Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hail the Chief

So, in case you somehow weren't glued to a TV today at exactly 12:00pm...

And then he spoke. Here's the full text for those of you who, like me, enjoy reading something after hearing it. It was no Emancipation Proclamation, but it was very good. My heart soared thinking of what was happening before my eyes.

History was made today, folks. I've never been prouder of America.

I just hope that people don't expect him to be perfect. Because, let's face it, he's human (gasp!). He will screw up. He will make mistakes. He will say things that will piss us off. He will do things that upset us. But I believe he will always keep We The People in his sights, and so will never swerve too far from his promises.


In non-inauguration news, things are back to normal. I got my meds eventually, and felt better within hours of taking them. Of course, I wasn't completely back to myself for about two days, but it was certainly better than the days that had come before. It scares me, the way that this chemical inbalance in my brain can so alter my perception and my physical reality; it scares me to the point where I hear the things I say and examine the emotions I feel and look around, expecting to find real self floating above my corporeal self. A kind of mini out-of-body experience.

Last Friday a group of us went to see what I call "Adrienne's Cabaret" at NewRep. She was an AD on the production, which happens to be one of the Artistic Director's last, and did an outstanding job. The show was marvelous. I saw the movie version years ago, but so far gone were all the details from my mind that I was essentially seeing it for the first time. And I'm so glad I got the chance!

The next night, Saturday, Yuval and I headed over to the Agganis Arena at BU to watch their men's hockey team battle it out with Boston College's. The tickets were a present to Yuval from my parents, and we had great seats. I was surprised at how well I could tell the difference between NHL and Division I hockey, even down to the little things. It was a lot of fun, even though the Hood ice cream stand gave us melting ice cream as a result of broken freezers. BU won 5-2, which was sort of expected (they are ranked #2 in the nation), but we had been secretly cheering for BC. The experience confirmed one thing above all else, though: I officially love hockey and will watch it live or on TV. It's as exciting as tennis for me (which I realize is something that's boring as all get out for most people), and that's saying a lot.

I also started my Chinese Level II class last week. However, I'm now taking it at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Harvard Square. I was a little lost the first class as they use a different textbook than what I'm used to, but it all came back to me very quickly. I think I'm going to like this new place much more. Anyone in Boston, you should definitely check out the CCAE--they have 100's of classes in things ranging from cooking to languages to dancing. And they're a non-profit, so you'll be supporting a good cause at the same time!

Starting January 26th and continue into April, I will be taking Beginning Hip Hop at BU's FitRec center twice a week. I'm so excited! I finally gave in to what I've known for a while: I can't pursue any kind of solo excerise/fitness program. I need to be a part of a group/team effort, where every session I learn something new that builds on something I previously learned. BU's dance classes are very cheaply priced considering how frequent and long the sessions are, so I think I'll be sticking with them for a while. And once I get my sister's car in March, I think I'll start making more use of my YMCA membership by going to the one closer to my house (but inaccessible by T). Physical fitness, here I come!

Arrested Development (Season Two)
Battlestar Galactica (Season Three)

Crossing Midnight: The Blade in the Soul (Volume 3) by Mike Carey
Jamilti and Other Stories by Rutu Modan
Scalped: Dead Mothers (Volume 3) by Jason Aaron
Predator's Gold (The Hungry City Chronicles Book 2) by Philip Reeve

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Keeps Gettin' Better

Readers, the last two days have not been fun for me. Not because of anything anyone has done, or anything at work. Rather, they've been awful because I was stupid and didn't order a refill of my medication in time and was left without it for four nights straight. Perhaps with most medicines this isn't a big deal, but going cold turkey with the med I'm on leads to some really wonky things.

For instance, my brain becomes detached from my body.

Not literally, of course, but it might as well have been sitting in a jar these last two days. You know that feeling when you go to the beach and play in the waves all day and then that night, when you're trying to fall asleep, you still have the residual feeling of ebbing back and forth with the waves? Yeah, my brain's been feeling like that for two days. Except instead of gentle waves, they were like tsunami tidal waves. Seriously, it's messed with my balance as well as my concentration. It's not painful, per se, but definitely disorienting. Also, not being on my medication results in the severe breakdown of my ability to process and control my emotions.

A good example of how unstable I get? Yesterday I tried to get a free Coke with a manufacturer's coupon at the little cart in the lobby of my work building. The women who works there, Veronica, said they don't accept those kinds of coupons as a policy. I argued a little--how can you reject a manufacturer's coupon from The Coca Cola Company?--but relented because I knew it's not her personal choice. However, in the elevator back up to the 10th floor, I started crying because I was so upset and distraught. Over not getting a free 20oz. Coke. Not normal, right?

Yeah, I took today off from work so I could intercept my refill as soon as UPS delivered it and pop a pill. I'm feeling much, much better, but the wave feeling hasn't entirely gone away (not that I expected it to disappear magically). I also slept in until 1:11pm, which apparently my body needed because this is the least ill (re: head cold) that I've felt in a week. So, for the past four or five days, I've been living with three awful things in combination: my period, a complete lack of my medication, and a head cold. Not fun.

My medication regulates some hormones in my brain, and it treats my dysthymia. I've been taking various kinds of meds for this since my sophomore year in high school. The current one is the best I've ever had, as it doesn't make me super tired all the time. There have been times when I've gone without my pill for a day or two because I was stupid and forgot to ask my parents to reorder for me in high school or college. But this is by far the worst it's ever been, and has definitely taught me the importance of ordering refills way in advance of when you're going to need them.

So, the lesson learned? Don't fuck around with your meds, kids, because there's a reason you need a doctor to get them. Take as directed, y'all!

In news not related to my health, life is good. The weather in Boston has been absolutely bonkers lately, from warm to freezing to snow to rain to "wintry mix." Tomorrow I go to the dentist for my 6-month cleaning, so that should be a blast. Don't keep telling my not to eat Snickers, dudes, because they are too delicious to sacrifice for mere teeth. Friday I'm going to see the Actor's Shakespeare Project production of The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster, which any of you who took/have taken Renaissance Theater should know well and love. I mean, what's not to love about a play where brothers forbid their young sister widow to remarry, she marries her servant in secret immediately, he gets her pregs, all while crazy medieval shenanigans are afoot? Good times!

Hopefully I'll get to go swimming tomorrow, for the first time in about a month. The pool was closed last week for an annual cleaning, so I couldn't go. Instead I had a fight with a stairmaster machine, which I totally lost. Not doing that again. Speaking of exercise, for those who live in Boston and want to have fun whilst sweating, I've discovered a place in Central Square called The Dance Complex. It's a non-profit run by volunteers and part-time instructors and offers about 100 different kinds of dance/martial arts classes. I think I'm going to be signing up for the Zumba/Bellydance class that meets every Wednesday night. Most classes are drop-ins where you pay the instructor directly ($9-$14 a class), but some have deals where you get a discount if you sign up for a whole session. In short, it's completely awesome and needs to be checked out by anyone and everyone who wants to get in shape but have fun while doing so.

I'm currently listening to 98 Degrees's album "98 Degrees and Rising" on my Zune media player, one of many CDs that I finally got around to burning into MP3s. Man, I miss these boys. Cincinnati-bred, all of them!

Okay, I'm out. Stay healthy and be well, y'all! And remember to take all medications as directed by your Doc. :o)

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale
Fables: War and Pieces (Volume 11) by Bill Willingham
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara by James Gurney


Friday, January 2, 2009


Happy New Year! Are you still writing "08" on everything like me? It'll take at least a month before writing "09" becomes a subconscious thing for me. Happens every year, man.

I had a wonderful, relaxing Christmas back home in Cincinnati with the family. It was just the four of us, which isn't something that happens very often for holidays. We ended up eating dinner at my favorite Japanese restaurant, Kyoto, on Christmas Day. If Mom had cooked us the Christmas dinner she was planning, we wouldn't have eaten until 10pm because we didn't get back until early evening from seeing a movie (a tradition that has been upheld since I was little). I guess that makes us psuedo-Jewish, right? Or does that only count if you eat Chinese food on Christmas?

My parents and family came through again with fabulous gifts. Here I present an awards show for what some gifts won in certain categories.

Most Hilarious: the cell phone "corset" my aunt and uncle got me (a cell phone carrier in the shape of a ladies' bodice)
Most Nefarious: iTunes gift cards (dammit, now I have to give in to Jobs's evil empire ever so slightly!)
Most Practical: new bras (all the girls out there are with me on this one--so essential)
Most Erin-appropriate: Shark Week--The 20th Anniversary DVD Collection
Best Attempt (& Subsequently Returned): 2 super cute wool sweaters (I just...can't...wear...wool)

Like I said, it was a great Christmas. The present I'm the most obsessed with--bought with the money gained in the return of some items--is my red 30GB Zune. I'm fully aware that everyone considers the iPod to be the Epitome Of All That is MP3, and Zunes are supposedly for dorks. But since I'm not really interested in playing Solitaire or browsing the internet while I'm listening to music, the Zune was the obvious choice. Also, have I mentioned how much I hate Apple? If people ask, I'll detail all the reasons why in a future post.

Right now I'm in the laborious process of ripping all the CD's I want on my Zune to my computer. Oh, CD's. I remember when you were so cool, you were ice cold. I pray you come back in vogue someday, like original LP's, so I can impress my grandkids with my nearly mint edition of the Black Eyed Peas "Monkey Business" CD.

And because I am my mother's daughter, I've already sent out all my Thank You cards for presents received. Happy now, Mother?

I also saw/watched a lot of movies over the holidays. A lot. Like 7 in 4 days. What can I say? My family's idea of quality bonding time is sitting down to watch a Brendan Frasier film or seeing the latest Jim Carrey movie. Which is all fine by me, as I secretly want to see all these things but am either 1) too cheap to see them, 2) too ashamed to see them, or 3) a combination of 1 & 2.

2009 feels a lot like 2008, although that may be because January 1st was a Thursday and I had to go back to work today. So the old year and the new year fell in the same work week, and something magical is lost when you have to enter it on your timesheet that way. I did, however, have a rockin' New Year's Eve, though not with Dick Clark (aka the Cylons' latest model). First Yuval and I hit up a party in Newton Center at the house of some of his co-workers and my friends from kickball. It was great to see them, now that we don't have a weekly game of kick-ass to play until Spring.

Then we braved the T for over an hour to get up to Davis Square, and made it to Tim's house 30 seconds before the ball dropped. I barely had time to drop my coat and grab a plastic cup of Andre before Times Square exploded in confetti and performances by Fergie. We stayed until about 2am, when we had to leave before the T shut down for the night. The walk back to Yuval's house from Porter Square left my feet both numb and frozen in pain from the cold. It was to the point where the only remedy was a soak in hot water, a pair of wool socks over a pair of regular socks, and Yuval lying on my feet to warm them with body heat. Times like that are why I have come to loathe winter and weep during the last days of autumn.

In honor of the new year, I've decided to list the things that I see as my major accomplishments of 2008. Kitschy, but I get a slight feeling of pride from comparing where I am now to where I was a year ago.

- Started exclusively dating a guy I met via the Internet. Am with that same guy still. :o)
- Filed my income taxes by myself for the first time. Ever.
- Quit my first real grown-up job.
- Saw a Bruins game at TD Banknorth Garden.
- Got my second real grown-up job.
- Negotiated/planned/paid for everything for moving out of my first apartment and into my second.
- Found a fabulous apartment via Craigslist.
- Furnished said apartment.
- Bought a gardenia plant, and have kept it alive.
- Opened a 403 (b) retirement investment account.
- Started swimming again.
- Took a Chinese class on a whim, and discovered that I liked learning the language.
- Voted in my first Primary election.
- Voted in the first General election where my guy won.
- Got two opinion letters published in Boston Metro.
- Bought a new laptop completely with my own money.
- Started repaying my student loans.
- Realized that I was making too big a deal of where/what I wasn't instead of focusing on where/what I am.

Anyone else got any big accomplishments they'd post on the fridge if they were translated into kindergarten drawings?

I hope everyone has a totally rad start to 2009. And don't freak out if you've already broken your New Year's Resolution--they were never meant to be taken seriously.

State By State: A Panoramic Portrait of America edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey

Yes Man
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Get Smart
A Christmas Story
Tropic Thunder