Sunday, December 31, 2006

End of 2006

So, no mushy stuff about the year here, just a quick end-of-the-year post; will have more tomorrow.

Hubby and I, are of course, getting a divorce... HA, bad joke, sorry... I was going to say, hubby and I are fine. I fumed for two days; he spent those days being clueless. I told him I deserved an apology. I got over it; he made me laugh, and now we have decided together that we do live in a dump.

That's how we fight, I guess. But he cracks me up, and ... I don't know... we're fine. No underlying issues here, other than his analness and my lack of analness.

Anyway, my plan is to awake sans hangover tomorrow, so I will probably write a boring post on what I hope to accomplish in 2007. Here's what I wrote about last year:

2006 Resolutions

2006 First Post

May your 2007 be filled with love, joy, peace, calmness, yoga, appetinis, grandenonfatsugarfreevanillalattes, happiness, good health, unsolicitied compliments, hugs, unexpected smooches, and all that makes you happy!

See ya next year!
Peace Out!
Love, Manic Mom

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Fight Night Venting

Fuming here.

Usually I don't vent about the inadequacies of my spouse on here, because for one, I don't think it's fair because I'm certain you'll all come back with comments agreeing with me, and for two, well, because I air some dirty laundry, but not all of it, and three, because there's really not that much to complain about when it comes to my husband.

But here's the truth.

I am Sleeping With The Enemy.

Ha. Not really, what I mean is, sometimes I think they based that character in the Julia Roberts movie on my husband's analness. Not the beating me up part; he never does that, but the absurdness of his analness as the older he gets is becoming a bit, shall we say, extreme?

For instance, it is, what? Two days after Christmas. He is getting hives practically because there is stuff all over the place, toys, wrapping, ornaments, by God -- A CHRISTMAS TREE IS STILL IN OUR HOUSE, and it's TWO DAYS POST-CHRISTMAS!

So, what am I doing? I'm lying on the couch, eating my Marshall Field's Frango mints my wonderful M-I-L got me for Christmas, with my iTunes blasting in my ears, and I'm just having the time of my life, relaxing, enjoying the post holiday cheer.



I am taking down Xmas shit, and it was my idea, because I'm done with it, over it all, and Mr. Sleeping With The Enemy is home from work early, and he mutters, "This place is a dump."

Excuse fucking me?

"What did you just say?"

"I was talking to myself."

"Well, you spoke out loud so obviously, you intended for me to hear you."

We fight, I tell him he has no clue; we have three children who are trying to play with their gifts and you want me to put them all away, you Scroogey MF. I don't say all of this, I'm just telling it to you now.

What did he do for Christmas?

Did he put up the outside lights? No.

I did.

Did he put up the Christmas tree? Yes.

I'll give him that; he assembled the fake spruce and put it up.

Did he decorate the tree? No.

I did.

Did he shop for his family's gifts, or offer any suggestions on what to buy for them? No.

I did.

Did he wrap any of the gifts for his family? No.

I did.

Did he even know what our kids would be opening on Christmas day? No.

I did. Because I bought ever last-mother-fucking item, thankyouverymuch.

Did he make any of the appetizers for Christmas Day? No.

I did.

Did he bake, or in my case, attempt to bake anything? No.

I did.

Did he make the Christmas dinner? No.

I did.

Will he take down the tree? No.

I will.

Will he take down the outside lights I put up? No.

I will.

And he thinks he's right, and he thinks that our house should be immaculate even though we have three young children who have their two-day-old Christmas gifts strewn about the house; even though we are in the midst of a fairly big rennovation project with our laundry room and things are a bit dusty and messy; even though, by God, I've just busted my freaking ass for the last month to make it a nice Christmas for my family and all I get is, "This place is a dump."

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I'm Thinking About:

The wretched garlic stench-taste in my mouth - whole garlic cloves on Italian bread and wine for dinner last night.

How hubby bent down and kissed my face at 5 a.m. and told me he loved me.

That I will NEVER be one of those moms who wear holiday sweater vests with glitter and Rudolph noses, snowmen and crocheted snowflakes. Sorry if you wear 'em, but I hate 'em.

I am glad that most of the wrapping is done.

I am breathing easier these last few days before the holiday hurrah!

That I no longer have that two-day headache that relinquished me to a vicodin and four hours in bed one afternoon.

Wanting to be chosen to go on WHAT NOT TO WEAR.

Not answering this particular phone call.

How we are going to the Chinese restaurant again this year for our Christmas Eve dinner.

What a great meal we will have on Christmas Day: Steaks, my mom's broccoli casserole, hash-brown potato casserole, spinach salad with walnuts, craisins, goat cheese and poppyseed dressing.

How I almost wrote poopyseed dressing.

Oh, and Limited Edition Edy's Peppermint ice cream, angel food cake, and whip cream for dessert!

How nice it is that my employer is giving me a generous bonus when all I am is a part-time freelancer--THANK YOU!

How I would love to buy a laptop.

How I will only buy a laptop if I sell my novel.

How desperately I do want to sell my novel...

And write the second book.

How my mouth tastes like garlic paste right now and I don't think I can be near anyone lest they die in the face of my breath.

How even though I feel guilted into blogging sometimes, it really does make me feel happier to be typing nonsense into this computer.

How I am thinking up a fun blogging game I will post later.

What will we do New Year's Eve?

How I have been to Weight Watchers the past three weeks, during this crazy eating/drinking season and how happy I am to have lost consecutively each week.

That I have to wear a swimsuit in exactly...SIX WEEKS FROM TODAY! YIKES!

How I think I may go for a walk in a little bit, blast my ipod and feel good in the fresh air.

That I hope you have a Merry Christmas and that while I also hope you get some nice gifts, I hope even more so that you spend the time with your family and friends and there is love and joy and peace all around you!

That I'm going to end this post now, and go for that walk...

Merry Christmas everyone from

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Candle

My candle, which has been burning from both ends for a while now (as I'm sure many of you have had the same experience) has just burnt to the end, ignited and exploded.

I'm done. Exhausted. Spent. Tired. Need to Exhale.

Remember, Christmas Doesn't Just Happen.

I think I'll pass the Christmas torch on for next year.

For my Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Do You Know What?



It's almost midnight.

I have to pee.

I am crabby.

I just burped, and it tasted funky and I couldn't remember what I ate and that was strange to me.

Just remembered it was Chunky Fajita Steak soup.

That's why it was funky.

I feel sick.

I feel crabby.

I feel like I want to write but there is nothing to say.

I am getting anxious about needing to get working on a second book.

I am thinking about resolutions.

Not making any; just thinking about them in general.

I have so many GD gifts to wrap I am sure my back will kill me by the time I'm done.

Some of them, I am wrapping for myself to give to myself.

Even though I already know Hubby got me what I asked for.

Even though I am not going to tell you what I asked for.

Because you will laugh.

You will say, "You're kidding me. Manic Mom wants a ??? for Christmas."

I am typing so fast, the keyboard cannot keep up with me.



Do you want to know anything else?

I think I only peed like twice today.

But Tukey and I both made poo at The Home Depot.

You should see the look on his face when he tries to push out a big poo.

This a.m. he said to me: "You're cold and I'm warm so wann know what? We should snuggle."

We went to Home Depot three times today.

We only used the bathroom one time; the second visit.

I still have to pee.

I still want to type some stuff.

I counted points today.

I drank no wine today.

I probably should have though.

I am looking around my office in search of inspiration.

You'd like to know why I was at Home Depot three times today?

I like their toilet.

No, not really.

We are doing a little construction project in our home.

Which involves me not having access to our washer and dryer currently.

Which means I sent the laundry out last week to have it done -- 36 pounds of clothing, washed, dried, folded for $40.

It would have taken me a day and a half to do that much laundry.

Certainly, I'm worth $40.

I wish we didn't have a new washer/dryer.

Then I could use the laundromat.

And I would never have to do laundry again.

Husband attended two professional sporting events this week: Da Bulls. Da Bears. They both won.

He will also be viewing NIU in some bowl game tomorrow night. Out.

He went out last Monday night too.

I saw The Holiday.

I also saw Unaccompanied Minors.

And Charlotte's Web.

I only paid for two of those three movies.

Yes, but I bought extra candy.

And, when I was at the grocery store last week, I realized I forgot to pay for my case of water.

So, I went to customer service and told them, and then I paid them.

So, maybe I'm not so bad.

Maybe I won't go to hell for Movie Hopping.

Not sure why I admitted to the Movie Hopping thing again.

I CAN.NOT stand indecisive people.

Make a decision and go with it.

Move ahead.

This just reminded me of that song, "Hey Mickey."

You're so fine. You blow my mind.

Should I be done?

Or should I just keep typing whatever the hell my fingers want to type?

I am getting addicted to yoga.

I really don't drink Diet Coke any more.

Does one can a week count?

I wonder what Jesus or Mary or Joseph did with the gold, frankensense and myhhr.

I know those are misspelled because I spelled them the correct way in a quiz I wrote for the website I work for.

But, I don't feel like looking it up.

I am tired of getting zits.

I love, love, love to pick my kids' toenails.

But, they never let me.

I wonder if when I die, will they sit around the table, and say, "Remember how mom used to love to pick our toenails? We were so mean to not let her do it. Now she's dead and she can no longer pick our toenails. I wish I let her pick them more."

Do you think I'm done yet?

No chance.

This is just getting good.

And I still have to pee.

But I know, when I go, it will smell that weird way like how it does after I have a Starbucks.

But that was like hours ago, after I did yoga, and before I went to Home Depot for the third time.



After all, this post will now show up for Tuesday since it's past midnight.

I usually get past and passed confused.

My yoga teacher said Acrossed instead of Across.

I'm looking around the room again.

I am going to go wrap presents.

And again, I'm full circle because....



Sunday, December 17, 2006

Life in Wine

There is a process to wine drinking, you all know that, right? You know when you first start drinking wine, you hit the Mad Dog 20/20 in order to get a fast, cheap buzz in high school, and then you might also throw in a couple bottles of Peach or Raspberry Reunite for a classy alternative. "Backintheday" of high school drama and unchapperoned drinking parties, they used to make Sun Country (was it Sun Country, now I can't remember?! Or what were the names of those two guys in the wine cooler ads? This will drive me crazy so if you remember, please tell me!) Two-Liter bottles of wine coolers that we girls would chug until we felt gas pains in our shoulders.

I have no idea why they stopped making those?

Then you go to college, and have to learn to like beer cuz that's usually all that's available. You get through your college years drinking Meisterbrau, Milwaukee's Best (The Beast) or Rhinelander for its cost-effectiveness, or the Stroh's 30-pack because you get SIX EXTRA BEERS! You deal with warm keg beer with tons of foam, but you don't care. It's liquor, it's a party. You puke in the parking lot on the way from one party to another and it doesn't matter. It's fun. It's college. It's just some of those life experiences.

This is not going where I thought it was headed. I was talking wine.

Then you get out of college, and attempt to learn how to choose a restaurant based on its atmosphere and wine list, and not that it stays open all night and you know you can get an order of fries, maybe even with cheese, with the money you have left over from the night of drinking at the bar.

At that segment in life, when you're just starting out in 'real life' and are figuring out what career you got stuck in because it was the first interview you had and the guy who hired you was kinda cute in a weird kinda way, and you didn't care that you were just making $18,000 a year; you've arrived! You are officially a career-woman!

You need to learn to drink wine!

And then, your live-in fiancee, almost husband starts getting asked out to dinners for work, and he also has to start taking clients out to schmooze them into buying advertising for the new start-up minor hockey team in your town, so you go out with people who are older, who are wiser, who have already done the Reunite and Mad Dog thing, and you're out there, and it's time to order, so you think you'll be classy and order some wine.

Enter Berringer White Zinfandel.

For a few years, you think you are cool, hip, wine-knowledgeable, and holy shit, when the day comes you can finally afford to spring for a whole twenty-two-dollar bottle of White Zin AND a salad, an appetizer, AND main course, you think you've arrived.

Heh heh heh.

Then one day, your now husband comes home from a dinner out with clients and he mentions he tried a great new wine that he knows you'll love... Pinot Grigio. It takes you just as long to learn how to say Pinot Grigio as it did to take you to learn how to order your grandenonfatsugarfreevanillalattenowhipextrahot. You feel wise. You know how to say "I'll have a bottle of Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio" with a nice flair sound to the ghhhhzzzz in Grigio. Again, you think you have arrived.

Oh, the cluelessness of it all.

And then, years later, add one kid, and you're at a family-friends home, and they serve Rosemount Shiraz, the Australian red kind. You've never had red really, only pink, which was really either Mad Dog 20/20 or White Zin, which is equally strange because White Zin should be White, right? And so you drink the Rosemount Shiraz, five bottles between four of you, and the next thing you know, that evening you are straddling your husband in your family-friends home guest bedroom, and three weeks later you discover you are pregnant.

You're happy to be pregnant, of course, because this means Diva will arrive, but you decide you can no longer drink red wine as it gets you pregnant. And, in being pregnant, you can't drink anyway, so you stop drinking. Wine, and everything else.

For some reason after the second baby arrives, you move onto Vodka Tonics with lots of lemon, but when summer ends, you find yourself yearning for wine again, and go back to the tried-and-true Pinot Grigio. You've always liked how the words rolled off your tongue anyway. You attend grown-up parties and events, spending time with worldly people, and discover you have no liking for Chardonnay; it's too oaky for you, yet, it seems to be the popular choice and you ease into it, starting with Luna de Luna, a nice Pinot-Chardonnay.

Eventually, you make your way to liking Chardonnay, and drink it for a few years, thinking you've finally found the wine of choice, the one you'll most likely stick to, for it's allright. For now...

But then, you begin to see that reds are making their way back into your life. You have no affinity for reds. The sulfides make your heart race, the red grapes cause pregnancy. You don't want to go red.

But. You do. And now it's time to learn about the reds, and you're not feeling the merlots too much, and cabernet savignon is just too hard to say. You move toward the light-bodied Pinot Noir.

And you still have difficulty with the flair of saying 'Noir' without sounding like a fool, but this is the stage you're at now, the timeline of your wine-growth, and you're okay with it. You think. And although you think it was the Shiraz that caused your libido to rise that one fateful night, eight years ago, you did almost get caught in a compromising position last night by Diva, the one who actually was conceived of the red grape, and you wonder as you type this, if we've now come full circle... the wine, the baby girl, the wine last night, the baby girl, now seven, almost catching you 'in the act'...

and all because of the red. Yes, it's the red.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Me: "I kinda feel like getting drunk."

Him: "Welcome to my world."

Happy Friday, Folks!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oh, and if you're not really in the mood to get drunk, go over to the former Dating Dummy and join his Blog-Wide Workout team -- it's a great motivator to be accountable for your exercise program. Tell him MM sent you.

Off to find a wine opener!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Just Some Stuff

OK, I think I might have to have a Guest Blogger on here some day and I think it might have to be Ajers since he's just such a funny little fucker.

Today's conversation, first thing in the a.m. upon him waking me up so I can watch him eat breakfast before school. (Oh, and so I can get Diva up too, which is another funny story...I went to wake her up yesterday a.m. and I see she is sleeping with one of those silky eye masks to keep out the light! I'm like WTF? She really is a Diva.)

Anyway, today's Ajers Conversation:

Him: "No offense, but you could brush your hair once in a while."


Him: "I said, 'No offense!'"

In other exciting Manic News, I am hosting a neighborhood cookie exchange tonight, which is really just an excuse to get some fun cookies (although, who needs 'em now that I've got the Tim Tams!?!?), drink a bunch of wine and eat some appetizers. So, if you live in my neighborhood, and read my blog, you have hopefully been invited to attend.

If you live in my neighborhood, but have not been invited, this means you have googled me in the past, and read my blog unbeknownst to me, so that makes me think you are spy... OKAY, THIS IS TOOOO WEIRD ... as I was typing this line about living in my neighborhood, my phone rang and I saw the name but wasn't sure who it was. IT WAS A LADY IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD ASKING IF SHE COULD COME!!! I didn't even post this yet! Whoa. Too strange. So of course, I told her she must come! And how quickly can she whip up five dozen cookies?!?! I don't even know this woman! Word has gotten out that there's an excuse in the 'hood to cocktail tonight!

Anyway, so if you are a Blog-Readin'--Neighbor-Spy of mine, come clean, call me up or just show up at my door with five dozen cookies! (and a bottle of wine too!)

And finally, here is the type of "cookie" I made for the exchange, and let me tell you, it figures that Manic Mom, who can't cook to save her life, is able to screw up a FOUR-INGREDIENT-NON-COOKIE cookie. Yes, I ruined two batches of this recipe.

Too bad there's hardly any Tim Tams left, not that I would share, but if needed, I could have put them out on a platter and called them my Aussie Creation Cookies or my Ramblin' Rose recipe!


Ingredients you'll need:
Saltine crackers
Two sticks of butter
One cup of sugar
Two cups of chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Take a tin-foiled cookie sheet and place flat edge-to-edge crackers onto the pan.
Cook over low heat the sugar and butter until it gets foamy and bubbly, BUT NOT BURNED.
When the butter-sugar stuff is foamy and bubbly, pour the mixture evenly over the layered crackers.
Put crackers into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. (Make sure the cookie sheet has a lipped edge or else the butter will spill all over the bottom of your oven and smoke will get in your house and the fire alarm may go off and the kids might scream, "What's burning?" and your husband might run around the house opening all the windows and doors and look at you like, "Why the hell did I marry her?" In case that were to happen, of course. Not like it happened when I tried cooking them or anything!)

So, bake for 10 minutes and take them out of the oven. Another thing to remember is to make sure you use TWO STICKS OF BUTTER with one cup of sugar because if you ACCIDENTALLY use ONE STICK OF BUTTER, then the crackers will not get saturated in the butter-sugar mixture so it won't be any good and then you'll have two cookie sheets filled with useless crumby stupid crackers. Just sayin'. In case.

After the crackers with the sugar-butter mixture saturated on top are cooked for 10 minutes, they will be golden brown and almost gooey looking. Pull them out of the oven, using carefully selected oven mitts, not your bare hand, and set them on your countertop.

Pour two cups of chocolate chips over the top of the crackers evenly and let them sit for a minute or two so they can melt.

Spread the melty chocolate chips all over the crackers until they are even and smooth. Then stick the pan in the fridge, preferably overnight. When they are hardened, you can use a sharp knife to 'crack' the stuff apart. You can't cut them neatly because these are like a candy bark or brittle.

You would not believe how yummy they are, and how similar they taste to toffee! So, let me know if you're going to attempt to make them. You probably already have the ingredients in your home, and you're probably searching for some new and unique recipe for the holidays!

And in turn, I'll let you know if I'm hungover tomorrow or not. After all, what's a cookie exchange without a good buzz-on?

Deck the halls with lotsa cookies... fa la la la la... la la la laaaaaahh!
(How many of you suckers actually sang that and made sure I wrote the correct amount of LAs???)

Cheers, and Peace Out!
Faithfully yours,
The Manic One

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ajers Has Something To Say

Please swallow whatever beverage you are enjoying at this moment, as if you don't, you might find it spewed all over your screen either in disgust or pure humor after you read this post.

Conversation with Ajers this afternoon:

Me, when he almost knocked over the complete Nativity Scene:
"SHIT! That would have pissed me off to no end!"

Ajers: "Is that good or bad?"

I'd say bad. On all counts. The fact that he almost broke all the pieces, and the fact that I swore so vehemently about him almost breaking it.

OK, that wasn't the funniest thing, but it was funny at the time it occurred. However, read on:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

OK, and while I didn't really want to share this bit of information, it's just too funny not to, so here is what happened on Saturday:

We had an ‘incident’ on Saturday in which my bodily function was the cause of a slight toilet problem. I am chalking these toilet 'issues' up to the fact that I'm doing so much yoga these days, and all these internal stretches are cleansing the toxins in my body, wringing out the intestines, cleaning me out, if you will.

Why am I suddenly so shy? We all do the 'doodie,' we all 'have to make.' We all POOP for cryin' out loud! Right? Right? OH MY GOSH! Manic POOPS! Yuck.

So, I beg hubby to get the plunger and he gives me a hard time because this never happens to him, and I tell him, "YES! Of course I courtesy-flushed; I can't help it. Something's wrong with the toilet, not me!"

Anyway, later that day, the whole family went to the post office to apply for passports (we’re all going to Cabo this winter). As I was filling out my form, the employee saw I had left OCCUPATION blank. He asked me what my occupation was, and I said, "I don't know, Stay-At-Home-Mom?"

He said, "What about Homemaker?"

Ajers takes it upon himself to offer up my occupation to the clerk at the post office, and all the other people waiting patiently in line with their holiday gifts to mail. He shouts out in the middle of the post office:

"How about TOILET CLOGGER!?"

Friday, December 08, 2006

Why I Love Roses

In particularly, the Ramblin' kind.

Ramblin' Rose rocks!

You may remember a previous post where RR and I discussed our favorite treats and we decided to do a blog-trade. Over the summer, she sent me Tim Tams, which are a delectable chocolately cookie-candy bar, much like a Twix but thousands times better. I sent RR a package with a variety of Reese's since she can't get them in Australia.

Well, I got an early Christmas present today! Ramblin' Rose sent me THREE packages of Tim Tams, chocolate, caramel and latte flavored! Ajers saw the container and grabbed at the package immediately but I yelled:


There's no way I'm letting him at that package because then there will be NONE left for me.

I also hate RR right now because I am seriously, seriously trying to diet because we are going to Cabo (as in Mexico) in February. That's in eight weeks to be exact. If I don't lose some of this flab, they're going to harpoon me when I get on the beach! So, I love her, I hate her. I can't live without her!


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Reason I Married Him...

I got pregnant.

Hahahahaha, I am just kidding. Well, I'm not kidding about getting pregnant; I did, three times, but not until we had been married for four years (I was a virgin before we got married, of course!)

This is the reason I married him: I get home from a particularly stressful morning doing particularly stressful morning things like going to Target, Weight Watchers (down 1.8 AND I attended a party this weekend!), and the Health Club. So, okay, not particularly stressful, but nonetheless... I come home, turn on the computer, click onto the internet and open my mail.

There's an email from him. We exchange emails throughout the day sometimes, whether it's:

Me: "What time will you be home?"

Me: "I'm making dinner tonight!"

Me: "Can you please pick up a gallon of milk?"

Him: "Did you get my dry-cleaning today?"

Him: "What's on the calendar for January 3?"

Things like that. So, I open his email which has no title, but I see there's an attachment.

Inside it says simply:

I'm in love with this woman...

And of course, I'm thinking he's put a pornographic photo of Pam Anderson (Wait, isn't that redundant, or an oxymoron... oh wait, isn't she a moron? Anyway, I'm cracking myself up here with my stupid thoughts on Pam Anderson...) or of a supermodel, or of some cracked-out coke-head with a wrinkly face, you know, like one of those joke "You're getting too old" birthday cards. So, I'm bracing myself for a good laugh on the woman he's in love with, and...

It's this picture:

Tell me that ain't reason enough! What's the top reason you married your spouse?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Story of the Gong Bath

Without rereading it, this is what I wrote Monday night at 10:46 p.m. right when I got home from the Gong Bath:

Fear, chaos, joy, cheer, immense love, splashes of white light on a dark canvas only my eyes can view. I very desperately want to put to words the experience I just had with a Gong Bath, and I might have ruined part of the ‘being in the moment’ by my desire to want to catalog the experience. Sometimes I think I am like a camera, wanting to click and remember every image, my words the film; and I can’t get them developed quickly enough.

So, I try here. It’s my own personal experience; no one can take that from me; no one can share it with me. It was only me. I sit here and move my mind into my ears, trying to recapture the beautiful sounds of the gong; there were sounds that evoked images in my life. I was watching my past flash through my conscience. I watched those dear to me, who are with me now, and those who have passed before me, seeing their images in black and white float over my conscience like a cloud and then move away. I accepted that.

Upon arrival, you’re told to remove jewelry with stones, and if you wanted to, you could put your necklace or bracelet, rings, whatever underneath the gong so it can pass along some energy, or vibrations. I don’t know. I really don’t know what happened. The Gong Master (for lack of a better word; oh wait, I do know his name: Richard), Richard, said if we had anyone we wanted to offer our intentions to (maybe this is like channeling the good of our experience to a person who needs it), then we could either plant them in our minds, acknowledge it, and then let it go. Or if we had a picture, we could present that and place it under the gong, or write the person’s name on a sheet of paper.

I took it upon myself to write down several names of people I know and love: a friend dealing with infertility, my friend with brain cancer, my high school friend who has undergone so much all from the start of breast cancer, some special family members.

Right now, there is nothing I think in my life I need healing for, so I accepted that, and put it forth to those who I want to be better. If there were some subconscious intentions of mine, I’m sure they were addressed.

With eyes closed and an eye pillow over them, a blanket over me, head comfy and a bolster under my knees (I like my knees raised during shivasana so I figured I would want to be comfortably relaxed for two hours of gong), I relaxed and let myself be open to the experience ahead of me. I did have my hands clasped above my stomach, at the rib cage. All through this, I’m wondering, “Do I subconsciously have my hands placed here for a reason?” Is my head itching right now because of something important that I do not know yet?” I lay still for probably three-quarters of the time. At one point, I felt the sensation of a pin prick right in the spot where I had a flu shot last week, and that made me wonder if maybe I was not supposed to get the flu shot and toxins were being released. Another time, I had the urge to touch my neck, so I did, feeling like if I didn’t, I would jinx the whole experience. Same thing when I needed to touch my scalp, and my belly. At some points, my knee would twitch, or my stomach would gurgle, and the whole time, my mind worked.

I don’t know if that was how it was supposed to go though? I just opened up to experience whatever it was going to be that I was supposed to experience. The gong music is beautiful, at times calming, reflective, personal. When it gets really loud, and Richard prepared us for this – he said it will get very loud, but it is not the type of decibels that cause hearing damage – when it got so loud, I did feel scared. I felt fear. I felt as if the room was crowded, and everyone was in a panic, trying to escape, and how would we all get out of there is something bad was happening. And at the beginning of the loud noise, I felt joy, like an audience clapping, honoring me for some success, and then as it got louder is when I got scared and I remember telling myself, “It’s okay; don’t forget to breathe; breathing is important.” And I remember thinking, “OK, this can be done for now.”

This was just a small part of it though, and it was a quick passing, and I think maybe that loud noise is something meant to be there, to let the fear evacuate from your body, because as I write this now, I feel very calm and very relaxed, and … not happy, but, here’s the word I’m looking for: Fulfilled.

You can sometimes hear voices too, and during the chaotic loud gong noises, I did hear the clamoring of people, and screaming, and fighting, as if there was a riot going on right in my head, yet I was stuck there and drowning in the noise and the crowd, unable to do anything but wait for it to pass.

And it did.

I remember seeing fleeting bits of my children, wishing I could get Diva to eat more healthily, there were so many other things I had wanted to track into my mind, to keep it there so I could come home, write it all down, and share it with you. To tell you it was a surreal, unique, experience. It, by no means, has changed me for life; that would be absurd. It was just something to try, and I put myself out there to a new experience, and I felt all the emotions that belonged to that experience, and I think that’s why I am feeling fulfilled at the moment.

And I think my mind is quiet right now. It’s calm. I am warm. I can inhale deeply, and exhale, and everything works. And I am thankful.

And if that’s all I took away from this experience, then I would have to say it was a blessing, a wonderful thing to try, to learn about, to discover. I don’t know if it helped me to heal, or if it offered me an awakening of some sort (I think it did), but I do know I am thankful I am a brave enough person, a unique enough person, a daring enough person to go out and try something I’ve never done before, practically never heard about, and come away from the experience with some new thoughts, and quite possibly some new perspectives on what life is, and how grateful I am to be living it.

I’m going to bed now; it’s currently 10:46 p.m. on Monday night. I think I will see what feelings resonate within me tonight and maybe I’ll have more to add tomorrow.

So, good night.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Gong: Worthy of a Separate Post

So, I received an interesting anonymous comment regarding the post about me going to a Gong Bath. Here it is:

"You are treading a thin line my friend...

In a world where people are constantly grasping for deeper meaning, deeper spirituality, and a higher purpose, energy healing is one more New Age philosophy which presents itself very desirably to human nature. Born with sin, we all come in to the world with the strong belief that we are the center of the universe – that we are in control of our health, our bodies, our lives, our circumstances, and our destinies. Those who have not turned to God for the answer have no choice but to search within themselves.

The practice of energy healing is not in itself a religion, but is a pathway to one's own spirituality. It leads you down a personal journey that encourages you to focus on yourself and how your energy is in synch with the energies of the cosmos, the earth, and all other life. Through this, one can supposedly be taught to heal himself or herself by using clairvoyance to “visualize” where the negative energy is in order to determine the cause of the problem, may it be physical, emotional or spiritual.

The use of energy healing encourages one to put their full trust in themselves and their own bodies, which is a form of worship. For most who participate in energy healing, no recognition is given to the one true God, nor does He receive any praise for healing. The person using these methods of healing has made himself into his own god. Getting involved in energy healing is spiritually dangerous, to say the least.

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the One who came to heal. “Then Jesus said, 'Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest'” (Matthew 11:28). God does not want or expect us to help ourselves. He is the source of life, of all that is good and true. Those who refuse to acknowledge Jesus will never come to a place of spiritual healing. “'For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes – so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them'” (Matthew 13:15).

And here is the reply I wrote last night:

This is very interesting, and I have to say that I am glad I did not read Anon's comment prior to me attending the Gong Bath, and also that when I came home from the experience, I did not read the comments but first wrote my feelings down, which I will post later.

I have to say I agree mostly with Anon (Gasp! Shudder! Oh My! Has Manic Gone Insane?!?!)... but I sensed a bit of accusation in his/her comment and I would like to clear some things up: I am not looking to replace my one true God. I am a very spiritual and God-loving person. Our family prays, we attend church, we look to God when we are sad, confused, happy, scared, joyful. I have no fear that the one true God does not have a place for me by His side when I die and go to Heaven. And, maybe this is pompous or egotistical for me to think, but I do think I'm going to Heaven.

At the Gong Bath, I fully questioned the intent. After the fact, when the "Gong Guy" (For lack of a better title) was explaining how the sound waves radiate, yadda yadda, I wondered about it, and I wondered this aloud to my friend whom I attended with, "So, does this guy think he's a god? And that he is a healer? Do the Buddhists believe in the God we believe in?"

I questioned everything. I simply wanted to take an experience and learn from it. I did put my intentions toward some people I love who are sick and in need to focus to their health. However, I did not pray to a Gong to make my friends and family healed.

I was just open to experience my own personal feelings, and that's exactly what I did.

Anon wrote: "God does not want or expect us to help ourselves." I had to wonder, if God does not want us to help ourselves, when we cross the street, should we not look both ways before we cross, knowing God is there to help us? Should we use no caution in our lives just by the mere fact that we know He is there for us?

I spent a lot of time last night thinking about Anon's comments, and I do not know very much about spiritual healing, energy and all that la-dee-da stuff; it is very obvious Anon is a well-versed and educated person on the subject. I began thinking of things like this:

If a person chooses the healing option of energy or spiritual channelling or whatever it is the gong (or other healing options for that matter) has to offer, how is that different than a person choosing to use a medicine or surgical procedure to be healed? Is the doctor then the god? Does God not work through the hands of the surgeon to help heal? Do you (and when I say 'you' I mean anyone reading this, not just Anon) think that since "God does not want or expect us to help ourselves," that when we become sick, we must just say, "This is what God wants and I should just accept it?"

I'm just trying to play devil's advocate here, because I am really interested in how or why the experimental healing through energy, etc. is different or more wrong than using experimental drugs to cure cancer.

I'm not angry with Anon, although that "treading a thin line, my friend" might not have been the best way to present your opinion, for none of my "friends" refer to themselves as Anon. You're absolutely welcome to share your opinion, but your comment sounded like you're accusing me of something other than me having an experience in my personal life. That's all that I did, not that I need to receive permission from anyone, especially an anonymous anyone.

I think Anon did a good thing. He/she opened my eyes up to the whole reasoning behind the Gong Bath. I will not venture to say it was a wrong thing to do, and I will share my experience with you -- I freewrote down my feelings without thinking, just feeling how I felt about an hour after the experience, and will post it unedited later.

I do think Anon stopped me from getting the full experience because he/she drove other thoughts into my mind when I was just trying to feel the experience without others' opinions.

I, in no way, went to this 'event' in search of a higher being.

I have my higher being. And His name is God, and I look to Him for all the good that is in our world, and I look to Him for solace and understanding, for love and compassion. There is no other God, and I'm not preaching here; you obviously have your wits about you, Anon, and I thank you for opening the eyes of anyone who might be in search of something other than God. However, I am not one of those people.

Now, how about we all go grab a pack of Tim Tams and an appletini and share the love!

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Gong Show

Or rather, The Gong Bath.

I'm going for a Gong Bath tonight. I have no idea what's going to happen but I'm going to open myself up to receive anything, and I think keeping an open mind and spirit is how a person should go into trying something experimental and new.

I'm really excited about this. Not that I feel like I 'need' physical healing for anything. In fact, it kind of feels like I'm cheating by going. I'm not 'asking' for anything, I'm not expecting anything more than two hours of peace and some interesting inner feelings, but I'm staying open to the idea that something awesome could happen.

Here's the blurb about the event:
Richard Rudis is back with an unforgettable event to soothe, inspire and awaken your spirit. Richard Rudis (Sonam Dorje) creates transformation healing waves of sound bathing each participant with rising and falling rhythms, tonalities, and vibrations of huge Earth Gong tuned to the sound of the primordial AUM, the "Universal Chord"; the vibrational signature of our mother earth (Ghia) as it dances with our Sun (Sol). Anticipate healings, awakenings, and miracles.

Here's a snippet of an interview I found online:
Reverb: Are these events you do, the Gong Baths, traditional Tibetan rituals?

Richard: Oh no. The name Gong Bath came about sort of as a kitschy thing. The term doesn’t truly reflect what is going on. One of my sponsors of these events said it sounded “sexy” and so it has stuck. And in a sense, you are “bathed” in sound during it.

The Gong Bath is very much a Western culture thing. Nothing needs to be learned, the participants lie on their backs, head towards the gong in the center of the room, and basically say, “Do it to me.” They allow it to be experiential.

That’s not to say they don’t experience healing results from a Gong Bath. I recall once, a woman came to a Gong Bath with her husband, a doctor, merely because they wanted something odd to talk about at their next cocktail party. There was no intent there, other than have something to chat about. But she called me the next morning, and said she wasn’t feeling well. She was dizzy and nauseous and wanted to know what I did to her. I explained that it was a detox process, toxins were leaving her cells and to flush them out. She did and the next day, she called again. She said for the first time in 20 years she was without pain in any of her joints without taking pain medicine. Now she comes to all the Gong Baths she can.

I do workshops around the country where I teach people how to work with the bowls and gongs. A workshop requires more participation and understanding of the participants.

Reverb: Perhaps you can explain simply, why the woman had such a healing and detox reaction.

Please don’t hear this as ego talking, but you see, I don’t play the gong like a musical instrument. I play it as an instrument of transcendence.

Her reactions and others like it are an affirmation of what sound healing is in the Buddhist tradition. What I mean by that is, it’s based on the premise that Enlightenment or Buddha Mind cannot be found, because you can’t find that which you have never lost.

Buddhists see this essence of you, this self, as a virtual diamond. You can take a diamond, throw it in a bunch of manure, and then take it out a million years later, and the diamond will still be bright. It doesn’t change. It is the same thing with our inner self, although I want to be clear the self I am speaking of doesn’t really equate with the “soul.” It is the self that is beyond dualistic nature.

So we are physical beings incarnate, and if we are physically mirroring that clear state, we are in healthy state. There is a sound signature of that blissful state of being, even at a cellular level. The cell is in a state of bliss naturally, but as other things alter it, it changes. However, the ground state of the cell, the diamond state, is always the same.

For example, a healthy heart cell is singing in a blissful way, but alter it, it is no longer singing blissfully, it is now uneasy or diseased, however there is still a cellular signature, a diamond self within it. So what I do with the instruments is not actually heal the individual, but remind the individual of that whole, blissful state, or the cell, or the molecules. The instruments nudge them, and bring the natural ability for the body to heal into activation, and because it deals on a full level, not that just one cell of the body, it deals with a full spectrum and a healing event occurs.

The Eastern healing model is holistic. What a lot of people do, they ask me, “What note fixes heart or the spleen? I want a singing bowl for just that.” And I tell them that level is the basis of the crystal bowls. The crystal bowls are made of pure silicon, and there is a lot of silicon in our bodies and so there is a sympathetic vibration to begin with, and because they are manufacturing these things in a very two dimensional way, they can tune it right to that organ… which is a very useful tool, but it reflects the Western model.

Have any of you heard of a Gong Bath? This is the first I've heard of it, and I think for people who've never tried yoga, it must seem really whacky, but in yoga, it's all about the opening up and feeling things for yourself, so why not check out something new? It'll be interesting, to say the very least, and right now, I'll probably get a whole hell of a lot more out of it than fighting crowds at the mall... so...

Do it to me, Mighty Gong Master!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Happy Blog-O-Versary

Two years ago today, I started talking. I didn't know if anyone was listening.

First Post Ever. Whew! Who knew it would be soooo exciting!

Thank you all for stopping by whenever you do! I've met some extremely cool people online and in real life thanks to Manic Mom's Mental Myriads!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

You Know What Would Be Really Great Foreplay?


Note to self: Don't attempt to put up the tree and indoor decorations when you had just a few too many appletinis at the first holiday party of the season.

And note to hubby: I know you're hungover, but NOT HAPPENIN'!!!!!!!!!!!

And note to children: Why is it that you all begged and begged ALL week to put up the tree and decorations, and how is it that you are all three outside playing in the snow, while hubby is lying on the couch comatose and I'M TRYING TO MAKE THIS HOUSE ALL HO-HO-HO for everyone?

Why? Why? Why?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Please Tell Me...

What's the point of a snow day if you can't sleep in because the phone rang SEVEN TIMES from 5:46 AM to 8:34 AM.


I shoveled a shitload of snow today too. And tonight, I am going to go to the neighbor's Christmas party and get jiggy with it.

How'd you spend the first day of December?