Tag Archives: buddhism

Working too hard can give you a heart attack-ack-ack-ack

18 Apr

March was a rough month for me. I brought it all upon myself but that didn’t make it any easier. The head technician at work took the month to go tour around Asia, and I volunteered to cover his shifts. This meant a month of working 6 days a week and close to 60 hours. Add on top of this cat sitting, dog sitting, studying for my final semester of school and this led to a life limited to work and animals. Work wasn’t the most joyful either. I had to work with Dr. Z who is quite possibly the most difficult, arrogant man in the world. But he signs my paychecks, so I have to grin and bear it. We also took in a precious little pug puppy who after weeks of intense nursing passed away, leaving me devastated but too burnt out to even think of sitting down and crying.

At night I would come home (sometimes to cat/dog sitting clients’ apartments), eat, shower, study as much as possible, and maybe allow myself a bit of time to write in my journal or read. The exhaustion of a long day would overcome me as I turned out the light. This is when my heart would start to pound. I could feel it in my ears, in my hands, in my feet. Breathing would become difficult. It felt almost as if I was drowning. I’ve been having nighttime anxiety attacks for the last 3 or so years, but those were maybe once every other month. This was happening every night. I became accustomed to listening to Buddhist podcasts I had downloaded. I used them to slow down my breathing, to let go of anger, to breathe loving presence into myself. But night after night, there it would be, my pounding tell-tale heart. As my anxiety attacks became worse and more frequent, I found myself almost unable to focus on the teachings. I could hardly even focus on the words the teachers were saying.

Then one night, toward the end of the crazy work run, I left work and on the train home thought over the list of things that I had to do: catch up on schoolwork, update blog, clean the bathroom, book flights to San Francisco. But as I walked into the door of my apartment, I said fuck it all and changed into my workout clothes, grabbed my boxing gloves and went to the kickboxing center. Every muscle in my body felt wound up, and I guiltily walked into the room, knowing my instructor has noticed that I haven’t been in to work out in a month. He just smiled at me though and said welcome back.

The workout began. Running, jumping jacks, burpees, crunches, planks, and the millions of varieties on all of these. But unlike other times when I have worked out, I moved with an intensity, with an energy burning inside that I was unaware of. When we got to the point in the class where we got to punch and kick the bags, I went crazy. I hit and kicked harder than I knew was possible. With each swing I thought of all the things that have made me angry, disappointed, frustrated. I saw the face of Dr. Z and punched with each condescending thing he has said to me. I thought of the puppy dying. I thought of people shoving me on the train. I thought of every moment where I tried to breathe through an emotion instead of confronting it.

I felt a light tap on my shoulder, as my instructor told me class was over. I was dripping with sweat, breathing heavy, every muscle in my body shaking.

“Good workout today, champ,” he said to me. All I could to was nod and try to catch my breath.

At home in the shower, I felt elated. I felt ready to take on the world. My mind was awake and refreshed and clear. I thought of things I wanted to write, places I want to go, paths I want to go down. I felt like I could deal with it all. “Bring it, world. I can take on anything.” And that night, my heart stayed calm as I slipped into sleep with ease.

I love Buddhism. I love what it teaches, but I can’t help but disagree with this idea of sublimating anger and negative feelings. Maybe I’m not doing it right or I’m approaching it wrong. Maybe my crazy workout fits in with Buddhism. I didn’t take my anger and put anything negative into the world. I didn’t hurt anyone, start a fight, say something that I might later regret. I did nothing but strengthen my body and improve myself. But it had to come out. All that anger. It didn’t go away with breathing.

Life is back to a beautifully healthy balance now. And my workouts have stayed intense. Maybe they are a form of meditation in themselves. A way to exist in the present moment, to feel alive and aware and connected. To confront the truth. Maybe sometimes the truth is simply that I’m angry and that’s okay.

The Right Path

27 Jan

I’ve had so many ideas for posts this last month or so. But something weird happens to me if I don’t seize on an idea in a specific amount of time. I sit down and try to write, and it comes out stilted. So I delete it and walk away. I’ve also just been busy. I was excited for this Sunday-Tuesday stretch. Minimal plans. A couple of writing ideas. A blizzard to keep me from going out. Then this happened:

IMG_2350Flag football is not my favorite activity. I think from now on I’ll just stick to soccer and softball. It was extremely painful the first couple of days, now it’s manageable. I can’t handle how messy my handwriting looks, and I’m typing without the use of that finger and pinky. Way to go, Wilson. Way. To. Go.

On a happier note, I spent a couple of days earlier this month in Florida with my family for our annual Christmas in January. We walked barefoot on the beach. We ate an obscene amount of delicious seafood. We even did some water aerobics. But my favorite moment of the vacation came at the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital.

After touring the hospital, looking at X-Rays and case histories, we headed over to a water tank where they had a handful of Cownose Rays. The docent gave us a little lecture about them and about their care and then invited us to feed them. Of course, little kids got to go first. I eyed each little kid jealously until the docent opened it up to big kids. Me!

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The kid behind me just had his mind blown by the experience.

The lady placed a piece of shrimp between my fingers and had me lower my hand to await the Ray. It came around to me, stopped and hovered. Then it felt like a little vacuum cleaner popped the shrimp out of my hand. It was surreal and strange. The little creature swam away but rubbed its slimy belly on my outstretched palm before it left. I squealed with delight, made a goofy face. It was amazing, and I loved it. I ended up buying a Ray patterned wallet and some earrings. That little guy stole my heart.

This was the highlight of my vacation. Hanging around and feeding animals. Next month I’m using up the rest of my vacation days to also spend time with animals, albeit much larger ones, but still. My job is to be around animals, yet I can’t seem to get enough.

The other night I was listening to a Buddhist podcast while falling asleep. I only remember two things from it. Other than the awesome joke about slutty parrots, the main thing I took away from it was this quote:

“True happiness is finding beauty in the detours.”

I have so much more that I want out of my life. And I’ve had to face the reality that I don’t know what is actually going to stick. I don’t know if I’ll stay a vet tech. I don’t know if I’ll ever make my bones as a writer. I don’t know how much longer I’ll stay in New York. I don’t know if I’ll ever find my Rhett Butler.

What I do know is what I realized that day at the Sea Turtle Hospital. I love what I do. I’m endlessly interested and fascinated by animals. So I must be doing something right.

I got up at 6:30 this last Saturday so I could go feed some cats before work. Walking from that apartment to work in chilly drizzle, I felt a lightness in my chest. I was practically skipping. My boots gracing the tops of puddles. My two braids dew-covered in the rain. I was inexplicably, supremely happy. I don’t know where I’m going, but this has to be the right path. It has to be. It’s just so beautiful.

 

Crooked Lines

28 Oct

Last Thursday I was at work when my friend Jeff texted me that he had an extra ticket to an off-broadway musical called “Here Lies Love” and could I be at Astor Place by 8. Normally I would have said no. Thursdays are my night in. I work till 8pm and have to be back at 8am the following morning. But something about the randomness of it all pulled me to say, “Sure!” despite not knowing how on Earth I could get there in time.

I took a cab, then ran through giant puddles on the Lower East Side to arrive at the theater at 8:07. The ushers shove me into an elevator and take my coat and bag from me for coat check. I exit the elevator and walk into what looks like a giant dance club. Jeff waves at me as I make my way across the room, and the second I am by his side, it begins. I had no idea what I was in for.

“Here Lies Love” was created by musical geniuses David Byrne and Fatboy Slim about the rise and fall of the former first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos. I’m unsure how to describe the following 90 minutes of my life. It was incredible. An interactive, multimedia, dance-hall themed musical. People in space suits (not as crazy as it sounds) shifting the crowd around, the performers coming into the audience to sing, breaks in between songs for the crowd to do DJ-led, Filipino-style line dancing! Every once in a while, Jeff and I would look at each other in ecstatic amazement.

After a crescendo of political strife, assassinations, the institution of martial law, a headline on the screen showed that Imelda Marcos and her husband, Ferdinand Marcos where helicoptered out of the Philippines for refuge in the United States. At this point one of the stages had been morphed into stairs where the audience sat. After the multimedia, dance club extravaganza, one singer came out with a ukelele and performed a song called, “God Draws Straight.”

The minimalism of the performance almost brought me to tears. The lyrics struck something in me. Despite having never heard the song before, it wouldn’t leave my mind. I downloaded it the next morning and have been listening to it on repeat for days. The crux of this song’s chorus is this line:

“You might think you are lost, but then you will find that God draws straight but with crooked lines.”

This is an idea I’ve been coming across a lot the last couple of weeks. This sense that everything happens for a reason, that things are unfolding as the Universe intended. It’s hard to comprehend and make sense of it, but the line in this song made it click. I’m not where I expected to be at 28, and I can’t believe how winding the path has been. But I have to believe that all my experiences, the good and the bad, are leading me toward a better path. I don’t feel lost the way I did at 25 or 22 or 18. I do feel nervous about my future though. I don’t have a sense of where I’ll end up living, what I’ll end up doing, or which people will be around me. But that’s not because I’m lost, I’ve just been heading down crooked lines, and that’s okay.

My Filipino co-worker who has already seen “Here Lies Love” twice is bringing me the full soundtrack to the musical and a documentary about Imelda Marcos to work tomorrow to lend to me. I’ve put a couple of books about her along with a book about the Power People Revolution on hold at the library. As Jeff and I left the theater and walked down St. Mark’s looking for a place to grab a beer, we could hardly express our amazement at what we had seen. Jeff summed it up pretty well, “David Bryne! That crazy, creative, genius son-of-a-bitch!”

All Creatures

21 Oct

The last couple of months, my roommates and I have developed a problem with mice. There are mice in our building, and in the 3.5 years I’ve lived in my apartment, I’ve seen them two or three times running into my room and upon finding nothing, leave. However, one of my less-than-tidy roommates had bags of oatmeal and trail mix in our kitchen that a small family of mice decided was their own personal buffet. It took weeks of me and my other roommate telling her to clean her shit up and move her perishables before she finally did.

But mice have excellent memories and have decided that they would like to make my kitchen their home. I’m terrified of my kitchen at this point and eat almost all of my meals out. I hate that I’ve seen mice scurrying around. Even more frustrating is both of my roommates continue to throw leftover food out into our small kitchen garbage where these mice have easy access. I’ve made a strict rule of throwing nothing edible out in any garbage in our apartment, but they have not been good about following this. They’ve bought little glue traps and whatnot, but that makes me even more terrified to go in the kitchen, because I’m afraid I’ll find a squirming little carcass.

One evening last week, I was heading out. I was already running a little late when I walk past my kitchen to hear that familiar rustling. Mouse in the garbage. Frustrated, I clap my hands inciting the creature to scurry. I take the garbage bag out with me, but being in a hurry, I don’t replace it. I figure, my roommates can at least take care of that.

About seven hours later, I return home. Tipsy, if I’m being honest. But instead of hearing that rustling, I hear a stranger sound. I peer into my kitchen to see our green garbage bucket with a small shadow bouncing around inside. I creep over and look in to find a mouse, running up the sides of the bucket, trying to escape. Once it notices me, it freezes and hides its head. My little mouse enemy was trapped.

“Ha!” I say into the bucket. I head to my room thinking to myself, “Let the little thing starve.” A couple of minutes later, I start to think deep thoughts about starvation. It’s a horrible way to die! It’s painful and mentally draining and that neon green bucket must be terrifying. Maybe I can throw it out the window or down the garbage shoot? It’s small enough that the impact of landing might not kill it. But what if it breaks something? And then it has to hobble around in pain? Then it’ll probably starve.

“Dammit Wilson!” I tell myself. “You can’t cohabitate with this mouse!” But there’s something in me that can’t contribute to its death, something about even killing a pesky, disease-carrying rodent that would bother me. I work with animals for a living. I contribute to their health and well-being. Something has grown within my soft heart that won’t let me do it. It’s something that has evolved in me in the work I do. It’s easy to love the cute puppies and the sweet kittens. But, they’re not the only ones I’ve pledged myself to. Give me your ugly, your aggressive, your drooling masses. I have to take care of them all, and I feel a responsibility to do just that, as hard as it often is. As weird as it is to worry this much about the well-being of a rodent.

So still in my high heels, I took the neon green garbage pail in my arms, while the mouse jumped around in panic. I descended the five flights of stairs and walked outside my building. I lowered the bucket and watched the mouse scurry into some bushes. I know it’s foolish. I know it’s weak and crazy. But it’s all I could do at that moment. Before I went back inside, I whispered, “Just please don’t come back.”

Cat-lovin, baseball-watchin, hot dog-eatin

3 Oct
Will and Kate

Will and Kate

I updated my profile picture on Facebook on Wednesday. I posted a picture of me with my sister’s cat, Miles. A friend of mine from Seattle commented about how amazing it is I’ve done an “about face” from hating cats to loving them. I’ve heard similar comments from my co-workers. It doesn’t bother me. Why would it? It’s the truth. But it felt like a weird thing to bring up.

I never hated cats. I’ve just always been a dog person. Still am. I think when I was younger, cats freaked me out. Those sinewy bodies, their fickle affection, the claws, the hissing, the claws, the claws, the claws. But I have found cats to be an acquired taste, like whiskey and coffee. After getting to know more about cats and spending time around some exceptional ones, I learned about the joys of holding a cat while it purrs, how excited they get when you scratch their lower back or under the chin, their exceptional personalities. I love them. And due to my job, they are a huge part of my life now.

So what’s the big deal? I changed my mind.

It’s not just the cats thing though. It’s comments like: “I can’t believe you love baseball, despite having been a moody, artsy teenager” or “I can’t believe you play sports in spite of your lifelong ineptitude” or “How can you love hot dogs so much when you used to be a vegetarian for eight years.”

BECAUSE I CHANGED MY MIND.

And thank God, because I live for the Mariner’s, weekly softball or soccer. I didn’t pursue a career as a poet, and I couldn’t be more happy and fulfilled right now saving furry lives on a weekly basis. I guess what bothers me about these statements from other people is they make me think they’re saying, “THIS isn’t who you are. THAT way you felt years ago is who you are.” Or maybe they’re saying who I was and what I believed so long ago wasn’t who I really am. But I think it’s all me.

I’m an evolving piece of work. I love that at the age of 28, I feel like I’ve lived a couple of varied lives. The moody, punk-obsessed teenager moping in suburbia. The aspiring poet/barista/student living on her own for the first time in Seattle. The Mariner employee who made the decision to stop being scared to speak up and try new things and stand up for herself. The ingenue in New York who had NO sense of who she was or where her life would go, desperately clinging to a failing relationship and floundering through heartbreak. Now a softball playing, karaoke singing, boxing veterinary technician.

I hope to God that when I’m 38 I’m not in the same place doing the same thing with the same interests. Sure, I’d love to keep some of them around. After all, I’ve held on to a number of passions and friends from my past lifetimes and been a happier, better person for it. But my mind is open to the world around me. I’m willing to be convinced, to adapt, be willing to say, “I was wrong about that.” I’m stubborn, and it’s been hard for me to do in the past. But adaptability and an open mind are two of the things I aspire to most in my life.

Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro

13 Jan

It’s such a tiny, little book. It fit so snuggly in my purse, and I took it out almost everywhere I went the week I was reading it. It’s not even a book as much as an amalgamation of all the different things she has learned in her years as a writer. It’s her wisdom, it’s the wisdom of the people who have inspired her, it’s little tips on how to approach writing.

I had fun reading this book. So much so that I bought my own copy while I was still reading the one I had checked out from the library. It now sits atop my printer on my writing desk with its own designated bookmark. Each nugget of advice is only a page or two long, and I’m trying out a ritual (at her suggestion). I read one little nugget as preparation for an hour of uninterrupted writing. It inspires me and reminds me why I write. It makes that hour of solitary writing a little less lonely.

28 Before 28: Read Slaughterhouse-Five

12 Nov

In my 28th year of life, I’m attempting to do 28 new things. Full list here.

One thing you can say about me and my bucket list is that despite never completing my birthday bucket list, I always manage to accomplish the book portion. So, yes, I might be dilly-dallying about visiting a new country. And, no, I don’t know of any gun ranges in the tri-state area. But, dammit, I put this book on hold at the library the day after I formulated the list.

“Slaughterhouse-Five” was a book I knew little about going into it. I knew it had something to do with war, but I didn’t even know which one. It’s about WWII.

I have read plenty of books about war. The heroism, the death, the senselessness, the evil necessity. This book, however, I didn’t find overly emotional. The plot jumps back and forth through time as the main character is unable to live his life chronologically. So we see him in Dresden, but a moment later we see him in optometry school, sometimes we even see him abducted my aliens flying miles away from Earth.

What I loved about the humor of Vonnegut’s writing was that everything was presented as fact, as simple detail. He left it to us to string it all together. Every time death is mentioned in the book, he sums it up with the phrase “So it goes.” That might seem cold, but it’s a beautiful thing in a sense.

I did some brief Internet research into Vonnegut and any relation to Buddhism, and I couldn’t find a link. But this idea of “So it goes” and the frequent jumping back and forth through time reminded me of some of the basic principles of Buddhism. Mainly the idea of impermanence. Nothing in our lives is permanent. Moments of suffering, moments of happiness, times of success, times of failure. Everything comes to an end, as do we. It’s a peaceful way to look at things. It also leads into the idea that nothing is real except this moment. The images we have of the past and the future are illusions. The only truth is now, in this moment. It is the only thing that is real.

For me, taking a main character and making him “unstuck” in time, flying through eras of his life, jumping from year to year, plays with this idea of what is real, what is past, and what is future. It was fascinating and a curious concept to think about.

Whoa, didn’t mean to get so Bodhisattva there. I couldn’t help it though. Vonnegut got me thinking with this one.

“And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.”

Taking a Moment

12 Aug

A couple of weeks ago, my friends and I pooled our money together to get our own suite at the Staten Island Yankees. We took the ferry from Manhattan and as we arrived on the island, we were greeted with a torrential downpour. We ran to our box and settled in to wait out the storm. The grounds crew pulled a tarp onto the field, and we set to eating the food provided in the suite (four hot dogs for yours truly) and drinking the beer that our suite attendant dutifully got for us.

About three hours later, the game was cancelled. As we finished up the beer and talked about rescheduling the game, my friend Quincey asked me to come out on the balcony with her, onto the seats that overlook the field. “Take a moment with me,” she said.

I stepped out into the cool, humid air of summer, a breeze coming in off the water just beyond the right field fence. I assumed she was going to tell me about a boy who had been texting her or maybe laugh about the bizarre conversation going on inside the suite about last will and testaments. Instead she just stood there sipping her beer.

“I just needed to take a moment with someone who’d appreciate this,” she paused. “We live here.” She gestured out across the water at the lit up skyline of lower Manhattan.

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That picture is a poor representation of what that view is actually like. I do forget sometimes that I live here, how lucky I am, how despite the hard times and the uncertainty, I ended up here, in one of the most amazing cities in the world, continuously finding new adventures, new people. I’m living a life that I only dreamed about as an awkward 13-year-old in Northern Nevada. Quincey’s story is different than mine, but same general idea, finding happiness despite struggle on the other side of the continent from her home.

It’s easy to forget how amazing this city is, and I’m glad that I was reminded to stop and take a moment, because those small moments of appreciation are such an important key to happiness. I enjoyed it so much that I took another moment that same night as we rode the ferry back to the city, and I saw this lady. (Also not a great representation)

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The Balance

9 Nov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been feeling down lately. It’s a multitude of things, but mainly it’s the omnipresent 20-something oh-my-God-what-am-I-doing-with-my-life blues. It’s not knowing if I want to stay in New York, but also not knowing where I want to go. It’s daydreaming at work of flying to Paris, living in Montmarte, and taking real good care of a box of window flowers. It’s all nonsense, but it still gets me down.

The problem is when I’m feeling down, I feel so low to the ground, there’s no farther down to go. I’ve always thrown my full weight into sadness. I always think of a stanza from “Elegy for Jane,” one of my favorite Theodore Roethke poems,

“Oh, when she was sad, she cast herself down into such a pure depth,
Even a father could not find her:
Scraping her cheek against straw,
Stirring the clearest water.”

That’s exactly how I feel when I’m down. To get into English major nerdery, Jane takes the action of casting herself down. She does it to herself. Yet that adjective “clearest” indicates that there’s nothing mentally wrong with her. It almost seems contemplative.

Anyways, when I’m down, I like to read blogs about how to be happy, how to cheer yourself up, how to become one of those shiny women who seem to have it together. I study Buddhism. I try so hard to find ways to be more complacent, to be at peace, to wake up every morning smiling, and return to bed at night satisfied. But don’t we all strive for happiness in one way or another? Aren’t we all in one way or another trying to become happier? I’m just more type A and obsessed with it.

Then I came across this amazing post about how to survive a personal apocalypse. I was already well aware of the whole “This too shall pass” mantra. The thing where you tell yourself that struggles will eventually subside and that happiness will happen again. But what struck me is how she mentioned that sadness will come again too. That when you’re happy, you have to accept that one day, you won’t be. It sounds so pessimistic, but to me it’s peaceful.

There’s no way to be happy all the time, and it’s not healthy to strive for that. It’s all part of the balance. It’s why I love rain so much. Rainy days have their own feel, and their own sense of quiet life. When the rain clears, and it’s sunny again, we all appreciate it more, we all feel more thankful. But without the rain, the sunny days get mundane. I’ve lived in Nevada, and I’ve experienced that phenomenon first hand. So the sad days are like that as well. They make the happy days brighter.

So in sadness, I often think how it will be over, and I will be happy soon enough. But I think in happy days, I should live with knowing that I will one day be sad, angry, frustrated. It’s all okay. It seems so simple, but it struck me as something truly important to know.

Quality Advice from Dr. G

27 Apr
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SPROUT! I want a Brussels Griffon. I want one real bad.

The above dog has nothing to do with this post, other than the fact that I took it at work, and this story also takes place at work. Honestly, I’m just trying to lure you in to read my blog, because I’m sly like that.

So the worst part about working in Veterinary Medicine is the people, the clients that inevitably come with their dogs. Ironic, right? People get into this field, because they want to spend their day with animals. Yet so much of the time is spent dealing with people. And people, in general, aren’t that pleasant.

Some people are wonderful though. Like Dr. G. He’s my favorite doctor at our clinic. He’s older, so a lot of us call him “Pops” which has always been a goal of mine…to have an old man friend whom I call Pops. He’s a lifelong Yankees fans, so we’re always discussing our teams. He continuously attempts to bring me to the dark side, make me a Yankees fan. With other Yankees fans, I find this sort of thing annoying; with Dr. G, it makes me smile.

He’s also the only doctor that doesn’t lose his temper, that doesn’t freak out at clients, never blames any one else if things go wrong. His interactions with clients are legendary. For example:

“Dr. G, is my dog going to die?”
“Well, yeah, one day. We all are. I just don’t know when your dog will die.”
“What am I supposed to do?!!?!”
“Stop worrying about your dog so damn much.”

He’s the only one who can get away with saying this sort of thing.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a client who was persistently calling the front desk, driving us all insane. She was sobbing about how her main vet had left the practice, how someone in her building told her the food she fed the dog was garbage, how she was a single mother and couldn’t afford vet bills. Basically, she called to complain about things that don’t concern me, and I can’t fix. She just wanted someone to whine to.

Finally, she stopped in to the clinic and demanded to speak to a doctor. She was crying and yelling, but she didn’t want an appointment. We only had Dr. R and Dr. G available. Dr. R was doing an emergency emesis, so I approached Dr. G. He rolled his eyes and said, “Oh, these fucking idiots.” Then he straightened his embroidered scrubs and asked, “So, how do I look?” I gave him the nod of approval, and he headed out there.

20 minutes. This woman ate up 20 minutes of an important man’s time. She ranted. She cried. She whined. He sat there. He nodded. He told her his food recommendations. It did not look like fun.

Eventually she left, and I followed him back into the treatment area.

“That was amazing, Pops. I don’t know how you handled that woman for that long.”
“Let me tell you something I learned a long time ago,” he began. All of treatment turned to listen to the wise, old doctor. “It takes two people to argue. One person can complain and cry and scream all they want, but if you sit there calm, you aren’t in an argument, you aren’t upset. The second you raise your voice and give in to anger, they’ve won. They pulled you into a fight. So I listened to that woman’s crazy rant. And even though I sat there for 20 minutes and could only think, ‘Go fuck yourself, you crazy bitch,’ I didn’t say it, and she didn’t get to win.” All of treatment erupted in laughter and applause.

I lose my temper with clients every once in a while, but I’m really trying the Dr. G method of dealing with it. It really does work. I’m not as good at it as Dr. G is, but I suppose I have 40 odd years to perfect my craft.