Archive for ‘etc.’

September 14, 2015

Thoughts on Life’s Little Ironies

Well, friends, I finally updated my “About” page. In the process, I finally admitted to the world something I’ve been wrestling with for some time now. With a blog like this, I’m finding it hard to fess up, but I owe it to you, gentle readers. So here it goes.

I don’t really wear heels anymore.

{massive exhalation}

It all started when I was really sick (June 2012-August 2013). I mean, I really did balance better in heels back in the old days, but I barely walked for a long time. Flats were my jam, man. I think originally I balanced better in heels because my brain had to concentrate a little harder on what was happening at the end of my legs. True fact: the time I gave up heels for Lent I wiped out like 5 times. It was sad. But when I was sick, even when I could walk a reasonable distance I had to move slow and was in a lot of pain – I couldn’t afford to concentrate on anything extra. I guess you could say my brain was reprogrammed when it came to walking.

THEN, y’all, I met this really amazing, attractive, godly man who pursued me and we fell in love and the fact that I am three inches taller than he is didn’t bother us at all. And the incentive to wear heels diminished even more – it was indubitably in my best interest to remain within kissing distance. It’s not like I was making any kind of sacrifice; it just kind of happened. I didn’t squash down a facet of myself. I didn’t change myself to please him.* [My husband likes for me to wear heels – he likes for me to wear whatever I want.] I’m just not in the heel-wearing season of my life anymore.

When I was trying to come up with names for my blog originally (back in 2010), I was just smitten with this name a friend of mine came up with. I had a WordPress theme made on Fivrr specially for it. (It was super-scandalous originally, y’all – I had to ask the graphic designer to scale back the sexy-factor about 60%.) So naturally half of it would become kind of irrelevant. Naturally.

I am about to get rid of most of my high heels (which was the majority of my shoes for a long time) because I just never wear them. So if you wear a women’s 11 or 12, hit me up and I’ll let you know what I’ve got to give away.

*There’s nothing wrong with changing some things about yourself for your spouse or a friend. For example, thanks to my friend and former roommate Nancy, I now make the effort to consciously put the toilet paper on the holder the *right* way.

July 19, 2013

Some of the OTHER Stuff I Learned in College

It seems like a lot of lessons that people learn in college we all learned in college. You know, things like “even if your family has a lot in common with someone else’s family, their family has very different norms” and “most professors are not out to get you.” But there are a always some weird, random things we pick up, that seem to be less generic. Here are a few of the stranger things I learned that might be, shall we say, less common?

1. Check all metal flatware for dried food particulates. (Credit: the Pit)

2. If you live in substance-free housing freshman year and are known to be a non-drinker, the RA won’t make you clean up your own vomit when you get sick. (Credit: Johnson Hall)

3. Rugby for Dummies is an exceedingly helpful book if you are trying to be supportive of a friend who just picked up rugby and you actually want to know what is going on at games.

4. Cafeteria trays can be used as mini-sleds if you have the right hill.

5. The ultimate compliment is when someone dresses as you for Halloween. (Credit: RAST)

6. Tiny offices are positively divine. (Credit: Carswell)

7. “Shagging” isn’t just a British term for sex. (Credit: Shag on the Mag)

8. If you don’t write down the funny things that your friends and professors say, you will forget almost all of them. (Credit: pretty much everyone) See below for examples of things I remember because I wrote them down.

  • A: “Take it off and shake it.”
  • Z: “I slept about four and a half hours last night, so I’m feeling pretty chipper.”
  • M: “We can send his ashes to the four corners of Scotland as a warning to other sociological jurispruders.”
  • E: “What’s with them and these rabid Spanish tutors?”
  • A: “This is more addicting than organic chemistry!”
  • D: “This is an indecent hour to be visiting a friend, but that’s what I’m doing!”
  • N: “Girls are smart, but they spend it all on being devious.”
  • K: “What the Efird?!”
  • M: “That’s the most last-minute kid in the building.”
  • Z: “I can alphabetize everyone in the philosophy study group in 10 minutes.”
  • Dr. Lewis: “And then we got born.”

[Bonus Lesson: Even if you do write down the funny things that your friends and professors say, 10 years later you won’t remember what most of them meant. And even the ones you DO remember probably won’t feel funny anymore.]

May 23, 2013

Adventures in Yoga, Part One

My physical therapist has been not so subtly encouraging me to start going to yoga classes. I already have a number of stretches that I do for PT every other day, but she thinks that yoga will be a helpful addition.

On Monday, I had my first-ever appointment with a physiatrist (we could call her Doctor #9, but I think that since I’m doing so much better, we can dispense with the numbering of doctors, so I’m calling her The Physiatrist). In case you didn’t know (I didn’t), a physiatrist is basically an MD of physical therapy. Her job is to assess where a patient is physically in their problem area(s), and then help the physical therapist determine how to help the patient make progress.

After assessing my situation, The Physiatrist was like, “Yoga. You should do it. Only the slow, stretchy kind – no hot yoga or anything crazy. Cardio is good too. NO PILATES. NO SIT-UPS.” Whoops. I’ve been working on sit-ups for the last week. My bad.

I have a yoga workout DVD. It’s the fast kind. I haven’t done it since seminary, but I do have it rumbling around in the recesses of my mind somewhere. So between that and random moments in Go On (which I just found out has been cancelled; sad, because I thought Matthew Perry really had something there, but ANYWAY…), I thought I knew what to expect from a beginner’s class at the local Y.

Unfortunately for me, no one told the instructor that her class is on the “Classes for Beginning Exercisers” list. Holy smokes, people. This wasn’t mostly slow, lengthening stretches – it was… I don’t know what it was. Insane. It was insane. I’m not going to be able to walk tomorrow. It was like the first day of volleyball practice after a summer of reading lots of books.

But let me tell you the whole story, if you have the time.

Vaguely remembering that some classes are jam-packed and first come, first served, I showed up about 20 minutes early, found the classroom, and parked myself along the wall to wait for other people to show up and tell me what to do. In walks a very spry, fit older woman with a yoga mat. I assume she is a fellow eager classmate, and say, “I’ve never been to this class. Tell me what it’s like.”

As she answers, it gradually dawns on me that she’s the teacher. So I explain to her that I’m coming out of a long illness, that I haven’t done much in a long time, and that I’m there on the recommendation of my physical therapist.

I probably should have listened to the little voice in my head that warned me when she said, “You might want to come to the Easy Yoga class tomorrow at 10:30; I’ll be subbing. That will be basic poses. Tonight, what you’ll be doing will be a little more advanced. [Ha!] I just want to have fun, and for you all to have fun. Just do what you can.” (Note: I knew that class she said would be “Easy Yoga” was also on the “Classes for Beginning Exercisers” list as “Yoga.” So maybe the advertising wasn’t exactly accurate, and maybe I should have added 2 and 2 and come up with 4, but we all know how good I am at math…)

Because I am not scared of looking like a complete moron most of the time, when the room started to fill up, I was willing to move myself and my brand-new yoga mat to the front when no one else seemed to want to join the three brave souls already up there. Probably that was the worst thing I could have done for class morale – who wants one of the “courageous” people up front to wimp out? And I did, believe me.

So we started with the yoga form of John Jacobson’s “Burst” move (around 0:41; not as popular as his “Double Dream Hands,” but apparently more work-out friendly) and a bit of deep breathing, and I’m thinking, “You know what, this isn’t so bad.”

Fast-forward through about 5,000 years, most of which is a blur with black outs throughout because, as I do when I work out for the first time in a while, I kept periodically losing my vision. I kept up okay, but when I couldn’t see for about 10 seconds straight, I gave up and sat for a while.

[At this point in the story, I would like to note that when I got home and showed my sister, who is in way better shape than I am, one of the harder series of moves we did that I was able to do – though not as many times through as everyone else – she said that that was crazy-hard. Thus, I feel a little bit justified about my inability to walk like a normal human being afterwards.]

The teacher, who I should mention is 71 and has a 7-month-old new hip, kept saying things throughout the class like, “Do what your body will let you do” and “Feel free to go get a drink of water if you need to, at any time,” so after I start to be able to see clearly again, I weave through the yoga mats between me and the door, wobbling on jelly legs, and wandered out to the water fountain.

One downside of the classroom we were in (it’s not the class’s normal room) is the lack of a clock, but fortunately there is one in the hallway. Apparently, 5,000 years in Lauren-time is approximately 25 minutes. It’s clear that at least some folks in the class were having their expectations blown out of the water like I had. If I just leave, I could probably singlehandedly tank class morale completely. So I decide to do my best to at least fake keeping up, or just sit there, for the next 30 minutes. And try not to die.

The good news is, I am waaaaaay more flexible than I ever have been before, so I can do impressive things like a low squat for 2 minutes or more. So when everybody else is trying to balance all their weight on the balls of their feet foot while their legs are curled up under them doing some weird bendy thing I can’t imagine being able to understand, I’m squatting. The teacher is all, “Lauren, that’s amazing. I can’t do that.” So I say, “Well, I can’t do what you’re doing.” Even though I’m doing something almost as relaxing as laying down, but I kind of look like I’m at least around the same height as everyone else, and like I’m doing something hard.

Not often I can say that.

The part about the height, I mean.


Anyway, the 71-year-old marvel likes to introduce some pilates to the end of her classes. I just flat out skip that part, or try really easy variations of it that won’t make The Physiatrist mad. Seriously, I knew it was a huge step to even be there, doing downward facing dog and the child’s pose; all the extra stuff was like getting donuts on your birthday in addition to presents. And I was trying to be a good sport, even though I didn’t like the donuts. [I feel that I should point out here that I do not, in fact, dislike all donuts. Maybe the metaphorical donuts were all glazed. I don’t really like glazed.]

At the very end, we do more stretchy stuff and then some nice breathing exercises, which I am comfortable doing. Once everyone starts to get up and move around, I strike up a conversation with the woman on my left, who had muttered, “I didn’t sign up for pilates” at one point. She’s clearly not new at this, so I ask her which classes to try. Apparently, there is a yoga instructor at our Y who is known for his beginner, easy classes, and one of them is on Fridays. She thinks this guy is great; I think his classes sound like exactly what I am supposed to be trying.

If I can drive by Friday, I will be trying that out. In the meantime, I will be drinking lots of water and taking Advil.

August 29, 2012

A Tale of, Oh, Eleven or So Doctors (Part 1)

So, as all you normal readers are aware, I’m sick, and I’ve been sick for quite a while. And I’m not really thinking straight. And I’m in pain all the time. And thus, I have been doing a lot of needlepoint and watching movies and tv shows and very little writing. 

BUT… I am going to see a lot of doctors. And it has occurred to me that I can be as loopy and out of it as I currently am and still pass along some basic stories that might be interesting. You might even laugh – as likely at me as at the doctor or his/her staff. 

So hey. Here we go, dropping smack dab in media res. 

Current players:

  • Dr. One – reproductive endocrinologist who I’ve worked with occasionally over the last 3.5 years
  • Dr. Two – obgyn buddy of Dr. One who did my first laparoscopy and found endometriosis
  • Dr. Three – new obgyn who actually had new ideas and gave me some options besides, you know, a hysterectomy or “we can’t do anything, so I’m sorry you are in so much pain, you wimp, but you’re gonna have to deal with it.” – PS, I am not a wimp.
  • Dr. Four – spinal pain doctor
  • Dr. Five – new internist
  • Dr. Six – gastroenterologist/allergy specialist

Physicians Coming Down the Pike :

  • Dr. Seven – an MD with extensive homeopathic/alternative medicine practice
  • Dr. Eight – urologist with female focus recommended by Dr. Four
  • Dr. Nine – ear-nose-throat specialist, referred by Dr. Five
  • Dr. Ten –  sleep doctor recommended by Dr. Five
  • Dr. Eleven – the pain doctor that Dr. One originally wanted me to see, but he put up a stink about it. so I’m on his schedule, but we’ll see if that actually happens. it’s always disheartening to see a doctor who protests the idea.

So today I met Dr. Six. He brought up the possibility of a certain kind of infection that could explain all of my symptoms – ALL OF THEM. That’s been the big problem – different specialists have been approaching the pieces of the puzzle that they major in, rather than considering the whole problem. But this guy blew my mind.

Dr. Six also had two incredible quotes from today. One was “Well, we’ve got to get you better and back to work!” No other doctor has said something like this. I’m thinking, this guy actually thinks this is urgent! He’s not wanting to try something for 3 months and then see what happens. It was a breath of fresh air, let me tell you.

The other killer quote was, “I think it’s wrong for me to send you out of here in just as much pain as when you came in.” Do you have any idea how little effort doctors have put into decreasing my pain, despite my begging, and not being able to sit in a chair like a normal person, and walking very slowly clutching my stomach… This guy is fabulous! He thinks, “While we figure out what is wrong, let’s see if we can make your symptoms less miserable.”

So, Dr. Six, you win best doctor of the summer! (He’s also qualified for the finals of Doctor of the Year.)


[And here’s another finished needlepoint project, since I know you are just dying to see it.]

August 5, 2012

So I’ve Been Bedridden Since June 26…

And here are some of the things that being bedridden for over a month has given me a new appreciation for:

(And no, I currently do not care that that is an improper use of the semi-colon.)

1. TV shows on DVD – Recently, The Mentalist and Alias have been fabulous comforts to my convalescence. Next stop: Early Hitchcock series.

2. DVR – I’ve always loved DVR; TV on my time and fast-forwarding through commercials always seemed like a good idea. But nowadays, it’s extremely handy – readily available distraction from pain FTW.

3. Scrumptious-smelling candles – thanks to Nancy, this is the candle I’m currently enjoying.

4. Homemade cookies.

5. This amazing work of technology.

6. That the Scriptures are an incredible and reliable avenue for me to get to know God better. Right now, I am holding onto Him rather desperately, and it is important for me to deeply know Who it is I’m holding onto, so that I might actually trust Him not to let me go. My current favorite is Isaiah 64:4. “From of old no one has heard or seen by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides You, Who acts for those who wait for Him”

7. Chick lit and detective novels – Now, I’ve always loved these, ever since I read my first Nancy Drew in first grade, but right now they’re the easiest books for me to understand. Complex or technical arguments – not computing these days.

8. Needlepoint – I do have to exert some self-control, because after a couple of 10-hour days of sewing, it kinda does a number on my hands and I have to quit for a few days. I think I should be able to continue my current project starting tomorrow. I’ll be done with it after about 3 days of work, so then (hopefully) I’ll be able to make another quick trip to my favorite needlepoint shop to pick out a new canvas.

9. Spellcheck, because my sense of spelling is waaaaaaaaay off these days.

10. LOFT capris, because they are comfy daywear on the days I can get out of pjs, and they look a little more like normal-people clothes than my yoga pants. Unfortunately, the ones I refer to seem to be sold out, so no linky love. But I will say this: I have them in sea glass and pale salmon. The colors make me happy. Right now I’m wearing the seaglass pair with an RUF summer conference T. So comfy.