June 2010

06.26.10

See, I told you that you wouldn't have to wait long until my next blog entry.

Today I'm talking about nails. More specifically, nail biting. People who know me really well know that I'm an absolute terrible nail biter. I honestly don't think I personally know anybody on this earth who bites their nails as rigorously as I do. When I was in first grade, I bit my nails so badly that one of my fingers actually got infected, which caused the nail to be ripped off on someone's fuzzy sweater. I was so embarrassed and tried to hide it, but someone found the nail and I was literally dragged into the nurse's office.

I haven't had an infected nail since then, but my nail biting was still pretty bad. I don't bite just the nail- I bite the skin around it. I was never proud about it, obviously, but for some reason some people like to point out my ragged finger tips to me as if I don't know how bad they look. I remember one time in 8th grade someone asked me if what I was doing counted as a form of cannibalism.

So yeah, if you see someone with really terrible nails, I'm telling you now that it's better to just quietly sit sorry for them, because severe nail biting in some cases may just be an example of one's obsessive compulsive behavior. We know how bad it is and we've probably tried to stop, but it's incredibly difficult for a number of reasons.

I took the liberty of diagnosing myself with dermatophagia, because I don't actually chew the nail so much as I chew the skin around the nails. I never chewed out of anxiety but rather because I found immense gratification from "grooming" around the cuticle... and even though logically I knew that my chewing made my fingers look worse, I just couldn't help myself.

Since I've met Edouard, my nail/skin biting has been curbed a lot and there are even periods where I've stopped completely. I suppose this is a good sign because my dad was supposedly a bad nail chewer too, and he stopped after he married my mom. Anyway, my nails haven't gotten to the point of looking perfect until a couple of weeks ago, when Edouard and I had to do our engagement photos.

I knew I absolutely had to have good looking fingers because wedding photographers, as you probably know, like to take close ups of peoples's hands- especially the bride's hands- for the "ring shot" (gee, that sounds dirty). Thus, I went in for my first ever manicure. It was the first time I could actually get a manicure done because it was one of the first times that I wasn't embarrassed by the condition of my fingers. After I was done, my fingers looked flawless and adult like.

Since my engagement photos, the skin around my finger nails got a bit rough again and some of my nails started splitting at the sides (they're not very strong). I found it tempting to bite them again. But no- I put my foot down this time and went in for another manicure yesterday. The urge to bite is again at bay.

So I've decided that, at least until my wedding, I absolutely have to get regular manicures (I'm thinking once every 2-3 weeks) so that my fingers don't look like they came from hell. It's more money than I've ever spent on nails, and I feel a little guilty about it because it seems so frivolous, but I refuse to have embarrassing hands on my wedding day. Think of all of those close up hand shots and other hands I have to shake!

Jen

06.24.10

Wedding day is approaching. In 4 days, I'll hit T- two months, which makes me a little nervous b/c that doesn't feel like a lot of time for last minute detail planning and because this is obviously a pretty big step in one's life. Even though I've lived with Edouard for about two years, the whole wedding thing makes it seem more offiicial. It's exciting but I also hate changes- even good ones. In that respect, I'm very conservative and fearful, which I'm sure is something a lot of people don't know about me, because I do stuff like go abroad on a whim, or backpack in strange countries where I don't speak the language. Anyway, I'm most sad about not being able to do wedding planning anymore. I missed my calling in life, it seems. =P

Sooo, for movies watched while inking: The Pianist- probably one of my favorite WWII/Holocaust movies. Adrien Brody does an excellent job and it's interesting to see the character development of the protagonist, Szpilman, who was an actual Polish musician (the film is based on his autobiography). Un Secret- a French film also about WWII and the Holocaust. It's a really good family drama, actually. I would recommend it. It's probably more depressing than The Pianist though, and I know some people can't handle brooding movies. I also saw Monster's Ball, which I had a hard time following b/c it's a very quiet movie (when Halle Berry isn't screaming) and my TV was struggling to project itself over the roar of my A/C. Nonetheless, I enjoyed what I was able to get from the narrative and the plot, and I like understated endings. Halle Berry was particularly excellent and I see why she won the Oscar that year for Best Actress. Lots of really graphic sex scenes- if you're a bit prudish, you may want to skip this one. Finally, I decided to watch all 3 seasons of the Comedy Central TV show, Strangers with Candy. I had only seen the pilot and one or two other episodes when it was on TV, but for one reason or another I wasn't able to follow it regularly. This show is not the best (some episodes were not particularly entertaining) I found it enjoyable. It has a really mean and dirty sense of humor, and is full of non sequitors, which I like. I forgot that Stephen Colbert is in it so that was a nice surprise, and I like Amy Sedaris, especially since she's a big supportor of rabbits and the House Rabbit Society.

Anyway, that's all the news I have for now. I'll try not to wait too long for my next entry!

Jen

06.11.10

So remember all that suff with my cervix? Cervical cancer scare? Lesions? LEEP procedure?

Ok, good.

After my LEEP procedure, I needed to go for another pap smear in 6 months to make sure everyting was ok. That was in January. The first pap I gave was inconclusive so I had to go back the next week and do it all over again. The pap came back clean but they asked that I come back in another six months to make sure everything was still stable. I think this is especially important because I still had some scarring from the surgery back in January.

So I went in for my second pap smear this year last Friday and I just got the results back today: it came back clean with no abnormalities!

What a freakin' relief. I don't have to go back for another year! It's so nice to not have to go back to the gyno every other month!

Anyway, I'm glad to have inspired some ladies who read this comic to get their hoo-ha checked out. People have only recently been talking openly about cervical cancer even though it's something that takes the lives of many women each year. If you haven't gotten your annual, make an appointment. Before you go, pop an advil and remember that it's only going to take you 5-10 min tops. Embarrassed to go? Trust me, these people have seen it all.

Jen

06.08.10

Edouard and I took our engagement picture this Sunday. The session almost didn't happen because it was raining off and on and because there was a tornado advisory, but we lucked out and the sun came out shining by the time we were ready to meet our photographer. It was perhaps a tad windy, but it made for some dramatic shots.

In my opinion, the most important elements of a wedding are the food, the drinks, the music, and the photography. These are the things that I believe shouldn't be skimped on if you can help it. That said, photography is also one of the elements of a wedding where you can definitely avoid pissing all of your money away.

New York Magazine listed a bunch of photographers who ranged from a minimum of 3,000 (which I think is the average cost of a wedding photographer in NYC) to a maximum of 10,000!! There wasn't a huge difference between the more expensive photographers vs. the cheaper photographers except for maybe that the pricier people were more renown. Many of the times, however, I did not see anything in their portfolios that warranted such a high price tag.

When I went out to first look for a photographer, my reception venue recommended two different studios in Manhattan. Both were charging around 5,000 dollars, which included 2 photographers, engagement photo session, an album, 6 hours of their time, and digial proofs. I was underwhelmed by both of their portfolios. Don't get me wrong- most of the photographs were very nice (except for one portfolio I saw, which had a handful heinously bad stuff in it) but they were also very stiff, formal, and reminded me of stock wedding photography (obligatory close up of dress, close up of shoes, bride looking wistfully out a window, etc.). One photographer asked what I was looking for in my wedding photography so I told him I wanted images that were more artsy, editorial, and photojournalistic. Then he said "We can do that! You're a whimsical sort of girl aren't you?! We can do that whimsy!" Laser beam eyes would've been great at that point.

Anyway, it took a short succession of recommendations initiated by a friend but I eventually found the photographer who suited my tastes. Arek, the photographer, and his assistant, Ilona, who is also his wife, are young, creative, and have an amazing ability to capture fleeting moments and the beauty of a NYC gutter.

Arek is still editing the rest of our engagement photo shoot, but he sent us some teasers and I was pretty blown away. I mean, not to toot our own horn or anything but Edouard and I look super hot. Like, jeans ad hot.

FIERCE!

And yeah yeah there are mushy pictures too but I wanted to show you what I meant by "editorial style." I'll post more pictures when I get the rest from Arek! In the meantime, visit his website to see more of his work.

By the way, he is (at the time of this posting at least), about 75% less expensive than the other photographers I saw and includes pretty much the same things in his packages. He also has a la carte options (for instance, you don't have to order an album if you don't want to), which is good, because it allows you to be more flexible.

Jen

06.04.10

Hello GoComics.com readers- sorry I fudged up the update on the syndicate's site. That was all my bad.

As you can see though, the proper comic is up here. I'll see that the gocomic's site gets straightened out.

Someone on GoComics asked if this storyline is based on real life experiences. My response: in my experience, all teens are totally awkward.

Jen