July 2004


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07.19.2004 - - - 4:15
When I was growing up, I got headaches all the time. Some were functional headache Ė a pain, but I could still go about my daily business. Others, though, were migraines, and they were totally debilitating. I would be down for the count when I had a migraine, sensitive to light and sound, and often extremely nauseous. In Junior High and High School, I would estimate that I got a headache 3-4 days a week, and usually one of those was a migraine. It was a tough way to go through school. Once I got to college, it was like a switch flipped in my head, and while I still got headaches, they were less frequent and far less intense. I maybe got three migraines a year in college. In the past few years, they have become almost non-existent, and when I do get them, Advil works right away to dull the pain. So, you can imagine my surprise when, out of nowhere two Sundays ago, I suddenly got a horrible migraine. Iíd been out shopping and walking around all day with my friend Motown, who lives only a block and a half away from me. My headache literally came on during my walk home from her apartment. It was so intense so quickly that I barely made it up the five flights of stairs to my apartment before the nausea came. Lying in bed with my fingers pressing into the area of my forehead above my left eye, I tried to back to how I dealt with all those migraines in high school. Then I suddenly realized: it was my Grandma.

My Grandma would get me at school when the headaches were so bad I couldnít sit through class anymore, and when we would get home she would lay me down on the couch with a warm cloth on my head. Often, she would sit down next to my head and rub my temples for what seemed like hours. There were times when I was sure Iíd fallen asleep, and I would wake up to her patiently rubbing my head. She would drop whatever it was she was doing when I wasnít feeling well, (which was a lot back then), and I appreciated that so much. Her hands always felt cool against my skin, and her touch always made me feel a little bit better. She was also an excellent back scratcher. She always had perfect, long nails that were ideal for getting rid of itches, and she would scratch our backs until my mom would tell her that it was enough. I always wanted my nails to look as nice as hers did, but I never could get them to grow that long without breaking. I still canít, although I am still trying.

My Grandma was the most amazing cook Ė she could make anything, and it tasted amazing. I remember one time at a restaurant I tried bread pudding and liked it, and a few days after Iíd mentioned that to her, she made me her own batch that was infinitely better. She always made everyone their favorite meal and dessert on their birthdays, or even if you just asked nicely. She loved making a meal if it made one of her kids or grandkids happy. When I moved away to college, I missed her food, but mostly I just missed her. She would send me a card every week or two with a little update about what was going on in her life. It didnít matter that by the time Iíd gotten her card Iíd already talked to her on the phone, Iíd still devour every word she wrote. I kept every card she sent me since I moved out. Most of them are in a shoebox in my closet at my parentsí house, although I keep the last card she wrote with me: it was for my birthday two years ago.

She was a great listener and one of my biggest supporters. When I would get in trouble with my parents, she would always listen to my side of the story and nod sympathetically before she told me, nicely, that I was way out of line. She used to drive me to my voice lessons, piano lessons, and softball practices before I had my license. When I got my license, she always let me borrow her car. After school my senior year of high school, she would pick me up and we would go home and watch TV together while we ate whatever yummy snack she had prepared for us. I would "help" her prepare dinner for us every night, hoping that some of her cooking skills would rub off on me. She was at every recital, choir concert, final softball game and graduation I had, and she would tell me I was awesome no matter how many bad notes I hit or softballs I didnít.

When I was trying to decide whether or not I should move to New York, I had a lot of pros and cons that I was weighing. Was it really worth moving away from my family and friends and boyfriend just for a job? Did I really want to leave Southern California for a place that Iíd only spent six days visiting? More than anything, I wanted to talk to my grandma and bounce my thoughts off of her. I spent many sleepless nights trying to come to some sort of decision, with no luck. Finally, one evening after work I drove out to quiet green lawn where she and my great-grandmother lay, and I sat down and told her everything. I felt better after, and the next day I woke up knowing that she would tell me to go to New York, and that she was proud of me for having the courage to take the chance.

Iíve been thinking about her more than ever lately as I think about other decisions looming in the not-too-distant future. I know that no matter what I decide, she will support me 100%. She passed away two years ago last Saturday, and this Friday would be her 80th birthday. Happy birthday Gramma. I love you.

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07.13.2004 - - - 5:14 PM
The weather here this weekend was beautiful. About 85 degrees, low humidity, partly cloudy. It was so nice that I had convinced myself that on Monday, I was going to call in sick. Then I was going to spend part of the day by the pool, and the rest of the running the 8,947 different errands I have. Nature, however, did not like my hooky plan, and made it rain yesterday. All day. And, just to teach me a lesson, it's raining again today. And it's supposed to rain tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday. Is nature awesome, or what? I love it.

So, the pool. I read an article that Mayor Bloomberg had opened up the city pools, and a little bell went off in my head. Then the bell said, "There is a public pool down the street from you." What, your head bells don't talk? I feel sorry for you. Anyway, so on Saturday, I got my lazy ass out of my apartment BEFORE noon to walk over and survey the situation. There seemed to be a lot of kids, but none seemed to be of the diaper-wearing age, (which always squicks me out with public pools), and everything seemed very clean. I decided, what the hell, and I went to go in the pool. First, though, I had to PASS the POOL USE test. You're probably thinking that means, "Can you swim? Cool," but you are WRONG! First, there is a minimum height requirement, which I cleared by an embarrassingly small margin. I thought, awesome, this is why there are no rugrats running around the joint. I went to walk through the doors but I was stopped yet again by the Pool Police, "You gotta lock?" A lock? What the hell did I need a lock for? I posed a more polite version of the question to the Pool Police, and one guy replied, "Because you can't go in like that!" and looked at me like you would a retarded dog with no eyes. I supposed my expression matched that of an eyeless retarded dog, because one of the pool police finally said to me, "These are the rules: Your shirt can only be plain white with no writing. Same with your shorts. Hats can only be white, tan or straw. No electronics - that means no cell phones, iPods, or whatever. No chairs. If you wanna lay out, you gotta lay on the ground. Only water in bottles, and they must have twist lids." At this point, I think my eyes crossed. I was wearing yellow shorts, a gray shirt, a red hat, and I had my iPod, my cell phone, two books, and a towel. Clearly, I was to be shot in the face. I was ready to give in, but I had already made the effort to put on my bathing suit and sun screen, and my apartment was like 50 yards and five flights away. I was gonna get my SUN, dammit! So, I had to give in and buy one of their locks, and once I had locked all my things away in one of the lockers on the premises, I was finally permitted to enter the pool area. It's actually very nice. It's right on the edge of the east side, so it overlooks the East River and Roosevelt Island. I spent a good hour and a half there before the Pool Police closed the place down for an hour between 3 and 4 so they could all take lunch. Sheesh. Next weekend, weather permitting, I will go back, and I will be all sassy in my white outfit and no electronics, and I will be like, IN YOUR FACE POOL POLICE! And I'll prance around like I'm the queen of the pool.

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07.08.2004 - - - 5:47 PM
Um, is it really already the Eighth of July? Holy moly. First of all, that means there are only 31 days, or one exact month, until the lovely Princess Leah turns 21. I will be celebrating the event with her in The Vegas, and I can't wait. Second of all, that means that my Super-Funtacular Long Weekend of Funness is over. Boo! There is nothing worse than the week after a long weekend, but the week after the Super-Funtacular Long Weekend of Funness is especially hard. Hows abouts I tells ya about it...

It really started last Thursday, the night of my little birthday celebration. It was at the Boat Basin Cafe, which is a totally awesome place under the West Side Highway right on the Hudson River. There was a big crowd there, but we had no problem getting a table for everyone. We had a blast there drinking pitchers of beer and gossiping about everything from work to celebrities. Mostly celebrities...we're cool like that.

Friday was a half day for me, thank goodness, because I was feeling a little out of it when I woke up. After punching the clock at work, I came home and The Boyfriend and I had yummy take-out crepes before we caught a movie. When we came out of the theatre, we were in the midst of one of New York's sudden rain storms. We had to RUN down the street to a Duane Reade to buy umbrellas, but by the time we got them we were soaked, of course. We ended the night with some hot wings and a movie at home.

Saturday is when things really got going. TB and I woke up and got ready to head out to Coney Island. Neither of us had been there before, and we wanted to check out the rides and eat Nathan's Hot Dogs. Once we got our dogs, I wanted to go on the rides! I dragged The Boyfriend on the famous Cyclone, but it really wasn't his favorite ride. I paid for a re-ride, but TB couldn't get off fast enough! Hee. I just love roller coasters so much. I had my arms up the whole time, baby! After that we went on that rocking pirate ship ride, and TB wasn't so fond of that ride, either. I'm sure he would like me to point out that that was because the safety bar didn't totally secure me in, and was totally freaked that I was going to fall out since I kind of wasn't really holding on to anything. I liked that weightless feeling I got at the top! After we got off that, we didn't go on anymore rides! Ha. Instead, we wandered over to the game area of Coney Island, and we totally kicked the asses of multiple children in every game we played. I am now the proud owner of several oversized stuffed toys. Goody.

After we were done with everything Coney Island had to offer, we went back to my apartment for a quick change before meeting some people at the Staten Island Ferry. I'd never been on the ferry before, and it is a perfectly enjoyable experience when it isn't crashing into docks killing people. And it's free! I can't believe that Mayor Bloomie isn't all over charging for that 25 minute ride - you have great views of Liberty Island, Ellis Island, Governor's Island, and of course, Manhattan Island. And, they sell alcohol on the boat! Hello, is that not the most perfect mode of transportation ever? Once we got there, we headed over to Richmond County Bank Ballpark to watch the Staten Island Yankees baseball game. The stadium was awesome, extremely ritzy for a Single-A minor league team. You could see the Manhattan skyline in the outfield. After the game there were free fireworks. Again with the free! I love anything free.

On the Fourth of July, The Boyfriend and I took it easy for most of the day, until it was around 4 or so, when we gathered up and headed down to Chinatown for a party our friend was throwing. It was on the roof of his apartment building, so we had an AMAZING view of the Macy's Fireworks, which are supposedly the biggest fireworks show in the nation or something. First, however, we watched the footage of the Hot Dog Eating contest out on Coney Island. Um, yeah. That's a lot of hot dogs. After that we were inspired to eat hot dogs, but I could only manage to eat two. New record! For me, at least. Did I mention they were wrapped in bacon, our own homemade danger dogs? So good!

Finally, on Monday The Boyfriend and I went out to the Garden State to witness my friend Jordy and her fiancť Ro tie the knot! We were so glad we were able to come out and be there for the event, which had to take place very quickly and suddenly for silly technical reasons. We got to meet Ro's family and friends, and I was able to sign their marriage certificate as a witness! I was so glad I could be a part of it. Then sadly, on Tuesday The Boyfriend had to go back to Los Angeles. I was afraid I would cry and cry when the Super Shuttle came to take him away, but "lucky" for me the shuttle never came. I spent the last 10 minutes of TB's visit yelling at the Super Shuttle people and then helping TB get a cab. Stupid people! I sent them an extremely pissed off email today. We'd better get something free - you know how I like the free.

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07.01.2004 - - - 5:44 PM
I had a fabulous birthday, thank you very much! The Boyfriend got into town on Friday, and while that was present enough for me, he had a whole bonanza planned for my birthday. It started with presents when I woke up (and they were all great!), and then we were off to an undisclosed location for an undisclosed event. The event turned out to be the Sex and the City tour around New York! We got on a bus and went all over, to places like Carrie's stoop, the Magnolia Bakery, and Charlotte's gallery. It was lots of fun. The only bad thing was the Gay Pride parade had closed down a lot of streets, so there was a ton of traffic and it took forever to get places. However, that meant we got to see a lot of the Pride stuff, and it was awesome! What a party. After the tour, we went home to change, and then TB took me to Tavern on the Green for dinner! I had mentioned once to him that I'd always wanted to go there, and he remembered! It was so nice, and the food was great! I want more of it, and I want it now. All in all, a perfect day.

So, as you can imagine, I was not really in the mood to come into work on Monday (leaving The Boyfriend at my apartment) after having had such a great day. I sulked into the office, and turned the corner to where my desk is, to be greeted with this:

My friends Walshy and Motown came in ON A SUNDAY to decorate my office! I couldn't believe it. They also spent 2 hours looking for streamers. Yes, in New York City, where you can supposedly find anything, anytime, they couldn't find streamers. My mood was lifted instantly, of course! I left the streamers up all day, even though they were hanging all over the place. At the end of the day I tore down all the streamers but the ones on the front wall...and I left the confetti that they had thrown on the ground. I am sure the cleaning people were thrilled with that discovery. But hey, it was my birthday! It was totally necessary.

Now I am waiting for The Boyfriend to get here, and then we are going to meet a bunch of people at a little cafe on the Hudson River to celebrate my birthday. Just a small little get-together, nothing like the big bashes I usually have for myself, but that's okay. I sure do miss all of my Cali friends, though! But they are so awesome, about 10 of them called to wish me happy birthday! Being an idiot, however, I had put my phone on silent and missed all the calls. Lucky for me, they left messages! So nice. I love all of you! You are all wonderful and your hair is pretty and hey, you look like you lost five pounds! Kisses.

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