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What you never wanted to know
Friday, September 22, 2006 - 023:11 p.m.

Today is Day 12 of Operation: "Are Those Your Shoes?" and this morning I was faced with the largest swath of cat vomit yet. I believe the felines' intent was to barricade me into the bedroom, given that they had carefully positioned it to extend across the entire opening to the hallway. They even spread it out into an arc so I would be certain to step on at least a portion of it, should I attempt to escape. In the end, I hurdled their barricade and returned to battle the stains with my rapidly dwindling supply of carpet cleaner, but after the last two weeks, I can officially state that our carpet will never be the same. Oh, and blehck.

Seriously, I can't even begin to describe how tired I am of this vomiting thing. I have now resorted to drastic measures which include deliberately feeding the suspected culprit pet grass and a product called "Laxatone" which is guaranteed to remove hairballs. I am terrified of the probable outcome of this treatment (Hello? Laxatone? The cat's ass is going to explode any second now. It's a ticking bomb, people.), but it's my last step before I haul one or more of them back to the vet for something more invasive. And expensive.


Moving away from the dietary woes of my cats (you can thank me later), Todd's back in town for a little while. Right now he's at home sleeping off the effects of an overnight flight from Hawaii. Tomorrow he's following a friend as the friend attempts to break some kind of bike-riding record. Monday he leaves for Fort Campbell for a week. In other words, I haven't seen and won't see much of the guy. It's a good thing we have a vacation planned soon, otherwise I might forget what he looks like.


For two brief, glorious days, the weather here was PERFECT. Mid-70s, sunny, and breezy during the day, then dropping to the lower 50s at night. It was enough to start me longing for fall. I even went so far as to pull out some sweaters and a few long-sleeve shirts. So of course, we're back up to 87 tomorrow.

Come January, I know I'll be gazing longingly at my shorts and flip flops and wishing for summer, but for now fall can't get here soon enough.


Q: Is there anything funnier than telling someone they need a helmet?

A: Yes. Emailing your spouse with the message, "Just in case the kids take after you," and this link.

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Avast, ye scurvy dogs!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - 04:37 p.m.

Last night we hijacked Jessica's TV to watch Cannibal! The Musical, because Eric had never seen it. Despite her intense dislike of the (best) movie (ever), Jessica managed to last through the entire thing with only a small amount of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Still, she fled once we discovered the song section on the DVD and started singing along at the top of our lungs. The sky is BLUE and all the leaves are GREEN! Sometimes with her it's hard to tell the difference between a gargle of rage and a gargle of despair. We can name him Bob or we can name him...Beowulf! We really shouldn't torture her so, but I consider it payback for making us talk about ourselves on video.

Cowbell solo!


I skipped Pilates all of last week because I am a lazy, lazy girl and, well, I was busy. Tonight I am determined that I will be strong and force myself to go. Without Todd here to act as my conscience, it would be awfully easy to just go home and watch TV, but I. Will. Be. Strong. I will resist the siren song of three Tivoed SVU episodes.

I'm a little surprised that I'm not enjoying Pilates as much as I did the last time I was taking classes. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that I can once again fold up into a human pretzel with ease and panache, but class itself is just a bit harder than I recall. It's good for me, yadda yadda, and it's not supposed to be easy. It's just that I'm accustomed to NOT having hip cramps in the middle of class or NOT having my shoulder complain for days after. My body used to like this sort of activity. These days, not so much. I think....I think I might be getting old.

Or at least older. Apparently my body's ability to handle exercise with nary a whimper has gone out the window along with my ability to pull all-nighters or appreciate cold pizza. But I'll go to class anyway, because if I don't, I'm afraid this thing is just going to fall apart on me.

Oh, and Arrrrrrr!

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Monday, September 18, 2006 - 01:54 p.m.

Today was the first big rain since we got our new roof at the office. Let's see how it performed, shall we?

Hmm. There's water pouring out of the porch lights and the columns. Is Or do I need to worry about being knocked unconscious by a large chunk of hideous pink stucco* on my way out to the car?

I'm no roofer, but this, to me, seems like kind of a problem.

*Just so you know, I work in the ugliest building in the world. The pink stucco is only the beginning. No, really.

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Are those your shoes?
Monday, September 18, 2006 - 10:17 a.m.

This morning I discovered that sometime during the night, Lilo vomited in my shoe.

...It is obviously a Monday.


Back when I first moved to Harvest, Todd and I began attending a church in Madison. We really tried to make it work - we even went so far as attending a couple of the Foyers groups - but things just didn't work out. Something about them just made me want to gag and I never really got over it. The last straw was finding out here at my office that construction workers found six (SIX!) sinkholes during grading for the huge new sanctuary, and the church had opted to "take the risk" and go with shallow foundations anyway. It was bad enough that they never got a geotech done for such a large structure, but to go with shallow foundations with that many sinkholes already onsite? I guess theyíre just going to pray about it.

Anyway, this church has an email list where they send out announcements and prayer requests. Now that weíre tentatively attending a new church downtown, I keep meaning to ask them to take me off the list, but I haven't yet because, well, mocking emails that start out with the sentence "All right, prayer warriors!" warms the cockles of my cold, shriveled, and blackened little heart. This morning I received an email announcing the happy birth of "Christian Hope." People, it doesnít get much more cotton-candy than that. And you know, naming your child something so nauseatingly cutesy is really tempting fate. It's too bad I have to wait 18 years before I start getting the emails praying for little Christian Hope to give up her sinful (albeit lucrative) career at Visions.


On the homefront, Todd is once again out of town, this time to Hawaii. Jackie moved the majority of his belongings out to his new apartment on Saturday, so yesterday I had the house entirely to myself. Well, me and our six animals. But anyway, it was great. I'd like to say I was productive, but we all know that would be a lie. The only good deed I accomplished was clearing out the Tivo. Of course, after watching so many hours of SVU, I had to warn Jackie that he needed to call before he came over to finish getting the rest of his stuff. I'm not responsible for breaking a lamp over his head if he doesn't.

Oh, and I finally made it out to do some shopping. See, Iím trying to transition my work wardrobe from "hippie college student" to "professional engineer." Given that I donít wear any size currently in production ON THIS PLANET, this isnít going as well as I might have hoped. All I can say is, thank god for New York & Co.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006 - 04:33 p.m.

My cat, Lilo, either has the hairball of a lifetime or there's something horribly wrong with her. At least that was the vet's excuse to wriggle $150 out of my wallet yesterday. I figure I just dropped a ton of cash on a damned hairball, officially making me the stupidest cat owner in the world. In my defense, she's been vomiting a frightening amount for three days straight now, and it was either spend $150 at the vet or $150 on Resolve Carpet Cleaner. Also, she puked on the bed. MY side. I figured a thermometer up the butt was only fair.


Todd found out today that he's leaving for Hawaii for two weeks a week THIS SATURDAY:

1) My response to this news is pretty much banned in its entirety by the FCC.

2) If my employer told me I was leaving for two weeks a day and a half before I had to get on the plane, I'd shit a brick. This is why I don't work for the government. Well, that and the whole "I have a soul" thing.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - 03:22 p.m.

Troy and Kim's deaths have hit me a lot harder than I would have ever expected. After all, while I would consider them friends, it was a working relationship. I had very little contact with them outside of the jobs we worked on together. But since 2004, we must have drilled at least 40 jobs and most of those were long, long days. We spent a lot of time talking in the field, we joked around over lunch, and we kept up on each other's lives. I have a lot of good memories of working with them.

I keep going back over all the times I saw them together, trying to remember if there was any hint of the insanity to come, and I really can't come up with anything. It just wasn't something obvious to an outsider, I guess. But it makes it so incredibly hard to believe, you know?


So, moving on to a topic less likely to make me tear up randomly, I finally got my hair cut yesterday, and in the process gleaned some very important information:

Whatever you do, do NOT go to the Huntsville Cost Cutters next to the Atlanta Bread Company.

Why? Because the woman who cut my hair:

1) decided that the best way to handle somewhat damp, curly hair was to comb it from top to bottom. Her tactic for dealing with the inevitable rat nests was to yank as hard as f**king possible on the ensnared comb. I'm surprised I wasn't bleeding from the scalp when I left.

2) seemed to be under the assumption that I have no ears because she nearly ripped them off with the comb. Repeatedly.

3) made me stand the entire time because she didn't realize the chairs would raise up.

4) CUT HERSELF with the scissors.

5) ignored a direct request to forego using the nasty, stinky curl crap, leaving me with greasy, tangled hair that smelled very strongly like lemon Lysol.

"Aw, look, see it's already curling at the bottom."

...Yes. Because that's what curly hair does. You COW.

Look, people, I make these mistakes so you don't have to.

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I can't understand
Monday, September 11, 2006 - 09:25 a.m.

I saw the report of the double murder-suicide on the news last night, but I didn't think anything about it except that it was sad.

This morning I found out it was Troy and Kim, the drillers I always used. People I really enjoyed working with. People I spent a lot of time with over the last few years. Friends.

And even knowing what prompted it, I can't believe it. And thinking about the last few minutes of their lives and what they went through, what they both thought...I just don't know what to say.

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Because I can't pick a topic
Friday, September 8, 2006 - 02:33 p.m.

Here's something that's been on my mind for a while: the Jiyeh fuel oil spill. Somewhere around 30,000 tons of heavy fuel oil are coating the beaches and bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. The oil has been migrating since July 13th and, thanks to Israel, mitigation efforts have only just begun.

I've seen mentions of Finland, Kuwait, Norway, and France sending money and equipment. The UN and Greenpeace have been conducting surveys of the damage (now that Israel has decided to let them). UNEP held a meeting, which was attended by representatives of the EU, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. But I haven't heard or read any mention of the Israeli government doing anything to help correct the disaster they created when they bombed the power plant. Aside from refusing to let anyone start cleanup efforts for nearly two months, the Israeli government apparently hasn't been involved. Yeah, Israel's part of the UN, but the UN shouldn't have to foot the bill on this one. From what I've read, Israel isn't being held specifically accountable, and that just isn't right.


So lately I've become addicted to Law & Order: SVU. I started watching a couple months back and finally added it to the Tivo Season Pass list about two weeks ago. Since we're, oh, seven years late to the party, we now have an unlimited number of reruns to watch. I usually don't like crime shows (for instance, I loathe CSI), but something about SVU has me hooked. Also, Tivo is the most beautiful thing IN THE WORLD.


This morning I reached my arm around behind my back and my shoulder gave the most sickening crack/pop I think I've ever heard (or felt). Now my entire arm is throbbing, and when I try to tuck my elbow in next to my side, shooting pain radiates out from my shoulder. I'm thinking that's not a good thing. Right now I'm just counting down the hours until I can go home and put some ice on it. And I guess if it's not better by next week, I'll be visiting the doctor. Yippie.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2006 - 12:17 p.m.

This past weekend we traveled back to Hendersonville. The main reason for the trip was to attend Daniel's first birthday party. Secondary reasons were to meet up with JoAnna and her husband, hanging out with my family, and visiting my grandmother at the nursing home.

The birthday party was nice. I mean, it was a first birthday, which pretty much means that the parents and family go all googly while the increasingly tired baby wonders just what the hell is wrong with everybody, why does everyone have a camera glued to their face, and holy cow, did they just set that thing on FIRE? Daniel was none too sure about events, but once he became acquainted with the homemade ice cream, all his doubts evaporated. The stuffed otter I found for him at the Tennessee aquarium was a success, if his enjoyment can be measured by the amount of drool conferred upon the object in question.

As far as my grandmother is concerned, well, she's doing all right. They moved her out of the ICU last week and into the nursing home. She was up and about in her wheelchair yesterday, but she's not capable of doing much of anything for herself. She can wake up and be lucid for a few minutes, but she nods off so quickly that there's no carrying on a real conversation with her. I have no idea how much she understands of what we say, and it's hard to walk the line of being clear without making her feel like we're talking to her like a child. It's sad and it's frustrating and there's really not much more to say.

Today has been passing in kind of a blur. It's not that I didn't sleep well last night, it's just that don't feel like I ever quite woke up after my alarm went off this morning. Maybe it's because this is the first cloudy day here in MONTHS. It's really too bad that adults don't get nap time. Whee, only five more hours to go.

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