Friday, September 30, 2011

My Jewelry Will Kill Me

I try really hard not to be superstitious, but sometimes I can't help it.  This morning, I went to put on my gold bar Marc Jacobs necklace I wear every day and the clasp was gone.  I have no idea what happened or where it is, now, but I was so sad.  **UPDATE:  Opened my computer when I got to work today - 10/3 - and found the clasp sitting in my computer.  A metal piece broken off, so I don't know how Ill fix it, but I will, dammit!**  I get attached to pieces of jewelry and though, this one is definitely worth fixing, who knows how long it will be until I wear it again.  What if it is the sole reason I've been having decent luck or the reason I've been happier or had more confidence?  Typing that out, I realize how ridiculous that sounds...  but...

From the time I was old enough to have my own "individual style", I started wearing an inappropriate amount of rings.  I had at least one ring on every finger.  I had one ring given to me by an ex that I worse for years and when things started to get shitty, my finger under that ring only would start to bubble and itch.  I swore it had something to do with warning me things were going sour or something was wrong, but that was easy to talk myself into because with that relationship, most everything was wrong all the time.

But I'd shake it off and say, "that's just silly.  Maybe you're just under more stress so your body is reacting to the metal" or something, but none of my other rings would flare up...

I've had a ring inspired by The Crow forever.  By forever, I mean since I was 14 years old (which when you're almost 30, feels like forever ago).  I scrounged up enough money to purchase this silver band from the comic book kiosk where my sister worked in the St. Charles Mall food court, and slipped it on my finger.  It didn't come off for years (until I had to have surgery, then still went right back on after).  It says, "Real love is forever".  I've lived long enough, now, to know that that statement isn't completely true, but I still like the idea behind it.  Plus, it's a constant reminder of my teenage goth years and that always makes me smile.

To that same finger, a few years ago, I added a Disney princess crown ring that my mother got me for xmas.  Disney has an awesome line of jewelry out for adults that are inspired by the movies we grew up with (and some newer ones that blow).  I have a few pieces.  Some are really creative and beautiful and less obvious like the Alice in Wonderland pieces and some of the Little Mermaid pieces.  Anyway, those two rings didn't leave my right finger for years upon years.

This year for Christmas, I got a beautiful Tiffany's open heart friendship ring from Nealface.  I wore it for months until I started having a reaction.  I moved it to a different finger.  There's no way it's cheap metal.  I finally just had to stop wearing it.  The same thing slowly started happening with The Crow ring and my Disney princess ring.

So, this round of surgery, I didn't have any rings to remove.  They didn't have to give me a ziploc baggie for all of my jewelry.  It was weird.  And of course, my head goes "well, what does that mean?"  And if the rings I had to take off were some sort of warning, who was the warning for?  I bought myself the Crow band and certainly my relationships w/ Neal and my mother are just fine, so...  what does it mean?

It should mean NOTHING.  Good LORD.  But when I forget my Om bracelet, I think, "well, if I get into a car accident today, I'll know why."  WTF is wrong with me?

I don't get this way with other OCD rituals like "If I don't turn the light switch on and off 42 times and leave it in the "on" position, my whole family will be eaten by wolves."  Just the old "if I don't wear a bracelet on a certain day, I'll get into a mangled car wreck."  That's all.  Totally normal.

And today-- without my MJ necklace, pretty sure I'm facing certain death, which is really unfortunate because my sister and Adina are coming up tonight to spend the weekend with Dan and I...  Such a shame.  It was going to be a great time.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Last Week in Review

Time for an update, I suppose.  I'm not feeling particularly poetic or insightful, but I feel like it's been too long since my last post, so here's what's new:

-  I'm slowly recovering from surgery.  I went to my post-op and the doc had a feeling I might have had a little infection, or something, that had caused the healing process to take it's time.  He gave me an anti-biotic and I think it's finally starting to help.

-  Last weekend, Steve and Jess came to visit.  We only really got to hang out Saturday, but boy, did we squeeze every minute out of it.  Jess and I were up til 7am Sunday morning chatting it up.  We had an amazing dinner at Barcelona and it was so nice to have familiar faces in our home.

-  This week, Dan and I were like honeymooners.  I don't know what got into us, but it was all romance, cutesy giggling back and forth, tickling each other, sappy notes showing up in our cars or little presents waiting for each other when we got home. Just stupid crazy lovey dovey-ness.  It's been amazing, not that it isn't always, but it's just been a notch further in the gross sappiness.

  Our weekend was no exception.  We ended up going to a great show on Saturday.  We saw a great little band called Heavy Breath and a fun band called Hostage Calm (Their song "Ballots/Stones was on my bday mix cd Dan made me and you can listen to here.) in a sweet little spot called "The Space" in Hamden.  The energy of the show was intense.  It was pretty nuts and fun to watch.  I didn't realize how much you use your abs to block people from flying into you while standing on the inside ring of the pit...  Not smart being 2 weeks out from surgery and having incisions still pretty fresh...

It was also a blinding reminder that I'm too old for that shit.  Unfortunately, a lot of these up and coming hardcore bands Dan finds only play these shitty "all-ages" venues.  No bars/clubs...  It's kind of a pain in the ass.  There are rarely seats, sometimes no AC, tons of children (17 and younger...  Like pre-pubescent younger) and very rarely alcohol.  This venue was better in the way that it had a bar across the parking lot that was affiliated.  They too had live music and ended up being a pretty chill spot that I would visit again.  The actual show, however, was filled with these teeny boppers wearing ballerina flats and thrift store outfits being loud and obnoxious.  It's hard to be around when you're 28.  It's easy for me to remember how irritating I was at their age.  A few years ago, I found a VHS of me from high school and was left cringing after viewing.  I couldn't stand being around the teenaged me, now, and it's no different with these kids.

It's great that they have a place to go and get to absorb so much live music, but it's hard to go from seeing shows at badass venues and Baltimore and DC to these holes in the wall (though Bmore had some of these venues popping up, as well, that ended up getting annoying pretty quickly).  It's just this movement and this generation.  It's different.  I was telling Dan how I remember growing up, the band members were always way older than me.  Now, they're all way younger.  Our generation were lazy or something.  There was never a time where the band members were my age.  Wtf?

-  The most important thing that's happened since my last post was that a good friend of mine found out his 4 year old daughter has leukemia.  It's terrifying and tragic.  I hate that I can't be there with him and his daughter, but a flight out to Tennessee isn't cheap on such short notice, and I could only do a weekend since I have zero time left to take from work.  It's been weighing on me heavily because I feel so helpless.  I can't imagine what he must be feeling.  We talk every day, but I know there's a lot he's holding in to be strong for her (and himself).  He's basically doing this alone and it's heartbreaking.  I set up a site for him at The Caring Bridge which is a great free organization that makes blogging/progress reporting/photo uploading and guestbook signing super easy for anyone going through any tough illness.  It's a nice way to keep in touch and keep loved ones informed without having to put forth much energy.  it's also nice to be able to write her notes directly just to brighten her day and let her know people are thinking of her.  The whole thing is so painful.  I wish there was more I could do.

On that note, I'm going to dive into this crazy busy week.  Hopefully I'll somehow end up being productive.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Healing Up/Dreaming Down

Today was the first day that I've felt close to normal since the surgery (*edit:  I started this post yesterday, 9/15 and that evening I ended up with sharp pains on my right side.  I woke up to find these pains had gotten worse.  At least yesterday I had a few hours of normalcy).  Progress is definitely coming right along.  They ended up doing a bit more than originally planned, so it makes sense that the pain was worse and that the healing time is taking a bit longer than the last two times I've had the procedure.  On top of the regular laparoscopy to laser off any endometriosis they find, they also did a hysteroscopy (where they go look inside the uterus) and ended up finding and removing a polyp. They also found that the top of my uterus was fused together and they cut that open. While they were in there, they saw that my appendix didn't look happy, so they took that out, too (not sure yet it that was endo related). They also inserted an IUD to try and help combat endometriosis symptoms in the future.  Needless to say, I'm feeling a bit beat up inside.

Aside from all that, I'm feeling all reflecty.  Yep.  New word I made up just now.  I blame it on being stuck alone in the house laying in bed for days on end... and maybe a tad bit because of my new Mad Men obsession, but regardless of why, I've been doing too much thinking.  About life, career, friends, family, the future.  All of it.  It's definitely a different picture than I had painted in my head years ago.  It's not that it's a bad thing or that I'm not happy with any of it, it's just different.  The sad parts are just what or who isn't here in the family portrait that I always assumed would be.  Assumption is bad.  The other stuff is just the control freak in me not being able to plan every step along the way.

Career stuff is being pondered because this week has been NY Fashion Week and whenever fashion week rolls around, I'm enamoured.  To the point of questioning if I did the right thing by going to art school instead of fashion school.  I know I did because I do love what I do, but I fucking ADORE fashion.  It makes me drool.  I've already done a post about fashion week from the Fall/Winter 2011, so I won't repeat myself, but it's really had me wrapped up and fantasizing about living a very different (glamourous) life.  It's also inspired me to jazz up my wardrobe...  and that's when I look at my bloated, heating pad burnt, scarred and bruised and taped up stomach in the mirror and go, "meh. Nevermind."

Mad Men doesn't help calm my craving for fashion and overhauling my entire wardrobe, either.  The styling for that show is absolute perfection.  Even if an episode is slow, I'm still just as excited and on the edge of my seat about what Betty Draper is wearing to whatever work dinner she has to attend while hanging off of Don's arm.  Honestly, after soaking up every ounce of Fashion Week since I've been home without much else to do, I think it's not just me who's been inspired by Mad Men fashion...  Some of those designers must spend their free time catching up with Sterling Cooper, as well.  I think all of the below looks are Betty Draper approved.  ;-)

Marc Jacobs | Spring 2012

Marc Jacobs | Spring 2012

Badgley Mischka | Spring 2012

Marc Jacobs | Spring 2012
Oscar de la Renta | Spring 2012

Hopefully tomorrow I can try to be up and about a bit more...  I'm so tired of laying in this bed...  I'm half tempted to go get a pedicure...  hmmmm...


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Favorite Holiday

I was a lucky gal this weekend.  I was surrounded by wonderful friends, yummy food and tons of laughs.  I barely slept, but it was totally worth it.  Long, deep conversations were punctuated by reliving memories and telling stories.  Everyone in our crew this weekend, including ourselves, have been through big changes since the last time we were all together.  Eli and John and Jess are all engaged (Eli to Leslie, not John and Jess), Kevin's the chief of transplant surgery in Richmond this year and Dan and I are settled into our new apartment in Hartford.  Okay, maybe our lives haven't changed AS drastically as the rest of the crew, but we feel like we've grown and changed quite a bit since our last time hanging with everyone.  Things definitely feel different for us.

The most important and noticeable difference in all of us is our level of happiness.  The last time I saw Kevin was before I moved from Bmore, and John and Jess I've seen since then, but only quickly and out at loud clamoring bars.  Eli came to visit us right after we had moved to Hartford, but we were still quite frazzled and definitely not as happy/comfortable as we are now in our lives.  The same can be said for everyone else in their situations the last time we were together.  No one was unhappy, per say, but we were all still working on getting there.  Our priorities have definitely changed and we have all focused on that.  John and Jess have since moved in together in Annapolis, Eli is dating and engaged to a lovely gal (from what I have heard) and Kevin is loving his work.  Everyone had these borderline-goofy smiles all weekend like we were drunk off how content we all are.  It was a nice positive vibe going around that we all shared.  It's a welcomed rarity.

The only thing that could have made the weekend better was if Adina, Emily and Neal were also up, along with my family.  It's always nice to see Dan's huge supportive family and family friends, but it definitely makes me miss mine.  The Labor Day party (25 years strong) will hopefully become a tradition not only for our newest guests, but someday maybe my family, as well.  I've been a part of 3 Labor Day parties so far and each time has been such a great time.  It reminds me of how Oktoberfest at the Maryland fairgrounds used to be for me.  It was always a given that the day would be amazing no matter who was in attendance or what the weather forecast was looking like.  It hasn't failed, yet, and neither has Labor Day.  (All Labor Day pics can be found here.)

In other news, I'm gearing up for my surgery.  No Lupron/reversible menopause!!  The docs decided surgery and an IUD was the best prescription this go-around, so we'll see how that works out.  I've had a really rough pain day today and was supposed to have our second Endo-Connect meeting with the gals tonight.  I was completely ready to go all day, but the longer the day went on, the more I questioned if I would be able to make it.  The drive home from work is where I really started questioning attending, and by the time I had made it to CVS to deal with the beastly pharmacist who was clearly having a worse day than mine (but with far worse coping skills than me), I was unable to motivate myself to do anything more than lay in bed, sandwiched between my two heating pads, crying in a dark room.  I called Julie to apologize for having to miss our date and to pass along my apologies to the other gals, but that if anyone could understand not being able to make an engagement because of pain, it would probably be those gals.  They all followed up to make sure I was okay and to tell me they were sorry I wasn't feeling well.  They also offered to help nurse me back to health after surgery if I needed help, but my mama will actually be coming up to take care of me.

I'm so thrilled that my mom will finally get to see where I live, but I'm bummed that I'll be a sore lump the entire time she's here.  My parents are planning another trip up in October, so I'm really looking forward to that.  I'm also looking forward to surgery.  I really can't wait for this pain to subside.  Even if it only helps a little, it would make my life so much easier.  It's hard to be happy when you're always in pain.  Dan's been really helpful in reminding me that the pain from surgery will be different than the endo pain that I've been dealing with for the last 6+ months and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel...  I hope.

The next time I blog, I'll probably have a frankentummy.  Til then...


Friday, September 2, 2011


It's almost as if I waved a magic wand with that last post.  Everything is better.  It's an odd balance between everything feeling more normal/comfortable and me feeling more content.  It's nice and cozy, here.  People have been coming out of the woodwork-- old friends, new friends--  And not in response to anything in particular.  It's just been people showing they care or miss me in small ways that just happen to mean the world, which got me thinking...

With these little random texts I've gotten or comments on a post or emails or calls, it fills me with this warm, drunk-on-love feeling.  I get really smiley and happy, then a little teary-eyed, then excited.  So excited, in fact, that I usually end up clenching my fists and squealing.  I just get so overwhelmed with these random acts of kindness that I can't contain the happy.

I've noticed that since these little sweet notes have been making their way to me, I've been handing them out without even thinking--not just responding to the messengers, but commenting when I normally wouldn't, or texting someone if I think of them without hesitation.  Spreading the love, I guess.  It's contagious.

And the best part about it all is that it makes me feel insanely good to do it.  Knowing that I probably made someone smile gives me a buzz.  It's how I want to be known and remembered.  Someone who was thoughtful and cared.  When you aren't feeling that way, I guess you're less inclined to hand out compliments and attention thinking that you aren't someone anyone wants to hear from, but it simply can't be the case-- Everyone enjoys a compliment or an "I'm thinking of you" every now and again.

The most important compliment I've received lately was appreciation out of nowhere.  An old friend contacted me to let me know that I had always been an important person in her life when I was around in Baltimore.  That I was the only person who tried to include her and that I always knew and still know the right things to say when she asks for advice or needs someone to simply listen.  It was some kind of reassurance and acknowledgement that I couldn't have dreamed up on my own.  It was important and beautiful and made me feel like a lot of the normal everyday things I did in the past didn't completely go unnoticed.  Validation feels good.

We recently watched an episode of The Marriage Ref where the complaint from the husband was that his (crazy) wife over-used Thank You cards.  She would hunt down people who helped her in the grocery store who probably didn't remember her at all and would give them notes.  I assume if you're giving Thank You notes for every little thing, they lose some of their luster and importance, but I hardly see over-appreciation a negative.  She probably makes so many people's days with those notes while only annoying a few...

Adina and I discussed how wonderful these flecks of appreciation are, but how truly sad it is that they're so rare.  I think more "Thank You"s are in order.  Thank someone in your life for something today...  I am going to try and make a habit of this.  In this moment, this positivity doesn't feel forced.