Thursday, December 27, 2007
Top 10 Best Things That Happened in 2007:
10. I reconnected with nature in Lewiston and tasted the best French toast I've ever had.
9. B and I bought new cars.
8. Our lovely friends had us over for wonderful meals to celebrate birthdays and holidays (I know this one is a cop-out). It was at one of these that we discovered a new, wonderful game: Baseball Cards.
7. Rock of Love
6. Mike & Tanya's bachelor/bachelorette party in Vegas
5. Mike & Tanya's wedding
4. My birthday. I took the day off and got a massage.
3. Our anniversary. We went to the Ritz.
2. Brendan's IPO.
1. I found out I'm not dying.
Top 10 Worst Things That Happened in 2007:
10. I got my first two gray hairs.
9. Our cupboards were momentarily infested with moths.
8. We were forced to cancel two vacations.
7. We were both in car accidents in our brand new cars.
6. I dieted fruitlessly.
5. My new company bought my old company and now I work back in the same office I was trying to get away from.
4. Endless doctors visits.
3. My sister was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
2. Rahim died.
1. Putting B's grandma in a home.
So it's all a little overwhelming to think all this stuff happened in the space of one little year, but it's also gratifying because sometimes it seems as though the years fly by and you wonder what happened to it and whether you managed to actually accomplish anything.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Now that Hubs and I have started house shopping, albeit prematurely (hell, we've been going to open houses for a year and a half), we've landed on several mailing lists, and one stands out to me. Wayne and Angel Mason are another married couple, and every month they send me a newsletter that has nothing to do with real estate. One was about getting organized. One was about maintaining your vehicle. Basically, they're helpful tips. I just received this month's in the mail today. It's titled, "A new year. A new you." It's got a number of tips on setting New Year's resolutions, and even a list of suggested resolutions (my favorite: "Watch more sunsets."). Why thank you, Wayne and Angel Mason.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
It seems the founder's son and his family have been living it up quite illegally on students' tuition money (no small cost, I assure you). My sister seems to have no luck in these areas -- her former minister, one Ted Haggard, was removed from his post at the rather disturbingly large New Life church in Colorado Springs, for sexual misconduct. These incidents and others in the religious community (priests molesting young children, anyone? This also happened at the church we attended as children in Milpitas) make me want to pose this question: Why in the world would I ever want to attend church again? People who attend church are, for the most part, good people. But there are, among them, hypocrites and deceivers who make me seriously uncomfortable.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
1. It is 8 a.m. WTF are you doing standing in the street drinking coffee? Who the fuck are you anyway?
2. Congratulations. You have purchased a home on a major thoroughfare. Douchebags.
3. Your obnoxious Children At Play sign is counterintuitive. Read this and stop gesticulating at innocent drivers.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
He would keep them in a bunker/basement under his house and rape them every day. Some were captive for years. He did this to five different women before he was finally caught. In interviews later, he mentioned he'd been taking Viagra.
Then during a commercial break, a terribly tacky advertisement for Viagra came on, with a handful of mid-life dudes singing "Viva Viagra," and I wondered aloud whether Viagra was aware that their horrid commercials were airing during "Sex Bunker."
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
So the lesson in all this is: A steady diet of pastries, Taco Bell and beer does not a healthy body make.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Later that evening as we're all celebrating sister and brother-in-law's joint birthday party, my dad gets a message on his cell phone from Domino's mother, who thanks my dad for calling her and then continues on to explain that Domino "really gets around," and that she's grateful to have him and doesn't know what she'd do without him since her husband is in the hospital. At that very moment, Domino was outside "doing his business" before it was time to come in for the evening. She just wanted my dad to know.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Also on that note, B and repeatedly noticed one of those sign-holder people holding a sign that said "Condo's for sale," and I would always say, "Look honey, there's a condo for sale. Just one. Same condo's been for sale for a while, I'd say!"
Then the other day he called to tell me someone had wised up and removed the apostrophe from "condo's"!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Subject: squash for days
Good evening loyal readers and Happy Belated Father's Day to those dads on the list, of which I think there are at least two, one of whom is my own.
Things have mellowed down a bit as far as strange happenings in Sonora, which is why this letter comes two weeks from the last. Or, maybe I'm just becoming immune.
I did, however, sing karaoke the other night.
My good friend Gen wanted to go eat some tapas at our new hangout, so five of us, including the new intern, Liz, and a new reporter, Josh, ate some tapas and everyone had a little wine, except for me, of course, because I try to live a sober lifestyle.
I've consulted my notes and see that Josh wore a T-shirt that said "I love Mother Goose" on it and another fellow, an ex-boyfriend of our education reporter, Claire, showed up in a shirt that said, "Mujer Rubelde," whatever that means.
Moving right along, some of the group decided to saunter across the street for a little amusement at the Sonora Inn aka Days Inn aka the Victoria Saloon aka that karaoke bar.
Suffice to say that four of us sang the Spice Girls' "Tell Me Whatcha Want." It was a rather embarrassing evening.
The rest of my notes have no order whatsoever, so you'll have to excuse their jumbled nature.
Firstly, I keep cooking the same thing. I shove all my favorite vegetables and some chicken in a wok, stir fry them and eat them with brown rice. I am either too lazy or to stupid to think of something else to make. It's to the point where people at work are making fun of me for constantly bringing in the same leftovers. I'm open to suggestions.
Reminder: My cell phone rarely works over here. It has to be a full moon or something. If you've called me and I never called you back it's not necessarily because I'm an evil, horrible person, although certain people would attest that I am, it's because it sometimes takes two weeks for the cell phone to tell me I have voice mail. So if you want to call me, call my house: 209.588.8504 or work (it doesn't matter that I am at work, please call anyway): 209.532.7151. Or e-mail me because I check my e-mail once a day, usually.
I have a new coffeepot. It's a stainless steel Mr. Coffee no-drip coffee pot, all shiny and pretty, black and silver. It has only two faults. It drips and it beeps. Yes, I did say it is a no-drip coffee pot, but alas. This pot is a hand-me-down from my parents, who shunned it quite harshly because it does, indeed, drip. Every single time. There is no way to make this coffee pot not drip. There is also, apparently, no way to make it not beep. When the coffee is done brewing it beeps loudly, five times. Like a construction truck backing up or something. It's SO annoying.
You've all heard of Gary, Indiana? Birthplace of Michael Jackson? I was reminded of it recently from a news report about the Gloved One going bankrupt (he's not, by the way) and returning to his hometown where they gave him a key to the city or something. Ever seen The Music Man? Matthew Broderick redid the Music Man and there was this HORRIBLE song called "Gary, Indiana." It goes something like this, "garyindianagaryindianagaryindiaaaanaaaaa!" I like to sing it to drive my mom nuts. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
This struck me as funny the other day; Our crime reporter, Amy L. (there's an Amy A.) answered the phone like this: "This is Amy. (slight pause) Aw, shit. Thanks." And then she hung up.
Changing the subject again, my editor Patty told us a friend of hers called some family with the last name Whitehead and asked, "Is this the Blackhead residence?" and the people said, "No." And so the friend said, "Oh, I must have the wrong pimple."
The other day I was in the grocery store and noticed a father and son shopping for beer. The boy was probably 4 years old and the both of them were singing, "Daddy is great! He gives me chocolate cake! Hahahahahaaa!" Now, the hahahahahaaa part is essential. I'm thinking some poor mother somewhere is cursing her ex-husband.
So we know Nick Nolte is nuts. I watched some program about the new Hulk movie coming out that he's in. I guess he showed the director some microscope he's got set up where you can stick your blood under the lens and project it onto a screen on the wall and watch all the cells float around and stuff. He's a certified freak. And he knows it. Because then he said, and I quote, "I am crazy. I'm a liar, too."
Last but not least, I am apparently the spitting image of an ex-Roundup Queen. I've been told this by at least three people. This girl's name is something like Taleeza or Sharooza or Kareema. I can't really remember, except I know it was weird. I am quite curious to meet my cow-herding twin.
Well, breathe a sigh of relief because it's over and you can move along to much more titillating e-mails about stuff like how to lose 300 pounds in 20 days.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I mean, wow. Talk about a terrible bedside manner!
Of course this sort of talk led to the formation of a work "Diet Club," and now five of us ladies are in a competition until year's end to see who can lose the most weight. Winner gets $50. So that makes two diet competitions that I have now unwittingly joined. Oy.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
The problem is that when you clean with the stuff we've been using -- Tilex & Scrubbing Bubbles -- to kill mold and get rid of water stains, it literally burns the mucous membranes of your nostrils and you don't feel quite right for the rest of the day.
We've tried fans, holding our breath and running in to scrub for 30 seconds and then running back out, and any number of other methods of cleaning the shower without submitting to a chemical coma. The only surefire way to do it that we've discovered is for Hubs to wear the gas mask his dad had from his days in the National Guard. Which is scary, right?
And having recently taken an Environmental Health class, I was taught that the cleansers people use in their homes are more toxic than supposed industrial cleansers used in public places, which are much more regulated for public safety. Because individual consumers demand stronger products, companies produce them. Meanwhile we're jacking up our bodies and our environment.
So in spite of myself (I like to think of myself as someone who doesn't jump on every bandwagon), I want to go green. I've been trolling the internet for environmentally friendly cleaning methods, and I keep landing on sites that tout vinegar as the safest and most effective "green" cleanser. So I'm going to give it a shot. And I'll let you know how it goes. Maybe I'll take a before and after photo. Currently our shower is shamefully disgusting.
Also, I found an amusing site that explains how to clean your bathroom sink with vinegar. It amused me because of Christina's previous post on cleaning your kitchen sink (http://windshieldrosary.blogspot.com/search?q=kitchen+sink), which was something like a 12-step process that involved sharp instruments and bleach. According to all the tree huggers out there, all you need is a little vinegar! Take a read:
Friday, October 26, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Woman Fined for Hammer Fit at Comcast
Friday, October 19, 2007
13:18 PDT Bristow, Va. (AP) --
She was fined and got a suspended jail sentence, but Mona Shaw says she has no regrets about using a hammer to vent her frustration at a cable company.
"I stand by my actions even more so after getting all these telephone calls and hearing other people's complaints," she told The Associated Press in an interview Friday.
Shaw, 75, and her husband, Don, say they had an appointment in August for a Comcast technician to come to their Bristow home to install the company's heavily advertised Triple Play phone, Internet and cable service.
The Shaws say no one came all day, and the technician who showed up two days later left without finishing the setup. Two days after that, Comcast cut off all their service.
At the Comcast office in Manassas later that day, they waited for a manager for two hours before being told the manager had left for the day, the Shaws say.
Shaw, a churchgoing secretary of the local AARP branch, returned the next Monday — with a hammer.
"I smashed a keyboard, knocked over a monitor ... and I went to hit the telephone," Shaw said. "I figured, 'Hey, my telephone is screwed up, so is yours.'"
Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company, disputes Shaw's version of its customer service record and calls Shaw's hammer fit on Aug. 20 an "inappropriate situation."
"Nothing justifies this sort of dangerous behavior," Comcast spokeswoman Beth Bacha said.
Police arrested Shaw for disorderly conduct. She received a three-month suspended sentence, was fined $345 and and is barred from going near the Comcast offices for a year.
The Shaws did eventually get phone and television service — with Verizon and DirecTV.
She said many people have called her a hero. "But no, I'm just an old lady who got mad. I had a hissy fit," she said.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Friday night - The Thunder from Down Under -- a male revue featuring scantily clad Australian beef cake. It was hilarious and sexy at the same time.
Saturday - Lounge by the pool at The Flamingo
Saturday night - Dinner at the Wynn hotel's SW (I think) restaurant, an uber fancy, mucho tasty steakhouse. I had scallops (chock full of b12!) Then gambling, then dancing at Vegas' newest and hottest nightclub -- LAX at the Luxor. We met three gents from Michigan and conned them into plying us with drinks in return for dances. They were quite smitten with our 38-year-old companion, an admittedly hot former Miss California. For reals.
Sunday morning - commence the LONG drive back. B and I naively chose to drive. Never again!
Pictures to follow, if I can get my sh*t together!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Meanwhile we are conducting an experiment with the larvae in the rice, waiting to see if they will spin cocoons and become moths. Sort of disgusting. Perhaps I should document with photos!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
You're The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!
by Douglas Adams
Considered by many to be one of the funniest people around, you are
quite an entertainer. You've also traveled to the far reaches of what you deem possible,
often confused and unsure of yourself. Life continues to jostle you around like a marble,
but it's shown you so much of the world that you don't care. Wacky adventures continue to
lie ahead. Your favorite number is 42.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Secondly, since I amuse myself to no end, I am pasting an email that I wrote to my friends and family probably in 2002/03-ish when I lived in Sonora and every small detail was fodder.
And a happy Monday evening to ya'll. It's 11 p.m. and I just recently got home from a weekend jaunt in the Bay Area, spent mostly doing laundry and eating my parents' food while staring blankly at clothing I can't afford in catalogs and rather disgustedly at "Trading Spaces," during an episode in which a rotund designer named Frank decided to "Aruba-cize" someone's bedroom by painting it bright teal blue. The end result was quite awful.
So I haven't written in at least a few weeks, I guess, but I've been just a busy little bee. A few weekends ago, I visited Fresno, land of ... well, many things, and not many of them good. But the important thing was I met up with old Spartan Daily folks Mike, Michelle and Minal - don't fault them for all having names that start with "M." We ate a lot of meat and did a lot of talking, took a tour of the posh Fresno Bee and saw "Matchstick Men," which I highly recommend.
The following weekend involved a trip to San Francisco's Sharon Meadow with Jacq for the Now and Zen Festival, which featured Duran Duran and Seal among others. It was quite fun although it was the only blisteringly hot day in SF all year and barely a spot of shade was to be found. And the vendors all ran out of water, prompting Jacq to file a complaint with security, who looked at her like, "Sure lady, I'll get right on that."
Jacq is Jacq. Jacq did not want to wait in the mile-long line for 45 minutes and truly believed she should not have to, seeing as how she is a cute chick and guys should WANT her to cut in front of them. But having been more of a normal looking person for most of my life, I realized that if we even suggested that we'd cut in line to those who'd already been waiting for a while, we'd be quickly murdered and buried and no one would be the wiser.
Poison Oak Update: I am convinced that whatever I STILL HAVE is not poison oak and that the doctor I saw should, perhaps, try to cut in line at the Now and Zen Fest and see what happens. I itch. My arms, my neck, my everything itches. What sort of doctor prescribes prednisone for poison oak? Have any of you ever taken this for that? No? I did not think so. What's more is I am pretty sure the prednisone has made me start to go crazy. I'd elaborate, but it's ... involved.
So there are a couple of different wars going on in Sonora right now, the first one being that which my landlady (Ernie for those not in the know) is waging against the poor, unsuspecting deer. The deer (which some locals refer to as the rats of the Sierra) managed to weasel their way UNDER her 8-foot-tall fence and chomp on her apple trees and other plants. You'll recall Ernie terrorized one buck until it broke its own neck on the fencepost and died in the yard. Well. I noticed a fawn and a mama deer in the yard the other day and decided to try to shoo them out before The Landlady noticed, but alas. She noticed. The deer did not escape unscathed. The mom did but the baby ended up breaking its own leg and somehow hobbling out like a wounded soldier and disappearing. It's probably dying a horribly agonizing and slow death in the woods somewhere.
The second battle is one Minal will appreciate. I call it Operation Eradicate Backfat. It's being waged by myself and several unsuccessful coworkers who continue to go on cookie runs to the enemy's lair, called Bon Apetit, aka The Pie Tin. The Pie Tin has managed to perfect its cookie weapons and scoffs at our valiant attempts to avoid them as they practically jump from the jars into our mouths like scud missiles. They're so confident in their ability to promote backfat that they brazenly post the number of cookies they've made throughout the week. Saturday, I noticed, it was up to some horrific number, like 274, most of which were consumed by unsuspecting reporters.
Ok. Moving right along.
I am thinking of being Dolly Parton for Halloween. But I'm officially asking YOU for your advice. I need to be something really cool because it's going to be hard to top last year's costume - Princess Leia. I had buns and everything. And I've never been blonde for Halloween so that's the goal this year, whatever the costume ends up being, it just has to include a blonde wig. If you come up with the best idea, why, you'll get a mention in these lovely neverending emails.
Mmmm. By the way, in the "Who do I look like series," I now have been said to look like a person named Jennifer Irwin, who plays someone's sister on a show I never watch - "Still Standing." Our tech guy at work, Derek, who I'm convinved does nothing all day, is on a quest to find my perfect match. He's the one who came up with the largely unflattering and big-nosed Patty Souza, the local weather girl on channel 3.
So I am a bad person and I never added a couple of former co-workers of mine to the email list - Nadia and Stephen. They are easily the coolest people I had the privilege of hanging out with outside of work and MAN can they slam those margaritas. We had loads of fun talking smack about everyone and their mama and pulling pranks on eachother, such as the time Nadia hid chocolate bars in Stephen's sandwich. A priceless moment, I assure you. Stephen made Nadia and I name placard thingies that say "Freak #1" and "Freak #2." I am Freak #2 and I put it on my desk at work so that people have fair warning before they decided to actually talk to me.
Anyway, welcome Nadia and Stephen to the list, although I couldn't remember Stephen's last name, so Nadia, could you please forward this on to him?
I hope everyone's week has started off well. Fight the good fight!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Morford wonders why there aren't laws against this sort of advertising the same way there are laws that restrict the advertising of other things that are bad for us, like cigarettes. The answer to that seems simple enough to me. It is not necessary to consume cigarettes to keep on living (some might disagree) but it is necessary to consume food to keep on living. Certainly, it is not necessary to consume Baconators to keep on living, but we are a hungry, stressed lot who want something more appetizing to consume than a bowl of wheat bran, despite knowing it's about as good for us as an IV drip of lard.
Morford, who has mentioned in past columns that he is a yoga instructor, also says he watches little television, and he surmises that the target audience for said commercials are overweight, illiterate frat boys. Methinks he's forgotten who HIS target audience is. I won't bother to look up the latest statistics on what percentage of Americans are obese, but last I heard it was more than half. Chances are he's offended a few Baconator-eating souls out there today.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Armless Man Delivers Fatal Head-Butt
By DOUG GROSS, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
(09-18) 13:22 PDT Snellville, Ga. (AP) --
Police are investigating the death of a man who collapsed after he was head-butted by an armless man in a fight over a woman. Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead said the two men, Charles Keith Teer and William Russell Redfern, scuffled Monday afternoon in the driveway of a suburban Atlanta home.
Police say Redfern, who was born with no right arm and only a short stump for his left arm, kicked Teer and Teer hit Redfern during the fight, which was due to long-standing bad blood over a woman who once dated Teer and now dates Redfern.
After bystanders separated them, Redfern "came back and head-butted (Teer) one time," Whitehead said.
Teer complained of feeling dizzy, collapsed, and died, Whitehead said.
After the fight, Redfern and the woman got into his truck and drove to the Snellville police station, Whitehead said. He said the couple had called 911 to report the dispute, then told the operator they needed an ambulance after Teer collapsed.
A woman who answered the telephone at Redfern's home, in suburban Tucker, Ga., said he had no comment. She declined to identify herself.
Police are awaiting autopsy results before deciding whether Redfern should be charged.
Known by the nickname "Rusty," Redfern made a name for himself in the late 1980s for pen and ink drawings he does using his foot.
According to the web site for VSA Arts — an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that promotes and showcases artists with disabilities — Redfern's drawings take one to six months to complete.
He was one of six Georgians selected to represent the state at the 1989 International Arts Festival in Washington, D.C., and was commissioned by Georgia's then-Secretary of State Max Cleland for a series of illustrations depicting the state capitol.
According to the site, he started Redfern Originals, Inc. in 1987, producing Christmas cards, stationery and limited-edition prints.
Monday, September 17, 2007
In the fourth volume of Lord of the Isles, Prince Garric of Haft, the reluctant hero now ruling the Kingdom of the Isles as best he can, has solved some of his logistical and financial problems. Unfortunately, much of his opposition comes from immaterial forces, as rogue wizards, some nonhuman, cast spells right and left. Various bestial hordes swarm in all quarters, and though the Mistress of the Catacombs remains off-stage, the mere fact that she exists raises the levels of threat to the realm and tension in the narrative. Garric isn't fighting alone, of course; sister Sharina, ghost-adviser Cashel, and student of Hell's magic Ilna guard his flanks and back. The book doesn't escape the problem, inherent to its place in the saga, of dividing its considerable length between filling in backstory and advancing the plots, counterplots, and subplots. That adversely affects pacing but not world building, characterization, and systems of magic, which are all so well conceived that the saga continues to be Drake's most ambitious work to date.
Stubbornly, I've thus far refused to give up my morning cup of joe. There are a number of reasons, many surprisingly emotional.
Firstly, having been a writer in my former life, caffeine and I are old friends, attached at the hip since college. Giving it up almost seems like admitting defeat -- no, I'm not a writer any more, no, I'm not pulling any more of those late council meetings or slogging through a weekend of kitschy parades and traffic wreck coverage. But real, hard-core bitches like me drink coffee and people who don't -- well maybe they're just not as hard-core as I am. Right?
Also, I've realized that being a coffee drinker is like being part of a special community of tired and harried people, who, although grumpy, understand each other and share a bond they're probably not even aware of. They stand in line for coffee. They know the name of the person making their latte, and that person knows their name, too. They sit in cafes with each other and sip their warm drinks and it seeps into their veins deliciously.
So I've continued drinking it, although I'm becoming more sensitive to it since I only allow myself to drink one cup in the morning. And I've realized I'm going to have to give that up, too. I drink it now, and my heart immediately races. So in good conscience, I have to give it up. This is going to be the week I say good-bye to my morning jolt. I may join that league of decaf coffee drinkers I used to scorn, so I can get that biting taste and that warm stomach and stand in that line and be part of that group of tired hard-asses. But I'll know what's really in that cup, and it just won't be the same.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
"Putitdownputitdownputitdown!" I said.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Make no mistake about it, the waste water treatment facility smells like poop. Especially the "primary treatment" center, where the new "bio-solids," aka poops, are allowed to sit until they sink to the bottom. Actually, what probably smells worse is the secondary treatment center, where they pull "hard" waste materials out of the bio-solids (which they used to call sludge for obvious reasons). There are these big scraper things that reach deep down in and grab anything that's not going to dissolve, like rags and rocks and other disgusting items completely soaked in poop. The scrapers then dump the poop-covered items on a conveyor belt and then they go bye-bye to the dump. The various treatments go on and on, and by the time the water is completely treated, it smells and looks like extremely chlorinated pool water. Our guide even claimed it was good enough to bottle and possibly even better than some bottled water out there already. Pardon me, but I will not be drinking the poop water.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
So I waited my turn and submitted my renewal form to the clerk, an approximately 14-year-old, bored looking young man. He proceeded to ask me if my height or weight had changed at all. Out loud. Like, in front of people. Now, mind you, my weight has changed. A lot. But, being the person I stubbornly am (my own husband doesn't know my weight and it is a bit of a sore point with him) I just pursed my lips and shook my head. Admit weight gain aloud in a public place? Pshaw!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
My mom also told me that she and my dad managed to catch three feral cats in their backyard and they took them to get fixed. This is just so out of character for my parents, especially my dad, who professes to pretty much detest all animals. But it holds with my theory that, as you age, you become fascinated with the animals in your backyard. It's inevitable.
So I must convince everyone to get on Facebook, if only to spend agonizing hours playing Scrabble. It seems so time consuming after investing so much in Myspace, but come on, peeps. Facebook -- it's the new black.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
I actually got the results of all of my tests back today, and of all things, I am extremely deficient in vitamin B12 and folic acid and I tend toward anemia, especially during my womanly flow (haha). So now I have to take prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements and keep taking the stuff that's keeping my heart from beating out of my chest and baby aspirin, and they still want me to do the echocardiogram and they want to watch my large thyroid. Which, the only thing wrong with it at the moment is that it is apparently very large. After I have kids it's likely to go cuckoo bonkers though. Which is fine, they have meds for that. I may have the type of stomach acid that prevents the absorption of B12, which could mean I would need to take it via shots, but that's a hell of a lot better than, say, open heart surgery.
Symptoms of B12 deficiency can include anxiety, fatigue, depression, moodiness, confusion, tingling and numbness. Check, check, check, check, check, check, check! The doctor also told me if I got pregnant with levels as low as I have, my child would probably have birth defects. Which, thank God I am not pregnant! Aside from my new vitamins, she suggests I eat foods high in B12, which include such delicacies as: Clams, beef liver, oysters, sardines, turkey giblets, chicken liver and mackerel. The list goes on, and there are other more appetizing things on there, but these most disgusting items are the highest in B12, of course.
So anyway, I want to thank my three readers for being so supportive and kind. I'm totally relieved, obviously!
Enjoy the boob shot!
Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
So here's how it went down -- a nurse led me into an exam room and told me to remove my shirt and bra and then she stood there and stared at me until I understood she wanted me to actually remove my clothing in front of her, which, fine, whatever. If nothing else, this experience has made me a little less modest in front of strangers, but I'm not sure if that's actually a bonus?
Anyway, then she took a piece of sand paper (or something really similar) and scratched the crap out of my chest and my rib cage and then slapped electrode thingies on me and fastened them down with some horrible tape I just know is going to hurt like hell when she rips it off tomorrow.
Each electrode is a different color, and a different colored wire runs from each to a box about the size of a canteen, which I'm wearing on a belt around my waist. I've been forbidden from swimming and showering and told to be careful when venturing into public because all of the wires and whatnot could be mistaken for a bomb. The nurse told me this in complete seriousness.
I am to wear this to bed and to come in again tomorrow morning to be "disconnected."
I am to record all of my activities throughout the day, including (according to the little brochure I have here) bowel movements and sexual activity. Well, there's really nothing that turns me on more than looking like a robot!! I'm sure Hubs feels the same way.
Well, I did take a photo of this madness so I could post it on here, but it's taking a while to reach my mail so I'll stick it in here later.
Ta for now!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
These last two weeks have revealed to me why some cancer patients decide to forgo chemotherapy -- they're tired of doctors and they'd rather croak than have to spend another minute in a hospital with a needle in their arm!
No I don't have cancer and I honestly have no right to be whining about anything. But I've been undergoing a steady stream of tests in an effort to figure out why I'm having difficulty breathing and my heart sometimes beats too hard. Sounds like anxiety attacks, I know. And that's still kind of what I think it is. But since my new GP thinks it could be any number of things, I've completed a battery of exams and it's not quite over.
Yesterday ten vials of blood were drawn from my now bruised and sore arm. I also had an EKG and was told by a cardiologist to lose weight, stop eating salt, cut out caffeine and, oh yeah, chocolate. Excuse me?!
Today I had an ultrasound on my thyroid and that's when I almost lost it. As the technician is performing the ultrasound, I'm trying not to swallow, breathe or talk, and I'm looking at these indiscernible blobs on the screen and she's making these little marks in certain areas and I'm just thinking, what's THAT?
Then I get my chest X-ray and then I'm allowed to leave.
Tomorrow, and this is great and sort of funny, really -- tomorrow I'm going to be wearing a heart monitor that will record every beat for 24 hours. And then Thursday I'll go back to my GP and she can interpret all of the results for me and send me on another tour of medical offices. She's already promised I'll get to have a papsmear -- oh joy! -- and have my eyes checked. My echocardiogram is scheduled for later next month and should be, like, 14 times more exciting than the thyroid ultrasound.
So here's my prediction -- she's going to tell me there's nothing wrong with me and I should take a vacation and try to chill out.
That, or I'm dying. It's simple, really. :-)
Friday, August 17, 2007
Anyway I think I figured out I really liked her book the other night when I was reading in bed and Brendan was asleep and she was describing an incident in which the main character was having difficulty removing a sweater, and I was laughing because it was so funny, but trying not to laugh out loud or shake too much so I wouldn't wake Brendan up, which made it funnier.
I've really become quite a snob.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Beer seems to remove the constricting feeling I get in my throat whilst attempting to compile next year's budgets at work.
Friday, August 03, 2007
-a man with no arms and one leg who's doing time for taking cops on a high speed chase and kicking a highway patrol officer. I mean, kicking? Seriously? He's got one complete appendage left and he's hitting someone with it? I love this.
-a family that just had its 17th child and every single one's name start with the letter "J." Few things irritate me more than alliteration of that sort. And the dad's name is Jim Bob and they live in Arkansas. Which is just great.
In other awesome news, my car is supposedly ready to pick up, although the feeling in the pit of my stomach is telling me there is going to be something visibly wrong with it when I get there to pick it up and I'm going to be stuck driving the murder-mobile for another week. At one point, I dropped the car key in the crack between the center console and the passenger seat and was forced to wedge my hand in the crack to get it out and when I pulled my hand out it was covered in unknown, sticky goo. I gagged.
Monday, July 30, 2007
"Should I get the fire extinguisher?"
B runs outside to get the fire extinguisher, notices it's one of those that requires you to break the glass first, and has second thoughts. He comes back in so we can discuss whether an extinguisher is really necessary. We discuss the merits of baking soda. We peek at the fire a couple of times to confirm that, yes, there is still a fire in the oven. I run about with my hands on my head in a personification of panic. We peek again at the fire and it has gone out. We decide to remove the steak from the oven.
"Should we eat it?"
"Looks OK to me."
No joke, this was the best steak I have EVER made.
Friday, July 20, 2007
I think I will have to trade it in for something else on Monday but for now I find myself behaving quite disrespectfully to the car, going full speed over speed bumps, slamming it into park/drive/reverse/whatever and jamming my foot on the gas, leaving it unlocked when I park it because I hope it will be stolen, stuff like that.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I mean, really? First of all, who at that company decided a slogan was necessary? And then instead of something that inspires confidence, like "Top Notch Service" or "Excellent Workmanship," they come up with something that only leaves questions to be answered. I mean, I understand they're trying to say they're sorry you were in an accident and now they're going to do all they can to help you with that. But aren't they also saying they're sorry you're stuck with them since your insurance carrier receives discounts from only a certain number of auto body repair shops in San Jose and this one happens to be the closest one to your office? Hmmm.
Anyway, a word to the wise: Apparently there is a Cisco convention in SF right now, and 40,000 people have flown in for the event, every single one of whom obviously rented a car because it took me an hour to get a rental today, and I had a reservation. And once the car finally got there, it looked as though it was extremely possible someone had committed murder in it and that Enterprise used exactly two paper towels trying to clean it up. Few things disgust me more than mysterious stains in rental cars and motel rooms.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Which made Creative Me happy but made Sensible Me cringe later in the realization that people are probably rolling their eyes while reading my email via blackberry.
Also today: I have walked 11,086 steps so far, which is like 7,000 more than I usually walk. I am wearing my pedometer. You're supposed to walk at least 10,000 steps a day to be somewhat healthy, I guess...
Also today: Brendan's company was on this crazy stock show called "Mad Money," and the host is swearing up and down that it's going to blow when it IPOs this summer. I am afraid to get excited...
Sunday, July 08, 2007
It was very, very funny.
Friday, July 06, 2007
The irony of this week's column is that I was literally JUST THINKING about the topic of self grooming/maintenance because Christina mentioned she was going to get her brows waxed and I was later staring forlornly at my toes and thinking they're sorely overdue for some new paint, not to mention some shaving of the big toe region. I'd also mentioned to Christina it's been at least 6 months since I've had my hair done, and in reality after thinking about it, it's been closer to 9 months, which is sort of sad. I want to be the sort of person who consistently does SOMETHING in her life but the sad fact is the only thing I consistently do is eat, and perhaps shower. I mean, how can someone who sort of half-caringly notices the same hairball behind the scale in the bathroom every day for two weeks really be going to get her hair highlighted every couple of months? Seriously.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
The producers of reality TV show "The Bachelor" have been floored by the amount of pretty women who don't get to woo series hunks -- because they have herpes.
A new report reveals a substantial number of single stunners were turned away from the most recent show's auditions after testing positive for herpes and other communicable diseases.
A show insider tells the National Enquirer, "Some of the best looking women have been told recently that they didn't pass the medical portion of the test due to herpes."
The most recent Bachelor was U.S. Navy Lieutenant Andy Baldwin.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
God forbid that demon spawn a child.
So moving right along, Brendan and I returned yesterday from our little family vacay in Lewiston (excuse me, they are replaying footage of Paris running happily in stilettos from her prison cell into the waiting arms of her mother. VOMIT!). My parents had brought along their friend Karen, who just lost her husband to cancer in March and her two kids, ages 5 and 7. These kids are freaking adorable and hilarious. At one point Brendan asks the five year old if he needs to go potty because he's holding onto his junk, and he says no, he's fine. So his brother explains loudly that he's "always touching his penis!" And saying PENIS in the way that only a young child can really say it, with perfect clarity and volume, to make sure you understand he is saying PENIS and not something else. After that it was all over. The 7 year old declared it was time to play "Whoever gets hit in the privates is OUT." So a lot of socking each other in the privates with a Curious George doll ensued (it's a lot funnier than it sounds) except that no one was ever actually out and everyone continued to get hit in the privates until the kids tired of it.
The next day they declared it was time to play "Runaway Kid," which they'd renamed from the original version, which was called "Runaway Slave." They'd apparently had a school play about a runaway slave, hence the game. Their mom thought it best if they say "kid" in public rather than "slave."
So to bring this thing full circle, someone Anderson Cooper is interviewing just accused him of not liking Paris and he stammers, well, I don't know... I just don't... I just don't understand her! Thank you. My sentiments exactly.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I am reviewing her resume, open-mouthed. This is a person who wrote a book for her thesis. A whole book!
This is a person who graduated magna cum laude with a major in English and says she is proficient in AP, APA, MLA and Chicago editing styles and knows every layout/design software that a copy editor could ever hope to know.
I am baffled.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Also, maudlin is a cool word. I just figured out that I thought the definition was something it is not. Here's what it really means, according to Merriam Webster:
1 : drunk enough to be emotionally silly. 2 : weakly and effusively sentimental
Friday, June 15, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Glory be, last night was the finale, and I won the bet because Our Fine Lecher, Andy, chose Tessa, the girl who didn't like him, or at least seemed not to like him. She was astoundingly poorly spoken, and I am usually empathetic because I am poorly spoken when it comes to verbally being on the spot, but she was painful to listen to.
Anyway despite apparently not being that into each other, they are engaged. There's supposed to be an update program about them on tonight, if you are interested.
Even I thought for a while that he might choose Bevin, what with the declarations of undying love from both of them and the constant French kissing. But he gave her the boot, sobbing all the while! What a big softie.
I think there were a couple of issues that really nailed Bevin's coffin shut, including the fact that she is currently developing a study on libido in menopausal women, which scandalized The Lecher's grandpa, and the fact that she was raised in the Baha'i (probably spelled wrong) faith, which grandpa had certainly never heard of and didn't like the sound of.
Also she'd previously been married and was a major drama queen.
Anyway that's about all! Next up will be Blake on American Idol. We'll find out Wednesday if he won, and if so then Mike owes me $10. :-)
Monday, May 21, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I am guessing that is why I then had a nightmare that a woman in my office turned someone else's husband into deli meat (she's never one to be outdone) and slathered his remains in salsa or salad dressing or something. It's one of the few dreams I recall smelling things.
Anyway in the dream I was certain that I knew who'd killed this guy and turned him into deli meat, so I told my friend Mike Oz, who needed to know for some reason. And then it turned out to be this psycho woman I work with and I felt bad for slandering this other woman. In my dream I was also an artist who painted wings on women's backs. It's all bizarre, I know.
I think my work anxiety and my watching of weird TV (recently I saw "The Omen," quite an unwise choice for a person who consistently has nightmares when watching scary movies) are melding in my dreams. Because at work this week, two people were laid off, and I had felt about 65 percent certain that I was going to be laid off, too. And now I am finding out I am not going to be laid off but that I am going to have more work to do.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I am on a new diet, and actually you aren't going to believe this because I've spent more than half of my life on a diet, but I have never tried this particular type of diet because I somehow believed it didn't work.
So I am counting calories. I do this through Self's diet club (Self is a fitness magazine that I, inexplicably, subcribe to) online, and I log everything I eat and it tells me the calories and then I sit and mull for a while the fact that I have probably been eating about three times the calories that I SHOULD have been eating, hence it is no wonder that I have gained 20 lbs since getting married. Yes. 20 lbs. The scale kept inching up quite frighteningly toward numbers never previously seen, and it is now at the breaking point. Well, my pants are at the breaking point, anyway. It's either lose the weight or buy an ENTIRE new wardrobe, and being the thrifty person I am, I simply must lose the weight.
I am supposed to eat 1385 calories per day in order to lose 2 lbs per week. This is if I am sedentary, which ordinarily, I am. I am beyond sedentary. I am sloth-like. I roll from my bed to the shower, to the car, to my desk, to my car, to my couch. I have tried wearing pedometers but had to stop because it was depressing. You are supposed to walk 10,000 steps a day (at least) in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and I was barely managing 3,000. My goal is to start doing some kind of exercise, perhaps my 20 minute yoga tape for starters. Or my 20 minute butt blaster pilates tape.
I have now eaten 464 calories for the day, which leaves me with 912 calories to play with for the rest of the day. This is entertaining, really. I could eat an ice cream sundae and call it a day. That is what I like about this calorie-counting business. There's no cutting out bad carbs or desserts, it's just you stop eating when you've reached your limit! Glory be.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Nonetheless, we are suffering serious guilt pangs since she is so hell bent against living with the Mexicans. We felt a little better yesterday as we were packing some of her things yesterday to bring to her new home and came across several notes she wrote to either herself or "them" -- the people who are "stealing" from her. A number of items have gone missing, including cottage cheese and underwear. In one note she writes that she dreamed she died. Very strange. But it makes us feel better about what we had to do.
Friday, May 04, 2007
And then B and I spent the evening in the emergency room with his grandmother, who, it seems, went off the deep end and called 911 for unknown reasons. Cops ultimately decided she needed to be hospitalized immediately and should not be living on her own.
Which results in us canceling our much anticipated vacation. We planned to leave Monday.
All of this has resulted in a new phenomenon. I'm becoming one of Those People. One of those people who always has something going wrong in their life and you just sort of look at like "what did this person do to piss off God?"
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
I thought this was rather creepy, but get this! That's not unusual, apparently! A nurse friend of mine tells me an Impending Sense Of Doom is common among people who are about to have major heart events.
And lo and behold, we looked in the handy dandy book my health care provider sent me in the hopes that I will try to self-cure (which I do, often) rather than see a doctor (I do my best to make sure United Health Care has enough money in its pocket) and it said "If you feel like you are about to die, you may in danger of a heart attack and should see a doctor."
I'm paraphrasing, by the way, but that's really what it said!
So this is not even a physical symptom! This is just you having a horrible feeling you are about to die!
This is my question. How STRONG is this feeling that you are about to die? Apparently it was strong enough that my friend felt the need to mention it to his wife. If I mentioned to my husband every time I had a sneaking suspicion I was about to die, he would have left me by now. For example, the last time I felt death approaching was while I was sitting at my desk at work today, having a stroke. Well, maybe it was just heartburn.
But seriously. I need to speak with someone who has actually had a heart attack and experienced this Impending Sense of Doom. Because I need to know how to differentiate between my normal everyday Impending Sense of Doom and the Real Deal.
Anyway my husband mentioned something to me the other day that's been sticking in my mind regarding karma and the fact that we seem to lack the good variety. This would be due to the fact that we've been to more funerals than weddings in the last 12 months and the fact that his grandmother is going to drive him to murder, among other more petty irritations like the fact that we both sort of detest our jobs and wish we could be a novelist and a race car driver (me and him, respectively) instead.
So now we're working on our good karma: Letting people merge in front of us more, smiling at strangers and mentally ill people more, practicing deep breathing with the most aggravating people in our lives more and in general attempting to force ourselves to Think Nice. Wish us luck...
Friday, April 27, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
Anyway that was not going to deter us, of course. We went for a little walk down to the beach and then went back to the room to kill off a bottle of wine we'd brought with us (we are nothing if not frugal!) and talk about what we can do to make money aside from working in our current jobs. Then we got ready for dinner and jaunted on down to the Ritz' restaurant, Navio. We ordered up a bottle of the 2004 Sonoma Cutrer (our honeymoon wine!) and a crab salad for an appetizer that wasn't actually salad at all but was pretty decent. The service was excellent, of course. We had an ocean-view table, and as it got darker you could still see the waves crashing on the beach because the hotel shines lights on the ocean at night.
So then for dinner he got a steak and I got salmon. We polished that off and then ordered this tasty melty chocolate dessert thing. They'd written "happy anniversary" in chocolate sauce on the plates -- so cute! And they gave us free glasses of congratulatory champagne. Then they brought post-dessert dessert, which, hell, if we'd known they were going to bring us dessert anyway we never would have ordered the other stuff. Long story short, by the end of dinner we were extremely drunk and full.
We stumbled back to our room, changed and sat next to our fire pit for a while. I took a bath in the very cool tub and some flower petals that were apparently from someone else's luxurious bath snuck out of the drain and into my bath, which was sort of gross but I think I was too drunk to really care.
Around 1 a.m. I stuck our breakfast order on the doorknob. I'd optimistically requested a couple of orders of eggs benedict and a large pot of pressed coffee (they have the best pressed coffee), without really thinking about my inevitable hangover. For I was doomed to have a hangover, of course. Which was compounded about 43 times by the fact that my adorable husband kept me awake all night.
First it was that he had to get up to turn off the air, which, honestly, the Ritz should not have air blowing on your head when you sleep. Could they possibly figure some other climate control method out aside from the old blowing-on-the-head routine? That's, like, so Motel 6. B put it this way: "That thing was blowing icicles up my ass." Which I found very, very funny. That was at about 4 a.m.
Shortly thereafter I started having my own climate control issues due to the lack of air, and I realized I had a pounding headache due to the impending hangover and needed to ransack our minibar for a first aid kit, which I fortunately found and managed to pound some tylenol. Sadly, B had jimmy legs all night and at some point I recall him saying, "I think this bed is so luxurious I can't sleep in it." It was a down bed with a down comforter and down pillows. Quite warm and cozy.
Suffice to say I felt like dog doo at 845, when a kind Ritz employee wheeled our eggs benedict in. I couldn't even manage to fully enjoy them!
So we booked it out of there pretty quick after that, with visions of our glorious Sleep Number bed dancing in our heads. I slept a couple hours and still feel vaguely weird so will definitely be enjoying nighty-night time immediately following tonight's "Bachelor." :-)
Monday, April 09, 2007
BTW I was reading some of my old missives from Sonora the other day and I've decided I'm just not very funny any more. I apologize. I simply used to be funnier. Or maybe life was funnier? Anyway, since I am having a little trouble squeezing humor out of life right now, I thought I'd remind you of how entertaining I used to be. This is from May of 2003:
So yeah. I thought that was pretty damn funny, but maybe it's just cause I was there and it was really funny for me.
Some of the funniest stuff I've ever written (I think) was from Florida and the resulting drive back with my mother. That's no longer in my computer, though, so... too bad! I did have a very kind friend who printed out all of my emails from those few months and put them in a binder for me, so it's kind of cool to be able to read them now and then. Embarrassing, but cool. :-)
Thursday, April 05, 2007
My upstairs neighbor just said very loudly and snarly (if that's possible) "I'm tired and I'm upset!"
I believe she is on the phone. Otherwise she's just stomping around (oh, to be the upstairs neighbor, for once) and complaining about some bitch who ruined her day to, perhaps, her cat, Kiki.
That is not the only surprise declaration I have heard today, in case you were wondering. And also in case you are wondering, it really only takes two incidents per day for me to declare it the day of that thing.
Ok, so earlier, around 430 I was at work and I was speaking to a customer on the phone and I said, "How are you?" as is customary in our society, for God knows what reason. We never actually say how we are. "Gee, not so well, my 'roids are actin' up and the kids have been a real pain in the ass lately."
Usually this customer of mine is very brief and to the point, but today he sounds hoarse and tired and he says, "Well to be honest, not very good."
So I said, "Oh, I'm sorry."
So he says, "A good friend of mine is in the hospital and it doesn't look like she's going to make it."
Um, yes. I think there is something about grief that makes you want to tell people to fuck off because you're hurting and you sort of end up telling all kinds of people why you're hurting, whether you should or not, and whether you think they care or not.
I do care. I am very sorry to hear about his friend, and I tell him this. And after speaking with him, I hang up and stare at my screen and feel very sad and just wish that for a little while, everyone would stop getting sick and dying. Because I'm tired. We're all tired. And we're sad, and we can't really deal with all of it at the same time. If you sick and dying people could just have a little courtesy and space out your hospital stays in, say, 5 year increments, that would work a lot better for me.
So anyway. I didn't mean to bring the mood down, geez! Today IS still the day of declaring what you really want to declare! You still have 5 hours to make some assertive and truthful declarations! Start thinking about this!
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Allow me to begin. First, let it be known that approximately 50% of the contestants are named Tiffany. The other half are named Stephanie. Oh, ye children of the late 70s and early 80s!!
Here we go:
Sorority (Real name - Peyton. She's a professional sorority recruiter, somehow)
The Home Team (Real name Bevin (whawhawhat?), she's from Palo Alto)
Slutsky McCoy (Real name Kate. She wore a skirt so short you could see into the last century.)
Toothy (Real name Alexis. Enough said)
Dead Boyfriend (Real name Danielle. She felt compelled to tell the new Bachelor, Andy, about her college boyfriend who died)
The Dark Horse (Real name Amber. I just named her the Dark Horse because I like the sound of it and didn't have a better name. To her credit, she hasn't yet made a fool of herself.)
Tiffany. Enough said.
Divorce (Real name Tessa. Another who felt compelled to tell Andy about her parents' divorce. She's from SF, so her second name could be The Home Team Part II)
No eyebrows. (Real name Nicole. Enough said.)
Paris Part II. (Susan. Enough said.)
Amanda. Another who has managed not to tarnish her name quite yet.
Paris Part I. (Real name Erin, unfortunately. Enough said.)
Anthem (Real name Tina. She felt the need to sing the Star Spangled Banner to Andy. God knows why.)
Flip. (Real name Stephanie. She did a flip.)
There are no favorites yet but I'll keep you apprised of the situation.
Friday, March 16, 2007
And what is with all of the Judge shows? I am currently watching Judge Hatchett, and I kid you not, this is a direct quote from the show: "You tore a page out of the Bible to roll a joint?!"
Anyway, that's all!
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I've watched a couple of recorded "What Not To Wears" and am now watching a Dr. Phil about hoarders. This chick is a cat hoarder and has literally 200 cats that she is not allowed to have so her neighbors are understandably upset with the odor and the fact that their property is overrun with cats. She's convinced they are killing her cats and is leaving nasty messages on their answering machines. People are bizarre! Hoarders... Hoarding is such a strange phenomenon. Growing up, one of my friend's mother was a hoarder, she just kept every damn thing. Getting into the house was a challenge in and of itself and it was always dark in there because they couldn't open the blinds lest someone see. Her children would have been taken away.
Anyway, here's hoping this is just a 24-hour flu!