Monday, August 30, 2004

Lost in Transit

My younger sister and I had taken a trip together to visit our relatives over seas. It was the first time we had gone together. I have always envied all my friends who had the luxury or opportunity to have their relatives nearby. We were only able to enjoy their company once every 2 or 3 years. Because we saw each other so rarely there was plenty of opportunity to be spoiled. Who in their right mind would turn that down? Of course the younger ones always grab more of the spotlight. Rest assured I had plenty of love and attention thrown my way also.

We are fluent in the language but our relatives have a protective side. It took many debates but I finally convinced them that my sister and I could take a night train to visit the next batch of family. There was truly no need for a chaperone to tag along. I was 20 and my sister 12; it was a no brainer really. Get on at the first stop and disembark at the final stop; the whole trip took about 7 hours. My plan was to sleep most of the way.

Our trip begins. We both get settled, she listening to music and I was reading. The train was packed with seasoned travelers. Everyone had his or her routine. Some were snoring before the train left the station, others quietly chatting; some were having a midnight snack. We decided to make a bathroom break before we tried sleeping and we went together. Comfortable in every way possible, we prepare for slumber. It is quite easy on a train; the gentle rocking of the car over the tracks lulls you right into sleep.

I don’t know what it is about the bladder function of my siblings but true to form my sister wakes me up at 4 am to tell me she needs to go to the restroom. Each compartment has a lavatory located in the very front, I reminded her and told her go ahead. She was expecting me to accompany her. I told that it wasn’t a big deal, walk to the front of our compartment, do your business, then walk back and look for row 15. How difficult could it be? I was just too comfy to want to have to hold her hand; she was 12 certainly old enough to accomplish this task. She sat there for 10 more minutes with the saddest eyes hoping I would change my mind. I encouraged her once again off she went.

Of course I didn’t drift back to sleep, I am responsible for her, so I waited for her to return. Finally, after 20 minutes, she returned to her seat. If looks could kill, I’d have been a dead duck. She lunged back into the seat avoiding eye contact with me. She sulked for another half-hour and finally told me what happened. She found the restroom without incident. When she came out, instead of coming back into our compartment she went into the compartment ahead of us. She got to row 15 and saw a middle aged man in my seat. She shook him awake and demanded to know what he had done with Wicked.

MOT (Man on train): “Which Wicked?”
YS ( Younger sis): “My Wicked! My sister! Where is she???”
MOT: “Well I don’t know. I’d be happy to help you find her.”
YS: “Why are you in her seat??? What have you done with her?”
MOT: “Maybe you are in the wrong compartment? Let’s go find her.”

After successfully waking up everyone in that compartment, her light bulb went off. She realized she should have gone back into the other car instead of forward into that one. She apologized meekly and stomped back to me. I have never in my life tried SO hard not to laugh. It was painful. I was biting my lip, gripping my book with all my might I tried everything. Thankfully she lost it first. I can’t remember the last time we had laughed that heartily. Of course in the process we had now woken up everyone in our compartment as well. Once MOT came back to see if she was all right and found me, the rest of our compartment was joining in on the merriment. We giggled, quietly, the rest of the ride.

You know her wedding is coming up. I might just have to make one of the toasts and let my future brother-in-law know about her train escapade. Hmmmmm. An excellent idea

End of the Olympics

I don’t know about all of you, but the Olympics were just plain weird this time. I think the Greeks did a fantastic job getting everything done just in time. Everything looked great, how could it not? Greece is a beautiful backdrop for any event.

The rest of it seemed bland. The men’s basketball team was an embarrassment. Besides the mediocre play, how do you not know which uniform to wear to your final event? Wardrobe malfunction indeed. If I were Janet Jackson, I’d want my money back. Then there was the whack job in a kilt who disrupted the men’s marathon. I am so impressed at the Brazilian runner’s composure; he most certainly deserved the Pierre de Coubertin Medal.

Kudos to all who participated and bravo to all our American athletes who won medals. The Olympics were not as moving as I had hoped for but inspirational none the less.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Bruno's Wild Adventure

Back to more on my Spring Break story, told you it would generate more than one post.

You may remember that we drove the 22 plus hours down to the Keys, a pretty exhausting trip even in your early 20's. We settled into our hotel, procured our groceries for the week with each meal expertly planned by my older sister and then we began the process of relaxing. If I remember correctly we just hung out by the pool until it was time to turn in. It was our version of recovering from the long ride.

As expected we turned in early that night. I was probably asleep before my head even hit the pillow. I was looking forward to sleeping in. I had no agenda other than catching some rays, reading a couple of good trashy novels and lots and lots of relaxation. I was on vacation dammit!

Around 3 am my sister shakes me awake. She is in complete panic mode. She tells me between gasps of breath that I need to drive her to a gas station so she can go to the bathroom. HUH?!?!? I told her she was crazy and that if she took 5 steps to the right that she could use the facilities IN OUR ROOM!!! I am trying to sleep here. She is now on my bed pacing back and forth. She is ranting uncontrollably about something; it takes me a long while to wake up even in the best of circumstances. I sit up and try to understand the situation. While wringing her hands she is giving me the details of how she has secured the bathroom and that it is not fit for use, I must take her to a gas station pronto. Still sleep sitting, I reminded her that if she truly could not use our bathroom then the keys to the car were in my purse, have at it. I then got back under the covers and went back to sleep.

In the morning I wake up to a muffled SCREAM. WTF? I get out of bed and find my sister is on top of one of the dining room chairs almost in tears. Tina comes out of the bathroom obviously refreshed and ready to start her vacation. Why shouldn't she? She slept all night! So we calm my sister down long enough to get her off the chair and begin to tackle her problem. My sister is interrogating Tina about the note she left on the bathroom door clearly stating DO NOT ENTER. Tina said she saw the note but needed to use the facilities.

All of us have fears. I don't particularly care for mice or snakes. Yes, I will admit that I jump up on a chair and scream like a girl at the site of a mouse. I know they are just as afraid of me as I am of them but it is one of my weaknesses. My sister is deathly afraid of spiders and roaches. Turns out that when she went into the bathroom at 3 am she came face to face with a rather large roach. I think they are called palmetto bugs, they are huge. So my sister grabbed all the towels in the room and stuffed them into every crevice she could think of to keep Bruno (she named him) securely in the bathroom. Hence the second panic attack when she awoke to find all the towels removed from the frame of the bathroom door and Tina calmly emerging.

We eventually reassured my sister; she came down off the chair. Tina and I vowed to exterminate any future Brunos should they appear. We made a compromise; we would give my sister the all clear before letting her go into the bathroom from that point on if she would refrain from using the facilities at 3 am.

The rest of the week went well. FYI, for any of you preparing to travel to the land of palmetto bugs, Bruno was caught in the bottom of a juice glass. Tina forgot to rinse out her OJ glass and we found Bruno in the bottom of the glass getting his daily dose of vitamins. Fearless Tina took him outside and stomped on him. I will never forget that crunching sound.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Furry Family Members

I took my 11-year-old golden to the Vet today for his annual physical. A comprehensive lab panel and an extended consult charge yielded a very good report for my pooch. Good times. I know that there is health insurance available for dogs and cats but I really haven't done the homework to see if it is a logical expense. Plus at this point I have a senior dog and I would bet that any insurance I purchased for him now would have limited coverage.

Ever sit down and figure out the cost of owning a furry kid? Don't get me wrong, they are worth every penny but it makes you wonder.

Why is it that we cannot claim our furry kids as dependents? Think about it, they require regular medical attention mandated by county and local government statutes. Why then can we not deduct their expenses? There seems to be something wrong with this equation.

Monday, August 23, 2004


I've mentioned before that I have a jokester/recalcitrant side. I come by it honestly, would I lie to you? I wanted to share one of my Grandmother's escapades. She was truly a wonderful woman.

My Grandparents raised their children with the meager means. My Mom describes her childhood with such fondness I wish I could have been there to experience it. The recounting of events is the next best thing.

The house that they lived in was quite modest but weak floorboards and all, they made do. A portion of the hardwood floor above the lower level bathroom had a major hole in it. My Grandmother actually fell through the floor while trying to drag the old pickle barrel, doubling as a bathtub, filled with dirty bath water out to the back door. The family knew which spot to avoid and it was conspicuously covered with a rug. One day my middle Aunt was using the lower level bathroom. Reassured with the fact that she had chosen a quiet time in the house to visit the restroom, she made herself comfortable. Just then she was doused with a pitcher of ice water. The culprit? Granny!! My Grandmother was laughing so hard she fell over. My highly agitated Aunt vowed revenge. She gave her Mom one warning.

My Aunt systematically plotted her revenge. Weeks went by before she enacted her plan. Then it happened, she heard my Grandmother settle into the lower level lavatory. My Aunt found the largest container in the house, a bucket. She filled it with water, pulled back the rug and emptied its contents through the hole in the floor. She was expecting to hear my Grandmother protest the deluge. Instead she heard the water bounce off the umbrella that my Grandmother was armed with. Ha!! The poor woman was taking care of business with an umbrella ever since the threat of retribution.

I really miss my Grandmother. I am proud to have inherited the mischievous genes.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Stalker Extraordinaire

The American Idol auditions are being held in DC this week/weekend. Something different for our political epi-center, good luck to all the participants.

This post is all about the old adage, you'll never know unless you try. Let me explain. My good friend Hot for Simon (HFS) has devoted a good portion of the last 3 years to the goal of one day meeting Simon Cowell. She is quite the devoted fan. Check out her link down there on my page very impressive indeed.

Well it happened, today. I'd like to add that she is not a contestant. I just got off the phone with her. She made the drive up from the South and arrived at my place last night. She was on a mission. She had all her accoutrements ready. My job in this venture was to get her to the Renaissance Hotel early Saturday morning. Unfortunately, I am not at my full capacity to be able to accompany her on this endeavor. I wished her luck, dropped her off and said a little prayer.

By the time I got home, she had called to tell me that she had already met the stylist for the American Idol judges. I am telling you the girl does her homework. She is a seasoned groupie and I say that in only the most loving way. Phone call #2, while talking to me the main producer of the show walked past her and she said hello to him shook his hand and engaged him in conversation. I witnessed it via cell phone. HFS' next call was to inform me that she had just had an exchange with Ryan Seacrest. She was bordering on giddy. Our last chat involved a step by step account of THE meeting. I am going to let her expound on all the details but I had to share this momentous event.

I am so happy for her. You can actually hear the joy in her voice. Way to go HFS!!!!! You rock!

I do have bail money ready just in case......

Friday, August 20, 2004

Morning Person? Not So Much

Back in the day when I would ride the Metro to work, it was intriguing watching my fellow passengers morning rituals. Generally you would end up riding with at least a familiar group of 8-10 commuters. I didn't have a ritual other than trying to wake up on my 40 plus minute ride into DC. In fact I enjoyed the privacy of keeping my sunglasses on the entire ride. I was really hiding the fact that I had not a stitch of makeup on; 5:45 am is simply way too early for me to be wrestling with mascara and eyeliner. I would accomplish that task in the ladies room before settling into my office. There you go, that was my ritual.

On one of my commutes in, an impeccably dressed young man sat down next to me. He was a very happy go lucky guy, good for him I thought to myself. Then it happened, he was trying to initiate conversation. Please, it is 5:45 am and I am neither fully awake nor in any kind of mood to converse. One of the golden rules taught to me was ignore them and they will leave you alone. I was stubborn and he persistent. He was nice enough; I just didn't want to be bothered. He did not get the hint. So I moved to phase 2 of my plan. We are now underground and he changed his tactics a bit. He said something like “ you can take your glasses off now. I'd really love to see those eyes.” I kept ignoring him. The problem was that now the entire train was engrossed in our conversation. I also do not like to be the focus of attention in any situation. He too notices that he has an audience and is relentless. He repeats loudly that I no longer need my sunglasses since we are underground. Since my cardinal rule of not drawing attention to myself has been thrown out the window, I take a deep breath and proceed. “ I am BLIND, do you mind?” Loud enough for our audience to participate, why not? I have never seen such a confident person become systematically unraveled till that moment. He profusely apologized and made his way to another seat.

When I got to Metro Center, I gathered my belongings, took off my sunglasses and walked off the train. As I watched the train continue on, I witnessed my would be suitor shaking his head and his audience laughing hysterically.

The name is Wicked, Wicked H. If you know what’s good for you, do not bother me in the morning.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Fear Factor

Is there anyone out there who is not afraid of the Dentist? If so, let me hear from you. We are all adults; most of rational humans who lead productive lives. Why is it that the thought of going to a Dentist triggers our anxieties? Pain. Yes, I think that is it. The pain it may cause you and most definitely your wallet.

I have not seen a dentist in let’s just say several years. My bad. My main reason was the cost. I went ahead and made an appointment since I have all this free time right now. Maybe I should return to work. I am beginning to enjoy shopping now too, bizarre. I digress.

There I am in the dreaded chaise lounge chair. Hands sweating heart palpitating. I am sure you have experienced this. In comes the Doogie Howser of Dentists. A very nice, definitely handsome young man. We did the typical review of dental/medical history. He seemed to be knowledgeable of my prior ailments and allergies. You’d be surprised whom I have come across in the past. Scary really. Then comes the pitch to salvage my chops. I patiently listen to his game plan: Titanium rod implants at 3K a pop (uh, NO), bone grafts to rebuild the cavernous loss (get serious) and an array of other bionic mentions. When he asked me what I thought about all this I very calmly told him that I was not planning on putting his child through college. Thanks, but no thanks. I am here for a simple quadrant ultra-sonic scaling; I do appreciate the concern though.

The rest of my visit went as well as can be expected. You know the typical high pitch sounds that reverberate through your mouth while your face is being sprayed with who knows what. The conversation that requires more than an uh huh while he has all 10 fingers in your mouth as well as a couple of dental implements. How do they know what your are saying? Doogie was quite the conversationalist. He told me he was quite enamored with the Women’s Olympic Volleyball team. He told me that he is afraid of visiting the Doctor. He told me that because he gave his 18-month-old daughter a cashew, he and his wife now know that she is allergic to cashews. He feels much guilt for being the one who supplied said cashew. He hates being bored, that is his reason for selecting General Dentistry. He is not a dog person but a cat person; the only reason he puts up with the dog is because it is the wife’s dog. (Major loss of points for that remark) He is deathly afraid of flying yet is taking off for Vegas tomorrow. These are all items he volunteered; I cannot make this stuff up. Is it just me or is he this forthcoming with all his patients?

His ramblings certainly made the time pass quicker. I am happy to report that 1/4 of my mouth is now tartar free and I get to do all this again next week. Woo hoo. Will I still have to drive past the parking lot at least twice before being able to park? Will I still have sweaty palms and palpitations while waiting to be taken back to the chaise lounge. You betcha. But I am looking forward to hearing all about Sin City.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Confessions of a Sedated Mind

About 15 years ago, my Mom underwent a minor surgical procedure. Of everyone in my family, Mom is the most uncomfortable in the medical setting. Strong in every other sense but keep her away from doctor-patient encounters.

The surgery took place under local and IV sedation. For her particular procedure, Mom had to be awake in order to respond to commands- she was thoroughly sedated. My older sister was also present in the operating room I can't remember if she was there strictly for comfort or if she was assisting. Either way, Mom felt more at ease knowing her daughter was at her side.

The preparations were completed and Mom was given the happy juice, Versaid. Here are a few snippets of my Mom's exclamations during her procedure:

* Here we go again!!! What was my BP? (She said this each time her blood pressure was automatically taken - I am told she wouldn't stop asking till someone told her)

* Hey! It is cold in here.

* Where is my husband? Are you still here, oldest daughter? Where is Wicked? Where is the youngest?

* Did you all remember to walk the dog?

* Here we go again! What's my pressure?

* Did you know that I have 3 daughters?

* The eldest is the prettiest one but you DON’T want to see her without any makeup.

* Here we go again! Are the numbers good?

* Oh, please don't tell her I said that. It's our secret, okay?

* You all need to hurry up because I am getting tired of this. Eldest daughter, tell them to hurry up.

* Guess what? My husband and I are going out dancing after this and we will eat filet mignon.

* Here we go again! Let me guess this time, 140/90. Am I right?

I was not present in the operating room but I was present when they wheeled my Mom into the recovery room. Needless to say, the team that brought her there was snickering the whole time. My sister look embarrassed.

Mom and Versaid an enlightening combination.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

At The Speed of Geriatric Light

I generally don't like to take family vacations. Don't get me wrong, I love my family. However, when you confine that many adults with as many varied personalities it becomes more than stressful. So I have devised a plan to be able to participate in the family time share vacation. I show up for 3 days, 4 tops. I avoid at all costs the day of check in. If I can steer clear of the whole grocery shopping challenge, who gets which bedroom debate and itinerary planning, believe me I do.

This particular post is about our trip to Sanibel Island Florida. I met the family there as I was still living in NC. By the time I arrived on Wednesday, the gang was looking a bit on edge. As the peacekeeper I did my best to keep everyone laughing and for the most part I handled my task pretty well. The spirit-lifting award goes to my Dad.

We were swimming in the gulf. My niece and I were snorkeling looking for starfish and sand dollars. She is quite the mermaid, my niece. Because she doesn't realize when she gets tired, you basically have to drag her out of the water every 30 minutes or so. We have always had the buddy system when swimming, so my niece and I were sitting on the shoreline and my Father went in for a swim. It's fun to watch him splash around. I guess he has this unwritten agenda while in the water. He takes about 5 freestyle strokes, stops, stands, wipes the water from his face, continues with the breaststroke for 8 strokes, stops and flips over and floats on his back. While floating he typically is facing the shore and casually throws both of his arms over his head every now and then.

My niece and I are enjoy his antics, of course we are quietly making fun of him. He waves, we wave back. It's all good and relaxing. That is when I see it. There is a huge shadow slowly approaching my Dad. I knew from the shape that it wasn't a shark it had to be a manatee. Before I could calmly tell him, he took one of his backstrokes and touched the manatee full on. I heard a girly squeal and watched my Father sprint out of the water. The look of panic on his face was priceless. My niece and I were laughing so hard we could not contain our selves. I never knew he could move that fast. Geriatric Lightening, that is what we called him for the remainder of the trip.

To this day, anytime we see a manatee on TV we all break into hysterical laughter. Dad is usually the first to recount the tale. Of course his version excludes the girly squeal and panic.

You go, Geriatric Lightening!!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Yes, I Really Did Do That...

Yep, I am the first to announce that as the middle child, I was the one responsible for most of my parent's gray hairs. To this day, most of the things I managed to get away with are still tucked away in the ole cranium. The tales pop up during family dinners when my 9-year-old niece wants to here yet another account of how I misbehaved at her age. Much to her Dad's chagrin, those naughty behavior genes were passed from me to her. It is really interesting how my niece has inherited certain traits from her Mother, my younger sister and me.

But I digress.

When I was 7 years old and still the youngest child of the household our family bought a chocolate colored toy poodle. We all fell in love with him immediately. My Mom became pregnant with my younger sister soon after the poodle entered the family. Once my younger sister was born, the poodle became extremely jealous of the baby. The result was him leaving presents on every step of the town house each time Mom was feeding the baby. Needless to say, Mom was not amused. Within a couple of weeks we had to return the poodle. I know now that everyone in the family was as upset about it as myself, but at age 8 I viewed it as double punishment. Not only was I no longer the youngest, the baby was the reason my puppy had to go back. The baby got all the attention when I had to come inside from playtime to take her for a ride in the stroller. The baby generated oohs and ahhhs amongst my group of friends. The green-eyed monster was present and accounted for.

Fast-forward 5 months. My Mom had to run a very quick errand. My older sister was next door at a friend's house. My younger sister was in her playpen and I was reading. Mom told me that she had to run out and would return in 10 minutes tops. She told me that the baby was fine and just to keep an eye on her, she was quite content in her playpen. I watched my Mom's car pull out of the parking lot and as soon as she was out of sight, I went to the playpen and picked up my younger sister and went up to my room. I deposited her in my 6-inch high trashcan. Much to my chagrin, not only did she not fit into the trash can she also uttered her first giggle in my presence. So there she was wide-eyed, giggling and half-flopping out of my trash can. The whole scenario made me giggle too. I lovingly removed her from the trashcan and returned her to the playpen, no one was the wiser. Of course I never mentioned it to anyone. My attitude towards her changed at that moment in time, I slowly became the proud, protective sister. I even started feeling joy over all the attention she generated.

Fast forward 18 years to a weekend family breakfast. We always use the time around the table to reminisce. Of course the topic was things that Wicked H always got in trouble for, I am able to laugh a myself. I’d like to think that I have learned from all of the mistakes, big and small, of my lifetime. Each family member was taking turns reciting his or her favorite Wicked H tale. When it was my turn, I started with “remember the time I threw baby sis into the trash.....” Halfway through my sentence and after seeing the look on her face as well as my parents, I realized that they had not heard this particular recount before that day.

I gave them the details of the event. When I was done, my Father asked me why I didn't throw her away in the kitchen trashcan? My response: “ you emptied that one every day, you would have found her! Nobody ever emptied the trash in my room...” It was not a proud moment for my folks. Luckily, baby sis was able to laugh it off.

Yep, I did do that.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Happy Triskaidekaphobia!!!

Now that I have your attention, please join me in wishing HFS a very, Happy Birthday!

Is she afraid of the number 13? Not that I am aware of. She may prefer that number to her actual chronological age. (Did I actually write that down??? Ruh Roh!)

Hurry up and get here already! The libations are chilled and ready to flow.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone! I know we will.


The Power of the Pedicure

I have never been a girly girl. But I now officially have a new addiction, the Spa Pedicure.

How does a Spa pedicure differ from your average pedicure? Well I found out today. Forget that I should not have been driving until tomorrow, it will be our little secret. Okay? Promise? A Spa pedicure involves a couple extra steps to include a double course of exfoliation of the entire lower leg and foot which leads to an extremely relaxing massage. We are talking fall asleep in the pedicure chair with the massage mode on steady. Maybe all of the pain medicine is still metabolizing its way out of my body, but I am telling you I woke myself up with my snoring and drooling. Told ya, not a girly girl.

I will indulge this addiction probably once more while in recuperation mode. It does take longer than the average pedicure so there is a reason to not feed this habit. When I return to the real world again I simply won’t have the time. It might have to go on the to do splurge list, we'll see.

Believe it or not I am a relatively shy person. I am intrigued by people who can jump into a conversation with a complete stranger. Somehow writing about things on the Internet seems different. Don't ask me to explain it, this is how my head works. Anyway, while getting my pedicure my nail technician was asking me why I was there in the middle of the day. I told her that I recently had surgery and went into very little detail. The woman doesn't have a good command of the English language so there was not a need for much detail. Apparently the 4 other patrons needed and expected every detail. Who needs doctors when you can receive unsolicited advice from pedicure patrons? Next time I'll know. I don’t remember asking any of them about their complete medical history, but I certainly am well educated now.

The power of the pedicure: relaxation, medical advice and of course pretty toes.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


The Spring Break post stirred a few recollections. So bear with me as I stroll down memory lane.

I attend the University of Maryland - GO TERPS!! Because I was a commuter and a freshman (yea dork central - I know) I had to park in the lot on the very fringe of Campus. It had to be a good mile and a 1/2 away from any building. You also had to pass the dairy farm to get to the main Campus, which added insult to injury on the warm days. Although I got very good at cow tipping (I'll talk about that one later).

I finished up classes one afternoon, stopped by the Student Union to grab a soda and started the trek back to my car. As I near the dairy farm I noticed a guy right in step with me. He is trying his best to start up a conversation with me; I am doing my best to ignore him. Not interested at all. He is persistent and asks for my phone number. I decided I could give him a number and then he'd magically disappear. So I told him sure. He proceeded to hand me a notebook and a pen. He took the drink out of my hand so I could jot a number down. I gave him back his notebook and he returned my drink. We continue walking and he has slowed his pace a bit. I am now approaching my car and thinking I don't really want him to know which vehicle is mine. My guard is up. So I pass my car thinking he will eventually find his car and go away. While I continue to amble through the freshman lot, I go to take a sip of my soda. As I put the open cup to my lips, I remember that as I was writing down the phone number my hand got wet. I drop the drink onto the pavement and to my horror I see a pill half disintegrated in the soda puddle. I turn around to see where he is and find him diving into the passenger side of a car that was following along and they zoom off. I have never been so rattled in my life. Was I smart enough to get the tag number? Of course not. I hate the cliche “it all happened so fast“, but that is truly how it went down.

It took me a week to let go of the question - what would have happened if I had taken the sip? It also took me about a month and a couple hundred dollars worth of parking tickets to be able to park in that lot again. I never saw him after that day. Was my guard up at all times, sure. Thankfully, the rest of my time at Maryland was uneventful and pleasant.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Spring Break - 1983

Not sure why this popped into my head but here it is. I will give you the Reader's Digest version.

My older sister, my good friend Tina and I headed to the Florida Keys. Knowing that we had a 22 hour drive back starting at 6 am - yes we drove from Maryland to the Keys - we decided it would be a great idea to go to the local nightclub our last night. We were young and invincible and stupid, you all have been there. The locals were raving about the band that plays there so how could we go wrong? Well the evening involved fantastic music, great company and an endless amount of banana shake-esque libations that the Bartender was creating.

At 2 am we decided we needed to go. We each hopped off our barstools and to my dismay I found both my sister and Tina in a heap at the base of their respective stools. I was able to drag each of them to the elevator. Did I mention we are on the top floor? Well we were. Did you know that the elevator does this bouncy thing before starting it’s descent? Well it did. Which accelerated both my sister's and Tina's spewing. I am telling you we had non -stop action from those 2 all night long. At around 3:30 I decided one of us needed to be able to operate the vehicle for the journey home so I went to bed. When the alarm went off at 5:30, you guessed it, they were still sick. I drove from the Keys to the Georgia/South Carolina border. I was plagued with the worst hangover I had ever or since experienced. Thankfully, they were both feeling up to driving by then. I hopped in the back seat and awoke in my parent’s driveway.

The lesson learned from this? Well many lessons. The most important one for me was stay away from sweet, banana flavored drinks for life.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Calling All Epicureans

I need your help - please!

My Mom spent the week taking care of me. Before leaving, she made a grocery run. A huge help because 1) I am not able to drive yet and 2) I hate grocery shopping. In fact, I hate all forms of shopping. I might be the only female on the planet that hates shopping. Someone, please, call Guinness.

The problem is this; I took inventory of my fridge today. Here is what I found:

- Enough fresh chives to choke all of China
- More fresh mint than the Kentucky Derby Bartenders could possibly use
- Fresh parsley in such abundance it could overtake Portugal (similar to Kudzu in the South)
- A whole gallon sized ziploc bag filled with fresh peeled garlic. Can you say Transylvania 6500?

I promise I am not exaggerating. My Mom lives to grocery shop. I am sure I am adopted.

I am sending out a plea for recipes or storage methods for the list above. I have nothing but time and ingredients on my hands.

Thanks Mom!!!

Sunday, August 08, 2004

I’m Baaaaaaack!!! Thanks for Waiting

Where to begin? On July 30th I had major surgery. Going into the surgery, it was not known what the Doctor might find. What was known was that I had something growing rapidly inside me that should not have been. Thankfully, the least of all evils ended up being the diagnosis. I am missing some parts and have a scar that housed about 15 staples but beyond that, I am in good shape.

I want to officially thank everyone who sent good thoughts my way. I believe in the power of good thoughts and well wishes. Hats off to HFS! Besides being a source of positive energy for me, she herself was recuperating from her own recent ordeal. Also, her flower arrangement was the envy of my floor. I can't tell you how many times I had to wrestle it away from the hospital staff. I want to thank my older sister for taking the brunt of my panic and being a very stable force for me during all this. Unfortunately for her, things like this always become her responsibility in our family. Call it pecking order or the fact that she is quite a talented medical practitioner, whatever the reason my life was made easier because of her. I am happy to know that I am never too old to need my Mom. She has been with me this past week and it was a tremendous help. If it weren't for her spoiling and pampering, I wouldn't be back on my feet so fast. My Dad, although a very respected psychiatrist, does not handle personal family medical crises very well. However, he was quite instrumental in taking care of his furry Grandson while I recuperated. Today he brought back my dog and took Mom and they went back to their normal lives. ( I thought Dad and I were going to have to go to court so I could regain custody of my dog. But that is another blog for another day. R.P. I almost sent you an e-mail for advice)

I'll be home for a while so I hope to get my creative juices flowing again. I am proud to report that I was quite a good patient. I only threw up once on a nurse's assistant and she deserved it for making me get up and give myself a sponge bath only 12 hours after surgery. Oh, did I mention that I was in the wheelchair with all my belongings ready to leave BEFORE my Doctor got there on Sunday? I didn't? OK good - we'll just pretend it didn't happen then.

Thanks again to everyone. I have read all the comments and e-mails. I appreciate you hanging in there.