Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Hear That?

It's me. Hacking away. This cough is driving me to drink lots and lots of the Tussin. I will soon be a Tussin addict. All my friends will have to have Tussin interventions. Side note: buy Tussin stock.

Tonight is weigh in night. I expect lovely gains. Cuz I ate like a damn fool this weekend. As well as being PMSy. Shall we take bets as to how much the gain will be? Less than 1 lb? 1-3 lbs? More than 3 lbs? Post your guesses and I'll let you all know tomorrow how it went.

Is Tussin high in calories?

Monday, November 29, 2004

Advice from Da Broad....

"Keep that shit moist and you'll be all good."

And, no. I'm not going to provide context cuz it's too damn funny just the way it is.

Got to spend some time with Da Broad and Emperor Warrior Kendar yesterday. EWK did our hair (and we look beeee-you-ti-ful) and then we went out for supper at a steak house. I haven't had steak in ages and it was pretty darn tasty.

After supper, the Broad and I hit Target. I got 2 Christmas presents (a shirt for a niece and a cute little outfit for another niece). I have about half my Christmas shopping done. Whee!! I also got some litter for Mickey and some more cold medicine. How exciting, yes??

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Suction, Anyone?

Last weekend, I had the flu. The honest-to-goodness flu. Fever, all over body aches, cough. I started getting better Tuesday or Wednesday. Felt pretty darn good on Thursday. Friday? I started coming down with a cold. I am a mucous-making factory right now and can't get rid of it as fast as my body is making it. I want to stick a suction hose down my throat to suck everything out of my lungs. I feel like crap. Happy holidays.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

75!

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I hit a big milestone: I have officially lost 75.2 lbs! These last 10 lbs have been really difficult, so I'm thrilled to have hit this. Got my shiny new magnet at my meeting last night and everything. I've also hit my 3rd 10% goal (I've lost 10% of my weight 3 times now). My next big goal is to get below 200 lbs and into "onederland" territory. Someplace I haven't seen in about 10 years. I will get there very soon. After that, I think my 4th 10% will be the big goal that I'll be going for.

It's slow progress, but the scale is going in the direction I want it to go. Whee!!!

Gobble Gobble

Happy Turkeys, everyone! It's the time of year for ritual sacrifice with pie!

Things have been hectic in Kaffyland, but there is some light creeping into my tunnel. First off, thank you all so much for all the well-wishes about my dad. He is doing remarkably better. I don't go around getting all religious with people, but I am a Christian and believe in God. My dad's recovery can only be divinely explained because there is absolutely no medical explanation for it. Physically, he's getting better, but mentally, it's like a fog has lifted off his head. He has a few moments of minor confusion, but other than that, he's back to normal. Well, as normal as he can be! My mom sounds better than she has since June because the stress on her is much reduced. Yay!

Friday, I came down with the flu. Yep. The flu. The first time in years I haven't gotten a flu shot and I get the flu. The fever finally broke for good yesterday, and I'm now at that lovely mucous-filled stage where it's just gross.

School is in recess right now. And not because of the holidays. My faculty is on strike. It, frankly, couldn't have come at a better time for me. Being sick all weekend, I didn't get any homework done, so the strike is giving me extra time to get it done! I do hope it gets resolved soon, otherwise the semester will go into the Christmas holidays and that won't make me happy at all.

The BIG PROJECT at work is near completion. So, soon I will not be running around like a chicken with my head cut off. And, I will be able to take a couple days off and use that lovely spa gift certificate that Winston gave me for my birthday. Oh, yes. Didn't I mention that? In the midst of this hellish month, it was my birthday on the 14th. Happy to me!

Apologies to Amy (who I hear is a cutie and quite fun) and Da Broad and Snidge (even though I hear she ditched, too) for not being able to make dinner on Monday. Trust me, you didn't want to be around me. Ladies, we'll need to try and hook up again another time.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Thanks for letting me vent all these months on you! Enjoy time with those you love tomorrow!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

No One Should Have to Do This

Those of you who read The Broad know what's going on and why I haven't posted in almost a week.

I just got back home last night from Tennessee. My little sister, Karen, called me around 1pm on Saturday telling me that my dad was in the emergency room and that my mom had left a message for her that if she wasn't on her way to the hospital, she needed to be. At that point, Karen was on her way, but she didn't know anything else. We both knew that message was bad, though. My dad had a really severe stroke back in June and our mom got mad at Karen and another sis, Kim, for coming to the hospital because she knew my dad was going to be okay. This message? Not good.

I jumped on the phone with Winston to let him know what was going on that that I may have to go to Memphis. While I was on the phone with him, Karen called back. She was crying. Another not good sign. Daddy had a second stroke and was very bad off. I needed to go.

Got back to Winston and told him I needed to go. To Memphis, go. He said he'd be right over. I'm glad he did. In the 1.5 hours it took for him to get there, I progressively fell apart. I had just put clothes in the washer and needed to finish those up. I cleaned dishes, emptied trash, paid bills, and talked to myself like a crazy person. by the time he got there, I didn't know what to do anymore. He helped me pack and load my car.

At 3:30, Karen called to see if I had left yet. Told her I'd be on the road in 20 minutes. I asked how Daddy was. At that point, they were admitting him into a room so that we'd "be more comfortable while we waited." She didn't say it. She didn't have to. My daddy was going to die. Soon.

I completely broke down and sobbed for about 5 minutes. But, I knew that if I was going to get there before he died, I needed to move. He was 580 miles and 9-10 hours away. I grabbed my cat, Mickey, threw him in the car and took off.

I drove like a bat out of hell and made it in 8.5 hours. At 12:30 am, I walked in the Emergency Room door of the tiny hospital in Bolivar (about an hour east of Memphis--basically, the job of this hospital is to stabilize patients in order to move them to a bigger hospital). Two of my sisters (I have 3) were standing right in the door. Kelly turned around and said, "Daddy's talking." I just about fell over. Around 10 pm, he woke up and started talking. He asked where he was and my mom told him the hospital.

Daddy: Did I have another stroke?
Mom: We don't know yet.
Daddy: I think I did. I feel like I did the last time.

So, he was awake, talking and coherent. From the first stroke, his left side is paralyzed and they're working on that in physical therapy. He's walking now and has some control of leg muscles. He has no control over his left arm, but the physical therapists think he will eventually. Mentally, he has stroke-related dementia that is bad. Some moments he's completely lucid. Others? Not at all. The fact that he was coherent now was great. All the docs are saying is a miraculous recovery--no medical explanation for it. The ER docs/nurses kept coming to his room on Sunday to verify that it was true and that he was awake. No one could believe it.

He was moved to a hospital in Memphis on Monday for tests, but he doesn't seem any worse off after this second stroke than he was before. Physically, he's tired, but that's to be expected. Mentally? He's no worse, but that's not really saying much.

My mom is a mess. Understandably. She's had a very rough 5 months and these past few days have been excrutiating.

I'm exhausted and feel like I've been run over by an entire convoy of trucks, both physically and emotionally. I just feel very raw.

Last night, after I got back home, I called the hospital to tell my mom I got back okay. I got on the phone with my dad and he cried and thanked me for coming down and told me he loved me. I said, "You're my daddy. Of course I came down. I love you." Which made him cry more. Which made me cry. We're a mess.

Snidge, thanks so much for the email. I didn't get it till today (not been near a computer much), and you're so sweet. Invisible internet people can be really good people and not just scary stalkers.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Oh, yeah...

...it's 8:30 pm on a Friday night and guess where I am? Go on...guess.


Work.

Aren't I the coolest chick out there? Workin' on a Friday night! Hooo-eee!!! Been here for over 12 hours now. I so rock.

weeps

Scavenger Hunt

Last week, I told y'all about the scavenger hunt that my company was doing last week. We had an absolute blast. My team went as Edward Gorey and the Gorey Details and we all dressed as different Gorey characters. While we were all so cute and macabre, we went over the heads of our coworkers, most of whom had no idea who Edward Gorey was.

12:00: All staff were called into the conference room for a light lunch of sandwiches. We went over the rules and got our clues, an envelope containing $50, and a trick-or-treat bag. The area of the hunt was defined (for those who know Chicago, it was basically Mag Mile/River North area); we were not allowed to use any communications device (cell phone, pda, wireless internet, etc.); nor were we allowed to split up. We had to stay together as a group.

12:30: My team got together and figured out most of the clues. One of the team actually lives on the Mag Mile and she knows the area better than anyone ever, so we could figure out a lot.

1:15: We hit the road. Literally. Grabbed my car and took off. We went to a few places before dropping off the car with the above teammate's door man. We ran all around, found stuff, bought stuff, asked strangers for stuff. It really was fun. I did get quite a few looks traipsing around in an 1860's dress complete with hoop skirt and corset. All the little kids, though, just looked at me with awe and said, "I like your poofy skirt." They were adorable.

2:50: Hit a local bar. One required task was to go there, sample a microbrew, and shoot some pool. Some of our organizers were there passing out the beer and putting us through our pool challenge.

3:00: Back on the road to finish up what we could.

3:10: Spotted another team and they told us we were disqualified for using my car. Nope. That wasn't in the rules. Later, the judges ruled in our favor. Hah!

3:15: Hid the fact that one of our teammates was two blocks away counting handprints at SportMart while we were getting a bib from Carson's Ribs. Not supposed to split up, after all. We were sneaky and did just fine. In fact, the teammate who was at SportMart saw that other team and hid, too. We're so in synch with the sneaky!

3:45: Rolled up to the final place by the skin of our teeth. We were supposed to get to another local bar by 3:45 for judging. At that bar was an open bar and bar munchies.

4:15: Results announced. We came in 4th out of 7. But, there was only 50 points difference between the 1st place team and the last place team, so we were all really close. The first place team got $150 gift certificates for each person. How cool!!

6:30: Kaffy does Irish car bombs with 2 coworkers. Then continues drinking Diet Coke.

7:30: Kaffy figures she is safe to drive and heads home exhausted.

It was a whole lot of fun and the whole company seemed to enjoy it. I would highly recommend it as a team building activity, which was the whole point of the day for us. Whee!!!!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Is It Wrong...

...that every single time I hear the name "Yasser Arafat" on the tv or radio,I immediately start singing:

Yes, sir, that's my baby.
No, sir, don't mean maybe.
Yes, sir, that's my baby now!!!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Annoyances are Paring Down

So, after my rant about the annoyances in my life things are getting marginally better.

1. Parking. Dumped that nasty company and signed up in my building. These people are so nice. They even park my car for me and smile at me and are nice to me. And it's inside, so I don't have to go out in the nasty weather. Which is just rainy for now, but this is Chicago. It's bound to get really nasty in a couple of months.

2. Class. After emailing the secondary ed advisor for a solid week, I've finally gotten that straightened out. Sort of. I have to register for an off-the-books elementary ed class and then go to the secondary ed class I need, taking an email from the advisor approving my switching into that class. Complicated? Yes. But at least I get the class I need and when I need it.

Today, there was a message on my Brit Lit message board telling me that she's giving us a choice between either doing the last paper or doing a 14 line poem recitation. Like there's any choice here?? A classmate and I are going to do a scene between Mephastophilis and Faustus. I get to be the pompous ass. (What?? Typecasting?? Nevah!)

3. Weight Watchers. Okay, so I took a two week break from WW. Oct. 12-26, I didn't count Points, ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, skipped my weekly meeting, etc. I was just flat out OVAH Weight Watchers. I needed the mental vacation. Went back to my meeting on Oct. 26 and found out that in those two weeks, I managed to gain 6 pounds. Yep. 6. And you know what? I didn't care and still don't. I needed the break, badly.

So, I got on the Core train after my meeting last week. I felt like I just needed to continue my break from counting points. I did pretty well, but still went over my weekly allowance points a bit. Weigh in was last night and I went down. 5.4 pounds I went down. Whee! So, I lost almost everything I gained in the previous two weeks. I'm still on the Core train this week and hope to bust through and get my 75 pound star.

There you go. Things are starting to look up. Work is still kicking my ass, but at least this other stuff is lightening up on me.

Belly Laughs

Okay, even today this made me laugh out loud.

My Mom's Birthday

Today is my mom's 65th birthday! Yay!

But, I'm sure she's spending the day at the nursing home with my dad who is not doing any better. Yeah. Happy birthday, right?

I did send her these flowers because they are so cheesy and fun. I had to do it.

My siblings are supposed to go to see her this Saturday and celebrate with her. I hope that she has a good time. I really hate being so far away sometimes, but there's no way I could move back to a Red State. And, yes, I know that my sooper seekrit boyfriend says that there are no red states and blue states, just the United States of America. But that's why I love him so much. He's not as disillusioned as I am.

Protective Bubble, Back On

I have a lot to catch up on in my wee blog, but the first is the election. I got up and voted before work yesterday. No waits, in and out, no troubles.

Four years ago, when the Supreme Court chose our president, I was in shock and felt like I had been punched in the stomach. As a protective measure, I entered a protective bubble of ignorance because ignorance sometimes really is bliss. I ignorned politics as much as possible for someone who listens to NPR for about 2 hours every day. Frankly, I could ignore a lot.

Back in January, I started to slowly emerge from my bubble to prepare for the primaries and the election. I finally came all the way out sometime in June or July.

Today? I need to mourn and heal the open, gaping wounds on my soul. I just don't understand how people could vote for W. I also don't understand why "moral values" was the number one reason people chose him. What happened to separation of church and state? I consider myself a Christian, but I am strongly opposed to bringing religion into the government. Our nation is founded on religious freedom. But is that just for Christians? I don't think so.

So, I'm headed back into my bubble of ignorance. I am so saddened that that's the only way I think I can cope right now. I don't know if it will last 3 years like last time, but it's coming back on today. I need it.

My happy from yesterday? I got to help elect my sooper seekrit boyfriend to the Senate. Thank you, Barack.