Friday, July 23, 2010

What's Wrong with Boo Now: By Association

Okay, this one has been a little delayed in being posted.  I'm still about 5 posts behind where I want to be, but here it is.  If you haven't read any of my What's Wrong With Boo Now? posts in the past, I suggest you go back and check them out in order to get the full hilarity of this string of events.

While we were visiting my family in MI, one of my two bestest friends ever, NotDonna, threw me an awesome baby shower, but since she doesn't live in MI, either, she did it at Boo's house.

At first, Boo insisted that he wasn't going to come because he's male.  "That's so gay," he tells me.  Ahem.  "Boo, first, no it's not; and second, you are gay."  But, nope, he insisted he wasn't coming.  Glitter Fairy, his boyfriend, and a very good friend of mine for many years, would be there, but Boo would not.  Yeah right.

The day before the shower, a group of us, including Boo and Glitter Fairy, went tubing down the Muskegon river, a very fun, four hour trip.  While applying sunscreen, Boo was adamant that everyone put plenty of sunscreen on the tops of their feet as he has had the pleasure of being very burned in that area before.  I got distracted putting it on Punky and somehow completely neglected to do my legs.   An hour into the trip, I realized how pink they were getting, but it was already too late.  I deflated a tube to cover it, but I was already fairly cooked.  Everyone else seemed fine.  Overall, it was a blast.

Boo and Glitter Fairy both work at the same bar I used to work at, and they had to work that night, so they didn't get home until very late.  Either very late that night, or early-ish the next morning, I got a rather frantic call from Boo.

"You can't have the shower here," (in 4 hours).

"Um, excuse me?  We are having the shower there.  If you try to change it, you will give NotDonna a nervous breakdown.  She will kill you."

"Bubbles (Boo's dog – who is a whole string of mishaps in and of herself) had her puppies last night."

"Oh, yay, that's so sweet.  How many?"  I've already had a long angry chat with him about getting that friggin dog fixed.

"Ten!  But she had them all over the livingroom and diningroom.  There is blood and dog placenta juice all over the carpet!  In 10 different spots!"

Ultimately, it was decided that he would use our Mom's industrial steam cleaner to clean the carpets before everyone got there.  When we got to Boo's house, there was a note on the front door: "Please Use Back Door."

They had moved all the couches and chairs into a line, blocking everyone into the kitchen because the carpets were still wet in the rest of the house.  But it actually worked out really well, and the shower was a friggin blast (there are pictures in an earlier post).  AND there were many males there – including Boo - the majority of whom were heterosexual.  Unfortunately, we did have to end it a little early.  In the post below, you will see pictures of why.  If you have a weak stomach, I would suggest not looking.

As it turns out, Glitter Fairy neglected to put sunscreen on the tops of his feet and shins on the tubing trip.  He got a very severe case of sun poisoning, and at the end of the shower, Boo had to take him to Urgent Care.

Alright, so, technically this malady did not strike Boo, but I think it's pretty close.  And the pictures seemed to be in keeping with previous posts.

Don't forget to enter the Birth Pool!

Friday, June 18, 2010

What's Wrong with Boo Now?: Chipmunk

Time for another exciting installment of What's Wrong with Boo Now?  And this will be a very special installment in as much as there isn't anything actually wrong with Boo this week.  Well, nothing new, at least.  If you haven't been keeping up on my plague ridden brother, you should definitely take the time to check out the cascade of misadventures that started it all: That's Not a Spider Bite, and the most recent calamity in the last installment of What's Wrong with Boo Now?

Now that you've had a chance to catch up:

I texted Boo the other day to ask him which middle name he liked better for Pip, Livingston or Cheshire (opinions, anyone?  I'm not sure we're ready to come out of the closet on the first name just yet, but it'll be soon.  There are reasons behind the two unusual middle names we were considering.  Cheshire is pronounced Chesher).

Boo responded, "Livingston.  What do you feed a baby chipmunk?"  With this picture attached:

Then he called me.  "Why," I asked, "do you have a baby chipmunk?  Where did you get it?  Put it back."

He told me he knew that's what I would tell him, and that he and his friend V (that is actually what we call her), found it in her driveway.  They have a bunch of chipmunks living under their deck, so, anticipating my advice, they put the chipmunk under the deck.  An hour or two later, they found it "drowning" in a small pond in V's yard.

So Boo has a new pet.  Because that's what Boo needs in addition to Bubbles, the insane adolescent black lab who chews on beer cans and eat wrapping paper.  (There's another story in the Boo saga – the ultimate reason my 22 year old brother no longer lives with my mom, is because living with Bubbles almost gave her a nervous breakdown).

I told him to call the vet right away and that he'd probably have to get baby rabbit formula, but, I'm emphasized, "Call the vet, or he is going to die."

Boo said he'd call the vet, and stop and get the food on his way to work that night.  And that he had already built "Suds" (to go with Bubbles the dog) a nice big habitat.

Later that night my dad told me that Boo was on his way to the vet with the baby chipmunk.

I didn't hear anything else about it for a couple days until I received a picture of Boo sleeping with baby chipmunk curled up on his cheek.  Very cute.  That kid . . .

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What's Wrong with Boo Now?: Burn Notice

First, a warning:  I'm going to put the pictures at the end of this post.  They are gross.  If you have a weak stomach, don't scroll down to them.  Now, onto the tale of Boo's misadventures this week.

You may recall recent mention of my younger brother, Boo in a little post called That's Not a Spider Bite.  If you missed it, you should go back and read it now, not only is it hilarious, but without it you cannot truly understand the humor of this tale.

Some things you should know about my little brother:  His name is Boo.  That is not a pseudonym for this blog, it is the name my mom started calling him when she brought him home from the hospital, a name that the rest of his have always called him.  He is 22 years old.  Some of his friends have finally switched back to calling him by his "real" first name, but to me he will always to be Boo (Uncle Boo to Punky).  He is a manager/bartender at the bar that I cocktail waitressed at many summers throughout undergrad and law school; the bar where MacGyver proposed.  He has atrocious luck.  We all do.  All us "Timothy's" are mishap prone.  For whatever reason.  When I was Boo's age, I went through a really bad streak of horrible luck.  Apparently, it is now his turn.

Every time he calls, there is some new tale of woe.  And this isn't just complaining about life.  This kid has real problems (again, see That's Not a Spider Bite).  Sometimes, I'm horrified and worried about him.  Other times, I can't help but laugh.

He has been suffering some serious financial troubles the last couple months, really, really stressful stuff that he has been busting his butt to fix and make right.  Finally, last week, it reached a resolution.  We all heaved a huge sigh of relief. 

Two days later, I got a picture message from him on my phone.  The picture is in the post below.

"Holy feaking heck," (or words to that effect), I said when I called him.  What the heck did you do?  Oh, wait.  No.  He called me first.  The picture message hadn't loaded yet.  "What are you up to?"  I ask. 

"Oh, I'm at the hospital."  This is where my heart stopped for a minute.  He sounded fine.  Who was hurt?  Mom?  Dad?  Who? 

But, I managed to remain calm and ask "Why?"

"I sort of burned my hand."

"What?  Are you ok?  How did that happen?"

There was enough time for him to assure me that he was ok, minus the fact that he was now going to be facing massive medical bills when he had just gotten out from under the previously mentioned financial trouble, when all hell broke loose on my end.  I told him I'd call him right back, but when I did, he didn't answer.  THEN the picture message came through.  It's in the post below.  Holy effing bovine.  Ouch.

I texted him to ask how in the world he did that (because, look at the picture, he can obviously text back).  But, no response.  I'm pretty sure he was in with the docs at that point.

I then did the obvious thing, and forwarded the picture to half the people I knew, and proceeded to make fun of Boo.  I told him I was going to start a weekly piece on my blog called What's Wrong with Boo Now? 

Later, I got a hold of my mom who told me that he had tripped over a chair while walking around a campfire and landed with his hand deep in the center of the fire.  He actually had to go to two different hospitals to have it treated.  And the vicodin they gave him made him deathly ill.  And he went back to work the next day.  Who wouldn't want to bartend with a burned and mangled hand?

But don't worry, he's duly thankful it's not paralyzed.  Haha.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What's Wrong with Boo: That's NOT a Spider Bite

I was listening to an interesting piece on NPR over lunch that reminded me of two things.  The first is a useful piece of entomological information I think more people should know.  The second is a period in my brother's life that I find just hilarious – even if that does make me sound evil.

First, the PSA*:  If you ever go to the Dr. and are diagnosed with a Brown Recluse bite, get a second opinion.  Brown Recluse bites are the go-to scapegoats for all manner of necrotizing wounds that Dr.'s can't explain.  In reality, Brown Recluse spiders are very rare, and their bites are even more so.  Brown Recluses are NOT common throughout the US.  For instance, they do not live in Michigan, and they do not live in South Carolina.  And in the states where they do live, they are hard to find.  They are called the Brown RECLUSE for a reason.

The professor who was being interviewed on NPR pointed out that there is a list of over 95 causes for wounds commonly mis-attributed to Brow Recluse bites, and one Dr. even called in to say that medical training includes only about ½ hour of information on entomology (bugs), but that diagnosing something without another obvious cause as a Brown Recluse bite is not uncommon.

When in doubt, you can always contact your nearest USDA extension office, who will be more than happy to tell you about the prevalence of different kinds of spiders in your area, and will even identify specimens for you.  Many, many common, harmless brown spiders are mistaken for Brown Recluses, which is probably a contributing factor to the myth of Brown Recluse bites being common.

Second, the story:  Broken Boo.  A few years ago, my little brother went through a really hard time in his life.  And my family, never missing the opportunity to demonstrate our love for each other, still laughs about it today (much the way we still laugh about the time my mom got acid in her eyes at work and had to wear 2 eye patches for a few days – hilarious!).

I was in law school in NY at the time, when I got a call from my brother, who I think was around 20 then.  He tells me he woke up that morning, and his arm didn't work.  His hand was bent into kindof a claw, his wrist was bent down too, and his arm was completely useless.  "What do you think I should do?"  He asks me.  Being the brilliant law student that I am at the time, I advise him to go to the figging Dr.

He goes to the Dr.  He calls me back.  "They think I might've had a stroke."  This is where I try to stay calm and not scare him.   Ahem.  "They think what?"

"They think I might've had a stroke."

"Might have?  Did they do any tests?"

"No.  Should they have?"

"Um, yes."

Ultimately, he goes back to the Dr. a couple of times.  They determine he DID NOT have a stroke (thank Heavens and all that is holy, that would NOT have been funny at all.  I was sooooo worried about him for a few days.  But then we found out it wasn't a stroke and I went back to taunting him).  The Dr.'s can't figure out at all what's wrong with his arm or how to fix it.  I believe they tried steroids and maybe something else, but, ultimately, nothing worked, and he was left with a gimpy, curled up arm.

A few days later, he called me again.  "I think I have mono."


He lists off his symptoms, and, as someone who's had mono twice, it sure as heck sounds like mono to me.  "Do you know anyone else who has mono?"  Yes, a couple of his friends do.  Great.  He's gimpy and he has mono.  I advise him to go to the Dr.  Again.

He calls me back.  Yep, it's mono.  AND strep throat.  And the antibiotics aren't doing much of anything for the strep.  Yay.  Poor kid.  Mono, strep, and, still, a gimpy arm.  (PI really, really hope no one is offended by my horrible use of the work gimpy, but it is the word I used whenever I talked to him, and the word my parents both used to describe is malady, so accurate storytelling mandates that I use that word).

Guess what happens a few days later?

You got it, another call from Boo.  "I have this big painful sore on my shoulder.  What do you think I should do?"  After a battery of questions, including whether this is on the gimpy arm (no, it's not, it's on his "good" arm), I suggest, for the fourth time that month, that he go to the Dr.

And what does he relay back to me from the Dr.?  "It's a Brown Recluse bite."

"No, it isn't,"  I flat out tell him.  I'm starting to think your Dr. is an idiot.  Brown Recluses don't even LIVE in Michigan.  Ugh.  But that's what the Dr. said.  He also said it would heal on its own.  Ugh!  So I called one of my favorite Entomology professors from undergrad.  This guy is awesome.  Literally wrote the book on entomology in the Midwest.  He agrees with me, it is very, very unlikely that Boo has a Brown Recluse bite.  The professor also informs me that it is really common for Dr.'s to say Brown Recluse bite when they just don't know what it is.

Plus, I didn't want Boo to believe he'd been bitten by a spider.  The kid is terrified of spiders (and ants) as it is.  To a very humorous degree.  We wanted SOOO badly to get one of those remote controlled tarantulas to have crawl up to him during our wedding just to get him to scream like a girl in front of all those people.

So I send Boo back to the Dr.  It turns out he has a staph infection (or something of the sort, I don't remember exactly).  He has infected skin on his "good" arm, a gimpy arm, mono, and strep throat.  On the one hand, I felt so bad for him.  On the other hand, it was just all too funny.  My mom made fun of him constantly.

When I got home for MacGyvertmas that year, I found out why.  While the staph, mono, and strep had cleared up, his arm was still screwed up.  It had gotten significantly better, he had use of the arm, he just couldn't move his wrist and hand.  The pictures are in the post below.  Don't forget to look!

Moral of the story:  Don't blame it on the bugs.  Don't always take your Dr.'s word as infallible – especially if that word is "Brown Recluse."  (Ok, so it's two words.  Bite me).

* Not all, maybe not even a majority of this info is actually from the piece on NPR or from the USDA.  I specialized in Entomology in undergrad and have always had a fascination with insects and other arthropods, so much of this is based on my own education and experience, which is still, I assure you, quite credible.  But feel free to look it all up.

These are pictures from when we went to MI for Christmas the year Boo had the messed up arm.  We surprised my mom by setting up and decorating her little Christmas Tree while she was asleep.  Note Boo's gimpy, curled up wrist and hand.  What you won't see in these is how many times I had to stop decorating because I was laughing so hard watching him try to hold things and maneuver his twisted hand.  I'm giggling now just remembering it.

I know.  I'm horrible.  But it's even funnier now, because a couple months later, Boo woke up one morning and his hand was just better.  Poof, no more twisting or paralysis.  And it hasn't happened again since (for about 3 years).  But that kid.  He just has issues.

(Also, please note:  Punky had no idea what we were laughing at.  She knows better than to ever laugh at someone for a physical problem, and she knows it is NOT ok to make fun of anyone - even Uncle Boo - even though Mommy does - a lot.  Let's just hope she doesn't think it's ok to make fun of her new little  brother just based on the interesting relationship I have with mine ;-)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Henry the Wh*re

For the last few weeks, MacGyver and I have been watching The Tudors at night after we put Punky to bed, before we turn in (starting with season 1, which we just finished). I like the show. I’ve always been a fan of historical drama. I love putting human stories (even over-dramatized ones) over the historical facts that have always interested me so much anyway.  MacGyver and I have some fun back-and-forths about what we think of the various characters and their actions.  It's really fun to watch together.

But I’m worried that watching it is having some negative effects on me. Namely, it’s making me really vicious and judgmental. We all know that I have a special place of disgust in my heart reserved for cheaters. BUT I also know better than to constantly rail on about it because I will end up offending people that I don’t actually mean to offend. Because I will come off as some sort of bitter old harpie (did I mention that the only time – that I know of – that I’ve ever been “cheated” on I was a sophomore in HS? I have suspicions about the Evil Ex when I was in my 20s, but the fact that he was trying to kill me sort of overshadowed any other activities on his part). So I need to stop with the ridiculous anti-adultery rants.

But that’s not so easy. Because King Henry VIII was a wh*&^. Because we watch this show every night and debate all sorts of the goings on in the show, but the one thing MacGyver and I agree on is that Henry VIII was a disgusting sl*&. Oh, and that Brandon guy, who was actually screwing some other chick while his wife died. I really hate that guy.

But I’m not going to rant. Because it’s pointless. MacGyver would never cheat. I would never cheat. And, ultimately, that is all that matters. We take our vows seriously, even if other people choose to cheapen and devalue their own.

Oops – almost slipped there ;-)

But I still love The Tudors, even if it gets me a little riled up and judge-y.  So I won't stop watching it (I probably couldn't if I tried).  But I will try to stop ranting.

And you know what else I caught myself watching the other day at lunch (much, much to my chagrin)? Wife Swap. Talk about a show that’ll make you judge-y. I hate that show, but I totally got sucked in the other day while I was working on some documents in my Q room.  But I’m pretty sure that was a one day thing.  Because reality TV makes me feel dirty.  Lol.

I should just go back to watching Xena reruns.  Those have never done me wrong.  I friggin love Xena.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Miniversary Weekend


The Food Nazi Goes on Vacation

Our Miniversary trip to Boston was awesome. We took off fairly early Saturday morning and headed to Boston for the Chocolate Tour. We loaded onto a trolley and rambled around Boston listening to a very interesting history of chocolate and sampling various treats. The chocolate tart thing at the Top of the Hub was amazing. Then there was the all-you-can-eat chocolate buffett at the Langham. Oh. My. Dessert. I cannot exaggerate how much variety and how many different desserts there were. Chocolate soups, candies, tarts, cookies, ice creams, confections of all sorts, even a chocolate pasta bar. My favorite was probably the real custard with strawberries on top. But it’s a tough call. There was so much. We stuffed ourselves to a disgusting degree. But it was just impossible to stop.

I don’t want to hear any gripes about chocolate and caffeine and Pip. I have been assured and reassured by countless sources including my midwives that a little caffeine here and there is ok (I was told up to 200mg , my midwife said 300mg, a day – I never come even CLOSE to that, and I certainly didn’t on Saturday).
After that, we stumbled our over-full bellies over to check in to our room at the
Charlesmark. It was really an adorable hotel, though we didn’t spend a whole lot of time there. We spent some quality time recovering from our overindulgence before heading out to roam Boston for a while. It was a beautiful, lovely day, and the area of the city we were in was gorgeous. It really made me miss Brooklyn. It seems I really am a city girl at heart. The Boston Commons, The theatre district, and the Copley Square area were all so great. We wondered around for quite a while. Eventually, we needed to eat something that wasn’t dessert, ha. Even though I knew better, it was a special occasion, so we indulged in a HUGE Italian sausage with sautéed peppers and onions, mustard, and ketchup. It was SOOOOO good. I’m drooling now just thinking about it. It’ll be a LONG time before I let myself eat something that terrible for me again :-(

We also stumbled across the Bull & Finch, the bar that was the inspiration for Cheers. It was cute, and surprisingly not overpriced. So we had to stop in and have a couple drinks (I had an orange juice). Then we headed back to the room to change and off to The Elephant and Castle for a murder mystery dinner theatre (yes, more food – it was a food weekend). The show was funny, the food was good, I had the pasta – the only vegetarian dish they offered, and continued to over-stuff myself.

The walk back was also wonderful. We walked up a beautiful tree-lined greenway with all the trees lit up with white MacGyvertmas lights. Back at the hotel, we wanted to go hang out in the bar because it was a really nice bar and lounge, but we had just spent too many hours waking and eating, and we ended up just taking a shower, cuddling up, and watching documentaries on theTV. Even that was pretty awesome, though.

Complimentary continental breakfast in the morning (something I love in hotels) that lasted until 10, and we didn’t have to check out until NOON! Love the Charlesmark.

We mostly ate fruit because, really, we had had just about enough gorging. Then we took the Boston subway to the boat show. I like the New York subway better. I had so much fun in Boston, and really loved it so much, that I felt the compulsive need to continually point out to myself that New York is better, haha. For instance, the stairs down into the New York subway are spaced better, at a more natural space. Don’t you just hate steps that are too short?

The boat show was boring. I wish there had been a car show instead, but, alas, there wasn’t. So we got back on the Boston subway and wondered around the Boston Commons area some more then ate some delicious burritos at Boloco. Love that place! I haven’t yet decided whether I prefer Boloco or Chipotle. I love them both. Guess I’ll have to figure out which is more environmentally friendly thought they’re both up there.

And finally, we headed home, exhausted and happy. It was a good weekend.

There are some pictures. I’ll try to get them up soon. We’ll see ;-)

Friday, February 19, 2010

To Lose Someone So Dear

From Cheap Wine and Cookies

My best friend of almost 22 years, NotDonna, lost her mom, MMom, Friday night. She had been battling cancer for many months. NotDonna had stayed by her side, caring for her almost continuously for the vast majority of that time. Towards the end, NotDonna was the only person from whom MMom would take her medicines (which were required on an hourly basis). I have known NotDonna for going on 22 years, and she has been very close to her mom the entire time. These last few months have been unbelievably hard on her. Not just watching this amazing woman, such a significant part of her life, struggle and slip away, but being responsible for her care. Seeing the pain. Being, at times, completely unable to offer relief. Supporting and making decisions for her teenage sister in the midst of all this. And functioning in this environment on little to know sleep this whole time. She has been amazingly strong. Pushed beyond what any person would consider to be the reasonable bounds of emotional strength. I have seen some of her close friends and loved ones abandon her during all this, and I have ached with a need to help her, to support her, to ease a pain that no one can touch. I wanted to be there with her. To help. To care for her. To care for MMom.

Because I have also known MMom for most of my life. I called her Mom. She called me daughter. I can’t even wrap my brain around Fourth of July without her. I realized yesterday, and couldn’t stop thinking about how MMom is Sand Lake (my old hometown) to me. It’s almost like the whole town is empty now. Because NotDonna doesn’t live there. She moved away years ago. MMom’s house was a place to go back to. I can’t think of any visit that I’ve made in the 10 years since I moved out of MI that I have visited my parents and not MMom. I’m sure there have been one or two misses, but they were rare.

There is just this emptiness now. This hole.

I remind myself that she was a wonderful, amazing woman. Every memory I have of her is of her laughing and joking around. She had a hilarious biting, sarcastic sense of humor that couldn’t be contained. She was the central, anchoring force of a huge family. She has 6 kids (plus 4 spouses/fiances) and 9 grandkids (and counting). Who knows how many pseudo-kids like me. And dozens of friends. Her home was always busy and welcoming. There were always people around, always kids around. And good food. I can’t get the image of her 4th of July berry cheesecake out of my head. I’m not sure why I’ve fixated on 4th of July; I feel like that doesn’t even come close to encapsulating what MMom meant to me and everyone in her life. She was so vibrant and beautiful. She had so much life in her. Too much for this.

I can’t imagine what NotDonna is going through. I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around it. After all these months of pain and struggle, and it’s only just beginning. If I can’t imagine life without MMom, what is NotDonna supposed to do? And how can I possibly help her? I can’t even be there right now.

My life was better for having had MMom in it, and her loss will be felt for years to come. I will always remember her and treasure her the times I had with her.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hermaphrodites, Really?

The other day I was listening to some of the debate over overturning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell that has heated up so much since ADM Mullen spoke out in favor of overturning the policy the other day. I won’t go too much into my personal opinion on the matter, especially not on a semi-public blog because no matter how much I disclaim it, people will want to take my personal opinion as in some way reflecting the opinions of or in the Marine Corps. And, even if my opinion is a very common one in the Marines, I am not in any way authorized or inclined to speak or make representations for the Marine Corps.

All that said, I was listening to the discussions on
NPR the other night, and a former Marine came on ranting about how strongly opposed he was to overturning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Without going into my opinions on the matter at hand, I will give my opinion of this guy’s argument:

It was asinine.

I don’t care what your opinion is, this guy just came off as an ignorant homophobe. What was this asinine argument? Basically, it was, “If we let the gays who are already in the military serve openly in the Marines (he specifically mentioned the Marines), then we will have to start letting hermaphrodites in.”

Really? No, NO, REALLY? Are you freaking serious?

Hermaphrodites? That’s your argument?


I’m sorry. One more time: Really? You must be screwing with me. I am absolutely dumbfounded (ok, I’m not – that rarely happens to me).


1) Do you even know what a hermaphrodite is? A hermaphrodite (or, more appropriately, intersexed person) is a person with an actual physical medical condition whereby they do not fall clearly into one category of biological sex. Some ignorant individuals (like you, sir), view this as a horrifying, terrible sickness or view it as making these individuals less human or “freaks.” While it can be very emotionally painful for the individuals in question, especially if not dealt with by informed or somewhat enlightened caretakers in early life, it is not some horrifying sickness and certainly does not make those people any less human, intelligent, or valuable. And I see no reason why a person with ambiguous genitalia who is otherwise perfectly qualified for military service should be denied that opportunity. In many countries/cultures around the world, hermaphrodites are treated *gasp* like regular people, or even honored. Some countries/cultures even recognize a third sex for these individuals. I strongly encourage anyone with limited knowledge on this issue to
read further. It is interesting and, in my opinion, will make you a more understanding person to know about. I know exactly how I would deal with it if Pip was born with an ambiguous sex. Do you know what you would do facing such a situation? Are you sure that’s the right thing by that child? At the very least, if you learn about this you’ll never sound like quite such an idiot on the radio.

2.) What the F does a hermaphrodite have to do with whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to serve openly? Someone please explain the connection to me. Are you trying to make some sort of point about genetic mutations? Please, please tell me that’s not the case. Because that is really, really stupid. Then again, I can’t think of any connection between allowing a person with ambiguous genitalia into the military and allowing a homosexual to be open about who they are in the military. Certainly not any connections that aren’t really, really stupid.

In conclusion:

That is one of the most asinine That is THE most asinine argument I have ever heard on either side of this argument. Ever. Please feel free to punch yourself in the face. And maybe think for a second before you go on the radio representing yourself as a “former Marine” and then act like a complete jacka*&. K? Thanks.


Karen over at A Peek at Karen't World posted a Wednesday Confessions today that I couldn't resist joining in on:  Dating Confessions.

We've all done things we regret (or at least should regret) in the dating arena.  Karen's were largely sins of omission - as in omitting acknowledgement of these boys' existances, ha.  Mine, quite humorously regrettably, were probably a little worse.  Before the most amazing man in the world won my heart and lured me (thankfully) out of the dating world, I was downright cruel not the nicest girl in the world.

MacGyver referred to my dating personna before I actually grew up a little and got serious with him as a sexual predator.  OF COURSE NOT IN THE SAME CONTEXT AS CHILD PREDATORS.  Ew, gross, wrong.  But I may have, in fact, been a little bit predatory - but that was only if someone was stupid enough to class themselves as prey!

I never went out hunting for idiot guys to be mean to.  I told them.  I warned them.  In some cases, I even had my friends warn them.  I did not want to be anyone's girlfriend.  I was not a nice girl.  I would carry on a relationship with you without any concern at all for your feelings.  Because I warned you ahead of time.  But did they ever listen?  Of course not.  I seemed so innocent.  I could never hurt them.  Or they were going to "rescue" me.  Gag me is more like it, ugh!

Now, I could delve into the possible reasons from my past that I so joyously wrongly treated these boys the way I did, and there are some biggies.   But really, I just found it interesting to see how much you could tell a person straight out that you were going to be mean to them and watch their own ego completely prevent them from taking you seriously.  This is a tactic that works out pretty well in court, too.

Apparently, I'm supposed to give specific examples.  Hmmmm . . .  There are oh so many to choose from.  My best friend from undergrad, the Producer's absolute favorite is this guy I had been dating for a couple weeks, to whom I had made the status of our relationship PERFECTLY CLEAR.  We are  not serious.  We will never be a "real" couple.  If you try to "relationship" me, I will come down on you with all due cruelty.  We will just go out, have fun, no emotional attatchment, it will be laid back and fun.  Did he listen?  OF COURSE NOT!

One day, The Producer and I are sitting in our favorite Anthropology class, and this guy walks up to me.  Shocked the heck out of me.  In the couple weeks we had been dating, I never noticed he was in this class!  Probably because The Producer and I sat off in our own corner and actually discussed class topics as opposed to the bubbly sorority crap that always seemed to be going on around us in that class.  Seriously, if you don't want to take a challenging class, DON'T SIGN UP FOR ONE.

So, anyway, this guy walked up to us. We had a little strained small talk (strained because in the back of my mind I was already annoyed with guy talking to me like he was my “boyfriend” or something, introducing himself to The Producer- who, by the way knew exactly who he was- and so on). And then, he asks (quite presumptuously, if I do say so myself), “Don’t you think we should sit together?” (implying that either The Producer or I should move). Well, considering the circumstances, the answer to that seemed pretty clear and straightforward to me:


A look of shock with a tint of confusion followed up with a glimmer of hurt feelings. The Producer almost lost it laughing. He always found my straight rational approach to relationships highly amusing.

That guy and I went out a few more times, but he kept trying to relationship me, so that was pretty much the end of it. Remarkably resilient ego, though, that one. He never held the above scenario against me. He just acted like it had never happened.

That is just one example of many similar situations. All of them amuse the hell out of me amused me at the time and still do even though I now know I was mean. Ha, I could go on and on with these stories. I know that sounds pretty harsh, and it really probably was, but I had a rule of honesty and rationality, and felt that that meant these guys couldn’t get mad at me for doing exactly what I had said I would.

Ultimately, though, MacGyver ruined my game. He never fell into the trap of not believing I would do something I said I would or of not taking me at my word. And for some reason, I didn’t want to do mean things to him, and I didn’t want to think of me as a person who would. At one point, I did anyway and pulled one very mean tactic on him (to find out my heartless move, see the paragraph labeled A Year In Limbo in
Our Story).  But in the end he won.  I finally recognized that maybe being a b*&^% wasn't quite as much fun as I thought it was, at least not if I wanted to keep MacGyver around, and I really, really did.  I let him relationship me.  And have been quite happy ever since.

I know it's not Wednesday anymore, but lets hear those confessions anyway.  What sort of cruelties did you pull in the dating world?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Breakfast on the Go

I’m not a huge breakfast before work person. I don’t typically get hungry until around 09:30, which is almost always well after I’m at work. I’ll usually bring some fruit, yogurt, veggies, or something with me to munch on then. Lately, though, I’ve been much more hungry much more often than in the past. Shocking, I know. (What sucks about it is that I can’t eat very much at any given time. Eating anything close to the size of a regular meal makes me immediately uncomfortably full and often nauseous.) So a couple mornings a week now, I want breakfast before I actually leave for work. Usually, I have time, but sometimes I get distracted by other things. I’m sure that’s enough said. On mornings that I get distracted, it’s even more likely that I’ll want breakfast. How’s that for a catch 22?

On those mornings that I get distracted and want breakfast early. I generally end up eating in my car. Yesterday, I had a lovely bagel with cream cheese and strawberries in the car on the way to work. Nothing wrong with that, as far as I can tell. This morning in the car on the way to work?

(whole grain, of course)

Yes, I ate pancakes in the car this morning on my way to work.  Don't worry - I didn't have to take my eyes off the road or anything, I cut them up before I left.  And they were delicious.  I only wish I had had berries to put on them!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dressing Myself

I get dressed in the dark every morning so as not to wake MacGyver. It's not really a big deal since I wear the same uniform to work pretty much every day. It's pretty hard to screw up. But not impossible.

I put my undershirt on this morning, and it felt funny. Tight against my neck, like it was backward. I pulled out the collar and looked, but no tag, so I figured I had just pulled it on funny and proceeded to put my sweatshirt on over it. But it still felt funny.

I walked into the bathroom to do my hair and looked in the mirror. And lo and behold there was a big white tag sticking out at my throat. My shirt wasn't merely backward - it was inside out, too. Apparently, I need a little more practice with this dressing myself thing.

Naughty Pagan

Happy Imbolc, All!

I've been really slipping in my observance of Pagan Holidays lately.  Just yesterday, I commented to my friend Java that I couldn't believe it was already dark out when we got out of class.  "The days should be getting longer, but it feels like they're getting shorter?  When is the Equinox?" 

And, lo and behold, today is Imbolc.  Obviously, I haven't hung my Multifaith Calandar back up since we re-did the bedroom.  Really, though, I've been a slacker pagan for over half a year now.  Many promises to myself to rededicate myself when we finally settle again at our ultimate duty station here in a couplefew months.  Put up my new alter.  Pay attention to the holidays.  You know, the basics that I can't seem to keep up with lately without any reminders glaring at me from secular culture.

Oh.  Wait.  There was a glaring reminder.  Groundhog's Day anyone?  Imbolc - celebration of the light returning?  Largely about the weather and expectations for the coming Spring.  So much for that excuse, lol.

It doesn't totally feel like Imbolc to me because, as I said, I've been feeling like the daylight hours are shorter lately.  I'm sure this is because of our very recent move north.  I have noticed how uplifting it is to drive to work around sunrise (as opposed to 3 or even 4 hours beforehand, a function of TBS, not lattitude).  Maybe lighting some candles in recognition of the coming light is in order for today.  I'm very much looking forward to celebrating the coming holidays (seeds growing in the Earth, the promise of Spring) in my current expectant state.  I am determined to have at least a couple good, meaningful ceremonies and lovely days, and, as I said, fix up my new alter.

Until then, Happy Turns to you all!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Where's Punky?

Oh my freaking A.  What the Hell kind of elementary school lets a 7 year old (who has only been attending the school for one week) walk home by herself?  WTF?  Oh, I'm sorry, not by herself.  They let her walk home with a third grader.  I say again, WTF?

We only live two blocks from Punky's school now, so MacGyver walks her to school and picks her up at the end of the day.  Except yesterday when he got there, she. wasn't. there.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Can you imagine?  I would've effing lost it.  Well, no.  I wouldn't have at that point.  I'm pretty good under extreme stress, but I can tell you that my mind would've been in all the worst places in that moment, and I would've been taking some serious actions.  MacGyver asked the adults in charge where she was.  No one had an effing clue.  Well, aren't you supposed to be watching her!?!?!

Apparently, they did not feel they needed to watch her.  Contrary to what we had originally been told, the kids aren't held until a responsible party picks them up.  The kids are just cut loose to do as they please unless you place them on a special list requiring them to be released only to a responsible party.  I think it bears repeating:
W. T. F?!?
Maybe I'm just clueless as to how things work with elementary schools these days, but I would never run a school that way!  Holy F!  THAT is the point where I would've lost my effing mind on some people.  YOU LET MY 7 YEAR OLD LITTLE GIRL LEAVE THE SCHOOL UNSUPERVISED!?! 

MacGyver rushed home to find Punky waiting, safely (Thank the Universe and any God, Goddess, or force you can think of), where it was explained that - apparently - a crossing gaurd (from what I can tell from the way Punky tells it) sent her with a third grader, and that third grader's mom joined that at some point after they had actually left the school.

I can't even.  I don't know what to say.  Needless to say, Punky is on the "Special List" of kids who aren't allowed to be tossed out on the sidewalk to figure out their own way home, and, more importantly, it has been emphasised to her that she is NOT to leave the school unless MacGyver or I am there to pick her up (or, just in case, our friend Java).

But, seriously!  Is this normal?  Do schools really do this?  I'm not talking Jr. High.  I'm not even talking about kids who are a little older who have permission to walk home in groups.  I'm talking about single little first graders just being cut loose with no accounting for them whatsoever.  UGH!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Scariest Thing in the World

What is it with kids and shots (or adults and shots for that matter)? I have had A LOT of shots in my life. The Marine Corps has joyously given me as many as 7 shots at once. WooHoo. And drawn vial after vial of blood. And yes, I am a mature (*ahem*) adult, capable of rationally and calmly getting shots. But even as a kid, I had no problem with shots. I remember my mom calmly explaining to me that shots barely hurt as much as a good pinch. Would I scream and cry and freak out if someone pinched me? No. Would I rather be sick and throwing up for a week? Would I rather have my throat scraped? Or just a little pinch? And, of course, my dad had to jump in to point out just how much tougher I was than other kids who would wine and cry like babies. And oh how impressed the doctors and nurses were when I just sat calmly and took the shot.

Apparently, I was a freak as a kid. Apparently, reasoning like this typically just does. not. work. Now, Punky is 7. So it may seem like I’m coming to this realization somewhat late in the game. I knew that kids freak out about shots. I know Punky used to flip right the frig out at the mere mention of a shot. But, I mistakenly thought that shot drama was on the downslide.  I was told that she was brave enough to deserve chicken nuggets for her bravery a few weeks ago when she needed a shot (and I'm sure you all know what a big deal chicken nuggets are to me as the food nazi and during our push toward vegetarianism).

I wasn't there for that shot.  But I was there for the H1N1 shot she got the other night.  And I was so sure it was going to go nice and smoothly.  We walked in.  She was calm.  We went through all the paperwork process.  She was fine.  We waited in line while other kids got their shots.  Cool as a cucumber.  Sat down in the seat where next to the nurse.  Starting to look nervous . . .  And BAM.  She LOST is.  0 to spaz in 1 second flat.  Screaming, crying, litterally trying to run away from me.  Holy Cow.

This took my completely by surprise.  Punky is an amazingly calm and well behaved kid.  This is not just a mother's pride.  Punky is impressive.  She has outstanding manners and maturity.  People comment on her behaviour to us on an almost daily basis.  She isn't free of behaviour issues, but she is a darn good, calm, mature kid.  She gets dramatic once in a while, but it's been years since I've seen her flip like that in public.  Lost. It. 

Wouldn't sit on my lap, wouldn't look away, and just wailed the whole time.  Granted, the whole time lasted about 6 seconds, but it was a loud, vicious 6 seconds (and I think she was so concentrated on screaming that she didn't even realize the actual moment she got the shot).  And that wasn't the end of it.  She stayed ticked after that for a good few minutes.  Apparently, shots are still not ok with Punky.

Now, for the disclaimers:  Punky is a kid.  She wasn't misbehaving, she was just terrified, like many kids are about shots, and even though we had been talking about the shot beforehand, I'm not sure it really registered to her that she was getting one until that moment.  It broke my heart to see her so scared.  Even more so because it waws such a minor thing.

There has to be some psychological reason that so many kids flip out so royally at even the idea of a shot.  I'm sure if I delved into it I could come up with something - fears of expected pain worsened by images in the media and so on.  The question is, if I figure out what this psychological reason is, can I use it to keep Punky from loosing her *ahem* mind next time she gets a shot?  Somehow, I doubt it . . .

It's a Pip!

Guess what!
Is that a line?  It looks like a line to me . . .

I'm pretty sure that's a line . . .
Well, that's a little more clear.

Yep, we did it.  And shockingly fast, too.  I was a little hesitant to go too far into this because I have such a large number of dear friends right now, bloggy and otherwise, who are facing a lot of trouble conceiving right now which is so painful.  But, of course, this blog is mainly a place for me to record my thoughts and our life, so while sending deepest feelings of support to those suffering through conception troubles right now, here is our story:

Shockingly Fast.  All the resources (and I've been reading plenty of them over the last couple years, as anyone who follows Cheap Wine and Cookies likely knows), said that it was likely to take a minimum of three months to get pregnant, with 6-12 months being "normal."  Not so much in our case ;-)  It happened immediately.  Pregnancy is counted from the first day of the last period, which means that our pregnancy is counted from the day I got my IUD out. 

And we weren't "seriously" trying at that point because it seemed so unlikely.  All the resources said not to "try" more than once a day because it lowers sperm count.  Ha, it was Winter Break.  We SERIOUSLY broke that little rule.  Apparently counts weren't lowered too much . . .

Towards the end of Winter Break, I started getting these horrible, debilitating headaches, and, ultimately, it was Dr. House who first diagnosed our pregnancy. 
From Cheap Wine and Cookies

All I could think about while I was laid up with these headaches the last couple days of break was about this episode of House where he diagnoses a woman as being pregnant based on Beccaria's sign, which is (according to House), a strong headache in the base of the skull, and dang if that wasn't exactly what I was feeling.  Not to mention some pretty extreme stuffiness. 

So, anyway, when we got back to VA a few days later, there were other signs - weird smells, food aversions (namely the fact that the one sip of champagne I took tasted like nail polish remover to me, ugh!), and MacGyver finally made me take a pregnancy test.  I insisted to him over and over that my period wasn't even due yet.  That even if I were pregnant, it wouldn't show up on the test.  He gave me a choice:  either take the friggin test or stop whining.  So I took the test.  When I was taking the test I was certain I didn't care because it was so unlikely that I was pregnant and even more unlikely that the test would pick it up if I were.  I set the stick on the counter and went to the bedroom to fold laundry with MacGyver for three minutes.  Right.  More like 30 seconds.  Then I went back in the bathroom to, um, brush my hair . . .

MacGyver:  "Are you in there staring at the test?"

Me: "No" (As I watch the sample soak across the paper and a shadow of a line form next to the control line.  Are my eyes playing tricks on me?)

MacGyver: Laughs as he watches me through the crack in the bathroom door with my face three inches from the test trying to figure out if there is any possible way that what I'm seeing is really a line. "Right . . ."

A few days later he made me take a digital test.  Then I took a blood test.  Seems hard to argue with the results at this point . . . 

It appears we have a Pip.  What is a Pip?  I think my very good friend Amanda Jo, to whom I give full credit for the idea to begin with, put it best on her WONDERFUL Blog, Parenting Poppy (which you should definitely check out at your earliest convenience):

"When we first found out I was pregnant, we spent the first couple of days in shock (it's amazing how terrified you can be even after doing something like this on purpose) (at least, I was in shock, MacGyver took the whole thing in stride and seemed to find how serious I took it all to be quite comical) while simultaneously trying to figure out what, if anything, to call this new creature we'd started growing. "Baby" seemed a little presumptuous as we hadn't even reached the fetal stage yet and had all the typical first trimester/miscarriage jitters. "Peanut" was a little too generic. "Embryo" or "fetus" a little too... scientific. [Amanda Jo and T] did what any sensible parents-to-be would do -- we went with the weekly food size comparison offered by BabyCenter -- and "Poppy" was born." (I have taken some liberties with this quote, read the real thing here)
"Pip, like Poppy, is gender neutral, cute, and not too close to a "real" name to weird us out. It keeps us from having to use the oh-so-impersonal "it," while at the same time shying away from the plain "Baby," and it makes us feel as though this little person we're growing is something unique already, even if she's not quite all there just yet . . ."
From Cheap Wine and Cookies
 We didn't choose Pip based on BabyCenter, but along the same lines, a Pip is one of the little things inside a pomegranate or an orange.  It seemed cute and appropriate to us and fit right in with the same logic that Jo and T used to dub Poppy.

So there you have it!  The big news I have been chomping at the bit to announce.  We're still not through the first trimester risk period, but if the unspeakable happens, we'll deal with it then.  For now, we're reveling.  There is so much more to tell, but I'm pretty certain this post is quite long enough.  And I am now craving pomegranate.

I will leave you, my lovely readers, with my 6 week belly pic:
From Cheap Wine and Cookies


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