Posts Tagged ‘Essen Haus’

Twelve Hour Headache

March 14, 2017

Seriously.

Go away.

I’m on my second dose of 600 milligrams of ibuprofen.

I’m not a happy lady.

I’m also not horrified, it’s not a migraine.

It’s annoying, it hurts, but it’s not a migraine.

And for that I am hella grateful.

It’s been a few years since I have had a migraine and I certainly don’t need to start now.

I used to get them as a kid, but didn’t know that’s what was happening.

I just thought I had really bad head aches.

I was finally diagnosed with them in my early to mid-twenties.

“I don’t think you have migraines,” the doctor told me looking over some paperwork as I sat on the table in the examining room at the clinic.

“I do think that you have some issues that need to be addressed, however,” he said, looking up from the clip board.

Then he told me a story about people who smoke.

Now.

At that time I was definitely smoking.

Not my all time high, that would have been in Iowa when I was living in Newton and bartending at Boots and Spurs, Iowa’s Largest Country Western nightclub (I shit you not, they even had a mechanical bull), I could smoke behind the bar and would find myself going through a pack and a half to two packs a day.

Of course I left many a cigarette smoldering in an ashtray as I was slinging drinks, oh so many margaritas and pitchers of Bud Lite, but still, I was smoking a lot.

At the time I was seeing this doctor I must have been slightly younger than I was first thinking, as I was still with the boyfriend of five years and I was working at the Essen Haus as their General Manager.

I couldn’t have been more than 23 years old, 24 years old, tops.

I don’t recall a lot of the conversation, but I remember how he told me a story, the doctor did, about himself and when he had been a cigarette smoker and how he smoked to cope with emotional issues.

I think he was hinting at I needed psychological help rather than medical help.

And he was right.

And.

I still wanted him to go through with the exam.

I still had headaches, which I was pretty sure might be migraines, despite the doctor telling me that the pain I was experiencing did not corroborate a migraine diagnosis.

We did talk for a while and he got a lot of my family history and then he said, “well, you’re here, we might as well do a quick exam and check you out.”

He listened to my heart.

Checked my throat.

Shined a light into my eyes.

“Well, look at that,” he whistled softly, “you do get migraines.”

It turns out that there were broken blood vessels on the backs of my eyes that indicated migraines.

“You have stress migraines,” was the doctor’s diagnosis.

I was given a prescription.

I don’t recall what it was for.

But.

I do know that I filled it and I followed the directions and it worked.

I had to take it at the first sign of a migraine for it to be effective and I wasn’t able to figure out what my body was telling me the first couple of times after I had the medication to dose myself in time.

I had what I learned to call “pre-migraine” symptoms, but I didn’t recognize them right away.

Until.

One day I did.

And it was a revelation.

I was able to take the medication before the migraine landed.

It was miraculous.

I had migraines on and off over the years, but they eventually tapered off.

I stopped taking medication for them over 12 years ago.

My stress levels have decidedly changed over the years, and I have learned how to manage it better, so I know this is not a stress migraine, but it is a bad headache.

What I am hoping is that it is just that, not whatever cold was going around at school.

One of my professors showed up sick the first two days of class and got progressively worse over the weekend and had to call in by Sunday.

I am, however, not feeling anything but pain in my right temple.

I think I just have a nasty headache and hopefully, my dinner will kick in, the ibuprofen will kick in and some nice hot tea will help.

Plus a full night’s sleep.

These things will turn the trick I am certain.

I hope so anyway.

I meet with my internship supervisor tomorrow to fill out paper work after I get done with work and I am also going to be interviewing him for a class project I am doing for Community Mental Health.

I would like to be on point.

So.

With that.

I am going to wrap this up.

Do some self-care.

Get some rest.

Night y’all.

Sweetest dreams.

 

Twas The Night Before

November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving.

When all through the house.

Not a creature was stirring.

Not.

Even.

A.

Louse.

I mean.

There shouldn’t be a fucking thing stirring.

I cleaned so much today I can hardly stand it.

My house is ridiculously clean.

I washed things that I didn’t even think to wash prior to yesterday’s news.

It had fabric.

That thing got washed.

I mean.

I washed my pot holders.

I did nine loads of laundry.

I think.

I’m not sure, I definitely lost count after six and I know I was still washing stuff.

All my bedding.

Which has to be done every day for a week, just in case.

And frankly, I will be doing it every day, I’m not going to even take a chance.

I got rid of stuff that pained me to get rid of.

All my hair accessories, all my flowers.

I just couldn’t.

I tried to spray them all down, but the thought of there being any infestation.

I just knew I wasn’t going to be able to wear them, I just trashed them all, plus my brush and my comb, all my barrettes, bobby pins, and hair elastics.

Sigh.

I was bummed.

But.

l just knew, there was no going back to using that stuff and I feel better for having let it go.

I can also relate that I haven’t been wearing them as much of late.

I don’t know.

Maybe I’m growing up.

But I did have a thought recently, “what would it be like to not wear flowers in my hair?”

And.

Well.

Fuck.

I get to find out.

At least for a little while.

In the scheme of things, I’m ok.

I was a bit more ashamed of the situation than I realized until I was messaging with a friend and it sort of leaked out and then I was astounded to find out I was upset with myself, for not having realized it sooner, for having to do so much work, for feeling grossed out about having bugs in my hair.

All the grief my brain makes up.

I did some inventory.

I wrote it down.

I called my person.

I cried.

I got some perspective.

Then I went back to washing everything in the house.

And vacuuming.

I have two small area rugs that I just attacked with the vacuum.

I attacked everything.

I’m a bit exhausted from the cleaning.

And more than a little frazzled by the thought of doing the holiday alone.

I was going to be hanging out with a friend, but he had something come up and I realized, well, fuck, as much as I can plan and try to figure things out, life it happens and I can be a sad sack and keep crying over it or I can move on.

Frankly.

I’m a little over the tears.

I have cried now three times today and I’d just like to stop.

This does rank up there in some great holiday memories.

I mean.

Fuck.

At least I’m not waiting tables at the Essen Haus.

I worked two Thanksgiving’s there.

That was miserable.

All you can eat family style Thanksgiving.

And slammed, packed, oozing with people, cheap people with big appetites.

And kids that were untenable and out of control.

I will never forget setting down a tray full of slices of pumpkin pie for a ten top that I had in my section and turning to serve them and seeing a child from another table sticking his fingers into each slice of pie.

I was infuriated.

I took every plate he stuck his fingers in and set them down at his seat.

“We didn’t order that!” His mother said.

“Well, apparently, he thought you did,” I said, and kept putting the plates on the table, “he’s marked all the ones he wants to have, Happy Thanksgiving,” I said and walked away.

“May their trailer home get carried away in the next tornado season,” my best friend told me as I was scrambling to plate fresh pieces of pumpkin pie for my table.

Seriously.

Plenty thankful that I don’t work there anymore.

Or that I haven’t had to work a Thanksgiving in years.

I may have worked one or two while I was at the veterinary hospital, I know I worked a Christmas Eve there, but for the most part, I haven’t in the last decade had to do so.

That’s a gift.

It’s also a gift that there’s a washer and dryer in the garage next to the house.

I washed all my bedding and towels last night when I got home.

And today I continued to do so, I pulled my last load of laundry from the dryer at 5 p.m.

I had started washing clothes and rugs and towels and coats at 8:30 a.m. this morning.

Hell.

I had already had a full day by noon.

Laundry, cleaning, yoga.

I messaged a few more people who might have been to close to my person recently, another friend from school, but so far, it looks like no one else has gotten it.

Relief.

I’m not currently excited about how this holiday is panning out, but I remind myself that I can go and be of service and I have plenty to be grateful for.

In the end.

Thanksgiving is just one day out of the year to be grateful.

I am grateful every day.

I mean.

I really am.

I write a gratitude list twice a day.

Once in the morning in my morning pages and again in the evening, I send one out to my person.

It usually goes something like this:

I am grateful to be alive, sober, abstinent, fed, clothed.

I am grateful my rent is paid, my phone bill is paid, I have a laptop, a scooter, good coffee in the cupboard.

I am grateful to get to go to graduate school.

I am grateful for lice.

Yes.

I wrote that this morning.

It was once suggested to me that I also write down the challenging things in my life, that I get to have challenges, that I get to grow through them.  That the difficulties give me a chance to lean into God.

I mean.

I am grateful my employers paid for my treatment and for the products to clean my house and that I had today off to take care of it.

I am grateful for sunshine.

I am grateful for cooking for myself and eating persimmons.

I am very grateful for persimmons.

I am grateful for getting to go to yoga this morning, that wasn’t in my plan for today either, but I got to do it and that was nice.

I am grateful for flexibility, in my life, in my home, in my person.

I am grateful that I was able to deal with the issue and I get to move the fuck on.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all.

I hope it is one filled with family, merriment, good food, and no lack of lice.

Seriously.

 

OMFG

August 20, 2016

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

OHMYMOTHERFUCKINGGOD.

Did I read that right?

I think I had to read the message three times because I couldn’t fucking breathe and then I was on the phone so fast it was ridiculous.

To whit.

The following (with certain bits and pieces deleted for anonymity sake) is the message I received this morning.

(This morning when I woke up mildly anxious to figure out how I was going to get off playa.)

Carmen; This is ______, T’s friend from J’s birthday (leader in _______)
 
T told me that you need a ride back from the playa Wednesday
 
We have a commercial pilot in camp, he is bringing his 3 seater personal Cessna
 
He’s flying out Wednesday to the Bay Area to pick up our camp lead’s son and he has a seat on the plane (only room for a small bag so you’d have to send your stuff home with someone else outside of our camp)
 
wanted to offer you this option as your first playa gift…. call me 123-456-7890 if you are interested ❤
Am I interested?
Oh holy sweet Jesus, of course I’m interested!
I don’t think I have ever gotten on a phone so fucking fast in my life.
It rang through and the next thing you know we are chatting like the old friends, as it turns out, old alumni!
She went to UW Madison like me, graduated a year after me, knew all the old haunts, Essen Haus, Angelic Brewing Company, and had in fact, almost not answered the phone because she thought it might be someone soliciting donations from the UW Alumni fund.
I still have my old 608 number from Wisconsin.
Hehehehe.
It was just the most astounding, amazing, over the top offer.
I can’t freaking believe it was offered, that I was given such a gift.
I’m fucking FLYING back from the Black Rock City Airport to an as of yet undisclosed Bay Area airport.
It’s a small plane, so I don’t believe it can land at SFO.
And frankly, I don’t care, I can get a bus, a train, a Lyft, a ride from so many places once I’m back in the area, I am so not worried about that part.
The only hitch is that I have to get someone to bring my gear back from playa to San Francisco.  It’s not much, but it’s stuff, tent, a few bins, a cooler, my air mattress, a folding camp chair.
I will start putting the feelers out tomorrow.
I just didn’t have the band width to do it today.
It was just a great big day all around.
I couldn’t even post it up to social media for a while because I was afraid the offer might suddenly poof!  Disappear and it was just all a figment of my very fertile imagination.
I told a few friends first.
That was fun.
The first person I told was my friend who happened to have coffee a few days back with the lady who gifted me the ride, she told me what had gone down.
They were talking all things Burning Man and my dear friend (who I happened to meet at Burning Man 9 years ago this burn!) mentioned that I was going and that I had to come back early from the event, Wednesday, to be in the city for my school program and that she had no idea how I was going to manage that.
I wasn’t doing too bad on that front, actually.
I had a friend at school offer to pick me up in Reno and get me back from there if I couldn’t find a ride, she would leave for school a day early–she commutes in from Reno–to get me.
I would just have to figure out how to get off playa, get my gear in someone’s vehicle, and manage to connect somewhere in Reno.
Tough.
But not impossible.
Then of course, the impossible happened.
When I talked with my new friend on the phone, go Badgers!  She told me the story and then said, “well, I knew how you were going to get home,” and that’s when she message me.
She was, I swear, almost as happy to gift it to me as I was to receive the gift.
Although, I feel I might have a little edge on being overwhelmingly happy with the turn of events.
Fuck me.
I’m flying home in a Cessna!
I love airplanes.
I love flying.
I secretly would love an airplane someday.
A pilot’s license would be awesome.
I have been up in airplanes before at Burning Man.
I met and befriend a gentleman who goes be Blind Pilot a few years ago and got to go up not once, but twice in his plane.
The thought of getting to fly all the way back to San Francisco is just amazing to me and feels like the chance of a lifetime.
I told a friend tonight and she freaked out a little, “wear a helmet!”
Giggles.
I’m not scared of flying.
I’m just that type of person.
And if I don’t wear a helmet when I’m riding my one speed whip around San Francisco I certainly don’t expect or plan on wearing one in a plane, regardless of how small it is.
I’m so psyched.
I’m so grateful.
I had these moments today that just blew fairy dust and sugar crystals deep, deep, deep into my heart.
Oh, Burning Man, how do I love thee.
Year ten.
Amazing, that.
It’s going to be short, just a four day shot, but my God, it’s really shaping up to be a fantastic burn.
I have some packing to do this weekend, but I’m ready for it, I have a clear schedule with few responsibilities after having canceled my date (which doesn’t mean I’m not up for a date, I just wasn’t able to quite match the schedule of the person who wanted to see me).
I do have to go back to Glenn Ellen on Monday.
I have the option of going on Sunday night, but I think I’m going to let myself sleep here Sunday night and just get up early and commute to work against the traffic.
It should be easier going out of the city.
Not that I’m even going to bother worrying about that.
It’s Friday.
I’m home for the weekend.
And I got a fucking FLIGHT back from the playa.
Luckiest girl in the world.
For real.

A Room Of Ones Own

February 13, 2016

I was reminded how lucky I was tonight to have the small, sweet, kind space that I have made into a room of my own.

A space to dream.

A place to dance.

A restful place.

“I would never leave,” my friend sighed as she walked in my room.

I smiled.

I sometimes feel like that.

I might get a little lonely though.

We re-connected in class and decided we would be coming out here to my side of town to hang out, she’s staying in a place in the Haight.  Like a surprising number of people in my cohort, she commutes into school once a month.

There are folks from Miami, Fl.

Nevada.

Mexico.

All up and down the Western Coast line from Santa Cruz up to Portland.

There are lots of folks in the Berkeley, Oakland, Bay Area too.

I feel like there may be more folks from out of town than in town, but I may not be correct in that, although if they don’t outweigh the in town students, it’s a darn close call.

Anyway.

My friend came out here to spend time with me tonight.

It was a great Friday night date, girls night out.

We met here, I dropped my books off and prepped my notes and readers and texts for tomorrow (they are in the fridge, I kid you not, I have a large insulated liner bag for the basket on the back of my scooter, I pretty much packed my lunch and dinner for tomorrow in the bag, put my readers and books and notes on top, zipped it up and put it on the bottom shelf.  There may be more text books than food currently in my fridge) and we scooted down the street to Java Beach.

It was perfect.

Apple cinnamon tea, the sunsetting down by the beach, the locals coming in and out, the hum of the cafe, my dear, sweet, kind friend, all ears and eyes and heart.

It is so good to have girl friends.

“Well,” I said defensively, hands on the hips of my periwinkle blue dirndl (this was way back in the olden days when I worked at the Essen Haus in Madison and all the staff wore traditional German costumes.  I used to joke that the dirndl was the German’s idea of a Wonder Bra) “it is a mom cut, she totally looks like someone’s mom,” I repeated back to my friend.

“You’re not used to having girlfriends are you,” my friend said to me.

“What are you talking about,” I tried to knock the defensive tone from my voice, now I was just curious, how did she know that.

“You just don’t tell a girl friend that her new hair cut makes her look like her mom, it’s just not kosher,” my friend explained.

“Oh, I was just telling the truth,” I said.

“I know, she probably knows that too, but it’s just not the nice way to say it,” my friend continued, “you didn’t really have girl friends in high school did you?”

“Nope,” I said.

And to a point that was true.

But there were girls I really wanted to be friends with, some whom I actually got to reconnect with after high school that was really quite amazing, the power of social media, girls who I thought were smart or kind or funny, girls I wanted to hang out with.

And it happened sometimes, I got to be with a group of girls, I was in a peer group, I can see that, but my family dynamic was so messed up, I could never really have friends over.

The friendships that might have developed never really had a chance to flower.

Then there were times, when looking back with some perspective, that I just didn’t trust women, I had a mom who didn’t have a lot of girl friends and if she did, they tended to be women she was partying with.

It has taken time and effort.

I have had some girl friends too that were not good for me and I saw myself needing to get out of the mix.

I have learned.

And loved.

And lost a few relationships, but also kept a few too.

That one dear friend, the one who was so insightful about my not having girlfriends, well, going on 21 years now, 22 maybe.

Not bad.

And new girl friends at school.

Having classmates I want to hang out with and who want to hang out with me is a huge gift.

Women who want to hear my story and I theirs.

It is a lovely reciprocity.

We all have stories.

Some I connect with better than others.

“You just have such a big heart,” my friend said over tea.

To be seen.

To be validated.

To be known.

It is a powerful thing.

And to be told that I am attractive for being my colorful, exuberant, authentic self is such a gift.

First, it encourages me to continue acting from that place of self-love, if only to show other women it’s doable, commendable, and available for them too.

You want to dress as a princess?

Please get the hell on it.

I was in the shower, just now, washing my hair and wondering when I was going to have to retire the hair flowers.

I wore a white daisy in my hair today.

And a chiffon shirt in dandelion yellow with white polka dots.

I felt light and free and full of spring vibrancy.

I realized that I was never going to be too old to wear flowers in my hair and that I was going to give myself the permission to buy some more flowers for my hair if I felt like it.

I digress.

It was just nice to be myself and to spend sweet time with a dear new friend.

We also had dinner and I felt so warmed and lightened.

Blessed, really.

I am such a lucky girl.

Really.

The luckiest girl in the world.

I have the best friends.

Ever.

I do.

 


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