Monday, June 30, 2008

there's more where that came from

An evening walk speckled with fireflies... what's that you say? Am I all better now? Up and out and moving and shaking like that.

It might seem like I take some perverse joy in this... or am making it all up for the number of times I have written the words it didn't work.

That little sliver of hope that it would just scar down and everything would grow golden peach fuzziness died with a delightful infection over the weekend, following my visiting with the Butcher. We discussed how to proceed in the short term and long, with the now-familiar pall of disappointment over us. To ensure my comfort for the interim period, he wanted to perform an intermediate comfort procedure before the 4th of July weekend... a procedure I have now had four times. Then for the worse news, instead of waiting only one month to try again, he said we should really wait two... on top of that the rather horrifying and more invasive procedure he mentioned last time... yeah, that one.

tangle © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

So last Wednesday, back to the Surgicenter we went. After my last visit, where I assured all the nurses that I wouldn't be back, this is the last one for real this time... Michael and I both have become all too familiar to well... everybody now. We got razzed at every turn, starting with the inimitable Georgette. My favorite German, red-headed-surrogate-mother nurse was in recovery and visited me while I was in Pre-Induction.

escapist © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

This process has become so much a part of my way of life. Despite that, I am still surprised at how uncomfortable and drained I am for ages following it all... I always expect to just bounce. But I don't. The added weight of having just been in the hospital two weeks prior to the day, and scarcely moving in that time, took its toll. So this week I decided I needed to step up. Since I have two months, I've decided to start a light workout routine, including walks and my Nordic Track... which hasn't been touched in so long it got stuck at max resistance where I left it, making it especially challenging, now. Its been very upsetting watching the hard work I put in for some four year basically go to waste because of pain, exhaustion, explicitly being told to rest and eat weird things, and lack of desire to start something I would have to stop again repeatedly. I need to get a step ahead of this next one. I want to feel stronger going into it... hopefully the result will be that much better. Exercise plus regular art fagging with the gang and shooting onward and upward should make the two months fly, and looking forward to doing it again afterwards makes it a little easier to process.

fear to tread
fear to tread © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

At long last this weekend Gwyn is taking Michael and I to a special location that I attempted to visit some two years ago and chickened out of and I am buzzing with the thrill of what we'll find there. Also everywhere I turn I have been featured on the front page of art e-commerce sites including imagekind and trunkt. There was even a little spike in etsy sales. Always welcomed. LAB v02 came out as well, which features some amazing collections, including a vibrant bunch of Indian handpainted street signs from Meena Kadri and mac 'n' cheese packaging amassed by Pete Jordan. Plus my constructs make an appearance.

Also its come time to showcase some things I shot aaaaaaaaaaaages ago and finally can post them publicly. First off, from a shoot in February for the American Institute of Architects, Context magazine, I was asked to do a portrait of the fine gents who lead a sustainable development/design/build team in Philadelphia, The Onion Flats. I opted to do some traditional group portraits but then also wanted to take a slightly different approach: take four individual portraits and then digitally composite them afterwards. Sort of a portrait version of a construct. While it was not chosen for print, I still liked how it turned out. First, the singles, then the recombined version:

tim mcdonald © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

johnny mcdonald © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

pet mcdonald © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

howard steinberg © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

forward thinking
forward thinking © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Two months ago I had the opportunity to shoot the workings of a printing studio in idyllic Durham, PA. I documented the studio assistants working on an edition of floral woodblock prints by renowned artist Polly Apfelbaum. Afterwards I met with the owners of Durham Press for a series of portraits around with pieces from their private collection.

crossfire © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

awash © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

woodblock print
woodblock print © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

the perfect stroke
the perfect stroke © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

jig © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

I had a passing fancy this morning that I might ask some people to contribute photos of random architectural elements and façades so that I might build a construct of them. It half way seems like cheating and half way seems ideal for the circumstance. It would bring fresh stock to the dwindling pot, help me keep creating without moving, and allow me access to foreign architectures without an airplane ticket or wasting gas. Credit gets sticky... and I hate not taking my own photos... and I don't know what quality of camera I am working with when others shoot on my behalf... and if I sold the piece would I then have to divvy up the profits... and who would actually do it?

In the meantime I am working on a presentation book for the constructs to shop around to publishers, hoping I can find someone to produce it and I am considering also self publishing a smaller photography book featuring my abandoned interiors. Should keep me distracted for a little while I imagine. Keep your eyes peeled I should add to that particular set of images this coming week.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008


I was wrong.

It wouldn't be the first disappointment. Or even the fifth. Getting one's hopes up has become an exercise that enhances neither my enjoyment of the process nor the outcome. My hopes had been so very high.

I am fortunate, in that I have a circle of very patient friends (and mom) whose TMI limits reach another universe, who cook for me (and join me in low residue solidarity), who bring me endless cushions to sit on and prop me up with, pick up the stuff that is too heavy, bend onver in my stead, keep being a positive backup even when I go black cloudy, bitch along side me when misery needs company, humor my rules and regulations, still make me laugh even though it hurts. I hope they don't grow sick of sick me.

poppies © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

After going to the see the Butcher yesterday, I have taken some time to collect my thoughts on all the things presented me now. I went to see him earlier than expected, because, without being overly graphic, I was experiencing a symptom that would indicate something inside, at the site of the surgery, had given way.

crown © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

I had struggled to find a perfect balance of ins and outs to meet the body's fluctuating needs. The never ending attempts to regulate my body's system by way of drugs, fluid intake, and diet make every swallow a calculated prayer. Will this offset this enough, or too much? I need to hold back, but how much do I need to hold back? One extreme or the other. Everything is an adjustment to an adjustment. Running theme really.

bloomers © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

After he examined me and we talked, he said he thinks we have a flap breakdown. While that, to my ears, sounds like I am disintegrating, it is more like a tiny tear, through which, only air can pass. He said he does not yet think all is lost - it should ideally still be able to scar down and heal itself, ideally. He put me back on a topical drug to increase blood flow to help the healing and said he was going to consult with a Dr. M, another colorectal specialist, about my case and ask her if she thinks I should have some ultrasound diagnostic studies, to see if we can locate the tear since she does most of the specialized ultrasound work in Philly. He told me I am his project. There was a colorectal conference a couple weeks ago and he said they were all swapping notes on their approaches to fixing their own patients with this particular problem. No definitive answer. No news to me there. Though apparently there has been some work done using sheets of porcine intestine as a bio-medium. Anyway I have been having some other unspeakable problems to which The Butcher responded that we might have to have a much more radical surgery to correct, should I not bounce back.

I am putting that out of my mind completely as of now, and will not consider it one more time until I absolutely must.

wardrobe whirlwind
wardrobe whirlwind © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

In the meantime, stay on the low residue diet. Continue to rest and only do what you feel comfortable with and I will see you again in five days. I am filling in my partner on your status, as she is on call this weekend, so in case anything happens, she will be ready for you. I'll call you tomorrow once I talk to Dr. M about your case and see what she thinks.

Dr. M seems to think there is a good chance it will scar up on its own and be done. Give it a couple weeks and just let it do its thing. If it does not... do not put another drain in, work with the new smaller hole... but you must wait at least a month so the tissue has time to soften. And then nab it.

This labyrinthine explanation leaves the path of my recovery as vague as it ever was. After now 17 months, give it some more time. Tried and true. So I am sallying forth... meeting each day in bed with wild horizontal zest. Obsessively checking my inbox for the notes from friends, hopes of sales from etsy to tide me over while I am incomeless, IMing at all hours to fill the quiet void occasionally filled by visits from friends, Michael, and my nursekitty Maggs... reading, looking at photos, watching movies, working on projects, losing my mind a little bit at a time. I did spend half an hour the other day walking around the bedroom taking photos, which accompany this entry... the rules of the exercise: {a} do not leave the bedroom {b} do not bend over {c} do not make a mess you cannot clean up yourself. I've been stuffing my face with every starchy carb catastrophe I have always wished to indulge but couldn't bring myself. Who is having mountains of french toast for brunch, bagel chips for a snack and pasta for dinner on top of liters of sugary fruit juice beverages and sodas? In one day! This girl is. Who is watching their body go weak and doughy in the meantime?

kitty in kittybed
kitty in kittybed © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Tonight I drove for the first time in over a week, on my way to the first art fag night in some time. Shanners, Michael, Shua and I feasted on sassy low residue scampi prepared by Michael. It was great to be out of the house finally, but the general morale of the group was low due to our combined personal turmoils... and despite the deeply cushy couch, sitting upright for 3 hours was more than I could bear.

stolen from the north of england
stolen from the north of england © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Two codeines later, for some reason I am still awake, albeit with one eye open. The next time I write I'll attempt to have something more uplifting than this cranky I've been in bed for 9ish days, I'm stiff and bored drivel. Maybe with a few less drugs in the system I'll be like a different woman.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

fully operational

The worst, I think, is over. The haze of morphine is blocking out some memories from Wednesday and my general delirium is probably not going to lend much to the clarity of this entry. But I am stuck with a week of bed rest and what better way to kill some horizontal time than to write?

I can't begin to count the number of times in the past few days where I've had those moments where I am waiting for the next 'happening', where all the words and feelings are bubbling up within me and the means to express it perfectly were all RIGHT THERE... and of course these are the same moments where there is no paper to write on, no laptop... only wheels scooting me from one room to the next. So this is what you get: me, touched with codeine, laying in bed, my mother yakking away at me from the chair across the room.

privacy © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday morning, hungry, sleepy and clean, Michael and I drove over to Chestnut Hill Hospital and were met by my favorite admissions nurse at the Surgicenter, Georgette. She knows me by name now, smirking when she sees me, always quick with a quip about me not being able to stay away, then releasing a string of comic complaints about the insanity of the day thus far and/or pen stealers/waiting area cell phone users. She ferries us to AM Admissions to my least favorite admissions nurse... who I shall refer to as Nurse Pane. She, too, recognizes me... but is completely humorless and even though she knows I know the drill will repeat the same info roboticly and slowly... while denying AGAIN that I will be admitted overnight again even though the orders were clear, and acting like she didn't really want to give me Teds despite my expected two-hour surgery and week of bed rest... then left us rot for an hour and a half.

When I met Michael and explained to him what was going on with me health-wise, I told him that I hated saying the name of my condition (or disease, depending on how you look at it). So he named the hole Herbert, so that I wouldn't ever have to say the actual name if I didn't want to. It just so happened that the man who took me from AM Admissions to Pre-Induction was named Herb. When he came in the room and introduced himself, Michael and I locked eyes in comic recognition and I took this as some sort of omen. Once Herb deposited us, we hit something of a stride, all cheery familiar faces, my favorite anaesthesiologist, who nails an IV like nobody's business and historically has kept me from getting sick, The Butcher for pre-op pep talk, the residents and other nurses. I informed the Butcher about some problems I had been having the past couple weeks and we had to make some last minute decisions about how to handle the possible problematic outcomes... He suggested we might put off surgery for a few days and then do a complete colonoscopy prep to clean out the system, with four days of clear liquids following the surgery. We opted to go ahead as scheduled without the prep and have a day of clear liquids, followed by a week of low residue diet, so, yeah I've been living on beige food...

flush © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

The spinal took three pokes to get to the right spot, then I had to lay on my back have my foley catheter inserted... fortunately the spinal had started to kick in already, though the sedation had not, so I had the pleasure of watching all these things happening to my body while completely unable to feel them. Including the team of six it took to roll me over to the operating table onto my stomach. I laid my head on the foam pillow and stared at the black and institutional green tiles on the floor until I knocked out. I actually awoke before the procedure was over and recalled hearing people talking about their vacations. I looked up at the anaesthesia nurse who was sitting by my head and she gave me some more sedation... and once more I woke up a few minutes before they were finished. The spinal was still effective but the awareness that things were still going on behind me was bizarre. I remember them rolling me over onto another gurney and taking me into recovery, more coherent than ever, post-op.

mr. bones
mr.bones © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

The lidocaine spinal wore off relatively quickly. Foot-wiggles were had within the hour... which also meant I was in face-twister pain within two hours. The recovery room nurse (who was named Shannon, who I made myself remember because she shares names with the Shanners) started giving me 2mg of morphine at a time as sensation started returning. She must have dosed me four or five times and every time the pain just seemed to get worse. Each time she administered it, I tasted copper on my tongue and then a curious warm, crampy sensation radiated out from my belly button, and the pain muted a touch. The combination of the surgery site pain and the constant nagging of the catheter was pretty unbearable... it felt rather like my entire groin had been seared off, which left me writhing in discomfort.

clear liquid diet
clear liquid diet © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Anxious to get to my room and see Michael, my mom and friends who were visiting later, I asked Nurse Shannon if they had contacted Michael about what room I was going to be in, since he was letting everyone know where to show up that evening. It was then I found out mom got lost, and was practically in Collegeville. By the time I was rolled up to my room, mom and Michael had actually beat me to it and were chatting away while my new nurse, Linda, hooked me up to my morphine drip with saline to keep me super hydrated (a state I am unaccustomed to).

em oh arr pee aych eye en three
em oh arr pee aych eye en three © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

The order of things that happened that evening is a bit of a blur, but I do recall my mother running around collecting answers from the nurses and residents along with hijacking beverages and water ice from the nutrition center for me. Michael took cell phone pictures and sent them to my people with directions on how to get to the hospital. Gwyn was the first to arrive, with a gift that gave me my first good laugh of the day: an Uglydoll with a gauze bandage taped to its butt, just like me. Solidarity, man! We goofed about and chatted and Shanners showed up not long thereafter with a monster gift basket, that included a phenomenal, anatomically correct stuffed toy octopus (replete with a beak on its pink underside), a miniature plastic skeleton, The Shy Little Kitten (to be read by Michael before I go to sleep), a white fluffy ceramic cat, balloon, magazine, crackers, markers, and card.

octopussy © Michael Alan Goldberg. All Rights Reserved.

Not allowed out of bed, and not even able to turn and lay on my side, I got pretty antsy in no time and had Michael get the camera out and we handed it back and forth as the evening progressed. Shannon also had promised me that she would take lots of photos as well... and she did. But she was disappointed I was not more messed up on the morphine than I was.

the poor housekeeper I terrified by wearing a stuffed octopus on my head
the poor housekeeper I terrified by wearing a stuffed octopus on my head © Michael Alan Goldberg. All Rights Reserved.

When the first housekeeping lady came in to remove my tray of unpalatable liquid diet delicacies, she found a room full of raucous people, and the patient wearing a brown and pink octopus on her head. She came in, startled, scurried half out and then snuck back in... Michael caught her and she exclaimed 'oh he captured me!!' and shuffled away with my unsalted chicken broth that tasted more like the metal spoon I ate it with.

shanners shade
shanners shade © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Daniel and his girlfriend Nancy showed up close to visiting hours ending. He informed me that according to the posted rules, patient's visitors are to keep their visits short and quiet. Daniel informed me that Nancy is short and he was quiet, so it was all under control. We did manage to get pretty rowdy, half of which was caused by the one resident coming into the full room and rolling me over to check my ass dressing in front of all my friends and then shortly thereafter, Nurse Linda marches in and tapes a sign to the wall over the head of my bed that reads NOTHING PER RECTUM. Attention somehow shifted then to The Pee Bag, which was indelicately placed right by where visitors would sit next to me bedside. Awesome.

nothing per
nothing per © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Five minutes before visiting hours ended, the announcement came on the PA system to tell everyone to leave. Of course my posse stuck around a bit longer than was legal and managed to get themselves locked into the building. We broke every rule. Most visitors claimed it was the best time they had ever had in a hospital room. For me, the presence of so many of my people made the pain much more bearable. My night nurse put a quick end to the fun by being a cold grouch. I conked out around 10.30 but was awakened numerous times throughout the night to have vital signs taken, be gifted with a Voldyne spirometer around midnight... and around 3am my IV started beeping about its emptiness. Wide awake, I asked grouchynurse for something to help me sleep, instead she gave me a fabulous new drug for my pain, Toradol. It worked way better than morphine, making both the pain at large and even the foley annoyance dissipate completely. I slept for another three hours before morning rounds started up and the anti-climatic thrill of solid food... squishy french toast with scrambled eggs! Destroyed! The Butcher stopped by early to check in on me and told me all looked well.

discharging © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Michael and mom showed up at the top of the visiting hour while the residents were making rounds. New guy said he would try me on some codeine orally and see if it affected me adversely, get me some lunch, take out my cath, then discharge me. Sounded quick and easy but took almost another 4 hours. In the meantime, the three of plotted the next few days, mom stole more Jack and Jill water ice from the nutrition room and tried to light fires under the asses of the appropriate people to get me sprung, and once I was uncathed I got up and roamed around the room and took more photos. As I said to my visitors, I am paying $250 a day for this studio space, I might as well get my money's worth.

betadine teds = teh hotness
betadine teds = teh hotness © Michael Alan Goldberg. All Rights Reserved.

I'm not sure I could get used to having people take care of me in a long term way... even though I am more or less doing that now for a couple weeks. Reporting to people on the details of my bodily functions will never feel quite normal or comfortable. The same goes for rolling over and letting random strangers look at my butt.

stylin © Michael Alan Goldberg. All Rights Reserved.

After discussing with nurses, The Butcher, mom and Michael, it was decided that I should stay at my apartment rather than going home to Lancaster, or staying with Michael. Mom and Michael just split up the watch shifts into manageable pieces. Mom stayed til late Friday morning and Michael came at noon and stayed til later in the evening. I felt pretty good by Friday night but decided against performing acrobatic feats, instead, falling asleep watching tv on the couch.

When I awoke I went to get ready for bed and much to my chagrin, I discovered a bit of bleeding from the surgery site. Whether it was from bleeding, the drugs, or just the idea that something might be very wrong, when I stood up I was so light-headed and dizzy I was certain I would pass out. I immediately went and laid down in bed and called the Butcher. He said if I wanted to I could go into the ER and he would let them know I was coming or I could wait and see what the morning held. He said I likely felt like passing out just from worry alone, since, by the time I got on the phone with him, I was rather worked up. I decided to wait until morning.

Awakening was painless and refreshing for about a minute, before it was shadowed with dread. I didn't want to get out of bed for fear of what I would find. And not without reason, today. There was a lot more blood than last night. Knowing full well I would be going to the ER, I resolved to not eat, to take a shower and prepare myself as though I were going to surgery. I stood in the shower and cried. Its hard to go through so many procedures of ever-increasing intensity and watch them fail repeatedly. The last fix surgery in April, I knew was failing, The Butcher knew was failing before he even told me he knew... he didn't want me to lose hope, but also made me wonder if he would really tell me straight up if things were going wrong immediately.

I let Michael know we needed to go to the ER. Mom was already on her way back from Lancaster to meet us there. I registered and the triage nurse called over to ask me if I was pregnant... my comfy dresses and awkward walk are obviously flattering me all the way. I was given a room and seen by a doctor within the hour. The Butcher appeared quickly thereafter... he was on call for the weekend and had started the day with a burst appendix in the OR. Once he came in to examine me he quickly determined the source of the bleeding, which was one not to be worried about. The sutures were holding, we were in the clear.
Something I do has to work for once!
I should hope so.

Mom made it in time to finally meet the Butcher and hang out with us while awaiting discharge instructions. I am still strictly forbidden to lift cars off of small children, kickbox, etc. We all went home together and Michael made us scrambled eggs and english muffins in lieu of more inspired brunches that I was pining aloud for.

Oh, fiber, why must we be strangers, when we have been lovers so long.

As boring as it is, I am actually glad to have a little peace and consistency to my day now. Finding a schedule within the Doing Nothing will make it a bit more bearable. Eating, reading, receiving visitors, napping, writing, working on photos & projects, watching tv... I can handle it, despite the not being able to go out walk/exercise/be publicly social. Friday I check in with the Butcher again and we should know by then if it has all worked, then I can switch my diet back to high fiber, after giving the system this rest, another week and then I should technically be better.

Like fixed better.

This is almost impossible to imagine. It is such an unfamiliar state anymore. I forget what it is like. I can barely wait.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the final word

Undoubtedly I ought to be packing, hydrating or something, anything, less pressing than blogging. Alternating terror and excitement are preventing me from doing much besides watch reruns of Law & Order. I like plans, certainty, accurate foresight... and there is some gray area before me, stretching out for two weeks.

My pre-surgical weekend sendoff started with an art fag extravaganza tinted with dairy overtones: double header Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy with Jesus Christ Super Star, pierogies and the groundwork for the latest construct:

psalm © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Much fringe, clashing typography and cheese ensued.

hunger strike
hunger strike © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Friends from collegiate days held their annual mega-birthday bash at R.U.B.A Hall. This year's theme, history, brought out the creativity in us all. The Girl with No Sewing Skills came as The Girl with a Pearl Earring.

near vermeer
near vemeer © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

ground control
ground control © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

paul(ette) stanley
paul(ette) stanley © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

frida's prayers answered
frida's prayers answered © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

The following day, Michael and I decided that the decent weather called for some afternoon outdoorsyness, so we headed to the Shawmont Towpath to visit the Waterworks, hoping it was still intact. And it was. We crowned the day with some Nerdy Nature Photography.

on the head
on the head © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

All of this peppered with intermittent freak outs and zone outs, imagining what sort of shape I would be in a week from any given moment. Aligning all the pieces, writing up the lists, eating twigs and berries, downing pint after pint of water, mentally folding heaps of comfortable clothes, stockpiling high fiber ingredients... here am I hours away in a relative calm. Tomorrow some of my people will come by the hospital to visit me, while I click away at my magic morphine button, hoping I feel nothing but giddy... that part I am looking forward to...
I've finished with all the distractions I had accumulated for today including entering this contest over at Artists Wanted (hey why don't you drop on by and rate my portfolio, bump me upwards in the judge's eyes, no need to register!) and now I am left with heavy eyelids and empty bags. I'm off to my closet... wish me luck.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

the reconstruction

With the installation of the air conditioners in time for the first hellacious heat wave of summer, sleeping has become not only easier but something of a much anticipated treat, nightly. Until today. It seems my landlord thought it a good idea to assemble a very vocal posse of men, armed with chainsaws, to hack back the tree in the yard outside my veranda door. They would then chop up pieces of the trees outside my window, yodel, then throw them to the ground and then move them to the chipper-shredder to make copious amounts of deafening mulch.

troubled © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

I guess I ought not lament so much as the month of June is being hailed as, among other things, Recovery Month, Sleep If Off Month and also as No Income Month. This weekend I am in training for later this month. Finally The Butcher and Dr. GI Guy have given me a clear assessment. Having seen all the results, Dr. GI told me that without running anymore tests on me, he can say that there is only a very small chance that I might, some day, present with Crohn's. But he doesn't want to run more tests and the surgery that The Butcher is planning on performing is one they would use on people with my condition who also have Crohn's, so it would still be an effective measure to take.

The Butcher and I sat down at discussed the finer points of what would be my 7th and most major surgery to date. The Advancement Flap. We did not start with this procedure even though it has a higher success rate than the 'plug', because it is more invasive. It will be inpatient, my first, and primarily for pain management purposes, which made me shudder. In past The Butcher has warned of grave pain which later turned out to be more bearable than he suggested, but he suggested I take two weeks off of work to recuperate. And to take the pain meds he gives me because I will need them.

heatwave © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved. music: Le Fil Du Temps (ft. Ami Sioux) (Piano Version) by Poni Hoax

Nurse Mom, Michael and I have been planning the first week, so that I won't be alone, I will be connected, comfortable, fed and hydrated... and probably entertained when I come to. I have quite a few people threatening to come visit me in the hospital, so much so that I might have to arrange for catering. They might be disappointed to find me unconscious the entire time.

So while I was processing the financial damage of not working for two weeks, I was also having a etsy sale dry spell, and a design work dry spell, much to my dismay. I've heard that sales have been slow everywhere, and it is summer, notoriously slow all round, but I can't help but get especially nervous, when I will be lucky to have 5 days of income this month. So if you've been putting off purchasing a print, anytime between now and June 15th is a super time to do it. hint hint

euphoria © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

The ideal plan for the three weeks prior to surgery included excesses of shooting, and getting out and frolicking. High leg kicks. Maybe trapeze routines. Actually if I really wanted to I just found out I could... but I don't function optimally when upside down. While this weekend starts a five day hot hot hot of heat index in the high 90s-100s, last weekend blessed us with one perfect day. Sunday. Miss Beaver and I had been plotting a styling/fashion shoot for c few months, basically since our last shoot together... y'know the saucy lingerie shoot on the coldest weekend in January. For some reason, the Saturday before the shoot, I had an inexplicable feeling of dread with regards to the shoot. I had this suspicion that we would get caught on entry. Or we would get hurt. Or it would rain.

flights © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Miss Beaver and her coworker (and our model for the shoot) Melissa showed up on the gorgeous afternoon and we slid into The House of Smoke and Mirrors completely undetected. While I realized too late that I had forgotten my tripod and we were haunted by the frenzied scurries of a squirrel on the other side of a locked door in the house, the shoot went off completely without a hitch.

visitation © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

In fact it was probably my favorite fashion shoot to date. Melissa is stunning, the clothes were sizzling, and the house sang for me. Having only discussed this with Gwyn, both she and I have found that that particular house seems to create inexplicable color and lighting effects in-camera. Tints of yellow, green, lavender appear in shots that are not visible in the room.... dramatic cars appear where there seem to be none.

recovery © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

It is a truly special place and I will really miss its offerings when it is demolished, which will be quite soon. Truly magical and quite surreal. A home that under different circumstance, I could see myself inhabiting.

willing © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

I hope in the next couple weeks I can squeeze a few more photographs out before I am bedridden, but even if I don't, the glee that came with the results of this shoot are sticking with me. I am truly proud of what we all created together on Sunday. We are quite a team.

On a lighter notw, I'm not one for gimmicky tech items but sheeee-yit, I am totally in love with this itty bitty digital rollei. I actually really want it. I've been wanting a little point and shoot even though I can't really afford such luxuries right now since I should use the economic stimulus check on groceries and well, gas. But I lust for this.

How friggin cute is that!!

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