The Eagles

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I saw the Eagles perform last night. I bought the tickets six months ago, and put them by the side of my bed, and waited patiently for the night to arrive.  Honestly, I have to say that I thought that something awful was going to happen and that I wouldn’t get to see the band that I had wanted  to see so badly for ten years or longer.

Glen Frey said in the movie, “The History of the Eagles” that “people did stuff to our songs.  They took trips, fell in love, had their hearts broken, got married….” (paraphrasing here).  I remember the first time I ever heard the Eagles; I was in the back of my parents’ car, driving back from Michigan (somewhere in Nevada, I think) , and “Take It Easy” came on the radio.  After days of nothing but country music, hearing Glen Frey singing “C’mon, baby, don’t say maybe” set my little pre-teen heart aflutter.

Forty years later, I sat in the dark last night and heard the band that lives in my heart as the Who does, even if they occupy a different area.  The show last night was perfect, musically and emotionally, and I would see them again in a second. They re-did the arrangements for “Witchy Woman” and “Heartache Tonight” and gave both songs new feeling. Last night, I listened to the Eagles, and the thought came to me again, the same thought that came to me as I watched the Who the last two times, and it was not a comfortable thought.

The Eagles are definitely a well-oiled machine, and there are no bumps allowed in the road at this date.  The show is big, and produced, and smooth, and well-rehearsed  – it was definitely what I wanted to see from them, and I left wanting more, which I think is always the sign of a good show. But… it seems as if we’ve gotten to a place in musical history where our angry young men are now nostalgic elders who love music and are finished and polished, instead of raw and exposed.  Maybe it’s natural progression, and it just happens as we get older.  Except it isn’t, and it doesn’t.  I loved the show; I felt as if there was little or no spontaneity, and that’s the way Glen and Don want it.

The Eagles have been through various band members, fought onstage, lifted Joe Walsh out of the deadly arms of addiction, and stayed incredibly popular, even during the ten-plus years that they weren’t a band.  Last night original member Bernie Leadon joined them onstage, and it felt like a missing piece of the band was back in place.  They ended the night with “Desperado,” and Don Henley’s voice took the song to a new place – it was the voice of a man who’s been there and back, and isn’t finished yet. It was an exquisite ending to the evening.

Last Days

(Somewhat fictional, somewhat factual.)   The ICU was on the ninth floor of the hospital, at the very top. On the bad days, Lisa wouldn’t wait for the elevator, but would take the nine floors without stopping, and arrive in the waiting room certain that she might need to have the bed next to her brother. Steve had been here for the past two weeks, brought from the rehab hospital with a 103-degree fever. Two days after the move, she answered the phone to a nurse’s voice saying, “Steve has gone code blue, and we need your authorization to resuscitate him.” They were able to start his heart, but he never woke up after that.   So Lisa was sitting in a hard chair, staring at a photo of a stone caught in a stream, poised on the edge of a river, and ready to go over into the unknown water. Yep, one never knew when college would come in handy; she got metaphor and simile when she was 14, and finding a deeper meaning soon became second nature. This was both a light and darkness in her life; as an english literature major, everything had to mean something, whether she wanted it to or not.

“Lisa Solozzo?” Lisa made it to the window in a second and a half; the ICU nurse motioned to the door, and she walked over, opened the entrance, and walked in.   The darkened halls were painted white, and there was a light at the end. Just like heaven…or hell, Lisa thought, as she walked down the hall towards the nurses’ station. She knew where Steve’s room was, so she passed by the nurses, and glanced to her left, where he lay in the half-light of the various machines that were attached to his body.

She walked into his room, and looked at him. Steve had lost most of his weight that he had maintained over the years through alcohol, fast food, and dedicated couch surfing. As Lisa stood and watched her brother, she could swear that his hand moved. Nights of not sleeping, crying, and drinking enough gin to numb the pain had scrambled Lisa’s brain to the point that she knew she was seeing things. Steve’s hand hadn’t moved, and it wasn’t going to move. Lisa understood the first part of her thought, but not the second half. Steve would get up, and talk again, and get better, and everything would be all right.

But it wouldn’t be all right. As Lisa left the hospital room, and walked back to the waiting area, she felt as if she was the stone at the edge of the river, with no way to hold on to what she knew; soon she would lose her secure place and fall, and keep falling….and without Steve, she had no safe place to land.

Presenting….Celexa, now coming to a medicine cabinet near me!

I had planned on writing about all of the intentions that I made at the beginning of the year, and how well I was doing with them, but instead, I’m sitting here typing, after just taking my first dose of Celexa (ten milligrams), and reading all of the side effects that could occur. (FYI, if you are anxious, I don’t recommend reading all of the possible side effects that could occur with a drug; your anxiety will blossom like a Venus flytrap, and demand to be fed. I am prepared for some side effects, and will just have to be surprised for the rest of ‘em).  My doctor has prescribed the antidepressant, after I explained to her that I have had three anxiety attacks in the last six weeks, and that I want to feel better.  I have been fighting depression this year by pretending that I was all right, and denying the symptoms.  My last experience with the antidepressant family was about ten years ago, with Lexapro. I had a positive experience with the drug, except for a twelve pound weight gain, which I eventually lost.

These days, anxiety attacks take place when I have something physically wrong with me, like pain that I can’t explain away – my doctor has diagnosed me with  PTSD, which she says stems from all of the loss of family members that I’ve experienced in a relatively short period of time. (Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with major recurring depressive disorder – I took a peek at my diagnosis, then looked it up in the DSM-IV; I already knew that I was depressed, but I still wanted to read the official designation.)

At this stage of the game, there are a few other factors that are at play in my decision to go back on antidepressants.  This year has kind of sucked in that I had to go through a pretty painful back injury, as well as chronic tension headaches (which I understand from reading can be a result of depression, as these started before I was injured). The last time I was diagnosed with depression, I had the same kind of chronic headache, which lasted for months; I was sure that I was a goner, and paid a couple of teary visits to my doctor, before my mind was put at ease (somewhat).

I’m also going to start therapy again, with a new therapist.  My previous therapist helped me so much, but I’m looking for a new perspective – I have two names, so it’s just a matter of picking up the phone and making an appointment, and then my adventures in Therapyland (the sequel) can begin (again).

If you have never experienced depression, or know someone who has it, let me just tell you that it’s not what you might think it is. It’s not what I thought it was –  it’s not romantic, and it’s not something that you can just shake off with a good night’s sleep. It’s a sneaky little bastard that creeps up on a person, and changes the way you feel and the way you think. It’s funny – once I decided to acknowledge that I needed help again, I actually felt better – still depressed, but taking steps to climb out of the hole, so that’s a start.

Good intentions 2013

Just some things I was thinking of doing in 2013:

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1.  Read one book a month (except in the case of Les Miserables by Hugo, which may take two; it’s on my list, and in my stack)

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2.  Jazzercise (shopping for this outfit, by the way)

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3.  Yoga

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3.  Regular meditation

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4.  Crockpot Sunday!

5.  And this:

Philippians 4.8

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And one more quote to end 2012 for me: “Be excellent to each another.”  Party on…and happy New Year to us all.

2012 in review – Julie Wrote What?

If you like numbers, check out mine for 2012 – thanks to the kind peeps at Word Press!

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 14,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas list

Hanging out with the LBD (Paco, my ten pounds of terrier/chi terror), and seeing what the day brings. Jamal and I had a very nice time last night with the family, and today I just had a great visit with a long-time friend who stopped by with her husband.  We hadn’t talked in about five years, not because of any drama, mostly because life just kinda kept happening, and we didn’t keep up with each other.  I’m not the most Christmas-ey of people, but seeing Laury and Steve gave me a great gift of good cheer when I wasn’t looking for one today.

Can we look at the list now?

1.  It just seems to me that the Christmas crush was a bit more…pulpy this year.  Granted, it was a broad spectrum of behavior out there, and I’m certain that I allowed some of the bad behavior to affect me more than usual, but… it’s the holiday season, and so many horrible events have taken place recently, that it wouldn’t have killed you grinches (and you know who you are) to be a little nicer, to the retail staff, to other people in the parking lot, even to your own family.  Maybe you didn’t feel like it, but sometimes acting “as if” can put a person into a better sprit – never fear, crabby folk, we’ll give you a chance next year; just hope that everyone in your family is still here for you next year.  For the rest of you, who held places in line for strangers, who wished cashiers happy holidays, and who were aware that there were other people in your sphere of existence besides yourselves – your halos are showing; thank you.

2.  Seeing the Christmas lights is always my favorite part of the season; I love when they start appearing, and I get a little blue when they come down. What I find interesting (and a little bit scary) is the appearance of the enormous balloon figures on the lawns in our neighborhood:

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I gauged this Santa at ten feet tall, but he was taller than the house, so he was maybe more like fifteen.  And what’s a little odd about these decorations (maybe it’s just me) is that they are deflated during the day, then are inflated to monster size at night.  Seems like a Santa (or a giant penguin, like the one on my block) that could suffocate Mom and Dad and take the kids away to his evil workshop at the North Pole where Oogie Boogie lives; wait, I could be mixing up my movies….anyhow, it could be scary, dunno.

3.  I found a cool website: completely-coastal.com.  If you enjoy all things seaside, you will want to take a look; our Christmas tree is covered with seashells and mermaids, and my vision for the master bath (once the guest bath is finished) is that it will feel like the song “Under the Sea.”  (My husband Jamal is on board with my design taste, which is cool.)  And my taste is all over the place, so I have to be careful, because I like this:

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And I like this:

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My coastal living has a little bit of the apocalypse mixed in – works for me (and thankfully, for Jamal).

So I think that’s it for today; I missed writing here, so coming back is my shameless, self-promoting, self-centered gift to you.  And one size fits all! I wish you all good things today – let your heart be light, and I’ll see if I can do the same. Deal? Deal!

Au revoir mes amies!

Beginning today, “Julie Wrote What?” is going underground – I will be starting a new blog about the movies, of which the title has yet to be determined. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read “Julie Wrote What?”  I hope you will enjoy what I have  to say about the movies, and tell me what you think.  Bye for now, campers!

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New blog is “After The Picture Show,” and it’s up and running; hope to see you soon -