Tuesday, September 15, 2009

your moment(s) of zen.

i like animals. in the way tony bourdain likes animals. i wince when some cute furry animal is going to be taken down for the purpose of eating, but i am all too happy to eat certain animals.

animals fall into two different categories for me; there are some of them i pet, and some of them i eat.

that being said, anyone who knows me knows i am crazy for my cats. not like grey gardens crazy where i want to marry them or anything like that. but i love them and they are part of the family. so when you say you'll take care of my cats you better damn well take care of my cats. there's no half assing it. it must be done correctly. i have been disappointed so many times with how little regard people who are supposed to be caring for my cats actually give them. i'm kind of a bitch about it.

this is why i hire people with cash money to care for them. even then...

so it's safe to say i'm not a member of PETA, but i love animals nonetheless. in my own way. my hypocritical give me a cheeseburger when i'm sad and i'm always up for a plate of grilled cross cut ribs marinated in asian spices and there's this pair of over the knee black leather boots with a 3 1/2 inch heel i really really REALLY want kind of way.

it is that spirit that i bring you this week's moment(s) of zen. cute and furry and snarky and profane and COMPLETELY IRREVERENT. (sound like anyone else we know ;) ) in other words, if your sense of humor about animals doesn't exist or is misplaced then don't read.


Monday, September 14, 2009

stoned. and not in a good way.

okay, so i had a kidney stone. and for those of you who aren't already wincing in sympathetic or empathetic pain, you obviously haven't gotten the memo about how horrible these really are.

they are really horrible.

imagine someone sticking a bowie knife, rusty and jagged, into your kidney and turning it. oh, say, for like 12 hours at a stretch.

this started out of nowhere friday night. at first i was like oh great, the UTI i had last week created a kidney infection.

yeah, i wish.

as the pain intensified and i could barely talk or stand up it dawned on me that since i knew i hadn't in fact been stabbed with a rusty jagged bowie knife that this could only be a kidney stone. oy. everything was presenting just like everything i'd ever heard about kidney stones.

so what do you do in the middle of the night when you're in crippling and debilitating pain? why you go onto the interwebs, of course.

by now it was 12:30 am and everyone was asleep. i panted and sweated through my interwebs research to find out that pain medication and liquids were the way to go in passing a kidney stone. like i would go to the hospital anyway ;)

well with the previous UTI i had already had the copious amounts of fluid thing down, so that left the pain medication. only the ibuprofen was UPstairs and i was DOWNstairs. and if i went UPstairs i'd wake up the husband and he would get all concerned and really really worried and i just didn't want that. in matters of extreme pain/illness i'm like an old cat. i'd rather find a bush to crawl under and be left alone.

and speaking of cats, if i went upstairs they'd all wake up and follow me down and hang around and be all concerned. while this is sweet and endearing i was SO not in the mood to be the feline midnight madness show. there was no going upstairs.

so, i drew a bath and breathed deeply and hoped for the best. and while the bath was filling...okay, can i say that my tub is HUGE. it's an old claw foot and it takes so long to fill. i was watching it thinking i could be dead before that tub fills. sweaty and passed out and dead on the bathroom floor and the tub STILL wouldn't be full.

i needed to take my mind off the tub so i got *ready.* i figured there was an off chance i'd end up at the hospital. and in my sweaty pajamas that would NOT do. i'm no fashion plate but i'll be damned if i end up passed out in the back of an ambulance in sweaty pajamas with no underwear and unbrushed teeth if i could help it. so i got out what i would need to make myself presentable should i have to go the the hospital in a hurry.

it reminded me of the time i was coming down with the flu. i was all alone with the boybarians (the husband commuted to NY state and back every week) and i figured if i was so sick that help would have to be called in, i'd be damned if somebody came in and the house was messy and the kids starving. (they were much younger then) and because we home school i figured the scrutiny would be even worse and probably end up on the evening news. "Two local brothers were found starving in a filthy house with the mom was passed out on the couch. We are now getting word that they are home schooled." i could see all the footage flash before (must have been the fever) and the knowing shake of the collective head of the community.

so, i cleaned the whole house and made a bunch of ready to eat stuff they could grab from the fridge. it intensified the brewing flu in a body that needed rest and liquids, not manic cleaning and chemical sprays, but it made me feel better. well not physically. made it worse actually. i got really really sick.

but, i digress.

anyway, so the tub is filling and i have my things together and i need a distraction from the pain so i read a little more about the pain that is taking over my very soul at this point. *they* say i should be sure to have a mesh strainer on hand when i pee to catch the stone to have it analyzed, and that beer helps.

wait, what?

beer is a diuretic and i read it on more than a few reputable sites that it helps produce the urine needed to move the stone faster than just regular water. okay, i don't know if they were reputable. i made that up. how would i know how reputable a site is in the middle of the night in extreme pain? all i know is a few of them said "drink beer." majority rules, doesn't it?

you don't need to tell me twice. i finished my monster glass of water, grabbed two beers and got into the tub.

and a half an hour later it was nearly 2 am and i was drunk in a huge tub filled nearly to the brim with water. me, a person who under the *best* conditions falls asleep in the bath tub on a regular basis.

as plans go, this was not a particularly sound one. but it helped.

the pain subsided under these conditions a bit. enough for me to catch a break and catch my breath. plus *they* said the pain might come and go in waves.

so i'm sitting there, drunk in the tub, thinking about all the things one might think about if they were drunk in the tub in the middle of the night; every bad decision i ever made, remorse, grief, why does anyone even like me, i probably deserve to pass a kidney stone, i'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner, etc. you know, all the headliners.

i should call someone, i thought. you know, get some support, some sympathy. maybe apologize for everything i ever did wrong to them and beg for tearful forgiveness.

good thing the phone was in the other room.

so during all of this i'd have to get up to pee now and then. i'd haul out of the tub, hobble over with my strainer, and well you get the rest.

and yes, the strainer is history. after this it won't make its way back into the kitchen, just so you know. it may have been time to replace it anyway. it was a fine strainer, but did have the appearance of something you might find in an abandoned whiskey still. or a meth lab.

so this is how i passed the night. refilling the tub with water, drinking tons of water and some beer, and praying to god to just let me die right then and there. a black crowes "she talks to angels," kinda moment. rock on.

*they* say you know the minute you've passed the stone because you have almost immediate relief. and i say *THEY* ARE RIGHT. jesuschristo. thank god and pass the pabst.

so i think i'm on the mend, except i have some residual pain in my kidney that worries me. so, to be sure, i called my doctor's office this morning to get an appointment to just have her check it out.

so the receptionist answers and the minute i start to ask my question she cuts me off to ask my date of birth. i give it to her. then she asks my first and last name. and as i'm starting to spell my first name she cuts me off again and

"okay, i know who you are. what do you need?"

ah, customer service for the medically needy. it's such a fine art.

"i passed a kidney stone, but i'm still having some residual pain at the site and i just want to check things out."

so i give her my doctor's name.

"she's out of town all week."

"can i see someone else?"

"if you want."

"okay, yes. i think i need to be checked out."

"fine. do you care if it's a man? or do you require a woman?"

i'd take a chimp on a bike lady, just get me a damned doctor.

"i don't have a preference."

"fine. you can have tony. there's an opening at 3:30 today. that's if you need to come in today."


"yes, i do need to come in today."

"fine, 3:30 it is."

"um, excuse me, but what doctor did you say i'd be seeing?"

"you'll be seeing tony. see you at 3:30"

and then she hung up.

tony? who the hell is "tony?" does he have a last name? is he even a doctor? tony. sheesh. am i getting highlights in my hair or following up on a potentially serious and completely painful condition?

so that was my weekend. how was yours?

in other news for those of you who i am not in contact in my daily life by other means, i need to announce that the HOUSE HAS BEEN SAVED! yes, the miracle came through indeed. it's a long and at once climactic and anti-climactic story occurring at the 11th hour, but suffice it to say the house is still ours! :) i apologize for the brevity of that announcement considering all that built up to it, but there it is!!!!

and if there is anything else to say about that i don't know what it is.

you know what? this is going to be an interesting week. i can just feel it. so drink your fluids and get your rest. you never know what can happen, because ANYTHING can happen!

(and hopefully, for you, by "ANYTHING" i don't mean "kidney stone.")


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

your moment(s) of zen.

when i was little one of my very favorite things to do was to play library. all that organization and order. the enforced quiet. me in full charge. books as a means of escape. shocking, i know.

in fact, my happiest childhood memory is of the day i got my very first library card. now, i think we've established that my memory is shotty at best. but this one comes in clear as a bell.

i remember waiting for months for that library card. you had to be able to write your FULL name to get it. a daunting task at that age to say the least. so about 4? an early 5?

i practiced and practiced. when i finally mastered my name, my mother took me to the library right there on highway 101 in fort bragg, california. a big old beautiful building with the ocean behind it and a whole new world in front of me. we walked up the steps and i remember thinking that this was the best day of my life.

boy that counter was tall! but on my tippy toes and with the steadiest hand i could, i signed that library card and that was that!

in fact, one other very distinct memory i have is when my mother left me home from a library trip as a punishment. oh god how i cried. it was foggy and cool that day as it often is on the california coast and i was wearing a dress. my mother said i needed to change out of the dress and put on pants, or put pants under the dress before we went. i refused.

even as the compliant middle child i often exercised my right to be a butt head.

and even when she threatened to leave me home and take the others to the library i STILL refused. of course believing she would never make good on the threat. because she knew how much it meant to me, i figured. the rationale of a child. she wouldn't dare. so i stood my ground.

but she did dare. i got left behind and i cried my little library lovin' eyes out in my stupid dress with no pants underneath.

anyhow, my love of the library never waned. i have only come to love it more. i am shameless and indiscriminate when it comes to the shelves. i will go to any section, i will grab whatever looks good. i have very few loyalties, if any, and any book is subject to my whims.

i am insatiable. i can have up to 100 items at a time at my library. and sometimes i have. oh, they used to say it was limitless, with a small laugh as if anyone would ever have "too many" checked out. but oddly enough, they've recently instituted a policy. hmmm. but, no matter, i can go back as many times as i like. casting off and casting on. a never ending river of books.

i have traveled places and if the stay is long enough, i secure a library card there, or make sure there is access for myself and the boybarians. for a funeral in my hometown, for a birth or two in my goddess children's hometown. it doesn't matter the place, the library is an easy constant.

in fact i envy the goddess mother immensely as she lives less than a mile from the very oldest library in her very old state. it's a wonderful little building and so much history. it also doesn't hurt that the librarian there is so very dreamy. good lord, with his accent i just can't place, and his piercing eyes, and his...well, you get the picture.

in fact, when i grow up i want to be an academic librarian. one day, when life settles down, i hope to stop deferring my acceptance to the institution that will train me to do just that, and get down to business.

in the meantime, i satisfy my cravings the best way i know how. primarily by patronizing my own local library. but when it really gets bad, i become nostalgic and pining for libraries i have known, and a dreamer of libraries still yet to discover. often as an insatiable voyeur who just can't get enough.

and it is in that spirit that i bring you this week's moment(s) of zen. Red-Hot and Filthy Library Smut. please enjoy. and for heaven's sake, shhhhhh.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

sillymortalmama and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

okay, so maybe that's an exaggeration. i've had worse days. but seriously, today can suck it. and it's not even lunch time.

first of all i had to call india to get help for french language learning software that's made in the USA. of course i was put on hold. then i had to give them my name. which of course, as you may be able to guess, is always a delightful activity under the best of circumstances. over the phone, over seas, with accents and cultural differences and the whatnot, well it becomes oh so much more.

and yes, there are days i think of changing my name to debbie. just debbie. no middle. no last. and then i'll call myself deb. for short. i can only dream.

okay, so the name shenanigans out of the way, i began to describe the issues we've been having with the software. software, computers, etc. not being my "thing" of course i'm not using all the right "lingo." and since lingo is key, and this isn't charades, though my gesturing on my end of the phone would suggest it was, and my tech help is on the other side of the world this only adds to the merriment. good times. this should be recorded for some show and replayed. it. is. that. amusing.

and just as i'm getting to the crux of my issue, the heart of the matter, and now he is perhaps FINALLY understanding my dilemma, the bugger hangs up on me! GAHHHHHH!

god, this is just like dating in college.

okay okay, in all fairness he probably didn't hang up me as much as there was a problem with the connection. but still. GAHHHHHH!

so then i go back to my REAL activity for today. which is trying to get through to my doctor's office. all. morning. long. i've been calling.

okay, so this is the "free clinic." which, due to the state of affordable, available (or lack thereof) health care in this country, is what is available to the likes of me. and can i tell you this "free clinic" is not "free?" oh, but no they are not! there's some complicated paperwork ridden system which determines how much i have to pay per visit. and let me tell you, it's NOT free.

so, i call and call and call. and good lord you'd think after a long holiday weekend they'd be prepared for the onslaught. oh, but no they are not! no wonder the emergency room is the de facto family doctor. you might have to wait but at least you get in. sometime. maybe. in some cases hopefully before you bleed to death in the waiting room.

and given the general population of the "free clinic," you'd have to guess they don't have the funds to do urgent care or something like that on a long weekend. (or are just too cheap and stubborn. we don't need to name names here) you'd have to guess they are just waiting for 9 am on the following tuesday to call and get in after suffering for some bit of time.

and given that maybe, just maybe, as the administrators of the "free clinic" would "have to guess" that, then perhaps they would plan accordingly. oh, but no they do not! GAHHHHHH!

likely, similar to so many other facilities/organizations/etc. of their nature they are over worked and understaffed. under funded, and under siege by the financially unfortunate.

no wonder the phone has been busy all morning. no wonder all my re-dialing yields me is a busy signal.

i get it. i do.

but i'll tell you what, when you feel like you've been pissing razors for two days solid hearing a busy signal at your doctor's office is the LAST thing you want to hear. whether you "get it" or not.

and that may be TMI for my more delicate readers, but this is my blog and therefore i get to say what i want when i want. so there. and frankly, with what i've spared y'all from over the years you really should be thanking me.

you're welcome.

so there you have it. and it's not even lunch time. and it doesn't even matter if it's "five o'clock somewhere" because i have geography, science, classical writing, and logic yet to cover.

and because the last time i checked i wasn't running the Ernest Hemingway School for Boys, instructing while sober seems like the prudent course to take. GAHHHHHH!


Friday, September 04, 2009

every rose has its thorn.

so all day long today i've been smelling roses. like intensely. smelling. roses. and there are no roses here. not in a vase, not on a bush.

for all you non-catholics, when you smell roses when there aren't actually any roses around it means there's some sort of significant spiritual event occurring or about to occur.

not that i'm catholic, but all the jewish, cancer girl, middle child guilt i possess isn't nearly enough so i like to borrow some from the catholics. one thing leads to another, people talk, you hear things, then before you know it you know about the roses. plus, i dig mary.

so anyway, all morning and into the afternoon i'm smelling roses. and at first it's really pleasant and then i realize OH MY GOD. i'm smelling roses! and i start to get a bit excited. maybe this is my miracle! maybe all this suffering is about to pay off! divine intervention is mine! maybe i should clean the house in case this will involve a crowd soon!

at the very least i should get out of my pajamas.

i wondered what it could be. would it be a sign? the miracle i've been waiting for? maybe i'll be struck dead right here and now and they will make me a martyred saint! god knows (no pun intended) that i certainly have trained for this moment all my life, i might as well get a little something out of it. patron saint of wine as a hobby and denial masked as optimism. nice.

so i tell the husband all about it and he says

"yeah. well, you're not going to get out of it that easy."


i kid. i kid. i do not have dreams of dying anytime soon. even if it meant getting out of the next few tough weeks. even if it meant getting out of organizing and packing up a huge ass house full of STUUUUFFFFFF, including the three HUGE boxes of my ex-husband's crap that i will likely be moving for the 10th time. even still.

so i'm still smelling roses when i go upstairs to get something from my bedside table. and right there is a little bottle of lotion. it's one of those travel bottles from a hotel, and last night i grabbed it from the drawer in the bathroom to put on my feet before bed. and i totally forgot that i did that. of course you know where i'm going with this.

it's rose scented lotion.

and it didn't really smell all that rosy at the time, but upon further investigation, it is SO pungent. and i remember using a LOT last night.


there you have it. my divine intervention? my miracle? my macabre fantasy ticket out of this silly mortal existence is nothing more than a residual, off-gassing smell on my feet.


i knew it couldn't be that easy. sigh. but a girl can dream can't she?

and just because i can, and because it's begging for it, cue the poison...