A Hair-owing Tale From Phoenix.

posted in: Day In The Life 7
I laughed yesterday at my gig in Phoenix; those guild quilters and I were having too much fun. Photo: Dona, from Palo Verde Patchers.
I laughed yesterday at my gig in Phoenix; those guild quilters and I were having too much fun. Photo: Dona, from Palo Verde Patchers. (Also: I was so horrified at my appearance — read below — that I didn’t get a picture this morning. I regret many things today.)

Gather ’round as I tell ye a legendarily funny tale. I am shaking with laughter as I write this from the airport. That’s some hype, but I think I can deliver.

I got here to the Phoenix airport at 5:15am for a 6:45am flight. In order to be able to roll out of bed this morning and just brush my teeth and go, I showered last night and went to bed. Ladies, you know that when you sleep on a damp head, you get some interesting hair in the morning because it gets all smooshed around through the night and dries like that.

This morning, I kind of liked my hair. I thought it looked kinda deshible. Sorta sexy, all mussed up like that. I rubbed a little pomade into the ends to combat frizz and I got into my airport shuttle. Got to the airport. Went through security. People were sort of looking at me and I thought, “Hm. I guess I look good this morning with my wool coat and deshible hair and patent leather pumps.” Gave me a little swagger. I get to my gate and plop down with my journal; this is de rigueur for me, as long as we’re dropping the only French words I know. I got out my ink pen and stuck it in my mouth so I could reach into my bag for my journal. I did not know that my pen was slowly exploding.

Then I realized I needed more coffee. So I get back up a few minutes later, walk ten gates to the coffee place. People are really looking at me and I think, “Geez, maybe they think I’m someone important!”

On the way back to my seat, I pop into the bathroom. And everything becomes clear.

My hair was not deshible. I looked absolutely insane. It was amazing, how insane I looked. It was tangled. It was sticking up almost sideways on the left side. A piece on the right was flipped to the left. I looked like a woman with no home.

In addition to this, half of my mouth was black and the blackness extended past the corner of my mouth about an inch. It appeared that I was suffering from a horrible, contagious lip disease; perhaps leprosy. I looked so scary that I startled myself. As I furiously scrubbed the side of my mouth with soap, I began to laugh so hard I tears were rolling down my face because I have never been such a hot, hot, steaming hot mess than I was just now. And because I was now laughing and crying into the mirror, people began to literally back away from me at the sink.

And as I write this now — the ink is gone and I pulled my hair back into a ponytail — I am laughing so hard (but trying not to because there are so many people around me) that I’m literally shaking with laughter silently in my seat and crying actual tears because this image of myself was so incredible. I have had to walk away a few feet from my computer to go behind a post and let the laughter out.

Phoenix? I love you, baby. See you around.

Hang On, Hang On: A Gallstone?

posted in: Day In The Life, Sicky 0
Cheesecake with berries, because you do not want me to use a picture of a gallbladder or a gallstone. Trust me. Photo: Wikipedia
Cheesecake with berries, because you do not want me to use a picture of a gallbladder or a gallstone. Trust me. Photo: Wikipedia

I must confess a strange sense of embarrassment when I the surgeon told me he saw a small gallstone on my CT scan. Aren’t gallstones what obese men in their late fifties get when they eat cheeseburgers all day, watch SportsCenter and smoke Pall Malls? My brain also connected “gallstone” with “kidney stone” and boy, I’ve heard some horrific stories about those things. Really, any time a doctor says the word “stone” in conjunction with the words “inside” and “your,” you’ve got some thinking to do.

When I got home and stopped barfing, I read up on gallbladders and what can go wrong with them. A person can get gallbladder cancer, but this is extremely rare. (There’s a terrible, terrible joke here, barely: Q: What did the gallbladder say to cancer? A: “What am I, chopped liver?”) No, it’s mainly just gallstones that afflict our gallbladders. But why and how? First, we have to understand what the gallbladder is for: it does stuff with bile. That’s it, that’s all I can tell you. It’s not important. Well, it isn’t! You can have your gallbladder removed, so how important can it be? Your honor, I rest my case.

Still, you don’t want things going awry in there, and then things do. Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid. Considering that my guts are made of cotton candy and popsicle sticks, that I would have a digestive fluid problem isn’t a huge leap. Many people have gallstones; most people don’t know they do and don’t have to know because most gallstones are small and harmless. They form for various reasons and yes, one of the reasons is having high cholesterol due to many, many cheeseburgers and no exercise, Pall Malls, etc. But some gallstones form because…well, why shouldn’t they? Don’t judge a gallstone for wanting to live. Gallstones are just like you and me.

My friend told me this morning that he had a terrible time with his gallbladder and nearly had to have it removed; he avoided this in the eleventh hour thanks to medicine and fluids. He did say the pain he experienced was the worst of his life. He passed out and he’s no fainting goat.

I have zero symptoms, though. I think I’m one of the people who will never have to deal with my stone (I like to refer to it as my little “gallpebble,” thank you.) If they have to take it out, though, I ain’t scurred. Actually, it would be kind of exciting. Taking out my gallbladder would increase the number of organs I’ve had excised from three to four. If you count tonsils and four wisdom teeth, now I’m getting to be a real conversation piece. Oh, and there were a couple suspicious moles removed a few years back. Hm. Parts of my body are just flying off into space, aren’t they?

Tomorrow we examine (in words, in words!) my cyst. What nerve! What gall!

Fons In Love

Love means absolutely saying you're sorry. A lot. Who writes this stuff?
Love means absolutely saying you’re sorry. A lot. Who writes this stuff?

Well, I’ve gone and done it. I’m in love.

Given as I am to hyperbole and dramatics, one could read the above sentence and figure I’m in love with a dress, or an author, or a particular kind of squash. But no, I’m in love with a man. It’s happened, and it’s time to say something.

Admitting that you’ve fallen in love is a bit (I hear) like sharing that you’re pregnant: you don’t want to say anything until you’re absolutely sure and everything looks rosy because, you know, things happen. And people are so excited when someone falls in love or gets pregnant because except in a very few sad cases this is a happy occasion. (Sad cases for falling in love include it occuring when you are married to someone else; sad cases for getting pregnant include when you have a gaggle of children already and someone just lost a job. These sorts of things.)

It’s going on five months, now, spending time with this fellow. I reckon that’s about how long it takes to go gaga and see a relationship of consequence grow and inspire. Think about it: one month is just enough time to understand the other person’s job. Two months is great fun but come on. Three months and you’re like, “Hm, now wait a second,” four months is like, “Holy crap, I like you so much and we’re sort of dating,” and entering the fifth month is the bare minimum in terms of acceptability for announcing the world that you’ve gone round the bend and there has been embarrassing levels of eyeball-gazing between the two of you.

Is this all too sterile an analysis? It might even sound defensive. Okay, then forget all that. Let me just tell you about this person.

He’s devastatingly good-looking. (I will spare you details of his perfect smile, his sparkly eyes, his abdominal muscles.) He’s gainfully employed. He’s an excellent writer — perhaps the only “dealbreaker” I have, much as I hate that concept — he’s witty, he’s responsible, he’s way too much fun, he’s trilingual, and ladies? Brace yourself: he’s an accomplished piano player. HE PLAYS THE DAMNED PIANO. Very well, I might add. Oh for heaven’s sake! The moment I witnessed that, I was toast. Toast!

I out with it now because at this point, I’m skipping huge swaths of juicy PaperGirl content for the sake of modesty. But the adventures I’m having with this person are too good not to write about. So here we are.

He’s marvelous. I’m over the moon.

And in a mad change of plans, I’ll be leaving the icy slick of Iowa tomorrow morning on a plane to sun-drenched California. He’s visiting his family there and we’ve been apart almost three weeks. We can’t stand it another minute, so I booked a ticket. When I arrive in Santa Ana at 2:30 tomorrow afternoon, it’ll be the smooch heard ’round the world.

Darling, I’m on my way.