Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I find myself getting very angry and very annoyed about the stupidest things lately. This is stuff that should just roll off my back because in the grand scheme of things, it's really not that big of a deal. I just get angry, though, and want to fight. Like I get angry with having to consistently clean up messes at work that aren't mine. I get angry that there are only two of us in the office who empty the dishwasher with any sort of regularity even though everybody uses it. I get angry that my old cell phone company billed me for a month of service they didn't provide and when I called to straighten it out, they bounced me around to five different people and hung up on me once before I got somebody who could kind of understand the situation, but she said I owe money for one day of service. And then (let's just double check our math, here) she informed me that one day of service equals nine dollars and change. When a whole month of service is $73.44. On what planet is nine dollars one-thirtieth of $73.44? And I'm pissed about it! I shouldn't be pissed about it. I shouldn't say nasty things to the accounting person at the cell phone company, but I did. I know it wasn't nice and I'm sorry for that, but she couldn't see how ridiculous it was to charge me nine dollars for their mistake instead of just taking the whole charge off of my bill. Especially considering that I canceled my service with them at about noon, so technically, I should be billed for 12 hours of service. Hey, if they're going to quibble about days, I'm going to quibble about hours.

When did I become the person who quibbles about hours and says nasty things to customer service representatives? I don't want to be the person who quibbles about hours and says nasty things to customer service representatives. I'm really a nice person. I'm a good person. I'm a helpful person. I think I'm just tired of being taken advantage of so I'm starting to lash out at anyone who has less clout than me. I can't tell the president of my company that it is his turn to empty the dishwasher, so I get angry at guy who made some big catastrophe that has been going on for a week and a half my problem all of a sudden. I'm misplacing my anger and I'm sorry about that. I really am. Cell phone accounting lady, I'm sorry I yelled at you. In my defense, you guys screwed up first and your math skills are atrocious, but I shouldn't have yelled at you. I apologize for that.

I don't want to be an angry person who gets annoyed at the drop of a hat. Maybe that's what I should work on as my new year's resolution - I need to lighten up again. I think I know what will lighten me up and I'm working on it, but I can't really talk about it yet. Not here, anyway. Just know that it is potentially amazing and keep your fingers crossed for me!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I had to come in to work today to help out with a training. Yay. Be at work at 7:30am on a Saturday. I think things are going well so far, though. Running smoothly and a bit ahead of schedule, which is okay by me. Smile, nod, be polite and accommodating and then leave to go to class at about noon.

I've also had a house guest for a couple of days and it has been really nice. In part because she is a really lovely house guest. She's flexible and easy going and independent, so it's kind of like having a temporary roommate whose company you actually enjoy. Perhaps, if I did find a partner who I liked and who liked me, living with him might not be so bad. It is kind of nice to have someone to ask, "So how was your day?" when you get home and to have them ask a similar thing of you. It's very...friendly and warm. I dig that.

Anyway. Other than having to come into work on a Saturday, things are going pretty well. Just have to make it to noon...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

I'm going to sound like a crackpot in this entry. Just so you know. I assure you, I'm fine.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you can feel your ribcage open up and all of the light that lives inside you just comes flooding out and fills the whole room? That was the Swell Season concert for me the other night. Amazing. Just...amazing. I found myself thinking, "That's my life happening up there, but I'm really happy that they got it." Which I know makes no sense. My life is supposed to be art and performance and joy and making other people feel wonderful things, and I do get jealous of some people who get to live that life who I don't think necessarily deserve it (i.e. the Britney Spears type), but the Swell Season deserves it. The guys have been playing for over 20 years and Marketa is adorable and talented and humbled and completely appreciative of every single moment of her life. They deserve it. They love it. I'm so glad they get to do this, and it made me so happy at the show I wanted to cry. I actually did cry when he played "Say It To Me Now" partially because of the story he told beforehand about a woman in a blue coat, and partially because he came to the front of the stage and played it with no amplification or microphone and he filled that space as completely as the opera singers fill the Lyric. That's amazing and brilliant and beautiful and all I could do was cry. Which also made me really happy because I was freely following my impulses, public forum be damned, you know? Anyway.

I sometimes feel like my body is a shell, housing this brilliant yellow/gold light. And I have to be careful when this light gets to shine because not everyone can handle it. I don't want to overwhelm anyone or blind anyone, so sometimes I have to keep it under wraps, so to speak. But every once in a while, I can open my heart completely and let the light just shoot out and I can't even begin to tell you how good that feels. I was thinking about that after the concert and I realized that I want to do that in a relationship. I'm looking for a guy who can handle it and who deserves to be bathed in it. I think there are a lot of men out there who can see it - when I think back on things, as much as I would like to try to convince myself that I'm not the sort of woman men are attracted to in that way, that's just not true. There have been a lot of men who can see this light inside me and they want to be near it. I haven't always trusted them with it, though, or trusted that they can handle it because it's really bright. Really bright. And a lot to take in. And I think it needs to shine on someone who has his own really bright light, too, because if it shines one someone who has no light (or a weak-ish light), I'm going to be completely drained and that's not really fair to me, now is it? But if it's a mutual light exchange...that could be brilliant.

I know that sounds crazy. You can swap out "light" for "love" if you want and it sounds a little more sane.

I had a dream about Christian Bale last night. For some reason, he was in the house I grew up in - I think they were filming something there - and my room was his dressing room. I had to get something out of there at one point and he and I started talking and kind of became friends. There was nothing romantic about it - we talked about his wife and his work and my artistic aspirations and stuff. I think at one point, I even tried to sell him on Doctor Who and told him that David Tennant was really cute because of his accent (maybe I was trying to get Christan Bale to speak in his real voice?). We ended up going to one of those sort of kitchy stores where they sell cheese and processed meats and kitchen accessories shaped like barnyard animals and stuff like that and I bought this giant slice of coffee cake with blueberry crumble on top of it (think about three feet square giant) to bring back home to I don't even know who (the film crew maybe?). It was a really nice dream and he came off as much more normal than he is painted in the media (what with the outburst on the Terminator set and whatnot) and even somewhat unsure. It was nice.

Anyway. I warned you I was going to sound like a crackpot. I've been meaning to blog for two days (since the concert) and now since I just woke up, it's all coming out in a mush. Sorry about that. Hope you are well.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I've gotten a lot done this weekend. I have to wait until January 1 for the next part, but I still got a lot done this weekend.

I put the plastic up on my windows. This year I thought ahead and measured my windows and got the super jumbo size stuff so it was a lot easier than it has been in the past. And I used an extension cord with my hair dryer that was long enough that I was able to effectively shrink-wrap the windows in a decent amount of time. Now I just have to wait for the heat to come back on so my apartment actually gets a little warmer. I think they have you use a blow dryer so you start out with a blast of warm air in the room, but I could use more than a blast. It's not icy (yet), but it is teetering on the 66-67 degree mark which is just shy of what the temperature is legally supposed to be. I'm hoping with the plastic, I might get those extra two degrees, and maybe a bonus two degrees or so.

But I'm feeling good. I got a lot done. Movement. Progress. And believe it or not, it's only Saturday. I get one more entire day after this to do even more. Maybe cook. Maybe clean. Maybe take the day off, sit on my butt, and watch TV all day. Who knows. But it feels good to have gotten a lot done.

Friday, November 27, 2009

And the medical bills just keep coming in. I got another bill today for the pregnancy test they performed on me when I was in the emergency room that I had no idea they performed and did not give them my permission to perform, along with a bunch of other lab work that I can only assume was necessary, though whether or not it was is open for debate. However, I do remember telling them several times that there would have to be Divine Intervention in order for me to be pregnant, so the fact that they are now billing me for a test they didn't have to do, when they already billed me for x-rays on my knees that they didn't have to do...I'm pissed.

I called my insurance too, because I got another explanation of benefits saying I owe money for surgery performed on me by some doctor I never met. They don't have a record of a doctor with a name I recognize performing any procedures on me. But surgery? If my lumbar puncture is/was to be coded as "surgery," I should have gotten more than a Band-Aid out of the deal. And I certainly don't think it is right for this doctor who did not perform the procedure to be able to bill me for it. That's fucked up. Pardon my language, but that's fucked up. According to my insurance company, it happens all the time. It is "the norm" for random doctors who you never meet to bill you for things they didn't do. If that is the case, I think it should be "the norm" to not pay for shit that didn't happen. And my insurance company couldn't tell me when it's going to end. It sounds like I could just keep getting bills for some indefinite period of time, as long as Doctor Whatsit didn't make his numbers and decides that the fact that he was standing near the nurse who sat on his ass for three hours while I had needles in both arms waiting for results that weren't coming, he should be able to bill me for a lobotomy. Because that's obviously what they did to me if they think I'm going to pay for doctors I never met to perform procedures that they didn't do.

Healthcare in this country is fucked. Pardon the language, but I can't think of a better term to describe the state of things. Healthcare in this country is fucked up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm thankful for a lot. I'm thankful for my family and my friends and my cat and my health and the fact that I have a job and an apartment and several guitars and I'm thankful for all of the amazing things that my brain and body allow me to do. I'm thankful for the 15-ish pounds that I have lost and the fact that I now feel closer to living in the body I'm supposed to be in. I'm thankful that I got to spend time with my niece today because honestly, that kid melts me like nothing else ever has. I'm thankful that I wasn't the only vegan at my family gathering today. I'm thankful that relatives came today that haven't been to this family gathering in years and that I got to spend some quality time talking to them - maybe more than I ever have before. And I'm thankful that at least so far, I'm entering the holiday season in a positive mood. I think it made a world of difference, at least for me, that I felt friendly and talkative and happy at the gathering today instead of dreading the prospect of having to talk to people. It allowed me to have some really lovely conversations.

So yeah, most things are going pretty well at the moment. And I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful for you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm feeling the need to write about some happy things today.

Warm water. I'm really a big fan of warm water. Warm showers are particularly nice, but even just washing your hands in warm water (after, say, using the restroom) can feel really indulgent from time to time. I've even taking to drinking hot water when I'm at work and I've already had my tea. It helps make sure I'm drinking enough water, and it helps keep me warm. I'm sure people think I'm silly drinking cups of hot water, but that's okay. People think I'm silly for lots of reasons and I kind of like it.

I've lost fifteen pounds since July and I finally bought myself a pair of trousers that fit. It makes me feel really odd to wear the ones that are way too big, now that I know just how big they are, and it makes me feel good to wear the ones that actually fit. I also like that I can see muscle definition in my arms and my legs. I have some pretty great legs, I must say.

Class has started again. I didn't have a great exercise last night, but it wasn't awful and I didn't die, so it's all good. It was great to see my friends again and I love that feeling of trying something new and giving it a shot and, I dunno, just seeing what happens. I like to try new stuff and I got to try new stuff last night.

I may have found someone else to help me in a spot I hadn't even thought to look.

It's Thursday. Which is almost Friday. And it's only a three day work week next week. I think I'm at a place in my major work projects where I need to wait for stuff (need to wait for product to arrive, etc), which means today shouldn't be as crazy as the rest of the week was, which is good. I could use a sort of mellow day.

I dunno. I'm just feeling kind of good today. I still hate certain things about my life and my station therein, but I feel kind of good today. Like things are coming together and like maybe I'll make it through the holidays without a major meltdown. Here's to Thursday.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm grumpy.

I got the explanation of benefits for my emergency room visit today, in addition to the first bill from the radiology people. All told, it is going to cost over $3,100 for me to waste nine hours of my life finding out there was nothing wrong with me and being made to feel worse in the process. And that's with insurance. That's with the deductible met on my insurance. Thirty-one hundred dollars. I don't know about you, but I don't have that lying around to hand over at the moment. Even paying it off over time, if I pay it off over a year, that's still $258 a month. That's a car payment. But I'm not getting a car out of it. I got holes in my arms and my spine and I got treated like I really didn't matter. Yay.

And I went dancing tonight and got a parking ticket. I got there about 9:30pm and left by eleven, and somehow, at 10:22pm, I got a parking ticket for an expired meter/overstay. I hadn't even been there an hour - how could it be an overstay? And what meters in the city require that you pay after 9pm? Really? And why didn't any of the other surrounding cars have tickets on them? What the hell is it with cops and ticketing my car? Don't they know I just got slapped with $3,100 worth of medical bills?

I'm tempted to call my doctor and ask her to pay for it. Or call the hospital and make them pay at the very least for the completely unnecessary knee x-rays. I shudder to think what additional charges they would have slapped me with had they actually given me some sort of medication for the headaches that I went in for in the first place.

And I'm hungry. I've been hungry all day. I went over my calorie limit and was then kind of bored at the dance tonight so I didn't get as much exercise as I was hoping for and I really want a snack now but it's almost midnight and I really should just go to bed and I've already had too much to eat today but I'm hungry. This is not good.

And I haven't gotten any sort of confirmation that my class is starting on Wednesday. I like to know these things more than an hour in advance. Especially since I'm going to be stuck in a meeting at work all day Wednesday that I'd rather not be in because I have enough other things going on at the moment.

So I'm grumpy. I think I have a right to be grumpy. I know it will go away, but right now, I'm grumpy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I can feel my shoulder muscles. When I cross my arms, I can feel where my shoulder muscle stops and my tricep starts. I think it is because of the working out I've been doing, and the weight loss - I think my body fat percentage has changed and that I have built up some muscle mass to the point where I can feel my shoulder muscles. It's weird. It's really weird. All of a sudden, I'm finding myself occupying the body I've always wanted to occupy. I'm small. I haven't totally embraced the size of my ass, but I don't feel like there is this giant eyesore following me around anymore. When I try to puff out my stomach to look pregnant, I look only four or five months at best. And I'm using this new shampoo that has given me exactly the hair I've wanted for years - it's soft and straight and just friggin' gorgeous. And this new facial cream...I've always had bad skin, but it looks so nice now. And now I can feel my shoulder muscles. How strange it is to not want to complain about the way I look anymore. To be truly content in my own skin. I'm really diggin' this.

And despite all of that, today, I'm really scared. I have a big project to tackle at work tomorrow, the sort of thing that could make me or break me, and I'm terrified that it's going to break me. That I'm going to forget something or it's all going to go wrong or I won't have enough time. And I keep telling myself that normally, when people do this, they have help. At least one other person to help. But I'm doing it almost completely by myself. All of the organization, all of the execution, all of the clean up is going to be my responsibility and my responsibility alone. If I can pull this off, there is literally nothing I can't do. But I'm afraid I won't be able to pull it off. And the one little glimmer that my boss doesn't think I'm a waste of space will go away. (I know he doesn't think I'm a waste of space, but he's not real good with the whole pat-on-the-back thing.) I know I should try to get some sleep because I have a lot to do tomorrow, but my brain is going too fast for me to be able to fall asleep yet. Hence the disjointed blog entry.

So I'll watch another episode of Doctor Who. I'm all caught up, except for a couple of the most recent specials. I've seen all of the last four years - the most recent incarnation(s) of the Doctor, and I have to say, I love the Doctor. And, out of all of the characters on the show, I think I relate to him the most. A man to whom it never occurs that he might fall in love. A man who travels all over having these amazing adventures. A man surrounded by absolutely brilliant friends who would do anything for him, yet who is tragic and whose heart aches and who is perpetually alone. He has these moments of humanity that are absolutely heartbreaking, and as much as he tries not to feel for his companions, he falls in love with each and every one of them in a heartbeat. He is open and guarded at the same time, curious and vulnerable, wonderful and horrible and terrifying and comforting and brilliant. And in all of the madness going on in my life right now, a little open guarded curious vulnerable wonderful horrible terrifying comforting brilliance is really nice. Plus, they have accents.

So yeah. I'm scared and stressed and wishing I was a time lord. How are you?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

She put the needles in and turned off the lights, put the heat lamp over my feet, and closed the door. Instantly, I felt my heart beating stronger. Not stronger in an I've-been-working-out-so-my-heart-is-pumping kind of a way, but in a pumping-good-strong-powerful-healthy-energy-through-my-entire-body kind of a way. And then I felt some twitching in my right foot, kind of between my first two toes. And then I met my very own green fairy. Such a beautiful shade of green, just kind of drifting in and out and dancing in front of me on the ceiling. She went away after a bit, and my stomach gurgled. Yellow smoke rings of bad energy left my body with each breath, floating up to the ceiling and disappearing into the distance. And everything went blue. A beautiful, vibrant, calming blue horizon stretched out before me, inviting me in and letting me know that everything was brilliant. I wanted to jump up and go conquer the world, smiling the whole way. And my lip started twitching, and my leg started to feel a bit odd. And all I saw was black. Something black and toxic taking over where the pretty pretty blue had been. I was a little bit afraid of it, but my little green fairy came back to dance a while longer. But my eye hurt and my left arm got really cold and the black came back, followed by an intense pain right under my ribcage on the right-hand side. Both the bone and the organs underneath hurt with every breath. I tried to breathe good energy into it and blow the bad energy out, but blowing the bad energy out just cleared my field of vision so that the pain was all I could focus on.

And then the acupuncturist came back to take out the needles. I told her some of my experiences and asked if it was normal to feel phantom needles. Apparently everything I experienced was pretty normal, and the pain in my ribs was the result of activating my Chinese liver. A little pressure and a few deep breaths, and it mostly dissipated.

I got up to put my shoes back on and I feel taller. I feel lighter. I feel acutely aware of everything. The outside of my left hand really hurts, but the rest of me feels absolutely fantastic. I think I have better posture. I'm relaxed and energized at the same time. I feel like I'm ready to take on anything, and like my body is one giant receiver, prepped to fully experience everything that might happen by. I'm kind of looking forward to going to class feeling like this and seeing what it does to my exercises. But I have to say, other than the pain in my hand, I have not felt this good in I don't even know how long. Physically and spiritually, I feel fantastic.

I just might have to go get acupuncture again.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm not a Cardinals fan. I'm not a Dodgers fan. But they both made it to the post season and given my love of Mark DeRosa, I cared how the games turned out. I wanted Mark DeRosa to have a good series, but ultimately, I could not bring myself to cheer for either team. And the Cardinals were swept in three games. DeRosa did have a good series - the commentators said in the third game that DeRo had been one of the best offensive producers for the Cardinals in the series, given that Pujols and Holliday did very little. So yay for Mark for having a good series. And yeah, I'm glad they got swept. Largely because now when Cardinal fans try to give Cub fans crap for getting knocked out of the post season by the Dodgers in three straight games...well, really we can only bring up the conversation between the pot and the kettle.

Now we just need the Dodgers to get swept in the championship series.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I honestly think that yesterday was one of the best days I have had in a very long time. I had a bit of a lazy morning, followed by breakfast with my mom. It's always great to see her. Then a leisurely lunch at home and a bit of a nap with my cat on my stomach. He melts me when he does that. I know he's just trying to be warm, but still. I love the time spent with him. Then off to class where the teacher said I was just "on." I had two good exercises, the first of which included some breakthrough type work, so that was good. Then a quick dinner and off to see They Might Be Giants.

I remember my first exposure to They Might Be Giants - it was an episode of "Tiny Toons" wherein they did some music videos. Two of the songs were TMBG. I thought they were fake, or made up for the show. But sitting in math class a couple of days later, I found out that the cute boy I had had a crush on forever knew that they were real songs by this band called They Might Be Giants and shortly thereafter, I went out and bought "Flood" on cassette tape. When people talk about desert island albums, I always forget about "Flood," but I think it might have to be on my list. It's one of those albums where you automatically think of "Birdhouse in Your Soul" and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople,)" but when you actually get listening to it, you remember that out of the 18 tracks on the album, you love probably 16 of them. LOVE them. Can't stop listening to them, love to sing along with them love them. When I was in San Francisco earlier this year, I picked up a copy of "Flood" on CD at Amoeba Records and have recently re-fallen in love with it. Almost twenty years later and it still holds up. So there I am at the Vic in Chicago (which has to be one of my favorite concert venues anyway because it's big enough to hold a rowdy crowd, but small enough to feel like you're really part of the show with the performer), right up in the front leaning on the stage, and first these two adorable little Irish guys come out and sing a few songs. They started and finished with ukulele songs. They were funny and sweet and their music was really good. But then They Might Be Giants came out. So funny. Just a couple of dorky guys who somehow manage to write Grammy winning songs. And they don't look at all like they've let the success go to their heads. They're goofy. They're charming. When one John would screw up lyrics, he would give this kind of embarrassed smile and the other John would look at him like, "Really, dude?" They had sock puppets (the Avatars) singing "Shoehorn with Teeth." They fired off confetti canons three times in their set. They rocked the accordion. There were clarinets involved. They gave away free bumper stickers after the show. It was just...I can't describe it. It was a concert I needed to see, but I didn't know how badly until I saw it and I enjoyed every single second of that show. Every second. So much so that I was surprised when it was over. How could the album be over already? It just started.

On the way out, I picked up a CD by the opening band - Gugenheim Grotto - and had them sign it. Very nice men. One of them pulled a piece of confetti out of my hair for me.

Thank you to They Might Be Giants for giving me exactly what I needed last night. And thank you to everyone else involved in my yesterday for making it one of the best all-around days I have had in a long time. My heart feels very good and very full. Thank you.

Friday, October 09, 2009

My pants are too big. I like it that my pants are too big, but I don't like the idea of having to buy all new pants. I like some of the pants that I have. I could probably tailor them. That would also take some work.

Oh, and the reason they are too big is that I have lost 13 pounds. That I like very much.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My Trip to the Emergency Room, A Story in G-flat Minor (A Study in Run-On Sentences), by Kitty Mortland

On the insistence of my doctor, I went to the emergency room last night to get checked out because I had passed out/blacked out/fainted on Friday night and very possibly hit my head on the way down. See, I come from hearty stock - we don't pass out. I don't know if you have ever passed out, but it's really disconcerting. Especially if you live by yourself. We live in such a technological era - I wanted to be able to watch a replay of the fainting to see what happened, but I had, of course, neglected to set up a video camera to capture the fall. And I don't know if you've ever passed out from being tired or being drunk, but it's totally different. Usually, in that case, if you think hard enough, you can piece together how you got home and who took your shoes off for you. But when you pass out/black out/faint for unknown reasons, you can't think hard enough to piece it back together. There is no memory. No recollection. Absolutely no way to figure out what happened. And since I still had (have) a headache a few days later, I called my doctor to see if she could tell me what was up, or what action I should take. The triage nurse was mortified that I hadn't instantly called 9-1-1. In my defense, they don't teach "post-fainting protocol" in high school health classes - it's not something that a person automatically knows how to handle. Especially when said person might have just hit his/her head on who knows what while free-falling to the floor. She talked to my doctor for all of three minutes, and my doctor insisted I get to the emergency room as soon as possible to get checked out. When I told them I would have to go after work, they told me to talk to my boss and try to get away early. This was URGENT. I needed to be CHECKED to make sure I was OKAY and hadn't suffered an ANEURYSM.

I waited until after work to go to the emergency room. Got there at 5pm. Signed in. Told them my doctor was insistent that I go. They told me to have a seat. A minute or so later, the triage nurse called me over so I could tell her my story. She kind of listened, kind of asked questions that I was already in the middle of answering. And she told me there would be "a bit of a wait," but that I should hang out and a doctor would see me soon.

At about quarter after seven, in the middle of the waiting room, a nurse shouted at me, asking if they had gotten my urine sample yet. I replied no, she gave me a cup, and sent me off to the ladies' room. This wouldn't have been a big deal except that (other than suffering the embarrassment of being told in front of a room full of strangers that you need to go pee in a cup) at about ten after seven, I made my own trip to the ladies' room, partially out of a desperate need to go, and partially to stave off the boredom of sitting in the waiting room for two hours with crying babies, annoying cell phones, and small children ungraciously kicking me until I relinquished my seat because god knows, it's easier for me to move across the room than for them to find empty two empty seats next to each other in the first place (from amongst the array of two-and-three seat groupings sitting unoccupied at the other end of the room). I know that emergency room wait times are notoriously bad. I know this. And please, please, please help the guy with a neck brace and a half-pound of bloody gauze stuck to his face before you help me. He needs help. I might (but probably don't) have a burst aneurysm, but I've been okay (aside from feeling disconnected from my body) for a couple of days. I understand triage. I get it. And they did help him first. But to wait two hours to be told five minutes after a trip to the bathroom that they need a sample...well, I thought to myself, "This is off to a rousing start." I went and tried to go. Got about a teaspoon out. Apparently, it was enough. And I was instructed to wait some more.

At quarter to eight, they took me back and stuck me in room 2, rather unceremoniously telling me to get "fully undressed," an interesting oxymoron when you think about it. I disrobed and re-robed in the lovely hospital gown provided. A minute or so later, a male nurse (very nice, very friendly) came in to put about twenty stickers of various sorts on various parts of my body, most of which required the removal (or partial removal) of the lovely hospital gown I had just been fighting with a minute earlier, trying to figure out how to tie it on. But I got hooked up to all kinds of lovely fun wires and things while they did an EKG to rule out possible cardiovascular causes for my fainting. The doctor came in a minute later and asked me all the same questions that the triage nurse had, except she asked them two or three times. I don't mean to be rude - I liked this doctor. She was friendly and informative and helpful. And I know she was doing her job and being thorough by asking so many questions, but it kind of felt like she either wasn't listening all that well, or she was trying to catch me in a lie. Like the third time she asks if I had blurry vision, all of a sudden, a new symptom would appear. Anyway. With my almost complete lack of symptoms, other than passing out followed by the most god-awful headache I have ever experienced, she decides to go with "headaches" as the symptom she's going to figure out where they're coming from. She orders a CT scan.

In the meantime, the nurse has hooked me up to a pulse monitor (sticky thing on my finger), respiratory monitor (sticky things on my chest), and some other random monitor (more sticky things on my chest and abdomen). He has put a blood pressure cuff on my arm that takes my blood pressure automatically every 15 minutes. He has taken blood from my right arm and when he determined that the vein was not really a good IV candidate, he puts the IV thingy in my left arm on the off chance I might need an IV at some later point in the evening. It is now about 8:30 pm, I have holes in both arms, a needle in my left arm, sticky stuff all over my body, I know my heart is okay, and my gown is now providing a bit of modesty, though anyone who looks at me can tell I'm not wearing a bra.

And then the cute transport guy comes in. Can't tell if he's thinking, "Cute girl, I wish the gown would slip," or "Cute girl, but potentially really sick so nevermind." He asks my name and hears it as "Kate Cortland," which is how he introduces me to the CT people, who look a little confused. The CT tech was also really cute. I mean, really cute. And probably all of about 19 years old. I think he snuck a peak at my wristband so he could make sure he was working on the right patient. He told me that the CT takes about 5 minutes and I should make sure to keep my head very still. I do. I remember the last time I had a CT here - it took about a half an hour and I had to wait a week for the results. I guess when you're in the emergency room, they do things faster. The test took about five minutes, they told me we'd have results in 30-45 minutes, and the cute transport guy takes me back to my own private sick-bay, room 2 in the ER. He kind of flirted on the way back up, or at least I think he wanted to, though he may have been freaked out by flirting with some chick with the potential for SERIOUS HEAD TRAUMA. In fact, I think he was so flustered by the whole thing that when he hooked me back up to the pretty beeping monitors and told me I'd have results in 30-45 minutes, that he forgot to give me the remote control for the TV.

An hour later, the doctor came in and told me that my CT scan showed "no change from a previous CT." Meaning they saw that I still have a tumor on my head and were probably a little weirded out by it until they realized it's been there a while, it's not doing anything, it's benign, and I already know about it. But they do think it would be a good idea to x-ray my knees because if you have an osteochondroma on your head, chances are you have similar calcium deposits on your knees. But that's another conversation all together. She says that since my CT was (essentially) clear, that the next step is to do a lumbar puncture to make sure that I didn't have an aneurysm so small that it didn't show up on the CT, but is, instead, bleeding into my spinal fluid, which could be life threatening. She then leaves the room so I can...discuss this with the wall? I'm there by myself! How is the doctor leaving going to help me decide if I think this procedure is medically necessary? She's the one with the info and she leaves the room so I can make up my mind. She comes back a few minutes later, asking, "Did I give you sufficient time?" I tell her I feel silly for being there in the first place, so the thought of a lumbar puncture seems...excessive? She echoes my regular doctor's concern that I waited two days to come get checked out. She tells me that lumbar punctures aren't as bad as they are made out to be on shows like "House" and "Grey's Anatomy." She explains the whole thing and tells me it is to rule out the existence of blood in my spinal fluid which would be bad. She tells me that it should be pretty easy because I'm so skinny. (It's odd the remarks you remember the doctors and nurses making about you while you're in the ER - "And you're so skinny, it should go pretty smoothly." "Your legs look pretty straight to me." "It looked like a good vein...") Not knowing what else to do, I say, "Sure, why not?" In retrospect, she seemed really happy with my decision. Really happy. Like maybe it was a dull night, but if she could get a lumbar puncture in before she left, she'd feel like she accomplished something. She bounded out of my room to ask the nurse to get all of the necessary sterile supplies for the procedure. I sat in my room feeling a bit like a tool.

Enter the very nice x-ray technician who informs me that she's here to take me to x-ray. What? X-rays? I thought I was getting a lumbar puncture. Like, now. Exasperated, she goes off to check with the doctor. She comes back and says the doctor would prefer we x-ray my knees now, due to the recovery period needed following the lumber puncture and she wheels me off. Now, I'm trying to figure out why it matters whether or not I have calcium deposits in my knees - is that what made me pass out? The one in my head is not problematic, other than it makes headbands and glasses annoying sometimes. So who cares what's going on in my knees? I remember that my great grandmother had her kneecaps removed later in life and start to wonder if I'm headed down the path of my namesake. The x-ray tech is bribing her friend with French fries to stay and help. They take about eight pictures of my "pretty straight" legs and wheel me back to my own private sick-bay, room 2 in the ER. On the whole, while it was probably completely unnecessary, I liked the x-ray tech. I told her to encourage her daughter to stick with the acoustic guitar a little longer before switching to electric. It'll make her a better player in the long run.

So it's now about quarter after ten, and the doctor comes bouncing back in to do the lumbar puncture. Have you ever had a lumbar puncture? No? Well, let me tell you what happens. The doctor has you sit kind of hunched over, back exposed. She then realizes that the nurse brought all the wrong equipment in and she has to track someone down to get her a sterile gown, mask, and hair net. In lieu of a nurse, she goes to get one herself. She comes back with hair net and mask, and the cute transport guy comes back a minute later with the gown. You can tell he wants to look at your almost completely exposed backside, but he's trying to be professional, so he stares at the doctor's gown very intently as he ties it on her. He then leaves, and she sterilizes your back not once, not twice, but thrice to make sure nothing icky follows the needle into your spine. She puts a sticky sterile drape cloth on your back and measures out her spot. Two shots of Novocain (or something similar) to numb the layers of skin separating her from your lovely, lovely spinal fluid. That is, she says, probably the worst part because you can feel the needles. It's like being at the dentist - you can feel pressure like there's something going on down there, but it doesn't really hurt. And then the actual needle goes in and she has to adjust a bit to find the right spot to get fluid and sometimes she hits bone which is a very strange sort of pressure-pain right in your lower back (at the lumbar curve - hence the name). And she asks you to adjust a bit, and curve your back a bit more (like a cat!) to encourage the fluid to flow more freely. And after about five minutes, when she's filled up four little vials, it's all over. Rip off the sterile drape cloth (read: giant band-aid), wash off the sterilizing iodine type stuff, and put a band-aid over the hole. Now, here's an interesting side note: when the nurse decided that my blood-giving vein was not a good IV vein, he took out the needle, put a bit of gauze there, and covered it with what is, essentially, a strange hybrid of cellophane, band-aids, and super-sticky Post-It Notes. Stickier than a band-aid, about the size of a Post-It, but clear like cellophane. And let me tell you, for the record, if you don't like ripping off normal band-aids, pray you never come into contact with one of these puppies - they hurt like a bitch. But the interesting bit is that for my blood-giving vein, I got gauze and Super Awesome Sticky Clear Bandage, whereas for the lumbar puncture, I got your standard every-day run of the mill band-aid. I'd think you might want a bit more protection around a hole leading into your spine, wouldn't you? Anyway. Let's not pick nits here.

And just like that, the lumbar puncture is over. I found myself hoping that on an upcoming episode of "House" or "Grey's Anatomy," someone has to get one and the scene ends with the patient howling in pain as the needle enters their spine so I can yell, "Vicious, vicious liar!" at the screen. It really didn't hurt that bad. The doctor kept asking me how I was doing - I did fine. I asked how things were going on her end. She chuckled. She asked if there was pain. I told her it was "an interesting pressure." She chuckled again and remarked that I have an interesting way of describing things. Kitty Mortland's Super Vocabulary strikes again.

She had me lie down flat on my back in an attempt to ward off potential headaches caused by the lumbar puncture. That is when I decided that I really don't like lumbar punctures. My entire lower back was sore, yet I was forced to lie on it. There is no comfortable position in which to lie while one has a needle hole in one's lower back, an IV needle (now hooked up to saline solution, in an attempt to ward of potential headaches caused by the lumbar puncture) in one arm, a pulse monitor and blood pressure cuff on the other arm. You just can't get comfortable. But I was told the results would be back in about an hour and if everything came back negative, they'd give me something for the pain an send me on my merry way. This time, they remembered to give me the remote for the TV. It was 10:30pm.

At about quarter after eleven, the doctor came in to tell me that I could sit up a bit, and she said my results should be back soon, but that she was leaving now. She was leaving me in the very capable hands of some other doctor I'd not yet met. It felt a little like a waitress cashing out for the night and asking me to settle up and give her a tip before she left. Fortunately for me, I was hooked up to so much crap and in enough general discomfort that I couldn't reach my wallet. She went home for the night.

At 12:30am, having not heard anything from anyone in over an hour, I buzzed the nurse. At which point, I heard him pick up the phone and call down to see about my lab results. Then he came in and said they would be done in five minutes - I should just be patient.

At 1:15, I buzzed the nurse again, at which point I heard him pick up the phone and call down to see about my lab results. He came in and I'm sorry, but I got all kinds of cranky on his ass. I expressed my displeasure with the fact that I was told results would be available around 11:30pm, and here it was two hours later with no word. I expressed my displeasure with having been there since 5pm, with waiting for almost three hours before being seen, with all of my test results taking longer than they were supposed to, with the IV needle in my arm which was really hurting by now, with the discomfort in my back and my inability to find any sort of comfortable position in which to sit or recline on the bed, with the fact that I'd not eaten or had anything to drink since 3pm, and with the fact that despite my inability to fill the cup earlier, I really really had to pee. He unhooked me so I could go to the bathroom, but told me he didn't want to take the IV needle out yet, just in case they needed to give me antibiotics. I apologized for being cranky. He said he understood the frustration. I called him a liar in my head.

At 1:45am, the new mystery doctor came in to tell me that everything came back negative and I could go home. They let me pull all the sticky crap off of me by myself. They told me that I should check in with my doctor in a few days and maybe come back for a neuro consult at some point. If I have more symptoms, I should come back. I can take Tylenol or ibuprofen, not Aspirin. They had me sign something saying they treated my headaches and syncope and sent me on my way (sans the pain meds they promised earlier).

On the way out, I had to stop again at the registration desk to make sure they have the correct insurance information for me. The registration woman had come into my room at about 9pm with forms for my old insurance provider (oh, how I miss my old insurance provider). I told her I had new info. She never came back for it. So I had to stop at the desk and give them my new info. There was a guy checking in, using the phone at the desk to explain (I believe) to his friend (or loved one) that he was checking himself into rehab because his alcoholism was completely out of control. And the lady asked me for my social security number. I felt like pointing out that this was probably a pretty severe HIPPA violation, but I was tired and hungry and cranky and my back hurt and my elbows hurt and I just wanted to go home because I had already been there for NINE FRIGGING HOURS, so I gave it to her and left. On the way out of the parking garage, I had to pay $8.00, even with validation, because I had been there longer than six hours.

So what did we learn from all of this?
1) My heart is fine.
2) My brain is fine.
3) I do not have calcium deposits in my knees.
4) Nobody knows why I passed out.
5) Lumbar punctures are more painful in the recovery period.
6) Emergency room visits SUCK.

I know there is a lot of discussion in the media at the moment regarding the state of health care in America. It needs to change. The way things are is not okay. I wasted nine hours of my life to find out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me, and I can't wait to get the bill to find out what it cost to find out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. Granted, it's nice to know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me, though it still does make it a little odd that I passed out on Friday night, and I can't help but wonder if there isn't a more time-efficient way of figuring out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. For example, taking the random knee x-rays out of the equation and focusing on the actual problem. Or actually getting test results in the amount of time you tell the patient its going to take. I left that place last night feeling worse than I did when I went in, both physically and mentally. It was a mind-numbing, spirit-crushing experience. I can imagine people healing themselves through sheer will-power as they sit in the waiting room, waiting for someone to deem their ailment severe enough to merit treatment. And I hope to never ever ever ever ever have to go to the emergency room again. Unless I am bleeding out of every orifice or I have suddenly become separated from one of my limbs, I don't want to go. And I'm not going to. I will adopt the "walk it off" curative method, or seek out medical caregivers who...I All of the people who worked with me were very nice and friendly, but I did kind of feel like I was just a body, and the more they could do to me, the more money they would get out of me. I thought about asking if the delay in getting my test results was because if I stayed past midnight, they could bill it as a two-day thing.

And as a lovely added bonus to this delightful story, I called my insurance provider today. See, when I had an MRI done in April, I was covered by my old insurance provider (oh, how I miss my old insurance provider). I have paid my out-of-pocket expense from that MRI - a nice chunk of change. And I would like my new insurance provider to recognize that I have already paid over half of my ginormous deductible out of pocket this year, so I called my old provider to get documentation and called the new provider to find out where to send it and the new provider told me they don't think I can do that. Or, if it can be done, it has to be done by someone who is not me. I asked our HR contact at work - she doesn't know who that person could be or how the process works, so she has to ask someone else if it's possible. So I may end up paying what amounts to 1.5 times what my deductible should be because my employer decided to switch carriers in the middle of the year. No wonder people are going bankrupt left and right. We pay through the nose for insurance that doesn't cover anything until you're already in the gutter.

Sorry. A bit dramatic, but I think you get the point. Healthcare in America needs help. Now. I'm a ridiculously healthy person and it's screwing me over. Imagine the boat you would be in if you were actually sick.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, post-fainting protocol, particularly in the case of a headache that feels like your brain is on fire, is to call 911 and/or go to the Emergency Room. Just in case you were wondering.
So the Cubs season is over. Not as good a year as anyone hoped, but we still finished in second place. Which, considering the year we had, isn't too shabby.

Thank you, boys, for going out there every day and playing hard. Thank you for entertaining us. Thank you for the great moments. Let's try to limit the crappy ones for next season, yes?

And to the Rickets family, my suggestions for next year are to get Mark DeRosa back, and to let me bring my cat to a game. He'll hate it, but we'll do it in the name of breaking the curse if that's what it will take. Just an idea.

Thank you, Cubbies, and Pat and Ron and Len and Bob and everyone who makes watching/attending Cubs games the highlight of my summer. I'll see you guys in February!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

So I wrote some pretty heavy stuff after class last night in my acting blog, and to sort of counteract a lot of that (the negative feelings, anyway), I feel like I need to list a few positive things about me over here today.

I am a kind person.
I am a generous person.
I am extraordinarily intelligent.
I make people laugh.
I have (as my mother says) one of the all-time great heads of hair.
I have amazing eyes that have the power to heal other people's wounds.
I listen to other people's wounds and try to comfort them.
I give really great hugs.
I am a good dancer.
I am fun to be around.
I am unique.
I have an amazing body that is really turning out to be a lovely shape.
I am a good friend.
I am strong.
I am independent.

And I am feeling silly about this post, but I think I need to post it anyway. A little positive reinforcement is a good thing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And it's also cold out. I put the comforter back on my bed last night and slept in a sweatshirt and sweatpants. It wasn't freezing in my apartment this morning, but the floors were cold. On the one hand, it does feel good to sleep with the extra weight of a comforter. On the other hand, it means it's time to gear up for another long winter of my heat going out probably every fourth day. I thought about getting either a portable battery pack/generator thing that I could plug my space heater into so that I don't blow fuses, or looking into a non-electrically powered space heater. I think consistently having to go buy gas for it, though, would drive me batty. I'll probably just have to go for the plastic stuff on my windows again, and baking things whenever possible.

And I'm also really really tired. I know they expanded the whole daylight savings time thing to try to "get more daylight hours" or whatever, but it means a whole month to go of waking up in the dark and coming home to have to turn the lights on almost immediately. That just makes me tired. On the up side, it's time to rediscover my love affair with tea. Warm, and it wakes me up. Hooray for caffeine!
I was reading an article the other day, written by a woman I know, about online dating - how to write a good profile, some dos and don'ts, that kind of thing - and the biggest point it made is that they to a successful online dating campaign is persistence. You just can't give up on it. It highlighted a woman who consistently paid an online site's fees for seven years and then finally met the man who would become her husband. SEVEN YEARS. Seven years of bad dates, disappointments, and not-quite-what-I'm-looking-fors.

Thing is, I have this feeling like I'm maybe in a good position to try dating. Give it a serious go (if I could find someone to date). I'm not depressed. I feel like I'm looking kind of cute as of late. I kind of have my ducks in a row and I'm going places and I think all of that kind of adds up to a healthy me, which is exactly the me that I should be putting out there if I want to date someone. But I don't think I can keep that up for seven years in the hopes that once I have reached the peak of my frustration, I'll find someone I can tolerate. I just don't think I have that in me.

I'm persistent about a lot of things - don't get me wrong. But it's a "choose your battles" kind of thing. Maybe I'm a closet romantic and I believe that if there is someone out there I'm supposed to meet, I'll meet him someday whether or not we both happen to be cruising at the same time. And truth be told, there are so many other things I would prefer to do with my time than set myself up for seven more years of bad dates, awkward emails, and misguided attempts at flirting with men who really aren't interested. The time I have spent on online dating sites leads me to believe that there are a lot of people out there - men and women - who are serial daters and they use those sites to find more first dates. I'm not looking for a first date. I'm hoping to get to date number three or four or ten, you know?

I dunno. Someday, I'll find a guy who is charming and intelligent who finds my laugh irresistible. Someday, I'll find a guy who loves my sense of humor and inability to make socially acceptable small talk. Someday, I'll find a guy who gives me butterflies in my stomach every time I think about him. Someday, I'll find a guy who is just as good with positive commentary as negative - going in both directions. Someday, I'll find a guy who is geographically accessible, or at least willing to work with me to make something doable. Someday, I'll figure out how this whole "relationship" thing works for me and my someone, even if it's not how it works for everyone else. Someday, I'll find a guy who is my best friend and then some.

Or not. I dunno.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I was also told this weekend that I am "something else." Which makes me wonder what everyone else is, and what about me makes me not that.
Every time I go to a wedding, I find myself thinking, "I don't want...THAT." By which I don't mean to say I don't want to get married. There is a really romantic notion behind the standing up in front of everyone you know and promising to have this other person's back for the rest of his/her life. And I certainly hope that if I am lucky enough to find someone I want to spend the rest of my life with, who also wants to spend the rest of his life with me, that we'll be able to throw a really amazing party with all of our friends because (kind of going back to the birthday post), I think it would be fun to have a day celebrating me, him, and our lives together. That part is groovy.

But the pomp and circumstance and tradition of all of it...I don't know if that's what I'm looking for. I'm pretty sure I've said before that if it was important to my husband to have a church wedding, I would do that, but if it's not, I don't think I would. Largely because the cadence with which most priests/pastors/ministers/etc speak makes me tune out. The pauses after every fourth word. The random emphasis on the verb. The general soft, happy, peaceful tone that almost makes you wonder if they're on some sort of muscle relaxer. You know what I'm talking about - there is a certain way that most religious leaders speak and it makes it really hard for me to pay attention. It stops feeling like a cohesive story or point being made and starts to sound like random words. Which if I were to get married, I would want to hear and understand what the officiant was saying, not start thinking about when I am going to do laundry next, you know? Not to mention the showers and the meetings and the so on and so forth. I have one friend who said she has been waiting since we were kids to throw me a bridal shower - it's about how other people want to celebrate your wedding, not how you want to celebrate. And I would want two men and two women to stand up on my side with me. And I don't want the "wedding knot" of hair. And I want to wear comfortable shoes.

I dunno. I just always think that there has to be another way to go about this. I kind of like the Grey's Anatomy "getting married on a Post-It" thing. Followed by a big party with all of my friends. And a DJ because when you hire a band, there's no telling what the singer is going to wear and you always run the risk that someone might be flat. Unless, of course, I marry a musician and we know a great band that really wants to play, though that would turn into more of a concert than a wedding.

Oh! And the dance floor thing. They always play great music for dancing during dinner before people are "allowed" to dance because the bride and groom haven't broken in the floor yet - Sinatra, Ella, Benny Goodman, etc. And then once the floor opens up for dancing, it switches to Kool and the Gang. Could we do something about that?

And of course, I would want the whole thing to be vegan. I want to be able to eat the cake at my own wedding, you know? And really, vegan food is yummy and I think most people can handle one meal of lentils and grains and vegetables (without a giant slab of meat slathered in some garlic butter sauce) without exploding. Something savory and flavorful and colorful instead of potentially over or undercooked meat with vegetables that have had the life steamed out of them. I'm just sayin'. It wouldn't hurt to expand people's culinary pallets for one night. And if I'm the one getting married, the least y'all can do is eat your veggies.

I dunno. I realize I'm sounding petulant and snobby and quite possibly very rude. Everyone's wedding is their day to do with as they please and if the bride and groom are happy with it, then it is a beautiful, perfect wedding. I just think for me, if the opportunity ever arises, I'll want to do something else. Though for the life of me, I don't know what. Good thing I have some time to think about it, huh?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I can't believe September is halfway over. More than halfway over. There are only about 20 Cubs games left. Kids are far enough into the school year that they can start having tests. At a family gathering over the weekend, someone asked about Thanksgiving.

I'm not sure how much I have to say. I'm a little frustrated today about silly things. As you may know, I'm losing weight. Or trying to, anyway. I've been eating healthy and getting regular exercise since the end of July. And by eating healthy, I not only mean eating healthy foods, but eating them in the proper proportions. Thing is, the weight isn't exactly dropping off. I don't know if I'm gaining muscle mass and that's why it looks like I'm gaining weight back or what. I do know that my clothes are too big for me - my pants are verging on indecent. And I bought a size six dress the other day. I don't know that I've ever been a size six in my life. I like being a size six. It says, "I'm healthy and fit, but not anorexic. I still have curves." So there are some really good signs there, but the numbers just aren't changing like I would like them to. I think my only option, though, is to just keep plugging away. After all, there is nothing wrong with maintaining a healthy lifestyle even if you're not losing weight, right?

And I'm back in class again. One of them was canceled which makes me sad, and I don't feel like I'm doing very well in the other one. Though I talked to some of the people I met over the summer last night and they said if I feel like I'm doing really crappy in class, I'm right on schedule, doing a great job. So in that respect, I'm probably one of the better ones in there. I did talk a little bit with my fellow classmates last night and they all felt like they are doing crappy, too, so if nothing else, we're all in the same boat which, believe it or not, makes the journey a little easier.

And I dunno. I just don't feel like people much these days. I'm enjoying time by myself. I'm kind of enjoying my routine of going to work, coming home, having dinner, getting some exercise, spending time with my cat, making plans, and going to bed. I realize it sounds like kind of a sad existence, but I think it's my pre-hibernation ritual. About this time of year, I just need to not be around people for a bit so I can slow down and get my life in order. I will admit to some disappointment in Mother Nature for not giving us an actual summer this year. Or last year. With any luck, I'll get to go somewhere sunny for a couple days this winter or something. Admittedly, I put on a 3/4 sleeve t-shirt last night and kind of loved how the fabric felt on my arms. Warm and snuggly. As much as I'm not feeling people right now, I think I could go for some warm and snuggly. Soups. Tea. Baking things. Though I'll have to get in the habit of baking things and then bringing half into work to share so I don't blow all of the healthy habits I've built up so far.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Okay, so here's my thing about holidays. Holidays are days designated to celebrate one specific thing. That one specific thing gets a day. Flags get a day. Saints get a day. Grandparents get a day. Often times, these days are a specific date on a calendar so that we can remember when they are - June 14, March 17, etc. Other times, they have a sort of general feel, but the actual date changes from year to year, i.e. the third Thursday in November. Whatever day was chosen to celebrate that holiday is that holiday's day. And in my opinion, that's its only day. March 16th is not St. Patrick's Day. I'm not going to wear green and drink a lot on March 16th because that's not St. Patrick's Day. Just like I'm not going to run around wishing people a happy new year on December 28th. I don't care if the 28th is a Saturday and January 1st is a Wednesday - I'm going to celebrate New Year's Day on New Year's Day, not for a full week before and/or after the actual date.

Which then brings us to birthdays. The nice thing about birthdays is that everybody has one. The bad thing about birthdays is that everybody forgets them. To me, they are important holidays. It is a day to tell your friends and loved ones, "The world was blessed when you entered it x years ago." But like other holidays, I think birthdays should be celebrated on birthdays, if at all possible. I understand that particularly as you get older, if your birthday falls on a Tuesday, it might be easier to have dinner with friends the weekend before or the weekend after. But I still think it would behoove your friends to say the words "Happy birthday" to you on that specific Tuesday. It's not asking a lot. And trust me, it will make their day. You don't need to do extravagant gifts or go overboard or anything - just let them know that you remember that the world became a little better place x number of years ago when they were born.

Which brings me to my birthday. For a long time, I didn't tell anyone when my birthday was because I didn't want anyone to make a big deal out of it. Growing up, my birthdays were both wonderful and horrible - wonderful because I had some really awesome parties, but horrible because a lot of the girls who came to my parties were more interested in chatting with each other than me, the birthday girl. Maybe that's why it just makes me uncomfortable now to have people make a fuss over me. However, I am part of the Facebook nation now, and Facebook has these lovely little reminders that tell you a couple of days in advance when your friend's birthdays are. I usually click the links and wish a happy birthday to each of my Facebook friends on their special day, regardless of how close we are, just because. Their birthday is their day. Their holiday. And the least I can do is say "Happy birthday" to them. Not a huge deal. This year, I secretly found myself looking forward to all of the messages I would get. I was curious to know who was just going to say "Happy birthday" and who might get a little more creative. I thought it would be fun to have a page filled with well wishes from my friends. On my actual birthday, I got phone calls from my immediate family (which was lovely), and I went out to dinner with a couple of friends (also lovely and quite tasty). And I got one comment on Facebook saying happy birthday. One. Out of two-hundred-and-some-odd friends, one person left me a note.

Now, I'm not saying I expected two-hundred-and-some-odd messages, but I did expect more than one. To be honest, it felt really shitty. I don't want to poo-poo the phone calls and the dinner - those things were really lovely and I had a very nice birthday because of them. Thank you guys for that. But every time I click on a link to someone else's page so that I can wish them a happy birthday, and I see an entire page filled with notes, it stings a little. I don't know if I marked some box when I signed up so that a reminder would not pop up about my birthday, or if people just didn't notice it when it was there. Either way, the end result was that one person left me a note on my birthday this year, thus elongating the streak of wonderful, yet horrible, birthdays.

I know - it's a silly gripe. But I'm not a mom, so nobody tells me Happy Mother's Day, and I'm not a grandma, and I'm not a teacher, and nobody pays attention to Administrative Assistant's Day, and I'm not a flag, and I'm not in a relationship so I don't have any anniversaries to celebrate or anything. My birthday is my only day. The one day out of the year when people should say nice things to me. And people (my family and 2-3 closest friends excluded) keep missing it. I guess I should be happy that my family and 2-3 closest friends remember, and I am. I am very lucky to have them. But it does kind of make me wonder why I have two-hundred-and-some-odd Facebook friends if they can't even be bothered to say "Happy Birthday" to me on my day. I know that sounds really bitchy, but I'm tired of being forgotten and overlooked.

Before you send me a note wishing me a belated happy birthday, it was months ago. Save it for next year.

I dunno. I'm sorry to be a downer. It's Labor Day and I should be thanking all of the men and women who have served our country so nobly. Thank you for everything that you do. But Labor Day also kind of marks the end of summer, which I don't feel like we really had - it never really got hot. We had one weekend of two 90+ degree days and that was it. Add that to the fact that I kind of feel like I didn't get my holiday and well, I'm not looking forward to this winter. I know I'm going to get grumpy. I'm going to try not to, but chances are, it will happen. I'm apologizing for that in advance.

Happy Labor Day, everybody.

Friday, September 04, 2009

This is all going to be very vague, and I'm sorry for that, but here goes.

Some information sent out. Requests for other information sent out. Things are underway and I am now financially invested in this new plan, so it's full steam ahead.

I'm down 10 pounds. It feels really good to have lost 10 pounds. I have also lost two inches off of my hips and about an inch and a half off of my waist. I kind of wish that was all proportional, you know, so that I knew that when I've lost 20 pounds, I will have lost four inches off of my hips and three off of my waist. But I also kind of wish it wasn't so there was the potential for more than that. I am enjoying losing weight, though, and I'm feeling really good about myself. They physical is catching up with the rest of me. I'm sure my neighbors think I'm nuts, though, as my current exercise of choice is running in place in my apartment while watching TV. I try not to run on the squeaky bits of my floor, but my shoes squeak, too, so I can't always tell. Sorry, downstairs neighbors, if that's really annoying. The down side of the whole thing is that my clothes are too big - my jeans just don't fit anymore. I'd go get new ones, but I'm expecting to lose more weight, so I don't want to adjust my whole wardrobe just yet. I'd rather do it when I'm closer to my goal so I don't have to do the whole thing twice. But all in all, I'm feeling really good about me.

And the new session of classes starts next week, too. I'm taking the physical theater workshop again, and tech 1, which is like the intro class to this whole acting theory. Granted, I know some stuff about this theory of acting already, but it never hurts to go back and get a refresher on the basics. Mostly, I'm just looking forward to getting back into class.

So today, I am treating myself to a massage and some time in a sensory deprivation tank. Some "me" time. Time to do something nice for myself. Get my life in order. And make more plans for the furthering of my plan. I wish I could tell you more, but I can't just yet. As soon as I can, I will. I swear.

Hope you are well.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's amazing what a difference seven pounds can make. Yes, I am weighing myself daily which I know I shouldn't, but I'm really only counting the Wednesday morning weigh-ins because I feel like I got into the real weight loss thing on a Wednesday. And as of this morning, I am down seven pounds from when I started. Granted, I wish it was eight since it has been a month, but still, seven pounds is nothing to scoff at. I still have curves, but I'm starting to see some of the unwanted curves going away. I was running in my apartment while watching the Cubs game last night in my new black running capris and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror from the side and I looked cute! Darn cute. Nice little figure. Still plenty of junk in the trunk, but from the side anyway, it's cute junk.

So I wore a dress to work today that I hadn't worn in a while because while it is a fabulous dress with very forgiving fabric, it is also fabric that can accentuate things like cavernous belly buttons if you're having one of those kinds of days. But today, it makes me look great. And I spiced it up with a sassy pair of blue wedges. So I'm feeling pretty good about myself today.

For other reasons, too. My planning is, well, planning. I do need to buckle down a bit and send a couple more emails, but things are moving forward and I'm gaining the confidence that I'll actually be able to do this. Which kind of makes all of the rest of it not quite so irritating.

Now if only the Cubs could win a game or two. I know a lot of people who have given up on this season already and in large part, I have, too. If I was ever that into it. I took the trade of Mark DeRosa really hard. But there is the die hard fan in me that still thinks they have the chance to pull it off, if they would just start getting some productive hits (i.e. with me in scoring position) and if the bullpen would stop, well, imploding.

Anyway. Today I feel good. I hope you do, too.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I have this big bruise on the back of my arm and the only explanation I can provide is that my classmate beat me up. Please don't worry or call the police or stage an intervention - it was movement class and while everyone was being free and impulsive, we were also being careful to not really injure one another - this was an accident. I just happen to bruise like a peach. I kind of like my bruise. It's a badge of honor indicating how into the class I was. It's kind of greenish and a little hard like there's a nice blood clot in there. It does kind of hurt, though.

But in general (when I'm not at work, anyway), I've been feeling pretty good about myself lately. I'm on the right track with my losing weight and getting healthy. I've lost about six pounds so far and silly as it sounds, I can tell a difference. I feel smaller and lighter. I fit into my pants again. I have a little more confidence in my appearance when I walk down the street. Which may be why I was so free in class last night - I just wasn't concerned with my ginormous rear end following me around, jiggling wherever I go. And there's something that feels really good about not gorging myself on sugar and junk food. My body just feels like it's more balanced and working better. Yes, there is still the impulse to go eat cake, but when I really think about it, I'm satisfied with an all fruit popsicle instead, you know? There isn't the racing heart on a sugar high or the crash afterward.

The down side of eating so much better (more fresh fruit and veggies) is that I must have brought some fruit flies home at some point. They're taking over my kitchen. I've taken out the garbage and washed my dishes and hidden/bagged/sealed all foodstuffs in my kitchen. I built a little trap with a mason jar, a strawberry, and some plastic wrap with small holes poked in it. I just hope they die soon - I'm getting tired of smashing them on the walls and having to clean up bug guts.

And my other plans are...well...planning. That's really all I can say about that right now. But it's making me really happy. Scaring the bejesus out of me, but making me really happy.

I hope you are all doing well!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

It is blissfully hot today, and it was yesterday, too. This is what I live for every summer. Thank you, Mother Nature, for giving us summer (finally).

Friday, August 07, 2009

There is a gallon of milk in the fridge at work that has an ad for Cheerios on the side. I very much want to put a sign on the jug that says, "This is decidedly not Cheerios."

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Okay, so scratch that about being in a show that opens tomorrow. My scene got cut.
Wow, it's been a while since I posted. Sorry about that. Life has gotten hectic again. Hooray for hectic!

I got cast in a show that opens tomorrow. I was cast last week Monday. So that's a week and a half rehearsal period? Lucky for me, my old theater company prepared me well for the super-short rehearsal period thing and I think we'll be fine. There have been some scheduling snags and whatnot, but that's to be expected with something like this. I think it will all come together tonight at tech, though. And I have to say, I love my scene partner. She is wonderful and gives me so much to work off of. It's like I don't even have to try - it just happens and I feel stuff and my lines come out. It's wonderful to work with such an engaging partner! If you are an actor, I highly recommend giving this a try. It makes all the difference.

My other plans are kind of getting set into motion, too. I'm sorry I can't be more specific now, but I don't want to say anything until I know what's happening. But I'm kind of buzzing with excitement about that, so that's good.

My niece is one month old. I need to go visit her again.

I'm starting to eat healthier, too, in the hopes of dropping some weight. Learning to eat balanced meals instead of eating enough of one thing to feel full (i.e. an entire pizza). I'm seeing a little progress so far. The website I am using says I should be able to reach my goal weight by October 6, or somewhere around there, and I think I'm just about on track. Trying to lose two pounds a week, so I stay healthy while I do this. I have significantly cut back on the amount of junk food I consume, and I'm watching the alcohol intake, too. Not like I was crazy before, but limiting myself to just one drink when I go out. It makes a difference. I'm drinking so much water, though, that I'm in the bathroom every ten minutes. Meh, it's supposed to be good for me. And today, I am wearing a pair of trousers I probably haven't worn in a year, partially because they were a bit snug and partially because I am desperate to do laundry so I had to go spelunking in my closet this morning. But it's nice that they aren't so snug anymore. Yes, I do realize that I will probably have to buy new clothes when I reach my goal weight. The hope is that when I do have to do that, it won't be as difficult as clothes buying has been for me in the past.

So in general, I'm feeling good. It's nice to be busy again. It's nice to be doing the things that I love. It's nice to feel like I'm going somewhere. And it's nice to have not-so-snug-anymore clothes.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I think I am at the point where the weight loss is actually supposed to begin. I think the four pounds I have "lost" in the past couple of days were water weight or just me stabilizing as I get back to eating like a normal person instead of snacking at 10:30 at night. That kind of thing. Like when you step on the scale with an empty stomach versus if you step on the scale after eating Thanksgiving dinner - it's going to fluctuate.

So I think I'm done "fluctuating." I think I am at my starting weight now, and it's going to be tough, but I think I'm ready to go. I did really well last night when I went out with my classmates - I ate exactly three sweet potato fries and had one glass of sangria. I stayed within my limits and then came home and did my strength training exercises and went to bed.

I'm curious to see what I am going to look like when I hit my goal weight. Where I am going to lose the weight from? The dreaded derriere? The wobbly waist? Please don't let it be the boobs. I'll be happy to lose weight from just about anywhere else, just not the boobs.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

So as much as I want to be happy with my body the way it is, I'm not. I'm just not. I've gotten heavier, I think largely as a result of the year-and-a-half funk I've been in. I'm self-conscious and my clothes don't fit right and now that I'm pulling out of my funk, I want to actually DO something about it.

Yes, I know that it will take a lot of work to lose weight. Yes, I know that once I get down to the weight I want to be at, it will take a lot of effort to maintain that. But you know what? I want to give it a shot. I want to learn to eat normal portion sizes of things instead of an entire pizza in one sitting, you know? I need to remind myself that I can have more than one type of food at dinner, which means I don't have to eat a whole thing of pasta - the vegetables as a side dish will help fill me up without gorging on carbohydrates, you know?

So I signed up for this online food and fitness tracker thing. I've tried similar sites before, but I kind of dig this one because it gives you ranges. It doesn't say "You can eat 1,436 calories today!" It says, "Aim for eating about 1,200-1,600 calories each day," which means if you're really hungry one day and not so much the next, there's room to accommodate that. And it also gives ranges for fat, carbohydrate, and protein intake, so you can keep track not only of how much you are eating, but how well you are eating. Yes, I could eat nothing but Twizzlers in a day, but this site would call me out on the carbohydrate overload and lack of protein. I also like this site because it puts together a sort of training schedule for you. It lists about eight strength training exercises and then says "get some cardio today, too." Which is nice. It's almost like having a trainer. But it's not so overwhelming that I can't figure out how I'm going to fit the workout into my day. It might get there as I get stronger, but it is a good start for now.

Today is day three. My scale read four pounds less than it did when I started. I think that is common, though, and mostly water weight (and or the result of running and jumping around for three hours last night in class). But it is nice to see a change like that right away. It helps with the motivation to keep going.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Welcome to the world, Keegan James. You have some pretty awesome parents, which means you're off to a pretty good start. And here's hoping it all gets better from here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My goodness, I'm in pain. I had fun, but wow. I need to remember to stretch next time. Or stretch more.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

While I am proud of myself that I am the kind of person who can do and does do things by herself, I am also aware of how sad that appears to the general public. Or crazy. I like it that I can go to a street festival and see musicians who I want to see whether or not anyone chooses to go with me. I like it that I don't use "nobody else is interested in going" as an excuse to not do the things I want to do. But I know it looks lonely. I know it looks freakish. I know it doesn't look strong and independent - it looks solitary and sad. And I know it doesn't help that I don't feel it necessary to find random people to talk to when I go out places by myself. I remember a lot of people have thought that I'm conceited or scary or intimidating for exactly that reason. Please know that I'm not. I just don't want my perpetual singleness to stop me from living.

That being said, it would have been nice to have company at the street festival for, if no other reason, another opinion on whether the big double sided silver and green and tiger's eye ring was twenty-five dollars worth of cool, or just something neat to talk about later.
I wrote a love song a little while ago just because it wanted to be a love song, and yesterday, through the magic of GarageBand (I love Mac products), I fleshed it out with drums, bass, and even a steel guitar solo. And I have to say, I think it sounds amazing. I'm so in love with this song right now, I can't stop listening to it. It's groovy, but mellow at the same time. And I think my favorite part of it is that I recorded the vocals sitting in my bedroom closet - it is the quietest place in my apartment. I broke my little shoe organizer thing by sitting on it in exactly the wrong place, so I recorded the vocals sitting in my closet on the screw that used to hold my shoe organizer thingy together. It's just so pretty. There is a lot going on in the song, but it somehow all fits together. I uploaded it both to my MySpace and Facebook music pages so if you know where either of those are, you can go have a listen. I can't stop listening to this song. Yes, it is maybe a little adult contemporary, but it's a love song - what is it supposed to sound like?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I started another blog to keep track of my experience in acting school. You can find it here if you're interested. All of my old acting teachers had us keep journals, which were considered sacred space, so we could keep track of our progress and impressions. I would ask that if you do pop over there and decide to start reading, that you please keep in mind that it is my sacred space to keep track of my progress and impressions. Nothing in there is posted with malicious intent, and none of it is intended to hurt or offend anyone. If I'm making an observation about my class members, it is most likely because it is something I want to take note of for my own work, not to single out or embarrass anyone. If, perchance, something I say over there does offend you, I apologize for that right now, but I'm not going to stop posting my honest impressions. It's how I'm going to learn.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Lots on my mind. Had my first class tonight and it made me rethink a lot about myself as a performer. Like maybe I'm not such a good one because my scene partners weren't picking up on what I thought I was giving them and they were picking up on a lot of things that I didn't know I was giving. Two people, in the course of our exercises, said they didn't like me. Which wasn't personal, but it was totally personal, and before you tell me that there are tons of people who do like me, please know that it was good and in the moment and healthy and productive and fleeting and momentary. Stuff like that is supposed to happen in these exercises. I don't think they really have anything against me as a person, though they also don't know me from Adam so really, does it matter? But I felt like I was totally out of my league, but that I did okay overall. I have a lot to learn and a long way to go. And I could also see myself teaching down the line (once I get good enough at this stuff myself) because a lot of the comments in my head kind of matched what the teacher was saying. I dunno. Maybe teaching will be my calling. I just need to get enough clout as a performer that people will want to take my classes.

And I am back to holding my breath for an old project to finally be completed. On the one hand, it will hopefully mean that there is still a decent conclusion down the line. On the other hand, the incomplete conclusion was really disconcerting and made me rethink myself as the person I thought I was, what I thought I had accomplished.

I dunno. Lots to think about. Lots to look forward to. And I still have this theory that DeRosa kind of wrangled himself onto the DL because he wants the paycheck that the Cardinals have for him, but he really can't bring himself to help them win. He's still a Cubbie at heart. Please let him still be a Cubbie at heart.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I'm starting school on Wednesday. Kind of. Two classes at this acting school in Chicago - Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings. I'm excited and terrified all at the same time, which I think means it's going to be a good school experience. And I think it is going to be the kick in the pants that I need. I hope it encourages me to start taking care of myself again. Yes, I'm doing push ups and crunches every day, but I need to get active again and involved. And I need to move on from this completely unrealistic crush that I have had for about five years. Yes, he's smart, but he's just not that into me. Yes, he's funny, but he's just not that into me. Yes, he's intelligent and cultured and talented, but he's just not that into me. And if there is one thing I need to focus on right now, it is things that are good and healthy for me. So fare thee well, dear crush. You are a brilliant, wonderful, beautiful man, but I'm looking for someone who is into me as much as I am into him.

I'm starting school on Wednesday. Please please please let it not suck.
Happy birthday, Mom. I love you.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I worked on a documentary a while ago about dating and break ups, and it was invited to play for a week at a very cool, indie-type movie theater downtown for a week. Pretty big honor, if you ask me. So anyway, I went to see it last night (I've seen it before, but it changes a little each time I watch it), and it once again got me thinking about relationships.

I think I'm getting better at them. I look back at the "relationships" I've had (even just the people I've dated for a brief period of time) and I think I'm learning from each one and not making the same mistakes over and over, so that's good. I think my biggest problem is that I try to work on various aspects of being in a relationship with a guy who really isn't into trying that particular thing. For example, I go for honesty with the guy who thinks everyone has a hidden agenda, or I hold off on the physical side until I'm comfortable with the guy who just wants to get some. That kind of thing. I end up single, but at least I walk away feeling like I was true to me. And they always say that you have to love yourself before you can be in any sort of healthy relationship, right?

Someone in the movie last night, though, says that he believes we're all only half of a person and we're looking for our other half. I hate that statement. I am irritated almost to no end by statements like that because I find the thought that as amazing as I am, I'm only half of a person truly depressing. I don't know what more anyone could expect me to be. I feel like I am a whole person on my own. And when it comes right down to it, given my druthers, I would like to find a partner who is also a whole person on his own. Imagine what two whole people can do together, versus two half-people. That, to me, is an exciting prospect. I think the problems with looking for another whole person, though, are that a) a lot of people are walking around thinking they're missing their better half and b) whole people tend to be very busy and preoccupied with things other than looking for other whole people to spend their lives with. I do it. I'll find just about anything else to do so I don't have to "look" for that special someone. Looking is boring. Accidentally running into is fun.

Which brings me to my last realization about relationships. I need to stop dating men just because they want to date me, and I also need to stop holding out for men who don't want to date me. If I've learned anything from my dating experiences, it is that this is not the only guy in the world who finds me attractive and interesting. If I don't find him attractive and interesting, I don't have to spend time with him. That sounds really bitchy, but the alternative is to date him for a while as he gets emotionally invested and I spend the entire time trying to figure out a way to get out of this which is really not fun, fair, or nice either. But I also need a mechanism for "getting over it" when I find myself attracted to a man who is either otherwise engaged or just plain doesn't find me attractive and interesting. Because there will be other men who strike my fancy. And one of the big things I should be looking for in a man (beyond intelligence and sense of humor and values and whatnot) is whether or not he wants to be with me. Because I don't want to be on the other end of that relationship where I get emotionally invested and he spends the entire time trying to figure out a way out of this.

That being said, I'm working on getting over my crush. And I'm going to start taking some classes, which I am very much looking forward to. And I'm going to try to figure out a way to go see some Cubs/Cards games now that DeRosa is a Cardinal. That just hurts, man. It just hurts.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mark DeRosa is a Cardinal. Really. Sometimes I think the universe hates me.
Okay, so...

1. No note from "that" special someone, but I did get a bunch of other notes from other special someones that really made today sweet and wonderful. There was a time when I knew people all over the country and I kind of wanted my birthday to be about how many people sent me happy wishes. This year - not many. But I heard from every member of my immediate family. I heard from my oldest, dearest friends. I heard from the people who are closest to me and really, that is the important part. So in that respect, today was wonderful.
2. Mark DeRosa is still not a Cub, and we still have Milton Bradley and Kevin Gregg. On the other hand, Bradley was ejected today for being a jackass, and the Cubs won. So in that respect, today was wonderful.
3. I don't have a band again. But I did get booked for a gig next week, and I talked to my drummer about doing a couple DIY recordings once all of her wedding craziness dies down and she is totally up for it. So in that respect, today was wonderful.
4. I dont' know if the little man across the courtyard was yankin' his wank today or not because I left my shades closed. So in that respect, today was wonderful.

And I got to spend the day shooting video for work instead of sitting behind a desk. And I got to enjoy an amazing raw food meal (though the non-cheese cheesecake might have been a bit much). And I got to spend time with my really good friends. So all in all, a really good day. Thank you for the notes and for investing some time in me. I couldn't ask for more than that, and yet, I got it.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I didn't know Michael Jackson. I can't say if he did the things they said he did or not. I can say that he was a brilliant performer and the world will miss him terribly.

I really don't know what to think about his passing. He was fifty. Fifty. That's too young. On the other hand, he lived a brilliant, tortured, wonderful, tragic life and that has to take it's toll.

I really don't know how to feel about his passing. I didn't know him. I liked some of his music. I remember when my brother got "Thriller" for Christmas - we wouldn't play the title track when my parents were home because it had the word "hell" in it. I remember the videos coming out one at a time, each one more amazing than the last. I remember doing the "Thriller" dance in the mall when we built a haunted house there to drum up business and entertain the crowds. It makes me sad that a whole generation of children will grow up without those cultural landmarks. It makes me sad that he didn't get to do his last tour. I feel for his family. I feel for his fans who wanted to see him just one more time. It kind of creeps me out a little that ABC and NBC (and probably CBS, too, but I don't get CBS anymore since TV went digital) put together hour-long specials about him and his life and his death within two hours of hearing the news. He made popping and locking popular. He changed music and dance and culture forever and I don't know that there will ever be another Michael Jackson. His passing is a fantastic loss, and he will be very much missed.

And then there is part of me that thinks it's a hoax. An attempt to get people to finally leave him alone. A publicity stunt for his upcoming tour. And because of that little voice, I'm having a hard time being really sad about his passing. It will sink in later. Probably the next time I hear one of his songs out at a bar or a club.

Rest in peace, King of Pop. Rest in peace.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday night observations:

My cat likes it when I hold his foot while he sleeps. I think he likes knowing that I'm there and his foot is the least offensive, least warm part of his body that he can have up against mine. Whatever the reason why he likes it, it melts me that he likes to sleep with me holding his foot.

Micah Hoffpauir is kind of a cutie.

Kevin Gregg should not be the Cubs closer. Let's trade him to get DeRosa back.
There is an acting school in Chicago that teaches kind of exactly what I want to study more of, and you have to interview before you can sign up for classes, and I interviewed last week and I got in. Yay! It's evenings and weekends kind of classes, but still. How much fun would it be for me to take some acting classes again? To do something that interests me?

So this morning, on the train into work, I was reading one of my old acting text books and getting really excited about the prospect of getting to do this stuff again. I know not everybody is into Meisner. Some people think it is a waste of time. I think it is a really good way to train yourself to live truthfully, which is what we are supposed to be doing as actors (and technically as people, too, but nobody really does). I'm looking forward to doing the repetition exercise with other people who get it, or at the very least, want to get to a place where they get it. I'm looking forward to doing the activity exercise again. I'm looking forward to "doing," not "acting" or "being."

Now I just have to wait until payday to register...

Monday, June 22, 2009

There are two bits of wisdom that I wish I could impart to the general population.

1 - Slowing down a song does not automatically make it better. There is a Dr. Pepper commercial right now that is doing it's best to perpetuate this myth, but I think it is time we all admit that it's not true. From time to time, slowing a song down is a good thing. It worked for Eric Clapton and the Foo Fighters when they did Unplugged. However, "God Bless America" was actually written as a march. As was the Star Spangled Banner. Yes, it is lovely that you get to sing them in front of a baseball game but let's be honest - the fans are not there to hear you sing. We all want to see the game. The more you slow down those songs, the longer it is before baseball starts and that can make certain people irritable. I think it is safe to say that irritable is not good, so by the transitive property, slowing down songs is not always good. Q.E.D.

2 - There is nothing wrong with being single, or with enjoying being single. I dated a guy once a very long time ago for about a month. And by "I dated this guy for a month," I mean, "We went out twice in the same month." It ended because let's face it, that's not a relationship. But he said to me that he believed there is someone out there for everyone, and that you will find that person. So if you spend the time between now and then dating or not dating, it really doesn't matter because you will eventually end up with who you are supposed to be with anyway. In a way, you're doing yourself a disservice by casually dating people who you aren't supposed to end up with because if you're with one of them when you meet your person, you could miss it. In a strange way, I liked that. I don't know that I'm a fatalist - I don't know that I believe that there is someone out there for everyone. I think I was just kind of drawn to the justification that it was okay for me to not be dating.

The thing is, our society is set up to encourage people to pair off. For example, I had a gig last week and as I sat there waiting to play, some random guy came over and asked me to play pool. Within the first two minutes of the conversation, he asked a question about my husband or boyfriend. I don't care what else he might have said the rest of the night; the fact that he needed to know that bit of information meant he was hitting on me. Random guy sees random girl sitting at the bar by herself and assumes that she wants company, that she wants to be hit on, that she wants to flirt. I wanted to play my songs and go home - it took me over three hours to get to the venue and I was tired.

And of course, as I examine my life and try to figure out what I can do to change things so I can be happy again, I start to think about some of the relationships I have had. Not always, but I often find myself dating men who want to date me instead of dating the men I want to date. I've tried to date the men I want to date a time or two, but they're usually not interested in me, or they turn out to be kind of nuts and not in the good way, so I know what the situation feels like on both sides. And to go back to the guy I dated once for about a month, why spend my time dating men I don't really want to date? Why not hold out for someone who interests me? Because there aren't many of those who aren't gay or already spoken for. Which brings me back to being single and enjoying being single. To be in a relationship that you don't want to be in is exhausting. There is pressure and there are expectations, and without the motivation to live up to those expectations, it's all just going through the motions which takes a lot of energy. But I have these friendships that I want to invest in and try for and those aren't exhausting, so I know I could do it. It's just a matter of finding the right guy to do it with. And in lieu of finding him, spending my time doing other things that make me happy. What is so strange about that?

So to sum up: slower is not always better, and there is nothing wrong with being single. There is, however, something wrong with a life that does not include ice cream (even non-dairy ice cream), so if you have some handy, might I suggest you go enjoy some?