Tuesday, November 30, 2004

11/30 Good and not-so-good news from doc

Had my annual physical this morning. The great news is that I've lost 20 pounds since the last time they weighed me (late August) and also my blood pressure (normally around 120/70 which is high normal) is 104/60. I almost kissed my doctor at that one.

The not-so-good news is that I have degenerative arthritis. No big deal. I've had osteoarthritis for years and haven't let it stop me from doing anything I want to do. But now I have this stupid stupid stupid bump on my finger. I thought it was an injury from doing a pratfall at CSz. I remember throwing myself on the floor, getting up and telling a teammate that I'd hurt my finger a little. Turns out I didn't hurt it. That's just the time that I noticed it. Drat. There goes my career as a hand model.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

11/28 Another weekend

I worked a lot this weekend at CSz. Most of it was fun. Friday had some rough patches including a drunk going backstage and coming out onto the stage. He ended up being thrown out (not physically). It was the first time I ever saw someone "dismissed" from the arena. Young kid. Bunch of them came in a bus to celebrate someone's 21st birthday. Birthday boy's mom was there too to ensure everyone stayed semi-sensible. Didn't work.

Also Friday night the cash register "froze" with all my money and receipts in it. Ugh. I couldn't balance the show and that was frustrating.

But Saturday matinee was great. I love working that show. The kids are adorable and really enjoy CSz. I think that's a show I could perform in and do well.

Speaking of that, in our paychecks was a note that some new people will be moving up to the Minors. I know it's not me because no one has spoken to me. But that does mean some of my friends will be going. That is very cool. Can't wait to find out who they are.

Today is laundry day, wrapping presents day and football day. Hate one, love the next and LOVE the last.

Friday, November 26, 2004

11/26 Yesterday was a good Thanksgiving

Yesterday started perfectly. My wristwatch alarm went off at 7 and I started to get up. Then I remembered that I didn't have to. What a great way to start the day--by being able to go back to sleep. I certainly give thanks for that.

At 8:30 the phone rang and it was my niece Sarah, calling to wish me a happy Thanksgiving. She's 13 and one of my favorite people in the whole world. I give thanks for Sarah--and everyone in my family.

My daughter Jill called later in the day and it was great talking to her, Kayla and Hunter. There's a lot to be thankful for there too. I'll be there in two weeks for a visit. Can't wait. We do our early Christmas usually the first or second week in December every year. Kayla told me yesterday that besides the winter dress she wants me to buy, she wants to take me to the Disney store so I can buy her an Aurora dress. I had to ask who Aurora was--it's Sleeping Beauty. Love learning new things. I hope that's a trivia question sometime. :)

I stayed in my pajamas all day. And it was so wonderful to be lazy. So often I run around with too many activities going on. I took the day off from everything that I didn't want to do. Was going to wrap some Christmas presents, but decided not to. Was going to work on the manuscript, but decided not to. Was going to start writing my jokes for stand-up class, but decided not to.

So what did I do? I watched tons of TV that I'd recorded. I played online Scrabble with people all over the world. Got trounced most of the time. (Yeah, I'm even thankful for that--teaches me humility.) And I "talked" to two friends a lot--Bron (in the UK) and Jen (in Oregon). Such fun. That's become a daily event with us and I look forward to it.

There's something that I do like about myself. I'm always grateful. Don't know why. Maybe it's because we didn't have much when I was a kid. I've learned to appreciate things and people. Each day the first thing on my mind isn't "Oh, crap I have to get up." It's "Thank you, God." I'm just grateful to get another chance. Another chance to be a better person. To right the wrongs I did yesterday. Another chance to have fun, to learn something new, and even another chance to have a lazy day. What a gift.

Okay, then sometimes I think, "Oh, crap, I have to get up."

As Kayla taught me to say: I'm a lucky bug.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

11/24 Last night's report

The stand-up comedy class was ace. Lee--a friend from CSz who is also a successful stand-up comedian--is a really good teacher. He wanted the class small...only five. But he did let me in, so there are six of us. Five students know each other from CSz and the sixth is someone who's been doing open mike nights for several months, but wants some instruction. So even though this is really new for us, we don't have the usual fear of getting up in front of an audience. Lee said that makes it easier for us to put on a good show. Yeah, we're doing a showcase in several weeks. Don't know exactly when yet. I'm pretty stoked about it. Although it is pretty scary venturing out into something brand new. It's really fun learning new things though.

Someone wrote a mean comment on my blog. Not mean like my brothers would be mean--but just plain mean. And they weren't even adult enough to say who they were. I deleted the note right away and then decided to delete that poison from my mind. Criticism isn't fun to hear, but I can take it. Not from "anonymous" however. Anonymous and cruel doesn't interest me. Bye-bye, you're gone--POOF!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

11/23 Life is gooooood!

Okay, so my face still hurts from the damn dental work, but I lost more weight. And tonight I start a stand-up comedy class, given by a friend of mine. Other friends are also in the class so it should be a lot of fun.

I find that improvisational comedy comes kind of easy for me. Quick retorts, smart-alecky while still be clean (required in CSz) are right up my alley--hell I have five brothers and we all have to talk fast to get a word in edgewise. Plus we all try to outdo each other with who is the funniest. I win, but not one of my relatives would agree with that. I didn't mention my sisters in this; that's because they don't play "can you top this."

I've been doing improv for nearly two years (January of '03) and am completely and utterly in love with the genre.

Monday, November 22, 2004

11/22 Woe is my face

CAUTION: Do not read further if you are squeamish about blood, guts and entrails!

Okay, it's not quite that bad. I just got back from the dentist and my face hurts (I know, it's killing you). I have a temporary bridge in and will have it for about four weeks. We hope my permanent one will be ready before I go home for Christmas.

Turned out that my tooth was dead anyway, and it broke because it was dead--it didn't die because it broke, which was what I originally thought. And apparently an old crack in it caused the whole thing--a crack which appeared on my x-rays but never caused me any problem, so we let it go. I ended up with a really big abcess and it took a few hours to clean everything out. Hence my face pain right now.

He pulled the tooth, fixed the abcess, ground down the two other teeth a little, and then I was fitted with a temporary bridge.

What may be a wonderful byproduct of this is that three years ago I had horrendous face pain. I thought it had been caused by eating a frozen Snickers bar and cracking a tooth. (See where this is leading?) They did tooth xrays, an ENT doc did sinus xrays, an oral surgeon did TMJ xrays, and nothing showed up. But the whole side of my face hurt, and it was excruciating pain. The final diagnosis was some sort of nerve pain caused by one of my cranial nerves. And I've been on meds for three years.

Getting rid of the abcess might--just might--take care of all that pain and get me off those meds.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

11/20 More tooth woes

I forgot to post what happened with my tooth. So to recap--at lunchtime on Thursday I cracked a tooth while eating a bagel cracker. My dentist took me in immediately. When he looked at it he said, "You must be in a lot of pain." I said, "I wasn't until you told me that."

It cracked and separated all the way to the root. I told him that I'd feel differently if I'd been taking off a beer bottle cap with my teeth, but it was just a damn bagel chip, with lo-fat cheese on it.

I'm done laughing at my jokes now, because to do everything top notch it's going to cost me almost $4000. He said my insurance probably won't cover it because they'll want to do the cheapest option. And he said the prognosis on that working isn't good at all. So I'm calling my dental insurance company tomorrow to see if crying, begging, threatening, whining, or joking will help.

I had three shots to deaden it while he pulled out the already dead piece that had broken off. I don't understand how a tooth can die that quickly. Now the feeling is starting to come back, it hurts and I'm also sad about the dough.

Okay, I'm done whining. If I get the implant, the good news is that I'll never have to get a filling in that tooth. Ba-da-bum!
I called my insurance company yesterday and told them the three options:

Since the tooth broke under the gum line (ouch), it killed the whole tooth. At least the doc thinks so. He says the cheap way to go and the one the insurance will pay for is to try to save the tooth, do a root canal, a core build-up, and a crown. That will be close to $2000 (approximately $1850-1950). Even though my insurance will pay for it, doc said that he's pretty certain it's not the best way to go, because he doesn't believe we can save the tooth. It's a molar and is very damaged.

Option 2--the one he recommends is to get the tooth extracted, get a titanium implant done by an oral surgeon, and an implant crown. That one is about $3700-3800. Because my other teeth are really good, and should last my whole life, he said we need something for this tooth to last my whole life as well.

Option 3--Extract the bad tooth, PLUS the teeth on either side and get a 3-unit bridge. This will last my whole life, but is a waste of two perfectly good teeth. That's why he recommends #2. Cost of this one is about $2800.
So of course the insurance company definitely won't cover any of the implant. Guess I'll have to go with the root canal and crown. It's the cheapest, and insurance will cover all but about $750.

This reeks.

I'll call the dentist Monday and give him my decision. The "stuff" he put in the tooth to fill it in the meantime, all fell out the first time I ate. So know there's this big hole in my mouth and of course my tongue goes to it all the time. Ugh. I just want to get this over with.

Friday, November 19, 2004

11/19 the Beatles

Today an acquaintance slammed the Beatles in a Forum I frequent. I responded:

As an Oldie, I need to comment on the Beatles. I don't know if anyone ever loved them as a "band." We never cared about their musical ability. They were a phenomenon. We had never experienced anything like them. Yes, we screamed for the young Elvis. And we loved the Doo Wop of the 50s and early 60s. Motown wasn't the power that it was going to be, but some of those early R&B groups still make me smile.

Ah, but the Beatles. Every young girl had her favorite. And just knew that he would marry her. As a young Catholic girl, I wasn't in favor of divorce, but I would have made an exception in John's case. He needed to divorce Cynthia and marry one of my friends. Paul was mine. Still is.

As far as some of the other groups go, songs still elicit memories for me, and yes they make me smile. Some of the Beach Boys songs make me feel like a high schooler again. Same with the early Stones. Same with some of the very early Ike and Tina Turner, when they weren't national and only some very cool kids knew about them.

I love the Beatles. Musicianship be damned in this case... it's them! The phenomenon! (Paul still loves me best.)

Thanks for slamming them. It made me smile to write this. Jer

Thursday, November 18, 2004

11/18 Yikes, my tooth!

While eating lunch (bagel chips and soft cheese) I broke a tooth. I'm very upset. Not about going to the dentist--I don't mind that at all, but I hate leaving work early. There's so much to do. I'll finish at the dentist around 4:30 or 5 PM and will have to come back to work to finish up some stuff before tomorrow. That's what upsets me. I wanted to work on the book tonight like I did last night. But the best laid plans etc. etc.

The show last night was quite enjoyable. I saw seven folks from my own group (out of 12), so that was fun. Got home to find a message on my machine from 4-year old Kayla. "Grandma. Grandma. Hello?? Helloooo? Grandma, why does your phone sound so funny? Mommmmmyyyyy!" Then my daughter spoke for a moment. Cute.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

11/17 Hmm, why haven't I posted?

Don't know. It's unusual for me to go three days without posting. I try to do it during my lunchtime but sometimes I forget. My mind is a colander. (I used to say "sieve" but that's a cliche, so I made up one of my own.)

Tonight I'm going to CSz to watch another class's performance. That's sure to be fun.

Am starting to think more and more about home. Even though I have a lot of acquaintances here in Milwaukee, I really don't have a good friend. Someone that I was really close to when I lived here before is now married with a small child. That certainly puts her in a different life phase than me. I still love her, but our relationship was forced to change, and that's not a problem. I'm glad she's happy. We'll see each other every now and then, but there's no more calling me to see if I'd like to go out to dinner, movie, play, whatever. That's what I miss. I noticed that I'm the one who asks people to do stuff. No one calls me.

Guess I need to do some introspection on why that is. (Damn, I hate introspection.) There's no reason to try to look for blame in other people. Why don't I have friends here (versus friendly acquaintances)? One reason for sure is that I enjoy doing things that younger people do--like CSz. Only a very few people there in my age group. My young friends (I'm going to use friends--meaning pals) enjoy being around me sometime, I do know that. But I can't expect them to want to hang out with me all the time.

The last time I lived in Milwaukee I was dating the Prof. Of course that made living here much more palatable. It's not that I don't love Milwaukee. I do. Just well--all the crap I've already written about.

As I think about home, I try to create ways I can do my job long distance--I can certainly write and edit from Quincy. Those are the major parts of my job. But the managerial part would have to go. Am I ready to do that? I'd also have to give up the comaraderie that goes with working in a company. Am I ready to give that up? Guess the answer is no.

Maybe I'm just in a temporary funk. My classes are over for now. Who knows if I'll be in others. Plus, I thought I'd be on a Rec League team with certain people that I've practiced with for a long time. But that's not to be. So I can risk more rejection by asking others to join me on a team, or I can decide to forego the league. Haven't decided yet.

Aarrgghhh! I hate introspection.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

11/14 Rob's birthday

Today is my son Rob's 33rd birthday. It seems like a moment ago he was a 2-month old baby in my arms. That's how old he was the day we brought him home from the agency in Hawaii. I'd wanted a baby forever, and we'd been married for more than four years when I discovered I couldn't get pregnant.

We'd been approved for about six months. Back then Hawaii DFCS approved six couples at any one time, and when a child became available that child went to the couple who had the best "fit" with the child. Rob is Samoan, and at the time there were no Polynesian couples, or any couples of color, approved. Out of all the haole couples, my husband was the biggest. So we got Rob. I was so grateful my ex played football in college.

(Haole--pronounced hah-oh-lee--originally meant stranger in Hawaian. Now it commonly means white person.)

When I got the call that a beautiful healthy baby was ours, my husband was in the field on the Big Island. He was in the military. I had no way to reach him. So I called the OOD (officer of the day) and told him the story. He radioed the Big Island and my ex said he had to maintain silence during the manuevers. So as soon as they were supposed to "attack" the other forces, he yelled aloud as he ran, "I'm a FATHER--I have a SON!!"

He came home the next day and we went into Honolulu to pick up Rob. At this point we hadn't even seen a picture of him, but that didn't matter. We walked into the agency and the receptionist said they weren't expecting anyone with our last name. After a few extremely anxious moments, we found out she was brand new and had no idea what she was saying. Then they brought out our baby.

He was gorgeous. I fell in love immediately. They gave us pictures from the first two months of his life in foster care. I cherish those.

Rob's gifted in many ways. He can play any sport, but soccer is his favorite. He can draw and paint. He is musical, has played drums since a kid. And he's smart. I can brag, since he doesn't have my DNA. :)

I'm so in love with both my kids, and I wrote about Jill on her birthday. I wanted to do the same with Rob. Both of them have enriched my lives in ways I never could have imagined prior to their coming into my life. What blessings!

Happy birthday, Rob. Can't wait until you and Beata move home from Japan. I miss you both.

Friday, November 12, 2004

11/12 Happenings, none

Nothing really exciting happening. Except my work. I love doing what I do. I love writing and editing (don't judge either of those skills based upon my quickly-written and unedited blogs). I love that I'm kind of a utility infielder and receive other assignments from the CEO and also the owner.

The owner asked me yesterday to contact Rob and Beata (son and d-i-l), who live in Japan. One of our employees in the Japanese office is leaving and the owner wanted to get him a suitable gift. Rob suggested a bottle of Habu Sake (sake with a poisonous snake coiled inside the bottle). We don't quite know if he was serious or not. He and Beata did give other suggestions too.

Eating lunch--this is when I normally blog. Today it's black olive hummus, scooped up with bagel crisps. Oooh, I love this!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

11/11 Another day in the office

Got a lot done. So why does my desk look worse than when I arrived this morning?

Yesterday I went home at 4. Couldn't think; I was so tired. Today I feel pretty darn good.

I work all evening at CSz on Saturday, and Sunday I have a Sisters-in-Crime meeting. Wish I had a day where I didn't have to go out at all. I love those days. Especially when it's cold--like now.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

11/10 What fun! zzzzzz

Last night was so much fun, but right now I'm as tired as I can be while still almost functioning. I found that critical thinking is out the window. Also found that I can sleep with my eyes open, while nodding my head, smiling, and pretending to listen to people speak in a meeting. I've regressed to college days. But then, of course, I could stay out all night and still function.

Got home after midnight, to bed after 1 AM, and up at 7 AM and my behind is dragging.

But it was a magical evening. The group performed well, most of us were able to put our lessons into practice. I failed on one thing, the others I did okay. Even shone a little. Thanks, LA James, for teaching me the grandiose, "I FAILED!" (Throw arms up in the air.) "Thank you." (Full theatrical bow.)

There were more than a hundred people there, I was told. I had several friends attend, which was wonderful. We stayed in the CSz bar for a long time after the performance.

My friend, Christine, was the shining star of the evening, I believe. While everyone did well, she grabbed the audience's attention with her risk-taking and wit. I'm happy she was so successful.

I hope I'm able to finish out the day withou ZZZZ ZZZz zzzzzzzzzz drool

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

11/9 Performance Time

I'm really psyched. Can't wait for the performance tonight. The only bad thing is that it will soon be over. Well, that's life. I've learned so much in this series of workshops...probably more than all the others combined. Or maybe it's that I've absorbed a lot and am ready to put it into practice. Who knows... I'm just excited.

Here's a picture of Kayla with the elephants my co-workers sent her.

Monday, November 08, 2004

11/8 Monday--oh yeah!

I do love my job. Today is overwhelming to the nth degree, but I'll survive. In fact, I'll thrive. (Trying the power of positive thinking here.)

The weekend was busy. Friday night I worked at ComedySportz, the two evening shows. And on both Saturday and Sunday my group rehearsed for our Tuesday CSz show. I'm so psyched about it. Maybe that's why I'm feeling so good today, even though the work is piled so high on my desk that I can't see over it--metaphorically speaking.

At the same time I'm trying to stay up to speed with NANOWRIMO--see that blog if you're interested.

Friday, November 05, 2004

11/5 Death

Yesterday when I got home from work, a neighbor said that Glenn died the night before. Glenn's bedroom is right below mine in the condo building. The police and the coroner were still there, having had to break into his condo. They were waiting for the funeral home to arrive to remove the body.

Glenn and I weren't friends, but we were "hello, how are you" neighbors. I saw him nearly every morning when I went down to the basement garage. He was usually returning from breakfast as I was leaving for work. Kind and polite to me, as I was to him. I liked him, except for his smoking. When our windows were open, the smoke just drifted into my place. I hated that, and won't miss it.

But I'll miss his neighborliness.

I asked Gene if Glenn had any family and was told there was an estranged brother and that was it. That made me sad. I know when I die there will be a host of people grieving. Not bragging, because I have no idea how many friends would grieve, but I'm speaking of family. I'm so blessed to have tons of relatives who love me as I do them.

So I'm grieving for Glenn. Someone needs to.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

11/4 UPS came through...

with a check for $22 and not even an acknowledgement that I'd asked for no money, but rather an apology to Kayla. Now that I have the money, I'm pissed that it's not enough. Yuck. Plus they made the check out to my company rather than me, because I shipped from here.

After a semi-productive day at work, I went to the Minor League show at CSz to support some friends. It was a great show, but only about 25 people in the audience, so that was a downer. Other friends had rehearsal elsewhere so I sat by myself. Sat in the front row because no one else was there. Finally a few others joined me. Afterward one friend said she was happy to see me in the front row and to hear my laughter. I'm really glad I went.

Didn't feel well, so I took a lot of work home with me in case I decided to stay home today. But I couldn't do it. It's just a sore throat, so I'm at work. Got in really early because I woke up at 5 AM. Darn geese flying south for the winter--always are honking and waking me up.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

11/3 Depression and joy and lots of barrel laughs

I'm much sadder than I thought I'd be about the election results. Sad, and a little scared. But my son will be happy. Damn it.

But Kayla is ecstatic and not about the election. I should have seen this as a forewarning though. The elephants made her happy. (Darn symbols of Republicans.)

The elephants arrived by UPS. She loves them both so much. One is battery operated and one is huggable and plush. She told me the Mommy elephant knows how to walk, but the baby elephant doesn't. Adorable. Jill is going to take pictures and email them to the sweet women who gave the elephants to Kayla.

Last night we had a run through of our CSz Workshop show for next week. I'm pretty stoked about both the number and the type of games I'm playing. The whole group did really well, and I laughed a lot. Afterward we adjourned to the bar for a few drinks. Fun evening--well, except for the election results part.

And so we come full circle.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

11/2 I voted

I arrived at the Brown Deer Library around 7:45 AM and was finished by 8:30. Not too bad. It was cloudy and cool, but no rain. I proudly wear my "I voted in Brown Deer" sticker. Very chic.

Am on my lunch break, and am breaking my WW diet in a big way. Eduardo's pizza delivery guys got to pick their three favorite customers and give them free pizza. So I'm chowing down on a deep dish slice, only because it's the only vegetarian one there. Am I feeling guilty? Yes. Will that stop me? No.

Tonight is my final rehearsal before our CSz performance next week. I'm quite excited. I love performing and wish I could do it more often. Perhaps after this class I'll look for a play to audition for. I'd rather do CSz, but I'm far from good enough to be a pro. I'm confident I could get there, but I'm so much older than everyone else. I doubt that it would become a reality. So I might check out something else. Who knows. (Now I'm sad that this is my last workshop.)