To satisfy the throngs of people (somewhere between 2 and 20 of you) who have asked whatever happened to the martial arts e-zine I use to edit, and would it ever see the light of day…it’s back online. Sort of. I have the archives back online, and over the next week or so I plan on adding back all the old regular features, like the image library, forms, etc.

It looks a little rough still, but the old articles are there. Until I was reformatting them, I didn’t realize how many I’d actually written, how many Ian had written, and how many regular contributors there were—and how good they were. Though, ya, I should have had a clue about Ian’s, since most of his were published as an essay anthology (yes, let’s plug the Boy…he needs the sales.)

And totally unrelated…yesterday we were at the BX, and there was this guy there playing his guitar (and hence, trying to sell his CDs. Kinda like a musical book signing), and he was amazing. So I bought all 3 of them, and wow. If you like jazz guitar, you’ll love this stuff. His name is Jeffery Smith, and you can find his stuff at I am so totally going to write my next book with his stuff playing in the background…


You know, I still enjoy swimming; it could be because it’s the first post-FMS exercise that I was able to fully manage. In the pool nothing really hurts, and there’s that ego thing of being able to work out for a full hour without curling up on the floor in one massive I-want-my-mommy ball.

Even though I’m doing other things now—an awesome Boot Camp class that makes the old TKD classes seem easy, and a cardio/weight training class—I still like to get in the pool and swim. The cardio/weight class doesn’t tend to seem like enough (it’s just not as intensive as the Boot Camp class…that’s not necessarily a bad thing) so I swim afterwards and try to get to the point where I feel like I have had enough.

That only takes about half an hour, but it’s something.

So yesterday I jumped into the pool (ok, I sat at the side and kind of slid in) and started my laps. The water was warm, I was feeling really good, and it didn’t feel like I was working too hard.

That’s not a good thing.

When I feel like I’m not working too hard, my attention tends to wander. So I noticed the older guy who got into the lane next to me. Honestly, I couldn’t help but notice. Without trying to be unkind…well, first off, I have to give props to the guy for being there. He was running the lane at a pretty good clip, a heck of a lot faster than I was ever able to run in water.


The guy had one heck of a beer belly, and he was wearing a pair of fairly loose-fitting Speedo type swim trunks.

Every time he was running my direction, all I could see was that stomach and his junk bouncing up and down.

I tried not to look, really.

I lowered my face further, but the only that did was fill my snorkel with water.<

It was like a wreck at the side of the road; you can’t help but slow down to see how bad the damage is.

Rather than stare at the guy—that’s just too creepy, and I don’t want to be that creepy lady at the Y—I figured it was time to get out of the pool. So I finished my lap, popped my head out of the water, and dammit.

The old folks’ water aerobics class was in session, and I came up just in time to hear the freaking Chicken Dance.<


That had to be God’s way of punishing me for noticing the old guy’s flapping nads. Either that, or God just has a warped sense of humor. At least the song didn’t get stuck in my head.

This time.

And shut up.
You don’t need to type out the beat of that nasty, nasty song for me.
I won’t look, I swear.

Oh yeah, and on a different note, Happy Birthday, Unca Willie!


I’m very good at making lists.

I make lists telling me what housework needs to be done, what I need to buy at the grocery store, what we could possibly sell at a garage sale, and more recently, a list of all the things I need to go through before we move.

Yep, I can be the Queen of Lists.
That doesn’t mean I actually follow them.

My house is a mess, I haven’t even gone to the grocery store, all the potential garage sale items are still in the garage or in boxes in closets, and we’ll probably haul away tons of crap we don’t need when we move.

But I have the lists.
I take great care in creating my lists.
I may not use them, but dammit, I have them.

When I die, I want my tombstone to remember them. Hey! Dying wasn’t on the list!



The Evilness that pervades our neighborhood (that would be the women to the immediate right and immediate left of me) dragged me kicking and screaming (yes, I was kicking! Yes, I was screaming!) to a new aerobics class this morning (ok, not so much with the kicking. And I didn’t scream so much as say a few bad words when getting up this mornings. And I did drive myself there…) Hi/Lo Cardio with Weight Training.

This should be renamed “Skinny Little Bitch With A Killer Six Pack Will Make You Feel Fat For 90 Minutes” Class.

Ok. She wasn’t a bitch. She was perky and happy and had this gung-ho You Can Do It! attitude. But, yeah, she had the killer six pack and I felt incredibly flabby whilst doing this.

But I liked it.

It was 90 minutes, and I neither puked nor sat down to cry my eyes out.

And afterwards, I hit the pool for half an hour and did 50 laps. Well, lengths of the pool, not laps. But it was 2 hours of exercise.

Yay me.

Tomorrow is Boot Camp, taught by another Skinny Thing, but she’s not perky, she’s commanding. And she will torture us for an hour, leaving me gasping for breath and calling out for Mommy.

But I’ll like it.

I’ll feel zesty and perky and 20 years younger when I’m done. My teeth will be whiter and brighter. I’ll be 15 pounds lighter and very buff.

All right, I can dream.

But I’m doing it. And I’m enjoying it. And I’ll miss it when we leave.

But give credit to the Neighborhood Evilness?


Transmission $1600
Brakes $400
Rear shocks, front bearings $600
Idle Motor + other stuff $600
Alarm system $200
Stereo/CD $200
Plugs, wires, distributor cap $200
New battery: $60

Grand total: $3860

Still needs:

Fuel pump $400
Front struts $300

2nd Grand Total: $4560

In less than a year—if we get the fuel pump replaced and the struts replaced—car repairs (and the $400 for the alarm and stereo) on my pretty little red toy will almost total the purchase price (and yeah, we plaid over Blue Book. Yeah, we’re maroons.)

Now, the car is 10 years old. But it came with less that 70,000 miles. One could argue that other than the transmission, those things were bound to happen on a car that old.

But a car with so few relative miles?

And in such a short span of time?

Especially transmission problems with a car with so few miles?

We checked the car out on Carfax; it’s never been in a major accident, something I was starting to be concerned about because the windows don’t align correctly and the roof leaks. So unless the guy we bought it from totaled it, never reported it, and fixed it himself, it’s structurally sound…just leaky. It was never reported as a Lemon. If we sell it and someone buys it, runs their own Carfax, and then find major damage, Carfax will pay them back.

But at what point do we throw in the towel and give up on it? How do we know that if we fix the fuel pump, that’ll be it? It could run smoothly for the next half decade…or a month from now something else will go wrong.

We have to decide fairly soon whether to keep it, or take it with us to CA—which could cost us $1500 to ship.

I want my pretty little red toy, dammit.
But I don’t want to keep throwing money at it.
I don’t want to be in CA without a car.
But I don’t want to drag a clunker along.

This morning I went out to put the top down, and it was dead. Not just dead, but dead. I turned the key and nothing. We replaced the battery and it started up, but I could very well go out tomorrow to start it and have it dead again, if there’s a short somewhere and it wasn’t just the battery (there was no date on the battery the car came with, making me wonder if the guy we brought it from took the tag off.)

When I come to a stop at stoplights, if I don’t ride the gas, it dies half the time. This could be the fuel pump. Or the new idle motor may not be working correctly.

The last mechanic to work on it ran diagnostics, and the electrical system checked out fine then.

OK, everyone gets a vote. Keep it, or ditch it?


Bird Orgy.
In my flower bed.
Pink Flamingo hotness.

There’s more.

Oh, the horror…


As I’ve mentioned to friends, my endocrinologist seems to feel some pressing need to inform me of the costs of the medications that I’m on. And as I’ve said to them, I don’t really care how much the drugs cost, only that I get what I need. Okay, sure, the things I now require are expensive (note to taxpayers: you’re spending about $1200-1500 a month on prescriptions for your favorite wabbit.) The guy tends to make me feel like a drug seeker…but it’s not as if I’m in the ER every weekend screaming for morphine or percoset to treat my FMS. I’m in need of hormones, for Pete’s Sake.

The penny pinching bothers me, especially now. My lab test in January showed I was slightly hypothyroid. But, “we’ll wait and see.” In May they came back as slightly more hypothyroid, but still…evidently I can just suffer through being cold from the inside out all the time, and I can hit the gym 4-5 times a week (and seriously work out, not just show up and expect the Fitness Fairy to bonk me over the head with her magical wand) and gain weight.

The labs were repeated last week, and honestly, I expected another “Let’s wait and see.” Because, honestly, thyroid replacement meds are so freaking expensive (insert much rolling of the eyes here.)

But, surprise. He called the house Friday night (gotta be upfront here: he’s completely snowed under with double the number of patients he should have) and told Mike he put in a scip for me, I can start ASAP (not til Monday since the pharmacy is closed) and we’ll re-do the blood work 3-4 days before my next appointment (on my freaking birthday, thankeweveddymuch) to see where things are.

Am I happy?

Well…not happy. But relieved.

I’m tired of being cold all the time.

I’m tired of working out with no visible results.

I’m tired of my nails flaking and breaking.

But mostly, I’m tired of being fat.

So, hopefully, this is the last piece of the me-puzzle. I’ve got the growth hormone replacement, the don-t-pee-yourself-to-death hormone replacement, estrogen replacement, and now thyroid replacement. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll feel fully human…or as close as I ever was.

Too bad none of that will take care of my ever-growing facial hair.

Word of advice: if you’re female, don’t shave the facial hair. Ever. It just grows back coarser and faster, and people will call you “sir.”

That’s “Sir Wabbit, Ma’am,” to you.


Ok...all the old comments are gone.
I got tired of the comment system I was using being down half the time, so I switched to HaloScan. They seem to be very reliable, so hopefully there will be no more hiccups and delays in commenting.

'Cause, I know y'all have a lot to say to me.

OK, and I dunno what's up with the font-size here...I can't seem to get it to look like it should.


He had to buy one.
All the cool kids on the street have their own RC cars or trucks.
One even has a Hummer.
They be stylin’.


I only wanted a box of macaroni & cheese. That’s all. Just one box of cheesy wonder to go with the ham I’m making for dinner tonight. Since the Boy does not live with us, we rarely have mac & cheese anymore, so I had to venture out into the world and get some.

As I leave the house I notice it’s cloudy, but I don’t think anything about it; after all, I checked the radar on both Weather Bug and the Weather Channel (both online and on TV.) There was no rain over our wonderful little corner of the Midwest, so off I went, in my spiffy little red ragtop (top up) to Meijer.

I get there, grab my box of Kraft mac & cheese, wait at the self-serve checkout behind some woman who has 65,000 items above the allowed, and who does not seem to understand the process. But I’m not in a hurry, so I’m patient. Everyone who wants to try the self serve check out has to learn it first.

While I wait, I hear this horrible noise, like tacks being hurtled from the sky onto the metal roof of the World’s Biggest Grocery and Discount Store (ok, so perhaps I exaggerate a bit…but it's pretty big) I look up and out the big front windows, and it’s raining so hard I can’t see the cars in the parking lot.

I scan my M&C box, shove a dollar into the cash slot and get my 1 cent in change, and head for the doors, thinking perhaps I’ll wait inside until it blows over.

And it does…in less than a minute it’s nothing but a nice, easy rain shower, so I head for my car, thinking I’m very glad I wasn’t driving in that.

I should know better. There were dozens of cars trying to get out of the parking lot on the end I normally do, I figure what the hell, I’ll go to the other end. It’ll probably be quicker.

It might have been, if not for the van broken down in the lane I needed to be in to turn the direction I wanted to go. I was forced to go straight, so I thought fine, I’ll turn around at Wendy’s and then head home.

And thus, did the sky open up once again, thundering rain drops the size of small dogs onto my car.

You know, the pretty little red convertible with the roof that leaks.

It rained so hard that I pulled into the Wendy’s parking lot to wait it out, because I couldn’t see more than ten feet ahead of the car. It rained so hard that I got thoroughly soaked just sitting there in the driver’s seat, minding my own business, trying to stay off the road so that I wouldn’t be a big red traffic hazard. It rained hard for about half an hour, long enough to make me want a burger, just long enough that I caved and went in (the rain no longer mattered, since I was wet anyway.)

As soon as I sat down with my burger and diet coke, it stopped raining.

I blew my diet for the day, all for a box of macaroni and cheese.
But it was a good burger, and worth it, I suppose.

Now watch me screw up the mac & cheese tonight…


It started with walking 3 mornings a week.

Then came Boot Camp Aerobics, which translates, roughly, into: “A Very Young Skinny Thing will torture you in ways you can only imagine, and she will make you feel every single one of your 42.9 years, twice a week.” And I’m paying for this.

Then came Cardio Kickboxing, taught by the same Way Too Young Thing, whereupon new and adventurous methods of torture were applied, twice a week. Kick, jab, squat, bob & weave, hold your left foot in your right hand and jump in a 360 degree circle with one eye closed and your left nostril flared.

At first, there was elation.
Yay, I can do this!
Hurray, I have more energy!
Yippee, I’m sleeping well!

Then came Reality.
Holy crap, I’m tired today.
Cripes, my knees hurt.
Sheesh, I can feel the paper-thin lining of each muscle that comprises my quads.

But this is good for me, right?
It will give me youth!
Minty fresh breath and pert, perky boobs!

And I’m gonna do it again tonight…
Really, I’m not as dumb as it sounds.

Sooner or later, it’ll either pay off, or I’ll have a heart attack, and hopefully that Skinny Young Thing knows CPR.


We went to see Harry potter this afternoon…again (and yeah, whoever it was that told me to stay until the end of the credits—I would like to slap you with a wet glove two or three times. Nothing happened!) Behind me sat a small child. A small child with fee that juuuuust reach the back of my chair.

You can imagine.

I did not turn around and snarl at the kid, because every time he started, I heard his mother whisper at him to stop it, and he did…for about 5 minutes or so. She made the effort, I figured that was what counted. And kids do need to be taken to movies to learn movie etiquette. Eventually he’ll learn.

But what surprised me, what I did not expect—when the movie was over and they were on the way out—was for her to apologize to me for the kicking. I mean, it’s the courteous thing to do, I just didn’t expect it.

Makes me glad I didn’t turn around and rip his little head off.
Or steal his candy.

I kinda wanted the candy, though…I could smell it from where I was, and it smelled pretty good.


Happy 228th to the U.S.A.

As we celebrate, stuffing our faces with hot dogs and french fries, throwing back the beers and Cokes, or as we power shop the sales, let’s not forget our military members who have been plopped down in various places over the world to protect our interests and to serve our country.

Whether we agree with the cause or not, our troops deserve, at the very least, our thanks and appreciation for the risks they take on our behalf, and our best wishes and prayers for their safety. They are someone’s sons, someone’s daughters; someone’s husband or wife or father or mother. For many of us, they are friends.

Party on! It is a birthday, after all!


Meet my new buddy.
His name is Bob.
(No, that does not stand for “Battery Operated Boyfriend.”)
Bob lives in the garage and stares at the closed door all day.
Bob also lets me beat the crap out of him, and he never complains.
Bob came into my life after a couple of cardio kickboxing classes, where I realized I missed punching and kicking the crap out of people.
Since none of the neighbors will hold still long enough (and the little ones can just plain outrun me)…(well, so can most of the adults), and the Spouse Thingy has been my practice dummy (heh, yeah, I said it) for longer than anyone deserves, it was time to get something else to pummel.
I like Bob.
A man that doesn’t talk.
Ooh yeah.


Happy Canada Day!
(Well, if you celebrate Canada Day)
(You know, those people that live to the north of the U.S.)