Sunday, December 31, 2006

old long since

(doesn't auld lang syne have a better ring to it? I agree, Mr. Burns)

As detailed above - "auld lang syne" literally means "old long since" - but a more idiomatic English translation would be something like "long ago", "days of long ago", "in olden days", or even "once upon a time"..

The complete lyrics, as Burns wrote them, are as follows -

Burns’ verse:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.


Burns’ verse above is taken exactly from Songs from Robert Burns, published in Great Britain
by Collins Clear-Type Press in 1947, and sold at Burns’ Cottage. Most traditional use of the song involves only the first verse and the chorus - with the last line changed to "and days of auld lang syne".

  • The last line of the chorus is frequently mis-sung by crowds and untrained groups as for the sake of Auld Lang Syne. This is partly because the words themselves are not understood, but also because it has become common practice. It is rarely (if ever) incorrectly performed by trained choirs.
  • The song is sung at the end of the Last Night of the Proms by the audience (rather than the performers). As such it is never listed on the official programme.
  • The melody of the song is used as the unofficial alma mater for the University of Virginia.
  • The melody is also featured at the beginning of the Tom Waits song 'A Sight For Sore Eyes'
  • The song is sung in a famous scene at the end of It's a Wonderful Life, a movie traditionally shown during the weeks before Christmas in America.
  • In the 1942 re-release of the Charlie Chaplin film The Gold Rush with added sound, the song is sung at a New Year's Eve party. It is not certain if the same song was sung when the original silent film was released in 1925.
* all info directly plagiarized from Wikipedia
* We'll be ringing in '07 watching horror movies and inventing new drinks. There will be a brief interlude of posing in the Member's Only jacket for the mandatory photo op. These are traditions we just can't shake.
* Happy 2007, all! Ring it in with blind abandon!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

going to pot

It's almost midnight and there are people outside of our apartment yelling and carrying on, fighting and making the walls shake. The cat keeps looking at the door like it's going to jump off of the hinges and chase her under the bed. I glanced to make sure the chain was locked.

We don't live in the ritziest apartments, but they're not excessively grungy, either. They're middle-of-the-road in a nice-enough neighborhood. And tonight I'm bringing you a breaking story: I'm about to brave outside to figure out what all this noise is about... (tra-la, tra-la)

It's the apartment directly across from us, the new young neighbors, and I think there's a half-dozen or so people in there watching some kind of sports thing, cheering and carrying on. So it's not that exciting; no domestic dispute, no animal cruelty, no reason to call the cops. Just people having a good time.

I won't rain on that parade.*

You have to wonder what the imaginary line is you'd have to cross to upset the apple cart, rain on the parade. Last night while checking the mail I witnessed a drug deal. I pretended not to pay attention, but it went down just like it does on the HBO specials, in front of God and everybody.

Now that's a parade that pushes my buttons.

* Besides, if this goes on any longer I know my other neighbors will come ask them to cool down.**
** Exactly ten minutes after I wrote this, that's exactly what happened. She told him that they were watching a fight and it's over now. You gotta love predictability.

Friday, December 29, 2006


I don't know this guy.

Fall of 1999 I was student teaching in metro Nashville. I wanted to go to the city kids because I thought I already knew how to get the country kids to eat out of my hand. My first rotation was in a 5th grade class where I taught English and Social Studies, an excellent combo that was much fun. There were about 26-28 kids in my homeroom class, one who spoke no English and another 5 or 6 who were in ESL (English as a Second Language) programs at the school. Another ten kids in the class barely read on a third grade level. (And you want me to teach a lesson on gerunds?) I think my class alone represented direct lineage from five or six different countries around the world.

And like every other elementary classroom, we were all mashed up together, teaching down the middle to hope that the slow kids would catch on and the smart kids wouldn't get too bored. They were the future teachers and politicians, construction workers and NFL running backs (all of the boys either wanted to grow up to be Eddie George or Steve McNair), the future sociopaths and homemakers-- all together in a glorified trailor-park classroom learning how to be good little citizens (as any Foundations of Education professor will tell you is the purpose of the Department of Education and Brainwashing).

I always tried to connect current events into my lessons. I tried to use examples of things that they would understand. I tried to use names of people who I knew they would all know. Usually this strategy worked for me.

Until one day.

One day I was in the middle of an English lesson (on something probably as exciting as gerunds) and I wrote a sentence on the board with the name "Saddam Hussein" as the subject. This was in no way a political statement, but that didn't matter... two of my usually quiet and nonconfrontational kids jumped up and started yelling.

One of them jumped out of his chair and ran up to me in the front of the class. He kept yelling, "I hate Saddam! Saddam is a bad man! You should hate Saddam! I hate Saddam!" and so on.

These were city kids, remember. I broke up fights just about every week I was there. I had even taken knives off of a couple of kids... and this one was in my face just getting louder and more aggressive.

What does the diplomat do? I agreed with him. I repeated everything that he said. Yes, Saddam was a bad man. Yes, I do hate Saddam. I told him I hated Saddam so much that his name wasn't worthy of being on the board, and I erased it. I yelled as loud as he did, reaffirming everything he said.

He nodded his head, went back to his seat, and I wrote a different sentence on the board. We returned to the lesson.

After the class was over, the teacher with whom I was working told me that I handled that situation well, as it was different than the usual attention-seeking outbursts we usually had in the class. And then she told me that student was Kurdish and Saddam Hussein's minions gassed that kid's family, and that's how they ended up in Nashville.*

I don't know that Saddam Hussein guy, but I'm compelled to think he's a bad man.

I've just refreshed my CNN page to see that the bad man has been hung. I can't say if killing him would really make a difference in the world, but I do hope it will bring peace to those who were tortured and killed by his hand.

* Nevermind that was something she should have told me earlier in the semester, especially considering how I dropped all kinds of political names in class... That's a good point, but not the purpose of this story.

* I still think about those kids. If none of them dropped grades they'd be Seniors this year. I wonder if they remember getting in trouble for sneaking under the stairs to look up my skirt.


I'm glad that it's Friday. And I'm glad it's a three-day weekend.
And I'm glad I'm not counting inventory on 2nd Street!

It was a good appointment at the endocrinologist's office. He said that usually there's a whole set of scans and things a year after treatment, which would be September of 2007. In lieu of wanting to work on making babies ASAP, he said we could do the whole diet/scan thing again in March. He didn't notice any new lumps in my neck, which is always a good thing. We drew labs, but I probably won't hear back from them for a couple of weeks.

We may not have to go off of the Synthroid again in March. There's a possibility I may be able to stay on it and take Thyrogen shots instead to lower the levels, which means it wouldn't take two months to unzombify me. But I hear those are hella expensive and insurance companies are notorious for being hob-knobbers about approving and paying for it... so I may end up being a zombie anyway. We're not going to worry about any of this until mid- to late-February.

After that I don't really know what the next step will be. We're praying that my thyroglobulin (Tg) levels will continue to go down to zero. We're also praying that when I go off of the Syntyroid those same Tg levels will stay in the toilet. As long as those levels stay down and the scans look decent we should get the green light to get on with the rest of our baby-making lives.

It's arguable that I've never been "normal", but I sure do miss being as normally abnormal (or is it abnormally normal?) as I used to be. The c-bomb sucks.

In honor of inventory on 2nd Street, there are 295 words in this post. That's also 1,570 spaces, Obmij.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

back to the salt mines

This morning The Hater and I are going to another endocrinologist appointment. This one is a general follow-up visit, my first after the second RAI. I'm expecting there will also be lab drawn (as my six-week mark for the newest dose of synthroid was six weeks and two days ago)... and other than that, I'm not expecting much else. We're hoping it will be a boring visit.

Then it's back to the salt mines. Groan. It's been a good vacation from work, but I'm not quite ready to go back. I've had enough time for my brain to breathe, but I still haven't made a decision about the job for which I'm still in the interview process. I'm supposed to give a few presentations by early January, so maybe by then I'll be more excited about it. For now my alarm bells are still dinging. Maybe secret job #2 will call back and want to interview me, too, to make this decision even more exciting.

Yesterday The Hater ventured out to recon elliptical machines. He went to several stores while I washed a mountain of laundry. After I get off of work this evening he says we're going to go look at the most promising models. He found one place that will assemble and deliver it, which sounds great. I'd pay them extra if they'd walk on it for me, too.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

one ring to rule them all

Believe it or not, this was the first season of my coaching a fantasy football team... and we returned home to check the stats to find that we won the Super Bowl. Here's the complete story:
Yoknapatawpha Yuccas won the Super Bowl Championship by a score of 108 to 61. Marvin Harrison led the team in scoring in the championship round and Brian Westbrook led the team in scoring for the season. Congrats once again to Yoknapatawpha Yuccas on a terrific Fantasy football Season.
That's right, the Yoknapatawpha Yuccas have seized victory on the fantasy field. And I have won a very fancy fantasy Super Bowl ring to show for it. Bling.

Sorry, Petyon. I was sure you'd get one first. Maybe next year I can draft you for my team and we can get you one. The Hater says he'll help us; he's an excellent GM.

Meanwhile, MTSU is playing their debut bowl game in Detroit. We're just too proud that Little Middle took the Sunbelt. The Motor City Bowl will never be the same.

We arrived back in OKC about noon, after about a 12 hour drive. We tagged-teamed and leapfrogged, and we made a few stops (including the unplanned stop for the guy who ran off the road at about 1:30 am outside of Memphis). We've Christmas'd for about a week, and we're glad to be back in Uglyhoma.

We had a wonderful trip home. Those trips are never long enough.

I have tomorrow off of work, too, which was a great idea. My plans include sleeping late, procrastinating laundry, considering cleaning and thinking about putting up new goodies. My number one goal is to cuddle with the kitty; she missed us.

She's also super proud to be wearing her Titans tag! The Hater says Vince Young should be the Rookie of the Year. He now says the Titans are on the 2-year plan, not the 5-year plan.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

je vous veux au joyeux noel

. . . et une bonne anne!

rubber ducky

We are receiving much needed rain. And it looks like it's going to follow us all of the way home. Slushy.

I've got the presents wrapped in garbage bags, but it seems inevitable that they will get wet while taking them to the car. So our pretty presents will be splotchy by the time they get home. C'est la vie, my family; you'll be getting spotted presents this year.

I'm working a half day and then coming home to finish packing my toiletries and the car. We hope to be in (C6H12O6+H2O) mid-morning tomorrow. I'm chomping at the bit to be home, in the land of dial-up internet.

I'll catch you on the flip-side... try to stay dry.

Monday, December 18, 2006

random facts

This is the 474th post to the haiku. It's had approximately 14,656 views in 17 months. An arduous copy and paste task has yielded a 361 page (single-spaced) word document of the blog in print for its computer-illiterate fans. (That's a word count of 125,468!)

Over the last year I've noticed several bloggers who are trying to peddle their wares to publishers. They hope to be noticed like the actress-waitress at the greasy dive outside of Hollywood. They want to blog about their stupid dog or their "unique" view of life, and they want to think that their take on the world is worthy of binding and selling to other people. It's a great pipe dream*, and although that would be neat, I'm not quitting my day job.

I'm just proud that there are a few people who care enough about my antics, which really aren't that fancy, to make the effort to upload this blog and read it. This whole blog thing started out as a way to communicate with some friends in different parts of the country, but it's morphed into a filtered hobby.

Dear Reader, as hokey as it sounds, thanks for stopping by (time and again), for commenting, for calling me out in real life about things that I've written here. I know it's no big deal and that you only hang around for an average of a minute and a half, but it's a golden minute for me.

Thanks for making it worth my while.

* That was a hard level in Super Mario Brothers. The flying red turtles were tough to get past.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

holiday travel

Christmastime is calling, "Traffic! Traffic!"

Here's hoping that everybody's upcoming travel plans are as smooth as greased lightening.

PS: For your own safety, you may want to stay off of I-40 (Eastbound) Wednesday night after 5pm (CST) and Thursday moring until about noon (EST). We're going to tear it up.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

futuristic wishes

It won't be long before we make our long trip home... (Wednesday after I get off of work we'll make the 14 hour drive to east TN for progressive Christmas celebrations.) But while we're gone there will be some big fancy celebratory days we should mention: anniversaries.

Two big anniversaries, to be exact: On the 21st my parents celebrate their wedding anniversary. On the 22nd my number one LBG blog-reading-fans will celebrate their wedding anniversary, too.

Congrats, yall. The well-wishes are early, but we won't have our wireless connection to make more timely wishes then. So this is your early version. Tada.

And as long as we're wishing things early, we hope everybody enjoys their holiday celebrations.

ready, set, party

The Hater and I have been faking the Christmas spirit in the 70 degree weather the past couple of days. Last night we started at his work party... and bowed out after a couple of hours for party number two... and left there for get-together number three.

We slept late this morning and finished up shopping things in time to make my work party tonight. Little Brother has come over and we're all watching football. (and ultimate fighting during the commercial breaks)

Little Brother is antagonizing me. The Hater is playing bartender. We're trying to soak up the football as long as we can.

Tomorrow we're having our party and present-opening celebration... so we can play with our stuff before we go home for parties 2-6, or 6-8 depending if you count work parties are parties... and a partridge in a pear tree.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

drinking straws and duct tape

It's the holidays and all of the people with whom I work are talking about all of the baking goodness they are producing from their kitchens. Patients are bringing in baskets of homemade confection perfections. It's certainly that time of year. Ho-ho-ho and a bottle of rum.*

The Hater and I don't really have any holiday baking traditions. We're told this will change after we have little Haters running around looking for Santa. But being surrounded by this season of refined sugar, I thought we might throw something together for the holidays. So I went through the stacks of the recipes of my coworkers and found one that looked both different and easy.

Except it called for melting chocolate in a double boiler, which we don't own. Our kitchen is smaller than most people's master bathrooms... so we've yet to accrue many fancy kitchen gadgets. And we don't have space for many of the fancy kitchen gadgets that we do own and were given at our wedding. Long story short, I told my coworkers that I couldn't make the goodies because we didn't have the equipment.

But lo! They told me that I could improvise if I used two pots, the larger on the bottom with boiling water; the smaller floating on the water. It certainly sounded do-able, so on the way home The Hater and I stopped to get the supplies.


We get everything together and I rig up the redneck double boiler. After a while the chocolate begins to melt. Except it never got really melty, and the pot I used on top was too small, so stirring in the peanuts and chow mein noodles was difficult and not at all the vision of Nana-grade goodness I was hoping to attain.

The steam burned me while we were stirring. And the chocolate goodies didn't really goo together on the wax paper, which leads me to believe that maybe I put too much stuff in the chocolate goo. We have plenty of ingredients, so we may try it again this weekend with different pots and more goo.

But as of now, we're thinking this isn't the Christmas baking tradition we want to recreate every year...

* We stopped for some wine on the way home. When we got home there was a small bottle of rum in the bag.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

fantasy drama

My fantasy football team, the Yoknapatawpha Yuccas, will play Angry Dissenter's team, the Las Vegas Goobers, this weekend in the play-offs.

The Yuccas (8-6) have led the West division and the Goobers (9-5) have led the Central division. The Hater's team, the Evil Empire (6-8), took a dive and traded its better players to us so that we would have a better chance against the leader of the East Division. He's such a good General Manager.

We were hoping that one of us would accrue enough points so that we'd both be in the finals, but it looks like we're playing in the semis instead. Which is good, really, because that means at least one of us will be in the finals.

Hopefully it'll be the mighty Yuccas of Yoknapatawpha County. (yuk-yuk-yuk)

Monday, December 11, 2006


The Hater and I went to see the OKC Hornets and the Cleveland Cavaliers play tonight in the Ford Center. We were excited to see LeBron and CP3 do their things.

CP3 made some crazy drives to the basket for some serious pointage. He ended up with 30 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals... not to mention being clutch in the 4th quarter. It was a Vince Young performance of the NBA.

LeBron had some good plays in the first quarter, but the Hornets figured out how to 2-man him to keep him in check. That's really all you can do against that powerhouse. If Cleveland had bunches of good players it would have been nasty.

Cleveland did have another player who was virtually unstoppable in the first half of the game. We called him Side Show Bob because he had crazy hair. (In the nose bleed section we get to name players special nicknames because it's hard to see their numbers. So we cheered for Ogre, Side Show Bob, and LeBron for the Cavaliers. And we could always tell CP3 by his blue shoes. Forrest Gump was right; it's always about the shoes.) Side Show Bob must've been tired during the second half because he didn't play so well. And CP3 dunked on him, which we think hurt his feelers. (Don't you think the picture on the left of Side Show Bob looks like Cleveland's Anderson Varejao on the right?)

We came back to our apartment to meet our neighbor, a Hornet fan. We gave him our yellow plastic whackers ("thunderstix") and relived the game for him. He offered us some $10 nosebleed tickets against the Lakers and Detroit later in January. We had such a good time tonight that we might have to take him up on both games.


Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!!
Happy Birthday, Angry Dissenter!
Happy Birthday to you!
(and many, many more)

We hope #28 serves you well.
Sorry that the FedEx people broke your package. They suck.

Love you!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Christmastime is calling, "Traffic! Traffic!"

We had great intentions today to avoid holiday traffic by staying in and making a shopping game plan for later this week. We've washed and folded laundry. We've straightened the tables. We watched football. We've watched some tv that we'd DVR'd. We've mourned that we have to work tomorrow. But we've not really done anything as far as list-making goes.

We think we're totally finished with all of our shopping things except for each other. And Sister called today to announce that we only had 14 shopping days left... but we were planning on exchanging before our trip home, which means we really have about 8 1/2 days left. We're usually more organized by this time of year... the truth is that we're more excited about our trip home than we are about shopping!

It's hard to get motivated when it's cold and windy out. Tomorrow starts a heat wave; it should get up into the mid-60s. Zoloft will hardly know how to act.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


We had a very awkward experience this afternoon at lupper. So awkward, in fact, that we'd argue it was j-awkward...

Everybody knows that The Hater shoots marbles; that's just his thing. We actually met on the marble-shooting team in college. And he teaches marble-shooting techniques now. The marbles have really come full circle, pun intended.

Anyway, we went with Little Brother yesterday after a marble-shooting tournament to eat at a restaurant. The story becomes more complex if you realize that The Hater actually coached Little Brother at collegiate-level marble-shooting tournaments, and that's how we know him. After the waitress brought the first round of drinks and bread, The Hater saw someone out of the corner of his eye: the coach who was the head marble-shooting coach when The Hater coached Little Brother, who we'll call The Ghost of Christmas Past.

Drama ensues if you realize that The Ghost of Christmas Past was fired from his marble-shooting job this past year... and neither Little Brother nor The Hater had heard from him for several months. And there he was, apron and all, working as a server where we were eating.

Little Brother panicked; there were many unresolved conflicts with he and The Ghost of Christmas Past. We had already ordered our food. He voted we stack some cash on the table and leave. The Hater thought we should ask for it to go. I trumped them both and said that we were already there, the food was already ordered, we'd already made accidental eye contact; we might as well stay.

Little Brother directed his attention to his cell phone and sent out an APB to other marble-shooters he knew. The Hater grabbed a crayon and pretended to draw pictures of Lyle Lovett. I was in a unique position where I could see the entire restaurant; my job was to nonchalantly watch but not watch so that we would always know where he was. I was scolded several times for not being as nervous as they were.

The Ghost of Christmas Past made every effort to not walk by our table. The Hater and Little Brother made every effort to not make eye contact. I made fun of them both for being turkeys.

The Hater and Little Brother inhaled their food. They squirmed until I asked for the rest of mine in a doggy bag. We left, noting that it was, by far, the most awkward dining experience The Hater has ever had -- and one of the most entertaining ones I have had.

In retrospect, The Hater says that it would not have been as j-awkward if Little Brother hadn't been with us. He says that we probably would have spoken to him if it had just been us.

Knowing what we know now, there's no way we're going back to that restaurant for a while.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


The first time I can remember hearing the word "beta" was at a slumber party. I was in fifth or sixth grade and we wanted to watch a movie that someone had brought to the party. The birthday girl had a sad face and said that we couldn't watch the movie because her machine was in beta. Whatever that meant; to me it meant we couldn't watch the movie. Beta must be bad.

Around this same time we went to Memphis for Thanksgiving with my aunt's family. She had a son a couple of years older than me (although at the time that seemed like an eternity). He had two or three beta, and each of them was inside a little bowl. I remember asking why they were separated. They were beta, I was told, and they would eat each other if they were together. Weird. Beta must be carnivorous.

And then there were high school algebra and trig classes where we used alpha and beta and sines and cosines. I hated math classes. Beta must be complicated.


Time passed. The Hater and I became a thing. He was sucked into the beta fish-and-plant gift combo. Fluffy the beta ate the roots to the plant that sat on top of my book shelf. I liked holding mirrors up to the fish bowl and shining a light so that Fluffy would strut her stuff and get mad. That fish lived for about a year and a half without me changing the water. Beta must like muck.

I joined a Greek theater fraternity and had to learn the Greek alphabet for pledging. I could say the whole thing in about nine seconds. (Thank goodness for rote memory.) The powers who decided that clowning was enough to be considered "theatrical" also were so impressed that they made me say the alphabet again so that they could time me. Epsilon always threw me off. Beta must be simple.

Learning the Greek alphabet threw me off when it came to my summer of ROTC. It was bravo, not beta, which you have to admit has a better audible ring. (Although the Drill Sergeants were less than impressed and more than willing to assign push-ups when you called bravo the wrong name. I know this from personal experience.) They divided us into groups for several things. The Alphas were always the best groups and the Echoes were the worst groups. I stood proudly in the echo group for most things, except for shooting an M-16. I was the best female shot in my platoon, which made that the ONLY alpha group to which I could belong (with the exception of the book-learning stuff because I'm a natural nerd). I averaged delta and echo, and I was okay with that; I was there to endure, not excel. Bravo, much less beta, would have been an over-shot.

There may or may not be more beta memories lost in my brain. The point is that I don't have a great association in my head for beta... and now the blog is exactly that. This is my first beta post, and I'm not entirely sure what that means. But here it is. Ta-da: betafied.

I hope that everybody can still access and read it. Else beta will forever be known as FUBAR.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

holding my breath

I interviewed for another job Monday night. It's with my current company. There were four applicants, so I'm excited for pretty good odds...

I have no idea if I'll get it or not. No clue. I'm more than qualified for the position, but I can't fake seniority or years with the company. So we're just waiting for now. I'm afraid they're halfway looking for a puppet, and I'm afraid they know my strings aren't easy to tug.

We'll just have to wait and see, but until we find out, let's all hold our breath.

the deal-breaker

I had a crazy dream last night. Surreal crazy.

I dreamed that The Hater was trying to convince me that he should let these people cut him up and put him in a stew. And while they were doing just that I was trying to decide if I could confide this drama to a family of trapeze artists.

This morning I woke up and told The Hater he didn't have my permission to let someone cut him up for a stew. I told him that I didn't think reincarnation worked that way. He assured me he didn't want to be stew meat.

I made it clear that if he ever thought that being cut up alive for a stew was a good idea, that would be a marriage deal-breaker. We decided that was fair; it's healthy for our marriage to know exactly what is expected of each other.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

tech: good or bad?

We had no electricity last night for eight hours. It cut off after The Hater came home from work and didn't come back until after midnight. The Hater was at a total loss without his technology.

We folded and stuffed Christmas cards by candlelight and went to bed early. He hooked up the splitter to his iPod and we listened to a "Coast to Coast" radio show as we tried to stay warm under several quilts.

We went out to eat for supper and killed some time walking around a few stores before realizing that we'd have to entertain ourselves by candlelight. Even in such a desparate situation I still could not talk him into playing a game of candlelit Scrabble with me -- so that box remains unopened on the toy case.

So we couldn't watch Monday night football (instead we would just hum the theme song for it). We couldn't check our email (or play blog games). We couldn't even listen to Christmas music or the radio. The Hater had some seroius technology Jonesing and almost broke out into hives for some remote control action.

We ended up finding an alarm clock we liked this past weekend after my trusty buddy of twelve years passed on to the big dump in the sky. But we couldn't set it to alarm without any electriciy. The Hater set his cell phone alarm, which did not snooze this morning.

The cat kept showing off that she could see better than we could. She attacked her strings and hid on her blanket. We lit all kinds of candles. I thought it was neat for a change. We even broke out my old ROTC green flashlight.

The Hater was less than impressed. He's more dependant on the tech than I am, although I admit that I was grossed out this morning when the wireless wasn't working on the laptop and I had to come into the other room to use the Mac to do the important email checking and blog posting.

We wouldn't have made it in the Amish flock.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

a house divided

The Hater and I can't agree. There's been much banter today.

He thinks I should support the Titans under all circumstances. I think he should support the legacy of Tennessee football under the same circumstances, which means cheering for Peyton under all circumstances.

He says it's not the same. I disagree. He says we'd have to cheer for any Tennessee alumni if that was the case, which means most games would end in a "push". I disagree. Peyton's the trump card. He knows that, but he still disagrees.

But today they played each other despite our disagreement... and in the past we've cheered for both teams together, but this year The Hater is cheering for the Titans instead. He says that Peyton can take another loss and still have the best team in the NFL. I say that if the Titans win, it's not going to change this season, and Peyton needs the padding now for the ring later.

We've argued about this all weekend, but to no avail. A 60-yard field goal within the last seconds of the game secured a W for the Titans. Sorry Peyton.

We'll go back to cheering for each team individually next week. Go team go.

Friday, December 01, 2006

the bleak midwinter

Yesterday was an interesting day. Early in the morning, after being told that my work would not be open, The Hater and I decided to slide out and get some groceries before the big snow came. Slide we did, but not into anything, so that was okay.

The Hater grilled hot dogs for lunch. I made mac and cheese. This might sound boring, but really it was a big deal. We've not had hot dogs since we moved here, and mac and cheese has NEVER intentionally landed on my plate. I'm slowly trying to appreciate the world of cheese, albeit fake cheese, and although I ate some of the macaroni, it's not a culinary masterpiece I plan on making or eating again.

I've wrapped all of the Christmas presents that we'd already bought. We watched movies. I made Nana's cornbread dressing for supper.

Sometime after I sauteed the goodies for the dressing and before we decided to mull some cider for supper the stove top died. Fortunately the oven still worked. We ended up microwaving the mulled cider, which we admit was a redneck solution, but we really didn't care.

We took some of the dressing to a neighbor who lives on the other side of the complex. It was still snowing, and we found it to be between ankle-deep and shin-deep. By the time we made our way back to the apartment we had lost a scarf. The Hater told me it was too yucky in the parking lot to go to work today.

So I called my boss. She said that was fine. It's not supposed to get above freezing until 2 this afternoon. I've seen some people sliding around the apartment complex, and saw one person slide into the gate. I woke up The Hater to tell him I was feeling guilty, that maybe we could make it into work.

So far the plan remains to stay here. Even as I type I can hear people spinning wheels and scraping ice outside. They're braver than we are today.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

snow day

I've never had a snow day as long as I've been a nurse... until today! The clinic is closed today because of snow and sleet and all the other goodness brought to us by the arctic front.

During the night there was a 1/2" sheet of ice over the city. As of now they're promising between 4-6" of snow today. It's thundering and super-snowing outside right now.

The Hater's trip was canceled. I'm home from work. Zoloft is so excited she can hardly stand it.

(We're secretly hoping that school and work will be closed tomorrow, too.)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

meep meep muhhh

My alarm clock died this morning. The clock itself isn't dead, but the button that turns off the alarm is, which means you can't actually make it stop meeping. This is sad to me because it's been my trusty alarm clock for twelve years.

And I've moved a LOT in those twelve years.

Sure, it didn't go off the day I had a final in my Pediatrics nursing class and I almost failed the final because I only had twenty-five minutes to take a two hour exam. Sure, I zoomed through about half of it and marked "C"s for the last half of the exam. Sure, by the grace of God I passed both the final and the class. That clock and I have a history - good times and bad times.

It woke me up for my wedding day, for long car trips home. And the days it wasn't supposed to go off, it never did. That's loyalty, my friends.

A couple of weeks ago The Hater asked me if I wanted a new alarm clock for Christmas. Of course not, I said, this alarm clock is special and great and wonderful. And the numbers are about three inches tall, so you can tell the time from any point in the room. It's so bright that sometimes you don't even have to open your eyes to see it.

The Hater assures me he didn't sabotage the clock, and I believe him. Although I think he's secretly looking forward to a new alarm clock.

It's tragic. I'm sad.

But it's nothing that a little retail therapy can't alleviate.

(Although we can't actually shop for anything until the dreadded 4-8" of snow and ice goes away. That's what they're predicting for us tomorrow.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Doctrine. Religion. Faith.

Somewhere between all of those we develop a belief system for ourselves. (Even disbelief is a belief as justifiable as any other commercial doctrine.) This system of belief that we develop and nurture guides us as our inner voices through life - at least until we deviate or evolve into a new belief system.
As a child I can remember visiting a different church than my family usually attended, one more conservative in nature. In Sunday School we read part of the lesson and were instructed to close our booklets. The teacher then asked us what we had just read. I raised my hand and told the Bible story in my own words. I remember thinking that it was a silly question because we had just read it. After I finished the teacher looked at me and said, "No, that is incorrect. Would someone else like to try?" He might as well have slapped me with a wet fish. A girl next to me smiled and told the same story I did, a more detailed version with numbers included. When she finished he smiled and said, "Yes. That's what we read."

I raised my hand. I didn't understand. It was the same story. I asked for clarification.

He told me that instead of saying "a group of people" she said "47 people" (or whatever it was), which made her story correct. The class looked at me like I was an idiot. He tried to move on with the lesson.

I raised my hand again. Sister elbowed me. I wasn't a brilliant kid, but I was smart enough to do okay on the reading comprehension Basic Skills tests. "But what does that matter? It's the same story." My inner heretic was born, and I didn't have a clue.

He closed his book and the class turned into a lesson about how if you could not quote the Bible by chapter and verse, you would not get into Heaven.

I was in middle school. I hadn't read the whole Bible yet, but I was pretty sure that Jesus didn't say that. I raised my hand. I asked where it said such things. The teacher became angrier and went into more hellfire and brimstone and damnation and such.

So now I'm damned to hell because I didn't know that instead of a "group" of people, there were really "47" people. There goes my golden ticket to Heaven. (This all happened before the time in my life where I had really learned the art of slight sarcasm. I wasn't trying to be a heretic. I wasn't trying to be an ass. I was naive; and I just didn't understand.)

I raised my hand. Sister elbowed me. "If we're supposed to know everything the Bible says (by chapter and verse), are we also supposed to know what each version says? What's so special about the King James Version?" I might as well have spit on the book itself. At this point the teacher's face was beet red and he was sweating bullets. He was angry.

My Sister had broken two of my ribs by now, cuing me to shut my mouth. I took her lead and nodded my head the rest of the class. I was ashamed that I had failed my pop-test on reading comprehension and memorization. Sister and I didn't tell Mom and Dad that we were both destined for Hell, her by genetic association.

Incidentally, we didn't go there for Sunday School again.
The saddest part of this story is that mine isn't special. Most adults I know have different versions of someone damning them to hell. Thank goodness for the New Testament, eh?

But the purpose of this post isn't to point fingers and say whose version is more accurate, or if knowing that 47 people did whatever will actually win the Final Jeopardy question to get you into Heaven. It's simply not the point.

What I want to talk about today is only slightly related to that story. I want to complain about people who are in respected leadership positions within religious institutions who say and do things that are the polar opposite to the things they preach. It's wrong.

For example, it is wrong for religious leaders to preach peace, love and understanding while in the pulpit, and then turn around and say ugly things about groups of people who don't interpret scriptures the same way.


Monday, November 27, 2006

weekend recap

1. I worked Thanksgiving Day and the Friday afterwards. They were good, busy days, but I'm glad to go back to my normal routine. I'm ready to have a regular Mother Duck day instead of a crazy Mother Duck day.

2. The Hater's parents came to visit for Thanksgiving. We ate at one of the fancy restaurants in town. The Hater took them to the Cowboy Museum while I worked on Friday. Saturday morning we all ended up at the state fair grounds looking at horses and tack stuff. We all had a good visit and they've made the long trip home safely.

3. Football recap: (because we love our football)
A. The Vols won.
B. The Titans had the greatest comeback in franchise history during the 4th quarter to come back and beat the NYG 24-21.
("Led by Vince Young," says The Hater, "the QB of the future.")
("Sorry, Eli." adds genderist.")
C. Peyton won.
D. The Hater won his fantasy football game. My fantasty team might win, but am currently behind; it will be decided by tonight's football game.
E. The sad football news: Notre Dame lost to USC. Last year ND was cheated. This year they just lost. We would have liked them to win.

4. The Hater and I slept until never-thirty Sunday afternoon. That was our first chance to sleep late in weeks and weeks.

5. All things considered, we rate our holiday weekend a 7.6/10. It would have been higher if we had made cornbread dressing and if we lived closer to home. To remedy what we can control now, we'll be making some of Nana's infamous cornbread dressing within a few weeks. We also have a big trip home planned for Christmas.

6. Yesterday I put out our small tree and part of the nativity set. We hung the stockings and put out just a few other holiday knick-knacks. The Hater also let me play Christmas music. He bought me two new holiday cds (Elivs and Johnny Cash), but made me promise that I wouldn't buy any more this year. Mom bought me a James Taylor Christmas cd last week. ... I walked past a cd of John Denver with the Muppets, but I've made a mental note to find it next year. We're not putting out the big tree and trimmings because we've got big plans for our trip home next month.


1. Although not related to this past weekend, The Hater had a big trip planned for this coming Thursday. We also have a 60% chance for bad winter weather that day, too, which would cancel the trip. We're hoping it'll wait until next week to snow.

2. We are really excited about our Santa Secrets!! All we officially lack is boxes and wrapping paper.

3. Zoloft continues to be the cutest cat in the universe.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

RIP weekend


'What will your obituary say?' at

'What will your obituary say?' at

The Hater and I have taken full advantage of the first weekend day we've both been off of work and not been entertaining people. It's a sleeping late, instant pizza, harassing the cat, football-watching day (unless someone calls to offer other options).

Go Peyton Beat Philly

Saturday, November 25, 2006

we were hoping for millionaires

The Hater is going to be reincarnated as...
A confused possum
'What will you be reincarnated as?' at

genderist is going to be reincarnated as...
A lemming
'What will you be reincarnated as?' at

Thursday, November 23, 2006

looking the other way

Last Thanksgiving this blog brought you the Death Clock. In the first-annual attempt to avoid a laundry-list post about the things for which I'm thankful*, haiku of the id brings you...

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -Martin Luther King Jr.**

Hey Kids! Isn't Genocide cool?? The governments of our world think so because they have done jack taco to stop it... Let's talk about the genocide that continues in the Darfur province of Sudan. That country's civil war has brought them one of those quirky gifts that comes along with ethnic conflict: genocide.

Statistics taken from the Darfur Ambassador's Power Point Presentation:

  • Darfur has been called the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century. Not since the Rwandan genocide of 1994 has the world seen such a calculated campaign of displacement, starvation, rape and mass slaughter. The ongoing devastation has killed an estimated 400,000 and displaced over 2.5 million Sudanese since February 2003. Darfur is the century’s first genocide.

  • Sudan is the largest country in Africa with a population of 39 million people. Like so many countries in Africa and the Middle East, it is an “artificial” country – its national borders are the result of British and Egyptian rule. Many diverse tribal and ethnic groups are located within the Sudanese borders, including more than thirty in Darfur alone.The Darfur region, located in a drought-prone area of western Sudan, is roughly the size of Texas and had a pre-conflict population of approximately 6 million people.

  • Origins of conflict: Droughts, The North-South Civil War, the Dictator Omar Al-Bashir, and the Marginalization of Darfur.

  • Discussing the current conditions in Darfur will include talking about: The Janjaweed militias, government sponsored terror, the destruction of towns, food and water supplies, the fact that millions of innocent people are still threatened, at risk of starvation, rape and murder, and that countless children are in danger.

  • “They know what they are doing…they are doing it with purpose.” - Ali, Refugee Teacher Many of Darfur’s children witnessed conflict between rebel groups and the Janjaweed, as well as violence against their own families. This drawing depicts a rebel soldier first shot in the arm, then executed by gunshots to the groin. Ali, a teacher in a refugee camp, said the rebels are killed this way to emasculate them. “They [the Janjaweed] know what they are doing,” he said. “They are doing it with purpose.”

  • America's Response is not enough: Last summer the Bush Administration declared Darfur to be a genocide. Since then, the United States has donated $1.7 billion for Darfur, and extra funds in the Emergency Appropriations Supplemental. Secretary Rice visited Sudan in late July. Legislative: The Darfur Peace and Accountability Act is pending in both the House and the Senate, supported by strong bi-partisan coalitions. To be effective, however, the Act needs to maintain the Senate amendment (S. AMDT. 1290), which allocates $50 million to aid the AU. Executive: Executive: through NATO logistical support and USAID humanitarian donations, the United States has led the international community in assisting Darfur. However, not nearly enough has been done to assure the protection of innocent civilians, and the US administration needs to press for a Chapter 7 mandate for the AU troops, so that they can actually protect innocent lives.

  • “America's influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, America's influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedom's cause…All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors." - George W. Bush, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2005

  • Despite some action on behalf of the world community, more action is needed. Five hundred people are still dying every day, and if nothing is done, two million people could perish. We need to act if we want this crisis to end.

  • Act: Call the White House and your Congresspersons regularly to let them know you care about Darfur:

      • White House: (202) 456-1111
      • Congress: (202) 224-3121
      • Write a letter to your Washington Liaison
      • Voice your concern to neighbors and friends about this tragedy
      • Offer donations to a humanitarian agency

  • Look beyond the headlines, understand that a genocide is occurring right now, look for how we can support a solution – and ways in which we may be contributing to the problem. These people need our help. As humans, we owe them our support and prayers. As Americans we owe them our courage and experience. We must do something to help those who suffer, and this time we can.
Mark Fiore has an interesting cartoon that puts an exclamation point on this post. It's amusing, but not funny in a ha-ha way.

Here is more information from Human Rights Watch regarding Sudan.

The Hater and I acknowledge that the world is not a fair place, but the least we (as thankful people) can do is tell you about the atrocities happening now in Darfur, and hope that you, too, make a difference by spreading the word that the American press ignores.

* pumpkin pies and butterflies
** save the cheerleader, save the world

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Rick's BBQ

Does it count as a nightmare if you dream that you're working all night?

It wasn't even my job I was working. It was a whacked-out version of the job I had at the hospital before I went to the clinic. And all of the paperwork flow-sheets had changed, which didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Most of the coworkers I had worked with in the hospital were gone, but some of them remained, including some people from my past who aren't even nurses (but played one in my dream). It was special. And I worked all night long...

The alarm buzzed. I then woke up to realize I had to get up to go to work. I should petition to at least get time and a half for seven extra hours of overtime.

I'm pretty sure that the reason I dreamed about bad work experiences is because The Hater and I revamped my resume last night. I'm considering throwing my hat in the ring for a new job opening up at work. My resume is hot; we'll see how it weighs against umpteen-zillion years of experience. I'll follow-up later if I get the position.

For now I'll continue getting ready for my real day job.

Tonight for supper: Our Thanksgiving pre-game show... Ricks BBQ from LBG brought by The Dorks this past weekend. They're the kind of pulled pork sandwiches they serve in Heaven. And in honor of the Vol, I'll wash it down with a cold Sun Drop.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard

Friday night after the Dorks went back to their hotel, The Hater and Sister and Little Brother and I stayed up far too late partaking of the fruit of the vine and playing Circle of Death.

Typically I'm not really bad at that game. But The Hater was in a picking-on mood and when he drew a category card, he chose 'rap songs', knowing that was the weakness to my musical repoitoire.

I survived about four rounds before I lost. But before that, Sister was all into this milkshake song. We referenced it about a gazillion times Saturday during the Kodak moments.

And this morning I only mention it because it's still stuck in my head.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

in the toilet

Great news! I received the letter from my endocrinologist with the results of my last tumor marker blood test... and my results are in the toilet! He had once said he'd like that lab to be under five, and my result was 4.1. Tada.

It's never felt so good to be in the toilet.

Meanwhile, while my tumor marker is circling the drain, my doctor also increased my Synthroid dose. We'll draw lab work again at the end of December for my regular office visit. We'd like the result to be a big fat zero the next time.

This doesn't mean my war with the c-bomb is over, but this particular battle that's been going on for about the last year is almost behind us. It's never felt so good to feel this bad.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Kodak moments

Just wait until you get the next Christmas card... We've been posing all day, and we have so many choices that it's been a hard decision to pick the very best one.

And the Vols won... so we're all really excited!

Friday, November 17, 2006

the Dorks are coming to town

My parents and Sister are on their way to Uglyhoma! We're excited!!

I tried making this new jello-mousse thing last night, but this morning it hasn't congealed yet. It could be the culinary disaster of the weekend. More on that as it may or may not come together.

The Hater and I pimped out my prison for Sister to stay with us this weekend. The last time she came here we had a big snow. I hear there's promise of flakes in Guymon, but we shouldn't have any of the white stuff in the city.

Have a great weekend, all!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

sexiest man alive

There has been a major mistake at People magazine, and I am very upset about it. The Hater was overlooked again for the 2006 PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive award.

I'd been in close email contact with Jan in editing to make sure The Hater's application packet was complete. She had all but assured me that The Hater had won this honor. We even woke up early this morning to prepare for the paparazzi barrage. He even wore his ultra-swank tie.

But, lo, George Clooney must have paid Jan off. He just wanted to rub it in Brad Pitt's face. This is poor, George, and I am less than impressed. Shame on you. For shame, indeed.

So The Hater trudged off to work this morning with his ego deflated, still wearing his fancy tie. I have fired-off three emails to Jan in the last hour, expressing my discontent and frustration. I have sent one email to Clooney. I'm an email-firing machine of vexation this morning.

Really I know it shouldn't matter that People magazine sold out The Hater (pun intended). I know that the Clooney guy is somewhat cute, and I can see how his bribery could be justified to Jan and the editing staff. But still. They're just plain wrong.

It's time the truth comes out: The Hater is the true 2006 Sexiest Man Alive award winner. We will hold a press conference this evening to accept Pepole's apologies.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

carpet burn

All of the doo-dads and doo-dahs and things I've been working on have caused carpet burn on both of my knees, both elbows, and a really raw spot on my right foot. Oh, the things we do in the name of art.

For a good time... click this link. On the left side of the screen there will be a list of segments; click on "Marianne Beard". Then sit back and let her voice take you places.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I love football.

The Mannings are the Kennedys of football.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Santa Secrets

I have been crazy-productive this weekend. I put together a baby shower gift that's really awesome. Its crowning glory was having to use the remnants of two different wrapping paper rolls to get it wrapped. (Mother would be both slightly impressed and slightly appalled.) I've been working on Christmas stuff, too. 'Tis the season to party hardy.*

When Sister and I were little, anytime someone was talking about Christmas there was a sing-songy jeer that we used so that everybody knew we were talking about a secret we couldn't share (except that Sister is the easiest person to convince she should tell her secret). They were "Santa Secrets", and if someone evoked that phrase, we were supposed to respect the secret and the secret-bearer. The closer to Christmas, the more jeers.

g'Nhyo-g'nee -- g'nhyo-g'nee -- g'nhyoh...

All day yesterday The Hater and I worked on Christmas goodies. We have a few things that we're making for our friends, which we've completed. We also did the super big SANTA SECRET, which ended up being slightly gaggier than either of us had anticipated. But it's mostly complete, so that's almost done.

Don't get me wrong-- we're not finished with all of our Santa Secrets yet, but we are on our way. We have to get doo-dahs for the doo-dads, some other thingies, and we've not even started working on the other doo-dahs yet. But we're well on our way.

The Hater says I like to get done with Christmas stuff early so that I can say I'm done; Tada. But that's not entirely the case. The truth is that the closer it gets to Christmas, the more and more insane the congestion gets around the area where we live. I hate traffic and I hate congestion... so the quicker I get done with our doo-dahs, the less traffic and line-standing gagness I have to tolerate. And that's the truth.**

* The Hater mandates that I can't listen to Christmas music until AFTER Thanksgiving. His previous work at Goody's put a big damper on his enjoyment of Christmas music.

Oh, to add to the g'nhyo-g'nee list: The Hater and I haven't even talked about what we're getting each other yet. Due to the c-bomb we skipped celebrating our birthdays, anniversary, and every other usual celebration this year, but we're not skipping Christmas. It's going to be fun!

** "And you like to say you're done," adds The Hater.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

we remember

Today is Veteran's Day.

We remember and are thankful for all of the serviceman who have served our country, at both times of war and times of peace.

We remember those whose lives were lost in battle and those who returned home.

We remember those who cannot forget, who are plagued by the images of the things they saw or did in the name of this country.

We remember the survivors who visit memorials, remembering those who did not come home.

We remember those servicepeople who are currently serving at home and overseas.

We remember, and we are thankful for your service.

Today in American History:
1620: Pilgrim emigrants sign the Mayflower Compact, giving themselves the power to govern their planned settlement in New England.
World War I ends.
Exactly three years after the end of World War I, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia, during a ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Hater's quote of the day

"If cancer was a person,
I'd punch him in the face."

The Hater

Thursday, November 09, 2006

second smile update

I remembered to take my lab slip yesterday. I had to go across the street to a draw station to get it drawn... and found out it was the wrong slip for them. So I went back to work and waited until my endocrinologist's office opened to leave a phone message for the nurse to please fax me the right form. She did, because she's great. I went back across the street and my favorite phlebotomist was there. Labs have been drawn.

The thyroid panel tests should be back within a day or so, but I'm not sure where they run the thyroglobulin (tumor marker level). They'll probably wait until they get all of my labs back before they call me to tell me how much we can increase my Synthroid. Our fingers are crossed for a wonderful increase in Synthroid as well as a drastic decrease in the tumor marker.

The Hater is more anxious about the thyroglobulin levels. I'm more excited about the panel because I'm in a dramatic desperate need to not be tired ALL OF THE TIME. I'm ready to not be fat and for my hair to grow back.

Hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait.

I see the endocrinologist again after Christmas. I think my treatments will be dependent on how the labs look. I think we'll end up doing another radioactive Iodine treatment this Spring to be sure, but we may end up doing a "test dose" and not the whole "ablation dose". I really won't know the plan until after I see him.

I'll post more information when I get the results of the labs back.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

the Stupids' star pupil

Today my goal is to remember what I forgot yesterday. Any other things I happen to accomplish will be a bonus.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I voted.

And I have the sticker to prove it. Civic duty: check.

However, I did forget to take my lab slip to work today to get my lab drawn. So that'll be one more laggy exhausted day to add to the past several dozen, this one my fault because hypo-brain forgot it. If I remember, I'll take the paper to work and get the lab drawn tomorrow.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...

go vote go vote go vote

Voting is at the top of my list of things to do today.

I don't particularly want to go to work, but we need the paycheck... so The Hater and I are going our separate ways to work this morning, despite our greater desires to stay home and play with the cat and work on the collages and sleep.

I'm exhausted. If I'm able to leave work and go across the street to get my lab drawn, I'm going to do it. It's earlier than he said, but I don't know any reasons why I should really have to wait another week to get them drawn. It's time for my synthroid to be increased.

At work I'm doing different duties this week. It's not particularly hard, it's just different. And every time I cover for this nurse it always feels like Easter because I'm always hunting for something.

We plan on hitting the polls after I get off of work.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

them Vols

Sure, it was a loss to LSU... but The Hater would like to point out that it's only the second loss of the season, and in all we've only lost by a total of 5 points*.

My job was to send text messages to The Hater throughout the game, keep him posted while he was working in Kansas City. I probably sent a dozen throughout the game... as I was also talking to the LBG fan base. This included Nana, who I had to remind that we were cheering for the team in the orange pants, not the white ones.

I concede that it was a loss, but it wasn't a devastational loss. Ange really wanted to be out there playing. The Hater says that keeping him out was a good call; next year he'll be a Heisman candidate.

* Or is it 4? We only lost to Florida by one point. And at this point I'm so tired from planting pansies that I can't think straight. The number doesn't really matter; what matters is that it's a little number, and next year's season holds much promise to the Volunteer roster. How 'bout them Vols?

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Among other things, I'm trying to put together a big document of all of these blog entries. It's up to about 350 pages of prolific ramblings. This amuses me because before I started the task of cutting and pasting, I figured it might be 175 pages, maybe. And now it looks like I'm going to have to buy a ream of paper just to print it, and I'm not so sure how I'm going to bind it.

The Hater is as surprised as I am.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

morning miracles

This is my little miracle alyssum, my morning surprise that I found while watering my asparagus fern and mint this morning...

You may remember back in May when I planted it, expecting beautiful wonders all summer. Within two weeks all of my flowering plants were dead, fried in the hot summer sun. Everything was dead and withered, so I quit watering that pot. Instead I watered the plants that were still alive... which I think Darwin would have approved.

All summer. Hot hot hot summer. No water. No care. No fertilizer. No love. No whispered sweet nothings during the early morning waterings... and this morning, out of the blue, I noticed one of my dead plants has been resurrected and is now blooming those pretty blue blooms I had hoped to see all summer.

This is exciting stuff.

Tonight I have picked a lot of my mint plant to make into a sugar scrub. It's currently sitting in grapeseed oil, and will be for at least a month. Then, voila, I'll turn it into a scrub. I found the recipe and it should be wonderful. The Hater and I are looking forward to using it, but I'm more looking forward to it than he.

Meanwhile, now is the time to think about planing fall/winter flowers, which I've not done in the past. Because asparagus ferns and mint (and miracle alyssum) seem to be the only things that actually live on my porch, I thought I'd consult the floral powers that be who actually read this blog (i.e., Vol Abroad and Vol Mom) to see what I should plant. I have time this weekend to play in the dirt while The Hater is gone, and this is my official request to see if I should plant something other than pansies. And if I do, should I take up the mint and asparagus ferns to do so. It's a westward-facing porch that gets sun and wind most of the day.

Please dazzle me with advice as I enjoy these pretty purple blooms, at least for the rest of this week.

Monday, October 30, 2006

fear and cancer

I met a girl at the Summit this past weekend.

She is a fellow thyroid cancer survivor, about my age. She was smart and funny and interesting and carried around a great black and white picture of her son.

She has had two bilateral modified neck dissections and a thyroidectomy, and this weekend she was waiting to hear back from her doctor if the lymph node that was swollen in her neck was positive for cancer. It was.

The whole thyroid cancer thing is frustrating to me on many levels. It's not a quick and easy -boom- now you're cancer-free. "Remission" is a word used for other types of cancer. It's totally out of your hands. You have to get scans and go on ridiculous diets for the rest of your life. Going off of synthroid sucks.

I cried when I read her email. I cried because she was my friend that was supposed to be free of this monkey on her back (or in this case, her neck). I cried because cancer sucks. I cried because it could have been me.

It's not easy walking down a fearless path, but this weekend I met several fearless thyroid cancer survivors, including one particular gal who isn't done fighting it. And tonight I'm thinking of her.

Livestrong Summit, continued

This was a fantastic experience. The stage was decked out and everybody seemed to have a great time. Being surrounded by 800+ other survivors, caregivers, medical professionals and advocates made for an inspiring weekend. I even met several other young people with thyroid cancer.

The star of the show and namesake to the foundation... who really is as attractive in real life as he is photogenic. Lance was laid-back and just right cocky, which I guess you'd have to be to win the Tour 7 times, not to mention put together an army to start a revolution to eradicate cancer from 1 out of 3 Americans.

Excellent speakers... including Lance himself, Steve Case, Jim Collins, Elizabeth Edwards, John Kerry, Mike Milken, Andy Miller, Dr. Antonio Novello, and several other survivor-advocates who returned to talk about the programs they started in their communities.

This morning I'm going to email pictures to people that I met while at the Summit. Today at work I plan on shooting off some emails to test the waters about starting a support group.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

keep Austin weird

I'm back in town from the mountaintop experience that was the inaugural Livestrong Summit associated with the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Blogger is arguing with my picture downloads, so I'll add them at a later date.

For now, if you would like to glimpse at the weekend, this link will take you to exactly that option.

And you'll have to trust me that it was nothing short of awesome.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

"metastatic cancer breakthroughs"

I've been drawn like a magnet to the free cyber cafe, despite its slow connections...

Having a great time at the conference. Can't wait to get home and put together my presentation for work. We're going to light some fires...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

pumpking decorating contest

Vote for this pumpkin, you must. Mmmm...

Today kicks off the clinic's annual pumpkin decorating contest. I was drafted to decorate the pumpkin for the treatment room entry. This is the debut of my final product, everybody's favorite Jedi lizard.

The close-up:

How can you not love Yoda?

If you were here, I'd beg a vote for our pumpkin. Stop by on Halloween to vote and visit our MASH unit.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


begging for treats... And, yes, that is a Titans helmet on her collar...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

new video game

The Hater called me at work today to report very sad news: the video game he was hoping would come out today was actually shipped today. This means he won't get to play his new game tonight.

He'll have to wait until tomorrow to play the game.

Monday, October 23, 2006

ta-da and night-night

I'm exhausted. Between flu shots and pneumonia shots and regular treatments at work I'm absolutely worn out, and it's just Monday. I'm ready for the time change with every essence of my being.

This weekend I have a trip to Austin. I'm looking forward to it, but haven't started packing yet. The good news is that I'm going to get education pay for missing Friday. I'll be back late Sunday night.

The Hater will have to be the laundry-man this weekend. He says he's up to the challenge. He'll have to tear himself away from the new Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game to do the mandatory weekend chores. He'll probably have beaten the game before I get back.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Last night The Hater and I decided to change out of our pajamas and go on a wild tear to the metropolis of Lawton to go to a haunted house. We left our apartment about 8pm and drove an hour and a half to the Trail of Fear.

The attraction was supposed to close at 10pm, so we were pretty sure that we would be cutting it close. We took the scenic route a couple of times before finding our spontaneous destination. We were bundled for the 42 degree, windy weather, and set forth to be scared.

We went to two attractions at the Trail of Fear. We thought the first one was just okay, but did have a really neat 3D painted section that we've not seen before. The second attraction boasted a hayride out to a field where a very scary movie-esque scream-a-thon waited. We really liked that one, were appropriately scared at all the right times, and our only complaint was that it wasn't long enough.

We left there and headed back to another haunted trail we had happened upon earlier by accident, a money-maker for one of the Lawton volunteer fire departments. They had come in for the night, but went back to set-up for us to go through it. This was about 11:45 and it was 38 degrees outside. It was excellent, much better than the first attraction at the Trail of Fear. We both thought it was great.

We headed back towards OKC and found a little town with an IHOP still open. And in the sense of continuing our spontaneous adventure, I had pumpkin pancakes, which were pretty good. We ended up getting home about 3am, tired and cold.

We have fulfilled our spontaneous adventure void for at least a few more months.


Even if it's ugly,
a W is a W.*

Our humble review:

Both Offenses sucked it up.
Both Defenses didn't suck it up too badly.

The officials might have enjoyed their Christmas bonus from the Crimson Tide, but Tennessee won despite their attempts to sway the game in Alabama's favor.

We proudly wore our orange and white and proudly yelled at the tv at all of the appropriate times. The phone calls from home offering more play-by-play analysis are always appreciated.

* Unless it's this W, in which case its uglyness is unquestionable.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

a funny that is not so... funny

I found this joke at da5id's Philosopical Musings blog:
What's the difference between the war in Iraq and the war in Vietnam?
George W. Bush had a plan to get out of Vietnam.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Inferno plagerism

I thought I should just say that I'm feeling good this morning. I don't feel great, but I sure am feeling good. I even slept well last night.

It's a slow climb to feeling better after being hypothyroid for so long, and the side effects of the radioactive Iodine don't make it any easier. I think there are levels you pass through to try to get back to normalcy, and I think Dante would appreciate the comparison:
functional human
the "old you" you remember
This morning I would put myself somewhere between a functional human and the "old me". I'm still tired, and I still have a list of hypo complaints, but I'm feeling better.

And sometimes better is the most beautiful word in the dictionary.

*Maslow would probably argue that few of us ever achieve "normalcy", especially if he knew my family.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

ontological breakthroughs

This morning CNN ran a snippit story about how the political arena is evolving to include the internet for campaigning and fundraising issues. They mentioned that a big percentage of people have gone to the internet for information and research before making a big decision in the past two years.

The Hater and I were surprised that the percentage was less than 75% (but I can't remember what the number was now). We were also surprised that someone thought this was a big enough story to take up air time in the morning... can people really be that ignorant about the impact of the internet on America?

They mentioned campaigning via the web. They questioned what would happen if people went to the internet to research political canidates. They talked about doing this as if it was something that Spock would suggest on Star Trek*... but this is exactly what The Hater and I did before voting in the last local election.

"Besides", The Hater added, "just seeing someone's name on a sign doesn't make me want to vote for them". I do not understand the purpose of having fifteen political canidate "name" signs on a single street corner. It's wasteful and polluting.

These times are a'changing, and I think it's going to be interesting to see the impact of the internet (and individual blogs) on the next set of national elections.

* Live long and prosper.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Zoloft has learned to discern between the different cabintes opening. We know this because when the corner cabinet is opened she will run directly to the kitchen from any room in the house.

And then she cries because she's learned that's where the treats are kept. She has not learned that crying does not impact the chance of getting treats. She also has not learned how to tell what day of the week it is... because if she did, she'd realize that Friday is treat day.

This morning The Hater was packing his lunch, and you can only guess who made an appearance in the kitchen as he was reaching for a napkin. It was a vocally mournful, pitiful appearance, and then she continued to follow him around until he left.

She is persistant. You've got to give her credit for that. A rotten toot, yes, but persistant, too.

Monday, October 16, 2006

expired warranty

It's official; I'm falling apart.

2006 has not been kind to me, and I'm officially convinced that my warranty must have expired at the beginning of the year. As if metastatic thyroid cancer and a whacked-out shoulder wasn't enough, now SOMETHING ELSE is having problems.

You might should sit down for this one:

I have a gray hair.

It's smack-dab on the crown of my head and stands up to wave when I pull my hair back. It's not even in a cute place where I can tuck it behind my ear. I'm falling apart.

It's not completely gray yet, but it's more than halfway down the hair gray. The Hater, who says he's had gray hair since he was about three years old, says he still loves me, even though I'm falling apart. For the record, he has bunches more gray hair than I do. But we're not counting. I know the minute we start counting I'll find another one.

Last Christmas we went home and The Hater's Mom made fun of a small patch of gray hairs in his beard. We plucked them once, but he said it hurt too much to do it again. Since then he's embraced his gray hair.
He says he's like a good wine; he gets finer with age.

This has been going on for a while.
I thought I saw it waving at me a couple of months ago in the mirror. Several times I've drug The Hater into the bathroom to see if he could see it, too. (There's better light in the bathroom.) But before today he never saw it... and so I was in denial. Denial isn't such a bad place to be sometimes.

I broke the news to Mom this morning. She says she doesn't remember her first gray hair. Her words of encouragment sang that it's not that big of a deal. It was a very appropriate Mother answer, but that's the only real answer you can give when you're in your 60s and wear the salt-and-pepper cut with such grace. Blah.

Actually, I'm not as gagged about the gray hair as I am how thin it's gotten this year. Thinning hair has -by far- been one of the most annoying side-effects of whacked-out thyroid problems. I am pulling out wads of hair every time I take a shower. It's pitiful. You know how they say the Lord knows every hair on your head? He's had far less to keep up with on my head the last several months. I'd rather be gray-headded than have patchy dark hair.

But beggers can't be choosers. And either way I'm still sitting here with a gray hair on top of my head, waving like a flag.

The Hater says he's still not "officially" seen this gray hair, but it's there. Why would I make these things up, I asked. His wonderful answer, "I don't think it's gray. It's just a lighter color than the rest of your hair."

I want to Mulligan 2006 now, please.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

feet on my plate

Sometimes you have to wonder if the vegetarians* are the smart ones...

Last night The Hater took me to try a different local Japanese restaurant and sushi house. We found a sushi place that we liked, but this one was closer to our apartment. We figured that if it was as good, we might as well patron it instead.

Now is a good time to illustrate an important aside that The Hater is more of a seafood person than I am. But I am making efforts to venture outside of my net of safety; pun intended. Even though I'm willing to try sushi, at this point in my life I'm only willing to try the cooked kind.

We ordered a spider roll, which is a cooked sushi with soft-shelled crab, cucumber, avacado, rice, and rolled inside nori. Both cooked and low-key; right down my alley. I also ordered a nice vegetarian avacado roll. We ordered a tornado roll, which ended up having a super hot sauce that I didn't eat and The Hater could barely eat. We also ordered a tiger roll, which consisted of fried shrimp and rice rolled with rice, avacado, and eel. And what followed will be one of our more memorable dining experiences...

The waitress brought our plate out, which looked very pretty with the different sushi rolls on it. We began our novice identification test for the different rolls. The spider rolls looked both scary and intriguing, as two of them had legs coming out of them. Legs with feet.

The legs bothered me, but they didn't seem to bother him. I figured I'd eat other things and leave those to him to eat. I ate most of the avacado rolls. I ate one of the footless spider rolls and ventured to the tiger rolls, even though I hate shrimp. Again, the shrimp swam in my mouth, which grossed me out to the point of not even noticing that I was eating eel on purpose. I was in the special place where you attempt to chew and swallow without tasting anything, except I tasted it all. I tasted the shrimp trying to swim away from being swallowed, and it grossed me out.

Tiger roll: 1, genderist: 0.

I tasted the sauce on the tornado rolls and told The Hater it was hot. He picked up a roll and ate it, saying it wasn't that hot. Then, a few seconds later, he reached for his water and told me I probably shouldn't try to eat the hot ones. His face turned red and he looked uncomfortable, but he continued to eat the hot sushi. I am not a hot-eater and watched him instead.

The plate slowly emptied until only two tiger rolls remained, the ones with the little cooked crab feet coming out of them. The Hater pointed out that I hadn't eaten much. I told him I was suddenly full and couldn't eat any more... and then pointed out for the first time during dinner that there were legs still attached to our food.

He calmly pulled a leg out of one of the rolls and bit it. He made a face and put it back on his plate. We tried to pull the legs out of the rolls with our chopsticks and decided that at least the other sushi place didn't have feet still attached to is food.

We noticed that another person ordered the tiger rolls. He, too, was pulling the legs out of the center and setting them aside. In the car we questioned form and function and the art of serving food - if we were supposed to eat the feet. We decided that fish feet were not something we were ready to include in our diet.

And as we went to bed last night, after the lights had been turned out and moments before we fell asleep, I rolled over...

me: Honey?
him: Yeah?
me: I don't like feet on my plate.
him: That's okay. You don't have to eat them.

We laughed and relived the dinner. He confessed that he noticed the feet being served immediately and secretly hoped that I wouldn't say anything about it. He had plans to avoid them to see what happened.

me: Did you think I'd just pick it up and eat it? Feet and all?
him: No. But I wasn't ready to eat it, either.
me: I don't like feet on my plate.
him: Next time we'll go back to the place that didn't serve feet. Or go back to that place and nor order fish feet. We'll get something else.
me: I think I'll stick with the vegetarian sushi.
him: That's okay.
me: Avacados and cucumbers don't have feet.

* Vegetarians taste like chicken.
** Feet on my plate leads me to question the "culture card"...

I didn't even mention that the whole time we were eating there was a fish in a tank next to us, watching us the whole time. It was strangely wrong. He didn't seem to be bothered by the feet.