Monday, December 13, 2010
Cold enough to freeze my proverbial nuts off, but nice.
Mt. Tremblant was nice too, as long as I kept my ass at the BOTTOM of the mountain where it belonged.
The TOP of the mountain was an entirely different story
(Pizza....french fries....pizza....PIZZA! PIZZA!!! AAAHHHHH!....*thud*....repeat)
Needless to say that the "pizza/french fries" ski technique doesn't work on a mountain of considerable height covered in 6 inches of fresh powder.
But the OTHER "pizza/french fries" technique....yanno...the one where you eat your weight in assorted french delicacies...
That technique works FANTASTIC in Canada
(I'm bustin' out of my pants as we speak)
And this concludes the Worst Recap Ever.
Because when I LEFT for Canada it was December 4th and Christmas was weeks away. But now that I'm BACK from Canada it's December 13th and there's only one weekend left 'till Christmas and I am ALL KINDS OF CONFUSED about that.
And a little bit wild....I'm not gonna lie.
Holy fuck, I have a lot to do!
So if you're reading this and you USUALLY get a Christmas card from me?
Consider this my Christmas Greeting to you.
(Happy [insert winter holiday here]...cheer, warm wishes, plentiful booze, etc)
And if you're reading this and you USUALLY get a Christmas present from me?...
Don't be surprised if it's wrapped in newspaper and thrown in a ShopRite bag.
Because my ass is bruised, my pants don't fit, and I am OUT OF TIME, people!!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
"People will know that we're not home," he says, "and they could come and steal our stuff."
Well, to anyone who would like to break into our house, I'd like to say first that the back door is usually unlocked so please try that entrance before you bust up our door frame. The second thing I'd like to say is please, help yourself to our circa 1994 tube TV and outdated PC and the blender that my grandmother gave me for a college graduation gift. Hell, the newest thing in our house is the refrigerator and if you break into our house prepared to lift that 700-pound monstrosity, then I'm gonna go ahead and say that you've earned the right to take it.
Not like his opinion counts anyway...
He got a SEVERE concussion last weekend and hasn't recovered yet, so I'm writing off anything he says as the ramblings of a crazy man.
I joke, but the doctor says you're only allowed one of those hits in a lifetime, and he just used his up. Of course, when you're watching your spouse vomit profusely in the ER while being unable to keep his eyes open, it doesn't take a doctor to tell you that his brains are a little scrambled.
(That flag football...it's a dangerous, dangerous sport)
So now I'm heading up to Montreal with my in-laws and a husband whose brains are over-easy and a little under-done...
In December, which means it'll be ghastly cold and on top of that, Brian can't ski or drink.
Which begs the question, What ELSE is there to do in Montreal in December besides ski and drink???
If you're expecting me to answer that question....I cannot - although I suspect it involves a great deal of family bonding time (sanz booze)
So yes, we're going to Montreal to NOT ski. OR drink.
Still interested in robbing our house?
I didn't think so
(your pity is palpable from here)
Friday, November 19, 2010
I landed a crap-ton of freelance work, which is totally awesome!
if you like working slave hours
I mean, it's Christmas, and I could really use the money.
Did I mention I'll probably be working on Christmas day?
Plus, I'm thrilled and flattered that several companies are now using me as one of their primary freelance writers
my rates are so cheap, I'm practically working for peanuts
Besides, boarding Mikey is getting very expensive
correction: I'm working for hay and poop-removal services
And the dogs eat a LOT of dog food
I'm officially a slave for my animals. There. Someone had to say it.
But it's okay...I love what I do
English was the only major in college that didn't require Calc 1
And my writing is helping to educate hundreds of physicians
so they can treat dangerous, life threatening cases of hospital-associated mud-butt
Granted, December is not the best month to be loaded up with various monographs, slide sets, and needs assessments.
But that's the life of a freelancer. I get to roll out of bed and work in my jammies...
But sometimes I'm rolling out of bed and working in my jammies on a Saturday.
So if I don't manage to squeeze in a post between now and next Thursday
I hope you all have a great time and manage to eat your weight in turkey.
But don't forget to wear your stretchy pants, people!
I cannot emphasize this enough.
Okay, it's back to work for me. I only have 12 more hours until bedtime and I have to pull some miracles out of my ass.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Not the kind you get in the store.
The kind your ovaries make (if you're a woman, that is. If you're a man and you're making bad eggs with your ovaries, I think you have bigger things to worry about than egg quality).
They don't tell you this shit BEFORE your IVF, mostly because A) the lab doesn't feel like giving a science lesson every time they call someone on the phone, and B) IVF usually works, so there'd be no point anyway.
However, for those with less-than-stellar quality embryos, it would kind of be nice to know this BEFORE we get our hopes up.
All I can say is thank sweet, candy-coated jesus for health insurance. Sure, the IFV failed due to poor egg quality, but imagine trying to wrap your head around a failed IVF cycle, bad eggs, AND a $30,000 hit to the bank account?
If there was EVER a time in your life when you'd want to punch babies, THAT WOULD BE IT, folks.
So my bad eggs put our chances for IVF success somewhere in the 25% to 35% range, instead of the 55% to 65% range we thought we were initially dealing with.
If I were an obese smoker, there would be an excellent chance that lifestyle changes could improve the quality of my embryos.
However, since I'm already relatively healthy, the doctor says there's not a heck of a lot I can do.
"Try accupuncture" he said, "There's no data that it helps, but it might make you feel better...feel like you're doing something to change your odds; maybe send some positive vibes out"
When your doctor starts talking about accupuncture and happy thoughts, I think it's safe to say that he's out of ideas.
So 2011, it seems, will be The Year of the IVF Cycle.
Our insurance covers up to 4 attempts (allow me to thank sweet, candy-coated jesus once again for health insurance), and my doctor seems to think we might need to use all 4 of them if we want a chance at a bambino.
So in case you were wondering....THAT is how eggs can ruin your late twenties.
Salmonella ain't got NOTHIN' on that shit.
We're taking the rest of the year off. To heal and come back stronger, I guess, but also because the holidays are crazy and the thought of taking all those shots and pills while simultaneously trying to find the perfect gift for everyone kind of makes me want to shank someone.
So I guess this blog will be getting a "fertility break" as well, and I can hardly imagine how grateful you all will be for not having to read my "poor me, I'm infertile, booo hoooo" blogs every week.
(I'm well aware that there are children starving and people battling cancer out there, so my dramatic performances over infertility can't have been much appreciated).
In other words, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for hanging in there with me. Those three of you who are still reading my blog despite all the dismal posts totally kick ass and I'll be sending each of you a muffin basket.
Friday, November 5, 2010
And I'm certainly far from being my old, funny self (Read: this post will NOT be interesting)
But I will say that despite my best efforts to hide under the covers, life is soldiering on. The human spirit is remarkably buoyant and besides...the house got really, REALLY dirty while I was depressed. Like, you wipe your shoes to LEAVE the house because the ground outside is cleaner than your foyer floor.
THAT kind of dirty.
So here I am, relatively intact, with a cleaner floor and a brighter outlook.
The IVF didn't work.
Life has something else in store for me, and that's totally cool. (for now, until I get in one of my moods again)
What else is going on in the life of Lily?
Not...a heck of a lot.
Work is slow. It's great. And terrible. Kind of....grterrible. I have time to cook and clean and be all domestic. And ride my horse, which is totally kick-ass. But I also have copious amounts of time to think and/or sulk, which is not the best timing. And with Christmas coming up, plus a last-minute trip to Montreal scheduled for early December (I'll get to that in a minute), I sure could use a little more income, if yanno what I mean.
But such is the life of a freelance writer, no?
That trip to Montreal....
It's gonna be interesting.
You see, Brian's brother has a contract position in Afghanistan. He gets HUGE tax breaks, but he can only enter the country for a certain amount of days each year to GET those tax breaks. So he has a vacation coming up, and no more time left in the States. Hence, Brian, me, and my in-laws are driving up to Montreal to spend a week with him.
You heard right.
A week vacay with my in-laws.
And don't get me wrong...my in-laws are lovely people. I say that with no sarcasm whatsoever. I truly consider myself lucky to have such great people in my life.
But a week long trip with them is a first, and needless to say, I'm a little...overwhelmed...at the thought.
But that's ok.
At least I'm not pregnant, so I can drink and ski.
Or throw myself down the stairs.
Small blessings, people....small blessings.
So that's it.
I'm not sure when THAT happened, but the calendar says so and the calendar don't lie.
Which is confusing, because according to the stores and ads, it's Christmas time.
But it's only November.
...I don't get it.
Regardless, the fire place is now in full use, and I can start to figure out which winter sport is guaranteed to put me in the hospital this year.
Ahhh, winter (smells like the ER).
I hope everybody enjoys their weekend.
When I was working, this would be the time when I'd be all, IT'S FRIDAY, MOTHERF*CKERS...but since I work from home now, it really doesn't matter. Hell, these days, I can barely keep track of what MONTH it is, let alone which day of the week.
Still...for those of you out there in the 9-5 grind, IT'S FRIDAY, MOTHERF*CKERS.
Go home, have a drink, and get frisky with your loved one.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I wasn't going to blog about it either way, but I don't know what else to do. My heart is breaking over and over again, and I'm hoping that writing might help ease the pain.
Nothing else seems to make it better...everything around me reminds me of how I am not now and will most likely never be a biological mother.
Where is the justice in life?
Where is all that Karma?
Where is God or Allah or Buddah?
Who, up there, is deciding that I'm not cut out for motherhood?
Who is labeling me as an infertile, despite the fact that I've spent my whole life eating right and exercising and taking care of myself, both physically and emotionally? Despite the fact that I struggled my way out of a horrible, abusive marriage and managed to rebuild my life from scratch? Despite the fact that all I'm trying to do is carve out a little niche of happiness with my soul mate and best friend?
Who up there is letting lousy people in lousy marriages reproduce like rabbits while Brian and I, two people full of love...who are trying to have a baby for all the right reasons...get negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test?
For the love of god, WHO IS RUNNING THE SHOW UP THERE?!? Because if there is anyone...anyone...out there who has EARNED their right to a family...it's Brian and me.
This blog used to be a happy place. Well, at least a sarcastic and funny place, if not a little disgruntled.
And I'm hoping that this blog will one day be a happy place again (hopefully with a little less disgruntlement and a little more genuine cheer).
But for now, this blog is about as empty and hopeless as my soul. I'm writing only for me ...to keep myself from going mad...to maybe pull myself away from the edge, if only just an inch or two. I'm using it as a crutch, to give me strength where there is none. To give me the peace that I have yet to find.
I've encountered a lot of obstacles in my life, but this one might be the biggest.
Please, God, or Allah, or Karma or whoever, help me to climb it.
Because I stumbled 4 days ago and I have yet to get up.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
It's wandering aimlessly around the house, with no real work to speak of (both a blessing and a curse during this time), being limited physically and crippled emotionally. It's wondering how much you can take before you go mad. It's knowing that, either way, you'll never quite be the same again.
Purgatory is abstaining from almost everything you love, possibly for no reason whatsoever. It's decaf coffee and juice and walking (without the dogs) and watching other people ride your horse. It's preparing yourself for the worst while hoping for he best; running scenario after scenario through your head as you pace the halls like a caged tiger, dissatisfied and intensely aware of every ticking second.
Purgatory means you stop enjoying the things you used to love...well, the things you used to love that you are ALLOWED to do, according to the new rules set forth by your doctor. It's distraction, coupled with a bad taste in your mouth that leaves you dead in front of the television, wishing it was two days from now and evaluating your body for the slightest foreign twinge. A cramp here. Tenderness there. What if....what if...?
I won't be able to blog about the results of Fridays test. If it's good news (dear god, let it be good news), then you don't talk about it until you're past the first tenuous weeks. If its bad news...well...there are some feelings so visceral that even I won't be able to find the words to express them.
Please, let this week be over.
Please, let me take back my life, even if it's in bits and pieces when it's done.
This ghost of a person that I've become....let her find peace, no matter what the outcome.
Give me heaven or hell, ecstacy or sorrow.
Anything...anything...other than purgatory.
Monday, October 25, 2010
First, I was feeling all "hahah funny" and was going to post about my halloween scare-venture. Then, for no reason at all, I started (well, continued) thinking about this infertility crap and I got sad.
Then I had breakfast.
Then I considered making a fort out of the couch cushions.
Then I remembered that Milo ate the couch cushions, so I went back online and here we are.
In summary, I'm all silly-sad-angry
(but not hungry. Thank god for small blessings)
I guess I can still blame it on the hormones, although these days they're coming in pill form instead of shot form, which is super cool and has increased my hydration level by, like, 30%. Except for that one hormone that comes in....suppository...form, and we don't really talk about THAT hormone.
Or I could blame it on the stress of finding out if the IVF "took" this Friday, which, BTW, is guarenteed to be the LONGEST DAY OF MY LIFE.
Or I could just blame it on Milo, because honestly, what problems CAN'T be blamed on that asshole?
Regardless, I'm all wonked out and not good for much other than drinking decaf coffee (shank me) and rambling endlessly on this here blog.
The Halloween activity was decidedly NOT scary. The scariest thing about the whole night was being surrounded by awkward teenage girls in skinny jeans and Ugg boots, uncomfortably holding hands with gangly teenage boys desperately in need of haircuts.
For realz, you could not pay me enough to be a teenager again.
The rest of the attraction was a little hoaky and a LOT random (aliens carrying chainsaws?!? WHAT?!?!?), which was exacerbated when I got the giggles and couldn't stop laughing at the poor "actors" (and I use this term loosely) trying their best to jump out and frighten me.
I think I hurt their feelings.
But it's made me want to up the ante, and perhaps next year, you'll find me at the Bates Motel or some shit like that.
We also carved pumpkins.
And I don't want to brag, but it's entirely possible that I made the best jack-o-lantern ever carved...ever...in the history of jack-o-lanterns
I'm having that shit BRONZED, yo!
Halloween was also celebrated in the form of pumpkin chili and our annual reading of McSweeney's "It's Decorative Gourd Season, MotherFuckers"....and if you have not read this yet I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU to click on the link, because this is the funniest shit EVER WRITTEN about fall.
I'm having the entire thing put onto a cross-stitch sampler for my mother this year, FOR REALZ.
So yeah, we're doing the SHIT out of Halloween this year, and I'm loving every minute of it.
That's all for now. I'm running low on decaf, and I've got another pumpkin with my name on it.
Happy fall, fuck-faces
(it's a McSweeney's reference. If you didn't get it, then you didn't click on the link, and we can probably most likely not be friends anymore. Please turn in your friendship bracelet and the other half of my heart necklace)
Friday, October 22, 2010
Love the shit out of it.
I love the decorations and the scary movies on TV and the ridiculous costumes that we dress our children (or animals) in.
For realz, I'd do sexy times with Halloween and even let it take me shopping and kiss it on the mouth, which is totally against my rules, but that is how much I love Halloween, people.
However, even I have my limits.
For one thing, I really don't like dressing up.
I know - I'm a total buzz-kill.
Everything about my personality says that I should be the first one throwing on that sexy pirate wench/sexy witch/sexy nun costume and the last one taking it off (unless I drink too much beer, at which point I've been known to remove clothing prematurely).
But something about all this time and effort and money spent to look like something that you're clearly not ....I dunno....it just seems a little silly.
Because no matter how much I may look like that sexy pirate wench, we all know that I'm just a medical writer from NJ.
(not to mention the fact that if I WAS, in fact, a pirate wench, I'd probably choose a more servicable hem length...and not wear stilettos, what with all the rocking on the high seas...)
So what's the point?
However, I WILL say that I found a full-sized banana costume at Target the other day, and the amazing image in my head of me, waltzing around a party in as a banana, has kind of convinced me that for the right costume, maybe I'd change this position.
Another thing I don't do is the haunted corn maze/wagon ride/prison what-have-you.
Because that shit scares the baJESUS out of me.
Some horrible creature will jump out of the dark, and everyone screams and then kind of laughs and moves on....meanwhile, I'm in the fetal position on the ground, laying in my own feces and vomit, playing dead and hoping the monster won't actually kill me.
I don't know what it is about these attractions...
I can tell myself over and over again that it's not real and it's just for fun, but then I'm forced to walk down this dark hallway and I know for a fact that there are things down that hallway waiting to get me, and I have this moment, right before I pass out from fear, when I'm all, I paid good money for THIS?!?!?
And then I die.
I seriosly die, because I am so freakin' scared.
And don't even get me started on haunted mazes.
Because REAL mazes, in the daytime, terrify me, let alone when they're filled with human-eating zombies and whatnot.
I mean, what if I can't get out? What if I get lost in the maze and they never find me?
THIS is what goes through my head when I encounter a beautiful hedge maze in a garden in May.
Turn down the lights and add heart-attack-inducing characters?
Not this sucker.
I'll sit on the bench outside the maze and hold everyone's purses and wait for them to come out....if they make it, that is.
So how, for the love of god, has my sister convinced me to go on a combination haunted hayride/haunted woods walk-through this weekend?
Well...I'm still not sure.
Maybe I want to face all my old enemies and see if I still soil myself at the first mummy
Maybe I want to prove that I'm older and wiser now and can recognize cheesy haunted theatrics when I see it.
Or maybe I'm just tired of holding everybody's purses.
But come Saturday, you'll find me on a haunted hayride to hell, either laughing at the cheesy haunted theatrics....or pooping my pants.
Just like always.
Friday, October 15, 2010
FC: You're not going to believe this.
Me: Believe what? I'm working...leave me alone
FC: I'm serious. Come quick! It's wild!
Me: Jesus christ...fine. Just gimme a second...
FC: No, you have to come NOW! It might not be here in a second!!
Me: FINE, fine...I'm coming, okay? What's so damn important that I have to stop working...
*follows cat to the water bowel in the kitchen
FC: Check it out.
Me: Check WHAT out?
FC: *touches paw to water: THIS
Me: This what? What are we looking at? Is there a stink bug in there again?
Me: What? Water?
Me: What about it?
FC: Dude....what do you mean? It's crazy. Look what happens when you touch it!
*touches paw to water again
Me: ...I'm speechless.
FC: ME TOO! Aren't you glad I brought you out here to see it?
Me: Dude. No. You're an idiot.
FC: What the hell are you talking about? This could be the next greatest discovery of our time!
Me: No, it's water. You do this EVERY DAY. You sit in front of it and put your paw in it and then lick your paw and look at it again as if it's some miracle. And then I have to explain to you that it's not a miracle...that it's just WATER...and then you go and lick your privates. Every. Goddamn. Day.
FC:...So...you're saying...that I've seen this substance before...
Me: Yes. I'm saying that you're a moron.
Me:...but nothing. It's water. it keeps us alive. It's there, in a bowel, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
FC:...Oh...but look how cool it is! I touch it...and then it's on my paw...
FC: And look! There's a cat in it! Did you know there's a cat in there?!?
Me: That's your REFLECTION, retard.
FC: My what?
Me: Your REFLEC...oh, nevermind. Yeah, there's a cat in there. His name is Larry.
FC: *looks in the bowel: HI LARRY
Me: God, you really ARE an idiot
FC: Sometimes there's a dog in there too - but only when Jericho comes around.
Me: I bet he's a big black dog.
FC: How did you know?!? Have you seen him too?!?
Me: Yeah. He's awesome. Can I go back to work now?
FC: Hmmmmm?? What? Oh, yeah, sorry. Go back to work. I'm going to hang out with Larry some more. Between you and me, he looks like he could use a friend.
Me: Okay, you do that. And Fat Cat?
Me: Try not to fall in this time
FC: Yeah, yeah...
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I intended it to be about my LIFE.
But then again, my LIFE is all about infertility these days, so I guess it makes sense that I would devote a couple of posts to fertility treatment.
Welcome to my hell
(please leave your dignity at the door).
Of course, I need to state for the record that despite all my grumbling, I am 100% grateful that infertility is covered by my health insurance. Without it, we'd either be out a cool $25,000 (that does not exist), or be shopping for kids in Guatamala.
Which may still happen yet, depending on if this fancy schmancy $25,000 procedure actually...yanno...works.
Still, grateful isn't exactly what I'm feeling when I'm injecting 2 ccs of hormones into my body, several times a day...despite my best efforts.
And grateful isn't exactly what I'm feeling when I can barely stand upright because my ovaries are having a block party and bringing down the house.
The roof...the roof...the roof is on fire!!!
What I am feeling....is every emotion known to man. In about a 5 minute period, none the less.
I have recieved three heartwarming cards in the last 24 hours, and cried while reading every. single. one.
I had some negative faculty feedback about my work, only to feel overwhelmed, sad, angry, and nonchalant in the first two minutes of recieving this feedback.
I've gotten seriously mad at Brian for existing.
Just continuing to breath oxygen and take up space.
And that, my friends, is when you know that you need to just chill the fuck out, have a cup of coffee and chocolate croissant, and talk about your feeling.
Which couldn't be more unlike me.
And then there is....the procedure.
I'll spare you the details, but it starts with "ultrasound needle" and ends with "vaginal wall"
And it's scheduled to happen this Thursday.
In other words, this hormonal pin-cushion of a woman is about to get very unpleasant things done to her, all for the sake of having a baby.
Shit. Is. Wild.
I have to go now.
I'm getting my ass handed to me with a project that was doomed from the start, making this week even more awesomer.
I mean, who doesn't like trying to handle boatloads of stress when they have enough FSH, HCG, and DO-RE-MI in their body to chemically castrate a bull elephant?!?
Wish me luck on Thursday.
And a prescription for good, strong pain medication.
Because I'm going to need a crap-ton of both.
Friday, October 8, 2010
I sure didn't see that one coming.
Of course, I should have seen it coming - after all, you're married, and babies are the next obvious step. But the hormones that I'm shooting into my body 3 times a day make it so that if I'm not prepared for this kind of news, its going to upset me.
Like, makes me want to slam my forehead into a cement wall repeatedly until I knock myself unconsious kind of upsets me.
Like, makes me want to drive my car into the nearest tree at 70mph kind of upsets me.
Like, makes me want to participate in self-mutilation because clearly I'm not a suitable wife - or woman, for that matter - and I might as well just rip out all of my girly parts for all the good their doing me kind of upsets me.
Please don't take it personally.
You both are wonderful people and we have a long, LONG history together. You, guy, you were both the officiant AND the caterer at my wedding, while you, girl, coordinated the procession and helped out in a million other ways. I love you both, and you will always hold a special place in my heart.
So please, don't be offended if I freeze like a deer in the headlights the next time we see each other. Please don't be alarmed when all I manage to get out is, "hey, congrats on the new..." before i burst into tears. And please, by all means, don't take it personally when I attempt to claw your eyes out with my bare hands because the injustice of this situation is just so painfully obvious.
I mean, hey, it's a wonderful thing, right?
You do the baby dance and presto...you've got yourselves a bun in the oven.
I bet you didn't have to make a million trips to the doctor's office.
I bet you didn't have to submit yourselves to multpile humiliating and sometimes extremely painful tests.
I bet you didn't have to pay hundreds of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses (although I'm aware that without insurance, we'd be spending tens of thousands of dollars, and I am eternally grateful for having such awesome insurance)
I bet you didn't have to take a class to learn how to stick needles into your body, and then proceed to jab yourself multiple times a day until your tummy and thighs are covered in bruises and the smell of alcohol makes you instantly cringe.
Hell, I bet you didn't even have to suffer through the various side effects of the hormones coming out of those needles (which, btw, include mood swings and flu-like symptoms. super fun stuff)
Nope, I bet you guys just split a bottle wine and had at it.
And now you get to sit back and watch this little miracle grow. You get to buy books and set up a nursery and look at clothes and pick out names, and smile that little secret smile at each other because you are creating a family at this very moment.
But please, if I may have just one request.
While you're shopping for strollers and picking out paint colors, please...please...please...don't forget - not even for one second - how lucky you are.
Please don't forget that it's not this easy for some people.
Please don't forget that some people are going through hell for a shot at what you created with such ease.
Please don't forget how things could have happened.
So again, congrats.
You are both sure to be wonderful parents.
But forgive me if I don't jump up and down with joy.
I've got miles to go before I'm done with this journey, and my legs are very, very tired.
Love and kisses,
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I expressed, more or less, that this blog isn't what it used to be. That I had read posts from a year ago and god DAMN were they funny. That I just wasn't the same person I was back then...that I had outlets now and a happy life and that just didn't make for funny posts...that I felt like every time I blogged I was disappointing my readers...etc, with much slurring.
And in response, my sister expressed, more or less, that I should always choose a happy life over an awesome blog, and that although I shouldn't stop blogging, maybe I should put this particular blog to rest....etc, and then she knocked over a wine glass
Then I pointed out, more or less, that when I lost all of my blog formatting, it felt kind of like a sign, and is it really the same blog anymore without all my stuff on it?...etc, while trying to feed Milo a playing piece because it was in the shape of a wedge of cheese
So she pointed out, more or less, that the universe is usually pretty good at handing out signs, and I should probably listen to it, but in the end, it doesn't really matter because this is just one of many lives we will have in our attempt to reach nirvana...etc, buddhism whatnot...blah blah blah...while almost falling out of her chair
In other words, I was ready to end this blog for realz last night.
But while typing this today, I've decided that I'm not ready to let go. Not yet, at least. Somewhere in me is that woman who could write some seriously funny shit. Somewhere in me is that bizarre, creative, wonky person who managed to get at least 87 people (give or take) to commit to follow her daily ramblings.
And while this person is seriously in hiding, I don't think she's gone yet.
So I'll keep this blog around for a little while longer, hoping she turns up now and again to make you snort coffee out your nose.
Because that's what she would want me to do.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
And then you shuffle over to your computer and start parusing facebook and craigslist because...yanno...it's early and you're not ready to work yet.
And then, 2 hours later, your realize that you need to take a break to get some breakfast and to teach a lesson. And after the lesson you take the long way home because you're tired from getting up so early, so you need some D&D crack-coffee
And then you get home and you drink your coffee and it makes you jumpy and unfocused, so you end up having an in-depth conversation with your dog instead of writing that Executive Summary you promised to your client two days ago.
And then you crash from the D&D crack-coffee and realize that you're too tired to do work because you got up so early, so you drag yourself out on to the deck and sit for half an hour staring at the water, trying to summon up the energy to do...anything.
And now it's 12:00 pm.
Work total for the day: 17 minutes
The moral of this post is that getting up at 6:00 am is never, under any circumstances, a good idea. What seems like a good idea at the time ends up being an excuse for surfing the web, drinking sugary, caffeinated beverages, and anthropomorphizing every little ear twitch your dog makes until you're convinced that he's convinced that socialism might be the answer to the country's economic crisis.
And we all know that that's just silly...
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sad to say, this no blogging thing kind of suited me. I felt free. Like I was cutting class to go riding in a convertible with the top down and the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. For a while, I wasn't endlessly searching for material...cataloging every mildly amusing interaction for exploitation on my blog because once again I was out of real material. And I didn't use my blog as a way to avoid work. Well...not until today (Dear contractor: I'll finish it today. I promise)
So what happened, since the last time I blogged?
Not much, which is usually okay in my book. Lord knows I have the habits of an 80-year-old and don't like getting my routine all in a tizzy.
Work is going well. I haven't been forced to dance on a pole to pay the mortgage yet, so I consider that a win in my book.
Brian and I went backpacking and had some close encounters with black bear near our camp. Luckily, we were drunk (yes, we bring wine backpacking. doesn't everyone?), so my healthy fear of black bears was replaced with a "F*ck this guy. I want to go to sleep" kind of attitude. It worked. He moseyed along and I slept off the 1.5 litres of Cabernet Sauvignon in relative peace.
Milo ate more of the couch. I hate him.
The horse-thing is going well. Mikey is progressing with his training, although I'm learning that he's the klutziest horse to ever trip across this planet. I'm still teaching lessons. But after a long summer of beginners, I'm starting to hate the phrases keep your heels down and turn right...no, your OTHER right. These kids....oy...I think some of them are meant for group homes and jobs as greeters at Walmart.
I cut my hair. It's kind of what I do. One day I'm perusingn through a Victoria's Secret catalog and I'm all like, wow, I bet if I grow my hair out I'd look JUST LIKE these models. So I grow it out...except it looks more like a rat's nest than a seductively mussed coiff. And then I listen to Beyonce's All The Single Ladies and get all revved up on girl power, and I'm like screw men...I don't care if they prefer long hair. I want it off. So I cut it. [Repeat]
Did anybody notice it's fall now? That shit is awesome. But let's let McSweeney sum it up - he does a much better job than I could do anyway. CLICK THIS LINK for fall awesomeness (and a helluva lot of F-bombs)
It's nice to be back guys. Hope you all haven't forgotten me.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I'm not back.
Well, not officially.
I'm like the "Brett Favre" of blogging....I make an announcement that I'm taking a break, and then all of a sudden I'm *still* making passes for the Vikings.
Today is one of those rough days that makes you want to just bury your head under a pile of pillows or in the nearest oven until it's "tomorrow" and you can finally stop stressing and actually ENJOY that cannoli you just ate instead of just stuffing it down your piehole as fast as you can to momentarily forget that you're losing your G-D mind.
It's like you have your rational side. And your rational side KNOWS that hope, in this situation, is silly. Your rational side knows that tomorrow will be a disappointment, and you might as well just get used to it now, because there's no reason to think otherwise.
You think your calm and cool.
You expect the worse.
You know what's coming.
And then it happens.
And your hopes are crushed and mangled to an unrecognizable pulp.
And you're all, WTF, because there wasn't supposed to BE hope. Your rational side took care of that, right? But that emotional side, that sneeky bastard, was hiding hope. You didn't know it was there until it was being repeatedly run over by a Mac truck.
So that's what I'm in for.
I'm on a "Search And Destroy" mission, looking for any signs of hope so I can bludgeon it to death before it can hurt me.
But it never works like that. Hope is elusive. Hope is persistent. And despite my best efforts, Hope is completely uncontrollable.
Tomorrow? Is going to suck.
That hope, wherever it's hidden, is going to be trampled.
Sometimes the anticipation is worse than the pain, like when the nurse is holding your arm and is about to put the needle in, and you're all NO NO NO NO NO, but then it's in and, well, that wasn't so bad, was it?
Today, I'm anticipating tomorrow's pain. I'm all, NO NO NO NO NO, but there's nothing I can do to stop it.
So I blog, maybe to ease the pain a bit.
Lord knows the cannoli didn't work.
Monday, August 16, 2010
So I write....and then I don't write.
For weeks, I don't write.
I lose a follower, and then another.
I feel bad about myself.
I eat gallons of ice cream and drag lipstick in large circles across my face while screaming "be pretty...be pretty!!!"
That's an exaggeration.
But I DO feel bad. And I certainly didn't start bloging to make myself feel any worse than I already do.
(Anyone with a vagina knows that women are pretty good at making themselves feel like crap WITHOUT additional "blog guilt")
So I'm taking a break.
A simple-enough fix, I suppose.
I doubt it'll be a permanant break. More like a hiatus of sorts.
I'll refresh my writing.
I'll chant and meditate and wave smoking sticks of insense around the house until I feel ready to contribute quality posts to this blog again.
And in the meantime, you won't have to suffer the injustice of a crappy blog post (well, those of you who are left, that is).
I'll miss you all terribly.
I'll miss writing, those few times per month when I'm actually inclined to do so.
But I won't miss the guilt, and I wont' miss the lipstick (the ice cream, on the other hand, will be a source of grief for many nights to come)
Goodbye for now...
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Another year, another Shark Week has come and gone, taking a piece of my heart with it.
Truly a glorious time - I love me some shark-on-seal action.
Need I remind you about last year's love-fest with sharks?
Is it just me, or are they showing pretty much the same thing year after year?
I came across this funny comic.
For those of you lazy bastards who can't be bothered to click the link, the author sums up the following Shark Week programs:
Ultimate Air Jaws: Sharks can jump out of the water. It's the same thing you've seen the past 8 years, only different angles
Into The Shark Bite: Sharks bite really effing hard. Don't get bitten
Shark Attack Survival Guide: If you don't have a shotgun, punch the shark in the nose. If you're not prepared to die, don't get in the ocean
Day Of The Shark 3: Every single day is Day of the Shark. This is about 6 dumbasses that sharks mistook for food
Shark Bite Beach: Really? Shark bite beach? Sharks only bite people because they bleed into teh ocean or try their best to look like seals
Shark Bites: Adventures in Shark Week: Famous guy swims with sharks. He makes jokes. Will only be funny if he is bitten.
Okay, okay, point taken.
Dear Shark Week Executives
Perhaps it's time to admit that your materials are going a bit stale. Might I propose that you change Shark Week to focus on another scary predator-type animal?
Fact: Bears are one the largest land predators in North America. Like, really, REALLY big. And strong. Especially Polar Bears. That shit is scary. Get on it.
Fact: Grizzly bears will hunt you over hundreds of miles and eat your bleeding African American friend, and you'll only survive if Anthony Hopkins happens to be nearby. I saw "The Edge." That shit was crazy!
Fact: Stephen Colbert hates bears. Which means Republicans hate bears. Which means, by default, Democrats must love bears. Great way to increase your demographic!
Fact: I once saw a video clip of a "tame" grizzly bear maul a reporter. You should put that shit in there.
Obviously, it's time to retire Shark Week for another animal. If not bears, then lions maybe, or something equally toothy and claw-ey.
Or you could just rerun clips from Real Houswives of NY.
Nobody would be able to tell the difference.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
TODAY IS THE DAY that I write a funny...or at least worthwhile...blog post.
There has been a lot of crap posting going on here lately.
I do not approve.
However, since I've been the one writing these crap posts, there will be no disciplinary action just yet, unless you count me waking up at 6:00 this morning to see my two male dogs humping each other, in which case, it would appear that I deserved it.
I started drinking last night, in honor of the awesome post I was sure to write today.
I was feeling all, yay, I'm funny and creative again. Let's unwind after dinner and have a lively discussion about interesting things. (which is code for drinking multiple beers and having a heated argument over the most respectible rap artist. Oooh, to be a fly on that wall). So we did argue about rap artists, as only two white middle-class individuals can. Then we moved on to literature.
And that's when I dropped the bomb (compliments of the third bottle of River Horse Brewer's Reserve).
Brian has this.....author. According to wikipedia, he's considered to be "an American adventure novelist" (and those of you who are literary-inclined can already see where I'm going with this). By all accounts he appears to be a very successful novelist, with 17 of his books being on the New York Times best-seller fiction list.
But the thing is....
Like, god-awful, cringe-while-reading-the-first-paragraph crap.
(And seriously, considering most adult readers think that Harry Potter is ground-breaking fiction, any book that hits the best-seller list can probably be read and fully comprehended by an 8th grader).
I tried reading it once, while Brian was out of the house. I read 3 pages of the book, gently put it down, and swore that I'd take my opinions of this author to the grave so as to not disturb the household.
But that stupid third River Horse Brewer's Reserve....apparently it didn't know when to keep it's mouth shut.
So the cat's out of the bag.
Brian is not heartbroken, but I think I've officially been labeled a literary snob, which is just as well, considering I have a B.A. in English. Hell, I'm just glad the degree is starting to pay off. I might have spent 4 years wasting money on classes that have little to no application to the real world, but at least I can recognize a phony writer a mile away.
At any rate, after much discussion, we've decided that Brian will continue to read his "author," and I will continue to smile falsely when he talks about him, if only for the sake of the dogs.
Oh well...I guess it could be worse.
He could be reading the Twilight trilogy
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I'm supposed to be writing about glioblastoma, because honestly, what could be more fun than talking about brain tumors?!?
But I'm not ready yet - the ole' noodle isn't working at full capacity...which is a symptom of brain glioblastoma and OMG MAYBE I HAVE A BRAIN TUMOR!
That's the problem with medical writing.
If you weren't a hypochondriac before, writing about diseases all day will certainly make you one. For instance, at one point, I was convinced that I had prostate cancer.
I rest my case.
In other news, I tried mountain biking the other day.
I also kicked ass at it like nobody who has ever mountain biked before.
Okay...that might be an exaggeration. But for my first time out, I was damn good.
When we were finished, after almost 4 hours on the trail, Brian confessed that he was shocked.
"I would have bet money," he said to me, "that you were going to fall or just get scared within the first 10 minutes and insist on turning around."
Well....okay....the first few minutes were a little "poop-your-pants" scary. But then you realize that your bike is MADE for this shit, and as long as you don't lose control completely, chances are, you'll be okay.
So I kept riding, managed not to soil myself, and before you know it I was catching some air and generally having a good time, except for that one point where I may or may not have seen my ex whiz by in a group of 8 mountain biking dudes.
I hope I was mistaken, because that would be no good, people. no good at all. However, when we were togethere, there weren't 8 people in the world who liked him (including his parents), let alone 8 guys who would have liked him enough to go mountain biking with him, so I have my doubts.
On the other hand, they're doing amazing things with antipsychotics these days, so maybe?
Bottom line is, if we get into a head-on crash on the trail, I'll just have him arrested for breaking the rules of my restraining order
So I've got a big week coming up.
Brian's brother comes back from Afghanistan for a 3-week visit on Thursday, and then Brian's birthday is on Friday. So there should be much celebrating and good times to be had. And I WISH I could tell you guys about the awesome-sauce present I got for Brian, but I can't risk him reading this blog before his birthday and ruining the surprise.
All I'm going to say is that there's a good chance I might win Wife Of The Year after this one.
Oh yeah...it's a doozie.
So I'll fill you peeps in on that little surprise after Friday.
Until then, I guess it's back to writing about brain tumors.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
In short, this new background and pic is kind of freaking me out.
But the good news is that I've decided to NOT hang my hat up, not only because at least 8 of you cared enough to ask me to stick around, but also because work has lightened up a bit and now I suddenly have time on my hands, and writing blogs is preferable to doing the laundry or cleaning the house, and it's a good distraction while I'm waiting for Brian to come home and entertain me.
I jumped 4 feet today. On a horse, I mean.
It was kind of awesome - I haven't done that shiz for a good 6 months, at least, and not consistently for about 10 years.
oh yeah, I still got it.
It was for an exhibition. The barn where I grew up and now keep Mikey at has summer camp, and the girls wanted to see me jump something high.
And for realz, I'm the most down-to-earth, friendly, non-competitive, modest rider that you will ever encounter in your life, people, but is it wrong for me to write on my semi-secret blog that it's way fun to be my trainer's prodigy and an overall barn superstar, and that watching 8 girls look up to me with awe and admiration (literally as well as figuratively, because I was still sitting on the horse) kind of feels like lounging in a super-plush terry robe - all warm and fuzzy and awersome?
Oh, it is?
well never mind then.
Regardless, it's nice to have an "I still got it" kind of day. It makes you feel young, for one thing, and also, I feel like I kind of earned that giant piece of cookie cake I ate for lunch.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Can we talk about how, when I went to fix it, I had to use this new-fangled Blogger template thingey?
Can we talk about how everything....EVERYTHING...then got screwed up and I ended up having to revert back to a basic blog template just to apply these new, SUCKY templates to my blog?
And finally, can we please talk about how my blog is essentially ruined and I lost everything, including my widgets, my pictures, my recommended blogs, and my hits counter.
In summary, the new Google Blogger can eat a big, fat dick.
I'm devistated. The blog that I lovingly maintained for almost 2 years is gone. Sure, the text is still there. But all those little things that made the blog mine have been taken away.
I'm wondering if it's a sign.
Because, let's be honest, I haven't been blogging lately.
My life is just too full of activity and too devoid of the pent-up rage that I need to write funny, creative posts.
And now my blog - well, everything that made the blog mine - has been replaced with a gay background and a picture of a cat with a lime on it's head.
And I'm not saying that a disgruntled cat wearing a fruit hat isn't funny....but is it me???
I suspect not.
So I have a hard decision to make.
Do I plunge forward with this fresh, new, horrible blog, or do I hang my hat up for a while?
Thursday, July 8, 2010
So, it's been a week since I last posted.
This is what happens when you agree to watch your In-law's dog, your sister's cat, and your sister's ex-roommate's cat without looking at the calendar.
I'm happy to say that the In-law's annoying beagle (nicknamed "Bad-touch Bandit" for ...well...you don't really want to know) is now gone. But the cats are still here.
It's like living in an episode of National Geographic, except instead of hunting, all of the cats just sit around and whine for food.
And then this past weekend, we had to drive down to South Carolina and back. Something to do with a nasty break-up and a certain brother-in-law whose stuff was still in "the ex's" townhouse just outside of Greenville. So we left Saturday morning and returned back to NJ on Sunday night. Thank GOD Brian and I get along so well, or those 22 hours in the truck would have sucked big time.
It didn't help that we got a late start on account of me sending one of my students for a lovely ambulance ride after she fell during her lesson Saturday morning. It looked like a normal, slide-off-the-horse type of fall. But she hit the ground and started screaming in that "Oh Snap I Just Broke My Pelvis" kind of way, and suddenly I found myself calling 911.
Turns out, she just bruised her butt. In fact, she was smiling and joking with us by the time the ambulance arrived, which allowed me some time to snap a few pictures:
But when it comes to back injuries - and potential lawsuits - I don't mess around, so off to the ER she went.
Do I feel guilty, as a trainer, for sending one of my students to the hospital? A little.
Do I feel guilty, as a trianer, for capuring the moment with awesome cell-phone photography? Not at all, folks. Not. At. All.
(Hey, someday, she'll cherish these memories).
So that was my week.
It was wild and hairy and full of unexpected trips to unexpected places.
I'm not complaining - I love a good switch-up in routine - but I'll be happy when things calm down and the most exciting part of my day is switching the laundry from the washer to the dryer.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Brian's coworkers want him to have children. I'm not sure what the deal with that is, but they barrage him with questions every day. Maybe they want him to be as miserable as they are? Or maybe they just see him as a great potential father (much like we all do).
My coworkers, when I had them, started asking about children the minute I announced I was engaged, and continued to ask until the day I left. I think it's just "what you do" in an office environment. I don't blame them - the corporate 9-5 lifestyle is so prescribed, so predetermined, they practically flinch when you do something outside the norm, like stop eating meat, or wear black shoes with brown pants. Babies are the norm. When are you going to have one?
My mother wants a grandkid. She doesn't say a thing, other than to offer moral support as I go through this trial, but I know her heart, and it aches for the both of us. She just wants to retire and help raise the kid. Maybe putter around the yard a little. It would be lovely.
I had another negative pregnancy test yesterday. The labcoat....the elevator music...the extreme emotional turmoil...it was all for nothing. Conditions were about as optimal as they can get, and nothing happened. I'm at a loss. I want answers. I want to shake my doctor and tell him to figure out what's wrong with us and FIX IT ALREADY. But I can't, because I know he's doing his best, and sometimes our bodies just want to keep secrets.
Today is a hard day. I have to deal with the knowledge that a baby might not happen. I have to deal with the knowledge that I may never be a biological mother. That Brian and I may never be able to make something that is pure "us."
I know that it could be much worse - that people are dealing with much more terrible things than I.
I've lost hope.
And for me, that's about as bad as it gets.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
IUI stands for something rather technical that was pretty much developed for the purposes of barnyard animal reproduction.
Now, take that process, stick it in a doctor's office, add a white lab coat, some elevator music, one of those fun ob/gyn exam beds with the little foam-covered stirrups, and about $10,000 (more or less) in lab tests and copays, and you've got yourselves a baby-making party. Granted, your spouse isn't there, but guess what? You don't really need him for this part. His contribution to this little event took place approximately 60 minutes ago in a room down the hall. For now, you're just going to have to settle for an intimate momement between you, a catheter, and a very nice APN named Beth.
I don't like to talk much about my fertility woes. The whole process is highly embarassing and more than a little intrusive, both in the physical and emotional sense. But when you're spread-eagle in the stirrups and about to become (hopefully) impregnated while you chat with Beth about your weekend plans, sometimes....you just have to chuckle at the ridiculousness of it all.
Life is a funny thing. One minute you can be trying to make a baby the old fashioned way, and the next minute you're asking your old college roommate, who happend to stop by for dinner, if she will give you a shot in the ass because you're husband doesn't like needles and the doctor says it's time to ovulate.
I didn't ask for fertility issues. I've always eaten right, exercised, taken care of myself, all in the hopes that my body will repay me for doing everything that it's supposed to do for the next 80-some-odd years. But sometimes your body doesn't cooperate, and you're forced to make a choice:
Do I walk away from this, or do I submit myself to some very uncomfortable and humiliating means to get to a much desired end?
Clearly, I chose the latter. As a result, I've been poked, prodded, medicated, and tested. I've had more people in my hoo-hah in the past six months than I have in all of my years combined.
But you have to laugh, because what else can you do? Life sometimes sucks, and suddenly everything you imagined is tossed out the window and you're faced with the harsh, fluorescent-lit fact that the romance of this very moment is going to have to be limited to the saxaphone rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings" playing on the sound system.
Some children are named after the places and situations in which they were concieved.
Maybe if we get I'll girl, I'll name her "Beth."
Hey, it'll raise a lot less eyebrows than "Exam Room 4," right?
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
And I think I need to start being okay with that.
I know...I used to be funny.
I have the POTENTIAL to be funny.
But like the artist whose best work comes just before he descends into madness, my best work came when I was one "team status update meeting" away from shanking the nearest coworker with a home-made shiv fashioned from a paperclip, a 3-ring binder, and 10 post-it notes.
So now my life is full of creative outlets (and devoid of vapid coworkers) and there's not a sense of humor to be found.
I have a flexbile schedule, but no funny.
I have daytime TV privelages, but no funny.
I have horseback riding and painting and gardening and laundry (what? Laundry can be stimulating!)...but no funny.
So I considered shutting down the blog.
Afterall, funny was my M.O., and I'm pretty sure the majority of you weren't hanging out solely for the benefit of my self-esteem (although that would be nice and if you were? THANK YOU [and stop stalking me]).
But the thing is...
I still have opnions.
And now that I don't have coworkers, I have nobody to share these opinions with, save for the dogs (who don't understand English) and the crappy drivers who get the FIST OF RAGE when they cut me off on the road.
And yanno what? There is nothing worse than being full of opinions and having no one to share them with.
(except, maybe, being married to someone who is full of opinions and has no one to share them with)
So the blog stays.
But where it used to be about 75% funny and 25% completely inappropriate, it will now likely be comprised of 80% opinions, 10% funny, and perhaps 5% ethnic jokes, just to keep things real.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Oh, you guys.
This monograph I've been writing....these 6,000-ish words that needed to be put on proverbial "paper" by Friday?
I was frantic, when I had only written 1,500 words in 7 hours of time.
I was frantic, knowing that I had about 4,500 words left to write between now and Friday 5:00 pm (EST).
After writing 4,000 words (give or take) in a scorching 4.5 hours, I had a glass of sauvignon blanc with my sister.
And then another glass.
(and maybe another after that...I dunno...I lost count).
A more needed respite from the constant onslaught of work, I couldn't imagine.
What did we talk about, while my sister and I sipped hot chocolate and (another) glass of sauvignon blanc, respectively?
To be honest, I can't quite remember, but it mostly encompassed Buddhism, which is interesting when you're sober, but absolutely fascinating when you're drunk.
If I am a worm, than I'm not me.
Which seems obvious to me, but try telling that to a Buddhist.
Also, I like cake, which Buddhism tells me is not so good.
It's not that I have any problems with Buddhism. Lord knows that I agree with the philosophy (if not the religion) of Buddhism moreso than Christianity and Hinduism or any other organized religious-type product out there.
I'm just neurons and synapses. If you crack me on the head, there's a good chance I won't be "me" anymore.
So to think that the essence of "me" could be transposed into a worm or a tree or any other living thing?
...or so says the sauvignon blanc.
Nirvana, they say, is achieved through a lifetime of meditation and study.
I say, give me a glass of wine and a piece of cheesecake, and I'll show you what true happiness looks like.
I guess it's all a matter of perspective.
No Tapdancing In The Dark for you.
Come back ONE YEAR.
Okay, maybe come back one week.
My life lately has been an endless cycle of get up, get dressed, sit down at the computer, go to bed, repeat.
The money? Is awesome (or will be, when my clients get around to paying me).
The sweat-shop work hours? Not so much.
Poor Milo...nobody plays with him anymore.
And Brian has had to pull twice his weight around the house, cleaning up after himself, me, and 4 very hairy animals who are prone to projectile vomit.
And now the cats don't like their new enclosed litter box, so they're peeing all over the towels I placed around it, which is really kind of defeating the purpose of having an enclosed litter box, isn't it?
So now my work-filled days are tinged with slight whiff of stale cat piss.
My life is magical.
Come back in a week. I SHOULD have some time to blog then.
...and maybe shower.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Our backpacking expedition to Shenandoah National Park went quite well despite the fact that we were touting my sister and our dog, both of which are novices and one of which may or may not be retarded - I'll leave it to you to decide
Granted, there were a few rough patches.
Before we left, I had to remove my sister's knitting needles and yarn from her backpacking, carefully explaining why knitting is not considered vital to outdoor survival and therefore should be left at home, all the while trying (and failing) to smother my laughter. It was at that point when I also was forced to replace the white, fluffy, "angora-like" hat that she intended to bring along with a proper wool hat.
And then there was that time in the woods when nature called and I had to explain to her how, exactly, to poop in the woods in an "eco-friendly" manner. While she was not so much impressed with my directions, I was immensely impressed with the fact that she pulled it off.
And it also turns out that Milo, when exhausted and totally out of his element, gets a bit snippy with other people and dogs when they pass by our campsite. Unlike the above converation with Emily, my explanation to Milo that we don't "own" the campsite and therefore are not entitled to bark at and/or get snarly with passers by was less successfully received.
Milo was also unable to carry his backpack for the majority of the journey due to the straps rubbing his armpits. Which meant that we (read: Brian) had to carry the excess weight. I'll tell you...A more useless dog I have yet to meet than our little Milo, god love 'em.
And then we have Brian.
Brian, who managed to carry nearly 80 lbs of gear over 14 miles without missing a beat, yet nearly broke his toe transitioning a rubbermaid container from the truck to our hotel room. It was impressive. Poor dude could barely walk for the remainder of our trip. Thankfully the X-ray was negative for a fracture, but it's still swollen, so whatever he did to it, he did it HARD.
There was also a thunderstorm while we were on top of a mountain.
And a lot of ticks.
And these horribly stingy plants that leave 5-minute welts on your skin every time you brush up against them.
But all of these things were little compared to the great views and great times that were had on the trail, compliments of two (well...three) awesome hiking companions and several liters of boxed wine.
Yes, we bring boxed wine with us when we're backpacking.
I mean, we're not animals....
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I came back from my trip to a mountain of freelance work that very well might be the death of me.
To find out how our opera-singing novice did in the backcountry of Shenandoah National Park, click here.
She'll tell you all about it.
And the part about her trying to bring her knitting along? Absolutely true.
(you can't make this stuff up, folks)
My recap will occur....eventually.
Until then, Stay Classy, San Diego
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
It's silver...but I'll try not to hold that against it.
After coming from a family that owned several red cars in succession, and then going on to buy a red car, and then watching one's mother and sister go on to buy more red cars, not red was really my only color requirement.
I've never bought a new car before. And I know that they lose their value the minute you drive them off the lot but seriously, how can you resist that smell?!? The "new car" smell is awesome - it's the smell of hopes and dreams and clean plastic - like a weather girl who's had one too many cheek implants.
If I ever get a brain tumor, I hope one of the symptoms is that I keep smelling "new car." (It's almost an even trade-off)
So the truck is beautiful and shiny and quiet and everything a new truck should be. We also negotiated free maintenance for two years, free tires for life, and an 8-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, which means that we'll pay the truck off long before we have to pay for any repairs.
All in all, we got a very good deal.
But you want to know what the best part of last night was? It wasn't when they handed us the new keys or when we finally drove the truck off the lot.
It was when we turned in the titles to our POS, falling apart hunks-of-junk trade-ins.
Oh, these cars.
The work we've had done to these cars would have paid for our new truck, hands down. We've replaced radiators and axles and shocks and belts and computers and all kinds of doo-hickey mechanisms that make the cars run.
We've been stranded on the side of the road more frequently than I care to remember.
We've lost sleep and money and our sanity to these cars.
Yesterday, during the day, I found out my A/C didn't work.
Brian almost lost a wiper on the way to the dealership.
Clearly, it was time to say goodbye to these cars.
As we drove to the dealership, I wondered if, despite our long, stormy past, I'd feel a pang of remorse as I saw my car, the Red Rocket, being driven away.
Turns out the only pang of sorrow I felt was for the dealership, because now the Red Rocket was THEIR problem.
And Brian? Well, let's just say that his car was named after his ex-wife, "because," he explained, "it gives me so much shit."
So Hasta la vista, cars.
You'll be missed
...like a hole in the head.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
There were a few times when I almost had something to blog about.
The other night I was three beers deep after a long day of horse show (I'll get to that in a minute), screaming at the television because Sigourney Weaver was going back for the whiny kid in Aliens (plural) and I was all, "What is WRONG witchu, girl?!? She ain't even yo' baby! Drop that shit like a bad habit and GET ON THE SHIP before that Alien eats yo' BRAINS!!!!"
... and for, like, a hot second, I had though of the most brillant thing to blog about.
But, as is often the case when I indulge in a few too many "adult beverages," I wasn't sure if the idea was that brilliant...
or I was that loaded.
C'est la vie
And yeah, then there was the aforementioned horse show. I usually go to these things because there are a million kiddies from our barn trying to show and if my friend, the owner and head instructor, were to attempt it on her own, she would most likely end up, at worst, killing a child (or parent) or at best, putting a kid in the wrong class (which she did anyway but it worked out fine in the end).
These shows are your typical hunter/pleasure/equitation classes. You go in there with your horse all clipped and shiny and clean and your boots all spit-polished and your blouse and hunt jacket all fresh from the drycleaners and try to look as good as you can.
Needless to say, this is NOT the type of showing that I used to do.
I used to ride Jumpers, which means that it doesn't matter how you look - all that matters is that you do your round of jumps clean (don't knock 'em down) and fast (you're racing the clock). In jumpers, you could do the round backwards and as long as you did it faster than anyone else, you win.
Hunters: Frou-frou nonesense where whoever has the most money usually wins
Jumpers: Real riding
Still not convinced? You know the stadium jumping portion of the olympics? That's jumpers. There are no hunt classes in the Olympics.
I rest my case :-)
But then my friend needed one of her horses - the horse that I've been training since the winter and hope to buy eventually - to go in the ring so she could see how he behaved before she put kids on him.
A lot of begging and one thrown-together hunt outfit later, yours truly was in the show ring prancing around in hunt seat and trying not to roll her eyes in front of the judges.
(And PS - the answer was not well-behaved at all. I've never seen that horse move so fast in my life. It was like riding a nuclear weapon that was locked on a target)
So I was going to blog about it, and then it honestly didnt seem like it was worth the effort, but in explaining why it wasn't worth the effort, I blogged about it.
Now I've gone and confused myself.
In other news, Brian and I are going backpacking this weekend, and we're bringing my sister (ie, the opera singer) with us.
...And this is after I explained to her that you have to go poo in the woods.
Surprised that she's still game?
I certainly was.
We're also bringing Milo for the first time, namely because A) we're going a very short distance on account of the newbie backpacker, and B) The newbie backpacker is a third set of hands with which to strangle...I mean...hold Milo while we're out in the woods.
And if anybody else sees this trip gearing up for something you only see in the movies, that makes two of us.
A husband and wife
An opera singer
And a retarded dog
head out into the woods for the adventure of a lifetime.
They may not have the skills.
They may not have the know-how.
But what they lack in experience
They make up for....in poo.
Backpacking hits a whole new octive.
So I'm sure I'll have some kind of hilarity to report on when we return. Make sure you tune in for THAT post - it's sure to be worth your while.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Before that, I was not a runner. I was the antithesis of running. The Anti-Runner, if you will. In fact, I used to tell people that I only times I could be caught running is if I was being chased by a killer...or if there was an ice cream truck.
And then people would laugh, and I would just stare at them, and they'd kind of stop laughing and I'd keep staring, and they would cough and things would get generally uncomfortable, but hey, I really like ice cream, okay?
Well, since that fall of 2008 (documented here in this delightfully saucy blog post), I've made great strides with my running...and yes, pun absolutely intended. I haven't mentioned it much because this blog is generally intended to be funny (not that you'd know it if you read any of my recent posts), and running is decidedly *not* funny.
There is nothing funny about gasping and hauling yourself down the sidewalk, cursing the gods and convincing yourself that people giving birth can't possibly been any more uncomfortable than you are at this moment in time.
There is nothing funny about tasting the contents of your stomach as you round a corner and think to yourself, oh, well, I only have one more mile to go, as if a mile is a small and easy thing, because a mile is NOT a small and easy thing, and mmmmm, here comes that PB&J you had for lunch!
No, there is nothing funny about running.
And yet, I keep going.
This year, I ran 6 miles for the second time in my life, the first being only after a summer of pretty regular training and possibly an act of God (I'm not certain, I blacked out for the last two miles).
This year, I've also pushed my "regular" runs to the 3 to 4 mile range, compared to the 2-3 mile range I was doing last year.
And this year - well, tonight, to be exact - I beat my all-time 5k record by 4 minutes, running 3.2 miles in 28 minutes flat.
*cue Eye Of The Tiger, and commence musical montage of me running and sweating down various sidewalks and wooded trails*
For some people, this is no big deal. Some people would read this and kind of raise their eyebrows half in amusement and half and pity. Some people can run 5ks in their sleep, and I'm not saying that I hate those people, but if I ever meet one of them at a party, I immediately scan the room for items that I could use to make a shiv.
But Brian (a seasoned runner) has pointed out that when it comes to running, you can't compare yourself to others.
Well...unless you're acutally racing or something...but you know what I mean.
I can't compare my abilities to those people out there (god, I hate them so much). I can only compare what I did today with what I did yesterday and the day before that.
And if I do say so myself...I am clearly superior to who I was yesterday.
So I guess I'll take this accomplishment as a sign that I'm kicking ass and taking names, if only because I can do today what I couldn't do yesterday. All I know is I'm running farther and faster than I ever have in my life. And I'll be damned if it doesn't feel good to do something better now than I ever have in my 28 years on this planet.
And my pants fitting better?
That's just a side effect of all this running.
An awesome, SPECTACULARLY AMAZING side effect.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
We were just looking, wanting to kick some tires after spending the better part of a year shopping and comparing online.
(and when I say "we," I mean "he," because lord knows I can barely tell a windshield from a tailgate).
We're getting a truck because apparently we're that couple....you know, that obnoxious couple who is (or at least wants to be) constantly dragging around kayaks and bikes and skis and camping equipment, and when you see them in the office elevator at the end of the day they've already changed into spandex and lycra and fingerless leather gloves to "squeeze in a few hours of basejumping" between work and dinner, and you kind of hate them because they obviously have too much time and energy on their hands, and why don't they just go home and watch American Idol like everybody else?!?!?!?
Add to that one impossible-to-shake horseback riding habit and a closet love for satellite radio and yeah, we're gonna need that extra long bed, 6500-lb payload, roof rack, and audio package, please.
(PS, I like green)
So we're in the dealership, and Brian's impressed with the V6 engine and gas mileage, and I'm trying not to squeal because when you shift into reverse, a little video screen pops up on the rear view mirror so you don't accidentally mow a child over coming out of your driveway (oooh, it's like MAGIC), and before you know it, we're haggling with "Frankie" over financing rates and trade-in values.
And here's the thing:
I have a vagina.
I bring this up because A) I know little to nothing about cars (and it shows, people. It shows BIG TIME), and B) I wear my emotions on my sleeve.
In other words, if car salesmen are sharks, then I'm that overweigh, near-sighted seal with a boarderline IQ and a missing flipper, if yanno what I mean.
Or at least, I thought I was.
I certainly was when buying my first car at age 22 (and PS, 2 radiators, an axel, and countless miscellaneous parts later I finally figured out why that man at the dealership wouldn't look me in the eyes).
But last night?
I totally grew a pair (and I don't mean ta-tas)
His sales schtick rolled of me like water off a duck's back.
Tires for life?
Okay, how's the warranty?
What about rollover?
Silver streak mica?
I was hoping for pyrite.
You get the drift.
Even the haggling went well.
When he came back with a price for our trade-ins, I looked at the price, looked at him, raised my eyebrows, and told him in no uncertain terms that our two cars, even at reduced trade-in value, were worth twice what he was offering.
(I even turned away from him like I was thinking of walking, just to make him squirm).
Ooh, it was fun.
And then he came back with some financing options. I had to interrupt him to point out that the APR rates weren't listed.
"Oh, they're back in my office."
I stared at him, frowing.
"They're not high"
I continued to stare.
"Should I go get them?"
Because what kind of idiot would agree to finance without finding out the APR?!?
Well...I guess I would have. 6 years ago.
But not today, buddy. Not today.
In the end, we didn't buy the truck. Their very best offer was still not quite worth jumping into a quick sale before thoroughly shopping around.
We smiled, shook their hands, thanked them for the hour and a half they had spent wheeling and dealing, and left without a hint of regret or guilt.
I guess for some people, this is a normal "car shopping" experience.
But for a woman who, 6 years ago, was swindeled into buying a lemon because she was too afraid to speak her mind and ask questions?
Last night was a pretty big deal.
So I guess, despite my best efforts, I may be growing up a little bit.
I may not be able to handle a horse quite as well as I used to, but at least I can finally handle a car salesman.
Now, all I need to do is "handle" one of those pretty trucks (green, please) and I'll be set.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
But sometimes being a good writer means knowing when a good picture will speak volumes louder than any words you might conjur up:
Happy Mother's Day, mom!
Keep on rockin'!!!
Friday, May 7, 2010
Not that it gets us any closer to a bun in the oven, but hey, misery loves company, right?
I also wanted to point out that, while I am indeed fairly heartbroken that the road to pregnancy is looking less like route 66 and more like the NJ turnpike in rush hour, with landmines, the no-baby situation is a small cloud in the otherwise brilliant sky that is my life right now. I can honestly say that my life is good. Very good. My freelance writing has been wildly successful, I'm happily enmeshed once again in the world of horses, Brian is kicking ass and taking names in his job, and even Milo is starting to come around (knock on wood).
Keeping perspective is a difficult things for us humans to do. It always seems like, no matter how good things are, we always focus on the few things that are causing us to be dissatisfied. Even rich people, who shouldn't have a care in the world on account of the fact that they will never, ever have to worry about food, shelter, clothing, always seem to be unhappy. It's like our species is designed to manage a life that is equal parts good and bad, and when there's nothing to be upset about, we'll blow a hangnail out of proportion until it blots out half the sky.
Or something like that.
Is that despite the fact that we're having fertility issues, I can honestly say that my life is the best it's ever been.
...I just need to keep reminding myself of this when my little problems start blocking out the sun :-)
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
My approach to most things in life is to get as much feedback as possible, whether it's from the grocery store check-out girl or the cop who just pulled me over.
"Oh man, officer, I totally didn't see that speed limit sign, but while you're here, I was wondering if you think I should have a doctor take a look at this rash..."
Brian, on the other hand, is Captain Secret.
It's not that he has nothing to hide - seriously, I've never met a man with a closet so devoid of skeletons - he just...doesn't offer up information easily.
This divergence in personality isn't usually a problem, because even when I DO tell everybody everything, there isn't really much to tell. Does that make any sense?
Of course, this blog has put the spotlight on our opposing preferances for revealing information. For example, when we first got engaged, Brian wasn't technically divorced from his first wife yet. So naturally he wanted things to be pretty hush hush until the paperwork went through, and seriously, have you ever been engaged and not really been able to tell anyone?!?!?
It is hard, my friends.
MUY, MUY DIFFICILE
So now I'm having a problem and I really, REALLY need to vent.
After all, isn't that what blogs were invented for?
Personally, I don't mind if everybody knows about this problem. But Brian? I'm not so sure. Of course, I could just ask him, but I know he'll tell me "you can blog about whatever you want" whether he actually feels that way or not, just because he doesnt want me to feel controlled, because he's that kind of guy.
(Love you, Babe)
So now, I'm running a mental list of everybody I know who reads this blog. Seriously, as I'm writing, I'm going through this list. Is there anybody - ANYBODY - on that list who I just couldn't let in on this problem?!?
Not really, mostly because A) it's only a big deal to me, and B) nobody really reads this blog anymore, save for a few fiercely loyal followers (Hi Guys!).
Whatever. I'm tired of second guessing myself.
We're having fertility issues.
(Oh, snap, she just DROPPED it like it was hot)
I'm not going to get into the details, because even I have some limits on what I'll put out over the interwebz.
But needless to say, it's been a long, humiliating, sometimes painful process and thus far?
14 months, and no bambino (but who's counting. Oh, you are? What's that you say? I've only been married for 6 months but we've been trying for 14 months? Well guess what... It's 2010, bitches. Get with the now)
Infertility is a terrible problem that nobody...NOBODY...ever thinks about until they're getting bitch-slapped by it like a redheaded stepchild.
And while there are SO MANY THINGS to be grateful for - like the marvels of modern science, and the fact that Brian and I have some kick ass medical insurance that covers the whole gamut of treatments - these things are doing little to soothe my aching heart when we hit YET ANOTHER SPEEDBUMP...like we did the other day.
I guess my point is this:
When you encounter a newly married couple, perhaps the first thing you should ask them is NOT when they're going to have a baby. It probably shouldn't be the second, third, or fourth thing that you ask them either.
So let's reinforce this with a little exercise.
"Oh hey there! You just got back from your honeymoon? Wow, congrats! When are you going to have a baby? You should have a baby right now. Why aren't you pregnant? Babies are great. Babies, babies babies. Have a baby."
"Oh, hey there! You just got back from your honeymoon? Wow, congrats! It must be nice to be able to travel. I haven't left my neightborhood since I had my baby. I also gained 50 pounds and lost my will to live. Wow, you look great - so thin and rested. Your life must be awesome."
All joking aside, I guess I'm just trying to raise some awareness here.
And maybe stop the barrage of questions that can drive us "pregnancy-challenged" people to tears.
And maybe remind all of the "happy couples" who got pregnant instantly that it doesn't happen that way for everybody, so maybe chill the fuck out a little bit and stop talking nonstop about how having a child was the best thing to ever happen to you.
And maybe vent a little bit so I can go on with my day without that dark cloud over my head, because I'm getting all cold and pruny from the rain and I could REALLY use some sunshine right about now.