Friday, December 29, 2006

The end of the world is nigh.

I have joined YouTube and discovered that my digital camera has a movie feature.

Who knew?

Certainly not Finny.

I better get him an agent.

Thank You God

Lauren had her angiogram today and came through fine. She woke up and wanted butterscotch pudding (the hospital must have just restocked itself from the 100 previous puddings she's eaten).

My mom called and was effusive with joy.
The AVM is flat, like a pancake, which surprises us, because from all the websites and descriptions we thought it was a bulge.

The doctors are releasing her tonight into the care of her parents. My brother and sister-in-law are the greatest parents I've ever seen. With their loving guidance and gentle ways, Lauren will recover quickly. This I know.

They've recommended a type of radiation "surgery" called Gamma Knife. I've done research (oddly enough, I'd already heard of this while researching a potential tenant) and it is pretty spectacular. Beams of radiation are focused on one spot in the brain (precisely located within a fraction of a milimeter to the intended area) and are beamed from several locations outside of her head. Each ray individually is too weak to cause any damage or effect to the matter it passes through. The only danger comes when all beams converge, and this is focused on the spot the doctors want to "die." And it should die. There will be no incision, no hole in her skull, and no danger to the areas they would need to get past, to get to the center of her brain where the AVM is. Good news.

Only downfall, as opposed to surgery, which cuts out the AVM entirely, this procedure kills it, leaving it in her head. 2-3 years is the typical amount of time to know whether the Gamma Knife surgery has been entirely effective. But still. Her brain won't be poked at by surgeons, who, despite all their best efforts and technology, will still have to move areas apart and cut through areas to get to the AVM. The risks of which are astronomical. No matter how good they are.

Thank you, God. Thank you Grandpa. I know you were there, watching over and alerting us to the danger in her head. Thank you. Please stay with her until she is all clear.

In other astoundingly good news, Lolobird was up and walking yesterday!! (Another reason they are releasing her). She hopped all over the room when my mom was with her and was so excited to be moving around. She told my brother that she can't go to school yet until her legs are "fixed." She was scared at first, but then really really excited.

Thank you to all my friends who were so worried and praying for us. And my astounding company, who has been so supportive. I have the best bosses in the world.



Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Broken Heart

On Tuesday, December 19, I received a call that instantly and completely broke my heart.
My 4 year old niece, Lauren, had been rushed to the hospital with what was discovered to be a bleed on her brain.
Turns out that she has a genetic condition known as AVM (arteriovenous malformation). It is a tangle of blood vessels located anywhere in the body, but more predominantly in the brain. That senator from South Dakota (Iowa?) who recently had brain surgery had an AVM.

They can rupture. Unless they rupture, you don't always know that you have one. You certainly don't routinely do MRIs on a perfectly healthy (and unbelievably precious) 4 year old girl.

Lauren's ruptured during naptime at daycare on December 19th. She woke up from her nap crying and unable to walk, move her right side, talk or open her eyes. They called my sister-in-law, who called 911 and Lauren was rushed to the hospital.

A few hours later, she was airlifted to Kaiser Permanente Oakland (from Sacramento Kaiser) where she was admitted to Pediatric ICU.

My parents caught the next flight out of Toledo to be by her side. The pope and I flew down on Sunday to see her.
She is talking again, although with some difficulty. She does not have full use of her right hand and can't stand on her right leg. Her smile comes and goes on the right side of her face - sometimes it is perfectly fine, other times she smiles and only the left side moves.

She knows she has an owie in her head and that is why she can't color with her right hand as she used to.

I can't talk too much about it right now, because I'm exhausted from the quick trip to Oakland and the visits by my beloved niece's ICU bed.

They need to do an angiogram (where they inject dye into the affected area) to trace the blood vessels and pinpoint exactly where the AVM is to help them understand the risks associated with the surgery. SURGERY. My 4 year old niece will have brain surgery in the next week. That is a fact. They will go in and try to cut this out so that it never bleeds again. All we know is an approximate location: deep in the center of her brain near her basal ganglia.

I'm posting this so that you pray for her. Please please send a prayer for her. She is the light of our lives. She is the most beautiful little girl that I have ever seen. She is the loveliest, smartest and most precocious little girl I've ever met.

This is Lauren:

Please keep her and my brother & sister-in-law in your thoughts.

Monday, December 18, 2006

OH MY GOD.

Tonight on my way home I realized that my lights weren't on.
No problem, right?

Wrong.

I was HALFWAY home. Which means I'd been on the freeway for at least 10 minutes.

OH MY GOD.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Typhoid Salome

I flew home and within 24 hours of being with CLP she came down with stomach flu.
The very same day she drove home, her mom was afflicted.

Right before I left, I transferred all various and sundry germs to my sister-in-law. Luckily, I had exactly the kind of medicine that would help her! The odds!?!

My sister-in-law promptly submitted said germs to my father's attention. Father is reviewing them now.

Before I even left Seattle, however, I gave them to my husband.

I cut a swath of sickness everywhere I went.
If I was still this potent on Monday and Tuesday, just imagine how many people in my tightly packed seminar in SF I felled? I am drunk with the power.

In other news, we bought a CAR!!!!!



In way old news, I'm really fat! Hey, there's me with a gorgeous new car. I'm really fat!

In our continuing story, my husband is really terrific, and so, so handsome.

That is all. I have storm pictures to post, but I'm currently smoking S's cigarettes, left here in August. And don't bother asking, that whole quitting smoking thing is going just fine. I haven't bought a pack in days.

Saloooooooooooooooooooooomeo

p.s. CLP, driving home from the dealership, I ran over a huge piece of someone's car. You'd have been proud. I'd been driving the car for a total of 10 minutes. :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Donald Frederick Wilhelm

My grandfather died last Thursday at 5:45pm.
He was surrounded by my aunts and uncles and grandmother, who laid her head next to his as he was dying and said, "Thank you sweetheart. Thank you for so many wonderful years of love and friendship and for our wonderful children."

I flew home early yesterday morning and cried when I saw my mom. I cried when we got home and saw my dad and Uncle Bob. I cried when I saw my grandmother, but she won't let anyone cry over this. She says he is in a better place, and he had such a full life, we should not cry for him.

My aunt Joycie came in about an hour later, when she and I saw each other, we just stopped where we stood and burst into tears. We cried in each other's arms for a while. Everyone laughed and said they knew we were going to do that.

We have a showing today from 4-8pm and another one tomorrow from 2:00pm - 8:00pm. He will be buried on Tuesday.

My brother flies in today with his wife and girls.

We have collected about 200 pictures from my grandfather's very happy life.
My cousin PJ made a slideshow to play at the memorial home and showed it to us last night. My uncle Tommy couldn't hold back the tears, and everyone gathered at my grandmother's house cried themselves into headaches.

My grandma would tell us the stories behind all the pictures as they flashed up. She had told a story of how my grandfather wrote her a song and wouldn't play it for her until she agreed to go steady with him. He carried his violin in the backseat of his car for two years, ready to play it for her when she agreed. One night they were "necking" in his car and she told him she would go steady with him. He whipped out the violin and played her a song he called, My Darling Nancy. A picture of my grandpa leaning against a car flipped up on the screen and my grandma called out, "that's the car we were necking in!!"

My grandmother fell in love with my grandpa at first sight. She told us all that, but said that she still made him wait two years until she would go steady with him. Because she was a good girl.

My grandfather loved my grandmother with all his heart for all his life.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

THE CATS HAVE FLEAS.

Excuse me, I have to go vacuum my hair.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My Trip

I recently flew back to Pasadena, CA, where I once worked.
I fly down there sometimes, as part of my job.

(which I don't think I will ever talk about here, except to say that I work for great people at an astounding company, and am generally happier with my job than most people I know. Now, no one is always happy at their job all the time 24/7, or else it wouldn't be a, you know, JOB.)

*Besides which, if you were totally thrilled with your job and chirping about it 24/7, I'll bet that your co-workers would beat you in the parking lot.*

It seems like I'll probably get back there at least once a year. Potterchick asked me about my trip and I said it was too long to write about in email, but that it was awesome. She said, "Well, you could always blog about it....."

And so here I am.

I left the office at 1:00pm for a 3:00pm flight. PLENTY of time, even to check my bag because I carried (GASP) 1 fluid ounce more liquid than is allowed to be carried on. *Note to contact lens solution makers - make them in 3 oz containers PUHLEEZE. (Either that, or have the decency to print something on the label. Something like this: 4 oz. is our smallest size! So don't bother driving to Fred Meyer, because we'll still be too big to carry-on!)

Thank God they took the bag from me, because I was primed and ready to optically disinfect everyone within a 5 mile radius of myself. At a moment's notice. For any reason, or no reason at all. Remember that about me.

Beautifully, the weather decided to cooperate in the best possible way.
It was literally pouring rain sideways, and every car on the freeway was crawling along in a bloodbath of break lights and trying not to hydroplane. I am also primed and ready to hydroplane at a moment's notice. Thank you Ford and your tiny, featherweight car.

I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, which was good, because I spent that and then some trying to find parking. No parking. At the AIRPORT. Where people sometimes really need to, you know, PARK. I drove every floor of the garage for about 46 minutes. Actually, it was exactly 46 minutes, I know this because I had ridiculously downed a full cup of coffee prior to leaving the office and as every single minute of NO PARKING ticked off, my bladder was counting them down. Anxiously.

Finally, I gave up, already drafting my strongly worded letter to Sea-Tac Airport. You see, I had passed at least one FULL floor that was closed for construction, but of course, no visible signs of any construction were present. Just miles and miles of empty stalls, viewed by really pissed off parkers with no place to do it.

The lady at the ticket booth as I came out wanted to make all kinds of calls to people to tell them of my problem. My bladder strenuously objected to this type of courtesy and after much barking and loudly rolled eyes, she let me go without paying anything. To which, you're damn right I'm not paying anything!!

I quickly got away from the airport and stopped at a gas station. I needed to pee so I could think straight, because I was GOING TO MISS MY FLIGHT! And that was really really bad, for reasons which I'll elaborate on later.

As luck would have it, I no sooner stepped out of the unimaginably filthy gas station restroom when I gazed straight across the street at a VALET Park & Ride. Valet. Park, then ride! Sounded perfect. And it was. With no further ado, I cut across three lanes of traffic in a highly illegal move and was handing my keys to a valet while screaming, HOLD THAT SHUTTLE.

I made the flight.

I made the flight that landed me in balmy Burbank at approximately 6:15pm.
The second the bell dinged, I was up, out of my seat, and standing for the deplane.

I sprinted to the car rental place (Hertz, and I had a lovely experience, thank you so much, except for the fact that, Lady? If I rented the car off of Hotwire, you might assume from that that I do not want to - nor do I have the funds to - upgrade to the two seater convertible sports car. I much prefer my death from smoking. Thank you so much.)

I wrestled my bag off the conveyor belt, sped over to my co-workers' hotel, dropped him off, raced back to my own, checked in - peed, because there's NO WAY I can go 45 minutes without doing that, and then took a call from S.

That is part one of the trip. Veronica Mars is on and I've burned a pizza, so obviously I need to focus.





Monday, November 20, 2006

Finny. Master of his domain.

A random dog just sniffed up to the front porch.
Lovable, friendly, and apparently not adverse to cigarette smoke, he came right up to me and whuffed around thoughtfully.

I had the sense to look around for my erstwhile Finn, to make sure he was safe and sound from any harm. See previous post. I wasn't sure if I had to go all medieval on this nice dog, or if I could relax.

I glanced back inside the house and Finny was standing just on the inside of the glass screen door that leads into the house. I always leave this open, so I get let the kitties out if they want to join me. Lucy likes to sit on the other front porch chair and just hang with me. Finny is fond of walking down the roof and yowling at me in pride from just above my head. Leo? Well, he likes to take the opportunity to just have me let him in. You know, since I'm already standing right there and all.

So, there was Finny, standing and watching Mr. Random Dog. He was curious at first, then looked slightly alarmed, then looked MIGHTILY alarmed, and then finally, with just as much suddenness and humor as he did when he was a kitten and got spooked by you turning the corner in the condo, Finny puffed up at least six times his normal size and turned sideways.

After laughing softly so that my proud little guy couldn't hear me, I shooed off the dog and went inside.

Finny had retreated to the top of the couch, so he could worriedly look outside.

My proud warrior. The smartest one knows when he is outsized and retreats to the couch.

Friday, November 17, 2006

All Cats Beware.

So, my angelic*, darling*, wunderkind Finny got scratched.
In the face.
On the nose.
In a trajectory that, had he not darted or otherwise disengaged from the encounter, would have taken out his eye. His little white nose is scratched deeply.

(He won't even let me look at it too long, let alone take a picture, or else I would. I may yet still.)

So. Here's the thing. All you cats in the neighborhood? Be on the lookout.
If I so much as see you raise a whisker in my darling boy's direction, I will fuck you up.

My darling, never-bad-boy** does not deserve such treatment. And while you may get off a scratch or two on his innocent and loving face***, rest assured that his Mamacat is one serious bitch you DO NOT WANT TO MESS WITH.

I love cats, I love all kinds of cats, my undying love for the ever-bitching Lucy is an indication of this. I will pet any cat that I come across, and hunker down and call a feral cat until it throws itself at me, begging for domesticity.

But. I love MY cats more than any other creature on the planet. And one of you has seriously transgressed.

BOLO. That's all I have to say. I will not hesitate to come screeching at you like a crazy lady. I am that crazy cat lady. And a shout-out to the cat 'hood. That orange and white monster cat who is always in your yard? That's my baby Finny, and he may as well be Mafia.

Give him a wide berth.

That is all.
-Crazy Mamacat



*Finny is totally the LEAST angelic cat I've ever had.
** Finny is usually bad. Always loveable, but does things truly bad, I don't think he can help himself.
*** While his face is innocent and loving, Finny is by far the biggest cat in the neighborhood. I'm sure he was in some other cat's yard, doing something bad. Doesn't matter.

**The absurdity of this post just hit me. None of the cats in my neighborhood are online reading my blog. They're all looking at porn.






Friday, November 10, 2006

PICTURE FRENZY















So. I talk about Finny all the time.
And I know it bores you. BUT.
Loooooook at HIM! He's the CUTEST!
Get set for a Finny-a-thon.
Plus some other photos because I'm trying to blog every day, but tonight I don't have much to talk about. This is Finny being a baby. In a Pack N' Play, no less! He CRIED when I folded it up to return to my friend.













These are my beloved bookends.
What a wonderful Wednesday morning this was. Too cute. I was sleepy, and coffee was brewing, but I saw these two and HAD to take a picture. I love my boys. Finny & Leo. Leo jumped down moments later because God Forbid he be seen enjoying anything other than his dad's lap.



Look at my little guy. I was reading, and this was the evolution of our nightly loving.

I go to bed, he curls up next to me to have his face vigorously rubbed for an INTERMINABLE time, and then he stretches out and fully relaxes. Usually right around the point where I have to pee for the 80th time that day.

I LOVE THIS CAT.

Mr. & Mrs. Pope, as Mr. and Mrs. Kabuki Warrior and Geisha Wife. I had weapons tucked into my costume, lest you think I am some sort of docile hausfrau. I'm not.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dear Midwestern Family.....

Please don't send me Democrat jokes. Regardless of how many times you send me the Ted Kennedy toasts to everything joke....(and let's be clear here. I read accounts of the drowning girl in his car, and I do think it happened and that Kennedy money bought him off, and I do think he's an intoxicated blowhard, I certainly wouldn't vote for the guy, but back off, it isn't MY STATE!) REGARDLESS of all of that, I am still strongly Democrat and wouldn't have voted for your Republican President (nor any of his bullshit RNC propaganda) even if someone had lit my eyelashes on fire.

ALSO - and this is specific: I got a forwarded email today about the fact that (GASP) Wal-Mart contributes 5% of certain purchases to the GLBT organization, which benefits (FAINT) homosexuals. This email urged me to BOYCOTT Wal-Mart for this unneccessary evil and to ask all my friends to do the same.

Listen. I would never have the temerity to dictate where my friends shop and I'll shop at Wal-Mart SPECIFICALLY now that I know they are supportive of alternative lifestyles.

I know it is often said, "Some of my best friends are......[insert whatever you want here]" But in this case it is very true. Some of my best friends ARE gay. And I love them. And I don't want them to ever get an email like this. Nor will I propogate this bullshit. I was extremely offended that someone who knows me (even ever so slightly) would ever DREAM that this was an appropriate email to send to me.

Look, I didn't come into your home when you were falling in love and tell you who it could be or why it couldn't be the way you just naturally felt. And I don't expect you to EVER come into my home and tell me any goddamned thing like that.

So, look. Midwestern Family. I love you. I think you raised me right. I think I grew up in a great place to grow up. And I just grew up slightly differently, and I'm so damn glad I did.

Because, hey? There are some really wonderful people out there, if you could just expand your mind a bit. There are some wonderful people out here, and I'm lucky to know them.

And I'd vote to give them benefits if they needed them. And I wouldn't send them to IRAQ, nor would I preach about my high moral standing while taking bribes from every oil company and evangelical special interest group with a check and a dripping pen.

So please. I respect the fact that you think the way you do.
Have the decency to return the favor.

And send some Tony Packo's pickles, next time you think of it. Liberals can't make spicy pickles for the life of them.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Newsical

I have other friends that blog, and I'm dialed into their websites on an almost daily basis. And they mostly blog about what they are doing. I'm a whole lot less tangible than that, so I thought I'd let you all know, how all things Salome are, and what I'm doing.

1. Getting UNFAT. Not dieting or quitting smoking yet, but have ramped up the workings out. Yoga on Monday nights, Pilates (mat) on Tuesday and Thursday. Today was my first Wednesday after this week of working out, and the only reason I didn't go to the gym and do SOMETHING was that I had no workout clothes. I'm feeling energized and enervated.

2. Thinking seriously about buying a new car. Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V are the shortlist.
I read a long article about car salesman today at edmunds.com and am fully prepared to go in and blast their methods.

3. Just went the hairstylist yesterday and went from really light blonde highlights to a very punky dark purply brown. More purply than I had asked for, but I think she reads my soul. Can still pass for normal human being gainfully employed at something that uses brain cells (i.e. not so punky that all I can be is a barista) but still has some edge.

4. Baked Pumpkin bread. From a box, but still. Give me some credit.

5. Read one book in two days (nights, too, because I was working both days). I haven't lost my skillz.

6. Yeah, that's about it.

My Peoples

They have spoken. Took back the goddamned HOUSE and then, for good measure, took the SENATE. If we could have in this election year, we would have ripped the ground out from under that imbecile who is laughably running this country.

But I digress. I have never been so proud of my American people. I don't know how long it will take to undo all that he has UNDONE, in terms of American pride in their government, in terms of our relations and standings with other countries, or what have you, but I sincerely hope that yesterday made a big start.

In other news, she filed for divorce. Thank fucking god. That poor girl. What was she thinking? Thank the fucking lord. I will have to watch her next Dateline episode with my friend A, to see what her publicists will carefully craft for her to say. (Hey, Brit, you hired them back (obviously!) good for you!!! And Stylists! Why, you smart, smart girl, you!)

Look for her in 10 years to be shaking her head and rolling her eyes (while popping gum, natch!) while laughing at her youthful indiscretions. And although they are without a doubt lovely innocent little boys, think of their lives when they go back and read all the things their idiot father said and did. And what a weaselly, morally bankrupt ass he was, too.

Pumpkin bread is dinging. The entire house smells like you could take a bite out of it.
Bye.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Beset on All Sides

12:37am
Tuesday

I am lying in bed and my husband and his cat are snoring vigorously. Softly, but with great gusto and obvious pleasure.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Just......Perfect.

Saturday, August 26, before everyone we love and some seaplanes, the Pope and I tied the knot. I know what you're thinking......he's a handsome, young Pope! Why, yes he is, and I'm his wife.

The weekend was a blur of epic proportions. I have never been so happy. I was surrounded by everyone I hold most dear. A dramatic number of them in my house! Having these people in my house was better than burning sage for cleaning the house's spirit......instead of purifying the air with a neutral smell, we filled the house to the brim with love, laughter and the scent of people having a really good time. And 7 people using the bathrooms continuously, which all in all wasn't so bad! (except that one time, SK.)

We were married on a glorious day, on a glorious boat, by an incredibly good friend of Pope's, who delivered a cermony as touching as it was funny, as thoughtful as it was sarcastic. They laughed, they cried and everyone has made a point to tell me how wonderful it was.

Without fail, everyone has told me that it was among, if not THE, best wedding they've ever been to. And I wholeheartedly agree.

I meant to be more touching and thoughtful in this post. To tell you how this wonderful creature found his way to me and swept me up to him. How I was on a lonely road and I was travelling, and he stuck out a thumb and gave me direction.

In the most recent days I have felt a little bit of a comedown. All this excitement leading up this day and then the day lasted 3.4 seconds and was over! And all those wonderful people took their wonderful selves out of my house and out of my town and left me with their memories, which, while wonderful, are not the same. And these people are the reason I have such a full life, and it is easy not to think about them all being so far away....except when you had them, and then they had to go home. I was feeling pretty morose last night, and eating my way through the remnants of our houseparties (and I'll tell you, I certainly did NOT need 6 half-empty bags of chips in my snack drawer, because I'm goddamned hardwired not to let food go to waste) and it suddenly dawned on me!

In the next room, blissfully playing John Madden 2006, is the man who wanted to marry me. And then did! Joyously, gloriously (and tearfully) in front of everyone who means anything to me. And so I got up, crept into the guest room and bugged him. And he was kind, and he was cute and smiled at me like he loves me. I made a teensy bit of small talk, all the while just drinking him in with my eyes. And then I let him be. Until I bugged him 2 hours later, just because I could.

Because I'm his wife.

An enormous thank you to Mac for the best photo of us EVER.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

This is why I don't exercise

I just returned from a most unsuccessful attempt at rollerblading. A MOST unsuccessful attempt.

First, my rollerblades are laced too tight, which means that I now have cankles, upon all other body dysmorphic-inducing issues I am currently struggling with. I didn't realize how "too tight" they were until I was up and rolling, and I decided it was due to lack of use, not due to lack of thin-ness in the ankle area. I was wrong.

Second, it has been raining on and off all day, and my wheels kept slipping on the damp concrete. Enough said.

Third, and this one is the most important: we live in an area surrounded by little hills. Little STEEP hills. More than 5 times on my approximately 10 minute ride I found myself careening down a hill that only increased in pitch, causing me no end of hysteria. The hill that did me in was luckily surrounded by flat grass, blessedly grass that went all the way to the street. I realized on this last one that I was in serious danger of serious danger and guided over to the edge of the street, intending to throw myself into the grass to stop my fall.

Well, I stopped my fall so well I think my brain flew out my eyes. I also smacked myself in the nose so hard that I was sure it was bleeding. I knocked the wind out of myself, gave myself a nasty raspberry on my knee and an immediate and intense headache. I am sitting here realizing that I feel like you feel after a minor car accident, whiplash and all. Tomorrow should be interesting.

I bounced up off the grass, lest anyone be enjoying themselves too much inside one of the houses, and carefully made my way back home. I am sitting with a bourbon and wondering if I should go back there and pick up the pieces of my brain.

I'll have to look carefully, though, amidst all those itsy bits of pride.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Yoga

So, I'm supposed to be doing yoga right now.
That was my plan, come home, check. Stop by library? Okay, unplanned, but worthwhile, check. Got a phone message from my parents saying, "Call us back when you get home," so called them, check. Neighbor stops by, talked to him for a bit, check. Got him to leave, because the Pope has requested that I don't hang out with him alone, by saying I have to do YOGA, so, check. Then I stopped by the computer to check work email. No new emails since 5:11pm, so, check. Then I leisurely surfed the internet for an absorbing one hour, uh......check?

Now I'm really supposed to be doing yoga so that I can be fabulous in my wedding dress, but instead I am sitting here with a glass of red wine and blogging. Procrastination? CHECK.

I hate these days that the Pope works late. He hates them worse, but I feel adrift and lonely in my own house. I am surrounded by cats, who are on the shitlist, but all they want to do is BE everywhere that I don't want them. Leo curls up on the Pope's lap, and the Pope is so used to it that he can do almost anything avec chat. Lucy just stands in front of the monitor and bitches at me. You have to meet her to know it. She is so accusatory all the time. Love me right now and in the way that I want it. Right now, despite your procrastinating plans! RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE.

The cats are on the shitlist because they don't behave like civilized creatures. By civilized, I mean they don't behave the way humans would, or at least the way humans I'd like to live with live.
I bent down today and idly picked up a piece of black fuzz only to find it was a tiny piece of cat poop flattened out to look like fuzz. Bare hands and all. I have made this revolting mistake so many times in my cat parenting life that I don't even squeal anymore. I just sigh, throw it in the toilet and flush it down, and then wash my hands a hundred times. Hot water.

The poop fuzz isn't nearly as bad as moving a cat toy off of the floor heating-grate only to find it is a long dead shrew (a type of rodent-thing only smaller and freakier looking) that had lost its life in some sick battle when the heat was actually on. Again, bare hands, because I obviously can't learn my lesson.

Listen, this whole diet-like-mad-six-weeks-before-the-wedding thing isn't going to work. I'm going to be as fat as I am now, only slightly more toned, but I guarantee I will be infinitely bitchier because I haven't permitted myself to eat a Choco-Pie at work or even have my beloved half-n-half with my coffee. Our 2% milk just turns my morning coffee GRAY and makes it taste gray, too. I have a box of popsicles in the freezer that I won't eat for crying out loud. I truly love popsicles. I do. I can't help it.

Now I feel tremendously guilty, because the only way that anything works is if you actually do it, so I'm going to drain this glass of wine, put on my workout clothes, rock back the coffee table and get yogi with it. I think a bit of lubrication can only help with some of the more ridiculous poses. Like the one where you balance all your weight on your pinky toe and the palm of one hand. Yeah, that's my favorite.

p.s. Really good wine that you can't tell the difference on actually becomes fabulous when you let it skunk itself. This is good stuff. It means I can buy the cheap stuff and drink new and won't know the difference! Woo.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Happy Thighs

I'm seriously fat, guys.
Like really. Even my "fat shorts" don't fit. Arms, face and all, they seem okay, but my midsection is like a round ball. And no, I'm not pregnant. No fetus in the world could survive my alcohol intake. My baby will see pink elepants for MONTHS in development. And yes, I'll stop drinking when I find out I'm pregnant. I'll stop smoking, too. Hey! I might even stop mainlining crack. You never know! I'm kinda committed that way. Well, except for reading a lot and being decidedly democratic. I might force those two things on my kids. Isn't that my priority?? As a parent? Shape the young minds like you want 'em!

But let's talk about fat shorts for a bit. Out of all the "fat clothes" a woman may posess, these "fat shorts" are key. Shorts in general are destructive items for us fat girls. Skirts? Done. Nylons are my best friend. Long skirts? DONE. Low cut blouse and a lot of eye makeup.

But there's really no hiding your weight in shorts. I have dimples upon dimples, happy indicators where I had never really wanted emotions. My butt, midsection and thighs are constantly announcing to me, "I'm SMILING!! WOO."

Yeah, woo. Get fucking UN-happy for a bit, thunderwands.

The thing is.......I'm getting married in a couple of months. And I think for about 90% of the female population, that translates into an insane effort to drop the weight and be a size 2 for the wedding. Well, here's the thing. If I were a size two, I'd drop off of the face of the earth. No seriously, I'd be like a walking tongue depressor. I'm too tall. (an excuse that has held me in good stead for years and I'm not giving it up now.....)

And the second thing is my fiance. He's that rare kind of guy that is either blind or truly in love. He loves me. He's never asked me to lose weight and anytime I point out how much MORE of me there is lately, he just rolls his eyes and then tells me again that I am beautiful. And here's the real kicker. I believe him. I believe that what he sees when he looks at me is beauty.

And then I toddle off, marvel a bit, and drink some bourbon. (Hello THIGHS! Meet Bourbon! I think you two might be related....)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friends

I have friends.

I have the kind of friends that you wait your whole life to find.
I have two that hit the ball out of the park in terms of good friends, consistently, constantly and forever.

I told them about this blog and now there are potentially four of us reading this. WooHoo! I'm syndicated!! Well, er, actually, no, but still, I'm READ! Wooo.

I promised I wouldn't write about them, and I won't. No names, no details that could lead back to them, but I just want to put it down somewhere in print, for the world to see, because really, they are that good.

One is a friend I have had since I was fifteen. Talk about someone who knows everything about you and won't take your shit.....I can't get away with anything, except perhaps not calling her - EVER, because she knows I hate the phone. She and I live far away from each other, and have since we were 18. That's a hard obstacle to overcome, and somehow, miraculously, we have done it. I will say that she was dogged about it at the beginning, she was there, and a really awesome friend and was patient with my inattention until I finally wised up and realized what an incredible friendship I was neglecting. We keep in touch mostly by email now, but I love her like a sister and I love her mother like my own, and everytime we see each other we are INSTANTLY back like we were when we were 17 and the whole world was potential unrealized, when everything we did was the most fun I'd had in my life. She's an absolute jewel and I will fiercely guard this friendship for the rest of my life. Hat's off to you, beautiful blonde, you are so much a part of my soul I couldn't imagine my world without you.

The other is a friend I've had for 5 years. We met at work, of all places. You hope you'll like the people you work with, but you can't possibly expect to find someone you mesh with effortlessly. I got ridiculously drunk at a company event (yeah, I'm a winner...) and ran into her in the bathroom. She is the kind of pretty that makes you wary at first, because really really pretty girls suck, mostly, but she let out this glorious burst of laughter and confided to me that she was DOHA, too. (please remember this acronym: Drunk off Her Ass. This will come into play in a few months time, undoubtedly, but mostly you will see: DOMA: Drunk Off My Ass, because I love the bourbon and it doesn't always love me back.) We quickly became best friends, and that has remained to this day. A child has come, a marriage and a move to Seattle, and STILL we are in constant contact, because, because. You don't let something this good go to the wayside. Describing my friendship with her is very easy: I cannot live without her. I don't know what I think about something until I explain it to her. She is the wisest woman I've ever met, and has lived the kind of life that gives her an edge on every experience. She is also the nicest woman I've ever met, despite all my bitchy efforts to get her not to be. She is that uniquely unsullied kind of person, who gives everyone everything they could possibly want from her, and thinks of herself last, always. She is a wonder, and she's also got big boobs. I mean, the world is UNFAIR.

Both women are the once-in-a-lifetime kind of friends, and I don't think of either of them as being closer to me than the other. One is the embodiment of my past, one is my present and both are essential.

They make it hard to meet people now, though, because there's simply no need. I've got all the close female friends I'm ever going to need. I've got the best the world has to offer.

I know this, because I have met a lot of the world, and I know of which I speak.

I hope that everyone has the kind of friends that call them a jackass when they need calling it, that burst into laughter when you do something stupid, and are so genuine and warm about it that you can't help but laugh yourself. I hope that everyone has a chance to have the kind of gifts I have with these two.

Guys, I miss you. I miss you all the time, every day, in every cell of myself. But knowing you're there, and knowing I've got ya, well, that's all I need.

I love you both so much that it would embarrass you if I told you.
Thank you for all the joy.




Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tennis, Asshole?

I rushed home from work today, grabbed the Pope, and we went to our normal court.
We have lately gotten into the habit of playing an hour or two of invigoratingly bad tennis, laughing and getting sunburned and running ourselves ragged on the courts.

Tonight we started playing next a man and his son, a team we see often at our local park. The father has infinite patience, gently teaching his son both sportsmanship and the game of tennis. I never tire of watching them.

They finished their game shortly after we arrived. Two teen boys, whom we have also seen a number of times, arrived, dropped off by their father in a silver minivan. They have one of those tennis club wire baskets full of balls, the ones you can just set over a ball on the court and it picks it up? Yeah, cool. They often arrive when the courts are occupied, and they don't come in and put a racket against the net pole (as clearly advised and encouraged by the "Court Rules" sign) they just wait patiently outside the courts. They neither fidget nor speak to each other and on past occasions I've thought them to be charmingly polite.

Which was because they hadn't spoken. The teens took the court next to ours and proceeded to play a blistering round of rallying. They were excellent, obviously pros in training or just damned naturals. The older brother was clearly the better of the two, and proceeded to berate and demean his brother for missing shots that would have taken me a miracle + a couple of Agassis to hit. The younger brother never said a word, and showed absolutely no emotion on his face. The older brother continued to loudly berate and groan at his brother for any mistake, even if the "mistake" was a well returned serve that the brother couldn't hit.

To put it bluntly, he was an asshole. It got to the point where I was watching him in disbelief more than I was missing my own shots, and so was the Pope. We were apalled at this kid's lack of respect, not only for other people on the court and the 10 or so tiny children that played in the surrounding field and playsets, but for his absolute lack of regard to his brother's feelings.

We met at the net under the pretense of picking up our faulted balls and agreed, the next time this kid said something, we would respond, loudly, and tell him to cool it.

We did, both at the same time on the next exhalation of disgust. The kid never glanced our way, and barely stopped in his current nastiness.

We stopped for a drink of water and I said loudly, "that kid is an asshole and he treats his brother like shit. He is vibing me off this court!" Because as you can see, I'm a delicate flower with tender sensibilities. The elder teen obviously heard me, and although I wasn't trying to be heard, and in fact thought I had been quiet, I didn't mind. His head snapped up and he stared right at me.

From that moment on his words became encouraging and guiding toward his brother's game.
I was really elated to see that, although I would have been happier hadn't my own game gone completely to hell.

Being nice takes away all my skill.

*the Pope is my soon-to-be-husband, who is begging me to call him Dick Rambone, which, eeew.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Open Letter to My Felines


Dear Cats:

Yes, I'm talking to you. Please stop eating the grass long enough to listen.
This is important.
I love you. Really, I adore you. I couldn't be happier to have you around, and when you hurl yourselves into my legs and lap at night, my heart just bursts. But PLEASE.
Please, a few ground rules.

1. There shall be no "presents" given to Dad or I.
2. If you disregard rule #1, please make sure the present isn't alive.
3. If you disregard rule #s 1 & 2, please kill the present shortly after bringing it into the house, or leave me alone when I'm trying to save the "present" with the dishtowel.
4. When you eat the grass, please remain outside long enough to vomit it.
5. I don't speak Meow. Please stop caterwauling at me to make your point. Sign language or walking to the direction of the issue is advised. If issue is a dead present, please walk directly to it. (preferably the first day the present is dead. Dad and I don't know where to look, and we'd rather not discover by smell.)
6. I particularly don't speak Meow first thing in the morning. In fact, I don't typically speak first thing in the morning, so just stay the hell out of my way.
(Meowing at the food bowl is an exception, should I have forgotten to fill it the night before.)
7. Please don't snap at me when I pick you off of my lap so I can get up and use the restroom. You've been sitting there for hours and I have to go.

If you disregard all of the above rules, you had better be on your cutest behavior, because we can only take so much.


Love, Mom