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it’s my blog’s birthday! (in a week)

February 7th, 2012

King Woogie

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

hey, dear Blog,

happy birthday, blog. happy happy wacky mommy blog that doesn’t pay the bills but keeps me writing. on Valentine’s Day we will celebrate seven years together. as my Dear Late Granny would say, Seems like seventy. so let’s have some fun, my blog, every day this month. (or as close to it as we can, what say?)

you go first.

kidding.

let’s start with a few random posts, based on what people are looking for in their searches:

1) chocolate volcano cake. this recipe is my ma’s, but I stole it and now it’s mine. and now it’s yours. I have heard that women have been proposed to once they made this cake for those special men in their lives.

2) skinny bitch in the kitch. i didn’t write it, but i appreciate the sass behind the phrase.

3) dolphin sex (what?)

4) wacky mommy sex

5) rockstar mommy (my girl, not yours. sorry, that’s all i’m gonna say ;) mine mine mine)

and now five of my favorites:

1) i had a bad year in 1997 (one of the hardest things i ever had to write)

2) & 3) two columns about racism: one and two

4) Happy VD! Clap, everybody, clap!

and…

one of my very, very favorites:

5) Thirteen Ways to Get It Up

come back tomorrow and we’ll play some more, ‘k?

xo

nancy

contact lenses vs. glasses vs. bifocals vs. I need to see

January 24th, 2012

I can read this pretty well:

Huh?

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

And the winner is: The AcuVue TruEye, 1-day disposable soft contact lens

Second place: AcuVue Moist 1-day disposable lens

Third place: AcuVue Oasys, which are supposed to last two weeks but bug me after about three days

No place: Bifocals, aka “Progressive lenses,” which make me throw up (I’m talking about glasses; my mom uses the bifocal contact lenses and says they’re alright, but to me that sounds like a smaller version of hell)

Glasses: Mostly work, except when I need to read. (Middle age equals… I don’t get it. But although I am near-sighted, and barely have any correction in my left eye, I can only see close-up when I take off my glasses. “Playing the trombone,” as Bing Crosby called it in “White Christmas” — holding the letter far away from you, then up close in a vain attempt to see what those little squiggly words say.)

Reading glasses: The cheap-o’s from Safeway. Over contacts, I can see great for everything. Except driving. Then I need plain contact lenses or regular glasses

Readers: Like the cheap-o reading glasses, but prescription (see: right eye/left eye variances). Great for reading and writing longhand; worthless for computer. I wear them by themselves — no contacts.

Sunglasses: Prescription. They had to adjust the “warp” around the edges so I don’t get sick

Stupid motion-sickness. Stupid bad eyes. Can’t do Lasix — doc says my eyes are too dry, and I have astigmatism in both and “You would not be a good candidate.” Would my first wish be for world peace? Or perfect vision? Argh. Don’t ask me that, today. You know those eye tests where they ask, Which is better? 1? or 2? 2? or 3? 3? or 4? My response is now: “Uh…”

My eye doc and I have been working on all of this for two years, and this elaborate plan is working for now. The fierce headaches are lifting. We’ll see how this goes…

(No, I didn’t get paid for any of this. Going into debt just so I can see properly to read, work on computer and focus on the tiny print.)

“pre-” (“there is no such thing as pre-!!!”) diabetes and me and Paula Deen

January 23rd, 2012

Oh, Paula Deen, Paula Deen. Jamie and Bobbie… You get over here, too, please, so we can have a little chat.

The Op-Ed pieces are arriving, so here’s mine along with the rest of the flood. She has known for three years she has Type 2 diabetes, and the woman who shares her life, “Y’all, I have to tell ya…” didn’t tell us.

Then she makes a deal with a pharmaceutical company to rep for them, and her son gets his “low-cal” cooking show going and… there ya have it, y’all. Step right up and have a fried treat. Only in moderation. (cough, choke.) Here, try this:

Compose yourself
(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Fried Twinkies are just never a good idea. Not even on a dare. “Once you’ve had one, you’ll never go back.” For that matter, donuts instead of buns on a cheeseburger? Equally lousy idea. Cheeseburgers, just your standard cheeseburgers, are a lousy idea all by their lone. Having one once in awhile is OK. If by “once in awhile” you mean “maybe twice a year.” I still prefer mine the way I did when I was a kid — no cheese, no bacon, light on the condiments and lots of pickles, lettuce and tomatoes. Then I would eat about half the burger (one patty, not two or three or four) and feed the rest to the dog.

After we lost Good Dog Gus, the first time we went out for a burger I started to set mine aside for him like always. Steve asked, Who u gonna feed your burger to now? (He eats veggie burgers, as do the kids.) (OK, make that veggie nuggets for them, or just french fries and ketchup.)

I like her shows and her family’s cookbooks, but damn. I like them in a i am hypnotized by you gah, gah, gah way.

* It is possible to make greens without ham and bacon grease.
* Just eat a damn Twinkie if you want one — don’t fry it up.
* Ribs? Once a year, if that, gaaahhhhhh…

Anthony Bourdain called her “the worst, most dangerous person” in America. Yeah, obesity and diabetes and just generally livin’ large and congratulating ourselves for it truly are the worst problems in America, in my opinion. That kind of thinking leads you to health problems, a huge deficit and war. Deen retaliates by saying, “…not everybody can afford to pay $58 for prime rib or $650 for a bottle of wine. My friends and I cook for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the bills.”

You’re worried about the grocery bill? Stop eating meat and substitute beans and rice. Anytime I buy meat, fish or chicken at the store, I go into sticker shock and swear I’m never buying it again. Yesterday, for instance, I was craving salmon cakes. Ten dollars for two of them. And salmon grows here. It isn’t like I’m having it shipped in from Europe.

Why not have some beets, instead? They’re cheaper… and really pretty.

Beets me!
(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Costs? Budget? Don’t forget to budget in the health costs of cigarettes, sodapop, junk food and Pixie Sticks. Who can afford $500 a month for diabetes medicine? Get some exercise, eat right and try to rein that diabetes in if you can. It’s treatable, so much of the time. (No, I am not a medical professional, that’s my disclaimer, what do I know? But that’s what I’ve heard. The docs say that losing even 5 percent of your body weight can get your blood sugars under control. Also, people who are cutting back on or cutting out meat/dairy/eggs seem to be having luck combating diabetes.)

For those of you concerned about my innocent, growing children, “You must feed them meat!” Yeah… that. I would, you know. If they’d eat it. If they weren’t vegetarians. We do multi-vits and cook using cast-iron. Their calcium, protein, B12 and iron levels are just fine. We try to eat right and mostly do OK with it. We could do better.

I do feel a little defensive sometimes, when I hear the voices of critics, or my Dear Late Granny in my head. (I finally finished the recipes and story for her cookbook/memoir, by the way. Go me. It only took me… uh… six years? Lots of bacon, fear not. Feel free to omit it. Also lots of veggie recipes from Steve, me and our family and friends. And 100 dessert recipes. Gawd. I’ll post the link when we’re done editing and get it bound — probably a month or two down the road? #famouslastwords…)

Back to Bourdain… he seems to prefer street food in Vietnam to $650 bottles of wine. When he’s asked, Aren’t you worried about getting sick? He says, You’re more likely to get food poisoning from a buffet in America. True that.

You know what makes you sick? Eating a whole ton of greasy, fried everything. It makes your tummy sick, your skin sick, and it can make you bloated, fat and miserable. I can speak freely now cuz God love her, she’s gone, but I used to be one unhappy chick after I ate a big Sunday meal at Granny’s. Someone would scoop out three-fourths of the bacon grease from a pot of beans, and she would add in another two cups the next time she walked by.

My mom and dad cooked everything simply, without a lot of salt and hardly any grease. We joke that we’d have two or three baked pork chops on a plate, pass them around and around, and there would still be two left over. We didn’t have a lot of money and ate out only occasionally. My friends were all fast food and candy junkies. Doritos, frozen pizza, sodapop and deep-fried burritos left me grimacing. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, though, and liked to bake.

This, by the way, is not moderation:

cake pops

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

I have had a thyroid condition since I was 12 or 13. It alternates between hypo- and hyper- (cold/hot, down/up, sluggish/restless) so I never had to worry about my weight much until I hit my thirties. Even though I only gained 25 pounds with my first kid, I lost 50 after. Doesn’t that sound great? Nope. God, I was sick. The doctor had my thyroid dose racheted way too high, and between that and nursing my baby, I was dropping a pound a day. I used to joke, Want to lose a pound a day? Ask me how.

I almost bled to death and was exhausted. With our second baby, I gained 33 pounds, and took better care of myself, after. (Both kids were 10-pounders, but I didn’t get gestational diabetes. We grow ‘em big in our families.)

The sugar blues hit during the first pregnancy, once the morning sickness lifted (I was actually sick for most of both pregnancies, except for the first and ninth months). Mad, mad cravings like I’ve never had before. Pepsi, Orange Crush, ice cream, cookies, cake. Dreaming about sugar, baking more than I’ve ever baked in my life. Then we shifted into “kid diet”: mac and cheese, goldfish crackers, apple and grape juice, birthday cakes, Easter candy, Halloween candy… Next thing you know, I’m swooping down into sugar crashes, not eating enough vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, and I’m comforting myself with white wine or vodka. (We bloggers have not done anyone any favors with our “Mama deserves a drinkie” mentality. We’re the new version of the drunk ’50s housewife, partying with her friends and waiting for the men to come home.)

I’ve put on too many pounds.

So I quit drinking last April — it was becoming a crutch, I was worried about diabetes, I didn’t want to set a bad example for my kids. Thyroid/diabetes issues seem to go hand-in-hand, all that hormonal/endocrine stuff ties together. I finally had the surgery I’d been putting off. Two years later, I work out almost every day (half hour yoga, plus an hour on the treadmill, water aerobics — when I make it there– and walks around our hilly neighborhood). I have loads of energy and don’t end up in the ER anymore for health complications (knock wood twice, good Lord).

Every time I have had my blood sugar levels measured, even when I’m feeling my crummiest, “oh you’re fine! and besides, there is no thing as being pre-diabetic… you’re either diabetic or not! and you’re not!” Afterwards, I used to celebrate by stopping by *$$$ for a 500-calorie fancy drink and a 500-calorie slice of poundcake (or gingerbread, scone or cooky). Then one day I read the calorie card they keep behind the counter and now I only go there once in awhile instead of constantly.

Smoking? I quit 26 years ago this coming June. I had smoked for 10 years. I’ll be 50 in two years. You do all that math.

We eat better now, we don’t eat out that often, and I’m trying (trying) to reach for a piece of fruit instead of a cooky.

Finally ripening
(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Oh yeah, and I’m hooked on those “House Hunters” shows now more than the food shows.

I’ve lost almost 20 pounds, and would be happy to ditch 5, 10, or 15 more. Grateful that it’s not a bigger number than that, but if it was? I’d deal with it. Look, I’m not telling you all this personal information to be all nyah-nyah — I’ve worked hard, and I’ve faced some pretty tough challenges with all of this health crap. You know when I reach for more snacks? At night, when I’m watching TV and mmmmm big steak mmmmmmm onion rings mmmmmmm ice cream sundaes.

As a society, we’re bombarded with this. I want to feel good, not crummy. That’s what motivates me. I want the same for Steve and the kids.

So Deens… I don’t think you’ve ever set a good example, foodwise, and I don’t think you’re helping much, now. Give some credit to those of us who are trying. C’mon… step right up.

from Zoot and Sarah and others…

December 30th, 2011

King Woogie takes a nap
(photo by Steve Rawley)

thanks for the writing prompt, y’all.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? Started working out every day.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I always pledge to get more writing done, and this year I did.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My girlfriend C! She had a little girl. Happy mama of four now. And K’s mommy had a little boy. Sweet babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes.

5. What countries did you visit? USA and that’s it. Would like to travel to Canada next year and check out Butchart Gardens.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? World peace. Again.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Hmmm — the kids’ birthdays, probably. And Steve’s and mine, too.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting my first novel published. Also I quit drinking. Christmas Eve made eight months for me. It feels really good, and we’re saving a load of money, too.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not going there.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, knock wood.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Food.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My kids’. They make me proud every day.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? People who are in charge who should not be.

14. Where did most of your money go? House and food and utility bills. And gas.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Planting our first garden at the new house.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011? Probably “Forget You,” by Cee Lo Green.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier, for sure.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? More content, that’s all I care about.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Played.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Cleaned house.

20. How did you spend Christmas? At home. It was peaceful and good, and we had good food to eat (in spite of a broken stove). For New Year’s Eve, we told the kids to invite their friends over for a kids-only party. Should be lively.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011? Man, I fall in love with Steve all over again every day. Thank God, cuz otherwise we’d throttle each other.

22. What were your favorite TV programs? Revenge, New Girl, Raising Hope, Glee

23. What was the best book you read? Whatever one I’m reading right now. Today, it’s Ruth Reichl’s memoir, “Garlic and Sapphires.” Funny and wicked.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Pop music! The kids have established full and complete musical domination over us.

25. What did you want and get? Love and time with Steve and the kids.

26. What did you want and not get? For all of my friends (and for me, too) to get (and keep) jobs. Also for everyone to stay healthy and for no one to die.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? The final Harry Potter.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 47. My family made me homemade ravioli and cake poppers, it was awesome. We celebrated at home, and we celebrated after the fact, but for some reason, this just made it more special. Awww…

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If it had worked out at my last job. But it didn’t. Next!

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Work-out attire, 101.

31. What kept you sane? Walking on my treadmill daily, doing yoga, meditating.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Occupy protesters.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? Occupy and everything they’re doing to give our country a shove in the right direction.

34. Who did you miss? (Same answer as Zoot’s) As always: My Dad. My friend Frank. And, for our entire community cuz we’re all missing him, Rob. Frank and Rob’s families are in my thoughts daily.

35. Who was the best new person you met? My friend A, who I hope to spend more time with in 2012.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. Drinking makes you depressed. Who knew? hahaha.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year you can’t get out of your head.

“All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you’d better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet.”

Cheerful, no? Music is a sign of the times, that’s all.

Happy Year of the Dragon, everyone.

– wm

my mom likes my novel and you will, too

October 30th, 2011

Not even kidding! My mom just finished reading my novel (finally, good God), and yes, the verdict is in and she likes it.

Thank you, Jeebus. This from the woman who never reads my blog. (“You still write your little blog?” Yes, I do, woman.)

So what more glowing recommendation do you need than that? Also, my sister thinks it’s great! (Yeah. You think I’m like, damning with faint praise or pointing out the obvious or something, but they love to read, and I drive them both a little “bonkers,” so for them to like my book? This is high praise. My entire life I’ve been shoving pages in their faces and yelling READ THIS RIGHT NOW! “Alright, already, calm the hell down, Sylvia.)

(ps private note to my cousin and my father-in-law, who as far as I know are my sole family members who read The Blog… Hi, you guys! kiss kiss.) (My sister does read it sometimes, I think. Steve, too, but I think only because I follow him on Facebook and he feels “obligated.” Since FB and Twitter took off, I have about four readers total, I believe.) (Yeah, my daughter and son glance at the site once in awhile, but only to make sure they’re not mentioned. They’ve forbidden me to write about them here. Ever. Hi, you two. Mommy loves you!)

If you have a Kindle, buy yourself a copy. Gift one to a friend while you’re at it. If you don’t have a Kindle, go read the excerpt and maybe you’ll want to order a copy when we start printing ‘em. (Steve is putting finishing touches on the tech stuff as I type this.) We’re working with Create Space on Amazon — will keep you posted as we battle through our latest tech-geek adventure. (Thanks, Stevie. Sorry you haven’t had any weekends off in… uh… a long time.)

Will it be on the Nook? Who knows. We’re trying. But Amazon and Barnes & Noble don’t seem to groove that well with each other at the moment, do they now? (understatement of century.)

Apparently some of the snobbier book critics out there refuse to read/review any books that are self-published. Well, how are they going to enjoy my fine book if they stick to this rule? I’ve never peed in anyone’s pool in my life, thank you very much. Well, there was that time when I was 6, but hello! I was 6!

It’s not like I haven’t tried to get an agent/publisher — I have. For years. If I wrote books whose covers were illustrated with high heels, champagne glasses, baby bottles and binkies, I think I’d have a better shot. But you know what? As much as I love that genre (“jenner,” as my late friend Milly called it. “I love that jenner!”), it’s not my style. My stuff is a little… dark. Funny. Intense. Creepy. I cut to the bone. What’s wrong with that? I made a deal with myself, when I was a really little kid, that I would only write stuff that was no bullshit. Cut to the chase. The bone, if necessary.

I was furious, senior year in high school, because this stellar essay I wrote was “too personal,” according to my English teacher. Imagine.

(How did I know it was stellar? My teacher told me.) He wouldn’t let me read it aloud at an event they had on campus. I was one of three students whose work was entered in a contest for the National Council of Teachers of English. They were allegedly honoring us. Well, not all of us. Yeah, it was a big deal and all. Except if you were me.

You know who got the glory? A guy who wrote a story that was a complete and total rip-off of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, right down to the stinkin’ albatross. Where is the justice? (That was me, walking home from school, waving my fists at the heavens.) That’s called plagiarism, ya idiots!

You know the only reason “Confederacy of Dunces” was published? The author, the brilliant and misunderstood John Kennedy Toole, took his own life. He was depressed over his book not getting published, that’s why. Some idiot editor told him it had no point. If you haven’t read “Confederacy of Dunces,” you need to read a copy of that, too. You will see that it is A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. (One of my favorite book titles of all-time, btw.)

Kennedy’s mom, Thelma Toole, went a little crazy, herself, after her son died. She was determined as hell to get his book published. “Each time it came back I died a little,” she said, about the numerous rejections she received. Finally, she barged into the office of writer Walker Percy, who was then a prof at Loyola University New Orleans. He was a little concerned that she was apeshit, because, you know. She was.

But then, guess what? He read the book. He fell in love with it. And he helped to get it published.

See how important mothers are?

Also, if Toole had been able to self-publish as easily as we can nowadays, maybe he would have stuck around to write some more books. That would have been nice, but like they say in Texas, que sera sera.

Now go read my stuff and pssst… pass it on.

xoxoxox

wm

“That’s Not It”

October 2nd, 2011

My first novel, “That’s Not It,” is now available for purchase on Kindle.

(Nook and hard copies are next.)

Happy Sunday, y’all.

wm

“I stuck the letter back in the envelope, Scotch-taped it together, and readdressed it to Buddy, without putting on a new stamp. I thought the message was worth a good three cents. Then I decided I would spend the summer writing a novel. That would fix a lot of people.”

– Sylvia Plath, “The Bell Jar”

note from my good friend…

September 17th, 2011

…when I told her I did not get the full-time job I interviewed for (adding that I have not been offered full-time work since 1998):

“I think you forgot that you have been working more than full time since 1999. Yes it’s unpaid and undervalued but you have been doing the essential and invisible work of mothering since you got pregnant. After the revolution, mothers and elders will be revered properly, but until then we have each other to remind us that making breakfast, feeling warm foreheads, remembering the asthma meds, folding laundry, etc. is THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK ON EARTH.”

So those of you who need to hear this today? Yes, it is the most important work on Earth.

Thanks, my friend. I needed to hear that.

up and down and up again

July 23rd, 2011

Had such a good day today, great mood, great weather, hanging out with my family. The neighbors had a garage sale and let us sell some stuff over there, so we were running back and forth all day, playing and visiting.

Then some rude woman road-raged all over me and it just bummed me out. And freaked me out. (She followed us! WTF?? All because I wasn’t doing what she wanted me to in traffic. ie — I didn’t run down a pedestrian — I waited for him.)

Must. Not. Let. Other people’s moods splash all over me. Then I start snappin’, cuz they’re snappin’! People, we are human beans, not alligators. No snappin’!

Argh.

Now feeling okay, but it’s bedtime. Maybe I’ll stay up for another hour, just to enjoy not being all pissed off. Seriously, it was creepy. And if someone who is road-raging follows you? Drive to the nearest police station, don’t park and pretend nothing is happening. (Like I did.)

Yes. She saw where I parked and keyed my car.

well, i wouldn’t mind blogging

July 3rd, 2011

Dang, summer gets busy, doesn’t it?

Happy Sunday to y’all. And to those of you patriotic types out there, happy Fourth of July. Try not to blow up anything right outside my bedroom window, okay? OK! Hey, I know I’ve been missing in action. But I also know that you don’t read blogs anymore, cuz you’re so busy with that little hussy, Facebook. I have a whole long essay I’d like to write, re: Facebook, but they did a switch-up and made it so you can easily cancel a friend request, if you so desire. And that makes me happy because, you know. Drunk Facebooking: Why It’s Bad.

Kidding! I stopped drinking two months ago! Just booze. I still drink water and iced tea, fyi.

So I cannot blame The Booze for anything anymore. But I never could, anyway. I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but I’ve lost some weight and my blood sugars seem to be not freaking out as much, and that’s good.

Oh. Here’s a social etiquette FB question for you: Let’s say you have a friend, and your friend changes her home number, her cell number, gets a new job, doesn’t give you any of the three new numbers… OK. That’s bad enough, right?

(“Grab a fucking clue!” — my drug-addicted friend’s drug addict boyfriend, when I called her before noon one time. She hung up, then when I called back, he yelled that in the background and she hung up again. Later, this happened. (Different guy.) Uh, yeah. I used to have the sweetest friends!)

Where was I? OK, the phone number thing, then she de-friends you on FB. But keeps your husband as a friend? I think not. She’s not even real-life friends with him! We were friends from, you know, back in the day, WTF? Steve is all, Cat fight, i’m out of here. hahaha. I sent her a friend request, then thought, What am I, nuts? (Grabbing clue, canceling friend request.) The Nice Girl inside of my head keeps saying, primly, I’m sure it was all a big mistake.

Ha.

Here’s how kids cry in the suburbs: “Hu-waaaaaaaaah, hu-waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, hu-waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh…”

Here’s what the moms say: “If everyone can’t play together nicely, then everyone will have to go home.”

Kids: “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!”

(verbatim dialogue from across the street.)

So my question is, I guess: Do I call her? Oh, wait… Alright, if she calls me, do I ask, WTF? Do I send her a message on FB, asking her if we’re still friends? (What am I, a teenager here?) We didn’t have a fight or anything, that I can recall. To the best of my recollection. She got pissed off about something, but that was a long time ago, and I thought we patched it up? (It wasn’t me, anyway — it was a third person, and was just lame.) (I wasn’t even there, alright? Long story, nevermind.)

(here’s some skateboarder dialogue from midnight, the other night. we live on a steep hill that the long-boarders loooooooooooooove. It’s like the Mountain Dew action tour, every frickin’ day):

SPECTACULAR CRASH, followed by:

1st skater: “Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!”

2nd skater: “Dude!”

1st skater: “Dude, seriously. I just fucked up my leg.” (Thirty-second pause.) “It’s okay, it’s just fractured, not broken.”

(thoughts from Dr. Mom: Really? Without an x-ray you just diagnosed that in less than one minute? Wow, you are good!)

2nd skater: “Which direction did your board go?” (we live in the suburbs — it’s like the country out here, at night — dark and everyone asleep in the barn.)

1st skater: “That way. Aiiiiiiiiiiiiii why did I think I could pull that one off?”

Man.

What else? Steve and the kids made me the best birthday dinner last night. (The guys were out of town last week, so we had a belated celebration.) Homemade Cheese Ravioli (thank you, Wacky Girl — your pasta-making skills astound me) and Cake Poppers, a la Zoot. (Thank you, Wacky Boy, for your willingness to smush together cake and frosting and turn it into art). (More pix over here.)

What? It’s not your birthday?

Frances (from “A Birthday for Frances”): “That is how it is, Alice. Your birthday is always the one that is not now.”

i (heart) my family for a lot of reasons, and especially because they always make my birthday special.

Now they’re at a family barbecue, and I am not. Which means I need to get back to editing, already.

hugs and kisses, little fishes,
xoxoxo

me

i don’t have to get my leg amputated

June 3rd, 2011

isn’t that great news? yeah.

did i mention, that in addition to bronchitis, the worst allergies I’ve ever had in my life, a growing sense of “can we please be done with this now please, already?” about my novel (man am i sick of looking for typos, continuity blah blah and misc. plot debris)…

where was I going with this? yes. I had some tumor/growth/alien life force removed from my leg.

that’s why you stop by, right? for the gnarly health news? this wasn’t even gnarly, as these things go. This very beautiful girl doctor and her sweet and also beautiful assistant shoved me backwards on the table, shot up my leg with local anesthetic, and then I don’t even want to know what they did next. But it’s a week later and it’s still sore. Not bad sore — it’s healing up and all, but damn. You just never know what they’re going to do to you, once you step into that strange vortex known as The Doctor’s.

This is me at the doctor’s office. (Thank you, Tom Petty, for the visuals.)

it was just something I didn’t want to deal with and I finally did, yay me. Then I cried because it hurt and the doctor said, If it is malignant, we would need to… and then we’d… and general anesthetic and you’re strong and healthy and would do just fine with that, yes?

my response to that was: “No.” (See? See? Proof on my own blog.)

seriously, Internets. Unlike the rest of my deranged, high-strung extended family, I have extremely low blood pressure. I mean, it’s 90/60 on a good day. When I get sick/stressed/have just had surgery/am losing blood/haven’t had enough milkshakes or sweet potato pie/you name it, it dips to like, 70/47. Then the buzzers and bells start going off, whoop-whoop-aoooooooga! and they all get really excited and things get lively and I think, I am so glad I’m lying down for all this.

Then Steve says, “Even when it’s normal, it’s like, 90/60. She’s a freak, she’s fine.” And then they all simmer down. I can say the same thing, but they don’t listen to Almost-Dead Girl. But they will listen to Steve. Whatever.

Also my lungs have a hard time remembering to breathe. They just… don’t cooperate sometimes.

So I would prefer to never go under general anesthetic for the rest of my life. Also? Veins are collapsing due to Having Too Much Blood Taken for Thyroid Issues and Whatever Else the Vampires Wanted It For.

Hmm.

GOOD NEWS. I called for the test results and the very nice man gave me my favorite letter and my favorite number: B9. Benign!!! Get it? Which is just great, because you know what my favorite movie was when I was a young girl? Sunshine. You know what my favorite book was? (Next to “Wifey,” “Princess Daisy” and any other good smutty trash I could find)… that’s right. Norma Klein’s “Sunshine.” What happens in that book? That’s right. A beautiful teenage mom finds out she has Leg Cancer and her only options are 1) have it cut off or 2) have it cut off or 3) take meds and puke her guts out and then die, anyway.

When you are a teenage girl, this is the sort of book you want to re-read 200 times. So I did. Oh, and “Go Ask Alice.” Yes. So I think this has sort of been a lifelong fear, perhaps. That I will get leg cancer and have to choose between puking/then dying or having my leg amputated. I would choose… neither. I just wouldn’t go to the doctor, that’s how I would solve that one. But I did go to the doc, and all is well. And I’m done with antibiotics for bronchitis and seem to be on the mend. Good! Right on!

Beautiful, happy Friday to you.

– wm

ps in unrelated news, I just filed my first book review for my girls at BlogHer. It’s on “Getting to Happy,” Terry McMillan’s sequel to “Waiting to Exhale.” The review will run sometime this month — I’ll link when it does. (Link!) Will you go check out their site, pretty please? Good stuff on there, and lots of interesting women writing about things that won’t make you wince like I do. Ta-ta for now!

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