Monday, January 31, 2011

My Parents' National Television Debut

My parents started talking about their trip to California in mid-November.  They were oddly secretive about details of their travel, and then I heard my dad whisper something about a million dollar non-disclosure agreement he had signed.  My spidey senses tingled and I knew something weird was going on.

It turns out that my parents' friends' daughter was one of the contestants on "Bridalplasty" on the E! channel. Last night was the finale and we finally found out what my mom and dad had been doing in California last month.

In case you need further help identifying them:

Allyson ended up winning and my parents attended her big Hollywood wedding.  My mom was very taken with Appolonia, ex-girlfriend of The Artist Formerly Known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, who was there as a guest.  My dad didn't get arrested for trying to hog camera time, so that was a nice surprise.  We worried he would see this as an opportunity to get his own IMDB page, but he behaved himself.  

Also, he managed to keep his mouth closed enough to not violate the non-disclosure agreement, so they won't get sued, lose all their money and have to live in my apartment.  That's a plus for everyone.

Update on my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Back:  The evil insurance company finally approved an MRI.  We are hoping to do that today and find out if I need surgery or just physical therapy.  I am still pretty much down for the count and I've been at my mom's for over a week now.  Keep your fingers crossed that we get to the bottom of this soon before my dad starts charging me rent.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Back to the Back

Why hello there. It turns out I am a soothsayer. Right at the kickoff of the Bears' playoff game, I somehow pulled my back out again.

Good news: I missed the awful game.

Bad news: have to get an MRI to figure this back stuff out. I'm on steroids so I'm expecting to grow hair on my hands and have 'roid rage. Very looped out on pain meds and muscle relaxers again and my mom is waiting on me hand and foot.

I'll be back soon once we figure out what's going on here. Excitement city as always!

Matching snuggies. A couple of winners!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Why Forgery Doesn't Pay

Kerry in a very appropriate costume

In 1996, my sister Kerry, age 9, decided to convince her friends she was related to a famous NFL player.  Now, with the last name Wright and my mom's maiden name being Harper, I am sure there were several players with which she could have pulled this deception off.  Kerry does things a little differently, though, and she tried to convince her friends she was related to Carolina Panthers Quarterback Kerry Collins.  That apparently makes sense when you are in third grade, and who am I to argue?

I helped her out by forging a football with Kerry Collins' autograph, which she proudly took to school on the Friday before the NFL playoffs.  The con was a huge success, and she came home in a wonderful mood.  On Saturday, she even agreed to watch the football game with me, a rare occasion indeed for my artistic sister who prefers Monet to Manning and Degas to Ditka.  There is no accounting for taste.

Soon, though, as is her custom, Kerry got ticked off at something I said.  We had been throwing the falsely autographed football around our family room, a definite breach of my mom's "no balls in the house" rule.  Kerry's red-headed temper flared, her face scrunched up with rage, and she beaned that football directly into my head.  It bounced off, hit the ceiling fan and sent two arms of it crashing into the ground.

Now, people, I want it to go on record that my mother was unconcerned about the fact that my sister threw a football at my head with such force that it bounced off and destroyed a ceiling fan.  My mom did not check me for a concussion or make Kerry apologize.  Her anger was directed entirely at the fact that we had broken a ceiling fan.  We were immediately sent to Home Depot to replace the broken arms.  I drove down 95th street dizzy and nauseous from my terrible head injury.  There's no doubt in my mind I suffered extreme brain damage, and my evil evil Mom didn't care a bit.

(As a side note, a few months later, Kerry and I taught our dog Harvey how to jump in the air and pull down a scarf swinging from the repaired ceiling fan.  He did it forty times for our entertainment.  The first time we had him do it for my mom, he, of course, pulled the whole ceiling fan down.  That's just how my life works).

So I will be spending this weekend on my couch watching the NFL playoffs, mostly because I am having more dental surgery this morning (of course I am.  My life is absurd at this point).  I will be rooting for my beloved Bears through my painkiller haze, and I will think about the day a forged football bounced off my noggin and destroyed a ceiling fan, as I do every year.

Hmmm, could this be the reason I've had so many teeth issues?  I am going to go with yes.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Climb EVVV-ery BuildINNGGG

I spent some time this morning thinking about what a miracle it is that all the kids on my block survived childhood.  I am sure there were moments when our parents had their doubts.

My friend Anne and I were climbers.  We spent a lot of time in trees, on the roof of an old cement bunker in her yard, on our neighbors' garage roofs and on the ledge outside of my second story bedroom window.  Occasionally we would drag blankets and a lamp out there and read, thinking we were 100% inconspicuous and always being shocked when our parents or one of our neighbors would spot us.  How in the world would they notice blankets, a lamp and two nine-year-olds out on a roof?  They had eagle eyes, no doubt.

One of the most dangerous climbs we attempted was this, which I found courtesy of Google Maps.  (I am so impressed by my use of technology here!  You have no idea).

This is the back of an apartment building that was on our childhood block.  Please note the weight loss ad plastered to the side.  (Ironic, I know).  Above that sign was a tiny two foot ledge that was accessible only by jumping from the third floor porch stairwell.  Here's a better view.

Anne and I enjoyed climbing up there, jumping on the ledge and spending a lovely afternoon waving to the cars rushing down the busy street, trying to get them to honk.  Once, her mother was driving by and saw us and screeched to a halt.  We couldn't for the life of us understand why she was so upset.  It was only a tiny three foot jump three stories over pavement after all.  Some people are just wound up a little too tight.

Our older relatives, who lived on the block and served as babysitters in their teens, were even worse.  Please note this picture of my childhood backyard.

We had a babysitter, that is someone who my mother decided to place her three precious daughters in his safe-keeping and pay him for his services, jump out our back second story window, jump eight feet to our garage roof and then jump ten feet down into our above ground pool.  Truly a miracle of physics.  I am still shocked none of the Winchester kids made the olympics of any kind.

Looking back as an adult, I can see why my mom and our neighbors drank wine so much.  We were an exhausting bunch of monkeys and didn't develop fear or self-preservation until after college.  Just the fact that we made it into our 30s is quite an accomplishment.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Disc Error, Please Reboot System

So remember how you guys have to be incredibly sick of reading about my medical drama over the last few months?  Here's a new and exciting chapter!

That bruise is from a nurse attempting to start an IV on Friday night at the ER.  Although it looks like she did this with a sledgehammer of some sort, I think it was just a normal needle.  It turns out I have a disc problem in my back and a pinched nerve.  Fun fun!

One of the doctors who examined me in the seven hours we were there started moving my legs around checking for other issues.  I told him I was embarrassed that my legs were so hairy.  He said, "You should see some of the people we get in here.  As long as you're potty trained and don't have body lice, I'm okay with it."  HOW IS ANYONE IN THE MEDICAL FIELD?  Better people than me, that much is for sure.

So, anyway, I'm on drugs and scheduled for physical therapy.  The last few months have been such a bummer.  I never have any kind of health problem.  I went years and years without taking even ibuprofen and now I'm like the poster child for ER visits.  It makes me realize that I can't take my health for granted anymore and that eventually, when I can walk for more than half a block without collapsing in pain, I have to work out and get healthy to avoid all this crap happening again and again and again.

This has to be so entertaining to read.  Sorry, people!  Hopefully something entertaining will happen soon.


Even Cooper is mournful about this new development.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year News

Yes, I am a bad blogger.  I apologize for the radio silence on my end.  I was completely derailed by a pressing need to read the complete "Hunger Games" trilogy last week.  It is so not my usual thing, but it was recommended by my wonderful cousin-in-law, and I ended up really enjoying it.  That's saying a lot for someone who doesn't do sci-fi.  For instance, I've never seen "Star Wars."  I know in some circles, admitting that is akin to peeing on the Bible or something, but typically I like more realistic movies and books, like "Wizard of Oz" and "Mary Poppins."  But anyway, the books were good and I'd take them over "Twilight" any day of the week.  (Yes, I have a degree in English Lit and I read teen fiction.  Sue me).

Let's see, what else is new?
  • I lost .8 lbs last week.  Send out the marching band.  It is a total of ten all together, so I'll take it.  The hip is feeling better and I am starting to walk more, so that should help things along.
  • Went to lunch with one of my oldest and best friends.  One of the first things he said to me was that he was thinking of emailing Clinton and Stacy and trying to get me on "What Not to Wear."  He is starring in a new TLC spin-off series entitled "What Not to Say."
  • If you have Netflix, I'd really recommend the documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop."  It was very cool and not what I expected at all.  
  • Still doing a lot of cooking at home.  For instance, I made Cooking Light Bacon Mac last week in the fancy new pot my sister Annie gave me for Christmas.  I burned the crap out of it and afterwards saw from the reviews that I should have considered baking it instead of doing the whole broiler thing.  It was good but didn't reheat well, so proceed with caution.

  • Happy New Year!  No resolutions other than hoping it's a less dramatic year than 2010.