Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Choppers in 'Nam #2 - The Arts Edition

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

Oh Hoobastank.  You made a stanky time in my life even stankier.

Last week I wrote my first in a series of posts about certain things that trigger memories of that most difficult time in my life when Audrey was first diagnosed.  My first post was about the Nam-like flashbacks that I experience when I see those odious What To Expect books, with all of their milestones that mocked me every month that they went unmet.

For this installment, I'll cover the arts.  Who isn't brought back to specific places and times of their life by things like music and movies?  Timing-wise, I'm talking about the end of ought-5 and all of 2006.  Besides Hoobastank, the other song that seemed to be playing on a continuous loop was that annoying "you had a bad day" song.  At least that one nailed the mood.

I was pretty much in the depths of despair at the end of 2005, and my husband and I would take turns going to the movies to get our minds off of things for a couple of hours.

Instead of opting for escapist fare like Deuce Bigalow, European Gigolo or Saw II, I remember seeing a bunch of the year-end Oscar-bait stuff, one of which was Capote.  Hmmm...I wonder why this movie -- about author Truman Capote researching his grisly book In Cold Blood and bonding with a mass murderer only to see him executed in the end -- failed to cheer me up.  Go figure.

I remember sobbing all the way home and wondering whether it was worth it to be distracted for those couple of hours only to have reality hit me all the harder when the movie ended.

During this time, I was also in a book club and one of the books that we read was The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time which happens to be about a boy with autism.  I hadn't yet told the ladies in the book club about Audrey's diagnosis, and I remember being very quiet when we discussed this book lest I give away any expertise on the subject.

I was slightly less quiet when we discussed The Time Traveler's Wife.  I could not stop talking about how much I hated the book and its purple prose (yeah, I said that) and stupid sci-fi slash romance bullshit and who names their kid Alba anyway?  I owe you an apology, The Time Traveler's Wife.  I may have just been ever so slightly projecting my misery on to you.  Unless you really do suck, then never mind.

As the years go by, the sting of these memories gets duller and duller.  I no longer burst into tears at the sight of Philip Seymour Hoffman.  I do still feel a stabbing pain in my temples when I hear "The Reason", but that's another thing entirely.  And that guy who sang "Bad Day"?  His latest tweet:  "My new puppy is growing faster than I thought was possible. He is so funny. Watching him bark at a fire hydrnt."  What a difference 5 years makes.


  1. Interesting. My friend loves that Rascal Flatts song "I won't let go" and when she met them last year she told them how it reminded her of her son who has Autism. Now I am not a huge RF fan. But now when I hear the song and listen to the lyrics all I can think about is our children and what we do for them. And now thanks to her I cry during that song even though I don't like RF. The things that bring our emotions out.

  2. I wouldn't think Capote would be an uplifting movie. I read, In Cold Blood, (I like to read over seeing movies...yeeaaah), and it is def, um, no Twilight (you should have read Twilight). ANYWHO....

    Also? I haven't read the Time Travelers wife b/c 100% of the people I know HATED.IT. So I don't think you were off with that review.

    I don't really have FB's, but probably b/c we knew since K was 18mo old it was was just getting that dx. Really, if anything, Kai should give me fb's, since our idiot dev ped is also German.

    Wait. That could explain things...

  3. Arts? Really woman?! The last book I read around the time of the diagnosis was.... uh.... and the last movie I went to before diagnosis? Alvin and the Chipmunks (the original) where we lasted a grand total of 20 minutes of previews and left with a screaming kid. I've got no associations between real arts and the diagnosis at all... but maybe I'm better off that way. Did that sound bitter? Nah.... Deuce Bigalow -European version - not as good as the original!

  4. I can't remember anything about that time. I've faint memories of my husband and I crying lots and doing a 3000 piece puzzle.

  5. Great, now that "you had a bad day" song is stuck in my head. I remember reading that dog book and being fascinated. Never associated it with my son. Clearly I was down a few brain cells then.

  6. Damn you and your Hoobastank reference...I'm turning on some Eminem, right EFFING NOW to counteract the Hooba!!

    During our "bad time", Britney was losing her nut in front of the entire world, sans undies, and all I could think was, "bitch, you think you have problems?"

    I still hate her.

  7. I read "The Curious Incident" around then too. I'm glad I didn't know what was coming, or it probably would have gone from being fascinating to terror-inducing really fast.

    Don't bother rereading "The Time Traveler's Wife"- not worth your time.

  8. Five years from now, when you do Choppers in'Nam #648, you'll be recalling reading my book and my blog and listening to my sultry voice on blogtalkradio. Talk about stanky!

  9. I remember some friends in a book club reading "My sister's Keeper" and how it triggered so much emotion about my sister and her cancer that i could not participate in the discussion at all. ...Hmm never read Time traveler's Wife, yeah I don't plan on it now

  10. Yeah another Choppers in 'Nam post! Great stuff...
    Since I'm always reading I don't recall which book I read at the time so I'll use my son and his 'art' interest around the time of diagnosis, Thomas the Tank Engine... Oh how I came to loathe those DVDs and their Old English way of speaking. Just hearing the intro song now make me cross for sure. Cross? Why do they always use that word and why is someone always cross anyway?

  11. I have these flashbacks about my divorce, but not my son. I really have no explanation for this, except maybe ignorance really is bliss.

    And you're Tweeps with the "Had A Bad Day" guy?? I'm impressed.

  12. so many things, such as a life-altering diagnosis, cause PTSD. my first yrs after my MS diagnosis were rough, particularly the "anniversary reactions." Every single day gets better and better. Take care!

  13. @BWMFA: I don't know the RF song. I won't be Googling it either because I am not in need of another song to cry to. *sob*

    @Jen: You so smert with all that book learning.

    @Karen: I left the book club when I moved in '07 and literally have not read a book since.

    @Amanda: I'll bet you remember what that puzzle was of.

    @Lizbeth: Wasn't that book about a teenage boy? How could we have been expected to connect the dots?

    @Flannery: Britney's hooba stanks.

    @Christy: So maybe I wasn't projecting? Could it be that I was saner than I thought? Probably not...

    @Big Daddy: I have nothing to say to you, but did not want to skip you.

    @LLAPrincess: I always get books recommended to me with autistic characters and I never read any of them.

    @Lou: I totally approve of you taking all of your frustrations out on Thomas. And the word cross.

    @Grace: Not Tweeps...I just went to his web page to see if he was still around and his Twitter feed was right on his front page. I might have to follow him now just to see if he follows back.

    @Sarcasm: PTSD...yes. The reminders are strong, but it does fade little by little. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Not sure if this is a good thing or bad, but I remember almost nothing about the days surrounding Moe's diagnosis. Jelly was 6 weeks old and I was in a sleep deprived haze.

    I remember when I read TTW thinking that it was written just so someone would make a movie of it. Same with My Sisters Keeper, which I hated.

  15. I don't remember Capote being that depressing. My husband makes me watch crap like The Road. That's enough to make you want to pull your nails off. Or your husband's.