October 15, 2005

You know that old expression, "I cursed my fate because I had no shoes and then I met a man who had no feet"? That quite literally happened to me yesterday.

For about two months, I’ve peripherally known a man who is confined to a wheelchair following an accident 18 months ago. I have heard many wonderful stories about this man, about his positive attitude, and about his terrific outlook on life despite the fact that he was paralyzed from the chest down at 37 years old. It’s not that I didn’t believe the stories I heard about him, I just wondered if he was perhaps being put on a pedestal by friends who’d been deeply shaken to see him like this. I had the good fortune to spend several hours with this man yesterday and, as it turns out, the vibe on him was spot on.

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I swear this is not how it looks

October 13, 2005

Since there’s no school tomorrow, the kids will be spending the next couple of days with their grandparents. In anticipation of a lovely (and uninterrupted!) evening with J, I stopped at the grocery store after dropping off the boys. It was a quick trip because I only needed three things. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why the teenage cashier was blushing and the bagger was trying not to laugh.

On the way home I did a quick mental rundown of what I’d bought in case I’d forgotten anything:

  • Wine
  • Steak
  • Cool Whip

Oh. Now I see.

The Cool Whip is for the strawberry smoothies I like to make. Honest. You pervs.

I came, they sawed, nothing conquered

October 13, 2005

After two months of having my right hand in a cast and getting very inventive while trying to live a normal life, I went to the doctor yesterday to see how things were progressing. First of all, I love that saw thing they use to get the cast off. I’ve seen hundreds of casts removed in my lifetime, had three taken off of my own limbs over the years and yet I’m still convinced the blade will work loose and sever an artery faster than you can say "oops." After the requisite jokes from the tech ("I haven’t cut anyone’s fingers off…this week!") and my polite chuckle ("Hee, hee…good one!"…Doofus, now get this goddamn thing off me), he removed the cast. We all waited breathlessly (have you ever smelled a four week old cast?) for the x-ray results because they knew I’d have a mental breakdown if they had to re-cast it for a third time. I saw the tech carefully hiding all the sharp objects in the room while we waited.

The good news: no more cast.

The bad news: no more movement in my wrist and thumb.

It seems that some sort of arthritis has chosen right now to flare up and harass my immobilized joints so everything has pretty much frozen in place. The doctor says that if we leave the hand out of the cast I should regain full movement in my thumb and wrist with physical therapy. The broken bone hasn’t quite healed however so I’m in a hard immobilizer that I can only remove to do my hand exercises or bathe (or do hand exercises while bathing?). Well, crap, huh?

Actually, it’s no big deal. At least I can reach my itches when I have to scratch. I can wash my hair with two hands. It won’t smell. So far, my biggest issue has been that I forget my wrist is no longer encased the way it used to be. The new splint is made of metal, nylon and Velcro so it has a bit more give to it than the hard cast I’ve gotten used to. Now I have to remember not to use my wrist as a hotpad when taking things out of the microwave and that clunking my arm down the table with reckless abandon will result in extreme pain. I learned that last one the hard way.

Want some pizza? I’ve got a little extra

October 13, 2005

This post won’t make much sense unless you read the one below it so if you need to catch up go ahead, I’ll wait.

So, I fire off this letter to the corporate office of the pizza place and sit down to eat with the kids. About ten minutes later, a delivery man shows up with piping hot pizzas that obviously just been made. I (nicely) asked the driver if he knew what had taken so long and he apologized profusely, saying that my order had never made the original lineup and by the time it finally did, someone else had taken my hot wings so there had been a further delay to wait for those. We had a nice chat in which I explained that I completely understood that the restaurant had dropped the ball, not him, so I was not angry with him.

I noticed a cell phone on his belt so I asked if it was on. He looked at me like I’d asked him to father my children and then said it was, in fact, turned on. I said, "Oh, that’s odd. When I called and spoke to the restaurant they told me you weren’t answering your cell phone and had simply disappeared for the last two hours." The driver was nearly apoplectic. Interestingly (in between expletives), he also asked me if the person I’d spoken with was named Caitlyn. I told him it was. How about that? It seems Caitlyn isn’t very well liked by many people. Imagine that. He refused to allow me to sign the debit card slip (not realizing it had already been reimbursed anyway) but did let me tip him generously for his time.

If you think this story ends there, you’d be wrong.

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Don’t cross me when it comes to pizza

October 12, 2005

If you been reading here for a while you know that weird things happen when I order pizzas and tonight was no different. I had a really unpleasant experience this evening but at least it will give me the opportunity to prove that I’m only a bitch when the situation warrants it. My children’s school had a fundraiser tonight in conjunction with a local pizza place that is part of a nationwide chain. My attempt at participating in this fundraiser was such a train wreck I was inspired to write the following letter to the company via their website:

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This is how I know life can be unfair

October 12, 2005

All right. Now look here. When the first iPod came out, I tried selling my retinas on eBay to get the money to buy one (no takers, have you actually ever seen a disembodied retina?). Then along came the iPod Shuffle, the Mini and then the Nano, each causing me increasing physical pain that I did not own one. Since I have no rich relatives hovering on the brink of death who might be thinking of bequeathing me $299 + tax, I decided to look at reasonable alternatives.

That’s when I fell in love with Creative’s Zen Micro. I won’t even link to it because it is such an incredible electronic device that everyone of you will rush right out to buy one, leaving none for me. Thank god I’m having no more children or the poor kid’s name would be Zen (because Micro would be, you know, stupid). I dream of the Zen Micro. I call it’s name in my sleep. I doodle in the margins of my notepaper:

Zen Micro

I’ve found peace in my life since dropping my years-long obsession with having an iPod. I’ve enjoyed having a new object d’amour to pine for. I don’t feel the slightest bit fickle in dropping the Shuffle for the new hot, sexy toy in town.

And then karma (or, more specifically those bastards at Apple) bit me in the butt.

I. Want. One.


Would you do it for a cookie?

October 10, 2005

Who wants to help me out? I am sizzling with excitement over some excellent work-related news I’ve received in the last few days but, as a result, I have some major work to do in a very short period of time. Since I don’t want to leave my readers stranded, I’d like to have a few guest bloggers pop in over the next few days. If you’re interested, zip me an email. What’s in it for you? My unending gratitude. And a cookie.

UPDATE: I’ll still be writing here this week as well, just not as often. As for the breaking news on the work front, I’ll tell you all about it once all the details are worked out.

Ah-ah-ah-choo….never mind

October 8, 2005

You need to stay at least six feet from your monitor as you read this. I’ve been sneezing, had a sore throat and was kind of achy so I probably have the Avian Flu. I really tried to be chipper today but ten minutes in the company of customer service people who are paid to be perky but are transparent as glass made me want to upchuck on their Reeboks.

My bank, part of a huge nationwide chain, apparently pays their employees according to how many times they say "thank you."

"Thank you for stopping by today!" Um, do you know of another way for me to make a deposit? Carrier pigeon, perhaps?

"Thank you for filling out the deposit slip ahead of time!" Yes, well, I’m anal that way. I also have my mortgage checks prewritten and stamped for the next thirteen years. Are you impressed by that too?

"Thank you for using Bank of Interminable Happiness today! You have a wonderful day!" I feel like crap so why don’t you shut your face?

Next, I ran headlong into the nearby grocery store where their employees can always be counted on to be somewhere between half-asleep and totally comatose. But, oh nooooo, not today. Today the cashier felt compelled to comment on every single item as she rang them up.

"Oh! Italian bread! This is really good." Wonderful. Take it. I’ll buy it for you, just stop yapping.

"Wow! Three boys, huh? Are they all yours?" No, the youngest is actually a girl, the other two I grabbed from the back bed of a pickup truck as it drove through the parking lot because I’m lonely.

"This is a huge bottle of cold medicine!" Yes, it is. I plan on using it to drink myself into a stupor before this conversation is over.

Before I could pay for my purchases, I had such a sneezing fit I nearly herniated a disc. Finally, finally, the cashier caught on that I wasn’t feeling so swell. I resisted the urge to swipe my hand across my nose before handing her my debit card.

The good news, however, is that after a couple cans of chicken soup and the unexpected sale this afternoon of one of my articles for a most definitely unexpected sum of money, I am feeling quite in the pink. But just to be on the safe side, I’ll avoid the bank and the grocery store for a few days.

I’m a Halloweenie

October 8, 2005

Joy has a post up about her friend Jenna’s rather, uh, elaborate Halloween decorations and you’ve got to see the accompanying pictures. (The last one has nothing to do with Halloween but it’s just so freakish that I was momentarily frightened.) Anyway, photos like this cause me great consternation because I am so wholly uninterested in holiday decorating that the mere thought bores me into a coma. Now that the kids are getting older, though, there’s no escaping my decorating obligation.

I’ve been putting off purchasing Halloween paraphernalia for as long as possible, trying to give the kids the excuse that everything will be greatly discounted on November 1st. They aren’t buying the home economics lesson one bit. You see, I just hate the thought of shelling out $100 on fake witches and jointed paper skeletons when the money could be far better spent on useful things like this Tootsie in blue Rolls. Luck was on my side today, however, because I happened upon a yard sale filled with none other than fake witches and jointed paper skeletons. I walked off with a trunkload of Halloween decorations for $10 and I am a happy gal.

I’m still not interested in actually putting up the decorations but at least there’s a few more bucks in my, er, Tootsie Roll fund now.

Lesson learned

October 8, 2005

In what I can only surmise is a strange show of unity among siblings, another one of my children has decided to cut his own hair when I wasn’t looking. This time it was my seven year old, the one you’d think would know better.

I’d given him some scissors this morning to cut dinosaur parts out of a workbook so he could create his own Jurassic Park. After assembling his Pterodactyl, Triceratops and…and…whatever those other ones are called, he turned the scissors on himself and gave himself a reverse mohawk that would have done Sid Vicious proud. Here’s where the protective parent in me collides with the one that needs to "do the right thing."

My first response was to spend time later today reshaping what’s left of his hair into something a little less frightening. J, however, thinks Son One should suffer the consequences of his actions and that I should send him to school with his new ‘do. J is absolutely right in suggesting that the response of my son’s classmates will prove far more effective than any punishment I could dole out. After enduring a day or two of teasing from his friends, it’s unlikely my kid will ever touch those scissors again.

The Mother Bear in me, however, can’t stand the thought of sending my child to school where I know he’ll be taunted and made fun of. I’m sure he won’t be permanently scarred from it but it’s hard, nevertheless. I know there comes a point when we have to let children learn from their mistakes the hard way. I just wish that point wasn’t, um, now.


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