29 October 2012

A while back, maybe 3 weeks or so, Murf’s best friend—who was on pain meds from recent surgery—got on the phone with Murf—who was 3 beers tipsy—and they decided it would be the funniest thing ever to put Thumper’s dedication to the whole walking-for-breast-cancer-fundraising to the test.

If I would go pink again, Dack agreed to fully fund a walker in one of the remaining Komen 3 Day walks or someone doing the Avon walk. The caveat…it had to be someone I didn’t know. A total stranger. They knew I’d go pink in a heartbeat for a friend, but a total stranger?

They also made side bets. Dack bet $100 I would do it, Murf bet $100 I wouldn’t, and Char got it on it, figuring I would.

I dragged my feet on this. And honestly, I was a little miffed and felt a bit used; if Dack wanted to pony up that kind of money, why didn’t he just do it? His sister in law is a survivor; I really did think that if he had the money and was thinking about donating, he should just do it. This wasn’t like making me do tricks for my own or a friend's fundraising, this was making me feel guilty about not being sure I wanted to take on the stares and pointed fingers and laughing from other people.

A week and a half or so into it, when I was still pondering it and potential walks (along with the donation window) were ending, Char quietly assured me in a PM that Dack had already donated over $5000 in his SIL's name. This was really just a couple guys getting giggly over the idea of seeing what I would do.

He still would, regardless, find walkers who still needed money, and fund them if I went pink.

When it seemed like I really didn’t want to do it, he amended the offer. Just go white-blonde. That would get $2300 donated to one or more walker in one of the 3 remaining 3 Day walks. If I then went pink, he was offering an additional $1200.

 Fine, so I did it.

I went blonde.

And in doing it, I upped the ante. If he wanted me to go pink, it had to be an additional $2000. All total he would be in it for around $9000…how badly did he want to see pink on my head?

Apparently, he wanted it pretty badly.

He called my semi-bluff and not only went $2000, he went a little bit more. Two people from TK’s dojang who have been training for the San Diego 3 Day were each over $1000 short and needed travel funds. He found several walkers by lurking on FB and donated to them anonymously.

All in all, he’s in for $10,000.

And my hair is PINK.

So's my ear...

This chit stains.


25 October 2012

If you were on Facebook last night, and happen to be FB friends with me, you were subjected to the likes of this:

And this

And this

And this

And I'm sorry LOL

On a whim last night, we decided--while grocery shopping no less--to go to Cattlemen's for dinner. We had a cart loaded with things we could have had for dinner, but Cattlemen's has what home does not.

A killer bar.

And Thumpa needed to drink. For science.

Granted, I'm not a heavy drinker. I imbibe anywhere for 2-4 times a year, I get drunk easily and quickly, which makes me a cheap bar date. The last time I had anything was (I think) in May, when the Boy took us to Reno. I had one small Long Island Tea and a Spiced Rum while we were there, and the next morning I had horrible issues of the digestive nature. We had to check out of the hotel room by 11, and because of that we headed home rather than hang around for a while as planned.

I didn't think there was necessarily a connection at the time; from Christmas last year on I was having issues 2-3 times a month, thinking I was just catching one bug after another, but then came July and colitis, and the numbers added up, so to speak.

One of the thing we all talked about when we were there was the possibility of a family trip to Vegas this winter; I have a potential client in the area who has really needed to be pinned down with a deadline, and this seemed like a good way to kick her butt into gear. It's a half hour to 45 minute meeting, and then it's all vacation time for us.

I think the last time the 3 of us went somewhere was when we lived in North Dakota; we met friends in Minneapolis at the Mall of America, and later took Curt and his friend Wyatt there and to an amusement park.

He was 14 or 15; he's almost 30 now, so that's a long time.

In any about a week and a half we're heading to Vegas.*

Vegas has booze.

Thump was no longer sure that she could handle any alcohol at all, and it seemed like a goood idea to have a couple of really strong drinks here, where any problems resulting from the consumption of said alcohol would happen at home, where I would at least be comfortable in my discomfort.

I downed two very stong Long Island Teas with dinner, and was drunk before I was 2 sips into the second one.

By the time we left, I was hammered...and then got on Facebook to play.

You make me laugh so hard when I'm drunk that I dang near peed a couple of times.

I enjoyed the drinks a lot, and my friends a hell of a lot, and went to bed hoping that all would be well in the morning.

Now, I don't get hangovers.


I was not the happiest of campers today. It wasn't horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but it was enough to let me know that booze is, for the most part, in my past. If I drink in the future, it will be close to home when I know I'll be home the next day, and maybe not even then because, hell, who wants that?'s not likely I'll be drinking much in Vegas.

But on the plus side, the Boy assured me he would drink my share.

It warms my heart to know I raised such a considerate young man.

*Unlike Disney in December--which was an early celebration of our 30th anniversary--y'all can come play with us if you want!


24 October 2012

THis is me, drinking for sceince.

We needed me to drink because we don't know if it will make my intestines explode and we're going to Vegas in 2 weesk/

Because. VEGAS BABY!

And there's booze in vegas and my intestines BETRAYED MY THUSLY in July, so...test run.

With steak.


We had dessert, too

Did you know tha a chocoalte chip cookie with ice cream on top of it IS FREAKING AWESOME?
It is.

I hope they have this in Vegas.


And shit.

I should drink more then twice a year.


I'm sorry.

17 October 2012

I miss Borders. I really do. I think I got far more writing there accomplished than anywhere else. I enjoy the local McD's, where I've been trying to write, but I'm just not getting as much done.

Today, after dental appointments (replaced a filling, no big whoop), errands, getting my flu shot (I did not cry!) we stopped at the local Starbucks to check it out. It's been there the entire time we've lived here, but it was in a small store space, and frankly, I don't like coffee.

But...nearly two years ago the Quiznos that was right next to it went under, and the space was never leased. Last month Starbucks shut down for about two weeks to remodel and expand into that space, so I kind of wanted to check it out.

View from the front door
 It's big, a lot bigger than I expected, and this doesn't show the area with the big comfy chairs and tables, and toward the back where there's a sofa and chairs and table.

The two back walls are lined with tables for one, bench seating, and outlets lined up with every table.

View from where I sat in the corner

I bought a small iced tea--which is inexplicably called a "tall" and we sat in the back corner, just long enough for me to get a feel for how the vibe in the place is. The tea tasted exactly like the kind I got at Borders' coffee shop (I'd heard Starbucks owned it, but wasn't sure) and they have way too many things like scones and cookies for sale, but it feels like a place to write.

This makes Max happy, as I have not made the progress on his book that he feels I should have, but he'll be bummed to find out that not only do they not serve crunchy treats, they don't serve cats.

He'll be whining about speciism, I'm sure.

I'll give it a whirl tomorrow morning, see if my muse follows me. If not...they have free wi-fi, I can find something to do.


13 October 2012

It’s not substitute for Borders, but at least once a week I find myself heading to McDonald’s with my laptop in an attempt to get a few pages of work done. Sometimes it’s quiet, sometimes it’s busy as hell, but it’s usually a control kind of chaos that usually works for me.

Once in a while the chaos comes in the form of busloads of kids swarming the place—it’s located conveniently off I-80 and this McD’s has no issue with a couple hundred people coming in to use the restroom and to refill water bottles (this happened last week; I was a little amazed but not really surprised)—and the noise levels are just too high to concentrate, but typically I can sit there and write even when the place is crowded.

Usually I eat before I go over there to avoid the fast food temptations, buy a large Diet Coke, and take a table in the back where I’m out of the way, but today I skipped breakfast (unintentionally…time gets away from you when you have to wait an hour after meds before eating anything) and decided a couple of chicken strips would be all right.

Hey, don’t judge me.

Okay, well fine, judge me. It’s still greasy crap and while it tasted fine, I’m paying for it a couple hours later.

Today was one of those The Place Is Packed days. I didn’t have to wait long in line, but there were few tables to choose from and I was just glad I got anything, much less the booth I scored near the restroom. My only other choice was a bigger table near the front, and I wasn’t taking that much space.

A few minutes after I pulled my laptop out and had Max’s manuscript open, a 30-something young woman asked if she could share my table; in just a few minutes the place went to overflowing and the only other apparent open seat was at a table with an elderly gentleman who was trying to hork something out of his sinuses at regular intervals.

Of course I told her of course. She could sit there and eat her lunch while I poked at the keys on the keyboard and munch on a chicken strip. I made sure I had a few napkins between my food and computer, took my sweatshirt off, and was just taking a bite when she noticed my tattoos.

Specifically, my pink ribbon feet.

The usual small talk ensued: what made you want that, why shape the ribbon like feet? I told her about participating in the 3 Day, how after my third I decided I wanted a tattoo, but not the typical pink ribbon, especially since I was not a survivor, I was nothing more than a walker and crew member.

“I’m a survivor.”

Diagnosed at 26, mastectomy, chemo—she underwent the whole works. She also expressed a keen appreciation for those who have no immediate tie to the disease, but still get out there and pound the asphalt step after step, with not much to show for it other than blisters and sore muscles.

The 33% drop in donations to walkers this year, she was aware of. The entire dust-up with Planned Parenthood and the fallout was very familiar to her. The sneers that Komen is a big business without a clear direction to find a cure bothers her as much as does the vitriol on either side of the controversy.

People throw around statistics, she said, as if they matter. People look to the amounts put towards research to find a cure and spit out vindictives about the seemingly small amount, without stepping back to see the bigger picture.

“I am the bigger picture.”

When she was diagnosed, she had no medical insurance. A lump was found during a routine exam—done at Planned Parenthood, because she knew no of other place to obtain basic care—and the wheels were set in motion. She was directed to a place she could get a Komen-funded mammogram, and everything that followed was a blur of this isn’t happening to me layered in fear, agony, vomiting, hair loss, and a very small glimmer of hope.

Komen was with her every step of the way. Uninsured, she was sure she would wind up dying, but the local Komen office found her the care she needed, from the initial terrifying appointments to surgery and chemotherapy. When she couldn’t pay her rent because she couldn’t work, Komen found the money to keep a roof over her head and food on the table.

“Komen kept me alive. That’s the bigger picture. I’m alive.”

On the whole, she said she thinks Komen made a tremendous blunder when they first withdrew the possibility for further funding to Planned Parenthood, and couldn’t win when they reversed the decision. They can’t win because the statistics of where the money people donate goes isn’t painfully obvious to everyone. They can’t win because too many people refuse to look past Planned Parenthood’s statistics and equate any money at all going to them as being available for abortion services, even though that’s far from the truth. They can’t win because people are tired of pinkwashing and are suffering from compassion apathy.

“I wish they’d get over it, because there are things more important than their offended sensibilities.”

And she’s right.

There are things far more important.

Her name is Heather, and she’s alive.


10 October 2012

I think I watched this for 10 minutes, just waiting for them to get wet...