Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Back to the Drawing Board


That is the word I would use to describe my life right now. Isn't that also the name of the Britney/K-Fed reality show? I think it is. Don't worry, I haven't shaved my head or anything. Not that I haven't thought about doing it, considering the high number of bad hair days I've been having lately.

It's been one thing after another, these past few weeks. I've got trips and parties and get-togethers and time off, all things which are making me super-busy. I need a vacation from my vacation! *sigh*

Add to that: work has been a little busier than usual, insomnia for two nights straight, medical issues and being broke.

I am so exhausted and have so many things floating around in my brain, this post will probably be choppy. I feel like I'm losing my mind, and after you read this post, I'm certain you will agree.

Where to begin? Hmmm. Let's start with catheters in my bladder. Who doesn't want to read about that? The good news is, it didn't hurt a bit. Seriously, it was no sweat. But I can tell it's one of those procedures (like, say, drawing blood) where, if the person doesn't know what they are doing, it would hurt like crazy. I lucked out.

The bad news is, there is still too much protein in my pee. So I am awaiting my referral to a urologist. Which means: $$$$$$ and probably more catheters. Oh the joy.

I just keep repeating to myself: I. Do. Not. Want. A. Kidney. Stone.

And since I don't want any cavities either, I went to the dentist yesterday. "Oh, I see we have to update your x-rays today!" said the hygienist. I thought, "Oh.....crap. $$$$$$$$$$$" And then, as she was cleaning, and lecturing me about how I am not brushing OR flossing enough/properly, I thought, "I am paying this woman to not only torture me, but to also give me a guilt trip second only to The Czarina's."

Then she hit below the belt: "So, Virginia..........do you smoke?"


"Yes, sometimes..." I confessed, weakly.

"I can tell. There's some stain discoloration," she deadpanned.

Ugh! What is it with these people?! As if just paying someone to scrape your teeth with metal utensils isn't bad enough, they have to throw in a guilt trip, too. I bet that's a course they take in dental hygiene school: "Guilt Tripping 101" -- it was probably taught by my mother. If I were a dog, my tail would be between my legs during every trip to the dentist. I think people who work there are actually BDSMers in white lab coats, who have managed to figure out a way to support themselves by preying on the phobias of the general public.

After an hour of scraping and scratching, I was finally free to go. Ashamed of myself, I collected the fragments of my dignity and walked out to the front desk. "That's it. I have reached the end of dental humiliation. I'm going to be Superstar Tooth Nazi until my next appointment! And quit smoking, too!!" I thought.

"Ok, that will be $105.00," said the receptionist.

There is a direct relationship between my age and the level of unpleasantness experienced at the dentist's office. Now, not only does it hurt my gumline, it hurts my wallet, too. Oh how I miss the days of my childhood, when a trip to the dentist's office meant only that I got to play with the giant, toy teeth and give the hygienists heart attacks with my sudden fits of giggling. (You see, I have extremely ticklish gums, and when they'd polish my teeth, I would erupt into uncontrollable laughter. I still do it, sometimes.)

Speaking of laughter, I had Lasagna Night on Sunday. MJ, KT, Mr. & Mrs. Bill, J-Rich and Mack Daddy came. We had such a good time. I don't think anyone went to bed hungry! We had a really good time. The only downside was that Cute Neighbor never showed. He never came over to tell me he couldn't make it, and he hasn't come over to apologize for being MIA, either. I find this very rude. Not to mention, a little insulting: it's not like it would be a ton of effort for him to tell me. He wouldn't even have to get into his car.

I don't get it. If your diet consists mainly of Healthy Choice frozen dinners (he told me that's pretty much all he eats), and your cute & single neighbor invites you over for a free, homemade meal, and all you have to do is basically fall out of your front door and grab a fork, then what is the problem? I mean, even if you aren't interested in her romantically, at the very least, you're getting a free dinner. And free beer. Men make no sense to me. And I think I've hit a new low in my pathetic dating life: guys won't even get up off their couches to mooch free food from me. WOW. I am, apparently, just that repulsive.

So, it's back to the drawing board again.

Speaking of drawing....MJ invited me to an art show this past weekend. Four local artists displayed their work, and there was even one piece on which all four of them collaborated. It was fantastic. All four artists have different styles, but their styles meshed well together. MJ's dating The Artist, and his art is....really just incredible stuff. You have to look at the pieces for a looooong time before you can soak it all in. It's been described as "post-modern", but I would describe it more as "Picasso meets Dali meets Pollock meets Dr. Seuss". Normally, I don't "get" modern art, but I really dug his stuff. I wish I had a little extra money lying around, because I would buy something from him. I wish I could find some pictures of his stuff online so I could show you some of his work, but I'll have to let you imagine it from my description above. (MJ-- you need to tell him to set up a flickr account or something!)

We are slowly but surely getting our details worked out for our NYC/Vermont trip next week. I am still so excited, I'm about to burst! Want to see what we've got lined up so far? Here is a photo quiz. Can you guess?

This sounds really stupid, but I'm actually really excited to ride on the subway. And to take the train to Vermont. There isn't much public transportation in SC. So this will be really interesting to me. Heck, this will only be the 5th or 6th airplane trip I've ever been on, so even that will be fun! I'm one of those weird people who gets waaaaay too excited to get on airplanes. I even like the food.

I have always defined a vacation as: "Going somewhere, other than a conference or my mother's house, which requires me to board an airplane to get there." By that definition, this will be my first vacation since Rome, Italy in 2000.

I told MJ I would embarrass her in NYC by asking every waitress/waiter if the restaurant serves grits or mashed sweet potatoes. If she doesn't want me to do this, she should keep my mouth full of some of that delicious NY-style pizza. Mmmmmmmmmmmm......can't wait.

But instead, I think I will stare straight up as we walk down the streets, proclaiming in the thickest of Southern accents, "Well, gaaaaawlee, I ain't never seen no buildin' that high! Shucks!" -- Huh. That came out more like Gomer Pyle. Perhaps I will practice my impression before I get on the plane......I will charm the pants off them "city folk". Hopefully, the cute and single ones.

Oh man. One can only hope......de-panting hotties is one of my favorite things to do......*daydreams*

I have no clue what to pack. I'm tempted to bring nothing but stilettos and cocktail dresses, but I'm sure that's entirely inappropriate. LOL But aren't I supposed to look like this in order to fit in?

I certainly don't want to look like this.....*shudders*

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Before I go to NYC and Vermont, I am being visited by....

The Czarina. *cue Darth Vader theme song*

And Smurf and Czarina's Best Friend are coming, too. They will serve as a no-fly-zone, because otherwise, The Czarina and I would drive each other bonkers. We need referees when we hang out.

The good news is, she wants to buy me some stuff for my house. And I think (fingers crossed, people!) that I can talk her into giving me some money for my NYC trip. Because, if she doesn't, I might have to dig through NYC garbage cans to find something to eat. Oh well. It will be good for the diet if I don't eat for 5 days, right? Maybe I can just eat hot dogs from those street vendors.....

Where was I? Oh yes. The Czarina is coming, with her best friend and my little sister in tow. She hasn't been to Columbia since the day I moved here, 5 years ago, almost to the day. She finally gets to see my house. We will be decorating mi casa, which is nice. We will be visiting some local historic homes and dining out at some of my favorite restaurants, like this one and this one. They will get to meet my coworkers and some of my friends. I think I will give them a little tour of my favorite spots in town. I am thinking we should probably hit the Columbia Museum of Art, since they just got a couple of Renoirs on loan from Chicago, and they have recently expanded their late-Renaissance Dutch painting collection.

And what are my favorite kinds of paintings?????

Anything by Renoir and anything Dutch.

In order to prepare for their visit, I have to take deep breaths, have a cigarette binge, practice nodding my head and saying, "Yes, Mom, you are absolutely right!" and clean my room. I have also stocked up on The Czarina's favorite diet foods:

low-fat cheddar cheese
diet tonic water
low-fat cottage cheese
whole wheat bread
bagged lettuce

Ugh. No wonder she's always so cranky. Wouldn't you be, if that was what you ate, 90% of the time? And she wonders why I cannot lose weight. It's because I'd rather be fat than eat that stuff, day in and day out. But this topic deserves its own post, so I will stop there with that little difference in opinion between mother and daughter.

Which reminds me......I need to hide all my "bad" stuff: twizzlers, oreos, birth control pills, ashtray & cigarettes....what am I forgetting?? Oh, those condoms in my purse....which were actually a gag gift, I swear on all things holy......I know you don't believe me, but they were. I just laughed at my friend W's joke and absent-mindedly stuck them in my purse. Oh, come on! You have to believe me. Like I'd even get a chance to use those things, at the rate I'm going. [See paragraph about Cute Neighbor, above.]

The Czarina will be here tomorrow afternoon. So I don't know how often I'll be able to post until she leaves on Sunday. This long-ass, rambling post will probably have to do ya for a few days.


Matilda Jane said...

Art by The Artist

Virginia Belle said...

Thanks, MJ!!!!

glad you knew where to find these pics.

mmmm. eye candy.....

Phantom Hater said...

"WOW. I am, apparently, just that repulsive."

Oh enough, already. I think CN just follows one of my mottos:
"No neighbors, no friends of the family, and no dipping your pen in the company ink." If things go sour, you're right next door.

I like some of the artwork. What's with the numbers?

Sam said...

Hi! Reading and wondering WTF is wrong with men. Also, I hope your Mom visit goes well. Take me to NYC with you!!

RWA said...

Sorry about Cute Neighbor.

Great pictures, and I am SURE you won't look like those tourists!!!

teahouse said...

Hey!! You're going to LOVE the subway.

And I confess I don't dress like the Sex and the City girls. None of us do. And our apartments aren't as large and lavish as theirs, either.

I know where those photos are, but I won't play since it wouldn't be fair..you know, my being an inhabitant of the Big Apple and all.

lenfercestlesautres said...

Superstar Tooth Nazi

That's awesome. Really. Cracked me up.

When I read your description of the Artist's art (um...) I though it had to look absolutely terrible. Now that I've seen it, I like it.

Snooch said...


As for the kidney stones, I'm with you! Really! I have to deal with them, hmmmm, I guess since the age of 13 or something. If I wanna be honest, it hurts a lot, when they are moving...bahhh, don't even wanna remember those pains...but just to give you a bit of hope too, I'm still here :))) After spending like 11 years together with my "lodgers", here I am, yep, I had some extremely hard days because of them, but I'm a hero, I survived! ;)) Recent ultrasound showed that I have one stone again, but it's fine as long as it's not moving anywhere, but stays in peace in my kidney, so don't worry about it too much. My doctor said that there are many people are out there who never come to realise that they have these little stones, because they never cause problems as long as they don't start moving, you can live a whole life-time without experiencing real problems because of them! ;) Keep this in mind, and stay positive! ;)

Snooch said...

"My doctor said that there are many people are out there who never come to realise that they have these little stones"

Sorry, this originally were meant to be written this way:
there are many people out there who never come to...

My head is a mess really, and I never read what I wrote before clicking to send...

Kraig said...

From a different perspective. Maybe he got tied up at work, or just plain forgot.

God only knows I'm the most forgetful person on the planet. Next time you run into him he'll probably kick himself for missing it.

Matilda Jane said...

@ PH~
if you have T9 word, or something similar, type the numbers into a text message on your phone.

Phantom Hater said...

Ah, interesting. F*cking texting. It's the death of the English language. There's a piece in that link that illustrates that perfectly to me. "Future Kisses", complete with a phone. All this technology, and we're communicating at the level of trained monkeys.

Stuck said...

Maybe he's like me, and didn't see the MySpace comment update about the date change. I totally would have been there if I'd known you moved it to Sunday. :( (I think I had cheetoes for dinner on Sunday.)

The Dummy said...

You're going to have SUCH a great time in NYC! I'd live there if it didn't cost so darn much.

And I hope your protein levels even out soon and that you won't need more visits to the doctor! Being there sucks.

And I have a dentist appointment too next week! Must be that time of year or something.

Christopher said...

Hello from Vermont, glad you are paying us a visit, hope you enjoy it (your blog turned up in my google search about entirely unrelated Vermont stuff).

If you can, the biggest deal in southern vermont is gallery walk this Friday in Brattleboro. (of course it's better when you know everyone and then it's one big party and mingle . . . but you'll have fun).

Sit on the right side of the train going out of New York city if you can. The train crosses the Connecticut River several times and runs along side at various points.

My favorite thing about the Vermonter Amtrak train is watching the demographics on board change as you leave New Haven and Hartford and Springfield behind. Suddenly everybody is wearing fleece (maybe not in the summer - although I happen to be wearing fleece at this moment) and there are no more suits and cell phones and often people start to connect and say, "Oh, I didn't realize you were on this train . . . " (yes, we all know each other in Vermont. Well, sometimes it seems like that)

FRIGGA said...

Sorry I don't comment much, but I like reading your blog. As for Cute Neighboor - guys are idiots and he probably totally forgot about it. Do you mind if I link to your blog on mine?

Michael C said...

I bet that people who insert catheters for a living never get home from work upset. I'd just hate to be the patient they took it out on (well, actually they insert it, but you get my point).

Found you via Frigga, one of my favorite bloggers...

Virginia Belle said...

PH -- what, that means he can't even hang out w/me platonically? i mean, everyone likes lasagna.

sam-- you know i would if i could! can you fit into my suitcase? how do you feel about riding cargo?

RWA -- thanks. yeah,i hope i won't stick out TOO badly.

teahouse -- thanks for the info. i'm really glad i have new yorkers for readers! i am really excited about the subway!!

len -- yeah, "superstar tooth nazi" sounds like a superhero. wonder what the superpowers are.....and apparently, it's a good thing i don't describe art for a living.

snooch-- thanks for the heads up. yeah, i don't have any, i don't think. i don't even really know what it means to have a lot of protein in my urine. i just assumed i'm more at risk for kidney stones. *shrugs*

kraig -- actually, he had a WAAAAY better excuse.

stuck-- chee-tos???? aw, no. that makes me feel terrible!!!! i'm so sorry. i wish you'd known. if it makes you feel any better, some other peeps didn't get the news in time either. so i will have another lasagna night, i promise!!! and not at the end of the month when you can't go!!!

dummy -- yeah, i think i will really like it. i can't wait!! thanks for the good wishes re: kidney stones.

christopher-- thanks for stopping by! i think we are actually driving up to VT.....i had my wires crossed. but thank you very much for the heads up on the train ride. i hope everyone up there is just as nice and friendly as you!

frigga-- of course not! link away! glad you like it. :)

michael c -- welcome! thanks for stopping by. yes, it would be nice to have a job where i can take my frustrations out on others. sadly, short of chucking books at people's heads, i am at a loss for how i might participate in this idea.