Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Resistance Is Futile

I come from a family of pickers and squeezers. We scratch each others' backs, pop each others' zits, tweeze each others' splinters (a favorite of mine), peel sunburned skin, and excavate each others' dermatological blemishes. I have never scratched my mother's back without having her ask, "is there anything to pick?" I'm sure this strikes most people as disgusting, but we think it's kind of awesome.

It's taking my husband some time to into this tendency, but he's slowly but surely learning to appreciate it. He's getting better at letting me poke and prod him with tweezers, needles, and my nails, and he's even reciprocated a couple of times. The only thing that he won't let me touch, much to my dismay, is his eyebrow hair.

Jason's hair is brown, and he has brownish-blonde eyebrows that are relatively normal except for this one, super-blonde, mutant hair that's about an inch long. It sticks out and curves back dramatically, and is noticable from every angle because it's so much lighter than the rest of his eyebrows. It's mezmerizing. And I'm going crazy from wanting to pluck it.

The Hair went away a few months ago -- perhaps in the shower or as part of the natural shedding process -- but it's back with a vengeance now and it's driving me mad. Last night we were sitting on the couch talking, and I couldn't stop staring at The Hair. Just sitting there, mocking me. And then Jason noticed that I'm staring, and he'll mess with me by brushing at his eyebrows so that The Hair sticks out even more than usual, and joke that he'll pull it out by himself and donate it to Locks of Love. It's torture.

But I'm determined to triumph. If I have to sleep with tweezers in my bedside table and pull it out in the middle of the night, I will.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The guy that was buying our house was selling a house in order to buy a new one, and his buyer backed out of the deal. So no house sale. Goddammit.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Internets Can Be Strange

This past weekend I got an email from someone who had viewed some pictures I have up on Flickr. She had seen photos from the triathlon that I did in August, and wrote me that she had always wanted to do a triathlon, but was scared of having to put on a swim cap. So she wanted me to a) email her a description of how one puts on a swim cap, and b) take pictures of myself putting on a swim cap and send them to her. Yes, you read that right. I'm really hoping that she did it on a dare, like her friends bet her on whether she would get a response or something like that. Needless to say, I deleted the message. But honey, if you're reading this, just go to your local sporting goods store and ask the nice lady in the swimwear aisle. I'm sure she'll be happy to help you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Unbelievable, Part 2. No, make that "completely insane."

The guy that looked at the house this week -- that had to convince me to let him because I had already delisted the house and was over the entire process -- wants to buy it. He's sending me an offer tomorrow. And he wants to close December 11, the same day Jason goes to Australia. This is totally blowing my mind (which is already halfway out of my head because I'm so nervous for tomorrow's Michican-Ohio State game that I can barely contain myself. Go Blue!)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I'm glad I appreciate irony, because if I didn't, this whole house-selling process would leave me discombobulated.

After having the house on the market since July and getting no offers, we decided to take the house off the market and rent it. Last week I talked to my agent, and she pulled the listing on Friday, but it didn't get into the system until yesterday. We got 4 calls over the weekend from agents looking to show it, and then another one yesterday. I told them all that the house wasn't on the market anymore, but the guy from yesterday whined so much about how his client was reeeaaally interested and he reeeaaally wanted to sell it for me that I relented and let him show the house today. He called me this afternoon and told me that his client loved it, wants to come back tomorrow to see it, and is looking to make an offer this week -- he's deciding between my house and one other. Maybe it's reverse psychology, like people who only fall for people that blow them off. I just think it's hilarious that my best chance at selling the house has only come after I took it off the market.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rest in peace, my friend

About six years ago, Kathleen and I were lamenting the fact that we didn't have a close group of women friends to hang out and kibbitz with. She had met a woman (Michelle) at a continuing legal education seminar -- they were both in the vegetarian line for lunch and began chatting -- and thought it would be cool to gather a group of fun, smart women to do regular "girls' night" outings. I'm not sure who had the idea originally (whether it was Michelle or Kathleen, or something they came up with together). So we did it. Kathleen brought me in, I invited my friend Karen, Michelle brought Kristin and Mindy, etc. I think our first event was bowling. Our second was a hockey game, which ended up being hilarious because Michelle, Kristin and I ended up participating in an on-ice competition during one of the intermissions in which we raced to win a $100 gift certificate for Sports Authority (I won).

Over the past six years, the group (there are 9 of us, by my count -- Kathleen, me, Karen, Michelle L., Michelle S., Michele H., Judy, Mindy and Kristin) has stuck together. We've been in each others' weddings, babysat each others' babies, watched each others' dogs, listened to each other bitch, held each others' hands, and dried each others' tears. We get together regularly for dinner, parties, movies, bike rides, and walks. We ran 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons and triathlons, cheering each other on and pulling each other along the whole way.

I've never had a support group like this. There is nothing that any of us goes through alone. Every one of us has gone through a time when we were held up by the others when we couldn't quite hold up on our own. This group of women is the single reason that I'm anything less that 100% psyched about moving to Hawaii. The prospect of life far away from them feels very lonely.

Yesterday, we lost one of our own. Our friend Kristin, who had recently moved up to New Jersey to be with her fiance, took her own life, for reasons that none of us can comprehend.

Kristin was one of the kindest, most generous people I ever knew. She was an immigration lawyer, and utterly devoted to helping her clients. She would do anything for a friend. If you needed a ride to the airport, a dog-sitter, a drinking buddy, whatever -- she was there. She and I were frequent movie and opera buddies and shared books all the time. She was one of the huppah-holders at my wedding. She and Michelle L. and I did the Chattanooga Half Marathon together this past spring, and when I had a horrid day in the race -- exhaustion, dehydration -- she and Michelle came back to find me after they had finished and ran the last mile in with me. The last time I saw her, she was in town to close on the sale of her house in September or October, and she and Jason and I went for ice cream and had a great time laughing and shooting the shit.

Of course, we are all heartbroken and shocked. I feel awful for her parents, with whom she was very close, for her fiance, who is a lovely guy, but mostly for her. It kills me that she felt that her problems were so bad that there was no other way out but to die.

The girls are all rallying together. We're going to try to get together soon and try to process this. It's so surreal. I don't know what to think or to say or to do.

Rest in peace, Kristin. We loved you and will cherish your memory.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

Please get out and vote. Unless you're a Republican, in which case, please stay home.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Stick it to me, Part 2

I just got back from the acupuncturist. It was, to say the least, an interesting experience.

The office is in a nondescript professional building in Sandy Springs, just off of 285. The waiting area is pretty low-rent looking, with a haggard looking receptionist and lots of pictures of flowers with Chinese calligraphy. But the treatment room was very clean and professional looking.

Dr. Li is a tiny little woman who looks about 35 but is probably closer to 50. Shiny black straight hair cut in a blunt bob with bangs. First she did an interview/evaluation in which she asked about my insomnia, my general health, eating habits, etc. She took my blood pressure, which was fine, as it always is. Then she asked to look at my tongue. So I opened my mouth and showed her my tongue. She said, "hmmm..." in a way that made me self-conscious, and wrote some notes in Chinese. Then she felt the inside of each wrist, as if she were taking my pulse, but pressing on a number of different spots.

After feeling my wrist, she looked at me suspiciously, as if I'd been holding out on her, and said, "how long you have lower back pain?" I admitted that I'd had problems with my lower back since I was about 14, but that I didn't bring it up because I didn't think it was relevant to my sleep problems. She nodded, and told me that my kidney and blood energy levels were both low. "Chi very low. Should not be so low. Perhaps add to sleep problems."

She gave me some recommendations to aid relaxation generally. Some breathing exercises I'm supposed to do at night, plus I was told to avoid spicy food ("food too spicy not good for sleep") and to add more broth-based soups into my diet, especially later in the day. "Soup good for digestion, help you relax more."

Then we got down to business. I took off my shoes and lay down on my back on the table. She put needles on the top of my head, at the bottom of each temple, on my forehead between my eyebrows, on the tops of my wrists, on my arms near the crook of my elbow, and in my sternum. It didn't hurt at all. With each needle insertion, she would press down on the skin, wipe it with an antiseptic cloth, and then gently tap the needle in place with her finger, like she was hammering in a nail. Then she attached wires to the needles in my temples and sent electrical current into them. It wasn't a hard shock -- more like a mild pulsing. She turned off the lights, covered me with a blanket, and told me to close my eyes and listen to the classical music that was playing. I lay there for about 20 minutes, feeling more and more relaxed as the time went on. After 20 minutes, she came back in, turned on the lights, pulled out the needles, and told me to come back once more this week. "Then we make more plan. May take 3 to 5 time for you to sleep better. Try be patient."

And that was it. I have no idea if it worked (I guess I'll see tonight), but I'm cautiously optimistic. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I had soup for lunch.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Stick it to me

I've mentioned more than a few times in this blog that I have insomnia. Lately I've taken the drastic measure of going off of all sleep medication entirely, because nothing was working. I've tried just about every sleep remedy on the market, and eventually they did nothing but make me feel stoned during the day. I don't really sleep any better or worse than before, so I guess I'm somewhat better off for getting all of those chemicals out of my system.

Now I've decided to try acupuncture. I read some articles about the use of acupunture to treat insomnia, so I figure I may as well give it a shot. I've got an appointment at noon this coming Monday. Wish me luck.

Baby talk

We had friends visit from out of town this past weekend -- an old buddy of Jason's and his wife. I'd met the wife once before and didn't think much of her, and having her in my house for 2 days reinforced 1) my initial opinion of her, and 2) my utter abhorence of baby talk. This woman never met a perfectly harmless sentence that she couldn't make unbearable by her sing-songy inflection, accompanied by a jutting lower lip and batted eyelashes. She doesn't need to make this kind of play -- she's an accomplished surgeon, well-educated, active, etc. But for some reason, she feels compelled to speak as if she were a helpless child, and her husband eats it up, much to my (and Jason's) chagrin.

My reaction (near-vomiting every time she spoke) reminded me of one of my parents' favorite stories about me as a tot. I don't remember this, but apparently when I was about 2, we were living in Caracas, Venezuela, and belonged to a swim club in our neighborhood. A woman who knew us came up to me and asked me in a very baby-talky way where my parents were. I fixed her with a cold look and told her to piss off (or something to that effect).

Now, don't get me wrong -- I don't condone young kids lipping off to adults or being disrespectful, and if a child of mine ever did something like that, there would be hell to pay. But a big part of me gives props to my two-year-old self for refusing to be talked to like a moron.