Thursday, January 31, 2008

She lives!

Well, I have survived The Conversion. Barely.

Actually, it went incredibly well. We had awesome trainers, and willing staff (for the most part), and the tremendous amount of work done prior to going live helped make everything nearly seamless.

I could have used more sleep, as working from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. is a tad bit draining, never mind coming home and trying to slog through two chapters in a graduate accounting text book.

I hit the wall yesterday, though. I picked up the trainers at 7:30 and took them to the airport before coming in to work. Then, once I got here, I had to fix a few minor issues and catch up on some things that had been back-burnered during the conversion. About 3:30 I realized that I had been sitting at my desk, staring at my screen for about 15 or 20 minutes and hadn't done anything. I hadn't clicked or typed. I hadn't made any phone calls, or scribbled any notes. I hadn't even had so much as a single thought flutter through my addled brain. I had simply zoned for 20 straight minutes.

That's when I decided it was time to go home and sleep. So I did. And it was good.

And now it's snowing and I have a meeting in 20 minutes, so I'll do the meeting and then I'll go home and snuggle with my DoodleBug and play and then, after she goes to bed, study some more, and then go to bed myself. And then tomorrow I'll call a snow day and stay home.

And maybe post to the blog some more.

Friday, January 25, 2008

And now it's time to go to work!

I'm sitting at my new dining room table, typing this on our laptop in between bites of Raisin Bran. You'd think after 6 months of eating Raisin Bran every morning for breakfast I'd be tired of it. I would have thought that, too, but then again I never thought I'd view food as a necessary evil that takes time away from the "important" things I have to get done.

I look around and see that my normally well-organized home is anything but, and I'm so tired I don't even care. Now that's saying something. When you've been reduced to changing a load of laundry over at 2:30 a.m., you begin to prioritize what's really important.

My downstairs kitchen table chairs are upstairs, clustered around half of the new dining room table. They are here because the new dining room table chairs are still in their boxes, having just been delivered yesterday. The boxes are tipped like giant dominoes against one wall, effectively rendering a quarter of the room unusable. Which is why Zoe's high chair is in the front foyer and the china cabinet (now empty) is in the family room. The new buffet is also patiently awaiting assembly by hanging out in two boxes up against wall the china cabinet used to inhabit.

I waited ten years for a new dining room, and now that it's here I just look at the boxes and sigh, "Another task to get done..."

My beautiful new table is currently covered with this:
  • calculators
  • mechanical pencils
  • three lovely little candles in sea glass in the center of the table, you know, for ambiance
  • a crappy orange mousepad I got for free from the university bookstore that has the Geico caveman on it
  • an accounting book
  • several notepads
  • pieces of loose paper with various numerical scribblings and notes about credits, debits, assets, expenses and the like
  • bits of mail I haven't done anything with
  • tickets to a March 4 Blues game from one of my vendors at work
  • a new LightWedge (one of M's birthday presents)
  • the plastic hangtag from a new pair of Cardinals Crocs (another of M's birthday presents)
  • one of Zoe's bibs
  • the instructions for putting together the new chairs
  • four sample boxes of Murad's new Professional Immun0-Skin Age Inhibitor given to me by my esthetician in response to the giant stress-induced fever blister on my chin, because apparently this stuff helps your skin heal itself. Can't happen soon enough, my friend. I'm applying it with a spatula.
  • a desk lamp, you know, for ambiance
  • a new chair cushion for the new dining room set that had to come from California as the Chicago store had only five remaining. (The Chicago cushions are still in their box, on the floor next to the domino chair boxes)
  • a Cooking Light magazine that currently serves as my mousepad (M gets the Geico caveman for his laptop, lucky him)
  • various cords, including two identical Dell laptop power cables, you know, for ambiance

All in all, everything is going remarkably well. Except for the whole "the house is falling down around us" thing.

One of my most profound wishes at this point is to come home and find that my furniture has been assembled, the dirty shipping boxes removed from my house, and maybe the floors vacuumed.

Hey, a girl can dream.

Update

I. Am. So. Freaking. Tired.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Happy Mirthday, Hubster!

Last night as we studied, I grew increasingly frustrated at the intricacies of accounting. Working with numbers does not come naturally to me. I'm one of the most calculator-dependent people in the world. As opposed to my husband, The Human Abacus, who can eye up a cart full of groceries and predict the total cost to within 50 cents (with tax!). It freaks me out when he does that, almost as much as when he says exactly what the sports announcer says, only 30 seconds sooner.

So last night, my husband did what he does so well...he made me laugh when I needed it most.

As I was reading I became aware that he had ducked under the table and was scrounging around. I figured he was going after his mechanical pencil or slide-rule or something. It got to the point of ridiculousness, the amount of time he was spending down there, and I was on the verge of snapping, "What the hell are you doing?" when he suddenly popped back up.

What he had been doing was this: he strapped Zoe's tiny hot pink Wee Shades sunglasses on his head.

All my tension was released as I laughed so hard I was gasping for air.

Mignon McLaughlin wrote, "A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."

Last night I fell in love with M all over again.

Happy Birthday, my sweet Mocholate. I hope you laugh as much on your special day as you've made me laugh over the years.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rediscovering Lost Values

It's long, but well worth the read. I went with this over the "I have a dream" speech because, well, because everyone's already heard "I have a dream" a million times. Not that we couldn't all stand to hear it once more, but I really, really like this one, too.

Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered this sermon at Detroit's Second Baptist Church on February 28, 1954. There are lessons that we could all still learn today, no matter what God or diety you worship.

Reverend Simmons, platform associates, members and friends of Second Baptist Church, I need not pause to say how happy I am to be here this morning, and to be a part of this worship service. It's certainly with a deal of humility that I stand in this pulpit so rich in tradition and history. Second Baptist Church, as you know, has the reputation of being one of the great churches of our nation, and it is certainly a challenge that, for me to stand here this morning, to be in the pulpit of Reverend Banks and of a people who are so great and rich in tradition.

I'm not exactly a stranger in the city of Detroit, for I have been here several times before. And I remember back in about nineteen-forty-four or -five, somewhere back in there, that I came to Second Baptist Church for the first time--I think that was the year that the National Baptist Convention met here. And of course I have a lot of relatives in this city, so that Detroit is really something of a second home for me, and I don't feel too much a stranger here this morning. So it is a, it is indeed a pleasure and a privilege for me to be in this city this morning, and to be here to worship with you in the absence of your very fine and noble pastor, Dr. Banks.

I want you to think with me this morning from the subject: rediscovering lost values. Rediscovering lost values. There is something wrong with our world, something fundamentally and basically wrong. I don't think we have to look too far to see that. I'm sure that most of you would agree with me in making that assertion. And when we stop to analyze the cause of our world's ills, many things come to mind.

We begin to wonder if it is due to the fact that we don't know enough. But it can't be that. Because in terms of accumulated knowledge we know more today than men have known in any period of human history. We have the facts at our disposal. We know more about mathematics, about science, about social science, and philosophy, than we've ever known in any period of the world's history. So it can't be because we don't know enough.

And then we wonder if it is due to the fact that our scientific genius lags behind. That is, if we have not made enough progress scientifically. Well then, it can't be that. For our scientific progress over the past years has been amazing. Man through his scientific genius has been able to warp distance and place time in chains, so that today it's possible to eat breakfast in New York City and supper in London, England. Back in about 1753 it took a letter three days to go from New York City to Washington, and today you can go from here to China in less time than that. It can't be because man is stagnant in his scientific progress. Man's scientific genius has been amazing.

I think we have to look much deeper than that if we are to find the real cause of man's problems and the real cause of the world's ills today. If we are to really find it I think we will have to look in the hearts and souls of men.

The trouble isn't so much that we don't know enough, but it's as if we aren't good enough. The trouble isn't so much that our scientific genius lags behind, but our moral genius lags behind. The great problem facing modern man is that, that the means by which we live, have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live. So we find ourselves caught in a messed-up world. The problem is with man himself and man's soul. We haven't learned how to be just and honest and kind and true and loving. And that is the basis of our problem. The real problem is that through our scientific genius we've made of the world a neighborhood, but through our moral and spiritual genius we've failed to make of it a brotherhood. And the great danger facing us today is not so much the atomic bomb that was created by physical science. Not so much that atomic bomb that you can put in an aeroplane and drop on the heads of hundreds and thousands of people--as dangerous as that is. But the real danger confronting civilization today is that atomic bomb which lies in the hearts and souls of men, capable of exploding into the vilest of hate and into the most damaging selfishness. That's the atomic bomb that we've got to fear today. Problem is with the men. Within the heart and the souls of men. That is the real basis of our problem.

My friends, all I'm trying to say is that if we are to go forward today, we've got to go back and rediscover some mighty precious values that we've left behind. That's the only way that we would be able to make of our world a better world, and to make of this world what God wants it to be and the real purpose and meaning of it. The only way we can do it is to go back, and rediscover some mighty precious values that we've left behind.

Our situation in the world today reminds me of a very popular situation that took place in the life of Jesus. It was read in the Scripture for the morning, found over in the second chapter of Luke's gospel. The story is very familiar, very popular, we all know it. You remember when Jesus was about twelve years old, there was the custom of the feast. Jesus' parents took him up to Jerusalem. That was an annual occasion, the feast of the Passover, and they went up to Jerusalem and they took Jesus along with them. And they were there a few days, and then after being there they decided to go back home, to Nazareth. And they started out, and I guess as it was the tradition in those days, the father probably traveled in front, and then the mother and the children behind. You see they didn't have the modern conveniences that we have today. They didn't have automobiles and subways and buses. They, they walked, and traveled on donkeys and camels and what have you. So they traveled very slow, but it was usually the tradition for the father to lead the way.

And they left Jerusalem going on back to Nazareth, and I imagine they walked a little while and they didn't look back to see if everybody was there. But then the Scripture says, they went about a day's journey and they stopped, I imagine to check up, to see if everything was all right, and they discovered that something mighty precious was missing. They discovered that Jesus wasn't with them. Jesus wasn't in the midst. And so they, they paused there, and, and looked and they didn't see him around, and they went on, and, and started looking among the kinsfolk, and they went on back to Jerusalem and found him there, in the temple with the doctors of the law.

Now, the real thing that is to be seen here is this, that the parents of Jesus realized that they had left, and that they had lost a mighty precious value. They had sense enough to know that before they could go forward to Nazareth, they had to go backward to Jerusalem to rediscover this value. They knew that. They knew that they couldn't go home to Nazareth until they went back to Jerusalem.

Sometimes, you know, it's necessary to go backward in order to go forward. That's, that's, that's an analogy of life. I remember the other day I was driving out of New York City into Boston, and I stopped off in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to visit some friends. And I went out of New York on a highway that is known as the Merritt Parkway, it leads into Boston, a very fine parkway. And I stopped in Bridgeport, and after being there for two or three hours, I decided to go on to Boston, and I wanted to get back on the Merritt Parkway. And I went out thinking that I was going toward the Merritt Parkway. I started out, and, and I rode, and I kept riding, and I looked up and I saw a sign saying two miles to a little town that I knew I was to bypass--I wasn't to pass through that particular town. So, I, I thought I was on the wrong road. I stopped and I asked a gentleman on the road which way would I get to the Merritt Parkway. And he said, the Merritt Parkway is about twelve or fifteen miles back that way. You've got to turn around and go back to the Merritt Parkway, you are out of the way now. In other words, before I could go forward to Boston, I had to go back about twelve or fifteen miles to get to the Merritt Parkway. May it not be that, that modern man has gotten on the wrong parkway? And if he is to go forward to the city of salvation, he's got to go back and get on the right parkway.

And so that was the thing that Jesus' parents realized, that, that they had to go back and, and, and find this mighty precious value that they had left behind, in order to go forward. They realized that. And so they went back to Jerusalem and discovered Jesus, rediscovered him so to speak, in order to go forward to Nazareth.

Now that's what we've got to do in our world today, we've left a lot of precious values behind, we've lost a lot of precious values. And if we are to go forward, if we are to make this a better world in which to live, we've got to go back. We've got to rediscover these precious values that we've left behind.

I want to deal with one or two of these mighty precious values that we've left behind, that if we're to go forward and to make this a better world, we must rediscover.

The first is this--the first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this--that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe, just as abiding as the physical laws. I'm not so sure we all believe that. We, we never doubt that there are physical laws of the universe that we must obey. We never doubt that. And so we just don't jump out of airplanes or jump off of high buildings for the fun of it--we don't do that. Because we, we unconsciously know that there is a final law of gravitation, and if you disobey it you'll suffer the consequences--we know that. Even if we don't know it in its Newtonian formulation, we, we know it intuitively, and so we just don't jump off the highest building in Detroit for the fun of it--we, we, we don't do that. Because we know that there is a law of gravitation which is final in the universe. If we disobey it, we'll suffer the consequences.

But I'm not so sure if we know that there are, are moral laws, just as abiding as the physical law. I'm not so sure about that. I'm not so sure we really believe that there is a law of love in this universe, and that if you disobey it you'll suffer the consequences. I'm not so sure if we really believe that. Now, at least two things convince me that, that we don't believe that, that we have strayed away from the principle that this is a moral universe.

The first thing is that we have adopted in the modern world a sort of a relativistic ethic. Now, I'm not trying to use a big word here. I'm trying to say something very concrete. And that is that, that we have accepted the attitude that right and wrong are merely relative to our . . .
Most people can't stand up for their, for their convictions, because the majority of people might not be doing it. See, everybody's not doing it, so it must be wrong. And, and since everybody is doing it, it must be right. So [word inaudible] numerical interpretation of what's right.

But I'm here to say to you this morning that some things are right and some things are wrong. Eternally so, absolutely so. It's wrong to hate. It always has been wrong and it always will be wrong! It's wrong in America, it's wrong in Germany, it's wrong in Russia, it's wrong in China! It was wrong in two thousand b.c., and it's wrong in nineteen-fifty-four a.d.! It always has been wrong, and it always will be wrong! It's wrong to throw our lives away in riotous living. No matter if everybody in Detroit is doing it. It's wrong! It always will be wrong! And it always has been wrong. It's wrong in every age, and it's wrong in every nation. Some things are right and some things are wrong, no matter if everybody is doing the contrary. Some things in this universe are absolute. The God of the universe has made it so. And so long as we adopt this relative attitude toward right and wrong, we're revolting against the very laws of God himself.

Now that isn't the only thing that convinces me that we've strayed away from this attitude, this principle. The other thing is that we have adopted a sort of a pragmatic test for right and wrong--whatever works is right. If it works, it's all right. Nothing is wrong but that which does not work. If you don't get caught, it's right. (Laughter) That's the attitude, isn't it? It's all right to disobey the Ten Commandments, but just don't disobey the Eleventh, Thou shall not get caught. (Laughter) That's the attitude. That's the prevailing attitude in, in our culture. No matter what you do, just do it with a, with a bit of finesse. You know, a sort of attitude of the survival of the slickest. Not the Darwinian survival of the fittest, but the survival of the slickest--who, whoever can be the slickest is, is the one who right. It's all right to lie, but lie with dignity. (Laughter) It's all right to steal and to rob and extort, but do it with a bit of finesse. It's even all right to hate, but just dress your hate up in the garments of love and make it appear that you are loving when you are actually hating. Just get by! That's the thing that's right according to this new ethic. Strength to Love: "Midnight is the hour when men desperately seek to obey the eleventh commandment, `Thou shall not get caught.' According to the ethic of midnight, the cardinal sin is to be caught and the cardinal virtue is to get by. It is all right to lie, but one must lie with reKing later developed this idea in Strength to Love: "Midnight is the hour when men desperately seek to obey the eleventh commandment, 'Thou shall not get caught.'
According to the ethic of midnight, the cardinal sin is to be caught and the cardinal virtue is to
get by. It is all right to lie, but one must lie with real finesse. It is all right to steal, if one is so --

My friends, that attitude is destroying the soul of our culture! It's destroying our nation! The thing that we need in the world today, is a group of men and women who will stand up for right and be opposed to wrong, wherever it is. A group of people who have come to see that some things are wrong, whether they're never caught up with. Some things are right, whether nobody sees you doing them or not.

All I'm trying to say is, our world hinges on moral foundations. God has made it so! God has made the universe to be based on a moral law. So long as man disobeys it he is revolting against God. That's what we need in the world today--people who will stand for right and goodness. It's not enough to know the intricacies of zoology and biology. But we must know the intricacies of law. It is not enough to know that two and two makes four. But we've got to know somehow that it's right to be honest and just with our brothers. It's not enough to know all about our philosophical and mathematical disciplines. But we've got to know the simple disciplines, of being honest and loving and just with all humanity. If we don't learn it, we will destroy ourselves, by the misuse of our own powers.

This universe hinges on moral foundations. There is something in this universe that justifies Carlyle in saying, No lie can live forever.
There is something in this universe that justifies William Cullen Bryant in saying, Truth, crushed to earth, will rise again.
There is something in this universe that justifies James Russell Lowell in saying, Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne. With that scaffold sways the future. Behind the dim unknown stands God, Within the shadow keeping watch above his own.
There is something in this universe that justifies the biblical writer in saying, You shall reap what you sow.
This is a law-abiding universe. This is a moral universe. It hinges on moral foundations. If we are to make of this a better world, we've got to go back and rediscover that precious value that we've left behind.

And then there is a second thing, a second principle that we've got to go back and rediscover.
And that is that all reality has spiritual control. In other words, we've got to go back and rediscover the principle that there is a God behind the process. Well this you say, why is it that you raise that as a point in your sermon, in a church? The mere fact we are at church, we believe in God, we don't need to go back and rediscover that. The mere fact that we are here, and the mere fact that we sing and pray, and come to church--we believe in God. Well, there's some truth in that. But we must remember that it's possible to affirm the existence of God with your lips and deny his existence with your life. The most dangerous type of atheism is not theoretical atheism, but practical atheism--that's the most dangerous type. And the world, even the church, is filled up with people who pay lip service to God and not life service. And there is always a danger that we will make it appear externally that we believe in God when internally we don't. We say with our mouths that we believe in Him, but we live with our lives like He never existed. That is the ever-present danger confronting religion. That's a dangerous type of atheism.

And I think, my friends, that that is the thing that has happened in America. That we have unconsciously left God behind. Now, we haven't consciously done it, we, we have unconsciously done it. You see, the text, you remember the text said, that Jesus' parents went a whole day's journey not knowing that he wasn't with them. They didn't consciously leave him behind. It was unconscious. Went a whole day and didn't even know it. It wasn't a conscious process. You see, we didn't grow up and say, now, good-bye God, we're going to leave you now. The materialism in America has been an unconscious thing. Since the rise of the Industrial Revolution in England, and then the invention of all of our gadgets and contrivances and all of the things and modern conveniences--we unconsciously left God behind. We didn't mean to do it.

We just became so involved in, in getting our big bank accounts that we unconsciously forgot about God--we didn't mean to do it.

We became so involved in getting our nice luxurious cars, and they're very nice, but we became so involved in it that it became much more convenient to ride out to the beach on Sunday afternoon than to, than to come to church that morning. It, it was an unconscious thing--we didn't mean to do it.

We became so involved and fascinated by the intricacies of television that we found it a little more convenient to stay at home than to come to church. It was an unconscious thing. We didn't mean to do it. We didn't just go up and say, now God, you're gone. We had gone a whole day's journey, and then we came to see that we had unconsciously ushered God out of the universe. A whole day's journey--didn't mean to do it. We just became so involved in things that we forgot about God.

And that is the danger confronting us, my friends. That in a nation as ours where we stress mass production, and that's mighty important, where we have so many conveniences and luxuries and all of that, there is the danger that we will unconsciously forget about God. I'm not saying that these things aren't important, we need them, we need cars, we need money, all of that's important to live. But whenever they become substitutes for God, they become injurious.

And may I say to you this morning, that none of these things can ever be real substitutes for God. Automobiles and subways, televisions and radios, dollars and cents, can never be substitutes for God. For long before any of these came into existence, we needed God. And long after they will have passed away, we will still need God.

And I say to you this morning in conclusion that I'm not going to put my ultimate faith in things. I'm not going to put my ultimate faith in gadgets and contrivances. As a young man with most of my life ahead of me, I decided early to give my life to something eternal and absolute. Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow. But to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Not in the little gods that can be with us in a few moments of prosperity. But in the God who walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death, and causes us to fear no evil. That's the God.

Not in the god that can give us a few Cadillac cars and Buick convertibles, as nice as they are, that are in style today and out of style three years from now. But the God who threw up the stars, to bedeck the heavens like swinging lanterns of eternity.

Not in the god that can throw up a few skyscraping buildings, but the God who threw up the gigantic mountains, kissing the sky, as if to bathe their peaks in the [loftitudes].
Not in the god that can give us a few televisions and radios, but the God who threw up that great cosmic light, that gets up early in the morning in the eastern horizon, who paints its technicolor across the blue, something that man could never make.

I'm not going to put my ultimate faith in the little gods that can be destroyed in an atomic age, but the God who has been our help in ages past, and our hope for years to come, and our shelter in the time of storm, and our eternal home. That's the God that I'm putting my ultimate faith in. That's the God that I call upon you to worship this morning. Go out and be assured that that God is going to last forever. Storms might come and go. Our great skyscraping buildings will come and go. Our beautiful automobiles will come and go, but God will be here. Plants may wither, the flowers may fade away, but the Word of our God shall stand forever, and nothing can ever stop Him. All of the P-38s in the world can never reach God. All of our atomic bombs can never reach Him. The God that I'm talking about this morning is the God of the universe and the God that will last through the ages. If we are to go forward this morning, we've got to go back and find that God. That is the God that demands and commands our ultimate allegiance.

If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover these precious values. That all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control. God bless you.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Book Smarts

Last Night
8:30 p.m. - Log into on-line course and receive first assignment grade: 0/100

8:31 p.m. - Finish having heart attack and check message from instructor

8:32 p.m. - Get pissed because message from instructor says, "I think you have the wrong text book."

8:33 p.m. - Call M in Austin and proceed to freak out. Together. Long-distance freaking. Now that's love.

8:34 p.m. - 12 a.m. - Have various conversations with M, go in and out of panic mode, and generally stay in a state of hyper-anxiety. Realize things like, "We've been 'talking' to our classmates about something entirely different - they must think we're idiots." and "Paula, another classmate, didn't get her book in time and asked for the assignment questions. I gave her the wrong questions! She flunked it, too!"

Today
12 a.m. - 6 a.m. - Fits of sleep, punctuated with feelings of rage and despair, and thoughts of hurling accounting textbooks at idiots in university bookstore.

6 a.m. - 7 a.m. - Get myself ready, get Zoe ready, and try to not toss cookies every time I think about school.

7 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. - Drop Zoe off and head to the university bookstore. Leave weapon in car. For now.

7:30 a.m. - Have discussion with book store manager. Nutshell: "Yeah, we sold you the wrong book. Because we're all out of the right book. Sorry 'bout that. Here's a refund. You might want to look on Amazon for the right one. Have a good day."

7:35 a.m. - Have conversation with fellow student who, after overhearing me talk to the manager, turns around and says, "Accounting? Yeah, they did the same thing to me. I flagged my first assignment, too. My instructor actually sent me a message that asked, 'Did you even try?' I'm here returning my book."

7:40 a.m. - Consider returning to store with weapon, choose instead to drive to work. Call M and vent. Listen to him vent. Construct plan to rip into various university staff members via e-mail.

8 a.m. - Purchase new text books from Amazon and pay through the nose for overnight shipping (another assignment due Sunday! Must have book ASAP!). Send e-mails to instructor, academic advisor, and director of graduate studies. Pray.

9:45 a.m. - Start receiving flood of phone calls and e-mails from various university officials, including instructor. Assignment 1 will not be counted towards final grade. Bookstore pukes to be reprimanded. And hopefully tarred and feathered. Apologies all around. Faith restored in university and on-line learning. Not so much in book store.

Probably not your typical start to graduate studies, but par for the course for my family. I'm hoping that resolution of this issue means that M will stop texting me with messages addressed to "Flunky."

And to think I chose on-line learning for the convenience.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

2007 Grand Lighting Show

video

Because, you know, nothing says
"Happy Birthday, Jesus!"
like Battlestar Galactica.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?

In this crazy, unsettling world of uncertainty and near-constant change, I find myself pondering one of life's most deep and profound questions:

Since I have to wear this boot for six weeks, will my right-foot shoes wear down considerably more than my currently dormant left-foot shoes?

I know, I know. The intricacies of my mind blow you away.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I'm thankful I got a pedicure 2 days before I broke it

There are many, many things for which I am thankful right now, which is the only way to get through running a mental marathon with a broken foot.

I am thankful that my place of employment has no steps.

I am thankful that I live in a ranch house, although I am not thankful my laundry room is downstairs.

I am thankful my car is an automatic.

I am thankful that Ameren figured out what the hell was wrong and restored our power within hours (rather than days, as is their usual habit) Friday night.

I am thankful that I made it through my first week of graduate school with only one minor meltdown during study hall. I am also thankful the cute guy across the table was able to give me a few pointers and get me on track, which led to my earning 20/20 on the first week's quiz, and turning in my homework assignment on time (and with the correct answers).

I am thankful that I get to sleep with the cute guy across the table from me in study hall. (Study hall is, after all, my dining room table.)

I am thankful that my instructor did not make me answer the question in the book that asked: Write a paragraph describing your perceptions of what accounting is all about and the work that accountants do. M and I read this question, and between the two of us crafted this answer: They (accountants) are boring, and they count beans. Pretty sure that wouldn't have gone over well.

I am thankful that Zoe is finally talking, although now that she is talking she is hardly ever quiet. And most sentences begin with "Mommy?" which M takes as a sign that he need never answer the child, even if Mommy has a mouth full of food or water, which causes said child to continue her query, "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?"

I am thankful my best friend lives in the same city as me, although it may be only temporarily. I'll take what I can get, and I'll be thankful enough for the both of us. Viva la bread!

I am thankful my gigantic software conversion at work is going smoothly (at least so far), and that the biggest naysayer has congratulated me on my success (thereby admitting that the sky is indeed not falling).

I am thankful that I have to wear only this boot, and not a full cast, although the boot is enough for folks to create new nicknames for me. My favorites are "Hop-Along" from my IT guy at work, and "Peg Leg" from my darling husband. And yes, that "darling" is dripping with sarcasm.

I am thankful that I have a wonderful, comfortable bed that is, this very instant, calling my name...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

This boot was made for walkin'

Great news from Dr. Hottie!

I'm in a walking boot for six weeks, then I'll have a run of physical therapy, but I should be back to normal (well, as normal as I can be, anyway) after that. My goal to run a 5K in April may be a bit tight, but it's doable (he's wary of making any promises on timelines for recovery due to my husband breaking -and not in a good way- all known expectations for recovery from repair of a torn labrum).

I'm in the boot now, and while a tad awkward to get used to it's already offering a ton of relief. I can now move without pain, as it stabilizes my foot and keeps me from flexing (which, in turn, will allow it to heal). I have to wear the boot at all times, except while sleeping and showering, and I'm allowed to use the stationary bike at the gym as long as I feel comfortable hobbling around in the boot. He also recommended swimming (yeah, yeah, Stef, I know. Are you gonna give me lessons?!).

The boot has enough lift on it that on my right foot I can wear my nice heels to work and walk normally. In fact, it's easier to have a bit of heel on the right foot as it levels things out and keeps my gait more even.

So, all in all, if I have to suffer a broken foot, I'm quite pleased.

I go back in six weeks for more x-rays and hopefully to ditch the boot and start PT.

Both the good doctor and his assistant thought it quite humorous how I broke it. Rather than saying, "I fell over while trying to dance," I prefer to state that I suffered from sudden vertical displacement. Sounds better that way, no?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ding ding ding!

Turns out that 2 broken bones in your foot wins you a trip to the orthopedic surgeon.

Went to urgent care this morning, following a nagging feeling that I really should get the gimpy foot checked out just in case. 3 x-rays confirm 2 broken bones. I was sent out the door with said gimpy foot in a very attractive foam boot (with nifty velcro closures), x-rays in one of those giant manilla envelopes, and a stern admonishment to call the ortho right away.

Thankfully, I have a great referral on a talented (and did I mention hunky?) orthopedic surgeon due to my husband having a torn labrum. They're going to call me back when they find me an appointment. Apparently my waiting a week and a half has bumped me up to "you need to get your stupid ass in here PDQ" status.

I'm majorly bummed about this because a.) I do not have time for any broken bones and b.) I am not running, and when I am not running, I am not happy. Stef seems to think I need to start swimming, but I say for that to do any good, I would actually have to know how to do more than dog paddle. Still, if I get desperate enough, I just might try anything.

M comes home early tomorrow morning. As he's in meetings all day today, I had the pleasure of sending him a BlackBerry text message to break the news. I would pay cash money to see the look on his face when he gets it. And I can't wait to remind him of his doctorly diagnosis: "Well, since you can walk on it, it must not be broken." Remind me not to take medical advice from an engineer, and one who took 15 years to get his bum shoulder looked at, no less.

Stay tuned!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Warning: NOT for kids to read

Or those who might be offended by profanity/expletives/cursing. Just a heads-up, you know, so you can stop reading now if you're going to be offended. Because I really don't have time to read hate mail these days.

I have so little spare time these days that I'm stunned I actually got six hours of sleep last night (they were six solid hours, though, since I was flat-out exhausted by the time I finally fell into bed).

So, in an effort to keep the blog from going the way of the dodo this next month, I'm going to attempt to at least post a little snippet every day. Or every other day. Or once a week. Anyway, whenever I post, it won't be my usual diatribe, so if any of ya'all feel like complaining about it, feel free to send me your own submissions to post in my place.

Zoe, as you all know, is learning to speak. She is doing remarkably well, and is now actually putting words together to form sentences. The sentence of the weekend was, "We go that waaaaaay. Okaaaaaay." Which was said about a bazillion times, mostly in Kohl's.

But she's got a few words she is still struggling to pronounce correctly.

Like "sock."

Which comes out rather differently, and not in a good way.

She substitutes an "f" and a "u" for the "so."

Are you following me?

It's funny as hell, although we've done a fairly good job of hiding our amusement when she says it, which is often since "sock" is one of her most favorite words.

So, every morning when she gets dressed, she pulls open her sock drawer and says, "F*ck! F*ck! F*ck!"

Then she looks at her different colors and says, "Purple f*ck! Yeddow (which is yellow) f*ck! White f*ck!"

Last night she was putting her dirty clothes down the laundry chute and she made this pronouncement: "F*ck! F*ck! TWO f*cks!"

That was the point where M and I pretty much lost it.

You won't look at your socks the same way again today.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Plan the work, work the plan

It's only January 3 and the craziness has begun. And I don't even start my class until tomorrow!

I've decided that the only way to make all this work is to a.) be hyper efficient and b.) delete anything extra from our lives. I'm still working on a, which progress is greatly diminished by the fact that I'm still hobbling around with a gimpy foot. I'm used to a fairly brisk pace, so being forced to walk slowly is a completely different feeling. a is also going to be negatively impacted by the Highway 40 shut down, which affects me indirectly as all the 40 drivers are now on my side roads. My fervent hope is that the 40 issue will be another Pope Visit (i.e. the media freaks everyone out to the point where no one shows up to see the Pope whiz by in his Popemobile). I call it the Invisible Crowd Syndrome, and I'm hoping that the Invisible Traffic Syndrome will hit the Lou soon. Judging by the 25 minutes it took me to get to Shop 'n Save last night, I'm thinking that's a pipe dream, but a girl can hope.

b is fairing better, as I've taken all the necessary steps to combat the influx of junkmail by removing our names/address from all the direct mail lists I could find. I also went through my e-mail box and unsubscribed from darn near everything. If I can cut 10 minutes a day sorting, shredding and deleting, then that's 10 minutes I can put to good use elsewhere (like playing with Zozer) (or studying) (or sleeping) (maybe eating).

M and I also sat down and hammered out our 2008 budget. We have issues, he and I, when it comes to the budget. He likes to keep all expenses the same from year to year, which means our salary increases fall straight to the bottom line and we have a tidy sum in savings at the end of the year. I insist on a bit of realism, like acknowledging the fact that gas prices have skyrocketed to about a bajillion dollars a gallon, which not only hits us in the gas tank but also impacts the everyday items we buy. Like food. And toiletries. Our monthly line item to cover all that hasn't gone up in a couple years, which I think is absolutely ridiculous.

So we have these little discussions in front of the spreadsheet, whereas he says, "Well, you'll just have to find it somewhere. You'll just have to cut something" and I reply, "Fine, I'm cutting your Budweiser and your Christmas lights" and he says, "Whoa, now, wait a minute, those things are vital..."

Then the conversation veers into other areas, such could we could rent our cats out as labor animals, or at least harvest the neverending supply of fur they produce for a new energy source.

We haven't found anything yet, but that doesn't mean we'll stop trying. There has got to be a good reason to have cats.