Sunday, December 16, 2007

carte blanche

Better known as the Definitive Guide To Going from Puking Your Guts Out to the Hospital to a Wedding Party to Sleeping Under a Pile of Old Coats in a Frigid Garage to a Seedy Motel and Back Home Again in the Space of One Long Weekend that Feels Like One Half Weekend.


Wherever do I even begin? Sitting on a toilet, whimpering, with my head hung in a trashcan. Around midnight Thursday night. This, believe it or not, was the beginning of the better leg of the weekend. The Weatherman, aka The Bane of My Existence, has been using colorful language all week, threatening the mother of all storms, repeatedly. The night prior to my last hospital visit was not free from the dark cloud. 6am came round all too quickly for those hungover on Gatorade and Miralax cocktails, and Mr. D and I button up our necks and go forth into a completely clear, albeit still dark, morning.

asp at the breast
asp at the breast © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

I get suited up in my finest hospital frock only to hear that Ass Doc has an emergency surgery. But before I know it I am laying on a bed and oxygen is tickling my nostrils. Somehow I slipped in... and they slipped it in mostly unawares. Everyone who has had a colonoscopy has told me the same thing, you are totally asleep for it, it would be too painful to be awake for. Much to my chagrin, a good half of that statement was a lie. Apparently my blood pressure is so low normally, that they could only give me so much of the sedatives before I would just stop pumping altogether. Which was not enough for me to be totally asleep. What I do remember quite vivdly was moaning vigorously as that wild, riggly tube-o-cam took a sharp turn several times and bonked me from the inside. In half-conked state, I decided that this is what it must be like to have crazy river parasites in your system. But maybe more accurately what it would be like to swallow a small live lamprey. It was nothing if not mercifully quick, lasting no more than 20 minutes, and actually ending before I was even scheduled to be starting. And the best part: enteral health is mine. No Crohn's. No colitis. My hole that has no business being where it is, is in fact a fluke. The abdominal tenderness is still a mystery. Check back in three weeks. By which time we might be able to talk to Hole Future.

engaging © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, Mr. D and myself crash-landed into Central PA, on the CJ and Vrai premises for some post-nuptial nibbles. They sound like they should be a sandwich together, those two! Which would be strangely apropos. Any kitchen containing four crockpots simultaneously in use is a veritable culinary warship by my measure. And it was. Yum.

Fast forward a few hours and we find ourselves at Small's in Harrisburg. Mostly alone, save the smoky haze. Waiting for the other two bands that were to perform to arrive. And people to watch them.... for three hours. Weatherman again put on his executioner's hood and made intimidating puffing noises punctuated with the word ICE! Two bands never showed. Many other people eventually showed along with a random cover band pulled from the streets of The Burg who ended up playing. Loads of people I knew showed up with some lovely new faces, including Ms. Beaver and her coworker, Melissa, out for their mini-indie-holidie-partie.

2am and last call rolls around. Plastic chairs from outside come in covered with icicles. Our friend Brian offers to let us stay with him, he lives just down the street. I had arranged for us to stay with my parents in Lancaster for the night however this seemed too far to go if death was hanging out waiting for us in a ditch somewhere. So I texted my mom to say, we are staying at our friend Brian's place tonight. Mistake number one. Didn't hear back. Then we left the bar.

Immediately we realize, it is merely raining and the roads are just wet, though the tree branches are coated in fantastic sheaths of ice. We drive Brian to his house and decide to make our way back to Lancaster anyway, because warm bed and shower trumps floor and couch any day. I was about to text my mom back to let her know we are coming anyway and Dustin says, I wouldn't bother texting her, she will just worry. I concur. And we start driving to Lancaster. Mistake two.

sugar on our lips
sugar on our lips © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Dust drove with great care as we jointly held our breath crossing every bridge, and wading through the fog and rain. The iced over trees catching the pink-orange night lights looked spectacular and forbidding. If it weren't for the fear of driving off the road and not being able to get back on, I was so tempted to get out and shoot. Even without stopping, it took us about twice as long as usual to get to Lancaster. We arrived relieved and exhausted around 4am. I unlock the garage door and go to unlock the kitchen door and realize the deadbolt has been thrown. I do not have a key. So I call. Cell phones, home phone... no answer. Repeat. Walk to the front of the house and ring the door bell. Over and over. Nothing. Knock. Nothing. I return to the garage and say I think we are spending the night in the garage. So I pull out my travel blanket and pillow and set up a D Bed in the back seat of my mom's car. I pull together sections of my brother's ratty old couch, pull 4 old coats over me and lay down. For the best part of an hour I laid there, shivering, jumping at every noise that sounded like the door being unlocked. I had left one message on the answering machine to say we were in the garage, please unlock the door when you get up and let us in.

And I had to go to the bathroom. Dustin opens the car door and says, that's it, I want some hot cocoa, I can't sleep. I said let's find a hotel, I'm freezing. Option one had no vacancies. Then we stop at a Ho Jo Inn. The woman with three teeth from behind her locked glass door glares at me and growls that she isn't checking anyone in anymore. Because obviously I am trucking around at nearly 5am wanting to get a leg up. Luckily the Super 8 Motel across the street greeted us warmly for the remaining 6 hours of pre-checkout time for the night/morning. Immediately I conked out on the crunchy mattress with the heat cranked to full blast.

super 8
super 8 © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

10am rolls around and I can't sleep anymore, dreaming of people invading the hotel room while I was in varying states of undress and embarrassing situations. We start watching The Shot on VH1 which I had never actually seen before, only heard about how utterly little there was in it for winning. Wow I could shoot models in their undies for Victoria's Secret. I SO NEED TO WIN. My mom calls. Demands to know where I am, I thought you were in the garage? You texted me and said you were in Harrisburg. Why didn't you just drive home to Ambler? Why didn't you stay in Harrisburg like you said you were going to? Its not my responsibility to answer the phone or the door in the middle of the night. I was sleeping! And hangs up on me.

tangle © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Best warm fuzzy conversation with my mother of all time. So not only did we have a horrific night in terms of driving condition fears, sleepiness, freezing, soaking, and finding a place to lay our heads that wouldn't pee in our mouths while we slept, somehow I get dressed down like a kid out after curfew. I paid for a bed and a place to go to the bathroom. Shame on me.

I am this weekend's hero. And I think I am just going to walk to the North Pole for Christmas. At least I almost have my health.

Why on earth am I up this late ranting on my blog?

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Thursday, December 13, 2007


At what point did this stop being a photo blog and become a belly blog? I've started associating going to to write, with drinking clear liquids and pining. I must say though, Trader Joe's broth is good. Like if I had the inexplicable hankering to drink chicken water on a normal day, I would pick this. These were obviously happy chickens... before they were dead chickens.

in the fold
in the fold © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

For a fasting day, this one has been rather exceptional. I feel triumphant, if waterlogged. So I mentioned that I had a photographic illustration job involving constructing a wall, well that job is going to press on Monday, everybody is exquisitely pleased. I am chaffing at the bit to share it publicly. While that job was winding down I suddenly got a portrait job for the cover of the same magazine, same issue. The painter Dane Tilghman and I met for a shoot yesterday and despite doing five different set ups it only took me about 45 minutes. We shot in Taylor's at the Olde Mill in Norristown, where his work is currently on display. Shanners came along to assist though somehow Mr. Tilghman ended up helping us carry my equipment up and down between the four floors of the mill. Nothing like putting the subject to work. Such a character, singing along with the tunes, and since he, Shannon and I all went to Kutztown, we swapped tales about professors who started off straight-laced by the book in his time and went berserk by the time I had them, and retired in time for Shannon to cross paths.... some 30 years of comical KUCD history. Again I didn't regret bringing along my ladder as he had nearly a foot and a half on me. Even in my giant platform boots.

tomorrow's sun
tomorrow's sun © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

I am reminded that I have done very little in the line of personal work since I got my new camera. But I have that on the list of things that must change, soon. I have accumulated a bunch of new wall materials, so maybe tonight and tomorrow afternoon while I am coming out of my anaesthesia stupor I will cobble something together.

Anyway, let's hear it for getting real paid for photography work. And what's that I hear? Bonus at Other Work too? That should put a dent in the equipmental debts. Let's break even baby.

Back to my fluorescent green Jell-O consumption.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007


tango © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Managing to get out of work a smidge early, so I took a walk with my new hot lady friend Five Dee. I coulda danced all night but I ended up soaking wet a little too soon. Snow will do that to you.

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