So Christmas is finally over, except that tonight we are having our very last family Christmas at my aunt's house. It's mostly about the food though, so I can totally get behind it. We weren't able to do gifts for anyone this year (not even each other), and so we told everyone to avoid shopping for us, but night before last my dad and siblings brought over a whole pile of presents for us, which is just the nicest thing ever. While there are some bad things about being in such proximity to my family, there are also some really, really nice things, and Wednesday night was one of them.

Justin and I felt so loved and supported, and we're lucky to have family that ignores us when we say "don't buy us anything." We would not have survived the last 2 years back in Levelland if it wasn't for my dad, Sussan, my mom (even though she's much farther away), and everyone else, so if any of you are reading this, thank you so much. We can never repay you.

Merry Christmas

I heard the bells on Christmas Day; their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the word repeat of peace on earth, good-will to men!

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Kids Christmas

My nephew, Sean, is moving with his mother to California next week (I think), and so today we had "kids Christmas" at my parents house. The children got to open their presents, the adults got to eat fried chicken (not the typical holiday fare, it's true, but it tasted good, and there's only so much turkey, ham and stuffing a person can eat between November and January). It was fun, except for some reason the seating arrangement when large groups get together at my parents' house is girls in the dining room, boys in the living room, and I don't like sitting away from Justin and my dad. There also seemed to be a lot of pressure on me to get pregnant....if my dad gives me the ever so subtle gift of baby booties for Christmas this year, like he always does when he's shoving D'Liesa down that road I'm going to have a complete meltdown. They have three grandchildren, do they really need anymore? Besides, chances are D'Liesa will be pregnant again eventually. She likes it, it can be her job, that's fine with me.

Strangely enough there is still a tree in my living room...Don't worry, I haven't suddenly been filled with the holiday spirit or anything, I just haven't found the energy to take it down yet.

*please note, the picture is last year's Christmas shot, with my dad as Santa, I haven't managed to get one this year yet.

Wiped Out

I accidentally destroyed my blog today, the template now I have a new one. I actually kind of like this one better...what do you think?

Sorry Sorry Sorry

For the lack of updates. I haven't had much internet time lately, just enough to check my email, drop into a couple of the regular blogs I read and then run right out again. I was out of town for part of last week, and this week has flown by in a blur. I have no idea what's even happened this week, actually.

My grandmother seems to be improving, at least from what I can tell. My mom has been weird on the phone lately, I'm sure the stress is getting to her, but from what I can tell things are better. They moved her out of ICU and into a regular room last week and have started rehab, which she of course hates. She still seems to be herself which is the important thing and although no one has actually mentioned this, I suspect she'll be heading home early in the new year, if not before.

Justin and I are moving our "Christmas" to February. We're really broke right now, and can't really afford the gift thing, so we're just going to have a big do for Valentine's Day, or possibly Justin's birthday instead. Christmas always seems to tip me a little deeper into my depression, so just ignoring it I think will help. We are of course doing something with my family, but we've asked that it just be food this year. They can do gifts with each other some other time, before or after we're there. I fight with myself every day to keep from taking down the tree. It usually makes it 'til at least the 23rd, but I started the 17th eyeing it warily. I think it puts too much pressure on us to actually have something under it, besides empty boxes and a dog. It will probably come down today. Next year, I won't be putting it up.

So that's the scoop. Oh and congratulations to my lovely and amazing friend Amanda, who gave birth on Tuesday night to the most delicious baby boy ever. His name is Eli Cole Martin and you can read all about him on her blog, which I have conveniently linked for you.


My grandmother had a (relatively) minor stroke yesterday. When I last talked to my mom she had regained use of her left leg, but as far as I could tell (Mom was being sort of vague) she did not have use of her left arm or the left side of her face. She is however well enough that she can complain and boss people around, which I think is a good sign.

I think...I'm sort of in shock about this I guess. I haven't completely freaked out or cried or anything that I feel like I should have done. I don't know if it's because I know that it's probably going to be okay or because I'm a bad person or what, but I feel generally numb and slightly confused when I think about it.

When I was in 5th grade, my grandfather had a massive stroke. He survived (for several more years), but he was never himself again. He didn't really have language, couldn't get up and down or walk by himself, couldn't swallow liquids...I don't really remember much besides that, and the fact that he cried a lot because he knew the condition he was in. When I think about that I cry...this time there's just nothing. I don't know what's wrong with me.

I'll post more as I know more.


For Christmas my aunt got everyone (Justin, my siblings and me) tickets to see Blue Man Group, which was last night. The show was amazing, although different from their regular show, which I think confused some of the crowd. The older people who had seen their Las Vegas show seemed pretty confused by the general rock concert feel of the show, but whatever, it rocked. (I guess that was the problem...hmm)

Anyway we had a fabulous time and I would recommend to anyone that can get tickets to get them and go. Even if the woman sitting next to you feels the need to thrash around the entire freakin' time, it'll be worth it, I promise. Besides, you can always put your gum in her hair when she crawls over you for the 17th time on her way out of the auditorium.


For those of you concerned with the state of my still (thankfully) empty uterus, the pharmacy exchanged the antibiotics and inhaler for my birth control so everybody's happy.

And a side note to Andrew: Thanks for assuming that I'd ever have to beat anyone off with a stick. That's the sweetest thing ever! *cheek kiss*


So, Justin and I work at night, and on Sundays, lots of businesses keep hours that we just can't work around easily. I asked my dad to pick up my birth control at the pharmacy today, which is only open from 1-5 on Sundays. I was very specific BIRTH CONTROL. I called the pharmacy yesterday, and confirmed that the prescription would be ready today. Everything looked just dandy.

My dad calls me at 1:30. "Your prescription was $50." This is weird, because it's usually $30, so I ask him, "did you get more than one thing" and he says "they told me I had to pick up everything." Ok, first of all, I know that's not true. They can't make you buy drugs!! But I figured that was ok, I needed my inhaler anyway and went back to sleep. So tonight I got up and checked the mailbox where he left the pharmacy bag, it contains:

An inhaler
An antibiotic


Obviously my dad was too embarrassed to say "My daughter,(who is married, government sanctioned sex people!) would like to avoid pregnancy, for the rest of her life, if possible. Can I please have her NuvaRing?"

I have no idea what to do now. I can't afford another prescription, which is why I wasn't picking up the other stuff to begin with, and I'm pretty sure the pharmacy won't exchange what I've got for what I need. I know this could have been avoided by me just going myself, but really, how hard is it to pick up a prescription!? Going to pull my hair out now.

Better Suited for Halloween...

This certainly isn't what I want for Christmas, but it's pretty dang cool!

'Ghost Face' In Human Skin-Covered Book

A 400-year-old book covered in a sheet of wrinkled human skin is going under the hammer in a bizarre auction.

Can you see a ghostly face?

It is thought the skin was cut from the corpse of one of Guy Fawkes' fellow conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

And if you hold the novel in the right light, you might even see a ghostly face on the cover, it is claimed.

It was published in 1606, just months after the Jesuit priest Henry Garnet was captured and executed for his part in the plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

The book's owner, who does not want to be identified, told Sky News he hopes it will go to a museum so that people can see it.

Controversial book is 400 years old
He believes that marks on the leather are evidence of torture, and says a Latin inscription on the cover which reads "severe penitence punished the flesh" was written to make sure people knew what had happened to the victim.

Sid Wilkinson, of Wilkinson's Auctioneers in Doncaster, says the ancient human skin feels smooth "and a little bit strange to the touch."

Several other books covered in dead people's skin are held in museums around the world.

The practice, known as Anthropodermic bibliopegy, had a novelty value hundreds of years ago. The most popular were court reports of murders that were covered in the skin of the perpetrator.

Ok, you can all call me creepy now.

The Season of....Asking.

OK girls, (and boys, if you have advice) if you want something from your boy for Christmas, but can't ask for it specifically, (because it's rude to say anything besides "Oh you don't have to get me a gift!" or "I'm sure anything you think of will be perfect!") how do you go about getting it? I've never been particularly good in the area of dropping hints...I suppose this blog will be enough to let him know that there's something, just not what. (Assuming he reads this.) It's not really something that's appropriate for me to purchase for myself, otherwise I'd just go get it. Let the advising begin!

Aside from that, Levelland is where a whole pile (yes, I know the correct term is flock) of Canada geese end their seasonal migration. I don't know why they choose to stop here, because it's freakin' cold, but they do, and every few hours I hear lots of loud honking and flapping as they move from one lake to the other, obviously on some goose schedule that they didn't tell me about beforehand. Not good for napping. There are several hundred of them, which looks pretty cool in spite of the noise, so hopefully this weekend I'll get out to the lake to take some pictures of them, and let Maybe do a little chasing.

Almost Forgot!!

I also put up my Christmas tree, in my brief blogging hiatus. It looks pretty much the same as it does every year, white, silver and gold ornaments, and one new ornament for every year that Justin and I have had Christmas together. I bought an ornament at the zoo in San Diego for the tree, but that isn't really significant of anything that has happened to both Justin and me this year, so this weekend we're going on the hunt for this year's special ornament.

I can't really think of anything remarkable that's happened this year though, except for Justin's toe surgery (which has, by the way, finally completely healed-almost). I wonder if I can find an ornament that looks like a toe and is some neutral color...hmm. Anyway, here are pics:

Oh yes, Justin doesn't have the flu. (Thank goodness!) He has a nasty stomach virus, which should be better between 3 and 7 days from now. The doctor also gave us enough drugs so that when I'm struck down by this plague, we don't have to go back.

Sorry it Took So Long

I'm finally posting pictures from my trip to San Diego. This will have to be quick because Justin has the flu and I am taking him to the doctor in about an hour...This is my friend Shannon with me after dinner one night. We were wandering around the winery in an area where I guess they have weddings and trying to teach her husband, Matthew, to dance. Me and Matthew (Shannon's husband, my friend) at the zoo. Me at the zoo, koala in the background.At the San Diego zoo, they do this thing called "enrichment" where they provoke the animals into thinking and not getting stuck in some sort of routine. It's really just animal torture, sort of. Here's an example. Koalas really just want to sleep for 20 hours a day and eat eucalyptus and be left alone. Occasionally, they grab the koalas out of their cozy trees, and take them to another koala's tree. It really stresses them out and they have to then mark the tree with their scent all over, and it looks like this:We were lucky to be there on enrichment day though, because otherwise, we would never get to see a koala move around this much. It was really really cute!

And now for a string of pictures of various apes:
We were able to get so close to the gorillas, just a glass partition between us. It was amazing. The next trip, we're going to the wild animal park, where we will actually be able to feed a giraffe. *squeal*
We could have actually touched this bird, (a peacock, I think). It was right in front of us and there was nothing to stop us except a fear of bird bites and the possibility of being banned from the zoo for life. The sign with a finger pointing at me says 'These animals BITE." Hehe!

The Airplane Plague

Someone one one of the planes that I flew on last week had the plague, and now I have had the plague for nearly 5 days. The first day, Monday, not so bad. I had a little sore throat in the morning but attributed it to sleeping with my mouth open all night to combat the pre-existing congestion. Tuesday pretty sick, but not sick enough that I wanted to give in and actually go to the doctor. Little cough, little hoarse, not that big of a deal, but by Wednesday and Thursday, it was the full blown plague. I had zero voice, or rather, the voice I had, if I forced myself was either a tiny whisper or a croak to rival broken glass. It was bad enough that finally on Thursday I went to the doctor and waited around for an hour in order to be diagnosed with Laryngitis and Bronchitis. Yeah, it's never enough for me to just have one thing at a time. They gave me a shot of Rocephin and sent me on my way.

If you've never had Rocephin, please know that this is pretty serious business. It is just an antibiotic, but it comes in a gigantic needle and has to be given into a muscle, so my hip was sore for 2 days. In the grocery store about half an hour after my shot (yes I'm Typhoid Mary) I was almost passing out dizzy and tired. (The tiredness is not an actual side effect to Rocephin, but is a side effect of the plague.) Anyway, I haven't posted because I've been sleeping about 14 hours a day and trying to feel better. I thought I would feel better on Friday, and if not, definitely by today, but this has not been the case so far. I have been coughing up lots of interesting things though...gotta keep it entertaining.

Hopefully I will have the pictures from my trip, and the will to live outside of my bed again by Monday and we can continue this happy journey in bloggerland. Until then, drink lots of juice and don't let anyone breathe on you. Especially me.

Be It Ever So Humble

I am home from San Diego. The trip was so amazing in so many ways that I could never even begin to tell you all about it here. I will say that the Houston airport is way too big and that they should totally rethink the layout, particularly if they are going to have short 45 minute layovers. I have blisters on the bottom of my feet from running across the airport to catch my connection....AND on the trip home they managed to lose my luggage. (which they just returned) Yes I would love some cheese with my w(h)ine.

San Diego is so beautiful, and my friends kept telling me that the weather I experienced there wasn't real SD weather, but whatever, it was fantastic. Like the outside had central heat and air. The zoo is famous for a reason, and I will post all about my time there, but I want to wait until I have some pictures to post here. My current camera is really terrible, so Shannon took all the pictures and will mail me a disk with them in a couple of days. Then I can tell you about the koalas.

Anyway, I'm glad that I'm home, I missed Justin so much and Maybe totally had a seizure of joy when she saw me, which was quite fulfilling. I didn't realize it, but I missed my bed, and for the first time in nearly a week I got a full night's sleep. I do miss my friends though... OK, I'll post more about the trip when I get the pictures....

Out of Town

I know I haven't posted anything of value (is any of it of value?) for awhile, but you're going to have to wait a little longer. I'm leaving at 5am on Thursday for San Diego to spend some time with friends. I'll be gone for 5 days, and when I get back, I promise-promise that I'll have something worthwhile to say. I just haven't felt very inspired lately, everything has been pretty great around here, and how boring is it to just read about how fabulous someone's life is all the time? Some time away from here will give me something to talk about, I hope.

In the meantime, entertain yourselves here.


This is fun and for a good cause. For every correct answer you get to vocabulary questions, this organization donates 10 grains of rice to a world food organization. Go and play, it's not like you have anything better to do.

On Aging

Justin tells me that I haven't been posting enough. I did take the opportunity to point out that he hasn't posted anything to his blog in months, but he says this isn't the point. Anyway, I've been meaning to post this for awhile, but other things kept coming up, or I'd just forget, so here goes anyway.

Things that make me feel old.

1. I've become really offended by teenage boy hair. How is it possible that they are all born with wavy, big, hair that they choose to grow long(ish) and then top with a hat? I always think it makes them look like bozo the clown or puffing out all around the sides. Ugh. When I was in high school, there were boys with long hair, but it wasn't all big like this....Yes, I know I just sounded like someone's grandmother saying "in my day..."

2. I love NPR. Except here, here it's only classical music, all the time and hardly any talk. I'm not old enough yet to want to listen to symphonies for 14 hours a day...yet.

3. I want everyone in whatever house I happen to be at, to be in bed at the same time.

4. Every room in my house has curtains.

5. Television shows that I watched the first time around,like The Cosby Show, are now on Nick at Nite. I find myself saying things like :"why are all these new programs (yes programs!! gah!!) on this channel? What happened to I Love Lucy?"

6. I keep an afghan over my legs when I watch TV on the sofa.

7. Yesterday, it was 60 degrees and I had the heater on. (And the afghan over my legs, if you were wondering.)

8. I don't know what songs are cool...or what radio station to find the cool songs on, or how to download music onto my mp3 player.

9. I believe that they should raise the driving age to 18, and go to a year round school schedule. (I just lost Amanda, hehe)

10. I have no idea who half of the people in the tabloids are. Fine. More than half.

Anyone else starting to feel like a grown up? And not in the "can buy my own alcohol" kind of way?

Love This:

Live wide-eyed in the mystery of life and dare to love wastefully.

Saint Victor


So, I'm doing an informal survey among my married friends, mostly because I'm curious about their answers (is there really any other reason?) but also because I kind of want to know where my relationship stands on the This is Perfectly Normal Meter. If you want to take part, repost on your blog, like any other meme, or you can just email me. Unmarried/divorced/just livin' together friends, you can do this too, just alter the question to fit your needs. Leave me a comment if you do this so that I know. I'm gonna go ahead and post my answers to the questions here, because that's only fair.

Love, S

1.'d ya meet? Online. This used to really embarrass me, and I'd make up some story, but whatever. Lots of people meet online now and I've gotten over myself.

2. How long did you date before you slept together? Hmm maybe I shouldn't have asked this question, or at least volunteered to answer, my mom reads this site sometimes. Oh well, dive right in. Justin and I slept together the first night we met. He tromped over to my house in the middle of the night and at first, that's all there was, sleeping, but you know I'm just so freakin' irresistible. Hear that sound? Yeah, my parents just had strokes.

3. How long before you became engaged? This is a sort of tricky question, there was never any like giant proposal with a hot air balloon ride or anything, at some point, it just became clear that we were either going to get married or continue living in sin for the rest of our natural lives. Either one would have been fine with both of us, but we think that deciding to get married was the best choice we've ever made, most of the time. We bought the ring though after we'd been together for about a year and a half.

4. Did you live together at any point before you tied the knot? Yes. I know it's not really the popular opinion among politicians and parents these days, but I really do feel like it made us better prepared for marriage. I could expound on the virtues of Living in Sin for pages but I'll leave it at: Yes, we lived together for nearly 3 years before our wedding.

5. Whether you did or didn't, how do you think this affected your relationship? Oh look I get to talk about it after all! Living together before the big day was helpful in a lot of ways. I didn't have to suddenly wake up married and realize that I was spending the rest of my life with someone who leaves his underwear in the kitchen because hey, I knew that already and I had decided to be ok with it. I didn't have the notion that somehow marriage would change Justin from Gamerboy to Husband Who Mows the Lawn Every Friday in a Golf Shirt. He knew that I wake up every morning and behave like a lunatic who can't stand to be touched or talked to for at least 7 minutes. He was also aware that on weekends, if we don't have plans, I like to sit around in my nightgown without combing my hair for 3 days and watch reruns of CSI, and he decided for himself that it was fine. No surprises.

6. How long was your engagement? About a year, if I'm being realistic. We bought the ring in May of 2005 and then we were married in May of 2006. However, we hadn't planned to get married until October 2006, so we didn't actually start planning until oh...February and then when we suddenly moved the date up I had to run around like a maniac getting things together. You can read all about it here.

7. After you got married, were you surprised by anything that your new husband/wife did? Nope. By then we'd been living together for a long time, like I said, no surprises.

8. Have you had or do you want to have kids? How many? The short answer: We don't know. The long answer: I have kind of started to feel like kids can't make things better. We're already happy now, so we don't need a child to make us happy, and what if it made us unhappy? It's not a risk I'm willing to take, you can't return a baby to the mall. If we weren't happy, a child could only make things more stressful than they already are. We certainly can't afford a baby right now, and even if we could, wouldn't that money be better spent on more pairs of shoes, video games and vacations? If we do decide to become parents, in the (far) future, we only want one.

Thanks in advance to anyone who fills this out for me, and I look forward to seeing your answers! I may post more questions later, I'll label that Research 2 or something equally clever *grin,* you can answer all of them or none of them or 2 of them, whatever. Thanks again!


I've been watching the Food Network for 2 hours, and I'm not even ashamed.

Mostly, I keep it on for background noise, as I'm completely intolerant of anything that I have to let rest, or rise, or freeze for x amount of time, because all of those things just mean WAIT, and we all know that I have the attention span of an overstimulated toddler. I could barely stand to wait even the one minute for my microwaveable, canned gravy (did you know there even was such a thing? miracle.) to be done before slathering biscuits in it and calling it breakfast. So I'm not very inclined to pull my pork chop off the stove and let it sit around for 10 minutes. Hello? I have a dog, yes, she can reach the stove top. I don't really mind things that take a long time to cook, as long as I'm actively doing something during that time. (Except defrosting. I loathe defrosting.)

Anyway, as I was saying, I don't have the option to partake in what has become my usual hobby these past few months (which I won't be discussing here), so instead I'm sitting on the sofa, with the laptop, reading blogs and watching Food TV. The thing is, I really love to cook, and what with my love of infomercials, I have lots of gadgetry with which to experiment in the kitchen, and there are lots of things that are fast, or at least entertaining to make, so I want to be in the kitchen, being all domestic, I just can't right now.

I do not have a great love for my kitchen right now. There's not enough counter space, and the floor is, frankly, a little scary. You'll remember that I redid the kitchen floor in my last house, so, even though we went without a shower for nearly 2 years of our lives, there was a sparkly, shiny kitchen floor and I spent considerably more time in there than I do in the kitchen of our house now. It's fall now though, and very shortly I will be bitten by the baking bug, so I'm thinking that maybe I should ask the landlord if perhaps I can put in a new floor here.

Also, I just now learned what a parsnip is, (stop laughing at me) and now I really really want to do something with them. What do you make with a parsnip? And why the hell is that woman grilling orange slices?

Editors Note: I just searched for a picture to put on this post, did you know that if you
Google the word "pot" the first 5 pictures that appear are of a certain illegal plant?

Someone's Secret.

I know it's not, but I wish this was for me.


Oh my!!
They're (whoever is in charge of this sort of thing) making a Sweeney Todd (The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) Movie! (yes, I know there's a version with Angela Lansbury and Kelsey Grammar, but that's just a recording of the play, this is a *real movie*) AND it's got JOHNNY DEPP.

Things could not be happier. I'm so glad that there's this sudden resurrection of the Great American Musical among the Hollywood types. I could just well....sing!!

Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd.
His skin was pale and his eye was odd.
He shaved the faces of gentlemen
who never thereafter were heard of again.
He trod a path that few have trod
did Sweeney Todd
the demon barber of fleet street


From Terroni

Hi, my name is Susan

But you can call me Pretty much whatever you want to. I've heard it all.

Never in my life have I kept a plant alive for more than a month.

When I am nervous I try to be as entertaining as possible. This usually ends in disaster.

The last song I listened to was Hallelujah by John Cale

If I were to get married right now, it would be to Well I'm currently married to Justin so we'd have to work something out with the government in order to include anyone else. At least legally.

My hair is not good at all right now. It's been brushed so it's fuzzy and pulled back into a slept in ponytail. However, in general, it's better than it's been in years, most of the time.

When I was four I was enjoying my last months of being an only child, and trying to convince my mom to name the twins Tom and Jerry.

Last Christmas I got very depressed and actually took down the tree on December 23rd. This year will be better.

I should be washing dishes, or something equally productive.

When I look down I see the laptop, and an afghan that's sort of ugly, but really warm.

The happiest recent event was seeing how happy Maybe was when I came home and saw her for the first time after working two double shifts. She acted like I'd been gone a year. It was very fulfilling.

If I were a character in Friends, I'd be out of a job, wasn't that canceled?

By this time, next year, I really have no idea how to answer this question. Usually I have more of a plan than I have at this moment. It actually sort of feels good.

My current distress is that we're a little broke right now. Just for a couple more days though.

I have a hard time understanding why I've been feeling so unmotivated.

There are these girls who are new at work, I really want them to be my friends, but I have no idea how to achieve this.

If I won an award, the first person I would tell is Justin

I want to buy lots of things, most notably, a lavender button down shirt and the new Calvin Klein perfume, Euphoria.

I plan on visiting San Diego, in 5 weeks *squeals*

If I could spend the night at any house, it would be Matthew and Shannon's, in 5 weeks. I'm also pretty fond of my own house right now. There are clean sheets on my bed.

The world could do without George W. Bush

The most recent thing I bought myself is umm...I don't remember if this is the most recent thing, but I have new green velvet ballet flats that I haven't worn yet.

The most recent thing that someone else bought for me was Justin bought me dinner from Taco Bell today.

My middle name is Bell, now, sort of.

In the morning I call my friend Matthew at some ungodly hour, his time, and then, satisfied that everyone I know is awake, I go to bed.

Last night I was falling asleep at work.

There is this guy I know who uh...yeah I don't have an answer for this.

If I was an animal, I would be something with a long tail. I always feel like that's what I'm missing.

A better name for me would be I don't know that it would necessarily be a *better* name for me, but I like old fashioned names, like Fiona and Delia, and Hazel.

Tomorrow, I am having a really stress free day, including dishes and naps and hopefully donuts. The power of positive thinking.

Tonight, I am going to make a dent in the huge list of things on my Tivo, snuggle Justin, and go back to bed.


Just to make things perfectly clear, these are my jobs in this marriage:

Do the dishes.
Do the laundry.
Make sure the house is tidy.
Check the mail.
Figure out the bills.
Make sure Justin's clothes match when he leaves the house.
Christmas shop.
Decorate (in general as well as for various holidays).
Keep track of people's birthdays.
File things with the insurance companies.

These ARE NOT my jobs:

Mow the lawn.
Take out the trash.
Check the pockets of Justin's pants before putting them in the wash.
Feed the dog.
Program the Tivo.
Go pick up the take out.

In case of illness or injury, occasionally I will take out the trash and occasionally Justin will be in charge of dinner.

Okay. Now this is all in writing and there should be no questions. If I pull a shirt out of the wash covered in the remains of a receipt, Justin IS NOT ALLOWED to say "didn't you check the pockets of my pants?" That is not my job.

He Is On TV Right Now!!

For anyone who doesn't know this, I worship at the Alter of Alan Alda. I love him. I would crawl across the floor and lick his loafers if he wanted me to. And He is on tv right now. I could just cry.


On Saturday my sister got married. The wedding went off without a hitch, except the pastor seemed to forget his lines early on. We weren't sure if she was going to be given away or if her dad would just remain at the front of the church for the duration. I worked the video camera, so unfortunately I do not have a picture to post here. However, lots of the pictures that could have been taken weren't because her grandmother (Granny) insisted on standing in the middle of the aisle to take her own pictures. I'm not at all sure why she thought this was appropriate behavior but had she done this at my wedding (which she thankfully did not attend) I might have stomped down the aisle and sat her down. Or at least had some sort of security on hand.

This is not the first time Granny has caused drama. She is from Germany and has the most overbearing personality (to say it nicely) that I have ever come in contact with. When my dad married D'Liesa's mom, for the first several years I endured visits to see that side of the family a few times a year, I felt consistently judged, she never said anything nice to me, and frequently made nasty comments and implied mean things both behind my back and to my face. It was perfectly clear that she thought I was lower on the evolutionary scale than pond scum. When I got old enough to make my own decisions, I opted out of further trips to experience this sort of torture.

It's not just me either. She makes everyone she meets supremely uncomfortable. She causes more trouble in my family than an out break of anthrax would cause in a subway station. The particles in the air freeze at the mere thought that she might walk through the door. This is one scary little woman.

So, up to Saturday, I had not seen my step-grandparents in 10 years. I can happily say that another 10 years will not be long enough. When I walked into the church and was forced, out of obligation, to say hello to Granny, she looked at me as if I was cockroach crawling across her kitchen counter. When introduced to Justin he shook her hand and she behaved as if she had been burned. You'd think that after 70 plus years on the planet she would have learned to at least hide her contempt. The woman has no social conscience. Justin told me when we got home that he had thought that everyone was exaggerating the extent of her evil, but now, after spending less than 2 minutes with her, he sees it. I think his exact words were something like "She sort of burns your soul." Yup. That pretty much sums it up.


So I've been looking at old pictures from my childhood and I found this one.

Several things about this picture make me say "What was I thinking?!" Here's the list:

1. Look at those horrible rubber sandals.

2. Notice that I'm wearing socks with the horrible rubber sandals. And not just any socks, men's athletic socks, pulled all the way up my leg. Do you see how long my legs looked? Why on earth did I insist on covering them up like this?

3. Look at how heavy my eyebrows are. Hello tweezers?

4. And this is really the most important, I thought I was fat. I mean, I suppose every 14 year old girl thinks she's fat, and looks back astounded at how foolish they were, but the thing is, other people were also telling me that I was fat. So now I'm wondering if perhaps someone had told me back then "you look great" that I would have developed a better relationship with food, and not been so fat now...or maybe I'd be fatter without the constant worry about my weight hovering over my head for the past 15 years. Anyway, I like the picture. I like that Once Upon a Time, I looked like that girl.


Where the hell did Post Secret go? Who is this Nicole girl that hijacked it? When will it be back?? If anyone knows any of the answers to these questions I'll worship you until another suitable deity comes along.

Friends with Fred?

So, I'm ashamed to admit that someone in my family (who I won't name here), just said "I think Fred Thompson should be president." When asked what she thought his qualifications were, she said "He doesn't need any." Is this not the most ignorant thing that could possibly be said in reference to a presidential candidate? She also says that we don't need another Clinton in the white house because we were "screwed the first time." Well, someone was screwed, but I'm pretty sure I don't believe it was America at large. I haven't decided yet who I'm going to vote for, but I can say with complete confidence that it wont be a republican. I can also say fairly confidently that a republican won't win this election, and I'm almost certain that if it is a republican (god help us) that it won't be Fred Thompson.

I did a little research to find out what Mr. Thompson's qualifications actually are, besides 2 runs for senate, and a spot on Law & Order. Turns out, he does have some experience, and would possibly not be the worst of the possible candidates for his side. As I mentioned, he was a senator (R, Tennessee) for 8 years (1994-03). He was active in the Watergate debacle, and has been a lobbyist for various causes since the 70s.

So, he has some experience, but I'm pretty sure that this isn't quite the right kind of experience for him to dive into the presidency. My worry is that a great number of people (like my misled family member), will think that this name recognition is enough. Can they separate Fred Thompson from his L&O character (Arthur Branch)? Will they take the time to find out that he is pro-life and thinks that Roe v. Wade should be overturned? Do they know that he supported the war in Iraq in 2003 and is opposed to withdrawing troops now? That he would support a ban on gay marriage? Actually, looking at that list, these are probably the things that people who vote solely on name recognition would be interested in.

During the Clinton impeachment, Thompson voted against a conviction on perjury charges, but he voted in favor of a conviction of the obstruction of justice charge. I'm not exactly sure how it's possible, (in this situation) for President Clinton to be innocent on one count and guilty on the other. It doesn't seem like a well thought out vote on Thompson's part. Perhaps more research is required.

This really isn't about Fred Thompson, it's about how astounded I am with the complete lack of attention that is paid to the most important things in our society. That we would elect someone because we recognize his name, and his face, but really have no idea about what's going on in his head. This is about how shocked I am that someone I know could be so completely clueless.


The police can arrest you for just about anything.

Toys for Girls

Please note the general shape and size of this toy:

Please also note that if you twist it's right arm it vibrates.

Now you should know that we received this toy when we went to McDonald's kind of late at night and asked for a cheeseburger Happy Meal with a toy for a girl.

They have officially earned my fast food business for the rest of my life.


This is my friend Amanda (far right) and two of her friends making faces for the camera:

This is a talent that I have never quite mastered and even in my best attempts I always end up looking slightly lobotomized. I don't understand why this happens. This is my best effort:

Y'know, I've changed my mind.I'm NOT posting that picture.

Justin has tried helping me and showing me and he always looks really cute and funny. C'mon people I was involved in theatre for half my life and I can't make a face in a picture?? I will give my first born child to the person who teaches me to make this face:

Please note, I do not know this child, but perhaps he can teach me the face.

You Were Warned.

But in case you missed the memo, I'm posting before and after pictures of Justin's toenail removal today. However, first I'm going to post a picture of my fabulous new haircut. This serves two purposes: A) I can show off my fabulous new haircut and B) If you don't want to view Justin's gruesome toe pictures you can just avoid scrolling down and pretend that all that there is here is a great new haircut pic.

This is my new curly hair. Weirdly, I can wear it down without feeling like I'm growing my own wool sweater during the sweltering summer months. I'm assuming that it's because there is air in between the layers of curls. If someone had told me this sooner, I might not have worn a pony tail every day for the last 2 years.

This is your last chance not to look at bloody toe pics.

This is Justin's toe before his surgery. You can see that it's ingrown on both sides, almost to the point of being a triangle. It's also really really thick, about half an inch at the end from the curling and callous that formed to protect the toe from the nail.

This is right after they gave Justin the gigantic shots to numb his toe. (Which didn't work.) I'm not exactly sure why they put this weird envelope on his foot, except that maybe they didn't want him to see the blood coming from his gigantic needle wounds. He peeked anyway. I wanted to take pictures of the doctor actually giving him the shots, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have liked that. I also didn't get to take pics during the actual surgery.
This is me in the cap and mask that they made me wear so that I could go in with Justin while they did his toe. When I asked if I could go in and watch the doctor acted like it was a weird thing to request, but they have a chair in there for people to sit in and watch so it obviously isn't that unusual.

This is the front view of Justin's toe wrapped up in the bandages after surgery. The gross yellow stuff is the betadine they used to wash his foot. The wrapping is almost cartoonish. You can see that just an hour or so after he got home he had already bled through all that wrapping and onto the ace bandage. We had to add even more gauze a few hours later.

These are from yesterday as I unwrapped Justin's toe so that we could clean it and re-wrap. You can see that he bled through something like 30 layers of gauze.

This this the big pile of gauze that we took off of Justin's foot. This isn't actually all of it, we had to soak some of it off so that it didn't start bleeding again and I forgot to add that to the pile before I took the picture.

And here is Justin's toe minus all the dressing. It's all white and wrinkly from being soaked in blood for two days we cleaned it up and now it looks more like the last picture which is a relief. It's stressful for Justin to have his toe looking like this and I'm pretty sure that it's more than he bargained for. And frankly, I'm pretty surprised too that it's turned into such an ordeal. My sister had both of her big toenails removed while we were in high school, and I don't remember it being like this at all. I'm almost sorry that I convinced Justin to get this fixed, but I know that in the long run this is much better than them having to take his whole toe off.
This is what it looks like now, much less scary. We have to unwrap it and soak and re-dress it every day this week, and on Thursday we go back to the doctor for a follow up. Eventually it will heal and there won't be a weird scab or anything after maybe a month, I hope...When he's completely healed I will post a picture of Justin's naked toe.
And finally, here's Dr. Maybe, who wasn't there for any of this torture, but wanted to be included anyway.

24 Hour Notice

Tomorrow I will be posting pictures of Justin's toe before and after the removal of his toenail. The after photos are pretty gross and bloody, though not nearly as gross and bloody as actually removing the bandages. In any case, you have been warned, so if you can't handle stuff like that and/or change the channel at the mention of plastic surgery on TV the next post is not for you, and you might want to stay away from this page for a few days.

With all due respect,



So, Justin has had this terrible ingrown toenail for over a year and I was finally able to convince him that it had to come out or that he'd end up losing his toe, his foot or even his leg eventually. His appointment was today and it went like this:

It was rather more traumatic than we expected. First off it cost a lot more than it should have considering that our insurance is supposed to be paying for a chunk of it, and the fact that it's really a 20 minute procedure. Then there was the anesthesia. The needle was this long: --------------------------------------------- I'm not kidding at all, and he put it in the top of J's toe just above his toenail and then he moved it up and down and in and out like he was digging for something and some of the time it went ALL THE WAY IN!! Then he sucked up some more of the drug and did the same thing in the side of his toe, and I totally thought that it was going to go all the way through. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to watch the actual surgery because just the shot was so scary. But of course I couldn't pass it up, so we headed into surgery and waited for more than an hour.

Justin started feeling like his anesthesia was wearing off and he got really scared so when the doctor finally came in he checked it and Justin said "yes I can feel that, it's sharp," which is NOT what he's supposed to be able to tell. So the crazy doctor said "well it's mostly numb, I'm going to GO AHEAD AND TRY IT. If it hurts tell me." So they started and it was SOOO cool, ( you know I LOVE watching that sort of thing). So Justin starts gripping the chair and looking like he's about to cry, but I think "oh, he can just feel the pressure and it's freaking him out," because you know, surely if he was in pain he'd be screaming like a maniac and make them give him another shot right? So I watch him cut the toenail in half and remove it one half at a time and then inject some sort of chemical to kill the root and keep the nail from growing back.

Anyway, he got it finished and wrapped and then after they left Justin said "It wasn't numb, I felt it. It felt like he was yanking and twisting to get the toenail off, " which is of course exactly what he was doing. Turns out Justin was supposed to get 3 shots, not 2. The doctor missed a whole side of his toe!! I cannot believe that he didn't say anything! I guess it makes sense though, because he said that those scary shots were the worst part, so maybe it's better to have someone yank off your toenail instead of digging around in your toe with a giant needle.

He's sleeping now all wrapped up and with only 9 toenails, and a bandage that looks like he broke his whole foot instead of just having a toenail removed (he's a bit of a bleeder). I gave him one of those scary pain pills so that at least he would sleep and not hurt all night. They don't seem to freak him out as much as they do me...

I took "before" pictures, and when we can take the "after" pictures on Saturday night I will post them. You will be amazed at how terrible his toe looked before (and probably after, I'm just guessing but it can't be pretty), however I am quite sure that this was the best thing to do. He was in a lot of pain all the time, and now he'll be in a super lot of pain, but just for a little while and then he'll feel better forever (or at least until another toenail goes all rabid).


So, while the weather hasn't been even remotely fall-like, the trees apparently got the memo that "it's time" a bit too early and leaves are dropping like...well like leaves. This isn't something I would normally post about, or something I would probably even notice except that:

A) We are the only house on the block without a tree in the yard.

Which is why this doesn't make any sense:

B) We are the only house on the block that has a lawn full of leaves.


Even if they are for something that I would never in a thousand years buy.

Even if the product goes completely against my fundamental beliefs.

Even if it is poorly made and the actors are ugly.

I am completely addicted to infomercials.

I've spent the last 20 minutes totally mesmerized by the ad for the new TaeBo videos. Anyone who knows me knows that A) I hate to sweat, which is what all those people are doing and B) I am not even coordinated enough to make it from my front door to my car 100 percent of the time, much less jump around swinging a 3 pound stick, but I just can't pull myself away.

Perhaps it's time for bed.


I've been away because I am reading every entry in this blog for the past 6 years. I think it's funny, and it gives me something to do besides watching plastic surgery on tv. I may be gone for awhile.

Editors Note: Thanks Patrick for telling me the link didn't work. I think I've fixed it, if anyone is interested. ~S

Further Proof

That A) Maybe survived her ordeal with the allergy monster
and B) As we suspected, we are raising not a beagle type animal, but a goblin.

Drama Queen

Maybe has been getting in trouble a lot for stealing stuff out of the assorted trash cans and eating panties, so today in total retribution for our rude behavior, she punished us, by scaring us to death. We got home from work and she went outside as usual, Justin tucked me into bed for a nap (before my real bed time, I've been splitting my sleep into 4 ish hour increments) and then he left and let her out again. About 20 minutes after I fell asleep I heard him shouting for me, sounding really scared, so I ran into the office and he was sitting on the floor with Maybe, who looked a little puffy....

He rolled her over and she had huge hives all over the skin that wasn't covered in hair, her eyes were red and watery she was totally lethargic, except for frequent head shakes (because of itchy ears) and as I said, she was puffed up like a marshmallow. Allergies. We do not know to what, but we assume that while she was outside that something bit her or that she ate something she shouldn't have. (That being her standard MO.) I gave her 25 mg of benadryl and called the vet who told me that that was the right thing and to wait for half an hour for it to work, and if she wasn't better to bring her in. So we sat around staring at her for awhile and when it looked like she wasn't puffy anymore I brought her to bed with me to monitor her breathing. When I woke up this afternoon she was much better. Just a little groggy from the benadryl, but I'm totally ok with a groggy dog.

So, that's the news this morning.


After living in a house for nearly 2 years without a shower (which does not mean that I didn't take showers, note the difference), I am proud to be able to post this picture:
How's that for fresh faced?

Nothing Interesting

Same old boring stuff. I wish we could find a place in Lubbock with better than decent, remotely affordable sushi. Justin starts back to school in a little over a week. I think he's excited about it. This is his last semester of filler (ie, algebra, speech) before he can move on to the radiology program, but because they only take applications for the program at the end of the spring semester, he's going to have to take one more semester of filler before then anyway. I guess that's all. I really have nothing to say, but it's been awhile so....there ya go.


"I must not shift, alter or hide myself in order to experience love -- because that's not really love -- that's when resentment is born."
Sabrina Ward Harrison

So, I recently read the autobiography of a fat girl, (like myself) who "overcame" her compulsive eating (which I don't have) and lost a bunch of weight and lived happily ever after. Ok that's fine the story was interesting, but the thing is, throughout the book she feels bad about herself. She believes that she has no value because of her size. She believes that no one will ever love her or value her just because she's fat. She never dates, she assumes that people don't want to be around her because of the way she looks, even though she has nice features, a pretty face, an incredible job...

So, now, I'm watching Cold Case on TNT. The team is investigating the death of a fat girl who signed up for a dating service in the 80's and subsequently turned up dead. When they find her tape in the apartment of a guy, recently deceased, they assume that either a) he has guilt about killing her 20 years ago, or b) he has some kind of "fetish." That he couldn't possibly be interested in her, or be attracted to her in any way, because she's a "specific kind of girl."

Ok, I'm this specific kind of girl. I don't have the feelings that the girl in the book had about herself. I don't think I'm worthless because of my weight. I know that I'm a pretty girl. I've never had any trouble finding someone to date. I never assumed that anyone was with me because they had some sort of "fat fetish." Yeah, I'd like to lose some weight, mostly because I want to have a healthy pregnancy in the next 5 years or so, but I don't think being skinny would change my life.

The thing is, I keep seeing this theme repeat, in tv, the movies, books: No one really wants a fat girl. It's shameful to be overweight. If you're fat, you should at least pretend to be on a diet in front of people. Always order a salad if you're out with people. I'm starting to wonder if I should feel these things. I mean, should I be ashamed of who I am? Should I stop letting people take my picture? By believing that I'm attractive, am I somehow delusional? I feel like by feeling relatively good about myself, most of the time, that I'm doing something wrong. So now I'm feeling kind of conflicted about what I'm supposed to think and feel about me. I dunno, it's just been on my mind lately.