Thursday, March 28, 2013

Best Friends

It's spring break, and tonight we had Beatrix's best friend Alma and her family over for dinner. Because otherwise the week apart might be too long for two girls who say "We're sisters, mama" and who erupt into crazy, hugging giggle fits when they see each other. I love that Alma (and Gwyneth) are Beatrix's best friends, and that spending time together is the most important thing in the world to to them.

Like Beatrix, I have two best friends, who have held that status in my life since high school. That isn't to say that I am always the best friend to either of them; or that I spend the kind of time I would like to with either of them (because, sadly, I don't), or that they are my only "best friends." I am ridiculously lucky that I actually have several ridiculously close variation-of-best-friends, people who may not even have known me for as long, or are not nearby, but who really know me, are close to me, understand me, cheer for me, look out for me. There are several of you who might be reading this right now that hold that status, and I love you dearly. (and there's my husband, who I am lucky to have as my best best friend, and he knows that).

But Jennifer and Elaine are my Best Friends. No matter what is going on in my life, no matter who else is important to me, no matter what kind of time I (don't) spend with them, no matter how much I have changed (or not changed) since we met, they are the two women in this world who have been my best friends since I was in my teens and always will be.

This weekend, one of those two people leaves for a new chapter in her life. And, as best friends do, I am over-the-moon happy for her. And, as best friends do, I cry a lot that she's leaving. And, as best friends do, I know she'll always be there. Those things make it easier and harder, and I hope to god I will be a better friend to her than I often can be/have been and support her in exactly the ways she needs.

I don't know what makes a best friend. I don't always even know how to successfully be one. But, as I watched Beatrix and Alma hug and hug and hug goodbye tonight, I'm awfully glad that best friends exist.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

This and That

A few smaller things, none of which are are big enough for their own post (and many of which relate to New Year's resolutions):

-  I finally went to the dentist (New Year's resolution #2), thanks to Krista. Dr. Amble was fantastic and spent over an hour really evaluating my dental state. In a huge light-bulb moment, as he commented on some less-than-stellar dental work in my past (I believe his term was "butchery"), I realized that my fear of dentists may be well-founded, due to some of the work that had been done on me when I was a child. Plus he thinks I've been taking great care of my teeth since, and confirmed that my recent crown was fairly shoddy. Validating and affirming all at once.

-  We finally watched "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" last night. A wonderful and complex film that is one of the best things I have seen in a long time. Now I really want to read the book, and hope it stands up to the movie; the acting really was exceptional, and cinematography strong as well. It was also very nostalgic — the way we think now that John Hughes films were, in an indeterminate time between 1986 and 1992.

-  Finally got to the Y the other day (NY resolution #1). Patrick has been great about going, and showed me how to use all the weight circuitry. It felt great, and I am hoping to make it a better habit.

-  I have a cold. I seem to have been sick all year. Perhaps that's the enforced version of "work less" (my billable hours have gone down the toilet in the last week), maybe this incredibly long winter. I have *so* much to catch up on!

-  A benefit of the cold, though (and last week's migraine) — I've been reading a lot. Finished Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In, which I got a lot more than expected from. When I first heard about the book I had a kind of visceral reaction of "Oh, great, one more thing I need to do better." But then I saw her TED talk and read the book, and But she had a lot of good points and things to think about.realized she had some very strong points. Highly recommended.

-  "TED Talks!?" you might have just said, "but you HATE watching videos on the computer!" True enough, but I have made it a semi-official new resolution to watch more of them. I would still love to go in person some day. Do you have any favorites?

Monday, March 18, 2013

It Could Happen to You

You know those things you read about, injustices that get you all fired up but you think "Wow, I'm glad I've never seen that happen?" Here in Minnesota, we seem especially prone to this.

Lately, these kinds of issues have come up a lot. This month in particular, as part of the ongoing coverage of the "real" cost of healthcare, there has been a big honking deal made this month about the cost of birth control. Ongoing press coverage touts the fact that Target and Walmart offer birth control pill prescriptions for $9 a month, "less than the price of two beers at a Georgetown bar" according to NPR.

And I should know (Dad, this is where you might want to cease reading). I've been on Sprintec (the only birth control pill on the several hundred generic formulary that Target offers), for about 2 years. My doctor chose that prescription specifically because it was a generic  — though she thought it was $4 a month; the Target website is a little vague on this, calling it the "Target 4 dollar generic drug program" but then admitting that some items (such as the only birth control offered) is actually $9 and "These drugs may be priced higher in CA, HI, MN, MT, PA, RI, TN, WI, and WY."

Well, in any case I have been on it, and this is where the weird situation sets in. I called in today for a refill, only to get a call back about an hour later on my secondary number (the one listed in my profile as "Only call if  you can't get through on the first one.") I was actually home, so I answered it, only to hear a stammering man on the other end say that he was calling from Target pharmacy, and he was sorry, but they did not have any Sprintec in. When I asked when they would get it in, he put me on hold for a little, then came back to say it was not being provided by the supplier, it had not been available for weeks, and I should try back, maybe in May. I then asked if other Targets might have it, and he said no, they were all from the same supplier — and that in fact that supplier provided Sprintec for all of Minnesota, so no one else would have it either. When asked what he suggested I do, he did not have a good answer; there were no other birth control pills on the generic formula, and I would have to "visit my doctor" to switch anyway. "I'm sorry," ended the second pharmacist when I called back later in the day to see what my options were, "there's nothing we can do for you."

Cursing the fact that large chains had put small pharmacies mainly out of business while I and my hefty insurance co-pays stood idly by, I called Walgreen's, which does not stock Sprintec. A call to CVS, however, had better luck. The pharmacist who answered there said they had plenty in stock, and that she had not heard anything about any shortages of it. I went in and got my prescription; though it would have been dramatically more expensive originally, for some reason my high-deductible insurance covered 100% of it. I may have to rethink my relentless opposition to CVS.

I'm honestly confused by this. I've heard of times, with Target in particular, where they have "morally" refused to provide birth control pills — but I never thought it would happen to me (and I'm not exactly sure that that is the case, or at least the full case, here). Is it some weird conspiracy based on the media coverage earlier this month? If so, to what end? It just seems strange that they would "run out" for months and not let the people who depend on that medication know — I can't believe they would do that with a heart medication, for example.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Teal Decor

Not to be outdone by the shoes, the furniture demanded some teal treatment.

Years ago, I would have been scandalized by painting wood (Nicole Curtis may indeed be shaking her head at me right now). But this is an old and battered piece, purchased at a Rose Gallery auction years ago. It's not an heirloom, but it does have some nice features, and I think the teal actually plays them up and gives it new life. I love how this buffet looks now, and smile at it everyday.

(plus the paint was a free sample at Ace Hardware last weekend, so the whole upgrade cost me nothing!)

Monday, March 11, 2013


I was going to write an amazing post about what we had for dinner the night before last. But Patrick Rhone beat me to it:

That said, we did pretty well last night as well (spaghetti omelet from Dinner, A Love Story).

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Teal Couture

When I was a teenager, my mother and I travelled to Europe several times. My favorite city was Amsterdam, not for the stereotypical reasons, but for its accessibility to my arty-teen self. (Well, ok, maybe it was not so accessible the night David Wick and I walked several miles in search of the *perfect* wine bar, but I digress). My memories of the city — art museums, canals, cats, french fries with mayo, flea markets, ristaffel, hanging out in artist Giotta Tajiri's loft — are all wonderful.

But the city is best characterized by my perfect teal loafers, which I acquired in a street market for about $2 and wore into a pulp for all of my teens. Here they are:

Since then, I have been on the lookout for a pair of teal loafers; something to bring back my high school years and return me to that heady mix of exploration/confidence that was me at 16. And I just found them (and bought them immediately, though for more than $2):

In celebration of my new loafers, I also painted my nails teal. Only a few of my friends (I am looking at you, Leah, Rebecca, and Sarah) know how nail-challenged I am and what a big deal this is.

Finally, I've been coveting elastic hairbands from Anthropologie for about a year, but have never been able to get past the price (why, of why, do the beautiful things there costs so much?) So I was pretty excited to find these at Walgreen's for $1.50 when I was buying the equally cheap nail polish. (Ok, they are not quite teal. But close.)