Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weird Diseases

someecards.com - I've injured myself yawning

I get weird diseases. Literally, whatever the 'disease of the moment' is, I'm probably going to contract it. It all started my sophomore year of college. Every year, I normally caught the flu. It was even worse the years I got the flu shot. This nasty tradition came to an end the year swine flu was all the rage. Guess who has two thumbs and was the only person in their dorm to contract H1N1? THIS GIRL RIGHT HERE.

Meelz has a picture of me with a surgical mask on because, when I went to the doctor and was diagnosed, they gave me a doctor's note valid for the rest of the week that said simply, in big letters, QUARANTINE. They prescribed medicine to all my friends and told me that if I found I HAD to leave my room, I had to wear this surgical mask. It was a horrible experience since every time I wore it, people ran from me like I was a zombie.

The next summer, I went on a double date with my bff since forever, Trisha, and had a grand old time.

That's her on said double date, acting all non-suspecting.

Being bffs since forever, we thought nothing of sharing a glass of water at the custard place. 3 weeks later, she was diagnosed with mono. About a month after that, I THOUGHT I had mono but, when I expressed my concerns to my mother, she told me there was only one disease that made people sleepy all the time- laziness. (She has an incredible medical mind, she's just one of those people who believes that acting/being treated like your sick rather than trying to carry on your normal life might only make you sicker). SO, I kept going on my every day life until I went to the doctor, she took my blood for good measure and found out that of course, I had mono.

THE NEXT YEAR, (I know, right?), as in, about 3 weeks ago, I noticed a zit on the back of my leg. No big deal, these things happen. I was content to let it carry on its cycle (Getting bigger before popping and going away) until, after a week, it hadn't popped but instead, had turned into a throbbing, hot to the touch, MASSIVE monster that wouldn't even let me sit like a normal person. Concerned, J told me I should go to the doctor so I did.

The doctor said it was an abscess and that they could drain it right then and there. "It'll feel SO much better once it's drained," he had promised. I went along with this promise of a painfree life but NOBODY TOLD ME how painful the process of draining an abscess actually was. They inject this shot that feels like the whole area is on fire and that all that could possibly be remaining is scorched flesh. I was beginning him to stop when all of a sudden, it went numb. He cut it, drained it, and BAM, less pain. He had to pack it (so disgusting) and told me to come back in 2 days to have it unpacked. For reasons I didn't know at the time, he gave me 2 antibiotics and told me to take them as prescribed until I came back.

That weekend, I started feeling sick. Feverish, exhausted, nauseated. It was the weekend my parents ran the Houston Marathon (GO MOM AND DAD!) and I limped along, trying my best to support them, but ultimately giving in and curling up into a ball to sleep the rest of the day away.

I went back to the doctor on Monday, they unpacked the wound (OUCH) and told me I had MRSA. MRSA. :| This explained the 8 antibiotics a day regime that was leaving me feeling beat down and nasty for the past few days. They didn't know how I had contracted it but told me to quarantine the area and informed me that they would have to report me to the CDC, because it was dangerously contagious. Wonderful.

THANKFULLY, the antibiotics worked, the wound has healed and I feel infinitely better. But this has been what's been eating up most of my time and waking thoughts for the past few weeks. Hopefully, things will go back to normal now :) Until I catch my next weird disease that is.

Monday, January 30, 2012

30 Things to do before our 3rd Anniversary

I'm going to take a break from the Story of Us to keep you updated on some other happenings! If you'd like to read all of the Story of Us at one time, just click the tag over on the right-hand sidebar :)

I like to think that J and I are a relatively hip, fun-loving pair of people. He accommodates my sense of adventure well which results in us having, well, a lot of adventures! BUT, to make the next 7 months special, we have decided to make a 30 Things to do before our 3rd Anniversary list! I get to write 15 things and he gets to write 15 things (which I guess explains why picnic ended up on there twice) and then we get to do them in whatever order we see fit! With our 2 1/2 year anniversary and Valentine's Day coming up back to back, our thoughts have been elsewhere but once this ball gets rolling, I'll be posting to keep you guys updated :)

1. Go to an amusement park
2. Picnic in a park
3. Eat in a restaurant with a great view
4. Designate a drawer for J!
5. Visit a zoo
6. Fly a kite together
7. Take a professional picture
8. Finish watching Dr. Who
9. Canoe together
10. Dress up and have a night on the town
11. Go rock climbing
12. Have a picnic with a group
13. Buy (and wear) matching shirts
14. Cook a 4 course meal

Wish us luck!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Fall

After that night, we kept our conversation going through every form of social media we could find. We had a message thread going on Facebook, we had exchanged numbers and would text on an hourly basis and we would have the occasional banter on MySpace (just to let you know how long ago this whole thing happened). Needless to say, with all of these conversations going, it didn't take long before I got to know him. I learned about his outrageous family life, which included a former alcoholic father who had abandoned his family to join the Mormon church and start a new one. There was his crazy mom and her equally as insane boyfriend who were more obsessed with creating a beer garden than raising successful children. There was his sister, who I had already known since we were both flute players, and finally, there was him.

He was, and still is, a truly fascinating individual. Even back then, he had big dreams and plans on how to get there. He was smart, clever and witty and had a natural gift for conversation. He was able to ask me corny questions like what my biggest dreams and fears were while sounding unbelievably sincere and, in an uncharacteristic move, I actually told him. I'd be lying if I said I didn't start to like him almost right away. He made it almost impossible not to. I had expressed my interest to my closest friends but never actually intended to pursue anything.

At this point in time, I had just gotten over a year-long crush on a boy who, in retrospect, I'm glad I didn't date. I was trying to shake off a creepy stalker who kept trying to get me to come to his house under the pretense of teaching my calculus and I was witnessing enough relationship problems through my friends that I wasn't entirely sure I wanted any romantic entanglements. He had other ideas, though.

One night, about a month after we met, we were chatting on Facebook when a strange message came up from his sister. Now, his sister and I RARELY spoke, and never when we weren't in band. I was caught off guard but she was just warning me against dating that creepy stalker I mentioned before.

"He's a jerk and he's no good for anyone. I thought you should know because A told me you were interesting in him."

I replied (and I paraphrase):

"As usual, A got his story mixed up haha I had said that creepy stalker was interested in me and that I kept trying to shake him off. He doesn't seem like that nice of a guy and he comes on a bit too strong for my taste."

His sister: "As long as you're not interested in him. He and I had a thing back and I think he's gay, not to mention a jerk."

Me: "Huh."

Sister: "Not to mention there's a million other, better guys out there to like. So do you like anyone?"

I froze. What a truly uncomfortable question. At this point, I was still talking to A and... (well, I'll just leave the exact conversation here for you to decipher. It's something I've looked back on who knows how many times and has been analyzed by an obscene number of people, all of whom are unable to discern what any of it really meant. Hopefully, you have better luck than all of us!)

"and you have to admit, the quote is true. can you think of anyone not taken or gay? yeah, that's what i thought. even the kid i like i sometimes wonder about... tsk tsk..."

"lol u make me smile
cept for the part of u calling me either an asshole...or gay...
i hate you for that
and for not getting a good nights sleep also
put that on the list"

"you make me smile too =]
and you're getting just as much sleep as i am so ha
i know you're not taken or gay but at the same time, you also don't seem the type of guy who would like a girl like me
so does that mean that only gay/taken men will ever like me?"

"so your saying im not gay but i dont like girls?
idk what i am now
i have to go re-examine my life"

"so are you saying what I think you're saying?"

"that I'm gay? no"

"wait, i am so confused
when in the world did i say you dont like girls?
i never said you were gay
my exact words were
"only gay or taken men will ever like me"
and then you went off on some sort of tangent and stopped making sense lol
so tell me what "so your saying im not gay but i dont like girls?" means"

"meaning why am i prohibited from liking you?
you said only gay and taken guys like you"

"are you saying you like me?"

"well even if i didnt have a small liking towards you id still question the gray area of your restrictions:P
im saying your an enjoyable person to be around
and that i like the time we spend together:)
but yes i do like you
i just dont know how much yet:)"

I know there are CLEAR flaws in this and, if it were to have happened now, the conversation would have gone in an ENTIRELY different direction but keep in mind that we were still in high school and brand-spanking-new to the dating game. He had only had one serious girlfriend before and I had only had strings of relationships that lasted 2 months a piece. Neither of us knew what to say and, if we did, we were too embarrassed to say it. The conversation I was having with his sister ended at the same time my conversation with him did. She left me with the advice- "Well, if you like someone, you should tell them. You should definitely tell them, even if they're too shy to tell you."

Maybe, if I had taken this advice, things would have been simpler. But, being a typical teenager, I didn't. And things just kept getting more and more complicated.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Band Camp

J and I met at the very end of my freshman year in college and started dating at the beginning of our sophomore year. I'm going to go ahead and start the story a year and a half before that though. It'll all make sense in the end, promise.

All throughout high school, I was a band nerd. My friends were band nerds. I was always in the band hall. You know how these things go. I was also embarrassingly excited about the lock-in, the event that would not only solidify my status as senior but would allow me to finally do all of the silly senior things I had waited so long though.

Trisha and I learned the dance from Hairspray, dressed up in 50s sundresses and performed in the talent show. Then I jumped on the bandwagon and did the senior brush-up which, looking back on it, is ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING but at the time, seemed like a completely valid concept. The idea was that each person walked up to the cup, brushed their teeth with the toothbrush provided and rinsed and spit into the cup of water that sat on the table. Then the next person went up and would do the same thing with the same toothbrush and cup. That in itself is nasty (even though sick people weren't allowed to participate) but people insisted on making it grosser than it had to be. Instead of just rinsing like a regular person, people would stuff their mouths with warm cheese, baby food or egg yolk (food poisoning hazard, anyone?) and drop it into the cup so that the NEXT person had to rinse their mouth with all of that nasty. Like I said, seemed completely valid at the time. Hindsight is so cruel.

There was the senior rollover which involved the freshmen lying on the floor while we rolled over them (no one was hurt) and then Simon Says, where the seniors shouted out the commands and any freshman who failed to do them correctly got spoonfed baby food. We got to dress up our band little brothers and sisters in silly costumes and got them to perform on command. (I should mention that this was all completely voluntary and in good fun. There were no hurt feelings or awkwardness going around)

If that had been all that had happened, it would have been a wonderful night. I would always have the pictures and memories of my last lock-in with some of my best friends. But even after all of these things, the night was still young. At around 4, the party died down and people began to crawl into sleeping bags and burrow into any crevice they could find. My friends and I had decided not to sleep because there are few things less pleasant than waking up on a cold church floor, groggy and cranky. Instead, we made house of cards and talked about the semester ahead of us.

At some point, one of Trisha's friends came up and sat with us. I hadn't been a big fan of this girl, who we'll call That Girl since she refused to invite a friend of mine, M, and I to a birthday party but then told everyone she had and we had chosen not to go because we were so hateful. Oh, high school drama. So anyway, when That Girl came up to our cozy little group, I was less than thrilled. But she had brought a friend along with her. I had never seen this boy before in my life. He was tall, blonde, and so adorable you could tell he didn't know what to do with himself. His eyes were my favorite kind of blue, bright like the most beautiful, cloudless summer day. Right away, his smile disarmed me with the way it was kind of lopsided in the most endearing way. I decided it might not be so bad to have That Girl sit with us after all.

The boy didn't say much for a while and I continued to entertain myself by building houses of cards.

"What are you doing?"

I looked up, surprised. He had made contact.

"I'm just building some houses."

"Well, you're not very good at it."

My eyebrows raised involuntarily. Was this kid for real? I was about to open my mouth with a smart retort when I realized that he was smiling his crooked smile.

"So you think you could do better?" I couldn't help but smile back. His flirtatiousness was contagious.

He shimmied across the circle to my deck of cards and began building a house no better than mine.

"So what's your name?"

Instead of answering like a normal person, he just stared at me blankly, as though I had said something that had deeply offended him.

I continued to look at him expectantly.

"Are you kidding me?" He demanded. "I met you last year."

"You did not. You've got to be a freshman."

His eyebrows furrowed. "No. I'm a sophomore and I met you last year. Your name is Ally. Don't you remember? After practice...?"

I racked my memory but came up with nothing. "Well, I'm sorry. My memory must be going already. You obviously know my name so I think it's only fair you tell me yours."

After a few silent moments, he relented. "Fine. I'm A and I just want you to know that you are the meanest person I know."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Story of Us

One of the hardest things about writing books or stories or poems or anything is deciding where to begin because the truth is, stories begin long before the first page. Histories are built and feelings are cemented and the people you meet on Page 1 have novels worth of history that got them to that point. One of my favorite stories (naturally) is the story of how J and I met :) It's actually a really sweet story with a lot of twists and turns but in order to REALLY understand what happened and why our meeting was so unexpected and wonderful, I'm going to have to begin a year and a half before J and I actually met.

I know it sounds like a lot but it's actually a really good story, I promise :) I'll post the first bit tomorrow! Until then, I know you'll be waiting in suspense ;) haha

Friday, January 6, 2012

Key Lime Pie

Today, I tried to make a Key Lime Pie, misread some directions and ended up with Key Lime Mousse. Still delicious. I feel like this is indicative of the semester to come.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I don't think I'm ready to leave :( Then again, who's ever really ready to leave that place where they grew up? That place that always has just the right foods and just the right people to make any mountain into a molehill. That place that remains just unchanged enough that bits and pieces will always be recognizable. It's a very conflicting point in my life right now.

Part of me (and I'm not quite sure how big that part is) yearns for the life I'm building in my own town, in my own apartment. The life where I have to assume more adult responsibilities but that gives me a great sense of fulfillment. The other part of me is alarmed by how much life will continue to evolve at home, while my own changes away.

When I was a little kid, I used to think that when you left a place, it just went on pause and didn't resume life again until you went back. Sometimes, I wish that little-kid me had been right. I don't want to leave home because I don't want it to change. I selfishly want it to stay just like it is so I'll always know the place I'm coming back to.

They say life has seasons (and don't end sentences with prepositions) but sometimes I feel like I'm going to like some seasons so much better than others, that I would postpone the less-favored ones forever if I could. I would live forever in my favorites, suspending moments and reveling in their glory. I would make my home into Neverland, where no one ever grew old and jaded.

A while back ago, my friends and I became obsessed with Johnny Depp and, subsequently, everything he had ever been in. Among those titles was Finding Neverland which, naturally, because I have an obsessive personality, I became obsessed with Barrie, the man it portrays. He had a quote:

The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.