Thursday, September 29, 2005

Good Deeds

Who hasn't heard the phrase, "No good deed goes unpunished"? I've had frustrating experiences while trying to do something good, and no doubt you have, too. The thing is, it's still worth it to try.

The American Red Cross can seem an unruly uber-organization, and when they wield their uber-organizational, systematic policy whoosits with individuals, it can make a person feel tiny and unimportant when they tangle with Uber and want to do something silly like donate blood. But you know what? The Red Cross is a big-ass organization, and so they do have some red tape and other problems that are inherent to that size of operation. But, they do a lot of good in the end.

(Tee hee, I just said "ass" and "end"! Yes, now you know, I'm 12 years old...)

I have little veins, and medical personnel routinely have trouble getting a good one. Also? I'm a fainter. This special combination makes it difficult for me to give blood. Now folks, I have created and then passed a brand new human being out of my vagina during which there was much tearing and blood and stitches, all of which I was awake for and watching and feeling. For the love of criminey, you would think that giving a little blood would be a piece of cake compared to that. But it isn't, and except for the 4th degree lacerations, I pretty much feel the same way after giving blood that I did after giving birth. At best I feel woozy; At worst, I get a terrible headache, nausea and feel weak and fainty for the rest of the day.

The last time I donated blood, they had filled the pint and were moving on to fill the five small viles that are used to perform tests on the donor's blood before the sample is accepted. The tube malfunctioned. It got blocked somehow and they had to toss the entire sample that was collected and send me on my way. I was devastated, because at the time, my father was in the hospital with leukemia. I felt like I had failed. I was SO MAD at the Red Cross for not doing more, for not going against their policy and using the other arm, or a leg, and getting my damn blood. But, it was just my emotions. My blood was not specifically for my dad, and my blood, even if it had been the same type, wouldn't have saved him anyway. My friend was with me, and she was going to donate blood but couldn't due to low levels of something or other. We were both depressed and went to Burgerville for lunch, where we proceeded to spend over $10! At a fast food place! Each! (I had to have those walla walla sweet onion rings to go with my burger, and a drink, and a milkshake...)

There was another time I saw a sign for a blood drive at a church, and I went after work. They turned me away because I didn't have an appointment. I was indignant! How could they turn people away? If I had known I needed to sign up, I would have. I left feeling dejected and appalled they would turn away a willing donor. But, these are people who have families to get home to, and as much good as it would do, can't stay there all night to receive endless number of walk-ins. I understand that.

I encourage each person to give blood if you can. When your loved one is in the hospital, you don't want them to have to wait for some critical fluids, whether it's blood or plasma or something else. A crisis is no time to worry about short supplies of critical resources.

I won't let my bad experience stop me from going back to give blood again. Don't let your bad experiences stop you, either.

Little-Veined-Fainters of the world, unite!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

New Things

I've updated my template to include links for shopping. I hope you enjoy it. I try to highlight local businesses if at all possible. Of course, in internetland, "local" is highly subjective. Luckily, the internet also makes interstate commerce a breeze! Peruse the goods and click away, my friends.

I would like to direct your attention to Petunia, for all your dog collar needs. These are high quality, stylish collars made right here in Portland, Oregon. I don't have a dog, but if I did, she'd be sportin' a Petunia collar!

Bested by a Four-Year Old

Last night was bath night. I drew the bathwater, which was a little hot. I told OC that I would run some cold water, and that she could get in after it ran for several seconds. If she sat by the faucet it would be mixed together and be a comfortable temperature in no time.

She got in the tub, but stood in the hotter area, and said it was too hot. I said, again, that she should go sit by the faucet, like I said earlier. She did, where she found it to be comfortable. So then I said, a little smugly, "See? Sometimes mommy knows what she's talking about!"

Without missing a beat my darling said to me, "And sometimes she doesn't."

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, mama! Oy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Do Birds Pee?

Have you ever been walking down the sidewalk and felt tiny sprinkles on your arm, and wondered what that could be since it wasn't raining and there was no discernable water source, and then you thought that maybe a bird was peeing, high up above you?

No? It's just me? Allrighty then.

I had two funny things that OC said to share, but now I can only remember one. We were on the bus this morning, and she asked me if our stop was coming up. I said it was soon, and that I'd tell her when it was going to be so she could pull the cord that signals you want the next stop. She loves to pull the cord, so much that she is visibly disappointed when some unfeeling grownup pulls it before she gets a chance.

Me: Our stop is next.

OC: I know, because of that thing (points to a sidewalk sculpture). That is not good art.

And you know what? She was right! It's an ugly sculpture.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Happy Happy Happy

I realize the tone of my recent posts have been somewhat.....oh, I don't know, negative. They sound whiney or unhappy, or something. They are definitely of the not-fun-to-read variety. I am not an unhappy person, just filled to the brim with excessive worry about everything. Geez! Give me a break.

In an effort to stem the tide of negativeness and worry, I offer something happy: Food. A recipe, actually. Food is a happy thing, so enjoy the happy post about food.

We ate a yummy dinner last night. It was rigatoni with this meaty tomato sauce that was spiced to perfection with melted mozzarella on top. Very comforting. It made me happy. Yes! I was momentarily relaxed an happy last night; alert the fates! I tease, I keed.

Rigatoni Dinner
Brown one pound of ground beef in a skillet. Chop one medium-to-small onion and three cloves garlic and add to meat. Saute for one minute. Add two cans of stewed, Italian-seasoned tomatoes. Add 1 or 2 tsp. (depending on your liking) of basil, thyme, marjoram, cilantro, parsley, salt, pepper, and three tbsp. butter. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Cook rigatoni according to package directions. Drain pasta. Layer a dinner plate with some pasta, tomato sauce, and top with shredded mozzarella.

Happiness, on a plate!

What is Wrong With Me

The funeral was very personal, very Ralph. Many people came, and there was time set aside for people to share their personal stories, which was uplifting and sweet. It's hard to lose somebody. So much is lost when a person dies. All their knowledge and experience, and a lifetime spent gathering information is suddenly gone. Luckily, Ralph got to share plenty of that hard-won wisdom through mentoring many people in AA, and also with his family. All who knew him greatly benefitted from knowing him, and of being in the midst of his positive attitude.

OC and I enjoyed spending some extra time together, since I was able to take time off for funeral leave. I tried to relax, but it was hard since I am not a relaxed person by nature. I am always busy thinking of the next thing, rather than enjoying what is happening in the present moment. I tried to take advantage of the extra time and let OC choose things to do and to not hurry her along, but I don't think I did a very good job with that. It's just not in me to be easygoing and carefree.

These past few days, I have been thinking, "What the hell is wrong with me?" I have been anxious and fretting over wedding plans, the remodel, moving, and all the details that go along with those things. There is only a short amount of time to take care of everything, to meet with all the people we still need to meet with; to plan, order things and organize ourselves. I wonder how we will get it all done.

Not only do I have anxiety, I have guilt. I keep thinking how there are people suffering greatly, and I should be so lucky to have such "problems" as these. I also keep thinking how I need to keep some perspective, to relax and systematically get things done. I'm trying to enjoy this time, I really am! I know I shouldn't feel guilty, because everyone should be able to enjoy the happy celebrations in life, and they happen whether or not there is a disaster in some part of the world or not. Guilt signifies something is wrong, and I know I'm not doing anything wrong, and therefore should not feel guilty. There is a difference between knowing something intellectually and feeling something. Sometimes the mind and emotions are independent of one another.

The thing about me is, I am great with planning but not so great when it comes time for the actual thing I have spent time planning for. Invariably I end up all out of sorts on a day that does not encompass my usual routine, yet there are days when I can say honestly that I hate my routine. I hate it sometimes, yet crave it and need it in order to feel like there is order, that I am not forgetting anything.

This whole process is really testing the limits of my current medication. Anxiety is back with a vengeance, although at much lower levels than I would be experiencing without any medication. It's entirely manageable, I shouldn't say "vengeance". It's there, lingering, reminding me that it hasn't gone away completely. I need to only think how it can be managed. The perspective comes and goes.

I am breathing, reminding myself to enjoy the moment, remembering that it won't be this way for long, and turn my attention toward accomplishing what most needs to be done in order to relieve anxiety. I know things will be fine, that it will work out. The wedding will be wonderful even if it's not perfect; the remodel will turn out great even if it will be expensive. Soon I will be a new wife, with a new husband, a new bedroom, and a new bathroom to enjoy. Soon I will forget completely about how worried I was during this time.

Or, I won't forget about it because I've written about it here. Oops.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

When I Was Three, It Was a Very Good Year

OC: fwee.

Me: What?

OC: I'm saying what I used to say it when I was little. Fwee.

Me: Oh, three? I get it. Say it again!

OC: Fwee!

Me: are so cute. Now say it like you do now.

OC: Thwee.

Oh my gosh, where's my spoon? I need to eat that kid up now!


I made an error in the previous post. I would like to correct the following:

Grandpa Ralph had 42 years of sobriety, not 32, as I had written. His 42nd anniversary is at the end of this month.

The memorial service yesterday was really nice, despite the fact that OC, OF and I happened to sit next to the Two Most Annoying People Ever to Sit By At a Memorial Service. These two women were awful. The first woman talked in a LOUD voice during the opening music. They talked a little bit about Ralph, but then about their lives in a timbre way above everyone else, which were whispering or talking in hushed voices. Then, while the memorial was happening, the other woman's cell phone rang. Four. Times. She dug in her purse, rattling keys and crinkly papers until the fucking cell phone went to voicemail, and did that jingly voicemail sound. I wanted to smack the two of them.

There were lots of people there, and there was a time for people to tell their personal stories about Ralph. It cannot be said enough: the man touched hundreds of people's lives in a meaningful way. Men, women, children, all were crying their eyes out and talking from their hearts about how Ralph changed their life. One person said that he saved their life. He had that way about him, of listening and understanding, that made you feel like someone cared.

I've learned a lot from him about reaching out, and how to be of service to other people. Of not just feeling care and concern for another, but taking the step to demonstrate it. It doesn't take much, really, to reach out and be there for another person. It's just so easy not to reach out, so easy to just curl up at home into my own life, troubles, and little details. It makes me think about what I was taught about life by having known him. I want to make that contact count and use it in my own life, with my own friends and people I meet.

I'm glad I knew Ralph. He is missed.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Someone Else In My Family Died

That's not a very creative title, but it gets to the point. My grandpa died.

Also known as: Ralph Jensen, Grandpa Ralph, Gunny Jensen, Gunnery Sergeant Jensen, That Guy Who Lived Through War and Alcoholism and Recovery and Five Marriages and Grandkids and Touched Literally Hundreds of People's Lives. He died of a heart attack at age 80 on September 12th.

I miss him. He was smart, funny and wise; he was relaxed and sociable and, wise. This man had lived, I mean really lived. He was 80 years old and a sage, with experience and mistakes enough to know so damn much more than the rest of us.

It's comforting to know he's with his wife now, who died suddenly a few years ago. Ralph was undergoing a multiple-bypass heart surgery, when his wife had an aneurysm in the hospital waiting room and died instantly. When he got out of surgery, he had to be told his wife of 30 + years had died. What a terrible way to wake up! He was devastated. This is the woman he stopped drinking for, after 30 years of hard drinking. This was his 5th wife, the woman who changed him so dramatically, forever. He didn't even get a chance to say goodbye.

What was cool was when he talked about going to Japan to have a service for her there with her family. She was Japanese, they met in Hawaii when he was stationed there as a U.S. Marine. I remember him talking about the memorial ceremony he attended for her in Japan. It was held in a temple, and there was a candle in the front. The priest would speak, the ceremony was lovely, and then the reached a silent moment where everyone prayed. At this moment, with no open windows or breeze of any kind, the candle flickered. Ralph said he believed his wife's spirit visited them at that moment. He said it felt like Harumi was with them, letting them know she saw what they were doing and was reaching out to them. He said he felt very comforted by that. I am glad he experienced that, although I cannot imagine the shock, loneliness and anger that would follow an experience such as that.

He will be missed. I think he knows it, too. While he was in the hospital after the initial heart attack, he was visited by over 200 people. I don't think I know 200 people, much less would take time out of their day to visit my ass.

Two years ago, he had his 30th anniversary with AA. The meeting was held in a church basement, and overflowed with people who showed up to pay tribute to this man who had helped so many of them on a personal level. He was a mentor, a friend, and a confidante. He understood you when you couldn't hold your shit together; He had been there. He could help you by reassuring you that it would get better, but he offered no promises. You had to do it for yourself, but you didn't have to do it alone. That's what Ralph offered: friendship. And love. And acceptance. I would take notes when we talked on the phone, because I could read them again later when I wasn't crying, and reassure myself with what he had said.

He grew up with his mother and a mean step-father in the midwest. He left home at a young age and eventually joined the Marines. He spent a lot of time feeling angry and depressed. He drank a lot. He got married and divorced 4 times. And then he met his AA sponsor, who listened to him, and he began to feel better when he could get all of his feelings out and receive understanding and acceptance from another human being. One day, he quit drinking. He got married for the fifth time and enjoyed a long, loving marriage. Long ago he taught himself to whittle, and carved these long chains out of one piece of wood, and lanterns with a little ball in them. He carved working pliers and all kinds of amazing things. He retired and he and his wife enjoyed their time together. He went fishing a lot, many times with my dad. He laughed a lot and told great stories. He was grateful to be alive and happy to help other people get through their struggles. He was loving and caring and understanding.

He is a testament to human strength through adversity. I don't know what else to say, because I just feel loss. I am grateful to have known him.

Early Morning Quiz

This morning as we were getting ready for work and school, the following conversation unfolded:
OC: Mama, why do cats have such small heads?

Me: (What? I don't get it. Small heads? Where did that come from? Because they're cats, that's why, and that's just the way it is. Oh good grief, how am I going to answer this?) Because...they have small bodies.

OC: Oh.

Me: (I did it! I thought like a four-year old and gave her the answer she needed. I am a good mommy! I feel so confident! Who knew I could do that! Please don't let her have another question today, for I am all out of clever answers...)

Later that morning, as we were walking to catch our bus:

OC: My nose doesn't like the air. It's too fwesh. Why does it do that?

Me: Too fresh? Well, it is colder out now, and the air seems dry. It smells dry. It's almost autumn, the leaves are getting ready to fall off the trees, the gardens are almost done making vegetables. Things are getting ready for winter.

OC: Yeah. It hurts my nose. It's too fwesh.

I don't ever want her to pronounce her r's correctly, it's way too cute. One thing she says constantly is "wight, mama?" I could eat her up with a spoon, what with the cute face and cute sayings. Oh, the cuteness!

Friday, September 16, 2005

That Old Familiar Feeling

For the past two days or so I've experienced feelings I haven't felt for months: self-doubt, fear, and an anxiousness to please those around me to the point of worrying that what I say will make them react angrily. I used to think being criticized and making someone angry were the worst things in the world and so I would strive to avoid them at all costs. When they inevitably did happen, I had no way to cope, and so I would chalk it up to me being a ridiculous, worthless person who couldn't do anything right much less make those around me happy, much less be worthy of love. I was insufferable. Even to myself.

I have made enormous progress in therapy in so many important, ground-breaking ways: I've come into my own as an individual by speaking up for myself without fear that doing so would alienate those that I love; I put more thought into what I say so I can stand by it later on; I have confidence in myself; I now recognize I am just as important as anyone else, and have learned to expect respect from others as I give respect to them. It's not a one-way street where I give and give yet deserve nothing in return. I have gone from constant self-loathing to actually liking myself, and I have never, ever before in my life honestly liked myself. It goes without saying that self-loathing is a pretty difficult feeling to manage. You can't get away from yourself so if you don't like yourself, you're pretty much stuck in hell.

Why are these feelings revisiting me now? It's awful! I worked so hard to overcome this self-destructive thinking so it is scary to have it come back with such force. I don't know if this is stress, or just a normal regression after a dramatic change, or what. I want to believe it's a normal regression to a way of life that I practiced for 31 years, which I'll refer to as the 'old way of living' (read = that self-loathing, people-pleasing doormat I used to be). The new way of living (read = my confident, happy self) has only been in practice for 4 months. Looking at those numbers alone, it would seem to follow that the new way of living hasn't had much of a chance to take hold and completely replace the old way of living, so one could draw from that that this would be normal. I should give it a chance, don't be too hard on myself, let it go, breathe, relax, and be grateful for all that is good. There is a lot of good.

That's the thing: it's easy to be grateful for a feast, but harder to be grateful when you're hungry. In other words, it's hard to see past the hurts and injustices even if there are plenty of good things around you to be grateful for because we so easily notice that which upsets our world. I often let the bad things completely overshadow the good, and that causes me to get melodramatic on everyone's asses, to lose hope, and act tragic. It's completely within my control to stop thinking this way, and turn it around and be grateful.

I'll ask myself the following: What is bothering me? What can I do about it? I realize I am not in control of life, only in how I react. I will work hard to not be so hard on myself, to concentrate on all the good, and then those feelings will slip off of my psyche and leave me alone.

There's NO WAY in hell I will revert to that sad human being who thought so little of herself. I have a daughter to raise, a man to marry, and I simply don't have time for that shit.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


I found this over at The Mommy Blog. It seems the international symbol of marriage has just been approved:

Additionally, I read this on marriage, from the wisdom of Dooce:

Anyone who is married or has ever been married knows that it takes both people to make a marriage work. For instance, one person has to drive the car while the other person hangs out the window with a bat to demolish the neighbors’ mailboxes.

I'm a sucker for a good metaphor.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Anger Ball

I am in a bad mood today. OF and I had an argument last night that we resolved, but has left me feeling disheartened. I will offer no details; Like I said, it is resolved. I don't feel great about the way it all unfolded.

I was late to work this morning; I had an impending deadline; a longass meeting; and then the deadline extended a little in order to give me time to do more work, thank you very much. As much as I dislike feeling this way, I've been grumpy and unable to feel much love for my fellow human beings. I'm not really mad at anyone, I just don't feel like interacting today. And then I read Miss Dating God, who wrote today:

And so for now, it's about: Keep On Trucking.......Exercising. Eating well. Getting plenty of sleep and snuggles. Writing to you guys to keep the flow happening. Continuing to breathe deeply and watch and relax and trust and know that Life is right and that all is as it should be, all is well, Life is good . . .

What the hell is my problem? She's got a lot more shit going on than I, and yet she finds it in herself to have this really generous, loving attitude. I don't want to feel the way I do, so why can't I just let it go and relax already? Because I am a Type A personality and this shit is new for me, that's why.

But I'm trying. Here goes: breathe, relax, let it all go..... Wishing you a peaceful day. Me, I just want to get it the fuck over with. Oh! Look at that, it didn't take.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

This Dream Brought To You By Months of Therapy

I had the best dream last night. It was girl’s weekend, and my friends and I were getting ready to go out to dinner. One girlfriend was drunk. (I don't know why that was part of the dream, but it made it funnier!) My bio dad came by wanting me to spend time with him. He tried to make me feel guilty about it, just like when I was in high school and had things to do on “his” weekends. I felt the old feelings again, and began to want to make him happy for about one second, and then I said to him, “No, I don’t want to spend time with you now. This is girl’s weekend. I have plans, and furthermore, I am an ADULT! I am not obligated to spend time with you. Nor do I have the power to fix you; If you are depressed, that is your problem to solve. I wish you well.”

Or something like that. I stood up to him! I told him how I felt! It was great. I awoke feeling very triumphant. This was entirely representative of my recent personal growth into a full human being; a woman with a strong identity, capable of standing up for herself against the old emotional tricks deleteriously used against her!

My parents divorced when I was four, and mom remarried. That was great, for I got step-sisters and a step-brother and a great step-father! Thank goodness for them. They are my best friends now. How many people can say that about their siblings?

Growing up, I spent every other weekend with my bio dad. He would very often say how depressed he was that he couldn’t see me more, and tell me how I was the only thing that made him happy. Also, I couldn't call my step-dad "dad" in front of my bio dad nor act as though I had a family at home at all, for this made him very sad. This made me feel incredibly guilty, and there was nothing I could do about it because, hello! I was just a kid. I believed what he told me. At the time, I didn’t possess the skills to deal with that kind of mind game, and so didn’t know what to say to him. I would instead shrink inside myself and feel terribly guilty and responsible, feelings which were manufactured by him for me to feel. I spent a lot of time doing this, and it colored all areas of my life so that I would feel guilty and responsible for everybody else's woes. I don’t know what would possess a person to put that kind of pressure on a 5-year old, and continue it year after year, but he took advantage of my trust in him for his own emotional gain.

There wasn’t anything that anyone could do about his depression (I now know). It was and is his problem. It’s wrong to put that kind of guilt and pressure on a little kid. How sad that he spent all that time looking outward for the solution, when it really comes from inside.

The therapy really kicked in last year, and after several months of getting it all out and talking it through, I overcame the guilt and now see the situation for what it is. It’s too bad he couldn’t cope better with the divorce, but it’s his problem and up to him as the adult to find help for himself. As for me wanting to participate in activities that were on “his” weekends, that was just me being a normal kid. It wasn’t malicious, and it didn’t make me a bad person because it wasn't my responsibility. He could’ve handled the conflict in schedules in a much better way as well, to be more flexible and look for a solution rather than whine like a helpless being. He chose to be needy and do the guilt thing, which didn’t make me want to be around him much. I wonder if he ever realized that?

Several months ago I saw my bio dad again out of necessity (to tell him to not come over after my address was published in the phone book and guess what? he came over uninvited and unannounced) and he said the same kinds of things: you don't talk to me, I miss you, you said this, you did that, fix me, blah! The difference is, now I know better, and I have a response.

I am not one to put much stock in dreams having pertinence. They can seem so bereft of meaning and are just plain kooky, as though the mind were taking the opportunity during sleep to defragment itself, causing random bits and pieces to fly around hither and yon. Dreams reflect reality most of the time about as much as a Jackson Pollock painting can be called a study of realism. However, the dream last night was very meaningful, and made me feel great when I woke up.

I've learned that I am just as important as anyone else. I am not on this earth to please others, I am here in my own capacity. What a freeing feeling it is to know that.

So there!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Ain't Life Grand?

The pizza place across the street was on fire this morning. We stood around watching from our office windows. It seems so different to see in person than on the news. There were no flames visible, but plenty of smoke. There were firemen walking around on the roof! It reminded me that theirs is no ordinary job. It’s dangerous, that is obvious. And they do that all the time. The fire this morning was small, relatively. But to see these people go toward danger makes you think about sacrifice, duty, and the preciousness of life.

September 11th was yesterday. Hundreds of firefighters died, not to mention thousands of others. I can’t imagine what it is like to put yourself in harm’s way as a matter of course for a job. I’m grateful for those that do, for their sacrifice allows us all to benefit from a sense of safety.

Communities do not thrive when we all go into our homes and shut the door to the outside world. Life doesn't work that way. We are not islands, we need each other.

Take care of your family and friends, reach out to your neighbor, be grateful for life. It is a gift to be alive.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Deers Don't Live Here

Driving back from a friend's house tonight, we were on I-5 across the river from downtown. It was after dark. When I saw the Made in Oregon white stag, I said, "Look OC, there's a deer." To which she replied, "What? Oh, yeah. I was like, what are you talking about mama? Deers don't live around here, they live in the forest-es!"

Wait, I have to go look at the cat who, I was just informed, has underwear on his head.

Friday, September 09, 2005

That'll Cost You

Is $2500 too much to pay for wedding photographs? I really have no idea if that is extravagant, or just the going rate for quality.

The photographer I met with yesterday showed me his work, and it was beautiful. He had done weddings at our church as well as our reception hall, so I could see the actual locations. It was quite impressive. They had original angles and their work was absolutely gorgeous. Their studio works exclusively in a digital format, they have two people at the event taking pictures so they cover everything, and they give you unlimited time. That all sounded great. Plus, their offices were located on the east side, not downtown, so I thought the prices would likely be more reasonable. I sat there happily thinking, 'this is the photographer! I want them to do our pictures!' Then he presented me with the prices, after which I sat there grumpily thinking, 'who does this bastard think he is?'

I relayed this information to OF, and curiously enough, he hasn't responded. Does this mean he doesn't want to argue about it, and just wants me to be happy? Or does it mean he's so outraged he can barely find the words to tell me we are not paying that much for photographs? I'm dying to know what he thinks. Sort of. Okay, yes I want to know. I wonder why he hasn't responded? With no information, I begin to imagine several worst-case scenarios. (Yes, several!) Maybe he doesn't want to marry such a girl who would want to pay $2500 for a photographer! That's my top worst-case thought. Okay, it's my only worst-case thought. Usually I have several. It's been less than 24 hours. Given more time, I'll think of other tragic scenarios.

How many guest responses have we received? They are trickling in. At this point, reply cards from my family include one sister, one brother-in-law, one flower girl, one aunt, one uncle and three cousins. My sister is the maid of honor, so I'm glad she will be there. Hello, family! Are you coming or what?!? Just wondering.

Oh lordy, I love planning this wedding, and I can't wait to marry my sweetheart, but let's get it over with already. I just want it to be beautiful and perfect, and fun. Is that too much to ask? There are so many details to work out, my anxiety meds can hardly keep up......

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Opening Line

I am getting married in October. I wonder how many times I can use this line to open a post before it gets annoying? Wait, I think I know. I only mention it again in case you’re new to this blog. If you’re not, then you’re annoyed, and I apologize.

Four of my girlfriends came over one weekend last month to help with preparations. We addressed the invitations, and made the beaded table decorations for the reception. It was great bonding time for me with my friends. I have been so out of it the past few years. I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends (one of whom is my sister!) to help me like this. I have been anxious over the To Do list, and the weekends keep flying by. I really need to be at work less, and have more time to devote to planning. I see why people hire wedding planners.

I got a facial last month, and let me tell you it was great! The woman told me to stop scrubbing once a day with a Buff Puff, and to use a washcloth instead. She said that by using the Buff Puff, I was irritating my skin, causing it to go into overtime with oil production, and causing excess redness. I have been doing the washcloth routine since then and it is working beautifully! My face is soft, and not at all thick and oily like I thought it would be without daily exfoliation. (OM, are you reading this? Try it, it works great!) The fancy French face wash and lotion (YonKa) is really nice, too. I can’t wait to go back and get more products. I am such a girl that way. I have one more facial scheduled before the wedding. Which is in October. Did I mention that?

I have been taking these ultra-mega-super vitamins that looked like horse pills and tasted like horse shit (I’m guessing). The label showed that the level of vitamins and minerals were higher than the RDA, the percentages varying from 100% to 500%. I noticed I wasn’t feeling well for a day or so after I took one. I felt shaky, sweaty, and my stomach felt queasy. There was also a digestive tract issue. Namely, lots and lots of flatulence! Oh, and a change for the worse in the consistency of bowel movements. Sorry about that gross little detail, but it’s true! I felt so bloated, and for a long time I had no idea why. I thought it might be certain foods I ate, which could’ve contributed to the problem, but the main cause seems to be those vitamins. Who knew?

There was a girl I went to school with who was a few years ahead of me, and she was way into vitamins and supplements and special diets. She was pretty, and very, very snobby. I tried to like her, but couldn’t because she was just such a bitch. Anyway, she had to go to the hospital because of some kind of vitamin overdose. She was okay, but it made us kind of chuckle afterwards because, come on, a vitamin overdose? Give me a break. Now I can see how it could happen, though. Supplements and ultra-potent vitamins and minerals can really mess with your body if you don’t know what they’re doing. I am going to switch to a less-potent multi-vitamin, because when I take them I feel better. That is the point, to feel better, not bloated and sick!

I have an appointment with a photographer today, and a florist on Saturday. Things are happening.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Hellfire and damnation, they’re back! The little black sugar ants that I had in my apartment last year and crawl over EVERYTHING clean or otherwise and make my skin itch just looking at them, have made a reappearance. I had a reprieve from them for several months, maybe since the spring, and then yesterday I came home to find the kitchen counter crawling with them.

It’s not like I’m a messy person. Cluttered? Yes. Filthmonger? Ahhhh, no. And like I said, they crawl over everything, whether it’s an impressively clean and shiny countertop or freshly washed dishes. They don’t care.

Furthermore, they’re in the bathroom. What the hell is there to eat in there? In the bathtub???

Do you know what is a wonderful cleaner of glass surfaces, which they used to use in the good old days before chemicals came along? Vinegar. Do you further know what liquid repels ants? Vinegar. I have myself a bowl of vinegar diluted with water sitting on the kitchen counter. I dip a paper towel and wipe away whenever I see them. This method won’t kill them in large numbers, but it does make me feel better to have a clean space to make a sandwich.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005


This past Sunday, it was announced at church that they are collecting personal care kits all this month to send to victims of Hurricane Katrina. I got a copy of the list and decided I would purchase items for 5 kits. Why 5? I don’t know, it just sounded like a good number. Off we went to Walgreens to buy items like soap, deodorant and other personal hygiene items; while at Meier & Frank to do the registry, we bought 5 sets of towels. These will all be bundled up individually and sent at the end of the month to shelters in the southeastern United States, where thousands are staying and don’t even have a toothbrush to their name.

I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to be displaced like that. The devastation is so great, the suffering so profound, the need overwhelming. I wanted to offer something, a tiny contribution to the cause of bringing some comfort in some small way to those people affected. I saw families sitting outside in the filth, waiting to be evacuated. I wanted to reach through the tv and hand then a bottle of water, some food, and whatever else they needed. It was awful to see that, day after day. Especially to see the babies, so hot and thirsty! That made me mad.

I had OC with me during these shopping trips, and told her what we were doing. She in turn told the clerks at the stores that this was for Hurricane Katrina. She watched the news with me this past week, although she didn’t see as much as I, so she knows what happened to some extent. I thought it was a good way to show her what you can do when you see something bad on the news. There are times that you can follow through after watching the news and listening to the radio; go to church and talk about it, and actually get involved and do something to help. It’s only right to help others when you are able.

I’m right in the middle of registering for wedding gifts, so I cannot help but feel awkward by the juxtaposition of picking out beautiful things while in the midst of seeing so many other Americans in such dire straits. I feel lucky and well cared for.

Safe places to donate money are many, and include:

The Red Cross:

The Humane Society:

Prayers are going out for comfort and relief.