Monday, March 31, 2014

3/31

   I can’t concentrate. 
Everything is shifting.
And nothing is interesting. 

This is the beginning of the last week I can go to “Our house” 
Its funny that it has taken me almost an entire year to get the last of my stuff out of there... and even still at this very moment, there are just a few things left.. Surf Board (that I’ve used once).. A mountain bike (that isn’t even technically mine).. and the vintage sausage stuffer (that my grandfather gave to my father... who gave it to us... who I will have to return it to now- since we failed)  I just can’t bring myself to pick up just yet- even though I was at the house just yesterday.. Even though the house is literally 5 minutes away from where I live now... Even though I’ve had plenty of time... 

I'm sick to my stomach.
It really is completely over. 
Every last little shred.

I will always love him- and there is no person that I will love in that way- ever again. And I’m OK with that. I accept that. That part of me will forever be occupied, and I could never disrespect that. 

This has happened way faster than I could have anticipated.... and unfortunately it isn’t one of those situations that is better when you just “Rip the band-aid” to get it over with. Instead, it is almost too soon- ripping the flesh along with it- leaving a big, raised, purple scar. 

I’m consumed by confusion and sadness.
 Words and feelings have stopped making sense.
A blank coloring page- just an outline- empty inside- but I can’t find a marker, a crayon, a fucking pencil... 
Nothing. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Growing Pains

A few days before I went to Arkansas, James and my house was put on the market.

  (I signed the house over in the divorce- so I no longer have any rights to it.. But our system is so fucking fantastic- that my name remained on the mortgage- meaning that even though I have no rights to it, if James couldn’t pay the mortgage-  I would still be financially responsible for it.) We had agreed that whatever the house sold for we would split 50/50- profit or loss. 

Its funny, I haven’t lived in my house in almost a year, but when James told me that we had an offer on the house from the first (and only) people that looked at it (and that we were going to take it), I had such a crazy mix of emotions. I just wasn’t expecting to have to deal with it so soon. In the moment, I held on to “how much the house is worth” and “How much money we put into it” and the offer just didn’t seem like it covered all of that. After a lot of talking and crying (because I’m a big emotional mess over everything that changes in my life these days) I had to let it go- I have no rights to the house to actually fight anything anyway- and even if I did, what’s the point?

My sister-in-law had a good point, “Even if you got what you think the house is worth, would it make any difference?” 
The answer was an easy one.. 
No, of course not. 

It’s never been about the money for me. 

The truth of the matter is, that is my home. In all honesty, it is my first home. No, I don’t mean the first house I bought.. I mean, it is the FIRST place that has ever been my HOME. (I’m not saying that I didn’t have a nice place to live growing up.. but things in my life were really fucked up- and it was no one’s fault- it’s just how it was, maybe it was just my interpretation.) 

I remember the very first time I walked into that house. With the first step, this amazing feeling washed over me- and I knew in that moment that I needed to live there. It didn’t have the big kitchen that I said was a must, it didn’t have 3 bedrooms, it wasn’t in the town that I wanted to live in, it was a short sale... But it was my house.  All of that other stuff that seemed so important didn’t matter at all. We waited almost 6 months for our offer to be approved by the bank- and almost gave up on it towards the end when it seemed like we would never get an answer. But when we finally did get that approval, everything else went by in a flash... 

We had borrowed a friends’ trailer and started to pack our apartment into it.. and on the day of the closing, (which just so happened to be the absolute last day we could be in our apartment) our friend towed the trailer into our new driveway.  
And just like that.. we were home. 

In the four years that followed, every single decision from the color of the walls, the design of the kitchen, the appliances, the stupid plants and flowers outside... EVERYTHING was so thoughtfully decided. I mean it took me like a fucking month to pick my dishwasher! But it didn’t matter, you know? Because we were going to live there for a long time... if not forever. 

We started our own little traditions.. Pumpkin Carving Parties, Christmas eve with our entire families,  Etc... 
We redid the kitchen which was a complete nightmare... but when it was all done it was absolutely beautiful.. and everything that I could have ever wanted.. It was the first place that we lived where I actually attempted to make it homey.. pictures on the walls, etc.. 

And most of all, it was where our little family lived and loved. It was were Hydro lived his last days- where the blood spatters from his forever busted up tail still stain the walls... 

So when someone walks into my home, and expects and is going to get ALL of that... for the same amount of money that we paid..  Someone who has no fucking idea what those four walls mean to me... it makes me fucking angry.

 Because the last sacred thing that we had together (in my eyes- which is why I didn’t want any other “people” in my house...) is just a possession. It doesn’t mean a fucking thing... does it?

Nothing can replace the memories and feelings that I have tied to it. And even though it makes me incredibly sad right now, I know that I will always have those to hold on to...  and they will bring happy memories in time.. 

So the reality is.. Yes it is about the house.. but its more about a complete loss of everything that I ever held dear.. My best friend and partner, family, people I considered my friends.. I have literally lost almost every.single.thing. that has ever meant anything to me. 

And for those friends/family that have really showed up and have been there for me during all of this.. you really have no idea what you mean to me.. and how grateful I am to have you in my life. 

The closing is April 10... 

I know that in the end it is the best thing for us to do.. to take this offer.. to get the house off of our hands.. But man.. I wish it didn’t hurt so much.. I wish I could let go of all of the things that make me feel so abandoned; so disconnected; so replaced. 

I wish I could stop feeling... I wish I could move on as easily as everyone else has. I just wish I could stop... 






Sunday, March 16, 2014

Arkansas Highlights

6 days is such a short time when your visiting family. The kids have grown so fast, that it really is impossible to keep up with- especially when you live 22 hours away from them. They are an awesome bunch of kids.. Seriously. I wish I could see them every weekend, or even every month.. because I really miss so much. 
The two older kids are in school so I spent a lot of the days with Ryker and Judah.
 One day we went to the zoo. Ryker is absolutely a little rockstar. I just can’t handle his adorableness! 
Not only does this kid have the most awesome hair, his personality is amazing. So loving and crazy… he has such an amazing spirit. 
Of course I’m the inappropriate Auntie taking pornographic pictures of the animals.. I’m sorry, it was just too funny! 
The tiger was pacing around like crazy, and even went for a swim in his little heart shaped pool 


One of my “Must Do’s” while visiting Arkansas was a trip to The Mean Pig
Ever since last year I have had ribs quite a few places.. but none as good as Mean Pig. I considered getting a whole rack of Ribs, but decided against it. Good thing too because it was a huge plate! 
Don’t worry, I had no trouble finishing my plate off..

Kenna was in school at the time, so we brought her a doggy bag. She was pretty excited about it! She’s a big fan of ribs too :)
Sarah got the idea to go horseback riding, since Judah was too young, she got him a sitter and we took Ryker.  He loved it! 
So did it! It had been at least 12 years since I’d been.. 
It couldn’t have been a better day! Our guide was awesome and it was so much fun! 
Luke’s smiles melt my heart. 
Judah the fruit bat. This kid can put away 3 bananas, 6 dates, and 5 clementines- and yogurts.. lots and lots of yogurt. He’s such a tiny little bean!  
It is always hard to say good-bye to everyone. Since it was nap time when I headed to the airport I missed the really sad goodbyes. 
My first flight from Arkansas to Washington D.C. was terrifying. The most turbulent flight I have ever been on. And of course the one other person on the plane that was scared was my neighbor. We were basically fighting over the middle armrest- like somehow holding on tight is ever going to save you from anything, hah. After the worst of it, we started chatting and kept each other calm for the rest of the flight. 
After we landed in D.C. I decided since I survived, I deserved some french fries.
Good god that was a huge plate of fries! Don’t worry I didn’t even eat half before tossing them, but they totally hit the spot. (I start the 21 day sugar Monday so got to get everything terrible in, haha)
After a 2 1/2 hour layover, I boarded my final flight to Providence. It was a short 40 minute flight and this time I got the window and took some pictures on the decent.

Flying is equally terrifying and amazing. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Naked Bath House Bathing, Hot Springs AR

You probably didn’t know that I’ve never been a big fan of flying. (And by “not a big fan” I mean completely terrified, hah) That’s kinda going to be a problem since one of my major goals/plans is the travel around the world. I have also never flown alone.. until yesterday! The funny thing is, I don’t think I have really been that scared of it since the first couple of times… but it totally just became my story because I said it to myself and others so many times. The truth is… I actually kind of like it now! 
 Ok.. Maybe on the first flight I thought that.. and I got a little cocky about it.. And then I got to my gate for the connecting flight and this was my plane
 What are we taking a remote controlled toy plane?! It was so small that we even had to walk up the stairs to get in.
So maybe my new found confidence was tested a little… But as the plane “filled up” and I use that term lightly-since I think there were about 25 passengers- I got pretty excited I had a my whole row to myself- all two seats- haha. I told you this plane was insanely small!
 I had the window all to myself
Or… then again, maybe my window seat didn’t actually come equipped with a window. 
Since I had all the extra space, I worked on some Anatomy and later listened to a podcast. Ironically they were talking about how they found a new ligament in the human knee that they didn’t know we had. Well they found that out back in November or something- but I’m a little behind in world events. 
My flight landed on time, despite leaving at least a half hour late. Sarah picked me up and we headed straight for Hot Springs AK- specifically Bathhouse Row.
It’s a super cute little tourist town- obviously famous for the hot springs.. We had plans to go to a bathhouse but walked around a little bit first to check things out.
Apparently we-needa biscuit.
 But we decided to get pancakes instead. This place was straight from the 1940’s 
 There were certainly no gluten-free pancakes on the menu… but when your at the “Pancake Shop” getting an omelet is just wrong. (Plus there wasn’t much for food in the area) We both went with two blueberry 
They were good, cheap, and had a ton of fresh blueberries inside. WIN. 
I almost finished them, even though I felt full halfway through- I would later regret that decision- stupid consequences. 
After pancakes we headed over to one of the bathhouses. I can’t remember the name of the place, and I don’t have any pictures because your not allowed to take any. Sorry! The natural hot springs are said to have healing properties, so bathing in and drinking the water (well not drinking the bath water, hah) is good for you! And people have been going to this specific Hot Bath since 1912.. and literally NOTHING about the building or bath house has changed since then.. BUT this place was cool and extremely bizarre rolled into one..

Think One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest… after the lobotomy..  Hold that image in your mind… 

So you take this super old elevator (like the ones with the weird accordion cage door things) up a couple floors. They usher you into the white marbled wall “locker room” where you get completely naked and stand ass first against a hospital curtain thing.. Then some attendant lady asks if your ready, opens the curtain and wraps you up in a thin white sheet and tells you to "sit here” and wait for them to come get you. 
Someone comes around the corner and calls your name and then you follow them into another big white marble wall room with rows of hospital curtains (It looks just like an ER waiting room) She shows you to your bath which is already prepared for you- closing the curtain. It’s a large claw-foot tub with what looks like a giant immersion blender at one end. And then she took off my sheet and told me to climb in and watch my step. Once I got in there, she turned on the huge blender and shoved a rolled up towel under my neck, gave me a tiny little dixie cup filled with the “hot spring water” and told me to enjoy, shutting the curtain. 
Call me crazy…. but I couldn’t relax.. I just looked at the old school clock on the wall in front of me (which was broken so even though the second hand was moving around and around… the minute hand was not- so I had no concept of time) And waited. And let me tell you, that blender made quite the current. A couple of times I tried closing my eyes thinking that it would help me to “relax” or at least calm my anxiety that someone was going to jump into my curtain cubicle and try to give me a lobotomy. But every time I did, I would lose my focus and the current would lift half of my body off the bottom of the tub- like a human buoy bobbing up and down, but really I was just a naked douche in a tub of “special water” 

She finally returned… and “washed" my arms, legs, and back with a scratchy loofa mitt thing before asking me to get out, wrapping me back up in my sheet and walking me to a sits bath. A sits bath is exactly what it sounds like.. You put your butt in an ass-shaped crevice which is filled with the hot water- basically it’s an ass bath, with water coming into it from a streaming kind of jet at your lower back. It’s supposed to help with low back pain and hips… or just make you feel extremely uncomfortable as your sitting in a room filled with woman in the shitting position with a small hand-towel covering your boobs. Um, yeah- I could do without that one and it wasn’t over fast enough. 

Again, I was asked to get out, stood there completely naked pretty much in the middle of the room this time, until I was re-wrapped in my sheet and then led to the steam box. It’s like a little shower stall with a wooden bench inside to sit on. (Thankfully she put towels down first) Then it was off with my towel again-( a LOT of woman saw me naked haha.) Once your seated, they close these metal flaps that have a half moon cut out on each so that when they are both closed together, there is a circle for your neck to fit through- Then shove the sheet around your neck to prevent the steam from escaping- tell you how to get out if you need to- and walk away, “Enjoy” This part I actually really liked and is tied for my favorite parts of the whole thing. 
 After 5 or so minutes in there, she released me, wrapped me, and told me to take a seat on one of the cushioned tables and handed me another dixie cup of “Spring water”. She went to this sink that was filled with the hot spring water, grabbed 4 soaked towels and came over. These towels are HOT. The first she wrapped over my shoulders and upper back, the second at my lumbar and one around each of my legs. Then finished it off with a cold towel around my face and left me to lay there. It felt amazing. This was my other favorite part. 
Finally she came to unwrap me and took me to the final stop.. the 180 degree shower. She took my sheet, and told me to step in and rinse off (which I don’t really understand since I’m pretty sure I took like 2 baths at this point.. what exactly was I supposed to rinse off?) I stepped in, and the shower heads were arranged in a half moon, with at least 10 stacked rows.. so from your shoulders to your knees water was spraying directly at you from a ton of tiny pin hole shower heads. The water was so hot I thought my skin was going to melt off. She asked me if I was done and again I put my ass towards the curtain with my arms up, she gave me a towel and then wrapped me up one final time in a new sheet before handing me off to the massage therapist. The massage was normal, but the ironic thing was, at least 10 people saw me 100% naked in the hour of the whole bathing process and it was NBD.. this lady held the sheet up over her face as I got on the table like I needed some privacy. Hmm.. I don’t think that makes sense. Haha. 

Overall, the whole experience was completely unique, slightly terrifying and quite interesting. I’m so glad I got to go.. because this is definitely one for the books! A big thanks to Sarah for suggesting it and driving us there! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

When in doubt

    I still feel like I’m holding my breath- I think I just might be. Since 9AM this morning (the start of my anatomy lecture) I’ve looked like a person who’s drowning… 

-Eyes super wide with the look of terror across my face-
-Irregular breathing patterns- or not breathing at all-
-Arms flailing, trying to keep my head above the water..

Somebody throw me a rescue tube because I can’t save myself! 

Today we covered the BRAIN. 
And while some of the other stuff we have covered has been overwhelming, this is akin to sitting in on a lecture in a country where you don’t speak the language. 
It’s a good thing I record the lecture, because I was attempting to take notes and I can already tell you that the half spelled out words are pure gibberish. 

I’m in trouble.

And do you know why I’m in trouble? 

DOUBT

See up until this point, there has been a little doubt, sure… but not the kind that would make you curl into the fetal position and rock back and forth in an attempt to calm you anxiety. I kind of figured now that I’ve gotten past both the first lab practical and lecture exam all of that original doubt had been put to rest. 
Yeah…. I was very wrong. 
Doubt is like a drug too.. once you have that first little taste, your addicted.. Your little monkey mind (you know those tiny self-doubting, obsessive-thinking little voices in your head that never shut up) runs marathons with that shit.. over and over. It’s like those monkeys were given a triple espresso, while taking amphetamines. AHHHH! 

So now what do I do? 
I should probably take a breath here at some point.. a BIG, DEEP one.. and let it out slowly…
I got this. 
I think..

Step 1- Make a plan- I’m really glad I bought that little planner at the beginning of the semester! Think of this as your rough draft. It really helps me to write a list of things I need to do or stuff I have to cover in list form. This way I can put a star, or underline things that are most important or need to be completed first. Plus I get a sense of accomplishment when I finally get to cross things off of the list one by one. 

Step 2- Organize- You have everything written down, but if your like me- there are arrows, circles and god knows what else all over the damn place. No one can keep their shit straight in that mess. Pull out that planner and assign yourself specific times/days that certain things need to get done. 

Step 3- Break it up- So you have 9 chapters worth of material you need to cover in one book, a whole other mess of stuff to cover in another.. Breaking things up into smaller portions makes you more productive and keeps you on task. Or at the very least gives you more stuff to cross off your to-do list and make you feel like your getting somewhere and moving forward. It will help your sanity.

Step 4- No excuses- Making a plan and everything else isn’t going to do shit for you if you don’t actually make it a priority to follow it. Don’t allow yourself to get so overwhelmed that you just give up completely. Even if you need to make a reward system for yourself.. whatever- make it happen.

Step 5- Have faith- You’ve gotten this far and there is still a teeny, tiny little bit of your sanity left.. Great!  At this point, you might as well give that last little bit of it up- and just trust that you have everything thing you need inside of you to do what you need to do. You just need to pull it out. Your smart enough, your dedicated enough (this one might take a bit of effort at times, haha) and if you really WANT IT… You’ll pull it off. 




Tuesday, March 4, 2014

All of my time..

Hey, remember me?  
I started going back to school, so January and most of February was spent with this handsome hunk of plastic. 

As it turns out, the human body is complicated… or at the very least has a whole lot of bones with bumps and processes with funny and extremely long latin/greek names that I have to remember. And lets not forget the muscles and nerves… Oh boy, March should be fun! 
I have spent at least 30-40 hours a week studying this stuff, and it has been amazing. (And paying off)
 (My first quiz on Latin and Greek root words- I got a perfect score!)
 I have to say, I’m pretty proud of myself… This course is NOT easy. Add to the fact that I’ve never truly studied anything in my life and let alone put everything I had into a class. Let’s just say that my only method of studying is writing, and re-writing things.. Oh and drawing of course.
 I’m starting to feel personally responsible for killing the rainforest with the amount of paper I’m going through. 
 Then there was the introduction of our new friends.. 

 Aren’t they so cute? 
I thought I wasn’t going to be able to handle sticking my hands into a dead cat.. but it is surprisingly interesting.. and I really just love everything about this class and being a geek. This is a typical scene here.. Who uses a kitchen to eat these days anyway?
 Well there was this one time.. 
 If you can’t tell.. that’s a burger with bacon and an egg over the top.. Protein bomb anyone? Who eats their burgers without those two things? No one in their right mind.. 

There really hasn’t been a whole lot of time for anything else.. Sometimes there is sleep and snuggles with the mutt
 Sometimes (about 3-4 times a week) there are workouts
 But in the end, anatomy has been my life.. In a class where 45% of the students are failing (words straight from the professors mouth) I have managed to get to Mid-term with an A! 
 Now lets hope that I keep it going..

In other news, Tuna-moose went to the vet yesterday. Looks like they suspect more intense food allergies than we suspected.. so now I get to buy an $80 bag of dog food- a super fancy hypo-allergenic  prescription food- to do an elimination diet for at least a month to see if there is any improvement in his condition. He scratches and rubs the shit out of his face and ears, which lately has gotten worse.. I’m talking, almost no whiskers or eyebrows! Hopefully it is the culprit, at which point, we will start re-introducing foods to him. 
For now he will just get some snuggles.
That always helps us both feel better! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas in New York

Christmas is my favorite time of the year.. I know it’s cliche, but I absolutely love the month of December. Cheesy Christmas movies and music, baking cookies (Which I haven’t actually gotten to just yet) decorating the tree with millions of lights
And wrapping my mutts up in lights
 
(Tuna wasn’t as willing as Hydro and Sammy were 2 years ago)

This year is quite a bit different. The holidays bring up a lot of emotions and memories. I found myself so confused. On the one hand, I wanted to boycott the holiday completely. But on the other hand, it’s time to start making some new memories and traditions as my life moves forward-.

So, this year.. G and I headed to New York to see the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center! 
The plan was to leave early so we could drive to New Haven, park the car and take the commuter rail into the city. BUT, I’m kind of a slacker sometimes and it took a little longer for me to wake up and get ready. Plus we had to make a Starbucks coffee stop
 The train ride was a couple hours long, but it went by pretty quickly. We arrived at 11:20- Grand Central Station is beautiful- I only wish the pictures I have of the ceiling did it any justice. 
 Straight from the station we started walking… It was such a warm and sunny day! 
The first tree of the trip- which I personally think is the prettiest… it actually has ornaments! 

 We walked through Times Square and up and down Fifth Avenue, stumbling onto some fun stuff. Like the ball thats dropped on New Years Eve! This thing is HUGE… I made sure to rub my hands all over that thing for good luck- I could use it… Just saying
 We wrote wishes down on confetti- which will be part of the confetti on New Years, too!
 Finally we made our way to the Rockefeller Center tree.. but first, Radio City.
 FINALLY the tree! Up close and personal.. Unlit, but still awesome!

 Then it was time for a little lunch.. We really wanted pizza, and after half an hour looking for a pizza parlor, we found a pizza truck- we are such locals..
 I went with the special slice of the day.. Broccoli Rabe
 SOOOO good! 
 Then it was time for more sight seeing..
 So amazing inside
 The tree lighting was scheduled for 7-9, but around 4 they started shutting down the streets and people were already waiting.. There was no way we were going to stand in one spot for 5 hours.. so we settled for seeing it unlit.. (We do have plans to see it after Christmas though!)

 We walked over to Jekyll and Hyde for dinner.. This place was fun! There were a ton of random things on the walls and in every corner..
All the servers were playing a part.. like a play.. and the food was pretty good too.  
 After dinner we met up with with G’s cousin Anna and his friend to grab a drink… and a shot-
 Off of a ski..  We were true New Yorkers as we hung out at a roof-top bar and watched the tree lighting on Tv. 
 While walking back to Grand Central, we ran into this little guy
 Coolest pup ever..  I’m pretty sure he was the richest dog in New York!
 We hopped on the train and I then proceeded to fall asleep on the ride home.. 
I think we have a great new tradition ;)