Thursday, November 27, 2008

Trottin' like Turkeys...

Haskell's Thanksgiving code name was "Route 44".

Gypsy is not thankful for costumes...

...or being forced to wear a chicken hat in public (oh, horrors).


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vernacular Assets (and, yes. I'm back posting this on purpose)...

After a six month hiatus, we returned to Pub Quiz to celebrate RR successfully defending her thesis.

At one point, the conversation turned to the current debutante season, which had only “officially” begun the previous Saturday. One of the debs this year has the nickname "Backdoor Alley". Yes, it really does mean what you think it means, and, no, I'm not going to go into why.

Apparently, the girl is rather promiscuous (or, at least, is rumored to have that kind of reputation) and told my sister all sorts of stories while the two were in Austin over the summer. After this conversation, my sister:

  1. ...decided the nickname was justified.

  2. ...considered explaining to the girl that she would be match dated with many different guys over the deb season. And, no, she was not expected to sleep with any of them (even if they were called "escorts").

Anyway, I'm telling this story at Pub Quiz, and Rachel turns to me and says:

"If I ever did two guys at once, I wouldn't go backdoor. I'd make them wait in line."

Nuf' said, Rach. Nuf' said.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Harry Potter is EXACTLY eight days older than me...

In less than one month, I have managed to read the complete Harry Potter series.

Not sure why this warrants a mention on my blog. I knew the books would be page turners. I guess I thought it would take me longer than a month to get through all seven of them - especially with my work schedule and all the recent drama at the museum.

Anyway, they were good. If you haven't read the series already, I'd definitely recommend it.

I had my eyes dilated yesterday. Nothing big. Just a routine check up.

The entire appointment took about 45 minutes or so. And, yes, I am still myopic. The doctor confirmed this by asking me to read the smallest line on the chart while he held my glasses hostage. I think my response was something like, “Wait? There are letters up there? Because I see a frog. Don’t suppose ‘frog’ is a letter, huh?”

Fortunately, though, my eyesight hasn’t changed much since my last appointment, and I’ve been given another pass until 2010. And, no. I do not have to wear my glasses all the time, Melissa (and the rest of you nonbelievers)! Just in the car and while watching foreign films with subtitles. And, no, Trevor. TV shows, like HEROES, do not count as "foreign film" (love you!).

Once the appointment was over, I drove down to Luke’s Locker to pick up our t-shirts and numbers for Thursday’s Turkey Trot. Apparently, the fact that my eyes were dilated was alarming for some of the volunteers. I actually overheard two of them discussing the size of my pupils, to which I responded, “Yeah, I had my eyes dilated today. But I’m fine. Really. Just a tad sensitive to all the light.” They must have thought I was on drugs or something, because they seemed VERY relieved after I announced this. And helpful, too (they jumped right on the whole finding-my-bib thing).

As I turned to leave, however, one of the volunteers turned and asked, “You’re not driving, are you?” When I gave her an odd look, she quickly followed up with, “I mean, with your eyes like that? It’s not safe!”

I lied and told her that I had someone waiting for me in a car downstairs. When she looked at me suspiciously, I quickly added something about how there were no parking spaces in the lot (very true. Parking at Luke’s Locker on Oak Lawn is HARD. I just happened to arrive as someone else was leaving, otherwise I would have been circling for ages), so I volunteered to run inside and pick things up while my “driver” drove in circles. Luckily, the overly concerned Turkey Trot volunteer seemed to buy this story, and let me leave without any further questions.

Granted, it was uncomfortable to drive with all the late afternoon sunlight in my eyes, but I don’t think I was impaired. And the eye doctor didn’t say I couldn’t drive. He only seemed concerned with whether or not I had sunglasses in my car. Which I did. So what if I had to wear two pairs of sunglasses to drive yesterday afternoon (yes, TWO pairs. I was quite the sight!)? And I wouldn’t have needed them both if I had not been driving in the direction of the setting sun.

Anyway, suddenly concerned about whether or not I should be driving, I left Luke’s Locker and proceeded to drive back towards my house. Along the way, I passed the grocery store and decided to run inside to grab food for dinner. While inside, I ran into my next door neighbor and stopped briefly to chat.

Mrs. Toolson: “What is wrong with your eyes?”

Me: “Oh, nothing. I just had them dilated this afternoon during a routine eye exam.”

Mrs. Toolson: “Well, did Trevor drive you?”

Me: “No, I drove myself...”

Mrs. Toolson: “[Interrupting and looking horrified] You did WHAT?!”

Me: “I drove. It’s no big deal. The doctor never told me I needed a driver or anything. Everything is just a little brighter than usual, but I have sunglasses in the car…”

Mrs. Toolson: “[Interrupting again] I always thought you were more responsible than that. You shouldn’t be driving!”

Me: “Um, okay. I’m sorry. If it makes you feel better, I’m heading home after I check out.”

Mrs. Toolson: “Well, I should hope so!”

Seriously? Was I really not supposed to drive home afterwards? And, if so, why did no one tell me that I needed a driver? The doctor never said anything! Plus, it wasn’t like this was my first time having my eyes dilated. And – with the exception of the time I had my eyes dilated in middle school – I’m pretty sure I’ve always driven myself to and from such appointments.

Anyway, I tried to discuss this with Trevor last night, but he seemed much MORE interested in the fact that my pupils were different sizes than listening to what I was actually saying (that said: it was rather weird to look in the mirror and see one pupil considerably larger than the other. I guess the effects of the drops were wearing off more quickly in one eye, but still – strange).

So, what’s the verdict? Was I being irresponsible by driving? Or is everyone else just crazy?

Monday, November 24, 2008

I love honest websites...

"Proudly operating with 1950's technology!
We don't need computers to mess up your order.
We have Real People who can do that."

Click HERE for a laugh (or if you need to purchase a ream of laser cut sheet).

And, yes, they do have very nice people who answer their phones. My coworker called just last week, and was quite impressed with their costumer service!

"It's usually pretty fun to call us - we don't do voicemail! When you call, a nice person will always answer the phone (unless you get that exception and he's the last one in the phone pecking order so your chances of that are slim and most of the time he's even kinda nice)."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Trevor's last Cowboy's game at Texas Stadium in Irving...

I took a bunch of photos since Texas Stadium will soon cease to exist:

Friday, November 21, 2008

The next generation of Baylor Baby Alumni...

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.
Jennifer Yane

Back in late October, I had my annual appointment with my Gynecologist. For the sake of this post, I’ll call her Dr. K.

Since this appointment is (most likely) the last one I will have before tying-the-knot with Trevor, I made a point of asking Dr. K which blood tests she advises for engaged couples. The State of Texas does not require any blood tests to get married (unlike DC, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, etc.), but I figured it couldn’t hurt to go along with Dr. K’s recommendations. Better safe than sorry, right? Plus, I am kind of glad to know that I am immune to German Measles. I don’t look good in spots…

Anyway, while Dr. K was preparing to draw blood for the various tests she wanted to run, we had the following conversation:

Dr. K: “So, you and Trevor are finally getting married, huh? What has it been five years?”

Me: “Going on six and a half, actually.”

Dr. K: “Have you thought about where you want to give birth?”

Me: “[Long pause] Excuse me? Give birth?”

Dr. K: “You know, which hospital you want to deliver in once the two of you decide to have kids?”

Me: “Um, well, no. I haven’t thought about it at all, actually. I’ve only just figured out the wedding venue, and now my mom is hounding me to hurry up and select bridesmaid colors. But giving birth hasn’t…uh…come up, yet.”

Dr. K: “Well, it is never too early to start thinking about these things, you know. Where were you born?”

Me: “Baylor.”

Dr. K: “And Trevor?”

Me: “Baylor.”

Dr. K: “Well, then, Baylor it is!”

[Dr. K makes a note in my file.]

Me: “Um, okay.”

Dr. K: “And just so you will know, I’ll need three months.”

Me: “For what? The blood tests?”

Dr. K: “Oh, no, no. Not that! I’ll get the results of those to you by early next week. I’m talking about once you and Trevor decide to start trying to get pregnant.”

Me: “Oh, right. I don’t think that will be for awhile. We haven’t, you know, gotten married, yet. Maybe in a few years…”

Dr. K: “[Interrupting] It really is never too early to start thinking about these things. Your future children will thank you. Anyway, I’ll need three months. That way I can get you started on prenatal vitamins. They are very important in the early development of the fetus, you know.”

Me: “Um, yeah. I’ve read that before. But the wedding isn’t until next fall. We’ve still got loads of time…”

Dr. K: “I know, I know. I just want you to understand that I need three months. So, the second you two start thinking about trying – call me at once, okay?”

Me: “Yeah, okay. Three months. Got it. I’ll tell Trevor.”

Dr. K: “Good. And while you’re at it, tell Trevor that we are all dying to meet him. Next time you are up this way, bring him by the office…”

Yep. That’s right. I can’t commit to wedding colors, but I have a hospital to give birth in before I am even married. Talk about planning in advance!

And I thought planning a wedding was stressful! That doctor’s visit alone cost me half an eyebrow!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Green with envy...

Obviously, I am in the wrong field.

And, no, she is not on maternity leave.

From: Laurie
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 4:21 PM
To: Deals
Subject: Out of Office AutoReply: Events

I will be out of the office until Monday, January 5, 2009. Emails will be checked on a regular basis. For immediate assistance, please contact the [Blank, Blank] Office, 214-XXX-XXXX.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!


(Grumble, Grumble)

Monday, November 17, 2008

No Mad Cow in here...

I did it! I finally did it! And – better yet – they LET me do it! Weeeeeeeeeeee!

What did I do, you ask?

I gave blood on Sunday after church! Yey!

Since I haven’t been allowed to give blood since before I studied abroad in the year 2000, this is very exciting for me. The travel restrictions for blood donors have just recently been relaxed, so only people who have spent more than three consecutive months in Europe or the U.K. since 1995 are still barred at the present time. It used to be 1980 to the present day, though, which has kept me from giving for the better part of a decade (thanks to six months in London followed by three months traveling around Italy nearly nine years ago).

As you may remember from this post, when I tried to donate blood following my return to the United States in the fall of 2000, I was told that – thanks to a recent outbreak of Mad Cow outside of London – my blood would be turned down. Apparently, the gestation period for Mad Cow disease is seven years. Since no one had figured out exactly how the disease was passed to humans, my blood was being kept out of the system (lest I be a Mad Cow carrier and unwittingly pass it on to others).

My thoughts on this subject: Okay, fair enough.

True, I found it frustrating that I couldn’t help donate blood in times of need (not to mention disconcerting that the government was sort of waiting to see if my brain would turn to mush), but I have always been able to appreciate the need for a clean blood supply. So, I did the only thing I could do - wait patiently for the travel restrictions on blood donation to be relaxed. It took years, but finally did happen!

Even though I had read (and reread) the eligible donor information over and over on the web in the weeks prior to the blood drive at my church, part of me was still convinced that something would keep me from donating. This feeling was only exacerbated when it took forty-five minutes for me to get through my pre-donation screening. There were only two screening stations at the blood drive, and Melissa, Trevor and four or five other people got through their interview in less time than took for me to be approved. Apparently, the fact that I have traveled to Mexico, Grand Cayman and South Africa in the past three years raised some concerns. As Melissa put it, “Donating blood is much easier if you never go anywhere.” True that, Mel. True that.

Luckily, had I contracted Malaria during my African safari two years ago, it would have shown up by now. So, I was (finally) cleared to donate. Of course, by the time I got into the donation chair, Trevor and Melissa were nearly done - despite the fact that I had signed up for the earliest time slot. Then, just as they were about to stick me, another blood donor in the “recovery area” fainted. By the time they revived and checked the guy over for injuries, both Trevor and Melissa were finished donating and in recovery. Meanwhile, I was still waiting for my collection process to begin.

Once I got started, though, I did my best to hurry it along. I squeezed the little, yellow ball every two seconds instead of three (my lame attempt at filling the bag quickly). Trevor and Melissa, however, were too hungry to appreciate the fact that I was trying to my best to will my blood out of my body and into the donation bag as fast as possible. Their tummies were growling. Apparently, when you are hungry for brunch, an endless supply of post donation water, Gatorade, Nutter Butter Cookies and Oreos just doesn’t cut it. Alas!

About halfway through, the guy who fainted (who was now sitting next to me with his feet above his heart), asked me whether or not I had eaten prior to my donation that morning. He HAD eaten, although not very much. I, on the other hand, had overslept. Eating breakfast had never even crossed my mind as I rushed around getting ready for church. He seemed shocked by this news, and said something along the lines of, “Gee. I hope you don’t faint like I did.”

Luckily, I didn’t faint or even feel woozy after my donation was complete. Although, I barely waited the minimum amount of time in donor recovery before taking off. This was partially because Trevor and Melissa kept reminding me about how hungry they were and partially because if I did faint, I didn’t want to do it in front of the guy who already had (especially now that I felt like an idiot for not eating anything before hand).

Anyway, this entry is really pointless. I’m just glad I can donate again. Oh, and, well, that I don’t have Mad Cow and all. Not fainting was pretty good, too...

The End

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wake me when it is over...

“Is it weird in here, or is it just me?”
- Stephen Wright

Seriously. What a strange week. Yesterday alone I was propositioned twice by two homeless men on my way to a meeting. Then, on my way back to the museum, I had a third homeless guy tell me he’d be dreaming about me all night. Greaaaaaaat. Nothing makes you feel sexier than having random homeless men staring at your boobs while licking their lips, let me tell you.

On Monday I wore ruffles. Granted, they weren’t loud, over-the-top kind of ruffles. But ruffles they still were. In case you are wondering, I’m not really a ruffles kind of girl, so I was self conscious for most of the day.

Tuesday, my boss forwarded the main line to my phone without telling me. I couldn’t figure out why my phone was ringing so much until someone called later that afternoon to speak to my coworker, Nora, who normally answers that extension (note: Nora took Veteran’s Day off). As a result, I decided to work late in an effort to catch up on all the things I didn’t get done because of the incessant phone calls that day. However, when my boss discovered me still in my office after five, she told me that I needed to prioritize and spend less time talking on the phone and more time catching up on paperwork at my desk. I’m sorry…what?! If you wanted me to spend less time on the phone, why did you forward other extensions to me in the first place?! Or am I missing something here?

On Wednesday I got an email from Grammy Pammy asking Trevor and I to set up a lunch or dinner date with Trevor’s mom. A kind of meeting of the mothers to discuss wedding plans, if you will. Anyway, I forwarded the message to Trevor and asked him to call his mom to find out if/when she was available over the weekend. He wrote back and said he would. I, in turn, forwarded Trevor’s note back to my mother so she would know we were working on securing a date.

Not long after hitting SEND, I received a panicked email from my mother stating that she didn’t want us to invite Trevor’s mom. My mom wanted to do that personally once Trevor and I figured out what day Trevor’s mother was available. So, I had to call Trevor back (who luckily hadn’t made contact with his mother yet), and tell him to ask his mom when she was available but not to tell her why he was asking. Needless to say, the meeting of the mothers has still yet to be scheduled.

And finally: This morning I woke up to the sound of a leaf blower in my driveway. This noise was promptly followed by the sound of Haskell sprinting from his room into mine and leaping onto my bed. Apparently, he developed an irrational fear of leaf blowers overnight. Although, why he chose to jump into my bed is absolutely beyond me. He knows he’s not allowed! It took awhile to get him out, too, as he dove underneath the bed clothes, pinned himself as close to me as possible and dug in. Weird dog.

Is it the weekend, yet?!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

On the death of Michael Crichton...

I’ve been a loyal ER watcher since I was 14, and have been reading Michael Crichton’s works of fiction since middle school. My favorites have included: Congo, Timeline, Prey, Eaters of the Dead, State of Fear and Next. Much like Stephen King’s novels, I’ve never picked up a Michael Crichton book that I didn’t like. He was – at least in my opinion – a very good storyteller, and I will miss picking up his latest bestseller at the airport or supermarket.

'Jurassic Park' author Michael Crichton dies at 66

By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer Hillel Italie, Ap National Writer – Wed Nov 5, 3:56 pm ET

Michael Crichton, the million-selling author who made scientific research terrifying and irresistible in such thrillers as "Jurassic Park," "Timeline" and "The Andromeda Strain," has died of cancer, his family said. Crichton died Tuesday in Los Angeles at age 66 after privately battling cancer.

"Through his books, Michael Crichton served as an inspiration to students of all ages, challenged scientists in many fields, and illuminated the mysteries of the world in a way we could all understand," his family said in a statement.

"While the world knew him as a great storyteller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us — and entertained us all while doing so — his wife Sherri, daughter Taylor, family and friends knew Michael Crichton as a devoted husband, loving father and generous friend who inspired each of us to strive to see the wonders of our world through new eyes."

He was an experimenter and popularizer known for his stories of disaster and systematic breakdown, such as the rampant microbe of "The Andromeda Strain" or the dinosaurs running madly in "Jurassic Park." Many of his books became major Hollywood movies, including "Jurassic Park," "Rising Sun" and "Disclosure." Crichton himself directed and wrote "The Great Train Robbery" and he co-wrote the script for the blockbuster "Twister."

In 1994, he created the award-winning TV hospital series "ER." He's even had a dinosaur named for him, Crichton's ankylosaur.

"Michael's talent out-scaled even his own dinosaurs of `Jurassic Park,'" said "Jurassic Park" director Steven Spielberg, a friend of Crichton's for 40 years. "He was the greatest at blending science with big theatrical concepts, which is what gave credibility to dinosaurs again walking the Earth. ... Michael was a gentle soul who reserved his flamboyant side for his novels. There is no one in the wings that will ever take his place."

John Wells, executive producer of "ER" called the author "an extraordinary man. Brilliant, funny, erudite, gracious, exceptionally inquisitive and always thoughtful.

"No lunch with Michael lasted less than three hours and no subject was too prosaic or obscure to attract his interest. Sexual politics, medical and scientific ethics, anthropology, archaeology, economics, astronomy, astrology, quantum physics, and molecular biology were all regular topics of conversation."

Neal Baer, a physician who became an executive producer on "ER," was a fourth-year medical student at Harvard University when Wells, a longtime friend, sent him Crichton's script.

"I said, `Wow, this is like my life.' Michael had been a medical student at Harvard in the early '70s and I was going through the same thing about 20 years later," said Baer. "ER" offered a fresh take on the TV medical drama, making doctors the central focus rather than patients. In the early life of "ER," Crichton, who hadn't been involved in medicine for years, and Spielberg would take part in writers' room discussions.

In recent years, Crichton was the rare novelist granted a White House meeting with President Bush, perhaps because of his skepticism about global warming, which Crichton addressed in the 2004 novel, "State of Fear." Crichton's views were strongly condemned by environmentalists, who alleged that the author was hurting efforts to pass legislation to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.

If not a literary giant, he was a physical one, standing 6 feet and 9 inches, and ready for battle with the press. In a 2004 interview with The Associated Press, Crichton came with a tape recorder, text books and a pile of graphs and charts as he defended "State of Fear" and his take on global warming.

"I have a lot of trouble with things that don't seem true to me," Crichton said at the time, his large, manicured hands gesturing to his graphs. "I'm very uncomfortable just accepting. There's something in me that wants to pound the table and say, 'That's not true.'"

He spoke to few scientists about his questions, convinced that he could interpret the data himself. "If we put everything in the hands of experts and if we say that as intelligent outsiders, we are not qualified to look over the shoulder of anybody, then we're in some kind of really weird world," he said.

A new novel by Crichton had been tentatively scheduled to come next month, but publisher HarperCollins said the book was postponed indefinitely because of his illness.

One of four siblings, Crichton was born in Chicago and grew up in Roslyn, Long Island. His father was a journalist and young Michael spent much of his childhood writing extra papers for teachers. In third grade, he wrote a nine-page play that his father typed for him using carbon paper so the other kids would know their parts. He was tall, gangly and awkward, and used writing as a way to escape; Mark Twain and Alfred Hitchcock were his role models.

Figuring he would not be able to make a living as writer, and not good enough at basketball, he decided to become a doctor. He studied anthropology at Harvard College, and later graduated from Harvard Medical School. During medical school, he turned out books under pseudonyms. (One that the tall author used was Jeffrey Hudson, a 17th-century dwarf in the court of King Charles II of England.) He had modest success with his writing and decided to pursue it.

His first hit, "The Andromeda Strain," was written while he was still in medical school and quickly caught on upon its 1969 release. It was a featured selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and was sold to Universal in Hollywood for $250,000.

"A few of the teachers feel I'm wasting my time, and that in some ways I have wasted theirs," he told The New York Times in 1969. "When I asked for a couple of days off to go to California about a movie sale, that raised an eyebrow."

His books seemed designed to provoke debate, whether the theories of quantum physics in "Timeline," the reverse sexual discrimination of "Disclosure" or the spectre of Japanese eminence in "Rising Sun."

"The initial response from the (Japanese) establishment was, 'You're a racist,'" he told the AP. "So then, because I'm always trying to deal with data, I went on a tour talking about it and gave a very careful argument, and their response came back, 'Well you say that but we know you're a racist.'"

Crichton had a rigid work schedule: rising before dawn and writing from about 6 a.m. to around 3 p.m., breaking only for lunch. He enjoyed being one of the few novelists recognized in public, but he also felt limited by fame.

"Of course, the celebrity is nice. But when I go do research, it's much more difficult now. The kind of freedom I had 10 years ago is gone," he told the AP. "You have to have good table manners; you can't have spaghetti hanging out of your mouth at a restaurant."

Crichton was married five times and had one child. A private funeral is planned.


Associated Press writer Colleen Long in New York contributed to this story.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Halloween Recap 2008...

We had a pretty low key Halloween this year. My mom went out of town, so there were no puppy parades around the block, dog birthday parties in honor of Zeus the Pomeranian, or bobbing for treaties in a big, blue bucket. Tragic, I know!

Instead, Trevor, Mel and I passed out candy to the trick-or-treaters that came by my house and watched a movie. Realizing that Halloween falling on a Friday night might produce more costumed children than usual, I bought between $60 and $70 worth of candy (extreme, I know. But we get loads of trick-or-treaters every year). Mel brought an additional $10 or $20 in Butterfingers, Kit Kat and Twix bars, and Trevor’s holiday contribution was take-away from Ali Baba’s in Lakewood (yum…hummus).

Keeping with Halloween tradition, we dressed the dogs up in costumes. Why? Because Haskell LOVES to wear clothes (as will be evident in the pictures below). Alley could care less one way or the other, and Gypsy? Well, Gypsy hates wearing costumes of any kind, but having them on prevents her from freaking out over the incessant doorbell ringing and masses of children at the front door.

Plus, it is cute. See for yourself:

Alley Cat wore Gypsy’s costume from last year. I think she looks like a cigar store Indian here…

Haskell was a pirate. A LAZY pirate.

Then, we got out some cookies, and Pirate Haskell started to drool. A lot.

Happy Haskell

Please NOTE the eye patch. Haskell had no problem wearing it. That is, until he started to walk back inside and noticed that something on the right side of his head wasn’t quite right.

Gypsy, on the other hand, was not amused.

At all.

Husky Haskell’s costume was a little tight. The velcro kept tearing apart.

Gypsy REFUSED to look even marginally happy all evening.

She looks perfectly content from behind, however. At least the jack-o-lantern was smiling!

Not so much from the front, though. What a sulky puppy!

Haskell waited excitedly for trick-or-treaters at the front door for most of the evening. As far as he was concerned, everyone was just stopping by to admire him in his pirate costume.

That is, until he got too tired and decided to take a nap in the middle of the floor. Being adorable is exhausting.

Despite all the candy, we still managed to run out before 8 PM. Yes, THAT many kids came to my house in just under an hour and a half. It was sheer craziness, and I felt guilty I couldn’t play the trick-or-treat game longer. Apparently, some disgruntled kiddoes felt the same way, as I discovered a couple of broken eggs in my front yard the next morning.

Alas! I tried!

It's finally over...

If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these acceptance speeches there wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven.
- Will Rogers

So, I voted early. A week ago today, to be exact.

Normally, I enjoy voting on Election Day. I find it exciting. But, then I got a letter from my precinct chair, Janis (who I got to know very well back in March), telling me that she didn’t want to see me on Election Day and to suck it up and vote early. So I did. Heaven forbid I disobey a direct order from Janis – that is one feisty, old woman. Plus, she lives around the corner, and I started to worry about what would happen if I ran into her before the election and hadn’t voted early. I didn’t want a lecture. And Haskell hates it when his walks are interrupted because I’ve stopped to talk to a neighbor. You’d think my lazy dog would be fine with it, and use the unexpected down time to take a cat nap on the sidewalk. But, no, no. Not Haskell. He pitches a fit, and starts squeaking incessantly and barking at me to MOVE. So, I guess in a way, I voted early to insure (to the best of my ability) that Haskell’s walks in the past week would be blissfully lecture and neighbor free. He’s got a lot of trees to pee on, after all.

Anyway, I guess I really should not have worried. Apparently, there were very few voting hang ups in Dallas County, and wait time was virtually nonexistent at many polling locations. And my particular precinct isn’t known for high voter turn out in the first place, so I probably would have been fine even if I had waited until yesterday to vote.

But voting early did have it’s perks. I got to vote electronically for the first time in my life, which was rather exciting. I’d take voting on a giant scantron any day, but it was nice to finally have the electronic experience. Additionally, having voting out of the way allowed me to do more pre party preparation (tidy up, order pizzas, pick up beer, shred the build up of credit card offers, etc.) for last night’s election return watching get together with the usual suspects.

Regardless of who you voted for, though, it was exciting to watch history being made (the first Black President or the first woman Vice President!). Milestones like that don’t happen every day.

Moo on her 98th Birthday

My grandmother, Moo, was born in 1910, and just celebrated her 98th birthday back in early September. She was born when William Taft was President - before Arizona was a state or zippers and the telephone had been invented. I mean, can you imagine? Moo has seen so much over the course of her lifetime: women’s suffrage, the burning of the Reichstag (she was in Berlin on a bus in the middle of a riot on the day it happened), two World Wars, the Great Depression, commercial air travel, lunar landings, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the first women Governors, Senators and Supreme Court Justices – just to name a few. And now she’s alive to witness the outcome of the 2008 Presidential Election. As a history dork, it just boggles my mind how much she’s seen over the course of her lifetime. It’s simply amazing.

One final note: Now that the election is over, all the political phone calls and TV ads will finally cease. At least for awhile, in any case. If that isn’t a happy thought, I don’t know what is! Happy Day AFTER Election Day, everyone!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Reminder: VOTE!

“People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing.”

- Walter H. Judd

Monday, November 03, 2008

Support Hose Blues...

Just got the results of my latest ultrasound, and:

The Good News: The greater saphenous vein in my left leg that I had surgically closed back in January hasn't reopened.

The Bad News: All the valves in both my greater saphenous and lower saphenous veins in my right leg are incompetent. And the valves in my lower saphenous in my left leg have punted as well (because why wouldn’t they?!), along with the valves in a whole host of other veins in both my legs. The tiny traitors!

The doctor is worried about blood clots, and wants to get all these veins surgically closed as soon as possible. As a result, he has recommended three to four minor surgeries between now and Christmas (who has time for that?!). And the thought of sleeping in support hose for two or three months straight has me close to tears (yes, they really are THAT uncomfortable).

Seriously, I thought my warranty wasn’t up until I turned 30! Boo!