Heels On Fire

Oh, no. I’m melodramatic about SCHOOL. Already! The horror!

Eh, whatever.

Man. So a month or so ago, I bought these really awesome Privo, light-as-a-feather, black shoes that I could wear into the office without being thrown back onto the street. And I loved them! They’re appropriate for business casual AND concert-black. Er, I mean, I guess a lot of shoes do that. But these are COMFORTABLE. Like walking on AIR. And not having your narrow heels swimming around in the back of the shoe, as mine typically do.

So I don’t know what gives, but today as I walked to and from the office, I found that these shoes were rubbing my heels raw! No idea why. I think my running shoes have slowly been doing a number on my heels, and this may have something to do with it. But ow! The pain! This is no little walk, either. I live just about a mile from school/said office, and heel-shoe-rubbing is probably one of the least-awesome things that can happen during a walk of that length. It’s made even worse by happy-go-lucky people on the street. People who smile at me when they walk past. I think they come out when they know I’m miserable. Because while their expression to you reads “I LOVE LIFE,” all I want to shriek is “MY HEELS BLEED.”

So I did possibly the most ridiculous thing and shoved my pants into the heel part of my shoe. Yep. I’m awesome.

I’m also tired.

The end.

Um, Grr.

I must admit, the school of music which I attend has done one or two things to hack me off during my time there so far, but my hopes for the next year were that we could coexist peacefully and then I could think well of it by the time I left next May.

Aaaaaand, yeah. Things aren’t looking too hopeful for that happening.

Commence me hating school before it even starts.

I Know. Bad Me.

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in doing other things that are not blogging, such as talking on Skype or cooking things or CLEANING MY KITCHEN. For real. Without a dishwasher, half the time in the kitchen is for cleaning purposes.

I just realized that the school-year is upon us, and that…maybe sucks a little.

Honey, I’m Hoooome!

Och, yes. I know. Bad me. I’m sorry. Boo hoo. Bad blogger.

Being back in Rochester is never as bad as anticipating being back in Rochester, or driving long distances to get to Rochester. Once I get past those parts it’s really not so bad.

But for the record, I’ve decided that for someplace this far away from home, Rochester could stand to be slightly more awesome or less-snowy or something. Seriously. The way I see it is that the further from home I go, the awesomer the place should be to make that distance worth it. So, say, if I lived in Cleveland, that’d make more sense. Because from what I hear Cleveland, while crime-ridden and lake-effect snow-getting like Rochester, is okay. I mean, Cleveland has Trader Joe’s so it must be okay. Boston, see, that’d be worth the distance. So would, say, Berlin. I would move to Berlin any day, given the opportunity. But then again, sometimes I think I’m just about 60 years too late. Rochester would definitely be worth it 60 years ago.

Anyway. I make little sense.

But yeah. I’ve been thinking of starting up a little…”I Live In Rochester” blog-entry event, in which I write entries about things I like about Rochester when I need a good reminder, things like…oh, Indian Buffets or proximity to many many excellent places to hike. Or when I write entries ranting about things that annoy me about Rochester, such as the weather or how there is no real direct way from downtown to anything important and commerce-y unless you want to hate traffic or take the thruway and essentially double the number of miles one needs to drive to get to the commerc-y areas and…


Anyway. Carry on.


Well, now I actually do have to go back to Rochester. And I still don’t want to. There are few things that feel as if they’d be more of a pain-in-the-ass than going back to Rochester. And I know it won’t be so bad once I’m there, but…blah.

So…there you go.

Advancements Can Still Be Made

Big Note: I wrote this entry about a week ago, and while everything I say remains true, the thing I figured would happen has happened and instead of remaining constantly giddy and exciting, I’m going a bit back and forth with the way I feel and general life outlook. STILL, though, I feel worlds better than I did before, and I’m pretty sure things are only getting better from here. Proceed!

I am here to talk to you more about this whole hormonal contraceptive business. Seriously. Let’s talk.

First of all, I want to put a disclaimer here: I am a greatly feeling person and I experience all sorts of these crazy things one calls emotions. Highs. Lows. Ups. Downs. The works. I like to ride these things out and appreciate what I can of each one, bad or awesome. I also realize that sometimes my emotions take the things going on in my life and dramatize them by about 500x. If you read my blog or know me in real life, you probably also realize this. That said, I am doing my utmost in this entry to be objective, straight-forward, and non-feeling about how taking some hormone-altering drugs has been for me. In other-words: I tried, kiddies!

The story of my starting taking hormonal contraceptives: I decided to start taking oral contraceptives over a year ago, because these freaking monthly cramps I was experiencing were rendering me useless and miserable for two days a month. Many many friends (and my doctor-person) I’d talked to said that birth control had pretty much made their lives manageable, and maybe had some other added benefits like making one’s skin happier, or less of a PMS experience. I hemmed and hawed about the possible side-effects, but in the end went “screw it!” The whole sudden-having-of-boyfriend thing happened coincidentally around the same time, fyi.

What happened: Oh, things happened. Good things. The cramps got better. My skin was AWESOME. I experienced minimal weight-gain. Maybe a few initial lbs that later came off. Maybe my PMS symptoms were better. Who knows!

But bad things: Oh, there were bad things. They say that it usually takes a couple months for one’s body to acclimate to this stuff, and that any negative side-effects could take time showing up, or even fade after that initial period of time. Well DAMN, if it took me forever to figure out that birth control was making me miserable. It happened so slowly and subtly that it was impossible to know if school/Rochester-living/whatever was stressing me out or it was the birth-control. The things that finally clued me in were: random, constant and unpredictable crying when I experienced ANY kind of emotion, the “winter blues” that pretty much never went away even by the time June came along and the weather was all non-wintery. I also noticed a distinct lack of creative energy, the thing that usually pulls me out of my life-slumps. Also: not to say way too much here, but oral contraceptives were apparently way effective in that they pretty much made me 100% disinterested in that which gives them purpose. Yep. I was miserable, to say the least, and after switching to a brand with smaller dosage, I only found myself MORE CONSTANTLY depressed and miserable.

After getting off the stuff: I know this is only about two weeks after being officially off of this hormonal birth-control crap, but I cannot tell you how different I feel. I mean, yes I can, and now I will. Here is how I feel different:

DRIVE: The most notable thing I’ve lacked in the past year is drive of any sort. And with that, enthusiasm. Which is a damn shame because I’m pretty sure random unbridled enthusiasm is the reason I’ve managed to get as far as I have. Drive is also what inspires me to create things. Without this, I’m useless.

CELLO: I am ashamed, really truly ashamed, to admit to the internet or to ANYONE how little I practiced or gave a crap about cello during this past school-year and especially this past semester. I’ve always had some enthusiastic love for cello and learning how to play, and it’s been as though that very thing has been sucked from me, and with it the idea that I want anything to do with the cello or classical music. Great situation to be in when one is a graduate student at…the school I go to. As of last week, I’m actually practicing again. Like, I wake up in the morning I have this urge to go play the cello, and then I go do it and it makes me feel GOOD. I have this desire to learn notes and sound good. I think this is connected to the general “drive” thing listed above. I can’t even remember the last time I felt that way. Well over a year ago.

OUTLOOK ON LIFE: It’s true that I like to feel emotions, good and bad. And while I’ve experienced life-blahs and periods of anxiety or down-ness or whatever, I’ve never felt depressed to the point where I’ve felt like my life is a useless waste and all I can think about is the far-off future when I’m bound to be disappointed with my life before my own death, i.e., totally ambivalent about life. I’ve never felt so helpless or hopeless or unable to appreciate some aspect of what’s going on around me in life. It’s not something you can force somebody who doesn’t know what it’s like to understand, this weird “sadness” that won’t go away no matter what you do to make yourself feel better or what you immerse yourself in. I felt like shit. Continually. I couldn’t be happy in the ways I once could. I couldn’t be happy running around in the trees or sunshine. I couldn’t be happy listening to music. I couldn’t be happy around the people who I like to be around. I was so convinced that my feeling so bad was due to life in general, I couldn’t dare to hope that quitting birth control would make it better.

But it did. Around a week after I quit, I would wake up in the morning and feel good. Full or purpose. Full of enthusiasm. Full of life. Like I had things to accomplish and stuff to ENJOY. OH, THE THINGS TO ENJOY. I’m kind of perpetually giddy and excited about stuff now, and it’s great. I feel like I’ve stepped out of the shadows and am the me I’ve been for the last 20-whatever years.

I can’t be the only one. Side-effects of birth-control pills are so varied person-to-person, and some people don’t experience a thing. But there are definitely other people out there who have had/are having a miserable time of life right now. I’ve talked to some of them.


I have to agree that birth-control has come along way, and being this readily available for women is a big step and I’m glad for it. However. I have been reading about this crap for a while now, and there are some things I take issue with. For one: the fact that if there was a birth-control option of this sort with these kinds of symptoms for MEN, the FDA wouldn’t approve it (I’ve read this in several articles and a sex-ed book). That speaks worlds to me, and really says that despite awesome medical discoveries and advancements of the last century, things have a lot further to go. Also: it is much, much easier and less time-consuming for a doctor to write a prescription for an oral contraceptive than it is to fit someone for a diaphragm or cervical cap, which probably points many more people towards that option. And here’s the thing that especially freaks me out: while studies are almost nonexistent, it is suspected that hormonal methods of birth control can have effects on sex-drive and libido that are slow to reverse, or possibly even irreversible. Dear people: DO MORE STUDIES.

I don’t know. I know not everyone has such a crappy time with this stuff. But I had it bad enough that I never want to do that again. My suggestion to anyone considering taking hormonal contraceptives — know the facts. Be aware of what might happen. Check out some other cool options. And do what you must, I guess.

Two Notable Things Of Note

1) I suddenly have money! I mean, I’ve had money. Especially in consideration of the fact that I’m still basically supported by my excellent parents. But I don’t like asking my parents for more than what they send me on a monthly basis, and that one plane-ticket purchase to SF pretty much did me in. Since then I’ve had only enough to keep up with bills and such, and since I’m really not comfortable spending money that does not exist via credit card, I’ve just lived with it. Now, though, my bank account is full and happy. I have a decent cushion for normal spending, which is much how I’d prefer it. A special thanks goes to the 100-some-odd dollars that were in my old ISU checking account. Why did I still have a helpful sum of money in my ISU checking account? Because I’m stupid. That’s why.

2) In the continuing story of Gummi Bears making me have weird allergic reactions, I am making even more connections from the past involving this stuff (general note: I don’t think I’m allergic to the Gummi Bears themselves, but rather the Red and Blue dyes. Makes sense. Right?). To go back even further, right as everyone was departing Europe after the 2006 YOA tour where I was all sickly and pathetic, I broke out in the most heinous hives ever to be experienced by the likes of poor, sad Talia. My face bloated and turned red, itched. I’m pretty sure I was feverish. So, yes! Biggest allergic reaction ever. I’m glad I didn’t die. But what caused it? Well, there was A) the fact that when I had first gotten sick in the South of France and they had taken me to the doctor, said French doctor with crazy glasses said I had a throat infection and gave me antibiotics. However, what I really had was mono, and as it turns out, certain antibiotics can react with mono so that one has an allergic reaction B) The antibiotic given to me contained penicillin, which I had no idea at the time I was probably allergic to. I finally figured it out when I got off that plane at O’Hare Airport, met my parents and my Dad said “Oh, Talia, you look just like when I had a reaction to penicillin!” And the my Mom said “Oh, yes, just like when I reacted from penicillin, too.” And then I said “WHAT.” C) I remember, just now, that I had been eating Gummi Bears during that last day in England. For like, stress relief, or something. Connection? Perhaps.

So I’m not saying that Red and Blue dyes caused my body to go all crazy that one time in Europe, but my guess is that they did not help the situation.


I saw Mulholland Dr. for the first time, maybe a week ago. Since then I’ve thought a few times that it’s worth rewatching for my own sanity. And then last night I dreamt I watched Mulholland Dr. for a second time.

I don’t know. What else is there to talk about?

Yesterday I went to Trader Joe’s and found their own brand of Gummi Penguins. I’m pretty certain they dono’t have the evil weird dyes that I’m allergic to. So maybe all is not lost.

Good Weekend?

What’s. Up. I almost hit a fairly large turtle crossing a busy street in Aurora.

And I went to Kara and Eric’s wedding! And hung out with Megan the Red! Good weekend.


Aw, man, I think I’m severely allergic to the dye in Haribo Gummi Bears. Which is crappy, as they have been the “extreme road-trip” candy of choice.

But it also explains why when I got to Colorado last summer my throat was all swollen but non-hurting and I was getting bumps on the back of my tongue that made me think I was going to die, as I’d eaten probably an entire bag of gummi bears in a very short amount of time. The same is happening now, but fortunately not as severely. Probably because I’m not all sick on top of that.

Oh well.


I am enjoying being home quite a lot.

Like, kind of a lot more than one might think given that I grew up in a not-huge town in some cornfields in the Midwest.

I’ve missed the friendly people. Seriously. People in the Midwest are really damn friendly. I’ve missed the flat-ness (hey, shut up, maybe I don’t like heights or scenery or whatever). I’ve missed dealing with fewer stupid drivers on the roads. Hell, I’ve even missed the humidity, in some convoluted and very hard-to-explain way that I know makes me sound crazy.

So to conclude: home is good, and I do NOT want to go back to Rochester next week. But hey. That’s about a million years from now.

My Goal

So, my goal, for the rest of the summer, or maybe even forever, is to blog one entry, every day. Even if it’s just one sentence or one string of words or one word.

It can’t be that hard. Right? RIGHT?!?

So, I Tried, And Stuff!

I typed this ridiculously long entry last night and didn’t publish it so that I could edit and look for those stupid things I do wrong with words, and then my internet was dead when I woke up this morning. Dedd. I officially have the worst internet functionality karma in the universe. Or maybe just in my family.

I’m driving back to IL tomorrow, and my ISP won’t be able to come and fix things until I’m back in over a week, so…yeah. Expect no updates from me! Ever again! — Hah, kidding. Kidding. Maybe.

Alright then.


I feel like a real person, for the first time in quite possibly over a year. I’m not making this shit up. This is like the third day in a row in which I’ve gotten up and basically said “yeehaw,” and felt good about life and ACTUALLY WANTED TO DO THINGS.


Thank you, and good night.


I hardly have words for how much I love the local cows or their butter. I mean, really. How can I have lived this long without tasting farm-fresh, non-grocery store butter from local cows, during the summer when the cows are eating greens and the butter is oh-so-yellow?

Today was a good day. I: hiked Bald Mt. and holy hell’s bells it was crowded and nowhere near as hard or life-threatening as Mt. Washington (the last mountain I climbed); successfully navigated my way through obscure backroads by myself in order to drop my cousin off at a the house of a friend who claims he saw a frozen arm in the road about 1/4 mile from his house but that it was gone by the time people got there to investigate and I am suspicious; enjoyed some nice, warm, dry weather of the sort that is not ideal for slugs (I hate slugs more than I hate centipedes or silverfish, so yeah); ate a smore. just one. it’s all i needed; ate more butter; noted that Alan Cumming is doing the opening for Masterpiece Theater/Mystery; bonded with cousins I rarely see.

Man. I don’t want to go back to Rochester. But what are you going to do. Things I am going to do when I get back to Rochester that will balance my life: practice lots; run; watch MST3k; watch movies of many sorts; seek weird music on the internet; blog; be outdoorsy; not eat butter and starch all the time; start a knitting project; get some damn plants for my livingroom with a thousand windows; read Infinite Jest.

Hey! I am actually only one day behind on Infinite Jest according to the official Infinite Summer schedule. While that is in fact extremely awesome, it also means that I read something like 50 pages in one day yesterday and OW MY BRAIN.

I Hope That Truck On The Driveway Doesn’t Back Into My Car

Hi. I’m in Remsen/Steuben/somewhere between Route 12 and Route 46. It’s rainy here. There are lots of slugs. Apparently Booneville has their 4th of July fireworks on the 3rd. But apparently I’ll get to see the Fireworks of something like 20+ fireworks displays from surrounding towns/villes from the top of the hill tonight. Fun!

Happy 4th, one reader!

Get Ready To Soil Your Plants!

One other very important item I forgot to put on the “I am enjoying” list is Plants vs. Zombies. Behold:

Seriously. This is the best game ever. If you want proof, just check out how I pretty much can’t do anything but play the game.

Also, this:

Yeah. If you’re a person, you should play this game. The End.

You Won’t Find The Crazy One Here!

listening to: cLOUDDEAD – Apt. A (2)

The thing about blogging on a regular basis is that if you only do it once a week it’s not really a regular basis. Getting out of the habit is sometimes problematic. I’m going to try to get myself back into the habit and then let things move from there.

Yes. Things here have been whatever. I dropped Tim off at the Buffalo airport last Wednesday and things since then have been weird and sometimes lonely. And then really busy. How am I this busy?! I have a non-paying internship and a maybe-four-times-a-month hourly-pay job. That doesn’t sound busy to me. But it IS! The internship is actually pretty great. It may be non-paying, but those people, they LOVE me, because I’m coming in and doing whatever they want/need on my OWN TIME. Also, the experience. Also, the company.

So, this entry will be in three parts: 1) Things What Are Broken 2) Things I Am Listening To 3) Things I Am Enjoying

1) The freezer. It’s broken. The ice-cream is not frozen. The meat is barely frozen and must be thrown out. The fruit is semi-frozen. The ice-cubes are frozen. But only the ice-cubes, and only after hours of sitting and chilling in said broken freezer. Also, the wireless router. I guess it’s not really broken, but man is it not functioning. That thing was just bought last year! What. Okay, that’s all I can think of.

2) cLOUDDEAD. The Dirty Projectors. Black Moth Super Rainbow. Stereolab’s Mars Audiac Quintet. Carla Kihlstedt.

3) Knitting. I’m knitting! And I’m not terrible (though I still have problems changing yarn colors)! I’ve mastered the knit stich and the purl stich, and stockinette and RIBBING and soon I’m going to start a real project, even though sometimes I still have issues binding off. And come winter, I will have probably too many scarves. The Harry Potter movies. In preparation for the 6th one, I’ve been watching them (some of them with my pal Kayleigh), and…man. I gotta say. The fifth one is probably my favorite. And the casting of all these movies is just amazing. I mean, come on. Alan Rickman? Kenneth Branaugh?! DAVID THEWLIS?! CRAZY GARY OLDMAN!?!? And don’t forget Helena Bonham Carter. The first two movies are big rounds of cheese with amazing casting in the middle. The rest contain occasional cheese with amazing casting. Win-win. Infinite Jest. I am behind where I should be for official page-count, but whatever. I’m reading it and doing okay and actually reading the 6-page filmography footnote. See?! I’m taking it seriously. Not being crazy. I’m starting to feel like a grounded, normal, excitable, not-dreading-things Talia again. Everyone likes this Talia better. It’s a proven fact.