Back on the Circuit


Ah, well, hi.  Happy day after Easter.

No real clue if today’s post will just be long and winding and somehow end up 1500 words long to make up for the past two days absences, or if I will just realize that nobody really needs that much of my pontification on my state of being regarding a brief, passing illness and move on.

I just have to get back into the groove.  Of everything.

So the gross details of my absence are thus: I think I haven’t thrown up in ten years.  So a total body evacuation was a bit of a surprise.  Ahem. Without converting this all into nightmare fuel, the whole terrible situation sort of went on all night and I didn’t sleep. And in the process of being sick, all of yesterday I did the common thing of just zoning out.  My brain went on a vacation I know not whence while the body ached and shivered and shook.

Today, I was on the edge of being able to make it into work and not and circumstances being what they are, it really doesn’t make a hill of beans’ difference right now whether or not I’m there, so I elected to text the boss.  More than anything the problem was the detached mentality floating five hundred miles to the west of my head.  And so I slept till noon, rolled around, and ended up finally forcing myself upright for some chicken noodle soup and ginger ale.  Oh, and laying back down on the couch and watching extremely an random 80’s movie (The Rachel Papers?) and then a couple reruns of Grace Under Fire.

Grace Under Fire was one of those shows that was in the repertoire of casual family viewing for us as kids.  Along with the Torkelsons, Roseanne, Nick at Night, all of those TGIF sitcoms, cartoons, it was an acceptable way to pass a half an hour when I was growing up.   The internet was just coming around in the form of America Online and participating in it – though eventually, it became my end-all, be-all form of entertainment – was work.  TV was reliable and we would all gather around in the living room with dinner to laugh at the same thing.

I didn’t and don’t know all that much about actress and comedian Brett Butler’s addiction and breakdown that lead to the show’s cancellation.  I’m probably not going to watch so much of it to care in anything more than a gently empathetic concern for my fellow human, but man, it does seem sad to me that her talents here aren’t still lauded.

When I was a girl, I didn’t understand how great parts of Grace Under Fire were. Really, I think Gilmore Girls might count it amongst its predecessors in terms of razor-sharp dialogue delivered in rapid-fire quip form.  And yet, there’s a sincerity to her performance that shows why you’d want to give this woman a show.  You want to see her succeed.  Beyond the fact that she talked about domestic violence, she addressed feminist issues, her single-momness is central to her reality, not set aside because it’s inconvenient, she has this underdog quality that you root for.   I mean, you just have to watch that opening credit sequence which is so incredibly 90’s to see what they want this show to be…about Grace and her vision of the world.  The kids aren’t even in it.

I just started watching on this scene where she ends up just slightly falling for the seemingly awkward (but rather cute and clearly well-matched in terms of wit) chemist played by William Fichtner, and you can really feel her loneliness and ache and fear about the potential new relationship.  Her ex-husband was physically abusive and only a year behind her and her kids, so this is a whole pile of problems that she can’t quite wrap her head around, but yet.  Yet.  I feel like the chemistry is…well, palpable.  And so, incredibly gingerly, she lets that romance begin.  Even though she comments several times that she feels like she’s risking too much, she lets herself go out there into the deeper waters.

There’s more to watch (and you can on Hulu), but obviously, this romance doesn’t last until the show’s over so I’m watching these scenes as a shipper who knows her ship’s the Titanic.  This is obviously a healing situation for Grace, and somehow, on some level, I see the lessons in it for me.  It’s stupid, it’s selfish, it’s risky, but there’s something real and emotional and alive that needs to be seen.  That needs to connect and feel love. Something that all her shame and frustration and fury and wit can’t talk its way around.

She deserves the light, the open space, the parts of herself that he seems to illuminate.

I’ll be sad for her when she breaks up with him for good (or he with her as will inevitably occur) and wish that somehow they could have pulled a Parks and Rec and just seen what they had was good and found a way to write it into the show.  I suppose in the first season that her single-momness was seen to be of primary importance and a dude who loved her and gave her cassettes he taped of Aaron Copland music wasn’t going to make for good TV.


…not sure I was intending to write so long about that. I suppose it could be worse and I could have rifled off a few hundred words about Barabbas which I endured on Sunday for the first time.  I just need to make my brain work by generating words.  By experiencing and connecting to tangible things because living half in outer space frankly scares me a bit, someone might come along with scissors and I won’t be able to come back.

Steps: making an omelet out of the Easter ham I was too sick to have yesterday.  Putting on some Aaron Copland music.  Loading the dishwasher. Having my fill of gerund-centered sentence fragments.  Another hot bath.  Glaring inwardly at the fist my stomach has made.  Realizing that I’ve lost 2.6 pounds – so about 12 pounds in total thus far (I’ll take it however that comes even if losing 2 days on the planet seems a rough way to mark those numbers off.)  Worrying about my grandfather in the hospital with pneumonia again, though it seems he’s already progressing.  Thinking maybe that’s just wishful thinking.  Watching more Grace Under Fire.