Robin Williams: Parkinson’s Disease, Depression, And Why The Judgmentals Can Get Stuffed

My grandfather passed away.

Months ago, actually.

And I didn’t tell many people about it, for various reasons. We weren’t close. He wasn’t the epitome of a good man, or a good husband, or a good father to my mom (in fact, it could be said that he was the opposite). Continue reading “Robin Williams: Parkinson’s Disease, Depression, And Why The Judgmentals Can Get Stuffed”


Dreaming the Life

2013 and the holidays and my birthday all flew by before I knew they were gone, but now that things are slowing down and I have a moment to catch my breath and take stock of my life, two things are abundantly clear.

I am very very happy, and I miss my sister terribly. Continue reading “Dreaming the Life”

Aloha Oe: Kauai, Here We Come!

In less than two weeks, Donnie and I will hit the 10 year mark in our relationship. And while that fact is enough to warrant its own blog post (oh, don’t worry, it’s gonna happen), there’s something we haven’t done yet, and I’m simply giddy that it’s going to be fixed soon.

Wait, NO, it has nothing to do with tying any knots. Not yet. EVERYONE CALM DOWN, false alarm.


Until further notice, GPOY.

No, what we haven’t gotten around to doing yet is taking an honest to goodness vacation together. I mean, of course we’ve traveled together. We’ve stayed at nice hotels and gone on getaways, but never as a couple. Everywhere we’ve gone, we’ve always had company. I think because we’ve been together so long and we’re kind of platonic in front of other people (we’re both really icky on the whole PDA thing), that in the past it’s never crossed our fellow travelers’ minds that, no, we’d actually not rather share a room with anyone else. But that’s a super awkward conversation to have (“sorry, you can’t sit with us because we wanna do romantic grownup things” just doesn’t roll off the tongue). So we’ve always just kind of shrugged and went along with it.

Fortunately, that’s going to change. Because this October, we’re attending Brianne & Patric’s renewal ceremony…in Hawaii! I know, I know: Nicole, that is NOT in the Tater Tot Budget. But that’s just it: B & P have been trying to plan this since their courthouse wedding in March 2010 (and been thwarted at every turn by Army, but that’s another rant for another day). And since we’ve known that this trip would be happening eventually, we’ve been planning and budgeting so that we could be there for the big day. AND it just happened to work out kind of perfectly that this obligatory trip to Hawaii is just a few months after our 10th anniversary! (Okay, yes, it’s more than a few. It’s 8. I know, because I just counted on my fingers…just humor me, okay.) After the Honolulu ceremony on Friday, the honeymooners are, well, honeymooning, the parents are going on a cruise, and Donnie and I are island-hopping over to Kauai and staying an extra five days so that we can have our first real couple’s vacation.

We’ll be staying here: at Hanalei Bay on Kauai, aka Actual Paradise. SWOON. via weatherberg

I. Cannot. WAIT. I’m obsessed with this trip. I’m in Type A planning mode, and it’s kind of hilarious. You know what’s the funniest part? I have butterflies over this. I mean, I’ve lived with this goon for seven years. He’s asleep in our bed as I type this, and I could go stare right at his sleeping face if I wanted to. (Overly Attached Girlfriend ain’t got shit on me. Girl, your face called. Soccer practice is over and you need to PICK IT UP.) We fart in front of each other and fight about money and do all the things old married couples do, but the idea of going on a tropical getaway is reigniting those silly butterflies I had back in 11th grade when we first made out. It’s kind of adorable, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, I’m being kind of a Hawaii bully and forcing Donnie to spend our portion of the vacation on Kauai, but that’s only because I’ve been there twice and it’s my happy place. Unfortunately, we want different things out of the trip: I want to kayak and hike and explore, and he wants to splash in the waves all day. Harrumph! We’re compromising, though: I’m only dragging him on one hike to Mount Waialeale (the rainiest spot on earth!) and he’s being a good sport and agreed to kayak the Wailua River and reenact scenes from Jurassic Park around the island’s shooting locations. I think I can live with that.

We’re gonna sing the SHIT out of Donnie’s lyrics to the JP theme. via david schooner photography

As for his aquatic plans for the rest of the trip, I plan on having plenty of entertaining panic attacks due to the flights/waves/existential contemplation of my smallness in the vast expanse of the ocean. In fact, I’m already having them preemptively! I’m so into planning this trip I’m already having water-terrors. That’s just dedication right there.

Speaking of which, I have a whole post about how I’m scared of water and boats coming up later this week. Stay tuned.

America Offline 2.0

Haha, you guys remember that one time I said that I was going to start blogging about all my icky squicky feelings and start flaunting my emotional muffintop, but instead I checked out for over a fortnight? HAHAHA—er, wait.


Truth is, when I sat down to write this morning, this post was going to be about how much fun we had taking Shannon and Travis on a Dirty Thirty birthday getaway to Arizona (and how I need to go to a Betty Ford Clinic to detox from the acts of terrorism I accidentally committed against my liver).

But I can’t do that, Dave. Why? Well, it’s kind of a long story. Let’s rewind to the beginning of October, shall we?

Originally I’d planned to take a sabbatical from being online to try and enjoy things IRL for a change. On October 6, I took my dad to see Peter Gabriel at the Hollywood Bowl, but instead of sitting back and enjoying it, I kept finding myself doing things like checking in on FourSquare and sharing it across social networks and taking video to remember the night by.

[sure, I’m ragging on it now, but wouldn’t it be a waste NOT to share it?!]

Problem is, it left a really rotten taste in my mouth. Why couldn’t I just live in the moment? What is this weird compulsion to broadcast the evening and turn it into a thing to flaunt? Why did I need to validate it with a bunch of likes and retweets? It didn’t feel right. Here I was, spending a rare evening alone with my dad after a month of heartache and loss for the both of us. I haven’t talked about him much on here because he’s a private man, but I really love and admire and respect my dad. We shared a really special moment of peace and quiet at the Bowl that night, and I don’t know why I felt I had to do what seems like checking out and cheapening that joy with a silly need to validate the evening by showing it off on Facebook and Twitter.

So, I decided to give living offline a try, and I dropped off the grid. It was nice. I read a lot. I walked through parks. I went on daytrips around town with Shannon to take photos and get some fresh air. And it was lovely, being able to leave my phone at home and not care! I don’t have reception out here? WUNDERBAR!

Get in losers, we’re going adventuring.

But then, it started. A shadow and a threat started growing in my mind. (Ten internet dollars to the first nerd who gets that reference.) That’s right: I felt the funk creeping back in. It was subtle at first, but it’s time. I have to admit that the Big D is back on the radar. Good news is, I decided to do something about it. As of last week, I’m officially back on the antidepressants. Yep, those same goddamn antidepressants I’ve been trying to wean off of for almost four months.

SUCH A BUMMER. All that time weathering the withdrawls (which are notoriously terrible for my particular brand of poison), out the window. I feel like such an ass! There I was feeling miserable for months during a hard time, just have to jump back on them.

VICIOUS CYCLE, party of one.

But the die has been cast. If you have diabetes, you gotta take the insulin. If you have depression, you gotta take your meds just the same. It’s awful and inconvenient and my side effects are back like mad (HELLOOOOO HOT FLASHES!), but I have to take care of myself, and if that means jumping back on the Cymbalta bandwagon, so be it.

So, that’s where I am. I went from not writing because I wanted to try living in the real world for a bit, and I ended up not writing because my muse is on hiatus. But hey, them’s the breaks. Hopefully my pharmaceutical cocktail kicks in soon and I can get back to my usually scheduled mischief. Until then, I have Netflix and a sofa with a Nicole-shaped dent in it waiting for me.


Tune du Jour: Don’t Give Up by Peter Gabriel. This song is the reason I bought the concert tickets in the first place. My dad’s favorite song of the night. Mine, too. MUSHY MUSH TIME ALERT, though. This song is bursting with feels.