Jacqui (jacqui) wrote,

No SF Decompression for Us, Swollen Lymph Nodes, More Dresses and the Fashion Show, Halloween

I just signed on and read about the earthquake in Pakistan. What is going on in this world of ours? Why does it seem like suffering, tragedy, and disaster are accelerating? Am I imagining this, are more natural disasters and tragedies actually occurring, or is it just the speed at which information reaches us?

My silly little daily doings, my life, lived somewhat out loud on my journal/blog, feels so insignificant compared to ALL of this tremendous suffering that is going on in the world around us. Life just seems so increasingly chaotic, dramatic, cruel, and intensely challenging, and when one after another one of these disasters happen, where people lose everything they love, if they survive at all, it seems small of me to spend time describing the mundane details of my daily life. I don't know how to make sense of my need to continue to write about my life and the lives of the people closest to me, to write about entertaining things, or to gossip, or complain about anything, when all of this is going on... I guess when I take a picture of one of my cats, who to me look so deeply innocent and beautiful, while at the same time someone halfway around the world takes a picture of a mother shaking her fists at the sky, these images are all part of the fabric of life -- the rhythms and energy that connect us, whether it's mundane or profane, it's all life. I wrote this earlier;

Hello My Journal Beloveds

I've been sick and had to cancel our trip to San Francisco this weekend. We were really looking forward to going to the Burning Man Decompression there for the first time, but it looks like we'll end up going to the one that we have here in LA on the fifteenth instead.

Two groups of Burning Man pals invited us to stay with them this weekend, and I still have to call and thank our friends Alchemy/Maeve and Dallas, but we ended up deciding to stay with our oldest Burning Man pals Jay, Julia, and Mark because we'd been promising them forever that we'd come visit and because Beau really wanted to hang out with his friend Jo, well, that and the fact that we love their entire family so very much.

I really wanted to go : ( We couldn't afford to fly because I waited too long to try to book the flights and our frequent flyer miles wouldn't do more than save us a couple hundred dollars off of one ticket. In the end we decided to drive the whole eight hour trip because even with gas being as expensive as it is, driving would have cost less.

Here's a poem that Beau wrote today, how cool is my little man?

"The default world.
Where we live most of the year,
where our minds are stuck and our souls are forced to stick.
Burning man is too short,
our souls don't have enough time to be free.
I connect to my inner Burning Man soul,
through fire spinning.
How 'bout you?"
-- Beau Carrillo

About a week ago I went next door to visit with my neighbor and friend Caryn and I noticed that she was sniffling and her voice sounded raspy. Then the next day I called to ask her about something and could tell that she was really sick. She got really sick and was home in bed with a sore throat and a fever for a week. I always care about my friends and hate to hear that someone is feeling sick, but whenever this happens, unfortunately for me, my first thought is, "Oh no, does this mean I'm going to get this?"

I think I drive people crazy with my relentless viral sleuthing. It somehow brings me a sense of comfort to guess where the illness -- that makes someone else sick for days, or at worse weeks, but knocks me off my feet for a month or more -- comes from. Maybe it gives me a sense of control in that I think if I can tell where it came from I can prevent it happening the next time -- which I know is ridiculous because it doesn't matter if I hugged a friend who is full of flu, when for all I know I picked it up off of a counter at the pharmacy the day before.

My immune system has been pretty challenged since my college days, although my knees and ankles started to crunch up and give me trouble starting in high school. The grooves in my knees are off a bit, they slant diagonally, and this has forced my kneecaps to have to adjust by trying to grind and fight against them for years causing all kinds of cartilage build up, and lots of dislocations. My ankles have just always been weird and give out with the slightest misstep. The ankle thing may have started when I tap danced my way off the apron of a stage during a high school production of The Boyfriend.

Oh God, would someone else please tell my son to turn the bass down on his stereo so I don't have to? He's always playing his music so loud and it makes me feel like an old grumpy grouch to ask him to turn it down.

So, I have lived with a somewhat challenged health status for a long time. I've got the sensitive nervous system, or artistic temperament, that therapists and psychiatrists like to call depression and medicate with antidepressants. I was finally diagnosed with ADD as an adult when we've always known there might be something going on that contributed to my totally scattered attention span, and inability to accomplish simple tasks, while simultaneously managing to pull off the really challenging ones. I've got Interstitial Cystitis, (bladder pain and frequency), Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, (low to no thyroid output), Fibromylagia, (inflammation of my connective tissues -- pain, pain and more pain, dry eyes, TMJ, and a kind of brain fog that some people call fibro-fog), PCOS, (cysts in my breasts, on my ovaries, and pretty much everywhere else, insulin resistance, period weirdness, fertility issues causing miscarriages, and acne), all kinds of dental troubles that I think I inherited from my birth mother, (who had all of her teeth pulled when she was a young woman), and now as I'm getting older I'm having to wear glasses and I'm beginning to have some hearing loss.

I know I should affirm health and fabulous wellness, because I do sort of believe that "what you state you create," but when you're writing about yourself you have to be honest, right? I know that even with all of these minor health challenges I'm blessed and fortunate that I have the use of all of my limbs, I don't have cancer, (knock wood), I can see, hear, touch, taste, smell, so I'm not writing this out of self pity or a need to whine, I'm just trying to tell my story, and explain why I think I manage to catch almost everything that's going 'round.

Sometimes I wonder if all of these things aren't related in some way to a couple of herpetic viruses I got in college. At twenty-one I got mono and chicken pox and all of these assorted troubles just kind of blossomed from there.

Anyway, I don't feel well, and haven't felt well since coming back from Burning Man. That's why I haven't been writing as much. I've been kicking myself hard for not having any energy and for spending a lot of time here at home in bed. I thought it was just some kind of post Burning Man depression or lethargy but now that I've discovered all of these swollen lymph nodes in my neck and along my collar bone, I know that I've got something more serious going on here. Well, it doesn't have to be that serious, but there's definitely something going on.

I've had this big lump on the right side of my neck for at least a month and thought it was a muscular thing, a tension knot of some kind, but when I was at the dentist the other day, I ended up seeing his friend the chiropractor at the same time, and he told me it was a lymph node. I got on line and found all kinds of jolly lymph node information. I learned that you shouldn't massage it, which is what I'd been doing because I thought it was a muscular thing that needed to be worked out. Turns out this irritates and inflames it, great. Of course there were the many cheerful references to the possibility of cancer, and then there were the simple things like colds and bacterial infections. Obviously I'm hoping for the latter. The funniest or possibly the most interesting thing I read was about a woman with inflamed lymph nodes who couldn't get a proper diagnosis until a biopsy finally revealed that she had contracted cat scratch fever which is usually a pediatric condition. We'll see what's up Tuesday, but clearly I wasn't in any condition to drive eight hours to and eight hours from San Francisco, and everyone is really disappointed, everyone but the cats who have been enjoying cuddling up beside me.

I really enjoyed watching a lot of birth shows on TV today. There were a series of shows about women giving birth to triplets. Watching women giving birth is always so moving. The C-sections are pretty gross and scary to watch, but seeing the babies being born is fascinating. The last of a group of triplets came out with his embryonic sac completely intact and that was fascinating to watch, to see him in the sac, and then see it being ruptured -- just to see how we all lived in utero, covered with white wax, surrounded by warm water. Birth is so beautiful and it makes me sad to think that the chance of my ever giving birth to another child has now moved from slim to beyond slim. It's extra sad for me because of my being adopted and feeling disconnected biologically from people who I am related to. But there's always adoption, if I get it together in time.

Halloween is coming on strong, and although we've brought all of our stuff out of storage, we have yet to set it all up in the yard. If I can muster up the energy we're going to go to Tappia Brothers pumpkin farm in the valley this afternoon to pick up all of the hay bales we need to cover our driveway and yard with. Then we can get started setting up our decorations.

Work on the fashion show is progressing. I did a phone interview with Margot, who is handling some of the publicity, and am writing up a kind of historical time line to give to another woman, and to have for posterity.

Sadly, I've had to pass up on some of the dresses that have come up for sale on eBay. Here are a few that I didn't buy, and two that I did;

Pink Satin Brocade Peggy Hunt Dress
Here's another one of my Grandmother's dresses that I didn't buy. You know, it's either food for us and for the animals, or these dresses. Guess which one has to win? And I so would have loved to have been able to buy this pretty little pink number, sigh. Maybe some vintage dress fairy will come along and buy some of these for me. A gal can dream can't she?

Grey Sequined Peggy Hunt Cocktail Dress
I really hoped I'd get this one because it was photographed poorly and it has a wine stain, but as has been happening more frequently lately, I was outbid. I even wrote to the woman who won it asking her what she was planning to do with it, if she bought it to wear, or to resell, but she didn't write back.

Asymetrical Lace Applique Peggy Hunt Dress
I wanted to bid on this one but didn't because I just knew it was going to get forced way up there and I have a lot of these black lace numbers. The thing I did like about this one is that the lace applique is asymmetrical and I don't have any examples of dresses like this. Oh well. Take a look at the bidding history. See that one person in there who only has one feedback point, and the one who hasn't ever purchased anything on eBay, even the buyer with eleven feedback points -- these are the folks who make me suspicious.

Black Illusion Peggy Hunt Cocktail Dress
This one is so simple and pretty but I have too many like it. In fact I may actually have this design. I'm going to have to photograph my collection and catalogue it in some way so that I won't waste any money purchasing duplicates unless they are in larger sizes or better condition than the ones I already have.

A Less Appealing Striped Number
Now, this one's been up for auction a couple of times and it never sells. When I thought I had all the money in the world and there'd never be more of these dresses for me to buy, I would have bought it. But it isn't that pretty and the seller keeps setting the starting bid too high. I think that when even I don't want it, that it doesn't have a prayer of selling for this much.

Jeannette Alexander Cocktail Dress
My Mother's dresses had to be made out of much cheaper materials than my Grandmother's because they were marketed to a different clientele so it's unfair to compare them, but I still want them nevertheless. I bought this one because it was so affordable and I had a feeling it wasn't going to sell.

Overpriced Jeannette Alexander Black Cocktail Dress
Here's one that I really ate it on, but for once I beat out stoaty1 on something. This dress should never have been priced this high because I just know the fabric will be cheap and Mom's dresses just don't command these kinds of prices but I don't have too many dresses of my Mom's that are pretty and this one was unusual for her. If we can get this in time for the fashion show, then it'll be worth it, but never again.

I just wish people would back off and leave the field clear for me, (and I know this is a totally ridiculous thing to say), but I'm at the point now where I can't even afford the opening bids on most of these, let alone the overinflated shilled up bids that some of these dresses close at. I can't tell you how pissed off I get at shill bidders, even though I understand the temptation to do it. If I were selling something right now I might be tempted to see the whole thing as a game -- to use a friend to push up the price so that I can get the most that the market would bear, but as we all know, karma's a bitch.

I know that some of these dresses are really pretty, but no one knew who my Grandmother or Mother were until I started collecting them, which was the reason I began doing this in the first place. My dream was to build a collection, have a fashion or museum showing, and then write a book or articles about the history of their businesses and their fascinating glamorous lives. Now that this is all within reach, the collector part of me is sad, because I've kind of priced myself right out of the market, and am at cross purposes. The more publicity I get for them, the more expensive the dresses become.

They're also super tiny and hard to fit -- most of the waists on these dresses are smaller than a twenty-six. I've also seen the way people talk about them on the fashion boards and websites, "I have a Peggy Hunt dress but it's in poor condition. Should I try to list it?" "Oh yes, go for it, her grand daughter collects them and she'll pay anything for it." Well, no longer.

I only want the dresses that I don't have a lot of similar styles of. I want the early ones, however I want them to be in good condition. And I'm about ready to begin selling off my duplicates. I was hoping to give them away to people I love, people who have helped me and been kind through all of this, (one eBay pal in particular comes to mind and if you're reading this you'll know who you are Tracy ; ) but again, it's hard to find any that are big enough to fit a modern sized woman, and I need the money, so I may end up having to sell some of them. Either that or see them all stolen by Rosa, (Mother's housekeeper), at least the ones she hasn't managed to take so far. I'm guessing she took everything that fit because when we were sitting on the floor in my Mom's closet at our vacation house in Palm Desert, where I used to store all of them, going through them, she knew them intimately, knew exactly which ones would fit and which ones wouldn't. She's cunning and stupid at the same time.

One of Mom's old friends and bridge partners, (a fascinating woman who wrote a book about Rasputin), is giving a charity tour of her home tomorrow, (she lives in Fremont Place along Wilshire), and we didn't even realize that our fashion show and her home tour are being sponsored, or are under the same charity umbrella, until just now. It just suddenly occurred to me today, as I was sitting here, that since Fremont Place is on Wilshire, and The El Rey Theatre, where we're having our fashion show, is also on Wilshire, that maybe both of these events are part of the same historical effort.

I think Jen told me about the Fremont Place thing a while ago. She almost bought a house there. I just know that an old high school friend of mine grew up there and we had our first high school reunion there. I doubt I'll feel well enough to go, but I'd really like to, since I could really get to see my Mom's friend's house. Apparently it's loaded with antiques and memorabilia. She was one of the first female war correspondents and has had a fascinating career.

I promised Beau's cute, pregnant, school secretary Keisha, that I would come in on Monday and help her mail out all of the newsletters. I so want to help her out because she always seems so overworked and overwhelmed. We'll have to see how I'm feeling, right now all I want to do is lay down and the pumpkin path adventure is sounding super arduous...

Great big Happy Halloween hugs,

These are the kinds of one of a kind hand made art pieces that I love to buy each year for Halloween. There are so many cool things like this on eBay. Isn't this cute?

PS: I'd like to be a corpse bride for Halloween but I don't have the hair or the wedding dress. Money, everything seems to require the use of it ; )

PPS: My little curly grey cat Dr. Matt was sitting between my legs when I farted and I wondered what he would do. He got up and moved. LOL

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