This morning little Zeus passed away from a tumor in his intestines. He was his perky little self until a couple of days ago. At that time we noticed that most of his whiskers were burned off. Apparently the little fart got a little too close to a candle. But after a little research we discovered that cats who lose their whiskers will act funny so we decided that if he was still in the same shape that we would take him to our vet on Monday. He was sleeping most of the time and when he did get up he would walk like a drunk, but other than that he was fine. His little motor kept chugging along and he kept pooping in his box and eating regularly. This morning, after Robert and I woke up, my mom and grandma (they stayed the night) mentioned that he started screaming about 4 and after a little while he messed himself. Well, shortly thereafter he had a similar incident and after bathing him Robert and I decided to take him to the vet. He never came home. They said that the tumor was too massive to remove.
He was such a joy to have around. Rose keeps looking for him and to be quite honest I keep expecting to see his little head pop up from the basket that Robert took him in. It was quite sudden and we're all a little shocked.
We had him for only a month, but I would like to think he lived a grand life. Two great dog friends, wet food every day, an automatic crapper and two suffocating humans.
It was a great month for us too, Zeus.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Posted by noisysmile at 3:23 PM
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
About a month ago a friend of ours found a crying box while out playing frisbee golf. Lo and behold there was a kitten inside! One phone call later and he had a new home, OURS! Right away he bonded with Robert, but he tolerates me well, esp. when he wants to eat and I'm the only one around. Rose immediately took to him, and promptly filled the mama role. Ella was not pleased for awhile, but slowly and surely she warmed up to him. Now they romp through the house like two best buds. Honestly I wasn't sure how a teeny tiny kitten that barely weighed a pound was going to hold his own in a house filled with dinosaurs, but he's quite the little shit (excuse my language). One sneak attack is all it takes to put the girls in their place.
He loves car rides!
Posted by noisysmile at 3:47 PM
Saturday, September 12, 2009
The last two weeks have been crazy. Two weeks ago I caught the flu. As I was getting better my mom and grandma showed up for a visit and during their visit I managed to get sick again and am only now feeling better. This morning I finally attempted tennis again and played fairly well considering my stuffy nose and rusty skills. Next on my list of musts are two papers that really should be completed this weekend because next week my mom and grandma are visiting again and I will no doubt be too preoccupied to write. I am also seeing my doctor this upcoming week for my yearly physical, which can only be a pleasant experience after she stuck things up my nose last week, and I plan on asking her why I have been catching every damn bug. It seems like just when I’m beginning to feel fantastic, and I’m accomplishing goals, eating healthy, maintaining my weight and exercising ferociously I am suddenly tackled by some kind of bug and then all I can manage to do is sleep which is quite depressing. Then once I’m better I start all over again only to be taken down once more. It’s getting to be exhausting, frustrating and unbelievably depressing. Interestingly enough I had mono about six years ago and after I fought through that the doctor warned that because my immune system was shot I may catch every bug known to man. I went at least a year without getting sick at all and then for quite awhile I only got sick occasionally. Now, over the past year I have been sick at least half a dozen times. What am I doing wrong? I don’t know. Perhaps it is the stress. Perhaps, after six years of semi-vegetarianism, four of which I have eaten quite healthy and two of which I have begrudgingly added fish, it is finally catching up with me. Maybe I need to exercise more than ten hours a week. Maybe I need meditation or God rather than painting or cuddling with my dogs, or more than seven or eight hours of sleep a night. Maybe it isn’t enough to have a fantastic family. Maybe I don’t laugh enough or take enough Vitamin ABCDEFGHIJK etc. Perhaps I should wear a mask and gloves or a bubble. Maybe I should spray my feet with disinfectant after I use them to open bathroom stalls and flush toilets. What if I’m allergic to my dogs or my books? I throw my hands up. What am I doing wrong?
Posted by noisysmile at 12:35 PM
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Posted by noisysmile at 9:23 PM
Friday, August 21, 2009
Posted by noisysmile at 3:15 PM
Thursday, August 13, 2009
*Important Note* Robert and I bought a small pull behind RV earlier this summer. This was our first long trip.
Please excuse all spelling and grammatical errors. Also, this is a tad long so you might want to grab a cup of coffee and make yourself comfortable. I wanted to break it up but couldn't figure out how. Oh and for the pictures you need to visit my myspace.
Last Saturday, 8/1, we took off in our RV and rushed to Chicago to visit Robin, a very special friend of mine (we’re also related too-she’s my mom’s cousin). The last time I visited her was about twelve years ago and I totally loved her then but we didn’t keep in touch after that. About three years ago we found each other through blogging and since then it has been a wish of mine to visit her, Jay (her husband) and Meander (their golden). Well last week that wish came true! We were able to visit for awhile on Sunday and then on Tuesday she drove up to the campground where Robert and I were staying at and we went hiking and cooked out. It was a total blast. I wish we lived closer together. It’s interesting that my most favorite people, Scott, Robin and Louis, all live so so far away (mom and grandma you don’t count because you’re close by sometimes).
Oh but this trip was so amazing. We drove through Iowa just to see something different. We saw a lot of corn. Every little teeny tiny space was filled with corn. I think we even saw it in the median a few times. Just goes to show that different isn’t always good. But still it was my first time in Iowa. When I told my father that I was finally going to Iowa he said, “at least your first 22 years were good.” He never knows my age.
But Iowa wasn’t all bad. Somewhere towards the end of it was the world’s largest truck stop. It had a dentist, movie theater, food court and an entire wall of LED lights. Robert swears that he can build a semi out of the parts they sell there. And I’m inclined to believe him.
After rushing through Iowa we decided to stop for the night in a mystery place. My mom called after we woke up the next morning and asked where we were. I told her we were at a Flying J. “But where,” she asked. “Not a damn clue,” I said as I stumbled into a large water tower with 'La Salle' painted on its side.
We should have known that the rest of the day was going to be much the same way, with a lot of blundering and confusion, but no, we filled up on truck stop food (grits and rye toast) and took off blindly. It was a Sunday so we had assumed that Chicago traffic would be light and that we wouldn’t have a huge problem finding an RV spot so we could hook up, leave the dogs and take the truck into Chicago to see Robin. WRONG. After looking for and not finding an RV park we decided to look for a camping world. The first camping world no longer existed, although thankfully there was a sign in the parking lot with the new location written on it. When we found the new location the people there kindly directed us to Chain O’ Lakes (spitting distance from Wisconsin), which is exactly what it sounds like. Like a bag o’ donuts you buy at the gas station, a cheap little park filled with a smattering of lakes. At first we were excited. We had visions of swimming with the dogs, which has been a goal that we have been pursuing for three years now. Every place that offers swimming is always for humans or for dogs. There’s no swimming for dogs and humans. So Robert and I were pretty gosh darn excited about the swimming factor.
After we found the place we hooked up and dropped the dogs off and set off for
Chicago. We were perfectly aware of the toll roads. In fact we had spent about $20 in tolls just driving around trying to find an RV park, but we what we weren’t aware of was the fact that our GPS was trying to take us on all the toll roads. At one point we just decided to keep on driving straight (we actually missed our turn), and not only did we save time by missing the toll turn, we also missed the toll turn. I am not kidding nor am I paranoid. Our GPS was out to get us.
Finally, finally, we arrived at Robin’s place, which was this little extraordinary piece of paradise right on the edge of what appeared to be Hell. As Robert and I drove in we made sure the doors were locked and whispered small prayers. Well I did. When we arrived at Robin’s the view completely tackled me, and for a small moment I became a water person. It was unbelievable. Her apartment is right on Lake Michigan, and after meeting Meander and getting a quick and delicious bite to eat at a nearby Greek restaurant we all went out to her back porch and watched and listened to the waves. There is something healing about her place, and I’m positive that it has everything to do with the water. We had a wonderful chat that night, sitting outside with Robin and Jay, sharing memories and laughs. I cannot illustrate the power of good conversation with words. Nor can I illustrate the sound of the waves.
The next day Robert’s mom and grandma met us at the campsite. They were on their way back from Philadelphia and decided to stop by and explore Chicago with us. And that’s what we did. We ate the best pizza I have ever had and drove through Boystown. We even stopped at the Whole Foods in Boystown and picked up some vegan beef jerky (a no no) and root beer (fantastic!). After we left Chicago we returned to Chain O’ Lakes for our second night. Robert’s mom was thrilled to stay in the RV, but because Robert’s grandma did not receive a formal invitation to sleep in the RV she opted to sleep in the car. Yes folks, Robert’s grandma stayed in the car. At the beginning of the day Robert had pulled me aside, and with that cute face of his, asked me if his mom and grandma could stay with us. I was all for it, not because I really wanted them to stay but because I would be owed. Because it was a huge favor Robert would no doubt be playing with my hair and listening to Mary Oliver’s poetry all the way back home. It sounded like a good idea to me. Well then Robert took it one step further and asked me to invite them. This did not sound like a good idea, but I half agreed because I figured I might be able to get a t-shirt out of the deal. Well I never really invited them. I just said, “so are you guys staying with us?” Well apparently that was a big fat mistake because I didn’t say, “Ms. Audrey and Ms. Carolyn you are cordially invited to sleep in our recreational vehicle.” So Robert’s grandma opted to sleep in the car, and although we asked her politely and then not so politely to get in the damn RV, she refused. She wouldn’t even use our bathroom! At first we were worried about her, especially since she would have to walk to the park’s bathroom if she needed to pee, but later, as we sat around eating ice cream and playing cards we all started laughing at the situation, and you know, I kind of hope that his grandma heard us. The whole situation just makes me appreciate my grandma even more.
After Robert’s mom and grandma left we investigated the park where we were staying at and discovered that nobody could go swimming. Not even the dogs. Apparently there is an evil weed lurking beneath the waters. We didn’t ask any questions. I’ve read stories and seen movies about vicious plants. As a vegetarian I’m already on their shit list.
After Robert’s mom and grandma left, Robin, Jay and Meander came out to the park and we went for a wonderful hike which was more like a stroll through various parking lots, but because we were accompanied by three exuberant golden retrievers it was a very awesome experience. We could have been walking next to a sewage plant and we wouldn’t have cared. As predicted Meander and Ella became fast friends. Rose, who is strictly a Robert lover, even enjoyed his presence but had to use her stern voice a few times. After our hike Robert and Jay went to Wal-Mart and Robin and I had a wonderful conversation. When Robert and Jay got back we set some hot dogs and marshmallows on fire and had a fantastic dinner.
After dinner we sat around and chatted some more until a very old and cranky park ranger told us that we had to leave. Earlier in the day Robert had spoken to the park manager and asked for a few extra hours because we didn’t want to stay the night. The manager had agreed to give us a couple extra hours because we didn’t want to get charged for the whole night since we were leaving before the night even started. Well this park ranger told us to put leashes on our dogs (they were laying at our feet) and get out before a certain time. So we had to quickly pack up and say our goodbyes to Robin, Jay and Meander.
We headed to Joliet where Robert’s mother and grandma had found a motel (it’s ok I’m laughing too) and parked in a Taco Bell for the night that was located next to where they were staying. Robert’s mom actually paid more money to stay in a motel with an indoor pool so that Robert and I could go swimming. This was a huge deal, because as most of you know, she is a penny pinching, ramekin stealing, coupon crazed maniac.
The next day we started out on Route 66 and visited quite a few fun places including the Joliet prison and the Gemini Giant.
BUT, before I bore you to tears I am just going to skip ahead to my favorite part of Route 66 in IL. Robert and I thought we were just going to stop for a few minutes and take pictures of a semi with a ‘Humpin’ to please’ logo on it at Henry's Rabbit Ranch. It was late in the day and we weren’t expecting to see anybody. Boy were we in for a surprise. As we started looking around at the place the owner approached us and asked us if we wanted to look inside the shop. So we did. While we were looking around he started talking about Montana, a black rabbit who obviously meant a lot to him. He pulled out pictures, books and pamphlets bearing her name and pictures before finally mentioning that she ran for president. That’s when Robert and I knew that we weren’t just talking to an ordinary person. The guy pulled out banners, buttons and shirts with “Montana for president” written all over them and told us that she had one over on all the previous presidential candidates. “First,” he said, “she’s a woman. And not only is she a woman, she’s also black and old.” Well what could we say to that?
Before Robert and I knew it this man was telling us about the rabbits that he had rescued, past and present with this voice of complete wonder and adoration. He even asked if we wanted to meet the rabbits that he had at the moment. And we just couldn’t say no of course. It turns out that this man had 26 rabbits that were currently outside waiting to be loaded up and taken inside for the evening. Not only did he have 26 rabbits, he knew everything there was to know about them, including genealogy, temperament, and their current health conditions. He told us each and every one of their names and who their soul mates were. He told us stories about how he came to know them, tales of tragedy and miracles and introduced us to Montana’s running mate, a very clean and studious rabbit with freckles. One rabbit, a peanut butter colored one, had endured two seizures, the first giving him a lopsided appearance and the second reversing the affects of the first seizure.
Finally after meeting each and every rabbit he pointed to a cluster of VW Rabbits and said, “I collect all kinds.” Robert and I said our goodbyes and began to wander off. Before we could make it very far we stumbled upon a very large and well kept cemetery. Montana’s ‘headstone’ was the first in a very long line. As we stopped to read each headstone we noticed that each mentioned brothers and sisters, sidekicks and soul mates, and a complete character description of each rabbit. One headstone really spoke to me. On it was a rabbit that had clearly passed away, but beneath his name was a name I recognized as one of the rabbits the man had just introduced us to. Even though she hadn’t passed away yet there was room for her next to her deceased soul mate. It was definitely one of those moments when you feel like everything is right in the world.
Of course there was more wonderful and fabulous adventures including the best frozen custard ever and the charming dilapidated buildings filled with spirits and creaky floors, but nothing quite as special as the rabbit ranch.
We visited the Route 66 State Park which used to be Times Beach and stumbled into a patch of seed ticks that turned my black flip flops brown. Robert, in his superman cape, took them back to the RV, leaving me barefoot with the girls. Perhaps it was because I was walking quietly and focusing on each sharp rock in the gravel road, but somehow we stumbled upon two deer. One close enough to see inside her nose. We all froze, the deer, Rose, Ella and myself, and just stared at one another. I watched her nostrils flare as she watched the dogs pant. Our curiosity was so bright that it made all boundaries invisible. Finally Rose half lunged, half tripped and startled the two deer, but all the way back to the RV we could hear the faint rustle of leaves. A few times we even saw flashes of them as they followed us.
Our last day was supremely magical. After touring Meramec Caverns the day before we decided to wait to check out other caves at a better time rather than fight the crowds on a busy Saturday. So we ended Route 66 in Sullivan, MO and set out to Springfield to see Josh. On the way there Robert pulled down a gravel road that ran alongside a small river. I thought he was crazy when he said that we were going to climb down the embankment and go swimming with the dogs. I didn’t think he was serious. Not only was the embankment a sharp and dangerous mess of weeds and fallen branches, it was also a steep drop into the river. As soon as I realized he wasn’t joking I had no other choice but to throw on a brave face and my swimsuit. Going down wasn’t quite that bad. Rose had to be coaxed into jumping off the bank into the water, but while Robert coaxed her I took off with Ella. I will admit that I envisioned us swimming side by side, but I should I have known that was a little too unrealistic. She kept insisting on getting on top of my back which hurt like all get out so I carried her until she could touch. Once she caught her breath she got right back in and fought the current and conquered. Eventually we did get to swim side by side which is an extraordinary thing folks. Extraordinary. Once Robert got Rose off the hill and into the water she took off. While Rose may be a lazy whiner at times there is nothing that can stop her when she swims.
We swam for about ten minutes with the dogs and started searching for a way to get out where the dogs could reach. We eventually found a spot that worked for them but it didn’t work very well for us. Once we got up we knew we were in deep doo doo. As soon as we got out of the river we ran into what felt like a mile long patch of stinging nettle. Thankfully we had a massive web of fallen trees to distract us as we tore our way through the itchy, fiery mess of nettle. We had swam so far down the river trying to find a dog friendly exit that we hadn’t realized how far we would have to walk back, and I swear to you now that every single inch of our way back was filled with stinging nettle and fist sized spiders hanging haphazardly everywhere. When we made it back to the road we came across another obstacle: a barb wire fence. Let’s just say that we said a few prayers before we jumped. After we made it across the fence we were a slimy, muddy, scratched up mess. Rose and Ella, however, were still racing through the spider and nettle infested woods at top speed, happier than we’ve ever seen them. When I asked Robert if he would do it all over again he just looked over at me and gave me the biggest smile. What a way to end such an awesome trip.
Posted by noisysmile at 10:36 AM
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Recently Robert and I became fans of the television show, “The BestThing I Ever Ate,” which is a show with a bunch of chefs talking about their favorite places to eat particular types of food. Tonight we watched one about their obsessions and I couldn’t help but think of a few of my obsessions. Although I am definitely not a chef I like to think that, as a pickatarian, I have darn good taste. I have a few obsessions, but if I have to narrow it down my two greatest obsessions are definitely Sister Mary’s Righteous root beer and a special kind of baked tofu, but I’ll give you a list.
Mccoys, KC, MO – Sister Mary’s Righteous root beer. It is like a root beer float without the ice cream. There’s some kind of magic that they do to their root beer (they tell me it’s almond extract). It’s as if they make a root beer float and then wave a magic wand over it and POOF, no ice cream. The best part is that they serve it in a frozen mug. It’s fantastic.
Chopped – This is a popular place in Tucson, AZ. So popular that they have two! You walk in and take a card and check off all the things you want on your salad (they have everything you can imagine), and then they chop it up into super duper tiny pieces. Because of this it blends into what I like to call salad soup. Interestingly enough they do not chop up their grapes, which is perfectly fine, because they become these little jewels in your salad. Each time you find one you feel victorious! My most favorite thing about Chopped, however, is their baked tofu. I have dreams about this tofu. The texture is very dry, and the taste is a very explosive kick of soy sauce. It’s this beautiful blend of rich and simple. I order it on the side, because as much as I love the salad, it definitely takes away from the beautiful simplicity of the tofu.
Si Senor – thankfully there are two of these, one in Chandler, AZ, and one in Las Cruces, NM. This place is so good that Robert and I have gone out of our way to stop at one when we’re out on a road trip. And it’s probably our favorite place to eat, which is an amazing thing, because he’s a diehard meat fanatic and I’m a picky semi-vegetarian. Their chile relleno is the best I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried a lot. It’s simple too, nothing fussy or fancy about it. It comes with a few other things on the only vegetarian platter they have, and to be quite honest it’s so good that I don’t have a darn clue what else is on the plate. I always choose the green sauce over the red, because the chile relleno has a kick to it. And even then I typically scrape the sauce off. It’s that good.
Loving Spoonfuls – This is a vegan restaurant in Tucson, AZ, but unlike many other vegan places it serves the plain ol’ hamburger and carrot salad in addition to the fancy stuff. At most vegan restaurants I’ve been to there isn’t anything simple. It’s all a bunch of indecipherable fancy pants stuff. Sometimes even a vegetarian wants is a damn hamburger. We’re humans too. But even though their hamburger is quite extraordinary, it isn’t an obsession of mine. My obsession is the chocolate peanut butter shake. It must have crack in it because no matter who I am with, I always end up fighting for it. My mother somehow always makes off with most of it! It is this perfect blend of smooth and chunky. It is super thick with peanuts that are so big they get stuck in the straw. Usually vegan shakes are chalky, but this one is incredibly silky. And because the people at Loving Spoonfuls are so friendly they will even make one for breakfast!
Blue Koi – Two words – lettuce wraps. Oh holy wow, these are the best lettuce wraps out there. You have not lived until you’ve tried them. Don’t forget the drizzle of hot sauce.
Now, l do have a couple of cheap obsessions. First, I have an incredible obsession with Auntie Anne’s plain pretzels. This is my weakness. Once a year I will sneak into a mall dressed completely incognito with sunglasses, a hat and a little mustache (j/k!) and grab one of their pretzels and race back to my car to eat it in private. There is something about a plain ol’ Auntie Anne’s pretzel that speaks to me. It is 310 calories of pure carb fantasy. I know that when God made me he gave me the weakness of carbs. I can say no to a margarita or chocolate fudge brownie, but I can’t say no to bread. Or cereal. If I could eat with no regret I would have rye toast and bran flakes every morning for the rest of my life. But back to the pretzel. If someone could figure out a way that I could eat one every day without having to run 10 miles and do 2,000 squats each time then I would marry them. No questions asked. My other cheap weakness is Juice Stop. Just typing those two words makes me want to get in my car and drive to Lawrence, KS right now and wait for them to open tomorrow. They have this drink that Josh and Robert have been getting for years. They’ve changed the name a few times so I’m not exactly sure what it’s called right now, but Josh and Robert have always lovingly referred to it as the triple crown. It used to be orange juice, frozen yogurt and milk, but recently, since I’ve become a fan, they’ve taken out the milk and added ice, which is probably why they’ve changed the name again. It is PHENOMENAL. I had it exactly three times last semester and I remember each occasion right down to the outfit I was wearing when I drank it. It’s like orange heaven in a cup. Each time we went it was after a long day of school and Robert always ordered the most gigantic size and we would share it on the way back home. An hour of unbelievable joy for the taste buds. I can’t wait for the fall semester.
What are your obsessions?
Posted by noisysmile at 11:02 PM
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
All is well in Kansas. I’ve been doing a lot of NOTHING, which is awesome. I started babysitting a little more since the parents I babysit for are in the process of moving. They have this three year old that is a serious trip. Let’s call him ‘G’. G’s whole purpose in life is to hurt as many people as possible, including me. I have more bruises than when I worked at UPS. Crazy huh? We went to an indoor play area yesterday and he took down about 6 toddlers. In the process of apologizing to a very shocked 10 year old (yes, seriously, 10), G turned off the lights which wouldn’t have been such a big deal, BUT they were the kind of lights that take forever to turn back on so all the kids that G didn’t already pinch, kick or hit started wailing. We left pretty soon after that. On another occasion when we were loading up in the car G started running towards this random stranger who just happened to be walking down the street. After chasing G down he started screaming for his mom and YANKED my shirt down during this tantrum. After pulling my shirt back up (full flash people) the guy told me he knew the kid’s parents. Oddly enough he didn’t seem to be phased by the incident, but of course he said he knew the kid.
I’m rethinking my decision to adopt or have kids in the future. Apparently Russia is a no no. I took this job knowing that this kid had problems because I wanted to get a little experience with problematic kids, but most days I barely get in my car before I start crying. I don’t know how the mom does it. I’ve seen her falter a few times, but she holds it together so well. I’m not sure I could ever do that.
On a brighter note I got an awesome surprise yesterday. Josh decided to drop in. . . with ANDY’S FROZEN CUSTARD, 4 tubs of it for my birthday. My LAST birthday, but I’m NOT complaining. I plan on eating it once a week even though I’m on a strict no sugar diet until I reach my next goal weight. I’ve lost about 15 pounds so far. SO I have all this wonderful frozen custard, my favorite kind, to look at and dream about.
Yesterday I tried Pilates for the first time. I went in there with an open mind and was even ok with the instructor being hands on. I love hands on instruction. Touch my butt all you want as long as you show me what I’m doing wrong. Personal space is not an issue because I have a tendency to relax or tense up during fitness classes. BUT I found out yesterday that the hands on approach can go a little too far. Apparently in Pilates where you have a neutral spine your lower back isn’t supposed to rest on the floor. You have to pretend like there’s a tiny grape there and you can’t squish it. Well while focusing on not squishing the grape the instructor told us to find our pubic planes. WTF? Of course I squished the grape after that. But after picking my lower back up again I started to look for my ‘pubic plane’. What the heck I thought. It’s worth a try. At first I thought she wanted us to find THAT muscle. You know what muscle I’m talking about. Well once I found it I put my hands, shaped like a triangle, on it and started flexing. Piece of cake. The pretend grape even seemed to be doing fine. Well she came up and MOVED my hands and told me to make a table for a pretend glass of wine RIGHT ABOVE MY VAGINA. Well like way above but it was still too close and one of my fingers was like right there. While holding up my imaginary wine on the pretend table that rested inside the triangle of my fingers I started to feel my lower back slip. My belly started shaking from laughter which bumped the imaginary table, knocked over the wine and you guessed it, squished the grape. The instructor probably knew I was a bad egg, the real kind, the moment I walked into the class, but she came over and very quietly told me that I needed to keep my pubic plane flat so I could hold up the glass of wine. That’s when she noticed that the ‘grape’ was squished. After straightening me out she told us to make barbie arms and that’s when I lost it. Not only did it sound particularly funny at the time, it LOOKED funny. The wine tipped over as the table turned itself back into a fluffy donut, which is what ALL pubic planes should look like if you ask me, and the grape crumpled beneath me. I didn’t even get my mat rolled up before leaving the room. I was trying too hard not to laugh. Back to yoga it is. At least only the names of the poses are funny in yoga. And if someone does happen to touch me somewhere off limits they won’t be shrieking about wine and grapes and barbie parts. BUT if you want a really really good laugh go try Pilates!
I was actually rather cranky after failing to make it through the Pilates class, but today I played in a tennis tournament and won my games and was instantly reminded that I am not a bad egg.
Take that Pilates!
Tonight I am going to cut loose! The boys are gone for the night and I plan on taking advantage of the evening – big salad with the good ginger dressing and a tall glass of the good stuff in a frosted glass. Robert made me a cute strawberry cheesecake (sugarfree!) with my name spelled out in strawberries and I am going to eat all the strawberries off the top and surround myself with candles and the Arabic music channel. OMG!
Posted by noisysmile at 8:35 PM
Sunday, May 03, 2009
I am alive and ok. Thank you for asking.
I am, however, completely overwhelmed. When I got sick last month I got behind on everything, and now I am frantically trying to catch back up.
Unfortunately for the moment there are a few loves of mine that have to be pushed aside until I am caught back up. Blogging and sleep and tennis. Sigh.
Hopefully I will be caught up by next week *crossing fingers*.
I miss you all.
Posted by noisysmile at 3:43 PM
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I hope everyone is having a great Easter with their loved ones.
I will be snooping around on blogs here soon. I caught another flu bug (a particularly nasty one) and am hoping that I will be up and running here soon.
Eat some Peeps for me!
Posted by noisysmile at 1:25 PM
Monday, March 30, 2009
Posted by noisysmile at 10:23 PM
Friday, March 20, 2009
My life is full of extraordinary people. Sometimes I am just overwhelmed with all of the love and friendship that sneaks into my life. I just don’t know what to do with it. I just want to throw my hands up and thank somebody, but I’m not sure who to thank. I visited a very special friend on Tuesday. My friend is 80 years old and just went through back surgery. She was definitely not the person I remember but I have hope that she will take off on her Harley and soar again. I also visited my father and he is doing GREAT. He’s moving into a different place which can only be better than where he has been living. He was all smiles and funny dances the whole time that Robert and I visited. We had a picnic in the park with him and the pups and joked and laughed and had such an awesome time.
Tonight Robert and I had dinner and game night with two more dear friends of mine (I think Robert’s falling for them too). They are the daughter and son-in-law of the friend I visited on Tuesday and they are so much FUN. Robert’s mom even joined us! Robert made a great dinner and we played a bunch of silly games.
Tomorrow we are having yet another game night with an oddball assortment of friends. We invited a very spiritual friend of ours. I met her last semester in a class and once she brought cookies for the class and around Christmas she gave everyone candy canes. She transferred to the same college I did this semester and whenever Robert or I run into her she always has something positive to say and if she’s having a bad day she just says that God is teaching her patience. WAY WAY on the other end of the spectrum we have another friend coming who is a total man slut. He loves to get drunk and flirt with the ladies, but he’s such a lovable guy. I met him in my political science class about three years ago and knew he was a keeper. I typically can’t stand people like him but he’s such a funny person. He oversteps boundaries that only my brothers will touch like telling me that I smell LOL. I’m not sure what our spiritual friend will think of his foul language and crazy personality, but she’s been tolerant of me so I think all will be well between the two. It will be very interesting though. I also have a friend I’ve known most of my life coming along with her BFF (HAHA) who is pregnant! It will be a very fun night. We’re making big pans of pasta and there will be strawberry shortcake of course.
And right now I’m talking to my mom. Does life get any better? Nope, don’t think so.
Now if only I could plan a visit to see Robin and Jay and Meander.
Posted by noisysmile at 11:58 PM
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I am a huge fan of this choir, and this is one of my most favorite songs.
Youtube wouldn't let me have this one so you'll have to go to youtube to watch it. It's my favorite Willie Nelson tune hands down.
yes, I saved the best for last.
Posted by noisysmile at 5:37 PM
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
This is my type of poetry. Even when I write an essay it comes out sounding like def poetry. I used to watch this show all the time. I particularly love this guy. He spits poems like I do but with more oomph and power. I'm like the Enya of def poetry and he's like a white Master P Unh! Damn I need some sleep.
Almost Spring Break!
Psst! I made a 'C' on my science test WOOT!
Posted by noisysmile at 11:43 PM
Monday, March 09, 2009
Tomorrow will be the worst day of this week. I have two midterms and I am fearful of both. One is in a science class, and because I failed the first test (yes I bombed it), I cannot fail this one or I flunk the class. The other midterm is not only about 2 novels, a memoir and a few short stories, I also have to know each author's family history, all of their books and their biographical history. I have been studying for hours and hours today and am finally winding down. I'm only to going to study for another couple hours before I call it quits. It's nice to take a break though and sit down with a video from youtube and a cup of hot chocolate.
I love this video because it reminds me of my mom. Just like her this video is simple yet intricate. And like my mom it is whimsical and rather dorky but in such an artful way. It's colorful, relaxing and inviting. And the hand movements at the end? That's exactly how my mom dances when she's in a car.
Posted by noisysmile at 8:13 PM
Sunday, March 08, 2009
I have midterms this week. I told my mom that I might disappear until they are over. She asked me to give her signs that I am still alive. SO, until midterms are over I will be sharing some of my most favorite tidbits from youtube.
(to turn off the music just go the bottom of my page and click on the pause button)
Today's youtube love:
I had to put Keely Smith and Louis Prima first because they are the best. I love All Night Long, but there isn't a good video for it. This one is quite fantastic too. I love how they complement each other. They are so radically different and that's what makes them so much fun to watch.
I love LOVE LOVE this band. I need to get over my fear of bars and go see them. I love this particular video because it's my favorite song by them and at about 2:25 things really pick up and get super crazy. Look how fast they are moving. My favorite member of the band? Washboard Breezy of course.
This music video brings me to my knees every time I see it.
I love so many things about this video:
the gospel music
the man's face at 1:58
kanye's dance that starts at 2:08
when he takes off his jacket
when he says "they say you can rap about anything except for jesus"
But my FAVORITE part of this video is at 2:25. That part just rips through me and makes me want to take off flying.
Posted by noisysmile at 5:48 PM
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Yesterday I decided to skip my classes. Before yesterday I hadn’t missed a minute, let alone an entire day. I was getting worn out fast and needed a break before spring break. Instead of going back to sleep however I woke up with this unexplainable joy and immediately starting cleaning out the house. I managed to take everything out of the guest bedroom (shelves, bed, dresser, computer equipment etc.) and clean it top to bottom (minus the blinds). I piled up my shoes and made a few sacrifices, organized and found hundreds of poems, finished and unfinished, and unburied an extraordinary amount of nonsense. I discovered that I have exactly 37 pairs of shoes, not including flip flops, about 2 very large Tupperware containers of forgotten poems, and a crazy assortment of Christmas gifts that still haven’t been given away. When I first entered the room I had to climb over things and push from the inside out. I admit that I had trapped myself in the room and had no other choice but to clean if I were to ever see daylight again. I found pay stubs and bank receipts from over 4 years ago. Every little piece of paper that anyone I love or loved or thought I loved had written anything on, including rummy scores and grocery lists, had been piled into boxes and sealed shut. I found teeth that I had lost as a child, love notes from boyfriends in 6th grade, obituaries of strangers that had apparently touched me, old girl scout badges, tags from every animal I have loved, friendship rocks and shells and pieces of myself that managed to get buried beneath years of disregard and junk. I threw a lot away, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t hang on to most of it. It was a tough battle, but I feel victorious. After the guest bedroom I cleaned the rest of the house, which was in much better shape, but when you have two golden retrievers you’re always going to have something to sweep or pick up. Yesterday was such a powerful day. I’m the first to admit that I tend to hang onto people and things that need to be freed, but admitting it doesn’t make it any easier to let go.
I woke up happy today. I feel like I slept for 2000 years last night. The first thing I did was reach for my new dress. I knew I couldn’t wear it just yet or I’d freeze my ass off, but I touched it anyway. I have managed to mysteriously lose almost two sizes (without losing weight). Last week Robert and I went shopping and found a dress. He liked it so much that he got it for me. Buying a dress sounds so simple. Women (and some men too) wear dresses every day. I don’t. It is not something I take for granted. I am very short, 5’1, and very muscular with a booty that puts J Lo to shame. Basically I’m like a pear-shaped Arnold Schwarzenegger. Dresses only go on so far before they get stuck and that’s not a position I want to be in when I’m in the dressing room at a mall. This dress beat insurmountable odds and now hangs like a miracle in my closet. I cannot wait to wear it. I have everything planned out, the shoes, the hair, the lip gloss color. Everything. I have touched it so many times that I am worried that holes might appear, but touching it is the only way to start my day.
Today I worked mostly on a paper that I am writing for a very scary class. I am writing about The Awakening, which really touched me. I had to find a scholarly article about the book and write about the article. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? Well I wanted to find somebody who wrote about Edna’s bisexuality, but I could only find writers who shyly approached the topic briefly before quickly moving on. I was beginning to get angry, because as a feminist text, this book should have several articles about Edna’s bisexuality. When I met with my teacher last week I was exasperated and lost. I had barely explained my dilemma before she whipped out an article on Edna’s lesbianism. I read the article and it took my breath away. If you haven’t read the book I’m going to tell you right now that Edna supposedly commits suicide by swimming out into the ocean until she gets exhausted. But here’s the problem. I didn’t want her to die. When everyone told me that she did, I didn’t believe them. I was going to keep her alive at any cost. I wanted so badly to believe that she surrendered and made love to the ocean, but I felt like my opinion was just wishful thinking. All the research that I could find stated that she died. I should have just said the hell with them and trusted my own opinions. But I let myself get defeated and on the day we discussed the book in class I sacrificed my participation points for the day and said nothing. I couldn’t tell the class that rather than dying at the end Edna was surrendering to the lover that awakened her at the beginning. I didn’t want to take such a fragile bud of a thought and throw it against such a sound judgement. I couldn’t suggest that Edna’s bisexuality and even lesbianism, sure, were sprinkled throughout the novel. When the teacher handed me this article I was skeptical. Bisexuality was pushing it in my opinion, so lesbianism had never entered my mind. But as I read the article I was swayed. It was such a profound article with such substantial evidence. The article proved that at least one scholar had considered Edna’s bisexuality. The article also illuminates the coward in me that couldn’t stand up against a large crowd and declare my opinion.
While I was writing my paper somebody started banging on the door. It wasn’t just a light tap tap tap. It sounded like the person wanted to tear the house down. When I opened the door I had to refrain from laughing because it was Charlie, our mailman. Charlie is deaf, and at times I wonder if he thinks everyone else is deaf too. He’s such a likable person though. He’s always stopping to chat with Robert, Audrey (Robert’s mom, who lives across the street), or I. Usually he just likes to talk, but occasionally he needs help with something. Today he appeared quite frantic as he waved one of his hands in my face. He had a tiny cut and asked for a band-aid. I went and grabbed the first aid kit and brought back antiseptic wipes, Neosporin, and a band-aid (we have the works because of all the kiddos that come around). As I was cleaning him up he kept trying to sign with his hand. It was worse than putting a band-aid on a caffeinated kid, but he was so excited because he saw Robert’s smoker. He kept signing, “I have a bigger and better smoker”. I called Robert and told him that Charlie had a better smoker. Of course he couldn’t believe it. I know that the next time they see each other there is going to be a war about the smokers. But it was such a comical experience. After he left I went to get the mail and there was nothing. He didn’t deliver my block’s mail for another 30 minutes which means that he went out of his way to come here when he needed help. That makes me feel good. One of these days I need to invite him and his family over for supper. And he can bring his own damn smoked meat.
Well I don’t want to talk your ear off…
Posted by noisysmile at 6:17 PM
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
First, I went to grab a bite to eat before the big night and while I was in the parking lot someone backed into my car.
While I was waiting for the police I managed to lock myself out of my car so I had to ask the police officer to send someone to unlock my car. To my embarrassment a huge tow truck showed up and charged me $35, but they made it sound like I was getting a deal. I call B.S.
But the evening ended well when I finally got to meet James Mcbride. He gave a lecture tonight at KU, and it was phenomenal. He was quite opinionated and very animated. He used his tie as a prop several times. It was a very colorful and captivating lecture. If you haven't read anything by him you are missing out!
Posted by noisysmile at 10:46 PM
Monday, February 16, 2009
So what did I do for Valentine’s Day?
Oh how do I romanticize snot and despair? Let’s start with Thursday. On Thursday I woke up with a very raw sore throat. I went to school, fought my way through a test and even managed to eat a salad with peppers in it. The whole day I longed to go home and wrap myself up in heated blankets and golden retriever love, but I fought against that urge and made it through the day. Friday started sluggish so I tucked myself into my office and busied myself with blog work. I spent a great amount of time sorting through old posts of my favorite bloggers, kicking myself silently for missing out on a chunk of their lives (during Christmas of all things!), and writing pieces of their poems on sticky notes to think about for the day. I do this a lot with one of my favorite bloggers, Mark. Reading his blog is just like sitting down with one of my favorite books of poems (Go check him out if you haven’t already). Sometimes I have to wander through a poem several times before I realize why it struck me so. So, Friday I took just for me in hopes that the sore throat would surrender. By Friday night I was on my knees in tears. I could barely sleep, because it hurt to swallow and my entire back and stomach felt bruised and sunburned. When Saturday greeted me I only wanted to kick its face in, but I was too miserable. I didn’t want Robert to leave me alone. I thought that I was going to faint and knock my face in or something worse so he remained faithfully by my side. During this time I had completely lost my voice and was besieged with a mad desire for frozen bananas. He got right in the car and came back with not only the bananas but also a beautiful bouquet of tulips and irises (oddly enough tulips are my favorite and irises are my mother’s). They were in a sorry state like me, but he promised that as I got better the flowers would blossom. By Sunday the irises had thrown their purple all over the place, and my voice came back. Today I was greeted by a few tentative tulip blossoms as they struggled to outshine the irises. I knew that the dreaded cold was behind me.
Interestingly enough I was trying to figure out what Robert and I had done for previous VDays. For awhile I thought we were turning into two old frumps, but now that I think about it there is so much new love in the little surprises. Our first Valentine’s Day in 2006 was unbelievably powerful and surreal. We were in Guatemala with my mother, and on Valentine’s Day we went to Tikal to see the ruins. The next year we tried too hard with foo foo gifts. In 2008 Robert was sick with a sinus infection and while he was sleeping I snuck out and got him comfy socks and vitamin C. I remember the beauty of Tikal and the simple passion Robert and I had for each other. I remember the thrill of surprising him with something warm, something useful, wrapped in red heart paper. But I do not remember anything about the foo foo of 2007.
So what did I do for this year’s ♥ Day? I ate frozen bananas with my best friend and waited for the flowers to bloom.
Oh and Robin here is the list of books I'm most excited about:
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor
Eight Men by Richard Wright
Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
All But My Life by Gerda Weissmann Klein
Posted by noisysmile at 10:04 PM
Friday, February 13, 2009
The music you are hearing is all the way at the bottom of the page. Just hit the pause button to turn it off.
Posted by noisysmile at 11:28 AM
Friday, February 06, 2009
I am still alive, and very much so! I am absolutely overjoyed with this new university I am attending. it is taking up much of my time. I am taking two reading/writing intensive courses - there is a special stack of books (20+) just for these two classes, but it is finally a reading list I am madly in love with. I used to read summaries and reviews of books online instead of reading the actual books (and make mostly A's sadly enough), but this semester I have been sneaking my books to bed and work with me. I've even been reading between games at tennis. But please don't fret; I've still been sneaking around on blogs.
I'm also taking another poetry workshop class. I am so glad that I am taking this class. I have been unburying my poems and writing new ones too. When I took the dogs for a run this evening I subjected them to bits of rhyme between breaths. I feel like I'm alive again.
I hope to jump back into blogging full force here soon. Thanks for your patience.
P.S. I made the Dean's list again last semester! I really think there should be a monetary award for this.
Posted by noisysmile at 11:16 PM
Thursday, January 08, 2009
I am finally home! After we got back from Florida Robert and I drove to Arizona to see my mom, grandma and STINKY Scott. We had a total blast. We drove up Mount Lemmon, hit 4th street twice, hiked the Santa Catalina Mountains, went to the Biosphere2 and grilled out almost every night. We took Rose and Ella with us and they had a grand time tromping around with my mom and grandma's dog, (it's really a rat) Lulu. Robert's mom flew out for the last two days of the trip and drove back with us. On our way back we set out for the Petrified Forest, but got stuck in Heber after they barricaded the roads due to a snow storm. After we saw the gift shop at the Petrified Forest (the forest was buried under snow) we drove to the Grand Canyon, but when we got there it started to snow again so we saw very little (mostly the gift shop). We stopped at the Hoover Dam and took an awesome tour and meandered through Las Vegas, but only long enough to get agitated with the traffic. We then drove through Colorado until they closed I 70 because of (you guessed it) snow! We didn't have to wait very long though and didn't have a single problem with the Eisenhower tunnel. After that we drove straight home and arrived at 3 this morning. We have hundreds, if not thousands of pictures to sort through so it may be awhile before I post pictures. I am going to try to figure out a way to post a photo gallery for those pictures, but my Florida pictures are on my myspace. Go check them out!
Posted by noisysmile at 11:19 PM
Saturday, January 03, 2009
I am alive.
I hope the holidays were pleasant for everyone. Thank you Robin for the card. I got it right before I left!
I cannot use my cell phone and have no internet here (I'm in AZ). I was very lucky to get this little bit of internet time. I am not ignoring you. I cannot wait to read blogs and get back on track when I get home (by Thursday).
Happy New Year!
Posted by noisysmile at 12:16 AM