Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's my job to worry.

I was trying to remember where I had heard a quote something like my title when, for no particular reason, I remembered one of the quotes I had to memorize for Mr. Lavelle's notoriously difficult AP English final in high school. In 1990. (Looking back, I realize now that the final was actually really easy. A gift to us, the students he had made think all year long, but we all liked the mythology behind "the hardest final ever" which never changed a single freakin' question from year to year.) Mr. Lavelle was my favorite teacher ever, so in his honor:
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
[Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade"; Googled only for correct punctuation]

Anywho, that totally has nothing to do with this post, but it's weird what you can suddenly remember 20 years and some months later when you honestly can't recall what you ate today.

So, "Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!"

It suddenly occurred to me today that when I have my larproscopy on January 12th, it's possible that rather than finding nothing and leaving me to wonder what to do with this pain and other "stuff," or finding endometriosis and/or adhesions which may cause me to lose my uterus, that a third possibility is that I might lose it all. Or most of it. It honestly hasn't popped into my thoughts the whole time I've been agonizing over whether or not to have my uterus removed if they find nothing when they open me up. (The doctor said that sometimes some people find relief from pelvic pain of unknown etiology by having a hysterectomy. I won't be doing that as there are too many other things that might go wrong: cystocele, hernia, worsening of my IBS, greater surgery aggravating my autoimmune illness/inflammatory response, vaginal, vaginal vault, urethral, small intestine or rectal prolapse and, ironically, pelvic pain.)

This lead to a rather intense anxiety attack with much sobbing. The thought of taking hormones for the rest of my life, when I am not yet 40 and my family has a life expectancy of around 80 or 90 years, usually, terrifies me. I like the way I look, flaws and all, but I do not want to gain more weight, I don't need any drier or pimplier skin and I am not fond of synthetic hormones to begin with. (But the nearest bio-identical doctor is near Philly. Too far for me to travel for a doctor's appointment; I grumble over traveling to Hershey, for crap's sake!)

All of this on top of the mystical proclamation that recovery will take four to seven days to four to six weeks depending on what they have to do, leading me to wonder how employed people plan for this shit.

So, I worry, but that is nothing new. It's my job to worry.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Always Remember...

"We are all just 4 or 5 decisions away from shitting in a bucket."--Matt Paxton ["extreme cleaner" from Hoarders, owner of Clutter Cleaner]

I share a nose with a dead woman.

I just re-lit the pilot light on the 60-some year old stove which my great-grandmother installed in her kitchen when she remodeled her then 20-some year old kitchen. The kitchen in the house of which she oversaw every single detail as it was being built. The house I now own and love, warts and all. (The house was not kept sparkly new in the latter years of my great-grandparents lives, mostly because they lived very long lives and 98-year-olds don't always have the wherewithal for plastering, painting and remodeling. Go figure... The good part, for a house geek like me, is that almost my entire house is original.)
I knew the pilot light had gone out because I could smell the gas which should be burning but was not. I smelled it from two rooms away, but I am the only person I know who can smell when our pilot light goes out. And I smell it almost immediately. The tiny amount of gas leaking in a not-airtight house isn't really dangerous, especially when you notice it within a few minutes of the pilot having gone out. Apparently my Nana had this weird unlit-pilot light ESP, too.
My Nana and I have a lot in common in many ways, both physically and personally, and sometimes I weirdly feel like I was destined to take over her beloved household in which I spent home-sick-from-school afternoons as a child. So it didn't surprise me when I was told that Nana always knew when the pilot light went out.
I have an afghan which was Nana and Grandpa's and it hangs in the back of my couch just as it hung over the back of theirs for my childhood. Not a day goes by that I don't look at the afghan as I sit down on my couch and feel a connection to the woman whose home--and nose--I share.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

gin & zombies

gin and tonic strawberry ice cream filet mignon with monteal seasoning medium rare mashed potatoes with so much butter and sour cream mixed in that you might think potatoes are a dairy product lots of family time watching tv and zombiesZOMBIESZZZZZOOOOOOMMMMBIES!!!!

a perfect Sunday night.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Eating Fat by the Spoonful

I've made a few new changes to my daily routine which are dietary related and I thought I'd share. Feel free to critique if needed, lol.
  • A few years back Nate bought me a copper cup which in Ayurvedic medicine is used by filling it the night before with water and drinking it in the morning for the mineral infused water. I've used this off and on, but have started using it every morning to take my morning pills. I keep a 1.5 liter reusable bottle of water on my bedside stand so I don't have to go to the kitchen tap filter every night.
  • I bought an almond and cashew nut milk "cream" too use in my coffee. The nutty flavor will cut back on the flavor syrup I add (less refined sugar: YAY!) and cut down my dairy consumption.
  • I've started drinking kefir again. The stores around here stopped carrying Lifeway for a while and I'm not a fan of the Helios brand, but yesterday I found out the Healthy Grocer started carrying those little individual serving bottles of Lifeway (think Dannon Drinkables) now. So I got those. Helps with portion control, too, but I don't like the wasteful packaging...
  • I've started eating a spoonful of extra virgin unrefined coconut oil every day. It's weird to eat a spoonful of fat, but it actually tastes quite lovely.
  • I've been drinking a two ounce shot of pure beetroot juice a day. The first day I bought it, I drank the shot right off the shelf, so it was room temperature. I do not recommend that. Cold seems to round out the flavor making it very good if you like beets. Warmth (room temperature) seems to bring out the earthiness and quench the sweetness.
  • Lastly: Panther Piss. Some people call this different things, but most alternative medicine routes include some version of it. Two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (with the mother, so Bragg's is a good one), eight ounces of filtered water and raw honey to taste. Again, tastes quite nice, surprisingly enough.
I'm hoping these changes help me with digestive and metabolism issues I have and just add to my general allover health.
Suggestions? Comments? Recommendations?

I've also started using the lightbox again after forgetting for about a week. My depression is creeping in as the days shorten and I have no life outside of the house nor a job, so every little bit seems to help to stave it off.

I forgot to include a cup of white miso every day.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Cats are fuckin' insane.

I really could just end the post with the title, couldn't I?
I've always loved cats and dogs, but since my first two cats I had who were solely my pets died, I have yet to meet a cat with that special spark with me. I love my cats, but they are both insane. NCL (pronounced nickle) is Evil Insane. Born of incest and the hardscrabble barn cat life, he's just never been "right." Gertie is a lovely cat and happy to be here, but she's as Neurotic As All Hell. If she were a person, I wouldn't even be able to be friends with her, and we all know how mentally healthy I am, right? Somehow, though, the two of them get along. They stage late night pranks trying to get the dogs into trouble by getting the dogs all riled up and then hiding so it seems the dogs are the crazy ones. They picket our bed every morning demanding their fair share of rations as if they haven't eaten in years, chanting little cat versions of militant slogans. If the had thumbs, I'm sure they would have signs, or perhaps even chain themselves to the bedroom door.
Yesterday saw the last of their food, but I didn't know until it was too late to go buy some and it is still too early to go to the store where I buy it, so right now they are rioting upstairs. I'm not kidding. I hear myriad pounding footsteps as if they were an army of toddlers. I hear things falling, sliding, scattering, strange yowling, meowing, shrieking, litter scattering. And yet when I went up I found nothing amiss and both cats sitting at the top of the steps looking at me as if to say, "What? We're just sitting here. Totally not staging a peasant uprising. My what a pretty neck you have..."
Ten o'clock will not come soon enough for any of us.

A few thoughts about coverage of Elizabeth Edwards's impending death.

So yesterday we found out that Senator John Edwards's ex-wife is discontinuing cancer treatment. The news coverage I have seen since is driving me nuts for a few reasons.
  1. They keep saying how "treasured" she is to the American people. I'm sure to some, yes, but to all of the American people? A bit hyperbolic, no?
  2. They keep describing her as "resilient." If I were her, I'd be, like, "Really? The best you could do was the title of my freakin' book? Don't you even have a synonym for resiliency??"
  3. They keep saying how she is teaching America about a new way to deal with end of life choices. Um, not really. Tons of people die at home under hospice care and surrounded by their family every day. Soooo...thanks for acknowledging those people and their families existence and all that...
  4. They keep saying that John Edwards is at her side "for the kids." Nuh-uh. They were life partners, business partners, co-parents et cetera, for how long?? He's there for her. And probably for his conscience. Yes, a bit of atonement is good for your own soul.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Scoop Which Hopefully Doesn't End in "The Scoop"

I talked to my doctor for a while on the phone today. We went over all of my recent problems, the tests results and further actions we can take. In the end I believed we've done everything which can be done without looking under the hood. So I told him I'd like to go ahead and schedule a laproscopy to check for adhesions and endometriosis, neither of which usually show on ultrasounds or x-rays. The scheduler will be calling me soon to set up a pre-op evaluation appointment and the laproscopy itself.
My decision on my uterus is this: If there is something visibly wrong with my uterus itself when they open me up, then they can take it, regardless of how bad the "it" is. I don't want to have to be opened up again because the scar tissue or endometrial tissue grew back. However, if there is nothing visibly wrong I will not have a hysterectomy. There is too much too risk for not much guarantee of relief. A uterus helps work as a placeholder for keeping everything structurally sound and without it, I feel there is too much of a chance the empty space could cause as many problems as having the uterus there what with my IBS and the inflammatory actions of my autoimmune disease and all of the other "normal" things which could go wrong.
If I do have my uterus removed, I will be asking them to take my cervix with it. I've had abnormal paps several times, so at least the idea of not getting uterine or cervical cancer are comforting ones. Many women don't want to lose their cervix for sexual pleasure reasons, but I can honestly say I've never noticed any particular sexual gain from that bit of flesh.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

MPT (Medical People Time)

So after more than two weeks for two blood tests (one of which was pointless as I'd just had it done) I finally called the gynecologist's office myself. His nurse just called me back and said everything is "normal." Bloodwork, ultrasound, etc. So I said, "Well, what's my next step? Because obviously everything is not normal in there." And she said she'd let the doctor know, but I should rest easy tonight knowing I don't have a tumor. Well, then, maybe they should have let me know that before two weeks plus had passed. And, also? DUH! Something is wrong they just don't know what it is yet...

Morning Reporters

Maybe it's because I'm tired and more easily annoyed, but every time I watch ABC's morning news, I find myself pondering if Mike Von Fremd is a real reporter or if ABC is having a laugh. The man looks like Charles Grodin and the "r"s at the end of his words go on forever. I often wonder if he's fallen asleep at the end of words ending in "r." And every one of his sentences has the exact same cadence. I just cannot even fathom a real person sounding like he does. It has to be a character he's doing. Or maybe he is Charles Grodin doing a character...

Weepy Patriotism

These past few weeks, I have been feeling blinding anger about the new TSA procedures which include the "backscatter" machines and the "enhanced" pat downs. (Remember the last time we added the word "enhanced" to something in the "War on Terror?")
I've been fighting the good fight, so to speak, over on Facebook because, apparently, a lot of people don't mind giving up their rights for an illusion of safety.
So I've been pretty exhausted as far as writing anything here. But I do want to state one thing unequivocally here for posterity.
Over my lifetime, because of my über liberalism, I have been accused many times of being the antithesis of a patriot, literally called a "traitor." Yet I doubt many of those people (who usually call themselves patriots) would say what I'm about to say and feel the truth of the emotion behind the words.

I would rather die with my Constitutional rights intact than fly "safely" without them.

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Feature (for blahgblahgblahg, maybe not for you...)

Last night, I added apture to my blog. The code allows links to "pop up" when you hover over the links I include, so that you do not have to navigate away from the page to read the page/watch the video/see the picture/whatever.
When you see a link there should be an icon (book, film frame, photo) before it:
If you hover your cursor over the icon a window will open showing the content:
There should also be a bar at the top of the page with a button to share the page on Twitter, Facebook or by email and there is also a search box:

You can type your query in as normal:

Hit enter or select from the suggestions:

And click on your chosen link:

Additionally you can highlight a word or phrase [here I highlighted "dentist's mercury, but the highlight didn't show in the screenshot] and a little "Learn More" icon will pop up:

Click the icon and search results will pop up:

You can then select the result of which you want to see more:

Finally, you can also hover over my Twitter link at the top of the right column and read my tweets without leaving my page:

And that's about it. You may or may not ever ue these on my page, but I thought I'd share in case someone wanted to use the code on their own site.

Cribbed: Ode to baths from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Passage from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The mirror over my bureau seemed slightly warped and much too silver. The face in it looked like the reflection in a ball of dentist’s mercury. I thought of crawling in between the bed sheets and trying to sleep, but that appealed to me about as much as stuffing a dirty, scrawled-over letter into a fresh, clean envelope. I decided to take a hot bath.

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. Whenever I’m sad I’m going to die, or so nervous I can’t sleep, or in love with somebody I won’t be seeing for a week, I slump down just so far and then I say: “I’ll go take a hot bath.”

I meditate in the bath. The water needs to be very hot, so hot you can barely stand putting your foot in it. Then you lower yourself, inch by inch, till the water’s up to your neck.

I remember the ceiling over every bathtub I’ve stretched out in. I remember the texture of the ceilings and the cracks and the colors and the damp spots and the light fixtures. I remember the tubs, too: the antique griffin-legged tubs, and the modern coffin-shaped tubs, and the fancy pink marble tubs overlooking indoor lily ponds, and I remember the shapes and sizes of the water taps and the different sorts of soap holders.

I never feel so much myself as when I’m in a hot bath.

I lay in that tub on the seventeenth floor of this hotel for-women-only, high up over the jazz and push of New York, for near onto an hour, and I felt myself growing pure again. I don’t believe in baptism or the waters of Jordan or anything like that, but I guess I feel about a hot bath the way those religious people feel about holy water.

I said to myself: “Doreen is dissolving, Lenny Shepherd is dissolving, Frankie is dissolving, New York is dissolving, they are all dissolving away and none of them matter any more. I don’t know them, I have never known them and I am very pure. All that liquor and those sticky kisses I saw and the dirt that settled on my skin on the way back is turning into something pure.”

The longer I lay there in the clear hot water the purer I felt, and when I stepped out at last and wrapped myself in one of the big, soft white hotel bath towels I felt pure and sweet as a new baby.

If you can read that passage and not get me, then you probably never will.--Kayly

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My PSA for the day

I'm sharing this, not because I agree with the author, but so I can comment that sexual assault has many different forms and it isn't always for sexual pleasure or about committing violence. I, too, have been sexually assaulted, but I understand that sexual assault is about power; power being taken away from the victim and given wholly to the perpetrator.
Yes, the case of the mother who was not informed what was going to be done to her, nor allowing her to consent to it is sexual assault. Her breasts and her labia were touched without her consent and without any warning. It traumatized her. That's it. That's sexual assault. If a person came up to you on the street and cupped your groin and breasts and you called the police, they WOULD arrest the person who committed the act.

I understand some sexual assault is violent or more physically invasive than what happened to this woman, but we spend years telling our children, "If someone touches your 'bathing suit areas' without your permission it is not okay," then we tell adults, "Hey, touch away, no permission needed. It's open season on my vulva/scrotum. Have at it!"

The fog creeps in on little cat feet.

For months, I have been excited about a new study the University was going to be conducting on behalf of the Army and NIMH. The original job posting seemed to imply there would be travellers hired in addition to people centrally located to certain bases. The study is close to my heart because of both my own mental health struggles and my respect for our soldiers and my belief more needs to be done to protect their mental health. One of the big requirements for the job was public speaking experience, which I have in spades. The study was postponed so they could revamp a few things and then they reposted the positions. The new posting clearly states that a firm requirement of the job is living within 30 miles of specified bases. None of the bases are anywhere near me.
So the job search I had been half-heartedly conducting while I waited to hear about said study now must proceed in earnest.
The thing is, with no degree and the "gap" of having been a stay-at-home-mother and the tight economy leaving fewer jobs and even fewer people wanting to take chances on unproven workers--like myself--the prospects seem a little bleak. Add to that my unwillingness to go back to retail--oh god, especially during the holidays--and I am, in a word, screwed. (Nearly 25 years of on and off full- and part-time work in retail has left me with a horrible, nasty, disgusting taste in my mouth. After having done "real" and meaningful work, I just cannot go back to that hell.)
Between the health questions swirling around me and this new wrench in the work works and full-on Autumn pounding me over the head with its short days and dead the poet says, "The fog creeps in on little cat feet." He forgets to say that before it moves on, you need to figure out how to kicks its ass the hell off of its "silent haunches."
Thanks to a few reminders from my bestie I finally bought a light box to try to help with the seasonal aspect of my depression. I have noticed my sleep patterns shifting a bit back towards a normal person's. Maybe a tiny bit more energy throughout the day.... But it is hard to judge its effect on my mood, because I don't know what it would be right now if I were not using the box. Ah, the paradox of the afflicted. Is it me or the "meds?"
For now, I guess, ONWARD! (Meaning not that I might give up on living, but that I may fall prey to total inertia. So here's to one foot in front of the other, y'all.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Pound of Flesh

Just as I was getting agonizingly tired this afternoon, I received a call back--finally--from my gynecologist. We chatted for a while and we agreed we should do some lab work to see where all of my hormone levels are in case this whole thing might be menopause hitting me in earnest. Yes, at 38 years old. We chatted a bit more about how I'd rather not do a laproscopic procedure (which could show endometriosis because that does not show up on ultrasounds) unless we had exhausted all non-invasive diagnostic measures. He said he totally understood and as we wrapped up the conversation he hit me with, "We really do need to have a serious discussion about hysterectomy at some point, though." Um, what? I was too stunned to say anything but the usual end of call pleasantries.
Hadn't this whole phone call just been about not wanting to do that unless absolutely necessary? Hadn't he told me that even if they see nothing wrong during a laproscopy they could do the hysterectomy if I wanted to do it because it may or may not help with the unknown problem? Now he's all like, "Hey, yeah, let's do this thing already."
I talked with Nate and reaffirmed that I would not have a hysterectomy if there was nothing indicating a need for one. Nate also said that if I get to the point where there is nothing else that can be done and Doc starts talking about it again that we'll get a second opinion or two or three.
Something has been bothering me during this whole thing, though, and that is this: All of my medical records from all of my doctors are available to all of my doctors since the are all affiliated with the same medical center. And both the gynecologist and the reproductive endocrinologist asked me about my moods and my Bipolar II in seemingly offhand ways and I'm always up for talking about it because I like to try to show people, that, "Hey, I do have a mental illness, but I'm okay and there is nothing scary or stigmatizing about it." Obviously, neither of them were merely curious but somehow connecting the mental health issues with my gynecological health issues. So it leaves me feeling like the diagnosis I am being labelled with behind closed doors is female hysteria. ("Keep her from breeding. Off with her uterus!")
At the end of the phone conversation I had with Nate I said, "Okay,well, I'll see you when you get home and, by the way, we really should talk about castrating you." He laughed nervously and said, "Um, what?" And I said, "EXACTLY! That is exactly how I felt after I talked to Dr. [name redacted]!"
I hadn't slept at all last night and was by this point trying to stay awake until bedtime, but the call and the dogs being snuggled up on top of me left me with little choice but to take a nap. I slept for two hours. I still feel utterly exhausted but I am quite worried that that small amount of rest will have me hanging out in Insomnia Cafe again, tonight...

One pill makes you larger...

Warning: TMI to follow. Proceed at your own risk.

Watch out folks! It's time for Aunt Flo's visit. Her stays are much shorter lately, but she is one mean motherfucker when she's here. I guess she's getting ornery in her old age...
And this morning she has decided to roundhouse kick me repeatedly in my gut.
I sometimes get some relief from two "Premenstrual Symptom Relief" pills (Rite Aid store brand, of course) which have acetaminophen, pamabrom and pyrilamine maleate. And when it's an awful day--worse than today--I'll take two acetaminophen with codeine for some--but not total--relief. But right now I'm somewhere in between. Thus, I have decided to take one of each instead of two of one or the other.
Experiments in chemistry, folks. It's what I do.
Also? If you stop by? I am not being intimate with my heating pad wrapped pillow. It just kind of looks like that, so get your mind out of the gutter. Also, you better bring Peanut Chews, or I'll kick you the hell out. Well, Aunt Flo will. I can't be held responsible for what she does...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Ask me anything Feel free to tick the "anonymous" button.

I can't fool me!

I have two alarms set on my phone.
One wakes me an hour before I need to get up so I can take my "empty stomach" morning pills. Then I go back to sleep.
The second alarm is so I get up even if I have nothing scheduled. This is so that I maintain a routine even though I am not working outside of the home right now.
Apparently, "sick me" realizes I need to take these pills every morning and they need to be on an empty stomach, but "irresponsible me" says, "Fuck it! I have nothing scheduled today and I want to sleep!" And turns off the alarm without ever waking up.

(And no, the morning pills are not sedating at all; if anything they should help me wake up.)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Mother Blood is Boiling

My mother blood is boiling.
Erica Jong's WSJ article.
She misunderstands so many of the points she is cutting down, and I was going to address them bit by bit, but then I read this sentence, "It's a prison for mothers, and it represents as much of a backlash against women's freedom as the right-to-life movement," and decided to stop reading. (Don't worry, I will revisit the article once I calm down.)
The second wavers who still espouse this crap make me ashamed to call myself a feminist and seem to want to make me ashamed of having made the choices that I made in my life. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mother long before I had any idea of who I would end up with and regardless of the fact that my mother spent my childhood telling me about all of the cool things I could be when I grew up.
It was and still is my ideal career choice, whether or not 2nd wavers or the government consider it a career.
And if I wanted to cloth diaper, make my own baby food, co-sleep and wear my baby, that was my choice, too. When I was doing that stuff it was mostly considered weird at the time, so it was hardly a matter of being "imprisoned" by society or the patriarchy or whatever bullshit these people espouse it to be.
I'm so sick of this type of thinking from the 2nd wave that it is extremely difficult for me to be grateful for the work they did for and before the Third Wave. Just as they seemed to be ungrateful for the generation before them, but they don't like to talk about that, ahem...
I support and respect women who work for pay, whether they have children or not, so when will the unpaid work of women (and increasing numbers of men) be supported and respected as well?

UPDATE: I have to add that I also resent Jong's use of the term "right-to-life movement" instead of the anti-choice or anti-abortion movement.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Mean mothereffin' reds...

The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of.--Holly Golightly

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Tad Fragile

I guess the elections have me feeling a tad emotionally fragile.

I just got weepy--yes, actual tears--at a CTIA commercial. Yep, a lobbyist's commercial made me cry.

Here it is:

Drink Recipe: F*ck Me Gently with a Chainsaw

F*ck Me Gently with a Chainsaw
a.) On Election Night tell all of your Facebook friends this:

"couldn't decide if I should venture into the cold and cry into (an admittedly delicious selection of) beers or put my cozy jammies on and hide under a blanket on the couch. I've opted for the latter accompanied by a heap of Peanut Chews, a huge Iron Man cup of HFCS containing ginger ale and Hoarders and NCIS on the DVR. No live TV for me tonight."

b.) Immediately start checking Facebook, Twitter and online news media and commence live-blogging for close to four hours until everything is pretty much over.


  • 2 oz Knob Creek into a shot glass

d.)then in a highball glass mix:

  • splash of unsweetened orange juice

  • 2 maraschino cherries, muddled and a splash of juice from the jar

  • splash simple syrup

  • 1-2 shakes Angostura Bitters

  • 2 (or 3 or so) oz Knob Creek

  • some ice

Shoot c, then sip d.

Alternate names for this drink are "shot of bourbon with ghetto old-fashioned back" or "Post Election Sorrow Drowner: Democrat Version."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Quickly, from my phone

A few election day observations:

  • I'm seeing a higher number of lefty bumper stickers than I normally do, so I'm hoping they're all out and about because they're voting.
  • Even when I vote straight ticket, I still like pushing each individual button rather than the straight ticket button.
  • Parked next to my car at the poll was a red new beetle with a big "run on biofuel" sticker and an HRC sticker. When the guy came out I said, "Oh, I thought I was the only one in Penbrook. He laughed, then made a joke about the Republicans prayers for rain being thwarted because it's such a gorgeous day. I wanted to say, "Will you be my friend?" But I figured that would be too weird, lol.

Monday, November 01, 2010

"Just a quote" note

"Because we know, instinctively, as a people, that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light, we have to work together. And the truth is there will always be darkness, and sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes, it's just New Jersey."--Jon Stewart

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paris Daydreams

A Facebook friend of mine (the incomparable Muffy Bolding) is looking for a sublet and a friend of hers suggested a site in which he invested start-up money, airbnb.
I decided to check it out because I have quite liked the idea of home stays rather than hotels for a while now.
Of course, for the destination I entered the one place I will always choose to go if it's totally up to me: Paris. BIG mistake. I'm about to take the joint AmEx and run away for a week or two or five.
The windows, the balconies, the tucked-in-the-eaves garrets with exposed rough-hewn beams and tiny kitchens tucked in corners and handheld showers in teeny tiny tubs and the artist's flare for decorating that many people who sublet because they travel a lot seem to have, especially when they travel with their ballet or theater company or antiquing journeys across Europe for their boutiques as many of the subletters seem to mention. The Nutella and croissant and baguette and cheeses displayed in many of the artfully arranged kitchen pictures. The views of Parisian rooftops and La Tour Eiffel and canals and La Seine and Notre Dame de Paris. The little cobbled lanes one must travel to reach the flats.
MUST. Go. Back.

Like a Laser Beam

This morning I did not go to bed until the men were all leaving for the day. I always marvel at how my men--and I do mean all three of them--can stand around or wander around aimlessly while waiting for others to be ready to leave the house, but as soon as it's time to actually leave, one or more of them suddenly remember seventeen things they need to do. Many mornings, I hear Nate (who drives the boys to school because it's on his way to work) say this: "I'm leaving with or without you." This is after many "clock" warnings and with much impatience, of course.

This is how my men are with many things in life, not just getting out of the house. School projects, homework, cleaning up after themselves, completing chores and errands and on and on. Much "wandering around aimlessly" and a flurry of activity at the end that threatens to derail the whole task at hand.

But if they get a project in their heads about which they are excited. BAM! The "focus laser" comes on and nothing can deter them.

My youngest came home today and proceeded to gather supplies from around the house and work on his Halloween costume for quite a while without getting distracted before he was done. And then? He cleaned up after himself!! Wacky, wild and weird in this household, let me tell you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

blahg-er is blah

Words haven't been floating around in my head so much the past week or so. Images, ideas, pictures, maybe other people's words if I feel like reading for a bit but I'm just not chatty. Not in real life, not on paper, not on the screen. Or in a box with a fox eating lox.
I think the stressing out over the lady parts and the fact that I fucked up and missed my ultrasound on Wednesday and now have to wait until Election Day for the damn thing is just too much to think about so my brain has decided to just not think the way it normally does. Or I had a stroke. (Ah, just kidding. )
So Election Day promises to be... interesting? As I've said before, I do not have the good luck with which my husband has been blessed. For him November 2 is a promising day. For me? It's a terrifying prospect of Republithugs and hysterectomies.
On the other hand, if they see something during my ultrasound, even if it's not good, at least I'll have an answer and hopefully a treatment will be decided for me. Because if they see nothing then I have to decide if I want to roll the dice on a hysterectomy since "it may or may not help with the pain of unknown causes." I'll probably vote no; Nate feels the same. But we are both also hoping for an answer. Ack! This whole thing is just one big-ass conundrum. I don't want to have something "wrong" with me, but I know something is wrong because I don't feel "right." But the doctors--so far--say it is nothing, basically.

As a side note: I finally disconnected my Tumblr account from my Facebook account because I was overwhelming too many people with posts. I know I'm usually too prolific for some people, so the addition of tumblahgblahgblahg to my normal load of blergh scared some people off from reading my page at all anymore.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An Addendum

As a child we did have some family dinners at my Grandma and Grandpa Taylor's house and, usually, it was spaghetti if it wasn't a picnic or a holiday.
There was always a bag of sliced bread (often Vim), a tub of margarine (Parkay, maybe?), the crock full of spaghetti sauce and a Fire King Tulip motif mixing bowl full of San Giorgio spaghetti.

When I was older and living on my own--maybe even after I had my own children--I asked my grandma for her spaghetti sauce recipe, because I remembered how much I loved those meals.
It was then I learned that frying up some burger, tossing it in some Ragu, doctoring it with several "salts"--you know: celery, garlic and onion--and letting it simmer for a while, maybe even in a crockpot was a simple thing that could make your grandchildren think you were a real Italian chef.

Simple Things

I am a great lover of good food. From a hunk of cheese with a hunk of bread and some wine to an elaborate multi-course tasting menu, I love good food.
But sometimes, for me, good food is not always snob-worthy. Some of my favorite comfort meals in the world:
  • American cheese grilled on potato bread with a can of Campbell's tomato soup
  • Fried up burger in jarred red sauce over boxed spaghetti with Kraft grated Parmesan and a slice of packaged bread with--wait for it--Country Crock spread on it (I'm sure this is due to the overwhelming presence of margarine in my childhood. I find non-butter "butter" comforting.)
  • Reallyreally rich mashed potatoes with heaping helpings of sauerkraut on top of them
  • Harvard beets forked right from the jar
  • large curd, full fat cottage cheese on Triscuits with Fresca or TaB or ginger ale

Other than the beets, these are all, in one way or another, a remnant of my childhood. I don't have any particularly fond or poor memories of these foods; I simply remember these simple things. And I enjoy them shamelessly.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

In re: last post

  • This is Tubeland; this is Tableland. You tell me who's more fun; I know I made my decision.
  • Apparently, that hawt picture does not exist at all anymore. I Googled "adventures in tubeland" and that picture does not come up at all. Strange. There's a conspiracy there somewhere, but I don't know what it is yet. Any of my fellow theorists have anything for me?
  • I forgot to mention this post also used to be the near the top Google Image results for Jayne Mansfield. Now it no longer appears at all. Wassup with that, yo?

My favorite part of Blogger is the stats page.

I don't know how long the stats tab has existed on Blogger, but I only came across in the beginning of September when I started trying to be an active blogger again. I learn so much from this tab that I like to check it even on days I haven't actually blogged.

I do use Feedjit on my homepage, but that shows me my own views and I have to click a few times if I want to see where from where people are arriving. The stats page puts that all within on or two clicks and doesn't track my own pageviews.

So my favorite things I have learned over the past month:

  1. If my post title sounds confessional or dirty pageviews zooooom!
  2. Despite how hipster everyone always seems to want to sound when discussing their computer usage, check out the following: 48% of my audience uses Internet Explorer. The other 52% is split between a dozen other browsers. (Congrats to that one person who is the sole Java web browser member of my audience. Who knew there was a Java web browser? I had to Google it to be sure it was a real thing.)
  3. Again, the hipster quotient is blown to bits: 73% of you use Windows operating systems. The rest? Macintosh (12%), iPhone (6%), Other Unix (5%), BlackBerry (1%)
  4. Much of my audience arrives here from NetworkedBlogs on Facebook, so I'm glad I installed that. Thanks FB friends for reading.

A few things I learned from Feedjit, but I love so much that I have to share:

  1. A lot of my traffic also arrives from Zen Comix whose author has included me on his blogroll, so thanks to him! Check out Dave Dugan's funny and timely political cartoons and political musings.
  2. On Google, I am the third listing when you search for "hey hey you get into my car" which is a lyric from a Billy Ocean song from the '80s. To be honest, I don't even remember why I titled this post "Hey! (Hey!) You (You!): Get into my car!" but I did, so there you go.
  3. For a very long while, if you Googled "24 hour pH study" on Google images, my HAAAAAWT picture from "Adventures in Tubeland" was the number one image. The Google started their "instant result" bullshit and this picture disappeared entirely from the results. Like, that day. What's up with that, yo? (By the way, even if you Google 24 hour ph study hawt the picture does not exist, but a lot of non-hawt pictures do. Weeeeeiiiirrrrrrd...)

And something I learned a long time ago, but alwaysalways forget until it's too late. (This has nothing to do with Google, Blogger or Feedjit. Or anything else in this post. But it is bothering RIGHT NOW, so I will share it anyway.) When you give you dog's horse hooves to chew on, your house will smell slightly like horse piss and horse manure until they finish them. Apparently that whole sterilizing thing they do to the the hooves can't even remove that stank.

PS Blogger's spellcheck thinks "hawt" is not a word, but "ha wt" is a totally acceptable substitute. Also? Tubeland does not exist, but "Tableland" does. Huh, go figure. I wonder how you get there...

PPS Blogger's spellcheck has also never heard of Facebook, blogroll, or BlackBerry. Get with it, Blogger's spellcheck!!

Monday, October 04, 2010

I did a bad, bad thing.

Today I have been chilly. Unusually chilly even for my cold-blooded self. The dampness on top of it was doing my joints no good, either. So I checked the temperature of our house and the thermostat said 62°! That is low by most people's standards I would think.

So that's when I did a bad, bad thing. I turned the heat on on October 3rd.

Don't tell Nate. I'll just let him think the hissing of the radiator is my nose since my allergies are acting up.

Cucumbers smell good, but not as good as madeleines, apparently.

I forgot to sleep again.

I have been keeping vampire hours, but I have also been getting a solid eight hours most "nights." Last night, however, I just never got sleepy. So, once again, I am going to power through the day and hope for an early bedtime. No more than a two hour nap, no later than noon. Last time I tried this I still ended up staying awake until well past midnight and had mild hallucinations, but hey, it's worth another shot. The hallucinations, I mean. I have a TaB, a bunch of lit ginger/citrus candles, all of the downstairs lights on (it's rather gloomy out there today), loud '80s music and the promise of a hyyyyyooooooooge mug of coffee once I hit "Publish Post," so I think I will be good until about 10, when I will definitely require that nap.

I was still trying to read all of the Internet when Nate's alarm went off. I told him I'm halfway done as he made his way to the kitchen to make dinner in one of our myriad Crockpots. (I am the world's worst unemployed wife. I don't ask him to cook, though, he just does, so I guess I shouldn't feel quite so guilty.) He had pureed some mangoes this weekend unbeknownst to me and had taken chicken out of the freezer last night, so this morning he chopped up a few cucumbers and added some other ingredients and we will be having Caribbean chicken with rice for supper tonight.

My whole house now smells beautifully of cucumbers. There have always been cucumbers in my life; it's one of the few vegetables my mother's family seems to like fresh. So I was hoping the smell would bring to mind some writerly musings on my life. Alas, my brain is collapsing in on itself due to its vast emptiness.

I did want to write a short post about a few things I miss from my childhood, but said post will be neither profound nor literary, so I'll save that for later.

And now, WE DRINK. (Coffee...)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It ain't Grey's Freakin' Anatomy, people.

So if you know me, you know I've been bitchin' about an annoying health "thing" for a while now. This post is about that, and poo--lots of poo, and lady parts. You've been warned...


For about five months or so I've been suffering from chronic diarrhea which on some days is annoying and on others interferes with day-to-day life. Since I was very young, I have suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome with chronic constipation, so the turn five months ago was concerning, but I didn't go to the doctor. But the other month Nate said to me, "Between the diarrhea and the increased joint pain, this is the sickest I've ever seen you. You should see a doctor." Nate never suggests going to the doctor, so I made the appointment.

They horrified my fecal-phobic ass by making me do myriad versions of "sample" collection. I'm still traumatized. I'm not joking.

All cultures and tests, including the bloodwork and urine were "totally normal." "Probably just your IBS. Here's some IBS meds." They didn't seem to be worried that thirty-some years of constipation had suddenly done a 180° . Surprisingly [/sarcasm], the meds have not been helping.

This whole thing got me pondering another problem I've been having, but assumed was just due to my advancing--ahem!--maternal age. Shorter, heavier periods; debilitating cramps pre-, peri- and post-menstrually; lower back pain during the same time period which leaves me wondering why I was such a cry-baby during labor. Putting that together with the immediate problem and the history of "lady troubles" in my family, I decided a call to my friendly gynecologist's office was, perhaps, in order.

Today I called, told the receptionist my symptoms and was promptly put on hold. I thought she was trying to find an appointment for me. She came back on the line and told me the doc-on-call or the triage nurse would call me back for the fastest available appointment. Huh? Well, that didn't sound very good.

A nurse called me back and asked me repeatedly about fibroids and my family history of endometriosis and so on...told me they'd see me on the 6th and that they might want to do an ultrasound for the fibroids and "maybe check some other things." She didn't seem interested in the poly-cystic ovary syndrome at all, so I'm guessing that is probably not the problem. Gah. Fine.

I'd already talked to Nate and Dawn and Vicki about the possibility of endo and my fear of having a hysterectomy and perhaps even oophorectomy.

All I'd ever wanted was to be a stay-at-home mother of two children. Nate wanted a stay-at-home mother to seven children. We compromised on five. I then set my heart on five. We had names selected and everything. Due to various health problems, all of my docs and Nate decided for my stubborn butt that I was done with my baby-making. I often miss the ones we never had. The miscarriage and all of the babies my friends and family are recently cranking out don't help quell my baby-lust. A final judgment on the closing of the baby factory will definitely break me for a while.

I loved being pregnant, nursing, raising my children. I hate being told I cannot do something. The possibilities are not pretty. I was just coming to terms with being in perimenopause but it gave me years to get used to the idea. So while it would be nice to be rid of the suck going on in my belly once and for all, it would be quite difficult if the result is removal of some of my lady bits.

One possible plus: I told Nate if I am seriously done being pregnant forever and part of my lady-ness is taken away, then he will be paying for the tummy tuck of my dreams. Buh-bye c-section flap. (Am I right, ladies?) I think I convinced him when I said if any of his "man parts" had to be removed, I would totally let him get the red, fast convertible muscle car he would surely long for. He seemed to consider this a reasonable argument.

Stay tuned. My appointment is October 6th.

I'll be honest.

Things I don't like:
  1. People who call themselves artists who never create anything.
  2. The use of words like "exquisite" and "gambolling" in casual conversation. Unless I say them.
  3. People who don't recognize that there is an art to cussing and artists should be left alone to create.
  4. The use of phrases like "harsh beauty" in Facebook comments or tweets. But only if written in a very self -aware "aren't I a super wunnerful writer" sort of way.
  5. The rest of the artichoke.
  6. Early '80s furniture in almost any style.
  7. When people drum their fingernails.
  8. People who get food or other undesirable stains on library books.
  9. When someone says they don't like pickles but don't specify what sort of thing has been pickled and in what particular way.
  10. Self-sealing envelopes. Because where's the fun in that?

Things I like:

  1. Hotels with a variety of pillows.
  2. Cotton
  3. Harvard beets
  4. Cussing
  5. The smell of an old paperback that hasn't been opened in years.
  6. Clear, waterproof band-aids.
  7. Drumming my fingernails.
  8. Paperclips
  9. The harsh beauty of people exquisitely gambolling.
  10. Finally getting that itch in me ear scratched but good.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Giving new meaning to "Bow-chicka-wow-wow"

All of my dogs and cats have been neutered or spayed on the very day they turn five months old because my vet won't do it before five months. (Or when they are older animals: before they enter my house.) Because of this, none of my animals have ever had problems with marking or humping. One of my hounds--a girl named Zelda--occasionally mounted my old yaller dog Zeke, but that was totally a dominance thing; she thought she could steal "alpha dog" from him, alas, to no avail.
Then there was Zev, my "special dog." (See previous post.)
He will, once in a great while, try to hump his older brother, Hahn. I do not think it is a dominance thing. He seems to genuinely enjoy it, but we actively discourage it and it has been quite some time since the last "incident."
Until yesterday.
I took both dogs to be groomed. It was Zev's first grooming. When we came home, until bedtime last night, he repeatedly mounted Hahn every time he thought we weren't paying attention.
Poor Hahn.
I have two working theories:

  1. He felt so sexy from having been prettied up that he just had to work it.
  2. He thought Hahn looked pretty damn fine after a day at the spa.

Either way, he seems to be "hump-free" today. Thank god.

Dumb as a, well, rock

My youngest dog, Zev, will be a year old in December. So I guess I can pretend he acts the way he does because he's still a puppy. But, honestly, I have a feeling I will have some excuse for him for all of the upcoming phases of life.
I had finally started keeping houseplants alive a few years back, so now there are plants everywhere. They might not "thrive" to the point of lushness, but they are alive and they do grow, so that is a big deal for me. I have put decorative gravel or river stones on top of the soil for all of the plants to keep the cats from digging in the dirt. Now, however, Zev has discovered an enjoyment for the pea gravel in a few of the floor plants. The gravel is round and smooth and the perfect size for his tiny mouth. He will take a stone and carry it around and play with it with his mouth for a while and then get bored. We have found ourselves repeatedly stepping on these stones all over the downstairs now and putting them back in the planter. I have a feeling there is a stash under or behind furniture, but I haven't discovered it yet. But I also have a sick feeling that he occasionally eats or swallows them. I've never seen him do it, but he is not that bright, so I worry about it. He seemed a bit constipated today, so now I am hyper-paranoid that there are rocks in his bowel. We had a hound a while back who had an intestinal blockage and that surgery was hell, both financially and emotionally.
I've been trying to train him to keep away from the planters, but he is a sneaky little bugger and I think he might even enjoy the "hunt" so to speak. Well, at least when I say he's "special" I can truly, truly mean it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Asleep, Awake, Really Awake

I was feeling kind of "blah" after dinner. I think I was worn out from being in and out of the heat all day today. It was the first day of Autumn and it was 90° all day. Pretty hard to get into the "spirit" of the thing while I'm sweating my arse off, but anyway.
So I did the roll-over-and-take-a-nap maneuver at which I always--always--fail. It's not that I can't fall asleep. It's that I can. And then I sleep for too long, just like I did tonight. I woke at about 11 and tried really hard to not wake up any further, hoping to drift back off to sleep and wake up in the morning like a normal person. At 11:17 I had to give up the ruse. I was really awake now. Like, ready to go partying and grocery shopping and jogging (not necessarily in that order) awake.
I did, however, have another of my short dreams which seem to exist only to amuse myself.
In the dream, I had to get an upper GI with a barium swallow. (Don't ask me why; I think it was all a set up for the "punchline.") Now, if you've never had to drink the vaguely radioactive "creamy" barium, I will tell you: it is awful. Truly disgusting. But the manufacturers flavor it to make it "more palatable." It does not make it more palatable. The flavoring may even make it worse. In the dream, the nurse comes in and says, "You can choose your flavor. We have 'Chalk-olate,' 'Vaguely Vanilla-ish,' and 'Sorta Strawberry.'" And then I woke up.
I do think if they used truth-in-advertising names like this (think "Crazy People" ads) that people would not think the drinks tasted as awful. They wouldn't look at the creamy-looking drink and, knowing the woman just called it "Vanilla," expect it to taste like a milkshake, so that first sip wouldn't shock you so much and the rest of the drink might only be half as bad by comparison to the expectations you could have had.
Hopefully, I can trick my brain into fall back asleep in hopes of another amusing--to me, anyway--dream.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blue Pills

I had thought the pills
were green because I'd only
seen them through yellow.

My kids are bad in my dreams, and I'm kind of a scared mom in real life, I guess.

Ever since the boys were young, my plan has been to have a fishbowl full of condoms in the house so that they and their friends can partake as necessary without it being too obvious to Nate and I--because there are so many in the bowl that we won't notice a few gone at a time.

So the other week I finally got a cheap glass fishbowl at Petco and a 100 Condom Super Sampler Pack online and placed it near the French Doors on a bookcase.

They were told to take what they need as could their friends, but they were not allowed to waste them on water balloons and whatnot.
The other night I had a dream that I happened to notice that about HALF of the condoms were gone already.
I found the kids and yelled the following at them, "You are NOT allowed to use the condoms to make water balloons, but you sure as hell better be just using all of those for water balloons!!"

Running on Empty

It's 6:31 AM as I start this entry. I have been awake since yesterday morning when I awoke with joints so swollen that I appeared to not have joints in a few places. I took the anti-inflammatory, rubbed on the topical of the same drug, did stretches and moved around. Nothing. By the time the boys came home, I decided it was okay to take a few pain pills, which made me sleepy, but did not lighten the pain enough to allow me to sleep. And I've been on a cycle of pain pills since then; still with not enough relief to sleep. So at this point I will attempt the "just stay the hell awake until dinner" maneuver. Though I may break up the day with a long, warm, smell-good bath and a short nap. I do have to take Ethan for a haircut, so that will force me to not nap straight through dinner and then be awake all night again. Hopefully, this plan will come off without a hitch.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Speed Round

Smartfood Popcorn is so good that I tend to forget how bad popcorn is for my teeth and gums and digestive system until it is much, much too late.


Terry Jones's church did not burn the Quran on Saturday. But somewhere some people did. Luckily, it did not receive the same media attention the whole Jones debacle did, because giving those zealots attention is giving them exactly what they want.


Andy Rooney Breakdown:
Why do companies send you paper catalogs when you order something from their website?


Don't tell my husband I am admitting this, but I am finally aware that I am a magazine hoarder. Well, not in the technical sense of the term, because eventually, once they've been read, they will be recycled. I have such a love for "traditional media" that I accept all free and super discounted subscriptions which come my way. But since I am also a book hoarder--well, technically, book "saver"-- and a library addict--um, lover--it makes it quite difficult to keep up with all of my reading. Okay, wait. I'm not a hoarder at all. I'm just slow. Yeah, I'm going to go with that for now.


Am I crazy, or does Raising Hope look kind of good? I love Shannon Woodward from the dearly departed The Riches, so I'll at least give the pilot a spin. And much, much love for Martha Plimpton and Cloris Leachman, of course. (I refuse to hotlink them. If you don't know who they are, you might be beyond the help of a hotlink.)


Colbert's Dr. Strangelove turn tonight was beautiful. Try to catch the reruns tomorrow if you missed it tonight.


DING! Time's up!


UPDATE: I noticed I forgot to make "Jones" possessive, so I actually had to go look up the singular possessive form of Jones. If that does not make me feel like a dingbat, I do not know what would.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Nine years ago today, in more ways than one, the skies were much bluer and we were much younger.

A really ZANY "No, thank you."

Yesterday I received a rejection letter by email from a well-known, very large organization. I won't tell you from what I was being rejected, but I will tell you that it was not a form letter, which I found quite refreshing. The letter included advice, encouragement and specifics. But it did it all in a very odd way: in Comic Sans font. I am still not sure if this was meant to make me feel happier about my rejection or if being rejected by the organization was maybe not such a bad thing. ("Any club that wants to have me" and whatnot...)

With age you get more makeup. No eggroll for you!

From time to time I receive free books or products and a few years ago I was sent a reverse lip liner. Do you know what this is? It is, basically, a clear wax pencil which you use to line around you lips--instead of the inside the edge of your lips--and the wax supposedly keeps the lipstick from "bleeding" or "feathering" around your mouth. I thought, at the time, "What? Who the heck needs this?"
I have a real purty mouth and have always loved lipstick. I've never used lip liner with any regularity and certainly did not think I needed this weird product.
Then, some weeks back, I noticed that it had been (as my bestie says) yonks since I had done a brash red lip. And I realized this was because the last few times I had done such a lip and then went out, the lipstick did not just come off or disappear when I ate or drank, but seemed to spread out until I ended up looking like Bozo. Even if you redo your lip in this situation, you still have a faint stain around your mouth when using the highly pigmented reds I adore.
So, the other night, while at home, I took the reverse lip liner (brand unspecified here, lol) for a test run. I figured if I was relaxing at home I would act naturally regarding my lipstick since it didn't really matter if I ended up looking like a clown or Courtney Love. (Wait. Is that redundant?) I used the reverse liner, MAC Ruby Woo lippy and MAC Russian Red Tinted Lipglass over it. I ate and drank and putzed around. Then I looked in the mirror. And, yes, I needed to reapply. But I did not have a ring-around-the-mouth situation going on.
Now, you may wonder why you had to endure a post about makeup. But this post is not about makeup. (And, no, this is not a Jedi mind trick.)
See, what I realized was that by admitting that I was getting a bit older and maybe the teeniest-tiniest bit wrinkled that I was able to readjust my routine and once again enjoy something as simple as a bright red lip during a night on the town. Now if I could apply that to my Getting Shit Done (GSD™) list, I might actually get shit done.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Word Geek Sadness

I have heard that the new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary may be published only online for paid members.
Only a few of my readers will understand the sadness this brings me, but I will try to explain it.
When I was little my Ma and The Sperm Donor owned the Unabridged OED. (I believe it might have been the student edition, which is less well-made and cheaper to buy.) It was a thing of great beauty to behold. Even before I could actually read I loved opening the little drawer at the top, removing the magnifying glass, slipping one of the great, black volumes from it's case and poring over the pages.
Since that time it has been my Book Hoarder's Number One Goal in life to own such a wonderful, mystical, magical book. It's been on my Amazon wish list for years, but, of course, if it were bought as a gift for me it would be the only gift I would receive and my friends and family know I like lots of little gifts much more than one big gift. But I may have to bite the bullet and beg for the volumes before they become rare collector's items for geeks all over the world.
There is this ridiculously expensive version which would make me so proud to see as I walk past my bookcases, but I am drawn instead to this one, a reminder of the awe I felt the first time I encountered a truly magical book.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Something as simple as a shower.

This afternoon when taking a shower I watched the sun dappled leaves rustling in the wind. A cherry tree, a walnut, a locust, a sycamore and several maples. The smell of the lilac soap, a gift from my best friend, tricking me into wondering if it was really spring and not fall's approach I was seeing... Beauty in the mundane. I must always remind myself to pause when I find it and record it to my memory.

Words I Say Regarding Stuff: An Introduction

You may notice that about twice a year for the past couple of years I seem to decide to try to make this blogging thing work. This is one of those times again. I may not always have something interesting to say, but I want to try to post something--anything--every day. We'll see how this goes.
It does bother me that I can share some witty, deep, or important things on Facebook which, essentially, disappear after a week or so. I don't have an archive. I mean, I know that the words are floating around out there in cyberland forevermore, but I can't easily access it. So that is what brings me back to this page every once in a while.
One pet peeve I have about some of the blogs I've been reading lately is that they no longer seem to follow that format of backwards chronology from the top of the page to the bottom and then you click "older posts." I rather liked that. I liked seeing the posts in some kind of order and feeling the accomplishment of completing the reading of a page. I guess because I'm a book girl, I like my information in a linear format like that. But many blogs are now using that--um--"thing" where there is one post (the most recent) on the homepage and then six to twelve blocks at the bottom of the page to choose from for further reading. That's too difficult. I don't want to read a Choose Your Own Adventure blog. I want a narrative of some kind. Granted my narrative, when read in said linear format may make a reader wonder whether I have schizophrenia or ADD or some other mental disorder which makes it difficult for me to stay on topic. Yes, I do have mental illness, but really I'm just interested in myriad, disparate topics. I apologize in advance to any new readers for the bursts of flotsam and jetsam. If you don't like it, don't read it. I'm totally cool with that. Also, I do not claim to be a writer or an artist. So if you're looking for that, you might want to go elsewhere.
I rather like the meta element of this post. Blogging about blogging.
I just spell-checked this and Blogger doesn't recognize the word Facebook. Weird.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Aaaaand the oldest, too.

I guess they both got the sickness from me:
I sent you a request to confirm me as myself for my blog, if
you didn't yet, can you confirm it for me?

what now?

check your requests for a networked blogs
request which is just asking if i am me and the author of my blog

are you the author of your blog?

srsly? what is UP with you and your brother?!?

I dont know, likee you didnt just copy and paste it right?


i'm copying and pasting your annoying ass ?s

so your not really the author of that content?

come here, please. i need to slap you.

hey, plagarism is serious business, my english teacher says they can kick you out of college for that'

Sometimes I realize they are too much like me.

So, the old way that Blogger used to post to Facebook doesn't seem to work anymore, so I signed up for NetworkedBlogs to do it for me. One of the steps was to ask friends to verify that I am, indeed, the owner of my blog. I asked both of my sons, among others. My youngest and I just had the following chat via Facebook:
I sent you a request to confirm me as myself for my blog, if you didn't yet, can you confirm it for me?

can i not?

im to lazy to click

nd the mouse is so far away

yeah, but then fb wont let me publish m y blog...why would you not?

idk tho

how can i be sure ur the authore of blahgblahgblahg


they taught us about plagerism in skool




brb i hav to google some sample phrases to make sure u didnt steal this from someone elses blog
Why did I teach them how to be smart asses so well? It makes me laugh my mom ass off, but it's still frustrating.

Down with Socialism!

Government needs to keep it's nose out my healthcare, medicare, social security, roads, libraries, police departments, fire departments, education and schools, our stock exchange, our oil cleanups and disaster relief, our national and international protection, the prices we pay for milk and eggs and cigarettes and bread, air and water quality, public transportation, the railroads and ports by which all of our consumer goods reach us, the water treatment and sewers and trash disposal and, finally, our justice system. I just can't take anymore of their fucking interfering with everything.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Oh, Hollywood, you're so silly...

I was just reading an article in Entertainment Weekly about Angelina Jolie’s summer movie Salt. Originally the character was named Edwin Salt and was played by Tom Cruise, but he bailed and Jolie stepped into the role of Evelyn Salt. Here’s the quote that has me bothered:
“In the original script, there was a huge sequence where Edwin Salt saves his
wife, who’s in danger,“ says [director] Noyce. “And what we found was when
Evelyn Salt saved her husband in the new script, it seemed to castrate his
character a little. So we had to change the nature of that relationship.” In the
end, Salt’s husband, played by German actor August Diehl (Inglourious Basterds),
was made tough enough that he didn’t need saving, thank you very much…
What the fuck, Hollywood? When is the woman going to be “tough enough that [she doesn’t] need saving?" Why is there no feminized metaphorical equivalent to “castrate” in art or psychology? How can Hollywood create a movie with a main character who is a female action hero, and still not see the irony in worrying over the implications of a man being rescued?
I have nothing profound or poetic to add here, I just can’t believe in this day and age, directors still say things like this and do things like this. They had to rewrite much of the script to accommodate men’s egos, yet it never occurred to them women might not want to see a woman “being rescued” by a brainwashed little person asshole actor?

Friday, April 09, 2010

When it rains it pours and other clichés I hate but use anyway.

Nate’s trip to Vegas for work this year coincided with a “crunch time” at my job, so I had to beg off of going to one of my favorite places with one of my favorite people, yet again. And, BOY HOWDY! Am I glad I stayed here, because not less than 48 hours after he left I became effectively, indefinitely unemployed. I am fairly sure I am still on the hirable list from how it was explained to me, but there are no studies coming up for which I am able to work. Paying off remaining debt plus loneliness plus having no spending money plus nowhere to go plus nothing to do equals… well, my heads explodes at that kind of math.
The same night my job was finished, my iPhone decided to crash. I know if you don’t have an iPhone or other PDA or smart phone on which you entirely rely for all of your notes, lists, appointments, et cetera, that this sounds like a privileged woman complaining about not being able to buy new shoes or something. For me, though, my whole life is run by that cute little device. My memory is poor enough and my appointments are great enough in number that I pretty much can’t get anything done without the ping of the alert or alarm reminding where I need to be. And the notes and lists help me remember what I am supposed to do when I get there. Well, apparently, some of my data was not backed up properly and I am spending the first half of this day calling everyone in hell’s tarnation and saying, “Um, hi. This is Kayly Newcomer. Am I supposed to see you at some point in the future? And if so: when?” I loooove sounding like a mentally challenged weirdo to people with access to my medical records.
Taking a step back, though: before I was able to get the phone to work again, I stayed up until 5:30 a.m. Thursday trying to follow Apple’s convoluted instructions on how to fix my problem. The instructions boiled down to, basically, “If you can’t do ‘a,’ then do ‘a’ to be able to do ‘a.’” Uuummmmm. Hm. So, yes, I basically bashed my head against the wall for a few hours until I had to sleep. I slept twenty minutes and then woke Holden for school; I slept another hour and woke to get Ethan to school; then I slept two hours before I woke to haul my dirty haired, sweaty, rumpled clothed ass to the AT&T Technical Support office on Jonestown Road. He put the phone in something he called “DFU mode” and told me not to touch anything on the phone, but to take it straight home, plug it in and restore factory software and my settings. Even he didn’t know what DFU stood for, but I’m convinced it stands for Don’t Fuck Up. In the end it’s all going to be okay. (I keep taking long, deep breaths and telling myself that, anyway…) The purely annoying (not really important) aspect of this whole thing is that I have over 80 gig of music on my hard drive, but only about 14 gig of space on my iPhone iPod, so I obviously don’t just sync iTunes to the phone; I pick and choose what I want to hear when I’m tooling around and drag it onto the device. There is no simple, time-saving way to back that list up and it has taken me almost the whole year I’ve had the phone to get it just right and weed out the duplicates, clunkers and so on just taking up space. So that process begins again, sigh. But, like my loving hubby said, “Hey, at least you have free time to do that since you’re not working anymore.” Ah, love!
The last of what I hope are the “everything bad happens in threes”-three is just the icing on the big, annoying shit cake I’ve been served this week. On the way home from the tech center I stopped at the library to pick up some books I had on hold. On the way out of the parking lot a woman in a big, ugly truck backed right into my driver’s side rear quarter panel. The first thing she said when she hopped down from the driver’s seat was, “I didn’t see you at all!!” The last thing she said after we exchanged information and were leaving was, “It didn’t even leave a mark on my truck!!” Lady, I know where you live, please don’t tempt me to violence. I don’t need that much of an excuse at this point.
I’ve been in touch with the lady’s insurance company and they said she is accepting responsibility for the accident, so now there is just the pain in the butt of getting it all done—the estimate, the bodywork, the not having a car for a day or two or whatever.
Total non-sequitur: It has been in the 90s for days now, yet today I had to turn on the heat again. It’s 63° in here! What…is the DEAL…with that?
Also, in case you are wondering: yes, I am just pretending I’ve been blogging all along. I have to just jump in and do it and stop being so self-conscious about the quality of my writing. I had a second round of ECT (five treatments) in February and my memory is still revving up to normal, as is my attention span for words on paper—mine or others’. Hopefully, this was readable enough for all six of you!

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