Monday, September 27, 2010

I am currently sitting poolside in Palm Springs California. It's about 100 degrees at 10 AM and yesterday it was 115. I think I felt my internal organs cooking a little, and I'm hoping that a little thing like that never hurt anyone. I'll have to check Web MD or Wikipedia.

I'll be back Thursday with more details. I'm having a relaxing girls' weekend with my cousin and friend and so fat it's doing the trick.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Knee Deep in Butterfingers

So, using (this is a real thing and blogs use it for contests all the time.  I'm not making it up, people.  I'm looking specifically at you, B. Guillen) I searched for a number between one and eight:

 Which corresponds to this comment on the contest entry:


So Tiffany Hartz, you are the big winner!  Please email me with your mailing info.  Nestle is going to send it directly to you, since apparently they read my blog and know better than to trust me with a huge pile of candy.  Thanks, Nestle!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Be a Winner!

I'd like to take a break from this pity-party and give away something.

I tried new Butterfinger Snackerz at BlogHer this summer, and I have to say they were pretty good. We did eat them out of plastic champagne glasses, though, so that might have made the experience just a tad bit classier than normal.

Would you like to win four bags of snack-sized packages or two boxes of full-size Snackerz?  Leave a comment on this post and I will use the random number generator to pick a winner on Thursday.

Yes, I am giving this away because I don't want to eat all of them, funny you should ask!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blah Blah Blahs

So I'm still down in the dumps, patiently waiting to feel better, but honestly at this point, even I am bored to death of talking about depression and my issues.  I'm trying to look on the bright side and see the humor in all of this and am watching movies like "Step Brothers," "Dumb and Dumber" and "Sophie's Choice" in an attempt to cheer myself up.  That last one was a joke, guys.  I know, weak, but give me a little bit of a break today.

When I am like this, all I want to do is be by myself.  The problem is I feel a huge amount of guilt for avoiding my family and my friends and bowing out of things like birthday parties and family dinners.  I'm very hard on myself and also (and this may be shocking to some of you) a little dramatic, so in my mind I am devastating all sorts of people by not being around them.  In reality, I think people understand, but still.  It's embarrassing and I'm kind of crippled by the guilt of it all.

I even feel guilty for not updating here.  Honestly, the last thing I want to do is to have a pity party for poor Taryn.  Writing about this crap is not my cup of tea, and part of me is mortified that I'm coming out of the closet with this struggle.  I don't want to leave people hanging and wondering if I ran away to live in the Australian outback (hint:  no, I am not the jungle-roaming kind of lady) but at the same time writing "Waahh wahh wahh, I have a job in a horrible economy, family and friends who love me, a house and my health but I'm just so saddddd" every day is kind of like a nightmare to me.  I'm going to do what I can, but if I disappear for a few days, don't call in the National Guard or anything.  (See, dramatic delusions of importance.  I'm sure that could lead to some kind of clinical diagnosis).

IN OTHER NEWS, I have been called for jury duty three times this year.  I am beginning to think I have a stalker at the Daley Center who just wants to be able to see my smiling face.  No one is THAT good of a citizen.

Also, I would like you all to know that I was in the audience for Oprah's season premiere last year, fully expecting to win tickets for a cruise around the world.  I am horribly jealous of these Australia trip people.  Thank for nothing, Oprah.  All I got was free Vitamin Water and a sunburn.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Bathroom, Let Me Show It to You

Before pictures, just so we can all reflect on its prior loveliness.

Aww, how I will miss that hole in the wall.  And that wall, really.

And here's the after:

I'd call it an improvement!  I still have to get a new shower curtain and hang pictures and stuff, but you get the general idea.

Also, the contractors were great and didn't take six months to finish like the guy who did my kitchen, so if you're in Chicago and you need remodeling done, email me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Houseguest, Not Starring Sinbad

Guess who is once again pet-sitting this week?  Give up?  The lady who should learn how to sit on her hands when people ask for help.

This is Nicky, who is about three pounds, or 1/20th of a Cooper.

Nicky loves Cooper and would be thrilled if she could snuggle up next to him and live on him like a barnacle for the rest of her life.  The feeling is not at all mutual.

The last time Nicky spent the night, I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of a low growl.  I flipped on the light and saw this:

Doesn't Coop look thrilled?  You just know if he could talk, he'd tell me to run for the hills the next time a neighbor says, "Hey, can you do me a favor?"  

Five more days.  Five more days.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ring a Ding Dong

First of all, thank you guys so much for the comments on my "oh shit, here we go again" post.  I got some emails and phone calls from friends too, and it means a lot to me that I have so many people in my corner as I muddle through this crap.  I really am a very lucky lady, and I am not just saying that because I have D cups.

As I said in that post, I have been through this before and I know that I'll get through it again.  It meant a lot to me to read that I am not the only one.  It really did.

ANYWAY, onward and upward, right?

I went to dinner last night with my friends Tori and Dani.  Dani works in the press office for the Chicago Cubs, is a Boston sports fan and roots for Notre Dame, and yet somehow I still call her a friend.  I'm like frickin Mother Teresa over here, honestly.  Anyway, she worked for the Boston Red Sox when they won the World Series for the first time in 86 years, and last night she let me try on her official World Series ring.

Just for the record, before I snapped this, Tori very kindly said "Make sure you show your black fingernails in the picture." Anyway, it was big and sparkly and I think I may buy myself a little understated subtle bauble just like it.  It does draw attention away from my poor mangled nail beds.

Oh, and this reminds me that I was at Home Depot a few years ago when I spotted a forty pound dog being pushed around in a shopping cart by a lovely woman in high heels.  Yes, this was inside the store.  Naturally, I decided to surreptitiously follow her, because as you can tell by my love of "The Real Housewives," I love a good train wreck when I see it.  

The woman's partner soon joined her and he was kind of loud and jolly and looked familiar.  Seconds later, an employee asked if he was Steve "Mongo" McMichael, one of the stars of the 1985 Bears Super Bowl team.  Sure enough, he was.  He gave us some football cards and let me try on his ring, then he wheeled the dog out to his car and rode off into the night.

Incidentally, Steve McMichael's first wife left him for Stone Cold Steve Austin.  She obviously had some interesting taste in men, or only dated men named Steve, one or the other.

Oh, I should also mention that I met Richard Dent and saw his ring, but he didn't let me try it on.  He did pose for a picture with my sister Annie and me, and apparently I decided to go on vacation from brushing my hair that day, but when has that ever stopped me from sharing a picture before?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


When "Beverly Hills, 90210" premiered, I was in seventh grade.  I remember gathering excitedly around the TV to watch the first episode and convincing myself that the show was exactly what high school would be like.  In just two short years, I figured, I'd be dealing with love triangles, mother/daughter beauty pageants sponsored by my high school, DUI's, car theft, being discovered in a park and getting a role in a TV show, lumps in my breasts, learning disabilities, dating teen parents, losing my virginity to REM's "Losing My Religion," and finding out that I am adopted.  And this was just season 1!  High school was going to be exhausting.

I became a big fan of the show.  The neighborhood in Chicago where I grew up was called Beverly, and pretty soon I owned a sweatshirt that read "Beverly Hills 60643."  Now THAT'S cutting-edge fashion.  I made one of my friends a pin out of clay that said "90210" and decorated it with glitter and gemstones.  For Christmas one year I received a Brandon Walsh doll.  Yes, I did strip him down to his plastic underwear and examine the goods, but it was hard to tell if he was a grower or a shower.  (Sorry Mom).

Years after the show started to wane in popularity, I remained a devoted fan.  I remember bursting out of my dorm room in college and seeing a group of girls standing in the hall.  "Oh my God, I can't believe Kelly was shot!"  I said, expecting we'd all remember where we were at that moment for years, like the moon landing, the Kennedy assassination and the breakup of Wham!  They looked at me with blank faces and I discovered that I was the only one on my floor that watched 90210.  Yet another reason I'm glad I transferred colleges.

Today is 90210 day, 09/02/10.  I am happy to be able to celebrate this terribly wonderful show.  After all, I barely remember my own high school graduation day, but I'll never forget chanting along with "Donna Martin Graduates!"  Gosh, that balding, thirty-five year old high school student Dylan McKay was quite the trendsetter.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Black Hole

In 1999, I had to leave college during my senior year because I was suffering from depression.

That word is just so perfect, because for me depression was like a hole in the ground, a depression caused by a crater from Jupiter or something, and when I came to the part of my life where I encountered it, I fell in and had absolutely no way to get out.  I was terrified and embarrassed.  My family is full of really strong, capable women who can handle anything, and here I was, losing my mind over being two hours away from home in a college my parents were paying for me to attend.  I began to mourn the loss of the person who I thought I was, someone who could get through whatever happened with a smile on my face, the person who could be called "The Blob" in grade school and still maintain friendships with the people who called her that.  Any thoughts of perfection that I harbored, and trust me, nobody loves the word "perfect" more than I do, went right out the window as I left Indiana that afternoon.  

That first battle with this depression crap took a lot out of me, mostly because I had no idea what was happening.  It started with me ditching class a lot and spending a lot of time by myself, reading or watching movies.  Quickly, kind of terrifyingly quickly, it evolved into me being afraid to leave my dorm room during the day.  My friends would bang on the door and I'd sit quietly on my bed and pretend I wasn't there.  I felt like the creature from the Black Lagoon and felt like my friends were better off not being around me, that everyone in the outside world, was better off without me, and that the best thing I could do with my life would be to shut myself off, be by myself and let the world pass me by.  By the time my parents found out what was going on, I was peeing and washing my hair and body in the tiny sink in my dorm room because I couldn't bring myself to walk across the hall to the bathroom.  

I left school, went home and went on medication, got a job and felt much, much better.  I thought maybe there was something to the whole "chemical imbalance" thing after all, and my brain was all better because of the magic pills, so I was ready to get on with my life.  I went back to my old school in the fall of 2000, fully expecting to get my butt in gear and graduate from that college, one year late, but in the grand scheme of things, that little depression tangent in my life was just a detour and not the big, scary hole that it had felt like one year before.

Well, the same thing happened, again.  And I had been taking antidepressants and talking to a doctor and trying every effing coping strategy in the book.  I had to leave college yet again.  I can't tell you how big of a failure I felt like.  I honestly expected that I would have to have someone take care of me for the rest of my life.  I felt weak, fragile, broken and not good enough.  I saw the course for the rest of my life ahead of me and I figured I'd be one of those women people talk about who can't handle the burdens of life and spend their time lounging on their parents' couch, watching TV and imagining what could have been.

Yes, I am dramatic.

But I got better.  Slowly and surely, I started figuring out how to work through depression.  I started seeing my friends again and pretty soon it didn't feel fake and forced when I laughed.  I bought my own condo, moved away from my parents, started my own company and did well in my career.  Everything was coming up roses, and I'd look back on my last two years in college and marvel at how terrible I felt and how lucky I was to have gotten through it without chucking myself off the top of my dorm building.

Well, I'm ten years older, and once again I find myself in that same effing hole.  This year, I can't blame it on being in Indiana (sorry, Hoosiers, your state was a wonderful scapegoat for a while) or the winter or a lack of sunlight or being away from home.  My life was going well, my work was going great and I was doing fine socially and suddenly (or maybe slowly but surely until I realized it), WHAM.  I was back to laying in bed all day and crying constantly and having to force myself to take a shower.  Like Uncle Eddie from the "Vacation" movies, depression was back and here to stay, no matter how much everyone didn't want it around.

The good news is I'm getting help.  I'm taking pills and seeing a psychologist.  I'm trying to force myself to go out and do stuff even when I can barely get out of bed.  The positive thing is that I have been through this stuff before and I know eventually it will be better, even if there is some tough road ahead, but still, in the grand scheme of life experiences, having severe depression three times is really not at the top of the list.  Some people win the lottery, I fall into funks.  Where's the fairness in that?

I realize this is a pretty heavy topic for my ridiculous, "look-at-me-I-fall-down-a-lot" blog.  I'm also a little embarrassed because people I know read this and I like people around me to think I am happy-go-lucky and perky and marvelous and attractive, but I want to be honest about my life and this is the crap I am wallowing in right now.  

I also know I shouldn't be embarrassed about all of this crap, and that maybe by talking about it this will help someone going through this for the first time to know that there's always a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how deep in the hideously awful hole of depression you may be.  A wise person once said that this, too, will pass, and that's true, no matter how trite and ridiculous it seems.

A depression isn't a never-ending hole from some terrible action movie, after all.  It's just a dent in the surface of the normal, and I'm confident that I'm going to regain my footing and move along soon.