Where’s My Tour Bus?

I have a love/hate relationship with many things. Road trips are one of them.

I love road trips in the nostalgic, seeing America sort of way. Turning up the radio and passing weird things you never knew existed? Pretty fantastic. However, there is nothing fantastic about being in a confined space for hours with noisy people. I believe I was meant to be an artist with a large private tour bus and paid driver.

Living the dream

That, of course, would require singing talent. Or at least autotune. As I am a nineteen-year-old on my way to a hospital rehab facility, the tour bus was not made available to me. Something about “lack of funds.” I was instead offered a Toyota Camry with the accompaniment of my mother and brother.

I love my family. Truly, I do. With the exception of my father, they’re all very outgoing and wildly entertaining. This is great for when you need a good laugh. It is slightly less welcomed when you are in a car that seats five-max.

Now, given the societal impression that women are louder than men, I’m sure you’re thinking it’s my mother who’s voice is still ringing in my ears. You would be wrong. My brother’s voice packs the punch of a sorority alumni meeting. It also reaches the same pitch. It’s quite astounding actually.

Within the first few hours, the sound war had already begun.

“MITCHELL! SHUT UP!”

“I SWEAR, I’M GOING TO (insert something horrendously violent and out-of-character)!”

“Seriously, just kill me now.”

“Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

What can I say? Annoy me and the words that come out of my mouth either double or halve my age.

As of now, I have a constant headache. When doctors ask how many headaches I have a week, the answer is one. I have had the same headache for over three years now. At this point, I should name it. Something bitchy.

This may come as a shock, but loud noises make headaches worse. Very loud noises make me feel like I’m dying. The level of noise that my brother sends into the world makes me homicidal. If you see me in the news for somewhat murderous charges, you will know why.

This particular road trip was divided into three days of driving. My mother and I did it in two last September, but it was just too much. We waited until school ended for the little one and headed to our first stop in Colorado Springs.

Did I mention it was my brother’s sixteenth birthday? I suppose he’s not so little anymore, but it pisses him off when I call him anything referencing him being young. So I will continue to do it. One of my personal favorites is “Baby Mitch,” which I called him when we were younger. I usually drag that one out of hiding when he’s complaining about something stupid. Sisterly love.

We tried to make his birthday as special as possible. Obviously, this was not his first choice of activities. But, it’s just the way things worked out. He picked out the movies to watch in the car (Finding Nemo and The Breakfast Club), and chose what fast food was picked up on the way. Reservations were made at a nice hotel for the night. Standards were far beyond our norm for rest stops. We normally drive as much as we can, then look up a decent place in the AAA guidebook. This one had an indoor pool, restaurants, wii games in the lobby, and a chef working an omlette bar come morning. It had an upscale cabin vibe, given the mountain surroundings. Definitely better than your standard Marriott with continental breakfast. Seeing as most kids in our town just get drunk on their sixteenth, I think his experience was an upgrade.

Lonely

Could have been worse

The next two days resulted in a lot of laughing, fighting, sleeping, and pill-popping. Being in a small car makes Advil exceptionally desirable. It also makes duct tape and rope desirable. Draw your own conclusions.

As of now, I am officially in Minnesota. Let’s just hope this week is easier than the drive.

xx Courtney

 

The Best of Jorn Tromolto, err, John Travolta

Unless you’ve been barred from any form of social media or human interaction, you know about the wonderfully botched introduction at the Oscar’s. For those who are unfamiliar (or just love watching it as much as I do), here’s John Travolta’s welcoming prelude to “Let it Go,” as performed by IDINA MENZEL.

Note: The video I originally linked was taken down. It has been updated!

Get it together, Travolta. We all screw up, but Adele Dazeem? That isn’t even close! I was forced to watch the Oscar’s on Sunday, so I saw this screw-up in all its live glory. There are reports that John Travolta is dyslexic and misread the teleprompter. I get it. My brother is dyslexic and often mispronounces things when he reads, as well. My personal favorite is when he mixes up “Santa” and “Satan.” However, wouldn’t you know who you are introducing? It’s called practicing. If someone has a name you are unfamiliar with, ask. Don’t take your dyslexic chances and wing it.

As I expected (and prayed for), the internet has reacted in the most spectacular way.

Quite a few twitter accounts were started right after the awards. They have been continuously updated and fabulous. My favorite is @adeledazeem.

 My favorite movie is Freezing.

Adele shouldn’t get all the attention. Give it up for Mr. Tromolto.

this deserves endless reblogs.

This is certainly one of my favorites. After all, Idina Menzel is “wickedly talented.”

Okay, I laughed at this one for a pretty solid amount of time. The second I saw “Bumperstump Cabbagepatch” I burst out laughing.

10 John Travolta Quotes Updated After the 2014 Oscars John Travolta totally nailed his introduction of Idina Menzel (aka Adele Dazeem) at the Oscars last night. What if he’d delivered his most famous movie lines the same way?

Funny or Die updated  some of John’s best quotes after the Oscar’s. You can find all of them here.

Elsa is not amused.

So, I just made this after remembering Travolta failing at the name Les Miserables last year. I couldn’t resist.

You would think that Travolta would have learned to rehearse his introduction after botching the name of the well-known musical last year. I’m seeing a pattern.

I’m talking to you, John Travolta.

image

“Maybe if I say it really fast, no one will notice.” -The Mind of Travolta

Bonus! There is a website that will “Travoltify” your name. You may call me Corey Pay-ne.

I think the moral of the story is to practice when you will be speaking in front of a live audience, as well as millions of viewers. I certainly hope that John Travolta can laugh at himself. But if not, we’ll just have to do it for him.

xx Courtney

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I’ve Worn Real Clothes for Four Days and the World Has Yet to End

Apparently, most people get up and get dressed in the morning. I am not one of those people. I prefer to stay in my pajamas until I take a shower, after which I change into different pajamas. It’s pretty awesome. I don’t see why more people don’t do it.

My lovely grandparents came into town last Friday. I don’t feel the need to go all-out, mega impressive. However, it is not considered okay to walk around in pants printed with Christmas trees. (Yes, I am aware that Christmas is over, and no I will not stop wearing Holiday-themed pajama pants. Everyone knows that the most comfortable sleepwear is produced in winter.) After trying to find a way out of it, I was left with only one option: actual clothing.

Plus, I knew the would want to do things like go out and leave the house. I know there are some that find it socially acceptable to exit their home in nightwear, I do not. I have some dignity left. Seriously, unless there is a major emergency, you should at least be wearing track pants. Get it together, high school girls. It’s not cute. I remember driving up to school once and I saw a freshman get out of her parent’s car and wave goodbye. As soon as the vehicle drove away, she took off her baggy sweatpants to reveal a pair of Hello Kitty pajamas underneath. Really?!

Anyways, after I went shopping for some “normal clothes,” I was prepared for a very different kind of weekend. I was going to have to things that I am so not used to.

I woke up on Friday with a large to-do list. I completely put off was too busy to get it all done beforehand. My stuff was all over the house and I was still in my attire of choice. With only a few hours before their arrival for dinner, I got to work. Lucky for me, everyone else was out of the house for a while. I seem to get more done when I’m by myself. I scrambled to put my boxes of God-knows-what into what has been deemed the “hoarder’s room.” It’s basically the room where everyone puts their crap that doesn’t seem to have a place. The fact that we still have boxes all over the house after living here for three years is a bit pathetic.

After making the common areas look presentable came the moment of truth. No yoga pants, no lounge wear, no sports bras. I stared at my dark-wash jeans wondering if there was still any way to get out of it. Do my jeans even fit? I think I may have worn them in January?

But, I did my makeup, pulled my hair half-up (baby steps), and put on those straight-legs. I even wore a sweater, breaking the mold by layering with something other than a hoodie. I also put on some earrings and a bracelet. My grandfather is a jeweler by trade, so showing up without some bling would be heavily frowned upon.

My extended family stayed for about four hours that night. Enough time to eat dinner, play cards, and listen to embarrassing stories about my father’s childhood. They had a long day of flying and layovers, so we didn’t expect them to stay too long. I got to bed late (shocker) and ended the first of four days in real clothes.

The rest of the weekend presented a few challenges. For one, I had to wake up early. Well, early for me. I didn’t want to be inconsiderate, rolling out of bed whenever I felt like. On top of that, I genuinely enjoy the company of my grandparents. They were only staying until Monday (today), so I wanted to take full advantage of the time I had with them.

Saturday was spent in Santa Fe, as my tiny town only has so much to offer. We divided our day by looking at old churches, walking in heavy rain, and going into my favorite oil and vinegar store. The night ended perfectly by eating at a lovely Italian restaurant that was booked solid. My grandfather has unmatched charm and quick thinking, which got us in right away and without a reservation. It was wonderful.

On Sunday, my brother was presented with his Eagle Scout award. This was the main purpose for my family’s visit. We listened to endless speeches and watched various people distribute an unusual amount of pins and recognition pieces. The highlight was my grandfather’s introductory speech. It was short, sweet, and so beautiful. My mom cried. It was really nice to attend such a special event of my brother’s. I haven’t always been able to go to his award ceremonies and celebrations. This is the “big deal” award ceremony, so I was happy to be able to support him.

Following the talking and a bit of cleanup, we came home and watched the Oscars because my grandparents like the Oscars. I’m indifferent towards award shows. I like the dresses and the highlights. I get all I need to know from social media and Fashion Police.

Then Monday comes around (cue Switchfoot song), and I am once again subjected to the ways of the convential. Getting up and getting dressed is hard. How do you do it everyday?! But I’m wearing jeans again and the world appears to still be intact.

I met my grandparents at their hotel for breakfast for some final laughs and goodbyes. Because they live in California, I don’t have the luxury of seeing them often. Whenever I have the opportunity to have them around, I treasure it. Besides, I always walk away with a few blackmail stories regarding my father.

Subsequently, the long weekend has left me very tired. I participated in so much more than I typically do. I don’t see myself taking on so much everyday from this point forward, as I would burn out very quickly. All the doctors that I’ve had, the good ones anyways, have stressed the importance of not over-doing it. Of course, there is the exception of having family in from out of town.

Now that the visit has passed, I kind of missed my comfortable clothes. You can’t blame me, right? I wasn’t scared, necessarily, of putting on real clothes. Because that would be crazy. I, like in a lot of things, had become too comfortable in my surroundings. But in the end, I accomplished quite a bit. I joined civilization and put on some concealer. Plus, I learned that putting on a pair of jeans every once in a while isn’t going to kill me.

xx Courtney

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Needles and Golden Pills: A Month of Alternative Therapy (a Mulan GIF Presentation)

I’ve been absent from the blogosphere in order to be a more functional person on Earth. I’ve told you all before that I have a chronic illness that is not entirely under control at the moment, and it was time to do something about it.

Okay, maybe not this dramatic.

I’ll premise my past by saying that medication of any kind does not work for me. For starters, I am allergic to basically everything. Its hard to weigh the benefits when your airways are rapidly becoming smaller. The (very) few pills that don’t cause anaphalactic shock just have zero effect on me. Its like taking sugar pills. Really horrible sugar pills.

When I was in Minnesota to visit the Mayo Clinic last year, I found doctors who understood that a prescription was never going to solve my problems. It was the first time that an M.D. really discussed the different types of alternative therapies. Sure, I had doctors recommend other things before (i.e. yoga, tai chi), but never truly approached the idea of secondary medicine. Sorry doctor, but sometimes diet and exercise just isn’t going to cut it.

I was told to slowly incorporate many different forms of treatment. One of the top recommendations? Acupuncture.

Basically.

I hate needles. Most people do. When my mom was working in a hospital, she even met heroin addicts who were terrified of needles. Go figure! Because of my rather extensive medical history, the majority of my life has been spent as a test subject. Between injections, IVs, and blood tests, I have had quite a bit of experience with pokey objects. I’ve had some pretty awful situations that have deterred me from needles completely.

My immediate family has been wanting me to try acupuncture for about two years. My grandfather has also been actively pushing me to go for a solid three.  Once the  doctor demanded it last September, my fate was solidified. I may be a legal adult, but I knew I wasn’t going to have much choice in the matter. It would only be a matter of time before I was dragged taken to the acupuncturist.

That time came about three weeks ago. The patience of my mother was at a low point, while the pain in my neck was at a high point. When you are in an excessive amount of pain, you’re willing to do pretty much anything to make it better.

To be completely honest, the first thing I thought about after making the appointment was the “Ancestors Awakening” scene from Mulan.

“My children never caused such trouble. They all became acupuncturists!”

The second was this:

I feel ya, Ping.

But sometimes, you have to suck it up. If there was a possibility that this could make me feel better, I had to at least try. My neck was in excruciating pain and I was desperate. As for the fear? I was just going to have to get over it.

The day of my first appointment made me anxious. On one hand, I really wanted to go. I wanted to feel better. If this is what was going to help, awesome. On the other hand, I wanted to hide under a blanket, call in sick, and unlearn (is that a word?) the meaning of acupuncture.

My sentiments exactly.

But when I make a commitment, I make a commitment. My plan was to go into that office pretending I had no reservations whatsoever. I was a praised actress in drama club, I could certainly pull off the “no fear” act. The acupuncturist would never know I was practically crying on the inside.

After filling out some paperwork and being thoroughly questioned on my reasons for being there, it was time. She started my session by giving me some Chinese herbs “to relax.” They were in pill form and very strange looking. It was oddly shaped and golden in color. I don’t know about you, but I have never taken pills that looked like they were coated in gold leaf. I had no idea what the herbs were, but took them anyways. When my mom was in college, her roommate’s mother used to send Chinese herbs from Taiwan. This roommate would always give her some, and the effects were apparently wonderful. I think there’s a rule to Chinese herbs. You’re not supposed to know what they are, you just take them. I then removed my shirt and waited for the inevitable. She brought out a scary-looking electric massager. It probably looked scary to me because I HATE massages. I don’t have anything against other people touching me, I’m just very sensitive. Most are really into the whole “deep tissue” thing, but it is incredibly painful for me. She could tell I was not enjoying this particular therapy, as could my mother who was situated in the corner of the room, but she continued. I didn’t know at the time, but it was going to make me feel much better. I don’t know what it is about acupuncturists, but they just know what you need. You’re hurting, but they just smile knowing that you won’t be soon. No pain, no gain, right?

After torturing my back and neck in the kindest possible way, it was the moment of truth. I heard her opening the package of sterile needles and started to calmly panic. She had told me in the beginning that she would start slow, as to not send my body (and my psyche) into overdrive. She tapped on my back three times and placed the needle into the upper part of my right shoulder blade. I felt it for a few seconds and then- nothing. Seriously. It was a very anticlimactic moment. I had protested and procrastinated for years to avoid absolutely nothing. I’ve felt more pain from a paper cut.

I now have appointments twice a week. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I look forward to going in for the most relaxing hours of my life. I can tell that it is working because these massages hurt less and less each time. I’m like a completely different person. Today, I actually liked the massage.

I would highly recommend acupuncture to anyone. I can certainly say that acupuncture no longer scares me. I enter the building confident and ready.

Stick ’em in, doctor.

When I leave, I am so relaxed. After my appointment today, I told my lovely acupuncturist that I had never felt so calm in my life. The world’s problems melt away when I’m there. It feels good to not only have less pain, but to have conquered a major fear of mine. I’m still scared of needles and will avoid them in any other situation. With acupuncture, though, I will happily make an exception.

xx Courtney

Have you ever gotten acupuncture? Would you consider trying it?

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