Sunday, March 2, 2014
I just stumbled upon this completely randomly. Filmed at sunrise on September 12, 2013, at 4 World Trade Center in New York City, with the new World Trade Center looming in the background, and entitled New Beginnings.
I found myself holding my breath watching this, chills running up my arms, and fighting tears and memories.
I’m so grateful for the healing power or art.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
(warning: f-bomb dropped in video above … but this is otherwise a pretty serious post)
It’s probably fair to say that most people who heard of the passing of Harold Ramis were saddened by the loss of a comic genius, the man who gifted us with the likes of Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, SCTV, Animal House, Stripes, Ghostbusters (I mean, my god, look at that list! And it’s only partial). When I heard the news, I also felt that the comedy world was losing an important contributor.
But personally, I was even more affected by his cause of death: autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis. In essence, swelling of the blood vessels due to an autoimmune disease. To most, even the secondary explanation probably doesn’t even make sense. To me, it makes too much sense.
I will be heading down to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the D.C. area in a few days to continue taking part in a four-year-long study being conducted by Dr. Nehal Mehta, who is doing admirable work to attempt to provide hard statistics and learn more about the connection between my specific autoimmune disease, Psoriatic Arthritis/Psoriasis, and heart disease (essentially what Harold Ramis died of).
I’m not a fool. I know that although it isn’t as straightforward as other diagnoses such as terminal cancer or organ failure or others, there is still a likely death sentence associated with this disease. But it’s rare that this reality gets shoved in my face.
I knew virtually nothing of autoimmune diseases before one decided to come hang out with me for the rest of my life (uninvited, btw!). Now I know that there are literally hundreds of these kinds of diseases, with so many commonalities but frustratingly so many differences, too. What helps one does not necessarily help another. I now know of numerous friends who suffer from autoimmune disease themselves or who have loved ones who do.
And most of these diseases are “uncommon” at best, “rare” at worst. Which means that when the likes of Harold Ramis dies due to an autoimmune disease that in essence attacked his heart, it is the first time the vast majority of people have ever even heard of such a thing.
So what do we do about that? What do we feel about that? It is not a “good” thing. I cannot feel happiness that people are more aware of autoimmune diseases, and especially aware of the effect of autoimmune diseases on the heart, because Harold lost his life too soon, and painfully. I can’t find happiness in the death of anyone.
But as cliche as it sounds, I suppose I can try to make something positive come out of it. I can do my tiny little part, writing this blog post, posting it on social media, and perhaps bringing awareness to even just one person. One person who may some day encounter a fundraising effort for an autoimmune disease and feel more compelled than she would have otherwise to donate, or who may encounter a person with an autoimmune disease and be more accommodating and understanding of the challenges that they face.
So, I remember Harold Ramis, and I ask that, from time to time, you remember people like us…
P.S. Side (end?) note: I’m especially grateful for the encouragement to write this specific post, as well as the encouragement to write in general. Thanks, Walter.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Today I’m grateful to have found these photos of monkeys having the best spa day ever. I mean … come ON!
I went looking for one of these photos online so that I could share it with my nephews in Toronto after first seeing one photo in Time magazine — yes, the actual physical magazine, which I have a subscription to as a gift from my sister, Heather. So, she deserves a thank you shout-out here!
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Incredibly grateful for the Mindy Kaling book as a distraction from the crap of life, and also being able to look forward to “discussing” it (or not really) with my “book club” girls this weekend. (By “book club” I mean “girls I love who like to have a drink and not talk about the book they may or may not have partially read.”)
Monday, January 20, 2014
Mama cat hugs baby cat having nightmare. Need I say more?
Grateful for the positive energy from the friend who shared this with me.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Post cat-nip fun with Margarita and Scrabble letters!
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
This was a craptacular day. Started out as a day I’d been looking forward to for quite awhile, attending a much-anticipated annual disc golfing New Year’s Day party with my boyfriend … only to discover about an hour into it that while we were all busy taking a really cool panoramic shot of the 150+ attendees, some d-bags were smashing two windows of my car and stealing my purse and backpack. Intensely not how I wanted to start off the new year.
But … there was an epically beautiful sunset, and I got to enjoy it with my very wonderful boyfriend, who so much looks forward to this event every year but insisted on staying with me for FOUR HOURS waiting for the police to show up, when he could have gone back to disc golfing. I will be forever grateful.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Nothing says “bachelorette party” like Meredith in a Mountie hat onstage with a drag queen.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Merry Christmas! Kaitlin and I were quite excited about her mom’s gift to Delphi. Not sure Delphi would agree …
Monday, December 23, 2013
Not only was I grateful for a great night out with a few of my high school girlfriends … but I got this RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME gift from my friend Suzanne!
She said she saw it in a thrift store in Hawaii (where she lives) and immediately thought that it was meant for me. I can’t overstate how incredibly correct she is! I was thoroughly obsessed with the NHL in the early ’90s. Still love hockey, of course, but not in quite the same way as the slightly OCD sports fan but also boy-crazy teenage girl that I was back then.
It also makes me feel, obviously, happy, but also somehow … safe and comforted? … to think of her going to the effort of lugging this thing all the way from Hawaii, at Christmas no less (I have packed luggage for an airplane at Christmas — it is not easy or fun!) just for me. There is something really special about friendships that may not be like they once were but still stand the test of time. It truly brought me more joy than I could properly convey to her (or this blog).