seek and find

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nuge for Short

Marlowe, aka Kit'en, aka Killer, has been formally renamed: Nugent (Nuge for short).

the Fever still plagues me and was the only cloud on my otherwise sunny and fun weekend home for the holidays. my enlarged lymph nodes are still grossly golf-ball like and tender to the touch.

off to the doc in the morning, though, so no worries, no frets, just kitten scratches in the end, right?

i arrived home after a four day vacation in sunny Salida, only to find him ready for me, purring, running, jumping, bounding and devouring whatever i put in front of him.

he's a happy cat, which is fantastic. and now, finally, his name fits his crime.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

lumps... don't worry, it's hilarious

a few days ago i noticed that my left arm was particularly sore and weak, especially around the elbow. a day or so later, the deodorant stick set me off in tears upon application under the same sore arm.
today, i discovered that these two sore spots were protruding like golf balls from said areas - my left elbow and under my arm (arm pit). i decided to call my insurance's nurse help line. they quickly made me an appointment and i went in this afternoon.
this is Marlowe, stuck to the screen in the kitchen.
it took three doctors to diagnose my lumps, but, after about 30 minutes of medical jargon filled discussion, and a few interjections from yours truly, we discovered that Marlowe had scratched my left hand last week and whatever bacteria he has on his tiny little paws made its way into my blood stream, up my arm, and has nested in my painful, golf ball sized lymph nodes.

that's right - Marlowe infected me with Cat Scratch Fever.

no kidding. no joke. i have Cat Scratch Fever, aka, Cat Scratch Disease - treated with an antibiotic and some laughter. because if you can't laugh at that, there really is something wrong.

go to work? or stay at home with the kitten, hot tea, and slippers?

Monday, November 22, 2010

heart the zipper

"it's a tough world out there.. but, we rule, so it'll  all be okay."

thanks Zip. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

3 years later, he's 4!

happy happy happy happy birthday sweet FisherFace. 
although we're no longer linked directly to one another, he'll always have a place in my heart and be part of my purpose. 
i love and miss this little man.
 hope today is great for everyone, especially Fisher O'Brien!

i get by with a little help from my friends

probably to my dad's dismay, i am infinitely happier when i'm with friends. you see, he is a solitary man: a cowboy, a pilot, a motorcyclist, a horseman, a thinker. it's an attribute i've always respected, revered and been woefully jealous of.

i, to my dismay*, am a social butterfly. although i am not too great with crowds anymore (thanks, PTSD), i do enjoy the company of friends, family and even the occasional frenemy.

this is no revelation. i've always enjoyed company, but, over the past few years, i've lived a life of solitaire and found that it is not my cup of tea. after college, i moved to the little mountain town of Salida, Colorado. the move was strategic to surviving my upcoming life in Africa. i knew that it would be nearly impossible to leave 25+ friends in Austin all at once, so i left Austin early for a baby-step towards the life of a Peace Corps Volunteer - alone and in the wilderness.
there, as you all know, i met a man named Ryan O'Brien and his boy, Fisher O'Brien; those two changed my life, incalculably. i fell in love with them both and believed that my life, before and after Peace Corps, was going to be happy-ever-after there in the banana belt of the Rockies.
in Africa, i was isolated but quickly made friends with a handful of the best people i've ever known. Megan Pilli in particular. we met in Philadelphia, two of the prettiest and calmest people at the staging event, and shared a dinner we'll never forget, cocktails we wish we could remember and, although we probably already forgotten who was with us, we never forgot about that moment when we knew.
we were placed 100s of miles apart in Mali; it took days to arrive for a visit and days to recover from the journey, but it was always worth it. she, too, changed me. my perspective. my heart.
then, in village, i was quick to befriend my my host family and one in particular, Dabi Sidibe.  he held my hand, stared at the stars with me, learned to speak with me, learned to eat with me. he woke me up in the mornings and walked about the hills of Africa in the afternoons. we chased goats, got chased by birds and saved each other's lives on more than one occasion. Dabi sparked in me something i hadn't felt before - that animal instinct to be a mother. it is a beautiful, overwhelming feeling. i'll forever be indebted to Dabi and my host family. the beautiful Sidibes of Mourgoula.
after the attack in Africa, i withdrew. from everyone, including myself. trust was difficult, as was an everyday trip to the grocery store. i fell apart and with me fell my engagement, my mind and my life.
at the first chance to leave Salida, after healing from all my medical woes following Peace Corps, i jumped and took off, blindly, for the Pacific Northwest. i live alone, i work alone, i eat, sleep, walk, talk, read, cook, smile, cry, am alone.

i spent the first part of this weekend with a dear friend, Vicki. we met through "work" and since our first encounter, have been tossing wry and witty remarks back and forth, laughing at those we find sufficiently funny and enjoying the company of just another hilarious heroine.
the middle part of the weekend was spent having lunch with Davey and his girlfriend, Kaila. we ate at the most famous clam chowder shop in Seattle and enjoyed the delights of laughter and planning for New Years.

the train was delayed by nearly 2 hours and i couldn't have been less troubled. for the first time in weeks, months even, i felt ok. happy.

i do, truly, get by with a little help from my friends.
thank you for keeping in touch, for keeping me afloat, for keeping me in mind.

this holiday, i hope you know that i am thankful for You.

*i have dramatically feared butterflies since a very early age - the age of toddling about.

flip phones take photos, too

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the blues

daylight saving stinks. i'm ok with my wake-up hour (5am) being dark. but i am not ok with my quitting time (5pm) being just as dark.

to top it off, my neighbors-across-the-hedge have made this oddity of darkness worse by putting in the most amazing flood light. normally, one would think, oh great light! not this time.
this flood light which happens to be aimed at my bedroom window, illuminates everything: my bedroom, my eyelids, my bed - flooding it with an unnatural, uncomfortably bright blue light.

this blue light permeates everything - standard blinds can't hold it out, so i hung up a sheet, a dark purple sheet, and still it comes through, so then i rigged a comforter... still, blue light comes flooding into my room of slumber (no more).

so not only am i not getting any sunlight but the little light i am exposed to (at all hours of the night) is blue.

perfect. just like me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

that's all

sometimes, people just happen upon blogs. sometimes, people happen upon blogs that make them want to write and say:

Just a random person, leaving for the Peace Corps in January, who came across your blog tonight. The way you articulate yourself is beautiful. It's tinged with darkness, but remains positive and uplifting. That's all :)

and when i'm depressed, i eat well... in large amounts

shitake mushrooms, snap peas, onions, water chestnuts, broccoli, garlic, red and yellow peppers, baby corn and carrots, thrown into an un-greased fry pan with three strips of bacon... with cheese, of course. 

i'm not illogical, i'm just depressed

i'm taking steps to get myself back to where i smile just because.

for now, though, i smile at things that make me happy - like Marlowe, my friends, my dog Saul who is in Texas keeping my Dad happy, my photographs, my future, my past.

today was sunny and so was i.

Blame It On Kit'en, Naturally

i woke up late today and in somewhat dramatic fashion, naturally.

partly due to the warmth of my new flannel sheets (thank you, Aunt Tootsie!) and partly due to the cold of my apartment and partly due to the re-set alarm clock (both thanks to the Olympia-wide power-outage), i rose and shone at 7:50am.

after a few moments of watching my breath and reminiscing of mornings like this with Ryan when he lived in the camper, i put on my slippers and a cashmere sweater Daddy shrunk years ago in the wash and shivered while making my coffee.

after scooping the coffee into the camp percolator, i realized i hadn't seen the kitten yet, so i peaked around in the usual spots: the bath tub - where he obviously thinks that because he can't see out no one else can see in, the closet - all jokes aside, under the couch and atop the bookshelf.

while rummaging around in the living room, i heard him squeak and realized he was underneath my diploma! which was on the floor! along with everything else that was once on my walls in my apartment! gifts, photographs, art and posters! all strewn across various pieces of furniture and floor.

my initial reaction was to blame it all on him - obviously. all 10lbs of shiny, black, precious fluff and might, had in my mind (pre-coffee) jumped 5-6 feet in the air, up the walls and maliciously took down some of my heaviest pieces.


after cleaning up this mess of a mess, still in my coffee-less haze, i got ready for work, called in to tell them of the outage and hustled out the door... forgetting my coffee but not forgetting to turn off the stove - thank god.

at around 9am, my insurance agent called and said, "so, are you ok?" prompting an immediate vision of the apartment being on fire and Marlowe leaping from the second story window to sweet freedom - when i said, in a very worried tone, "yes, why?"
he snickered a little and said, "welcome to the Northwest - you survived your first earthquake!"

what a way to start a Tuesday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

waking up to a warm (tiny) body

Marlowe, the enigmatic, has found just one more way to drive me bonkers and, simultaneously, warm my heart. These sunless mornings, he slips under the covers and snuggles himself, seamlessly, against my back - as I am a side sleeper. The early morning issue is that I'm also a flipper, a kicker and a squirmer. Rarely do I wake up in the same position much less on the same side of the bed, so he is setting me up for murder and himself up for trouble.
Alas, waking up to a warm, tiny, smooth, purring body is a pretty sweet way to rise (with no shine: the sun doesn't come out until 7am here!).

Good morning friends.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

i miss my friends



its in the numbers

in a matter of one hour and twenty-five minutes (a time span in which i spoke zero words, walked seventeen city blocks and was not listening to my ipod) i had four people, strangers at that, tell me that i was one of the following:

- ugly

- rude

- a jerk

- the meanest

remember, zero words came from my mouth. in that time, i went to the public library where a man, tall, odorous and black, stood smoking a cigarette blowing his exhaust directly at the walkway, told me first that he, "loved me and would like to love me elsewhere." then, since i did not respond (because, honestly, how do you?), he told me i was "f%^&#g ugly and should smile when people talk to me."


a man being ticketed for what i can only assume was public drunkenness, or something to that affect, told me, not the cop giving him a citation, that i was "a damn rude girl." i crossed between him and the cop, nodding to the police man, implying "excuse me" who said, "sure."


then, a sad looking, extremely large woman sat on my stoop, smoking, spitting, coughing and drunk. i have never seen her before and hope never to again. i was dropping off my library books to go for a walk and was told, by this whale on my porch, that i "shouldn't be so damn rude, slammin' doors and being a jerk."

alice, who has recently returned from a hospital visit with a better attitude and a little more skip in her step on the stoop, told me, out of the damn blue (which, by the way, is a non-topical point here since the sun apparently never ever ever comes out), that i, sydney schalit, was "the meanest neighbor" ever.

welcome home.

what a day.