Thursday, July 29, 2010

20 Pound Mark

Well, last week I hit the 20 pound weight loss mark on my Jenny Craig program.  Boy, do I ever recommend this program.  The food is amazing and I feel great.  The compliments don't hurt either!  I'm looking forward to continuing on this path.  In honor of this mark I had a new photo installed on the sidebar.  Here's another one from the same day.  Thanks for all your support. 

(Yeesh, when did the spirit of Farrah Fawcett take over my hair?!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Really Hates Bath Time

But Takes Great Pleasure In Shaking It Off

Monday, July 26, 2010

The One Where I Complain A Lot With All The Complaining

My back is killing me right now.  Literally killing me - like, I'm making final arrangements.  I have a notoriously messed up back, partly due to genetics (thanks Mom!) and partly because I did Texas Gymnastics for much of my childhood.  Why do I say Texas Gymnastics? Because this kind of gymnastics wasn't Gymboree.  It was like Texas Cheerleading or Texas Football: BIG.  In Texas, you go big or you go home.  I have distinct memories of being in some kind of splits-like stretch on the floor and the coach would come up and put all of his weight on my back so I would go all the way to the floor.  Like, forehead touching industrial carpeting.  They did this to all of us, one after the other.  I told a doctor about this once and I thought he was goin to call up that gym just to yell and scream at someone for THE PAIN and THE ABUSE and THE CARELESSNESS!  And I was all, "dude, just fix my back, then we can work on fixing Texas, mmkay?"

Late last year, I hurt my lower back.  Bad.  Lie in a prone position and contemplate death kind of bad.  It happened at work (damn wily 2 year olds) so the workers comp paperwork made it even more fun.  This current pain is in my upper back and is not related to any specific injury that I can remember other than the fact that I am a complete klutz.  I walk into things that other people would have to search out to injure themsevles on.  So this new and painful pain has driven me to see my massage therapist twice and the non-force chiropractor once.  Finally it has come down to GIVE ME THE DRUGS AND NO ONE LOSES AND EYE!  My friend asked if I had ever done accupuncture and I said that yes, I had before for headaches and depression and that it had worked well.  She was too freaked out by the needle idea to give it a go.  This is all a really roundabout way to get to some stories about needles and my back. 

I suffered with migraines for years and they have only begun to disappear in the last year or so.  The height of these migraines, when they were worst and closest together, was also the height of the West Nile Virus craze.  It was the swine flu of 2002.  That year also happened to be the year that I spent 2 weeks in Costa Rica after High School graduation.  I highly recommend not mentioning migraines and Costa Rica in the smae sentence to a doctor unless you are really in the mood for a CT Scan or MRI or both.  After one CT scan showed slight swelling in my brain (which was later found to be incorrect and the diagnosis was actually Hypochondriac Aged Doctor With Bad Eyesight, or HADWBE.) I was sent for a spinal tap to check for "The West Nile".  I want you to let those words sink in.  SPINAL. TAP. Now, I'm not afraid of needles at all. Stick me, draw blood, give me an IV, no problem.  But I am kinda protective of my spine.  There is just some biological urge to run screaming from the room at the very mention of taking fluid from around the spinal cord.  I don't like those words, spinal cord.  They give me the shivers just typing them.  At this point, I was on a hospital bed totally freaking out.  Losing My Shit.  I was begging the doctor to "please just give me a sedative" and he kept saying "after I'm done".  After you're done? Thanks Dr. Backwards but usually the anesthetic comes before the surgery.  There's less annoying screaming that way.  I got through the spinal tap, otherwise known as one of the most awkward feelings ever.  It's not a particularly painful procedure, but highly strange.  Feeling the pressure of a large gauge needel in you back isn't pleasant at all.  I have also had epidural injections of steroids to fix some back issues, but they are nothing compared to a spinal tap.  The epidural injections don't actually puncture (yeesh, that word) the spinal sac (dry heave) but rather put fluid around the sac.  That makes all the difference in the world.

So, now you know that you can't freak me out with needles.  Although one college professor managed to freak me out a bit with a story about a darning needle in an eye.  I will share that story at some point unless 1. I discover some HIPPAA regulations preventing me from doing so, or 2. you leave me a comment saying please, god, no darning needle in the eye stories.  

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Enjoying The Trip

I was looking through my Senior yearbook from high school and found a note tucked in the back.  My AP English teacher gave it to me.  It has a poem on the front and a personal note inside.  As I read it, for the first time in 8 years, I found how wonderfully it illustrates what being in my twenties, in this place in life in general is like.  Thanks Mrs. Williamson, you taught me so much!

by C.P. Cavafy
translated from Greek by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard

When you set out for Ithaca, 
pray that your road's a long one, 
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - don't be scared of them:
you won't find things like that on your way
as long as your thoughts are exalted,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon - you won't encounter them
unless you bring them along inside you,
unless your soul raises them up in front of you.

Pray that your road's a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when - 
full of gratitude, full of joy - 
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading centers
and buy fine things,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfumes of every kind,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
may you visit numerous Egyptian cities
to fill yourself with learning from the wise. 

Keep Ithaca always in mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it goes on for years
so you're old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you've gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaca to make you rich.
Ithaca gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She hasn't anything else to give.

And if you find her poor, 
Ithaca wont' have fooled you.
Wise as you'll have become,
and so experienced,
you'll have understood by then what Ithaca means.

Recently I have been both dreading my birthday in August, which is a first, and wishing that I would be in my 30's already so I don't have to deal with all the shit that comes with being at this place in life.  Clearly I need to slow down and enjoy the moments.
(Oh, and take a look at the new photo of me on the sidebar!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Earning His Keep - Bloggy Style

Friday, July 16, 2010

Location, Location, Location

I recently sat down with a friend who loves real estate and looked over places out here (Marin County).  Phew, expensive.  Then, just for fun, we looked up the going rates for some places where I grew up in Texas.  It was an unsettling moment.  

Me: "Okay, the Zip code is 78212"

Her: "This is where you grew up?"

Me: "Yep!  It's a great old neighborhood with wide streets and beautiful homes."  

Her, pulling up a picture of an amazing Craftsman house: "This one is 5,000 square feet.  For   $500,000.  What's wrong with it?"

Me: "Nothing" 

Her: "Nothing?"

Me:  "Maybe this isn't a good idea.  Let's just close up the computer and..."

Her:  "And this one is 4,000 square feet with a pool!  For $400,000!  That would be $4 million out here."

Me:  "Okay, let's just close up the...No, I wouldn't, okay, umm.  No don't...!"

Her:  "This one is new!  It's enormous.  It has hardwood floors!  Are they kidding with these prices."

Me: "No.  Anyway, if you want the prices, you have to live in Texas.  No ocean view.  Lot's of humidity.  Very, very hot.  Let's just close up, no more typing."

Her:  "Ooh, look at this one..."

Me: "Just repeat after me, Location, Location, Location."

Her: "Location, Location...5,000 square feet!"

Me:  "Okay, I'm done, just call me from Texas to let me know you made it okay."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Art Studio

I have been having some fun experimenting with new iPad apps.  One of my new favorites is "Art Studio".  I can have fun making my pictures look like paintings using just my stylus.  It is very relaxing, like raking a sand garden or something.  Here are a few of my creations.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yet More Conversations With My Father

Me:  "You know the TV show Monk and how he sees his therapist between one and four times a week
         depending on how he's doing?"

Dad:  "Yeah"

Me:  "I'm having a 2 session week."

Dad:  "hmmm"

Me:  "I'm 2 session crazy.  Maybe 2 double sessions crazy."

Dad: "...."

Me:  "It gets expensive too.  Being crazy is expensive."

Dad:  "..."

Me:  "Well, good conversation.  I'll discuss your lack of interest in what I have to say during one of my
         sessions this week.  You think there is a box to check on the insurance claim form that says
         Parental Malfunction?"

Dad:  "Bite me"

Me:  "Like I said"

(This was from a few weeks ago.  I am having a zero session week this week.  So don't worry.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tar Balls And Dropped Vowels

After the oil spill in the Gulf some 80+ days ago, I began thinking of my own childhood summers at Texas beaches.  Then, just a week or so ago, reports started coming in about tar balls showing up on Texas shores.  Suddenly, like a slap upside the head, I remembered tar on the beaches when I was little.  We always spent part of the summer at "The Coast" during my 17 years in Texas.  "The Coast" in this case being one of the barrier islands off the side of Texas like Port Aransas.  And after not thinking of it for years, I suddenly rushed back in time and remembered using tar wipes at the beach showers.  These wipes were just there, waiting by the showers to get tar off big and little feet alike.  I never thought much of it.  The beach came with seaweed and jellyfish and tar.  These problems can be taken care of with screaming like a dying seal when it brushes against you, meat tenderizer, and tar wipes respectively.  It never occurred to me that the oil rigs we could see way off on the horizon were responsible for the tar on our toes.  I suppose when something has always been there we don't ask questions.  Or at least I don't.  Like how when I was little I thought every city had a Sea World. 

Anyway, when talking about the oil spill recently I mentioned the tar phenomenon and people don't believe me.  Like this is what I would choose to lie about.  Look, I live with my parents, I have bigger lies to keep up with.  So I need the help of my fellow Texans to convince The Internet that this is real.  Just leave a comment saing how lovely and right I am.  I will bribe you with some cute photos of me at the beach when I was little.

{As a side note, I hope that we don't let drilling go so far that every beach has rigs in the distance and every child washes tar off their tiny hot feet.  Can we agree it isn't healthy for anyone?
Oh, and yes, like a good Southerner pronounce "oil" as "ol", one syllable no "i".  This drives my Midwestern mother crazy.  Just like when I pronounce "milk" as "melk".  Are you reading mom?  Melk, melk melk...Ol, Ol, Ol}

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Conversations With My Parents

Mom: "Are you drinking milk out of a wine glass?"

Me: "Yes"

Mom: "Okay...Why?"

Me:  "It's the only thin glass that was clean.  I can't drink milk from these thick glass cups."

Mom:  "That's weird."

Me:  "Milk in general freaks me out.  I have to drink it, and this is the way I can do it."

Dad who just walked in:  "Are you drinking milk from a wine glass?"

Me: "Yes, as I was saying, I can only drink milk from thin glass."

Dad: "You're a strange child."

Me:  "Look, it's your DNA."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Big Boy

I recently had the opportunity to photograph Hayden again.  The pictures were to be a Father's Day present for his Daddy, that's why I couldn't share them until now.  
You might remember him as this guy (well, the one in the bump)

Or maybe this tiny 5 pound guy

Well, 4 months (and ten pounds) later here again is my favorite photography subject.  Be prepared for lots of pictures, he's lots of cute.  

And here are a couple of collages I immediately threw together with a new app on my iPad

I can't wait to see how he will change in a few more months. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blogging Bloggers

I wanted to give a shout out to Florida Remodel Gal who has had me creating her blog headers from the beginning of her blog about a year ago.  My latest creation is up right now.  I have to say, the house looks AMAZING!  FRG, you must keep that guest room open!  


Sometimes, when I am feeling a need for fresh air, I go on a walk up my driveway with my camera and Macro lens and see what I can capture.  For those of you not familiar with the property, my driveway is about a quarter mile long and bordered on one side by a creek and forest and the other by grasses and more forest.  It's not your ordinary driveway.  
Here are some of the things I captured. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bedside Manner

I see three doctors regularly right now.  The first is my general practitioner who I see when I get sick.  The second is my Psychiatrist, who manages my mind meds.  The third is my Psychologist (therapist) who helps me in many ways.  A rare thing has happened.  I have found three doctors, in three separate fields, who I like.  They are good at what they do, but also have amazing people skills.  
Realizing this made me think of an old joke: 

"What do you call the person who was last in their class in medical school?"


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ladies In Waiting

My mother recently purchased a tub (tupperware? box?) of ladybugs to release into her garden.  I saw this as the perfect opportunity to get some great shots of these normally elusive little ladies.