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.

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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.