I really should be sleeping

But I just got my roommate assignments for College and I've been Facebooking and trying to find the two girls I'm going to be living with for the next X years (I'm in a triple).

Found one. She's from New Jersey. Far cry from the south, eh? Based on the phone number area code, I think the other girl's from up north, too. Think it'd freak them out if I brought a large confederate flag to hang above my bed?

P.S. Less than one month.

P.P.S. This time next month I will be in College City.

P.P.P.S. I really, REALLY need to get better at doing my own laundry.

P.P.P.P.S. Blog makeover coming. Stay tuned for changes.


A tremendous feat

Today I did jury duty. To sum it up: I was pleasantly surprised by how nice all the workers there were, given that they do the same shpiel every day, and sorely disappointed that I wasn't chosen for a high-profile and excitingly gruesome crime.

BUT. The highlight of my day?

I navigated downtown My City all by myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is almost as exciting as my grand successful haircut!!!!!

My City is quite large and, through the years of schlepping myself around town, I've learned to navigate it fairly proficiently. Except downtown. Downtown My City is a horrible mess of one-way streets and very small street signs. I hate it. I truly do.

Last weekend D. and I had to go downtown for something and we got so frustratingly lost (my fault) and annoyed that the following conversation took place:


and, at another point on that same day, consumed with trying to figure out which way was where and why and how, I took off driving with my emergency blinkers on, exasperating poor D. to near tears.

It is a good thing D. is a kindhearted person. A less patient soul would have kicked me out of the car LONG ago.

ANYWAY. On my way into jury duty (at the crack of dawn), I followed someone to the courthouse, got there in record time and all was well. But on the way home I was on. my. own.

I had google-mapped directions, but those have been known to fail me (i.e., I accidentally skip entire lines of the directions and end up hopelessly befuddled). So I was pretty much relying on my gut and little knowledge of downtown My City's layout.

And I did it.

I did it, I did it, I did it! Come on, sing with me! This is big news, here!!!

Ahhh. I am so freaking proud of myself that I can hardly stand it.

Next up? Pupster Max needs shots at the vet. Poor guy.

OH! But the best part of my day so far? Meeting a guy today named Theodre (Thee-OH-druh) Digglebus. I kid you not.

Update on Max: The poor puppy had to have THREE shots, a poop and pee sample, heartworm test AND blood drawn. Below is the picture of the "bandaid" they put on his arm for the blood draw :-)


A quirk about me

I am obsessed with used bookstores. I love them. Once, in April while I was in College City all by myself, I got supremely lonely. I walked a few blocks down and found an old bookshop that sold only used European history books. Not exactly my genre of choice, but I didn't care. I walked inside, inhaled the musty, old book smell, walked to the back and found a chair, sat down, pulled out my own book and read for two straight hours.

I covet books. I just love to have them surrounding me. I would live in a library if I could.

I usually only buy used books. And when I go to used bookstores, I buy the rattiest, most dog-eared copies of the books I can find. I love the books that are so beat up--imagining how many people have owned them before me, read the words and caressed the pages. People look at me like I'm crazy, but I love a good used book.

My beloved, well worn copy of Little Women with half its front cover ripped off (I didn't rip it, but it's almost 30 years old and after literally hundreds of times being read, it started to disentigrate) and its spine held together with packing tape. Once someone told me it was a shame to treat books that way. I disagree--it shows how much they're loved.


A post of pictures

Do you guys know just HOW HARD it is to take a picture of your hair while covering up your face? Yeah. It's not easy. So...the pic of my hair isn't the best, but it gives you a general idea of the cut without showing my face. It's kinda creepy, I know, but WHO CARES.

My new 'do:

(In case you're wondering, the colorful beaded bracelet I wear is a cancer awareness bracelet in honor of my cousin.)

Also, my camera was misbehaving and not focusing correctly. So I did what I could to take pictures of my new ring (the new one is the bottom ring--I wear a stack of three. The top is a small diamond band that I got for my high school graduation, the middle is my Paloma (peace) ring, which D. also has, and the bottom ring is the one made from the leftover bracelet diamonds.

Annnnnnd the bracelet (which is even blurrier, I'm afraid):

So there you have it! Haircut, ring and bracelet. My job with Boy and Girl was cancelled this afternoon so I don't have anything much to do. Love that! Lula is sitting in her cage beside me very happy because I gave her a piece of spinach. Pupster Max is snoring on the floor. I've got a new book to read and I couldn't be happier! (OH, plus D. is coming over later. We've recently discovered online Bingo and are hooked. It's an addiction, we know.)


A momentous occasion


I have big news.

Something happened yesterday that has never ever happened to me before.

I honestly did not think it ever would.

It was amazing. It still is.

I got a haircut I actually like.


I hate having my hair cut. I get all nervous and sweaty-palmed because what if I don't like it? It takes forever and a day to grow back! My hair! My gorgeous hair! WHAT IF THEY PERMENANTLY DAMAGE MY HAIR? I always wait until I just can't stand it anymore to have it cut. It is a problem, I know.

Recently I found a guy I liked to cut my hair...I mean, I hated how my hair looked right after he cut it but a week or so later it was okay. Anyway, I desperately needed a haircut and so I finally resigned and scheduled one for yesterday.

I was so nervous.

I got there and signed in and waited. And waited. And waited.

About 20 minutes later I went back up to the desk and asked if he'd be ready for me soon. Problem was...nobody knew where he was. The receptionist called him and guess what! He was at home. Asleep. Oops, huh?

They told me they could find someone else to cut my hair, and since I am even more cheap (won't pay to drive the 25 mins to get my hair cut twice if I can help it) than I am afraid of haircuts, I said okay. They sent out a young woman with absolutely insane hair. I could feel my heart rate rise dramatically.

"Hi, I'm JJ," she said.

She promised to be gentle.

She led me back to her chair, sat me down, and asked me what I wanted. I told her, vaguely gesturing to this and that, peppering my description with "But I'm really, really nervous and very conservative and scared about my hair so PLEASE nothing crazy!"

And then she started.

An hour and fifteen minutes later, it was done. I unclenched my fists and slowly opened one eye. And then the other.

And then my heart swooned.

I LOVED IT. I was so happy! Even today, now, 24+ hours later and I've shampooed and dried it all on my own, I still love it! It's just utterly and ridiculously cute, if I do say so myself.

So I tip my hat to the gods of Fate, thank them for sending me JJ, and go to sleep a happier woman.


Somebody's in trouble...

That's right. Pupster Max is in t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

While in my room earlier tonight, I heard a crunching sound coming from underneath my bed. Mmmhmm. Max was crouched down in the far corner chewing on something. I was a bit worried because yesterday he left a (live) baby possum on the carpet and I was freaked that he was chewing little tiny animal bones.


Once we had lured him out from under the bed, I saw what he was chewing was small and pink.

Small and pink...

That's vaguely familiar...

What could that be?

No way--it couldn't be that. I never put that where he can reach it!

Oh god. Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no, EW.


It was my (several hundred dollar) retainer.

Ohhhhhh, Maxxxxxxx...whoooo doggy was he in trouble. Luckily he didn't break it or even damage it--it's just really, really gross to think I'll have to put that back into my mouth. Yeah, yeah, dog mouths are cleaner than human mouths, I DON'T CARE. IT'S STILL GROSS.

What's the grossest/most weird thing your dog/cat/bird/obscure animal has ever eaten or drug in?


Tick, tock (ooooh, bahahaha)

Major props to ANYONE who can name the song that the title comes from!

Holy crap, y'all...I've got about a month and 9 days. Until I move. Several thousand miles away. Holy crap.

Everyone is asking me if I'm just so excited, and I really am, but nervous too. I've known what I wanted to do when I grew up for approximately 7 years, but now it's changing every other day. I'm looking at bedding and winter coats online--I don't know the first thing about winter, but I guess I'll learn! Holy crap!

On a side note, I really should become more confident at doing my own laundry. *sigh*

A month and 9 days.

I've specifically been avoiding counting the days until I leave because whenever I do that, time flies faster. Y'all, this summer has flown by. This entire year has flown by! Holy CRAP.

A few more things:

1) I had an entirely relaxing and indulgent weekend. Yes, you may hate me. How was yours?
2) I got the ring and the bracelet in (finally)! I'll post pictures in soon.
3) How am I going to leave the city in which I grew up and move to a city in which I know NO ONE??? (Well, I think several of you blog-readers live there. Which, even though I don't know you, does make me feel better.) How am I going to survive several weeks at a time without beating D. at Yahtzee?!?!?!? (Though we did go to Target yesterday and buy a small Webcam. I suppose we can play over the computer?)

Holy crap.

A month and 9 days.

A month and 9 days.

A month and 9 days.

Holy crap.


Darn blogger! But happy birthday, D!

I wrote this two days ago to post yesterday, but I messed up on the part where you can write in the post date. Shoot! Anyway, here goes.


D is the best friend anyone could ever ask for. Dr. C. called her my Xanax. I concur.

Happy birthday, girlie! And many more!


S'il vous plait

Do any of y'all speak French? It doesn't have to be perfectly...heck, I'm rusty at best. But if you do, will you e-mail me? I'm looking for an 'e-mail buddy' to pratice my written French with. (Address to the left.) Merci beaucoup.


Breathe in, and relax

I'm doing much better lately. Thank you for all your well-wishes...I do believe they helped. My yucky sick symptoms have started to decrease (I'm no longer waking up feeling like I'm going to toss my cookies! Woohoo!) and I'm getting my energy back with the help of some MAJOR iron pills. Plus, with the help of Dr. C., my anxiety has started to subside, too. And the icing on the cake? D. comes home today from Europe! She's been gone for 2 weeks, which is entirely WAY too long for me to go without a major Uno tournament.

Work has swallowed me this week (the admin. assistant stuff, not nannying) so I don't have anything really exciting to report. But I did want to let you know I'm feeling better. :-)


I've still got it!

Last night I babysat for a new family. (They loved me. The kids clung to me as I left. I know, I'm fabulous, I really am.) They have two little girls, Stella and Ivy. We built a fairy house in the backyard and dressed up the dog. Both girls played fabulously--for a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old, that's saying something. As they ate their dinner, I commented on how well they shared with each other.

"I know!" Stella said. "We're good for you but never for our mom."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because we're polite," she answered.

Works for me.


Tell me honestly

Have you ever seen a cuter picture?



I've been laying low, these past few days...struggling physically with illnesses that just won't go away and which lead me, in a panicky state, to consider a myriad of "what ifs." Struggling emotionally with even more what ifs. I am not myself, lately, which frightens me...but know that I am working (and not working alone) to bring myself round again. But I am here.


And the last word is "love"

We went to church today to see Kathleen. I was expecting her to be frail and weak...but she looked fabulous. Strong and healthy. You'd never know she was so very sick inside. She told us the "one-last-chemo-hope" treatment the other day helped her to feel a lot better today. I was so happy about that. We also got to see her sweet little 4 1/2 year old boy who, like his mother, is vivacious and so full of life.

I think we're going to try to get together for dinner sometime soon. But in the back of my mind echoes the thought, What if we plan for a dinner...and she doesn't make it til then?

Though the service today wasn't really my thing, her sermon did touch me. One of the things she said really resonated with me as being utterly, truly her--the very essence of her being. She was quoting some scripture (forgive me, I can't remember or keep track of which one) which ended with, "And the last word is love."

That gave me a feeling of peace with this whole crummy situation. Kathleen is leaving us far before her time...but gracefully, and so lovingly. The last emotion she will feel will be complete and everlasting love.


And yet, a ray of hope

I did receive some very, very good news today. My Uncle Dave got his PET scan results in, and there's zero cancer. That's right--it's ALL gone! We're thrilled and once again the roller coaster that is LIFE continues.


Why do all the good people have to die?

Today, I received devastating news about a family friend; one who, though we haven't spoken a lot in recent years, probably had the single most profound impression on my life as a child, besides my parents. Today, cancer has ravaged her body and destroyed any hope of seeing her son reach his next birthday. Today, though they tried one last round of chemo in the hopes of prolonging her--what? suffering? life?--her, there is little hope.

I'd known she'd been sick. After her initial (grim) diagnosis, shocked as we were, we were confident that she would pull out of this. Such a good person...one who has literally touched the lives of thousands of people during her time as a minister. Her husband told us that, physically ill as she is, she insisted upon working a full day at church today. That's her. Always serving other people. I don't consider myself to be particularly religious, but around Kathleen...religion is beautiful. It is love, all love, so much love. There is so much love that just surrounds her. When you are with her, friend, enemy, stranger--you cannot help but feel the love.

As I heard the news today, my first thought was, Why do all the good people have to die? Kathleen is young, my father's age...she has a small son, one who was so wanted and is so, so loved, who will now have to grow up without his mother. I cry for her son. I cry thinking about Kathleen having to leave her son. I can't imagine having to leave my baby behind, to not be able to watch him grow up. I can't imagine growing up without this incredible person in my life, in his life...I hope, hope, hope he can remember her. She is an amazing person.

She is preaching at her church this Sunday. I'll be there, to hug her and to love her, as will so many other people whose lives have been touched by this magnificent woman. The doctors have said only weeks left...and if that is how it will be, I turn to prayer for peace for her and for her family. For her husband, who will not only lose his wife but have a small child to care for. For her sweet baby boy, whose life will be a sadder place without his mother. For Kathleen, who lived more than most people did, but still has so much living left to do! I am sad, it is sad, it is so very, very sad.

Tonight I made peach cobbler. I mashed up the peaches, one by one, almost theraputic in rhythm, and the peach juice dripped sticky-sweet to the floor like the tears that fell down my face.

Why do all the good people have to die?

I thought I was getting over it

I went through some old papers I had lying on my desk tonight.

There was a stack of reciepts.

One was from this time last year--the local aquarium.

A fish-shaped cheeze pizza, a kids milk, a house salad, and a water.

E. and me.

And I cried.



So today I spent a while at the local jeweler's talking about getting a bracelet resized. I just got it last week--it's a nice one, passed on from my beloved great-aunt who died a few years ago. Gold and teeny-tiny diamonds. It's way too big and falls off my wrist easily. The jeweler recommended that I take off 6 links, which I expected. I had been planning to use the leftover diamonds and turn them into a ring, cause, gosh, I love diamond rings. It wouldn't be anything flashy, just a little white gold band with the six diamonds in a row.

Total cost of everything: about $250. Ouch. With college looming, I don't exactly have a lot of spare change--I'm definitely on a budget. But with the number of extra jobs I'm picking up this summer (i.e., dog sitting for D. while she's in Europe) I will have some extra cash. I had almost justified going for it in my mind...until I saw this on Post Secret.

After spending several moments feeling incredibly guilty about wanting to spend $250 on fixing a bracelet and getting a ring, I decided to stop moping and do something. I'm going to make a donation to Hopeline, and I hope you'll think about doing so, too. Doesn't mean I'm not getting the ring--but I'm more than willing to sacrifice other things in order to give where it's needed. What about you?