Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Oh, the excitement. Stay with me, people. Don't pass out.

So Dominic's skipping town until Sunday afternoon. He'll be in Seattle throwing back some Woodmere Hefeweizen, and I'll be Texas...with the cat...and Netflix. So in honor of the next few days of living like a single woman I'll be:

1. Making chicken stew. Yay for chicken stew.
2. Drinking wine. Hopefully this won't end up like last time when I drank wine by myself and then woke up the next morning. On the couch. Beside an empty bottle.
3. Watching Hustle and Flow. Dominic wouldn't take me to go see this movie last weekend, and when I said, "Why not? You're black," he wasn't impressed.
4. Eating a whole pan of brownies. Because a girl's got to get her brownie on whenever she can.
5. Frequenting the gym. Because of the brownies.

I'll also be messing with the cat, self-tanning, reading Out of Africa, drinking coffee even though it's freakin' 110 degrees in Texas, and playing all of the 7 chords I know on a guitar by practicing these songs: Emaline by Ben Folds Five, Linger by the Cranberries, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison, The World Has Turned and Left Me Here and Island in the Sun by Weezer, and any other songs I can find that don't use chords more complicated than the open ones and the one bar chord I know and, oh yeah, D7. I know that one. And also, to hear me play is like trying to distinguish symphony in cacophony, and I suck, but so what.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Stitch Me Up, Doc

Today I had a bit of minor surgery--just five stitches to close up the place on my stomach where a mole used to be. I'd had the mole removed a week and a half ago and the biopsy came back somewhere between normal and cancerous, which is to say it was neither normal nor cancer, so I was instructed to return to the clinic today to have more skin removed to try to get rid of any abnormal cells that may have been left behind.

Having a history of skin cancer is fun, kids.

My doctor was only slightly condescending to me during the whole process, which is better than most doctors who've treated me. Most doctors tend to talk to me like it's my fault I'm so young and have had melanoma, and I swear they think I probably deserve it because people only get melanoma at 19 if they frequent tanning beds with the regularity of Paris Hilton and never use sunscreen, and they're totally rotten, horrible, irresponsible human beings. Except I never have and I always do and I'm only slightly rotten and horrible and irresponsible.

Anyway, so good riddance to abnormal skin cells. And now I have a few stitches in my belly, but it's not from laughing.

What this post is really about is my complete inability to make polite small talk, and why I shouldn't be allowed to speak to Dominic's coworkers unsupervised. Ever. Today, after my hospital appointment Dominic dropped me off by my truck on his way to work. I had parked at the base this morning to go to the gym, and then when Dominic called after I was finished I simply rode home with him in the Z so he could come straight back to work after taking me to the hospital. From the base I would drive myself home. Anyway, I stopped by the BX to get a lemonade on my way out and ran into one of Dominic's classmates, and in my absolute frenzy to come up with a socially appropriate source for small talk--you know, something to make the five minutes or so between the ordering of her food and the ordering of my lemonade to not feel like an endless wasteland of awkward silences--I shouted, "I'M ONLY HERE BECAUSE DOMINIC TOOK ME TO THE HOSPITAL."

"Oh," she said, "are you okay?"

"YEAH, I'M FINE. I JUST GOT A MOLE REMOVED IS ALL. FAIR SKIN, YOU KNOW." I shouted this all out at once, and when I got to the part about having fair skin, I gestured to my arm and rolled my eyes like I was saying, You must know where I'm coming from 'cause you're totally pale too.

Now I can think of several reasons why this conversation should have never happened. 1. It is never appropriate to talk to strangers or formal acquaintances about the condition of your moles, 2. it is certainly never appropriate to refer to the condition of your moles as being somehow diseased, 3. when you allude to someone else's fair skin like it's a problem you sound like a jackass, and 4. again, just don't talk about moles in public, yours or anyone else's. This is always a recipe for social disgrace.

And after all that, I didn't even get my lemonade because the BX was all out, so I just tucked what was left of my ravaged dignity--what with all the talk of my diseased moles--between my legs and left quietly.

The End.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Picture Roundup

Recently, Dominic and I uploaded onto the computer a bunch of pictures that have been stored in our digital camera for the past three months. Here are the results of that.

Kitty and Dominic are in love.

Further proof. Also, I'll probably get in trouble later for posting another shirtless picture of Dominic on the internet. But, trust me, if you had a husband this hot, you'd post shirtless pictures of him on the internet too.

We went to a local winery for my birthday. The wines there were yummy-delicious.

Wow, this fan is huge.

That's because it's a big ass fan.

Stickin' my nose in it. All the TV and movies I watch are really paying off, 'cause I totally know how to pretend I know how to taste wine.

This is one of Dominic's "camera faces."

Here's another one. Endearing.

Proof he loves me.

It occurred to us at the winery that we had never taken a picture of the new car, so here it is. No, I still can't drive it.

Sometime after the winery, I baked chocolate chip cookies. I apparently was not very happy about it. Because I have the saddest chocolate-chip-cookie-baking-face in the entire history of the world. Look at that apron. It rocks.

A couple of weekends ago, our good friends Brooke and Dale came to visit us. Dale lives in New Orleans and Brooke splits her time between Alabama and New Jersey, where she's in graduate school. Notice we're back at the winery. Also notice the shot glasses. Those are filled with Sauvignon Blanc, and they have a candied jalepeno at the bottom, and we're about to shoot them. That's right, we shot wine.
Last weekend, Dominic and I returned to the botanical gardens where we got married. We ate at the restaurant there, and this is what they brought me. It was explained to me that everything was edible, even the flowers. Dominic got something very similar. The meal was very delicious and very unique...

and it totally defeated me.

We got married in the Garden for the Blind. It looked different in full summer.

Dominic took all of the flower pictures. He's a rockin' photographer. Me? Not so much.

Friday, July 15, 2005

They Sound Like Rurnt Cheese

Dominic and I wandered into a music store yesterday. He needed to buy some strings for his guitar and also his boss's guitar, whose strings he broke a couple of weekends ago at a party. This is the same party where Dominic's boss's wife also succeeded in getting me totally drunk off beer in the presence of small children and, oh yes, Dominic's boss. I mean, she kept opening them up right there in front of me and telling me to drink up and what was I supposed to do; it was his boss's wife...but I digress.

When we entered the music store I went straight for the clarinet reeds, in particular the Vandorens because my dorky high school band nerd heart still loves a good size 4 reed that isn't a Rico because Ricos are for the nail-painting, gossiping, third part-playing auxiliary members in the back row who think it's okay to play a 2 1/2 reed because they don't have to blow as hard, or--better yet--they can just pretend to play because it's not like they know their parts anyway. Do you know why high school bands have so many clarinet players? It's because the only sounds you're hearing are coming from the first row and maybe half of the second, and if you hear anything at all from the third row it's gonna sound like the equivalent of smelling rurnt cheese, and that ain't pretty (hi Audra!)

But to get on with what I'm trying to say, it's almost hard for me to believe this now, but there was a point in my life when I was playing the clarinet every day, and I was playing well. But now I wake up and carry on with my life and I never once see a musical note or think about a piece of music or practice a scale or prepare myself for an upcoming concert. I'm not a musician anymore, and even though I'll always argue that if I was ever a musician at all I was a pretty shoddy one, I'll also let you know that I did play music once, and I was as accomplished as anyone running off sheer maniacal practice and false bravado could be, and I liked it.

Lately, I've been having these dreams, dreams of nostalgia and regret where I'll be trying to play my clarinet but I can't because my reed is so ragged and broken the only sounds I make are heinous squeaks. Of course there was that one dream I had where I came in mid-season and challenged and beat out a lot of people from their chairs and ended up on first part. Oh wait, that wasn't just a dream. I did that once. When I was fifteen. It was so totally dramatic. Kristy D_ threatened to beat me up after school for separating her from Caroline N_ because I challenged Caroline for her chair. And won. Oh, I was such a cold-blooded bitch.

Anyway, these dreams. They've made me feel nostalgic and a little lost, like I need to go back and revisit a part of myself I may have never been ready to give up. So I bought a couple of reeds. They were Ricos after all because those are the only reeds the store sold separately, and like I'm going to pay 20 bucks for a whole box of fancy-pants Vandorens when in all likelihood I'll just loose interest in playing my clarinet next week. Again. So I took the reeds home and broke out ye old and slightly-worse-for-the-wear clarinet. The keys are dull and worn. My cork at the base of the lower section is still crumbling slowly away to its demise. My mouthpiece still smells disconcertingly like disinfectant and something you might pick out of the garbage (gross, I know). But I put my clarinet together, and lovingly gave it a little blow anyway--


When I fished her out from under a shelf where she had taken refuge behind some hanging shirts and tried to demonstrate to her once more that it's a friendly clarinet--see, I just blow on it like this and make these notes here, and isn't that a pleasant sound?--she again ran like a bat out of hell and hid under our bed, where this time I couldn't drag her back out.

So I guess the truth has been revealed. After all these years, I finally know. I know that my clarinet playing scares the living hell out of small furry animals, and they will freak out like you are torturing them in the 7th level of hell. But I also know it's fun--playing my clarinet again. And scaring my cat. That's fun too.

Monday, July 11, 2005

In which I make mention of mucus, Jeremy Piven, E Hollywood True Stories, and the fact that an 8 year-old could do better than me in math on the GRE

I'm feeling much better, to Dominic's colossal relief, I'm sure. There were about three too many nights in a row, there, of my waking up drowning in my own mucus and then moaning myself in and out of sleep throughout the wee hours of morning. Oh, was that gross? I'm sorry.

So, in accordance with Audra's advice and also my apparently ever-growing phobia of pregnant doctors in BDU's, I'm going off Tricare Prime and finding me some civilian doctors. Yes, it sucks to have to moderately pay for healthcare that would be free at the base, but, dang, not having a certified woman doctor or skin doctor to look after my woman and skin parts is making me skittish and turning me into a monster hypochondriac. My moles, they need a dermatologist! That's a little gross too, right? I'm sorry.

In other news, I finally got a reply from the graduate department at UNL, and I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH WORK IT'S GOING TO BE TO APPLY THERE. It's a good thing I don't have a job, because at this point, Mission Get Accepted to UNL is my job. In the next few months I'm going to have to:

1. Step up the creative writing so I have more than NO strong pieces to submit, which is what I have right now: no strong pieces.

2. Either doctor up an existing academic paper to meet the 15-20 page limit or start from scratch.

3. Bother my professors from Troy and UTSA for recommendations. This will be my second stalking of my professors from Troy by the way, and actually, come to think of it, if you count all the retreats and conventions and residencies that I applied to in college that I did not get accepted to--nary a one--this will actually be my 5th or 6th time stalking my old Troy professors for letters of recommendations. They must be getting tired of it.

4. Take the GRE subject exam in literature. This is such a wildcard, folks. It's like just because I have a degree in books they expect me to remember everything I read in college. Or even most of it. Or half.

5. Retake the GRE. This is because I don't want UNL to know that an 8-year old could score better than me in math and because my analytical writing score is indicative of perhaps the writing of a brighter than average monkey.

So, I have a lot to do, including studying up on some expletive, expletive precalculus and some expletive, expletive geometry. This means that I won't have time anymore to watch E Hollywood True Stories, but I can still watch Entourage because our TV automatically records it and it's funny and I consider it to be mildly cultural because Jeremy Piven has been in like a billion movies and TV shows, so all the assimilated pop culture he subconsciously brings to the show must be of some educational value--or not.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


I hate going to them, especially now that I have to schedule all my appointments myself and decide on my own when I need medical attention. My pseudo-adult self hates being responsible for this. When I'm feeling well I loathe phoning in appointments. When I'm feeling sick I would prefer a big slap on the face to making the decision about whether I should seek medical care.

I just made an appointment for today, noon, to address some throat and nasal issues that have been plaguing me for the last few days. When I woke up this morning as Dominic was leaving, I felt for the second morning in a row like death had been stomping around in my throat and on the back of my head and neck and into and out of my nasal cavities all night. I haven't even really been able to sleep for the past two nights, I've been so uncomfortable. So, I said to myself--Enough!--and scheduled an appointment. But of course, now I'm feeling a little better, and I worry that when I see the doctor in a few hours I'll just get a quizzical eyebrow raise and instructions to take Tylenol Cold or something. I'm no good at figuring out when I'm really sick. I just know I've felt bad for several days and I want it to go away. Go away Sick Feeling!

Doctors scare me. They always make me feel bad for feeling bad. They're always in such a hurry, and I feel like I inconvenience them with my sicknesses or pseudo-sicknesses as they may be. Also, I'm still getting used to Tricare, my new military medical insurance, and so far it's been ugly. Already there's been one botched OBGYN exam and a dermatologist exam performed by someone who is not, in fact, a dermatologist. I should have gotten a referral to a real dermatologist from this doctor, but I was freaked out about having a thorough skin exam performed by a pregnant woman in BDU's (thorough skin exam means getting naked, people) so I passed. Perhaps the doctor I see today will be able to give me a referral, or maybe he'll sedate me and cut open my skull and eat my brains while I conjure up hallucinations of a world in which I don't ever have to go to another doctor ever again. Maybe there's even something really wrong with me other than a weird, freaky cold and he'll give me medicine to help me feel better.

Wouldn't that be something.