Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Friday, July 29, 2005

Bye bye, Girly

Girl went off to camp today. She seemed more into the whole packing thing than actually doing camp. I'm not worried, she'll be fine, but I wish that she had a better attitude about the whole thing. Last night I found that she had again taken my IPOD and was trying to sneak it to camp. I was so pissed. I woke her up at around 3 am to get the IPOD back. I have to put another lock on my door. I hate this. It's such a violation of my privacy but she doesn't seem to understand that my stuff is MY stuff, and I don't want her to take it or use it. She's not dipping into my jewelry anymore, or at least not that I've discovered, but I know she's stealing from friends again. The last thing I said to her was she CANNOT steal anything. She said she knows, but I don't think she gets it. Damn stinking NVLD. I just hate it.

Boy and I had a nice day today. I had hardly any sleep and napped a couple of times, but we went to see Susan and then went to pick up his guitar at I's house. I think he's happy to have it, but he still wants an electric guitar desperately. I'll figure it out somehow.

Already the house is so much tidier without the girl. I think we'll do a bit every day and hopefully it will be nice and clean upon her return. Still have to do the pictures. Ugh.
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Complain and the weather changes

Woke up this morning and the weather was gorgeous. No more humidity, bright sunshine, and cool crisp air. Yippee!

Spent an interesting hour with A today, talking about my sterling silver. I know this is a sore subject with me, and I have to eventually get over it, but the whole thing just burns my butt. It seems unreal that a parent would steal a child's belongings, but then there you go. What I learn from this experience is that as a parent, I'm so much more aware of the boundries of parents and kids, and how important it is to respect your kid's belongings, so they can learn to respect yours. That's something that didn't happen to me when I was a kid. Nobody had any respect for me or my stuff, and growing up like that makes me a bit fragile when it comes to protecting what is mine. The moral of the tale is, if you screw your children over, and the rest of the family knows what you've done, they'll take over and act the way you as a parent should have acted in the first place. Thank you Aunt Lillian (Z"L) for being the better person.

Site of the Day

OK, now on to the fun part of the day. Discovered yet another amazingly fun time waster through Stumble. This site lets you make the coolest montages of any keyword that you search for. Here are some sample montages I made. They haven't been edited yet, so they are just screen captures at this time. Can you guess the keywords?

Some of the keywords were single items, others were a group of items. The way the site works is pretty simple; it searchs for at least 20 instances of the keywords you enter, and then creates a montage of arbitrary photos. I'm thinking of making these into notecards, which I think I could sell at crafts fairs. Some of the obviously excellent subjects are here:

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Living in a Blast Furnace

Ahhh, nothing like summer in New England. A month of 50 degree weather with rain, clouds, and more rain. Then a month of heat you can't even quantitate, a few days off with just plain nice weather, and now it's literally a blast furnace out there. I opened the door to let the cat out this morning, and it was as if I had opened the door to the stove. It was about 95 degrees at 10 am, and it got hotter. All afternoon they have those 'weather alerts' on the TV and radio, warning about huge storms. Didn't rain a drop. Not a damn drop. The lawn is browning, the tomatos will never turn red without a good soaking, and all the perennials are droopy. I just want some rain, is that too much to ask?

What is the deal with Manny Ramirez?

Manny announces again this year that he wants out of Boston. He doesn't like all the attention. He took the day off today, refusing to play to replace Trot Nixon who was injured. I just don't get it. He is loved in the city, he's doing great on a great team, and the Yankees don't want him. He sure makes enough money? And his kids room in the Ritz. To die for!

Snowflakes take u
p way too much time

I've been making snowflakes for hours. It is the most addictingly fun time waster I've seen in a long time. I enjoy it a lot, especially when I'm on the phone or watching mindless TV. My snowflakes get better and better. The girl loves the site too, and sends me copies of all her flakes. I think she's going to miss this activity when she's in camp.

Countdown to camp

It's one more day and the Girl is gone for 3 weeks. The boy will be home for a lot of the time, and I'm pretty much ok with her being gone. It will be a good time to keep the house clean and do some fun day trips with the boy. We're planning to go to Maine one day and hit LLBean and that huge candy store in Kittery or Yarmouth. I can't even remember where it is.

We've done all the shopping we possibly can, and her suitcase is almost completely packed. She has one last load of laundry to stuff in there, but she's ready to take off. I'll miss her a lot, but it's going to be so quiet and peaceful. It's been so long since she's been away. I feel like I've lost much of my own life because she takes up so much energy.

Fostering puppies

I volunteered to foster some puppies until they're ready for adoption. I think this will hopefully get me over my puppy longings. And if it doesn't, I get the pick of the litter. I'll need to find a crate on CL or one of the freecycle sites, but the organization I volunteered for pays for the food and much of the items needed, including vet fees. I'm excited to have puppies in the house. I'm going to do just one at first, and then maybe I'll do them in pairs once I get more courage and the cat will be happier about it all. It's going to be an interesting first experience.

Brat Camp

Maybe I'm a big sap, but I cried tonight watching this show. These kids are carrying around so much pain, and so much of it is familiar. It makes me all the more thankful that I nipped our issues in the bud (hopefully) before the teens set in. One of the kids reminds me so much of the girl, and another one has a lot in common with the boy. I checked out the program and it seems to be totally on the level and something to keep in mind just in case.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What I love about Trader Joe's

I know, it's kind of snotty to write about a store that has a limited availability, but heck, I'm a lucky duck and I shop there all the time. Not only do I have simple access to one TJ's which is literally a couple of miles up the same road I live on, but there is another one in the center of town, and a really big one the next town over. I'm in TJ heaven.

I used to shop there less, because I kept trying to cook everything from scratch, but when I got sick I realized that I didn't have to do that every night, and that the frozen foods from TJ's were mostly organic, nutritious, cheap, and took almost no energy to make. Now that it's deadly hot out, frozen foods have even more appeal for me.

So today the Girl and I headed down to road to TJ's to shop for the week. I got the usual staples, Cuban Mohito Sauce, Masala Sauce, Vodka Sauce, marinated mushrooms, pinapple juice, blueberry juice, seltzer, kosher chicken, ice cream, nectarines, cherry tomatos, avocados, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and salad fixings. Then we marched down my favorite isle, the prepared frozen foods. I got a variety of things, veggie samosas and garlic naan for an indian meal, veggie shu mai and potstickers plus fried rice for a chinese meal. Meatless meatballs, a jar of the new Korma sauce and some chick peas and raisins, a tiny cheesecake, some salmon and cod fillets, garlic fries, sweet potato fries, cheese enchiladas, blintzes, and some other stuff I can't quite remember right now. But there were 7 stuffed to the brim brown paper handle bags for a grand total of $137. You just can't beat the convenience, the taste, and the price. This store is a gold mine.

I used to be more of a Whole Paycheck shopper, as we have a couple of them in my town too, but the prices are insane. I like the food, and we do go there for sushi, but you gotta be a trustfunder to shop there exclusively.

We also tend to hit the Stop & Slop at least once a month for staples that we can't live without, like Barilla pasta, laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc. I can get those at TJ's but I'm not in the least bit flexible about certain types of products. I need to have what I'm used to. I don't transition well!

The thing about being a TJ's shopper is that eventually you need an extra freezer. I sold mine when we moved back here from CA because I wasn't importing Kosher meat and poultry anymore, and I really had no place to put it. But I'm starting to peruse the Free column on craigslist to see if I can pick up a small freezer I can put in the basement. If only for ice cream and popsicles, it will be handy dandy!

I usually love to cook, and probably will feel more like it when the weather improves. I just have to get back on a schedule. Summer turns me totally inside out and I need to get back to sleeping at night and being awake during the day. Aw shucks!
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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Now THIS is entertainment!

You know how you get when you come across something that is just so much fun, so interesting, so entertaining that you thing "why didn't I think of this?" because it's so damn cool? Well, welcome to StumbleUpon, the greatest time waster I've ever seen.

The concept is so simple, but the implementation so complex. Once you install it on your computer,you're given a list of subjects you are interested in. Choose wisely and liberally, for those interests direct Stumble to find web sites you'll enjoy. Once installed, a toolbar is displayed that has the all magical button Stumble!. Press the button and SU will find a web site for you to explore. If you like it, give it a thumbs up. If you don't, thumbs down. You start out simply, just rating sites and exploring each site you StumbleUpon. But that's not all. Once you're got a wealth of sites you've found (and maybe reviewed or commented upon) you can find 'friends' of other Stumblers who might have similar likes and dislikes. If you categorize someone as a 'friend' then they start sending you web sites that they've Stumbled on. If they like your profile and find you interesting, they can add you to their list of friends. You can display the profile of any Stumbler and look at their friends, and maybe find someone who might be a good match for you as well.

So eventually you build up a group of friends, and this group refines your web site choices as they send their recommendations. You keep approving or disapproving, and SU learns from your choices. In the meantime, you can discover interest groups on various topics. You join the groups to discuss those topics or to suggest sites that you have found that might be of interest to the group.

The more groups you belong to, the more friends you'll gain, and the more you'll refine your searches. Some sites are boring, some sites aren't the best match, and some are amazing time wasters. I spend hours making snowflakes last night, and I had to make myself quit. I'll go back to that site often! Check out Snowdays. This is so addicting. You just can't stop.

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Monday, July 25, 2005

What the fuck is scientology and why do they think they have the right to tell me how to live?

I've been putting off this post for a while, trying to calm down after Tom Cruise's statements on the 'history of psychiatry' and the evils of psychiatric drugs. The whole incident just made me so angry and so outraged. What the hell is a phony religion, invented by a Sci-Fi author, have to do with psychiatry anyhow? The more I look into the fake religion, the more disgusted I am that big stars, who are so lost in their own self-absorbtion, feel the right to come out and make public statements about things they know nothing about. Tom Cruise didn't even graduate from high school and this schmuck is screaming about how he knows more about mental health than doctors. He claims that psychaitrists aren't medical doctors. He claims that mental illness can be cured by vitamins. He claims that there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance. He claims that PPD can be cured with vitamins. He claims that there is no such thing as ADHD and that parents who medicate their kids are abusive.

Well Tom, you want to borrow my kid for a few days without medication and tell me how that vitamin cure worked? Did the e-meter cure my kid? Is he now able to rise through the scientology ranks because you're paid $10,000 dollars to get to the 'next level'?

Scientology is a crock. I think anyone with half a brain knows that it's a complete joke. A dangerous joke. They fought the IRS for years with very serious violent episodes. They've killed people by abandoning them when they had mental breakdowns. The research is pretty easy to do, especially since so many folks have been damaged by this 'church'.

What really gets my goat is the claim that paychiatric medications are not necessary. In our family, they're more than necessary, they're life savers. Having a child who was suicidal in second grade, I'm pretty clear that kids can get seriously depressed, can be bipolar, and can be miraculously helped by medications. In our family, Concerta and Abilify allow my child to lead a normal, clear life free of the anxieties, tics, and impulsivity that got him in so much trouble.

I don't believe that every kid taking ADHD meds might need them. I think parents need to take responsibility for their kid's behaviors and make every effort to deal with the kids without medical intervention if possible. But in many cases, it's not possible. When a kid is literally jumping out of their skin, when they seemed to be fueled by rocket fuel, when they can't sleep or sit in school or behave without impulsive and dangerous acts, then maybe medication might help. Until my child got the meds he needed, he was failing every class in school, he was in trouble all the time, getting suspended, setting fires, jumping off roofs, etc. He had no control over his impulses, and he had no ability to pay attention. Besides, he had serious mood swings that put him in the deepest of dark moods, and then would allow him to become elated and manic. Now he takes meds daily, and his grades have turned to straight A's, he no longer gets in trouble, he can control his impulses, and he's just a different kid all-together. This is wrong why?

Every woman who has post partum depression owes it to women everywhere to make Tom know the truth, that vitamins aren't going to help, and bucking up isn't going to work either. Depression, that deep dark place where you feel like there is no hope, isn't a great way to be when you have a needy infant. Being unable to bond with your baby because you're so depressed you can't even care for yourself isn't going to be a good foundation for your baby.

So, I say with great gusto, SHUT THE FUCK UP, SCIENTOLOGISTS. I don't want to hear your drivel anymore.
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Sunday, July 24, 2005


We all do it. Some of us are salty snackers, some are sweet snackers, lots of us are both salty and sweet, and then there are those annoying organic fruit and nuts snackers, but we don 't really care about them now, do we?

I'm a snacker, but I like fairly unusual snacks. One of my favorite snacks right now are marinated mushrooms. I just can't seem to get enough of them right now. Here in our kitchen right now is a confetti cake with chocolate frosting, but I'm eating those mushrooms again.

I also like blanched almonds, but those go in waves. Sometimes I just have to eat chocolate, but the chocolate I like is kind of restricted to a few types. I like the peppermint stick bark from Trader Joes. I like it a lot. OK, I love it. I buy boxes of it and hide it from the kids because the first time I bought it they ate the whole box and I got one little bite. Man, I was pissed! I like frozen Charleston Chews. They have to be frozen or I don't really like them. Why? You got me! I like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, but only some of the time, usually in the winter. I hate peanuts and peanut butter, however. I like flavored chocolate, like orange chocolate, and almond chocolate. I'm not all that big on fancy european chocolates. I like a nice hershey bar, plain, no nuts. Hate Kitkats. HATE THEM!

I also like salty snacks, probably more than sweet. I'm not allowed to eat salty foods because of my heart, but I cheat. Not a lot, but I do cheat. I like Utz sourdough pretzels. I like some chips, but for the most part I can skip chips. Not into doritos or cheese doodles or anything like that. If I'm going to eat salty stuff, give me a nice pack of plain Utz potato chips. Or the crab boil ones. To die for.

String cheese makes a great snack. So do hard boiled eggs. I usually have both on hand. I like leftovers too. I'm much more of a food snacker than a junk snacker. I like food. Things like tuna fish (I know, you're not supposed to eat it, but I do), cheddar cheese, bagels with cream cheese. That's good eating!
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Friday, July 22, 2005


I've got another sinus headache. I can't get over how many headaches I've had this summer. The weather continues to be hot and humid, and going inside where it's dry and air-conditioned and then outside where it isn't is making my sinuses go whacky.

Girl went to visit a prison yesterday as part of her CIT camp experience. They first stopped at the Maximum Security Prison in Walpole to pick up the guide who was going to take them through the prison. Then they drove to the Shirley House of Corrections, where they were patted down and searched carefully. They each got to be in a cell with a prisioner (hand selected for safety) to interview them, and then had a group interview with several prisioners. She said that some of the men cried, and that they were 'really nice' and that she cried as well when they talked about their families and how sorry they were for the crimes they committed.

Before she went, she got a list of requirements for dress code violatios. This is the list:

SBCC Visitor Dress Code

The following items are NOT ALLOWED to be worn by any visitor:
1. Bare feet
2. Bathing suits or shorts
3. Any clothing that displays a gang affiliation or is in any way attributable to gang culture
4. Any clothing similar to that issued to an inmate or uniformed personnel
5. Double layered clothing on the bottom half of their person (ex: two (2) pairs of pants, two (2) pairs of underpants, or skirt and slacks, etc.)
6. Drawstring Clothing
7. Easy access clothing
8. Excessively baggy, loose, thick, or heavy clothing
9. Farmer jeans of any type: shorts, dress, pants, overalls, jumper, etc.
10. Fatigue or camouflage clothing
11. Hair ribbons, bands, barrettes, or hair accessories of any type
12. Hooded clothing
13. Jackets, coats or vests of any type
14. Jeans of any type or color are not allowed by males
15. Jewelry
16. Leather, or clothing with excessive metal
17. Leotards, bodysuits of any type
18. Sandals, clogs, flip-flops, etc., or any shoe with an open area
19. Sheer, excessively revealing or transparent clothing
20. Dresses or skirts will not exceed 4" above the knee, no slits or opening extending 4" above the knee
21. Sleeveless clothing, tank tops, halter tops, muscle shirts, or clothing that reveals the midriff or exposes the back, tube tops of any type
22. Sweatshirts, sweatpants, wind pants or exercise clothing
23. Ties
24. Tight Clothing
25. Wrap-around skirt
26. Zippers that go the full length of the garment
27. T-shirts or shirts without a collar are not allowed

Requirements for all Visitors
1. Shoes that cover the entire foot
2. Traditional undergarments must be worn
3. All shirts or tops must be tucked into clothing prior to entering the Pedestrian Trap.

Exception to Dress Code
1. Female visitor's may wear jean pants.
2. Sweaters may be worn
3. Hair pieces may be worn but are subject to search
4. Jewelry: wedding ring and medical alert bracelet

We had to go out and buy her a pair of khakis and a long sleeved shirt that would be appropriate, as nothing she had fit the dress code.

I was pretty impressed by how seriously she took this trip, and how she internalized a lot of the things the prisioners said to her. One guy asked what it was like on the outside because he had been in prison for 45 years. She was totally gobsmacked by that. She was also frightened of the security, with the guards who carried rifles accompanying her everywhere. She was freaked by the razor wire and the high walls surrounding the prison. Everything she knows of prison has been from TV so she was open to seeing the real thing. I think this could be used as a good deterrant to any criminal activities she might get involved with later on. At least I hope so.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

My Achy Breaky Heart

Saw the cardiologist today for my regular 3 month checkup. She asked again about getting the pacemaker-defribillator. I relented and said I'd do it, not that I want to, but because I know it's the safest thing to do. I have to go and see another electrocardiologist, who will determine what kind I need, and Dr. J says that she'll probably want to do the genetic testing to see what kind of HCM I have. I'm fine with the testing, as it will make it easier to find out if the kids have inherited it, as well as other family members. The kids have had an initial echo at 12 YO, both passed with flying colors, but then again, they don't do a lot of daily sports activities. I need to know if they have HCM before they get involved in high school sports.

Anyhow, I made the appointment, and now I'm doing the research on the damn implanted nuisance. This is what I've come up with:

How does an ICD work?

An ICD is usually about the size of a pager. It is made up of two parts:

  • A pulse generator, which includes the battery and several electronic circuits.
  • Wires, called leads. Depending on the type of ICD, you may have one or two leads.

The ICD is implanted beneath the skin, near the collarbone or somewhere at or above the waistline. The leads are placed inside the heart or on its surface and are attached to the ICD.

ICD implant surgery has become a very common procedure. It is done while you are asleep, but it is not open heart surgery. After the device is implanted, doctors will perform electrophysiology studies (EPS) to make sure that the device is working properly. The procedure usually takes about two hours. You will need to stay in the hospital for at least one night after the device is implanted. Antiarrhythmic medicines may also be prescribed.

Some of the newer, smaller devices have simpler lead systems, which can be inserted with a catheterization procedure.

Once the ICD is implanted, the leads monitor your heart rate. If the ICD detects ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation, it sends out a controlled burst of impulses (called "overdrive" pacing). If that does not work, the ICD "shocks" the heart to restore a normal rhythm. Newer ICD devices can also work like a pacemaker if a slow heart rate (bradycardia) occurs.

When ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation occurs, the ICD records your heart rate, as well as the date and time of the event. It can also record what electrical therapy was needed to restore a normal heart rhythm.

What will I feel when my ICD gives me a "shock"?

Tachycardia is usually corrected with very small electrical impulses. You may feel a flutter, palpitations (like your heart is skipping a beat), or nothing at all. Fibrillation may require that you receive a "shock." Most patients say that the shock feels like a sudden jolt or thump to the chest. Some people black out during fibrillation, so they may not feel anything when the shock is given. If someone is touching you while you are receiving a shock, they may feel a small muscle jerk, but it will not hurt them.

Your doctor will tell you what to do after you have received a shock. Some patients' doctors will have them call the doctor's office after a shock has been given. Most doctors will want to know if you have received two or more shocks within 24 hours.

How often do I need to get my ICD checked?

After you get your ICD, you will have to go to the doctor for regular check-ups. ICDs can also be checked over the telephone. This is called transtelephonic monitoring. Even with telephone monitoring, you will still need to go to your doctor's office for regular check-ups.

The ICD is checked with a device called a programmer. When the programmer is held over the ICD, your doctor is able to tell if the ICD is working properly, how much power is left in the battery, and if the device has delivered therapy. The programmer can also be used to change the settings of the ICD.

An ICD battery usually lasts anywhere between 4 and 8 years, depending on how many shocks it sends. When the battery runs down, a new ICD will be implanted. In most cases, your original ICD leads will not need to be replaced.

Will electronic devices affect my ICD?

If you have an ICD, you should always be aware of your surroundings. It is safe for you to be around wood working tools and normal home appliances, including microwave ovens. Stay away from heavy equipment that has very strong magnetic fields or strong electric fields (antennas, arc welders, and industrial equipment). Your doctor will help you understand what to avoid when you have an ICD.

Can I still drive a car if I have an ICD?

Many doctors will tell you not to drive for 6 months after your implantation surgery or after a shock. Talk to your doctor if you are not sure if it is safe for you to drive.

Can I use my cell phone if I have an ICD?

You should keep your cell phone at least 6 inches away from your ICD. When you are talking on your cell phone, hold it on the opposite side of the body from your ICD. Do not carry your cell phone in your breast pocket or on your belt if that means that it will be within 6 inches of your ICD.

Let me just mention that I am NOT thrilled to read about the driving and the cellphone usage. I think this is going to be a major PITA, but what am I going to do?

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hot? Hot enough for you? Man, it's hot out there. It's not the heat, it's the humidity.

Yeah, it's summer in New England. 90 degrees and 90% humidity. We go through this every summer, and yet every summer it hits you like a ton of bricks. What the hell is this weather? Why can't I breathe? My windows are all fogged up. We're sleeping downstairs where there is air conditioning. Why? Because it's frigging hot out.

My hair is frizzy, my clothes won't dry on the line, I feel sticky all the time, and no matter how high I turn up the AC, the Girl complains that she's freezing. Tonight she's sitting watching the tube wearing flannel pajama pants and a red hoodie. I think she's part lizard.

Had a busy weekend. The new Harry Potter came out on Friday at midnight, and as usual we were at the bookstore waiting to get our copy. The boy and I both got copies, he finished his on Sunday, I was done Saturday. My feeling on the book is that it tied all the other books in the series together, but it lacked a lot of action and some of the surprised of the other books. The social scene was interesting, and it's pleasant to see that the couples that should go together did get together. The bad guy was who we all thought it would be all along, and the person who died in this volume made for a sad, melancholy ending. Now I can't wait for the next book. I kind of wish that I could read the all together because this waiting is painful.

We also saw the new version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Marvelous. We LOVED it. Kids just can't wait for it to come out on DVD. I think it was absolutely brilliant. I especially loved the dance numbers with the OoompaLoompas, and of course Johnny Depp, who is my second Johnny love.

Traded my electric dryer in good condition for one that was in sucky condition, and now I'm trying to get another one so the sucky one can just be given away to someone else.

Boy was home for the long weekend and had his math placement test today. I'm just not that sure about next year for him.

Girl is doing some pretty nasty stuff with her boyfriend and I'm putting a stop to that. She's grounded for the rest of the summer. Can't stand the lying anymore.

Too hot to cook. I made pasta and meatballs tonight because the Girl had a friend over so I had to make something. I'm completely disinterested in food. Or anything else.

Cardiologist appointment tomorrow morning. Fun!
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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Johnnie Damon, Oh How I Love You

You make baseball even more fun. I never thought I would read an autobiography by a high school graduate baseball player, but I bought your book the first day it came out.

My heart almost couldn't take the wedding photos, but you looked so damn hot in that tuxedo. Man, you are just something special to view.

Every time you're up at bat I hold my breath waiting for you to toss that ball out of the park. THWAP! Watching you run around the bases. Oh my, to see you pumping as you round third and run into home. It's like a vision of pure hot heaven.

Johnnie. Yup, just the name makes me happy. When you catch a ball and flash that smile, those teeth gleaming in the bright sunlight. How did anyone get so beautiful?

Nomar is pretty damn hot. Bronson Arroyo, he's hot too. Manny...can't fault that smile and he's just so adorable. Let's face it, the whole damn team is hot. Oh, maybe not Curt, but otherwise, it's a fine looking team. At least we don't have to look at Randy Johnson or watch Jeeter prancing around the dugout. Never mind ARod and his little purse. Yuck.

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What happened to my motivation?

I used to want to do stuff. I'd get up and think of things to cook, and things I wanted to read or to make, or even people I wanted to talk to. But now, I don't want to do anything. I don't think I'm depressed and I'm taking medication just in case, but I just have no motivation even when I have to do something.

I've become a phonephobe. I knew it would happen. I just can't be talking on the phone anymore. I have nothing to say and I'm finding myself avoiding calling anyone. Why is this so hard for me right now? I need to snap out of it, but I think it's all due to the circumstances beyond my control

Finished reading The Sari Shop. What a depressing book. I usually like sad stories as long as they have uplifting endings but this book just was horribly sad. I found myself telling J the story and watching her shocked face as she wondered what about the book had made me choose it from the pile. I had read the back and it didn't have anything about the real meat of the book in the synopsis. But even so, I probably would have bought it. Love those stories about India. A.U. and I are so hooked on books about India. No matter what I've read, she's read and vice versa. Thats what makes a good book buddy.

That Darn Cat

Ringo is spending more and more time outside, but still comes in the house to poop and pee. I don't get it. He's got the whole world as his toilet and he decides to come inside and stink up the house. What kind of useless pet is this, anyhow? All he wants to do all day long is lay in his catmint and get stoned. He should be wearing a tie-dye collar or somethng. He has an ohm on his collar now!
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Monday, July 11, 2005

Happy Birthday to me!

Had my birthday dinner this evening at Lams, a vietnamese restaurant in town. Totally delish. We had several starters including spring rolls, beef 'teriyaki' sticks with peanut sauce and Dukan Pancakes. I had the seafood festival, and the others in our party had a tofu in tamerind sauce and a broccoli leaves and cellephane noodle seafod medly. We had ice cream for dessert.

It was nice to be out in a dress. Hmmm, it's been a very long time since I've been out in a dress. I usually wear shorts or pants depending on the temperature, but we thought it would be nice to dress up a bit. We all looked quite lovely.

I've been sleeping such odd hours. I spend most of the night up at the computer, either reading the insanity that makes up the Craigslist parenting group, or looking at the various for sale and free groups. I've been accused of being a garbage picker but I've gotten some great things from freecycle and craigslist. Why not take what other people can no longer use. I've certainly gotten rid of my share of junk off CL.

Lets talk about what makes the parenting group on CL so amusing. At first I thought it was because so many of the women were young, and therefore didn't have enough life experience. Then I thought it was because the have a collective IQ of <90.

I don't know why I continue to read this drivel, but I'm compelled to have a good laugh. Now I've got the Boy reading some of the crap, which makes him laugh until he has tears in his eyes.
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It is the most beautiful, peaceful summer day today. Hot as hades, but the sky is so blue. The weatherman said rain, but nothing. We've had so much rain, we don't need any more.

This week the city had a lot of flooding. It was kind of funny to see the entire library parking lot and street flooded out, and people wading in the huge puddles to return their books. Me, I'd pay the extra day's fine. I wish Florida would keep their damn hurricaines to themselves. Anyone dumb enough to relocate to Florida deserves that weather.

The barn needs to be painted something fierce but I'm beginning to love the shabby chic look. Tom mowed the lawns yesterday and went right over my rosemary plant in the knot garden. Sigh. I pulled out what was left of it, and planted it in a big pot next to the tomatos. Hopefully it will come back. Tomatos are getting big and I've got dibs on the first one. The herbs are all growing like crazy and today we sat next to one of the parsley plants and just munched the leaves. Yum. No bitter taste at all. It's like Passover in summer.

The kids let me take their pictures this weekend. The boy looks funny with his cherry red hair, but he's not going to do anything with it as it fades into shocking pink.
I'm thinking he needs a different color, but he's into the whole red look. The girl only wants to streak her hair lighter and lighter. I have done it twice, and it makes her streaks the most amazing golden color, but she just doesn't want to comb her hair for days at a time. That damn bun. I'm so tired of it. She wants to bring her hair straightener to camp. I'm sure that will go over well, watching her straighten her hair for an hour each morning.

It's my birthday today. I'm feeling no pain at all. We're going out to dinner tonight to JamJuli or Treetops, both thai restaurants. I'm in favor of Treetops myself. The kids baked me a birthday cake today. It was their first experience baking a cake all by themselves. They made a carrot cake. The girl got out the kitchenaide and everything. The boy did one of his anxiety attacks and she pulled the cake out way to early so there was a huge crater in the middle of it. Then the boy made the frosting and didn't listen to my instructions from upstairs, so he made a glaze that he poured all over the cake while it was still warm. Man, that was one sweet carrot cake.

I sat out in the back garden for a while, just being one with the lawn. Sometimes I can't believe how lucky we are to live here. There isn't a day that goes by that someone doesn't say how much we love living here. Even the cat is a happy camper. He's going outside every day now, and he's starting to be brave enough to stray away from the foundation of the house. Some day he'll maybe be brave enough to walk down the hill, but I doubt it.

Happy birthday to me.
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Saturday, July 02, 2005

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