Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A quick update, Ides of March edition

I've been working a lot lately and haven't felt like doing much else, so I've been staying home reading mindless, silly romance novels with plots that feature pirates, lords and ladies, and most recently, a mongoose. It's been a restful time, but I'm trying to get out more. Part of it is that I hate driving now, and I hate that I hate driving. If everyone could tell their neighbors to maintain a safe distance from the cars around them and to stop being assholes in a hurry, I'd appreciate that. As part of my re-emergence, I've been treating myself to meals and drinks with friends the past couple of weeks which has been lovely. Also, I took a quick trip to DC over the weekend to meet up with friends and shop for bridesmaids dresses for Mon & Matt's wedding in September (which will be super fun).

Book club is tonight. I finished March's pick (All The Light We Cannot See) last night, just in time. In a way, I am sad to be finished because I have been working on this read for so long; E's parents gave it to me for Christmas in 2014...they were way ahead on this one. When I look at my copy, I remember all of the places I have read (and re-read) chapters...Fort Myers Beach, so many planes, inside the tour bus. The story came together beautifully as I knew it would; I was emotional at the end, hating war and loving people, their determination and their dreams. Even the acknowledgements are beautiful. Who knows what we'll choose for April. I think the only suggestion left in the hat is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies...so, stay tuned.

Things I am looking forward to:
More of this nice weather we're having.
Our coast-to-coast adventure next month and a WHOLE WEEK off work (...truly all I can see at this point).

That's about it. Get out and vote today, Ohio...and then brace yourself for all the 'Ides of March' political essays that will flood your Internet once the primary results start rolling in. #beware

Thursday, February 18, 2016

February (so far)

First, thanks for being so kind about my last post. It seems like things are pretty much figured out insurance-wise and I'm continuing to see a chiropractor. I think I'm going to get a new car this weekend. Without a doubt, the beginning of February has been much better than the end of January.

Eli came home for a week at the beginning of the month and we celebrated his flirty 30th birthday by throwing a house party. We used to have parties just about every weekend but not much lately, so I was kind of nervous about hosting and I wanted it to be really special. Eli's brother Jesse flew in (in part) for the party, and I was reminded of the summer Jess earned his first graduate degree (at bartending school in our neighborhood) and we saw him all the time. He'd come to our parties, crash on the couch (in the times before Uber), and then we'd have brunch the next morning. I don't know how many times we ACTUALLY did this, but it seems like a lot in my memory, and I was really glad to carry on the tradition for E's 30th. Of course the party was super fun because our friends are so totally awesome. Looking back, I always feel I could've skipped the Nervous Nelly bit.

While E was home, we celebrated Valentine's Day (observed) with dinner at Primavista. We'd both never been there before which is rare; I often feel like Eli's been everywhere and done everything already, so it was nice to share this new experience. I like talking with Eli about a wide range of fascinating topics (like therapeutic modalities, Twitter beefs, and hydration-focused skincare products, just for example) ESPECIALLY over yummy food, so our V-Day date was pretty bomb. Bonus: between the surprise bouquet from my Valentine and the flowers I bought for his party, our house has smelled amazing all month, which has been lovely and important for mood regulation.

For those of you who may be interested (hi Jenn!), we discussed Boy, Snow, Bird in book club this month. I absolutely loved the writing, and Oyeyemi tackled a lot of big and interesting themes. Please let me know if any of you read this one...I'd love to discuss further. Next up: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I have read the first 100 pages of ATLWCS twice because the format (super short chapters) has always felt like a barrier to investment for me, although it's so very beautiful. Third time's a charm.

We're planning an adventure for April, and I'm really looking forward to getting away for a bit...my job has been stressful as of late, although I continue to love working with my clients. Also, I've decided to try my hand at OCCASIONALLY cooking simple dishes, because I'm 28 and maybe I should have a few recipes under my belt? I made up an easy recipe for lemon chicken thighs last night and it didn't suck, so for the moment I am encouraged.

Finally, on the freelance front, I interviewed my pal Jane Decker for Cincinnati Magazine's February Style Counsel. ICYMI, you can read the piece here.

I hope this silly update finds you happy and healthy, friends. Thanks, as always, for reading.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I'm okay, but...

One time I had to deliver bad news to Eli and later he (gently) critiqued my presentation. He told me to lead with a reassurance if possible. Like, "I'm okay, but I got into a bad car accident," for example. 

So, I'm okay, but I got into a bad car accident. 

Remember how I told you I bought a new car last September? I'm going to have to buy another one. I was driving on the highway one morning a couple weeks ago...I had just come from a doctor's appointment and was headed into work when traffic slowed ahead of me. I slowed down, and then I felt a car rear-end me. Really, I knew that part would happen. I could see her coming in my rear-view mirror. I took a second to register the hit just in time for another car to slam into my driver's side deploying all of my airbags on that side (so I couldn't see what was happening). Again, I took stock. I felt okay, but I wasn't sure if the accident was over yet or what I would find when I crawled out my back door (my driver's side wouldn't open from the inside because of the impact). It was a very traumatic experience for me, in case that isn't obvious. 

There were five cars involved in the wreck...five adults and one child in a car seat...all of us okay (by some miracle, Praise Be). Three of the five cars had to be towed from the scene, including mine. I had a police officer drive me to work, I think because I didn't know what else to do. If I was going to pass out or something, I wanted to be around other people who could help me. The nurses I work with evaluated me and advised me to go to Urgent Care because of elevated vitals and delayed pupil reaction (I was in shock and they thought I might have a concussion because of the jerking and the airbag that exploded into the left side of my head). Then, Urgent Care sent me to the ER for a CT scan which (again, thankfully) was clean. I saw a chiropractor who took X-rays of my neck and diagnosed me with whiplash (although he says this is an outdated term). He had trouble even adjusting me the first visit due to incredible tightness. Insurance said my car was "clearly a total loss" which is a real bummer; it had just over 2,000 miles on it and still smelled new inside when I went to retrieve my tags. Eli and his parents were on the other side of the world in Australia and, as fate would have it, my parents were in the midst of dealing with my dad's rotator cuff injury and subsequent surgery. Because several members of my support system were scattered or otherwise occupied, I have had to deal with many of the emotional and logistical aspects of this by myself. It's really important to know you can get through tough days on your own, but it is not a warm and fuzzy process. Basically, the past couple weeks have been pretty shitty. 

Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely thankful to be well and I know it could have easily been much worse. My body emerged relatively unscathed, but what lingers is this feeling of vulnerability. You can be doing the right thing and people can just slam into you. I am not someone who considers my own mortality often, but lately it's been on my mind. I am driving Eli's car now because the world doesn't stop; I still have responsibilities and tasks to complete even though I feel frightened. 

In any case, that's what's been going on with me. I am recovering. Also, I am considering buying a Honda next time and would appreciate your thoughts on this. 

Please do try to be safe and take care. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015: A year in review

I had a really great time flipping through my calendar and reading old blog entries to put together this goofy retrospective. As it turns out, 2015 was a big year for me. (Dear technically challenged friends and parents: you can hover over highlighted words and click to read old entries. Woah, right?)

Eli and I started 2015 with a spontaneous and restorative weekend trip to Fort Myers Beach. We couldn't make it work again this year but we definitely talked about it. I used to hate a do-nothing vacation (preferring instead to be active and pack in experiences) but, with each passing year, I grow more and more fond of the concept of time without agenda.

My dad took me on an epic vacation to California in March for what was probably the last true Spring Break of my life. I framed a few photographs from the trip for my parents for Christmas. Nothing but warm feelings about this adventure...it was the best.

We lost our sweet old cat Mo to kidney failure in April. I didn't write about this. It was a difficult time for us. I remember him often and sometimes think I see him out of the corner of my eye in our bedroom. Since Mo died, we have grown closer to our wacky, nervous Ani cat. I think she misses her pal too, but I am really pleased she's decided to deal with us in his absence.

May was big. I became a Master of Social Work, passed my licensure exam (biggest sigh of relief), skipped the graduation ceremony to go on tour with Eli, and found out I got a job!

We spent 4th of July at Martha's Vineyard, a place I never expected to visit once in my life let alone twice.

I bought my first car in September, which felt pretty good even though the buying process was fairly traumatizing. I didn't blog about this one on purpose.

Eli also had a HUGE year and, as a result, I flew to Los Angeles in August and November to attend televised award shows. Read about the VMAs here and the AMAs here. I'm still coming down. 

Basically, I hustled my way around in 2015, and all of the above doesn't even include the fun weddings, the plays, the concerts, all the times I ate fried chicken, the movies Eli and I saw and disagreed on (namely Trainwreck), the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game, WALK THE MOON singing our national anthem at a Bengals game in the rain, and that one time I schlepped to a sweet boy's lumberjack-themed 1st birthday party in Cleveland. Maybe all of this sounds like one giant #humblebrag, but I happen to think it's important to reflect on the good especially because it's so easy to dwell on the hard, the sad, and the ugly (which we also saw a lot of this year).

Bottom line: I spent a lot of 2015 exhausted and happy. Cheers to a new year full of surprises and challenges and failures and laughter. My resolutions are not new. In 2016 I hope to take better care of myself and those around me, and to continue to follow Bertrand Russell's 10 Commandments.