Monday, August 25, 2008


I am on call tonight, and I'm waiting for a doctor from Northwest Hospital to call so that I can bully him into admitting one of our kiddos. I was also planning on lightening my hair tonight (I prefer the term "lightening" to "bleaching" or "coloring" don't you? It sounds more natural and less like I'm about to pour a bottle of floral scented peroxide on my head). However, I know that approximately 20 minutes after I cover my head in chemicals, right around the time I have to rinse it off or risk going bald, the crisis phone will ring and I will have to argue with a doctor over the sizzling sound of my scalp burning.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Two Things I Love

Babies and animals

About a year into my current job as a social worker I thought to myself "at least animals just eat their young. They don't torture and neglect them for 18 years and then set them loose to wreck havoc on themselves and society". This job has made me somewhat cynical. But apparently I was wrong- they take better care of our babies than we do.

But there are some stories that still give you a little hope that maybe we aren't all that bad.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Why can't I have normal injuries? A broken arm, a ruptured appendix, a sprained ankle- all normal and easily explained. A swollen ligament in my pinky finger? Not so much. A sprained wrist as a result of running away from an angry javelina? That note from my mother went in my permanent school file because my teacher was so entertained by it. And now I am deaf in one ear. See, Danny had to take a test in Phoenix in order to get a promotion, and he got a free hotel room at the Pointe Hilton. I had that day off, so I went with him in order to partake in unlimited free cable and swimming in their luxury pool.
NOTE: This is the point in the story where ear wax comes into play. If you are grossed out by stories about ear wax, you should probably stop reading.

I, in general, do not produce much, if any, ear wax. It has never been a major concern in my life, probably falling below changing the oil in my car and dusting the baseboards in the list of things I worry about. However, once I went swimming in the luxury pool at the Hilton, this all changed. Because I woke up the next morning and I was deaf in my right ear. Totally deaf. A trifle panicked, I went to the "Minute Clinic" at the local CVS, where the lady immediately sprang into action by taking my blood pressure and my temperature. I always wonder about this- why do doctors insist on taking your blood pressure when you're there for something that has nothing remotely to do with blood pressure?

However, she finally got around to sticking that little ear examiner-thingy into my ear, and proceded to try to insert the entire thing, handle included, into my ear.
"Oh, does that hurt?" she asked. I don't know what tipped her off, except maybe for my shriek of pain and attempt to punch her in the face. Clearly pain didn't concern her, because then she tried to insert the ear examiner thingy even further into my ear. By the time she was done I felt like that kid in the Freddy Kruger movie who had the four foot long q-tip shoved through his skull. And it was at this point that she announced that swimming had caused ear wax to get stuck to my ear drum. Oh, and she could have irrigated it and fixed the problem right there, but now it was looking "irritated" and I would have to put olive oil in my ear for a few days instead. Yes, olive oil. She has mistaken my ear for pasta. I bit my tongue, resisting the impulse to remind her that it certainly wasn't irritated BEFORE she inserted a 9 inch long instrument into my ear, and that I didn't care if it was irritated I WANT TO HEAR THINGS.

This all means that for the last two days I've been having to ask people to talk into my "good" ear like I'm an 80 year old spinster who is too proud to wear a hearing aide. I refused to use olive oil, and instead bought the most toxic looking ear drops I could find at the pharmacy.

Maybe I'll have people sign my ear with get well messages like people sign casts. Maybe then I'll feel more normal.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Slime Pit

The many readers of this blog (my mother, and my father when she prints out the entries and hides them in his newspaper in the morning so that he ends up reading them thinking, in his pre-coffee haze, that the New York Times is suddenly overly preoccupied with pomeranians) have followed the saga of our house renovations. From the initial excitement of having our very own domicile, to the entertaining discoveries of tiny skulls in the rafters and multiple layers of hideous linoleum, to the self inflicted injuries, you have been there. One thing you haven’t heard about? My backyard. My hideous backyard. My bizarre backyard, with the cement pit in the center and the square dancing area (yes, I said square dancing). We have two dead trees and a lot of weeds. I’ll bet that you’ve read my accounts and thought “gosh I wish there was a way I could help Mia with her house.” Well, guess what? Your dreams can come true. You can help us with our backyard without even raising (or maiming) a finger simply by going to

registering to vote, then going to pag 22 and locating our submission titled "The Slime Pit" and voting for us. We could win a $30,000 makeover of our backyard, which means that we would have a pool instead of a slimy ecosystem, and an outdoor kitchen instead of a greasy barbeque grill.

So has anyone else been watching the Olympics? We have been, primarily because we don't have cable so the Olympics are really all that's on. Thus far we have seen:
Water polo- Men playing soccer in the water. We were exhausted just watching it.
Fencing- Women dressed as astronauts with swords. They screamed an inordinate amount considering they weren't actually being stabbed with swords.
Gymnastics- Men who are more flexible and have less body hair than I do.
Swimming- This was interesting for me. We watched the now famous men's 4x4 relay race when the US beat the French by something like one stroke. Now, I'm not the most patriotic person, nor am I the most competitive person. But when I heard that the leader of the French team had said "we are here to smash the Americans" I found myself screaming at the TV like a full blooded Texan. I even referred to the French team as "frenchies". As in, "you show those smug frenchies!" And I laughed in glee as the French person bowed his head and cried. I felt like I was in an Olympic Visa commercial, high fiving my husband and bursting with feel-good US of A bloodthirsty competiveness.

And just think- in four years, if we win that backyard contest, I could be lying in a pool, eating a big bloody steak cooked in our outdoor kitchen, drinking a margarita, and cheering on our Olympic team in true American style. I will even be wearing a flag themed bikini, and possibly a cowboy hat. But only if you vote :)