Monday, July 31, 2006

Happy Bday, Jamie!

There are all kinds of friends. People you think will be around forever who slowly disappear, those who do so not so slowly. People you meet and suddenly, years later you can't imagine them not being there - who's friendship surprises and astounds you, who you realize were never "friends" at all, just family you hadn't met yet.

I've been lucky to have a few of these in my lifetime. Friends who just walked in from the strangest of places and made themselves home in my life. Friends who slowly begin to define "home" in my life. And I count myself thrice blessed because of their presence in my life. Even, as is often the case, when their presence exists thousands of miles and often a time zone or two away.

Jamie Johnson is one of those friends. I try to tell her, but I'm bad at such things. I don't pick up the phone like I should, and even emails are hard to craft as of late. It feels, at times, that the distance miles and time has wedged between us grows in a insurmountable way . . . and then I see her, or speak to her, and it's like no time has passed. And all my worries are waylaid. All my fears of losing such a wonderful and dear person in my life dissipate easily.

And, you know, it is something worth celebrating. She's an amazing woman, always has been. I met her at a mutual friend's house, one night when she stopped by Melissa Vignery's. Somehow I lost touch with Melissa, but from that night on I counted Jamie as a dear friend. She and I double dated and planned double weddings at Bo Lings. (Was it BolIng's? All I remember is the flaming bananas. So sad.) She offered to do an ice sculpture for my someday-wedding in that very restaurant. (I should have taken her up on it.) She even braved Bell family vacations - riding in the back of the Explorer as my dad let us out at gas stations "to stretch the legs and grab some dinner." She was there when I went to visit Ringling the first time, and wrote me letters and sent me taffy in the mail when I was homesick. She has listened to many a late night problem, and patiently sat at the other end of the phone when I cried after my first broken heart. Jamie once drove me to a cast party, but was late enough picking me up I had already finished the gin and juice I had brought. She was kind enough to take me anyway, and endure the ridiculousness. She has continued to do so for years now for reasons I'll never understand.

We started out as friends in high school. We painfully witnessed each other go through rough time after rough time. And then were lucky enough to be around when the good stuff happened. There aren't words enough to explain how my life would be different and less, well, every thing I'd hoped - if Jamie weren't around. She has always been to me more than just a friend, but someone I wanted to be. Someone I admired and respected. Not just for her talents, but for her self. I haven’t said that out loud enough, either. But it doesn't make it less true.

Jamie, I wish we were closer. I wish I could say thank you for being in my life every single day. I wish I called more, I wish I could visit more. I keep thinking someday we'll be closer. Til then i guess this will have to do. Happy birthday, my dear, dear friend. I know the year ahead holds greatness for you. Happiness. Loveliness. Joy. My wish is that all the years ahead hold as much. If they're half the love and fun and joy you've brought to my life so far, they'll be spectacular ones.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Back. Sort of.

Well, here I am. In glasses, but back nonetheless. Today was my first day wearing normal glasses all day - instead of being shrouded behind dark sunglasses and a hat. Seems to be going alright.

They still don't know what it was, exactly. Nothing showed up on the cultures on my eye, and while they found some bacteria on my lens case, my doc says he can only guesstimate from that - it can't be anything conclusive. But whatever. I'm feeling better and there's talk of a return of the contacts SOMEday, so I'm happy. Really the only annoyng thng left is the fact that my eyesight in said eye isn't so good, leaving half my world quite blurry, but no one can fix that until I'm all healed up and we can see if it's permanent. THat and the myriad of drops every two hours and the three o' clock check-in every night. But, you know, again - whatever. It doesn't hurt anymore and that's really all I care about.

It was awful, and I'm sure I'll post more soon - but I just wanted to check in with everyone and let you know I'm on the up and up. My parents' visit was nice, though lacking lot on a scale of the stuff they wanted to do thanks to my eye troubles. But it was great to see them and have them here nonetheless.

AND they got us a new AMAZING kickass digital camera, so you know, tons of pictures to come. :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Diagnosis: Revised

My last entry was in fact wrong according to my new specialist. The new one? No one KNOWS WHAT'S WRONG.

But I'm getting updates on what it's NOT. So I guess that's something. Basically right now I'm not in much pain; hate the light, love the dark. My parents will be here in 24 hours. I have no idea what we'll do if we can't go outside during the daytime.

Now I must stop staring at the big box of light that is my computer screen. Hope you're all well. Be back as soon as I can.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Be Back Soon

I have developed a staph infection in theulcer on the cornea of my eye. We find out the specifics of cuase, cue ect. Monday when my culutres come back to the doctor from Friday. Spent the last week being shuffled around (THAT is a whole entry coming) and have finally found a specialist that seems to know his shit. He also DOES NOT take our insurance. Needles to say things here could be better. BUT they're getting better all the time, obviously, as I can now look at the keyboard of my computer with both eyes. Very exciting.

Sam gets the award for BEST.EVER.EVERYTHING. for taking such wonderful care of me. There have been more than one occassions in which I have cried and squirmed and sobbed with pain and he's not once been anyhting but wonderfully supportive.

As soon as I can I'll write a real entry soon, i promise. It will more than likely be a hate letter addressed to Fromer Eye Center, the docotrs that dicked me around all last week.

And PS, feel free to leave comments on how sexy you think girls who wear glasses are. Looks like that's probably me from now on. *Sigh*

See? You know I'm okay when my greatest pain NOW is my hurt vanity,

Monday, July 10, 2006

Guest Blog By Sam: The Burnt ParK Boys

Went and saw some friends of ours musical in the Berkshires this past weekend. Before you think us too snobby, it was in Pittsville and if you have to ask where that is, you won't get the inside joke. Anyway, Misty and I drove up with Katy and Mike, I may now want to take them on all my road trips, because they're hilarious riding companions. The small Massachusetts mountains are beautiful and we had a blast. Between drinking cases of brew, watching naked man in action, exploding diet coke with mentos and eating at the Misty Moon diner, life couldn't have been better. Except for Misty's continuing eye troubles, but she soldiered thru as usual and had fun.

And now, to the play, which was a production of Barrington Stages, which brought us the brilliance of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Will Finn, who wrote that show, also taught Nathan and Chris (our friends) and helped them get this gig...

The Burnt PART Boys (it's actual name) is a story about 6 kids, three pre-teens and three pre-adults and their adventure to The Burnt Part of South Mountain, the location of a tragic mining accident which ten years previous took the lives of most of their fathers. Without rehashing the play (just go see the damn thing) here are my thoughts.

- First off, it rocked, I was very entertained for the whole 90 minutes or however long it lasted.
- Best song was one where Pete (our young hero) sang about his dad in ACT 1.
- Worst song was probably the Family Tree song, thou after a bit of clarifying by Nathan, I approve of it now more than I did at the time.
- Funniest song, where the older girl sings about killing her boyfriend (jokingly), I think Misty related to that one, she may sing it to me from time to time :)
- Gayest moment of the play, where the imaginary General puts Pete to bed, sometimes I think he's a little TOO close to his imaginary friends... just say'n.
- Loved the way the set moved... they had rolling ladders and chairs that became everything from rocks to houses to boats to trees to, well, ladders and chairs. The set design really put you in the mine, would have been nice to have a bit more outdoorsy feel when they're tromping through the woods, but they did a great job with the limitations.
- Really would have liked a boob joke with the little fat kid... throw me a bone Tysen.
- Good mix of comedy, fun, drama and adventure. There were audible sobs from some audience members and I believe Misty and Katy cried.
- Solid sound, but a good surround sound system with appropriate wind/water/cave/animal sounds would have made it KILLER.
- Good cast.
- Really a top-notch show. I've seen 5 Broadway shows and this in its current state was hands down better than one, and as good as two others.

With a little work, could easily be a solid Broadway show.

Good luck boys.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

28 Years - Happy!

Birthdays are a big deal. They’re when everyone celebrates *you.* It's your special holiday. And birthdays are cool, cause well, you cannot insist everyone laud you with good wishes and presents and time and love and all the things you want - birthdays are about the surprise that happens every year when people *want* to celebrate you. Not 'cause you asked or planned, demanded and cajoled. But because you are loved. Because there's nothing they would rather do.

At least that's how I see it. I've had big birthdays. Where I invited everyone somewhat casually - and awesome! they showed up. Birthdays that passed quietly, without fanfare. Both have been good. But even more, I am someone who LOVES other people's birthdays. I love being part of that surprise, part of that "of course I love you! Of course I love today and all it has in it cause it's YOURS!"

And that's how I feel about today. Because the most important person in my life was born today. Because today changed my life - unbeknownst to me all those years ago. Today I celebrate him and all he is; that he's here. Today is blessed to me. Because he has blessed me.

He is undeniably handsome.

He can't take a bad photo. This is because his smile is so very genuine.

He is incorrigible and stubborn.

His love for his friends and family is so great it is almost a fault. It is all encompassing and wonderful.

He insists on wearing a baseball hat any moment it is possible. I find it the ultimate sign of love for my father that he removes it whenever he enters the man's house.

He kisses me every night before he goes to sleep, and every morning when he first wakes up.

He budgets like a mad man, and yet always finds funds for shoes and sundresses for me.

He NEVER buys clothes for himself. It takes an occasion of some sort, or my incessant nagging.

He dislikes chocolate; he loves fruit.

He loves old-timey detective stories and history books.

He is sometimes hopelessly cynical, and all the times hopelessly romantic.

He adores K-State, the Mets, the Redskins and the Lakers. In that order.

He knows too much about Star Wars; I now know too much about Star Wars.

He is an amazing dancer, and even more, goes with me every chance we get.

He has never been to an opera. But will next week because it meant so much to me.

He believes in the ultimate good use of a decent pandemic.

He is slow to anger, and quick to forgive. Except in sports.

Penguins are one of his most favorite animals.

When eating a meal he really likes, he always sets aside "the perfect last bite" for the end.

He almost always knows what's going on in the world, and never makes me feel dumb when I don't.

He never teases me for not wanting to know.

He loves music and is filled with random lyrics and facts - of all genres.

He will debate you on any topic, for as long as you're willing to put up with it.

He once gave me a tiny plastic globe and promised me the world.

He, in a very very real way, has delivered. I hope someday I'll be able to do the same.

You are my mo chuisle, love.

Happy birthday.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Rocks up his Nose

So Sam and I discovered a new favorite "vacation" spot we canget to without a car - Montauk, Long Island. Jerry O'Connell's hometown.(Thank you "Bachelor" from, like, two seasons back, I think.)

We are already scheming to find a way back one weekend soon, but yesterday we went for only 21 hours (well, including travel time. IN Montauk? 14 hours.) Montauk is only a three an da half hour train ride from the city and it's well worht every second. It's a beautiful ride passing by all the amazingly crazy wealthy homes of the Hamptons, to the very tip of the island - Montauk:The End.

We walked from the train stop into town in slightly cold, overcast weather and arrived at one of the two pancake houses in the town square a mere twenty or so minutes later. We had a WONDERFUL bfast, thanks to Anthony's Famous Pancake House and then began to wander toward the beach.

I was, in a word, ecstatic, to be near an ocean again. To say the least. Sam stopped to take a picture for posterity before I burst from happiness.

Now, as opposed to all the other beaches we've been to close to Manhattan - this was a REAL beach - pounding surf, soft clean sand . . . I can't tell you, possibly, how nice it was. We stopped at the top of the dune, amazed at the pure beachiness wonder of it - ripped off our shoes and headed to the surf. Sam jumping and skipping the whole way due to what ghe referred to as "burney sand." And me, finally happy to no longer be cold.

The water, however? Um, COLD. Very, very cold.

Sam, however, thought it was perfect.

Well, see. We had reached the beach and were suddenly overcome with the need to stay. Originally, we had thought there was a train back to the city at 8pm, opnly to find out once we got there our options were 3pm and 10:30pm. It took all of two miutes for us to decide it was totally worth it to get arrive at Penn Station at 2:30am if it meant a few more hours ON THIS BEACH. There was no leaving at 3pm.

So we hiked behind some sand dunes and did what every rightful public transportation vacationer does, and changed into our swimsuits.

It's important to note here, how incredibly, amazingly pale we are here. We are no longer this pale.

We are red. Very very red. But it was totally worth it! Every second.

So, once dressed appropriately for the beachey beachiness of it all, I curled up like a cat and slept in the sun while Sam galavanted in the surf. Alas, it turns out, the surf likes not so much Sam's galavanting. In fact, the surf hated Sam's galavanting. So much it dragged him along it's rocky bottom, scraping the hell out of his arms. See, here's Sam getting out of the water right after his altercation with the Atlantic Ocean . . .

But! He was not beaten! He was going back. That's my husband, the fighter. And champion of all fights imaginary.

So after an hour or so of just lazing about and playing in the water, we packed up and decided to see ho wfar we could walk. Sam wanted to try to see the lighthouse at the tip of the island, but it was too far. However, we made it halfway, which seemed like a true accomplishment. The beach slowly went from smooth and sandy as we walked to quite rocky. The surf got rougher and we got to watch as all the surfers tried to catch waves toward the end. It was a really awesome and wonderful afternoon.

We then decided to head back to town and walked back, this time along the roads. It was along this walk we commented on the amazingly redness of ourselves and decided maybe a nice sit down dinner out of the sun would do some good. I aquired a kickass, cheesy "Montauk" tshirt from a tourist haven and we settled into a small Irish pub for dinner. We did, at thois point still have five hours to kill.


We we took our time deciding what we wanted, and drank approximately one million glasses of water. The funny thing is, at one point, I hear something hit the table and look up to see what Sam could possibly be doing. What was it? Well, he just found a rock up his nose. From THREE hours ago when he got in his tiff with the Atlantic Ocean. I think we laughed for fifteen minutes solid. No, that's not true, I'm STILL laughing.

We wandered a bit more then settled for the last of our evening in a small sports bar to watch the Mets. When it was finally time to go to the railway station, we were honestly sad to go. I think for the first time in a long time, neither of us was eager to get back to the city in the slightest.

Goodbye, Montauk!

We already miss you.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Things that make me happy

and calls from little leslie.