Jun. 30: Chemo #11

I never wrote anything up about Chemo #10 on June 8, probably because it was uneventful. I didn’t see the doctor; I went straight into the infusion room and got hooked up to an IV. My dear, sweet niece-friend, Erin, accompanied me and brought me a tasty lunch, which we took forever to eat because we were talking so much. We were talking so much that we even forgot to take pictures. What were we thinking? Except for no picture proof of our day, and the needles and poison and other sickies in the room, Chemo #10 was a delight. Thank you, Erin!

Yesterday was Chemo #11. It was a doctor visit chemo—now I see her every third treatment—and I had several questions for her.

  1. Lately my left forearm and hand are numb when I wake up and take a few uncomfortable hours to un-numb. I started having this problem in both hands several years ago; my rheumatologist said I was headed for carpal tunnel surgery unless I wore wrist supports, and they cured the problem immediately. This is the first time I’ve had numbness while wearing the supports. Dr. O said not to worry, that I was probably sleeping weird. I can’t say I was ever really worried about it, but I mentioned it because I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a side effect from one of my chemo drugs. She doesn’t think it is. I woke up this morning without any numbness. Jen’s body thinks it’s funny to play tricks. Not cool, Body. Not cool at all.
  2. I’ve been having all-over pain again, similar to what I felt before seeing a rheumatologist in 2005. This is strange because the chemo drug I’m on right now (Rituxan) is a common treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Shouldn’t I be feeling better, not worse? Dr. O thinks the prednisone (another common RA treatment) probably helped with the pain, and now that I’m not on it, it’s coming back. She prescribed exercise instead. Not that I want the prednisone again, but, well, Dr. O can bite me.
  3. That wasn’t very nice. I know exercise helps. But it’s one of those I-hurt-too-much-to-stand-how-am-I-supposed-to-get-on-a-bike things. So, y’know… grr.
  4. Along with joint pain, I’ve also had very tender… skin? Is that what you call it when no matter where the cat puts her weight on my body, it hurts so much that I want to throw her across the room? Again, the doctor suggested exercise would help. Yeah, she’s a stitch.
  5. I haven’t taken Vicodin for many weeks now. Yay me, especially because Dr. O doesn’t want to give me any more anyway. I have wanted Vicodin and I have frequently felt like I needed Vicodin, but I guess I’ll just fark up my liver by taking too much ibuprofen instead.
  6. Dr. O noticed that I’m retaining fluid in my calves and feet. I told her that de-cluttering is one of my biggest challenges, so she prescribed a mild diuretic. I thought she was overreacting until I went into the chemo room and saw a patient whose foot was the size of Cleveland. Alright, fluid retention is a valid concern. I trust you, Dr. O.
  7. I asked if I could take B-vitamins, which have been helpful to me in the past when I’ve had low energy. As a bonus, they also seem to help my hair grow a little faster. She OK’d it.
  8. I’m supposed to see Dr. O again at my August 31st appointment, but she’ll be on vacation, so I’ll see Dr. G instead. Seems like whenever I have to see a different doctor during ongoing treatment for WHATEVER, that different doctor finds something new to treat me for and quite frankly, I don’t want anything new right now. I’m done with surprises. I’m crossing my fingers that Dr. G will think Dr. O is doing everything she should be doing and I’m right on track with treatment.

Kim F’n was my best girl yesterday because she sat through chemo with me. We played on our phones, tried not to gawk at the giant foot across the room, and admired the blue stuff in an IV bag that another patient was getting. It was very pretty. I was a little jealous; all of my IV bags have clear stuff in them. Booooring.

The only really rotten part of chemo yesterday was that it took three tries to get my IV in. It’s been taking at least two lately, and OH MY GOODNESS, I am so tired of getting perforated. I wish so much that I had a port and then this wouldn’t be such a problem every time. I don’t know why I didn’t get a port. Other patients have ports. They didn’t let me have one. Boo-hiss.

Victor stopped by with lunch for me. He hasn’t been taking my chemo days off since I started the new regimen, because it was eating into his vacation time and we want him to be able to take time off later this summer. However, since my chemo’s done just a couple buildings away from where he works, he can usually come by for quick visits during his lunch hour. He only has to pretend to like me for a few minutes this way.


Vic’s head really isn’t that much bigger than mine. It is bigger, just not that much bigger. (On a slightly unrelated but also totally related note, YAY FOR C-SECTIONS!)

My upcoming treatments are on July 20 (Alisa!), August 10 (April, is this yours?), and August 31 (guest spot open). After that, they’ll continue every three weeks UNTIL THE END OF TIME, or at least it seems that way. Oh, and while I’m on the subject of my chemo buddies, I want to thank all of you who have accompanied me for a treatment thus far:

  • Mother Mary
  • April and Lisa
  • Loveliest Lori
  • Sherilee
  • Kim F’n, TWICE!
  • Kathy
  • Sunshine
  • Erin

…and Victor, of course, for being our errand boy for the first six. (Yep, I kinda like that errand boy, even when he’s not running errands.)

So, that’s the latest on chemotherapy for Jen. For the next three weeks, it’s “just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” 

Learning to play piano again

I highly recommend my kids’ piano teacher because I’m so pleased with their progress. Jack’s gone a long way in one school year’s worth of lessons, and Katie just finished her third. Both of them really enjoy playing, too. I love hearing the melodies they pound out—true, the repetition is irritating sometimes, but it’s pretty cool that K&J like to show off to us.

It makes me think I need to work on my own piano skills. I took nearly ten years of lessons, but I can barely play anymore. I read music about as well as Katie does, I think, and that’s a shame. I would like to learn to play piano better. I don’t know if I want to commit to taking lessons—does that say something about how serious I am about this? Pro’lly.

I think my level of commitment is more along the lines of “if it doesn’t take a ton of time or $$, I’ll do it.” I’ve heard about some new and different types of programs to learn to play piano. I’m curious how effective they are. I know that some of the methods of learning foreign languages have gotten pretty good. Does anyone know about alternative methods of learning to play music?

This is one of the more popular programs people have been recommending to learn to play piano. I’m intrigued! I’m especially intrigued because there are two Carpenters songs in the Beginner Series.

If you know anything about this method, or any others that you have had success with, please let me know. Thanks!

Jun. 29: What brung ya

It’s been months since I’ve looked at my blog stats, but as always, the search terms that brought people to Stuff Jen Says have given me chuckles. One even made me snort, but just pretend I didn’t tell you that because snorting is unladylike and I am, if nothing else, a petite and fragile flower.

These are in order of popularity. Some are surprises; most are not.

  1. stuff jen says
  2. "pamela ribon" and ribon "going in circles" and ribon pamela
    Dur. She rocks. Who wouldn’t want to find references to pamie?
  3. jennifer manullang and jennifer says and jennifer saltmarsh and jennifer saltmarsh manullang and jennifer.manullang blogspot
    Can I just tell you how much I love that all the Pamie searches were more common than the searches for variations on my own name?
  4. "got contact lenses" or "got * contact lenses" or "got contacts" or "got * contacts" or "got glasses" or "got * glasses" -"optical health" site:blogspot.com
  5. "mr. squash you all flat"
    On my blog, this either refers to my bra or the driving habits of Kim F’n.
  6. coin dozer cheat
    How the hell can you cheat at that game???
  7. covered wagon kits portland oregon
    See, we’re not the only desperate people looking for covered wagon kits ‘round here.
  8. david gates and bread hardy boys
    Oh, YEAH.
  9. gummy bear jewelry
    If only.
  10. kimberly felkley nelson
    The true identity of Kim F’n. Who’s Googling Kim F’n? Hmm.
  11. saltmarsh 2010 "@hotmail.com"
    This is not my email address.
  12. what jen says
    So close. So very, very close.

I’m quite relieved to see that “pictures of Zac Efron pantsless” has finally dropped off this list.

Jun. 29: Someone’s in trouble

Guess what I plucked out of my neck this morning?

Yes, that is a hair, and it is not a cat hair. It is also not a dog hair. It is a Jen hair. It is a hair that was growing out of my neck. It is a hair that was completely, totally, OBVIOUSLY visible for as long as it took to grow, which has to have been about three weeks. And not a single one of you said anything. Do you all hate me that much? Really?

I can understand if you didn’t see the hair when it first sprouted; it was light and probably fine enough that it was not readily visible. But as soon as it got longer and turned dark, well, there’s no excuse for that at all. I’ve seen a lot of people in the past few days, and there are many who should have said something. But did they? No. They just went on their merry way, giggling about Jen’s long neck hair and probably telling everyone they knew.

Because that’s what I would do if I saw a hair growing on your neck but didn’t want to tell you.

Here are the people who could be responsible:

  1. Victor. As I’ve said before, what’s the point of being married if your spouse won’t tell you when you have a thick, wavy black hair growing out of your neck? COME ON.
  2. Katie. The girl notices everything. What gives, Girl?
  3. Jack. He notices nothing.
  4. April. I’m gonna give her the excuse of having sat on the right side of me for much of the weekend—the hair was on the left side of my neck—so she’s out of the blame game. Unless she makes me mad; then she’s totally back in.
  5. Kathy. She was too busy running a half marathon. Normally I would count on her to alert me to hair growing out of my neck, but I’m letting her off this time. Cuz I’m a good baby seester.
  6. Brenda. Too nice. Wouldn’t say so if she saw it.
  7. Sean. Probably didn’t notice.
  8. That waitress at Cheesecake Factory. What a wench. I know she saw.
  9. Pamela Ribon. WTF, Pamie? I thought we were friends.
  10. Jim Sharon. He was too busy being jealous of the hair on my head, I guess.
  11. Kim F’n. She sat across from me at lunch yesterday, and I’m sure if her eyes weren’t so frosted over with LOVE, she would have noticed.
  12. Sherilee. She gets the same pardon as April; she sat to the right of me at lunch yesterday. But during dessert at Mio Gelato? Out in the sun? I guess she was too busy worrying about whether there was water at her house. Like that matters.

Whether I excuse you or not, I think y’all owe me an explanation. Or can we at least make an agreement that in the future, you will always always ALWAYS tell me if you see a hair thick as a tree trunk growing out of my neck? Please?

Jun. 28: “Eat, Cry, Shove”

Saturday night I went to a book reading by Pamela Ribon. It’s hard for me to know what and how much to say about the event, because if I say a lot then it’ll sound like I took notes the whole time (I didn’t). If I don’t say very much, then it will seem like it was a so-so reading and I didn’t enjoy it (I totally did). There’s a very slight chance that Pamela will read this, so I don’t want it to make her uncomfortable, y’know?

See, if you’ve read Why Girls Are Weird—and if you haven’t, why not? It’s hilarious and sweet and entertaining and makes reading fun!—you know that the main character ends up with a stalker-y kind of fan. I imagine Pamela herself has dealt with those to some degree, and that many of her non-creepy fans are worried about seeming like one of the creepy types. I would most certainly be part of that extra-cautious group.

I love her!

Well, I mean, she’s a very good writer and I enjoy her books a lot.

I don’t love love her.

I mean, she’s perfectly nice and all, but I don’t need to be her best friend or anything.

Although that would be cool.

Being best friends with a famous writer who is clever and quick and fun to hang with would be VERY cool.

Not that my real friends aren’t all those things.

Well, except the famous writer part.

Maybe if they applied themselves, they could be famous writers. I should suggest that to some of them. I’m sure they’d appreciate it. People always like being told what to do, right?

Anyway, I was talking about my new best friend, Pamela Ribon.

Oh gawd, she’s not my new best friend. I don’t think that. I didn’t say that. That stupid Stalker Tess has me all flustered and nervous. I just think Pamela is rockin’ awesome and I will totally read every little thing she writes. Did you know she wrote an article for oprah.com? I do, because I read it. You should too.

Alright, so at the reading in Bellingham this past Saturday night, Pamela read a chapter from Going In Circles, answered questions, and signed books. She was tremendously funny, and when a transient walked up to the podium and asked for a gift, she seemed only slightly rattled and then managed to get the audience roaring with her reaction. See? It’s just more awesome.

She announced that anyone who asked a question would get a gift. There were eight or so items wrapped and/or bagged, and she said they all had something to do with divorce and/or roller derby, which are the two primary topics of Going in Circles. Let’s see if I can remember the gifts:

  • A pain reliever with a sleep aid
  • Cash
  • Wine
  • Kleenex
  • A big teddy bear
  • Cat food

Dammit. I can’t remember what else there was. I’m sure there were more.

After the reading, Pamela signed books for the audience. I didn’t have any books for her to sign BECAUSE SHE ALREADY SENT ME HER BOOKS, ALL AUTOGRAPHED AND EVERYTHING. I might have mentioned that, like, eleventy times already. April took our picture together and Pamela asked us to sign a roller derby poster she had brought.

And that was that. It was thrilling to meet Pamela in person, fun to share the experience with my dear friend April, and totally worth the drive from Seattle and back.

Jun. 27: Our Seattle weekend

This past weekend was crazy-busy, and so much fun.

We left Portland late Friday afternoon and drove up to our hotel near the Seattle airport. The sun had set by the time we got the car unloaded, and the kids were mad that we wouldn’t let them swim anyway. Vic went out and brought food back to our room, where the kids ate while moping. Before they fell asleep, they were slightly cheered by our promises of more fun the next day.

We got up early Saturday and hopped on the light rail to Qwest Field (the finish line of Kathy’s marathon). We had planned to meet her at the ‘V’ family reunion section, which was oh-so-noisily located directly in front of one of the band stages. They were loud. LOUD. I had been getting updates on Kathy’s progress via text message but didn’t hear anything for the last four miles of the race, so we had no idea when she’d finish. April and Emma found us, and then Kathy showed. Hooray! We were surprised to see her talking coherently and standing with no trouble—she really did rock that half-marathon!

Brenda and Sean came along soon after, and all of us got back on the light rail to get lunch at Cheesecake Factory. While walking back, I twisted my ankle in the crosswalk like the clumsy idiot I am, and I banged up my shins and knee like a mo-fo. I was trying super-hard not to be a whiny baby, but OH MY BUDDHA, it really hurt. I just wanted to lay down somewhere.

The day wasn’t even close to being over, though. Kathy and Brenda had plans on their own, and Sean was flying back to Colorado, so the rest of us went back to our hotel. Jim and Trevor came over too, and the four kids dragged the dads to the pool, FINALLY. April and I started off on our two-hour road trip to Bellingham.

We were driving north to see Pamela Ribon, author of Why Girls Are Weird, Why Moms Are Weird, and Going In Circles, which is the book with which she’s currently touring.

FLASHBACK: You might remember a while back that she found a blog post I’d written about Why Girls Are Weird and offered to send me her newest book to get through the boredom of chemo. Doesn’t that make her awesome? Yes! What made her even more awesome was that she not only sent Going In Circles, she included Why Moms Are Weird—which is out of print and she had to get on eBay—and Cold Feet, a book to which she was a contributor. All of them were signed to me and the gesture made me feel like the specialest person, like, EVER.

April and I had about an hour to kill, so we walked around Fairhaven. Most of the stores were closed, but we ran across one called Katie’s Cupcakes and couldn’t resist going in. We each bought a pair of red velvet cupcakes for our kids, and she accidentally left hers in my car until this evening (that buttercream frosting ought to be reeeeally good now). We grabbed a quick dinner and then headed into Village Books for the reading/signing. I’m going to write about the Pamela Ribon Experience™ in another post because April took some pictures I need to go with my story and she’s going to email them to me. Sooooo… you’ll just have to wait. Ha. I will say, however, that it was fun and funny and I loved every minute. I was also glad to hear that I was not the only person worried about seeming stalker-y. Whew.

OK, so after the reading we still had the long drive back to Seattle, but it was great to have all that chat time together. I took April to her car at the light rail station and we made plans to meet again in the morning. When I got back to our hotel I was surprised to see the kids had already fallen asleep—all that swimming with Emma and Trevor really wore them out.

This morning we checked out of our hotel and drove up to Woodland Park Zoo. Jim, April, Emma and Trevor were there, and we also met up with an old college friend Jim (Sharon) and his wife Jen and their adorable son Carter. No one in our family had been to that zoo before, but the Jordans and Sharons were very familiar and escorted us through like real professionals.  

Katie and I were especially excited to see the red pandas—we don’t have them at our local zoo—and this is what we saw when we got to their exhibit:


You know why Katie and I like red pandas? Because they look like this:

Yeah. They’re totally cute, right? You can imagine, then, how disappointing it was for us to only see them like this:

Stoopid hide-y red pandas.

We saw lots of well-behaved animals, though, and it was great fun overall. The weather was good—not too hot—and the crowds were light. The kids had a lot of fun tearing around the place. Katie got to feed a bird with a seed stick:

…and Jack rode a monkey or leopard or something metal:


After our zoo adventure we grabbed a quick dinner before we went our separate ways (April has pics of that too). We got home tonight and are completely exhausted, but in the best way. Our trip was loads of fun, and full of family and friends—exactly how a weekend away from home should be.

Come back again for more details.

Jun. 25: IDCEAYWTPFriday

It’s Friday, and that means you get a post called I Don’t Care Enough About You to Write in Transitioning Paragraphs Friday.

  • We turned on the air conditioning this week! This makes me all kinds o’ happy. It appears that summer has finally arrived here in Portland-town. Now, everybody get out and enjoy it before it disappears in a few days.
  • I finally got those hotel reservations made. I used Hotwire and got a 3-star hotel for $57/night. When I go directly to the chain’s site, the rate is almost three times that. Yay for all my stressing out over it, I guess; it paid off. I don’t recommend sites like Hotwire or Priceline if you have very specific needs, but when you’re somewhat flexible, it can be awesome.
  • These are pretty funny: The Stupidest Women’s Products Ever Invented.
  • This week we started on a new chores program for the kids. They’re actually kind of enjoying it right now—I’ve been careful to spread their responsibilities out across the week so they don’t have to “work” more than 20 minutes at a time. We created a reward program, and they’re REALLY liking that part. If you’re an iPhone user, you gotta check out iRewardChart, which lets you customize tasks and rewards and then track them over time. Great motivator.
  • Yesterday I took my book out on the deck and sat in the sun for about half an hour. I was worried about burning my bald head, and didn’t give much thought to the rest of me. Oops. Here’s how I looked after the sunburn had fully established itself on my chest by evening:

    Try not to be too distracted by my giant rack. It’s the sunburn I’m show-offing.
  • My friend Jim posted this link on Facebook yesterday and I. LOVE. IT. A distraught cat owner and graphic designer neighbor disagree about how the search for a lost cat should best be handled. Careful, you might pee yourself.
  • So yeah, we’re leaving for Seattle this afternoon. Kathy’s running in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in the morning and I’m planning to meet her at the finish line—or more specifically, at the ‘V’ reunion spot near the finish line. I’ve never been to one of these big runs; I hope I’ll be able to find her. She got a runner tracking thing so I’ll know her progress throughout the race—I will think it’s sooo cool if it tells me when she trips or if someone cuts her off and she curses at them—I’ll want her to wear it all the time.
  • April and I are going up to Bellingham in the evening to meet Pamela Ribon at her book reading/signing. She’s the fab author of Why Girls Are Weird (and pamie.com), and she sent me all of her other books to help me through the boredom of chemo. I love her. I mean, I love that she did that. If I say I love her it makes me sound all stalker-y. I am not stalker-y. I am totally, completely normal and the opposite of frightening, and if David Sedaris’ people try to tell you anything else, don’t believe them.
  • Hearing the Thompson Twins makes me smile. Sweet high school memories.
  • I’d like you to meet my new friend Val. She’s super-cool and fun. We’ve had four dates so far but it was on our first date that I knew I would love her.

    photo ripped off from Val's Facebook album
    Val’s husband is half-Asian, so this is how Victor described her to Katie and Jack when they asked whose house I’d just been at: “She’s a whitey with a weird last name, just like Mom.”
  • My grandma has returned to Oregon. My mom and brother-in-law drove her back this week. It’s looking like she’ll need to go into assisted living, which she’s not going to be pleased about; Mom and Uncle Paul are hoping to talk to her about it this weekend. I’m glad I won’t be anywhere near them when she hears that news.
  • I recommend y’all read this article by Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D.: ‘Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin’ And Other Modern-Day Heresies, recently published at The Huffington Post. I think if more Christians had this Christ-like attitude, they would be seen as a much less sanctimonious, judgmental group. Sadly, the ones who really do feel this way are often too quiet about it and let the jackasses speak for them. Let the nice guys preach on the street corners, not the hateful loonies!

Those of us who walk the Christian path should reject the modern-day heresy of "love the sinner, hate the sin," especially when it comes to LGBT people. Instead, we should focus on the two great commandments of (1) loving God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds, and (2) loving our neighbors as ourselves (see Matt. 22:37-40). Nothing more and nothing less. We should spend far less time worrying about how to make others repent, and far more time worrying about our own repentance, or metanoia. If we truly believe in a gospel of grace as opposed to a cult of works-righteousness, then we should believe that God -- and not humans -- will take care of the rest.

  • Speaking of nice guys, I’ve got a lunch date on Monday with two of my favorite people: Sherilee and Kim F’n! How lucky am I? The fun with Kim will continue into Tuesday, when she’ll be my chemo buddy for the day. Fellow patients, ye be warned. We kinda rock the hell out of that chemo room, what with the Pop Rocks and IV pole dancing and noise OMG the noise!
  • Here’s an eBay auction that’ll give you a chuckle: http://item.ebay.com/200487505908. I ♥ The Bloggess.
  • Except for overnight trips to Salem and downtown Portland, this weekend in Seattle will be my first “vacation” in many months. I’m totally out of practice with packing for out-of-town weekends. Let’s see, what will I forget? It’s usually a toothbrush or deodorant or jammies. Vic often forgets underwear. Katie almost always forgets her much-needed hairbrush, and the last thing on Jack’s mind is anything to do with grooming or cleanliness. I’m gonna be Smart Mommy™ and examine ALL of our bags before we load them into the car.

Have a great weekend!

Jun. 24: Eyebrillo analysis

The skin around my brows has healed after being waxed yesterday, and today I was able to wear eye makeup for the first time in months! It looked like crap, but I had it on. Here’s proof:

I believe this photo necessitates some comments, don’t you? Conveniently, I have made them on the following copy:

Jun. 24: All about Sunshine

I haven’t done one of these Google searches for a long time, probably because I enjoy them way more than the person I do them for. Here are the ones I did for Ed (one of my favorites!), Kathy, Martin, Boise (apologies to my Boise peeps, but it is pretty chuckle-worthy), Sherilee, and my long-suffering husband, Victor. Today it’s my dear friend Sunshine’s turn, lucky girl!


Sunshine wants…

  • a rainbow
  • to fly like Superman
  • nothing more than to ignore the whole paranormal world and just return to her life as a baker
  • you!
  • to take hold of you and leave some sort of impression
  • to watch
  • to play the field
  • to appear on Big Brother to show that brains and beauty do mix
  • to race in shorts and a pair of flip flops
  • to argue the point
  • to be taken seriously
  • her to bring it on
  • to avoid the Fang of the Eternal Hunt


Sunshine loves…

  • all types of music
  • to cuddle
  • to play in my ficus
  • sticking the letters on the wall of the tub
  • me
  • the internet, reading, tomato sandwiches, and her nieces and nephew
  • to play rough
  • the pink ditsy floral outfit
  • this hat!
  • crawling around on all fours
  • dogs and kids and would make a wonderful addition to any family or adult


Sunshine said…

  • “I hate all of you.”
  • “Well, then that’s bang bang boogie!”
  • she’ll announce her pregnancy when she’s one hundred percent sure of it
  • “Eat fiber. That might help.”
  • “See the way his aura changes. It’s absolutely living.”
  • “The bondage, leather and fetish theme was good for the night.”
  • “OK, keep floating in the ocean.”
  • she was annoyed
  • “I’m a flip flop girl.”
  • “You like fruit?”
  • “How’s it going, good lookin’?”
  • “It’s a first offense.”


Sunshine was…

  • not considered
  • born in 1916
  • so damn awesome
  • hilarious
  • the prettiest
  • beautiful but disturbingly stupid
  • instantly famous as “the chick who KO’d the guy!”
  • a no show
  • in a blue outfit, part of which exposes her shoulders
  • irresponsible enough to drink that much
  • a hot topic of conversation in churches and the news media in South Korea
  • asked to move
  • something to absolutely marvel at
  • doubled over with laughter
  • taken away kicking and screaming
  • workin’ ‘em on the dance floor
  • able to snag up at least four Academy Award nominations
  • sent from above
  • pretty as Puerto Ricans
  • a 4-year-old when we bought her
  • a first class cookie-eating machine
  • definitely not gay


Sunshine can’t…

  • buy me love
  • sleep
  • seem to stay in one place for long
  • believe I let you leave
  • grow Christmas trees
  • fail
  • use voodoo
  • find my door
  • get enough of your love
  • be stopped
  • wait ‘til you move out to California
  • be all bad
  • get her stethoscope out
  • be moaned at
  • rhyme
  • rent videos there anymore
  • wait to try the wormballs

Jun. 24: Thursday Thunks #10

Thursday Thunks (TT) is a blog meme for those who need a little kick in the butt to find something to post about. Your blog posts/answers to TTs can be type or pictures, doesn’t matter! YOU pick, not us, we just give you the assignment (yep, just like English class... only we won’t grade your spelling and grammar).

  1. It officially became summer on Monday. What’s your favorite part of winter?
    I love the holiday season and snuggling up in warm sweaters and blankies, but I think my favorite part of winter is when it’s finally over.
  2. What was your worst summer vacation ever?
    Probably one of my summers between two years of college. Some of those kinda sucked.
  3. Tell us about the best job that you ever had.
    Definitely my software training position at Catapult. Fun coworkers, fun work, constantly learning new things. If not for most of the students from one large county, it would’ve been PERFECT.
  4. Who is probably talking a load of crap about you right now?
    Someone I don’t like anyway.
  5. An alien appears and offers you the opportunity to repeat one year of your life. You will still know everything that you know now. He explains that no matter what you do differently, when you are returned to the present nothing will have changed. What year would you pick and why?
    Hmmmm… probably 1989. I turned 21 that year, and wasted a lot of my time pining over a boyfriend that didn’t matter. However, there were a lot of good things too, so I’d want to repeat that year to fix the stupid stuff I did and re-live all the awesomeness.
  6. Name three things you have on you at all times. Explain why.
    Phone— for obvious reasons.
    Lipstick—can’t stand dry, pale lips.
    Hat or scarf—these days, there’s always one nearby in case I have to do a quick cover.
  7. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
    Probably that snotty exchange of letters between me and my grandmother a while back.
  8. If you could have everyone in the blogosphere read one of your posts, which one would you pick and why?
    I have no idea. There aren’t very many I’m that proud of. I guess it’d have to be this one, in which I explain the mystery that is Jen. <cough, cough>
  9. What would be the worst entertainment or sporting event that you could be forced to watch?
    With apologies to my football-loving friends, here’s my interpretation of that sport: someone blows a whistle, a bunch of guys run into each other and fall in a big pile, someone blows a whistle, the players spend a little too much time in the pile, the guys in the studio talk about the ‘play’ for ten minutes, then it all happens again. There’s also a ball in there somewhere. Sooooo booooooring.

Jun. 23: Hair watch #5½, Day #42

eye I got my brows waxed today!

Wait, that doesn’t quite say it loud and proud enough. Let’s try it again:

I needed to get my brows waxed today! And I did!

Yes, for the first time in more than six months I was looking a bit eyebrillo-ish and it was time for some groomin’. I went to the place I’ve gone to for years, where a sweet little Vietnamese woman always does a meticulous job. She didn’t recognize me when I walked in, and it wasn’t until I laid down and told her my brows had fallen out during cancer treatment that she realized who I was. After that, she couldn’t stop apologizing. I’m all YOU BETTER APOLOGIZE BECAUSE ARE THE YOU THE ONE WHO GAVE ME CANCER? DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!

That’s not altogether true; what I said was one of those pat responses like, “well, it’s almost done” … “I’m lucky” … “it could be so much worse” … blah blah blah. I’ve learned those are a lot easier than accusations with some people, especially people who are just about to rip out your hair by the root.

And getting a brow wax for the first time after six months of not needing brow waxes, I was surprised at how much it friggin’ HURT. I was nowhere near crying, but my eyes did water a little. Same thing happens at the dentist. When she was done and I sat up, both my eyes spilled over and I looked like a big ol’ crybaby even though I wasn’t crying at all. But the waxer lady said, “Oh, I’m so sorry!” I wasn’t about to bother explaining myself, since she understands very little English anyway, so I accused her of giving me cancer again and then I looked in the mirror and she had done all that waxing but somehow managed to give me a unibrow!

Alright, that’s not altogether true either; I assured her I was fine, thanked her for giving me two separate brows, and walked out to the front to pay. She rang me up at half the usual brow wax rate—‘twas the very definition of a pity wax, I guess—and then insisted on giving me a big hug.

Friends, if you ever want to make your aesthetician cry and give you less expensive brow waxes and become suddenly affectionate, just get cancer.

(Psssst… it’s so not worth it.)

I was going to take a picture of my newly groomed eyebrillos, but they’re all red and splotchy and slathered in Bag Balm right now. Maybe tomorrow. But here’s a hint of what I look like. It’s somewhere between this:

and this:

Use your imagination.

Oh, and don’t worry, I won’t be doing hair watches any lower on my body. Noggin and brows, maybe lashes. That’s it. Promise.

Digital Scrapbooking

One of my goals for the summer is to get caught up on my scrapbooking. I generally do it in chronological order; right now Jack is still a baby in my finished albums, so I obviously have LOTS to do. I have to admit, having online photo albums at Facebook and other sites keeps this from being a big priority than it might be otherwise (AND a monkey on my back… so… I’m not complaining a bit).

Guest post from Martha Herrera.

I have kept scrapbooks and photo albums of memorable family vacations and events for as long as I can remember. I am the type of person who holds memories dear but I am so active and busy that keeping photo albums helps me to remember all of those special moments that I might otherwise forget about.

My daughter introduced me to the online photo sharing website called Flickr and the social networking website Facebook. I was interested by Facebook but honestly I was more enthused about using Flickr to upload my favorite photographs using the hughes net satellite internet.

When I started to replace my traditional photo albums with Flickr I realized how much bulk I had accumulated over the years with my paper photo books. Being able to replace those photo albums with online photo albums has streamlined my book shelves and the shelves are no longer sagging with the weight of extra photo albums.

This online photo sharing website has also allowed me to keep in contact with friends and to share with them visually what I have been doing. Because we can exchange photo albums online and view each others pictures it is also easy for me to see what they are doing in their lives as well. Technology and great hughes net packages certainly has expanded my world and my view of social networking on the computer.

Brought to you by your friends at www.satelliteinternetbroadband.com.

Jun. 21: Too. Many. Options!

I just spent two hours trying to book a hotel in Seattle for this weekend. I did the same thing yesterday. There are plenty of rooms available in the city; that’s not the problem. The problem is that I’m so friggin’ worried that I’ll choose a hotel with some particular feature that will make us unhappy, that I can’t make a decision.

Just when I think I’ve found the perfect place, I realize something important is missing, like nearby parking or an in-room coffeemaker or an address in a safe location. I keep looking. Then I’m sure I’ve seen the NEXT hotel that looks perfect for a much lower rate somewhere else, so I re-open all the other travel sites I’ve already looked at and try to find it. And I can’t. I start over, and I find the perfect place AGAIN. I’m ready to book it but happen upon a customer review about someone finding human feces on the wall of their room. So that one is off the list, and I look for another, and the further I get from the city, the cheaper they are and the oh-so-much scarier they are. Also, I am lost by then—literally and figuratively. I give up and start over again.

My jaw is clenching. My blood pressure is rising. Am I giving this way more thought than I should? Yes. Am I stressing for no good reason at all? Most definitely. Am I the most indecisive person EVER? L’il bit.

Because how hard does it have to be to find a bed on which to lay one’s head? Not hard at all! Unless you’re me.

Did you know there’s actually a site called CouchSurfing, where you can find a couch in someone’s house to crash on? Are we in college? No, we’re just cheap-asses. Victor asked, “Who would do that? And who would want some stranger sleeping on their couch?” I know who. My mom married him when I was 14. I have a feeling everyone who’s listed their couch as available is either a total creep, a rapist lookin’ for some fun, or a serial killer. Possibly all of the above. CouchSurfing’s slogan is “Participate in Creating a Better World, One Couch At A Time.” It could just as easily be “Participate in Being Easy Prey for a Criminal, One Couch at a Time.” Yikes-a-hootie.

I will not be CouchSurfing in Seattle, that is one thing on which I can decide. We’re not desperate for a place to stay, nor are we even a little bit interested in being someone’s victims for the weekend. So, um, yippee for me! I’ve crossed something off my list that wasn’t even there when I started this whole process.

I’m like this every time I start to make any kind of travel arrangements. It takes me forever to weigh through my options and I’m a complete basket case by the end. But I almost never regret the choice I end up making, so there’s that.

Still, it kinda makes me hate me for being me.

Wish me luck.

Jun. 21: Hair watch #5, Day #40

Time for an update. I’m pretending you might care. Humor me. Because I gotta show off my luscious, flowing bangs!

Almost time for a trim, eh?

Here’s a shot that shows how things look a little farther back:

Is that hair coming in CURLY? Let’s zoom in for a better look.

Nope, just messy.

Also, yuck.
We need context in pictures like this.
Like, throw an ear in or somethin’, right?



Then let’s move on.

This is the part that bugs me a little; the hair on the sides
of my head isn’t nearly as fluffy as it is on the top. It lies flat
against my head, almost as though it doesn’t want
to be part of the party going on up there.
Why the face, side-of-my-head hair?

But but but BUT!
Can you see the brow hair? Yes indeed, that is brow hair!
I’m getting eyebrows!
Right now they’re even a little bit eyebrillo-ish,
but I can’t get them waxed into a shape until the hair’s a little longer.
And yes, those are lashes you can see there, too.
Still too short for mascara, but trying their best to grow.
Sometimes I can hear them at night.

This last picture is full of deceit and lies.


It looks like I have way more hair than I do.
From (not even very) afar, I still look Kojak-bald.
Tropical Storm Jen’s Hair is going strong, though.
Vic says that that cowlick is really gonna start bugging
me soon, when the hair in it is all sticky-outy
and the rest is flat. I say it’s already bugging me,
just knowing that it’s there.

Want to do some compare and contrast? Previous Hair Watches can be found at #1, #2, #3, and #4.


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