Actually, I have that second conversation with just about everyone

"So did you date a lot in high school?"

"Umm, *no.* I never got asked out in high school. Well, except senior year, I had a boyfriend then, but I had to pursue him, and that sucked. Otherwise, though, no. No dates."

"Lack of self-confidence, you think?"

"…No… you know, it was just kind of a weird thing, the boys just didn’t show interest in me. But! Outside of high school? I was *constantly* asked out by all these older guys, like, guys in their 30s and 40s. The ones my age didn’t want me. Only the creepy old men wanted me."

[teasing] "Oh, like me!"

[earnestly] "Oh no! You’re not creepy."

*****

"What do you feel like eating?"

"Food."

"But what *kind* of food?"

"Edible food…"

"O-kay… what kind of edible food?"

[beat]

"Tasty edible food!"

"Oh, well, now we’re *getting* somewhere."

He knows about it now (finally)*, so I guess it’s safe to release these to the Internets

On Monday, after 72 hours of on-and-off-again inconsolable crying jags:

It's Flo!

On Thursday afternoon, after four days of almost never leaving the house and multiple raging and hysterical fits of frustration:

pixie punk rawk porcupine

I’m still not happy with it– but I wasn’t happy with it before, either, so what’s a girl to do? My appointment with the specialist has been postponed temporarily until the referral from my GP goes through; in the meantime, I’m crossing my fingers and slowly stockpiling on hats.

In the meantime, life goes on.

Me + Roger @ Railhead

*Remember this? Yeah, pretty much wrote that with him in mind. I feel like I’ve pulled a bait-and-switch on him; first the weight gain, now the near-total desecration of hair. And he is, thus far, unfazed by it all. Blows my mind.

The first shower is usually the real test

How to put me completely at ease about trusting you 100% with those scissors in your hand:

  1. The first thing you do: finger my hair approvingly and say, "Oh, you have very good hair!" I will want to tackle you with a hug because at this point, it’s the last thing I would ever expect anyone to say to me, let alone a hair professional.
  2. Listen attentively as I explain what’s been going on and why I’m here.
  3. Nod as you examine my head and relay that, yes, you can tell there’s been massive thinning going on. (Not a happy announcement, no, but it’s validation that I’m not just paranoid, which = good.)
  4. Before leading me over to the sink stations, nod again and observe that it’s definitely a shedding problem since you can see the hairs have been leaving by the root, not breaking off. Talk, as you wash my hair, about hormones and medical this-and-that, possible causes, things I ought to be sure to have checked out by the dermatologist I’m scheduled to see on Wednesday. There will be comfort found in the familiarity of all your terminology. Nothing prompts trust like someone who sounds like she knows her shit.
  5. Mention, as you comb out my hair, another client of yours who had the same problem, whose hair just kept falling out in huge sheds. Pause for a moment to fiddle with the comb, unintentionally leaving me suffocating in suspense. Resume the story– how a year-and-a-half later, it all came back. Her hair returned to its natural fullness. She got her hair back.

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At least it didn’t get run over?

Flustered and with my mind understandably somewhere else this morning, I opened my car door and noticed I had not, as I’d thought, left my purse in there after all.

Set my phone down on the top of the car, dashed back inside, found my purse in the kitchen, grabbed it, took off for school. Late late late late late.

Got to campus, parked, reached over to the passenger seat to get my purse and my–

Where’s my phone?

Motherfucker.

The best part? I had PLANNED on returning it this afternoon because I hate the keyboard so much.

Actually, I think the best part is the fact that it didn’t fly off the roof of my car until AFTER I’d backed out of the driveway, until I had turned the corner and peeled away. And while both the battery cover and the battery itself flew off upon impact with the asphalt and the entire back of the phone looks like it was chewed on by my sister’s Siberian Husky, no actual functional damage occurred to the phone.

*Man.* I really did not want to keep this phone.

I could really use some good ol’ Southern irreverence about now (coughJEREMYcough)

I’ve logged about 10 hours now just obsessively reading threads here and here.

On the one hand, the tightness in my chest eases up as I read more and
more women recounting their own stories that mirror what’s been
happening to me lately– what’s been happening to me, to some degree,
for the last three years. I’m not a freak. I’m not alone. There are
others.

On the other hand, my heart just sinks lower and lower as they all keep
discussing "living" with TE and AGA and irreversibly thinned hair, as
they talk about it taking a year to start showing signs
of regrowth after a massive TE shed, regrowth which will either a) more
than likely NOT be terminal hair and thus quickly fall out, or b) be
thin and/or kinky and/or overall pretty unattractive.

While part of me began asphyxiating and despairingly twitching for the razorRIGHTNOW and weeping over the humiliation of having to look for a wig and I’m only 23 and I don’t even fucking have cancer to justify any of this– while the word "FUCK" kept repeating itself through my mind in a steady hum– another part of me wrinkled my nose and reminded the remaining rest of me, which wasn’t really all that keen on either participating in this drama-rama or taking a goddamn stance either way, that I’ve overcome medical odds before.

For one thing, everything I’ve ever read re: UTI’s has said they cannot be treated without antibiotics. Well. Antibiotics or that coilloidal silver shit. Regardless– I’ve gotten over an infection, a LOT of infections, actually, without taking anything for them. Same for a toothache that I would have sworn was going to require a root canal to fix (granted, that one took over two months before the pain went completely away).

I will have my old hair back.
My story? It’ll be filed under "total recovery." Fuck you, follicles.

Floundering (how many times did I use the word “just”?)

I’ve tried to shrug it off or joke about it for a while now, but today has just been killing me.

It just keeps falling out. I can’t stop it. Like all the goddamn little follicles on my head have just given up trying. By the strand, by the handful, it just– it won’t stop. I’m terrified of the shower. I’m terrified of my bed and its pillows because math works and numbers don’t lie and I know how to subtract and one of these mornings, one of these days, it’s just going to be *gone* at this rate, and– oh my god-

I don’t have the proper face for short hair, which tells you how infinitely far away I am from being an attractive candidate for BALD. But my nerves are so wracked, my frustration and helplessness and desperation so high that it’s been all I could do these last couple of hours to not run screaming into the bathroom and take a razor to the scalp.

Because what else is there? My blood tests two weeks ago came out fine (that’s how upset I’ve been over this– I was driven to go to a doctor). I’m not saying that whatever’s causing this can’t be treated, can’t be resolved and reversed, but the issue of time— likely it’ll be weeks before I can get an appointment with a specialist (I’ll find out tomorrow), then another week for testing and results and evaluations, then who only knows how long before treatment starts to take effect. And that’s just to get this to *stop.* The hair regrowth will take six to 12 months all on its own. I’ve become increasingly reclusive because I don’t know what to do with this– it looks terrible left down, but pulling it back only speeds up this nightmare.

Three years ago, I had 4-5 times as much hair; in the spring of ’04, I had my first massive (and massively frightening) shed, but it hit a sort of equilibrium after a few months. Even one year ago, I had about three times this– and I was panicked about it *then.*

You have to understand: people used to come up to me on the street to gush about my hair. It was one of the few things that made me feel okay about being seen. *That’s* what I’m losing.

*That’s* what I’ve already lost.

I’m union, I don’t set the prices

-You leaving?
-Yeah, my feet are pretty gone.
-Aww. You okay to get to your car, or do you want me to walk out with you?
-Meh. I’ll be all right.
-You sure? You’re okay? It’s kinda shady back there.
-Well, I figure the worst thing that can happen to me is, I’ll get solicited. [1]
-Nice!
-Yeah. So my worst-case scenario? I make a thousand bucks and lose five minutes of my life. I can deal with that.

[1] I meant "propositioned." Semantics, I know, whatever.

He’d kick Optimus Prime’s ass in a heartbeat

The subject of Photoshop Phriday over at something awful last week was "New Transformers"– and I’ve got to say, the first five pages are like the perfect joke delivered in the most perfect way. You start off with a really great example, which draws you into perusing the collection as a whole– but after the first page, the examples get less and less impressive at a consistent rate.

And then– by the time you’ve clicked on to the fifth page, you’re pretty much done with looking, you’re *that* unimpressed.

And that’s when you get to the bottom of the fifth page.

The image itself is glorious, but the experience of getting to it is really the crowning touch. I’m *still* laughing uncontrollably over it.

At least it wasn’t a finals day

WHAT the FUCK was up with traffic today?

Spent over half-an-hour trying to get to campus and, much to my chagrin, failed. Tried to turn around and peevishly head home– an effort that took 45 minutes.

Thanks, whatever caused the airport connector to be closed off entirely and what looked like the entire Metro NHP force to go rushing in. Thanks, inattentive drivers who got into a three-car accident and closed down an already-busy street to one makeshift lane. Thanks, random road construction.

Oh, and thanks, every single radio station out here, for the complete absence of traffic updates.

But speaking of radio stations– five minutes before I got back to the house, Mims’ "This Is Why I’m Hot" started to play, and I wasn’t really into this song until I read this piece a week back from the village voice, "Hot Hot Heat: A graphical dissertation on the number one song in America" (Rob Harvilla):

Our quarrel lies with "If you need it hyphy/I take it to the Bay," an
homage to the Oakland–San Francisco Bay Area’s relentlessly
knuckleheaded and sorta wonderful hyphy movement, with its proclivities
for going dumb, making thizz faces, ghost-riding the whip, etc.
(Yahdidabooboo.) But unlike Mims’s other geographical shout-outs,
that’s all he says here—"I take it to the Bay/’Frisco to Sac-town/They
do it e’y’day." First of all, no one calls it "Frisco" except
rhyme-starved rappers, and the only worthwhile MCs living anywhere near
Sacramento are in prison. But even worse, there’s no style adjustment
here—he just takes it to the Bay. This is wholly insufficient for
hotness—several entities that take it to the Bay do not qualify…

The article is worth checking out solely for the graphs alone. I love it when people do analyses like these.

So, yeah. Better mood, then. Banking, of course, on the hope that I’ll be allowed to make up the lab tomorrow morning.

Thirteen ways of loving a blackbird

When I was in college, someone copied out this poem and gave it to me, saying when he read it, he immediately thought of me. To this day, I consider it to be one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.

One might make an observation that I throw the word "love" around an awful lot– even, perhaps, loosely so. And it would be a sort-of true observation, because I *do* use it a lot, but I don’t know about the "loosely so" bit.

I love the smell of wet concrete because of its close association with the smell of rain, and I love lightning storms where the thunder growls so deeply that it resonates within you to the bone. I love certain books and poems and passages and plays– I love literature as a whole– and I love the crisp virgin pages of a new blank book just as I love the soft, weathered pages of an old leather-bound volume.

I love science museums and I love eating apples with string cheese. I love the touch of suede and microfiber fabrics and I love the way I just can’t keep still if I’m listening to good music. I love the sweetness and the range of the violin and I love the simple satisfaction of simple household chores, like making the bed or washing dishes or cleaning the bathroom countertops. I love the scent of oranges that remains on my fingertips long after I’ve peeled and eaten them.

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