ALKIE! My name is Tracy and I’m an alcoholic. This is where you’re supposed to say, “Hi Tracy!” I’ve been in recovery for nearly 19 years (September 23, 1988) and my life has changed so drastically since those gray, blurry days. I’m not very anonymous. It never made much sense to me that when you’re drunk you scream to all your neighbors, “I’M DRUNK! WOO HOO, LOOK AT ME! I’M DRUNK!” but when you get sober and go into AA, you whisper, “I’m in recovery.” So, let me just say, “I’M SOBER! WOO HOO, LOOK AT ME! I’M SOBER!” Okay, this being “A,” let me tell you about me….
BROTHERS I have three insane brothers. They’re not clinically insane–I’m pretty sure they don’t meet criteria for admission–but dig a bit and you’ll see.
CATS I’m not crazy about cats. I have one cat named Sabrina and she’s as indifferent to me as I am to her. I think she and I have an understanding (you stay away from me, I’ll stay away from you), but every so often, she wants me to pick her up. I don’t know why. She doesn’t enjoy it that much and she squirms to get away like seconds later, but I do it and pretend to be all smitten with my kitten. I guess I am, in a way, and I do love her. But I know I couldn’t tolerate another cat, and she probably couldn’t tolerate another owner.
DADDY When I was a little girl my Dad used to make the best toys! He carved them out of wood and they looked so real you’d think they were alive! And he was a good father. Once when I got lost he searched all over for me and eventually fell into a whale’s mouth. I had to go in there after him and….wait, that was Pinocchio and his Dad. My Dad was actually an architect. He designed houses and restaurants. We used to take camping trips and do sac races in the back yard. One day I got hit in the nose with a football. He convinced me that despite the swelling, I should go to the school dance because, after all, Davy Jones was scheduled to appear. Um, that might have been Marsha Brady and her Dad. Okay…my Dad worked as a reporter for a nationally syndicated newspaper. Sometimes he’d put on a cape and take me flying around the neighborhood, fighting crime and jumping buildings in a single bound. What memories!
EXERCISE Next letter…
FRIENDS My friend Susan is the funniest woman in the universe. I can’t tell you how many times she and I have just sat around laughing our asses off. Her mother is even more certifiable. Susan is the best friend I’ve ever had. She is the person who taught me the true meaning of friendship and for that, I am forever grateful. It helps too that whenever I’m doing something idiotic she will say without flinching, “You are such an asshole.” I like that in a friend. I have very few friends, but the ones I do have are very, very close. I’ve recently discovered something about myself. I can be your friend all the way–scars, nightmares, fears, insecurities and secrets–or not at all. I cannot tolerate acquaintances. You are either my friend all the way, or you are just somebody I work with.
GAMES For me, there is only one: Scrabble. I am a Scrabble FREAK! I will play Scrabble at the drop of a hat and I will play for hours and hours and hours. Sometimes I even play with myself! Okay, let me re-word that. Sometimes I play solitare Scrabble. I cannot be beaten. I am the Scrabble Goddess. I fall asleep at night making up plays in my head and counting my score. For fun I sit around and try to name all of the 98 two-letter words. I have every Q word that you can play without a U memorized. I’ve addicted more than a few people to Scrabble….in particular, Susan, Dottie, and my ex-girlfriend, Lori. And I created monsters. They are champs in their own right but occasionally I have taken pity on them and let them win….*ducking*…..I amScrabble. Scrabble is me. Wanna play? Go to The International Scrabble Club website, sign up and come find me.
HOBBIES I love to make scrapbooks. I have wanted to do it since I was in my early twenties, but at 35, I finished my first book. It is, of course, Spencer’s baby book and it is awesome! I love scrapbooking because it takes me away from myself when things get hectic and re-focuses my attention on…well…me. Sounds strange, but it’s sorta like takin’ a stroll down memory lane and the way you can see things through hindsight. The memory of the event and feelings are there, but the edge has been taken off somewhat and you can really look into your past and see what a complete asshole you were. My other hobbies include reading, making webpages, and photography. I used to also say that writing was a hobby of mine. I do not say this anymore. I am now a serious fucking writer looking for literary agent representation.
Photography is a somewhat new passion and I’m still learning the ins and outs of working the freaking camera. I’m still shooting on auto-focus, but I think those other buttons do something and one day, I might just press one and see what happens to the universe. UPDATE: (6/03) I did press some of those other buttons and now I can only shoot on manual focus. My photos look like shit.
INTERNET The Internet has become, for me, a giant used car lot. This very site has been taken over by spammers who are busy day in and day out sending out millions of pieces of spam from firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com I get over 3,000 emails a day from “failed attempt deliveries.” They have also infiltrated my blog. If Kim and I don’t keep on top of it every friggin’ day, the site gets lambasted with ads for online casinos, antidepressants, pain meds, diet pills, cheap vacations, etc., etc., etc. Recently I went away for a one week vacation and when I came back, it took me 90 minutes to download my mail. My computer finally just blue-screened and a small electric transloader exploded a few blocks away. What I really want you to take away from this page more than anything is this: If you get an email from firstname.lastname@example.org, it is not coming from me.
JOB I’m a Registered Nurse specializing in psychiatric nursing. I was working in the Psychiatric Emergency Room for a while, but got quickly burned out. (That’s not actually true. I HATED the people I worked with and the misery in that was palpable.) I’m now working on an inpatient psych unit and loving it and hating it at the same time. UPDATE: 9/2004 I am still working on that inpatient psych unit and I still love it and hate it at the same time, two years later. UPDATE 5/25/07: I no longer work on that particular inpatient psych unit. I spent another year there and then moved to North Carolina with Spencer. I just celebrated two years here at this new job and love it.
KARMA I am a firm believer in Karma. I believe with everything that’s spiritual that if you put negative energy out into the universe, you’re gonna get it back three-fold. Conversely, I believe the same happens with positive energy. If you’ve ever wondered why everything someone touches turns to shit, it’s because that person is crapping all over the universe, and boy does it hit the fan when it comes back. Do something nice. Do it for the sake of being nice. Do it because you want to do something nice for someone or for the neighborhood or for the country or for the universe. Kindness is its own reward, so expect nothing…and bless the spirits when it comes back three-fold.
LISA My sister Lisa is an amazing woman. She came to power as Europe’s first ever woman Premier and was the first Prime Minister in over one hundred years to win three consecutive terms in Office! She reversed the whole British economy and drove Britain out of decline, winning the Falklands War and defeating the power of the trade unions. Wait, that was Margaret Thatcher. Lisa was born in Chicago, Illinois, on October 26, 1947, daughter of Hugh and Dorothy Rodham. Her father owned a fabric store, and her mother was a full-time mother and homemaker. Lisa entered Wellesley College in 1965 (three years before she was born), went to Yale, and married Bill in 1975. Shit, that was Hillary Rodham Clinton. Well, take the two personalities, tough-as-nails bitches who don’t let anything get in their way, mesh them together, and you’ll have someone–I don’t know who, but it sure as hell isn’t my sister.
MOMMY My Mom is the most awesome person in the galaxy. When she brought me home from the hospital as a newborn, she was only 23 and already had three babies (ages 1, 2, and 3). Why she didn’t eat some of us at birth I’ll never know. Some people like to refer to my Mom as “the Maid of Orleans.” She was a patron saint of France and a national heroine, leading the resistance to the English invasion of France in the Hundred Years War. Damn it! That’s Joan of Arc.
NIECES & NEPHEWS In order of age, they are Tabrina, Christopher, Jeremy, AJ, Ashley, and Cameron. They are all multi-talented and have special powers. Some have telekinetic abilities and a few can even fly! Some have average, run-of-the-mill super-friend powers, like walking through walls or climbing up the sides of buildings, while others can make the weather change and suck energy out of someone’s body by a mere touch. Of course, I may be thinking of the X-Men, but my nieces and nephews are so talented, it’s easy to see why I might get them mixed up.
ORCHIDS I love flowers. I love all kinds of flowers, my favorites being orchids, gladiolas, tulips, carnations, and wild flowers. Unfortunately, a few years ago I developed allergies to anything that pollinates, except, strangely, orchids. So now, orchids are to me the most lovely flower in the universe, because I can have one, in the house, without blowing snot on the wall. (My family appreciates this as well). I never had allergies until I moved to Virginia a few years back and was subjected to my very first official Spring. Yes, we do have Spring in Florida, but not quite like the Spring that springs in Virginia. It’s like a deadly nasal virus hell-bent on squeezing you dry of your last breath and filling your sinuses and bronchials with a pollinated ooze that will, if left unchecked, choke you to the ground and suck out the last vestiges of purifying oxygen circulating vicariously through your lungs. You might be saying to yourself now, “This woman is seriously derranged” “That’s horrifying!” But the doc told me that thousands and thousands of people who move to Virginia (and surrounding areas) who have NO HISTORY OF allergies, take one spore-saturated breath of Virginia Spring air and combust spontaneously. There are tales of several people just bursting into flames. I have proof of this if you don’t believe me. (Note to self: get proof of this). So, that’s why I love orchids. *curtsy*
PSYCHIATRY Like I said before, I am a Registered Nurse specializing in Mental Health and Addictions Treatment. If you took away all the political bullshit associated with this, and you also took away most of the doctors, and perhaps gave some of the nurses lobotomies, and maybe counselled the Social Workers and just went ahead and fired every fucking person alive in management right now, the job would be utterly perfect. That’s right. Just leave the patients. They rule my universe. They are the ONLY reason I even go to work. They teach me more about myself than anyone ever has before. And they transcend without effort anything I could say about them now. Good, bad or ugly, they make this career for me.
QUITTING I quit smoking on April 10, 2001. It hasn’t been that long, I know, but I think I’m over the worst of it. I didn’t kill anyone or scare any children. I didn’t peel the paint from the walls or break dishes just for the sake of hearing them crash. I never even got irritable! I did get a teensy weensy tiny winy wittle little bitty bit irritable. I think that irritablity might have caused my family (and pets) to dive into the nearest room when they saw me walking down the hallway. And it might be why they continue to talk to me in soft voices and give yield to whatever show I want to watch, whatever movie I want to see, whatever time I want to get out of bed, when I want to go to bed, to the bathroom, to the beach, and to the kitchen. The patch has helped a lot and sometimes I can go nearly the whole day without wearing it! And then, invariably, I see them….sitting quietly in a corner with their heads bent together and I can hear bits of whispers, “I’m not telling her! I told her yesterday. You tell her!” and “I’m not going through that again. I’ll just put patches in every room and hopefully she’ll get the hint without her head exploding.” I’m determined this time to quit for good, one day at a time. If only these patches weren’t so damn hard to light! (UPDATE 6/15/01: I’m still quit! I still haven’t started again! How the hell can you write this so that it makes sense? I’m still a non-smoker! No, because that implies that I never smoked at all. Okay, try this: I haven’t had a cigarette since 4/10. Update 10/01: I started smoking again. It’s all bin Laden’s fault, of course. I’m stressed out.
UPDATE: MARCH 18, 2002 I quit smoking again. It’s been about 15 days. I’m wearing the patch off and on. I figure bin Laden is a prick. Why should I waste precious lung cells on that fuck?UPDATE: JUNE 9, 2003 I am still a non-smoker! I think about it every friggin’ minute of the day…that smoke, that lovely inhale. FUCKERS! UPDATE: SEPT, 2004 I am still not (officially) smoking. I have smoked recently, though, after my grandmother’s funeral and I’ll have a puff with Kim here and there. I’m in denial maybe. UPDATE JUNE 2006: It’s amazing how much a fucking Bio can change in the course of someone’s life, isn’t it? I’m smoking my ass off. UPDATE MAY 2007: I quit smoking February 27th and used the patch. Then I started smoking again. It’s Tracy’s fault.
RELATIONSHIP My girlfriend and I have the same name. It doesn’t become a problem except at night when we’re having wild monkey sex and start calling out our own names. She’s the boss of me. I’m her bitch. Or so she thinks!
SPENCER After a rough first-year at the Creative Arts School, Spencer headed into sixth grade with more motivation than I’ve ever seen! He doubled-majored last year and did poorly, especially since his least favorite class was one of his majors (ART). But he pulled it off quite nicely by excelling in his other major (VOCAL MUSIC). He was hoping to go into instrumental this year, but the competition for that major is extreme and most of the kids take private lessons and tutoring for hours and hours outside of school. They suggested that Spencer take some private lessons before declaring INSTRUMENTAL as a major, but he doesn’t really have the motivation to do even that. He loves to sing and his voice is incredible. Unfortunately, as with all the boys at his school, his voice will change. He might not be able to continue his current major for very long, especially if his voice starts to drop and rise all over the place. He is such an awesome kid. (His personal webpage is no longer public and is available only to close friends and family members.) UPDATE 6/2006: Spencer just finished 7th grade, made the honor roll every semester and will be starting home-schooling next year. UPDATE 5/2007: He’s in 8th grade and hates it. Looking forward to High School. I hope he won’t be too disillusioned.
TRACY My parents were going to name me Kelly (and I wish they had). There are few people in the world that love their own names, I guess. But I really hate mine. It’s not a grown up name. It’s a little girl’s name or a clown’s name or a nickname for a new computer software program, like a spell-checker or a weather predictor. The name has its origin in Greek, of course, and means “unmastered” or “wild.” Did my parents research this? Nope. They just said, “Tracy’s a nice name,” and gave it to me like a birthmark that cannot be erased without expensive medical or legal procedures. Now the name Kelly, on the other hand, is a nice-sounding grown-up name with German origins. It means….well, it means farm-by-the-spring, but meaning is not the most important thing here. Sound is the most important. If your name is Rudolph, it doesn’t much matter that it means Famous Wolf. You’re still gonna take a lot of crap about it at school. (This letter should have been “tangent.”)
UNSOLICITED EMAIL …otherwise known as SPAM. (Okay, I’m reaching, but how many “U” words can you think of that are interesting enough to write about?) I hate unsolicited email. This tangent goes out to my favorite spaminator….and you know who you are: I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in enlarging my penis. If I even gave one shit about penises, I’d just go buy one at the sex shop, and I’d be sure to buy the right size in the first place. How the hell would you enlarge this penis anyway? With PVC pipe and duct tape? Ouch. Assholes.
VIRGINIA (IT SAYS VIRGINIA, NOT VAGINA)… We lived in Virginia for two years. It was wonderful to experience the seasons in all their splendor, and believe me, a Virginia autumn cannot be adequately described with the human language. One thing I do miss about Virginia is all the culture and history surrounding every little town. We lived just blocks from the Manassas Battlefield and we were minutes from D.C. We’ve seen the White House, the Smithsonian (where we saw the ruby slippers…thrill, thrill, thrill), the Mall, the Children’s Museum and so many other wonderful sites.
WRITING For the most part, the writing I’m doing now is concentrated on my blog.
(X-RATED) MOVIES X-rated movies? Well, not X-rated, but it was the only way I could cram my favorite movies into this long and windy autobiography. They are:
|The Color Purple
The Godfather I & II
Hannah and Her Sisters
Gone With The Wind
Fried Green Tomatoes
The Sixth Sense
YUMMY & NOT YUMMY These things are YUMMY: Lobster, strawberries, chocolate, Ceasar salads, frosted mini-wheats, mushrooms, chocolate, bagels, grilled-cheese, popcorn, roasted peppers, deviled eggs, chips & spinach dip, watermelon, chocolate, and chocolate. These things are NOT yummy: Lima beans, Italian desserts, tuna casserole, chicken casserole, liver, dark chocolate, licorice (any flavor), and Starbucks coffee and anything else they sell. I love going to Starbucks. I love the artsy-fartsy atmosphere and the scents, but I can’t consume anything they make. It makes me gag.
ZODIAC I’m a Pisces, which, simply translated, means I’m an emotional hysteric most of the time. I don’t know much about horoscopes, but what I do know is that I fit that Pisces definition to a “T.” Pisces is a water sign, which implies that I can “go with the flow.” (Sorry, I had to say it). Water signs typically are able to “meld into” or “mesh” around whatever the environment is exhibiting at the time. And that can be an “emotional” environment as well. If I’m happy and then get around someone who’s depressed, I’ll pick up on that and become depressed myself. If I’m depressed and then get around someone who’s happy, more than likely they will piss me off with their cheerfulness and cause me to say hateful things. Okay, so I don’t always “meld.” Pisces people, especially women, are clay. They mold themselves to fit whatever feeling or situation that surrounds them. It’s not always good. A friend of mine pointed out that because Pisces are fish-people, if you pollute their environment, they’ll get sick. I once worked in the Cardiology Department at a Florida hospital where the staff was so dysfunctional and everyone was sleeping with everyone else’s spouse, it made me physically sick. The environment was so thick and heavy and caustic, I ended up with an ulcer…and I wasn’t even sleeping with anyone! No really, I wasn’t. I used to think everyone was like this…that nobody could function well in a tense environment day after day. I was wrong. Some people punch in and punch out and aren’t affected at all by what’s going on around them. Lucky bastards.