20 apr 2014

dear new york,

i've been in denial for a bit now, ever since i got the news nearly two weeks ago diagnosing mango with lymphoma. i have been looking forward to seeing you for quite some time, especially because i was so in love with you two years ago that i teared up on the flight home.

can you believe how life changes? it's not surprising, but i think the pacing of things still stuns me at times. last night, as i was talking to my parents about you, my dad pipes up: "i thought you weren't going." i got really quiet because there was no hiding from the truth of the matter.

you see, mango may have as few as six weeks left, and if i am to assess things by the bare minimum, then i can't really justify being gone for nine days. there's really no way to know his exact life-expectancy, of course, but i'm just not comfortable leaving him right now.

i wish there was another way. it's not just missing you, new york, it's missing all my friends too. i know you understand. i know they understand.

and, can i add: what is it about this decision that robs me of any grace i might have when writing about it? i feel like an automaton right now, but i assure you: i am not without feeling about this. is this what others experience when difficult news stares them in the face? i've been behaving badly, for all i know. what i really mean is that i feel guilty for being selfish: selfish every time i think about the cost of this news. not only financial, but emotional as well.

good grief, the rest is just gibberish in my head. at any rate, i know you get it. i don't know when i'll be back, but i'll see you on my next visit when i can be worry-free.


11 apr 2014

when i found out the news on tuesday, i was already en route from work to the vet to pick up mango from his series of tests. somewhere on the southbound five, i kept breathing, kept driving, listening as dr. mckee went through the x-rays and the ultrasound. "enlarged lymph node," she said. "thickening of the bowels." lymphoma. lymphoid sarcoma. i listened intently, but it was more for the tone of her voice than the news she was delivering.

dr. mckee has a uniquely calming tone, and i've always found it reassuring. i guess that's what happens when you know a veterinarian for 16 years. we've been through this before, so i trust her implicitly.

i've been through this before. i trust myself implicitly, though gingerly, with the knowledge that i gained when monty was diagnosed just over 4 years ago. these days i spend time talking to anyone who will listen. to the girl at work who i've never opened up to, who mentioned the word pet hair and got the "i just found out my cat has cancer" outpouring, thank you for listening. for the phone call from nyc in the middle of my work day--thank you, erin. i'm so glad i work a job where i can walk away from my desk anytime without a bunch of questioning glances from management. for the picture of a mango with the words "FUCK CANCER" that ended up on my facebook wall today, thank you lauren. for the texts and the messages and the talks from countless others, for my loving family, i am so thankful for all of you for being here for me right now. i want you to know it means so much to me.

mango continues to lose weight. he's at 13 pounds now (if my scale can be trusted), while he was around 16.2 about 15 months ago. his appetite is diminishing despite the prednisone, and he's picked out a new spot to lay down in my room. the change in behavior and weight loss make me itch because i draw comparisons to my prior experience with monty. my heart is breaking and this is the first time i've slowed down all week to really let myself feel it. i had a brief time of it on tuesday, yelling and angry in my car as i maneuvered safely down alicia parkway. i wanted to get rid of as much negativity as possible before i saw mango. i want him to feel safe and loved and comfortable...

...for the rest of his life.
photo credit: l. skantze, 4.21.11

09 apr 2014

here i am again, dear friends and readers. life's been keeping me busy, and things that i set forth to do months ago (reviewing the entire coachella lineup, i'm looking at you) have been set aside time and again as more important things took priority. i've been having a lot of fun.

yesterday, time stood still as i learned once again that i am facing life with a cat that has cancer.

maybe i'll find my voice about this and share it with you, but for now i'm regrouping.

17 feb 2014

yesterday i visited endeavor at the california science center in los angeles.

science stupefies me. i think i would do much better in school these days given my general interest in the world i live in. as a teenager, i think i was too short-sighted and self-focused to see very far beyond my own circumference of occupied earth. nowadays it's like, "SCIENCE!" that and i pay much more attention to bill nye the science guy.

i highly recommend this, if you are even the tiniest bit interested in space. do this and then go see the 3-D Imax movie about the Hubble Space Telescope. your itty-bitty world/mind will be forever changed. i ended up rounding out the day with the movie "gravity," and i can tell you that it was truly a perfect day. let's hear it for Science!

20 jan 2014

i went to my first (and only) coachella 3 years ago. it was some of the most fun i've ever had for 3 days in a row. it was thrilling and exhausting. it was also expensive. while i think that there's a lot of value built in to the cost (how many bands can you see? i felt like i was riding a roller coaster!), what was even more valuable to me that year was all the new music i was introduced to: fitz & the tantrums, givers, and m ward come to mind, though i can assure you there were many more groups thanks to the friends i was with.

last year i enjoyed the concert from the comfort of a friend's home with an extra-large television and a fast internet connection streaming youtube's broadcast. hot chip really killed it for me (among others, they were the stand out that night). it also helped that there was a comfortable sofa, a whole artichoke for me to eat by myself, and soft blankets. 

over the next several weeks, i will go through the entire lineup, a-to-z, and let you know what i think. it will go something like this: 
  • i'll let you know how familiar i was with the music prior to this experiment, 
  • i promise listen to at least three of the top-rated songs (via spotify) so that i can say i gave them a fair shake, 
  • i'll offer a brief bio of the group
  • and finally, i'll let you know what i thought of the artist/band
the official coachella line up can be found here. i've already begun my research, and i have all of the "a" bands queued up. see you soon!

18 nov 2013

it's almost been three weeks. the blogging is waning. what gives?

the story is the same as it ever was: i am trying to balance life and my artistic ambitions. my time is divided between work, sleep, exercise and loved ones. what i want to do least of all is cram blog posts with anecdotal mumbo-jumbo. i want quality!

as i'm trying to type this, mango (who turns 12 in about a week) is pawing at my belly, attempting to get me to move my laptop and give him a spot on top of my lap. mango's age prompts thoughts of my dearest first cat, the tabby fondly nicknamed "the butler" by my friend adrienne. she took care of monty on more than one occasion when i was out of town. and then, of course, my friend and former roommate kim actually helped me adopt him way back in 1998.

let me get nostalgic for just a moment here--it's so what i love to do (if you know me, it's very true). in 1998, i was living in san clemente. the first thing that i did upon having a place of my own--a two bedroom apartment that overlooked the 5 freeway and the beach, with killer views of the san clemente pier and catalina (on clear days) and hundreds of amazing sunsets--was adopt a cat. it was so easy back then! no one asked to call my landlord to see if i lived in a pet-friendly building. no one asked for references. no one asked much of anything that i can recall. i forked over some money, in partnership with kim, and this cute black and tan tabby with a spotted belly came home with me.

somewhere in my closet there is a picture of monty sleeping on my clock radio (or perhaps it's just a strong recollection i have of him)--he was such a wee thing who grew up to be quite the impressive dude. i loved that cat like no other. or, truly, each pet i've had i love a little bit differently. i think the same goes for people, too. we all arouse different emotions, touching each other in a specifically unique way. that's how i see it.

one of my favorite memories from that apartment took place on a pleasantly warm evening. the sun was setting, and i imagine one of us was grilling something on the propance-powered, vcr-sized hibachi grill that stood 5 inches or so above the ground. monty was sitting on a stool by the kitchen. i was in the vicinity and suddenly monty was out on the balcony. as i took in the scene, my brain put the scene together: monty leapt off of the stool with such strength as to knock it to the ground. the "thud" of the wooden stool on the floor startled him so much that he ran with incredible force through the (somewhat decrepit) screen door. he effortlessly tore a whole through the mesh and left kim and me in stitches. it's one of the funniest things i've ever seen an animal do.

these furry beasts that touch our lives for the briefest of moments, in tandem with the limited time we enjoy here on earth--they really do something special. for me, it's cats. what would i do? where would i be? without them, i think i might sometimes lose my way. 

17 nov 2013

it's been extraordinarily difficult to let go of my brief, spontaneous love affair with "breaking bad."

recently, while walking toward a restaurant for lunch with a friend, i exclaimed, "look--it's jesse!" this was due to the fact that the young man with blonde hair was wearing a black hoodie and a couple days worth of scruff on his face.

this week's videos that i have stumbled on include jimmy fallon:

and mythbusters (gag reel here, but the full episode is out there, too). and oh! there are blooper reels. there are prolific amounts of pop culture references that will be forever impacted by this show. i jumped on the bandwagon late in the game, and the amount of material that is out there highlights the fact that this show was a national phenomenon.

thank you, breaking bad, for making me obsessed with tv for a short while. however, this girl really needs to get back to reading books. and writing.