Friday, March 31, 2006


My father, the professional photographer, has been exposed to too much light for too long a time, which is something he taught me not to do to film or my skin.

This morning, I took my dad to the dermatologist to have skin cancer removed from his back. They cut the malignant growth off of his skin and stitched him up, while I read a book in the waiting room. Afterwards, we went out for coffee and a sourcream donut (me) and a sausage, egg and cheese croissant (him). While we sat across the table from each other, he explained that he has skin cancer dotted across the landscape of his face.

His face doesn’t appear to be mottled with lesions. He has a few light brown age-spot-looking marks on his forehead and cheekbones. He had a small growth removed above his eyebrow a few years ago. After a recent biopsy, it was discovered that even though there is nothing visible, malignant cells have returned in the same spot.

His doctor gave him chemotherapy cream, which is to be applied all over his face. The process will take eight weeks, during which time he cannot be in the sun—and his handsome face will get red, blotchy and dry. He is also concerned about the chemo cream getting into his hair, since his doc recommended that he rub it into his hairline. I told him to use one of my sister’s hair bands to keep his hair off of his forehead until the cream dries.

The doctor explained that if he doesn’t use the cream he will eventually be required to have the lesions surgically removed from his face.

My dad said that the he told doctor that his mother was Swedish and his dad was Canadian-born Irish. She explained that fair-skinned individuals can get skin cancer just from walking outside to and from their cars without ever having burned. However, my dad’s skin and scalp were scorched during the war in Vietnam. He and other soldiers spent long stints in the balmy, hot jungle sans sunscreen. He said that they were required to shave their heads even though they continually got burnt.

After seeing what my dad is going through with skin cancer lesions spreading all over his pale landscape, I’m giving up my tanning salon membership. It made the damage I’m doing to my skin become vividly real. Having sexy tan lines might be attractive now, but it won’t be appealing when my skin cells turn deadly in a few decades or sooner.

The tanning salon management has patrons sign warning documents prior to using their facility. They list the explicit dangers of exposure to UV radiation. I signed on the line anyway. I wanted to feel warm and toasty and enjoy the bright lights. The tanning capsules feel like summer. However, after reading Dangers of a Tanning Salon Bronze, I have decided that having a glowing suntan is far less important than vibrant long term health. I’d rather not be an extremely wrinkled mormor. (Swedish grandma) I’ll have to learn to appreciate my Scandinavian skin as it was meant to be, snowbunny white.

*I have tried slathering on caramel coatings of self tanner. See Pink’s video Stupid Girls. Let's not kid ourselves; we all look like an Oompa Loompa when we apply skin shellac. Learn to embrace your natural luminous tone. Every shade of skin is beautiful.

There is no such thing as a safe tan. A tan is the skin’s response to an injury and every time you tan you accumulate damage to the skin, as well as accelerate the aging process and increase your risk for skin cancer. As long as indoor tanning for cosmetic effects is permitted in this country, there needs to be increased educational efforts informing the public of the risks of this type of tanning.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with more than 1 million new cases diagnosed in the United States each year. It is estimated that 87,900 people in the United States will be diagnosed with melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – in 2002 and approximately 7,400 deaths will be attributed to melanoma this year. At this rate, one person dies of melanoma every hour.

Malignant melanoma causes more than 75% of all deaths from skin cancer. This disease can spread to other organs, most commonly the lungs and liver. Malignant melanoma diagnosed at an early stage usually can be cured, but melanoma diagnosed at a late stage is more likely to spread and cause death.

Melanoma is the most common cancer among people 25 to 29 years old.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Kitty Bait

Last Monday, I visited two pet shops with my son. We were hoping to adopt a kitten, but there were no kitties available. I was told that they would have them in a few more weeks after their mothers weaned them. I intend to return to the store to pick out a purrball soon. However, while shopping for a fancy new collar for my toy pooch, we spotted colorful parakeets. We couldn’t resist adopting two blue hued feathery friends. They were an early birthday surprise for my daughter. She previously requested a chirping pet. We chose a roomy white birdcage for their home, which reminded me of Tweety Bird’s perch.

I named our birds Cyrano and Quill. I wanted to name our budgies Cyrano and Roxane from the play/film Cyrano de Bergerac. It’s one of my favorite romantic stories of all time. I settled on Cyr and Q, since they are both males, and because Cyrano probably wrote his love poems with a feather. I considered using Christian instead of Quill. Christian is the handsome soldier who read Cyrano’s eloquent letters to Roxanne, but I picked Quill because he’s a bird with a long tail. I could just dip him in ink and write a poem of my own.

Maybe this movie is the reason why I am attracted to men who have a prominent nose. (I wonder if what they say about men with large noses is true.) I like romantic men regardless of their appearance, although handsome is a pleasant bonus. I adore men who can express themselves movingly, vividly, readily, clearly and effectively. I fall deeply in love when a man is able to dazzle with his facile tongue or pen or keyboard. Sincerely expressed pretty words, happy children and precious pets make me giddy.

Cyrano & Quill *Photos taken this morning by me.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Furry Red Guy?

vs STL
Monday, April 3
3:05 PM


Five days left until the Phillies' Home Opener! Phillies fans, here is your schedule. Hopefully we'll have something to cheer about this season!

Recently, I heard that our lovable green mascot is temporarily red. Here is a photo of the new Phillie Phanatic. I love red, but I prefer his traditional coat.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

MP3 Beats 4 -- Feeling Like The 80's

1) With or Without You/Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For– U2
2) Mony Mony – Billy Idol
3) I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight – The Cutting Crew
4) I Am The Sun, I Am The Air (How Soon is Now) – Smiths-Morrissey
5) Little Bitch – The Specials
6) Girls Like Me – Bonnie Hayes
7) Hungry Heart – Bruce Springsteen
8) Space Age Love Song – Flock of Seagulls
9) Tempted by the Fruit of Another/Cool For Cats/Black Coffee In Bed – Squeeze
10) Shout/Head Over Heals – Tears for Fears
11) Watching the Detectives – Elvis Costello
12) Pretty in Pink – Psychedelic Furs
13) You Spin Me Right Round – Dead or Alive
14) Take My Breath Away – Berlin
15) Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
16) I Would Walk 500 Miles – The Proclaimers
17) If You Were Here – Thompson Twins
18) Sweet Dreams Are Made of These – Eurythmics
19) I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow
20) Don't Dream It's Over – Crowded House

More of my favorite 80's tunes...

I graduated from high school in 1990. I was a child of the eighties. This statement rings true...

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
- Ferris Bueller

*I remember needing a day off, which is the reason why I let my both of my kids stay home from school once in a while.


Lately, I have been a bit preoccupied with the idea of getting a kitten. I actually want a kitty in the worst way! Pussycats are so soft and adorable.

My husband says that I cannot have a kitty because he hates them. He said that he will take it for a ride if I bring one home, but he also told me that he would punt my puppy if I brought her home. He fell in love with our toy poodle. He loves our playful puppy even more than me, I think. She is two-years-old now and he hasn't kicked her once. In fact, he snuggles with her while they sleep.

I wonder if my five-pound-puppy would like to have a tiny kitty brother or sister. I hope that if I bring one small purrball home they will like each other’s company and cuddle up next to each other.

I really want to go to the pet store today and buy the cutest kitty that I can find. I wonder if maybe I should….

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Spring Sweets

24 Questions and Answers

1. IF YOU COULD BUILD A SECOND HOUSE ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD IT BE? On a beautiful beach near the ocean

2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING? My bra and panties because they make me feel sexy no matter what I’m wearing

3. THE LAST CD YOU BOUGHT? In Between Dreams by Jack Johnson

4. WHAT TIME DO YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING? Anywhere from 5:30-7:30

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE KITCHEN APPLIANCE? The refrigerator because it’s full of yummy stuff



8. DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER DEATH? Not really, but I wish that I did.

9. FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK? Recently, I enjoyed the Harry Potter series.


11. WHAT'S IN THE TRUNK OF YOUR CAR? A beach chair

12. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SUSHI OR HAMBURGER? I don’t intend to try sushi. Cheeseburger


14. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER? I love them all!

15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Hawaiian blizzard--vanilla soft serve with banana, coconut and pineapples

16. POPCORN? Mmm, salty buttery popcorn.

17. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR? Every shade of pink and coral (melon, salmon)


19. FAVORITE SANDWICH? Chicken or tuna salad w/swiss and lettuce on a wheat roll.

20. HOW MANY PETS DO YOU HAVE? 1 precious poodle puppy

21. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? A Philadelphia suburb

22. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? Anything that my kids are playing and Philadelphia Phillies baseball

23. FAVORITE TV SHOW? I don’t watch much TV. Most TV shows are desperate-for-ratings garbage.

24. FAVORITE HOBBY? Writing and a variety of ways to exercise.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Satirical Statements

Mmm, Cinnamon

I made my daughter and I buttery waffles this morning topped with banana slices and a sprinkle of Cinnamon. I began thinking about how much I like Cinnamon. I love the sweet and fragrant, warm and aromatic bouquet and flavor of the spice. I decided to read about its derivation. Cinnamon is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree. True Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka. The Cinnamon used in North America is from the cassia tree which is grown in Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and Central America. It has many culinary uses. I think that it makes almost any dish or dessert more delicious.

I even sprinkled a little Cinnamon into my coffee grounds before I turned the pot on to brew this morning. I like the little kick that it adds to my cup and the scent that permeates my kitchen.

I have two more words for you today, Cinnamon Buns.

*One more thing, have you heard the song Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson? It's so cute, sweet and romantic!


I found the post below (For Trade: My Breasts For Yours) quite funny. I came across it on a generic joke blog with no name, so I cannot give the writer credit. It caught my eye, since I have breasts that seem to...

Anyway, I don’t want to trade breasts with anyone. I am happy with my shape, but I do agree that they get in the way sometimes. I choose to wear two bras when I go for a run or take an aerobics class. I even wear a bra to bed to keep my pillows firm. Larger breasted women need to concern themselves with the effects of gravity over time, so I only take my bra off to have a hot shower or sex. The rest of the time I like to give my 36 C’s as much support as possible.

Women everywhere seem to be getting implants. I think that they are generally as gaudy as fake nails. Natural femininity is more alluring than 5’ heels and over-the-top big hair and make-up. I think that clean, soft, smooth skin, light make up and a hairstyle that doesn’t require much if any hairspray worn with a pretty, simple dress and sandals is much more appealing. I like to leave the dress-up stuff in the bedroom.

Another thing that I have noticed is that some women with new implants seem to believe that they are not required to wear a bra since their tissue has been pulled so tightly over their new inflations. However, gravity works. Give it a few years and they will be puckered and sagging toward the floor.

If I had small breasts, I wouldn’t have my nipples filled with plastic bags of fluid. Breasts are meant to feed babies, not egos or wallets. I wish women would realize that they are naturally sexy in every size and shape.


For Trade: My Breasts For Yours

Yes, I have large breasts. Not excessively huge, but big, nonetheless. "A fine rack," you may say. "Big hooters." "Baywatch material." "Nicely stacked." "Melons." "Lovely grapefruits." Or my favorite, "TORPEDOES!" Feh.

The fact is, I hate them. Loathe and detest. Despise. I want them off my body and gone! Not only do they give me backaches, but I can't sleep on my stomach. I find it hard to kiss someone, as there's always this "mass" between us. Sex is a bitch. I can no longer jog. My cat actually WALKS down out of the window onto my lap by way of my breasts! Unfortunately, I don't have much lap left. I have a hard time buttoning shirts, since those two buttons at chest-level are stretched tight and constantly break off and the rest are loose. I often find leftovers lingering there. And odd things, like leaves and Post-It notes.

Yeah, you're probably laughing at this point, but it's really NOT FUNNY! (Well, not unless you laugh at the fact that I actually have a T-shirt that my left nipple has *rubbed a hole in* -- not unlike the way guys pumice their jeans to make their dick look bigger and burlier, like it actually wore through their trousers and is about to chase you down the street. I'm not talking a white, faded spot, though; I'm talking an *actual* HOLE in my T-shirt! You know, so my nipple can look out and see the world (and perhaps chase you down the street), thus mocking me even more.)

Guys, how would you like to have balls so big that you couldn't lay on your stomach or see your shoes when standing? Or jog? Or hug someone without them jutting into the other person, forcing you to lean over or else stand several inches away. Wait, stupid question, why did I ask? Forget I said that.

Girls with small(er) breasts, you don't know how lucky you are! Why in the hell would you want to *increase* the size of them?!? Especially with some gelatinous unknown substance in a plastic baggie, blech! Wait, stupid question. Forget I said that. But that's the reason I'm here!

I want to trade my large breasts for your smaller ones! Mine are pasty white, but I don't really care what color yours are, as long as they're comfortable and I can sleep face-down... and reclaim my lap. No reasonable offer refused.

E-mail me now, if you would like to swap.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Absolutely Powerful

I went to a local stadium seating theater yesterday with my husband. We saw V for Vendetta. The movie was captivating and explosive right from the beginning. It was also a little creepy, but Natalie Portman's exquisitely beautiful face made the film seem a little less dark. I like the main message of the film, People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

George Carlin on Stuff

Actually this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That's all, a little place for my stuff. That's all I want, that's all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? I can see it on your table, everybody's got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that's your stuff, that'll be his stuff over there. That's all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That's all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn't have so much stuff, you wouldn't need a house. You could just walk around all the time.

A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. You can see that when you're taking off in an airplane. You look down, you see everybody's got a little pile of stuff. All the little piles of stuff. And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn't want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. They always take the good stuff. They never bother with that crap you're saving. All they want is the shiny stuff. That's what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get...more stuff!

Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore. Did you ever notice when you go to somebody else's house, you never quite feel a hundred percent at home? You know why? No room for your stuff. Somebody else's stuff is all over the goddamn place! And if you stay overnight, unexpectedly, they give you a little bedroom to sleep in. Bedroom they haven't used in about eleven years. Someone died in it, eleven years ago. And they haven't moved any of his stuff! Right next to the bed there's usually a dresser or a bureau of some kind, and there's NO ROOM for your stuff on it. Somebody else's shit is on the dresser.

Have you noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff? God! And you say, "Get that shit offa there and let me put my stuff down!"

Sometimes you leave your house to go on vacation. And you gotta take some of your stuff with you. Gotta take about two big suitcases full of stuff, when you go on vacation. You gotta take a smaller version of your house. It's the second version of your stuff. And you're gonna fly all the way to Honolulu. Gonna go across the continent, across half an ocean to Honolulu. You get down to the hotel room in Honolulu and you open up your suitcase and you put away all your stuff. "Here's a place here, put a little bit of stuff there, put some stuff here, put some stuff--you put your stuff there, I'll put some stuff--here's another place for stuff, look at this, I'll put some stuff here..." And even though you're far away from home, you start to get used to it, you start to feel okay, because after all, you do have some of your stuff with you. That's when your friend calls up from Maui, and says, "Hey, why don'tchya come over to Maui for the weekend and spend a couple of nights over here."

Oh, no! Now what do I pack? Right, you've gotta pack an even SMALLER version of your stuff. The third version of your house. Just enough stuff to take to Maui for a coupla days. You get over to Maui--I mean you're really getting extended now, when you think about it. You got stuff ALL the way back on the mainland, you got stuff on another island, you got stuff on this island. I mean, supply lines are getting longer and harder to maintain. You get over to your friend's house on Maui and he gives you a little place to sleep, a little bed right next to his windowsill or something. You put some of your stuff up there. You put your stuff up there. You got your Visine, you got your nail clippers, and you put everything up. It takes about an hour and a half, but after a while you finally feel okay, say, "All right, I got my nail clippers, I must be okay." That's when your friend says, "Aaaaay, I think tonight we'll go over the other side of the island, visit a pal of mine and maybe stay over."

Aww, no. NOW what do you pack? Right--you gotta pack an even SMALLER version of your stuff. The fourth version of your house. Only the stuff you know you're gonna need. Money, keys, comb, wallet, lighter, hanky, pen, smokes, rubber and change. Well, only the stuff you HOPE you're gonna need.

-George Carlin

This joke reflects the ridiculousness of collecting things. I don't like clutter. I delete emails. I clean out closets and keep only my favorite, most necessary things. I donate clothes and shoes that I don't wear. I even throw out expensive perfume and lotions. If I don't like them they are just wasting space on my vanity table. I like to keep things clean and simple. I feel more relaxed with less stuff surrounding me. I don't even like knick knacks and I really hate fake flowers. They are just tacky dust collectors. Unnecessary stuff is silly.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Inked Above The Asscrack

I stole this from Pax (Hope you feel better soon, Mr. Romano), who lifted it from someone else. It made us laugh out loud. I even used his illustration....

Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to "beef with broccoli." The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.
-unsure of comedic source

I have always wondered why people who aren't Asian so often use Asian language characters as tattoos, like a secret code from another culture makes the word Peace more profound or something.

Defining Principles

Words to live by...

I am strong mentally and physically. I am rock solid and live by a few sacred principles of decency, moderation, caution, and modesty that keep my life balanced and peaceful, and compromising them is simply unthinkable.
I don't believe in reincarnation. I don't believe in much regarding any religion or mystical idea. I do believe in principles like the ones so eloquently spelled out here. Some religions offer interesting, enlightening or helpful philosophies and principles. I like perceptive and intelligent ways of thinking, which some religions/philosophies and even friends can offer. I don't believe in worshiping idols, objects or gods. I believe in ardent devotion to my loved ones. Nothing feels better than adoration, especially of my children.
Religion convinced the world that there's an invisible man in the sky who watches everything you do. And there's 10 things he doesn't want you to do or else you'll go to a burning place with a lake of fire until the end of eternity. But he loves you! ...And he needs money! He's all powerful, but he can't handle money!
-George Carlin

Fantastic Floral Perfume

While spring-flowering bulbs are grown primarily for their wonderful colors, many of them are also delightfully fragrant. Hyacinths produce colorful cones of waxy flowers with a heady fragrance, muscari (grape hyacinths) offer a sweet scent like grape juice, while some tulip and daffodil varieties have the fragrance of gardenias or orange blossoms. Read more about fragrant spring bulbs here...

I love them all! Yay! Spring is here!

War Game

The following link came in an email from a friend with a son who is serving in Iraq. While watching it, I got the impression that I was watching Ghost Recon, Advanced Warfighter for XBOX Live. It's hard to believe that humans are capable of killing each other with gunfire from such a long range. It seems surreal the way it does while watching a violent video game, but I still felt somewhat saddened and stunned knowing it was the real deal rather than virtual reality.

WHAT A PICTURE - AT OVER TWO MILES AWAY!! Here is what technology can do in a war zone. The pictures were taken from an AC130 Specter gunship two and a half miles away. The guys in the picture are setting up a roadside bomb and planning to ambush an American convoy which followed a shortwhile after the pictures were taken. They were setting up for the ambush and were pacing off the distance from the bomb to where the convoy was to pass by. Turn your sound up.

*Watch Uncovered: The Whole Truth About The Iraq War

War Is A Racket

This is piece was written way back in 1933, but is still just as relevant. It is an excerpt from a speech by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC. Smedley Butler is one of only 19 people in the entire history of the US military to have been awarded the The Congressional Medal of Honor twice. The Medal of Honor is the highest award given by the US military.

War is just a racket.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Eysenck's Test Results
Extraversion (47%) medium which suggests you are moderately talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting.
Neuroticism (44%) moderately low which suggests you are relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.
Psychoticism (35%) moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly kind natured, trusting, and helpful at the expense of your own individual development (martyr complex).
Take Eysenck Personality Test (similar to EPQ-R)
personality tests by

MP3 Gym Beats 3

1) Crash – Gwen Stephanie
2) Ohh La La - Goldfrapp
3) Ms. New Booty - Bubba Sparxxx
4) Glam Slam – Prince
5) Juicebox- The Strokes
6) Up Jumps Da Boogie – Timbaland
7) You Have Killed Me – Morrissey
8) We Run This – Missy Elliot
9) Black Horse and the Cherry Tree - KT Tunstall
10) Zingy - AK'Sent
11) We Are Scientists – The Great Escape
12) Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira
13) Over My Head – The Fray
14) Brand New – Kanye West
15) Nasty Girl – Notorious B.I.G.
16) It’s Just Like Surgery – The Warlocks
17) 4Ever – The Veronicas
18) Forget Her – Jeff Buckley
19) Insatiable – Prince
20) You're Beautiful – James Blunt

Friday, March 17, 2006

Feeling Green

Mrs. O'Leary is chatting with Mrs. O'Rourke in the front parlor when she glances out the window and shrieks, "Oh no, here comes my Paddy up the front walk with a bouquet of flowers! I suppose this means I'll be spending the entire weekend on my back with my legs in the air!"

In a puzzled tone Mrs. O'Rourke replies, "What's the matter, don't you have a vase?"
An attractive young Cork lady was sitting in a fine restaurant one night. Waiting for her Dublin date as she was, she wanted to make sure everything was perfect. So, as she bends down in her chair to get the mirror from her purse, she accidentally farts quite loudly just as the waiter walks up. Sitting up straight now, embarrassed and red faced, knowing everyone in the place heard her, turns to the waiter and demands "Will ye Stop That, Boy!". The waiter looks at her dryly and says "Sure lady, which way is it headed?"

O'Neil was walking home from the pub one night when lo and behold he sees one of the Little Folk. He sneaks up and catches him in is stare and demands three wishes for the little mans freedom. "Granted" says the man in green, "but whatever I do for you, O'Reily will get twofold!" Now O'Reily is no friend of O'Neil, in fact they hate each other, but O'Neil agrees. "For my first wish I'd like a mansion full of expensive antiques and beautiful women." "Granted, and of course O'Reily gets two!" "For my second wish I'd like a beautiful, sexy, redheaded nymphomaniac." "Granted, and of course O'Reily gets two women." Now by this stage O'Neil is pissed off, the hated O'Reily getting two mansions and two nymphomaniacs. Suddenly inspiration hits him "For my third wish, I want you to remove one of my testicles!"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Love Good Food (älska god mat)

You Are the Swedish Chef

"Bork! Bork! Bork!"
Your happy and energetic - with borderline manic tendencies.
No one really gets you. And frankly, you don't even get you.
But, you sure can whip up a great chocolate mousse
Hallå!. Hur mår du? I love the Muppets (Jag älskar Muppets) and good food! How bout' you?

A Traditional Irish Meal

I plan to make Colcannon for the first time tomorrow.
Colcannon is a traditional Irish mashed-potato dish made with cabbage (or kale), ham or bacon, butter, salt, and pepper. It can contain other ingredients such as milk, cream, leeks, onions, chives or garlic. It is a cheap, year-round staple food.

An Irish Poem

This poem reminds me of spring and all of the sensual things that it brings.

Patrick Kavanagh - Canal Bank Walk

Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal
Pouring redemption for me, that I do
The will of God, wallow in the habitual, the banal,
Grow with nature again as before I grew.
The bright stick trapped, the breeze adding a third
Party to the couple kissing on an old seat,
And a bird gathering materials for the nest for the Word
Eloquently new and abandoned to its delirious beat.
O unworn world enrapture me, encapture me in a web
Of fabulous grass and eternal voices by a beech,
Feed the gaping need of my senses, give me ad lib
To pray unselfconsciously with overflowing speech
For this soul needs to be honoured with a new dress woven
From green and blue things and arguments that cannot be proven.

Warm Liquid

I had PMS yesterday, which prompted me to buy hot chocolate at the grocery store. I came home and boiled milk on the stove and poured my family four cups of the warm, rich and sweet liquid with bunny shaped marshmallows. It was comforting, especially since the weather was so windy and cold. I had another mug of it for breakfast this morning. Spring will be here soon and I think that I’ve had my last sips of this decadent drink until next winter.

I welcomed my period this morning. My breasts get tender and sore for about five days prior to menstruation, and continue to bother me almost as much as the cramps radiating from my pelvis for five days. I’m skipping the gym today. I think I’ll go for a walk in the park later this afternoon. I like to keep to myself while I’m bleeding, especially for the first three days. I’m thankful that it will be over soon.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I’ve only cried a handful of times since my mom died. I haven’t addressed my loss, our family’s loss, over the past year very often. It hurts too much to think about it.

At this time last year, she was still in the hospital fighting for her life. Chemo failed. The doctors failed. Our hope failed.

I was watching the end of a terribly boring movie this evening called King of the Corner. During the final scene the husband reaches for his wife’s hand. They danced together on the grass. Their teenage daughter watched them from a chair nearby. It struck an emotional chord that melted through my emotional wall.

I started to think about the fact that I would never see my parents dance together again. It made me feel deeply sad for my dad. He and my mom loved each other so intensely. I also felt sorry for myself. I miss having my parents as a unit. I miss observing their love for each other. I miss observing them.

I remember feeling so content and proud while watching them dance. Their rhythm was perfect. They were beautiful. I remember feeling their love for each other. It made me feel so happy when they shared it with me and my little sister.

We were so lucky. My parents bought us Sesame Street, Muppets and Free to Be You and Me albums. They would sing along with us in the living room just as spiritedly as when they listened to their own music.

I miss being in their presence. I miss the feeling that I got just being in the same room with them. I felt safe. I’m so sad that I’ll never feel that way again.

I remember squeezing in between my parents on their bed. They would relax sometimes after dinner and discuss their day. My dad would teach me silly tricks and I would tickle both of my parent’s all over. My mom laughed so hard. She was extremely ticklish.

They used to tickle me, too. My dad used to sing a silly song that his Swedish grandmother taught him, while his finger made circles in the air. "I think I'll bore a hole, and I don't know where...I think I'll bore a hole...right--in--there!" The whole song made me squiggle and giggle until his finger poked me in my side or underarms. My mom liked to sing it and she used to make me squeal with anticipation, too. I loved that game. I taught it to my kids when they were small.

I miss the way my dad gazed at my mom from across the dinner table. I miss her big blue eyes. Sometimes when I catch myself in the mirror, I see her eyes looking back at me and it startles me. I never realized how much I looked like her, especially her eyes.

I am grateful for the time that we had, but I am also angry that my mom died fairly young. I hoped that my parents would turn 60, 70, 80, 90 and even 100 together.

I’m still shocked that she is gone. I’m so sad that she suffered. I’m so sad that she died so quickly.

My daughter cried for her grandma again last night at bedtime. She thinks out loud about her at least once a week. She misses cooking with her every weekend. She misses doing art projects with her grandma. She misses her hugs.

I miss calling her for advice.

I still want to ask you for help, mom. I still need you.

Did you hear me talking to you while my little sister was trying on wedding dresses last week? Didn’t she look like a little doll? Did we pick the right one?

How will we get through the wedding without you? I’m sad that her children won’t ever get to know what a good person you were. My kids were lucky to have you for a gunmom/gomom. I think that you loved them and worried about them as much as I do.

I learned to be a good mom because of you. I know my sister will great mom, too, because of you. You always made us your highest priorities.

I miss you so much. We all do. I miss your pretty face—every part of you so much. I wish that I could hug you one more time.

I know that dad is suffering so much worse than the rest of us. It’s hard for him to talk about you too much, although he likes when we talk about you around the house. We talk about you all of the time. We are using your recipes and teaching your granddaughter how to cook some of them. We always say, “Wouldn’t mom be proud?” And, “Wouldn’t mom love this?”

We’ll never forget you or stop loving you.

I hope that you are at peace. I hope that there really is a heaven and that your grandma was there waiting for you. You certainly deserve a gorgeous pair of wings. I hope to see you there after I am done with the job of raising my children. I love being a mom and understand why you looked at us that way. I look forward to seeing you again someday.

My Favorite Cookie

White Chocolate Chunk & Macadamia Nut Cookies

¾-cup firmly packed brown sugar
½-cup butter, softened

1 ½-tsp vanilla
1 1/3-cup all-purpose flour
½-tsp baking powder
½-tsp baking soda
½-tsp salt
2 (3oz)-bars of white chocolate, cut into ½” pieces
¾-cup salted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 350°F

In a large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla
Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed, about 1-2 minutes
Reduce speed to low
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
Continue beating for 1-2 minutes, scraping bowl often
Stir in white chocolate and nuts by hand
Drop rounded spoonfuls, 2” apart onto greased cookie sheet
Bake for 9-12 minutes or until lightly golden
Cool 1 minute
Remove from cookie sheets
Makes 24

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Shirley and Shoes

I liked this movie, especially since some of it was filmed in Philadelphia.
Read the synopsis here.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Recently, I had a bit of a health scare. I went to my cute, 33-year-old gynecologist for my annual check-up last month. After examining me internally and externally, as my legs shook, he declared that I was a healthy woman. I was happy! He also checked my breasts. My fingers followed his, as he demonstrated how to find lumps and showed me where they are found most prevalently in women. He explained that I should start getting mammograms when I’m 34, since my Swedish grandmother had breast cancer in her late sixties which required a mastectomy. The idea of losing breast tissue, which gives my figure a feminine shape, which I’ve had since the age of 13, makes me a bit sick to my stomach.

I was also feeling a little concerned about the results of my Pap test for the first time this year. The idea of battling any kind of cancer terrifies me after watching what my mother went through last February, March and April. Her chemotherapy wiped her out, made her bald--and then killed her. She acquired septicemia from lack of white blood cells to fight infection, which is caused by the chemicals they use for chemo. She may have lost her battle with leukemia for lack of healthy blood cells anyway, so it’s a choice, I guess, that her oncologists had to make.

Visiting my OB/GYN was difficult for me to begin with because it is located in the same hospital where my mom died on April 11 of last year. Every time I pass the building it makes me sad and angry all over again—and I pass it often, as it is only a short walk from my house.

The nurse explained that she would only call me if there was a problem, meaning that my Pap test was positive for human papillomavirus (HPV) or precancerous cells or cancer. She called me three days later. She left a message saying that she was calling me concerning the results of my Pap. Would I call her back ASAP? However, she called me at the end of office hours. I got a machine.

I had to wait until 9:00 the following morning to find out why she called. I looked up Pap tests online. I read that the nurse only calls if there is an issue of concern. I went to bed hoping that she didn’t call because I had cancer or of less importance that I had HPV, which can cause genital warts—and possibly cancer. I thought, Oh NO! If I have cancer, I might have to get a hysterectomy, and I won’t be a woman anymore, and I won’t be able to have anymore children -- or even have sex for a while. What if my husband leaves me or cheats on me or what if I get hairy like man? What if I grow a beard? What if my breasts shrink?

My femininity is important to me. It's part of who I am. What if I acquire genital warts and end up with an ugly vagina? What if I have to get them burned off and it hurts? What if I have to get them removed from inside of me? What if they grew on my cervix? What if I have advanced cancer inside of my pelvis? What if I die? Who will raise my two beautiful children? My sister?! I don’t want to miss out on their lives? They need me! I need them!

Then I thought…

Okay, don’t assume that it’s bad news. It’s not bad news unless they tell me that it’s bad news. Then I remembered that those were the exact words that my mother used in the hospital the day before they told us that she had leukemia. It was bad, and they waited a whole extra day after they admitted her to the oncology ward. I’m sure they knew, but they didn’t want to spring it on us right away.

I tried to convince myself that whatever happened, I would be able to handle it with strength and grace. I managed not to go off the deep end when it was happening to my mother. She told me not to. I told myself not to.

I could finally call back…

I waited until 9:30 am. I didn’t want to call the minute the office opened, as I realized that they are usually busy. My husband called home from work at 9:15. He asked me if I heard anything yet. I explained that I would call the nurse in a few minutes and then call him back.

After four rings, the receptionist put me on hold. Then I held, so she could find the nurse. Linda got on the line. She said, “Jessica?” I said calmly, “Yes, this is she.” She explained that I needed to get another Pap test because there weren’t enough cells on the first sample.” I gently explained that waiting to call her back made me nervous, since she told me that she would only call if there was a problem. (Which I assumed would be regarding my health.) I breathed a sigh of relief, as she apologized and explained that she didn’t want to leave a detailed message because she didn’t know who else might hear it. I thought, “Well, who cares who might have heard it? I don’t have a health problem.” I politely thanked her and then was transferred back to the receptionist, who scheduled me for a Re-Pap five days later.

I was still somewhat anxious. I thought maybe they saw something abnormal and didn’t want to tell me unless they were sure, but I also thought they would have to tell me if something was suspected.

When the day finally arrived for my appointment, I was seen by an older, experienced female gynecologist. It hurt the second time. Instead of a swab, she used a scraper. She explained that I might bleed a little afterwards and that they call either way for re-Paps. I bled a little and felt my cervix throbbing. I wondered if she scarred me. I saw blood on the scraping brush that she used.

The left side of my cervix ached for over a week. However, the pain faded three days after the nurse called back to tell me that my test results were negative. The nurse told me that they do repeat Paps often. Sometimes they simply don’t get enough cells to read the results.

On the day I was retested, there were several other women handing in insurance paperwork for Re-Paps in the same line as me. As I waited to approach the lady behind the glass, I thought about how hard it is to be a woman sometimes, and how much it means to me to be one. I am a mom. I gave life, twice. They came from inside of my body and I cherish their parts—and my fertility. I cherish my breasts, which provided nutrition for the first year+ of their lives. I cherish motherhood. It was all worth it. It is all worth it.

I also realize that the challenges that we sometimes face are far outweighed by the love that we feel for each other.

*I recently learned, while reading a friend’s post, that vaccinations have been developed to prevent HPV. The vaccination is supposed to be 100% effective. I wonder when it will be made available. I think that if is truly safe and effective, it should be administered to all girls by age 13. HPV kills 5,000 women per year.

Approximately 20 million people are currently infected with HPV. At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection. About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year. Health experts estimate there are more cases of genital HPV infection than any other STI in the United States. At least 20 million people in this country are already infected.