Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Christmas Lights and Rhinos

We took Booger to the zoo last night to check out the “Lights Before Christmas”, which are actually on display until after Christmas, but whatever, I’m over it. (sort of) It was a balmy 61 degrees here in Northwest Ohio, which was perfect for an outdoor evening. Also perfect for every single person in a hundred mile radius to crash my warm-outdoor-activity party. It was very crowded, but we still managed to enjoy ourselves. The lights were very pretty and while they appeared to photograph well, once uploaded and viewed in a normal size they are blurry. Figures.

I truly love to look at Christmas lights. Makes me warm and fuzzy inside. I especially like the trees that are “hard wrapped.” You know, Where the lights are wrapped around the trunk and branches and not just draped. Does that make sense? Also, I prefer single colors per tree. And I must know….who invented flashing lights? There was a set of trees close to the entrance that were draped with lights. Strands of red lights AND strands of green lights. The trees alternated between RED and GREEN. Flashing red, then green, then red. Not in synch, just RED then GREEN. I am capitalizing because that is how I felt about them. We were walking past them and I turned and said to Roy, “Why are these trees yelling at me?” They seemed to be yelling at me. I did not like them.

In the middle of the zoo was this huge display of dancing lights. No, really, that’s what they were called. There were about 12-15 trees covered in lights…completely covered. Red, white, green, maybe more…Anyway. These lights were set to music. So, as the music changed the light color changed, lighting particular trees in sequence, etc. During the big finale of whichever song, the trees would all light up and with ALL THE COLORS AT THE SAME TIME. And they would FLASH. The shouting, it hurts.

Most of the animals were inside, which I find odd since it was so nice outside. I would imagine the animals are not big fans of all the lights invading their space. We saw a sleeping baby elephant, sleeping peacefully next to his mom, who was catching a late night snack of hay. Down the way, sleeping peacefully next to their indoor exhibit window was a very large rhinoceros. He (she, maybe…didn't see any distinct, uh, rhino parts) was sleeping peacefully on a slab of concrete in a cinder block enclosed room with a view. I don’t know why, but my heart broke for this beautiful beast. What gives us the right to abduct this wonderful creature from his home, his soft bed, his family, to put him in Toledo and make him sleep on concrete. For crying out loud. I have always been a fan of the zoo and I truly believe there is good that comes from having zoos, access to these animals, and all that. But last night, I realized that maybe giving us the chance to gawk at him isn’t enough reason to pluck him from his home.

Sunday, November 26, 2006
Gobble Gobble

Thanksgiving is one of those times when I don'’t know whether to laugh or cry. From the outside looking in, what I go through is hilarious. But, from my perspective…I keep looking for the hidden camera because I just KNOW I'’m ending up on Candid Camera. The Brown family (that's a reference to their Filipino coloring, not their actual name) never needs a reason to gather, eat, and gossip. When they have a reason, though? Boo howdy you better watch out. There is more food, more rice, more caffeine free Diet Coke (sigh - what I would give for my mother-in-law to remember to buy the silver kind, not the gold kind) can you can even imagine. Also, the Senior Citizen bad karaoke brigade. Floor rattling, so loud your ears bleed karaoke. It's so bad that next time I'm going to bring my old dresser and plop it in the middle of the room so the layers of paint will come right off, saving me hours of stripping.

The White family turkey consumption was on Saturday. We have a thing. We eat the same thing every holiday. The SAME thing. The only variable is the meat. I'’ll lay it out for you (Mrs. Chili, I'’m laying, not lying :-) ). Christmas and Easter is ham. Thanksgiving is turkey. The rest of the meal is as follows:
Mashed potatoes
Candied sweet potatoes
Green bean casserole (which I will not touch for anything, except maybe Bradley Whitford showing up at my door having lost his clothes on the way.)

Pie - pumpkin on Thanksgiving, Apple any other time.

This is the menu. One does not deviate from the menu or much drama ensues. One year, my mom made - get this - – macaroni salad for Easter. My sister and I launched a mutiny of epic proportions. Macaroni salad instead of mashed potatoes?! Oh my dear, no. It is just not done. No no no.

So, my friends, Thanksgiving has come and gone. I am thankful for many things. My family, batshit craziness and all. I am so thankful for my friends. Those especially who take the time to support you when you are hurting. Who sacrificed much more time than they had anticipated just sitting quietly with me at the funeral home. Passing a Kleenex, lending a shoulder, or just silently being there, no need to say anything, just comforting me with their presence. I am thankful for my health, and vow to take better care of it. I am thankful for my sense of humor, – even when I am the only one laughing. I am thankful for good television, good weather, and perhaps most of all...I am thankful for my new hair dryer! I promise to tell you THAT story very soon!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Short hiatus on funny
A very good family friend has passed away. He was a very funny, very kind man.

I can't be funny yet. I will be funny again soon. I hope.

Friday, November 17, 2006
Dysfunctional is the new Normal
My sister's wedding was Saturday and it was everything and more than I hoped it would be. She looked stunning in her ivory gown, he handsome in his suit. After nearly 10 years of togetherness, the wedding and reception were such a perfect celebration of their love.

Our family is the definition of Dysfunction with a capital D. Let's see if I can explain it without making your eyes cross. My biological father left my mom and me when I was 2. I never saw or heard from him after that; he died when I was 12. My dad has been my dad for as long as I can remember, he was always a part of my life. He and my mom finally married when I was about 13, only after he asked to be my father for real - to file for adoption. So, he married my mom and adopted me. He had 2 children from a previous marriage - they were older than I, 8 and 6 years older. When your 13, that's a big age difference, but now...not so much. I'm an only child (which is pretty obvious when you get to know me!), and was always the only one at home. My sister and brother (I don't like to prefixes half or step) lived with their mom, who had 3 more children with her next husband. (Still following?) So, one would think this might be complicated and weird and all hard to be a part of. But, you know what? It works for us. My dad's ex-wife and my mom are friends. My sister's sisters who aren't my sisters (!!!) and I are friends. We all get along swimmingly.

I don't really have a moral to my story. I think after spending a couple days with everyone for the wedding, it made me more thankful for my Dysfunctional family than I have ever been.

This funny example of our dysfunction happened at the wedding. There was a girl there who recognized my husband from years back. During the conversation he asked how she knew the Bride and Groom. She answered, "She's my cousin." I responded, "That's funny, she's my sister."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Cold Weather
Things I like:

Long Sleeve T-shirts with sleeves long enough to tuck my hands into.
Less humidity = better hair.
Warm & Snuggly blankets.
Hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.

Things I don't like:

Non-heated leather seats in my car.
Dry skin.
Having a perpetually runny nose.
Gloomy gray days.

Thursday, November 09, 2006
I'm still sick. I'm way sick of being sick. I like to whine and bitch and moan when I'm sick. I like to play the poor-pity-me card when I'm sick.

Then you read something like this (you'll have to page through until you get to November 1 or so...but do it, you need to read it from the beginning) and suddenly you feel sick for someone other than yourself. Someone you don't even know, you just found while browsing the internet.

You go hug your spouse and say I love you. You call your mom and say I love you. You kiss the top of your dear sweet child's head and say I love you. Your friends, your family, everyone. Go tell them. Now. You just never know.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Election Day & Bronchitis

I voted, did you? You should. Go! Go now and come back to read about my self-doctoring.

I have bronchitis. (self diagnosed, but when you get it as much as I do, you can do that)
My (step) sister’s wedding is Saturday.
My doctor moved to Iowa.
(I am so screwed.)

It gets better. From the reception I received at Walgreen’s, I must look like a meth addict. Or dealer.

I finally figured after 3 days of swigging children’s cough medicine (it was all we had), I should get some adult meds at Walgreen’s. After looking at all the different choices, I decided on the old stand by, DayQuil and to really kick it up, some Mucinex-D. I don’t really know what Mucinex-D has that plain old Mucinex doesn't, other than –D, which is meth. Pharmaceutically speaking, it contains Pseudoephedrine HCl 60mg, a nasal decongestant. I’m pretty sure that if you mix ephedrine with funny things like bleach and maybe WD-40 and perhaps Diet Coke, you get Meth. In order to buy Mucinex-D, you have to take the card up to the pharmacy. Then, I had to produce my driver’s license which they entered into the computer, within the database of 30somethingmethdealers. I then had to sign my name on the digital signie-thingie. Then, only then could I pay for the stuff. Probably it looked bad on the surveillance camera when I was seen leaving the store using the DayQuil to swallow the 2 Mucinex-D pills.

Thursday, November 02, 2006
Vacation notes
It's already Thursday of my vacation and let's see how many things I've checked off my to-do list. Hmm. Wait....nope, not one damn thing. I have added a few things that's weren't on there but were subsequently added, completed and checked off. But those don't really count because really, they are just a diversion from doing the things I should be doing. I should be packing and boxing non-essential stuff so when I put my house up for sale (after Christmas, probably), it will be less full of stuff, thus more full of....well, opportunity to sell, I hope. (Holy run-on sentence, Batman!) I want to sell it by owner. I am cheap and do not wish to pay a realtor 7% to take pictures, put them on the web and let people in. I am pretty sure I can handle that. So, I will try. And likely fail, end up getting a realtor, paying them 7%, then coming here to complain about the injustice of it all. I want to sell this house before we even consider building a new one. You heard right, we're thinking of building a house. From scratch. Do you have any idea how many decisions go into this process? I haven't even signed anything yet and the decisions are coming out of my ears. I'm not sure I will ever get passed deciding what I want the thing to look like. OH, I know what it looks like. In my head. It's perfect. It is wonderful. It is THE place to be. All of our friends hang out there, it is full of laughter and love. And while I want this more than I originally thought I would, I can not take the first step. The first step of boxing stuff up. I've been trying for weeks. But that first step causes the next step and the next after that. So damn many decisions. So many. So, my vacation that was supposed to have been spent boxing and purging and organizing has been spent in the recliner with my nose stuck in a book. Which, honestly...between you and me? Was so much more fun.