Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On the Lighter Side

In between the eating and the sitting that took place at my grandparents place I stumbled upon the following description of a pair of pliers in a catalogue on my grandfather's desk:

"Thinner stripper nose. For those tight places where a regular stripper's nose gets in the way".

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Heartbreakingly Lucky

My dad once told me that very few people ever meet their soulmate, that finding that kind of love is rare and special. So many things happen between humans that I tend to write off as biological necessity- babies are cute because it's all they have to survive. People fall in love because they have to multiply to propogate the species. But one thing I can't explain are people falling in love and staying together. Monogamy doesn't biologically make sense. The pain and fragility that comes with being dependent on another person to be happy does not make sense. Love does not make sense.

My grandparents have been together for 65 years. I can't imagine being that old, much less being with someone that long. Until my grandfather started having trouble walking, he would open every door for my grandmother, and now she holds every door open for him. They call each other "darling" and tease each other like kids. My grandfather has had to move to a different unit because Grandmama can't take care of him at night anymore, and it's tearing them apart.

You are so lucky if you find someone to be such a faithful partner, but it can cause so much pain. We were looking at old photographs with my grandmother last visit, and there was a picture of her and Grandpapa in college, standing arm in arm in a doorway, smiling at each other. And she talked about how vividly she could still feel that day, how intensely happy she was. This visit my mom brought a picture of Grandmama from college to put in Grandpapa's room, and Grandpapa took one look at it and started to cry. That's the problem with love, you don't live for yourself anymore. And sometimes that seems to be harder than living alone.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Oh, Hai Teh Internets!

I'm in Pennsylvania. Did I mention that? My grandfather is not doing so well, so my mom and I flew up to see him and my grandmother. He's actually doing better than we thought he was, but I'm glad we came. He's getting confused more often, and he's been falling a lot. They live in an assisted living community, and they have their own apartment, but now that he needs more help they've given him a room in the nursing home end of the complex. Mom brought a bunch of pictures and a cd player because he hates going to that little impersonal room at the end of the day. I think it helped. And despite everything they still have their sense of humor. Today Grandpapa was giving Grandmama a hard time about something, so she snatched away the paper he was reading and stuck her tongue out at him. Then he leaned forward in his slow creaky way and flicked water from his glass onto her. I tried to use one of the computers in their library today, and while I was waiting for it to turn on, I listened to a couple going over some list of people and trying to figure out who had died yet and who hadn't. But this place makes me feel a little better about getting old. When Frank was in a nursing home type facility it was really horrible and depressing. This place is very nice and everyone seems to be pretty happy. Plus, it's a Quaker community so everyone is very liberal. Coming from Arizona where it seems like everyone over 30 is republican, it's pretty funny to me to hear these white haired old ladies talking about how great Obama is. You would think I would lose weight coming here, since it's all cafeteria type food, but essentially the daily schedule is:

9am: breakfast
10am-12pm: sit.
12pm-1pm: lunch (dinner)
1pm-4pm: nap
4pm-5:30pm: sit.
5:30-6:30: dinner (supper)
6:30-7:30: sit.
7:30pm-9am: sleep.

Of course, this was my schedule on Christmas break too, so I can't really complain. I just can't fall asleep at 7:30, since that's like 4:30 my time, and then I have to get up at 8:30 for breakfast, so I've been feeling pretty groggy this whole time.

In addition to sitting, my mom and I have gone shopping. She decided that I was old enough that I needed an actual coat instead of my ratty, faded UA sweatshirt, so I'm now the proud owner of a black parka. I drew the line at a fur collar though. It's fun to pet, but I kept picturing the poor foxes who needed it more than I do.

I'll be back on Tuesday, and it will certainly be a shock to go back to 10 hour days of constant running around!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You Can Never Beat A Mom

Danny's been sick. Not deathly ill, but phlegmy and coughy and tired. And every time Danny gets sick he calls his mother. The first time he got sick when we were living together, she actually came over with Campbell's chicken noodle soup, gatorade, crackers, and cough syrup. I tried not to be offended that neither of them had any faith in my ability to nurse him back to health, but it didn't work. We have made progress, though. Now he just calls her and she tells him what to tell me to get at the store. Last night the conversation went like this:

Danny: Mia, Mom says you need to get real Sudafed, Ibuprofen and real Nyquil.
Me: Well, we have Aleve, that's almost the same thing as Ibuprofen. And we have Benadryl, you could take that instead of Sudafed.
Danny: *stony glare* Mom says I need real Sud...
Me: *realizing this is not a battle I can win* Yes! Okay! Real drugs. Gotcha.
Danny: And soup. Campbell's chicken noodle.
Me: We have Italian wedding soup in the pantry
Danny: Mom says I need...
Me: Fine. chicken noodle.
Danny: Campbell's chicken noodle. And remember, you have to get the sudafed and nyquil at the pharmacy, not just the over the counter stuff.
Mia: right.
Danny: in the pharmacy.
Mia: I KNOW.
I gather my belongings and head for the door to go to Walgreens. I hear a faint voice as I'm leaving
Danny: Campbell's soup! And you have to go to the pharmacy!
And sure enough, as I walk in the door after purchasing everything on his mother's list.
Danny: Did you get the drugs at the pharmacy?

The joys of living with an only child....

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Most Destructive Force on the Planet

This is a Pomeranian puppy. No visible legs, little fuzzy ear flaps, button nose, demonic look in his eyes. Picture this, but all white and you had the snowball we named Hiccup. I will always contend that pommy puppies are, scientifically, the cutest puppies in existence. When Hiccup was a puppy we would play tug of war with my socks. Eventually he would get so worked up I would pick the sock up off the ground and he would hang from it by his teeth, growling and lashing around like a fish.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Distinguished Gentlepuppy

We had a barbecue last night, and a dog social hour. We had three dogs in attendance- Daisy, the German Pinscher, a 20-30 lb wiggling ball of enthusiasm. Daisy immediately became so excited to see everything that she filled our living room with urine. Like, more pee than Hiccup can produce in a month. It was a bit overwhelming for us, since we are used to dealing with doggy issues on a very small scale.

Bryce is a 9 week old mini Australian Shepherd who has a delightful round tummy and nibble-able fuzzy ears. Bryce and Daisy immediately began chasing each other around the backyard, wrestling, nipping, and generally making a ruckus. Their internal dialogue probably sounded something like this:


Bryce: Play? Play? Play? Play!! Grrr grrr! I'm like a big doggy! PlayplayplayPLAYPLAYPLAYzzzzzzzzzz....." (he crashed after 30 minutes)

Normal dog behavior right? Playing, peeing and sleeping. And then there was my Hiccup:

Hiccup: Who are these heathens? Why are they wasting time mauling each other when there is FOOD. HUMAN FOOD INSIDE WHERE YOU CAN GET FED BY LOOKING CUTE! These vicious creatures keep trying to sniff my genital regions! How outrageous! Seriously, get me away from these hooligans and let me go wheedle food from the civilized people.

I don't know what to do with him, I really don't. He was terrified of the dogs and spent most of the time hiding behind me, behind the furniture, or behind the pool gate that the other dogs couldn't squeeze through. He was so relieved when they left, and he's spent all day today sleeping on the couch.

Further Humiliations

2008 is going to be exhausting

Goodness, where to begin?

We got a house! Like, we bought it. We can do whatever we want to it. It's on the southwest side, right up against a mountain on 2.2 acres of land. It's a 1960's house, 4 bedrooms, one bathroom. For a while it was an abandoned house, so there's some entertaining graffiti, including some well rendered pot leaves, and a penis-dinosaur with little men climbing on it. We're thinking about leaving that one up. There's an Arizona room with huge windows and a fireplace made out of native lava rock, and a backyard with a mysterious cement pit in the middle of it. There are a lot of mysterious things about this house, actually. Like the fact that the rooms are painted half dark grey, half baby pink.

And the little slate gravestone sitting in the backyard that says "Jace 1983". I'm assuming for my own peace of mind that this was a beloved pet, not a murder victim buried by a suddenly contrite killer with a chisel. And one of the little girls who lived there had written useful labels on her closet shelves (in permanent marker, of course): "Clothes I Will Never Wear but Want to Keep", "School Clothes" and "Regular". I may leave these up, since my clothes kind of break down into those categories too.

There are also a lot of weird little buildings or half buildings on the property. There's a three foot by three foot cement building with a little hole at the base. There's a cinderblock one room building with no roof and an old futon in it. Something that may have been a horse stable but is now four supporting beams stuck in a two foot high platform of horse shit.

But it's ours. It's our horseshit, our gravestone, our weirdly painted rooms. The two acres of desert around the house is ours. As we were driving away the other day, we saw a bunny hoping through the front yard (can you call it a yard if there's no grass?) Anyway, and Danny pointed out that we, technically, own that rabbit. Except, technically, the rabbit is still in escrow until Feb. 13th :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I done fixed it all by myself

I fixed the line breaks issue. I can't explain why it's still double spaced and the wrong size, but at least the line breaks are back. Yay!

Such a Drama Queen

I'm terrible with goodbyes. Even temporary goodbyes. Part of it is just that I'm an overly weepy, emotional person in general. Personally I'd greatly prefer a person who you know is going to miss you because they are crying hysterically, than a person who says goodbye in a calm, dignified manner and you aren't quite sure if they'll notice that you're gone. But that's just me. I say this because Danny left for LA for a business trip, and I acted like he was shipping off to Iraq for a year.

I think part of the reason I get so emotional about this is because my mom kind of raised me to be aware of mortality. She told me once to say goodbye to people as if you will never see them again. She'd keep messages of my father when he was out of town, just in case. It's a wise lesson, but I think it's made me a bit neurotic. Especially since Danny's father passed away, I've been a lot more paranoid about death. On the plus side I'm much less scared of dying myself, which was a prevailing neurosis before. Unfortunately, I'm much more afraid of my loved ones dying. Turns out it's easier to lie awake at night wondering about your own demise than it is to imagine your loved ones dying everytime they leave the house. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a wee bit crazy.

Friday, January 4, 2008


So, last year we got married. And, like, a month before our wedding we both forgot to renew our lease. Then Danny decided we should try to buy a house. A month. Before. The wedding. We frantically bid on three houses, gradually getting more and more expensive and out of our price range. As we were driving home from our realtor's house after bidding on the last house I got into a head-on collision and my car was totaled. At that point we decided that whatever divine deity is looking down on us did not want us to buy a house a few weeks before our wedding. Instead this deity wanted us to rent a house and move all our belongings two weeks before the wedding. Can you picture this? Stressed out bride. Planning a big wedding on a small wedding budget. And packing. And moving. And trying to persuade her beloved fiance that it was probably more worthwhile for him to help pack than it was to personally carving ice sculptures for each table.

We waited a year, decided that what we really wanted was a unique fixer-upper in a nice area that we could work on together. Today, we signed the paperwork to officially buy a house. It's a four bedroom house with an Arizona room and a fireplace on over 2 acres. It's close to work and to downtown. We somehow managed to beat out five other bidders. It's definitely a fixer-upper, with graffiti and walls painted half baby pink and half prison-grey. But the structure of the house is good, and we get to turn the house into exactly what we want.

Sometimes, life works out for the best. Even if it involves a near death experience and utter pre-wedding panic.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Waiting Game

I hate waiting for things. I am a very anxious person on a normal day, so waiting allows me to conjure up all kinds of hideous scenarios. If Danny is twenty minutes later than I expected, I start imagining fiery car accidents. If I don't get a return phone call right away, I picture the person staring at their caller id thinking "God, Mia called. I hate her!" And right now it seems all the things I'm trying to accomplish involve waiting. I made extremely, ridiculously belated efforts to reach out to some friends that through my own weirdness managed to avoid talking to. Now I'm waiting to see if I get emails from them, or if they have finally given up and written me off completely. We put a bid in on a house, and we're waiting to see if it's been accepted. I need to re-arrange my class schedule, but have to wait until school starts. In the meantime it feels like I have a thousand pounds sitting on my shoulders.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

freaking blogger errors!

Okay, blogger is on the verge of losing me as a non-paying customer. Every time I post the font, spacing, and formatting changes randomly. I posted this problem on the help bulletin board, and someone said I need to learn freaking programming and code stuff JUST TO POST A BLOG. It should not be that complicated. Livejournal manages to preserve font and spacing. Hell, MYSPACE manages to. That list I have below? It should be spaced out. LIKE A LIST. I should not have to dabble in computer science to make blogger do something that any word processing program can do.
ERG!!! (that erg of frustration should be on it's own line. After I push the publish button it probably won't be. )

Cliched New Years Post

Despite the fact that resolutions seem doomed to fail, I like to make them. In fact, I actually do a good job at keeping them, for the most part. Except the losing weight one. That one never works. For anyone. That having been said, my new year's resolutions:
1. Lose Weight (I wrapped it in a pretty package of "feel better about myself and more comfortable with my body. But that boils down to "lose weight")
2. Broaden my personal horizons. I need to have interests and activities outside of school and work.
3. Stop cutting people out of my life. I'm sensitive. My feelings get hurt, and I have a pathological fear of returning phone calls. This adds up to a smaller circle of friends for no reason except my neuroses.
4. Do the traveling we keep saying we're going to do before we have kids.

Not a bad list, right? I think it's manageable. Here's to a bright new year, full of possibilities.