Thursday, February 28, 2013

over and over

I'm flying over 280, over the reservoir, over the fog that flows in over the hills from the west, slowly, quietly, creeping in like kitty cat paws.

Did I mention I'm on my way to Las Vegas?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

No sleep for the cuddlers

I realize it's hard to say no to a sleepy five-year-old, especially one in fuzzy pajamas, one who wants to get in bed with you, one who is your only little five-year-old and will always be you sweet, precious what-have-you, but Max, please, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD learn to say NO. Learn to say HELL NO, GO BACK TO YOUR OWN BED.

How did I sleep last night? I suppose you can guess. Feet in my face. Elbows in my face. At one point, a sweet and tiny arm across my chest, attached to a small and fluffy head, eyes closed, yelling in my face, "Six one five! Six one five, Mommy!" Adorable? Absolutely. Conducive to a restful, good night's sleep and dreams that are not about a post apocalyptic community college? Not as such, no.

Max, the next time you let him into bed before 6 am, I'm going to sleep on the futon. You can deal with his uber-cute sleep attacks.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A side order of guilt

Apropos of last night's post, I can't think of anything to blog about tonight. All I can think about is that I have my weight check-in tomorrow morning, and I know I've made a few *questionable* decisions this week, so I'm hoping the scale will have mercy on me. I'm also wondering which of my clothes are the absolute lightest.

I'm also thinking about our impending trip to Las Vegas and (not surprisingly) all of the off-plan foods I will be eating while I'm there. I don't intend to eat whatever the hell I want whenever I want it, but I am planning a few predetermined meals that actually have (gasp!) carbs in them. I imagine it will be easier to enjoy my transgressions if I have a good weigh-in this week.

I can't believe I'm blogging about this. About dieting. I hate it that I have such a negative and unhealthy relationship with food and weight right now. This is hardly a new issue in my life; still, it's been exacerbated by (what, you thought I wasn't going to mention it tonight?) The Cancer. You see, for a whole year, it seemed like I was working OVERTIME on the Get Fat project. Freshly off of 12 months of chemotherapy--three kinds! at once!--my taste buds began to work again, slowly recognizing the joy and succulence of things like Beli Deli turkey sandwiches on Dutch Crunch rolls and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that I had gone without for so long. Seriously, for a good 14 months, it was nothing but dry bagels and the occasional bowl of Kix with rice milk for me. And my poor Temodar, Avastin and Tarceva laden tummy didn't even accept THAT menu of beige very well. Hell, I was pretty damn sure I'd be dead in a year or two anyway, so I might as well enjoy the things that tasted good while I could. You know what didn't taste good? Broccoli. And self control.

Hey--I guess I DO know what to blog about tonight!

Monday, February 25, 2013

working it out

In this last run of regular blogging, I've struggled. With words, ideas, how to define the point in what I'm doing--its all been quite a challenge. I think that's how this chapter is supposed to go. One of my therapists has thrown down the gauntlet and tasked me with daily blogging as a means to help reignite the part of my brain that seems to have atrophied or otherwise been effected by the 2.5 cm tumor that was discovered in the left side of my brain 3+ years ago.

Most days, I take the obvious route and report on an event from the day, maybe something brief about music. It's difficult to come up with something blog worthy when life, in general, is so boring. I woke up. I fed everyone. I drove to school and work. And then I did the exact same thing in reverse.

Holy crap, my life is a palindrome.

I find the real challenge--the brain-buildy part--to be coming up with the words to describe things. It is tough as shit to take the thoughts and turn them into actual words that mean actual stuff and make sense when put down, one after the other. Kiddo has been learning how to do mazes, and I imagine that we are experiencing similar feelings as we work through our puzzles. Frustration, concentration, pride. Repeat.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Darn Good Weekend

It has been a long and illustrious weekend, chock full of birthday parties, play dates and comparatively indulgent food. Those of you around the SF Bay Area know how amazing the weather has been, and my mood has reflected the vitamin D in spades.

The kiddo is washed, fed and put to bed, and it's time for Max and me to watch a cheesy movie on Netflix, enjoy our adult beverages and countdown to our little trip to Las Vegas that's just around the corner. There's really not much that could make me feel any better.

Except this!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

You Can Thank Me Later

Need to shake your booty tonight? I know I do!

This will help.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Tonight, I only have two things to say: I have had a few vodka and Cherry Diet Pepsi drinks, so I will not be blogging tonight.

And also this. Really? Seriously? Who did they hire to name their company, the League of 13 Year Old Boys? Sheesh.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Gettin' Our Purim On

There's a parade and festival at kiddo's school tomorrow to celebrate Purim. For the kids, it's a costume and cookies holiday, so you can imagine how much excitement and anticipation is building up around this house. And it's not just the five-year-old; Max and his father get to relive the good old days when Max would wear the awesomest homemade costumes ever at their local Purim celebrations in Ra'anana. Behold Young Napoleon:

My father-in-law is killer with cardboard and an ace with duct tape. And Samson, who is already obsessed with the air force (hence one of the kittens being named USS Ronald Reagan), is FREAKING OUT about his super awesome costume...which I should be putting the finishing touches on instead of blogging. But here's the gist:

I'll have a better picture tomorrow after the festival. Hooray for quick dry silver spray paint!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Using the C Card

How awful is jury duty? Pretty damn awful. The last time I was called up for jury duty, I was a freshly diagnosed brain tumor patient a scar that Dr. Frankenstein would be proud of. My neuro-oncologist provided a letter that stated as much, and I was excused from jury duty for three years.

Fast-forward to today, barely finished cleaning up the confetti from the celebration of my passing the three-year survival mark, and what do you think I get in the mail? I immediately asked my neuro-oncologist for another letter. She politely said no, that she wouldn't feel comfortable stating that I was disabled.

Fats-fast-forward to tonight, where I go into a semi-belligerent rant about how I shouldn't be on a jury; after all, I confuse words like "justice" and "pickle" all of the time! My brain was sliced, diced and pumped full of chemicals! My head is stuck for hours in a microwave oven mascaraeding as an MRI tube four times a year! I certainly wouldn't want me on MY jury were I accused of anything.

Max wasn't having any of it. He shook his head, over and over. "Nope. you're perfectly capable of serving on a jury. You know the difference between right and wrong. If it were a bad idea, Dr. Clarke would have written the letter."

Foo on you. Foo on logic. And foo on jury duty.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Warm and fuzzy

The weather has been amazing lately. Mid-February has brought clear, sunny days, 70 + degree days and long, lingering sunsets...until today when the temperature barely got above 50 and I froze my sweet ass clean off.

I may not have had the good sense to dress appropriately myself (even though my desk might as when be in Alaska), but I bundled the kiddo in multiple layers, found his raincoat, and even pulled out his rain boots. He missed seeing the hail that pelted the area in the early afternoon, but there is talk of lightning later tonight, so he may get to enjoy this insipid weather after.

That being said, this post was written from my bed, under the winter down comforter, with the heater cranked...and two dogs on my ankles and hips. And it's not even 4:30 in the afternoon yet.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Easy Way Out

"Pretend I fell on the floor and you cut my head off."

"Pretend I have power to make you go back to life."

"If you step on that part, it will kill you."

"Ok, then I won't step on it."

"Now I am a kitty, and this kitty is scared."

"Meow, kitty, let's make a kitty house so we can hide together."

There are three five-year old boys downstairs in Samson's room, and they are LOUD. The are playing, yelling, SHOUTING--and I am on cloud nine. With neighbors across the street who are just the right age and just the right kind of kids, I hardly ever have to crawl on around on my hand and knees pretending to be a kitty anymore. I can do Legos and books and arts & crafts no problem, but this endless imaginative play is not my cup of tea. Hooray for friendly, active, loving and like-minded twins that live across the street!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dreaming of the Emerald Isle

In 2006-2007, Max and I had the amazingly good fortune to spend a year living in Dublin, Ireland. The country was chock-full of beautiful landscapes and powerfully emotional history, not to mention kind and welcoming people. Our time there led us to some thrilling places (like Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, in the above photo), and handed us some unforgettable memories with friends, both new and old.

Today we met up with of my favorite results of living in Ireland, a wonderful friend who was there at the same time as us with the same group of folks from Max's company. I haven't seen him much since we all came back to the states (remember? wedding, baby, multiple moves, home buying, terminal illness, etc), but today's San Francisco lunch date with Max, Samson, our buddy and his 9 month old son made for some seriously joyful memories of days of yore, and grand expectations of times to come. Slainte!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Gambler

It's true--you do need to know when, in fact, hold them. I usually do know when it would prudent to hold them, and in this case, "them" is my tongue, or whatever snarky, defensive, or downright mean thing I'm about to say. Ah, but knowing when to hold them is different from know how to hold them. No, Kenny Rogers didn't cover that part of the relationship game when he sang his professorial top 40 hit. Enter joke about Kenny Rogers' Roasters being super gross here.

When I was growing up, I found solace in sayings like "acknowledge, move on" and "knowing is half the battle." For me, half of the battle was PLENTY, especially if it was the first half. That's when the threats are thrown down, when the posses gather with bicycle chains and bandannas. The second half of the battle is when everyone dies, and the victors, breathing heavily and bleeding from their arms and heads, survey the battlefield, collect their dead, and head back to their homes. No thank you.

This explains why I excel at ditching in the middle of fights--no, let's say arguments--with my husband. If I decide it's time to fuck shit up, I do just that. And that gets old pretty darn fast. At some point, usually after he's tried to diffuse the situation or unsuccessfully pacify me three or four times (which is also when he starts to get pretty pissed off at me, and therefore invested in said argument), I decide it's time to acknowledge something obvious ("We have different perspectives on that" or "That's the difference between men and women" or "I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree") and move. the. fuck. on. And of course, that's just about the time Max has gotten riled up and ready to see this thing through.

It's amazing that he has the power to just shake his head, step aside, and let me drive the argument. I tend to steer that wreck over to shoulder, pop the hood and wait for the tow truck to arrive. Tonight, the tow truck a vodka cocktail. Good night.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Everyone, I mean Nobody, Wins

Which smells worse: dog diarrhea or burnt popcorn? No matter--my house smells like both!

Hooray for a nice February day in the upper 60's so I can open all of the upstairs windows and air out the house before the family shows up for shabbat dinner. Note to self: just because Turkey Sandwich is super cute, that does NOT mean she can eat bacon for breakfast, even if her eyes tell you differently. Thanks, self. LESSON LEARNED.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Heart Full of Fancy Ingredients

(For those of you who are keeping track: that last post was written yesterday afternoon, and I thought I had posted it last night. When I opened my computer this morning, I realized that I hadn't actually hit the "Publish" button. Still totally counts for yesterday!)

I have had such a terrific Valentine's Day, and I hope all of you have, too. I got to watch the kiddo's face EXPLODE with joy when I gave him his very own box of conversation hearts and then IMPLODE with joy when I gave him his very own heart shaped box of chocolates (with a kitten on it! squeeeeeee!). Another Valentine's Day like this and the kid won't have any face left.

On the way to work, I listened to the awesome Valentine's Day playlist on Spotify that I made for Max--really, it's amazing. A little bit of soul, a little alt-rock, some Mr. T Experience and absolutely ZERO Air Supply.

At the office, I was the surprised and thrilled recipient of flowers and chocolates from The Best Coworker Ever. After kindergarten pick-up, I got to watch Grandpa smile as kiddo delivered a Valentine's Day card and quick kiss to my folks. And as if all of that wasn't enough, after walking Turkey Sandwich tonight, I got hand made cards from both of my Valentines and SUPER FANCY CHOCOLATES with things like LAVENDER and PISTACHIO in them. Well played, husband.

Heal Thyself

Everything was going along just fine. And then Max and I decided it
would be just fine to get married, have a baby, move twice and buy a
house (oh wait, move three times) all in one year. And then my brain
decided to go all out of service on me. It's no wonder I'm sitting in
the lobby of one of my two weekly therapists offices. It's no wonder
there are a pile of folded clothes permanently affixed to the top of
the shelf in my bedroom. It's no wonder I ask myself daily, almost
hourly: "What the fucking fuck?"

Anyone with a five year old will tell you, get used to it. Life at
home now consists of doing laundry and dishes, packing lunches and
playing with Legos (or dolls or pillow pets or play dough...). In a
rare and shining moment of me time, you can find me paying bills or
grocery shopping. Sleeping in means sleeping past 7.

I know it sounds like I'm complaining. That's probably because I am.
Even five + years after welcoming my tiny new housemate/employer, I am
taken aback by the massive change being a parent has made to my life.
OF COURSE for the better. But also for the annoyinger, the busier and
the tireder.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

T-Ball Furies

If any single age group knows how to intimidate me, it's five-year-olds. Boundless energy. No sense of socially appropriate filters. The ability to whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine like nobody's business. And my five-year-old, in particular, has some intense negotiation skills. And that is how I lost $1.50 in the token-ticket game area at Mountain Mike's tonight.

On the plus side, we met Samson's new Little League coach and most of his teammates. And on the plus plus side, the coach is not me.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Double Duty

You know how they say the shoemaker's children go barefoot? So. Freaking. True. At work, nary a thing goes by my desk or inbox without at least getting labeled and added to a list or two. Most things get done within the same week if not the same day. Need a document? A seven month old invoice? A half-written contract for a client that we never landed? Give me 2 1/2 minutes and it'll be on your desk. Yet visitors to my home need hard hats to protect their heads lest a pile of paper should fall upon them between the front door and the kitchen.

This evening has been devoted to paperwork, paying bills and checking items off of lists. Plus, my underpaid, part-time admin laughed at all my jokes, just like a good employee should. I'm thinking of giving him a raise--what's 5% of absolutely nothing? My kind and generous father's sole form of payment for his good deeds is the occasional bag of pretzels or mostly-stale potato chips, whatever's left in the snack box we keep in the pantry that the kiddo hasn't eaten. A true testament to the idea that when your last kid goes off to college, you should CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS, my dad is helpful and patient, and donates one the most precious resources a person has: his time. Thanks, Dad!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday purge

With Max finally home from airport purgatory, we got straight to work by purging our tiny-yet-completely-full-of-crap, spare-ish room in preparation for extra trash pick-up day I scheduled for tomorrow. Man, that's a lot of hyphens.

The room looks amazing, in that I can see the floor, and the new printer is hooked up and seems to printing actual things! Now it's time to go out for carbolite and celebrate our amazing success.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Third wheel date with the sasquwatches

Max and I had a double date planned tonight with our awesome neighbors. They have twins that are Samson's age, and the three kids will spend a few hours the at the local gymnastics center so the old folks can go out for dinner.

That was the plan.

Well, poor Max got stuck in Hawaii an extra day (it's worse than it sounds, he's been stuck in the airport for about 20 hours), so our double date night turned out slightly uneven. But I never complain when there's child care and Japanese food involved! So this me, not complaining, getting ready to binge on some premium sashimi. Imagine my ear to ear smile--although it would be bigger if my partner in crime were here, too. 

Friday, February 08, 2013

Cities made of yogurt containers and egg cartons

Samson's class revealed their city to the public today. Super Kid City is amazing and well thought out and planned, and professionally managed by a queen in a kindergarden teachers costume. It was amazing and unreal and reminded me of the fact that my amazing child needs this. He needs lots if things, I need to give him lots of stuff, sure. But he needs a kindergarden class where he has to stop an evil cow from turning into a bowling ball and ruining the city. It must be this way.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Whoops again!

I've been blogging daily for a while now, about a month or so. And yet, somehow, I completely forgot to post last night! I'm sure it had nothing to do with the extra glass of vodka and diet cherry Dr. Pepper.

Regardless, I don;t have much to say this evening, and I really just want to go to bed early. Thank you for understanding, and please-oh-please, be mine!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Monday, February 04, 2013

Join the Army

My pal Liz--over at The Liz Army--is such an inspiration. Her blog design, her tenacity, her commitment to community and spreading the word are all amazing testaments to her character. I have a hard time identifying with cancer in any way unless it involves a serious bout of depression and flooding rivulets of tears.

All of my Glioma Girls are amazing, no doubt. Erin is constantly working, remastering the skills associated with using two legs and two arms. Liz Z. has gone through craniotomies and treatments--and STILL has the strength to carry a child, give birth and raise her first baby. Katie is raising three kids under the age of 10. YIKES.

Most days, I'm fine. Better than fine, even--some days, I'm downright good.

But some days, I can barely get through my six-hour work day--despite my doting and attentive husband, two healthy and retired parents who are, 24/7, chomping at the bit to help with the kiddo, and a warm and inviting community of friends and classmates. It seems that I have everything around me that I need to be fulfilled and successful. To be happy.

But tonight, I am sitting in bed, and I am SAD. Kiddo is fast asleep, there are two dogs sprawled across bed and a tangled up pile of pink-toed feet and striped tails atop the cat tree. Hockey is on, belly is full, dishes are done, laundry is folded. SO WHY AM I SAD? I've had 3+ years of clean, consistent MRI's since my Glioblastoma IV diagnosis in 2009. I'm as close to remission as someone who has a cancer that doesn't have remission can be, for heaven's sake. What will it take to get the sadness out of my soul?

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Still don't want to drink Budweiser, though

I want a horse!

And if you watched the Superbowl today, so do you.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Friday, February 01, 2013

Way Back Machine

I recently found the old playlist we used to play at Samson's bed time when he was teensy tiny. We added it to his current bedtime playlist on Spotify, and now I get my tearful, joyous, nightly dose of nostalgia--you know, because there aren't enough things already that make me cry.

Track one just send me so far back, I can almost feel the old rocking chair against my back; I can almost smell the lavender nighttime lotion...and the pampers swadlers...

Nighty night, tiny little infant Samson.