Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Cutest. Baby. Ever.

Eighteen months is the nicest age. Few tantrums, rampant curiosity, burgeoning adorableness.

She found the hat and put it on herself, and kept it on straight through naptime.

Naturally, we can't keep a hat on her when she's outside for love or money.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Re: Turkey, MIL's, automotive electrical problems

It is done. The day of feasting/gluttony/enforced family togetherness has come to its inevitable conclusion with the usual small triumphs and defeats, and an unusual and sad incident as well.

The whole famn damily (as we like to call it) gathered at our humble abode for the day. The Swamp was looking quite nice if we do say so, clean and somewhat festive, with candles on the mantel and a long table cobbled together from every flat surface we own plus one we borrowed. We don't exactly set a house beautiful table with flowery centerpieces and crap like that but -- and this is a point of some pride with me, so no snickering -- the tablecloths all matched.

All was going well until the Monster In Law arrived. Now, she is a nice woman in her own way. This is code for "huge but well meaning pain in the nether regions." And she doesn't even really mean that well most of the time, but just often enough that no one has yet worked up the nerve to actually strangle her, even lightly and for a short time. Yet.

Despite our record-breaking moist, delicious 23 pound turkey, expertly roasted by Yours Truly, this woman saw fit to bring another 8 pound turkey breast with her, dried and toughened as only she can accomplish. She also brought, oh, nearly every other item we served, but in its quick 'n easy supermarket form: gravy in a jar, instant mashed potatoes, etc. Why did she do this? No one knows... We used none of it. Bewilderment set in early and I soon fell into a sort of trance watching her produce more and more nasty processed food from her capacious bags and boxes. She insisted on bringing the stuffing, thus robbing me of one of the purest joys of Thanskgiving, the doughy deliciousness of stuffing right out of the bird. I could only stand back and gape as she decanted a glutinous mass of doctored Stove Top (a contraction of which might read Stop, which is not a bad idea if you think about it), laid the late, lamented breast atop it, and slopped canned chicken broth over the whole mess like an arsonist with a can of kerosene. Just a couple of hours in a slow oven under a piece of tinfoil and it would be not just soggy and inedible, but warm as well.

The final straw for me was when she spurned my relish tray. That's right: she spurned my relish tray. She had insisted on bringing the pickles and dilly beans and olives, and you know it's much easier to dodge a charging rhino than to stand your ground, so we concurred. But she also brought the World's Ugliest Relish Tray to put it all in, a sort of dull putty colored swoopy thing. We showed her the really very pretty, if slightly smaller, ceramic one given to me by a friend but she scoffed -- and this was the first time I can recall consciously identifying a scoff on the fly, so you can see why I'm so eager to blog it -- and said it wouldn't hold anything.

It was at this point that I had to literally throw my hands in the air, albeit discreetly, and leave the room. I allowed myself a very brief sulk in the bedroom before I abandoned all hope and re-entered the fray.

She was only moderately unbearable the rest of the day, loud and clueless but not malicious, or at least not very. Nevertheless I was not that unhappy about having to leave for work at about 5:30pm. (Holidays pay double, and aren't we all pretty willing to leave a little early once the festivities are over? You can admit it, I won't tell...) The house was loud and hot and overwhelming, and the facility I worked at was cool, calm, overstaffed: heavenly, if you made allowances for its dreary dimness (bonus points for the functioning Coke machine). Why do we house severely mentally ill folk in such drab, depressing surroundings? If I had to spend my life in that place I'd be mentally ill too.

The sad and unusual facet to the holiday was that J's sister Shannon and her husband, who live across the street from us, had to rush one of their Shelties to the emergency vet hospital. The poor little thing didn't make it, I don't know exactly what happened but the dog had been lethargic and vomiting and having diarrhea for a day, maybe a day and a half. Then she just collapsed and couldn't get up. Her heart stopped and they did manage to revive her but the prospects for her were so grim (and extremely expensive, with so little chance of recovery) that they had to make the difficult decision to put her to sleep. J and her sister Amy (the vet) went to the hospital once Amy arrived at our house, and Amy actually helped work on the dog, but to no avail.

Then in her grief Shannon had to come home and spend the rest of the day trying to salvage what she could from the holiday, after trying to explain to her 5 year old son what had happened to the dog. He didn't understand and asked why they would be burying her. It was very sad...

It all brought up how I felt when Beany died. I'm still sad when I think about it but time passes and you start remembering the good things, and it still hurts but not as much. Today in fact I was looking at a chair we'd moved into the family room and thought, I bet Bean would sleep under that chair if he were here. And it made me smile a little. I still see him sometimes, I'll see Slick walk through the kitchen out of the corner of my eye and he'll look like Beany to me and I'll feel a pang. He was the best cat.

Now I'm at work. I'm at a respite house where a person can come spend some time for any number of reasons, like they need a break from their surroundings, they are getting out of the hospital and they need someplace to stay before their housing becomes available, they are not quite stable and need a few more days before they return to their housing from a brief hospitalization, etc. There is only one client here and she is a busy one. She spends a lot of time charging around the house in a moderately disorganized fashion, insisting I wash a comforter from her room, help her with the vacuum cleaner, can she put this plant in her room?

Just in case I managed to hang on to a bit of my own sanity this week, I'm having car trouble tonight. I went to start up the Mazda to go on a Chinese food run for the house and it won't start. We had the alternator replaced just a couple of weeks ago and now it looks as if there's more to the story... I called around and found some friends who can come help me jump start it and follow me home in case of any further problems. I had to spend some time on the phone calling friends until I got ahold of anybody, it being a holiday weekend and all, and the client here got very agitated and angry about this and came to the office and blurted, "I don't know why you are doing this!" I called after her, as she was storming out of the living room, that I was calling my friends to see who could help me with my car trouble tonight, and she said very brightly, "Oh, all right then!" ...Um, do you think she might be a little paranoid?

I learned tonight that when a mentally ill person appears at the ER or in their doctor's office with an increase in symptoms, one of the first things they do is screen them for a urinary tract infection. It turns out that something as simple as a UTI can cause an exacerbation of symptoms. They get some antibiotics into them and things usually settle down a bit soon thereafter. Had no idea.

So, I should be home by 10:30 pm or so. Tomorrow we'll take the Mazda in and have it diagnosed and fixed. All will be well again soon, one hopes. Until the next thing.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Random Thoughts

A large chain of home-improvement stores with the initials HD is the very devil. They want fully one dollar more apiece for an eight-foot pressure treated 2x4 than a local discounted builders' supply. Bastards!

I regularly lock my doors when I am home alone in the daytime just in case a fugitive from the law tries to get in to get my car keys, fresh clothes, and money from me. Ain't happening here, buddy. Try the idiots down the street. Their kids will open the door to anybody.

We opened some (well known brand of interlocking plastic building block toys) for nephew Thomas to play with when he's here after kindergarten. We had bought some on sale for possible future holiday gifts. I became obsessed with sorting them and have built a smallish castle strictly for the sheer fun of it. And it was fun. I'm plotting the next project. We even opened the other container of them and combined them all for maximum buildage. They are sets of 400 basic blocks plus 300 "bonus" blocks which appear to be floor scrapings -- leftovers from very specialized kits. As evidence I offer forth the fact that there are what appear to be two "Han Solo frozen in carbonite" blocks from some variety of Star Wars toy. There are many interesting bits and pieces in there. Oh, to be a kid again... can you say that if you never grew up in the first place? Sure, I may look 38...

Delia is currently leafing through the collected works of Allen Ginsberg. So much for Richard Scarry. Frankly given the choice I'd go for the Scarry books, but there's no accounting for taste.

In tangible news, things are going well and there is hope for the future. Without hope we have nothing, as was pointed out to me at a work orientation the other day. I'm going back as an on-call for some cash money to throw at the credit card monsters, and the mental-health agency I work for makes you sit through all the garbage about mission statement and ethics and crap like that. I find it all a lot of earnest corporate mumbo-jumbo, and happily surfed the net (sanitized though it was with all the filtering etc) in my back row seat -- thank you, oh employment gods, for holding this orientation in a computer room! -- but did come away with one thing I felt was useful: part of the agency's mission is to provide hope, because without it there's no point. People with no hope are desperate and unhappy and tend to off themselves. This would be distinctly counter to the agency's objective, i.e. provide services to the mentally ill, since if the mentally ill all kill themselves we'd be out of a job.

Oh, and plus it would be a real shame to squander all that potential. I mean, some severely mentally ill individuals are excellent consumers of tobacco and coffee products. Seriously, the tobacco and coffee cartels should get in gear and start lobbying for more funding for these people. I've seen schizophrenic clients spend literally their last dime on cigarettes rather than have any for the niceties, such as, oh, socks and underwear, foot fungus remedies, antacids, a movie, lunch out at McDonalds.

But hey, let's not get started.

Must run, fence building materials to be purchased at the local discount supply store. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Bless Me

Bless me, Blogger, for I have sinned. It has been about one month since my last posting.

During that month, my entire life has been turned upside down and left me hanging, with a twist, in the wind. Those of you who know me personally (of the roughly one person that reads my blog, that is) know what it is that happened and how I am personally dealing with it, i.e. not that well some of the time. Suffice it to say that I have good days and bad days, indeed good moments and bad moments sometimes in rapid succession.

The triathlon became a biathlon due to various stress-related reasons that I don't care to go into, and as the professionally taken photos, available off the internet for obscene amounts of money, demonstrate, I was, despite my efforts to disguise it in every way possible via Good Thoughts, expensive running shoes, and nifty spray-on sunscreen, very similar to a well-dressed, sporty rhinoceros riding a bicycle and/or "running."

May I add that the sunscreen is a total boon to the fair-skinned lotion-haters of the world.

I run slower than most people walk. Probably slower than even I walk. And I walk real, real slow.

Now, were I not very preoccupied with the Crisis du Jour, I would be plotting my training schedule for the next year so as to return to Seattle next August a lean, mean, triathlete machine. But the sad truth is that I am pretty well bruised up by this latest skirmish with the Random Brutality of Life (ask anyone from New Orleans about that, not that I'm dealing with the loss of all my worldly goods, but rather of some of my otherworldly ones, you could say) and not giving a fiddler's fart about triathlons in general at this time.

I spend a few minutes a day in blissful forgetfulness of my predicament, the majority of the remains of the day in a state of mild anxiety over same, and a few minutes in hopeless, helpless disillusionment, shock and horror. Over same.

Anybody comments that this is the Human Predicament and aren't we all in the same boat really will be slapped good and hard. This ain't about no humans, it's about me and my family, and I'm starting to get a bit angry as well as devastated. I don't think it's a good combination. So watch your step.

I'm trying to use this whole shitty experience as a way to understand people even more deeply, without sinking to the depths of cynicism, bad behavior, or self-destructiveness that is often the reaction to life-altering bad news. Ask me in a year how that's working out for me. So far it's too close to call.

In other news, the baby is adorable and perfect in every way as always. Completely weaned (oh thank you Lordy) and in every way the light of my life. And tall and thin. Not even 22 pounds and she's at least 32 inches tall. And has some hair!

So life goes on, and I dwell in the house of Uncertainty, for always I suspect.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Egad, redux

Delia is super cute, but we already knew that. We call this "showoff arms," she does this and then races around in circles or some other show-offy behavior to elicit laughs from the peanut gallery. Note the trail of destruction through the house. I personally pick up each one of those myriad bits of plastic about forty times per day. As I am containing one pile, she gleefully runs over to some other bin of toys and up-ends it onto the rug. I understand we are doomed to repeat this until she goes away to college.

We leave on FRIDAY. Today is TUESDAY. Am I ready? God, no.

Today I will spend running errands such as purchasing a runner's hat (like a baseball cap only lighter and meshier and probably exponentially more expensive), an extra tube for the bike tire I'm sure to pop on the triathlon route, and some Gatorade. Also must make umpteenth trip to Homey's for chicken coop hardware. Julianna has been slaving away out there after work and on the weekend, building a really spiffy plywood Taj Mahal for the chicks which now look like miniature chickens and can flap their way out of the box we have been keeping them in. We still suspect that the frizzle is a rooster but it's still too soon to tell for us chicken-keeping noobs. He'll have to actually start crowing and then we'll still wait for him to do it a few times just to be sure.

Ordered some shorts from Mt. Borah and they sent men's instead of women's. They were swell about sending more out UPS 2nd day since I have an event, so be sure to visit them and heap effusive praise upon them as I am sure to do here shortly.

Kenny, our sidingwalla, has completed the siding. That's right, he has completed the siding. We can't believe it either. The patio roof is also complete, all the light fixtures are installed, and the doors are painted and touched-up. He has only to attach the downspouts, do a little touch-up in the eaves and bolster a bit of saggy siding in the gable. And clear all his crap out. Then you'd think he'd be done. Muwahahaha!!!

Funny story. Friend Jeff called (of The Jeffs) and told us how they'd replaced their sliding glass door with a set of French doors... um, but the condo rules state you can't do that, though not in so many words. So the HOA has agreed to replace the doors with a new slider for them. So this means there is a set of seven hundred dollar barely used French doors out there, just drifting aimlessly along, whistling a careless tune... Up for grabs... Yes, folks, just when you thought it was safe to go into the backyard, we're getting French doors!!! We had actually discussed getting some, but decided to do it later since we were already spending money we didn't have. What's another three hundred bucks?! You can't turn down free doors... So Kenny told us to give him a call when we have the doors, or he is perfectly happy to go pick them up for us (he'd do it for free, too, since he is just that kind of guy), and he and Bob will spend a weekend here putting them in and removing the other door. The existing backdoor faces west and heats up all afternoon such that you almost can't touch the doorknob from the outside by 4pm. He'll even fix the siding so you could never tell we removed the door. Included in the price. Wotta guy!

Well, must run. Off to the races. Baby should be up shortly and then it's zoom, zoom, zoom. At least it's not 90 today. Only supposed to be 80ish. Perfect!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


What have I done? Why would I sign up for a triathlon? Who am I anyway? Have I lost what little mind I ever possessed?

One and a half weeks to the big day. Let's see how we're doing, shall we:

Have I done a "brick"? (A brick is where you do two of the events in a row as if you are doing part of the triathlon, i.e. swim and then bike, or bike and then run) ...Erm, no.

Can I run 5k (3.1 miles or thereabouts) without stopping? ...Uh, not really, no.

Have I done a practice swim, or even a dip, into some open water? ... Um ...well ... No.

Do I even know what I'm wearing to the swim? ...Yeah, that'd be another "no."

On the positive side, am now slightly more physically fit than before. Can and do regularly swim 40 laps (36=1/2 mile) in the local pool. Have been known to run 8 whole minutes at a time. Also, have purchased jersey and bicycling shorts for the occasion, so will provide much amusement to those whippet-thin types as I struggle moistly into my togs for the ride, fresh out of the brisk yet refreshing waters of Lake Washington, pasty white thighs quivering with exertion and ... Okay, that's probably enough descriptive prose.

Am kicking into high gear, i.e. obsessing mightily over the details: What food to bring? Which ghastly fluorescent flavor of sports drink? Will probably go in search of appropriate swim gear, or else give up soon and just wear swimsuit with sports bra underneath, thus sealing fate as sporting Dorkiest Triathlon Ensemble Ever Worn. Also guaranteeing self painful welts on bottom from suit leg-holes which are quite, erm, enthusiastically elasticized. Very appropriate for staying in place in the pool, the suit much to its credit never rides up and so I am never required to tug it out of place (here I am thinking with distaste of that suction effect, where you pull on the suit and it just sticks harder to your butt so you have to "crack the seal" and let some air in, as if it wasn't embarrassing enough to have had it stuck up your wazoo in the first place, but now you have to rummage around the leg-hole in front of the whole pool) but I think sitting on it for an hour or so will be a bit uncomfortable. But, I will have sporty new padded bike shorts which will take some of the sting out of it, one hopes. Plus Julianna is lending me her gel seat which has to be cushier than my stock saddle.

Of course, there is no situation which my father cannot complicate further by planning a visit. At least this time he actually called ahead. He's coming on Saturday. I suppose it's time, he hasn't seen the baby since Christmas and has never seen the new house at all. I have decided to show him around the house, let him visit with the baby, then have him sift through the various photos of the baby contained within this computer and we'll make an order of them to get printed up at Costco. You just upload the photos and they print them up, you get to pick them up in an hour or so. This will keep him busy and out of J's hair as she is building the long-planned (talk about obsessing over the details, but that's okay, she's happiest doing so) chicken coop. She does not want "help." Remind me to tell you about how Dad "helped" with the baby's room at the Woodstock house...

Well, must go clean up and get cracking on that list of stuff to bring to the tri. At least then I can forget stuff instead of not knowing I needed it in the first place.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Sad news

My friends Graham and Liz called today from Juneau. Her brother just died in the Persian Gulf, he was in the Navy and he died of a heat-related heart attack. Only 41, and leaves a wife and three little boys behind.

I am so sad for Liz. I have a brother just that age, who also has three little boys, and although he was nearly killed in an accident at 21 and has had three bouts of Bell's Palsy (which ordinarily you get only once in a lifetime) his health is good overall. I can't imagine losing him all of a sudden, out of the blue. I remember how breathtakingly horrible it was to almost lose him twenty years ago -- almost to the day, as it turns out.

Not to bring religion into this but the thought of my cat eventually dying is what made me believe there must be an afterlife, because it seemed impossible that we should be parted forever. It happened to be my cat that started this dialogue in my head because he was the first living being really close to me that I thought might die sooner than later. This was some time ago when he got really thin and I thought he was not long for this world. Turned out he had hyperthyroid and we had him a good while longer. But my point is that it could just as easily have been a person, say Julianna or my grandmother or someone else human and close to me, who had a brush with death and got me on this topic. I want to make it clear that although I felt a strong bond with Beany, I am not the sort of person who doesn't also have strong bonds with humans. For some reason I feel that it is important to differentiate myself from those weird folk who think humans are all crap and animals are where it's at. You know the kind, who have houses full of cats and dogs and treat them like people in little fur suits.

Anyway what I decided about it all at that time, and this has served me well since, was that what harm would it do to believe that we would be reunited one day? If it comes true, yay! My heart's desire, to see and pet my beloved cat, or be with my grandma, or whatever, comes true. Nice thought. And if not, if when we die our eyes just close and our bodies cease function and we don't exist anymore, like a light going out, well, would I ever know the difference? A light turned off doesn't think about anything.

It gives me comfort to think that somewhere my cat is happy, he doesn't feel sick anymore, he has a mouth full of teeth and a healthy heart and he sits in a lap and purrs, and chases bugs, and is content. It gives me comfort to think that when I die all my loved ones will be there, and I can sit in a chair with my cat in my lap and my dog leaning on my leg and just be happy.

There's certainly nothing wrong with that. Call it what you will. But I believe it, and that makes it so.

Of course there's that other possibility that something entirely different happens to us, but since we don't carry around memories and tortured longings from past lives (though I'm sure there are those who would argue about that, to whom I say get a job and buy some real beliefs), whatever it might be would be something outside of our ability to know. I like to think that there's some kind of purpose to all this, so the thought that we would be born into this bittersweet existence only to exit it into an eternity of torment or similar just doesn't jive. Balance in all things... Perhaps in heaven (or whatever you'd like to call it, it's just a word after all) there's happy things like being reunited with your family and friends and pets, and there's also things that suck, like here on earth. I'll take it, whatever it is. What choice do I have?

So Liz, if you read this, I don't know if it's any comfort to you that I think your brother is okay, and one day his family will see him again. It comforts me a little although I did not know him. Hopefully he was doing something that was important to him. And although there's no way for me or anyone to fathom the pain of losing him, I feel for you and your mom and his wife and kids. I'll be thinking of you all.

Calmly terrified

Or is it terrifiedly calm?

Have been obsessing about the triathlon. It's on the 21st. That's less than three weeks.

Am I ready? Uh, no. Am I doing it anyway? Yes. Am I crazy? Oh, most certainly.

So I got road tires put on my mountain bike, will oil it up real good tomorrow, got a rear-view mirror for my helmet -- been meaning to, always had one when I commuted by bike, just too lazy to get me to a bike store. Ordered some bike clothing. Still haven't decided what to wear. Swimsuit? Then when you get out of the water you put on your bike shorts and jersey or shirt or whatever, and wear that when you run. Or there's tri clothes you can get but I don't know that I'm ready for that. I want the clothes to be something I'd actually wear in public later. Tri clothes are like a sleeveless top and bike shorts with a somewhat thinner pad in them so you don't feel so diaper-y when you run. Bike shorts which show off the whole back porch to the world at large.

So I'm thinking, swimsuit, despite concerns about chafing, then baggy bike shorts and a rather unflashy non-descript jersey. But that doesn't address the jogbra thing. I wear this superstrappy industrial strength jogbra. It keeps things where they belong which once you've breastfed for a while is somewhat more meaningful than when you were, for instance, a nubile 21-year-old. But I digress. Anyway, like I want to put that on under my swimsuit or (shudder) over it, and when wet to boot. Humph. Have to think some more. I guess some people swim in just their jogbra and bike shorts but that's way too much exposure of my mayonnaise-white flesh. No, as a courtesy to others I must find another way. I'm taking a poll of the tri club although I don't particularly expect an answer since there have been something like three postings in the past four months.

What else is new? J sprained her wrist opening a jar of caramel sauce. How's that for a sad tale to tell others? "How'd you hurt yourself?" "Um, opening a jar of caramel sauce." To give her some credit, that jar really put up a fight. Then it got worse this morning after she smacked the dog for attacking the cat (the cat was not injured though she was pretty pissed off for most of the day) so she had it looked at and now has a strappy little splint. Delia is quite intrigued by the velcro.

Delia spent her day happily diving onto a filthy dog bed that I had carelessly tossed into the living room while I cleaned the bedroom rug in preparation for the shiny new dog bed I got at Costco yesterday. She is obsessed with pillows, piles of dirty (or clean) clothes, etc -- anything she can throw herself onto. If it's clothing, she also likes to put things over her head as if putting on a shirt, so it's not unusual to see her come tearing out of the bedroom with a bra or some underpants around her neck. Hence my caution around giving her access to dirty clothing.

Back to the salt mines. Must clean kitchen. Argh. And run. Double argh. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

More Goings On

Beany and Slick did this cuddly thing on the bed ONE time and we caught it with the camera! We call it, "Love in the Afternoon."

Picked up Beany's ashes yesterday. There isn't much left when you cremate a 6.5 lb. cat, it turns out. They are in a box in the kitchen right now and I am avoiding looking at the box for the most part. Still quite sad.

Delia is so big. She wiped her face yesterday! When we were cleaning up after lunch. I thought she just wanted to suck on the baby-wipe but first she wiped her face and smiled, and then stuffed it in her mouth. She also used crayons to make little marks on her menu (we were at a restaurant having lunch with Julianna, as I don't normally provide menus at home) before stuffing them in her mouth.

The chickens are getting bigger -- growing in their big-chicken feathers. We think the frizzled one may be a rooster, but the other big dark one may also be too. So they will go back to Amy if that's the case. Can't have roosters in town. Nor do we want to.

Sidingwalla Kenny has thus far failed to turn up except Monday. He called today to say he'd be here tomorrow. Evidently one of his kids broke an ankle, no news yet as to which kid. So when I said, "Home stretch," those of you with experience in these contractor-related matters thought to yourselves, "Only three more months!"

Not much else new. I have not been running like I should, in part because I'm so lazy and it's been bloody hot out, but also because I've been holding out for a time I could go without the baby because it's so much easier -- but I need to stop doing that. All that does is make it easy to put it off until it's too late. I have been doing good at the swimming, got about 25 laps in and would have gone longer but ran out of time. Plus was delayed by three clueless walrus-sized individuals who mistook "lap swim" to mean, "getting from one end of the pool to the other any way we feel like it, slowly and with much chatting." One of them actually got in my face because I failed to adquately kiss her ass about where in the pool she was supposed to "swim." She had tried to rearrange everything after the lifeguard came over and posted signs and told everyone to circle swim: "Well, we're really slow so we'll just stay over here and you guys can have the other two lanes."

Yeah, because this medium lane is really for slow people. It just says medium to keep all the other slow people who aren't you out of the lane. Wink, wink.

I saw the three of them in the locker room afterward. Turns out the one who got in my face is one of those super-entitled people who bosses everyone around and is pushy and confrontational to get her way. The other two were really passive and not a one of the three of them was any too bright. I'm going back to the pool tonight, and if she's there, well, it won't be any damn fun, that's all.

Well, back to the salt mines.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Life Going On

I'll pick up Beany's ashes tomorrow.

Although I am unspeakably sad, and a bit bewildered that the world can go on without Beany in it -- (to give myself a little credit, I felt this same way when my Grandmother died, so it's not like I'm unable to connect to humans -- just in case you were worried) I'm not crying constantly anymore, only about once a day, usually right when I go to bed and there's nothing to distract me from that awful moment of losing him, of his limp body on the table and no life left in him at all. It just doesn't seem like it could happen, let alone did happen.

I guess that's the thing about death. You can't wrap your head around it. No wonder people go a little batty when people they love die. It's incomprehensible.

I finished the bulk of his memory book, it's mostly just a glorified photo album with captions and stories about him. Well, how he came to me, the great Wintertime Adventure of '96, and how he died. Other stories will come about and I will further embellish the book when I have time, hopefully this week.

Other than that, things are normal. Our sidingwalla Kenny has been here, we have a gloriously brick-red front door, and the gutters are painted, and the patio roof is half done. Some siding to be put on the side and back of the house. Home stretch.

Delia drinks through a straw! And ate with a stubby little toddler fork today! Sure, it was about three noodles out of an entire meal, but it's a start!

She played in the pool twice today in addition to her shower. I think we have a waterbaby on our hands.

Must hold down couch now, feeling a bit unwell, think it was some questionable blueberries a friend brought over. The season was so wet that they mold up fast, they were not questionable on Saturday but by now have gotten a bit mushy. I ate a few this morning. Nobody else had any and nobody else is having troubles so I think that must have been it. Argh.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Heavy Sighs

All day, heavy sighs and bouts of weeping. I suppose this is normal. I know he was "just a cat" but those of you who understand how I feel, I don't need to explain it to, and those who don't, I couldn't explain it in a million years.

I can't believe I'll never dish him up some canned food at night or listen to him yowl for no good reason in the wee hours. He won't head-butt me or try to bite my nose. I won't get to pick him up and ruffle his leopard-spotty belly, or make fun of him for having Saggy Belly Fur.

I also won't have to shove a pill down his throat or clean up barf, but I'd do it every day if it would bring him back.

But it won't, and I'll just keep heaving the sighs and feeling the Beany-shaped hole in my chest until enough time goes by to make the sadness fade away.

I'll get his ashes on Tuesday. I plan to bury them under something in the yard, we have a lot of things to plant, a hydrangea maybe. Something he'd have liked to lay under and keep his eye on doings in the yard. The yard I was looking forward to letting him wander in once we got it fenced. He'd have been safe and would have been able to bask in the sun and mutter at the birds again.

The title to the previous post, Digging a Ditch, is a Dave Matthews Band song.

Run to your dreaming when you're alone
Unplug the TV and turn off your phone
Get heavy on with digging your ditch
Cause I'm

Digging a ditch where madness gives a bit
Digging a ditch where silence lives
Digging a ditch for when I'm old
Digging this ditch my story's told

Where all these troubles weigh down on me will rise
Run to your dreaming when you're alone
Where all these questions spinning round my head will
die, will die, will die

Run to your dreaming when you're alone
Unplug the TV and turn off your phone
Get heavy on with digging your ditch
Cause I'm

Digging a ditch where madness gives a bit
Digging a ditch where silence lives
Digging a ditch for when I'm through
Digging this ditch I'm digging for you

Where all these worries wear down on me will rise
Where all these habits pull heavy at my heart will die

Run to your dreaming when you're alone
Not what you should be or what you've become
Just get heavy on with digging your ditch
Cause I'm

Digging a ditch where madness gives a bit
Digging a ditch where silence lives
Where all these disappointments that grow angry out of me will rise
Will die, will die, will die

Run to your dreaming when you're alone
Unplug the TV and turn off your phone
Get heavy on with digging your ditch

I used to listen to this song a lot when I was really stressed out, around the time I quit my job, I was really anxious and depressed, and it made me feel better somehow.

Here's another:
Barenaked Ladies, "Light Up My Room"

A Hydro-field cuts through my neighborhood
Somehow that always just made me feel good
I can put a spare bulb in my hand
And light up my yard

Late at night when the wires in the walls
Sing in tune with the din of the falls
I'm conducting it all while I sleep
To light this whole town

If you question what I would do
To get over and be with you
Lift you up over everything
To light up my room

There's a shopping cart in the ravine
The foam on the creek is like pop and ice cream
A field full of tires that is always on fire
To light my way home

There are luxuries we can't afford
But in our house we never get bored
We can dance to the radio station
That plays in our teeth

If you question what I would do
To get over and be with you
Lift you up over everything
To light up my room

A Hydro-field cuts through my neighborhood
Somehow that always just made me feel good
I can put a spare bulb in my hand
And light up my yard

Light up my yard
Lights in my yard
Light up my yard

The lyrics don't seem to pertain to anything specific but it's just the best song... It's my Digging A Ditch for right now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Digging a Ditch

Today started out pretty normal. It didn't end up that way.

This post will suck in places. It's about the finest cat that ever drew a kitty breath, in my eyes anyway. Beany. He entered my life late one July night in 1989, a frightened stray on a busy street. I sat on the steps of my building waiting for his people to find him but they never came, and he was so clearly desperate that I took him in. He was young, he was stripey, he was Beany.

Beany started getting really thin a couple of years ago, and we found that in addition to his thumpy heart murmur and his really bad teeth he also had hyperthyroid. So enter the Little White Pill, twice a day. This kept his thyroid from being so hyper, and he gained a little weight back though he was never so hale and hearty as before. We knew his kidneys were probably going bad a while ago, he drank so much water and peed gallons all the time. But he kept eating, and drinking, and we kept stuffing the pill down his throat. His quality of life seemed okay.

About a week ago he started looking a little peaky even for him, and by yesterday he was so thin he started to look actually emaciated. I could tell he was dehydrated, his skin tented up and didn't snap back when you pinched it. I wasn't having to fill the water glass so often for him. He wasn't eating that much, though he seriously grooved on the bbq chicken we had last night. I am so glad I gave him some, he scarfed it right down and laid down for a nap looking very satisfied.

I took him to the vet today and they found he'd lost more than a pound in less than a month -- and he didn't have a pound to spare. They kept him while they ran blood tests, and I went home to wait, and a couple of hours later I got the news that I knew all day that I would hear: there was nothing they could do, and I should seriously consider putting him to sleep because he was already that bad off.

So I cried a few more buckets to add to the ones I cried anticipatorily on the way home from dropping him off at the vet already, and Shannon came to watch Delia, and Julianna and I headed to the vet. We sat with him and he purred and purred and even was cuddly -- this from a cat that hated cuddling though he was affectionate -- and finally the vet came in with an assistant and it was over in two minutes.

My beautiful, beautiful cat is gone and I don't know what to do.

Sixteen years is a long life for a cat. There were times when he was all I had; I was estranged from nearly everyone in my family for some time. He was always there. I was so attached to him. He stuck with me through endless moves -- something like 13 -- and tolerated other cats and dogs in the household, though sometimes not that graciously. I got him when I was 21. I'm 37 now. I can't believe it. That I'm so old, that he's so gone.

I knew that I would be very, very sad when this day came. I didn't expect it to be so soon, so sudden, so sad.

Go sit in Grandma's lap, Beany. God needs a break. :)

I miss you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


We have chickens. And they have us. Aren't they cute?

One of the darker ones has frizzly feathers. The darker ones are larger than the yellow ones. They are all just as stupid as can be, being chickens and all, but so very cute. My brother and his family have a flock and a few roosters are allowed to run free, and one of them (named Brewster) comes running when you call him. I mean he races to the door from wherever he is, with only brief interludes of getting stuck in the corner of the fence or whatever. I did say they were not smart, right?

Currently they live in a box in the office, pretty lush accomodations for chicks I must say, with lots of fluffy pine shavings and a heat lamp. Well, it's just a clip lamp like you would use in your garage or something, but it works just fine. We are quite vigilant that it stays put so that we have no fire hazard -- sister Amy's barn burned down completely owing to the heat lamp catching it on fire... It was a very old dried up tinderbox of a barn and it went up like flash paper. They lost all their baby chicks, ducklings and goslings. Rather than have to deal with the whole death issue, they told their 4-year-old son that the firemen took them home with them since there wasn't a barn to keep them in anymore. So when they got new ones he worried "Will the firemen come get them too?" Because they hadn't rebuilt the barn.

These chicks are from Amy's flock. Julianna drove an hour and a half each way to pick up four dollars worth of baby chicks... :) She loves them.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Slogging Along

Ran today completely solo for the first time ever. Note that there are so many milestones: ran in park with baby, ran in park with dog, ran out of park with dog. Now ran out of park with neither dog nor baby. Actually ran as described in the program, taking brisk 5-min. walk to start, then ran 90 sec, walked 90 sec, ran 3 minutes, walked 3 min., then repeated run/walk regime. Much shorter than dragging sorry ass on the long schlep to the park to run in cloistered shame. But park is shady... Ah well, it was early enough to not get roasted.

It's damn hot here. Not that humid but just damn hot. We have A/C. We rock! But I drive the Vanagator which has no A/C. So we don't go anywhere after 11am on days like these, if we can help it. I reserve the Mazda if I know we're driving somewhere far on a hot day, but it's hardly worth all the whining... Just kidding! But I'd whine too if I thought I'd be sitting on the slab inching along in a sweltering hotbox coming home from work on a hot afternoon. The freeway here is insane. By local standards.

Anyway the run was swell, after a fashion: I did not fall to the ground begging to die, despite having to run three whole minutes in a row, twice.

We have chickens. Four chicks, fluffy little balls of peeping wonderfulness, each capable of excreting every quarter-hour, not just on the floor of their pen but in the water dish and food dish as well. And presumably on each other though I have not witnessed this personally as of yet. However, I'm sure it won't be long before I do.

Our largest and least intellectual cat, Slick, has taken offense at the usurpage (is this a word?) of his throne room. The chicks live in the office for now, til they are old enough and we have a coop to put them in. Slick sits outside and tries to claw the door open, meowing piteously all the while. He has seen the chicks and would very much like to eat them, but we are so mean that we will not allow this.

In other news, I have read the new Harry Potter book and declare it to be quite absorbing. I only wish the last one was out already. I won't tell you who dies unless you request it.

Her Majesty is sleeping, a decently long nap for once. She's been so cranky... She's learned to trail a string behind her so that Slick will give chase, so we can count on her doing laps around the house at least twice a day, squealing in delight.

Yesterday she fouled her swimming pool. We will be using swim diapers from here on out, even in the wading pool at home. :)

Friday, July 15, 2005

Swim Swam Swum

Must be able to swim 36 laps of the pool in a row -- no clinging to side of pool gasping -- to do triathlon. Or else consider wearing a flotation device, causing self horror and shame. Like when you were the last kid on the block with training wheels. (Note: this never happened to me, I learned to ride a bike without them.) Or if you had to wear headgear to school. (That really did happen but not often.)

So in the pool I was accustomed to doing a few laps, then kicking a lap or two with a kickboard, etc. But yesterday I did 18 laps stopping only to drink a little water or de-fog my hateful goggles. I'm starting to think this Can Be Done. Ideally should swim another 10 or 12 laps in the pool to accomodate for open water conditions, so I will be working on 48 laps. Gaah!

Ran in park tonight. Uneventful. Feet are not happy with running but it's okay, they're not killing me, and oddly enough it gets better the farther I run in any given session -- they start out really sore and by the time I'm done they are down to a dull roar. Before I got orthotics they hurt much worse than this all the time, such that I would get home from work and not eat dinner because it meant getting up and walking into the kitchen. So I can take it.

Ran in park on Weds. too, which was eventful in that I took Hope, the smaller and more nervous of our two slothful hounds. She would bite if provoked, so I feel good about taking her when I'm alone out in the wooded park. Anyway Julianna reminded me at the last minute to take some bags for dog (dude!). So I took one. Yeah, I needed three. And I had one. Which I tied into a knot after the first squat on the way to the park. So imagine my delight when she did it again, in the street -- in the center of an intersection, no less -- and I had to untie the knot and scoop up yet more poop without getting any on my hands. I was even further delighted to find the park has no trash can. So I left it under a tree at the entrance to the park, and forgot to retrieve it on the way out because I was all preoccupied with running in public.

She did it one more time in the actual park, for good measure I suppose, but it was a tiny amount and off the path so I let it lie, having no bag handy.

I did fetch the offending bag home today, it was still where I had left it and none the worse for its 48 hours alone. I want to be a good dog-owner citizen, to make up for the fact that I use Wee Wee Pads in front of the litterbox...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I Should Charge for This

Ran this evening out where people could see me. Granted, it was at like 9pm in a burb hood where everybody is in front of the tv by 7 sharp, so the chances of anyone actually seeing me were not great, but nonetheless, I overcame my paralyzing self-consciousness and joggled my huge tracts of land out in front of God and country. Yay, me.

Forty days til the triathlon. Gaaah. What was I thinking?! And why wasn't I training more seriously til now? Clearly I am a total moron.

But, in forty days I'll be a moron triathlete, so there's that.

Rad Fae

I was just reading a blog linked to another blog I read... Two degrees of blog separation. Anyway it was well written and interesting, particularly the parts about the blogger's Radical Faerie thing. It's all about rites and rituals and being a gay guy at a festival wearing a dress and energy pathways and so forth. In a way I find it kind of laughable, but I'm sure he finds my spirituality laughable too, so no harm done. I actually felt pretty accepting of it, in a kind of snorting behind my hand way. :)

I think in a way I am kind of envious of the whole "my life is so different (and therefore more interesting) than everyone else's" thing since my life is in fact a lot like most people's, except for the whole gay thing, which has very little impact on my life other than I live with a woman and can't get married legally. I mean, I don't march in parades, I'm not particularly politically active, I don't do a lot of gay-specific things. I live in a burb and complain about my contractor. I don't sing opera, hike the Himalayas, etc etc.

But, there it is. I don't find my life boring, though at times I'd like to do some more exciting things -- travel, mostly -- and I don't feel more than the passing need to call attention to myself by doing/saying/wearing outrageous things for the most part. I guess it could be worse.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Cheap Thrills

Let me just say: Oregon fireworks SUCK. No wonder everybody sneaks across the state line to Washington to buy them off the reservation or at the numerous fireworks stands and tents. Which take credit cards and are even labeled, "Illegal Fireworks (in Oregon)."

In Oregon, if it shoots into the air is is not permitted to explode, and if it explodes, it is not permitted to shoot into the air. This means that for nearly my entire life, lo these many, many years, I have been under the impression that fireworks were just spinny flashy things on the ground, or fountains of sparks, or things that popped or whistled. But not both.

We were told that this neighborhood sounds like a practice range on the Fourth, and they were not kidding. We sat in the back yard last night at dusk and tonight also, and were rewarded with free fireworks displays in nearly every direction, courtesy our neighbors. We may have a party next year and invite our similarly cheapskate friends over -- you don't have to drive anywhere (other than to our house of course), no parking woes, no sitting around surrounded by beer-swilling loudmouths, and no waiting in endless lines to pee or buy a snack. We have two bathrooms! And rarely drink anything stronger than French roast.

Delia obliged us by sleeping through the whole thing despite the fact that our neighbors two houses down shot off tons of loud fireworks in this direction (down the street rather than the other way which would have been on the curve and at someone's house). We have a HEPA filter and both bathroom fans going full bore to dampen the noise a bit which helps I think. Plus she is a heavy sleeper at night, and the siding guy has been hammering on the house for a month so she's kind of over the whole loud noise thing. :)

Let's see if it works, I tried to upload an image rather than go through Picasa which has become an albatross around my neck these days. It tries to take over the whole computer I swear... "May I detect some media for you?" Bugger off....

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Quality of Life

First of all: RIP, Lumpy. Our beloved, belumped goldfish has shuffled off this mortal coil. He had that godawful tumor, and it just kept getting bigger, and finally yesterday it sort of exploded. And then we found him in Acute Piscine Distress there in the tank, sort of folded over a spear of whatever that plant is we have growing in there, and shortly thereafter he ceased movement altogether and expired.

He was a happy fish, despite his challenges, and we will miss him.

Once we have boiled his gravel and rinsed his plants, we will find a new resident for his tank. Life goes on.

In other life, comma, quality of, comma, not otherwise specified issues: one of the cats, the most geriatric of all, Beany (age 16), has decided that the area directly in front of the litterbox is where all the really cool cats pee.

I have to say I don't quite agree with him, and were he a younger and more manually dexterous cat I would have pressed the roll of paper towels and the bottle of Stink-B-Gone into his hairy little paws and made him clean up the mess. Which naturally pooled beneath the laundry machines, necessitating the moving of both thereof, in the smallest laundry room imaginable. Oh, the horror.

Now, however, I am back to my usual jolly self, skipping to and fro in my flower-patterned housedress humming a merry tune. Why? Because, friends, I have discovered the magic of the Wee-Wee Pad. (Okay, I don't buy the brand name, but Wee-Wee Pad is way funnier sounding than "whichever pad is cheapest.") This is a puppy-training aid in the form of an absorbent pad with a waterproof-backing, about 22 inches square, and available at your more savvy mega-pet-supply-barns. At a mere 30 cents a pop when bought in bulk, these little darlings have so improved my outlook on life in general and the laundry room specifically, such that I am considering taking out newspaper ad space to thank the company personally. You just place one like so, in front of the litterbox, and once it is soiled, voila! You just roll it up and toss it, place another down, and you're on your way!

Disclaimer: ...Yes, I realize that disposable pet pads are on par with disposable diapers inasmuch as those of us using them are killing the environment with landfills chock full of nonbiodegradable convenience items -- but if you'd spent as much time in our itty-bitty stuffy little utility room, shoving laundry machines around in pools of crystallizing cat pee when you had way rather been watching "NCIS," you'd be hotfooting it down to the local We Be Pets 'N Stuff just like I was. End disclaimer.

Back to computer gaming! I have so earned it by entertaining the small one while the wife snoozed away her afternoon in blissful napitude. She had a headache... Now I have one... is this fair?!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Can't Run, But I Can Walk Much Faster Than This...

Alert the media! Went "running" again today. This makes three times in one week! Well, in eight days. Am supposed to be doing this 3x/wk but it's been rainy and the jogging stroller isn't one of those swanky ones with a canopy. It's a hand-me-down, and borrowed to boot, and therefore perfect in every way, i.e. we didn't have to pay for it, so believe me I ain't complainin'. Delia now realizes when I'm gone and gets all teary and whiny so I'm not that inclined to ask Shannon to watch her.

In my self-conscious fat-ass wobbly runner state of mind I'm still hiking to the park and running only within the blissfully concealing confines of the woods, but I have decided that soon enough I have to get over this as I'll be running in front of, and indeed with, thousands of others in the triathlon, so beginning with the sixth workout I'll start with the brisk 5 min. warmup walk and then run the rest of the way to the park. Then run the rest of the workout within the park, and walk home. This way I'll only go around the park loop once, and save some time with all that walking to/from, which takes about 15 min. each way. Anybody wishing to ridicule me for jiggling my way down the road can kiss my shiney metal ass. Chances are good anyone not thinking strictly sympathetic or encouraging thoughts about the fact that I'm out there doing it is probably a big time jerk anyway and doesn't deserve a second of my precious ass-wobbling time.

In other news... Delia is still adorable, in an impish red-headed extremely busy kind of way. She's learning how to express herself via kicking when picked up and removed from objects she would rather continue exploring, i.e. broken glass, toilets, the litterbox, etc. She's extremely tall... and did I mention adorable? She's also adorable too. As well. And cute.

The siding is nearly complete! I know, you're thinking, "That can't be, it hasn't been six months and cost three times as much as estimated." Well, while it has run a bit over the initial best-case-scenario type wishful-homeowner-thinking time frame, it will still come in on budget. Except the added expense of the patio roof, which will be done soon also. Well, "soon" is a relative term. But we did find the nicest, most honest and non-gouging siding contractor ever, so it's been a positive experience overall. And it looks good too! We even have a swanky new lighted doorbell button and he's put one of the equally swanky new outdoor light fixtures up just so we could see it. He's that kind of guy. He's starting tomorrow on the faux cedar shake product which will go in the gables. I think it looks pretty convincing considering that no cedar shakes were harmed in the making of this siding, aside from the ones they used to make the mold I suppose.

J is doing well, not much to report as she asks that I do not include personal type news in my blog. So I won't mention anything about any bad habits she may or may not be attempting to eradicate, pharmaceuticals she may or may not be consuming with regards to same, or mild attention deficit problems that she may or may not have which the non-aforementioned pharmaceuticals may or may not also be helping with. :)

My wonderful cousin Heidi is coming tomorrow to spend a few days with us, bringing along either both of her daughters or both of her daughters plus her husband also. It'll be a surprise! Guess I'd better get out to the garage and look for that air mattress. We don't have the basement that sleeps six like we used to. Anyway we will spend our halcyon days goofing off going to Portland on the Max (commuter train) and harrassing J on her lunch break. And shopping probably. And eating things that strictly speaking I should not be eating. Because my ass is big enough.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Delia Luvs Chickens Posted by Hello

And the seismometers go crazy!

No, it's not an earthquake. It's me pounding the forest floor into submission. I've been "running." I am using the "Couch to 5k" running plan. So far it's okay, I have not yet collapsed, spasmed, or died, so I guess I'll keep doing it.

As mentioned previously, I walk to the local wooded area which has a convenient loop of trail running through it, smooth and wide enough for the borrowed jogging stroller to manage quite easily. There I "run" where a girl and her ass can have a little privacy. It's ever so slightly hilly which keeps it from being as intensely boring as it could be. The baby doesn't seem to mind although it's a long stretch in the stroller and she gets pretty antsy by the end. Next time I'll take a ball or something and we'll stop in the grassy park on the way home for a little horseplay.

The siding continues to appear on the house, maddeningly slowly but appearing nonetheless. Our siding guy is perhaps the kindest individual on the planet and accomodates the baby's nap schedule, so he can expect a hefty tip when this is all over. In cash.

Naturally we've thrown a monkeywrench into the works by deciding now is the right time to put up a covered patio area, which would have to be attached to the house. This really is the right time but we coulda thought of this sooner I think. Anyway he's leaving the upper part of the back wall of the house un-sided until we decide, which is not a problem for him. He still has the side and front and gables to do.

Well, off to finish up my dreary household tasks and get ready for bed. I'm so tired. Yesterday I woke up at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep, so I'm still catching up from that.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Hell is made of cinderblocks

Julianna and a friend Little Jeff (everybody we know is named Jeff, esp. the gay guys) spent the weekend constructing a massive trench in the back yard. Eventually, and I use "eventually" in the sense of "God I hope it's soon," this monstrosity will be filled with topsoil and then planted with ornamentals of various types. Seriously, this thing is 2 cinderblocks high in the front, which is sixteen inches, (and 3 in the back just to conceal more of the ugly wood fence), six feet wide from front to back, and (brace yourself) forty seven feet long.

How many cinderblocks might it take to build the Great Wall of Vancouver, you ask? Well, I can answer that. One hundred ninety-seven. I know this not because I counted each one as it was placed, tempting though that was, but because we had 210 of them delivered to the driveway. That was cool -- Lowe's sends a truck with canvas sides and a really nifty all-terrain forklift hanging from the back, and this big burly broad with a volleyball-team ponytail (if you know what I mean, wink wink) jumps out and climbs into the forklift and whips those pallets of cinderblock right off the truck and into the driveway, lickety damn split. Our neighbor Dave will be relating the story to other neighbors in four-part harmony with diagrams and 8x10 color glossy photographs for years to come.

Anyway there were 13 left over.

I personally had to shift only about ten of them, because I was watching Delia pretty much the whole weekend. She's at that independent forehead-smashing-into-cinderblock age wherein she spends all her time seeking out peril and facing it head-on.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


How cool is it that not only does my Mom get to go see Macchu Pichu but that she can also ping me on our direct-connect walkie talkie phone feature from LIMA, PERU?!

Nextel, I freaking love you. Love. You.

Air travel freaks me out these days so any chance to be in touch is a good thing. The world is so uncertain...

Monday, May 23, 2005

Do they make jogbras for your ass?

Right. Went for a walk/run today. Or a walk/"hurry." I don't think it qualifies as running if you are going almost the same speed as you were when you were walking.

As I was feeling self-conscious, I walked to the park which is heavily wooded and ran within the heavily wooded parts where nobody could see me. I'm sure the neighbors noticed the wildlife stampeding away as I thundered through the forest like an arthritic rhinoceros... Anyway I "ran" in 30-second to 1-minute increments within a lot of huffy-puffy walking. There was sweating. There was panting. There was a whole lot of jiggling, especially in the back 40. See, this is why I wanted to run where nobody could see me: as a courtesy to others.

Anybody who has met me can confirm that, ahem, Baby Got Back. And I can't blame it on the actual baby, either. I am the same size now as before getting pregnant, although some parts have settled during shipping. Anyway I got this super-strappy double-reinforced flying-buttressed running bra to keep the upper parts from wobbling, but how to keep the rest of the island from collapsing into the sea? It feels like my butt is going to calve off like an iceberg, which would be totally okay with me if it could really happen, but since it's not likely to, I would like someone to draft up a sort of elastic sling I can wear under my shorts. Sure, sure, I could order up one of those "slimming" mummy garments from the Carol Wright catalog (along with some marital aids since I'm ordering and all, wink wink), but I need something a little more comfortable which will allow me to actually breathe while running. Or hurrying. So, you enterprising types get on that and get back to me, mmkay?

Delia of course came along in the jogging stroller which we borrowed from J's sister across the street. She was happy to munch crackers and guzzle from her sippy cup, watching the scenery inching by.

Now I am busy tidying up and getting dinner ready like a good little Suzy Homemaker. Except that I'm really blogging. Ha! Some hausfrau I am.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Happy Birthday to Pinky

Had Delia's party today. Invited more or less everyone we know who I thought might be mildly interested in attending, and more than a few of them showed up! So between our families and friends, we had quite the gang.

My Mom
My brother, his wife, three of their sons ages 9, 7, and 4
My Aunt and her son age 16 (Mom's side)
My cousin, her two daughters ages 15 and 11, and the daughter age 2.5 of another cousin (all Dad's side),
My Grandmother (Dad's side)
Old friend and her daughter age 6, son age 14 months
J's Mom & Dad
J's sister, her husband, son age 5, daughter age 5 months
J's other sister, her husband, son age almost 5, daughter age 21 months, daughter age 9 weeks
J's yet another sister
J's old friend and her son age almost 2
Pastor Dave and Marie (aka Mrs. Pastor Dave) from church
Old friends Mark and Eric

Mmmm, I think that's it. We had kids everywhere. Not counting anyone over the age of 11, we had 13 of them. Delia toddled around after the other kids and was charming and sweet, and all of the kids were pretty well-behaved.

Delia declined her usual afternoon nap so was completely exhausted by the time it was all over, and crashed hard when I went to put her down for the night.

She got many lovely gifts: doll and doll buggy, books, clothes (some handmade by my Mom), toys. And an electronic drum set! From J's sister Amy and her family, a retaliatory response to a drum set that J and I gave their son for Christmas 2003. It was a little drum filled with other instruments -- tambourine, maracas, toy trumpet. They gleefully gave Delia a Leapfrog Learning Drum for Christmas as a warm-up for the day she could handle a larger drum... Which evidently is now.

We put her in the highchair with a cake of her very own to maul, which could have gone better. We had put a dinky little birthday candle in it and were singing Happy Birthday to her and despite my (apparently ineffectual) efforts, her little hand shot out and grabbed that candle. She got a bit of hot wax on her finger which resulted in much wailing... I felt so bad. Once we got it cooled off and I sneaked a smidgen of frosting into her mouth, she calmed down and got to work on the cake. Really she didn't eat that much of it, just a bit of frosting, but took her time and seemed content. And, um, did you know that green frosting stains skin? At any rate, she was a great little birthday girl and enjoyed her day I think.

I am so beat. Time for bed, methinks.

Friday, May 20, 2005


Got an email from a friend stating that she had read my blog (since I outed myself as a blogger) and decided to try it out just for grins, despite some serious doubts as to its worthiness as a pursuit. Does the world need another blog? No, probably not. And I don't need a (fancy trinket which changes regularly but often concerns diamonds and platinum), but I still want one, and that doesn't make me a bad person. It's a blog, not a fashion statement. Call it a blanket phone call to anyone who cares to listen. It's like one of those 3am shows on non-commercial radio, some chump playing you his favorite (usually obscure and often really, really boring) music and expanding on topics nobody is interested in but him (and maybe you), but you don't have to stay up all night to hear it. Who does it hurt? No one. Who does it help? Maybe the chump. Maybe you. Maybe nobody. There are worse vanities. Here was my reply, in part:

FWIW, I blog mainly as a way to keep from going insane, and not because I believe anyone needs to see my drivel. It's like DIY spam... I'm not nearly as hip and swell as a person really ought to be to keep a blog. My blog is not especially thought-provoking and serves mainly to reveal my self-centeredness, my naivete, my ignorance and my severe case of utter dullness. So really it's kind of a self-bullying exercise. :)

... I went on to state that I was so average that it pleased me a little to think that anyone ever read it or was mildly entertained by it.

I was thinking earlier about how having a blog is like having a sort of censored version of your diary laying around. You probably wouldn't discuss that pesky foot fungus or mysterious rash on a blog (vs. a diary), but you may write about things that not all your friends know about you. Like, a couple of friends now know that we go to church. GASP!

But they still remain friends, thus far anyway. Wonder if they are waiting for us to pull some born-again move -- "Would you like this badly written and terribly acted videotape of the Greatest Story Ever Told, free of charge and with no strings attached?" Not to worry. Not all Christians are weirdos. For more on this, read Ann Lamott's Traveling Mercies.

Well, I'm in trouble once again. Must finish cleaning. Wife about to start beating me. And I would deserve it. Party tomorrow and house so close to being clean...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Old People Have Needs Too

Bet you thought I'd be writing about my own needs, but you're wrong. And I'm not old!

Julianna ended up on The Mailing List From Hell recently by ordering plants off the internet. So today we received a Carol Wright Gifts catalog. You know, the funky catalog with all the goofy shit in it like "Slimming Shapers (tm)," the allegedly comfortable and lightweight garment that looks like an elastic mummy costume and is meant to smooth out those "unsightly lumps and bumps." They show saggy before and perky after shots of roly-poly middle aged women whose lumps and bumps are to the naked eye less noticeable in the after shots but who are probably hypoxic since they certainly can't breathe swaddled in that tight gidle. You know this catalog -- chenille bedspreads, country lace curtains, kitchen rugs featuring your choice of lighthouse or barnyard scenes, vinyl hanger covers, and (among my favorites) "Spring Fancy Clamdiggers."

Some of the items are rather intriguing, or at least would seem to fill a need you may not be able to fill elsewhere -- I don't know of anyplace else you might be able to get a sturdy, polystyrene shelf for the top of your tv, with adjustable legs, to hold your vcr or similar. Nor a slug & snail trap "shaped like an adorable frog." Or -- and try to deny you want one, go ahead -- a "Tighty Whities Farting Key Chain."

But where it gets interesting is a page near the back. They segue into it by having some fairly benign personal care products on the page preceding. Hair growth cream, ear wax removal tool (lighted, no less), fingernail strengthener polish. Then they hit you with -- gasp! -- the Sexual Aids and Videos.

I dig the three different types of vibrators, two of which feature photos of women using them to "massage" their neck areas. (Good heavens, where do they get models for this? "Okay, now, use the vibrator to massage your neck. That's what it's for, after all. And try to look insipid!") They evidently "stimulate circulation and soothe tired, aching muscles on your neck, back, shoulders, arms and legs," and to suggest otherwise brands you as the perverted sicko that you are! For shame!

One, however, actually comes right out and states graphically that it is designed to serve "dual pleasure points," and is shaped accordingly. Probably couldn't really be coy about something that specific and obvious.

So my theory, and this both amuses and saddens me, is that a person could be in deep denial that they were purchasing a marital aid. See, it's for my neck! But you know that they would be stocking up on batteries and checking the mail twice a day for four to six breathless weeks, then drawing the curtains and taking the phone off the hook when it finally arrived in its plain brown wrapper...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Twenty YEARS?!

Okay, a twenty year high school reunion is something that happens to Other People, old people, for instance my brother. Whose hair is almost entirely white and who has huge, knobby hands like a geezer.

But, um, suddenly I'm not just fat, but evidently old too.

As in, I'm on the committee for my 20 year high school reunion.

And weird, weird things are happening. Like, my mama's-boy high school boyfriend is supposedly on the committee too. (It turns out he isn't, or not to his knowledge anyway.) So I swallowed my pride and did the hard thing which was to email him and apologize for being a total bitch to him when we parted company, in freaking 1987 for God's sake, and not only did he email me back right away, it wasn't to tell me to f*ck off and die, it was to say "Ah, I was an ass too and it doesn't matter and how the hell are you?"

Oh. My. God. I have been carrying around such guilt and regret -- I was such a cow to him, and so had my head way up my ass. I mean, don't get me wrong, we needed to split up and bad, but I was a jerk and as a result lost not only what friendship I might have had with him (not much, realistically) but also with my best friend Allison. Who had the nerve to rat me out to him for stepping out without first decently breaking it off with him, and then the unmitigated gall to act as if I -- gasp! -- deserved it! And was even willing to -- gaaaah! -- carry on as if I was a human being allowed to make mistakes!

For this, naturally, I chewed her out and wrote her off. Hey, I did say my head was way up my ass, right?

And now he's sending me a pleasant email and acting all nice.

Wonders never cease.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I'm baaaaack

Phoenix was fun, although the nasty stomach bug I got right as I returned home was not so great. Delia is a great traveler and has been sleeping practically non stop, catching up on all the missed naps. She had the nerve to fall asleep on the plane as we took off for home, slept an hour and a half -- and I'd packed all my reading materials since I'd had no time at all to look at them on the way to Phoenix.

Man, they have some weird shit in that Skymall catalog, that's all I'm going to say.

Friend Patti sent me this, I don't generally send them out to friends but I did return it to her and will post it here. Feel free to comment with your answers!

1. LAST MOVIE YOU SAW IN A THEATER: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? The Nanny (the one about a New York nanny, nothing to do with Fran Drescher) -- it's supposed to be funny but I mostly find it kind of sad.
3. FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Scrabble, Monopoly in a pinch although it brings back memories of playing with my mercenary brother and living in fear of landing on any of his properties which naturally was most of the board, and all heavily hotel'ed.
4. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? Smithsonian, National Geographic
5. FAVORITE SMELLS? vanilla, lavender, apple pie
6. FAVORITE FOODS? chocolate, strawberries, caesar salad, tapioca pudding (homemade preferably), ribeye steak cooked rare, mmmmm.... hungry now...
7. FAVORITE SOUND? Rain on the roof, surf, frogs in a marsh
8. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD? Rug-pulled-out-from-under-you when something goes bad all of a sudden
9. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE? Ugh, what time is it? (usually awakened by baby around 5:30 am)
11. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME? Grace, William
12. FINISH THIS STATEMENT. "If I had a lot of money" I would travel a lot and set up college funds for all the children in my family
13. DO YOU DRIVE FAST? Sometimes but not as much as I used to. I don't like getting tickets.
14. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? Not unless you count Wilbur (cat), she's kind of tubby but I don't think you could call her stuffed.
15. STORMS-COOL OR SCARY? Cool now, but when I was little I was terrified of the power going off, it felt like the end of the world. We lived in Florida so it happened frequently. I have had bad dreams about that.
16. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? Severely oxidized blue 1966 Chevy Bel-Air four-door sedan that I bought from (a mutual work friend), which had been in (another mutual work friend)'s family I think since it was new! The dashboard was metal and a mile long and I'm sure would have killed us all in a crash. I liked to say it had a three-dead-body trunk...
17. FAVORITE DRINK? Hot: vanilla latte, cold: real Coke with sugar and everything, over crushed ice if available.
18. FINISH THIS STATEMENT, "IF I HAD THE TIME I WOULD" do more calligraphy and scrapbooking
I wouldn't......I love my red hair. (ditto, Patti!)
Oak Harbor WA; Rota, Spain; Jacksonville, FL; Tigard/Beaverton/Silverton/West Linn/Portland OR (same general vicinity for thirty odd years); Vancouver WA
22. GLASS - HALF EMPTY OR FULL? Depends on how my PMS/Seasonal Affective is doing. Half full most of the time...
23. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Um, I don't watch sports. Except a little during the Olympics. Sometimes.
24. ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Sweet as the day is long and would give you the shirt off her back if it'd help you out.
25. WHAT IS UNDER YOUR BED? A box with art paper in it, and probably some dust bunnies
27. MORNING PERSON, OR NIGHT OWL? Forced to be a morning person, naturally tend toward night owl
28. OVER EASY, OR SUNNY SIDE UP? Ugh! Over medium at least!
29. FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX? In a cheap plastic adirondack chair on the front porch of my old house. Now that we've moved, the couch until we get a back porch going that is relax-worthy.
30. FAVORITE PIE? Apple crumb, or cherry if somebody else makes it!
RESPOND? I didn't email it to anybody but you, but I'm sticking it in my blog (

Saturday, April 16, 2005


Really! I understand your need to pick at things while nursing? But must you pinch?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Lord Giveth

... And the tax man taketh away.

Actually we came out a couple grand ahead this year so we can't complain. Didn't bother to file til today though, out of sheer laziness. So I had to go to the store and get stamps (also something I didn't do earlier for no good reason) and then drive all the way to Portland to put the various forms (state and county, we e-filed the feds) into the mail at the main post office since I don't know where there is one here and didn't feel like driving around looking for it in the dark. Since we didn't get it done til after Survivor was over.

That Multnomah County tax really pisses me off though. At least we won't have to pay it next year since we don't live there anymore. Like federal and state taxes aren't enough already... Imagine funding your schools through extra taxes on top of the levies and crap they are constantly shoving through the ballot measures, rather than having a stable, adequate funding stream that does not waver and flicker according to the whims of the few voters who bother to show up... not to mention using lottery profits... how's that for ethical? Maybe there's some tobacco money involved too! And why not use some of the taxes they collect from alcohol! "Drink more booze! Class sizes are getting too big again! One more shot! Come on, do it for the kids! "

Okay, enough of that silliness. Just glad to be out of that particular crazy system. I'm sure there are plenty of idiosyncracies to be had right here in Vancouver. But not in relation to school funding. So I'm told.

Delia spent this evening attending her first t-ball game with us. Almost-5-year-old nephew Tommy's team, the Marlins, was playing their first game of the season. We shot a good 15 minutes of high-quality 100 % digital footage (can you still call it footage although no actual lengths of film are used? hmm) of him out on the field dancing, wriggling, jumping up and down, and grabbing himself. Yes sir, this young man has a future in baseball, once he learns how to spit anyway. That was when he got to play first base, his favorite position. When they put him in as shortstop the next inning he sort of sashayed out there, which sadly we did not get on video, but it would have made any decent drag queen squeal in envy. Other children spent their field time digging in the dirt and wandering around aimlessly or, occasionally, paying actual attention to the game. The game was four innings long and must have lasted four hours from the way things were going by the time we left. We had to go because Delia hadn't had dinner and was getting squirmy, but frankly I'd seen about all the 5-year-old baseball I needed to see of an evening, and then some. Not that it wasn't fun and I'll certainly do it again, because Tommy's a great little guy and it means a lot to him, but I don't know that I'll necessarily attend all the games or stay the whole time every time. We can always blame Delia...

After we got home and had dinner, Delia spent the remainder of her evening doing something I've seen her doing more the last couple of days, which is sitting by the doll cradle she got for Christmas and removing the doll and stuffed bears from it. Then she puts them back in. Then takes them out again. All the while huffing and puffing with monkey lips and/or babbling a variety of sounds. It's pretty hilarious. She's even figuring out that you can use a blanket to cover up the doll/bears. The doll is a soft doll with vinyl face, sort of a "baby's first dolly" kind of thing, and she enjoys picking it up by its butt (where the tag is, you see) and waving it around because it jingles (very exciting) or else trying to scratch its screen-printed eyes off with her fingernail. But then! (and this is very exciting! by parental standards, anyway) she appeared to hug the doll this evening! She only just started to hug us in the past month or so and even then it's only if she's tired or just woke up. But each day it seems she does it a little more and appears to enjoy it for its own sake and not just for comfort when she's fragile. Actual affection! Whoa!

She's so close to walking. Her balance is improving day by day and she sometimes stands up from all fours without touching anything around her -- she has taken a step or two toward something (usually a dog) but I wouldn't really call it walking. Soon, though... very soon...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Too Many Books?

Is there such a thing?

Went back to the library sale on Sunday when books were two dollars for a whole grocery sack full. Got many, some for Shannon but plenty for us too. If I had not had a wriggling young'un in an umbrella stroller (such a handy device for crowded venues!) I would have stayed longer, browsed more comprehensively, and perhaps come away with multiple bags. But as it was I had only one bag. And somebody from the sale still had to help me carry it up the stairs since I couldn't get both the books and the baby in one trip.

J's in Philadelphia right now at a conference about metering. Sounds too exciting. But she will get to spend the morning Friday cruising around getting Delia a Liberty Bell bank. We saw the bell and Independence Hall about five years ago when we got cheap tickets to Washington DC and spent a week there looking at Smithsonian museums, then in the middle of it all we hopped a train up to Philadelphia to see a Maxfield Parrish exhibit (which became the highlight of the trip for me). We hiked up the way to see the bell etc. which was cool despite the fact that my feet hurt so bad I could hardly see straight. We noticed one thing about Philly that lingers on in my memory: bad sewer-gas type smells constantly wafting up from the sidewalk grates. It was like Calcutta on a hot day. What's the deal?!

Anyway J is lonely in the hotel at night and wishes we'd just bought ticket for me and Delia and spent the dough on a few more nights at the hotel. The expense of it plus the lengthy flight held us back but now I wish I'd gone.

Looking forward to going to Phoenix in less than three weeks though! Plotting and scheming what to take etc. We'll go see Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, maybe hit the Native American museum there, etc. Then slouch around with Cindy for the weekend. Fun!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Library Sale, Dogfighting, the Usual

So the sale closed about ten minutes after I got there... But I power-browsed and came away with a vintage L.M.M. Montgomery, an Anne Lamott, Margaret Cho's I'm the One That I Want, and three children's books: Blitz, about a fire-station horse, a copy of which I had as a child, and two Pippi Longstocking titles. All for four dollars and fifty cents.

Tomorrow J's family descends upon us for post-Easter Eastering. Everyone was too sick/newly born/something to come on Easter, so we are having the whole shebang tomorrow. J's Mom has been threatening to either come stay the night at either our or Shannon's house, thereby creating drama by complaining about the accomodations and spreading her crap out all over the kitchen, or arriving at our house at 10am for a 2pm gathering so as to "help" get everything ready, i.e. create drama by being in the way, the aforementioned spreading out of the crap, perhaps bringing her nasty little barking dog with her, chain smoking on the back patio in the rain and complaining and telling us what we "oughta" do, such as get at least an umbrella if not cover the patio altogether (effectively eliminating all the delicious sunshine which is one of the family room's finest redeeming features).

She's insisted on bringing the ham (probably freezer-burned, and missing a chunk already as I understand it) as well as potato salad. How do you tell someone you don't want them to bring their nasty dried up ham? Without hurting their feelings, that is. I'm pretty well versed in how to do it the ugly way. But is there a tactful way?!

She likes to tell everyone what they "oughta" do, such as name one's children some other name more appealling to her than the one chosen which, she is sure to announce, she doesn't like. When confronted by one of J's sisters on this habit of telling people that she doesn't like the name they have lovingly hand-picked for their precious bundle of joy, she appeared truly confused and said that she had to tell them how she feels, doesn't she? As if she had no choice in the matter.

I'm sure that if this is the extent of my complaints about her, that she is loud and likes to create drama and is unhelpful and annoying, I have it pretty easy by many people's standards when it comes to their in-laws. She's accepted me into the family and treats our daughter no differently than any of the other grandkids, i.e. lavishes gifts on her at every turn and will no doubt teach her to beg for M&M's like the others as soon as she can walk over and open her mouth on command. So perhaps I "oughta" cut her a break... She's over 60 and not in the best of health. I don't want to regret saying bad things and being less than gracious... Although grace is frequently not one of my stronger features.

Well, I should run. J has gone to the store for the last-minute purchases vital to all family gatherings, plus Neosporin and that spongy elastic wrap for the dog. The dogs have lost their spectator privileges in the dining room by having a huge snarly snappy bitey fight as we were having dinner. The like to hang out under the highchair and wait for snippets of whatever Delia's eating. Liked, I should say. Hope has a pretty comprehensive bite on her front leg that will be looked at tomorrow by J's sister the vet, and Ollie has one on her ear that goes to the cartilage. From now on they will spend our mealtimes in their beds with the door shut. I worry what will happen one day when Delia is old enough to eat at the table in a regular chair. What if she gets down and is wandering around with food? I don't think the dogs would attack her, but they will attack each other and what if Delia got in the middle of it? It's too horrible to think about. I know we will be very careful but we are human, accidents happen, mistakes are made... I don't want Delia to pay for a little lapse of attention.

Clearly I worry a lot. Recently we discovered she has kind of a slight bulge, or bump, on the top of her head, right where the growth plates come together in the front, and I literally could not sleep until it was looked at. In the blacker parts of my imagination I practically had the kid in major reconstructive surgery and badly disfigured by a skull deformity -- My beautiful girl! My precious angel! -- in the two days that went by until the doctor's appointment. Of course the doctor said it didn't look like anything to be worried about and just to keep an eye, and now it seems less prominent than it did, and I'm just an overprotective first-time parent. But it ruled my life for a couple of days and I found myself getting all sobby and weird in the car on the way home from the pool the night before the appointment.

Parenthood is fraught with genuine reasons for worry. Perhaps I should work on not making them up as well.

Spring Madness

Julianna has begun the feverish accumulation of plants for the yard. Every day there's another parcel in the mail for her -- yesterday, fifty gladiolus bulbs and some freebie carrot and giant sunflower seeds. Today, two butterfly bush plants, some clematis, liatris, hosta, you name it. It's nuts. At least she's laying off the trees. The yard is only so big. We already have a new stick, er, tree in the back yard, a white birch that came as a stick about one foot long. Now it's a foot long stick with leaves on it, protected from the hounds with a tomato cage!

Most of the trees here have leaves, or at least poofy little leaf-beginnings, and some have passed through the flowering already. Our dinky little azalea is covered in lime-green new leaves and little flowerbuds, and the camellia is blooming. I don't actually like camellias all that much, the blooms get all brown so fast and drop to the ground and lay there decomposing, it's just not all that attractive in my opinion. Better to have a nice hydrangea.

Hee hee! Julianna just came to inform me that I must go to the public library book sale RIGHT NOW! It's a rough life...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

New swimsuit! Posted by Hello

Easter basket fun.  Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005

Back AWAY from the Easter Candy!

Returned to Fat Losers about one month ago; was sheepish, crestfallen, but entirely unsurprised to find I had gained back TWELVE POUNDS. Over the winter. While eating exactly like a hypoglycemic NFL linebacker. Then skipped two weeks mainly out of despair, depression, scheduling conflicts, denial, etc. Returned on week 3 to find self two pounds LIGHTER despite eating like a horse. This week found am down another 1.4 pounds, through absolutely no virtue of my own. Huh.

Then in mail today came my Danskin Triathlon training t-shirt. Ordered the size I generally wear but find it is enormous. Huh. Well, shit. Wonder if it can be returned?

Went to water aerobics twice this week, worked my butt off (I hope anyway) and am planning to go to pool tomorrow. And here's why I am planning to go to pool tomorrow:

I'm going to Phoenix in one month! For almost a week! And taking baby with me! So we bought her a little teensy swimsuit today! OMFG it's the Cutest. Thing. Ever. So we have to try it out, right? Shannon has free passes to the local Y... Julianna plans to sit in the bleachers and take pictures. Of me in my swimsuit (also new and would be very fetching if it weren't upholstering my enormous ass). I don't think so.

Delia's never been in a pool before but loves the bathtub. So we will see how it goes! I'll take one of her toys with me and we'll sit in the shallow end -- it is one of those sloped-entry pools so you start right at ground level and it ramps right down without stairs.

So I'm hoping to play with Delia in the water for a bit and then either swim after handing her off to Julianna, or else get dressed and play around with the exercise equipment.

Baby girl up at 4:30 this morning, I got her up and brought her to bed but she wouldn't stay snoozy for long so we got up for good at 5:10 am. I went to bed at 11pm last night. So J and I thought, we'll have a nice pizza and movie night -- ate the pizza -- plugged in the movie -- I promptly fell asleep and woke up an hour later with drool on my shirt, to find J asleep as well. Yep, we're parents all right...

Monday, March 21, 2005

Inspirational Thought

Found this on a website. John Bingham is a runner who evangelizes the art of running for its own sake.

Why It's Worth The Effort

MOST OF THE CHANGES that a more active lifestyle brings are invisible. Sure, in time you may find that your clothes fit a little differently. If you are new to running, you may find that a distance that once seemed impossible now seems easy. If you are more experienced, you may find that your long runs and speed work are yielding tangible results.

But these changes are not the ones that are the most important. The changes that matter most are the ones going on inside, where you can’t see them. I'm not talking about the subtle increases in the strength of your heart or lungs or legs. I'm talking about the very real changes in the strength of your resolve and your spirit.

Each day that you invest in yourself, you are becoming more of what you want to be. By giving yourself permission to dream of new PRs or completing a 5K, you are making sure that there is hope in your life. Instead of looking backwards to the good old days, you are assuring yourself that the best is yet to come.

At the heart of the matter, the real changes are in how you think about yourself. By discovering your limitations and then overcoming them, you can learn to be your own hero. And that, for most of us, is the biggest change of all.