Friday, July 31, 2009

Fists o' Fury!

If I could choose my fantasy son-in-law, I'd choose this guy:
zac efron Pictures, Images and Photos
Zac Efron. Oh, Zac Efron. Has anyone ever told you how dreamy you are? I mean, besides your twerpy little girlfriend? Ditch Vanessa. Seriously. Nobody likes her anyway. And now that I think about it, we should really ditch the son-in-law part of your title and acknowledge that you are just my fantasy. Period.

And, so...ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased (oh, not really) to present to you my daughter's fantasy husband. My fantasy (by proxy) son-in-law:
Jeff Hardy Pictures, Images and Photos
Jeff Hardy. Oh, Jeff Hardy. Has anyone ever told you how creepy looking you are? I mean, without getting pounded into the cement by your fluorescent green Fists o' Fury? Or even your fluorescent pink Fists o' Fury? Is there a set of neon orange Fists o' Fury? I bet there is!! Because you are Just. That. Awesome.

Oh, wait! How did this not occur to me?

116 Pictures, Images and Photos
Check it: the Rainbow Fists o' Fury! (or, really, the singular Fist)

I'm not quite sure what's going on, but when I was eight years old I was writing love letters to Jon Bon Jovi (Jon, I'm still waiting for a response...ahem!!). But every other 2nd- or 3rd-grader I knew back then was joining the Bon Jovi fan club. Or the New Edition fan club. Or even writing such letters of devotion to one of the Coreys.

But, this...
Jeff Hardy Pictures, Images and Photos
...I just don't get it.

Maybe it's his jazz hands.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Trust me, I'm the patient

When my daughter has a fever, I usually wait until her temperature reaches 100 before I start giving her a fever reducer. Other parents (and non-parents) might disagree with me on this, but I believe that a fever is a fever for a reason and it should run its course, unless my child's comfort is being greatly compromised. I'll also treat a stye with a warm water compress, a sore throat with a salt water rinse, and basically every other minor injury/illness with common sense and tender loving care. I also like to think that I know when something has gone beyond my ability to treat with hugs and kisses and I call the doctor.

I treat myself the same way. I hate taking medicine and prescription medicines are the worst, maybe because the military doctors shoved antibiotics down my throat like candy and because of the miserable schedules and side effects associated with an RX dosing: TAKE WITH FOOD (may cause vomiting), TAKE ONE HOUR BEFORE BEDTIME (may cause abdominal cramping), TAKE WITH BREAD OR MILK (may cause blurred vision and suicidal thoughts).

What the hell? It's an allergy pill!

Okay, okay...I'm going a little overboard here. But it worries me that each time I've gone to the doctor this year I've been encouraged to take a prescription in order to help me live life comfortably.

That allergic reaction I had was followed by a prescription of Xyzal which made my heart pound so strongly that I was honestly afraid to move for fear that any extra strain on my heart (like getting out of a chair) would make it blow out of my chest. It was not a comfortable feeling. When I told the doctor about the side effect I was experiencing, he gave me Singular and said it wouldn't have any side effects unless I believed it would have side effects. Funny, that's how my high school friends described an acid trip. So my solution? Stay away from flower shops and keep my Benadryl handy.

There was also that time I started feeling fearful of bridges (and living in Jacksonville doesn't allow such fears) and my anxiety issue was threatening to rear its ugly head at me once again. My friend suggested Paxil (as she suffered from some pretty serious anxiety) so I asked my doctor for some. After a three-minute consultation with my brand-new doctor (never before seen!), I was sent home with a prescription for Paxil and a pat on the back for recognizing the return of my anxiety disorder. I popped a pill around 9pm and sat motionless on my couch until 3am, daring anyone who told me to go to bed to move me themselves because I had lost not only the ability to move myself but also any ability to give a crap about anything. I never took those pills again and quickly realized how wonderful life really can be when I have complete control over my own limbs. And control over my own fears. It was definitely too strong a pill for me. I'm surprised the doctor went along with my idea. While I don't blame him completely (I accept some blame, too), I do think he should have known better and suggested something like Paxil Lite.

Just recently I went to see the nurse practitioner about some pain I was experiencing on my left side. I walked in convinced that I had another ovarian cyst and figured since I'd lived through a pretty painful cyst that ruptured two years ago that I knew what I was talking about. Like a cult leader who converts followers in a matter of minutes, the RNP quickly had me convinced that I was wrong and I was probably dealing with diverticulitis (which is not a pretty disease to talk about so I won't). He prescribed me a pill (surprise!) and told me to take this strength first...then take this strength after 3 days...then take this strength until the day I die.

When I refused, he was pissed. I flat out told him I wasn't going to take the prescription and that he should provide me with a drug-free alternative. To this, he replied, "Well, I figured you would have already tried a drug-free alternative and that's why you're here now. If this pain doesn't clear up, I'll prescribe a colonoscopy."


WHAT!?! I went in thinking it was an ovarian cyst and was sent home with the threat of a lubed tube up my pooper. He didn't even mention an ultrasound first and that's what would probably diagnose the ovarian cyst, or rule it out altogether. Another suggestion? Just stick your fingers in my hoohah like the last doctor did and say, "Yep, I feel something" or "Nope, I don't feel anything." But a colonoscopy? That really made me mad. And while my pain hasn't disappeared, it has lessened. I still don't think it's serious enough to warrant a colonoscopy but sure, I'll feel like an asshole if I'm wrong (no pun intended, really).

I feel good that I trusted my instincts and that's probably how I'll deal with most medical personnel from here on out. After surviving the military medical system (one gallon of Amoxil at a time), I walked away with an immunity to most antibiotics that lasted for 7 years, courtesy of recurring bouts of strep throat that didn't get better during my years of immunity. So yeah, I have issues with medicine and the people who prescribe them. But I'm not a fanatic about refusing treatment. I question why I need it, what can help prevent my need for it, and how I can make sure I don't need it forever.

Isn't that the doctor's job?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quite possibly the most responsible thing I've done all year

Today's grocery list:
french toast sticks - Elle
* bacon *

Bacon. I eat bacon almost every morning. Usually at least once every day. When I don't have bacon in the morning, I put some on my grilled cheese sandwich for lunch or break up bits of bacon and sprinkle it into my pasta with sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce for dinner.

And, yeah - sometimes I eat it for a snack. Mmmm...Mmmm...bacon!

I was introduced to bacon as an adult. It had probably always been in my house as a child but I never ate it. Only when I was recovering from my c-section did I finally understand the enormous wonderment of bacon. My hospital roommate was non-existent and the nurses not only gave me my own breakfast plate, they also gave me hers...whoever she was supposed to be. (You snooze, you lose, lady. Ha! I got your breakfast!) I'm sure the nurses were trying to fatten me up before I was discharged (I'd been admitted as a pregnant 132-pounder and immediately lost all the extra pounds, falling close to my original pre-preggo weight before leaving the hospital, to my disappointment). Eggs, toast, jellies and butter, biscuits with gravy, sausage links, orange juice, chocolate milk, and this magical treat called bacon. Times TWO!

So began my love affair with bacon.

If you take another look at today's grocery list, you'll see toothbrush. But I don't use a regular toothbrush. I'm addicted to those $7.99 toothbrushes. Why? Because they work better. I'm totally convinced.

I'm also convinced that the $7.99 toothbrush is way more important than the $5.99 pound of bacon. In a long-term situation, the toothbrush will probably also provide me with more comfort. Plus I found one for $4.59 at Publix. I guess that means I did two responsible things today: chose the toothbrush (necessity) over the bacon (it's making me cry!!) AND went for the cheaper model of toothbrush.

My mother would be so proud.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

'Tis the season for Jim Cantore!

Ah, the hurricane. The mighty, mighty hurricane. The season is upon us and it never fails to end up being the exact opposite, in terms of activity, of what the experts predict/suggest by pulling a random number out of a hat and then calling Jim Cantore of The Jim Cantore Show About Hurricanes Starring Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel to report it as OFFICIAL!

With this official information, Jim Cantore of The Jim Cantore Show About Hurricanes Starring Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel can be seen (about two days before landfall) patrolling the shores of some unsuspecting Florida beach town, stalking the locals with stupid, overdramatic questions and basically behaving like a really bad weather reporter who is way too excited to be reporting on anything. He's obnoxious, half crazy, and loud enough to host WWE's Monday Night Raw. I mean, let's face it: he's no Walter Cronkite. Besides, I can't imagine Walter Cronkite getting so overly theatrical with his interrogation tactics against the local beachwalkers that he trips over his own microphone cord while doing an interview and exclaims "Shit!!" on live television.

Picturing it...picturing it...straining my imagination beyond its borders - can't see Cronkite saying "Shit!" on live TV...nope, can't do it.

So I guess hurricane season is what Jim Cantore of The Jim Cantore Show About Hurricanes Starring Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel lives for. And I think that's cool. Yes, he's annoying, but I fall for it during every single hurricane update.

Here's to you, Jim Cantore of The Jim Cantore Show About Hurricanes Starring Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel. While the majority of Floridians who will be directly affected by any forthcoming hurricanes no longer have access to your live reports (thanks to the DTV switch), we will be thinking of you fondly as we board up our windows and listen to ancient oak trees come crashing down around us. For as we hide in our closets to wait out yet another tornado warning and stay up late into the night convincing our children that the walls are in fact not moving inward against the pressure of 80 mph wind gusts, you Jim Cantore of The Jim Cantore Show About Hurricanes Starring Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel will probably be frolicking on our lovely beaches and enjoying the silence of our cities left abandoned by frightened evacuees.

Welcome to The Sunshine State, Jim Cantore of The Jim Cantore Show About Hurricanes Starring Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel. We hope you have a wonderful time!

jim cantore Pictures, Images and Photos
(Jim Cantore of The Jim Cantore Show About Hurricanes Starring Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The GAY question

I was making some tuna noodle crap for dinner and the rest of the family was watching Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood on the DVR. Every now and then, Tori's friend Mehran (her gay husband) would throw out some funny observation about his gayness or other people's gayness. I don't usually pay attention to gay people talking about their gayness (because I just don't give a crap) except my ears did perk up a tad when I heard Mehran exclaim to Tori and Dean that they had a gay baby.


At first my daughter seemed more excited about the fact that little Liam kissed an Asian baby (because she's all about Asians now - thanks, Delilah). But after the two little babies gave each other a peck, Mehran felt it was absolutely necessary to declare on a national level that Tori and Dean had a gay baby. Or was it more like, "OH MY GOD, YOU HAVE A GAAAAAY BABYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Yeah, it was probably more like that.

So, okay. I thought that was a little weird. And it wasn't a few seconds later while I was stirring my tuna noodle crap (and wondering how truly crappy it was going to taste) that I felt a slight tug on my left side. I turned to see my daughter staring at me with that I've-got-something-to-ask-you look on her face.

Me: What?
Her: What does it mean when they say you're gay?

Um.....(phew)...well, um...yeah, how do I answer this? Take a deep breath, Dena, because just last week didn't you convince her to stop laughing about the fact that boobies are a food source? And didn't you explain to her that some babies come from a mommy's belly (because, technically, she was born via c-section and came directly from my belly) and then thanked your lucky stars that she didn't ask about the rest of the babies that don't come from a mommy's belly?

Suck it up, Mom!! You can do this! Sure, she's almost 8 years old, and at the rate kids are growing up these days, it's very possible she'll be asking for a bra and starting her period in the next two years and then you'll really have some 'splainin' to do!

Me: Well, sometimes boys fall in love with boys and girls fall in love with girls.
Her: So?
Me: Usually you hear about boys falling in love with girls, right?
Her: Yeah. So why do they get a special word?
Me: Uh...I don't know. Here, you want some ice cream?

It was that easy. But almost immediately, I thought it was strange that my daughter had asked me about the gay word before she's even asked me about the sex word. Then I realized that most people who are gay probably recognize that within/about themselves before they even start dealing with the sexual aspect. And I actually prefer it that way. At least now Elle knows that people just fall in love with people. But I am sooo dreading the sex talk.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Back in January, Elle and I visited a quaint little hell-on-Earth called Woodbine (and you can read all about that creepy little adventure here). Woodbine is ass-backwards redneckery filled with Ebenezer Church-stalkin' cops and is also not too far from Brunswick, my newest town that I love to hate. I have driven thousands of miles between Jacksonville, Florida and Emporia, Virginia, over the last 8 years or so only to find myself trapped in a sea of orange cones and construction zone signs beginning south of Brunswick, Georgia, and finally ending somewhere near...oh, the South Carolina state line.

construction Pictures, Images and Photos

God, does Brunswick really have to exist? I mean, can't you just blow up the paper mill that smells up the joint and the surrounding 30-mile area and be done with it? Then there will be no need for those orange cones that have been plowed over by speeding drivers, lane shifts that freak out the vacationers driving on I-95 South for the first time ever, or squeezing three lanes into one. Because even though the guy directing traffic is probably laughing his ass off at all the road ragers who are screaming obscenities at him when they finally pass, it's not really a grand idea on a holiday weekend to add another hour to one's commute. I think the Brunswickians put him up to it. And they probably pay him generously. It's their way of subjecting the rest of the road-trippin' country to that stench they call oxygen.

I had no way around Brunswick last week when I decided to meet up with some South Carolina-based friends of mine in Savannah, Georgia (one of my favorite cities ever, by the way!). What should have been a 90-minute trip was delayed by a massive interstate project guessed it, Brunswick. In the middle of navigating this highway overhaul, the storm of the century was unleashed upon all the unsuspecting travelers in my cluster of vehicles. This 15-minute lightning/thunder/DEATH-IS-NEAR storm stole from us our ability to see, to hear, and to hold one's bladder due to being overcome with fear and concern for nearly hitting all those dumbasses who like to drive with their flashers on. And because I was on vacation (albeit only 1 hour into my vacation), I had brought a change of pants but never had to use it. Phew!

This all happened before I even reached mile marker 49. I had sixty miles to go to get to my friends and my hotel and my hot tub. Sixty miles of uneventful highway travel. Until I headed home...ugh.

This Wednesday I will be heading back up I-95 North on my way to Ridgeland, South Carolina to stop overnight, only to wake up and drive some more until I reach Asheville. If Atlanta wasn't rumored to be an even bigger nightmare than Brunswick, I'd actually consider the two hours that would be added to my drive. Yes, I hate Brunswick that much but not enough to fight with Atlanta.