Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Soon after my mother returned from the hospital she decided to end treatment. Her transfusions really only allowed her to have enough energy to return for more transfusions. She didn't want to live like that, and she thought the blood could help someone else more. The last time she was able to hold a conversation was Wednesday. After that, she was weak enough that many of my brothers and I stayed with her to help her take medicine, get to the commode, and things like that. When she was really weak we slept in shifts so someone would always be with her in case she needed anything. She awoke Sunday at 1:30 in the morning and we alerted our dad; he was able to say his last good-bye. To say it was heart-wrenching would be an understatement. She was rarely conscious after that. I was with mom when her breathing became more and more shallow and finally ceased, she passed away at 1:25 Christmas Eve morning. I am glad that I was there to see that she died peacefully, I am not so glad that the scene replays in my mind, causing me to see her die dozens of times.

When she was awake Saturday I took my chance to tell her she had made Christmas come early in a way. The whole family was there, including her brother and a nephew, and we spent time comforting one another and sharing our favorite family stories. Friends and relatives filled the house with food, especially cookies, and we worked on the family Christmas donation. I told her that when all the contributions were in MacGyver and I would give enough money to make the total $1,941 to reflect her birth year.

She absolutely loved Christmas, and I believe that this year our family honored the true spirit of the season more than ever before.

Monday, December 17, 2007


I was at the hospital until 3:30 Sunday morning. Mom went in with a headache and a nosebleed Saturday night, a scan revealed bleeding on the brain. Coupled with pressure on her brain, she had a bout of expressive aphasia and could barely use her right arm. During the bedside vigil I watched her chest rise and fall, and nearly choked on the dread that she would stop breathing. The medical staff basically poured platelets and blood into her, and Sunday afternoon brought a few hours of miraculous improvement. Today she can talk, but she is weak and in pain. Her homecoming should have lifted my heart, but I know she told her doctor she wants to die at home.

Since F-bomb announced his new job in a different city (which gave me another occasion to cry in front of my boss), I have been scrambling to find a new job of my own. Tomorrow morning I have an interview with someone who has shot me down twice, once for a volunteer position. I also do not have the appropriate shoes for the suit I borrowed that is too tight in the ass. I figure I will look great if I can keep my coat on and the interviewer doesn't look down.

I am not so sure I can celebrate Christmas this year. Last year I had to boycott Christmas with the in-laws and drank Kahlua and eggnog for breakfast, and mom had just started recovering after the physicians gave her two weeks to live so I was only getting by because of antidepressants and crying in my Smirnoff. In 2005 our wonderful dog was killed after the first snowfall, and my husband's aunt died from tornado-inflicted injuries. The year before that I interviewed for and got a job on Christmas Eve, and that night MacGyver and I decided over our meal of Easy Mac that we were too miserable and had to move back to our hometown. Plus I had to work on Christmas at my worst job, and at my friends' holiday party I came down with my worst flu ever. I called my brother-in-law, the doctor, to make sure I didn't have typhoid fever or something, because normally the flu didn't make me wish I was dead. I was yakking every 15 minutes, and my drive home took 20 minutes. Luckily, Velocibadgergirl, MB, and Kitters put me up for the night and threw away all my bags of vomit real quick so I didn't have to see it too much. Kitters woke me up a couple times that night to check my vital signs and remind me not to eat his houseplants or there would be a reckoning.

I'm just so tired of December hurting.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Swimming in Tribbles*

Ever have a day that starts with "Why does my neck feel like it's being stabbed with a rusty ice pick?" accelerates with "That guy? You can't reach him because he's in jail. For a while." hits an apex at "Are you still in the hospital? Can I come visit?" and decrescendos on a "Can this class just fucking end? For the love of God, if I had that rusty ice pick I would soooo be stabbing my brain out"?

If you do, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn there is a catholicon for just such a day: discovering that TWO strangers have you in their blogroll. I'm on a few, but I suspect they're pity-links. My dubiosity has to do with most of my friends being much better writers than me. Realizing that someone( someones!) stumbled across this blog and didn't hate it or anything gives me the sensation of being awash in warm-fuzzies.

Please don't run away now.

*Not to be confused with Triffids.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Take Two Stummies and Call Me in the Morning

How am I going to know if this is worth it?

I have a suspicion that I will not know if keeping this job and going to school is worthwhile until it is over, which will be about another year and a half. If our actions define us, is this really who I want to be? I had a couple of hours that I refused to spend doing homework last night, and I had no idea what to do with myself. I don't keep in touch with my friends like I should, my hobbies are dwindling, I can't sleep enough, I feel BORING, and wonder if I can have a mid-life crisis at 26 (I guess if I die at 52 it is technically possible, but still).

I do what I do in hopes I will be satisfied later. But...what if there isn't a later? Why can't I be satisfied with my current job and find fulfillment elsewhere? Maybe, in volunteering or recommitting myself to taekwondo or making babies or something. Maybe fulfillment lies in throwing dinner parties for my friends, so we can eat and laugh and share the love. I have the utmost admiration for the people I work with who do their jobs well. Am I asking too much of myself to stick around and become one of them?

Cultivating happiness is up to me.

I would like to subcontract the work to someone who knows what they are doing. Feel free to e-mail your resume.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Last Saturday was my brother's wedding. I was special enough to be related to the groom and be the Best Chick, I was also special enough to be forgiven for not being the perfect Best Chick. I did throw a shower with my mom and sister, but I slept through the bachelorette party (which I didn't throw), and then there was the toast.

My mental process basically goes: "La de da de da, oh, was I supposed to do something just then? La la laaaaaa!" It also goes: "Thank God I'm not the Best Dude, so I don't have to give a toast in front of an auditorium full of people who are perfectly capable of judging me. Oh, I do? Really? Tomorrow? With the people there? Fuuuuuuck."

Brother suggested I write a toast like I would blog, then not say fuck so much clean it up for mom. So I wrote it on the way from the auditorium to the rehearsal dinner. Now you get to read it.

"I'm Danger, Brother's little sister. I've known him my whole life, but I didn't have the pleasure of meeting Amanda until three years ago whe she was his date for a wedding. I first thought, "Wow, is she old enough to be out this late?" and "She's really very cute, so why's she with Brother?" Luckily for some of us [patting Brother on shoulder], making a marriage last isn't about being equally pretty. It's more about understanding you will never change your spouse, no matter how much money you offer them to do so. This marriage is going to last because of your love, friendship, desire, and commitment. Amanda, welcome to the family, I am so happy to have you as a sister. Brother, good job. Here's to your marriage, the best decision you'll ever make."

I loved this wedding. It was a great wedding. It was pretty and funny, just like the newlyweds. My brother looked over at me when he put the ring on her finger, his expression almost made me double over with laughter. And then there were the animated vows, and the minister leaving the mike on after we exited the ceremonial area, and that fly that really liked Brother's hair. Every time I looked at my mom during the ceremony I would start to tear up, and I'd have to dissociate to stay in control of my tear ducts. She was so pretty, and so fragile, and she had to persist for so long to see this wedding. She had to have extra transfusions and sit in a wheelchair to rest in order to have enough energy to walk down the aisle and visit with people, but she did what it took.

Possibly the strangest part was having my hair professionally wrangled. That happened last in the second grade. My husband seemed to enjoy seeing me in a dress and make-up and other girly stuff. He better not get his hopes up, because I don't do this stuff for just anyone.

Unless he makes an offer I can't refuse.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Four Weeks to Go

Has it already been a week since I posted? Good thing I'm not NaBloPoMo-ing or I'd feel like a failure. After working on my take-home test until 4am last Wednesday, I rewarded myself with sleep. 6:30am came a little to soon, I was rather delirious and tried to divide 187 by 51 on my alarm clock/cell phone before falling back asleep. That didn't work out so well, and I was an hour late to work. And that test? The teacher didn't collect it. He reported he missed 5 questions when he took it, incidentally that is how many I missed (except I guessed on some, and these weren't educated guesses, I just circled things in the most aesthetically pleasing way).

I have less than a month of this semester left, whoo-hoo! If I got an A on my last chemistry test, I will start planning my reward trip to Chicago. This time next month I could be deciding if I want to wear my tuxedo shirt or my gray thermal shirt to the Art Institute, rather than scrambling to comprehend tomorrow's chem lab.

This morning the mother of a patient called to tell me her son had been arrested last night, and she needed me to go to court in 45 minutes and tell them what meds he takes. HA ha ha ha! I am not allowed to say anything in court, so her request was impossible. However, I did have our nurse call the jail's medical team to coordinate medication. When I told the mom that it was taken care of, but I would not go to court, she told me that was bullshit and as his caretakers we should do more for him and we are worthless. A year ago, I would have cried. Today, I shrugged it off. I did my job, I didn't break protocol, and I am not his caretaker, I'm a social worker. Besides, she has a terrible reputation around the office, so I just don't care.

My co-workers and I have been striving to make the office a more enjoyable place. Just yesterday we hid our cell phones in F-bomb's office, then all called at once. Monday I had a cell phone hidden in his ceiling, but I was gone too much to time my calls to his presence. Since he doesn't seem to know anything about it, we can try it again later. I've also stopped squelching my sarcasm as much. It amuses me, and with the turnover rate we've had lately they can't afford to fire me. It's a win-win, baby.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

No Rest for the Wicked

No, my clock thingie didn't screw up, I am awake at 2:30 in the AM. And I'm pissed. Trig has been laughably easy, mostly because we're not actually learning anything. My last class marked a whole 1.5 chapters of knowledge spread out over 2 months. We covered 1.5 chapters in chemistry on the first day. Jebus, this class isn't even costing me $200 (w/o the book) and it's overpriced. It's like the K-Mart Special of higher education.

Tomorrow I have a take-home test due in trig. It covers all of chapter 3. He has not taught all of chapter three. That's why I am on borrowed internet searching wikipedia for clues about half-angle identities five hours before I have to be at work. Sadly, I have an A+ until this test is graded. I will likely not maintain it, and if I'm stumped, the rest of the class will probably fail miserably. I'm not at the top because I'm good with digits ('cause I'm NOT), but because no one kept up their math skills while in prison.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I do not remember my mom ever being this thin.

It feels like she is inching out the door.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I Should Shut Up Sometimes

Last week I had to consult my boss about a situation. He was in a bad mood, kind of glowery and all, so I decided that changing the subject as soon as possible would be a fantastic idea. I noticed that where the polo pony/alligator usually goes, there was a weird insignia. It looked like the top half of a stick man attached to some kind of structure, but since I couldn't tell, I questioned him about it.

Me:"What is that? Is that supposed to be a person?"
F: "Maybe. I don't know, I just wear what my wife buys."
Me:"I think it's a person. I think he's sitting in something."
F: "It looks like a funny shaped E."
Me: "Or a bucket. Or a boat."
F: "Or maybe it's just a symbol."
Me (very adamantly): "No, it's an ill-formed boat."

So it was just an innocent conversation, just something to distract him from general moodiness. You need to know my id and my superego talk to me. Sometimes they argue back and forth, but that hasn't happened in a while. I'm glad they aren't as talkative as they used to be, because working in the mental health field puts a spin on the normality of it. Superego had something to say about it the next day.

I'm driving along, listening to the radio, minding my own business, when superego starts shrieking at me.
Me: What are you talking about?
Me: Why are you yelling? I just pointed out that he had a little man in a boat on his shirt.
Me: Oh my God, I told F-bomb he had a clitoris on his shirt.

Luckily we are understaffed, so my job is safe.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Was Tagged in September. I'll Try to be Less Pathetic Next Time.

Total number of books owned: I have books on my bookshelves, in the kitchen, in the bedroom, in boxes, and several shelves of books still at my parents' house. I estimate I have roughly a fuckload of books.

Last book bought: Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I originally went to the store to buy Eats, Shoots and Leaves, but I got...distracted.

Last book read: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Cruise. The sad part is it took me two or three months to get through it. Normally a book of its size would take 2 or 3 days, but school got in the way. Let my life be a cautionary tale to you young folks, so you may learn never to put education first.

Five books that mean a lot to you:

Where the Wild Things Are

This is my all time favorite book. I love the illustrations, the minimal wordage, the tone, and the message that no matter how bad I can be I will always be loved. It gives me warm fuzzies every time. Interestingly, I don't own it. Never have. Every time I buy a copy I give it away.

I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies)

I read passages of this book to my mom during our last trip to the Mayo Clinic. She had symptoms that indicated she could have cancer, and we both needed something funny. I read so long my voice gave out, but it was worth her laughter.

The Prophet

This is one of those books that made me feel a little different after I read it, as if something inside of me woke up. The trouble here is that my ex-boyfriend gave it to me. Even worse is that he wrote in it. Bastitch.

The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (1953)

My mom taught me to cook when I was pretty young. She started me on easy stuff like brownies from a box mix, but most of my intermediate education came from this bad girl. The drawings at the beginning of each chapter scream 1950s values, though the editor missed the one where the SON is helping his mother cook, which was a sure way to turn your little boy gay. I believe I read it cover to cover, and I consulted it constantly in Decembers when I was nearly manic about baking cookies. Good times.

Little House in the Big Woods

Every time my mother was pregnant and chose Karen as the girl name option, she had a son. When she changed the option to Laura, I came to be. My namesake is Laura Ingalls Wilder, for my eighth birthday I received the whole set of her books. She was once the inspiration for a Halloween costume. Of the books, this is my favorite and most frequently revisited. Plus, Garth Williams illustrated a lot of the books I read growing up, so this reading this book feels like going home.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Strange Condition

Tuesday brought the tragic news that my most successful patient was decompensating. He had gone off his meds, lost his job, and was spiraling into psychosis. I felt awful, defeated, and sad. A wise woman once told me: "Man up, you cry-baby pussy. Things are only going to get worse." I soon learned just how wise she is.

Yesterday I rather surprisingly learned that one of my patients had died. Disbelief gave way to tears, and I spent the next forty minutes curled up in the corner of an empty office. I can feel the loss, it is raw and true and powerful, but it is almost wholly unfathomable, even to me. It is hard to explain a loss of a relationship that is so hard to explain to begin with. When a patient accepts services, I (ideally) get to know their hopes and their pasts, I deal with their doctors and pharmacists and families. I learn some of their secrets, and they hide vast facets of their lives from me. I know them better than some family members, but there's a twist of one-sidedness: my patients are supposed to be able to trust me, but they never really know me, because true involvement could affect the professional, clinical relationship. So what is a patient supposed to mean to me? Are they projects for the psychiatrically-inclined? Friends held at arm's length? Clients that I know way too well? I don't know. I know that my patient was old and didn't take care of her medical or mental conditions; she was sweet at heart with a stubborn streak; it took months to build rapport with her, and when I did, I found that beneath a blunted affect and a dirty, fetid exterior was a quietly funny woman who had more problems than karma should allow.

I saw her about thirteen days ago, she was feisty and made me laugh. When I took her home, I waited for her to tell me "Don't do anything I wouldn't do," or "Stay out of trouble," before she slowly tottered off to her asshole husband and much-loved, flea-bitten dog (her baby, as she told me many times). I had no reason to believe it was the last time I would ever see her. She was in my calendar for weeks to come, she was part of my routine. If I saw her written in, it was obviously Every Other Thursday. Now she's a series of eraser marks.

I spent Wednesday mired in a numb, hollow kind of feeling. I don't know if this is how case managers usually feel, or if this is how I should feel. Without preconceptions to guide my grief, I suppose it is a sincere kind of mourning. I can't say I will miss providing her services (mostly 'cause of the smell), but I miss her.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Danger Dearest Strikes Back

Dear Danger,

I regularly join casual conversations between coworkers, then quickly monopolize (and eventually end) same by providing way too much unrelated information of a personal and/or disgusting nature. I do not see this as a problem, but apparently my insensitive coworkers do; they've started to ignore me, talk louder to keep me from interrupting, and even walk away when I speak. Now the only way I'm able to force a break in their conversations is to break wind i.e. fart. Trouble is, I don't know how to do this "on demand." I mean I can burp whenever I want, but farting, not so much. What can I do?

Radioactive Jam

Dear RaJa,

Many people are in your boat, and each and every one of them has benefited from my advice. So don't be left out! It sounds as if the real problem is that you're a one trick pony. Why stop at passing gas? Try shouting nonsense words or faking a seizure. Better yet, take a drama class and learn how to cry on demand. Crying is just dandy in many situations, and is generally regarded as the Swiss Army Knife of manipulation. See for yourself! Try it during heated discussions with your spouse or parents, during a performance review, when you want sex (why hello, pity fuck!), or when you just need extra attention to validate your existence. As a bonus, the friends you make in drama class will provide even more conversations for you to interrupt and control. Have fun!

Dear Danger,

My kids are the greatest thing that ever happened to me, but they came with a catch: they know exactly how to push my buttons. They want hot dogs when I feed them vegetables, they want to stay up when they are exhausted, and it is impossible to be punctual when all the "but I have to pee/find blankie/write a dissertation on the Bacon Rebellion/eat stale Cheetos I found on the floor before we go" start. Any advice on making things run more smoothly?


Dear Janet,

First, what the Hell kind of a name is Janet? Didn't anyone ever teach you how to sign a letter to a raving lunatic an advice columnist? Second, children confuse me. As a whole they are illogical jerks who give me hives. You should be asking my mom for advice. Third, she would tell you to grow a backbone and be the adult. My siblings and I didn't act up too much because we knew there were consequences. We weren't sure what they were, but we could hear the italicized font in her voice, and understood consequences were likely a fate worse than death. She was not above threatening to nail one foot to the floor so we could only run in circles, tan our hides and hang us by our toenails to dry, and stuff us in the engine compartment for the ride home. We were very well-behaved children who became well-adjusted adults after years of therapy. Fourth, you can always sell them on the Black Market and use the profits to buy a pretty, pretty pony.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Clues that I am from Indiana

Finding a casserole recipe with Campbell's soup as an essential ingredient makes me retardedly happy.

On my property, non-working vehicles outnumber the working ones.

My sex ed class consisted of abstinence propaganda, a video, abstinence propaganda, a pamphlet, abstinence propaganda, and a quiz.

As a small child I practiced counting using cows and railroad cars.

My senior class had a 1:1 ratio of southern drawls and northern accents.

I appreciate a good Jell-o mold, and I consider it part of the fruit group.

If you are from Indiana, the chances are awesome that you will be able to finish these statements as fast as I can: A baloo is a... A younker is a... Alate means to... Sculch is... Wuzzle means to...

Dealing with these humid summers makes me believe I could withstand the fiery inferno of Hell, as long as it is a dry heat.

I bleed creamed corn.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What Do You Really Think About Me?

Tonight I had my first trig test, while tomorrow I return to the painful, embarrassing, demeaning chemistry lab and I get my yearly evaluation at Gestapo. It's like I stumbled into a dark carnival of judgement. I have to discuss how to perform my job better with F-bomb, and I made a list of objectives for the occasion. I plan to give him the list* and ask him to pick three. I hope he picks my objectives to come to work drunk once a month, get a substantial raise, and punch argumentative people in the throat.

*This all bears on his mood, mind you. I'll be gauging where he fits on the cranky/happy continuum in the morning.

I spent a couple of days camping in one of my favorite state parks with some of my favorite people. There was a lot of eating and hiking and general mirth. MacGyver and I camp a few times a year, but we rarely go with more than one other person. So I packed my normal gear, and came up short. Turns out, I didn't consider that other people don't eat out of the cooking pot. While MacGyver and I rarely pack more than spoons and chopsticks to eat with, some people take advantage of civilization's tool and use plates and stuff. However, we did pack TWO Frisbees, because we believe in Frisbee preparedness. It's almost our religion.

For one too-short portion of the trip, I went horse-back riding for the first time since I was 14. More accurately, I sat on the horse and it walked around. It was a good horse, albeit a crooked horse, and I will never forget her. Or was it a him? Damn, I forgot to check, and Dusty is a pretty gender neutral name. Well, the beast was not obviously male, as a few of them were. Maybe she was a boy and just didn't live up to the simile.

Unfortunately, I got a call from mom on the first night. She had pains that landed her in the ER, and the doctor said she had pneumonia. Then another doctor said she had blood infiltrating her lungs. And then some other doctor took a guess and they all played paper-rock-scissors to diagnose her. Whatever it was, they kept her for a couple of days and made me worry. This is not the first time I've left town and she's been hospitalized. It makes me feel extra bad and discourages me from traveling. But, what do you do? I called her the next night to check on her and visited the day we returned. I reminded her a few times that she comes first. So she took advantage of me and now I have to clean her house for the rehearsal dinner.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Cool Points

This week in trig was just fantastic, because not only did I learn my teacher's name, but I got a 100% on the quiz that counted double. Only my quiz counted double, because he didn't grade the first one, you know, the "fun" one. I really wanted the first quiz back, so I could put it on my fridge, which I told him several times. I never got it back. I hope he isn't displaying it in some kind of bizarre student hall of infamy. However, I totally give him props for Wednesday's class. I have no idea what I am supposed to learn from the current section, it is something about wrapping and big W's and little t's. After a good ten minutes of pure confusion, he announced that this lesson is stupid and useless, and he will not put any of this material on the test.

My teacher called a type of math stupid and useless. He must be smarter than I thought.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Beatings Will Continue Until Further Notice.

I attended all of my classes this week, they consist of a chemistry lecture, trigonometry, and chemistry lab. I think trig will be the easiest of the lot, I probably have a huge advantage remembering SOH CAH TOA, even though I can't apply it to anything but a mantra, or perhaps some vexing grafitti. It is in the same room as algebra was, and I even sit in the same seat. Where the 20 year old mother of 5 previosuly sat is a stocky guy with either a high quality prison tattoo or a tatto that I hope he got a discount on. Where That Guy used to sit is a new That Guy, and rather than being a smarmy 19 year old he is a 35ish man who will not shut up and looks like he just got through doing hard time. I am one of 3 women in a class of 25 or so. I haven't counted because I am too afraid of making eye contact and getting cut or shivved. It's a rough looking class. The teacher looks to be about 32 years old and rarely smiles or bears his fullbody weight, for he tends to loll against the dry erase board while he's asking us if we got the same answer as he did on his calculator. Because I missed the first class he told me I didn't have to take the quiz. But when he passed them out he handed me one and told me to take it for fun. Rather than ask if he was high I did the best I could. I even figured out a couple! There was one question that I had no f-ing clue about. It went something like this: "Find the length of the arc in centimeters if the thingy is 30 degrees and it's the first new moon of Spring." So after some head scratching, I settled on "I would rather not. I'll have my secretary get back to you on that one." And then I turned it in.

Chem lab was only twice as painful as I feared it would be. I got a BA instead of a BS because I despise class labs with the intensity of a thousand fiery suns. Science has caught up with me, and I must submit to its torture. Thursday's torment was in the form of Excel. I love Excel, I do my budgets and timelines and work out schedules on it. But I had to make a graph, and I had no idea how to make a graph. Neither did my lab partner, who looks like an angel and swears like a sailor. I think we'll do well together. The teacher was not helpful and another girl from our table wound up taking pity on us and actually finishing the assignment for us. Part of me said "Make her stop! You have integrity!" The other part said "Shut up, goody-two shoes, principles will not stand in the way of a passing grade THIS time." I figure I'll learn Excel charts later, and hope it isn't on the test. We each got a key to a drawer of equipment. My car and house keys have been missing for almost three weeks, so I wondered how I could screw up stewardship of this key. I learned a few hours later. After answering nature's call, I rearranged my attire, and the key flipped violently out of my pocket. Nothing has ever flipped out of my pants pocket, so naturally the first time it happens the key lands in the toilet. The less-than-fresh-feeling toilet. I screamed "FUCK!" so loudly I woke my housemate and aroused the concern of MacGyver. I let him know that nothing was bleeding or broken, but I needed a stick. Salvation was a pair of chopsticks. Then I used so much bleach I could have eaten off of that key (but not with those chopsticks), except why would I be retarded enough to do that? And what would fit on it, anyway? Croutons?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Why Blog If You Can't Bitch?


I've been trying to convince a patient to go to the hospital, but my efforts have been futile. She continued to deteriorate and the cops picked her up, but she hadn't been EDed yet. Also, there were cookies in the break room, and I was starving, but I had fasting labs and I got no oatmeal-raisiny satisfaction.

My doctor's appointment began with a family history questionnaire. Basically, my answers went like this: cancer, depression, cancer, diabetes, cancer, alcoholism, cancer, stroke, cancer, and hypothyroidism. I can guess what is going to be the death of me. I would bet a million dollars that I die of cancer, except to claim it I'd have to die, and how am I supposed to spend it on penny whistles and moon pies then? Fortunately, I had a pap smear to look forward to. My doctor turned out to be super good at it, way better than those other 4 ladies who have scraped my cervix, but then I had a 45 minute wait for my blood test. On the bright side, it gave me a chance to catch up on crappy news shows and strangers trying to tell me about their medical problems. The phlebotomist was decent, but she kept asking me, Do you bruise easily? Do you take aspirin? Are you on Coumadin? Your veins turn black and blue so easily! These questions are not welcome considering mom has a platelet disorder.

So then my friend that was supposed to meet me for lunch completely flaked out. I went ahead and tried to sign up for my chemistry class, but it was full, natch. So I had to go to the registrar, and I had no idea where the registrar was. A phone call to VBG straightened things out. So the registrar told me to go petition the chemistry teacher. When I found the chemistry department, the teacher turned out to be very helpful. His computer, however, was not. Fast forward twenty minutes to the registrar, and things worked out great until she actually tried to schedule me. Computer sez I need prerequisite classes and I have to go to the back of the bus. Since I had the teacher's permission, that didn't matter to anyone except the computer. The chemistry department secretary merely had to be reached by phone, tell the computer to shut the hell up and accept me, and then the registrar could schedule me. I didn't mind the wait, but the 26 people behind me in line seemed to. My karma instantly caught up with me at the college bookstore, where the purchase before me involved 4 people, one credit card, a confused cashier, and merchandise with tags but no prices listed in the computer. Then I got to cough up $211 for one textbook, which is almost exactly the amount of money direct deposited into my personal checking account every two weeks.

This class is not through the community college I attended this summer, it's through the city's public university. Since signing up for my chem class took 2 hours, I figured it would be nice to visit the community college and sign up for my physics class I plan to take in the spring. Guess what? They won't let me. Why? Because I need to take trigonometry first. And? I haven't taken anything resembling trig since high school, when it was hybridized with some other math and called pre-calculus. This is when I almost cried in the registrar's office, and I HATE crying in front of people. The public university also required trig to take physics. The private university did not, but the classes were only in the morning, when I have to work. I found 3 online trig classes through the community college, but they had all been cancelled. My only option is to petition the trig teacher this week, so I can take physics in the spring. I have to petition because classes have already started. There are only so many night classes offered for the courses I need, and if I can't stay on schedule I'll have to wait another year to apply for grad school.

I stopped by mom and dad's on the way home, and they are always happy to see me, which is self-esteem boosting. Plus, there was homemade banana cake with chocolate icing to steal. The day basically stopped sucking after 5pm, but BOY did it suck. I have to keep reminding myself that someday I won't have to take stupid classes, someday I will actually reach my goal and it will seem so much sweeter after so much bitterness.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Go on with Your Bad Self

We are awesome. We are sexy, strong, and totally do-able. If I was a dude, I would have a very hard time keeping my body parts to myself, 'cause my peeps are that damn hot.

But I want to know what you think.

Leave me a comment about at least one of your body parts that you love. Since I know most of the people that read my blog, I will call you and make you tell me if you don't respond to this. I have seen most of my friends nude, so I know there is plenty to confess about/be envied for.

Personally, I really like the curve of my lower back. There's something really feminine and sexy about it, and it is tough. There have been summers where my lower back was the only part of me to burn (from bicycling) and it took it like a [magenta and brick red] champ. It's been broken, and it still hurts nearly every day, but it has done everything I've asked of it.

I take after my mom's family, but my eyes are definitely from my father. Sometimes they're green, now and then they're grey, but usually they're an interesting blue/yellow combo. I don't even feel like I'm lying when I say they are pretty.

Plus, I have a sweet rack.

See? That wasn't too hard. I've had major body image problems since before puberty (I put myself on a diet in the fifth grade), I loathed it until college, I never believe my husband when he call me beautiful, and I still think 99% of the population is more attractive than me. But I think that when I am 50, I will look at pictures of my friends and me, and I will see how inherently beautiful we were. I just wish we could see it now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Violence Makes Me Happy

On Saturday night I found myself slightly drunk, shirtless, and sporting a temporary tattoo on my cleavage. So I did what any self-respecting Danger would do:

I beheaded a pinata bull.

It felt really satisfying.

It was all for my friend's party celebrating her independence from British tyranny and pointless bullshit. I have never been so happy for a divorce to come through. Usually I'm all like, "Divorce? What a shame!" This time I was all, "Fucking A! Good riddance, you English pile of smegma!" We did not get to make his pitiful, sniveling message on the answering machine into a drinking game (he said "How could you do this to me?" about 25 times), but my friend broke out the henna, I won a couple of Smirnoffs, and there were cream puffs and Pepperidge Farm cookies involved. Few combinations in life are more enjoyable.

The party was preceded by a trip to Holiday World, one of the best attractions in Southern Indiana (besides these guys). I thought the soles of my feet were going to burn and peel off onto the concrete in the water park, but otherwise it was good times. I mean, I played Gobbler Getaway and it turns out I really, really like shooting things. A lot. I wasn't that bad at it either, I played with 5 other people (3 were boys, and you know how they like shooting things) and the only time I was beaten was when somebody used two guns and added the points. I am seriously considering going to the shooting range to see how much I like guns. I once shot soda cans with a .454 and did better than a brother, but I thought it was a fluke. Maybe it wasn't! But maybe it was.

Today I had lunch with my mom while she got blood and platelet transfusions, and later a patient threatened to fire me. I'm not saying I am too happy about it, but Item One really helps to put Item Two in perspective.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

We Now Return to the Program Currently in Progress

My last post was written during the Final Project weekend of Hell, I had a powerpoint presentation worth 20% of my grade on the line, and I had to turn it in by Sunday night. I started it Friday night. In the end I had 28 slides of chronic myelogenous leukemia information, which was 28 more slides than I had ever wanted to do in my whole life. Finals week sucked majorly, though the results were heartening. I barely slept or ate, if I wasn't studying I was doing algebra homework, and MacGyver was out of town. I took part of Tuesday off to study, and part of Wednesday as well. I thought I was so smart, taking 2 hours off work to review med term and take my test on-line around 6 or 7pm. It was a two hour test, so I figured I'd still have time to study algebra that night. However, while walking to my car at 3:15pm, I had that slowly dawning sense of dread normally reserved for Red Shirts and black people in horror movies. All of my homework and tests for med term had been due by 5pm every Wednesday, my brain reminded me, and I realized that the final was probably no different. I suppressed the urge to vomit and rushed to my computer as fast as legally possible (in the way that No Cop, No Stop is legal), and began my test at 3:50pm. I finished at roughly 4:58pm. The test was worth 200 points, but luckily there was extra credit, and I earned the somewhat respectable grade of 107%. That's right, med term gave me Hell for 8 weeks, but in the end I made it my bitch. My last algebra class consisted of turning in 3 assignments, 2 hours of new material, and 2 hours to take the final. I wish I could see my grade, but I think I got 100%. Now I am 7 credits closer to applying for graduate school with a 4.0. Next semester I hope to take chemistry, and I don't think I'll have that 4.0 anymore. I have until December to savor it.

Since school let out I have been trying to catch up with everything that school kept me from doing, like sleeping. I contacted a couple places about volunteering in their physical therpay department, but no one has returned my calls. I read the last Harry Potter book, and it left me craving a book focused on Severus Snape. I always liked him before, but now he is one of my two favorites, the other being Hermione. I just finished Dead Until Dark, which was good mind candy, and I have Alanna, A Good Forest for Dying, and about 7 other books in the queue. I spent a weekend in Brown County and I enjoyed every minute of it. I have actually gotten to see some friends and attend 4 parties. About half a dozen of my co-workers have quit, making cubicleville insanely depressing, it's so empty and quiet these days. I still need to sign up for a class in Fall, plan a wedding shower, buy a maid of honor dress, and have as much fun as humanly possible. I'm rusty at posting, and this is the best you're going to get for a while. So there.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ten Minutes

It took 10 minutes to set the course for the rest of my life.

One afternoon in 1998, I had to sign up for classes at Super-Awesome School, a program that combined students from all the high schools to take classes not offered in Normal Hellish School. For three years I had planned to follow in my brother's footsteps and sign up for a goverment/economics class that included a county gov't internship. However, that afternoon I found out I couldn't take that class, for some forgotten reason. I browsed the list of courses and picked out my required gov't/econ and two science classes that looked exciting, given my proclivity to geekiness.

That's the 10 minutes. I had NO CLUE it would be the butterfly's flapping wings to the hurricane in Brazil of my life.

No one from NHS took any of the classes I signed up for. No one knew me. It was such a fantastic feeling. I noticed that in all 3 classes, this interesting looking girl (by interesting looking I don't mean unfortunate looking. I mean she looked nice and smart and other positive adjectives. After I met a few more people like her, I discovered she was one of the Shiny People). I figured she was too cool for me, but I took a chance on talking to her on a day that she was wearing a Sue the Dinsosaur shirt and I was wearing a Kokopelli shirt. Oddly, she didn't think I was pondscum and kept talking to me, which was exactly opposite of what happened on any given day at NHS. Her name was Velocibadgergirl.

Even odder, her friends talked to me. And then, I was friends with these people. Note the plural, because it was a whole new chapter in my book. So far, signing up for those classes helped me form friendships that are active to this day. That alone changed me.

But wait! There's more!

Since I couldn't get that internship, I found a way to have it that summer, at the morgue. Which was my favorite job ever. The coroner was a black belt in taekwondo, and he spoke highly of it, as did VBG. Because I had planned on taking a martial arts class in college since my dad forbade me to learn judo in high school, I went with taekwondo. If my path had forked to the right instead of a left when I was checking boxes for SS, I would have been in judo, and I wouldn't have met Touchstone. He was my taekwondo instructor first, then my friend, and later my co-worker. He suggested I take a neuroscience class with the lesson involving a picture of mating hamsters. So I did. And, I loved it. And, the teacher's assistant suggested that I pursue it, and the teacher suggested I join a lab.

It turned out my favorite psych prof ran a neuroscience lab, and she let me in. I spent three years as her research asistant, and it became my second favorite job ever. She taught me to think differently and to really question what people tell me. Some weeks I spent 20 hours in her laboratory. For a while I did research from 9pm-10pm in my pajamas, just to get an extra hour in that day, and I did it happily. My prof was/is one of my biggest heroes, and one year after Touchstone had joined our motley crew, we snuck into her house and made her broccoli manicotti and cake for her birthday. It was good times.

Also worth mentioning, I met my husband through VBG. MacGyver is her cousin and we met at her 19th birthday party. The backstory is kind of longish and weird, so I'll talk about that some other time. But the important thing is that he is mine, and I don't know if I would have met him without VBG. Sometimes MacGyver and I speculate that we would have met at the rock climbing gym, so in my alternate life he is still mine and I could have met VBG though him. At least, I'd like to think so.

To recap, going to SS brought me to VBG who: hooked me up with her friends that I still love today, gave me an interest in taekwondo that led to a friendship that influenced my direction in college which gave me the prerequisite degree for my current job, and threw a shindig where I met a guy that I dated and eventually married. So basically, my whole adult life can be traced back to deciding to go with the science classes rather than that internship.

If I think about this too much, I start to wonder what little thing will affect every big thing. On a whim, will I will I attend a monster truck rally where I will meet a woman who will help me get my next job that will require me to move to Siberia? Will I think a book cover looks interesting, causing me to read it and change my mind about key issues which will affect my world view and inspire me to join a cult? Will I decide to go to the Chinese buffet instead of the gym and get hit by an SUV because I went through the light that I would have turned left at had I not given in to the Siren song of House Special Potatoes?

And if I had never gone to class and met VBG, who would my friends be? Who would I have fallen in love with? What kind of job would I have? Would I be any happier? Would my soul feel the loss of what could have been?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Things I Hate that are Popular Anyway

Stranger in a Strange Land. So it's a best-selling cult classic that won a Hugo Award, I still hated it. Plus it's long, so I had lots of time to cultivate my anathema. Why? For one, I am so over Christ figures. It was a good literary device in The Red Badge of Courage and the Bible, but now I grok the inevitable end and it's about as surprising as watching The Sixth Sense for a second time. It's always the same: dead people. For another, Valentine Michael Smith was a huge slut. I suppose the book was hip to the times, but since I read it in 1999 Mr. Smith seemed more a man-whore from Mars than a sexually liberated messiah.

Pulp Fiction. This film won an Academy Award and highest honors at Cannes film festival, which reinforces my opinion that the French are mentally disabled, except when it comes to making me dinner. I don't have anything against Tarantino, I liked Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, and Kill Bill, but damn I wish I'd never watched this movie. Every character (save Butch Collidge) struck me as a waste of life and I wished they would die, so I could rewind and see them die again. The only way I'll rewatch it is if Rankin/Bass remakes it in stop-motion felt-mation and writes in Yukon Cornelius just for me.

Nirvana. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was named a generational anthem and Kurt Cobain a spokesman for generation X. I tried to like them, because MacGyver is a fan and I already deny him Pulp Fiction watching privileges if I'm around, despite his hero worship of Samuel L. Jackson. I just couldn't do it, Kurt came across as whiny and discordant. I watched a biography that pointed out how the band initially divided the profits equally, but Kurt demanded the lion's share when they were super-popular, and then he just came across as an asshole. "Rape Me" made me punish my car stereo for bringing that song into my personal space. It's supposed to be feminist-friendly, but it doesn't hold a candle to "Me and a Gun." Happily, Kurt died and Foo Fighters came to rock my world. Yay!

Thomas Kincade Prints. He's the most collected living artist who wants to bring world peace through the Lord's influence on his works. You know what? It isn't art. It isn't that interesting or pretty. An atheist could do it just as well. The whole lot is very repetitious and predictable: house with nice landscaping and illuminated windows. It is something from the realm of cat sweatshirt people, who hang their prints between Franklin Fucking Mint limited edition baby angel plates and whimsical posters. Why does the work of Mr. Kincade inspire my malice and scorn? Because when I see one of those damn houses, just for a second, I wish I lived in it. It looks like a home where fresh-baked Tollhouse cookies are served daily, where aquariums never grow scum and junk mail never collects exponentially, and where no one gets cancer. Because the pictures make me briefly yearn for a fairy tale, because they show a glimpse of the unreachable, because they make me feel vulnerable to materialism and cat sweatshirtiness, I hate them. A lot.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

No Content, Just Lists

Six days ago MacGyver switched us to a different mobile phone service provider. Part of the deal was that we both got new phones. I miss my old phone. I knew I would. My new one came with a camera, and I couldn't fathom what I would use it for. Apparently, I use it for everything. Since I like listing random things, and I have nothing to post about save my medical terminology grade and my math teacher's latest weirdo tangents, I thought I would share. So far I have taken pictures of my eye, a stuffed bear at the museum, darkness, fireworks, my cat, my cat's girlfriend, the ceiling fan (on negative mode), my uncle and aunt eating Mexican food, sunset, sunset (on negative), powerlines, my brother using his goatee for our baby niece's hat, my sister's in-laws, her children not smiling, my nephew with his pet rock, this awesome dude, and my husband's abdominal muscles. People keep asking me if I can download my pix onto my computer, and I have no idea. It's not like I took the time to read the user's guide. I have to save my reading for passages about myxedema and acromegaly. If I ever figure it out, I will share some of the better ones.

On second thought, since I do like listing things so damn much, here are the tangents: true false questions are immoral (not unfair, but immoral), the process that produces fossils hasn't been working since The Great Flood (yeah, the biblical one), no one in America is denied health care and making it universal would be a huge mistake, and one tangent concerning neuroscience that made me speak up, argue with him, and e-mail my former lab professor about it.

What else can I list? I have two patients in the hospital, one lost her Medicaid, one is about to lose his Medicaid, and one guy may lose his section viii benefit, all while my supervisor is on vacation. I have two finals, a test, a project, and 6 assignments due in 8 days. I am going scream, go home, imbibe vodka, and pass out.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The End is Nigh

It seems like just yesterday I was threatening to heave a pipe bomb at my school unless they registered me for classes, and already I have less then two weeks until this term is over. I spent the weekend doing 9 med term assignments, 4 algebra assignments, and making about 350 flashcards for study aids. I will probably cry with joy when I finish my last final next Thursday.

Since I don't have an internet connection, I use the computer at the family business. The pros are I don't have to deal with paying for and setting up the 'net, the cons are it isn't in the comfort of my bedroom and I am alone during the wee hours on a somewhat sparsely populated highway. This weekend during the non-wee hours, I was minding my own business, answering questions about the pituitary gland and its minions (they don't call it the master gland for nothin'), and a car whips into the parking lot. If this had been a school night I would have immediatly assumed it was an ax-murderer and started running in circles looking for a sharp object to defend myself with. Luckily for me, the family business deals with tools that would put any ax, blood-covered or not, to shame. It turned out to be a lady on her way to a wedding who had gotten lost, and I got to save the day with Mapquest. Although considering Mapquest's accuracy, I may have just made her trip all the more confusing and hellish.

One of my college friends recently became a father, and he sent a fantastic e-mail describing the experience. I have no desire to be a mother, but when I read his story I felt an ache in my heart. He was so happy to have a son, and I can't fathom ever having that kind of joy. If I was pregnant right now, I would be scared out of my mind. I have never thought about having children and had any kind of positive emotion. It's kind of like when I am envious of conservative Christians. I do not share their mindset, I do not agree with many things they believe, I find many of their practices hypocritical, and I would need some kind of brain damage to enter their flock. But to have that kind of faith...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

That'll Teach Me

My Site Meter addiction (and everyone had me pegged for a closet alcoholic. Ha! I'm not that interesting!) just bit me in the ass. About every single hit is due to an images.google search. No big deal, I figure they're looking for naked pictures of Angelina Jolie, and who isn't? Anyway, someone finally found me through a plain old google search, "post evisceration eye" or some such. So of course I have to go check it out, 'cause how bad can it be? Maybe it's something I ought to be writing about. God knows I need a topic that doesn't deal with my people's psychotic episodes, and NO ONE wants to read about graphing polynomial functions, which is the only other thing I have going for me. So I google it too. Fuck puppets! Geez! They only googled one of my all time biggest fears, at least since Jamie almost stabbed me in the eye with a pencil that one time. I managed to not check my stats for a good four days, since they started plummeting like a rock since I realized this isn't a popularity contest, and I should be happy to have a medium that lets extended family (and that resident of Hammersmith [possibly the coolest metal band name never to be used]) know how I'm doing. Luckily I didn't stumble across a site about something really scary like locust plagues, or this post would have been much, much more retarded.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

My Heart Belongs to my Rival*

Sometimes I feel like a fake. I haven't walked through campus alone at 3am lately, I haven't rock-climbed in a few years, I haven't almost died in quite a while, and I haven't kicked anyone in the head since '03. It almost seems wrong to sign off as Danger. I feel so bland sometimes. Then I think, who do I know that has to schlep psychotropic drugs through the ghetto? Who has to wait for the guy who looks dead to twitch so I know he's just on drugs and don't have to feel bad about sprinting away? Who has to be around Crazy Baby-Killing Lady for more than five minutes? Who else walks in on their patient and some very, very angry man rolling joints? And most recently, who has to calm down a psychotic patient so the hospital doesn't have to post security outside of her door? That's right, Danger does it**.

In other news, I have not been this excited since I got a Kitchen Aid mixer. I successfully procured a crock pot. With digital timer. And room for two whole chickens. AND it's pretty. I spent 15 minutes at B, B, and Beyond talking with a sales rep about the pros and cons of every single model. It was like when my husband and brothers talk about Chevys, except interesting. Sadly, I did not have the money to buy a new Cuisinart. Why? Because the damn thing was $250. I could pay my student loan for the next four months for that. Furthermore, if I am going to pay that kind of money for an appliance it had better have an espresso maker and vibrating shower head attachment included, and I am fairly sure Cuisinart isn't into that kind of thing. Unlike Wahl, they're a bit too white bread and puritanical. Wahl is crazy like that, making calibrators, thermal imagers, nose clippers, AND "massagers." So, Cuisinart? When you relax a little and expand your horizons, give me a call.

*I've had comments about the logic of my titles. See, Rival is the producer of my slow-cooker, and I am super pumped about using it this weekend, and I thought this title would explain that in the fewest words, albeit somewhat cryptically if you aren't in the know.

**Damn, that sounds like the name of a bad sitcom. Or an awesome one.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Whose Line is it Anyway?

One of the upsides of my job (besides, um, besides... uhhh...I know! The anti-recycling campaign. Or threats from admisnstration to do 'activity X' and 'activity that completely contradicts X' or else they have to make cuts. Or the smell in the elevator.) is that it is so damn quotable. It just adds to the reality-TV feeling of it all. Here are some examples from patients and co-workers:

"I wish I could afford money."
"My psychiatrist said I was having too much fun so he lowered my Paxil."
"Everything's coming up Olsens!"
"I got a pound of baloney in my pocket, and it's gonna be a good day."
"She's on her way to Acapulco." (incidentally, she was not)
"I'm responsible for ending the Vietnam War."
"You will burn in the fiery lakes of Hell!"
"I only do crazy 8 to 5."
"I'm painting my husband's nails and it's kind of freaking me out."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Eins, zwei, drei, g'suffa!

I invented a drinking game. You play Ants in the Pants according to the normal rules, but every time you miss, you take a shot. Everyone wins.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Danger Dearest

I have a dream to write an advice column. It makes sense, really, because I have a degree in psychology, and counseling and life coaching are elements of my current job. First I'd like to write a sample column, and see what everyone thinks of it. If you have questions I can practice answering, I would more than appreciate receiving them. Once I feel confident about my work, I plan to make a go of doing it for a living. Wish me luck.

Dear Danger,

I have a freind that I love dearly, but there is a small problem. It seems every time we get together she complains excessively about some trivial matter. I want her to feel like she can come to me if she has a real problem, but I don't want to avoid her to get away from the pessimism. What do you suggest?

A Friend in Need

Dear Friend,

If you approach the problem in a proactive manner, you and your friend can both be happy! I suggest you give her something to cry about. You could possibly call her from pay phones and breathe heavily, then leave notes on her windshield that remind her you know where she lives. If that isn't your style, apply for a credit card in her name and slowly but surely destroy her credit rating so profoundly that the bank will blacklist her unborn children for student loans. Or keep it simple and sleep with her husband. She will have a valid complaint then, and you can't begrudge her for that. Plus you'll get friendship points by being the shoulder she cries on. Then everyone's a winner.

Dear Danger,

My husband has been acting out of character lately. I can understand if he occasionally buys porn (men do have needs), but I've found it hidden all over the house. Even worse, when he says he'll be at work late or with the guys he goes to the XXX theater. He says it isn't hurting anyone and he refuses to go to counseling with me. Some days I think it's because I'm not pretty enough, but I'm beginning to suspect it is more his problem than mine. Could he be a porn addict?

For Better or Worse

Dear Whore Worse,

To the untrained mind, your husband would appear to be an addict: the anger, the denial, the lying, etc. After careful examination of you letter, however, I believe this isn't the case. I believe your husband is gay. The porn is his way of overcompensating for his aversion to the female body and at the same time it distracts you from the real issue: you are married to a man that loves cock. He isn't lying to you all the time, he probably is out with the guys, if you know what I mean. This is not an issue that requires couples therapy, it requires a swift divorce and as much alimony as you can get your hands on. I also suggest you get tested for STIs.

Dear Danger,

My life has been on a downward spiral for the last few years. My mother died of a heart attack, my husband ran out on me, my son was taken from me during a long, ugly divorce, I lost my job and health insurance, I can't afford the root canal I so desperately need, I think there's a lump in my breast, and I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning and nothing gives me a sense of peace or happiness. I'm even questioning the existence of God, or at least a merciful, benevolent God. What should I do?

My Life is a Country-Western Song

Dear Country-Western,

Wow. I can totally see why you don't want to get out of bed in the morning, and you have my utmost sympathies. Have you ever considered suicide? Just kidding! No, seriously, Dr. Kevorkian was recently released, so you can make sure it's done right. None of this dilly-dallying around with alcohol and Valium, just a wham, bam, thank you ma'am of eternal slumber. I don't suggest you call the Doctor right away, first you should cram as much hedonism into your life as possible. Sleep around, get high on drugs you warned your kid about, sky-dive, act on impulse rather than logic, and generally party like a rock star. It'll be expensive, but it's not like you're going to be around when the check is due! As a bonus, you'll have those questions answered before you can say "Wait! Wait! I changed my mind!" Good luck!

So is my advice as awesome as I think it is? I'm one step closer to helping actual people with silly problems! You know, I just may change the world with my counsel.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

If I Drink Till I'm Blind I Won't Have to See the Pictures

There are some things humankind was not meant to know. Things that leave mental scars and leave one shrieking like Lady MacBeth, or things that make your flesh crawl and zero in on your primal defense mechanisms, or things like giblets.

For real, do you want to find out what one tastes like? I'd rather eat a raw starfish. Giblets are something the French would eat.

The last chapter in my Medical Terminology class comes very close to this category, it's in between A Sucker Punch to the Throat and The Taste of the Inside of my Left Gym Shoe on the scale of things I never want to comprehend. Because I am forced not merely to read and look at pictures, but to memorize these horrors, I am going to share.

For instance, do you know what a benign cystic teratoma is? I do. It's an ovarian cyst containing skin, cartilage, hair, and motherfucking teeth. Your ovary (or testis, depending) can grow teeth. TEETH! Why aren't you vomiting yet? I would, be but since I drink to dull the pain I'm a little unresponsive. I'm not an idiot, I know what a placenta is. Big deal. But wait! The placenta is actually an organ that you expel through your vagina when it goes out of fashion. Good God, it's like giving birth to your liver! But with a baby leading the way! I'm also a big fan of knowing that not only can I someday experience endometriosis, but I could experience endometrial tissue on. my. small. intestine. Maybe while I'm at it I could grow a chia pet on my spleen, you know, give my abdominal cavity a little more pizzazz.

Thank God I keep vodka handy, because I have to go study now.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Six Clues that I Attend Community College

1. The campus is a building. With a parking lot.

2. My classroom is named for a corporate sponsor. I am in the AAA Casino Classroom, by the Alpha Foundation Classroom, across from the Acme Bank Classroom.

3. There are no sports teams, just a workout center that closes before sundown.

4. No one discusses Greek rush, they discuss their babies and/or baby-mamas.

5. I have had sushi dinners that were more expensive than the cost of one credit hour.

6. Not only is the woman next to me pregnant, but she is under 30, pregnant with her fifth child, and 4 cm dilated. She gave the teacher a doctor's note excusing her from class last week.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Go with the Flow

Last night my mother overdosed.

In retrospect it was kind of funny.

See, she's supposed to take one pill in the morning, and eight of a totally different variety of pill in the evening. This means that when she accidentally switched them she took 8 times her prescribed dose of a diuretic. I called her to chat right when she figured out what she had done, she reported she was doing terribly and had to call the doctor. I raced my little car to her house and started throwing her belongings into the station wagon to take her to the hospital. Her doctor told her to call 911, so I threw everything out of the car and we waited for the ambulance. That is, I waited and she had to pee every five minutes.

First, the fire engine arrived. With lights. And sirens. Not so useful. She excused herself to pee and let someone else deal with the fire fighters. Then, a van and a truck with emergency lights showed up. They just hung out and drove through the yard a couple times. She had to pee again. Finally, the ambulance arrived. She told them what happened and what the doctor requested. She was going to be OK as long as medical staff monitored her blood pressure and made sure it didn't go dangerously low, putting her at risk of renal failure. She peed one last time and told the EMTs to hurry so she could use the hospital's restroom. They strapped her down to a gurney (for liability) and I got to ride in the front seat of the ambulance. I found out that most ambulances are diesel because they have to idle so long, and the EMTs like to play frisbee during said idle time (sometimes they idle for FOUR hours. crazy!). They took her blood pressure every few minutes and it held at about 90/50. Not so super.

Before we even reached the hospital she was asking to use the restroom, by the time we got there she was getting desperate. They couldn't unstrap her until the nurse started treating her (or something) and the nurses said she couldn't get up until they triaged her. It was actually heart-wrenching to watch her have to put up with this bullshit while I could do nothing.

A nurse finally came to her rescue and was regarded as a hero by mom, dad, and me. We got her settled in for her stay, but before we left I made sure to ask her if she thought it ironic that my original plans were to study the urinary system that night.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Just Another Day at the Office

I have been having the best time ever with Crazy Baby-killing Lady. First, I find her on her porch talking as if she's been huffing helium and giggling constantly. I know she can find meth when she wants it, but helium? That's just weird. I take F-bomb to see her the next day so I can utilize his mad crazy-people assessment skills. We figure somethings wrong, but we can't figure out what it is. The following week, I can't find her. Anywhere. She won't answer her door, I can't hear her singing, and there are children's toys, juice, and about 5,000 flies covering her porch. Time to bring F-bomb back. The neighbors come over to talk to us while we're knocking on her door and they report she hasn't been seen in almost a week. That fact coupled with the Amityville Horror feel to the apartment makes us both think she's dead. The neighbors don't stop there, they describe how she's been digging through trash, peeing on the sidewalk, and dancing outside in her underwear. She also left a thank you note attached to a cheetos bag for the next door neighbor. It would have been a sweet gesture had the bag not been filled with shit. The neighbor thinks it's from a dog, F-bomb and I think it's more personal than that. We find the property manager who agrees to search the apartment; luckily and surprisingly, there isn't a corpse. Yet another neighbor wanders over to let us know that she had been calling the cops on CBKL, but the cops said they had to catch her in the act to arrest her because just being crazy isn't against the law. F-bomb makes some calls and finds out she is indeed in jail for disorderly conduct and battery and I am to attend her hearing in the morning. The next day I wait for two hours for her lawyer to present her case, only to discover she has been released. I call the psych ward and she isn't there, I call the court and they won't tell me what has happened with her, or if she has to attend a later hearing. I find her at home, now surrounded by pieces of Hostess Cupcakes. I can't understand half of what she is saying, but she reiterates she is telling the truth. I manage to make out that some witches live down the street and Satan has been riding his Harley (what else would the Prince of Darkness have?) through the neighborhood. Then a man passes on his bicycle and she yells "Keep the Blues alive!" at him, with an enthusiastic wave. Also, they didn't give her any of her antipsychotic meds in jail. But why bother, since being crazy isn't against the law? Later, when I was off for a week with my mom, she gets sent to the psych ward, goes before a judge, pisses him off, and gets a one-way ticket to a mental institution. I helped her every way she would let me and it wasn't enough. It wasn't my fault she ended up this way, but I still have a vague sense of failure about it.

Sometimes I wish I was an accountant.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Tequila is not My Friend

It was odd enough to recceive a comment from a stranger. It was odder to learn my blog has a twin. At first I thought "Fantastic, my blog has an evil twin. Now it's going to have affairs with the local handsome-yet-emotionally-distant surgeon and break his vulnerable heart yet again, steal babies from hospitals, and forge paternity documents all while pretending to be my blog." So I checked out the nefarious counterpart over at www.butternoparsnips.com. To my horror, it was nice! It was the kind of blog your mother would want you to see on a regular basis, not like some blogs that give you your first joint and write the embarrasing details of it on the bathroom wall at school. This means that my blog is the evil twin and I must remain vigilant for fear that my blog seduces a drunken Antonio and fakes a pregnancy in order to steal him from the sweet and seraphic Angeline.

After 31 days of anticipation, the Great Debauchery of 6/08 has come to an end. In the beginning the plan was for a few co-workers and me to take off early and spend the afternoon drinking rather than do any actual work, while being paid to do so. However, plans were elaborated upon and the new mission was for many co-workers to get and keep me drunk as long as possible and burst my karaoke cherry. We started out at a Mexican place (the kind where two of the waiters know English) with chimichanges and strawberry margaritas. Unfortunately, 3 margaritas didn't make much a dent in my sobriety and gave me wicked bad diarrhea (which I recently learned is the union of "dia-" comlete, through, and "-rrhea" to flow). We reconvened at Chicago's house to throw expired food at her garage (the blueberry yogurt was awesome but the cucumber was kind of...leaky) and play "Circle of Death" for 5 hours. Everyone got drunk and bonded and explained why they treated so-and-so as a such-and-such at work and how it will never happen again. I was taken to a bar that served no hard liquor, which pissed me off, and was fed jalapenos by hand and forced to do two karaoke songs. Ned from South Park probably sings better than I do, so I resorted to jumping up and down a lot and holding the microphone away from my mouth. Outside the bar, a group of three boys arguing over a slut confronted me about why two friends and I were laughing at them. I told them we had been making out, so they asked us to please come inside and join them as soon as possible. Yeah, right. I crashed on a friend's couch and woke up feeling very mortal. I've never had a hangover that two rolaids couldn't tame, apparently they were just waiting to all gang up on me this morning.

Mission accomplished.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Does "algebra" even rhyme with anything?

I met my teacher. He is fascinating, in a bizarre sort of way. He resembles Brian Cox and he constantly moves while teaching. He advised us to walk and move as much as possible to prevent pulmonary embolism, which he claims kills "many" people who fly long distances. They do not just die, they die while walking across the tarmac five seconds after arriving in Tokyo. I made up the five seconds and Tokyo part, but he said the dying just after exiting the plane part. Between multiplying binomials and learning all about i, he also mentioned the moon landing may have been faked and Wal-mart funds China who funds America who funds the War in Iraq. My favorite lecture tangent was Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs which morphed into his second wife's desire to replace the carpet. Does life get any better? Probably not.

I was even able to access my on-line medical terminology class. I was only 3 days behind, which gives me all of 4 days to submit 8 assignments and take my first exam over 4 chapters. The key to memorizing terms is to use them in everyday conversation, the repetition solidifies one's understanding, y'know? So tomorrow I will ever so nonchalantly mention I know somebody with blepharoptosis, someone else with thrombocytopenia, and yet a third person with gastroenteritis and a side of achondroplasia. When my peeps/co-workers/parents say "what the fuck?" I can elaborate for my own ulterior motives.

Lest you think I have squandered my time by studying, I will mention I saw "The Waitress" Saturday night. Sweet fancy Moses, I may have hit upon another streak of entertainement wonderfulness. "The Last King of Scotland" begat "The Office: Season II" begat "Hot Fuzz" begat "The Waitress." Spiderman 3 was begat somewhere in there, it was enjoyable though not super. I'll count it anyway. Seeing it with Beth made it super.

Finally, this is for Joe.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Thanks for nothing, Muhammed ibn Musa al-Khowarizmi!

I am taking algebra for the first time in 12 years, which is more than the expected lifespan of a Great Dane. I will spend the next 8 weeks rationalizing my denominators and factoring my primes (wait, no I won't). Tomorrow I may even get to meet my teacher! For some reason he couldn't teach class last night, perhaps he thinks syllabus day is pointless. He told the substitute the wrong room, which got everything off to a fabulous start. He immediately gave us a test with squiggles on it, than cackled that he would give us nightmares. Seriously. The syllabus contained a page on how to format our homework. It has 11 numbered bullets, 24 lettered bullets, and 8 roman numeraled bullets. Here's a taste:

3. The first sheet should be a cover sheet containing the following:
a. Name.
b. Homework ID, Which would usually be Chapter and Section.
c. Table of times worked with columns for:
i. Date;
ii. Start time;
iii. Stop time; and
iv. Time worked

This is my favorite part:

7. Put the cover sheet on top of the pile of homework pages.
8. Fold the stack of papers vertically bringing the right side over the left side
9. Leaving an one-quarter inch gap, crease the fold.

This is verbatim, it makes me glad he is not my grammar teacher. I am also glad the substitute is not my English teacher, he misspelled "nickels" and says unwords like "irregardless."

My class also has a That Guy. This That Guy sits in the back of the class and shouts out comments, asks condescending questions that imply he believes he is smarter than the teacher, and he apparently thinks he's funny. He's not. Trust me. I have not seen this That Guy (I sit in the front), but I would not be surprised if he's one of those too skinny 19 year old That Guys with baggy clothes and bad posture. Only time will tell. Or maybe turning my head will tell too.

I'm trying to think of this as a "Mathemagical Adventure!" There are plenty of cliff-hangers: Will I ever see the true teacher? Will I get an A? Will I care? Will I smack around that annoying waste of carbon? Will I remember how to use a graphing calculator? Will I feel like an idiot most of the time? Stay tuned to find out all these answers and more as I Go! To! Class!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My First Meme

Here are the rules: Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves. Write a post about your own random things. Post these rules. At the end of your blog, tag 8 people and post their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged.

1. I hate large pieces of furniture. They're so...permanent. During a particularly nomadic 36 months I moved seven times and schlepped some things into my friends' basement for a month. So I actually moved my belongings eight times, which is the annoying, shitty part. For obvious reasons I developed my contempt of chiffarobes and kitchen tables: they involve heavy lifting, trucks, and bribes for other people to do the heavy lifting for me. Ironically, I married a carpenter.

2. My favorite word is "rapscallion." The runners-up are "bittersweet" and "mezzanine."

3. I have done more things to bodies than anyone else I know. I have bathed, massaged, straight cathed, enema-ed, sliced, diced, clothed, polished, fed, medicated, taken fluids (blood, urine, sputum, vitrious fluid, and bile), toileted, kicked, and joint-locked. If you count what I've done to rats and sexual things (to people! you sick bastard!), I would probably have twice as many verbs listed.

4. I have watched Army of Darkness roughly five thousand million dozen times. I used to be able to speak the entire script along with the movie. VBG bought If Chins Could Kill for me (and it's signed! Groovy!) and it remains one of my prized possessions.

5. My favorite physical feature is a facial scar. I don't know when or how I got it, but there it is. I love it because it is a mystery, and it isn't a body part I can compare to other people's and then smother my inferiority complex with Phish Food.

6. I am the last of 6. My mother is the last of 5. Her mother was the last of 12. If you add miscarriages, I am the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. Yet I have no mystical powers. At least, none that I use for good.

7. I wrote my first book at the barely-literate age of 6. The plotline revolved around my journey to a lost kingdom where I found treasure and unicorns. I wrote my second book in the third grade. This time I journeyed to various worlds, eating more sugar than necessary, exploring jungles, and slaying dragons, for which I was rewarded with treasure. It was made possible by a leprechaun that I rescued on page two. Senior year of high school I wrote an outline for my third book. I refuse to show it to anyone, but I will say it involves a journey (no treasure though).

8. I am the world's foremost Proust scholar.

This is the part where I tag 8 people. Except I don't think I know 8 people who haven't done this. Let me think about it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Suck Beyond All Measure

Have you ever felt helpless?

Wednesday night my mother had to visit the ER due to overwhelming kidney pain. She had been peeing blood and blood clots for over a week, so everything that goes wrong smacks of death. I called her oncologist and her palliative care doctor to keep them updated, then never left her side until 1:30am. I got her to accept a painkiller and she was admitted to the hospital. Thursday morning I filled my boss in one which of my patients needed assistance (I almost got to cry in front of him for the second time) and spent most of the day in her room. That afternoon I helped her sign up for hospice. The bleeding in her lungs caused scarring so she's on oxygen, plus hospice gave her a wheelchair for outings. I hang around hoping she'll give me something to do. I can't cure her, so I dust and do laundry instead. My mother is dying and all I can do is housework. Fuck.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

342 days and counting

The glut of birthdays is nearly over. By nearly over I mean I just celebrated three and the next one isn't until June 1st. Plus I have yet to give MacGyver his birthday card which I have been saving for 2 years, if saving means I keep forgetting to give it to him. His birthday and F-bomb's fall on the same day, which is awkward when I consider that on May 8th we are the only two people on Team F-bomb guaranteed to get cake and sex. I was put in charge of giving my boss his gift by the rest of my team. Trust me, they will not make that mistake again. To ensure less responsibility in the future I gave our boss a sympathy card. I found it hilarious.

Jews have all the fun. True, they have to deal with stereotypes, circumcision, persecution, discrimination, and genocide, but they still get eight crazy nights to celebrate Hanukkah. Catholics don't even have eight holidays that equal that kind of partying! We have Christmas, Easter, Christmas eve, Fat Tuesday, St. Nicholas' Day, and not much else, which is all nullified by 40 days of Lent. My parents made us give up television every year for Lent. That sucked balls, man. I'm trying to talk MacGyver into celebrating our birthdays for eight days each next year. I am confident that I can successfully celebrate his B'day for eight days, I am not so sure he can do the same. Remember when he made me cry by not getting me a Christmas present? I sure do. Sometimes a sympathy card holds no irony for my birthday.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Things I Hate About Babies

At best babies are cartilaginous, but usually they are invertebrates. Try picking one up sometime, it feels like an 8 pound sea cucumber. I'm always afraid I'll snap part of it off and the baby pieces will regenerate (like starfish) and then there will be TWO babies. Like we really need that.

Babies have too much gravity. They may weigh about 8 pounds but it feels like 48. I try to hold them but my arms always fall asleep under the crushing forces they exert. Perhaps they would be more comfortable on the Moon.

Babies are stupid and I have proof. A friend and I came up with an idea to profit off their ignorance by getting babies to sign contracts stating they will give us money to dangle keys in front of them once a day. It would work because they are too stupid to know the value of money versus jingly, shiny objects. If people actually cared about babies they would pass laws to protect babies from themselves. But no one cares.

Every baby has the potential to grow up to be the Antichrist. Since bleeding heart liberals (Christian conservatives say the same thing contingent upon the baby is still in utero. I guess they figure babies can't do much damage in there.) argue against killing every baby, so learn how to protect yourselves, people! Babies are 10 times more likely to be the Antichrist if they are named Damien, have a 666 birthmark, are telepathic towheads, have a lifetime membership to the Illuminati and the NRA, and are like a leopard, and their feet are as the feet of a bear, and their mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gives them his power, and his seat, and great authority. Having the name Paris Hilton is a dead giveaway.

Hitler was once a baby. So were Nero, Pol Pot, Carrot Top, Paul Walker, Dick Cheney, Charles Manson, Ron Popeil, and David Berkowitz. I sense a pattern.

Monday, May 7, 2007

By the Power of Grayskull

I sort of have a list of people I want to have a drink with. Jack Black used to be number one, I figured he'd be hilarious when hammered. I have revised said list: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are my first choices.

You can currently see them, as I did, in Hot Fuzz. You may remember them from Shaun of the Dead. If you don't, you either have poor taste in films (Remind me not to let you pick out a video next time, ok? I don't want you fucking things up. Retard.) or someone slipped you roofies. If you think you can escape my judgemental insults by claiming amnesia, let me refresh your brain:

Ed: "Purple Rain"?
Shaun: No.
Ed: "Sign o' the Times"?
Shaun: Definitely not.
Ed: The "Batman" soundtrack?
Shaun: Throw it.

"Hot Fuzz" rocked my world due to the quotableness and hilarity. It is a movie that gains more depth with each viewing (Like The Princess Bride. I watched it in elementary school and I'm still catching things. Last week I discovered a guilder and a florin are the same thing). A lot of scenes and quotes were lifted from other buddy cop movies, I don't think I'll be able to watch Point Break or Bad Boys II without thinking Nick Angel did it better (What am I talking about? I was never able to watch Point Break. I always fall asleep after 15 minutes. Or maybe that was just rohypnol.). In Shaun Simon Pegg portrayed a slacker very well so I was surprised that he could do just as well as a by-the-books supercop. He could actually act and stuff! There are many reasons to see this movie, but most importantly there is dialogue like this:

Danny Butterman: Where's the trolley boy?
Nicholas Angel: In the freezer.
Danny Butterman: Did you say anything like 'cool it'?
Nicholas Angel: Umm, no, not really.
Danny Butterman: Awww, shame.
Nicholas Angel: Well, you would have been proud of me before, when he attacked me in the hotel and I distracted him with the cuddly toy and I said, "Playtime's over" and hit him over the head with the plant pot.
Danny Butterman: Man, you're off the fuckin' chain!

Today's post is not very inspired. If you suspect I am distracted, you would be correct, sir. Mom went into the hospital Thursday and is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. This even overshadows the suck of my car getting sick. I am tempted to spend the evening eating phish food and watching movies. However, I will be shopping for birthday presents for MacGyver and F-bomb. Suck.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Be Honest. I Can Take It.

I can't think of anything to write for the "About Me" portion of this blog. I am completely uninspired. All I can think of is "I have brown hair! I hate Wal-Mart and iceberg lettuce! I fear rejection and grasshoppers!" Please nominate material for said entry. Perhaps you would like to suggest that I forgot my name that one time when I was 17, or that I have the upper body strength of a quadriplegic (except for these guys), or that I can hold a grudge like it's my job. Thank you for your support.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I Pity the Fool!

Last night I called MacGyver, who is currently working on an out of town project. Sometimes I feel sorry for him for having to be the husband.

Me: Hey, MacGyver, I have a problem.
MG: What's up?
Me: I got some pants from a coworker today. I can put them on easily, but I can't tell if I look good in them.
MG: So?
Me: How are pants supposed to look? If they fit do they automatically look OK, or what? I don't know if I can go out in public in these.
MG: Do you realize what you are asking me?
Me: [Looooong pause] I'm asking you if these pants make me look fat.
MG: While I'm 220 miles away.
Me: And can't see me. You knew I was merciless when you married me. Can you just pretend I look OK?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hunt for the Great White Sea Bunny

Sunblock? Check. Grapes? Check. Time tested approach blown to Hell at the last minute resulting in a mad dash to remedy the situation no matter the cost? Check. Behemoth canoe? Check. 45 year old map? Check. Vague sense of direction? Check. Three pound drill hammer? Check. Bike lock? Check. Time to rock.

My first canoe trip was spent sitting in the boat and not allowed to paddle. That was left to my sister and Mean Patrick. Yobahoo intermitently threw mating frogs into the canoe and that's about all I remember: frustration and frog sex. The second time I was actually allowed to paddle and my camp counselor and I beat a pair of boy-campers in a race. So she put me in the camp's grand finale relay race. I was supposed to go another time senior year, but due to a fractured vertebra I was thwarted. H, her friend, and velocibadgergirl took me to the Blue River when I was out of the brace to make up for it. Canoeing became my favorite hobby. For seven summers VBG and I have run the Blue and made it our bitch. We aren't the strongest chicks, but together we exceed the sum of our parts.

This year, the eighth run, was an unexpected test of our skills. Less than 48 hours before our trip we discovered the livery wasn't renting canoes until May. Not cool. She got a topo map from 1962 and some internet map-ishness, I arranged to haul my (and MacGyver's) canoe. I love having a canoe, but I am not so fond of this particular model. It will always have a special place in my heart because MacGyver presented it to me at our wedding reception and I have spent some wonderful afternoons in it, but GODDAMN! The motherfucker weighs nearly 80 lbs, is 3 feet wide, and 16 feet long. He tosses the thing around like a rag doll and I can barely manage to hold my end over my head. Anyway, we get to the general location of our put-in and the real roads do not match the map roads. We get some directions that involve only right turns (but no road names) and we're off. We find Rothrocks pretty easily after 3 right turns and lock the canoe to a sign. Finding the take-out was more of an adventure. After a few more right turns I know we are lost. I know because what should have been a highway is a road in BFE. We find a farmer who gives us directions to the bridge, and after 2 more right turns we're there. Then we just have to leave the her car and retrace our route, which is pretty simple since it is all left turns.

At the put-in we got some advice from a random kayaker and a hand with the green leviathon. I stop freaking out and rejoice, because the day is absolutely perfect. The water is fast and high (and wide), the sky is true blue, the squirrels are hanging upside down, and we don't see another person for hours. Usually we have to portage several times since the water gets so low. This year we flew through rapids, averaging 3 miles and hour and getting up to 14.3 on the sweetest rapid I've ever experienced. I was airborne, we almost hit a tree, I nearly lost an oar, the waves were two feet high, and it felt like flying. Canoeing with anyone is fun, but with VBG it goes to another level. I prefer sitting up front and paddling on the right, she likes to sit in the back and paddle on the left. She is the only person I've paddled with who moves right in time with me, after a while our thoughts start to sync up and one of us says just what the other is thinking. We saw wood ducks and mergansers but no otters. We saw an otter the first year and I have ached to see another.

The drive back was reasonably exciting, we decided to try a different road, one that may have been the road we saw on the topo map that would have made getting to the put-in easy. Soon the "road" turned into a one lane gravel...strip, there were uphill hairpin turns that nearly froze us in our tracks, and everything was pitch black. Since I didn't have a clue as to where we were or how to escape, we chose directions randomly. Eventually we found our way to the interstate and I had a horrible realization that if the metal part of the canoe carrier that I had been hammering failed, the canoe would fly off the truck and possibly kill my best friend. OR I could hit a deer while driving 75 mph. My brain is so sadistic sometimes.

There was never a bloody tragedy and my mind has been punished with Kahlua and a good scolding for fucking with me; rather, we drove a lot, ate more food at Denny's than is generally regarded as safe, and went far too long without a shower. Next year's trip has a lot to live up to, and then we'll have a tenth year trip to awesomize. Maybe a two day trip? Maybe a week in the boundary waters? Maybe coastal kayaking? Definitely another trip that proves we are not Danger and Adventure for nothing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I Sing the Body Electric

Eight years ago today my life took a dramatic turn. I had been eighteen for two days and America was generally in shock over the Columbine shootings. I was ecstatic because the Ass-Fucks of the Honors Lane had completely stopped bullying me AND I had a rock climbing gym pass. You know what I'm talking about. I must have approached light speed because time slowed: I had enough time to enjoy the acceleration, realize what was happening, and calmly accept my impending death. My last thought was almost "So this is how I die." Then time returned to normal and the screaming began. I remember feeling embarrased because I had never been so loud and I couldn't make myself shut up. Someone asked me to wiggle my toes and I couldn't. I could see them but they wouldn't respond. Those bitches completely ignored me. Finally the left big toe waved "Yo." One of the EMTs happened to be my brother's friend that I had met days earlier. I did not see him again until the Anthrax/Rob Zombie concert last year and I was wearing the same pants. The X-ray technicians found a rock on the stretcher. I still have it, I named my rock Lucky and he lives in a tiny purse with the bloodstone ring MacGyver gave me the night I realized I would marry him.

April 24th is the one day a year when any body issues I have are completely moot. This is the day I feel deservedly shallow wishing I could be thinner or stronger or prettier or taller or an artist's model or a model for Mountain Gear catalogue. This is the day I wear sandals and watch my toes wiggle every chance I get. This is the day I am astounded that I can see and walk and swim and climb trees and jump-kick and shut up whenever I choose. This day I marvel all the more because I have studied anatomy and neuroscience and I know how complex and beautifully my body works. This day feels like a second birthday.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sisyphean Labor of the Damned

The good news is that this week I signed up for Algebra! Third (squared) time was a charm :) After 10 phone calls to 7 people, a fax, and several hours on the computer, I went to the registrar and told her my sob story. Fifteen minutes later I had signed away every Tuesday and Thursday night for 8 weeks and owed the school $391. As much as I suck at math, I suspect the hard part is over.

Fortunately I will be able to read at lunch instead of trying to sign up for classes. I'm reading The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel (That's my lunch book. In the bedroom I have Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Sammy's Hill in the car, Lone Wolf and Cub in the sun room, and Hard Eight in my discman. I just finished Nickel and Dimed and Letter to a Christian Nation awaits me) which is absorbing and I wish it didn't have a last page. I wish it was infinite, which is the thing that looks like sunglasses. I read Kimmel's A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch a few years ago, which are non-fiction, and I recommend the former for everybody. It made me laugh. Solace is fiction and it made me decide she expresesses my second most favorite style (Ray Bradbury's style is my favorite). The characters are fascinating, though I may not have found them realistic if I didn't know so many interesting, quirky living people. It is also a useful book: I had to write a note to a sick co-worker and lifted a couple of lines out of Solace. I will be very disappointed if the ending isn't as good as the beginning and middle. My expectations are pretty high and I fear it won't be a happy ending. The happiest way it could end is the most predictable ending, if she goes all literary on me I will probably be sad and mope around for a few days until I eat half a bag of Hershey Kisses and in a sugar-fueled rage I scribble her a scathing, critical letter demanding a rewrite that I never send because I secretly wish the author and I could be friends one day.

I made a double batch of flitter noodles this morning. I also had an adventure yesterday, but that is for another post.