January 31, 2007

day off #2.


day off.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
welcome to photo of the day # 2.

my new issue of jpg arrived today, and it is one of many things i plan on reading this evening.
today is quiet. gunther's condition is still a mystery, but antibiotics appear to be helping. the blood tests did not offer any hints about his immense smallness and fragility. all we can do is love on him and hope for a healthy little man. that's the vet's recommendation with a shrug. i wonder if a second opinion would yield anything more conclusive.

there is plenty of schoolwork to do today, but i am resting. after a crazy exhausting workout (i could barely lift my coffee mug afterward), i'm digging into archives. it's that kind of day. i unearthed some older photos this afternoon from the beginning of my relationship with helen, as well as the beginning of my relationship with charley. seeing these images didn't simply make me nostalgic for nashville and my smaller belly. it made me thankful for how much more stability i have in my life three, four years later.

i may be bipolar as ever, but i am so much more even than i used to be.

now to the archives.
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January 30, 2007

my little man with a shaved neck.


my little man with a shaved neck.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
inspired by a few people on flickr who are doing the same, i am going to attempt to take one photo every day for the next year. what better day than january 30 to begin?

here is my gunnie.
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in the balance.

tuesday morning. i have a day off, glory be.

i'm sitting on the porch with jesse cat, a cup of coffee, my camera, and--of course--my lappy. helen is dressed up like a teacher in a school full of childrens. i will drive over to my therapist's office in a little while.

sometimes i wonder if i should show up there with a list of things eating at me, so that she can dispel them one by one. that's what i pay her for, right?

without fail, i sit down in her office, take a swig of water, and go absolutely blank. i suddenly feel as if i'm about to begin an ill-fated interview, rather than a therapeutic appointment to help me be a healthier person on the inside. more than once, she has said to me as i fumble for words: "i feel like i'm working harder than you are right now", and she's right. for being a person who prides herself on her ability to communicate, "i don't know" becomes my favorite phrase.

am i making any progress at all? my therapist says i am. after all, i haven't fallen into the abysmal place since june. that's a longer stretch than i can remember happening in recent years.

today, i can imagine myself telling her about gunther. we took him to the vet yesterday, and they don't know what's wrong with him. at six months old, he weighs 2 lbs 3 oz. he has been acting like a kitty who is not feeling good, and so he had to endure blood tests. only, three people couldn't hold down my 2 lb kitten long enough to draw the blood. gunther is a fighter. after several unsuccessful needle pokes into his neck, he had to be sedated. they shaved his neck, and his bare little throat looks like it's been attacked by vampires.

last night, the sedative had not worn off. he shook with cold, couldn't eat, and stumbled around, stoned.
clem nosed him off the couch once, and he landed on his head. i feel sick.

he slept with me, pressed against my hip under the blankets. he responded to food this morning, though he is still walking like he's a little bit stoned. we will know the results of the blood tests this afternoon.

i will tell my therapist that i'm afraid little gunther's life hangs in the balance today. that we've known all along that he wouldn't have a normal kitty life, but that i am afraid of him being in pain. and i am afraid of letting him go. i will tell her that i am trying to be positive and peaceful around the world's tiniest kitten.
i will say that i want to be selfish and do everything i can to keep him alive for a long, long time.

he's not just a sick little kitten, i'll say. he's part of our family. we allowed his mother to get pregnant so that we could meet him. we are responsible for the existence of his life at all.

time to go.

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January 23, 2007

commitment ceremony.

no, this blog entry isn't an invitation to a legally nonbinding celebration of the union between helen and me.
(we're terrible planners. we take to vowing ourselves once a week instead.)

you may notice that the blog has been heavy on the weather and light on the fitness as of late.

yes, i noticed that too. there's a reason for that...

i've lost focus. first there was holiday after holiday. and then i was attacked by my kidneys. and then i injured my knee. and then maria went out of town. oh, and we can't forget (i'll spare you the graphic) ice storm 07.

so here we are: late january 2007. if you were to take my measurements today, you probably wouldn't see much, if any, change from my last measurements in november.

the other day, i did NOT want to go work out. i felt crappy and tired and was experiencing a "what's the point, i've failed anyway" moment. i had already told maria i would be there, however. and lord knows my sessions are already paid for. so. i went. and you know the rest of the story already: it was one of the best workouts i've had thus far. i was stronger than i knew i could be. i did more pushups than i've ever done in my life.

maria is still hell bent on turning me into a fat burning machine, and i am ready to step up to the plate again. recommit myself to the cause that made me seek maria out in the first place.

back in october, i promised photos of my progress. please note that my belly and i have been at war since 1990. a peace treaty was signed in 1996 that stated i would never be seen in a photograph without at least one layer of clothing covering said belly. the treaty has served both me and my belly well for over a decade. now, however, i am no longer a teenager, and this belly is the only one i will ever have. i would like to introduce her to you, in all her squishiness.

drumroll please. here, for the first time on bananie.com, is me in my skivvies.

blur is probably better.

black and white forever, baby.

though i could pick out about 1003 imperfections in just these two photos, my body is chugging along and growing stronger every day. why not celebrate by showing her off to the internet?

*flexes*

rawr.


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January 22, 2007

vanity, oh the vanity.

okay. i need a haircut. that much is abundantly clear from the disdain i experience when looking in the mirror.

my dilemma is the quintessential issue that has plagued women since they became allowed to cut their hair at all:

do i actually CUT it, back to the growing out from bald days?
i love my lumix

or, do i trim it, and see what happens with longer hair once more?
trying to feel better.

or, should i go back to the 6th grade spiral perm?
sixthgrade

opinions?

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January 18, 2007

a little bit embarrassing.

this morning marks the end of...

graphics!

schools are opening, as are roads. the poor icicles are snaggletooth drippy things. i just came hom from driving helen to the bus stop, where she is now on her way to school for a belated beginning of the semester.

sylvia, the car, as you may remember, looked like this the other day. remarkably, she was still under a good half inch of ice this morning.

i am a northern girl. i am prepared for ice. i have always kept TWO ice scrapers in my car at all times, along with an extra gallon of windshield wiper fluid. somewhere in the move, however, BOTH scrapers have gone missing. i am utterly scraperless. helen, the smart one, came up with an embarrassing, though surprisingly effective solution: a wooden spatula.

yes, ladies and gentleman, i was humbled this morning just one more time. it wasn't enough that this light dusting has kept me indoors since sunday night. oh no. this morning, i was forced to stand outside and scrape the ice off my car with a wooden cooking utensil. oh god, please no. i will never become a real texan willingly.

my friend jess posted a myspace bulletin about texans and their makeshift scrapers. here are a few of the other crafty implements:


thor-a ruler
megan- cd case.
amerykah----a metal noise maker from new years.
sarah--junk mail
skippy--my drivers license
dirtstar --plastic thingy you use to get the bubbles out of wallpaper

jess herself reports: "One lady had her shoe off and was beating the ice off the windshield with it! "

i must ask, dear reader, what would YOU use if you had never heard of had no access to an ice scraper?

in other news, i was officially "productive" yesterday. not only did i reach 1060 words of better writing than i've been able to pull off in months, i also completed my first assignment of the new semester on time.

today, it's a shift back to normal. in an hour, i'll drive my lazy ass over to maria's, where she will make up for lost time, i am sure. and then it's back to work today. oh, funs.

thus endeth the cabin fever week of winter blitz.
thank you for coming.

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January 17, 2007

¡abuelita!

today the car is still covered in a force field of ice. the icicles are growing long and sharp from the eaves of the porch. i am trying very, very hard to write. after over four hours, i'm up to 236 words. the intro to the intro of the book i am writing. progress.

meanwhile, austin is still a mess of accidents on icy roads, and we ran out of paper towels and toilet paper.
i forgot to stock up the other day. my mind was on the wine.

naturally, we ran out of papertowels five minutes before lucy decided to pee a great puddle on the floor. poor girl, she hates wet things. so much so that she refuses to do her business on wet muddy ground. hence the accident. everyone knows that i have a long history with peeing outside, and i can honestly say that i could never create as huge a pee puddle as lucy. seriously. and i had to clean it up with a bath towel.

not an hour later, moe vomited about three years worth of half digested food. i cleaned that bitch up with a plastic bag.

luckily the pet mishaps happened in front of friends: vee and brockett and melissa all braved the roads in flannel jammies to play cards with us.

so back to my story. helen, the cabin-feverish, decided to walk (with moe) to the city market this afternoon. being an ethnically diverse store, helen was able to score this:

abuelita

good old fashioned mexican hot chocolate that you stir on the stove. yum!

it's six o'clock. now that i've downed 2 mugs of abuelita (with the same smug look on my face as la abuelita), i am shooting for another five words or so in the next hour. back to work!

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January 16, 2007

today's icicles


today's icicles
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
last night, helen and i dipped into our wine supply, as well as our jalapeño kettle chips (no trans fat! no cholesterol!). the night was full of 500 rum, canasta caliente, sorry! (yes, the board game) and shithead (yes, the card game). we did not quite make it through the third bottle of wine, which means that the games can continue well into tonight.

this morning afternoon, we awoke to what we call a light dusting back in erie, pa. in texas, it is called, of course:
graphics!


everything around town is closed due to the unstoppable ice. apparently, it is quite slippery. i wouldn't know. my car is encased in ice.

helen is in absolute heaven today. tiny snowflakes lighted on her dreads as she sampled the january snow.
january snow!

this is the face of a girl who has not tasted snow since 1985.

all the pets are sleeping now. i'm huddled under my quilt of tshirts, and i am going to attempt a few written words since i am officially snowed in by ice storm '07.
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January 15, 2007

battening down the hatches.

the weather channel is calling it "the winter blitz". oh but we do it better locally. get ready, austin. here comes

graphics!
(courtesy of kxan. )

we've got three inch icicles hanging from the porch eaves.
i was sent home from work after 15 minutes. we were shut down!!

after a trip to the store (yes, the bread shelf was empty), i have stocked up on the essentials:

beer
wine
chocolate
coffee
cigarettes

and i picked up some milk and brussel sprouts and broccoli and chicken.

bring the ice.
we're ready.

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January 13, 2007

lake backyard.

here are some photos i took this morning of our lovely yard. this is shallow compared to a lot of the flooding going on around town:

our firepit:
so much for plans to build a fire tonight.
the view from the back porch:
lake backyard.
pecan tree that is clearly not thirsty anymore:
tree under water.
tino's pond. he may be swimming around lake backyard right now:
tino's pond is overflowing.
and the front of the house for good measure:
this is our driveway.

oy.

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building an ark.

70 degrees when i went to bed last night.
i woke up at 3 am to storms. thunder booms. the kind that shake the rafters and make the dogs snuggle close.
i watched the front come in faster and faster and finally fell asleep at 6 am.
when i dragged myself out of bed at 8:30 to go to work, our back yard was under water. "lake backyard" we have christened it. our st francis status (aka frank) is up to his frock in water.

i tried to drive to work, but only made it a couple miles before realizing most of the roads were underwater.

a tornado touched down just south of us.
and now, we find that six inches of rain have fallen in three hours. here comes some more.
and it will be frozen by tonight.

it doesn't help that i watched an inconvenient truth last night.

dear austin, please be careful today.

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January 10, 2007

and now, to play.

class does not begin for another two hours. i have actually turned in a writing assignment. (done is better than perfect, marlei says.) so, now, i get to play with my new lens!

i have been out in the yard with the pups, practicing the various zoom functions of my new baby. photos are soon to follow, i am sure.

ah, christmas in january. how i love you.

pee ess, apparently this is my 600th post in nearly five years. this year, i will get to at least 800. that is my new year's resolution. (you may be reading lots of bullshit memes from me in the future...)

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take two.


take two.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
today begins my spring semester. i go to class in a few hours. my work schedule is adjusted to my school life. and i am once again trying to write, this time with clem as the helper on my shoulder.

how can i fail today?
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January 7, 2007

it's not happening.

the words are shite. i can't pull together a sentence that means anything to save my life.
i'm putting it away.

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wish us luck.


wish us luck.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
86 words in on a long overdue writing assignment (i.e. last semester assignment). gunther is helping. only 20 more pages to go.

or so.

ah hell, it's only 2:30. now for the words.
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January 6, 2007

typical saturday night.


typical saturday night.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
a good day.

we had a crazy long adventure getting charley, lucy, and clem some shots at the clinic today. charley got microchipped for free! and she was a champ about it. no yelping. no snarling. she made her mama proud.

and then we napped all afternoon after getting up ridiculously early.

the photo (thank you photobooth!) shows helen and i working on our computers this evening, just before heading over to wheatsville for yummy foods. we took the scooter together, and i rode cupcake in my new scootering leather jacket and fabulous helmet. the cold penetrated nary a part of me.

and now? now, helen is whipping up a stirfry with jasmine rice, bok choi, and fake steak (fteak) strips (ftrips). a four hour coil of incense is burning in the livingroom.

and.
i will write tonight.
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January 5, 2007

and everything is sort of new.


cloudy day star
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
i wish i had more words tonight. the clock has just pushed forward into another day. day five of 2007. (when do we stop counting?) there are so many stories i have yet to tell, mostly because that proverbial well is still dry. but since smoking cessation was not a resolution this year, i'm sitting on the porch with a cigarette and my lappy. and i promised myself that i would not go to sleep tonight without saying something.

so here is that something.

it's pretty safe to say that the last few months have been amongst the most stressful of my adult life. grief and drama and drama and heartache, with an added dose of illness. 2006 chugged along at a sluggish, unforgiving pace, and helen and i learned, a little more deeply, the meaning behind the vows: in sickness and in health. in good times and bad. we make these vows to each other daily, and though they are not binding by the state of texas, they have bound us to each other.

we have cried a lot this year.

on new years day, just after we dropped my sister off at the airport, we drove to barton springs together. for non-austin folk, barton springs is a spring-fed pool extraordinaire. it keeps itself at a constant 65 degrees year round. and so, it keeps itself full of swimmers year round. in the summer, it serves as the best air conditioning ever. in the winter, however...holy shit it's cold.

oh, but adversity has never stopped helen and me. on a brisk, sunny afternoon on the first day of the year, we stripped down to shorts and bras, and jumped into the freezing deep pool together, hand in hand. and when my feet touched bottom, my body humming with cold, i knew the new had begun.

we emerged screaming expletives through chattering teeth, and laughing. and then we climbed out of the water all goosepimply, and spread out our towels on a grassy hill. we basked until we were warm. and then we went home.
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