Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tori Spelling and the Boston Globe

Hey all... and don't worry, there's a bunch of posts coming in the next couple of days. I'll be caught up to April!!! Woo hoo!!!

Meanwhile, I'm famous... in Boston, anyway.

It's an article all about blogging. Figured it'd be stupid not to post it here.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Good morning...

Hello, faceless internet reader. Sitting down at your desk with your starbucks in hand. Not quite yet ready to go to work, yet not quite able to advertise it either. You've checked your email. Gone to Maybe perez hilton. "Ooh, what do we have here?"

Yep, procratinators around the globe, unite. Tons of posts below. I'm caught up almost to March now!!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I'm alive! I'm alive!

Okay, so if you're still peeking in on this wondering, "Where the fuck is Courtney?"

I'm here.

What have I been doing all this time?

I've been on strike
I've procrastinated
I've had my ovaries removed
I've been on vacation
I dealt with major damage to my house
I got knocked up
I got very much UN-knocked up
I rediscovered my love of Little Debbie Zebra Cakes
I've been training to bike 200 hundred miles
I've been on the radio and TV
I've lost my job
I've been happy about said job loss
I got a new job
I switched careers
I did tons of breast cancer stuff
I experienced girl on girl action at a family wedding... (well, not me personally, but still)

What? WHAT?! WHAT?!?!?!? You say... Back the truck up, mack. Hit the tape deck and rewind, Casey Casem.

Relax, internet readers... all will be explained.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be FINALLY posting all the posts I'd only half written this whole time. In order for it to make sense for any Susie Breast Cancer who stumbles upon this tome of wisdom, I wll be posting them according to their original dates. Starting all the way back in October/November. So what do you do if you're trying to catch up?

Scroll the hell down until you get to the first post you don't recognize. Read. Repeat.

Happy reading :)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Benign Neglect

If you talk to my little brother, the youngest of 4, he'll tell you he suffered from benign neglect. By the time he rolled along, my parents were too tired and too busy to pay as much attention to him. He'll tell you that's not always a bad thing. He got away with a whole lot more.

Some of you have been asking me for more pictures! Well, here's some pictures of our little case of benign neglect... Rugby. As opposed to the other dogs, our picture taking has gone from zillions with Kylie, our first, to just a few of Rugby. I think we went about 6 months without nary a candid. But anyway, he's turning into quite the nice dog. He's about 9 months old here.

Yes, he sits on the couch. Kind of like a person. He's not really into boundaries.

The oldest and the baby... he's bigger than Kylie already.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The hazing's a bitch

You want to cause a ruckus at an event? Wear a t-shirt with swear words on it. When I was in college, I was on the student activities funding committee... I know - sounds like a ton of fun. We were charged with giving out hundreds of thousands of dollars to student organizations. We read dozens of grant proposals, and in a two week long marathon, we heard proposals and made recommendations. And got a little slap happy. After groups would leave after making their sometimes ridiculous proposals (I'm sorry, but I am SO not giving the Young Republicans 50 grand for Charlton Heston to come and spew his garbage. That bitch is an alum. Get him to come for free) we would talk amongst ourselves...

"Well, when we fuck this group up the ass and deny most of their proposal, will we do it with a little lube or no lube?"

Answer: No lube. Denied.

We got so feisty and we had bonded so much, we made t-shirts to wear at our presentation to the student government. "SAFB: Free the money bitches!"

You would have thought we spun those hefty tees ourselves from looms of gold. Pictures in the paper with BITCHES splayed prominently across my (unbeknown st to me cancer growing) chest.

It began a long history of me and inappropriate words in print.

So, as I grow older and "ahem" wiser... it came time to design a t-shirt for the Atlanta contingent of the Young Survival Coalition to wear at our annual conference. A few women had joked about never being in a sorority. Well, drawing on my sorority knowledge as well, I made up t-shirts with big greek letters on the front standing for Atlanta Young Survivors.

And on the back?

Initiation Sucks and the Hazing's a Bitch.
But this sisterhood is for life.

Never mind the cheesy sisterhood closer... it was all about the naughty words. We wore these bad boys to the conference - all 12 of us, and again - looms of gold.

It's like Beevis and Butthead...
hu hu hu. You said "sucks."

hu hu "and bitch"

I recently returned from the 8th Annual Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer. Famous t-shirt aside, it was a great conference. But different. Last year I was mostly alone and just getting into this "Cancer" thing. I took tons of notes, I soaked it all up. This year, I shepherded a dozen women from Atlanta. I didn't learn as much as I made sure the people I helped bring were getting something out of it. I met up with "cancer friends" who I now see regularly at these things. Instead of it being this whole world I had only discovered, it was a bit like coming back to your hometown for a reunion. Well, one full of people you actually like, that is.

Check us out, bitches!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008


When I was on strike and I had a lot of time on my hands, I decided to take on some more volunteer work. See, when I was diagnosed, I didn't do any "support" stuff. I did go online at and chatted in a chat room. But other than a couple very wonderful women who emailed me through my initial steps, I didn't do support groups, go to Gilda's club, contact Komen, race or make strides for anything. I just did my thing.

And upon reflection, it was pretty fucking isolating. I mean, I lived 3 hours from where I got treated. I didn't have close friends anywhere near me. In fact, I didn't even have a friend I could call where I lived. I knew no one who had had breast cancer - no one I knew well, that is. And I sure as hell didn't have any exposure to anyone my age with breast cancer.

I had my husband. And my family. Well, most of them, at least. And I had a good friend who had recently finished treatment for lymphoma. Both he and my aunt were good for commiserating about chemo. Neither of them had disfiguring surgery. Or hormonal therapy for 5 years. On the whole, I didn't really have a "community" belong to - people to connect with. Nothing.

And I never realized how much I needed that until I finished treatment. Ironic, huh?

So as I get further and further out from treatment, it's occurred to me how much I want to help other people along the path. So I've been doing that in numerous ways... one of them is currently my favorite way to volunteer.

I am now a trained Y-Me peer hotline counselor. What? Well, let's say you have breast cancer. Or think you might. Or have a friend who does. And you have no one to talk to. You go online and search for breast cancer support. You might find the Y-Me website. Y-Me is the oldest breast cancer support organization in existence. Anyway, you see on their site that you can call this hotline anytime, 24-7 and speak to a breast cancer survivor. So you pick up your phone and call 1-800-221-2141 and...

"Hi, this is Courtney. How can I help you?"

Insert imaginary conversation here.

So yeah. I flew to Chicago where they trained me in everything from basic cancer knowledge to how to deal with crank callers. I am currently in the process of setting up my home network to accept calls via VOIP. As in, I sit in my jammies and answer calls through my computer.

Yep, that's right. Volunteering from your house. In your yoga pants.
Helping people from the comfort of your own home.

Fan - freaking - tastic.

So if you have breast cancer and need help, give us a call. I just may be on the other line.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Why, oh why do I open my big mouth?

I know, I know... it's a question you've been asking yourself now for years.
Even in grade school, when I got straight A's in subjects such as spelling and handwriting, I got 2s and 3s (scale of 1-4) on effort and conduct.
In short, I'm a slacker with a big mouth. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
So what's the most recent incident? Well, when I was at the YSC conference, someone was talking about the Tour de Pink, a 200 mile bike ride from Hershey, PA to New York City. It's the Young Survival Coalition's annual event to raise funds and awareness for young women with breast cancer. Sounds cool, I said. Wow - 200 miles.
Shit, I'll do it! Sign me up.
Never mind the fact I haven't been on a bike since I got my driver's license. Or that I'm not in great shape. Or that I have a serious problem with full body spandex, for charity or otherwise. Sure, let's do it.
So I'm going to ride 200 miles on a bike. Over "rolling hills." In cycling shorts.
I'm a fucking moron. Seriously. I should have jumped from another plan if I wanted to prove anything else.
Thankfully, I'm not the only one. I'll be one of 150 riders. Two of which will be my husband and my father. I know, a collective sigh of cuteness for my daddy riding with me. My dad's into cycling. He'll be fine. Alan has a bike we bought when we first moved back to the states.
He's ridden it 4 times in 4 years.
But Alan's super excited. I think it's just an excuse for more toys. Shoes and clippy things and jerseys, oh my!
So Alan and I recently went out and purchased two road bikes They are much fancier than my schwinn 10-speed. We bought them on the one day it snowed in Atlanta. And Alan insisted that we put on hats and gloves and ride in freezing cold.
Great. This will be so fun.
Will there be drinks at this thing?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Strike's Over!!!!

So.... I'm back to work. The strike's over. I should be happy, right? Well, I am. Yes, yes, I am. But I can't help feeling this overwhelming - hmm, I don't know. Anger, maybe? Anger because we were on strike for so long for a deal that wasn't all that great. Anger because I'm back to working with and for people who scabbed while I spent my savings and went into debt. Anger because there was a clause about protecting daytime jobs that we lobbied for that wasn't included in the final deal.

So yeah, I guess I'm still angry. Shut up, Courtney! At least you have a job!! Well, sure... for now. Because coming back to work now is a different story. It's a land where "the strike taught us we don't need as many people." and "expect changes." and "if anyone thinks of giving your (scabbing) headwriters grief, you might as well leave. They saved the show."

Well, I guess you can imagine it's not all sunshine and rainbows back at work. Things are tense. And I've only been back a few days. There's drama. And the one thing I LOVED about my job before was that there was very limited drama... off the screen that is.

I found I've lost some of my love of the genre. See, one of the arguments for scabbing is that a prolonged break would kill soap operas. That is they went off the air for 3 months, no one would come back.

I was sort of that girl. While on strike, I didn't watch the show. That would be part of what I'm paid for. No work, no watch. And it's hard to catch up. Hard to care about stories that played out without my involvement. In a way, that makes me like any other viewer.

On the flip side, I'm glad to get a paycheck. But maybe part of the problem is that in the past few months I've realized just how ridiculous my job is. Fuck, I write for soap operas. Not exactly changing the world, you know? So maybe my healthy respect for my profession has tarnished a little.

Maybe I need to stop sounding like a little bitch. And get back to work.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Happy Cancerversary to me!

Where's my cake? I love me some cake. Exactly 2 years ago today I was diagnosed with cancer. How am I celebrating said important day, you ask? Well, I'm trying to catch up on the tons of scripts and shows that someone else wrote while I was on strike. I'm cleaning up my house. I'm doing some laundry.

Business as usual.

How fucking great is that?

Since my last cancerversary, things have been pretty up and down in cancerland. I've lost people. I've celebrated triumphs. I've run the gamut of emotions. But if anything could describe this past year, it might be that I began my transition from my own cancer experience to guiding the way for others. And with each cancerversary, I celebrate. For me and for them.

Again, cake.... anyone? Anyone?

Friday, February 08, 2008

Super Tuesday

Dude, rarely in Georgia do I feel like I'm in the mecca of political happenings - the hotbed of the democratic process, if you will. But today? Today was a great day. Today I stood in line with my neighbors and took part in the political process. Today I waited for almost an hour to touch that screen and have my say. Today, I stood with people of all colors, languages and backgrounds - I live in what is commonly referred to as an "up and coming" or "diverse" district. We stood there and not once did I hear someone bitch about the wait. Or about needing to get back to their job/kids/life. We had a job to do.

So I cast my vote And collected the "I'm a Georgia Voter" sticker. Here in Georgia, the sticker has a little peach on it. And wore it proudly in a way I never wear my Ash Wednesday Catholic ashes.

And this evening, as I grabbed some popcorn and watched "the best political team on television," I smiled. As Georgia closed their polls 1 hour before any of the other states, I watched as Wolf and Lou and Anderson (yum!) broke down my state, county by county. I held a certain amount of pride as they analyzed Georgia for an hour. And when they put up that Georgia map and talked about the 1400 votes just received from a district in Cobb County, I was satisfied that I had done my part.

Because in all this politics... and sure, there's a lot of bullshit too , it all comes down to this.

Standing in line with my neighbor, doing our civic duty. One by one.

No matter who you vote for, you can't say it doesn't matter. You can't say it's not important. You can't say it doesn't count. Not this year.

And that feels pretty damn good.

Dance Dance Party Party

Okay, cuz I either
a. Don't have enough to do
b. Have too much time on my hands
c. Spend too much time listening to the 80s and 90s channels on XM radio

I'm embarking on a new adventure.

It's called Dance Dance Party Party

It was originally started in New York by a couple of kick ass twinkies. A friend of mine saw it in a magazine and we contacted them and, VOILA! We are starting the official DDPP chapter this month in Atlanta.

I know, kinda of a crazy name, but it’s a cheap and easy chance for women to get together and break it down. Think the all the fun of dancing with your girlfriends at a club minus the steep cover and sleazy guys bumping and grinding on you. Seriously, just put on some music and go to town. Roger Rabbit anyone? Electric Slide? Whatever!

"What is this again? I don't get it."

Well, for $5 on a Sunday afternoon, chicks get together and dance their asses off. No, it's not a “class.” No instruction, just great music and your own personal rhythm. Any woman is welcome. You can have zero “dance experience” or you can do triple pirouettes in the corner. Each session, someone else will dj... imagine itunes playlists full of your favorite old school hits. Here's an example playlist...

Yes, that IS the song from the end of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."

This is totally something that’s sweeping the country right now – just look at all the other locations!

The first party is February 17th at Gotta Dance Atlanta. MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Then run, do not walk to your email contact list and pass it on to anyone you know!!!

If you don't live in the ATL, go to the site and see if there's a DDPP near you. If not, contact the ladies in New York and start your own.

Leg Warmers and Slap Bracelets optional.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Politics make me hot.

Anyone who's known me long enough knows I dig on politics. I get jazzed about the speeches, the debating, the ass kicking. Growing up, I never saw a campaign I didn't like. In the sixth grade, I ran as Michael Dukakis in our mock presidential debates. In our school wide vote, the Duke got his ass kicked. But not in the sixth grade. The Duke in '88, baby.

In high school, despite running for class and student body president every year (and getting repeatedly beaten by some drunken boy), I was voted "Most Likely to become President." How's that for irony? Apparently, my class felt that regular losses would better prepare me for a future in politics.

During the infamous election of 2000, I was on cruise ships, desperately clutching my donkey beanie baby a friend had sent me. Instead of socializing in the piano bar, I sat in front of the casino television... waiting up for hours. We all know how that ended.

4 years later, I told my then new husband that there was no way I could get it on after election night. We had spent hours in front of CNN. I just wasn't in the mood. Nothing's a cock block more than a Bush in office.

In my cancer journey, it was my first trip to the National Breast Cancer Coalition's Advocacy weekend in D.C. where I realized I could combine breast cancer AND politics. I came home so fired up I was burning.

This year, Alan knows that a broadcast debate means no cuddles on the couch, no "quality time." Quality time means debating the issues. Watching the pundits. Occasionally throwing something or yelling at the screen like it's the Super Bowl. Explaining to my fiscally conservative husband that yes, taxes are necessary. And if hates them so much, he can move back to England and pay even more.

So, when I heard that Bill "Slick Willy" Clinton was speaking only 45 minutes from my house, I had to go. Even if no one else could go with me. I drove by myself. I spent 20 minutes parking. I waited in line outside - in what could only be described as a New Kids on the Block concert circa 1989. (okay, so it could be described differently, but that's now how I saw it.) Seriously, SWARMS of people. A line around the building. I struggle to believe that Kennesaw State University ever had that kind of crowd for a basketball game.

I actually got a seat and waited for the former President to speak. And he did. He looked old. I wondered about that "charisma" everyone talks about. Then again, sitting behind a desk in the Oval office would make almost anyone hot. The best part of the evening? When he stopped for a beat and said,

"You know, it's easy to get distracted when you're President."

Snicker, snicker.

Bill spent a lot of time talking about health care. And the ideas made sense. Electronic records saving billions of dollars. Opening the congressional health plan to everyone. I liked that, too.

Above all, I got fired up. About the ability of people to make a difference. About "change"... or whatever that means. It made me want to run out and run for office myself. And when the rally was over, I talked to members of the Hillary staff. (A staff that did not email once during the next few days even after I volunteered to help... hmmm) I chatted as throngs of people waited for a quick word with Willie. Like he was a fucking rock star.

Cuz you know what? Even now, even a little too old, tired... Bill had something. I have had many conversations with my father about "poor Monica" and how she must have been taken advantage of. That's what he thought. Then I told him if the President gave me the opportunity to get on my knees in the Oval office, I'd be running under the desk so fast, Bill wouldn't have time to unzip his pants.

My father was mortified.

Tee hee.

What can I say? Politics get me hot.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Why We Write...

I've had some time to reflect on my work in the months that I haven't had any. In my constant pursuit to do what I can from my tiny little corner of the world, I submitted this piece to Why We Write, a blog started to rally the troups in the union and beyond. Every day, a different (and usually more important) writer is featured with their take on why we do this whole crazy thing and why it's worth it. Me, of course, because I have a pretty strong opinion on my union, I had to submit something involving the "big C."

Oh, for fuck's sake, you say. Does EVERYTHING have to be about cancer?

Well, if you're going to have that attitude, you should probably stop reading this cancer blog.

Besides, what doesn't scream "Norma Rae union propaganda" like telling the poor story of a woung woman with cancer.

I am SO not done playing this card.

Okay, so long story short, Why We Write published my essay today. I strongly encourage you to check out the site and read all the other essays. If you're too lazy, here's mine... (ps, yeah yeah, I know they spelled my name wrong. I'm over it.)

Number 36

Today’s piece is written by Courtney Bulger, a writer on “All My Children.” Her blog can be found at

I never thought of being a writer. When I was young and blissfully ignorant, I thought I was going to be a star on Broadway. After all, I did have the lead in the high school production of “Oklahoma!” I attended college and found that acting wasn’t nearly as interesting as being in charge. Besides, I wanted to eat cheeseburgers and I didn’t want to spend my life always looking for a job. So I did production. Then I graduated. I worked on cruise ships. I was Julie McCoy. I can call one mean game of bingo. When I moved back to the real world, it was time to be an adult. Sort of. A very wise woman said to me, “You know, I do this writing thing. You might be good at it. Why don’t you give it a try?” So I did. I worked on soap opera scenes late at night after a long day of selling cars. Yep, I sold cars. After all, my resume of ass kicker and professional partier wasn’t exactly 9-5 material.

I wrote scenes about someone coming back from the dead, someone in a coma, someone stealing someone’s baby… you know – soap opera stuff. And after each draft, I would send it off to this very smart woman who would in turn tear it to shreds. More red than my current bank account. And I’d try it again. And again. Until little by little, I got better. Good enough to show people. And not to embarrass her. And I realized I liked it. No one even had to say these words aloud. Just the mere process… it was creative, it was challenging and it was fun as hell.
And lo and behold, the very day after I quit that job selling cars, I was offered a writing gig. My first. For real. Like they would actually pay me money to put words down on paper. And I would work from home. In my yoga pants! With episodes of 90210 on TV in the background. And for the first time since I graduated from college, I might actually be able to pay my bills.

Life has a funny way of smacking you back in your place the minute you think it’s all together. Only a few months after I joined the Writers Guild of America, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. One month after my 29th birthday. Suddenly, my job was the least of my worries. Instead of worrying about deadlines and story arcs, I was worrying about chemo and radiation and… well, living. Suddenly, Erica Kane’s latest man or Kendall’s current drama were inconsequential. I had bigger fish to fry. Big huge tumor sized fish. Incidentally, the only thing I didn’t worry about was my job and insurance. The WGA picked up over two hundred grand in bills. After I had paid maybe a whopping six hundred dollars. No questions asked. It was the first time I had even had health insurance since graduating from college. My boss and my team cut me slack, gave me support and reminded me that we aren’t always the cynical bastards we say we are.

I started writing more. Not just witty dialogue and lines to pluck the heartstrings. I wrote about me. About life. Cancer. In the short time I’d been a professional writer, I’d realized the way I could communicate to my friends, my family and the world… I would write. I blogged all through my cancer treatment and beyond. What I couldn’t say aloud, I wrote. Writing allowed me to vent, to process, to be scared. And it made me laugh. Writing gave me an outlet for all the emotions I was too “tough” to say out loud. Writing was healing.

Oh, my God. I really was a writer.

And that spilled over into my “day job.” When Erica sat by Kendall’s hospital bed, I thought of my own mother, and the look on her face when I came out of my own surgery. When Greenlee talked about not having a family, it was me. Soap operas weren’t just plot and grand schemes and ridiculous twists. It was life. It was messy. It was scary. Those characters on the page – on the screen – they were more real to me than ever. It sounds cliché, but believe me, if I had an actor to read this article, it would sound good, I swear.

And I formed an allegiance to my job. My team. My union. The people who made my horrific ordeal tolerable. The people who made it possible for me to be treated and treated well. There are too many people in this world who don’t have insurance or job security or understanding headwriters. In essence, being a writer saved my life.

So that’s why I write. I will gladly make sacrifices to make sure that twenty years from now, when some other first time writer finds themselves in my position, they have health insurance to take care of them. That they have a union to protect them. And that they have the same opportunity to find themselves that I did.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Taking the eggs out of the basket...

So it's decided. I'm yanking these babies out. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I suggest you read this first. Literally, yanking out babies. Or possible babies. I am signing up for permanent menopause at 31. All my friends' moms - let's chat about hot flashes together. Or that post menopausal ring around the middle.

Only, I'm doing it by choice. Put me in coach, I'm ready to play. Never one to do things halfway, you know.

Is it also wrong that I'm so looking forward to that little IV of heaven they'll give me before surgery? Delicious. I haven't had a good hospital procedure in a while. I miss my opportunities to get legally high.

I'm going to meet a surgeon at Northwestern in March. Probably having the procedure the end of that month. While college kids around the country will be spring breaking, I will be hanging out on my parent's couch, vaguely reminiscent of my first surgery in this drama two years ago.

Only this time, I'm doing it on my terms. I like that. I'm in charge. I'm being proactive. I'm taking the bull by the fallopian tubes. (okay, I know a BULL doesn't have fallopian tubes, excuse the mixed metaphor.)

Some people may say it's extreme, some won't understand. I will bet you if you talk to any young woman who's faced breast cancer, it doesn't seem that crazy. And I don't know a woman yet who's regretted it.

You ever see that "Friends" episode where Phoebe is convinced some old dead woman is in her body and needs to see everything? Think first season. Well, I think perhaps I'll spend the next month or so showing my ovaries everything. We'll toss out that box of tampons sitting under my bathroom sink. We'll use up the last of any birth control we'll ever use. (well, it won't me "just" me and my ovaries) We will take that "Taking charge of your fertility" book and burn it in some weird ceremony that might involve interpretive dance. We'll look up to the gods of fertility and hormones and wish them the best of luck in the future.

I'll tell my ovaries stories of this tumor named Maria. And how Maria wasn't really doing me any favors either. So I had to kick her to the curb. And my ovaries, we'll call them Natasha and Svetlana (for some reason, I'm thinking my ovaries are Eastern Block) - my ovaries will one day visit Maria in the great pathology lab in the sky.

If anyone has ideas on what else my ovaries should see before I let them go, let me know.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Red, red wine...

Here's a funny image. No, it's not CSI: Atlanta. No, there's no body.

What is that? You say. It's my carpet. My light neutral, cookie cutter subdivision carpet covered in red wine. A LOT of red wine. Like about 15 feet of red wine.

What you're viewing is our first attempt to save the carpet - covering the stains in salt. You know that $10 buys a SHITLOAD of salt?

Needless to say, it didn't work. Neither did professional cleaning. In fact, the carpet guys laughed when I showed them the room. Ha. Yeah, real funny. I'm pissing myself.

Just what I needed only a couple of weeks after the infamous tree incident. Oh, and did I mention I still don't have a job? Awesome.

How did this happen, you ask? Well, Alan was trying to "save money" by purchasing wine in a box. There's a family debate here at the Buglers about who left the box on the counter. We arrive home to this. And dogs who look oddly guilty. But not drunk. No, they spilled more of the wine than they drank.

Remember how I was trying to be zen about the whole "no job" thing? Well, this is a challenge, even for me. I spent the day looking at new carpet. Oh, well. Freaking great.

On the flip side, you know the Friends episode where Rachel freaks out about spilling spaghetti on Joey's carpet? "Don't worry, we're at Joey's!"

I'm having spaghetti tonight.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Professor Bugler

When I was in college, I had a group of friends from home. We had all met doing "West Side Story" in some ridiculous community theater production. As we went through school and found careers, etc., I was struck by one thing. Somehow, we all ended up on jobs that put us center stage. One is actually a real working actor. I worked on cruise ships and had my own shopping channel. And one friend was a teacher. We all secretly agreed that this friend became a teacher because he reveled in being the cool teacher. The one you could talk to. The one who said the occasional off color joke. Essentially, this person became a teacher because he loved the idea of being adored by a group of people. He didn't just teach, he performed.

Me, I never wanted to teach. I don't have the patience. Oh, grading papers. That just sounds horrific to me. I come from a family of college professors... in fact, my parents were both college teachers before they gave up the world of academia for the "real world." In fact, I don't have the discipline to deal with kids. Of any age. However, if teaching meant just hanging out and shooting the shit with students, then maybe.

That's what I've done the past couple of weeks. In my effort to do my part for the WGA and spread union propaganda, I've gone to a few local universities and talked to classes about writing and the strike. It's been pretty fun, actually. They're so young and into it. Looking out into the classroom - as a visiting "artist" no less - reminds me just how far I've come. For better or worse.

Then again, it's all the same. Someone's falling asleep, a couple look hung over, someone's taking WAY too many notes, some dork is asking too many questions... college doesn't change. But they asked some pretty good questions. And I felt good when I left. Like I had done something for the cause. Or maybe it's just being in front of a group of people. Or maybe it was doing something that didn't have to do with cancer. Whatever.

Although here's the funny thing. One professor asked me if I'd ever thought about teaching. I just laughed. He told me he'd contact me about possibly teaching a seminar class for a semester. Now that's funny. What? Lesson plans, syllabi, papers... oh, I don't think so. Then there's the whole mentoring, shaping young minds bullshit. Maybe. Can I have classes at the bar? How can you be in the "business" without booze?

Considering I once attended a midterm for a class I had not even once attended, maybe I'm not the best role model. Really. I didn't even have the book.

The class - human sexuality. I got a B. Real world training, I suppose.

Professor Bugler. Seriously, I'm still laughing.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Still on strike

Here I go... week 8 or 8 or 10 of this strike. Still no job. Collecting unemployment. Yep, on the dole. Blowing through savings, racking up debt. And you know what? I'm not that unhappy. Stressed and worried, but not unhappy.

I've been doing tons and tons of cancer stuff. Lots of volunteer work. Traveling. Who knew this cancer thing would turn into my greatest social outlet?

God, I would make a freaking great trophy wife. Hear that, Alan? Trophy wife. We are in the south, after all. Unfortunately, that's not in my future anytime soon.

The thing is... this being off from work has made me realize I'm not sure I love my work. What my work gives me, sure... work from home, autonomy, a creative outlet - and a good paycheck. Ooh, and don't forget insurance. But I don't exactly change the world, you know. Writing for television - especially daytime TV is a good gig. But it's a gig. It's like when I started spending time with professional actors out of college. And I was sad that they seemed to have lost the fire for the "art" they once had when they did it for free. Maybe I'm that girl? Or maybe it's just been so long since I've worked I'm getting bitter.

So maybe the strike will end soon. A girl can dream. Cuz you can only eat Kraft mac and cheese so much.

Seriously.... trophy wife. Think about it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Young Survival Coalition

The spring of my junior year in college, all hell broke loose in my life. I had recently broken up with my college boyfriend of 3 years... "beret boy" as my brothers called him. (It wasn't a beret, per sae, but an unfortunate late nineties, boy band-esque fashion choice) Anyway, my grandmother died, I had just taken on a very large student project. A very intense acting partner tried to sleep with me after 2 bottles of wine. Then never called when I didn't. In other words, I was overtaxed and overstressed.

So what do you do when you're spread thin? Shit, grab a knife and keep spreading!

Back to my junior year... it was the last sorority chapter meeting of the year. I was enjoying my new found non exec position and a bit of a breather. I had recently finished a successful rush season. Yep, I wore my cutey petutie scarves and jackets and judged women in about .4 seconds.

The best laid plans...

See, my protege, the woman I had groomed to take over my rush legacy -- shut up, that shit seemed VERY important when you're 21. Anyway, she decided to carry on my legacy by quitting not only the position, but the whole organization at the very last meeting. Perhaps she was pissed we had disciplined her best friend for giving a blow job in the front room of the sorority house in front of the big window for everyone to see. And they did. I digress...

Mon dieu! 100 college women with no rush leader?! What's a girl to do? With a room full of people freaking out, I decided to suck it up and take one for the team.

"Me. Sign me up. I'll be rush chair again."

Never mind I had already done it. Or that it was a fucking recockulous amount of work. Or that sorority rush happens three weeks before the huge show I was producing opened. Whatever. I'll do it. Some of my closer friends were worried I was taking on too much. Too much? That's fucking silly. It's rush, not rocket science. I saw the look in people's faces when I said I'd do it. Relief. Crisis averted. Courtney knows what the fuck she's doing. Hey, school's out for summer.

And you know what? I don't think I slept for 6 months. I didn't attend winter classes until the midterm. It was nuts, crazy and fucked up.

And I loved every minute of it.

So what does this have to do with my life now? Well, you know, the more things change, the more they stay the same. So... I told you I went to the YSC affiliate conference, right? Well, you're looking at the new president of the YSC Atlanta chapter. Our previous leader was tired and had given so much of herself... it was time for her to have a life. And me? A life is overrated. And I'm super excited to help the organization grow. And help more woman. Different time, same expectant faces. But hell, this sorority needs a leader. So put me in coach, I'm ready to play!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

To ooph or not to ooph...

Ooph? Aren't those the little orange guys in Willie Wonka's chocolate factory?

It's short for oophorectomy. And no, that's not some STD i caught working on cruise ships.

Oophorectomy - the surgical removal of the ovaries.

Huh? Ovaries? Aren't those, like "necessary" to the usual workings of a premenopausal woman? Don't you need them for those babies you were just talking about?

Funny, enough... no and no.

Here's the deal. You wouldn't think these go together, but with all this talk about babies, I've also started thinking about taking out my ovaries.

Let's talk cancer for a second, shall we? My breast cancer was highly estrogen positive. Cancer eats it up like stove top stuffing after a night at the bar. (Funny how I keep using alcohol analogies for cancer) The current clinical trial I'm in is looking at how depriving your body of this estrogen would help prevent recurrence. It's looking like it might. We don't know. I do know however, that many people have already had this procedure. Seems a little extreme, you think. Fuck, maybe it is. But I've already been in menopause for a year and a half... what's the difference?

Wait, wait... Courtney, how can you get knocked up, then? Ah hah, Danielson... remember what I taught you. You recall the harvest? The frozen kidcicles? Those 18 snow babies waiting on ice? We'd use those. Hell, when I spoke to my fertility doctor, his response was "you'd still have a uterus, right? That's all I need."

So, I'm thinking about taking out my ovaries to put me in menopause, then using my frozen embryos to get me pregnant, post cancer. No ovaries. Like some fucked up science project.

What's the point? Why not do it "the old fashioned way" and then yank them? Well, as some of you might remember, Alan and I were "trying" very hard before I got diagnosed. No love. The longer it takes to try, the longer I am off my anti-cancer drugs. Then I'm off them for another 9 months, time to breast feed (there's a post for another day.) If it takes us 6 months just to get pregnant, that's 6 more months I'm not on tamoxifen.

Also, I guess yanking the estrogen factories from my body makes me feel like I'm doing SOMETHING to fight recurrence while I try to get pregnant. Sure, while I'm baking that bun I'll be hopped up hormones, but that will happen no matter what. I guess it's the pre-knocked up-post baby phase I'm concerned with. And if I'm using the frozen variety, then why the hell do I need the other ones? Doesn't frozen from concentrate taste almost as good as fresh squeezed?

So anyway, with this in mind, Alan and I made a visit to our friendly local reproductive endocrinologist over Christmas. Well, not local really. My kidcicles are parked in Chicago. He seemed to be all for it. I've scheduled an appointment with a gynecologic oncologist to talk more about an oophorectomy... yay! another doctor!

So.... decisions, decisions... Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy Effin Birthday!

So last night, as Alan and I were winding down our New Year's Day, we heard this tremendous noise. Like a bomb went off, or a jet engine flew by. The house rattled. Our very sleepy dogs all looked up. Alan and I opened the bedroom window and looked outside.


We looked at each other, shrugged and went to bed.

So this morning, I woke up - bright eyed and bushy tailed - it is, after all, my 31st birthday. Downstairs I went.

Man, it's fucking cold. Even for Atlanta. I go into my office to check my email, cuz, after all, I'm still not working - and


That's the noise we heard last night. That's why the house was cold. Oh, wait... because a tree fell into my it. Apparently, trees are heavy and put holes in roofs, windows and air conditioning units.

Yes, that's my 2 a/c units. looking much like cups of coffee with cinnamon sticks coming out. Only it's $6000 of coffee.

Did I mention I'm still not working? Or that my dog Lucy has to have a $3000 knee surgery? Or than I'm not working? Or that unemployment SO DOES NOT cover these types of things?

Trying to be zen here. Trying to be zen.

When it rains, it pours. In this case, it rains branches and sticks. Happy Fucking Birthday.