Friday, March 31, 2006

Rave of the Day for March 31, 2006: 

Don't remember the source of this one, but it's cute.....

Noah's Ark

Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah's Ark..

ONE: Don't miss the boat.

TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat.

THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

FOUR: Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

FIVE: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

SIX: Build your future on high ground.

SEVEN: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.

EIGHT: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

NINE: When you're stressed, float awhile.

TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

ELEVEN: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Back again.....sort of..... 

Had Dan take the tower drive over to the nearest Apple retailer (I called ahead and made an appointment) yesterday afternoon. They cleaned it up, literally, because four years' worth of dust had accumulated in there (ewwww) and took a look around. Except for being dirty, it looked fine. They tested out the modem and pronounced it in good working order. They also hooked the drive up to their high-speed and downloaded the latest update of OSX, iTunes 6 and a few other things I needed. And then they sent the tower back home with Dan because they couldn't find anything wrong with it at all.

The good news is that I am now able to download songs again! So I will be able to use my gift cards after all. I downloaded "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" by Arctic Monkeys as a test. And when I'm on the internet, pages seem to be loading a little faster, probably because of the updates. And no crashes since Dan hooked everything back up last night.

The bad news is that I STILL can't maintain in internet connection! It hangs up every 20 to 40 minutes or so. I guess the next step is to contact Earthlink and see if there's something wrong on their end?? I still can't restore my playlists for iTunes, so I will have to resort to going to the Music Store and seeing if any of my iMixes are still on there. I also have song lists for some of the playlists if I can just remember where they are. Fortunately, I did manage to put MOST of my downloaded music on CDs (I probably lost about a half dozen, though), so I can just copy them back to iTunes. Kind of a pain in the butt, and I'm not feeling very confident that the whole thing won't have to be done over again if I crash, but I've got almost 300 songs back onto iTunes since I started over three weeks ago, which ain't bad. The other thing that aggravates me is that I can't figure out how to get my Earthlink e-mail accounts back into Mail. I still have to go online to get to my messages, and I tend to forget to check it, so I hope no one sends me anything of an emergency nature to that account.

Back to the subjects of tunes. Dan and I had to get thyroid tests at the endocrinologist's today, and since we were in the neighborhood, we stopped in Tower Records (you can bet Dan really had to twist my arm to get me in there, heh heh). I had birthday money burning a hole in my purse, so I jumped at the chance to get some Johnny Cash music. Found a four-disc set called "The Legend" that covered nearly everything. The only material it didn't have was some of the the San Quentin concert I remember hearing as a kid, so I also bought the remastered CD of that. Am listening to "I Walk the Line" right now; there is a sincerity to his music and the way he sang it that takes it beyond the country stereotype and into something universal. Maybe it's because I heard it all my life, but I thought Johnny Cash music was cool since before I was old enough to know what cool was. The edge to his voice that would rattle the windows, the sound of whiskey and tragedy and just a little bit of hope. Who else could sing about cold-blooded murder and God's redemption and make both believable? This was probably one of my better music investments.

Am slowly recvovering from the dental work on Tuesday. Still getting muscle spasms in my jaw that feel like a knife cutting into my face and annoying headache to go along with it. Am able to to chew a bit now but don't dare try anything crunchy until the TMJ decides to chill. Have a feeling this will be a problem until I see the massage therapist in two weeks. Will probably try some self massage in a few days, but right now it's just too painful.

"Because you're mine
I walk the line".....
--Johnny Cash

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fillings....woe, woe, woe, fillings..... 

Since Dan needs therapy twice a week for his whiplash injury (he's still getting migraines) and we have only one car, I've had to schedule multiple appointments of my own on the same day. For instance, today I had to go to both the physiatrist and the dentist. I don't recommend this sort of thing.

The physiatrist said that although I have made progress during the past month stabilizing my right SI joint with physical therapy (mostly stretching and a little bit of work on the treadmill), I still have a long way to go. He tested my range of motion (ouch!), and it is still poor in my hips. He recommended one to two more months of therapy before attempting the injections again (the injections do me no good if my SI joint pops out of place).

I went straight from the physiatrist, sore hips and all, to the dentist. I needed two fillings on the same tooth. Sjogren's syndrome is causing my teeth to decay around old fillings, even though I take excellent care of my teeth.

Unfortunately, the old filling was difficult to remove, and once it was off, the dentist discovered much more extensive decay than she was expecting. She went ahead and did the fillings but informed me that I may require a root canal. If so, she will send me to an endodontist.

Dental work is particularly problematic for me with the Sjogren's/fibromyalgia combo. I have an adrenaline reaction to the anaesthetic, TMJ, and of course the arthritis makes it painful to sit in the dentist chair. Because I have to rest frequently (even with the mouth splint thingy), every procedure takes almost twice as long as normal.

The numbing stuff wore off about three hours ago. Holy cow it hurts! Can't take pain meds (they shut down my digestive system), so I iced my jaw, which surprisingly helped a little.

I can hardly open my mouth at all. I managed to squeeze a small spoon in there so I could eat some plain nonfat yogurt and gluten free tomato soup. The smallest scrape in my mouth tends to become an ulcer, so right now it feels like it's on fire.

My computer's acting funny again, so if I should suddenly vanish, it's not because I'm ignoring anyone. Ack. It was going fine except for the modem cutting out every half hour or so, and then last night, the computer froze up during a blog entry (lost the whole damned entry and then I was too exhausted to re-type it) and a music CD got stuck in the disc drive. Couldn't exit any of the applications, and when I re-booted, I got the flashing question mark, which is the kiss of death on a Mac. Had to re-build the desktop to get it to work. So I will have to have the tower drive looked at. I need a working computer so Dan can job hunt, and we'd better get it working reliably before Dan gets laid off.

Speaking of which, Dan found out last night that, contrary to rumor, no one near retirement at work is interested in taking the buyout, which could mean Dan's last day of work is in May and not in July. But get this: the managers in charge of the layoffs accidentally counted employees from another department when coming up with final numbers for when the staff all moves into one building, so there is going to be a meeting amongst the powers that be tomorrow, and they may have to keep six of the people they'd told were subject to layoff, one of whom would be Dan. These tards don't even know who works for them!! I just hope their boo boo works in Dan's favor.

Dan did get an acknowledgement letter yesterday from one of the companies he applied to in South Dakota. They said it will be a few weeks before they start contacting people for interviews. I thought it was very thoughtful of them to do that. It used to be that most companies would at least let you know they got your resume, a little post card in the mail or something. But now, you rarely get a person's name or sometimes even the physical location (other than city and state) of where you are applying. And maybe one in ten will contact you at all, and when they do, it's usually to tell you someone else got the job. Maybe Dan's luck is about to change?? Sure hope so.

Better see about backing up what few files I have since the big crash of a few weeks ago, just in case.

Rave of the Day for March 27, 2006: 

Having MORE technical problems with the computer. Will probably have to have someone look at the tower drive. In the meantime, how about some tech support humor? This came from Joan about a year ago.....


help desk: What kind of computer do you have?

Female customer: A white one...


Hi, this is Celine. I can't get my diskette out.

help desk: Have you tried pushing the button?

Customer: Yes, sure, it's really stuck.

help desk: That doesn't sound good; I'll make a note ...

Customer: No .. wait a minute... I hadn't inserted it yet... it's still on my desk... sorry .


help desk: Click on the 'my computer' icon on to the left of the screen.

Customer: Your left or my left?


help desk: Good day. How may I help you?

Male customer: Hello... I can't print.

help desk: Would you click on start for me and .

Customer: Listen pal; don't start getting technical on me! I'm not Bill Gates damn it!


Hi good afternoon, this is Martha, I can't print. Every time I try it says 'Can't find printer'.

I've even lifted the printer and placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can't find it...


Customer: I have problems printing in red...

help desk: Do you have a color printer?

Customer: Aaaah....................thank you.


help desk: What's on your monitor now ma'am?

Customer: A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me in the supermarket.


   help desk: And now hit F8.

Customer: It's not working.

help desk: What did you do, exactly?

Customer: I hit the F-key 8-times as you told me, but nothing's happening...


Customer: My keyboard is not working anymore.

help desk: Are you sure it's plugged into the computer?

Customer: No. I can't get behind the computer.

help desk: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back.

Customer: OK

help desk: Did the keyboard come with you?

Customer: Yes

help desk: That means the keyboard is not plugged in. Is there another keyboard?

Customer: Yes, there's another one here. Ah...that one does work!


help desk: Your password is the small letter a as in apple, a capital letter V as in Victor, the number 7.

Customer: Is that 7 in capital letters?


A customer couldn't get on the internet.

help desk: Are you sure you used the right password?

Customer: Yes I'm sure. I saw my colleague do it.

help desk: Can you tell me what the password was?

Customer: Five stars.


help desk: What antivirus program do you use?

Customer: Netscape.

help desk: That's not an antivirus program.

Customer: Oh, sorry...Internet Explorer.


Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screensaver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears!


help desk: Microsoft Tech. Support, may I help you?

Old woman: Good afternoon! I have waited over 4 hours for you.

Can you please tell me how long it will take before you can help me?

help desk: Uhh..? Pardon, I don't understand your problem?

Old woman: I was working in Word and clicked the help button more than 4 hours ago.

Can you tell me when you will finally be helping me?


help desk: How may I help you?

Customer: I'm writing my first e-mail.

help desk: OK, and, what seems to be the problem?

Customer: Well, I have the letter 'a' in the address, but how do I get the circle around it?

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Turns out the tix were more limited than I thought. One of the therapists where I do PT auditioned and didn't make the cut. She filled out form for tix but didn't get any. I almost felt guilty for telling her I was going after I found that out. I said almost.

The venue was the downtown convention center, which was recently rebuilt and is absolutely huge. Dan put the wheelchair in the trunk of the car for me but forgot to pack the foot rests. So I didn't have to worry about standing in line or walking a lot, but I had to hold my feet up whenever Dan pushed the chair, which was painful. And with my feet sticking straight out with nothing to rest them on, I had to be really careful not to kick anyone, which was a bit amusing. If someone runs into my feet when they're on the foot rests, it's their fault, but if I end up with my shoe up someone's pant leg, I'd better apologize, heh heh.

We found a (VERY expensive) parking space across the street from the convention center, so Dan didn't have to push me that far, but I ended up being glad I had the chair anyway because the wheelchair seating was in the BACK of the building, and we were in line for about an hour before we were seated. The previous session had run extremely late because of technical problems, so they were still finishing up while we waited. One cool thing about that was that they had two vehicles in the lobby, and one of them was a cherry red Jeep Cherokee that a contestant WON! We got to watch the winner and family members run up to the Jeep, climb in and wave, and then do it all over again because the first take wasn't good. Kinda cracked me up.

The convention center boasted that it was truly handicap accessible, and I am pleased to report that it was true. The wheelchair seating was awesome! They have spaces on the first row of the balcony next to some permanent chairs, so you can park a wheelchair in the space and someone can sit right next to you. My sister had to sit in the row behind Dan and me at first, but after the section had filled with people and there were no handicapped people to sit next to Dan, she got to take the last empty chair.

I had an unobstructed view of the full stage! I was off to the left a bit, so I couldn't read the puzzle board, but there were big screens on either side of the stage showing what was being taped, so I didn't miss anything. The stage was set up like the interior of a ski lodge. Behind the contestants, there were projected pre-recorded images of local scenery that would change with each segment. I counted a minimum of six cameras going at any one time, which you would think would be very chaotic, but the operators were so practiced and organized that they hardly wasted a shot.

The announcer was amusing and reminded me a bit of Colonel Sanders. He gave the enormous crowd a bit of a warmup and a few pointers. One of the directors also had us practice cheering, then just applauding politely, and warned us not to yell out any answers so they wouldn't have to re-shoot anything.

All told, there were three weeks of shows taped in six sessions over three days. The drop-in bits (where Vanna is seen at various local landmarks) and aerial footage was pre-recorded before the sessions and mixed in so the audience would see exactly where it would air. The only stuff they left out was some voiceover work which would be recorded later: sponsor names and ID numbers for the home viewer winners of prizes.

I was sooooooo impressed with how efficient and professional the process was. For a half hour show, it only took an hour all told, including recording audience shots going into commmercials, coming back from breaks, and a long sequence over which the end credits are to roll. They taped two shows during our session....enough material to be efficient, but not so much that the audience would get tired of cheering and applauding.

The two shows were part of "College Week", so all the contestants were college students. Four of them were from local schools, which really added to the audience's enthusiasm. Also in the audience were cheerleaders, a marching band, and a team mascot, someone in a buffalo costume named Chip. No, I'm not kidding; that was the name on his t-shirt. While we waited for the first session to wrap up loose ends, the band and Chip entertained us with catchy little ditties like "Cheeseburger in Paradise".

I'm accustomed to shouting out answers when watching the show at home, so it was hard not to say anything when I figured out the puzzles before the contestants did! I behaved, though, and so did everyone else: none of the puzzles had to be thrown out or any segments shot over. It was kind of funny, though, to hear the crowd collectively groan whenever someone got a "bankrupt" or "lose a turn" on the wheel. Oh, and there were some SAD turns of events. One girl landed on the $10,000 space on the wheel, got a letter, then couldn't solve the puzzle (an easy one with only two letters left to guess), spun again and hit "bankrupt"!

I was surprised that the sound effects are all done as the show goes along and not mixed in later. The sound effects crew had perfect timing! I used to do sound effects live on radio, so I know how difficult that is.

They have Pat and Vanna wait until they are announced on the show to come out onto the stage, so the audience reaction to them is real. They really do go change clothes after each show so the next one looks like it is the next day. And they have to pretend it is whatever day of the week that show is going to air, so for a Friday, they say, "See you Monday" or whatever. Found out that Vanna doesn't have a microphone until the last part of the show, I guess because it would pick up the sound of her high heels as she walks back and forth touching letters?

Vanna wore a beautiful periwinkle dress with two layers of fringe on the first show. For the second, an odd dress with a black tank for the top and a white skirt part with a floral print. Pat of course wore those nice game show host suits.

Before each show, they had the contestants come out, check their audio levels, and practice spinning the wheel a few times to make sure they knew where their marks were and to make sure no one had problems spinning it. They were already in their places when the taping started, and they stayed there through all but the last segment where the winner gets to solve a final puzzle. During each "commercial break", taping would stop and new prize tags were put on the wheel (I wonder how they stick them on there?). For the last segment, they set up a small portable wheel with the prize envelopes on it, they tape the winner's family members watching from the front of the stage, and if someone wins cash, the reaction is taped in real time so the excitement is spontaneous.

On the first show, a local student won a total of $40,000! The audience roared their approval! On the second show, a student from Illinois (who initially tried to buy a vowel when he had no money) made it to the final round but missed the last puzzle....I think his winnings were about $17,000. Also, someone won a trip to Miami and another to Venice! Way cool! One of the contestants said her goal in life was to become the next Vanna. Well, the girl WAS blonde and cute, but I wonder how that made Vanna feel? Vanna was a good sport about it, though, and came over and gave the contestant a hug as they were going to a break.

By the time we got done, my hands hurt from applauding and my face hurt from smiling. It was a bit chaotic getting out out of the convention center (we had to go the opposite direction of where we were parked because there were only a few exit doors open), but I got a chance to meet a guide dog in training, an adorable black lab pup. He was mainly interested in sniffing my shoes, heh heh. By the time we got out of the building, all the way around to the front and across the street to where we were parked, my legs were cramping up from holding my feet in front of me. They are still sore tonight.

So if you happen to be watching "Wheel of Fortune" on May 18 and 19, you may get a tiny glimpse of me, probably doing the "YMCA" dance in my wheelchair along with the marching band. I may not get another experience like that for several more years, or maybe not ever again.

It was almost as good as solving a puzzle.

Rave of the Day for March 26, 2006: 

The 30 second bunnies are back! Their latest parody is absolutely hilarious!

Brokeback Mountain parody

For future amusement, I am putting the entire 30 Second Bunny Theatre on my Links list. Pick any of their parodies....I guarantee you'll be amused!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Rave of the Day for March 25, 2006: 

An oldie but a goodie.....

Rules for Cats:

Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get a door opened, stand on hind legs and scratch the frame. You may also reach under the door and pull clothing towards you; silks get the quickest reaction. Once door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an "outside" door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, when it's raining or snowing, or during the height of the mosquito season. Swinging doors must be avoided at all costs.

If you have to urp, get to an overstuffed chair quickly. If you cannot manage this in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there are no Oriental rugs, shag is a good substitute. When urping on shag, be sure you project; it is a must that it stretch for as long as a human's bare foot.

Always accompany guests to the bathroom. (See Rule I) It is not necessary to do anything - just sit and stare.

If one of your humans is engaged in some semi-closed activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called "helping"; humans are known to refer to it as "hampering". The following are the rules for "helping":
a) When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted.
b) For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.
c) For knitting projects or paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work or at least the most important part. Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or knitting needles. The worker may try to distract you; ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work. Embroidery and needlepoint projects make great hammocks in spite of what the humans may tell you.
d) For people paying bills (monthly activity) or working on income taxes or Christmas cards (annual activity), keep in mind the aim - to help! First, sit on the paper being worked on. When dislodged, watch sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed for the second time, push pens, pencils, and erasers off the table, one at a time.
e) When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her, be sure to jump on the back of the paper. They love to jump.

As often as possible, dart quickly and as close as possible in front of the human. Especially effective places to strike are:
1) On stairs, when they have something in their arms;
2) In the dark; and
3) When they first get up in the morning. This exercise helps with improving their coordination skills.

Always sleep on the human at night. If there are two (or more) of you, book end the human putting off the greatest heat. They will try and squirm but your sheer numbers and inert bodies will effectively keep them pinned.

1: Only show interest in computers that are turned ON, the operator will need your help.
2: Monitors are bad for human eyes. It might ruin your owner's sight and cause them to buy less cat food. Always get in between the monitor and the person operating the computer. For best results, stands as close to the monitor as possible. If you are removed, go and sulk in a corner for a minute, then repeat. Look as innocent as possible.
3: Keyboards are great to lie down on. Make yourself as comfortable as possible. Marching over the keyboard several times is fun too. Practice aiming at alt-F4, N, and ctrl-alt-del.
4: Always chase the mouse. Your owner can't blame you for this, since it's your feline instinct to chase mice.
5: Floppy disk make great scratching posts. Nothing beats floppies when it's time to sharpen your nails.

"The debt diet", part 4..... 

Oprah continued today with her series on middle-class debt. Three families with net incomes between $75,000 and $100,000 per year and debt of up to $170,000. Today, they got down to the nitty gritty about three major problem areas: credit cards, shopping and eating out.

To me, the shopping and the credit cards are no-brainers. That doesn't mean I'm immune from the pitfalls, it's just that I know what I ought to be doing, even if I don't always succeed at it. But what I thought was common knowledge apparently isn't. For instance, I was horrified to discover that some people are STILL being charged annual fees for credit cards! I haven't done that since I graduated from college. And some people are unaware that they are paying 30 percent interest on their cards???? AND they don't realize they're paying late fees and over the limit fees EVERY MONTH??? Holy crap! One family featured on the show had $43,000 in credit card debt. Between interest, annual fees, late fees and over the limit fees, they were paying $8000 a year in interest!! Do they not read their monthly statements??

These families were no better when it came to shopping. In one family, the daughters went out and bought new clothes every time they ran out of clean laundry. One girl had over 60 t-shirts alone. In another family, the mom went shopping EVERY DAY! As much as I love collecting music, movies and books, no way could I shop every day, even when I was healthy.

I have a bit more sympathy when it comes to the food thing. I hate cooking because it's exhausting, but I love the experience of eating. So even though it's damned difficult to find gluten-free choices, I wouldn't mind eating out once a day. But I saw today just how expensive that can be. One family was spending $700 A WEEK on eating out! Restaurant food EVERY meal, EVERY day! Mom and Dad were sent to the grocery store with a list and a cash limit.....they had not shopped with a cart since their teenage kids were toddlers! They had no clue how much cheaper food was in the grocery store until they were forced to comparison shop. This family ended up with a potential annual savings of $20,000 just from eliminating eating out. Dan and I spend a small fraction of that, but it does make me mindful of where we ought to cut back if things get dire.

I guess I should count myself fortunate that I learned the hard way about credit card debt. My ex husband was in charge of the finances when I was married to him. I didn't find out until we split up that he hadn't volunteered to manage our money out of the goodness of our heart. He did it so he could mask a compulsive spending habit. He intercepted our credit card statments so I wouldn't see what he charged in secret. So it was a total shock when we had to spell out our assets and liabilities in the divorce paperwork and I found out that WE had $32,000 in credit card debt! This was AFTER I had agreed to pay off half our debt even though he was earning twice what I was. So I had $16,000 in debt without the pleasure of having actually spending it myself. Luckily, I was owed $8000 in equity on the house, so I was able to apply that to the debt. But I still had $8000, which was mind-boggling to someone who only had a car to their name. I consolidated, traded up for better rates, whatever I could do to get a handle on this thing. I got myself down to three low-interest cards and payments as high as I could manage.

That's not too far from where I am right now. I have two cards at 9 percent and one at 13 percent (that one is usually paid off). No annual fees. Now, my rates could go up should I pay late, but I have managed to never do that. And my balance is always less than half of the credit limit, so no worries about over the limit fees. My goal is to pay these completely off, but I honestly don't know what will happen financially, so I don't worry about that too much right now. I just make sure I don't go around charging things unnecessarily and adding to the burden. No, I'm not a stellar example of credit card management, but I feel a little more confident that I'm moving in the right direction after seeing Oprah's show today.

One thing that helps me immensely is using Quicken software. I have real numbers to crunch anytime I want. So when Dan needed to know what sort of salary he would need if we moved to South Dakota, I pulled up a report on what we were currently spending, did a little research on things like home prices in South Dakota, and came up with a range. A little careful bookkeeping on my part helps us make realistic financial choices.

I guess the featured families on Oprah's "debt diet" will learn that soon enough.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Rave of the Day for March 23, 2006: 

Can't remember the origin of this one, but it made the rounds a few years ago, and I love it!

This is an actual job application that a 17 year old boy submitted to McDonald's in Florida... and they hired him because he was so honest and funny!

NAME: Greg Bulmash.

SEX: Not yet. Still waiting for the right person.

DESIRED POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.

DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.


LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.

SALARY: Less than I'm worth.

MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.



PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.

MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?


DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"

HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing house Sweepstakes.

DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job no, on my breaks yes.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.



Thursday, March 23, 2006

The funny and the not-so-amusing..... 

Here's a little example of how absent-minded I am lately. Call it fibro fog if you will:

Tonight, I heated up some frozen gluten free waffles for supper. Sometimes they can still be a bit cold in the middle after toasting them, so I put some cherry fruit spread on them and then put them in the microwave for 30 seconds. During that time, I realized I was out of cold seltzer water and got some out of the pantry and put it in the fridge. Then I started to go upstairs with my glass of seltzer water and realized I was supposed to be eating something. Oh, yeah, waffles! But then I couldn't find them! I looked all over the kitchen at all the counter tops, even went into the living room. Finally, I saw the blinking "End" message on the microwave and remembered where they were! Geez! How could a person completely forget what they were doing during a mere 30 seconds?? I had a good laugh over that one.

Far less amusing are Dan's continued migraines following the accident. He called me from work tonight and announced he was coming home early. He plans to call his primary care doctor tomorrow to see what else can be done. He says the massage therapy is helping, but it isn't enough to stave off the headaches. He has tried a more ergonomic pillow, which helped a tiny bit. Mainly, he's been using muscle relaxants and pain meds, but those aren't a long-term solution. Maybe physical therapy would help him? He's rather tall and tends to slouch, which maybe aggravates his neck?

Watched a special airing of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" tonight. It's the first of a four-parter about rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. It's a two-plus hanky show if ever I saw one. Tonight, they were in Biloxi, Mississippi, a town I remember visiting during the '80's when a friend of my dad's lived there. I didn't realize just how decimated that town was until they drove through it. Basically, whole city blocks of rubble. Awful. And they featured one guy who lost four members of his family the day the storm hit. Flood waters 30 feet deep washed his family away right before his eyes. He survived by grabbing a tree in his front yard. The design team helped him by making a permanent memorial to those who had died. They also rebuilt the local hospital clinic, which was sorely needed as it had been the only source of medical care for many of the residents and had been totally wiped out. They stocked a closet full of towels and blankets and other items to give to patients. And they helped out a group of 30 families living in temporary trailers by giving them washers and dryers and $500 gift certificates so they could buy clothes and other things they needed. And to think there are thousands of people who need this kind of help and much more.....

Haven't accomplished much in the way of spring cleaning this week. Finished sorting through the command center and re-arranging the books. Meant to sort through the video tapes with Dan last weekend, but never got around to it. And I had plans to clean out the bathroom cabinets tonight, but Dan's home now, and I'm not so sure I want to aggravate his migraine with having the bathroom light on for a few hours. Ah, well, it will still be there tomorrow. And I don't think there's anything I want to watch on prime time tomorrow night....

Listening to "Magical Mystery Tour"....

All partied out..... 

True to form, when Dan got home last night, he gave me my birthday presents (he likes to celebrate as soon after midnight as possible). My present was supposed to be DSL, but since that didn't work out, Dan went out and got me something else: "Good Night and Good Luck" on DVD. I haven't seen it before, but the subject matter interests me greatly, having studied Edward R. Murrow and McCarthy-ism in college, so I imagine I will like this movie. Also, from Chip, the anniversary edition of "Lady and the Tramp", which is my fave Disney movie. So now I have enough movies to watch to keep me out of trouble for awhile.

After aquacise, I needed a nap before I could go out for the evening. I slept for two hours, but Dan decided to catch a few zzzz's right before I was gonna get up, so I went back to sleep for another hour. By then it was 4pm, and I still hadn't had a shower or anything. We left the house about 5pm and went to the gluten free restaurant. I had chicken cordon bleu and mashed potatoes, and Dan ordered a burger. We also watched a cooking demo on focaccia (or whatever the word is) bread. I would have liked to have stayed long enough to try a sample, but the movie I wanted to see started at 7:45, so we had to bail right before it was ready.

I discovered that "King Kong" was still playing at the $1.50 theatre, so I decided to see that before it comes out on DVD next week. Dan had already seen it, but he said he wouldn't mind viewing it again. It was much better than I was expecting. I could have done with fewer or shorter bug scenes (ewwwwww!), but I enjoyed the rest of the stuff on the island and then in New York. Except for one thing: how the heck did they get Kong from the island to New York when he is larger than the ship? They couldn't exactly tow him as he would sink the ship, wouldn't he? And it's not like the chloroform would last very long. Hmmm.....Anyway, the Tyrannosaurus scene was cool but made me dizzy. And I was amazed at the range of emotion they gave Kong. Especially the eyes. Chalk another one up for Andy Serkis, model for the not-quite human.

Oof. I'd like to go on some more about the movie, but I'm dozing off and not making any sense. To sum up: birthday good, klbrowser tired, go sleep now.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Rave of the Day for March 21, 2006: 

This looks suspiciously like a Ducky's Daily Grin, circa 2002.....

How To Be Annoying:

Adjust the tint on your tv so that all the people are green, and insist to others that you "like it that way".

Drum on every available surface.

Remove every line of someone's .newsrc file except the entry for alt.sex.fetish.hamster.duct-tape.

Sing the Batman theme incessantly.

Staple papers in the middle of the page.

Ask 800 operators for dates.

Produce a rental video consisting entirely of dire FBI copy warnings.

Sew anti-theft detector strips into people's backpacks.

Hide dairy products in inaccessible places.

Write the surprise ending to a novel on its first page.

Specify that your drive-through order is "to go".

Set alarms for random times.

Learn Morse code, and have conversations with friends in public consisting entirely of "Beeeep Bip Bip Beeeep Bip..."

Buy large quantities of mint dental floss just to lick the flavor off.

Order a side of pork rinds with your filet mignon.

Instead of Gallo, serve Night Train next Thanksgiving.

Leave your Nine Inch Nails tape in Great Uncle Ed's stereo, with the volume properly adjusted.

Publicly investigate just how slowly you can make a "croaking" noise.

Honk and wave to strangers.

Dress only in clothes colored Hunter's Orange.

Change channels five minutes before the end of every show.

Tape pieces of "Sweating to the Oldies" over climactic parts of rental movies.

Wear your pants backwards.

Decline to be seated at a restaurant, and simply eat their complimentary mints by the cash register.

Begin all your sentences with "ooh la la!"

Rouse your roommates from slumber each morning with Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music".

Leave someone's printer in compressed-italic-cyrillic-landscape mode.


only type in lowercase.

dont use any punctuation either

Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and reroute whole streets.

Pay for your dinner with pennies.

Tie jingle bells to all your clothes.

Repeat everything someone says, as a question.

Write "X - BURIED TREASURE" in random spots on all of someone's roadmaps.

Inform everyone you meet of your personal Kennedy assasination/UFO/OJ Simpson conspiracy theories.

Repeat the following conversation a dozen times: "Do you hear that?" "What?" "Never mind, it's gone now."

Light road flares on a birthday cake.

Wander around the restaurant, asking other diners for their parsley.

Leave tips in Bolivian currency.

Demand that everyone address you as "Conquistador".

Push all the flat Lego pieces together tightly.

At the laundromat, use one dryer for each of your socks.

When Christmas carolling, sing "Jingle Bells, Batman smells" until physically restrained.

Wear a cape that says "Magnificent One".

As much as possible, skip rather than walk.

Stand over someone's shoulder, mumbling, as they read. Finish the 99 bottles of beer song.

Sing the "This is the song that never ends..." song. (Ya know, Lamb Chops?)

Leave your turn signal on for fifty miles.

Pretend your mouse is a CB radio, and talk to it.

Try playing the William Tell Overture by tapping on the bottom of your chin. When nearly done, announce "no, wait, I messed it up", and repeat.

Drive half a block.

Name your dog "Dog".

Inform others that they exist only in your imagination.

Ask people what gender they are.

Reply to everything someone says with "that's what YOU think."

Lick the filling out of all the Oreos, and place the cookie parts back in the tray.

Cultivate a Norwegian accent. If Norwegian, affect a Southern Drawl.

Forget the punchline to a long joke, but assure the listener it was a "real hoot".

Routinely handcuff yourself to furniture, informing the curious that you don't want to fall off "in case the big one comes".

Follow a few paces behind someone, spraying everything they touch with a can of Lysol.

Deliberately hum songs that will remain lodged in co-workers' brains, such as "Feliz Navidad", the Archies' "Sugar" or the Mr. Rogers theme song.

While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.

Lie obviously about trivial things such as the time of day.

Make beeping noises when a large person backs up.

Leave your Christmas lights up and lit until September.

Change your name to John Aaaaasmith for the great glory of being first in the phone book. Claim it's a Hawaiian name, and demand that people pronounce each A.

Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.

Chew on pens that you've borrowed.

Invent nonsense computer jargon in conversations and see if people play along to avoid the appearance of ignorance.

Wear a LOT of cologne.

Ask to "interface" with someone.

Listen to 33rpm records at 45rpm speed, and claim the faster speed is necessary because of your "superior mental processing".

Sing along at the opera.

Mow your lawn with scissors.

At a golf tournament, chant "swing-batatatatatata-suhWING-batter!"

Finish all your sentences with the words "in accordance with prophesy".

Ask the waitress for an extra seat for your "imaginary friend".

Go to a poetry recital and ask why each poem doesn't rhyme.

Ask your co-workers mysterious questions, and scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about "psychological profiles".

Incessantly recite annoying phrases, such as "sticky wicket isn't cricket."

Stare at static on the tv and claim you can see a "magic picture".

Select the same song on the jukebox fifty times.

Scuff your feet on a dry, shaggy carpet and seek out victims.

Do not add any inflection to the end of your sentences, producing awkward silences with the impression that you'll be saying more any moment.

Never make eye contact.

Never break eye contact.

Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears.

Construct elaborate "crop circles" in your front lawn.

Construct your own pretend "tricorder", and "scan" people with it, announcing the results.

Give a play-by-play account of a person's every action in a nasal Howard Cossell voice.

Holler random numbers while someone is counting.

Make appointments for the 31st of September.

Invite lots of people to other people's parties.

Send fifty copies of this list to everyone you know.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I'll be sitting there watching the wheels go round and round..... 

On Saturday, I have the chance to do something really unusual, or at least unusual where I live: watch the taping of "Wheel of Fortune"! Yes, Pat and Vanna are coming to my city this weekend and will be taping a couple of weeks' worth of shows. The tix to watch the taping were free but subject to a lottery. I lucked out and got four tix when I had only requested two. So Dan, my sister and a friend are going with me.

I would rather have been a contestant, because I'm really good guessing the puzzles, but I had some concerns that kept me from auditioning. One is that if I won a trip, I wouldn't be able to go because I'm too sick. Another is the tax issue. You have to have enough money to pay taxes on what you win. That's pretty much a no-brainer if you win cash, and if you win a vehicle, you can always sell it, but what about vacations? Anyway, I decided to leave the competition for the healthy, and cheer the contestants on instead. I'm bringing the wheelchair in case we have to walk a long way from the car to the convention center and/or stand in line a long time. Seating is first come, first served, so I don't want to get there at the last minute in case there aren't enough seats to go around. I may end up in the back row because of the wheelchair, but hey, I'm not out any money for the tix, so I don't mind so much.

This won't be the first game show taping I've attended. I went to a taping of "Millionaire" at MGM Studios in Florida in 2002. That was a great deal of fun! At that time, they were still doing the "fastest finger" contest to determine who would be on stage, and while I got all the answers right, my reflexes were too slow for me to qualify. But it was fun to watch someone play and see them sweat out whether they should guess or take the money. We also got to vote on the "ask the audience" lifeline.

It's kind of funny....while I'm not a big tv watcher, I looooove game shows! I started watching them as a child. Early faves were "Match Game", "$25,000 Pyramid", "The Newlywed Game", "Truth or Consequences", "Family Feud" and of course "The Price Is Right". After I started college, I got interested in "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune". I was actually lightning fast on the "Wheel" puzzles compared to now; some people wouldn't watch it with me because they could never beat me on the puzzles. Now I guess I'm probably average, but I still like to watch as I believe it's good brain exercise. Saw on Oprah today that medical experts now claim the best defense against aging is to exercise your brain every day. I can't argue with that and in fact make a point of watching "Jeopardy" to try to keep sharp. The old use it or lose it principle. It's not just for physical exercise anymore.

Got a massage today. I am sore and feel weak tonight, probably from all the toxins released from my muscles into my bloodstream. But I am moving easier than I have since that damned functional capacity exam two months ago. I believe I may FINALLY getting back to what passes as normal for me. Yayyyyyyy!

Had Dan try to copy software updates onto a CD at work last night. All he got were empty files that were trying to connect to a server?? WTF? I still can't keep an internect connection going more than 45 minutes at a time, so there's no way I can download them at home. I guess I can check with the Apple Store and see if I can't acquire the downloads on a disc someplace?? I'm getting desperate. Last night, I found out that I can't download ANY songs on iTunes until I update it! Dammit! I have $65 in gift cards I can't use! Waaaahhh!

In the meantime, I have started going through my music CD collection in alphabetical order, copying a few from each disc so I have something to listen to. I can't access my old playlists until I update iTunes, so I'm pretty much re-building from scratch. The upside of this is that I'm copying songs that hadn't been in my lists before, like goodies by the Beatles. I have every original British release on CD except for "Yellow Submarine".

Right now, though, I'm listening to "Big Balls" by AC/DC. Hee heeeee!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bonus Rave of the Day for March 20, 2006: 

Glad I dug up this one; it will come in handy when I go to spend that Wal-Mart gift card, heh heh. This one came from Ducky's Daily Grin in 2002.....

Things to Do at Wal-Mart While the Spouse Is Taking His/Her Sweet Time:

1. Get the boxes of condoms & randomly put them in people's carts when they are not looking.

2. Set all the alarm clocks to go off at 10 minute intervals.

3. Make a trail of orange juice on the floor to the restrooms.

4. Walk up to an employee and tell him/her in an official tone, "I think we have a code 3 in housewares," and see what happens.

5. Turn all the radios to a polka station, then turn them all off and turn the volumes to 10.

6. Challenge other customers to duel with tubes of gift wrap.

7. Put M&M's on layaway.

8. Move "CAUTION--WET FLOOR" signs to carpet areas.

9. Set up a tent in the camping department; tell others you'll only invite them if they bring pillows from the bedding department.

10. When someone asks if they can help you, begin to cry and ask "Why won't you people leave me alone?"

11. Look right into the security camera and use it as a mirror while you pick your nose.

12. Take up an entire aisle in toys by setting up a full scale battlefield with G.I. Joes and X-Men.

13. Ask other customers if they have any Grey Poupon.

14. While handling guns in the hunting department ask the clerk if he knows where the anti-depressants are.

15. Switch signs on the men's and women's bathrooms.

16. Dart around suspiciously while humming the theme from "Mission Impossible".

17. Set up a "Valet Parking" sign out front.

18. In the auto department practice your Madonna look using different size funnels.

19. Hide in the clothing rack and when people browse through say "PICK ME! PICK ME!!!!!!"

20. When an announcement comes over the loud speaker assume the fetal position and scream "NO!NO! It's those voices again"

21. Go to the food court, get a soft drink, tell them you don't get out much and would they put one of those little umbrellas in it.

22. Go into the fitting room and yell real loud, "Hey, we're out of toilet paper in here".

Dreams and reality.... 

Last night, I dreamed that I was back at a local talk radio station, doing my old technical producer job. Problem is, I was still sick, and I hadn't worked there since 1994. So it more closely resembled a nightmare. The station hadn't upgraded their equipment very much, so I still knew how to use most of it, but my thinking was slow and so were my reflexes. You have to have split second timing in radio and never press an incorrect button. I was hitting buttons and then nothing would happen, or I wouldn't have the volume turned up, or I would forget which channel contained the network newsfeed I needed to air. I had talk show hosts coming in and throwing fits, I couldn't figure out the new call screening system, and I was getting sick off all the Coca-Cola I was drinking to keep me alert. I guess my subconscious has been thinking pretty seriously about what would happen if I tried to go back to work right now.

Watched Oprah's show today on poverty in the United States. It made me cry, because these people were talking about feeling invisible, and I can relate to that. There are 37 million Americans living below the poverty level. Over 60 percent of them are minorities. Yes, there are the stereotypes of drug addicts and young unwed mothers, but a surprising amount of people in poverty just had some shitty luck, like the death or serious illness of a spouse. Some of them had had their spouse leave them, and some had lost good jobs. Hell, that can happen to just about anyone. What's really scary, though, is that the majority of Americans are just two paychecks away from poverty.

The other reason that the show made me cry is that I could see how much these people needed help, and I knew unless they were really lucky, their situation probably wouldn't change. I miss having the luxury of donating to Habitat for Humanity. I am no longer well enough to volunteer at the local homeless shelters. And like the CNN reporter said, if Americans don't do something to help, who will? It made me sick to hear that right before Huricane Katrina hit, Amtrak volunteered to evacuate people in New Orleans, but someone from the mayor's office said they didn't need any assistance. Apparently they chose to ignore the disabled and those too poor to own a car with which to evacuate. No wonder those left behind felt as if they were invisible; they were being treated as though they really were.

Obviously, Dan's potential layoff has been on my mind. While there is a good chance he may able to keep his job in May, there is talk of another wave of layoffs in July, and he would almost certainly be axed then. So I can truly appreciate being on the brink of possible fanancial misfortune.

But on the other hand, I know Dan and I won't starve, even if we lose everything we own. That's the biggest difference between us and the people I saw on Oprah today: we could probably live in a relative's basement if things got really dire. I've never in my life gone hungry, even when I didn't have a roof of my own over my head. I've juggled bills, dodged creditors, wondered how I would pay the rent, even moved into my mom's house twice, but I've not missed a meal due to poverty. So I guess in a sense, my luck hasn't been that shitty after all.

We are more than two paychecks away from poverty. We have a bit in savings as well as some other funds we could dip into if necessary despite heavy penalties. And we would make a slight profit if we sold the house. I don't know if we would ever be able to buy another, but we might be able to swing rent in a cheaper state. Who knows? Perhaps Dan will get hired someplace before he is laid off, perhaps I will get approved for disability sooner rather than later, perhaps we will even be able to keep the house. You never know.

I wish I felt as optimistic about the 37 million in poverty.

Rave of the Day, March 20, 2006: 

This is one of my faves. I'm pretty sure it came from Ducky's Daily Grin originally.....

How to Wash a Cat, Technique #2

1. Know that although the kitty cat has the advantage of quickness and lack of concern for human life, you have the advantage of strength. Capitalize on that advantage by selecting the battlefield. Don't try to bathe him in an open area where he can force you to chase him. Pick a very small bathroom. If your bathroom is more than four feet square, we recommend that you get in the tub with the cat and close the sliding-glass doors as if you were about to take a shower. (A simple shower curtain will not do. A berserk cat can shred a three-ply rubber shower curtain quicker than a politician can shift positions.)

2. Know that a cat has claws and will not hesitate to remove all the skin from your body. Your advantage here is that you are smart and know how to dress to protect yourself. We recommend canvas overalls tucked into high-top construction boots, a pair of steel-mesh gloves, an army helmet, a hockey face-mask, and a long-sleeved flak jacket.

3. Use the element of surprise. Pick up your cat nonchalantly, as if to simply carry him to his supper dish. (Cats will not usually notice your strange attire. They have little or no interest in fashion as a rule.)

4. Once you are inside the bathroom, speed is essential to survival. In a single liquid motion, shut the bathroom door, step into the tub enclosure, slide the glass door shut, dip the cat in the water and squirt him with shampoo. You have now begun one of the wildest 45 seconds of your life.

5. Cats have no handles. Add the fact that he now has soapy fur, and the problem is radically compounded. Do not expect to hold on to him for more than two or three seconds at a time. When you have him, however, you must remember to give him another squirt of shampoo and rub like crazy. He'll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rinsing himself off. (The national record for cats is three latherings, so don't expect too much.)

6. Next, the cat must be dried. Novice cat bathers always assume this part will be the most difficult, for humans generally are worn out at this point and the cat is just getting really determined. In fact, the drying is simple compared with what you have just been through. That's because by now the cat is semi-permanently affixed to your right leg.

7. You simply pop the drain plug with your foot, reach for your towel and wait. (Occasionally, however, the cat will end up clinging to the top of your army helmet. If this happens, the best thing you can do is to shake him loose and to encourage him toward your leg.) After all the water is drained from the tub, it is a simple matter to just reach down and dry the cat. In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from your leg. He will usually have nothing to say for about three weeks and will spend a lot of time sitting with his back to you. He might even become psychoceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster figurine. You will be tempted to assume he is angry. This isn't usually the case. As a rule he is simply plotting ways to get through your defenses and injure you for life the next time you decide to give him a bath. But at least now he smells a lot better.

Extended celebrations.... 

It isn't even my birthday yet, and already I'm enjoying it more than I did last year. Of course, last year I was an idiot and had dental work done on my birthday. Just about anything would be better than that.

I got goodies in the mail as early as last Wednesday. My sister-in-law sent a card and a picture of my niece at the Tampa Zoo wearing an adorable pink floppy hat. Dan's parents sent a gift card to Wal-Mart, very handy since we have one near the house now. And Ducky sent a home made CD of groovy stuff and a collection of Latino hip hop, which is very popular where I live.

Yesterday, I got an awesome iTunes gift card from friends. Yayyyyyyy! Lemme at that Music Store!

And tonight, my dad took me to the Outback Steakhouse. Dan, my stepmother, sister and brother-in-law were also there. I had my usual petite filet, mashed potatoes and a bit of salad. Unfortunately, the waitress was a space cadet and brought my salad with croutons on even though I had informed her I couldn't have wheat and watched her write down "no croutons". That's the first time I ever had bad service there. I split a dessert with Dan, a flourless brownie with ice cream and hot fudge sauce. I don't normally order it because it's too many carbs for me to eat the whole thing by myself. But half, well, still probably a few too many, but not nearly the disaster the whole dessert would be. Oh, and from my dad and stepmother I received a DVD of "Walk the Line" and the book Harry Potter 6! From my sister and brother-in-law, a grocery store gift card (gonna stock up the pantry with gluten free goodies), "Goblet of Fire" and another book whose name escapes me.

My actual 42nd birthday isn't even until Wednesday. Cool, eh? Dan is taking the night off work just for me. We're gonna go to the gluten free restaurant and to a movie of my choice. I think it's gonna be "Failure to Launch" unless I can figure out something we might both like better. Maybe the one about the huskies??

Am very gradually getting the computer back to normal. Have 160 songs loaded into iTunes; I don't think I can put my old playlists back into it because they are from an updated version of iTunes and I only have Version 4 on my computer. I don't dare update it until my operating system is up to date, which may not happen for months unless Dan can surreptitiously download the updates onto a disk during his lunch break at work. So for the moment, iTunes consists of whatever I can copy from existing CDs or download from the Music Store. Luckily, when you download songs, if you lose your internet connection, you can pick up where you left off. I am extremely frustrated with the internet connection. I can't figure out why the modem hangs up every half hour or so. I went onto Earthlink's website and found alternate access numbers, but had no better luck with one of them. I think it's some kind of bug with OSX that an update would fix, sigh. If/when Dan gets another job and/or we move someplace cheaper, I will seriously consider getting cable. I found out that if you combine it with a TV package, it costs the same as DSL. It's just too expensive at the moment with our income being so uncertain.

Dan applied for another job in South Dakota on Friday and two more today. Weird that there seem to be more jobs in this sparsely populated state than in the major metro area I live in. Of course, there is probably much less competition in South Dakota, which would greatly help Dan's chances of getting hired. He is worried that the South Dakota companies aren't interested in him because he makes so much money here. It is possible that these companies might not realize that the cost of living here is almost twice what it is in South Dakota and therefore, Dan is not as overpaid as it might seem. Of course, Dan can always explain that in an interview if he is granted one. For now, he is applying to any graphic design job there that looks promising to see if he can get a foot in the door.

Currently copying songs by Barenaked Ladies. They sure crack me up.

Party on!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bonus Rave of the Day for March 19, 2006: 

Most of these funny ones I found in old e-mails are from Ducky's Daily Grin. I'm pretty sure this one is.....

Responses If You Get Caught Sleeping on the Job

"They told me at the blood bank this might happen."

"This is just a 15-minute power nap like they raved about in that time-management course you sent me to."

"I was working smarter - not harder."

"Whew! I musta left the top off the liquid paper."

"Oh, I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on our mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!"

"This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!"

"I was testing the keyboard for drool-resistance."

"I was trying to remember where that difficult "Z" Key was, and now it is indelibly imprinted on my brain, or at least my forehead."

"I'm in the management training program."

"I'm actually doing a 'Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan' (SLEEP) I learned at the last mandatory seminar you made me attend."

"This is in exchange for the six hours last night when I dreamed about work!"

"I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work-related stress. Do you discriminate against people who practice Yoga?"

"Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem."

"Uh, hey, whaddaya expect... the coffee machine is broken..."

"Someone must've put decaf in the wrong pot."

"Boy, that cold medicine I took last night just won't wear off!"

"Ah, the unique and unpredictable circadian rhythms of the workaholic!"

"I wasn't sleeping. I was trying to pick up my contact lens without my hands."

"The mailman flipped out and pulled a gun so I was playing dead to avoid getting shot."

"Geez, I thought you (the boss) were gone for the day."

Rave of the Day for March 19, 2006: 

Here is the first of the items I found in e-mails dated prior to when I had a blog. Don't know the source of this funny, but I forwarded it in 2002.....

Fun Things to Do in an Elevator:

Make race car noises when anyone gets on or off.

Blow your nose and offer to show the contents of your kleenex to other passengers.

Grimace painfully while smacking your forehead and muttering: "Shut up, all of you just shut UP!"

Whistle the first seven notes of "It's a Small World" incessantly.

Sell Girl Scout cookies.

On a long ride, sway side to side at the natural frequency of the elevator.


Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside ask: "Got enough air in there?"

Offer name tags to everyone getting on the elevator. Wear yours upside-down.

Stand silent and motionless in the corner, facing the wall, without getting off.

When arriving at your floor, grunt and strain to yank the doors open, then act embarrassed when they open by themselves.

Lean over to another passenger and whisper: "Noogie patrol coming!"

Greet everyone getting on the elevator with a warm handshake and ask them to call you Admiral.

One word: Flatulence!

On the highest floor, hold the door open and demand that it stay open until you hear the penny you dropped down the shaft go "plink" at the bottom.

Do Tai Chi exercises.

Stare, grinning, at another passenger for a while, and then announce: "I've got new socks on!"

When at least 8 people have boarded, moan from the back: "Oh, not now, motion sickness!"

Give religious tracts to each passenger.

Meow occassionally.

Bet the other passengers you can fit a quarter in your nose.

Show other passengers a wound and ask if it looks infected.

Sing "Mary had a little lamb" while continually pushing buttons.

Holler "Chutes away!" whenever the elevator descends.

Walk on with a cooler that says "human head" on the side.

Stare at another passenger for a while, then announce "You're one of THEM!" and move to the far corner of the elevator.

Burp, and then say "mmmm.tasty!"

Leave a box between the doors.

Ask each passenger getting on if you can push the button for them.

Wear a puppet on your hand and talk to other passengers "through" it.

Start a sing-along.

When the elevator is silent, look around and ask "is that your beeper?"

Play the harmonica.

Shadow box.

Say "Ding!" at each floor.

Lean against the button panel.

Say "I wonder what all these do" and push the red buttons.

Listen to the elevator walls with a stethoscope.

Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the other passengers that this is your "personal space."

Bring a chair along.

Take a bite of a sandwich and ask another passenger: "Wanna fee whaf in muh mouf?"

Blow spit bubbles.

Pull your gum out of your mouth in long strings.

Announce in a demonic voice: "I must find a more suitable host body."

Carry a blanket and clutch it protectively.

Make explosion noises when anyone presses a button.

Wear "X-Ray Specs" and leer suggestively at other passengers.

Stare at your thumb and say "I think it's getting larger."

If anyone brushes against you, recoil and holler "Bad touch!"

Saturday, March 18, 2006

More than my fair share of frustration..... 

I believe when I last posted from browser-land, I'd had the bright idea of switching to DSL via my local phone company since it was available at a very low price. But I should have known I was in for trouble when the customer service guy tried to convince me that their premium package was Mac compatible when their website said otherwise. I thought I was signing up for the lower cost package, but they sent me a self-install package for the premium service!

I tried to use the installation CD that came with the package, and it didn't work on my machine. So I had to have tech support walk me through the process on the phone. That's when I found out I ddn't have a clean DSL line, possibly because I was getting interference from our home security system, which also uses our home phone line. One tech said I just needed a DSL filter, but when I lost the connection with him and ended up talking to a different tech, that guy told me I needed something complicated called a home run to fix the problem. The phone company was more than willing to help me out, IF I paid $100 for a service call! I called my alarm company to see if they were any cheaper, but they wanted $150 for a DSL filter! So I called the phone company back and set the appointment, waiting six days without internet service.

In the meantime, Dan goes to work on Wednesday and is greeted by the news that his employer is doing more layoffs and unless someone near retirement age takes a buyout, his last day of work will be May 6th. He won't find out one way or the other until the end of April. Really crummy timing considering I still have not been approved for disability benefits. Yeah, we knew layoffs would be a possibility eventually, which is why Dan's been looking for a new job for the past couple of years, but we didn't think anything would happen until at least fall, and we HOPED that I'd be getting benefits regularly before then. Of course, if my illness has taught me anything, it's that life circumstances do not necessarily happen for one's convenience.

The next day, the tech from the phone company showed up, but she didn't know ANYTHING about DSL! She said she'd been instructed to add a phone jack?? WTF?? I have no idea where that came from! I explained that we were expecting a DSL filter, and she didn't even know what one was! She called the DSL department and was told by them that I didn't need a filter at all. But when I asked why my DSL connection didn't work, she replied that I needed to make an appointment to have a DSL tech come out, which would be ANOTHER $100 for the service call plus $50 for an install. Why in the HELL didn't they send a DSL specialist in the first place??

That did it. I called the phone company and demanded that they take the equipment back and give me full credit to my acount as I'd been paying for a service that never worked. I'd been willing to pay $60 for a modem (Dan had agreed it would be my birthday present), but no way was I paying $250 in service calls for incompetent techs, especially when they couldn't even come to a consensus as to what the problem was. What if I had had the DSL tech come out and the thing still wouldn't work?? Money wasted that I may well need to pay bills with this summer.

So I'm back to my dialup, which unfortunately hasn't worked very well since the computer crashed. With my husband maybe losing his job, we have to have online access so he can job hunt, but we can't afford upgrading to cable because it is much more expensive. And I'm back to not being able to update any of my software, which adds to the frustration.

I have to admit I had really taken the computer for granted. A whole week without the internet!! I felt like I had lost a whole bunch of friends. Couldn't read any blogs or update my own, couldn't e-mail people to tell them that I didn't have access to their e-mails, couldn't look anything up. One good thing, though, is that I had the time to go through my old e-mail files and save all the little gems that had been sent to me in the two years before I had a blog on which to post my Raves of the Day. So I will have lots of goodies to share here, even if the jokes are a bit old.

Dan and I are still very busy between rehab for his whiplash injury when the car was totaled in January and my rehab for my back. I'm doing stretches for physical therapy, which are painful. I am trying to learn to walk properly, which hurts even more. And the actual PT sessions are EXHAUSTING! But I am making progress. And I see the massage therapist on Tuesday, which will help.

And we've started some spring cleaning in case Dan does lose his job, because we will have to sell the house, and right now, it's extremely cluttered. Unless he can find something at the last minute here that pays well, we'll not be able to afford the mortgage payment if Dan's laid off, even if he gets unemployment benefits. So if we have to sell, we'll move to South Dakota and hope to God Dan gets a job there. I don't think we'll be able to buy a house there until Dan is gainfully employed, so we may have to rent. Hope we can find a house for rent that takes dogs. So far, I have gone through my books and have set aside one bookcase's worth to get rid of. I've also sorted through most of the command center and have tossed out some packaging that was taking up too much room and old papers I no longer needed. I still have two drawers to tackle. And probably tomorrow, Dan and I will go through the video tapes and get rid of duplicates and home made tapes that are too poor quality to watch on the current VCR. Eventually, we plan to go through all the cabinets, closets and the garage. And if we do need to sell, we'll get rid of two recliners, a loveseat, a tv and the spare bed. Chances are we may need to move to a smaller house.

My friend and I did go back to the gluten free restaurant to watch a cooking class. It was Polynesian-style sweet and sour chicken. We got to try a sample, and it was delicious! It involves deep frying the chicken, though, and I probably shouldn't start frying things at home. But I do think I will make the sauce and maybe just put it on a grilled chicken breast or something. Oh, and even though I'd said I'd only eat there once a month, I did order a small burger, heh heh. It was amazingly good! My first real burger in over two and a half years. The hamburger buns are awesome! And I'll be going back next Wednesday too. Dan offered to take me out to eat on my birthday, and I chose the gluten free place. I'm considering having the chicken alfredo.....

Ack, just remembered that I should have eaten over an hour ago! Time flies when you're trying to make up for being offline for a week.

Hope I can post this as I've lost my modem connection AGAIN. Sigh.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Rave of the Day for March 10, 2006: 

My February (yes, I sent it in late) book review for But You Don't Look Sick is up. Here's the link:


I was a little nervous about whether this one would be accepted because of the book's dark subject matter, but I do think it is one of the better reviews I've written, even if it took me a couple of weeks to do.

". . . . having live through this experience, one could not keep silent no matter how difficult, if not impossible, it was to speak."

". . . . I believe it important to emphasize how strongly I feel that books, just like people, have a destiny. Some invite sorrow, others joy, some both."
-- Elie Weisel

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Gluten free and PT..... 

I went to the new gluten free cafe and bakery with a friend last night. Took me like half an hour to decide what to eat; I'm not used to having choices anymore, heh heh. I had beef stroganoff. First time I've had gravy in probably five years. My friend had chicken enchiladas. And my friend and I bought a brownie and a piece of lemon cheesecake to take home, and then we cut each one in half so we could try both. They were both delicious, but I had just a few nibbles at them since I'd had such a large dinner. I finished them this afternoon. I was told there is clam chowder available on Fridays at the cafe, which sounds heavenly. I have to eat a lot of soup due to the gastroparesis, and it usually ends up being tomato because there aren't very many other gluten free flavors at the grocery store. Oh, and next Wednesday, they are having a class on making sweet and sour chicken, I think.

Believe it or not, I STILL haven't fully recovered from the functional capacity test I took in January! And I thought my fatigue and fog from last week's neuropscyh exam had finally worn off, and then I woke up today completely in zombie-land. It is tough to be undergoing PT while I hardly feel up to walking across a room, but I have to. My mobility is a fairly precarious thing these days, and if I don't fight to keep some conditioning, my part-time wheelchair use will become full-time. At PT today, I did five minutes on a treadmill at the slowest possible speed, trying to use proper posture and balance and it hurt SO BAD! I can't let myself regress any further....there's no way we could afford a handicap-accessible house if we're not even sure we can keep the one we're in.

Dan's also still having neck problems from the accident. He is still taking muscle relaxants every day because if he doesn't, he can't even turn his head. He's going in for a massage next week. If that doesn't make enough of a difference, I'll try to talk him into going back to his primary care and getting a referral for PT. I feel so bad for him because I know how it feels. I was in a total of SIX injury car accidents, and all involved the neck and/or shoulders.

Got the DSL equipment today; I'm cleared to install it tomorrow after 5pm, but I'll probably wait until Saturday so Dan can help me since it will involve crawling under the command center to plug things in and moving the tower drive around. Then I should be able to download software updates to my heart's content! Yayyyyyyyy! In the meantime, I'm still retrieving old files that I need, re-building my address book, and copying a few tunes from music CDs to keep me entertained. Right now, I'm playing Adam and the Ants, one of my absolute fave '80's bands. They combined pirate costumes with African drumming.....what's not to love??

I FINALLY got my February payment today from the long-term disability insurance company! After I cash it tomorrow, I'll be going to the health food store to get gluten free frozen dinners and calcium supplements since I'm out of both. And maybe get my hair cut this weekend? One problem with wearing bangs; they to get too long rather quickly and get in your eyes. Oh, and of course I'll be paying bills. Pesky lil' things.

Better get back to tracking down some files.

"Goody two, goody two, goody goody two shoes
Goody two, goody two, goody goody two shoes
Don't drink, don't smoke
What do you do?"
-- Adam Ant

Rave of the Day for March 9, 2006: 

This arrived in a most timely e-mail from Joan.....

The Lord is my programmer, I shall not crash.
He installed His software on the hard disk of my heart,
All of His commands are user friendly,
His directory moves me to the right choices for His name's sake.
Even though I scroll through the problems on file,
I will fear no bugs for YOU are my backup,
Your password protects me,
You prepare a menu before me in the presence of mine enemies,
Your help is only a key away.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
And my file will be merged with His and saved forever.

Musings about the Academy Awards..... 

First, I'll apologize in advance for maybe getting the actors' names wrong. I no longer have a backup browser available to cut and paste names as I'm typing like I did with the Olympics. And it has been several days since the Awards, so my memory ain't very fresh either.

For all the hoopla of red carpet analysis, the actual awards part was too brief. By that, I mean they didn't let the recipients of awards TALK on stage. It was really bad when there were multiple recipients, and one person would say a sentence or two, and then the music drowned the other recipients out. How rude! I for one was interested in what the writer of "Brokeback Mountain" had to say.

I was pleased with the lack of cheesy production numbers, though. I do prefer the montages of clips instead. But what was the deal with the movie songs? Dolly Parton comes out and gives a very nice performance of a song for "Transamerica" I liked, but had no visible accompaniament. Then the song from "Crash" has slo mo dancers in flames! WTF?? And the "Hustle and Flow" song had the dancers in "ho" and "pimp" gear, although that made a lot more sense since the song was actually about being a pimp. I don't mind that it won, even though I liked Dolly Parton's song better.

The acting awards were no surprise, although I would have also been ok with Matt Dillon for "Crash" or Felicity Huffman for "Transamerica". I applauded for Reese Witherspoon and liked her acceptance speech. I also liked her dress.

I did not get to see "King Kong" but Dan did, and he said it definitely deserved the Visual Effects award. There were some good choices this year for Documentary Feature, but I liked that "March of the Penguins" won. And that there were stuffed penguins on stage, heh heh.

"Memoirs of a Geisha" won a few more awards than I was expecting. I had wanted to see that one too. Guess I'll rent it eventually.

Jon Stewart did a fine job as host. Just sarcastic enough, funny, not too cheesy. I wouldn't mind seeing him return.

Interesting split of awards between "Brokeback Mountain" and "Crash". So I guess all the homophobes and racists can relax that neither movie was a runaway winner, heh heh. Haven't seen "Brokeback" yet, but might rent it sometime. Was happy to see Ang Lee win for Best Director. He is a fave of mine. I'm happy that "Crash" got Best Picture, not just because it was a good movie, but because it was important.

Comments on the apparel: what was with all the women wearing black?? Or champagne?? I'm probably just weird, but I think most natural blondes look awful in all black. Makes their skin tone look sickly. And was it Charlize Theron who wore that awful gown with the massive black bow on one side? Looked like a super-sized tarantula was crawling from her shoulder to her left earlobe! Some of the champagne colored gowns were very pretty, but others were too close to the skin tone of the wearers, so from a distance, you couldn't tell if they were wearing anything at all! And I would skip the trains at an award show. Jennifer Garner tripped on hers onstage! J-Lo had a beautifully fitted gown, but that olive green color wasn't very appealing. And she had her hair pulled back so severely that her ears stuck out. Best gown of the night was on Selma Hayak: royal blue, form fitting but not obscenely tight. As for the men, most looked fine, but the guy who won Adapted Screenplay for "Brokeback Mountain" appeared a bit silly with a dinner jacket and jeans. I think it was Jamie Foxx who had a royal blue shirt on with his suit. Sharp!

And that's probably more than enough of that.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Update about my updating..... 

Well, rats. I'm so foggy headed I can't remember what was in my last post, so some of this will probably be a repeat.

I inadvertently killed my Mac over the weekend. Three days and three phone calls to Apple Support later, I'm up and running, but minus four years' worth of customization. I saved as much material as I could, but I had like four and a half days' worth of music on iTunes.....too large a file to save to a disk. The only way to fix the machine was to do an "erase and install", which means, yep, you lose EVERYTHING except what originally came with OSX! If I weren't still in zombie-land from that neuropsych exam last week, I might have an easier time finding the backed up files I need. Been too busy figuring out how to re-install everything. I somehow miraculously retrieved ALL of my Quicken data and most of my photo album material. I cannot figure out how to get Dan's e-mail addy back into the Mail application, but I found the messages from the inboxes even if I can't load them into my mailbox (weird). I couldn't get the address book info to transfer either, so I've been opening old messages and copying them into the book manually. What a pain in the ass. iTunes is still up in the air. I found the files containing my playlists, but I need to update my operating system to fix a glitch first before I can load them or even find out if they WILL transfer.

I did hunt down a DSL plan. I really can't afford to be doing it, but right now, my local phone company is offering their DSL for only $25 a month for the first year. I'm hoping that I'll be getting SSDI by the time the price jumps up to $45 next year. I'm supposed to get connected on Friday.

Speaking of good ol' Social Security, they woke me up yesterday morning with a phone call. Seems they didn't like the way my lawyer filled out the appeal form. We put "no change" on everything because we're trying to get a judge to sign off on it based on what's already in the file. Otherwise, I have to wait a year for a hearing. The SS rep insisted that I go over every detail of that form on the phone so it wouldn't "hold up" my claim. Great, except my damned computer crashed and some of the info is God knows where! She kept asking me questions that I had already answered on my original application and in the updated stuff I sent them in November. I asked if she hadn't already seen this information in my file. Turns out she'd never looked in my file! She called me back a half hour later and said, "Well, you certainly do have a large file, but I need these questions answered anyway". So I went back to my original application from August (I kept a copy) and read word for word all the docs I'd seen since I applied. I had to spell every name, every street, every ailment, every med. This really pisses me off because now I supposedly have "new" information in my file, and I think I won't be able to get a judge to sign off on it without a hearing. Tards.

Called my long-term disability insurance company yesterday because I still haven't been paid for February. Their automated system said my claim had been approved, which isn't exactly true. They just have to pay me while I agree to do their "independent" medical exams. I then talked to an operator, and she said she didn't see any activity on my account since the end of January, so she left a message for my benefits coordinator to call me. An hour later, the rep called and announced she had cut me a check earlier in the day! Yeah, and I'm the president of Pluto. The company was just waiting to see the results of the neuropsych exam and hoping I wouldn't expect a check in the meantime. Like I wouldn't notice being short a months' pay????

Went to the dentist for my semi-annual checkup today. I have TWO new cavities on the upper right. Like with all the stuff that was going on last year, Sjogren's is making my teeth decay around old fillings, and there's nothing I can do about it. The dentist did praise me for taking excellent care of my teeth. She said that if I hadn't been keeping them so clean, I'd probably be losing teeth unstead of just getting cavities. So I return in three weeks for the fillings. I am sooooo not looking forward to the novacaine giving me a reaction and the TMJ that inevitably follows having dental work. Hell, my jaw is sore tonight just from today's cleaning!

Tomorrow, I go to aquacise AND the osteopath AND I'm gonna try that gluten-free cafe. After the past few days, I deserve a burger or pizza or something. And maybe I'll bring home a treat for dessert.

Will post a little something about the Academy Awards when I get the chance. I know it's all old news now, but hell, I took notes for a blog post, so I'll get to it.

For now, I'm just gonna cross my fingers that this entry publishes. I'm using a different browser than I'm accustomed to (Safari, ugh), and I had trouble with the last one.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Shitty weekend.... 

My plan this weekend was to finish my book review of "Night" for But You Don't Look Sick on Saturday and send it in. I was also gonna balance the checkbook and download some tunes. Then today, I was gonna kick back and watch the Academy Awards and then make a nice blog entry about it. But it was not to be.....

Dan woke me up on Saturday and asked me what happened to the computer. I was 99 percent asleep and had no idea what he was talking about. He said he wasn't getting any of the usual icons on the screen. So I lurched out of bed and switched on the computer. It wouldn't even boot up. Got a black screen with a login prompt, but I couldn't type anything. In the four years we've had this machine, this has never happened. I tried a million different ways to reboot, rebuild, to get SOMETHING to happen. Nada.

So I had to call Apple. They charge $50 bucks for a service call!! But we managed to get the machine up and running with the operating system disk. I was told to back up everything I could, then try a utility disk repair. So I spent my Saturday backing things up the best I could. But I couldn't get it to do a repair. By the time I gave up, it was quite late, so I went to bed.

Was supposed to go to a union meeting today, but I'm still in exhaustion mode, so I couldn't get out of bed for it. Finally came to life about 2pm. Went back to the computer, which still wasn't booting up properly, and did the utility disk repair on the hard drive. Turns out the hard drive was fine. So I tried to do an "archive and install" on the operating system. That's when it would crash. Had to call Apple again (luckily that $50 fee is good for five days). They told me that the only way I could re-install my operating system was to do an "erase and install". Yep, that means EVERYTHING goes bye bye except the applications that come with OSX!

So four years' worth of customizing our computer is gone. My iTunes is empty. Nothing in my address book. Dan's e-mail address no longer there. Lost two internet browsers (only have Safari now, which I hate). And I'm too brain-fogged to even want to do what it takes to update all this shit. It will literally take months. I do have four discs of material I backed up yesterday, but I'll have to re-install all kinds of software.

I think I know what went wrong. I still have dial up. That was fine until about six months ago, when the upgrades for my software got so large that I would lose the connection before it finished downloading. I never was able to upgrade my operating system, but the upgrades for some of the applications were smaller, so I continued to do that. I think I inadvertantly upgraded an application that only works with the latest upgrade of OSX, and it caused OSX to crash.

So if I'm going to be able to continue using this computer, I'm going to have to get something more reliable than dialup so I can keep the operating system up to date. Thing is, I've been on Earthlink's waiting list for DSL for FOUR YEARS! It is STILL not available in my neighborhood. I checked with the local phone company, which uses MSN Premium. Guess what? Not Mac compatible. I have the system requirements for their "lesser" DSL, but I can't get their site to tell me whether or not it's available in my neighborhood. You'd think I lived on a remote island or on the Alaskan tundra or something. I live in a MAJOR metropolitan area!!

I did watch the Academy Awards, but I was so distracted about what I was gonna do about the computer that I didn't relax and enjoy it. Instead, I was fretting about having lost four years of financial data from Quicken (I can't find it on my discs) and how much work it would take to reconcile the checkbook to a fresh version of Quicken. And where exactly my e-mail addresses might be hiding. I did finish my book review and luckily had the e-mail addy to sent it to, so the weekend was not 100 percent a waste. Just 80 percent.

So if there are no entries here for awhile, it's because I'm trying to round up new internet service and find the material I'd gathered for my Raves of the Day.

In the meantime, if anyone has info on DSL that is Mac compatible, please leave a comment or e-mail it to me so that I can put you back in my address book. My e-mail address should be good until I get this figured out, after which I will update here.

End of whine, for now.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Dan the Man and other updates..... 

Dan got turned down on the internet service job in South Dakota. That really sucks, because that would have been a way cool place to work. The printing company that he applied to in Sioux Falls never replied. He's getting very frustrated. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing because I don't want to move, but I know we need to live someplace cheaper.

Dan called me from work tonight. He had to go to court about the accident. Luckily, he saw a judge, and she was nice. She saw his totally clean driving record and had an eye witness statement about the accident that matched what Dan said about the other driver leaving his turn signal on and then not turning. So he was given a lesser charge, and only had to pay $90 instead of $200. Whew!

I had thought I was getting paid this month, but I just went to the long term disability company's website, and they did NOT issue a check for February (they pay on the first of the following month for the prior month). I will call them next week, but I have a sneaking suspicion they're either waiting to see the results of the neuropsych exam or have already denied me and I just haven't gotten the letter yet. I know this sounds paranoid, but I realllllllly don't trust them. The ironic thing is that a few days ago, they sent me a direct deposit form to fill out. It was my understanding that under "reservation of rights", they are to pay me as long as I am cooperating with their "independent" medical exams. But maybe they only meant the back pay? I'm so confused.

Here's something way cool: there is a gluten free cafe and bakery where I live now! Seriously, I could order anything I wanted to on their menu and know it's safe for me to eat. I haven't been able to order a burger, a sandwich, soup or pizza in a restaurant in two and a half YEARS! One of the health food stores in town carries their bakery products; so far, I've had a cheesecake (good) and a cherry tart (fantastic!). Oh, and the cafe has FREE gluten free cooking classes on Wednesday evenings! Might go there next week (since "Lost" will be a re-run again, dammit) with a friend who is also trying go gluten free.
Went to physical therapy today. Spent about an hour figuring out what exactly I can do without aggravating my arthritis or the fibromyalgia. I can't use any of the fancy machines they have. I'm basically gonna be doing stretches. I was given four to do once a day. Did I mention yesterday that my lower back has no curve in it? It actually tilts the wrong way! The PT guy also noticed that my legs are different lengths. While I was lying on the exam table with my knees up, I noticed myself that my left knee was sitting about a half inch higher than the right! Fixing this is gonna take some doing.

Was falling asleep on the couch again tonight. Am declaring tomorrow to be a do-nothing day. I seriously need one.

Am trying my best not to think about gluten-free burgers, but am not quite succeeding.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Attack of the energy vampires...... 

Ok, so I have no proof that they were actually here except for how I feel. The real vampire was that neuropsych exam on Tuesday which left me a in a state eerily similar to that of the undead. I slept 16 of the first 24 hours after I got home, and have pretty much been falling asleep anytime I sit idle for more than five minutes. This is just like when I came back from my little weekend vacation in October. I just hope I bounce back quicker than I did then.

Went to the osteopath today. The doc actually came out into the waiting room to meet me. He also surprised me with his knowledge of autoimmune disease; he looked at my list of ailments and meds, noticed the spider veins on my face and my icy hands and asked me if it was possible I had scleroderma. I told him I was still sero-negative but that it hadn't yet been ruled out.

He was also really funny! He saw that he would be treating my SI joint and said, "So, it appears you have a real pain in the butt!" We made jokes off and on during the appointment.

That SI joint is a real stinker. The reason my right hip hurts so much is that the muscles have tightened around the de-stabilized joint in order to protect it, like Chip having bone spurs to protect his hip dysplasia. Anyway, the right hip has tightened to the point that my right leg is a half inch shorter than the left! No wonder I walk funny! So the doc did some gentle re-aligning of my hips and lower back. I won't lie; it hurt like a son of a bitch, but I know I need to do this to fix the problem. I start physical therapy tomorrow to try to get the SI joint to stay aligned. I don't know how I'm going to fit in seeing the osteopath once a week, physical therapy once or twice a week, and Dan going to therapy for his neck twice a week. This is all IN ADDITION to aquacise twice a week, the shrink once every two weeks, and three appointments with other docs already scheduled in the next three weeks.

If there's no rest for the wicked, then I must be wicked.

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