Friday, July 31, 2009

IV Bags for Breakfast

... and lunch and dinner.
Seems Studio 101° is a lot like the Hotel California. I may be trying to get Jamie out of there, but something's not letting us leave.
Today, on day 8 of Great Adventures in Febrile Neutropenia, we're headed to see our peeps at SCOA, and here's how things are gonna go down:
  1. I'm gonna wheel Jamie in;
  2. Jamie's gonna give them a little blood;
  3. They're gonna give Jamie a lotta fluid;
  4. I'm gonna wheel him out;
  5. He's coming back here with me to Team Wedding HQ
At least I hope I've got that last one right.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Old School

So, this young upstart Levaquin might look flashy, but he can't seem to get the job done. Eh — whaddya expect from a 22-year-old? Only concerned about style: "Oooh! Look at me! I'm one big superpill that you take once a day. So sleek, so simple, so, so ... ooh, shiny!"
I've been waiting seven days, Levaquin, for you to show up and get the job done. I keep looking around here in Studio 101° and I don't see you. It's hot and sweaty and, quite frankly, a little scary. I don't know these freaks writhing around in here. There's too much thumping bass, the drinks are watered down, and the strobe lights are giving me a migraine.
So while you're hanging back on the red carpet that leads into this feverish fiesta, just posing and pouting like the Bruno of antibiotics that you seem to be, I've slipped out the back and made a few phone calls.
There's this 81-year-old dude, Pen E. Cillin, who says he can get the job done. He's coming over and he's bringing some crazy pal called Clav Ulanicacid. They're a pretty hip duo, and perform under the stage name Augmentin. They don't like the scene at Studio 101° any more than I do, so they're going to start with private performances three times a day until we can get past the velvet rope at Club 98.6°.
Yeah, Levaquin, I know you're too sexy for Club 98.6°. News flash: No one there likes you, either. Leave us alone. We've got work to do.
Come on, Pen.
Hey, Pen, has anyone ever told you what a silver fox you are. Really? I am not surprised.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Grab Some Kleenex & Meet My Friend

This is the beautiful face behind Cancer Sucks Even With Lilly Pulitzer On Your Side that reminds me that there is life not just after this battle, but during it.
Tamara and I have never laid eyes on each other, never communicated beyond blog and Facebook commentary or email, never spoken a word in the other's ear.
But — just as sure as I can reach out and touch Jamie; or just as sure as I can call my parents, my sisters, my brothers when I need them; just as sure as I can let Nurse Tilly lick the tears on my face — I am sure I can count on Miz CancerSucks for inspiration and support.
When we first "met," courtesy of GolfGal, another blogger and cancer survivor, I posted this on Tamara's blog:
"How happy I am to be finding such a supportive, nurturing family out here. I thought I had four sisters — clearly, I have many."
I hope you watch the above video. I hope you heed my advice to have Kleenex handy. And, I hope you'll check out Tamara's blog and her awesome fundraising for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
I do hope you take the time to do those things. And, if you do, I know — I know — you'll agree with me that behind that beautiful face is a beautiful, beautiful soul.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monotone, Monosyllabic, Monday

More names, please. 
Thank you.
So much. 
Thank you.
So much.
I thank you. 
J thanks you. 
Nurse T thanks you. 
Lance thanks you.
That is all.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's Not About The Bike

We believe in life.

Your life. We believe in living every minute of it with every ounce of your being. And that you must not let cancer take control of it. We believe in energy: channeled and fierce. We believe in focus: getting smart and living strong. Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything. This is the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

We kick in the moment you’re diagnosed. We help you accept the tears. Acknowledge the rage. We believe in your right to live without pain. We believe in information. Not pity. And in straight, open talk about cancer. With husbands, wives and partners. With kids, friends and neighbors. And the people you live with, work with, cry and laugh with. This is no time to pull punches. You’re in the fight of your life.

We’re about the hard stuff. Like finding the nerve to ask for a second opinion. And a third, or a fourth, if that’s what it takes. We’re about getting smart about clinical trials. And if it comes to it, being in control of how your life ends. It’s your life. You will have it your way.

We’re about the practical stuff. Planning for surviving. Banking your sperm. Preserving your fertility. Organizing your finances. Dealing with hospitals, specialists, insurance companies and employers. It’s knowing your rights. It’s your life. Take no prisoners.

We’re about the fight. We’re your champion on Capitol Hill. Your advocate with the healthcare system. Your sponsor in the research labs. And we know the fight never ends. Cancer may leave your body, but it never leaves your life. This is the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Founded and inspired by one of the toughest cancer survivors on the planet.



Saturday, July 25, 2009


Bonjour, mes amis! L'Tilly here again. Ordinarily, I might throw a bit of the Spanglish in my speech, but today, in honor of Mr. Lance reaching the end of Le Tour de France, I think the Frenchlish is appropriate. Things are quiet here at Chez Halfglassique. Le Dad has a fever, and l'Mom is supervising the administration of fluids and antibiotics (Shout-out to Monsieur Pasteur! You ROCK!), so I am le guest blogger. Again. I choose to use my tres cute voice to get you to add more names to Dad's LIVESTRONG Action page. Last I checked, there were 182 -- which is AWESOME! Really. But, last I heard, Mom was hoping for 200 before the book closes. So show me your LIVESTRONG. Or, if you already have, send a friend to the page. Mom may not be so good with the math, and, I must admit, my talents also are geared more toward the word. But even I know that there have to be 18 more people out there who want to help Mr. Lance fight the cancer. Really. I will check back in tomorrow, but for now, au revoir, ya'll! CONFIDENTIAL P.S. TO ELOISETHEPUG: Thank you for the Frenchlish lessons, ma petite cherie! Vive la Pug!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Oy, vey ...!

I have just been told that "if chicken soup is the Jewish penicillin, then the fried egg sandwich is the Southern." I don't know how true that may be (either claim), but I do know this:
one egg, fried in real butter, salted, peppered, and flipped in between two pieces of toast spread with Duke's mayo and a swipe of French's yellow mustard
just went down easier than anything else I've seen pass Jamie's lips in the past week. And that includes Gatorade and Jell-O. I also have a fridge and pantry filled with the makings for jambalaya, taco salad, spaghetti & meatballs, barbecue chicken, hamburgers, Chicago dogs,
11 more fried egg sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, and big bowls of Cap'n Crunch. The same eight to 11 pounds have been dropping off and reappearing on Jamie's frame since round one of chemo. These stats are greeted by our nurses (and me) with equal disdain and excitement, depending on which side of the median they fall. I've listened to Tess and Wendy encourage Jamie to eat, eat fat, eat sugar, just eat and eat as much as possible. And I've seen his gills turn green when I've encouraged the same munching, but in the wrong moment. I entered this treatment adventure with many fears and very few preconceived notions. But, my biggest misconception and mistake was somehow confusing chemo with Cuervo, thinking that one would (or could) somehow build up a tolerance to the infusion of poisons much like one does to the ingestion of potent potables. Might have something to do with simple naivete coupled with wishful thinking. Might have something to do with a long history of feeling poisoned on random Saturday, Sunday (or Thursday ... or Tuesday) mornings and that being my strongest frame of reference to overwhelming and insurmountable nausea. Maybe. It could go either way. What I've learned -- and feel more than a little foolish for expecting otherwise -- is that chemotherapy, particularly the aggressive badass version assaulting Jamie's system, has quite the cumulative effect. It has not been easy to see my husband's vibrant glow and lusty appetite for the richly layered flavors of both well-aged steaks and Scotch disappear. It has not been easy to see his skin pale, his pace slow, and his cuisine limited to liquid protein and well-chilled electrolytes. It has not been easy to hear that although injections are boosting his white cell count, his red cell count is shot and anemia is unavoidable. So forgive my excitement over the menu items listed above. Forgive my embracing real butter, real eggs, real sugar, white pasta, whole milk, and a big ol' mess of all kinds of trans-fatty things for which I've learned substitutes. Forgive me if, along with the 10 or so pounds my husband keeps losing and finding, I've found a good five to seven that aren't seeming to budge right now. Forgive me, if right now, part of the whole taking-care-of-myself-so-that-I-can-take-care-of-others includes indulging my own cravings for the food that's earned the label of "comfort" for a damn good reason. You'll forgive me, because I have. (And -- when a little bit down the road, I ask for your support as I whip myself into a better shape than I started with so I can keep up with Jamie when his healthy ass is up and running again -- I think you'll give it to me.) That entire menu up there? The one that that looks like what Harold & Kumar would eat if they didn't go to White Castle? It all may not make it onto Jamie's plate over the next two weeks. But some will, and the idea of each of them at least sounds appealing to him. And that has me feeling more -- much more -- than a little verklempt.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's A Happy Tilly Kind of Day

Hi all! Tilly here. Just logged on and noticed Mom had not done a post yet. It is now 4:24 p.m. Tilly-Standard-Time and daily subscriptions to the ramblings here in my house go out at 5 p.m. (Yeah, I know, right? That is pretty cool. I think it would be cooler if residuals went into our bank account daily at 5 p.m., but I haven't been able to work that out quite yet.)
So, Mom's napping and Dad's chillaxing. The air just cut on so if I time this just right, the clickety-clack of my claws (I need a pedi-pedi in the worst way!) will be muffled by the sound of the A/C cycle.
We are on holiday again (HOLLA!) and that's pretty sweet. The peeps went for a quick injection of the special sauce (Go Neulasta! Go, go Neulasta!) this a.m. and no more dates with the drip are scheduled for another two weeks. N-i-i-i-i-ce.
That means a lot more silly dancing and singing with my Moms and a lot more laughing and playing with my Dads.
And that, my friends, makes for a very, very, very happy Tilly.
T-Rat OUT!
CONFIDENTIAL P.S. TO PAPA: I know you think that I type aLL SiLLy LiKe tHiS, but that's just Mom trying to be cute when she sends you messages from me. Don't tell her I told you — let's just let her keep having her fun. (On a related note, though, I do like to lick your head. I do.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oh Snap!

My rebound from Ughville has bounced my puny self into Craptasticville.
Craptasticville is a suburb of the lesser populated Chemoville, where the residents have plenty of reason to say:
"Hey! Quit whining about how your throat-head-right-eye-tummy-left nostril-lower-right-earlobe-and-your-weird-little-pinky-toe hurts
I. Have. Poison. In. My. Veins. 
No, not a bad 80's hair band with a lead singer currently making money by letting VH1 film skeevy, unemployed, clear-platform-heel-and-bad-weave-wearing-skanks-with-vomit-breath stick their tongues down his bandanna'd, guylined, suspected-collagen-lipped throat. 
No. POY-suhn. P-O-I-S-O-N. POISON. In my veins. Yeah. 
And you don't hear me bitching."
They have puhlenty of reason to say that. But they don't.
In other fun facts, Craptasticville is Halfglassistan's top repository of antibacterial soap, Purell, alcohol wipes and sneezed-into-tshirts. It is also quickly becoming known for its booming development of guilt, but residents are working on curtailing production of that useless commodity.
It should probably also be noted that the mayor of Craptasticville might still be holding a grudge that stems from a cancelled concert circa 1989. 
Maybe. Just a little bit.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Turn on the Lights; The Party's Over

JULY 18        Tilly — renowned author, singer, home healthcare worker, dancer, rawhide gourmand, owner of the Tilly News Network (TNN), and all-around bon vivant — reports that the half-glassed Pity Party on the half-glassed couch has ended.
TNN will interrupt regularly scheduled programming as this story develops.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Life's a Bitch and Then You Cry

Half-glassed is just that. Half. I have claimed to all the world (well, Bloggyland) to be an amateur optimist. I still do. Until I receive my professional certification and accept any compensation as a paid endorser of optimism, however, I think I'm entitled to a little whining. And, even when I do join the pro optimist tour, la caca will still happen. And I'll deal with it. Hell, I'm trying be more positive, not achieve sainthood. So, I'll just say it: Today I feel like crap. I have some kind of summer cold/flu/bug-that-has-kicked-my-ass-and-makes-me-hurt-all-over. I feel guilty because I feel sick. And then I feel guilty for feeling guilty. I feel hot and sticky and nasty in Columbia, South Carolina (aka the other side of the screen door to Hell). I want to cry and I feel guilty for wanting to cry and I feel guilty for feeling guilty for wanting to cry (didn't I tell you I was raised Catholic?) and that really makes me want to cry. So I do. And it makes me feel better, just like sometimes nothing else can. I often (OK, almost always) hate what little control I seem to have over my tear ducts. And then, I hate even more the times when I need the release and I cannot summon a cleansing sob. And then there are times like these: When my whimpering, simpering, foe becomes my familiar weepy friend. I welcome her, knowing all she needs is to get it all out of her system, so I let her. We both know that everything will still be there when eyes are dry, and, let's be honest, the headache is worse. But, we also know that the clouds will seem a little less oppressive, the load a little bit lighter, and deep breaths a little easier to swallow. And the next step (...and the one after that and the one after that and the one after that and the one after that and the one after that and the one after that and, yes, the one after that...) a little easier to take.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More Than / Not Quite Halfway There

Meet The Dripkeeper (aka the phoenix). Today is dose one of round three, or number five of eight scheduled doses of chemotherapy. My mathematically inclined friends tell me that means we're now more than halfway through this gig. That other hand in there? That's me. Doing what I do. Holding my man's hand. Or that's what it looks like, anyway. He's actually holding mine. A lot of folks have been reaching out and touching us lately, but I know there's still plenty of love to go around. Add your name to Jamie's page in the LIVESTRONG Action book of dedications that Lance Armstrong will present to world leaders after he completes the Tour de France. It's all part of a worldwide commitment to raise awareness, push for better treatment, and fight cancer globally. A donor has committed to giving $30,000 if the book fills with 30,000 signatures by the end of the Tour. All I'm looking for is 200. Names, not dollars. In less than three days, we've collected 78, and it's made us feel like a million bucks. Family and friends have put out the call on Facebook; friends and strangers alike have tweeted and re-tweeted the link on Twitter, clicked through, and joined their names to ours on a petition for a worldwide commitment to advancing cancer treatment. I don't know all of those names on that page. But I do know this: They are names of people who love us, or know someone who loves us, or know someone who knows someone who loves us. And one thing I am sure of is that each of them knows someone somewhere affected by cancer. Thank you -- all of you -- who have helped, and will continue to help us build this page. My cousin J put it best:

"...I'm not asking for much, just that you stop by their LIVESTRONG Action page and add your name. Everyone feels better knowing that they are not alone..."

She's got that right.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Held Over By Popular Demand

We're not into reruns here at MHGL, but after I logged on and saw that I had a message asking to recruit more folks to LIVESTRONG Action, I decided to hit you up again. In yesterday's post, I asked you all to share your inner badasses with Jamie and sign his dedication page. The goal was 25. Hell, we had that in less than 18 hours. Why? Because ya'll guys* rock. Hard. (*Please indulge both my Midwestern roots and my Southern conventions with my combo of ya'll & you guys. Cute, no? I can't claim it -- my goddaughter H invented it when she was a toddler, and I like it. It could catch on.) So-o-o-o-o-o-o, when I returned from my girl-lunch date with B (who asked how I decided what to write about each day ... here's your answer ...) I had an e-mail waiting for me from Lance Armstrong. Yeah, we're buds (inasmuch as he's buds with all the other millions of folks he's inspired). So my boy Lance had this to say regarding the LIVESTRONG Action campaign and the dedication book filled with names:
As an added incentive, a donor has pledged to give $30,000 if we can collect 30,000 signatures before the end of the Tour. I'll send these signatures to world leaders after the Tour de France and pressure them to make cancer a priority in their own countries. It’s our best chance to push for better treatment, more funding for cancer research and access to care for everyone around the world. When you sign the declaration, you'll be able to dedicate that action to a cancer survivor or caregiver who has inspired you. I dedicated my signature to my mom, who stuck by me -- and fought alongside me -- throughout my cancer fight. Who will you dedicate yours to?
So now, really, what are you waiting for? Go add your name. If you've already added your name, click on that nifty yellow link on the bottom and send it to a friend, or two, or 20. If you'd like to create a page for someone else, you can click the nifty red link at the top and do that. My goal was to get 25 names on the page, but now you've awakened the overachiever in me (she doesn't sleep very soundly). Now I want to see Jamie's name in that upper right margin under "Top Dedications." In the time I've been writing this post, two more signatures have landed on J's page. See? I know my peeps rock. And I really, really, really do dig that about you.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A LIVESTRONG Action Kind of Day

Yep, that's my husband up there. Yep, that's a LIVESTRONG bracelet on his wrist. Yep, those are bubbles of magic chemo he put all around his head. And, yeppers, he's got a twisted sense of humor ... and I dig that about him. It's that "yeah, I've got cancer, but I've had bad trips before; I'll ride this one out, too" badass attitude that keeps him strong. That keeps me strong. That's why I chose that picture on his LIVESTRONG Action dedication page. You'll find it along with the story of why Jamie is the Phoenix. Go there. Now. Really. NOW. Because you can always come back here (in fact, why don't you bookmark, or subscribe, when you do come back? M'kay? Thanks!). But here is where you'll find almost 1,000 people just like Jamie (Probably more by now, J was #781) all over the world dedicated to fighting cancer. My husband is now part of the world's largest dedication book that LIVESTRONG Action will use to pressure world leaders to do more to fight cancer. From the site:
Right now, Lance Armstrong is dedicating his ride in the Tour de France to the fight against cancer. And after the race, he'll send this dedication book -- with your signature -- to world leaders and pressure them to make cancer a priority in their own countries. It's our best chance to push for better treatment, more funding for cancer research and access to care for everyone around the world.
Check it out. Add your name. That's it. It takes just a second, doesn't cost a thing, and will make you a part of a big worldwide team trying to ride this trip out and come out better on the other side. You'll do it. I know you will. You've got that inner badass just like we do. And I dig that about you.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Of Delusions and Diversions

Team Wedding Headquarters (TWHQ) is going dark until all the fuss on the front lawn dies down (I'm thinking tomorrow will be clear. Don't ask how I know; I just do.), what with all of the Phoenixheads gathered outside. Fortunately, the neighbors are accommodating the throng of media (four kids on bikes with cell phones, and one skeevy guy in sweatpants and a fedora), but if the crowd grows (I'm thinking the threshold is two more kids on bikes, one more sweatpant, two more fedoras, and/or TMZ. Whichever comes first.), there's no telling what might happen. Maybe breaking the press line to put a note from the Homeowners' Association in our mailbox. Maybe a livefeed interview. It could go either way. TWHQ is stocked up with Gatorade, Snapple, watermelon, tomatoes, and Cheetos; People, Real Simple, and library books are stacked beside the couch; NCAA Football is queued up in the PS2, and the remote control is doing a fine job of selecting OnDemand programming. Nurse Tilly is on her back, feet in the air, under the fan, so she can be fresh if she needs to go out and read her prepared statement. She doesn't seem too concerned, however. And neither am I. Because when I set my mind to it, not much of anything can penetrate the bubble I build around TWHQ.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Team Wedding Goes International

DATELINE: SOMEWHERE, FRANCE July 9, 2009 The Tilly News Network (TNN) reports that "THE PHOENIX WILL RISE," Team Wedding's official contribution to Lance Armstrong's "Hope Rides Again" campaign on Le Tour de France, has been imprinted on the tour route. TNN French correspondent le Petit Cochon, network owner Tilly's exective assistant Piggy, reports early reaction to the statement's release was positive, but as word spread among citizens, a crowd grew. "This is unlike anything my beady petit cochon eyes have ever seen," reports Piggy. "You expect candles, flowers and singing of soothing songs at these type of impromptu gatherings, but folks here are burning incense, eating Cheetos and singing 'Can't Kill The Rooster.'" As Armstrong is already committed to zipping right past any markers on the Tour route, he is not expected to make an appearance at the PHOENIX site. TNN will interrupt regularly scheduled programming as this story develops. ### (c) 2009 Tilly News Network ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Today's Post Is Brought to You By The Letters LP, J, LS, C, and JC

Today's post is a collaborative effort, even if my muses are only learning now about how they've inspired me today.
First, I have to thank my new buddy over at Cancer Sucks Even With Lilly Pulitzer On Your Side. I must acknowledge that I totally borrowed(stole) the video above from her site — but it's just too damn good not to share. I also must give her a well deserved shout-out for her instant friendship. She cheered, commiserated, complimented, and even made the commitment of giving me her contact info (a generous kindness that I hope she doesn't regret after a few e-mails from my rambling mind). And that was just in her first comment. Up until now, LIVESTRONG yellow colored my hopeful thoughts. Thanks, Miz CancerSucks, for throwing pink & green on my palette.
The amazing J is also responsible for making this a LIVESTRONG day. She turned me on to the Chalkbot, which, when I went to, I realized was part of the same campaign featured above. From the site:
Lance is just one person. He can't fight the global cancer epidemic alone. So he asked artists, other athletes, survivors and writers to join his peloton. Now he's asking you. What's your bike? There are many ways to get involved and make a difference. How will you help?
© 2009 NIKE
Own a piece of the road at the Tour de France. Write your message and it will be sent to the Nike LIVESTRONG Chalkbot. What words of hope, inspiration and encouragement will you share with the world?
© 2009 NIKE
I've already sent my message to the Chalkbot: THE PHOENIX WILL RISE, a reference to Jamie's indestructible spirit. I'll receive a message when it has been written on the Tour route, and will post it here. Regardless, I encourage you to check out, if only to see the incredible stories, pictures, and videos of hope, life, and survival everywhere.
Well, that takes care of LP (Lilly Pulitzer), J (my girl-date buddy), and LS (duh, LIVESTRONG) and now we find ourselves at our next sponsoring letter, C. No, silly, it's not for cancer. In fact, we never call cancer "C" here at Team Wedding Headquarters — cancer's not cute, so it doesn't deserve a nickname.
Nope. The final underwriting sponsor of today's post is none other than my baby sister Caryn. I was talking to her earlier, rambling on (as I do), interrupting her every third word (as I do), and telling her how I was going to check out this Chalkbot-thingie, and write about it today. The whole time we're talking, I'm hearing my almost-eight-month-old nephew talking in the background. I asked her to put the phone by him, but he was across the room, crawling, and taking his sweet time getting closer to her. 
Wait! What? Crawling? I haven't even seen him sit up on his own yet.
We speak often, but I don't see him nearly as much as I'd like. Caryn says that Atlanta isn't "so far away," but every time I hear JC's sweet voice — now saying "MAMA" — it may as well be a million miles away. Jamie heard me say that and felt guilty that he was keeping me here, not realizing in the moment he said it that I don't want to be anywhere on earth but here by his side. I just wish — even knowing it's impossible because of immune systems compromised by that so-not-cute cancer — everyone else could be here by our side, too.
I hung up the phone today and my mind kept hearing the words Caryn wrote on Jamie's Facebook wall after his first surgery (when, because of that damn compromised immunity, he hadn't even met JC yet)
"Welcome home Jamie. I hope Tilly gives you the welcome you deserve. You are in our hearts and prayers. I am so glad JC has an uncle he can look up to for his strength and courage. We love you!"
File that under Reason #4,684 to keep LIVingSTRONG. Time is going by way too fast and my awesome nephew JC needs to know his awesome uncle Jamie.
And he will. I'm sure of it. Because I know the phoenix will rise.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Silver & Gold

"... Make new friends, but keep the old ... One is silver and the other gold ..."
I never made it past the Brownies in Girl Scouts, but that doesn't mean I didn't learn to LIVE. BY. THE. GIRL. SCOUT. LAW! Yeah, all you former (or fallen) girl scouts, you know what I'm talking about: the end of the pledge. Any troop of Brownies I've ever heard said it just like that -- a staccato cadence, each word rising in volume, and ending in giggles. All you former (or fallen) girl scouts also recognize that little ditty up there, too. It's been running through my mind today, ever since I logged in this morning and found three comments on yesterday's self-congratulating one-month celebratory post. Quite simply, they rocked. I've made some new friends: Heather, who said "I love the way you write"; and Meaghan, who said she "absolutely love(s) that picture." Click on their names to go to their blogs and you'll see just how hard these chicks rock. (And not just because they flatter me, and oh, I do -- I do! -- love flattery!) But, it's the third comment that really pushed me over the verklempt cliff. It ended with four words guaranteed to get me every time, especially when they come from the best-big-sister-lifetime-girl-scout-who-pinned-my-wings-on-me-when-I-looked-in-the-water-and-saw-myself-and-then-taught-me-everything-I-know-about-how-to-LIVE-BY-THE-GIRL-SCOUT-LAW! Stay gold, Chrisie. Stay gold.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Onemonthaversary To Me

"I'm thinking ... I'm thinking ... I'm thinking ..." Hi. Yep, that's me up there. And if you think it looks like my wheels are spinning and wondering, "What can I do to make this perfect, um, better, I meant better (Really. Especially if Dr. J is reading this)," then you're right. I've been consulting my Original, Creative, Detailed* notes (*Oh, you can figure it out; that's an easy one.), adding more features as I go, making new friends, and feeling pretty darn good about the whole darn thing. Today marks my little venture's one-month anniversary. That's one more check-off on my list of things to do. Like achieve world domination. Or be eligible to join various blogging networks. Whichever comes first. It's all good.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday. In The Yard. Think It Was the Fourth of July.

I am an Army brat. A proud one. And I love the Fourth of July. 
This year, it will be a relatively quiet celebration, except for any neighbors in good-old-fireworks-legal-South Carolina who may be putting on a show. We can usually count on a few teens nearby to pop off more than a few sizzlers, and Jamie and will venture into the backyard, beers or sodas (or bourbon) in hand, to watch the show. 
Remembering our first July in this house, I think that the kids thought we were coming out to complain about the playing-with-matches-and-what-not already in progress:
A round goes off, we take our swigs and holler a hearty "WOO-HOO!" their way. They think (or so I like to think), "OK, those old farts are gonna be cool." Then a real old fart (who, surprisingly, is younger than we are) comes outside and throws off a few passive-aggressive huffs and puffs, only to be ignored. She (it's always a she) even walks over and says something to the teenagers, and then arms crossed, head down, still huffing and puffing, she radiates bitch-energy as she skulks back to her house.
There's a pause in the show and we think that maybe the kids have bowed to young-old-fartista's will. Now I know they're thinking, "Crabby old fart," because we're saying, um, thinking, it, too.
But, no. They're just stockpiling whatever mini-munitions they have left in a pile in the center of the cul-de-sac. One by one, their cars fill up and drive away. We notice, however, they've only barely driven outside the neighborhood gate and pulled over to the side of the main thoroughfare, still a good vantage point.
When just one vehicle and two kids are left, our suspicions are confirmed. Ready ... driver starts the engine. Set ... passenger is poised at the end of a fuseline of sparklers. GO! Match is lit, dropped to the sparklers, and passenger hops in car, which pulls up even with our yard (I told you they knew we were cool) to watch the fuseline burn toward the pile'o'pops.
And ... BOOM! HISS! CRACKLE! SNAP! POPOPOPOPOPOP! SSSHHHHCCCCOWWWW-OW-OW-0W! (that's what it sounds like to me; feel free to suggest alternate spellings below ...)
The finale! 
We cheer! The kids beside us cheer! The kids on the road cheer!
Just as it ends, a chorus of car horns starts up and they speedily retreat ... probably to buy more fireworks (it's only 10 p.m.) and go to someone else's neighborhood (the night is young) and piss off some other old fart (they're everywhere, you know).
Our one-time "new" neighborhood is filled with homes now, with no more open cul-de-sacs in which to host impromptu sky shows. Not sure where Ms. Young Old-Fart is. She didn't venture out and complain much anymore after that night. She still may be huffing and puffing, peeking out her window every time someone's music is too loud, someone's dog barks, or someone laughs just a little too heartily. I feel sorry for her, and she doesn't even know why.
Those same kids have grown up and have better things to do than hang around someone's yard on a hot summer night, drink beer or soda (or bourbon) and shoot off fireworks. They won't ask, but if they did, I'd tell them that one day they'll learn.
I'd tell them:
"Twenty, 30 — hell, if you're lucky enough to keep a laugh in your heart, 40 or 50 — years from now, you'll learn that walking into your backyard, holding hands, sipping on beer or soda (or bourbon); watching fearless teenage boys impress breathless teenage girls; oohing, ahhing, and woo-hooing while the grumpy neighbors harrumph wa-a-a-a-a-y before their time; telling each other stories of summers long ago, stories you've heard already, but love to hear again and again because of the twinkle in the eyes and dimples in the cheek of your storyteller; kissing in the moonlight before going back in the house  ... You'll learn. You'll learn there is nothing better to do than just that."
But they won't ask. And they wouldn't listen. I wouldn't have.
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