Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And I Am Back...

Okay, things got a little crazy there for a while. The last couple of weeks of class were a bit insane, and I was starting to get a little freaked out by some of the posts to my blog entries... While I love being told how people love my writing style, the similarity of the postings makes me doubt the sincerity of the sentiment... and makes me wonder if I'm in some political office and people are telling me how the "really feel" by copying and pasting e-mail content to me. It's strange.

I guess it's a way to increase readership or whatever, and that's great... but even the blogs I like to read are blogs I seldom read. Part of it is my crazy life, and the other part of it is... the rest of my crazy life, I guess.

Anyway, the facebook folks know this, but I'll share for the rest of you: I had Binx in my care for several days. I am pretty sure he's no worse for having experienced this. Jordan came over last weekend and we stayed up too late playing Super Mario Brothers Wii the night before church.

Oh, and I got an A- in that class that I was having such a frustrating time with. A smaller part of my frustration comes from the style of writing. I hate reading that sort of writing, so I loathe writing it. I don't get the style, anyway. Why do you want to make getting information such a horrible freakin' chore?

I just deleted the rest of that tirade. Gone... mourn it, yet be thankful.

So that's my life. I'll try to get back to daily posts if for no other reason than to bother people.

Oh, and I've yet to hear from the sleep study folks. I think I need to make a phone call tomorrow, eh?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Anybody Got Any Short'nin' Bread?

So I went to the doctor for my "Health & Wellness Visit"... which is like a physical, but with a longer name... and fewer awkward moments.

I got to finally mention all of the things I've been wanting to ask my doctor about for a while, so that was nice.

They didn't want me to eat anything for twelve hours, which is easy to do when you make the appointment for fairly early in the morning and you don't keep much in the way of food in the house. But because they asked this of me, I started wondering last night if this meant anything in particular... especially involving the digestion system... and more specifically, the end bit of it.

So I called Say, who was busy working a crazy-long day and thus didn't answer. I left her a message asking if the doctor was going to do that thing where I'd at least like a little sweet talk before he started, and said some other stuff and left it at that. I was at rehearsal, so when Say didn't call back for a while, I found Mark, who is a nurse, and asked him. He assured me it was all about blood work, not butt work.

Say confirmed this on a message she left after I called her again during the break to ask how she could abandon me in the middle of a medical emergency like this...

Imagine my discomfort this morning, then, when the nurse got out some rubber gloves and a tube of... I'm trying to think of a non-gross-sounding word for it... and I've failed, so we'll move on.

She said, "I'll get these out, just in case..." and left the room.

Now that was a fun wait. There is some mental preparation that goes into this. I mean, I hardly know the man...

Sorry for the delay that you didn't notice because it happened as I was typing this, not as you were reading it. I was just cracking myself up with all the possible next lines. I've opted to just pretend I didn't just set up a bawdy joke.

So he comes in, we go through all the questions and the awkward non-hind-end touching that goes with a "Health and Wellness Visit"... which is all above the waist, for those of you with your mind in the gutter... or at least below the waist. And I ask my questions, and he asks counter-questions, and the whole time the pair of gloves and the tube of whatever are just hanging there in the air between us, the elephant in the room, as it were. But, you know, and elephant that can hang in the air sort of thing.

Finally, he points to the items and says, "We're not going to do that today. I think they just get those out to scare people."

I sighed a big sigh of relief, and then immediately felt bad, so I said, "Don't get me wrong. I do like you, but as a friend only..."

I kid.

Anyway, nothing exciting to report. All of the little this'n'thats I was asking about were either answered with, "We can do that if you want, but you're okay if you don't" or "Losing weight and exercising will help with that", and for the most part I called all of those in the second category before I even went in to see him.

I am going to do another sleep study, even though the one 5 years ago was enough to get me on a whatchamahookey... because it was 5 years ago and I never got on a whatchamahookey.

I'm looking forward to it, however. Apparently there are many health benefits to a good night's sleep.

Things To Do While Killing Time Because A Website Is Down...

Actually, this is the only thing I'm going to be doing while waiting, and that's just because I thought I'd write something before I hit the sack...

Apparently there's a bad flu going around. It needs to miss me. Someone pass that along to it from me.

So I've got that 365 (and then some) Days of ME blog going on, right? But my hope was it would encourage other people with digital cameras to take pictures of me and e-mail them to me that same day--thus making me feel like the beautiful superstar supermodel I already know I am... but don't feel like, apparently.

However, the best I've managed so far is to ask people to take pictures of me with my camera. That's fun and all, but there are all these misconceptions now...

Misconception 1: I can be the only one in the shot.

Response: Nuh-uh... look at that pic of me putting Visine in Dane's eye!

Misconception 2: I don't like having my picture taken.

Response: Um... well, I used to not like it so much, but then realized people can see me when there isn't a camera pointed at me, so what's the point? Actually, I used cringe a little when I'd see myself in a photo, but you'd be amazed at how much looking at a picture of yourself every day can actually make that lessen...

I'm done with misconceptions. So there were only 2.

Anyway, I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and I'm just certain I'll be taking blood pressure meds by the end of the day... and my mind keeps going to the list of things I have to tell the new doctor, as well as things to ask him... and then my mind goes to all the ways there are to get sick and get sicker, and I start wondering if they'll find some secret awful thing tomorrow... and then I remember about my blood pressure and try some breathing exercises...

And I keep waiting for the district site for teachers to open back up... and then the blood pressure thing comes to mind again...

Which is why I'm going to bed now.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Why I Should Not Be Allowed To Own Sharp Objects

I only wish I was lying about this.

I have cut myself again. And I'm not even goth. What's that about?

So, last night I broiled up some red meat for dinner... a late dinner, but dinner. As I was carrying my plate and utensils (utensils resting on the plate, mind you, a bad choice about which I have now learned my lesson) from the cooking area to the dining area, the steak knife started to fall.

My brain decided since something was falling, I had to catch it.

The knife, falling blade first, went into my thumb and kinda "bounced" out.

Remember how last time I said blood was everywhere or whatever? This time it really was. I thought I was gonna have a full-on freak-out.

About the time I was thinking maybe a trip to the emergency room was in order, I realized the bleeding had... well, not stopped, but seemed to have every intention of considering the possibility of stopping sometime before bedtime.

So then I got to clean up blood from all over the place, which is good practice should I decide to slaughter my own cattle.

On the up side, this has made me go see a doctor, which means it has made me finally make a decision about which doctor suggestion from co-workers would be the best one.

I've got a good feeling about this doctor. He may be the one. I didn't ask, but he appears to be younger than me--so, odds are, I won't have to doctor-shop again until after I'm dead.

Anyway, I just wanted to share, in case you were wondering why it looked like all my spaces were typed by my right hand.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

I may as well confess now: I've fallen off the walking wagon... or I've climbed on it. I don't know. I get confused about the wagon and what it means. I mean, I know if you fall off the wagon, you've started drinking again--which makes very little sense, because you'd have more balance and ability to stay on a wagon if you weren't drinking, but that's neither here nor there...

Since falling off the wagon implies something "bad", I think it'd be best to say I've fallen off the walking wagon... but being on the wagon seems to imply and absence of doing something.

Whatever. I need more people nagging me on facebook about the walking thing. Only my aunt Rachel has asked anything (and I avoided answering her, as I was convinced I'd get back on a regular schedule very soon).

I have no excuse except that the first time I missed I had a good excuse... and I think Terry Pratchett's character Sam Vimes puts it best in Thud! when he thinks, "Once you had a good excuse, you opened the door to bad excuses."

Anyway, whatever, I'm picking back up regularly tomorrow. There, I've typed it, so it must happen.

Barring, you know, alien attacks and whatnot.

Anyway, I've had a very full day, and should be in bed by now. I hope you're all having a wonderful time, and may the wind always be at your back, unless you're wanting to go slower. Or something.

Wasn't It Christmas Like Just Yesterday?

In one week I'll be starting our Spring Break. What's up with that?

It seems like just a short time ago it was Winter Break and I was enjoying some sleeping-in time... and I guess it was more recent than what I'm used to since we did get that extra week of Winter Break with all the snow and crazy cold. But still, it doesn't seem like it's been however-many weeks...

I remember being very young and taking trips to Hannibal from Center. It seemed like the trip took months... or at least several hours.

And now years pass as if they're almost nothing. If I wasn't taking pictures daily, I might think nothing ever happens... as it stands, I think nothing ever happens other than me taking some pictures.

I kid.

Remember when time took forever? I remember thinking it would be forever before I was a senior in high school, about to graduate. Since graduation, I've had almost enough time to fit in two more K thru 12 school careers... May of 2011 will mark 26 years since I got out of high school.

And it seems like freakin' yesterday... while also seeming to be so far in the past it may as well have been Ancient Greece.

I find myself anticipating stuff a lot less. Is that just part of getting older? Don't get me wrong, I look forward to things, but I don't fret about having to wait for them to happen. I know they will happen, and I know the less I think about them, the less time it will seem to take between now and the event in question.

Very strange, this perception of the passage of time. Ever since I first noticed this strange "time seems to speed up as I get older" thing, I've had a theory that our perception of time is tainted by how much time we've been alive. Kids think time goes so slowly because a day is a much larger percentage of their life-to-date than it is for some 43-year-old.

This is where I could use Dane sitting next to me. He'd be able to tell me what fraction of my life today was and what fraction of Binx's life today was. I could figure it out, but it seems a shame not to have Dane do it.

Anyway, wasn't it Christmas like just yesterday? At the rate we're going, isn't Thanksgiving going to be like tomorrow?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

It's Better Than Drinking Alone

I need to be clear at the beginning here: I enjoy living alone. I enjoy being alone. I can be just as lonely in a crowd of people I know and love as I can be by myself (not to say I always am lonely in a crowd of people I know and love, I'm just saying it's possible), so being by myself doesn't bother me, usually. I guess mostly because I believe in a way we're all alone on some level, even if we're with the person we love the mostest, etc., because in the end it's just us in here ("in here" being "in our own heads").

And maybe I've always been some sort of near-misanthrope, or maybe I grew into it, or maybe I just don't trust people as much as I used to... or maybe I get tired of rambling on in person and seeing the boredom on the faces of others... it's much easier to ramble here, as I don't have to watch the glazed look come over people as I type.

And I really do get irritated when I have something to do or somewhere to go... nothing major, mind you, but the major part of me just wants to stay home and... stay home.

Don't get me wrong, if you want to come by and hang out, I'm good with that. Heck, if you even suggest we go out and do something, I'm all about that, too. I guess I should clarify: if you're someone I can't stand or some major force of evil, that does not apply to you.

But "having to go somewhere" wears me out. Often, I enjoy myself when I go, but the thought of having to go somewhere is not pleasant. It's like how I feel about stand-up comedy acts. I loathe the idea of seeing one, but the experience is something I enjoy.

I don't know. Maybe I'm crazy.

Aren't you glad I said I wanted to be clear? Imagine what this would have read like if I'd started off wanting to be confusing...

So my point is: I don't mind being alone. In some ways, I crave it. I grew up in a house full of people. I sometimes think my mind feels I deserve all the alone time I can get. I love to have company over, and I love to be with friends and family... and I'm back to being all contradictory and confusing...

Who cares... the reason I started writing this was to reveal something somewhat personal about myself. The other night I had occasion to wish someone good-night at bedtime. I have done this on occasion with young'n's I was babysitting, and even with adults who had taken me in when whatever recent disaster had waltzed its way in to my life via whatever door or window I left open for it. It doesn't happen often that when I am about to go to bed I wish someone "good night" or have someone wish me something similar... and you'd think if I was going to have a big reaction to it, I would have by some point long before now.

But I had a really strange reaction to this. Maybe it was the full moon, or the planets were aligned just right, but I sort of ached. My mind flew back to being a kid with a house full of brothers and sisters, and everyone doing a Walton-esque good-night from their beds, and my brain went a little wonky, wondering two things: When was the last time I really thought about someone saying "good night" to me and me getting to wish the same in return, and how did I get to this point from growing up in a family that actually did the Walton closing scene thing (eventually we'd start wishing John Boy and Mary Ellen a good night, as well).

Anyway, the point of this post was to share I had this moment. It hasn't changed my life or made me want to be a better person or a worse person or a more open or more closed person. I just had this moment where my world spun around my head for a moment, and I did a bit of a free fall, looking at my life as if seeing it for the first time.

In other news, I hope I was able to correctly convey the whole thing about Ben & Killy without making it sound like Ben was all worried about the money. My point was Ben was left with a really horrible decision, and made what most anybody who knew the facts would consider to be the right one, but still felt awful about it (and probably still does). Ben is one of the nicest guys on the planet, and I'd hate to give anybody any idea to the contrary. If we were in a timeline where Tricia never met him, I'd be hunting him down so I could introduce her to him.

Also: I still can't find that pic of the girls with Killybutt. I had printed several pictures from that day, but I can't seem to narrow down the date or find the little memory stick or whatever that has them on it. Very frustrating.

Now, don't everybody go wishing me good night. It's not going to make me have a moment every time, and it's not like I have this burning need to wish someone "good night" or hear it from someone. I just wanted to say I had a very strange reaction to it the other night, and ask if anyone knew of a good psychologist.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

When Buddy Welcomed Killian Home

Hey, sorry I haven't been writing for a while. Mostly I'm sorry to me, because I think there's about 28 of you following this via whatever BlogSpot uses, and another 30 or so via facebook, and of those, I don't know that "follow" is an appropriate word. Maybe more like, "occasionally have time to read". And it's cool. I ain't hatin'. I'm just saying I'm mostly sorry to me because I'm trying to get into the habit of writing for fun more, as I've gotten out of that habit at some point over the past 25 years or so.

Anyway, I'm writing. And be warned: this is going to be one of those long blathering posts that many of you... may or may not have read in the past and may or may not have hated.

We got Dane moved on Saturday. Cody and I drove to Ben & Tricia's around 9:00 or so to borrow Ben's truck. I'd forgotten to remind Ben I needed to borrow it, but it was all good when I got him called on the way there. He and Tricia were out, but the truck was at the house.

Cody went in the house first, as I was throwing something away, and when I got in, I saw Killian and was thankful that Killian has a good memory and had met Cody before. However, I didn't see Guinness anywhere. Like an idiot, I searched all over the house and out back, worried they'd accidentally left him outside before they went out. I asked Killian a couple of times where Guinness was, but his hearing has been a thing of the past for a while, so he basically ignored me. Also: dog.

When I first started hanging out with Ben & Tricia here in KC, the only dog they had was Buddy (or Bud Light, as all the dogs are named after alcoholic beverages... a funny tradition that I'd like to carry on with my pets, but I'd use condom brand names or something). I don't know what Buddy was. I would try to describe him to people who knew breeds, but never got the right answer. It's easier to just hope Tricia will post it on here as a comment. He was a little white furry thing with a missing paw. He was one of those little dogs who behaves as if he's a big dog.

I'm not a pet person, really. The allergy thing doesn't help. Also, the fact Patsy was all done with pets and all the fun that went with them by the time I was born (something Sara somehow got around, as I recall) meant that my main pet experience was via Shawn Couch and his dog, Cocoa.

Let us pause for a moment while I remember Cocoa. I forgot how much I loved Cocoa until this very minute.

Also, I love cocoa, but I'm not going to make any right now.

While I'm not (sorta not) a pet person, I do love a puppy or a kitten. When Ben & Tricia first got Killian, he was this cute little puppy we never should have let sit on the furniture but did anyway. Golden lab, or something... but with red hair... so golden red Irish lab? I don't remember him barking with an Irish accent, but who knows?

My favorite (sort of) Killy moment was when Ben & Tricia both had to go out of town while I was (I think) staying at their house (this would be the first of many such times, I believe... that is to say I believe it was the first, not that I believe there were many such times, as I have experienced the other such times and can count like a troll: one, two, many, lots). When I came home from... maybe the airport... I can't remember now... whatever... when I came home Killy had ripped the hell out of the family room furniture in a fit of puppy rage at being left at home.

I was all like, "Ooooooooooooooh you are in sooooooooooooooooo much trouble when they get home!"


Killy had longer hair, so I think he sometimes caused my eyes to go a little red and irritated. But he was a big dog that didn't act like a big dog...

And my past tense is so giving away the plot, isn't it?

Turns out the last time I saw Killy was after I returned the truck to Ben & Tricia's Saturday afternoon. I don't even remember seeing him that time. I remember more asking him where Guinness was and him totally ignoring me because he couldn't hear a thing.

Sunday morning was bad for Killy, and Ben had to take him to the vet. I didn't know anything until I read Tricia's facebook saying it was a sad day. Before I could call to ask her why, she called me. Tears from her, wailing from the girls in the background... and me trying to process. And while she's talking to me, Ben called me. So once I got the plan for the burial and hung up with Tricia, I called Ben.

Ben told me more detail about the morning, and how it wasn't an easy decision, even though they would have had to have spent crazy dollars to keep him alive--and I guess that's a nice testimony to human nature: when the chips are down, money might be a factor, but it isn't the be-all and end-all... unless you're an insurance company, I guess.

So Killian went to sleep, and he was taken to the farm where Buddy was laid to rest several years ago.

The whole thing gave me an idea of writing a children's book about it, more about Killy the puppy running and running after having a dream about being old... and running into a field where his friend Buddy welcomed him home... and the adventures they have there.

I doubt I'll write it, unless someone is a great artist and would illustrate a one-off (or two-off, I guess, since there are two girls) copy for the girls. Think about it, artist types!

I know I have a great picture of the girls goofing around on the floor with Killy. Of course, I can't find the thing to save my life right now, and that's making me crazy. I'd love to be able to bring them each a copy of that picture on Sunday.

Killy (or Killybutt, as I more often called him) and I had a bond that I did my best to hide from Tricia. But she saw through it, just like she saw through my apparent distaste for Buddy (yeah, YOU try getting a baby-near-toddler Olivia to say good-bye to Buddy before he's going off to be put to sleep without tearing up a lot). Killy was a very huggable dog. And he didn't care what time you got up, as long as you let him go out before you went to bed at 4:00 in the morning.

Killybutt will be missed, and I'll be one of the main missers. I freely admit it.

Now dog-owners, go hug your dog.