Sunday, June 22, 2008

She Has All Around Perfect Skills

What a beautiful extension.

She can stick it better than anyone in the world.

Getting it in under pressure is her forte.

She nailed that mount.

You won’t see a dismount like that very often.

Her tricks are flawless.

What a powerful release.

She just impaled herself on that beam.

She’s rocking it on the horse.

You don’t see pole work like that very often.

These nasty euphemisms can only mean one thing…the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trails are underway and I have a raging case of Olympic fever! Only a good John Tesh “Up Close and Personal” musical montage highlight reel can cool this fire, baby.

47 days and counting…

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

The St. Patrick's Day Rules Are Very Clear

I so wish I could have been there for this one, but alas, I only got to hear the story second hand from my brother, Matt.

It was St. Patrick's Day. Macy and Ruby were pretty excited about the whole concept and that morning they got decked out in anything green they could find to wear. Later that day, Matt took the girls to eat lunch at a small, local eatery in the little town of Granby, Colorado.

They walk in and have to order at the counter before sitting down. In line ahead of them was a pretty rough looking group of guys. Matt said that he had never seen such a militant, scary goth/punk guy then their apparent ringleader. Wearing all black, huge mohawk, chains, face piercings, smudged eye make-up - the entire Marilyn Manson works.

Matt tried to distract the girls so they would stop staring but when the goth guys moved over to wait for their food, he turned to order and Macy couldn't help herself. In a little-girl "whisper" that could clearly be heard in the large crowded room, she says in her most incredulous voice, "Daddy! Daddy! Look at that man over there..."

Matt said he froze, whipped around, but before he could interrupt what he was sure was going to be something ugly, Macy blurted out in her whisper, "He's not wearing any GREEN..."

The entire place erupted in laughter. Matt said he was never prouder of his kids then at that moment - they had never been judgemental little girls and they weren't gonna be judgemental that day, either. Well, except for the whole not wearing green thing, but come on...there are just some social norms you can't violate and expect to get away with. So Matt said in an equally loud stage whisper, "Then you'd better go over and give him a pinch!"

Macy cracked up as she tore over to the goth guy and pinched his leg and yelled "Happy St. Patrick's Day!". The guy was a great sport and goofed with her for a minute while everyone was roaring. Matt said everyone was still laughing when they left 30 minutes later. And Macy was never the wiser - she thought everyone was laughing because they were in on the whole St. Patrick's Day gaff she had just exposed.

You gotta love it.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fresh From My Diary of Indignities

I’m having some weight loss surgery later this summer (!) and in preparation I have had to take so many tests. Crazy tests. Tests that involve drinking liquid plutonium, being strapped to roller-coaster like devices passing through x-ray machines, and drawing gallons and gallons of blood. I swear the real point of these tests is not so much to determine if you’re ready for surgery, but to test your metal to see if you can survive. If you can make it to the other side after running the gauntlet of these tests, you can survive a measly little surgery with no problem.

So, last Sunday I had to check in to the hospital at 9:00 p.m. for my sleep study test. This is a specialty hospital, which I only mention because that means they don’t have a lot of patients there on the weekends since they do their procedures during the week. When I walked in at 9:00, it was dark, eerie, and as empty as a ghost town. I walked down the hall and finally saw the sign that said “Sleep Study” with an arrow pointing to the stairs. I hiked up the dark stairs and opened the door into an even darker room. After my eyes adjusted, I could see the faint glow of a light coming from under a door, which I opened and saw Pam. I was in the right place.

Pam is the nurse. I’ve met Pam before. I’m not even kidding when I say that when you answer her with “I’m fine, how are you?”, you will not say another word for at least 15 minutes. Pam is a talker. And not even a good conversationalist talker…she’s a prattler. She gets off on tangents and argues over the inconsequential details with herself and it’s like something out of an episode of Seinfeld. She calls you “honey”, “hon”, “sweetie”, or “sugar” at least seven times per sentence. My heart kind of sank a little bit when I saw that Pam was on duty that night.

But she is kind and helpful and she got me to my room all the while telling me about her latest romance with “that no good Bobby’s brother Hank.” My room looked very much like a Motel 6 room and not a hospital room. A regular bed, recliner chair, table and lamp. I had to put on ye olde open-backed hospital gown, which instantly made me want to break into the narcotics storage room and pill up. But I just got to stew in my disgust because Pam told me to wait there while she went and got the other people situated in their rooms - there were three of us on the ward that night.

I sat and tried to read my book but was distracted by the enormous console by the bed with all of the ports waiting for things to be plugged into them, and the video camera over the door that I knew would be pointed at me when I was sleeping. That just felt a little pervy.

When Pam finally got back to me it was about 10:00 p.m. She proceeded to wire me up, and people, if I’m lying I’m dieing, I had almost 50 electrodes attached to my body when it was all said and done. It was never ending. The glue on the little patches that holds the wires to your body is super sticky - way tighter than a band-aid. She had those babies duct taped all up and down my legs, in my arm pits, on my boobs, all over my face, on my back, on the soles of my feet, and at least a dozen of them in my hair. I cannot BELIEVE I didn’t bring a camera. You just have to picture it because my hair was sticking straight up because of that glue and each wire was at least 10 feet long so I looked like I had broken free from some experiment that had gone horribly wrong.

Now I’m no fool. I knew I’d have to be monitored in some way but was all of this really necessary? I made the mistake of asking Pam that question, and she was still talking 20 minutes later. In addition to monitoring your brain waves, they monitor your muscle movement, body temperature, heart beat and all sorts of other things that are going on when you’re asleep. Together these readings paint some kind of picture about you – do you have sleep apnea, are you not reaching REM sleep, how hard are your lungs and heart having to work, and so on. Oh Pam, please stop and tell me more about that no-good Bobby guy’s brother Hank because you’re freaking me out!

The problem was, after being rigged up, I wasn’t tired in the least, so Pam tells me to go in the common room and watch some TV for awhile. So, I get in the WHEELCHAIR and she bundles up my 500 ft. of cords and sets them on my lap and takes me in to the other room…where there is a giant man sitting in the couch as totally wired up as I am.


But of course I didn’t say any of that. I let Pat help me out of the wheel chair, position my tethers in such a way that they wouldn’t get tangled up with Carl’s tethers, and sit down next to this enormous guy who looked even worse than I did because not only was his hospital gown hiding very little that God gave him, but he already had his nose hose in place, which added an extra special touch to his spools of wire. Through this entire shifting around process all I can think about is my gianormous butt poking through the gown. Lord.

So Pam leaves and it’s just Carl and me in this poorly lit, tiny little room, watching…I’m not even kidding…The Food Network. Two giant people, looking like science experiments gone wrong, preparing for weight loss surgery, watching the Food Network. The irony had jumped into my lap and was physically slapping me in the face.

But it gets worse.

Second only to Pam, Carl was a world-class talker. But not just a talker, he was a chatter, and people, he was chatting me up. Oh, yeah. It didn’t take me long to realize that Carl was hitting on me. Taking his best swings. Showing his skilz.

It started out bad enough, but pretty soon he was using lines that made me want to wrap his nose hose around his neck and strangle him. “Yeah, I’m a financial advisor and I’ve gotta tell you…I’ve had some pretty good luck there. I just bought a Jag. I had to have the front seat widened (A DETAIL YOU MIGHT CONSIDER LEAVING OUT IF YOUR GOAL IS TO SOUND HOT), so it is one comfortable ride. Would you like to go for a ride with me some day? I haven’t widened the passenger seat but I think you’ll fit just fine. (OH STOP YOU FLATTERER, YOU!).” Or, “Well you sure are pretty. Maybe after our surgeries we could meet for ice cream (BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT TWO PEOPLE RECOVERING FROM WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY SHOULD DO!)”. And my favorite, “Yeah, my tango teacher thinks I’ll quality for regionals in another month, or so, so once you lose some weight maybe you could be my partner.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am absolutely aware that I am no prize, and I don’t get hit on very often, and I’m not a snob. It’s just that Carl had chosen the absolute most inappropriate time and situation to bust a move. And it went on and on and on. I wasn’t sure whether to be embarrassed for the guy or applaud his chutzpah. But of course, as I’m wont to do, the more he went on the more ludicrous the whole scene became, and the funnier it became the more I started to laugh, and the more I laughed the more he thought I was enjoying his humor and advances, and the more moves he busted, the harder I laughed. All the while sitting in hospital gowns with electrodes glued to every part of our bodies.

I finally had to excuse myself from the whole situation. I was done. I wasn’t even going to wait for Pam to come back with that wheelchair. I said goodnight to Carl, gathered my two tons of wires which I held in one hand while holding my gown closed behind me with the other hand, and shuffled back to my room as quickly as I could. I only tripped one time on the wire connected to the bottom of my foot.

I have to say that I’m going to think about Carl a lot over the next few months, hoping that things work out for him. Because it seems that Carl is looking for love and everyone deserves some love. But baby, you need to save it for tango class and leave the sleep study chicks alone. We do not feel flirty when there is glue in our hair, wires on our eyelids, and the possibility that our butt might bounce into view at any moment!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Sacraficial Lamb Barks

Dot is the greatest dog I could ask for. She's funny - but that is really her only redeeming attribute. She makes me laugh.

Which is her saving grace, because she causes me so much grief pretty much on a daily basis.

Here she is sitting in her favorite chair, earlier this evening. Moping. Seriously moping. And possibly dieing. All because she drank the nectar of the gods.

My neighbor across the street is a tiny, elderly Asian woman. I have lived here for three years and have never once, not one time, had a successful conversation with this little person. She is nice enough - she'll give me the occasional wave or nod - but she isn't very social and doesn't speak much English, so long ago I resigned myself to the smiling and nodding. She does a lot of work out in her yard, which I suspect is meditative for her because she rarely looks up. She can spend - literally - three and four hours at a time squatting down and slowly pulling weeds from her grass by hand. It's a thigh-busting squat that she can maintain for hours.

My mom was visiting once and she went outside to get something out of her car after dark, and came back inside totally amazed because she had been startled by the little woman across the street hunched down pulling weeds in the dark. You've got to know my fun-loving mom to appreciate the humor here, but after yelling out "Whoa!" when she was startled, she shouted out "Wow, how can you see what you're doing?" and of course didn't get an answer, which made it all the funnier.

But I like my elderly, tiny, 4-foot Asian neighbor, whose name, I believe, is Li. She's peaceful. And calm. And she keeps a nice, tidy yard. She's one of the characters that adds to the crazy quilt fabric of my neighborhood, and I like it that way.

Best of all, she has this big, old stump in her yard that she uses alter. She leaves all sorts of things on the alter, but it always includes something to eat and drink. Sometimes there are other things - like figurines, or coins, or little pieces of paper with things written on them. I love her alter and I spend lots of time wondering to whom she is offering her gifts. What are her thoughts, or prayers, as she leaves these things. I love the connection she has with nature, so I usually pretend that this might be a fung shui practice, or an act of gratitude, for the gifts of the natural world.

Dot and I have walked by this alter every day for three years.

But this evening we're walking by, and Dot decides it's time for her to go. She usually doesn't go on this lawn so I'm a little surprised given what a creature of habit Dot is. As I'm bending down to pick up after her, I'm not paying any attention to where Dot is going, other than I know she is pulling on her extend-a-leash. I get everything cleaned up, look up, and was mortified to see that I had let Dot pull her leash out so long that she was EATING EVERYTHING ON THE ALTER.

I dropped the poop bag and, for some reason, decided to scold Dot using a stage whisper! What was that? Why didn't I just tell her "no!", in my normal voice? I guess I felt like Dot was desecrating something sacred and I shouldn't shout out in church, so instead I'm in the wide-open outdoors whispering "NO! DOT, NO! DROP IT! PUT THOSE CHOP STICKS DOWN! STOP! GET THAT SAKI CUP OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!". Well of course, Dot totally destroyed the whole thing. Knocked every item off of the tree stump and drank and ate whatever food was in the little dishes. You have to know Dot - she didn't care one bit that I was throwing a fit - she was having a great time!

I still don't know why I was so paralyzed, but I didn't know what to do. I felt like such an idiot standing there, but I was really embarrassed and the whole thing just felt WRONG. Like my child had tagged the outside of the First Baptist Church with purple spray paint. Your dog can't just go busting up into someone's alter and eat all their stuff! That isn't right!

I felt weird touching everything, trying to put it all back. That felt so...personal. So I decided I needed to say a little prayer that went something like, "God, please apologize to whoever is supposed to get this!"

And then the absurdity of it all hit me and I started to laugh. Uncontrollably. Which looked even more strange. I didn't want little, elderly Li to think that hoodlums had been messing with her Chi, so I felt the need to tell her what had happened. Tell her as best I could given that we don't understand each other and haven't had a real conversation in three years.

But she didn't answer her door. Her car was there, but she didn't answer. Maybe she wasn't home, or maybe she was watching me out of a window. I don't know. Instead of letting it go, I felt the need to go home and write a little note that said, "I'm sorry my dog disturbed your offerings". I left the little note on the tree stump under the tiny gold Buddha.

To make matters worse, Dot started acting sick about 30 minutes later. She threw up twice. I started to get really worried about whatever it was she ate and drank. As Dot moped around, I called the Vet and felt the need to EXPLAIN THE WHOLE LUDICROUS TALE. The Vet was sort of silent - probably overwhelmed by my over-the-top drama more than anything else - but he basically said to watch her for another hour and if she didn't seem to perk up to bring her in. He suspected that she might have eaten raw rice or maybe alcohol (Saki?), which didn't sit well on her stomach.

Sure enough, Dot wasn't down for the count for long, so I think the gods forgave her and spared her life. I should have taken a picture of the little alter, but going back with my camera would have been more than I could deal with.

I'm hoping that on our walk tomorrow Dot will tear up one of the bunches of fake flowers from the garden that my other neighbor "planted" over the weekend, or that perhaps she'll pull a pair of the ENORMOUS granny panties off of the clothes line of the lady down the street.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Hey There 1984! Love Your Pink Moccasins and Rust Shag Carpet!

No, I don't want to take a picture, mom. I'm too fat for a picture! Okay, okay, just stop, all right, I have time for one quick picture but we have to hurry because I'm late for school and I have an algebra test. Here's my Benetton pose. Do you have it? The flash didn't go off. Just take the picture, mom. I'm standing up now. Just take the picture! Okay, when you get the film developed (in four months), we'll see if it's a keeper.


Sunday, June 08, 2008


Hi everyone! My Dotopotamus hiatus is finally coming to an end. I have some things going on that I will share with you prety soon. But what better way to begin then to feature my favorite subjects?

Miss Mason turned FIVE in April, has officially graduated from preschool and is gearing up for kindergarten. She's beyond excited. I think she's already laid out her clothes for the first day of school. How is it possible that my teeny tiny baby girl is old enough to start school?

Oh, wait a minute. Did I say five? I meant seventeen.

Nah...she's five.

But the dude is definitely a super warrior.

Ruby doesn't need ninja skills. She'll take you down in a heartbeat with one look.

Instant Death by Cuteness.

She's digging being three and a half year old super star.

And costume designer.

With a personality so big you can't even believe it's coming from such a tiny person. And you will laugh. Oh yes, you'll laugh. Because the girl is FUNNY.

There ain't no party like a Holliday party 'cause a Holliday party don't stop...

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