Friday, February 27, 2009

Is it still "vanity publishing" if I don't call it The Great American Novel?

As you may recall, faithful reader, last weekend was bad. But I tried to turn the bad into good, or if not good at least productive, by writing a very long zine / very short book and publishing it through lulu.com. It's called "The Plague Project", it's basically about my experiences with fibromyalgia, and I've settled on calling it a book(let). It's for sale on lulu, and I ordered copies for myself so that I can sell it in my Etsy store.

So yesterday the book(let) came... and of course there are type-o's. The only really bad one is a word that got "ly" tacked onto the end of it that shouldn't have. Other than that, there are a few font-type problems: an italicization lost here, a serifed letter there. Then there are the omnipresent "things I would have rephrased", the truth being that I could rewrite any given piece every day for ten years, and each day I would find something that I would say just a little bit differently.

But overall, I'm pleased. Pleased that I put it together, pleased about how I published it, pleased about how it came out. Not to say that I'm overly pleased with myself. Sometimes I'm just actually happy with my projects, and this is just one of those times.

Lulu seems to be the right self-publishing house for me; you upload a PDF, so it looks EXACTLY the way you made it look. I wouldn't be happy if anyone or anything went dicking around with my very carefully crafted layouts and fonts. And they give you a nice glossy cardstock cover, and the paper inside is bright white and smooth. I do want to look into using recycled papers though.

I'll let ya know when you can get the book(let) on Etsy. Until then, um, something. Stuff. Yeah.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's probably because I'm *not* perfect.

So, work's been crazy. Last week was the wrapup of a long stretch of insanity. I went into Tuesday thinking that it would be a nightmare, and it ended up being rather calm. I went into Wednesday thinking it would be rather calm, and it ended up being a nightmare.

It was one of those days when too many people were asking me to do too many things, all on top of what I already needed to do. I kept losing track of what I was doing and what was still left to get done. I'd go to write it down and before I could even get pen to paper something else would have already come up. Naturally I did my best to finish everything, but I was stuck with a nagging feeling that I'd forgotten something.

Well, I'd forgotten something. And what that something was didn't become apparent until this morning. I came in to an email from my attorney saying that she couldn't find the notice of service on Lexis from when we turned over the documents from a search we did at a refinery. She's concerned about it because she's going to court to argue with the defendants about whether or not we can use the documents. TODAY.

So I checked. Now, I turned over the documents to defense coordinating counsel. And indeed, I created the notice that I did so. But I never sent it to co-counsel for filing. That, my loves, is a problem. See, we can go ahead and file it right now, but then anyone (like the judge) can look and see that it was filed today - the day we're going to court to argue about it. Doesn't exactly add credibility to our "but we provided them with all the documents" stance. We have a fed ex slip going to them on that day and all, but it's our word against theirs as to what was in that package, and while I don't want to say that defense would lie about it... aarg. It's just not good.

So, yeah, now my attorney's all freaked out, and I of course feel like she's totally disappointed and pissed off at me. But you know what? This is what happens when you give a person more to do than she can possibly keep track of, g0damnit.

By the time that Wednesday came, I'd written the greater portion of twenty different oppositions to summary judgment motions, sorted through a five box document production, and performed countless other tasks in the previous three weeks. (Less than three weeks, actually.) By the time that Friday rolled around, my body was so enraged with how much I'd been working and how stressed I'd been that it just shut down and I couldn't even come in.

It's frustrating to be put in a situation where you're being worked so hard that you're just bound to fuck up. And they put such high expectations on me. They tell me things like "you're the best paralegal we have." Which, hell, may be true for all I know. But it doesn't mean that I don't have limits.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feeling more treasured all the time.


Thanks once again to Vegan Samples, I've been featured in another treasury on Etsy. And once again, my item is top row center - this time it's the print of my raingirl drawing. I also have pins of her, and I need to make stickers... she's really one of my favorite things that I've ever drawn. Thanks Heather! Everybody, go check out the treasury... and the other wares of the Vegan Samplers and the VeganEtsy team!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Have I ever told you that goats are my spirit animal?

Did you know that they can climb trees?



Respect the goats people. Respect. The. Goats.

Monday, February 23, 2009

So...

I'm having a bit of a contest (with prizes) over on my vegan blog. You should go check it out maybe. I've had one winner already, but I'm offering a chance to three lucky souls... will you be one of the two prizewinners yet to be found?!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

So, I wrote a book. Sort of.

I did, indeed, end up staying home from work on Friday. I pretty much got up at normal time and stayed up. I sat at my desk and did various tasks for the better portion of the day. All day long I thought, this is ridiculous! What am I doing! I should have just gone to work! And then I'd do something CrAzY, like try to walk from my desk to the kitchen, and realize why I'd stayed home. I also did spend about three hours in the middle of the day getting some much needed catch-up sleep.

So what was I doing all that time at my desk? A couple of things. For one, searching images for new tattoos. (yup.) And for fonts - there's this whole set of fonts known as circus fonts that are the COOLEST FONTS EVER. And you can get a lot of them for free. There's one I particularly like called Coffee Tin.

But I did something else too: I channeled all of my frustration about my illness into writing a 31 page zine about it, 29 pages of which is real content. I didn't finish it yesterday - that took most of yesterday and today. It's a combination of the web content of an, um, prominent medical institution's information on fibromyalgia, and my commentary on what they say and what my experiences have been with it.

And, due to its length, I decided to publish it. See, 31 pages (half pages, really) = 8 sheets in zine world = cumbersome and expensive to copy, and hard to staple through... plus I've been thinking about trying the self-publishing gig for a while anyway. This seemed like a good thing to try it with, since it was all computer-generated content with just a few images inserted right into the text via the word processor.

So... yeah. You can, um, buy it. By clicking on the button on the bottom of the screen. I've done some testing, and I've confirmed that the button works. You can order either a hardcopy or a digital copy - but beware! When you click on the button it will put one of each in your "cart", and you'll have to delete whichever one you don't want.

I ordered 25 copies for myself to put up on etsy; I'll be selling them there as well. That's the other caveat at the moment - I haven't seen the physical product. I won't until the end of next week. I just know what it's supposed to look like.

This is an experiment. Let me know if you take part in it - and what you think.


Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm sick again, and I don't know why.

I don't understand what's happening. My body is revolting, but there is nothing for it to be revolting against - except the weather, of course. I've been taking good care of myself: paying close attention to what I'm eating, drinking more water, at least trying to keep reigned in the amount of stress I allow work to put on me. And yet, I am relatively sure that I've been in a fairly steady decline since the summer.

I call not fair. Not fair, of course, doesn't mean anything. What's fair about having an unpredictable invisible untreatable illness in the first place? What's fair about all of the people who are far sicker than I am? Nothing. But there's a point at which I just want to stamp my feet and pout, as if it's the same as someone cheating at a board game or cutting in line. Alas, no.

It's just that it seems like I'm playing by the rules. And it seems like that should count for something. I'm doing what I'm supposed to to keep myself as healthy as I can be. It's just not working anymore. Pain is one thing; pain I can handle. I can handle the fatigue too, and the not being able to digest things properly. What's really got me upset is that it's reached a point where I'm having a pretty hard time doing what I need to do to get through a normal day - and it seems to be staying there. This is exactly what I've been fighting for fourteen years, and right now I'm losing.

I've decided not to try to make it in to work tomorrow. I knew it was going to be difficult - after a daring 20 minute walk my foot has flared up again, which means no more walking, which means two very crowded trains at the most intense rush hour of the day with not even a short walk up to the less crowded station to save me. And then I checked the weather, and saw that tomorrow morning it will be 24 degrees with 22 mile per hour winds making it feel like 13 degrees.

Frankly, I just can't fucking do it.

I've always sort of known this day would come - I guess I just thought it would be a lot farther down the road. Middle-age, perhaps. Not 31, for the love of god. It's never now, is it?

I know, I know, I'm jumping to conclusions. I could be fine by Saturday. But I could also be worse by Saturday.

That knowledge sits like a heavy stone upon my chest, making it hard to breathe. I am afraid to go to sleep.

Everyone hates me (and nobody cares).

It's a conundrum, isn't it? How the world could dislike me so thoroughly while simultaneously not giving a damn about my existence? And yet, this is the paradox of which I have convinced myself. Could it be that I'm just really depressed today, and I'm in an office full of people with whom I have little in common and therefore with whom I have a merely polite relationship? No, the first proposition seems so much more likely.

It's lunchtime. It's sunny and (relatively) warm. I know I should go out. But where to go? I am so thoroughly tired of midtown - everything is concrete and ugly and either I'm in someone's way or someone is in mine. I have my prescribed lunchtime meal, and I don't want to spend any money, and there's nowhere to sit out there because every office building within 20 blocks is also having lunch right now... and yet, when 1:30 rolls around and I haven't left my desk, all I'll be able to think is how I regret not having gotten up. Really, though , what I wish for is somewhere better to go.

Why this mood? Where did it come from? I don't really know. Reverberations of the past few weeks, I suppose. Things have finally calmed down enough that I can feel the waves of upset wash over me. The sadness, the frustration, the pure exhaustion of it all. And then, the nagging knowledge that this is just low tide; that when the moon comes back around it will all begin again, in one form or another.

I've been trying to get my mother on the phone. I need to tell her that she and my father should not visit this spring as they seem to be planning. I can't do it. That would be enough to push me right up over the edge. It would be different if they didn't hate it here, or if being around them in and of itself didn't make me require a few extra therapy sessions. It is not going to be a fun conversation. Trying to make it and not successfully making the connection - well, frustrating doesn't really begin to cover it. It' somewhere near infuriating, but without anger. If anyone knows the word for that, lemme know.

Tuesday was easy when I thought it would be hard. Wednesday was hard when I thought it would be easy. Today I am simply lost. On Monday I told Jonathan that I wanted to say I felt small, but that wasn't accurate - that really I felt shattered. I think that applies to today as well. Or maybe smashed, subtracting any connotations of intoxication.

Sometimes it's just too much.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A vegan nightmare (not for the faint of heart).

A good pal of mine was kind enough to point me to a website called This is why you're fat. And now, I will forever be haunted... by items such as the krispy kreme sloppy joe:



the bacon-burger-dog with cheese:



and the one that trumps that old atrocity, the turducken, any day: the "12 Bird True Love Roast".



After gazing upon this website, I feel that I have a new weapon in my arsenal to explain to people why I choose not to eat meat. Really? I can say. You find this appetizing?

Of the two pictures below,I can't decide which looks more disgusting: the hot dog encrusted with french fries, or the turducken wrapped in bacon. In case, gentle reader, you don't know what a turducken is, let me edify: it's a chicken stuffed inside of a duck stuffed inside of a turkey. Apparently some fine folks somewhere thought it wouldn't be quite complete without some strips of pork fat though.




















Now, the corndog pizza made me get a little analytical. See, this is not at all how I would make a corndog pizza. They did it all wrong! You gotta take the corndogs OFF of the sticks, and slice them in thick fat slices. Then use them as a pizza topping. Like, duh. One thing I do miss from my vegetarian days is the Morningstar Farms corndogs - those things are freakin good! Stupid Morningstar owned by stupid Kellogg, putting stupid eggs in stupid everything, grumble grumble other discontented noises...



Alright. If that didn't inspire you to eat a grilled veggie sandwich on sprouted whole wheat bread, nothing will. For those of you who actually ate the food items pictured here, I'll say a silent prayer for your arteries.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Flowers for Valentine's day.

Problems.

So, yesterday I got the tattoo on my left shoulder, the counterpart to the one that I got on my right shoulder for my birthday. I am sad to say that most of the elements that I love about the first one are absent in the second one. The delicate frail branchwork has been replaced by chunky, frightening driftwood. The sprawling graceful layout is instead a bunched up bundle. And the placement of the second tattoo is a solid inch further out from my spine than the first.

Observe the photographic evidence. (The colors are way off in both photos. They're also reversed, so the one on the left is my right shoulder {the first tattoo}, and the one on the right, or possibly the bottom depending on how this lays out when posted, is the left shoulder {the new tattoo}. Sorry bout that, but it's really hard to take pics of your own shoulders. Go ahead, try it. I dare you.)














Aaagh.

What to do? Well, there isn't a whole lot that can be done. That's the thing about tattoos. Once they're done, they're done. In there. Permanent in the most serious sense. As with the first one, I'm sure I'll get to like the new one more as I live with it and it heals. But for the time being I'm not what one would call happy. Which is sad. I was so excited about getting the other half. And I paid a lot of money for the whole shebang. But a person like me, who's so damn picky about the way things look, should probably be more specific when doing something like being marked for life.

Blarg. Looking at them side by side this way, it's not that I completely dislike the new tattoo. I just dislike it in comparison to the first one. And of course it's hard not to compare since they're side by side on my shoulders, and were supposed to be "balanced". This is not my idea of balanced.

You'd think I'd have learned after the upper-arm tattoo fiasco - when I went to get the tattoo on my right arm and wanted it at the level of the one that was already on my left arm, and instead it landed a solid inch and a half higher. I see these things. Not only do I see them, but once I see them it's hard for me to see anything else. Yes, I obsess. Yes, I've been obsessing about this all morning. No, it won't do any good. It's just making me miserable. But I don't know how to stop.

I don't know. You tell me. Am I being crazy, or are they alright?

Friday, February 13, 2009

All to see the moon.

On Friday the 13th I worked for 13 hours. Another round of summary judgment motion responses is due on Tuesday, about 50 of them this time, and the attorneys can't really do their part on them until we paralegals have done ours. So our deadline was Friday. Likely you don't know what summary judgment motions are, nor should you care; all you really need to know is that writing oppositions to them takes quite a lot of time and work. I've written sixteen of them in the past two weeks.

Yesterday was the last big push... or should have been. Around 7:30 (pm) we realized that one of the important defendants had never gotten assigned; that opp has yet to be written. Naturally, it needs to be written by me. We also got five boxes of documents on Friday, around lunchtime. We've been waiting and waiting for these documents; they will be what allows us to prove our case in many instances (hopefully). Unfortunately, when they came we discovered that they're not in any particular order. Meaning that to use them, we have to look at each and every sheet of paper (thousands?) and sort them into categories that apply to us before we can use them - goodbye Monday off.

But anyway.

After my thirteen hours of work, I stumbled out of the office and out onto the 10pm midtown street. It was cold, but the outside air was welcome. As usual, I made it to the corner just in time to see the bus that I could have taken to the subway stop ten blocks north pulling away from the stop and out through the intersection. Ah, well. I walked slowly up the route I know all too well, and as is rarely the case after rush hour the train arrived just moments after I got to the platform.

And then, on the train, coming around the ninety-degree curve between Queensboro Plaza and 39th Street, I saw it. The moon, hanging there like two thirds of a mangled orange: the color of a pale pumpkin and enormous just above the warehouses of Long Island City. As if in response to the momentary bout of warmer weather we've been having, we were treated to a harvest moon.

Even in the midst of madness, we must still take time to revel in the beauty.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What with the working, and all that...

OK. So things are a little hectic.

My body is still waging war on me. I'm not quite sure what it's so unhappy about, but it's being unhappy loudly. I'm doing what I can about it - my walking is basically relegated to the ten blocks between my office and my Manhattan train stop. I don't see any nice long enjoyable walks in the near future, which makes me full of the sadness.

My brain has been plenty active though. This tends to happen when I'm psycho busy at work. I work for eight or nine or ten hours on challenging assignments, and then I get home and my mind is all, "Hey! I'm so not done yet!" Unfortunately most of that energy is getting sucked into the internet. Some of it is productive - writing blog posts, for instance, or posting on the VeganEtsy message board, or writing articles for (and monitoring comments on) the Site that Shall Not be Named. I've written about a million restaurant reviews on SuperVegan - that's something right? Some of what I get up to, though... well, let's just say that there's only so many times a day a girl can check her "who hearts me?" page on etsy before she's officially qualified as obsessive. (Whatever that limit is, I'm thinking I've about tripled it.) But it's not all internet stuff. For example, I wrote a story for The First Line (again). They rejected it (again), but at least I wrote it.

As for work, well... once again, didn't I say I wasn't going to do this? Yep. But it doesn't seem that it can be helped. There's nowhere else for the work to go. Unlike before with the trial work, when it was just me and maybe one or two other people, now it's department-wide. And honestly it's still nothing close to what it was. I have no idea how I worked those 12 and 14 hour days - I must have been running on pure adrenalin, and it's no wonder that I got so sick. At this point I've stated to several people who could be considered bosses, out loud, that I will not work more than 10 hours a day. The day that someone in that office can look me in the face and tell me that's not enough is the day that I quit (again).

Anyway, the result of it all is that I'm exhausted. But I'm also being extremely productive in pretty much every area of my life. That's nothing to scoff at. I'm riding very, very close to the "overdoing it" line, and I'm trying to watch that. I think I'm still in balance for the most part; I'm a person that likes to be near the top end of "busy but not too busy".

At any rate. It's now after 9 pm and I haven't been home in over 12 hours; I'm camped out at the studio. It's time I got home to see my man. All too soon it'll be time to get in bed.

I need my rest, you know.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Flower Get Bigger!


Look at her!!! Look at my little Melbee! When I checked on her this evening, she'd sprouted a second pair of leaves! I'm so happy, such a proud mama. I exclaimed with such unadulterated joy that even Jonathan couldn't bring himself to mock me.

Hey man, it's the little things.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The biggest loser? Uh, not quite.

As you may or may not know, I've been trying to diet. Again. Yes, I did that ultimately cliche thing of beginning a diet at the new year. The timing wasn't so much about a New Year's resolution as it was a coalescence of other factors: namely not fitting in to the wedding dress I ordered, turning the corner of my 31st birthday, and realizing that I was getting dangerously near 190 pounds - about 25 pounds more than I weighed at the beginning of this summer. But no worries, I haven't lost my mind: I designed my own diet plan. Rest assured, there are no fads or best-selling books involved - not even anything about vegan skinny bitches. I've been chronicling my progress (or lack thereof) on my food blog; I give you now the most recent entry.

* * *
Me and my bloated ass: week four.

Well, at least I haven't lost any ground. But I haven't gained any either. That's confusing, because in that metaphor losing weight would equal gaining ground and gaining would be losing... humph. Perhaps I should just tell you what I'm telling you. This week, my weight is 0.8 pounds less than it was last week. Not nearly as much of a change as I saw between each week increment for the first three weeks. The numbers:

1/11/9: 185 (starting weight)
1/18/9: 183.2 (less 1.8 pounds)
1/25/9: 181.8 (less 1.4 pounds)
2/1/9: 177.8 (less 4 pounds!!!)
2/8/9: 177.0 (less .8 pounds)

I think there are two main reasons for this.

1) I've been a lazy jerk, not cooking or counting my calories the way I'm asposed to.

2) It's the glorious time of month where I retain what feels like about ten gallons of water - but in reality that would be about 80 pounds, so I doubt I'm retaining more than an extra quart or pint. Still though, it could be affecting the numbers. Maybe.

It may also have something to do with the four pound jump the week before - I'm not sure what that was about. Maybe I was really dehydrated? Or something? So maybe more realistically the 4.8 pounds that were collectively lost over the past two weeks could be considered 2.4 pounds per week? Which is a really good rate. Almost a little too fast. I dunno.

The foot is getting better. Still nowhere near good enough to think about walking over the Queensboro bridge, as I would LOVE to be doing each morning rather than dealing with the trains. But at least good enough that I can resume my normal 10 block walk between 50th Street and 60th, thus cutting the second train out of my commute to and from work. Perhaps by springtime I'll be able to resume the long walks, the real walks, the good walks.

Anyway, what to do? Well, shape up. Get back on track. Any other such trite expressions you'd like to throw in that mean "do what the hell you're supposed to be doing - and no whining about it either!" Ooh, here's another one: I'm only hurting myself by not following the plan. Ever so cliche, ever so true.

Alright. So today we're going to the store. And no excuses - I'll cook some meals for the week. I'll have proper lunches (and dinners and snacks) laid out, have my work cut out for me as it were. I want this. I've been hiding parts of my body, trying to mask what I refuse to make a real effort to change, for two thirds of my life. It's so beyond time.

You can still be hot in your 30's, right?

This is my flower.


Her name is melbee. Each day I water her, and give her fertilizer, and make sure she's getting the proper amount of sunlight. In return, she smiles at me and grows. This brings me inordinate amounts of joy.

I visit her each morning and each night. After I water and feed her, I turn to my two (real) plants that live in the windowsill next to my desk, and tell them how well their little cousin the flower is doing.

Does that indicate any kind of emotional problem, do you think?

Third time's the charm people.

Before we begin, some background. For a couple of weeks now I've been submitting blog posts to a site that shall remain nameless. It seemed like a good idea - have my more informative pieces of writing published somewhere, anywhere, other than my own blog.

Well, I gave them the first post and they BUTCHERED it. My mistake was leaving in too much of my own voice - y'all know how I write. They don't want that. Despite the fact that I'm writing opinion pieces for the culture section, they want things to sound like newspaper reporting. Well OK. I'm not opposed to being edited - when it's good editing. This wasn't. Dear lord, it was gruesome. They had parentheses that ended but didn't begin and misused semicolons - unforgivable. And they'd removed words and phrases that made whole paragraphs lose meaning and context. It took me an hour and a half just to write down what I needed them to fix. At least they fixed it though; for the minute that it was up that way it was truly embarrassing to have my name on it.

About a week later I gave it another shot. This time I made sure that the writing was much tighter - less chance for them to utterly destroy my writing. Well, they made no comments on the writing, but rejected the piece... on the basis that I posted a similar version on my vegan blog before I gave it to them. See, they claim that if an article is posted on another site first, then google is more likely to pull up that site in searches. Which is absolute and utter bullshit. Google pulls up the site that gets the most hits, period. So guys, if other sites are coming up before yours, it's because yours sucks and no one reads it, OK? Anyway, I could totally see their point if I had posted the article on, say, Gothamist. (Yeah, as if they're going to be publishing me any time soon - dream of dreams.) But I didn't. I put it on my own blog, which gets 25 hits a week if I'm lucky. I don't even know how they found it. So I said a big what-ever and was pretty much ready to write them off.

But then, I listened to the voice of reason (uh, that is, Jonathan). It (he) said to give them one more chance before giving up. So I did. Again I spent extraordinary amounts of time and effort making sure the writing was as un-fuck-upable as possible. Lo and behold, it worked! The article was published before I woke up this morning. It only has three small changes, and they're all perfectly acceptable - two removals of emphasizing italics (whatever), and one insertion of a (properly used) semi-colon!

Yes, I'm pleased. So without further ado, please proceed here to read The Article They Didn't Fuck Up.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The wackness, the dopeness.

January began well. OK, maybe not the very first few days; they started out with a sinus infection. But in general, the first few weeks of the year were filled with a rediscovered enthusiasm for life and the world around me. I was walking around in love with everything, exuding this unadulterated happiness. Realistic about my general situation in life and the challenges I was facing, and yet undaunted.

Then the thing with the foot happened. The first wave wasn't enough to drag me back down to my usual place of dwindling hope and latent anger. The second wave, sadly, was.

But now that I seem to be coming out of it, healing I guess maybe or just becoming less inflamed, my brain is again unclouding. I'm feeling the joy once more. People, I like the joy. I want the joy. I'm a joy glutton.

The past week has been insane, with the trials and tribulations of doctors and x-rays and mysterious injuries, combined with near-terminating relationship problems. But sometimes the only way out is through. Last night, coming to what I believe to be the final moments of that tumultuous week, my nerves were all jangly. So I laid my head in my man's lap, and he stroked my hair and told me it was gonna be alright. And you know what? It is.

This morning on my way to work, the world was beautiful. As my train pulled into Queensboro Plaza alongside a 7 train, the tracks swinging together in a graceful arc fifty feet above the morning traffic, Lykke Li provided the perfect soundtrack - as if I were living inside of a movie. A uniquely beautiful movie - a vision of New York the way I see it, New York through my mind. A movie that I want to keep watching: I need to see how it turns out.

The wackness, the dopeness.

January began well. OK, maybe not the very first few days; they started out with a sinus infection. But in general, the first few weeks of the year were filled with a rediscovered enthusiasm for life and the world around me. I was walking around in love with everything, exuding this unadulterated happiness. Realistic about my general situation in life and the challenges I was facing, and yet undaunted.

Then the thing with the foot happened. The first wave wasn't enough to drag me back down to my usual place of dwindling hope and latent anger. The second wave, sadly, was.

But now that I seem to be coming out of it, healing I guess maybe or just becoming less inflamed, my brain is again unclouding. I'm feeling the joy once more. People, I like the joy. I want the joy. I'm a joy glutton.

The past week has been insane, with the trials and tribulations of doctors and x-rays and mysterious injuries, combined with near-terminating relationship problems. But sometimes the only way out is through. Last night, coming to what I believe to be the final moments of that tumultuous week, my nerves were all jangly. So I laid my head in my man's lap, and he stroked my hair and told me it was gonna be alright. And you know what? It is.

This morning on my way to work, the world was beautiful. As my train pulled into Queensboro Plaza alongside a 7 train, the tracks swinging together in a graceful arc fifty feet above the morning traffic, Lykke Li provided the perfect soundtrack - as if I were living inside of a movie. A uniquely beautiful movie - a vision of New York the way I see it, New York through my mind. A movie that I want to keep watching: I need to see how it turns out.