Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

Paper Towel Holders

Our hospital recently demonstrated the great efficiency, logic and money conservation that is inherent in any health care system.  We have great need of many things.  For example, the phone in my work area is nonfunctional.  A physician really needs a phone within reach.  We have requested that phone I don’t know how many times.  For a while we had to wait until JCAHO came through.  Now, I don’t know what the excuse is. 

However, we had perfectly functional, perfectly normal paper towel holders that were not causing a bit of trouble.  On a list of things we need, new paper towel holders would be at the absolute bottom.  In fact, they would not be on the list at all.  So what did the hospital do?  They came through the ENTIRE HOSPITAL, all the clinics and inpatient and replaced ALL THE PAPER TOWEL HOLDERS.  Perfectly good paper towel dispensers.  Replaced for absolutely no reason.  Even better, the new paper towel dispensers SUCK.  They are one of those paper towel holders that have dire messages all over them:  “Pull with BOTH hands” and a dramatic x’d out picture of a single hand pulling a paper towel.  Because, God forbid we try to pull a towel out with one hand.  They are marked about as dramatically as land mines.  And the thing is, those signs make me WANT to pull out paper towels with one hand.  In fact, every time I use the damn things, I pull with one hand, just to spite the paper towel makers.  Sometimes they rip, and I expect a flashing buzzer to go off.  “Warning, warning!  Back AWAY from the towels!  They were pulled with one hand, oh my GOSH!” 

Most of the time I can get them out in one piece by pulling with one hand, and that is a personal triumph.  At any rate, I still don’t have a working phone, but by George, I’ve got “fancy” new paper towel holders!

My Life With Beads

I have been making jewelry as a hobby for a long, long time.  Since college.  I don’t even want to tell you how long ago that was. 

I got started by spending time with a friend.  He was a geology student from Columbia and his roomate was dating my best friend.  Therefore, he and I were thrown together quite often as our respective friends spent quality time together. 

He had a little sideline business:  he made strung bead jewelry and sold it at local rock concerts.  He and I would settle down contentedly with frisbees full of beads and bottles full of beer and make necklaces, which he called “snecks”  (snakes).  He would then take them and sell them to drunk college students.  I kept the ones I made.  That was what got me started with the jewelry; then it was just stringing but later I got into beadweaving, wire work, metal work, chain maille and enamelling.  It all started wtih the snecks.

I started dating a guy who played Ultimate Frisbee and that just went hand in hand wtih homemade jewelry.  I always had a tacklebox of beads to put together at all the tournaments that I went to with him.  Unless I had to play.  Which was always a nightmare, and I longed to get my beads out instead. 

I made necklaces and gave them away to my friends amongst the players, and sometimes their children.  Other players did jewelry too and we would swap.  I have an interesting collection of jewelry made by my friends!

When I moved to New Orleans I added lampwork glass beadmaking to my repertoire.  I sucked at it, and I made the ugliest little beads ever but I got to learn the fun of playing with a blowtorch out on my bedroom balcony.  I continued to make jewelry and one of my friends even found me a venue to sell some of it.  I didn’t sell much.  But it was worth a shot. 

There was a bead store there that I started to frequent.  I went to the French Quarter and made a friend who sold old African trade beads, which I bought in abundance.  I also bought antique Mardi Gras beads, which were actually real glass beads from Czecholslovakia.  I have a whole collection in a bin up in my attic.

When I moved to Atlanta for my first real job, I also had my first real money.  I spent thousands of dollars at the local bead stores and hundreds more on lessons.  I learned seed bead weaving, which is still one of my great talents and loves.  I learned peyote stitch first, and by God, I peyoted everything that was vaguely circular that would sit still long enough to stitch it.  I started taking classes from national masters who travelled from city to city teaching.  I met a lot of big names and learned a whole lot of great stuff. 

I moved to a small town in Alabama, to be closer to my parents since I got married and my husband and I planned to start a family.  My jewelry making lay dormant for a couple years, since the nearest bead store was 45 minutes away, and I was occupied with my first house. 

I picked back up the beading with a vengeance when I got pregnant though.  I guess I feared (correctly) that I wouldn’t get to do it much once the baby got there.  I made tons of pieces, both strung and beadweaving. 

After my daughter was born, I picked up a new habit.  I begin to attend the Bead and Button show, which is the largest retail bead market in the world, and which bosts hundreds and hundreds of classes from the finest instructors the world has to offer.  I’ve been every year since A was born.  The trip is a several thousand dollar proposition, since it lasts a week and two weekends, and I fill every single available moment with classes.  I’m not going there to sit around, no way!  At Bead and Button I picked up wirework, metalwork (in a primitive form) and enamelling. 

I also taught myself chain maille from an online store called Urban Maille, run by a wonderful woman named Aislyn who sent out fabulous kits with great instructions.

For several years, I went to many local craft shows and sold my jewelry there.  I even had my own tent and lighting and table setup.  It was big stress getting all set up and broken down, but the part in between where you got to man your booth and sweet talk everyone who came by was a blast!  My husband actually seemed to enjoy it too.  I had to give that up when my partner and I had to go on every other night call because we had to fire our partner, who was a bonafide sociopath.

This last year I went through a beading frenzy and made many dozens of jewelry sets and many more dozens of earrings.  I began to photograph them all and put them up for sale on Etsy, which is an online shopping system for artisan made goods.  I must confess, I have not made all that many sales.  My husband’s friend has been one of my best customers.  I check Etsy every day to see if I have made a sale, and I very rarely have, but I keep checking.  I keep adding new pieces in case something catches someone’s eye. 

I have been enamelling everything that doesn’t melt or catch on fire, and putting the enameled pieces into jewelry. 

Basically I have been a confirmed bead addict for the last twenty seven years, and I have loved every minute of it.  I anxiously await the day that I can retire from my day job and spend all my time making and selling jewelry.

Barfing Girl

At the hospital where I work, about 5 or 6 children’s drawings were selected with a hospital theme.  Every day when I walk down that hall, I see the paintings and one in particular jumps out at me.  There is a girl’s head, and her mouth is open, and she appears to be barfing white stuff all over the bottom of the page.  Every day I question why on earth the hospital chose this disgusting picture to put in the hall.  My husband came to eat lunch with me and as he walked me back to my office, it occurred to me to point out the picture of the barfing girl.  “Can you imagine?” I asked him.  “Putting up a picture of a little kid throwing up?”  My husband glanced at it.  “Look closer,” he said.  “It’s a white gloved hand holding a white tongue depressor.”  Why, so it was.  My DH was extremely amused.  “You must have thought it was some diagnostic technique that you’d missed out on.  ‘I’ll hold out my hand and you barf in it.’  But in your line of work,” he continued, “You’d hold your hand down under their crotch and tell them to barf.”  “Ewwww, gross,” we both said.  He’d grossed us out pretty good.  He’s mighty good at that.  But I must say, it is a great relief that the hospital did not post a picture of a barfing girl, just a girl getting her throat checked with a tongue depressor!


This Pinterest thing is a pretty damn cool idea.  I’ve gotta hand it to whoever came up with it.  Since I’ve joined I have had an absolute blast collecting beautiful and fascinating pins. 

This collection has helped me to see what categories are the most interesting to me.  I create new pinboards every time I accumulate a significant quantity of pins belonging to one category. 

I now have boards for Rocks (beautiful gems and minerals), Flora (amazing plants), Fauna (amazing animals), Jewels (beautiful jewelry, mostly handmade), and Shooz (for my ridiculous shoe addiction).  Then I have the standard Beautiful Things (mostly ceramics, clothing or anything in nature that does not fit flora or fauna), Books worth reading (one thing under there, LOL), Places and Spaces, Products I Love, For the Home, and my favorite:  NO WAY, which contains the truly bizarre and ridiculous. 

I enjoy seeing the pins my friends post and repin frequently.  I subscribe mostly to pinners who love nature and science.  And shoes.  I have amassed a huge collection of stunning shoes.  Lordy, I love shoes!  Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Hermes, Dolce and Gabbana, Jimmy Choo and many others are featured in brilliant color (or BLACK – I like black) on my Shooz pinboard.  Shoes to drool over.  Shoes to die for. 

I also love my collection of Fauna – beautiful and amazing animals and creatures from all over the globe.  I seem mostly to be fascinated by insects, especially praying mantises.  I seem to be joined in this fetish by Burt somebody, whose science pins I follow intently. 

I find it exciting that I have more and more pinners following me – I love it when I get notice that someone has “liked” or repinned one of my pins.  I wish I got more comments though.  I confess I don’t like or follow recipes or any kind of DIY thing much.  One of the friends I follow is a teacher and she is always posting ideas for kindergarten classroom walls or really cute cupcakes.  Another friend is just married and posts pic after pic of quaint home decor.  I love my beader friends with their beautiful jewelry and beading how-tos.  Another friend is getting married soon and her boards are all about weddings.  Still another seems obsessed with succulent plants and puts up pin after pin of beautiful blue-green cacti and air plants.  Another is completely taken with amazing foodie (and drinkie) type stuff. 

I also notice trends of ecards (seemingly millions), cat and dog “cute” pictures, cute baby pictures, baby clothes and beautiful outfits. 

I love the tribal pictures of people from different cultures. 

This has gotten to be quite the phenomenon!  More and more people are getting involved with Pinterest and there are some serious addicts out there.  I think some of these folks are literally sitting at their computers all day searching for more things to pin.  I will say that Pinterest has helped me to reestablish what my areas of interest really are in a subtle and enjoyable way.


My husband has suddenly gotten it in his head that in the interest of togetherness, I should learn how to play a war game called ASL that is played on a hex board with outcomes determined by a dice roll.

The game is about World War II, and the scenarios are based on real battles that were fought throughout Europe with appropriate countries (Americans, Germans, Italians, Russians) and squadrons with squad leaders. 
ASL stands for Advanced Squad Leader.  I think.

Anyhow, he’s decided that we don’t do enough things together (other than eat and watch TV series on Netflix) and that this would be the Ideal Togetherness Thing.  This is nothing short of disastrous for me because a) I hate war, b) I know nothing about World War II, the weapons, the battles or the parties involved and c) I hate playing games.  My inherent competitiveness kicks in just enough to make me miserable and mean. 

“This is the starter kit,” he said cheerfully.  “This is an abbreviated version and there are only 28 pages of instructions.”  He really thought this was a good thing and I would be happy that there were “only” 28 pages of abbreviations, geeky code words and mind-twisting equations used to calculate firepower, movement, range, close combat and leadership.  I tried to read over the instructions over the weekend, as he left them for me on the bed to read while he was gone.  This was my weekend homework (along with deadheading all the roses and lilies, and pulling all the weeds).  I could consistently get only to page three  before collapsing in sheer frustration.  There was one entire small print page devoted to abbreviations only.  Somehow I managed to read through that, although I caught my mind wandering quite a few times to my daughter, or other things I needed to do, or that I really could use a nap.  I felt guilty that I couldn’t raise more interest.  He seems so excited about a chance to play again (he gave up travel play when our daughter was born) that I hate to let him down and not be enthusiastic about this, but really, this is on a par with having teeth extracted without anesthetic. 

I told him the instructions might be “easier” to follow if we played through a real scenario, and he JUST HAPPENED to have one right on his computer, written out step by step, including dice rolls, so you could play through exactly with the scenario just as described by the author.  So we sat down at 4:30, and it was the next four hours and we were still playing out the scenario.  “Ok,” he’d say patiently.  “Now we have a firepower of 4 with a range of 7.  But there are two units in this stack.  Now, are they within range?  Yes, close range.  Therefore, you don’t halve the fire power, but you double it because there are two units.  Now what are the pluses and minuses?  That’s right, plus one, because they are firing through an orchard and plus two because they are firing through smoke, then minus one because you have a leader in the stack with a minus one for morale.  So now we roll the dice and refer to chart B, where you round down from seven to six because there is no seven in the chart, and then count down plus three and then count down the number on the dice.  Piece of cake.  You’re doing great.”  What I was really doing was eating cookies, and feeling my butt slowly mold to the hard wooden chair in the dining room where we were sitting.  This went on for four hours.  Now, I think I was a remarkably good sport about the whole thing.  The best part was as we ended up, he said, “Ok, we’ve basically finished three turns.  When we start back we’ll have two more to occupy those buildings.”  I think I may have screamed but I am not sure.  When I came to, I was rhythmically banging my head on the dining room table.  The babysitter meanwhile had spent the last four hours laughing at me as I struggled through move after move.  “Are you winning?” she kept asking.  My husband was very perky and nonchalant.  “We’ll have you playing a full game in no time.”  Visions of hara kiri flashed through my head.  Maybe I could impale myself with the game board, or swallow some poisoned dice.  I would really rather do ANYTHING than spend any more time moving little square pieces around on a big gigantic hex grid, stacking and unstacking them, calculating and consulting figure A or Table 2 or chart 1.a.  I wonder, does this make me a bad person?  Because if I have to play for one more minute, I just don’t wanna be good!

The Spins

Well, I was home yesterday with a very interesting case of vertigo.  I called in sick to work when I realized that I was having to hold up the wall of the shower while showering.  The world was spinnning around me in a horrible way.  I decided that this was not a good day to operate on other human beings so I cancelled surgery and stayed home.  My dear husband insisted that I go to the doctor and get checked out.  My daughter has been sick with a cough also for a week so we decided to make a day of it and take her to her doctor too.

My trip to see my doctor was made more interesting by the fact that in nine years, I have never actually been in to see him.  Usually, I am disgustingly healthy.  I know him personally, of course, from working with him, but I have never seen him as a patient.  I had to go in and fill out all that new patient paper work, which is always loads of fun.  They demanded everything but my firstborn child.  They got me back and weighed me, which is always a horrifying experience and should be avoided whenever possible.  They took my blood pressure which was great, but in no way made up for the weighing situation.  The doctor came in quick and announced that I had “the virus of the week”; that everyone had it and were sick as dogs for about 36 hours.  He further informed me that meclizine (anti-vert) didn’t even touch this dizziness and he would have to put me on valium for the day.  He gave me 30 valium, a z-pack and some mucinex for my sinus infection, which I also turned out to have.

After this, my husband and I took my daughter to her doctor.  I felt unwell and went and sat in the van with the motor running.  It seemed to take forever to get in and out of there.  Of course, she was a new patient too, as her former pediatrician ran away to Washington state, and this was her new one.  Apparently she has a DOUBLE ear infection (so I’m surprised she’s not dizzy too) and required amoxicillin and mucinex also, as well as a cough syrup.  So we made CVS very happy today what with all our drug orders. 

I went home and was very mellow for the rest of the day.  I wound up taking two of the valium, and they got rid of the spins just fine.  I slept like a baby for the better part of the day.  I finally had enough appetite to eat lunch; I could barely eat a little yogurt for breakfast I felt so queasy.  So for those of you who wake up with vertigo, there’s a weird little virus going around, and valium works GREAT!  Also, expect to wait awhile if you are a new patient at your doctor’s office.  As a physician, let me put in my plug and say, come in early for that appointment!  Fill out your paperwork so you can get in on time!


I attended the Bead and Button conference for the 6th year in a row this year and I learned an exciting new skill.  Torch enamelling!

That was the most fun class of the year.  We showed up for class with our closed-toed shoes and our hair pulled back per the rules of the class (the instructor did neither) and were ready to roll!

We were given initial instruction on how to place the iron beads onto the heat-proof mandrel, how to heat the beads in front of the torch, how to roll the red hot beads in the little pots of enamel powder, and how to reheat the beads to melt the powder and add additional layers.

Then they turned us loose with hundreds of iron beads; as many as we could use in a full day class, and we were told to enamel as many as we wanted to.  My goodness!  There was an orgy of torching and melting and heating red hot as everyone tried making every color of bead imaginable.  No one managed to set themselves (or anyone else) on fire.

We took a lunch break that was way too long – we all wanted to get our mittens back on that enamelling torch.  We did a quick tutorial on enamelling flat discs (pendants) and adding millefiori, and off we went again!

I did all the colors of beads in pairs so that I could generate a pair of earrings for sale from each set.  At the end I counted, and I had done over a hundred beads!

For several days I pondered bringing home the technology to do enamelling on my own.  I finally talked myself into it; the starter kit cost only a hundred dollars and contained the torch head, a pulling station with mica for pulling the hot beads off the mandrel, a starter pack of beads, a clamp to attatch the gas tank to the work station, 3 mandrels, and 3 of the most popular enamel colors.  All I needed to add was MAPP gas from the local Home Despot (intentional misspelling).  I excitedly brought home my new kit.

I got my husband to help me hook up the cannister of gas after checking two different places for the MAPP gas.  I set up the pulling station and put the enamels into metal tins that could withstand heat.  I got the mandrels and the beads lined up and I was ready to go!  I fired up that torch, and boy, did I get to work!  I enamelled everything in sight.  I even tested old metal beads with a magnet in hopes they were made out of iron.  When they weren’t, I tried enamelling them anyway.  They melted.  Copper can be enamelled and I enamelled every copper bead and decorative copper piece that I had.  I even bought copper refrigerator coil and cut it into cylinder beads that I enamelled.  And I made earrings, earrings, earrings.  I made my own copper head pins and used copper leverback earring posts for a rustic look.  I must have nearly a hundred pair of enamel earrings!

Then I took my habit on the road.  I went to the local bead store and discovered that they had an iron mix of little charms and findings.  I bought two bags of those.  Then I went to Crazy Mary’s (a hoarder with a variety shop that includes LOTS of beads) and discovered that she had strands of the iron beads for sale!  I bought several strands and I was ready to go again!

I encountered some snags.  I was putting 4 layers of enamel on the beads to ensure that the color showed well; two layers of white with two of the color on top.  This was making a sticky mess on the surface of the beads and the bead holes were closing (permanently) when I withdrew the mandrels.  I experimented with different numbers of layers of enamel.  Two was too few and the color didn’t show up.  Three was just about right!  I am still getting some closing holes on some of the beads, and I am not sure how to put a stop to this. 

As I was enamelling a little copper charm that I had made, the loop it was hanging off the mandrel from vaporized in the torch and a red hot piece of copper hit the floor.  Instantly flames leaped up from the carpet!  I was stupidly not wearing any shoes, so I could not use my feet to put out the fire.  I grabbed the roll of copper refrigerater coil and scrubbed it vigorously over the fire until I put it out.  Boy, was DH going to be mad.  There was a fifty-cent piece sized smoldering molten hole in the carpet.  My daughter came upstairs and saw it and said, “Ooooo, I’m going to tell Daaaaaaddy!”  “Go ahead,” I told her, “I’m going to tell him first.”  So I had to fess up to the giant hole in the rug.  DH was not pleased, as predicted.  He wordlessly went out and bought an industrial floor rug to put over the carpet in my work area.  Now I wear shoes at all times when I melt those things.  And I don’t heat anything on tiny loops.  And I have prepped the fire extinguisher by cutting the plastic tab protecting the pull pin, so it is ready to go. 

I have backed off on the enamelling a bit lately.  I don’t know if it is fear of setting fire to myself or running out of new and different things to enamel.  (The iron beads and resulting earrings are now beginning to look a bit alike, all one hundred pair of them).  I’d better get back on the horse, so to speak.  I do have the little iron charms and findings to coat, although I am concerned that they will not pull off the mandrel well in the pulling station, which was made for larger beads.  I would also like to order some new enamel colors and they are not cheap (like $18 for one color in an appropriately sized tin) but I am afraid I will feel guilty if I then don’t use the new enamels as much as I should.  It has definitely been a fun diversion, but I will have to come up with some variations if I am going to continue doing it!

Nothing Is Funny

Some days nothing is funny.  I would very much like to write a whimsical rollicking blog, but I keep being hit over the head with the fact that nothing is funny.
I am on call today, so my sense of humor is at an all time low.  All I can occupy my mind with is all the horrible things that may happen to me today.  I have had a never ending line of patients rolling through labor and delivery, all of whom have required way too much attention. 
Whimisical and rollicking are hardly where I am at.  I keep trying to think of anything funny, anything at all.  Sometimes when I babble like this, something funny will pop into my head.  I transported a very ill patient to a tertiary hospital yesterday, but there was nothing funny about THAT.  In fact, it was terrifying.  The girl had blood pressures of 220s over 130s, which is horrifying.  I was convinced she was going to have a seizure in the ambulance en route.  The nurse that rode with her was terrified also.  In fact, we joked that we had put our big girl panties on and then pooped in them.  Her baby had to be delivered at 25 weeks, and will have a terribly long road ahead of it.  Not funny.

My husband is attempting to roll over my 401K from the old office into another account.  Not interesting.  He keeps texting me with questions about four digit pins and my mother’s maiden name.  It is a pain in the butt for him that he keeps getting stuck with all this stuff.  We were originally told that we would have to take the money out; that we could not roll it over.  It turned out that we could roll it over, so that was good, but hardly funny.

I notice that the blog is not automatically keeping track of the number of words or autosaving, so I may lose this entire thing.  I don’t think that would be funny.  Someone might find it so, but not me.  It would probably be a good thing, since this is turning out to be fairly depressing.

I have 3 cervidil inductions today, which is not funny either.  They will go into labor on me overnight.  My husband is bringing my daughter by with dinner for us, which is sweet, but, you know, not humorous.  I don’t know what he is bringing, so it is a surprise.  I have a feeling it will be ChickFilet.  I am drinking my second 40 oz diet Pepsi of the day.  No humor there.  Unless you make jokes about me floating away.  Which would also not be funny, but stupid. 

I did two circumcisions at lunch.  The first baby sounded like a squealing piglet.  He had the most piercing cry.  Both turned out very pretty, but I’m sure the babies would have passed on the procedure, given the choice.  They are not, however, given a choice. 

I saw a patient this afternoon whose IUD fell out and now she is pregnant.  No joy there.  She is pretty unhappy.  This will be her fourth child.  Nothing too amusing about a vanishing method of birth control that sneakily disappears when you are not looking. 

Well, I have typed and typed and nothing is funny.  I haven’t really written about anything either.  I have made it my goal to write a blog a day, and if things don’t get more humorous soon I (and any unfortunate readers) are in for a long haul.  One of our nurses just walked by and told me it took her four flushes for her toilet paper to go down.  Now THAT’S kind of funny.

My Little Hair Helper

This weekend I HAD to go get my hair done.  I mean HAD to.  My hair was way grown out of its cut and I had roots that would make Madonna proud.  And the following weekend I am on call, so having hair color done then is impossible.  I’m sure I would no sooner have the foils on and the dye spackled all over my head that my phone would go off urgently:  we have a new arrival in room 6 who is crowning!  Then I would have to bolt from the room, foils, dye and all, because there would be no time to take them out.  Then I would (of course) look ridiculous and my hair would turn white and all fall out because I could not get the dye removed.  So no hair doing on call days.  So it was this weekend or nothing.

Unfortunately, THIS weekend I was babysitting a sick daughter while my husband was out of town.  There would be no leaving her home.  So I hopefully loaded her up in the car with her Nintendo, after checking to make sure she did not have a fever, and headed out to do some hair errands.

On arrival we sat in the waiting room and A curled up in a chair with her Nintendo plugged in.  So far so good.  She was good until J called us back.  Then she turned into a little whirling dervish.  When J went back to mix up my hair color, A followed her to the back before I could stop her or say a word.  I heard her talking loudly to J and groaned about what on earth she was saying.  Of course, her first announcement was that she was sick, which made me look like a terrible mom for sure.  “She WAS sick,” I made sure to say.  “She doesn’t have a fever today.”  Miss J looked unconvinced.  I snappishly told A to stay out of the back room; that she had not been invited in there and she was to stay up front with me.  I was trying to carry on a conversation with J and her mother-in-law, but A kept rudely interupting and trying to show us silly stuff.  “Sit down and do your Nintendo,” I roughly told her.  She asked J if she could unplug some hair stuff so she could plug it in.  Then she proceeded to do nothing with it.  She watched J do my foils and laughed at me.  “You look funny,” she told me.  “I wish I could take a picture and put it up on Facebook.”  (She knows she gets put up on Facebook whenever she does something outrageous or funny).  She pretended to take a picture of me with her play cell phone.  “This is a play cell phone,” she told J.  “Daddy has a pretend phone number and so does Mommy.”  J said, “Don’t you know your Mommy’s REAL phone number?”  A looked at her like she had cabbages for ears.  “I’ll teach you my real phone number now,” I told her.  I’d tried before.  She looked at me like I had cabbages for ears too.  OK.  Maybe not.  “Are you going to get your eyebrows waxed?” she asked me.  “I want to rip the tapes off.”  (J had started the unfortunate precendent of allowing her to rip my wax strips off – she sure enjoys hurting Mommy).  “I’m not sure,” I told her.  “I’m not sure Miss J has time.”  “Oh, we have time,” said J cheerfully.  She brought me to the back sink to do the waxing.  I told J that A had noticed my dreaded chin hair and had remarked cheerfully that if I didn’t pull it out, I would look like Zack Galifinakis.  They were both much amused.  The waxing hurt (of course) and A had a great time ripping my wax off.  Then J rinsed out my highlights and dye and A squealed, “Ooooh, your hair is black and orange!”  This did not inspire confidence.  “Let’s wait and show her when it’s all rinsed out,” said J hastily.  We walked me back to the chair and my little helper bounced along beside.  I told J that DH was out of town and I was watching A all weekend and helping her get over her cold.  “She’ll be my little shadow all weekend,” I told her.  A took great umbrage at this.  “Now I know you don’t like me,” she announced.  “You had a blucky look on your face when you told Miss J about your shadow.”  “I love you dearly, ” I protested weakly.  “No you don’t,” she said, and flounced out to the waiting room.  She came back a few minutes later, frowning.  “Your hair looks awful,” she informed me spitefully.  She left again.  She came back again.  I tried (successfully for a moment) to make her laugh, then my success made her furious and she stalked out again.  She came back.  “Your hair STILL looks awful,” she announced.  “When are we going to be done??”  J told her she had about 10 minutes.  “I’m HUNGRY,” she said.  “That’s why we stopped at Sonic on the way here,” I told her.  “You haven’t touched your drink.”  “I want to go to Cracker Barrel,” she decided.  “Great,” I thought.  “There goes my diet.”  When I told her we could go to Cracker Barrel, the little stinker perked up some.  She had almost forgiven me by the time she walked with me to the car.  All I can say is, if she’s this awful at seven, tween and teen years will be a NIGHTMARE.  I am really in for it.  And she was damn perceptive about the face I made when I announced she would be my shadow for the weekend.  I really do love her dearly.  It’s just… she can be so… difficult…

Who Ate My Funny?

When I decided I was going to write a blog, I was going to be earthily witty and bitingly clever.  I was.  What I discovered is, if there’s nothing positive going on in your life, you can’t come up with anything witty to write about.  Everything seems negative and drab, and the sense of humor comes right out of you.  I USED to be funny.  I can REMEMBER being funny.  Even now, people laugh when I say things, so I know I haven’t lost it.  At least, I think I haven’t.  When I read a funny piece, I think YES, exactly, that’s how I would have said it.  Now I am not so sure.  I have tried to think of things in the past that were funny and I can’t even seem to think of anything.  I began to feel more and more like Eeyore.  Does depression stop funnyness?  It certainly doesn’t stop sarcasm and cynicism.  Although I always say, is it cynicism if it’s true?  I think that just makes it reality.  It doesn’t help that I do all my blog posts at work, between patients.  Unless a patient has just been wildly hilarious (and let’s face it, how often does THAT happen?), I am unlikely to come out of the room with a positive mood and a story to tell.  And I’m not even ALLOWED to tell a lot of my patients’ stories, because something about the story could be uniquely identifiable to them, and then I would be in trouble.  I have a lot of funny vignettes about my daughter, but most of them are really just cute one-liners.  Questions like, “Mommy, what was I wearing when I was born?” and “Whaaat?  I was in water before I was born?  Did I hold my breath the whole time?” are cutesy but you can’t exactly spin a full blog out of them.  My daughter is the source of most of the humor in my life.  My husband is also a source, but many of our jokes are too off-color (or mean) to publish for other people to read.  We had a nice family trip to Atlanta recently, but nothing funny happened at all.  We had to rent a car because the air conditioning in DH’s airport car was busted, but really, what’s funny about that? 

I’ve had an inspiration.  That airport car is damn funny.  The car belonged to my parents, and it is a classic parental car.  It is an enormous 1996 Buick Regal; a real land yacht, and exactly what you would expect one’s parents to drive.  It is an optomistic teal color, and like all other Buicks of older vintages, the ceiling is hanging down in strips and falling down in the middle.  The car has not improved in DH’s hands.  It was already old but well taken care of when my folks gave it to us.  However, to DH, a car of any kind is just a conveyance from point A to point B.  It is also a rolling dumpster.  The car now looks like a family of Mexicans is living in it.  The trunk jammed open in the locked postition, so he just duct taped it shut.  There are three big weathered streaks of duct tape over the back of the car.  DH just LOVES duct tape.  The windows of the car, if rolled down, cannot roll back up.  If he goes through a drive-through or a toll booth, he has to open the door a crack to throw out the money, because he dares not roll the window down.  For some inexplicable reason, in addition to all the candy wrappers and bent drink cans that DH has thrown over his shoulder into the back seat, the back contains a Southwestern woven blanket covered with stains (hence the family of Mexicans motif), a roll of toilet paper, a filthy pink stuffed rabbit that someone gave A on one of our early trips to visit Atlanta, maps, and the rear view mirror.  That’s right, the rear view mirror.  It of course fell off the windshield when the car was sitting on the pavement in the Atlanta heat, and DH could never get it stuck back on.  There is something wrong with the gas tank sensor.  Actually, the sensor is fine.  The little tube that carries gas from the tank into the car has pulled about halfway up, and can only access the gas in the top half of the tank.  So if you allow the car to run half full, you are essentially out of gas.  The car must be refilled every time it gets near half full (or half empty).  The car is also a bona fide low rider, because the shocks are so shot it practically sags down onto the pavement.  It makes the ride very interesting.  Now the air conditioner is broken, and still he uses it.  Air will only come through the defrost vents, and that is not particularly cool.  He at least spared us the Buick on our last Atlanta trip and rented us a car so we would not burn up.  Needless to say, I breathed a sigh of relief that we would not be travelling through Atlanta in that car and waved it a glad farewell when we left the airport.  I assume DH will continue to use it until the axles fall off.  He should maybe take it as a sign that the car is shot if the Mexicans move out.

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