And now for something light…

I can’t sleep.

Shocking.

So I decided my blog needs a button. I’ve reached the point where I’m getting tens of readers a day, so I feel it’s definitely time. (For those less familiar, that would be my self-deprecating humor at work.)

I am also AWESOME at graphic design (sarcasm), especially after I’ve had like 8 hours of sleep in the past 72. So I decided instead of getting more sleep, to stay up doing these.

Question – be BRUTALLY honest. Do you like any of these? Are any halfway decent enough that you would consider imbedding the design on your own blog to share the love? Do the fonts need work? What do you hate and what do you hate more?

Don’t let my increased vulnerability after this week’s events get in the way of honest feedback. I can take it. I’m tough as nails these days.

No frame:

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Frames:

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PS – A delightful little cheat for those of us that get annoyed when new versions of Photoshop come out (rather than excited by the “new” features) – I made all of these in Keynote. (For the true squares out there, it’s like Powerpoint, but for Mac people.) Keynote makes editing images like these a breeze.

All You Need Is Love (And Narcotics)

Yes, in 48 hours my chemical makeup has reversed from 80% snark, 20% sap to the other way around.

(Meanwhile, Aaron’s chemical makeup has also shifted to include a much larger percentage of pain meds – not that he ever normally takes narcotics – whatever, enjoy the parallelism.)

Bear with me, or skip this post entirely if you’d rather wait for my usual sardonic, self-deprecating, shopaholic posts.

BECAUSE.

Because, I feel like it just needs to be said – typed out for posterity – for the whole world and especially the people in my life to hear.

BECAUSE.

Because you are amazing.

I’ve always known my life was filled with family and friends and coworkers and bosses and my husband’s friends and coworkers and bosses that truly, deeply cared and gave a shit about us.

288_716712470380_3989_nAfter the week I’ve had, I now know it more than ever. And honestly, it’s overwhelming. The phone calls, the texts, the offers of help. I think it would take all of my fingers and toes to count the number of people that have made open-ended, anything-you-need offers of help in any way they can.

And, even though Aaron may tell you differently at this point in the diagnostic process, this isn’t the end of the world. No one is dying, no one has cancer. But just the fact that there are so many people in our lives would jump at the chance if they could to alleviate any pain – physical or emotional – just to see me and Aaron happy and healthy is absolutely extraordinary.

While I hope and pray that none of you ever need it, I do hope and pray that I am given the opportunity to do the same for each and every one of you.

BECAUSE.

Because my life is blessed for knowing you.

Seeing is believing.

I’ve been blessed in my life to have a somewhat limited experience with the emergency room. Even more limited as the healthy on-call adult accompanying an in-distress family member.

In fact, I can count them on one hand –

  1. Middle sister – allergic reaction to walnuts (took her to urgent care)
  2. Little sister – fell down the stairs and cut open leg (called an ambulance)
  3. Husband – reaction to toxin in ill-kept (at a fancy restaurant, no less!) ahi tuna (met him in the ER after a fun police escort to the hospital – this was back when he was still working with the DA’s office)
  4. Husband – Sunday and today.

In those moments I’ve learned there are a handful of things you can SAY that will get you to the top of the triage list – words like “chest pain” or “anaphylaxis.”

Leg pain is not one of them.

No, most of the time, doctors need to see urgency to believe it. Pallid or reddened or splotchy or green skin. Bloody kitchen towels rapped around appendages, and fainting on queue. Burns and boils and anything that sounds like it was a Biblical plague. I’ve never seen anyone throw up while being processed in the ER, but I’m pretty sure all it gets you is a new accessory for the waiting room – your own lap-size trash can.

After an ambulance ride because Aaron physically couldn’t make it to the car without falling over in pain, and five long, long long hours laying on a stretcher in the ER wing, Aaron was finally seen by a doctor who actually made some progress on managing Aaron’s pain, instead of just taking blood samples and filling out forms. The man was wincing in pain like I’ve never seen him before. In the past 30 years of his young life, he has broken bones, suffered concussions, cuts, sprains, even been hospitalized for cellulitis they thought was MRSA at one point. He’s tough as they come, and this was bringing him to his knees.

But because he’s tough and he doesn’t let on, and the hospital was busy, and Lord knows what other higher priority incidents were coming in, we waited. In his misery, in my mental anguish. We waited and waited.

At the beginning of this whole ordeal, which also included a visit to the ER on Sunday afternoon/evening/night, Aaron kept reiterating that there was no point to go in, and he just wanted to go home. My argument was that even if he wasn’t improving now (or for the next 5 hours of his visit), he certainly wasn’t going to improve at home.

While I still stand by my statement (and the proof of its intent as I sit in Aaron’s hospital room, watching him move a little more comfortably, talk a little bit more, grimace a little less) I can’t help that my faith in our health care system is shaken.

Now, doctors and nurses and everyone down to those that change the bed sheets are nothing short of heroes, and are deserving of respect and gratitude for what they do every day.

But, in my head, in my previous experience, and in every movie I’ve seen, getting this person you love to the hospital IS the goal. If you can just GET them there, the professionals will swarm over them and quickly alleviate what ails you on the course to building a full treatment plan.

What’s unnerving is the truth. The truth that we live in an imperfect world. Regardless of politics or policy or whatever country you are receiving medical care in – that care is provided in an environment where the ideal scenario rarely is.

And accepting this truth in some ways is similar to but much worse than accepting your own mortality. Because it’s accepting that help, though wished upon you, is not always available. That there are barriers and politics and lack of research and lack of knowledge and lack of hours in the day to make everything all better.

Now I feel like I am talking about a different experience. The one where my mom has been suffering from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue for the last two years. For two years of all those same waiting rooms and tests and lack of attention or belief in the urgency of what’s happened to her.

Maybe all any of us can ever do is pray. Maybe that’s what I’m supposed to learn from these handful of experiences. That when you’re the on-call adult in the situation, you turn to someone who will always be there to swarm over you and alleviate your soul’s pain on the course to building a full treatment plan.

Necessities.

Every PR girl needs a retro silk shirt with telephones on it, aka the perfect shell for a power suit.

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courtesy: Anthropologie (of course)

Also, I’m pretty sure every PR girl/writer needs a mid-century mod desk like this:

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Which, if the Craigslist seller does not respond to me soon, I may have an absolute aneurism waiting to see if I will actually be able to make it mine. (Did I mention they only want $65 for it??!!!!)

Because, really, what modern American twenty-something whose teeth were cut on the girl power of the Spice Girls, fueled by the woman power of Madeleine Albright (my personal hero as a child, along with Garbage’s Shirley Manson – yes, I realize a weird combo) and cured and set by the lasting influence of Gloria Steinem, wouldn’t want to live out some well-groomed but power-packed newsroom fantasy a-la His Girl Friday?

Annex - Grant, Cary (His Girl Friday)_02 cary-grant-his-girl-friday-2

 

Yep, I’m pretty sure Rosalind Russell would approve.

She’s just being Miley.

For those of you living under rocks (and rightfully so as there as some things you just can’t unsee) the blogo-tweeto-everythingo-sphere has been blowing up today, sharing things we all were thinking about one of the most abysmal MTV Video Music Awards performances in quite a while.

First, there’s this recap of the horror that was 3 or so minutes of Miley’s onstage debut as a TOUGH, REAL ADULT WHO’S TOTALLY ALLOWED TO CURSE AND PASS UP A CURFEW AND DO BAD THINGS – FOR THE RECORD! (Lest there be anyone who attempts to stand in the way of her “artistic evolution”)

Followed by this wonderful, amazing blog post speaking to Miley about her sad guesses as to what it means to be grown-up and still cool. (Written by someone who I consider both grown-up and pretty dang cool.)

Then there’s of course, this obvious Michael Keaton/Robin Thicke “Who Wore It Better” spoof

As well as 22 Things Miley Cyrus Looked Like at the 2013 VMA‘s

But I have to say (as much as it pains me) that there is one comparison I feel has been overlooked.

And I HATE to even make it, because hairstyle is really where the comparison ends, and this woman is one of my own adolescent rock idols.

BUT, doesn’t anyone else remember this phase of Gwen Stefani’s career?

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We all make mistakes – some can even be described as quite spectacular and with an impressive amount of forethought. I suppose this gives us hope for Miley’s future fashion choices (or choice to actually listen to a stylist), but as for the rest of her choices – aren’t there enough cautionary tales to choose from regarding “teen star grows up” scenarios that you don’t have to experience them yourself?

Le sigh.

Cray Cray

This OCD moment is brought to you by the letter “C” for crazy.

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The rate at which I’ve been purchasing nail polish these days has begun to outpace my chapstick problem and is entering the hoarders zone. So I decided to gather them all in one place and display them to curb the spending, and ya know, reassure myself that I do in fact have enough shades (five to be exact) of mint green.

The extent to which this picture gives me glee is disturbing.

How to become less of an “all or nothing” kind of person.

c5d816cd18ec1aaa4428daa732edc9a6Recent opportunities presented and lost have thrown me for a loop this past month. After allowing myself to believe we might be moving back to Houston sooner than planned, the crash and burn has meant forcing myself to adopt the “grow where you’re planted” mentality, rather or not I’m 100% onboard with the prospect.

The good news is, I feel for the first time in, oh, 13 months? that I’m starting to build something here. I joined the local Junior League, I made some friends. I have commitments to volunteer, and places to be. I got a YMCA membership. Hell, I even joined a fruit & veggie co-op. (And my juicer comes in the mail today! Who am I?)

Comfort zone be damned, I’m trying like crazy to put down roots so I don’t always feel completely adrift.

I think what’s helped me more than repeating this annoying mantra of “grow where you’re planted” is to try to see life as less linear and more a collection of days. Living days in sequence causes more black and white thinking – I’m here or I’m not, I’m on a diet or I’ve ruined it, life is or isn’t exactly what I want when I want it.

Because when you think of your life as a collection of days, there are less stepping stones, less waiting for something to happen, and no ruining of diets or goals. Instead, like a game of cards, you focus on collecting more good days than bad.

Even if life doesn’t immediately become exactly what I want it to be, and I can’t control or know when I will get certain things out of it, I do know that I have infinite good days ahead, available for my own choosing.

From the Archives: Lady of the House

I realized recently that I have 68 posts in draft, unpublished and lingering like an overdue bill (some of them for years).  Three down, 65 to go.

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Editor’s Note: This post was written exactly 5 years ago today – crazy to think about. Also, I can sense why I never took this live in the first place. Amazing how many mountains and molehills we traverse in half a decade – most of which are indistinguishable from each other at the time.

* * *

August 21, 2008 

“Lady of the House”

Week one of law school and I am still jobless.

I am mired in the exact circumstances I job hunted to avoid. All deadlines I set for myself have passed-
find a job by graduation
find a job before the wedding
find a job the week after the honeymoon
find a job by the time we move into our new apartment
find a job by August 1
find a job by the time Aaron starts law school
honestly, I don’t know what other goal to set.
Find a job by Christmas?
Just find a job.

From the Archives: Slimer in the Ice Machine

I realized recently that I have 68 posts in draft, unpublished and lingering like an overdue bill (some of them for years).  Two down, 66 to go.

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Dear Lord, look at what I kept in my freezer. Sigh, the good ol’ days when I used to eat like a college kid, and was still skinny. Thirty more pounds later, all that’s in my freezer these days is tilapia and steamable bags of veggies. *Lament*

* * *

August 22, 2008 

“Slimer in the Ice Machine”

All night long I kept hearing those damn ice cubes drop. All night long I listened to them fall one at a time like little bricks. And in my sleepy stupor I had convinced myself I was just being oversensitive to sound. The way fan blades and blanket rustles can sound like helicopters and dump trucks when you are that tired.

But sure enough, the next morning when I went for my Eggos:


Call the Ghostbusters. That thing is possessed.

128 days until Christmas

(Or if you’re reading this later, go here for an up-to-the-second caclulation: xmasclock.com)

But I’m already ready already.

I also proved this weekend that you can class up an ebay find with a picture frame AND make your own mat with fancy poster board from Hobby Lobby and an exacto knife. (At least I derived some practical value out of all those advertising classes where you had to cut foam core for every presentation.)

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Ain’t it perdy? Totally something I can hang up now, right?

From the Archives: Collect All 4

Today I realized I have 68 posts in draft, unpublished and lingering like an overdue bill (some of them for years). So here’s one. One down, 67 to go.

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Editor’s Note: October 15, 2008 was my first official day as a full time employee at my current job.

 * * *

October 14, 2008

“Collect All 4”

At one point or another, I have convinced myself I was just like one of the four women from Sex and the City.  I started out Carrie- flawed, neurotic writer, hungry for a pair of shoes. I went through spells of Miranda, cynical and biting, shoving off everyone. Everyone one of my friends seems convinced I am Charlotte- endlessly clinging to what is “right.” For better or for worse, never has anyone ever compared me to Samantha.

But I got ya now bitches, because I work in PR.

Austin Rocks.

Dear Diary,

Last weekend I went to Austin and bought rocks.

Well, that’s not all I did, but it’s the funniest part (to me) because my husband thinks I’m crazy and that you shouldn’t go to Austin because the hippies will get you and I’m particularly vulnerable to their subversive ways.

(Which is also funny because he is an Austin native and my sister, who like me is a native of Texas’ most corporate city (Houston), is the one who brought me to the rock store in the first place.)

Regardless of who coerced whom, I ended up at a place called Nature’s Treasures that had an outdoor quarry rock yard in the back, an on-site psychic/tarot card reader, and what I’m pretty sure was some sort of spiritual healing class happening that included meditation music (with whatever the drum equivalent of a rain stick is).

At one point I became separated from the group, and a salesperson noticed I looked confused. He showed me to the outdoor rock yard, saying they might be there. When we didn’t immediately spot them, he said “or there might just be something out here you were meant to see.”

But it’s hard to feel spiritual healing and hear cosmic messages when outdoors in Texas in the summer.

Unless you’re dehydrated.

And hallucinating.

Either way, I managed to find three things I couldn’t live without, which, only upon bringing them home did I realize that their hippy-chic appeal doesn’t really flow with my pseudo mid-century modern hoarders aesthetic.

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I suppose they work on the porch where there’s a stronger nature vibe going on.

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(Really, Lauren? A wind chime?)

Cute though, right?

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