I have a hilariously inappropriate story to share. (That's a good way to start a post, isn't it?)
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Posted by Penny Lane at 11:57 PM
Monday, November 30, 2009
I'm sorry it's been so long since I've written anything. The past few weeks have been so hectic with school. I turned in a 30 page paper two weeks ago, last week was Thanksgiving of course, and now I have just two weeks left to write two more papers. Busy, busy, busy. And none of it is good. Every semester has been hard, but this one...I don't know what's been so unbearable but it just feels worse. Soon, it will be over, and I'm already taking study breaks to peruse Amazon for fun books to read on the break. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel whether we can see it or not.
Posted by Penny Lane at 2:59 PM
Friday, November 13, 2009
"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," Kate Moss tells Women's Wear Daily in a new interview.
Way to advocate eating disorders. For girls that already want to look like Kate Moss, or any supermodel, now she's telling us how. Our society is fucked up.
Posted by Penny Lane at 4:35 PM
Friday, November 6, 2009
I'm a feminist. GASP!
Posted by Penny Lane at 12:42 AM
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I didn't sleep well last night. Before I climbed into bed, I submitted a paper abstract for a conference. A major, really awesome, very big deal conference.
Posted by Penny Lane at 1:23 PM
Monday, November 2, 2009
I was on Carolina Girl's blog the other day and saw that she looked up her keyword analysis on Google Analytics. I figured I'd give it a shot too.
Posted by Penny Lane at 11:47 AM
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sight: I love watching my puppy sleep soundly, I love seeing the crinkles form around my boyfriend's eyes when he smiles, I love seeing a clean kitchen after turning it into a huge mess, I love looking out at the still and beautiful lake across from my parents' house because no matter what it calms me, and I love looking around at all the Vol Orange in Neyland Stadium.
Hearing: I love hearing the sound of my mom's laugh, I love the sound of the piano, I love city sounds outside my window like cars whizzing past, sirens blaring and trucks stumbling over potholes, I love hearing my boyfriend say "I love you" especially when it seems to come out of nowhere, I love the sound of the ocean but doesn't everyone, and I love hearing my tiny shih tzu do her "big girl bark" when she hears a sound that scares her.
Smell: My favorite smell is olive oil mmm, I love Glade Plug-Ins, I love the smell of clean clothes coming out of the dryer, I used to love my Papaw's smell but sadly I can't remember it as clearly anymore, I love the smell of good red wine, I love the smell of the mountains after rain and the smell of hotdogs at Yankee Stadium.
Touch: I love touching my legs after a shave, I love running my hands on my boyfriend's back and shoulders, I love using my hands to cook and touching the food with my fingers, I love feeling a sharp knife cut easily through vegetables, I love it when my boyfriend touches me anywhere but mostly when his lips touch mine and it's like time freezes in that moment, I love how the hot sun feels on my skin, and I also love cuddling up with one of my best friends on the couch.
Taste: I could go on and on about my favorite foods but I'll try to pick just a few like steak, ripe tomatoes, peanut butter, melted cheese, I think my most favorite taste of all is a bite into a Patsy's pizza, I love how the taste of saltwater is on your lips hours after you were in the ocean, I love how clean my mouth tastes after I gargle Listerine and I love the taste of cold, domestic, light beer cuz it tastes so good when it hits your lips.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Hi, ya. I'm procrastinating and thought instead of editing a draft that's due tomorrow, I'd post a blog about what I've been doing lately and some favorites.
Posted by Penny Lane at 6:39 PM
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday was another awesome night in the A.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I've never cheated on anyone, though I have been cheated on. I'm not exactly sure what cheating is. Physical contact? Physical contact and/or emotional feelings? I had a friend whose fiancé broke up with her, then immediately started dating one of their mutual friends. I don't believe this guy cheated physically, but I do believe he cheated emotionally. Not sure which is worse.
Posted by Penny Lane at 1:02 PM
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Yay! The weekend was perfect. The Yellow Jackets even beat the No. 4 team in the country! I love it when underdogs win. Especially when they're my underdogs.
Posted by Penny Lane at 3:06 PM
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Now, if you don't mind my bloggy friends, I would like to mush a bit.
Posted by Penny Lane at 3:38 PM
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I have nothing interesting to say! I can either complain profusely about how busy I am with school this semester and how much I hate my classes. Or I can spew out lovey-dovey mush about how awesome and perfect my boyfriend is. Neither topic is interesting. But my brain seems totally consumed with only those two thoughts. Sigh.
My last post was about some huge, exciting research news about an illness I have. I don't talk about being sick, I don't like talking about it, I don't even like acknowledging it. Most of my friends don't even know actually. It's not that I have anything to be ashamed about, I know I don't. It's just not a good feeling to admit that something's wrong with you, and I'd much rather continue letting everyone treat me as though I'm perfectly fine and normal. Also, I really hate explaining it to people. I hate the name of the disease. I hate that there hasn't been enough research conducted and that not enough people (including doctors) understand it.
I have a friend who has diabetes. It's not something she advertises either, but it's something that she does have to tell people every once in awhile if she's eating with them. As soon as she says, "i have diabetes," the conversation can end there. Everyone knows what it is. Everyone knows how it works and how it affects people. We're taught about it in health class, and most people know someone or have known someone who has it. I am not diminishing diabetes or any other illness. I know how serious it is. But I do wish that my conversations about having what I have would go as smoothly and as simply. (Not that hers always do, of course.)
"Tired" is subjective. No one knows what that means. I hate explaining just how tired I am or how my disease makes me feel. The worst is when people joke that they have it too. Annoying! It's not like if I said, "I have arthritis," anyone would say, "Oh yeah! I think I do too because sometimes my joints ache." It's a stupid named illness that confuses even doctors. Blah. So I don't like talking about it. But I was so excited about the research, I just had to share it. I sent the article to my mom and boyfriend and posted it here for all of you nice people. Maybe little things like that can help spread awareness.
Thank God every day for your health. I still do.
Posted by Penny Lane at 3:55 PM
Friday, October 9, 2009
By Amanda Gardner THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- About two-thirds of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome sampled in a recent study were infected with a retrovirus called XMRV
Retrovirus May Be at Root of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Study finds two-thirds of those with the mysterious illness infected with XMRV
By Amanda Gardner
THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- About two-thirds of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome sampled in a recent study were infected with a retrovirus called XMRV
The finding, albeit preliminary, has raised hopes that there might be a concrete cause for the mysterious malady and thus, down the line, treatments for the disease.
"This study does not prove that XMRV is the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, however it does suggest it is a viable candidate for a cause," said Robert H. Silverman, co-author of a report appearing online Oct. 8 in Science.
"But if it can be proven that the virus causes the disease, that would be a breakthrough in diagnosing, combating and preventing the disease," added Silverman, a professor of cancer biology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute. "There could be an antiretroviral drug that could prevent this virus from replicating."
Another expert was similarly hopeful.
"This article could give a spark of hope, one, that chronic fatigue syndrome is caused by something, and two, if that bears out, maybe we could do something about it," said Dr. Tamara Kuittinen, an emergency with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Chronic fatigue syndrome was first recognized in the late 1980s and initially dubbed the "yuppie flu," resulting in an enduring credibility crisis.
Some segments of the medical community do not believe it is a discrete illness because there is no known cause, and diagnosis can only be made through excluding other conditions, such as depression.
Possible explanations for the disease have been far-reaching, ranging from different viruses, including Epstein-Barr, enteroviruses and herpes, to childhood trauma.
Recently, XMRV was detected in prostate cancer patients and in prostate tumor biopsies. Like other retroviruses, it can activate latent viruses in the body, such as Epstein-Barr, which has been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome.
For this study, researchers analyzed 101 blood samples taken from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and found the virus in 68 of the samples, as compared with only eight samples in 218 healthy patients (67 percent versus 3.7 percent).
Although 3.7 percent seems a small proportion, the authors do note that this could mean millions of people are infected with a virus whose effects are as yet unknown.
Retroviruses, a group that includes both XMRV and HIV, have genomes made of RNA instead of DNA.
"When the virus infects cells, the RNA gets copied into the DNA, then the DNA inserts itself or integrates into the host DNA," explained Silverman. "One of the many problems with with retroviruses is that it's very difficult to actually cure the patient because the virus DNA becomes part of the infected person's DNA. Patients need to continually take drugs to keep it from replicating."
XMRV is simpler than HIV, though, Silverman added, which is a good thing. "It's a kind of stripped down version of a retrovirus. It has just the genes required for infection and replication. We could probably stop it with an antiretroviral drug."
There's also the possibility that a vaccine would prevent people from being infected in the first place.
But, stressed Silverman, "there are lots of qualifiers because it hasn't actually been proven that it causes disease, although the evidence looks pretty intriguing. This is an area that needs more research."
Posted by Penny Lane at 12:04 PM
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Have you seen previews for that new movie The Invention of Lying? It looks hilarious and has a star-studded cast, as they say. The premise is that no one in the world lies. They just tell the ugly truth bluntly all the time. I saw a preview where a waiter walks up to their table in a restaurant and says, "I can't believe I work here. You're pretty. Too pretty for your date. Can I take your order?"
Posted by Penny Lane at 5:41 PM
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I'm fuckin' grouchy.
I don't know what it is. I guess the stress is getting to me. This semester is positively going to be the hardest yet. I haven't had a semester with so much work. I have an average of two papers due every week, and just thinking about it is making me more irritable and angrier. I'm used to having more to do than is possible to get done, but nothing close to the amount of work facing me in the next 3 1/2 months. And it all just makes me feel less like myself. And less like anyone else.
My jaw is clenched, I'm having trouble sleeping, I think I have a permanent scowl, and I really just want to be grumpy and all alone. The bf is being, as usual, absolutely perfect, which is also for some inexplicable reason irritating. I'm so ridiculously grouchy I can only laugh at myself.
Last night, we went to dinner with his friends. In total, there were ten of us. I like his friends, I do. They're kind and always make an effort to talk to me and make me feel welcome. But I also feel hella uncomfortable around them. They've been friends for 12 years. They're all married to their college sweetheart. And they've only lived in Atlanta and nowhere else. Honestly, I find it all a bit creepy. I'm the person I am today because I left home. I'm also the person I am today because I had several years to be on my own and really get to know myself.
I feel so judgmental and awful about these feelings, but I can't help it. I just think it's all so weird. I don't know people like this, who never left home, who've spent every weekend with the same people for more than a decade straight. There's really nothing wrong with it, they're good people, but it still just creeps me the F out.
I have two friends who married their college sweethearts. They're old friends and friends I see once a year and probably talk to two or three times a year. One of them married a guy she started dating at 19. But then at 22, she moved 8 hours away from him to a city and state far from anyone familiar. Three years later, they got married and he joined her, but she still had those years of independence to explore herself and experience something challenging and new. The other friend started dating her husband at about 21, and after college, they moved across the country together and lived in California for a few years. Then they moved again, this time to Texas, and after a couple years there, they got married. Yes, they experienced these changes together, but at least they took a chance on themselves and did something out of the ordinary.
The word that comes to mind is "cute." It's cute that his friends have been with their spouses since they were 19 or 20. It's cute that they live in the same town they grew up in and will probably never live anywhere else. It's cute that their social lives still revolve around the same group of friends that they did at 18. It's like an old movie or TV show or something. It's old-fashioned and traditional and conventional...and creepy.
The worst of it all really is that every time I'm with them, it's always in a large group, and they always reminiscence about people and events that I know nothing about. After they share a few good laughs, someone will notice that I'm staring around blankly and between fits of laughter, they'll recount the "hilarious" story to me. I'm always on the outside looking in. And I always will be. Part of me doesn't care, I think to myself, "Well, I'm never going to know all these stories, I'm never going to be part of this group, and I'm never going to be as close with them as they are with each other."
Last night, out of ten people seven of them went to college together. And the other two went to nearby colleges and started dating someone in the group when they were 19. And then there's me, the ultimate outsider. They tease me for being a Tennessee fan, for going to a different college. It makes me want to scream that most people in the 21st century don't marry someone that went to their own college.
The other part of me pushes me to continue trying, to stay positive, to not let any of it get me down. Because I love him, and I want to spend the rest of my life with him. Which means I'll also spend it with them. Eventually, they have to stop talking about the good old college days, right? Right?
My only real consolation is that even though my special someone also never left the city in which he was raised, he knows there's something wrong with that and is eager to move somewhere new. Before we met, he tried hard to move to California because it was far away from everything familiar. And just last week, he very seriously asked me if we could live in New York. He loves it there and has been talking about moving there for awhile. My answer? "Yes, yes, yes!"
Anyone see a trash can? I need to throw away my grouchy attitude and put on a smile.
Posted by Penny Lane at 2:28 PM
Friday, September 11, 2009
I miss Gristedes and its miniature aisles and miniature shopping carts.
I miss skyscrapers and a real city skyline.
I miss Smalls, JJ's Diner, B-Bar, Brother Jimmy's, St. Mark's, the Chelsea Hotel and East Sixth's Indian Row.
I miss hailing cabs.
I miss brunch every Sunday no matter what.
I miss walking on city streets on busy days and energetic evenings.
I miss everyone wearing black.
I miss street fairs.
I miss jackets in September...sort-of.
I miss the smells! I'm not a good sniffer. My answer is always, "No," to "Ew! Do you smell that?!" but NYC I can smell. I miss the smell of the subway and the leather of the cabs. I miss the smell of Gray's Papaya and Ray's slices.
I miss the flower stalls on the corner and the flaky croissants from the street vendors.
I miss the pigeons!
I miss street performers that are actually talented.
I miss endless possibilities.
I miss never being alone.
I miss the corner store.
I miss bridges that look like works of art...instead of concrete monstrosities painted yellow.
I miss small artsy theater and bars with gimics.
I miss nights out in the Bowery and SoHo on Saturday afternoons.
I miss you, Manhattan, and I promise to visit soon. Cheers to you and your inextinguishable spirit eight years later.
Friday, September 4, 2009
1. Asking "Is this going to be on the test?"
2. Asking "Are you going to give us a study guide?"
3. Asking "Do I really have to buy the textbook?"
4. When students put their heads on their desk and close their eyes like we're playing Heads Up, 7-Up, and then scowl at me angrily when I wake their lazy asses up. Because I'm bothering them.
5. Falling asleep in class is less annoying than checking Facebook or writing emails.
6. Getting ridiculous emails at the end of the semester that simply read: "hey prof can you change my grade from a c+ to a b-?"
7. Note the lack of capital letters or punctuation in #5. We hate that too. By the way, "you" is not spelled "u." Text speak isn't the way real people talk.
* Sadly, all very true stories.
Posted by Penny Lane at 8:48 AM
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
First, thank you to everyone who responded to my poll last week. And I'm pretty sure it worked as a polite warning so thanks. It's always good to hear your opinions and get your advice. My internet friends are just like real friends! Kinda funny, but true. I've caught myself telling a story a few times that happened to "a friend" and realizing that I actually read it on one of your blogs!
And I should also add that this isn't entirely his fault because I could have (and should have) walked away at any point. Eventually with a few grand gestures, he apologized months later. It was genuine and heartfelt, I believe. We tried to be friends for 3 or 4 years. I know, I know, but we'd known each other since we were 12. And I knew that I was a different person when we dated so maybe the same was true for him. He said he changed, and I loved him. I knew him inside and out and...believed in him, believed he could change. Famous last words.
That's right, I said it. Just like foosball and little girls - Facebook is the devil and the Internet is the devil's playground.
Posted by Penny Lane at 1:56 PM
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Posted by Penny Lane at 12:10 PM
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Hello, ladies! I have a question for you and am eager to hear your responses. If you blog about it, post a comment so I can check it out asap.
Posted by Penny Lane at 11:08 AM
HBO’s new series, Hung, is compelling, controversial and bringing in high ratings for the network. For those of who don’t know, the plot centers on “Ray,” a high school history teacher and basketball coach. When we meet Ray, he is at rock bottom. Once the star athlete, Ray lost a promising future in major league baseball to a tragic career-ending injury. His beautiful wife left him for the class nerd, now a successful dentist, and in the pilot episode, we watch his house burn down in a tragic accident. He foolishly let the insurance lapse and has no money for the repairs so he moves into a small camping tent in his backyard. His kids move in with their mother, and he’s left desolate, broken and alone. Like many down on their luck in this rotten economy, Ray enrolls in a “get rich quick” course and makes a startling decision – he will become a male prostitute.
Posted by Penny Lane at 12:58 AM
Monday, August 17, 2009
One of my all-time favorite things to do is read fiction. When I was little, I always had a book with me. I'd stay up late at night with a flashlight to read so my mom wouldn't know I was still up. I ended up majoring in English in college where reading fiction was actually my homework. And when I was deciding what to get a graduate degree in, I seriously considered literature...until I learned about the dismal job prospects.
Posted by Penny Lane at 1:12 PM
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Oh geez. So I'm breaking up with alcohol forever. We've had fights before, but nothing like two days ago. It was so major it should have been televised on pay-per-view with slutty girls in little bikinis holding up signs.