The Words

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I wish I could find the words to tell you how scared I am for my home right now. Every few minutes brings a new wave of panic and fear. I get distracted every once in a while by normal life, and then, as if a tidal wave in itself, the fear crashes over my life, breaches my emotional levees and floods my heart.

I wish I could find the words to describe what it feels like to watch and wait. I have 10,000 internet pages of hurricane forecasts that I stalk hourly. I have news sources and stories and reports. But I still don't know anything. I still don't know what tomorrow will bring.

I wish I could find the words to tell you how much that city means to me. There just aren't adjectives to describe the way it has welcomed me and made me feel like I belong there, even though I was born 2000 miles away. The job I don't even like has given me friends, a home base and a place to go for support. The school I spend countless hours studying for has given me an education and a future. I can't find the words to tell you how my heart might be ripped from my chest if our city floods and those places never open again.

I wish I could find the words to tell you how scared I am for my husband. For all the hard work he has put in to his school only to face such uncertainty with just 7 months to go. For how he can handle another serious disruption of his life, his schooling, his safety. I'm scared for what it does to him and how he struggles to rally from it. For the fact that he has lost a home to an earthquake, was forced out of a new home 3 weeks after moving there by Katrina and now is sitting in Nashville, willing the news to make it stop. Wishing he could pretend it wasn't happening at all.

I wish I could find the words to tell you how much I wonder what might happen if our city floods. Where will all those people go? Who can afford to rebuild their lives a second time? How can anyone be expected to continue to pick up the pieces again? And where will we go? Where will be live? Where will I work? How will Slappy finish school?

I wish I could find the words to tell you how much I pray that tomorrow afternoon I'll be here telling you how my city survived. And I wish even more that I believed that was a possibility, let alone a probability.

I wish I could find the words to tell you how much I need everything to be okay.

I wish I could find the words that would save my city, my home, my future.

Hurricane Laws

Saturday, August 30, 2008

We are safely in Nashville, so we have a beautiful change of location in which we can freak the fuck out until Tuesday when we see what this storm does. But I feel like something needs to be said before we get any further into this. It sort of ties into the fact that yesterday marked 3 years since Katrina destroyed New Orleans, and it also ties to what the future with Gustav might hold.

No one in New Orleans is ignorant to the fact that the city lies below sea level. We know this. We understand the our elevation (or lack thereof) is one of the main reasons we have to have an elaborate levee system, one which failed 3 years ago yesterday.

We do not know what Gustav will do. Right now, he thankfully looks to be far enough west of us that we might not get the full force of the storm, but as everyone continues to point out, there's just no way to know right now. We are getting the "dirty" side, which presents its own challenges, but Morgan City seems to be taking one for the team.

If the worst possible scenario happens, if our city is flooded again, it will not rise up. I don't say this to be negative, but to be real with you. New Orleans can't rebuild the way it has these past 3 years. No one will be able to afford insurance, Tulane, the 2nd biggest employer will likely have to close in addition to many other schools and businesses, likely including the Saints (the 1st biggest employer). It's a horribly stark reality, one that rolls through my mind about once an hour.

Here's what I want to talk about, and please pass this on if you're so inclined. I don't pretend to be able to speak on behalf of the whole city, but I can't help to think that I'm probably not the only one who believe this.

If this worst case scenario happens, I have a few rules I think you need to be clued into.

1. Do NOT say "I told you so."

We know where we live, we know the risks. If San Francisco suffered another horrendous earthquake no one would tell them that they should've known better. If the fault line under Dodger stadium finally lets go, not a single soul would have the audacity to get on the news and tell Los Angeles that they shouldn't have built their city there. So why do people feel compelled to tell us this?

We don't need your patronizing comments. We do not need to be condemned for choosing to live some place with a risk. Iowa flooded this last year and somehow no one jumped on them about living in flood plane. Please afford us the same courtesy. It's the very least you can do.

2. Do NOT tell us that we shouldn't have rebuilt the city post-Katrina.

A lot of people spent a lot of time telling New Orleans not to bother, telling the citizens of New Orleans to abandon. But they didn't, and the city did rise up. If you saw it today (okay, maybe last week), most of the city is fully functional. Depending upon where you are, there are plenty of places that look normal. Where you'd probably never realize that a hurricane had ripped through it.

New Orleans needed to be rebuilt. It is unlike any place I've had privilege of visiting, let alone living. It has traditions, customs, and a personality that cannot possibly be replicated. It is the home, the family roots for thousands of people. What choice did they have? It's not that simple, you can't just tell a million people living in a metropolitan area to pick what's left of their lives and find somewhere else to live. To move away from their roots, their memories, their homes.

3. No matter what happens, do NOT tell us that it could be worse.

I promise you that everyone in New Orleans is aware of that fact and most likely you have no idea what you're talking about. Unless you've driven down the streets and have seen the spray painted X's and the water marks on what used to be a happy community, then I promise you, you don't know how much worse it could be.

We are scared, and by we, sometimes I mean my husband and me, sometimes I mean my coworkers and me, sometimes I mean the city of New Orleans at large. We are scared. We are watchfully waiting and praying that these rules won't be necessary. But if you know someone from New Orleans, or even if you don't, please keep in mind that what we need right now is not your condemnation, it's your support and understanding.

And if you can't offer that, then please don't offer anything at all.

On our way

Friday, August 29, 2008

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Be safe.

(We arrived safely in Nashville at 11pm Friday night. Now we wait. More tomorrow.)

The Plan

Thursday, August 28, 2008

So, as the day moves on and the storm slowly stays more or less on its projected path we've more or less firmed up our plans. Slappy's school is closing from tomorrow at noon (after his test) until Thursday morning in anticipation of Gustav. I am out of work at noon, so we're going to hit the road as soon after that as we can get the cat sedated. We'll be driving up to Nashville to impose ourselves on my friend's life until we can come home.

I realize that there's still a reasonable chance that this storm will be weaker or nowhere near here, but it's not a risk we're willing to take. And understand that I'm not trying to inflammatory with my concerns over this, but that this is a big deal. I got an email at work today telling us to unplug all our electrical devices, but to not bother moving anything to higher ground because if the levees fail again, the school won't reopen. It's a really stark reality and while the chances of it happening should be low, the anxiety of it is high. Our livelihood could be destroyed by this storm, and God knows we're not alone in that. This whole city is watching with bated breath because I think we all know what might happen if Gustav at all approaches the seriousness of the aftermath of Katrina.

As tomorrow marks the 3 year anniversary of the destruction that Katrina brought, let's spend tonight praying, thinking good thoughts and otherwise willing Gustav to stop in his tracks. That's really all we can do at this point. Besides take copious amounts of Xanax.

I need to go pack, I'll keep everyone apprised of the situation as it unfolds.

Good news, bad news

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

So the good news is that we're going to Nashville after all. The only major difference being that we're taking the cat along for the ride.

The bad news is that this is why:

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Okay, so do I get to panic now?


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I mean, REALLY?

So I had this sporting thing at 6 this morning and I got up early and left 40 minutes ahead of time so I could get there early and get things set up. Looking back, I'm not sure what made me think that that was even a possibility, let alone a probability. I had directions, but they were wrong. Oh were they wrong.

Sure, they had the correct freeway exit, but the wrong fork in the exit. So wrong that in my futile search for the fricking street I was to turn on that I went over the Huey P. Long bridge only to realize that, oh yea, I needed to be on the other side, so I got to drive over it AGAIN. At 5:40 in the morning.

I ended up being 10 minutes late for the very thing I was coordinating which was humiliating to say the least. My boss who was there to oversee it told me I looked like I maybe needed to take a minute to breathe before going in. I really wanted to take a minute and punch him in the face, but I didn't. I may have frantically called my husband and screamed the f word a few times. And by a few I mean a few hundred. My throat actually hurt when I got there. (Knowing my life and luck, I probably somehow induced a case of strep throat by screaming. That seems to fit the theme of this week month year.)

And you know, aside from that the day was unremarkable. But incase I got too comfortable with my life, I opened my computer to find this.

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*9pm addendum. It's a good sign when your day starts sucking enough that you have to add an update to the suck rant. Oh but it does. So University I attend called to tell me that because I'm taking half my classes at another College (because they did not offer the courses at times I could make), I am one credit shy of how many I need to receive any financial aid, private or otherwise. So I figured I'd add a stupid sports class, or underwaterbasket weaving. There are none of these. Currently I'm enrolled in introduction to French, but I'm having to really work hard to keep myself from just dropping all my classes and quitting everything because I cannot take another full credit class right now, but I also can't shell out 3 grand to take this one class and one lab without financial aid. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do besides sit here, alone, and cry about it. And take a shit load of Aleve because my head could not possibly hurt more.

**9:31 addendum. I've dropped French and found the last open spot in Basic Spanish II. I've technically already taken this class at another university, but it was never really about credit in the long term, simply about the number of units I'm required to take. Problem shittily solved.

***10:58 addendum. I've dropped Spanish also. My mom is paying for the semester. I really wanted to work this out on my own because I feel like at age 25 I should be able to handle my own financial matters, but apparently that's not the case, which is both embarrassing and depressing. And now I'm going to bed because I have to be awake in 6 hours and if I stay awake any longer I'm not sure there's any chance that I'll survive to see tomorrow.

It's my life...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh. my. God.

This week is bordering on a kind of amazing I can't even put into words. But at least this time the sentences I try to string together will be amusing, because once again, I'm living a freaking sitcom.

Rewind to Sunday.

I'm taking a microbiology class online and our first test is the Tuesday after Labor Day and since I'll be in Nashville all weekend be home all weekend since we had to cancel our trip due to having absolutely no money, I was trying to get some things done ahead of time. So the first thing I needed was the book. Seems simple, yes? No. It's not. There is not a single store in the city, including the SCHOOL'S BOOKSTORE that carries it. So I ordered it from Amazon, paid an extra 17 dollars so I can have it by Tuesday afternoon.

Fine, whatever. It was done. So Slappy and I decided to go work at a coffeeshop. I had the powerpoints and notes from the prof of the course, so I figured I could at least get started on some work. Wrong again. My car would not start. I'm not sure why I expected it to, it's not like I've poured hundreds of dollars into it in the past 3 months. Or like it's only 5 years old. It seems perfectly rational that in a year I should have to replace the brakes, all 4 tires, the battery and whatever it is that's allowing it to chug-chug-chug indefinitely, but not actually start.

So we got in Slappy's car and drove to the coffeeshop. Where I parallel parked into a pole. I really wish I was joking.

And then I finally got out of the car and went running across the street in the rain. In flip flops. Or I guess just flip flop since one of them fell off halfway across the street. In the rain. And before I could go out and pick it up FOUR different cars ran over it. In the rain. There was even a homeless man on the street literally pointing and laughing at me. That has to be some kind of sign, or perhaps a metaphorical trophy.

After a good 45 minutes of work I grabbed my blackberry italian soda to take a drink and instead, tipped the whole damned thing over. On my notes, slightly on my computer, but mostly on my lap. Just exactly perfectly to look like I wet my pants. I wanted to die.

Instead, I pulled my sweatshirt down over my soaking wet pants, walked back out in the rain and went home. And yes, I cried some too. I probably didn't mention that I had a pounding headache all day long. Or perhaps that went without saying.

Today began rather unremarkably aside from feeling like I was going to vomit most of the day (no, still not pregnant, just to make that clear). Thankfully (for now) that's subsided, but it surely made teaching interesting.

The day lost it's unremarkableness when we cancelled the Nashville trip and then 10 minutes later when I found out that my great-grandfather died this afternoon. I wasn't especially close to him, it's just another one of those times when I'd like to be there with my family. Especially my youngest sister who started college yesterday and is quite far from home as well.

Tomorrow I have to get up at 5 in the morning to be in charge of something that I am completely incompetent at. And did I mention 5 in the morning? Because that's going to make my no talking before 9am rule really difficult to enforce. And my husband is on call again, so I won't see him again until Wednesday, which is just really sucky because I really kind of need to be with him some right now, but it's out of both of our hands, so we're just dealing with it. I'm pretty sure that's all that we can do.

But on the bright side, it really has to get better from here, doesn't it? I mean, I'm trying to figure out how it could suck more and I'm coming up with nothing. I'm testing fate because I'm told that I'm not to be given more than I can handle, and God, if you're reading, I CANNOT HANDLE ANY MORE.

On Absinthe

Sunday, August 24, 2008

You may or may not be aware that Absinthe is now legal in the Unite States. And living in New Orleans, I am blessed with several institutions that will properly serve it. After having read both NOLA Notes' and Pontchartrain Pete's stories of tasting and drinking Absinthe I was excited to try it.

We had friends in town from California for one night and wanted to do some good New Orleanian stuff. So we had dinner at Jacques Imos, which was excellent and then we headed to my least favorite place in this city, The French Quarter. Yes, I believe that tourists should see it, it's a historical location, but I'm sorry, it absolutely smells like vomit. You know the instant you've reached the quarter because the smell reaches up and smacks you in the face.

But anyway, I texted NOLA and asked her where we should go to acquire the Absinthe and she recommended the Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street, which is where we went. The four of us walked up to the bar and decided we wanted to try Kubler (they had 3 different kinds, this was the one the bartender suggested). First, they put a sugar cube on top of the glass, then they pour the Kubler over it. Then they light it on fire (NOLA, I know you told me not to, but I didn't have the foggiest idea what "don't have them burn it" meant until my alcohol soaked sugar cube was already on fire), and then they dilute it a little by pouring water atop of the rest of the sugar cube.

In the end we got a nice whitish, though rather small glass of Kubler Absinthe. A rather small SIXTEEN DOLLAR glass of Absinthe. I felt like the world's worst host, I'm like, yes, you must come to New Olreans and have Absinthe, oh and it'll cost you as much as having a small medical procedure. Seriously? That's insane.

And then there's the drink itself. I guess all I can really say about it is that I now understand why they don't sell full bags of just black jelly beans. I mean, I LOVE black jelly beans, but you can't eat more than like 3 in a row without being overwhelmed with the anise flavor. That was like this, only liquid and it stayed with you. And it made my tongue tingle.

Our friends were polite and ended up more shooting theirs than sipping it because I think they knew they'd never be able to finish it slowly, I nursed mine for like, um 2 hours until I could no longer stand the idea of putting the liquified jelly beans into my mouth.

I'm not telling you not to try absinthe, I'm just saying that for 16 dollars a glass, you might want to consider if there's anything else in the world you'd rather do with that money. And then go do it.

The perfect end to this week...

Friday, August 22, 2008

My guest blog is up here and I very ungraciously did not link to a guest blog I did last week, so go here too. Both women are hilariously wonderful and I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to blog at both sites.

In the meantime, I'm going to lie down a die. Because it appears that I've gotten myself the back to school stomach virus.

Yea. I would make some sweeping statement about how this week couldn't suck more, but I don't like to give my life any reason to be more ironic than it already is.

Quick thoughts...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

First, the movie was great. I highly recommend it if you're into Cirque at all. You won't be disappointed. You might be scared shitless, as I am every time I see something like this, but definitely not disappointed. (Katie does not like the circus, it stems from a fear of watching someone die. Katie is not sure why she's talking in the 3rd person tonight. It could be because of item number 2...)

Second, my head continues to be a freaking nightmare. I like the idea of the chocolate withdrawal headache, but wouldn't that have come on a lot sooner than 2 weeks after cutting it out? If I don't have caffeine I'm dying within like 6 hours, it just doesn't make sense to me that it'd take 12 days to get the same reaction from chocolate. That, plus the now incessant muscle twitching that was one of my classic pre-surgery symptoms, and well, mostly I'm just hoping that things are inflamed and exacerbated by stress. September 9th cannot come soon enough.

Third, yes I am on the cancellation list in case anything comes up before September 9th. I danced briefly with the idea of an ER trip last night, but since today was a hugely big day at work, I just went to bed instead.

Fourth, I'm guest blogging here tomorrow. I'm finally going to reveal my most embarrassing moment (to date, I should probably specify). And see if I can't get myself kicked out of someone else's blog. Heh.

Fifth, I think we're going to be taking a mini-vacation Labor Day weekend. Because we like to support oil companies as often as possible, and frankly, after a week with students, I'm already ready for a vacation. And also, there's a school and friends we want to see, and Nashville is only an 8 hour car ride. And did I mention we like to support oil companies?

Sixth, how is it possibly not Saturday yet?

Dear this week, can you please stop? I'd like to get off.

At least we know now

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I can say with great certainty that food allergies were not causing my headaches.

Why do I know this? Because my head has possibly never hurt worse than it does right now. I'm trying to imagine a time or place in which that could have happened or might happen, but I just don't think it's possible.

Holy hell. No, I take that back. Holy shit.

If I survive to tomorrow I'll blog something more profound then. In the meantime, if you live in a big city, go see Cirque du Soleil's Delirium movie- Slappy's brother is in it.

I think not.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dear Fay,

I have been watching you carefully this past week because you always struck me as a sneaky bitch. There was one night when I went to bed staring at the computer models showing that you might go any of 3 directions: To Florida, to the middle of the gulf coast or towards Texas. And then when I woke, up, the W of lines had beautifully merged together. All to Florida.

And look, I like Florida as much as the next guy, but there was a small part of me that was, well, really really relieved. I mean, I'm not like wishing you on Florida, I'm just saying, since you weren't super strong yet, hitting land would slow you down, and well, who the hell am I kidding? I just don't want you here. That's all. Florida is taking one for the team. And we appreciate it, really, we do.

And then today. What. the. hell.

You do not understand. You don't get to pick your path and then swing back around and change your mind. This is unacceptable. We will not stand for it, it will not be tolerated. You need to back the hell off and turn that shit around.

Do you hear me? TURN AROUND. I have way too much going on in my life right now to worry about you too, there simply aren't enough anxiety medications or compartments of my brain to store this many worries. There just aren't, so you I'm turning the tables. You evacuate. You get away. I promise you that we won't stand for this and we are a much scarier force of nature than you could ever hope to be.

In conclusion, turn around, disappear, or else. And by or else, I mean, or else you will single handedly be responsible for the complete losing of my shit.

Eff Off,



Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm feeling introspective today. I don't know quite what I want to write, but I know I can't come up with anything witty at all. I'm feeling extremely stressed (I know, I know, it's an entirely new thing for me) and every time I think I have that stress managed, it swells back up again, crashes over me and I find myself drowning in it.

And despite feeling like I'm drowning in a sea of impossible tasks, chores and paperwork, I still want to write something. I want to type, I want to make the connections that this blog brings me. It's like in this sea of craziness, I'm hoping to find calmer waters here. I don't know. I'm obviously also feeling really metaphorical right now.

I met up with NOLA and Jane Moneypenny this afternoon for coffee (read: diet coke) and good conversation. In that hour and a half I couldn't help but reflect upon how much this blog has done for my life. Two years ago, almost exactly, I moved to this far away city where I knew no one. Literally no one. I started my life over from scratch and I began my first adult job. It was astoundingly difficult, but I managed. Looking back, I'm still not sure how. I've never been a very adaptable person, but somehow, I've made a life here. And overall, I have very few complaints about it. Okay, so that's not true at all, but very few non-health New Orleans specific complaints at least.

I began this humble writing project in April of 2007. Initially it was just because I thought I was a comedic genius in hiding. But what it is has become is so much more than platform for me to try and make good puns and relate humorous stories, it has become my community, my network, my safe haven. It is through this blog that I have made the only connections I have outside of my work and Slappy's school. It is through this blog I have received help, support, prayers, love and strength, even in dark times. It is here I get to share a slice of my life with other people, I get to put down my life experiences, not on paper, but on a medium that allows me to preserve them and others to share in them.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. I've never really wanted to attain blogger fame (okay, that's not entirely true, I think we've all temporarily dreamed of it), but I never anticipated gaining such happiness out of it either. I know I don't have to update every day, but when I don't, it's like the words and thoughts get so swirled in my head that I struggle to focus on something other than a potential blog or a great thought of the day, or in this case, just a desire to write something. This is such a foreign feeling to me, but it's a good one too.

And now a paragraph farther into the ramble, I still don't know where I'm going, so I think I'll try to curb this stream of consciousness soon. I am so very thankful that you are here, whether it's your first or 31st time visiting. I am so blessed to be able to share my life and daily drivel with you and I thank you for being a part of days.

And also, may Mondays burn in hell, because seriously, I'm drowning in the scraps of what is left of today. But more importantly, thanks for being here.

An Open Letter to Joss Whedon

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dear Joss,

Prior to recent weeks, I was not a fan of yours. For whatever reason you make those shows that generally I roll my eyes at and refuse to watch. I'm sorry, but Buffy? Angel? Firefly? I just couldn't get into them. I realize they had a cult following (*cough*my husband*cough*), but they were just not for me.

I was surprised to see that you were involved in the movie Toy Story and that you had directed 2 of my favorite "The Office" episodes. You almost redeemed yourself. To the best of my knowledge, neither of those had vampires or zombies or anything else so beyond the realm of ridiculous that it was hard to not be embarrassed just to admit that you've watched them.


And then I watched Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. I was shocked that, even knowing you had written it, I actually enjoyed it. It didn't make me cringe with cheesiness (at least not often), you seemed to embrace the ridiculousity of the characters rather than taking them seriously and as I finished the 3rd part, I was actually wishing there was more.

And then my husband bought it on iTunes. Joss, your magic has worn off.

When I get in the car, Dr Horrible somehow always finds his way onto the iPod. When I take a shower, Dr. Horrible somehow always starts playing. When I am angry at my husband and trying to have a serious conversation DR. HORRIBLE BEGINS SINGING. Joss Whedon, I think you are ruining my marriage.

Not more than 15 minutes goes by where one of those damned songs doesn't start playing either in my head or on my husband's computer. And you know what? A woman has to do what a woman has to do too. I am shutting this shit down. NO MORE.

I will no longer hear about hammers as euphemisms for sexual organs. I will no longer hear about how those clothes "aren't my favorite" or that somehow NPH found an extra frozen yogurt. No more will I laugh when someone says that "home is where your heart is, so your home is in your chest." No. No Joss. I won't. You are dead to me.

No more musicals. No more catchy tunes. No more, Joss, no more. You and your whole musical family will have my husband's blood on your hands if you do not make this stop soon. And I think that temporary insanity due to the most obnoxiously repeated musical ever, is a perfectly acceptable defense strategy.

Joss, the future is in your hands. Make it stop. Save my husband's life. Only you hold that power now.


Deprivation, day 8

Friday, August 15, 2008

I am one-third done with the torture. Wait, I am ONLY one-third finished? Holy hell, I'm screwed.

Y'all, I freaking love chocolate. I like it in cookies, pancakes, brownies, my hand, granola bars, m&m bags and in a nice squeezable container. I LOVE CHOCOLATE. There, I said it. Can I please freaking have some? PLEASE?

And all I really want right now, all I really truly crave, is a big chewy chocolate chip cookie. Slightly underbaked, warm still with melty chocolate chips. I would kill for this. Don't try me, I mean it. I'm pretty sure that commandment, the "thou shall not kill one" has a small asterisk by it that says, *unless said person has not had chocolate in 3 weeks and someone deprives them of a warm, gooey, fresh chocolate chip cookie. God is really reasonable that way.

The second thing I want, is eggs. No, I have no desire to actually eat them (believe me, eating eggs results in so much discomfort that I cannot imagine there to be any egg based creation that is ever worth eating), but in order to have a chocolate chip cookie, well, to have a really good one, I needs the eggs. I want pancakes and waffles and muffins and things that I never make or eat, but now that I can't have them, I really must. have. them.

The next thing I'll add back might surprise you- sunflowers. Why? Because everything without peanuts in it, has sunflower in it. And that's great for all those kids that have peanut allergies, but I go to the a bubble baby allergy aisle, and they're like, nope, nothing for you here. I currently have found 1 kinds of cookie, that sells for 3 bucks a piece, that I can eat. That is the entirety of things I can consume from the ALLERGY SPECIFIC AISLE. You are seriously killing me smalls.

I've also learned this week that Burger King is completely off limits because of sesame and garlic, and my favorite thai dish is an absolute no-no. Tonight I'll probably feast on a bagel before going to my work cocktail party because the likelihood that any of the catered food will be without: garlic, mushrooms, eggs, mayonnaise (contains eggs), etc., seems exceedingly small. Or, my personal favorite discovery this week- olive oil. In case you wondered, olive oil is in EVERYTHING. I actually started cooking with it the other night without even realizing it.

I'm about to begin the great online search for alcohol ingredients. I have been craving an Amaretto Sour (and perhaps a large shotgun), but I'm pretty sure there's some almonds in that (the alcohol, not the gun). Or maybe I'll just go straight with like a big tall glass of rum. Unless there are like some oats or shit in there too. Knowing me, it's like probably just liquid fermented oats and sunflowers.

And I pushed back my environmental tests because I had to work, but I can only wait for those results too. Last time I had them done the allergist told my mom that I was allergic to every kind of tree I had ever been exposed to and that some of the reactions were so big that he couldn't tell where one ended and the next one began. I was not allergic to the Arizona somethingorother, but he assured us that if we moved to Arizona, I would be eventually.

I'm quite serious y'all. I want a trophy. And a mother freaking cookie.

Unvalentine's Day 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Today was a horrendously long day. It was the first day of school for the students and it is the first time since I got married that I will sleep alone. Slappy is on call overnight, so it's just me, alone. Okay, there might be an amaretto sour in bed with me, but that's it. And it's very quiet and lonely.

What I had forgotten over the course of this long day is that today is also August 14th. Why is that important, you ask? Well, it's Unvalentine's Day. Duh.

My amazingly wonderful husband called and had someone deliver a dozen long-stemmed red roses for me today. So when I got home, overwhelmed by my day and the fact that over the course of the previous 8 hours I had accidentally dropped my breakfast on the ground (and then ate it anyway), had a soda knocked out of my hand and was thus without caffeine, had a vomiting student, was totally incompetent at teaching all. day. long, had a totally pointless psychiatrist appointment which really, is just glorified drug dealing and then was stuck in totally unnecessary traffic, the first thing I saw when I opened the door were those beautiful red roses.

I wish there was a more creative way to say that I love this man, but there's just not. So instead of trying to say something cute or funny, I'm just going to share my favorite poem. Share it with someone you love on this Unvalentine's Day, it captures my love better than any words I have ever been able to string together.

I love you
Not only for what you are
But for what I am when I am with you.

I love you
Not only for what you have made of yourself
But for what you are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me that you bring out.

I love you
For putting your hand into my heaped-up heart
And passing over all the foolish, weak things
That you can't help dimly see there.
And for drawing out into the light all the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked quite far enough to find.

I love you
Because you are helping me to make the lumber of my life
Not a tavern, but a temple.
Out of the works of my every day, not a reproach, but a song.

I love you
Because you have done more
Than any creed could have done to make me good.
And more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign.
You have done it by being yourself.

-Roy Croft


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I came across another fantastic CNN article with the headline, "The new '90210' not going to be 'cheese fest.'"

I'm sorry, it's like it was asking to be blogged about. First of all, bullshit. It is going to be the archetypal cheese fest. Never before in the history of the universe has there ever been a festival with more cheese. Ever.

"The spin-off on the fabled '90s teen drama premieres September 2 (8 p.m. EDT). If the show mimics the hot bodies, hip fashion and angst-ridden affluence of "Beverly Hills, 90210," it will also play edgier and less preachy, says co-executive producer Gabe Sachs."

EDGIER? LESS PREACHY? Less preachy than 90210? The show in which everyone besides Aaron Spelling's daughter slept with every one else, regardless of age or locations? The one where they talked about HIV in the 1990s? You're right. 10 years ago you showed that it was a-okay for teenagers to have sex and babies, it's definitely time to cut that preaching back a little. I think this go around we should show kids where to buy their cocaine and how to bust a hole in a condom to encourage teenage pregnancy. My mind boggles.

"To help spin the spin-off, original cast members Shannen Doherty, Jason Priestley and Jennie Garth will reprise their roles as special guest stars on "90210." Joe E. Tata will return as Peach Pit cafe owner Nat."

What CNN is really saying is that these four actors have otherwise been so out of work that this is the only job they can get. Shannen Doherty has either pissed off or quit every show she's been on, but I mean really, what are the chances she'll do that on 90210? What? She already did that the first time around on 90210? Ruh-roh. And Joe E. Tata, I'm sorry that at age 108 you still have to be associated with this show. I think it's time we let you rest in peace. Metaphorically, of course.

"But despite her announced participation, Tori Spelling (yet another star in the original series as well as daughter of the late TV mogul) isn't expected back."

Methinks it's perhaps because her father (RIP Aaron) is no longer producing and someone might realize that Tori Spelling is the worst actress on the face of the universe.

"The Wilson parents (Rob Estes and Lori Laughlin) seem hip and handsome in ways the Walsh parents (Carol Potter and James Eckhouse) were not."

Whoa, whoa, are you dissing Jim and Cindy? Not okay CNN, not okay.

"The "90210" formula will also include product placement 'as long as it doesn't hit you over the head," Sachs says. "I think it's important to show what kids really use.'"

So everyone will use a Mac, have an iPhone, drink Starbucks and wear Hollister clothes. I want to make a snarky comment, but having worked in the zip code 90210, that's actually not product placement, it's just being wealthy. Nevertheless, I'm sure they'll find a way to make it obtrusive. Come on, it's FOX The CW. They'll probably all work at the Apple Store or at Hollister or somewhere else hip. Wait, what am I thinking? Teenagers with jobs? On television? Sometimes I crack myself up.

I will betch and whine about this new show, but secretly it's because I know I'm too old to appreciate it. 90210 was my adolescence, though perhaps slightly more my husband's than mine. I just feel like somethings, like Joe E. Tata, are just better off left for dead.

(And if that last comment didn't land me a recliner in hell, I just don't know what will.)

p.s. blood test came back. Negative FTW!

Go for the gold

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I love the Olympics. I big puffy heart them. As I've admitted in the past, they do make me think that I'm possibly a secretly amazing athlete and my talent just hasn't been discovered. I mean really, why wouldn't I be an amazing fencer?

But the thing that gets me every 2 years when the Olympics come on is that people are disappointed with a silver or bronze metal.

Are you freaking kidding me?

If I won a silver or bronze metal I'd probably wet my pants on the podium. I'm not even kidding. I'd have to wear depends just to save myself the public embarrassment. Hell, if you handed me a circular paint chip from the Olympics with a string to hang it around my neck and told me that because I am such a great athlete, I'd never take it off. Even if it had lead in it. Because it is an HONOR.

There was a commentator last night who was talking about an American swimmer who was 0 for 2 so far. And then he mentioned that she's only earned a silver and a bronze in those races. ONLY A SILVER AND A BRONZE? I'm sorry, you just got a medal that said you are the 2nd or 3rd best IN THE WORLD, what on earth could you possibly be bitching about? Would you like it served with a big pile of applause and admiration to go with your award? Oh wait, you have that too.

I just do not understand this, especially the French 4x100 freestyle relay team. They, to me, are they are the epitomes of poor sportsmanship. The team totally shot their mouths off before the race, got second, and then were quoted afterwards as saying, "Experience prevailed over talent today, and I regret that." Really, Frederick Bousquet? Really? I'm sorry, you did not win first place, that is unfortunate, but you've lost any and all sympathy by being the worst kind of sore loser- the kind that feels like his loss was an injustice. The Americans out-swam the French. Now go home, get over yourself, and savor the fact that you were on the 2nd best team in the world. I would tell you to be proud of yourself, but I'm pretty sure we all know that you are. In fact, maybe take the pride back a notch or two. Or serve it up with a slice of humble pie. Seriously.

I'm taking the Olympics in small doses now because I'm finding this poor sportsmanship to be running rampant this year. And I know perhaps it's because the athletes are on average, like 15 years old (or in China, 12, but their passports say 16 (parentheses inside parentheses, when did I become SO much older than Olympic athletes? Maybe I'm secretly amazing at the walker race they have at retirement homes...)), but seriously, I think everyone needs to take a step back and consider the experience they've been given.

Being at the Olympics is an amazing honor, not a right, and every single one of those athletes should feel privileged just to be there, regardless of what color the medal around their neck might be.

Even if it contains some lead and smells like paint.

More important news

Monday, August 11, 2008

If you didn't read earlier, the appointment info is below. But I just got an email from my mom and I wanted to take a second to be really serious and ask for your support, thoughts and prayers for someone who needs it much more than I do.

A good friend of our family, who is my age, was hit with an explosive device while on active duty with the military in Iraq last week. He has been transported to the United States (Walter Reed), but is not expected to live. In addition to the immediate injuries from the explosion, he has suffered a brain hemorrhage and now his heart is beating much too slow for no comprehensible reason.

His family is one of the strongest, most faithful groups of people I've ever known and I know that they would be so comforted to know that you were lifting their son, nephew, brother and friend, in prayer. If prayer's not your thing, then good thoughts are just as appreciated.

Life is so precious, let's hope and pray together that Drew's is not lost.


Sorry for the delay in updating. Today was a marathon day at work and I've only now just sat down with my computer for the first time since I left for work 10 and a half hours ago.

My appointment was for 1 this afternoon, at a new office. I was a little anxious (wait, did I mention that already?) about a new doctor because it's such a crapshoot, but I have to say, I'm thrilled with the new doctor and the office as well. I almost wanted to just stay and hang out with my doctor, and that's a rarity. She's young and very friendly. I know, you're shocked that my fears were unfounded. That never ever happens around here.

The first thing they did was their own urine test which came back negative (hallelujah!). In light of that, they decided not to assault me with the ultrasound wand (double hallelujah!).

I met with the doctor, in her office (fully clothed!), and we talked about it. She initially said she was content leaving it alone and not running more tests and then she started going through my medical history. After detailing the brain and the boob she said that if anyone had the ability to defy standard urine tests, I seem like a prime candidate. So, she went ahead and ordered a blood test, just to be sure. I should get the results tomorrow.

I asked her what she thought the deal could be since we can agree it's almost certainly not a child, and she, like all of you wise people, said it was probably stress. She asked me about it and I gave my canned answer about not really being that stressed out, except when she asked me more specific questions about work (gah!), school (GAH!) and other activities (what? I'm supposed to have MORE activities?) I realized that perhaps I'm a big fat liar and am a wee little tiny bit stressed out.

To be honest, in giving my life a good hard look, I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of stress. Every time I get work done, I just see how much more is waiting for me. Between teaching 2 preps, one of which is a new (and more difficult to teach) class, coaching a different sport (oh yea, have I not mentioned this yet? gah!), taking classes and volunteering for grad school hours, I really have been overwhelmed. I'm trying to manage it, but I'm not doing such a fantastic job.

The doctor said to give it a little while longer and if the period is still MIA then I can go back for more invasive tests. At this point there's not really a reason to put myself through it because stress (or weight loss, good call Lanny) could be the culprit.

So aside from waiting for those results, it looks like we're in the clear. I was worried (I know, you're shocked) that I might secretly be disappointed if I wasn't pregnant, but as it turns out, I'm actually not at all. I hope someday to have many beautiful children, and while there may never be a good time to have a kid, there are definitely better times than now. I want to be able to give my children the best possible life, and right now that really isn't a possibility.

So anyways, thanks for your support and lovely comments. I will let you know when I get the official all clear on the blood work.

Promise you'll love me no matter what?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm anxious about this appointment tomorrow.

As far as I can tell, there are 3 possibilities, all of which have their share of pros and cons. All of them involve an ultrasound (um, and not the kind where they move a wand on your belly. Think lower and less comfortable). All of them involve me freaking out today.

The possibilities:

1. Holy hell I'm going to have a baby. The obvious pro is that babies are wonderful. Who doesn't love a baby? The more obvious con is that this is probably the worst possible timing for such a blessing. 2 new housemates would probably want to move out, which would make our rent exorbitant and we're locked into our lease until May. I would have to drop some, if not all of my classes, and would have to push life plans back at least a year, if not indefinitely.

2. I'm not having a baby, I'm just crazy (or something else is wrong). The pro here is, well, no baby, which means none of those things listed above. The con is that, well, then what the hell is going on? This not normal and I'd kind of like to have an explanation. Not to mention that I've made them move my appointment up for no reason and made a big to-do about nothing. Yes, I have unrealistic embarrassment issues, I'm aware of this.

3. Not sure, also known as "wait-and-see." If the answers are not clear (the story of my freaking life), then we wait. This does not have any pros and the con is that it will drive me abso-freakin-lutely crazy.

I realize that this might be the type of news that you don't share with strangers until you know for sure that everything is fine, but I will most likely hop on here tomorrow afternoon when I get home from work because now matter what the answer is there is news to share. Just promise me that no matter how crazy I am tomorrow, regardless of whether it's situation 1, 2 or 3 that you'll be nice to me? I need nice right now.

And also? Answers. I needs them.

Grocery shopping with men

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Okay, so technically we weren't grocery shopping. We were on a mission to find sweets that don't have chocolate. Or peanut butter. Or blueberries. We were successful. VERY successful (she types while scarfing down a handful of spice drops. YUM).

But apparently my husband does not often go to the store. Or use his brain. (Love you!)

First, while looking at a pack of Sour Patch Kids, he said, "Oh great, now they're in the form of kids. That's gross. Now kids, what's next?" To which I asked what he thought he was (metaphorically) eating when he consumed Sour Patch Kids. At first he looked bewildered, then embarrassed, then I don't really remember because I was doing my "I'm right" dance, in which I basked in the glory of my obvious rightness. I just remember that it was awesome.

Approximately 2 and a half minutes later, standing in line to buy copious amounts of candy check out, he noticed a sale section of Halloween candy and said, "I'm not sure what's more disturbing- that there's Halloween candy here or that they saved it and waited 8 months to put it on sale."

I don't think I even need to make fun of that. I'm pretty sure it does that all by itself.

I'm also pretty sure he's not talking to me right now, but mostly because he's embarrassed at himself. Or at least that's what I'm going with.

Deprivation, day 1

Friday, August 8, 2008

First, completely unrelated to my new life without all good food, I thought that (some of) you would be interested to know that I was able to get my gynecologist appointment moved up to this coming Monday. I guess this time I just said the magic words because viola, they made it happen.

Apparently the magic words are "9 weeks without a period." And "should have ovulated on my honeymoon."

Who knew?

Anyways, life without the 17 good foods is not my favorite. Breakfast ended up being an apple because, did you know that every single brand of cereal has oat flour in it? Or that all the granola bars that don't have oat flower or sunflower oil ALL have peanut butter or chocolate chips? Or my personal favorite, no oats, no sunflower anything, no chocolate, no nuts, but...dried blueberries. Seriously. So an apple it was.

Lunch was jambalaya that I double checked did not contain garlic and that the rice only had, you know, rice flour in it. Have I mentioned what a gigantic pain in the ass this is? No?

We're going out to dinner tonight, but I've done my homework and I think if I ask for a particular dish without garlic, then I'm good. I feel like such the biggest bubble baby asking waitresses/waiters about ingredients in a dish, but I just keep telling myself that it's only 3 weeks and then possibly adding them back. I miss chocolate already. And while I like my allergist, he's a liar. Carob does NOT taste like chocolate.

I was, at Whole Paycheck Foods, able to find 2 varieties of allergen free cookies, both of which have a funny aftertaste, but are going to do in the meantime anyways. I also found one variety of pretzels and some bagels that will solve the breakfast dilemma (the bagels, not the pretzels, though you never know).

So there. That's life, day 1, without good foods. Methinks the next 20 are going to be rather long and hard.

(That's what she said)

Allergist, part 2: the whining edition

Thursday, August 7, 2008

After 2 and a half hours at the allergist, I have a lot I want to share, or rather, rant hysterically about.

First, I met with the doctor, who was wonderful. He asked me about 10 trillion questions and then went over everything again to insure that he had it all correct. Then he looked in my ears (clogged! infected! pressurized!) and my sinuses (clogged! infected! pressurized!) and my throat (awesome!) and said that hey, it seems like you have some allergy related issues. He said that if the tests came back showing strong allergies that there's a reasonable chance it could be a part of the ongoing headaches, which was and is music to my ears. You know, as much as I can hear with the cloggedness.

The first thing he did was run a weird ear test that involved suctioning a thing on my ear that played a really high frequency sound. It was awesome. My left ear it turns out, is not. Steroid nasal spray and decongestants. Will check again in a week.

Then they prepared somewhere between 90 and 100 different FOOD only allergens which were then stabbed into my back (nope, never even slightly dramatic). Thankfully technology has improved since I was 13 and now they do 6-8 stabs at one time instead of 95 individual ones. As my iPod blog showed, after about 2 minutes the doctor popped his head in to make sure my throat hadn't closed up (it hadn't) and noticed that I was already reacting to some of them. Lovely.

So then I waited another excruciating 8 minutes of itching before they came in and read the stab marks for swelling (has to be larger than a nickel to count, so imagine how pretty that was on my back). I knew in advance that I had an egg white allergy, but on the previous allergy tests I had, um, 12 years ago, I was not at all reactive to egg yolks. Today, it was both. Which begs the question of whether my horrible anesthesia reactions might have to do with the fact that they're injecting egg yolks into my blood stream. Food for thought. You know, because I can't eat it.

However, unlike last time when eggs were virtually the only thing that showed up, this time it had friends. The allergist said that if they pulled 100 random people off the street and gave them the test they gave me, approximately 18 of them would have one reaction of a 3-4 (on a scale of 0-4). Of those that had one reaction of 3-4, on average, only 3 of them would have more than one 3-4 level allergy. I had 17.


He politely explained that my allergies were somewhat, well, extraordinary. I asked if this made me some kind of superhero, but he did not respond. It's possible that I didn't ask it out loud.

After they sprayed me with antihistamines and got my back swelling and itching under control, they did a pulmonary function test which turned out perfectly normal. After the asthmatic bronchitis episode there was some concern, but apparently it was unfounded. Yay.

Once all of this was finished we went back to his office to create a game plan, which is a nice way of saying, a really effective way to SCREW WITH ME. For the next 3 weeks I am not allowed to eat anything containing any traces of any of the following:

Walnuts (2 different varieties)
Sunflowers/sunflower seeds
Sweet Potatoes

It's just a damn good thing that alcohol isn't on that list because in the absence of ALL THE FOODS I ENJOY, I'm going to need a drink. After 3 weeks I can add one food back per week and see how I tolerate it. Can you guess which one is coming back first?

Oh and did I mention that I get to go back next Wednesday morning to do the environmental allergy panel? After which we can discuss the reinstatement of weekly allergy shots? Yea. And I know that if it stops the headaches and means my brain is fine, then I'll do it happily. But seriously God, why did it have to be chocolate?

Allergist: part 1 (of way too many)

Yep, I'm blogging in my allergist office but to be fair he encouraged me to even bring a laptop next time and any office with free wireless Internet is asking for some iPod blogging. Not to mention that if I don't do something to distract myself I'm going to scratch all 54 spots of allergens on my back.

It's always a good sign when the doctor peeks his head in and says, "oh wow. You already have some positives."

Check it out!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Go check out my interview for the Great Interview Experiment.

It's up at Mama Ginger Tree's blog!

Change in Plans

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

So I went back to work today. I realized as I was walking out the door that I was going to work in the exact same clothes I went to work in on the first day last year. And then I cried a little because no way should I have such a clear memory of that. Note to self: get a hobby.

Anyways, it was a typical day at work. I did get asked about 200 times, "what are you doing here?" Or it's sister question, "are you back?" I've decided that tomorrow I'm going to wear a shirt that says, "Yes I am back. Don't ask." There's no polite way to say, I'm back because I needed the money, so I'm just saying that there's been a change in plans. Which is a code for, every thing I thought I'd sorted out went to hell in a spectacularly decorated handbasket called this summer. And no, I don't want to talk about it.

The day was otherwise relatively uneventful aside from being called Amy instead of Katie. I mean, I can see how if you really blur the words and don't listen carefully, then...nope, they still don't sound alike. But considering that a year ago the head administrator asked me who I was in front of all the new students and parents over a microphone, Amy is not so bad. Amy I can live with.

After work, Amy I had a psychiatrist appointment in Metairie. Since my work is closer than my house is to that area, I decided to run some errands instead of driving home just to then turn immediately around and drive back in that direction. My only real attainable errand this week is to pick up the forms from my allergist's office so I don't have to leave work too early on Thursday to get that done. I printed out directions on Monday (when I'd planned to do the errand) so I retrieved the directions from the floorboard of the front seat and started driving. And when I arrived at the building I took the GREs in, I realized that I was holding the wrong directions and had absolutely no idea where I was supposed to be going. Story of my life.

So I did what any woman with time to kill before a doctors appointment would do. I went to Ann Taylor. I spent a good 30 minutes with Ann, killing time, and walked out, proudly I might add, with just one item. A very cute black work appropriate dress. I did not spend an extra 5 dollars to get a bonus savings card because that 5 dollars would've become 20 and then I'd have had a bonus savings card that I'd have had to spend, and well, it's a vicious cycle. Be impressed with my restraint.

And so I headed to the psychiatrist's office, praying for a short appointment wherein she'd tell me that I don't need to come back for at least 6 months and oh, here are your pills. And instead I walked up the stairs to her waiting area where I found a sign that stated that "Dr. Crazy is out sick today. Please call to reschedule."


This is not the way things are done. If you are not going to be at work and you have appointments scheduled, you call the appointmentees and TELL THEM. Because otherwise they might spent 15 dollars in gas driving aimlessly around in Metairie, 50 more at Ann Taylor while waiting for their appointment to arrive and all their sanity at a totally wasted afternoon.

Universe? Please get your shit together.

What? I said please.

The Great Interview Experiment

A few weeks ago I ran across a couple of blogs that were involved in The Great Interview Experiment. Essentially, the point is that there are a lot of bloggers out there and this is a nice way of getting to know other bloggers that you might not already know. You sign up and the person who signed up right before you will interview you, and then you interview the person who signed up after you. For the most part it's random, which is a nice opportunity to find new blogs and get to know their writers.

I signed up and am being interviewed by Mama Ginger Tree and I've already interviewed Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas, which is what I'm going to post here in a minute. If you've not heard about the Great Interview Experiment, I encourage you to look. It's really kind of neat and I know that both of these ladies that I've had the pleasure of "meeting" have been great. I'm actually going to be guest posting for Mama Ginger Tree soon, because, I'm a little bit crazy, so be sure to check back there (I'll link it, don't worry).

Anyways, enough describing of what's going to happen, how about we just go onto the main event? Getting to know Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas

Blog related questions:
1. You wrote early on that "Fear and Parenting" isn't your first blog- so when did you begin blogging and why?

I started blogging as a creative outlet to vent my frustration about an extramarital affair I was having with the President. Oh, I wish I was that cool.

Really, my first blog was about three years ago. Mainly a family thing. I did a food blog for awhile. Both died from neglect.

2. There's a big divide between bloggers whose families know about their blog and those who keep their family out completely. Which side are you on? Do your family/friends know about your blog?

Yes and no. Obviously Homer's in on the gig, as are a handful or two of my friends. My big bro knows about it, but has been warned that it's not exactly G-rated stuff. I think my mom knows I blog, but is too afraid of the interwebs to look. My MIL reads Homer's blog, so it stands to reason that she's stumbled onto mine.

I am a bit careful about how I self-promote. The RW friends that I tell know and love me in spite of who I am. They can see past a snarky post for what it is and still return my calls.

3. Have you met any other bloggers or made other internet connections through your blogging experiences?

Short of the aforementioned RW friends who knew me before Fear and Parenting, all of the connections I've made in the blogosphere have remained electronic. I've had private plurks with some and conversations via e-mail with others, but no in-person connections although, I really want to meet Lindsay Ferrier of Suburban Turmoil and Rebecca Wolfe Girls Gone child in person. It would be like sitting in homeroom with the homecoming queen on one side and the cool rocker chick on the other. It's my version of The Breakfast Club on the blogosphere.

Las Vegas related questions:
4. You speak very highly of Las Vegas and we know all the reasons you love it, but if you could live anywhere else in the world (disregarding cost and language barriers) where would it be, and why?

If I had my pick, I would pull a Steve Perry and live in my city by the ba-ay. Yep. Give me pea-soup fog, a rainbow flag, a bowl of chili in a sourdough bowl and the best calves west of the Mississipi (have you seen the hills!) and I'd be as happy as a pig in slop. San Francisco – it's not just for BlogHer anymore.

5. What is the most difficult thing about living in Las Vegas?

Frankly, the hardest thing about living in Vegas is the people bitching about living in Vegas. The last time I checked, this wasn't Berlin circa 1962. There's no wall keeping you here. If you don't like it, go. If you like it enough, shut your pie hole, get your boots on with me and let's fix what you can't stand about it.

Family/parenting related questions:
6. In reading your blog I can't help but notice that you seem to have a lot of wildlife- lizards, turtles (or is it tortoises?)- so what's the total count? How many, what kinds and how did you come to have such a collection?

Oh dear. You really want to know? I lost count, but it's fair to say that the reptile room in my house and what's in my backyard represents more herpetological biodiversity than most zoos. We have lizards, snakes, turtles and tortoises. Nothing venomous. All legal.

How did I get them? I married a biologist. He brings his work home with him sometimes (or at least he used to. He ran out of room). Some people get creeped out, but hey, the way I see it, it's a lot more interesting than marrying an accountant and having to dust calculators. Besides, who needs a bounce house or a clown? My kids give their friends tours of our "zoo" at birthday parties and always have the coolest crap for "show and tell."

7. If you could only teach your kids one value/lesson, what would it be and why?

Passion. Find the issues/causes/ideals and people in your life that make your pulse race and put the fire in your belly. These passions will drive you, sustain you and mold you into the person you are meant to be.

8. What's your biggest fear as a parent?

Three words: Losing my kids.

9. What is the best part about parenting? Anything that stands out that no one told you before you had kids?

You know, no one warned me that it would be this much fun. I know it sounds cheesy, but, at the end of the day, I have a blast with my kids. I had great parents and they busted their tails to give us a good life. That said, it always looked hard. It was hard. My mom seemed to be so focused on getting everything perfect that she lost her sense of fun in my childhood. She's getting that back with my kids. After all, she can spoil them and send them back. I have to undo her damage now (in more ways than one) and she gets the last laugh.

10. Are you finished having kids or do you think you might add more to the family?

Elvis has left the building. Store's closed. We're done. I know it disappointed my Catholic in-laws, but given my MIL's challenge of having Homer as a surprise at 40+ (with four teenagers under her roof), I think, deep-down, she cheered us on when he had his appointment with a bag o' frozen peas.

For us, zero population growth starts at home. Big families are for some people, but I'm not willing to lose my man-on-man defensive advantage. More than two, they start ganging up on you.

YOU related questions:
11. When you were in kindergarten, what did you want to be when you grew up? How far from what do now is that?

As long as I could remember, I knew I wanted kids and I wanted to work outside of the home. Where the paycheck came from has varied from the stereotypical little girl aspirations (e.g., teacher, nurse, etc.) to some unusual choices like being in the first female professional basketball league (not because I was good, but because I was a tall kid and everyone told me I should play) and doing stand-up comedy.

My career now is pretty far away from all of those things. I suppose that I get to exorcise my comedy demons on my blog.

The one constant is that I always envisioned having two hilariously smart toehead kids and a supportive husband who would help me make my dreams come true. That I got in spades.

12. You limit your kids tv time, but what about you? Tv watcher or no? What're your favorite shows?

TV is white noise to me. My brain can't just focus on one thing at a time. I need to catch up on my DVR/TiVo bank while blogging, folding laundry, etc. What's in the queue? (in no particular order)
• Deadliest Catch
• Ace of Cakes
• Project Runway
• Amazing Race
• Shear Genius
• Masterpiece Theater
• Paranormal State
• Ghost Hunters/Ghost Hunters International
• ER
• Heroes

Notice a trend? Yep, I'm a reality junkie. It can drive Homer out of a room faster than a diarrhea diaper, but it's my guilty pleasure. After all, it's all just Nova with weirder people.

13. You do a lot of activities with your kids, what are your favorite non-kid related hobbies?

Hmmmm. You should see the cool sweater I knit from my dead cat's hair. It's my way of keeping a little bit of him with me all the time. It's great, especially when I'm fighting a cold from those over air-conditioned casinos I hang out in.

If you think that's cool, you should see what I can do with laundry lint and baby drool. (Wow, that rhymed. I am some sort of poet.)

14. What's one thing we should know about you that we might not know from what you've written to date?

Never ever take me too seriously. Regardless of what you read, always know that my heart is in the right place – at the bottom of a dark, icy chasm.

15. Just to be sure, were there any questions you were hoping to answer that I didn't ask?

I was really hoping for something super-deep, like what's the meaning of life, who would I most like to have dinner with, or what's my favorite curse word. For the record, the answers are: love, Tom Colichio, and nothing makes me smile than "asshat."

That's all folks. A big thanks to Fear and Parenting for taking on my questions and sharing a little about herself here for us!

The one with too much information

Monday, August 4, 2008

Oh, I hope you're reading here for the first time. It's Too Much Information Monday. Just kidding, I mean, just about it being an official day, I'm still planning on oversharing.

First, I think I killed my Google Analytics. Either that or I've only had 1 visitor all day. Hard to say which scenario might be more possible. Sitemeter says I've had 100 since 10:30 this morning, but who knows how many of those are me, since I have it set up to not register my old computer. The one that some bastard in Maui is enjoying now.

Anyways, I don't necessarily want to overshare, but I have to because this is stressing me out and not talking about it is not working for me. A quality that Slappy is not a huge fan of.

This hormone thing (and by "hormone thing" I mean not having a period for 9 weeks) is starting to be worrisome. I did, undoubtedly, the dumbest thing and googled some words and found some information. Not all of it was helpful. As it turns out there are many reasons not to have a period and being pregnant is like the second to least benign one.

I went ahead and scheduled a gynecologist appointment, but with a new doctor because I really didn't like my old one. Anyone who takes the time to tell me that because my husband is in medical school that my marriage is doomed, is not really the kind of doctor I want up in my crotchal area. I don't need negatively spreading there too. Wait, I didn't mean to infer other things were spreading there, just that I didn't want negativity there. Oh crap. You know what I mean.

So new doctor, but the earliest appointment is 2 weeks from today, so I have 14 days to encourage my uterus to start functioning, or alternately 14 days to worry about how horribly I will have disfigured a child if my womb is indeed carrying one. I could write you a list about a page long of non-pregnancy approved (legal!) drugs I've taken in the past 9 weeks. It would make your head spin. Or, if you were a fetus, probably give you like 3-4 extra fingers (she laughs nervously because 3-4 extra fingers would be like the best possible outcome of feeding a fetus Xanax and Aleve).

I'm not sure there's a good way to end this post. Except to say that I think at age 25 periods are like men. You can't live with them, but you also need them around to remind you that you're still a woman. Specifically one without a child growing inside her.

Blogging the Recession

The brilliant mom behind Motherhood Uncensored suggested this concept last week, and not only was it a great idea, but also came with a cute button.

Anyway, basically what she said was that hey, July? It was kind of crappy for everyone. Between gas being so outrageously expensive that you have to really give thought to whether you want to go anywhere and just unfortunate things popping up left and right, well it's time that we all had something good happen.

So here's the idea. We're going to make August better by supporting each other. Read new blogs, read more blogs, read more than one page of a blog. Even leave a comment. I know I'm not the only person who gets giddy when they see that a blog they're particularly proud of has 10+ comments. Or that on a day I really need support, I clearly have it from all of you. So for the month of August, I am going to blog the recession. I'm going to read more, I'm going to comment more, I'm going to help each of you, if only by increasing your stats one little click at a time. It's not about inflating stats, it's about supporting a person through their blog.

I am already finding August to be better than July, which is a great miracle. No, my head has not stopped hurting (believe me, the presses would've been stopped and the world might possibly have stopped spinning on its axis if that was the case) but when my car wouldn't start yesterday and (I um, might have cursed karma for balancing out my reasonably decent GRE experience), it did magically start on its own when AAA came out. Yes, it was obnoxious, but it didn't cost me another 200 dollars as with the battery and tire experiences of this summer thus far. (Wait, did I just guarantee that my car wasn't going to start when I tried to go to work today? Crap.)

So now go out and have a better August and give some thought to Blogging the Recession. Never underestimate the power of supporting another person.

Ch-ch-ch-changes* (now with more changes)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

So hopefully the template looks different.

If it doesn't, I really wouldn't be super surprised. In fact, I'm kind of amazed that my computer hasn't imploded yet. There's a really good chance I'll go back to the original template like tomorrow, but different can be good.

Unless it has mystery boxes that cannot be identified in the html code and that cause you to spend 2 hours on a Sunday just trying to freaking get rid of the box that does NOTHING.

(*I found and eliminated the box. Hooray.)

Whaddaya think?

Talula does the Hula from Hawaii

Friday, August 1, 2008

I just finished reading the greatest news article ever and while arguments could be made for me spending this Friday night prior to the GRE studying, I read in a Kaplan book today that I should not study the day before and I will do everything Kaplan says. They probably also suggest beginning the studying more than a week before the exam, but let's not split hairs.

So this article is about naming your kids stupid odd things, which, you may or may not know, is something I've written about before, and yet, people continue to name their kids stupid unusual things, so here we are again. I'd like to dissect this article some. You know, just for shits and giggles. Which is also incidentally the first name on our baby name list.

"Indiana Elizabeth Jones shared her story with the iReport community, and we spoke with her mother, Jennifer Jones. The Port Deposit, Maryland, resident says Indiana got her name simply because her husband's family is from that state."

First, bullshit. We all know that it was no accident that you named your kid Indiana Jones. But what I have to know is, did NONE of your friends flick you in the forehead and remind you that naming your daughter after an action movie is perhaps, oh, I don't know, stupid unusual really stupid?

Incidentally, Slappy and I have decided that we're going to name our kids Northridge and Fresno. What? It's where our families are from.

"As for Dow Joseph Jones, there was serious talk of naming him Jack Ryan Jones, to keep the Harrison Ford theme. (Jack Ryan is the character Ford played in a series of action movies.) Instead, her husband named their son Dow on a dare while Jennifer was asleep in the hospital bed after giving birth."

Okay, this is admittedly pretty damn funny. Except where were the doctors and nurses? And how on earth did a man get to name his child while the mother was sleeping? And did no one processing the birth certificate go, "Dow Jones? Maybe I should check with his mother." Though having now been through the process of trying to deal with a typo on the marriage certificate I can imagine that, well, no one gave a crap. Kathnyn McSlapperson could attest to that.

Props to you, Mr. Jones, because you have got quite a pair.

" asked users to share their unusual names after a 9-year-old New Zealand girl named Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii won the right to change her name."

You laughed and you know it. That is what I am naming my daughter. Or maybe Mango does the Tango from Argentina. Or Yolka does the Polka from Slovakia. Or Ling does the Swing from the West Coast.

(In reference to an interviewee named Open Weaver Banks) "Open is an unusual name, but it's not necessarily a name that one might expect to cause regular difficulties. Weaver Banks, however, says that she often has problems with it."

I'm sorry, but I definitely read it as Beaver Wanks. I can only imagine what high school kids probably did with that.

"Even celebrities aren't immune to the use of unusual names. Take boxer George Foreman's children, all named George. (Or actor Jason Lee's son, Pilot Inspektor, or comedian Penn Jillette's daughter, Moxie CrimeFighter.) These are just-plain bizarre names, like that of iReporter Holden Holden."

I'd like to translate this paragraph into normal people english. "Even celebrities aren't immune to being stupid unusual. Take boxer George Foreman's children, which, in a huge statement to his narcissism, are all named George. (Or actor Jason Lee's permanently damaged son, Pilot Inspektor (really? You couldn't even spell inspector right?) or commedian Penn Jillette's daughter, Moxie CrimeFighter, on which he took out a lifetime worth of frustration for his own first name of Ballpoint, I mean Penn.) These are just plain bizarre names, like that of some poor sap right of a bad J.D. Sallinger related acid drop, Holden Holden."

"As for Dow Jones' mother, she didn't go through with changing his name. Now she sees it as something unique for someone with the very common last name "Jones." And perhaps that's the bright side to having an unusual name: It sets you apart from the crowd."

Again, I empathize with how much work it is to change a name. You know, all the effort of standing in lines and filling out papers. Like the divorce ones I've have drawn up if my husband ever waited until I was asleep after pushing a child out of my nethers and named my kid after a stock exchange.

What's really great is that I'm in a position to do this to my children. My new last name has great potential for screwing my kids up, and yet, I'm thinking I might go a different direction. That and I feel like I have enough people in my life who would stop me if I wanted to name my kids something strange.

I'm sure if I called any of you and said, I think I'm going to name my kid Foghorn, it goes so nicely with our last name Leghorn, you'd go, hey Mrs. Leghorn, that's stupid fucked up. And you would be RIGHT.

To Mr. and Mrs. Jones, I sincerely wish you better family and friends in the future. And lots and lots of therapy for your children. The next of which will probably be named Davy. Or maybe you'll cut to the chase and just go with Attention Whore.


Oh internets, I am going to level with you and then seek your help.

Things are not good. The insomnia has become one of 2 constants in my life. The other being a headache. I freaking hate that I just typed that. I hate it. I'm so angry, I cannot begin to explain it.

I woke up yesterday morning with a start. With a horrendously sharp head pain. For the first time in my whole life, I JUMPED out of bed, rather than lounging and willing my body to move, but only because I had to do something to physically remove myself from the pain in my head.


I really am sort of beside myself. I can keep on going, pretending like there's nothing wrong, but something has to be wrong. It has to be because we fixed this. It was repaired and it is broken again. This pain is familiar. It's not the same, but it is similar. It is constant, but with moments of fierce surging wherein I feel like someone is stabbing me right through the back and sides of my head. It runs up the back of my head, some days spilling over into the sides. I do not know what to do.

I have taken all the Aleve that I'm responsibly able to, and some days more than that. I'm piggybacking it with Tylenol at levels that make my kidneys cry. I don't want to take opiates, it was a threat, but not one I intended to make good on. I need to maintain sanity right now and opiates are not the way to go there.

I have made an appointment with the neurologist, the newer one, she who stabbed me with many needles (that's her Native American name). Her earliest available appointment, not at all paying attention to time of day (because I'm willing to take half a day off work if my head will just. stop. hurting.) is September 9th. How horrible is it that I'm wondering if I can make it to September 9th? It's horrible. My other neurologist from before the surgery (he who prescribes any drug I could imagine), didn't have an appointment until the week AFTER the other appointment. Hi New Orleans, could you please stop having jacked up brains? I needs my doctors.

In a desperate plea for anything that might work I'm going to an allergist next week. Because I'm hoping beyond hope that he'll go, hey, you know what, you have this random allergy that is making your life hell and if you stop eating x, y, and/or z, it'll all go away. And I will stop eating x, y, and/or z, even if they are water, bread and cake. Yep. You heard it. I said it.

I know you're probably thinking that this is a gross overstatement from the queen of gross overstatements, but it's not. It is that bad. It is so bad sometimes that I consider going to an emergency room, except that I know exactly what will happen because I've done it before. They'll offer me narcotics and tell me to follow up with a neurologist. They might give me a referral to get an MRI done, but no one will read it until I see the neurologist. And yes, narcotics seem like a way to go and yes, I have Tramadol in my dresser and a prescription for Vicodin that probably expired, but I really cannot bring myself to take them. This is not a statement about how bad the pain is, it's a statement about how much those drugs fuck me up. I know it's ridiculous to say that I'll do anything and then tell you I won't, but I guess I'm just ridiculous right now. I cannot for the life of me imagine why.

So I don't know what I expect to get out of this, but help me internets. Advice, ideas, diagnoses, ANYTHING. Ask questions, suggest remedies, I'll try just about anything.

Just make it stop.