29 September, 2004
Wow. I mean seriously, wow. God is good, all the time. Sometimes you try so hard to deal with things and you finally give up and God says, "Damn, it took you long enough. Now let's get down to business." This news I got yesterday is only a few hours old and it the kind of BIG news that is so overwhelming that you don't even have the power to know how to say thank you. So bear with me as I relay my own personal everyday miracle and understand that I haven't quite wrapped my own brain around it yet.

So, anyone who knows me knows I have a condition called Spina Bifida. With SB you have the usual biggie health problems associated with icky birth defects plus the added bonus of equally sucky conditions that you may or may not get. Well, I got. I got tethered cord syndrome. Not once, not twice, but 3 times. I'll spare you the details because if you can find this blog you can find google and if you are really wanting to know about the boring nastiness that TCS brings you can look it up, if not then you will be contented with the knowledge that TCS is probably gonna leave you paralized and in pain and if you're lucky it will only take out a kidney or 2 on the way. That was the diagnosis 7 years ago. That and I should probably not have children of my own since it'd knock a few nerves loose and let the TCS take my legs sooner. This is the knowledge I have carried with me for 7 years. (my TCS happens to be inoperable due to the fuck ups on my last TSC sugeries and the scar tissue it left behind) This is the future I had to plan for. I have the pain and am medicated for it, I have the loss of sensitivity, I have nerve seizures and am medicated for that too. I've had a hard time dealing with this life but I do deal and I do it as well as I can. But the paralization and kidney failure and barreness was "out there" waiting to take me in it's own sweet time. I joke about it with family and friends because saying it out loud makes it easier to take when it shows up. I don't know if y'all understand that, but it makes sense to me and that is how I dealt.

Until today.

Back to Dr. Neurosurgeon's office to get the dirt. I wanted to see him because it felt like TCS was closing in on me. I told him I had started doing yoga to combat the tightness of hamstrings and achilles tendons that comes with TCS and he said that that was a great idea and it looked as if it was really helping. He did the check up. Watched me ambulate across the room, checked the relfexes, checked my bendiness, did the finger walk up my spine a few times to see what the muscles were doing, then he said in his calm neurosurgeon vioce,

"Lauren, I can't say this is 100% the way things are gonna work out, but knowing you for the last 17 years I can say with very little doubt that this is as bad as it's gonna get. You've kept up with your physical therapy and continued building muscles that are now doing a fine job of supporting the spine at it's weakest. There's a reasonably good chance that although your pain will increase some you are more than likely not going to suffer paralysis. And you can start that family at any time. "

Wha....how can....I mean....WHA? What do you say when someone hands you your future back? What do you say when everything you didn't deserve to even ask for is given to you? There isn't a thank you card large enough. I cried and said thank you a hundred times and he told me that what he couldn't do to fix me I fixed myself by continuing to live my life intead of hiding away and not exerting myself like the majority of his patients, and therefore the TCS has not progressed at the rate he estimated 2 years ago. He said that the extra muscles and bendiness is actually helping the spine hover over the nerve bundles instead of crushing them and killing them. Although I have lost a lot of the nerves and there is feeling that will not ever come back, that if I continue to live like I have been and keep up with the things I've been doing that the remaining nerves could stay alive and the only other problems he sees coming to me is a worsening of the arthritis in my spine. That's stuff I can so deal with and it is treatable.


I feel like a death sentence has been revoked. Yeah, I still have all the health problems that I had yesterday and that's not nothing, but that's it. That's all I've got! And I can be a mom!

Thanks not only go to Dr. Neurosurgeon but to my Road Dogs who were doing some hard core praying for me yesterday and called out all their prayer warriors on my behalf. Y'all are some serious power and God listened. I owe my life, my future, and my future kids to you. I owe everything to my friends, who jump in the hole with me to show me the way out. I love you more than my vocabulary has the ability to convey. Thank you.

As I was relaying the good news to my family last night I said "September 28, 2004, the day Lauren got her life back." and I gasped. As it turns out, that is the 13th anniversary of my Paw Paw's death. He's still working fo me. Still my best friend, still giving me everything I need. Paw Paw said, "Hi, I love you."

*sigh* It's a good day.



Posted at 11:47 AM

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24 September, 2004
Bad day. Real bad day. So bad that when I got home (Isabelle was an angel as usual and had no effect on the day's classification of real bad) it took me about 4 mintues to want to do nothing but climb into bed, pull the covers over my head, and make the greatest of efforts to sleep until it all went away. So that's what I did. Which was no easy task, what with all the yelling and screaming and threatening and cussing and throwing of things going on. But I prevailed and slept a really really lot. Of course none of it went away...okay, one thing did but I have no hopes whatsoever that it is gone for good, or even for an extended period of...oh...say a week.

Today I woke up with 2 bright spots in my immediate future. 3. Starting Over was supposed to be really heinous today and I do so love that and I totally enjoy watching and feeling superior to the houseguests. and 3. IT'S NEW REFRIDGERATOR DAY!!!!! Of course now Starting Over is over till Monday so I am resting all my hopes and dreams on the new fridge...that is, unless M and I decide to return it and get the money and skip town, which is still a very distinct possibility.

So here is a quick rundown of what is making the life of lauren less than entertaining.

1. Health issues that I have been fighting like hell to stave off are finally beating me. It's real scary. Not REALLY scary, but REAL scary, as in this is my reality and it isn't a dream and it isn't something I am gonna be able to overcome and there is no surgical fix-it and just like the neurosurgeon told me 7 years ago, "I'm sorry Lauren, but it will happen. I wish I could fix it but I can't."

2. My mother is making me crazy. I love her but seriously, she needs a hobby. 17 phone calls in one day with nothing to say just because she found out that since we are on the same cellular provider we can talk without it costing us minutes. Make. Her. Stop.

3. Grandmonster.
Dear God,
You can take her any time you need to. Now would be good.
Love, Lauren.

4. Goofus and Gallant. These are my brothers' in law and both of them want to live here.

5. My hammock trees are in danger.

6. I can't figure out where the half way point is between where #3ga lives and where #3sc lives and I want to move there right now.

7. If one more thing on this house breaks I am going to jump into the hole that the plumbers are gonna make and live in the sewer. It may be a step sideways but at least I'd live alone.

Yeah, there were more but just trying to explain them would take both too much time and too much effort. But these are a few biggies. Looks like it might be time to up the dosage again.

Posted at 11:44 AM

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22 September, 2004
It took 2 grown ass men 5 hours, 3 seperate sets of audio/video instructions, 2 sets of THX type wires to connect to eleventeen male and female connectors, 2 remotes, and a carton of feverishly smoked Marlboro Ultra Lights to try to get the audio on the new dvd to work.....and it still didn't work when they gave up.

2 days later it took one woman who was good and fed up with not having dvd audio 34 seconds to fix it.

I'm just sayin'.

Posted at 1:55 PM

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Yeah, I'm a dork. But y'all knew that. M, like the good husband he is, came home yesterday with presents. I love Tuesdays because that is when the new cd's and movies and dvd's and such come out in stores. Yesterday was the release of the Star Wars trilogy dvd set and I knew that M would be buying it the second it came out and budgeted accordingly. Yup, he did. However, he doesn't like to buy stuff for himself without getting something of equal or greater value for me too. And I didn't even teach him that! So he comes home with the bag from Best Buy yesterday (i swear, we keep them in business. what with the appliances and the music and the movies and the computer stuff and the cell phones, I'm not sure how they succeeded as a business before we got to them.) and it was a bigger bag than I expected. He bought the Star Wars stuff for him, tracked down the Toby Lightman cd I've been looking for, AND he remembered that a few months ago I read in Entertainment Weekly that one of the most undervalued shows ever and one of my own personal favorites was being released the same day. He went on a search for it. It wasn't in the New Releases so he made them go to the back and get me the entire first season of the show POPULAR.

Today I have forced myself (no easy task) to get all my chores done, call the plumber again to move up the date when he will rip up my yard like Kim Stewart on a motorcycle, call Grandmonster's doctor's office to get an address to send the paperwork they need, vacuum, straighten up the bedroom, do my yoga, talk to #3sc, etc. so that I can now spend the rest of my day watching a marathon of the adventures of my old yet dear friends Sam, Brooke, Nicole (aka Melissa Ethridge's new wife), Harrison, JoshFord (one word, no pauses when you say this hallowed name), CARM!!!!!!!, Lily, and the rest of the Kennedy High gang. And how much did I LOVELOVELOVE it when I told #3ga that I got the first season of Popular and she said, without me telling her what it was, "I LOVE MARY CHERRY!" Twins, I tell ya!

So now that the #3's have saved me from myself yet again (#3sc is my hero right now) I am off to enjoy the life and times of teen angst that is not my own! I do love me some smart assed, intelligent satire in the guise of Friday night melodrama.

And do yourself a favor and look up Toby Lightman. You will not be disappointed. Chick blues/rock at it's best.

Posted at 12:38 PM

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21 September, 2004
See, if you're coming into my house and I'm paying you 143 buckets of cash to do so, you could at least try to leave the snitty attitude at the door. I have 2 dogs and at least one of them will bite you square in the ass if you are pissy boy to me (at least he will after I sneak a Snausage in your back pocket). Is it my fault that the drain is shot? The house was built in 1964 and the plumbing has never been worked on before. I'd say that falls under the "it's about damn time" category.

These are the same plumbers that came here and did the same work last month (for the same amount of buckets of cash) so they know what they are in for. Well, one of them was the same, the other was some new kid that obviously spends the majority of his salary on Oxy 10 and mad crazy rims for his Nova. (it's sweeeeeeet!) He also has a Beavis and Butthead laugh and displayed it loudly when Grandmonster yelled at the dog and the dog ran into a chair to get away from her, so that annoyed me straight away. This is probably why I was less than concerned and more than amused when he fell face first down the basement stairs and took the Roto Rooter machine with him. Yeah, it landed on top of him. Yeah, he bled. Then his boss yelled at him for being a giant dumbass for like 10 minutes. Cut to me removing myself to the back room so I can laugh till I cry in peace.

So the drain gets snaked and then I get "The Plumber Lecture". Apparently plumbing tree roots out of the pipes gives him the right to talk to me like he is my dad. Um, yeah, no it doesn't and I let him know this. I told him if he wanted to lecture someone about getting pipes replaced he should probably ask if said person has or has not already scheduled this particular procedure while on the phone with his very own wife/receptionist not 2 hours prior before getting his feathers all fluffed up and ready for a fight. Because if this is cock fighting that you're going for, I've got news for you, son. I'm gonna win. So simmer down, Deloris, and start making with the estimate I called your happy ass in here for in the first place before I teach Beavis to kick your ass.

If I have learned anything from my mechanic brother in law it is to not take shit from plumbers, electricians, contractors, or mechanics who try to have a dick measuring contest with women who they assume know nothing. They have one dick, I have 2 ovaries and a checkbook. I win. So I called his wife on him. She promised that he'd be nice next time and she'd cut me a deal. In a couple of weeks this schmo is coming back to my house with one of those big yellow digging machines and ripping my backyard to shreds to lay some pipe, and I'm betting from the reaction of his wife that it'll be the only pipe he lays for a while.

As my niece, Princess Protege, says
"Girls rule, boys drool."

Posted at 2:44 PM

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20 September, 2004
I don't know why I said that but it felt good coming out. Now back to business.

As y'all know, I am up to my ass in remodelling chores. I have to call this plumber and postpone this contractor and reschedule this mold eliminator guy and supervise and answer questions for the guy in my basement with a flashlight and a wrench and find out who the guy is that is in my basement with a flashlight and a wrench and reassure Grandmonster that it is all gonna be okay and reassure her again that it's gonna be okay and remind her again that this is getting done with or without her permission so she can either get on board with it real fast or get the fuck out of our way. (she had a little snit last night and I am once again grandma enemy numero uno but it's okay because I'm used to that postion and if I had to relinquish my title I'd hardly know what to do with myself)

Add this to trying to work through budget issues, cleaning house, trying to figure out how exactly I am gonna work having the new fridge installed tomorrow and standing guard so that grandma doesn't wallpaper it with pictures of people we do not know, making various long postponed doctor's appointments and schedule tests and crap that I'd rather eat the basement carpet than have performed, call to arrange transportation for said tests and appointments, do my yoga, do not eat the cheesecake that MIL left in our fridge, take care of the dogs, fix the audio on the new tv/dvd player, and wash the garage door.

So needless to say, I might not be updating much in the next few days. When the dust settles (and I sweep it up and find the Swiffer Wet Jet and remove all evidence of the offending dust then empty the trash) I'll be back with a whole new cache of stories to entertain you.

anybody need a grandmonster? 76 years old, crazy as a shithouse rat, takes up very little space with her actual person but a TON of space with the shit she brings with her. she's fun to poke with a yard stick. I should know.

Posted at 12:40 PM

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16 September, 2004
i thought I'd add one more of my many bits of happy I have posted about my house. This is one of my all time favorites.

And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does is come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shameI rise

Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fearI rise

Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave,
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

A recitation of this once a day keeps the Grandmonster away.

Posted at 6:35 AM

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15 September, 2004
Aside from the chortles that this title will get from 2 people, this is actually something I ask myself daily. I'm an avid reader and sometimes there are things I read that ring a certain truth in me at the time. I have saved, written down, cut out and hung on the fridge any number of little sayings, poems, quotes, etc. through the course of my life. Currently I have this pasted to my desk;

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others..."

Mariann Willaimson


It helps me no end. Since I am obviously feeling very Ugly Stepsister today I thought that posting it on my blog as a reminder might lift me up a touch. Especially since a few of my reader sisters have themselves given me permission to let my light shine in the first place. So thank you to my girls. You may not realize it, but you make me better every day. I love y'all. A lot.

Posted at 3:30 PM

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I just can't seem to get out of sleepy mode today. Not the sleepy mode where you find yourself dozing off while doing your regular daily activities, but the one where you are awake but everything is just kinda hazy. Thank goodness I have the habit of writing notes with pretty much every phone call and I make a list of things that MUST be done on a particular day because I had 5 digits dialed to the dumpster company to change the delivery date for the next dumpster from Friday to Saturday when I looked at my notes and realized that I had done that already.

Here's my gripe o' the day. My MIL, the flake, made an appointment to get the family portrait done. The whole family. I guess she figured it was time to do it now before Jailbird BIL goes back to the clink. But did she ask anyone when it was convenient for us to all get together to take a few pictures? No. Did she tell us when the appointment was after she made it? In a way, yes. She made the appointment early last month and she told us last night. It will be this Friday night. That's after, I guess. And which studio is doing the photos? So glad you asked. It is the local Grocery/Supercenter. I cringe every time I think about it. Because you know that if anyone can pose people correctly to minimize the square footage of someone's ass it is the 17 year old bag boy who gets to work the photo counter until his broken collarbone heals. I was a photographer for far too long to be able to fake a smile for a picture I can already tell is going to be abismally ugly and my MIL is sure to have made into a 16x20 and hang.......well, nowhere in this house because there is no more wall space, but she'll hang it somewhere. And of course I am breaking out and I fell down in the dining room yesterday and have a HUGE black and blue chin and scab from where the bottom of my face connected with the metal rim of the stairs.

Seriously, I'm cute, right? You'd tell me if I looked like Ernest Borgnine, right?

So I am debating getting my hair cut Friday morning. I need it because I'm looking a bit Land of the Lost, but I run the risk of getting the hairstylist who is having a bad day and come out looking Sinead O' Connor. Ugh. I think it's yoga time. I need to get centered.


Posted at 1:52 PM

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14 September, 2004
Due to the fact that I have a limited amount of time to lose 50 pounds and recieve my free airline ticket to Europe I knew I had to not only change my eating habits (something that has been especially difficult in the past few stressful days when all I want to do is make cookies then eat them) but I was going to finally be forced to do some sort of exercise routine as well. So, like the good slackass that I am I reasearched my options completely to find the one source of exercise that required the least actual body movement. I found yoga. Here's a little SAT analogy for you.

Yoga is to exercise as the Rockaway is to dancing.

I got all my equiptment, my squishy purple sticky mat, 2 matching yoga blocks, a yoga strap with buckle, work out clothes that do not touch even one spot on my body, a video on how to properly make use of these props, and a DVD for beginners yoga that includes 4 different routines as well as a section that teaches you all the basic poses and runs through them with you so you can learn them before attempting to put them into practice. I am doing yoga by DVD because I know for a fact that I would have paid for a complete course of yoga instructions by a qualified local teacher then promptly quit after the first class because I fell on my ass so much that I'd risk not loosing a pound and a whole plane ticket to avoid further humiliation. This way I only humiliate myself in front of a tv and 2 confused beagles.

Sure enough, it took 10 whole minutes for me to fall on my ass. And then I just kept falling on my ass. Balance is not yet my strong suit. But I am actually enjoying the yoga part. It doesn't make me do the panting thing that I hate so much about other exercises. It doesn't hurt. I rarely break a sweat. I get to learn to be bendy. It reduces stress and teaches how to listen to your body for clues as to what it needs to get healthy. And power napping is actually part of the workout! You can't beat that with a stick.

And I actually do feel better. Doing strenuous things (like defending myself against the basement dwellers) isn't as hard as it was last week and the day after I do all the physical labor part of remodelling I don't hurt as bad or for as long as I used to. This yoga thing doesn't suck. So now I am looking for new books or DVD's to improve my knowledge on the subject so when I reach a point where I am beyond the DVD I currently own I know where to go next. Until then I'm gonna go try to do that triangle pose a few more times. Good stretch, bad balance.

Oh, and today is the day that the niece, Savanna, gets to ride on the float in the festival parade. She has informed me that I am to wear my tiara that says Queen to show support for her on the sidelines and that after the parade she'll share her free ice cream with me. I'm getting Swag from a 7 year old. Is that bad?

Posted at 1:24 PM

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13 September, 2004
First I need to give a shout out to VH1. Thank you, Vh1, thank you for obliterating the last shred of my adolescent fantasies. Jordan Knight is on the new season of the Surreal Life, my new nominee for the greatest show ever on television. It gives a chance to see people we might have once loved be themselves in a house with other D list celebrities and how they react in reality based situations, such as living with Flava Flav, and putting on a musical talent show with 10 year olds playing the accordian. I mean seriously, haven't we all lived with Flav at least once in our lives and weren't we the better for it?

But now I see Jordan, of NKOTB fame (and yes I was a fan and you can just shut up now because is isn't something I was ashamed of in the days of Kurt Cobain and I'm not about to start now) learning to live with regular folk like Charo and Uncle Joey from Full House and I can say with all sincerety that...

I HATE THAT GUY!!!

I'm crushed! He is a misogynistic prick with entitlement issues sporting the I.Q. of a circus monkey in a vegetative state. And he looks like a doofus lifting 2 pound weights with his arms flapping up and down at the rapidity of a hummingbird on cocaine. He has a girlfriend and a child and he still thinks it is appropriate to say to Uncle Joey that the Olsen Twins are hot and he wouldn't mind spending some quality jacuzzi time with them and then proceeding to mercilessly hit on the American Idol girl (who I despise in case you are keeping score at home) who not only turns him down flat but tells him he is old and ugly to boot. That coupled with the fact that American Idol girl is about a biscuit older than his child. Ummmm, ew.

And people wondered why I always loved Joey MacIntyre best.

But watching and ridiculing D list celebrities was only one of the tasks I accomplished this weekend. That's right folks, I have made basement progress. The evil and toxic mold that is growing and maturing and gathering town meeting style to hash out a primitive form of government in my basement lost a few soldiers this weekend. I rented one of those big ass 30 yard construction site dumpsters on Friday. It arrived about 1pm that day. By 4 the damn thing was full to overflowing. We emptied about half of the basement. I figure 2 more dumpsters and we are gonna be in business. Grandmonster did amazingly well. I was terrified that I would spend the majority of the day defending the fact that everything in that basement was toxic and deadly and the spores had hit every surface on every layer of every pile of crap she has lovingly saved and let be destroyed because she was too lazy to fix the leak when it started 10 years ago and now everything must go. But not so much. She knew it had to go and we had someone to blame it on (my MIL who was the owner of a good chunk of the shit down there and has been saying she'd pick it up and take it to her own damn house for about 6 years now) and she was really great about it. Okay, on Sunday morning, before the dumpster was picked up, she went out to get the paper and started to cry. I asked why and she said she knew it had to be done but all she could see was 40 years of her life in the trash. Hell, I even felt bad for her (for about 20 minutes because I lost a lot of my stuff that was important to me in the trashing) and let her have a bad mood day and promised to allow her time to grieve over the loss of her stuff.

What? She makes me crazy on purpose, but I'm not a monster! I'm a Cancer. We have to nurture. It's in the bylaws.

And basement hijinks were not the only remodelling task I set into motion over the course of the last 3 days. Noooooo, I am a productive little bugger. Saturday night I went to get a glass of ice water and when I removed the ice trays (because the icemaker in our freezer hasn't worked since the Nixon administration) there was about 1 cube per tray because some schmo just took the ice out and didn't fill the tray back up. (M is a dead man) My first thought was "I would rather chew out my own eyeballs than fill up these trays one more time." So I tell the Ice Offender that we're getting a new fridge and we're getting it tomorrow. Bright and early. So go to bed by 11, Mofo, because you are going appliance shopping with your wife.

So on Sunday I wake up and say to M, "Happy New Refridgerator Day!!!!!!". We got dressed and were off to purchase the fridge that we desperately need. I am sick of getting up in the morning and either having to Swiffer up the water it leaked out during our slumber or swim to the bathroom. And me without my swimmies. So we get to the store, take care of all the details including measurements to make sure the fridge we want will fit, order the kit to fix the water line to the icemaker, going over the warranty plans and choosing one, getting a replacement filter so we have it on hand when we need it, schedule delivery and installation and removal of the offending fridge type thing we have now and so on and so forth to the tune of about an hour. Up to the register we go with Mr. Fridge Seller Man. Ring it up and ring that up and ring that up and add this Nina Simone cd because I have had to fill ice trays for a thousand years and I deserve it. Swish goes the card and click goes the register and then.....silence. Yeah, no fridge for you.

Apparently the bank was so concerned for our, the patrons of their fine banking institution, financial safety that they Big Brother our accounts all the time to make sure that no unscheduled spending occurs. We have exceeded our spending limit for the day so no fridge for me. Today however, they are waaaaaaaaaaay more concerned with their own personal safety because I called them a week ago to inform them I was making this purchase and a billion others since we were currently doing a giant remodel on our home. Oh yeah, they had that written on our account. No clue why it stopped me. So I order the fridge again. No fridge for me. Red flag for my account, but no fridge. So the cell phone is whipped out again and I talk to the same teller, whose name I will forever remember because it was, I shit you not,
Kisses Valentine. You have not lived till you have called a financial establishment and asked to speak to Kisses, Kisses Valentine. And yes, I asked her what her birthday was in the hopes that her mother, drunk with painkiller from a difficult labor on Valentine's Day and still sporting the pregnancy hormones decided to pay homage to this most sacred of days of love and proclaim her daughter the love of her life by naming her Kisses when she knew damn good and well that their last name is Valentine.

Her birthday is November 9th. Moving on...

She fixed it again and I am currently waiting for M to get his happy ass home to take me to see Kisses again (we're forming quite a bond, me and Kissy. I am eagerly awaiting our next meeting and the special moments it will bring us both.) and get an actual confirmation that if we go to buy this fridge again I will actually leave with a reciept for this fridge and promises to have it delevered before the end of the week and not further piss off the salesman who has all but given up on us.

Pray for me, M, the salesman, Grandmonster, and Kisses.


Posted at 1:19 PM

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08 September, 2004
5 cool points to anyone who can tell me what movie I stole that line from.

I've got a big case of the ickies. It's the weather changes. When the seasons change round these parts I always hurt way worse than normal. I can usually ignore it and pretend it isn't there, or suck it up and move on, but the last few days have been an outright bitch. The pain just wakes me up out of a dead sleep. The meds are lasting a whole entire 45 minutes and then I am left to swing in the breeze. If I could just get 5 minutes without any type of pain I might be able to recollect myself and try to fake fine again. (and while we're dreaming, can someone have Jason Mraz delivered to my door so he can sing to me while he feeds me grapes?) No such luck. And my heating pad died a quick and painless death around 2 am. Fortunately Gus is not new to the unexpected demises of heating pads and as usual he positions himself right at the small of my back and sleeps. Without being asked. That's a good dog. Yeah, I have to feed and walk him, but at least he's cordless.

God is fair. I'm cute, I'm funny (well, not today, but usually), I have good hair, a great rack, a fantastic husband, the best friends that a girl has any right to ask for, a family I genuinely like, and 2 amazing dogs. A girl can't be expected to have everything so I have also been afflicted with Spina Bifida, tethered cord syndrome, an oily t-zone, and a grandmother in law. Those were the cards I was dealt, now let's play poker.

So the vacuuming is done, the dogs are fed and watered, things are thawing for dinner, the bathroom is clean enough, and it is just past 11am. Color me done. Heating pad or not, I'm going back to bed. I have my new Jason Mraz live cd and a stack of books to read. I'll catch y'all on the flip side.

Yeah, I know, I know. I'm a giant bag of bummer today. Can't help it. I just hurt more than the average bear. They all can't be winners.

Posted at 11:11 AM

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05 September, 2004
He's taught my mother how to get me to do what she wants me to do. I used to think that his advice on how to best teach and discipline children was helpful. Especially since I tend to be the caretaker of one or more children at any given time. He says to find the child's currency and when they are not following rules or acting up you take that currency away, whether it be televison, music, play time, or dessert. This has been extrodinarily helpful right up until yesterday afternoon.

My mom came over to help me with a "project". She is, as always, concerned about my health. Yes, I smoke and my diet consists of all things most unhealthy and extra cheese. For instance, today I breakfasted on candy corn and coffee straight from #3 Carolina. Bliss. I have PMS, sue me. So needless to say I am not a size 8. But I have been a size 8 and I was miserable. I spent all my time worried about trying to stay a size 8 and thinking badly about myself. Forget Paul, I thought I was the walrus. When you have chronic bronchitis and are coughing up not only your lungs, but a few other people's lungs as well and you conciously avoid taking a cough drop because it has 7 calories it is time to get real okay with the size of your ass, and fast. So I did. And guess what? Boys still liked me. Who knew? So now I am happy and married and comfy in my mass quantity of skin. I'm not saying that I'm a size where Jerry Springer has called and offered to take the side of my house off so I can once again see the stars, but I am a nice and content size 20-22. And when I am out and about with my skinny sister I can still hang long after she has to grab a cup of tea and a nap.

But Mom is worried about my health. I can understand that. I'm in no hurry to change, but I understand the worry. But yesterday Mom finally figured it out. She found my currency, and it isn't a cookie. She looked at me and said, "If you lose 50 pounds I will buy you a plane ticket to Paris.

Fuck.

Now I have had some sort of magical draw to France for as long as I can remember. When I was 12 and in the hospital and in and out of consciousness, I came to real quick when I found out one of the residents grew up in France. I stayed alert long enough to absorb any shred of info I could about the country, the language, the food (yeah, even then), the people, and the culture. When I was 12 I started taking French. When I was 15 I lobbied my parents for almost an entire year to let me go on the class trip to France. I saved my lunch money and my allowance and got a passport and went to every meeting until Mom caved and went to one of the meetings with me and she and Dad let me go. The second I stepped off the plane (with a migraine and jet lag) it was a whole different world. I felt like I had come home. I felt comfortable in Paris and more than comfortable in Montpellier.

I went back when I was in college. I took a semester of art school in Pont-Aven, France, where Gaugin found inspiration and painted for years. I sat where he sat, lived where he lived and painted where he painted. It was, by a long shot, the best time of my life. There was not one single second that I can remember (including missing the train and getting stranded in Quimper and not being able to get in contact with the school to tell them I was lost and sitting outside a train station on my luggage waitng for dawn so I could catch a cab to Pont-Aven) that I was anything less than completely happy. It was exactly where I wanted to be exactly when I wanted to be there. How often does that happen in life?

Here's a link to the school I went to. Take a gander at the pictures of the town. This is where I want to live and die.
http://www.pontavensa.org/

So for the past %(*^&%$ years I have wanted to not only go back, but take my mother on her first trans-atlantic flight and her first trip to another continent to show her why I love it so much and share a pivital point in my life that she made financially and supportively possible. Now it can happen. Not in a "some day I'm gonna take my mom to Pont-Aven" kind of way, but a "what part of town would you like to stay in" and "what time does our flight leave?" kinda way. All that stands in the way is 50 pounds.

I told her I'd think about it. I have. I don't wanna do it. Let's be honest, I'm scared to do it. I mean, I was an art major but I can do this kinda math. Skinny=unhappy, fat=happy. So I thought about it, and I slept on it. All night long I dreamed of Paris. In my dreams I was in a Parisian hotel room (not one of the ones you see on tv, an actual Parisian hotel room like the ones I have been in so many times before) making plans to meet up with my sister on Pont Neuf and try to make it to Musee D' Orsay before it closes. I was laughing with my Mom (and #3's, no shit) on the Metro and trying to remember my way around Pere La Chaise so I can show them where Chopin, Victor Hugo, and Jim Morrison are buried and snaking my way deep into the heart of the cemetary to show my mother live and in person, my very favorite monument on the grounds. (which I have taken many photographs of).

Double Fuck.

So today I bought "Yoga for Extreme Beginners" and "Yoga for Back Pain". I'm going to the grocery and making more informed choices and getting back on the juicing routine I have been slacking on. God, help me.

But I'm finishing the bag of candy corn first. So there.

Posted at 2:00 PM

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03 September, 2004
I tried, I really really did. I tried to keep the mix cd to a manageable length but it just wouldn't cooperate.

I am a music hound. I love almost everything (with the exception of most country, as previously posted) and I own a little bit of everything. And I enjoy listening to a little bit of everything all at once. So I make mix cd's for myself and for friends. They go more by moods than by genre. I've made them with titles ranging from "in love" to "I can do better" and "songs I am forced to sing along with" to "songs that make me remember boys in my past". I must admit that I have also made one or two titled "songs to do it to". It was requested by someone I dearly love that I make a cd called "slow dancing in the den". This is my current project.

I am being really meticulous about song choice and track order. I want the songs to flow into one another and set a mood and do my best to take the evening where it wants to go. It is basically the soundtrack to a really amazing date.

The problem is I have so many songs that I feel say the right things and have the perfect tempo that it has gone from one cd to a two disc set and it is now approaching box set. This is no longer the soundtrack to a date. It is now a long term relationship with Lloyd Dobbler. Now I have to weed some of the songs out, but how do you choose between Van Morrison's Crazy Love and Tupelo Honey? Do I need a song from both Big Luther and little Luther? Just how many Al Green songs can I get away with without just copying his entire discography? There are currently 36 songs on here!

I tried to get my partner in cd mixes, the non jailbird BIL, to help me thin the herd. Unfortunately, after he was done I had 7 more songs. Yeah, thanks Chris.

I need input. Perhaps if I get a better feel of what y'all might choose on a slow dance in the den mix I could get this under control. Here's a sample of what I've got on it thus far.

ain't no sunshine when she's gone-bill whithers
funny how time slips away-al green
the way you look tonight-michael buble
at last-etta james
somewhere only we know-keane
if you're not the one-daniel bedingfield
strong enough-sheryl crow
lover, you should have come over-jamie cullum
underneath it all-no doubt
she-elvis costello
whenever i say your name-mary j blige and sting
turn me on-norah jones
i wana know-joe
woman-maroon 5
by your side-sade
come back to bed-john mayer
no woman, no cry-bob marley
when you say nothing at all-allison krause
do right woman-commitments
ice cream-sarah maclauchlan

etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum. Plus all the good artists have way more than one song. But seriously, how is a girl supposed to choose between Al Green songs? It's like Sophie's choice!

Posted at 11:17 PM

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I did it. I got cell phone. I've been actively avoiding getting one for years because
3) M's old cell phone hated me and hung up on me every time I called.
3) I don't neccessarily want everyone to be able to track me down all the time.
and 3) I don't go anywhere.

But since my home phone is perpetually busy because some dillhole is constantly on the internet, or grandmonster wants to talk to my MIL for the 14th time today (nevermind that MIL is at work and has absolutely nothing to say to anybody) and long distance phone calls are kicking my ass financially (why oh why did God have the oversight to place my nearest and dearest far enough away from me that it is gonna cost me money?) I caved. So this morning, after the doctors appointment, I went out and bought not one, but two cell phones. M had to have one because I have spent too much time listening to busy signals when I am out and need to talk to him or someone at my house and he forgot to dissconnect when he was done playing on the internet 8FUCKINGHOURSAGO!

but at least i'm not bitter.

So now I have a cell phone. Now people can actually contact me! Wanna know what else? Sure you do. It has caller ID, call waiting, and 3 WAY CALLING!!!!!! Did I mention 3 way calling? That is an important part. I get to call not one, but 2 people at a time. And we can all talk together!!!

I have not yet christened my phone because the person I want to christel...I mean christen it on is not yet at home. So I guess I'll just have to wait. Thank God for Anytime Minutes.

Posted at 3:09 PM

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01 September, 2004
Grandmonster strikes again. The woman has a skewed sense of entitlement. Here's a little backgroud so you can tell me if I am wrong to be outraged at her latest direction of hatred. (and bear in mind that i am not wrong.)

So Jailbird brother in law (let's call him B Wolf, no, let's call him Brian W. yes, I stole that but it is fucking funny.) has been out of jail since April this time. He got put in there for running out on a lease on an apartment and when that sentence was up he tried to ask if he could be at-home incarcerated in my home since grandmonster is here and they has lengthened his sentence for unpaid child support of his then 2 year old son. Unpaid as in "never ever once paid it. Grandmonster said yes to the stay, I said not just no but HHHEEEEEEELLLLL NNNNNOOOO!!!! Once again with feeling, "are you out of your fucking mind? No. Seriously, no. Don't ask me again. No". He snuck into my house to be in home incarcerated a few years ago for a month and they told us to sign a paper saying we agreed to stay off the phone and computer for more than 10 minutes at a time since that is how they located Jailbird through his low jack. Um, yeah, no. I didn't sign and the cops didn't check. So a few days later the black and white shows up and tells me that I need to stay off the phone. Again, um, yeah, no. But thanks for playing the home game. We have some lovely parting gifts. I told them if they could find MY SIGNATURE anywhere on that consent form then I'd gladly get off the phone, but if they couldn't then they could go the way they came in and quietly because I'm on long distance. And take that freeloading BIL with you. They didn't take him but they did leave me the fuck alone about the phone and computer for the rest of his stay here.

We do not fuck with Lauren's phone privledges. I don't care who you are and those handcuffs are faaaaaarrrrrr from intimidating.

So here it is, a couple of years later, and Jailbird has gone through about 17 jobs and $17,000 worth of pot. And still no child support check. The baby mama doesn't turn him in because he occasionally babysits and he does her yard work and household things whenever she calls. Plus she figures she has a helluva lot better chance getting some cash out of him when he is not someone's bitch. I agree, but he still can't live here. Plus I have great respect for baby mama since she is the single parent of 2 and her kids are always well mannered, well the one related to me is anyway.

So today gandmonster comes in with her gossip face on and as I was cornered in and tethered to the wall by the vacuum I didn't get the chance to make a run for it. Here's what I got. *in her angry voice*
it: I could just knock [baby mama's] block off. Do you know what she did?
me: *dammit, sigh* no, what?
it: Brian sold a pint of blood yesterday and got $20. [Baby mama] made him give her $15 of it so by the time he took the bus back to your mother in law's {author's note: he went to borrow money} he only had $1 left.
{author's note: it does not cost $4 to take the bus here. $.75. that's it.}
me: .....am I supposed to be outraged for some reason? Because I'm not. Did you tell that story right?
it: Well [baby mama] didn't give blood so why should she get his money.
me: Because she gave birth.
it: That doesn't mean she has any right to take his money!
me: Actually it does. He owes her tens of thousands of dollars and she could have him thrown back in jail and she doesn't. I think it's pretty decent of her actually.
it{with angry face now turning a delightful shade of purple, which i am enjoying far more than a good person should}
it: But...but...but he just got a job where he can start paying her so she should know she is going to get some money now.
me{trying so hard not to crack a smile. damn this is fun}: Except this is the eleventeenth job he has had since April and even our 7 year old niece Savanna knows he isn't gonna keep it. (more on this at a later date but rest assured it is funnier than I can convey electronically and that girl is exactly like me and honing her smart ass muscles early) Plus he has such a great track record of paying his child support. I'da taken all twenty and told him to use his thumb to get himself home. She's nicer than I am. And no, he is not gonna live here. This is why I took the bed out of the guest bedroom. He kept trying to move in. No.
it: I'm not talking to you anymore.
me: HUNNY! Get the bubbly out! We're CELEBRATING!!!!!

So am I right to think that Grandmonster is a narrow minded fuckwit? Feel free to share comments and thoughts.

Posted at 3:30 PM

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The Wild Flower
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