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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

All right, let’s get down to it.

My last blog post (from last September—sorry about my negligence regarding keeping this blog timely) was about my ongoing struggle with my weight, and my last-ditch attempt to drop pounds using the HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) weight-loss program, Releana*. But I never reported back to let my devoted blog readers (all two of you) know whether it worked or not.

So…whaddya think, no news is bad news? Did she do it? Did she survive? Did she go bankrupt trying to pay for the thing? Did she lose weight only to gain it all back “and then some” and is now hiding in an ice cave in an undisclosed location somewhere in the Arctic Circle?

Okay, I won’t keep you in suspense. Ready? I…

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Okay, this is uncalled for. I mean really. This is something up with which I will not put. I have been wronged, and I am pissed as all get-out.

Just yesterday I went to the doctor for my periodic check on my thyroid, that little gland that has been known to misbehave on occasion (or, okay, my entire life). I wasn’t apprehensive or anything. My thyroid has become accustomed to walking sedately on its Armour-controlling leash, so I wasn’t expecting any health-related surprises. Plus I actually enjoy going to my doctor. She’s smart, she’s nice, she’s mellow. And she saved my life by knowing how to recognize hypothyroidism when she sees it and, you know, actually treating my illness. (The whole sordid, thyroid-run-amok story is here.) Bonus happy-inducing goodies: her office is painted in wonderfully soothing shades of pale green and lavender, she sells great high-quality supplements, and her staff members are all friendly and caring.

Best of all, being weighed is optional. Seriously. My doctor likes to check patients’ weight every once in a while, but not every time we set foot in her office. Bless her.

But I had been on a low-carb diet to control my body’s unpleasant relationship with gluten, lower my blood sugar, and lose some pounds, and I was curious as to how I was doing. So I said sure, I’ll be weighed.

Big mistake. Big. Like my ass, apparently. (more…)

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Egad, I hate Friendly’s. You know, the ice cream place? Yeah that. Hate it.

No, not for any particular reason…well, more like lots of reasons. All through my life, it was always…there…and never in a good way.

It started when I was little. Back then, there were a lot of good ice cream places around, from soft-serve custard at Don & Bob’s down at the lake (mmm…fishy smell from the lake, greasy smell from the grill—what amibence) to Carvel (mmm Fudgie the Whale) to Skippy the ice cream truck with the bell going ding-ding-ding—or, if the college kid slaving away behind the wheel of the non-air-conditioned, worn-out pickup truck with a giant silver refrigerator unit weighing down the back bed felt chipper, ding-a-ding-a-ding-ding-ding.

Friendly’s, however, had ice cream sundaes with gobs of hot fudge. Black raspberry ice cream—purrrrrrple!—and black cherry, with giant cherry halves jutting out of the pink stuff. And it was just up the road from me. But it might as well have been as far away as Iceland for the frequency of our visits—or lack thereof. My family just didn’t do dessert. Ever. (Yes, I was a sorely neglected child, but my parents thought they were doing me a favor. Or something.)

So one of my strongest memories of my childhood—I’d estimate it at my sixth year, I think—was when the parents of my bestest friend across the street, Jennifer, asked my parents if I could go with them to Friendly’s for an ice cream cone. I was over the moon. Ice cream! And the invitation was bordering on exotic, because it was so late on a summer evening—the sun was actually starting to go down! I should’ve already been in bed! (more…)

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Supersisters posted “25 Things I Know Now as a Parent” and invited other parents to chime in with their own lists. Well all right. I think I’ve learned a few things in the past six years.

1. Sleep deprivation can make parents insane. Count to 10 to avoid going postal on parents who brag about their all-night-sleepers.

2. Sift through grandparents’ advice for the good stuff. Nod and smile and ignore the rest.

3. It’s okay to let kids watch more than one hour of TV on rainy days.

4. If you can, walk your kids to their classrooms on their first day of school every year. It means a lot to them. But when they get old enough to beg you not to, comply.

5. An occasional donut is not poison (for kids or for you). (more…)

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Okay, the time has come. I’ve gotta write about Lost, especially after Tuesday night’s episode, “Happily Ever After.” I suppose at this point I should put in a Spoiler Warning, but…dude. Come on. If you haven’t caught up by now, in this pivotal time of Only A Few Remaining Episodes Before The End, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself. Suck it up.

So the reason I’m writing about Lost for the first time in all these years, even though I’ve been a diehard fan since the very first episode, is because I nearly drowned in tears watching “Happily Ever After”…and because, to be totally self-centered for a moment (yeah yeah when is this blog not, but hey, when did I ever promise it was going to be about establishing peace in the Middle East?), the big revelation from the episode is one of only two things that I have EVER guessed right about this mindbender of a show.

The first one was that the island was a “cork” stoppering up…something bad, as explained by Jacob in the recent episode “Ab Aeterno,” and the second one was from Tuesday night. Yay me. I guess I’m a late bloomer, finally figuring things out at the very end. Or I need stuff handed to me on a platter. Whatev’.

The revelation that was in this most recent, Desmond-centric episode (yum) was one I had figured out a while back, but I thought “Naaahhh—can’t be.” But it was. And it was this: (more…)

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Some say he’s only 6 years old…and that he sleeps in SpongeBob pajamas….All we know is that if he isn’t The Stig, I don’t know who is.

Heard of The Stig? You should have. He’s part of the great TV show Top Gear. Yeah, I’ve written about Top Gear on my blog before (it’s one of the best shows on television, I said—so go watch it!) and—look out now—I’m gonna do it again.

Along with the three co-presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, there is The Stig, their “tame racing driver” who wears all white, including a white helmet, and nobody knows who’s under the visor. True fans of Top Gear prefer to think of The Stig as a superhuman entity that test drives supercars in every episode, does not speak, has no knowledge of the London public transit system, and won’t give an award back once he’s received it (waiting on the video to be posted for that one—it’s a good ‘un). And sure, a little while ago The Stig was revealed on the show to be race-car driver Michael Schumacher, but I call shenanigans. I know better. (more…)

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Thud. Thud. Thud.

Usually I love waking in predawn darkness to the sound of rain. Most of the time, in this area, our rain comes in the form of drizzle, so on the occasion that it really, truly rains, I revel in the drumming sound of a steady shower. This morning, however, I found myself tensely focusing on another noise.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

I looked around my son’s bedroom from my pretzel position in his car bed. He was nowhere to be found, of course; as per usual, he had made his way into “the big bed” in the middle of the night—this time I think he was on the move around 2:30-ish—and proceeded to crowd me right off the queen-size mattress. And, as per usual, instead of being all tough and parental and kicking his 5-year-old butt back to his bedroom, I took the (admittedly well-traveled) path of least resistance—the one that leads up the hall to his unoccupied bed.

Good thing I did retreat instead of standing my ground this time, though; if I hadn’t slept in his room, I wouldn’t have heard that persistent noise, which sounded alarmingly like…

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