Whiny McWahWahWah

If you don’t want to hear me piss and moan about my headache, go ahead and take off now. I’m over the 3 week mark with this migraine, and while I’ve been doing pretty well with the optomism, a girl has her limits. For those who read my blog but don’t have access to my Facebook, the status is this: all symptoms remain, MRI and bloodwork scheduled for Friday. Neurologist is thinking it’s either something viral or possibly meningitis. If MRI is inconclusive, I will need a spinal tap.

redfordPlus side: I have an excuse to go to bed early, half-watch copious amounts of the lowest form of Crime Drama (I’m plowing through Numbers as I crash currently), and sleep about 10-12 hours/day when the option allows.

Negative: My appetite has 2 phases: Nausea or FREAKINGFEEDMENOW. I either want to get sick, feel like if I eat something bland like Rice Chex I’ll feel better, or want to eat all the things. Granted, the nausea at least keeps things interesting, since normally I’m either super hungry or kinda hungry. The fact that I can’t seem to work out without feeling like I’m about to blow a blood vessel in my forehead does NOT make me feel good about the upswings in appetite.

I don’t even know what this means: it’s doubtful I will usher in 2015 awake. Jeff and I are going to a friend’s party tomorrow night, but we’re already not expecting to see midnight there. Whether we retain our yearly tradition of stopping at our favorite watering hole for a token NYE drink before scurrying home, or just hop in bed and likely receive my New Year’s Kiss from Duncan is yet to be seen. It’s been a long time since I’ve been asleep when the New Year rang in, but I’m not really sad about the possibility that I’ll miss it.

The Neurologist did give me some new meds today. It’s an old school antihistamine that has a side effect of reducing headache. In perusing the literature provided by my pharmacy, it turns out that the side effects are literally every other symptom I’m experiencing: dizziness, nausea, reduced appetite, vision issues, fatigue. So I may have a slightly smaller throb in my temples, but likely I’ll either faint or be otherwise too unconscious to enjoy it. Whee.

I will make a ploy for the “Husband of the Year” award for Jeff, though. I would probably have stopped with one doctor visit and convinced myself that this is all in my head without him. He came to my Neuro appt today and will be going along for my MRI. He brings me my pills, encourages me to sit on my butt, and reminds me that my plan to go to the gym is probably not the best idea. I’m pretty sure without him, I’d have blown a vessel on the cardio suite floor and probably wouldn’t be alive to type this. Thanks, Jeff, for all you’re doing to make sure my brain doesn’t explode. But, if we have to enact Operation: Terminal, there’s nobody I’d rather spend my last days crossing Europe with.

Which Team Are You On?

Which Team Are You On? That question sounds super serious. But before I explain myself, I have an important annoucement. Cannonball!

I’m a bit of a pop culture connoisseur. My friends call on me for trivia wins. I will admit to receiving a few weekly entertainment magazines in the mail. I have a mind that works overtime, and my brain likes some mental popcorn every so often to balance things out. I’ve thought in the past that it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure, something to hide. I haven’t blogged a lot lately because my fitness routine has been pretty steady. Go to gym over lunch, use X machine for Y minutes, repeat. I thought fitness, healthy cooking, and a dash of sass were all I had to contribute here, and that’s not true. Or, even if it is true, I’m going to direct that sass to a broader topic list. I hope everyone who subscribes can find something to relate to here on occasion, and if you can’t-that’s OK too. But there’s a billion fitness bloggers out here, and what makes us unique are our thoughts, our voice. And that can apply to the day I watched Bones on the AMT machine just as much as me parked on the couch binge watching Carnivale.

So, what team ARE you on? Recently, I’ve been reading Amy Poehler’s book “Yes Please”. She offers her life story, a few dashes of advice, and a dose of perspective. I’ve read most of the funny girl books out there-Amy’s, Tina’s, Mindy’s, and Lena’s is on deck next. Hell, I even read Neil Patrick Harris’ book. What I’ve found is that either consciously or unconsciously, their voices tend to mirror their on screen personas. Mindy Kaling is a sassy Indian lady who was raised in that environment, has dealt with body image issues and is, in my opinion, a pretty awesome breath of fresh air on the subject. Tina Fey is equal parts hilarious and self effacing. Neil’s was charming and polished. And Amy’s had a virtual quote party going on with me, there’s been plenty of nuggets that I’ve wanted to share, just like there’s a bunch of Parks and Rec Quotes I’ve repeated fifty times. But here’s the thing: her book seems the most sterilized of the 3. She’s distanced herself from her very subject matter. Considering that it’s her own life, that’s a bit odd. But there’s a lot of tricks included-fancy titles, advice, cautionary tales that making it big took a lot of hard work.

It makes sense, really. Jeff and I have been on a bit of a binge ourselves lately. We like to find a series that’s been around for a while, has maybe 5-7 seasons on Netflix, and watch it as we fall asleep. I like to blame my years as a single woman for my sleepy time TV addiction-if I fall asleep to the sounds of Gil Grissom or Mariska Hargitay, I won’t wonder what every noise I think I hear is. But the truth is that my mind just runs in circles, and an exact science of TV I’ve seen before but won’t get too hooked into is necessary for it to quiet, anticipate what’s coming next, and fall asleep. I know there’s lots of talk lately about how screen time is ruining our lives, but it convinces me that a zombie is not in fact entering my home just as I doze off, I’m cool with it. Lately, we went through all of 40 Rock and are nearly done with back episodes of Parks and Rec. Jeff has found his spirit animal in Ron Swanson, but I’m more of a Liz Lemon kind of girl. My shit is simultaneously together and not together. I’d be more apt to herd a group of inept coworkers through the big <insert event here> than I would be to stay up all night preparing a speech. I’m all for civic involvement and making a difference, but I’m more likely to evade jury duty by acting like Princess Leia.

So, in the Team Amy vs Team Tina debate, count me soundly on Team Tina. I didn’t even bring Team Mindy into play, because really: who is that hooked on Rom Coms and general obliviousness? I enjoy the Mindy Project, but only because she’s basically a parody and Danny makes me giggle. Anyway, maybe it’s because I’m a brunette, or I like the underdog, or whatever, but I think I’m pretty happy with my selection. I mean, I end up with James Marsters at the end, vs Adam Scott. I think I scored on that one!

Just Because…

Tonight, I looked around our house and thought “I feel happy”. And I couldn’t pinpoint why, so I decided to find a million tiny reasons instead of one big reason. Thus, I’m happy just because…

you are different person each day...

Because my husband leaves his clothes in the bathroom. EVERY. DAMN. MORNING. But I pick them up every day, and I put them in the laundry, and I wash them and I dry them and I put them away, and that act makes him feel loved.

Because every time I go into a bathroom, a dog comes to make sure I didn’t die in there.

Because I am exhausted, have a brain infection, and a relapse going on that makes me sorry I pushed myself the last week. But I also have a husband upstairs cooking me dinner while singing to the Violent Femmes at the top of his lungs.

Because I have a job, a family, friends, pets, even (especially?) a home that I love. And even though some days, pieces of that puzzle or the whole damn thing make me want to scream, but I wouldn’t trade any of them for anything else.

Because I have a few trusted friends I can vent to, who can vent to me, and who remind me that shit’s never that bad.

Because it’s Christmas, and the only lists I have to worry about are the things we need for the house, the upcoming semester, and how they affect my travel lists. And that’s a good thing.

This list could be longer, but I have a freaking brain infection and I’m tired. Please don’t judge me, or do. Whatever.


I Think I’m in Love…With Amy Poehler

It’s kind of an unrequited love. I mean, she doesn’t know about it or anything, but this kind of love really goes the distance. OK, but seriously. I settled in to my delightful warm bath after a long day of work and waiting for my doctor to call me back (even though HE NEVER DID AND I’M NOT BITTER) and cracked open my copy of “Yes, Please” by one Amy Poehler. I had not even made it through the foreward before I thought “I need to blog about this!”. Wisely, I decided to pare this down to 5 simple points.

1) The mention of how her parents double mortgaged their home twice to pay for her college tuition (and her brother’s) got me thinking…I don’t have kids, but I have thought about this before. It seems like a super duper giant leap of faith. I may be a big giant asshole, but I don’t think I could do that for my kids. And not because in this scenario I don’t love them and want them to succeed. But I remember how I was as an 18 year old starting college. I saw my little brother start college at 17. And the thought of myself being responsible for, conservatively, $10,000 a year for said young person to go to school just freaks me the crap out. I changed my major 5 times. And I was responsible about it! How the hell a parent trusts their child to make the right choices or is just OK with throwing money out there until they “find themselves” takes an extraordinary amount of faith in someone. I barely have that in myself or my husband, let alone an 19 year old who hasn’t experienced nearly enough of the world to know what they want to do with their life. And I’m pretty sure Amy’s on board with me on this-her suggestion that we start kids that age with what they *don’t* want to do and make their way towards their inevitable what they DO want to do makes good sense.

2) Treat that voice in your head that says mean things like it’s talking shit about your best friend. Genius! Hey, jerk, leave Laura alone! She knows her eyebrows are out of control and that she should really even out her skin tone with some makeup. She’ll do it when she has time and not a second sooner.

3) She suggested how awesome it is to spend your thirties without children. I wholeheartedly agree. Go have a decadent dinner at the restaurant everyone (or nobody) is talking about. Go for a vacation with your other childless friends. Learn that (painting, surfing, craft a freaking wreath) that you always wanted to, but thought was uncool in your twenties. Your thirties are for cautiously throwing a bit of your “give a damn” to the wind and trying things without fear that people will find you less cool because you’re a bomb ass knitter. Spoiler alert: they will probably just want you to make them a hat.

4) Decide your currency. In her world, that meant what she trades on as an actress-hot chick, nerdy chick, funny chick-and let go of what you will never be or have no interest in being. It’s easy to be convinced because that cool chick you met once does Iron Man Triathlons, that you should be THAT GIRL too, but if you can’t swim it may never happen. Once you embrace the thing about you that you love most and let go of the things you really aren’t interested in being, you’ll be happier for it. I’m sarcastic, I run a bunch, and I enjoy more TV than I should. OK, and wine. Those are my currency, and probably why you’re reading this blog. You don’t expect makeup tips from me. I won’t be giving a youtube tutorial on how to waterfall braid your hair. I probably can’t even tell you  how to grow the best tomatoes (though Jeff could probably guest post on that for us). But I know that about myself, and even though sometimes I will dabble in all of those things in private, I will never claim they are my most authentic self and try to be known for such things. And you know what? I’m cool with that.

5) Lastly, and most important, she asked Betty White once what she most wanted to do after a taping of SNL. She replied that she was going home to “a vodka on the rocks and a cold hot dog”. Amen, sister. You get to that age, you know what you like. Yeah, I’m aware that my strange love for popcorn and Pinot Grigo isn’t all that common. You know what? Who cares. At the end of the day, I’m the one going home to those things, and I’m cool with them. Jeff’s cool with them. Your home is your happy place. I had a moment of “inspiration” tonight-usually after aforementioned bath ritual, I secretively dry my hair, straighten it or put it into a ponytail, and only then do I emerge. Tonight, I looked in the mirror and said “Jeff loves me. I love me. If I want to go write a blog instead of getting pretty to make dinner and go to bed, I think we’re all cool with it.”

And just because Jeff sat next to me as I wrote this and only twice asked what was for dinner, he wanted me to include a Ron Swanson gif for all my male readers. Yeah, both of you. Get a load of this:

Namaste, bitches!

How DO I do it?

If you know me in real life, you know I have had a rough few days. Sunday, I had my regular deep tissue massage. I have them every 3 weeks-they feel a little like this:

They’re pretty necessary for me, though. My rhomboids are always knotted up beyond anything I can beg my husband to do. Our conversations usually go as follows:

Laura-“Jeff, will you rub my shoulders?”

Jeff-*dutifully reaches over to shoulder blades* “Jeez, it’s like there’s a stick poking out of your back!”

Repeat. I’m normally a pretty tense person-I collect my stress, insecurity, and worry, ball it up, and place it directly into my back. Add to that my desk job, tendency to sleep curled up tighter than a roly poly bug, and brutal workouts and you get some serious musculoskeletal issues. I am a fairly practical and cheap lady, so spending money on massage, however necessary, has been a guild inducing expense. I have bought about every Groupon for massage I could get my hands on, and I usually end with the same result-they come out after the massage, shrug their shoulders, and say “I tried”. Finally, a friend of ours graduated massage school and I wanted to give him a shot. And I think he’s really helping. Deep tissue isn’t the most relaxing thing on earth-there’s been a few times I didn’t know if I’d puke or cry. But I do feel better afterwards, even though I’m pretty sore the next few days. And this week was no different-I was more knotted up this time than I was for our first session! Came home, crawled under my heated blanket (AKA the best thing EVER) and took a Sunday afternoon nap. Felt a little off the rest of the night but didn’t think too much of it.

Monday, I woke up with a migraine. I had the beginnings of one the Monday prior, but chased it away with meds. Same thing that Friday. but this one seemed to have caught up with me. Most of Monday was a blur-came home from work, hid in my dark bedroom, made Jeff warm me up some soup while BOTH dogs kept an eye on me. When it was both dogs, I probably should have known it was more serious than a migraine. Duncan will stay close to me no matter what, but generally when I’m sick Foster gives me space. He’s such a genteel, prissy dog I imagine he’s telling me “damnit, woman, get yourself together! I’ll come back when you’re in control.” Thought I was better enough to head to our weekly Monday dinner, but the second I stepped into a well lit room, I recoiled in horror. I curled up on our host’s couch in my husband’s hat to block out the light until it was time to go home. Tuesday was even worse-I was supposed to teach at the gym but there was no way. Head still throbbing, still dizzy, I convinced my power pump class to lift on their own and crawled back into bed.

I got up Wed morning and really thought I was OK. But once again, bringing myself into the fluorescent lights of the office turned out to be more than I could take, and Jeff insisted I call my dr. 3 day headaches just don’t happen. So I headed home and napped until my appointment this afternoon. A few simple tests later, with a blood and UA test to confirm, I had a diagnosis: Viral Encephalitis. I’d heard the two words, but never in succession. It’s basically a virus that gives you flu symptoms but also attacks your brain with a viral infection.

Only me, right? Nobody else I know could end up with such an off the wall ailment. Doc told me to stay home until Monday, not sure if that was for my own sake or because it can be contagious, but with a viral infection I won’t take the chance of making anyone sick. Today I was feeling a bit better, I was awake a bit more today than the previous days. The dogs are still stuck to me like glue, though-it’s really sweet to look down and know they’re keeping an eye on me. Selfless little buggers.

So, anyway, Laura’s crazy, but now I can blame it on my poor inflamed brain! More when the swelling goes down!

5 things before & after

Jeff’s on the phone with his mom, trying to hash out when we will have our Christmas with them. And it got me to thinking…so here’s the result:

5 things that change when you get married:

1: Saturday Night:
single-lets get dressed up, leave home around 10, stay out till 230, and regret things the next day!
married-stretch pants, cheap wine, HBO Go.

2: Holidays:
single-MOMMY! Have me over and feed me and give me stuff.
married-well, if we do your family x day and move my family to y day…

3: Dinners:
single: well, this popcorn looks good…
married: what do you want? I dunno, what do you want? *hours pass, stalemate is won, dinner consumed*

4: Bedtime:
single: king sized bed? Room for me, my dog, and my dog’s dog to sprawl out and crash!
married: *wife wakes up at 4 AM-you all are smothering me with your love! LITERALLY! Sighs and falls back asleep in fetal position. *

5: Watching TV:
single: project fashion survivor of the amazing race? Crime crime procedure funny time!
married: scans netflix. Scans netflix. Scans netflix. Settles on show we’ve both watched before. Both parties roll over and fall asleep.