Has anyone had a colonoscopy recently?
I had one in my mid-thirties, and now that I am fifty I get to have a regularly scheduled colonoscopy in December.
I got the materials in the mail, and they include a handy visual aid of what the inside of your colon looks like if your preparation was Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor.
I will not scan the photos in. Imagine if you will ...
Excellent: a spotless colon. No puddles or poo. Also, it has ridges. I suppose when it's empty it just accordians like that.
Good: a spotless colon that has a millimeter of fluid in the bottom. It still has ridges. I remember my last colonoscopy, and I remember the doctor having to vacuum up a few yellow puddles of bile. I don't know how that happened, because believe me, after half a year of irritable bowel syndrome, three days of Jell-O, and a gallon of bowel prep I am amazed I even had a colon.
Fair: This colon is one third full of fluid sewage. And there are no ridges, for some reason.
Poor: Yeah. It's poop. Yellow poop coating the sides, worming its way about the colon. Eww. I just looked at it again. Ewwww.
Gary did not say "ew." Gary screamed and threw the paper across the room. Gary's colonoscopy isn't till January.
I plan to drink extra bowel prep poop juice so my colon is pink and dry and ridged like the Sahara. I have something to aspire to now.
I bought a new coat today. Eggplant, lined wool, narrow shoulders, wide hem, and a fur-lined hood. How much do I love it? Enough to ignore the fur-lined hood. It was half price, plus that fox should die for all the chickens he probably killed. Save the chickens! I am pro-chicken. Plus he was an eggplant colored fox, how high was the quality of his life anyway? Ha ha? I feel guilty.
Anyway, I had plans to soothe my guilt. When I got to the mall I looked for a parking spot for fifteen minutes when a lady on her way out waved and encouraged me to follow her to her car. I planned to do the same for someone else. Sadly, when I stepped out of the mall no one was around. I fished my keys out of my purse. Still no one. I set off for my car anyway.
I noticed it smelled just lovely outside. Very fresh, very clean. Then I thought, maybe it's the coat. Do they do that at Nordstroms? Spray a coat with perfume after they sell it? I sniffed the coat. It smelled more nuanced than perfume. It smelled like someone with powder had tried it on before.Maybe? Pretty, anyway.
When I got into the car I thought, wow, you can really smell the coat when you're in the car.
Then I took my cell phone out of my purse. My cell phone really smelled good! In fact my whole purse smelled like ...
Yes. I must have unscrewed the top when I got my keys. However, if I ever need to poop in my purse no one will EVER know.
Turkey Day? No. At the In-Laws it's Pie Day, with a side of turkey.
Pictured, from top
My pecan pie
Backup pumpkin A
Backup pumpkin B
My butternut squash pie
Backup cherry pie
Backup pecan pie
Arzanna-fay's pumpkin pie
My apple pie
Arzanna-fay's cherry pie
(Karen brought those backup pies, because who knows, we might not have enough pie. Not pictured, the two backup pies Gary brought. One apple and one pumpkin.)
My pies were made in a pie class I took Wednesday. They are from scratch, and I have to say, in a taste-off with Arzanna-fay's Pillsbury crust, my crust wins in texture but loses miserably in flavor.
I learned two things in pie class.
I. At one point a grandmotherly lady (known at one time for her pie crust and trying to get back the mojo) absent-mindedly picked up her dough and began to knead it. You would have thought she was strangling a fetal baby seal the way the teacher reacted. NOOOOO WHAT ARE YOU DOING DON'T KNEAD THE DOUGH. (Granted, the instructor had been up since 3 am waiting for her turkey to reach room temperature. She said that was the secret: start cooking at room temperature. ("Bacteria? They all die when you cook the turkey, you know.")) I was so afraid of touching the dough I didn't crimp my edges.
II. The instructor and the class had to get 30 pie crusts made, filling prepped, and pies baked in under four hours. I waited in line to roll out my first dough (or rather "someones first dough" because after we practiced making dough they were all lumped together). I watched people hesitantly roll the dough. I decided I would roll out my dough with confidence.
I dusted my surface with flour with this thing:
I've seen them but never knew what they were. You squeeze and the spiral opens, you grab some flour, then squeeze to release the flour.
Just as I made my first confident pass I was overtaken by a horrible coughing spell, and by the time I recovered, the instructor stepped in, rolled out the dough and flipped it in the pan. I understand, gotta get the pies out, no dilly-dallying.
After doing the prep work for the next pie, it was time to roll out the dough, and again I was overwhelmed by a coughing spell. Again, my dough was rolled and put in a pan while I was doubled over. Someone got me a glass of water. So, next time, I had my glass of water and was ready for the coughing. The class was waiting to see if I coughed all over my dough once again.
I picked up the sifter and realized I'd been felled by breathing the flour into my lungs. This time I clamped my hand over my mouth while I sifted the four on the surface and AHAH! No attack! I got my pie almost rolled out but not quite in the pan before the instructor determined I had an uneven crust that needed repair.
That was the bottom crust of the apple pie. I used my hands to get the flour on the surface the next time and had no trouble. And, even better, I was able to roll AND flip all on my own.
The apple pie was the best of the ones I made, no question. Sadly, the crust was made with half shortening and half unsalted butter, and I don't know if I've been eating crusts made with HFCS, lard, and MSG, but it didn't taste like anything.
When I got home I made another dough, dusted, rolled and flipped it all on my own, and made Gary a cherry pie.
[Tick tock, Passage Of Time, moments later]
... A cherry pie that Gary proclaimed the worst pie he's ever had and demanded it be thrown in the trash. I snuck some crust first, and the first bit was good, but the second tasted like nothingness. Like sushi, it had no real taste; it was all about the texture.
I checked How To Cook Everything, and the recipe was the same as the one from Pie Class. However, it ended with, "If you would like a more flavorful pie crust" (YES) "double the sugar and add an egg yolk." So my next crust will be like that, and if it's no good then it's back to Pillsbury.
I keep having this conversation with co-workers.
Coworker: "All I know is there are too many entitled people out there. I don't want somebody with a cell phone taking my hard earned money to buy themselves video games and then buy steak with food stamps paid for with my taxes." Then inevitably, they go on. "I know all about it. My [cousin/half-sister/niece] is on the dole and she is playing it for all she can get."
Well, sure you have a bad opinion of those on the dole. Of the poor people you know, 100% are gaming the system.
I understand how they feel. 50% of the people I know gamed the system. My brother is still on disability and is truly too unbalanced to work, but my father could have worked all through his ten years of disability. Now, granted, his work fired him because he got cancer, and Mom wasn't on disability, so they might have felt there was a disability credit in their names. I got a semester's Pell Grant out of it too, so there's my complicity.
But, if you average Dave and Dad, I'm from a 50% Welfare Queen family. (I'm a Welfare Duchess.) You'd think I'd be on the fence about fraud, and I might have were it not for the visit Mom took us on to see one of her cases. Brown meat and flies in the refrigerator. They were actual poor people, where the average fraud rate is nine percent. Just nine, not 50 to 100 percent like you see in our middle-class families.
Today was my last day of Physical Therapy. Woooooo! Everybody wave your arms in the air! Bump your left ear with your left arm! You couldn't do that ten weeks ago! Wooooo!
The therapist says he'd give me a B plus or an A minus. I said I've never gotten anything above a C in gym, so I think that's great.
My range of motion is 175 degrees. I was content, but a little sad it wasn't a full 180 half-circle arc. Come to find out my unaffected arm can't do a 180 either. 175 is close enough for me.
So my range of motion score is good, but what blows the curve is my strength. Of course I fail in the strength department, and I am told I have to work out with soup cans in a sock until the spring. I have to do that. If I don't, there's a chance I'll tear another rotator cuff.
Still, I graduated with a B plus / A minus. What have I learned? Well, I learned I don't deal well with minor pain. My first instinct is to ignore it, and that six months of ignoring my minor shoulder pain froze me up like a Thanksgiving turkey. However, major pain? It seems it makes me laugh. Who knew?
I thought very hard about kissing the Twizzler / Dildo goodbye, but instead before I left I just put it up to my cheek and stroked it lovingly, because I'm a lady.
I looked at my closet. Outrageous number of clothes. I really only have three favorite work outfits and one favorite weekend outfit.
I purged my closet. Now I'm down to the three and the one and then the requisite funeral attire. Rocking! Streamlined! I can travel on my belly.
Then I bought new clothes. This wasn't prompted by clothing withdrawal so much, instead I paid for Mom's real estate taxes and I thought, "That was no fun at all. When was the last time I bought new clothes?" Now I have eight new things. Stupid.
So, not traveling on my belly. One hopes I suddenly hate it all and can return it before I wear any of it.
What do you cook as a thank-you for the Physical Therapy staff? The least healthy food ever.
Pig Candy AND Oreo Balls. (I have seen too many recipes for Oreo Balls, but if you don't know it's one package Oreos crumbled, 8 oz cream cheese, roll into balls, dip them in something.)
Yeah, you just try and exercise that off, healthy people. Go for the burn.
Remember when we went to the Regina Spektor concert years ago? There were some very loud young women behind us and Gary had to snap his fingers at them?
I thought that was a freak occurrence.
Turns the Regina Spektor concert we saw on Staycation '12 was populated by the same 21 year old demographic, and they were every bit as loud. If the music got louder, they got louder. Stupid girls! Get your skinny juvenile ass to a coffeehouse. You can talk there all you want and no pesky Russian singers will try to drown you out and it won't cost you more than a few bucks.
It wasn't just me; I saw a tweet from another attendee complaining about the people behind her in the balcony. The same yapping crappy disrespect.
On the other hand, the Lindsey Buckingham concert the next day was very polite, except for the people at the bar. He played one very soft song and I am afraid you could hear the loud bar conversations. Again, people, there are bars you can go to that do not have a huge concert hall attached. Go there to get drunk and bellow.
In contrast, no one said shit at the Paul McCartney concert.
When Mom was in her late sixties she had a dreadful time finding glasses that suited her. She had her computer glasses, her reading glasses, and her distance glasses. One time she bought glasses and simply couldn't use them. I said she could go get them adjusted but she was not up for it.
I picked up my new glasses yesterday. Simply couldn't use them. They worked for distance, but if I wanted to read something I had to nestle it under my wattle and look down my nose. I gave myself a day to adjust but I had to call the glasses store after four hours. I couldn't find a way to position my computer monitor under my nose. Same went for my dashboard controls, which I noticed as I drove back to the glasses store.
When I walked in I suspected they'd say, "You need give yourself a few days to adjust. Push your glasses up on your nose. Perhaps you need a separate pair of computer glasses."
Nope. Looked at me, looked at their documents, said, "Why these glasses have been made incorrectly." Evidently there is a Seg (?) number to indicate where your progressive lens changes from distance to reading, and my number was entered incorrectly. I had only a tiny slice of reading at the bottom instead of half reading, half distance.
I have never been so overjoyed to discover a company screwed up. In fact, I said, "You screwed up? It's not me? That is SO GREAT." I almost got up and danced about. Instead, I had a very smug conversation with Mom-in-My-Head. "Gotta stand up for yourself, Mom. Don't always assume it's your fault."
I may have been impudent enough to suggest she be more assertive in the future. While she's dead. Just in case there are progressive lenses in heaven.
You want him? He's in the middle.
"Whhhiiine," you whine, "I can hardly see him."
If you want, you can go to my Paul photostream and see the full size version. You'll see early on I don't know how to use the HDR setting on my iPhone. It all looks a bit Peter Max.
But the real star of the show? Our SEATS. Look at that! Third row, stage corner.
He's right there! I could pat his butt!
Someone asked if the band had a name, like "The Beatles" and "Wings." Not that I can tell, unless it's "Lucky."
Next to Paul is the young man who gets to be the bass player for Paul McCartney. That'd be like being the guy who accompanies Elton John on the piano. You can also see the drummer in the back being bald and funny, and he can sing. He's paving the way for Tyler Stewart of BNL to join the band. They all seem to have the air of "I AM SINGING SERGEANT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND WITH PAUL MCCARTNEY."
Paul knows that. He held some singalongs: Ob-la-Dee, Gove Peace a Chance, Hey Jude.
He also has a very selective way of interacting with the audience. He'll read your sign. I didn't understand all the signs at first, especially all the ones that said PAUL SIGN ME! My favorite sign? "NA" Not a lot of signs spelling out "Na, na na nananana." Just NA.
It was all very exciting.
The most exciting part was when the fireball exploded in my face.
I'm not kidding.
Yeah, I'm just listening to Live and Let Die, and you know how it starts all sweet singing about an open book, then suddenly bam, jam, Live and Let DII-IIEEE, whomp, boom?
Boom. See above. I was not expecting the pyrotechnics and I thought "NO! What happened? Great White fire! TRAMPLE!" but then a very choreographed row of shooting flames were right in my eyeline at the edge of the stage. VERY HOT FIRE twenty feet from me.
The I saw the guy with the safety vest leave the fire area and I thought, oh, okay, fire done. Nope, fire moved to back of stage.
So, the fire moved to a safe spot. But no. Right on the last chord, another big fireball exploded in my face. Fireballs are HOT. I, however, did not wet my pants, thanks to my vaginal physical therapy. I was able to wave both arms in the air thanks to the shoulder therapy.
Really the best concert so far.
I'm going to see Blue Man Group later this month, and when I reached into my stack of tickets this morning to get my McCartney tickets, one of the Blue Man tickets slipped away. I didn't watch it slip; all I know is I had two tickets, I picked up something underneath them, then I had one ticket.
Then I went to brunch because I was hungry and tickets don't get more lost after five minutes of looking. Plus I was pretty sure it had slid under the treadmill to the right of the desk.
When I began the hunt in earnest later, I didn't go right for the treadmill; instead I methodically went through that pile of pillows on the chair and lay on the floor with a flashlight. I was going to start scooting the treadmill when my subconscious said "Look on the other side of the desk."
"Oh, I bet it's in the guitar," I thought, and I peered inside my blue guitar. I shook it. No ticket. I gave up on that idea and headed for the treadmill.
"Really it's in the guitar" said my subconscious. I turned around and picked up the guitar again. No ticket.
"NO LOOK IT'S IN THE GUITAR" my subconscious yelled. I turned for the guitars again.
"No, I looked there. I just don't want to move the treadmill. Well, I guess it could be in the acoustic on the left. It can't in the electric or the bass, there's no hole." I went to pick up the guitar on the left and I actually thought, "I never noticed I had that bar code sticker on the back of my bass. I guess I should play that more."
"IT'S IN THE GUITAR" my subconscious screamed. It was only then I noticed that the strings of my bass had somehow moved to the "back" of the bass where that messy bar code is and SON of a BITCH. There it is.
There it was. Stupid subconscious doesn't know the difference between a bass guitar and a guitar; that would have helped. I'd even taken the time to look at the back of the remaining to ticket to be sure I wasn't making assumptions about what I was looking for.
Still, right there under my nose all along.
"Don't tell anyone you don't like beer," Gary said. We were walking into Anheuser-Busch to take the Brewmaster brewery tour.
Minutes later, everyone in the tour group was asked to name two favorite beers. While waiting my turn I crafted a response about the AB heritage in Saint Louis and my Dad and how he had us serve him everything on those round beer trays and in the meantime Gary stuttered out "I uh - I don't really like beer! "
It's possible my dislike of beer began early, when I went on a school trip to the brewery. I think I was in grade school. What I remember was walking on a catwalk, and seeing a man test the product in an open foamy vat that stank of beer.
The catwalk is still there, but there's no smell anymore, unless you count the lovely smell of whatever they use to power wash the floors.
We tasted the beer the first time while it was being beechwood aged (yes, they throw actual wood in the vats so the yeast has something to adhere to). That dose of beer was vile. It was 8% alcohol and warm. Straight stomach acid. Vile. VILE.
Later we got a pre-pasteurized, pre-bottled dose right from the vat.
I didn't get a picture of the guy firing the beer right into his mouth from the pigtail. That beer was acceptable. A guy on the tour explained the reason I liked it was because it was near freezing and cold knocks out the effects of tannins. ("Tannins!" I said. "I hate tannins!") Evidently I've been drinking too-warm beers right from the can instead newborn beer suckled from the icy teat.
Fueled by some city loyalty I bought a six pack of AB light cider at the grocery the next day. Blehahahahah. (Shudder.) Still nasty.
About half of my plans for staycation involved restaurants I've always wanted to visit but never have (Niche, Half and Half, Broadway Oyster Bar, Favazas, Triumph Grill) or returns to favorites (Farmhaus, LiLuma, Blue Owl).
Two things have kiboshed these plans.
1) Gary has made it clear that even a vacation thirty miles afield is too much stress. We've learned that we work best if a) we eat in familiar locations, b) I drive, and c) he buys stuff to relax. He bought himself a new PC and an iPad. "But you have iPad," you ask. Yes. Yes, I do. Multiple iPads for one household. Given that the only other thing that relaxes him and cheers him up is Baileys, I don't mind.
2) There was a charity event on Sunday where one could taste unlimited wines, beers and food from area restaurants. We ate everything. I'd estimate we ate 35 tiny servings of vegetable lasgana, beef wellington, scallops, polenta, pork belly, risotto, gnocchi, pate, braised short ribs, just every precious foodstuff you could imagine. There were at least three pork sliders alone. My favorite was the ice cream sandwich made of espresso bean cookie and bacon fat ice cream.
So now I never want to eat restaurant food again. Just yesterday we were blocks from Niche and I had no desire to visit.
They gave me a new toy to play with at physical therapy.
You don't have to watch the whole thing, just move on to 38 seconds in. You'll get the idea.
It's important to know mine is red. An angry, bouncy red.
Some sweet child at PT described it as looking like a giant Twizzler. No.Twizzler is not the correct comparison.
Wonderful cheetah experience 1: Have you ever been to the zoo and not seen the cheetah? Did you figure the cheetah was just in the cheetah quarters? No. The cheetah's in the back of the display environment partying with people who paid fifty bucks to hang with the cheetahs in the cheetah quarters. At one point we could see the regular zoo-goers looking for the cheetah, which had wandered back to the back of the display to where we were. Suck it normal people!
Wonderful cheetah experience 2: The description of the cheetah experience says quite clearly you wouldn't be touching any cheetahs, and I took that to mean we wouldn't be seeing any cheetahs at all, especially since I've never seen the cheetah anyway. That's why I was surprised to discover there are four cheetahs at the zoo, with only one is in the display area at any time. As I say, the rest of the cheetahs are laying about in 30 x 30 pens with the keeper, right behind the display.
Wonderful cheetah experience 3: The cheetah zookeeper LOVES the cheetahs. Honored to work with the cheetahs. Admires the cheetahs. The cheetah on display was the biggest one, and when he decided to stalk back to the back of the display to, you know, say, what the hell are you doing in my pen with my keeper, she said with pride, "Now THAT's a cheetah!"
Wonderful cheetah experience 4: Primarily, the keeper's job is to help the endangered cheetahs survive. Survival means procreation. It was fascinating to hear how cheetahs choose mates. It's all about the urine. They can sense from a potential mate's urine if that cheetah is too closely related to them. They are drawn to the urine of the most distantly related cheetah. A lot of time is spent marking trees with urine.
Wonderful cheetah experience 5: We were watching one of the lounging males when it hopped up, backed up to a tree, and fire-hosed it with urine.
Wonderful cheetah experience 6: At one point we could see all four cheetahs. We were about 10 feet from one and 15 feet from another, with the other two about 15 yards away. Of course, there were sturdy chain link fences there as well. I cannot TELL you how much I wanted to squat down and pee. Just to mess with them.
Wonderful cheetah experience 7: The cheetahs are not by the lions or tigers, where I'd expect to see a cat, but instead tucked away by the hippos. I always assumed that was because cheetahs would kill the bigger cats because the cheetah could catch them. This is dead wrong; cheetahs just get stressed out by competition. The cheetah keeper told me I was wrong in the best possible way. She said, "Well, who wouldn't think that? Cheetahs are the BEST."
Wonderful cheetah experience 8, and I save this one for the end: ERECT CHEETAH PENIS. I glanced at the cheetah lazing like Snoopy on top of his (heated) house ad he had a pink thing between his legs. I said "Um" and the keeper said, "Well look, he has an erection." She went right there. I would have said "LOOKIT! CHEETAH PENIS!" but there were three other people in our group. Can't just throw an erect penis in a stranger's face. But I shouldn't have been shy. An older lady commented she was a little disappointed in the penis size. (I'd say six inches.) The keeper took the other couple's photo in front of the horny cheetah. I expected the keeper to arrange a hook-up right then with the female cheetah, but it turns out the two were related. Incompatible pee.
So, you say, where are the photos of the cheetah penis? Or the cheetah clawing a tree like a scratching post? Or the cheetah urine fire hose? Here's the deal: we were able to take photos but they asked us not to share those photos on the internet. And I knew I could not have those photos in my phone and not share. I'd recommend to anyone you give some extra money to our free zoo and take one of those behind the scenes tours.
These things have been on my mind, and I have to say them. Just ignore me if you disagree.
Twice now, I've heard about "early voting" in Missouri.
Missouri doesn't have early voting.
What Missouri has is in-person absentee voting. You have to give one of five reasons why you are unable to vote. One reason is that you have a disability or care for someone who is disabled. It doesn't have to be a government-verified disability, so I could claim the disability of being too fat and lazy to stand in a line for over an hour.
I had to unfollow LOLGOP for the quantity of tweets, and I'm thinking of unfollowing others because of the "quality." Some of these people sound like rabid animals. Crazed and frenzied. And these are the ones I agree with. Strangely, the tweets I appreciate the most come from Tonya, my political opposite. She keeps me balanced; otherwise I would get myself all het up.
Why I'm Voting for Barack Obama
There, That's it. There are other things to consider, but he got a health care bill passed. How many could not? Flawed? Sure. Don't care. Did something. Did something other than war. Boom.
I woke up today and Gary was turned around in bed so his head was at my feet.
Later, he explained my snoring was getting to him, and allegedly I also had gas that alternated with the snoring.
"No. I did not." I said indignantly.
"You did. It was like SNNOOOORRREE pooooott SNOOOORRRRE pooooooot."
"That's impossible. Besides, if anyone was doing that it would be you."
"It's okay, hon. It wasn't as loud as the snoring. That was really loud. I just got in the sixty-nine position and then I couldn't really hear you."
"Well, it's better than sending me to the guest room."
"I told my mom about the sixty-nine position and that's the only way she sleeps now because Dad's snore is so bad."
"Well anything you say is genius to your mom. Wait. What?"
"I told her about how she can sleep in the sixty-"
"Oh, I didn't put it that way to my MOTHER. She wouldn't have any idea what that is, anyway."
"Are you sure? It came out pretty easy just then."
"No! I said flip around and sleep head to toe."
(I'll bet you anything he did say sixty-nine.)