Oct. 29: Surprises, secrets, and a little parental pride

We had parent-teacher conferences last night. They went pretty much like they have since Katie’s first one in kindergarten—both kids are doing fine, they meet or exceed all the important markers for their grade, they’re well-behaved and fun in class, blah blah blah. And Victor and I sit there—like always—stunned, because these two kids are pretty much little poo-heads at home all the live-long day. I know we’re not the only parents shocked that their kids are liked at school; at home we worry that they’ll never make friends if they continue on the path toward being total assholes, but apparently AWAY from home they’re delightful. Pffft.

(Note that I did not call my kids “assholes.” I simply said they’re on their way to being them. There’s a difference, and that is an important designation or I end up with CPS banging on my door.)

During Jack’s conference, his teacher said that after they dance every morning, they start their first assignment and Jack is always something something something I don’t remember anything else after she said they dance every morning. We were all WHAT? YOU DANCE IN CLASS? AND JACK DANCES? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? She’s been teaching them the Charleston and the box step, they know how to walk like Egyptians, they do a big hair thing (Jack and Alec are the two long-haired boys who can do that one with the girls), and she’s secretly preparing them for a class performance at The Nutcracker. OMG. I remember little else about his conference, but I know I love this woman for making my kid do this. OMG, so much. OMG.

Katie’s conference had fewer surprises, but I adore her teacher as well. Maybe it’s just because it’s fifth grade and there’s, like, serious work being done or something, but it seems like Ms. Y has found a way to make everything they do FUN. Katie’s doing really well with writing and math (ding-dong! Asian stereotype calling!), and loves being in class every day. This makes me very happy to hear, as I remember fifth grade being one of my most challenging years of school.

When I started fifth grade, my parents had just separated and it was my first year in private (SDA) school. I knew some kids at my new school from church, but for the most part, everyone and everything I knew changed. There was one classroom per grade, and some of the classes had fewer than 20 kids. It was a small school. They didn’t have a TAG program, which I had been in at the public school, and I don’t know if my teacher was lazy or stupid or just didn’t have time, but she absolutely would NOT give extra work to kids who finished ahead of others. I remember completing my entire spelling workbook by the end of October. I caught on pretty quickly that if you didn’t learn at the same speed of the others, you needed to slow down. I have often wondered if things would have been different if I hadn’t had that evil teacher in an already difficult year.

I won’t go into all the things that made her so horrible, but I know I made it obvious that I had no respect for her. She hated that, and told my mom in the fall parent-teacher conference that I frequently rolled my eyes when she would speak. I got in big trouble for that—Mom lectured me the whole way home on how I needed to respect authority even when I didn’t agree with what they were doing. I bet she was thinking to herself that I was exactly like my father. Devil

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t so brilliant at that age that I knew my teacher was worthless, but I certainly knew I didn’t like her. I’m also pretty sure that my kids’ evil detectors are fully functioning, and that we’ve been fortunate they’ve had wonderful teachers so far. I’m totally crossing my fingers that our luck continues.

In the  meantime, I’m gonna keep the secret that I know Jack dances every day. It might be my favoritest secret ever.

Oct. 27: Can I interest you in Hanukkah?

christmas musicSeems like I spent most of last weekend looking for Christmas music for our annual Christmas CD. I found a few gems (who knew Soupy Sales did a Christmas album?), but mostly I just started to hate Christmas. This CD is so dang much work. See what I do for you? And how much I must love you to go through all this? Yes, I’m a saint. That’s the word you were looking for: saint.

Here’s one of the gems that won’t be going on our Christmas CD, but only because it’s a live recording, not because it’s a Hanukkah song. Best part: it’s Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. Pure awesomeness, right there.

Download this MP3 - (Right Click)

Oct. 26: School photos, 2010-11

I finally got around to scanning these. Maybe some day I’ll even send them out.

001 002
Katie, 5th grade ~ Jack, 3rd grade (don’t worry; you’re not the only one questioning the pink background)


This is still my favorite picture of Jack, though:

Oct. 26: The candy pyramid

With Halloween approaching, you’re probably needing some advice before you go shopping for the candy you’ll hand out to trick-or-treaters. It says so much about the family you are, doesn’t it? No? Maybe?

Here’s a helpful chart of candy hierarchy from boingboing.net:


The footnotes:

1. Note that many candies still await placement: York Peppermint Patties, Luna Bars, Reese's Pieces, residue from old paint cans, and Skittles, among others.

2. These may be rolled to a friend.

3. Whoppers blow.

4. Still no unanimous decision on the placement of Candy Corn, which as of 2006 remained unclassified, but as of 2007 had been tentatively placed in the Upper Chewy/Upper Devonian. 2008: no sighting.

5. Unless it's something caramel, pronounced "caramel."

6. Remains an outlier, since it is in no way "chewy." Further studies have not resolved this inconsistency.

7. Yet some would be just as well to be left off. Bit-o-Honey, for example, might be called a lower tier member, but why bother? It says to your trick-or-treaters, "Here, I don't care, just take this." The lesson of Bit-o-Honey is: you lose. Goo Goo clusters, too. You're making a social statement--"I hate you and everything you represent"--when you give these out.

As you can imagine, not everyone agrees with this hierarchy. The comments to this post are pretty good. These are my comments (because I know you were waiting, dying to know what I think):

  • The only reason I would ever eat a Twix is if I was doing the whole George-slowly-going-insane routine from The Dealership episode of Seinfeld. Not a fan of Twix, or really any candy bar with the cookie crunch.
  • Reggie Jackson bar? WTF?
  • Whoppers do blow.
  • Jolly Ranchers in the third tier? Unless they’re green apple or FIRE, they’re trash.
  • Almond Joys should be higher than third tier. And they’re totally healthy because there’s fruit in them. AND there’s a nut. Health food.
  • A lot of the candy in the bottom tier is stuff I like—non-messy, non-melting treats to eat while I’m at my desk. Smarties are perfect for that. I won’t argue for any of those to go up in the hierarchy, though—I know they’re “meh” compared to the good stuff.
  • Debi and I decided long ago that “those odd marshmallow circus peanut things” are what they serve for every dessert on the Wal-Mart cruise line.
  • Now ‘n Laters on the lowest tier? That’s funny. I used to love them, but nowadays I really only like a couple flavors. They’re also really bad for expensive dental work. They probably belong that low on the list.

When I took Katie trick-or-treating on our street for her second Halloween, a guy at one house was chuckling at how she so obviously did NOT understand the concept. I said it was better than the big kids, who T-o-T with pillowcases and don’t even bother to dress up. The guy said, “Oh, that’s why I have these!” and he showed me a bowl behind the door that was full of really crappy bubble gum—not Bazooka or a brand anyone’s ever heard of; it was truly nasty stuff. I thought that was a great idea, and I’ve had a small bowl of that stuff next to the good candy every year since.

Oct. 25: Daybook


Outside my window... it was blustery and rainy and depressing. This is my least favorite kind of weather.

I am thinking... about all the things I need to get done this week, Christmas lists, what’s for dinner…

I am thankful for... good friends who live nearby. We had tons o’ fun a couple of streets away on Saturday night, even though it rained and I was frozen solid by the time I made myself go home.

I am working on... our Christmas CD. Christmas music is hard!

I am going... to work (for pay) tomorrow, and volunteer at the school’s book fair around lunchtime. I love the book fair. The book fair is fun and gets kids excited about reading. Book fair = good.

I am reading... a lot of stuff on the Internet about some new drugs I’m trying out. Scary.

I am hoping... that I don’t get some of the side effects, ‘specially the painful erection. Ow.

I am hearing... Victor emptying the dishwasher. He’s noisy, but since he empties the dishwasher I let it go. I’m quite generous that way.

Around the house... there are tiny pieces of all the things the puppy has been chewing. When he gets tired of chewing bark and twigs and paper, he goes for socks, underwear, and towels. This morning he got hold of my nasal spray—he oughta have clear sinuses for a good long time now.

One of my favorite things... is when I wake up and find all three dogs and the cat on the bed with me. Throw in a few chickens and I could be one of the Beverly Hillbillies.

Plans for the rest of the week: everything. I’m doing absolutely everything this week. Leave me alone.

Here’s a photo I want to share:


I just think it’s pretty.

Want to blog your own Daybook? Here’s the info: The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

Oct. 22: 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.

  • This week was full. Appointments and projects and meetings and responsibility kept most the fun away. I don’t like weeks like that. The highlight of the week might have been lunch with Sunshine on Monday—love that L-15 at the Thai place.
  • My friend Kim F’n kills a lot of things.
  • I’m trying out a new medication to help me sleep. It’s also supposed to help me want to scream at people less. So far the sleep part is definitely working; I can’t remember a thing about last night. I hope I wasn’t doing goofy stuff online or dancing down my street all nekkid. Gah. Either way, getting a good night’s rest makes me want to scream at people less, so, y’know, WIN-WIN-WIN.
  • A little Ambien story for ya: One of my friends—who I won’t name just in case she prefers me not to tell the world—was taking Ambien and posted a bunch of stuff on Facebook one night while under the influence. I saw her posts and they seemed a bit unlike her, but I thought she was just being silly. Apparently it was her little Ambien elves at work, though, and her husband told her to delete all the posts the next morning. Funny, right? But it gets better! Another morning she woke up and all the hummus that had been in the fridge the night before was gone. If you don’t think you can eat a family-size  bowl of hummus on your own, set up a camera and take an Ambien. (My doctor offered Ambien, but I opted for a different kind of drug… I don’t trust myself in my coherent (cough cough!) state; I certainly can’t handle the idea of little elves helping me make my way through the Internet. They could make my blog a lot more interesting, though. Hm…)
  • OMG, that was totally one paragraph that transitioned into another. I apologize.
  • Last night Millie brought in a mouse. She does this once every couple weeks or so. While I do not like having mice in my house, it doesn’t freak me out to see them and don’t tell Loveliest Lori because it’ll make her make THAT face, but I even think they’re super-cute. Last night the mouse was still alive, but injured and not moving all that well. In fact, it was pretty much doing this:

    It made me laugh, kind of a lot.

    I wanted to put the mouse out of its misery, but most of all I wanted it out of my house. Where’s Kim F’n when I need her? I didn’t have a glove handy, so I grabbed saran wrap and picked the mouse up to throw it outside. I should have picked it up by the tail, yes, but I didn’t think that part through, and instead grabbed his body, and guess what? That friggin’ little mouse BIT me! My first thought was RABIES! and then my weakened immune system, and OMG, the places my brain went from there… yikes. I quickly got on the Internet and found out how to treat mouse bites. Apparently, there is no known case of a human contracting rabies from a mouse EVER, and even the hantavirus is extremely rare. I cleaned the bite well, and now we’re hoping I’m not the first known case of a human contracting rabies from a mouse EVER.

    Also, I read all that stuff on Wikipedia, so I know it’s gotta be true.
  • I think it’s cool when people make non-food things out of food. Those fondant cakes that look like purses? Awesome. The mashed potatoes made into Taj Mahal? Well, kinda weird, but mashed potatoes are still mashed potatoes. Yummy Taj Mahal! Anyway, I also like cute little goodies, and I’ve been a fan of fun Halloween treats ever since my mother-in-law made candy sushi for one of our parties a few years back. I had fun with this candy corn cheesecake dessert last year. Here are a couple things I ran across today that I just have to share (click the photo to go to the how-to for each item):

punkinWhat’s cool about this one is the surprise inside…





This isn’t a Halloween thing, but I think it kinda rocks

  • Have I mentioned lately how much unnecessary capitalization and inappropriately-used apostrophes make me want to kill people? The other day I texted Val “your welcome,” knowing she would get that the lack of apostrophe was intentional, and it physically hurt me to tap “send.” Ouchie. Anyway, my point is that gross misuse of punctuation should be a felony. Pretty sure. And I should get to decide the punishment. (Hint: it’ll always, always, always be DEATH.)
  • The mouse thing happened last night during Community, so I missed several minutes of it and then the rest of the episode made no sense. I hate that. We couldn’t pause the show because we still haven’t replaced our TiVo that died. Grrr, us. Victor and I got to talking about the convenience of Hulu and then got to thinking… what if we cancelled cable TV and watched TV online only? It’d save us a ton of $$, and just about everything is online these days. Down sides? Help us decide, please.
  • I think we’ll try to go to the pumpkin patch this weekend. The weather’s supposed to be crappy and even though it’s been nice all this week, I like to wait until there’s mud up to our knees so we can get it all over the inside of our cars. Mm-hm. This is the jack-o-lantern The Boy wants to do this year, which I absolutely love:


  • You know what I’ve hardly even thought about this year? Our annual Christmas CD. I need to get working on that thing. I think I chose most of the songs last year, but I need to make sure I can get my hands on all of them, and then I need to slowly go insane while I plan the sequence and design and list of recipients. Why do I do this to myself? WHY??? Oh, yes… it’s because some of you love our Christmas CD. I can’t disappoint you three peoples.
  • The Tom Jones thing on 30 Rock last night made me LMAO. The perm! “The bus, I mean hotel room.” Love that show.

Wow, the day’s halfway over. When ya sleep until 10 a.m., that happens pretty fast. Go me!

Oct. 19: Love letter to the world

This love letter to the world is a free PDF download from Your Courageous Life. It’s a bit idealistic, but I kinda love it anyway. When I imagine my best self, I like the idea of it including the patience to walk in someone else’s shoes. (Or steal them, if they’re really cute.)

Freebie Alert : Printable Love Letter to the World Art Print

Oct. 18: Daybook


Outside my window... it was a sunny, bright, beautiful fall day. Fabulous.

This weekend, I… finished up the Jogathon packets, and not a whole lotta much else. I need to get a new life—one in which I have time to read and watch TV and do things just for Jen. I vaguely remember enjoying a life like that.

I am thinking... that tomorrow would be a good day to take off. Don’t call, please. I won’t answer.

I am thankful... that I have friends who make me laugh. You should’ve seen Sunshine acting as my armed guard going into the bank today. She was so bad-ass, I half-expected her to grab the teller’s bangs and punch her in the face.

I am working on... re-claiming my life. How did it disappear without me noticing?

I am going... to cry. Just look the other way.

I am reading... “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” or I was, until Fancy Lori™ suggested that maybe I shouldn’t. Sunshine’s also reading it, and she agreed that it might not be the best thing for me right now (cancer story, dog dying, etc.) so I’m going to put it away until it’s a better time.

I am hoping... that our beagle Scout’s got a little more time with us. The call from the vet today, with the test results from the mass they removed from her mouth last week, made me sad. Girl’s gettin’ some extra loves and people food these days.

I am hearing... Pandora show tunes radio. Love.

Around the house... the summer clothes are getting packed away and winter clothes are coming out. As much as I love cuddly clothes, this is my least favorite time of year for just about every other reason. Last year Sherilee tried to convince me fall was awesome, but I think all it really did was make her question her own love of the season. Nice try, though.

One of my favorite things... was seeing several kids in their Jogathon T-shirts today. That means they love them, right? After all our efforts, it’s nice to see them show up outside of the actual Jogathon.

Plans for the rest of the week: doctor appointment Wednesday, meeting in the evening, volunteer training sessions on Thursday, maybe some for-pay work if I can squeeze it in... I’m most looking forward to tomorrow, though, during which I plan to do not very many things at all. Remember? You’re not supposed to call.

Here’s an image I want to share:

Here I am at Friday Morning Meeting with some o’ my fab girls!
(Me), Dina, Jenn K, Shelby, and Wendy

“We'll be fine, thank you! See ya! Hope you don't get gonorrhea!”

Want to blog your own Daybook? Here’s the info: The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

Oct. 16: Hey hey!

When I say I “missed” yesterday’s post, it wasn’t like I meant to write it and didn’t. I had no intention of posting yesterday—usually my IDCEAYWTPFriday post—because I was way, way, way too busy with other things. The cool thing is that this morning I found a good image to use for a Saturday post—not as good as Ponch, of course, but it’ll work:

…so now, if I don’t get around to posting IDCEAYWTPFriday, whatev.

  • The biggest news of this week is that the school’s Jogathon is OVER. What a relief! The kids had a blast, or so it seemed, and we had tons of great help. Only one meanie mom that I heard about. Only one injury. Good weather. Fun music. Awesome donations. Lots of whining “my side hurts!” (that was my daughter) and beet-red faces going back to class. Li’l bit o’ dancing. A new FMM routine: “I pledge allegiance, to Sunshine, who is standing in front of the flag at Friday Morning Meeting so the kids can’t pledge allegiance to the thing they’re supposed to pledge allegiance to…”
  • Oh, here’s a thing. During the Pledge of Allegiance Sunshine, Jenn K proudly recited it (quietly) in French. Afterward she whispered, “I can say the pledge in French!” and at first Dina and I were all, WOW! and then we decided that’s just weird because what’s the point and now I even kinda think Jenn K might be a terrorist. A French one.
  • My mom is visiting for a few days, so Gilly and Oliver finally got to meet this week. At first Oliver was freaked out by big, friendly, eager-to-play Gilly, but he gradually warmed up to him and now they won’t leave each other alone. It’s all-growling-all-rolling-all-biting-all-chasing-all-the-time. Very cute, unless they somehow get on top of you in their rollicking, and then it’s more than a little bit painful. Gilly’s heavy, and Oliver’s got lots of sharp places.
  • Our sweet beagle Scout had surgery this week to remove a growth from her mouth. She came through it just fine, thank goodness. It’s so hard to watch her get older; she’s always been so puppy-ish and in the last couple years she’s kinda turned into Nana—the still-nice version of Nana. Also, veterinarians are OMG expensive. OMG.
  • I missed almost every one of my favorite TV shows this week because I was busy or sleeping or doing something else (dur).  Between TiVo and onDemand, I’ll be catching up this weekend. NO SPOILERS, please!

Gotta get busy counting all that Jogathon money. A PTO treasurer’s fun never ends.

Oct. 13: Chemo #16

Yesterday was my first chemotherapy treatment with my port. It’s weird that I was really excited about it, huh? My nurses were proud of me for getting it—they had been encouraging me to ask for one for the last several sessions, after having so much trouble getting a good vein in my hand—and got me hooked up right away. It was easier and faster than it’s ever been. LOVE!

My friend Sheila R was my chemo buddy. She’s an experienced one, as she’s accompanied another friend to chemo before. It makes me wonder a little bit if Sheila’s the cause of all this cancer. Hmmm… Sheila was actually my first friend who ever asked if she could come with me, but it took about ten months for us to work it out. We stopped for trashy magazines on the way to the doctors’ office, so we were all set with plenty of stuff to giggle about for the day—a must for chemo.

About an hour after we got there, Kim F’n surprised us with a visit. She hung out long enough to give Victor an awkward hug, steal a small piece of orange chicken, and fondle my port site. I love that girl. Everything’s better with Kim F’n involved, I tell ya what.

Although I felt extra-sleepy after lunch and the IV Benadryl, I stayed awake even though Sheila gave me permission to fall asleep and drool all down the front of myself. She’s a very kind and considerate chemo buddy, though I’m suspicious that she just wanted to steal the Cosmo from my lap. It would have probably been impossible to sleep, though, because the infusion room was more crowded and noisy than I’ve ever seen it. Apparently it was the place to be yesterday. Who knew?

Muchas smoochas to Sheila for making the long trek from home and back to be with me. We had a fun visit, not just at chemo, but before and after too. Dinner with our friend Jay last night was Agave Grill icing on the chemo cake.

Oct. 8: I read it: Ape House

apehouse During one of my very brief waking hours last night/this morning, I finally finished Ape House, by Sara Gruen. Before I tell you what I thought of the book, I have to pat myself on the back a little, because:

  • I hate monkeys and apes and whatever else is way too human-like to throw its poo.

That’s not why I’m patting myself on the back, though; I know my monkey hatred makes me kind of a jackass. I’m patting myself on the back because in spite of the fact that I do not like monkeys—and that I think chimpanzees are the worst—I have done these two monkey-related things BY CHOICE in the past month:

  • I read Ape House. It’s about bonobo apes, which are similar to chimps.
  • I use MailChimp as the mailing list service for our PTO news, and there are chimps on every single FA-REEKING page of that site.

I know, right? I’m growing up and gittin’ all mature ‘n stuff. (I’m not, really. I still do not like monkeys or monkey types.)

OK, so the premise of Ape House is a little bit sad and also kind of amusing: six bonobo apes escape a language lab after an explosion and suddenly appear on a 24-hour reality TV show in which people all over the world get to watch them function on their own. The book primarily centers around the people who sincerely care about getting the apes back to a safe place.

Major characters are well-developed; some minor characters are not, or they start to be and then pretty much disappear. I love that the apes’ personalities are described so thoroughly. One timely topic was the demise of printed newspapers, and as one of the main characters was a writer, it was significant. There were things that happened along the way that I kept waiting to be tied in to the overall plot, and some never were—it almost seemed like an editor said “It’s been more than 30 pages since something blew up or a scary person came to that character’s door. Fix it.” That part was strange, but otherwise the book was totally readable. One thing obvious is Sara Gruen’s love for animals, and that makes me think she’s all kinds of awesome.

I refuse to read books (or watch movies) in which I know an animal dies. SPOILER ALERT: no apes die in this story. Whew. There is a fish homicide though. Ye be warned.

Ape House wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but I think it takes a special writer to make someone like me actually care what happened to these apes in the end. Or maybe I cared because the story wasn’t published as a picture book. That would’ve grossed me out big-time.

I liked Water for Elephants—Sara Gruen’s third novel and a bestseller—very much; it was a fascinating story about the circus. As soon as I finished reading it, I got her two earlier novels (Riding Lessons and Flying Changes), and they were alright—not my favorite books ever, but they were about horses and I know very little about horses, so I didn’t enjoy them as much as I might have otherwise. After reading all four of Sara Gruen’s published novels, I think Water is still my favorite.

Oct. 8: Post-surgery update

My port placement surgery yesterday was uneventful—the best kind. I’m home now.

Although my dear friend Margaret wasn’t my surgery nurse this time, she assured me beforehand that the nurse I had was a good one. I also had a nice surprise when I got to the operating room, when I saw a former coworker (and Oliver’s first human momma!) was working. She held my hand until the anesthesia kicked in. I tell ya, if you want to feel pampered and cared for, have surgery in a hospital where you know lots of people. It makes the whole experience much nicer. That is, until you throw up all over them; then it’s just embarrassing.

(I would assume.) For the record, I threw up on NO ONE at the hospital. I waited until I got home.

The last thing I remember in the OR was skooching over to the operating table. The next thing I knew, my surgical team woke me and I was in post-op. I asked them if I could live-Twitter my surgery. Someone chuckled and said my surgery was over, and I turned to the surgeon and asked if he was going to live-Twitter my surgery. I don’t know why this Twittering idea came into my head at the very moment I came out of the anesthesia, but I cannot possibly express how embarrassed I was when I remembered it later. I’m not only one of those goofy idiots who can’t shut up under anesthesia; I also revealed to all of them that I’m a total nerd. Gah.

My short stay nurse later told me that I was in the operating room for 13 minutes—super-speedy surgery, huh? I had propofol as my anesthesia. That is some amazing stuff—it’s really quite easy to come out of it; never mind that it makes people (me) say dorky computer geek things. Once I was in my short stay room, I was given graham crackers and ice water. It was about 11 a.m. by then, so it had been more than 12 hours since I’d eaten and I was starving. I texted Victor that I needed coffee and he brought a big cup to me right away. I took one sip and knew I wasn’t going to keep those crackers down.

For the next three hours I fought off a tremendous headache and nausea. The headache was hunger-related and sinus-y (I wasn’t allowed to use my nasal spray that morning, as I usually do when I wake up all stuffy), which in turn was causing the nausea. Contributing to the headache was my blood pressure, which was higher than usual because I was told not to take my dyazide that morning. I hadn’t been able to have caffeine that morning either, of course, so that had something to do with my headache too. It was kind of a vicious circle, though: I needed to get something in my stomach to help with the hunger headache, but I was nauseous so it was hard to keep food down, which was stressing me out and making my blood pressure go even higher, which was making my headache worse, which was making me more nauseous, so I was given Vicodin for the headache but I didn’t have enough food in my stomach so it made me more nauseous. (Have you read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? That’s the icky version of that story.)

Besides spending a lot more time in short stay than we’d thought I would, most everything went well. It wasn’t until I got home that I kinda fell apart. I took one bite of real food (pasta) and was suddenly very glad I’d nabbed that emesis bag as I left my hospital room. I spent the rest of the evening eating saltines and water between long, drug-addled dreams.

During the night I woke up and discovered that the numbness around my incision had worn off and I was feeling every movement in that area. Ouchie! I threw back a couple Vicodin and slept a good eight hours. I was able to keep breakfast down this morning, thanks to Zofran, and slept another several hours. I’m not getting anything accomplished today, but it sure is nice to get some long overdue rest.

In fact, I’m about ready for another nap. It’s bad that I’m enjoying this so much, isn’t it? Meh.

Oct. 6: My new part is a port

My port placement surgery that was originally scheduled for tomorrow afternoon was moved to tomorrow morning instead. This is mostly a good thing—I like the idea of getting it over with earlier in the day, not having to go as many hours (awake) without coffee, and getting home before evening. The disadvantage is that I have to check in at the hospital before the kids have to leave for school, Victor won’t be off work until long after I’m ready to leave (probably), and the things I planned to do in the morning are going to have to wait.

However, I’m so glad I’ll have this port for next Tuesday’s chemo, I don’t mind so much that the schedule got all farked up. Look at me, bein’ all flexible and not worked up over something out of my control! I’m like a new woman! Or maybe I’m not the same woman at all! Maybe I’m a totally different person, just faking my way around here as Jen. Hmmm…

The surgeon gave me all the details about the surgery, and it sounds relatively simple. I’ll be put in “conscious sedation,” so I won’t remember anything during the surgery itself, but will wake up pretty easily. After some time in the recovery room, they’ll put me in short stay until they feel I’m ready to leave. The risks are small; there’s a very small chance he could poke my lung, which would necessitate several days in the hospital. That’d be a darn shame, huh, having an excuse to sleep and not much else for a few days? Yeah, I sure hope THAT doesn’t happen.

If for any reason I have to be sedated for a long period of time, which one of you is going to pluck my chin hairs? I’m thinking I could rely on Sunshine or Kim F’n for that. I can, right, girls? You wouldn’t let me grow a beard in the hospital, would you? Forget the deflated lung and sepsis and staph infection. UNWANTED FACIAL HAIR DOESN’T JUST FALL OUT ON ITS OWN.

Until I feel like blogging again, remember that I love you best. Yes, YOU.

Oct. 5: Dirty deeds

You might have heard me say this before: one of the funniest things in the world to me is that my friend April once hit a girl. If you know April, you might not even believe it because April is, like, one of the nicest, gentlest girls EVER. But in this situation (crowded club, lots of shoving, one particularly shove-y mean girl pushing April to her limit), I have finally come to believe that it really did happen.

So, imagine my delight when I recently heard a story about a peace-loving friend of mine in a similarly unbelievable situation. I absolutely cannot stop thinking about this story, and that means it’s time to blog about it.

My friend—let’s call her “Snooki”—told me about getting in a fight with another girl in high school. It was over a boy, of course, and happened while this boy couldn’t decide which of the two girls he liked better. Snooki says she ran into the girl outside a store and they did a little bit of shoving each other against cars. My favorite part of the story is when Snooki grabbed the other girl by her bangs and started pounding her in the face.

To me, this says so much. First, it says that Snooki was pretty clever; she wasn’t going to hold the girl by her shirt or ponytail—that’s for amateurs. I kinda love that it says Snooki and her friends were of the big-bangs generation (like me) and shows us girls just one more reason that hairstyle was such a bad choice. It says that Snooki is more Jersey Shore than I ever realized, and for a time, maybe a bit of a train wreck. And it says that my dear, sweet, smiley friend Snooki has a dark side. A very dark side.

I’ve had nightmares ever since I heard about this. Scary ones! I need to be comforted and held. (But not by the bangs, thanks.)

April, you’ve got some competition for “most shocking things my friends ever did.” Get busy bein’ bad-ass, mmkay?

Oct. 4: Daybook


Outside my window... the sky is blue and bright with just a few clouds. Very pretty right now, especially with the trees changing color all around. I mean, if fall has to happen, it’s not so bad when the sun is shining. There are maple trees all along the streets in our neighborhood, and they all seem to be just a bit different variety, so they change colors at different times. It makes it quite beautiful.

This weekend, I… spent too much time on PTO things. Saturday night we went to Five Guys for dinner. I had never been there before. Except for the weird cheese they use on their burgers, I thought they were pretty good. The fries were so-so. I spent a lot of yesterday reading a book, in between PTO projects.

I am thinking... that this week will be busy and fun. Bun. Or fizzy. I like “fizzy.” Even though it should probably be spelled “fusy.” Which reminds me of a name I saw on a class roster at school that was spelled something like Yclqapdemrtz, and the teacher had written in parentheses, “(pronounced ‘Heidi.’)” People these days. Somebody should let me kill people for naming their kids shit like that.

I am thankful... that I am my husband’s only wife. I watched the first episode of Sister Wives yesterday and OMG, that lifestyle is odd. It appears to be nothing but a big ol’ ball of fun to these folks; they don’t seem to be following a church doctrine or doing it for Biblical reasons. Maybe more of that will be featured in other episodes. Whatever. I can’t get over the ego on that guy.

I am working on... the T-shirts for the upcoming Jogathon, a flyer for tomorrow, newsletter items, and finishing up the book I started reading yesterday.

I am going... to have surgery on Thursday. I’m getting my port! I check in at 12:30, am supposed to go into surgery at 2:30, and should be home by evening.

I am reading... a book, as well as the magazine I accidentally took from the doctor’s office today. Oops. Heh heh.

I am hoping... that the sore throat I started getting yesterday does NOT turn into a full-blown sickness. I’m suddenly wishing I’d paid more attention to all of Sherilee’s Emergen-C and and Airborne treatments when she’s warded off these things, because they always seem to work for her.

I am hearing... a lot of peace and quiet. It’s lovely. Katie and Jack are spending the night at Grandpa and Grandma’s, and Vic just left with Jack for football practice. I’m going to read for a while.

Around the house... I’ve got some cleaning to do. Sheila R is coming for a visit next week. Sheila, if I meet you at the front door with a hotel room key, it’s because I never got around to the cleaning. And please let me come with you.

One of my favorite things... is when I order regular fries at Burgerville but find a few sweet potato fries mixed in. BONUS. Those things are yum-mee.

Plans for the rest of the week: school, school, and more school. School district meeting tomorrow night. Wednesday is Donuts with Dad at the school—I love this event! Surgery Thursday. Victor’s going to a family wedding in California on Friday, and Mother Mary is coming for a few days starting Saturday.

Here’s an image I want to share:

This is the kind of polygamy for me. And no, I don’t care if they’re all gay. 

One more thing: I went topless today! It was my first time going out in public without a hat or scarf in almost ten months. It felt weird, but in a good way; I loved feeling the wind on my head but I also felt a little naked. Pretty sure I can get used to it, though. smiley_face

“We'll be fine, thank you! See ya! Hope you don't get gonorrhea!”

Want to blog your own Daybook? Here’s the info: The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

Oct. 1: 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.

  • I’ve had a killer migraine since I woke up yesterday. It got worse throughout the day and hit its peak when I threw up all over the toilet seat. I have terrible vomit aim. Victor reminds me of this whenever I’m sick, which is kinda irritating, but he’s right as right can be.
  • Val and I both have headaches right now. Normally something this sync-y would make us awesome, but this does not.
  • The Jogathon fundraiser at the school has officially been kicked off. Today a bunch of us made absolute idiots of ourselves at Friday Morning Meeting. It was a blast, getting the kids excited and telling everyone about how it’ll go. Long after our display of foolishness, I found confetti in my ear—that means we had a good time, right?
  • Yesterday Stephanie came to me with news that would make any mother proud: Jack can, and does, lick his armpit.
  • I have an appointment on Monday afternoon with a surgeon to consult about getting my port implanted or inserted or injected or infuriated or whatever the procedure is called. I’m still waiting for my oncologist to say I don’t need a port—I fully expect it and THAT. WILL. PISS. ME. OFF. Don’t get me started. Anyway, the surgeon is the same one who did my surgery last year. I’m glad to not have to get familiar with yet another doctor.
  • I kinda love these:


  • I missed two very important birthdays yesterday by not checking in at Facebook. For Hawaii Laura and Margaret, I hope your birthdays were one of your best ever! Sorry for the delinquency. Please don’t be mad at me. I have cancer.
  • Happy birthday wishes for today go out to my way-cool brother-in-law, Ted, and Sherilee’s pride and joy, Seth.
  • I’m having a hard time thinking of anything else to say. My life is about 150% PTO these days, and I know y’all don’t want to hear about that. I’m so far behind on Facebook and Twitter and my Google feeds that I feel completely uninformed about everything else in life. Also, I’m trying to keep my dinner down, so, I gotta concentrate on that a little too. Sorry for the brief and yawn-worthy update.

“We’ll be fine, thank you! See ya! Hope you don’t get gonorrhea!”


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