School is Cool

April 30, 2010 at 11:06 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I’m bouncing out of work a little early today which means I don’t have my usual lunch hour in which to write.  So this might be a bit short but it’s better than nothing at all!

Big News of the Day: I’m going back to school!!  If you’ve read this blog enough, you know I have a bit of an obsession with The Field Museum.  As in, I would sacrifice my right ovary to work there.  I’d be happy in the gift shop but ultimately would like to do something that would enable me to use my Anthropology degree a bit more.  I would love love love to go to graduate school but that’s not a financial feasibility at this point, so I looked into some Continuing Studies courses through Northwestern.  There’s a program that will allow me to get a certificate in Museum Studies and I will likely try to begin that in the fall.  There’s also a two-day class called The Exhibit: from Concept to Opening and Beyond.  It teaches all about the research, funding, design, implementation and execution of museum exhibits.  I think it sounds awesome, and I just enrolled for the course later this summer!

At the risk of sounding like an uber-dork, I’ve really missed learning in a classroom environment.  The woman teaching this course was the curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for six years and has worked in museums all over America and Britain.  Perhaps she’ll decide to take me under her wing and help me find a position at a museum in the city…or maybe she’ll just be a great teacher and I’ll learn a lot.  Either way, I’m more than pumped!

Other things:  My grandma is still doing well, which is awesome.  I resigned the lease on my apartment for one more year and even got my landlord to agree to put a ceiling fan in my living room.  Score!  I haven’t had a ceiling fan since I lived at home and I’ve missed that free-flowing air – now I’ll have it, and right in time for summer.  Also, I’m heading out of town this afternoon to visit some long-lost friends in the college town of my alma mater.  Ok, they’re not really long-lost, but it’s been almost half a year since I’ve been down that way and it’s about time.  Here’s looking forward to another great weekend – hope yours is good as well!

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Cops and Robbers

April 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

As I love to mention, public transportation provides endless opportunities for free entertainment.  I was riding the el yesterday on a rather packed train and was trying not to feel like a sardine.  Seriously, I don’t know how claustrophobic people handle rush hour.  As I stood, riding along and clinging desperately to the only available pole space (while also trying to avoid bumping into the girl with the ice cream and the man with the coffee), my gaze wandered out the window.  I was fantasizing about all of the open space and fresh air I would be reveling in as soon as I got off the train when my eyes caught something unusual.  We were passing a large parking garage and there were two cops on the top level, looking confused and frantic.  Since that was slightly out of the ordinary, my eyes automatically scanned the rest of the garage.  On the level directly below stood a guy dressed pretty much exactly like the cartoon dude here.  He had the eye mask, striped shirt and bag with $ symbol on it.  As I watched, he looked directly at our train and put his fingers to his lips in the universal shhh motion.  Then the building was behind us and the entire scene nothing but a memory.  Did it even really happen?

I looked around to see if anyone else was laughing like I was and I realized that most people had no idea what we had just passed.  I did catch the eyes of one guy, who was looking around with much the same expression on his face that I’m sure I had on mine.  When we locked eyes we just grinned and shrugged our shoulders.  Who just stages cops and robber hijinks for the sole benefit of a passing train?  The people of Chicago.  So goes another day in the city.

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Craigslist Couture

April 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Yesterday, I went with a manfriend to check out an air conditioning unit he was thinking of purchasing off of some girl from Craigslist.  He has had many good experiences using the site, though I myself have not been so lucky.  I did find my current job through a Craigslist posting but the only other time I responded to an ad…well, it didn’t exactly turn out how I wanted.  Nonetheless, we had high hopes for the ac unit.

And we were not disappointed.  The girl let us in her place and there was stuff everywhere. Apparently she and her roommate are moving out of state at the end of the week and they don’t want to take a thing with them.  So there were books, movies, jewelry, accessories, cookware, furniture, electronics and more, just sitting around with post-its denoting price.  It was an urban yard sale, and I was thrilled.  As my friend discussed the air conditioner, I perused the goods.  Before long I saw a wool winter coat that was pretty much begging to come home with me.  I’m not that easy so I tried it on, and it fit perfectly.  The girl selling it said her mom had given it to her but she was too short to wear it.  The post-it price was $10 and so I bought it without hesitation.  It looked like it had hardly been worn, and I danced happily out of the apartment. 

Here’s a picture of the coat – and yes, I know the work closet backdrop could be a bit more aesthetically pleasing, but it was the best I could do at the moment.  I also know it doesn’t look super special.  It’s a well-fitting, practical coat and that is fine by me.  However, when I got into the elevator yesterday with my friend (who appeared to be equally satisfied with his ac unit), I noticed the price tag was still attached to the lining.  That alone made me happy, because it meant it was brand new.  Then I read the price tag.  Now, if you’re lucky enough to be Facebook friends with me you might already know how this turns out, but I’m going to say it again.  The tag read $1300.00. I almost fell down when I saw that.  If my mom bought me anything at that price and then I sold it (brand spanking new) for 130% less…well, I can only imagine how the earth would open up and swallow me, and how my mom would watch and laugh.  The only things I’ve ever spent that much money on were plane tickets abroad, cars and tuition.  In fact, I once bought a car for $500 less than what this coat retailed for.  I briefly debated reselling it and trying to turn a tidy profit, but damn it, I like it and I want to keep it.  Also, it’s not a recognizable brand and after some googling I discovered it’s from some fancy store in China.  I doubt I would find many people on this side of the ocean that would pay anywhere near what the price tag said, so that idea went out the window.  I took the coat-worth-more-than-two-months-of-my-rent and moseyed on home.  For once, I was actually happy it was cold enough this morning that I needed an extra layer on my early commute.  I must admit I think the new coat is pretty awesome, and it makes me feel like thirteen hundred bucks.

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Sigh of Relief

April 27, 2010 at 2:57 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

This is going to be short and sweet.  My grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago and she had mastectomy surgery this morning – it went perfectly!  I’ve been doing my best not to stress about anything, mainly because there’s not much I can do from 800 miles away.  The doctors found a few more lumps after her initial diagnosis, so we were all just sort of waiting until the biopsy results came back.  Well, her lymph nodes are clear and it doesn’t look like she’s going to need chemo or radiation.  Woo to the hoo!

Out of all four of my grandparents, this woman (my dad’s mom) is probably the healthiest.  She still gets out three times a week to play tennis (and she lives in the South, so the heat isn’t pretty) and she also leads water aerobics classes in her home pool.  When I spoke with her, she was more upset at how the mastectomy was going to affect her tennis swing than anything else (I took this as a good sign).  When the doctor asked if she was going to be interested in reconstructive surgery, she said that she was a little past the point of caring what her girls looked like.  She’s got her humor and has a great attitude, and those things will only help her during her recovery.

So yeah, I’m stoked.  If you’d like, feel free to send some strong vibes and healthy thoughts her way because she will have a bit of a healing process.  It appears the worst is over though, and we can all breathe a big sigh of relief!

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Shameless Plug for Netflix

April 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Yup, I’m one of those.

One of those people who helped put Blockbuster out of business by subscribing to the snail mail version of video rental.  I actually used to be a Blockbuster customer but my lack of car has given Netflix the upper hand.  I started off as most addicts do, by gently easing myself into the new rental scheme and telling myself that I could opt out of my free trail membership at the end of the month.  Then the end of the month rolled around and I realized I was hooked.

It’s just so damn easy.  As someone who lacks both cable TV and the inclination to spend any money whatsoever on new movies, Netflix fills a void.  I don’t watch much of the little TV I do get, but I can easily fall in love with a new show.  For instance, I’ve heard many a good thing about the HBO show Six Feet Under.  Yes, I realize I’m only about a decade late in following this series about a family run funeral home, but better late than never.  Netflix sends me three episodes at a time, which is enough to satiate my urge for new programming while also not giving me so much to watch that my butt grows into my couch.  Restraint is sometimes necessary. If I’m feeling restless, I can also bump an actual movie to the top of my queue and watch that instead.  I just rewatched a classic, Annie Hall, this weekend.  I had forgotten that both Jeff Goldblum and Christopher Walken had cameos in that – talk about a pleasant surprise! 

Netflix makes me feel like super happy pumped full of mushrooms Mario.

Besides how incredibly simple it is to click and choose movies to receive, Netflix also allows me to watch a bunch of stuff instantly online.  This is a massive perk, I must admit.  Many movies are available to watch instantly, and many more TV shows.  Of course, I have another example.  I’ve been hearing a lot about how good the show Bones is (it’s still on, so I’m not completely behind.  Only five seasons).  It’s another one of those crime shows where people poke dead bodies to figure out how they died, and usually I’m not so into those.  However, this one has some very redeemable qualities.  The main character (besides being easy on the eyes) is a forensic anthropologist, so there’s lots of anthropological and archaeological type jargon throughout each episode.  I just eat that stuff up.  She also writes books about her forensic experiences, and as a book nerd I can appreciate that.  The entire cast is actually pretty fun to watch (remember Angel from the Buffy series?  No?  Well, that cat’s in it too).  So yeah, I found another series to watch bits and pieces of while I unwind at the end of a night.

Did I mention that I get all of these wonderful Netflix services for under ten bucks a month?  ‘Cause I do.  If I had a video gaming system (is that what the kids are calling them these days?) then I could actually, somehow through magic, hook up my instant Netflix to that and watch stuff on my TV.  Alas, I am not that cool.  I feel that would be gluttonous anyway.  I can watch Six Feet Under on my TV and Bones on my laptop, so I really win no matter how you look at it.  Thanks, Netflix, for making the simple dreams of this not-so-simple girl come true.

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Friday Round-Up

April 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Because it’s Friday and I can be random if I want to.

First up – my free megabus tickets!  When I last rode the bus, it was over a half hour late on both of my trips.  As I was standing in line outside Union Station, I met a girl who was stuck in the same boat (or rather, on the same sidewalk).  As we commiserated over our late bus, she informed me of a super secret phone number that you can call when your bus is late and the operators will give you free tickets for another trip.  She said she had gotten the number from another bus rider on a previous trip, because it’s not something megabus likes to advertise or announce.  I didn’t believe her, since it seemed too good to be true, but I took the number anyway.  And…it worked! I don’t want to post the number here because I would hate for the megabus gods to get angry and take it away (but if you want it, let me know).  I managed to book a trip for next weekend and I saved over $60!  When I spoke with the operator, all I had to do was tell her when my late trips occurred and where I wanted to go next.  She even stayed on the phone with me until my confirmation email arrived.  Amazing, huh?  It’s even more amazing because now I’ll never be upset again if a bus is late.  Well…I might be upset but I’ll be placated by the knowledge that I’ll eventually get another free ride.  I love free.

In other news (and all over the news) is the big hullabaloo with the volcano in Iceland.  The eruption of Eyjafjallajokull (pronounced AY-yah-fyah-lah-YOH-kuul, for all the non-Icelandic speaking people out there) caused airspace over Europe to come to a complete halt for days.  It’s estimated that the airline industry lost nearly $2 billion because of this.  Lots of people have stories about how this has affected them and I know of at least one person who did not have a full bridal party because someone was stuck in London.  The worst of the ash and smoke seems to be over now but people are getting concerned that Katla, another nearby volcano, will erupt soon.  Apparently in all of the historical records available, every time Eyjafjallajokull has erupted Katla has not been far behind.  Obviously that would create more flying problems, not to mention another slew of headaches.  So for now, everyone is just watching and waiting.

As annoying as this whole thing has been for some, it’s produced some amazing photographs.  Here is a link to some of the more mind-blowing photos out there of this whole event.

Moving on.

Have you ever heard a word, phrase or idea and then almost immediately encountered it again someplace else?  It’s something that’s happened to me more than a few times.  Apparently this is called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon (not to be confused with the ’08 German film about a West German militant group).  Actually, last night a friend of mine and I were talking about this because she had emailed me about a movie she thought I would like and later that afternoon I read a reference to it in the paper.  We were trying to come up with the name of the phenomenon but couldn’t think of it.  This morning, I was surfing a community forum type website I enjoy and someone had posted a question wondering what the term was when that type of thing happened.  So I learned about it, the day after I was wondering about it.  That’s an example of the phenomenon right there!  I’m not even positive this is making any sense but I thought it was…well, damn interesting.  Check out the link to see if you agree.  Then have a great weekend!

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Earth Day, Every Day

April 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Happy Earth Day!

A few fun facts:

  • Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held on April 22, 1970.  More than 20 million Americans participated in this first Earth Day celebration
  • April 22 is the first official day of Spring in the Northern hemisphere and of Fall in the Southern hemisphere and was chosen to be Earth Day for this reason.
  • A highlight of the annual Earth Day ceremony at the United Nations is the ringing of the Peace Bell that was given to the UN by Japan. It is made from coins given by school children to further peace on our planet.

People should be conscious of how they’re treating our planet every day of the year, but it’s nice to have a reminder thrown in for good measure.  We all know the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, but how many of us put them to use on a daily basis?  If you look around, I’m sure you could find a way or two to help do your part.  There are lots of easy, little things you can do to make a big environmental difference (turning off the water while brushing your teeth; drinking from reusable bottles filled with filtered water instead of buying lots of plastic bottles; turning off lights and using energy-efficient bulbs; using canvas bags at the grocery instead of plastic; using your feet, bike or public transit options instead of a car; unplugging electronics (ESPECIALLY phone chargers) when not in use; using candles during sex instead of turning on your flashing neon lights…you get the idea).

My mom likes to tell this story from when I was in kindergarten.  Apparently I came home one day (I don’t remember this) and announced that we had learned about recycling in school and so we needed to start doing it at home.  She agreed and has been driving bags of recylables to drop off destinations ever since (as we lack the convenance of a home bin).  Since I’ve been a tree-hugging hippie since my very early days, I’m going to keep on keepin’ on and give you some interesting facts about recycling in general:

  • Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the U.S., but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours — or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
  • An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now.  Also, there is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.
  • If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year.
  • The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
  • Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
  • If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you’d get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags. Imagine how many supermarkets there are just in the United States…
  • Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour and most of them are thrown away.
  • A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose — and even longer if it’s in the landfill.

An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space — that’s almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.

As you can see, recycling and being aware of the way you’re using your resources can have quite an impact on our planet.  No one wants to live in a dirty, spoiled and disgusting habitat with no clean water or fresh air.  Just ask Wall-E.  Or the aquatic animals that have to put up with the Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean.  What’s that, you may ask?  Well, plastic waste accumulates in swirling seas of debris, and in those places plastic to sea life ratios are 6:1.  Since every bit of plastic ever created is still on the earth in some form or another you can imagine how nasty this gets.  The biggest of these mountains of trash is located in the Pacific, floating between Hawaii and San Fransisco.  It’s roughly the size of Texas.  Yes, you read that right.  Texas. There are many ways to help combat this but the easiest and most obvious is to start at home.  Recycle!  If not for you, then for your kids or maybe even their kids!  And if you don’t plan on procreating, do it for the animals.

They deserve to grow up on a clean Earth too.

For more information or to find other ways to do your part:

The Great Garbage Patch

Planet Green from the Discovery Channel

Freecycle

The Rainforest Site

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100th Post Rap (to the tune of the Fresh Prince Theme Song)

April 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Now this is the story all about how

My first blog was created and then taken down.

And I’d like to take a minute, just sit back and don’t stress

I’ll tell you how I became the author of my new blog on WordPress.

In Southern Indiana I was born and raised

My nose in a book is how I spent most of my days.

Readin’ and writin’, thinkin’ I was cool

And all on my own, outside of the school.

Now during college I knew I wanted to write something good

so I started makin’ posts whenever I could.

I had one little Xanga site and then I got scared

Kids at work found it so it vanished into thin air.

I waited for a while and then it became clear

I should write what I want, and get over my fear.

I know my talent isn’t exactly rare

but I thought “Nah, forget it, I don’t really care!”

I came across WordPress and it looked so much better

that I said to Xanga, “Yo homes, smell ya later”

Looked at my kingdom, I was finally there

To sit on my throne as blogger extraordinaire.

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Injustice in America

April 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I try not to be too political on this blog, but every now and then I can’t help it.  I came across an article today that was both sad and outrageous and I wanted to share.  No matter what your opinion on gay marriage is, surely you can see the tragedy in this story.  Please excuse me for being lazy and simply copying and pasting the article, but I doubt I could word it any better than it is right now.

Here’s the original post, a case docket from the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

“Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place—wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

What happened next is even more chilling: without authority, without determining the value of Clay and Harold’s possessions accumulated over the course of their 20 years together or making any effort to determine which items belonged to whom, the county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned off all of their belongings. Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Clay from his home and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county workers then terminated Clay and Harold’s lease and surrendered the home they had shared for many years to the landlord.

Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home. Because of the county’s actions, Clay missed the final months he should have had with his partner of 20 years. Compounding this tragedy, Clay has literally nothing left of the home he had shared with Harold or the life he was living up until the day that Harold fell, because he has been unable to recover any of his property. The only memento Clay has is a photo album that Harold painstakingly put together for Clay during the last three months of his life.

With the help of a dedicated and persistent court-appointed attorney, Anne Dennis of Santa Rosa, Clay was finally released from the nursing home. Ms. Dennis, along with Stephen O’Neill and Margaret Flynn of Tarkington, O’Neill, Barrack & Chong, now represent Clay in a lawsuit against the county, the auction company, and the nursing home, with technical assistance from NCLR. A trial date has been set for July 16, 2010 in the Superior Court for the County of Sonoma.”

Breaks your heart while simultaneously pissing you off, huh?  If you remember, I mentioned last week that President Obama recently passed a mandate that would prevent things like this from happening.  However, it’s a little while before that goes into effect and stories like these are still all too common.

I can’t understand how these two men, who have done nothing but love and support each other for 20 years and have caused no harm to anyone, are a threat to the sanctity of marriage.  Hell, their relationship lasted much longer than many marriages I can think of.  Where is the justice?  Not in California, that much is certain.  I sincerely that hope Clay prevails.

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Best Weekend Ever

April 19, 2010 at 2:44 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I know I’m lucky.  Everything in my life seems to coming together rather nicely right now and I’m doing my best to simply enjoy it and not take anything for granted, because I know how quickly things can change.  That being said, I just wrapped up the best possible weekend I could hope to ask for, and of course I’m going to talk a little about it here.

It all started with the arrival of mi madre, who came to town for her birthday.  She immediately started telling me how the lighting in my apartment is insufficient and how my plants are all looking sickly, and then she took me out to buy me a brand new lamp and some new flora.  She also brought me some wine, lots of food and all of the Christmas and birthday presents that have been sitting at her house because I never have enough room to take them on the bus.  So, it was like Christmas and my birthday all over again, and I got some cool new stuff for my place!

Saturday, we ventured downtown to check out the Field Museum (yes, I know I practically live there).  Mom had never been there before and I seriously loved showing her my favorite exhibits (even if she was sad that all of the animals had to die in order for us to see their bones – next time I’m taking her to the zoo).  We also checked out the new exhibit there, Mammoths and Mastodons.  I was impressed.  It features Lyuba, seen here.  She’s a month old baby mammoth that was extremely well-preserved when she died.  In fact, she’s the best preserved mammoth specimen found to date.  She was unearthed in Siberia by some farmers and scientists have been salivating at her rare condition ever since.  As you can see, her skin sort of dried up and shrank but never fully decomposed (apologies for the crappy phone picture – you can google her if you want to see her better).  There are actually little bits of tuft and hair still on her legs.  And look at her trunk!  Freaking awesome.  It was incredible to check her out and learn more about her preservation process.  If you get the chance in the next couple of months, I highly suggest stopping by this exhibit.

After the Field Museum, mom and I grabbed hot dogs at a vendor by the lake (yes, mine was vegetarian).  It was a gorgeous day to sit and watch people mill around and it made me glad once again that I live in this city.

On Sunday, I took Mom to that fantastic brunch spot, Chief ONeills.  We had our fill of breakfast deliciousness and then rolled our way to her car to go do some grocery shopping.  I forget how easy it is to do errands with the use of a vehicle – I managed to go to the library, bank and two grocery stores in about 1/4 of the time it would normally take me using my feet or public transit.  As nice as it was, I still love living sans car.

I also got to introduce Mom to some of the people I’ve been hanging out with since I moved to the city.  She especially enjoyed this, as it makes her feel better to know her little girl isn’t all alone and that there are people out there who would perhaps worry about my well-being if I seemed to disappear off the face of the planet.  She’s such a mom.  I have met some great people though and it was pretty cool that they didn’t mind meeting the prettier of my parental units.  We even got treated to a very nice dinner at Tarantinos, where I had the absolute best butternut squash I’ve ever had.  Yum.  The Flirtini wasn’t bad either!

As great as all of this was, something else happened this weekend that made my day.  Actually, it made my entire year.

You may or may not remember the friend I’ve talked about who has been battling a drug addiction for quite some time.  This girl was my BFF for more than a decade and I’ve never had a friend as good as she.  She fell into a bad way years ago and we haven’t spoken much since.  Everything I had heard indicated she was in a very bad place, making very bad decisions.  She’s tried rehab before but wasn’t able to make it work. If you’ve ever had a loved one deal with an addiction, my heart goes out to you because it’s incredibly difficult and something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  Anyway, I think about my friend constantly and probably mentioned her in passing to my mom three times this weekend, even though it’s been six months since we last spoke and that was a just a brief chat.  She hasn’t been the girl I knew in better than four years.

ANYWAY – she called me on Sunday!!  I started shaking as soon as I saw the number because I didn’t know what it would mean.  Well, apparently she’s been in some sort of rehab boot camp and has been clean for 50 days.  Fifty days.  I know that every day is a challenge for an addict but this is SUCH a step in the right direction.  Man, I’m tearing up as I write this.  I’m not ashamed to admit I bawled like a baby when we hung up the phone.  I’ve worried about her so much (like I said, things got pretty bad) and I actually had a nightmare not even two weeks ago which centered around my worst fear ever.  I’m so, SO glad that the phone call I received had nothing to do with that.

Her treatment is very intense and she only has a few hours on Sunday where she can leave or use a phone, but she got my address so she can begin to write.  She asked if I would write back (of course I will).  I can’t begin to describe how all of this makes me feel.  She told me that she was finally ready to stay clean, and that’s not something I’d ever heard from her before.  I’m going to stop now because I fear my face will start to leak, but this is something I’ve been hoping for for years and I could not be happier.

As I mentioned, I know how lucky I am.  Everything seems to be falling into place and while I know this feeling probably won’t last long, I intend to revel in it while I can.  I hope all of you out there are able to come up with some things you’re thankful for today as well!

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