Archive for the ‘home’ Category

i’m pissed - beware!! bad, bad words abound

I am so fucking pissed.

I’ve lived in the same apartment for 4 and a half years and in that time the only thievery I experienced was my stone cat. Yeah, I had this cool stone kitty cat I got, wow, I think back in 1991 or 1992, and I sat him outside on the steps. Figures eventually someone stole him, especially considering this is collegetown, USA. I was hoping to maybe get polaroids of my kitty taken in different locations all over the Boston area mailed to me ala Amelie, but no such luck.

Anyway, even when UPS and FEDEX left packages on the porch there was no problem. They’d always be there when I got home. I began to feel a real sense of trust despite living in such an urban neighborhood.

No more. To wit:

December 2007 - A friend at work asks, “Hey, did you ever get a box from Sephora? I ordered it a few weeks ago.” “Awww… you sent me a gift from Sephora? Thanks! But, uh, no I haven’t received anything.” She tracks the package online and finds they left it on the porch. I never saw it. Fortunately Sephora re-shipped with no problem.

January 2008 - I ordered a second pair of snow pants from REI. I liked them at the store, but they didn’t have my size, so I ordered them online. Time passes and I don’t see them, so I track the package and find, as with the Sephora one, it was left on my porch, no signature required. Goddamn it. REI finds another pair and sends it to me without any hassle. Love REI.

Today was the last fucking straw. I created a calendar on iPhoto of Zack and Lucy photos just for me. I miss Zachary cat so terribly no words can possibly convey how much. Sometimes it’s physically painful, an ache I can’t soothe. I’d been meaning to make myself a calendar for a while, so I finally did it and got it ordered. Crossed that off my list. And though it was fun, it was hours of work. HOURS. I have lots of mini pics on actual dates and added in lots of my friend’s birthdays. Used a font I downloaded that looks like Edward Gorey writing. It’s awesome! But, again, took me a few hours to put together and was hard work.

The calendar was scheduled for delivery today, which was perfect timing as I created it to start in March. I came straight home after work, skipping Bosu, to be home for its arrival. Got home and waited and waited… and waited. Once again I go online to track the shipment only to find there was no signature required, so FEDEX left the package on the front porch at 1pm this afternoon. Just now I ran downstairs to find a box from Apple torn open and empty. (!!!!)

It’s a rare thing, truly, but you do not want to see me in a rage. Those who read this and know me, really know me, have seen it and brother it ain’t pretty. I go batshit motherfucking crazy. I haven’t looked in the mirror when I’m this pissed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d turned green like the Hulk. My clothes have never ripped into perfectly torn up shorts and shredded shirt, though, so at least I don’t ruin clothes, too.

What’s especially odd is that as a general rule I’m remarkably gentle. I do not slam doors, I pull them to. In class when we’re told to drop our Bosu or our weights, I do NOT drop them, I place them carefully on the studio floor. When I drop something I even startle myself - I loathe making loud surprising noises. With the marked exception of laughter, which can be explosive. My apologies for when I startle people with that. I have a habit of walking on the balls of my feet so I’m not heard downstairs. I’m almost too considerate.

But when I’m as enraged as I was fifteen minutes ago, you’d better get out of the way if you know what’s good for you. I slam, I throw, I throw, I slam, I yell many, many obscenities loudly. I am a kettle boiling over and I can’t think logically.   I am a runaway train and I need time to slow down or I’ll jump out the window. I think I literally become insane for a bit, even though I’m aware of it.

I think I have a right to be pissed. I didn’t tell Apple or FEDEX to leave the package without a signature, they didn’t give me an option. And you tell me, who the FUCK would do something like that? Rip open a box on someone’s porch and steal what was obviously a homemade calendar? WHY the fuck would someone want someone else’s calendar?!?!!! Jesus H. Christmas! I know that Zack’s cute, one of the cutest cats ever in existence, but come on!!!!

So, to the heartless, dickless, puke eating, raisin brained fuckstick who stole my calendar, whoever you are, you suck. I hope you’re claustrophobic and that you die after a week of being locked in an overrun, overturned port-a-potty.

sunday

Monday seems to be the universally loathed day, but me, I hate Sundays. Maybe hate is too strong a word. My dislike of Sundays has intensified and cooled off here and there over the years. And it’s more Sunday night than all day Sunday that I dread, something about the time limit (did I get to do everything I wanted to do?) and Monday looming. When I was still in school it was much worse, of course, but that feeling has lingered and clung like a stink.

When I’m not watching a late football game or have other things to do that I procrastinated on all weekend I like to go over the Burren on Sunday nights. My friend Danielle runs the Singer/Songwriter Series over there in the back room and my friends Tim Gearan, Sean Staples, Eric Royer and Dan Kellar play in the front room with various other players. It helps me forget that the next day is Monday. There’ve certainly been times I stayed out so late that I must have truly forgotten I had to get up early. Painful, but worth it.

So Sunday started with my having to brave the elements because I had no half and half for my coffee. The storm that started so pretty Saturday night dropped a significant amount of new snow and sleet. In fact, it was the sleet outside my window woke me up. None of the sidewalks were yet clear so I, and the few others out and about were walking in the street. I love that sense of community you get when your neighborhood’s a ghost town because of snow.

Spent the morning on the phone, first with my parents, then during the Pats/Jets game with K8, then gchatting with my friend Joanne. Then I got on my trainer and did an hour during the fourth quarter. I don’t think I watched more than 5 minutes of that game with the sound up. Funny.

Since I didn’t have to go to work on Monday and there was nothing to hold my interest at home, I headed for the Burren around 8. I mostly hung out with Timmy and the gang, sang some harmonies and drank. It was fantastic, truly. I am always filled with joy to hear, see and have the honor of playing with this group of musicians. It reminds me of my deep love of music and the unbelievable happiness it brings me.

Our friend and percussionist Chris Anzalone came in a little while later in a seemingly poor mood. I sat with him at the bar and did my best to cheer him up and he entertained me with his new magic trick. Once the band was done we all hung out for a long time. They kept buying me more drinks (new favorite shot! “surfer on acid”) and we all stood around making each other laugh and laugh. It was the best. When I got home I saw it was 2am (!!). No problem, Monday was a write off. ha!

And indeed it was. Jiminy Christmas, today wasn’t super great. My head was pounding, I had a beer belly pouch and pained tummy. I announced to no one a few times, “god, I feel like shit!” Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about beer and shots hangovers. yeegch. Not my favorite. Had things to do, though. I packed my suitcase, I ate a little, and I went to the gym. Double spin and weights. By the time I was 15-20 minutes into the 2nd spin class I thought I might die. Of hunger and of exhaustion. My head was all, ‘what the hell are you doing to me?!’ My stomach was all, ‘and you were planning on feeding me when? you bitch.’ I did bring a Cliff Bar with me, so I ate that immediately afterwards. All good. All good. I needed one more awesome workout before I head into the unknown of the gyms in my hometown.

Now I’m in the final stretch and looking forward to flying down to Nashville tomorrow. I’m not excited about my 4:30am alarm, but I’ll get some sleep on the plane or once I get home. I’ve got a bunch of people to get in touch with, so I won’t likely get too too much rest. And much Boggle to be played. Hope you practiced, Ken!!

catch-up

I never wrote about the rest of the holiday weekend I had with Melissa - whoops!

Friday after Thanksgiving we arose leisurely and a little late considering how late we’d gotten to bed and what a day of excess Thanksgiving had been. Coffee, then to the gym and did my walk/run with Mel on the treadmill next to me. Helped her out a little with lunges afterwards, which was fun for me since I’m considering possibly maybe getting certified to be a personal trainer. I’m certified to teach group fitness, but so far I’ve found a little more satisfaction with the one-on-one interaction. There are other ideas fighting for my attention in my little brain right now, so we’ll see what wins.

There was some shopping to do, it being “Black Friday.” So after going back home for showers and lunch we walked back out to Porter Square to one of our favorite stores, The Paper Source. Mel and I share a real weakness for paper products and this place is a gold mine. I like Bob Slate, sure, but the Paper Source has an amazing array of blank notebooks, interesting one-of-a-kind cards, great ink stamps, and, as we found this visit, unique and fantastic calendars. We each bought the same two calendars (she has a special fondness for calendars) and they are awesome. So adorable. Oh! And it was this store where Mel got me that big stuffed polar bear. They had smaller ones this time and it took a lot of self-control for me not to get one of those….

That night we decided to stay in and have a silly nostalgic girl’s night. We ordered Dominoes pizza (the new thin crust, which is YUM) like we used to in high school and watched Weird Science. Fabulous.

Saturday morning we went to the gym again (she’s such a trooper putting up with my schedule…), then met my friends Terri and Leslie for brunch at Sound Bites. Mel got the banana bread pancakes and wow, next time I’m getting those.

It was a Newbury Street day, despite it being a much colder day than we’d been treated to lately. For my self-esteem’s sake I wanted a new pair of Lucky jeans. I’ve gained weight back since my cancer (actually, to be perfectly honest, I blame going back to work in May and the time-line does coincide) and haven’t been able to fit as nicely into the jeans I have. It’s been a real bummer to me, practically tragic.

So I thought, fine, I’ll give in and get a pair one size up. I have no doubt I’ll fit back into the jeans I have, but for now I’d get some that fit. The store was way overheated and it’s not easy to try on jeans in those conditions, but I was determined. And what do you know? I tried one-size-uppers, but they were just too big. I ended up with another pair in my old size. And I love them! Just a tad tight in the belly - what else is new? - but with adorable stitching on the butt. New favorites.

We continued up busy Newbury Street. At one point two people in light blue jogging suits ran by us and I saw that one of them was Cameron Diaz. Huhn. I said, “Hey, Mel, that girl who ran by us was Cameron Diaz.” She said, “I didn’t see any joggers.” So funny, she’s always been very focused and I’ve always been all over the place. Guy walking by said to me that he’d done a triple take when he saw her and believed that yes, it was Diaz. I yelled out, with fist up, “Hey, Cameron, this town ain’t big enough for the both of us!” But seriously, jogging down Newbury? On a busy Saturday? How delightfully conspicuous… Clearly she wanted to be seen or else she’d run somewhere (ANYwhere) more conducive to outdoor exercise. We were not 4 blocks over from the Esplanade. Even one block over in the Commonwealth Mall would have been more appropriate.

Mel and I took our walk through the Boston Garden and up to Charles Street where we stopped for some wine at Enoteca. Their liquor license required that we order something to eat as well, so since we were still pretty full from brunch we ordered an appetizer of olives and had various wines. We ended up eating the entire large bowl of olives, too, even after we named them. … don’t ask.

That night we continued in our nostalgic vein and watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and ate leftover pizza and Annie’s Mac’n'Cheese. Then watched again with John Hughes’ commentary. I know, twice in a row, but it’s Ferris Bueller! And the commentary was really interesting and enlightening.

Sunday we played the Will Shortz game on NPR, then I did my run/walk outside. After a shower and coffee, Mel and I took a walk to Target in Somerville and back. I had described it as being only about a mile or so away, but when I gmapped it later I saw our walk was a total of 4 and a half miles. Mel got lotses o’ exercise in her visit and didn’t complain once.

After taking her up on the offer of using her awesome Honda FIT to stock up on big groceries, we played Boggle (my best opponent, she is, it was a close one), ate chicken nuggets and watched the Pats game. Speaking of close ones…. YIKES. The Pats maintained their winning streak, though, and Mel was such a trooper, so willing to learn a little more about a sport she didn’t quite understand - she’s a basketball and baseball fan.

Monday morning, Mel took off before I left for work. Another great visit, relaxing, exercising, hanging with friends, eating yummy food, shopping, and talking till we dropped off to sleep. Good times, good times.

razor

My gym has chosen this odd time of year to renovate the “wet area” meaning the shower, hot-tub, sauna and steam room. So no more showering at the gym till next year. Which makes things difficult for me since I use the shower there everytime I work out. They worked out a deal with a nearby school for members to use their showers, but wow, how weird. Not to mention inconvenient. Make me walk over two blocks in the freezing cold post-workout to take a shower?

When I lived in Newton I got a razor scooter to speed up my trip to the bus to get to work. It was great and shortened my commute noticeably. I loved it, actually and have been wanting another one for years. I always thought it’d be great to have a scooter to get to the gym super fast in the mornings, but I just never got around to it.

This gym renovation gave me the perfect excuse. Razor scooters aren’t as easy to get as they were 5-6 years ago so I had to look it up online and find a retailer, but I did and I got one. And this time it’s red instead of blue - bonus!

So far I’ve used it the past two Wednesday mornings for my very early spin class. It was great to get there so quickly (five minutes!) and then again to be able to finish class and ride home to shower. No grade school locker room shower for me. I’m pleased with my genius. hee hee… and I don’t care that I get a lot of funny looks when I ride it. phlphlphlphlbbbttt….

traditions

My best friends Mel, K8 and I have a tradition of spending Thanksgiving together. In college none of us was interested in traveling all the way to Nashville for it since we’d likely be going down for Christmas anyhow. They each have special family recipes they prepare and since I don’t have any of my own, my job has always been the turkey (and the mashed potatoes, of course, a must have!!).

The last few years we haven’t all three been able to be together. Two years ago Mel made other plans, so it was just me and K8T (and her husband, Peter and Todd). Last year none of us could work it out (my terrible memory, I honestly don’t know why this was) so my brother Michael came up to visit me from Greensboro, NC for the holiday. We had a most excellent time, but I made the entire meal myself.

Certainly I have mucho experience with all of our dishes (with the exception of K8’s corn bread stuffing, which is her baby alone. I help making the cornbread from a mix, but other than than… yeah…), but this was quite the undertaking. I’m not a cook. I enjoy cooking, but it’s not my forte and I have little imagination for it, meaning menus don’t occur to me, you know?

So all by myself I made Mel’s pumpkin soup (god, so simple and so delicious), K8’s sweet potato casserole, Mel’s corn and cheese pudding, mashed potatoes and, of course, a small turkey. It tasted as good as it looks.

2006 tgiving meal

I didn’t make any dessert because my friend Sarah was planning to come over later with some of her homemade apple pie. And holy shit, it was the best apple pie I’ve ever had. I think about it a lot, actually, and wonder how the hell she created that masterpiece.

Two days later Michael had to fly home, but we got some pictures taken right before he left.

me & mgp 1

Thanksgivings always go by too fast.

me & mgp 2

Especially when you’re having fun.

This year, Mel is visiting. She’s driving up from Philly today, so I’m not sure when to expect her, holiday traffic is incredibly unpredictable. She’s driving her new (mostly new, a few months) Honda Fit and I am excited to see her and to test drive her car because I recommended she check it out when she told me she was thinking about a Yaris. I’m sure she’d have looked at it at some point anyhow, but in any case, I dig that car.

I’m even more psyched because the plan is for her to stay till Monday - barring the possibility of one of our knock-down, drag-out fights…. HA! Gotcha! Never happens. This means we’ll have plenty of time together. How will we fill this vast amount of time? Eating, most certainly. Shopping, of course. Walking, always always always. Board games, you know it (I’ve been promised Boggle!). Eating, yes, I know I already wrote that, but it bears repeating. Relaxing, assuredly. Mel has been working way too much and too hard lately. Exercising, indubitably, Mel will be my guest at the gym and is looking forward to it.

I am disappointed not to see K8 and Peter and meet their baby, Tillie, but I know they’re going to have a wonderful first Tgiving as a family in the Catskills. And K8 and I have spoken a lot recently (we usually do) and she’s trying something new with the corn and cheese pudding, so I’m interested to find out how that goes.

Yeah, so, have a good turkey day, y’all.

ouch!

I spent the rest of my weekend as I’d antipated; I got a lot done and worked out and watched New England knock the wind out of Buffalo. As it turns out I worked out a little harder than I thought. I did my run/walk then worked on my legs with weights, you know, lunges, squats, etc,… Well, let me tell you, yesterday I was in no small amount of pain. I was making ouchie noises when I got up, when I sat down, when I walked around. It was bad.

I wasn’t sure I should even go to spin last night, but I know active recovery is best so I went. Things were going fine despite my legs being stubbornly stiff. Tra la la, tra la la… Nearing the end of class we move into a sprint and *SPANG* I get a charlie horse in my calf !!!! The pain was incredible and my calf throbbed like it was attached to electricity. I pulled my foot out of the clip and massaged my leg for a minute, then got right back into it. What else could I do?

Worked on upper body afterwards and went home knowing today was going to have to be an off-day, no running. So now I’m off by a full week, but my goal is still in my sights. All day today my legs and butt have still been killing me.

To add insult to injury I had to have my port flushed this afternoon. Not like it’s a terrible inconvenience, just annoying. And a little bit painful.

One good thing, my friend, and work IT specialist, Skip, came over after work and helped me re-set up the bike trainer he’d recommended I get. Yes, re-set up. I did it all by myself over a month ago and things didn’t seem right; I knew I’d effed it up somehow. So now I’ll be able to ride anytime at home, which is most excellent. Thank you, Skip!

busy-ness

I’ve been making lots of plans with friends and watching that whole season of 30 Rock and wow, I realized there were a lot of chores, so to speak, I wasn’t getting done. I’m a list-maker by nature, so I sat down Thursday night (after double spin and weights with Joanne, and after 30 Rock) and made myself a new to do list.

Good god, it’s a long list. I got a lot done last night and today, but there’s plenty left for tomorrow (and Monday and Tuesday…). These things, these chores, they do add up, don’t they? I thought my original list was daunting, but the funny thing (and by funny I mean odd and annoying) about to do lists is that they continue to grow. As you’re doing you find more to do. Which is precisely why I’ve kept my weekend all to myself and made no plans with anyone. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to cross things off and feel that sense of accomplishment.  Plus, I’ll get in plenty of social time next week/weekend with Thanksgiving.

Friday I really got things in gear. After work I did my walk/run on the treadmill at the gym and then did some lifting. I had wanted to run on Tuesday, but I got a pretty bad shinsplint in my right leg from running two days in a row last weekend. The advice I got was to not run till the pain went away, possibly not till Sunday. I was psyched on Thursday when I realized my pain had subsided substantially enough that I could run Friday. Back on schedule and only off by a day. Sweet. I’m at run 3 minutes / walk 2 minutes x 6. I honestly look forward to my runs. This may mean the end of my hatred for running….

So Friday I worked, then worked out, then took the bus out to Trader Joe’s in Arlington for a few more supplies only TJs could provide. (oh, and on the bus I watched Weeds. Yes, I downloaded the 1st season from iTunes and am loving it!!!) Then I got home and did laundry and changed poor Lucy’s litter box and cleaned the bathroom. Aw, yeah, don’t you wish you had my exciting life? You know you do. haw haw haw

If I continue to give such detail about getting my to do list done you’ll most certainly be bored to tears. Suffice to say I crossed off a bunch of stuff and plan to do the same on Sunday. Then in the evening I will relax and enjoy watching the Patriots in Buffalo.

a brick

I am proud of myself because I’ve been keeping up with my run/walk schedule. With any luck I will not only no longer hate running, I might even like it. I just now did some calendar calculations and I should be running 30 minutes continuously by the 30th of December. That is if I keep up my 3x week.

Friday after work I ran 2 minutes + walked 2 minutes x8. Something I love about exercising outside is learning all the nooks and crannies of my area of town. Who knew there were so many little neighborhood parks? So cute. Makes me feel like a local. And I caught an amazing sunset, something I will never tire of. There are no two identical sunsets and I love them all.

After my run I settled in and watched my silly Friday night TV after a nice long catch-up phone call with my bff Kate. Her wee one, Matilda, is now 2 months old, and Kate has now started back at the gym. I’m so happy for her (for both). Neither of us were active in high school or college, but I’ve been active for a number of years now. I’m excited for her to take control of her body and health in this way and, of course, it gives us even more to talk about. Not that that was ever a problem.

Fortunately Saturday is now my rest day, major-exercise-wise, because we had a lot of rain and wind from Hurricane Noel. I like weather like that, actually, but I’m not inured to working out in it yet. And I’ve yet to purchase good outdoor weather gear, soooo… I went to the movies. And had a little too much to drink that night. I paid for it on Sunday with exhaustion and a bellyache.

But I wasn’t about to sacrifice my run/walk. No hangover is going to keep me from achieving the goals I’ve set, dadburnit. Plus, it was a beautiful day. I didn’t get going outside until noon (laundry and thingz), and my shins were very unhappy with me for the first 15 minutes or so, but I paused to stretch and soldiered on. Did the whole routine, got home and couldn’t sit still. It was just so dang nice out and, hell, it’s November. Who knew when it’d be that nice out again. Plus I still had a few hours before the Pats game.

Evidently this is called a brick in triathalon-ese. I ran then rode my bike, a brick. If I’d run then swam, or swam then biked, whichever, that’d also be a brick. I don’t see much swimming in my future as I’m a very weak swimmer. But never say never.

So I went for a bit of a ride without a set destination. I only knew I didn’t want to attempt the Minuteman since it’d likely be very popular that day. Rode down Mass Ave to Linnaean and over towards Mt. Auburn. When I realized they still had Memorial closed on Sundays for the season I headed to Watertown. I hadn’t ridden Greenough or that end of the Charles River in years. Made up my mind at that moment to visit my old neighborhood in Newton.

It was very nostalgic and sort of strange. Todd and I lived in Newton (on the edge of Watertown) for 3 years. There were things about it that I loved, but for the most part I felt cut off from the world. We lived just under a mile from the Watertown bus yard - I took a bus to get to work. The fondest memory I have of living over there was the season I got to watch a group of ducklings grow up. It was the sweetest thing ever; I’d pass them gathering together by the river every morning on my way to work, every day getting a little bigger and less yellow.

Here’s a shot of our place. It was attached to a main house, but there wasn’t any connecting entrance. We had our own door - that one on the side. The front door was fairly useless because there was a storm door, then our washer and dryer, then the main front door. It was certainly fantastic to be able to do laundry so easily, I’ll give it that. No tromping up and down 4 flights like I do now.

newton apt

There wasn’t much foot traffic out there, so it was really quiet. Once in a while I’d hear the doppler effect of someone on a motorized scooter. When we moved to Davis Square I remember I couldn’t fall asleep in the bedroom because it faces the street and the noise was overwhelming to me in comparison. For the first few nights I slept on the couch in the livingroom, which faces the back yard.

I did get some exercise in Newton on my adorable cruiser bike. I’d ride around the river. And I belonged to the local gym, but it was nothing like what I do nowadays. Back then I still had my beloved car, the Pontiac T-1000. My friend Tony drove it up from Nashville with me in 1998, if I recall correctly. My dad called it “theft-proof off-brown” which is an apt description.

pontiac

I adored that car. So ugly and lovable. It was the perfect city car because no one wanted it. I swear people would avert their eyes when they walked past. There were nights when I lived in Brighton I accidentally left valuables in it, sometimes on the seat, and the door unlocked. No one ever broke in. No shit.

zack at faxon

Overall I feel like it was a completely different life I was living out there. I am a different person than I was then. As I rode past our old house/apartment I became quite melancholy. This isn’t unlike me, really. But it was a little strange - I just don’t think I was very happy out there and the circumstances under which we ended up there were a little extraordinary. I’m just so glad I made it back to the side of the river I was always meant to be.

Of course, Todd did get Zachary when we lived in Newton, so there’s a silver lining. These were taken when the big sweet fatty was but a wee feisty kitten. Love of my life, that cat. Miss him like the dickens.

zack and roozack and guitar

cycling and things you might put in your butt

Spent the weekend in Haverhill, which, of course, means I got to do a lot of bike riding. I don’t know how I’m going to handle it when it gets all cold and New England-y on me, I think I may need to get some better layering active-wear.

Saturday Todd did a ton of work around the house and was too tired to join me on a ride. He’s been riding on the weekdays and found a new 16 mile route. I mapped that out and added a few extra bits. When I got home from the ride I gmap-pedometered the ride and found I’d done 26 miles. This explained my fatigue, for sure. It was a beautiful route, down 110 into Merrimack and then returning mostly via the road along the river, which changes names about 4 times along the way. After riding by the water I moved back inland and passed a corn maze (ha ha, corn maize?) which I must try, a few farms and the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen. At one end of it is a renovated barn and there’s a round gazebo shaped room at the other end. In the middle is this tower of windows and most of it is painted this insanely gorgeous red. It’s on the market and I was guessing it would go for over a million bucks. Damn.

Sunday I did a slightly different and shorter (15 miles) route, but took many of the same roads. I stopped in front of the beautiful house and picked up a one-sheet description. I was right about the price: $1,150,000. What I didn’t realize, and couldn’t see from the street, was that it’s set on 4 acres, has its own marina big enough to accommodate a 60 foot yacht, an open floor plan, a whirlpool in one of the three bathrooms, a huge deck, 2 fireplaces and a built in bar, TV and sound system in the “great room.” Holy hell, can I pick ‘em or what? my new house

Monday was prep day for Tuesday’s colonoscopy. I had been on a “low residue” diet for a few days, which mostly means refined grains, refined sugars, no nuts or whole grains, etc,… essentially the opposite of what I usually eat. Of course, I supplemented this with an entire bag of Brach’s candy corn - my god, that stuff is effing addictive.

So anyway, on Monday I had to do a liquid diet. I was only allowed water, Gatorade, Sprite and Jell-O, but no red, pink or purple. So I made myself some orange because I’m not partial to lemon and I loathe lime. Whenever I buy gummy bears I go through and throw out all the lime ones before I dig in so there’s no way I can accidentally eat one, like at the movies in the dark.

Liquid diet sounds ok, right? I was hungry and tired, but otherwise fine. At 7PM I had to drink 1.5 bottles of this magnesium citrate, which is a liquid laxative. I was only allowed to get lemon-lime flavor. It was awful. It has some effervescence to it so it tasted like diet 7UP had gone to the dark side and had a sour and pinchy aftertaste that squeezed itself into the area between my cheek and my jaw. shudder….

But I must say, it wasn’t so bad. The laxative kicked in around 11PM and I hung out in the bathroom for a while, something that has become par for the course for me. And considering everything else I’ve been through, it just wasn’t a big deal. Friends had told me horror stories about their colonoscopy experiences, prep-wise, so I was prepared for the worst.

At 3AM or so I drank the other 1.5 bottles, sat in the bathroom a bit more, slept some, got up again, slept some, and got up at 7. My colonoscopy was at 9:30AM, so we left at 8:45 and made it on time. Only waited a few minutes when they called me back and I changed into the usual hospital gear: enormous pants w/string tie, jonny and robe. They took my vitals and asked me the battery of questions I’ve grown used to. The nurse gave me an IV in my hand, let me stop in the bathroom one more time, and had me lie down on the bed in a room.

Another nurse came in and chatted with me about the procedure and told me they’d have a camera at the end of the scope. I could watch the monitor they had in the corner and see the inside of my colon along with the doctor. She reminded me that they don’t put me completely under - what they do is called”waking anesthesia,” meaning it doesn’t completely knock you out. My one friend who had an ok experience with this procedure told me he’s pretty sure he was chatting with the doctor the whole time, but doesn’t remember it.

She had me lay on my side so they’d have easy access - uh, yeah - and then gave me two shots in my IV, a pain reliever and the anesthesia. It worked fast, too. I was already sleepy (no coffee and up all night) so I think I just went out. I don’t have any recollection of anything going up my butt, but I do remember seeing a little on the monitor and the doctor saying “Here’s where they sewed up your sigmoid colon” and me saying, “Oh, neat.” But that’s it. The next thing I was aware of was being wheeled into a recovery room where yet another nurse told me I had 30 more minutes and I could nap a bit if I liked. Yes, I liked.

Twenty minutes later or so I was awake and up and putting my clothes back on. Yes, I was a tad wobbly at this point, but I was fine. Todd and I went directly to Sound Bites so I could eat a nice big breakfast of pancakes, sausage and eggs and drink mucho coffee. All in all, not a terrible experience and if you know you need to get one done, I merely recommend you get a Monday appointment so you only have to miss one day of work. Otherwise, piece of cake.

steamy weekend

Some advice: Don’t wear new sandals on a 5 mile walk in 93 degree humid weather.

I’m no fan of hot + humid (unless there’s a pool nearby) and I forget how easy it is for my feet to get all torn up in humidity. That’s exactly what happened. Too hot to ride my bike on Saturday and, as it turned out, too hot to be wearing my new sandals. There I was trying to break them in and they broke me. Ouch. There went my plans to get a pedi that afternoon.

I suppose I was due for a crappy weekend, I probably had too many good ones in a row and the universe needed to balance itself out. Balance is good, right?

Not that the weekend was a complete wash. There was the thrilling news of K8’s new baby after a great meal w/two of my best friends on Friday. And on Saturday, after cooling off and band-aiding my feet I convinced Todd to take me to the Summer Shack where we had delicious halibut.

We’d never been to the Summer Shack and went with a little trepidation, but I had a gift card from a friend that’d been gathering dust for well over a year. From Fresh Pond Parkway it doesn’t look like much, but we drove over and the parking lot, which you can’t see from the FPP, was full. Got inside and there was a 45 minute wait.

It was like entering an alternate universe. I never suspected the place was so popular, but what did I know? But I liked it and had a good time. Next time my parents come up for a visit I’m taking them. It reminded me a little of the very first Legal Sea Food restaurant. Not quite as low-rent, but a similar flavor, so to speak.

Sunday we recorded vocals for that cover song I mentioned in a previous entry at Matt’s. It took longer than expected, but once I got the mood right in my voice, things went more smoothly. Recording itself is not something I particularly like. Something to do with the permanence of it all and that I’m very hard on myself, on my voice. I demand perfection and since that’s not possible, I’m often left unsatisfied.

What I do enjoy is recording with Matt. He and I always have fun and laugh a lot even when we’re feeling frustrated by bad takes or software malfunctions or bad wiring. Doesn’t hurt that he’s a great producer. He knows how to ask for and get a good performance and our rapport is so easy. We have a good time every time and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

When things are going well we have even more fun. We must have hours of silly outtakes we ought to cull for gems to use as hidden tracks on the next CD. And hey, we patched together a pretty good main vocal if you ask me. Maybe you’ll hear it on our myspace page soon…