Thursday, September 25, 2008
And, yes, I realize it's completely ridiculous to refer to our gargantuan Great Dane as snugglebumpkins. So what? Bosley-bear is the second greatest love of my life. He doesn't mind that I fawn all over him like some schmoopy lovesick nutter. Dave, however, often requests I not embarass the dog in public. Sigh. He's such a killjoy.
Anywho. So we talked to our lawyer today and answered all the tough questions. We also learned Texas has all these random rules about pets in wills since they're considered property, like, you know, a TV. I heartily disagree with that since, obviously, my dog is worth way more to me than any crappy piece of property but what can you do? I'm seriously considering setting up a trust of some kind for him so I know that whoever takes him in will make sure he gets vet services and his meds regularly and all the squeaky toys and featherbeds and Cheetos his heart desires.
Oh, and we also divvied up our junk among people. I also think we'll probably surprise a few people when they learn they weren't chosen as executors of our estates or given power of attorney but oh well. We carefully considered the situations and made the best decisions we could. Of course, we'll have to have all of this redrawn once we start adding to family. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it will be to choose who gets our kid and all the cash if we croak. I know who won't get our kid(s) though...
But that's another story for another time.
Man. I feel so grown up now. The final vestiges of my youth drew their last breath with the drafting of my will and such. It's depressing as fuck. My 25th birthday is just days away. I'm clinging to the final moments of my youth like a fat kid to a box of cupcakes. Or, you know, me when I was a chubby kid clawing onto said cupcakes.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I know how lucky I am. While we weren't wealthy (monetarily) as kids, we never did without the necessities and even most luxuries. Daddy busted his ass and Mom worked her own brand of financial magic to ensure we had a nice home, new clothes a few times a year, good Christmases and birthdays, and opportunities to participate in sports, music, and other extracurricular activities. Even when we went through a financial crisis and lost everything due to medical expenses and a series of family catastrophes my parents managed to keep us in a similar state of living. It was tight there for half a year or so but we got through it.
I knew plenty of people who were poor, who lived in soul-crushing poverty. The absolute love of my life spent a substantial portion of his childhood in poverty, and I recently learned a good friend of mine was poor for a good segment of her childhood too. I was shocked when she told me this but then I realized that, as a kid, I wasn't really concerned with what other kids were wearing, where they lived, etc.
I don't know. I've just been thinking about money a lot lately. It's hard not to with the economy in the crapper. And, of course, I'm concerned about our ability to give our kids everything they need and a little more. Obviously, I realize we're in a much better position than most to provide for our kids but, still, I worry. I think that's natural though...
Being PoorBy John Scalzi
Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.
Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.
Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they're what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there's not an $800 car in America that's worth a damn.
Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.
Being poor is knowing your kid goes to friends' houses but never has friends over to yours.
Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch line so your friends will be ahead of you and won't hear you say "I get free lunch" when you get to the cashier.
Being poor is living next to the freeway.
Being poor is coming back to the car with your children in the back seat, clutching that box of Raisin Bran you just bought and trying to think of a way to make the kids understand that the box has to last.
Being poor is wondering if your well-off sibling is lying when he says he doesn't mind when you ask for help.
Being poor is off-brand toys.
Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.
Being poor is knowing you can't leave $5 on the coffee table when your friends are around.
Being poor is hoping your kids don't have a growth spurt.
Being poor is stealing meat from the store, frying it up before your mom gets home and then telling her she doesn't have make dinner tonight because you're not hungry anyway.
Being poor is Goodwill underwear.
Being poor is not enough space for everyone who lives with you.
Being poor is feeling the glued soles tear off your supermarket shoes when you run around the playground.
Being poor is your kid's school being the one with the 15-year-old textbooks and no air conditioning.
Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.
Being poor is relying on people who don't give a damn about you.
Being poor is an overnight shift under florescent lights.
Being poor is finding the letter your mom wrote to your dad, begging him for the child support.
Being poor is a bathtub you have to empty into the toilet.
Being poor is stopping the car to take a lamp from a stranger's trash.
Being poor is making lunch for your kid when a cockroach skitters over the bread, and you looking over to see if your kid saw.
Being poor is believing a GED actually makes a goddamned difference.
Being poor is people angry at you just for walking around in the mall.
Being poor is not taking the job because you can't find someone you trust to watch your kids.
Being poor is the police busting into the apartment right next to yours.
Being poor is not talking to that girl because she'll probably just laugh at your clothes.
Being poor is hoping you'll be invited for dinner.
Being poor is a sidewalk with lots of brown glass on it.
Being poor is people thinking they know something about you by the way you talk.
Being poor is needing that 35-cent raise.
Being poor is your kid's teacher assuming you don't have any books in your home.
Being poor is six dollars short on the utility bill and no way to close the gap.
Being poor is crying when you drop the mac and cheese on the floor.
Being poor is knowing you work as hard as anyone, anywhere.
Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually stupid.
Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually lazy.
Being poor is a six-hour wait in an emergency room with a sick child asleep on your lap.
Being poor is never buying anything someone else hasn't bought first.
Being poor is picking the 10 cent ramen instead of the 12 cent ramen because that's two extra packages for every dollar.
Being poor is having to live with choices you didn't know you made when you were 14 years old.
Being poor is getting tired of people wanting you to be grateful.
Being poor is knowing you're being judged.
Being poor is a box of crayons and a $1 coloring book from a community center Santa.
Being poor is checking the coin return slot of every soda machine you go by.
Being poor is deciding that it's all right to base a relationship on shelter.
Being poor is knowing you really shouldn't spend that buck on a Lotto ticket.
Being poor is hoping the register lady will spot you the dime.
Being poor is feeling helpless when your child makes the same mistakes you did, and won't listen to you beg them against doing so.
Being poor is a cough that doesn't go away.
Being poor is making sure you don't spill on the couch, just in case you have to give it back before the lease is up.
Being poor is a $200 paycheck advance from a company that takes $250 when the paycheck comes in.
Being poor is four years of night classes for an Associates of Art degree.
Being poor is a lumpy futon bed.
Being poor is knowing where the shelter is.
Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.
Being poor is knowing how hard it is to stop being poor.
Being poor is seeing how few options you have.
Being poor is running in place.Being poor is people wondering why you didn't leave.
Monday, September 22, 2008
1) Eating summer sausage an hour before a two mile run equals bad times. Really, really bad times.
2) Straws are my enemy. I don't know why but I just can't seem to drink with a straw without seriously harming myself. I've jabbed my gums, cut my lip and a whole host of other ouchies. Saturday afternoon was particularly embarrassing though. I was sipping Diet Dr. Pepper through a straw when, suddenly, the straw escaped my lips and shot right into my nostril, flooding my nose with fizzy fluid. Not fun. Super irritating. Oh, and Dave was sitting across from me when it happened. He nearly flopped out of his chair he was laughing so hard. Bastard.
3) People throw the weirdest shit out on the side of the road. During my Sunday morning run I spotted an eviscerated VHS tape, a blue flip flop, a pile of phone books, a squeaky toy, a pair of swimming trunks, a flat inner tube, and a cupcake, chocolate with Dora the Explorer candies and wrapper.
4) Dave-O's an asshat. First of all, we were leaving Wally World and I was super thirsty so I tried to take a sip of some iced tea I'd brought with me in a simple plastic tumbler, no lid. The second I took a sip, he guns it and hits a speed bump. I choke and splutter and cough. He pats my back--like that's going to help me after I'd just inhaled four ounces of tea deep into my lungs. Then, later, we were at the HEB checkout. He asked me to grab the 24 pack of Diet Dr. Pepper from the bottom buggy shelf. As soon as I lift it up, the cardboard rips and the damn thing crashed to the ground. He swears he didn't, but I just know he tore the cardboard and set me up...
5) The last time we had dinner at Katie's she made this totally awesome flavored tea. It tasted like blueberry Kool-Aid in iced tea. Hard to describe but it was delish! Dave and I were scouring the shelves at HEB for that particular tea when my gaze fell on an upscale brand of organic tea. With a mischevious giggle, I pointed to the box and said, "Dave, this should be my new nickname." Dave glanced up--and turned beet red. He looked positively scandalized. I admit it was a naughty thing to do in the middle of a busy aisle but you know me. I just can't help myself some times.
The name of the tea? Honeybush.
Friday, September 19, 2008
If you need help translating, here's the Pirate Speak translator.
I be goin' fer a run. Ya swabbies who ortin' t'be keel hauled!
Yeah. Ouch. Ugh. The worst thing is this bitchy intern's behavior is fairly par for the course when it comes to infertility. ER docs and nurses are the effing worst though. You wouldn't believe some of the horror stories circulating in PCOS/POF/Infertility circles. You really wouldn't.
Anywho. So I'm thinking about diversifying my erotica career...but I just can't settle on what to write next. Lolita Lopez writes contemporary, historical and paranormal erotic romances; however, I've got some really sharp, super sexy straight erotica and M/M sitting here. It's seriously good stuff but I'm just not sure what to do with it. There are a lot of presses and publishers looking for this sort of material but by contract I'm sort of bound to my current publisher unless I negotiate a few terms. The thing is I'm really happy with my current publisher as far as Lolita Lopez is concerned so I'm not so inclined to go that route.
Looks like I may have to create another pen name for my foray into erotica and such. It's not a problem really but the extra work load--especially if I manage to sell my urban fantasy series--would be a bit of a stretch. Then again I do my best work when under pressure. It's not as if I'm not producing a novella and multiple short stories a month anyway. With a second pen name, I'd be able to sell them and get out in the market place.
So that's where I'm at the moment. Plotting career moves. Oh, joy!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Secondly, do you have extremely violent or bizarre dreams when you're super stressed? I used to have nightmares during stressful times but lately I'm having gory, violent, horrific dreams. Last night, I slept just under three hours because of them.
In my first dream, Dave and I are sleeping. The doorbell rings. I glance at the clock. It says 2:37. Bosley lifts his head and grumbles; Dave sighs and rolls over. I sit awake for a few moments, wondering if I'd really heard the doorbell. And then I hear breaking glass. Feet on the tile. Low voices. There are people in the house! I wake Dave, grab Bosley, and we rush into the bathroom. Bosley doesn't even bark (which would never happen in real life. He loses his shit if a butterfly farts. Seriously.) I call 911 and the dispatcher tells me it will be a while before they can get to us because we live out in the boonies. I'm freaking the fuck out. Dave is holding the door while a man on the other side tries to break it down. A crowbar slams through the door. Dave's bleeding everywhere. We're both shoving on the door. I'm screaming for help. I hear the click of a pump-action shotgun on the other side of the door--and then I woke up, sweating and panting.
After calming down, I fell asleep again. This dream was super violent and super creepy. It's a few years in the future. I've sold my urban fantasy series and have published six books in the series. Dave and I are super happy. We've got a second great dane--this one blue--and a kid or two. (I couldn't be sure. I just saw one high chair but there was a pair of larger kid shoes sitting in the kitchen.)
Unfortunately, I'd pissed off a rabid fan when I killed off a certain character in my series. We'd started receiving crazy letters and messages and all sorts of threats. We'd installed a new security system but still I felt uneasy.
So I'm standing in the kitchen, making dinner. (By the way, Dave and I had redone the kitchen with gorgeous new cabinets and Saltillo tile and stainless steel appliances.) I've got my back to the entrance from the living room/dining room. I hear someone enter the kitchen. Assuming it's Dave, I ask him to get something out of the fridge for me. The fridge opens, and I turn to ask Dave about the kids' baths--but it's not Dave. It's him! It's my stalker.
All I can think is I have to protect Dave and my kids. We start fighting in the kitchen. I scream for Dave to get the kids out but he comes rushing down the stairs. My stalker yanks a gun from his back pocket, a Sig-Sauer, and pops Dave in the chest. Dave falls and blood spills all over the gleaming wood floors. I manage to wrench the gun from my stalker's hand and throw it into the pantry. We grapple. We wrestle. We're clawing and biting and gnashing. I spot my chef's knife on the counter. I grab it and slash at his throat. He falls, clutching his throat, blood gurgling and spilling down his shirt.
Dave struggles to his feet. He's been hit in the shoulder. He gets to the phone and calls 911. As I pant and stare at my bleeding stalker, I realize the wound isn't fatal. And suddenly I just can't let him live. I know he'll get out of jail eventually. I won't let him terrorize us any longer. When Dave turns his back, I move to my stalker's chest, press my knees down hard so he can't breathe, and clamp my hand over his mouth and nose. He struggles, his eyes wide with fear. His teeth tear into my palm. But I just push down harder. His legs kick weakly. I just squeeze harder. He dies.
When I glance over my shoulder, Dave is staring at me, his expression disgusted, shocked, awed. And then I woke up.
Yeah. Yeah. I know. WTF? I'm so avoiding anything violent or gory for a few weeks. It's Jane Austen/BBC films for me...
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
When I started this weight loss adventure, it was with the sincere hope it would help my PCOS. I want to have a family with Dave. I want to be pregnant. I want to carry a child that's half me and half Dave. I want what others so blithely take for granted.
So I've worked my ass off--literally and figuratively. But it's just not working. My PCOS symptoms are out of control. I'm almost forty pounds lighter and I'm in a worse situation than I was at my highest weight. It's so fucking disheartening. I lost the motivation to get out there and move my ass.
Looking back, I realize I made a colossal mistake in tying my weight loss to my fertility. Instead of being so happy and rightfully proud of my progress, I'm bitter. I see so many women in my support group in the 300-400 plus range who have loads of babies and healthy pregnancies and fairly regular cycles. It upsets me so badly. I have a hard time getting over the fact that I'm doing everything right and still nothing.
Don't get me wronge. I don't begrudge anyone a child. I know what a blessing a child is. But, still, it's so difficult to swallow the unfairness of unprepared or unfit or uncaring couples having children.
So mini rant over now. I'm moving forward. Yesterday I worked out for an hour. I used to be able to do my cardio and strength training routine so easily but after ten days of nothing it was difficult. I huffed and puffed my way through it though. Tomorrow I run. No excuses. Hell, I even started a full cleaning of the house. Clean my space, clear my mind.
No more excuses. No more pity parties.
Can you see this fueling issue spiraling into a much larger issue? I sure as hell can...
Right now I'm so glad Dave and I get our power through BTU. All those folks who chose MidSouth or Entergy are straight-up fucked. MidSouth seems to have their shit together and are restoring power quickly according to news reports. Unfortunately Entergy's slow-go is making it nearly impossible for MidSouth to restore power to customers in areas serviced by Entergy. Of course, people around here have always complained about Entergy's total shat service.
Take Navasota, for instance. If you live on one side of Hwy 6, you've got power because you're likely serviced by MidSouth. Everyone else (the majority of town, it seems) has Entergy which means lights out.
And what is with all these idiots who don't understand how to properly use a generator? Why would anyone put a generator, a machine that makes ELECTRICITY, on a wet patch of ground?!?! Who in their right mind puts a generator inside a house? Who are these people? Seriously. And don't even get me started on folks who don't realize the start-up wattage for most appliances is higher than the operating wattage. Oy veh.
Can you tell I'm generally annoyed today? Asshats. Asshats every where...
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Anywho. Dave and I watched Wristcutters: A Love Story this evening after a few games of chess. (I'm learning. Slowly. Dave almost blew a pupil. Twice.) I love indie films, and surprisingly, Dave liked this movie quite a bit. And, really, how can you NOT love a film that uses Gogol Bordello as part of the soundtrack?!?!
OMG. I so effing heart Gogol Bordello. They're this awesome, eccentric Gypsy punk group comprised of random folks from Eastern Europe, Israel, Ethiopia, and a few other places. I'm not quite sure how to explain the sound. It's like polka meets The Pogues meets Borat meets The Velvet Underground meets DeVotchka. I don't know. It's just an extremely unique sound. And their live shows! Holy shit!
If you're curious....
Start Wearing Purple
Through the Roof 'N Underground
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Now, obviously, a lot of folks are up in arms over the idea of, you know, recreating the Big Bang. I sort of get the panic. I mean, I'm not too keen on the idea of spawning accidental BLACK HOLES. But, hey, Stephen Hawking says it's safe so it must be, right?
Oh, and just as an aside, The Ash and I met Stephen Hawking during our freshman year of college. Except, and this is the embarrassing bit, we were so busy chatting about fajitas and guacamole that we just sort of blithely passed him by. The Ash held the door for him as his motorized chair wheeled past, and I gave him a polite smile that he returned. We took a few steps and then both stopped dead in our tracks.
The Ash: Holy shit, dude! Was that Stephen Hawking?
Me: Yeah. Yeah it was.
The Ash: Ohmigod.
Yeah. Not one of my great moments, lol.
Anywho. Enjoy your evening folks! It just may be your last...
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Anywho. I thought the Coen Brothers' adaptation was fantastic. They captured the bleakness of the novel through the cinematography, and, of course, the use of dialogue-empty stretches during the tense scenes of violence heightened the suspense. (I'm specifically thinking of the motel scene where Llewellyn is trying to grab the hidden case and Anton is walking, sock-footed, toting his cattlegun and silenced shotgun. Another example would be Llewellyn sitting on the bed in a darkened hotel room while Anton stands outside and unscrews the light bulb.) Watching those scenes made my whole body go rigid. I curled up my legs, my fingers tightened, my breath caught in my throat... Very, very, very well done.
Movies aside, I'm still running and losing weight. I'm up to 1.5 miles/day now. I hope to reach 2-2.25 by the end of September. My knees and ankles are starting to protest the runs but I just tell them to eff off. With each run the discomfort is significantly less so I'm fairly certain my bones/joints/muscles/tendons are just trying to catch up to the increased pace.
It seems my weight loss is causing some problems with my PCOS. Instead of my symptoms improving, they're actually worsening in some cases. Oh, joy! But I know as soon as my weight levels out so will my hormone levels. Hopefully my symptoms will decrease or disappear. Regardless, I can't stop now. I'm too far into this weight loss game to quit.
It also looks like my meds may not be working as well--or rather too well. See I augment my super low female hormones (POFishness), and it's worked great. But no longer. My meds are too strong and/or are being absorbed differenlty due to my revamped metabolism. And I'm growing more ovarian cysts.
How do I know this? Well, and this is really upsetting, I'm having pregnancy symptoms. Yeah. I know. What a mind fuck, huh? I've got the nausea and the swollen, sore breasts and all that other crap....but no little bean. My body interprets the cysts as, well, a pregnancy. Which sucks. A lot. Like I'm crying right now. I don't know. It's just depressing as hell.
So anyways. Barring any cyst emergency, I'm going to just have to tough it out until I see Dr. A in early November. Yeah. I know. But I just keep thinking this has to get better, right? I mean, I'm doing everything I possibly can to get healthy. I'm taking all the meds I can. I'm a voracious researcher on PCOS and POF. I'm looking at alternative treatments.
And yet I know from family members who have suffered through this shit disease and friends in my support group who have fought against it that it's not always that simple.
So I keep trying and hoping. What else can I do, right? Gah, I feel like Gatsby....
"So we beat on, boats against the current..."
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
A few hours later, a second brown spotty spider (even BIGGER than the first) scuttled across the living room and toward my desk. Bosley freaked out and tried to catch it--but forced it right across my foot. I yelped and jumped up, knocking over my chair. Bosley chased the spider toward a lamp. The lamp crashed to the ground, snagging my printer cord and yanking the printer down with it. Dozens of sheets of pink paper flew through the air. Together, we cornered the spider, Bosley snarling, me jumping and squeeing. I slapped the spider with a cookbook. Whack! Whack. Whack! Die, Spider, Die!
Now. You would think all this commotion would have woken Dave. Yeah. Not so much. He slept through all of this, the crashing furniture, Bosley's bark, my shrieks of terror, and books slamming into walls and carpet. Yes. I feel so safe having Dave in the house.
Monday, September 01, 2008
I'm now typing with my left hand and petting with the right. Yeah. That's quite a feat for me. I'm not very coordinated.
I think it's time to pack it in for the night. Dave would be sending out "Can I interest you in a slightly used dog?" texts right about now. Sigh. The things I do for this dog...