Thursday, June 24, 2010

oh hail no

Got home from work this afternoon at about 5:15. House was about 80 degrees. No big deal, the thermostat is set to 82 until 3:30, then 78 until 5, and THEN to 75 starting at 5 p.m.. I figured it was just being a little slow on the uptake, being as how it's a brazilian degrees outside.

At 7:30, when I thought to check again, it was 81 degrees in the house.

Uh-oh. BORKED!!

I've already made the call to the HVAC dudes, turned off the system (could've iced over under the strain), turned ON all the ceiling fans, and poured myself a nice cold drink. For now, that's about all I can do.


If you hadn't heard, we're roasting in the Old North State. ROASTING. At 8:30 it's 93 degrees outside. The high was around 100. The weather folk say that it's more of the same for the next several days.


Truth be told, it conked out a couple of weeks ago, we had the dude come out and 'fix' it, but I suspect that the fix is in on us as the thing has failed again in short order and the unit is only a little over a year old. This is no fun and frustrating to boot.

I dislike sweat, people. Strongly dislike sweat, esp. if not generated by some bodily activity in which one chooses to engage. So here I sit, clad in a nightshirt and nothing else, sweating my face off in my own house.

Highly unamusing.


Overnight lows are expected to be in the mid-70's. Almost makes it worth opening the windows. At around 3 a.m.

And naturally, it will take 3 days to get a repair dude out here, which is just in time for the heat to break, because next week it's only going to be in the 80's as the high temps which is hot HOT IS IN HERE RIGHT NOW, an it will be at that time that the AC at the Tiny House will be fixed, and for WHAT?

Well, for one thing, to show me I have wonderful friends, because as soon as I bitched about it on FB, kenju offered up her house as a way-station amidst the overbearing heat. How awesome is THAT??? If it's not fixed by tomorrow, kenju, I might just be bunking at your place, or at least coming over for a dip in the pool, because, dang. Wiggle temptation in front of me like that and there's only so much a body can do to resist.

So, there's that. Heat, heat, and a bright spot in the middle of the muddle. Life is, in fact, pretty good.


Biff is at the funeral home right now, being his usual charming self for the folks who choose to come out and pay their last respects to his mama. Tomorrow is the funeral. How quickly we go from here to gone. Pray for him and his family if you're the praying type, because each and every time we have to say goodbye forever to a loved one we need all the good thoughts and strength we can get.

It's been a tough dang year for that family, is what it's been.


That's it from here. Love, Debbie Downer.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Please consider this

Various items:

Because Thing 2 took the End-of-Grade tests 3 weeks ago, the remaining month of school time has basically been spent watching videos and goofing around, at least as far as I can tell. This type of thing sounds fun, but I can't help but think that some actual LEARNING might not be a bad idea. Oh, there is the teacher who is making read Tom Sawyer and then having the effrontery to TEST them on it, so I applaud that, but by and large most folks have mentally checked out.

Such are the dangers of year-round school.

Thing 1 has been out for a couple of weeks now, and I think is getting to the point of almost nearly being bored. The boys has an immense capacity for sitting around doing nothing. He doesn't have a job, no close buddies in the neighborhood, and doesn't have free rein to roam there's not an adult around, so it could be a long LONG summer. I almost have to say that I miss those summer camp days, but those are over for him. Oh, we've spoken briefly about getting him started up in a lawn mowing biz, but he's just not all that keen on working. Imagine!

When I was his age I was working in the neighborhood as a 'mother's helper' for a lady up the street who, I suspect, just had gotten sick of being cooped up with her kids and wanted to have the chance to go play tennis and drink whiskey sours with the girls at noon on a regular basis. It was the summer I learned to hate Neil Diamond. When all you hear all day is Neil Diamond, you learn to hate fairly rapidly. Even now the first tones of him crooning ANYTHING makes my skin crawl. Sorry if you're a fan; I do not share the luv. I believe that the following summer I worked in the same role for a woman who had baby twin daughters, and then NEVER AGAIN did I serve in that role. One summer's worth of dirty diapers was enough to put me right off babies, for a very long time.

Kids now can't work until they're 16, which seems like it's a little older than I was when I started sporting the McDonald's visor and double-knit polyester pantsuit. I'm pretty sure Mom had to drive me to work for the first little while - and always seemed so HAPPY to do it. I wonder why?? Anyhow - so Thing 1 is stuck at home, and I fear it will be a long dull summer for him. This is partly why parental controls got put on the home computer...

And now I'm thinking of maybe putting a lock on the liquor cabinet. He's a good boy, but he is 14, which I hear is a dangerous age for young men with lots of time on their hands.


Biff's Mom is being laid to rest on Friday. Those of you on FB have seen the announcements. He's holding up well, from what I can tell. Instead of sending flowers, I'm going to make a donation in her honor to the juvenile diabetes research foundation, which is a cause near and dear to the family's heart. If you're interested in dong the same and need details on names, etc, email me and I'd be glad to fill you in.


Lastly, I spent 4 hours of quality time at the dermatologist's office this morning/afternoon have a fair-sized hunk of flesh removed. After 2 rounds of Moh's surgery, lots of cauterizing, and lots of memoir-reading (while they were geeking at my FLESH under a microscope), I'm now cancer-free (at least as indicated by the histopath report), have at least 8 stitches holding together the margins of the resulting wound, can't take a shower until tomorrow afternoon, and have to go back in a week to get the stitches out.

Oh, and also I get to live in fear of the moment the lidocaine starts wearing off, as it was one hell of a big hole. Something the lines of nickel-sized. They took a picture. I looked. And was then very glad I hadn't had a big breakfast. Lord, lord, seeing my own cheek fat, FROM THE INSIDE, ain't anything I need to do again.

Also - I've forgotten just how gross it is to HEAR your own skin being cut off with a knife. So, that was fun too.


That's it. I've turned my own stomach. Time to go.

Y'all have a lovely afternoon. The Things and I are hiding from the heat, which counts as a family activity, right?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Product plug

Please be patient with me as I gush about a something.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a "shopper," so bear in mind that I might in fact be about to recommend to you something that's 1) been on the market for forever, 2) you've used for umpteen years already and have told all your besties about or 3) they're about to pull from the market.

No matter, I am undeterred. I am practicing being undeterred about my opinions for when I'm a very old lady indeed and insist on telling people about the 'wonderful new 8-track tape recorders' and 8-bit gaming systems. Oh, I'll be the hit of every rave, I will, with my support hose and quaint memories of what life was like before VR took over and how once upon a time we had to change batteries in our Walkman every few hours because the new-fangled skull stereo auto-juice up that plugs right into your armpit and uses coupled capacitors that run off the acid/base differential between plasma and lymph hadn't been invented yet...

(Someone get on inventing that. Sounds pretty cool. In 30 years I'll forget it was ever my idea, of course, but for now it seems it might just work. Maybe tuck in a back-up battery, just in case. A 9-volt should do.)

But I digress.

This is a post about beauty products! Or to be more precise, product, for there is only one new love of my makeup bag, and it is this: Maybelline Define a Lash, waterproof version.

The waterproof was key back a week or so when I got dipped, but it's the overall product that is keeping me coming back for more. There's a cute lime-green case, a nice bouncy brush (kind of odd, but you get used to it), that when wielded correctly results in a couple of quick coats growing your lashes to awesomely great lengths.

Now, I've heard those 'volume' lovers don't care for this mascara because it only lengthens them rather than imparting phat oomph, but my lashes are kind of sparse so I like to go LOOOONG when I can and this product totally rocks the length. I got bold the other day and did the lower lashes too, and had to take off half of what I applied because I looked like a dang Raggedy Ann doll. How cool is that??

Anyhow, if you're looking for a great little reasonably priced mascara to dress up your beach eyes, give this one a go. It does NOT come off in water (I recommend using Vaseline to remove it, as a matter of fact) so you can sweep your gorgeous fan of lashes at all the cuties you care to and still swim too!

And that's all I have to say about that.


Biff has made it to MI safely. Thanks to those who took the time to think of him on his long-ass drive, and to Tammie and her wonderful family for taking care of the Intrepid Wanderer once more.


I'm off to find out how to remove radioactive goo from down pillows. Y'all have a nice day.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Forecast: hot and heavy

The WeatherBug pictorial representation of the weather around these parts for the next 3 days features a huge sun and....a cactus.

Temps in the mid-90's and no rain for the foreseeable future. Yep, that pretty much equals a desert.


This, of course, is the best time to climb into a car and drive 800+ miles on the spur of the moment, which isn't as much kooky fun as it might seem when the spontaneous trip is to see to the arrangement of a relative's funeral and to do general post-passing cleanup.

As many of you on Facebook know, Biff's mom passed away last night, so he's on the road now, once again, to his home state to do what needs to be done in situations like this. Sadly, he and his sisters are almost old hands at this now, having just last month completed clearing out his Dad's house and successfully renting it out 5+ months after his Dad's untimely passing.

Being an expert at end-of-life stuff isn't really something most people are keen to aspire to. Unfortunately, some families don't get the option and have to deal with what life throws at them. The family is phenomenally strong, so there's no reason to expect problems, but dang. It's a little MUCH, don't you think? There's already been one Job, we know the lessons to learn, so I call enough already on behalf of their family.

One bright spot, if I might be so bold to suggest it, is that for many years his mom has been almost completely debilitated and in the care of a nursing home. I have to believe that she's far better off now, and on this the 42nd anniversary of her marriage to Biff's Dad, is celebrating their anniversary someplace celestial with a grand old party.


You might wonder why I'm not going with him, and it's a perfectly valid question being as we're married and all. The answer is: the Things are with us for the week, I'd have to take Thing 2 out of school to travel, the boys know nobody up there and would be bored to tears, we don't have a pet sitter, and I'm scheduled for surgery on Wednesday. Of course my place is at his side, and we did go over the logistics and logic of us ALL going, but in the end it was simplest and most sensible for me to stay here and steer the ship while he's involved in the business of wrapping things up.

Plus which, somebody's got to be here to pick the rapidly ripening tomatoes and keep the basil from bolting.

So, there's that.

Hope y'all are having a great time in your parts of the world. Enjoy every day, people!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Do you see what I see?

Last night, on the spur of the moment, we were invited over to some friends' house for dinner. I do so love having 'spur of the moment' friends, as it's been rather a long time since that was a feature of life. They are gracious hosts, laugh at the right time, are very very cool, and are interesting to boot. SO, it's understood that we really don't turn down invitations to their house.

After dinner we trooped upstairs to see his recent birthday gift from the Missus - a huge picture frame full to the brim of an arrangement of the tickets stubs he's amassed over the years to all the concerts and happenings he's attended. There were stubs to many a Grateful Dead show, some Yes, Rush, baseball games, basketballs games, hockey games, etc etc going so far back that a ticket to see those days' headliners plus their equally famous warm-up bands cost less than 10 bucks. A really cool gift, don't you think? We spent some minutes goggling over just what a huge life he's had in the theaters and arenas of this country, and then it was time to go.

At which point I had to go downstairs. And the stairs are wood. And well lit. Oh no!

You see, I have little to no depth perception as a result of having very differently-abled eyesight in either eye AND having a bit of a wander in the left eye if it's not seeing clearly (that's the nearsighted one). The right eye essentially 'takes over' and any input from the left gets shut off and because there's nothing else to do the eye starts looking inward. It is as glamorous as you might expect, the inward-looking.

The problem with going down well-lit wooden stairs is that there are no shadows to judge distances or where the step actually ends, so the whole works looks like a giant ramp unless the steps are different shades of 'wooden,' which these are not because our wonderful friends have wonderful taste and chose a set of stairs that are nearly perfectly matched for color. Dreadful, for someone like me!

I faltered at the top, hoping nobody would notice me clutching at the banister for dear life as I gingerly stepped down one step. Biff, who had bounded down ahead of me, saw my predicament and gallantly observed that he would catch me if I fell, which was rather nice of him to say but was really of very little help, so I did what comes naturally and shot him a look while semi-snarling 'would you please come give me your hand?" at which point our hostess must have thought 'oh dear, is something WRONG with her' and so I had to inform her of my plight. It's kind of embarrassing, having to hold someone's hand to go DOWN stairs...but I've learned to swallow my pride in order to avoid injury. Can't be risking breaking a hip, now can I?

It goes to show what awesome folks are friends are that, when it was time to go down the garage steps, our hosts rushed to light up the garage to give me a better view of the 5 Steps of Certain Death leading to the concrete floor. Now THOSE are the kinds of friends a body wants, don't you think?

Now, I'm a curious person, and so wanted to see just how BAD my depth perception is, and so went online to check out some available tests. Here's the test I took - it involves your computer screen, one finger, two eyes, and a certain amount of humility:

Easy online depth perception test.

After spending 5 minutes squinting and concentrating and moving back and forth to try to get SOME kind of positive result, I must admit admitting defeat. Not only can I not get a result on the FIRST portion of the test, the optional one give me fits as well. Really, there's not even the barest HINT of depth perception going on, even when I position my noggin at such a distance as both my eyes can actually focus on the dang dot.

Makes me wonder how I ever skied black diamond hills...or play tennis...or bounce on the trampoline in the backyard, when LANDING is something of a mystery when you're not really sure how high UP you are. It's no wonder I have trouble doing simple things like walking or not slamming into doorjambs or not spinning into a fit of vertigo while on scenic overlooks or the second floor of malls - my brain can't tell how far away anything is so imputes everything as 'some middle distance,' which isn't terribly helpful, as you can well imagine.

A few years ago I was fitted with glasses that not only corrected my vision (as you'd expect), but has prisms built into the lenses that forced my eyes to look at the same place at the same time. This gave me 3D vision for the first time in my life, and bestowed the phenomenon of depth perception as well. It was a revelation! However, when I didn't wear the glasses, my eyes ached and the wandering phenomenon was much worse. Win one, lose one. Then, about 2 years ago, my new eye doc suggested that if I could live with not having 3D vision he suggested I go without glasses because my left eye was great for up close work and my right eye was almost 20/20 and would do fine for stuff like driving. So, when working at the 'puter my left eye sees, and for distance stuff my right eye does the looking. It's been pretty great thus far, and I'm hoping to keep up this new vision paradigm for a while longer, as once I go back to glasses I'm going to either need trifocals or at least 2 pairs of glasses.

But still, sometimes, when facing a dreadful set of stairs, I do wish I had some cheaters around my neck to be able to make it down on my own and not look like a feeble old lady many years ahead of schedule. Or at least I wish that the Biffster was always there to take my hand and lead me safely down.

If you take that ol' test up there, whyn't you tell us how you did, and how awesome being able to SEE really is?

And thanks. Tiff out.

Monday, June 14, 2010

strangely satisfied

Yesterday afternoon an enormous storm front moved through the area, darkening the skies of an otherwise perfectly hot and sunny North Carolina summer day. On other Sunday afternoons this would have been an invitation to snooze a while as dinner percolated gently in the ol' GI tract, but that was not to be the case yesterday, for there were things to do.

Number 1 was eat BBQ, the most perfectly smoked pig that ever there was. The half inch rime of deep pink smoked flesh bespoke great whacking mouthfuls of tasty tasty dinner that was only accentuated by creamy mac and cheese, smoothly sweet baked beans, brilliant coleslaw, and other delicacies I can't recall now because my mouth is loving on that BBQ again and when it does that there's nothing for it but to forlornly wish for another plate.

The fact that the BBQ was eaten in a downpour didn't really seem to matter, as the pavilion was secure, the seats accommodating, and the company genial. Because dudes, it's summer, there's a beach, and there's not MUCH thunder, so let's relax and enjoy the company of friends.

And then some of us got dipped. Kind of a nice fillip of sweetness to counter the tang of BBQ, don't you think? :)

I have a new tee shirt out of the deal, and a fancy new study book, a series of pictures that show Biff doing his ministerial best, a passel of good memories, and one shiny new me to figure out how to work.

Oh my yes. This ought to be fun.


Also- there's a big chocolate zucchini cake in our kitchen, courtesy of Renn. Not to brag too much on her skillz, but there were 6 people in our kitchen tonight crowded around her confection positively PURRING over how good it is.

With Cool Whip? Even better. BELIEVE!

I think I must have the best friends, ever, in the history of peoplehood-dom-ness. Because really? I don't think I would make a frigging 10-pound cake and then GIVE IT AWAY. And yes Renn would, and does, and seems utterly thrilled by it. There's a lot to learn there.


One other thing - it's time to ride roller coasters again. Seriously. It's summertime - time to roll up the sleeves of danger and get to the task of riding giant hurtling buckets of metal around on gossamer-thin tracks.

Which one's your favorite?

I'm partial to wooden ones, like this one:

That's the Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce in Southington CT. Super fun ride, as you might be able to tell. I'd go there tomorrow if I could. Fun park, great rides, and there's a swimming lake! Sweeeeeet.

Where would YOU head if you're set to tackle your favorite coaster?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Oh it is hot all up in heyah

Say, fellahs, why don't we make this talk like a movie star from the '40's day? It'll be fun!

You say you don't know how? Poor chump. Here, I'll help ya - check out this clip for some examples of accents, and a look at the gorgeous Hedy Lamarr as a 'woman of mystery'.

Then ask yourself: "is this what really passed for entertainment back in the day?" because dang. that's one slow-moving scene.

Of course, if you're talking like a '40's movie star, you need to ask that question thusly:

Ess thet whot rilly pawsed for entertainment beck in the dey?

I'm practicing right now, and plan to stun a check-out clerk at the grocery store later with my new-found classy way of talking. Oh, and I'll for SURE use it on the air-conditioner tech when he comes out later today, because what better time to go all glamour-puss then when you've spent the morning in a warm clammy house trying not to move too much or turn on anything that will emit heat because the compressor on the AC seems to have crapped out and it's going to be in the 90's today? NO BETTER TIME, is when. Talking like a '40's movie star is cooool, baby, and will help me chill out in a hot situation.

Also, we should all maybe practice that fantastic dance style that got Hedy those rave reviews from her dance partner. Yes, it looks complicated, swaying back and forth like that, but I'm sure that a few hours spent in training would reap great rewards at various wedding receptions or class reunions, and that's worth something, am I right?


Cats sleep approximately 23 hours a day. I've spent the last few days at home, so I now know this for a fact. It's really quite amazing.

The other hour a day they spend shedding, kicking litter out of the poop pan, and getting underfoot, so it's no mystery why they need so much sleep.


Y'all have a fab weekend. Biff and I have NO PLANS, and I'm not sure we're really comfortable with that. What to do, what to do???

Tiff out.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A review, something gross, and something even MORE gross.

Recently I’ve been re-introduced to Word 2007 as part of a computer switch that's happening where I work.

After a couple of weeks of road-testing the new software, I have an opinion I'd like to share.

And here's my opinion: I do not care for Word 2007.

Not in a box, not with a fox, not on a train, it is a pain. There’s far too much switching around from one tab to another to find something that used to be readily available in drop-down menus, and stuff that USED to be easy to find (hello ‘paste special’!) is now buried in a graveyard of functions and actions that I suppose someone at Microsoft thought were too archaic or twee to make it onto the regular function menus. Not to mention the NAMES of the menus have changes, so there's a little more time trotting around a strange town looking for a familiar face, if you'll pardon the metaphor.

Now, I’m to an age where change is more and more difficult. Perhaps it’s my aging brain, perhaps it’s because when things works fine just REORGANIZING them to seem like something new is at most a huge pain in the ass, or maybe it’s because I’ve lost the capacity to imagine that stuff can be improved upon and so when the new thing comes out I fight it because that old thing did what I wanted it to, thankyewverymuch.

It took me at least 5 minutes to figure out how to get it to stop the ‘spellcheck as you type’ feature, and 5 more minutes to find out how to edit tables (secret – the “table” tab only pops up when you click in a table! To Insert a table you have to use the “insert” menu! How….intuitive!). And let's not even mention the gigantic-ass "Ribbon" that takes up gobs of valuable turf at the top of the screen, because I'm not fully over fuming about it yet and want to enjoy my next 'arrange all documents' session where the ribbon chews up most of the viewing space available (and yes I know you can hide it, but that hiding it goes functionality, so nyeah).

I’m quickly becoming adept at grousing under my breath while working, which is probably not something that’s going to make it to the resume soon but IS keeping me from doing some imaginary throttling of those in charge who thought This Wall All Such A Swell Idea.


Also – f*ck you, belly fat. I hate you and wish you would go away.


But hey, I’m feeling better lung-wise, so there’s that. The final leg of my journey out of sickness and into health took place this morning on my commute. That last gob of lung butter finally hurtled out after a particularly vivacious cough, and is now being digested along with the remains of the salad I have for lunch (see: f*cking belly fat above).

So hey. Hooray, immune system!


What’s the sickest you’ve ever been? For me it has to be the time I was in high school and got, in this order, and within 4 DAYS of each other

1) A cold
2) 2 the flu (add ‘barfing and powershiatting’ to the menu, please God)
3) My period (and God said "if THAT wasn’t bad enough, every time you spew or cough you might shoot a sanitary item out you poor cootch!" To which I did not reply "FANTASTIC! Thanks for the gift God!" but instead might have gurgled up some very nasty words in heaven's general direction when I wasn't coughing, puking, or cramping. I can't remember.)

Even after I had contracted pneumonia a couple of times in quick succession about 8 years ago I don’t think it could compare with the particular misery of those couple of weeks. I distinctly remember, in another heavenward conversation, telling God it was OK to kill me, because I didn’t think I would live through it.

Obviously, I was wrong. He had other plans. Like keeping me alive long enough to tell gross stories and ask YOU to do that same, right down there in the comments.


Tiff out.

Monday, June 07, 2010


Y'all. Yuck. I've spent a fair portion of the day today trying to expel my lungs through my mouth, and all's I'm going to say about that activity is that it's 1) gross, and 2) exhausting. What started off this morning as one of those 'uh oh' throat tickles has turning into a variety of ick that is mercurial in nature, changing up symptoms every hour or so to replace old horrors (dizziness) with new ones (phlegm) then switching back at a whim. There's the spouting nose, the rattling chest, the drippy eyes, the scratchy throat, and just as an added little bonus, the ever-present feeling like THIS coughing fit will be the one that brings up lunch.

To say I'm overjoyed would be exactly wrong, as you can well imagine.

Making matters worse, I have no idea where this came from. Yesterday I was fine! However, I made the possibly huge mistake of taking the kids to a new-to-us Mall ('because my friends have been there and they say it's the best one!') so maybe this is just my Mall allergy kicking in, but dang. So FAST? One evening I'm picturesquely watering the new garden and the next I'm a dribbling mess? Seems a touch unfair.

Someone, start planning my pity party. I'd ten thousand tons of ice cream, please.


Thing 1 has finished his first year of high school. THAT happened fast. Guess I'd best start saving for college.


Helen Thomas is either absolutely crazy or has just had enough of holding her tongue. Being that she's 89, either is a distinct possibility.

It goes totally against old lady grain, doesn't it, to have to watch your words? Why, when I'm terribly old I plan to be the lovable curmudgeon who tells it straight, and poo on you if you're too sensitive to take my generous guidance. Every helping of advice will be a rich nugget wrapped in a slightly itchy coating of saltiness, but you KNOW you want them because oooh, once you get to the CORE of what I've served you KNOW it's going to be life-changing. Like a Ferro Roche candy, only with more grit and possibly something that tastes like burning hair in the outer coating.

Oh, I have PLANS, people. Big one.


Plans for this evening include flopping on the couch and convincing my body that it really really wants to be well. First step? Pour a nice big serving of antibacterial throat wash (bourbon) and get serious about the 'thinking' part of the program.

Y'all have a great one. Tiff is out.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I'm Amazonian Enough, thank you

Blogger would like me to link to Amazon in my posts, or maybe in my template, I'm not entirely sure.

To which I, being the anti-follower that I am, say 'tish tosh'! That simply smacks of money grubbing by a company that is already nostril deep in so much cash they could wipe their toddler's snotty noses and stinky bums with 20's and still not notice a shortfall come payday.

So, no. No to the Amazoniation of this wee bebbeh blog.

Therefore, let it be said that NAY is like the revolutionary upstart of underground communications devices - you find it by accident, become entranced by its messaging, and keep coming back even though there's no discernible path forward and the people who hang out with you are both marginally dangerous AND spectacularly attractive.

That's simply a mix you can't buy with Amazon, and quite possibly a reason NOT to. (raises fist) Power to the Little People! Power to the creators of free content! Power! Power!


Also, I'm afraid to find out that this little nook in the webiverse would actually be a DRAG on the overall thrummingly successful machine that is Amazon, and they'd chuck me out the club posthaste on noticing the black hole of suck that is NAY from time to time.

Yep - best to pretend I'm a counterrevolutionary than admit that I once had dreams of enormous commercial success for this dusty dark corner of the WWWeb, that have now languidly dwindled to Stage B at the County Fair status (at best).

Which probably makes sense to nobody but me.


And Dooce has a teevee show now.

Where's that gagging spoon?


Also! I am the proud grower of a basal cell carcinoma. Woohoo! Go me! I'm a Toomah Fahmah!

Of all the cancers to get, this one's OK - slow growing, almost never metastatic, and nearly 100% of the time it's treatable with Moh's surgery alone. So, I'm not freaking out or anything, but if you'd like to offer up some words on my behalf to the All-Powerful deity of your choosing regarding a swift resolution to this thing, I'd appreciate it.

The lesion is on my jawline, so the surgery and any resulting scarring won't be so bad. Secretly, I'm hoping they have to do a lot get the surgical edges approximated after excision. Hey, I turned 48 a couple of days ago, that shit is starting to sag in a most major fashion. I figure that the surgical area will wind up being maybe the size of a dine at most, so stitchery post-surgery should be easy to deal with. If not, then I'll have an awesome HOLE IN MY HEAD to take pictures of and gross everyone out with before heading over to a plastic surgeon's office to have a flap of skin slapped over that sucker for easy healin'.

I've done my research, as you can no doubt tell. If I had some lidocaine around, I might be so bold as to try to excise it myself, but alas I'm fresh out of anesthetic and so will have to cough up the copay to have a professional do it.

Grumble Grumble.

I'm hoping to have the surgery done in the next few days. You can be SURE I'll keep you posted on events as they warrant.

In the meantime - kind thoughts to y'all, and I'm hoping to get some back in return.

Tiff out.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

And then there's that

Sometimes things sneak up on you and jump out of the metaphorical bushes to startle you all over again with what you thought you'd long gotten over. Sometimes those things find you weeping into a keyboard on a Tuesday night, on an inexplicable jag of emotion that's as impossible to ignore as a tidal wave.

This picture is one of those things. It is my Dad's gravestone. This picture was taken by a friend, a professional musician and long-time friend of my older brother, who had the good grace to play 'Taps' in my Dad's honor yesterday; a gesture that floored me completely and broke open a well-built dam of emotion I didn't think I'd built.

As you can tell, my Dad died over 18 years ago, horrifically precipitously at the age of 59. far too young, as I'm sure you'd agree. A long time has gone since he died, but there are wormholes in reality that can demolish years of time passing and bring you back to when new hurts were fresh and the world seemed beyond understanding.

See, even though I miss him and because I so TOTALLY wish he was here to be with the grandkids he never met, to offer advice in sticky situations, to hang out with the awesome Biff and share corny jokes, and to give out the Xtreme hugs of which he was the best purveyor ever... I'm mostly able to keep the emotions under wraps and focus on the good things he brought to this world because practicality and acceptance are things I'm very very good at.

Except that this is his gravestone, and at when I see it I have to admit that he is in fact, dead and gone. This marble slab is noble, but stark, and too sterile for him. Yes, he is in a PROUD place and if you're ever at Arlington National Cemetery you should stop and say 'hey' to him. This is the well-placed marker of where his body lies, and even though it is a part of the massive army that reminds us of the lives these people of service have led, I am saddened, a little, that all there will be for hundreds of years of tourists to look at his is a name, rank, tours of service, and date of birth and death.

These few engraved details are not enough, because under than cool white slab is a notable man.

There should be mention of his goofy sense of humor, or inability to sit up straight at the dinner table, or his deep maroon leather jacket or that he marched in parades in dress whites and a sword, or that he could make up words to songs on the spot or figure out insane math problems in his head as fast as a calculator. Someone should mark that he loved the constellations and that he had sailed to Spain as a young man and that he adored his wife for over 35 years. Someone should take note of the fact that he could draw silly cartoon characters with a few stokes of a pen and would let a little kid help him mow the grass even when they were for SURE not doing the lines right. Someone should record that he had deep laugh lines and husky-blue eyes and two brothers and survived hepatitis and that for a pie-delivery man's kid from New York City he did alright in life. Someone should mention that he didn't live nearly long enough; not to anyone's measure. Someone should mention how much he is missed, and how dearly we'd love to have him back, if even for one measly day.

That cool, regimented headstone doesn't do that. Not by a life-long shot.

So, I guess it's up to me.

Dang it, Dad. I thought I was done missing you. Guess love never stops. Happy Memorial Day, from the daughter who should have listened to that voice that said 'go out to the sea in ships' 20+ years ago. Even though my favorite color is black, I would have been proud to wear those Whites. You were a great man, and are a wonderful memory. I love you and can't wait to see you again on some distant shore.