Slice of Life March 28th, 2013 #slice2013

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Isn’t it amazing how certain songs can remind you of people or take you back to a part of your life?  I’ve been reminded of that twice in the past 24 hours.  Chris and I sat down to watch Les Miserables today and I kept thinking of my friend Aileen, who first introduced me to Broadway musicals way back in elementary school.  Thanks to her I fell in love with Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Annie, Cats, and pretty much every Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

I was also reminded of the power of music at last night’s Taylor Swift concert.  I was already out of college (*sob* I am old) when Taylor Swift released her first single, but her music always makes me think of my teen and college years.  She writes the soundtrack for many people’s lives, I think.

Then there are the songs that make me think of Chris and our life together.  Avril Lavigne, Ingrid Michaelson, Michael Buble, and so many others.  I can be transported to a mood, a time, a place, or a feeling when certain songs come on.

Music fascinates me because it is inherently tied to our emotions.  I’m not a musician, but I love music and the soundtrack it provides.

Slice of Life March 27th, 2013 #slice2013

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Tonight I took my little sister to see Taylor Swift.  Ok, she was a convenient excuse for me to go see Taylor Swift.

I’ve loved Taylor Swift ever since I first heard “Tim McGraw” back in 2006.  Even though she is younger than me, her songs provide a soundtrack for my teen and college years.  Her songs are like little YA novels set to music, and her albums are all awesome.  I’m partial to her more country-esque albums, but I own them all.

Tonight, I almost went deaf at her Red Tour.  I’ve never seen so many light-up signs or heard so much high-pitched screaming.  But it was awesome to watch all these young girls and teens (and twenty-somethings!) sing along to “Mean” and nod along as Taylor told them to ignore the people who try to bring them down.  They also sang along, even louder, to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and I laughed as Taylor Swift told the audience they shouldn’t get back with their evil ex-boyfriends just to be with someone.

It was a great night and a great time with my sister.  :) And now it’s after midnight and I need some sleep!

Slice of Life March 26th, 2013 #slice2013

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Today I am grateful.  Chris is home, in his own bed, and everything is as it should be.  He has a few weeks of recovery ahead of him, but it’s so good to be out of the hospital.  Tonight he can sleep without a stranger in the room, without the woman in the next room screaming, and without being woken up for vitals every 4 hours.  He doesn’t have an easy few weeks ahead of him, but every day will be an improvement on the last one.  And it’s getting better every hour.

Now if only I could convince the cat to leave him alone…….The dogs are easy- a gate stops them.  The cat, not so much!

Slice of Life March 25th, 2013 #slice2013

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Today Chris and I discovered that the hospital wireless is decent enough to let patients stream from Netflix.  After browsing the recently added TV shows and movies, Chris said he wanted to give Dr. Who a try and I agreed.

Most of my friends are big Who fans.  Many, many, many of my students are huge Who fans.  (Is there a name for the Who fandom?)  Some of my students have been begging, or really demanding, me to give the show a try. I always have it on my list but we rarely have time to binge watch anything besides Downton Abbey, which  is in a class all its own.

So we decided today, in the hospital, would be the perfect excuse to sit down and give it a shot.  We browsed the many, many, many seasons and tried to decide where to start.  We quickly made the decision to skip the 60′s version and start with the 2005 Season 1 reboot.  We watched one episode with Rose and Nine (look at me, using the right terminology already!) and it was enjoyable.  But I wasn’t very attached to the Doctor.  We laughed at the episode and enjoyed it, but something was missing.  I asked Chris if he minded skipping to the second season, which starred David Tennant. I wanted to see if that hooked me a little more.  He didn’t mind, so we tried the first episode of Ten’s season.

Well, Ten is my Dr. Who.  Yup. Definitely.  David Tennant, who I know from Hamlet  and Harry Potter, is a force of

The Doctor has changed appearance ten distinct...

The Doctor has changed appearance ten distinct times. These are the eleven faces of the Doctor. (Top) L-R: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker (Middle) L-R: Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann (Bottom) L-R: Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

nature.  What an amazing actor!  We flew through his first episode and now I plan to binge watch as many seasons as possible! Chris will be coming home at some point this week (trying not to jinx it!) and I am on spring break.  He has a few weeks of recovery ahead of him and we are looking forward to lots of time spent watching new TV shows and movies, and Dr. Who will definitely be at the top of the list.  Finally!

Slice of Life March 24th, 2013 #slice2013

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I don’t think this even counts as a Slice of Life.  But I can’t come up with anything else.

Today’s theme is exhaustion.  Mental and physical and emotional.  Just exhaustion.

Slice of Life March 23rd, 2013 #slice2013

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Just a quick slice tonight.

I spent the day at the hospital with Chris, and my in-laws took a break and watched the dogs for most of the day.  My mother-in-law, who has two cocker spaniels, always teases the dogs by saying that one of them will win “Dog of the day” for being the best behaved.  It’s a very important prize.

Today they had their two Cocker Spaniels plus the two Aussies.  This is the first time Bailey has stayed with them and I forgot to mention that since St. Patrick’s Day she has been on a counter-surfing kick.  I need to deal with it but just haven’t had the time (clearly).  Well, my mother-in-law bought a hoagie today and left it on the table for a minute while she finished getting lunch.

I’m sure you can see where this is going.

Bailey ate the hoagie.  The whole half.  In one bite.  With no chewing. And she was quite proud of herself.

Needless to say, she did not win Dog of the Day.

And I think she’s ok with that.  Because the hoagie was delicious!

Slice of Life March 22nd, 2013 #slice2013

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I’m sitting here, trying to fall asleep, and I’m watching Friends.

Friends is my go-to comfort show.  I watch it when I’m sick, when I want to fall asleep, when I need to wind down from a long day. I’ve seen every episode a hundred times and Chris would tell you that I can recite the episode title with less than 30 seconds of any episode.  He’s right.

 I started watching Friends when I was in about 5th grade.  Then, I wasn’t allowed to stay up an watch the episodes, so I would sneak and watch them whenever I got the chance.  I remember that my friend Colleen loved the show too, so for her birthday I got her a Central Perk t-shirt and coffee mug, and I was convinced it was the best present ever! We would sing “Smelly Cat” together at school and we all wanted to be like the characters when we grew up.  Living in NY, hanging out at a coffee shop, spending every day with your best friends — it sounded like the best life ever!

I watched Friends all through middle school, high school, and into college.  The episodes would be on the background as I studied or napped.  They played as I got ready to go out on Thursday nights and while my friends and I did each other’s hair and make-up. Then, they announced that the series was ending.  My college friends and I piled into one room, crammed onto beds and the floor, and watched the last episode together.  I remember crying as the characters walked out of the apartment for the last time, because my friends and I were only a few months away from graduating college and walking away from our lives, too.

Friends is my show.  I can recite almost every line.  I still laugh at all the jokes.

“My god, this parachute is a knapsack!”

“The cushions are the essence of the chair!”

“Could I be wearing anymore clothes?!”

 And tonight it will help put me to sleep.

Slice of Life March 21st, 2013 #slice2013

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Today I had to take the Aussies to doggie daycare.

Go ahead and laugh.  I’ll wait a minute.

Ok, yes, sometimes I take the dogs to daycare.  This (expensive) treat is really a treat for me, because I take them when I know I have to work late and won’t be able to give them the attention they need.  This means they spend 7-9 hours running around, playing, and getting their energy out so that when I pick them up, they are exhausted. Aussies are exhausting, especially when you do not have a backyard for them to run in. So I am grateful we have other options.

Today, I felt like I was dropping children off.  I went back to school for the first time since Chris’ surgery and I knew I would be too exhausted to even consider taking care of the dogs after school.  But when I woke them up this morning, they both sounded like they had post-nasal drip.  The hacking was unbearable.  Very quickly, I did the math in my head and realized allergy season is here in full force. Aussies are ridiculously allergy-sensitive and I just read that this year’s allergy season is forecast to be the worst in decades thanks  to the hurricane. Dublin and Bailey also spent a lot of time playing outside for the past two days, thanks to my amazing in-laws, sister-in-law, and friend.  But they suffered the consequences today when they could not stop clearing their throats.

So there I was, dropping off two dogs and trying to explain that no, they were not sick and please ignore the hacking because the benadryl hasn’t kicked in yet. Thankfully, everyone at the daycare is awesome and fawned all over them, telling (the dogs) that the artificial turf they use would help them feel better.

At 5pm, I picked up two very happy, very tired dogs.  Benadryl worked its magic and they are passed out next to me on the couch.  I have been able to pack to go back to Philly and get some work done without them nagging me.  So thank you to our awesome doggie daycare!

Slice of Life March 20th, 2013 #slice2013

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My husband’s cousin posted this website earlier today, and it’s my new favorite.

Real tough guys don’t need guns,

they just need a positive, can-do attitude

Today’s slice of life is short and sweet.  I am incredibly proud of Chris.  Today he was up and out of bed, taking two walks around his floor at the hospital.  He wanted to see the view (he is on the top floor) and got to watch the helipad for a bit.  His positive attitude has amazed me, because I don’t think I would be able to do the same thing.  Plus, he is sitting in a hospital bed and still manages to make sure his parents and I  eat regularly and get everything done that we need to do.

So, in essence, today’s slice is really to say “thank you” to Chris, for being incredible.  And for being so positive through all of this.

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Slice of Life March 19th, 2013 #slice2013

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  I’ve spent the last week bursting into tears at random moments, culminating when I wept over Bailey eating my corned beef sandwich on Sunday.  Today was one of the hardest days of my life.  At 5am we left my in-laws’ house in South Jersey and drove to UPenn.  At 7:15am, Chris was taken into surgery. I’ve been a weepy, awful mess since last night.

The surgery went well, even better than expected.  He will be much better in the long run.  But wow.  And then he spent almost 10 hours in the recovery room, because his room wasn’t ready yet.  Talk about ridiculous!  But the nurse who was with him all day was great and Chris did an awesome job.  But there are no words for the ball of emotion that I am.

I have amazing friends and in-laws who took care of me all day.  I can’t thank my best friend Julie enough for driving own and spending most of the surgery sitting next to me, keeping me calm.  In 2002 she moved to Ithaca to attend Cornell, then to Massachusetts when she went to MIT for grad school.  Two weddings and a baby later, we are back in the same state as of two weeks ago.  Someone was looking out for me in that regard.  I’m not sure I would have made it through the morning without her there.

And also, a big thanks to the nurses who checked with me all day.  I so don’t do hospitals.  Needles make me faint and I get pale at the thought of an IV.  Three or four times today different nurses pulled me aside to make sure I was ok if I looked woozy.  They also made fun of me when I explained that I couldn’t watch them take blood or change the IV.  But I guess I would make fun of them if they cringed at the thought of dealing with high schoolers!  To each his own.

Most importantly, I am so proud of Chris, who has dealt with this for the last few months, dealt with my over-the-top weepiness at the drop of a hat, and came out of surgery smiling and joking.  He has a fabulous attitude and I am ridiculously proud to call him my husband.  One day down, only a few more days to go before he comes home.

We’ve reached the top of the mountain, and hopefully it is all downhill from here.

*PS- I am also grateful for awesome students, who took my absence in stride.  Especially my seniors, who won’t see me all week but followed the instructions in my googledoc to a tee.  They ran a backchat while analyzing a disaster movie and the conversation was fantastic.  They even managed to clean up and send me a copy before the end of the period. As I skimmed the transcript earlier today, I breathed a sigh of relief. One less thing to stress about!

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