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The Dancing Sausage Comeback Special

You’ve fallen victim to the crazy hijinks of one of my less pleasant moods. The Dancing Sausage Web Journal isn’t going anywhere! That wacky premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Always keeping things “interesting.” Bet you were fooled!

(sound of crickets)

I promise I didn’t do it for the attention. I was genuinely freaking out. All I’ve probably done is chased away my regular audience… counterproductive.

* * *

Fox recently aired a Beverly Hills 90210 reunion and a “Now-It-Can-Be-Told”-style dramatization of the Three’s Company cast in rapid succession. While my stomach churned, I thought how nice it is that the Internet makes bullsh!t like that unecessary. I mean, think about it. Nobody is ever going to do a Homestar Runner reunion, for example; the whole oeuvre will (hopefully) be right there on the Web for time immemorial, barring the progression of the right-wing coup to total repression of free speech. If we see something like, it’ll be a spoof of the kind of “reunion special” which makes some halfwit sitcom out to be a great cultural touchstone in which everyone participated (which, of course, The Simpsons has already done). Or maybe TV will be forced to do retrospectives of things like 2001’s AYBABTU craze, instead. I can just picture some grey-haired, baseball-jacketed network producers scratching their heads and going “Who the hell gives a shit?”

* * *

New Yorkers, I mean the born-and-bred-and-raised-and-dyed-hard-in-the-wool-type New Yorkers, are CRAZY. I mean CRAAAAAAYZEEEE. They have a warped, twisted worldview inexplicable to the rest of us. I got a call today from a woman running a boostery kind of a magazine in Brooklyn, who said she’d seen my writing and loved my style, and would I like to do some articles for her? The first one she wanted me to do was about Coney Island, and how it has undergone a rebirth in the past little while… in passing, she mentioned the carnival freakshow, the burlesque show, the Mermaid Parade, the polar bear swim club that meets there, and the “unofficial mayor of Coney Island.” All the while she was hemming and hawing, going, Well, seeing as you live in Queens and you’re from California, you probably don’t have an affinity for this story or for Brooklyn.

Let’s take that again in slow motion: She saw my work — which has ranged from pieces on dumpster diving to a performance artist who does an opera he wrote in a language he made up — and she thinks I wouldn’t have an affinity for this story. I’m twenty-six; I have to have an affinity for Brooklyn whether I live there or not. All the good stuff happens there. All the cool kids live there. (When buddy Rob Domingo and I went out the other day to run a half-mile with two giant chickens and their devoted flock of young crazies, he estimated that Williamsburg must have been totally deserted.)

Granted, you can’t get to Brooklyn from here; the G train is a$s and everything else goes through Manhattan. But Coney Island is still the only beach in the city I go to. I was in the Mermaid Parade last year. And she bets that because I live in Queens I won’t have an affinity for the story. I can only chalk this up to the New York mindset that anything outside a three-block radius of your house is Not My Neighborhood.

I told her the only borough I don’t have an affinity with is Staten Island, and I’m taking on the story. She assigned me two articles, actually, both of which sound fun. Various things are coming up Milhouse.

* * *

When I wondered about the ethics of doctors, Catherine sent me a link to the Onion’s “Zoloft for Everything” article. Perfect timing; it reads so much like the stuff I see at work.

Working in the bosom of Big Pharm is making me think. The pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (is there really such a diagnosis? it’s definitely what I have) was really bad this month, longer than usual and involving a few paralyzing crying jags and a sh!tload of unfocused anxiety. Sifting through the doctors’ diagnoses at work, I start to think, Gee, some people deal with depression as if it could be made to go away. I gave up on that a while ago. None of the social workers at Hampshire helped me any. I think I figured on my own that I was more depressed the week before my period — four years ago, which was after about three years of mostly blaming my violent mood swings on my boyfriends, or else riding them out in terror that my body and mind were so unreliable.

It was about four years ago, too, that I told Catherine what I’d figured out about my depressive spells. She said Wow, that’s a quarter of your life. I wouldn’t want to spend a quarter of my life that way.

I mistrust. I have seen people who have taken Prozac up close, and watched them struggle with how it made them feel. I know someone who took Ritalin as a kid, and he has all sorts of weird vestigial compulsive behaviors and doesn’t open up to you. I don’t think drugs can just make these things go away.

I have taught myself, for the most part, to deal with the dysphoria. I remind myself to take things with a grain of salt during that week, as I may well be overreacting. I treat myself a little more gently. Experimentation with placebos — whoops, herbal remedies — seems to have helped a great deal, as have attention to my sleep habits, getting excercise, and making sure I take my usual vitamin supplement. (My serious depression kicked in at the beginning of my second year of college; I have wondered if this is related to the anemia I probably developed when I went vegetarian in the months before.)

The very knowledge that I’m pulling myself out of a tailspin seems to improve my mood greatly. In the same vein, I would also like to try biofeedback, though nobody seems to do that much anymore. I would really like to do without the drugs.

At the same time, these episodes are so violent that they sometimes make permanent marks on my life. I can’t rely upon myself to make major decisions in these weeks. And the continuation of my dark spells as the years go by shakes my faith in myself, which for an aware leftist is sometimes the only thing there is to have faith in.


  1. Catherine wrote:

    I always sound so eloquent when you quote me. How do you manage it?

    Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
  2. The Klahr wrote:

    Right. How to get to Brooklyn without going into Manhattan.

    “E” to Jamaica Center, then “J” to B’way Junction. Take the “A” or “C” to Franklin Avenue, take the Shuttle to the “Q”, and then on to Brighton and Coney. Guaranteed Manhattan-free.

    I’m looking forward to your article on horrible, played out Coney and Brooklyn cliches. I know which magazine you are referring to. Are they still in business? I thought they went under.

    Monday, May 19, 2003 at 2:00 pm | Permalink
  3. gus wrote:

    Thanks for your vote of confidence, Mr. I’m-Happy-To-Mock-Your-Dancing-But-I-Won’t-Dance-Because-I-Have-A-Hairline-Fracture-In-My-Ankle,-No,-Seriously,-A-Hairline-Fracture-In-My-Ankle. How would YOU deal with Coney Island? I have worse problems than simply avoiding cliches; I went and read two City Limits articles about the area, and now I feel like a total creampuff for taking on this assignment.

    The magazine is Bandshell. I’m presuming that’s not the one you were thinking of.

    And that’s FIVE transfers, Dave. Doesn’t exactly make for a peaceful unbroken snooze to Coney Island.

    Monday, May 19, 2003 at 2:23 pm | Permalink
  4. x83650a wrote:

    3a3cdd | [url=]5c94c1[/url] | [link=]9db07c[/link] | | 102231 | [ 4ba84a]

    Thursday, November 9, 2006 at 3:05 pm | Permalink
  5. Dennis wrote:

    Good design! |

    Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 11:39 am | Permalink

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