Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Miles and Miles and Finally Smiles

So I spent the last year and three weeks hiding my smile.  I did it in some extremely clever ways.

There was the old "wedge your face against a kid's head" trick...

...the smug, phony half-smile...

...the "tilt my head just perfectly when the camera comes out" smile...

... and the not-at-all obvious "cover half my face with my hand" smile. Subtlety, I have mastered it.

So anyway, after 55 weeks and four surgeries and three months of not chewing, including a Christmas of only eating mashed potatoes and whipped cream, my smile is finally back.

What a relief!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fashion Plate

Remember when my friend Kate decided to depend on me for fashion and shoe advice when we room together for our upcoming trip to BlogHer in New York City?

I'm wondering how panicked she is right now.  Please note the Crocs, non-matching purse, and the hair that has not been brushed in six days.  I am going to shake up the town at BlogHer, let me tell you.

In my defense, I am wearing plastic knock-off Crocs purchased hastily at Walgreen's in Florida because I got eleven blisters on my feet wearing new shoes the day before.  One of them got infected and was nasty.  I'd like credit for not posting pictures of that.  SEE, MOM, I DO HAVE FILTERS.

The hair and the purse I have no excuse for, other than when I go on vacation I go on VACATION.  I didn't shave or brush my hair for the entire trip and I wore the same dress three days in a row.  Just in case one of my oral surgeons are reading this (and I should really just bang my head against a brick wall for having multiple oral surgeons, but I'm sure that would damage even more of my teeth) I did brush my teeth and wear deodorant.  A lady has to have standards, after all.  No comment on how often I changed my underpants.

So, Kate my buddy, are you sure you want to room with me?  There's still time to fake a kidney stone!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thirty Minutes in the Happiest Place on Earth

Do you guys want to see my picture from Disney World?  Yes, I did say picture, as in singular.


Don't we both look so happy as we stand outside the home of Cinderella?  And my beautiful goddaughter Jamie doesn't look at all close to death, does she?  It's amazing what can change in just twenty minutes.

Minutes after exiting the lovely parking lot ferry boat, Jamie started acting funny.  She said that her head hurt and her stomach felt weird.  Because I am compassionate and not at all selfish, I lovingly said, "You'll be fine.  Come on, the Haunted Mansion is over there and it was my favorite ride when I was ten."  Hello, Peace Prize Committee, you have a real humanitarian on your hands here.

While we were in line, Jamie again said her head hurt.  As we gazed out at the tombstones surrounding the waiting area, a thought occurred to me.  "Hey Jame, when was the last time you drank anything?"  Answer:  milk, at breakfast, six hours earlier.  It was 95 degrees, a billion percent humidity and we are fair skinned Midwestern people who wear SPF 8000.  So yeah, not good.

The best part was that I forced Jamie to stand in line and get on the ride before allowing her to sit down and drink water and not, oh, I don't know, die of heatstroke.  

After the Haunted Mansion, where Jamie saw ghosts that were both Disney-created and near-death-experience created, we sat in the shade and drank water, but Jamie still felt terrible, so we boarded the monorail and headed back to the parking lot.  So yeah, less than an hour in Disney World, one ride.  We did get Dole Whips, though, so I am considering the price of admission absolutely worth it.

Oh, and Jamie ended up being fine after two days in the hospital intensive care ward.  Kidding, kidding.  Several bottles of water, an ibuprofen or two and a couple of hours in air conditioning cleared that pesky heat stroke right up.

Among the Living

Sorry, internet people, for my radio silence on this end.  I came home from the Bahamas with some weird new strain of tropical sickness.  I have a feeling the New England Journal of Medicine will probably christen it Taryngitis.  Fingers crossed. 

Anyway, between that and dealing with moving my work from an office to my home, it's been a busy couple of days.  I'm going to try to write about my forty minute visit to Disney World and my fight with a seven year old boy on an airplane sometime soon.  Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hello from the Future

Remember when you were a kid and you'd watch "The Jetsons" and figure that by the year 2000 we would all have spaceship cars and robot maids and be dating Fred Savage?  Yeah, none of that happened. The future so far has been a rip off. I don't even own a spacesuit or a treadmill for my robot dog. How unfair is that?

Well fear not as the future is arriving. I am typing this thousands of feet in the air between Orlando and Chicago because I am on the Internet (whoa, according to spellcheck internet is capitalized) on an airplane!!!

I am thinking I'll arrive home and discover that Chrysler is releasing a new line of flying cars and aliens will have landed and will allow us to adopt them as adorable slave pets to help with household chores.

Our vacation was fun. I will write more later. It is difficult to be coherent at this altitude.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Ugly American

In 2001, my sister Annie was studying in Europe for the summer and she asked me to come over and meet her.  We went to Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and France, taking pictures like this and in general falling into every stereotype about Americans that Europeans hold with such disdain.

Annie had me pretend to be Quasimodo when we visited Notre Dame in Paris.  I think she was trying to humiliate me out of frustration because she was so annoyed with me by then she wanted to leave me at the airport and pretend we never met.  When we walked into Notre Dame, I kept saying, "Wow, this is beautiful but it's nothing like the movie."  Finally, Annie said, "You're talking about the animated Disney movie, aren't you?"  Yes, yes I was.

Annie is smarter than me and more cultured.  She filled every day of our two week trip with museum visits and carefully researched excursions.  Since my attention span rivals that of a fly, I had a hard time with this.  I insisted we tour the Louvre in fifteen minutes, for instance, holding up a camera from the back of the line to take a picture of the Mona Lisa.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed her plans for the most part, and she definitely catered to my interests in many of them.

That's me with the gazebo from "The Sound of Music!"  We went on a five hour tour of sets and locations from that movie, and I think Annie wanted to die inside a little but I was in heaven.  

On the last day of our trip, Annie allowed me to pick our itinerary.  We were in Paris, and she suggested we see Moulin Rogue or visit another museum or see another priceless work of art.  I considered these ideas for maybe nineteen seconds before deciding where we would spend 1/14th of our time in Europe.

Yes, we went to Euro Disney.  Yes, my sister was disgusted with me and humiliated by my terrible sense of history and art, but we had a great time.  Even Annie will tell you she had fun, although I'm sure she'll say the Sistine Chapel was better.  Yawn.

Anyway, next week I am making my triumphant return to visit Mickey Mouse in Florida.  I'm taking my beautiful goddaughter Jamie to Disney World and then on a five day cruise to the Bahamas.  Annie is going too.  She still travels with me, can you believe it?  This is just a heads up that if I don't post next week, it doesn't mean I'm dead, although you never know what will happen if we take too many trips on the "Small World" ride.  

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Written in the Stars

Back in my wild teenage years, I used to love to go to Borders to look at this gigantic astrology book called "The Secret Language of Birthdays."  The basic gist was that your personality was formed in large part by the day you were born.  It was fun to read and to see tiny details of myself in the (vague) descriptions that the author gave, but I myself doubt this birthday-personality link.  Why?

Today is my birthday.  It is also the birthday of:
  • The Dalai Lama
  • George W. Bush
  • Nancy Reagan
  • Tia and Tamara Mowry (the stars of "Sister Sister."  They were born on the same exact day as me.  I just googled them to see if I am aging better than they are.  I am a bitter and sad older woman today)
  • 50 Cent
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Della Reese
  • Ned Beatty
  • Jennifer Saunders
  • Geoffrey Rush

So if you can tell me what me and all of the above birthday girls and boys have in common, maybe I'll put some stock in "The Secret Language of Birthdays."  Until then, I'll be eating cake for breakfast and wondering how eleven years have come and gone since my 21st birthday.  Time flies when you've got the same personality as Sylvester Stallone.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Land of the Free, Home of the Doggy Downers

Independence Day is two days before my birthday.  (Yes, this is a blatant reminder to family and friends not to forget.  My self-esteem can't take a "Sixteen Candles" kind of birthday).  When I was a kid, we used to go to a suburban fireworks display with my aunt and my cousins.  I had a very healthy ego and thought for years that people were coming to see fireworks not to celebrate the birth of our nation but rather to celebrate my birthday.  I used to go around thanking people for coming.  Now I think that borders on child actor obnoxious, but I've been assured it was very cute.

This year, I am at home because my dog is a lunatic and freaks out for hours after hearing any loud noise.  A couple of weeks ago, some kids were throwing Snaps down the block and Cooper shook uncontrollably for hours.  You should see how he reacts when the Chicago Marathon runs past my building.  If I could somehow harness his nervous energy, we could keep the Las Vegas strip lit up for several nights.

Anyway, he is thoroughly medicated and loopy, so hopefully that will do the trick.  I'm also bird-sitting for my sisters' cockatiel, who is twenty years old.

Please note Coop's glazed eyes.  I think he's seeing fireworks that have nothing to do with the 4th of July.

Hope everyone has a great day!  If you're like me, you get goosebumps listening to "I'm Proud to be an American" and your sisters make fun of you and call you a hillbilly because of it.  I bet you don't offer to sit at home on a holiday with their birds, though.  That takes a special kind of crazy.