Sunday, November 7, 2010

before kids...

I have an overwhelming number of friends who are about to start trying to have babies or are thinking about starting to try. I'm happy for them that they're at that point in their life, and they feel like this is a positive next step for them. However, these people are my age, and that kind of freaks me out. I can safely say that I am nowhere close to being ready to have a kid right now -- for a lot of reasons. I would need more financial security, have advanced more in my career, and I lack the necessary partner, etc. But I think one of the major reasons I'm not ready is there is so much I want to do BEFORE I have kids. So I've started a "bucket list," but instead of wanting to accomplish all of this before I die, I want to do it before I have a kid. I'm sure it will grow as I think of new things...

1. skydiving
2. cross-country trip
3. a really long backpacking/river float trip
4. go to Vegas
5. lots more all-night dance parties
6. get another dog
7. go to Spain for a month (or three) and make random plans once I'm there
8. go to and graduate from grad school
9. get lost somewhere in the middle of the United States
10. go on a Mediterranean cruise or even a Caribbean cruise
11. brew and drink my own beer
12. build a treehouse...
13. get my owl and pura vida tattoos
14. a couple more music festivals

That's what I thought of in a 10 minute period, but, like I said, I'm sure as time goes on, I'll have more to add. I don't want to make it seem like I think being a parent is a boring, life-sucking thing. I don't necessarily think that... I just think there are a lot of things you might not be able to do once you have a kid. So...I'd like to get on that. Perhaps I'll start with the easiest ones...tattoos, beer brewing, and skydiving.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I've been thinking about it lately, dating that is. I blame this on seeing the movie "Eat, Pray, Love". For those of you who haven't read the book or seen the movie, it follows a woman in her thirties (recovering from a divorce) as she basically discovers herself and becomes the whole person she can be before she can wholly love another. (kinda like the book "The Missing Piece Meets the Big O")

I definitely have (a lot of) hangups when it comes to dating. But seeing this movie did not make me want to work on these hangups, like it might make most women. No, instead I went home and decided it was finally time to clean out my book collection. This could be metaphorical....this could just be pragmatic. When I move, most of my boxes contain books.

At any rate, the first book I selected for judgment was "The Adjusted American: Normal Neuroses in the Individual and Society." I haven't read it yet, but it's supposed to examine modern day society and how we, as individuals, fit in. Coincidentally, the book fell open to the section concerning love. The author purports that contemporary romantic love is a projection of our own lackings onto the other person. We love about them what we cannot bring into the world. I see the logic in this. Hell, I might even agree with it to some degree.

Also noted is that (this was published in 1964), women are taught to NOT be masculine in the same way men are taught NOT to be feminine. And so, we were all taught to see these opposite traits in our mate. A big strong man for me, and a docile, cookie-baking wife for him. These gender traits were such defining characteristics of people, that their identities were often wrapped up in this. But society has changed SO much. Not only are we all a bit more narcissistic now, but the genders and their traits are much more fluid than they used to be. I think this part is good.

But what does that mean for finding a mate? When it is no longer clear what you are projecting into the world and what you're not, how can you find someone who fills in those gaps? Or, like in The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, should you even have these gaps? When one's gender characteristics are not necessarily distinguishable from one another, it becomes necessary to delve deeper. Few people have the patience for this. When people are so narcissistic and in love with themselves, is it even possible to see in others what you don't see in yourself?

I don't know. It's interesting though, especially given the rate of divorce today.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

people are strange when you're a stranger

I'd like to share a quote from my favorite show, "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Larry: "I don't like talking to people I KNOW, but strangers I have no problem with."

I wholeheartedly agree with Larry. I am (in)famous for striking up conversations with strangers. Some great things have happened as a result of this! Usually people who are willing to talk to a loud girl and carry on a conversation have something interesting to say. They don't always have GOOD things to say, but it's at least interesting in some form or fashion. I actually don't really consciously know WHY I love talking to strangers. I just do. I hope this comes in handy on the Alaskan cruise and at Pickathon. I think now my new buddy Jimmy and I are going to that together. Insanity ensues. Homeboy needs to buy his ticket though.

Speaking of Larry, last night I dreamed that I met him! This is probably the third or fourth dream I've had where I meet him, but this was by far the best. We were just two strangers talking to each other.

**I forgot to post this last night before going out with a friend. Incidentally, while we were out I started talking to a stranger from Irving, Texas! I love strangers!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's July...already?

The dreaded tonsillectomy has come and gone, and I managed to survive a jalapeno margarita last week, so I think I'm good on the throat front. Life has been pretty busy though!

In the past couple of months, I have:

1. Moved, again. Back to my old neighborhood -- perhaps I already mentioned this.
2. Bought a bike and have enthusiastically commenced riding. I ride to run errands, rike to work (sometimes), ride for fun, and best of all, ride in the middle of the night! Though I rode a bunch last Friday and effectively pinched a nerve due to my seat being wonky. I need to fix that.
3. not cared about the world cup
4. Made a new, fantastic friend with whom I have immense amounts of fun.
5. Attended and hosted lots of cookouts
6. devised an excellent plan to break my worst habit
7. dyed and cut my's a bit short
8. lost another 10 lbs (weaksauce...time to kick it in high gear)
9. found an excellent pancake recipe
10. developed a nice tan. i need to even it up though.

In the next couple of months I will:
1. Go on an Alaskan cruise with my mother and brother!
2. Attend Pickathon Music Festival for free (volunteering)! I'm going with a twitter/facebook friend who shares similar music tastes.
3. go camping several times
4. break my bad habit
5. lose 10 more lbs :-P
6. discover more, awesome music.

Life is pretty good. It's summertime. It's bound to be good. Kind of makes me dread winter, but we won't think about that!!

I'm considering going and doing pilates on the back porch...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tonsillectomy and Taste

I forgot to mention how my sense of taste has been totally distorted since the surgery! I think this is fairly common, and I've read it can take several months to restore everything back to normal. But for now, some of my favorite things are kind of repulsive. Like, for instance, one of my favorite beers! I almost gagged after drinking it. And then I had a pulled pork salad from Mucho Gusto today (which I get everytime I go, and I love it), and it was pretty horrible. Not everything is different, just some things. It's interesting, and kind of sad.

Tonsillectomy - Days 10-12 (On the Mend)

Day Ten
I FINALLY started to feel better on Friday! I could even tell a difference in my mood; it was great. I was still eating lame food, but I just felt looser in my throat. Also, I knew I had coughed up a lot of scab, so that meant they were well on their way to coming off! Because I talked so much at work during the day, I went out with a friend to a movie that night. Everytime I DID talk, it felt pretty sore. It was nice to have a good reason to get the giant blue raspberry icee though!

Day Eleven
Saturday was a good day. I woke up and wasn't in too much pain, so I waited to take painkillers until just before I ate! It worked out nicely. I made strawberry pancakes for brunch, and they were delicious. It was nice to eat something flavorful and yummy. Then I made some chips for a cookout I was going to that night. I was sure to take some Lortab before I ate at the cookout, so I was able to eat half a hamburger (!!), snow peas, brownies, and my chips. It was quite the awesome feast, though admittedly the hamburger was a bit painful going down. Then I talked way too much (of course!) for my throat. I was hurting, so when I got home I took an Oxy.

Day Twelve
Another good day! I was able to take painkillers only before eating, and I went to book club, where I talked minimally because my throat was still sore. But I got a mexican scramble, and that was tasty. I had leftover pancake mix, so I made pancakes for dinner. Those were fairly painless. Anyway, I was pretty excited about my progress! I feel almost totally healed. It still hurts like hell to yawn. After Day 14, I'll be able to workout again, so I'm really looking forward to that!

Friday, June 18, 2010

what it feels like

Lately I've been thinking about Luna a lot. She appears in practically every dream I have, and often she is the centerpiece of the dream. I think about her when I'm awake, and I'm still in shock that she's gone. I knew coming to terms with her absence would take a very long time, and I don't think I'm close.

But I've noticed that when I think about her, I feel a sensation all over my body. It's not just that I have a hole in my heart or my soul where she used to be; it feels as though every single cell that makes up my being is a bit empty. I can feel it in my skin, I can feel it inside my chest cavity, I can feel it in my head, and I can feel it in the blood that runs through me. It also feels like I'm reaching for something that's not there.

I know I sound crazy. And I know a lot of people think it's ridiculous to have this much difficulty grieving the loss of a pet, but that's sad to me that those people have missed out on the amazing bond and friendship that I had with Luna.

Tonsillectomy - Day 9 (Progress!)

My vow of silence for the day seemed to work well. I didn't experience any incredibly agonizing pain (but I definitely did have some intense pain...). Talking was next to impossible anyway. For lunch I ordered some mac and cheese, and I managed to eat some of that. Then in the afternoon, I kept clearing my throat/coughing up stuff -- including some blood, but just a minimal amount. After a call to the doctor's office, I was pleased with her assumption that my scabs are finally coming off. She told me to gargle ice cold water and keep an eye on it. Since then I have continued coughing up/clearing out some pink colored mucusy stuff. More scab coming off! I have monitored the progress with a flashlight and a mirror, and I'm seeing more and more new flesh in the back of my mouth. This is very exciting for me, as this means I'm healing. The pain of Day 8 is a thing of the past! I'm looking to the future now :-)

I made mashed potatoes tonight, and those hurt like hell to eat. Then I went to a friend's to play Scrabble (she beat me by 54 points, DEVASTATING), and I probably talked more than I should have. For some reason I'm wide awake right now -- this medicine really messes with me. I'm looking forward to a restful weekend.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tonsillectomy - Day 8 addendum

I would just like to say that last night I experienced the WORST pain yet. First of all, I couldn't eat the smoothie -- it hurt entirely too much. Then, later I was laying on my right side watching the show on my laptop when a horrible, searing pain started in the bottom/right corner of my throat. I couldn't see it by looking in a mirror, so I don't know what the hell was going on. It's been pretty tight feeling in that area, and it felt like a tiny gnome was pouring acid and lemon juice on my throat while another tiny gnome was gleefully sawing away at my flesh. Again, tears sprang to my eyes as I clutched my throat and just...waited. It went away a few minutes later, but it came back a couple of hours of later. I'm not sure what the deal was. I'm guessing a scab was coming off?

At any rate, it further confirmed my theory that I strained my throat too much yesterday with all of the talking. Silence for Thursday.

A side note: It's kind of frustrating the lack of patience/understanding people around me have. Some people are SO SHOCKED that I'm, not only NOT completely healed, but feeling worse. It's really annoying to have to explain to people several times that there are SCABS in the BACK OF MY THROAT and that they have to PEEL and FALL off. Believe me, if I was feeling better, I'd be eating. I'd be talking. I'd be laughing. Being able to do all of that far outweighs any pity I might feel from people who think I should be better but am not.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tonsillectomy - Days 7 and 8

Day Seven
WORST DAY YET. Immense pain upon waking up. I couldn't move my head, and I had tons of drainage to cough up. Coughing is horrible, by the way. You're not really supposed to do it... I headed into work anyway, although I was beginning to see why most people take off around 10 days from work. Despite Oxycodone and Lortab, I continued to hurt during the day. I couldn't eat my leftover spaghettios. It was difficult to drink. At one point I tried to swallow the spaghettios, and the pain was so bad, I started to cry. I was mostly just stunned by the burning, hacksaw feeling in my throat; tears were inevitable. I had also developed thrush on my tongue (gross, I know, but I'm trying to be honest here). I called the doc's office about the thrush, and then moved up my Lortab dose. Shortly thereafter, I became incredibly sick to my stomach. Sooo I left work, went home, and took the first anti-nausea pill. Then I fell asleep. and slept. and slept.

I woke up at 7:22 with sunlight pouring into my window. Naturally, I freaked out and thought I needed to get the heck out of bed and get ready for work. Lo and behold it was 7:22 PM. I headed to the pharmacy to get my Diflucan for the thrush, and I bought some Vitamin Water to get SOME nutrients. I took some more Lortab and examined my dining options. Finally I decided on finishing a half-eaten peanut butter cookie after sufficiently soaking it in milk. Then I took an Oxy, watched The West Wing on my computer, researched music, and fell asleep around midnight.

Day Eight (today)
I woke up with less drainage, so I was feeling kind of optimistic for the day. I was sure to stay medicated, so the morning was fairly tolerable at work. We had our staff meeting, which involved a lot of talking on my part. We also happened to be celebrating a coworker's 20th anniversary with our organization (!!), so we had ordered pizza. I took a Lortab dose, and prepared to chow down. I successfully ate a couple of pieces of pizza!! Even though I could only eat the topping and softest bread part (the bottom and crust were far too crunchy), it was still a major victory for me. However, her lemon-poppyseed cake with raspberry topping was a NO GO! It hurt. Then I just went into the office and tried to stay awake/do work despite pain meds. I came home, still feeling relatively okay and took a nap. When I woke up, I had an extremely tight, pulling, burning sensation in the back of my mouth that worsened every time I tried to speak. I think I overdid it at work with the pizza/excessive talking. So I've made myself a strawberry-banana-peach-apple juice smoothie, and I'm trying to eat that. The numbing effect is nice. Looks like the rest of the night I'll be watching The West Wing and floating on Oxycodone.

And I have taken a vow of silence for tomorrow. Still waiting for my scabs to fall off!! How long does that normally take?!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I had a tonsillectomy last Wednesday (June 9, 2010), and it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. As lame as it sounds, it's been hard to turn to friends and family for support as none of them have had a tonsillectomy as an adult and thus don't know what it's like. What HAS been helpful are the plethora of online blogs I've found by other adults who have experienced it, sharing their details. By looking at their patterns of pain and recovery, I have been able to see what is normal, what isn't, and what I can still expect. As such, I thought I'd dedicate this post and the next couple of posts to sharing the (sometimes REALLY gross) details of my recovery. My MOST IMPORTANT piece of advice is to KEEP TRACK of when you take your pain meds. I am horrible at keeping track of time, so this was essential for me to avoid an overdose.

Tuesday, The Day Before:
I did all of my shopping today. I purchased a gallon of sherbet, two bags of ice, 2 boxes of popsicles, a set of popsicle molds (and made Throat Comfort Tea popsicles), 3 boxes of Jello, liquid Tylenol 500 mg, applesauce, and apple juice. I also set up an account with the local pharmacy with my ID and insurance card so picking up the meds the next day would be easier. I stayed up late doing work, but I was sure not to eat after midnight. I probably should have had more water than I did though, to get an early start on hydration.

Day One:
I checked in for surgery at 7 am. Since I am living in Oregon alone, I asked a good, RELIABLE friend to pick me up after I was done with post-surgery recovery. I'm a pretty chipper person in uncomfortable situations, and this was no different. Making jokes with the hospital staff helped alleviate any nervousness I had. I was actually relieved to be there alone and not deal with anyone else. I napped for awhile after changing into my gown, then two separate nurses came in to ask me a set of questions, set up my IV, and give me lots of warm towels. The anesthesiologist came in to check on some things, then I met with the doctor briefly and asked her to phone my mother after surgery. She checked my tonsils again to make sure they were still the size of Texas, and shortly thereafter I was wheeled into the operating room.

I was elated to see all women staff: the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and the 2 nurses. I told them this made me happy, and as I was drifting off into my medical stupor, we made jokes about me dreaming of cabana boys serving me margaritas as I lay in my hammock. I liked the staff a lot.

When I woke up I was being wheeled from somewhere (op room?) to the first recovery room. I felt like I wanted to cry. Post-anesthesia depressive feelings are pretty normal, and I reminded myself of that. Still, I felt really sad and like the world was falling apart. Then I had some serious issues with post-nasal drip, a problem which would continue to plague me throughout my recovery. I was given ice chips and warm blankets. I rated my pain level at 4-5. I remained quiet and just tried to eat ice. Then I was wheeled into a second recovery room, where I was given an orange popsicle and water. Here I started to talk more, and I was told 3 times to stop talking :-). I was also convinced there was something stuck on the inside of my cheek, but it just turned out to be some extended cauterization I was feeling. It was unnerving. They gave me my first dose of Lortab, which was disgusting, but then I fell into a glorious sleep.

I woke up, took a stroll around the recovery floor with a strapping young CNA, and then my friend showed up to take me home. I was mostly feeling woozy and like I had just finished a marathon workout. My throat was sore, but nothing like what I expected. When my friend went to pick up my meds (we had to drop the prescriptions off), she also picked up three 32 0z bottles of gatorade for me, which was a good call! I rested for a bit, talked on the phone for a bit, and even ate some macaroni and cheese. I was feeling surprisingly great. I tried to stay hydrated, but I know I didn't drink as much as I should have. Still, I went to the bathroom a lot because of the IV fluids. I decided to sleep on the couch that night to stay upright.

Day Two
I woke up around 7 or 8 in a world of hurt on Thursday morning. I quickly took some pain meds, and felt better. I napped. I ate some leftover mac and cheese with little problem. I took more meds, I napped some more. I stayed on the couch most of the day. I ate some sherbet, but that ended up making me feel nauseated. I played on Facebook and all day. My pain level was around 5 throughout the day. The biggest problem I had was with drainage. I don't know if it was due to allergies or what, because I haven't read much on the interwebz about other people's problem with this, but it has been a problem with me. Between trying to blow my nose and get stuff out through my mouth, the drainage has been a problem. I slept on the couch again to try and keep this to a minimum. I said about 8 words all day.

Day Three
Friday was pretty much a replay of Thursday. I was beginning to feel VERY isolated. I cleaned out the fridge, washed some dishes, actually took a shower, and just tried to get myself active a little bit. It hurt to talk. I decided to sleep in my own bed upstairs that night. I kept my Oxycodone pill-taking to a minimum for various reasons. I didn't want to run out in case I REALLY needed them later, and I have a tendency to like substances that aren't good for you (like green bean casserole, porter beer, and jerk boys), so I wanted as little of that in my system as possible. However, it is important to note that even with the pain meds, it's STILL going to hurt. It never went away completely for me. The Lortab does give me a bit of a stomachache though -- not enough to warrant using the anti-nausea pills the doc prescribed me, but it's there. Today I made jello, ate a lot of popsicles, and ate some leftover green bean casserole. I ran out of mac and cheese. I tried some beef broth, but that burned, even at room temperature. I did not try that again.

Day Four
Saturday's weather forecast was pretty glorious, so I decided to suck it up and get OUT OF THE HOUSE. I woke up feeling pretty crummy, but powered through it, thanks to Lortab. I took the bus downtown, visited my friend at the Saturday market, bought some Cousin Jack's Pasties, and decided to get a smoothie and walk home. The doctor had explicity told me to not exert myself AT ALL, but I figured I lovely noon-time walk home in 75 degree weather would be ok. It was -- until I had to go up a steep hill. My throat, both the inside and outside, was throbbing by the time I got home (I stopped to get 3 boxes of Mac n Cheese), so I took an Oxycodone. Then I just sat outside reading and soaking up the sun. I ended up falling asleep. I felt better and less isolated. However, before my surgery I had anticipated my need for a non-talking social activity, so I asked 3 friends to come over and play Scrabble with me. All of them backed out. One had severe allergies (and in Eugene, it gets pretty bad), so I'm not pissed at her, but I was (am) pretty put off with my other friends. Anyway, I ended up just napping/reading/watching shows on my computer the rest of the evening.

Day Five
Sunday was almost a repeat of Saturday. I was feeling more pain each day though. I read outside for the first part of the day, then a friend invited me over for some BBQ. I optimistically headed over to eat the ribs he prepared, but I simply could not. It was good to spend time with someone, although I overdid the talking. By the time I got home, I was in a lot of pain, so I took some Lortab about an hour sooner than allowed. Then that night I doubled up on Lortab and Oxycodone. I woke up early the next morning and had to take more Lortab. I could blame the excessive talking, but the pain was beginning to be seemingly unbearable. I had planned to go to work Monday, and I was hellbent on following that plan. The pain started to move to my ears as well, like I had read about. It hurt to turn my head, and it felt like the weird, deep pain I had experienced many times before with my tonsils, just with more intensity and with longer lengths. The actual wounds themselves seemed to be preparing for the scabs to come off; they have a tight, burning feeling.

Day Six
Monday was not great, and actually it was probably the worst so far. As I said earlier, I had to take quite a bit of pain meds during the night. I woke up for work early, but then passed out cause of the meds, and ended up being late. It was okay though. I took an Oxy around 11 am and tried to eat, because we were going to a fire station for lunch (which I absolutely could not eat) and a tour (long story). I couldn't eat my mac and cheese, but I could do the Jello. Most of my coworkers are fairly quiet, and I just couldn't sit there with the firemen and not have a conversation going, so I talked WAY too much today. WAY too much. I'm paying for it. Once we finally got back at 4, I left the office, came home, took Lortab, and enjoyed a 4 hour nap. Then I woke up, went to get some Spaghettios and a cookie for dinner and took more Lortab before eating. The Spaghettios were a hit! I was worried they'd be too acidic, but I'm pretty sure at this point anything will burn. I took an Oxy before going to bed, but I woke up at midnight (3 hours later) still in pain, so I took some Lortab. That's something I've learned -- the Oxy doesn't REALLY help me with pain. It might keep the worst of it at bay, or relax my muscles, but the real painkiller is the Lortab.

We'll see how tomorrow is. Sorry for the long post and the rambling! Here's a short breakdown though:

1. The pain DOES gradually worsen, at least in my case. I'm just waiting for the scabs to slough off.
2. Stay hydrated.
3. For the love of God, don't talk. This has been the hardest part for me. It's not so much that I'm a nervous talker (okay, I am), but I am good at keeping social situations light and fun, and when I'm not able to do that I feel the weight of the world (dramatic much?). BUT DON'T TALK.
4. Keep track of your medication times.
5. Get plenty of rest.
6. Find reliable people to help you remain sane.
7. Burping lot.
8. Don't try to gargle. Just don't.

More tomorrow or the next day...

Monday, March 29, 2010

random thoughts for the evening.

Who do these cats think they are?

I'm moving. Again.

I should rap. Not only have I produced the infamous "mad rap libs" (too rated NC-17 for this venue), but I've got a great one in the works now. It goes like... "I got two mugs of bacon grease sittin' up in my fridge.... I'm 'bout to cook 'em up in some fat pork ribs." But...envision I mumbled that with a thick southern accent and with Li'l Wayne's inflection.

Why does Sirius XM play Bruce Springsteen on the 80s channel, when there is an E Street Channel?

I get way too verklempt when I watch The West Wing.

I also get way, way too excited when I find my cold medicine, which I just spent 10 minutes looking for.

I found out today that the hospital whose ER I graced with my presence last October has been billing an insurance company whose name is remarkably similar to my insurance company. So, for the last several months I have been declared ineligible for benefits by this company...who does not insure me. This is a mistake on the hospital's part. As such, I left them a rudely-toned voicemail today, and I do not feel bad about it.

Tonight as I started to cook dinner, I ate a new "Eat Right" snack bar. I choked on it, and had nothing in the fridge to drink (to clear my throat) except beer. So I opened. I drank that as I cut mushrooms, peppers, and onions for my spaghetti this week. Then I drank another as I boiled pasta and cooked ground turkey. Then, for giggles, I had a 3rd beer, halfway through which I realized...I had completely lost my appetite.

And now I'm blogging, semi-inebriated. awesome.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Remember that time something happened (or didn't happen...), and you thought it was this massively earth-crumbling event that was going to for sure make your life worse for the wear?

Perhaps now you've forgotten the details, looked back and laughed at the situation, or thank Buddha it happened --- even if, at the time, it seemed like the most awful thing ever.

Well, I'm reminding myself of this phenomenon right now, so I don't get bent out of shape about a very trivial issue.

In other news, Blitzen Trapper's new album is out in June. Take a sneak peek at one of the tracks, "Heaven and Earth" on SubPop's site. (It's in the "LISTEN" section on the page) I'm LOVING it. Eric Earley's voice is....great. :-)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Loss and Life

In the time since I lasted posted, a few things have happened.

A) I went to Texas for a fabulous 10 days split between family/friends in Dallas and best good friend time in Austin with Sarah. While it was a whirlwind of a trip and left me pretty exhausted, I had a great time. There's something beyond comforting about being "home."

B) I celebrated my 26th birthday. Several times. I went to Portland with some girlfriends for a weekend of Blazers basketball and just hanging out being girls. It was a lot of fun :-). I got some pretty awesome gifts. A Blazers cap, some awesome Bath and Body Works stuff, a snuggie (tho that might've been a late Christmas present), a Brita water filter (love it), the Metric "Fantasies" CD, and a cast iron skillet is on the way. I can't wait to use it.

C) I've helped several OTHER friends celebrate their birthdays. There are a ton of birthdays in January, apparently. With all this celebrating, I've had a couple of drunken debacles, but all is well now. Luckily the other person involved is a really, really understanding person.

Probably the most notable event was the passing of my sweet Beagle, Luna. The whole thing has kind of thrown me for a loop. I got back from Texas on a Friday, and the following Saturday Luna and I spent the day at Elijah Bristow State Park, and then a friend came over that night to cook dinner and hang out.

At about midnight Luna was acting strange, and we kept an eye on her while we played Trivial Pursuit. It was pretty late (or early, depending on how you look) when I decided to call the emergency vet and tell them her symptoms. While I was on the phone, Luna was suddenly unable to use her back legs. So we immediately took her to the vet. Apparently a degenerated disc (a common problem in beagles) had slipped out of her vertebrae and into her spine, causing the sudden paralysis. I had several options: immediate surgery in Portland, leave her at the clinic for a couple of days while they medicate/monitor her, or take her home and medicate/monitor her. All of these options came with a pretty negative prognosis and warning that euthanasia was an imminent possibility. Surgery (a minimum of $5,000 with no guarantee of it being fixed) was out. Luna has separation anxiety and likes to be close to her mama.

So I brought her home, and we spent Sunday with each other. It was a pretty emotional day. Towards the end of the day, she had still not being able to relieve herself, which is something the vet had cautioned me about. So I took her back in, and it was then that I had to make the decision that it was time. While it was the most difficult decision I've ever made, I was comforted to know that she would not be in pain nor have to suffer the inability to run and play and be Luna. The following couple of weeks were pretty difficult, and I sunk pretty low a few times. Luckily, I've got a fantastic support group of family and friends. Also, I've recently started working out at the gym with a friend, and that helps immensely. It is so hard to sit at home without Luna, and I can't bring myself to walk through the neighborhood without her. So, the gym and working out is a great and beneficial distraction.

I definitely think I'm on the upswing as January comes to a close. I've done a lot of thinking about a lot of different things. Luna, life, goals, friendships, etc. I'm kinda counting on the Chinese New Year to be my new year. I feel like a real transition is coming on.