Currently OBSESSED with The Gianni Versace miniseries. It is one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen. And that’s really saying something because I have to close my eyes a significant amount of time during nearly every episode. Darren Criss portrays the murderer, Andrew Cunanan, as squirm inducing in the worst possible. Andrew is intensely dislikable, yet able to inspire an iota of pity because he is just so friggin insane. He literally makes my skin crawl.
I vaguely remember when Versace was murdered, and the tragedy of losing another wildly talented artist, but no real details beyond that it occurred in Miami Beach. Maybe it was because I was so recently in that exact area, but this retelling of a famous crime has really hit me and it’s a struggle to ration episodes. The front steps to his villa, currently a restaurant and boutique hotel, remain as they were the day he was shot down. People take selfies on them.
That Andrew Cunanan was so damn crazy. I guess we don’t really know how many of the details have been fictionalized, but the conversations between the characters are so riveting. Penelope Cruz slays as Donatella Versace and Judith Light brought as the wife of a men who hires Cunanan as an escort with bad results. The soundtrack is familiar dance tracks from the early 90s and eerie mood music that causes me to shudder. Don’t watch this alone in the dark.
At this point, I can’t decide if want the series to be over or never to end. I can be a real glutton for sensation, even when it hurts. Time to go run the golf course.
I may need to consult with an astrologist because it feels like the planets have shifted recently and things have gotten a little whacky in my world. My head is full of thoughts and wonderings and second guessing and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, to be honest. It’s exhausting and I need to get myself in check and put things in order asap.
Enter – organization and alphabetization! You see, that’s my technique for gaining a sense of control. Somehow the act of sorting, folding and tidying up my possessions, both real and virtual, soothes me and helps to calm my mind. Yesterday, I cruised the aisles of Target searching for just the right containers to place my running clothes, sweaters and shirts into to create a more harmonious home. Here’s what I walked out of there now owning:
My plan is to remove everything from my clothing armoire, determine what to keep and then neatly fold everything into the appropriate bin. There are a few small organizers as well, which I’ll be using in a large kitchen drawer to maintain the order recently created when my middle son finally gave me the Christmas gift I most wanted from him – the cleaning of that particular drawer. See how easy to please I can be?
With my Target purchases stowed in my car in anticipation of a weekend of gaining organization, I took on my next task: digital peace of mind. I’ve been mocked before for my IPhone’s desktop appearance, but I don’t take offense by critics seriously, especially when their phone desktops are a jumbled array of apps and icons with dozens, if not hundreds, of unopened emails and notifications. I shudder at the mere thought of that kind of lack of organization! As you can see above, I have thematic folders for my apps which somehow make sense to me. The additional time it take to click on the folder to launch an app is justified to me since I don’t have to waste time thumbing or scrolling through my phone’s contents. The fact that my folders are in alphabetical order…well, I’m a librarian. What can I say?
How do you deal with mental or emotional angst? Stress eating? Substance indulgence? Physical activity? Share, please.
I mentioned that we had visited a number of historical sights during our July trip beginning with our excursion to Dachau. In Salzburg we took the funicular up to the ancient (700s!) Hohensalzburg fortress which was pretty interesting. The walk from the funicular stop to the very top of the hill was a good leg stretcher softened by a terraced cafe with a phenomenal view and a tasty local wine (gruner veltliner) cold and by the glass.
View from the cannon.
Liam and I split at the entrance to the fortress and went off on our casual, self guided tours. There was an animated presentation which provided an entertaining introduction to visitors, but I wasn’t there to take notes, I just wanted to walk around and take it in. I’d like to think I’m more an absorber than a consumer when it comes to travel. After about an hour of poking around in a mostly disoriented fashion, Liam and I met up and walked back down the hill to explore other parts of the city.
We planned a visit for the following day to the Salzburg Museum which had an exhibit about the rise of nationalism and Austria’s involvement with the Nazi party in the lead up to WWII. Liam and I thought that was a timely topic, so went to check it out. The exhibit was, as you might imagine, very dark. The items displayed told a story of complacency and resignation more than culpability and it bummed me out. Like I said, quietly dark. I couldn’t help but feel like our country is so fractured that we’re susceptible to the same thing these days. Dark.
Traveling in Europe, as an American, has always been an interesting experience. I’ve generally found that young people (those less than 14 or 15) were always very taken by Americans, loving our individuality and style, while those in the 20s and 30s looked upon us more as simple, irresponsible children. In my recent trips to Europe as a 50+ year old woman, the attention has once again morphed and it feels like I’m now being considered as someone who just might have something interesting to say. Maybe.Sitting in Charles de Gaulle airport, I didn’t feel interesting at all when the television displayed the president of the United States along with his tweet claiming himself as everyone’s “favorite president.” Mon dieu! His tweets make me long for the days of a maximum of 140 characters. The number of lies and exaggerations he fits into a single tweet are, as of yet, the only examples I’ve seen of his exceptionalism.
It’s a weird thing when you realize that you don’t have the words in English, much less French, to express how concerned you are about the direction in which your country is going or how much a display in an museum spooked you.
Filed under aging, Austria, beauty, Boys, Europe, France, musings, Observations, politics, Summer, travel, vacation
This isn’t Jeter, but this is what he looked like!
Late the other night, after dinner and a run and some quality time with a pint of Haagen Daz, I finally settled on the couch with a bottle of cider and my guy to relax. The plan was to pick up where we last left off in our much-delayed viewing of The Sopranos and I was very really looking forward to reconnecting with all of the involved.
Jeter was his usual good-natured self, happily enjoying a roasted marrow bone. As I refreshed my memory with a few minutes of the previous episode (sometimes I doze off) Jeter jumped up on the couch next to me, something he doesn’t normally do. I pushed him down. He jumped back up. I pushed him down a second time, looking him in the eyes and saying “no.” That’s when I noticed the marrow bone circling his lower jaw.
We sat him down and began our attempts to remove it. We tried to slide it, turn it and push it all to no avail. He wasn’t in pain, but he was drooling up a storm since his mouth wouldn’t completely close and he couldn’t fully swallow. I began to panic – be it one of the boys or the dog, I definitely don’t shine in situations such as this. I called the emergency vet’s office and we headed over to Latham.
We arrived to a nearly empty waiting room and a full staff of super nice people. Wagging his tail, Jeter left my side and went with a vet tech to a room where they sedated him and deftly slid the bone “donut” off his jaw. It couldn’t have been much more than 5 minutes later when the tech returned with the offending bone in hand and reassured me that they would be waking Jeter up and he would be ready to depart with in 30 minutes or so. Sure enough, a short while later Jeter came wobbling out looking a bit dazed, but fine.
$250 lighter and infinitely lighter-hearted, we headed home less than an hour after our arrival. While I no longer will be preparing small marrow bones for Jeter, it is reassuring to know that top-notch emergency veterinarian care is nearby. Also comforting was hearing from the staff that they see this same situation about once a month – and that it’s just about always a Labrador.
The good news? I weighed less than I thought I would when I stepped on the scale. The bad news? I need to see my ENT surgeon post-haste. For the record, I like it better when the good news follows the bad.
I went to see my endocrinologist yesterday. I wasn’t scheduled to see her until January, but there was something about the thing I felt in my neck that made me uncomfortable. I made someone a promise that I would call first thing in the morning and I did. The receptionist was great and took my history after a single run through. A couple of hours later, my doctor phoned and asked if I could be there by 4.
Following our usual chit-chat, my doctor got down to business, dimming the lights and lubing up the ultrasound wand. With her usual thoroughness, she repeatedly scanned the area of my neck where the protuberance was. After a few minutes she asked if she could bring a colleague in for a second opinion. I stared at the ceiling, attempting to escape the room mentally by trying to see what the wattage was on the bulb, but as the second physician took his turn with the magic wand tears slipped from my eyes. The doctors conferred.
Their opinion? It’s either a “bad” lymph node or a chronically inflamed minor salivary gland. (See how I put the bad news first?) The plan now is to see my ENT on Monday and have her determine the appropriate course of action. I’m sure there will be some sort of diagnostics or study conducted. The hope, of course is that it is nothing serious, but my history leaves me feeling vulnerable.
To be clear, I don’t write about my health to garner sympathy or concern. It’s more an exercise in becoming accustomed to the possibility of yet another surgical procedure. It also feels a bit like an exorcism. If I express my fears and release them from my inner psyche they kind of lose their power. Sort of like in that fairy tale when the miller’s daughter shocked Rumpelstiltskin by knowing his name, causing him to run away never to be seen again. I’ve seen you before and I know your name, Cancer. How about you stay away and let me have a shot at happily ever after?
Earlier this year I made the decision to cancel my YMCA membership. Financially and physically it just wasn’t making sense for me anymore and I’ve reallocated my membership $$ to the Hot Yoga Spot. I haven’t regretted my choice at all. Well, almost not at all.
I was only taking one class a week at the YMCA, a schedule I have replaced with a wonderfully hot and sweaty hour+ yoga class. That’s all good. What I have been missing, however,* is access to the YMCA’s locker room scale. You see, I don’t have a home scale. At least not yet.
Do you own a scale? Do you use it? Me? I’ve never really had a scale in my home before. At one point, I had an extended vacation at a friend’s house in California. This “vacation” coincided with a romantic break-up and I quickly dropped about 10 lbs before I even noticed. Once I became aware of my decreasing weight, I forged a new relationship – with the scale. I found myself weighing in first thing in the morning and again before bed. Sometimes I stepped up to the scale before, or after, a meal or visit to the bathroom. I realized I was becoming a bit too dependent on the digital feedback I was receiving and initiated my second break-up of the summer – with the scale.
In the many years since then, I’ve always resisted the urge to bring numerical judgment into my home. But, I had my weekly YMCA weigh-ins (naked, of course) to keep me on track. For the last 4 months I’ve been trying to push away my need to self-validate through my weight. Instead, I’ve practiced checking in with how my clothing fits – how are those jeans feeling, Silvia? Is that top still pleasingly fitted or has it become snug? But, it’s been hard and I find myself wishing for an opportunity to step on to a scale to see exactly where I’m at presently. I mean, what if my clothes have all stretched out? Or, terrifyingly enough, shrunk? How will I know?
Please weigh in and share your own scale experiences and obsessions.
*Missing beyond the friends I made at the Y, that is.
I hate what people use guns to do. Guns scare me, but I don’t hate them. Today, more than two dozen people were massacred in a(nother) school shooting. Twenty-seven people, including 20 children, woke up today for the last time. I went for a run tonight and thought of the terror that was school today for those children and adults in Connecticut. Each time I imagined the fear those children must have felt, I gasped anew, feeling my heart nearly stop with my exhale. Horror.
I couldn’t post today about the 12 Days of Dining DelSo. How could a person even consider a holiday season on a day like today? This day belongs to those lives lost.