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February 22nd, 2017

10:37 pm - if I had a voice I would sing
Leaving tomorrow around noon for Iceland, doing my last minute packing tonight. Doing a quick check-in with my LJ friends... maybe because I'm nosy, maybe because you can't help how fascinating you are. And really, I hope you will miss me when I am gone....

According to my travel guide, Iceland was founded by Vikings and their Irish female slaves. Huh I am submissive and have red hair, now I just need a Viking and we could rule the world together :)

I don't think I will sleep tonight. I loaded this song to my phone and I am listening to it on continuous repeat. The chanting is very soothing and hypnotic. I hate flying, I am hoping this song will get me through my three plane flights Thursday without assaulting a flight attendant. :/ If anyone else has a recommendation, I will happily listen to it.

Current Mood: anxious
Current Music: Fever Ray - If I had a heart

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February 20th, 2017

11:27 am - Birds of a feather
I'm glad my terrible on-call week is over! (Well it wasn't 100% terrible, my pal HG came into town for a surprise 48 hours visit). The worst part: it turns out one of my employees let their professional license lapse SIX months ago, and I just discovered it Monday. Her negligence means she has a mandatory probation and has to appear in front of the state board... and as her supervisor, I suffer serious consequences as well. I'm going to be called in front of the state board, and the penalty will be a hefty fine and extra continuing education. Additionally there will be a permanent notation on my license of the violation (which I will have to explain for the rest of my life whenever I apply for a job). As I've written before, it takes a lot to make me angry, but I really lost my shit this time.

Oh, and "lose my shit" means, I stoically said to her "under the circumstances, your employment is immediately terminated." LOL my employees know if I'm yelling, it's a joke.... if I'm quiet, I'm furious. I have always credited my level-headedness and stability to my many years in retail (if you are easily provoked, you don't last long in management). But honestly it comes from my childhood, my family was very emotionally undemonstrative. Even though we all love each other dearly, we were never the kind of family that hugged or said I love you when I was growing up..... everyone in my family is pretty reserved (we didn't even have the volatile teenage years that most families have). I don't think I even hugged my siblings hello/goodbye until I was in my 30s?? We've warmed up a bit in recent years, I have to give the credit to my sisters for our progress.... things changed when they had children. They became more affectionate in general and it seems to have spread to the rest of our family, there is definitely an improvement. :)


I wonder what your family is like? My bff MiMi's mother is arriving today to visit for a couple of weeks, and I'm pretty sure her upbringing was the polar opposite of mine! Her mom is a very sassy Cuban, and her father an artistic Frenchman. They both immigrated here in the 60's (I'm still not sure how Mimi speaks English so clearly, both of her parents have thick accents). Mom is retired now to her condo in Palm Beach... they bought the condo almost 50 years ago, when the area was less populated. Now? The building is surrounded by mega-mansions (Rod Stewart, John Lennon, James Patterson) and a mile away from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. Since the inaguration, Trump has spent a couple of weekends at the resort, with the extreme security creating a traffic nightmare for the local residents (Ocean Boulevard is only a two-lane street), so mom decided it was the perfect time for a San Antonio vacation!! :D Usually MiMi goes to visit her instead.... I went with her once, a few years ago. The spectacular view from her mom's condo balcony:


Mimi's mom is awesome, so I'm sad I'm going on vacation for part of the time she is here to visit... I leave on Thursday and arrive 7am Friday in Iceland. I've been checking the weather, and it's going to be AWFUL (snow/sleet), which I am very excited about!! *sigh* if only I had someone going with me to snuggle and keep me warm at night...

Until next time XOXO

Current Mood: bouncy
Current Music: Maren Morris - the company you keep

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February 13th, 2017

02:00 pm - Roses are red, Violets are blue.....
Well I had a productive weekend... During the daytime I *finally* dissasembled my vegetable garden to move it to the other side of the yard (it is enclosed in a 12x12 chain link dog run, because fencing is necessary to protect it from my local deer herd). My garden has been too shady the past couple of years and hasn't produced well. I have a huge yard (half an acre) but no suitable place for my vegetable garden because I have 31 trees... I'm sadly gonna have to sacrifice one in the new spot I've chosen for the garden, I'll dig it up this week. :/ After church/brunch Sunday I ran over to the nursery to fondle the spring seedlings, even though it's too early to plant. Fingers crossed I will have bumper crop of tomatoes and peppers this summer. :)

I also had a unusually social weekend... went to the movie with Paul on Friday after work, saw MM & LL & Sergio Saturday night, and hung out with my alcoholic friends on Sunday night. It was great to see everybody because I'm busy for the next few weekends... this week I'm on call, the next weekend I'm in Iceland, and first weekend in March I'm supposed to go to Dallas to see Dita Von Teese's neo-burlesque revival....though I can't find anyone to go with me, so I might sell my tickets :/ I'm not sure why nobody is interested in seeing flawless corsetted half-naked women with me? I took my then 70-year-old mother to the show about 5 years ago and she loved it... maybe the target audience is old ladies? hmmm :D

dogrun.jpg ditatux.jpg dita horse.jpg ditashoes.jpg ditagloves.jpg aleister.jpg aziz.jpg laurie-anderson-big-science.png

My book this week (in honor of Valentine's Day) was Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. I didn't pick this book (it was a gift last fall from my friend Colette), but I really enjoyed it. It's not your typical contractually-obligated-comedian-memoir, it's actually more of a sociology book (co-authored by professor Erik Klinenberg) with personal anecdotes from Aziz to illustrate the studies/interviews. The largest portion of the book is dedicated to U.S. statistics regarding online dating and other ways technology intersects with romance, but they also review historical marriage data and make comparisons to dating customs in international locales (Tokyo and Buenos Aires). There are several passages in the book discussing the psychology of choice (interesting enough that I might pick up a book on the topic later). Aziz's funniest stories are about his parents' relationship (they had an arranged marriage) and tacos. He's obsessed with tacos.... but really, who isnt? :D

I suppose I liked this book so much because most of it was news to me... I've never used any dating apps/websites, unlike my friends and family. My brother met his lovely wife on Match.com, and some of the dudes in my social circle are actually my friend HG's OK Cupid rejects. My brother & roomie are always harrassing me to try online dating: I don't meet anyone at work (I see the same ten people every day) and my social group is too incestous, they've all dated each other (LOL). But I'm not interested, I'm not comfortable being that vulnerable on the internet. No, I'm not paranoid, but I definitely don't have the self confidence required to advertise myself. So I have no valentine, but I do have a very very short wish list ;)

Anyways, must sign off ~ I'm going for a loooong jog this afternoon before work, because I am 100% sure when I go into the office today there is going to be PILES of Valentine's Day candy waiting for me. But while I am locked in the office overnight eating chocolate kisses, I'll be thinking of someone in particular XOXO

Current Mood: relaxed
Current Music: Maren Morris - Sugar

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February 5th, 2017

08:35 pm - I want your drama, the touch of your hand
At work.... I'm a team player! It's not my weekend on-call, but all my coworkers are rabid football fans, so I agreed to come in this afternoon to cover the Superbowl.... I've never really understood the appeal of football. It seems awfully slow paced to me? You must explain. I want more action in my sports (GO SPURS!), and I'm not into big beefy dudes anyways. Funny because everyone I work with is also a big fan of boxing... which as a medical professional, I really cannot endorse. Is the winner the one with the least amount of brain damage?? >:(

I was supposed to go to my pal MM's Superbowl party tonight, but I was really only going for the fancy beer & Lady Gaga halftime show.... so I let HR bribe me with some Clown Shoes, and here I am in the office doing paperwork instead. It's fine because it gives me the day off Monday, and I need to go buy some waterproof glacier-hiking shoes and break them in! AND now HR owes me a favor, so I'm thinking about going to Dallas for my birthday in May... ;)

I'm totally not ready to leave for Iceland in 2.5 weeks, but I was working out some details with my tour guide ("Melkorka") and it turns out my hotel is near the new location of the Icelandic Phallological Museum! I am so excited! Wait, no, I do not have some strange obsession, let me explain: one of my favorite documentaries of all time is The Final Member, a movie about the museum, which I first saw in 2012 at Fantastic Fest in Austin. I love documentaries in general, but this one was such a surprise.... at the beginning of the movie, I wasn't sure if it was serious or a joke... but it was a beautiful, bittersweet, profound movie. I cry every time I see it.

(note: I own this movie and I have loaned the DVD to several friends, they all hated it. I love it anyways) :D

At work tonight I finished my third book for the year (yes, I am still behind, but I will catch up!!). I decided I would give you a fifth-grade book-report style entry after each one (hopefully to break my writers block).

This week's book was The Soul of an Octopus, which I had mixed feelings about. Parts of the book are very interesting... the author writes of her relationship with four octopuses at the New England aquarium (Athena, Octavia, Kali, Karma) who clearly have superior intelligence and unique personalities, and she gives you extensive background on octopus neurology. She writes in detail about her learning to scuba dive to find octopuses in the wild (which makes me want to scuba, even though I can't swim) and other adventures, like going to the Seattle Aquarium for the annual "Octopus Blind Date" (on Valentine's Day, which usually ends with the female octopus eating the male octopus). :D

The author spends a lot of time describing her emotional attachment to the octopuses. They recognize her, and she calls them "friends" yet two of them are kept in a barrel for lack of a better environment. She never describes their conditions as cruel, which they clearly are... the most moving passage in the book describes when they finally transfer Kali out of her barrel (where she lived for almost a year) into a large tank with coral and landscape, and Kali is overjoyed. I recently went to the SA aquarium with my family when they came to visit, and they have a fully mature octopus in essentially a bathtub. It's incredibly sad. These are extraordinarily intelligent creatures and they deserve better. Heck, Octopuses understand pointing!! (My cats don't even understand that!) The Kraken does not approve~ grrr

2/6 3pm: edited to remove all the YELLING, sorry. I was obviously a little animated when I wrote this :)

Current Mood: worked up
Current Music: Lady Gaga - Bad Romance

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February 1st, 2017

08:01 pm - No pain, no gain
Oh wow. I've had a bit of a dry spell. Writing is definitely not something that comes easily to me, it has always been a difficult mental exercise. I need optimal conditions/planetary alignment to produce something complete and publishable. I think I've started and scrapped this essay three times in the past week. :D

My January was pretty awesome: my family came to visit for five days, I ran my first 10k, and I had lots of quality time with friends at the cocktail conference and Solar Fake show. I am very blessed; any minor problems I have are all of my own creation, so they are nothing to complain about. I'm terribly worried about three friends now going through a major personal crisis (probably the topic for my next post), and they make me realize I am the luckiest dog on the porch. I hope I provide them with at least a tiny amount of emotional support.

Work has been busy. My boss is inching towards full retirement, so he has been taking me out on sales calls to see current and prospective clients. I love my job, so I'm ok with telling people what a great service we offer, but otherwise I'm a terrible salesperson... I don't have the confidence required and I definitely can't read people. I'm not good at interpreting body language or other subtle cues. My roomie Polly, who worked in military intelligence for 8 years, insists that it is a skill I could learn... she is very good at it. She can size up anyone within just a few minutes of conversation and pinpoint their motivation.... there's no keeping secrets from her. I'm totally the opposite, and pretty darn gullible. For that reason, both my roomie and brother get nervous when I travel alone (I think they are imagining a Brokedown Palace scenario). Anyways, I'm off point.... I think my sales pitch might be improving, but my boss is still the guy who closes the deal. I do the talking and then at the end he swoops in, shakes hands, flashes his winning smile, and takes all the credit. LOL I'm ok with that :D

I have been slooowly chipping away at my new year's to-do list. I got the outside of the house painted, I picked out an ENT, and I've read two books (supposed to be four).... I was all ready to pat myself on the back for my achievements when I scrolled down to my post from February 1st 2016, and I realized it could have been written TODAY. I just buried another too-young friend, I'm still having my strange intermittent eye problem (now actively avoiding the eye surgeon), the plumbing in my house is a continual headache (now I have a toilet that is leaking around the base), and I'm still hopelessly enamored with someone unattainable. :)

Groundhog Day is tomorrow!

It's like instead of Groundhog Day, I had a Groundhog Year. Hmmm. I vaguely remember the movie, essentially the message was that you get the same result if you keep doing things the same way? That you should embrace the limitations of the environment you are given, but still try to enact change? Huh I need to rewatch it for suggestions, so my story finishes next February with a new happy ending. But in the meantime.... let's shake things up. As an incentive for my future progress, I impulsively bought my tickets tonight to Iceland, time to stop talking about it and just GO... leaving on the 23rd! And I'm gonna drive (possibly crash) a snowmobile! I reassured my roomie there was not a big drug smuggling industry in Iceland, so I should be safe going alone :P

Current Mood: optimistic
Current Music: Edge of Dawn - Save my soul

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January 20th, 2017

01:33 pm - push the envelope
I should be sleeping (getting ready for my weekend on-call shift) or writing about last weekend's adventures, but when I got home this morning, I checked my mailbox and had snail mail all the way from Ireland thanks to fitzjameshorse!! So exciting! Thank you, sir!! I'd happily pay it forward so if anyone would like me to send them a cheesy postcard or love letter just let me know.... ;)

postcard and cactus.jpg

It was exciting because once you take out my ebay/amazon purchases, 99% of my mail is junk mail and it gets thrown in the trash before I ever make it back to the front door.... it annoys me because it is such a waste of paper and resources. (Funny to think, once upon a time, I took the civil service exam and actually got hired to the USPS.) Anyways, I never get real mail anymore, but narcissistic milennials worried about immortality should know that I still get mail for the original owner of my house, who died in 1974. :D


Even though I haven't handwritten a proper letter since email became commonplace (LOL I still use a hotmail address, even though Microsoft continually threatens to shut it down), I keep an shoebox full of letters from the 80s and 90s collecting dust. I just can't bear to throw them away... though after reviewing some of them, maybe I should start hiding them in the trash :D Of course I pulled the shoebox out of the closet this morning, and I spent the last two hours flipping through old letters... some from childhood friends, but predominantly from TCU college pals. The most letters are from my old pal Andrew in NYC.

Andrew was a ballet dancer (TCU has an excellent ballet program) and he moved to NYC in the mid-1990's with dreams of performing on Broadway... he worked at Bloomingdale's in Manhattan in-between to make ends meet. He wrote me quite a bit when he first moved to NYC (he was lonely in the big city), but we eventually lost touch when I went back to grad school and he found new friends and success. I hadn't thought about him in years, until this morning... I secretly facebooked him and he is happily married to a dude named Michael and they run a non-profit musical theater in Kansas City. :)

I hope we all live happily ever after! Have a nice weekend ~ XOXO
Current Mood: cheerful
Current Music: Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered

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January 13th, 2017

11:48 am - Like I’m someone that you might know
A typical January in San Antonio this week.... sunny and in the 70's. :D Finally the contractor is starting the repairs on the outside of my house (apparently I need a new roof too, because of the hail last April-May). Bartacus the kitty has been entertaining the painters by running around on the roof. I worked a bit in the herb garden today.... half of it died last week when it froze, and the other half is strangely unfazed?

paint bart on roof.jpg garden

I hope the weather stays this nice, because my family is on my way to San Antonio right now to celebrate Christmas!! I'm so excited! I don't think San Antonio is the greatest place on earth, but I'm comfortable here. It's a rather dull and family oriented town. I would much rather live someplace more cosmopolitan and diverse, say Austin for example. ;) San Antonio does have many advantages.... it is pretty safe, it's not very expensive, and traffic isn't terrible (for a city of this size). And it has improved immensely in the 16 years I've lived here.... so I am excited that my family has decided to converge upon SA for a vacation.

Since I'm posting, you know I am procrastinating... I'm supposed to be cleaning house right now because they will be here in a few hours. Today it has to be "MOM CLEAN"!! No, my mom isn't critical or nosy at all... but you know, there's stuff you don't want her to find! She's going to stay at my house Monday night while I am at work.... the last time I left her alone at my house, she did all my laundry and called a plumber to fix my kitchen sink. :/

For many years, whenever I would travel, I would hide all of the "incriminating evidence" (aka stuff I didn't ever want my mom to see) in the trash can whenever I would go on vacation. My BFF had strict instructions to throw away the trash unexamined if I ever died unexpectedly..... then one time, I came back from vacation, I forgot and threw the trash away accidentally.... so now I have no dirt. Nothing. No skeletons in this closet. :D

Not that there ever was anything particularly juicy on me anyways, sorry to disappoint. Last night I went to the memorial service for my friend J, who died last week.... J was a notorious asshole (I say that affectionately) and a playboy. During the service, people got up on stage and told stories of his kinky, drug-fueled, and illicit exploits.... in front of his brother and father!! Yikes! Of course they always finished with a laugh and "I loved this guy so much!" but some of the stories were pretty embarrassing and cringeworthy. LOL I hope it was stuff the family already knew. :D

have a nice weekend ~ XOXO
Current Mood: bouncy
Current Music: U2 - Iris

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January 10th, 2017

12:29 am - do not go gentle into that good night
I truly regret my excessively conceited and sanctimonious previous post. I would delete it, but instead I will leave it up as a reminder to myself in the future to bite my tongue when thinking about passing judgement on other people, that is not my place. My good southern momma always said "if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all" but honestly you shouldn't even THINK it either. I can be a terrible person sometimes... but I am always trying to improve. Don't give up on me yet. I am a work in progress :)

So my friend J died this past Saturday... J was passionate, talented and opinionated. Publicly he could be abrasive and obnoxious (a very larger-than-life personality), but privately he was a real teddy bear who always took care of his friends. I've known him for more than a decade, and our paths have crossed a thousand times: I've danced at his DJ gigs, I've watched his bands play live, and I'm friends with his ex-coworkers, his ex-roommates, his ex-wife in Hawaii, his ex-gf in Dallas, his brother in Virginia. Heck, I've even babysat his dog:


I'm sad that he died so young (38), I feel terrible for parents who have to bury their children. But if there is a positive side to this tragedy: he died in his sleep, happier than I have seen him in years, curled up on his couch with his two dogs and two cats (yes, I understand that they have been adopted by friends). I hope we all die with a smile on our face, surrounded by our loved ones.

This is the second January in a row I've buried a friend. Coincidentally, three years ago this week I almost buried my boss, L... he had a massive aortic aneurysm on January 5th three years ago and almost (should have) died.... he spent two months in the hospital and truly has never fully recovered. We celebrated his third "birthday" last week.

L and his lovely wife

Since my dad died several years ago and I don't have a boyfriend, L advises me on everything from my finances to my hair color LOL. And there is definitely a generation gap... he's the cranky-but-lovable "get off my lawn" Clint Eastwood type, and I'm the rebellious teenage daughter. We disagree on everything from politics to scotch, and yet I value his opinion above all others. (Heh we didn't always like each other.... he actually fired me after my first three months... now after 8 years I essentially do his job). I love L to pieces... and I'm very grateful for every extra minute I have had with him. He is not in good health, even though he denies it... I'm always yelling at him to get out of my office AND GO PLAY GOLF, OLD MAN!!

As always, every premature loss is an urgent reminder to immediately let the ones you love know how much they mean to you. My family is coming to visit this weekend, so it is perfect timing. And to the rest of you, you know who you are ~ someday I hope to tell you in person. XOXO

Current Mood: sentimental

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January 1st, 2017

08:29 am - pull my strings
**BORING ADMINISTRATIVE POST** Sorry, no pictures or excitement here, this post mostly written so I can guilt myself in three months about my unfulfilled campaign promises :) I had a very low-key NYE. Polly and I drove over to the Hays Street Bridge near downtown to watch the fireworks with some friends and the Diggy Hill crowd, but left immediately afterwards. I was the designated driver and was pretty nervous about being out on the road with a bunch of drunk crazy people, so we came home right after midnight.

I was still up late last night though, frantically trying to figure out how to archive 13 years of my Live Journal posts. Apparently the technical glitches in the past week were from the LJ servers being moved from California to Russia, and there's some talk of all non-cyrillic journals being purged. :( I guess I will create a backup account at WordPress, apparently they can transfer the data, just in case something happens. I'm gonna be very sad if I lose my diary, I've become quite attached to it. :/

Anyways, my resolutions for 2016 were to drink more gin and wear more hats, and frankly, I nailed it (especially the latter). This year I'm making a "to-do" list instead of resolutions, to imply that these things are NOT OPTIONAL:
1. finish remodeling the house. Yes, I bought a fixer-upper, but I've lived here eight years now, it should be complete already. The kitchen has been half finished for two years, and the master bathroom is in serious disrepair. I've had two incompetent contractors in a row; the newest one starts on the outside of the house this month.
2. write catchy and insanely popular novelty Christmas song so that I can retire early
3. Have a sleep study. I have terrible sleep apnea, and it's getting worse, I'm having daytime drowsiness. And I never followed up with my eye surgeon. Yes, doctors make the worst patients.
4. Disconnect my cable TV. It costs a fortune, and I never watch it anyways, except when on-call nights are slow (which is rare).
5. read a book every week. I have three month backlog on my nightstand already.
6. master who vs. whom
7. See my mom more often. She's 75 and in great health... but at her age, that could change at any time. And she doesn't mind coming to me at all, I just need to extend the invitation more frequently.

2016 has been a strange year for me. No, I'm not on everyone's "fuck 2016" bandwagon, because I'm certainly not going to evaluate a year by how many celebrities have died... my FB feed is still filled daily with Bowie tributes almost a year after his death, it seems like histrionics. While I'm certainly in no place to judge someone for having an imaginary relationship with a musical icon ;) I think there are more important things to be angry about... like the 50,000 people killed this year in the Syrian civil war? Just maybe.

Overall 2016 was more good than bad: Rang in the new year on the rooftop downtown, rode my bike, laughed a lot, traveled to Germany and Canadia and Florida and California, danced all night, mowed the yard, drank too much, had too many friends move away, wrote love letters to a silly rabbit, went to my second Burning Man, participated in the the happiest wedding, almost lost my baby boy TC. In addition I have already been given 121 days that do not belong to me. I still don't know what to do with that information, maybe in 2017 you will help me figure it out.

But now I've gotta run! Busy day planned. But I think 2017 is going to be wonderful, don't you? XOXOXO

Current Mood: optimistic
Current Music: DM - Behind the wheel

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December 29th, 2016

11:56 pm - I long to give you everything I have
Howdy LJ :D I hope this entry sticks, the website has been strange and janky all week, it's crashed three times when I tried to post!! If only there were some other way we could communicate *sigh*.... until then, here's a quick recap of my boring life (yours is so much more interesting):

I had a peaceful Christmas weekend at work, it was lonely and quiet, I let all the other employees have the holiday off. Mostly I wandered around the office in my pajamas and watched movies. I did chat a bit with an old friend, who reconnected with recently when I was in L.A. in October. I hadn't talked to Greg since the early-mid 1990's, now he lives in L.A. and works as a screenwriter. Anyways, over the weekend he scrounged up the below AWESOME vintage picture of the two of us and I LOVE IT!! Sheesh I was such a girly girl back then. In this photo I have long blonde Miss Texas hair, a Laura Ashley dress, and a straw hat with lace and flowers (clearly I took my style cues from Blossom). Greg looks like the quintessential teen movie gay sidekick, he even has the collar popped on his jean jacket. (why are we in a tattoo parlor? Who knows. Neither of us have tattoos). Hmm I would like very much to go to L.A. again in the future, though I would definitely have to schedule a visit with Greg and his family next time. :)


I won't see my family for Christmas until January 13-14-15-16th, but I finally saw some friends to celebrate the holiday this week. Staying at my house tonight is roomie's sister Jess, who is happily pregnant (I'm not sure how, because her husband's suit is possibly the most effective form of male birth control I have ever seen):


I unpacked a few more Christmas decorations for the house because Jess was coming to visit... in my storage closet with the decorations I had a box of ~100ish old collectible vinyl records from the 1980s (seriously good stuff) that I have been lugging around for decades untouched because I have no record player! I've been in a minimalist mood, so I impulsively threw them all away (I have SO MANY friends who would be pissed off if they knew this). The records had been boxed up and collecting dust for years... I was happy to be rid of them, until I opened my Christmas present from roomie last night... she bought me a record player! UGH!! Roomie was super annoyed when she heard I thrown out all my records THREE DAYS AGO, but I sincerely thanked her for the truly thoughtful gift. :)

My pal Hans also got me a sweet musical gift for Christmas... after I harassed him for two weeks, he finally agreed to book a Solar Fake show for me at the end of January! I'm so excited, I went all the way to Berlin to see this band last March. To be fair, I have to pay the door guarantee if we don't sell enough tickets... but that's still cheaper than flying to Berlin :D You know, if you are a local reader, you should come to this show, it should be excellent. :)

20161226_155554.jpg solarfake-promotion2011-1-590x393-1.jpg 20161228_194054.jpg BARTACUSDESK.jpg

My Christmas presents from my baby panther Bartacus have been a little distressing... I have a bumper crop of field mice in the backyard, and Bartacus the hunter has now caught three of them and brought them in the house, dropping them at my feet live and uninjured. Supposedly (per pet psychologists) he is attempting to teach me to hunt, because he thinks I am not very good at it? Huh I don't know where he thinks his Fancy Feast comes from, I am an excellent provider! Anyways, he deposits the squealing mouse at my feet, then sits back smugly and watches me chase it around the living room with a broom. The first one DIB and I successfully helped escape, the second one I trapped, and unfortunately the third one hid in the drapes until Tranny Cat found him and made him a midnight snack. :( Tranny Cat has now been camped out by the curtains for the past two days waiting for another tasty mouse to magically appear. :/

Oh yikes!! I have so much more stuff to tell you about, but tomorrow will be a spectacularly busy day at work, so I must sign off~ XOXOXO

Current Mood: bouncy
Current Music: Solar Fake - Here I Stand

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December 26th, 2016

07:15 pm - boxing day was a punch in the face
Well howdy... I had planned to entertain you with a warm-and-fuzzy Christmas post tonight, but it's hard to type when curled up on the bathroom floor. The cold tile does feel nice against my cheek, though.

My roomie & I were supposed to celebrate Christmas together today because my weekend shift was over, but when I got home at 6am, Polly was on the couch vomiting and shivering. She was convinced it was just a bad hangover (she had gone to a holiday party Sunday night) so I made her soup and brought her juice all day... it wasn't a hangover.

Now 12 hours later, I'm unhappily suffering from the unwanted gift she generously gave to me. Ugh I may never eat fruitcake again. :(

So now I'm off to bed super early with a jug of gatorade. I suppose I will snuggle up and finish Season 4 of Vikings, which I finally started this weekend. Watching it makes me want to pet someone's beard. ;)

Until next time ~ XOXO

Current Mood: nauseated but improving, thankfully
Current Music: Elvis Presley - Blue Christmas

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December 21st, 2016

01:36 am - Do you hear what I hear
It's no secret, I loooove Christmas music, both religious and secular. I torture my employees with it continuously from Thanksgiving to Christmas day (currently we have the Josh Groban-Kelly Clarkson-Michael Bublé albums on rotation). I love it all, I suppose because it is either comforting or inspirational or joyful... there isn't really any sad Christmas music. :)

And it's all very familiar, there's rarely any new songs... which is strange, it seems like the industry would be pumping out new novelty Christmas tunes every year hoping to find a one-hit wonder that pays off repeatedly (surely the guy who wrote "Grandma got run over by a Reindeer" gets a big residual check every winter).

Anyways, since it's not busy tonight I am making a playlist of my favorite songs for my long upcoming holiday work weekend.... do you have a favorite I should add to the list? :D

My favorite Christmas music videos under the cut!Collapse )

Current Mood: happy
Current Music: Kelly Clarkson - Wrapped in Red

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December 18th, 2016

10:45 pm - oh the weather outside is frightful.....
Well howdy LJ. :) I just finished my evening jog! I'm sticking with my plan to do a 10K with my sister-in-law in mid-January, if my ankles hold up... they are definitely the rate-limiting step in my progress. It seems strange that my ankles are what hurts the most?? I dunno, I had figured my feet or knees would hurt more? But they don't bother me. I'm sure I have terrible running form (a la Phoebe), and I jog at night so people can't see me.... but because I'm out after dark, I can also secretly take selfies with Christmas yard decorations:


I'm bundled up for this pic because it is FREEZING outside.... it's in the high 20's overnight, which is very cold for San Antonio. I'm incredibly cold-blooded (I swear I start to shiver if it is below 65 degrees) because I've almost always lived in south Texas. I was born in Pasadena (Tx), but in the late 1970's my family lived for a few years in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was too young to remember much about Tulsa... but I do remember the winter snow! After we moved back to the Houston area in 1980 I've probably only seen real snow a handful of times.

I'd like to visit some really cold weather and snow (but not live there permanently). I keep toying with the idea of Iceland... there is always a cheap Groupon deal to Iceland (the current one). I was supposed to go in May with a married couple, some friends of mine... but it's become apparent recently that... uh... their invitation came with an ulterior motive that I am not comfortable with LOL. I'm incredibly flattered, but I will rebook the vacation and just go solo sometime. :D

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I'm worried about my stray porch cat Katniss in this weather, but I haven't seen her since the cold front came through. My previous stray cat George would always disappear when it got really cold, I think he would hunker down beneath the shed in my neighbor's yard. I've always made the stray cats an insulated bed when it gets cold, but usually a possum moves in instead (the pic on the left is 2013, when I made a house out of a styrofoam cooler for George).

fat cat

My weekend was lovely, we had our work Christmas party at Top Golf on Saturday night... I've never played golf before, but it was fun! The golf balls are microchipped so they know when you've hit a target, and the display records each player's scores. At the party, I gave my boss the two bottles of wine I ordered for him, and he loved it. I used to give him cigars every year for Christmas, but he had a major cardiac event about three years ago, so no more... I'd like him to stick around a while longer. He's very much become a father figure to me since I lost my dad a few years ago, even if we butt heads a bit :)

We were supposed to take a gag gift for a white elephant exchange at the party, but I couldn't find one I liked... so I took a bottle of Skelly Tequila instead (I don't like tequila, but it comes in an awesome ceramic skeleton bottle)... and in the exchange, the gift I drew was a bottle of Kraken rum, which was appropriately hilarious. :D

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*sigh* well that's all for now. I'm on-call starting tomorrow, I always volunteer to take call during Christmas week so that my employees can spend time with their families... since I have to enjoy the holiday vicariously through everyone else, I look forward to your pictures ;)

Now I'm off to bed... it's too bad I don't have somebody to snuggle with, when it's so cold outside! ;) XOXO

Current Mood: silly
Current Music: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

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December 13th, 2016

12:47 am - Burning the midnight oil.....
well it's late and I should be in bed... and I don't have much to write about.... but I don't want you to forget about me ;) so I will say howdy and spam you with pictures :D

After dinner tonight, I got a surprise call from my original roomie, the notorious DIB, asking if he could come stay for rest of this week. Of course I said YES, but it means I've been scrambling all night to clean out the guest room (which recently had become storage, because I wasn't expecting guests again until the end of January).... I finally got finished cleaning around midnight.

I know a lot of bald white dudes dib1.jpg dib3.jpg DIB cupcakes

DIB (aka drunken Irish bastard) was the first roomie I had after I bought my house, until he moved away to grad school in Chicago in 2010 (pics are from his epic going-away party). After DIB I had crazy French rollergirl (she didn't last long) before I settled in with my current schoolteacher roomie Polly. Dude roommates are the best, they definitely have less drama. Chick roommates are too high maintenance!

I like having roommates for the companionship (I don't do it for financial reasons). I lived in the dormitory all four years as an undergraduate, then I moved in with my parents for my first round of grad school. I lived alone for many years when I moved to San Antonio, but I got a roomie as soon as I bought my house in 2009. There are a few things that I don't like about having a roommate (like having to wear pants) but I think the positives outweigh the negatives. I ate crap and I never used to cook when I lived alone, but Polly will eat anything I make (if it's awful, which it sometimes is, we just smother it in sriracha).

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Anyways, the house is clean, so this is my quickie LJ update while I do some Christmas shopping online... Tranny Cat is helping me out, obviously (Tranny Cat is doing well on his heart medications, but he's been a little clingy). I just ordered two bottles of Trump wine for my uber-conservative boss as a gift (I'm not a Trump fan, but he will LOVE IT, and I am a team player!). Now I need an "as seen on TV" or gag gift for a white elephant exchange this weekend? I'm thinking a two person Christmas sweater? hmmm. It is supposed to be something ridiculous... suggestions, anyone?

**FYI I have a genius idea for my own as-seen-on-tv product... Me and my sister-in-law are working out the kinks in field testing this coming summer. Don't be surprised if you see me hawking it on QVC in the future.... I'm already working on my relatable folksy down-home television persona. :D

Current Mood: strangely bouncy for 1am
Current Music: The Smiths - There is a light that never goes out

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December 6th, 2016

10:24 pm - where do I send you the invoice for this consultation?
well hello LJ. I do so enjoy our weekly-ish chats. I know I'm not a very good writer, so I mostly just narrate this out loud to you and then transcribe it. You should know in our imaginary conversations you are exceptionally witty and charming, so pat yourself on the back. ;)

Today at work I parked in the parking lot next to a guy with a license plate that read "420dude" who apparently is a local lawyer specializing in marijuana offenses... Because I work in the medical profession, I get asked all the time about my opinion on legalizing marijuana. Honestly, I don't have a strong opinion on the matter. I personally couldn't be less interested, I wouldn't touch the stuff even if it was legalized (clearly my drug of choice is whiskey).


But because I treat terminally ill patients, I do think there is some value in using it to treat chronic pain and nausea... I want my dying patients to have whatever they need to be comfortable in their final days. So I have no problem with it being legalized for medical reasons... but once you legalize it for medical reasons, it's ridiculously easy for people to abuse the system and get it from unethical providers. So if you are gonna legalize it for medical reasons I figure you should just go ahead and legalize it for recreational use too and then you can tax it!! (you can't tax pharmaceuticals)

Texas currently allows very focused medical use (only low-THC oils for epilepsy) but coincidentally a senator filed a bill just today to allow unlimited prescribing. My pot-smoking friends are very excited.... I have a couple of friends who are very heavy daily users. It's very obvious to me that they are using marijuana to treat their anxiety disorders... they've bought into the belief that because it is a "natural" alternative, it is superior to a a prescription (of course, that's not true... you are still putting chemicals into your body with the specific intent of altering your brain chemistry).

*sigh* I'm just anti-pharmaceuticals in general, I guess. (I know, it pays my salary.) Not that they don't serve an important medical purpose for serious diseases... but I have so many patients on 20-30 medications or MORE, it's depressing. We have trained our patients to ask for a pill for every problem... then you have to take more pills to treat the side effects of the original medications. It's a downward spiral. And don't get me started on the evils of direct-to-consumer prescription marketing.

So many medical problems can be treated without pharmaceuticals... or at least, pharmaceuticals shouldn't be the first option. The single best antidepressant? Exercise... shown over and over again in clinical trials to beat any drug. If I have a stressful day, I don't come home and immediately pop a xanax... instead I pet my kitties, ride my bike, or listen to some music from my favorite synthpop band. :) works like a charm every time...


Current Mood: um.... high on life?? :D
Current Music: The Postal Service - Such Great Heights

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November 30th, 2016

04:25 pm - both of us are broken but we both ignore the fact
Surprise! I usually don't make a mid-on-call-week post, but I'm playing hooky from work... I don't have to be in until 11pm. I'm going in late after I see my favorite opinionated punk rocker Henry Rollins babble on about sex & drugs & rock & roll tonight. I've seen him perform 3-4 times, he's a manic meathead... he's not my type ;) but he's always entertaining. I love it that he's an intellectual snob who judges dates based on the books they read... there's nothing sexier than a big vocabulary. :D

Right now I'm soaking in the tub... last week I skyped my brother & sister-in-law because they couldn't be in town for Thanksgiving, and my SIL told me she expects me to run a half marathon with her when she comes to visit me in January. EH?? I. do. not. run... except from bugs. I tried jogging briefly in my 20's, but tripped and broke two fingers on my hand (always a klutz). Plus, I don't know why she seems to think I'm physically fit (I bike because it's the only exercise I can do while SITTING DOWN). I'll never be able to do the half-marathon, but maybe I could work up to the 10K? I have six weeks... so the past two days I jogged three miles each day. I was pretty darn impressed with myself, but when I got up this morning I was so stiff and sore I could hardly move... so I'm skipping today. *sigh* I wish someone was here to give me a massage. :)

My whole family is coming in January so we can have Christmas together. I only saw my sister N & her family for Thanksgiving. You know, my mom got a bad return on her reproductive investment... she had four kids, but only has three grandkids... well, three-and-a-half. My sister N's first child was given up for adoption: After a routine pregnancy (normal bloodtests and ultrasounds), she had a daughter Miranda born with severe Down's syndrome, cardiac malformations, oculocutaneous albinism, hypopituitarism, and a seizure disorder. I begged my sister to keep Miranda, but she was overwhelmed by her laundry list of medical problems.

About a year later, my sister was very depressed and burdened with guilt... so she contacted the adoption agency, who put her in touch with Miranda's adopted family in St. Louis, WHO ARE THE MOST WONDERFUL PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET. They welcomed N with open arms (now "Aunt N" of course), and N gets to see Miranda about once or twice a year. I met the whole big family when they came to S.A. three years ago for a stop at Morgan's Wonderland.

The family that adopted Miranda has three biological children... but then adopted six disabled children. They have four with Down's Syndrome, one with fetal alcohol syndrome, and the youngest (Sarah) has severe cerebral palsy and is ventilator dependent... Sarah will never walk or talk, but she is super smart and communicates via an eye-tracking computer screen. Miranda and Sarah are the sickest two kids, neither was supposed to survive infancy, but both have thrived under their adopted parents' care.

So whenever I start to whine I have too much on my plate, or I'm too busy, or my ankles hurt... I remember that this couple sacrificed their entire life to care around-the-clock for six kids that the rest of the world didn't want. If that doesn't give you hope for the future of the human race, nothing will. :)

until next time XOXO

Current Mood: bouncy
Current Music: Ashbury Heights - Hope

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November 28th, 2016

03:35 pm - No time to say hello, good-bye! I'm late I'm late I'm late!
Well I was in the middle of a warm-and-fuzzy post-Thanksgiving essay yesterday when my boy Tranny cat suddenly collapsed, so that entry is scrapped for now. The good news is, after 24 hours of ICU care Tranny is home and doing well... the bad news is, he is a six-year-old cat with cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Don't get me wrong, I am VERY happy to have him back, but after losing my two little old ladies last spring (who both had been sick for 2-3 years) I was kinda enjoying having two healthy kitties who didn't need regular bloodwork and checkups. :/ Good thing I'm on call this week, I can play around in the compounding lab overnight and figure out how I'm creatively gonna get four medicines into him every day (I'm terrible at giving cats pills).

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But my Thanksgiving was lovely, just hanging out with my mom & my sister & her family at the house. We don't do Black Friday shopping (or Thanksgiving Day shopping... stores should be closed!). Actually, we do very little holiday shopping at all... several years ago my brother & sisters & I decided we all have enough *stuff* and it was silly to give gifts just because you felt some kind of consumer obligation. The best present I can get at Christmas is just to see my siblings because we don't live in the same city (especially my brother, after 20 years of him living around the world). Occasionally I find something awesome that one of my siblings *MUST* have, but I send it to them immediately when I find it, not necessarily at Christmas (heh my niece gave me "crazy cat lady" kitchen towels at Thanksgiving, just because). Otherwise, we all just buy presents for the three kids.


So the only thing I bought all weekend is an ornament for my Christmas tree, I buy one new ornament each year. This year I got a white fuzzy rabbit. Last year's addition was a hot pink dinosaur. I think they look perfect together. :)

Current Mood: busy
Current Music: Mariah Carey - All I want for Christmas

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November 23rd, 2016

09:51 pm - gobble gobble
well this shall be my quickie Thanksgiving Day post... I'll start by being thankful that the worst three work days of the year are over! I'm exhausted... I'm going to bed early, because tomorrow morning I'm heading to Houston to spend the holiday with my mom and one of my sisters. I am going to eat an embarrassing amount of my mom's pumpkin pie and not feel guilty about it. :D


I am an incredibly lucky girl. I have an abundance of things to be thankful for. I have wonderful friends, a great job that provides me financial security, excellent health (alcohol is a preservative), hilarious and dedicated employees, a loving family (that I need to see more often), a silly rabbit that I adore, a loyal (if aggravating) roommate I can depend on, and my two handsome fur babies. I have always been grateful, but in the past three months there has definitely been a change... now I count my blessings every day.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving XOXO
Current Mood: happy

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November 18th, 2016

11:28 pm - I dream of.....
Howdy LJ :) Sorry long time no post.... I have been very stressed out for a myriad of reasons, and next week is our busiest week of the year at work! I do appreciate you entertaining me, though. ;) I am very glad that I have an uneventful weekend planned... the weather is gorgeous, and I picked up my bike at the shop, it looks like new!! (I got a well-deserved lecture from the technician, yikes). I really don't have anything to write about tonight, but I've had a couple glasses of the Blaecorn Unidragon, my favorite Russian imperial stout, so here goes nothing:

1. Good news this week: my chief assistant Airwrecka finally had her baby... so now I only have to do her job for three more months, ha! :D I teased her endlessly when she told me that she had chosen the name Tristan (even though I do like the name) because I know secretly she chose it because she loved Brad Pitt in the Legends of the Fall (she gave her husband some bullshit about the romanticism of Tristan & Isolde, but I know the truth)

Blaecorn Unidragon, Dragon, Unicorn, and Bartacus tristan 2.0 tristan 1.0 1970s Mattel bean doll.... now available on ebay for $60, no thank you! Barbara Eden as Jeannie Octopus by artist Alex Lanau, MiMis brother, hanging in my hallway

2. Speaking of baby names: I've had more than my share of terrible retail jobs over the years (I think *everyone* should have to work as a waitress sometime in your life, it makes you humble.) After I got my pharmacy license, I was working in a wealthy white part of San Antonio.... and hated it. My customers were awful. I could never make them happy, no matter how hard I tried, it was incredibly frustrating. I usually left work in tears. I was either going to quit or get fired, so I took a transfer to an unwanted position on the south side of San Antonio, where all the patients were working class hispanics.... and I loved it. Everyone was so nice. My employees on the southside were all very young hispanic women. One of them had a very cute little baby girl she called "Abbie".... I made the mistake one day of calling her Abigail (which is what I presumed her formal name to be) and my employee looked at me quizzically.... because it turns out her name was "Abcde" YES ABCDE. Pronounced "Absidy" and nicknamed Abbie.

3. I am in no position to criticize other people's choice of names, really.... because I do not go by my given name, I don't like it. I would guess most of my friends don't even know what my real name is! I have a very proper southern name, best pronounced with an Elvis-Presley-esque drawl. I have been called by my nickname since I was three years old.... about that time, I carried around a doll filled with beans, so my father started calling me "Jeanie Beanie" and it stuck... he called me Jeanie Beanie the rest of his life :)

4. I have had so many other nicknames over the years.... me and my brother still to this day call each other "Juan" and "Juanita" (even though I am pasty white and about as Mexican as Taco Bell) because we took Spanish class together in high school. After that: Eden was my official ΑΦΩ name in college, Fifi was my medical school nickname (thanks to _monkey_pox_), and my old pal kaydacat has always called me J-pop (I call her K-cat). Honestly, my newest nickname "the Kraken" is my favorite, I even started drinking Kraken Rum and collecting octopus/squid artwork to hang in my hallway that is painted like the ocean. :D

so if I give you a silly nickname, please don't be offended... I promise, it is affectionate XOXO. Have a nice weekend!
Current Mood: relaxed

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November 11th, 2016

11:41 pm - VD
Sorry, my last several posts have been a sad unreadable mess. I myself am a terrified, anxious mess. I thought I would try to write something different today... so because it is Veterans Day, I will write about my favorite veteran, my brother J. He and I have always been close, but we are very different... he's a Republican/career military/tech geek, and I'm a hippie pussycat who can barely check my email... heh he always used to joke that I was adopted. :D Even though I can clearly take care of myself, he has always looked out for me... He tried to get me to enlist in the AF for years (and in retrospect, I probably would have responded well to the discipline) but I couldn't imagine myself holding a gun, much less ever potentially being in a combat zone.

J spent 20 years in the Air Force until he was forced unwillingly into retirement. :/ Since he didn't get married until he was almost 40, he volunteered for some of the more exotic and dangerous assignments that his peers weren't interested in... he volunteered for tours in places like Korea and Pakistan, where you can't take your family/spouse with you. In 2007-2008, he was a major and the chief American liaison to the General in charge of the Iraqi Air Force.

iraq grace kelly.jpg Christmas in Iraq

The Iraqi general and his team were so fond of my brother that they would occasionally smuggle in a nice bottle of booze for him as a gift, even though AF regulations absolutely prohibit consumption of alcohol in Muslim countries. In return, my brother asked my mom to send him a box of cigars to give to the team for Christmas. And around New Year's day 2008, my parents got the MOST AMAZING thank you note in the mail from Iraq.... A beautiful handmade card, addressed to "Master Dale and Madam Barbara" with a long handwritten message from the general inside, thanking them for sending their son to help the Iraqi Air Force. *sniff* I called my mom tonight, she still has the card. :D


At one point, J arranged for the Iraqi General and his colonels to come to San Antonio to tour pilot training facilities at U.S. Air Force Bases. The Iraqi team had a fantastic time, shopping at Wal-Mart and eating at Hooters (I've seen the pictures of the group with the Hooters waitresses, they are hilarious). Once they got back to Iraq, my brother mentioned that I live in San Antonio, and I used to work for Wal-Mart... and the General was INTRIGUED. He said I must be very special American Princess to have earned the high honor of such a *prestigious* job. He then asked if I was single, and he offered to make me "first wife"!! I graciously declined his generous offer, but I did briefly fantasize about a Grace-Kelly-scenario in which I eventually became the first lady of Iraq. :D

To those of you on my friends list who have served in the military, I thank you.

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