26 May, 2005
The bags have been packed. I have set my alarm. I've readied myself for the navigation responsibilities (despite the fact that I don't really need to navigate. Once Tasty and I get on the road the car sorta navigates itself towards Allieland.). I've got birthday goodies tucked safely away so no harm will come to them in transit. I have made sure that those we will see on the way to Hotlanna know we're coming (and they will be receiving more phone calls as we get closer to them so they can prepare to be hugged and kissed and loved to the fullest extent of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia law.). It all comes down to this...

ONE WAKE UP AND WE'RE THERE!!!!!

I am so ready for this. It will be five days of chillin' like ice cream fillin'. Because we'll be Kool and the Gang if you'd rather hang. Hugs will be executed, making out will commence. We're reserving a table for 5 everywhere we go in honor of those Numbers who cannot make it. (although I will do much better if I pretend that our Rock Star is just stuck in Commerce again and Mary is in transit, on her way to us.)

See, The Numbers roll 5 deep. That's the whole meaning of the tattoo. Completion. Togetherness. Five separate women from 5 separate backgrounds in 5 different states with 5 different points of view coming together to form 1 amazing friendship. We are the real live equivalent of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants...except the pants are a really cool tattoo.

Each one of these women have saved my life and the 4 of them together have brought me out of a hole the likes of which I had no hope of ever digging my way out. There are no words deep enough to explain what they mean to me. My expansive vocabulary does not support that many words. I learn from them every day. They have taught me strength, courage, hope, love, supportiveness, happiness, and the power of friendship. They have walked me through a really tough couple of years and held my hand and cheered me on as I find out who I am.

I hope every woman out there can have a friend like any one of these amazing women. The kind of women who will not only let you air out your own dirty laundry, and listen while you share your misery, but hold you and pat your hair and let you do the snot cry when there are no words left to soothe your pain. Their comfort comes in all forms. Whether it is a phone call at 3am on a Tuesday or a quick text message to say "I love you.", each time they reach out it makes a difference. Because I admire each one of them for the human beings and grown ass women they are, and the kind of woman I aspire to be.

Other than the tattooage and some glow-in-the-dark bowling, there are no solid plans for the trip. We'll do a bit of grocery shopping to stock up on supplies we need for our fat activities. We will probably watch a few movies. We'll meet some people who we've heard so many fantastic things about that it is kinda like meeting celebrities. We will eat anything that can't run away on its own. But most of all, we'll be together...even the ones that aren't there live and in person. They will be there. Because that's how we roll.

Five deep.

Posted at 7:55 PM

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25 May, 2005
So, as I mentioned in the first of my 2 posts yesterday, I lost my music, gained my music, then realized I never found it in the first place. It's confusing, I know. Well, let's hope today's computer tinkering squashes this issue.

M got me a new hard drive. A big one. One that'll hold 4 times the amount of music that fits into my iPod. That sounds just about right. Plus, all his computer crap that is clogging up my old hard drive is gettin' the hell off my computer. This is what happens when you refuse to argue with him and instead just say, "I know what the problem is, I understand why it is happening. There is a solution. Help me find it or help me figure out how to pay for a new computer that you don't have access to." It is amazing how much more quickly his brain shifts into solution mode when he thinks he might have to use the slow computer while I sit happily in the other room, zipping my way through the internet.

So now I have to reload my iTunes software on the new hard drive and fill it back up with the files I have salvaged. (Go get Jason Mraz's new single, Wordplay, immediately. You can finish reading my blog later. Go now. And request it on your local radio station.) The software adding and reloading will take about 4 hours. Now I have no excuse for my avoidance of the housework. Dammit.

1 DAY AND A WAKE UP!!!!! CAN YOU STAND IT? Ima need someone to help me decide on a precise location for the tattoo. I have butterflies already. Someone is gonna be holding my hand, right?

Posted at 10:45 AM

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24 May, 2005
This time next week I will be screwed, blued, and tattooed. I've been working up the courage for...oh...about forever now to actually follow through with it. See, I have a horrible needle phobia. Add that to the fact that myownpersonal father will do the disappointed face when he finds out. (For those of you who know myownpersonal father, please don't tell him yet. I'll do it in my own time...and by that I mean I will drag it out as long as possible and finally tell him when he accidently catches a glimpse of it and I can't get away with it anymore.)

My mom knows already though, and she is coming to terms with it as we speak. I likened it to her getting her cartilage pierced with her best friend a few years ago and her desire to get her nose pierced (which my dad has also put the kabosh on until he retires so he doesn't have to show up to company functions with a pierced wife. This man was a hippy. Now he is a republican. Whatever.) and she finally understood why I'm getting inked.

I have feelings of excitement mixed with abject terror at the thought of getting it done. Hopefully, Hot Tattoo Boy will be there to ease my pain. (insert the sound of a cat purring here) That is one pretty man. But anyway....this is what will soon be a permanent addition to my epidermis.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Since I am already a mess of scars from various surgeries and clumsy accidents, I figure this will be the cutest of my permanent markings. If I ever get lost or stolen y'all can show them this image to help them identify me as I am out Patty Hearsting it up. (I dig berets) I'm thinking it will be in purple. Whaddaya think? About the size of a quarter.

The symbol means "completion". The reasons we chose it are many, and I'll go into it at a later time, but it means much to those of us getting it. It will be my first (and perhaps last) tattoo, but I still haven't ruled out a new piercing. That depends entirely on how convincing HTB is to get me to add a new silver, self mutilating appendage to my person. He's a very pretty man, after all.

Just 2 days and a wake up till we start our journey with breakfast with Jennysue! Psyche me up, oh tattooed ones. Ima need the extra fortification.

Posted at 12:19 PM

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The music is gone again. Why, oh why? All those songs that I spent the past year loading on to my computer from the fuckillion cds in my own personal music library will not come back. Oh, I thought they were back. They sure looked back. They were an illusion. The file names came back to my iTunes library but the files were nowhere to be found. As soon as I went to play them they got this ominous exclamation point next to them and the computer said the file could not be found.

Well, fuck.

I located a good number of them hiding out in a random documents folder called "New Folder". I can only assume that in their world "New Folder" is similar to "John Doe". (M is so never touching my music files ever again.) When I copied the files to drop back into the correct location for iTunes to find them it got about halfway through with the copying and gave me a message close to this one.

"Guess what? You have no more room on your hard drive. I'll tell you what. You delete a song and I'll give you a song. Eye for an eye, mothafucka. Love, your computer"

I gave up. I'm just going to have to buy a new, bigger, better hard drive to hold all my music. Until I can go out and get one I am stuck with the music still safely tucked within my iPod to tide me over. Fortunately, that is a decent amount of music. Unfortunately, I downloaded Mraz's new song off iTunes yesterday and I cannot get it on my iPod without sacrificing everything else. Talk about Sophie's Choice! Whatever, I'm a survivor.

Speaking of Mr. A-Z. He's in town today for a radio station promo concert type thingy. I entered the contest and the Bastard People didn't draw my name so I am without tickets. This means I don't get to go. It is almost a full 2 years since he came anywhere remotely near me and I can't go. Ugh.

In honor of Mraz actually making it to Louisville once (in the hopes that he will make it here again in the fall, when I can buy tickets) I am dubbing today Jason Mraz Day in the Lola household. All Mraz, all the time. Starting with me watching the dvd concert and continuing with me toting around my iPod in my festive pink jacket whilst I clean the house and do laundry and otherwise prepare for my trip. It'll probably end with the dvd as well. Since I can't see him live I might as well see other people see him live.

Bear in mind, I will be skipping while I clean and prepare. I've had some unususal bursts of energy in the past few days. I wonder why? Oh yeah, Atlanta/Numbers/Tattoos in 2 days and a wake up!!!!

Posted at 9:48 AM

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21 May, 2005
Guess who fixed the lack of music problem? Me, that's who. I found the hack that lets you reverse the flow of the music from iPod to iTunes instead of the other way around. Then I implemented it. Then it worked. I know it was not a difficult thing to do for most computer nerds, but me, the lipgloss nerd, now feels like a Super Genius!

It was all about the hidden files, folks. Apparently Apple, the fine makers of iPod products, feels it is too easy to steal music when the iPod can send music to a computer. I guess that is true in theory. However, when one has a dipshit husband who is under the delusion that he is , in fact, Bill Gates Jr. Jr. and tries to make the computer do things that it normally would not do and erases all of his doting wife's music file leaving her to cry and vomit repeatedly, it becomes necessary to use a hack or three to keep this doting wife (who still never came right out and said it was his fault even though he readily admits it was) from committing various acts of murder and treason.

The long and short of it? He still has all of his anatomy attached to his torso. He's lucky I can navigate my way around the internet, that's what.

I even got a prize for not saying "I told you so, you evil music killer!!!". I found the absolute cutest iPod (for lack of a better term) jacket at Target yesterday. It is metallic pink and looks like one of those wallets you put your I.D., cash, key, and Visa in when you go to the club (to avoid having to take a purse because you just know some fine gentleman will buy you drinks and sigh in contentment as you imbibe and dance till your shoes melt). It attaches to your belt loop or you can hang it from your delicate wrist and it even has a thingamabobbie to wrap your over long headphone cord so it doesn't get entangled in your bold yet classic jewelry choices. Now that is a fashion statement I can get behind..or under..or around..or wherever the loop thing lets me go. Whatever. I'm one happy monkey. Lookit me dance, y'all!

Posted at 11:00 PM

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20 May, 2005
there is nothing. Due to an unfortunate error in judgment and an unfortunate computer fuck up, I am no longer the reigning Music Whore. M was trying to help, he really was, and I got sick of saying "That isn't going to work. Don't do it." and mistakenly said "FINE! Do it and shut up about it already!". He did it and it didn't work and now all my music is gone.

Gone. That is the name of an *NSYNC song that I used to have. Now, *NSYNC and all the other boys in my life are gone. *sigh* I miss you, JC. I miss The Mraz (although I am going to see him live and in person on Tuesday. Perhaps he will feel my pain and give his magic wand a wave and give me my music back...or at least come to my house for a few beers and to sing Unfold to me one more time. Shut up. I'm desperate here. Give me my fantasy back, dreamkiller.). I miss Aqualung and The Killers and Marc Broussard, and my perfect playlist of Miles Davis melting into John Coltrane melting into Chopin melting into Yo Yo Ma. Don't even get me started on the Good Reverand. I can't think about that now.

I especially miss the playlist of songs for Belle that I was working on for her first birthday party. I put a whole lot of work into it and it was finally ready to burn and play for her. She would have loved it. She still will love it because I am starting over from scratch. It might take me till her actual birthday to finish it, but it will get done and it will be fantastic!

I have the new Dave Matthes Band cd ready and waiting to be added onto the iPod, but until I get some of my more important music on the now empty iTunes I will content myself with listening to it on the impossibly bulky stereo that won't travel with me from room to room. I refuse to get my iPod (which is still full) anywhere near M or the computer for fear that the music I do still have safely tucked inside will bolt in terror and I will lose that too.

Schmuck. I look forward to the day that he understands that when it comes to computers in a musical capacity I know a lot more than him. What I know about it could fit in the Grand Fucking Canyon. (sly Kevin Smith/ Chasing Amy reference. If you haven't seen it yet, go rent it now.) If I say it isn't gonna work then it isn't gonna work...probably. However, it is as much my fault as his. I shoulda kept with my first answer of "NO!" and kept saying "NO!" until he went away and stopped bothering me. Like that would have ever happened. But I would love to be able to maintain that this was sabotage, a terrorist act against my music and my computer because he wants it for his own. 'Cept it wasn't.

That just blows.

I have to go get ready for a funeral now. Could today get any better? Please? Quick like a bunny? This calls for extra lipgloss and cute nail polish.

Posted at 10:12 AM

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18 May, 2005
Warning: not a whole lot of the funny today.

As I said yesterday, there has been a death in my extended family. Yes, it is someone I have known my whole life. Yes, it is someone I knew well. No, my relationship with this person was no more than a secondary familial relationship. I was related to him "once removed" style. However, those who are my family who were directly related to him have been affected by his death in an upheaval sort of way and the loss has changed their lives entirely. That is why I mourn, for the broken hearts of those I love so well that it is breaking mine now too.

He was...let me put this in a nice way...a handful. He was spiteful and jealous and required those who have any sort of meaningful relationship with him bow to his every whim or incur his wrath...but he was the only one of his kind that they got. That saddens me. Not just for them, but because I see that in my own interfamilial relationship with someone in my immediate family, and that person is the only one of his kind that I have left. Maintaining that bond requires work and I have put very little into it. I knew a long time ago that if I wanted it I would have to be just what he told me to be and even then I would never be good enough. Conditional love is a bitch, ain't it?

Now I see what my loved ones are going through. It isn't just that they have lost their loved one, but that they still feel the guilt of how they were made to feel and how this let them diminish an important bond. They never got the chance to have the fairy tale relationship that is promised in movies and television and childrens' books. I don't have that either, but I used to. I have the memories of my fairy tale and it is still an important piece of my life. That relationship helps teach me, to this day, who I am and that I am worthy of love.

The question running through my mind since I got the news yesterday morning is "Is it too late?". I think it might be, but I don't want to endure the guilt in case it isn't. I'm also at a loss as to how to proceed in fixing things that have been broken for generations prior to my birth. How do you get to know someone who has made it clear your whole life that you aren't good enough? Someone who not only doesn't have any faith that you can be worthy of attention, but never thought you did in the first place? Has he closed off the possibility? Was there ever a possibility?

Sorry, I am a bit introspective and vague today. Bring on the dancing monkeys!

Posted at 11:48 AM

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17 May, 2005
I have a problem. It is a Sims problem. More specifically, it is an addiction to Sims 2 problem. It will load up on the computer just fine, however, it runs so slow that I have time to take a shower between actions. Ugh. I hate that. Not good for the addict. I finally just shut the damn thing down and moved on. Of course now I have the overwhelming desire to make a carrot cake. You'd think I gave up cigarettes. I'm gonna gain ten pounds from a computer problem!

On an even less happy note, a member of my extended family passed away this morning. I'm okay, it was a long time coming, but I am worried about a few family members that I adore. If you get a chance, send a prayer or three up for them.

I have a few things I need to get done and a few people I need to check on so I might be back on here later to update again.

Love (and other indoor sports),
Lola

Posted at 10:12 AM

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15 May, 2005
So I got tons of new clothes Friday. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have them. It was a great day all around and involved not only shopping, but mexican food, and ice cream as well. We left the house and went directly to a great little Mexican restaurant to eat mass quantities of cheese and fried carbs to make sure to have enough feul to engergize us for the shopping marathon.

M was quite the trooper as I spent my way through every girlie clothing store in the tri county area and tried on everything they had in my size. I even bought a pair of pants...well, pedal pushers...okay, they were pedal pushers but since I'm a short girl they end up being capris on me. Either way, they are fabulous! They'd kinda have to be to get me in pants. I also got two new lace trimmed camisoles, a red tank top with a bandanna print, an A-line skirt with embroidery, a straight skirt with beading and emroidery, and a black polo dress with white collar and trim. (I may have a new pair of capris, but I am still a skirt girl) While I was out I had to pick up the blue tank top with a rhinestone martini glass on it for Jennysue. It might as well have her name on it.

So yesterday, armed with the new wardrobe, I got up and got all cute in the capris and bandanna tank top. No, I wasn't planning on leaving the house at all, I just felt the need to wear something other than jammies. I proceeded to spend my cuteness day lounging on the bed watching the America's Next Top Model marathon on VH-1 and talking on the phone. That's a damn good way to spend the day! I was so happy it didn't even phase me when Miss Jay on ANTM criticized the runway walk of one of the potential models by saying "Giiiiirrrlll, you walk like you have Spina Bifida on the left side of your body!". The only offense I took is because I have Spina Bifida and I can walk better than that model, but I think that has something to do with the fact that it must be hard for her to concentrate on her ambulatory status while being so damn hungry.

The day is nearly over now and it is time for me to get out of the cute clothes and into the cute jammies. It has apparently been too long since I have worn pants because I forgot how to take them off. In mid disrobing I caught one foot on the hem of the pants and tripped over the cord for the fan, caught my pinkie toe of the opposite foot on the bed frame and fell straight over onto my hip without anything (including my own arms) to break my fall. Now my toe is all swollen and my hip is black and blue and yellow, none of which match any of my new clothes. Only me...I swear.

If you need me, I'll be here, unable to move and with M waiting on me hand and swollen foot.

Posted at 1:23 PM

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13 May, 2005
So if you missed the post about my sleep hangover feel free to click over and read that too...because I am a blogging whore and am convinced that everyone needs to know about me, my thoughts, my feelings, and the addition of bling to my world.

But that is all irrelevent. My husband, M, just said the three most loving and wonderful words in the English language to me a mere 45 seconds after he crawled out of the depths of a refreshing slumber. He said...

"Let's go shopping."

How can you beat that? I'll tell you how. He has decided that it is finally time to take me, and the money I had set aside for me, out into the world to get myself some new clothes. He said "I know you need summer clothes, and you always spend the money we set aside for you on stuff for the house or for me. I'm not going to let you do that this time. Today we are going out and getting you some new clothes and shoes and stuff, then we'll go out and get a bite to eat. You deserve it. I'm going to take a quick shower. Go get ready and figure out where you want to go to shop."

Of course I fell directly down in a faint, but while lying on the floor I had my arms raised in a victory symbol and squealed "I LOVE THAT!!!" Now I am upright and doing the booty dance in my chair and telling the world how much he rocks. I have to stop for the moment because I need to get ready. I shall return later to regale you with descriptions of all my new attire.

Oh, and guess who is now officially a Fraction? Annie-bananie, that's who. Go tell her how proud you are of her here .

*sigh* I have to go shopping now.

Posted at 1:06 PM

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I am experiencing one right this second. I guess, what with all the home repair, dog searching, mix cd making, travel preparing, birthday celebrating, kid adoring stuff I've been up to lately, I didn't realize what a huge sleep defecit I had built up. I got home yesterday and puttered around the house for a full 15 minutes before I decided to crawl into bed and watch a movie. It's a good thing I'd seen The Toy when it came out in the mid eighties because hitting the "play" button is about the last thing I remember. I fell asleep around 5pm and other than a quick trip to the bathroom about 4:30am I didn't resurface until around 8 this morning!

That is 15 straight hours of slumber. Other than a severe bout of unconsciousness during a particularly horrid hospital stay when I was 12, I don't think I have ever had 15 straight hours of sleep! Now I have a sleep hangover. I'm all wonky and drunk, my eyes are focussing about 92% of the time and the remaining 8% (at least we know I can still do simple math) I'm Zoned Girl. All this before the meds are taken.

I hope I regain the rest of my mental faculties before I have to do a ladder climb to reassemble the last of the light fixtures for the week. Yes, I realize I was supposed to do it earlier this week but other new and irritating issues cut in line. For example, our car. I say "our" because we only have one and I paid for half of it. Other than taking me from point A to point B on a semi regular basis I don't have much use of it. It does take M to work and to the bank, thereby adding the comfort of a very little money to my pocket, so it is kind of essential.

Since M is the biggest procrastinater on the face of the planet, I had to not just push the issue of "FIX THE DAMN THING ALREADY!" but punch it as well. He got in a wreck in December. Do you think he got it fixed? No. So when it began with the trouble starting a few months back and I said "take it to BIL's work and have him check it out." do you think he got right on that, especially since it would be free? Nope. So when the car started leaking stuff and I told him to make it stop because it was getting nastiness all over the driveway do you think he did something about it? Yes, he started parking the car in the street. Now it is broken.

Well, yesterday it was broken. Now it just semi unwell. I called M's friend to pick him up for work and told BIL to take M's car to his shop and check it out. It was a cracked something or other (I was tired at the time and retained very little of the info. I'll find out today what happened.) and BIL fixed it. So... now the car runs, but for how long? Who knows. Ima Scarlette O'Hara this one and think about it tomorrow. Of course I really mean tomorrow, unlike M who means "hopefully never or until it breaks completely".

Now on to bigger and girlier things. Have y'all seen this? It is a kit to bling out anything you deem blingable in swaraovski crystals! I am so getting some kits right away! I need to bling the iPod and my new phone (when I get one. It is all in the hands of my MIL, who taught M how to procrastinate.) and the remote control and a few pieces of furniture and a dog or two and whatever else hasn't nailed itself down after seeing me bling everything else. This makes me happy.

Another thing that makes me happy is my new nail polish. It is irredescent teal and is such phenomenal amounts of fabulous that it inspired M to not only notice but comment favorably upon it with no prompting on my part. WOW! Now, that is a nail polish! It is rather adorable and only cost $1.99. That's a small price to pay to spend a day shooting occasional glances at the toesies and smiling. I'm a dork, remember? I am allowed to feel happy because of a nail polish.

Plus, I am genuinely happy anyway lately. Is this what happens to genuinely happy people? Do they see all kinds of teeny happies throughout the day and since the rest of their world isn't doom and gloom they really notice these things and get extra happy? Or am I just a dork who has inhaled a few too many acetone fumes? Either way, I'll take it.

Okay, enough with the rambling. Ima take my meds and get this electrical wiring ball rolling. No need to alert the local physicians, I'm actually pretty good at this stuff.

Posted at 9:57 AM

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11 May, 2005
Lots, that's how many. I have been on a flip flop buying frenzy lately. This month alone I have added these colors to my shoe wardrobe:

blue
lime green
pink
red
and 3 pairs of black.

Is that too much? I'll answer my own question. No, it is not too much. When Target is selling them for amounts between $2 and $7 it just pays to have a few more. You never know when you'll be called upon to come forth with the lime green beaded flip flops that go perfectly with your new electric blue nail polish, or the pink heeled flip flops that are the precise color of the new pearly pink nail polish. Hell, the shoes cost less than the polish! Plus, I'm sporting particularly adorable feet currently. They are well exfoliated and moisturized so I might as well show them off!

Don't even get me started on my addiction to Mary Janes. No, not Mary Jane of the "puff, puff, give" variety, I'm talking the shoes with the cute little strap ala Alice In Wonderland. I wore Mary Janes exclusively in college. I had 14 pairs in 13 different colors and fabrics (one must always have at least 2 pairs in simple black) ranging from hot pink canvas to cranberry satin chinese print fabric to emerald green velvet (for the holiday season...or a chilly Thursday, whatever). They are comfy, inexpensive, and offer a variety of styles. I am sending a personal thank you to the fashion gods for bringing them back into the mainstream.

Since last month I have aquired 2 pairs of black canvas (see above), a pair of hot pink canvas, and one delightful and spectacular pair of black quilted satin by Steve Madden (that I got for a steal of $24 including tax at T.J. Max)! Those are my Fancy Flats. They go wonderfully with the gypsy skirt. I just feel all kindsa cute and girly when rocking the Mary Janes! It puts an extra hitch in my giddyup and makes my eyes twinkle a little bit more just knowing how cute I am.

I have no idea when exactly I caught the fashion bug (speaking of which, I could use a trip to the Fashion Bug to get 3 more of the terrycloth sundresses I have decided are my favorite thing to wear around the house) but I'm betting it had something to do with Miss Alliecakes, the picture of adorability. I swear, as little as 4 years ago I could give a damn about what I wore. Of course, my makeup was always on point, and I could accessorize like nobody's business, but the clothing basically had to cover the wide expanse of my ass and not involve too much polyester. Other than that, I didn't care. Now I want cute clothes and cute hair and cute everything. Even the coverage of my ass comes in second to "does it flounce when I walk?".

Those who know me and see me on a semi regular basis know that I rarely wear pants. I do enjoy the capris, and yoga pants are a must for the strechability required to do my daily bendyness training, but other than that I am in a skirt or a dress or pajamas. That started in college too. I liked the fact that skirts were comfortable and easy to wear and non binding. Plus, you can get away with a whole cross section of cute shoes in a skirt than you can wearing pants. Don't even get me started on jeans. I don't wear them. I think the last time denim saw my ass was a few years ago. Now, I do have my eye on a pair of stretch denim capris, but that is more for the fact that they are rhinestone covered than the fact that they are jeans. I will wear them despite their jeanishness, not because of it.

Strangely enough, just about all I wore in high school was jeans. I was just never a girly girl. A large percentage of my friends were boys, I grew up around boys, I always saw myself as one of the guys (especially if one of the guys was really hot and this meant I got to hang around him more. I was the Queen of 5 Minute Crushes in my teens. Just ask John.). Now I am about one click away from prissy. I preen in the mirror now. I enjoy the color pink and florals and dangly earrings.

In addition to my girlish ways, I regularly look up at the male types through my eyelashes. This works so much better than batting them as no one asks you if you have something in your eyes. For the non southern women in the crowd I will walk you through the steps of performing this technique effectively.

1. Listen intently to what the male type is saying (or fake it. they'll never know)
2. When it comes time to answer or avoid answering a question, slowly lower your head so that your chin is about 3 inches from touching your chest. (this bring the guy's eyes down to your chest as well. good for disorienting him to get what you want)
3. Slowly bring just your eyes up to meet his. DO NOT lift your chin even an inch!
4. Peer up through your eyelashes and gaze lovingly into his eyes until he realizes you are looking at him and stops trying to look down your shirt.
5. Let your mouth go into a soft and innocent smile.
6. Ask for an iPod.

It worked for me! Look how nice I am to bring this secret southern technique to the masses. You didn't even have to pay four low monthly installments of $49.95! Of course, I'm not adding in a free gift of Ginzu knives, but what do you expect for free?

That is enough instruction for today. I need to get out of here and start getting prettied up. Jennysue and I decided we couldn't wait for our respective men to have time to go see the new Orlando Bloom movie with us so we're gonna go see it ourselves this afternoon. We'll just see it with our husbands later. Probably a good plan since I hear his love scenes are particularly spicy and filled with the nakedness. Really, I'm going for the swashing and buckle-ing. Orlando is the king of the swash and buckle and clench.

aaaaaaannnnd....I'm spent.

Posted at 12:55 PM

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10 May, 2005
Doi, we knew that. However, personal issues is not what I want to talk about today. Instead I want to talk about National and Universal issues that are personal to me. Things that have affected my life and I try to make a difference within the organizations that support them.

The first one is the C-word, what I think is the ugliest word in the English language, Cancer. My family has been affected by it from all sides, from my grandfather, to my own mother, to the infamous Grandmonster. Grandmonster is struggling with breast cancer. She was diagnosed almost 4 years ago, and while she has been defiantly fighting it with great success (and milking it for everything she can) she's been hit pretty hard with it in the past month or so. Doubling up her chemo and pain meds, slowing down her pace, digging into her subconsious, and for the first time in 3 years, really affecting her life. Yes, she makes me a crazy lady, but she is still family and when she asks me for help Ima give it...a lot of it.

Today I got an email from a friend of mine. It is for the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act. This is to make it illegal for hospitals to perform the Drive Thru Mastectomy, sending women who have undergone the proceedure home against the wishes of their physiscians while they are still groggy from the anesthesia, sometimes still with drainage tubes attached, and forcing them to keep them in the hospital for a minimum of two days to ensure proper healing. You can find more information on the web page of Lifetime Television, along with a petition and pledge. Please take 30 seconds and sign (2 minutes if you have dial up like me).

http://www.lifetimetv.com/health/breast_mastectomy_pledge.html

The second issue is about homeless animals. Namely dogs, but if cats are your lovable of choice they, of course, count just as much. Anyone who has known me for more than a minute knows about my dogs. I rescued Gus 7 years ago, when he was just 4 weeks old and the family who owned his mom planned on drowning the entire litter in the Ohio river. There is a special place in hell for them. I reserved it myself. Ima come off as a dorky dog lover, but I could give a shit. Gus has saved my life a few times now, not by pulling me out of a burning house, but in a very real way. A few people know how and that's enough for me. He is as much a part of my family as any child that would see fit to join us. He hand picked my husband. Out of every guy I dated since I got Gus, M was the only one he went right up to and crawled in his lap and showed his belly. Sold! Gimme a ring and let's get on with this.

Ruby joined us almost a year ago. I had her name picked out and the second I saw those little sad amber eyes peeking out from behind the kennel I told M, "That's her! That's Ruby!". I can't remember a time when we didn't have her. All the work people said it would add? I haven't seen evidence of it yet. Gus loves her, M loves her, Grandmonster loves her, and I love her. She had a rough life up till we brought her home. She was one of the dogs used for breeding in a horrible puppy mill. She was beaten, malnourished, and over bred. Her belly will always be distended from the litters she carried in her first 4 years of life. Since she has been with us we have just about loved the scared shelter dog out of her, however she still shakes when she gets in the car. We think it is because she thinks we're gonna take her back. As if!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, M wants another dog. He even brought it up to Grandmonster himself. We got her involved in looking for another dog who needs a home, just like I did with Ruby. (she takes to the dogs so much better if she feels like she had a choice, which she doesn't, but whatever.) Yesterday we got on Petfinder.org and did a search for smallish sized beagles in this area. It always amazes me how many animals need good homes where they will be loved, probably for the first time in their lives.

Our search is a bit different than most looking for pets. We don't look for one that we think is cute. Rather, we look for the dog who needs us most. Two dogs stood out. One little beagle girl named Bebe (which rhymes with the name we had picked out for a female dog) stole our heart. She is precious. The other is a small male beagle mix named Trooper (which will probably be changed). That's our guy. He is a year and a half old and was hit by a car when he was just a puppy. One of his back legs had to be amputated. He needs us. I sent an email inquiry to the shelter he lives in now and asked for more information on him. I'm waiting to hear from them, but I think our minds are made up. Unless he gets snatched up by another loving family I think he's gonna be resting his remaining limbs on the dog couch in our family room.

Please, if you are considering adding a pet to your own family, take a few seconds to check out Petfinder. . There are so many animals out there who need you as much as you want them. Puppies and kittens go fairly quickly, but animals over a year old take so much longer to find a good home. There are a million benefits to an older dog. They are usually already housebroken, already fixed, already crate trained, they've been spending time in the shelter with other animals so the workers can tell you about personality traits and whether or not they get along with other dogs and cats and kids, and most of all, the older dogs are generally so greatful to have a safe and loving home that they tend to be much better behaved and completely loyal.

If you are looking for a specific breed, gender, size, or age you can search for it on Petfinder. If you are looking for something more pure bred but don't care about pedigree papers try searching Google for rescue foundations for that breed. As we know, I'm a beagle type of girl. I typed in "beagle + rescue" and got over 400 listings for sites that specialize in saving homeless beagles. My mother is looking for a female yorkie under the age of 3 to add to her family sometime this year. She has decided to name her Lucy. I found over 300 Yorkie Rescue Foundations listed for her find her dog.

Yours might be out there too, just waiting for you to find them and take them to their new forever home and forever family. You have no idea what they will add to your life. You never know, they might be saving you too. Bebe still needs a home. If you have any desire to add a pet, please consider taking a look at her.

Bebe.

Here are some more Beagle Rescue links.
B.R.E.W..

Beagles on the Web

Tri Beagles .org

S.O.S beagles

Beagle Rescue Foundation of America

If anyone has any questions about the links or needs more information let me know.

Posted at 10:30 AM

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09 May, 2005
Despite the fact that I live in the Derby City and I adore pretty much everything Derby related I decided against actually going to the Derby or Oaks (basically the Derby for the locals) this year. Instead I saved my pennies for my Memorial Day weekend road trip to see #3 Georgia Division to celebrate her birthday. I can go to Chruchill Downs anytime and I'll probably hit it a few times this season and not have to spend any cash on a hat or and outfit. Sure, there won't be any celebrities there then, but I'm usually too schnockered to notice them on Derby Day anyway. But I did place a a few simoleans on the actual race anyway. It is a time honored tradition. I've bet on it every year since I was old enough to point to a name in the paper and tell Daddy "Hey, I like this one.".

I informed Mom of my picks early Saturday morning and Dad placed my bets only after questioning my reasoning of betting 2 different horses to win. She thought it'd be a better bet if I did an Exacta box. For the non-horse racing enthusiasts in the house, an Exacta box is not a pornography term. It means betting 2 horses to either win or place (meaning coming in either 1st or 2nd) so that no matter which of the two wins and which comes in second you still get money. Unfortunately, that means that the two horses you bet have to come in first and second. I explained to Mom that I want to bet both to win so that if one wins and the other comes in third I still win something. She argued for me for about a second and I told her to just do it how she wants. She knows better and told me that she would do it exactly how I wanted because if she doesn't and I lose because of it I would hold it against her for about forever. She is right.

So the parentage placed my bets and I went out to dinner and a movie. About 15 minutes before the previews started on Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy I got the call. I won. Since the horse that won was a longshot I won big, considering the amount I put down was small. (a penny saved is a penny you won't lose at the track) I won over a hundred bucks as a return on a $2 investment. Of course Mom wanted to know how I knew to bet on Giacamo. As it turns out, it was because that is the name of an artist I have always loved, Lordi Giacamo Fausto. I'm an art dork and for the first time in a long time it has paid off in actual money.

These winnings are earmarked for a specific and particular purpose. Ink. As in "Ima get that damn tattoo if I have to pay off the vice principal to do it." Hopefully on my foray into Hotlanna this month I can weasel Hot Tattoo Boy into giving us the ink we want and let us squeal with delight whilst doing so. Hot Tattoo Boy is gonna squeal with delight no matter what if only because we are exposing a few extra square inches of glorious flesh to him for permanent marking. Either that or because we have finally broken down and gnawed on him a little. Whatever.

As I previously mentioned, M and I went to see Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy. I did some delightful squealing myownself when I realized the character of Marvin the Maniacally Depressed Robot was voiced by Alan Rickman. I got all giggly and goosebumpy. I love Alan Rickman! Here I thought that the fact that he played Snape in the Harry Potter movies was pretty much the pinnacle of my Fantasy Casting League (hey, some people play Fantasy Football. I can have my Fantasy Casting. I like to pretend I have control of movie making decisions. You should see my Fantasy Director Choice League. All Kevin Smith, all the time.) and then they let him play Marvin too!!! How am I to contain my excitement?

I did thoroughly enjoy the movie. Then again, I have read all the books a few times over. It is a definite improvement over the last time they tried to put the Guide to celluloid. I think Mos Def is hysterical, in addition to being an amazing actor. Look for him to get bigger and better roles. I'm just sayin'. Sam Rockwell did some major overacting in his part and since that was precisely what the character called for it turned out lovely. I am still a little creeped out by the bad CGI on his second head, but I got over that when they decapitated it. Damn, am I spoiling this for anyone? Oh well. As my final thought on the movie I'm just gonna say, "Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich." That is all.

Since the Bastard Calendar People put Mother's Day directly after Derby Day I spent yesterday making the rounds to all the Motherish people in my and M's life. Except my own Mother. But fret not, she forgives us and understands the rigors of trying to hit all the in-laws, outlaws, and family on holidays. We're gonna make it up and add another Mother's Day to the calendar. We did get to M's Grandma (Duh, she lives here and we try and try but can't seem to shake her), M's mom, and one of my Grandmothers (Mo). We schlepped the dogs with us to each and every spot, much to the delight of the Mom-ishes. They love our dogs too. Who could help but love them? All Mom-ish types were thrilled and happy and content. Long day.

Speaking of dogs, M is on an "I want another dog" kick lately and he will not let up. He even has the names picked out, one for a boy and one for a girl so we will be prepared in any event. I was thinking a wiener dog for the humor factor alone, but if (M says "when") we get another one it will more than likely be another beagle. What can I say? We're beagle people. Grandmonster has already agreed to the addition of a new furry somethingorother. My only prerequisite is that it has to be smaller than Ruby and NO PUPPIES! I did my puppy time with the Gustopher and I do not relish another trip down housebreaking lane. Plus, I am still bitter over the loss of my suede pumps.

M dragged me to a number of shelters and adoption centers to view and cuddle and try on the beaglesque dog contained therein. I dutifully looked and oooohed and aaahhhed over them and snuggled and cuddled and played with a bunch, then told him that I was not even gonna consider the option of another dog till he has 2 weeks off work. That's July. I'll figure something out by then. At least having him off work will make it easier to decide the "if" factor. If I can find an adoptable beagle online then he will be available to roadtrip with me to pick it up. I said "If".

We're so gonna need a bigger bed.

That all for now. So long, and thanks for all the fish. Love, the dolphins.


Posted at 12:11 PM

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06 May, 2005
My fellow puppy dorks, I am Lola. I have 2 rescue beagles, Gus and Ruby. They are 2 of the sweetest, smartest, most beautiful, lovingest dogs in the world. (raise your hand if you are a bit nervous about how ima view my human children when I have them. as if the "new mother syndrome" wasn't difficult enough to deal with without letting a giant dork like me procreate.) I adore them both. I got Gus when he was tee tiny, as in about 4 weeks old and still not weaned. I had to feed him from a bottle (and yes, they do make doggie formula. ask at your local pet supply store.) and he slept in a tiny wicker basket on my pillow. Now he is HU-FRIGGIN-MOUNGUS and, like the 400 pound gorilla of comedy fame, he sleeps wherever he wants.

Tomorrow marks the 7th anniversary of the day that Gus was brought into this world. Don't worry, just because the vet says this makes him a Senior dog I have been assured by Gus hisownself that he will nevernevernever leave me as long as I live, so death is not an option. He is just that loyal. So in recognition of surviving many years of living with Mo and a few more years of living with Grandmonster, we're celebrating in style.

I was gonna go get a cake from the local dog bakery, but as it turns out, we're not gonna have time to schlep to Indiana to get it. Instead, I am picking up a few boxes of candy from that bakery (they had it sent to my local feeder's supply), Awes for Dawgs, and I am making him a cake myself. You know you wanna know how exactly I am going to make a dog friendly birthday cake. Here, I'll tell you.

Doggie Celebration Cake
1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. margarine
1 jar of liver or beef flavored baby food (2.5 oz.)
3 strips of doggie beef jerky (but Beggin' Strips works fine)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. corn oil (wesson is fine)
4 eggs
plain yogurt or cream cheese
white chocolate discs or chips
paste food coloring

Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the margarine, then add corn oil, baby food, and eggs. Mix at medium speed until smooth. At low speed, gradually add flour mixture until batter is smooth. Crumble and fold in the beef jerky (Beggin' Strips).

Pour into greased and floured 8x5x3 loaf pan. Bake at 325F for 70 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing from pan and allowing to cool completely. Ice with plain yogurt or cream cheese.

For decorating, melt the white chocolate and tint with food coloring as needed. Decorate away.

That's it. Now I'm off to run my errands while everyone is at work or Churchill Downs for the Oaks. This is going to be the prettiest Derby Weekend we've had for several years. It's gonna get up to the mid 80's in the infield today for the Oaks and possibly into the early 90's for Derby Day. That seems like a good enough reason as any to start celebrating right now. Bring on the bourbon!

Posted at 10:45 AM

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04 May, 2005
More than just a soup du jour. "Today's" is not a possesive that means "special of today" but a contraction of "Today + is". Because today is special. Ima figure out why as the day progresses, but know that tomorrow's special too. Okay, enough with the cheese. On to the list.

* i had a kickin' blog entry today all about an amazing summer i once had but the blog ate it.

* the blog actually only ate half of it and spit back just enough to piss me off.

* since i am pissy i'm not gonna finish the damn thing today for the second time.

* instead ima watch Passions (which is the funniest damn show on tv. not intentionally funny, but funnier than most sitcoms this season. i mean really, they started out with a talking doll as a lead character and moved on to a monkey nurse named Precious. now the monkey's gone and i miss Timmy again.)

* then i have to get back online and order tickets for engelbert humperdinck.

* i am NOT thrilled with this prospect.

* at least i don't have to go see him myself.

* Grandmonster is crazy.

* she knows if she brings home one picture or autograph or souvenier from this damn concert ima kill TG...at least a few picutes of him that currently reside in the hallway.

* because this house is full up with crap and any new crap must only enter the domicile after the ceremonious removal of old crap.

* i'm trying to decide if Grandmonster counts as "old crap".

* i'm teaching her to use the internet.

* i am not teaching her how to find my blog.

* my life is hard enough.

* i miss my friends who live far away.

* we need a new living arrangement where we are closer to each other geographically.

* my friend, Jason (Mraz), needs to move closer too.

* that, or call me everyday and sing the song Not So Ususal to me...three times.

* i bet i could get him off.

* did i mention that my in-laws are nucking futs? because they are.

* but my MIL just came in and sang to Gus because his birthday is Saturday.

* she's bringing him presents.

* that, i like. a lot.

* she's already started planning for Ruby's birthday too.

* which is May 26th.

* i, Lola, am a dork.

* i, Lola, love the fact that i'm a dork because i can almost always make myself laugh.

* watch out, i am contagious.

That is all. Carry on.

Posted at 2:17 PM

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02 May, 2005
I always have Mom on the brain in May because not only is that when we celebrate Mother’s Day, but it is also the month that holds her birthday. She has done so much for me that I owe my every victory in life to her.

We didn’t always get along as well as we do now. Mostly because I was a teenaged idiot, as most teenagers are when it comes to relationships, but our lives were a touch on the extra stressful side at that time because we were all going through drastic changes. We moved ever few years, and that means I started new schools all the time (I did not end the school year in the same school I started it in for a period of several years), she started new jobs all the time, and we had a new house all the time. That fact alone is why I abhore moving. I hate it with the burning fire of a thousand STD’s. (sorry mom. I mean “the burning fire of a thousand suns”.) Also at that time, my father was starting his own company…in our guest room, so finances were usually tight and moods were usually in a pressure cooker since it took much more energy just to get all the things done that needed to be done. Plus, I royally sucked as a student. Add to that the fact that both my mother and myself are on the dramatic side. That lends itself to trauma.

However, through it all, she held her own. She always knew what I needed. Not what I wanted, which was usually the wrong thing, but what I needed to grow up to be a useful human being. As I was born with Spina Bifida, and all the problems that come along with it, (see the sbaa and sbak links for more info if you want it) it would have been easy to instill me with the thought that there were some things I couldn’t do because of my disability. Not my mom.

I didn’t realize what Spina Bifida even was till I was almost a senior in high school! Instead I was in teeball, ice skating, clubs left and right, I walked to school when we lived in Virginia, I took ballet and tap and gymnastics, along with acting classes and art classes. I was also in the “smart” classes at school and was in the chess club, although I sucked at it. There was no limit to what I was allowed to try. If I couldn’t do it (which happened rarely) or I didn’t like it or got tired of it (which happened a lot) I was encouraged to try something else. This alone is why I am able to jump into learning new things to this day. You can see this fact for yourself by my foray into xhtml that is evidenced by the spunky new space aged template you’re viewing right now.

She taught me to do what it right, rather that what is socially acceptable, and how to tell the difference. She taught me that being generous is not just helping someone who needs it, but it is a way to feed your soul and theirs simultaneously. She taught me that just because you have diametrically opposed viewpoints does not mean you cannot have a strong and loving relationship. She taught me that healthy debate is just that, healthy. She taught me the benefits of holding your tongue when it doesn’t serve anyone but yourself. She taught me how to love and how to be loved in return. She taught me how to forgive.

Most recently, she taught me never to give up on someone, even if you thought they were long gone from your life. There is one person in particular that my mother understood would continue to have value in my life. I fought it. I was D-U-N. Mom kept fighting. She knew we needed each other and what we once had was too important to us both to let go that easily. I wasn’t in the right place to be able to let go what had happened, what I’d done, apologize, and whatever else it was gonna take to get it back. Mom kept pushing. The other person and I both got pissed at her relentless poking. “Have you talked to ____ lately? Guess what ____’s been up to? Call her!” She kept arranging opportunities that would put us together. Know what? One day, out of nowhere, with no warning, something changed.

It was on the other person’s part, not mine. I am not proud of that. What I am proud of is accepting the love I knew I didn’t deserve. We started over. She is now, and again, one of the most important people in my life. That was a lot of her doing, but it was also a lot of Mom’s. There aren’t enough thank you’s in the world.

There are so many more things that my own personal mama taught me. There certainly isn’t enough room on just one blog to tell it all. I know I will continue to tell stories about my amazing mom as long as my keyboard holds out, but for today, I’m gonna stop. Perhaps, if you’re real nice, I’ll tell all about how my mama made me a better artist and gave me the world (literally). Who am I kidding. You know I will.

I love you, Mom.

Your girl, now and always,
Lauren

Posted at 3:18 PM

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The Wild Flower
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