Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Kinder, Mellower kind of Guster. Paramount Theater Emerson College, Boston MA, April 21, 2012

This will be a good long entry. I should break it up into two. But...the whole day goes together, not just the Guster review. Forewarned is forearmed.

Aside from Barenaked Ladies, the other band that I would travel near and far to see many many times is Guster.

Due to the ongoing no-fun money situation, I have had to pass on seeing them several times in the past two years. And it looked like I was going to lose out on this tour too.  Abbey had mercy and gave me a ticket. For this, and for this show, I am again eternally thankful. This was not a show to be missed. This was a unique and very different performance. I'll outline that soon. But first...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Guster Today!

Oh hello. Sorry for neglecting the blog. I've been busy at work, busy at home and when I am on blogger I'm writing my secret blog with my friend C about our diets, which I won't discuss here, except that I managed to lose about 10 pounds total (unofficial) so far.

And while I did say that I wouldn't make this a weight loss blog, I will  make one comment. Why is it that whenever I lose weight I lose it in my boobs? My bras are all too big cup-wise now, and I didn't have an ample supply of boobage in the first place. So that disappoints me. Hey, body! Lose the weight around the belly and the butt next, please. Kthxbi.

This afternoon, I am going to see my boys Guster. They are doing a 2pm show in Boston, and my dear Abbey (the same one of the BNL show for my birthday in 2010) emailed me to let me know she had an extra ticket for me. I am super stoked, I haven't seen the Gusters in forever, so I am really looking forward to this. I skipped the "Lost and Gone Forever" anniversary tour because of money, I passed on a couple other opportunities... I passed on Huntington NY (hometown, baby!) which would have been an amazing show. So what a blessing it is that Abbey thought to get in touch with me for this one.

It is a 2pm show, which is super weird to me. They performed last night, and they're playing again tonight... But a 2pm show is like the Early Bird Special. Am I really doing a matinee show for a rock band? How bizarre. Well, at least I'll be home in time to see "Matlock"

And on that note, gotta think about getting ready and out the door. More later, I'm sure! Guster! Yaaay!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

the fibroid that won't go away

I haven't had opportunity to really mention life in the post-surgical age.

If you recall in August I had surgery to help stop excessive bleeding due to a uterine fibroid. Said fibroid was rather large by the doctors' standards at about 5cm, so my first choice of oblation was vetoed and I had a procedure done to block my uterine artery and "starve" the fibroid so it would die.  Six months and a couple of really bad periods later, I am frustrated and annoyed with still having to deal with this. I had feedback from people saying that they had no periods or incredibly light periods after having the procedure. Others said it took up to a year to see a difference. I saw a difference the first couple of months but right now, we're right back to where we were last year, except that I'm prepared when I get my period, I don't leave the house without BOXES of supplies, a change of clothes and a quick path to an emergency exit.

Be prepared is my motto.

I mentioned this to my doctor at my physical earlier this month and she recommended another ultrasound, which I had done last week.

Results are that the fibroid has doubled in size  to 10.4 cm, AND I have a small cyst on one of my ovaries. Fanfuckingtastic.

So I'm reading this letter this morning while I'm on this stupid diet, and I'm thinking that my entire body is in complete and utter revolt. Which is kind of not fair, man.

 I mean, I haven't treated it all that well for the 45 years it has been my vessel, but neither have I completely abused it.

I don't fill it with heroin, I dont' cut myself, abuse myself with food and alcohol to extremes on either end. I make it go hiking, I put lotion on its skin so it won't be all dry and flaky all winter long. I wash it, I trim its toenails. And this is the thanks I get. Blood work saying "you have diabetes and high cholesterol! Rawwr!" and the bleeding! and the fibroid! And the what the hell can possibly be next!

I started thinking of the fibroid as Audrey II from "Little Shop of Horrors" and started laughing, then I got completely grossed out at the idea of a giant human chomping plant growing out of my vagina. So let's put aside those images... meh!

Feeling like I can't win for trying, I guess. My doctor's letter (I like how they don't call you and leave a voicemail with these things) said that she wants to discuss options and recommends that I go back to my OB/GYN and start at square one.

Considering last year I had two options and one of them has not worked, it looks like the other option is a hysterectomy. Or, suck it up, and just deal with bleeding to death once a month.

What I wouldn't give for a bottle of wine and some bacon and a little revenge on this body, this mortal vessel, this betrayer, this judas.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Long time readers know that about 5 or so years ago we were incredibly active people. We got bored with what we were doing, and then we sat down. And we spread out.

Doug had a physical in February that said he has diabetes.

When our doctor told Doug about his diagnosis, Doug did some research about early onset the possibilities of reversing what was just started. He decided that he would do a medically supervised fast. Our doctor does not believe that you can "reverse diabetes," you can lower your A1C but the minute you stop managing your diet and life, it goes right back up.

He said that the worst that will happen is Doug will lose weight. So he's on (I think) day 40 of the fast. He has 4 carnation instant breakfast packets a day, currently has a bowl of high fiber vegetable or some sort of small salad for dinner, and does not exceed 800 calories a day. And he walks, and he plays a LOT of Skyrim in order to stay out of the kitchen and away from food in the house.

He's lost close to 35 pounds.

At the end of this fast (8 weeks) he will go in and have all his blood work redone. If the numbers aren't different, ie: A1C lowered below 7%, he will go back on the oral medication our doctor initially prescribed for him to manage diabetes, and will resume eating, but will eat a 100% diabetes diet with no beer, no pasta, no sugars, whole grain, lots of high fiber veg. A full lifestyle food change...  And so will the rest of the family.

But if his numbers are different, he will shake his ass at our doctor and hoot and holler.

Which brings us to me. Because after all, it's my blog, not his.

I had a physical in April that says I also  have diabetes. A year ago right now I had perfect awesome unbelievable blood work. Now I have an A1C of 7.9, Estimate Glucose Level of 140, Cholesterol of 248 and the same doctor who wants me to come in so we can talk about my options.

Option one for me is to do the same medically supervised fast as Doug.

I started the process yesterday, and a very good friend is doing it with me. She will modify what she is doing and eat food but I'm going to follow Doug's plan. For the first week of this, I am not eating food at all, just the shakes. I'm having slightly more milk in my shakes than Doug has in his, because I'm just that way and really, it's straight up protein and calcium, which is something that won't hurt me.

Since Christmas 2010 I've lost about 20 pounds. Since Doug's birthday, I've lost 4. I have started the countdown for myself at a certain amount, which I will not broadcast here, but once in a while I'll maybe report a negative number and you will know what that means.

The hard thing for me is not having any alcohol. I greatly enjoy beer (as evidenced by the Shenanigans blog) and there is nothing more lovely than feet up, movie in, wine glass in hand. There are things I can drink, but at least through this first week I'm not drinking any alcohol.

As Homer Simpson says "I've become everything I hate."

Friday, April 06, 2012

Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu ... yadda yadda yadda

Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu melech haolam, 
asher kidishanu bimitzvotav vitzivanu lahadlik ner shel yom tov.

Seder last night at the church was a really nice event. Our pastor Rob was the leader and I was the "woman leader." At a home seder it would be mom and dad, or male and female head of household. We had a table set for 40, plus one for Elijah, sitting next to me. Rob explained how as the leaders we were the head of household and I got some laughs with putting on my best Long Island Jewish Mother accent and said "so, tonight I'm your mom."

You all know I love channeling my inner Jewish Mom.

Set up went well, I thought that the person coordinating it was out of her mind wanting us there at 3:30 but ... yeah. Putting up that many tables, seats, plates with charoset, horseradish, parsley and matzo was time consuming.  I had made chicken soup, matzo balls and charoset the night before. The charoset recipe was from a very old friend's mom, and it was spectacular. I may put it all in little dumplings and bake pies out of them for Easter Service coffee hour. I have so much left over.

I had fun on Facebook chronicling my activities -- I wrote Haiku about the process, I freaked out about my matzoh balls being as big as a baby's head. My Jewish friends were at once horribly entertained and supportive.

The female head of household gets to light the candles and sing the blessing, so that was my role. I executed my task respectfully and it all worked out great. I didn't set myself or others on fire. I didn't stand up and spill a glass of wine grape juice all over the table (sorry, Elijah, no wine grape juice for you!)

We concluded the service with communion, bringing the Seder to the Last Supper where Jesus gave his instructions to his disciples saying "Take, Eat, Drink. The gifts of God for the people of God..." and it was lovely.

Fantastically, timing-wise it almost worked out that Doug and Jess both arrived at the church just a few minutes before we did the ceremonial opening of the door for Elijah. I had some laughs with my friend Jon earlier in the day contemplating how funny it would be if one of the little wee kids opened the door and there was Doug in a robe with a chalice in hand and cotton-ball beard stained with wine. Not sure others would find that funny but we painted ourselves a great picture of the hilarity that would ensue.

At the end of the service, one of the cute little ladies walked up and took my hands. She was crying, which absolutely took me by surprise. She said "thank you for this, I needed this, and it seems everything you touch for us in this church is like gold." I told her to stop it, that I wasn't taking credit for touching anything. The only thing I did was light some candles, sing a ditty, and read the script. She should really go thank the coordinator. So I made her go over, and the coordinator was equally shocked by the sight of tears.

I kind of wear it as a badge of honor that I had a small part in making someone cry good tears of connection, of recognizing the Seder and Last Supper connection, of connection with the other people in the congregation. These are beautiful things. And when people say they "don't need church or religion to be closer to God," yes ... this is true. But, sometimes you need community. You need other people. And right now that is where I think this little lady is. And it makes me glad to help in providing that in a way that isn't a drive-by.

All told, a good evening.

Pictures on Flickr of course starting at the bottom of this page and moving to page 3, but here are a few for sampling. And for my Jewish friends, Yom Tov people! For my Christian friends -- I hope that however you are observing this holiday weekend you find joy on Sunday. Alleluia, Alleluia indeed.

shhhhh. my cheat sheet.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Doing Something I've Never Done Before

Our church does a Passover Seder on Maundy Thursday every year. This year I was asked to make some food, and to play the female head of household, light the candles, and sing the blessing.

I don't like singing alone in front of other people.

Especially... in a foreign language.

The blessing is in Hebrew, fer crying out loud. In our script (I don't know how accurate this is so my Friends In The Tribe can let me know if this is ever done) the male head of household (our pastor) will say the translation in English first, and then I will light the candles and sing the blessing in Hebrew.

Also, I have no idea if there is an official tune, as I couldn't find one online. A friend sent me an audio file of a version she has done. Another friend said "Just do it like a Gregorian Chant, all one note and go down one or two notes at the end."

No way, I want an actual song.

Then it occurred to me. The band Barenaked Ladies has a Hanukkah Blessing song and the words... are ... almost the same. Except for the end, where I'll sing "yom tov" and Steve sings "Hanukkah."

So I pulled up the song, and sang along, and said "awesome. I have my tune.

I made chicken soup. I made charoset. I made matzo balls. Dinner is at 6pm. This should be interesting. Wish me luck, as I sit here at my desk muttering under my breath "bah-rook ah-tah, adonaaaaaaaaai ell-oh-hey-new mell-eck hah-oh-lam..."