Odin has a serious liver malady that his fantastic regular vet can't fix with the normal methods of heavy antibiotics and special food. Since the liver regenerates itself, most problems can be fixed by a low fat, low protein temporary diet and lots of antibiotics to keep the infection, whatever it is, at bay as the liver rebuilds itself. Odin is still incredibly sick and has all the signs of cancer but since his white blood cell count responds to antibiotics the vet doesn't think it's cancer. The vet has ruled out all run of the mill liver problems and suspects that it's a very large (or several large) abscess. She recommended Odin go to a specialist, internist vet and we have an appointment for next week. I knew that Odin had something unusual when the vet, who is not a young vet, kept asking us if he had eaten anything different or been outside because she had never seen symptoms like this in an animal who wasn't poisoned. Last week at the vet the vet tech said she had been working there 3.5 years and had never seen a cat with a liver abscess. Today I went online to look up information on liver abscesses in cats that require surgical intervention. Wanna guess how many articles I found? TWO. TWO. Two articles about it. One was from a small animal vet textbook and one was from an article published in a scholarly journal about 5 dogs and 1 cat who had liver abscesses that needed surgery. WOW.
I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I got these jammies from the kids' section of Target on Black Friday. There were no pink footie pajamas so these neon leopard type print ones were the best I could do. I wore them for the first time on Friday night. John went to bed before I did and I woke him up to show him my cool new sleeping gear. He looked at me and told me I looked like a cow. I was a little taken aback and had to figure out that I was wearing something that was white with black spots. I said something along the lines of "Hmm, maybe we should think about the words that we use" and he mooed at me and went to cuddle and was like, "Come here you cute cow." I reminded him that I, like most women, don't like to be referred to as a cow. He kept mooing and calling me a cow and I reminded him how upset I was when, a few years ago, he referred to my boobs as udders. He thought his joking was adorable and harmless but it really got under my skin. We exchanged some not- heated words about it on Saturday and I returned them on Sunday. I just don't want to be reminded of them, despite their comfiness and John's promises that he liked the way they looked on me. When I got home from my exam tonight I was talking with John about his day and he said that he told his guy friends at work about "The Cow Incident" and how all of them were taken aback and shocked that I was still with him. I know he has his pride. I know he isn't romantic. I know this isn't a big deal. I know all of that. I also know that he is paying for my graduate school and I don't make any money at this moment and he doesn't complain about that at all. I wish, in instances like these, that he would be more apologetic and do something to DEMONSTRATE that he's sorry or to acknowledge that most women would have made him sleep on the couch for a week as punishment for assholery of that magnitude but instead of asking him to do anything I changed my contribution to the situation. I don't need flowers and he doesn't like to give gifts. A note, a massage, a prepared meal...any of these things would really be appreciated. Sorry for the whining. It's just that it really got to me to hear that John's coworkers, who are usually full of happiness and jokes and good natured teasing, were pretty somber about this. Yeah. It's a big deal.
Sure, put on your judgey pants. But there are few better feelings, for me, than saving a significant amount of money (no small deal when you're a 1 income family) on items that are needed and will be used and appreciated by people I love.
SEVENTEEN people who I love love love will be at our house for Thanksgiving! YAY!!! The biggest compliment came last Wednesday when a friend whom I hadn't invited to Thanksgiving (but invited to Thanksgiving last year and I'm just a space cadet and wasn't being a good hostess and he slipped my mind this year) called me to ask when Thanksgiving dinner was. WOO HOO!!! I LOVE IT!!! I love that I'm known, by at least one friend, as someone who will always have an open house for Thanksgiving. That makes me so happy!
I'm so frustrated; despite the fact that there is no one at home I'm walking around with a fake smile because I'm so antagonized. For the second time my concealed weapon permit application has been returned. I originally mailed it off with a personal check, not a cashiers' check as they requested. Today's mail just came and it has been returned again because the fingerprints are blurry. Honestly I didn't want to get my CWP. The class was interesting but I have no desire to carry a weapon on me and I don't think my reflexes (like those of an old, heavily medicated cat) would do anything to save me in a situation where I was threatened. I just don't think I was meant to have a permit. Oh well.
The best thing about the trip to WDW was the fact that Shauna and I kept it a secret and Izzy had no clue at all. As we were driving to Animal Kingdom on Thursday morning we kept asking her to look at the signs and tell us what she thought we were doing. When she figured out we were going to Disney World, instead of having the gigantic head exploding freak out screaming moment we thought she would, she clasped her hands under her chin and said, "Oh, thank you so much! Thank you Mommy! Thank you! I always wanted to go to Disney World when I saw it on the TV! Thank you so much!" Raising a grateful child: you're doing it right.
I'm going to hate this semester. I just know it. I'm busy. Like, crazy busy. Like, cannot spend time with friends or family busy. John is busy at work. I can just tell we're going to be having "that" fight for basically the rest of 2010. John is wonderful at helping when he can see the value in something. However, when he doesn't, no amount of effort on my part will get him to give me any assistance. There aren't enough hours in the day to get done all the things I need to and I would really like it if he would help me walk the dogs. He doesn't think that it's a big deal. Logic, begging, fighting, pleading (including calling him crying when Bodhi pulled me down when she bolted because she was scared of a car on the road), NOTHING will get him to help me with the dogs on a regular basis. I refuse to have badly behaved dogs. They will get exercised. I just wish he could see it my way and, even if he didn't, I wish that he would acknowledge that it's important to me and help me with it, even if it's not important to him. I know that he's a spoiled brat. Really, he is. I fully acknowledge that I play a large part in letting him live in a world where he doesn't have to clean up after himself or take responsibility for things that he doesn't like. I also know that, at this point, nothing I can do will change his mind. This has been a problem with us for over a month. I'm just done. I just want to either have more hours in the day to walk the dogs, clean the house, do my regular school work, work at my residency, and work on my thesis or have the money to have the dogs go back to daycare. I'm so drained. Thank God there's is an end in sight.
Yesterday was the last day for Cujo at doggie daycare. They raised their price for annual daycare by 50% (not a typo. Seriously. 50%) so that had to be nixed. That's basically the last luxury that we have. I'm going dog walking in the mornings and afternoons. Hopefully this will be enough to tire everyone out. I just hate giving up daycare. Whine whine whine.
The dogs are hot after some neighborhood gossip. Our (incredibly nice and not prone to loudness) next door neighbors are having a very animated discussion outside. They aren't yelling but they're really INTO whatever it is they're talking about. The dogs are as well. Both of them are staring at the neighbors' house and making question mark sounds and running around in circles trying to get my attention to let them out so they can stand at the edge of our fence and stare at the neighbors on their porch. Way to be subtle, dogs.
One of the things that has impressed me most in these initial weeks of my residency is how much the non-elected healthcare decision makers in South Carolina (DHEC employees, doctors, hospital executives) truly do care about maternal and child health and health disparities. They work hard on shoestring budgets to make sure every woman and child is safe, healthy and educated. There is no politics, no religion, no divisive, antagonistic thinking. It's heartening to read emails and attend meetings with people who are passionate about the same things I am.
AND THEN at a DHEC meeting today I heard something that made my jaw drop. South Carolina passed a law in June called "Women's Right to Know", which essentially says that when a woman gets an abortion that is not medically necessary she needs to review certain information and sign and date a form stating that she reviewed that information 24 hours before she can get an abortion. The information is online and at doctor's offices. It is only available in English. People both in and out of DHEC have acknowledged that it needs to be available in Spanish. At a DHEC meeting today a DHEC employee scoffed, "They don't get them.", implying that Hispanic women don't get abortions.
OH. OK. Since "They don't get them", we certainly don't need to provide legal information about a safe and legal medical procedure in a language they can understand. My eyes bugged out of my head. We still have so far to go...
One, people still can't spot a scam. I mean, WOW. Yeah, the buyer from Craigslist who wants to send you an international cashier's check for like $3000 more than your old pillows cost if you would please just cash it in your name and send him the money is a SCAM. Holy fudge. Two, planning a wedding has to mean that the world revolves around you and everyone must be happy for you and give you lots and lots of attention.
Today I did about 2 hours of really intense yard work, which made my side HURT hurt hurt. Fine, I took some Tylenol. About 4 hours passes. Within an hour I ate a heavy meal, had sex, and did Kenpo from p90x. Now I'm sitting in the dark crying. I hate you SO MUCH, cyst. Here's hoping alcohol and a hydrocodone I had left over from when I had swine flu make this go away. I have a high pain tolerance but I had to take a minute in the car to get myself together I was crying from pain so much.
From 8 pm last night till about 8:15 this morning my MiL, SiL and aunt bombarded me with demands for cookie cutters. At a little after 8 this morning I met my aunt at a midpoint between our houses and gave her some cookie cutters. This was such a DIRE situation that she didn't even get out of her car and barely slowed down to get them from me. Basically, if it turns out that there was some Armegeddon type disaster that was prevented by a middle aged lady from SC MacGuyvering some weird contraption, I gave her the cookie cutters to do it.
I think I am the first woman of the facebook generation to get an ultrasound and not post the pictures online. SOOOO CUUUUTE! Look at that ruptured ovarian cyst! I can see it so clearly! ADORABLE!!! I just can't wait till it's fully expelled in 2-3 menstrual cycles! Oooooh I just can't wait!
I'm prepping for a bachelorette party this weekend and today I went to Spencer's to buy some very adult gifts. I'll also be making at least 2 penis cakes. Izzy was unaware of what was around her in Spencer's and I hope she's equally clueless with the cake. Having her go around asking "Where's the penis cake? Is that cake a penis?" is NOT as cute as it sounds.
I was over at Shauna's house and Izzy was (of course) playing on my phone. We were playing a game that involved naming animals and spelling their names. One animal was an owl and Izzy got up, went to her cat, leaned in close and said, "What's that, Gerty? Um, Gerty says 'Whatever, I don't even like owls.' "
One of my wonderful friends posted her weightloss success on facebook. Lots of people congratulated her, and one person became a total threadjacker. She talked about her weightloss and how she was doing it using a medicine that was similar to adderall. Except she spelled it "aderol". Um, how about we not discuss our off-brand use of prescription drugs in a semi-public forum? This is also something that irks me because I take adderall for ADD and executive functioning disorder, so I hate it when the myth of adults taking it for the weight loss benefits is perpetuated. Also, good to see that the drug intended to help people have academic success has contributed so greatly to her spelling skills.
Call me old fashioned. Say I'm infringing on a persons right to express themselves. Say I'm afraid of the human body, which is naturally beautiful. I have 2 tattoos. One of them is on my butt cheek and one of them is between my shoulder blades. I know people can see the one on my back. When I am in professional situations, I cover it up. A collared shirt or a business jacket does the trick. How about if all the people who had tattoos involving nudity or curse words did the same thing? Either get your tat in a place where it won't be visible or cover it up. Today I was getting a prescription filled and saw a woman who was about my age, maybe a year or so older, with a backless sundress and on her back was huge tattoo of a female angel, completely naked, and like squatting/ spread eagle. 100% anatomically correct. Art is expression. Tattoos are art. Express yourself all you want. I LOVE my tattoos and want to add more. I'm a body-loving hippe liberal who thinks that the human body is a beautiful instrument. I did NOT want to, or need to, see a drawing of nipples and labia at slightly lower than eye level. Could I look away? Actually, it would be hard. This lady was standing slightly in front of me and we were looking for medicine on the same shelf, so I had to look in her general direction. It would have been alot easier for her to wear a tank top under her dress (or, you know, not own the dress) in order to cover the angel from the neck down. Not that hard. Anyway, maybe I'm an old lady who is cranky and doesn't know what is cool and just goes around being a self-righteous brat on the internet. Who knows.
John and I have changed each other for the better. I mean, we were already perfect, but you know what I mean.
I used to avoid sweating no matter what the cost. I still hate it with a passion. It is SO unladylike. It's nasty and messes up hair and make up and seriously is just the opposite of everything that I like about being a woman. However, I'll sweat for my hubby. We're doing several home improvement projects and working outside in SC makes you fudging SWEAT. I hate it, but I'll do it. We've also started the p90x workout program. Holy sweating crap. The "off" days involve doing really complex stretches and even the stretches make me sweat. This is serious work out stuff.
I'm not the only one who has changed. John has become catty and gossipy and I love it. Three years ago he couldn't care less about other people. Now he texts me all his work gossip. I'm so lucky.
Michael Jackson died one year ago today and when I heard that he died I was like, "Ok, a culturally irrelevant child molester who has prescription drug problems is dead." I worked with a woman who was 2 years younger than me and she was like, "Yup, that's just what I thought." Then a co-worker who was about 10 years older than us told us about how we didn't understand, that MJ was a huge pop star, he united people, he was so important. Ok, cool. And then he went off his rocker and surrounded himself with people who created a world without repercussions, altered his looks so dramatically he was unrecognizable, and engaged in deviant and inappropriate relationships with minors.
Random thoughts. And GO! 1) SOOOO I'm taking 2 classes during first summer session and it's taking over my life. Both are really interesting. One is environmental health sciences and one is methods in community assessment. I was warned by several people that the professor who teaches it is crazy hard. Apparently last year was the first year that she taught it and after the final exam several people in the class went to the dean of the school together and complained about her. Yeah. On the first day of class she said that she had made the material easier than last summer. Oh, the poor people last summer. We have 6 assignments due in 4 1/2 weeks. This class has taken over my life. 2) I'm becoming really frustrated at the fact that I can't find a residency. Basically for my final semester I'm supposed to do a residency and have a thesis/ measurable output about the place where I'm doing my residency that relates to what I'm studying in public health. I do this for free. I originally wanted to start my residency in second summer session so I wouldn't have alot of pressure on me in the fall, when I'm taking 3 classes. How about NO ONE whom I contacted about residencies wants to have me as a resident? They don't want to have a grad student working for them for free. FOR FREE. So now I'm still on the hunt for a residency and I can't start it during second summer session so I have to start in the fall and have a really busy/ stressful fall. UGH. 3) My garden is AWESOME!!! I love eating tomatoes, strawberries and zuchinni from my awesome garden. As the summer goes on I'll get more tomatoes, more strawberries, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, basil, green peppers, jalapenos and habaneros. In the fall I plan on pulling out alot of the flowers that are left over from the previous homeowner and planting garlic and onions.
I'm scheduled to pick up my car from the repair shop at about 11 this morning. This is after initially being scheduled to pick it up on Friday the 11th, then Tuesday the 15th, then Thursday the 17th, then last Friday. Technically I did pick it up last Friday, but picking it up only to return it less than 2 hours later because the battery isn't working doesn't count. So yeah. Considering that my initial consultation regarding the car was two weeks ago today, I'm REALLY looking forward to having it back.
The yoga part of p90x should not be called Yoga X. It should be called Queefing X. Or Queef o rama. Or You will queef so much your husband will accuse you of forcing them out when you are not. During one of the upper thigh stretches John was like, "UUUNNH this burns!" and I was like, "Yeah, do you realize this is the EXACT position you like me to be in except I'm on silk sheets?" His response: "Well then you should be good at it."
WHY DO YOU PLAY THIS SONG AT CELEBRATIONS OF LOVE!?!?!?!?! HMMM???? Could it be the lyrics, "Bittersweet memories/ that's all I'm taking with me"? Or, "We both know I'm not what you need?" OH, HOW LOVING. HOW FULL OF DESIRE TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER.
EWWWWwwwwww. John and Mike went deer hunting over Memorial Day weekend (for those of you well versed in hunting seasons, SquirrelGirl, Mike's grandmother owns a small farm and she got a short term permit to hunt because deer were eating her crops) and got one doe. John brought back about 30 pounds of meat and decided that instead of taking it to a butcher he would prepare it himself. He did a great job of making ribs, steaks, and I was especially proud of his ground meat mastery. It's tough to mix the right combo of meat and fat, but he did it. He used the meat grinder attachment of my KitchenAid mixer to make the ground meat. I have to say it's adorable when he and Mike make jerky or do anything else uber manly and meaty because all of our kitchen appliances and accessories are pink. So John weighed the dear meat on a pink scale and ground it with a pink mixer. Well I had never cleaned or used the meat grinding attachment before. I read the manual and it said that the attachment was dishwasher safe. Great! Into the dishwasher it goes. Lord, that thing STANK. I mean, it just smelled worse than anything I've ever smelled before. I inspected it and realized that you had to take it apart before washing it. Up in the tubes and gears and grater/ screen thing were fine pieces of deer meat and fat and some of the meat had actually turned green. EWWWW.
Cujo does not bark. I wish I could take credit; I got him that way. I have no clue if he just doesn't want to bark or if one of his former owners taught him not to. The only time he will bark is if other dogs are barking. Endearingly, he looks at them when they do it. For example, if someone is coming in through the garage and Cujo is the only dog around, he'll look at the garage door and get really wiggly and excited but not bark. If another dog is there and that dog barks, Cujo will bark and bark and look at the dog, not the garage door, and almost try to get that dog's attention. "Look at me barking! We are barking together! AWESOME!" Cujo is sleeping next to me and his little feet are twitching and his nose/whiskers are going a mile a minute and he is intermitantly barking. Yay! He's totally dreaming about running around with his doggie buddies.
Both of my classes this summer can be taken online, but I greatly prefer to go to the classroom and be there. My car is in the shop today so I had to watch my classes online. Not only do I have a weird stomach thing that makes every burp feel like I'm going to throw up, but my afternoon class is UBER boring. The professor is showing us how to research for our final project and I couldn't imagine sitting in the classroom while she's going over websites. "This is how you search for things on the CDC website." Ugh. SO glad I'm here at home.
I've always liked seafood. I lived on the coast for all of my childhood and we now live about 2 hours away from the Atlantic Ocean. However, Granny and one of my aunts live in Charleston and get delicious fresh seafood all the time. Shrimp, scallop, crabs, I used to want to eat them all. My in laws have an annual custom of going down to the docks in Charleston and buying several hundred pounds of shrimp in the summer and then freezing it and thawing it as needed. Last summer I helped make coconut shrimp and for the first time was involved in cooking shrimp from beginning to end. UGH. Peeling and taking the legs off is fine. But that vein that runs down the back? I always thought it was an urban legend that it was the intestines. Um, it is not a legend. When the shrimper catches some shrimp right after a big meal, you can tell. Washing your foods feces off of itself is a great way to make that food unattractive. I've given up on shrimp but somehow, in some corner of my mind, I hoped crawfish were different. I've written about my love of them via the Crawfish Festival before. They are at least easier to disassemble than little baby shrimp so taking out the guts was easy to do in one fell swoop. I ate a few until there was one who I didn't thoroughly de-gut. Chewing sand particles that had once been in a crawfish was a one way ticket out of crawfish town. The one sea animal I've never liked eating was oysters. I know they're a delicacy but to me they just taste like rubber bands. Then again, I've only been offered them when they're steamed or raw. Last night John and I shared a seafood platter and it had oysters on it. No substitutions. They were fried so I figured I could enjoy them. My first bite in I felt that ominous grit in my mouth and, after quick inspection, saw that there was a black spot in the oyster filled with sand. Well, half a black spot. I always thought that spot was like, the dark muscle where the oyster is tethered to its shell. NOPE. It's a stomach. Shellfish, I think we're done. It's been nice. Not really.
I am a complete snob about some things. Fashion/ clothes are one of those things. I'm not label-crazy, I just think that having a wardrobe with classic pieces that complement your figure, instead of whatever is trendy and on sale, is the best way to go through life. One of the best things about living in DC was the ability to shop at stores like Filene's Basement (R.I.P.), American Apparel and H&M. Filene's was my biggest love. Like I said, I'm not a label junkie, but finding $180 super designer jeans for $35 or Burberry, Coach, de la Renta or Chanel scarves for a few dollars more than a full priced scarf from Gap made my day. I am a huge proponent of the fact that you don't have to spend alot of money to look nice. One of my friends from middle school ended up living close to me in DC and we reconnected and became even closer than when we were younger. Her family had more money than I can ever imagine. Just boatloads. She had no problem telling me about her designer bags and shoes. I had no problem hearing about it. One summer afternoon we were at the pool and I had on a pair of designer sunglasses I got at Filene's. She looked at the name on the side and said, "Halston? Is that a knock-off brand?" No. No it isn't.
This weekend was AWESOME!!! I love tradition. If I do one thing once I feel like I have to repeat it over and over again because it's "tradition." Last year John and I were living apart (He was working down here and we hadn't sold our first house so I was living in the first house and working at my old job) and I would come down every weekend and we would do some type of housework/ remodeling project together. All I wanted for my birthday weekend was to NOT have to paint or sand or hammer for all of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I wanted to go strawberry picking, because I love strawberries and when I was little we used to go and it just seems like a cute, fun thing to do. Also, I saw ads for a crawfish festival in downtown Columbia and I really wanted to go because I am a dork and totally into cheesy festivals. (I dragged my whole family to the Okra Strut last year. Go me!) Well, the crawfish festival was AWESOME!!! They shut down several blocks of Columbia and there is a ton to do at the festival. They have bands on two stages, but the stages are far enough apart that you can still have a conversation and hear yourself think. There was a ton of Bud and Bud Light but there was also, to John's delight, a stand that had the snobby/ weird beers so he could drink his snobby beer and be happy. And the crawfish! OH. EM. GEE. This was my first time eating crawfish and there were so many people sitting at the tables under the main tent that John and I had to sit on the sidewalk, like several dozen other people. We had no clue how to eat crawfish so we turned to another young couple next to us and chatted with them as they explained it to us. It was SO wonderful! The crawfish are live and steamed right in front of you, then have a ton of spices dumped on them, and away they go into a big styrofoam container for your enjoyment.
Well, since we did that once, we must now do it every year. I had been talking up my (first) birthday weekend for weeks: strawberry picking followed by the crawfish festival. On Friday night John was talking about his weekend plans and he mentioned how he wanted to work on home improvement stuff with one of his friends in the morning, then go to the crawfish festival. I got a little sad because I really wanted to pick strawberries. One of my aunts said she'd go strawberry picking with me and I called the strawberry farm to check their hours. Guess what? They were closed on Saturday to allow more berries to ripen! YAY!!!!!!!!!! No worries about missing berry picking with my sweet husband! I slept in on Saturday while John and his buddy did some work on our deck. The three of us headed to the crawfish festival and picked up two friends of ours along the way. Two MORE of our friends met us there, as well as our roommate and several of her work buddies. We had quite a group! The weather was PERFECT. It was in the mid 80s but the rain that has been ravaging the mid-South left us with some cloud cover, so it wasn't super hot. Everyone (minus me) got a beer and I stood in line to get crawfish. Two people in our group held a spot for us at the table and we sat down to dig in! DELICIOUS!!! It cracks me up because about half of the people were like, "Um, this is good, but it's too much work for such little meat." I'm so glad I grew up eating crabs! First, eating a crab is WAY more complex than eating a crawfish. With crawfish you twist off the torso and you're done. With crabs it's take off the legs, eat the claws, take off the apron, take off the top, take out the lungs and guts...crawfish are easy! After some delicious crawfish John told me the most beautiful words I could ever hear that day: "I'll be the DD." WOO HOO!!! I had one Bud Light (wow, that stuff really is water) and two beers from the snobby beer selection. There's a high gravity beer called Wild Blue that is DELICIOUS. That plus one shot made me a very happy girl.
I have never seen one episode of "How I Met Your Mother." Neither has John, to the best of my knowledge. John's co-workers are all males and are as metrosexual as men in South Carolina can be. I mean, I know metrosexual is an idea that is about 5 years old but, like most trends, it came to SC several years late. Also, by metrosexual, I mean men who care about clothes being ironed and belts matching shoes. Anyhoo, their reference book for all things male is NPH/ Barney Stinson's "Bro Code". It is such misogynistic drivel. "Bros don't cuddle." "Bros always leave the seat up for other bros." "A bro shall always alert another bro to the presence of a chesty woman. Such alerts shall not be verbal." For God's sake, men. This crap is such...crap.
I wish all of my friends lived with me. I wish that our house was about 50% bigger and maybe had a bigger kitchen, or a second kitchen. That would be so awesome. We could all just hang out all the time.
Leftover, homemade, from scratch, chocolate and vanilla cake. Butter, cocoa power, eggs, sugar, flour...DELICIOUS. Mixed with homemade whipped cream. Yup, real whipping cream with a little bit of powdered sugar. Oh, and also in the whipped cream? About 5 shots of cream liquor. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
That is what my animals would say if they could talk. Cujo's love of outside poison has been well documented. Today John sprayed inside the house for bugs and Odin is now meowing unhappily while locked in Cujo's crate because he thinks that poison is just so yummy scrum and wouldn't stop licking it. Poison companies, is it possible to make bug killer that my animals don't think is super delicious?
Y'all know how I like to go super Martha Stewart all the time, right? Everything from scratch, clean house, crafty, have a vegetable garden, etc. For Easter I did adorable cakes shaped like flower baskets and for the first time ever, did some real cake decorating. Not just slathering (like buttercream or 7 minute frosting) or dripping (like petit four frosting) but real decorating with like, icing couplers and tips and patterns. I learned I can't make leaves but I do want to take a Wilton decorating class at Michael's or AC Moore or wherever offers it. Anyhoo, I used the Wilton recipe for decorator frosting. The only real difference between it and buttercream is that since decorator frosting has to be totally white the fat in it is lard, not butter. Butter would cause it to have an off white/ yellow shade. Well, OK, the recipe technically called for shortening, but all John had in the cupboard was lard. DELICIOUS LARD. OH. MY. GOSH. I just ate the last bit of leftover frosting. I'm NEVER going back to butter.
These shoes look like vaginas, right? That loop shape on the footbed is TOTALLY a labia. Like 80% of the chicks at school have these shoes and oh MAN do they look like freaking vaginas. The shoes, I mean.
This pic was taken a week or so ago when I was doing a wine promotion for my SiL. I LOVE living in the south. I really can't imagine myself anywhere else, ever. Where else would you find a man with a BMI in the triple digits wearing a Jesus shirt and buying enough beer and wine coolers to fill a wading pool? NO WHERE.
Two of my favorite people went on what I consider to be a date tonight! WHEEE!!! Person 1, Person 2, John and I were at a restaurant eating a late dinner and...tah-dah! Person 1 very decisively told the server that he would pay for person 2's dinner. It was all I could do to not clap my hands and squeal. I buried my head in John's shirt to keep from screaming. I have no poker face.
If/ when P1 and P2 have their first kiss I better be in another zip code. If not I will totally be standing right next to them and staring and pointing.
I don't lie to John. Not little white lies, not money lies, no lies. First, I have NO poker face. Secondly, I wouldn't want him to treat me that way. I mean, he is the only adult I will have to live with for the rest of my life. I want to trust him and vice versa. Well, about three weeks ago I signed up for a tanning package and didn't tell John. I paid for it with my credit card and hoped that I could just get some color (aside for the lovely shade that I was of between Casper and skim milk) and do a little relaxing. Uh, the universe did not like me lying to John. A few hours after my first tanning session this is what my back looked like: Do ya see the two white lines going down it? The redness isn't really captured here, but the stripes between the tanning lights definitely are. Lesson learned, Universe.
I should be doing research for my paper on the history of eugenics. I think it's basically proof that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Who doesn't want a society without jails/ asylums/ people who can't access resources? Ohhhh, but to get to that wonderful society you probably shouldn't forcibly sterlize blind and deaf people.
Too bad when I google "history of eugenics" I get fifty online essays written by high schoolers that basically say eugenics = abortion = MURDER.
I really dislike names that have too many "i" or "e" sounds in them. To me, they just sound like they never grow up. Can you picture a grandmother named Kiley? Or reporting to a boss named Skylar? They just sound so young. On the other hand I really don't like old people names for babies. (Disclaimer: If I have a girl she will be named Louise after Mom Mom.) Henry? Mildred? Agnes? No thank you.
I hate to love gardening. I love to hate gardening? Despite being pretty hard-core domestic, I've never gotten into gardening. My Mom and Mom-Mom were super into it, as are my MiL and SiL. Cook, clean, host parties, do needlework...I just never really wanted to garden. Obviously I didn't garden when I lived in the city and the house we lived in in Greer just wasn't really a gardening kind of house. First, it was on clay. Red, hard, clay. We lived on a very slight incline and there were two deep trenches on either side of the house where the water would run down after it rained. Nothing wanted to live in that clay. I saw neighbors have sod professionally installed, and have sprinkler systems, and within one year their yards looked barren.
The wife of the couple who lived in this house before we did was obviously way into gardening. The left side of our yard is contained by a split rail fence and in it there are some nice trees and some hardy (because I sure haven't done a darn thing to them) flowering bushes. It looks great and hasn't needed any attention aside from an occaisional waving of the hedge trimmer. Our house now is on a steep incline and the right side of the yard has two stepped gardens that were full of flowers. Since I didn't move into this house until July of last year, I really didn't have time to do anything with the stepped gardens. They became full of weeds and ivy and some steriod-pumping mint. I recognized three rose bushes (with pink roses! YAY!) and a sage bush, but that was it. Late last summer I decided I should do something with the garden, so I bought a big ol' container of spectracide and sprayed it everywhere. I couldn't tell what was a weed and what was supposed to be there. When I got done the hours of hand-pumping poison, I basically decided that this garden would become survival of the fittest. Whatever could live through the spectracide would just continue to live in the garden.
I've always liked the idea of a victory garden, though. Being relatively self-sufficient and having yummy fruit and vegetables seems like a cool thing to do. This year for my birthday (in early May) I asked my MiL, SiL, Shauna and one of my aunts to come over and help me with the garden. I didn't want them to do it for me, I just wanted people who knew what they were doing to tell me what to pull up and what can stay. When I told this to my MiL, she sprang into action. She bought me a truckload of mulch, and another truckload of mushroom compost and topsoil. One Saturday a few weeks ago she and her sister just showed up, insisted that I keep working on my homework, and weeded both gardens. YAY!!! They got six bags of weeds and dead stuff! They pulled up some flowers, too, which is fine with me. They left me with homework to till in the mushroom compost. Uh, mushroom compost is basically manure. Over the course of 2 days I spread 560 pounds of mushroom compost over the garden, then took a shovel and turned and turned and turned it into the dirt. I felt like Scarlett O'Hara! Then on Good Friday my family came back and helped me plant all kinds of cool stuff that they said would grow well: lantana (a flower that my Mom and Mom Mom like to plant because it does well in hot weather with little water), strawberry bushes, green bell peppers, tomato plants, jalapeno peppers, 2 kinds of squash, cucumbers, eggplant, habanero pepper, and thai hot pepper.
Now I water that garden for like 10 minutes every day and I just can't get enough of being out there. I spread cedar mulch over most of it, but the peppers and tomatoes apparently need the acidity of pine straw, so I bought three bales of that today. Here's the thing: I still hate gardening. I also now hate weeds and disorder. I do like feeling strong and accomplished when I get done a big task, like spreading all that compost. I hear myself saying, "I hate gardening" when I'm picking little weed after little weed. Who knows? Maybe in a few years I'll be really good at it, like my SiL and Shauna, and maybe in a decade or so I'll be showing the youngins how it's done.
Also, I promise to post pics! I promise the garden transformation would be more dramatic with before and after pics, but I always realize this about everything (laying down floor, stripping wallpaper, painting rooms, decorating the house, etc.) when the project is done, so there's no chance for a before pic.
Tonight we had dinner at Jay and Shuana's house since my insanely busy weekend of working and studying forced me to miss their son Jack's first birthday party this weekend. I brought Jack some birthday presents (oooh, sensible clothes! Just what babies want.) and Jay made an insanely delicious chicken parmasean. As dinner was cooking we went outside to enjoy the last few minutes of a beautiful day. An ice cream truck was just leaving the neighborhood and Izzy didn't recognize what it was till her Mom said something to the effect of "Do you hear the ice cream truck?" At that point it was too far out of the neighborhood to get it. A few minutes later it was just Izzy and I outside and we heard the truck again. I picked her up and ran to try and catch it but 1) I didn't have any cash on me and 2) it was one subdivision over. Izzy was a good sport and told everyone our adventure of running to the ice cream truck but it being too far away. Later on, John and I were preparing to leave, hugging, saying thanks, talking about future plans, all that. Izzy hugged me and told me that she would miss me, that she wanted me to stay, etc. It was after 8:30 so she was super tired. Like that whiny kid quasi-functional tired. As she walked away from me to curl up on the sofa I heard her say three words under her breath: "Ice Cream Truck."
Welcome to my cankly world. Do you see those sores? They aren't from heels or boots or sandals. They are from FLATS. FLATTY FLAT FLATS. I have no problems with heels. Well, minus 2 Steve Madden pairs I owned, but I don't really count that because 2 women have told me, without prompting, that Steve Madden heels are always uncomfortable for them, too. I'm 2 years late to the trend party and started wearing leggings. You can't really wear heels with leggings because, well, that looks too street-walker-er for me. Do you see what a cute pair of flats did to my feet? And this was while wearing little protective socks.
Tuesdays this semester are always weird. I only have one class on Tuesdays, and it's in the early afternoon. By Tuesday the weekend cleaning that I've done is always quasi-undone and I'm itching to get my mitts around a Swiffer. My Tuesday class basically just breaks up my Tuesday of cleaning and doing homework.
Last week Toonces ran away. I posted a little about it. He is all black, no ID on him, and scared of people. Gina and I searched for him for about 40 minutes outside. It was super frustrating. We could hear his bell, but as we called his name he moved further and further into the woods behind our house. I totally thought that cat was gone forever.
Friday night John went outside to see if UPS had delivered something for him and I heard him yell, "Oh my God, Toonces!" Toonces was outside our door. John tried to get him, but when John's hand was around him Toonces freaked out and dashed away. John ran in, instructing us to turn on all the outside lights. He got some cat food and a dog leash. Mike and I watched through a side window as John spent several minutes patiently sitting and coaxing Toonces to come to him. John finally got his hands on the cat and that animal freaked out. John had Toonces pinned to the ground and Toonces was surging and struggling to get away. I saw John get the leash on Toonces and start running towards the house. I opened the front door and kicked/ shooed the other animals (Cujo, Bodhi and Odin) who were highly interested in what was happening. Toonces seriously looked like the Tazmanian Devil. Because the leash was cutting off his air supply his hissing was desperate and otherwordly. He is all black and his eyes were rolling around in his head. His teeth were bared and all four of his paws were rigidly out and swinging from his body. I could see every claw. He was fighting John so viciously that the leash was more like a pendulum. Mike and I stood back from the door and John threw Toonces into the house in an area that wasn't too near other animals. Toonces had so much momentum that the first place he set foor in our house was the 6th stair to upstairs.
Hey Cujo, your life would be so much better if you didn't think that ant poison was a delicious treat. You wouldn't run outside every 20 minutes to take an explosive dump and you could actually play outside with your other dog friends. I know that when you stand at the back door and dance and pant and get anxious and stare at me, it means that you either have a giant #2 locked and loaded or you are just jonesing for some more poison buffet.
Our roommate's cat just ran away. He is all black, afraid of people, and has no microchip or ID tag. She didn't even put his rabies tag on him so if people find him, they can't even call the vet. AAAND it's late at night. We're about to start a search party, but I don't see this ending well.
Usually I like South Park. I didn't like it for years and years, thinking to was too crude. Once I started watching it (read: dating guys who watch it) it grew on me. One of the things I like most is how the show never lets you forget that the main characters are in elementary school. In one episode the boys in one class are trying to get an item from a girl and one of them suggests kicking the girl in her balls. Another boy meekly suggests, "What if girls don't have balls on the outside? What if girls' balls are up in their tummies?". That's pretty funny, Trey and Matt. There is one South Park episode that has been on repeat that I just don't get. The kids and their parents do something that makes them hallucinate and the hallucination is that they are riding in space with a really hot woman who doesn't say anything, who takes them to her planet where everything is boobs. Houses looks like boobs, mountains, birds, weapons, all of it. It's so crass and difficult to watch. UGH.
It pains me a little to say this, but I could totally gold medal in gloating and judging people. I would never do that to YOU, dear reader, of course. As a way to kill time I just googled one of my exes (a friend of mine referred to someone as THE ex and I thought that was perfect. You know the ex who was your first real love, who you thought you would marry, who almost always was a super jerk? That is THE ex) and one of my former roommates. THE ex's FB profile pic is over 5 years old because I remember him sending it to me when he was in Iraq with the Marines. It's him with a big gun in front of his base entrance sign. I know it's not that big of a deal, but this guy wrote the book on "truthiness". If you saw that picture, wouldn't you assume it was recent, that he was still with the Marines, or that he was in Iraq? Nope, you would be wrong. He just did little crap like that all the time. Every waking hour. He posted a picture of someone doing some snowboard jumping stuff and he captioned it with something along the lines of, "My return to the ground wasn't quite so graceful!" You'd think it was him snowboarding, right? Well, it was a stock photo and his defense was that he never said it was him snowboarding. Good to see things haven't changed. Also, my crazy ex-roommate was another life experience that I think everyone has. She was beautiful and manipulative as all get out. She was diagnosed as being rapidly cycling bipolar and didn't take her medicine because it made her "feel weird". 7 or 8 years ago her birthday gift from me was me paying for professional headshots of her. She totally thought she was going to be the next Halle Berry. If she would have taken her meds, maybe she would be. Those pictures are what she's currently using as her profile pic on FB. Since I'm honest and not embarrased about what I look like, my profile pic is current. Gloating completed.
Oh yeah, that's my nephew! And his balls. And oh yeah, a giant first turd. It took three of us to change him. Babies are supposed to have one poop per day and AJ had three in his first 7 hours! Here I am, giving him a congratulatory high five for his awesome pooping.
I effing miss Mom Mom so much. My uncle got me Dolly Parton's latest live CD for Christmas and I listen to it every dang day. One of her new songs is called Do I Ever Cross Your Mind? and here are some of the lyrics: Oh sometimes I go walking through fields where we walked long ago, in the sweet used to be/ And the flowers still grow but they don't smell as sweet as they did when you picked them for me./ And when I think of you and the life we once knew how I wish we could go back in time/ Do you ever think back in your memory like that and do I ever cross your mind?/ Do you ever wake up lonely in the middle of the night because you miss me, do you darling?/ Oh and do your memories take you back into a simpler place and time/ Do you ever miss the feelings of the love we shared/ Do you miss me? Do you darling? Or do I ever cross your mind?/ Oh how often I wish that again I could kiss your sweet lips like I did long ago/ And how often I long for those two loving arms that once held me so gentle and close.
The part about waking up in the middle of the night was my life earlier this week. On Sunday I went to a relative's house who lives about 3 hours away. She is the oldest cousin on Daddy's (my Mother's Father) side of the family and just happened to retire to South Carolina about 15 years ago. She and her husband were so kind and welcoming to John and I and really made John feel like a member of our family. She is moving back up north and has been very generous in giving John and I household items. As I was helping her move on Sunday she let me go through her cookbooks and have whatever ones I wanted. There was a Good Housekeeping cookbook with a broken spine and missing back cover. She told me, "Oh, that was mother's cookbook." Her mother was Daddy's sister. I told her I wouldn't take it but she insisted, telling me that I would get more use out of it. What a gem!!! Here was the cookbook that someone I love used to cook for people who I love!!! I want to kiss every page. Later that night as I was going to sleep I thought, "I'll have to ask Mom Mom what some of Aunt Maddie's favorite dishes to cook were and see if I can find the recipes." Then I, you know, remembered Mom Mom died in July.
I'm doing a policy brief about mental health in rural communities for one of my classes and came across the statistic that more than half of children in rural homes that have a female head of household live in poverty. Mom Mom was so awesome, y'all. She faced so many difficulties but managed to do so much. I hope I get the chance to be half the woman she was.
What are the odds that the middle of South Carolina, which usually averages a temperature of the mid-60s in early March, will get snow on the same night as my nephew is born or my SiL goes into labor? We shall see!!!
I like counting. I count change, I count the number of cars around me, and I count the number of times John and I have sex. I have one of those counter things you can push and it clicks to the next higher number next to our bed. Every month both of us put one dollar for every time we had sex that month into a savings account. We call it our sex tax and for our 30th anniversary we're going to use it to take a cruise around the world or whatever. When I worked I had a desk calendar that I would write the number at the beginning of each month, and then I would know how much money to put into our sex tax for the next month. Well, I don't have that this year. For January and February I remember typing the number somewhere in my iPhone and when I go to look, for the life of me I can't find it. How will I know how much money to put in sex tax? YIKES!!!
John and I have REAL insurance as of today! That's right, we have actual good insurance through John's employer. No more pre-existing conditions BS, no more paying over $100 to fill one prescription, no more delaying going to the doctor because we can't afford it. We don't have to share pills anymore...life is so good. I just want to kiss everyone on the mouth today. After 15 months of being uninsured, being declined from insurance companies, paying hundreds of dollars a month for a policy with a $5,000 deductible and paying out of pocket for most medicial expenses (one doctor's visit and three prescriptions for my swine flu were over $300), we are in the land of the insured!!!
This is what Mom Mom called Metamucil. The point is: I'M OLD. I started to have grey hair about 2 years ago. At first it was just a few silver hairs at my left temple. Everytime I showed it to people, they would say that it wasn't a big deal and not to worry about it. I showed it to my Mom and she replied, "Oh, I went grey early, too. I thought it was because I had kids so young." Thanks, Ma. I now have enough grey hair that I don't have to like, point it out to people or search for those few grey strands. It's not alot of grey, but it's definitely recognizable.
There are other things that remind me of my not so youthfullness. Some are good. I used to have horrible, scarring acne. In the past few months my face has really cleared up and isn't the oil pit it used to be. In fact, when it got really cold down here, I actually got some dry skin on my face! That has NEVER happened before! It seriously made me so happy! The upside to my way overproductive oil glands is that I don't fear wrinkles. My father has insanely oily skin and he looks easily 10 years younger than he is. I'm seeing some of my peers have little crows feet and it's not happening to me yet, so the skin that was the bane of my adolescence may be serving me well into adulthood.
Fortunately, my grey hairs are the only physical reminder that I'm closer to 30 than to 20. My social life is another BIG reminder. I have to check IDs for my job promoting for Allie and serving teeny tiny tastes of gin to a kid who was born in 1987 makes me feel so old. Like, I can REMEMBER 1987. I was in kindergarten. I went to Disney World for my birthday. I mean, I can remember when these people were born. WOW. Sometimes things will come up in conversation with my classmates that remind me that I'm older than some of them, but it's not that extreme since there are other students who are going back to school or are going part time who are my age. The freaking punch in the face that inspired this post came from facebook. The fiance of one of my friends is younger than most of us. She just turned 21, doesn't seem TOOOO bad. Like, I remember my 21st b-day and it doesn't seem that long ago. And when I was 21 I was making much better decisions than when I was 18 and 19, and I graduated college a year early with a great job, so the term "adult" fit me pretty well. While glancing at this friend's fiance's Facebook, I saw that she graduated from high school in 2007. Y'ALL. 2007. 126.96.36.199. That was the year John and I got commonlaw married. I had been out of college for 4 years. I had lived three different places in DC. I had held SIX different jobs. I made more money in 2007 than I have ever made any other year in my life, mainly because of my wonderful severance package. I was a complete and total grown up. Not a recent college graduate or some newb. Like, I could have been married and had a baby and it wouldn't have been shocking. AND she was graduating high school. I AM OLD.
I know it's cheesy, but I love my husband so effing much. I love looking at baby pictures of him because kid John looks alot like grown up John. The same haircut, the same blue eyes, the same high cheekbones, the same triangle nose. Grown up John is responsible and somber. I'm not saying the man never laughs, but he is always working on a project or analyzing something. I think that he would make the ideal Montessori student: everything is a task for him. Shopping is a task. Buying a TV is a task. Tennis practice is a task. Grown up John has an agenda, dude, and you better not get in his way. Kid John puts a toilet seat over his head and it got stuck. Kid John plays with his sister in the lake in front of their parents' house. In a picture that was probably taken before I was born, baby John laughs hysterically on a beautiful sunny day while sitting in his grandfather's lap in a lawn chair outside. And now he sleeps next to me. When he wakes up he looks at me and smiles and says, "I love you." Then he rolls over. Seriously, when he just wakes up grown up John looks like kid John and it makes me so happy my heart hurts. Told ya it was cheesy.
John and I have a few shows that we make a point to see together every week. "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", "The Office", "30 Rock", "Lost", and "The Soup" is our official line up. After last week's "The Office", the NBC commenter said something along the lines of, "The baby is here! Pam gives birth Thursday after the Olympics." The way I heard it was that the show was on this Thursday, today, after NBC got done showing the Olympic games. I fire up the TV at 8:59 and what do I see? Olympics. Then Olympics at 10. Then Olympics at 11. So, apparently The Office is on the Thursday after NBC gets done broadcasting the Olympics. Tricky tricky tricky. Also, I know I'm nitpicking here, but it's about dang time! Pam's pregnancy has lasted a month longer than my sister in law's, and my SiL is due in 11 days. Plus, the costume people have sucked hardcore at late pregnancy Pam. The fake bump hasn't changed much in about two months. Have you SEEN a woman who is two weeks away from her due date? Really, have you? They're usually holed up. That abdomen looks like it's falling off of them. Doesn't matter how much weight she's gained, what the body type is: A woman who is past 37 weeks pregnant looks like a watermelon is suspended outside of her body. Pam has just looked pleasantly bumpy for the past couple of weeks. STEP IT UP, people.
I adore Michelle Duggar. I think that she is just the kindest, most patient, most loving woman. On the episode of 19 Kids and Counting that I'm watching now, the Duggars are visiting friends who have 17 kids. And let me tell you, Michelle and the other mom, Kelly, look FANTASTIC. Seriously, these women are both in their early 40s.
Lots of babies apparently equals the fountain of youth.
Today is the second day that I've given up any negative or judgemental thought, and I'm really feeling like my patience is being tried. And you know what? It probably is. I believe God acts in my every day life and that the whining and negativity that are happening around me are there specifically to test my ability to stay positive.
For Lent I gave up being snarky and judgmental. I'm usually very happy and good natured, but in the past few months I've found myself just basically becoming crankier and crankier. I've also not been as happy for others as I usually am. For 40 days no judgemental or bad thoughts will cross my mind or my lips! This is actually going to make blogging pretty difficult. Here is a story I found today. I'm presenting it without comment. http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/196/2/126
In case you've been in a cave, let me be the first to inform you that every state except for Hawaii got snow on Friday. We got a pretty impressive 7 inches. On Friday afternoon, both Izzy's Mom and Dad called to tell me that Izzy had a question to ask me when she got home from school and to call at about 5:30. I called Izzy's Mom's phone and she handed the phone to Izzy. "Hi! Is it snowing at your house?" "Yes it sure is, Izzy! Is it snowing at your house?" "Uh huh." "Is it pretty? Did you make snow angels? Did you build a snow man?" All of a sudden I'm talking to Izzy's Mom. "Well, that was it. She just wanted to ask you if it was snowing at your house."
Instead of writing a gigantic essay on how great my weekend was, I'll just share bits and pieces. We lost power for about 90 minutes late Friday night, which was increased in drama due to the fact that all of the people in our house were pretty soused before it happened. We went to Charleston on Saturday morning after a record snowfall here in SC. The whole family was down there to celebrate Granny's brother's 80th birthday. John and I had been looking forward to the Southeastern Wildlife Exhibition there for several months. Also, there is a sushi restaurant in Charleston that has been featured on Man vs Food for the challenge it does with eating 10 spicy tuna hand rolls. John and Alex were aching to try it out. Of course, nothing truly went as planned, but I'll share some of my favorite bon mots.
- "Oh, Allie is the pillow buyer in our house. Since I've been married, I haven't had to buy one pillow. Hey, how about we pile up all of your shoes and all of your pillows and see which pile is bigger." Alex, who is usually a hilarious and loving good sport, was a little bit cranky after staying up all Saturday night to keep Allie company while she battled some epic acid reflux.
- Me: "Is that the cousin Foster who's a gay doctor?" (Cousin Foster is an MD who hasn't practiced for several years due to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, which has confined him to a HoverRound. Cousin Foster is about 30 years older than me.) John: "yes." MiL: "You don't know that." John: "Oh, I know that he's a doctor. He went to school." MiL "You don't know that he's gay." John: "Do most grown men have roommates? Whatever happened to his roommate Jimmy, anyway? And do straight guys show up to family events with very young, attractive Asian male friends?" MiL: "That man lives with him and Foster pays him to take care of him." John: "I'll bet he does."
Granny's brother's name is Kenneth Earnest. Apparently most people knew him as Uncle Kenny, but he has taken to being called Ernie in the past few decades. I didn't spell that wrong; his middle name is Earnest. Cue to Alex spending all weekend wishing Uncle Ear Nest a happy birthday.
My nephew is a wiggleworm and is running out of room. He is visible through Allie's stomach. Allie: "That's either a foot or his butt." Alex: "Those are really different body parts. That's like saying that's either his butt or his ear lobe." John: "I just saw his clavicle move!" Alex: "I'm going to tickle his duodenem!"
Allie: "Why didn't the cake say Kenneth or Kenny? It was a big cake. Why didn't it say Kenneth Earnest?" FiL: "Good Lord, Allison, it didn't have his last name on it either. Do you have a problem with that?"
"We'll have to start rationing the food! We can eat my cat. He doesn't have alot of meat on him." Gina's fears about being without power were amplified by beer.
I have no clue how to handle this. I was doing a promotion today at the local Army base, where I promote about once every 5 or 6 weeks and know the people there pretty well. My promotion was from 11 am till 2 pm and things were going pretty well. At a few minutes before noon a young man ran into the liquor store and screamed, "Is there a medic here? MEDIC!!!" And ran out. Turns out a man was either murdered or committed suicide in the men's bathroom. His throat was slashed in a stall. There were medics all over and several people, not including me, went out to see him. He did not survive. I'm hugging John extra hard tonight.
I don't know about you, but I am a 30 Rock fan to the core. When Liz (Tina Fey) is working with Jack (Alec Baldwin) to get a talk show on the air, one of Jack's plans is to invent a signature arm gesture and sound. I couldn't find the video, but imagine the pictures below are moving and Alec Baldwin is saying, "Uh uh uh!".
I just saw a commercial for travel to Jamaica that showed hordes of Jamaicans smiling and doing some arcane arm gesture. "A Hahahahaha!" I thought. This is great! Weird arm movements are HILARIOUS!!! I couldn't wait to blog about the weirdness. I couldn't find the commercial online, but here is a compilation of some behind the scenes filming:
So, I need to put my foot in my mouth because apparently all the Jamaicans are imitating Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world. Usain is from Jamaica and his signature pose is what has been dubbed the lightening bolt, which is holding your arms at a weird angle and tilting your torso. Whoopsies! Apparently I'm not up to speed on my Olympians. Seguing nicely into my closing thought from Jack Donaghy: "Human empathy. It's as useless as the Winter Olympics...this February on NBC."
Our new (and awesome) roommate Gina has a new (and awesome) kitten who is about 6 months old. He is pretty shy but he and Odin are best buds. When Gina goes upstairs she is followed by Cujo, who is followed by Odin, who is followed by Toonces. She told me last night "I feel like I'm in the Circle of Life from the Lion King, man!"
My brain is so scattered right now. First, I freaking love the TV Show "All in the Family" and I've married someone who's basically a not racist Archie Bunker. Secondly, my SIL's baby shower was on Saturday, which was also her 27th birthday. I love the 3 months of the year when we are the same age. The shower was at our house and, as usual, my amazing mother in law swept in and waved her magic wand to make it perfect. The horrible stomach virus that took 3 days of my life 2 weeks ago struck John on Friday night, so instead of making dip and cleaning up and decorating, I took care of my poor sick baby boy from 11 pm to 4 am, then got up at 7 am to get prepped for the party. Thanks to Shauna (Izzy's Mom) and my inlaws, no guest suspected that I dropped the ball on about 1/2 of the stuff at the party. Instead of blue overload, Allie chose a theme of wintery white and blue. Buying all the decorations was a snap because a ton of Christmas stuff was like 90% off in mid January, so I got a ton of blue/ silver/ snowy decorations for a song. After the party I went to check on John, who was very needy and wanted me to cuddle with him. I have to say that I love how needy he is. It's not obnoxious (he doesn't call me 5 times a day to ask what I'm doing), but when we are together we are either holding hands or at least rarely apart. Despite having a big house we are rarely not in the same room. I lay down with him for about an hour and then came out to help clean up. It was a miracle: my wonderful mother in law had cleaned EVERYTHING. The decorations were down, the dishes were clean, the trash was taken out. I didn't get married; I won the family lottery. We have a new roommate. (Told you my brain was all over the place). Her name is Gina and we've known her for several years. It's a small world. She not only went to Ireland with our friends who recently got engaged, she also went to Clemson and knows Allie through some good college friends. She and I were talking after the party about how awesome my inlaws are and she mentioned how her family isn't as happy and relaxed and willing to help as Allie and Johns. I relayed this story to Allie and her husband and her husband echoed that sentiment: he knew his family loved each other, but they weren't as close and didn't go as over the top as our inlaws, and were a little more judgemental. I said, "Oh, my family (meaning my Mom, Dad, aunts, uncles, etc) are just as tight as our inlaws." Then I paused. "Unless you're John or I, then they really don't care." Which transitions into my "All in the Family" thoughts. The thing is, my extended family IS really close. They all love each other and are totally in each other's business, in a good way. One of my aunts is in HR and was invaluable when I was a recent college graduate looking for a job. One of my cousins is a riot and an awesome Mom with a hilarious son who I used to visit pretty regularly. Another one of my cousins knows the DC/ Baltimore/ NoVa area really well because he travels all over there for his job and gave me some great pointers when I was new to the area. Things changed a little when I moved to SC but not really. My aunts still emailed me and kept me in the loop, and we all still sent tons of cards to each other. (My family should buy stock in Hallmark. We send cards for EVERYTHING. I moved in with John in October 2007, so in the first few months that we lived together there was Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's Day. John was in disbelief as to how many cards I got/ sent out.) Then my wedding fiasco happened and it was like all of a sudden I didn't exist. I'm not joking. Remember how I said we all used to be super close? And how I JUST mentioned to my brother in law how my family is super tight, unless you're John or I? What inspired this blog post was me playing on facebook this evening. I unfriended all of my family except my brother and one of my cousins a week after my wedding. My family basically acted in the crappiest way possible to my wedding and to my husband. I think the only person who really understands how much it hurt me is my best friend since we were 5 years old, SquirrelGirl. They were not only horrific in real life, but would go on facebook and find inspiration for their jerkiness. I saw that my oldest cousin wrote something on my brother's wall and on a whim, went to see her profile. She has almost everything public, so I clicked through her pictures. She has three daughters and I basically haven't ever seen her youngest. There were pictures of her, my aunt, and her two oldest daughters at John's and mine wedding reception this May. Except she didn't call it a wedding reception when she captioned the pictures. She called it a garden party. For a picture of her oldest it was, "My flower at the garden party." Her middle girl playing in my parents yard? "Ella's favorite lawn ornament at the garden party." My aunt and my cousin's kids? "Mom Mom and the girls at the garden party." There were about a dozen pictures like that. None of the bride or groom or my parents, BTW. And the wedding reception, for which she got an invitation that said wedding reception and where she gave us a wedding card wasn't a wedding reception, it was a garden party. So, basically, except for my father (who couldn't care less about the wedding) and my brother (who told me all the bs that was going on behind my back), and my Mom (who has been trying to make amends, though nothing will ever undo how much her cattiness hurt me AND my wonderful husband), all that family I had in MD is gone to me. It still hurts because we used to be so super close, but oh well. The best thing that ever happened to me was marrying John and a close second is having the amazing in laws that I do. I will never, ever, ever, ever stop being grateful for them.
I've been trying to post a video on facebook for the last 3 hours. For the last hours it's said I have two minutes left until the video is uploaded and the computer is making that awful clicking sound over and over and over and over and over and over...
In case you haven't heard, please check out the video below for what our fantastic Lt. Governer said this earlier this week. What he said is obviously wrong theoretically, but HE doesn't even follow his own grandmothers advice! Several times a week I drive past a bulletin board for an animal rescue organization that says that Andre Bauer donated to a program that they have. In fact, a super fast Google search shows that Lt. Gov. Bauer donates his time to Project Pet, PAWSitive Effect, and the Humane Society of South Carolina. So dude, you seriously freaking donate your time and effort to organizations that do feed stray animals.
Yesterday Izzy, Izzy's mom and I went shopping at a fantastic consignment store. Izzy found a twee Vera Bradley purse and, at a price of $4, her mom couldn't resist the accessory for her 3 year old. Izzy proudly held up her purse and proclaimed "It even has a pocket for my license!"
I've been a bridesmaid once. In 2002 I went to Ohio for like 20 hours to be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding. I've since lost touch with that friend. Oh well. I went to a wedding or two over the next few years, always as a guest. Yeah, being a bridesmaid would have been cool, but no worries. Then, John and I totally jumped the curve in our group of friends and got engaged. We had a long engagement and my wedding was EXACTLY what I wanted: 5 people, including John and I. Two of those people are my inlaws now. I love that! I love that for the rest of my life, whenever I look at my brother in law, I'm also looking at the man who legally married John and I. Up until a few months before the wedding we joked about our other friends, "What's wrong with you? What do we not know? How come NONE of them are engaged?" Long term relationships abounded, but no actual engaged couples. Oh boy, did 2009 change that! At a party this weekend for, comically, an engaged couple, John observed that now only two of his friends weren't married or engaged, when at this time last year that was the minority. It looks like I'll be sticking to my Ohio memories of being a bridesmaid once. As SquirrelGurl lamented last year, no one asked me to be a bridesmaid. We have five weddings (s0 far) this year and one last year and no one has mentioned the b-word to me. I've analyzed it, and I think I dug my own hole. First, I continue to be SO HAPPY that I had a simple wedding. It made alot of people cranky, but it was exactly what I wanted. Pastel tulle, overdressed children, rented linens, "Mustang Sally"...no thank you. I don't want to be a bridesmaid for the pomp. I want it because the women and men getting married are lovely human beings whom I love and want to stand beside them and say, "YES! You are getting married! You are perfect for each other! I want to tell everyone that both of you are great, but you're so much better together!" I've seen these half dozen couples (well, most of them...don't know too much about one of our friend's fiances. I'm sure that will come later.) for years, through thick and thin, and I want them all to succeed. And I want THEM to know I want them to succeed. And I want THEM to want to tell OTHER PEOPLE that they know I want them to succeed. Getting that out of the way, I've seen that my downfall here was not having a big enough wedding to have bridesmaids. Not to sound too much like a second rate comedian, but the bride/ bridesmaid relationship is this weird Survivor-esque alliance. Let someone be your bridesmaid and you're guaranteed a spot in her wedding party. One of the brides to be told me last year that she was considering having a small wedding specifically so she would not have to have a certain someone as her bridesmaid. Well, guess what? That certain someone made my friend a bridesmaid in her own wedding, so the woman whose presence my friend was attempting to exclude is a bridesmaid in her wedding. I didn't have any showers thrown for me or bachelorette parties, so I didn't get to giggle and bond with my other female friends over flatware. It's kind of a lonely feeling. Again, it has nothing to do with wanting to be included for pageantry's sake... I have known these people for years and years and want to show that I am so happy for them. Not to sound too doom and gloom, there are some circumstances that flesh this out a little bit. My sister and brother in law had a TINY wedding with just family. Since I was the only woman there who wasn't a mother of someone getting married, I consider that bridesmaid-y. Another engaged couple decided to go the same route that John and I did: teeny wedding, and take the money and run. I can't fault them for that. A downpayment for a house and investment in one's education beat passed hors d-oeurves any day. I want to somehow acknowledge the women whom I would have had as my bridesmaids, because I do love them. Is that weird? "Hey, what's up? I just wanted to let you know that when I got married 10 months ago I would have had you as a bridesmaid if I went down that spendthrift, cookie cutter path." I'll smile and be happy at all the upcoming weddings. I would just be happier and smilier if I was wearing a matchy bridesmaids dress.
I have been in the computer lab for 40 minutes and the PhD student who calls me by the quasi-wrong name has called me by that name at least 5 times. During these 40 minutes, an administrator came in and called me by the correct name. Wow.
I bragged to EVERYONE that having a one eyed (and scarring in that eye) cat is great because we can have 8 quintillion Christmas trees up and Odin won't destroy them, since he can't see the ornaments. This was disproved tonight. I have no idea how much Odin can see. I thought that it was basically seeing light and shadows. If you put your hand between a light source and Odin (so he can clearly see where your hand is blocking the light), get him interested in watching your hand, then move your hand to a place where there is less light contrast, he can't follow your hand. Also, he seems to be extremely nearsighted. He can bat a toy in front of him for several minutes, but if he bats it too hard and it goes more than 18 inches- 2 feet away from him, he does not look to see where it went and loses interest. He definitely cannot perceive depth. Despite being in fine physical shape, he can't jump. At least two of his feet are on the ground at all times. He has figured out he can get on our table by getting on a chair, then manuevering to the table. When he gets down from the sofa or bed, it's quite possibly the least graceful thing ever. It is NOT a jump/leap/ pounce. It is totally a contolled fall. The best way I can describe it is that he is like a small child going off the diving board for the first time. He clings to the edge of wherever he is, then lets gravity take its slow course. We haven't tried this, but the wonderful woman who fostered Odin told us that he can't navigate around dog gates. Tonight I had what may be my first heartfelt, proud, UNDERSTANDING moment with Odin. I was at my laptop and the Valentine's day tree was in front of me. (Yeah, I have a Valentine's day tree. Jealous?) He examined the tree, then used his paws and teeth to get an ornament off. He did this three times!!! HE CAN SEE!!! I mean, he's not going to be a fighter pilot, but he can see enough contrast to get an ornament off. This makes me especially happy/ hopeful because one of the things I assumed he needed to see was high contrast. There are pink ornaments on the pink tree, so he must be able to perceive sublter differences than I thought. I mean, figuring this out while your cat rips apart your Valentine's Day tree isn't ideal, but OH WELL!!! I'm so happy! My little man can see! I took pics and video that my lazy butt will post later.
SOOOOOOooooo I will happily tell anyone who will listen that I love diet drugs. When I was 18 and 19 my boss at the catering company where I worked wanted to lose 40 pounds for her 40th birthday. She tried several diets, and then became a convert to drugs. It was like she just found Jesus. "These are SOOO GOOOD!"she would say as she clutched them. Um, ok, sure, whatever. Well I gained thirty pounds my first semester at school and needed to drop it, pronto. I couldn't buckle my pants. I found a bariatric physician about half an hour away and got a chubby friend with a car to drive me there and back. What can I say? "These are SOOOO GOOOD!!!" My boss spoke the truth. I lost 11.5 pounds the first month and 8 lbs the second month, after which the doctor switched me to a less drastic pill. Better living through chemistry! While in Clemson I got 3 women to try it (and lose weight and keep it off), one of them that I know of got a friend to go with her who also lost weight, and since graduating I've had two women start treatment with phentermine after I told them about it. It certainly isn't a pill to take if you want to lose 5 pounds. I lost 35 total, and my boss ended up losing close to 50. I don't know the exact number, but a woman who I was very, very close to lost so much weight over summer while under a doctor's care that I didn't recognize her. She came to my door started talking to me and I just thought, "Is this one of my residents? How does she know me?". The weightloss is dramatic and usually permanent. I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. I know it's not a trend or something cute; it's seriously taking care of the one body that God gave you. Diets often fail and those support groups get EXPENSIVE!!! Using phentermine really is a lifestyle change. Your stomach is elastic and after you don't gorge yourself for months, it shrinks. After a doctor determines that you don't need care anymore, you still don't eat as much as you usually did because your stomach gets fuller faster. I preach this gospel to EVERYONE. Why people don't do it is beyond me. Yes, it is initially more expensive, but how much will 10 months of Slim Fasts cost?
This weekend really highlighted all the fantastic changes that have happened in the last year. On Friday I spent most of the day either cleaning the house or with Shauna and Izzy and then went out for family dinner. On Saturday I put away Christmas decorations and got a little bit ready for Jim and Jen's engagement party next weekend. Jim and Jen came over with their puppy and we decided to try a new restaurant in Columbia. We went out on Saturday night with Jim, Jen and our friend Gina and had a great time at Hunter Gatherer in the Vista. At dinner we decided that Gina was going to be our new roommate starting in February. Yay! Today I ran errands including buying school books for this semester and John helped me alot in the yard. We went out to a new (to us) Indian restaurant about 10 minutes away and then Jay, Shauna, Izzy and Jack came over to chat for a little bit. Several weeks ago John summed up our Columbia experience as different from Greer because in Columbia when we want to go out we have a choice of friends to go out with. The amout of socializing we did this weekend is more than we would have done in a month in Greer. Living close to family and friends makes a huge difference, but I still often feel like I'm visiting Columbia and that I really live in Greer. My life is so different from a year ago: I'm a full time student, I have a different last name, I'm going to be an aunt, Mom Mom died, we have a cat now, we live in Columbia, we live in a house that is much more impressive than the Greer house but that actually requires several hours of upkeep per week, Cujo sleeps in the bed with us now, we have a time frame for when we will become parents, I know how to strip wallpaper, I'm nowhere near as close to my Mom's family, I'm getting medical treatment for my obsessive disorder...My life is so great, but no matter where I live, as long as John is with me I am happy. I think that is the biggest difference from twelve months ago. Going from living with John for 14 months to only seeing him from Friday night to Sunday afternoon was hard as hell for me and I know I will fight tooth and nail not to ever have to do that again. My life is so awesome and perfect right now. I can't imagine how my heart holds all of this love.