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Monday, December 1st, 2008
12:01 pm - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Dear Snow,

Thank you so much for bringing your frosty goodness to my front yard today! Of course, I enjoy seeing you whenever I get the chance, but how thoughtful (and seasonally appropriate) of you to stop by on the first day of December!

And may I just say, you look spectacular. Seriously. I can't stop looking at you. I am, quite simply, transfixed by your lofty flurries.

Again, thank you so much for thinking of us here in the deep South. You really should stop by more often. Michigan and Wisconsin will never love you as much as I do.

Coldest personal regards,

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
10:44 am - This is not my beautiful house...this is not my beautiful wife
Well, now I've seen it all.

Elisabeth F-ing Hasselbeck woke up this morning and found herself born again in the blood of the election and is now on The View spewing Obama-love instead of the standard-issue vitriol of the past however many years. The most stunning reversal for me is her current assertion that running a national presidential campaign actually *IS* valid experience for the office of the presidency.

Where am I? How did I get here?

Same as it never was. Same as it never was.

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Tuesday, October 7th, 2008
9:29 pm - How feeble does the GOP imagine my mind is?
All McCain's "my friends" crap is making me miss Palin's bullshit winking!

And on a local level, I don't know Wayne Parker. I have no idea what, besides "family values" (Which family?), he stands for. He sounds smug and self-righteous so I'm sure he's the candidate of Alabamanian choice, but I am so tired of listening to him say, "I'm Wayne Parker and I approve this message" that I hurdled the couch to mute the TV and now my back is thrown out and my right knee clicks when I walk.

November 4th can't come so enough! I have election fatigue that not even irresponsible drinking can cure. McCain is morphing into an epic sniveling dickwad ("If he gets response time, then I want response time. Waaaaaah!"). My old favorite, Joe Biden, is sporting ill-advised and, one assumes,  ill-dispensed Botox that I can't even look at, let alone respect. Obama is waiting til when? to kick McCain in his hip replacement. And I can't even tell you how I feel about Palin. I can't even talk about her. The bile rises up in my throat and then I gotta go drink irresponsibly again and all of this just keeps playing in a continuous loop!

I would be willing to blow Karl Rove on a rigged Diebold voting machine while shoving flag pins under my fingernails on Alaskan soil in full view of the head-rearing  Russians to bring this national nightmare to an early close.

I just want my old life back...

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Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
10:09 am - And now the *real* fun begins!

Since we last joined Saya and Gabriel in the domestic Shangri-La that is their flawless union, our dashing hero and benevolent heroine have made some changes...

1.) We magically transformed from childless bourbon-swillers into responsible, wisdom-dispensing, homework-helping, did-you-do-your-chores-asking parental figures/legal guardians with the arrival of our nephew and new ward from Seattle. So far, so great because we skipped over sleepless nights and teething right into a 6'3" gangly floor mopper and trash taker-outer. All he requires are snacks and XBox. Done!

2.) Hmmmm...instant family needs a house. How 'bout this one? 

We bought it yesterday. We will live on Bluebelle Drive, a street name so cutesy we'll have to don cardigans and ruffly aprons to deserve it. It just sounds (and looks) like a street you could have a happy childhood on.

Come over soon and we'll worship idylls together!

current mood: hopeful

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Saturday, June 21st, 2008
3:24 pm - Read this after your nap...
 I was gonna reply to your post and tell you how everything will be okay and you won't feel this torn apart forever, even though right now  it feels like you will because that's how torn apart you are. 

But you took your post back like a Native American-giver!

So I'm forced to post to say: Everything will be okay.

That's the thought I think when things are bad. You'll note that it's couched in several disclaimers. First, that everything *will be* okay. As in, someday. As in, some unspecified moment in the future, the precise date of which I cannot say. Second, that everything will be *okay*. Not fabulous, not perfect, perhaps not even delightful. But okay. And okay is by far preferable to soul-suckingly sad. Also, I tell myself that *everything* will be okay, a term so expansive that I can almost always find something that was previously awful but is now simply suitable for use as a sardonically amusing anecdote and sometimes that's all the evidence I need that things are indeed looking up.

I can't know exactly how you feel or how traumatic this was/is/will continue to be for you because well, you know...(Insert pithy barren joke here). But I can imagine having a child and I think your heart gets so much bigger along with the rest of your body, but even once you lose all the weight and your ass gets down to a manageable size, your heart stays huge for the rest of your life and it just keeps breaking over and over every time your child is hurt or lonely or miserable.   And I'm sorry that your heart keeps breaking, but if it didn't then you wouldn't be such an amazing mother.

So to sum up: everything will be okay; your heart is bigger than your ass; and you're an amazing mother.  

And in the immortal words of Olivia Newton-John, I love you. I honestly love you.

current mood: Mourning with those who mourn

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Wednesday, May 7th, 2008
11:00 am
 Need to finish a couple of projects for work. Need to do laundry. Need to pack for beach. Need to run errands for beach-related items. Need to do so many things.

So hung over. Feel and look like puffy shit.

Need to drink less. Particularly on a school night.

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Thursday, April 10th, 2008
5:41 pm - Foreboding of Non-boarding
 American Airlines had best get their act together fast! I'm supposed to fly out to Chicago on Tuesday and I foolishly booked my return for the last flight out on Thursday night. They lured me in with those direct flights! No layover with the potential for cancellation, I thought. Such luxury! 

Yeah, well...that was last week.

So I'm supposed to get in around 6:30 pm on Thursday and then we're supposed to drive up to Nebraska to see Gabriel's family around 4 or 5 the next morning. 

I have a very bad feeling about this...

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Friday, April 4th, 2008
3:25 pm

Feliz cumpleanos, Jasminita!

I will get you a plastic empanada...made in China, of course!

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Saturday, March 22nd, 2008
3:49 am - See what you miss when you go to sleep?
 At the intersection of sugar and science:

This Easter impress your brunchmates with your encyclopedic knowledge of the effect of liquid nitrogen on Peeps!

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3:22 am
I am exhausted. And yet oh-so-very awake. Acid reflux sucks. Prevacid is so pink-and-purple pretty but ultimately worthless. And so I sit and wait for the gurgling and churning to quiet down so that I might recline and sleep without feeling vomitous.

As an alternative to sleep I'm researching wedding trip locales. We could go here or we could go here So far these are the closest we've found to what we're looking for. It needs to be really small-scale and intimate, preferably limited to adults, and it needs to be right on a beach. I don't really want to make friends with other guests and if I wanna go swim naked in the ocean at midnight, I wanna do that without risk of offending anyone or having to suddenly make friends with some other naked swimming guest at midnight. Wherever we end up also has to have great food and Gabe also insists that all-inclusive means booze-inclusive. I'm inclined to agree. Who wants to pony up for drinks on a honeymoon? 

Fafa Island appeals to me because we traveled and lived in that little corner of the world when I was really small, around 3 or 4, but my memories of it remain vivid. We met the king and queen of Tonga on a plane once (to Guam, maybe?). The queen was pretty and very sweet to me. She was charmed by my habit of licking the bottom of the travel checkers pieces (I didn't understand magnetism--thought I had to lick them to make them stick). There was a big ceremony to greet them when we landed and then we realized they were island royalty. I have a picture somewhere around here of all the people in ceremonial dress and all the flowers. It was impressive to a little kid. I should look for that photo.

Maybe I'll try to go lie down again. The resident narcoleptic makes the whole sleep thing look way too easy. His head barely grazes the pillow and he's deep into it. Even his snoring taunts me.

To sleep, perchance to scream...

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Tuesday, March 11th, 2008
4:10 pm - Worst Eatery in Huntsville According to Me
My vote is for...Moglie's Italian Something or Other on Airport!
As you know, I'm not really a ranter by nature. Yes, I gesticulate wildly and tend to speak loudly and theatrically when excited, but that's all generally just for the purposes of making an anecdote more audience-friendly. Your time is precious. You wanna waste it on a boring story? Me neither.

But in this case, only a rant will do.

Week before last my baby sister--the whip-smart, excruciatingly funny, and endearingly punkassy Emily visited us for a week. We spent our time trying to create the illusion of nightlife in Huntsville, exploring the joys of cheap Allegiant Air, freezing our asses off at Disney World during Florida’s cold snap (the extra $ to rent a vacation convertible was, alas, for naught), and most of all, carbing it up because, damn it, Emily was on vacation and by god she was gonna eat some pasta. Lots of pasta!

And so we found ourselves at Moglie’s Italian Something or Other on Airport at 3pm on a weekday because our other Italian choices we either closed until dinner or too far from our errand path (just in case you wonder why we settled here).

So here are a few of the things that are wrong with Moglie’s.

If you’re gonna call yourself an Italian eatery, odds are I’m gonna assume that you specialize in cuisine of some kind of Italian derivation. ‘Cause I’m just that gullible! So you can imagine my skepticism when I read your menu (and in this case we’ll extend the definition of “menu” to include the food-splattered printout you handed me on the cheapest paper you could buy at Costco) and find such items as a prochuto sandwhich and tomato brasheta. Hmm. Okay, I understand your dilemma. You didn’t get even close enough to the actual spelling of these fabulous foodstuffs for spellcheck to help you out, and I also get that an extra 'h' isn’t gonna kill an otherwise well-made sandwich. I’m not trying to be persnickety. I guess I just wonder how much attention you’re planning to devote to your food if this is the kind of lack of attention you're devoting to your descriptions of your food. Am I offbase here, Moglie et al?

And another thing, if I tell you I want wine, that means I’d like to see a wine list, not listen to a recitation of the types of wine you have. But if you do prefer to keep the vintner a surprise and tell me only the categories of wine you have (which I later discover is because you only have one option for each category), please know that if I specify red wine and you offer me cabernet, merlot, shiraz or pinot, well, I’m gonna assume you mean pinot noir as opposed to pinot grigio. And just so you know, Moglie’s wait-girl, I don’t need you to argue with me about what I thought I was ordering vs. what you thought I was ordering. I also don’t need you to bring me the bottle to prove that it is indeed “pinot.” The lack of follow-up questions is my fault and I’ll pay for the glass since, as you cleverly pointed out in a rhetorical masterstroke, “it’s against the law to pour it back in the bottle.” Yes, love, and thank you for knowing that. Sorry to have interrupted your conversation with your man-friend there at the bar with my constant demands for food, beverages and utensils.

So sorry, Moglie’s Italian Something or Other on Airport, but you are the worst eatery in Huntsville. Your food was unspectacular, but not the worst I ever ate…well, maybe the worst I ever ate at that price point. Because, Moglie’s, your prices are way too high for what you’re putting out. Powdered parmesan cheese food, Moglie’s? Really?

But it’s really the bizarrely detached service--confused at best, hostile at worst—and complete lack of depth behind the illusion of a restaurant that wins this one. Spend some time on the menu, folks, both the words and the flavors those words represent. Present it like you mean it. Because I’m just not buying it. At least, not again.

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Wednesday, January 16th, 2008
5:31 pm - It's snowing!!!!
I can't help it...snowflakes falling from the sky turn me into a giddy 6-year-old. And I grew up in this stuff, so it's not necessarily an exotic treat but it's only happened three times since I've lived down here and I LOVE it! Doesn't it seem like magic that fluffy white snowflakes can just fall down out of the sky? And why doesn't rain seem magical to me? It's really falling down now!!! The kitties can't seem to figure out what it is or what it means. Amusing.

So, the surgery was successful. My stay at Crestwood was appalling. Jasmin, you were right about Crestwood’s terribleness! The nursing staff was horrible and basically seemed to universally treat their jobs like fast food, sub-blue-collar positions. There’s just too much to post, but here’s a highlight that encapsulates our whole experience. The nurse and nurse tech didn’t want to go find a pullout sleep chair for Gabe so they lied and said they didn’t have any chairs on the floor beyond the rocking chair in my room. We were on the L&D floor, so we both found that highly unlikely, but it was late at night so we didn’t really know what recourse there was. Gabe gamely tried to sleep in a rocking chair but gave up after an hour and went down to the car to sleep. The night nurse unplugged my bed so the nurse call button didn’t work, then moved the call phone out of my reach after I used it to call for water. I asked everyone who came into my room to check my vitals over the next five hours for water, ice, a popsicle…anything containing water, but no one ever brought anything. When Gabe tried to come back to my room, all the nurses were gathered around the center station talking (since I’m guessing they received very few calls for help if they immobilized all the patients on the floor like they did me) and they actually tried to make him do the hokey-pokey before they would buzz him in. Seriously. I’m surprised there was no blood shed.

But it’s fine now. We got out of there as soon as we could and Gabriel has been taking excellent care of me. Turns out he likes doing stuff for me. He’s even been cooking!

And, you know, it’ll all be worth it in the end. Dr. Harper thinks the size and position of the tumor were the major reasons all those eggs Gabe dutifully fertilized never implanted. The major downside is that the incision is way bigger than we anticipated. It's huge and bloody and bruisey and everything hurts. I sneezed in my sleep this morning and I'm still tender hours later. But we'll start trying again in a few weeks (!) and apparently we'll be better breeders now. Which is weirding me out. I think all the last year and a half of frustration and futility has created this sense that procreation doesn’t really work. It’s this thing we talk about and hope for but it never results in anything tangible or testable. Gabriel doesn’t seem to have developed this feeling, but for me…I just can’t seem to imagine that it will work. It all just seems like something we’ve been playing at, so to think that we might actually be parents at some point it just unfathomable even though I really want that.

At this point it’s probably not necessary to mention that I’m still pretty high on my custom Percocet-Ponstel-Pinot Noir cocktail of fuzzy painkilling goodness. Never trust any drug with a label that warns against mixing with alcohol. I’ve never met a narcotic that didn’t appreciate a warm introduction to red wine! They’re like me and emotionally stunted lost boys…we just go together!

At any rate, I made it through the first week of bedrest, but it is sooooo boring! My next post will be all about the best and worst things about daytime tv, a subject with which I have become way too familiar.

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Saturday, January 5th, 2008
11:47 pm - Countdown to Incisions Downtown
I have a list as long as my wingspan (which is considerable, in case you never noticed...) of things to do before I get in sawed in half like a magic trick on Tuesday. I'm excited to get this tumor removed and finally have my uterus back all to myself, but I'm suddenly paralyzed with nervousness. And no, Jasmin, not because you've convinced me that it's actually my phantom twin. More just the whole cutting me open thing. Never had an open incision before. Never had to stay in the hospital more than overnight before. Lotsa firsts. But Gabe gets to stay with me. I didn't even know they allowed sleepovers, but they do. His main job is to monitor hand washing because I will be goodGoddamned if I let them infect me with some strain of antibiotic-resistant flesh-eating bacteria while I'm in there!

But lots to do before Tuesday. For one thing, my pink and purple Christmas Fantastree(!) is still up and sparkling like a long-past holiday. Gabe keeps nudging me to de-tree and I keep mumbling about one more day. I'm keeping one last vigil tonight and then I guess I have no choice but to take it down tomorrow. I tried to buy tree-accessory-stowing containers this week and apparently they're all sold out. Gabe insists that's because all right-minded people have de-treed by now. Whatever. Most trees aren't nearly as fabulous as mine, either. If you had the Christmas tree equivalent of the love child of vintage Barbie and Alexis Carrington, would you rush to remove? Me neither.

Our cupboards are bare and the fridge contains not much more than condiments and beverages and not a huge selection of either, at that.

My laundry efforts have gotten as far as draping the clean clothes over various sofas, but not so far as actual hangers in actual closets.

The cat box and water fountain are sparkly clean, but that has everything to do with Gabe...Gabe who has won every prize I can think up for nursing me through two weeks of pneumonia and then a bulging lumbar disc that had me just shy of ambulatory for over a week.

So now I have tomorrow to take down the tree, square up the house, buy food and provisions for the surgery and hospital, plus try to think ahead to the initial recovery period and what might make me more comfortable. Narcotics and ginger ale, I'm guessing. far, not so 200great.

The only real thing I've accomplished is stocking up on reading material for the bedrest portion of the adventure. Here's what I'll be reading while my newly tumor-free uterus heals:
Magical Thinking - Augusten Burroughs (Gift from my brother-in-law. Thanks, Buddy!)
She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb (Re-read from years ago, such a great protagonist!)
Bel Canto - Ann Patchett (Another re-read...been missing it!)
Missing Mom - Joyce Carol Oates
Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier (Always meant to get around to this one)
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen (ditto!)
The Birth House - Ami McKay
The Patron Saint of Liars - Ann Patchett
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
Motherless Brooklyn - Jonathan Lethem

Write lots about what's keeping you off the streets over the next 6-8 weeks, kids. 'Cause I'll be in bed and laptopping, but not selling widgets. So I'll be bored and fascinated by every little thing you do. You know, even more so than usual.

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Thursday, October 18th, 2007
2:42 am - Hello...May I sell you some widgets?
I despise my job.

I sell widgets to the military-industrial complex.

My ideal job? I suspect I would be fabulous at the dominational arts.

Gabriel objects on the grounds that I am likely to ignore my clients' safety words.

I suspect he is right.

Bagel with schmear? Whatever do you mean?

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Sunday, July 15th, 2007
7:35 pm - Libraries are hot!
Another NYTimes article about libraries for Angela:

Books are the new black!

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Friday, February 23rd, 2007
3:57 pm - Saya on TV on the Radio
TV on the Radio is playing Mercy Lounge in Nashville Sat. Apr-14 and I really wanna haul Gabe's ass up there to see since I got him completely hooked via "Wolf Like Me." Tix are a cheaptastic $15. Come with us! When was the last time we took a group field trip? I'll drive!

current mood: chipper

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Friday, February 16th, 2007
3:49 pm - Sweet Fancy Jesus, this was scary!
Watched Jesus Camp again last night, now near the very top of my list of fave documentaries.

Scary shit, people. Or, more to the point...scary people, shit.

Trade the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for the Jesus hiphop and swap Joseph Smith for James Dobson and you've got the same bizarre melange of Amway group fervor and wholesale abandonment of self-determination that was my Mormon upbringing. Mormons don't speak in tongues though. More's the pity. But I digress.

Jesus Camp.

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Wednesday, February 7th, 2007
8:39 am - Hoooooray!
It's Babysit Harper Day!!! Woo-Hoo!

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Monday, January 8th, 2007
3:00 pm - A Modesty Proposal
Can we just all agree that the Pajama Gods, when they cast down their flannel gifts into the hands of humanity, intended for us to wear them in the privacy of our own homes and not in Target?

Show of hands.
Doesn’t have to be a referendum. A slim majority will do.

Because this lady in line ahead of me at Target was wearing Nick & Nora for Target pajama pants that she bought at Target! in the PAJAMA section! so she KNEW she was wearing pajamas!

And not in an ironic way, like with a little cropped sweater and fabulous shoes...because that could be kinda cute. Probably not ass flattering, but cute.

She was wearing them with a dingy, grayish, oversized T-shirt. I know, I's Target, not tea with the queen, but c'mon, people, let's not give up entirely. It's okay to be casual, but if we all look homeless how will know whom we should feel guilty about not giving money to?

And has anyone else noticed the wider the ass, the more cutesy the print? If you suddenly find yourself wearing teddy bears or garden gnomes on your ass, then grab your water bottle and drive straight to the gym...and not to Target!

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Friday, January 5th, 2007
11:02 am - Laid Low
It is a tragic day in my America.

I have been forced out of high heels for at least a month. So. very. sad. I bought four pairs of flats last night and when the guy said, "Can I help you?" I thought, ", you can't. No one can. For I am a wearer of low shoes."

Ever since I hurt my back, my right hip has been either numb or aching, both of which make me feel just shy of my 70th birthday. So I have been advised to abandon high heels, the very lifeblood of my existence. I am now a plain, old 5 foot 7 inch lump of girl. Gabe, whose freakishly large head hovers near the stratosphere, looks down on me as if I were a freak show pygmy. (No offense to any freak show pygmies out there...keep up the good work!)

My new shoes are:
1. Pointy toe black shoes that almost look like high heels if you look only at their pointy toe portions and don't look at their heels.
2. The exact same shoe in a pretty brushed gold.
3. Black ballet flats with roundy toes.
4. Sportyish black and tan Skecher-like shoes. But, you know, aging urban hipster Skecher, not Ashlee Simpson Skecher.

So, yeah...if anyone needs me I'll be way down here, okay?

current mood: short

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