March 31, 2008

Finally, NaBloPoMo is over and I can…

Don't go

…posting to my blog every single day. (Except for that one time when my server was down, I posted for 31 days straight.)

Tomorrow I’ll start tallying everyone’s answers for the logo alphabet quiz, so if you still want to play, just email me your answers by midnight on Tuesday, April 1. Maybe you can win the $25 Amazon gift card. My generosity knows no bounds, does it?

March 30, 2008


It’s been a long day and I’m very sleepy. So all I can muster is a sentence or two and this photo:

March 29, 2008

Letter to my body

It took me awhile, but I finally got around to this.

Dear Body,

I don’t appreciate you. Except when I really need you. And that’s not even appreciation. It’s taking you for granted. Also, I never actually thanked you for all you did for me in my first half marathon. I pushed you harder than you’ve ever been pushed before. And you persevered for 13.1 miles. Sure I gave you walking breaks, but even those were hard on the feet. So thank you from the bottom of our heart, for sticking with me for 3+ hours. I know I hurt you that day. You reminded me for the next two, every time I tried to rise from my chair. But I hydrated you and gave you rest and ice, and we both recovered. Just a warning: we’re going to be doing that again this summer. So get ready.

Now. I need to get some things off our chest. Speaking of that, the boobage area is rather un-big for my liking. There’s nothing I can do about that, aside from having a doctor slice it open and put silicone-filled balloons in there. But I’d rather spend the money on a vacation, or a Nikon camera, or put it in the house fund. Plus, it’s not entirely your fault, but that of genetics. Thanks small-boobed ancestors. I’ll be writing to you later.

keep reading Letter to my body

I love weekends

natalie dee

It’s raining outside, but I don’t care. Because it’s also Saturday.

March 28, 2008

You can’t see it, but his rear end is wiggling


March 26, 2008

I’ll bet we’ve been together for a million years

By now you’ve probably heard that Barack Obama and Brad Pitt are related. Allegedly. Well guess what.

They occupy branches on my family tree too. Yes they do.

During Christmas vacation in Wisconsin last year, I learned from Matte’s uncle Gary (who is into ancestry stuff) that I am related to Laura Bush. Laura Bush. Not Gee Dub. Well yes Gee Dub, but only by marriage. Whew! Dodged that bullet. Anyway, today when I read the article about Barack and Brad being kissin’ 9th cousins, I learned that Barack is also a distant cousin to Gee Dub. Sooo, as Gee Dub is husband to Laura, I am therefore related to Barack Obama. And Brad Pitt. Yeah, by marriage way down the line. Minor details. This also brings me one degree closer to Kevin Bacon.

Suddenly I feel the need for a family reunion. And I think Cousin Brad should host it. At his friend George Clooney’s home in Italy.

March 25, 2008


This afternoon at work, as I walked by the coffee pots, I smelled something. Something different and not at all office-like. It wasn’t the scent of fresh-brewed coffee. Or that of a steaming hot mug of Earl Grey tea, or hot chocolate with a dozen miniscule marshmallows bobbing about. I can’t completely describe what the smell was, only that it was familiar. And unpleasant.

Yes. The smell. That smell. Of stale coffee, microwaved Cup-O-Noodles and anti-bacterial hand soap combined with the stench of uneaten hospital food, freezer-burned ice cubes for making ice chips, and pink plastic pitchers. And suddenly I was there. At the oncology floor of Stanford University Hospital in 2002. In an instant I was transported to the kitchen, where caregivers would come to grab a popsicle for their father, mother, sibling or their not-really-a-boyfriend-but-I’m-sticking-by-him-through-this-because-I-love-him. Where caregivers could escape the rhythmic inhale…exhale…inhale…exhale sounds of the pump as it dripped a toxic but necessary concoction into their loved one’s veins. Sometimes I would come into this haven and want to cry. But I never did. Someone might see me and my reputation as “a rock” would be shattered. And we couldn’t have that, could we?

Depending on that day’s menu, I’d often inspect the neglected food trays to see if anyone left their Oreo brownie. (Nearly every day, I’d have nothing to eat but a Nuts Over Chocolate Luna Bar and a grande nonfat latte.) Most of the time I came up empty in my quest for the bland chocolate squares. But the Jello cup was still there. (How is it that hospitals can even make Jello taste worse?) And maybe there would be some mashed potatoes, or a wilted salad left on the plate. No thank you. I avoided the anti-microbial and liquid diet entrees. Nothing exciting on those trays. On the rare occasion that I did find an Oreo brownie or two, I horded them like a Chipmunk storing nuts for the winter. I never ate them though.

Since I had the 6 pm to 7 am shift, my caregiver uniform was a pair of pajamas. The pants were covered in a tiny leopard print and the black tank top had a cat appliqué made of the same print. I shuffled across miles of that plain white linoleum tile in my puffy leopard Dearfoam slippers. Rawr. Caregiver disguised as fierce feline. Oh, and that fashionable pilly gray fleece I wore. Why are hospitals so cold? How many times I asked that.

Some nights, if he was allowed, I would bring him food from the Outback. A baked potato couldn’t hurt, but stay away from the skin. Most of these fancy Outback dinners, barely picked at, wound up in the fridge on our very own shelf. Inevitably the square Styrofoam boxes wound up in a pile in the garbage can because of his vanishing appetite. But popcorn was always welcome. And it went nicely with American Idol. Some nights were 2 baggers.

For a second today I remembered the feel of the stiff white sheets on my makeshift bed (which was no more than a pink vinyl chair that collapsed flat). I felt the coldness against my shoulders. The unforgiving “mattress” that made slumber nearly impossible was more like a box spring. Those sleepless nights are long gone.

Those days were a lifetime ago. And I have worked to lock these memories in a part of my mind where I am safe from them. But today I was back there. Back in those dark days, all because of my keen sense of smell.

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