At least it's over

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I don't think anymore shit could've hit any more fans today, but we're done and I guess there's something to say for that.

And no, I won't be divulging any details.

Rant Lite*

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Okay, first of all, I'm so fahreaking glad we got the tuxes done today because if I ever have to do clothing shopping with my Fiance again, one of us will not walk out alive. I love you honey, but shopping with you makes me want to pluck my eyeballs out with rusty spoons connected to loose wires. However, shopping with The Fiance is nowhere near as frustrating/unpleasant/undeniably-and-indescribably ridiculous as shopping with him and HIS MOTHER is.

We went and picked out wedding bands. Yes, we went to Tiffany's. Yes, I realize that it's expensive, I'm not, contrary to popular belief, retarded. I just feel that having a Tiffany engagement ring and a generic wedding band is weird, and I'm a girl. Who wouldn't want to get Tiffany rings? I'm getting a plain band (that's a Jewish tradition), so it's not as expensive as it could be, though admittedly, it's not cheap. Again, I know this because again, I'm not retarded. But what I do not and will not EVER understand, is the inability to support someone else's decision.

We picked out our wedding bands and then in a show of niceness, asked future-mother-in-law (FMIL, the f can stand for multiple words) to come in the store and see them. Mine was a 3mm wide, The Fiance's was a 6mm, in the same ring, and they were lovely. She took one look at his, and I kid you not, says, "UCK! I hate thick rings."

[silence...complete and utter speechlessness]

We picked out these rings and your first response is uck? Really? Because I have seen a lot of things I didn't like (some at your own home) and somehow managed to be polite in spite of it. Amazing, right? And now I feel like an ass because I've put the Fiance in the position of knowing that I like one ring better than another and his mother likes the other and now he has to choose. No way can this end well for him. I'm sorry honey. If anyone has a solution, I'm open to just about any suggestion (and/or donations) at this point. A swift kick in the head wouldn't even be turned down.

Stay tuned for tomorrow night's edition: How I accidentally killed my future mother-in-law after accidentally inviting her to go with us to do our wedding gift registering. Now excuse me while I go drink, it's like carb-loading, but with alcohol.


*Now with less angst. On second thought, maybe not.

Last night was Hanukkah dinner with The Fiance's family. It was amazing food (for the record, Latkas were God's gift to the Jews, I'm pretty sure), good company, and pretty awesome gifts (an iPod Shuffle!)

However, it seems that I have some sort of Hanukkah curse. A need to make myself feel stupid each year. Last year, Hanukkah was The Fiance and me, his parents, his sister and brother-in-law and nephew, his parents' closest friend, her two kids and their significant others. I technically "knew" who everyone was, but as one of two non-Jews at the table, it was very nerve-wracking. I was given the honor of being the first person to serve myself food (buffet style) and I got my salad and my brisket and then, because I'm smooth like butter, I stupidly, thought that the gravy for the brisket was salad dressing and poured a generous portion on my salad.

I played it cool when I realized it, only telling The Fiance because I didn't want everyone to notice. I virtually inhaled my salad so no one could see my foolishness, and I thought I was completely safe until The Fiance said, with great excitement, "Ha! Katie put gravy on her salad and then she ate it all."

And then I died.

So this year, despite the fact that I still can't look down (we're working on rebuilding some neck dexterity), I wrapped the presents from The Fiance and I. He insists that I do it all wrong, and yet somehow, never offers to do it instead. Weird, right? It wasn't until his father got his gift and asked in a very confused voice, "Wait, who is this from?" and The Fiance told him it was from us. So you can imagine my embarrassment when he showed everyone the gift tag which said "To: Dad; From: (Fiance's first name) and (Fiance's last name). Everyone thought it was hysterical. I died a little more inside.

I'm a little afraid to go next year, it seems like there's no escaping this pattern of embarrassment. Just to be safe everytime I see the cup for Elijah, I run screaming the other way. Because I'm pretty sure I can't eat that really quickly to hide the evidence and I sure as hell know that I can't trust my loving Fiance to keep it a secret.

Oy vey.

One Month

Thursday, December 27, 2007

One month ago, I got this....

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Not too shabby, eh?

Holiday Redux, part the first

So Christmas has come and passed, and overall, it was a pretty good holiday. Especially for my family, which is essentially comprised of the most manner-less human beings on the face of the earth.

Christmas Eve dinner was suddenly the most grown-up affair I've attended in a while, but not sophistication wise, like, NC-17-wise. I guess the fact that my youngest step-sister is almost an adult is to blame for the discussions of bongs, panties and several other seriously inappropriate dinner topics. It was disturbing, but the wine helped. Oh did the wine help. The highlight of the evening was when my grandmother intentionally re-gifted a gift to my sister that she had bought. It was a souvenir from Australia- a Santa Claus in a bathing suit and while all the rest of us got new trinkets, she got her souvenir back.

On Christmas day we got up early, opened all our loot from my mom (too many good things to list, but included a coat, a gift card to Ann Taylor, a gift card to DSW and a travel makeup kit that is awesome), went to my dad's opened up the loot from them (which included matching shirts for all the girls and matching shirts for the boys- the Fiance pulled away with 3 long sleeved blue shirts...from the same person...) and then The Fiance spent 2 hours de-bugging my step-sister's laptop, which after running Spybot twice still had over 800 infections. Perhaps this is why you shouldn't buy a laptop at 16? But nobody ever listens to me.

At 3 we went to my aunt and uncles for Dictator Christmas, which was pretty nice, though I was not the only person unhappy about the menu dictatorship. My aunt made a different recipe, my uncle bought rolls and accidentally burned even those and my aunt forgot her fruit salad altogether.

My youngest cousin has some virus that involves a never-ending fever and some barfing, so she did not attend. She stayed home and played Wii bowling for hours on end, dressed up as Snow White. Ah to be 3 1/2 again. My second youngest cousin (he's 6), ate more food than any person I've ever seen before. If he vomited last night it was not from any virus he caught from his sister, it was from the 6 slices of tri-tip, the 2 servings of potatoes, the candy cane, the chocolate cupcake and vanilla ice cream, and the marshmallows he picked up off the ground from the marshmallow gun fight (long story for another time). It was like a train wreck. You didn't want to watch, and at the same time, you wanted to see if you could make him eat anything else.

The highlight of this particular event were when my tactless cousin asked me what surgery I was going to have next Christmas, because I seemed to be enjoying the med-a-palooza. Yea. It's a peach. Please, sir, can I have some more? I really hate people who assume that because you have health problems that you enjoy them. And because I couldn't duck, when the annual gun right (fake foam-shooting guns) happened, she shot me in the face repeatedly and thought it was hilarious. She reloaded and only shot at me for upwards of 30 minutes. I didn't do much in retaliation, and instead of pointing out the fact that she's in a dead-end job with no education, no money and no steady boyfriend, I'll just consider it something that is being taken care of Karmatically speaking.

And then this coming Friday we celebrate Hanukkah with The Fiance's family. And I know what you're thinking, but it's never too late to celebrate a holiday that involves presents. Never.

An open letter to the stomach virus

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dear Stomach Virus-

You have plagued virtually everyone within a 2 mile radius of where I'm standing at any given time, including cousins and step-sisters currently still being rehydrated in the ER, and let me just say, that is not cool. Not cool at all. If you rob from me the pleasure of going to see Wicked with my fiance tomorrow night, (which was his totally awesome Christmas present from me) I will never, ever forgive you. I have Zofran and Meclizine and Immodium on standby and I swear, if you attack either myself or my man, I will drug you so severely that you will mutate at the very thought of it. Go the hell away. You are not wanted here.

And if you'd kindly please stop attacking the house with the family that I actually like to associate with, that'd also be great.

Love,
Katie

Merry Christmas (Eve)

Monday, December 24, 2007

funny pictures

Pretty good self-portrait right?

Since I have no idea if or when I'll ever be allowed back at my computer after the holiday madness that is about to ensue, let me just take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

And if you don't celebrate Christmas, which is completely fine, I'll still love you, then Happy Festivus or something.

So worth it

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Let me just say that I am so glad that I waited at the counter at the airport to move my seat so that I was sitting next to The Fiance for both flights today.

Because if I had to sit next to a perfect stranger who was comatose for 4 1/2 hours, *that* would've been boring...

Different sort of hoopla

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Okay, so my insurance does technically cover some psychiatry, but one must jump through multiple hoops. They are as follows:

1. Prepare your self-esteem to be depreciated, but it's going to happen.

2. Look in big insurance book for page of "mental disorders." Find that you must call a company, who we will call the Crazy Providers.

3. Call the Crazy Providers.

4. Get name of several approved psychiatrists in the area.

5. Call one of said psychiatrists to make an appointment.

6. Call BACK the Crazy Providers so that they can file a claim to see if I will be allowed to see the psychiatrist that they gave me the contact information for.

7. Wait and see if approved.

8. If approved, go to psychiatrist. If denied, lie in bed and wallow hopelessly at the idea of being drugless.

So far I'm up to step 4, though I've gone through step 1 four or five times. Maybe it's just me, but having to jump through all these hoops to see a psychiatrist is a little bizarre considering that I was able to make an appointment with a neurosurgeon in less than 2 minutes. The logic, oh, is it ever overwhelming.


Oh and the snot? It's pouring down my throat with a new voracity. I really am having a hard time controlling my excitement about getting on not one, but two airplanes tomorrow. Shoot me now.

Excuse me while I rant

Friday, December 21, 2007

I may or may not have mentioned previously about the fact that I'm a little crazy and aware of it. My crazy comes in the variety of anxiety. Lots and lots of it and until a few years ago, it was very very uncontrolled anxiety. Anxiety that caused me to shy away from people and for a while, food (which is not to be confused with the time I intentionally shied away from food. Yes, I have many sage lessons left to teach). Things were bad.

After months upon months of trying things that didn't work or made the anxiety worse, my doctor put me on a wonderdrug called Xanax XR. Any doctor will tell you that that was a horrible decision because Xanax is addictive, but I'm not using it illegally and I could make the same argument (well, okay, not really, but I could go down fighting) about blood pressure medication. If you don't take that bad stuff happens, right? Ditto with my Xanax.

So I noticed that I was out of refills on my Xanax and that I was going to run out over the time I was in Los Angeles- a bad combination. So I put in a call to my new primary care physician in NOLA, who reluctantly agreed to call in the prescription, but added that she'd only do it this once and that perhaps it was time for me to see a psychiatrist. I agreed because I needs mah sanity pills.

Despite the fact that I have no earthly desire to see a psychiatrist, I looked on my insurance's website to find one, because hey, in a month and a half, I'm going to be in the same xanax-less pickle with no doctor to bail me out. And despite the fact that I'm a teacher, I do not receive complementary insurance, I pay out of pocket. And I pay a lot. I won't disclose how much, but of my measly (if I could underline that adjective 3 or 4 times I would) salary, over 20% goes to the insurance, and that's not including all the co-pays and the hospital bills that are piling up.

Imagine my surprise when I looked under my insurance plan and found that I cannot, without paying completely out of pocket, see a psychiatrist. They're not covered. If I had either of the two plans above the one I have I could, but since I cannot afford either of those plans, I can't/don't. I can see a chiropractor, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist and every other doctor under the sun, INCLUDING a sleep disorder specialist, but I can't see a psychiatrist.

Please, someone, anyone, explain this to me. For I do not understand. All I know is that it might be a pretty good idea to contact that sleep specialist because once I am no longer medicated, I suspect I will no longer be doing a whole lot of sleeping.

Ode to snot

I hate snot, with a deep burning passion. It would be one thing if it was just coming out of my nose, because, while gross, that tends not to be painful. But the running down the back of my throat and making it feel like a big raw open sore? (hope you didn't just eat breakfast) That is just so not necessary.

It's the most freaking wonderful time of the year.

The Inevitable

Thursday, December 20, 2007

When I started this blog, I toyed (that so looks like it's spelled wrong) with the idea of handing out the url like a business card because frankly, I think I'm a lot funnier than I am. After much thought and the realization that business cards don't print themselves for free, I decided to just be anonymous. I have not to date, given this address to anyone besides those people I know online. Yes, I comment on blogs and leave the address there, but never anyone I actually know know. You know?

I know that my family doesn't read because I check Google Analytics everyday to make sure that that dot in central California where my family lives isn't getting bigger. Thankfully, it is not. I spent many hours FREAKING out when that dot appeared over my home town, only to then remember that, hey, I spent some time at home and I read my own blog (that goes back to that whole thing about how I think I'm pretty damn funny). Durr.

And yesterday, the inevitable happened. I was found.

A friend (hi Nico!) found me through the portal of 20-something bloggers. I'm not displeased with this in the least, but it makes me realize just how vigilant I need to be about keeping my family out. Because then I might not be able to bitch about them ad nauseum. Like this. Or this. Or my personal favorites

And that? That would be tragic. Tragic like not having turkey on Christmas.

Christmas Communism

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I am a stickler for tradition. I can't help it, I am. My grandmother was a huge traditionalist and in a lot of ways I'm a lot like the way she was when she was alive, especially with the crazy. A lot of that slipped into the genes.

So you can imagine my horror when I received the following email regarding Christmas dinner. The dinner that is and always has been, Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Bacon Green Beens, Burn and Serve Rolls, and Pies. Always. Since the birth of time. Or at least me.

(names have been changed to protect the innocent and my comments are in bold)
---------
Hello Family,

The Christmas Party is at Oldest and Meanest Uncle's house at 3:00 on the 25th. In an effort to avoid another “ Ham and dessert incident” (That happened at Easter. We NEVER have Ham at Christmas. It's blasphemy) and to change it up a bit (why? WHY would you want to do that?), I have selected recipes and am assigning family members to the recipes *cough* because I'm a dictator *cough* so that everyone can contribute to what I am sure will be an outstanding meal *cough* because I'm in charge *cough*. It should be fun to deviate from our standard holiday fare (no it won't), and also get some of the “xers” (who?) into the kitchen.

The recipes are located on the website allrecipes.com. IF you have not tried this site now is the time because I am a dictator and I say so. I use it all the time to come up with recipes and it has a number of handy tools which will help you make great food.
The tools include:
1. Serving calculator to increase or decrease servings. (the party will be 20 people)
2. Reviews by other cooks of the recipes, to provide ideas to improve the recipe.
If you're assigning the recipes, does it matter if we like the site we're using? Do prisoners care about the brand of pick axes they're using to break blocks?

Below are the assignments (ASSIGNMENTS? Am I being graded?) with the recipe to pull off the website.

22 year old cousin: Vegetable Dip (with fresh vegetables to dip into the dip)
27 year old cousin: Best Bruschetta Ever
2nd oldest uncle: Hearty Wheat Yeast Rolls
oldest, slightly crazy, aunt: Fresh Fruit Salad
Perfect sister: Greek Green Beans
Youngest (and favorite) aunt: Supreme Scalloped Potatoes
My mom & Katie: Dark Chocolate Cake 1
Grandpa, who really likes to drink Wine
Dictators: Honey baked Ham, Tri-tip, baked goodies.

I know everyone is up to the challenge, and if you don’t think it will come off on the first go, you have time to practice (gee thanks). As added incentive, priceless awards (Oldest uncle's handmade jewelry) will be handed out for best presentation, and best attitude (in other words, no whining) um, bite me.

Optional: If you wish you may bring beverages to share.

Questions: Give us a call or email dictator@dictators.r.us
---------

I think we can safely say I will not be receiving any of the rewards for not whining.

But he's MY future physician

Future Physician: "If we connected our butts together with a straw, do you think I could make you burp?"


It's like a romantic festival every single day around here.

The Life of the Unemployed

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Everytime I watch The Price is Right, which is a lot lately, I get all nervous because I just know that one of these days, someone is going to spin the wheel right into their head. It's got so many sharp edges and they're so into the game, I just know it's going to happen. Can you imagine the gore? Would they get a re-spin?

And at what point are people going to realize that the price of the cars on TPIR never ever ends with a 0 or a 5. That's the challenge! It's always something weird and everyone is always stunned.

I wonder if they give away lives on TPIR, because I'm thinking I might need to get one.

Progression

Monday, December 17, 2007

3 days post-op:
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7 days post-op:
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10 day post-op (post staples):
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20 days post-op (today!):
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20 days post-op, 10 minutes post-haircut
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Here's the real length (though curly, which it is not very often and not very curly, since I'd already put it in and then taken it out of a ponytail), post-haircut.
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Now let me apologize to anyone who had dial up, because I'm pretty sure that I just killed your hard drive with slowness.

The Land of No Seasons

So I rescind my former declaration that Mother Nature had forgotten New Orleans. She remembers us, she just likes to screw with us a lot.

On Saturday the high temperature was 80*, which is what we had averaged all last week. We literally wore shorts and t-shirts the whole time and besides the humidity, it was pretty darn nice.

On Saturday the low temperature was 39*. Now don't get me wrong, I realize that 39* is not that cold. However, having a 40+ degree split in temperatures? That is abnormal, if not freaking crazy.

The high today is expected to be 46*, which is a whopping 2 degrees warmer than it already is. I guess winter has finally arrived here in the Southland, I wonder how long it'll last this time?

The Opposite of a Classic

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Just to keep things balanced, since I left a glowing review of my new favorite reality show, I thought I'd give you a review of a movie too. Consider it pop culture public service.

"No Country for Old Men" has twice been awarded as best movie of the year and is getting all kinds of Oscar buzz which is why I wanted to see it. It seems like I never see those highly acclaimed highly awarded movies, and after last night, I remember why. Because those movies often suck.

First, let me level with you, I'd rather gnaw off my own arm before watching a horror movie. I don't mind suspense, but violence is not my thing. So maybe I'm a little biased. But if you read any synopsis of the movie, no where does it say that it contains never-ending violence. Or so many dead or dying people that you will literally have to close your eyes, plug your ears and quietly hum to drown out of the sound of someone choking to death on their own blood. I mean, not that that happened or that I did that, but...um yea. It's something to watch for.

And maybe I'm crazy (okay, certifiably, but let's put that aside for now, shall we?), but when I pay the $42.00 it now costs to see a movie, I expect a plot. You know, that thing you studied in high school? Rising action, conflict, climax and resolution (let's try and pretend like that didn't sound dirty okay?). A PLOT. NCFOM had no plot. Lots of action, more conflict than you could ever need and that was it. Tommy Lee Jones spat out a soliloquy at the end that didn't make a drip of sense and that was it. And I was one of like 10 people that said, in unison "that's it?" when the credits rolled. NOT because I wanted to see more, but because it ended as if somehow anything made sense.

I left the theater so confused that The Fiance was able to temporarily convince me that one of the characters was just a ghost, which really made the movie so much better (and did you know they took gullible out of the dictionary?) I just, I feel that I am permanently scarred by this movie. Like there's a really good chance that I'll never sleep peacefully again, even if I drug myself to high heaven and back.

The one positive comment I will give is that the violence seemed very life-like. I mean, if I had ever tried to imagine what someone would look like if you blew a hole in the front of the head, the effects in this movie were pretty much what I would've come up with. And blood pools? Yep, pretty much like I imagined them. So thumbs up for the realistic gore. I suppose if you have external genitalia that might make it a better movie?

Anyway, I felt it was my duty to save you all the 30 bucks it would cost you to see this movie knowing that the whole time you'd be trying to figure out how you could sneak into a showing of The Chipmunks and still meet your loved one at the exit door. Cause I'm nice like that and it's the holidays.

Destined to Become a Classic

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I stumbled upon something wonderful last week and I have yet to share it with you. After my previous favorite show's finale (America's Next Top Model), there was a wonderful show premiering called "Crowned: the Mother of all Pageants."

But this is no pageant show. No, it's a mother and daughter TEAM pageant show. No pageant experience required, though it does seem slightly unfair that the second runner up for Miss Arizona is in the competition. I mean, her celebrity status is more than enough to push her above the other candidates.

And the challenge this week was to introduce themselves to the judges with a team name. The judges being Carson Kressley, a former Miss USA and some random "celebrity" I know nothing of. The team names ranged in creativity to the Redheaded Bombshells, to the Blonde Bombshells to one group, who, in an attempt to convey their sophistication (which is a word they spelled wrong earlier on), decided to name themselves....wait for it...

Silent but Deadly.

I nearly died. In an attempt to convey their sophistication, they named themselves after a fart.

And then the way they kick you off? They make the second to last place team each week "de-sash" the losing team by picking up a huge pair of scissors and cutting their sashes in half. It's so dramatic, it'll have you on the edge of your seat.

Can you imagine anything more entertaining? God bless the writer's strike and all the phenomenal "reality" shows it's forcing into production.

Holiday HOOPLA

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lanny tagged me for this hoopla, which is actually good because I was trying to come up with something, anything to say, now that I can update the blog a little more regularly.

Here are the rules, as decreed by someone higher up than myself.
1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas
2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word
3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.

So here we go:
1. In my family, Christmas begins at around 4pm on Christmas Eve, when we do the Christmas celebration with my Dad and Step-mom's family. However, we do NOT open presents from my Dad/Step-mom, just from their families. It's only the beginning celebration.

2. We actually set alarm clocks for Christmas morning. I know some families do this so that the kids won't get up earlier, but ours are because Christmas? It's a little like a military operation. We rise at 5:45, open Santa and Mom presents from about 6 to 6:30 and then everyone showers (there are 4 of us showering/primping during this period of time) while my Mom makes breakfast (note that step-dad sleeps through all of this), once we're all dressed, we eat with mom and are out the door by 8. 8:30 begins Christmas with my Dad and if we're late we get phone calls every 5 minutes until we arrive. Last year I told him that for every phone call one of his presents was going out the window. He was uphased. That particular Christmas involves another breakfast (not because they don't know we've already eaten, but if some is good, excessive amounts are better), presents and usually a nap. And considering how little sleep we got, it almost inevitably involves someone yelling at someone else. At around one we move to my Mom's family celebration until the wee hours of the morning after Christmas.

3. My mom's family is too large for present giving, so we do a name drawing where you write your name and one or two 50 dollar present ideas on a small piece of paper that someone else draws. People have been known to be funny on these cards (like the year my grandfather wrote that he wanted "sex" for Christmas and we assured him that he did not want 50 dollar sex) and it's almost never good for them.

4. So that there's more than just one pesents we also do dollar gifts for everyone else. The best of these having been silly string (which my grandmother found in the crevaces of her house for literally years after), nerf guns, foam disc shooters, and the year my cousin got everyone sardines.

5. After all the children go to bed, we have what's known as the "get drunk and play loud music party." It begins with tequila, and then tamborines, guitars, harmonicas, drums and those plastic recorders. The neighbors always look forward to Christmas with our family around.

6. In our family, the wise men of the nativity scene make a long journey. Currently The Fiance is kvetching about having them on his bookshelf. It was the farthest place I could find from the nativity scene and eventually they'll travel downstairs for the epiphany. My mother spent many years exasperated about why the Wise men were in her jewlery box or in her favorite pair of tennis shoes. The wise men are SNEAKY.

7. One year, Santa brought us and my cousins each parakeets. Only my cousins parakeet somehow kicked the bucket between midnight and 6 in the morning when they lifted the sheet to see the bird. That will forever be known as the Christmas that Santa brought death. I remember my cousin asking why they didn't just get coal instead.

8. One year my youngest step-sister came downstairs, saw her Santa present and said, "Maybe if I go back to sleep he'll bring me what I really wanted."

9. This year I did almost every single bit of Christmas shopping online. And even better, I had it sent to California, so my step-dad has had to make, um, like 10 trips to UPS to pick things up. Oopsies.

10. I got The Fiance an awesome present and so far have managed not to tell him what it is. This would make the first Christmas that I haven't somehow managed to tell him ahead of time, what he's getting.

11. I'm getting tickets to see Keith Urban in concert! I know this because The Fiance is also not good at keeping secrets and it was also my Hanukkah present, so I got to find out about it on the last night of Hanukkah (he got a present, so I didn't have to spill my real present secret).

12. I'm tired just thinking about Christmas and there's a good chance that I'm going to play the brain surgery card to get out of parts of it. I've never been able to come up with a good excuse for missing any of it (including the flu, chicken pox and various other calamities), but this year, this year I think I have a winner. I know, my Christmas spirit makes your soul quiver with happiness.

Okay, now the tagging. This is a challenge because so many of you who sign don't have blogs, so here goes nothing: Marriage-101, NOLA and The Queen. I don't know that any of them will do the HOOPLA (I aimed high, they're all higher traffic blogger than myself, I feel like a high school Freshman asking a Senior to the prom) and I know the rules say not to, but if you want to be tagged and weren't, it can be arranged.

Done. Regular posting will resume shortly.

It's beginning to look a lot like heresy

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mint M&Ms, probably the greatest Christmas creation miracle ever. I mean...the greatest edible Christmas creation ever...

I mean...well, yea, probably about as good as Jesus. Strictly flavor-wise, of course.

The Freak Show

So I'm going to cut my hair. Not too much and as you've all pointed out I have lots of time, so it will grow plenty before the wedding and I will have plenty of options. I'm trying really hard to make it a non-issue, it's not working as much as I'd like due to my insatiable desire to fret, but I'm working on it.

I went and spoke with the guy who cuts my hair...

Me: "I'd like it cut but I can't really move my head much, will that be a problem?"

Him: "Uhhhh, ummm, does it hurt? Let me see it again."

Me: "No, it doesn't hurt I just can't turn my head."

Him: "Oh. Um, can I see it one more time?"

Me: "I'll come with my hair already washed since I can't lean back in the sink."

Him: "Okay, um, once more?"

Me: "Do you want me to put a bandage over the incision?"

Him: "Yes! Bandage it. Yes, that would be great. Yes. I think a bandage would be a good idea....Can I look at it just one more time?"

The land that mother nature forgot.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I keep hearing about the big ice storm in the middle part of the country and the buckets of snow that are falling from coast to coast and I can't help but wonder if Mother Nature has forgotten about us. Or maybe that hole in the o-zone is situated right above New Orleans. Or perhaps the equator has decided to shift north and we're switching seasons.

Either way the current weather (at 11:45am) is 80* with 79% humidity. I don't even like to take showers that temperature.

Thanks

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I appreciate everyone's comments and kindness. I'm feeling a little less insane today, which is good. I was just having a hard day yesterday and to be honest, putting it down here, even though it was embarrassing to see how self-involved I was, really helped.

So since yesterday was a varitable tirade of bad things, I'd like to do one today where I just list good things. It probably will be a lot less dramatic than yesterday, call it Karmatic balance.

Since the surgery I have had precisely zero occipital headaches. I'm not naive enough to assume that I'll never have another one because my brain is still hanging down in my spinal canal, but going 12 days without one is like a miracle. I haven't hardly taken any pain killers in the past few days, I've been able to cut back a lot on the nausea meds I've been on (and the anxiety ones, but that was aided by no longer worrying myself about impending brain surgery).

One thing I noticed as soon as I was up and about after surgery is my vision. I'm not sure my ability to focus is better (I actually think I need a stronger prescription, but the same thing happened to my grandfather each time he had spinal surgery, so maybe that's normal?), but my peripheral vision is incredible. I can actually see to the sides. I was living in a tunnel before and now I can see such a wider range.

Before I was having spontaneous muscle twitches in my legs and arms, often, sometimes upwards of 10 times a day and not while I was trying to go to sleep either. We never tied them to the chiari and for all I know they may be entirely unreleated, but I have not had one since the surgery. Not one.

At my friend's wedding in Nashville we had to close our eyes and pray and when I did that, I literally almost fell over. I'm not going to pretend like I can win coordination Olympics, but it is so much better and I'm pretty sure PT has that on the list of to-dos.

I have had calls and flowers and facebook messages and all kinds of things from people in my life reminding me that they're praying for me. I have you here reading and not thinking me completely insane and right now I'm so incredibly blessed with friends and family who care about me and who are thoughtful enough to remind me of that a lot.

When I am defeated by myself

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I hope this isn't your first time reading here, because this particular entry isn't going to be humorous or light hearted. If you want to leave now, trust me, no one will be offended.

I put up a poll earlier about my hair and I'm sure some of you laughed at me. Two weeks ago I went on and on about how it was "just hair" and that the surgeon could take off as much as he needed to get a sterile area. And today, in one of my more hypocritical moments I whined about hair, hell, I've cried about hair today. Twice. I know I'm being ridiculous. It's hair.

But I guess it runs deeper than I thought. I have been fat and I have been skinny, have had braces, acne, glasses, you name it, but my hair is something I've always taken care of and has been something people complimented me on. It's one of the few things that gained me positive attention when I was younger and it's something I've hidden behind a lot in my life.

Now, I have one hairstyle. I can pull the top 2/3 of my hair into a ponytail, revealing the 5 inch incision on my head so that people can walk by and point and gasp and do other things that normally I'd laugh off. But this is so much harder than I thought it would be. Ridiculously, I realize, but truly it is.

I'm embarrassed. I feel unattractive. The only thing that I feel like I can do is to cut it. I just realized that I can't have what I want for my wedding. I can't pull my hair back, it won't go. I could make the lowest low bun ever, and I guarantee I'd have so much hair hanging down below it that it would look a mess. I can't have what I'd imagined, what I'd planned and it is upsetting. I am upset.

I feel out of control. Until today I wasn't allowed to shower alone, I can't drive anywhere, I can't be alone most of the time. I've lost all my independence and I've lost my hair. Yes, I hear what I'm saying, it's absurd. It's ridiculous. It's hair! It's not my health or happiness, but it is a part of me, it's something that as it turns out, is important to me and I don't know how to rectify this.

I feel like I have to cut it. Like the only way to spare myself the disappointment in June of not being able to have the hair I want for my wedding is to readjust my idea of what I want now. If I can just establish in my mind a new image of what it'll look like, I'll be able to make my peace with it.

I don't know. I do know that I'm being ridiculous. I realize that when you compare what's going on in my life with people who have real problems that I'm probably the most obnoxious person in the world today. I know it and I hate it. I have guilt toppling over everything else. I despise how I feel and how I'm acting today.

I don't like how hypocritical I'm being, I don't like how petty I'm being and I hate how ungrateful I am. I had surgery that fixed what was a huge problem in my life. Daily excrutiating headaches, coordination problems, muscle twitches, etc. And instead of typing an entry about how my life has changed for the better and how happy I am, I've typed 400 words on how upset I am that I'm missing hair.

I'm embarrassed, and upset and really, I don't even really like me today. I guess I just hope that tomorrow brings clarity, a slightly lower level of hormones and some reality to my life. Thank you for reading and please understand that however ridiculous you think I am, I promise that I feel infinitely more so.

Death by arm-bicycle

Friday, December 7, 2007

I started physical torture, I mean therapy today and frankly I love the place I'm going to. They're nice, it's small and they've as much as offered me a job there. However, I am astounded by my lack of physical abilities. What the hell happened to me? Oh right, the brain surgery.

Three weeks ago I could play racquetball for an hour and today, I'm pretty sure I broke into a sweat doing the arm bike on the lowest resistance for 5 minutes. The therapist measured my range of motion and she said, "honey, I don't want to be mean, but you don't really have any range of motion at all." I know. I'd tell you to bite me, but bending over takes a lot of work these days.

So I'm on the real road to recovery. The very slow road, going at roughly 30 dollars per visit.

Metal-head no more

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Here it is. I gotta be honest, it was kinda less gross with the staples in.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

And I still can't wash my hair until at least tomorrow. I live to smell another day.

Yum.

One week post-op

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Look at all that hair growth!

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And don't stop delurking. I love it! (and New York)

p.s. Monkling- clearly I was the dominant one, so I'm going to say top.

I love New York

Okay, so in my obsession with all of you, I check my Google Analytics quite frequently and there's this one thing I can't get past. You see, I know how Minnesota is the most popular reader state now because I know several people who live there. However, the one I do not understand is New York, my second place state! I know precisely no one residing in New York, and yet, somehow I've had 342 hits from there.

I'm seeing some fresh faces in the comments (hi anonymous and Jackietex!), but none of them seem to come from New York. So it's time to identify yourself. Consider this part of a plan to help me get my mind off the fact that I'm probably going to have 13 staples yanked out of my head tomorrow :)

If you're not from New York and you want to de-lurk like those readers from North Carolina (6th place state), or Virginia (7th place) or Ohio (8th place), feel free to post a comment. Or if you just want to say hi and reassure me that having staples ripped out isn't a painful as it seems like it should have to be, that'd be great too. I just love you guys is all.

I know this isn't much of a thrilling post, but later I'm hoping to put up a picture of my head one week post-op. So lookout for that piece of beauty. Just be thankful you don't have smellivision.

Brainstorming*

Monday, December 3, 2007

I need your help. You see, I haven't washed what's left of my hair in a week and it's gross (because I'm not allowed to, I'm not that lazy). The part that's shaved looks like a man's ragged unshaven face and then I have a gigantor white bandage going down my neck (see last entry for what's under the bandage, mwa ha ha).

And for some unknown reason, people are drawn to staring at it (thankfully they can't really smell it yet). So I need some ideas of what to say when they (always oh-so=politely and tactfully) ask me, "what happened?"

My ideas thus far (and by mine I mean all the ones I've thought of and so far have had suggested to me):

- I had a lobotomy (and then drool a lot).

- I had a tattoo removed, I finally outgrew the rebellious phase.

- I got a bad haircut.

- Banana (so something else wildly random)

So clearly I need help. The whole neurosurgery truth isn't amusing enough. Enlighten me on how I can freak strangers out more than my disgustingly partially shaved head already does. Please.

*No pun intended, but I'm still chuckling a little bit at how clever I am.

The Haircut

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I'm feeling especially kind, so I'm not actually going to make the picture appear before your eyes, however, I'm giving you a link to my new haircut.

http://i12.tinypic.com/6y1drtg.jpg

I know. Try not to be too jealous. You should see what the staple gun looks like.

Lucy, I'm hooooooome!

Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm home and I have hundreds of details to share, but for now I'm going to relax since my fingers aren't quite up to their pre-surgery typing dexterity. I'm thrilled to be home, I'm feeling good and I know it's going to get better from here.

Maybe pictures later. :)

And isn't that man of mine sneaky? And for the record, I am every bit as funny as I think I am. I think...

Update the Third

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hello again everybody. It's the Fiance once again, in what might be his final post. My better half is doing quite well. It was an uneventful night, although this morning she did spill a cup of apple juice all over herself. OOPSIES! But other than that, she got seen by both occupational therapy and physical therapy today , both of which cleared her. The doctor's have cleared her as well, as long as she can get up and walk around and she eats something. We're working on both, and this morning she did a lap around the east wing and ate two pancakes. Go her. So, she may be discharged today, my guess is it will depend on how late they want to do discharge paperwork. Either way, I would expect an update from her today or tomorrow. Hope all is well for you,
The Fiance

Day 2

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hello again. It's the Fiance. For those who haven't been checking Katie's other site, Katie is doing well today. She has been moved to a regular room, has much fewer lines in her, and is able to get up for short distances. Unbeknownst to us, she is also off pain medication, and is tolerating it well, in the short amounts of time she is actually awake. Oh, and there was a breif mention of her possible going home tomorrow, though I would think Friday is more likely. Either way, my tenure here will be brief. Anyway, I'm exhausted, so I'm gonna keep this short and sweet, as I can never match the wit and humor Katie (thinks she) brings to this site. Hope all are well,
The Fiance

The Surgery

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hello everybody. This is the Fiance committing what I am sure is one of the cardinal sins of blogging, here to update you without Katie knowing. She'll get over it. The surgery is over and it went very well. They did not have to put her on a vent after extubation or anything like that. She is sleeping comfortably right now and that's really all that is known. Much to what will eventually be Katie's dismay, they do not have wireless internet in the hospital, so updates will be few and far between, but good or bad one of us will try to update you, after which I will go on pretending Katie does not have a blog so that she can feel free to write whatever she wants without having to think of me first. Thank you all for your help and well wishes, it meant a lot to her over the past couple weeks. She feels very loved and it will surely speed her recovery. Hope all is going well in your respective lives,
The Fiance

1 long explanation

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pre-op is done. Highly uneventful other than my high blood pressure and racing pulse (yea, I'm a little anxious, weird right?) I met with a nurse who asked 800 questions and then stuck q-tips up my nose to check for MRSA. Then I had some blood drawn, gave the only urine sample I've ever given that didn't make me wish that I didn't have a bladder and then we met with Hot Anesthesiologist. Oh my goodness gracious. He was married and surely not more attractive than The Fiance, but he was nice(...to look at). He wrote down 3 times for me that I was concerned about post-op nausea and vomiting and he put a star by one of them, just to make sure it got noticed. :) He answered a lot of questions and dropped the bombshell that I probably won't be allowed to wear real clothes the whole time I'm inpatient, which I am none too thrilled about. Harumpf.

Then my mom and I went shopping for any and everything we could ever need and then set up the Christmas tree (fake!) and Menorah (real!) and now we're vegging out and doing a whole lot of nothing.

Tomorrow I go in two hours prior to my surgery for the complete history and physical and all the surgical prep (they're not shaving my head until after I'm unconscious, ditto on the cath). I may end up with a central line and will have an arterial line, but other than that, it's what we expect- a big-ass incision on the back of my head.

The procedure is as follows (possibly not in this order, but you get the essence)- incision to remove small part of cranium, then remove small part of C1 vertebrae, then cut through the outermost lining of the brain (dura mater, which is german or some other language for "tough mother" heh) where they'll add a patch on it to increase the room for my gigantor brain.

Easy peasy, right?

I should be in the hospital until at least Friday, possibly through Monday. I likely will not update here and I'm not going to have Kim update here, but if you'd like to venture to my other site (which I know I've never linked here, but for this I will) and see the latest news, the address is: (removed, if you want it, email me...if you need my email address, leave a comment on the latest post and I'll get it to you)

I will miss you and will be back at the computer as soon as I am physically capable of doing so.

Missing you already.

2 things I'll do tomorrow

1. Update

2. Get a swab stuck up my nose.

3 Things about my trip

Sunday, November 25, 2007

1. Family meetings can go well. It's all the little voices in your head warning you of impending danger that are the real problem. And it's classically funny when your step-dad thinks that the antipasti appetizer is the entire meal and he fills himself (with seconds!) of that before the elaborate Lazagna/salad course. And then the tiramisu.

2. McDonald's should never provide Happy Meal toys where you can rocket propel things, otherwise 2 very tired travellers might do that for literally almost an hour until the one mature one (who was too manly to get a happy meal) tell us that we should go to our gate.

3. 5:45am is way too freaking early to arrive anywhere. And hence, it's time for me to go to bed. I will be up later, but I will be studying feverishly for the last exam that I've hardly given a single moment of time to in the past week. Oh flipping well.

G'night.

4 curious questions

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I've gotta keep this short since I have a boatload of studying left to do for my last exam and I need to stock up on sanity since my mother is finally meeting The Fiance's mother tomorrow. So this is an audience participation. Anonymous comments are fine, as long as they're not mean, so now I will ask you...

4 curious questions:

1. If you could have any car, regardless of gas prices, air polution, cost, insurance, etc, what would it be and what color would you get it in?

2. If you could only have one book for the rest of your life (bible not included, that's a cop-out), assuming no other entertainment would be around, which book would it be, and why?

3. Who would play you in a movie? Which actress would you play in a movie?

4. What was the greatest invention of the 20th or thus far the 21st century? and why?

5 reasons I didn't update last night.

Friday, November 23, 2007

5. I didn't have internet.

4. I didn't have internet.

3. I didn't have internet.

2. I didn't have internet.

1. I was in a food-induced coma. And I didn't have internet.

6 things I am thankful for

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I am thankful for:

6. My friends. I hate my job with a burning passion, but there are a lot of really nice people who work there. They have made my transition out of work so much easier than I thought it would be (that's not true, a little part of me imagined running out of there with my hands up screaming "I'm free" and never looking back, that probably would've been easier than coordinating all my materials) and they gave me a lovely present yesterday at a nice lunch, which was a complete surprise to me. I don't know how I'd manage this whole situation if it wasn't for them. Well, except the ones who were bent over at the waist laughing at me yesterday when I got called up and prayed for in front of the whole school. I'm not thankful for those ones.

5. Technology. Were it not for technology I wouldn't be on this blog or able to spread my...um...wisdom. Yes, wisdom. And love. And optimism. I wouldn't be having the impending neurosurgery that could potentially provide such a renewed quality of life (speaking of which, um, did I mention I'm going to have to take a short blogging time out? Yea, because apparently this brain surgery stuff is moderatly painful and I'm going to need to rest, who knew?). I wouldn't have so many of the things that are a crucial part of my life. And maybe this seems superficial, and maybe it is, but I know that technology has enhanced my life so greatly that I am thankful for it. And in this category is all the people I've had the pleasure of "meeting" through technology. I'm thankful for you, you, you, you, you, you and all of the rest of you reading who I can't link to, but who I'm so very thankful to be able to interact with over the world wide web.

4. My faith. My beliefs and the higher power that I believe in, are a huge part of my ability to get up in the morning. I don't want to preach because I believe that we are all entitled to our faith and that it is very personal, but I am ever so incredibly thankful for the security that mine brings me and the kindness of others sharing in it with me.

3. My cat. I can't tell you how much I love her. The fact that she actually meows all angry like when The Fiance sneezes, or how she's got severe enough Stokholm Synodrome that if you hold her in your arms against her will long enough she'll start purring. I love her and am thankful for her, even if she loves The Fiance more than me.

2. My family. My family drives me crazy. Literally outright insane, but they are such a huge part of who I am and how I came to be. Not all of my past was good, my childhood was far from ideal, but there was never a lack of love for me from the people important in my life. The fact that I caused my grandmother to breakout in quarter sized hives from the sheer thought of my having brain surgery (I'm not even joking) and that my family is campaigning people to pray for me is just overwhelming. I'm so thankful for all of them, and I love each and everyone, even if I don't really like them some of the time.

1. My man. He's not perfect, but he's perfect for me. And yes we fight, and yes we argue, and yes we have hit a bumpy road recently, but I know that 30, 40, 50 years from now, he is the person I want next to me, no matter how bumpy the road we're travelling is. I have never felt so loved or felt as much love for anyone as I do everyday that I'm with him. It's amazing and wonderful and exciting to know that I have the rest of my life to experience this love, and there's no way to explain how thankful I am for that.

7 most embarrassing moments

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

One week! Ahhhh

7. When I rapped Eminem's "Lose Yourself" at a karaoke bar in Athens, Greece. Or at least I assume it was embarrassing, frankly I don't remember doing it, but I've seen the video. Yikes.

6. When I was in 4th grade an I wore a pair of thin yellow pants that you could see through to my days of the week underwear. And I was wearing a pair that said Thursday when it was really only Monday.

5. Today at work when I had to get up in front of the whole faculty and student body to be prayed for. Don't get me wrong, the sentiment was lovely, I was embarrassed because the skirt I put on this morning had a slit, which ripped up about 6 inches so that it was crotch level and I had tried to close it with about 10 bobby pins, but I still looked like a stripper. In front of my whole work. Oh and she mispronounced my name again. Not good.

4. When my mom and I forgot to change our clocks back and walked loudly into church an hour late, and thinking that everyoone was being quiet because, you know it's a church and not because it was immediately after communion, we kept on talking until the person next to us was kind enough to point out the time change.

3. When I told my friends Dad last weekend (after too much champagne at his daughter's dry wedding) that I would tell the "pirates to fly safely" on the plane the next day. Oops.

2. When I walked up and kicked who I thought was my sister in the back of the knee at a restaurant. Turns out, it wasn't my sister. Double oops.

1. My sophomore year in high school I got caught passing notes in class, which wouldn't have been such a big deal but see, the teacher that we had's wife had had a baby about 2 months earlier and it then died of sudden infant death syndrome. It was horrible. He had a picture on his desk of his older son holding the baby the day before it died and I passed a note to my friend telling her how sad it was and how I didn't know how he was holding his life together and he picked it up and read it, thankfully not to the class. I have never been so mortified ever. (And then my senior year of high school the same teacher's wife died of breast cancer. He had a very difficult life and not a day goes by that I don't wish he'd never seen my note.)

8 secrets

Monday, November 19, 2007

Before I go through the 8 countdown let me say that a) my physics tests is over and it was ridiculously easy; b) my stomach is terible today and I can't tell if it's nerves or the pestulance that's being passed around; c) there is nothing I want to do less than start reading for my next test. NOTHING. Except maybe think about having brain surgery in 8 days.


8. I have not one, but two tattoos. Location and description are are going to remain secrets.

7. I cheated in high school English on almost every vocabulary test I took. That's what happens when you put someone in the seat next to their best friend and have them trade papers for grading. I did not cheat on the final exam though, I felt like that gave some karmatic balance to the whole thing.

6. I hate dogs. There, I said it. I hate them. Big ones, little ones, all of them. They all smell, they have no respect for property and they're never as cute as anyone thinks they are. No, I don't want to walk your dog. No, I don't want to pet your dog. In fact, I want to delete the memory of smelling, I mean, meeting your dog.

5. I secretly have always wanted to be a doctor, but at the same time, I'm very secretly afraid of failure and in medicine the stakes are just too high. I guess that's one of the cool things about The Fiance. I'm getting to live just a little bit vicariously through him.

4. I have dreams about childbirth often. I do not know why this is.

3. I have a birthmark in a very private region. No, I will not describe that either.

2. I am afraid of horses. I used to ride them very regularly and I was always scared to death that it was going to buck me off or bite me. I don't think in all the years I rode that I ever took my hand off the saddle horn, ever.

1. I want to be famous. Not actor famous, more like created or invented or did something great famous. I want to be remembered as someone who DID something. Who affected change and who made the future better in some way. I don't like attention that much, but I would love to get credit for doing something good.

Phuck Fysics

Sunday, November 18, 2007

So that whole bit about studying all day today turned out to be a little more like, lie in bed all day, take a lot of anxiety medication, eat a lot of cookies, read a lot of webpages and otherwise not move. I did, very briefly, look in the general direction of my physics book, but that was pretty much the extent of it. I only need to make a 50% on it to get an A in the class and I can get a -10% and get a B in the class, so I'm going to categorize my concern about this test as pretty damn low, much like my desire to do anything that involves being vertical today.

Who needs physics when you can sit around all day and wallow in the anxiety of the fact that I'M HAVING BRAIN SURGERY IN 9 DAYS.

Obviously the copious amounts of anxiety meds are doing their job. At least the muscle twitches stopped with all the tranquilizing.

P.S. I'd like to also issue a formal thank you to Vh1 for airing two days of full seasons of America's Next Top Model. I cannot tell you how you've helped facilitate my procrastination. Bless you former music channel, bless you.

9 things I dislike about myself

(This one was originally called 9 things I hate about myself, but I toned it down a little. And I'm going to follow it up with a positive one tomorrow, but I felt like starting with what I love about myself would be a little braggy, you know?)

9. The aforementioned procrastination. I have tried so much to make this change, and yet, I still procrastinate all the time. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of what life is like when I do things on time and I love it. And then I get another bill from a collections company and suddenly re-lose the ability to do things in a timely fashion.

8. I am horribly horribly indecisive. I've actually paid to get The Fiance to make decisions for me. I'll buy him dinner if he'll choose the location. I don't know where this specific issue comes from, but it's bad. And he's not especially good at decision making either. Many a ridiculous argument have spurred from this.

7. My hair is in a constant state of not straightness and not curliness. I can make it do either, but I'll never be able to wake up in the morning, run a comb through my hair and leave. And I know we all want what we can't have, but I'm pretty sure that no one wants to get up an extra half an hour early even on lazy days to do their hair.

6. My (kinda nasty) habit of picking at my lips. I have excessively chapped lips and I mess with it all the time. I don't even realize I'm doing it until someone points it out or I've made myself bleed. I'm pretty sure there's an actual name for that kind of subconscious habit, but that's less important that my desire to make myself stop.

5. A lot of my past. None of which I care to elaborate on.

4. My inability to forget anything. Seems like a positive trait, yes? No. This is something that plagues my daily existence. If something bad has happened, it's permanently engraned in my mind. Anything negative anyone has said to or about me rings in my ears forever. I cannot move on, like ever. I can put on a happy face and pretend like nothing's wrong, but I will always keep that image or that sound bit in the back of my head.

3. My total inability to lie. Do you know how much easier my life would be if I could lie? I'm terrible at it. To me, for a lie to seem believable, you have to implant as many details in as possible. So if The Fiance were to ask me if that shirt I was wearing was new and I wanted to lie and say no, I'd start rambling about the location and events that led up to the purchase of the not-new shirt and how could he not remember it? Whereas, simplying saying, "no, it's not new" would more than suffice. I lie pretty efficiently over email, but only because I can proofread like 1200 times to make sure it's all air-tight.

2. My constant anxiety. As someone who very much likes being in control of everything, not being able to control that drives me completely bananas. What I wouldn't give to wake up one day without my mind worrying at full speed about any and everything.

1. My belly button. It's big, it's deep and even when I weighed far less than any person ever should, it was still excessively large and ugly.

10 things you don't know about me

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I've decided to embrace the panic over the surgery and do a number themed meme each day between now and then. If nothing else it'll guarantee a few minute reprieve each day from whatever excessive amount of work I'm surely doing. Since the brain surgery is 10 days from now...

10 Things you don't know about me

10. I snore, apparently quite loudly. The neurosurgeon assured me that this was a symptom of my overgrown brain, but I don't think that's of any consolation to anyone in this house.

9. I am a terrible writer. Terrible. In college I had to take a remedial writing class. I think it's an issue of attention span. Somewhere around the 3rd page, I just forget what I'm doing and string a lot of big words together until the spell/grammar checker stops making the red/green squiggly lines.

8. I love to bake. Pies, cakes, cookies, anything. I looooove to bake. My waistline does not share the same love.

7. I didn't see snow in person until I was 12 years old. Until then I truly believed that hail was like a mini-snowstorm.

6. I was informed of the fallacy of Santa Claus at 6 years of age when my older sister told me in a fit of mean-ness. I've never ever seen my father so angry in my life.

5. I am not a morning person. In fact, I'm not even really a mid-morning person. I'm an afternoon person. I don't have trouble getting up most days, in fact, on weekends I never sleep in later than 8 or 9, but I don't like to talk to any other humans until around noon.

4. I'm a grade weenie. I will do anything to get ahead in a class. It's not a terribly endearing quality, but I have always been excessively studious. The Fiance tells me all the time that it's good that we didn't go to college together because I'd have hated him. Or maybe it's that he'd have hated me. Either way, life would not be the way it is now.

3. I had my tonsils taken out when I was 20 and I didn't take any prescription pain medication after, save for the Demerol I got immediately post-op which caused an anaphylactic reaction. I do not recommend trying to control post-surgical pain, even just tonsillectomy pain, with children's tylenol. I wonder why I've gotten 12 different lectures on taking whatever pain meds are offered me by the doctor after neurosurgery. People are so weird.

2. I can't wait to have children. It's not that I want them now, but I'm in love with the idea of having them someday. It makes me feel so extraordinarily priviledged to realize that I get to bring a life into the world. And while I know that children make messes, smells and noise, I know that someday I'm going to love being a mother.

1. One of my biggest fears in life is of throwing up. Yes, I know how it sounds, but it's true. I have had more anxiety attacks than I care to think about over the idea of throwing up. As you can imagine, that's not at all making the anxiety about the neurosurgery any less. If I make it out of this ordeal without vomiting, I think I'm going to write a book about how amazing I am.

And on that breathtaking picture, I'm done. See you tomorrow, for something with the number 9 in it. Probably 9 ways I'm being raped by physics.

Highs and Lows

Friday, November 16, 2007

Welcome to the rollercoaster that is my life.

High: I got a 94 on my Anatomy practical and thus an A in the Anatomy lab, which is awesomely awesome.
Low: Whilst I am done with the Anatomy lab I still have 2 (TWO) regular Anatomy & Physiology tests left to take in the next 8 days.

High: The students in my classes are planning a big shenanigan for my last day at work.
Low: I still have 2 more days at work whilst The Fiance is done for Thanksgiving and gets to fly home tomorrow.

High: I finished going over one of my study guides for my anatomy test tomorrow.
Low: I still have another one to go through and oh yea, have to actually absorb a little of what I read. Which is really no big thing because my study guides are only like, you know, 46 pages typed. Single spaced. I wish I was joking.

High: I only have to get a 46% on my physics final to get an A in the class
Low: I definitely do not know 46% of the material and my will to survive, let alone learn, is waning tremendously.

High: I have someone here who loves me and whom I love tremendously.
Low(s): My head hurts, I'm whiny, I don't want to study, I want to go home and relax a little, I'm having a multitude of cows about the upcoming surgery, I feel so hopelessly out of control of my life, and oh yes, what's that? I have 3 more tests in the next 8 days. I know it seems like I've mentioned it a lot, but truly, I could tell you that a trillion more times and still feel like there is a general lack in understanding of how stessed out I am.

Low: That I let it all get to me this much, and that I can't find the perspective to realize that these problems are not so big.

Low: That I can't think of any more highs.

Jewelry Heist

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So, I wear a medical alert bracelet, because, who knew? I have a few health problems and my work requires it (well, not requires, but suggests in as much as, if you die here from an allergy or pre-existing condition, we're going to tell your family that it's your own fault). So, I wear one. I paid a small fortune for one last year (a nice one, too) and then I left it at the beach when I was falling down a lot...I mean playing beach volleyball.

I bought a new one in August and literally between then and this weekend, have not taken it off once. And then I was informed that no jewelry was to be worn in the wedding besides that which was given to us. So off came the bracelet. I carefully secured it in my makeup bag and that was the last time it was seen.

So now I have to get another one. Only, I need it as soon as is humanly possible, like, say, before I enter a hospital environment. So I go online and buy one, not the cheapest one because, let's face it, a girl's gotta have some glamour somewhere. And then since I need it soon, I have to rush it. Well, there's 15 more bucks on top of the already exorbitant price of a small silver sterling bracelet. And apparently rushing it does not actually include getting it here faster, so I have to pay expedited shipping. I don't even want to talk about how much that added to the total. But, one is on it's way and should be here by Monday before I leave for California on Tuesday. Holy hell.

And while losing my medical alert bracelet twice is stupid, it's still much less stupid than trying to kill a bug by hitting it so that you smushed it between your hand and crotch at a high velocity. Especially if you have external genetalia. Not that I'm saying that anyone in this house did that today, but if he did, it would have been much more stupid than losing a small bracelet. Just sayin'

Things

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A few things from today that are worth mentioning.

1) I finished my anatomy lab. Hoor-freaking-ray.

2) On the way home from the lab I may or may not have turned on Christmas music. And it was oh so good. Joy to the world indeed.

3) I finally won in racquetball fair and square (he won the first game and played extraordinarily well by the way). It was quite possibly the only time this will ever happen.

4) I may or may not have hit The Fiance in the face with the racquetball again. (Oopsies)

5) I'm having brain surgery in 2 weeks. Holy crap.

Autumn-ness

Monday, November 12, 2007

After seeing Nashville and realizing that in place that aren't New Orleans (where it's going to be 80 degrees tomorrow) are experiencing fall, I had a need today to have little bits of things that remind me of fall. And since I still can't seem to locate my sense of humor, I'm going to share with you a lovely simple fall recipe, because really, you should make this. My mom gave me the recipe, the first time she made it was for Thanksgiving a year or two ago. After frosting the cake the grabbed the cinnamon sugar out of the cabinet to sprinkle on top and about halfway through covering the cake in a generous blanket of what she thought was cinnamon sugar, she realized she had in fact, grabbed garlic powder. She claims she scraped the frosting off and re-did it, but it absolutely had a garlic after-taste. So here's the recipe. I prefer it sans-garlic.


Pumpkin Cake

Ingredients:
-One small can of pumpkin (I don't remember how many ounces, but you can get the big-ass can or the small can of pumpkin puree NOT pie filling, and you want the non-big-ass one)
-One spice cake mix
-Cream cheese frosting (absolutely optional)

Directions:
-Put cake mix and pumpkin into bowl. Mix. Pour (it will be thick, so it'll be more like scoop) the batter into a greased 9x13" pan. Bake according to cake mix directions. You can't undercook this, there are no eggs in it, so it's okay if it's soft, it's much more dense than a regular cake.
-When cool, frost with cream cheese frosting. Or don't. Or if you're one of those health freaks, you can put a dollup of cool whip on it. Or nothing, because it's pretty good alone too.

Pictures could be forthcoming, but considering the number of things I should be doing right now and the vast quantities of cake I'd like to eat over the next day, that seems dubious at best.

Enjoy!

The marathon weekend

Sunday, November 11, 2007

So last time I checked in I was in Nashville, now I'm home, with much to share. I had many witty things to say and I think that only getting 4 hours of sleep sucked all the funny right out of me. Oh and it's going to be long, mkay?

Friday, after 4 1/2 hours of sleep, we had the bridal luncheon during the day, which was nice, though a little bizarre because there were kids from my elementary school there who I haven't seen in literally 10 years. All of us from California and gathered together in Nashville. Then from there we ran a few quick errands, then went to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

The rehearsal was fine, there are 9 bridesmaid's so there was a lot of coordinating to do (we had to walk in on the 7th step on the same foot that the person in front of us was on, we all looked semi-mentally deficient). And the officiant was the groom's brother and it was his first wedding and he actually went through the whole ceremony there. It was...lengthy and I'm pretty sure that he technically married them at the rehearsal, but it was very heartfelt. The rehearsal dinner was at a line dancing place (the blackhorse? something with the word horse in it) with live music. The singer really really wanted to be Kenny Chesney, but alas, a cowboy hat and snug jeans does not a great singer make. It really just makes everyone watching a little uncomfortable.

Friday night The Fiance got in pretty late, and I think we managed about 6 hours of sleep that night because we met my friend from college for breakfast at 8am. From there I was driven straight to the wedding site where we began the getting ready session. Oh the hair. See, this always happens to me. I have good hair. It's not too thick, it's not too thin and it holds almost any style. It's a huge blessing, but somehow, I always end up with the WORST wedding hair. So I sat down to be styled and we talked about a "sleek" (remember that, we're going to go back to it) ponytail with a little volume in the front. This is a hairstyle I actually sport on occasion, so I was thrilled. And then she started ratting my hair, and before I knew it I was literally 4 inches taller. How is that SLEEK? Isn't sleek synonymous with smooth? Rather than with beehive? It was bad. Really really bad. But, the bride liked it and I wasn't going to say anything. Plus, let's be honest, no one was looking at my hair (except The Fiance, because he was convinced it possessed special powers. The sheer size of it may have modified the pull of gravity in the Nashville area).

The wedding was held in Union Station, which I was told was recently renovated. It's beautiful. The wedding was lovely, better than the last two that I went to combined. (Yes, that last statement probably makes me a horrible person, but I've come to peace with that.) It was only a little weird in that the groom has the same name as The Fiance and I had a hard time holding it together because I felt like I was previewing my wedding. And I have to admit, it was pretty darn cool. Everything went perfectly and both the bride and groom looked amazing.

The pictures are gorgeous, so gorgeous I'm genuinely considering flying him out to do our wedding. And aside from it being ass-cold the whole time and having to be outside for a portion of the event, it was really wonderful. We danced the night away (I actually broke my shoe doing the "Cha cha slide") and enjoyed our time in Nashville immensely. I'm not going to lie, I definitely would've loved it a little more if I'd gotten more like 13 hours of sleep from Thursday night to Sunday morning, but whatever. It was beautiful and we had a great time.

And Tuesday begins the final exam marathon, and at this point, I'm just so excited for it to be over, I cannot even begin to explain it. And then my brain screams because that area I've shut off regarding the surgery tries to panic, but so far I've kept my cool most of the time. Once I'm done with exams I can panic, for now it's all about controlling that which I can control. Because I have a feeling that soon, the list of things I can control is going to be very short. Not unlike this blip of an entry. :)

Told you it would be long and lacking humor. Hopefully the humor and brevity will return soon. Don't hold your breath. Unless you live in New Orleans, in which case, I smell so bad that that isn't a bad plan. Now I'm really done. Really.

In the heartland

Friday, November 9, 2007

I'm in Nashville. It took two planes and a few small miracles to get me here (the first being that I haven't made a hole in my head to try and alleviate the most relentlessly painful headache I think I've ever had ever) but I am here. I endured a 50 minute security line at the New Orleans airport (on a THURSDAY) behind a woman who did not speak english, with a teeny tiny baby. But I don't know if the baby was hers or the other woman or the the man's or some combination therein, but I spent a long time trying to figure out the love triangle while the lady nearly decapitated the child because YOU HAVE TO SUPPORT HIS HEAD. Anyway, I lost track of them afterwards and my people watching entertainment (and horror) was over.

I had a very uneventful flight to Miami, yes, you read that right, New Orleans to Nashville via Miami, I mean really, why not? But once in Miami I had to switch gates 3 times because it's more fun when you run around the entire perimeter of the airport in 15 minutes...twice. At some point between New Orleans and Miami the pen I was using as a pseudo-highlighter broke and I now have green pen up to both my elbows. I checked the mirror about 30 times to make sure I didn't have it all over my face too. I think that was God's way of saying that that was not the time to try to do Anatomy reading.

And then I arrived in Nashville and now I'm in bed. Do check the time stamp because yea, it's almost 2 in the morning and I'm blogging. Why? Because I took a 5 minute nap on the plane and now my body thinks that it's all rejuvinated. Trust me when I tell you that it is not at all rejuvinated.

And so begins the wedding weekend, which will be followed up with the finals-are-going-to-kill-me week. Okay, let the jealousy rage forth.

At the end of the last hour of the last lab of the semester

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

As the last lab was winding down, my professor got all excited and informed us that she had a "special treat" for anyone who wanted to stay around a little while longer. Thinking that since this our last non-exam lab it might actually be something cool or interesting, I stayed.

Five excrutiating minutes later she popped in a video and said, "I had to convince here, but I finally got my sister to give me the video of her cataract surgery, come and watch if you want."

I then promptly gagged and left my last non-exam lab of the semester. The end is near my friends.

More on Big Boogle OR how I'm currently avoiding doing work

Monday, November 5, 2007

I just checked Google Analytics (aka my current obsession) and I have my first person visiting from a keyword search (welcome!). I have to be honest, I'm not sure if I should be laughing because the combination of words is pretty funny or sad because someone googled this, but my first keyword search hit was:

"arm flab anorexia"


Awkward silence anyone?

I'm not even being paid to promote this

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Whatever I may have said about Google being too invasive the other day, I take it back. Because I got Google Analytics hooked up to mah blog and now I AM Big Brother. I know where you live. I know where you sleep at night. I know what you eat for dinner. That's not true. But I do know the city you are in when you visit. And I know for a fact that my mother isn't reading and that in and of itself is highly comforting.

And though I was pretty sure that either Louisiana or Minnesota would be my state with the highest number of visits but it was actually Illinois. Ca-razy.

Oh and did you know that real live Canadians are visiting? Me neither. But apparently I have 15 visitors from the North (doncha know? Wait, is that Candian or Irish?). Awesome.

So just remember, Google and Big Brother (Big Boogle?) are watching.

Where in the World is Katie San Diego?

Since thing are about to get very very hectic. I'm still going to post, but I'm not going to lie, things will be a bit more sporatic than usual.

This week I'm off tomorrow (suckers! ha! bet you wish you had my job (no you don't, trust me)), I'm working normal hours on Tuesday-Thursday (with my regular Anatomy lab quiz Tuesday) and then Thursday night I'm flying off to Nashville to be in a wedding of which I am completely unprepared for. Shoes? Hair? Makeup? Pshaw. Who needs to think ahead about little details like that? At this point I'm just hoping that the dress she has still fits me. That'd be a bitch.

We get back from Nashville Sunday morning, when I shall start freaking out about my serious lack of time for everything. Then I have my final Anatomy practical on Tuesday November 13th, then my second to last Anatomy test on Saturday November 17th. Then I have my Physics final (which I'm going to bomb pretty badly. Incidentally there's pretty much no joke that can be made about "bombing." I was going to say that I was going to bomb it like _______, but I couldn't find anything not offensive to stick in there. Damn terrorists, all ruining all my jokes) on Monday, November 19th. Then I fly home to California on Tuesday.

Whilst in California we will be visiting all the families, eating Thanksgiving dinner, then doing food tasting for the wedding, then doing cake tasting for the wedding, looking for wedding bands (hello Tiffany!), arranging a meeting between the Fiance's parents and my mother (if there's a big explosion in California the Saturday after Thanksgiving, that would be it...) and at some point, possibly sleeping. We leave California Saturday night at midnight and arrive Sunday morning at 5am.

Sunday night (November 25th) is my Anatomy final exam, which if you'll notice is one week and one day after the previous anatomy test and one day shy of a week less than my physics final. I'm sure my studying will be supurb there.

And then that week shows up.

Monday, November 26th is the pre-op appointment, where they've already promised to do several "swabs" [shudder] and a complete history and physical. Yum... And then it's the big day. We don't have the official time yet, which is okay because I think too many details might make me even more anxious, if that's even possible. But from there I have no obligations but to recover. And re-grow my hair and/or figure out wedding hair styles that involve low buns to cover my soon-to-be bald spot.

So now, if I'm not around, chances are I'm avoiding doing at least one of the things above.

Big Brother is Taunting You

Friday, November 2, 2007

I use gmail and generally I love it. Except that Google, in one of it's attempts to stick itself into every inch of my computer life, feels a need to put little links all around my emails. It's a little creepy because they use keywords from the emails to make the links, and so often it feels like they're watching me and reading my emails. A girl's gotta have some privacy somewhere.

Last night I was responding to an email from one of the cake companies we're looking at for our wedding cake when I looked up at the google link. It said, "Like Cake? Take the fat quiz! http://fat-quiz.com"

And then I died inside just a little bit, because you know what? I do like cake.

Happy Vacation Day!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I didn't have to go to work today. Nee-ner nee-ner nee-ner.

Back to work tomorrow. And then a 3 day weekend. Nee-ner nee-ner nee-ner

That's all. Just wanted to make sure I rubbed that in real good. It's almost never that my job is better than anyone elses.

A whole new world...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I realized today just how different California is than New Orleans. See, in California, it's not that teenagers don't drink, because they do (I didn't, I was literally the picture of a perfect teenager and I'm not even being sarcastic), but they don't do it publicly or noticeably. Parties happen, beer is consumed, however, almost never is it something that people talk about and in California, you can't go in a bar unless you're 21 and if you show a fake ID, they keep it.

Here in New Orleans I get to hear from students about the bars they go to (of which I wrote down the names of so that I would never ever go to them) and the fact that they're making jello shots at home right now as we're speaking. And it's not like I was snooping on a conversation, one stopped to tell me about the molds she had for the jello shots.

A big part of me wants to be appalled and the other just kinda wishes that I'd grown up here.

An open letter to the customers of Walmart

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dear Walmart Shoppers-

I do not mean to lump all Walmart shoppers together, because, as a resident of a lot of different places, I've seen some nice Walmarts, however, something about being in a Walmart seems to bring out the worst in all of you who go there. It's like a transformation takes place when you walk in the door.

When in said store, it is polite to acknowledge that other people exist. Running into me and looking back as though I was an inconvenience in your life is not a proper way to react to other people. Additionally, talking about me as you run into me is even less appreciated. It's not challenging to not walk into people, in fact, it might even be easier on your body in general to switch directions than to plow into other people. Just a thought.

I appreciate that having multiple children is difficult and I'm going to forego my thoughts on the simplicity of birth control, especially for those under the age of 20 years old with multiple children, however, if you have multiple children and are in Walmart, please don't ignore them. See, it really was challenging for me to ignore your child while he SCREAMED at me, so I know you must have been trying. And yes, it was cute that his idea of counting was "2! 4! 5! 6! 7! 9!" It was less cute when he grabbed the item we were returning and screamed "MINE MINE MINE MINE" over and over. The least cute part was a tie between when he started spitting on us and when you totally freaking ignored your kid. You see, I get that you're busy, but your child was making more noise that any human being I've ever encountered and you couldn't even give him the time of day. Gee, I wonder why he's so damn loud?

If you happen to work at Walmart, your english needs to be intelligible. I'm not speaking about non-english speakers, I'm talking about slang-talking mumblers. You cannot be irritated with my asking you to repeat the statement 4 times when you neither increase the volume of the statement or decrease the speed at which it is said any of the 3 previous times I asked. I'm not an imbecile, I just need you to say what you need aloud. Weird, right?

And really? Would it kill you to put shoes or shorts on your children? I mean really? Is it difficult? I've met a number of small children, lived with some and none of them have been so tempermental that I couldn't put pants or shoes on them. I do not wish to see your childs diaper or underwear and it seems so incredibly unsanitary to have them shoeless that I actually feel nauseated thinking about it.

Finally, frozen pizzas should not be returnable. They just shouldn't be, especially when they're not frozen anymore.

Sincerely,
Target Lover

Sisterhood

Monday, October 29, 2007

Okay, consider this my attempt to explain my sister's and my relationship. It's going to get fairly (and by fairly I mean exceptionally) long because our relationship is the result of 24 years worth of experiences.

First, you should know that she is my only biological sibling. I have 3 step-sisters and 1 sort of half-sister (no brothers) and her. She 2 1/2 years older than me (3 years ahead in school), oh and she's a super-bitch. Sorry, did I say that? My bad.

Growing up until our teenage years it was just the two of us, we were a little older when all the others entered the picture. We have never gotten along. From birth to high school were 18 years of terror on both our parts. We fought like crazy. She told me there was no Santa Claus when I was 6 years old, just to be mean. She chased me around the house with a butcher knife and tried to pick the lock to the bathroom when I finally got away from her in there. She stabbed me in the face with a pencil when I was 8 (in all fairness she was actually just trying to shove me off the barstool and had a pencil in her hand...) and I still have a mark. This is not to say that I didn't bite her and kick and yell and otherwise be a super pain in the ass also because I surely did, it was a give and take thing.

My freshman year of high school she drove me and our neighbor to school and one morning I was being obnoxious for some reason (probably because it's rare that I can really get under her skin and I knew I was suceeding) and she told me that if I didn't stop talking she was going to pull the car over. Well, hello? That's like an inivitation to be more obnoxious. So I talked to myself for like 20 minutes, and she pulled the car over and waited until I ran out of things to say, effectively making all of us late for school, including our neighbor in the back seat.

Something else you should know is that my sister is perfect. She is valedictorian of everything. If there was a valedictorian of grocery shopping or of working out, I'm sure she'd add those to her preschool, kindergarten, high school and Summa Cum Laude college finishes. She's perfect. She got into the number 1 physical therapy program in the country and got a scholarship (of which there is only one given). She then received not one, but two distinguishing awards when she finished there and was offered one of 2 spots available nationally for a neuro-physical therapy residency. I got rejected from her college when I applied. Ouch. She's ridiculously intelligent, has always been naturally fit and cute and basically has never failed at anything ever. We did the same sports and she always won. We both participated in music and even though she couldn't carry a tune in a wheelbarrel if forced, she still did better than me. She's perfect, and maybe I have a small complex about it.

Things for us settled some what when she moved away for college and even more so when I went away to college. We didn't see each other and when we did we had so many other things to share that fighting didn't take priority. For whatever reason, the 2000 miles between us now do not have the same effect. The real trouble began when I began dating The Fiance. The Fiance (TF) is Jewish, I was raised Catholic (but no longer participate in that specific realm of Christianty, I'm still finding my place) and she is a converted Fundamentalist Evangelical Christian, which as you can see, presents a number of problems. Just before TF and I got engaged she decided to remind me that just in case I forgot and before I signed up for a life with him, that he'd be going to hell for the fact that he's Jewish. And if I did not stop him or did not force our kids to do something different so would I and our offspring. Let me give you a second to soak that up. My sister, the keeper of the gates of hell.

Once I put my foot down and told her that I would no longer have that discussion with her (that was after I think the 3rd time we had gone at it) it was not mentioned again. But her new thing is this surgery. She's fixated on it in a way I've almost never seen her fixated before. She's doing it very much under the guise of good intentions (and I'm not saying that they're not good intentions necessarily, I just don't know if pure evil has a soul or a heart), and suddenly has taken to reminding me that I'm her "baby sister" and this is something that she's not going to stand aside and let happen. Hi, have we met? I'm 24. I'm not a child.

Essentially her issues with the surgery are 3 separate ones. First, she doesn't think I need it. We saw a doctor at her university right after it was picked up on the MRI. He was an MS specialist and once he determined that I didn't have MS, he basically gave up and said that none of my symptoms could be caused by my brain hanging down into my spinal cord. And apparently those words came directly from God because they are recited back to me regularly. So essentially, she doesn't see the point of my having the "elective" procedure when it's not going to help (or alternately, now she believes that it WILL help, but only because I've so convinced myself that it will that I will psychosomatically become healthier...).

The second part is New Orleans. I won't for an instant stand up here and pretend like I live in the Mecca of healthcare. Um, no, I'm not an idiot. But my sister is ignorant and does not believe that anywhere in the South (her issues are not confined to NOLA) could have good healthcare, period. I could quote statistics until I'm blue in the face, but she simply does not believe it. She also doesn't believe that a good neurosurgeon would ever work in New Orleans, and I can assure you, he is quite good. So basically this is a no win for me. I cannot prove to her anything and as soon as the slightest little detail goes awry, I'm in for days and months and years of "I told you so."

And finally, she just doesn't trust me. She doesn't believe that I've done the research. She doesn't believe that I'm in pain. She doesn't believe that I've tried other things and looked at other doctors. She believes that I am lazy (and this goes back to her asking me what I could possibly be so busy with when I was teaching full time and taking two courses- after all, they were only two undergraduate courses...) and as such, I cannot be trusted to do anything that requires effort. Of all the things she's said or done, it's her inability to trust in me and have faith in me, that is the most upsetting. She'd declared that she'll never support this decision and to me, that's a brick wall. I don't know what to do with it besides punch the shit out of it and turn around and walk away. So that's where I am. Either a door needs to appear in that wall, or I'm walking away from it.

As for having her out of the hospital room, that's not an option. My parents will both be there and asking for her to not be there is simply not something that I can do. I cannot really explain why, except that as mean as my sister is capable of being, my mother is capable of guilting. And she'll have good intentions too, but I promise that my experience will be worse if I boycott my sister, as counterintuitive as that may seem.

Also, someone inquired about TF's take on everything. He's been great. We had one moment of struggle, but it's because his goal has been to remain as Switzerland. He's not taking any sides. He's supporting whatever decision I make, he's going to doctor's offices, asking questions, bringing up both pros and cons and otherwise just trying to make it as easy on me as possible. It's both lovely and frustrating all at once because frankly I want him to tell me what to do, but apparently that's the other side of being an adult and you can't have one and not the other.

So there. That's essentially it. I had another long conversation with a family member today and I'm just plain exhausted with it all. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing and I don't know that I ever will know that. I've made the decision that in my heart and humongous brain I think is the best for me. It is a selfish decision and it turns out it is also an isolating one. But it's my decision and that's the heart of the matter.