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Standing Up For What’s Right

April 23, 2013

As someone who was schooled in the suburbs of Boston, I had Beantown on the top of my mind all of last week. Many members of my Stonehill family and beyond were there on race day, enjoying Marathon Monday and the positive energy and euphoria that’s often associated with the epic race. Thankfully, those present for whom I care a great deal managed to stay out of harm’s way, but it still sickens my stomach to think of the horrific events that came from an event that’s supposed to be anything but awful.

As you know, I’ve been coping with a broken leg since early February. It’s been a difficult road, but the Boston Marathon tragedy really puts things in perspective: I have my legs, and I will walk, run, and play again. It’s hard to even empathize with those who lost limbs, like the courageous and heroic Jeff Bauman, but my heart is with them. They’re in my thoughts as they embark on a road that will be far more difficult than my own recovery, and I can only hope that they’ll have support as I did over the past few months.

Now, as a positive person, I wish I could transition to a topic that’s a little more cheerful, but I can’t help but share a story about human nature that isn’t so hunky-dory. Commuting en crutch isn’t exactly easy. My travel time to-and-from work has essentially tripled, but thankfully, I can do it—and I can do it alone. Hobbling down my block, descending the subway stairs, and negotiating my way through Times Square and into my office building is really quite the process, made ever more difficult by the fact that I can’t really stand and stabilize myself within a rickety subway car. Some people have been incredibly courteous, jumping out of their seats to offer me some solace for the ride. Others, though, lack any degree of common courtesy, and pretend to not see the girl in an ankle-to-thigh knee brace and crutches, holding on for dear life in a zipping subway car. However, as obnoxious as those New Yorkers are, I’ve got a fiber of boldness, too: I’m never afraid to [politely] ask someone to stand up so I can sit down. However, it’s a shame that others aren’t as willing to ask for a seat when they really need it.

Case in point: this past Sunday, I was on the Downtown 1, Penn Station-bound, when a little old lady boarded at 42nd St., pushing an oxygen cart that fed two tubes into her nose. She moved into a corner, and proceeded to hold the pole and stand when no one relinquished their seat for her. It absolutely appalled me! I might be on crutches, but I know when someone needs a seat more than I do. So, I got up, gave her my seat, and chatted with her until I exited at the next stop. She was a precious little thing. We had a lovely chat, and she even complimented my dress! It just breaks my heart to know that she has to cope with society’s insensitivities—and will have to for the rest of her life.

Whatever happened to exercising good manners?! Thanks to those of you who, as the subway’s say, “stand up” for what’s right. Those of us who are disabled—temporarily or permanently—appreciate it more than you know. Now go out there and be a good person!

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I’M BACK.

March 25, 2013

“Dr. D, when am I allowed to wear high heels?” #priorities

Today was a momentous morning. 50 days since The Great Fall of 2013, I received the long-awaited and excellent news that my knee is finally healed. And with healing comes that little novelty known as WALKING. But unfortunately, actually putting one foot in front of the other is no easy feat for me at this point. I can’t believe how much I took my previous ambulation for granted! Tomorrow, though, marks the second half of my road to recovery. I’ll embark on eight weeks of thrice-weekly physical therapy sessions, to rebuild my right leg, and return it to its previous state of normalcy. The first step, though, is to re-learn how to walk. Never did I ever think I’d utter such words, but alas, I’m ready to get my strut back. I also invite you to join in my elation, as I’m allowed to re-work my footwear favorites into my daily ensembles in the coming weeks, as well! I’ve missed my shoes far too much.

So, today, on the eve of my GRAND and PERMANENT return to the concrete jungle, I created a little playlist of tunes, with lyrics that speak to me, in light of the circumstance. Get ready to rock out!

“Set me free, why don’t you baby?” Keep Me Hanging on – Kim Wilde (I rediscovered this hit over the weekend, and couldn’t stop replaying — and couch-dancing along to — the ‘80s-tastic version. Add it to your early summer playlists. It’s totz amaze!)

“Finally it’s happening to me, right in front of my face, and I just cannot hide it.” Cece Peniston – Finally (Eight weeks later!)

“They tried to make me go to rehab…” Rehab – Amy Winehouse (Except I said, “Yes, yes, yes.”)

“One more day all on my own…” One Day More – Les Miserables (Though unlike poor ‘ponine, I’m welcoming independence with open arms.)

“Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow!” Tomorrow – Annie (It’s a rather annoying anthem of the little orphan, but I’m really loving tomorrow right now. Thate red-headed curly-q is seriously speaking to me!)

“But the fever’s gonna catch you when the bitch gets back.” Bitch is Back – Elton John (…)

“I know my kingdom awaits.” Coming Home – Diddy (Up two flights, it does indeed! I just want to stop and stare at my shoes for at least an hour upon arrival.)
 
“You can get what you want, or you can just get old.” Vienna – Billy Joel (Youth = Resilience!)

“The world’s a rollercoaster, and I am not strapped in.” I Wish You Were Here – Incubus (No more crutches! Oy vey…)

“I’m going to the place where love and feeling good don’t ever cost a thing.” Home – Daughtry (Subtract sky-high rent and $14 vodka cocktails, and that’s rather true. Thankfully, walks around the Jackie O. Reservoir are gratis, and those always feel great.)

“Snap back to reality! Oh, there goes gravity.” – Lose Yourself – Eminem (Reality indeed.)

“So when the director yells, ‘Cut,’ I’ll be fine. I’m forever young.” – Young Forever – Jay-Z (Amen.)

 

That’s The Target.

March 20, 2013

I spend a lot of time on Facebook, for both personal and professional purposes, yet for all the site’s merits, I also detest what it’s done to our communication landscape. I can’t deny that it’s a rockstar of a tool to use in cataloging contact info, keeping in touch with far-away friends, and, um, stalking pictures of pretty people. On the other end, though, it adds a lot of stress to our lives, forcing us to define our relationships, alerting us of plans to which we weren’t privy, and reminding us when yet another duo “puts a ring on it.” Beyond these pros and cons, though, is the overarching business that is Facebook, and the cash cow it’s become via targeted advertising, among other things. Just check out when it’s selling to me today! I couldn’t help but chuckle at the very juxtaposed items: a jazzy and statement-making Kate Spade watch (which is so totally on my spring wish list) and a “shocking” treatment for joint relief. According to Mr. Zuckerberg, I am a rather stylish grandma!

An Ode to Original Sin

March 5, 2013

Though this post’s title does allude to Adam and Eve, I’m actually referring to a different type of indulgence. An indulgence  that often comes with a feeling of regret the morning after…

But such a feeling is nothing that a cup of coffee and a slice of Rigoletto pizza can’t cure! Case in point: until yesterday, I was yet to imbibe any alcoholic apple juice since The Great Fall of 2013. That’s a full MONTH off the sauce! The last time I lasted so long between savoring sips of cider… Well, I probably shouldn’t have been savoring such sips to begin with when that happened. Yesterday, after my whirlwind but brief return to NYC, I caught up with my pal Sean, a Stonehill classmate turned co-worker, to celebrate our successful collaboration that brought current Stonehill students to our workplace for the day. I felt like the proud but crippled mother hen to my fellow Skyhawks.

When 5 o’clock hit, I managed my way out of the office, thanks to Sean’s assistance, and into the throng of homeward-bound rush hour commuters, who cared not for the leopard-decked glamazon on crutches. Though my tibia’s broken, my New York City attitude is still in full swing, so I crutch-strutted my way down 7th Ave. and into a dimly-lit lair that felt pleasantly familiar. Was I really at happy hour?! Sinking into the couch, and propping my ailing limb on the table, I felt delighted as our waiter came over with menus. But I already saw the long lost logo in the distance: “I’ll take an Original Sin, please.”

And let me tell you something. That first sip of cider tasted even better than a cup of coffee does the morning after one too many gulps of such blissful booze. Bring it, St. Patrick! Your best customer is a-coming…

Vienna Waits For You.

March 2, 2013

It’s embarrassing to admit how much I’ve caught up with the Kardashians since The Great Fall of 2013, but reality TV has been the lifesaving staple in my day-to-day living while nursing my knee. Once upon a happy hour, back when boozing was allowed, my pal Jason described to me a communications concept known as parasocial relationships, a term to define the one-sided bonds we form with intangible beings. For me, The Great Fall of 2013 turned the bulk of my socialization into just that: I’ve watched enough Friends to believe that Joey has actually eyed me up and down and asked me how I’m doin’; I’ve read enough blogs to think that this chic Chicago studio is my own apartment; and I’ve indulged in so many re-reruns of Vanderpump Rules that I’ve lost sleep over the Stassi/Jax/Laura-Leigh love triangle.

While spending so much time hanging with my faux friends, though, I’ve had ample opportunity to take a step back and think about the life I was living, pre-fall, when I was the epitome of a social butterfly, who filled her calendar with commitments, and feared “missing out” too much to ever decline the potential for fun. But since my accident, I’ve realized that it’s alright to fade away for a bit. And in a funny way, I’m even thankful for my broken tibial plateau forcing me to pump the proverbial breaks of my vida loca.

So with that, I’m going to leave you with a lyric from Vienna, one of Mr. Joel’s most euphonious ballads. Happy Saturday!

“Slow down, you crazy child, and take the phone off the hook and disappear for awhile. It’s all right, you can afford to lose a day or two.”

Blushing and Bruising: a Tale of Getting Rocked in the Rockies

February 11, 2013

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My winter vacation to Colorado was nothing short of spectacular… For the most part. Thanks to my dear pal Meg and her gracious parents, I was privileged to spend a week in a “ski on, ski off” condo in Arrowhead Village, a cute little nook at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain. After arriving from NYC, we got altitude-acclimated on day one of our trip, while exploring the shopping and sites of Beaver Creek and Vail Village. Among a crew of cocktailing comrades, we paused for a little respite outside one of Vail’s chi-chi hotels, where we enjoyed some slope-side coffees, spiked to perfection with our favorite liqueurs. I don’t think my coffee will ever taste the same unless it’s got some Frangelico in it! Sitting around a fire pit, the hostess tucked us under wool blankies, and, oh, it was just the life! From there, we made it to the Red Lion, just in time for its legendary après experience. Ski boots didn’t stop anyone from dancing and singing along to the live music, so naturally, we all felt right at home among the bums and bunnies swaying to ‘90s throwbacks.
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Days two and three marked our first couple of days on the slopes. The trails of groomed corduroy remained in perfect ski condition all day long, which can’t be said for the slopes of the northeast. We were out there to make the first tracks each day, cruising the powder until the cocktails called us. And clearly, we were also the first in attendance for après ski, where we made many friends along the way: Ricks Junior and Senior, a father-son pair on their annual Super Bowl Weekend jaunt; Pat, Rick Senior’s snow-shoeing crush; Dr. Something, a Norwegian orthopedic surgeon who stole Meg’s look; a Naval Academy grad incredibly proud of his ballerina daughter; Paul, a property manager who warned us that the Red Lion crawls with cougars when the lights get low; and Michaela, a lovely little ski patrol gal who saved my life

vail1Which brings me to our final day at the iconic Vail Mountain, whose tag line “like no place on earth” is an understatement. Case in point: the gondolas are equipped with heated cushions to keep your tush toasty as you’re mountain top-bound. After two full days of skiing Arrowhead and Beaver Creek, our legs were primed to take on Vail’s famous (and trademarked) “Back Bowls,” the open ski country on the opposite side of the mountain’s carved-out terrain. When we made it to the top, we all paused to take in the breathtaking vista: the snow-capped Rockies in the distance welcomed us to a blanket of groomed powder, inviting an experience for the books.

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Our first run was divine. Weaving in and out of sporadically placed Christmas trees, we all agreed that the run was nothing but spectacular as we braced ourselves for another trip down. Pausing to capture the sight on camera, I took in the view before building speed for my second descent into the China Bowl, thinking of how amazing the day was shaping up to be.

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…until I caught a little too much speed, hit a bump, flew into the air, lost my skis, lost my poles, lost my dignity, and lost the ability to function my right knee.
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By some stroke of miracle, I regrouped, placed my entire body weight into my left ski, let out a few expletives,  and managed my way down to the chair lift, saying Hail Marys in my head the whole way to concentrate on something other than the agony. Next thing I knew, Meg and her parents (my guardian angels!) fetched me water, Advil, and the aforementioned Michaela, a ski patrol woman (and nurse-to-be) who tied me to a toboggan, wrapping me up as if I were a bean-filled burrito.

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And then she tied that medi-sled and its human Chalupa to the chairlift. Yup. Thankfully those knots were tight, as the only fall I had that day was that fateful one.


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A few minutes later, we made it to the top, where Michaela’s fellow ski patroller, Jason (a male model! If only he didn’t have goggles on…), attached me to a snow mobile, and carted me to the base, where the awaiting bus was my final transportation mode to the ER. Crossing my fingers the whole time for an attending as attractive as Mr. Cloony circa his season as a hot doc, I cursed the bus for lacking a mirror, as a delectably scruffy paramedic named Pat met me outside to transfer me into his helpful hands. Once my paperwork was complete, he pushed me into a room, handed me a pair of paper shorts, and asked me a question most girls would kill to hear from such a stunning piece of mountain man: “We need naked knees. Can I help you take your clothes off?”

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Every ounce of my body (even my grapefruit-sized knee!) fought to keep a straight face, but halting my blushing was a non-negotiable. Rather than retort with wit, I asked to use the restroom. With such a smokeshow in my midst, I needed nothing more than to apply some lipstick and re-braid my pigtails. Priorities, right?

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An x-ray and an MRI later, Meg and her parents were at my side, serving as a loving and surrogate family, there to comfort me when the diagnosis was made—a diagnosis my orthopedic surgeon on Long Island confirmed two days later: though my ligaments are intact, the bones inside my knee broke in three spots. Unfortunately, surgery is in my very near future (this Thursday!), as is months of physical therapy. As such, I’ve relocated to my childhood home in Garden City, where the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and coworkers has been incredible. I am so thankful to be in such great hands. There’s really nothing like your mother’s comfort in a time of need, your father’s strength, or you sister’s concern. It’s going to be a long road…. but we’ll all make it through!

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I made it this far, right?! It wasn’t my neck. I wasn’t alone. I kept my spirits up. I had on some rather ugly paper shorts, but my pout was perfection. I got to ski two runs at Vail. I had friends who treated me like family. In all honesty, it could have been a far worse experience. And though that last bump (pun intended) in the road was the obvious pit of my trip, my week in Colorado was filled with as many peaks as the Rockies themselves boast.

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I’ll check in after I go under the knife on Valentine’s Day. Here’s hoping for a hot med student to tend to my wound… 😉

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Where the Shoes Live.

October 23, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve made a materialistic muse, but in all honesty, I’ve been on a bit of a shopping hiatus these days. However, I did make one incredibly saucy purchase while pursuing the boutiques of San Fran. Not like I couldn’t get these babies from the BCBGs on this side of the country, but it’s all the more sweet that my leather leggings are from the west coast. They’re by far my new favorite weekend staple. RAWR!

Also, while we’re on the topic of attire, I thought I’d share a little snapshot of my shoe collection. Well, part of it at least… There’s no such thing as a shoe surplus! Are you surprised that I’ve got an entire shelf dedicated to pink heels — and pink heels alone?!

Now that my boots are in season (and thereby no longer atop the highest shelf), I’m in the market for some new knick-knacks to join my Burberry rainboots in the top-left corner… Suggestions welcomed!