My year in review. So, we’re almost into 2004. It seems like 2003 went both really really incredibly slow and amazingly fast at the same time. I would call my 2003 neither good nor bad – I’d mostly call it a wash. Bad things happened, mostly cat-related things. Miz Poo had some seriously major surgery, and I thought that we were going to lose her. She did recover and she’s back to her old self, fat and sassy and taking no shit from that interloper, thank god. Spanky had a urinary tract infection, didn’t he? I seem to recall that, though at my advanced age the years do tend to blend into one another. Fancypants disappeared at the beginning of the summer and hasn’t been seen since. We hope that he found another family, one that thinks he’s absolutely the bee’s knees and doesn’t spank him for pooping outside the litter box. The hardest part of the whole thing is just not knowing one way or the other. If he was hit by a car or attacked by an animal and died as a result, I can handle it – I’d just really like to know. If he is dead (and I know it’s a possibility), I pray that it happened so fast that he didn’t have time to feel pain or to be scared. The thought of his being scared and suffering is what makes me want to cry. But if Fancypants hadn’t disappeared, we’d never have known the Bean, who has brought so much laughter into our lives. He’s the craziest little thing and he brought the older cats together in a way I never would have expected. They banded together to hate him, but after a while they didn’t hate him quite so much. I would say that they almost like him, even. I almost expect that in another year, he and Miz Poo will be snuggling on a daily basis. Or not. But a Momma can dream, right? Good things happened, too. Fred got and then fired an agent who considered him to be a stupid-ass bumpkin. He waffled for a while, and then decided to self-publish. We took out a big loan to pay for said self-publication, and at this point, we are thisclose to paying off said loan. He did publicity in hopes of selling the book. He was on the local news, in the local newspaper, on a radio station in Michigan, and he did an interview for a segment on The E@rly Show. Oh yeah, and he’s in Men’s He@lth this month, too. Once the loan is paid off and half of our current stock is sold, the next question will be whether or not to print another run. We waffle on that – sometimes yes, sometimes no. I took down my weight loss journal, and felt like a huge weight (no pun intended) had been lifted from my shoulders. I’m continuing with the eating right and exercising (though less so these past few weeks – ’tis the season, dontchaknow). I changed the front page where my weight loss journal had been. The stupid-ass bitches who whined and moaned about the fact that I had the temerity to express my own opinion (Dr. Phil has his face on supplements. That sucks.) and advertise the fact that I think everyone should buy a copy of my husband’s book so we can pay off that loan will probably whine and moan even louder when they see that page. Ask me if I think they should go fuck themselves. Did I mention that Fred wrote a book? And that I think you should all buy it? I have to say, I’m glad to see the ass-end of 0neFatBitchypoo. I met a lot of great people through that site, but I sure met a lot of assholes, too. Way more assholes than I’ve ever come across due to this site. Also, a fucking lunatic or two back in the spring, after someone stole a picture of me from that site and posted on a popular weight-loss forum pretending to be me. Good lord. One of the coolest things that happened is that I met my sister-in-law, who posts in the comments as Kate. Having no idea what to expect, I found someone who’s cool and funny and fits with my brother better than I could ever have imagined. (Do I sound like a total brown-noser, or what?) I got to see my brother for the first time in a few years, my nephew for the first time since he was three, and I got to meet my niece, whom I’d never met before. Very cool. The more I write, the more I start to think that this was a pretty good year, rather than just so-so. So as we head into 2004, I’m expecting great things. Not specific great things, just great things in general. My life is pretty damn good, so if everything just stays on an even keel, I’ll be happy with that.

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Hee! Fred took this picture of the spud, and that’s right – I’m posting it. I’m sure the spud would be horrified. The Bean gives y’all that sexy, smoldering look.