Nepenthe

 

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Friday, May 26, 2006

10/19/06  
I'm going to see The Pogues! With all the original members! Yay for me! Damn those are expensive tickets. Those are opera prices. Oh well, gotta pay to play.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Hallelujah!  
Sweet merciful Jesus, I'm bleeding. Praise the lord and pass the potato salad. Stupid uterus, don't ever do that again!

Good, Bad, Ugly  
The Good:
My school is awarding me Honors Extraordinary in my division. I think this certificate is given to one person per division chosen by the dean and faculty of that division. So that's cool.

The Bad:
I haven't bled yet. 28 days would've been Friday. Over the last seven months (yes I keep track) I've averaged 25 days. Which would've been last Tuesday. Today is day 31. This is not good.

The Ugly:
The sewer backed up into our tub last night. Yeah, nice. So we stayed in a hotel nearby. Plumber's coming today. Hopefully it'll be habitable tonight.

This is what makes life so difficult for me, being pulled in all these different directions. It's hard for me to be happy, proud, terrified, dejected and disgusted all at the same time. Added to which, it's a Monday, it's raining, and I didn't sleep well.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hola  
I've been busy. So anyway, we took a vacation April 19-21.

On the 19th we went to the Ashes and Snow exhibit at the Santa Monica Pier. It was beautiful, though not as much as I expected. I thought it was heavy-handed with the theme of the sacred in nature. This whole concept of man's disconnect from nature, and therefore spirituality, I believe is incorrect. Man is not separate from nature; man is part of nature. Man is not separate from animals; man is an animal. You don't need to languidly float on a river in a dugout canoe with an orangutan to experience spirituality. I also don't believe nature is sacred, or that anything material ever could be sacred. The divine and the material are necessarily separate. And why is it that when white folk want to experience a spiritual moment they go to a non-white country? It's always India or Africa or Bali. Don't you see the racism inherent in setting those places, and their people, apart as some last enclave of true connection with the sacred? Stop fetishizing the religions of other cultures.

Afterwards we went to Father's Office for dinner. They have the most amazing selection of beer on tap and a small menu of excellent tapas and entrees. They're particularly known for their burger. In the past they've always cooked the burger as the chef sees fit. This time they asked how we wanted it cooked. As any foodie knows, there are only two acceptable answers to this question: rare or medium-rare. Now most of the people in there know this. But just as we're finishing up, these two young guys come up to the bar and one orders the burger. And he wants it cooked well. Hmmph. And the other one asks for a beer that's "like Budweiser". Oh no. Look. If you're drinking Bud, you don't really like beer. And if you're ordering a burger well, you don't really like beef. So what you should do is take your pansy ass down the street and order sparkling water and a chicken sandwich.

Thursdays are free at the Hammer, so we went there on the 20th. Actually we went there and then I remembered that Thursdays are free. I really liked the films by Jesper Just. And John Swope's photos and accompanying text were really compelling. We went across the street to have dinner at The Gardens before going to the Wadsworth Theatre to see Salome. It. Was. Amazing. The performance was really stripped down, almost like a reading. Without the distractions of elaborate set design and lush costumes, the acting could really shine. I enjoyed it so much. If I could afford it I would've seen it again and again.

On the 21st we went (finally!) to the Getty. The gardens are beautiful. It was a bit hazy out, but still the view was gorgeous. I don't think we even saw half of everything there, though we stayed most of the day. When we first got there, we made reservations for that evening at the fancy restaurant. I had a beet salad and liked it. The rich food actually upset our stomachs later, but it sure was tasty.

All in all, a very nice vacation.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Phew  
It's been a busy week. I went for a follow-up with my doctor last Tuesday. I decided to go with 300 mils of the wellbutrin. At my next follow-up I need to mention this other thing. I've got these blood spots (petechiae) all over both of my arms. I've had them for quite a while - at least months, if not years - but lately they seem to have gotten a bit worse. Also, I researched them on a few medical sites. They're common and inconsequential most of the time - after heavy coughing or vomiting, after birth, after trauma, or because of certain medications. But those are short term and quickly resolved. Mine are constant and not related to any of those circumstances. The other possibilities are pretty serious - lupus, leukemia, syphilis. So, uh, that makes me worry. It's probably nothing, but just in case.

We took a vacation last Wed-Fri to the lovely city of Los Angeles. Yes, we already live here. See, on travel shows, people go to big cities and have a wonderful time. It got me to thinking about the people who live there; they're not having a wonderful time. I could go to another city and have a great time, but that's only because I don't have to live and work there. So I thought, other people come to L.A. for vacations and have fun. Why don't we just pretend we're tourists and have fun right here? We'll save money on airfare or gas and hotel, which we can spend instead on fancy restaurants and shows. Plus we'll get to sleep in our own bed. I mean, it's crazy that other people spend a bunch of money to get here and I live here and have access to this stuff all the time and I don't even bother with it. Tsk, tsk.

Anyway, it turned out really well. We did a bunch of cultural stuff and had a great time. I'll detail in another post later when I have more time.

Friday, April 07, 2006

untitled  
I've been too busy (and depressed) to write lately. The Wellbutrin seems to be working somewhat, but I probably need to increase the dose. I'm only taking 150 units now to check for side effects and efficacy. The standard dose is 300. I like to take the least amount possible, so I'm giving the 150 a chance. I'm not sure if my continued, though lessened, crying and insomnia are "normal" or still signs of depression. I'm tired of taking pills and tired of being depressed. Which leaves me in something of a pickle.

Sunday I woke up with a kinked neck and it's been sore all week. Maybe I sprained it. I've never had a sore neck last a whole week. Course I haven't rested it at all; that might have something to do with it. A co-worker recommended a good massage therapist, so I'm going to contact her and see if I can get an appointment this weekend.

My husband is playing at Mr. T's on the 24th. It's not with his band; he's sitting in on drums for a singer-songwriter friend of ours. So he'll be rehearsing over the next few weeks.

We're going to see The Black Rider at the Ahmanson, Grendel at the Dorothy Chandler, and Salome at the Wadsworth. It's going to be a busy spring.

I'm doing really well in my Statistics class. I got perfect scores on all the tests so far. I'm waiting to find out if I've been accepted at CSUN. Everyone else is confident I'll get in, but I still worry.

At my doctor's office last week (a follow-up on my meds) they weighed me. 123 lbs. I'm back to my 30-yr-old, pre-Paxil weight. I have another appointment in a couple weeks. Maybe I'll have lost even more by then. I'd like to get to 120. Funny, when I was this weight the first time around I thought I was too heavy. Now that I've worked back to it I like it. I've read that it's pretty typical for women to not realize how beautiful they are in their 20s until they're in their 30s. Guess I'm pretty typical. Fortunately, I've also read that women are at their most beautiful in their mid-30s. Apparently 36 is the magic number. Something to look forward to.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Good News  
I've been taking Wellbutrin for two weeks. Very mild side effects, nothing like Paxil, and my doctor says it isn't correlated with weight gain. It seems to be coming on rather subtly, but I am feeling better.

I stepped up my diet and exercise program. Now that I have class on Friday night and Saturday morning, I can't exercise on Fridays. So instead of 30 minutes five times a week, I'm doing 40 minutes four times a week. Also I've been eating less for lunch and having healthier snacks. Last week I was actually a little too strict and didn't get enough protein. Oops. This morning I tried on a size 6 skirt that I bought two summers ago and haven't been able to wear in over a year. Though I was hoping, I didn't quite expect it to fit, but it did. That makes for one happy Monday.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Reacquaint  
Oh my goodness, what a long hiatus. I've been through another depression. At first I didn't notice it, because it comes on slow and steady, but my husband made it pretty clear to me the other day that it kills him to see me like this. It's like watching someone you love drowning and knowing you can't do anything to help. He's pretty reticent, so for him to let loose like that means it must be really, really bad. The very next day I made an appointment to see my doctor. I'm going in on Monday to get back on antidepressants. I guess I went off them too soon. Depression is kinda like high blood pressure in that it will get progressively worse if not treated, and it requires both medication and lifestyle changes. Though I have made some life changes and done a round of talk therapy, it just isn't enough. I still need the medication. My main concern, which caused me to avoid going back on the meds even when it was pretty clear I needed them, was the concomitant weight gain. I put on ten pounds last time. I've finally realized that my weight is not the issue here. It is better to be round and healthy, than thin and suicidal. My husband loves me either way, and he would rather I wasn't in so much pain. I'm beginning to think of it as an allergy to life. I take Zyrtec for my nasal allergies, and now I'll take Paxil (or the like) for my life allergies.

Now, to more rote business. We went to ArthurBall the other week. What a scene. I'm surprised they let us in without a Hipster Cred membership card. First we had an early dinner at Taix (mmm, french onion soup). We saw Tarantula A.D. and Morris Tepper (with PJ Harvey sitting in on bass), both of which I enjoyed. Afrobeat Down was pretty cool. I was nonplussed by Town & Country. The 5:15ers were kinda pointless and average. We left after a few seconds of Indian Jewelry, which was absurdly loud (like Waco loud). All in all it was an okay time. Everything was just so ... typical. Very tragically hip.

Thursday we went to the Hammer Museum to see a program in association with the Masters of American Comics exhibition - the Kramer's Ergot Night. Oddly, we haven't actually seen the exhibition itself yet. Anyway, there was an interview of Sammy Harkham, a presentation by Souther Salazar, a reading by Jordan Crane, and an incredible performance by Shary Boyle. I went for Jordan, but most enjoyed Shary and Souther. Shary just blew me away. If you haven't seen her, you must.