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My Sista

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Twenty-seven years ago today my mother gave me the ultimate - and my most treasured ever - gift; my little sister.

Amber Alayne came into this world on February 7, 1982 with big brown eyes and a big, ugly birthmark on her chin. Later, her porcupine-like hair and chubby cheeks would make her the cutest ugly baby you ever did see.

It didn't last. As a toddler, Amber was all big, brown eyes and precious smiles. She was the silliest, goofiest child - always doing things to make others laugh. Ava reminds us all of Amber in this aspect.

She loved to spend hours shredding magazines and the back of her diaper was often leaking stuffing from being ripped when she'd sit smack dab in the toy box. She was clumsy (still is) and often had scraped knees and elbows. Her voice was like a sweet, wondrous little angel's - in awe of everything and full of sugary sweetness. She enjoyed stomping around the house in Daddy's boots and hiding her vitamins between the couch cushions after Mom turned away.

She had a blanket that she held when she sucked her thumb and she always carried around, and slept with, her Cabbage Patch doll, Savannah.

She also had a strong temper when things didn't go her way, and would throw monstrous tantrums - until the day Dad caught her in the middle of one and spanked her good.

We were very close growing up. We had a secret-sister club and would stay up on Friday nights to watch scary mini-series (Friday the 13th, The Series and Freddy's Nightmares). We spent insane amounts of time playing Barbies together and thinking up ways to harass and tease our gullible, younger brother. We daydreamed about growing older - how we'd drive to the mall or the movies and have the time of our lives, sans parental supervision. We enjoyed playing Mad Libs (giggling over using "bad words" like "dirty diaper" for nouns) and watching movies (we still have a passionate love for movies we enjoyed as children).

Our friendship was fueled by imagination; the stories we came up with and shared, the silly things we'd dream up to do together, and the amazing adventures we'd go on searching for fantastical worlds like Candyland.

As I got older, we grew apart - and from the age of eighteen on to my mid-twenties, I was not very close to anyone in my family. In later years, though, we became close once again - our friendship resumed and became stronger than ever.

Today I can say that my sister is one of my best and most treasured friends; that I love her not only because she is my blood, but because she is a beautiful person - inside and out. She is one of the most special people in my life and holds a dear, exclusive place in my heart. She is my little sister and my friend - and when we are together 90% of the time is spent in fits of near-debilitating laughter.

So, today, on the day I was blessed - twenty-seven years ago - with the best sister and friend a gal could ask for, I just wanted to say thank you, sis, for being wonderful-you...and Happy Birthday.

And You Thought Skechers Were Cool

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Apparently not so much anymore; in the eyes of the young, anyway.

Yesterday, Baret and I spent the day with his father for his 61st birthday. Also over were Baret's sister and her family, including his 11 year-old nephew, D. After lunch, we were having a blast playing a DVD-version of Family Feud. Baret, D., and I were playing as Team B.

Our question came up as "Name something that - just by looking at them - can tell you someone is a geek." We started whispering and jotting down the obvious...glasses, pocket protector, high pants, braces. After we ran out of obvious ideas and still had a blank to fill, we started brainstorming. D. says, "Skechers! All the geeks at school wear Skechers."

I glanced down to wear my Skecker tennis shoes were sitting under the TV tray where I'd kicked them off. Unable to resist, I grabbed one and held it silently up in front of him.

"Yes!" he said, excitedly, before realizing they were mine, "Just like those!"

I erupted into laughter and poor D. turned red and gave me a sheepish grin. "Sorry", he said.

I assured him that, no, I was a total geek and wasn't in the least upset. We shared a laugh, and won the round.

"Skechers", I am happy to report, however, was not on the list.

Name Day Report

Monday, November 10th, 2003

Now that the birthday madness has come to a close, I have returned to tell you of my adventures.

First, though, a big huge thank-you to everyone that left birthday messages, sent birthday emails and all that jazz. It was very much appreciated.

I honestly thought this birthday would just zoom on by, almost unnoticed. I didn't expect anything special from it - but it turned out to be one of the best. Last Thursday evening (the day of) I joined my friends for their weekly Thursday-potluck-dinner-get-together. We had a good time and they surprised me with a cake. Saturday I had an Italian potluck to celebrate and to show off the new place to everyone. They were all surprised that we looked so settled after only being there two weeks - though the truth was we'd just stuck all the extra boxes in the storage room!

I got some great presents. Brand & Jackie gave me a matching set of 4 wine glasses - extra thick glass to prevent our usual breakage (I've gone through so many wine glasses in the last year and we were down to *one*), and of course, some wine to put in it. Jackie also got me Sidney Omar's "Cooking with Astrology" - a book I've wanted for some time now. Brand also got some little wine glass charms for the bigger glasses. Erin bought me one of my favorite wines - Mondavi Merlot - Private Selection; saving that one for a special occasion. Missy gave me a darling little bejeweled, red-satin jewelry box. "The Idiot's Guide to Paganism" from my brother (those books are so informataive, I'm learning a few things myself) and "Freeway" on DVD and the new Sims expansion pack ("Makin' Magic") from my sis (she's my game-addiction dealer apparently). My good friend Lauren and her fiance were able to find a babysitter and show up, too - that was great.

I think a good time was had by all. Sunday we went to visit with Baret's family, and they had gotten me a gift certifcate to Bed, Bath & Beyond. Oh yeah.

Really, it was a wonderful birthday. Now it's back to the grind. To all of you that have to work tomorrow - nah-yah. Nothing like a Monday that's really a pseudo-Friday. Woot!

But perhaps the most wonderful present of all was one I worked on and got for myself.

Saturday, for the first time in over a year, I fit back into my size 7's. That's a feeling I really can't put into words. Some of them are still a bit tight, but most are comfortable. After the surgery, I'd gotten up to 9's - and for awhile, was only able to wear 11's. While that may not sound that bad - scrunch all that weight down into a frame that stands only 4'10" tall and you'll see why I was unhappy with my weight. Everyone is asking me what I did. Well, I cut back on carbs - but not that much. The biggest change I made was to start drinking that new low-carb beer, Michelob Ultra. I told you it was my version of a diet; apparently there was more truth to that than I realized!

So to all, a good Monday. I had lots of pithy and interesting things to post about floating about in my head this weekend. Naturally, my memory being what is, I've forgotten all of them. You'll have to be satisfied with the birthday update and the happy weight loss story 'til I can get these old gears turnin' again. I hope everyone has a remarkable day!

Soon to Be Twenty-Six

Wednesday, November 5th, 2003

Well now that you've all had a chance to oggle me in my Renaissance garb (thanks for the compliments everyone!), it's time for me to insert another random ramble into your day.

Answer me this, female readers, when did they stop having you pee when you went to the gyno? I drank a near gallon of water an hour before I went b/c I always have trouble peeing on command. I get there, wait in the waiting room for 20 minutes and am about to explode when they call me back. In the room the nurse says only, "Get undressed and she'll be with you in a second." Um...where's my little cup? So the entire time I'm thinking, "Omg, she's going to be examining me, and when she pushes down on it all I'm going to pee all over her." I usually repeat a little mantra in my head to take me away from the exam, but "Don't pee, don't pee, don't pee" isn't my usual choice.

In other news, tomorrow is my birthday!! That's right, I bolded it so you couldn't miss it. I haven't been excited about it with all that's been going on, but for some reason I am today. This little Scorpion will have been gracing this Earth with her presence for 26 years at precisely 10:53am tomorrow morning. Woot for me!

A big, huge hug to my good friend, Ryan, who emailed me this morning a picture of this dagger. I fell so in love with it, I found it for cheaper on Ebay and ordered it this morning. This is my birthday present to myself.

Why the sudden love of daggers, you might ask? Well, as I've mentioned before, I am a recovering self-injurer. I say "recovering" because I've found it to be just like alcoholism or any other addiction. The craving for it never ends, you just learn to cope in other ways. I love blades, and I've always wanted to collect daggers and knives. Yet, I worried that a r.s.i. collecting blades would be akin to a recovering alcoholic collecting whiskey & wine. A bit too much temptation, you see? Yet, it's been quite some time since I've slipped into those old habits, and I believe I've finally grown past the urge to wound myself when the going gets rough. In fact, in most of the tragedies that befell me in October, I never once had the urge to cut myself. Now that's progress, folks. So, I am now beginning my dagger collection. I'm quite excited about it, too.

Ah, you know you're no longer a Toys-R'-Us kid when you get appliances for your birthday - and you asked for them. Not only that, you're excited about them. That's right, I'm officially becoming a grown-up. And it only took 26 years. My Mom & Dad got me this really cool microwave that's like something out of the Jetsons. This little thing bakes, toasts and grills along with good 'ole microwaving. Sweet, huh? Yes, I'm bragging about my new microwave. I might as well start driving a mini-van and carpooling to soccer practice now. No, I don't have kids - but once this grown-up stuff starts, it's like a snowball effect.

What else? Damn, I'm talkative today.

Oh, yes, I had a question for you all. Do you ever notice there are certain words you always have trouble with? No matter how good a speller you may be, there are always those words you can never remember how to spell. I'm usually an excellent speller, but the words that will stump me 'til the day I die are:
convenient, atheist, and damnit now that I've started typing them out I can't remember the rest. But every time I have to spell these words, I get them wrong. Does anyone else have any "stump words"?

I suppose that it is all for the moment. I'm going home, drinking some beer and hanging up my pictures and candle sconces. That should make it feel more like home for sure! Have a great one.