Monday, April 28, 2008

things mean alot

I turned the key in the ignition and reached down to release the parking brake. Turning to glance behind me, turning to pull the seat belt across, I smiled and smiled and smiled. It was the first day that I felt this certain freedom. My cloudy eye was clearing, my strength had returned. I was to meet Angela and Leah for an afternoon of shopping and for the first time in so long I didn't need Jim or my brother or my mom to drive me. I cannot express to you the joy of just driving down the street in my small neighborhood, turning on my radio, switching out cds in the stereo...Brad Armstrong's voice slow and steady through the speakers. I have the new record by 13ghosts, "The Strangest Colored Lights". Travis brought me a copy while I was in the hospital. I had heard a version of it last year while I was still with the Bucket. Listening to it, I felt quite blown away. The newest version is even better, the song sequence more refined. One of the many things that I love about 13ghosts is the play that occurs throughout each album between Buzz and Brad. They are like two sides of a coin, Buzz with his spacey pop laced with shredded rock and Brad's crunchy, wheaty alt-county outlined in futuristic tones. The end result is this gorgeous twist and turn of a summer's day, like a soundtrack, like a very lucid dream.

Saturday night, after the long day of shopping, Jim and I drove over to the Bottletree for the Raindrop Music Festival. It was my first show in over six weeks and it was worth the wait. I got so see so many people I've not seen in a long time and two of my favorite bands, Through The Sparks and Vulture Whale. I have to say this: Vulture Whale? ON FIRE. Amazing. Wes McDonald was absolutely hilarious. Les and Keelan and Jake were the ultimate rockness. On the way home, Jim turned to me and said "You know, Vulture Whale is the best band in Birmingham. It's true. They are. And I don't know if they have any idea how good they are." I think they know of the magnitude of their rock and revel in it.

Speaking of reveling, Jim got into the PHD program for Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati. They gave him a full fellowship. Hurrah! This means that my new Mister and I will be moving to Ohio in late August. I'm so excited! I've never been to Cincinnati before, so if any of you know anything about that fair city, please feel free to send me a line.


p.s. Amber just sent me this pic. In her boredom with the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, she's decided to grow a mustache:

I think she should keep on growing it until the wedding. I've always dreamed of a hot handlebar mustache on my maid-of-honor.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I stood to the side of the stage. I stood with one foot in front of the other, hands pushed deep into my pockets. Cherry colored lights beamed down upon you. Heat and smoke surrounded us all. I couldn’t breathe. You caught my breath with your downcast eyes and lazy, quiet voice.


April. Jim handed me the CD and said, "It’s called April." I smiled. The new Sun Kil Moon record. What a way to end such a good day. Yesterday was the last day of steroids. I’m so glad. So glad. Thanks for sticking with me through all of this. I’m so lucky. I’m so blessed. And right now, it’s so good to hear Mark Kozelek’s voice, his lazy, quiet voice and his meandering guitar. This is the first record that I’ve really listened to in a long while. So strange, especially since my whole life for so long has revolved around music. While stumbling through this mess of a relapse, I feel like I sort of lost myself. I feel like parts of my life just toppled while I tried so hard to keep everything balanced. It didn’t matter what I did. This disease is so unpredictable. I hadn’t had a relapse in four years. Four years. I had the small symptoms everyday, the numbness, the dull aches, pins and needles, the fatigue, but I learned to live with it. That’s what you do. You go on. Embrace this strange and wonderful life you’re given. I embraced it. I saw the beauty in it. I made the best of it. I hoped. I hoped against hope that this would never happen again. The Avonex did it’s job at least. It may not have stopped the attack, but it did lessen the severity. And that means all the world.

Tonight Jim took me to Workplay for a dinner and lecture hosted by EMD Serono. It was your run-of-the-mill "You should totally take our disease modifying drugs" deal. Jim and I have been to another of these recently hosted by Biogen Idec. They are all the same. They feed you and then make you sit through a long lecture listing facts and figures from all of the latest research. The dessert was pretty tasty, some sort of chocolate pie. I really did enjoy the evening. I got to dress up and go out with my best guy. I made some new friends. And I got to see this video, a short film by MS Ambassador Kristie Salerno Kent.

Um..."I don't think it's a coincidence that the word Dreams ends in an MS."
Hilarious. (Although, I don't think it was supposed to be funny) Jim and I both agreed that the mall sequence was really great. I think it gave Jim a better understanding of symptoms. It's hard sometimes to describe what I'm going through. From now on, when I'm trying to explain, I'll just pull out my high heels and scuba gear and he can go to town.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Metropol 47

Benadryl was probably not the best idea for the middle of the day. Yet I really thought I needed it to combat the side effects of everything else. And so I lay, curled up, tucked in, upon the white wicker couch in the sunroom. My sleepy tears and nervous hands folded within a large pink pillow. My feet searching along the bottom arm of the sofa for rest. The sunlight spent the afternoon weaving around Jim’s form. His head was bent over multi-colored folders, his hand traced his thoughts with a blue pen. I watched him work a while and then turned towards the wall, the fan swept air coming down and keeping my warm face company. Sleep. Just a little while.

Metropol 47

Flash your smile and face at me
Open your eyes wide at me
Lay down every day with me
Until the long gone days

Speak a native tongue to me
Say some funny things to me
Roll around and laugh with me
Until the long gone days

Take me around the city streets
Find us pretty things to eat
Find us something good to drink
But buy me one more day

One more day to know this place
To kiss your sweet koala face
To love you deep into the night
To feel you underneath me

- Mark Kozelek/Rock N Roll Singer


Mother took me dress shopping last night. Bridal tea for the family this weekend. I don’t know how I feel about it, actually. The trip itself was way too much for me. Funny. I couldn’t wait to get out of this house for an evening, and by then end of it I was begging to return. The dress is beautiful, though. And it will be really good to see so much of my family in one place, at one time. So many of my friends too. I feel I’ve been away too long. I’ve been out today 3 weeks. Crazy. Ah, well.

On Sunday, Dutch drove me to meet Traci for a movie. He retreated to 10,000BC while Trace and I sat smiling through "Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day." It was a sweet movie. The set design was absolutely fantastic. I’ve been watching so many movies from the 1930’s and 40’s lately and have greatly admired the different elements of style throughout both decades. In Pettigrew, they brought all of these gorgeous backdrops that I’ve really only ever seen in Black and White and turned them into dreams of glorious color, of form and function, so vibrant and rich. A few of the rooms seemed ripped straight from "Shall We Dance" and "The Women." I do actually wish that someone had used that incredible bathtub design from homewrecker Joan Crawford’s bathroom in "The Women". Absolutely beautiful and quite scandalous, with the glass sides and everything. Also, if you ever do see "The Women" please explain to me the Technicolor Fashion show and Rosalind Russell’s character.