Sorry for the lapse in blogging, kids. Felt kinda icky the last couple weeks so it dropped to the bottom of my priority list. The little energy I could muster never added up to more than 140 characters. Which is why you should follow me on Twitter (@miavandy).
Came across this article while perusing the UCF Facebook page today. So spot on (and funny). Wish I had this to send to people 2 yrs ago. But good to read anytime for future reference. Ch-ch-check it out: How Not to Cheer Up a Cancer Patient.
A sample passage:
One of the most common fear responses to the dreaded News is to e-mail the person you love with as much information you can gather on his/her particular cancer. The problem is this: The Internet was invented as a pornography delivery system. And for Nigerian princes to find your grandparents and convince them to go halfsies on a timeshare in Boca Raton. And of course for every jackass with a computer to offer up an opinion on the best way to cure cancer. Look, I know you mean well, but I have yet to see anyone pull out of a pancreatic cancer tailspin by sucking on a panda's claw for two hours a day. I'm all for alternative medicine or nontraditional ways of beating the shit out of this insidious beast, but sometimes I don't have enough time to take a few months off to try Bosco enemas and tickle classes.
Just got back from DC, tired as hell. But wanted to throw up a quick post to mention how much I HEART CANADA. Why you ask? Because Canada is responsible for Think About Life, who I'm mildly obsessed with after last night's DC-9 show. I want to be the chick bass player. And the guitar player looks like a hipster version of Matt Volouse. And Cesar the lead singer is just overall awesome (and apparently playing somewhere in Bmore tonight, according to insider Ryan Smith)
More importantly, our northern neighbors gave me Dan Kurtz, bass player for the New Deal. Who (I can't believe I'm saying this) has ousted Ryan Reynolds as my #1 Canuck Crush. Seriously. Hot hot hot. And umm HE'S THE BASSIST IN THE FRIGGIN NEW DEAL!
Speaking of hot Canadians, I'm sad to say that we have to wait yet another week to see Taylor Kitsch (everyone's fave full back Tim Riggins). NBC has pushed the Friday Night Lights season 4 premiere to May 7th instead of the originally scheduled April 30th. So we're looking at 12 more days in our COUNTDOWN TO RIGGINS. Enjoy this pic to tide you over in the meantime...
OK, after posting that pic, I realize that Taylor must be my #1 Canadian. Then Dan. Then Ryan. Glad I cleared that up.
Well after seeing Bisco last week I've been once again bitten by the live music bug. It really shouldn't be a surprise considering I averaged a show at least every 2 weeks through college and most my early 20s. [Ugh, now that I'm almost 29 I have to refer to those years as my 'early' 20s - weird]. Anywho, I've spent the last few days planning out my shows for the rest of the spring into the summer. And I gotta say, I'm pretty pumped as to how the calendar is rounding out. Lots of acts I love coming to the area. And a couple excuses to roadtrip in there too. Here's what I have on tap so far. I've included links to band websites so y'all can check em out if you aren't familiar. Live music makes me happy. And it will make you happy too. So holla if you want to come with to any or all. Or have more show suggestions.
I was playing with my Netflix queue, as I'm known to do, and noticed that all of Season 3 of Friday Night Lights (aka one of the best shows EVER) is currently available on Watch Instantly. So watch up my friends, because the COUNTDOWN TO RIGGINS is on. New eps on NBC start April 30th. Bring on the hotness.
Went to Richmond last night to check out the Disco Biscuits show with Evan. His first real show (had only seen them at Artscape before). Excellent time but now I'm super tired. TGI Sunday.
We went with new friends Katie and Brandon. Officially 2 of my new favorite peeps on the planet. Super cool, really chill, and love to dance. Already have plans to see New Deal with them at 9:30 Club this Friday and am likely on their bandwagon for Camp Bisco in July. Yeah and I may have offered to let them live in our basement for the 1st week of June for Passion Pit > moe. > Starscape.
Barber still nursing wrist injury so he sang and stuck to comp. Tommy Hamilton from Brothers Past/American Babies and Chris Michetti from RAQ filled in like champs on guitar.
Setlist (according to Brownie's Twitter - @Marc_Brownstein)
SET I: In the Flesh > And the Ladies Were the Rest of the Night > Helicopters, Fish Out of Water, Shelby Rose > The City > Shelby Rose
SET II: 42 > Lunar Pursuit > Ladies. Little Lai > I-Man > 42
ENCORE: Pimp Blue Rikkis
Helix and 42 are 2 of my all time fave Biscuit's songs so I was definitely pumped.
Some show pics (pardon the quality - working w an iPhone w no Flash bc my digital camera is dead)...
Also, I made the exec decision that when I get my kitten next month, if its a girl she shall be named Shelby Rose. [If its a boy we will be sticking with the original game plan of Tim Riggins - yay for Friday Night Lights!]
A few people have already asked me yesterday and today if the Texas Stadium implosion yesterday was my Dad's company, CDI. Unfortunately no. But we have some cool projects coming up soon and will be sure to keep y'all posted on anything worth making a trip to see.
In the meantime, enjoy a clip of the coolest CDI project I've gotten to help with, the Gotham Hospital sequence in The Dark Knight. CDI and the stunt team planned and coordinated the whole blast sequence. I actually did some of the stunt blocking for Heath Ledger on the day of the shoot...
Here is the DVD special feature w my Dad re: the blast itself:
So its ridic how hot is is out right now. I mean 92 in the beginning of April? What's July going to be like? Did I really have 4 feet of snow outside my house 2 months ago? I was planning on playing some tennis today but it was so hot I opted to stay at work in the AC. On the way home I swung by Coldstone to pick up a tasty lemon sorbet / rasberry sorbet combo w gummi bears to cool off. [I really really was craving a snowball, but I've yet to find an open stand and have also expressly promised a certain someone that we would get our 1st snowballs of the season together].
And then some lady in line just comes up to me and asks if I'm in chemo. Well yeah, I did do some pretty hard core chemo back in September before my transplant. And yes, my hair is in the process of growing back. But I don't know you. What makes people have the balls to just ask that? Well it turns out, this lady had breast cancer 5 yrs ago, and had been through it all herself and she just wanted to congratulate me on my well-being. Which is nice, and I do feel bad for my initial annoyance.
But sometimes it boggles my mind things people will say to a stranger. Or do for that matter. You'd be surprised how many people thought it was cool to just come up and touch my head when I was bald. And I hear pregnant ladies get randoms touching their bellies all the time. I mean being sick, or being pregnant, sometimes thats when you most want boundaries yet that's when people opt to ignore them.
Sigh, sorry to vent there. I'll be nice and calm in a couple hours after yoga. And then probably immediately tense again when I don't make it home in time for Lost. Thank god for Hulu. Too bad I'll basically have to stay off the internet completely though til the ep is posted to avoid spoilers...
Just to lighten things up, enjoy some pictures of Lucy lounging on our lovely new comforter from Pottery Barn...
Wow what a great weekend. I'm definitely tuckered out, but it was worth it. I have to say, I've definitely gotten to the point where I'm understanding my limitations. My doctors encourage me to be cautious all the time, but at the same time tell me not to get caught up in being sick and to try to move on and live my life. Finding a balance is hard, but I'm starting to get there. Having hit my 6 month post-transplant point, I've gotten pretty excited making plans for the next few months. But I'm still getting back to 100%...
There is definitely no way I could have gone to NYC any sooner than I had, I just wouldn't have had the energy to get around that much. But I did just enough these few days to have a good time but not overdo it. I opted to drive up on Thursday and hit alot of traffic, but honestly didn't mind it at all. I wasn't allowed to drive at all for 4 months, and haven't driven more than 2 hrs anywhere in ages. Stocked up on new tunes courtesy of Brent, got a new book on CD from Pratt Central on Jess's rec ('World World Z' by Max Brooks - on disc 3 of 6 and its great so far), and jammed out to some random old mix CDs. Cruised on up with the windows down. Got my mandatory NJ rest stop Cinnabon. All good stuff.
Got there and met Emily and Doug at their new (well 6 mo old) apt in the UES. So cute and homey. (These are from Emily's "work in progress photos from Febuary. Things are even cooler now!)
I could live there in a second. Sometimes I forget how crazy similar our taste's are. Not just design but food, tv, movies, clothes, books, art. If the girl ate meat and hated mayo we could be the same person sometimes. And Em's new gardening obsession has me hooked too (Another post on that to come). Anywho, we checked out The Smith for dinner and drinks as planned. You can check out my Yelp review here.
Friday in true Emily fashion we had red velvet cupcakes for breakfast from the Two Little Red Hens. Officially has replaced Butterlane as my cupcake go-to in NYC. Brought home some Red Velvet & Brooklyn Blackouts for Easter for my Mom and Evs to rave reviews. Hit up H&M where we bought essentially identical clothes, got a slice & some tasti-D-lite, then hit the train to the Bronx Zoo. A beautiful day to wander outside, and the seal feeding was a highlight. Yes, I'm a nerd.
Friday night I ventured 20 blks south and traded couches from Em/Doug's to Bridget/Geoff's bc Emily's mom and step-dad came in town. It was wonderful catching up with one of my all time favorite co-workers. We pre-gamed with some homemade guac and margs, in true Bridget style. Then off to Maya where we had some great Mexican tapas. B&G had plans the next day, so our visit was short, but I'll be back soon I'm sure.
Saturday was really one of those real New York days. I had been there long enough I was comfortable getting around on my own. And it was just random and awesome. In the AM I snagged a copy of the Times, a nice chewy sesame bagel w a veggie schmear, and a big ass coffee and walked my way to Central Park. Emily was running in a 10k that morning, and I met up w Doug and her fam at the finish point. We took the train downtown and went to lunch at Stand (HOLY AMAZING - see my Yelp review here) After we went to The Strand. Thank god I don't live in NYC, bc I would regularly drop $100 in that place. They have sooo many books its almost overwhelming. But I found an out of print copy of Evan Handler's first book for only $6. It took so much restraint not to just start buying up art books. Only the thought of having to carry them around for the rest of the day kept it from happening.
We also had 2 celeb sitings. The guy who's Pete on 30 Rock and....TOM COLICCHIO. To me that was the friggin ultimate bc I LOVE LOVE LOVE Top Chef. (New season of Top Chef Masters starts this Wednesday BTW. Hizzah!) And then...the weirdest. We kept seeing NYU kids walking past us w pillows, and finally found out that they were having a MASSIVE PILLOW FIGHT in Union Square Park. The whole thing was mind-boggling to me. Mostly, bc it went on for like an hour. I would think it would get old after about 2 minutes. Kind of like tickling. Does anyone like to be slammed in the face with a pillow repeatedly? Or tickled obnoxiously? But on it went and it was quite the spectacle. At this point I figured I really had a good day, and while I was debating staying in town for one more night to try to meet up w some Vandy peeps and/or check out a show at Mercury Lounge I opted to head back to Bmore. Was home in less than 3 hrs and in bed by 10 (though alas not asleep til like 4am. Doh!) I'm lamely proud of myself for being so responsible.
Today was a lovely lovely Easter w my Mama. I dressed Lucy in her Easter best (adorable I must say) and went over to her apartment, cupcakes and flowers in hand. She treated us to a delish lunch of the Barefoot Contessa's Engagement Chicken. If you're looking for a simple and yummy roasted chicken recipe, this is the one. I'll prob make it at least every other week from now on I swear. Then went to Grand Cru, my mom's fave hang out (I swear Norm is to Cheers as Mary Garson is to Grand Cru) for the afternoon. Came away w a Easter basket chockful of Cadberry Creme Eggs and jelly beans. Happy Mia.
Ok, that was a little babble-y and prob more info then you needed or wanted. But hey, you're choosing to read this. Or you're not. Either way I feel like I wrapped up my weekend. Off to bed, onto a productive week. OOOOOOOOpening day on Friday. Woot!
First off, I want to say how awesome it is when friends let you crash with them for a night. Its so generous to let you just come in and take up their space. BUT, is there seriously anything more awkward then waking up while they're still asleep and not knowing what to do with yourself?
Puppy-walking habits had me up at 7am this morning and I've been tip-toeing around the place ever since. I was going to make coffee, but couldn't locate filters (apparently they're fancy machine doesn't need em). I debated going out to grab coffee and bagels for my hosts, but didn't know which key to take. And I didn't want to turn on the TV or take a shower out of fear of waking up those sleepy heads.
Oh well, at least I'm up in time for Phish Summer Tour public sale. Berkeley Greek Theater tickets, you will be mine.
Is it bad that it's only Tuesday and I've already planned out where/what I'll be eating for almost every meal when I'm in NYC this weekend? Blame my weakness for Food Network and the fact that I'm seeing Emily who is probably a bigger foodie than me.
Michael Symon says the Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake there is one of "The Best Things I Ever Ate" and according to everything I've read on the interweb, he's not the only one that thinks so.
Of course I'll be getting a nice slice and a big ole bagel at some point while I'm there for sure. And I'll swing by my fave, Butterlane on my way out of the city to snag some cupcakes to bring to Mom's for Easter dinner.
Gah, that's alot of eating. But its supposed to be loverly this weekend, so I'm sure I'll walk it all off. Right? RIGHT?
Well so much for using this blog to keep everyone updated on my transplant process. Yeah, kinda dropped the ball on that one. Its been a smidge over 6 months now, and I'm doing as well as could be hoped at this point. I got results of my 6 mo follow up tests last Thursday, and I'm happy to report that there is currently no leukemia cells in my blood and that I've completely 'taken' my donor's marrow. I do have a bit of GVHD (graft vs host disease) which is fairly common post transplant. In fact a little bit of it is good, bc it means my immune system is actually working and recognizes I have something foreign in my body. But its not totally rejecting it, obviously a good thing. So the docs are monitoring me weekly at the Hop, and they have me on a pretty hefty dose of steroids at the moment to keep the GVHD in check. Which is making me really wired, BTW. Prob what motivated me to start blogging again...
So moral of the story: am I cured? am I in the clear? Not per say. But my news was as good as I could have hoped for. And I have a giant weight lifted off my shoulders for a while. I'm cautiously optimistic. And with the good news I feel like I can actually live a bit before my next big set of tests in September. With that said some fun stuff on the horizon:
Visiting Em and Fidge in NYC this weekend! Yoga class! Kickball! O's Opening Day! Hanging out on my new roofdeck! Hopkins Fair! Going to Nashville in May for Steeplechase and playing w Kat! Anthony Bourdain @ the Hippodrome! Steamed Crabs! Phish Summer Tour! (BTW, hey Phish ticket lottery, did I get my Greek Theater tickets or not??)
Obviously there's still going to be a lot of resting in there. I'm not going to be 100% for at least a year according to the docs. I'm working part time in my dad's office but I should prob start working on figuring out a "real job" but that will come in time.
A big regret has been not writing on this blog during all this down time. I mean I wish I even wrote a sentence a day, just to document for my own purposes. With that said, I really will try to put something on here at least once a week. Hey, its on my iPhone calendar now. So it clearly has to happen.