Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Casper the friendly blogger

Four years ago I gave up tanning; not simply artificial tanning beds, but even the lovely, glorious, and gorgeous tan that comes from enjoying the sun. Growing up on an island has plenty of advantages, but years of too much sun exposure and too little protection are not one of them. It may also have something to do with those high school years spent in the tanning bed but, but I refuse to admit that, because I might as well walk around with YES, MOTHER, YOU WERE RIGHT stamped on my forehead. I did not embrace my natural skin color quickly or even well for that matter. For what it is worth, the nickname Powder does not have any other logical explanation. I am 50% Finnish and go so far beyond white that I am quite certain I border on translucent.

However, while going cold-turkey on tanning was hard, I learned some harder lessons along the way. For starters, dermatologists are weird. Male dermatologists are weirder than weird. If I had not already identified a thesis for graduate school, exploring the psyche of dermatologists and their choice of career would border on making the assignment almost enjoyable. Another lesson is that there is no benefit to “scooping” as a skin removal compared to cutting and stitching. They both hurt like hell and leave scars that suddenly make a tan seem not all that important. The tan was SO WORTH the scars all over my body. Who is right now, huh MOM? A more painful lesson is that when biopsies come back “precancerous” and the peculiar dermatologist fails to clear all the margins, you should find out where they live and go punch them in the face. The next step will be to return to their office to get an even larger spot of your skin removed in the exact same place. Who is having fun now people? A final lesson (and subsequent PSA for the evening) was learning that any mole that appears after the age of 25 is deemed highly-suspicious and must be removed. Apparently new moles do not appear after the age of 25 and might as well RSVP to the party with Melanoma as their guest. Since I’ve been plagued with moles who must breed while I sleep, I get the lovely task of keeping track of them via photography. Yes, I have that many moles, I cannot even identify new ones without comparing pictures. Yes, I realize if I am ever destitute I could probably sell the photographs on ebay.

I tell you that so you can understand that I faced quite a conundrum with the imminent arrival of a wedding on April 24th. A wedding that I am going to be in. A wedding that requires me to wear a salmon-ish / pink colored dress. A gorgeous J. Crew dress that only an imbecile would pick out for someone of my complexion; pink undertones only accentuate the albino look thankyouverymuch. Since this is the internet, I don’t have to tell you that the imbecile might be someone whose name starts with an Lynd and ends with a say, do I? Oh, good, because I would feel quite stupid if you knew I did such a thing.

After much soul searching, I determined that maintaining my albino complexion in this dress just was not a viable option. With an equal amount of determination, I also rejected the thought of stepping foot into another tanning bad. So, I took the only other possible route …

…to be continued …

Friday, April 16, 2010

Funny creatures

My friend Angela over at Healthy Wealthy and Wise Woman ends her posts with a daily “eavesdrop”, which are often some of the funniest things I read all day. Angie and her husband Glen are two of the funniest people I know and when it comes to people-watching, they have mad skills. Inherent skills and a mastery that I am unable to compete with. In fact, it was Glen that schooled me in the game of “guess their occupation” while we waited for a flight in the San Diego airport. Aren’t you glad that I clarified that we were waiting for the flight in an airport of all places?

The concept is simple, you scope out oblivious people walking around minding their own business, insert some imagination and !PRESTO! guess their occupation. From what I recall, we observed quite a few librarians, strippers, sanitation engineers, and proctologists. In hindsight, I wonder what occupation people would assume of me … and don’t you DARE tell me Angela from The Office. I do feel compelled to mention that I do not typically travel to the other side of the country in the company of someone else’s husband (especially one titled The Best Husband In The World). Angela’s husband was actually my boss in the hotel job that I had a number of years ago – the one that drove me to the loony bin – um, I mean the one that I loved. Glen, it wasn’t you, it was totally me.

This week a number of exchanges have made me think of the little eavesdrops shared on Angela’s blog. I thank her for the reminder that funny really is all around us. The following examples were not eavesdrops, they were texts sent to me by three different friends this week. These shall serve as examples of what keeps me entertained on a daily basis, the fact that you should question the company I keep, and the fact that I have The Best Friends In The World.

“Dude, I love your kid AND her dirty ass Baby Kate. Baby Kate has some major street cred coming from the ghetto and all.”

“Tin man! How’s the heart? Do you need me to travel to Oz and get you a new one, cuz I totally will.”

“So, I almost have my PhD (errr, in Technical Education) and I watch House every week. I told my family Doc that must make me at least as qualified as his PA.”

I loved each of these comments so much that for a brief second, I contemplated using them as my Facebook status of the moment … until I was hit with the reality of WAIT – ALL THOSE PEOPLE KNOW ME. So, instead, they are my gift to you.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Where I get uncharacteristically sappy for a moment

Although I’ve been out of the blogging world for a number of months, rest assured that Kate is still wild and crazy Kate. Go back and read some archives of Kate, up the intensity to the nth degree, and the vocabulary to the 11th grade, and you have a solid snapshot of what you have missed since my last Kate update. For example, at a baby shower today, she left my table and went and sat at a different table, a table filled with STRANGERS (stranger danger!), just to get premiere seating to the festivities. Not long afterwards, darling Kate went up to a STRANGER (stranger danger!) and said, “you need to get your kid to stop running around please.” Welcome to my world.

But, see, I love this kid more than words can even express. It is something that I rarely write about simply because the topic is ineffable. I cannot find sufficient words that can adequately express the kind of love and depth of the love that I have for this child; every attempt to do so feels incredibly inferior. As people who know me can attest, there are very few things on this planet that leave me speechless.

To bring you up to speed on us, let me share a snippet in time with my wild-one:

Often I stop in these moments and realize that before long she’ll be a teenager and I’m even more appreciative of the here and now. I remember being a teenager and I am afraid …VERY.VERY.AFRAID. Many days I wish I had teenager-amnesia, so I could be blissfully unaware of the impending reality that will suck all brains and common sense from this darling child’s mind. Or, perhaps I shouldn’t consider it a detriment, rather an invaluable alley … a sort of mastery I hold that she cannot complete with.

Until then, I will soak up her innocence, sweetness, butterfly kisses, and fact that she cannot get enough of me. I will sneak into her room just to smile, be at ease, and watch her sleep.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The best part about going to Cleveland

While I was in Cleveland, I was able to meet up with the kind and lovely Tia. I’m quite behind the times, as this was my first encounter with meeting a blogger from "the internet". I mean, she seemed normal and I do consider myself a pretty decent judge of online-character. Take for instance the example that I would totally want to hang out with me if I were you. Besides, according to Doctors #2 and #5, I was good as dead anyway, so why not live on the edge a little?

What poor Tia did not know is that I suffer from an insane disease called THE INABILITY TO MAKE ANY DECISIONS WHEN IT COMES TO DINING OUT WITH ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. Don’t get me wrong, I can make instantaneous decisions about compensation redesign, realignment of span of control, or areas to reduce labor expenditures. But where to eat? And when? I suddenly morph into an incomprehensible being that certainly is not qualified to nor should be trusted to pick out her socks in the morning. Imagine my surprise when I learned that Tia suffers from a form of the same disease … I think over the course of 12 hours we utilized about 1G of the 3G network as our smart phones handled about 1,200 emails that went something like this: Well, what works for you? Where would you like to meet? No, it is okay, you pick. Well, what works best for you? Should we meet somewhere near you? No, really, what time works for you? Anytime is fine with me. No, really I’m flexible, what works best for you?

My favorite part of the email exchange is where I apologize to Tia for inconveniencing her because “I’m quite certain I’m making this more difficult than it needs to be.” Tia so flatteringly replies that it is not a problem at all, that I have enough to worry about for the time being, and she “almost feels like she is meeting someone famous.” I am going to save that email and share it with all of my friends when they are too busy washing their hair to be in my company. Don’t you know who you are missing out on? I’m ALMOST SOMEONE FAMOUS, just in case you didn’t get the memo.

All kidding aside, Tia, it was fantastic to meet you! Thank you for breakfast, for great conversation, wonderful company, and starting a really stressful morning off in a perfectly wonderful way. It was certainly my pleasure!

Friday, April 2, 2010

You asked for it ...

Hi everyone, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your concern and thoughtfulness regarding my sudden exodus from blogging land. So much has been happening in life and somehow through the midst of it all, I think I lost my funny. Writing isn’t nearly as entertaining when you can’t find your damn funny anywhere.

In December, I started a new job. For the record, I love it and it has been an awesome career move. However, it has also come with all of the accompanying stress and pressures of a new job. I dislike being the new kid on the block. My raging Type A personality hates not having all the answers and being kick-ass at my job. My competitive spirit gets a little annoyed with starting over, having to prove myself, and not being the “go to” person on the team. Then there is the drama of new people and new relationships, figuring out who to trust and who should send you screaming into the night. Four months in, I’m feeling more settled and a slightly less incompetent.

Remember all of the health problems I was having last fall? Don’t make me remind you … Despite having sought consultation from multiple Dr’s and having more tests than one would deem possible, I had to diagnose myself and ask my physician to test my gallbladder. Guess what? It was functioning at 2.5% and I quote the surgeon who said, “that is grossly abnormal; I actually can’t believe you are functioning you should be in so much pain.” Good times. It went to gallbladder heaven on March 11th after a MINOR OUTPATIENT surgery. Yes, a minor outpatient surgery that brought me to my knees for days, left me looking 5 months pregnant, and kept me off work for a week.

The fun doesn’t end there though. In routine testing in preparation for surgery, they found “an area of concern” on my EKG. Let’s not even get me started, I’m quite sure you’d have to pull up a seat and stay all night for this one. Only I would go in for minor surgery and come out with more problems than when I went in. I "may or may not" have a very serious cardiac condition … but I’ve had conflicting information from 4 different physicians on the answer to that questions over the past 3 weeks. If I have the “problem”, it is something that can cause someone to suddenly go into cardiac arrest. I think life nearly has me on the edge of cardiac arrest, I don’t need assistance with that, thankyouverymuch. Since I don’t take halfass for an answer, since MY HEALTH is at risk, and since I have been forbidden to run in the meantime (despite being mid-training for my first 10k), I took my Doctor’s advice and will be in consult at the Cleveland Clinic on Monday with one of the nation’s best electrophysiologists. (I’m thinking it isn’t a good sign when Cleveland gets you in in a week, no?)

Best case scenario, I’m normal. Worst case scenario, I do have LQTS (don’t Google this unless you want to lose sleep for decades) and I end up with a pacemaker or a Dick Cheney (ICD). Regardless, at the end of the day, I’ll have answers.

And don’t EVEN get me started about what else is happening around this nut house.

See, I lost my funny.

But I’m here and that’s gotta count for something, right?