Friday, October 29, 2010

My Face is Bigger than Your Face

This past week I've been tweeting a lot about my face. The itching that started Monday, I mistakenly thought was related to my allergies and developing sinus infection. The two red spots that showed up Tuesday on either side of my right eye I thought were developing pimples. Tuesday night my forehead started to feel slightly bumpy. I called my friend who's an epidemiologist and explained to her what was going on, she told me to take Benadryl and that if it didn't help to see a doctor. Wednesday morning I had a nice ring around my entire right eye and spots developing on the left. I went to the doctor.

Except, I am still on my parent's insurance and have not seen a doctor in Richmond in over a year when I went to the VCU student clinic. But since I'm not a student there I can't go there anymore and my primary physician is located in Northern Virginia. So I had to call Tricare and was finally able to see someone at Ft. Lee. But because Ft. Lee is still more than thirty minutes away, I have to find a civilian doctor that takes Tricare to be my primary physician.

So I see the doctor, Dr. Huggins, a very short, plump woman who seems to think that continuously poking and prodding my face is somehow going to make it better. After some time (I think she took her time poking and prodding to make it seem like she was actually doing something) she writes me a prescription for an antihistamine. Then she leads me to a nurse to get my flu shot - I should mention that I don't typically get a flu shot, just because I unfortunately do not make my health a priority and I only got inoculated out of convenience, and it was free. I think I'm getting over my trypanophobia - I didn't cry or hyperventilate. PROGRESS!

I then make my way to the pharmacy and on the way I'm passing all these people in militay uniforms. I don't care so much about the uniforms, but in contrast to them I look sorely out of place. Aside from my face's mutation, my clothing says "Hi, I'm a poor student, am probably a lot more liberal than you, and yes I've been wearing this particular hoodie since the fifth grade." When I walk up to the pharmacy's receptionist, instead of greeting me with a hello or similar salutation she says, "What did you do to your face?"

I made the mistake of trying a fancy face wash my mom had samples of when I was home last weekend. I don't typically use much on my face. I have really sensitive skin and like to keep it simple, but I had been having all these small breakouts lately so I thought I'd try something stronger. Boy, was that the worst decision ever. I can only compare what is on my face to that one time in the seventh grade when I got poison ivy really bad and used it as an excuse to skip gym for three weeks. Except, it's on my face. And my right eye lid is swollen to the point that there isn't really a lash line and it makes reading small print difficult because everything looks blurry. And instead of missing gym I am missing what I have made out to be the best weekend of this year. I asked to take tomorrow off about a month ago for the Stewart/Colbert Sanity/Fear rally/gathering, and have been looking forward the Halloween festivities since last year. Last Halloween was pretty epic, if not messy.

(This is me last year as a candy striper very happily wearing a friend's "wild thing" head.)

I've digressed. Anyway, so, Wednesday I go to class that night and after I finish my quiz my professor comes up to me with the in-class assignments and tells me that I look contagious and if I need to go home. I proceed to call my boss and apologize for needing the next day off. Thursday is spent in bed hiding from the world until my sister stops by with neem and coconut oils that I had asked her to pick up for me at the suggestion of another friend. The oils are supposed to help with the swelling or something. "It really does look horrible," thanks, April. I don't know why she was so surprised. Sure, my typical descriptions of things I'm excited about may be a bit hyperbolic, but not about things I'm not excited about. Guys, it really is that bad. I have friends who keep claiming otherwise, asking for pictures, but I refuse to make any documented evidence of this situation.

This morning it wasn't any better. Please excuse me for insulting the only real socialize healthcare system in the US as I do like having it, but they never give you the good stuff the first time around. They would rather give you amoxicillin when you need augmentin - I know the difference and when which is necessary. (Example: I took one augmentin that I had lying around for the pesky sinus infection I had developing - POOF! Nipped that in the bud!) Hydroxyzine was just not doing the trick, so I made my way to the emergency room downtown to see a doctor that wasn't a contractor for the government. And while I was waiting in my room some man from the Richmond Health Department asked me if I wanted to get tested for HIV, for free. This week I have not been one to turn down free health related things, so I obliged and got free condoms to boot! "The pink one is for the guy who conveniently forgets to bring his own." What a sweetheart, right? And during such a shit week what could be better news that to have someone tell you that you're HIV negative? Really, in this life, I don't think there is anything better than being HIV negative.

I have had my sunglasses on this whole time. The doctor comes in and asks me to remove them and states, "This is a really impressive case." Impressive is not something anyone in this sort of situation wants to hear. It's the same thing doctors used to say as they called their colleagues in to look at my giant thyroid (it's something like 10 cm wide, which is apparently huge). I have also brought all of the stuff I have been taking, applying and an ingredients list I had the facial cleanser's company send me. He writes me a prescription for prednisone and I'm done. I have contact dermatitis, but a really bad case of it so I'm getting the big guns.

I've taken three today and so far it hasn't really made a difference. But it needs to start working by Sunday because my military ID expires on Tuesday (because my birthday is Wednesday) and if I have to see a specialist it would have to be on Monday. This all presents a problem because I had originally planned to renew my ID on Monday, but I won't be doing that because of the face issue. My mother suggested that I go ahead and do it and then get a replacement later, but that would require me to go out in public without sunglasses and make documented evidence - all things I am not going to do. My mother also didn't believe how awful I look until my sister told her. My parents are going to be in town tomorrow to visit my sister and her baby and want to swing by and see me to, this cannot happen. My mother is one of those people that always has a camera with her and in 20 years she would love to get out these pictures for family gatherings, I'm sure. They do not have my address, and I am not giving it to them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Birds have it made.

Last night I had dinner with a friend. We had Thai. I never get Thai food. It was delicious. So, I'm having it again tomorrow for a different friend's birthday - her choice. He was telling me all about all the things in his life that are currently bothersome, and I of course did the same.

He told me that I had to stop feeling guilty about things, which is true. For example, right now, I could be writing for school or a publication, but I'm not because right now I need to do this. And later I'll probably write some really terrible poetry and attempt to play the piano and become frustrated because I'm not nearly as good as I used to be.

I saw my parents this past weekend. It was only for an hour or so, and I needed my dad to sign some stuff so that I can hopefully move into my own place. So, my mother was sitting there with us and started going on about how her children don't like her. This isn't true. We do like her, but as with my father, we prefer small doses. I suppose this may seem mean or ungrateful. I can only be around them for so long before I start feel like a terrible person. My mother will first ask me about school and why I'm not done yet. Then she will tell me about some people at church that I don't know or care about and how they're getting married or having children, two things I am in now rush to do. And then she'll ask me about my job and tell me about how another person is making so much money doing something different. This will all lead to politics, something that we will never agree on.

I finally told my mother that it's not her that I don't like, it's the fact that she constantly puts herself down and then blames her children and compares us to everyone else. Life is hard. We're just trying to make it. I'm young, I have the rest of my life ahead of me and who knows what that means. I can only listen to what a disappointment I am so many times.

Going to a community college and getting an associates degree in court reporting in the sixties is hardly comparable to going to the largest university in the state and then flunking out. I feel terrible about all that wasted money and time, but at the end of the day I know that I'm much better on in Richmond than I would have been had I stayed in Lake Ridge. Anyway, I get like this after having those kinds of conversations with my parents.

I'm trying to get myself situated enough so that I can save up and after I finish my own associates degree in Liberal Arts, I can go somewhere for a year. And between now and then I'll hopefully find a way to get over all my qualms regarding writing. I mean, I just wrote all of this. I'm sure that were my parents to see it they wouldn't exactly be happy, though it's not my job to make them happy. I have the beginnings of things written that ideally one day will be published that I would like to spend more time on. And I'd like to spend more time writing music, and maybe attempt to get over my stage fright; grow up. Growing up seems an impossible thing to do.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm moving, again, and not to DC.

When I moved in with Adam in June, I had been in a hurry to find some reasonable human being to live with in a very short period of time. I basically had three weeks to find somewhere to live.

Adam is straight-edge, and vegan. Which isn't a problem. We don't share food, with the exception of his candy. His diet is made up primarily of fried potato products and candy - he doesn't like the banana flavored laffytaffy, so he puts it in a bowl for me. I think this is gross. But that's just fine because he thinks that all the dairy products I consume are gross.

He is also not in any way type-A. I am. And this is where I have driven every roommate I've had insane. I like the areas that we share to be clean, but not your version of clean, my version of clean. And then I start to resent the person I live with for not having the same standards that I have and I start doing passive aggressive things, like not taking the trash out when it starts to smell, or not doing dishes - just to see how long it takes them to notice.

When I moved in I liked that Adam was a DJ, had a great music collection, small label and is just generally a music person. I didn't realize that he had so much stuff. And I really don't like stuff. I am a minimalist. I like my books and records, but I like them stored in a non-obtrusive way. I like linear things and I like stacks and defined angles. And I really don't like dog hair.

Adam has two dogs, two pugs. And I grew up with dogs, I love dogs and generally prefer them to cats. But I don't think I've ever been around two dogs that shed as much as these two do, or maybe it's just because there are two of them. And nevermind the older dog's bowel issues - I bought a plastic rug for the living room specifically because of this problem.

So, Adam and I had it out the other night. I've wanted to move out for awhile, but wasn't really sure how to go about asking out of my lease. And I didn't mean for it to happen the way that it did, but basically he told me I was mean and I told him he was dirty, and then we talked about our fucked up families. It actually felt a lot like a lot of the conversations I've had with my family members growing up - things almost always started with an argument, then turned to tears, then eventually a rational discussion was born. Age-wise he would fit perfectly into my family, snugly between Steven and April.

So, now I'm on the hunt for another home. One where I live by myself. As much as all of my roommates have annoyed me, I can honestly say that I love them. But as a favor to the rest of the world, I really need to live alone. Well, as a favor, and for my sanity. The only issue with this is that it will be slightly more expensive. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will A) be living in the ghetto or B) be living in not the greatest conditions. I prefer the former.

I looked at a tiny one-bedroom earlier this week and it was kind of perfect except for the location. The leasing agent even warned me of the proximity to one of Richmond's most dangerous developments. This doesn't bother me as much as it will bother my parents. The place is in a quadraplex and the other tenants are mostly nursing students that attend classes on the nearby MCV campus.

I'm looking at a studio today that's in the noisy Shockoe area. I'd be living above a bar, which again doesn't really bother me because it means that I could be as loud as I wanted to. And I have an appointment to look at another one bedroom later today that's in my current neighborhood - it's more expensive, but all inclusive.

I am using one of my old roommates as a reference so that she can attest to my cleanliness and orderliness. I'm not a bad tenant, I'm just a bitch to live with.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Birthday Prep

Shit. It's been weeks since I've posted anything. Though, if you've followed my tweets you'll see that I have been busy bitching as usual about life's injustices, or my first-world inconveniences via my new Android. It is my new favorite thing. I've become one of those terrible people that are constantly playing with it. AND THE APPS. Let's talk about Tetris. I love that game. It's probably the only video game that I have ever been any good at, and I played it the other day until my battery died. It's been a week, and I use that phone literally all the time. What's the weather like? What time does the show start? What's the latest on NPR? It's all there. All the time. Literally at my fingertips. I know this isn't something new for most people that have any clue about technology, but I am so technologically inept that this thing continues to blow my mind.

Aside from my new toy, my life has gone like this: work/school, nap, work/school, food, internet/hulu, food, work/school, show, food, sleep, work/school, food, nap, etc.

There was a minor freakout a couple weeks ago, but those happen regularly as a result of my talking myself into thinking crazy things and then acting on those crazy though and it usually results in a really long email and/or series of phone calls. All is better now. Except for waking up in the middle of the night realizing that I had been talking in my sleep and may or may have not said silly/incriminating things. If I had been told that this sort of thing would happen while I was growing up instead of all those other silly things about not touching the opposite sex, I would be a very different person. But no one has told me about my sleep talking in years, so I haven't thought much about it. My first roommate used to try and tell me things that she had heard, but none of it really made sense. Thankfully I don't sleep walk. I can only imagine what world of trouble that would get me into.

Moving on to more important matters. My birthday is in exactly a month, November 3rd. I will finally be 21 and it will finally be legal for me drink adult beverages in public places. No good will come of this. In fact, I'm certain that it will only lead to more embarrassing tweets and text messages and probably at some point tears, and probably public nudity. So, friends, please be kind. Those that know me well already know all of these things about me and should not be at all surprised when I call them at three a.m. spouting off all the things I know about angler fish, or showing up on their porch with baked goods and an apology for my drunkenness. So, really, nothing is going to change, except now when I get IDed, I won't have to come up with an explanation as to why I don't have my ID. I have gotten really good at this, and the majority of my friends are of age/old(er) and this usually helps my case when I explain to the bouncer that my car got towed and I got pulled over last night and my license was left on the seat with the ticket and registration... I have learned to just avoid female bouncers/bartenders/waitresses because this stuff never works on them.

I make a really big deal about birthdays because no one ever made a big deal about my birthday. This isn't to say that I didn't have birthday parties because I did, every year, but I always planned them, wrote out the invitations and I'm pretty sure I started planning them so far in advance that my parents didn't have a chance to ask me what I wanted to do before I had given them a detailed list of what was supposed to happen. Then when I didn't do this, well, it's never been good. And my friends aren't much better, I love them, but they are all dispersed around the country, and even if they were all in one place, I'm pretty sure none of them know the others well enough to successfully coordinate anything.

And let's be honest, birthday parties are not the most happening of events. They just aren't. So, I've decided to keep it really small this year and only the people that I know would gladly hold my hair back as I puke all over the bathroom at Bamboo will be there (Anthea, Eleana, I'm looking at you). And while I don't really expect presents, I have compiled this list of things to plant seed into the subconscious of my friends and family, except my family doesn't read my blog most of the time, so I'll be emailing them this list repeatedly through December in hopes that maybe they'll get it right at Christmas.

My new phone is my early birthday present from my parents, and I'm quite surprised that they got it right. It's a Samsung Galaxy S, and I was sure that I would end up with some awful Motorola contraption that they considered good enough.

1. Cake. It's my birthday, I should not have to bake my own birthday cake (though I probably will). My favorite cakes are Pineapple with cream cheese frosting, and banana cakes with peanut butter frosting. Though, pumpkin flavored cake with cream cheese frosting is also delicious, and I know that Carytown Cupcake has these flavored cupcakes, so...

2. Other food. Dinner. Somewhere that's not Mexican of pizza oriented. Somewhere that has seafood is a plus.

3. Card. Inside should be a short, but personal message. Nothing says you don't care like a card that you bought and simply signed.

4. Necklace. I am constantly resisting buying them. I have a necklace that I wear all the time, but it's really because it's sentimental and has a story. It's not just an accessory, it should have some meaning. The one I currently wear was given to me for Christmas several years ago by my brother. He lives in San Sebastian in Spain and the design is that of the fences that go around the beach there. Apparently it's some sort of Basque Nationalist symbol, but I have never been there, so I'm not completely sure. But my point is, he gave it to me, I don't see him often, and it reminds me of him. I should like you well enough that I would be happy to wear a reminder of you. Anyway, I really like this, this and this. (The last one reminds me of the carousel scene in The Catcher in the Rye, and if I had the money I would have bought it for myself by now, but I am poor.) And I don't like gold things.

5. Vinyl. I have not bought nearly as much vinyl as I have wanted in the past year, and there have been so many great things that have come out. A mix CD is also a great alternative, though like the card, it should require some thought.

6. Concert ticket. Sharing a concert with someone is always special if you both really love the band.

7. Clothing. I will probably take it back. So gift card is probably better, but if you know my taste well enough and think I dress well, then give it a go. If you are my mother, you should be aware of my taste, but because you don't like it, please refrain from buying me clothes forever and always.

8. Hats. But not a baseball cap or a beanie, I like and collect vintage hats. Sure, I don't wear them often enough, but I love them. And on crappy days they're a pick-me-up, kind of like wearing my favorite heels with my pajamas because I can.

9. BOOZE. Buying me a drink is appreciated, but if you really love me you'll buy me a bottle of Jameson, or Maker's Mark, or maybe some expensive vodka that I've never had. Or Amaretto. Or Gin. Please do not buy me anything sweet tea related, I am over it, it only leads to terribleterrible things (like all the scars on my body from tubing).

This is a really reasonable list. I mean, I didn't even list shoes, or furniture, or trips, or shoes...