Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Queen of No

Rich & I just got back from a walk with the dogs. We went to the park that's about a mile away and it started raining in teeny tiny drops. I love the smell of rain on earth; it's probably my favorite smell in the world.
It was an incredibly pleasant stroll. My legs are clicking and pulsing because I haven't been active in awhile and I totally needed that. Sometimes I can be the queen of "no" and it's refreshing to get out of that groove and start doing things. I always feel better about life when I'm being active and not just sitting around "no"ing all the time. Despite that I know this, I can be terribly difficult to motivate. Must break the cycle.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Let's Get Physical....Physical.

I've been putting this post off for too long because things are getting entirely too shit oriented around here. That and, frankly, I'm a horrid procrastinator...but you already knew that.
One of the bloggers that I read (Martin from Number Twos ) requested I post something regarding an offhand comment I made on one of his posts. I said:
"I find that physically demanding activities typically push my UC aside for that little window."
This was apparently the wrong thing to say because now I feel I must impress my fellow blogger by posting something thorough and thought provoking. I totally got called out.
So I've been allowing this elaboration to simmer in my brain juices for many moons because I always put off today what I can do tomorrow.
What I meant by my comment was that in the worst bout of my UC flare, when I used my body for physical activity it seemed like my symptoms took a back seat. If I was running or doing yard work (hah! like that happened more than once!) or chasing birds at the park (too weird?) or basically anything physically demanding, it sort of drowned out the pain and urgency. Once I stopped moving, things would come back into full swing again, but for those moments of losing myself to focus on a physical need, I was largely dormant.

Things that may be wrong here are this:
1. I am mostly well at the moment. I can talk a lot of stuff about what it was like, but unless I'm there to re-test these memories I don't feel 100% confident in their accuracy.
2. Physical strain on the body may have caused the UC to take a backseat for the moment, but it may have also irritated the situation once the stress on my body was over.
3. From what I've read of other bloggers, my UC sounds like it was less severe (at least thus far). I have gone through hell with my body and I don't want to understate what an immense impact the UC has had on my life; I still deal with it every single day. What I mean is, the worst of it lasted for about a year and I have not yet had to get on steroids or consider a colostomy. I might in the future, and when/if the time comes I'll deal with it as well as I can.

I hope this answers the question. If not, email me. I might get back to you in a few months :D

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fall 2009 Semester

School is out! At least until mid January. I got A's in both of my classes, ENG102 & SOC101. Pretty easy, just took a lot of time and I'm the worst procrastinator this side of the Mississippi so I make things much more intolerable than they really should be.
I had the roles of my teachers way off; the ENG teacher was actually pretty awesome and nice, despite his outward grumpy seeming exterior. SOC teacher was so-so, but he was a big fan of hearing himself talk and getting up on a soapbox about how horrible anything non-liberal is. Not to say I didn't agree with some of his rants, but they wasted time we could have used for something useful. Like learning how to riot.
I have already signed up for next semester with a math class (the last one I'll need for my major!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!) and Spanish. I've been wanting to learn Spanish for a long time and I already know quite a bit from high school, and I've been told I have an excellent accent ::straightening my bow tie:: I will feel very cool going to Mexico with my sister-in-law and visiting her family with my future sweet Spanish skills. Gotta put in the work though... At least I'll have people to practice with :D

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas 2009 Wish List

I've compiled a ridiculously over-jewelry-oriented Christmas list this year. There are a few other (awesome!) things I want on the list too. Turns out I have caviar taste on a mac'n cheese budget, so I just "fantasy shop." Last year I emailed one of my cousins pictures of gifts I would have gotten her if I wasn't broke. It's the thought that counts, eh?

$9.00 Etsy Anatomy Magnets We got a magnet board for the office and we are now collecting magnets. These things are awesome.

$11.50 Etsy Aqua Glass Wire Ring I met the super cool chick that made this. I grovel at her talent.

$20.00 Etsy Intestines Pendant**
This is my feeble attempt at finding a cool/interesting thing about Ulcerative Colitis. Would be a hell of a conversation starter.

$20.00 Etsy Anatomical Heart Tote Seems I am a tad anatomy obsessed at the moment.

$20.00 Bed Bath & Beyond Jewelry Tree
To take the place of one of the zillions of jewelry boxes I have tucked here and there.

$27.00 Guesstures Game Incredibly fun when company is over.

$27.00 Taboo Game
This is one of my favorite family games. You must be a true wordsmith Jedi to be successful.

$44.00 Thermometer Necklace
Functional and effing sweet.

$55.00 Etsy Industrial Heart Pendant** I'm in love with these things.

$60.00 World Links Necklace** AHHH!

$60.00 Level Necklace
Again, functional and effing sweet.

$70.00 Oragami Crane Necklace
Super cool. $70?!?! This thing didn't have a snowball's chance in Hell.

$70.00 XX-Hi Converse I think my angry youth is coming back to haunt me on this one, but it was love at first sight..a couple years ago when I first saw these. I'm haunting shoe stores in hopes that some day they'll go on a reasonable sale or (crosses fingers) CLEARANCE!

$76.00 Knee High Moccasin Boots Everyone I knows thinks my Halloween hippie costume suited me all too well. It's items like this lurking in my closet and a patchouli scent wafting around the house from time to time that seals the deal.

There ya have it! If you know anyone as weird as me, they might just find some of this stuff appealing :)

(Note: All items in blue are links.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ladies Guard Sergio The Hound

We ended up taking on an unexpected new addition to the family. Above is the new guy, Sergio, who is a Great Dane and only 4 months old. Beside him is Dakota, our 4 year old Shiba Inu, who is obviously dwarfed by the mammoth Sergio. Jari, our cat, has decided not to be photographed at this time. He has also refrained from making comments on the matter, aside from the occasional hiss or batting at the face of an overly curious monster pup.

Thanksgiving Shit-nanigans

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I love food and there's no pressure to buy anyone a stinkin' gift. I hate buying gifts when I feel obligated to do so. This was the first Thanksgiving I've not gone to my aunt's house and I really am an old dog; I'm not much for change and breaking new ground on holidays is not one of my strong points. Rich and I spent this year with his family; first we went to his aunt's house and then after (over)stuffing ourselves and enjoying a bit of conversation, we headed over to his dad's place for round two of our eat-a-thon. It was really an outstanding day. I lucked out with Richards family; they are all excellent, intelligent and fun people to spend time with.
As Thanksgiving is a food oriented day, this tale was predestined to turn into a poop story. My life is very poop-oriented. I was going strong that day, stuffing my belly and throwing caution to the wind! During the evening, however, after our second lovely turkey dinner of the day, I felt a rumblin'. I acted swiftly by excusing myself and darting for the nearest bathroom at hand. Things seemed well enough; the bathroom was a fair distance away from the crowd, the fan rumbled to a start (I love a good, loud bathroom fan) and there was even a convenient Pumpkin Spice room spray on the back of the toilet. I knew I was about to create a massacre, so decided I'd give the room a few good sprays of pumpkin spice scent to mask (or mingle...) with the Parfume de Arse I was about to drop. By "a few good sprays," I mean six sprays.
Now, often with any scented aerosol room spray, it takes a bit for the stuff to really cover an odor. The six sprays seemed standard. That is, until I started choking. My eyes were watering and I got this tickle in my throat that wouldn't quit, so I was hacking it up in the bathroom, trying to finish my business, eyes watering, and I looked over to see my pumpkin spice savior said "concentrated." Welllll, isn't that just rich.
I got up and began scrubbing frantically at my hands, holding my breath as long as my body would allow. I couldn't have been in there for more than a few minutes, but it seemed like time slowed down as my face began to flush red and I gulped in different regions of the bathroom, searching for a place that was not yet penetrated by the overwhelming pumpkin-shit-spice scent.
Finally, I dried my hands and got the hell outta there, leaving the door cracked and hoping against hope that no lonely child would wander in there trying to take a leak and discover himself choking, causing a surge of adults to accompany him and speculate about who the culprit might be, thus forever branding me the pumpkin-shit-spice bandit of Thanksgiving 2009.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Big Two Five in Sin City

On Friday, November 13, 2009 I turned 25 years old. That's a quarter of a century. I remember being in elementary school and looking up at the big eighth graders and thinking of how lucky they were to be so old and sophisticated. It seems the older I get the younger all older people seem. Like now I would consider maybe 65 to be "old," but still potentially spry and sharp. When I was looking up at those eighth graders they were 12 and I had stars in my eyes just imagining the ripe old age of 12 and the freedoms that came along with it. I have also always felt very 'in the moment' of my age, like I'm a whole person at whatever age I am. Then every year I go and surprise myself by realizing one or another stupid decision or choice I made the previous year. In a way it's humbling. There will always be so much that I don't know.
Enough of that; let's get on with the fun part! My dad flew in early from Colorado for my birthday and had a surprise brewin' for me. He asked if I could take Friday off from work (granted!), and held out on telling me what we'd be doing. On Friday I woke up to a text message that said "Vegas baby!"
Awesome! I had always wanted to check out Sin City and my dad was the perfect person to go with because (a) he knows his way around and (b) he's pretty badass in general. On the drive we stopped at the Hoover Dam and I can now say I hovered at the Hoover. Hovered over a very smelly porta-potty, that is. I also took some awesome pictures (not developed yet :x I need to break free of the 35mm world) and the drive gave us plenty of time to talk and catch up.
We stayed at the Tropicana hotel and saw two shows; Cirque De Soleil-Ka' and later a dirty/hilarious hypnosis bit.
For anyone planning on going to Vegas, make sure you bring your walking shoes because I was tuckered out from the insane amount of roaming in my Chuck Taylors. Also, I advise you take out your rage on those damned swarms of porn distributors that stand in long lines up and down the Strip. If I didn't want a LIVE NUDE GIRL! who DOES WHATEVER YOU WANT! the first three times, what makes you think I'll want one the next two thousand one hundred forty seven times?! Also, bring lots of money. And don't put it in those flashy machines because you will lose it. The only machine we won on was one of those mega oversize slot machines. After which all money was promptly lost. Thank goodness I am not a lover of gambling.
So much diversity! I saw pimps (literally) reciting the slogan "if you ain't hoe-in' you ain't goin'!" and shaking their canes around, I saw platinum blonds with tiny skirts getting into a limo, a guy wearing bling and a fur coat with sunglasses (at night), a bum rummaging in a bus stop trash can to fill up a cup with old leftover beer from the night before and every other type of person in between.
Best birthday trip ever!
(Above: Pops & I in a Vegas hotel)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beware The Mighty Prune

I’m going to start off by saying, hesitantly, that I love the taste of prunes. They’re delicious, sweet, wrinkly snacks. Since I was a little girl I would smuggle them from the refrigerator or take deep, cool swigs from the jug of prune juice my great grandpa kept way back on the shelf (certainly in an attempt to thwart my prune juice reaching).

It had been awhile since I enjoyed my childhood treat and on Sunday (Halloween), my brother and his wife came over and brought an enormous sack full of them. We were having a vegetarian BBQ in order to celebrate their recent lifestyle change in becoming vegetarians. Neither Richard nor I have taken the veggie plunge, but we take any excuse we can to assemble and this sounded like an interesting theme. We packed our bellies full of a variety of grilled squash, veggie burgers and a spaghetti squash veggie medley I found online. The festivities were a hit! Then something happened. I don’t know who invited this unwanted bane-of-my-existence, but my great aunt Flatulence made her entrance.

Did I mention that Richard and I were going to a Halloween costume party later that evening? I’m sure the excessive vegetable intake didn’t help. My body was not adjusted. But to further worsen this tale, I decided I’d eat three of nature’s laxatives, PRUNES, without batting an eye.

Ah, my old friend the prune. The prune is stealth itself. He looks so innocent sitting there bagged, like a dark skinned old man, hunched and pitted, mushy and polished with age. Beneath that frail skin is a sleeping giant. I awoke the giant that night. Under my hippie caftan garb a slow and steady rumblin' started rolling through my belly and by the time we got to our Halloween party I thought I might soil myself before I crossed the threshold. I don't think my patchouli oil scent would have covered a horrendous odor wafting from beneath. I scurried to an off limits bathroom and grappled with the stealthy old devil. Beware the mighty prune.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Monocle & Coat On A Porcupine

Over the weekend I had some family come into town for my second cousins wedding. Included in the hullabaloo was my mom, two aunts I hadn't seen in at least 9 years, their daughters and THEIR kids, all from Texas. Taking photographs for this wedding was much like taking snapshots at a rodeo, except all the country folk were wearing button up shirts and trying not to cuss in church. It makes me think of trying to put a monocle and coat on a porcupine.
These visitors all played major roles in my childhood and it was very eerie to see them reconvene after all these years. We all went over to an aunt's house on Sunday afternoon; the adults were in their own circle in the living room, and one of my cousins and I were sitting on an askew couch, observing a twisted flashback. A flashback where all the young druggies were now old druggies. Instead of talking about doping, they were instead talking about their health problems caused by the reckless youth and young adulthood. It was almost as though they never were apart. The room was hazy with their chain smoking and my lungs burned. Voices that I once knew jabbered about how their kids had been taken away and of other 'injustices' done to them in their using days.
Except those voices that were once fresh and authoritative are now rusty and they've lost all their power. It's a strange thing growing up and watching yourself surpass those that seemed so big once. I hope as I age that I can continue to look back, rather than just look around, wasting away in the same old space.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

39,999 More...?

One of my baby brothers graduated from Air Force Basic Training this weekend. It's been very weird watching the last two grow up. I remember when my mom came home from the hospital with the two little bundles, one in each arm. They wreaked havoc in diapers with little blond mullets and sang songs I'd come home with from school. They would laugh so hard that it was impossible to not laugh with them. Now they're finally separate and starting their own lives hundreds of miles apart. I doubt they've ever gone more than a couple of days without one another until now. I never had a tangible connection with the war until the last few years (my sister has been in the USAF for a couple years), and now that I can feel it hitting home in such a literal way I just hope that the next eight years is better spent with thoughtful planning, stronger strategy and no more senseless missions. We're sending our babies to war. There better be a damn good reason.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Slice O' Life

A brief overview of my day:

1. Went to work
2. Went to school
3. Canceled gym membership
4. Bought Dutch apple pie

Sometimes you just gotta create your own silver linings.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Hunter Gatherers Had It Right

I saw a segment of one of Obama's speeches regarding education and how he'd like to expand the length of the school day, open up schools on the weekends and to make children attend school year round. There was some great stuff in his speech, but this segment kind of pissed me off.
Summers are GLORY TIMES for kids. Sweet freedom. Sun burns, junk food and sprinkler frolicking. The reasoning, he explains, is that we need to keep up with other countries that typically attend school a full month more per year than our students. Aren't we one of the top countries for creating technology in the post industrial era? I would think that implies that we're doing something right.
He does mention recruiting and rewarding good teachers and no longer making excuses for bad ones. Yesss! This is exactly what we need. I absolutely believe in education, but I also believe in enjoying ones life and not being crammed indoors for hours upon hours. LIFE is education. EXPERIENCES are education. Kids will be missing out on life and getting programmed for 12 hours in a cube all day. That's not the life I want for kids. It doesn't feel right.

John Adams said, "I am a warrior, that my son may be a merchant – and his son may be a poet." To me this raises the question of why we now need two incomes to survive and I see my co-workers more than I see my family. There are people alive today that had, in the past, the solid understanding that if they work hard every day, at the end of the day they could go home to their families and know that things were alright; there was enough money to provide, they didn't have concerns over their health and they could make it on a single income.
I feel detached from my livelihood; what does sitting in a box for eight hours a day have to do with my survival? I think this is part of the reason so many people have issues with depression and other anxiety disorders. They are detached from their biological makeup.
It feels like no matter how hard someone works today, they're still only getting table scraps, barely keeping their head above water. I would hate to think we're programming our children for the same kind of life.
(Image is George Tooker's Landscape with Figures.)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Wanderlust Mom.

Happy birthday to my mom today. She is 46.

I was discussing with someone how fortunate and grateful I am to have my siblings. When I hear someone speaking badly of their own siblings I am truly sad for them. Siblings are sort of their own brand of magic, contributing to your childhood and providing you with a leg up on memories that would have otherwise been forgotten. They get you. They get where you came from and the reasons for your aspirations of where you're going. They are a whole other world that you get to sneak preview in the intimate way that no one else can. They're guaranteed to always be around. You can have a blow out fight with them and make up within the hour. They forgive and really let it go; they hold no grudges. They wish you the best and mean it with all their hearts. When they ask how you've been, they actually want to know the answer and don't shy away when it's a bad one. As the eldest, I watch out for them and lecture them at length when [I feel] they need lecturing. When I need a shoulder, I have four sets to consult. Nothing beats it. I am better because of them; to this day they continue to make me want to set a good example. The mind blow here is that these whole worlds are spinning around because of poor planning and lack of contraception. Life is a miracle or a really funny joke. Neither would be disappointing.
Back to 46. The last time she came back we had a good brawl and bawl and she actually told me that she used to resent that she had the five of us because she felt like we took her life away. Then when we were taken away by dad she thought "What am I supposed to be doing again?" and instead of doing something, she just drifted. I have had a wide range of feelings about her, anything from pity to anger to plain astonishment.
I still find myself in want of that relationship I see between mothers and daughters, but I've had several women in my life that are powerhouses and have provided me with motherly goodness and I'm thankful for that. I don't know if I seek this out, if it comes to me, or if it's just how women are geared-instinctively guarding and guiding one another. I am happy to be a woman; we allow and encourage each other to feel. Men are often taught to suppress emotions in order to retain their manliness and save face. I would feel so trapped by that.
So for my mom's birthday I will say thanks to her for the good stuff, the wild ride that got me where I am today, and for making me four amazing siblings. I can't go without acknowledging the role my dad took on as both parents when we moved in with him and he picked up the pieces; without him I would be in a pretty lowdown spot. I will also express my thanks to the women in my life that have given me guidance, encouragement and the strength to laugh at myself when the shit hits the fan. Sometimes that's all we can do.
(Photo: Me, sister & mom)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Home Remedies 101

Note to self: Using vinegar as a household cleaning agent or perhaps as a compliment to a dish is one thing, but gargling with vinegar...

Me: "Where's the vinegar?"
R: "In the laundry room."
Me: "Is it contaminated? You know, with bleach or some other weird concoction you've come up with?"
R: "Nope, good to go."
[I go and get the vinegar, then proceed to take a hearty swig and gargle with it. As I'm choking and gasping for breath, which-in terror-I realize I cannot catch, I think I hear a faint giggle in the other room.]
R: "Did you just gargle with vinegar?"
Me: [through coughing and wheezing] "Yes! I'm thinking maybe that wasn't a great idea. There is liquid coming out every possible orifice of my face."
R: [outright laughter]

Apparently Richard had just done this a few days ago when he was sick and wanted to wash out his mouth. Once I could breathe, we laughed together.

No Longer Ready For A Hug

As of yesterday, I'm sick. Eff you, nature! As if I didn't have enough trouble with my southern end, you have to go and throw in a whole different region of torcher! I shake my fist at thee!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Spin Cycle

In case you hadn't noticed, I was away for awhile. I flew out to Colorado for my brothers "wedding" last week (they were married in Mexico almost two years ago, but hadn't made it them?). Took a few days off work, missed my second night of my ENG102 class and didn't even think twice about not going to the gym. We can rarely get that many of us together, so there was much fun to be had along with bickering, teary eyes, heart to hearts and lack of sleep. Oh, and snacking; can't forget the snacking. My UC was mostly merciful despite an argument with my sister that left us on a sour note. Overall a swell time.
Then I got back and for a good solid week it felt like someone threw me in a washing machine on "Extra Large Load-Spin Cycle." I was up to my ass in work, missed homework, regular school work and, YES, despite all odds I decided to punish myself and go to the gym one night. Thank you Labor Day for a much needed three day weekend. Below you will observe an example of a very happy...pre-washing machine me. It looks like I'm ready for a hug.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Intestinal Ills

While browsing at a local book store called The Bent Cover, Richard and I came across this cool old book called "Intestinal Ills." I thought it'd be interesting to read and see how it relates (or doesn't relate) to my woes with Ulcerative Colitis. It was printed in 1918, original copyright 1901. Author Alcinous B. Jamison, M.D.. I have only read the first chapter but I've already seen some truths that I can relate to and some untruths that are a little far out. I suppose it wouldn't be much of a page turner unless you had interests of an intestinal nature. I daresay I do.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Impressions

Tonight classes started for me. I must say, I'm very zombie-esque after a full day, from 8AM-9:30PM, of sitting on my ass. Most of this time was spent in front of a computer screen. Would it be super nerdy to admit I really missed reading my book, Drums of Autumn, this evening? I'd rather be doing that than most things right at the moment. I'm hooked; 4th book in the Outlander series.
Anyway, about school...
The first class is ENG102. This promises to be very lame after going in tonight; it's going to be all about writing research papers. Ugh. I was really hoping to be able to read some good novels and have character/plot discussions and write papers on my opinion. Damn facts! And Works Cited pages! The teacher also seems very grumpy and speaks as though we're a high school class rather than college; plenty of time was devoted to lecturing about being on time and not missing classes. Blah blah blah. Hellish, indeed.
The second (and last) class of the night is SOC101. It is only one day a week so it's extra long. I really liked the instructor--you can tell when they actually care about the subject they're teaching--and the content sounds interesting. I didn't have much to add as far as participation tonight because I was feeling pretty spent. Haven't been sleeping well. Keep dreaming that I'm reading and then half waking. This might be a sign that I should stop reading for several hours at a time. But really, I've always had these sorts of dreams; dreams where things are incomplete and I just keep pushing on under impossible circumstances. Usually happens when I'm doing night classes (they're baaaack) or when I have two jobs and I'm working over 60 hours a week. Thankfully haven't had to do that in about two years. Ok, so I'm rambling. Must retire for the evening. Adeu!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Damn Alligator Bit My Hand Off!

This evening, for the first time ever, I went to a driving range and hit golf balls. Richard's friend invited us out to give it a whirl. This was a surprisingly great time considering I always had the notion that only very old rich men wearing funny looking pants and hats went to the driving range. These men always have very nasally sounding voices in my notions.
The first joyous spectacle of the evening took place when we decided to purchase a small basket of golf balls from a machine in front of the pro shop. Little did we know the basket must be under the golf-ball-dispenser-thingy immediately after hitting the button or golf balls will scatter every which way.
Oh. How. They. Scattered.
To add to the chaos the place was having some sort of Hawaiian luau theme, so there are balls tittering around the ground, pouring out this hole in the machine, and women garbed in grass skirts and tropical tops carrying various Hawaiian instruments. The basket was hastily applied once the initial jaw dropping moment fizzled.
It was on to the range! Here must give myself a pat on the back for not slamming the club into the ground with an arm reverberating swing and actually hitting the ball within the limits (mostly) of where it needed to go. Once we hit a couple baskets worth, we headed to the putting area.
Much wind whipped hair and many missed putts later, I felt a big fat raindrop fall on my head. Then another. Then a whole lot more. Within the time we threw the putting balls into the bag of clubs we were quite damp. We made a mad dash to the parking lot (of course Rich parked in the very back) and were completely soaked through by the time we were in the truck. Holy mother I love when it rains. The cherry on top of a very enjoyable evening. There was the monsoon weather we were waiting for; it was just saving up for a big show.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pictures Of You

I remember you, sitting there cross legged on the balcony. Shorts were too short, your ass was hanging out, but you never cared. Natural Ice in one hand, loose bun knotted at the crown of your head, thin chocolate brown with streaks of grey. You are getting old. I was inside, looking out. Your cheeks were round and fat like a baby, smiling at me and toothless, pinky out, lifting the beer to your thin dry lips. You looked happy, but I could see through. Smile slanted sparkly blue eyes, but glossed over and giggling with that warm feeling of apartness from your body; the feeling you chased with tunnel vision, obstructing all else.
I remember you there and was thinking maybe I couldn't blame you. Maybe you were turning backward, back into a child and I had to scold you and say something cutting so you'd feel ashamed. You took it like a man, ma. Didn't say a word back to me, and in turn I felt ashamed.
Then cheated. Thought about all those things we'd missed because of that little blue can in your hand and lack of accountability. You've always had someone to bail you out. "The Lord will provide" you said when we were losing our house and dad loaded us up and took us away to something better. "The Lord will provide" you said when you finally came back after years and then ran out of resources and people to sponge off of and then turned tail and ran back under the rock you came from. Well it's not "the Lord" providing. It's people who care about you and remember who you were once and see a little shimmer of that in you still. It's those people that are providing, and you're leaching.
But when I think of you with your rosy cheeks and your toothless face-splitting grin, I want to cradle you up and tell you all about who you can be when you grow up, the places you can go, adventures to be had, love to be found and lost and found again; what your kids might be like, how they'll admire you and say the things you say and want to be just like you. How you can be whatever you want to be when you get big. But I'm too late for all that. So now I'll just say you should know we loved you once, and you're missing out.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fall 2009 Semester

I signed up for two night classes for the coming Fall semester. I already had 15 credits towards my Associate Arts degree (how'd that happen?). That's 15 out of 60. Ouch. I need to get my ass in gear. I'm taking Sociology101 and English102. These classes will give me a total of 6 more credits, just over 1/3 of the way there. Yurgh. Long haul. At this turtles pace it will take me two years to get my AA. I simply can't wait that long. Something has to change.
Car will be paid off at the beginning of next year. Will have more dough to pay for classes/books. No more time than I have now, but more money, so it's something. Ah, the life of a full time student would be nice. Maybe a little part time job on the side.
I have never been able to even DREAM of such a thing. Even when I was in high school I was working two part time jobs simultaneously AND paying rent for living in my dad's house (once I turned 18). Ain't that some shit? Of course I figured if I was paying rent there and still living by his rules, I might as well just move out and pay rent somewhere else. And so I've been in this rut for...ugh...forever? There will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Some damned place. But to be honest, it's pretty hard to see right now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Forgot My Cape In My Other Jeans

Richard and I are standing in the driveway attempting to re-attach his tailgate when a slender silver station wagon pulls up on the other side of the street and a frantic Chinese delivery driver from Ming's gets out and starts waving a receipt around. In broken English he gets the point across that he's lost and can't find the house he's looking for. Richard, the ever-helpful guy that he is, calls the customer's house on his cell and asks him to verify the address. It was one digit off; I Google map it and discover it's straight up the street, within plain view of our own house. With lots of pointing and smiling we tell the driver to head straight up the street, make sure you don't turn on the curve, the house should be right there. About five minutes later, Rich calls the customer's house once again in hopes of getting a successful report of delivery and, hopefully, a solid review on a good Chinese food place in the neighborhood.
Lo and behold, the poor fellow simply couldn't understand what we were saying and likely did turn on the curve.
From the moment the Chinaman steps out and begins his broken attempts at communication, my eyes half-glaze over; I am fantasizing about knowing Chinese and directing him steadfast to his desired destination. In my fantasy, he is very impressed and we chat for awhile about my miraculous abilities. I wave him goodbye and the food is delivered, fresh and hot, to waiting hungry customer.
I often have these moments where I wish I had some insane out-of-thin-air skill just at the right time. Often times I will glaze over in situations such as this and just fantasize about how awesome it would be to have a super ability in a time of need or great desire. (Singing, instrument playing, language, dance, art, etc.)
If I were a super hero and I got to choose my skill, this would TOTALLY be it! I don't care about invisibility, flight, gills or any of that crap! Just hit me with some spur of the moment abilities when the time is right. If you could put in a good word for me at the Super Hero Academy, that'd be great. Thankssomuch.

For A Good Time Call Helen Keller

Have you heard that new song by 3oh!3 called "Don't Trust Me"? It has a line in it about Helen Keller that goes "Shush girl, shut your lips, do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips" Usually I'm not such a tight ass about being politically correct, but "Damn!" I thought, "leave Helen Keller alone. The poor woman went through enough in her life that she shouldn't be subjected to some lame superficial pop song and be cashed in on like a set of spinning rims or a grill." Then something happened.
In the midst of all my judgmental smiting, a lonely thought danced across my mind and I was, quite abruptly, flung from my dignified humanitarian pedestal. I fervently texted Richard with said lonely-dancing-thought "Do you think Helen Keller ever got any tail? 'Cause if she did I bet it was awesome! With no sight or sound the sense of touch must be incredibly heightened!"
And then Satan opened the gates of Hell, poked his pointy horns out for a moment and gave me a thumbs up.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Things That Keep Us Quiet

(Thanks to April for allowing me to wrestle this photo out of her.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I know nothing.

I am agnostic. I know that I don’t know.

Do I believe Jesus existed? Yes. I think he had to have been a pretty cool guy since everyone remembers him and thought enough to write a book about him, despite the potential persecution they would have received from authority for writing such tales.

I think prayer is a good thing. It keeps our desires and worries and the things we’re thankful for in clear view; these things are easily lost track of without constant reminders.

I think religion is good for some people. Some people need to believe in God and the world is a better place for it--in certain ways for certain people. Suicide bombers think what they’re doing is right, for these crazy brainwashed fools, God is not a good figure. For people finding God in prison and changing their lives because of it, people who would otherwise do much worse things, God is a good figure.

I am a good person and I don’t feel as though I need religion to be so.

I respect the religion of others; I will bow my head at a prayer over a meal, in a prayer circle or anywhere people are practicing their beliefs. Just because I don’t believe what you believe doesn’t mean you’re wrong or that I should devalue your practices.

I think if there is a “God,” he isn’t what people think, and I certainly don’t believe in a “Devil”. I think God is everything, good and evil, and we are all a part of it if it exists at all.

I simply can’t wrap my head around this “God” creature sending people to Hell due to an option he gave us, especially since he hasn’t made an appearance in so long. It simply doesn’t make sense, and I sure as shit don’t remember signing up for it. If you’ve read the Bible stories, you’d know God does some fucked up shit. I think he is both good and evil and balances himself out; we are all a part of Him, our good and our evil, and maybe once we die we just join a single consciousness with other beings.
I believe in the possibility that there’s nothing there. “I think, therefore I am” doesn’t necessarily mean “I am” after I am no longer.

While I’m at it, maybe we’re one big alien experiment, and they’re just keeping tabs on us to find out how their science project is going.

All I know is that I know nothing. I will find out when I die; until then I will continue being as good a person as I can and hope the rest of the world is doing the same.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Insides Like A Christmas Tree

Pops is back home from the surgery and I'll be flying up to visit this coming weekend. It will give my mind a little peace to see him finally because he sounded really bad when I last talked to him on the phone. I'd never heard him sound like that before, his Chicago accent was really strong. I guess that happens when people are in pain or have extreme emotions one way or another, it was just kind of sad and scary to hear my dad like that :( He says he's recovering quickly and every day he feels a bit better.
I was thinking of posting the photo of his huge gash across the belly with staples in it, but thought better of it. Seen here is the pre-op MRI photo which got this whole mess started. I don't know what the hell I'm looking at, but I think it looks pretty neat!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Neil Young...Not Quite A Looker

I think it's a shame that in todays music industry you have to be smoking hot and fake looking to get anywhere (for the most part). There are so many amazing artists from our past that were quite ratty looking fellas, but they had this incredible talent so no one gave a crap.
Musicians today are not only over processed in their looks, but over processed in sound too. I have to turn off the radio sometimes and just sit in silence because I'm tired of listening to all this over processed perfect sounding music. I think music is GOOD with flaws and the squeak of guitar strings or the slight inhale or a quivering voice in just the right spot. Music is all about connecting with someone or something, but let's be honest, none of us can relate to perfection. It's not possible and if it were I sure as hell wouldn't want it.
I was just listening to a kick ass Neil Young song, Heart of Gold. Real, raw, human excellence.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wet Noodle Up A Cat's Ass

Skipped going to the gym tonight. I made up the lame excuse that I had eaten too much vegetable stew and would definitely be having stomach problems because of it. Turns out it was true, but, eh, I feel lame for not even making an attempt. Was then thinking of getting a bowl of cherries but couldn't picture the bottom of the bowl when picturing the bowl, so decided to let it rest while the demons in my intestines fight it out. I'm just the bystander that rubs their shoulders, wipes their blood clean and puts Vaseline on that cut just about the eyebrow from that right hook. Touch gloves, let's have a good clean fight.
I haven't been writing much lately. Well, writing about dentists and fires and gas and kittens, but not WRITING. Something that grabs your collar and pulls an emotion right out of you sort of writing. I haven't been doing much of that at all. In a funk.
Yoga would be half way over right now. I could be very pretzely with legs flailing about every which way and zen and still confused about which side is right and which is left immediately, checking out what the guy in front of me is doing. I need to start wearing a wrist band on the right or something, brain just doesn't process quickly enough to avoid being a dumb shit and not knowing right from left.
About vegetable stew: it's delicious. Mom used to make it and say "you're gonna wish you would've learned how to make this some day!" and I would retort with "I won't need to! I'll find myself a man that cooks!" That battle ensued between approx. age 7-12 until my teenage hatred boiled over and the only talking we did was yelling when she dumped beer on my head or something ridiculous. I really do wish I'd've learned how to make that damned stew the way she makes it though, I really just don't quite get the right taste. Sure didn't find myself a man that cooks. And then again, my memories of ravenous pleasure from eating it could have been due to being poorly nourished. Only went shopping once a month when the Food Stamps came in. Mostly bought junk. By week three we were making sandwiches out of stale white bread and mustard. Week four was pasta and licking the school cafeteria tray. I really do think she could cook though. When she switched the recipe to meth, I guess her brains shriveled up and she sort of forgot. I tried to get her to make some things for me while she was here last. She made 'em, but they were missing something. Maybe the brain cells, maybe that I wasn't ravenous, or maybe that my great grandpa (Pappy) wasn't sitting there with his cowboy hat and soft dark leather skin waiting for his supper. I loved that man.
My mom told me a story while she was down here that shook my mind up and made me giggle like a school girl. Pappy from time to time let my mom's drifter friends stay at our place. He was letting a friend of hers crash out and I guess she thought it was in her best interest to seduce him in order to stay longer, so this twenty-or-thirtysomething woman got all up in my great grandpa's business (he was, I imagine, in his 60's or 70's at the time) and afterwards he booted her ass right to the curb. He told my mom later he figured she was trying to help her case by sleeping with him, "but it was like shoving a wet noodle up a cat's ass!" Holy shit that made me laugh! I was always under the "my word is my bond" and all those golden rules followin' impressions with my Pappy. Turns out he was just as ornery as the next guy. He was really a great man.
Anyway, I don't know how I got from stew to yoga to a wet noodle up a cats ass, but I sure feel like I accomplished something. Don't know just what, but a little part of the levy broke on this one. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pops' Surgery

Dads on the operating table this morning for four hours. Please send some good thoughts his way. Love you, poppy.

Update 7/9/9: So far so good, pops just got moved to his own room and is chattin' it up with the best of 'em.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Reasons To Never Go To The Dentist

Richard went to the dentist today for a root canal. He was feeling confident; he's already had one root canal before. However, there was a bit of a horrifying twist to this one. They were about a half hour into the process when the dentist left the room. He stayed gone for 45 minutes, leaving Richard's mouth propped open and various dental items hanging out. Richard then begins to see smoke seeping into the little room. Ho. Ly. Shit. I then receive several frantic texts, which I respond to with some comforting crap despite my annoyance to what I think is his overreacting. The dentist returns, explaining there was a computer fire and apologizes for being gone so long without telling him what was going on. The end.
P. S.
This would be a bit better written, but Root Boy Wonder is complaining that my typing is "neurotic". I am mumbling obscenities.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 4th Extravaganza!

Reasons you would've been happy to be with my family last night:
1. Dinner was delicious. Barbecue ribs and potato salad (<-- made by me...yes, I did lick the mixing spoon and then continue mixing!)
2. Giving my uncle Kevin sass by going outside while he was grilling and saying "lower heat, longer cooking time!" A life risking decision for sure.
3. Illegal fireworks.
4. Watching my cousin hold a firework with too short of a fuse and blow half her synthetic fingernail off. Just the top part! No blood!
5. Watching my aunt Donna float on her noodle in the pool and see the fright in her eyes as a flaming pink firework heads straight for her! If she hadn't been in water, she would have had a hole in that bathing suit for sure!
6. Even after stepping a safe distance away, being forced to do a jig with Richard on the lawn as a swirly unpredictable white firework headed straight for us.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pseudo Aneurysm & Signs

My dad has surgery scheduled for 7/8/09 (wow! 7, 8, 9!) and will be flying to Texas (from Colorado) to see a specialist. He has a pseudo aneurysm in an abdominal artery. I think this might relate to a previous surgery, but I don't have all the dots connected with that yet. He had been having severe pain in his abdomen and, surprisingly, similar symptoms to me for the past year. He finally went in to have an MRI done and came back with those unnerving results. I'm quite taken aback and scared. My dad is the rock of the family and life without him would be like a tiny ship slamming to and fro at sea without a beacon. I've always felt like he was warm and safe and I can go to him with anything and come out feeling better.
While I don't consider myself a spiritual person by any means, I will be devoting a lot of positive thoughts to him on the day of the surgery. I'm also not one to believe in signs, but sometimes the things he tells me makes me want to believe.
He was riding his motorcycle up through the mountains about a week ago and first he turned a bend and came upon a huge stallion standing in the middle of the road without a person in sight. He rode a ways behind the horse and saw that he got to a safe place. A little ways further, he saw what had to have been a newborn deer off to the side of the road, wobbly legged and small. He saw the deer made it safely away from the road. And YET AGAIN a little ways further up the road, saw a large deer off to the side. When he was telling me it seemed like a dream and I could picture all of these things happening to him. Amazing!
I have to analyze...Stallion: Strength and power; Baby deer: Innocence, new beginnings; Adult deer: Growth, stability. Like I said, he makes me WANT to believe in signs. And a hell of a set of signs these would be!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bachelorette Mayhem: Detail

Within the last week, I picked up my cousin and her son at the airport, played host to my new guests, assisted in the planning, shopping and execution of a bachelorette party, enjoyed a pool party/barbeque, worked my usual schedule, managed to squeeze one trip to the gym in, enjoyed the kittens who are now walking quite well, and taken very little time to breathe. Or read. And I miss reading. (On the second book of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon)
The bachelorette party was quite the success and I suppose I'll focus this post on the festivities because I believe they were quite unique. Avert your eyes if you are squeamish about the word "penis" because that was our theme, and boy-howdy we sure had a lot of that going on.
Cool stuff:
1. Buy bride-to-be a plain white t-shirt, create some fashionable tears, write "$uck for a Buck" across the chest area and sew gummy Lifesavers in various regions of the shirt (from nips to butt to armpits). This will help fund the excessively expensive party at least somewhat. It allows guests to eat a candy off the shirt for a dollar. (We only had girls at the party; this might get a little too grabby if you take it to a club or something...yuck!)
2. Buy a Playgirl and choose about 10-15 nudies and post them in surprising places (i.e. behind the bathroom door, in the fridge, behind curtains) and watch the shock as each of them are found.
3. Pin the "macho" on the man. We bought the "Macho Man" at Castle Boutique. Give away a naughty prize to the winner.
4. Bobbing for testicles. Ok, it's actually not as bad as it sounds. This takes some pre-party preparation but it was a guest favorite and very unique idea. You need an apricot for each person, a roasting stick for every two people, and some fishing string. Tie two apricots on a roasting stick with fishing string close enough together that they know. Have each guest choose a teammate. Line the guests up in a row; one teammate is holding the stick, the other is on their knees in front of their partner. The goal is to eat your apricot, switch partners, have them eat their apricot and which ever team finishes chewing first wins. Again, naughty prize.
5. The bride-to-be for our party was recently divorced, and before starting her new life, we wanted to get rid of her old life. Her ex husband was a cheating swine and there is a lot of animosity between them. We decided to make a straw doll of the ex, tape a picture of him to the head, bring it outside and light it up! We also asked guests to bring over memorabilia from previous relationships that they'd like to get rid of. (i.e. dried roses, love notes, packs of cigarettes, whatever reminds you of the offender). We burned the hell out of 'em! It was a very therapeutic event. Also note: In above photo the fire outline is in the shape of a penis.
6. I played bartender and since the b2b is a red head, I decided to cater the drinks in a humorous way and make the drink of the night "Red Headed Sluts" 1 part Jager, 1 part Peach Schnapps, 3 parts cranberry juice. I don't drink because of UC, but seems all the girls had a good laugh and enjoyed the drinks.
7. Penis shaped cakes. They sell the cake molds at Castle Boutique as well.
That's about it; it was a really great time, and pretty low budget considering what people typically pay for parties of the sort.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Welcome Home

This is my living room. Care for a cup of tea?

Friday, June 12, 2009

And You're Guilty Too

I'll be the first to admit that I can be a whiner from time to time. I complain about crap and, if I'm not feeling terribly ambitious, I don't put much effort forth to fix problems.
Today I was driving to meet a friend for lunch when I happened upon a scene that literally made me clap my hands in respect for my fellow man.
In the heat of midday there was a truck broken down in the middle of an intersection. The driver was out pushing and attempting to steer through so cars could pass and he could get the hell out of the way. In seconds I then saw two brave souls jump from their respective vehicles and head to the back of his truck to help him finish the job.
Out of the 50 or more people being agitated, two people had the mind to take action. I have a huge amount of respect for people that watch out for each other and fix problems when they come across them rather than just bitching about it until someone else takes care of it, or it works itself out.
I grew up around a rather rough crowd; lots of people who had visited jail or prison, or who really really should have. I got to thinking that even the dirtiest low down class of people will help you out when you're in a bind, despite that their true colors tend to be a bit tarnished. It kicks ass to see when the cogs fall into place and humans are being human. This was one of those times where I felt a little glimmer of hope for humanity, despite the ratio being 50+:2

Monday, June 8, 2009

UP Movie Review

Over the weekend I saw the new Disney/Pixar movie "UP". Yes, I am a bit of a cartoon fanatic and I must say, I totally loved it! Rich and I went to the theater and checked it out and if anyone knows Richard, they will say he is an avid hater of movies and most especially movie theaters.
Here is Richard when talking about movie going: "Ugh! There are people there. And they make noises. OHMYGOD are they ever going to stop putting their hand in that popcorn bag?! That kid has sniffled like twenty times already! This is like the third time I have to pee...they must be putting something in the soda. When you worked at the theater, did they put extra stuff in the soda to make you pee? It's a conspiracy to make me go out into the lobby and buy more snacks! Blah blah blah!"
He is a pain in the arse to see movies with, but even HE, Almighty Hater of Movies, enjoyed this one and was very well behaved considering most of the other patrons were below the age of 6 and made gurgling noises regularly.
The characters were likable, the theme was one that an adult could enjoy and relate to and the villain wasn't played out. Home run, Disney!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Confessions of Slight OCD

Dear Tetris,

It seems like only yesterday I stayed up hours into each night playing you, and finally, upon sleeping, dreaming about how to fit the blocks created in my mind. Then, upon waking, daydreaming about how to fit the daydream blocks into their proper nooks and crannies. You are now celebrating 25 years. You're all grown up, a year older than I, in fact. I just wanted to take this time to say thank you for the enrichment you have bestowed upon my life. I can pack boxes and cram things into tiny spaces like none other and it's all because of you, darling.
I look forward to many golden years of countless pointless hours we'll spend together.
All My Love,

The Whittler

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Squeakers!

Tilly had her kitties while we were away at work today! We now have four new mewing kittens in the guest room closet! Adorable.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Eureka! A Gardening Update

We got our first ripe tomato off the vine today! Pulled it right off, sliced it from top to bottom and devoured it with a dash of salt. The garden is now officially fruitful.
I'm also seeing bright yellow petals on the sunflowers, very developed ears on the corn and some bulbs on the pumpkin vines. Huzzah!

Phase II: Richard planted bell peppers, carrots, snow peas and spinach recently and we're just beginning to see their little sprouts. I am thoroughly impressed.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cheap Thrills: 60's Union Made Car Coat

I found this SPECTACULAR vintage 60's car coat at an antique shop today! I must share it with the world, but since I live in Arizona and will only be able to wear a coat of this caliber about one month out of the year "the world" is now limited to "the internet." It almost makes me wish I lived somewhere that temperatures never grazed the 110 degree mark. Gotta love a winter in the 50's though.
I got this little number at one of my favorite antique shops, Cheap Thrills @ Cave Creek Rd just south of Cactus. An uncomfortable $50.00, but if I didn't get it I know I'd be thinking about it for weeks, go back and discover someone else had bought it, never to be seen again. Very heavy and well maintained. Fits like a charm too.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Slim Fast is My Kryptonite

So I innocently purchased some Slim Fast thinking it might keep me filled up between my breakfast snack and lunch while at work; it promised to keep me full for up to four hours. As you may know, I am a big fan of eating; I eat often and heartily. Little did I know this silent demon would weasel its way into my guts and kick and scream until it poked holes on my insides. I am just now recovering from my mistake. It had milk in it. I love milk, but milk doesn't love me. It treats me mean. [Insert a fist shaking toward Ulcerative Colitis]
This lead me to a rather unconventional thought that might raise a few eyebrows, but I have to present the question: Why do we drink the milk of cows? We aren't designed to drink cow milk. We are designed to drink human milk.
I work with someone who had a premature baby. In the preemie ward of the hospital, they typically feed to newborns non-human milk (powdered or cows? I don't know). But this guy's wife is a bit of a hippie and she discovered a place where new mothers send in their frozen milk to help out those mothers that can't breastfeed. The baby made a miraculous recovery. After seeing how amazing the results were, the hospital opted to pay several $100,000.00 of their medical bills and is now doing research into this new method of feeding premature babies.
Considering this anomaly, I am presenting what I think would give a boost to the self esteem and self worth of new mothers as well as the porn industry. I think you might know where I'm going with this, and if you're frightened, feel free to take your leave. I won't judge you.
Could you picture new mothers on milking machines you see in a common dairy? I totally see some crazy fetish porn coming out of this, but I also envision a dairy product that is designed with the human stomach in mind. Everyone wins.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Retro Goodwill

This is the final proof needed that Richard and I were born in the wrong era. We went to Goodwill and found these lovely items. A great night for Goodwill, I must say.
On the back of the clown images is a name; one is named Helter, the other is Skelter ($1.50 each). Creepy. The little pot with mushrooms I can just picture someone from the 70's making their own candles in and then brewing up some mac 'n cheese ($2.50). The Chip Dip set still has the original packaging and I don't think it's ever been used ($3.00).
I love half off Saturdays at Goodwill. We found these on 32nd Street & Greenway.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Green Giants

I feel the need to denote that my relationship with any given camera wasn't so frivolous in the past. Then I started taking photography classes at Glendale Community College and I found it quite irritating when people were all camera shy. Shake what your mama gave ya is what I say about it! I can be quite the little camera ham these days.
Speaking of things I like eating, we're growing a garden, which ties in because I'm giving you a snapshot of the monster! It's only eight weeks old and it's our first garden (and by "our garden" I really mean I go and look at it every few days and Richard does anything and everything involving maintenance). We are growing sunflowers, giant pumpkin, tomato and corn. I love knowing that I'll be able to go into the backyard and pick my dinner from a vine or stalk! I'm toying with the idea of biting at least one tomato right off the vine with my teeth. We'll see how big they get. And how much mud has collected in the clay soil on my desired day of plucking.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Mini Chopper

My dad owns a ridiculously small chopper and while I was at his house in Colorado over the weekend, I got to take the little cutie for a spin around the block a few times. Much joy ensued. Miniature joy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monsoon Waltz

I don't think it's the right season quite yet for monsoons to hit, but we had a lovely sprinkling of rain last night accompanied by an orchestra of thunder and lightening. Richard and I went out and sat on the front lawn and enjoyed the scenery for awhile. I don't think enough people sit on their front lawns. Or their back lawns for that matter.
In all my front lawn sitting last night, I was hit by a song, a great lawn sitting song. It's called Waltz by Fiona Apple. My ears find it pleasurable; I suspect yours might as well.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Empty Nest

Sup, dudes? What? Where have I been? Oh yea, I guess I forgot to tell you I was going to some crazy tailspin week!
Things are finally simmering down this evening, but I have a wigged out red burning eye from lack of sleep and maybe from being in a higher altitude over the weekend. I went to the Mile High City, Denver, CO, and from there hitched a ride with my cousin to Windsor, the quiet town in which half of my family resides.
First, my brother's wife graduated from Arizona State University with her Bachelors in Global Business. We celebrated with sushi. Delicious.
The following evening I flew to Colorado to spend the weekend at my dad's house, celebrating my little brothers' graduation. The last two of us five kids have finally left the nest (twins!). It was quite the fun weekend. I got to see my sister who I haven't seen in a long time time due to her Air Force gig and lack of money to visit. My cousin and her brilliant four year old were there. And of course the regular Colorado crew; pops, little bros and gram. It was a weekend of catching up, bickering and lots of family. I am now ready to take a vacation from my brief vacation.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Shitty: The Quick Version of My Battle With Ulcerative Colitis

Had a crazy week, two different cousins from two different sides of the family were in town; one on military leave from the Army and one on vacation who got here just in time to spend a whole week with her dad in the hospital. Lots of fun and lots of turmoil.
I'm not here to talk about that though; I'm here to talk about shittyness. My Ulcerative Colitis has been acting up the last few days and I don't know if it's because of the stress of the week long balancing act and not getting any exercise all week or just due to nature being a bitch. I think it's more just nature. And maybe that plate of Mexican food I took down at Garcias II (35th Ave & Thomas) that was absolutely smothered in cheese cheese cheese. Cheese is sometimes my enemy. Lots of dairy products. I can get away with cheese in moderation, but not a whole plate full of cheese. I love the stuff though. And speaking of dairy products, I still have an entire half gallon of Gold Medal Ribbon ice cream from Baskin Robbins in my freezer that I haven't been able to touch because I don't want to make the situation worse.
I have to be on high alert when I start having symptoms. I never ever want to feel the way I did about two years ago when the UC was at its worst. I tried every thing and since this is MY place to share MY life, I will tell all about it, even the embarrassing stuff.
I went to a GI doctor because I was having major issues; after explaining my problems, I had to get a colonoscopy. The day prior to the "surgery" I wasn't allowed to eat anything. I was given a gallon jug that had a little powder in the bottom I added water to, then I drank the whole disgusting gallon and got rid of everything in my intestines. I was on the verge of puking the stuff up every swallow.
The following day, I had a family member drive me to the surgery center where I went under anesthesia and had a camera go through my whole lower intestinal region and take photos. After coming out of it, in my groggy waking-from-anesthesia state he told me I had Ulcerative Colitis. I couldn't even remember what he said I had as I was leaving and it wasn't until our next visit that I etched it in my mind. Two words that would haunt me through the worst of it.
The doctor then started me on Meslamine rectal enemas and I had to take one every fucking night. They worked for a long while, but I hated having to do that every single night and near the end of my taking them, they weren't as effective. I was switched to a rectal suppository, which was easier and, turns out, even less effective. I started flaring up again. Then I was switched to Colozal, an oral pill and was taking up to nine pills a day at one point, three with every meal; nothing was working. I quit going to the Gastrointestinal doctor.
I then went holistic and was drinking an awful shake as a meal supplement and it didn't do a WHOLE lot, but I think it was the catalyst to my getting as well as I am today. At that time, I was ready to remove my colon and live with a colostomy bag for the rest of my life. It was either that or I wanted to just die and get it over with. I'm not the suicidal type, but I truly wouldn't have objected if I knew I'd walk out of the house that day and get into a car accident or something quick. It drained me. Made me depressed. I wasn't myself. I was just this thing that walked around in extreme pain all day and, if I wasn't at home, extreme embarrassment and fear. Every day it seems like the only words in my mind flashing in this huge red marquee scroll were ULCERATIVE COLITIS. ULCERATIVE COLITIS. ULCERATIVE COLITIS. I lived and breathed those words with every thought, in every action.
The remission was gradual and slowly I started introducing myself to social situations and trips and LIFE again. Life is sort of off limits when you're not in remission. I will have this forever, but I can still do what I can to keep things in check if I see some signs. Right now all I take is a couple supplements, fish oil and calcium, and an over the counter pill once a day called Digestive Advantage for Crohns and Colitis, which is really just probiotics (good bacteria).
Sometimes I wish girls were more like guys with the whole talking about poop thing. It would make my life so much easier. I want to be able to walk into a circle of friends and be like "man, I gotta take a major dump" and them being alright with it. I want to go into a public rest room and drop a deuce without having the fear of people giving me the crazy eye when I walk out of the stall. Having Ulcerative Colitis has really dulled down my awkwardness about the nature of my southern hemisphere, but the society stigma still remains, and still sucks. Why can't girls be just as gross as boys? I need that little break.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Salsa Sinaloa

Success! The salsa was a hit! I've decided to post this delicious recipe for the world. Why? Because you're cool, world, and I think you deserve it!

6 roma tomatoes
6 tomatillos
3 cloves crushed garlic
7 chilis arbol
1/2 bundle cilantro
1/2 red onion
1/2 lemon (juice)
2 Tbsp salt

Chop all the big stuff into little tiny pieces. Put tomatoes, tomatillos & crushed chilis arbol on to boil. Add a few cups of water; not quite enough to cover the other stuff. Boil on medium for about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic to water while boiling if you don't like it as strong. Once off the heat, add the other goodies. Cool. Eat with very scoopable chips. :D

I had to ask two Mexican ladies at Fry's in order to find the weird sounding stuff. The "tomatillos" are little green tomato looking things, but they're in this green onion looking husk. You'll probably find these near the habinero pepper and jalapeno area.
The "chilis arbol" is a little dry red pepper, skinny and about the length of half a pinky finger. I found them in the ethnic food isle where they have all the bags of "Tampico" spices.

I don't think I need to say this after my previous post, but don't crush up the chilis arbol with your damned fingers or it will feel like you're giving Satan a hand job. I guess they sell gloves you could use or just crush 'em up with other utensils. If you get them on your fingers, wash those puppies as soon as you get a chance. Don't touch your face or more...sensitive regions. Heh heh.

Arriba! Caliente!

I made homemade salsa last night. Since I'm white and an idiot, I crushed the "Chiles Arbol" with my fingers. Then I clutched an ice pack and a bowl full of water all night long. Those Mexicans must have some secrets they're not sharing. Forget nuclear war, throw some chiles in peoples eyes, rub 'em on their bodies and they're done for. It felt as though my hand was absolutely ON FIRE. Between the pain, I wondered if that was what it felt like to turn into a vampire (Twilight!). Before bed, I took 3 Asprin, then, when I woke up from the pain again, I took 3 Ibuprofren . One of my hands still burns. This is a lesson I won't soon forget. That shit better taste good.

It could also potentially be a steam burn. I don't think I like how much my clumsy idiocy is being put on display here...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kittens, Burning Trailers & Our Damned Tater Twister

I am nine. It's 6:30AM and the school bus is honking from across the street, waiting for the usual hoard of kids to come running. We are always ALWAYS late for the school bus. Partly because we hate going to school, partly because we can never find our shoes, and also in part because we stayed up way past our bed time to watch The Simpsons. When we were finally ready to go to sleep, we were forced to listen to my mom and her friends party into the wee hours of the morning. We are dead to the world most mornings. Today, however, I am wide awake and I feel a thrill of excitement that the school bus is honking because I know something he doesn't know. I'm not going to school today!
My aunt Margie's trailer (which is right across our wide gravel driveway) caught on fire early this morning. And my cat, Milo, is having a litter of kittens in the hall linen closet. We probably wouldn't have gotten away with staying home if it was just one or the other, but both!? At least 11 kids were absent that day from Palo Verde Elementary. I know that because all of these kids either live with us, live near us, or they're my cousins that live in the trailer that's burning down. I am thrilled. This is an excellent excuse to get out of school.
As I'm nursing my cat into her millionth litter of kittens in the hall linen closet, a fire truck crunching into our shared drive way, I'm distracted by a horrible thought. My damned aunt had borrowed our Tater Twister! The Tater Twister is by far my favorite kitchen appliance. You'd get a potato and put it on this thing, then some blades spin around and make the most excellent, super springy curly fries! I was pissed about this. My annoyance is cut short as a kitten grunts into life. I would never see the Tater Twister again.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pink Eye Flowers

So there's this wise saying type thing that goes something like "It's a family tradition to cut the ends off of the family ham every Christmas, we've been doing it for years--as long as I can remember. One year, Christmas was being held at my house and so I finally had the opportunity to ask grandma where this family tradition came from. She said "Well dear, I used to cut the ends off every year because my pan was too small to fit the whole ham in!""
It recently came to my attention that my family and I have one of these situations. Since I was BORN I believed that this certain type of desert flower, the "apricot desert mallow" caused pink eye. All throughout our childhood, my siblings and I called them "the pink eye flowers" and stayed away from them like they were poison; we knew that if they touched our eyes, we were doomed with swelling and puffy pink eye embarassment for weeks.
My brother has been into landscaping for quite a few years now and he informed me one day recently that those flowers we'd been fearing since childhood were nothing to be afraid of. They were completely harmless and often times used in desert landscaping. It was a really odd feeling and hard to break the sense of forbidding that the flowers held, it was like rejecting a fact of life. You breathe. Check. Geese fly in V's. Check. Pink eye flowers give you pink eye. Check. Yesterday while sneaking into a small nature preserve in Phoenix, Richard and I encountered the apricot mallow. I decided to tell my fears to eff off and grabbed the head of a flower and rubbed it vigorously around both of my eyes. It gave me a sense of defiance against my mom and all the bullshit she fed us (intentionally and unintentionally). Felt good.

A Quacking Package Deal

Him: "I don't think I've ever seen a duck caged up in a trailer before. Have you?"

Me: "Well not usually caged up, but yea, once or twice."

Him: "Don't you think that's a little...weird?"

[I extend my hand and give him a firm shake]

Me: "Welcome to the family."

Friday, April 24, 2009

'90's Alternative Rockness Monster

There are certain songs that make me feel fuzzy. In this post, I shall speak of those songs which are '90's alternative (mostly). I guess it's because that was my "growing up" time when I just started getting into music and it felt good to turn on the radio that I have such an affinity for these songs. I was even able to sit through those annoying car commercials. BLOW OUT SALE! YOUR HOME HOME HOME OF THE $1 INSTALLATION! THIS WEEKEND ONLY! BLAHHHHHHH! Obviously my tolerance has waned. I am a compulsive station changer.
Most of these songs make me feel the same feeling, which I can't quite put my finger on but to say "longing", "wholesome", "sincere", "comfortable." What is this feeling I'm feeling? Here is my mini list:

Blind Melon-Soup
The Verve Pipe-The Freshman
Gin Blossoms-Hey Jealousy
The Shins-New Slang
Dave Matthews-Crash
Matchbox 20-Push
Goo Goo Dolls-Slide
Toad the Wet Sprocket-Something's Always Wrong
Foo Fighters-My Hero

I know they're not particularly unique, I'll even admit some might be a tad played out. I'm not the type to get crazy into knowing all kinds of teensy band names and songs like Stinky Monkey Ball or Squeak Beak and the Dingo Punchers. (If you have a band, please name your songs these names. That'd be awesome.) When I hear something I like, I like it. These are kind of reflective of the beginning of my love of music. They have a little room in my heart, third door on the left. Feel free to drop by some time, I'll leave the light on for ya.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Copper Blur

These are our kitchen canisters (sugar, coffee, tea) which we ran across at an antique shop in downtown Phoenix (maybe Cucumberz on 7th Ave/Indian School?). I really like the richness of the color copper. Blur has a strange appeal. As I tend to be obsessive, our entire kitchen has run rampant with with copper: Canisters, bread box, hanging overhead light, antique cake serving tray with top. I dig it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Goldie's Genocide

I think it's time to write this down. I remember my childhood in fuzzy clips, I think the most impacting things stayed with me, but attempting to remember the rest is like holding a handful of sand in the ocean. It just doesn't stay with me.
This particular memory comes around the time I was probably between 6 and 8 years old. We had a dog named Goldie and she'd had a litter of puppies; it was the middle of the sweltering summer and so she had them under the trailer where it was coolest. We kept climbing under there through the spiders and dirt on our elbows and taking them out and putting them in the dog house. We wanted to watch her and make sure they didn't get dirt up their noses and suffocate and so on. Well, the back and forth went on for about three rounds and finally we locked her in the dog pen and put the baby pups in the little white plywood dog house with her; we made sure she had lots of water and we put a fan in the dog house so the air would circulate and it wouldn't be so hot. It was probably in the 110's or 115's. This is undoubtedly one of my most tragic memories. We locked her up so she couldn't protect her pups and keep them cool. I went out to check on them the following afternoon and the whole litter was laying in there with Goldie, every last puppy was dead. She was just laying there with them, panting, looking at me. I don't recall ever feeling such remorse as I felt then, even to this day. I ran and told my mom and she came out and tried to resuscitate them, she put her mouth around their tiny muzzles and breathed in and she was crying and I was beyond crying but there was no saving them.
I have always felt responsible for the genocide of those little babies. I just couldn't leave them alone under the trailer where she knew they had most chance of survival. We locked her up in the dog pen and they suffered a terrible scorching death. Every time I think about it I still cry.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Local Scene Sarcasm & Booty Pains

So an old buddy of mine from hyke skewl (ahhhh!) asked me to write a quarterly column for a local music newsletter he's putting together (and funding!). I am not the type to do things that aren't completely based on my selfish interests or do things that require me to meet deadlines and be "working on" a project. I just feel...icky. Intimidated. I procrastinate. I refuse to edit and re-edit. I sit down, slam crap out at my own will and then that's how it stays. Needless to say, this isn't the standard protocol for writing a column in a newsletter with deadlines and printers and particular times that it comes out. I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm supposed to be interviewing some local bands too, but I've never actually conducted an "interview" before, so I'm kinda just being a turd and trying to take the easy way out.
Why is he so accepting and overruling of my feeble attempts at flaking out?! I told him he should find someone else, someone who appreciates or even LIKES the local AZ music scene. I told him I suck as a human being. You know what he says? He says "I know, and that's why we're friends. We smell our own. Write me up something in your whimsical intelligent way and sent it to me" That sonofabitch leaves me no loopholes! I kind of appreciate it because it's going to be fun, but new things involving people I don't know make me uncomfortable.
To get the monkey off my back, last night I spewed out something "whimsical" about the local music scene that wasn't very nice, but got the point across. I can complain about anything. Writing objective, intelligent, observant material? I smell a challenge in the air.

I also joined LA Fitness on Tuesday. My ass, legs and thighs would only hurt more than this if they were being dismembered, breaded, fried, and served to a large family with grubby children. We are on day two of creaky walking and groaning when getting into and out of vehicles. Hurts so good.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

FAFSA & Barack

I finally filled out my first whole FAFSA form, which I have began to fill out for the last three years and been stopped up at the parental information so I just clicked out of it instead of attempting to locate that information. I am an idiot. I could have been going to school for a much reduced cost the last several years if I hadn't bummed out. Dumb dumb dumb. Well, we're here now and hopefully I will get some dough so I can go to school! Holy crap that'd be cool! And it's long over due. I could have already been working on a Masters degree right now; I don't even have an Associates. Shiesh. Well, today is a new day!
Obama also got me an extra $25.00 on my pay check by lowering taxes. Thanks, Barack. You can be a pretty swell guy sometimes.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

All My Ex's Live in Texas

So, my mom took off on Sunday evening back to Texas. I can't say I blame her. I can't say I'm not relieved. Things were getting shittier and shittier. She drinks a lot more when she's here. She has much more free access to other drugs while she's there. Ah, I guess it's selfish but I'd just rather not see any of it. I can't help her, she won't do shit for herself and it was only a matter of time before she left. She used up all her resources, stayed at all the places she could stay and stretched the limits until there was no one left to take her in. She sure as hell can't live with me or my brother. We live too well and drama free for her. She needs her bullshit going on. She would have been finding homeless people and letting them in our house like she did at grandpa's house and Aunt Deb's trailer. I'd rather not find some tweaked out bum taking a shit in my bathroom or making a sandwich with dirty hands in the lunch meat.
As with most things involving my mom, it came without warning. She called at 8:30AM on Monday and told me that Dave had driven down and he was picking her up and taking her and Moose back to Texas. She's got animals there to take care of, so I'm sure she'll be happy and kept busy enough to drown out at least a little of the pull to drugs and drinking and blah blah blah. Sure won't be as interesting without her around though.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

4th of July

I took this photo on July 4th, 2008. I realize you can see that from that hideous photo date stamp, but I felt some unnecessary need to reiterate. Anyway, this is my little demon niece, Jenna. She looks like a little Satan spawn here and that's kind of awesome because it's true. The closer I look, the more I like this one. I'd like to do some cropping and blow it up.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


First it picks off the bad ones, the pre-fucked up ones that were destined to be just another skiddie in the drawers of society anyway. Those whose parents didn't care or didn't have time to care so they took refuge with a family of like minded friends. The like mindedness is what brings them together and they feel invincible and vulnerable all wrapped up into a neat, hollow faced fuck up. No one takes notice because this is to be expected. This was too easy.
Now it gets bored, needs a challenge. It starts showing up at parties where you just expected the usual underage drinking, instead the group now includes young jittery kids sticking their fingers in their noses asking when the dealer man is gonna get there-you couldn't be more than 20, kid, what are you doing here? They take it into the next room, a whole pack leaves at once and with finger-up-his-nose kid you know they can't be doing much else in there.
There's another guy I'd seen before, leaning against a wall and stalking the back rooms and garages every chance he gets. His nose is huge. I can't help but think of a vortex swirling up and making a tiny tornado every time he snorts. This kid gets anxious and I know he's at the top of the list of toothless 30 year olds that fidget their mouths too much and sniffle like it's going out of style. He mumbles "if he's not gonna show up, I might as well get punched in the balls and go home." I internally shudder.
I didn't know these kids. When it strikes someone you know and once had an affection for, it should be like a change. I only tried once to talk to him. Never saw him again after that. "It's stronger than you" is all I kept saying. 'Course I was drunk, but I did what I could. He said he knew it was stronger, but he didn't care. He was having fun. I wanted to grab him by the shoulders and shake him.
I didn't feel a loss, but an old reminder coming back around. Made me think of you in the back room with the TV blaring and me traipsing in at a towering twelve years old to tell you and your friends to "shut up and go to sleep, we have school in the morning!"
It's got you all by the balls, and holding tight. It is stronger than you.

(Listening to: Deftones-Change in the House of Flies)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Creativity Like Vomit

I think it'd be nice to start using the word "creativity" in a more creative way. I want someone to tell me that the creativity flowed from them like vomit. Yes! Vomit! You just never hear that. Peoples' creativity flows like a vast ocean or a cool spring breeze. I want that shit to flow like vomit. Not all fancied up and beautified. Honest, revealing and attached to a hell of a story, as most vomit in my experience tends to be. Just some chunked up food for thought.