Monday, November 26, 2012

God, Take Me Instead!!!! : My Dog Died

So you know how in my last post I said that Harley had to take a trip to the vet but that it was okay he'd be okay?  I guess he's okay in that he's in a doggie heaven, but not thaaat okay because he died.  UGGGGHHHH.  I can't even stand much I loved that little dog.  When we took him that night the vet, who we love, told us he had bladder stones and he'd need emergency surgery to remove them right away, and that after recovery he'd be just fine.  But it turned out that when the doctor started the surgery, he realized that the reason the x-ray he'd taken of the stones was blurry (he'd had to really enhance it and up contrast and all that stuff when he showed us the night before) was because there was cancer covering about 3/4 of the inside of Harley's bladder.  He called my parents to let them know and recommended that since Harley was already sedated, they let him go.  Treatment was just too risky and it would be too painful.  I really miss him- a few times in the last week I've caught myself being excited to see him when I went to my parents', or when I was there glancing at our other dog Penny and thinking it was Harley for a quick, sad second.  I do definitely take comfort in the fact that I don't think he was in much pain- there were a few things that seemed off but even on the last day, when we took him to the vet, I was playing with him and he was snorting and flailing around and wagging his tail and generally going nuts the way he always would.  I'm grateful that we stopped it before anything really started.

As is customary, I made a short slideshow of pictures of him set to a karaoke version of "You're Simply the Best" by Tina Turner.  As is also customary, I didn't know how to save or send it so I had to just take a video of it.  Enjoy this one on Harley.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

:( / :)

With Thanksgiving coming up, I recognize that I've got a lot to be thankful for but the last 5 days were total bullshit.  Ughhhh.  I took a picture of myself before I went for a walk to visit Evan at the tattoo shop during a calm spot on Sunday, which I planned to scrap because I look pissy, but I guess it pretty much sums it up.

There's a silver lining to the cloudy things that went on: my parents got in a scary car accident but didn't get hurt, I got a worrying call from my dad and my car stalled out simultaneously (and I had to sit in a really busy intersection for 2 hours while people honked at me, and for a surprising moment I lost it and yelled that one especially bad curse word out the window) but I didn't get rear-ended, our beloved Harley boy had to have a scary trip to the vet but he's going to be ok.  But seriously, way to kick me in the nuts this weekend, Life.  I'm exhausted.

HOWEVER: Will and I rallied the way we always do when the shit gets rough, Ryan took care of my dad by picking him up when I couldn't and then Ryan's dad took care of car stuff for me, my friends kept me upbeat and feeling like they had their eyes on me with texts, when I left my parents house tonight they were sitting in their matching recliners holding hands, I'm drinking a glass of red wine in bed with a kitty at my feet, and I'm making plans with Mike to walk to a hotel bar tomorrow night and have Thanksgiving Eve drinks.  Silver linings all over the place; fuck clouds.

But I'm still going to bed before a piano falls on my head or something.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DO THIS SHIT: Sears Portrait Studio

Assemble your crew.  Figure out an outfit theme, preferably involving something unflattering.  Haul it to Sears and get your pictures did.
I'm unclear on any copyright laws that may come into play with these watermarks, because I didn't look into it, because I desperately want to share these with you.  Mike, Sarah, Katie and I had been talking about doing a weirdo photo shoot for years so when I was browsing Groupon and a package for a family portrait at Sears popped up, I practically broke a sweat and dropped my phone out of flustered excitement.
Jeans, athletic sneakers and turtlenecks tucked in only at the front, with some sort of brooch or lapel pin, seemed the obvious choice.  Who wouldn't?  We waited until the last minute because we figured hey, when in Rome- we'll just browse Sears for outfit inspiration a little before our shoot.  Katie was meeting us there and stopping at Goodwill for pins on the way, and when she texted us "American flag pins?" plus we found this beauty of a polo for Mike not far from coordinating 'necks, an idea was formed.
And what an idea it was.  We were a little worried about not getting a photographer who "got it," but dude was loving it.  We just straight up told him we were looking for a cheesy photo shoot and that half-closed eyes or unflattering angles were not a deal breaker and that every corny pose he could think of was on the table.
We found him responsive.
It was a fairly brief but extremely prolific photo shoot, I assume books have been written about it already.  To narrow it down to the few prints that our package included we had about 150 shots to wade through and absolutely LOSE OUR SHIT over- I seriously laughed so hard.  We are ridiculous looking people.  Mike in particular fucking kills me.  Please look at his face in the fake running picture up there, please.
making hard decisions
I cannot recommend this experience more to anyone.  I cannot wait to put all the prints in one of those large, multiple picture frames.  I cannot wait to hang the 10x13 copy of the first picture above my bed, and then on a mantle in my first house, and then in my future childrens' rooms.  I cannot get over my friends.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hurricane Realness

It's been a long time since I've posted, and I can't believe how much has happened since...weddings, shows, parties, hurricanes...there were a million pictures of things on my phone that I planned on posting, like a step-by-step through a meal that was probably 2 weeks ago but feels like a month.  I feel like if I try to write about some of those things now it's going to ring a little hollow because there's either been too much time that's passed or they're just overshadowed by current events, one of them being Hurricane Sandy hitting New Jersey last week.  So let's take a look at that.
Luckily my town wasn't really hit too badly- I "suffered" super minor inconveniences, like only losing power for about one day.  My internet was down for about 5 days and continues to be a little spotty, along with my cell phone service, but I really don't feel the need to complain much when I compare it to what other people have lost.  In my area the rain was less a factor than the wind, and checking out the aftermath the next day was full of uprooted trees, power lines and branches thrown all over the place.

Monday night was when the hurricane touched down and started wreaking havoc.  I decided to hunker down at Ryan's for the weekend with his roommates Jim and Joe rather than spend any time alone in my apartment with the power out, because that shit is scary.  W were pretty well stocked with non-perishable junk food and non-perishable beer, so we got to work on that while we played cards...
Then an impressive game of Jenga (After Dark) (that's not a thing, it was just dark)...
And capped off the night by watching Back to the Future on Ryan's laptop until it died about 3/4 of the way through.  I died about halfway through, falling asleep on Ryan's lap either by natural causes or because the stink of the million scented candles we were using for light finally suffocated me.
The next day the storm had blown over and we decided to go on a hunt for warm food and warm coffee.  Luckily we were more curious about what was going on out there than we were actually optimistic about finding anything, so it wasn't a huge disappointment that hardly anywhere was open.  A convenience store in town was open but without power, and it felt surreal and a little apocalyptic to be wandering around picking up bags of chips in the dark with a bunch of other quiet, kinda freaked out people.  The liquor store across the street had the same situation going on so we got some warm beer for later.  We were thrilled when we saw that a bagel place in town had set up a little station on the sidewalk with some of the salvaged items from their fridge and COFFEE they were making pot-by-pot by boiling water on the gas stove and pouring it over the grounds in their machine, and jumped right in line.
I thought it was awesome that they were doing what they could for people and I think most everyone else felt the same way, but I would occasionally hear someone in line go "Ugh, you only have Hazelnut??" all pissy or groan when they ran out of coffee and had to wait a few minutes for the next pot to be brewed.  Are you kidding?  It made me a little homicidal, which was probably a combination of blind rage at home ungrateful and rude people can sometimes be, plus I needed caffeine.  Coffee :: Kristen as Chocolate :: Cathy.  

I headed home while it was still light out to take a shower, change, and have a little alone time reading in bed with Chloe.  The water was freezing so I took a 10 second shower like a psychotic.  It was not refreshing.  I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before but Sarah and her boyfriend Dan live upstairs from me in our apartment building, which is directly behind a big river and next to a park, so we decided to take a walk to survey the damage there along with Mike.
I was surprised at how little the river had flooded because I think I was comparing it to Irene last year.  Now there was a shitshow, water-wise.
These were all over the place.  Johnson Park is pretty big and runs along the length of the river, it's really nice and I feel lucky to live right next to it.  It also has a small...I don't know if you would call it a petting zoo, but a small area with animals in it?  Whatever.  A section with pigs, chickens, a peacock, goats, horses and llamas.  We didn't walk far down enough to see what was up there but I'm kind of glad we didn't, because I'm not sure what they do with the animals in these situations and I'm not sure I want to.

I was going to head back over to Ryan's after our walk but I needed to pick up a couple things from the apartment first.  It had started to get dark and this is what I was confronted with when I walked into my hallway:
FUCK THAT.  I decided I could live without my chapstick or whatever it was I was stopping in for and hightailed it out of there.  By the way I was half hoping that when I blew this up I'd see a ghost or something, but no dice.

I had put the word out to Sarah, Dan and Mike that at Ryan's the stove was working and he'd be doing some cooking so if they wanted to come over and hang out to feel free.  I also texted Will and Allie, and Sarah got in touch with her brother Tommy, so we ended up having an impromptu hurricane party.  Ryan whipped up some candlelight mac and cheese, vegetables, mashed potatoes with parsnips and salad.
We ate and then decided to hit the games back up.  What else are you going to do?  We played some more Jenga and then some game I don't remember the name of.  Too many games!  But it was fun.  It was really nice to have a lot of people all together, a good deterrent from the antsiness of everything going on.
About one minute after everyone left for the night, the power came back on.  I couldn't believe how easy we got off!  Sarah and I texted each other at the same time to tell each other, meaning it was on in my apartment too.  So awesome.  I still stayed over and the next morning Will, Allie and Mike came back to have some hot coffee and to charge up their phones.  They didn't end up getting power  back until a few days later- it's so strange that even though the town we live in is so small, the power returning was so staggered.  But there are people in Princeton, where I work, who are on day 9 without power so it really goes to show you how little control there is over those things- I would think the town is bougie enough to bounce back pretty quickly.

There's my Sandy story, I really got out unscathed but there are plenty of people who haven''s worth looking into donating to the Red Cross to help out people who aren't as lucky.  I'm off to Rock the Vote MTV style, hope you guys are doing the same!  But only if you're voting for Obama.  If not then I hope you're just not feeling it today, I mean what's the big deal, right??!! In which case I also hope you don't have a lot invested in the maintenance and care of your junk (ladies.)