Monday, June 30, 2008
I have to say, I didn't love this movie. Actually, that's not quite right. I didn't love it as a KIDS' movie.
You know that movie with Tom Hanks, where he's on the desert island and there's no dialogue for like an hour? This is the Pixar version of that movie. For the first 2/3rds of the movie, you just see this robot wandering around a trash-filled planet. You don't know where he is or what's going on. There are some visual clues, but they're a bit advanced for the average kid to pick up on. Other text-based clues, like what "Wall-E" stands for, are also a bit much for the kids to grasp--if the child is even able to read at all. (When my Little Sister asked me what was written on the front of Wall-E, I whispered back, "It says, 'Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class'." She looked at me like "Yeah, thanks for clearing that up." Telling her that EVE, the robot who later and mysteriously joined him, stood for "Exterterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator" was met with the same look.)
Then when you finally learn where Wall-E is (Earth), where all the people are and why they've left their home planet, you've already answered the questions "What's going on?" "Where are they?" "Who's that?" and "What is that?" a few dozen times. And the message of the movie--that humans will make Earth completely inhabitable if they don't (literally) clean up their acts--with a side helping of "our society is on its way to becoming a bunch of fat and lazy slobs"--is a bit heavy. In fact, most of the kids in the theater didn't even seem to be picking up on any of that. They just thought Wall-E was cute (and he was. Very much so).
In many ways, Wall-E is a masterpiece. I just think that the factors that make it so are lost on the majority of the audience. For older kids and grown ups, though, this is a great movie.
So tell me what YOU think. Am I completely off base? Do you totally disagree with me? Was I just in the "slow" theater? Or was this representative of theaters across the country?
My brain is officially suffering from Teacher Summer Meltdown (a little-known phenominom in which teachers' brains, worn out from all the thinking they do during the school year, go on hiatus during the summer months). Case in point: while running errands this afternoon, I swung by Burger King for a meal (during the summer, there is no such thing as "breakfast," "lunch," and "dinner"--time ceases to matter to me). While waiting for my food, I admired the new cup. It advertised something called "Latte Night". Interesting, I thought. Coffee in the evening? That's different. Must be something geared towards those crazy kids whose nights out don't start until 10 or 11. You know, something designed to help fuel them through hours of club-hopping and drinking.
I thought about it all the way home. I wondered what flavors of latte they offered. And what time did Latte Night officially start? Maybe I'd swing by and check it out.
When I got home, I looked at the cup again--and for one brief moment, my checked-out-for-summer-break brain checked back in.
The cup actually read "Late Night."
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
My stitches came out this morning. Yay! It looks FABULOUS, too. There's almost no scar to speak of--slightly discolored (and I mean VERY slightly--you probably wouldn't even notice it if you weren't looking for it, like I was), but I bought some Mederma that should pretty much eliminate even that.
I did get the results of the mole biopsy, though (I'm just a biopsy-ing fool these days). I was surprised to find out that there was actually some dysplasia (abnormal cells) taking place. He had been pretty sure that it was totally benign, but not so much. There was no cancer there, but he said that it COULD HAVE (but not definitely) gone that way if we hadn't gotten rid of it. The dysplasia had gone below the surface layer of skin into the dermis underneath, which is where bad things start to occur. However, we officially don't have to worry about that anymore anyway.
PSA, though: ALWAYS have suspicous looking moles checked out!! Skin cancer is just about the easiest cancer to prevent and treat, if you catch it early enough. Be careful out there! As I just learned, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I decided it will be easier to write about the weekend in one post and then include the pics in a follow-up. Keep in mind that this is MY version; ladies, you're welcome to write from your own viewpoint and I'll post it for ya.
The excitement began (for me) on Friday morning with a train ride to Chicago. I've never been on a train before and I haven't been to Chicago since I was a kid, so I was geeked. Unfortunately, other than Union Station (which is cool enough by itself), all I saw of Chicago was through the train's windows (I did spot the Sears Tower, at least). In Chicago, I switched trains to the Metra, which is basically like a local commuter train that travels from the city to the local suburbs. After a total of 4+ hours on trains (and about 6 hours of actual time, including layovers), I arrived at Renee's.
We saw the boys off and commenced with the hanging out. We went to a movie (The Happening, which both of us really liked but has gotten SLAMMED by the critics) and to dinner, where the first drinks of the weeknd were had. I thought we did something else, too, but for the most part, it was a laid back night as we chatted, caught up and waited for Anna.
She arrived around 11 am the next morning--and within the hour, we took the obligatory alcohol inventory and hit the stores (including the shadiest, most ghetto-looking liquor store I've ever seen--and that includes the bad parts of Detroit) for supplies. My personal highlight of the weekend was the discovery of Blue Moon ice cream, my all-time favorite flavor that, unfortunately, appears to be a regional treat (and sadly, Florida is not one of the regions). (Blue Moon is a love-it-or-hate-it taste; I was the only one in the former group.)
So we returned to Renee's (Camp Alcohol) and began with the other highlight of the weekend, the key component of every Girls' Weekend: the game of Tripoley. It's impossibly hard to explain, so I went online for help. Here's what I found at areyougame.com: "Tripoley has been a family favorite for over 65 years by combining 3 of the world's most popular card games; Michigan Rummy, Hearts and Poker. Recently recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the most-loved games of the 20th century, Tripoley has become a family tradition, passed down from one generation to the next. It's a game that just keeps getting better with age!! Tripoley combines strategy and an element of risk, making it an enduring family favorite." (Note: I bought one online tonight, and I plan to expand the Religion of Tripoley down here.) Anyway, it's as addictive as crack and we spend, literally, hours at a stretch playing this game (always supplemented with copious amounts of alcohol).
So yeah....that was actually pretty much our weekend, LOL. Seriously. Drinking, Tripoley-playing, eating lots of junk food and best of all, LAUGHING OUR ASSES OFF. Seriously, at one point, we were laughing so hard that we couldn't catch our breath and Renee was making these guinea-pig-like squeaks that I've never before heard in 25+ years of friendship. Oh, yeah--we took a break mid-way through the night to take a walk around the neighborhood (to sober up, I think, because we were getting drunk waaaaay to early) and also to walk off the calories associated with the consumption of Apple Pucker and Chex Mix.
Sunday morning, after Renee whipped up some pancakes, bacon and fruit, we packed up and began our journeys home. We sadly saw Anna off and, a couple hours later, Renee took me back to the train station. I got home just before 10 pm, exhausted--but the kind of happy you can only be after a truly great weekend.
Ladies, thank you so much for a wonderful time. It was very "recharging" to see you guys. And Kish, we totally missed you! Next year, come hell or high water, ALL FOUR OF US will be there! (We're tentatively discussing Chicago again.)
On a lighter note...
Last night, there were some drunk people out at the pool. They were up ALL NIGHT (literally, they were still out there at 4 am), yelling, screaming, laughing, etc. They were younger, probably teens or college--and as far as I could tell from analyzing the voices (and I had plenty of fucking time to do so), there were 2 guys and a girl. I was SO PISSED and was SO tempted to get out of bed, go out to the pool and give them hell. However, I was also lazy, and the pool is not exactly next door (which makes it even worse; their voices were carrying all over the complex). As I lay there fuming, I even practiced the speech I would dramatically deliver:
"Yeah, hi. I understand that you all are probably on summer break. However, over here in Grown Up Land, I have to get up early--and so do the other 100 or so people you're keeping up right now. So you have the five minutes it will take me to walk back home to SHUT THE FUCK UP, or I'm calling the cops and your essay on "What I Did Over Summer Vacation" will include the words "drunk tank." Got it?"
(Technically, I DIDN'T have to get up the next day, but then my speech wouldn't have been as effective.)
After a while, I finally fell asleep (from pure exhaustion, since they were still out there).
So a few minutes ago, I awoke to more voices. I looked out my window and saw a car that had driven up the curb and through some bushes. A police car was there with flashing lights--and 3 young people (2 guys and a girl) were sitting on the curb.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
My nephew, Blake, who just turned 2, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy about a year ago. As he got a little older, though, he started having some other symptoms that didn't quite fit with CP. They started doing more testing, including genetic testing, and as of today, he was officially diagnosed with Potocki-Lupski syndrome (PTLS). This disease is so rare that there's not a lot of info on it, and what there is isn't good. (Seriously: if you're bored, try to do a search and see what you find. Other than the Baylor U. site, there ain't a whole hell of a lot.) While "fewer than 50 persons...have been described in the medical literature," they now predict that roughly 1 in 20,000 have it--they just never had a name for it before. According to my sister, 50% of those with PTLS have some degree of heart defect and/or kidney problems. (In all seriousness: it's a good thing I saved my kidney.) In fact, the next tests are an echocardigram to check the structure of his heart and a renal ultrasound to check his kidney function.
Katey is pretty shaken up. I'm trying not to be, as we don't know for sure what this all means yet. Either way, please keep Blake in your prayers. He's been through SO many tests, trials and struggles in just 2 years, and it looks like that was only the beginning.
I'll post on the Girls' Weekend sometime on Wednesday. As I write this, it is 1:30 am and I've been home for about 15 minutes (flight delayed, and my bag was like the LAST one off the plane, of course). In the interest of full disclosure, I am also a bit drunk still. LOL. Mom got me to the airport quite early (which, as those of you familiar with our family know, is almost unheard of), so I went to the bar to kill some time (of COURSE). There, I made a new friend (name unknown), a bartender/real estate developer. Friend was 24 years old and, might I add, HOT. Not "Jen Hot" (because my definition of hot seems to be different from those around me, LOL), but seriously, HOT. I had a couple of drinks with him, and then the bartender brought me a third.
"Funny," I said, stirring my new drink ('cuz who am I to say no?), "I don't remember ordering a third."
"I know," said Friend, smirking into his beer. "That's 'cuz I did."
He was so cute. If he could fit in my carry-on, he'd be here now. And I wouldn't be blogging, if you know what I'm sayin.
(Brief interlude as I think fondly about Friend.)
So then in Detroit, my plane to F.M was delayed a bit (on top of the regular 75 minute layover), so I went to my fave airport bar, Fox Sports Skybar ('cuz you can smoke there, too), had a double screwdriver (what? It was only $3 more than a regular!) and made another new friend. As it turns out, the sling and stitched-up nose is quite the ice-breaker. Men apparently love it. New Friend didn't buy my drink (he had a girlfriend), but he did make the layover a lot more pleasant.
(And no, Mom, I was nowhere near drunk enough to be barred from the plane. Relax. I wasn't going anywhere near a wheel any time soon. I was actually quite responsible in that way. When I get snockered, I do it in a safe manner.)
On the way out of the bar, I stopped and thanked two female servicememembers who were seated near the entrance. They were very touched, actually. They're deploying in a couple of months, so please say a quick prayer for them.
Anyway....my head freakin' hurts.
Will post more later. Now, must unpack (at least some of it; it's a compulsion. I HATE waiting till the next day to unpack when I get home, but may have to make an exception this time) and read some mags that came in the mail while I was gone.
PS--O.J. gives me heartburn. (The drink, not the football player-turned-murderer. And I KNOW he was legally found not guilty but COME ON. We're all adults here.)
Sunday, June 22, 2008
This post does not come equipped with pictures yet, and it's not a full re-cap of the weekend; I'll let Jen do that. At each of our Girl Weekends, we compile a list of quotes that had us rolling with laughter. Mind you, we had been drinking heavily, so many things were hilarious at the time, and some could be a you-had-to-be-there kind of thing. However, they were all still really funny to us this morning, so I think we did a bang up job in the comedy department. However, there is the off-chance that they were still funny because we remembered the context in which they were said. Ya'll can be the judge:
"There are horny kids in Africa who don't even have garter belts!" - Anna
"Did I eat poop last night?" - Jen
"My whiskers are itching" - Jen
"You had an advantage because I met you pre-bitch" - Renee
"Very risky, this limb I'm going out on" - Renee
"The nurse said you should blow-dry your hoo ha " - Renee
"Maybe I should be blow-drying my hoo ha!" - Anna
"Pay the Piper, bitches!" - Jen
"Because I have a big head. And little arms." - Renee (paraphrasing the T-Rex in Meet the Robinsons)
"And God willing, that is what will fuck you." - Anna
"That puckered my ass hole just thinking about it!" - Jen
To which Anna replied without skipping a beat,
"I'm just glad something did" - Anna
"It's like I main-lined the vicodin" - Jen
"You are a crack whore! That's just how you're going to look." - Anna
"All that was missing were whores snorting lines of coke off my body" - Jen, after observing that she felt like John Belushi upon waking this morning (this was said after you'd left Anna, so you missed this little gem).
Kishelle, we missed you a lot and hope you had fun with your family this weekend!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
At least, that's what it feels like here in Michigan.
The high today is going to be in the 60s.
I'll say that again.
In the SIXTIES.
My new Florida blood can't take this.
However, the skies are a bright blue with nary a cloud in the sky, so that ain't bad.
The trip was fine. Turbulance to Michigan because there were some storms, but not too bad. (Except for one drop that reminded me of Busch Gardens.) My flight out of Detroit was delayed an extra hour, but that was okay since Detroit has a great airport with lots to do and I got to go to National Coney Island, one of Detroit's great treasures and one of the things I miss the most.
I'll be in touch.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I'm heading to Michigan tomorrow. I get to see all of my girls--just not all at once (Kish for dinner on Wed., and Renee and Anna for Blog Party '08 this coming weekend--holla!). I'll also see Nik (of course), Missy, and the various nieces and nephews.
Oh yeah, and Mom. =-)
I'm sure I'll be posting from home at least a few times. My nights are pretty full, but my days will be spent sleeping, working out on the treadmill and completing at least one of my Masters classes for the new term. Oh, and doing several self-help journaling exercises from It's Called a Breakup Because it's Broken, from the same guy who wrote He's Just Not that Into You. (Which, by the way, has been made into a movie, coming out this summer, I think. It has a lot of big names in it, too--including Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck (hell yeah) and Drew Barrymore.
I will see a lot of you soon. (Special shout-out to Anna, whom I haven't seen in like 2 years.)
Saturday, June 14, 2008
So Cheating Lying Bastard brought over a big bag of my stuff last night (a visit in which he looked me dead in the eye and promised me that he had not, in fact, cheated on me).
A bag that included a stick of women's deodorant...THAT WASN'T MINE.
Since, after seeing him last night and looking into his big, earnest, gorgeous eyes, I was ALMOST thinking about believing him, I took this as a bitch-slap back to reality from The Big Man Upstairs. (And by now, even HE must be like "CRAP, this girl is a slow learner!!")
I've never been so pissed and yet laughed so hard in my entire life.
Too bad I didn't go through the bag until today, or I could have added "shoving a stick of deodorant up someone's ass" to the List of Things I'm Good at Doing Left Handed.
I got this from Eric's blog. I have to say, about half of these are shows that I LOVED growing up (and some were even more recent than that). Some of them are no-brainers and others I'm too young to even remember--but tell me what you all think. Do you agree with the list? Or, like me, do you really, really miss shows like Perfect Strangers, Charles in Charge, Webster, Mr. Belvedere and My Two Dads? (And, in more recent years, I really liked Yes, Dear--I always thought it was consistently funny and underrated.)
but this entire post is about the follow-up to my Pap. Feel free to skip if you wish, but living in a household of women, I'm sure this topic isn't completely foreign to you.
Now normally, even *I* wouldn't publicly discuss something like my Pap smear (at least not in detail), but the follow-up to my abnormal Pap was so--well, ABNORMAL that I had to share it with my girls (and Fred, LOL). And this was the most effective way to do so.
To catch everyone up to speed: as a teenager, I had some pre-cancerous stuff going on down there--but, thanks to a unplanned pregnancy, it was caught early and the "bad cells" were simply frozen off. This was over a decade ago (15 years, actually--God, I'm old), and I've had normal Paps ever since. So finding out that my most recent one came back as abnormal kind of threw me off, to say the least.
It was my GP who took the original Pap--but since she doesn't specialize in that area, she referred me to an OB-GYN to take a closer look (no pun intended) when it came back suspicious. As Dr. C and I were chatting and I was getting him up to speed on my history, a nurse brought in the report from my Pap.
"Huh," he said, quickly reviewing it. It was a statement, not a question. Then he looked up at me. "You have a very unusual case here, young lady."
I kind of snorted and thought, "Of COURSE I do." Historically, nothing about me is ever simple or normal (medically and otherwise). Frankly, I'm surprised that I haven't contracted the avian flu, malaria or a flesh-eating bacteria yet.
Anyway, he showed me the report--and here's the deal.
The Pap showed "severe" cell changes. Generally, he said, changes that severe are at best--at BEST!--pre-cancerous--and often, once they've reached that stage, have progessed to actual cancerous.
(That would suck.)
"However," he said, as I nervously started biting my nails, "changes of this nature are virtually always associated with HPV" (as most of you know, a sexually-transmitted virus--one so common that they now say 80% of all sexually active adults will contract it at least once in their lifetime. For most people, it stays in their system for a couple of years before their body sheds it, without causing any issues--but for some, it manifests itself as cervical cancer or genital wars, depending on the strain). "But--" and he pointed to the report--"you tested negative." He paused, seemingly deep in thought. If he'd had a beard, he'd have stroked it contemplatively. "I've never seen this before, and I've been practicing for 25 years."
I had to laugh. Strap yourself in, doc. With me as a patient, it's gonna be a wild ride.
My first question was this: is it possible that it was a false negative and that I DO have HPV, hence the cervical changes?
No, he immediately answered. The test for HPV is cut-and-dried. Either you have it or you don't. It's virtually error-proof. ("That doesn't mean that a false negative hasn't happened to someone, somwhere, at some point," he said. "But I'm essentially ruling that out.") The more likely possibility, he said, is an error in the Pap smear reading. I didn't know this, but he went on to explain that Paps are entirely subjective--it's basically a bunch of people, sitting around in labs, examining the cultures or whatever, and then writing reports on what they see--their personal opinion, basically. (Somehow, I assumed it was a bit more scientific than that.) Still, he said, it would be highly unusual to "accidentally" label a sample as "severe"--that's a fairly hard mistake to make, since cell changes that drastic would be pretty damn obvious.
The third option, of course, is that both reports are right--I am HPV negative AND I happen to have these cervical, um, issues. (I don't even want to use the C-word, although frankly--and this might sound weird--but even with the worst-case scenario, I'm not all that worried. Cervical cancer is an incredibly curable and treatable form of the disease if caught early, as mine would be.)
So he took a biopsy, with the results due next week. He said he'd call as soon as they came in. "If it comes back that the Pap reading was correct, I'll be shocked," he told me, and then reiterated that it's virtually impossible to have this combination of no HPV/severe cervical changes.
LOL. $50 says I end up in a freakin' medical journal. ;)
Thursday, June 12, 2008
You know how sometimes you sit with your legs crossed--or even with one leg kind of bent beneath you--but after a while you have to get up and stretch your legs back out? Imagine sitting in that position for like a week. That's kind of how I feel now with my arm. My arm has been in this 90-degree position (sometimes it's more like 45, depending on how tight the sling is) for 7 days now and it just feels CRAMPED. My bone doc has me doing some at-home rehab--once a day I have to see how far I can extend my arm before I fall down, screaming for mercy--and the farthest I've gotten it so far is like--well, whatever the halfway point between 90 degrees and 180 degrees is. I'm too lazy to do the math. But I am just DYING to stretch it out. Plus, I've been forced to become a back-sleeper, which isn't comfortable or natural to me.)
No, actually, I feel like I'm recovering really well, actually. I really don't think it'll be 4-6 weeks before I have full use of my arm again. Seriously, I'm thinking more like 2. I'm not on the Vicodin on a regular basis anymore--I just have to pop one about once a day, when I've been over-using it. Right now, I dont even have the sling on--I'm just typing with my arm held close to my body. It looks kind of gimpy, but it works.
My point? I don't remember. (LOL. Must be a fall-out from all the bleach fumes.)
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
* Making macaroni and cheese (soup, anyone?)
* Coloring my hair
Actually, the hair itself turned out fine (brunette again. I only went red 'cuz someone else liked it).
Unfortunately, in addition to my hair, I also colored my bathroom door. (Damn squirty applicator bottle.)
In case you're wondering, that's the OUTSIDE of the bathroom door, not the inside. So there's no way to hide it from Brad, the roommate. (Although I'm sure he knows SOMETHING is up, when I texted him at work today and "innocently" asked him if he had any white paint laying around.)
And I swear, once that shit hit the door, it immediately became permanent. I frantically wiped at it (one-handed) about 2 seconds after the color missed my head, and it was already set.
At least I got rid of the red hair.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Sadness setting in.
I KNOW he's a lying bastard but it makes it even worse not knowing what (if anything) was sincere and real. I really, truly thought that he cared, that we had a good thing going and hell, we were FRIENDS. We laughed till our stomachs hurt and tears came down our faces. We could toss zingers back and forth like nobody's business.
And I think it's just because I hurt from the procedure today and I'm sad and lonely even though I have my friends and my elbow hurts and I have stitches now that look like fucking whiskers coming out of my nose.
And he's a lying bastard, but I miss him. I know I shouldn't. I know he's not worth it. I know that I'm lucky I found out now before it went even further (farther?) and I ended up even more hurt and betrayed.
I know I'm not going through all this crap and procedures by myself but right now, I kind of feel like it. He was supposed to be here to help with all of this. I feel like I got my ass kicked, physically and otherwise, and right now, I miss him.
Monday, June 09, 2008
So in addition to the shitstorm of the last few days--namely, wrist-breaking and cheating-lying-piece-of-shit-busting--I have two more exciting events coming up:
1) Removal of my mole tomorrow morning. Scared shitless because plastic surgeon said that the numbing agent will "sting like crazy", which in medical terms is akin to "you will be on the floor begging for mercy."
2) A follow-up to my (stop reading, Fred) recent abnormal Pap this Friday.
Interesting, really, how you can cruise along, relatively happy and carefree, for months at a time, before you're bitch-slapped back to reality. I'm not trying to throw a one-woman pity party here; I'm just merely observing that this is a whole lot to deal with in a 7-day window. I guess I should be flattered that the powers-that-be think I'm strong enough to deal with it all. But, on my way back from Deceitful Lying Bastard's place this weekend, I couldn't help but look heavenward and say this silent prayer:
"Are you freakin' KIDDING me with this?"
smoke (shut up)
shirt on/ off
Not so good
makeup (look like drag queen)
put on bra
put on shorts, jeans, etc
load dishwasher (you'd think i would have learned after the unloading thing)
cook (oh wait--i sucked b4)
eat (weight loss in future?)
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
I have some unfortunate news. Jen has broken her elbow. Frankly, I can't believe this is the first bone she's broken, lol. She asked me to post about it. I'm not a creative writer, and hell, her email is just too funny NOT to post as is, even though she asked me to edit it. I'm convinced she won't even notice, since she currently seems to be in a vicodin-induced happy land. Here, friends, is the exact email she sent to me earlier tonight:
"please pass on 2 concern3ed parties minus typos. broke elbow at school. slipped on water in hall. pretty syre kids are trying 2 kill me but. dont care cuz im on vicodin. vicotin is da bomb yo.
will be reading email but not responding to a whole lot--if u need an answer call. in splint now, go 2 ortho guy 2 c if i need cast and 4 how long.
took 25 min 2 type this
renee plz post on blog. ]
ps yay 4 vicodinn"
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
So the other day, Mom (Indian Name: Woman Who Makes Me Look Sane) sent me a link to the following Dateline story, warning me not to fall prey to this psychopath:
A man is targeting mothers in SUVs, out for a day of shopping at the mall in southern Florida
It seems to have escaped her attention that I'm not a mother, let alone one in an SUV. Next I'll be getting emails like this:
"OMG! Watch out for THIS guy! 'Jewish black men being targeted at gay pride parades.' "
Good lookin' out, Mom.