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9/11/14

by @ Thursday, September 11th, 2014. Filed under Life

"These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."

Rebuilding Ground Zero.

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2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003
2002
2001
2000

1/13/14

by @ Sunday, January 12th, 2014. Tags:
Filed under Life

Yep, yep. Still alive, despite the lack of blogging here (though I imagine you know where to find me to determine that I’m still alive, so that shouldn’t come as a shock to you.)

Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and gone, and the older I get, the more I just want the damn holidays to get done and over with and life to return to normal. I didn’t decorate the house for Christmas at all this year, which is either the second or third year in a row that that’s happened. I’m determined to put up a Christmas tree next year, though. I’ve got a tiny one that I can hang on the wall. I just like seeing the Christmas lights, you know? I did drag Fred out for a drive through a nearby neighborhood so I could see the lights.

ANYway. So, what else?

Oh, right. When I last posted, Fred had been working from home for about two weeks. It’s been, uh… another three-ish months, and it’s going pretty well. My favorite part of him working from home is that he’s home to deal with shit. We had internet issues (I swear to you, it feels like we are fucking FOREVER HAVING INTERNET ISSUES, though in reality it’s probably more like every couple of months) and the guy had to come and look at whatever the hell he had to look at, and since Fred was home, he got to deal with it.

I may never have to deal with another workman again. If Fred dies before me, I’m going to throw myself on the funeral pyre to ensure that I never have to smile like I have any idea what the cable guy/internet guy/delivery guy/dishwasher repairman/whoEVER is telling me.

Since Fred isn’t driving back and forth to work every day (and let me tell you, the down side to having him work from home is that I am 95% sure that I will NEVER EVER EVER have this house to myself again. Most of the time that doesn’t bother me, but every now and then I’d like to be able to swear at my computer at the top of my lungs without hearing his far-off irritated “What?!” because he thinks I’m yelling for him. I fucking swear to god, I’m going to put a shock collar on him and zap him every time I’m minding my OWN GODDAMN BUSINESS talking to a cat and he’s all “Whaaaaat?!” GET SOME FUCKING HEARING, MOTHERFUCKER.), I suggested to him that we trade in his old, piece of shit truck and one of the cars for a decent truck.

That old truck worked both our nerves every time we had to use it hauling pigs to the processor. We were 83% sure that it was going to break down on the side of the highway with two unruly pigs moving around in the trailer, and we’d be stuck there for hours waiting for help. It never did break down, mind you, but it certainly would have eventually. Plus, it smelled like a mixture of wet, moldy attic and ASS. I hated that goddamn truck. So we traded in that piece of shit truck and my car, because my car was starting to have transmission issues that no one seemed to be able to fix – when I’d come to a stop at a red light or stop sign or parking lot or you get the idea, the car would stop, and then LURCH forward about half a foot. We took it to a transmission place and they did something (fuck if I know) to it, and it was fixed briefly and then started doing it again. So I thought it made sense to trade in my car – the red Suzuki – and keep Fred’s car, which is a Hyundai something. The IDEA was that if we needed the truck to haul something, we’d have it. Otherwise, we’d use the car.

RIGHT.

Every time we go somewhere together, we take the truck. And let me tell you, it is a Chevy Silverado, with only the most basic shit, but to us it’s like SHEER LUXURY. It’s big, it’s roomy, it has XM Radio, it’s like A BED ON WHEELS, I love the shit out of it. I should say, I love riding in it. One day I had an errand to run and since the radio in the truck has Bluetooth capabilities, I thought I’d use it to catch up on podcasts. I got approximately 1/8 mile down the road, and turned around and came home. It is like driving a fucking HOUSE down the road. I was terrified. I was sure I was going to drive someone’s ass right off the road, and it didn’t help that the few cars I passed in that amount of time appeared to be giving me wide-eyed looks of terror and hugging the right side of the road.

I ain’t driving that thing. (On the up side, although it’s a gas guzzler, we only have to fill the tank up MAYBE once a month, because we really don’t go far when we DO go somewhere. Which means that the “It might be the last truck you ever need to buy!” I said to Fred could very well turn out to be true.)

Of course, now I’m wishing that I’d just learned to live with the shitty lurching Suzuki, because I hate the fucking shit out of this goddamn Hyundai. It’s a fucking MANUAL, and yes I can drive a manual just fine, but I HATE IT. Have you ever tried to drive through stop-and-go traffic in a manual transmission car whilst eating (attempting to eat) an Egg McMuffin? It can be done, but IT AIN’T EASY, and I dropped my goddamn Egg McMuffin on the floor and just about had a coronary, I was so pissed.

Me and my bright fucking ideas. (On the up side, it costs $25 to fill up the gas tank, which I have to do MAYBE every three weeks, depending on how many errands I’ve been running.)

Every time I drive the goddamn thing, I’m like “I just have to make it to next December,” because I’ve determined that I am getting a new car next year come Hell or high water. AND IT’S GOING TO BE YELLOW, GODDAMNIT. I have made one bad car decision after another, let me tell you – first I gave my wonderful yellow Suzuki Aerio to the spud, who drove it off to Rhode Island, and then I gave up my (less wonderful, but better than this goddamn Hyundai) Suzuki to drive this fucking Hyundai, and I’d say that next I’ll probably end up on a scooter EXCEPT THAT A SCOOTER WOULD PROBABLY SUCK LESS.

The Hyundai (I think it’s an Accent, but I don’t really CARE, because I hate the fucking thing so much) is a two-door hatchback. So imagine if I try to make a run to Sam’s before picking up two carriers of kittens to take home. CAN’T BE DONE.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at cars online, and WHY is it so fucking hard to find a yellow car that doesn’t cost a million dollars? JESUS.

Okay. I’m going to just go ahead and post this, because it’s after 10pm and I want to crawl in bed and read for an hour before I turn off the light BECAUSE THAT’S HOW I PARTY.

If I ever get my shit together, I’ll tell y’all how we have just given the fuck up and pretty much accepted that the house belongs to the cats (not sure why it took so long to figure that out.)

I’m not even proofreading this. Let me know if I’ve made any egregious errors.

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Previously
2013: He uses their love (of food) against them.
2012: No entry.
2011: “Well, because I have abnormally small hands.”
2010: So, random pictures. For you. Try not to be too excited.
2009: George and Gracie are home from the spaying and the neutering.
2008: Negative. Good news or sad news, I wonder?
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Y’all rock.
2004: So many books, so little time.
2003: Ah, good times.
2002: So, you know what I hate?
2001: No entry.
2000: I was a tad peeved.

9/11/13

by @ Wednesday, September 11th, 2013. Filed under Life

"These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."

Rebuilding Ground Zero.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

 

2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003
2002
2001
2000

9/8/13

by @ Sunday, September 8th, 2013. Filed under Life

Yeah, I know. It’s been almost 6 months since I wrote here, and the thing is that the longer I go without writing here, the less I want to write here (and when I was pretty much at a level of not wanting to write here to begin with, there wasn’t much lower to go.) I had decided to shut the site down, but I was hit with a wave of “But what if I want to wriiiiiiite theeeeeere” and sadness at the idea of shutting down when I’ve had this site for coming up on 14 years (good god, I really had to stop and do the math on that one.) So I’m giving myself ’til the end of the year to decide whether I want to keep the site going or not, or if it’s time to shut it down. Yeah, I know, you’ll miss it. But shit changes and you can always check in over at Love & Hisses and at Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza and on Facebook (even though I don’t post much on Facebook, but I assume that if I suddenly kick off Fred will post something over there. YOU’D THINK SO, anyway.)

Right after I posted last time, a whole lot of shit went wrong, one thing right after the other, the refrigerator needed fixing and then the cars started acting up (both of them, OF COURSE) and I don’t even remember everything that happened, it just was a lot to deal with, most of it costing money, but in and among all that other shit, Spanky started going downhill, and we had to deal with  trying to make him healthy and then trying to decide when the right time was to take him to the vet for the last time. I always tell people that they’ll know, that you’ll see it in their face, but we waffled so many times for poor Spanky, and then the day he went into the small bathroom off the computer room and just stayed there and didn’t want to come out, we knew. And he was such a good, sweet boy, right to the end. I know he lived a good long life and everything, he was almost 17 years old, but it still sucked of course.  Because he was really and honestly one of the good ones, and we’d had him longer than we’d been married, and even still every now and then I see a toy that I think Spanky would like, or a treat, and I forget for a minute that he’s gone.

I’d like to think that between Elwood’s death in December (from FIP, if you missed it) and Spanky’s death in April, maybe we’ll not have to go through that again any time soon, all the remaining cats are pretty young still (except for Miz Poo, who is 14 and I’m pretty sure she’ll live forever). But Elwood was only 3 and we were not expecting that at all, so who the hell knows?

Of course, Maxi, Newt, Joe Bob, Sugarbutt, and Tommy are all around the same age, so christ almighty. That’s going to be a fun few years when they hit old age.

We recently switched vets because although I really like the vet in Tennessee that we’d been using, it’s a half hour drive and I KNOW half an hour isn’t that bad a drive, but it seems longer sometimes. So I decided we’d try a vet 10 minutes from home, located in a strip mall next to the grocery store. I thought we’d have to try several vets in the area before we found one we’d like, but we really hit gold with this guy. He’s easy to talk to, he knows his shit, and we both really really like him. We’ve been taking one cat a month for their checkup, and it’s worked out really well. Of course, the first cat I took to him was Elwood, so in the first few months of being our new vet, he not only got to diagnose Elwood with FIP, he got to euthanize Elwood AND Spanky. Fun times!

(I should add that we did have a vet even closer to home, and Fred really liked him, but he’s a much older gentleman, and I think he’s pretty much phasing out his practice. If I’m to be blunt, we were afraid that he’d up and die on us.)

The biggest thing going right now (aside from the refrigerator shitting the bed, requiring that we buy a new one last weekend AND THEN the goddamn washer shitting the bed THIS weekend, I’m expecting the dishwasher to go next, but at least we could go a while without a dishwasher, NOT THAT I WANT TO) is that Fred has switched jobs and is now working from home. He’s doing, basically, the same kind of work (he’s a software engineer), but he’s gotten back the 5+ hours a week he was driving back and forth to work, so he’s saving on wear and tear on his car and saving on gas. The down side is that we turned my second foster room into an office for him, so I can only foster one litter at a time. I was chafing at the idea of losing my second foster room, but it took about two days of him working downstairs in the computer room where my computer is for me to be 100% behind him having a separate office for work where he wouldn’t be all up in my shit. And it took one screaming kitten fight during a conference call for him to put the kibosh on the idea of having kittens in his office.

So he’s been working from home for 2 weeks now, and it’s been going well. Most of the time he’s upstairs and I hardly know he’s there until he comes downstairs to get coffee. He’s enjoying the work, and I’m enjoying the fact that he occasionally WANTS to leave the house. Not that we’ve gone anywhere exciting, YET, but he’s a little more relaxed about running up in town to do errands, whereas before he would bitch and moan about leaving the house.

Another good thing about him being home working is that I can leave the house for several hours and not worry about it burning down while I’m gone. I mean, not that I worried THAT much about it, but now I really don’t have to.

So. I don’t know. There’s just not all that much going on with me. New refrigerator: we thought we were getting the one white; we got the black one. I think I like the black better – it’s actually smaller, overall, but has more space inside than the old one did. New washer is coming tomorrow, and I need to do 10,000 loads of laundry. Of COURSE it broke during the first load of the day when my plan was to do a fuckton of laundry and then hang it on the line to dry. And it being a perfect clothes-drying day and all. OF. COURSE. MOTHERFUCKER.

In conclusion, nothing exciting going on with me. I’ll try to write more often. I’m probably going to change the design of the site so that it doesn’t guilt me every time I look at it.

Oh, here’s something: I use Filezilla to upload pictures for Love & Hisses. I host the pictures you see on my own site, then link to the same picture at Flickr, because it’s become pretty obvious that I can’t trust Flickr to not change up their shit every few year. Pictures I linked to in 2005 were showing up as great big blank squares and I had to go back through and fix them, and hi. Do I look like I need more shit added to my list of shit I don’t particularly want to do, but needs to be done?

(I need an intern, is what I’m thinking.)

So I use Filezilla, which is a free FTP program, to upload the pictures. And I start the pictures uploading, and then I wander off to do something else, and I check to be sure the pictures uploaded correctly, and shut down the program. I never really looked at anything in the block of useless text Filezilla likes to throw at me, until the other night. Which is when I saw this:

FilezillaCanKissIt

Really, Filezilla? “Try typing a little faster next time”? How about you try fucking yourself next time, how about that? What the fuck with the fucking ATTITUDE? Who shit in your Corn Flakes? What the fuck? I think Filezilla needs a smack on the ass and to be sent to bed without dinner. Asshole.

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Previously
2012: No entry.
2011: We bought ducks.
2010: For today, feast your eyes upon the sheer gorgeous stripey perfection of the kitty known as Corby McGee.
2009: It’s like we’ve entered another universe completely.
2008: Yes, more chickens.
2007: No entry.
2006: I think that “Proven to be beneficial to livers” should be Fred’s new tagline.
2005: Give me some of that, Barbara Bush, you ignoramus.
2004: No entry.
2003: Because believe it or not, it never once occurred to me that the Walton family was comprised of hillbillies.
2002: Look, I drink a gallon of water a day. I need to know that I can pee when I need to, so stop rolling your eyes at me.
2001: No entry.
2000: Can I tell you how much I loathe Bret Easton Ellis?

3/25/13

by @ Monday, March 25th, 2013. Filed under Life

I know, I know – it’s been two months, I have no excuse. Well, I do have an excuse – I’ve been busy! – but it’s not a good one. 🙂

The truth is that the longer I go without updating here, the easier it is. You’d think after 13 years of updating five days a week I’d miss it, but I guess that since I’m still updating Love & Hisses five days a week, I don’t really notice the difference.

In the time since I last updated, I:

1. Attended my very first Weetacon. Green Bay, WI in February/early March? Yeah – it was REALLY FUCKING COLD. Also, in that fucking cold? A sleigh ride! Attending a gathering where I knew a lot of people online but had never met ANY of them in person was way wayyyyyyy out of my comfort zone. I was very nervous, but figured if worse came to worst, I’d hide in my room all weekend. But they were the warmest, most welcoming group of people ever, and that’s no lie. I never attended any of the JournalCons despite the fact that I desperately wanted to, and I imagine that Weetacon was pretty similar to how those went, only there was no drama. (Okay, there was no drama that I’m aware of – it’s completely possible that there was a ton of drama that went directly over my head.)

It is really really WEIRD to know people from their presence online, to see pictures of them online, and then meet them face to face. Because, generally speaking? People look like their pictures! It’s like, “Hey, don’t I know you?”

When I flew up there, I flew through Chicago, and I had spent so much time looking at the list of other people who were going to be there and memorizing their faces, that when I walked through the Chicago airport, I thought I might see one (or some) of them, and thus everyone looked vaguely familiar to me.

I met up with Jennette, who was flying from Chicago to Green Bay on the same flight as me. She texted me when she landed in Chicago and asked where I was, then I kept an eye out for her, and guess what? Her face on the internet and her face in real life? SAME FACE. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

We landed in Green Bay on time (possibly even a little early, it’s been almost a month I DO NOT REMEMBER), and along came our ride.

You might know her.

Yes, people, that is correct. After 10 years of being internet friends, I finally met Jane in real life. Jane, in case you were wondering, is tiny and adorable, and did you know she lost some weight? True story! It was actually Jane who convinced me to attend Weetacon by (1) talking about how much fun it would be, and (2) saying “Hey, you should come to Weetacon next year!”

(I know. She’s so pushy!)

Again, it was SO WEIRD to see her face and think “I know her!” because she looks like, you know, JANE. Am I the only one freaked out by this phenomenon where people I know online actually DO exist in the real world?

I won’t do a blow-by-blow description of the weekend, but I will say it was FUN, and though there was plenty of drinking going on, I had a strawberry daiquiri at dinner the last night I was there, and that’s all the alcohol I consumed, and I enjoyed myself greatly.

There was karaoke, and although I attended, I was too much of a chicken to actually sing anything despite Shae‘s best efforts at convincing me otherwise. But if I attend next year (which I want to!), I WILL get up there if it’s the last thing I do. (Maybe.)

There were classes on Friday, wherein I learned that (1) coloring is more work than I remember (I guess I shouldn’t have chosen such a big picture to color, duh) (2) I am too much of a confused butterfinger to crochet and (3) the learn-about-getting-published class headed by the fabulous Wendy McClure did not last nearly long enough.

I met a lot of people (I’m not going to list them, because I will forget someone despite my best attentions, and then I will feel like a complete asshole), but listen close, people. I’m going to say something amazing: THOSE PEOPLE DO NOT JUST EXIST IN 1s AND 0s IN SOME SORT OF CYBERSPACE SITUATION, THEY ARE REAL PEOPLE WHO WILL HUG YOU AND CHARM YOU AND THAT IS BLOWING MY MIND, STILL.

Here’s something else to blow your mind: I took three pictures the entire time I was there, because it didn’t even occur to me to take my camera out until the night before I left, I snapped three pictures (two of them blurry), and then put it away and didn’t touch it again. Weird, right?

So I’m stealing the picture Jane posted on Facebook to prove to y’all that Jane and I existed in the same general area for a weekend, and perhaps some day NANCE and Jane and I will be in the same area, but I cannot promise you that the world would not implode at that particular event (and also, Jane and Nance would totally gang up on me and mock me, YOU KNOW THEY WOULD).

RobynJaneWeetacon

If you have ever considered attending Weetacon but thought to yourself “I don’t drink and I don’t karaoke and they’ll all point and laugh at me”, let me tell you – they will NOT point and laugh at you (though they might laugh WITH you), they don’t give a shit whether you drink or not, and even if you don’t sing at karaoke, it is super entertaining to sit and watch.

The only thing I would have done differently: I would have started training myself to stay up later. I seriously could not keep my eyes open past 9 pm, and I missed some SERIOUS fun, from what I can tell!

2. My parents came to visit for a week, and they brought their wee dog Molly with them. Their Benjie passed away in September 2011.

Dsc09677

They adopted Molly last May, and this was the first time I was getting to meet her.

2013-03-11-03

I was a little worried, because – probably you didn’t know this – but we have cats? Like, a lot of them? And when my parents visited with Benjie, the cats were assholes to him? So I worried that they’d be assholes to Molly or Molly would chase them, or the existence of Molly in the house would cause a house-wide spraying epidemic, and my parents would realize what a pig sty we live in on a regular basis. But it was fine – there were a few incidents where Molly got too close to a cat, or a cat ran and Molly chased (“Why you run if you not want me to chase you?” Molly puzzled.), but pretty much everyone behaved themselves and we had fun. Probably anyone who ever comes to visit wonders why the holy hell I always want to go out to eat at, like, EVERY MEAL, but eating out is FUN. (We didn’t go out to eat for every meal, I DID cook. A few times. But yeah, there was plenty of eating lunch and/or dinner out.)

3. Back in April of 2008, I wrote about how I moved my bedroom from the big room on the first floor, to the big room on the second floor at Fred’s request. It bothered him to have us sleeping on separate floors because he was sure that, at any moment, someone was going to break into the house and kill me while he slept upstairs. So I moved upstairs, and I missed my room downstairs (which became the guest bedroom) ever since.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to Fred that I missed having my room downstairs. We started talking, and pretty soon we decided that we’d move me back downstairs to what was the guest bedroom, then we’d move him from his small room to the big room I’d vacated, and THEN we’d turn what was his room into a cat room/ second foster room for the times when we had two sets of fosters. It was silly to have one of the biggest rooms in the house taken up as a guest bedroom when we don’t have guests all that often. This way, when we do have guests, they’ll take my room and I’ll sleep in the cat/ extra foster room on a rollaway cot (that is yet to be purchased).

It took the better part of a week to get me all moved into my room, and to get our bathrooms switched so that I have the downstairs bathroom and he has the upstairs bathroom, and finally on Friday night we moved Fred’s bed into his new room, and we are all set. Fred hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep since, but I think it’s just a matter of time before he gets acclimated.

I, on the other hand, have slept like a baby ever since I returned to the downstairs. I can get up and wander around the first floor if I want to (though I don’t usually), without having to worry about bothering Fred. He has a desk and the recliner in his room, and that’s where he prefers to write (usually sitting in the recliner, but he has the desk as an option), so it works out well for us.

I’m not sure my fragile bones and weak muscles could take another move, especially moving the 600-pound monstrosity that is Fred’s bed. GodDAMN that thing is heavy as shit.

Um. I think that’s about it. What else did I want to mention?

I had a pregnant mama who had five kittens last Tuesday, though if you’re reading Love & Hisses, you already know that.

Nance and I have been posting at Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza and Nance and Rick have been working on the site design and I think it looks pretty damn awesome.

Fred’s been writing, and though he hasn’t published anything new, you can get the audiobook version of The Convert at Amazon and Audible and on iTunes. The audiobook for No Limit is done being recorded, but it’ll take a few weeks for processing or whatever the hell it is they do to it. He’s posted some interesting stuff from what he’s currently working on on his Author Facebook page, if you’re interested.

Okay, that’s it. I’ll try to update more often, but no promises!

 

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Previously
2012: No entry.
2011: So what I’m saying to you is that there’s an ugly wasp on the loose in this house, and he’s got murder in his heart and my name on his waspy little lips.
2010: This whole section right here is just flat-out NASTY.
2009: Scenes from around Crooked Acres.
2008: “My flabby sections” would be an excellent band name.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: The spud is officially licensed.
2004: Ain’t it always the way that when you call someone names in your journal, secure in the knowledge that they’ll never see it, they always do?
2003: (And before you say it, yes. You shouldn’t give a shit what I think, either.)
2002: Is it just me?
2001: No entry.
2000: If you knew you’d get $341 million for being treated savagely and cruelly for 7 years, would you do it?

1/24/13

by @ Thursday, January 24th, 2013. Filed under Life, medical crap

So, it’s that time of year when I try to cram all my yearly checkups into one month. I try to get them all in in January, since that’s my birthday month, and supposedly it’ll be easier for me to remember. My gynecological visit kind of bled (ha! ha!) into February, but once that’s over, I’ll be set for another year.

Oh actually, I won’t. I still have the mammogram to go through. They’ll make that appointment for me at my GYN appointment. Did I mention that last year after my mammogram they told me there were some differences from the previous year and I had to go back for another mammogram? I’m sure I didn’t mention it. I knew it would turn out to be nothing because I’d had a breast lift since my previous mammogram and was sure that was what was causing the differences. I got to go through another GODDAMN mammogram, and oh those things are just SUCH a joy.

On a side note, if you have the long, loose, floppy boobs, let me tell you here and now that mammograms with those long, loose, floppy boobs are 63,000 percent less painful than if you have firm ones. The floppy ones are easier to move around and position and such.

So I had the second mammogram and then they wanted me to stay for an ultrasound, and I was ever so pleased to do that. I’m pretty sure there’s not an inch of my body that hasn’t been ultrasounded at this point. Maybe my eyes. Do they do eyeball ultrasounds? So I’m used to it, and the only thing that stops me from dozing off is the fear that I’ll start snoring, and also I don’t want them to have to wake me up to turn over or move my arm or whatever, because how fun would that be for them, to have to poke me awake to change positions?

Medical procedures where there’s nothing being sliced off or needles being stuck in my body don’t phase me at all. I dozed off during an MRI several years ago and they had to wake me up to ask me to stop moving.

ANYway. So one of the yearly appointments is with Dr. Liver, ie my gastroenterologist who is 5 days older than me and who diagnosed me with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. Fuck off, spell check. Sclerosing Cholangitis is correctly spelled. Anyway, he diagnosed me with PSC in 2006 and I still don’t believe I have it, but you know. WHATEVS. All I have to do is go see him for three minutes once a year, have some blood drawn, and have an abdominal ultrasound so they can make sure my liver isn’t misbehaving.

This time when I saw him, he asked if I was still taking the medication (I reminded him that I wasn’t, since we’d decided I’d go off it last year because studies showed that the meds are USELESS) and then he asked when I’d had my last colonoscopy, and I bellowed “WHY ARE YOU STILL ASKING ME THESE QUESTIONS WHEN YOU HAVE MY ENTIRE MEDICAL HISTORY AT YOUR FINGERTIPS ON THAT LAPTOP.”

Okay, no I didn’t. I told him I thought it had been two years since I had the colonoscopy and everything was fine then. He frowned and said “I don’t remember what the protocol is for patients with PSC regarding colonoscopies. Is it every year?”

And I said “Well, no. Didn’t you read the latest study? Dr… Rob..erta, um… McAnderson published a paper that one colonoscopy per lifetime is plenty!”

He did not seem impressed with my medical knowledge.

“YOU should write that paper!” I suggested.

Still not impressed. He jotted a note to himself, and we moved on.

So I lived in fear that he’d call me up and say I had to have a colonoscopy and y’all, DO NOT WANT. Last time I was terrified that I’d be under sedation and I’d blurt out that he looks like the reporter Muppet, and he’d be terribly offended (though to be honest, I don’t think he offends that easily). This year I was concerned that I’d end up singing “My colon brings all the probes to my ass” or some other horrific ditty.

I didn’t hear anything, so I went and had my abdominal ultrasound, and it seemed to take a long time. So I assumed that my blood work had come back with tumor markers showing, uh, tumors (PSC leads to cancer of the bile ducts in some percentage of cases, so they test for tumor markers every year) and he’d called the ultrasound tech and said “ACT NATURAL, but get all up in her bile duct and send me pics!” and I figured I was probably dying of bile duct cancer.

So then Monday he called and said all the tests came back just fine, and there were no changes on my ultrasound, that hemangioma hadn’t changed, come back next year, bye! I said thanks and loveyoubye, and then I hung up and was like “Wait, the what and the what now?” So I looked up hemangioma, and apparently I have a spot on my liver that’s nothing to worry about. And he seemed to KNOW about it already, since there’d been no change since last year, but I swear that I didn’t know about this. Except… did I? I DON’T KNOW.

But apparently there’s nothing to worry about, so I won’t worry. And hey! He said nothing about another colonoscopy, so there’s that.

I just need to get past the GYN visit and mammogram in February, and then I don’t have to go through any of this medical shit again for another year, thankyajesus.

 

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On Saturday, Fred and I went into town to get lunch, and as we were headed home, Fred said “Huh.”

“What?” I said.

“That sign back there said ‘A Cat Alone.’ Did you see it?”

“No,” I said. “I didn’t. I wonder if it’s a new cat rescue. That’s kind of an odd name.”

We drove in silence for a few minutes, and a thought came to me.

“You’re sure it said ‘A Cat Alone’?”

“Pretty sure,” he said.

“Could it have said… ‘A Cut Above’?”

He thought for a moment. “I don’t think… well, maybe.”

Whereupon I laughed ’til I cried.

 

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DSC08879

Got my hairs did. Don’t expect to ever see this particular ‘do again; Fred was not a fan of it, and I couldn’t make my hair that flat and straight if I had a zillion dollars and a million hair styling doohickeys.

 

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Previously
2012: Two things of note requiring the cleaning of the Dyson.
2011: It was a slipper. No wonder it wouldn’t purr.
2010: Update on Gus & Mike (now Topher & Dorian)
2009: No entry.
2008: The Annoying of the Poo, a step-by-step instructional guide.
2007: I’d sell all the kitties into kitty slavery for an iPhone.
2006: “Y’all shut UP. I don’t hear you complaining when you run around FARTING on everyone.”
2005: Letters.
2004: No entry.
2003: I swear, I have no control over my body sometimes.
2002: The shithole on Goddard Street.
2001: Lucky for her I’ve calmed down to a growling grumpiness, or it wouldn’t be a very good time to be the spud.
2000: We’re a pathetic lot, aren’t we?

1/14/13

by @ Monday, January 14th, 2013. Filed under Life

That’s right, ANOTHER POST! It’s my intention to post once a week (or more if I have something exciting to share, but don’t hold your breath). Hopefully I can keep up that breakneck pace, but we shall seeeeee.

As always, I post Monday through Friday at Love & Hisses, and once a week or so at Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza.

 

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So, the pigs went off to Freezer Camp at the end of October. As part of his preparations for the transport to Freezer Camp, about a week before the bus leaves Fred drives the trailer out to the back forty and backs it into a space where he can remove the fence. Then he begins feeding the pigs on the trailer. The idea is that they’ll become accustomed to being fed on the trailer, and immediately go there the morning that they’re scheduled to leave, and Fred can close the end of the trailer and they’ll be confined.

Yes, that is correct. He uses their love (of food) against them. Very cruel, and I’m sure he’ll end up in Hell for making the pigs think “Hey, maybe he’s taking us to a donut factory where we can eat ALL the donuts we want to!”, and then they go to another factory entirely.

In the past, it’s taken only a mealtime or two before the pigs get the idea. This time, black pig would not set one single hoof on that trailer, no way, no how. We kept saying “Well, when he gets hungry enough, he’ll go where the food is!”, secure that that would surely happen, since that’s how it had always happened before.

When it had been two days since black pig had gotten a decent meal, Fred was at work and I happened to glance out the window and see the black pig, at the end of the coop, surrounded by chickens. It took a minute before my brain kicked in and I realized that that pig? Not supposed to be there. The pig yard is a yard in itself and does not include the coop.

I called Fred. “Hey, I’m looking at the end of the coop. The black pig is standing there, eating scratch. I’m NOT going out there to corral him back into the pig yard.”

Last year, when we had three pigs (which we won’t do again) I had to walk across the pig yard to feed them on the trailer because Fred had to work late. One of them knocked me down, another bit me lightly on the leg (“I wonder how humans taste? I hear they have a nasty aftertaste, but I gotta try for myself!”), I reacted as if I’d been hit with a jolt of electricity, ran back across the yard to the gate without touching the ground, and have declared myself a non-pig-yard-entering entity ever since.

Fortunately it was almost time for Fred to leave work, so I just went out and took pictures and didn’t worry about getting the pig back where he belonged.


“What?”


“We LIKE this guy!”


Dragged the dog feeder across the yard. Ate all the dog food.


Helping the chickens eat the scratch.


Still helping.


The garbage can, over by the trailer, laying on its side? That was full of pig feed. Black pig helped himself to some of that, as well.


Pink pig was like “HOW did he get out there?!”


Black pig was clearly a fan of chicken scratch.


Note George, staring off into the distance, all “Pig? What pig? I see no pig out of the back forty!”


I think it’s safe to say that black pig ate a ton of scratch while he was out. Brat.

When Fred got home, he lured black pig – who should NOT have been in the slightest bit hungry, yet somehow WAS – into the pig yard using a donut. Took him about 2 minutes to get the pig back where he belonged.

The pigs always dig a wallow near the fence, near where their water dish is kept. Apparently the ground there is easier to dig, since it stays damp most of the time. It ends up being big enough for two fully grown pigs to wallow in, and what we hadn’t realized is that the fuckers were digging ever closer to the fence line, and then dug UNDER the fence, and finally black pig was all “Fuck THIS, I’m going to find food!” and crawled out.

Fred filled in the part of the wallow that went under the fence, and then black pig decided the trailer wasn’t so bad, and so on Monday morning, Fred was able to lure the pigs into the trailer with no problem at all. And off the pigs went, to freezer camp.

We usually like to send the pigs off to freezer camp when they’re around 350 pounds. This year, by the time Fred called to make the camp reservation, they were scheduled out so far that we took them about a month later than we’d originally wanted to.

Our pig, the pink pig, weighed in at nearly 500 pounds.

That, my friends, is a LOT of pork. Our freezer is chock-full of pork, and I’m not complaining.

 

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Previously
2012: No entry.
2011: “Well, because I have abnormally small hands.”
2010: So, random pictures. For you. Try not to be too excited.
2009: George and Gracie are home from the spaying and the neutering.
2008: Negative. Good news or sad news, I wonder?
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Y’all rock.
2004: So many books, so little time.
2003: Ah, good times.
2002: So, you know what I hate?
2001: No entry.
2000: I was a tad peeved.

1/7/12

by @ Monday, January 7th, 2013. Filed under Life

New month, new (finally) banner!

Sorry it’s been over a month since the last post. I’ve thought about posting, I swear I have, but I really haven’t had much to share aside from the cat stuff, which of course you can always see over at Love & Hisses.

I’d promise to do better this month, but I think we all know better.

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Nance and I have been cooking up a storm (okay, occasionally cooking) over at Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza. Most recently, there’s been a Coconut-Buttermilk Pound Cake (DAMN YOU, MARTHA), Mandarin Muffins (SO freakin’ good), and Lasagna Soup.

The Wednesday before New Year’s Eve, (also known, I guess, as the day after Christmas) I got an email from Nance asking if we were up for a visit. I told her of course we were, and asked when they were thinking of coming. I was in Tennessee the next morning, picking up a foster kitten, when I happened to glance down at my phone. Nance had texted me and emailed me saying, basically “We’re coming TOMORROW, but you’ve got to let me know it’s okay, because I won’t pack until I hear from you, and Rick is getting nervous!”

Turned out, Rick had time off that he had to use before the end of the year, and they wanted to make a road trip down to visit. Of course we were up for the visit, and they arrived in Alabama late Friday night, though we didn’t see them until Saturday morning (they stayed in a motel nearby). The visit was fun and fast, and they left again Monday morning.

We didn’t do any podcasts or videos because we both suck at last-minute planning (or really planning, period), and though one day perhaps we’ll do a cooking video when we’re together, I think y’all should probably not hold your breath on that score. Mostly, we went to Sam’s Club and to the flea market, and then sat around the house and shot the shit. Nance and Rick had kittens – Mr. Stripey and Sungold, the ‘Maters boys who will be going to their new home this weekend – climbing all over them, and it was just a lot of fun to have them here.

It had actually been over a year since I saw them last – my visit in October 2011 – and now I owe them another visit!

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I have not read a single book since the beginning of December. Why? Because I started watching The Good Wife, and when I have free time I spend it watching episodes of that instead of reading. I’m about a quarter way through season three, and have promised myself that when I’m caught up, I’ll stop taking the iPad upstairs with me at night. I have been staying up ’til midnight most nights, watching two and sometimes three episodes before I force myself to put the crack pipe down and go to sleep.

I was never really a Julianna Margulies fan before this show, but now I love her. And those kids who play her kids? I adore them. Love Kalinda (Archie Panjabi), love Diane (Christine Baranski), love Cary (Matt Czuchry), even though I want to yell “Stop SMILING, Cary, it’s NOT THAT AMUSING” sometimes.

For a while there, I was starting to wonder if there was some sort of game going on, because Will (Josh Charles) was buttoning and unbuttoning his jacket constantly. Every time he stood up, he buttoned it. Before sitting down, he unbuttoned it. He must have done it 15 times in the course of one courtroom scene. If I’d been the judge in that courtroom, I would have thrown his ass in jail for excessive button use.

Also, I love Alan Cumming (still incredulous in an amused sort of way that he’s got a fragrance out called “Cumming”) and I hope he stays on the show forever.

I highly recommend The Good Wife. I wish I’d been watching it all along, but I’m going to be bereft when I’m all caught up and don’t have any more episodes to watch. Though I guess I could always just start watching again from the very beginning!

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Previously
2012: No entry.
2011: My only gripe is that the “citrus scent” is kind of unpleasant. But it does keep the cats from chewing on cords, so it’s a worthwhile trade-off.
2010: Exciting, no?
2009: So yeah, almost two weeks after Christmas, I’m finally in the Christmas spirit.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: What I hate most about flying is how incredibly fucking boring it is.
2003: Damn 8 Mile.
2002: I think we can agree that I’m all about the politeness
2001
2000: Fred: Well, what’s 8 times 1? Spud: 10?

12/1/12

by @ Saturday, December 1st, 2012. Filed under Life

Time to let me know if you want a holiday postcard (featuring a Crooked Acres permanent resident). (And yes, of course I’m happy to send cards to other countries!) Send your name and mailing address to hollydays@gmail.com .

I’ll take names and addresses until December 20th.

If you’d like to send me a card as well (never ever required, but always appreciated – I don’t keep track of who does and doesn’t send a card, I promise!), send it to: Robyn Anderson, PO Box 461, Athens, AL 35612 USA.

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How the holy hell did it get to be December already, I ask you? I finally got around to making a new Bitchypoo banner to reflect the holidays.

I wonder how long I’ll leave THAT one up.

To update on The Alvin (refinancing) Situation, we signed the refi papers on Wednesday. Alvin was a fucking pain in the ass right up ’til the last possible moment, and I remain convinced that Alvin doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.

Oh, and the appraisal! That happened about a week after Fred read Alvin the riot act. Hey, guess what? When the appraiser comes IN the house and actually does measurements and sees that there’s a second floor with his own eyes, the value of the house goes up quite a bit. GO FIGURE. He told Fred that he hates doing external appraisals (which is apparently a real thing, which I find more than a little mystifying) because it’s so hard to do them right and the homeowners get irate, etc.

He also told Fred that the problem with our house is that it’s a “unique property” and while that’s good as far as we’re concerned because we love our wood walls and hardwood floors and such, it makes it hard to find comparable properties for the appraisal.

In any case, the value of the house went up enough to make the refinancing of said house worth our time and effort (though I killed Alvin in my mind at least once a day), and the papers are signed. Our monthly mortgage payment went down by about 25%, which is good. We got a good interest rate which is also good because we are never ever ever EEEEEEEEEEEVER going to refinance again, as long as I live.

Fred repeatedly told Alvin that the closing would need to take place in Madison (or even closer to Smallville, if possible so that we wouldn’t have to drive to South Huntsville because we are pretty pretty princesses), and that it had to be in the late afternoon. REPEATEDLY, Alvin offered mid-morning closings in South Huntsville. Grrrr. Finally, Alvin mentioned meeting the lawyer at Panera Bread (I always want to type “Pantera” instead of “Panera”), and the time he suggested was “lunch time.”

(This is a thing here in the South, where they suggest “lunch time” as though it’s a real time on the clock and ALSO it’s a different time depending on who’s suggesting it. THIS IS NOT PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR, PEOPLE.)

Finally, Fred said “Wednesday, at noon, at Panera Bread. We will be there, ALVIN.” Alvin told him that the lawyer would meet us then, and as we were standing in front of Panera at noon on Wednesday, I said “How are we supposed to know who he is?”, because that place was PACKED.

Fred said “Alvin said to look for the guy who looks like a lawyer.”

Just as I was opening my mouth to suggest that someone looking for Alvin would have to look for someone who looks like a useless piece of shit, I saw a man I knew without a doubt was the lawyer. It was nice out, so we sat on the patio and signed papers for half an hour, shook his hand, and were on our way.

So anyway, the point of this fascinating rambling: the papers are signed, the refinance is done and over with, and we’re saving some damn money.

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Previously
2011: They were not as enthusiastic as we’d hoped.
2010: “Marcia Brady! You can’t dump Big Man on Campus Doug Simpson! What will Joe Namath say when he stops by to see how we Bradys are doing? You’ll get a reputation!”
2009: And no matter what I do, the faint smell of seared chicken hovers faintly throughout the house.
2008: At least Sadie loves me.
2007: Where Muh Daddy?! Starring Fricasee “Frick” And3rson
2006: You know, Maxi and Newt. The cats who AREN’T OURS.
2005: “Vivacious! Tell her she’s VIVACIOUS, Dr. Phil!”
2004: I eat too much of the wrong kind of food and am lazy.
2003: “IT’S JESUS DYING ON THE CROSS! HOW CAN THAT POSSIBLY BE CONFUSING YOU DUMB MOTHERFUCKERS?”
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Here’s a tip: If they’re your own children, it’s NEVER “babysitting.”
1999: I’m feeling incredibly lazy today (like that’s something new).

11/5/12

by @ Monday, November 5th, 2012. Filed under Life

The 2013 calendars are available! All the calendars are marked up by $2, and all profits go to Challenger’s House.

I’ll put this up at the top of the entries for the rest of the week for those who don’t read every day or who read via a reader, and after this week they’ll be in the sidebar to the right.

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If you’re interested in reading Fred’s latest book but don’t have a Kindle and don’t want to download the (free!) Kindle app to read it on your computer or phone or iPod or what have you, you can now get The Convert in paperback. Here’s the Amazon link.

If you’re thinking about getting The Convert on Kindle but haven’t yet, AND you think you might want to read his previous book, No Limit, they’re now available together at one low price. Here’s the Amazon link (and it’s also in the sidebar to the right.)

Lastly, if you’ve ever wanted to be Facebook BFFs with Fred, NOW IS YOUR CHANCE. He’s finally all set up and running at Facebook, and you can FB friend him here.

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At the end of September, Fred and I decided that with rates being so low, it was time to refinance the house. This decision was aided by the fact that Fred had JUST been looking online to see what the current rates were, when he got an email from a guy who works at a mortgage company – we’ll call him Alvin, which is not his real name, DUH – letting him know that NOW IS THE TIME TO REFINANCE, FRED ANDERSON! He ran the numbers, he gave us some HORSESHIT estimate about how much money we’d save, and we nodded like the naive douchebags we are, and signed a shit ton of papers giving him the go-ahead to, y’know, go ahead.

At some point – in one of the emails Alvin sent – I saw that they intended to get the refi done as quickly as possible, “about 10 – 12 days.”

I wondered if we’d close before I headed off to Myrtle Beach, which was two weeks from the day we signed the first flurry of papers.

Ha. Ha. HA. FUCKING HA.

After we signed the papers, scanned every fucking one of them, and emailed them back to Alvin, he sent us a short list of stuff we needed to scan and get to him. We did that. And then every day for the next week, he emailed randomly to request something else that had to be scanned and sent (I fucking LOATHE THE MOTHERFUCK out of scanning because it’s a pain in the ass and also there are 10,000 little asshole kittens who want to know WHAT the fuck I am doing, HOW the fuck I think I’m going to accomplish it, and PARDON ME I’M GOING TO BITE THAT, LADY.) One day he requested a scan of Fred’s driver’s license.

“Does he need a copy of mine, too?” I asked.

“He didn’t say that he did,” Fred said.

So I didn’t scan my license. Three days later, he said “Oh, and I need a scan of your wife’s license, too.”

Hey, I HAVE A BRAIN STORM. What if –

oh, I know. It’s absolutely batshit insane to even THINK THIS –

WHAT IF, if you’re in charge of refinances, WHAT IF you sent a LIST of the shit you need so that the people who are jumping through your hoops could just GO DOWN THE GODDAMN LIST AND GET EVERYTHING TOGETHER AND SEND IT AT THE SAME TIME? What if?

Time passed, pages flew off the calendar, I went to Myrtle Beach and came back again.

“When is the appraiser going to come and appraise the house?” I asked Fred.

He shrugged.

I finally noticed that it seemed like every time Fred heard something from Alvin, the fucking monthly mortgage payment went up another $25 – $50. Fred went from pointing out how much we were saving every month, to pointing out how much we’d be saving every year, so that it sounded like it would still be worth the hassle of all this horseshit.

On November 1st, I said “Can you ask Alvin if I’m supposed to pay the goddamn motherFUCKing mortgage for November, or what the fucking fuck I’m supposed to do?”

Alvin told him that I shouldn’t pay the mortgage, that everything (a month after we began) was just about ready to go, and we should be closing soon. He was just waiting on the appraisal. The appraisal we paid $450 for, and we still hadn’t heard anything from any appraiser who wanted to come inside the house and, you know. DO THE FUCKING APPRAISAL.

And THEN word came back that the appraisal was done, and the house wasn’t worth what we thought it was.

“But… no one came into the house to see the inside of the house to DO the appraisal,” I objected.

“I guess they were able to pull up information from the previous appraisal?” Fred offered.

A few days went by, and then I lost my fucking shit, spurred by some event that I don’t recall at the moment. I should add here that I am on progesterone, and the thing about being on progesterone is that you go off it for five days every month so that, I don’t know. YOU JUST DO. Most months it’s perfectly fine, but in times of stress, it’s very very bad. Apparently I need progesterone to keep me chilled the fuck out.

So I lost my shit. I bellowed and screamed and swore at Fred, and I called Alvin every name in the book (to Fred, behind Alvin’s back as all Klassy Ladies do) and I swore some more. I’m pretty sure that if Alvin had showed up at my door, I would have stabbed him directly in his eye with the nearest sharp object like they kill the zombies on The Walking Dead, and then fed him to the kittens.

AND THEN I started looking at the appraisal, and I swore and bitched and screamed some more, and then I pointed out to Fred that NOTHING on the goddamn appraisal aside from the address was right. Fred called Alvin and said “What’s going on with the appraisal appeal?”, because Alvin had said he would appeal the appraisal. Alvin fumbled and stuttered around, making it CRYSTAL FUCKING CLEAR that he’d done no such thing, had probably just hoped we’d shut the fuck up and sign the papers. Fred went through the appraisal with a fine-tooth comb and made a list of everything the appraiser had missed.

I was seeing red. I was ready to burn this shit down. I was ready to go ON A MOTHERFUCKING RAMPAGE.

I looked up the appraiser online. I told Fred that I COULD. NOT. WAIT. until this was all done and over with so that I could leave a SCATHING review of the incredibly SHITTY appraisal that the appraiser did. I asked “Google, motherfucker, do I have any recourse when a fucking HACK decides that my two-story house is a one-story RANCH and thus appraises the house for FAR FUCKING LESS (in my estimation) than it’s worth?” and Google said “Bitch, your best course of action is to CANCEL that motherfucking refi and go with someone else.”

Alvin called Fred the next day. Apparently when he called the appraiser, the appraiser had said “Well, you only wanted an exterior appraisal, so that’s what I did.”

OH. RILLY. ALVIN. That is VERY FUCKING INTERESTING, ALVIN.

Alvin has now ordered a thorough appraisal that apparently consists of something more in-depth than the appraiser driving by the house, snapping a few blurry pictures, and then daydreaming about what the inside of the house might look like.

Alvin is going to pay the difference between the “Shoddy Hack Simple Appraisal” and the “Super Deluxe Almost Done Right Appraisal”.

YOU ARE GODDAMN RIGHT YOU’RE PAYING THE DIFFERENCE, ALVIN.

So now we’re waiting for the appraiser to mosey around to calling Fred and setting up the appointment. I am back on my progesterone, but Fred goddamn well better be here when the appraiser comes wander around the house, because I am not sure I won’t feed him to the kittens just because.

And that’s where the fuck I’ve been, motherfuckers. I hope your refi went/ is going/ will go better and more smoothly than ours.

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Previously
2011: No entry.
2010: My colon will be the pretty, pretty princess of all colons, and then it shall rule the world.
2009: I have been a canning fool this week.
2008: WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH SCOOP HANDS?!
2007: I thought if the remote was lost, you were screwed.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Did you think I was writing this from The Great Beyond?
2003: Wonder if I appear too old and feeble to help with the loading of the groceries.
2002: That’s your trivia fact for the day. You’re welcome!
2001: Amish country.
2000: No entry.
1999: Hey, this is some exciting stuff, isn’t it? What will I talk about next, dryer lint? Woohoo, somebody stop me!

[Bitchypoo is peeing-her-pants excited to be powered by WordPress.]