Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mike got older this past weekend

Mike's Birthday was a lot of fun. I was successful with my planning and everyone who said they'd come arrived almost on time. Mike's friend Rudy whom I never met until Saturday even showed. Mike and he kind of lost touch and have trouble finding ways to get together. I got his number and gave him a call. He was very nice and Mike was excited to see him.

To the left is Mike and Randy. Randy's birthday was last week and we love Randy. He's my favorite. Shhhh.

We all met at a hibachi restaurant, only seven of us in all. Those who couldn't make it to dinner were eager to meet up with us afterwards. The food was excellent.

This is Mike and I at the restaurant.
I'm pretty buzzed here and proceeded to get drunk in the
restaurant knowing that Mike would still be sober by the time we left and completely trashed by the time we'd have to go home so I took advantage of my time not having to be designated driver.

In a nutshell, Rudy invited us all back to his house where he has a full bar for a birthday toast and we never left. The boys drank beer and hard shots. I didn't drink at all. Mike got trashed and had a great time with his boys and his girl. I'm glad I didn't plan the night past dinner because I would have never guessed we'd spend 3.5 hours at one of Mike's friend's houses that I never even met.

This is Rudy playing barkeep. Mike's old friend Craig who he also hasn't hung out with in over a year is Rudy's roommate and came home shortly after we got there. Roman, Mike's best friend, even made it due to a power outtage at work. It really turned out great.

For some reason, I can't get the last picture titled, Mike happy & drunk, to load. Hmmmm. Well, take my word for it. Mike had a great birthday.

Falling can be so much fun

I fell down Sunday night. Well, I kind of tripped, rolled and crashed! I laid in a crumpled heap on the sidewalk crying and laughing and gasping for breath seeing stars. All I saw was Mike's and our friend Frost's feet. All I heard was Mike's hysterical laughter and Frost's, 'Oh My God. Are you ok?' over and over and over.

I was so embarassed because Frost saw it too. I don't really get embarassed in front of Mike anymore. So I didn't want to look up and I kept laughing and crying. "Is she crying or laughing?" asks Frost.

In between fits of suffocating laughter, Mike manages to get out, "I don't know. That was so funny."

I finally can breathe long enough to get out, "you're supposed to wait until you make sure I'm ok before you start laughing, you fucking jerk!" I keep laughing and crying both almost hysterically. Mike's laughing. Frost is concerned.

I manage to pick myself up with Frost's help. (Mike is still laughing too hard to help.)

I go back and examine the giant hole in the lawn I twisted my ankle in. Apparently, everyone we know knows to be cautious of it but me! I was happy so I frolicked down the lawn, landed my right foot in the hole, twisted, fell, and rolled down the remainder of the lawn crashing on my right side onto the sidewalk. I have a huge bruise to show for it.

I'm so happy it happened. Everytime I think of it, I smile a huge one and start laughing. This morning, I was walking to work in the rain and thought of it. I couldn't help smiling my squinty-eyes smile and chuckling to myself. Some random woman walking in my direction saw me and smiled a big one and said, 'well, good morning!'. See, my falling even made her day.

It also gave Mike a great story to tell the guys at the bar last night. I needed a good crash. It makes me feel alive again.

Oh yeah, and it turned out to be a late surprise birthday gift for Mike.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday, Saturday, Sunday - Rain

When Philly is all wet and cold, everyone is all wet and cold.

Looking back to the rain in New Jersey, there was never a need for an umbrella unless you were going to an outdoor event and there was a chance for rain. In the rain, you hustled, maybe even jogged, to your car which was never farther than across the street at most. The furthest you parked from anywhere you needed to go was maybe at the grocery store and that's if you went at a busy time. Still, no need for an umbrella. Why would you want to carry that wet thing around the whole time anyway?

In Philly, your umbrella goes up before you've even locked the front door. You walk the block to the bus stop and you wait an average of five minutes and at this time maybe only your shoes are wet.

Then you get on the bus and everything goes to hell. The plastic grip walk mats are puddled and chances are you're sardined between two people who actually don't use umbrellas. They stink like hell to boot so now you're imagining you're young again playing How Long Can You Hold Your Breath in the pool with your brothers just to deal with the wet dog stank.

There's five wet umbrellas pressed against you including your own and you look around wondering why you're the only one in a rain coat. Thank goodness for my rain coat.

So you dig out your iPod from your bag of death and begin to slip on the head phones. Just then the bus driver decides to brake hard and you fall back and grab for the metal holding bar and it's nasty germy slippery wet and your hand slips off and you go crashing into the wet dog behind you. You offer a quiet apology and the only reason it's a quiet one is because you have witnessed the utmost worst scenarios of rudeness and never heard an apology uttered. You aplogize quietly because you begin to wonder if an offered apology has slowly become an unholy trespass; at least on SEPTA buses.

So you regain your footing and stare at the nasty germy slippery bar and then slowly and loosely wrap your palm around it. At least once a day you wonder when the last time someone took some Clorox or Lysol disinfecting wipes or spray and wiped these bars down. You would think it would be part of the drivers' or some employees' job to do that. But somehow I doubt it. This thought leads to disease and bird flu and you imagine how lucky you'll be when you make it out of public transportation all together in hopefully a few years alive.

Then you get off the bus and you can breathe again but just barely. There are specific parts of Philadelphia that just flat out reek when it rains.

Walk one block to the subway only because it is raining that bad and don't want to walk the additional 1.1 mile in said rain. Repeat everything that just happened on the bus except it's slightly less wet, slightly less crowded and generally the population at this time is a bit less germy and smelly.

Emerge from the subway into terrential downpour and walk the quarter mile to work and be careful at the curbs for God's sake.

Scents and Dream Therapy

I've been having bad dreams. Chalk it up to the change in weather. Last night, in reality, I was clearing off this little shelf in the shower. It's pretty high. You need to stand up on the ledge of the tub to see up there but not to reach anything so we all just keep our shower stuff up there. It's in front of this old beautiful stained glass window. Philly. Row houses are very old and the molding is all beat up and we have bugs that scatter back under the molding when you turn the lights on. I hate it. I hate bugs but I've never seen a bug I was really scared of so I deal. Oh yeah, I've only ever seen bugs in the bathroom anyway.

So Last night I was up there and there were these very tiny white almost irridescent maggot type worms worming around. I crushed one with the shaving cream can and let them be. I was grossed out but all my products are in pump form so I never actually lift any bottles up anyway and who doesn't run their soap bar under the water to give it a rinse before they use it?

Last night I had bug nightmares. The worst kind too. I recall the worst bug nightmare when I was young, under 11 years old, and so sick my mom made me sleep on the couch in the living room outside her bedroom door. I never forgot that nightmare. All it was was a GIANT spider slowly coming down onto my face on its web. It was the first of two times I can remember in my entire life ever actually startling myself awake sweating and screaming and scaring the hell out of anyone who could hear me. Only twice I distinctly remember that happening.

So last night I was in some warehouse with some guy I don't know. There were spiders everywhere and they stuck to you and expanded. I also watched The Incredibles again last night. Remember that scene where Mr. Incredible is running along that platform after he hacked into Syndrome's computer and those gross weird black rubber balls are hitting him and sticking to him and expanding. That scene still grosses me out. Well, that's what the spiders were doing.

But I was also in love with this guy I actually do know. He kind of came out of no where and he was really heavy in my dream, like he gained at least forty pounds. He had a scent to him. This is no one special. An old friend and manager who I occasionally bump into and we chat for a few minutes. I mean, he's married for crying out loud. I wonder why it was him.

Like I said, he had this scent to him. I was hugging him in my dream and it was a very distinct scent like how each one of your friends' houses growing up each had that families' scent. Those scents bring you back and make you stop and think and remember memories you've long since forgotten.

All morning, I've been catching that scent. That man's scent from my dream. It's new to me and that first time I caught it, I was immediately brought back to that warehouse and that man. Weird.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A Photo

Last night I completed the massive reorganization of all my digital photos. I had no idea where any of my photos were on my computer and was constantly guessing which folder what series was in. With about eight folders titled some version of 'My Pictures' and other new photos titles something completely random, it was a mess to say the least.

I now have 14 specific lengthy titled folders on my desktop all prepared to be burned onto disks for my digital library. Oh yeah, I also had to retitle almost every single picture. I added dates too. Everyone say it now. eeeeeeeeeew, niiiiice.

I thought I'd share a very recent picture from my Special Pumpkin Picking day.

Do keep in mind that it's quite early, we're freezing, and oh yeah, showering wasn't necessary for pumpkin picking.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

SAT Question 1,056,231: A bagel is to Manhattan as a ________ is to Philadelphia

This past weekend ranks up there with some of the best ever and I see I only got around to telling you all about Friday. My apologies. Take my word for it. It was awesome. I figured out how to post a picture so I shall do that.

My excitement has been continuous. I waited all of October for Special Pumpkin Picking Day aka last Sunday and it was all I hoped it would be. I even have the pomegranate cider to show for it. If the Giants had won in over time, it would have been even better because I made sure I picked until my heart was content and still made sure Mike was home in time for the second half.

So this weekend will be another great one. I am more excited for Mike's birthday than he is. Last night was a blast wrapping and arranging and preparing and toying and tweaking all the not so last minute details. His gifts are carefully arranged in a beautiful display in my room and I'll enjoy the pile until I carefully put the presents in a large black bag until Sunday.

Tonight I will be grocery shopping for Mike's private dinner with me Friday. Friday will be the only time we have to ourselves here in Philly for his birthday and I asked him to pick anything, anything his heart desired for dinner. Know what he picked? Cheesesteaks! If I didn't love cooking so much I'd just walk around the corner to Geno's or Pat's. A cheesesteak? When he goes to Philly every week and can have a cheesesteak 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I thought he was kidding.

Well, at least he was specific and told me exactly how he wants it. It will be the best custom made cheesesteak he'll ever have. Besides, at what cheesesteak stand can you get a side of crispy fries tossed in garlic and chive butter with a shot of hot sauce?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Eastern State Penitentiary - Friday

On a cold, windy and rainy night this past weekend, Mike and I ventured to the home of the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, the oldest maximum security prison in the Country.

Called home for periods of time to both Al Capone and famous bank robber, Willie Sutton, Eastern State closed its doors in the early 1980's after its cells began overflowing with over 200% more criminals than it was built to house and when the prison walls began deteriorating with age.

Built in the 1800's, Eastern State Penitentiary was the leading model in prison reform. The minds behind this 'new' prison believed that the only way for these prisoners to achieve rehabilitation was to spend as much time as possible alone in solitude reflecting on their transgressions and thinking about spiritual growth. When the warden himself used an outhouse, every prisoner had running water and a flushing toilet within their cell. Between cell walls was 18" of solid rock. No one was given a reason to leave their cells. Each cell was even equipped with all the tools to learn and practice a specific trade. Let out for one half hour in the morning and evening, the prisoners were fitted with a muzzle type mask so that they could not speak to other inmates.

The prison is now a museum. All proceeds go to repairing the areas of the prison that are not permanently closed. Areas that have been permanently closed have the highest spiritual energy and where the most sightings have occurred. A friend to shows such as GhostStories, and Fear, amongst other specials, it is very easy to see why.

So for the month of October, the prison opens its doors for select nights for its largest annual fundraiser, Terror Behind the Walls. Rated sixth in the country for best Haunted Houses, I just had to check it out and Mike just had to keep me safe.

It was cold, wet, rainy, muddy and awesome and petrifying. Not meant for children, this massive group of well organized, frightening, freaky, dying to make you scream 18-25 year olds had it together.

Mike and I passed through the original prison gates into a spot lit muddy excercise yard. The massive stone around us was imprisoning to say the least. The 'spooks' comprised of inmates and guards. The guards yelled at you and shined blinding spotlights in your eyes and banged billy clubs. A particulary scary guard lined Mike and I up along a wall with one other couple and flicked a very loud switch and a spotlight shone down on us. He yelled the rules at us and then told us to, Go Serve Your Time.

Mike and I emerged 45 minutes later. My back was splitting as every scream came from my back and I remembered just how vivid my imagination is. I tried to keep telling myself they are all just actors but even when I was a small child, masks and makeup were what did me in. My Brother Joey had some sort of mask, Michael Myers or Jason or something. When he put that on, I would run for my life all the while screaming, crying, and ready to fight with all my strength. The reasoning behind this intense fear has remained the same. I can't see their faces so how do I know they didn't snap under there. Friday night I watched behind me and all sides of me and my eyes crossed so much I had a migraine and poor Mike was either pushed, pulled, grabbed, squeezed or told to , "Hurry up, something's behind me!" In fact, I actually pushed him into some bad people a few times. They took it out on me of course.

I was also singled out. Very badly singled out and Mike found that amusing. Near tears at one point I'm sure all those people were having a blast. Cornered at one point by a guard, I put my hands over my face and just kept repeating, "You can't touch me. You can't touch me." He backed off of me and pulled himelf around the next corner and yelled really loud in a menacing growl, "Hey Guuuuys, I got a screamer!"

We kept on a long trail that weaved inside and out of the prison. Every new section was themed and every so often we were round up and made to wait while a particulary scary actor told us a true story of things that went on right where we stood. The guards were really great. The psychiatric prisoners were out of their minds crawling through tunnels, hanging from rafters and lights. In one room, a sickly looking young woman shook and banged on her 'cage' bars and kept screaming for us to give her the keys. She finally cackled to Mike and shifted her voice to sound like that of a demented witch, "Give me the keys and I'll let you take me home" as she reached for Mike through the bars.

Overall, it was extremely well done. The timing was perfect since there are hundreds of people all over the place but how you're alone almost throughout the whole thing. You don't see anyone get scared and scream in front of you so there's no way to prepare for what's ahead.

I'm really happy we went. Mike and I looked through some windows and doors we weren't supposed to and just seeing the skeletons of cell blocks that once were was scarier than any actor. Looking through one window, we saw clear down to the end of a cell block and although we were in color, it looked as if someone put the image before us in gray scale or that it came out of the 1800's and was just swarming with tortured souls. We were drawn to it. It was an amazing sight.

We had a great time.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Scientology smells

Want to laugh while you witness a train wreck? Visit

What a load of crap! I was always fond of little Joey aka Ms. Katie Holmes and I feel really bad for her. Tom Cruise really is a nut job. I imagine he always was but at least his ex publicity censorship person or whatever they're called kept all his bullshit under wraps. Every photo or video I see is an over exuberant Tom Cruise standing on something tall shouting and waving and smiling and never just acting normal or trying to maintain some sort of privacy or candidness. He just demands attention. And always behind him constantly trying to not be blocked by his constantly moving short body (probably why he's always standing on stuff) is little Katie with this ENORMOUS smile. She plays chicken with Tom's back because he is constantly blocking her and when he's not, they're making out. You should have seen them at his kid's soccer game. Disgusting.

I figured I can't bash scientology until I check it out so I did so now I feel entitled to bash it. So Katie is pregnant and it just seems so cultish. Tom wants her to have a silent birth. Ok, so get this. Silent birth is when a mother gives birth without any screaming or moaning. No doctors can talk, no man or husband talks. And to top it all off, the mother can't have any drugs.

Is that even possible? How can that be? It sounds to me like a person would need over a decade of practice in intense meditation to pull that one off. Not to mention that it is a known fact that the first several weeks of a newborn's life are most critical for development. Scientologists say you should not speak to or near the baby for the first two weeks! What the fuck! That is the stupidest shit I ever heard and of course they don't say what their intentions are or why they feel this is necessary. Just because. So poor baby Cruise number three or four or whatever will be slow and scared and lonely and not understand why he/she was brought out into this cold, dark, lonely world. Feed it and put it back in a drawer. Sounds smart doesn't it?

Wow. Poor Katie. So young. So naive.

P.S. Feel free to make fun of my beliefs if you'd like. I can take it.

When the thought really counts for so much more

There's this woman I work with who is really quite annoying. For having a Ph.D., she's really quite stupid and rude and pretty damn inconsiderate. I really have no choice but to have to help her out every now and again.

She says my name real slow, 'Jeessss' from around the corner and I always have time to sigh and pause before she gets to me and I say, 'Yeeesss' without looking up. Yesterday was no different. She reached my desk and leaned across it and I waited as long as I thought I could get away with before I looked up.

'I got these for you for helping me out so much lately."

She handed me a bouquet of the most beautiful flowers and I immediately felt like a bitch and smiled ear to ear which makes my eyes squinty and get watery. I thanked her numerous times and commented on how unique the deepest purple almost black flowers were. She thanked me.

So yesterday was very rainy and dark and cold and living in Philadelphia means a lot of walking and carrying a lot of crap around. I unwrapped the flowers and placed them in water untrimmed and kept the paper and plastic wrapping. I don't know what kind they are but one of the five is deep purple with white tips and two of the five are the purple color and the last two are that deep purple with just one spot of white like a paintbrush dripped on them.

I left work early for a dr. appointment and thought long and hard about wether to leave them or to take them. I really enjoyed looking at them so I took them and wrapped them up again. I headed out into the rain and let them get all wet. I was careful with them and took them all over town. Once on the bus, standing room only, some really inconsiderate lady who couldn't say excuse me just plowed past me and I heard one snap right then. I hated that lady.

I got home and without even taking my wet raincoat off, I began trimming the stems and placed them in my favorite vase. I carried the vase upstairs and rearranged my end table and placed them dead center. I stepped back near the door to examine their placement and after a few adjustments, I was pleased. Except for the dust on the table. I dusted the table. Then I had to dust the end table on the other side of the bed. Then I had to do laundry. Then I had to do about twenty other things.

Way way past my bed time at 11:00 I climbed into my freshly made bed with my clean sheets still warm out of the dryer. I looked at all I had accomplished and felt really good. I looked at my flowers.

I picked up A Million Little Pieces and felt rewarded to be able to finish it in my immaculate room in such a warm clean bed. I finished it and I loved it. One of my favorites.

I killed the lights and thought about how just a few short years ago, I kept a journal of my daily accomplishments. The first entry once I got back home from a very bad and dangerous place simply read, I brushed my teeth today. I remember waking up on the basement floor where my mom requested I sleep because I did not deserve a bedroom, bed, or privacy. I used to wake up scared and sweaty and shaking and it would take an hour to calm down and to convince myself I was safe.

I thought about these things in my warm, clean bed last night and I thanked God as I do every night for all of it. I will not take these things for granted. Everything happens for a reason and I am so happy I was given those beautiful flowers yesterday.

I fell asleep last night with a smile.

I woke up this morning with a smile.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Old images

It's rained the past four days and the widgit on my desktop says it will rain the next four days. Wait, two days. There is a sun on Saturday and more rain on Sunday.

I got home last night and ate a whole lot. This week is kind of a wash. With Mike being here until Wednesday, I never got into my Monday groove of breakfast eating and gym going. I felt cruddy last night. I don't think I could ever binge again like I used to. I don't want to say I've tried to but now when I binge and feel gross, I compare it to what a Jessica binge used to be and it doesn't even compare. I went up to my room and decided I'll catch the encore showing of last night's America's Top Model next Tuesday.

I love the book I am reading so much. I've mentioned it before. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. A memoir on an addict's six weeks in rehab. I read as if in a trance last night. It just got better and better and I can relate to addiction. I truly believe I just have an addictive personality. I've experienced drug addictions, food addictions, people addictions. I've always been obsessed with someone or something or some act. I've accepted this so now I just indulge in healthy addictions and try not to let my world fall down when I can't have them.

The gym for example and writing down everything I eat in my red leather journal every day are my two addictions. Routine is my addiction. I've eaten things on the go and couldn't figure out their point values and found myself getting shaky and the fact that I didn't know what I had just eaten. Yeah, I know that's fucked up. It happens less times than more. To calm myself, I just needed to get to a computer and look it up.

I rather be addicted to improving my body, mental health, and physical appearance than crack. When I say mental health, I want it known I'm not neurotic about these things. Yeah, I said this week is a wash and I ate a lot yesterday but I'm not going to break down over one week with no gym and some tostitos. It's cold, rainy, the seasons just changed, my days are off, I have a dr.'s appointment near my house at 3:30 today, I have no clean clothes. I'm not going to the gym.

So I was reading in my trance last night and I found myself cold yet sweaty and my heart was racing. I put the book down for a second and tried to remember what I had just read. I felt alone, petrified, and the image of my bedroom was slowly coming into focus and the image of me in my past apartment huddled in a corner with scraps of burnt aluminum foil were all around me and fading out.

I took a deep breath and went downstairs for a cigarette. Sitting outside in the rainy cold I thought about what I had just read. A particular scene in a run down building, everyone is smoking crack, I see the yellowish smoke, I smell it as if I'm smoking it right that second. I can't get enough enough enough. I hear someone and I freeze. I don't want them to know I'm here. I don't want to share I can't share.

I shake my head and take a long pull from my cigarette and stub it out half way through and go back in to where it's warm and safe. I say nothing. I go back to my warm bed and pick up the book and stare at it.

I can read this and I can finish this tonight. I got through the scene without any increase in heart rate and I didn't see myself. I looked down and saw me cuddled up under a warm blanket in a brightly lit room. Soon into the book the story just got more amazing and made me smile and made my eyes tear up due to amazing kindnesses that took place in this man's story. I decided to leave the last few pages for a gift for tonight. Something to look forward to after a long day.

I fell asleep and prayed for no drug dreams. They come few and far between. My dreams were strange and alarming and more so of dreams one would have when on drugs opposed to dreams about doing drugs. I woke tired and not feeling well. I'll have no probelms making it through the day and I look forward to doing chores tonight to make going away for a great weekend tomorrow even better.

Guess what? I'm going pumpkin picking on Sunday!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Cliche Marketing Slogan

It was a nice weekend but it went by really fast. I got to spend four days and five nights with Mike. I sent him off in my barefeet and pajamas with a hot bagel, hot coffee, and last night's leftovers neatly in tupperware at 6:30 this morning. It was really nice being picked up yesterday by him and going home and making dinner and relaxing in pajamas. It's so rare we aren't rushing.

We went to the wedding Saturday and I looked great. I wouldn't have if it wasn't for mom. I went over in the morning to show her my dress and she was really amazed. The dress really was made for me. I originally had no intentions of doing the bra thing and originally mom didn't seem to think I needed one.

But then she made me show stepdad how pretty I looked and the first words out of his mouth, 'You gonna wear a bra with that dress?"

We reevaluated the situation and saw that yes, I did need one afterall. So then mom decided I needed quite a few things.

She sent me out bitching and moaning in the torrential downpour in my dress, hose, and heels and I returned tired, wet, stressed, with a head ache, and downright annoyed. But my breasts looked damn good!

$13.77 at Payless on cheap black heels because your mother insists you must wear black not silver.
$22.60 at way out of the way specialty lingerie shop on special low cut, your breasts will look hot as hell and never move again bra.
$6.99 at Target on really cheap black chandelier earrings because once again, your mother insists you must wear black not silver.

Your mom making you go out last second and spend all your own money on stuff just because she knows how beautiful you'll look: Priceless

Friday, October 07, 2005

Countdown to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Do you realize that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is released in only 41 Days, 12 hours, 9 minutes and ten seconds!!!

I can't wait. I will be there alone for the midnight opening just like last year. Actually, I'd love to share the experience with Mike so I might wait until Friday and see it with him. (I don't think he'd be able to make it to the midnight release.) That's a very tough decision. I shall see. Only time will tell.

41 Days, 12 hours, 7 minutes and 18 seconds worth of time!

Coward has no clue what he's talking about

Ok, so my organization is having a big anniversary gala. (I want to be vague here as it is a huge event and probably being looked up on the internet a bit. I do not want this blog to be a search result.)

I get and keep track of all the response cards in a database I've created and it's fine.

We are a non profit and this is our first big fundraiser in 20 years. 65.8 percent of the population we serve directly every single day is African-American. We are awarding an African American student. Over 60% of our staff is African American.

Some cowardly, clueless person had the audacity to write us a message on the back of a response card and sent it without a name, return address, nothing.

It reads:

I know you intentionally charged $200 per person to keep the African American population to a minimum. Well, you succeeded. That's why God has started to avenge America for its injustices.

Ok. Thank you for speaking without even having a clue who we are or what we do and why are you on our database and thank you also for being cowardly and not leaving us with any information to write you a very kind letter with some FACTS that would hopefully make you feel like the asshole that you are.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Great News!

Those great scientists have developed a cervical cancer blocking vaccination! Please see article above. This is really great news to someone like me who now has cervical cancer for the second time. A large population of women go their whole lives needing colposcopy surgery every second or third year only for their cells to mutate after only a short while of eradication.

The vaccination was studied and came out strong with a one hundred percent efficacy!

"If all goes well, sometime in 2006 it should be on the market." - Scientist

Cervical Cancer is the second leading killing cancer amongst women who go without treatment.

I see my doctor October 13, and I can't wait to bring him the article although I'm sure he knows already.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Keeping up with my bro

So last night I took my first ever spinning class. What an experience that was. I'll start at the beginning.

I stopped in one store on my walk to the gym to look for a dress for a wedding I'm attending Saturday. It is extremely difficult to find a dress with any sort of sleeve other than a cap sleeve and I need a new nice dress for these occasions with sleeves due to my tattoos. I'm sick of the whole sweater/cardigan/stuff draped over me thing. I tried on the only two dresses with sleeves in the whole store and needless to say, I looked like a frumpy, potato sack wearing, ninety year old who looks ready to be displayed in a coffin. The other dresses I tried just flat out did not fit right. Dresses are just weird. (Besides, I was in a store I've never shopped in before and clearly all the sizes were not true to size.) I'm not making myself feel better, it's the truth.

However, this dressing room happened to have the worst mirrors and the worst lighting known to man. I think even if a dress was custom made just for me, I would have ran out crying simply because these mirrors would make anyone like look shit. I found myself staring at my white, puckered, pasty thighs. Then I got outta there.

I walked to the gym yesterday with even more purpose than usual and that's a lot of purpose. I was destined to do more for my legs. I changed, checked the class list and there it was; spinning in 20 minutes, a 45 minute class, all terrain, taught by none other than my favorite trainer and leading inspiration, Patty.

Patty was sitting outside the spinning room in her cool sneaks, the softest looking half cotton half rayon blend just below the calf with a slight bell pants, and layered black and royal blue shirts. She has the workout clothing style I've always dreamed of and I see the expense just looking at it. Those cool yet practical and functional workout clothes don't come cheap. (I've looked....many times.)

So I asked her if she thought I could do it and I made sure she knew I wasn't even sure what spinning was. She said I should definitely do it and she'd help get me started.

For those of you who don't know, spinning is cycling but not on any stationary bike that's in the actual gym. No, no, no. These bikes are different and special and make a soft humming noise. The room is a big square and these bikes are all just lined up like soldiers within mere inches of each other and each wall. There were four rows facing front with one last row against the wall facing the other four rows. Patty was stationed dead center of that last row facing us. (I had to sign up ahead of time for this class and studied the seating chart before picking my bike. I picked the row facing Patty's row but a few bikes off to the side of Patty. I wanted to see what she was doing. Patty has a crew of these women who appear to take all of her classes and always position themselves beside her. So I ended up facing a woman I was pretty familiar with.

I had no idea how trendy spinning was! Before I knew it, the place was packed! More men than women and half the people had their own cycling shoes that clicked in to the peddle. I put my four year old Nike heavy cross trainers into the little saddle thing. My sneaks barely fit. I really need new sneakers. (Anyone reading this and feeling sorry for me, please send Lady Footlocker gift cards) There were guys in spandex shorts that even read "spinning" down the side of each leg. I felt pretty silly in my baggy t-shirt and yoga pants. Next time I'll wear a tank and my better capri jogging pants.

So Patty showed me the three positions and how to increase and decrease the tension. She showed me how to stop. I was ready.

We each had a white towel draped over our handle bars and we all started pedaling and Patty started the extremely loud music and she TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS! I was immediately blinded by the blinding white neon light of every towel, white tank top and white sock. There were black lights all over the ceiling and neon bike gear paintings on the walls. It was not what I expected but was really cool and I kind of liked not really being able to see.

The music was good. We started with a very loud slightly techno version of Madonna's Like a Prayer and what woman doesn't like that sound. The music was key. Our pace and positions and my drive and intensity all come from that music. I liked it.

So things got tough and Patty told me to do my best but I really wanted to keep up and boy, did I push it! I loved it. I loved knowing I was sopping wet. I loved position three which is when the tension gets really tight and we get off our seats and peddle as if up a steep hill. The best thing to do was to use my imagination. I stared at the dark ground and it resembled concrete passing under my wheels. I closed my eyes and when I got really exhausted and felt like I needed to decrease the tension or sit down, I imagined me and my brother going riding in Washington. I saw the scenery and I saw him getting too far ahead and I would get scared and push it even harder to keep up and my breathing was heavy and I felt my face burning and I could see sweat dripping down my arms in the balck light. It was awesome!

I made it. We cooled down. We went 45 minutes. I felt amazing but a bit light headed. During cool down Patty came over, gave me a huge smile, and gave my hand a light punch. It was very encouraging. Before I left I said thank you to Patty still light of breath and red as a tomato. She told me I did amazing!

I went and did my crunches on the fitness level and packed up my stuff. Two people approached me and said I did a great job for my first time and that I better be back next week.
I'll be back next week.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Weekend Wrap Up

Being alone this weekend wasn't so bad. I didn't exactly do what I planned but at least I had a plan. But it really was relaxing and it was really autumny and I enjoyed reading and having no agenda. I went to bed and woke up very early both Friday and Saturday and went to the market and Saturday morning dressed quite fally and enjoyed a Starbucks pumpkin frappucino.

I cleaned and decorated the first floor for fall and Halloween and I really enjoy it.

I read a lot because I bought a great book. James Frey's A Million Little Pieces. I highly recommend it and it also has Oprah's seal of approval and although I've never seen one episode of Oprah my entire life, I trust the people who determine who gets her seal. It's a memoir, comparable to William Burroughs and it's about six weeks in rehab.

I'll talk later about the book but there is a story about that too. This book was #3 on my list but I didn't know jack about it and the first book on my list was too far away. (I was carrying enough stuff to knock B&N shelves over.)

Of course I rather had been doing one of twenty million other things this past weekend, but for what I got and little ol' me, it was pretty good.