Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This is my brain on drugs

Oh man, where to start.  I guess I'll just get into it.

The hives didn't quite go away.  I woke up Saturday pretty itchy.  Well, no.  Incredibly itchy.  Maddeningly itchy.  Grateful I had long fingernails that day itchy.  I called the advice nurse and they gave me a prescription for 3 more days of steroids.  Ok, done.  I'll pick that up later.  I took a cool washcloth and ice to my legs.  I called Mr. Renaissance and asked if I could come over and hang out in his hammock while he worked on his house (I was out of steam dealing with this alone).  So stoned on Benadryl, I dragged a cooler of ice, some magazines, and the dog over to his place where he was pile driving some part of the foundation.  A few minutes later I was hanging in the hammock staring into space with some ear protection on.

Then at 5 he took me to The Quiet Comedienne's baby shower.  There was no way I was getting there on my own with all that Benadryl.  He hung out for a few minutes, met some of my friends, then went back to work on the house.  Around 8 I invited him to come back and hang out at the baby shower that had by then turned into a fun BBQ.  We hung out 'til midnight, had fun with my friends (and they approved), then we headed back to my place.  At this point, I couldn't have felt more grateful.  Grateful that I have awesome friends who care enough to approve or disapprove of who I'm dating, grateful that he was comfortable around my friends and had a good time, grateful that he's social and sweet and an ideal party partner, and grateful that he was dragging my ass all over town.

Sunday morning I woke up and my lips were swollen.  And other parts of my face.  With a side of hives.  Oh shit.  This is the sort of thing they told me to go into Urgent Care right away for.  So we got dressed and he drove me in.  I was pretty worried.  And pretty horrified that I looked like Sloth from The Goonies.

He went into the room with me and was very sweet and distracting.  He made me laugh, held my hand, sat me on his lap.  It was way less scary than if I had been there by myself.  

They upped my steroid dosage and put me on a total of 12 days of them, and changed me from Benadryl to Zyrtec.  Ok, fine.  Two hours later we were on our way.  I went home to nap and try to regain normal facial structure, and he went back to the house to work. 

I woke up at 5 looking less like a Real Housewife of Orange County and more like a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills.  Ok, this I can work with.  The hives were also gone.  But I was left with some pretty serious cabin fever from convalescing 4 days in my room.  So I got the ok to convalesce on the hammock at his house.  This time not stoned on Benadryl.  Which meant I could actually read a book.  And text some friends.  

Then we headed over to BurgerMaster for dinner, and I convinced him (which was embarrassingly easy) to come back to my place after he got cleaned up (man was dirty), as I still needed a cuddle.

Monday morning we got some coffee and I took my second day of 3 steroid pills.  Half an hour later I was feeling a little weird.  Imagine the biggest caffeine buzz you've ever had.  You know the fast heartbeat, extreme nervous energy, extra anxiety, and complete inability to focus?  Yes, that.  Now imagine a tornado goes through your brain and shakes it all up.  And you feel like that from 10 am to midnight.  That was my day.  I didn't get a whole lot of work done.  A little, not a lot.  Everything I normally do to relax myself I used in an attempt just to get back to some sort of normal me.  It mostly didn't work.

Tuesday I decided to start reducing my dosage one day early - 2 pills, not 3.  This was a good plan.  Because I'll tell you - my problem is not the hives anymore.  The hives have been gone since Sunday.  My problem now is the drugs.  The drugs are messing with me.  But now that I'm tapering down the steroids it's getting back to normal.  Slowly.  And I have an appointment tomorrow with my regular doctor.  Maybe they'll want to set up an allergy test or something.  I don't know.

But anyway, back to Tuesday.  Ah, I was still too amped up and unfocused to work so I did some other stuff instead (slept til 11 while the steroids were finally worn off from the day before, went grocery shopping with The Baker, and then went to book club).  Afterwards Mr. Renaissance met me back at my place and we stayed up 'til 4 showing each other our lives via digital photo collections.  Oh lord, I guess that leads into today.

Wednesday.  We got up, I made a weekday-morning-nothing-fancy breakfast, I started cleaning the kitchen (two new roommates coming, people!) and he hung out with me and ended up scrubbing the top of cabinets.  It was amazing.  So nice.  Then we spent the lunch hour(s?) back upstairs (ahem).  And ended up talking, and talking, and talking.  And admitting even more of the details that we're smitten.  That we want this to work.  That externalities may make it complicated and therefore taking it slow might be the smartest.  But that we haven't really been able to take it that slow so far.  And that it feels right, and it feels good, and it feels easy.  And a lot of other details that may be a bit too early to reveal at 4 weeks (finances, children, dreams), unless you're us, and unless it feels like this.  We admitted we were both afraid that the other shoe would drop, and we tried to ferret it out.  We didn't find it.  He didn't want to leave, I didn't want him to leave, he finally left (at 4 pm).

And then I spent the rest of the day deep-cleaning and organizing the kitchen and living room.  And it looks good, people.  It looks good.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Wednesday evening

Well I made it 'til Wednesday.  Not too bad.  Mr. Renaissance and I got a couple of the amazing Cuban sandwiches from Paseo, grabbed some beer, and went down to his sailboat docked across the channel from the Ballard Locks.

We were planning on swimming also, but the lovely sunny day turned into a cloudy evening with sprinkles.  No matter, it was still beautiful and a pretty relaxing way to end a work day.

Bubba and Mr. Renaissance are friends.

Check out the gorgeous sunset.
Unfortunately, my body was not quite down with the program.  What started out that morning as a seemingly itchy dry skin patch on my right hand turned into what looked like a series of mosquito bites on my hand and wrist and then later that evening, hives on my hands, wrists, and legs.

Within 15 seconds of seeing this on the drive home, Mr. Renaissance rolled into the grocery store parking lot.   I was all, 'What are we doing at the grocery store?'.  He was all, 'Getting some cortisone cream and Benadryl.  Stay here.'  Oh, ok.  So I took pictures of my legs.

It was a little bit worse than this - darkness obscures it some.
And then sometime in the night (which included waking at up 3am incredibly itchy and taking more Benadryl) it turned into this.

And this.

Hives!  They were everywhere - feet, legs, back of knees, torso, back, armpits, neck, and they were making their way up my face.  This was only the second time I've gotten hives and these were way worse.  I took two more Benadryl, got super loopy, and decided to sleep the whole morning (perhaps gave in to sleep is a more accurate description).  Mr. Renaissance let Bubba out and fed him his breakfast while I fell in and out of sleep every few minutes having crazy dreams.  He wanted me to go to the doctor and get steroids.  I thought that sounded like a pain in the ass.

But after talking to my mom and the advice nurse, and waking up at noon with a hive on my eyelid, I was on my way to Urgent Care.  At which point the triage nurse and the two doctors who looked at me were pretty impressed with this level of hivery.  I left there an hour later and only $40 poorer (hopefully!) with steroids.  Which I took immediately after locating some food because apparently these things keep you awake (time stamp on this post anyone?).  But not before shuffling around Seattle stoned on Benadryl, running my foot over with a cart at Petco (dog was out of food), and mumbling an order of one cheeseburger and one chocolate chip mint hot fudge sundae to the employee at Dick's.  

But now, it's clearing up.  My arms and back are clear, my right hand knuckles aren't swollen anymore, and everything else is starting to fade.  Good idea, those steroids.  

I still have zero idea what caused it.  Super weird, huh?  The body is tricky business.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's hard to feel insecure in a new relationship when...

  1. You've got flowers sitting on your bookshelf.  'I like you' flowers, not 'I fucked up' flowers.
  2. You've been told multiple times how intelligent/gorgeous/interesting you are.
  3. His passenger helmet is currently living in your closet.
  4. You've told all other romantically-inclined people in your life that you can't see them anymore and that brings relief.
  5. You know you both have a mental list of all the things you want to do together.
  6. He spent his evening reading your first published paper in its entirety.
Yes, I feel good about this (for the record we're talking about the sailor, who we're going to go ahead and call Mr. Renaissance here).  I thought that fact might mean that I could go a few days without seeing him and be cool about it.  Wrong - I'm completely infatuated.  In the past week we've seen each other Wednesday night to Thursday morning, Friday night to Saturday morning, and Sunday night to Monday morning.  You know Monday?  That day before today?  Yeah, that one.  So what I'm saying is I can only go about 24 hours and be cool about it.  Now I'm starting to twitch.

But, in the interest of not jumping in to an insta-relationship, I'm going to pretend to be cool about it.  I'm going to spend the night watching Mad Men, taking the dog on a jog, and working.  And of course, I'm going to whine to you about it.  Here it goes... I want to see him.  I miss his face.  I want to grab some dinner, talk about our days, give each other the eye, jump into bed and cuddle into his chest, and have to put earplugs in to sleep through the snoring.

But I'm going to jump into the arms of Don Draper instead.  He'll be my tall, dark and handsome #2.

This'll put a smile on your face

I want to dance like Jaleel White!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

And... off the grid

It's too much!  I've got enough possibilities at the moment.

Shut 'er down!

The online profile that is.  Yeah, sure I'm blowing my shot at the 6 month guarantee but this girl can't take it anymore.  No new people in the life, please.  Not right this second.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Working at home...

involves breaks.  Like say you get to a tough point in your code and you need to think about it for awhile.  You need to let the options sink in.  You may make up a new pointless trick with the dog.

See, he was supposed to do this.  This is the thing.

But the first time I recorded he did this.

What a weirdo.  But he keeps me entertained.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I think you might be talking about me, otherwise you're probably just speaking gibberish

About half the profiles I've read have stated that they're interested in someone 'who doesn't take themselves too seriously'.

What do they mean by this?  I have no idea.  Which leads me to believe, since I don't know what they're talking about, that in their eyes I probably take myself too seriously for their tastes.

So then I don't respond.  Because really, if 'doesn't take herself too seriously' is an important bullet point, we're probably not looking for the same things.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Now that was an amazing date...

that I just got home from.

This was the Saturday third date.  Tall, dark, handsome, smart, gentlemanly.  He picked me up on his motorcycle (first time on a motorcycle!) and we went to dinner at a lovely Italian place.  Lesson #1: He's an excellent motorcycle driver.  Then we took the motorcycle over the bridge to a party of one of his coworkers on the Eastside.  Lesson #2: He's more of a nerd than I realized.  The term 'grok' was used in regular conversation, and then a short discussion on whether someone was more like Gandalf the Grey or Gandalf the White.  Yowza.

We weren't there long.  Back to his place.

I will say I did fall asleep to Up in the Air.  That's one hell of a movie.  "I was supposed to be driving a Grand Cherokee by now."  Lesson #3: Excellent cuddler.

Then we lazed about in the morning, had some great conversations, hung out and watched his chickens for a while, walked a teeny bit around the neighborhood, then went for brunch.  At at place I've been dying to go.  I took a magazine in case we did the relaxy-read-some-paper-type-item brunch.  We did not.  We just talked.

Then on the way back to my place we took a detour to show me his sailboat he's fixing up (or will be fixing up after he finishes completely remodeling his house).  It was right across the water from the Ballard Locks, and he told me about his plans for the boat, we hung out, and we watched the tourists across the water.  Then when he found out I had never been sailing he said he was tempted to take me sailing right then with a boat rented from the Center for Wooden Boats.  I gave him a look like, 'if you're serious I'm in'.  He caught it, and off we went.  Sailing.  Spontaneously.  On Lake Union.

We were out there a couple of hours, sailing by the city, the houseboats, the moored yachts, the paddleboarders, other sailboats, rowboats, and seaplanes.  It was beautiful.

All day today I was so relaxed.  Vacation-level relaxed, no exaggeration.  It was awesome.

So here's the summary: There might be something to this one.  He's sweet, he's kind, he's smart, he's emotive, and he has a ridiculous number of skills.  Date #3 =  First time on a motorcycle, first time on a boat in Seattle, and first time sailing.

And now I smell like Old Spice.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Mutha Clucker was asking me about my latest round of dating.  The Littlest Housemate was also in the room, which requires a little bit of conversational gymnastics to get my point across to one but not the other.  Anyway, I was telling Mutha Clucker about one of the guys I've met (of the upcoming Saturday third date).

Me:  When I talk to him it feels like I'm the only person in the room.
Mutha Clucker:  Oh, that's great.
The Littlest Housemate (said with about as much cynicism as a 7 year old can muster):  I remember you said that about someone else before too.
Me: Huh, I don't remember who.
Mutha Clucker:  Was it "___"?
The Littlest Housemate:  I don't know.  I can't remember all their names.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

The NASA space program has been transferred over here

Yep, that's right.  Let me explain.

I've always viewed people as planets - they've got their own way of doing things, their environments and atmospheres are different.  When I meet people (especially in a dating context) it's super interesting - they show you who they are, you get to explore their planet.  And it's something very particular to each person.  When I first start dating someone it's very clear to me that this is an experience that I have never had and will never have again.  And it's true in friendship as well, but friendship moves a lot slower.  You can definitely explore their planet and even more about close friends, but because of the intimacy inherent in dating the process is much more sped up.

It's fascinating and I love it.

You know how some people try snowboarding or marathons and they absolutely love it?  They've found their thing?  Well, I think dating may be my thing.  I love it and it's addicting.  I feel like an astronaut.  I'm suddenly relating to Star Trek episodes in a whole new way (ahem).

So speaking of addicting, this week is quite busy.  Probably a bit too busy, but whatever, sometimes that happens.  I can't perfectly plan everything (read: hardly anything).  Tuesday was a second meet-up, Wednesday was a different second meet-up, Thursday I've got got two first meetings (coffee then drinks a few hours later), Saturday a third date (of the Wednesday second date) and some other time this weekend (Friday?) I've got another second date.

It's been fun so far.  Men are fascinating.  

Over and out,

Blanche Devereaux

Monday, August 8, 2011

Red Flags

Hello, lovely blog readers. Halterwhip here (I still can't believe I got such a ridiculous pseudonym) with a guest post to give you a little advice on online dating.

When you're navigating the stormy and jellyfish-choked waters of internet dating, it's important to keep an eye out for a number of red flags. These can help you identify serial killers, serial time-wasters, or other general not-worth-its before you invest too much time. Red flags to watch out for upon first meeting:

- Arrives late

- Disheveled appearance

- Appearance substantially different than profile

- Failure to tip

- Arrives drunk

The conference I attended all week here in Berkeley was a total failure. Boring, exhausting, frustrating, repetitive, did I say exhausting? A measly two drink tickets per night had been allocated, but I'd accumulated a stash of them due to a poorly planned dentist appointment. Sadly, I left them all at home on the last night of the conference, which left me networking hard to replace them. I was successful.

We cut out of the conference banquet early for the last regular-season Chemistry League softball game. My skills as a pitcher are somewhat overshadowed by my skills as a heckler, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Guess which one benefits more from lots of Hamm's.

The super adorable and super straight girl who works upstairs wanted to go to Raleigh's after the game. I wanted to go to Raleigh's after the game. Speakeasy was on Kill the Keg special, and it is dead now. We'd already started when SASSGWWU arrived, and she was disappointed that we were well stocked in beer. She wanted to buy us some. "I'm going to go see if they sell shots here." Oh jesus. At least the Telegraph Ave faux-hippies outside the place didn't rob me while I was finally unlocking my bike to go home. I'm fairly certain I smoked their weed though.

When my alarm went off at 7 the next morning, I breathed a silent curse, stumbled up, and swallowed 2 Aleves, 2 Ibuprofens, 2 electrolyte recovery tabs, and a vitamin B. None of those things helped at all. WHO THE FUCK MAKES 8:15 HAIRCUT APPOINTMENTS? I do. Before I left, I opened up my laptop and saw this message, zoomed to extreme proportions the previous night:

Who the fuck makes 9:30 am breakfast/coffe dates? I do. I do.

Shorter. Just make it a little shorter all over. Um yeah, that's fine. Yes. That is a perfect haircut. Please stop cutting my hair now. Where is your bathroom?

For the record, I tipped well.

I had about half an hour to get it together, and the cafe was conveniently right next door to the salon. The smart money would have gone for a walk, gotten some fresh air, ruffled the hair up a little. But the still-drunk-from-last-night money sat at the cafe with a black coffee and tried to read a magazine. Magazines make you seasick on the rough waters of internet dating. Luckily, the cafe had a bathroom too.

The girl from the internet was 15 God-given minutes late. We sat outside for a few minutes while waiting for a table (I was evidently unable to secure a table in the preceding 45 minutes), then chatted for over an hour. I could only manage to mush an egg around with half a piece of toast, but I got that new-attractive-friend adrenaline rush and I made it through without barfing on her. I might have even been charming. She was nice, we laughed a lot, and when I picked up the bill, I told her she could get me a beer when I got back from vacation. She thought that was a marvelous idea. My stomach turned a little when I said "beer"; somehow I'd uttered the sentence while momentarily forgetting my recent vow never to touch the stuff ever ever again. I rode home to find myself with an unsleepoffable hangover, courtesy of one cute girl adrenaline rush and three cups of coffee.

Fuck, fuck. Fuck. Don't go to dates drunk. Just don't.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Art imitates life

On Jimmy Fallon the other day - his parody of 'Cupid's Arrow', unearthed tapes of an 80's video dating service...

Just watch until minute 10 (stupid hulu thing never works).

Now this is from an actual dating site in my area.  This dude gave the url for these youtube videos of himself - to further entice the ladies.

What are the chances that's his grandmother's basement?

Luckily this one has not yet thought to contact me.

I expected this show to be stupid...

but I liked it!

Best line, "The only girls who appreciate Bill Murray, look like Bill Murray."