Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Why John Cusack is the reason I'm still single.

Dear John Cusack,

We need to talk. I don't really like to lay blame on problems in my life on other people, but frankly, this is a situation where I think it is deserved. You are totally the reason that I am still single. Specially, your portrayal of Lloyd Dobbler in the classic movie, "Say Anything".

I'm sure this isn't the first time that this accusation has been laid on your shoulders, I mean, Lloyd is a fantastic character; The whole stereo above the head with "In Your Eyes" playing, still makes me mist up all these years later. But that is the problem, it is too perfect, too wonderful.

John Cusack you are much too much.

It doesn't help the matter that cool elements of your personality always shine through your characters, like Lloyd's favorite t-shirt, the London Calling one... I heard that was from your actual collection. Much like your other movies, you prefer to wear your own clothes, you like to have some input on the soundtracks (Grosse Pointe Blank, still a collection of music that makes my hair stand on end in happiness). I can't help but fall for it, hook, line and sinker.

Due to my Lloyd-lust, I've dated a series of dark and brooding types. You know the ones, prominent eye-brow ridges, a bit of a widow's peak/pompador thing going on, lots of dark clothing. But they are never you, Mr. Cusack, not quite charming enough to pull it off.

So, John, I'm writing this to say that I think I'm going to have to break up with you so that I can move on, and find myself a new man.

Besides, I've got a bit of a crush on Aiden from Sex and the City to nurture now, he likes the outdoors and fits in well in a city. I think we might get along a little better.

Hope all goes well for you. Sincerely,

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Friday night was the Friends of the Library open house. It made me feel all grown up and appreciated. I wore a nice outfit, showed off my new haircut (bangs! I've re-cut the bangs!), and got to hang out with two of my favorite peoples; Alisha and my sister Kristal. Kristal was the coordinator for this shin-dig, and I think she did a splendid job. We had yummy little finger foods... mmmmm sushi, fruit, tiny pieces of brownie... and it was on the roof of the library. As the aural backdrop for the party, we had the sounds of the Arts Festival going on below. I found out that my magical little name tag would get me into the festival for free, but I didn't feel like dealing with 95+ degree weather, and crowds. My tolerance for bottlenecking peoples who constantly step on my feet has pretty much disappeared. I'm crotchety I tells ya! I wanted to get back to my house and watch my DVR'd episodes of Secret Lives of Women! Or maybe The Soup!

My sudden crochetyness? crochetyhood? has inspired me to look into some activity groups around town. Yeah, scary, I know. But I feel it's time for me to branch out, since I haven't been meeting too many new people while playing Wii tennis in my own living room. (Wii tennis elbow hurts just as much as real tennis elbow, by the way). So, this will be an experiment in social networking. And don't worry, I've twisted Mary Ann's wii bowling arm into going with me. I'm a pretty sociable person, but it's always nice to have an emergency buffer.

Saturday morning was another SIL-ly day at my sis Kristal's house. We had my mom, Kristal, Kris, and myself sitting around crafting. Or actually, they were crafting, I was working on my best impression of a person with no spine or muscle tone. I sat slumped in the chair for the better part of three hours watching everyone else be creative while everything I brought to work on seemed sooooooooooooooooo boring. Apparently I have Crafting ADD, and cannot stick with any one craft for longer than 20 minutes at a time. So even though I had jewelry stuff, crochet stuff, and drawing stuff... I worked on my posture instead. But we had good talks and a yummy lunch. Mom made curry chicken sandwiches, which I will post the recipe for once she gets around to typing it up, and we had left over snacks from the open house. All in all, a very pleasant morning!

Saturday evening, there was another break in my lonely, lonely life... Alisha's birthday party! Woot! We gathered at my house, which was now slowly getting cooled off by the addition of a second window cooler, courtesy of my gracious mama; installed by my manly brother and brother-in-law. We ordered Bombay House take-away and came back to me casa to enjoy the temperature outside. Tess, Alisha, Mary Ann, Becca and I hung out and laughed a lot. We played Wii bowling, where Team Mary Ann/Alisha totally spanked Team Becca/Mindy. Poor Becca is video game illiterate though, I was giving her the benefit of inexperience, but Alisha and Mary Ann are very happy winners :) The evening will live on forever in the white trash miner dance, Becca's never-ending supply of surprises she just happened to have in her car, and what happens to a group of girls when they aren't expecting the sprinklers when they go off. Good times... good times...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I love Weeds and I just saw the Secret Diary of a Call Girl... I'm not sure how I feel about it... but this game brought out a mean competitive streak in me...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

See that red X in the middle of the map there? That's my 'hood. Good old Glendale. You see how it's so close to downtown? That's really convenient for getting around, I'm really close to both 215 and I-15. It's a cute little residential area with nice old houses.

Recently I got a new neighbor, a new addition. I shall call him, "Appropriately-Time-of-Day-Challenged" Rooster. The ATODC Rooster, if you will, is just that, challenged. He likes to crow, whenever he damn well feels like it. The sun comes up, cock-a-doodle-doo... Wow, that's entirely appropriate, the sun has come up, it's a new day, HARKEN THE NEW DAY MR. ROOSTER!!!
11:00 AM? Not so much a time to be crowing.
2:35 PM? Whatcha doin' buddy?
8:15 PM? Are you fucking kidding me?!

I like animals. I have two cats and a dog. I have a bird feeder for the wild birds. I took horse riding lessons (English AND Western, thank you). I can't watch movies where an animal gets hurt, I just lose it.

I do not like the ATODC Rooster. We are not friends.

Now, I think there might be a reason the ATODC Rooster is so talkative. He seems to be completely alone. Yeah, no chickens to follow around, no other roosters to intimidate. It must be a lonely life. For a rooster. 5 minutes from down town Salt Lake. Please refer to the above map.

I am so confused.
I spend so much time talking about my own illness that I have completely forgotten to mention the amazing efforts of other people I know battling their own problems.

My friend Dov Siporin was diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year. He has gone through one course of chemo and radiation, and then surgery. He had over a foot of his intestines removed! During the surgery they found a tumor on his liver. So now he has started his second course of chemo and will be having surgery on his liver in a month or so. And in the midst of all this, he's been training for a 175 mile relay race. Yeah, no, seriously. Dov is bad ass. He's one of the funniest and smartest people out there. While he's going through this, he's consistently made sure that I'm doing ok. What a guy. And people are noticing how impressive he is. ABC 4 Utah did a segment on him recently. They set it to "Dear Prudence" by The Beatles, but he really wanted Social Distortion's "Far Behind"...

He was also on X-96 Radio From Hell's "Ask a..." segment. I'm trying to find the podcast for peoples listening pleasure, I'll update that as soon as I find it. Edit - (I have found the Radio From Hell podcast, it is from the May 28th episode, you can listen to it for free on iTunes at this link.)

He's working on writing a book about the whole experience, and has been keeping a blog about it as well.

Oh and P.S. Fuck Cancer.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I love my little house, it makes me inordinately happy. I'm sure I've harped on this before, but it is so adorable, I can't help myself.

Now that the weather is nice, I've been doing some fun things in the yard. Although trying to rip out all the weeds in the front garden beds do not really equal fun on most days... I'm still really enjoying it.

Look, I planted some tomatoes!

I can't wait to host my next craft day, cause we will certainly be comfy on this back porch.
My friends rock, I mean it. They totally rock. I've been lucky enough to have them re-post my little art sale all over the net (through which I got my first sale, thanks Maureen!!), but now look what Niki is doing! She's hosting a yard sale in my benefit. How awesome is that?!

Take a look at her blog entry for all the details, including how to contact her if you want to donate stuff to get rid of.

Rock on Niki, rock on.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Put the Fun in Fundraising!

Hey all,
if you've been reading my blog lately, you may have noticed that I have a few, you know... health issues. If you don't know, there is a painfully detailed post here about it.

Well, one of the consequences of all these problems has been my loss of income. I haven't been able to work since March, and haven't received any income since then. I used up all my paid time off and long term sick while in the process of getting diagnosed. I'm going on disability through my company, which will mean I'll be making 60% of what I used to make. If I just had rent and utilities and those usual things to deal with, it'd be tight, but I could do it. The problem is, my medical expenses are steadily racking up.

So, to make a long pitch a little shorter, I'm going to try to sell some of my art work for donations that'll go towards these medical bills.

Right now, I have 18 prints from a show I participated in at Kayo Gallery. It is a 5 inch by 5 inch print. Linoleum cut, letter press and hand coloring on black cold press paper. This is what they look like, sorry for the grainy image.

As I said, there are only 18 available. I am creating a new set of prints that will be available if these run out, they will also be a limited numbered edition.

I am asking for a minimum donation of $20 + 2.50 (for shipping in the US) to receive one of the prints. Of course, if you do not want a print and just want to donate, I will gladly and appreciatively accept that as well. :)

It is through the support of my friends and family that I have been managing to stay so up beat, and also stay afloat. You people continue to amaze me every single day. Thank you for being there.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Today was the Arthritis Foundation Walk. I managed to rustle up $75 in donations, thanks to you guys! My darling friend Niki came with me to share in the joy of walking a mile in the freezing (hello, June, is that you?) weather. And she very patiently put up with all of my excuses to stop: "I think that Burns needs to potty." "I want to let this group pass." Ooops, I think my Camelback is clogged." "Uhm, can I just stop?" She put up with all of this, even after I managed to do this to her...

There were cute kids and dogs, and beautiful views at the Wheeler Farm.

After all this madness, and a yummy meal at Brewvies. I took myself over to Kate's pad where we tie-dyed some onesies in preparation of a very special October arrival.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The annual Arthritis Walk is coming up in just a few short weeks on June 7, and I will be participating this year. As ya'll know, one of the symptoms of my UCTD is severe rheumatic arthritis, it is a major pain in the ass, and well... joints. I've been becoming more active in the Arthritis Foundation and am really impressed by the work they put into trying to make peoples lives better, and the preventative measures they are trying to get the medical field to put into practice.

If you're interested in knowing more about the walk, click here.

And if you feel the sudden need to donate some money to the cause, I'd appreciate it if you did it through my donation page.

I'll be posting photos from the walk!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's that time of year again, a wonderful magical time of year. The time when parents openly take their children to R-rated movies, when people openly chug beer and smoke all kinds of illicit substances under the beautiful Utah sky. Yes of course, it's Drive-In season.

I have a tremendous soft spot for the Redwood Drive-In. Since Mary Ann and I turned 16 we have been there all summer pretty much every summer. Mary Ann is my longstanding movie buddy, and generally our taste synch's up pretty well. And you consider, you're getting two movies for the same price as one at a theater, sweet deal! Besides, you get to bring your own snacks and crank up the volume to that deafening level that I seem to require these days. All those years of playing guitar with no ear plugs, and not to mention concerts where I was practically strapped to the speaker. Smart move Mindy.

So Mary Ann and I opened our summer tradition last night. We took my Jeep, put the seats down, put down foam pads and blankets and settled in to watch our two movies.

Don't waste your time on:
"Harold and Kumar escape from Guantanamo Bay". I actually don't think I've squirmed through a worse movie. I've really been trying to think if I have. I never saw the American Pie movies, but I know this is worse. I've never watched all of Meet the Feebles, but I think this had more gag factor, and I mean gag reflex factor. In the first five minutes you had to endure a poop scene and masturbation scene. I basically had a Han Solo moment, "I've got a bad feeling about this". And the whole movie went from bad to worse. Painful racial stereotyping, gross for the sake of being gross sexuality, and Darwin Award level stupidity. The only redeeming part of the whole movie was Neil Patrick Harris playing a deranged version of himself. At one point he downs a bag of mushrooms right in front of a police roadblock and his 2 minute vision quest is the only funny part of the whole movie. Bottom line, even if you had smoked yourself into a permahaze in junior high at the back of the school, I doubt you will find this movie worth harshing your mellow.

Triumphantly enter:
"Forgetting Sarah Marshall" was just adorable. Seriously, just adorable. I've been hearing lots of good things about it since it came out and I'm happy I finally saw it. Jason Segel wrote and starred in this pretty realistic take on a horrible break up. It is easy to relate to his shell shocked character who is simultaneously desperate to get over his ex, while at the same time having the need to poke at the bruise and make sure it still hurts. I really don't want to give any of this movie away because you just have to see it yourself; just know, it's a very complete comedy that'll leave you "awww"-ing for more. Oh and bonus, male frontal nudity.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Things I wanted to be when I grew up (chronological order):

Elementary school teacher.
Comic book artist.
Science fiction author.
Junior high teacher.
Famous opera singer.
Children's book author.
Famous rock/pop singer.
Comic book writer.
Fashion designer.
Music store owner.
Book editor.
Sound engineer and music producer.
Film actress.
Film producer.
Travel writer.
Magazine writer.
Music store and boutique owner.
Modern dancer.
Belly dancer.
Book store owner.
Hair stylist.
Professor and author on human sexuality.
Music store owner.
Graphic designer.
Layout and print.
College professor.
Professional musician, bass.
Jewelry designer.
Professional artist, printer.
Music store owner.

That about sums it up.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The inaugural craft day was a blast! If you didn't make it, don't worry, there'll be more soon.

And as a bonus, here's a video that Becca shared.

Be prepared to be shredded by rock.

Awwwwww yeah, that's White Gold baby. And while they are brought to you by the Milk Board... I just don't care.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Spring is finally here, I think it's official. Woo!

Things have been busy lately, I've been working on disability stuff, which is slow going and rather tedious, but moving along. I had been feeling a lot better for a couple of weeks, and then boom, all swollen again. Bother.

I'll tell you though, this nicer weather has gotten me ten kinds of motivated. I've been slowly digging out all the grass that had encroached into the front flower beds in preparation for planting some new flowers. I want to find some nice native plants, but also some non-native things like poppies, cosmos and lavender. I also re-potted all of my inside plants, which all seem a tad perkier since I did it.

I've been doing more cross stitch and teaching myself some embroidery. This has been a blast and a have a project list a mile long, I just need the skills to pay the bills. And on a happy note, I got my sewing machine back from my mom. It's a long story, but suffice it to say, that machine was mine! :) So the next step is to make sure it still works and then get out the test fabric and see if I can stitch in a straight line anymore. Everyone better expect hand made gifts this year.

I have been doing craft days with the SILLY group (Sister-in-law...y, kind of). On our first day;Kris and Brittany, Kristal and Sarah, and my mom and I got together and worked on projects and had a fabulous lunch. Then we had another gathering a couple of weeks ago where Laurie also came and we had the rest of the family show up later. We had a big family meeting where my family all pitched in ideas and help for me, which was above and beyond generous.

This coming Saturday is the first friend and family craft day at my house. I haven't gotten too many responses back yet (AHEM) as to who is coming, but I hope we have a full house. We're going to be also working on getting a gift bag put together for Becca's recovery from her heart surgery. She may be feeling up to joining us, and I hope she does! That girl is stronger than just about anyone I know.

Anyways, good things seem to keep coming my way lately and I've felt incredibly lucky. I just hope I can keep up the motivation and translate it into more improvements in my health. Werd.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oh me oh my, how I love crafting. I love having the time (for the first time in my life) to really complete projects. I've been doing cross stitch, because for some unknown and unexplainable reason it is easier for me to hold a tiny little needle than a crochet hook or knitting needle. So my yarn skills are suffering, but man am I in love with stitching! I want to move on to embroidery, especially once I found These little kits are so adorable! When I get a form of income again, I'm going to buy a bunch of supplies and start making things for peoples. I want to make all sorts of randomness. Oh the ideas are just bubbling away in my head!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I found the entire second season of the IT crowd on Youtube. Whoooo hoo!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

what am I so afraid of?

Losing my independence
losing my home
losing the capacity to function
never getting a chance to live life
being stressed out about being sick all the time
never finding peace again
being alone and never being with someone
not being able to have a child because of my illness
having to rely on my family
not being able to rely on my family

what do I need to do to help myself?

attempt to figure out disability, how to get on it
find some peace in every day life
stop being paralyzed by my indecision
work on art or other things that make me happy
stop being so petulant
be more proactive about my health
take control.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ah yes, the amazing disappearing Mindy. I've not been so blog oriented lately. I'm trying to find a job and feeling slightly pigeonholed by my past 5 1/2 years at my current job. I feel like I would have been better served by working in a field that would line me up for a future career. It seems like I'm shooting off in a million different directions and can't hone in on one specific route. I talk and talk, but can't seem to discover any viable solutions.

Do I:
Open my own boutique, online or physical.
Attempt to sell my art online.
Focus all my attention on school.
Transcription from home.
Go back to retail...?

I'm very torn and feel like I wasted my best years at a job that has left me frazzled and unfulfilled.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Oh and P.S. I turn 29 tomorrow.
I know I haven't been around for a long time. I moved recently, to a fantastic new house (I promise to post pictures as soon as I finish unpacking) and it took me a while to get my net reconnected. But in the meantime, I've had some struggles.

I know that most of you reading this are going to know that I've been having some health issues, and I just kind of wanted to address this up front, because this is going to have to become a major focus of my life so I can try to get well again.

I've suffered from arthritis my whole life, winters have always been painful for me, but it's always been manageable. About 5 years ago I had a bout that was so severe I had to go to the ER, but I was better in a couple of days. Well this winter I've been in a state of constant flaring for nearly three months now. To explain how I've felt to be under this much pain is difficult. Imagine having the worst cold, or a flu for about three months. That constant aching, that constant brain muddle, the sense of just not being quite right, and being tired all the time. This is what I've been struggling with. The problem has been, my inflammation was out of control. I couldn't move my arms, my hands were locked in, and my feet were so swollen I could barely wear shoes. It was finally necessary to get into a rheumatologist. I went in and have been receiving a barrage of tests. Deep medical history, 15 vials of blood taken at once, x-rays, intense muscle stress tests, it has been a draining and scary process. Lots of potential disorders were bandied around, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogrens, SLE, Raynauds. All autoimmune disorders, and all very likely since autoimmune disorders run in my family. My mother, sister and I all have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which is a genetic thyroid disorder. So we all have hypothyroidism, which is part of my severe weight gain over the past 6 years. (Thyroid controls your metabolism, your energy levels, and is essential in mood stabilization through B-vitamin absorption, without it you become lethargic, start gaining weight, lose your hair, and generally develop depression.) My sister also suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogrens. Sjogrens causes every moisture creating part of your body to stop functioning properly. She is incapable of crying at this point. She has to use eyedrops all day. It damages your eyes and sinuses. My brother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis several years ago, and he has the disease pretty well under control, but he still flares periodically, and that is scary as hell to witness.

Finally all the tests were done and I came back into the office to get a really crappy answer, I have two conditions working in tandem right now. Antiphospholipid syndrome is basically a disease that cause hypercoagulation. It opens me up to the risk of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, edema, etc; and actually explains the reason why I've had two miscarriages, if I ever get pregnant, I might be a high risk pregnancy. But luckily, it seems very mild in my case, and I just take a baby aspirin every night. The other condition isn't as clear cut. Undifferentiated connective tissue disease. And as the name suggests, it's a very nebulous diagnosis. It's little like a timebomb. It can develop into any of the disease I mentioned previously, although in my case, my body has more lupus like symptoms. Or it could become mixed connective tissue disease, which would be several disorders working together. Like possibly lupus AND sjogrens. Or, the third case scenario is that it won't progress. That we caught it somewhat early in the midst of a massive flare, and we may be able to manage it.

I had to start taking meds for it, and all the meds that are used for autoimmune disorders are nasty beasts. They have varying degrees of severity when it comes to side effects, and also varying degrees in cost. One of my sisters meds that she gets once a month costs her $450 out of pocket.

They started me on the most common jumping off drug, Plaquenil. Plaquenil is primarily used as an anti-malarial, but it has disease modification factors that inhibits your immune system from attacking your joints, tissue, muscles, organ, or nervous system. It is generally well tolerated and can be used for several years without worry of toxicity. I started it and was getting ill within two doses. I had severe stomach cramps, I had to be near a bathroom at all times, I was waking up several times a night to dry heave in the bathroom. It was debilitating. I was on that for a month and a half, and I lost 20 lbs, I also was so exhausted and still in so much pain that I ended up in the ER again. Finally the doctor decided that I wasn't tolerating, it wasn't getting easier on me, so I was taken off that.

I had a two week gap where the doctor conferred with other rheumatologists about the next plan of action and I could detox from the plaquenil. The idea of prednisone was bandied about, but it is a steroid and as such will make you gain weight and can put strain on your heart. I decided to stick with the pain for the time being.

I was then given my next med to start, methotrexate. Methotrexate still kind of scares me. I'm now officially on chemotherapy medications. They are toxic on your body and I have to get my blood tested every two weeks. Being as it a chemo med, I'm also losing more hair than I already was, I joke that I'm going to have to start wearing crazy wigs to cover up soon enough. I'm taking prescription strength folic acid for my hair, but it still falls out like crazy.

The truth is though, I'm really fucking scared.

These meds are a little easier for me to tolerate, I take 6 pills all at once, one time a week. For the next 12 hours I'm supposed to stay home in case there are side effects, which can strike at any time. For my combination of conditions and meds, there is a serious fear of pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot on my lung. And I in fact spent 6 hours in the hospital two weeks ago getting checked for the possibility of one. I got a CT scan which is now my least favorite medical procedure and tons of blood work, ekg, x-rays. Luckily I came back clean, with just a painful tear in the chest wall around my heart. Muscle tears are possible with UCTD if you're flaring, because everything is strained.

So now, I'm confused, sad and stressed out. Medical bills are starting to stack up at a phenomenal rate, and being as desperately depressed with my work situation is just making things worse. I feel that I need to change my job, to save my life. And I'm being told this by family and friends every day. I'm just scared to not have insurance, because I'll be under care for this for an unknown period of my life. It could go into remission or it could advance.

I want to work with a personal trainer who works with people with chronic disease, but that's really expensive, but I know that losing weight would make my life a WHOLE lot better.

But more than anything, I just want to feel the sensation of energy again, the rush of joy with accomplishing something big, I want to feel creative and work on my art more, I want to just not be so scared and alone.

I'm really sorry to dump this out, considering this blog has generally been a pretty lighthearted affair, but I really needed to get this off my chest for my own piece of mind, since I've barely spoken to anyone about this, and not many people know what I'm really going through. Just know, I love my friends, and I love being around you. I want nothing more in the world than to be with the people who lift me up, and make me feel good, laughing and taking my mind off of things.

I love you, whoever manages to read this whole mess.