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Eight bags of mulch (and need 2 more), one big bag of garden soil, one bag of peat moss, and one pond cleaned out/set up. That was my weekend. I'm a little sore. Not too bad. Doing all that didn't wear me out or anything. Having The Argument did, though.


We don't argue often, but when we do, it gets ugly fast. And it's generally on the same topic. It's one area we do not agree on, and compromise in that area is difficult at best. So, that's how I spent the rest of the weekend. Is it resolved? For now. But it is an ongoing thing that is always going to be there. No two people will ever agree 100% on everything all the time, and we get along and agree on nearly everything else, so it's very much a don't-throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater kind of situation. Neither of us like arguing about that topic, but it's always going to be there...so that means it's going to blow up every once in a while. We are in agreement that neither of us likes it when it does blow up, though.


I got bored playing my Druid character in the World of Warcrack...and the guild kids were annoying me, so I created a new character and have been playing him. He is a Tauren Hunter, so I can't get any help (like money, equipment, potions, etc) from my Druid character or my husband's characters (they're on the opposing side in the "war"). It's as close to seeing how I would've done in the game without help as I can get now. My husband gave my Druid money and stuff when I first started playing her, so I didn't have to scrape by when I was starting out. It's always made me wonder how/if I would've been able to operate in the game without that initial help. So, I'm finding out with my Tauren...and so far (level 10) I'm doing ok.


And, as always, the Warcrack is an amazing method of escaping from the real issues. Given some of the other things that went on this weekend, I'd say there was definitely some "escaping the real issues" going on...probably on both our parts.


It's kinda fragile, but there's a truce...and some peace now.

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Heard On The Way To Work




....and you can dance to it, too.


My Tauren is up to level 11 and has a pet now. I'm diggin' the hunter character with the fighting pet. Won't get any appreciable time to play until tomorrow or Thursday, though. Too much other stuff going on today.


Wonder if I could level up to 20 before the character's a week old.....hmmmmm.....

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If Not Now, When?


Can we start with the assumption that there is yard work that HAS TO be done? Ok. Can we further assume that certain items need to be purchased in order to accomplish these tasks? Yes? Ok. So, if these tasks cannot be accomplished until the appropriate items/tools are purchased, what am I supposed to make of the constant delay of a trip to the store to purchase those items? Is this a way of absolving yourself of all responsiblity for these tasks and telling me I should do it all myself? I have the money to buy the stuff, so I don't get it. I really don't. And it's really annoying the living daylights out of me. If you're not going to help with any of it, just have enough spine and honesty to flat out say so. That way I will no longer expect or ask for your help.


So, tonight, after work, I will go by myself and wrestle with bags of mulch, and top soil, and all the other crap that needs to be available to do what needs to be done. And this weekend, I will be out there putting down bags of mulch and top soil and fertilzer, just like last weekend.


And then you will ask me why I did it all myself, and wonder why your reply is an exasperated look before I turn and walk away.

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You'll Never Find Another Me


It's been brought to my attention that the person my former employer hired to replace me when I quit has left the building. Dunno if my replacement left on their own or was asked to leave. Doesn't matter. Point is, they're gone...and my former employer is looking for someone else to fill that job...again. Good luck with that. You're not gonna find another me who'll suck up all your crap and keep coming back for more for as long as I did.


Wow, am I glad (yet again) that I'm not there anymore. It's been three years and I still have these moments where I feel so fortunate to NOT be employed there anymore. Does that ever go away? Or is that just an indicator of how excrementally bad it was there?


Got some time to play some serious Warcrack last night. Got my hunter & pet to level 14...close to level 15. When I first logged in to play last night both my character and pet were level 13...and we took out a level 19 dinosaur. Both character and pet health bars were way low, but both survived and the dino didn't. It was apparently a good bonding experience for both, as the pet's loyalty level went up after that.


Yeah, things other than Warcrack are going on. I'm just not sure this is the appropriate venue to be writing about them.....

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I Saw You


I saw you hanging back, watching me. Couldn't figure out why. I went about my business. Eventually you came up and said something. I answered your question...that was my job. But you held eye contact longer than you had to.


I don't know who you are. It's likely I will never see you again. And I'm fine with that. I have a life I'm happy with. I'm not lacking for anything. Something passed between us in that too-long glance. Another time, another place, another life...it might've been the start of a story.


In this time, this place, this life...it was just a moment...and the moment passed. But in that moment, I saw you.

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Really...I Don't Need To Move My Head


Dunno what the heck I did to myself, but turning my head is incredibly painful and difficult today. Every muscle in my neck and shoulders is screaming at me. I'm not due at the chiropractor until next week (and I'm not sure it's a chiropractic-fixable issue anyway) and I was just at the massage therapist last week. Ugh. You try driving without turning your head. It's not easy.


My vegetable/herb garden is officially set up and (hopefully) growing. Over the last few days, I planted catnip, rosemary, oregano, flat leaf parsely, basil, 4 tomato plants and 4 green bell pepper plants. I also planted some hostas and violas in the front of the house. Realistically, given my history with plants, I don't hold much hope for these poor bits of vegetation. Some people have a "green thumb"...I have a "black thumb." Plants see me coming and think, "Oh, God, please...anyone but her...I want to live!!!"


So, we'll see what happens with this vegetable and herb garden experiment.

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I'm On Crutches


So, I'm at work Thursday...and about 11:30 or so, I start noticing that the top of my right leg is hurting. An hour later, it's so bad that I can't walk on it. Standing is bad, sitting is bad. After some stupidity (which always seems to happen after I've sustained an injury...), I get ahold of my husband who comes to work and gets me and we go to urgent care to get it looked at.


I am hesitant to go because we're in an insurance gap right now. We were getting health insurance through his employer...but he changed jobs in March and the new job has a 90 day waiting period for benefits. Urgent care takes some x-rays of my hip and notes I'm running a fever. They give me a shot of anti-inflammatory (which stings like crazy) and upon first glance at my x-rays, doc sees a small dark spot that might indicate an infection, so I get 2 shots of an antibiotic (which stings even more than the anti-inflammatory) and a suggestion to get a CT scan to rule out an infection in the joint. I'm sent home with prescriptions for crutches, anti-inflammatory drugs, pain meds and the CT scan.


Yesterday morning I call the place that does the scans and tell them what happened, what I'm supposed to get and that I don't have insurance. Estimated cost for their services plus the cost of having a radiologist read the results is $2500 to 3000. Ouch. Can't do that. After the anti-inflammatory shot and a night of rest, I'm feeling much better. I can stand on the leg, move the joint, I could walk without crutches, but I can feel muscles in my inner thigh and outer hip protesting that after a few steps. There is much improvement over the day before, but it's pretty clear to me that what I'm dealing with is very likely a soft tissue injury. Given that I've done mega amounts of yard work over the past two weekends, I'm fairly sure that between lifting, carrying, emptying and arranging about two dozen bags of mulch, garden soil, top soil, and peat moss and being crouched down to put about two dozen plants into the ground, I made some moves some weaker muscles really didn't like. In any event, I decide the calculated risk of not definitively ruling out an infection in the joint is better than willingly causing myself some serious financial issues just to find out there's nothing seriously wrong with me. We will have health insurance again in about 30 days. They gave me a shot of fairly heavy-duty antibiotics as a precaution at urgent care. If I'm still having problems, I can always get the scan later.


Sometime today or tomorrow, we have to go pick up my car which I left at work Thursday. Upon futher reflection, I suspect this might've been avoided if I'd had a slightly different workout routine. I never really did any specific hip adductor/abductor exercises, so I imagine those muscles are relatively weak in comparison to my quads, hamstrings & butt which get a regular workout from the elliptical. I will have to include the inner & outer thigh machines and/or the hip machine in the weight portion of my routine. Although it will have to be done very slowly and with more "rehab" in mind than anything else.


On the plus side, I am getting a 3 day weekend where I'm really not supposed to do anything at all, so that's something....

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Just Call Me "Gimpy"


For the most part, I'm going crutchless now. I'm sure this will change as the day goes on. This is my first "normal" day since the injury made itself known. So far, so good. Leg feels a little twingey and weak in certain positions and with certain movements, but it's not completely seizing up or failing, so I guess that's good.


Looking up rehab exercises and related information so I can formulate a plan of what to do next. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I've gotten rather doctor/medical-phobic in the last, oh, 5 or so years. I'm sure it goes back farther than that, but in the last few years I've just gotten tired of fighting the doctor/medical-phobia and pretending like it's no big deal. I don't see the point of subjecting myself to that environment unless it's absolutely necessary. I realize this attitude has really taken hold since we moved here 3 years ago and because of bad experiences at the 2 docs' offices I tried to establish myself with. I didn't have these issues where we used to live where I was already established with docs I liked/respected. Maybe I should just grow a ******* backbone already. Just go in there and set my boundaries and not be so cowed about the fact that s/he's had proper medical training and I just know what I research on my own.


It has always been interesting to me to observe how various people around me react when I've sustained a very obvious injury. There have been very few people in my life who have reacted in ways that didn't just annoy me further. I married one who understands what I need (which actually isn't a whole lot, however it's apparently not what most people want....). Otherwise, I tend to be rather skeptical/cynical about people's "appear to be caring" actions/expressions. I'm sure some of them are genuine...but I've also gotten first-hand experience that some of them are just saying the socially expected/acceptable thing but if pressed to actually do anything...well it's a different story, then.


I suppress the urge to say, "Keep your socially expected words. If you want to do something, then DO something. Otherwise, just shut up and leave me be." So, in the midst of discovering I can't freakin' walk, I also have to remember to bite my tongue so as not to point out the charade that's going on around me.


But I still see it. And I wonder why they do it.


I engaged in some folly Thursday while waiting for my husband to come get me, and attempted to explain this to someone who made the offer to help. Most of my adult life, I have been in a position where I haven't really had anyone around to help with various life crises. So, my choices were find a way to deal with it alone or crumble up and fall apart (and still have a mess to deal with). As some gal I used to work with says, "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it." That's what I did. Even when that meant: driving myself to the ER with a broken arm after a riding accident (after taking my horse back to the barn and getting him settled in his stall), figuring out a way to make $20 cover two weeks' worth of groceries, or pay off $13k in debt on a salary of less than $20k a year....


They didn't get it...and I didn't expect them to. In reality, it was a way to keep myself distracted from the excruicating pain while I waited for my husband to get there. In other words, it was me putting on my big girl panties and dealing with it. And if there wasn't anyone there to listen to my blathering, I would've found another way to deal with it.


Sometimes I wish these times where crisis shows people and things for who and what they really are would bypass me. That way, I could keep my illusions intact. That way, I could believe the good things I want to think. It's hard to hang on to those things in the face of actions/behaviors that point the other way, though. In times of crisis can come clarity...even if we don't really want to see.

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The Second Guessing Is The Worst Part


I wake up at 3:45 am. The house is quiet but my brain isn't. I'm focusing on my injured hip and thigh...scanning for any new or worsening pain or sensation. I wonder if I should've had that CT scan. I let fear run away with me and I imagine a rampant infection destroying my hip joint. The slightest little twinge has me thinking, "And just how will I get along after they amputate my leg, anyway?"


I get up. I go to the computer and start poking around for information. The urgent care called earlier with the results of my blood work and the report off the xrays they took Thursday. Radiologist says the xrays are normal, no mention of the small spot the urgent care doc thought might be an infection. Blood work comes back with a slightly elevated white cell count and markers indicating inflammation somewhere in the body. Well, duh. I was already aware of the inflammation. My run-wild-with-fear-in-the-middle-of-the-night brain focuses only on the slightly elevated white cell count.


Until I find a website that details various medical tests and I learn that a slightly elevated white cell count can indicate an infection, yes...but it can also occur if the person is under stress or has recently eaten (both situations were true when the blood draw was done) or if there's some inflammation somewhere in the body. Well, poop, given all that it's possible there was absolutely no infection at all, isn't it? I mean, the pain of the injury combined with knowing we didn't have insurance and were going to have to pay for all treatment was a source of stress...my husband had gone through a drive-through on the way to the urgent care because I hadn't had lunch and was hungry....and there was obviously something injured & swollen in my leg...jeez. Guess I'll have to just accept the fact that I'm not going to have my entire leg amputated after all.


It still takes an hour and a half of playing WoW until I am distracted and calmed down enough to go back to bed and get some sleep before I have to go to work.


Medicine is more art than science. I have a history of having a slightly better handle of what's going on in my own skin than many of the medical professionals I've run into. The ones I've gotten along wtih best with are the ones who understand that I'll research, I'll ask questions, I'll read things that require me to have a medical dictionary handy just so I can understand. The ones who understand...and accept/respect that...are the docs I've liked the best.


I'm just having a heck of a time finding a primary care doc like that here.

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Almost Walking Normal


But first, I must note avman's signature, which gave me quite a chuckle this morning:

Push yourself to the limit and you are called a hero and an inspiration.


Push yourself beyond the limit and you are called a mental patient.


Moving around better today. Not limping much, moving at something approaching my normal speed, not feeling like I need to use a crutch...these are all good things. Every once in a while, there's still a bad step that makes me feel like crumpling onto the floor in a quivering heap, but they're getting fewer & further between.


A few years back, I was asked to do a website for my high school's reunion. I agreed to do it. Well, apparently, they're going to try for a 25 year this year and they've asked me to take up the website again. I don't see me going to this one. (I went to the last one...it was about a month after we got married)


It's kinda weird how much time has passed, but in my head I'm thinkin' why is (person who contacted me about the website) talkin' to me? I was a sorta misfit in high school...this person was definitely part of the "cool kids" clique. Although, I suppose if you asked those "cool kids" now, they'd say they didn't feel like they fit in either. That age is weird like that.


My husband and I were talking about the person we know who has been on the commercial diet plan for over a year. My husband doesn't see this person very often. He saw the dieter a few days ago for the first time in several months. In trying to find a way to describe the dieter, he first said that the dieter just didn't look good....didn't look right...the dieter looked like "a balloon that wasn't quite inflated enough." I have to say I don't think the dieter looks any better/happier now than before. But since they seem to think they are better off, I just keep my mouth shut. And hope their (eventual) crash isn't as bad as mine was, lo, these 20-some years ago...


Yesterday, I emptied out both litter boxes and took them in the driveway and hosed them out. The cats did not seem terribly appreciative of the cleaned kitty toilets after I was done. There was much sniffing and then looking at me meowing and looking concerned, as if to say, "Hey...where's my box? This looks like my box, but it doesn't smell right. What'd you do with MY box? I gotta gooooooooooooo."


For just one day, I'd like to trade places with one of the cats. I think it'd be interesting to get into their heads and find out why they do some of the things they do.


Stop the presses! Alert the media! Hell has frozen over!


I have a cell phone. I don't want a cell phone. I have no use for a cell phone. But I have one. A pink one.


How did this happen?


My husband had some legitimate, work-related reasons for having a cell phone. They even have some sort of discounted plan through his work so the sales staff can get cheaper phones. Anyway, all the plans are essentially a buy-one-get-one-free sorta deal. It was going to be the same price if he got one or got two. So, I have the second one.


It's pink.


It came with a matching pink Bluetooth. And a cover. And a car charger. And some other crap. None of which I will use. I'm questioning if I will ever use the phone....let alone the accessories.


I know I sound ungrateful, but I'm not really. It's cool my husband did this and all. I realize a lot of people would be jazzed about having a free phone. But I kinda LIKE not being able to be reached.


Heck, right now I don't even know what the pink phone's number IS.......

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Happy Birthday To Me


It's tomorrow, but who knows if the urge and time to write will intersect. No big plans, really. Just a bunch of stuff around the house that's been sliding because of my recent injury. So, I turn 43 tomorrow. As the saying goes, if I knew I was going to live this long, I woulda taken better care of myself.


My new WoW character is progressing rather well with no help from anyone. Hit level 29 yesterday with a steadily growing amount of gold. I will likely have no problem affording my mount when I hit level 40 with this character. Elsewhere in our WoW life, I got a chance to actually speak to my 20 year old occasional questing partner. He was grouped up with my husband's character for something or the other and the group opted to use Ventrillo. It's a program game players can use to speak to each other which can make those group quests a little easier than trying to type stuff while trying to play. Anyway, he and my husband were the first ones in the group on the Vent channel, so I was able to jump on and say hi and exchange a few smart aleck remarks with him. I suppose I was probably a little more geeked about the whole thing than I really should've been...but I don't know that I can really put my finger on why. I've actually written a bit about this on this thread: I will admit to a wee bit of obsession/fascination with the idea of the 20 year old. But much like the idea of 4 dozen desserts, the reality of it is likely to leave me feelin' crappy.


If I was still single, I suppose this interest/fascination with the energy/attitude some younger men exude would make me what they call a "Cougar"...only without the bleached blonde hair, fake tan and fake boobs. Let's remember I am married to someone 11 years younger than me, after all. Apparently there are some personality traits and types of energy younger (say under 30) men have that make me a little punch-drunk.

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Ok, For Real This Time...Happy Birthday To Me


It has been a productive day. Got up around 8ish, did a music log, played a little Warcrack, did some yard work, played a little more Warcrack and talked to the 20 year old, got showered & dressed and had lunch, came home from lunch and scooped out the catboxes...and here I am and it's 2:30.


We have a row of Rose of Sharon along our back property line and fence. The largest ones are pretty old and are sort dying off one by one. Two of them did not bother leafing up when the others did, so I cut down as much of them as I could with the branch lopper. We will have to rent a small chainsaw to get the rest of the main trunk cut.


Anyhow, I spent a good hour, hour and a half busting up the cut sections into pieces the right size to burn in our firepit. We have a nice sized patio with a copper firepit and table & chairs. We like to sit out there on cool evenings with a fire in the firepit and just talk. We are still working our way through burning wood from the overgrown shrubs we took out when we first got the house last year and a couple of the other Rose of Sharon tress that died and branches that blew down from the 3 big maple trees during storms. It's a nice day, not too hot...which means it will be nice and cool in the evening, so we'll probably have a fire tonight.


I also dug up the weeds in my vegetable and herb garden. My tomato plants are looking really good...it seems like they had a growth spurt this week and are looking visibly larger than when I bought them two weeks ago. I haven't killed anything yet...although I did have a problem with some bugs nipping off the top of the catnip. I got some spray to take care of that.


My husband gave me my birthday presents last night. He got me a DVD of the making of Queen's "A Night At The Opera" album and he also gave me what might be the coolest and most meaningful gift I have ever gotten. It's a scrapbook he put together of song lyrics and comments on each of the songs as to why they were included in the book. All of them are about our relationship...from when we first met, to particular events over the last 5 and a half years, to songs that sparked conversations he thought were particularly interesting. There's your expected typical "love song" type stuff, yeah...but also some things capturing some funnier moments...including a song by DaVinci's Notebook.


Y'know, it was worth all the previous crap to get to a point where I can be married to this person and have this relationship...and get something like that for my birthday.

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Food Is The New Porn


This was a concept I was first introduced to in link removed - Paul Campos, but for some reason I started thinking of it again over the weekend.


If food is the new porn, then people like the ones on the Food Network stars are the new porn stars. There are some parallels -- mostly the fact that they display an open appetite/appreciation for food...in the same way that porn starts display an open appetite/appreiciation for sex. Watch an episode of "Paula's Homecooking" with Paula Deen. Watch for her reaction when she takes a taste of a particularly good item (especially a dessert item) -- is it not a nearly sexual reaction? The "oooh-ing" and "ahh-ing", the very obvious pleasure in the sensations of the taste and sight and smell of the very delectable food.


Just as the sex in porn is cleaned up and stylized to look perfect, the food in food porn -- be it TV or a gourmet magazine -- looks perfect. There are stylists that make it look better than life...just like there are stylists that make porn stars look better than life.


Because of the current whacked cultural climate about food, eating & weight, there's that same sort of taboo/guilty pleasure when it comes to enjoying food as there commonly used to be when it came to sex. There's that same sort of physical urge for both...but we put limits on, deny and/or feel guilty about those urges due to a variety of reasons. If we give in to our appetites we are "bad" or "sinful."


It's a screwed up mess. Generally speaking, we've gotten more liberal in our attitudes toward sex...but more Puritianical in our attitudes toward food and eating. It used to be a sin if a woman dared to have sex and enjoy it....now, it's a sin if she dares to eat a real ice cream cone (none of this reduced-calorie, no sugar crap) and enjoy it.


Twisted. It's just twisted.

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....And The Award Goes To....


So, I went to the massage therapist this morning and filled her in on my recent injury. After working on my right hip and thigh, she said she's worked on clients who were about to have hip replacement surgery who weren't as "tough & stringy" as I was. I asked if I got some kind of award for that. She said if she started a "bad hip of the year" award, I'd win this year's, hands down. She did some rather painful things to get the muscles to loosen up and re-establish some decent blood flow through them and showed me some rehab type stretches to help the healing process. It was incredibly painful, but necessary. The difference in how it feels now as opposed to before she was digging her elbow into me is amazing.


I knew the commercial diet places were bad...but I didn't realize the lengths they'd go to. I have learned that the person I know who has been on a commercial diet plan for over a year was advised by the diet center to NOT exercise. What? Huh? How is that responsible or healthy? One of the selling points of this program is that it is doctor-supervised. What responsible, reasonably intelligent physician discourages a person from exercising? I'm dumbfounded. I don't even know where to start with that one, so I'll spare myself the aggravation.


I found some other yoga classes at a better day and time than the ones I was taking. Those start in a few weeks, so we'll see how that goes. There weren't any cooking classes I wanted to take this month, but there is one I'm interested in for June, so I need to get signed up for that soon. It's "A Taste of Tuscany" or something like that. The recipes they're teaching sounded really good, which is usually how I determine what classes I want to take. Why go to learn how to make something I don't like and will probably never make outside of the class? That seems like a waste of money and time to me.


We're going out of town this weekend for a little break and to go to an event my husband wants to attend. Heading back to where we used to live, so I'm hoping my track friends are racing this weekend. Also hoping to hit a few of our old favorite restaurants while in town. I put in for a week of vacation time at the end of next month...which will make it almost a year since I have taken any appreciable time off. Lemme tell ya, I need it as I am a little work-crispy.


Speaking of work....perhaps I'd better try doing some....

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It's A Miracle!!!


I knew there was a reason I allowed the massage therapist to drive her elbow into my hip & thigh repeatedly yesterday....and this was the reason: I woke up this morning with no pain or stiffness in my hip and leg. That is the first time that's happened since the day I was hauled off to urgent care because I was unable to walk. Like I said to my husband this morning, it's kinda ridiculous that we spent upwards of $500 for what has turned out to be a severe muscle cramp. He said we had to get it checked out to make sure it wasn't anything serious. I know he's right, but, damn....a muscle cramp...how pathetic is that?


The "Taste of Tuscany" class is wait-listed, so my only hope of getting in would involve some person(s) backing out. The class is a month away and already sold out...what's up with that? Oh, well. If it's really that popular, I'm sure they'll offer it again in a month or two.

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What A Drag It Is Getting Old


So, the big weekend getaway trip rolls around. And we leave town Friday after work. We make good time on the trip, get there in time to have dinner at our favorite restaurant there...and it's magically delicious. Saturday, we get up and get ready to go to the comic convention with a friend of ours (M).


This is my husband and M's thing...I'm basically along for the ride. While I find the people-watching at these events amusing, I really don't get the fascination with all these things/people. Anyway, I bring my ipod and a crossword puzzle magazine to amuse me if I get bored while they're still looking around.


We drive up to the con (about an hour) and that's cool. The trip goes by quickly. We mostly talk about Warcrack (M plays Warcrack too). We walk around the con for an hour/hour and a half. I tell the guys I'm gonna go to the food court and get a drink and do crossword puzzles and come find me when they're done.


While I'm sitting there, I overhear a group of 3 boys talking. They're all tallish, skinny, gangly arms and legs...look to be no more than 14 or 15. I hear the phrases "twink hunter" "battleground" and "arena" and I know they are talkin' Warcrack. I take a closer look at them and tell myself, "that's probably closer to the average Warcrack player than you." I consider butting into their conversation, but upon further thought think that might be a little weird. To them it'd be like their mom talking about Warcrack and trying to look cool. I go back to my crossword puzzle.


That's when I notice some odd pressure in my head. I look up and the room has gotten way too big...and has way too many people in it. I feel somewhat distressed and anxious and detached. Yes, folks, I'm getting ready to develop one dandy migraine that will torpedo the rest of the day and most of the trip.


I took my emergency Zomig and used the pink phone to call my husband. All the while, the crowd and the noise is making me feel even weirder and more panicky. I've broken out in a cold sweat and am feeling nauseous on top of the pain that's developing in my head.


My husband and M are just about done when I call. They come find me and we leave the con. They want to get some lunch, I'm thinking food is a Bad Idea. So, I figure I can lie down in the car and give the Zomig a chance to work while they go eat. Which is what we do, only the Zomig isn't working...and the sound of my own breathing is too freakin' loud and it's too light outside and my stomach is protesting about having anything in it. I go into the restaurant to use the bathroom, but the urge to puke has passed by the time I get inside the restroom.


We all get back in the car and I lie down in the back seat. The Zomig is not making the headache go away, but it is making me drowsy, which is just as good. I sack out for most of the trip back. I am jarred into consciousness when my husband veers slightly off the road to avoid a semi that's riding the line. He hits the rumble strips on the side of the road. We are just about back to the hotel at this point. My head still hurts. Then I start puking.


Get back to the hotel and I head right into the shower, puke-covered clothing still on. My husband makes sure I'm ok, then fills the ice bucket with some water and takes a towel to go clean up the car. M expresses his concern and then takes his leave. By now it is 3 or 4 pm, and the headache started around noonish. We were supposed to go to the harness track and catch up with some of my old racing friends, but that's not going to happen. 7 pm finds me curled up in the fetal position in the hotel bed, head still in pain and realizing that I'm going to puke again. My husband has been gamely trying to comfort/soothe me by massaging my neck, back and feet and attempting to distract me from the pain. Eventually, I tell him to go get himself some dinner...just don't bring it back here.


He leaves after getting me an ice pack for the back of my neck. After lying there with that for about 20 minutes, I'm freezing and want to warm up, so I get up to head into the shower again....and puke some more. I stand under the hot water until I warm up, then I dry off, brush my teeth and get back into bed. Fall into some sort of half-sleep for a while. He comes back from dinner.


Finally, sometime around 10, my head stops hurting. I start thinking I want some hot tea and oatmeal. It looks like the headache has run its course and I feel like I have been run over by a herd of elephants. I feel dragged out and tired...but (and this is a good sign) hungry. So I get up and get dressed and we find a Waffle House (one of the few places open this time of night in this town where I can get breakfast food). They do not have oatmeal...but they have hot tea. I get some scrambled eggs and toast and hashbrowns (scattered, smothered, well done). My husband has a slice of pie since he already had dinner.


When we leave Waffle House, I'm feeling tentatively better...but tired. We go back to the hotel and I sleep like a rock for the next 8 or 9 hours.


Yesterday was ok. Stomach was a little unsteady at first, but got better over the course of the day. We went to the department store my husband used to work at to see who was still there, wandered the mall. Found some chair massage people set up in the mall and had a 20 minute massage. That also helped. By the time we were ready to head back home (2 hour drive), I was feeling almost normal.


I'm trying to remember the last time I had a really bad migraine like that. I think it was right around New Year's. I'm sure all the car travel didn't help. Being that sick and that far from home really sucked. At one point, I was thinking, "y'know, I don't want to die in a hotel room...that's so...washed-up, drugged-out celebrity...and we're in a freakin' Red Roof Inn...that's so washed-up, drugged-out, D-list, has-been celebrity...."


Yeah, I do tend to get fatalistic and Drama Queen-ish when I'm sick...it's not just a headache...it's brain aneurysm and I'm going to DIE....it's not just a severe muscle cramp, it's something wrong with my hip joint that's going to result in having to have my leg amputated...it's not just a cold, it's some rare viral illness that will put me through hell THEN kill me. Reallly, though, who doesn't have some major age regression when they get sick?


So, today, I am annoyed at this aging and imperfect body. Muscles cramping up for no real good reason, stupid migraines that show up with no warning. The way I figure it, I've spent more of this month having some sort of physical issues than not and that just irritates me. I missed out on going to the track because of a damn headache! I missed out on having another dinner at one of the restaurants we like in that town because of a stupid headache! AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH.


It was good to get home, though.

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A Dream Of Forgiveness




I don't know if I could pull it off in person...nor am I sure I would want to. But in my dream I spoke from a place of quiet calmness and compassion. There was no anger...no bitterness. Just a detached sort of sorrow that the person I was speaking to believed life had to be lived in that way...because it doesn't.


I woke up feeling cleansed. I woke up feeling like I finally put down some heavy piece of baggage I've been lugging around for the last 3 years. I suspect some of this is due to a subtle thing that happened on our weekend trip. (Yes, something other than a horrendous migraine happened this weekend...) We were in earshot of the place I worked for 20 years and I had no desire to listen to the stations. Every other time we have been back to visit, I would always check the ones in the cluster I worked at and the competitors just to see what was going on and what they sounded like. This time, I didn't care. I didn't even think about it/realize it until we were on our way out of town on Sunday. We had our XM radio set up in the car the whole trip.


In my dream, I remember telling the person that I was never coming back "here." And it wasn't said in anger...it was a very matter of fact neutral sort of statement said in truth and also said because the person seemed to be worried I was planning on returning and extracting some sort of revenge or something.


As I recall, this is what letting go feels like....

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As If....


...the Universe is reinforcing my dream, I happened to hear this on my way to work when the radio was on "scan."




I always thought that bit about "the more I know, the less I understand" was a brilliant line. The older I get the truer that becomes.

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Cheap Entertainment


1. Pluck a few leaves off the catnip plant in my garden

2. Slightly crush the leaves

3. Place crushed leaves on floor in front of gray & white cat who is highly susceptible to effects of catnip

4. Watch the fun ensue


My gray & white cat is normally very reserved and dignified. Under the influence of catnip, he will do all manner of very goofy things he would normally NEVER do.


First he sniffs the leaves on the floor. Then he'll start licking the leaves. Then, he will pick up the leaves between his front paws and try to rub them on his face. Eventually, he puts the leaves back on the floor and starts rolling around on them. He rolls himself into a ball, wrapping his front legs around his hind legs, tucking his hind feet under his chin.


Then he starts kicking himself under the chin with his hind feet. A few moments later, he has let go of his hind legs and is now lying on his back holding the end of his tail between his front paws right in front of his face. He stares at the tip of his tail as he makes it twitch. It is apparently the most fascinating thing in the world.


He grows bored of that and goes back to rolling around on the floor on the catnip leaves. After a while he stops rolling and just lies flat on the floor, motionless. I say his name. He just stares up at me and barely moves the tip of his tail in acknowledgement. "Yeah, I heard ya...but I'm a little high right now...."


And people wonder why I insisted on putting a catnip plant in my garden.....

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When The Tomatoes Are A-Bloomin'


I went out to look at my veggie & herb garden this morning, and there, along the main stem of one of the tomato plants was a small, yellow blossom. The first of what (fingers crossed) will be many....and then, hopefully, that will translate into at least a few home-grown tomatoes. I'm not really holding my breath because of my black thumb and all. Let's just say I am "cautiously optimistic" right now.


Yesterday, I was thinking how lucky I have been to be in some of the relationships I have been in. Recently on this board there have been a couple threads posted by guys where the topic was "how do I tell the gal I'm involved with that she's gaining weight." They wanted to know how to bring up the topic and how to get her to lose the weight and they didn't want her to be fat.


I think back to my college bf. We were together for seven years. Dated for two, lived together for five. When I met him, I was at my lowest adult weight, thanks to a summer of restrictive eating and compulsive exercising. During the course of our relationship, my eating issues spiraled out of control and I hit my highest adult weight. Then I got into recovery, and my weight stabilized at a point between the two extremes...closer to the high end, but with a peaceful relationship with food and eating and my body.


Through it all, he NEVER said a word about my weight (and we're talking a difference of 50-60 pounds between the highest and lowest points). He stood by me, supported me the day I went through the closet and finally let go of all my "skinny" clothes, helped pay for my ED treatment, worked with me to re-learn what physical hunger felt like, indulged all my crazy cravings so I could learn to trust my appetite again, and loved me through it all. He never once ridiculed me, belittled me, said or did anything to make me think he found me unattractive/unappealing. He offered me nothing but unconditional acceptance and love the entire time we were together.


And then I see these threads on here that are so different from that. I feel badly for the gals those guys are involved with. I think about how incredibly hurtful it would be to hear from a guy you're involved with that he's going to reject you if your physical appearance deviates from what it was when he first met you. Way to tell her that her other qualities don't mean squat.


I hope they are strong women. I hope they know they are more than their bodies. I hope they know there are men who will appreciate and desire them more for who they are than what they look like. I hope they know there are men who are able to love unconditionally. I hope they realize it's no big loss if these guys dump them because they're "too fat." I hope they love themselves enough to be proactive about leaving instead of starving themselves to please someone else. I hope they realize that the "correct" body size is not a pre-requisite to being loved.


But mostly, I'm just glad to have been involved with the men I've been involved with because nearly all of them understood that there was more to me than my body size.

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You Did WHAT?!


Today, I overhead the following exchange: 20-something gal and a 20-something guy. The guy and the gal know each other through work. The guy is telling the gal about a first date he had with someone off a dating website. He says he got to the date and discovered the girl he was meeting was significantly larger than she described herself. He excused himself to make a phone call....and he never returned. The gal he was relating this tale to was mortified and told him he was incredibly rude to do that. She told him the least he could've done was gone back after he "made the phone call" and say something had come up and he had to leave. Did I mention the guy in question is a larger than average dude?


Y'know, I've been on enough of these "meet people without seeing them first" kinda things when I was single, and it would never occur to me to up and leave just because someone was less than I expected. Now, if he thought she was a complete psycho and thought she might lunge accross the table and attack him, I could see up and leaving...but he indicated in the conversation that his problem was the fact she'd lied about her weight. I agree with him...to a point...it was wrong of her to lie about something so obvious...but that was no excuse for him to become rude and hurtful.


The "an emergency came up" excuse would've been a more tactful way to handle it. If he had some backbone, he would've called her on the lie, and explained to her that lying from the start wasn't acceptable behavior. But, no, he just got up and left.


I met enough guys who weren't quite what they described, or who I thought were a little creepy, or I knew after 5 minutes of in-person conversation there was no way we were compatible...but I also figured I could make a graceful exit after about an hour or so. It wasn't going to kill me to be nice.


One time, I went to meet a guy from a personal ad and the first words out of his mouth when he saw me were, "Wow. You look exactly like you described." I thought that was kind of an odd thing to say and mentioned that. Seems he'd met a several women who were significantly heavier than what they'd described. He had actually started asking them why they did that. They'd reply with, "If I had told you I was this big, would you have met me?" Probably not, but what's the point of lying about it? So you get the guy to meet you and in about 2 seconds he figures out you're fatter than you said and you're a liar. Not a good start for a potential relationship. All lying did was postpone the rejection.


I do have some sympathy for those larger single gals who may decide to be less than honest about their size to a potential date. I know it's difficult in the current cultural climate, and some people seem to think it's fair game to make rude and hurtful comments about your size. But they just open themselves to more rude and hurtful behavior when they're not honest up front about their size.


This isn't about people having preferences about the size of those they date...it's about treating ALL people with respect and kindness -- even if you don't find them attractive or hot. You show who you really are in the way you treat those people....not in the way you treat those you are attracted to or those you WANT to impress or those you feel could benefit you in some way. It's how you treat the people who annoy you and who you don't find attractive and who you don't want to impress and who can't help you in some way that speaks volumes about who you are.

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Everybody's Got One


And they seem to have no problem showing them lately. I told my husband about the overheard conversation I wrote about in the last entry. His reply was, "Wow. What an a*****e." This morning, another "how do I tell my gf she needs to lose weight" thread appeared. Give me my blinders...I need to not see this stuff for a while.


So in late 2004, I went to career coaching/counseling sessions. My former employer really screwed me up/screwed me over and I needed the therapy to undo the damage, but I also started thinkin' that maybe I should have some sort of plan for when the radio career goes belly up. If I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I've all but lost the passion I once had for this business and this job. It's not the same business as it was 10 or 15 or 20 years ago, and while it is still a palatable way for me to make a living, I'm not particularly energized or challenged by it anymore.


So, after the coaching sessions and personalilty and interest testing, I was left with some idea of the skills I had, the kinds of work environments I would do better in and so on....but no real clear idea of what kind of job or work I should be looking at. However, in the past 2-3 weeks, that's changed, and I'm thinking getting training to be a link removed might be a good thing to do.


There's a community college here that has a 2 year program and there are also several distance training programs. I already have a 4 year degree, so I'm leaning toward the strictly job training program and not the community college. Even so, it's still a big chunk of money...and I don't see myself voluntarily leaving this to go do that. I see it as more of a "I'll just keep doing radio until they ask me to leave, then I'll go do something else." For now, it's enough that I've finally managed to come up with what that "something else" might be.


So, I have the luxury of time to research and time to figure out how to pay for schooling/training without screwing myself over financially. This is good. I'm also not chomping at the bit to get out of my current job. It's not bad...and I'm not unhappy...but realistically, it's a dying field with fewer and fewer of these jobs every year and eventually, in the grand "musical chairs" game, I'm going to be left without a seat. I just want to be prepared for that.


It's not like I have some burning passion to become a Medical Transcriptionist...but I think I may finally be ready to have "just a job." For most of my late teen and adult life, I've haven't been able to have the "just a job" attitude. I've had to do something I really loved and felt passionate about. Who I was and what I did were very closely linked. As I have gotten older, I don't think that's so much the case anymore. A lot of it came about because of what having that attitude ended up meaning at my previous job (being worked to the point of a mental collapse and the ensuing aftermath). Like I told my dietician when I was in therapy with her, I don't have it in me to care about a job that much anymore. Why should I give 110% or even 100% when an employer will be perfectly content with 75%. They're not gonna pay me extra to put forth the extra 25%, so why should I?


At any rate, the projection is there will be increasing demand for Medical Transcriptionists over the next 5-7 years. While it is an initial pay cut, it seems after a few years' experience I'd be making comparable money. Even more quickly if I did it as an independent contractor/self-employed rather than, say, a hospital employee. Even so, I believe most hospitals pay pretty well and have pretty good benefits packages, and it would be less hassle to be an employee than the boss, too.


Yesterday in pondering this, I did come accross this little issue. I was trying to imagine myself telling someone I worked as a Medical Transcriptionist instead of telling them I worked as a radio dj. I have always been aware of the "oooh-ahh" factor involved with my job. People think it's kinda cool or interesting at the very least and some make a fuss because you're sorta-kinda a celebrity.


I like that. I like that maybe more than I'm willing to admit. I like that I get the ooh-ahh reaction from people when I tell them what I do. I like that most of the time, people are very interested in that. I just cannot see the same reaction happening upon telling someone, "I'm a Medical Transcriptionist." And the more I thought about NOT getting that "ooh-ahh" reaction....well, it was a little depressing.


Many years ago, my friend Ray made this oh-so-astute observation about me. He said, "You downplay it when people make a big deal about what you do....but if they don't give you the 'what a cool job' reaction, you get pissed off." Guilty. Oh-so-guilty. Oh-so-tremendously-incredibly-guilty. Ray always understood so many things about me it was just scary.


What would life be like if I had to answer the "what do you do?" question with "I work as a Medical Transcriptionist" and got a reply along the lines of "Oh, that's nice" instead of "ooooh, cool." What would it be like to NOT have that minute of feeling extra-special-cool? Would I eventually stop missing it? How long would that take?


Questions I have no answers for right now.

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They Found Me


More precisely, they found my catnip plant. I went out back to look at my garden this morning, and my once-flourishing, bushy catnip plant has been chewed and looks like it has been stomped on. The oregano right by it is untouched, the tomatoes - nary a leaf harmed, the thyme on the other side of the catnip - hale and hearty.


I suspect a stray feline. Call me crazy, but I believe some random, wandering cat has been in our yard. I'm seeing some chicken wire in my future....


I e-mailed the school that does the distance-learning training program to be a Medical Transcriptionist. They are sending me a brochure and catalog in the mail. The library had several books about the field, and I have them on reserve. The library system in this city is so cool. You can access their catalog online, reserve the books you want and have them sent to your local branch. They e-mail you when your books are ready to be picked up. When you go to pick them up, they have your name on them and they're on some specially designated shelves in the front. On top of that, they have self-serve check-out scanners, they e-mail you 2 days before the due date, and at my branch, return is through a book drop outside the building. I don't have to deal with an acutal person through the whole process of selecting and checking out a book. It's wonderful. But I digress....


The information gathering has begun and continues. As do the random stumbling blocks. Like this one: In some senses, leaving the radio business would feel like failing/giving up. Way back there when I was first getting into radio, there were some (at the time) significant folks who expressed their doubts about my ability to get into, stay in and have some success doing radio.


When things have gotten tough -- when I was having a tough time getting that first gig, when the working conditions haven't been so great, when I ended up working with/for people I had little or no respect for -- thinking of the naysayers gave me strength. Thinking of them doubting me made me push past the discomfort and go, "Oh, yeah? You don't think I can? Just watch me." After living with that mindset for over 20 years, even thinking about walking away from the business starts feeling like maybe they were right. That bothers me.


Logically, I know it doesn't make much sense. I have been able to remain continuously employed in the profession of my choice for 23 years (25 if you include college radio). That is no small feat for a business where firings for silly reasons are commonplace, format changes are rampant, hundreds (if not thousands) of jobs have been eliminated in the past 10-15 years, and 2 years at one place is widely considered to be "a long time."


Still, there's a little nagging voice that says "they" would've been right all along if I walk. That whatever success I have had has little to do with me and more to do with my ability to put up with a lot of crap in comparison to other people, or the fact that they needed to hire a female and I happened to show up or I'm half Asian and can be considered a minority or I knew the person doing the hiring. Heck, since I turned 40, a former co-worker told me I was the EEO trifecta -- female, over 40 and Asian-American. So, I can start to wonder if "they" were right. That I'm maybe not that much more talented than other people who were/are in the business, but there were a lot of other factors that happened to fall in my favor.


Part of the reason I can start thinking that way is because things really have come very easy for me in this business. I just take it for granted because I've always sounded like this...and I've always been able to read copy that way....and talking on the air and making smart a** remarks has been something that's just come natural to me since the beginning. I don't think about it until I see other people struggling with it...then it dawns on me, "Hey...maybe I do have a greater-than-average amount of natural talent for this..."


I thought about checking back in with the career coach I went to in 2004. I wouldn't be surprised if I end up having a few sessions with her before I get a whole lot further into this process.

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Because This Is What I Won't Get Anymore


I get done with my show and go to put my headphones away. There is an intern sitting at a computer in our prep room. There is nearly always an intern sitting at a computer in the prep room, so I don't pay much attention to him. I am going through things that have been left in my mailbox during the day. I make a smart remark about one of the memos aloud...but more talking to myself. The intern hears me and chuckles at what I said. I say something along the lines of "Yeah, why would I need to know about that? I mean, I'm only one of the dj's after all..."


At this point, I realize that last line has attracted the intern's full attention. Turns out he listens to my station quite a bit and has actually called in to the request show I do. He is all chatty and full of questions about how we schedule music, and how do we do this or that, and what songs he likes, and how long have I been doing this and so forth.


It is at this point I realize he's not a bad looking kid. Maybe 20 if that. And he's looking at me like I'm some uber-cool creature just because of this job I have. If I wasn't married, I wasn't hyper-aware I am old enough to be this kid's mother, and it wasn't work...I could see myself having a crush on him. But those three factors (my uber-cool husband, my age and it's work) are enough to keep it in check. I have visions of being some sort of local version of one of those female teachers who takes up with a male student or some mom who starts messing around with one of teenage son's friends or something. No thanks. I don't need my picture plastered on link removed with some lurid story that has everybody talkin' for about a day.


And, then, I heard this in the car this morning....and it made me laugh.


Hey Nineteen - Steely Dan


Way back when in 67

I was the dandy

Of Gamma Chi

Sweet things from Boston

So young and willing

Moved down to Scarsdale

And where the hell am I

Hey Nineteen

No we can't dance together

No we can't talk at all

Please take me along

When you slide on down

Hey Nineteen

That's 'Retha Franklin

She don't remember the Queen of Soul

It's hard times befallen

The sole survivors

She thinks I'm crazy

But I'm just growing old

Hey Nineteen

No we got nothing in common

No we can't talk at all

Please take me along

When you slide on down

The Cuervo Gold

The fine Colombian

Make tonight a wonderful thing

We can't dance together

No we can't talk at all

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Astrological Weirdness


I used to really be into Astrology and other Metaphysical/New Age-y stuff. Hung out with a bunch of professional Astrologers and Psychics for a while. I met many of those folks through my radio gig. They'd come in to do call-in shows and I'd screen the calls for those shows. One of them had a TV show on a community access channel for a while, and I screened the calls for her show.


So, I got to learn a bit about Astrology, got free readings out the yang, and while I do believe there's something to much of that stuff, I think that our own thoughts have more power to shape our future than the stars or the Tarot or I Ching. But I wonder what an Astrologer would make of this: I have had 4 emotionally significant relationships with people who were born in the same 10 day period (different years): July 19, July 22, July 23 and July 29. Yes, one of those dates is my husband's birthday. I think it's just kind of odd...and I wonder if other people have that same sort of thing -- the majority of their long term relationship partners' birthdays are clustered in a short period of time -- or if it's just me.


I was a cookin' fool this weekend - sweet corn cakes, a homemade knock-off of Boston Market's chicken, shish kebob, BBQ meatloaf, a totally decadent chocolate fudge cake. And enough leftovers that I won't have to cook dinner for another night or two.


We also fixed the window screens. The house still has the original aluminum-frame windows. They are double-pane, but we are going to need to replace them sooner rather than later. The screens look like they've been replaced/repaired at some point, the whoever did it did kind of a crappy job. We re-did one entirely and also re-did the screen door for the sliding door. The rest we're just patching because there are only small holes/tears in them. The idea was to get them to a point where they're functional, keeping in mind that we're not planning on them being around long term.


The tomato plants are big enough that they needed tomato cages. We went and got those and put them in over the weekend, too. My catnip plant seems to be springing back from the assault. Everything else is looking pretty good, too. It rained a lot last night, so I'm sure that'll help.

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