Monday, October 29, 2007

And the winner is....

-R-! #3 was the lie.

I swear this is not a payback for being the winner of her contest. I used very scientific methodology to determine the winner. I wrote the names of the correct guessers on pieces of paper, balled them up, and attempted to throw them at a donut of scotch tape to see which one stuck. None of them stuck. I then tried a big piece of packing tape. None of them stuck. I THEN took a beautiful ceramic bowl given to me by my ex-sister-in-law, put it on the floor, closed my eyes and hurled the handful of paper balls at it. One went in. Bingo! (And I'm very sorry I don't have a camera phone--no photographic evidence exists of this sophisticated maneuvering.)

Anyway, -R-, you're the winner, and as I'm thinking of customing the prize a bit, I will be contacting you shortly via email to ask a couple of questions.

No, as multi-talented as I may or may not be, I can't tap dance to save my life. I am, however, a master of the mock time step--I can flap my arms around in a pretty accurate rendition of a time step, distracting the viewer completely (hopefully) from my pathetically flailing feet. Probably not enough to win a talent contest, though...even in the fourth grade.

#1 really happened. Back in the day, my small hometown was host every summer to the national parachuting championships. (And, one very exciting year, the international championships.) My father had his commercial pilot's license (small planes only), and used to spend hours every day hauling jumpers up and dropping them off, so we spent a lot of time hanging out and watching. Some of the contestants were remarkably accurate--they could hit that tiny target right square on the nose. Others were...not so much. One day I was toodling along, probably on my way to the concession stand, when I heard someone yelling from above "Hey! Look out!" I looked up--and right into the face of a way-off-target jumper, barrelling toward the earth--and me. I tried to run, but got caught by the lines and thumped to the ground. His body didn't actually land on top of me, thank goodness, and I wasn't hurt, but everyone who saw it came running, and there was a big fuss, and as I was the shyest child alive, I was completely humiliated (everyone's looking at me!) and just kept saying "I'm okay, I'm okay. Just let me go." The jumper was mortified, of course--I was probably only about 8 at the time. Good times all around. Heh.

#2 also happened, sad to say. I was doing a production of "Das Barbecu" a few years ago, the first musical I'd done in years. An evil virus worked its way through the cast during rehearsals, but didn't hit me until halfway through the run. "Das Barbecu," for those unfamiliar, is sort of "Greater Tuna"-like in that five actors play 30+ characters, and it's all rapid-fire quick costume changes and lots of mad dashes through the cross-over, in addition to the acting and singing and dancing. Thursday night I was suffering from a greatly scratchy throat, but managed to get through the show. Friday night the voice was on its way out, despite my panicked trip to the doctor for emergency steroids ("I want the shot Madonna gets!), a great deal of Throat Comfort tea and sucking down the contents of a honey bear between every scene, and I ended up dramatically speaking my last two power ballads. It was an absolutely miserable experience. Saturday the voice was gone. G-O-N-E, gone. I had no understudy, of course (ah, the beauty of community theatre) and there was no way anyone could learn the ins and outs of all the rapid changes on short notice, so we...improvised. The music director sang my songs from her place at the piano, the stage manager read my lines from the side of the stage, and I did all the movement. Yes, I mimed the entire show--songs and spoken dialogue. I'm told from the back half of the theatre you almost couldn't tell it wasn't all me. (Although we had made an announcement to the audience, of course.) And, actually, compared to the misery of the previous night, it was kind of fun. I just kicked back and went with it! Okay, it was not so fun that I'd ever want to do it again, mind you, but the show must go on!

So there you have it. Two truths and a lie. Thanks for playing!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hey! Look over there--is that a bandwagon?

Jump! Thud.

Okay, having landed on the bandwagon, I will commence to offering you Two Truths and a Lie (following in the footsteps of -R-, LSass, etc.), with a prize to be awarded to the winner, chosen randomly from everyone who guesses correctly which of the following three statements is NOT true. Got it? Good.

  1. While watching a national parachuting contest as a child, I was landed on by an errant parachuter, and knocked to the ground.
  2. I once mimed an entire performance of a musical after losing my voice.
  3. In the fourth grade, I won the school talent show performing a tap-dancing number.

Okay--guess away!

(Prize to be awarded on Monday.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Someone must have seen me working the Crunch Salsa Dance Party video, right?

That's why they signed me up for a year-long subscription to "Latina" magazine, I reckon.

Seriously, who signed up me, the pastiest white girl around, for a year-long subscription to "Latina" magazine?

Not that I haven't enjoyed the interviews with Judy Reyes (love her! love "Scrubs"!) and Eva Mendes (eh, she's okay, I guess), and the tips on how to make the most of my Latina curves and wavy hair, but...HUH?

At first I thought they were just sending sample issues to households in zip codes with high Hispanic populations, which mine certainly would be. Then I got another issue, and noticed it's not addressed to "occupant," or even to "Elizabeth," which is how I'd be known on any purchased mailing list. No, it's addressed to "Liz," and it's a full-year paid subscription.

So, uh....thanks?

Could you pony up for some "People" or "Entertainment Weekly" while you're at it?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some maracas to shake. (Hey, God wouldn't have given 'em to me if he didn't want me to SHAAAKE 'EMMM!!!)

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm fine, thanks!

In case, after that last post, you were thinking that I had dropped into a deep abyss of endless sorrow. No, that crying jag seems to have gotten all that out of my system for now, and I've actually had a pretty good few days.

New Guy and I went to the opera as planned, then went to see the Japanese drummers "Yamato" last Wednesday. (And you should see them, too, if you get a chance...way cool!) Things are pretty much the same on the New Guy front all around...I'm trying hard not to worry about what's happening, and just let it happen. (Oh yeah, I'm still smitten. Just trying to keep an even keel here.)

Steve the stray is hanging out in my garage, being all laidback and sweet, and earning his keep by killing at least one baby rodent. (He beheaded and disemboweled it as well, and left it in a grisly pool of blood. Ewww...) Rover the inside cat, not to be outdone, killed HIS own baby rodent yesterday, as well. He, however, did not mutilate the little carcass. No, he just batted it around the room like it was a catnip toy, and became completely confused when I snatched it away from him. He searched and searched for his prize. What a mean mother I am! The real question, of course, is why Dolly and McBeady fell down on the job and allowed these tasty morsels to even enter the house. I must be feeding them too well.

I remain completely enamored of my yoga video. I've missed a few days of cardio here and there, but I never miss my yoga. I blame it for my current slow blogging pace,'s hard to work up a head of steam about anything when I'm feeling all zen and centered. I'm sure that will pass, though. Heh.

There have been little bits of sadness, of course. New Guy's 94-year-old grandmother (his last remaining grandparent) died, and he's on his way back home for the funeral. I lost MY last remaining grandparent at about the same age, a few years ago, so I know how that feels. The upside is that he gets to see his parents for the first time since July, and I know they'll be glad to have him there. He had just spent a long weekend visiting his kids, and now he'll get to see his whole extended family, and then when he gets back tomorrow night, I will be glad to see him! (And anxious to try some sort of only-in-Louisiana cookies he's been jonesing for ever since he's been here, and plans to bring back with him.)

I got my hair cut Friday by a new hairdresser, and I feel like a unfaithful whore. But I just wasn't really happy with the last couple of cuts my old guy gave me, so I tried a friend's stylist, instead. We'll have to see how it grows out, but I think she kind of understood more fully that I TRULY don't want to have to style my hair every day--I'll put a little product in it, but no blowdryers, no diffusers, no flat irons, no NOTHING. She said what I had looked like a great cut that would require some daily effort, and did the stylist "style" it after he cut it each time? And, yes...he did. He'd fill it up with product, attack it with his magical stylist fingers and the diffuser and I'd walk out of there looking great. Until I washed it, then it was all over. This gal deliberately did NOT style it, gave me some product tips, sent me out of there wet-headed, and told me to let her know how it turned out. So far, I think it's going to be okay. I would have liked her to take a little more length off, but I'm sure she was just being cautious with a new client. (Probably a prudent move...I used to have a stylist friend who told horror stories about clients coming in, asking for a short cut, leaving pleased, and then NOT stopping their husbands/boyfriends from calling my friend to threaten her life for cutting their woman's hair off. Sheesh.)

Okay, I think that catches you up. I'll try to wrangle some of these thought fragments floating around inside my head into something resembling a coherent post soon.

Maybe I'll just go off on a rant about local tv stations and their need to ENDLESSLY cover "severe" weather, to the point that they preempt the entire last half of "Pushing Daisies." AAARRRGGGGHHH!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The happy and the sad

Let's start with the happy, shall we? Steve the cat's follow-up lab results came back negative for both FeLV and FIV! Yay!!! (You can't see it, but I'm doing a happy dance.) I'm so happy about the results that I didn't even shriek at the staff at the vet's office--who didn't bother to call and tell me the results, which, according to the report they faxed me, had been in since FRIDAY. I will be mentioning this to my vet the next time I talk to her, you may be sure.

Of course, now the difficult part will be in not getting too attached to Mr. Steve while I search for a home for him. But I've already notified the rescue group that was going to take him before, and we'll be able to show him as planned. I'm going to try continuing to foster him in my garage for a while, and we'll see how it goes. BUT I DON'T HAVE TO KILL HIM!! That was me screaming with delirious joy. While doing a happy dance.

I really needed some good news, as yesterday was quite an emotional roller coaster. I went to my hometown for the funeral of the father of one of my good friends in college. (Did you get that?) There were three of us who were inseparable my first couple of years in college, and though we drifted apart as time went on, as sometimes happens, we were still in at least sporadic contact. Dennis moved to Texas several years ago; Amy and I both ended up living in Tulsa, so we see each from time to time, as our busy schedules allow. Amy called this weekend, her mother having just called to tell her about Dennis's father. My mother had made the same phone call to me a little earlier. We decided we needed to go to the funeral. Dennis hadn't contacted either of us, but we knew he would be glad to see us. So we went.

It was a little surreal. It occurred to me that I couldn't even remember the last time the three of us had been together...we think it must have been sometime around 1984. We'd all seen each other separately, but not together. Dennis looked exhausted, and devastated, and he just grabbed us in a big hug and sobbed. (He lost his mother several years ago, so he's now parentless.) We stood that way for a while, and it felt so strange, and familiar.

The three of us were SO entwined in each other's lives back then. We did everything together. But times change, and people change and...I don't even know where I'm going with this. It was so good to see him, and he was so touched to see us. It's been so long since he's lived in that town that we were really the only people there for HIM, you know? It felt good...and it simultaneously made me sad. What happened to those three bright-eyed young things? When did we get to be middle-aged? Why didn't we stay in better touch? How could we have been so close, and then...not been? It was both sweetly sentimental and weirdly nostalgic. We agreed that we needed to have another reunion soon, and under happier circumstances, and Amy and I drove back home.

And I just felt unsettled for the rest of the day. The weird nostalgic feelings, of course. The pain of seeing someone you care about in pain. And just freaks me out a little that my contemporaries are starting to lose their parents. This was the third good friend in the last year to lose his second parent. It forces you, like it or not, to start imagining your own parents as...mortal. Nooooooooooo!!!!! I refuse to allow it! Fortunately, my own parents are still relatively young and basically in good health, but someday...I don't want to think about it. And yet, I do. Every time I see that look of devastation on a friend's face, I do.

So last night I did my work-out, and then moved on to my yoga video, and I was feeling pretty good when, during the final relaxation pose, tears just started pouring down my face. I wasn't even really crying, per's like I was just...leaking. Big, slow-rolling, cinematic Demi Moore-in-"Ghost"-tears. It was a little freaky. I wiped the tears away, and thought I was fine.

A few minutes later I was talking to New Guy on the phone, comparing notes on our days, and here they came again! Poor New Guy. I think it freaked him out a little. Hell, it freaked ME out a little. I didn't mean to be crying, but I just couldn't stop. He gave me a "hug over the phone" and told me to do something nice for myself, and he'd call me back later.

Do something nice for myself, I thought...okay, maybe I'll have some of that ice cream in the freezer. But wait, before I do, sniff, sniff...what's that smell? "That" was the smell that results when a cat has diarrhea on the throw rug OUTSIDE the litter box. That's what "that" was.

And you know what? I just started to laugh. That is SO my life. I ask for ice cream, and the universe hands me shit. But I figured if I can laugh at cat shit...I'm going to be okay. So I cleaned up the mess, and then I had the ice cream.

YES, I washed my hands well in between...what kind of crazy cat lady do you take me for? Heh.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Finally Friday

I just can't get myself into any sort of frame of mind to compose a coherent blog post today. Bullets!

  • I take my last antibiotic this evening. The arm looks good.
  • The lab results still aren't back on Steve. Do you know why? I know why, but only after two solid days of browbeating my vet's receptionist. Because, for some reason, for this particular test the lab sends the blood TO CALIFORNIA. The suspense is killing me, as I am now WAY attached to the sweetest kitty in the world. I simply must find him a home. All he needs is a room somewhere. Far away from the cold night air... (Insert Cockney accent here.)
  • I did a short yoga workout on my lunch hour yesterday to keep from killing my vet's receptionist and, do you know, it worked!
  • New Guy and I are going to the opera this weekend. "Tosca." Love that Puccini.
  • It's beautiful here today. Now if only the ragweed would stay out of my eyes. (Tulsa is the Ragweed Capital of the World. It's true. said so, and I believe them. Achoo!)

That's all, folks!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Quick update

In the ever-popular bullet point form:

  • The arm is nearly healed. You can barely see the red blotch now. Yay, antibiotics! (Boo, what antibiotics can do to your digestive system.)
  • Steve, the sweet tuxedo kitty I was hoping to get into an adoption program tested positive initially for both FIV and Feline Leukemia. We're doing a more sophisticated test, but it's not looking good for Steve. I am greatly saddened.
  • Things with New Guy continue on much as before. (We don't necessarily see each other every night, but at least every other night. And we talk on the phone every day. You know, in case you needed more detail. Heh.)
  • One of my cat lady friends has cancer, and began chemo this week. She's been ordered not to go near cat boxes for the next 2-3 months, so we've organized a litterbox brigade to scoop for her twice a day. The first couple of days of radiation/chemo have not gone all that well--she's having some clotting issues. She's in the hospital, and you should all send good wishes/prayers her way.
  • I've been very diligent with my yoga video, but haven't been quite so good with the cardio this week. Must address that!
  • Why is it that when you have a fully-stocked refrigerator/freezer/pantry and only a paltry amount of money in your checking account until payday, ALL you want to do is eat out/get take-out? Why? I HAVE PLENTY OF FOOD AT HOME! (I wasn't yelling at you, I was yelling at my stomach.)
  • I think I love "Pushing Daisies." I apologize now to anyone else who loves it, as my love generally nets a quirky show a quick cancellation. (No, I will NEVER get over "Arrested Development.")
  • I had a box of goodies in the mail yesterday from Canada. Stinkypaw rocks!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday. T.G.!!

Well, I think the arm is looking a little better. The center of the big circle is still dark red, and the outermost ring is still pretty red, but there's a definite lightening in between. If this keeps up, I'll probably have the Target logo beaming from my forearm in a day or two. Hee. I've become hyper-aware of the need to disinfect broken skin, I have to say. Last night New Guy gave himself a nasty paper cut and I instantly started in with the "Wash it really good! And put some neosporin on it! And put a band-aid on it! Don't let it get infected!" What, me overreact?

Anyone want a cat? A handsome black and white tuxedo cat has been hanging out at my house off and on for the last few days. The last 2-3 days it's been more on than off. He's very sweet, obviously somebody's pet at some point, and I don't know how he came to be on the streets, but more to the point, WHO THE HELL GAVE HIM MY ADDRESS? That invisible beacon, it beckons. Dolly and McBeady (who has been staying VERY close to home lately) are a bit suspicious--apparently they know he's not one of "their kind." But they let him eat without too much fuss. I was hoping he was just new to the neighborhood and exploring his new surroundings, but it's looking more like he's either lost or abandoned. Sigh. Maybe I can find someone to take him, since, unlike Dolly and McBeady, he's not even remotely feral. WHY DO THEY ALWAYS COME TO ME?

Double sigh.

Today promises to be the longest, slowest afternoon in recent history--the phone hasn't rung here in about two hours, and I only hope I can stay awake. I have much to do this weekend, none of it particularly fun--housework, yard work, grocery shopping. I'll try to fit in at least one really long workout, and some piano playing. Oh, my fabulously exciting life! (New Guy's kids are coming to visit him here for the first time, so I won't be seeing him, if you were wondering.)

Last week I bought a yoga workout video, and I must say I'm loving it. It's pretty gentle and relaxing, and I do it after my regular cardio/toning workout. I swear I can feel the difference in my hips after only one week! Very nice.

Look at me, being all healthy and shit. Hee. Lest you think I've gone completely into an all-healthy-all-the-time lifestyle, I will confess to you that yesterday I ate generous portions of both potato salad AND pasta salad, along with homemade peanut butter ice cream and a brownie. Or two. We had a cookout at work, and I figured since I wasn't eating the steak, I could splurge on the other stuff. Can you say "carb overload"? I couldn't, as I was too busy sitting like an overstuffed lump at my desk for the rest of the day, wanting all the while to put my head down on my arms and moan quietly.

And with that image, I will leave you. Good weekends, everyone!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Out, damned spot

I went back to the doctor this morning. (Actually I didn't go back, so much...I went to my regular doctor, since he charges merely an arm, and not an arm and a leg, like the urgent care people.) The spot had grown a bit, and it was definitely redder, so I figured a change of antibiotics might be in order. The doctor agreed, gave me one that's better at treating drug-resistant bacteria, in case that's a factor, and also said part of the problem might be that I'm still reacting to the venom of whatever bit me. He even said the dread "recluse" word--but quickly reassured me that if I was going to have an extreme reaction and end up with a big ol' necrotized hole in my arm, that probably would have already happened. Whew!

I went ahead and scrubbed off the nearly indelible purple sharpie drawings on my arm, as I was getting tired of people asking if that was a new tattoo. Seriously? Do you think I have such hideously bad taste as to TATTOO a big red blotch and some purple circles and squiggly lines on my forearm? (Don't answer that.)

Hopefully this new drug will kick in soon, and I can stop looking like a leper.

Did any of you ever sing this particularly tasteless little ditty in your youth?

(To the tune of the Beatles' "Yesterday.")

Leprosy...all my skin is falling off of me...I'm not half the man I used to be...
Oh leprosy...came suddenly. all started with one simple what's this burning feeling when I piss?
Oh syphillis...came suddenly.

Anyone? Just me and my friends? Okay then.

Monday, October 01, 2007

You take the good, you take the bad

Parts of the weekend were good, very good. Parts were...not so much.

Friday was my "early day"--the one day a month I get to leave work early for no particular reason. Always good. Before I left I noticed I had what looked like a pretty large insect bite on my arm, but I didn't give it much thought. Just smeared it with some hydrocortisone cream and off I went.

I stopped by my favorite Vietnamese vegetarian restaurant for some take-out, headed home, pigged out and then napped. A long, long nap. Maybe a little too long, actually. I woke up a little groggy and disoriented, but a workout, followed by a go-round with my new yoga video, woke me up, and I actually managed to make it to the party I was invited to that night. Good party. I saw Spock/Wiley, who seemed to remember me (or so I let myself think). Saw some people I hadn't seen in a while, met some new people, drank some beers. It was nice. I actually stayed until 2:00. I think that's a record for me lately!

Saturday morning I did my usual household chores, and Saturday afternoon New Guy (nope, still no blog name) and I headed off to the state fair. The weather was perfect, and we had a delightful time. We toured the exhibition buildings, the animal barns, spent quite a bit of time admiring vintage tractors (New Guy grew up on a farm, and he's a BIG fan of the tractor.) He threw darts at balloons and won me a little Big Bird. (Awww...) We ate many things on sticks--pizza, cheese (me), shrimp, gator (him). Fun was had.

The insect bite was still there on my arm, and it was getting bigger and redder, but I still wasn't too concerned. I've had mosquito bites swell up like that before, and tick bites sometimes swell my lymph glands--I'm sensitive like that. At some point I did take a pen and make a couple of little marks, so I could see if it suddenly got bigger. I'm smart like that. Heh.

Sunday morning I was kind of lazy. Napped, did laundry (yes, his), napped, then did a dance workout, followed by the yoga tape, which left me feeling pretty good. I had a bite to eat and was heading to the shower, when I checked the red spot again and noticed there were now red streaks heading up my arm. I'll repeat that--THERE WERE RED STREAKS HEADING UP MY ARM. I decided to forego the shower and head straight for the minor emergency center, fearing that flesh-eating bacteria was even then preparing a full-on assault on my body.

One hour and $209 later, I headed out the door with a diagnosis of cellulitis, a buttful of antibiotics and a prescription for more, some pretty purple sharpie drawing on my arm, so I can monitor the spread of the redness, and an order to return in a couple of days for a recheck. What fun! The doctor told me I did "exactly the right thing" in coming in right away, as it's much easier to treat when it's caught early. And, judging by the pictures you'll see if you're brave enough to click on that link, it's definitely best to treat it early. Yowza.

Last night I helped New Guy unpack the latest load of his belongings he'd brought back from where they'd been stored, accompanied him to the grocery store, and that was pretty much the weekend.

The arm still looks a little scary (the spot's only about the size of a quarter, for anyone thinking my entire arm is a weeping sore), but it's not getting any bigger, and I don't have any of the more serious symptoms that would indicate systemic involvement (fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, headache.)

So it's all good.

It's not all perfect, for those of you thinking I am now frolicking through a lovely, charmed, free-from-angst (well, except for the flesh-eating bacteria) life. Now that the first flush of new...whatever has passed, we're into the "dealing with each other's years of accumulated baggage and hard-earned defense mechanisms and figuring out if we can let ourselves trust again" portion of the festivities. Oh, it's still lovely, and I'm still's just that the work has begun. It's exhilarating and it's terrifying.

And such is life. You know I'll keep you all posted.