Foolish

This image has nothing to do with what I’m going to say but it was necessary to share it (for obvious reasons).

How did I get here, my friends? To a place where my throat, lungs, and stomach forsake me? I ask you, but in truth of fact, I know the answer and I’m gonna share it with you.

Let’s start with my throat and lungs. Diagnosis: bronchitis. Miriam Webster defines bronchitis as “acute or chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes”. Lexico (powered by Oxford) (?) defines bronchitis as “inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial tubes. It typically causes bronchospasm and coughing.” I include the second definition because it is clearly more dramatic.

I know exactly how I contracted this “dis-ease” and the culprit was me. I mean, really, it came wafting from my sister but I’m the asshole who shared a plastic cup full of wine back and forth with her at the Great Wolf Lodge KNOWING she had a cough. I wasn’t concerned at the time because I felt like I was bound to get sick anyway and I might as well get it done with while I was on leave so that I wouldn’t have to deal with it when I returned to work. Incorrect. Turns out that the symptoms faffed about for a few weeks and only emerged the week prior to going back to work and then REALLY took effect just as I was about to go back. Stupid stupid stupid.

She’s so patient with me.

Now, I am on Amoxicillin, DayQuil, NyQuil (dependent on time of day), and something called “Benzonatate” to stifle coughing. Let me tell ya, as long as I’m hopped up on these goofballs, the bronchitis is doable MEANING that yes, I’m still coughing but no, I’m not actively dying. Morningtime is a different story entirely. In the morning, my body has used up every single ounce of the medicines that make it bearable to live and I am now a zombie that has a bone rattling (yet unproductive) cough. During the day, my cough is bad from time to time but that usually tells me it’s time for more DayQuil. I’ve been going to sleep around 11pm and not waking up until around 11am this week. The NyQuil is the culprit there. My mistake was that I bought DayQuil and NyQuil “Severe” (or as I like to call it “Intense”). I went straight to that because the last time I had a cough like this, I was fooling around in the minor leagues with regular old DayQuil and NyQuil before realizing there was a professional option. Once I skittered up to the “Intense” version, I was like “This is IT”. However, I think with this illness, it’s sort of like using a bulldozer when all you needed was a hammer. It’s a little much is what I’m saying. Like, I don’t need to be unconscious for twelve hours every day. I think tonight, I’m going to take DayQuil before bed and just see how I do with that. If I wake up at a reasonable hour, maybe I won’t be so much of a hacking zombie.

Now let’s talk about what happened with my stomach. Guys, it’s my own damn fault. As you know, I recently had gastric sleeve surgery. This is a surgery where they laparoscopically go into your abdomen, snatch out half of your stomach, and staple up the tube that remains. This is in the service of losing weight. WELL, I’ve had some complications since surgery even though I’ve healed well. It’s extended the amount of time I’ve been on medical leave by quite a few weeks as well. Most of my complications have been fatigue and focus-related however, I was also having trouble swallowing pills or any kind of dense food like meat, eggs, or veggie meats. The docs thought this might be the cause of my fatigue because I wasn’t able to get proper nutrients. It turns out that wasn’t the issue. However, I think I did have some swelling that went down over time. I had an Upper GI Xray that showed that it was narrow but fine in there. In fact, I’ve been eating much better lately and able to eat a wider variety of foods. This is something I’ve been very grateful for and I’ve expanded into trying new things because of it. Not all of these things have been good for me but it’s important to know my limitations for what I can have.

I did this to her.

Enter: pizza. During the holidays, we had a few days (ie. holidays) where I ate fancifully and I was glad to be able to do so. But then, we went back to eating normally (or my new normal anyway). Tonight though, I wanted to try to eat frozen pizza. It’s cold and windy and we wanted something cozy and warm but also easy to make and eat. We had a frozen pizza in the freezer and decided to try it. Before surgery, we used to cut a frozen pizza into four slices and each have two. So I gave Kristyn her two and I gave myself one. I ate it slowly (while watching a video with Kevin Nealon and Kristen Bell hiking) and felt fine! I was happy that I could have that one slice of pizza and not feel uncomfortable. In fact, I felt so fine that…and you can obviously see what’s coming…that I tried to eat the second piece. I know, and so do you, that I should have put that second slice in the fridge and eaten it happily for lunch tomorrow. But noooooo…I wanted to “see” what would happen. I did cut that slice into two and started slowly eating half of the slice. Everything was going fine and I finished it. The second I popped that last bit of crust into my mouth, I knew things were definitely NOT FINE. In fact, I made Kristyn eat the other half so that I wouldn’t see it or worse, try to eat it.

“Why you do this to me Mommy?” “Shut up and let me take yer pitcher.”

It is clear to me now that this was a stupid thing to try. Pals, I’m in no medical danger whatsoever just fucking full like I ate three plates of Thanksgiving dinner. I had to pace around the apartment for a long time patting and rubbing my stomach like a pregnant lady. Learning lesson: Coleen, don’t eat pizza AND IF YOU DO just have one slice AND WITH THAT SLICE have a piece of fruit or a salad or something light if you’re still feeling hungry BUT WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO is have another slice EVEN IF YOU FEEL LIKE IT’S POSSIBLE for to eat that second slice IS TO SUFFER.

I will tell you about one victory I’m experiencing though: drinking water. I’ve always been a big water drinker. I never drink anything but water and coffee, really. But then when I had surgery, for some reason I couldn’t drink plain water anymore. I don’t know if it was the taste or texture or what but I just couldn’t do it. We had to start buying Gatorade Zero so I could get fluids in. Lately though? I’ve been able to drink as much water as I want. One weird thing though is that I can’t drink it too fast. I’ve actually been getting better and have been able to gulp it sometimes but sometimes if I do that, it’s a big mistake. It’s like there isn’t enough room in my stomach for all the water that I just gulped down and it feels like a drain backing up. Still, I count this as a victory because I thought I was doomed to never drink water again.

I like the blurry chaos to this one.

Helluva Decade

Photo of me from January 2, 2010

For my own edification, I am going to go through the last decade of my life STARTING with a photo of myself that I took on January 2, 2010. I was 30 years old and living in LA. I had accidentally brought my Dad’s hat to LA and sent him that photo above as proof.

I’ve had a helluva decade, you guys. Another interesting thing is that I start a new decade of my life just as we all collectively start a new decade. I just turned 40 and now we’re going into the 20’s. It feels like a neat divide.

2010: Here we are staying in the KOA outside Shambala Preserve. We didn’t know it was there and got terrified by the sound of lions roaring.

In 2010, I was freshly 30 and we were freshly living in LA; having arrived on September 9, 2009. I was interning at Lionsgate Films doing script and book coverage, breaking down scripts by location and order for screenwriters, and logging dailies. The biggest thing I worked on at that time was the Hunger Games! We were living in the first apartment on Effie Street which was a disaster area; not of our own doing. Kristyn was working at ASEC Animal Hospital. I started interning at Stand Up to Cancer on the Sony lot later that summer, for a man making a documentary about the Nicene Creed, and for another man making a web sitcom. I went on a TON of job interviews in 2010 and didn’t get ANY of them although I got close a few times. Our days were mostly me feverishly job hunting, doing chores around the house, driving Kristyn to work, and picking Kristyn up from work. We didn’t have much of a life whatsoever. I blogged a LOT then because I had nothing but time. We went to Trader Joe’s for the first time in 2010 and started learning about LA. That whole year was kind of a total fucking blur with no money and no social life. Still, it was incredibly exciting. Towards the end of 2010, I started to lose my shit. For about a year and a half, I was A-OK with not working or at least, I was able to tell myself that I was okay with it. Basically, I chose to make the most of it and to see the bright side of things: “Lots of time to explore LA! To learn who I am and what I want to do! To intern! To watch every episode of Roseanne! To watch every episode of The Sopranos!” But then, it got old…very very old. I broke down and applied for welfare. The woman at the office said to me, “You should have done this a year and a half ago.” Honestly, readers, I should have. We got $150 a month for groceries and $100 a month for other bills in connection with a job program. This doesn’t sound like a lot of money but YOU GUYS IT WAS. Holy shit did it help and I’m so glad I did it. One last cool thing is that in 2010, Kristyn started working at an animation studio called Cosmic Toast. With that, she also started writing for LA Music Blog. This allowed us to go to a lot of local concerts with press passes to take photos which was fun. We got sosososo many parking tickets this year and ended up having our car towed. We got fleas from alley cats that year. We volunteered for the GLAAD Media Awards (which was fun). We found Giles outside our apartment. We also had to call the city on our landlord because sewage kept coming up through the drain in the bathtub. Blerg. Oh AND, we got our Associate’s Degrees. We also flew home for Nana’s 80th birthday.

2011: My cousin, Heather, came to visit us in LA (from NJ). Soon after this photo was taken, we learned that her car had been stolen and flipped by teenagers. Good times.

I started 2011 continuing with the job program. I had a hinky experience with it in that they wanted me to answer the phone for Bank of America convincing people to take out loans and mortgages whether or not they called for that purpose or not. It was a commission job. I declined, thank God. I also started writing for LA Music Blog. In connection with that, Kristyn got to interview JD Samson and MEN as well as Liz Phair. On March 16, 2011, I got a call from Lionsgate’s HR team asking me if I wanted to do a contract job in their TV Business Affairs department. I accepted and also that night, we went to see Liz Phair! I started that job the next day and it lasted for one full year. I got to work on Mad Men, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, and Orange is the New Black (among other cool things). Kristyn interned at Extreme Home Makeover: Home Edition which was cool. That year was SO MUCH BETTER. We moved apartments to a much, much, much better one. That apartment had a balcony, an open layout, a washer and dryer, a pool, and an underground garage. We started school at CSULA. We started having a social life in that we went to some parties, were able to do fun things like go to the movies, and to LACMA. We got a season tickets to Disneyland and Universal and went often. Whenever I wasn’t working or at school, I spent my days swimming laps in the pool. We used to grill our food a lot on the balcony. It REALLY felt like we were in California in 2011. Oh, also, we went to the People’s Choice Awards that year. We flew home in November for my sister’s wedding. We also drove down to Temecula’s Wine Country. We marched in LA Pride. We had the best New Year’s Eve that year because we went to Universal Studios, had some beers, went on rides, then came home in time to count down and watch the fireworks all over LA from the balcony. So much fun. Oh, one terrible thing that happened in 2011 was that my Nana died. We went home to see her and then I went home for her funeral. I mention this last because it’s always hard to remember when that happened. That was a really dark spot on an otherwise good year.

2012: I took this photo at lunch while working at LG. I used to like to wander around Santa Monica for lunch. One time I fell headlong and landed on my belly in front of a man. My phone shot out of my hand and onto the next lawn. The man walked past me, took a look at me, and kept going. I could hear Kristyn’s disembodied voice hollering “Are you still there?!” from the phone. Indignity.

In 2012, we started the year working and going to school a lot. My status at work was on the fence because my contractor position at Lionsgate TV kept getting extended but wasn’t a sure thing. We started getting seriously homesick and discussed going back to NJ. On March 1, 2012, I got told that I was being laid off due to a corporate merger. I was given the choice to leave immediately or to finish the month. I chose to finish the month so that I could earn as much money as possible. Once I got laid off, we decided that we’d definitely move back to NJ. I didn’t want to be job hunting in LA again and Kristyn was incredibly homesick. We finished the semester and made plans to move cross-country; renting a pod, downsizing our stuff, finding an apartment in NJ, looking for jobs in NJ, applying for colleges in NJ, and deciding which route we’d drive home. After the semester ended, we drove up to San Francisco and Sonoma Valley because we wanted to see Northern California at least once before we left the west coast entirely. We stayed in a campground in Petaluma. We drove through garlic country and had garlic ice cream. We packed up the apartment and drove up the Pacific Coast Highway. We stopped at Kristyn’s family’s house in Pleasanton which was awesome. We went to Reno, stayed in Lake Tahoe for a few days, went to the Wizard of Oz Museum in Kansas, saw the arch in St. Louis, Missouri, went to a Cracker Barrel in Kentucky, and got home on July 3, 2012. We rented an apartment in Clifton, NJ and IMMEDIATELY got bedbugs because the guy upstairs was infested with them. We had to throw out our couches and our mattress. Kristyn got a job at an animal hospital right away and I spent the summer watching the Olympics and feverishly cleaning everything we own to debug it. We found another apartment and paid rent for both places in August so we could clean things and then bring them over gradually. It was a goddamn nightmare. Basically, we moved three times in one year: 1) Into the moving Pod, 2) Into the Clifton apartment, 3) Into the apartment we’re currently in. The day we got to NJ, we went to the Tick Tock diner in Clifton and knew right away that we’d made a mistake. I don’t think that anymore but we weren’t thrilled, LOL. I started working with a headhunter through Lionsgate in NYC that Fall and then Sandy hit. Parts of our town were without power for at least two weeks and so was NYC. I applied for a job at Audible and got hired. Both Kristyn and I got into Rutgers and continued to work on our Bachelor’s Degrees. Basically, we ended that year earning money and buying furniture.

2013: We got married! This is a photo of us in my Uncle Ken’s jalopy. It’s a replica of a car built in the 1920’s. It was awesome.

In 2013, I got promoted at work. We spent all our time working and going to school. We started tent camping at the campground that my family had always gone to. We had a baby shower for my sister. In August 2013, we got engaged at Eleanor Roosevelt’s house. Gay marriage got legalized in NJ in October 2013 and we got married at the Town Hall at the end of the first week. We had our “reception” at the Argyle; our local fish and chips shop. We had a mini-honeymoon Upstate New York at The Sullivan and The Roxbury. We also put a deposit on a seasonal campsite at the campground. Foofaloo was born!

2014: My Dad and Foof playing a tricky game. It seems like Foof is losing?

In 2014, it was all work and school. Kristyn still worked at the animal hospital and I stayed working at Audible. We bought a camper early on in the year and put it on the site. We had our first season up at the camper which was a lot of fun. We spent a lot of time gathering things for the camper including dishes, utensils, blankets, towels, groceries, board games, a TV and VCR, and all kinds of stuff. We explored the Catskills and re-learned the area. We went to Kate’s Lazy Meadow for our one year wedding anniversary. We had Foof’s one year birthday party and he smashed a cake. It was a great, busy year.

2015: We graduated college and went to Scotland and England as a present for ourselves. This guy photobombed us while we were on the Royal Mile.

In 2015, I got promoted at work again which meant some traveling to Dallas, Texas and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Both Kristyn and I FINALLY graduated with our Bachelor’s Degrees from Rutgers. We had a graduation party at my sister’s house with a cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton (and our family). As a delayed honeymoon/graduation gift to ourselves, we went on a 17 day long trip to Scotland and England. We met with my family there and went to Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, and Leigh-on-Sea. We drank SO MUCH WHISKEY. It was incredible. We also went Upstate all summer. Kristyn also took the GRE’s and applied to Grad School. She got in and started that Fall! This was a really good year. On New Year’s Eve 2015, I suggested that Kristyn quit her job at the animal hospital. She did and it was EXCELLENT. That job was breaking her back and they kept cutting everyone’s hours and then suddenly forcing them to do overtime. When we ran the numbers, she was spending almost exactly what she was making just to get there. We decided that it would be better for her to go to Grad School full-time. For work I travelled to Dallas, Texas and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Kristyn started working on the Queer Newark Oral History Project. LGBTQ+ marriage was legalized! We marched in the NYC Pride Parade with GLAAD. We had Foof’s 2nd birthday party and Santa was there. He hated Santa. One terrible thing is that Kristyn’s Uncle died this year. It was terrible.

2016: We got a little noodle named Shirley and she has consistently rocked our world since. As the kids say, “She came in hot.”

In 2016, I threw myself fully into my job and Kristyn threw herself fully into Grad School. In 2016, I travelled to Chicago, Illinois and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for work. In connection with another work trip, we went back to LA for the first time. We stayed in Silver Lake at an AirBnB that had a hot tub. We got hair cuts, mani pedis, and massages. We went to Disney, Universal Studios, and did the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. We visited our apartments, our supermarkets, and did a mix of things familiar and fun/touristy like the Museum of Death. It was awesome. We adopted Shirley. She was a baby puppy Boston Terrier and she was so damn cute. We spent the summer Upstate, NY and took Shirley swimming in the river. Kristyn graduated with her Master’s Degree in History from Rutgers! She applied to a PhD program in American Studies at Rutgers and got in! We had a graduation party for Kristyn at her sister’s house. Also, I started therapy which was and continues to be awesome. Kristyn started her PhD in the Fall. In 2016, we also did a lot of Pride-related events. We marched in the NYC Pride Parade with Hillary Clinton. In connection with the Ft. Lauderdale trip, we went to Orlando and went to Disney with Karen and Universal to Harry Potter World. We went to the Jacob Javits Center on election night and went home when things took a dark turn. The rest of that year was a dark turn EXCEPT for Foof’s third birthday. Santa came and he still hated that but I had fun at least.

2017: Talk about a helluva year. Believe it or not, the Women’s March was one of the “simpler times” in 2017. Look at us. Just kids then.

In 2017, we started the year by going to DC and marching in the Women’s March. That was a wild experience. For work, I travelled to San Diego, California. We went Upstate New York all summer; doing day trips to New Paltz, Warwick, and Phoenicia. It was really fun. I co-lead Audible and Amazon marching in the NYC Pride Parade. We marched in Newark Pride. We went to my 20 year high school reunion. We went to Kate’s Lazy Meadow for our four year wedding anniversary also. Everything was going great and then Thanksgiving weekend, my brother Charles died. That leveled me. We were all floored because it was so sudden. We think he probably died by closing off his windpipe when he was sleeping. Poor Charles. I ended up going on medical leave from the Monday after Thanksgiving to mid-January. The end of 2017 I spent crying and sitting in an armchair and trying to pull my shit together. Just before Christmas, we went to a Tex Mex restaurant with my cousin and I got food poisoning. On Christmas Day, my entire family decided to go to Scotland for our Great Uncle’s 90th birthday. We had a lot of fun in 2017 but also, two of my cousins died suddenly, then my Grandpa died, and then my brother. A fucking nightmare.

2018: Family trip to Scotland. We look great in this photo but we were all sweating uncontrollably. You can see it in my red face. Go on, take a looksee.

We started 2018 by going to the Women’s March in NJ with our friend, Silvia. In January, we drove up to the camper to see what it’s like up there in the winter. I’d always wanted to do that before. It was SO FNG COLD and also weird because there was snow everywhere which we didn’t expect. Still, it was nice ride and felt good to finally accomplish that; even though it was a small thing. We brought Shirley with us and I’ve never seen her so cold even though she had a sweatshirt and a winter coat on. We had to wrap her in a blanket with the heat turned all the way up. We also scared the owner of the campground who though we were thieves breaking into our trailer. I went back to work in January and had a pretty angry and unfocused year. I DID co-lead us marching with Audible and Amazon in the NYC Pride Parade again. Kristyn continued on with her PhD and Queer Newark. I didn’t travel for work at all. That spring, my Mom had a triple bypass which was scary and wild. And then in June, we went to Scotland. That was an incredible trip because it was almost my entire family on my Father’s side including my Dad, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, great uncles, great aunts, etc. The only person who couldn’t come was my Mother because of her surgery. That was terrible. We went to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Highlands. We went on the Harry Potter train and had so much Guinness, Cider, and Fish & Chips. Kristyn and I bought Cambridge Satchels in Edinburgh. We went to so many Harry Potter shops and tourist places. We rode double deckers. We sprinkled Charles’ ashes. We went to our Great Uncle’s 90th birthday party/family reunion. We stayed in a castle. Kristyn and I also got giant tattoos of Shirley; Kristyn’s on her forearm and mine on my thigh. After Scotland, Kristyn and I went to Ireland. We stayed in Dublin and then took a bus trip to Northern Ireland. It was fucking awesome and exhausting. Thank god for that trip. It really made our year. We also went upstate quite a bit and then to Kate’s Lazy Meadow for our 5th wedding anniversary. Oh, also, we went to Kristyn’s 20 year high school reunion. Basically, 2018 (like 2017) was one of the best/worst years of my entire life. We took Foof to go see Mary Poppins, saw Santa, and had his fifth birthday party. That was fun.

2019: Us and the Eiffel Tower with champagne and Lay’s chips (because they came with the champers) for some inconceivable reason.

In 2019, we started the year by going to Paris for Kristyn’s 39th birthday. We only went for a few days but it was the most gorgeous few days. We went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, we took a bus tour of the city, we went to the Catacombs, saw the Moulin Rouge, and went to the Palace of Versailles. After that, I took a work trip to Southern California and we tacked a long vacation to LA on the end of it. During that trip, we went to Disneyland, Harry Potter land, the Magic Castle, to get massages, mani pedis, and haircuts. We went to see our old apartments and old haunts. We took a tour of Paramount and planned to tour Sony but that last part didn’t pan out. We went to see Busy Phillips’ talk show. We went Upstate all summer long and even took a week long vacation up there. I co-lead an LGBTQ+ initiative at work and co-lead Audible marching in NYC Pride and Newark Pride. Kristyn got published in a History journal and presented at conferences. She also started a podcast for the Queer Newark Oral History Project. We got licensed for the NJ Foster to Adopt program which was a ton of work but we did it! I also got Gastric Sleeve surgery and have lost 54 pounds so far. We went to Kate’s Lazy Meadow for our sixth wedding anniversary. It was only a month after surgery so we really didn’t do much but it was so nice anyway. We also went to the Poconos to the Great Wolf Lodge for Foof’s sixth birthday which was really fun. Mostly though, from September until now I’ve been re-learning how to eat, exercising, taking vitamins, and resting because I’m tired constantly. Still, I’m so glad I did this. I also turned 40 this year the week before my surgery while on vacation at our camper. We just chilled and relaxed all week and then closed up our camper. This year (although a little challenging at the end) has been a great but very busy year.

Okay so I’m going to end this here because I’m worried that you have gone unconscious. I considered splitting this into two posts but nah. LOL.

Happy New Year/Decade!

We had a pretty great New Year’s Eve this year. All we did was put on makeup, eat pigs in a blanket, drink Friexenet, and dance around with the pets but ’twas a good time. I love celebrating NYE like this. Going out is too expensive, too pressure-filled, and never as much fun as cleaning up the house, making appetizers, and getting wild on bubbly.

The few times we did go out that I can remember are:

  1. In our 20’s, we decided to go to Manhattan (but not to the ball drop). Because it’s expensive, we “pre-gamed” which meant that I drank a full bottle of wine BEFORE we left the house and brought almost another one in a Snapple bottle to drink “on the way there”. You guys, bish got so drunk that she was sleeping the second we got there. Kristyn, my sister, and her friend had to prop me up places and then dance around me. You know what? I think I’ve told this story on this blog before. Well, whatever, I was a MESS. All I remember doing are asking people to tap kiss me (and getting offended when they didn’t want to) and then I remember us all squeezing into a one person bathroom and knocking down bottles that were put on a shelf in the bathroom (broken glass and yelling people everywhere). What a mess.
  2. Also in our 20’s, we got invited to a house party hosted by a couple we’re friends with. We got there around maybe 9/9:30pm and the hosts were already out of their minds intoxicated. The gal host decided to go to bed and the pal host was so worried about her that he spent all his time in the bedroom making sure she was okay. At 10:30, they told everyone to go home. It had been snowing heavily and had taken quite a bit of effort to get there via cab so we had to stand outside and wait for a cab for a long time to get back home. What a mess.
  3. Alsoalso in our 20’s, we decided to go into Manhattan to watch the ball drop in Times Square. It was a moderately-temperatured evening; probably like 50 degrees which is unusual. We took advantage of it and got there at like 7pm. A thing to note about the ball drop is that people get there at like 7am to jockey for position. And then once you’re there, you cannot get out of that area for any reason; not to eat, not to pee, not for any reason. No WAY am I ever going to do that. So instead, we meandered lazily down there at 7pm. The way it works is this: The streets are fully closed down for blocks in every direction around the ball. You can only enter in certain areas and not only are the streets closed but there is a pretty intense system of police-enforced gates to get through. So, for example, when you’re first entering the gates, you have to get wanded by police to make sure that you don’t have any weapons. If you get approved to move forward, you have to keep going until the next police-enforced area. THAT police officer also wands you and then allows you passage into the next police-enforced area. It continues on like this until you get to an area that already has people congregating. When your section fills up, they close it off and start letting people line up in the next section and so on. WELL, where we ended up was probably about 3-4 blocks BEHIND the ball. This means that we had absolutely no visibility on any celebs, were definitely not on TV, and no ticker tape for us at midnight. It also meant that when the ball dropped, we could only see it go down for 10-5 and then it disappeared behind an area of the building blocking our view. Still, it was pretty fun; mostly because of the rowdy German tourists who were singing en masse all night. Also? 50 degrees is not cold BUT when you’re sitting outside in windy Manhattan from 7pm-12pm wearing a lighter coat than you would normally wear? It gets cold. There were pizza vendors selling pies at the side of our prison so there were pizza boxes everywhere. All of us in the cage took to sitting down on pizza boxes because our feet hurt and our butts were cold sitting on the pavement. Anyway, we saw the ball drop and then decided to head home. In fact, we drove to Clifton, NJ to our fav bar, The Loop. We got there probably around 1am and the bar stayed open until 3am. We had bought those glasses you see everyone wearing with the New Year across them. I think it was “2007”. Anyway, a guy in the bar that I didn’t know, asked me if he could put them on. I said yes and he ran away with them. When I finally caught him and asked for them back, he literally said that he was hoping I’d forget or wouldn’t be able to find him. I said “No chance in hell.” He forked them over and I have no idea what happened to them now. Pretty decent NYE.
  4. When we lived in LA, our final NYE was actually one of my favorites and I KNOW I’ve told this story on this blog but I don’t care, I’m going to tell it again. We went to Universal Studios during the late afternoon and went on some rides. Around 10pm, we came home and at midnight, we were drinking champagne on our balcony watching the fireworks go off all over LA. That’s literally one of my favorite NYE on record.
  5. Oh oh one more. I don’t know if it was the first NYE after my nephew was born (which would have made him like two weeks old) or the second year (which would have made him one year and two weeks old) but we decided to go stay over at my sister and brother-in-law’s house to spend NYE with them. Once we got there though, my sister and brother-in-law were EXHAUSTED (from having either a two week old or one year and two week old son). They fell asleep probably at 10:30pm. And then Kristyn, never one to be outdone with regards to snoozaroos, went to sleep as well. So now all three of them were unconscious on the couches in the living room and I’m WIDE AWAKE and ready to party. I tried, to abso-fucking-lutely, no avail to get someone anyone to get up and watch the ball drop with me or to go outside at midnight and clang pots and pans. Outright refusal. So at midnight, my sister’s neighbors started shooting off fireworks so I went outside by myself and watched them and then went inside and went to sleep on the couch. LOLs.
  6. One more one more. Last year we had a lot of fun too. Our friend, Amanda, came over and we did exactly what we did this year PLUS we played the Game of Life. I am pretty sure that I was losing for the entire game and then suddenly won huge at the end. Hopefully, this is foreshadowing for how my life will actually go. I mean, I’d rather not win huge at the end then die. Let’s make sure I win huge with plenty of time to enjoy it.

So, I’m writing all of this because I am procrastinating on posting something else. I wrote up a MAD LONG overview of everything big we did this decade; organized by year. Basically, I think I need to break it into two posts and add photos to it. I just can’t seem to get myself to finish it though because I guess I’m not ready to close the book on this decade (although we already have haha). Well, coming soon to a blog near you (it’s this one guys).

Here’s some more photos of this year’s NYE:

Snuggie Day

Cuddlin’

I don’t know if I mentioned it in my last post but yesterday and today are “Snuggie Day”. Since we were so busy on Christmas Eve and Day, I decided to dedicate the 26th and 27th to straight up chilling with no goals in mind. So yesterday, we really, really, really did that. We just laid flat on our backs and watched TV; specifically The L Word: Generation Q, Handmaid’s Tale and The Office (as a palate cleanser). This marnin’ I let myself sleep until about 10:30! It felt so good. I want to be mad that the day is getting away from me but I can’t even.

Kristyn wants to go get a haircut and I kind of want to go see Little Women so we’ll probably get up and go out for a little while and then come back and watch more of The Handmaid’s Tale. I’m a little “meh” about this season because it seems to stuck in a swirl “Do we or do we not trust Serena?” Blerg. Same for The L Word: Generation Q (btw I can’t with that title). I mean, I’ll WATCH IT and be GRATEFUL WE HAVE IT but honestly, I roll my eyes quite a bit watching it. Here are the things that make me roll my eyes in a bulleted list:

  • The young blonde one galloping around like a Golden Retriever all the time.
  • The lesbian couple that’s getting married. Literally who cares about them and their non-issue issues? Like they get engaged one second into the show and then immediately introduce all kinds of “Oh but maybe we shouldn’t?” and “How DARE your Dad offer to pay for a nice place to have our wedding?!” I get that there is nuance there but it just seemed to have escalated faaaaaar too quickly without much context. Relax. Also, the one with “the Dad”; what is her entire deal? She’s spooky and I am not about her character at all.
  • I like the trans character but do not even understand what his storyline is so far. They’re not giving him enough yet.
  • Shane having enough money to “impulsively” buy a bar in LA.
  • Shane not being able to keep it in her pants with the bartender.
  • Bette’s whole sex-with-a-married-woman drama.
  • Bette and her daughter’s tension.
  • The fact that we keep hearing about Tina and yet, no Tina? We had better see Tina.
  • Alice’s girlfriend’s baby mama drama.
  • Alice’s talk show is weird and so is the logo to the talk show; although I was vvvvv into the Megan Rapinoe cameo.
  • Oh AND the fact that they slipped in that Jenny died by suicide after dedicating the entire final season to a “whodunnit” style caper without actually ever revealing “the murderer”. THAT was some true fuckery, you guys.

I mean, I guess that’s the entire show that I’m rolling my eyes at, really. Kristyn said “It’s always been soapy” and this is true but this is some other level shit. I hope they keep it going and we get more seasons because why not but I can’t say I’m LOVING IT so far. I hope that changes as the story progresses. I wish I could see what Cammie Esposito has to say about all of this but I don’t have a subscription to New York magazine and do not intend to get one so here we are.

One stupid (and unrelated) thing I want to say is that I finally figured out something about my bangs today. For a long time I’ve been looking at pictures of my hair when I was in LA and trying to figure out what was different about my bangs then and how to recreate it. I finally realized today that I just pushed them to the side in a different way than I’d been doing it. I swear to Goddess, you guys, I have shit for brains sometimes. I was like wracking my brain trying to think if they were cut differently or something. Nope, just pushed to the side. Honestly, I think I unlocked the secret to my bangs due to two factors: 1) Kristyn’s Dad is a barber and we talked at length about how to cut bangs on Christmas Eve and 2) all morning while I was sleeping, I was dreaming that I was trying to cut my bangs. Basically, my laziness ended up with a bang revelation. Man alive!

“Letting myself”

Christmas Day! – “The one with all the jammies”

Merry Christmas, boos! We had a great time on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We spent Christmas Eve at Kristyn’s Aunt’s house and Christmas Day at my Uncle and Aunt’s house. We had 48 hours of Yuletide joy. I was glad that I was able to eat a little bit of party food both days. I ate well in the morning and afternoon and then tried to make the best choices possible at the parties. I overdid it a little but am fine with it. It’s a relief to know that things can be “normal” post-op.

Christmas Eve – “The one with all the weasles”

Now let’s get to the subject at hand; “letting myself”. I have a real problem. You know how we tend to “save the best for last”? I do that with so many things in my life; even things that are good for me. If I buy a container of strawberries, I tend to let them go bad thinking that I should “save them” for some perfect point in time that doesn’t seem to materialize. If I want to go to a yoga class, I make up reasons why I shouldn’t. I do it with this blog, too.

For a long time, I stopped updating this blog because I was nervous about people that I know reading it. That was silly. But then, I got over that and stopped writing it because I didn’t feel like it. That was fine. Lately though? I want to write this blog but the problem is “letting myself”. I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t write too much or it will be annoying to others or that I have nothing to say or that I have more important things to do. None of that is true and even if it is…so what?

The one with all the faces.

Me, Kristyn, and my sister Christine had made the above photos using a filter and sent them to each other for a LOL. The other day, Christine made a calendar for my parents. The above photo is what she put in November 2020. On Christmas, my Uncle was flipping through the calendar and said “OMG, imagine that there were this many of you all? I’d love that!” I said “Well, if there were that many of me, you’d get annoyed because of all the talking we’d all do.” He said “I’d absolutely love it. There’s nothing I’d love more.” It was such a sweet and loving thing to say. It struck me that I always assume that no one (besides Kristyn) wants to hear anything I have to say. I mean, I didn’t realize that I felt that way. Eye opening.

The one with the Christmas Tree

One more thing, I’ve finally lost a little over 50 pounds. I don’t feel like I look much different but I feel so much different and better. It’s made it all worth it. I heard back from the doc today that my nutrition/vitamin levels are fine but that I should up my B12 to taking it twice per day instead of once (and I’ve already done it). I also increased the Wellbutrin as of last week and am waiting to see if that gives me more energy and focus.

Today and tomorrow I’m letting myself rest after so much frenzied holiday revelry and then I’m going to go back to trying to declutter the house. First we’ll have to peel back at least one layer of Christmas detritus that has accumulated made up of gift bags, wrapping paper, and tissue. We’ve already put our gifts away but the stuff we used to wrap gifts for everyone else is all stacked up in the bedroom. If I’m feeling up to it, maybe I’ll try to do it tomorrow before I flop back into my recliner to finish watching The Handmaid’s Tale (which is what we’ve been doing all day). Okay, I’m going to push the “publish” button. Gnite!

Sluggardly

Pink hurr, Christmas tree, and Elvira.

I have to admit that I looked up synonyms of the word “slow” to find “sluggardly” but if the sluggard fits, wear it. I am still struggling with my energy, you guys. I’m not suffering like I was. I think the Wellbutrin is starting to work a bit because I feel a little more perked up than I did. However, I still cannot really focus to get much done. I feel like all I do is eat things, recover from eating things, take vitamins, recover from taking vitamins, shower, get dressed, put makeup on, and then it’s time to eat and recover from eating as well as take vitamins and then recover from taking vitamins. By the time all that fuckery is done, it’s almost time for bed.

Me and Sammie.

I WILL say, however, that I feel like I’m seeing an improvement this week. I’m at least getting dressed, putting on actual clothes, and makeup. Prior to this, I was only fully getting ready on the rare days we go out. Otherwise, I was wearing PJs all day. I’m hoping that getting dressed will eventually make me feel more spritely and able to actually DO SOMETHING.

12/12 moon at exactly 12:12am ET

When I say that I am not doing anything, I don’t totally mean that. I straighten up the house every day including making the bed, straightening up the living room, feeding the pets, maybe doing some dishes and sweeping. What I’m NOT doing is straightening up two rooms that really need it. One of the rooms was organized until I half-heartedly started going through clothes to see what fits and what doesn’t. I just have to finish that job. The other room is our study and it’s been a damn wreck for a year because it’s become our dumping grounds. Today Kristyn said “I have no clue how you’re going to be able to make sense of that room. HOARDER ROOM.” Tis true “HOARDER ROOM”. I mean, it’s not a hoard like you’d see on TV with fetid mummified cats falling out of the ceiling. It’s just stacks of books and boxes of craft stuff. BUT. STILL.

Shirwy

Pals, between the above paragraph and now, I took a two hour break. I’ve done nothing productive BUT I have watched the Impeachment Debate/Markup. It’s 8:26pm and I’ve been watching this since 9:30am. Jesus.

Also, I died my hair pink sort of. It’s a washout pink spray. It’s fine. Kristyn went to a holiday party for her department today. Here she is looking cute and holly jolly:

Sharp dressed “and”.

Okay, gnite! (FYI, I recognize that these blog posts are PREEEEETTY PRETTY boring but writing every day is making me feel productive and also, more importantly, they make Kristyn LOL. Feel free to say “Oh fuck off, we know about the hoarder room already, Coleen” and click off if you like haha. But also, thank you for being here and reading my bullshit because I’m back on it.

The L Word

Hi buddies! I’m popping in real quick to talk about The L Word: Generation Q and The Real L Word: Season 1. As you may know (if you are queer or queer adjacent), the Superbowl of Lesbianism was this past Sunday with the premier of The L Word: Generation Q. For those not in the know, this is a continuation of the original The L Word series that ended about ten years ago. THAT series was completely groundbreaking in so many ways because even though we’ve had increased lesbian (and definitely queer) representation on TV since then, we’ve had nothing solely dedicated to the lesbian community in a big way like The L Word was. I’ve tried to rewatch The L Word within the past few years and I’ve seen it so many times that I’ve made it unwatchable for myself. However, it was so formative for me and for other LGBTQ+ people who saw themselves in these characters. It’s honestly even one of the reasons we moved to LA. I mean, moving to LA was a goal that Kristyn and I both had separately for our whole lives and then became something we really wanted to do together. But still, The L Word became a big part of that.

The cool thing about The L Word: Generation Q is that instead of taking place in West Hollywood (like the original series did), it takes place in Silver Lake. Actually, we lived right there in Silver Lake at Sunset Junction. Literally, if you went down two blocks to Effie Street and made a left, our first apartment was on the right. Anyway, Silver Lake is a neighborhood on the East side of LA that is pretty LGBTQ+ and “bohemian”. It’s very residential and colorful with cute shops and coffee places. It’s gotten cooler even than when we lived there. I honestly loved living there and if we ever moved back, I’d look there first. There’s a lot of cool graffiti art around and everything smells like flowers. It used to be a little more grungy than it is now but that’s okay. It’s nice to see things continue to improve. Sorry, I really went on a side tangent about LA. This is all making me miss LA and want to move back there, blerg.

Anyway, The L Word: Generation Q was fine. I mean, I’m going to watch the shit out of every episode but so far, that’s my descriptor “fine”. This new series brings back three of the original characters and then fleshes it out with about five new characters. I’m not going to go into plotpoints or character details because that’s already been done handily by Autostraddle and Cameron Esposito in Vulture (and those should be your main sources for all things lesbionic). So this is just my opinion and my opinion is that it was very soapy. I mean, they jumped right into the deep end with period sex within the first three minutes of the series premiere and they made sure to pad the episode with people jumping each other’s bones. Great. Awesome. It’s nice to see different types of human sex portrayed on a screen and I’m for it. HOWEVER, there’s just something missing from this series so far. I think what’s missing is “fun”. I agreed with one review that it feels a little forced. There were a lot of “wink wink nudge nudge” dialogue referring to the series being gone for a while and now it’s back (har har) and I didn’t love that but again, it’s fine. I’m also not wild about the new “Generation Q” characters. There’s a character that gallops around like a puppy dog the entire episode. There’s a lesbian couple who ALREADY GOT ENGAGED AND HAD PERIOD SEX blerg. There’s a trans man who is actually the most likeable character so far (including the original cast members). There is Bette’s daughter who I don’t really feel like spending a lot of time with. There’s the one lesbian’s nefarious “Big Pharma” Dad. And oddly, there’s a lot of talking to Tina on the phone but no actual Tina. I’m gonna need to see Tina. This is bullshirt but I’ll keep watching it.

*Sidenote: I am GERDing right now. This is an unfortunate side effect of this damn surgery. Ugh.

Because we had to get Showtime in order to watch The L Word: Generation Q, we now also have access to everything in Showtime incluuuuuuuding…The Real L Word. Okay, you guys, I have some complicated feelings about this show. When The L Word ended, I was thrilled that they were coming out with The Real L Word which is a reality show produced by the same people who made The L Word about lesbians in LA. Since The L Word was such an integral part of the lesbian experience ten years ago (and still is), it was good to know that we’d have something to hold onto. Friends, this wasn’t it. I started watching this show when it came out; got a few episodes in and bailed. I’m not really a reality TV person to begin with but I kind of hated almost every person on this show. The ONLY people I liked were the really pretty chill one and her comedian girlfriend that has three kids. (Again, I’m not going to google names, etc because I just feel like going on about my own feelings about it.) There’s the “boring couple”, the annoying one who wears shades who “IS LA Fashion Week” (Mikey), braggart bully Rose (ugh), inconsiderate sexytimes one, and then the nice pretty one with the comedian girlfriend. The nice pretty one and the comedian girlfriend were NOT enough to sustain me and I signed off committed to never rewatching this show again. Until now.

Reader, I’ve become ensconced in Drag Race. I resisted it for the entirety of the show’s airing. I mean, I also started watching that when it started airing. Basically, The L Word stopped airing in around 2010, The Real L Word started airing in 2010, and I think Drag Race also started airing in 2010. There was a lot going on. Anyway, I couldn’t get into Drag Race either and swore it off until we went to DragCon NYC in September 2018. Well, that set us off on a Drag Race mission and we’re STILL not caught up yet. Oh we’re trying though. We’re currently watching Season 9 and have watched two seasons of All Stars. We’ve also watched all of Werq the World and UNHhhh and one million other things. We’re elbow deep in gay male culture. (Because let’s be serious; this IS all gay MALE culture. I know that plenty of people call it “gay culture” but women are a side element in this. It’s nice that it exists but there is a very limited lesbian representation here.)

SO after watching The L Word: Generation Q, I felt like it was silly not to give The Real L Word another chance. I’m six episodes of the first season in and I’m INTO IT. Frankly, I still am irked by a lot of the characters but time has made me soft and I have more compassion for them this time around. I’m enjoying seeing their lives. I even looked the people up and two of the couples featured on the show are STILL together. That’s pretty awesome.

Anyway, I’m going to keep power watching it and dreaming of going back to LA sometime soon!

Christmas Stories

This past Friday, we went to see our niece perform in a local performance of A Christmas Story: The Musical. The musical was put on by the town and kids from 3rd through 12th grades could be in it. There were like 60+ kids in the cast! They did such an excellent job too. So proud of her!

We also celebrated my Father in Law’s birthday. Linda put eyedrops in his eyes (see above). Also, it was the first time I’ve had a slice of pizza which felt like a non-scale victory in that I was able to eat all of the cheese and 75% of the crust and felt fine! My brother and sister in law apologized for serving pizza (completely unnecessarily) but honestly, I was really glad to try it in a comfortable setting (AND I’m just glad for their hospitality). I need to experiment with different kinds of foods to see how they settle. So far, I’ve been to a party at my Aunt’s house, to Thanksgiving dinner, and to this mini-birthday party and was able to eat anything that was served. This makes me happy to know that I can enjoy party food just so long as I have a smaller portion size. That’s fine by me. I actually had a little bit of birthday cake too. I felt fine, honestly.

On Sunday, we went the Shannon Rose. It’s a local Irish chain restaurant. Honestly, it’s the last place we saw my brother alive in October 2017. We hadn’t been back since. We decided to go only because it was close to the movie theater. Kristyn shed a few tears when we walked in the door but I was surprisingly fine. I will say, however, that we didn’t go into the room we hung out with him in or I might have lost it a little. Here’s a picture of that night:

After dinner, we went to see Knives Out. We were originally intending to go see Meet Me in St. Louis or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation but we felt kind of loosey goosey about it and spent too much time in the restaurant.

Knives Out was really good, you guys! It was a really fun movie to watch. I love mysteries like Agatha Christie (which it’s styled after), Murder She Wrote (which they played in the movie), and Clue. This movie wasn’t very close to Clue tonally but it was fun to watch like Clue; just in a different way. It was kind of like Wes Anderson meets Agatha Christie meets Clue. Overall, highly recommend even IF I was able to untangle the mystery. Basically, me and Kristyn make fun of each other because SHE is a “great TV watcher” and I am “not”. She figures out every mystery whereas I just like to go along for the ride (and therefore perpetually shocked and surprised by everything).

Today got sucked away by the Impeachment Hearings. I can’t even discuss it except to say that apparently we’re getting Articles of Impeachment in the morning! Jesus, finally. Okay, I think I’m going to “fanciful sleep” in the armchair in the living room with the Christmas lights on. I usually do it on the first day we put up the tree but I haven’t yet. Bonjour!

18 pills, Disney, and Drag

Hi y’all. I’m literally blogging so that I have something to do while I take my pills and vitamins. Every day I have to take 18 pills; 5 of which are prescriptions and 13 of which are vitamins. I’ve always taken a lot of vitamins every day but post-surgery, you HAVE TO. Because you’re eating much less, your body won’t get the nutrients it needs unless you take vitamins. It’s just kind of a safeguard to make sure that you’re as healthy as possible. Luckily, it’s not a change for me because I already took all these vitamins. The ones that I HAVE to take are a multi-vitamin, calcium citrate, B-12 and vitamin D. The ones I take because I want to are fish oil and probiotics. Then the prescriptions are all my normal day to day with the inclusion of one that stops me from getting gallstones; which is a potential known complication of this surgery. The PROBLEM about all of this is that I suddenly have difficulty swallowing pills. I never had an issue with it in my life but now it’s hard to choke them down. Even though I’m taking the exact same pills I took voluntarily pre-surgery, it’s now a trial and a tribulation to take it post-surgery. Part of it is that it’s insane to have so many pills in that tiny stomach pocket at one time but the other part of it is that something is up with my throat in that it seems more narrow. I don’t know why this is but my body changes so rapidly all the time now that I assume that it’s a problem that will resolve itself with time. For example, last week I couldn’t finish an entire egg and today I ate an egg and a half. Last week, I couldn’t cross my legs and this week I can (with some effort). Next week, I might be able to cross them with no effort at all. Who literally knows.

I should say that I am now 224 pounds which is a loss of 48 pounds total. I’m literally two pounds (or a few days) away from having lost 50 pounds! I was telling Kristyn this morning that even IF I didn’t lose another pound, this would still all be worth it. I don’t think I look much different objectively (see photo above – taken last week) but I FEEL much better in my body; much more “myself”. I am finding myself sitting in ways that I used to sit all the time that I couldn’t anymore because of my weight. That’s a really weird thing to say but it’s the truth. What I mean is that I’ve always been a really flexible person but the more weight I gained, the less flexible I became. I thought that was a result of ageing but no, it was just the weight. So lately, I find myself sitting cross-legged or sitting on my feet while in a chair and literally, I couldn’t do that before. It’s a small thing but it’s freeing in a weird and hopeful way. Literally, who the hell knows why some people gain a lot of weight and others don’t? But the reality is that it’s death by a thousand cuts where you don’t know how to fix it but things keep getting progressively worse in small ways that are difficult to share. Before you realize it, your body is a prison. It’s really odd and I’m really glad I went through with this gastric sleeve surgery. I’d do it again tenfold and would recommend it to anyone.

So also, as we mentioned, we got a Disney+ membership and have been binging the animated movies “from the vault. So far, we’ve watched 8 movies. We’re trying to watch them in order of how they were released but we can’t help but to skip some that we’re less familiar with or because we want to jump ahead to ones we’re reminiscent about. Snow White was more gorgeous than I remembered and I can see why this movie flipped people’s wigs back in 1937. The animation was gorgeous and much more sophisticated than you’d think but also, compared to watching Frozen and Frozen 2 the other day, it was also very…I don’t want to say “rudimentary” but in comparison, it was much more simple. It was funny and beautiful and I feel like I forgot so much of it. I mean, these movies you just assume that you know everything about them but the last time I saw Snow White, I was probably a teenager so 25 years ago?! Howevr, this was one of my favorite movies as a kid and a teen and Kristyn felt “meh” about it. In fact, she feels so “meh” that she won’t rewatch it with me. Foolish on her part.


So then we watched Pinocchio which is a movie that I think maybe I only THOUGHT I saw but actually didn’t? This was one of Kristyn’s favorite movies as a kid. The weird thing is that we had a video of Disney songs that showed clips of all of these movies so maybe sometimes I think I actually saw the movie but actually didn’t? It could also be that the last time I saw this movie, I was an actual child. IDK, Disney is so weird with their whole “vault” deal so when I was a kid, they’d only re-release movies at certain times so it wasn’t possible to watch them whenever you wanted. But also? Kristyn and I worked at Disney World for six months and have been to both Disney World AND Disney Land a million times so I think there’s a point of saturation that happens where you’re like, “Yeah I know what this movie’s whole deal is but honestly, I had no idea how Jiminy Cricket fit into the whole Disney pantheon so I can’t have seen this movie, LOL. Anyway, it was great and I’m so glad we watched it. 40 isn’t too late to watch Pinocchio haha.

So then we watched Dumbo which is a movie that we’d both seen. This was one of Kristyn’s favs as a kid because she was partial to movies about animals and I was partial to movies about people. This movie wasn’t really my deal; then or now. I’m glad we re-watched it but there’s nothing that helps me get into this movie. One thing I WILL say is that I had zero clue that it’s set in fucking Florida. I guess I’m used to Disney movies being set in England or somewhere in Europe that it made me legit LOL when they said they were in FLORIDA of all places but it makes a lot of sense because of Disney World; which I don’t think was a glimmer in Walt’s eye back then. IDK, anyway, that movie was a bust for me.

Then we watched Bambi while doing an arduous task. Bambi is one we’d both seen as kids and liked. It was one of Kristyn’s favs and I felt warm about it but could not go under oath to say it’s one of my favs. Honestly though, I’m glad we rewatched it. It was so beautiful and sweet and SHORT; only an hour or so long. The arduous task we completed while watching this was taking all of the lights off of our pre-lit Christmas tree. Last year, we had the ONLY drama with that lovely tree. After we fully decorated it, half the tree’s lights went out. To rectify it, we had to string additional lights on it but it looked terrible because we didn’t want to un-adorn the tree to do it which meant that we strung the lights on OVER the balls and garland and then tried to tuck the lights in to look like we hadn’t done it. Foolish. We also had a drama with it where we originally set it up in one place in the room that was different than where we normally put it but it was too close to the door and we had to move it mid-season. I am normally a “let’s keep it up for as long as possible” person but last year I couldn’t wait to rip it down. From mid-November onward, I’ve been looking for a new tree to replace this one; scoping out Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, looking in stores, looking at trees NOT on sale. Honeslty, none of them appealed to me like this tree did. Kristyn’s parents bought us this tree about five years ago in a post-Christmas sale. They spent $15 on it which I can’t believe but they swear is true. It’s 6.5 feet and came with pre-lit white lights and is SO foolishly easy to set up and take down. Plus, the needles on it are really varied and it makes it look real or at least very pretty. The ones I found online; even at higher price points just didn’t thrill me and I didn’t feel like putting up a real one this year. So we dragged the tree up from the basement and tried to fix the lights; replacing the burnt out bulbs with new ones. Too many bulbs were burnt out though so we gave up on that jobby and figured “It can’t be too hard to remove all the lights”. Wrong. Incorrect. Stupid. It took forever to do (well, the length of Bambi which is an hour long) and it was so meticulous. Still, we got it done and saved the tree. We just strung other lights we have on it and Kristyn said it looks the best it has in years. Debatable but at least we were able to eke another year out of our lovely tree and Bambi was good company to offset the drama.

I watched Cinderella alone because this is another movie that Kristyn is too good for, LOL. (She’s going to be mad at me for saying that.) This was one of my favorite Disney movies as a kid because it was the first VHS tape my parents bought (alongside ET) when we got a VCR. We watched the shit out of this movie. I put it on when I went to bed two nights in a row (because I’d fallen asleep before it ended). The music in this movie is really beautiful. I guess the story is just fine but this movie really takes me back to childhood because it was just a big part of it. I even wore a blue Cinderella dress to my senior prom because of it. It was a blue/silver dress with a tight bodice and a wide skirt like Cinderella’s was. If you’re a teenager and you get the chance to be Cinderella at your senior prom, you take it.

We watched Alice in Wonderland together. This was one we were both looking forward to watching but both felt a little “meh” about. I don’t think I ever saw this movie as a child but watched it as a teenager instead. This movie appeals to teenagers because there’s no rhyme or reason to it and it has a bit of a sinister vibe. That is EXACTLY what makes it unappealing to me as an adult. I WANT to have my heart warmed. I WANT to love the characters and shed a tear when something terrible or wonderful happens to them. There’s not really much heart to this movie which is fine, it’s just not my style. I mean, there’s no exposition whatsoever to this movie. It’s just “hello here’s Alice” and then “bam” she’s falling down the rabbit hole. And then kind of…why is she following the rabbit? Like maybe I didn’t pay enough attention but there doesn’t seem to be a solid reason other than curiosity that lead her to follow him and then when she IS there, everyone’s nuts. Eh, I probably won’t watch this one again unless it’s with a kid. I don’t hate it, it’s just not my “cup of tea”. Blerg.

Last night, we watched Peter Pan. This was one of Kristyn’s favs and I liked it alright as a kid. Frankly, I couldn’t get into the whole pirate thing. I think weirdly that I didn’t like Neverland much. It was too chaotic. I DID like the scenes when they were at home though. I guess I’m a homebody to my core. One thing, one MAJOR thing, that took us both by surprise was how much anti-Native sentiment is in this movie. It’s wild how we all, as a culture, just gloss over the racism of this movie and are like “Oh, it’s a wonderful fantasy!” GURL, they use the word “savages” and every single Native American stereotype possible. Even Kristyn forgot about this and it was one of her favs. Also? A tidbit? I worked at the Peter Pan ride at the Magic Kingdom. That ride ALSO glosses over the anti-Native sentiment. It’s one of my favorite rides there because it’s beautiful flying over England with the twinkle lights and the small houses. IDFK. We were both agog.

Last night we also watched Lady and the Tramp. Well, I watched the whole thing and Kristyn fell asleep so we’ll need to rewatch it again tonight. This movie was a fav of both of ours. I haven’t watched this one a ton but I remember liking it. I’m really really glad we watched this. It was sooooooooo cute! Shirley (dog) and Giles (cat) were into watching it too. They were legit watching the movie. It just was so cute. I had forgotten the ENTIRE plot which is that Lady is adopted by a couple and treated like their baby BUT THEN they get pregnant and start de-prioritizing Lady. Tramp is a stray who comes along and charms Lady and tries to show her the advantages to living a “free” life on the streets but everyone gets a reality check when they get sent to the pound and risk being put to sleep. Grim but real ish. I’d watch this again. This whole Disney+ thing is cool because you can put it on to go to sleep. All the movies, even the ones you don’t love, have nice voice acting and music to relax and go to sleep to. Partytime excellent.

So, if at night we’re being really wholesome and watching Disney movies, by day we’re letting our freak flags fly and watching the Werq the World tour documentary series on Wow Presents + while we eat or do anything in the kitchen. Honestly, it’s so good. I love watching these people perform and prepare to perform and travel the world. I wish I had a life where I could do this for a living. I love ethe fantasy and artistry of drag but I hate how it’s a closed door to women. I mean, you gotta push the damn door open, you can’t expect it to open without doing it yourself and there are plenty of people doing it.

One other thing I want to say about drag is that we watched Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts the other day and I’m weirdly proud of a drag queen I’ve never met. The movie was so good and so personal. She has just taken the shittiest things that ever happened to her and turned it into an art form that makes people LOL. I love and appreciate that. Her abusive step-father called her a “Trixie” to make her ashamed of being an effeminate boy and she turned that insult into a name and identity that helps lots of LGBTQ+ people feel better about the world we live in. That’s strength and resilience. Anyway, she’s really killing it lately with a makeup line, a YouTube show, a Netflix series, a standup show, this movie, a new album, and a new book coming out. Proud of her!

Anyway, THIS, cleaning, eating, taking pills, and exercising is what I’ve been doing with my leave of absence. I gotsta go in the shower now because we’re going to head to the movies and go to the supermarket. Maybe we’ll even drive around with the top down looking at Christmas lights. Later!

Happy Thanksgibbing, errbody!

Hey everybody! I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. We certainly did. I actually had a pretty neat NSV (non-scale victory) in that I was able to eat a little bit of everything (including pie) on Thanksgiving Day. Naturally, I had everything in wee portions and took my sweet time with it but I was really glad to be able to do that. Since I decided to have this surgery, I was a little worrious (worried/curious) about what Thanksgiving Day would be like since it’s so food-centric. I guess my main fear was that I’d have to either not eat at all OR eat something completely different than everyone else was eating. Not so! I DID, however, skip dinner rolls and stuffing. Not worth the pain and I know that first hand because I tested a little piece of dinner roll a week or two ago. MISTAKE. God it hurt so bad. I didn’t want to feel that uncomfortable at Kristyn’s parents house so it was better just to forgo it.

Another thing I decided against was having a glass of wine. Two reasons for that: 1) The last time I had a glass of wine (at the Sleater-Kinney concert), it made me alarmingly drunk and then alarmingly nauseous. Didn’t want to repeat that experience and ruin anyone else’s holiday. The bigger reason I didn’t want to have a glass of wine was: 2) I’ve had a huge case of the spins this week.

Since I started taking the Wellbutrin this past Monday, I’ve been dizzy as hell. The first time I experienced it was on Tuesday. I was laying on the bed and turned my head to the left. The whole room swung with it. The second time I experienced it was that following morning and it was way worse. I jumped out of bed to turn off the alarm clock then decided to get back into bed for a few more zzz’s. When I put my head on the pillow, I totally lost focus. I couldn’t focus my eyes for about a full minute and the room was spinning. It was wild. At that time, I had no idea what the problem was and was concerned that it had something to do with my surgery. It happened a third time on Thanksgiving morning and when I had the wherewithal to google it, it turned out to be a side effect of getting used to Wellbutrin. So, I’ve been taking it a little easy since. It seems like laying down freaks my body out the most but I’ve also gotten a case of the dizzies standing up; like this morning. The other day, I entitled a post “Dizzy Bitch” because I kept feeling woozy and lethargic. That ain’t this. I just THOUGHT I was dizzy. That wasn’t dizzy. THIS is dizzy. Still, we had a nice Thanksgiving and I managed not to faint and freak anyone out. Wellbutrin = 0; Barr = 1.

We stayed over Kristyn’s parents house on Thanksgiving night and then on Black Friday, got up and got ready. We had brekkie with them and then headed to my Sister’s house to pick up my Grandma. We saw that babbies. Foof had his nose buried in a video game and Cam cried if I looked at him but it was nice to kiss those wittle cheeks even if the feeling isn’t mutual (LOL). We drove my Grandma home and then met Amanda. We had lunch at a little Mediterranean restaurant called MishMish and then did some Christmas shopping at DollyMoo and a couple of other stores on the way.

We went to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood too. It was such a weird/good movie. I mean, I knew I was going to love it because I love Mr. Rogers and Tom Hanks but it was much weirder and unexpected than I thought it was going to be. The story WAS about Mr. Rogers but as told through the viewpoint of a jaded journalist whose boss made him do an interview with Mr. Rogers for an issue of Esquire. It’s based on a true story and there was this awesome moment in the movie where Mr. Rogers asks the journalist to pause for a second and think of all the people that loved him that made him who he is today. The movie then paused for maybe a solid minute as we all did the exercise with them. It was incredible. At the end, Mr. Rogers says “There, now I feel better”. I did, too.

We’ve been going to the movies a lot lately because I can’t do much else. I have that A-list AMC subscription that allows me to go see up to 3 movies per week for $20/month. It’s been really helpful for me at this time because I’m always stuck in the house, I have no energy, and no money either. It’s a nice way to “get out” and feel like a person without zapping myself of all strength. It DOES still take it out of me but not that bad.

Speaking of the movies, we went to see Frozen 2 on Sunday with Foof, my sister, and mother. God you guys, it was GORGEOUS. I didn’t get into Frozen-mania and honestly didn’t even see it until the other day. I thought I had because Kristyn and I put it on twice and twice I fell asleep. We got a Disney+ membership the other day so I watched it and realized that I had not seen it at all the prior two times we tried. I really liked it! So then we went on Sunday and god what a beautiful movie. I love love loved the animation and the story even better than the first movie. It snowed that day too so that was cute. More importantly, Foof liked it too. We went to lunch after at Red Robin and then headed home to avoid the storm.

Okay, I gotta g. I have a lot of cleaning and organizing to do. I swear, I’m so wiped out lately that I don’t end up getting dressed and ready for the day until like 4pm (if I’m lucky) and then I can’t get started with my day until like 7pm and then it’s time for bed at 10pm. It’s taken me five days to write this blog post and literally there’s nothing going on. It’s taken me five days to decorate the tree and it’s still not finished. Actually, we have half Thanksgiving decorations up and a Christmas tree. I’m going to try to make a go of getting shit done today. I might post a little bit later on today too if I remember. This post is way too long so I’m going to cut it here LOL.