Archive for June, 2010

  • I’ve had it up to HERE

    Date: 2010.06.30 | Category: Weirdness, Work | Response: 14

    Last Friday was rough. After waking up at 3:00 a.m. in more pain, I started making plans to revisit the doctor. I laid there in agony in the wee hours of the morning, with the pain pill-induced hallucinogenic visions about God knows what until 7:00 a.m. At which point the pain decided it was done with me and abruptly ended. I sat there in shock for 30 minutes, waiting to make the wrong move and for it all to come rushing back. But it didn’t.

    And so I resigned myself to going to work, even though I was going on four hours of sleep.

    Work, for the most part, was fine. It was Starbucks Friday, which powered me through in a zombie-like state for most of the day. But by the time the work day was over, I was sinking fast and getting very cranky.

    I made it home and collapsed in a grumpy heap on the couch, vowing that I would not speak to anyone the rest of the evening.

    And then I got a text message from a coworker. It was a picture. This picture:

    photo

    Now I was able to figure out that : a) This is my office and b) there is something going on with the floor.

    After a few moments of staring I finally called her to find out why she sent it to me. As it turns out, the toilet across the hall from my office had gone all “Old Faithful” and was spewing water straight into my office.

    Visions of my iMac and camera shooting lightening bolts into the hallway leapt into my mind and I started panicking. But they assured me that they had gotten most everything off the ground and I seem to have only lost a few extra magazines. They told me to stay home for goodness sake and that everything would be alright.

    I walked into work on Monday and the carpet was still soaking wet. This meant that toilet water sat in my office for two and half days without anyone doing anything about it.

    I sat down and realized that everything had taken on that “left-too-many-days-in-the-washer” smell. I balked and wrinkled my nose. I then discovered that my power strip had watermarks all over it and had indeed fizzled. After briefly convincing facilities that it was indeed the power strip and not the wall socket, I got a new one.

    Two more days went by and I finally escalated my complaint about the moldy stench. This morning they brought someone in to alleviate the smell… by apparently spraying chemicals all over the floor and turning on a fan that produced hurricane strength winds.

    Needless to say that I couldn’t conduct the scheduled conference call in all the uproar.

    It’s the end of the day though and I finally got sick of the fan and shut it off. Now my ears are sort of ringing and I’m starting to imagine mold creeping into my lungs and it STILL stinks.

  • Every now and then, a little weirdness must fall

    Date: 2010.06.27 | Category: Family, Mark, Weirdness | Response: 18

    Mom and I are sometimes scary alike. I swear our brain patterns must sync up. Frequently we buy people the same things for Christmas, walk into stores and separately and pick out the same outfits, think the same things about people, etc.

    Now for Father’s Day this year, I went to a Guy Harvey store in Florida and perused through about 30 shirt designs, each printed on different colored shirts. After debating for about 10 minutes, I decided on one that I thought dad would like and purchased it.

    On Father’s Day I gave it to him. He loved it and I was thrilled.

    Well over Father’s Day weekend, mom was in Orange Beach, so she didn’t see any of the gifts we gave dad. She did, however, come home with souvenirs for everyone. And what does she pull out for dad? But the EXACT same shirt with the same print in the same color. Out of all the shirts in the Universe, she picked out that one.

    …..

    The other day Mark and I were watching 48 Hours, which is one of those real-life murder/mystery shows. Mark commented that he would love to serve on a jury. I immediately turned my nose up and started explaining to him how miserable the whole process is. He, undeterred, said that he didn’t care. What a great experience, he said.

    Today he got a jury summons in the mail.

    WEIRD.

    ………….

    Mark and I don’t go out to dinner often, but today was a busy day and the last thing I felt like doing was cooking. So I convinced him to go to Outback. He mentioned calling his parents to see if they wanted to come along. I said that I felt like spending time with just the two of us. He agreed and we went on our way.

    As we were finishing dinner, we looked up and saw his mom walk by out table. Turns out they arrived right after us.

    Getting goosebumps yet?

    ……….

    And finally, I have been planning a big project on interviewing my great, great uncle about his experience in World War II. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time ( I’m sure it will eventually be documented in great detail in this blog). So I’ve done some research on questions to ask and ways to prepare for the interview.

    And tonight Mark flips on PBS and they are talking about the importance of interviewing WW2 vets.

    Cue the Twilight Zone music.

    I don’t think I can take much more of this. I’m starting to think there’s a hidden camera set up around here somewhere…

  • Border Collie Neurosis

    Date: 2010.06.24 | Category: Bonnie Barrell, Dogs, Leela Fish | Response: 10

    If you’ve ever been around border collies, or herding dogs in general, you may have noticed a certain intensity. This intensity varies from dog to dog of course, but they all a have something that makes them tick.

    For my sister’s dog Cooper (Leela’s litter mate), it’s squirrels and trees. Trees? You ask. How can a dog fixate on a tree? Well it’s not so much the tree, but the act of getting into the tree.

    Yes, Cooper climbs trees. At any given time you can find him perched in one of the low trees at my sisters’ house, going after a squirrel or just generally enjoying the higher altitude. And when he stayed with us this past weekend, he took on the giant oak, literally running up the trunk of the tree until he got to the desired branches.

    Like so:

    But sometimes he would stay for a while, enjoying the view.

    Cooper Tree

    Leela’s intensity focuses in on words and toys. Any of the following words cause her to whine, get up in your face and chirp until you cave to said word. For instance “squirrel,” “walk,” “ball,” “outside” and “border collie” are all key words.

    Not to mention you can ask her for any toy and she will go find the named toy and continually drop it in front of you or in your lap until you cave and throw it to her.

    Oh and then there is that whole barking at anything that remotely resembles an animal on tv until we have to cover her eyes with a blanket so she will relax.

    Bonnie has a noise neurosis. More specifically the noise the fridge makes when we push the button that changes from ice to water. This sends her into a frenzied state that causes her to start running laps through our house.

    Stopping her is next to impossible. More than once I’ve been “barreled over” by her lap running. I firmly believe this is how she has lost so much weight since we adopted her.

    Leela usually makes a calm attempt to figure out WTF is going on, bless her heart.

    And all these dogs have that intense stare. The one where they get so focused on the ball that a bomb could go off behind them and they wouldn’t flinch. That’s why I got so tickled when dad sent me a picture of Leela’s 8-week-old sister, already keying in on the border collie intensity.

    lola

    But the more intense they are, the more I love them. And the more my yard looks like this:

    Dogs

    The happier I am.

  • Drama in Paradise

    Date: 2010.06.22 | Category: Health, Love, Mark | Response: 11

    Sunday night I woke up with excruciating pain. The kind of pain that made me seriously consider the heinous experience that is the ER. But after my last horrifying time in the ER four years ago, there was no way I was going there if I could help it.

    So I waited. I called my doc first thing Monday morning, and after dealing with some catty receptionists and an amazing nurse, Mark was driving me to the hospital to see the doctor.

    I got there and waited. 15 minutes later all the power went out in the ENTIRE hospital. *groan*  I knew this meant they were about to start sending all the patients home. But, my favorite nurse intervened and I still got in to see the doc.

    They weighed me (yay! weight loss! yay!), took my temperature,  started me on pain medication and asked me to come back in the morning when their ultrasound equipment would be working. We had to walk down six flights of stairs to leave, all the while I was writhing in agony.

    Tuesday morning, Mark gallantly gets my doped-up-on-Loratab self into the car, into the hospital and into the doctor’s office.

    They weigh me again.

    Now I’m very private about how much I weigh. So much so that I have never ever let my husband know how much I weigh. It’s one of the few things that I just can’t bare to have people know… not even him.

    So when the nurse announced to both of us that I weighed XXX and now I weigh XXX, a gain of four pounds in less than 24 hours, I froze up. Then she walked out of the room to get the doctor.

    As soon as she walked out of the room, I burst into tears.

    Mark, being the sweet soul he is, says, “It’s going to be ok, you will feel better soon.”

    Me: “They told you how much I WEIGH! I can’t believe they did that! My world is ending!”

    Mark: “Um, you have a ruptured cyst on your ovary and you are crying because she told me how much you weigh?!”

    Me: “OMG, YES! I am SO embarrassed. I’m such a fat ass.”

    Mark: *blink blink* “Um. I think you need to forget about that focus on getting better.”

    Me: “You have no idea. I lost three pounds last week and gained it all back plus some in ONE DAY! ONE DAY! OMG, what is wrong with me?!”

    Mark somehow managed to calm me down before the doctor came in. No one else seemed concerned about the weight gain and contributed it mostly to water retention from pain medication. Lovely.

    I was down a week, partially on bed rest, while my body coped with it’s inner trauma and righted itself. Fortunately I’m back to nearly 100%, and my body is beginning to function like it was before.

    Here’s to happy healing, less drama and lots of exercise!

  • Happy Father’s Day

    Date: 2010.06.20 | Category: Family | Response: 3

    To the man who’s been there for me every step of the way.

    jb25

    jessparents_recent

    I love you Daddy-o!

  • Date Night

    Date: 2010.06.20 | Category: Love, Mark, Style | Response: 7

    I don’t know if it’s the long term relationship, the busy work schedule, or the frugal mentality, but Mark and I don’t go on dates often.

    So when I was offered some free tickets to a local play, I snatched them up.

    In my mind I started planning a nice dinner, getting the chance to wear that new dress I bought a couple weeks ago, and enjoying the play with my husband.

    Mark initially agreed that this was a good idea, but today’s 100-degree weather quickly changed his mood.

    Mark: “Do we have to go to this? It’s so hot! I just want to lay around the house.”

    Me: “Yes! I’ve been really looking forward to this evening!”

    Mark:  *sigh* “Ok, let me take a shower.”

    30 minutes later….

    Me: “Are you STILL watching New Yankee Workshop?! I thought you were taking a shower!”

    Mark: “Ok, I am.” He then reluctantly turned off the tv and dragged into the bedroom.

    In the mean time I put on my new dress and got all gussied up. Then waited… and waited.

    30 minutes before the show started we were finally ready to go, thus rendering any dinner plans I had pointless. But, we didn’t let that deter us from eating. Oh no, we whipped into Sonic and shared a romantic evening over diet cherry limeades and tater tots. And really, maybe that was for the best. After all, we did get to sit next to each other, talk and laugh without having to worry about anyone else around us.

    And we made it to the play in time, hand in hand. Me in my heels, towering over Mark by a good six inches, and him loving every minute of it.

    Plus, he made up for his tardiness by telling me how beautiful I was and how much he loved my new dress on me several times.

    Ok, I forgive you…

    ******

    Here’s the new dress.
    IMG_0594

    I’m finally starting to figure out what works for me: Long lines, patterns, heels and sleeves.

    Dress: $16.99 at Ross.
    Jewelry: Fleur de Leis from the Riverwalk in New Orleans $14.99
    Shoes: Shoe Carnival last year. I got them for Susan’s wedding on sale. I can’t remember how much I paid for them, but being the thrifty shopper I am, I guarantee it wasn’t over $35.

    I also got another dress from Ross I want to try out. Time to start making plans for our next date. Maybe we’ll be classy and make it to Chic-fil-A next time.

  • Pick Me Up

    Date: 2010.06.17 | Category: Dogs | Response: 10

    It’s been a rough week. Some health problems have had me laid up in bed, managing pain and wrecking my weight loss progress.
    It’s made me very upset. So upset that everything was putting me in a worse mood.

    That is until my dad emailed me a photo that put a big smile on my face.

    On the left is Gracie (Leela’s mom) and on the right is Dixie (Leela’s baby sister).
    6-17-10 004

    I think I may have to send Mark on a covert puppy-napping mission, at least until I feel myself again… or until she chews up my Macbook power cord and I send her packing back to mom and dad’s.

  • Dear Angie Cat,

    Date: 2010.06.14 | Category: Angie Cat | Response: 8

    I know you are very angry right now, and for some good reasons. For instance, having guest dogs over for three days upset your balance and daily schedule. And then inviting a slew of loud and fussy relatives over to see the house made you hide under the comforter for four hours, losing lots of precious kitty hair in the process.

    And I know that putting you on a diet sucks (I feel your pain on this one), but my dear kitty girl, your shape currently resembles a football and I just want to help you get your girlish figure back again.

    I know all those things are mean and horrible, but did it really warrant such vicious retaliation?

    I know you saw me up all last night, pacing the halls with a stomachache. And I know you knew I was in pain and frustrated because I couldn’t sleep. I also know that you sensed when I finally fell asleep at 4:15 a.m. this morning, because you are a kitty and sensitive to these things.

    So why, oh why, on God’s green earth after I FINALLY fell asleep did you leap from the window seal above the bed at 4:30 a.m. with all of your kitty claws out and land on my BOOB and then run away like a Tasmanian devil was trying to grab you and gobble you up?!?!

    I know you heard me scream that loud obscenity that scared every other living soul in the house (except for Mark who was still peacefully snoring), and then watched me wake back up for another hour.

    Were you gloating?

    I think you were.

    And just so you know, the fact that you’ve laid beside me all cuddly and sweet all day while I don’t feel good doesn’t make it up to me.

    You have a lot more cuddling to do cat.

  • Animal Kingdom

    Date: 2010.06.12 | Category: Angie Cat, Dogs, Kitties, Photography | Response: 9

    If there is one thing we love in this house, it’s animals. So when my friend Susan asked us to watch her dogs while she went to Memphis, we welcomed them with open arms.

    Lucky is some kind of mix Susan’s father-in-law rescued from getting kicked at a gas station in Florida. She was mangy and skinny and skiddish when they found her. But with a lot of love (and some heavy doses of medication), they’ve got her into fighting shape. And she is a wild, goofy little sweetheart.
    lucky

    Sue Bear is a new addition. Susan recently adopted this little border collie mix from Pet Savers. She belonged to an older couple who got sick and couldn’t keep up with their dogs anymore. Even though she’s a border collie mix, she’s very mellow. In a lot of ways Sue Sue reminds me of Bonnie.

    They have worn my girls out and been great guests.
    suesue

    As part of Susan’s birthday present, I agreed to take some “arty” shots of her dogs. Keeping them here with me has given me the opportunity to do so. Here are a few of my favorites.
    IMG_0555_bw

    IMG_0570_bw

    IMG_0584_bw

    IMG_0582_bw

    Angie Cat got very upset because I was a) rolling around on the floor taking photos and b) paying attention to someone besides her. So, I caved and took one of her too.

    angie

  • But I Want to Eat That Cookie

    Date: 2010.06.10 | Category: Health, Me | Response: 11

    Me after New Orleans to Mark: “I just got on the scale.”

    Mark: “Uh huh.”

    Me: “And I saw numbers I haven’t seen in a very long time… like since high school.”
    (Dear readers, I was very heavy in high school).

    Mark: “So. I think you look great.”

    Me: “Thank you sweetie, but I feel like a big giant cow. I need to do something about this. And YOU, YOU need to stop making fresh chocolate chip cookies at 9:00 at night!”

    Mark: “Ok, I’ll support you in whatever you want to do.”

    Me: Heavy sigh. “What’s for dinner?”

    Mark: “Taco Bell?”

    ********

    I have struggled with my weight my entire life. And some part of me feels that this is very unfair. I mean, I’m 25 for goodness sake! These are supposed to be the years I look back on one day and say, “I wish I still looked like that.” Which scares me.

    My parents have had the same struggles. My mom, after her third baby, took the bull by the horns, joined Weight Watchers, and lost all of her weight and kept it off. But it’s not easy for her.

    I have yo-yoed since my heaviest days in high school, hitting my peak fitness and healthiest weight in college when I was rowing. Since then, several factors have come into my life to make living a healthy lifestyle difficult, including, but not limited to: getting married, working a full-time desk job, doing more freelance after work and getting lazy about cooking.

    So after my wardrobe update, I feel like it’s time to do something else to improve my appearance: start exercising and eating right again.

    Now I have this thing about completing and documenting things, so I decided to play into my neurosis. First I started the Couch to 5k program (it’s a nine week, interval program), and downloaded the C25K iPhone App that manages the interval times for me. Then, my friend Lori told me about the Lose It iPhone App, which not only calculates how many calories a day you should have based on your height, weight, and how much you want to lose, but also tracks your calories, exercise and weight!

    The hardest part in all of this is learning to say, “No.”

    Every single day at work this week I have had a form of cake or ice cream offered to me. This is a daily occurrence at work, and part of the reason I’ve managed to put on 10 pounds since starting the job 2.5 years ago.

    And then there is the thin husband who has a lightning fast metabolism and loves junk food. (I constantly tell him, “I hope our kids get YOUR metabolism!”)

    But he is doing better about buying the candy bars and willing to eat healthy at the house more and more. He even got up at 6:00 am and ran with me the other morning. That is no small feat. (He said it’s because he feels bad when one of the dogs gets left behind… but whatever the reason, I’ll take it!)

    And so it has started. I am compulsively tracking and exercising. I managed to lose 1.5 pounds this week. Not much, but it’s a good start. And more importantly, I’m changing daily habits and learning to build confidence in myself again.

    So here we go. Wish me luck!