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Four things I love about LA (and one I don’t)

This spring, I have had the opportunity to spend lots of time in one of my favorite cities, Los Angeles. My most recent trip, a long one of just over two weeks, is about to wrap up which has me thinking about what I will miss.

First, the brightly colored flowers and trees. Even in the scruffiest neighborhood, there are beautiful jacaranda trees and wildflowers.

Second, the weird news. A few weeks ago, the big news was a car that “fell” into someone’s backyard with no sign of a driver. More recently, there was the ‘flying horse.’ There are so many televised car chases that the local NBC affiliate has a dedicated web site section for this type of news AND promises to follow-up on the outcome of each car chase.

Third, the sunshine. I always felt that if I lived here, I’d miss the variety of weather that we have in NYC. Truly, I’m the weirdo who enjoys winter.

But during this longer stay, not only have I realized that LA does have some rainy days and temperature fluctuations to break things up, but I have also experienced a huge, much-needed lift in my energy levels. I even went on a hike!

Fourth, the apparel possibilities. April and May nights in LA have been cool. You can still wear sweaters or jackets plus cute booties without having the seasonal transition weather awkwardness I always feel in NYC. I don’t know why this feels like a revelation. But I swear it is. And I suddenly understand who buys sleeveless sweaters and suede sandals–it’s LA people.

Finally, what don’t I like? Limited access to cats and kittens. Yes, I’m serious. I miss my PS9 friends that much. Fortunately that could be addressed with a little free time and effort.

I’ll be home soon, kitties.

Good news. And yet…

Yesterday was my most recent CT scan. As I mentioned before, I’m slated to have scans every three months for a year.

I prepare myself for the waiting, and yet I still find myself bewildered by the actual experience. In situations like mine, appointments are more suggestion than commitment. It’s the trade-off for accessing a world-class specialist, and for him offering to review your raw test output with you in real time, same day. It’s the knowledge that a patient in my situation will wait pretty much as long as is required to get whatever answers and comfort are available.

There is much variety within the waiting. Am I waiting in the wrong place? Did I arrive on the wrong day? Did I fail to prepare? Or is someone simply out to lunch? Continue reading

I’m not myself right now

I should do something. But I’m so tired. I should go to the gym or write or something. 

It’s Saturday and I’m lying on my bed wearing gym clothes. I didn’t make any plans for the weekend with the exception of Sunday brunch and I’m semi-OK with that. On one hand, I am tired from a lot of recent business travel. On the other, I miss my friends and know I am going to be traveling a ton these next two months so when will I see them?

But back to the first hand. Lounging on my bed with Law & Order playing in the background is all I can seem to do. I don’t even have the energy to visit the cats today.

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Five or six weeks ago, I emailed a therapist specializing in grief counseling to request an appointment. I followed the process spelled out on her web site after going through a painstaking process to identify her as someone who accepted my insurance, didn’t have hellaciously bad reviews online, wasn’t geographically undesirable and maybe-hopefully had a basic web site via which I could confirm the particulars.

She has yet to respond to my initial inquiry, or a follow up one made after three weeks of silence. Thus far, I haven’t been able to make myself place a follow-up phone call. And I absolutely don’t have the energy to cross-reference the thousands of listings of people my insurance company swears take my insurance (not this one) with ZocDoc or Yelp or similar. As a result, I will probably try to make an appointment near home at a place that doesn’t take insurance, but does respond to appointment inquiries and fast. At $300 per session, they are quite ready to sign me up.

But I will figure something out eventually, right?

I don’t feel depressed in the sense that I have before. Depression is not unfamiliar to me. I take medicine and previously worked through the things that hurt me in therapy. The black dog has followed me for as long as I can remember. But it has become manageable. Had.

This part of me isn’t something I had been ashamed of, but I had long felt it was well addressed and I didn’t need to talk about it.

But this is different. I feel flat. There’s so little that excites me. My ‘happy place’ right now is lying in bed playing Words with Friends or sleeping. I cancel plans frequently.

I find it so hard to focus. I feel tired every hour of every day. My body aches. About once a week, spurred by thoughts of my father, I have a big cry. And yes, typing that sentence caused a lump in my throat followed by a rush of tears to my eyes.

I miss Dad so much – the uncomplicated nature of our relationship and the constancy of his support. While we had philosophical disagreements, I always knew he was listening to me, absorbing my thought process and considering it carefully.

Dad’s absence has changed my relationship with my mother too. I knew it would, of course, but the changes are not at all what I expected, making me feel lost in the dark. I thought she would need me more and it’s not that I wish for her to need me more, but I can’t say I understand how to act right now. Additionally, in spite of her strength, I don’t feel like I can tell her how rough I have been feeling, particularly after what I put her through last fall.

Even though I know I have reason not to feel my best, I feel guilty for the fact that I don’t. I feel terrible about my inability to write, or to focus my pitiful attention long enough to read a chapter of a book. I can’t fathom ever pushing myself hard enough to get fit again.

I don’t feel terrible, just low, most days–only some. I’m not sad daily, but my energy level is poor. One day, I am able to power through with smile, more or less. But others, I spend hours in bed. Making small talk, something my livelihood depends on, feels like torture sometimes.

I know from experience that this too shall pass. But in this moment, I can only wish to feel better soon.


It’s Sunday. I wake up excited to have brunch with my friend Brooke and then do a little skincare shopping together. The sun is shining for the first time since I returned from my most recent business trip a few days ago.

On my way home from brunch and shopping, I stop at Whole Foods in hopes of finding some of my favorite ice cream – score! – and then stop by to see the kitties.

 

Some days are easier than others.

How I spent my President’s Day Weekend

Hello friends,

I’ll get back to the blog soon – promise!

How was your holiday weekend? While I, like seemingly a lot of people, am not celebrating #45, I did have an enjoyable President‘s Day Weekend.

I stuck a literal toe into the foot peel realm, using this one from Boscia. Yes, I am nervous about the gross-out potential in the coming week. No, I won’t be sharing pics on social media.

I grabbed margaritas and Mexican food with @full_of_moxie at a place called Fonda in the East Village.

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Tamarind margarita – yum!

 

I sniffled like mad either from a cold or too much kitty time. Oops.

And now it’s time for that old Monday night past time: watching The Bachelor. What will Corinne do this time?!

 

Before and After

Yesterday was my first abdominal CT scan since the tumor was removed in late September. The results were good: no sign of any tumors elsewhere.

Yay!

If you’d like to hear more about the scan, there’s more beneath the fold, including not-gross before and after pictures.

(the gross pic is here)

Continue reading

If there is a bright side…

Hello friends,

Recently it has been harder to find the words.

My next scan and oncology appointment loom. It’s nerve-wracking.

And I have been feeling, literally feeling, so much about the Inauguration. My jaw aches from clenching my teeth. My neck hurts to move, and my head feels like it weighs too much to lift sometimes.

I try to relax, thinking back to my beautiful vacation. But it’s hard. What lies ahead? I am worried.

You bet I marched.

If there’s a bright side, it includes this: wonderful feminist, progressive arts and entrepreneurs to get them in our hands. I’m shopping and supporting.

I belatedly bought a pink pussy hat from Feminist Wrath.

Continue reading

Tumbleweeds

And not only because I have been so lazy about posting since my vacation.

NYC looks like this right now.

All of those Christmas trees need to go somewhere. This one is more my speed.

The tumbleweeds will be gone soon, including from my blog. I’ll be back soon. XO

 

You made me a woman, George Michael

In sixth grade, I wanted nothing more than to dance with a guy named Kevin to “Careless Whisper.”

I made it happen too.

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Eleven years old and small for my age, I didn’t show many signs of impending young womanhood yet.

Continue reading

Five hundred things I bought in 2016

One of the unexpected upsides of my surgery and recovery? I became an expert-level online shopper!

OK, maybe that’s not something to celebrate. Does anyone really need to spend more money? Probably not.

But I got some great stuff and I thought you might like some of it.

For fun

Recently I bought a plane ticket back to Saint Martin. I loved it so much the first time. After the year I have had, these plane tickets are easily the No Regret-iest things on the whole list.

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I got Hamilton tickets. Yep, the play is as amazing as I had heard. And – lucky me – I am seeing it again in January. Tickets are my Christmas present to my mother.

For my face

I made it to Sephora’s VIB Rouge level this year. Oops. That means I bought a lot of skincare and makeup products.

I started using eye cream – and bought two of them. Because did you know that you should not use regular eye cream on your lids? APPARENTLY. I’d be mad about buying two, however the lid-specific cream is so good at reducing eye puffiness after yet another business trip that I can’t complain.

But I also bought this inexpensive lipstick (16). 100% my favorite.

Update: I’m in love with this.

For my apartment

I got these lampshades via Joss & Main. Not my most exciting purchase (made on Cyber Monday no less), however I love the way replacing my old yellowing lampshades with crisp white changed the light of my bedroom.

I am loving the Pottery Barn duvet cover I purchased to go with this new bed (similar options here) and dresser. Also this pretty framed print from Society6 which is hanging over my bed until this larger print arrives to take its place. And this elephant throw pillow which reminds me of my wonderful aunt, who loved elephants.

It took buying three sets of curtains to keep one. These from Overstock looked nothing like the picture – way darker. I can’t really say why I didn’t like these from Bed, Bath & Beyond – I just didn’t. They sat on my couch for about three weeks while I tried to warm up to them.

Finally I found these in Cool White at JC Penney of all places – not sure when I last shopped there. But I’m really happy so it’s a good reminder to be open-minded.

To wear

As you know, I adore this jacket. And I hate that it’s too cold to wear it right now.

This Marc Jacobs bag is awesome. I use it probably 75% of my work days so I don’t feel at all bad about splurging. I love this bag.

I just bought these Sam Edelman shoes on Bloomingdales.com but depending on your size, they’re cheaper on Amazon. Every year, my company holiday party rolls around and I don’t have any great shoes to wear. This year, I wore some ugly old pumps that wouldn’t even stay on my feet. Apparently I need straps of some sort at this point in life.

Along those lines, I got these pink Birkenstocks. I swore I would never have Birks, but here I am, loving them.

Update: this shirt as a show of support to Nordstrom.

I should have bought five of this Feminist t-shirt. These next four years are going to be challenging.

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To eat

I accidentally bought an entire case of this popcorn. Fortunately it’s delicious.

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For everything

I invested in an Amazon Echo. My friend Mark‘s tweets made me feel like I needed one. Alexa is a great companion for work from home days.


Did I actually buy five hundred things this year? Probably not. But there are times when it felt that way. My hope is that I will be so busy in 2017 doing fun, exciting things that online shopping will no longer be my chief entertainment.

To offset my consumerism, I also made philanthropic donations to several organizations including the Women’s Resource Center of Northeastern PA and Dr. Paul Forfia’s Pulmonary Hypertension research.

I’m considering supporting the Pulmonary Hypertension Association too.

Where am I?

Less than an hour after I checked in, I got the email.

We see where you are departing tomorrow and hope that you had a wonderful stay here at _______! We realize you have many options when traveling and appreciate you choosing to stay with us.  We wanted to reach out to you and ensure that everything with your stay exceeded expectations.  On behalf of the staff, we wish you a safe trip home, and we hope to see you again sometime soon!

Soon after, the airline sent me an email suggesting I check in for tomorrow’s flight now.

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Where am I?

Continue reading