Saturday, November 14, 2009

Yes, I Can


I have been working for this since March of 2007. I took 10 science and math prerequisite classes, studied my ass off to earn all As, job-shadowed for over 140 hours, went through the application process twice, faced rejection once, and received an acceptance letter yesterday.

I start classes June 14, 2010, and I graduate in the spring of 2013 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where the Sidewalk Ends

One of the things I miss about living in Bloomington (besides Aver's pizza, theatrical productions, lower humidity, hawt guys, and The Chocolate Moose) is the plethora of hiking trails, so on vacation in Acadia MacGyver and I made hiking a priority. A trail we had our eye on from the start was the Precipice Trail, widely considered the toughest hike in the park. We didn't attack it the very first day, we waited until I was lulled into a false sense of security after summitting Mount Penobscot.

When we hit the trailhead I read multiple warnings: hikers should turn back if they were prone to acrophobia, pets and small children were not allowed, and there was the risk of your heart exploding and the park service would not be the ones dragging your sorry ass out while you clutched your chest dramatically. Twenty feet in MacGyver had to turn back for a forgotten item, I said I'd wait there because I was not going to do that twenty feet again if I didn't have to. It was practically vertical! Well, it was definitely UPWARDS. As I waited for him a dragonfly the size of my forearm zoomed around some trees and charged me, and stopped to hover half an inch from my right ear. It sounded like a locust apocalypse, and I could just see it out of the corner of my eye, lurking like something from The Mist. I felt pretty awesome about it until my partner returned. I asked MacGyver if he'd ever been bitten by a dragonfly, and he reassured me that he had, and it hurts like a bitch.

The Precipice Trail is the hardest trail I've ever done. For half a mile I heaved my poor, pathetic body against the grain of gravity, and the one time I didn't maintain three points of contact I nearly lost my balance and hurtled to my death. At strategic points along the trail iron bars were drilled into the granite, creating ladders, handholds, and bridges. Several times I scooped up trail dust to combat sweaty palms, a hazard when clinging to a smooth iron rung bolted to a treacherous cliff face. The warning signs had not been joking around; I broke out in cold sweats more frequently as I ascended, calmed only with the promise that death would be swift if I fell.

Besides being an arduous death march, the Precipice Trail offers absolutely gorgeous views of the ocean, forests, and other mountains. I wished my mother could have seen this before she died, and felt heartbroken she was gone. Everyone knows it sucks to lose a loved one, but it's hard to comprehend the chronic missing-piece feeling that dogs you the rest of your life. Minutes later I came up behind a woman whose hair looked just like mom's did. It was bittersweet, feeling like I could see her but not touch her.

When we reached the summit the sky was turning gray, the temperature was dropping, and the breeze had a bite to it. I, however, was burning up, and stripped down to my camisole to cool off. We suspected the rain would start soon, but I was loathe to leave; I had made it to the top and I was going to stay on top. On the summit I had my picture taken with the mom-ish woman facing away from the camera, because that's the kind of freak I am. I chatted with her for a while and learned she and her husband live in Denver, and they were in Maine on a bicycle tour. I was secretly pleased she was a sweet lady. MacGyver and I took pictures and soaked in the views, and eventually headed down Mount Champlain the back way, getting a close-up of a squirrel on our way.

The Precipice Trail was jam-packed with beauty and danger, and I can't wait to hike it again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In My Opinion

I just watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine on DVD.

The plot was convoluted, the dialogue sucked, the pacing was erratic, Gambit and Sabretooth were miscast, the character development was lacking, Hugh Jackman posed more than acted, the climax fizzled, and the ending was a letdown.

Other than that, it was actually pretty bad.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Here We Go Again

I have become one of Those Bloggers, the ones that post every couple of months. In my defense I'll state that my life is Very Busy, and I don't have internet at home, and it's not like I have groupies anxiously waiting with bated breath for my next post. It is kind of nice to have some aspect of my life with a low-set bar, to have low standards and not really care.

Since I last posted MacGyver and I road-tripped to Acadia and Shenandoah National Parks, and BOY HOWDY was that awesome. I climbed mountains with ocean views and biked carriage trails and science-geeked out on geology/astronomy/birding activities. I earned a senior ranger badge and ate clam chowder and posed for mucho photographs. I have officially visited 43 states now, and hope to visit 5 more before I'm 30. Good times.

When we returned home I was informed Job needs companionship 24/7, so my sister keeps a schedule of who can sit with him when. The whole situation is just horrible: he's in a lot of pain and is dying slowly, so he could be in pain for months more. He's grouchy a lot, and illogical, and frustrates the Hell out of me. I'm grieving for the brother I had. There's a lot more to the story, but this is all for now. Can't use up all my fodder at once, can I?

My best friend is pregnant and I threw her a baby shower last Saturday. I planned and organized the fuck out of that thing, making lists and spreadsheets and visualizing what would be needed when, and launched myself into a baking/cooking rampage the day before and got to bed at 3 a.m. I had help and appreciate it very much, but some things I wanted done a certain way and decided to do myself. In the end it was worth it, the shower went pretty smoothly and a good time was had by all. Then I went home and napped.

MacGyver has resumed the kitchen remodel! The walls are all mudded and He has built casings for the over-fridge and under-sink cabinets. I'm positively tingly with giddiness.

Shenandoah National Park

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


MacGyver and I leave for Maine in less than two weeks, which means we have a lot of preparation that I'll probably put off until the night before. Fortunately for me MacGyver is the responsible one and I profit from his labor. We've decided to drive my '96 Buick Roadmaster to Acadia NP, so the other night he bought and attached a bike rack to the roof of the car. This completely changes the vibe of my ride.

BEFORE: "Hello, I'm a Buick Mom-mobile. I can safely seat up to nine passengers, perfect for taking your large brood of home-schooled children on educational day trips. I offer spacious cargo room for groceries and boxes of off-brand high-waisted jeans. Praise Jesus!"

NOW: "They don't call me the Roadmaster for nothing. Check out this sweet bike rack, baby. My driver is obviously an extreme athlete and all-around awesome person of great kick-assness. Usually the far back is used to stow outdoor adventuring gear, but you can imagine a carpeted space like this also allows my loose-moralled driver to indulge in other satisfying activities. It's all good."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Always Thinking

Since no one is going to give me any accolades and I don't feel like working hard enough to earn them, I've decided to invent awards to present to myself. I can make ribbons and trophies and certificates to accompany them, I can even notarize them to make them all official. I deserve a prize for this mother-flippin' awesome idea.

We started seeds and planted 48 tomato plants too close together, thinking we'd thin them as they died. None of them died. They grew and orgied and made fugloads of tomatoes. This August MacGyver and I have put up dozens of gallons of tomato juice, sauce, whole tomatoes, and puree. We can on Friday nights, weekends, and whatever nights he's exhausted tired from work (It doesn't matter how I feel. One energetic MacGyver is worth four of me, so he often pulls my wieght). The leaves on two varieties are finally dying off and IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME. We easily overfill a five gallon bucket every two days with the tomato harvest. I'm ready for the tomatoes to disappear so the house doesn't smell like a ketchup factory all the time. I will say it's a nice problem to have.

Speaking of problems, cancer SUCKS. When my brother was admitted to the hospice program the doctor prescribed morphine. Which is great for controlling his pain and he isn't suicidal all the time now. Yay! Unfortunately his memory is shot and his temper erupts unexpectedly and sometimes violently (not physically violent, yay!). I don't know if these are side effects from the morphine or if the cancer has metastasized to his brain. Sigh.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I don't have many solid memories of my grandfather.

I remember he usually wore a suit and tie. I remember sitting on his knee and feeling the slippery scratchiness of his wool jackets and breathing in his aftershave scent. He would bring ziploc bags full of pink gum, raisins, and cracker jacks when he visited us. When we visited him he would give me Bugles, and I would slip them over my fingers and wiggle them about before eating them. He took me to the zoo and I fed the giraffes leaves I found on the ground. He took me to McDonald's and I would always order a cheeseburger just ketchup. He taught me to draw little Vs to represent birds in flight. He gave me five dollar bills slipped into a fancy card for birthday presents. He took us to Dairy Queen after school Christmas programs. I loved him fiercely.

When he died I was 8, he was 85. He died of bone cancer about a month after his diagnosis. We thought he was going to get better at first, but he never did. I drew Get Well Soon cards for him and my mom and I would see him in the hospital in the evenings. At his wake I wrote him a letter and my mom tucked it into his jacket pocket, and I have repeated that ritual for other loved ones several times since. His death brought relatives to town that I had never met before: my uncle Jack, my cousins Tony and Mark. I keep a picture of grandpa and me on my bookshelf - I'm just a baby and I'm looking him right in the eye. We're both bald. I like to think I loved him even then.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Now What?

Sometimes I look at my blog and think, "What's the fucking point?"

Friday, July 17, 2009


  • On July first the university of my choice updated its application materials and I've spent this month getting my Physical-Therapy-School-Take-Me! shit together. In February I had the brilliant insight that I'd be running around like a decapitated chicken about now, so I ordered most of my school transcripts then. My biggest obstacle is writing an essay that doesn't blow. So far I'm failing with that.

  • At work I'm getting trained to proctor employment test. Though we don't give as many as of those as the academic tests, they're more profitable and the consequences of fucking up are much more dire. I've been there long enough that I'm getting more chummy with my coworkers, which is nice. Even my supervisor talks to me more. One of the best parts of my job is having a closet filled with neatly organized office supplies. It's like candy, but without the tooth decay.

  • My kitten is so cute she makes me want to implode with squee. And she is SO SOFT, and her tail is so luxurious she'd fit in with Mac's cats. She's constantly terrorizing Gonk and Domino but they're finally learning to deal with it.

  • I've harvested oregano, rosemary, strawberries, sugar snap peas, snow peas, sweet corn, enough basil for a batch of pesto, and cherry tomatoes. We have five zillion green tomatoes and several peppers we could pick now, or let ripen further. The pumpkins are close to done and the biggest watermelon is the size of a ping pong ball. I've already started a list of what I want to add to next years garden.

  • As I type Mikey and some buddies are ripping out the walls of our kitchen. In a few days they should be rewired, insulated, and drywalled, plus two windows will be replaced and one window will be added. Then: redoing one more wall, fixing the subfloor, replacing the door, laying vinyl flooring, painting, building cabinets and an island, plumbing a dishwasher, and the other two thousand things that have to be done.

  • My brother is not doing well. I am rather distressed. The tumors are causing nerve failure. He's constantly in pain and won't go to the doctor. He won't get more chemo until the pain subsides, which won't happen unless he gets a new pain control regimen. Which the doctor has to prescribe. That would be the doctor that he isn't seeing. A few of us have suggested hospice, but he says he's not ready. He's talked to the priest about buying a burial plot. Buddha hit the nail on the head when he said life is pain.

  • I've been making to-do lists for my BFF's baby shower. I have umpteen cousins and have been to multiple dozens of baby showers over the years. So, I don't know babies but I know showers. I'm aiming to make baby shower history with the awesomeness I'll wreak, but really I'd settle for some people showing up.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Of my 10 nieces and nephews, Baby Bunny resembles me the most.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The gleaming candlelight, still shining bright through the sycamores for me.

When I was a kid I'd tromp through the fields to play in the creek with my brothers. It wasn't nearly big enough to swim in, so we chased bugs and looked for minnows, followed deer tracks along the banks, made mud castles and used crawdad towers for turrets. Years later my mom informed me it wasn't really a creek, it was a drainage ditch.


Yesterday I got a call for help from MacGyver that concluded in me cancelling social plans and driving an hour and a half through southern Indiana to pick him up from a job site. I was almost cranky about it. Then I wasn't. I filled my gas tank, bought a diet root beer, tucked my road atlas into the passenger seat like a security blanket, and I was off.

I have lived in Indiana my entire life. My choice to stay here is based entirely on proximity to friends and family. I have visited 35 states and four foreign countries, and there are many places that far surpass Indiana in many ways. As I drove to my true love I really looked at the scenery and the small towns, I really tried to see.

I passed barns with the commandments painted across the broad sides, storage units with second-hand children's toys strewn about, baseball games played in the haze and humidity, kids on hand-me-down bikes in packs, floppy-eared black dogs with their heads held high with the knowledge they are loved.

Indiana is not a beautiful state in the same way that California or Colorado is beautiful. We don't have mountains or ocean views or nice weather. I think the beauty is in the tenacity of the people who live here, and in the loving eye of the beholder. Yes, the vast corn rows smack of factory farming, but those verdant fields are still oh-so-easy to gaze upon. I've driven through these little towns when the economy was stronger, and now the buildings are worse for wear, but they still stand. Indiana is a comfortable state for me, I know what to expect and I know how to look for my own fun. I know how to appreciate the fireflies and distant thunderstorms and phantom-white sycamores lining a mud-brown river. I know how to feel at home.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Watching someone you love suffer from cancer is harder than you'd think.

Monday, June 8, 2009


OW? OW OW OW! ow ow ow ow ow ow.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Future is Sometime!

People are always asking me, "Danger, is it the future yet? How can you tell?" I'm happy to provide the answer*, but I recognize the need for a checklist, so you can tell exactly when the future arrives yourself. Check off seven of nine items and you can be certain the future is now!

-Transparent Aluminum A substance vitally important for the survival of the humpback whale. Excitingly, it sort of exists now as aluminum oxynitride. The future is indeed at hand!

-Flying Cars Duh.

-Robot and Android Slaves They dream of freedom. And electric sheep.

-Robot Masters Indicates the distant future.

-Detroit collapses Next up, robot cops!

-Fancy helmets As technology advances, everything gets smaller and lighter. Except helmets.

-Wyld Stallyns is considered the greatest band of all time. Only in a utopic future, though. In a dystopic future it's Matchbox 20.

-Phasers Because what's the point of living in the future if I can't say "Set phasers on stun" and mean it?

-The Rapture We would have experienced Ragnorak except Baldr lost the arm wrestling match.


Friday, May 29, 2009


My kitten is so damned cute. And suicidal. She's two and a half pounds of fluff and energy, which she uses to pounce on Gonk and Domino and has earned her the nickname "Rocket Pants." Domino has figured out that if she stays on top of the washer nothing can hurt her. Gonk is retardedly trying to cling to his dignity and go about his daily routine. They snarl and hiss when she's being really annoying, but she doesn't speak Cat and thus is not frightened one bit. That, or she has no sense of self-preservation whatsoever. I'm not really sure how describe her personality except as manic. She purrs as soon as you touch her, she loves belly rubs, and she follows us room to room like the big kitties do, so I'm hoping she'll be a cuddler someday. If not, well, I can always mail her to Abu Dhabi, like in the Bugs bunny cartoons. That always worked well.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

This Week's Tally

Tape Deck: 2 Me: 0
Oven Timer: 2 Me: 0
Computer: 3 Me: 0
Toaster: 0 Me: 2 Ha ha! Take that, bitch! Take it all!
Turn Signal: 1 Me: 0

Machines: 8 Me: 2

I feel like I'm being primed for when robots rule the Earth.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Writer's Block

I'm doing something I didn't think I'd do again.

I'm writing fiction. For fun.

A few weeks ago I was washing dishes and listening to a story on All Things Considered about how adults don't draw for fun, but they should. I thought about how I still sometimes draw for fun, and didn't think the story was really relatable, and pitied the poor inhibited bastitches. Then I thought of things I'd given up when I realized I wouldn't make money at it: playing piano, photography, writing. I used to write all the time, and not just the horrible poems I posted. Mostly short stories, but I also had ideas for novels, and I scribbled out a very, very rough draft for one of them my senior year. Two of my high school teachers encouraged me to pursue an English or Writing Degree, but I never did, though I published a short story in a college literary magazine. The last time I actively wrote was the summer after my freshman year of college. I even had a few sleepovers with Velocibadgergirl where we holed up in my room with the stereo playing and a candle* burning, writing our hearts out. I was such a dork. And I loved it.

Then I just...stopped. I composed a few poems sophomore year of college, but the spark was out. I felt uninspired for the first time since I was literate. As soon as I learned to write, I authored a book. In the first grade I scrawled a really long story about journeying to a kingdom made of diamonds and my ensuing adventures. There were unicorns, I remember. I threw it out in the fifth grade, and I wish I still had it because I'm sure I'd laugh my ass off if I reread it. I wrote and illustrated my second book in the third grade, which I still have somewhere. It features a dragon. I'm pretty sure there's a unicorn mentioned, but I'm not certain.

So, I'm writing. No, you cannot see it. At least, not unless 1) it's done and 2) you're one of my best friends and 3) you promise to not hurt my feelings when I ask you how you liked it. I'm open to a writing-themed slumber party, though. I'll even supply the pillows and cookies.

*When I burned a certain purple candle, I wrote better. I saved it, just to remember how much fun I used to have.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I don't really believe in karma, I haven't seen enough proof that one gets what one deserves to truly believe. But I didn't write that I don't believe, I wrote that I don't really believe. I still find anecdotal evidence for it, like my sister's daughter Dolly. Having to raise your clone seems pretty karmic to me. The latest anecdotal evidence for it is ending up with exactly what I was trying to avoid. I did not want a third cat. I did not ever want a long-haired cat. I planned on always adopting grown cats. Guess what's living in my solarium?

Right now I'm telling people we're fostering with the option to adopt. See, on April 20th my brother was visiting our mom's grave and found her. He took her to the vet the following day for treatment for her respiratory infection and get checked for feline leukemia and the like. He called me immediately to ask if I was interested in adopting her, to which I wholeheartedly responded NO. Two weeks later our other brother Job moves back to their house, and he's allergic to cats, so he had to find her a home right away. MacGyver had already asked me to make her his birthday present*. We've had her since Saturday. He did agree that we'll find her another home if she is a jerk or if Gonk and Domino hate her. Honestly, I think I'm stuck with her. Fortunately, she is so damn cute, and she hasn't been acting like a jerk yet. Mostly she plays with string and pounces on little pieces of cardboard. She's 10 weeks old and weighs 1.5 pounds, 75% of her volume is fluff. My brother called her Wheezie, but we're discussing other names. I'm pushing for MoCa (or Moca). Her black hairs have a cinnamon cast, kind of like mocha, but MoCa stands for Mobile Cactus. If you've handled kittens, you know what I mean.

*All he wants for his birthday is a little pussy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy 42nd Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

In this photo, mom was around my current age and pregnant with my sister. I love this photo because they are standing in a way that is staged, but their happiness looks so spontaneous. Also, I was born about 13 years later, so these are people I love but never knew at this stage in their lives. When I look at this picture my heart aches and sings at the same time.

Many thanks to Evil Ducky for repairing and ameliorating the original photograph.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Laying It All Out

Because I have nothing else positive to talk about, and because I like it when other bloggers share their teen angst poetry, today I am posting some of mine. You've been warned.

This gem is untitled and was written in 1998:

What would happen if I took this turn
and never thought back?
Can I make myself be a good girl
and stay the beaten track?
To turn my life from loathe to hope,
it is my dream come due.
My life lies crumbled under my feet,
and it's because of you.
You have run me down in this circle,
you shush me when I speak.
You've sapped my spirit in this cycle,
I'm tired and I'm weak.
I stopped following now I'm dragging,
because I'm on your leash.
You expect me to beg on command,
but wait until I breach.
I'll take off the halter and the reins,
I'll knock the fences down.
Unrestrained I'll fly off and away,
I'll never turn around.

My favorite part is how I have superpowers when all the bondage gear is stripped away. Next!

Also from 1998:

Finding Sense

Once I thought I'd die for you
and now I think I did,
'cause as soon as you left me,
my senses ran and hid.
After weeks of feeling empty,
feeling no love nor pain,
I decided to move on,
and find some sense again.
Depression was waiting at the door,
Anger was close behind.
Bitterness was watching lovers
and wasn't hard to find.
Rage and Hate were hand in hand
with Agony in tow.
Apathy was on a crowded street
just going with the flow.
I walked into a crowded room
where I got Rejected.
Forlorn sat on the sidelines
visiting Dejected.
I found Peace in the churchyard
while Hope danced in the rain.
Dignity held her head up high
and tried to comfort Pain.
Joy lay in a painter's brush,
Love came out of the blue.
My senses found, I'm feeling whole,
so all I miss is you.

I had a crush on the same kid for eight years, then he moved to another state after the 10th grade. I was so crushed, and I wrote this after mourning my loss for months. I met my first boyfriend at the end of 12th grade, and I still felt if my crush reappeared I would throw myself at him. Next!

From 1999:


Writhing and wrestling
In the iron-clad dirt,
The red soil covering
Two fighting bodies
In a crimson fog.
My sweat
Shattered onto your face
Creating streaks of war paint.
A piercing kiss
Followed by a soft embrace
Of your burning salty lips
On my bitten flesh.
We bled for power
In the red dust,
My nails raking seething muscle
Your hands pinning convulsing shoulders.
Raging together,
I flailed my limbs
In pursuit of an exit,
Leaving the impression
Of a fallen angel
In the rusty soil
As you called for God.

The lack of rhyming shows I was in college. What really makes me cringe when I read this is that I was absolutely virginal, and I cannot fathom that this is what I imagined sex was going to be like. Good lord.

I was going to add another two, but I've lost my stomach for it. I encourage you to post your old poetry, because it amuses me greatly.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hello There

A few weeks ago, MacGyver helped my brother remove a dying maple tree and MacGyver brought a 200ish pound cross-section of the trunk home for a carpentry project. Yesterday he spent several hours working it into an end table, so there was a lot of pounding and screwing and power tool action. He sloshed some mineral oil over the top surface to show me the grain, and I asked about the hollow rotting spot on one corner. He descibed the rest of the project for a few minutes while poking out bad wood with a stick, and eventually out fell a...frog. This guy had been chilling out in our garage for weeks amidst MacGyver's welding and woodworking and oil changing and remained hidden while his home was refashioned into a piece of furniture. We left him by a pile of mulch next to our maple tree and told him to count his blessings he had Nature to deal with instead of Domino.

Friday, April 17, 2009

How It Is

My new job is technically part-time, but my higher-ups will give me extra hours for a while, and next year they want to make it full-time. So time my account balance will tell if I need to get a second job. This last week I spent training on main campus, which is chaotic and understaffed and made me grateful my actual job will be much, much more boring. I still can't believe it pays the same per hour as my old social work job but is about five times easier.

In other news, my brother is participating in a stage three cancer drug trial. I told him it's not fair to include him, since the placebo is a sugar pill and he has type one diabetes. My aunt by marriage, who is a retired nurse and full-time health nut and aerobics teacher, was recently diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. It metastasized from her colon to her lungs and liver, and she decided to try chemo. We don't know if it's working yet. She lives in North Carolina, which my cousin tells me is a miserable hellhole of a state. She might be a little biased, though.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Wish you were here.

Monday, April 6, 2009


The job search was not going well. As of March 25th I had applied for dozens of jobs and only scored two interviews. Since my radio is almost constantly tuned to NPR, I often listened to Nightly Business Report while cooking dinner, and rarely heard anything to make me more optimistic about my unemployment. I kept checking out McDonald's Web site, trying to talk myself into applying. I had even decided to lie about my education and experience, as I had been rejected numerous times for being overqualified.

On March 26th, I got two reasons to hope.

The first was a text message from VBG, who informed me that there was an opening where she worked. The second came a couples hours later, I got a call for a job interview at a local college. A couple hours after that I had landed an interview with Kay the next morning at VBG's place of employment. Things were looking not entirely sucky.

The interview with Kay was...odd. She asked one or two questions, read me the job description, and scheduled me to come back the next week for a follow-up with her boss, Jack. I was happy that someone was throwing me a bone and there were many reasons to take the job, but I felt a little apprehensive. Still, I would have loved to work there.

The night before my interview with the local college I got a call. It was not a good call. I was informed that one interviewer couldn't make it and they needed to reschedule, and could I come in two weeks from tomorrow? I let Elizabeth, the primary interviewer, know that I might be employed elsewhere in two weeks, so could we do a phone interview? Elizabeth said she'd get back to me. I felt sick to my stomach.

The next day I practically glued myself to my phone, waiting for Elizabeth to call and reschedule. She didn't call. I practiced for my follow-up with Kay and Jack like it was my only hope. It sort of was.

The next morning I was getting ready to see Kay and Jack, and trying to calm the fuck down. I brushed my teeth and visualized breezing through the interview. The phone rang, and I almost ignored it due to my mouthful of cavity-fighting bubbles. It was Elizabeth. I did my best not to get toothpaste all over the phone. She asked me to come in that afternoon. I agreed happily.

My interview with Kay and Jack was incredibly short. I was asked one question and told I was overqualified. He promised to call me if they couldn't find anyone else. I wished again I had been accepted to grad school.

Elizabeth was very nice and organized. She had a page and half of questions to ask me and put her boss on speakerphone. I thought my answers were pretty good, but I kept trying to make eye contact with the telephone. I had been preparing hardcore for this for days, one of the questions I had been pondering that day. I didn't quite rock their socks off, but they did schedule me for follow-up testing the next day.

I took a personality test and an Excel test. I thought I'd mastered spreadsheets, but there were questions about commands I didn't know Excel could even do. I figured out a few of them by staring at the buttons, but in the end only scored a 77%. Afterwards I met Elizabeth's supervisor Theresa and her supervisor Susan. Susan took me on a tour and asked me about my background, even though she'd already seen my resume. She told me it wasn't an interview, but I wasn't too sure. We had some things in common, and she was rather encouraging. After three interviews in two days I felt wiped out, and spent the rest of the day cleaning house and making an amazing homemade pizza for dinner. You totally should have been there.

I had a crappy night of sleep filled with nightmares and woke up late. Instead of getting out of bed I laid there wondering what my chances of employment were.

Ten minutes later Elizabeth called.

I start this afternoon.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009


I have a job interview tomorrow and Wednesday. Wish me luck!

Popsicle Toes

Thursday, March 26, 2009



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Like They Do on the Discovery Channel

A little while ago I mentioned seeing tortoise intercourse at the zoo. Here's my proof. I wish I could have gotten sound.

The very next day, I was in Indianapolis with some family and we enjoyed a jaunt through the woods. We came upon a retention pond, and discovered two snapping turtles expressing their love in a physical manner. This reptile dude was not so proficient though, he kept mounting the wrong end. Poor reptile lady, that must have been so awkward for her.

On April 15, 2003, MacGyver and I went on a night hike with Anami and Joe around Ogle Lake in Brown County State Park. MacGyver and I had been dating for three years, we hadn't been having a good day, and the hike was a last ditch effort at not having a crappy anniversary. The moon was nearly full and the weather was perfect. When we got to the trail, there were thousands of frogs in and around the lake making whoopee. I remember I had to plan my steps so I wouldn't squish frogs, and more than once we had an amphibian collide with our ankles while jumping across the trail. We had planned to travel a couple of connecting trails for a nice four mile hike, but we were going so slowly we could only manage to take the much shorter trail along the banks of Ogle Lake. MacGyver stopped to poke a lone female, and she wrapped herself around his finger and wouldn't release him. Apparently she secreted something on him because his finger was numb for the next hour or so. We also discovered a few frog balls - one female with up to seven males clinging to her and each other. The sight was simply amazing, I had never seen so many frogs at once, and they were so focused. Usually when I see one it jumps out of sight the first chance it gets, but these dudes paid no attention to us whatsoever. Around this time of year I always wish we lived there again, just to try to relive that night.

Friday, March 20, 2009


During the third week of February MacGyver bought some peat pots and dirt, and we spent a Sunday starting seeds for FutureGarden. We planted three kinds of tomato, two kinds of basil, morning glories, sunflowers, and rainbow bell peppers. We also transplanted my Valentine's berry bushes out of their sawdust-filled baggies into much larger pots of dirt. Last week we bought corn and snow peas to sow directly into the garden, and I started some watermelon and pumpkin seeds in another batch of peat pots. There wasn't enough room on the table, so I propped up the lid of a plastic tote and placed the watermelon pots on it. Every few hours I move the lid back into the sun.

Lately I've been busy thinning the tomatoes, basil, and sunflowers because they're running out or room. The tomatoes and basil even smell like grown-ups, I brush the leaves with my fingertips to smell summer. The peppers took their sweet time, as of this morning there were 13 seedlings. I keep yelling at the watermelons to grow but no one has poked up yet, every night I go to bed hoping to see a change in the morning. The homebuilders used clay from our yard to make the bricks for the foundation. When MacGyver excavated the northwest corner he saved those bricks, and he's now using them to build raised beds in our north yard for berries. The south yard will be tilled for vegetables.

I feel like we've taken on more than I can handle, but at the same time I think of how much more I'll plant next season if this year goes well. Everything just seems so possible in March.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Turns out, simultaneously sneezing and eating oatmeal is exactly as horrible as you'd think.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Memory Snapshot

When I was nine or ten years old, I was in the family van with my mom, dad, and sister heading back home from Vincennes. My sister would have been 21 or 22 at this time, and I was a year or two away from my first sex ed class. Our parents sat in front, and we were sitting behind them. I was staring out the window and mulling over a word I'd been hearing at school, trying to work out what it meant. I turned to my sister.
"Are you a virgin?" I asked with no warning whatsoever.
There was a pause. "No." There was complete silence up front, and our parents stared. straight. ahead.
I nodded, astonished that my sister had most likely taken her clothes off and kissed someone. My formative brain attempted to process the information, and I eventually went back to thinking about something that was actually interesting, like sharks.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bad Boys in the Dark

Once upon a time, I was young and naive. I had only lived on the family farm, I sucked at making friends, and I never knew what to do with myself. Now I am almost old, and that first detail is untrue. One day, the time came to go to college and move away and live amongst completely new people (except one, and she was crazy). The first thing I did at college was carry all my stuff into the dorm room that I would share with the crazy one. The second was to meet the bus for a Freshman Pre-Orientation Rock Climbing trip. After a long weekend of camping and rock climbing, I came back to campus feeling emboldened and mighty.

I felt so bold that I talked to a stranger when I got home. He was from India and went by Nik, and was impressed by my adventures in Red River Gorge. We chatted awhile and he offered to give me a campus tour and show me his climbing equipment. What happened next should have taught me never to talk to strangers.

He held my hand when we crossed the street, which didn't seem as weird as it should have. See, I did not have skills to cross the street safely every time. Even three years later people would occasionally grab me to yank me out of the way of a bus. The last part of the tour involved playing in Showalter fountain. This was before the Bobby Knight riot and the fish statue population was higher. Nik and I made plans to come back at the end of the year and collect spare change from the fountain. The tour was over, but he still had to show me his rock climbing gear.

When we got to his dorm, I was sopping wet and dripping water everywhere. I thought he was so nice to let me borrow his workout clothes so I could be dry. He suggested we watch Bad Boys, as his room was pimped out for the ultimate viewing experience. It was really late and I was absolutely exhausted, but I agreed. He got the TV and DVD and stereo hooked up, and turned on the black light. He started bragging about his ballroom dancing skills, as he had taken a beginner's class last semester. He was so glad he had learned, and he was sure he could teach me some steps. In normal situations, I was a social imbecile. In the eerie light, I started picking up on his signals. We danced, and every nerve in my body sang, keeping me as far away from his body as possible. He smiled, and his teeth and eyes had an unholy glow against his dark skin. He tilted his face and grinned, and all the hairs on my neck stood up. I thought No one knows I'm here, and I wish I was wearing my own clothes, and I have no idea how to get out of here, and He could rape me. I was so tired, and so freaked, and so scared of being rude. I was so afraid that I wouldn't make friends at college that even in a bad situation I didn't want to offend someone.

His bed was lofted, and I sat and the edge. If I fell asleep and tipped forward, I would fall to the floor and hurt myself. If I tipped back, I would be at Nik's mercy. The movie played, but I couldn't concentrate. All my focus was on staying conscious. I remember it was a talkie, so people said lines, and there might have been some explosions and a blonde female. The movie must have ended at dawn, because I remember walking home in weak sunlight, wearing a stranger's clothes and holding mine at arm's length. A week later I would begin taekwondo class, and I would wish I had known then what I know now.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Today at the zoo, while Blaze was checking out the snakes, I noticed the tortoises were unusually active. I got closer to investigate, and there were five in the corner. Three were intently watching the other two GET IT ON. And the boy tortoise? WAS MOANING. LOUDLY. This guy was deep and rumbly, he was the Barry White of reptiles.

Mother Nature never ceases to make me wonder WTF?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Meme of Us

What are your middle names?
Marie and John. Guess who has which name!

How long have you been together?
We met in March of 2000 and started dating a month later.

Who asked whom out?
I guess I did. Sort of.

How old are each of you?
He is 28 and I'm 27, though for two weeks we are the same age.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Mine. He has more in commom with my family than I do with his. Plus, there's nothing like cancers to bring a family together!

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
My unemployment paired with the unreliability of his freelance work.

Did you go to the same school?
I took two classes at the university where he spent three semesters, but in totally different years.

Are you from the same home town?
Yes, but my neighborhood had cornfields, and his neighborhood had people and drugs.

Who is smarter?
Not only is he better at everything useful, but he also scored 100 more points on the SAT. What a jerk!

Who is the most sensitive?
Me! I am more likely to take things personally. And in a totally different area of sensitivity, I have to wear ear plugs to the movies or I get headaches. However, I don't have to let my cocoa cool off as much.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
I don't know, we rarely go out anymore.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
The Hoh rainforest.

Who has the craziest exes?
I'm guessing he does. I only have one, and he was more quirky than crazy (mostly). One of his exes is one of my favorite people, but I get the feeling I'd hate the rest of them.

Who has the worst temper?
He gets angry more often than I do, but I get in a worse rage when I do lose it.

Who does the cooking?
I do, but there are dishes that only he makes, like barbecued chicken.

Who is the neat-freak?
He despises clutter, and I hate that he doesn't take his shoes off in the house. I have managed to change much more than he has.

Who is more stubborn?
That's a toss-up.

Who hogs the bed?
Me! I'm very acrobatic in my sleep. He says he has to sleep on the floor at least once a week because I literally kick him out.

Who wakes up earlier?
He does, and he wakes up throughout the night. I don't sleep as much as I slip into a deep coma for nine hours.

Where was your first date?
We went to Jimmy John's, the used CD store, and then camped. We decided it was a date after the fact.

Who is more jealous?
In what context? We don't get jealous of each other, but sometimes I get jealous of people with steady jobs and two living parents.

How long did it take to get serious?
He was serious after a matter of weeks, I held off for months. I'd heard about his fickleness and refused to get too attached. Meanwhile, he wanted to marry me.

Who eats more?
He does, but he burns way more calories.

Who does the laundry?
I do usually.

Who's better with the computer?
Definitely me.

Who drives when you are together?
He does, because he drives faster.

Our House

Last week, a housewarming card and free address labels from a charity I never donate to arrived in the mail. Then, MacGyver and I bought a washer and dryer.

Our house is now a home.

The washer is a high efficiency front-loader, and the first load of laundry was quite exciting. In fact, it garnered an audience.

That's MacGyver on the right, sitting in a full laundry basket. Gonk is on the left in the empty one, trying to be just like his daddy. Domino inspected it from the top down and stopped giving a shit. As usual.

One room in our house has four windows and a southern exposure. Someday it will be the library, but for now it houses the fish, the coat tree (literally), an extra couch, and our new starship. MacGyver duct taped (actually, it's "semi-reflective cosmic protective strips") the appliance boxes together, cut hatches and port holes and a cat door, and I designed the control systems. So I got to curl up in a poorly-ventilated enclosed space with a Sharpie for my part*. Wheee! Right now it's a starship, but you can also set it to dirigible, time machine, or submarine. It's powered by dilithium crystals, has a navigational touch pad, and has an army of ninjas, space monkeys, and velociraptors in holding cells. The velociraptor holding cell is reinforced by TWO layers of duct tape, just in case.

*I pimped my box! tee hee!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Working Backwards

Yesterday, the 15th, I had the pleasure of eating homemade tiramisu amongst friends. Most of the day was spent washing dishes. The task was truly Sisyphean.

On Valentine's Day, I made Chicken Parmesan, Spinach-Gorgonzola Dip in a bread bowl, Salad, and Hot Fudge Sauce (everything was delicious enough to merit capitalizing). MacGyver and I stuffed ourselves silly and watched The Princess Bride. Life doesn't get much better.

On the evening of Friday the 13th, two of my brothers and I saw the premiere of the latest Friday the 13th movie. That morning I began passing out snickerdoodles and cards. I accompanied Job to his appointment with the oncologist and got the CT scan results. Apparently, the chemo has stopped the tumor's growth and even some of his bone is recalcifying. So, fuck you, metastases!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm a Winner

MacGyver and I have been very, very careful to not waste food, as it costs money, which we need more of so we can buy a dryer. Unfortunately, I let something slide. Yesterday I was cleaning the kitchen, and had to throw out the kitty litter and six-week-old chicken legs. I had the genius idea to empty half the litter (absorbent pine pellets!) into the trash, dump in the meat real quick, and pour the rest of the litter on top. I mean, it's odor-absorbing, so what could go wrong?

I'll tell you.

Chicken so old it's starting to liquefy is far more potent than cat poo, and even the power of pine is no match for it. When I finally shook it out of its container, I nearly retched. It smelled like a rotting corpse. I would know. The last thing that smelled this bad was the week old cadaver of a man who had perished in his unair-conditioned apartment in July the summer I interned at the morgue. When we got him, he had a vivid green cast to his dark We had to slough off what had been his epidermis so we could read his tattoos. Also? Two of his girlfriends called the morgue looking for him. And? He was HIV+. It was a memorable day.

Anyway, I ran to the bathroom and turned on the exhaust fan. I was still feeling vomity when I called MacGyver to find out where the Hell the garbage can was. I had never paid attention to where he took the trash, to me it just disappeared to a magical land where I never had to deal with it, ever. He said something like "You opened it up inside?!?" and I yelled something about believing the cat litter would take care of it, and he told me to look out the window so I could notice where the trash can was, and I retorted that I couldn't see out the window because I was hiding from the smell. There was silence, I believe he was reflecting on how he won the spouse lottery. I mean, some wives have jobs and watch their weight and can remember the last time they washed their hair. Me? When I call, he has no idea what's going to come out of my mouth. I'm interesting.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Like BOOK IT!, But Not

While we moved in in January, I culled unread and unfinished books from my multitude of tome-filled plastic totes. By February 1, I had 38 books lining a shelf waiting to be read. I started with Starship Troopers, and am more than a third of the way through thus far. I have a bad habit of buying books and not reading them, instead turning my attention toward those I borrow from friends or the library. I reason that I have the rest of my life to finish the ones I own, but just weeks for the others. My goal is to finish all 38 books by February 1, 2010. Knowing me, I'll still be borrowing books to boot (and I already have! I'm also working on Wicked, Truer than True Romance, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), so the goal is attainable but not easy. I'm hoping to finish the three shortest in two weeks, and then take about ten days for every other book. For accountability's sake, I'm making a list to be posted next year (or when I finish, whichever comes first) and I'll note the ones I complete as the year goes along.

In other news, I'm sick of winter and I have another job interview Thursday morning. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 26, 2009


I did not get the job.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

On My Knees

I'm not much for praying. When I was a wee tyke, I would get agitated in church because when I asked God a question, I couldn't hear any answers. In high school, my devout parents brought home books about the historical Jesus, and they talked about who this guy really was. A memorable dinner table discussion involved the fish and the loaves, where it was decided he didn't make them out of thin air, but he convinced people to share what they already had. When I was a social worker, I counseled people who got off their meds and believed they were God, or Jesus, or Jesus in a black woman's body, or Zeus*. I started wondering about the mental health of biblical characters and evangelicals. I mean, I always thought of Oral Roberts and his ilk as weird, but maybe they're closer to clinically psychotic. With time, God has felt less and less real. My beliefs have been stuck in an agnostic limbo.

However, for the past week I've been praying about every 20 minutes. Why? Because I had a job interview, and I need it real bad. I've committed everything short of bribery to get hired, but I really doubt I'll actually get it. So for the first time in years I'm taking my grandfather's advice to act as if it's all up to me, and to pray as if it's all up to God.

So I'm wondering: if i do get the job, will I start sincerely believing in God again?

*This one patient thought he was Zeus when went off his meds. When he took them, he was pentecostal and spoke in tongues. I had the damnedest time telling when he was actually mentally well.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Name Game

Use the first letter of your name to fill in the following. Don't make anything up. Tag ten more people if you want. But strife and misfortune won't befall you if you don't.

1. What is your name: Laura

2. A 4-Letter Word: Love

3. A Boys Name: Lester

4. A Girls Name: Lacey Lee

5. An Occupation: Lineman

6. A Color: Lilac

7. Something you wear: Lycra leggings

8. A Beverage: Lemonade

9. A Food: Lobster lasagna

10. Something found in the bathroom: Live microbes

11. Movie Title: Lawrence of Arabia

12. A Reason for being late: Lack of motivation

13. Something you shout: Look alive!

14. A Place You've Visited: Louisiana

15. A Word That's Fun to Say: Lollipop

16. Celebrity Baby Name Idea: L'ondon

17. Reason to Break Up With Someone: Lackluster lust

18. Fake Band Name: Lakeside Lemmings

19. Book You've Read: Little House in the Big Woods

20. Something You're Afraid Of: Losing loved ones

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Presenting Belle

Meet the newest addition to the Danger family, she's the firstborn of my second oldest brother, Chevy. She was born by C-section and has the fortune of not having the weird, compressed skull look many infants sport. Most babies take a few months to cuten up (in my opinion), but I could just eat her up. And she's not even seven pounds, so I could probably fit half of her arm in my mouth without gagging. Her hair has an interesting off-center cowlick in front, I'm crossing my fingers that she grows out of it and escapes a life of side ponytails.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What's New with You?

My little Pontiac is in hospice. The seals and a gasket on the water pump failed, the water pump developed holes, the radiator leaked, and the cooling fan died. MacGyver fixed all of these problems, but now it misfires and tried to die in Christmas season evening traffic at the mall. Now I drive my mom's old Buick Roadmaster, which has more than double the power and seats more than twice as many people.

Also, MacGyver and I are mostly moved into our new house. We should be living there within a week. I look forward to keeping our bedroom a secret from the cats (don't ask how) so they don't stand outside the door all night and say "brrrrMEOW brrrrMEOW" (he sounds like a ringtone) or "MAAHH!!! MAAHH!!! MAAHH!!!" (she sounds like a bitch).

Also, all my classes are over, and I am looking for a job. This is an activity I hate even more sincerely than moving.

Also, I went off of my antidepressants. Not because I don't need them, but because I can't afford them anymore. If my level of crazy seems to increase over the next few weeks, it's because IT IS.

Also, Joe and Anami visited for a couple of days. Their visit coincided with some of the best weather we've had here, and walking in the sunshine with friends felt like the best thing ever.

Also, three cousins from California came to visit for a few days. I missed a day of their visit due to violent illness, but I recovered and made chicken pot pie for all. Hooray!

Also, I would like to know how you are doing.