It’s 2016 – Why Am I Being Stuffed in a Pringle Can?

Last week I had an MRI to check on my brain tumor.  I’ve recently named my tumor “Bob the Brian Blob,” because we’ve been together for a few years now and I feel like the little dude deserves a name.  Plus, it’s easier to channel my anger when I’m mad about it.  Debilitating headache? “Damn it, Bob! Cut it out!”  More pills to take? “Let’s raise a glass to you, Bob.”  I really think Bob and I should break up because our relationship isn’t very healthy, but he’s one of those guys who’s very difficult to ghost.  We’re pretty deeply attached.

Anyway, the doctor wanted some pictures of Bob, so I went in for this MRI.  I hate MRIs.  “Wait,” I hear my mother saying. “Hate is such a strong word.”

You’re right, Mom.  *ahem* I HAAAAAAAAAAAAATE MRIs!! HATE HATE HATE HATE.”  For real.

What I would like to know is why, in the year 2016, we have not found an easier way to take pictures of my brain.  When I get an MRI, it feels like I’m being stuffed in a Pringle can.  My head is locked into a cage that feels like a strange football helmet, and then they slide me into this skinny slot in a machine that surrounds my body on all sides.  It makes me wonder if I would be able to escape if the building started burning down and the technicians ran away and forgot about me.  Probably yes, but you never really know.  Look at this thing:

mri

DO YOU SEE THE OBVIOUS RESEMBLANCE?  I’M A FREAKIN CHIP.

pringles

I feel like Apple really should have made an app for this by now.  There are apps for almost everything.  Don’t believe me?  There’s an app called “Carrr Matey” that helps you navigate to your lost car by giving you directions in a pirate voice.  There’s an app called “Run and Pee” that tells you all of the most boring parts in movies so that you know when to take a bathroom break.  Humanity has teams developing apps for those things, but none for pictures of brains?

Okay actually, forget apps.  There should be a snapchat filter for this.  No thanks on the dog tongue or the face swap – let’s use an x-ray filter that lets me see inside my body.  Smile, Bob!  Time for a selfie!

Basically, this is my official complaint to the technological masterminds of America.  I don’t care if I miss an exciting part in a movie – maybe I shouldn’t have ordered the large slushie.  I can find my own car. I don’t need to swap faces.  Please just find a way to take pictures of Bob without forcing people to pop me in a Pringle can for an hour.  I don’t like it.

It’s Christmas Eve – You Still Have Time To Go Get a Dog

Everyone should have a dog.  When you’re sitting and crying, your dog can jump up, put paws on both of your shoulders, and give you a look that says, “Suck it up.  It’s Christmas Eve.  You shouldn’t cry on Christmas Eve.”  If you’re wondering, a beagle is the perfect sized dog for such comforting.

If you’re wondering why I was sitting on my kitchen floor crying, I’ll tell you.  That’s not really the point though.  The point is that it’s Christmas EVE, so it’s not too late to go buy yourself/a loved one/your boss/the mayor/random homeless person a dog for Christmas.  I highly recommend it.

I was sitting on my kitchen floor crying because, even with all of my family in town, I felt very alone.  My husband is working today.  My sister hasn’t replied to my texts all week, even though I know she’s home on break at my parents’ house (ten minutes away), and she could come over if she wanted to.  She’s been very weird around me ever since my bipolar diagnosis last year.  I asked her about it once, and she said, “I just don’t know what to say…I figure if you ever need help you’ll tell me.”  Maybe I don’t need help…I simply need a friend. I tried telling her that, but here we are months later and she still doesn’t talk to me unless she needs a paper proofread.

My brother used to be another one of my best friends, but he found a witch of a girlfriend a few months ago, and she immediately cut off his contact with all of his friends (I kid you not.  A month or two after they started dating I asked why he dropped off the face of the map and doesn’t respond to my texts/calls anymore, and he said, “Oh yeah, about that…I’m not allowed to talk to you or a lot of my friends because Courtney doesn’t like it.  Could you actually stop texting me please?  She checks my phone, and I get in trouble if I was talking to you.”).  Oooookay.  Four months after they met, he proposed.  So now said witch is going to be my sister-in-law, and she’s going to be at all of our family events this Christmas.  Also, looks like I lost one of my best friends for…the foreseeable future?  Forever?  Around an hour ago he texted something like, “I love you!  Merry Christmas!” and I thought, “Whoa!  He texted me!”  But a text quickly followed that said, “Uhh…wrong person, sorry.”  Oh.

Last, my husband’s sister is in town from Boston.  She used to be Andy’s best friend.  In high school, you didn’t invite one somewhere without the other.  Once she went away to college (she’s one year older than him), she kind of decided family was “so last year,” and has never been close to anyone in his family again, despite everyone’s attempts to stay in touch.  We went out for dinner with her this week, but everything was so….shallow and awkward.  It sucks.  A long time ago, I was the one she called when she broke up with her boyfriend so I could be there with chocolate and chick flicks.  She was in my wedding.  Now she’s practically a stranger.

And I guess that’s why I was sitting on my kitchen floor crying – because family members are supposed to be your best friends, and mine simply…aren’t anymore.  I know Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of year, but for everyone out there struggling with Christmas cheer for one reason or another – know that it’s okay.  You’re not alone in that.

Also, you should probably get a dog.  One concerned beagle look and a couple of face licks later, I was feeling much better.  Now I’ve gotta get back in there and make the rest of the food for our Christmas Eve potluck tonight.

Merry Christmas, everyone – especially to you blog folks who have showed me so much support that you’ve practically become family this year.  I don’t know where I’d be without you.  Thank you so, so much.

Oops…An Accidentally Profane E-mail to My Boss

It wasn’t that profane.  It was ONE WORD profane, and it was an accidental word.  But when I work at arguably the most conservative Christian school in the country…it was kind of embarrassing.

I didn’t even notice it, and I always preach to my students about the importance of proofreading.  I remembered to proofread the e-mail itself, but clearly I forgot to proofread the greeting.  Therefore I sent it, and my e-mail started like this:

“Hell Tom,”

I didn’t even notice it until I got a one line e-mail back that said, “Hey!  Watch your language!!!!”  It also included an angry emoji.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

People – I can’t even wear nail polish at this school.  I have to wear skirts everyday.  None of my students have televisions at home.  I can’t say, “Oh my goodness” because that is too profane.  I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.  And, in that community, I just started an e-mail to my boss with the line “Hell Tom.”

I’m pretty sure a past version of me would have immediately freaked out that I was going to be fired and that this mistake was the end of the world, but the current version of me started laughing.  That’s such a duuuummmmb mistake, but clearly I meant “hello.”  I can’t get in trouble for anything other than being a poor proofreader (in which case, guilty as charged).  I also figured the fact that he included an emoji in his response meant that his e-mail was joking (and it was).  I don’t think my boss has ever used emojis, ever.  Or swear words, come to think of it.  I sent back a quick apology and moved on.

Honestly, I would love to use this as an example of the importance of proofreading to my students, but that would include the word “hell” and would probably get me fired.  Alas.  For my readers who are teachers, go ahead and steal that example if your school isn’t as conservative as mine.

Words I will make sure to proofread very closely from now on:

Hello

Shot

Funk

Ask

Botch

Phewf!  Lesson learned (the hard way).  Proofread your e-mails, folks.

A Poem About What’s Wrong With Society

I think I’m finally in love

It’s just how they described

It’s what I have been dreaming of

For my entire life

 

I can’t take my eyes off his face

He’s beautiful and bright

My life before had a slower pace

So self-contained, finite

 

I can’t keep my hands off of him

And every time he speaks

I cater to his every whim

Even if I have to sneak

 

Some say this seems controlling

They say my love won’t be enough

But he needs me; I’m consoling

To help recharge when days are rough

 

What a love that money can buy!

I know I’ll never be alone

He is the apple of my eye

My wonderful iphone

The Well-Trained Dog and the Living Cardinal

How much do you know about grouse hunting?

If your answer is, “What the heck is a grouse?” then you are in the vast majority of humanity.  I was you once.  Then I met my husband.  Now I’m married with a hunting dog and a coop full of training pigeons.  Life comes at you fast.

**Note** In case you care, a grouse is a bird.  It’s about the size of a chicken.  Also, since we get this question a lot, no our pigeons do not die in the course of training.  They’re homing pigeons, so once the dog finds them in a field then we launch them into the air with a pigeon launcher (yes, this is a real thing), and they fly home.  Okay.  Glad we covered the logistics.  On to my story.

Yesterday I tried to get our dog Ruby to come in from the back yard.  I called her, but she wouldn’t come.  I went outside to investigate, and she was on point.  This means she was frozen in place, pointing out a bird for a non-existent hunter to shoot.  I think it was a cardinal or something.  Definitely not a food bird.  I didn’t take a picture, but here’s what our type of dog looks like when she’s on point:

german_shorthaired_pointer

My husband wasn’t home, and I couldn’t remember what he usually says to make Ruby break point.  I tried a few things:

“At ease!”

“Un-point!”

“You’re free!”

“GREEN LIGHT!”

Nothing worked.  She moved only her eyeballs to look at me like, “Hello…shoot the bird…”

She’s fifty pounds, so I wasn’t about to go pick up her frozen-in-place body and haul her inside (on second thought, it would have been hilarious if she tried to hold the pose while I was carrying her!).  Suddenly, I had the perfect idea.

I went inside and pulled out our Wild West board game called Bang.  There’s a cap gun in that game that’s really loud.  I walked back outside and tried to call Ruby in again.  She stayed on point (shocker).

I pointed the gun in the general direction of the bird and shot.  BANG!  Ruby was satisfied and immediately ran to me happily like, “Did you get it?  Wasn’t that awesome?!”  Whatever, dog.  I probably gave the poor bird a tiny heart attack.

Now our neighbors probably think we’re the nutter house.  Well, that ship probably sailed long ago.  They’re simply marking this up as one more reason to move:  “Hey, Maude! Crazy chick next door is shooting cardinals!  Did you call on that house over on the other side of town yet?”

IT WAS A CAP GUN, PEOPLE.  NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS BLOG POST.

FINGERNAILS!

Picture Juno from the movie Juno in the scene where she finds out her unborn baby has fingernails.  She holds her hands up for demonstration and proclaims, “FINGERNAILS!  It has FINGERNAILS!”

This is how I felt last week, but instead of an unborn baby it was…you know…me.  I have FINGERNAILS.
fingernails
I bite my nails when I’m nervous, so the last time I had nails that didn’t look totally janky was back when…oh, I don’t know…when’s the last time I wasn’t completely overwhelmed by life?  Middle school?  That was fifteen years ago, y’all.
I looked down at my hands the other day, and I suddenly noticed, “WHOA!  Where did those come from?!”  I was on anti-anxiety meds basically all of last year, but I’ve been off of them for a few months now.  I feel like, for the first time in years, I can have normal and healthy responses to stressful situations, and I’m not even on meds that make me do that!  I’m able to do it on my own!  *cue Hallelujah chorus*
Here are some situations to help you understand the difference from how my life was before and how it is now (with FINGERNAILS! Has it stopped sounding like a word yet? Fingernails fingernails fingernails):
Situation 1: I drop a dish, and it breaks.
Before: AAAEEEEEE!! OH MY WORD! THIS IS AWFUL!  I’M THE WORST WIFE THAT EVER WIFED!  MY HUSBAND IS GOING TO BE SO ANGRY!  I AM SUCH A LOSER! WE ARE GOING TO GO BANKRUPT OVER BUYING A NEW DISH!
Now: Hey Andy, I dropped a dish.  My bad.  Keep the dogs out of the kitchen for a minute, okay?
Situation 2: I make a small mistake at work.
Before: THIS IS THE WORST DAY EVER!  I AM GOING TO GET FIRED, AND MY FAMILY WILL ALL SHUN ME, AND I WILL BE A HOMELESS PERSON ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WITH ONLY MY EMACIATED DOG FOR COMPANY BECAUSE MY HUSBAND DIED OF STARVATION AFTER GIVING ME HIS LAST CRUST OF BREAD. I CAN’T BELIEVE I MADE SUCH A STUPID MISTAKE!  THIS HAS RUINED ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!
Now: Oh, oops.  Sorry about that.  I’ll fix it next time.
Situation 3: Husband is late coming home
Before: AHHH!  HE IS PROBABLY DEAD IN THE DITCH!  HOW AM I GOING  TO TELL HIS PARENTS?  WHAT WILL I SAY AT HIS FUNERAL? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH HIS HUNTING DOG?  HIS LAST WISH WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR THAT DUMB DOG TO HUNT.  SHIT, NOW I HAVE TO TAKE UP GROUSE HUNTING.  WHYYYYYYYYY?!
Now: His last patient ran late, or maybe his boss needed some help.  I’m sure he’ll be home soon.  I will eat a cookie while I wait.  Yum, cookies.
Do you see how different it is now!?  The aforementioned situations are not as exaggerated as one might hope; I’ve actually thought 95% of those things.  I thought them all in capital letters, too, just like I pictured here.  My brain used to be a pretty crazy place.  It still is sometimes, but it’s a lot quieter now.  It has at least gotten out of capslock.
Now I am enjoying my newfound fingernails.  I feel like a preteen girl who just got boobs: what is this awesome new body part that I have now?!  I’m going to paint them and file them and love them (I’m back to fingernails now, not boobs.  In case you didn’t follow.  I do not paint and file my boobs).
I hope you’re all having a calm Thursday night.  I’m sitting by the fire with my cat at my feet, and I’m loving the clacky sound my fingernails make on my keyboard.  Maybe I can be the hand model for one of those manicurist posters where someone shows off shiny nails while holding a rose or a violin.  A whole new world is open to me now.