Oh, man, how I wish I’d had a camera…
Picture it:

A gaggle of Canadian Geese, about 20 of them, blocking 4-way traffic on a very busy street, as they crossed the road on foot—at the freaking crosswalk.

Nothing moved but those geese for about 5 minutes.

There was lots of honking, but none of it coming from cars. I think we were all too fascinated to be ticked off…especially when they all got to the corner, and proceeded to cross the next street, carefully and in the designated crossing area.



Time flies when you’re having fun.

It’s been 2 years since The Surgery.

Yep, in capitals, because it was really one of those life-milestones, one of the things that divides things into Before and After.

It’s not as if things are all that different now than they were before; I still have FMS, my back is still a mess, my knees still hurt, and gravity is still doing its thing in places I would prefer it avoid. I was happy before; I’m happy now. The laundry list of medical problems (and if I list them all I’ll probably just get depressed, and these days my life is not about getting depressed) has quadrupled, but it’s nothing unmanageable. Life has gone on.

Still…things are different.

Before this day 2 years ago, I was walking the Y swimming pool, honestly wondering if it was the last time I’d see it. And walking was the best I could do. These days, I splash in another Y pool, a full on (albeit kind of slow) hour-long (usually) swim, and instead of pondering final visions, I moan about the goop floating in the water. I take for granted that I’ll see another day. Maybe I shouldn’t, but that I take it for granted doesn’t mean I’m not deeply grateful.

I can look back and laugh about it, especially those hours after the surgery, when I was convinced that the morphine they’d given was going to make me stop breathing, and I was determined to keep sucking in breath after breath. When I was awake, that is. And I look back and still marvel at the Spouse Thingy, how he stayed there until late in the night, making sure I had enough water to make up for the lack of my diabetes insipidus meds, making sure that when I was finally coherent enough I could reach the call button and ask for more, making sure that I could pour it by myself and reach the bedside table. The one thing the surgeon was most concerned about was that my electrolytes would go haywire; the Spouse Thingy keeping such a careful eye on my fluids kept things on an even keel, and the doc was amazed at how perfect my blood work was.

I don’t know too many men who would sit there from dawn until nearly midnight, patiently, not even flinching when puked upon. And I don’t know too many who would do it and then not complain that they came home to a significant doggy-accident and a really pissed off hungry cat. I didn’t know about that until weeks later.

Things may not be all that different, but I think I’m all the more grateful for it.

So today we’re going to a birthday party; the birthday girl is turning 1 year old. In her honor, we’ll spend the day with good friends, watching the kids play, laughing with each other, talking and possibly gossiping, eating and drinking. We’ll have fun. And I’m sure once or twice the thought will cross my mind of what I was doing 2 years ago, and how happy I am to be going to a party for an almost-toddler.

We’ll be celebrating a real birthday.

Celebrating Life.


I said a couple of nights before, to quote: "Stupid fireflies."

My opinion remains firm.

Not because they caused me any undue stress tonight; I simply realized that what God gave them in hind quarter fireworks he took away in cerebral brain matter.

For instance, the picture there to the right. The Spouse Thingy spent an afternoon stringing lights in the front yard tree to make evening lazing slightly more ambient.

(Okay, he did it because it makes seeing the drinks easier. Same difference.)

Tonight I sat outside for a bit, enjoying the cool night air (okay, bitching about being cold, but still…), and actually enjoyed their twinkling little asses.

Then I realized…they were trying to hump the lights in the tree.

The fireflies, flitting by, looking to mate, took one look at our tree and collectively screamed, “ORGY!!!!!”

Brilliant only in their nether regions, for sure.
For those who like to drink and then Slip & Slide:

Just something to think about…


You know it's going to be a bad day when you sneeze and your back seizes up.


Several years ago—and yearly since then—eye doctors have warned me that I have a significant thinning of my retinas. The big thing to watch for, I’m told, is sudden flashes of bright light. If I start to see them, I’m supposed to head directly to an ER, since that could indicate a detachment of one of my retinas.

I can do that.
I think.

So now it’s Spring In Ohio. The weather has been wonderful, mild temps with a nice breeze that beg for me to leave the window to my office (ok, kitchen-office) open. I’ve been sitting here this evening, Googling for the heck of it (read: I don’t feel like working, so I’m looking for you online), sort of paying attention to CNN Headline News on the 13” TV on my desk.

And it happened.
Flashes of light in the peripheries of my vision.
Holy creeping crud, my left retina must be detaching!

So I kind of held my breath and waited. Maybe it was just my imagination. Maybe it was something on the TV. Maybe it’s nothing.

And then it happened again.
Did I get up and call for the Spouse Thingy to come downstairs and whisk me off to the WPAFB ER?
Hell no.

I waited.
And it happened again.
And again.
And yet again.

And, dammit, I finally turned, thinking I’d better get up.
And I looked out the window.

Stupid fire flies.


150 pounds.
Roughly 12-15% body fat.
And I thought I was really overweight.

I may have posted this picture before; I probably did and just pushed it from my mind, trying to avoid the fact that I can’t even get those dobok pants up past my thighs now, and that top wouldn’t close around my torso if I begged and pleaded, not unless I added several inches to the side ties. The belt…I still have it somewhere, but I’d have to use a single wrap around the waist instead of the standard double wrap. And even then I don’t know if I could tie it.

I look back on that now and can’t believe I thought I was overweight.

Still…I can remember then—I think that picture was taken at a tournament in 1990 or 1991—looking at high school photos, and having the same thoughts. Wondering how I ever could have thought myself sooooo fat, when I clearly was not. Friends in high school never made the Fat Jokes that tend to come with those thoughts (granted, I got a lot of chubby barbs in grade school, when I did carry some extra body fat, but still…) so it’s not like I had that view of myself because of teasing.

It just seems a little odd to have such a skewed perspective.

The big difference is that now I know I’m overweight. It’s not just a feeling or someone else’s way of getting under my skin. I mean, I have it right there in my medical records, and let me tell you, the first time you read “obese white female” and it’s about you, it’s a kick in the teeth. Because it’s true. And it stings a little because it’s not necessarily because you stuffed yourself silly (though there have been a few too many Taco Bell burritos along the way, for sure) but because Real Life has a way of doing not so nice things to you from time to time. Even when your Life Overall is pretty spiffy.

Then up pops that picture.

I grab the turkey waddle that has been steadily growing under my chin—the one that creates 3 or 4 distinct chins if my head falls forward, and wonder:

How in hell did I ever think I was overweight back then?

I’m pretty sure I would do some grossly immoral and illegal things to have that body again.

Um, yeah.
Very sure.

Bypass the cake? Hell no.
Immoral and Illegal?
You betcha.

Any suggestions???


The day before yesterday an almost 5 year old, in split-second ‘duh’ moment, called me “Mom.” It was funny and one of those things that just slips out; he caught himself and had that “why did I just do that?” look on his face. I think it was all the more amusing to me, because I did the same thing when I was in second grade. And that one little slip of his took me all the way back to that almost-dim little classroom in Nurnberg, Germany, and it stayed on my mind as I drove towards home.

I walked right up to the teacher’s desk one to ask a question and instead of her name, “Mommy” slipped out. She was clearly not amused, snapping “I’m not your mother.” I was horrified, not only for the slip, but because it clearly ticked her off. Now, normally she was a very sweet, extremely patient and kind teacher—still one of my favorites—but something about that moment just got under her skin.

Looking back with an adult perspective, I understand that she could have simply been having a bad day. It could have been PMS. She might have had a whopper of a fight with her husband that morning. Or maybe she was just tired of my crap.

After all, I’m the one who once puked all over everything during the Pledge of Allegiance. I’m the one who talked nonstop, usually while she was actively trying to teach. And I’m the one who, when caught shrieking at the top of my lungs because Mark DeSimone was chasing me with paint, lied through her teeth to get out of standing in the corner by swearing I was allergic to the paint. And later, when asked for the truth, I admitted that I wasn’t really allergic—but then compounded the error of my ways by saying I’d just said that because if I got paint on me, my mom would beat me when I got home.

I don’t think the teacher believed that either.
She knew my mother.
But I got out of an afternoon spent in the corner.

It might explain why she was so annoyed by me calling her Mommy—as if there were any way she’d give birth to this spawn of Satan.

I was having a good day when the kid next door called me “Mom.” I found it funny, especially since I was never called Mom while the Boy was growing up. It was “Mommy” until he was a little over 2 years old, and then by my first name (long story short: all the kids I watched in the gym day care called me by my first name, and he picked up on it. It never mattered enough to me to change, though for some reason it really—and I mean really irritated total strangers). Anytime I was in a store or the mall (or any public place, for that matter) if a kid screamed out for his Mom, I never did the automatic jerk of the head to see if it was my kid. Mom was always someone else.

Turns out, it still is.
And it’s still funny…though I did not—would not—make a point of saying “I’m not your Mother.”
I’m someone’s Mom…just not by that name.
I kinda liked the reminder.


Today's post-boot camp aerobics class message is brought to you by the letters "O" and "W", and the number "WhatthephckdidIdotomyself???"


In my fixation to take my car in for repairs today—yes, again—I totally forgot I was going to the Y this morning for a Boot Camp aerobics class. Or maybe my internal voice was just shouting CAR! over the whimper of PAIN! in order to spare me. But I will go next week.

I will.

I swear.

But today…sheesh, there’s something about me and cars that just doesn’t go well together. The Hyundai sucked up money, and now my convertible is. The latest wallet vacuum is the result of the car deciding to stall on me repeatedly. The other day it stalled 7-8 times in about 45 minutes. I had visions of being in the middle of an intersection, trying to make a left turn with a semi bearing down on me, and it dying.

So we took it in. Well, we took it in after consulting with the more mechanically engaged minds around us. The consensus seemed to be to check the idle first.

And guess what…? They was right.
Yup, they was right.

The idle motor needed to be replaced, along with the O2 sensor. And just for jollies, the mechanic thinks the fuel pump is on its way out, but it was ok for today, so he left it alone.

Good thing. After $400.00, I reallllly didn’t want to spend another $400.00.
I’m picky that way.

But I’m sure we will get it replaced at some point. If it’s in an accessible place, the Spouse Thingy can even do that. He replaced the fuel pump on the Delmont that we (insert reams of sobbing here) had for about 10 minutes a few years ago. Since it doesn’t require the placement of spark plug wires in correct order, I feel confident the car will run when he’s done.

Since I didn’t work out this morning (hush, I really will go next week) we walked the mall. And you know what happens when you walk the mall?


The mall sucks money out of a wallet as easily as does my car.

On the bright side, I now have a soft, cuddly teddy bear. And a nice white t-shirt. And a CD set of the bible. And another new bible. And…

Um, yeah. I’m going to walk outside tomorrow.
I will.
Right after I hug my car.


The Boy will be happy to know that both of his parents dance like Professional White Boys. We were reminded of this Saturday night, while at a wedding reception for one of the docs the Spouse Thingy works with. The music was good, but our moves were not smooth and were glaring evidence of a complete lack of rhythm on either of our parts.

You’d never know we grew up in the era of disco.

The wedding was nice; short and to the point, with the obligatory vocalist missing 52.7% of the notes of the psalm she was trying to sing, and there was a spiffy military honor guard (of whom we were quite impressed, as the guard was made up of medical people wielding swords, and no one lost an eye or cut an ear off.) The bridesmaids actually had nice dresses, black satin strapless gowns that were truly nice, unlike the traditional the-more-hideous-the-better-the-bride-looks dresses. Both sides of the family were just too freaking good looking, though.

Now, normally the Spouse Thingy and I would have ducked out of the reception after dinner (which was, frankly, awesome and worth the ride out there) because we’re stick in the muds, but our neighbors were also there, and they’re fun, and there was an open bar…so we stayed. And danced. And drank (well I did, he had to drive home), though apparently we did not have as much to drink as the neighbor, who knows how to appreciate an open bar, and who was able to teach a whole bunch of people how to do the Chicken Dance.

Yes, evidently the Chicken Dance is a Canadian wedding staple.

No, don’t ask me why.

And, evidently, Canadian wedding receptions go on well into the night; this one petered out around 10 pm, the bride and groom long gone (wonder why they were in such a hurry to leave…?) and the restaurant worked not so subtly clearing things away (which was nicer, I suppose, than a busboy standing on a table shouting, “Get out! Get the phck oooouuuut!”) and we were informed that a Real Canadian Reception would have broken up sometime around dawn.

My fellow Americans, we are not party worthy. This was quite clear.

I should mention the neighbor is Canadian. But we still like her.

I have to admit, for something I did not want to go to (and would not have if the neighbors had also not been going), I had a blast. And even though I dance like a Professional White Boy, I just might do it again sometime.

And, BTW, that freaking Chicken Dance Song gets stuck in one’s head for a very long time. Dammit.


"All You Can Eat Buffet" does not mean "load your plate up with as much food as it can possibly hold, so that you don't have to make another trip back to the buffet line." It especially doesn't mean "load it up, but you don't really have to eat all that crap." It's all you can eat, not all you want to take.


Oh man I wish I'd had a camera with me to capture the marquee of a nearby theater. Listed as Now Playing:

The Passion of the Christ

Heh. Wonder how many theaters nationwide are playing them together on purpose...?



The neighbors came home to glory of the trailer trash lawn and all the pretty pink flamingos. Sadly, they (the birds, not the neighbors) had to be uprooted for the purpose of covering the lawn with tents that were in dire need of drying out (that'll teach 'em to go camping in the rain...)


Being the nosey creatures that they are, the flamingos lined up neatly outside their window, staring in, trying to see through the blind slats, watching all that was there to see.


They were not content to stand there in the dirt outside the neighbors' downstairs window, and somehow found their way to staring into our upstairs bedroom window.

I feel so violated.

Really I do.