Beyond Babies & Bedlam


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I pretty much just had the greatest visually rewarding weekend ever. See, I’ve had my heart set on taking the WB Studio Tour for quite some time now and considering the fact that she forgot my birthday, it wasn’t too hard to convince my best friend, Elizabeth, to join me. (That and I agreed to go to Disneyland with her on Friday.) My last class of the week was on Wednesday night and she’s on spring break so we drove over to Burbank on Thursday ready to spend the weekend having some serious fun.

Turns out they have some hardcore rules about what you can take with you on the tour. Apparently some idiots stole plastic bread from the Friends set so we weren’t allowed to have bags or purses with us; they had to be locked underneath the tour cart’s seats. No cell phones are allowed either on account of ‘fire danger’. I have no idea why …

Our tour was late in the day – 3:30 – and our super cute guide, Derek, was pooped out. Apparently he conducts three tours a day which translates to him spending seven hours a day talking. Poor guy.

So anyway, not only was the lot not at all what I expected, but it was way better than what I thought it would be like. I’ve always lived in or near big cities so I’m quite used to the hustle and bustle of metropolitan areas and I just assumed that the studio lot would be similar to the city around it. But it’s not! It was the most bizarre thing. I expected people and energy and buzzing around but the place was practically deserted! Sure, the parking spots were full of cars, there were construction people working on their things and there were people here and there riding around on bicycles but the atmosphere was completely calm – as though we’d found ourselves in a Podunk town on a Sunday afternoon. And I swear, it’s as though the walls surrounding the lot are sound proof or something. Even though the Ventura Freeway acts as a border around part of it and Olive Avenue around another part, none of the city noise is apparent once you’re inside – it’s just so calm and quiet. Strange. But after I got over the oddity of it all, it kind of grew on me. It’s this fantastic island, cut off from the rest of the LA. This city inside a city. I can’t even describe how utterly peaceful and at home I felt. Which sounds even more bizarre, I know, but the atmosphere was just so mellow and at ease. And the bicycles! I’m in love with the bicycles. They’re everywhere! These adorable wide handled bicycles with baskets in the front and workers and crew and cast members just ride around the lot on them. It’s incredibly quaint. Especially since I got the impression that they are simply WB property and not individually owned. People just pick up random bicycles and ride where they need to. There’s no ownership – no bike racks to lock them up to – they’re just free to use on the lot. I don’t know, I guess there’s something egalitarian about that, that just thrills me.

More than that, though, there’s something strangely Utopian about it all. In fact, if you ignore the huge discrepancy in paychecks, it’s almost like a mini socialistic country. I know this is incredibly idealistic of me and it doesn’t actually work that way but it was so cool to see how incredibly integral all the behind the scenes people truly are to each and every production – how diligently the artists work on their canvases – how extensive the wardrobes are – the sheer quantity of props and even just the incredible organization of it all. They are this fantastic well-oiled machine. It was incredible. Especially because all these “normal” people work side by side and co-exist on a daily basis with these huge celebrities and they are altogether very un-fazed by it. The atmosphere is one of near equality. They are all simply co-workers who contribute their own parts. And yes, there is obviously a hierarchy but it was neat to see that really, every single worker was clearly contributing, despite the relative anonymity of their jobs.

So anyway, we’d already been through the famous ER ambulance bay so I was just basking in it all, wishing I could somehow ditch my tour cart and take a stroll, vaguely listening to the random tidbits of historic information that yummy Derek was spouting off when I felt Elizabeth smack me in the leg and heard her whisper my name urgently, all the while gesturing with her eyes to my right. I swiveled my head around just in time to see the most beautiful human being I have ever laid eyes on. In fact, if she hadn’t later reassured me it was really him, I think I would have thought he was simply a figment of my very active imagination.

But no. It was real. He was real.

I really, truly saw him, with my very own eyes: Dr. Luka Kovac in the flesh; Goran Visnjic in all his Slavic wonder was standing in front of a trailer, in the company of two unknown women, and smiling such a gorgeous smile, literally inches away from me. And just as the realization of who he was began to sink in, no longer yummy Derek sped up our cart. I craned my neck the entire time, watching him, memorizing him, silently threatening to castrate now very ugly Derek if he didn’t stop the cart right now. And even as his 6″4 figure became smaller and smaller, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. Tucked into his black slacks was a lovely, long-sleeved, pale blue button down shirt, with the top three buttons undone. His dark hair, longer than it was on the last episode, was swept across his face and it looked so glossy and thick. His face was much more youthful and carefree than that of his on screen counterpart. He’s thinner than he appears on TV; very tall and svelte. In fact, as corny as it sounds, he was actually hotter in real life. I know, it’s hard to believe.

Hideous Derek took us to one of the Gilmore Girl’s sound stages after that but not even Alexis Bledel herself could have gotten me to care. I walked around in a literal daze, my heart in my throat, trying to ascertain just how many yards away he actually was and while we walked around, I entertained thoughts of making a break for it, possibly hijacking the cart, or maybe one of the bikes. Heck, sprinting wouldn’t have been bad, as he was merely one row over.

Dumbass Derek took us to the WB museum right after that but my heart wasn’t into it. Not even flirting with Derek cheered me up. I did find out that he had to audition for his job as a guide, that he’s an aspiring stand-up comedian, that he gets paid by the hour, that he works five days a week, that even in the summer they’re required to wear pants, that he’s from Connecticut, that he’s been working as a guide for four months now, that Matt LeBlanc is an asshole, that John Stamos is apparently super nice and that eventually he’d like to go back to school to get a degree in journalism, but alas, despite my best efforts, he did not take me back to my soul mate. He did, however, inform me that it’s procedure that they speed up when celebrities are present. Pfft.

On the way back to our hotel I cursed myself for not being smart enough to accidentally fall out of the cart as I’m sure Goran would have helped me to my feet; he’s European after all and very courteous. And the fact that Elizabeth did not push me out is simply further evidence that she is a horrible friend. I mean, a birthday is one thing but a real friend would have pushed me out. Clearly. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive her.

My only consolation is that for but a brief moment, we shared the same air.

Well, that and a little while later, while waiting for the light to change at the intersection on Mulholland Dr. and Laurel Canyon Blvd. I looked over to my right (Elizabeth was driving as I was still far too shaken to be competent behind the wheel) and was absently reminiscing, when a blonde hottie in the black SUV next to us caught my eye and smiled. I smiled in return ’cause I’m super polite like that and then he raised his eyebrows suggestively and I froze because there was something strangely familiar about that receding hair line. Then it was my turn to smack Elizabeth and point to my right all the while whispering “Who is that? I know that face. Don’t stare!”

Yeah, that’s right. Ian Ziering flirted with me.

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I went to bed nice and early last night so I could be sure and get a good night’s sleep for my big day. I woke up at a quarter to nine this morning. Nine! On my day off. Just couldn’t sleep. Too much nervous energy, don’t you know? So I took a glorious 45 minute shower. Washed my hair and then rinsed and double rinsed to make sure no soap residue stuck around. Can’t have any of that, afterall. Liberally applied conditioner and made sure to properly massage it into my hair, as opposed to the usual messy and haphazard way that I normally apply it. Whipped out a brand new venus razor and shaved my legs – twice – just to make sure. Made absolute sure that all of the conditioner was rinsed from my hair. I think this may have been the first time I have actually lathered rinsed and repeated. Shaved my armpits and then my freshly waxed nether regions. The latter just a precaution. After meticulously making sure that all of me was washed and rinsed I decided it was probably time to get out. The alarmingly cold water now jutting out of the shower head was the big indicator. I don’t think I’ve been quite this squeaky clean since my grandma used to give me baths and scrub me like a dirty potato. I towel dried my hair, of course. Searched the house for my favorite vanilla lotion and then proceeded to liberally apply it to every inch of skin I have. Clipped my toenails. Tweezed my eyebrows. Checked my awesome brazilian wax for any stray hairs, again, just to make sure. Scavenged for my favorite pair of lady bug socks and my pretty polka dot underwear. Grabbed a fresh bra out of the dryer as well as my favorite pair of jeans and one of my nicer tops. Actually combed my now silky and towel dried hair! Applied eyeliner and mascara! And just for good measure, added a couple spritzes of Sicily by Dolce & Gabbana (it compliments the vanilla lotion, afterall) before I was off to my appointment. I spent over two hours getting ready. The drive over was maybe 20 minutes and the pap smear? Well that took about 2 minutes.

I’ve never dolled myself up like that, not even for real dates back when I actually had a sex life.

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I dilly dallied about for a while after I got home from NY, but after a couple weeks, I finally changed my phone number so that Winifred didn’t have to call long distance to get a hold of me. (That was pretty funny though.) Verizon refused to give me my old phone number back on the basis that a number has to be vacant (in limbo) for at least three months before it can be used again. Blech. Fine. So I got a new number. I’m pretty happy with this number. It’s much better than my NY number, which overall was, very drab and hard to remember. I do have one beef, however, and that is that, apparently, somebody out there named Ramón, gave this number out as his own and now his peeps are calling me. And by peeps I mean, his entire. freaking. family. I’ve spoken with his, mother, his father, his brother, his aunt and possibly his sister. Most of the time, it’s his dad that calls though. Now, granted, there’s a bit of a language barrier, but I’m having a hard time understanding how people could possibly mistake me for Ramón. The very first few times they called, I got the impression they thought I was some sort of naughty girlfriend who was purposely keeping the phone away from their son. They were very adamant that I give him the phone ahorita! (Now) So I would politely explain that this was no longer Ramón’s number, (if it ever was) that it is now my number and that no, I did not know who or where Ramón is/was. Each time, the disgruntled family member would hang up, and I would assume that they got the picture. Except they didnt. And apparently don’t.
It’s been five weeks. Five weeks and over twice as many calls and each time I tell them, no. I am Turtle. Not Ramón. But they just don’t seem to get it. His father called me, yet again, just the other day. I knew it was him, because they always call from the same place and I now have their number in my contacts under “Ramón’s Family.” Our conversation went a little something like this.

Me: Hello?
Ramón’s Dad: Hola? Ramón?
Me: No, this is Turtle.
Dad: Ramón?
Me: I think you have the wrong number.
Dad: Ramón?
Me: No, this is Turtle. There’s no Ramón here.
Dad: Necesito hablar con Ramón.
Me: Well, there’s no Ramón here.
Dad: Adonde esta?
Me: I don’t know.
Dad: I need to talk to him.
Me: Alright, but this is not his number.
Dad: But I’m his father!
Me: Okay … but
Dad: I want to talk to him!
Me: I’m sure you do, but I’m sorry I can’t …
Dad: He is my son!
Me: And I’m sure he’d be glad to hear from you, but this is not his number.
Dad: Sí
Me: No
Dad: Sí
Me: No
Dad: Sí
Me: Okay look, this is not …
Female Voice: Oye, que pasa?
Dad: (still talking into the phone, but responding to the woman) Es que no me deja hablar con Ramón.
Female Voice: Por que?
Dad: Dice que no esta.
Female Voice: Pues donde se fue?
Dad: Acaver, creo … *super fast Spanish that I’m unable to understand*
Female Voice: Digale que tengo comida!
Dad: *super fast Spanish* (two words I caught) muchacha malportada (followed by) *more super fast Spanish*
Mom: *yelling fast Spanish*

Dial Tone

Now, I’ve considered the possibility that the language barrier could be seriously hindering my progress but the father appears to speak English very well as does a different man that has called on a few occasions. If this were a first, second, or even third time occurrence, I could maybe justify their confusion, but it’s been nearly six weeks. And still they call every few days. Last time, the dad called three times before I finally picked up. They’re remarkably tenacious people! When I answer they insist on speaking to Ramón. I tried not answering but then they just leave messages for Ramón. I considered talking to them in Spanish, to try to explain what was going on, but they already think I’m hiding the phone from their son, if I spoke in Spanish, I think it would just confirm their suspicions that I’m an evil girlfriend bent on ceasing all communication to his relatives. And besides, I don’t think I could communicate to them any better in Spanish, than I’ve already been doing in English.
So I’m at a loss. I just don’t know what to do. And this Ramón business is getting a bit stressful. I mean, other than dealing with his pushy family, I’m kind of getting worried for the guy. If this was his number at some point, then it’s been over four months since he’s had it. (Three months limbo plus one month of being mine.) Four months without any contact with his family? That just doesn’t sound good, no matter how you cut it. So I gotta say, Ramón? I hope you’re okay, and if you are, call your dad. He’s annoying the hell out of me and it sounds like he’d really like to talk to you. And your mom too. I think she wants to feed you some dinner.

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Or even McSteamy, for that matter. In fact, he reminds me more of a certain Dr. Greene. But anyway, that’s not the point. I really like Dr. Doormat. Not in the way I like Luscious Lawyer Daddy, but in a he’s a really great man and I have a lot of respect for him kind of way. In any event, he talks to me. Not in the friendly and civil, but often times trite way that Mrs. P and I converse but in a very honest, unpatronizing, often times intellectual way. He treats me, not as though I’m the hired help, but like he would treat any other person he meets. With respect. Like an equal. (Not that Winifred, doesn’t. It’s just different with her, somehow.) And he actually, genuinely seems interested in what I have to say in return. Every once in a while, if he has a spare moment, I like to pimp him for information about his work. He has some really crazy stuff. Well, last week, I asked him if he preferred working in the hospital he’s at now, or at a trauma center, which is where he used to work. He still works in the ER but his current hospital is smaller and doesn’t receive ambulatory traumas and I was curious if that made a huge difference for him. Turns out, I’m pretty transparent when it comes to my interest in all things medical, because he offered to let me shadow him at work! I get to wear a white coat and a stethoscope and basically follow him around for a few hours on a shift, to see how things really go down. I’m so stoked. And nervous. I have no idea what to expect. He got his schedule for December so I’ll probably end up going around Christmas, during the week that Mrs. Winifred is in San Diego with the boys. We still have to iron out the details but it looks like I’m gonna be a (fake) doctor for a day. Tee hee. I’m practically giddy.

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No, I didn’t just post a random picture of my breast in a shameless attempt to boost my readership. There’s a reason. You may notice the white colored drops of fluid that seem to be emanating from the nipple area. If you guessed that it’s breastmilk you would be correct. Scooby snacks for you! Only problem is that I’m not pregnant and I have not recently given birth. Color me freaked out. I first noticed when I was on my trip out of the country. I got out of the shower and was drying myself off and then re-dried by breast, and the re-re-dried my breast and yet there it still was: colostrum. I gave my breast a little squeeze just to be sure and wouldn’t you know it but more milk came oozing out. Now, I’ve seen plenty of people breastfeed and I’ve seen my fair share of breasts but what I had never seen before was a breast spontaneously behaving like Old Faithful and spitting out breast milk for no reason. I wrapped my towel around me, ran to into the room that I was sharing with my cousin and demanded that she have a look. Because, apparently, I have some slutty tendencies, she immediately countered with a suspicious “Are you pregnant?” After repeated declarations from me that I was not, in fact, in the family way, she joined me in my state of disgust and bewilderment. So what would any savvy American girl do when she finds herself stuck in a third world country and suddenly lactating? I googled of course. Let me just say that googling one’s symptoms is not the best way to overcome hyphochondria. Turns out what I have is galactorrhea. Yeah. As in, diarrhea of the breast. Yech. Now, what are possible causes of galactorrhea? Oh just, you know, brain tumors or pituitary disorders, or thyroid issues etc. Minor stuff like that. At that point I was wishing that I had, in fact, conceived the second coming of Christ because none of those other options were sounding at all appealing to me. And then I read it.
Medicines:
such as hormones, antidepressants, blood pressure medicines and others.
Aha!
The asshole, known as Mr. Shrink had recently prescribed me .5mg of risperdal daily. Now this is a very small does for the sole purpose of easing some of my anxiety issues. He warned about the possible side effects like increased appetite and fatigue and I was like, ‘oh hooray, just what I need, to become lazier and fatter’, but because, despite his asshole-y-ness, he normally knows what he’s talking about, I agreed to try out the new meds. Well, guess what one of the lesser common side effects of risperdal is? Ding, ding ding! Galactorrhea. Turns out it’s so rare that there are really very few case studies online about it. So when I went in for my med check and we went over how much better I was doing on this new drug, Mr. Shrink was all smug and self-confident over his decision and choice of drug I nodded and agreed and ever so sweetly exclaimed. “Except that I’m lactating.” The look Mr. Shrink’s face is one that I truly wish I had been able to photograph. It almost made my lactation worthwhile just to see the conflict race across his face. Bless the asshole’s heart, he remained wholey professional about it all, but the redness in his cheeks gave him away. Turns out my body is incredibly sensitive to this stuff because .5 mgs is next to nothing. According to him, there are people on four times as much of this stuff who aren’t lactating. Fan-freaking-tastic for them. What about me? Turns out there is diddly squat I can do about it unless I want to go off the drugs. He asked me how “severe” it was and if it leaked through my clothing and if it was painful. Yes and yes. “Let-down” Hurts damnit! And my right breast makes like five times what my left breast makes. My dearest shrink’s response to all this was what? “Congratulations, you’re a woman. Now you know they work.” Thanks but I was well aware of their function long before I became bessie the cow. I’m going to have to work with him on his sensitivity issues.
So yeah. I’m lactating. Every day. My breasts make milk. But no problem. It’s okay. At least I know they work.
Oh! And the best part? With the proper pressure from my thumb I can squirt milk across the room!
Seriously.
I am a full-on walking, talking, lactating, fembot, baby.
So, I’ve been brainstorming ways with which I can, excuse the pun, milk this oddball situation and I feel that I’ve come up with no solutions. Several male friends of mine were rather quick to remind me of Rose of Sharon in the Grapes of Wrath but I’m pretty sure I will be declining any and all offers to breastfeed adult men.
But then again, they may have a point. Screw nannying. Maybe I should just expand my horizons and set up shop as a wetnurse…

My best friend Ellie got home on Sunday. Now Ellie is the tantamount girl scout. She’s a jack of all trades. An expert on basically everything. But breasts are her specialty. We were watching a movie last night when she turned to me and muttered
“Your bra doesn’t fit.”
“I know.” I sighed. I’ve been in denial about my bras thinking if I just drop a few lbs, they will fit again.
“We’re going shopping tomorrow.” She informed me and since I needed to buy a nice outfit for my impending interview I agreed. And so we resumed our movie watching.
Ellie has had breasts since as long as I can remember. She was one of the first kids to ever get a training bra and in highschool when I was barely a B, she would lecture me, insisting that I not complain about my chest for she was cursed with the opposite problem. Now Ellie has enormous breasts. And by enormous, I really do me large. She currently wears a 42 DDD and must purchase them at Lane Bryant because nothing else will fit her right. She’s an expert on breasts and bras, so I generally trusted her to lead me in the right direction. What was the first thing we did? Get fitted.
I am a 36 D.
36 D.
36 D.
36 D.
My world came crashing down and suddenly things started making sense. Riding horseback and wincing every time we pranced particularly quickly. Buddha constantly trying to nurse from me. Children who fall asleep on my chest. Men who stare at what I used to think were my witty t-shirts. My brother complaining that I stretched out his t-shirt. My inability to sleep on my belly comfortably. All of it suddenly came together.
I don’t know when the hell that happened but I blame Ellie.
Her breasts are contagious.