Friday, December 19, 2008

Most Dedicated Worker Award!

It's 3:00 on the friday before everyone's Christmas Vacation.

I'm going to go see Handel's Messiah tonight, so I am staying in town so that my friends and I can all go together. So, I'm staying at work, mostly just playing games for the next 2 hours killing time.

I am the LAST one here. There is NO ONE else in the lab.

HA! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The number of people who have viewed my blog!

I did a little editing on my profile, and I found the counter. I didn't know it was there.

That's quite a lot. I wouldn't have thought that many.

Cool. :->

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh, I'm sorry, did you need my HELP??

I'm sitting in a class this afternoon (A class I took in April, but they are making me take, in full, yet again, but that's another post) with 1 labmate, 2 people I have worked with in the past, and 3 others I didn't know.

During the past year, I was "Evaluated" by our Environmental safety people, and I was deemed "Too Fast". Not that I had done anything wrong, or that I had a spill, or broke a rule, or didn't decontaminate properly, or any of a thousand things I might have done wrong, I was just too fast.

Now, when time is tight, when we have 100 animals to dose, or process, or whatever, it's all good. I can get the experiment done efficiently and safely, and quickly. And before the whole EHS condemnation, I was asked to help with things BECAUSE I was efficient, fast, and GOOD at my job.

After the condemnation, and because I still want to keep my job, I had to promise to slow down. Now, this is hard, as at times I'm not concentrating on what I'm doing as much as I'm concentrating on not going fast. This seems to be less safe to me than just working carefully, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

But, while at this class, we of course discussed how to work safely. When working slowly was brought up, the three people who know me turned around and looked at me and laughed. And not in a 'laughing with you' sort of way, it was much more 'laughing AT you'.

I smiled. I didn't say much.

But, God In Heaven, I cannot wait until they ask for my help again.

Oh, I'm sorry! I'm busy EVERY DAY for the next 2 weeks! Oh, did you need to be trained on Cardiac Puncture? I'm SO SORRY, I just don't have the time. Oh, You need trained on a Retro-orbital bleed?? And you have to bleed 50 mice? Wow, gee, I wish I had the time. That's a shame, I just don't have a WHEN I'd have a spare moment.

It ticked me off, which is a little hard to do, and it stung. Because I know a couple of those people well enough to know that if that's what they said directly to me, what they are saying ABOUT me is much worse.

I hate that I'm some sort of joke. I'm good at my job, and it pisses me off that I am being made to be a joke. And what's worse, I have no way to change it, or stop it, or do anything about it at all.

Dear Lord, I know that this is wrong, that this is not the reaction to have, that I shouldn't feel or act this way. And I do try, You know I do! So please, forgive me for what I'm not sure I'll be able to stop myself for doing! Amen.

Not me Monday

It's Time for (Da da DAAAA):

I totally didn't have a MRSA infection IN MY FREAKING TOE (because how the hell does that even happen?)!!

I would not have dared fuss at my parents because they DID NOT call me when mom started her treatment of full brain radiation.

I did not have a conversation about semi-automatic VS fully automatic M16's that may or may not have been shot over thanksgiving weekend, because that would have made the FBI men totally listen to my conversation, which we didn't have.

I didn't contemplate calling the ex just so that I can get this STUPID TV ARMOIRE out of my car!!! Because I totally wouldn't end up having sex with him.

I did NOT spend my wednesday keeping an eye on the WOOT! Off, reading blogs, and putting off the next experiment, that MUST be started Monday.

I did not think evil thoughts about the stupid professors who were Laid Off, but are supposed to work until their contract is up in August, but who are TOTALLY NOT here, so that there isn't anyone to run the horribly complicated software attached to the horribly complicated microscope that I need.

I didn't almost have a breakdown at work because my tubing is off by about a millimeter, and it won't slide in the drying mechanism, and this experiment is doomed anyway, so WHY THE HELL are we still doing it?? Yeah, I didn't say evil, terrible, hurtful things about my boss in my head.

I wasn't so stressed at the idea of hosting a Christmas party that I was a bitch for 2 days, before I finally realized WHY I was being such a bitch.

I wasn't a little disappointed that the gift I got at our Ladies Aid Christmas party was a gift bath set. And I didn't almost try to trade with another woman to get the gift that I bought.

And Finally, I DID NOT write this every day last week, so that I would remember what it was that I didn't do.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Well, it was a success.

My friend who was going to come early to help didn't make it, but I didn't need too much help at that point, so it was ok.

The food was good, the sausage balls weren't very pretty, but they tasted good.  Katie brought Chocolate Turtles (mmmmmm chocolate) but then left the remains with me.  I ate 2 for breakfast this morning, and then the last two just a few minutes ago.

We had  a nice time, and it turned out that I had a fun time putting it together.  Next time I'll try for an actual meal.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I'm having a small get-together tonight, a small Christmas party for some of my friends.

I'm a very inexperienced hostess, my parents didn't really have parties or stuff like that, and I don't guess I've really paid much attention when I go over to other's houses.

I had a small breakdown wednesday night, after I realized that I had volunteered my house for this.

However, the house is cleaner than it has been in ages, there is good food in my kitchen, and one of my  friends is coming over a little early to help me with last minute preparations.

I even had time this afternoon to go buy a quick Christmas tree and hang some lights on my front porch.  The christmas tree is silver garland with blue lights, and the lights are the old-fashioned ones that get reeallllyyy hot over time.

I think I'm ready.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Laughed until I CRIED!

This qualifies as (mostly) Wordless Wednesday, too. Thank you Eileen!

What?? I don't say THAT much!

(mostly) Wordless Wednesday: The Nutcracker

Before the Show
That's my mom in the background
After the show,
She LOVED the mice and Rat King

Monday, December 8, 2008

One more post for today.

My mom's last CT scan showed another small spot of cancer, or pre-cancer, I'm not sure, anyway, found it deep inside her brain.

They prescribed a full brain radiation treatment.  Mom was VERY anxious, as to be expected.  I told her, and SIL, too, said that when the clinic told her when she was to have the scan, I would like to be there, that I felt that this was a big thing, and that family support was very important this time.

However, this past week passed, and with my toe being very painful, and the weekend very full, I didn't realize until today that it had been a week since I had heard from them.

I called home tonight, to have my Dad tell me that I was "Way behind things."

WTF?  Turns out that LAST monday, they had mom fitted for the mask thing that holds the head still during the radiation treatment, and that TODAY was the first of 12 treatments.

So I asked, a little roughly, WHY didn't they call me??  I had said that I would be there, and they should have let me know.

Mom's response?  Well, I'm a tough  old bird, and we did ok.  It didn't hurt like the last time.  It went really quick and easy.

And they WONDER how they raised 2 such stubborn damn kids.  I didn't really get across to them that it wasn't so much about them, as it was about me and SIL.  We wanted to show our support, to pretend to have something to do with this, to pretend that we can help in some tangible way.  But we can't.  We can't help ease the pain.  We can't help take care of her.  We can't make it all go away.  The only thing we can do is show them that we care, and love them, and try to take care of them when we can.  But DAMN! sometimes they make it hard!

HAHAHAHA This is my MOM!

I got this from this MomBlog. They crack me up!

Random ramblings

It's monday, and I'm wracking my brains trying to find something to blog about.

I don't think I actually posted about my toe, so here goes. I had what I thought was an infected ingrown toenail, so on wednesday it hurt bad enough to go see a podiatrist. Now, I lied to my boss when I told him I didn't expect him to remove part of the toenail. I did. I was HOPING he wasn't going to, but I assumed that would be the easiest thing, the most painful, but the easiest.

I didn't watch, something about toenails and fingernails being removed turns my stomach.

Turns out that they cultured the infection, and it was...MRSA!!!

Yes folks, I had a methicillin resistant infection under my toenail. No wonder the antibiotic cream I was putting on it wasn't helping!

I've been on (I think) cephalosporin for 6 days, but they called in a stronger antibiotic for me today. Another 10 days of antibiotics, 3 times a day! Yeah!

And who the hell gets a MRSA infection in their TOE?? How on earth did that even happen? If I'd had a recent pedicure, I'd have blamed that, but I haven't had a pedicure in over a month.

Last night I was on my last birth control pill, so I ran to walmart to get my new prescription filled. Of course, I meant to do that 2 weeks ago, so I had a minor panic attack when I couldn't find the prescription, but I took all the crap out of my purse, and there it was!

While I was at walmart, I decided I needed an oil change (I was at 6000 miles...oops!), do you know what they're charging for an oil change now?? It was $30! At Walmart! I could have gone to a GOOD oil change place for that much!

I bought my niece her Christmas present, I was going to buy her a cabbage patch doll, but I didn't like any of the ones I found, so I bought her a My Little Pony. I loved my My Little Ponies! I hope she likes it.

I use the Medical Flex plan at work, because I always have office visit co-pays and Rx co-pays out the wazoo. Last year my plan was to take out $900.

I didn't do my math right last year, so I thought I wouldn't have enough receipts to get all my money back. I was WAY WRONG. Just my Rx co-pays were enough, I didn't even submit my office-visit co-pays. However, before I got the chance to realize that I WOULD have enough to cover it, the end of the fiscal year was upon us, and I had to re-elect all of my insurance plans at work, so I set the limit pretty low for the new year at $600. (this is going somewhere, I promise)

MISTAKE! The fiscal year starts 9-1, and as of 12/8, I have already spent over $600 in co-pays. That means, $600/quarter, that's $2400, roughly, for a years' worth of co-pays. And this doesn't take into account the over-the-counter medicines I buy.

I freaking HATE having to take all this medication. I'm thinking of getting an IUD, just so that there is ONE less pill to take each day.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The last of the Ex's posts

So, (it dawns on me how many of my posts start with you think that means something?)

So, when we last talked to the ex, we discussed trying again, moving very slowly. That was before thanksgiving, and I was curious about his decision.

I texted him last night, did he want to come watch my netflix DVD, I had Ron White (of Blue collar comedy team). Well, to make a long texted conversation short, he told me only if we was going to get laid. I told him no, that I addressed that the last time we talkd, and I meant it, I don't want another fuck buddy. Ultimately, he told me all he wanted was sex once in awhile.

Having addressed this TWICE, I ignored that last text. And realized that this is now over. I once again erased his number, I deleted the text messages, and I won't answer his calls.

Not unexpected, but still hurt my feelings a little bit, and it made me a little sad.

I sure am tired of being single.

Dear God, WHY WHY WHY????? Amen (this is a very common prayer for me)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

mmmmm vicodin

So, tonight I went to dinner with a friend.  

I'm off my feet today, I had an ingrown toenail cut out, and my car is standard, so I was homebound today.  I've got a friend picking me up tomorrow, but in the meantime my friend Vickie took me to get my antibiotic and vicodin (I think I love that stuff), and we went out to eat, too.  It was odd, we both seemed to be having a hard time talking.  There were long silences, for my part they weren't uncomfortable, but I can't say for her.  I kind of felt bad, she drove 15 miles to come to my home to pick me up, and then we drove back up to where she lives to eat, then she drove me back home, and the drove BACK to her house, I think she put about 60 miles on her car just tonight.  Now, it was her idea to go to that particular restaurant, but still...60 miles in one night is a bit.

Wow, that was a bit of a run-on paragraph, wasn't it?

Maybe the vicodin is kicking in...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Not Me Monday (I like this meme, I may have to do it again)

I Absolutely, 100%, never in a million years, DID NOT allow my F*** buddy of 11 years to come see me on Monday. Absolutely not. never ever. at all. nope. I didn't shave my legs or put clean sheets on the bed or anything like that.

Last week, when my ex-bf called me after 2 months of no calls, I did not tell him to make up his freaking mind, if we're dating we need to set some new rules, if we're not, then let it be the end already.

I did not say evil things when my boss called a 2pm meeting on the wednesday before Thanksgiving. And I wasn't secretly happy that we left Here too early to go to my church, and got there too late to go to mom and dad's church.

I was not thankful that I had taken Ted home with me, and therefore I had to leave thursday night rather than stay the whole weekend.

I did not blow off helping at the church in favor of sleeping in and doing some black friday shopping.

When baking with a friend, I did not let her do it all wrong, and told her after the fact. And she did not tell me to 'screw you'. HAHA, that definitely didn't happen.

I did not eat 3 pieces of pie for breakfast. (because I wasn't out of milk, and the pie I wasn't just calling out my name)

When I got back to my parents house on saturday, I was not irritated that, when I got there the tree was up and decorated, even though that was the reason that they told me that I needed to come back.

I did not use my niece as an excuse for my dad to pay for us to go see the Nutcracker.

I totally didn't take a nap on the couch this morning before work, so that I was about 1 1/2 hours late.

And, I really am trying very hard to go to they gym each day to try to get rid of the extra 10 pounds that I piled on after Ike.

The Nutcracker

My mom, SIL and I took my niece to see the Nutcracker ballet yesterday. It was quite fun.

For being 3 1/2 years old, she did VERY well, she was a little antsy for the last 20 minutes, but she loved the mice and the rat king, we got a picture with a mouse after the show, she smiled and everything!

I've seen the nutcracker several times, but never on a sunday matinee. It seemed like it was different, a little more juvenile, which makes sense, but at the same time, I like the more grown-up version better. I'm not sure, though, if it was just this year's version, or if it changes on sunday matinee since there was a high concentration of kids at the show. Anyone know?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Teacher and I

So, I'm taking a pilates/yoga/floor weight class at the gym I belong too.  Our teacher has been sick for the last 2 weeks with a pretty sever flu.  She's finally feeling better, so I got a text message this morning, was I coming to the saturday morning class?  I've been missing the class, it makes me feel better when I'm done, so I texted back if she was up to it, so was I.

I got to the gym this morning, it was just me and her.  It was a little odd, but a little nice, she tailored the class to what I can do, with a little extra to push me.  I didn't think I'd like it, but I did.

Learn something new every day, don't I?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The truth comes out...

So, finally, tonight, talking with Ex, it comes out that his mom was probably undiagnosed bi-polar, had severe mood swings and emotional outbursts, erratic, irrational, was in general hard to keep happy, etc.

He saw me over-react, and instead of seeing me, he saw him mom. He flashed to an uphappy childhood and a hard-to-handle mom, and he shut down.

FINALLY! Finally, this makes sense. So, we had a talk. A good talk, for my half.

He called before he came over, 'You're not going to be all pissed off and crying, are you?'

No, I reassured him. I have no tears in me tonight. What we needed to talk about had nothing to do with tears.

We talked about what we wanted. He agreed that we both moved too fast. We both jumped from dating to Boyfriend/Girlfriend in less than a month. I told him, and he agreed with me, that I'm happy being single right now. I love my house, and I'm not ready to move out of it any time soon. I like going out with my friends, or going to the gym whenever I want. I like that I'm not tied to anyone, or anything. The thought of walking down an aisle in a white dress right now makes me hyperventilate. He looked a little shocked when I told him, but I was quite serious. If I think too hard about it I get the heebie-jeebies.

He left on good terms. I told him when he made a decision to let me know. No hard feelings either way. I had made my case, and the ball was squarely in his court. What he does with it is up to him.
Dear Lord, there IS someone, somewhere, eventually, Right? RIGHT? Amen.

Monday, November 24, 2008

(sigh) One More Time

My Ex contacted me last week. Again.

Let the record show that at no time in the last 2.5 months, apart from the letter, have I contacted him. Not once. I haven't even really thought about it. He pretty much let me know it was over, and I accepted it.

In the last 10 days he has contacted me twice. The first time was the accusation of me being a psycho stalker, but the second time, it was to see how I'd feel about hooking up occasionally.

We texted this weekend, and I told him we needed to talk, face to face. He got all edgy and worried, and I had to calm him down and tell him I was just better in person than on the phone. Plus, it gives me a couple of days to get my thoughts in order.

And I've thought about this a lot. I don't want a fuck-buddy, I've done that before, and I'm not really that interested in it again. I'm like a camel, now. I can go for months, probably a year or two, before I feel like I'll NEED sex. And even then, if that's what you're looking for, it just isn't hard to find someone willing to help out with that.

My friend MLK (she's a short little white girl, makes me laugh) who occasionally reads this blog, thinks it's a terrible idea, I shouldn't talk to him or have any more to do with him at all.


Here's a couple of problems with that, though:

I'm 33, and at this point I'm getting tired of being single. I'd like to try this one more time with ex, because I really do like him. He's smart, funny, cute, has a job, takes care of family, and except for his [totally juvenile] reaction to my [totally over-the-top] over-reaction, he acted like an adult.

And, I'm old enough to understand that when you click with someone, sometimes it is worth the energy in trying to make it work, though I admit that at this point, most of the trying will have to be coming from his side.

I still don't have his # in my cell phone. When he calls, I delete it. And since I don't have easy access to his number, this ensures that I won't be calling him, he'll be calling me. I think that's fair and right. The previous ending was of his making, thus the reconnecting should also come from him.

I guess at this point, I'll just wait and see what his reaction will be to our discussion. I'm not holding out much hope, which is good, because it really is a 50/50 chance. Since I'm a realist (as opposed to a pessimist or optimist), I realize that he could just as easily decide it isn't worth the effort from his side.

Dear Lord, HELP ME. Show me the path you want me to take, and I'll TAKE IT! I swear! Amen.

Totally Stole this from another site...

I found this at Knot all that, and I LOVED IT! It's on my desktop. I've watched it 2 or 3 times already.

Medication adjustment

So, part of the thing about being bi-polar, and taking medicine for it, is that occasionally the medicine stops working as well as it has in the past. It's a bit like a pendulum, the drugs keep it swinging within a given range, sometimes something will push it really hard, and my mood will swing beyond what the medicine can cover.

Sometimes, though, the range changes very slowly, over time, so that the ranges that the drugs are keeping me in the wrong range.

It's a bit like watching a small child grow. Day to day, you don't see any changes. But if you go back and look at pictures, look at outgrown clothes, or take them to see grandparents, then you start to notice all the changes.

I've been getting worse for many months. It started little, like being a little testy at work sometimes, but with little to no provocation. Then it was every day, then all the time, until finally a week or two back, I realized that NOTHING was making me happy. I was always testy, frustrated, just not quite right. So we adjusted both the seroquel, which is used to control the mania, but also the lamictal, which is the base mood stabilizer that keeps me pretty much on an even keel.

OMG. It's only been 2 weeks, and I totally see the difference. I am focused, I pay attention, I'm getting up in the morning and staying awake, I'm in a generally better mood, it's been great.

Dear Lord, thank you for my health insurance, and for a job that provides it, thank you for modern psychiatric medication, and for my very nice, very capable psychiatrist. Amen

Friday, November 21, 2008


So, does it happen to anyone else, that when you have a fever, you're eyes get all scratchy and painful? If I have a severe fever (above 100) my eyes feel like they have sand in them.

Is this just me?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Another Awakening

As is my wont, I have gone over the last conversation with Ex.

I've replayed it probably 1000 times in the last 5 days, and I think I've come to an understanding.

Right after he quit calling, I had several people tell me I Was Played, but I just didn't agree with that--those same people called me a fool, but I forgive them ;).

I've been played before, and that's not how this one felt. I know what it feels like to get played. Usually you can look back at the relationship and see the clues, you can see the lies, you can see the patterns that you couldn't see while you were IN the relationship. I've been played, and it sucks.

But this last one just didn't feel like that. His affection felt genuine, it felt real. There was a depth to our time together that hasn't been there for several boyfriends. He actually liked my company, we enjoyed our time together. Something about the way he talked to me, how he treated me, it was REAL, he wasn't faking it just to get laid. I think that's why it confused me so much, and upset me so much, when he stopped calling.

I've gone over that last conversation a thousand times in the last 5 days. And I think I've figured it out.

When I initially told him I had the bi-polar issue, he was sort of flustered, insecure, alarmed by it, but he didn't want to show me that it hit him hard. I could see that it did, but I figured that it would just take time for him to adjust to the idea, to see that I was just a normal woman.

And then I had the meltdown.

And all of his alarms went off! OMG! She really is crazy!!!

Now, this is acceptable to me. I UNDERSTAND this reasoning. I even sort of forgive it, because I must have proved all of his worst fears to be true, that I was emotional and aggressive and even a little crazy after all.

Now, I know that several of my friends will disagree with me, and possibly tell me I'm a fool again, but I'm ok with this. This reaction, while I don't like it, is a logical response to his fears of dating a bi-polar woman to start with. And I have always been way too logical in relationships, so I guess I can't really blame the guy I was dating for following the same logic that I myself use.

It sucks, but it's an answer. And wasn't that what I wanted, anyway?

Dear Lord, WHY WHY WHY??? Amen.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A visit with mom

So, I went home this weekend to help my dad clean house for thanksgiving...but that's not the story I"m going to tell here.

I'm instead going to tell of my mom.

How she smiled, and laughed, and was cheerful.  How she talked about losing her hair with a laugh.

I want to talk about how THIS is the mother I've known all my life.  That the depressed, isolated, sick, withdrawn shell of a woman that she has been for many months now, that wasn't my mom.  That wasn't the woman I know.

But now she talks of getting over this cancer.  Now she talks of Taking the Next Step, that she's done with the radiation, and we are already seeing results (she can lift her left arm higher than she has been able to lift it for many months, that her neck and shoulder pain are almost gone, that she can ride in a car now and not be almost disabled by the neck/head/shoulder/arm pain).  She is looking forward to the chemo, because that is the next step.  

I want to talk about the fact that her doctors are so optimistic, so matter-of-fact, that this is something they see every day and they aren't overly worried, this is treatable with a standard treatment, and that's what they project to her, she is so confident in her doctors that she is ready for whatever they tell her to do next.

THIS optimistic self-confident woman is the woman I've known my whole life.  And I am so glad to see her again, that I cried off and on all the way home.  I'm still crying.  I thought I'd never see her again.  I (and dad, too) thought we'd never see her again.

Thank you God.  For Doctors and hospitals and every-day miracles of medicine.  Thank you for my mom back.  Amen

Friday, November 14, 2008

Not as much drama as it might have been

So, a little background, and then the intersting stuff.

Every time I lend a guy a book, he decides its time to break up. I've lost several of my favorite books this way. I did this with the latest Ex, the book was called 'Hey Cowboy, Wanna get lucky' by Baxter Black. Very funny, very cute book. I lent it to him the weekend he decided to stop calling me.

To complicate things, I had erased Ex's phone number from my phone (because I am a weak woman, and I knew that one night after one too many beers, or when I was feeling exceptionally lonely, I would call or text him, and I didn't want to do that). So I didn't have his number to call or text him.

But I wanted my book.

So I did a little detective work. Ex's dad, I'll call him GK, forwards stuff to my dad, Mr.F, all the time. So I checked the last forward my dad, Mr.F, sent me, which had come from GK. When GK had forwarded the email to dad, he had also forwarded it to Ex's sister. So, I emailed Ex's sister and asked her to either have Ex drop it off at the house, or mail it to me. She mailed it to me, no problem, and I've emailed her after that to let her know that I got the book.

Now the interesting bit.

Cut to last night. Ex calls me, wants to know How Did You Get Sister's Email Address???

So I told him, a little detective work and a good guess.

Then he started trying to explain why he stopped calling. I cut him off and told him, it was no big deal. I had gotten over it, I was fine. He didn't need to explain, some times it just doesn't work. And I didn't tell him, but to be honest, I don't think I care anymore, and it didn't matter what his reasons were. Life is just like that, it was another thing that was out of my control, and I was OK with that.

And then we had a 20 minute conversation. He asked about mom. He said something about the note I left him, we talked about that and where it came from and why I didn't just knock on the door and have it out. We talked about my job and whether or not I was being laid off, whether or not he was still in town.

All in all, I'm very proud of how I handled the call. I wasn't a bitch, or pissy or emotional or anything. I was friendly, and we even laughed a time or two. And after we hung up, I smiled. It was a nice feeling, not to be angry or hurt or embarrassed. I really am OK with it all.

I guess all that praying for peace in my life is working.

Thank you, Lord. Amen.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Since I haven't posted for a week, I'm making up for it today.

Wow! I love Star Wars, so I couldn't stop watching this:

WOW I'm such a nerd, but that was SO COOL! He has too much time on his hands.

I found this, too...

And even though it is a couple of years old, it still makes me laugh:

Gift wrapping with the Help of my cat:

1. Clear large space on table for wrapping present.

2. Go to closet and collect bag in which present is contained, and shut door.

3. Open door and remove cat from closet.

4. Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.

5. Go back and remove cat from cupboard.

6. Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors, labels, etc...

7. Lay out presents and wrapping materials on table, to enable wrapping strategy to be formed.

8. Go back to drawer to get string, remove cat that has been in the drawer since last visit and collect string.

9. Remove present from bag.

10. Remove cat from bag.

11. Open box to check present, remove cat from box, replace present.

12. Lay out paper to determine size to cut.

13. Try to smooth out paper, realize cat is underneath and remove cat.

14. Cut the paper to size, keeping the cutting line straight.

15. Throw away first sheet as cat chased the scissors, and tore the paper.

16. Cut second sheet of paper to size - by putting cat in the bag the present came in.

17. Place present on paper.

18. Lift up edges of paper to seal in present. Wonder why edges don't reach. Realize cat is between present and paper. Remove cat.

19. Place object on paper, to hold in place while tearing transparent sticky tape.

20. Spend 20 minutes carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape from cat with pair of nail scissors.

21. Seal paper with sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.

22. Look for roll of ribbon. Chase cat down hall in order to retrieve ribbon.

23. Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two-directional turn.

24. Re-roll ribbon and remove paper, which is now torn due to cat's enthusiastic ribbon chase.

25. Repeat steps 13-20 until you reach last sheet of paper.

26. Decide to skip steps 13-17 in order to save time and reduce risk of losing last sheet of paper. Retrieve old cardboard box that is the right size for sheet of paper.

27. Put present in box, and tie down with string.

28. Remove sting, open box and remove cat.

29. Put all packing materials in bag with present and head for a room with a lock.

30. Once inside locking room, lock door and start to relay out paper and materials.

31. Remove cat from box, unlock door, put cat outside door, close and relock.

32. Repeat previous step as often as is necessary (until you can hear cat from outside door)

33. Lay out last sheet of paper. (This will be difficult in the small area of the toilet, but do your best)

34. Discover cat has already torn paper. Unlock door go out and hunt through various cupboards, looking for sheet of last year's paper. Remember that you haven't got any left because cat helped with this last year as well.

35. Return to lockable room, lock door, and sit on toilet and try to make torn sheet of paper look presentable.

36. Seal box, wrap with paper and repair by very carefully sealing with sticky tape. Tie up with ribbon and decorate with bows to hide worst areas.

37. Label. Sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulate yourself on completing a difficult job.

38. Unlock door, and go to kitchen to make drink and feed cat.

39. Spend 15 minutes looking for cat until coming to obvious conclusion.

40. Unwrap present, untie box and remove cat.

41. Go to store and buy a gift bag.

I found this

On my hard drive at work, and I like it, so I thought I'd share it:

By 30, you should have:

  • One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
  • A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
  • Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
  • A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
  • A youth you’re content to move beyond.
  • A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
  • The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it.
  • An e-mail address, a voice mailbox and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.
  • A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
  • One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
  • A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.
  • Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
  • The belief that you deserve it.
  • A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
  • A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know:

  • How to fall in love without losing yourself.
  • How you feel about having kids.
  • How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
  • When to try harder and when to walk away.
  • How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
  • The names of: the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best tailor in town.
  • How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
  • How to take control of your own birthday.
  • That you can’t change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents.
  • That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
  • What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
  • That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long.
  • Who you can trust, who you can’t and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
  • Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
  • Why they say life begins at 30.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

An Awakening

Many years back, when I was just a baby of 22, I had my heart broken by 2 people at the same time.

He was my first love, my first heartbreak, my first everything.
She was my best friend, my first real honest-to-God, actually-knows-me-and-likes-me-anyway, wants-to-hang-out-and-party-and-actually-be-my-friend best friend BFF.

The relationship with him was on its last legs, but because he was my first, I didn't understand. I couldn't see what was in front of me, because I didn't know to look. And, I admit, I blew off my friends, all of them, but probably She took it hardest, because she was my BFF. So, when it fell mostly apart at the end of the spring semester of my Jr year, I left for the summer and went to stay with my family in Illinois, knowing it was a cure us or kill us situation.

Of course, it killed us. But, She didn't help. All I know is that they had some sort of fling/affair/dating/sex thing. And because I felt like I could never be whole again, I knew that I wanted to go back and try to work it out with him, to 'fix it'. But, since it was my BFF that he cheated with, I knew that I'd never go back. I don't know if he did it on purpose, or if She was just convenient, but whatever the reason, I knew that he had done the only thing I could never forgive.

In retrospect, with many years to look back and consider, I've come to realize it was for the best. We weren't suited AT ALL, and his dad really DID NOT like me.

But, what of my BFF? She broke my heart too, because I thought then that your BFF should never do that. How could she hurt me like that? I could sort of understand the boyfriend, he's a guy and guys are stupid and do stuff like that, but how could I ever forgive her?

At the time, I said that I forgave her, I told her and myself and others that I forgave her, but I really didn't. It's been years, and until recently I still hadn't really forgiven her. How could she do that? I would never have done that!

I was right, of course. I learned something about myself from that mess. I would never do that to a friend. I learned how far I would go for my friends, I learned the lines I would not cross. And I've been true to that idea, I treat my friends like I want to be treated. Sometimes they mistreat me, but I stay true to what I most believe about what a friend is, and I hold that close to me.

I'm still in touch with BFF. She's not my BF anymore, but she's a friend, and I count her as one of my friends. Recently her mom was in the hospital for a multiple by-pass and heart-blockage surgery. Her mom was in the ICU for about a week. She texted me and called me and sort of needed support while this was going on, and I gave it, because my mom was there not that long ago. She was a source of support and comfort for me, and so I was for her, too.

And it dawned on me, I have finally forgiven her. I have finally released that small dark spot of anger and pain and hurt. I finally, after all these years, don't want an explanation. It was long ago, we were all still mostly kids. It doesn't matter anymore. It has made my heart lighter, because I finally let go of the resentment, the anger, all of it.

I've known ex-boyfriend was on myspace. I found him (well, I found his wife's and his page), but I hadn't wanted to add him, because it sort of opened up that little wound every time I thought about it. When I finally realized that I had really let go, that I wasn't still mad and upset and hurt, I finally added him as a friend. I'm not sure he'll add me, but the fact that I was willing to add him was enough from my end.

It is like a small weight has been lifted. It wasn't a big weight, but I've been carrying that one around for a long time, and it was nice to finally just let go of it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I don't usually post this kind of stuff


I'm not usually a makeup buyer, but I found a great site.

It's called and all of the makeup is $1. stuff for eyes, lips, face, nails, brushes, kits, bags, everything! Plus, if you have less than 15 items, you can use the coupon Carolina and get 50% off! I got 15 items for $13.95. It was great!

I'm very excited about my new makeup!

A President in name only...

So, I'm the president of the small LWML group at my church. I'm the youngest member by, and I'm not exaggerating AT ALL, 43 years. Yeah, the next youngest is 76. Our oldest member is in her 90's. So these ladies have been doing LWML for YEARS. No one wants to be president, so I'm sort of president by default. As in, Fine, if no one else wants it, I'll do it.

However, I'm not the best president. First of all, I work full time, and about half the time they scedule and plan things for in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day. So while I coordinate meetings and events, I can't actually help with or attend most of our service projects and out-goings. To complicate things, often they simply plan stuff and tell me after the fact that they did it. I'm pretty much just a figure head.

Example: Our usual meeting time is the first saturday of the month in our learning center. Ike pretty much destroyed that facility. We met for September, but we just gave up on the idea of the October meeting. But we have a service project planned for christmas, and we already have the money, so we have to spend it and submit receipts to the organization that gave us the money.

I was sick Sunday morning, so I didn't go to church, but I called the VP of our group and told her that we should meet in November to plan the service project and do some administrative stuff. She told me that she had the Pastor announce that we'd be meeting on the 8th at our normal time at the local IHOP. She was going to call me this week and let me know. She'd already contacted our other members and they all knew. She hoped that was OK.

Why am I the president again? OH! I know! So that when they try to make me president of our Zone, the zone will think I know how to do it. hehe, that will be funny. I wonder if my VP from my group will be doing my work for me at the zone level...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Reader

I've recently inherited a new reader, one who comments often.  Thank you SueBob!

So, I've noticed that since I've noticed that, my writing has changed slightly.  I'm trying too hard.  When I just write, like I'm thinking, it comes out pretty good.  When I try hard, it just reads like I'm trying too hard.  So, please bear with me as I work through the new self-awareness.  This should pass soon.  I hope.  soon.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Big Gun

So, I had to go to the dentist and have a small cavity filled. 

Apparently, I've never had my teeth completely numbed.  I've always had little, well, I guess little shivers, when I've had my teeth drilled.  I thought that was normal.  Apparently, it isn't.

So, my current dentist and I were talking, and I'm not normally a wimp when it comes to the dentist but I'm pretty PMS-y this week, so I was pretty much a wreck at the thought of  those shots in the back of my mouth.  We got through the first set of shots, he gave me a little extra dose.  They started to drill, and I started to get upset with the little shivers.

So, my very nice dentist stops, and talks to me.  He says that he noticed that when he was giving me the shots that my anatomy inside my mouth is a little off.  Not quite normal.

(WOW!  Proof that I'm not quite normal!  we all suspected it.)

So, he said he could (quote), " Bring out the big guns."  

uh, what?

I was numb in the jaw, I just wasn't numb at the root of the tooth, so he took another big dose of drugs and injected it...

(wait for it)


Between the Bone of my jaw and the root of the tooth.  Yes.  Just thinking of this making my stomach turns a little, and I was trying very hard to not picture it as he was TELLING ME ABOUT IT WHILE HE DID IT.

However, My tooth was NUMB.  I felt nothing.  It was great!

He told me that the extra shots, especially where they were, would make my jaw very sore the next day.  He was right.  My face has been very sore all day today.  All last night, every time I rolled over onto my left side, I rolled back over onto my right side.  I couldn't chew on the left side most of the day.

It is now a toss-up:  little shivers while they drill, or jaw pain for 24 hours.

I think, next time, if it is a little cavity, I'll take the little shivers.  I'll wait for the "Big Guns" for the big fills and crowns.

AND, I had no idea how often I clenched my teeth.  Wow!  I do that All Night Long!  that could be taken WAY out of context there.  hm.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Three Obsessions

So, this is a link from Red Stapler, but I liked it, so I thought I'd try it:

Meet the readers:

What are your obsessions?

1. Infectious Diseases, transmission, treatments, etc. Not surprising, considering my job.

2. I really like Sudoku, I do at least one puzzle a day.

3. I think I'm obsessed with worry. I'm always worrying about one thing or another, work life friends family money house car boyfriend ex-boyfriend sex money work (these things will repeat) But I always seem to be worrying about something. I guess that makes it an obsession.

What about you?

Monday, October 27, 2008

For Lorie, bringin on teh pain

see more puppies"

Halo's and lab inspections

On Friday my mom had the single shot of radiation to the spot on her brain.

Turns out, the spot was on the visual region of her brain.

They gave mom an atavan to take in the morning, which she said was a Very Good Thing. The used local anesthetic to numb a spot, then screwed the halo to her skull. Mom said the worst part was that when the screws hit bone, you could hear it go crunch. Once again, atavan was a VERY GOOD THING. The halo had 4 screws. 2 went in correctly the first time, but the other 2 had to be repositioned, so mom had 6 little sore open wounds on her head. She said the halo was very heavy. Once the halo was on, it was easy, she just sat in a chair and the locked her head in place and shot the beam at the correct spot. Once it was done, they unscrewed the halo, put antibiotic on the screw spots, and they went home.

Mom is due to start 15 days of radiation today. She has pretty colored x's all over her chest and neck, blue and green and red and pink. I hope it doesn't make her too sick. She should be done in time for thanksgiving, but I don't know how up to it mom will be. Dad wants to do Thanksgiving at their house, but I think it would be easier on both of them to do it at Brother and SIL's. Maybe SIL and I can change his mind.

I don't think I'm going to take a seasonal job this year. Between trying to catch up on work and family, I don't think I'll have much weekend time free. Oh well, maybe next year.

I think that's it for today. We are having a lab inspection so that we can get back to work after Ike, and the boss is hovering around and driving me crazy, so I guess I'll go try to calm him down.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

lying on the rug like cheap pants...

So, while I was not-to-busy during Ike, I went shopping...I know, shocking.  A little retail therapy, if you will.  I am overloaded with tops, so I went shopping  for bottoms.  In an attempt to look 'hip' 'young' 'cool',  I was looking for some lower-rise jeans.  I found an cheap inexpensive pair of jeans at wal-mart a local department store.  But then, tonight, I bent over and I felt a definitive breeze upon my bare butt.  The front had slid down below my pudge, and the back slid down my ass.

AAAAaaannnnddd, that's the last time I wear cheap  wal-mart low-rise jeans.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And 15 years Later, I'm done


I don't find an immediate mention to this, so I'll tack it on as a separate post.

I am, once again, single. Yep. Are you surprised? No, me either.

As to WHY I'm single again? no idea. He just stopped calling me after the storm. I don't know if it was something I said, did, didn't say or didn't do. I don't even know for sure that it is something from my end, though with the way I go through relationships, I'm pretty sure it's something I'm doing. I don't know what that is, but I'm pretty sure it's me.

It could be that he didn't want to have to deal with my mom's cancer. It might be...well...I dont' know what else, really. But it could be something completely unrelated.

I could have stopped by his house, I drove by and his truck was there, but I was chicken, and besides, who wants to have that conversation: Hi! I noticed you haven't called me for 2 weeks. Is there something you'd like to tell me?

So instead I wrote him a note. Not a psycho, not a hysterical, not a You Are a Rotten Dog-Kissing Son of a Goat-sort of a note, just a note that says what I said above. "Hi. I noticed you haven't called me in 3 weeks! I can guess why, but it's kind of crappy that you couldn't just have told me you don't want to date anymore."

I've been dating for 15 years now. I think I'm done for now. Maybe in 2 or 3 years I'll try again.

Dear Lord, WHY? WHY? WHY? Amen.

A story from Ike

So, my neighbors helped me tack up my back fence a couple of weeks back.

They were very nice about it, this was early after Ike, and there were packs of dogs running around. While I was out, my neighbor went outside to check out a noise, and there were 3 dogs attacking my biggest cat, (her nickname is lumpy b/c she's fat, and lumpy). A pit bull had her head, and another dog had her back leg, and the third was barking. Aggie (my neighbor) came tearing out of the house yelling, and her husband was right behind her wielding a 2x4. It worked, the dogs let go and ran. Between Katie (b/c they were staying with me at the time) and Aggie, they got Lumpy into the house, and Katie called me.

I went home, gave Lumpy a good dose of kittie morphine, and she slept for 2 days. When I stopped dosing her and let her wake up, she was limping a little on the hind leg, but after a day she stopped that, too. I couldn't find any broken bones or disjointed limbs, she was sore, but was bearing her full weight within 3 days. I couldn't find any punctures, no abscesses, nothing. God definitely protects me and my animals.

Anyway, after that Aggie and Ray, her husband, helped me put up my back fence, so that the cats had a protected place to go. Lumpy will go into the back yard, but she won't go out the front door at all anymore.

Now, this also means that I don't have to worry about raccoons anymore, it (they?) is (are) content to eat the trash out of the trash cans.

Dear Lord, thank you for protecting my house, family, friends, and pets during Ike. Amen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Further evidence

of my dorkness...

Life, good bits and hard bits

Gosh, what to write.

Mom is having a halo put on friday morning, they will do the single dose, high concentration, very precisely placed radiation sometime that day, and then the halo will come off. When they were telling me about it, I thought mom would have to wear the halo for the full 3 weeks of radiation they were talking about, and I thought, Oh shit, that will Thrill mom! But no, one dose on friday for the brain tumor, then 3 weeks of radiation of her neck/chest for the breast cancer tumor.

Let's see, what else? Dad really fell apart when they found out that they would have to go to Large Cancer Hospital. But he seems to be handling things pretty well now. The doctors are very good there, they make sure that mom and dad understand everything, they are optimistic, but they are realistic as well. That is doing a lot to keep both mom and dad from freaking out too much.

Grandma is out of the hospital. She is 82, I think, and has had heart disease for probably 10-12 years now. They scoped her at the hospital and cleaned out one artery and put a stint in, but another artery is completely blocked. Completely. However, Gma is 82, so they aren't in a big hurry to do a bypass. I'm thinking it is a quality of life vs quantity of life issue. So the doctors are going to try to break the block with medication. She went home saturday. Sunday she made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cole slaw and pie for lunch. She'll probably live another 10 years, just on strength of personality alone.

My friends Katie and Brett and baby Eli were staying with me in the aftermath of Ike. They finally have gas, hot water, and their washer and dryer hooked up and working! Yeah! It was so much fun having them live with me. I feel like Katie and I somehow cemented a friendship. Now if only Eli knew my name...

On the same vein, my friend Paige and her little one Carter needed a place until the 27th, so they are staying with me now. Carter is a baby, 8 months, so he's fun, too. He's learning to pull up and stand, it's quite cute.

I have lived alone a very long time now, 8 years, almost 9 years now. I didn't know how I would handle having people in my home, in my space, but it has been ok. In fact, the house might even feel a little empty without other people in it. I might have to start (*gasp*) inviting friends over!! (*gasp*). That means I'll have to CLEAN the HOUSE???

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Click to read story...

Ok, this was too funny. An old-fashioned hand crank egg beater as a centrifuge

An utterly frustrating day

So, apparently I took the news of mom's brain cancer a little harder than I thought.

I handled the phone call very well, mom is upset but not destroyed over the news. All of the doctors are very positive, so mom and dad aren't totally freaking out over this.

However, I may have taken it harder than I thought.
I have a very large fever blister on my lip, and 2 more places where they are trying to erupt. I'm assuming this is a continuation of the shingles infection earlier this month. I tried the original doctor who diagnosed, figuring that it should be no problem to get the acyclovir ointment for my lip. It took 2 days and 4 phone calls before they told me that I would have to be seen again before they would give me a Rx. It made me mad, she had just seen me 3 weeks ago, why the hell did they need to see me twice in one month for the same damn condition??

Now, I might also add that at this time, I have spent about $120 for the doctors and medicine, and I was reluctant to pay an additional $50-60, because my budget is tight at the moment anyway, and paying my copay so that a damn doctor can look at my lip and say, "Yep, you have fever blisters in and on your mouth" just galled the crap out of me.

So I tried to get in touch with my PCP, but since we are in the Hurricane Ike aftermath, my PCP wouldn't be in the alternate clinic until thursday. The nurses working that day wouldn't give me the Rx until they talked to her. I also couldn't get in touch with her Nurse Practioner. Now, I have seen the NP in the last 2 months, but no one could even find record of the NP being in the clinic, so no one was willing to help me there either. At this point I began to cry.

My last resort was my psychiatrist, but he wouldn't help me either, it wasn't his discipline/area. I began to cry in earnest now.

So, my lip painful, 2 more spots threatening to erupt, I tried the local free clinic. Ah, that seemed so easy, I'm out of money, I just need a 5 minute check and an Rx. No. I have a job, and that job is giving me insurance, so despite the fact that I'm out of money, because I still have to pay bills, they wouldn't/couldn't help me. I cried again.

So I went to the Urgent Care clinic, where I paid my f-ing copay, talked to the nurse, started crying again, talked to the Doctor, cried some more, and finally got my Rx. Now I went to the pharmacy, where it took 1 hour for them to fill it, and I spent another $50 on the medicine. I went home and cried again.

Then I began to think, that maybe all the tears and frustration wasn't directly linked to the medicine (though it was part of it, my lip burned like hell every time I talked/smiled/ate/drank), maybe this was overflow emotion from the news about mom.

Well, that's my best guess anyway. Today I don't have much patience, either. I yelled at the elevator today because it was running too slow.

Tomorrow will be better. Right? Tell me I'm right...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Now What!!???

So, mom had almost every scan and test known to man run on her, with the exception of a spinal tap.

I'm kidding. But she did have a bunch of tests and scans at Large Cancer Hospital. The found a small spot in her brain, the right side above her right ear, very close to the skull. All of the doctors say it is very easy to treat, with radiation and possibly surgery. Apparently this type of breast cancer metastasizes very easily into the brain, and that's what they were looking for. Mom has an appointment with a neurosurgeon on Monday.

My grandmother had a heart attack last week. Her defibrillator went off once, but then it didn't the last time. She's been in the hospital since last Wednesday, but they are hoping she'll come home today.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Do I want WHAT??

My 2 friends and their 20-month old daughter are staying at my house until their house is back up to normal after Ike.

Saturday morning, she asks me, "Do you want a Gonorrhea test?"


Do you want to go to Radio Shack with us?


Sunday, October 5, 2008

A quick note from God, to me

October 05, 2008; Aquarius (1/20-2/18)
Today, the only question you should be asking yourself is: Why ask why? Knowing all the answers is not always advisable. It can keep you from having fun, and it can keep you from seeing things in a new light. Besides, if you probe too much into one little mystery right now, you will only be giving it power over you. So save your energy and don't try to figure out why things are happening the way they are happening today -- the answers won't satisfy you anyway. Just roll with the punches.

So this was my horoscope for today. I look at them, but I as a form of entertainment only, sometimes they make me laugh. But this one is so very appropriate for me, because I ALWAYS want to know why, about everything, I always have.

And especially, at the end of every guy I date, at the end of each relationship, I tend to obsess about why it ended. What did I do/say/ask or NOT do/say/assume that was bad enough to end the relationship. I'm pretty sure everyone does that, or at least every woman does that.

But now I'm supposed to let go, stop questioning, just let the past be the past, and keep moving forward to the next thing. At least, that's what my horoscope says. Do you think that God sometimes speaks to us from unusual places, like horoscopes?

Hey You! Chill Out! I'm not done with you yet. There's still lots to do, places to go, people to meet. Enjoy this time, enjoy the moment. It will all change soon enough. Take my Peace, it's yours. Pass it on. Love, God.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


So, I have 2 back doors, one into a mud/utility room, and then one from the mud room into the kitchen. The cat flap is in the outside wall of the mud room. So when the cats are in for the night, I just close the inner door and leave the cat flap open.

2 nights ago, I heard something in my back yard rustling around, but I couldn't find a flashlight to see what it was. Last night, I heard the cat flap swish, something was going out of my mud room, but it wasn't a cat, because all of my cats were in already.

I found my flashlight, and low and behold, a rather large raccoon was on my back porch. I'm thinking that since I don't have a back fence, he must have come in from the alley, because I don't think I had a raccoon in my back yard before Ike. He must have been looking for something to eat.

So now, I have to close the cat flap, and try to remember to not put the garbage too soon before the pickup. Hopefully, he/she will go away if I take away his/her food source.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Vision of Beauty...

I looked in the mirror tonight before I was going to bed and I thought to myself, Damn! That is One Fine Woman!

Yep, what with the lovely red pimply rash coming down the middle of my forehead, the bloodshot & swollen left eye, and the lovely greasy ooze coming out of it (from the ointment I must put in my eye to prevent herpes-related blindness), I am a Vision of Female Beauty. Plus, the fact that the roots of my hair (about 2" now) is definitely NOT red like the rest of it...

And I wonder why I can't hold a man? I mean, what man wouldn't be held in wide-eyed wonder at the vision I present tonight?

I don't know why, but this struck me as so very funny, I have laughed for several minutes before I decided that I needed to share it with the world. It's still making me laugh.

Shit. No wonder I'm single.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hurricane Ike

So yeah, Ike.

I should start with the fact that my house had NO damage. No water damage, no wind damage, no rain damage. I sit less than 1/4 mile behind the levee in my town, not only did it break the storm surge, it also broke the strength of the wind. The tree damage in our area was all above 12-15 feet. No low damage. God himself put his hand over my house and protected it.

There was a small hole, 3'x3' in the roof of my garage, but it might give me a new roof for the garage, which would be ok, too.

I've had some friends lose everything, though. My friend that lives aboard lost her sailboat. Fortunately, she is able to get aboard and get her stuff off. And while the boat is totaled, it is still safe to get inside it and get her stuff out.

We had several people in our church that had a total loss in their houses. One was a young couple with a small child, they had 7-8 feet of water in their house, they lost EVERYTHING, baby pictures, clothes, keepsakes, you name it.

Several elderly couples lost all their stuff. It's one thing to start over when you're in your 20's, but how do you restart when you are in your 70's?

However, emotionally and physically, I didn't fare as well.

Since the bf didn't call me at all after Ike, I'm assuming that we are no longer dating.

Mom is still waiting for her appointment at the LCH, they needed her pathology reports from the initial cancer in '96.

I have fought off several fever blisters (I love the anti-viral ointments!!) only to have a rather large rash of SHINGLES erupt on my forehead. It's very attractive.

I got the boards off of my windows all by myself.

There is a 6' high by 5' long pile of brush in front of my house that mom helped me pile up last saturday. It as good for both of us, she needs to prove that she can still work and help around the house, and dad needs to learn to let her. Plus, I like to hang out with my mom, and she hasn't been away from dad for more than a couple of hours for MONTHS. I couldn't do it.

I think my boss is calling us in this week to help clean up and get started working again. This is good, but our animal lab, the place we do 75% of our work, the research that funds the vast majority of our research, is GONE. The basement of that building flooded, ruining the air handlers, the BSC's, the animal caging, watering system, it will take them MONTHS to get that facility together again. I don't know what we'll do in the meantime. I'm hoping the new building on campus will absorb us, but no telling at this point.

Thank you, God, for protecting my home, family and friends. Give us all peace. Amen

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mom's PET Scan

So, last week mom had a PET scan done at her small regional hospital. Today they had he appointment with the oncologist. Not bad news, but not good news, either. The tumor's haven't grown since the last scan, about 4 or 5 months ago now, but they haven't shrunk, either. Basically, the cancer has stopped responding to the chemo they can give her there.

So, they are referring mom to the Large Cancer Hospital (LCH). Fortunately, we aren't too far, close enough to drive in for treatments, appointments, whatever. I don't know how this will work. I guess I'm going to have to use some sick time to go with them when they go in for treatments. I know dad will tell me I don't need to go in, I don't have to go in, but I will anyway.

My brother called me, asked me if dad had talked to me. I said yes, then he asked me how dad had sounded. I had already been thinking about that. Dad sounded...defeated is a good word. This spring was so hard on him, that when mom came home and was responding to the chemo, he put it all behind him. It really knocked his legs out from under him that mom will have to go to for treatment at the LCH (Large Cancer Hospital). I'm once again going to have to be the one holding dad up so that dad can hold mom up.

Dear Lord, watch over us all. Amen
PS, Jesus, I REALLY do have enough patience now. I don't think I'm due for any more patience lessons right now. Amen

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Holy Crap

Wow, did I fall of the deep end on tuesday. I can only plead not enough sleep and severe PMS.

BF, who is not, in fact, the anti-christ, finally called me last night. He was pissed about life and work in general, and he had a valid complaint against me. These two things, compounded by the overly-emotional melodramatic voice mail I left him, conspired to further piss him off.

Anyway, we have come to a tentative agreement, and we'll have to see how the next few weeks play out.

And what did I learn from this?

1. I have no doubt that this man was sent from God, because so far he has taught me a good dose of humility, and some modesty and is forcing upon me self-control. All are hard lessons to learn.

2. The week before my period I should make a large note on my calendar, so that if I over-react I might be able to catch it before I make a total ass of myself.

3. As I have already learned several times, I SHOULD NOT write emotional rants and immediately put them up for all the world to see. This also applies to emails, voice-mails, and text messages.

4. I shouldn't be so quick to assume the worst in others, especially in people I know and care about. I should give the benefit of the doubt in almost all cases, as I hope they will give to me.

Lord, It's a good thing you forgive all our sins. Please put in me the same desire to forgive, to see the best in others and their intentions. Help me to remember to look through Your eyes when I look at the world, and see that you do work for the good in ALL things. Amen.

PS: There will be no more posts to this page until the emotional storm has passed which should be around tuesday of next week. I'd hate to make an ass of myself too many times this week.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hanes Silhouette Slimmer

I laughed until I almost cried. Thank you from Red Stapler for the link.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"We need to talk"

The four worst words in a relationship, and especially abhorrent when coming from a man.

I have spoken to this man almost every day for the last 50 days. If we didn't talk, we texted.

All of a sudden today I don't get any text messages, he won't respond to my text messages, and he won't answer his phone.

I finally left a voice message that said, 'You haven't responded to any form of communication I have sent you today. You are 31 years old. We have been dating for 2 months. At the very least, I deserve to know why you are breaking up with me."

I'm not going to hear from him. He's not going to call. He's not going to come see me.

This was it. I don't know if I posted it previously or not, but this was it. I'm done.

It will be years now before I let this happen again. This is too hard, I put too much of myself out there to have it tossed back to me. He didn't break my heart, because I didn't let him get that close to it. But he broke a couple of dreams.

I had come to accept it. I am just destined to be single. There cannot be any other explanation. I had accepted it. I wouldn't bear children, I wouldn't be a wife, I wouldn't have that kind of life.

He made me think that I could have that. And that hurts me worse than anything else he could have done. I wish he had just broken my heart.

Hard week

You know it's going to be a hard week when you buy a $50 bottle of tequila and store it in the freezer so that you have nice cold tequila shots when you need them...

bf called me last night.

'We need to talk'


Friday, August 29, 2008

gifts from the cat

I came home wednesday night to find a dead rat on my front porch, right in front of my door. It was a small rat, but it was definitely a rat, and not a mouse.

The other day, one day I think last week, one of the cats (I'm thinking Howler since he's the only one with claws) brought me a partially alive mouse into the kitchen and left it by the sink for me to find. Lovely. I had to break it's neck, it wasn't dead but it wasn't going to survive the assault.

It's a good think I'm used to working with rodents at work, otherwise I'd have totally freaked out.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Plan: The outcome

Michelle and I had already planned to take most of friday off, so we decided to take friday off.

We could have gone to the concert, but it was just the two of us, and it wasn't really Michelle's kind of music. We could have gone camping and tubing at the site that bf had already reserved, but it wasn't really worth it. The point was that there were supposed to be a group of us, not just the 2 of us. Besides, if it was just the two of us, we DID NOT want to camp, but then it seemed like a colossal waste of money to go to the town and NOT use the campsite that was already paid for, but to pay MORE money for a hotel room.

It actually made me look VERY good, because I had told Dr. C that I needed to be gone by 10AM, and I made a real sacrifice by staying until noon.

Both Michelle and I were pretty upset. For me, I was very disappointed, but Michelle was mad. We started out on River A in a cheap hotel, and ended up at River B camping. And then, once we made our peace and decided that we'd have fun no matter where we were, he cancelled altogether.

Michelle and I went to a movie in the afternoon, The Dark Night. It was pretty good, but a little long for me.

We met some friends for a drink at 6. Michelle took matters into her own hands. She decided that we would go to the local water park. We invited some friends, in fact the original group of friends we had invited to go tubing, to go with us.

Michelle and I decided to go early, we got to the park at 10:30 AM, and we stayed until 7 when the park closed. It was so much fun. We rode the rides, we floated the "river", we drank a little beer, I brought my cheap water-proof camera and took all 27 pictures. Michelle brought her SPF 50 sunblock, and I have a very nice golden glow. A little bit too much sun on my left shin, of all places. Not the right one, only the left one.

BF and I have made our peace.

He had no way of knowing that this was a HUGE trigger for me. My dad used to do that crap ALL THE TIME, promise us some neat thing to go do, and then back out of it at the last minute. By the time I was 10 or so I had figured out that I didn't get excited about something until we were in the car on our way. So the fact that we did all this planning and he backed out at the last minute REALLY UPSET me.

For his part, I think he was disappointed by his friends, mad at work, and worried that I would be disappointed by the whole thing, so he just withdrew entirely.

Considering that this could have been a very large pothole in the road, I think we've managed it ok.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Plan: The Execution

While Michelle and I were at Wal-Mart, shopping for The Trip, bf text-messaged me. I called him, as it was a bit of a cryptic message. I told him that we were at Wal-Mart, shopping for The Trip. He said, "I might have some bad news."

Might? That's kind of vague. Do you, or don't you, have bad news?

Well, all bf's friends decided that they didn't want to camp in the rain. So they all bailed on him. Ok, well that left me, bf and MIchelle. Michelle and I were STILL game, still willing to camp in the mud (it had stopped raining thursday morning, and by the afternoon it was hot and clear, if muddy). Plus, with all the rain, the river should be running well.

Now, as an aside, bf's promotion was made official this week. He was made foreman (Go BF!!), but that meant that they wanted him to take a 'How to be a Good Foreman' class on Friday. Friday, the day that he was supposed get off so that we could leave early in the afternoon. Friday, the day we were supposed to go to the concert in a town several hours away. Friday, the VERY NEXT DAY. He wasn't sure he would want to go after working all day.

STILL, Michelle and I were game. I told him, go to work, when you get off, Michelle and I would be packed and ready to go, we didn't have to camp, we could get cheap La Quinta tickets in the concert town and go tubing in the morning.

I got a text message at 10am on friday morning, 'Babe, I'm not interested in going on a road trip this weekend. Sorry.'

Sorry? SORRY?? You're SORRY??

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Plan: Part II

So here we are, Michelle and I, with a plan. We were going to River A, we would stay in a cheap hotel, we would have LOTS of fun and drink beer and float on the river and take pictures.

In a fit of generosity and enthusiasm, bf bought us (him and I? me?) tickets to a concert of a Regionally famous music group. I've never seen them in concert, so I was excited. However, the town the concert was in kind of threw a kink into Michelle's and my plan. The concert was close to River B, but Michelle and I wanted to go to River A. In fact, we deliberately planned to NOT go to River B, as it is overly crowded with young and sometimes underage drunks most of the summer, and we wanted to avoid them.

However, to not burst bf's bubble, I convinced Michelle that River B would be Ok, we'd still have lots of fun. Once her PMS cleared up, she agreed.

Then bf decided that it would be a lot more fun if we camped. He had invited several of his friends, and they could be pretty rowdy when drinking, and he was worried that we might get kicked out of a hotel. This took a little more convincing, but again, once Michelle's PMS cleared up, she began to get into the idea.

None of our other friends were really into camping, so apart from Michelle and I, everyone on my end cancelled by early in the week. I decided that since it would only be Michelle and I from our end, she should go to the concert with us. And that since this originated with bf buying tickets to the concert, I bought Michelle a ticket too. It didn't seem fair to ask her to buy the ticket herself.

Then it started to rain. It rained Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. All day, each day. Really great drenching, ground soaking rain. My yard loved it. By Wednesday, Michelle and I had just made our minds up that we would be camping in the rain. We wanted to go to the river, the campsite had been reserved, the tickets had been bought, so we would just camp in the rain. It would be FUN! Right???? Right!!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Plan: Part I

This all started because my friend on myspace is perpetually posting pictures (that's kind of poetic!) of going to the lake where bunches of boats are tied together and lots of pretty people are drinking beer. Everyone is smiling and having a good time, and I never do stuff like that, and I'm a little jealous. I want to go play on the lake with cute boys and drink beer and have fun.

So, after a raining and disappointing 4th of July (in which we swam in the rain, because, By God, we WERE going to play in the water), my friend Michelle and I decided that we wanted to go tubing on a river, drink beer, take pictures and have fun.

Michelle and I had made tentative plans to go to River A. We had friends with connections in La Quinta, so we were going to get a CHEAP hotel room, we had 3 or 4 friends that were interested in going with us, and we had decided that we would plan to go this weekend, the weekend before Labor Day weekend.

This was before the boyfriend was around.

Once we had been dating for awhile, I decided that it would be OK to invite him.

If Only I had known...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I went to the local Donut Palace (I love donut palace) and I asked for a dozen donut holes and she gave me 22 donut holes. 22. I counted, because I thought that it looked like a pretty big bag for only 12.

I have to stop going to the donut shop.

Monday, August 18, 2008

God has a sense of humor

Ok, so bf and I are good. He's still a little iffy about the fact that I pick at my cuticles, but he's gotten over it.

Now, one of my good friends who reads this might be a little offended by this next bit, because she is a good christian woman, but it's just too damn funny, so I need to share it.

For me, one of the perks of having a boyfriend is the sex. In fact, it is one of the top 5 things I like about having a boyfriend. I'm not into random sex, so while I COULD get sex at any time, I don't. So, the first time we had sex, I pretty much told him this. And then, since it had been more than a year, I pretty much jumped him. In the intervening couple of weeks, he's decided that I moved to fast, and he's cut me off. He. cut. me. off. I haven't had sex in more than a year, we had sex twice, and he CUT ME OFF. What makes me laugh is that there are only a handful of men who could successfully pull this off. And he has. And I realized tonight that God sent me a man who is making me WAIT FOR SEX.

There are very few men who could pull this off without alienating me. Besides that, how many men do you know that have a willing woman in bed and tell them, that's ok, not now?? I've NEVER met one before.

Now, he's got me curious, and I'm waiting to see what he'll get me to do next. Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor? This might even be a man who could make me add the 'obey' into the wedding vows.

Dear Lord, I know I asked for a good man, but next time I ask for something, please double check with me before you just hand it to me. AMEN.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This is NOT evidence of my dorkness...I don't know what this is.

I hate new relationships. They are fraught with pitfalls, places where the bottom drops out and you're left hanging by a thread. It all started innocently enough.

About 10 days ago I pulled a cuticle on my left hand pinky finger. Over the course of several days, it got progressively worse, until it took an oral antibiotic to get rid of it. I didn't understand, because my body is usually pretty good at getting rid of those sort of little infections, and I pick at my cuticles all the time, and it NEVER gets this bad.

Now, it should be stated that I pick at my cuticles. I used to chew my fingernails to nothing, chew them to the point of bleeding. I have changed that behavior, and now I pick at my cuticles. I usually don't do it unless I'm under a bit of stress, and sometimes I do it without even thinking about it, don't even notice it until it hurts. I also chew the insides of my lips, but that is beside the point of this story.

A couple of days ago, on sunday, I think, I pulled another cuticle, on a different finger. I put some of my antibiotic cream and a band-aid on it, and it was SUPER inflamed and sore the next morning. I began to think that my antibiotic cream was contaminated with something. I cleaned the infection, soaked the finger in hot epsom salt water to pull the puss out of the cut, and kept it clean with alcohol and warm soapy water the rest of the day, and washed it with alcohol before going to bed, and today it is doing fine, healing the way it should be.

I mentioned to BF that I had figured this out, that it was probably my antibiotic cream that contributed to the severity of the last infection, and we got onto the topic of me chewing my cuticles.

'Why do you do that?' What do you mean, why? 'I mean, why do you chew them, and then enough to make them bleed like that?' WTF? I don't know WHY.

It's just part of what and who I am, I internalize a lot of stuff, and when the stress gets too much, I start doing things to release it, like sucking my thumb when I was a little kid, and when I quit that, I started chewing my nails, and when I quit that, I started chewing at my cuticles and chewing the insides of my lips. If it was something that was a conscious thing, I'd stop doing it.

He just looked at me like I was nuts. The whole mood of the evening changed. It was like he withdrew physically.

What, that easy? Are you kidding me? Because I chew my cuticles? This is not even CLOSE to the weirdest thing about me. There are probably some good reasons to look at me like that, but picking at my cuticles isn't one of them.

And so, it is 11:15 on wednesday night, and I'm thinking that, maybe it really is me.

I hate new relationships.

More Evidence of my dorkness...

I've just discovered that I cannot click on the Favorites tab and go to a new window without scrolling to the top of the current page. Why? It's not like it matters where I am on the page, I can jump to a new page just as easily from the bottom of the page as I can from the top. But this last time, I noticed it because, after clicking on the Favorites tab and moving to a new window, I realized what I had done, so I hit the BACK button, brought the previous page to the top, and THEN clicked the Forward button.

It's like turning down the radio to turn the corner, even if no one is in the car with you. Because, yeah, I do that, too.

Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if I wasn't on medication...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More from My Dad

I don't think I've written about this (& I'm a little lazy, and don't want to look it up), so if I have, then you get to skip today! and if not, then, you must submit an abstract with revisions by Friday... :) That was science humor... oh, that wasn't funny? Oh. Ok.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, my dad. So, many years ago, my dad picked up a cancer policy from AFLAC, because he had smoked 2+ packs a day for more than 30 years, so he figured he'd need it. Then, because he's my dad, he also added mom to the policy. Mom got cancer first, it paid nicely. Dad got cancer, dad paid more attention, and it paid off NICELY. Mom got cancer again, dad is paying VERY CLOSE attention, and it has PAID OFF NICELY. However, mom kind of thinks of this as her money, it being made off of her cancer.

So, I'm pretty sure this upcoming event was initiated with mom, but I appreciate it no matter where it came from.

My dad wants to pay for a contractor to come in and make my 1 car garage into a 2 car garage with a utility bathroom and washer/dryer connections, and redo my bathroom and kitchen.

I've been sitting on this for a couple of weeks. This is a BIG project, and he raised me a little too good, because I'm a little hesitant to take that much money from my dad. But, at the end of the day, I will LOVE having it done, and will greatly appreciate the gesture, and if he wants to do it, I'm a bit loathe to stop him. Plus, if he decides he wants it done and I'm not doing it, he'll just go around me, and I want my voice and my opinions counted.

So, about 2 weeks ago, I started getting contractor information and started trying to get some bids on this project. I thought a $20,000 project would get a bit of attention, and that I'd have a hard time narrowing it down to 3 or 4 contractors to do the estimates. But OMG, I've had the hardest time getting contractors over to my house to do the estimates! I've contacted 1 company twice, and never even got a return on my messages, which I left with a person, not on a machine. Last night I finally got a guy to come over, he's a small contractor, but he didn't set off any warnings in my brain, and if I can help a small company get a start, I'd do that. However, he came over, looked around, and then told me he'd have to come back and take measurements on the garage, and THEN he'd have an estimate for me. WHAT?? Wasn't that WHY I asked you to come over and Make me and estimate?

Barring a rainout, I have another contractor coming over tonight, then again thursday afternoon, and then I got a call this morning from a company I hadn't contacted. I had called Home Depot to see if they would recommend any contractors, and they couldn't officially, but the Pro Desk guy must have called a buddy, because this man called me this morning, and he's going to come next tuesday and make a bid for me then, too. When it rains, it pours. So, at this point, I will have 4 estimates of what all this work should cost.

I'm beginning to get excited. This will be a major pain in the rear as it happens, but it will be AWESOME when it is done.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I really TRIED to think of more to say...

My friend's birthday is tomorrow. She has decided she wants to go bowling. So we are going to a large indoor Entertainment Complex that has bowling. No smoking (!), so I'm hoping we all have a good time. There will be a couple of kids there, from 5 months to 6 years or so, and Boyfriend has agreed to go with me. I hope we all have fun.

Yeah, I've been staring at this screen for 5 minutes trying to think of something else to write, and I can't think of anything, so I guess this is a short one today.

Happy 25th Birthday, Michelle!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

That's alright, God, I got it...

Awhile back I posted this post, about my bathroom door. Recently, well, it's actually been going on for more than a month, my toilet has been leaking, the flapper doesn't close good, so the tank is always leaking into the bowl, and my last water bill was HUGE. I Finally made it to Home Depot, and while I was there buying a new flapper for the tank, I bought some long wood screws. I went home, fixed the toilet (it took not even 5 minutes and less than $10, it's sad that it took me more than 6 weeks to do something about it), called a friend, she came over, and in 10 more minutes, my bathroom door was fixed.

Now, this could be divine intervention (You don't actually NEED a man to do this kind of stuff for you!), this could be my stubborn independent streak that finally got tired of waiting for someone else to fix it, this could be boredom, I don't really know what sparked this series of actions, but I am very pleased with myself, and a little embarrassed that it took me so long to fix something so minor.

Lord, whatever inspired this home maintenance urge, thank you. Amen.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

3rd Birthday

This past weekend I went home for my niece's 3rd birthday. It was a small little party, just family and a couple of friends. There was another little kid there, Aiden, he is 2 1/2. It was so funny to watch the 2 kids fight over who would open the presents, and who would play with it first. I know, it was a little mean, but they were HILARIOUS. I managed to find all of the pieces for our DVD camcorder, so I set it up on the tripod and just let it roll. This pleased my dad tremendously, as he bitches constantly about how he knew when we bought it that no one would use it and it was as waste of money blah blah blah.

After the party, we all went home and took naps, then SIL and niece went to Aiden's house to play in the pool. I went along to watch, they had a BLAST. Niece LOVES to swim and play in the water.

Then the adults decided that we would meet at another friend's house, so we all went over there, drank some adult beverages while the kids played in the play room, and then we started to play Wii. With the exception of the host, none of us had ever played Wii, it was SO MUCH FUN! OMG! we played and laughed and had so much fun! Finally, my SIL noticed that it was 11:30, and the kids were still up, so I left with them so that I wouldn't look too much like shit for church the next morning.

All it all, it was a fun day, and niece had a good day, and the adults had fun, too.

PLUS, in the Make My Day column, when we pulled up to the house saturday morning, niece came running out the door, hollaring "Hi Aunt xxxx" and "Pick me up!". She melted my heart. She is the light of the family.

Happy 3rd birthday, Em. We love you!

Dear Lord, Thank you.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What to post...

So. I have a boyfriend.

It happened sort of quick. About 3 weeks from nothing to talking every day.

I've been single a long time, so this is a huge adjustment for me.

This is a good thing. This is a nice man, a good man. His younger sister has 2 kids, aged 3 and 4, and he has stepped in as a father figure for them, and he goes home to them each weekend. He is affectionate, sweet, smart, funny, cute, has a job, and seems to enjoy spending time with me. He is amused by me, which is good. He holds me tight when he hugs me.

On the other hand.

He wants to see me EVERY DAY. He wants to talk to me at least once a day, and sometimes calls me 3 or 4 times. I have many friends, and I do a lot after work during the week. I volunteer each wednesday. I have dinner with at least one friend a week, sometimes I have dinner with 2 or 3 different friends during the week. I often have plans during the weekend, not the least of which is the weekly lunch I have with my friends after church.

I know we have to combine our worlds. We have to find a way to bring our 2 worlds together, to make room for my independence, my friends and my commitments with his job, his family, and his commitments.

It will be an interesting few months.

Dear Lord, I feel like this is a gift from you, that if I give you free reign (like I have a choice...) this will be a good and beneficial relationship, for both of us. Show us the way, give us patience with each other, grace in you, faith for him, and strength for me. Amen

Friday, July 18, 2008

At least it wasn't a roach...

Roni, I thought of you, and it made me smile!

*@$#*^%* Trains!

This morning I drove my normal route to work, I got caught by a train, and I mean the arms went down AS I drove up to it, I was the first in line. I decided to be adventurous and took a short cut, to catch the end of the train earlier. I got to the next crossing, the LAST rail car was in front of me, and the damn train stopped. I thought, Great. Then, the damn thing started to BACK UP!!!! And as it was backing up, it was SLOWING DOWN! Yes, it backed all the way up, back down the track. The cars at the other end of the train made it over the tracks before me. I guess God was teaching me a lesson in patience. I hate those lessons. They tick me off.

Dear God, I think I have enough patience AND character by now. Thanks, though. Amen.