Friday, June 29, 2007

Sewage On a Plane

Airline apologizes for sewage on plane

Thu Jun 21, 12:59 PM ET
DALLAS - Continental Airlines Inc. is apologizing to its customers for "poor conditions" aboard a transatlantic flight where one passenger described sewage spilling down the aisle from a lavatory. "I've never felt so offended in all my life," passenger Collin Brock of Washington state told Seattle's KING-TV. "I felt like I had been physically abused and neglected. I was forced to sit next to human excrement for seven hours."
Continental spokesman Dave Messing on Thursday confirmed that there had been a problem with the plane's lavatory during the flight.
Flight 71, with 168 passengers on board, had taken off June 13 from Amsterdam bound for Newark, N.J., but made an overnight stop in Shannon, Ireland, to fix the lavatory problem, Messing said.
He said everything appeared to have been fixed before the plane took off again for Newark the next day, renamed Flight 1970, but then "the problem developed again."
After the plane landed in Newark, airline employees determined the problem was caused by someone flushing latex gloves down the toilet — despite signs that warn not to discard foreign objects into the system, Messing said.
"We deeply regret the serious inconvenience to our customers and are apologizing to them and compensating them for the poor conditions on the flight as well as the diversion and delay," he wrote in a statement from the Houston-based carrier.
Continental is compensating passengers with travel vouchers, Messing said. He declined to say how much the vouchers were worth.
Brock told KING-TV he was offered a $500 voucher. He said he wasn't sure he would ever use it.

I was reading this article and couldn't help but be appalled because, really even though we love flying and would fly to our jobs if we could, being scrunched in those little seats with those pitiful bags of snacks (and now you have to PAY FOR YOUR OWN MEAL) and being too hot or too cold and having delays and having to sit in the airport for hours when there is a thunderstorm at O'Hare that delays your flight for hours is not all that wonderful. But all that PALES in comparison to having to fly with poo in the aisle beside you. That would be...bad. But here's what really concerns me. What seriously concerns me.

They discovered the problem was caused by a clog in the toilet caused by someone flushing a pair of latex gloves. Really? Someone flushed...some latex the airplane restroom.

Think about this. Really think about it. What in the world were they doing with latex gloves on? Or even taking them on the plane? Aside from sort of sexual use which, really, ewwww. Were they so anal (no pun intended, you sicko) they had to clean the bathroom before using it? Was there some Comet found in the toilet as well? Were they thinking there would be some sort of medical emergency on board, like, well, I don't know, someone going into labor or needing an immediate proctological exam? And they could yell, "Wait! I am totally ready for this! I HAVE my latex gloves with me! Move out of my way!". Maybe they were planning to put little faces on the gloves with a marker and blow them up to make a little puppet show for the children in the seat behind them. Or maybe they just thought they would put them down the toilet, it would overflow and sewage would overrun the plane.

Because they REALLY like that smell.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Step Away From The Sick Girl

I did not sleep at all last night. I know, people say that and you are thinking, oh yeah, she really dozed off and she just THINKS she was awake all night, but no, I really was awake all night. I should have just gotten up and watched some TV or done some blogging or run a Marathon but I kept thinking I would fall and I'd look at the clock and another hour had gone by and I was still wide awake. I guess I slept too much the last few days with having the creeping crud. Between the cold medicine and my body telling itself to just rest and let the antibodies do their work, I spent a lot of time sleeping. Or it may just be another lovely side-effect of menopause. I've had those sleepless nights before.

I finally gave up after Tom left for work and got up to get a few things done around the house. I puttered around, took a shower and put on make-up (isn't it weird to get cleaned up, fix your hair and put on make-up when you haven't done it for, like, four days?) and then went to meet him at the Post Office.

We went to the Post Office to apply for his passport. As you know, we are heading to Puerta Vallarta in October and passports are required now if you are leaving the United States. I already have mine since Mark and I went on our Caribbean cruise last summer and Tom elected to stay home (yes, he's crazy) so we just had to get his. I am pretty much recovered from the creeping crud but I still have a little cough. We got up to the counter with our paperwork, they took his picture and the guy recited this little oath you have to listen to (and, really, do they think a terrorist is going to say...uh, wait a minute. I can't actually get a passport because I HAVE committed one of the crimes which are listed on the back of the form. Never mind. I guess I just can't get a passport. Thanks anyway.) and then, I coughed. My cough has vastly improved from the last few days and is really just a tiny remnant of what it was.

But Tom...STEPPED AWAY. I guess he probably thought I didn't notice, but yes. I did. He casually stepped to the side, away from me. Away from my cooties.

Look, I've got news for you. My cooties have filled the house for the last few days. Between the snotty Kleenexes, the hacking, coughing, blowing, sneezing, moaning, complaining, sprawling on the bed sleeping - the cooties are everywhere. I think it's too late at this point to worry about cooties. But, you know what? I'm going to make cheeseburgers for dinner and pat out the hamburger WITHOUT EVEN WASHING MY HANDS. Hah.

OK. That's a little gross. I guess I won't do that. I guess I'll carefully wash my hands before I prepare your meal.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Just Call Me Yoga Bear

OK, so I'm doing Yoga now.

That may be just a slight stretch of the truth. Actually, I have done Yoga exactly twice. The first time, I was in a little bit of a hurry so I just completed about 1/2 hour of the DVD, of which about ten minutes consisted of this woman walking in the dessert in her white leotard, stretching lazily and contemplating the meaning of life while she explained Yoga. I sat cross-legged and watched this, thinking "Damn, Yoga is really easy."

Yesterday, I actually had time to complete the whole Yoga DVD and...damn...Yoga is hard. I thought Yoga was like stretching and doing poses and stuff. I thought it would be nice and fairly easy and a break from doing the strenuous dancing exercises on my other DVD. (YES, I am doing some classes at the Y, stop bugging me, this is just when I can't make it there. Like when we have hail.) So we were stretching and leaning and, in the beginning, when she said "Now, slow down your breathing", I thought "Slow down? What do you mean? I'm juuuuuusssst fine!" Then, after about ten minutes, I realized what she meant when I had to slow down my fast, tortured breathing.

Then, she was like "Now, if you feel a burning in your knees, you can put a rolled up blanket under your bottom." Guess who needed a rolled up blanket under her bottom? The best part of the DVD was at the very end when I got to lie down flat and take a little mini-nap to relax.

So, here's the thing. I was exercising in a t-shirt and sweat pants. She was exercising in this skin-tight white leotard and tights. She just looked a whole lot better than me. When she did the poses, her body looked all smooth and lean and straight. Mine looked kind of hunched over and crooked.

And here's the conclusion I came to. It's the clothes! I think I need some Yoga clothes. I think that would help me tremendously. I think my Yoga poses would improved immensely. So, tomorrow, I'm going shopping for a skin-tight leotard. I'll do my Yoga DVD later.

I promise.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Just Around The Corner

I had Wesley for the day last Thursday, as I told you. Summer has started, school is out and Wesley and I are a team of explorers, determined to have the most possible fun we can in one day a week. He's 19 months old and I'm in my fifties, so it's lucky that I like some of the same things he likes.

So, we went to story hour at the public library. I used to be a children's librarian in a public library, so I conducted many, many story hours and then, when I had children, I took them to story hours at the library. But it has been many years. My children were in high school and college when we moved into the district for this branch library, so I never visited the children's section. I knew vaguely where it was, over in the corner on the other side, but I had never visited there.

Anyway, Wes and I went there. It's a whole other world over there. For years I have been going to this library to check out books for pleasure and to read magazines, doing professional reading and research and meeting with others to work on our National Board Certification. But I never once visited the children's section.

I have to say, it's pretty darn cool. They have all these great wooden toys and puzzles which are attached to the tables so they can't be lost (what a great idea) and bright pictures and rugs and a story pit with stairs just right for a little boy to climb up and down, up and down. There were a surprising number of small children there on a weekday morning. I always forget how many moms don't work. Wes was in heaven. He played and laughed and shared and grabbed, just like all the others.

Then, the librarian called the children to story hour. I thought it would be in the story pit, but it was in another room altogether, which I never even knew existed. She had songs and finger plays and books to read and, best of all, oh, best of all! She had a ball. Wes was in a paroxysm of delight in my lap when she brought out the ball. But he waited patiently until it was his turn, then he threw it to another child. It was obvious he has been read to by Mommy and Daddy, because he was one of the most patient and attentive children in the group, actually looking at the illustrations in the book she held up.

The kids had a lot of fun. They learned that the library is a pretty neat place. An important lesson and one they may hold onto until they are adults. Hopefully, they will.

It was a great outing. One we both enjoyed. But here's the thing that still amazes me. This was a whole, entire area of the open building with kids and toys and rugs and books and colors and sounds. And I never even glimpsed it. It was right there. And I never glimpsed it.

It kind of made me wonder what else might be on the other side of a building, around that next corner, on that other street? What else I have never glimpsed? Interesting to think about, isn't it?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Life Is Not Fair

I have been sick. Annoyingly, nose-runningly, hacking coughy, heachachy, would like to just remove my head from my body sick.

I kept Wes the first day I got sick and we had a GREAT day together, but later in the afternoon, I started feeling...not quite right. My nose would not stop running. We went to the mall to buy him new shoes...Cars shoes! They light up and have little tiny, fake wheels on the side. They were so cool, I almost wanted a pair for myself. Wes was not incredibly excited. He watched the lights on them for about 10 seconds, then became astonishingly amazed by a light fixture in the ceiling. Doesn't take much to amuse him. So, we got the shoes and then had lunch in the food court and got a big chocolate chip cookie (well, of course we did).

I had prepared for this outing by bringing an entire box of Kleenex because, what with him teething and me having a pre-cold status, we were having a contest to see just who could generate the most snot. I won. So, anyway. We got a big cookie. And let me just say here that, apparently, I have forgotten just how messy a 19-month old can be. I gave him a piece of cookie because even as the generous, give that child whatever he wants! Mimi that I am, I am not going to hand him a cookie as big as his head. Then I broke off a piece for myself, because, really, he can't eat that whole cookie and I should really help him out because I'm just that way, which took, like maybe 30 seconds and I looked back and he had consumed that piece and had chocolate on his face, his hands, the stroller and a couple who were walking by. OK, not really, but it was close. I sighed and gave him some more cookie because, really, why not? He was already a chocolate covered cootie-head, what difference would a few more smears make? We ate one cookie and part of another and I decided that was quite enough cookie for a little boy, so I wrapped up the other one (and I just realized that 3/4 of a cookie is still in my tote bag. Give me just a second...ah, thanks. I'm sure I can type with one hand.) and put it in the bag. That boy is no dummy. He saw me do it. He pointed to the bag with that one index finger he uses to point accusingly and said "Hey, give me that cookie. I saw you put it in there. What do ya think? I'm a dummy?" OK, he may not have used those exact words, but I could see in his eyes what he meant. So I distracted him with something like a straw wrapper (this is easily done at 19 months, not so much at 5 or so, I'll have to refine my tricks) and we went to the bathroom for a sponge bath before we went home to mommy, who would not appreciate me returning a child who strongly resembled a chocolate covered cherry with blonde hair.

ANYWAY. By the time we got home in the late afternoon and had a nap (both of us), I was feeling kinda creaky. I returned the boy to his home (where he clung to my shoulder and actually took a minute of thought before he would go to daddy - he probably thought every day with me would be all party/circus/fair/cotton candy/clowns/candy/and tumbling acrobats just for him - little does he know the highlight of our lives around here is when we eat our dinner off TV trays while watching "Stargate" on DVD) and came home, put on my pajamas and got on the couch where I was dozing when Tom came home. I did drag myself in the kitchen and throw together some dinner - but, really, how hard is it to make Fettuccine Alfredo Chicken with packaged chicken and Alfredo sauce in the jar - but I would say that's the last meal I'm making for a while. I would seriously have liked to be able to remove my head from my body, because the rest of me felt OK, but my head was so stuffed full of mucous, my forehead was actually bulging like some mutant alien was about to burst forth.

But the point of this post. Yes, I have a point. Stop laughing. The point is I had a couple of sick days. And I'm not working. I had sick days when I was on VACATION. This is not the way sick days are supposed to work. You are supposed to get to take a sick day OFF WORK. I had to waste a sick day being really, really sick. How annoying is this. Life is seriously not fair.

Friday, June 22, 2007

That Feels Niiiiiiiice.

Since I am a child of the pre-fluoride in the water era, I have lots of big silver fillings in the back of my mouth. You know those 50 year olds you see on tv who throw their back and laugh and you see enough metal in there to build a car? Yeah, that's me. My dentist was concerned about the fillings because they are old and starting to crack and pit, so he recommended drilling them out and filling them in with a newer, white filling substance.

When he said "drill", I broke out in a light sweat. I don't like that drill. I guess nobody really likes going to the dentist but, because I had so much drilling when I was young and some of it was quite painful, I really HATE having work done on my teeth. After having braces as an adult, I became much calmer about having work done on my teeth, but I still HATE that drill. So the thought of having to endure the drilling was not pleasant.

My dentist is wonderful. He is fairly young with triplet sons and is gentle and kind. He understands that many people are afraid of the dentist, so he does everything he can to make you comfortable. So, here was our conversation about the dental work.

Him: I will numb you mouth so you won't feel the shot and then I'll give you the novacain.

Me: Good. Lots of novacain.

Him: We have headphones with music.

Me: Good. Give me the headphones.

Him: We can give you gas as well (nitrous oxide).

Me: Good. Give me the gas. What else ya got?

Him: I think that's it.

Me: OK. Let's do it.

The dental assistant proceeded to strap on this pink pig-nose looking contraption and hooked me up to the nitrous oxide. Two seconds later I said "I don't feel anything yet. Should I feel something? I don't feel anything." She laid her hand reassuringly on my shoulder. "It's just oxygen now. We'll turn on the gas in just a couple of minutes." Then she put some big sunglasses on me to block the light and fitted the headphones over my ears. I probably looked like some alien space traveler who couldn't stand the heat of our sun or breathe our atmosphere.

The other assistant came in and told me she was turning on the gas and I should feel something in the next minute. No. No. I don't feel anything. I was wringing my hands with nervousness. They turned it up a little more. No. No. I don't feel anything. Nooooo....wait a minute. I think I do feel something. Hee. That feels niiiiiice. I'm kinda sleepy now.

Open your mouth. 'Kay. Wider. 'Kay. Drilling sounds faintly in the distance. Slight panic. Then niiiiiice again. Oh. That is such a great idea for a blog post. I'm going to write that just as soon as I get home. Wait. What was I just thinking? Niiiiice.

Oooooh, I love this song. Dee, dee, dee, dee. I'll have to tell Tom about this song. I think it's new. I haven't heard it before. Who's it by? Oh, yeah. I'll tell him about it tonight. 'Kay. Wait. What was I just thinking? Niiiiiice. Oh. Wider? 'Kay. Oh, that nice dental assistant is talking to me. Yeah, I'm fiiiiiine. She is going to polish my new fillings. 'Kay. Wow, that was fast. I can't believe he did that filling so fast. What was that, like 15 minutes? You're turning off the gas? 'Kay.

Oh, that wasn't bad at all. And I can't believe how fast it was. Really. Was it like 15 minutes? I look at my watch. An hour and a half has gone by. Damn.

Our dental insurance didn't pay for the gas. I don't care. Seriously. If you have to get a filling, ask for the gas. It's niiiiice. And you don't even care about that drill. And the time just FLIES by.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fat Stripes

I had another wardrobe issue the other day. No, it wasn't a muffin top problem or a matching shoe issue or even a broken bra issue. I had a fat stripes issue. What? You don't know what fat stripes are?

OK, I have a little white, lace trimmed tank top that is really just a LITTLE bit too tight. It was a little snug when I bought it and, after being washed, it's really too tight. But it's just so cute. And I thought if I wore it under my new pink and white striped shirt with my pink capris (and pink shoes and pink earrings - but you knew that) it would be fine. I just wouldn't take off the shirt. Just the cute lacy front of the tank top would show. It would be fine. Just fine. Because it is actually one of those so tight, stretchy material tops that it stretches across the back and makes those fat stripes. You know what I mean. When the material stretches and makes those dents in your back fat and it looks like your back has fat stripes. You know. And if you don't, well you must have a smooth, slim, toned back. And I hate you a little bit.

So I looked good. I was set. All coordinated and pink and nobody would know I had fat stripes under my shirt. Until I got to school. And realized the air conditioning was not working again. I kept on my shirt as long as I could. But, at some point, it had to come off. And the fat stripes were out there for the world to see.

Luckily, school is out and there were only a few of us there that day. And I could put my shirt back on when I left. Because the fat stripes are not really something I wanted to share with everyone.

Just you.

MY Ten Commandments of Driving

So you heard the Vatican issued Ten Commandments of Driving, right? Seriously. Stop laughing, I am not kidding. They bring up some things that some of you may not have thought of before - You shall not kill. Really? Up to this point, many of us thought that was OK. But, really. Do we need those ten commandments? After all, I have ten that are much better.

1. Thou shalt not blast rap music from the windows of your vehicle which cause the middle-aged librarian in the car beside you to have bleeding ears.

2. Thou shalt not park sideways and take up two or three parking spaces even if you have a new car, even if it is a sports car, even if it is an expensive car. Seriously. We don't care. Take one space.

3. Thou shalt not leave your turn signal on for miles and miles and miles when you have no intention of turning or merging.

4. Thou shalt not park in the fire lane in front of the grocery store because you are "just going to run in for a minute". It's a fire lane, dorkwad.

5. Thou shalt not pull out driving 30 miles an hour into oncoming traffic which is going 60 miles an hour. They might stop. They might not.

6. Thou shalt merge. Seriously. Merge. Don't stop. Merge.

7. Thou shalt not tailgate if the driver in front of you is not going the speed limit. It's a speed limit, not a speed requirement. Give them a chance to get out of your way.

8. Thou shalt not talk on your cell phone in the car. Period. There is no phone call that can't wait until you get there. Unless it is a real emergency. If you are laughing hysterically into the phone, it is not an emergency. Hang up.

9. Thou shalt slow down when the weather is bad. You may not be able to go as fast as you normally do. Deal with it.

10. Thou shalt not make rude hand gestures when someone's son who is just learning to drive merges over without a signal. You had plenty of room. What would your mother think of that gesture?

11. (Because I can.) Thou shalt be a good, careful, courteous, friendly driver who lets others pull out and gives a friendly wave, observes the speed limit, never tailgates, merges correctly, moves over for emergency vehicles, and makes driving safely a priority. Or thou shalt stay home.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Greene

So, while we were in Ohio last weekend, we got a little peckish and decided we needed some dinner out and maybe a movie. We checked with the hotel clerk and she recommended a movie theatre at a shopping center/mall called The Greene.

Y'all. Seriously, this is quite simply the coolest place on Earth. It's kind of like an old-fashioned downtown, with stores and restaurants and a park-like area in the center. And apartments as well. They actually, amazingly, encourage people to park and walk around outside! Incredible. The only problem was finding a place to park since, apparently, everyone in Ohio was at The Greene for the evening, but we managed.

We ate here. And the food was wonderful but, honestly, does anyone need that much food on their plate? We couldn't eat it all and we were rather annoyed since, after stuffing our faces with dinner, we didn't have room for the cheesecake which looked, quite frankly, rather like some dessert from the gods. Tom insisted on taking half his dinner back to the hotel and putting it in our little fridge, even though I assured him we would forget it and, you know what? We forgot it. He was heartbroken when he realized he had left half his chicken Marsala in the hotel fridge.

Then we walked around here. We would have walked and shopped more but, by this time, our eyelids were drooping and we were dangerously close to falling asleep on one of the park benches. So we headed back to the hotel.

So, if you are in the Dayton, Ohio area, we recommend The Greene. We want to go back and spend more time. Shopping. Definitely more shopping.

And this is totally not one of those blog posts where I'm hoping someone from The Cheesecake Factory or The Greene will like, come across my complimentary post, and offer some, oh, I don't know, coupons for some free meals or some free shopping or a free vacation to Tahiti because of all the free publicity I have given them.

OK. It totally is.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Everything and Nothing

We went up north this weekend to Ohio for a family birthday party for my uncle, who was turning 80. There were seven brothers and three sisters in my dad's family, raised in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky with very little money and a whole lot of beans and cornbread. Three brothers and one sister are still with us.

My dad passed away last fall so it meant a lot to me to be able to see his brothers again. Tom and I rode up together and my mom came up with some other relatives, so I didn't see her until she walked into my uncle's house. In that roomful of relatives, we looked at each other and both began crying. I was shocked when my throat clenched up and I knew the tears were inevitable. I didn't expect it. I thought the crying for my dad was over. But something about seeing my ever-more fragile mother in company with the graying brothers just made my dad's death suddenly very real. Painfully real.

The brothers are really very wonderful people. They are generous, kind, very family oriented and great, funny storytellers. We sat all day and drank, and ate and just talked. Talked and talked and talked. And laughed and laughed. I laughed until I cried. But these were good tears.

My cousin Pam had told me the night before that my Uncle Bill had beginning dementia. She said in the half hour drive from the airport to their house, he had told the same story three times. He told me the same story a couple of times that night. And again the next day. That's OK. I'm just glad he is still here. He can tell me that story as many times as he wants.

We didn't really do much over the weekend.We really did nothing. But it meant everything.

"One who died is only a little ahead of the procession, all moving that way. When we round the corner we'll see him again. We have only lost him for a moment, because we fell behind stopping to tie a shoe-lace."
-J.M. Barrie

Friday, June 15, 2007

I AM That Girl

Y'all already know that Tom and I are serious TV addicts. You have heard about it here and I have mentioned it in several other posts. We are also movie addicts as I told you here and the two addictions can now easily and conveniently be combined with our couch potato, dinner on TV trays, clothed in pajamas status, since Netflix was invented and now will deliver movies and TV series to our mailbox in a virtual cornucopia of entertainment.

I LOVE that you can get TV series to watch from Netflix. I decided I wanted to catch up on "Gray's Anatomy" since Tom started watching it before I did. He does this often. And then he nags me until I watch it with him, even though I am so obviously doing something critically important to the state of the world like blogging or reading the latest best seller. And then he gets me addicted and I have to watch it with him. I think this is how cocaine dealers work also. So, I'm watching the first two seasons on DVD. And, I will just tell you. This is the ONLY way to watch TV. No commercials. No waiting to find out what happens when they leave you hanging with that last crucial scene. Did she? Will he? Oh, my God, what next? Well, let me see. Let me just click on the next episode. Ha. Now I will find out! How great is that?

Well, it's pretty damn fabulous. But I have something even more fabulous to share with you. Even more spectacular. There are REALLY OLD TV SERIES ON NETFLIX TOO! We saw the preview for the new Bruce Willis movie this weekend when we sent to see "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" - and, by the way? The people who say it's too long, it's too slow, it's not as good as the others - they are just simply full of crap. Disregard all their advice and go see it this weekend. It's good. But I don't have time for a movie review right now because y'all? When I saw Bruce Willis in the new "Die Hard" movie preview (and isn't that just SO COOL when he propels the car in the car like a rocket and tells the kid he did it because he was out of bullets? Is he COOL or what?) I got to thinking about "Moonlighting" and I wondered if that was available on Netflix because I would love to see that again. Bruce Willis with hair. Oh, yeah, baby. And you know what? It is. So I thought "Hmmm...I wonder what other TV shows are on there."

I'm so excited I almost can't bring myself to share this with you. Because maybe you will go to YOUR Netflix and add it to your queue and I will have to wait for it because you will take FOREVER to return it but I just had to tell someone. "That Girl" is on there.

I...almost can't believe it. I WAS "That Girl". I LOVED that show. Marlo Thomas was just so cool. I can't wait to watch them all. And "Mary Tyler Moore" is on there too. And "Bob Newhart". God, the Friday nights Tom and I sat on the couch and watched those shows when we were dating. Our Friday night had to be planned so that we would be home in time to watch them. Maybe it was Saturday. Whatever, it was the weekend. And we had to be home because VCRs had not been invented yet. That's right, kiddies, they had not even been thought of. If you missed a show, you just missed it. You didn't have it recorded on a tape. You didn't TIVO it or DVR it. You didn't go to the website and watch it. You missed it.

But now I can watch them all again. No commercials. No interruptions. Snacks and pajamas. Could life POSSIBLY get any better?

Well, maybe if someone would rub my feet while I am watching. Tom?

I just had one more thought and went to check and see if "The Monkees" was available. It IS. I LIVED to watch that show every week in high school. God, I was so in love with all of them. A different one each week. I was pretty fickle. I may have to rent those too. The series, not the guys. Although I bet Davy Jones has held up pretty well. I wouldn't mind renting him.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Yeah. Remember the post about dealing with pain? Pain from arthritis? I mentioned it was in my hands but I didn't really talk about how it was bothering me more and more. My left hand especially. The second finger on that hand was staying swollen and it was really very painful to try to bend them enough to pick up something small, like a button. I had a prescription for Diclofenac from my family doctor, who prescribed it when I complained about my hands. But I hadn't taken it. Or at least, I just took it occasionally which is not at all what the prescription says. I just didn't think it was that bad. I just didn't think the medicine would help. I just was very hesitant about taking something I would have to take every single day for the rest of my life, something that might have some complications. So I thought my hands would be like this forever. Getting worse.

Yeah. I'm an idiot. I went to my rheumologist last week. My shoulder is much better, after a cortisone shot and regular exercise. But my hands. My hands. So, I complained about them. I told him about the medicine. About my reservations. He took my hands in his, very gently. He examined them. He bent my fingers. I grimaced. Then he very gently put them back in my lap. And he said. "You idiot". OK, he didn't really say that. He very gently suggested I take the medicine every day for one week and see if I noticed a difference. That the benefits outweighed the possible bad things. That he thought it would help. To let him know. Take them for one week.

So I have been taking them for over a week.

I am an idiot. The swelling is gone. I can bend my fingers. Without pain. Without PAIN. So I'm on my way to refill the prescription. And I will take it every day without fail. Because it helps. It really helps. And I will NEVER hesitate to try medicine again. Because the benefits DO outweigh the possible bad things.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Drool Is So Sexy

Dribble. Drool. Slaver. Slabber. Drivel. These are all synonyms for slobber. But slobber is my favorite. It is also a problem for me. I seem to have...dare I say it...overactive salivary glands. Am I the only one with this problem? My mouth secrets so much dang saliva that I could fill up a swimming pool. Only...ewwww.

Am I the only one who salivates so much that sometimes when I say something, saliva just shoots out like it's coming from a tiny fireman's hose? I'm not talking about how, sometimes, when you talk you might get a little saliva along with your "p's", I'm talking about a little jet that I have to wipe off my lip.

And am I the only one who actually drools on myself? On books. On desks. On the bathroom counter. I can't tell you the number of times I drooled on my desk at school when I was a kid. I'd be listening to the teacher, I guess with my mouth hanging open a little (surprisingly, I was never diagnosed as learning-impaired) and, presto, drool on my desk! You would think this something I would grow out of, but you would be wrong! Just this morning, I was leaning in close to finish my eye makeup and, you know it!, drool on the bathroom sink.

I used to seriously drool on my pillow at night. Have you seen the movie "Galaxy Quest" and remember the part where Tim Allen wakes up and there is drool on the couch? Yeah, that was me. For some reason, that issue resolved itself. I haven't noticed a nighttime drooling issue for a while. Unless my husband is causing me to drool, that is. He has actually had to wipe drool off his face before when we were in bed together. But that was his fault, not mine. I am perfectly innocent. He MADE me drool.

And then there is the issue of my brain sending a message to my mouth about some particularly appetizing food. Like a chocolate iced doughnut. Uh, I meant a piece of cold summer watermelon. Yeah, watermelon. If I am hungry...OK, that's a lie. I don't even have to be really hungry. Just sometimes, the thought of some food will make my mouth fill with saliva. So fast that I can actually feel a little pinch as the saliva jets out of whatever area in your gums or that place that creates slobber.

So, what about it? Am I the only one looking at a mini pool of slobber on my bathroom counter? On my computer desk? On my arm? Please tell me I'm not the only one.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Everyone is Divorced

Everyone I know is divorced. OK, that may be a slight exaggeration. But not by much. It seems like everyone I know is either divorced, married for the second (or third, or fourth...) time or is in the process of getting a divorce. Most of the people I work with have been divorced. One teacher at my school recently went though a bitter, hurtful divorce that will affect the rest of her life. Most of my friends are divorced, some after years and years of marriage. 20 years. 30 years. Some are remarried. Some are alone and looking for someone special. I hope and pray they find that person. Some have quit looking and say they will never marry again. They have been too hurt. They are not willing to face that possibility again.

I went to get my hair cut and colored and streaked the other day (God, what we go through to look beeyootiful) and, when I asked my hairdresser about her annual trip to the Jersey shore, she quietly said they wouldn't be going this year. Just being chatty and friendly, I wondered aloud why they weren't going, they had gone every year, I knew she loved it there. And she replied that she and her husband were getting a divorce. After 14 years. It was a complete surprise to her. She's pretty sure there is someone else. He denies it. But he has been on a LOT of hunting trips, weekend trips where she can't reach him and long weekends away with lame excuses and working late and...well, I think she's right.

I have been at a technology conference the last couple of days and I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a couple of years and how are you and what's new and how's your family and your husband...oh. Divorced. And he's remarried. Oh. Sorry. So sorry.

I can't imagine being divorced. I just can't imagine. Tom and I have had our ups and downs and I have yelled at him and I even, back in the old days before kids, dumped a pitcher of kool-aid in his lap one time. But we worked it out. We have never, even at the worst of times, come seriously close to divorce. Divorce has never been mentioned. We things out. We yell. We talk. We laugh. We make up. We go on. We each have our own faults. (him MUCH more so than me, of course) But, we enjoy being together. We like the same things. And we have our own interests as well. We love our family. We have so many plans for the future. Retirement. Lots and lots of travel. Time with our family. We have so many shared experiences. So many shared memories. A word, a phrase, a sentence, can bring back a memory and make us laugh, share a glance, shake our heads. I can't imagine starting all over again with someone else. I can't imagine.

He knows I interrupt him in the middle of his sentences. He doesn't mind. He knows I am overweight. He doesn't mind. He knows I figure out the end of movies and often blurt it out to him. He doesn't mind. (well, he does but he lives with it) He knows I need to shop, need to eat out with my friends, need to spend time with other people sometimes. He doesn't mind. I went out with my friends for dinner just the other night. As I left, he said to have fun. Have fun. That's pretty nice. I'm pretty lucky. I try to tell him that often. That I'm lucky. That I love him. That I appreciate him. Sometimes I forget and it's not until I find out someone else is getting divorced that I remember to tell him.

I need to tell him more often. That I'm lucky. That I love him. That I appreciate him. Because I do. All the time. Even when someone else is not getting divorced.

Monday, June 11, 2007

If It's Sunday, This Must be Wesley

We got to keep Wesley this weekend. I use the term "we" loosely, since Tom's part in keeping Wesley consists of chasing, playing, laughing and tickling. My part consists of feeding, diaper-changing and cleaning up. Well, that's not really fair, since Tom has kept him alone and done all the afore mentioned chores as well as playing with him. And done them annoyingly well. Even without me.

And I don't mind the chores part. In fact, I like them. I don't even mind (at least not terribly) changing a really poopy diaper. It's the one time I have him captured and can really see his beautiful, sweet face, his lovely, rounded tummy, his perfectly formed little feet and toes. And it's at times like this that I realize what a miracle really is.

I have a little bit of a problem with organized religion. Without igniting a firestorm of indignation, let me just say that it's a problem with any group that limits access to heaven to a select few. I believe strongly in heaven. And hell. And God. I just have my own versions. And I believe in miracles. You can talk all you want about a perfect sunrise, a magnificent red rose, a gorgeous beach. But I know what a miracle really is. It is two people making another perfectly formed human being. I don't understand the whole process, really. Well, OK, I understand THAT part of the process. But eggs and zygotes and hormones and cells dividing and all that stuff is still a little bit of a mystery to me.

All I know is, I know the exact spot on Wes's side to nibble to make him shriek with laughter. I know how to snuzzle my head back and forth under his chin until he gives up and his head falls back with ringing laughter and I can blurble on his neck. And the sound of that ringing, silvery laughter? That sound that makes anyone who hears it smile involuntarily?

That, my friends, is a miracle. And nobody can tell me otherwise.

He relaxes a bit after getting his
own milk from the fridge. The boy
is a genius. I'm serious. Somebody call MENSA.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Just a Little Bit Drunk

I don't get drunk. I don't even drink, really. I have never been falling-down, puking drunk because I think it's just...well, kinda stupid. But last night I was...just a little bit drunk.

I met up with my friends for dinner on the patio at this really fabulous restaurant. It was lovely and warm with a breeze and we were all together and I LOVE them. So I decided to have a little drink. I wanted something cold and light and lemony so the waitress recommended a
lemon drop. She brought it out in this really cool, big martini like glass with a dark blue edge. It was lemony with chunks of lemon in it and the glass was sweaty it was so cold. So I took a big swig. Mmmmmm. That's so good.

So we laughed and talked and I kept taking sips of my delicious, cold and lemony lemon drop and everything was just lovely and everything was just suddenly so funny. Everything was so soooooo funny. And my eyes felt kinda funny, like bulgy and droopy and I felt a little dizzy and

I said "I think I'm a little drunk" and my friends laughed and I laughed and we all laughed and my eyes were watering so I had to find a tissue in my purse and I had a hard time and they were laughing and I said "Wasn't there a family sitting at that table a minute ago?" And they said yes, there was but they went inside because it was too hot. And then my dinner arrived.

I had a big lunch so I had ordered some fondue. Probably not the best choice when you are a little drunk. The waitress left me the cutest little box of matches and I picked them up and wondered aloud what they were for and they said it was to light my fire and we thought that was just soooooo funny. But Mary was nice enough to light the fire under my fondue so I could dip my bread and my fruit.

And so I ordered some iced tea and ate my fondue and my lemon drop was gone and the giggles gradually faded away.

But they love me so much they made sure I was OK after dinner and Maquel wanted to follow me home but they could see I was fine so we hugged and went our separate ways.

But, man that lemon drop was good.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Beep and Tilt

I think my blog post title sounds kinda like a kid's book. Maybe one about a little truck and a bulldozer. Get it? Beep?

But, in reality, it refers to the way I am now spending my days. Everyone has gone home for the summer. Everyone but me. I'm here all alone in this quiet library, taking an inventory of our entire collection.

All the librarians in my county work an extra ten days to do a variety of tasks, one of which is inventory. We have a little handheld gizmo that beeps the bar codes on every single item in the library. If it doesn't beep (actually beep-beep), we have to tilt it to look at the screen and find out why it didn't beep, but instead gave a rather obnoxious honking sound. Depending on the message, I might have to re-beep, realize it just found something that had been marked lost, or go to my computer and put the item which has somehow disappeared out of the system, back into the system.

It's a little boring, to say the least. And my back starts to hurt. And I can't easily sit on the floor like I could when I started this job twenty years ago. And my hand starts to ache from beeping and tilting, beeping and tilting. But you know what? It's a whole lot better than the alternative.

When I first started working as a librarian back in the ice age, we had card catalogs with actual, paper cards. Remember those? None of my students do. And I had a shelf list with a paper card for every single thing in the library. When I took inventory, I had to take a drawer of cards and match each card to every single item on the shelf. It was absolutely horrible, back-breaking, monotonous work. But I didn't know any different. My children often came to work to help me with inventory, since it was much easier with two. My daughter came more often, since she is older. I'll never forget one time when she dropped a drawer full of hundreds of cards on the floor and they all spilled out. I wanted to cry. Instead, I yelled at her.

You know that mother's guilt? That guilt over every, single mean thing you have done or said to your children? That guilt that you keep in the mother's file cabinet in your mind that is full, full, full of drawers of file folders, each one with a different guilt in it? That file cabinet that comes out sometimes when you are trying to sleep and you agonize over it and think "If only I hadn't...If only I had...If only I never...If only I..." Yeah, there's a file in there about that day when she was trying to help and I yelled at her. Those damn cards.

The electronic gizmo may be annoying. It may be boring. It may hurt my hand and make it ache. But at least I'm not yelling at anyone. And that's a plus for that mother's guilt file cabinet.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Yeah, I Can Do a Grapevine

So, after my last two posts about pigging out and falling backwards into a pile of sugary doughnuts right off the Weight Watcher wagon, my loving sister sent me an inspirational email that got me right back on track. I had been planning to go to the YMCA for a class yesterday afternoon, but I had almost talked myself out of it because it was rainy and nasty. Oh no! I was going to that class! I was going to get in shape, lose weight and look DAMN good!

I changed into my exercise clothes at school, grabbed my water bottle and headed off to class. The only class they had available at a time that worked for me was a Step class with those step platforms, which I absolutely loath. But I figured they would just step part of the time and part of the time we would do some weights, some mat work, etc., so that would be OK. I got to the class and the other people were getting out the steps, but also weights, mats, etc. so I felt pretty good.

Then the class started. Now, people, I can do aerobics. I can do jazzercise. I can dance. Really I can. And I can do the freakin' grapevine. But the moves this tiny, slim, ponytailed instructor was demonstrating were way beyond my capabilities. Luckily, I wasn't the only one. A few women kept up with her but quite a few were as lost as I was. I made a game effort. I kept moving. I began sweating. My hair was matted to my forehead. My heart was pounding. My stomach felt a little queasy. Thank God I was strong and didn't eat those chocolate chip pancakes for lunch. But even the salad wasn't sitting too well.

But you know how it is. You know. You can't just leave. No matter how bad you feel. You have to keep up the pretense that you have a modicum of fitness to your body. You just can't walk out when everyone is exercising. It was a half hour into the class. I was dying. Dying, y'all. And we had a half hour to go.

Then. You are truly not going to believe this. But I swear it's true. At the moment I thought I really couldn't take another step and kick up onto that step from hell one more time, an employee of the YMCA ran into the gym.

"Everybody OUT! OUT, now! There is a severe weather drill! Get away from the windows".

Well, honey, you didn't have to tell me twice. How unfortunate that our exercise class had to be interrupted. Yeah, right. I think I might have heard some angels singing as I grabbed my water bottle and ran into the hall. Luckily, there were seats on the bench. I sat down. I drank water. I listened to the angels sing.

Wait, I don't believe that's really angels. That's wind. It might actually be kind of bad out there.

It WAS pretty bad. Once I left the YMCA, I realized just how bad. Leaves and branches were everywhere. And, y'all! Hail!! Actual hail!!

Now, if that's not a message that I should never take another step class, I just don't know what is.

Hail piled up right outside the garage door at my house.

Yes, that is actually hail on a warm June day!!

Our deck right after the storm. Yep, that's the last step class for me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Step Away from the Baked Goods

If you read the pizza snarfing post from yesterday, you already know I'm not doing too well with the diet. I have gained back a couple of pounds and am not having any luck taking any off at all. I can't imagine why. I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the cake, cookies, pies, croissants and doughnuts I have been eating.

I had been doing really well at not eating this stuff. I had really been sticking to the low calorie stuff and eating lots of fruit. I'm not sure when the decline began exactly. It may have been during teacher appreciation week. We were deluged with sweet stuff and I am not one to turn down a chocolate iced brownie. Not me. Then I found myself buying stuff from the bakery section at the grocery - and eating some of it on the way home! It's not because Tom cares in the least what I eat or that he would judge me. I think it's because if I eat some on the way home, then I can eat more when I get home! And I don't just buy a couple of turnovers. Oh, no. I think, "Well, I will probably eat those turnovers tonight. So I better get some chocolate croissants for breakfast. And maybe some cookies too. I could take those in my lunch tomorrow."

And the awful thing is, this all sounds perfectly logical in my head!! So I buy it all. And I eat it all. I stopped at a new grocery store yesterday to pick up some good bread to go with the red beans and rice I was making for dinner. Of course, they have a great bakery. And I was hungry. If I could have bought, like, one cookie and eaten it in the car that might not have been too bad. But I'm thinking "Wow, they have three kinds of cookies. I really should try all three. Three of each. Nine cookies. Hmmmm...yeah, maybe I should get some of those turnovers too. 'Cause the cookies might not be enough. And maybe some..." You see? You see how it goes?

And the really funny thing is...the stuff is not all that good. The stuff I bought at the new store actually was pretty good because they do have a good bakery. But the stuff I buy at the chain grocery stores? Not really that tasty. But does that stop me? No. I keep buying. I keep eating. I can't seem to stop.

I think I have reactivated my sugar monster. I had caused it to go dormant by not feeding it but now I have reawakened the monster. I don't like this. I don't feel good when I eat all that junk. It makes me kinda bloated and faintly sick. Probably because I eat so freakin' much.

I have to stop. I HAVE to stop. Right after I finish this Frosty I got at Wendy's and probably the two leftover Krispy Kreme doughnuts I got this morning. Right after.

I mean it.

Monday, June 4, 2007

'Cause I Am So FAAAAAncy

Friday night is usually a date night for us. We like to relax after the long work week, visit different, interesting restaurants, and just spend time together talking about our week. We enjoy it.

But we were both kind of tired this week. It was the last week of school for me and Tom has had a little stomach virus, so we decided to just stay in and order pizza.

This is a little bit of a production for us. Tom likes the Philly Beef and Cheese pizza from Domino's. I could not be persuaded to eat this, even if bribed with several new pairs of shoes. So we order two medium pizzas. I get a thin crust with extra cheese and mushrooms. We usually eat the leftovers for lunch the next day, so it's not really wasteful.

The pizzas were delivered and Tom went downstairs to finish watching the news. I, on the other hand, was watching TV upstairs. Something so thought-provoking, so scintillating that you will be so impressed with me. Seinfeld reruns.

I looked at my pizza and decided it was just silly to waste a plate. So, I fixed a big glass of ice (but you knew that), poured some Diet Cherry Pepsi over it and settled in with my pajamas and the open pizza box in my lap. I drank my Diet Cherry Pepsi and ate my drippy cheese and mushroom pizza with a thin crust. Who needs a napkin? I just licked my fingers.

Y'all, it doesn't get any better than that.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Wardrobe Malfunction

We just finished our fifth grade commencement program at school yesterday. Nice, sweet, all that. Kids hugging each other and hugging us and promising us they will come visit next year. Some really will. Most we will never see again. We have to hope we did the best we could with the time we were given with them. Maybe some will stay avid readers, keep loving books. Maybe I helped.

But here's the thing. One of the presenters up on stage with me was wearing a strapless sundress. Darling. But, oh my. Who remembers tube tops? Come on, raise your hands. Raise both hands. Give out a shout. Oh. Uh oh. See? That's what happens with strapless tops and dresses. So it made me very nervous. And I wasn't even wearing it. She was young and innocent and had obviously not been on a stage very much. Or made many presentations.

I have. And I would never wear anything strapless. Or even low cut. Because I have seen what happens when you drop something, forget what you are wearing and bend over. Whoa. You are on display for your audience and anyone else interested in perusing your merchandise.

I worry enough when I have to present. Will my nose start running? (Yes, it always does. So I have tissues.) Will I turn my ankle when I walk across the stage? (Yes, I have stumbled. I recovered, kept my cool, went on walking.) Will I forget what I wanted to say? (Yes. I just kept talking until it came back to me.) Will I think my presentation at a conference is supposed to end 15 minutes before it actually comes to an end, make my conclusion and then have someone in the audience tell me I have 15 more minutes? (Yes. To my embarrassment, yes. I managed to talk for 15 more minutes. No problem, actually.) Will the technology I am depending on for my session at a technology conference screw up? (Of course. That is a given. It's how you make it work or work around it that impresses the audience. Because they know their technology will probably screw up in their session also. So they don't judge.)

So, I don't need to get overly excited, throw both arms up in the air and realize that my dress is now around my waist. I TRULY don't need that to happen.

So I don't wear strapless dresses to present.