Sunday, January 27, 2008

Friends are like Food Trends

I had a Seinfeld moment the other day and tried to remember it and forgot it. So I'm publishing the remnants of my recollection. Or would that be the memory of my collection? Jerry Seinfeld - a comedian who makes a fortune with his "observational humor" is a gazillionaire. Some of his stuff is funny, but it doesn't last forever. His latest brainchild "Bee Movie" was a total bomb both critically and at the box office.
Feel free to comment your own versions of this idea. My blogger friend, Bex, would probably kick this idea's butt. I'm tired so maybe more, randomly, later. Oh, and please remember, this is observational humor. It is not intended to stereotype anyone or anything... except, well trendy food. And pets DO look like their owners sometimes. :-) So NO freak outs.

Friends are like food trends. Today we are all being pulled into many crazy directions regarding food: Organic, whole grain, natural, low carb, etc. We all were being hammered on convenience foods: Minute rice, Skillet sensations, etc. Then there was a shift to low carb. Then whole grain and ultimately "whole foods". Is Whole Foods Market behind all this insanity!? I see a clear comparison to today's modern relationships. Not that I'm an expert, but think about it.

Have a friend at the gym whom you only talk to at the gym? That's your low-cal friend. Low maintenance with low yield friendship and bonding. Can be fun if you pair her with the right outings just like low cal food. Can be good if it's right. Otherwise, kinda boring and not enough to hold you till lunch.

Got a friend who is pretty and rich? That's a carb only diet right there. Lots of fun, but you pay for it in the end. After all who can be compared to a skinny bitch who's idea of getting drinks means $15 martinis. Hers are usually paid for by men hitting her. You, you pay for it. Same with high carb diets. It's fun, but costly. (meant with all respect ).

The friend who gives birth naturally, without drugs, or cursing-- oh and has no problem being unshaven. An inspiration and healthy for your guts. However, too much fiber can make one gassy. Just like this friend. You can just have too much overshadowing. You find yourself not eating meat, even tho you're definitely NOT vegetarian. You volunteer in an organic community garden, write letters to your senator about pot legalization even tho you don't smoke pot. Good for your guts, but too much. Too much fiber... but somethines are all flushed down the thrown :-)

OK, so you see where I've gone with this... Swing and a WHIFF! Darn it, ever since I started painting I've been losing my snarkiness. Someone open a can of whup ass on me! I suppose in food speak that would be something spicy. OK, now I'm done.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Veins, veins!

DISCLAIMER: This blog entry contains graphic photos of my procedure. There is some blood, but it's not too gross. I was awake the entire time and watched the procedure. The squeemish should merely squint at the photos or ignore them altogether.

Here I am the day of surgery. No hair, makeup primping done. But geesh a little paint on the barn wouldn't of hurt. I had to slip into something more comfortable. Meaning, a pair of paper shorts (size small) that Homer Simpson would be comfortable wearing. Enormous.

The moment has finally arrived! I got EVLT (endovenous laser therapy) and Microphlebectomy (removal of superficial vein) performed on my left leg! No more aching, throbbing legs (after standing for long periods) and bulging varicose veins! Woohoo!

So what happened? Well, I received numerous shots of saline/anesthetic around my saphenous vein (inside left leg). A catheter was inserted in my vein followed by a laser wire. The doctor pulled a trigger and the laser collapsed the unfunctional vein.

Phase two: More shots, more shots, deep ones (ouch) and then microphlebectomy. Tiny cuts (we counted 30 - play that as a Lotto number!) were made on my leg and the varicose vein was pulled up with a hook (not dissimilar to a crochet hook. More of a loop on the end, smaller & titanium). The veins were pulled up and clamped. Then yanked out. Yes, they were yanked, I felt some of them, but the anesthetic did a pretty good job. No stitches were required just a bunch of steri-strips that will fall off in a couple weeks. I have to do my right leg at a later time. It looks like was stabbed a bunch of times down my leg. The legs is covered in steri-strips, guaze, bandages and one tight compression stocking (see photo above).
I snuck home a piece of the vein that was yanked out! I showed my friend, Roxanne, who generously picked me up at the hospital afterwards. Yeah Wox! She's adventurous. I asked her "do you want to see a piece of my vein". She replies confused "you have it here?" I say "yes, right here in a piece of guaze". "OK", Rox confidently proclaims. She must be a good friend.

Dr. Heron Rodriguez at the Vein Clinin at Northwestern Hospital joked I could take home the extracted veins and make fajitas! I laughed very hard out loud. That would be a really dirty joke. I'll have to remember next time I need to give a little payback. It's not grisle, it's one of my old varicose veins. haha. I'm laughing out loud as I read this. I'm funny - and slightly evil. We had a bunch of laughs during my procedure.

Cosmetically my varicose veins weren't that bad (in my opinion). I certainly wasn't going to allow it to prohibit me from wearing shorts in the summer. Sheesh, big deal if my legs didn't look perfect. It's hot. Just not that vain (had to get that joke in again).

It's about 5 hours post op and I feel fine. My leg is sore from all the tiny cuts. Honestly, I'm suspicious that the laser treatment even happened. I don't feel any soreness deep in the leg. Although I will say that when they zapped me, there was a mild taste of burnt rubber in my mouth. They said that was normal. Ew.

Hopefully this will all pay off and I will no longer have pain in my legs. Thanks to BCBS of IL for picking up the tab (after months of waiting for pre-approval with a disclaimer that they still can reject the claim. Whatever. How can they say, "we approve benefits" while at the same time say "coverage may be denied". I saved all the documents they sent to me just in case it gets ugly. But I'm optimistic. I'll keep you posted on the healing. No pain meds, just anti-inflammatory meds.

Stick a Fork in her but she ain't done

As a follow up Marion Jones' appearance on Oprah the other day. What a lucky break for Marion. She is very chatty and, I felt, evasive. There's some love lost between us. I don't quite trust her. She did not admit (again) that she has used steroids. She said she came clean because she could no longer live with the burden of deceit. Hmm, that sounds somewhat self centered. (although OK, in my book).
What needs to be clarified is this:
1) Check fraud.
How did her implication of a check fraud scheme get clumped into a charge of larceny? Is she also guilty of check fraud? If she is, then I think may she needs to do more time, no? I'd like to hear from someone she ripped off.
2) How long did she take steroids and how is she trying to reconcile with her fellow relay team members who were stripped of their medals and records?
I guess I'll find out next Christmas when Marion is out of jail. I think by then, we won't care. I feel bad for her kids tho. No Mom for quite some time. Perhaps the millions she collected from check fraud will make them comfortable.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Misogyny at Work - Marion Jones is going to Prison - OJ still Free but not on the loose

When I was a girl my mother made it a point to briefly articulate the difference between jail and prison (yep, just one of those moments of maternal bonding). Jail being a temporary, few days to years, holding area. People in jail are a bit happier and less squirrelly. Prison being a long term facility with "lifers" and with all it's emoluments (new vocab word for me - thanks Cobalt Blue). Jail is a tolerable place, while prison intolerable. At least according to my mother who, as far as I know, has never been interred in either. Notice how I left myself out of that line of logic ;-)

Marion Jones, the world-class champion track and field athlete was just sentenced to prison for 6 months for lying to Federal Prosecutors about taking steroids. Read about it here on CNN. This is after being stripped of all of her Olympic Gold Medals (I agree with this) and receiving hate mail and death threats from her relay team members who were also stripped of their once-in-a-lifetime gold medals. I recommend watching the video of her announcing her guilt. Gosh darn it, I believe her! She's sorry! And not in a whimpering "I don't wanna go to prison" sort of way.

Now, I am not a big fan of Marion. She's been walking around with her snout in the air. Fiercely and vociferously denying her use of steroids or the euphemism "performance enhancing drugs". Whhhhhutever! She lost her neck a few years ago and that had to be the sure sign of the 'roids. Now, she's guilty of lying and is paying for it. I should be happy that justice is served. But is it?

Hmmmff. How many MALE athletes have legally "been brought to justice". How many have even been pursued? I think that Marion Jones is being used as an example. Not as a poster-child for anti-lying campaigns or anti-drug initiatives. The message I'm hearing, loud and clear is:
"LADIES, if you must be awesome athletes putting even men to
shame, you had better walk the path of the straight and narrow.
Otherwise, a judge in White Plaines, NY is gonna lock
yo' ass up and smack
you down".
I think my, unintentional, reaction is due to a personal experience. I was a college volleyball player, on a scholarship no less (I did not take steroids--hehe). Not an athletic superstar. More like the Little Engine that Could. As a team we traveled all over Southern CA in cars and vans and had a $5 meal stipend. The football team, however, had a "no cut policy". They got driven around in air conditioned mega buses and got a stipend of $20. They could get fries with the shake. Or more like it, a baked potato and dessert with that steak. This was in 1989. Any boy could play football and get a good meal out of the deal. There were 12 women on the volleyball squad - with a winning record (in 1991, the team was 3rd nationally in the NAIA). I'm sure the administration had heard of Title IX but it wasn't enforced. I recall writing letters to the athletic director and President of the University to no avail (ignored actually). The boys just got a better deal. No, they did not pack the stadium with paid spectators (in case you wanted to argue that point). Heck, we usually had more people at the women's volleyball games than the football team. I'm sure it was our uniform bottoms, aptly named "bunners".

So now Marion Jones is going to prison. She's guilty, no doubt. Her career as a professional athlete is completely over. She lied, she took steroids. She threw hissy fits about being innocent and the chick is guilty. Dumbass. I should be happy. I'm not. For some reason this just smacks of misogyny. I hate that I'm thinking like this because a crime was committed and prosecuted - end of story. I think all the male professional athletes who skated by their steroid charges should pay "maintenance" to Marion Jones and her kids as penance.

I'll say this tho. Marion's apology seemed very heart-felt and convinced me - a jaded ol' salt. She will rise from the ashes like a Phoenix. Furthermore, I want her to. Everyone loves a sincerely contrite wrong-doer. A repentant sinner. We all want and need redemption for various things (parking tickets, lying, cheating, ignoring a request for help, etc). Now that Marion has a solid helping of humble pie, she should learn to express her self truthfully... just like my 18 month old "I don't know". BTW, I don't take bribes but if you want to give me a baked potato and a steak I will adjust that balance misogyny and female manipulation. Hey a girl's gotta eat. Especially a hungry one.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Woz Up - psychotic rambling on the Wizard of Oz

Almost all of you have had "The Wizard of Oz" as an early childhood movie experience. Just recently it was on TV and my daughter, Indi watched it for the first time. She was really diggin' it. That is until the flying monkeys came on the scene. Indi wailed aloud and was very afraid that Toto would never find his way back his Dorothy and friends. I remember freaking out at the same part when I was a kid. Witches were no big deal for me. Just meet my sisters and you'll know why (juuuuuust kidding - they are reading this too). But the flying monkeys were freaky. Even to this day I marvel at how the actor moved. Was it an actor or a dressed up monkey. Kinda spooky.

Have any of you, throughout your life, encountered people whom you associate the main characters in the WOZ? Have friends or acquaintances who are reminiscent of the scarecrow, tin man, Lion or Wicked Witch? Glenda doesn't get much play in my imagination for some reason. We give the good credit to "the fairy Godmother", don't we. We don't say "I dodged that car accident by a hair. I must have a Glenda!".

As I've gone through life I've, unintentionally, found some friends that are "My Scarecrow, and My Cowardly Lion. There's no formal competition. It's merely the junction of emotional and crazy imagination at work. WOZ characters break down as follows: Scarecrow=wants a brain, gets a diploma, tin man= wants a heart, gets a watch, lion-wants courage gets a medal, Dorothy=wants to go home, wakes up from her coma in the Dustbowl.

I have My Scarecrow. He knows who he is (Dorothy will miss him most of all). I might have My Cowardly Lion. I'm not sure because I'm pissed at who it may be. I definitely have the witches (see a few paragraphs up --haha) but to date, no Tin Man. That's one of the Big Three. All represent some kind of unique connection to me and my life. It's completely arbitrary and inconsistently derived. As irony has it - the Scarecrow didn't need a brain as he was already very clever. The lion didn't need courage, he just needed some confidence. The Tin Man didn't need a heart as he was a deep feeler and sacrificed himself for his companions - as they all did.

My Tin Man hasn't sacrificed anything for me. He just seems to fit. Odd, I know. There is something emanating from this person that says Tin Man! Big, strong, hallow, shiny, and rusted frozen from the rain, rescused by a girl with a dog who uses his own oil can to set him free. A bunch of contrary characteristics honestly. Maybe that's how I've defined them... by the contradictions. If that's the case, you'd think I'd have more candidates.

What character are you in the lives of others?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Last night I lost my art show virginity - a group show no less. Before all the lechers start salivating, I'll clarify that I'm speaking about showing my paintings - landscapes - composed outside. Artistic nudity only. No flesh, flabby or otherwise, was exposed in the presenting of my work. Ok, I think I'm just digging myself deeper here.
I give major credit to the members of the PAPC-SW, headed by Dr. Rita Rogan, for a wonderful gallery event. It was lovely. Everyone was friendly, chatty and the refreshments were nice. The gallery itself just glowed. The paintings were well displayed and enjoyed by all. There were incredible paintings. I encourage everyone to visit the gallery. The exhibit goes through the end of the month. I also have to add that the location in downtown Joliet is extremely charming. It has a very smooth, comfortable and artsy pulse. I had no idea that existed in Joliet. The city is serious about revitalizing their arts scene. This was a great start.
On the lighter side, I was running late for this event. As a result, my two awesome, vivacious and raucous daughters joined me at the exhibit- waaaay past their bedtime. Those stinkers slept on the drive out and were awake the entire ride home! Fortunately, Rob attended as well and did a great job wrangling the stallions with help from a few friends. The PAPC-SW gallery's formal name is "Indigo Gallery". Well, so is my firstborn. Indigo was saying she was at "her gallery". It was so cute. She is beginning to read and recognized the spelling of her name on the leaflet. BTW, Indi is also wearing a dress that I designed and made for her! She chose to wear it in support of my big night. What an awesome kid! Just when I think she is just all demands and tantrums, she pulls an ace out her sleeve.

I had a lot of support that evening, to my great surprise (no offense anyone, but Joliet is "out there"). My mom, sister Abbey and nephew came by. My sweet friends, Rox and Laura S came together. And my in-laws showed up too. I think that's a spectacular turn-out considering they all drove from the city, or close to it.

I have no idea if any sales were made that evening, but there were definitely many worthy works of art worth plunking down your hard-earned cash.

On the personal side I'd like to add that my stud-painter friend Sergio Rocha was right. I should be showing my stuff. Skill and experience aside. Any painting, drawing or garment (I have a background in fashion design) should be shown to the public with pride. It's a humbling experience to do so but the returns are great. Toss that into Lola's lemon bag!

When I got home, I found that Indigo had baked a celebratory cake (she'd be a cupcake if she had the magical powers to do so). The inscription on the cake read "Mom Gallery". Aww, how sweet. I had cake for breakfast - and so did Indigo (Hmm, she's getting quite clever).