL of bacteria, and I still desire to earn millions of dollars and eventually dwell in my very own live-in Bubble.)

Sure, I slept a few hours here and there the first few nights amidst comforting sips of Vicks NyQuil dreams; but snoring or snorting myself awake with congestion every other hour since I never consumed a full dose as recommended, I pressed the “elevate head” button on “Vladimir” (my magnificent monster mattress), and laid there once again like seasoned meat stuffed in a taco shell.
Now, of course I’ve heard the adage that “misery loves company”, but I must say that my heart went out to an upstairs neighbor in my rather compact apartment building who hasn’t stopped loudly sneezing for the last two weeks.  (He sneezes FOUR times in a row, EVERY TIME!)  So, at the very least, I’m comforted that whatever seemed to be in bloom and emanating massive doses of pollen; I wasn’t alone!

But equally bothered by completely unrelated symptoms, I searched the World Wide Web for a bit of insight as to my ongoing malaise.  (And before I continue to proceed further, all Y-chromosome readers may feel free to skip this post.  No hard feelings!  Yet if you choose to continue on, hopefully you’ll find my research educational.)

Yes, this Penny is going through her Change.  (And I don’t mean the happy FUN kind when you pop open the belly of your pink piggy bank and roll coins in tiny paper bank sleeves!)  (Don’t judge me – it’s thrifty as well as fiscally savvy:  I recently tipped a delivery guy with a two dollar roll of nickels.  Some of you will appreciate the irony.)

Yet I digress, as I’m wont to do!


Locating a website devoted entirely to a forum of one-page short stories published by women of all ages equally experiencing ‘the Change’, I hesitated before clicking on the link.  After all, what could I possibly learn?

“WAIT, WAIT, WAIT Penny!” a female friend of mine piped up in a ‘feverish’ panic on the phone as I expressed my desire to blog about this particularly difficult phase in every woman’s life.  “You can’t WRITE about it!  Image in Hollywood is EVERYTHING.  Yes, it’s superficial, but that’s the MAGIC we create!  You might NEVER work again if you blog about this!” she warned me.

“Or..., I might actually gain the respect of powerful people in The Industry who applaud self-awareness, knowledge and acceptance that this is simply a fact of life that we all have to deal with” I replied Spock-logically (seasoned with a hint of Oprah).

Seriously, are we living in the Victorian Era in the Age of Technology?  By all means, feel free to post a picture of your double chocolate chip breakfast muffin on social media.  Just don’t dare mention that without a bite of chocolate, you might’ve ripped someone a “new one” at work?

“Obviously I’m NOT a menopausal woman” my male friend RJ laughed long distance, but I can tell you, I have no mercy for your hot flashes.  I’m a large man, and I perspire more than anyone I know.  That’s why I keep my office freezing cold so I can still wear my favorite wool sweaters!  But the allergies, yeah I get that.  Never had allergies my whole life, but now I don’t leave the house without a handkerchief.  And I don’t know if this helps, but when my Mom went through ‘her Change’, she constantly wore her favorite t-shirt that said “I’m out of Estrogen and I have a gun.”  (I LOVE that!)

After much serious contemplation, I choose to believe that rather than politically correctly hush-up, perhaps I can use this page to help at least one woman who thinks she’s going bonkers and/or a husband who thinks his wife is bat-crap crazy.

Yes, sometimes I stick my head in the freezer.  (And no, it’s not the happy FUN time of searching for a scoop of ice cream at 3:30am.)

On certain days, I’m nauseous from allergies (no longer seasonal) and I can blow through 10 Kleenexes in one minute. 

I’m often exhausted despite taking my vitamins, and I pat myself on the back if I can sleep two whole hours in a row at night.  These blissful hours are usually roused by creepy night sweats and inexplicable bouts of anxiety.  (Recently, I checked the clock, turned off the lights, slept hard for what seemed an eternity, woke up, stretched and turned the lights back on, only to discover that I had slept for exactly 18 minutes.)
Conversely, as I’m not currently employed, I find that I’m akin to one of the viral adorable sleepy puppies on YouTube, and randomly fall dead asleep midday in front of the television; the human equivalent of utter inability not to drowse into your food bowl of kibble.

Additionally, the hair on my head is thinning, which is apparently no deterrent to the fuzzy peach moustache that I seem to have inherited from my beloved Grandma Ruth on my upper lip. (Awesome!  My career happens to be in television Sit-Coms which has mostly become High-Def.  Can you zoom in for focus on that singular ebon Shakespearean witch-hag follicle that grows at an alarming rate over night?)
And difficult of a confession as this may also be - my intolerance of utterly stupid people has risen exponentially.  Some days, it’s all I can do to slap a smile on my face and pretend to be “pleasant”, all the while suppressing thoughts of slapping the snot out of incompetent idiots.  (I’m not particularly proud of these moments, but I own them.) 

Now, if anything positive may come of this post, I just wish that women of whatever age will know that they are not alone; nor are their husbands or boyfriends, who think that they are suddenly living with a bat-crap crazy lunatic.  It is what it is!  This is obviously an awkward, undesirable phase in life, but hopefully I’ve opened the door for discussion for you and your significant others.

As for me, on the plus side (sleep deprived as I may be), I’ve learned that I’m an absolute GENIUS at boiling spaghetti around midnight. 
Additionally, my kitchen sink has never been cleaner, as occasionally taking to task helps to shake off anxiety.

But what’s best of all? 
I recently discovered a free channel (uninterrupted by commercials) on my TV of music from the 1980’s.  Cognitive development occurs at the age of 14, so yes, I’ll get out of bed and dance ala Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy to retro songs from “The Breakfast Club” at any given hour of the night.  (“You never know when you may have to jam”!)

Ladies, please know that you’re not crazy.  Rather, I prefer to diagnose us as suffering from various degrees of “Mad-ness”.

And whilst I’m neither a certified doctor (albeit occasionally “certifiable”) nor am I an altruistic do-gooder, if you wish to read some personal stories that verify you haven’t lost your mind, “Project Aware” is an excellent website if you care to check it out.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my head has a date with the freezer. 

And yes, at least for today, this will be the FUN happy time when I pillage for chocolate Haagen Dazs!
Yours in a hot flash,


 p.s. I'm LOATHING Google right now that it won't format my page correctly translated from Word Document, FFS.  It's MADNESS, I tell you!