Friday, July 30, 2010

A new low for Pee-Butt

Think your life is awful?  Let's compare.

As you know, I have an old dog.  Well, I have two old dogs but only one is Cute But Stupid.  As well as a big Pee-Butt, so dubbed because she's started to sleep so soundly through the night she doesn't wake up when she has to pee and instead....

She pees in my bed.

Ah, but last night was a new low for Pee-Butt.  First, she leaked on the couch, as I found out when I managed to roust her off the couch to get her Pee-Butt outside to empty said Pee-Butt before we went up to bed.  I had to kick her off the deck three times before she finally realized she was supposed to be out there peeing.  Finally!  It seemed safe to go to bed.

Or did it?  I seem to recall Pee-Butt getting up some time during the night and letting herself out.  That must have been when she reloaded.  Because she then proceeded to pee in the bed.  Not once, not twice, but -- from the size of the second wet spot (I caught the first one early and moved her Pee-Butt away from my head) I found her in this morning, THREE TIMES. 

Three times a Pee-Butt.

Oh but wait, it gets better.  Not only is my dog sleep peeing.  No no.  Now she's sleep POOPING. 


Thankfully it is a big bed. 

I noticed the big second wet spot when the alarm first went off.  As I lay my head back down, I said "That better be a piece of beauty bark I just spotted by your leg."

It wasn't.

I found two little tootsie rolls -- okay, JUMBO tootsie rolls -- next to my dog.  One by her big ol' Pee-Butt, the other underneath her, of all places. 

Words can not express how happy I am that (a) I shelled out big bucks for a fancy mattress pad when I got my new mattress because that sucker would stop nuclear waste from seeping through, and (b) I went with my instincts and did not put the freshly laundered down comforter back on the bed earlier this week.  You know, after I washed it thanks to the last exciting adventures of Pee-Butt.

I also need to wash the kitchen area rug thanks to my other dog who has almost no feeling in her back end any more and consequently tends to leak during the night.  But I can handle a rug. 

I may need to insist on separate beds soon.  Or else start sleeping in a wet suit.  I think that would be easier than trying to diaper a geriatric dog.

"No, no, I'm wet because I was just in a stream.  Really.  I promise."

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Wah-Wah Wednesday

I have no idea what that title means.  Maybe it should be "Wah-Wah-Wah", you know that "oh, poor sad sack" noise they'd make on the old TV shows.  And with Screech on Saved by the Bell. 

I feel fairly sad sacky.  Tired tired tired no matter what, plus a couple of pounds have snuck on over the past few days with definitely no incentive for them to do so.  When you add in my bleary, achy, itchy eyes I think it's a stuffy sniffer that is giving me trouble.  Did you know that a stuffed nose leads to less oxygen as you sleep which leads to poor, unrestful sleep which then leads to insomnia?  I haven't hit the insomnia stage yet, knock on my big wooden skull, so it's back to Benedryl for me.

And no, I have no idea what's up with all the alliteration.  I may be heading for a psychotic break or something.

My boss was in for a few hours today, first time we've seen him all week.  He's sad but doing okay all things considered.  If you read or watch the Portland news and saw the story about the man who drowned near the Sellwod Bridge last Friday, that was my boss's brother.  His brother has always had health problems (at least in the seven years I've been here) so we all expected he might not live out all of his years because of that, but nothing like this.  I feel so sad for his family.

Anyhow, in other news there isn't much.  Did grocery shopping Monday night and managed to stick to paleo foods.  Until the cinnamon rolls.  Those are paleo, right?   Either way, they are gone now.  Tonight I would very much like food to magically show up at my house, all cooked and ready to go.  But unless my dogs have sprouted opposable thumbs since this morning, that's not going to happen.  Sad part is, I tell myself I should just go get something to eat and whatever, yet nothing sounds good.  Have you ever done that?  Decided to eat something really crappy -- or not even that crappy, just something outside of your norm -- and then you can't think of anything you want to eat?  Yet a zillion possibilities pop into your mind when you're just trying to drive home to your rabbit food dinner. 

Ah well, I'll think of something. 

I hope everyone is out there experiencing the zest and verve for life that I seem to have temporarily misplaced.  Have a little for me, will you?

the CilleyGirl

Monday, July 26, 2010

Never thought I'd say this, but s'mores? Are kind of meh.

I'm back!  The camping trip was successful; no lives were lost.  It was close, though.  I almost blew up the propane BBQ, one dog tried to eat a schnauzer, and the other dog is, well, Cute But Stupid.

It was too damn hot yesterday to do anything other than dump all my gear in the living room and empty the cooler so I have yet to download the pics I took.  I'll do it in the next couple of days.  In the meantime, here's the scoop.

I was up in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, my favorite place to go camp.  It is in the southwest/central southern part of Washington.  This was my fourth campsite there, a place called Panther Creek that I picked for several reasons:

1.  Most folks don't realize that the federal parks have their own system and so they all end up in the extremely crowded (book in a year advance) state parks. 

2.  Because most folks are at the state parks, the federal campgrounds are a lot less crowded while still being extremely well maintained.

3.  I hadn't been to this site before. 

4.  It was the southernmost campground in the Giff'. 

5.  No one else calls it the Giff' that I know of, but surely any man named "Gifford Pinchot" had a nickname and I'm guessing that was it.

6.  That wasn't a reason I chose this particular campground.  I just thought I'd mention it.

7.  The campground had water.  (Important thing to check up in the Giff'.)

8.  It is described as a lightly used campground.

9.  There was a site open for the weekend I wanted to go.

10.  That's pretty much it.

Anyhow, Panther Creek, being so far south, was 90 minutes from my house.  It's ten miles north of Carson so basically highway, smaller highway, road, forest road, and you're there.  So that was nice.  It was almost full that weekend -- I think I saw maybe two sites empty out of the 33 -- but I picked a fairly isolated site so except for the people across from me I couldn't really see anyone else unless I left the site.  I was the only person camping solo that I saw except for maybe the camp host and I think she had a husband tucked away somewhere.

I have a huge tent but it sets up easily.  Except for that one pole.  Camp took about an hour and a half to set up completely; it would have taken only an hour except for that damn pole. 

My plan was to go as paleo as possible.  Except for s'mores and diet coke and powerade (it was really hot) I pretty much succeeded.  Friday dinner was turkey burger patties topped with swiss cheese (not paleo), mushrooms and BBQ sauce (also not paleo) and a side of broccoli.  I made a fire in anticipation of having s'mores.  Weird to have a fire when it's still about 80 degrees out but the mosquitoes came a'biting and I wanted to get in the tent before dark. 

I toasted a marshmallow and took a big bite and..... said wow this is really really really sweet.  I did another with some graham cracker which cut the sweetness a smidge but it was still a lot.  Thought maybe the whole s'more experience would solve the problem so I took the graham cracker with the milk chocolate (Hershey's, of course) and a toasted marshmallow..... and could barely choke it all down.  Way too sweet.  I haven't exactly been diligent about cutting out sugar in my semi-paleo world but apparently I've cut out more than I realized.  I had three or four more s'mores before finally giving up.  Okay, not really.  I stopped after the one. 

Saturday was bacon with eggs over easy.  I love eggs over easy.  I eat the white part first, saving the intact yolk for last.  Then I eat the yolk whole.  Yummmmmm.   The bacon was sadly disappointing.  No flavor.  It was odd.  I've never had crappy bacon before.  I was starting to think there was something wrong with my taste buds -- like I was getting a cold or something, I've lost my sense of smell and therefore taste with colds before -- but I had the bacon again on Sunday (mostly so the dogs could have some and the drippings in their kibble) and it still was blah.  It needed something.  Like flavor.  Or maple syrup. 

For lunch I had ham slices and strawberries and it was all paleo and fabulous.  Dinner was hot dogs (I found the most natural hot dogs I could, all things considered) and mushrooms and broccoli.  Mostly paleo, except for the ketchup.  The dogs liked the hotdogs.  I gave up on attempting any more s'mores, although I did eat some of the chocolate bars (those weren't quite as sweet as the marshmallows) and the dogs got the graham crackers as treats since I forgot to bring any.  Sunday I made an omelette stuffed with ham, mushrooms and swiss cheese (I may be a "paleo with cheese" person) and then the bacon for the dogs.  I may have also had chocolate. 

This is kind of dull, isn't it?  Okay, funny story.  My Schmart Dog, Ginger, wasn't on a tie out most of the weekend.  Except for the attempted schnauzer eating incident she was great.  There was a patch of greenery in the back of the campsite and she hung out there the entire time.  But Saturday night she started to get bored and kept trying to wander off down a trail on one side of our campsite.  When I said no, she went and stood in front of the tent door.  I asked if she wanted in the tent and she had this look on her face like she was thinking about it and then said, yes she did want in the tent.  I thought maybe she was sore from lying on the uncarpeted ground all weekend so I told her to get up on the bed.  She did and promptly started to nest.  Other than warning her not to pop the air mattress, I let her have at it.  But she didn't lay down and soon she wanted back out of the tent.

Where she promptly started trying to wander off down that trail again.  I said no and she turns and looks at me and then holds up a paw.  I said no again and -- I am not making this up -- she starts limping over to me.  Limping like she's just been hit by a car.  I think maybe she pulled a muscle jumping off the bed so I check her out and she seems fine.  I tell her to go lay down, she meanders around and then starts back down that damn trail again.  I call her name and again, she turns around and looks at me and holds up the paw again:     Mom, I have to go down that trail.  I'm asking her, what, is that the elephant graveyard back there?  She starts limping over to me again, like she's up for an Academy Award and it depends on this performance.  I say fine, let's take a walk down to the bathrooms and go from there.  I clip on her leash, get CBS on hers and off we go.  With Ginger walking beside me, no trace whatsoever of a limp.  Such a ham.

CBS is a high maintenance camper.  She has to be on a tie out or she'll wander off, lose me, and then run around frantically trying to find me.  On the tie out, however, she winds it around everything and everyone and then can't figure out why she can no longer reach the water dish.  We went to visit a waterfall and I tied her leash to a post for a few minutes and she proceeded to nearly strangle herself trying to follow me. 

All in all, a good camping trip.  Nice and peaceful and pretty.  I read a couple of books and otherwise cleared my mind of everything else.  Then I went in to work today to find out that my boss's brother drowned over the weekend.  If you live in the Portland area, it's been all over the news although they haven't released his name yet.  Life truly is short.

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Garmin is dusty.

I noticed yesterday the other day that my pretty pretty Garmin is dusty.  Because I haven't run since... what?  Oh right, the Friar Trot.  Blergh.

I need a plan.  I am still in the lead for my division in my running league.  I could probably not run until the Fall Finale in October and still win my division, but that doesn't seem fair or in the spirit of things. 

I tried taking those BP meds in the evening rather than with all my other meds and it seems to have helped prevent the crushing rage attacks.  However, now I'm feeling extremely blah about everything.  I don't feel like reading.  I don't feel like watching TV or a movie.  I don't feel like going to work.  I don't feel like showering.  That last one is a big deal for me, I shower every single freaking day unless I'm camping or really, really, really ill.  Or have no legs.  Even then I'd still try.  Anyhow, no crushing rage but instead a sneaky depressive attack that if I wasn't watching for it I wouldn't have really realized it for what it was.   So I quit those meds again.

What I really need is a race.  A race to get me running again, even if I get a crappy race time.  I should be extremely well-rested by now.

I'm waiting to hear from my league director about which races actually count.  Since this is my first time in a running league I was confused by the recent e-mail I received on the subject.  There are three upcoming approved races, but also something about how only one counts and then it didn't say anything about a fourth approved race.  Long story short, my running budget is limited and I don't like running races during the week or in the evenings. 

But there is one race, it doesn't count towards my league standings, that will do very well as a kick in the ass for my running:  the Tigard FundRun 5K on August 8.  Not only does it benefit public schools, the course goes through my nemesis -- Cook Park.  Hey, maybe lady with the cane will be there!

Once I get paid again, I can sign up for a couple more races between now and the Fall Finale 5K.  And then hopefully keep on running!

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I have half a post written from yesterday that I didn't get to finish because I am deeply into writing the motion from HELL.  Ah, for the days of law school when you had a whole semester in which to write a motion.  You could do exhaustive research, take copious notes, draft a detailed and comprehensive outline, and then write a beautiful motion.  In the real world, your boss forgets to tell anybody that there is a briefing schedule until two weeks after our motion was due and the court is threatening to dismiss our appeal for lack of prosecution.  So then we whip out a little legal razzle dazzle and get the motion pushed off a couple of weeks but now it's due now because the legal razzle dazzle failed (although no definite date, just don't want to get another threatening dismissal notice) and since I am the (only) one who writes the damn things I am trying to squash what should take two whole weeks (at least) of all of my time into two days amidst constant interruptions. 

Eventually I will finish this motion and then finish my post and then it's camping and s'mores!!  With no cellular service!!  Yay!!!


the CilleyGirl

Monday, July 19, 2010

Memories.... in the corners of my mouth.

For some reason last night -- and I say "for some reason" because I was trying to go to sleep at the time -- I got to thinking about Shake 'n Bake.  Remember Shake 'n Bake?  I seem to remember commercials from when I was a kid (early 1970s) touting Shake 'n Bake as some great housewifely invention.  Now that all the housewives were working and not at home all day housewiving.  Shake 'n Bake would save them oodles of time for when they came home for work and were still expected to clean the house and have dinner on the table by 6:00 p.m.  My dad used to insist on that time, by the way.  No idea why. 

Anyhow, Shake 'n Bake.  I think they still make it, but I don't think they make the awesome BBQ Shake 'n Bake flavor any more.  Good on pork chops but oh so much better on chicken.  Because you left the skin on the chicken before you shook 'n baked. 

By the time I learned about Shake 'n Bake -- i.e., when I learned that food doesn't magically appear on the table -- my mom was no longer a stay at home mom, meaning that it was ME Shake 'n Bake was designed to save all that time and trouble.  (This was actually part of the commercials.  Not the latchkey kid part specifically but it was implied.)  By that time in my life, unless I wanted to eat leftovers yet again -- thereby coining the phrase "Starve for Yourself Night"* -- I had to cook.  Since I was a lazy little bitch who did nothing all day long (except for pull straight As in school and stuff like that) and I could pull my lazy nose out of that book and get off my lazy ass and cook some dinner.  Or else don't bitch about having leftovers again.  Yes, my life was like a Norman Rockwell painting; why do you ask? 

Anyhow, Shake 'n Bake.  While I did understand that food didn't appear on the table magically cooked (at least, not for anybody without a Y chromosome in my house), I remember believing that nobody made their own fried chicken anymore now that Kentucky Fried Chicken existed.  But with Shake 'n Bake I could have dinner that was mostly like Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Which was good, because I was only 11 and didn't have my license yet. 

The best part about shaking and baking on my own was I could pile on the extra BBQ coating that shook off.  I saw no reason to waste perfectly good shakey bakey BBQ goodness when all you had to do with pat it into a nice layer on top of whatever it was I was baking.  Pork chops worked really well for this. 

I remember Tollhouse cookies being really special.  As in, if your Mom (other kids) or you (my house) didn't buy Tollhouse chips or make Tollhouse cookies then you just weren't really loved.  Store bought cookies were okay so long as they weren't something you would otherwise make from a recipe.  Like, store bought chocolate chip cookies were bad, store bought iced molasses cookies were good because is there really such a thing as molasses anymore?  (My thinking when I was a kid.  Laura Ingalls used molasses, people.  Clearly it was no longer available now that we had stores and stuff.)  Plus you couldn't get the icing right at home with those cookies. 

Saltines were something you ate when you were sick and if your parents tried to make you eat saltines when you were well meant you clearly were not loved.  Ritz were special.  Ritz were usually only at parties, we had to save those for when company came over.  And if you were allowed access to graham crackers and a can of frosting by yourself, you were to be envied by everyone you knew. 

I knew a lot of kids for whom Top Ramen was generally forbidden and therefore a special kind of treat when they did get to have it.  After my dad left us, we lived on peanut butter and Top Ramen for about a year so it's just now moving back into that treat category for me.  I wasn't even all that big on it in college. 

I can remember thinking that trail mix was based on some sort of secret recipe.  Then I learned about GORP and was concerned that the trail mix people would get upset their secret was out. 

Now I'm making myself hungry so I'll stop.  But I am curious -- anyone have any regional snacks or dishes that are firmly cemented in childhood or other memories?  I'm reading about "hotdish" on Wikipedia and cracking up.  I don't think we have that kind of regional cuisine here in the Northwest.  Although when folks come to visit we're always saying "Crap!  They're going to want fish, aren't they?"

the CilleyGirl  

*To this day, I still have a strong aversion to leftovers.  Some things are acceptable left over:  meat, baked beans, mashed potatos (although not if you already put gravy on top).  So many things are not:  everything else.  My grandma, having been born in the Midwest right around the start of the Great Depression, will make a meal and then pull out six or seven small dishes of stuff where there's just a few bites left of each.  I tell her, Grandma - this is why we have dogs.  No leftovers!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Preparing for a paleo camping trip

This weekend will be my first camping trip in about three years.  It will also be my first camping trip, paleo style!  It is amazingly both difficult and easy to plan a camping trip around paleo.

At first I thought it would be tough to plan food.  Usually camping means something easy for breakfast like oatmeal, or else you definitely have camp toast.  Sandwiches are typically PB&J but I'm off the PB and the J and oh yeah the bread.  Burgers and hot dogs are easy choices, but again no bread so no buns.  At dinner you toss some potatos in the fire and let 'em bake.  How in the hell do you camp with a salad?  And without snacky foods like chips?

Then I thought about it and most of this will be pretty simple.  I added cured meats back into things, although I do try to get them made with natural ingredients.  I have chicken sausages, thick cut bacon, and ham to choose from to have with eggs for the first meal, and the ham would be fine cold for snacking.  For second meal I have hot dogs and turkey burgers plus something marinated to grill up.  Mushrooms to saute.  I could steam veggies too, and the broccoli travels well.  Containers of cut up fruit like cantaloupe and strawberries plus berries, apples and bananas for meals and snacks.  I think I'll track down a recipe to toast those raw almonds I'm not fond of, have those for snacks too. 

And s'mores.  Those are paleo.  Yes they are.  Yes, they are.  YES THEY ARE. 

Speaking of s'mores, I decided to get most of the camping supplies during my regular weekly shopping trip so that I wouldn't have to try to do it later in the week.  I had a lot of things on my list which I don't normally buy, like graham crackers and marshmallows but also antibacterial wipes.  Why do they hide those?  Took me a good 20 minutes to find the wipes, which could have been in three other, logical, places but were not.  Then, not only were they in a completely random spot, they were on the top shelf waaaay in the back.  Weird.  I also now have all this extra stuff for what I don't normally buy.  Like I wanted a single pack of graham crackers but I have a whole big box.  Ten marshmallows versus a whole bag.  I won't bitch about the six pack of Hershey bars though.  *snerk* 

And speaking of paleo, I had my first real meal containing more than a smidge of wheat in a few weeks (pizza) and then the next morning I woke up with a persistent tummy bug.  My friends tell me a stomach bug is going around but I'm not entirely sure that's what it is.  I also had a pint of ice cream -- chocolate with peanut butter -- once I started to feel better.  And then a short time late I wasn't feeling so better.  Hmmm.  All pizza and ice cream are now gone and I don't have any plans to have them again any time soon.   My big box o'meat is nice and full with grilled chicken breasts and pork tenderloin.  Yum yum yum yum yum!!

the CilleyGirl

Friday, July 16, 2010

Survey says....

... the new blood pressure medication is definitely BAD.  Bad bad bad bad bad bad.  It's reacting (poorly) with (presumably) my antidepressant, bringing on homicidal thoughts (okay, just making me really really angry and unable to get past being angry) within a few hours of taking it and now I'm starting to think about driving off a bridge as I head to my client meeting downtown in a few minutes.  I have a follow up visit with my doctor on this med in two weeks, thought I'd give it another chance to see if it really was this that caused all those problems for me back in May.  Yeah, now I am sure and that's it for this one.  I'd rather have a stroke than kill somebody.  Most days.  Depending.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.  I'll be over here in the corner, detoxing.

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

If I were on The Bachelor

I never watch shows like The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.  Okay, that's not entirely true:  I really liked The Girls Next Door because at first I couldn't figure out if they were serious or what and by the time I figured out that they were serious I couldn't look away.  But then all the girls moved out and moved on and while Kendra's new reality show is watchable, I can not stand Holly's new show.  There is so much screaming and drama and I'm not entirely sure they're not pretending that all the screaming and drama is real.  Plus I think Holly's gay best friend is actually straight but that he's just playing the gay best friend and it's kind of odd.

But anyway.  Except for the part of the The Bachelorette when it was Trista and I wanted to know if she was going to pick decent Ryan over asshole Charlie, I've never seen either show.  But I read about them in general ("What's her name gave a rose to that annoying guy") and when they get down to the hometown visits I read the recaps because I can't believe people actually go on this show thinking they will find actual, lasting love. 

I was reading the recap on the home visits on The Bachelorette this week and the recapper was talking about how the home visits are all staged:  the families all gussied up in things they wouldn't normally wear, rooms redecorated, stuff cleared out and put away.  You know, beyond just vacuuming and dusting.  And everyone on their best behavior.  I got to thinking about how things would go if I were one of the potential suitorettes (on The Bachelor, in case you were wondering) and after I stopped laughing I thought I'd share. 

My parents have been divorced since I was about seven and neither lives in what I would consider my hometown anymore so we're off to separate locations.  Let's visit Mom and stepdad first...

We're off to the middle of the state of Washington, to the lovely little town of Cashmere -- Home of Aplets & Cotlets!   But they don't live in Cashmere proper so we wind our way several miles outside of town to the ranch.  It's nice.  It's ranchy.  It's one of those log cabin kit houses where everything is done elsewhere and then they ship it to you and their team assembles on site.  There's a barn with a couple of horses and a goat.  There's a pool.  It's on a good chunk of property except the majority of the land is all straight up because it's a canyon.  So you have neighbors but not.  I like it there. 

After we've convinced the camera crew that the huge black lab will not eat them, the first things you notice when you walk in are (1) the amazing view out of the back wall which is almost all glass, (2) there are a LOT of dead animals everywhere, and (3) the carpet is teal -- TEAL, people -- because it's my mom's favorite color and I can't convince her that that fact does not result in a good carpet choice.  Thankfully there is not a lot of carpet in the house. 

We meet my mom who is pretty cool and my stepdad who is not.  Honestly, even when he is speaking to me and when he's not mad at me he is an asshole.  He has issues.  They can be weird and they can be unpredictable.  Like once when I was in grad school I came to visit and my mom said I could take a Costco-sized jar of spaghetti sauce home with me.  He got pissed off and didn't talk to me for six months.  I am not making this up.  He thinks his issues are everyone's else's problem to deal with.  They're not.  That's why he's not speaking to me and he's mad at me right now.  Which should make for an interesting home visit, yes? 

My mom is a little warped and will likely always look as if she is in her early 40s.  First comment to be made is that we look like sisters.  Cool when I was in my 20s and 30s.  Not so cool now that my mom is nearing 60.  But hey, the guy is earning points with my mom.  We get the "nice to meet you, sir" and my stepdad either grunts and lies back down on the couch to start scrolling through the cable menu to see what's on, or he starts talking about all of the things he owns.  Another cabin outside of Leavenworth.  An airplane.  An airplane hangar.  An RV.  Oh, another RV.  There's like six cars in the driveway.  Also snowmobiles.  A horse trailer.  Two tractors.  An ATV.  A partridge in a pear tree.  By the way, if you're reading this and thinking my parents' place would be great to go and rob, they also have lots and lots and lots of guns.  Handy.  As in they each sleep with a firearm nearby because bears and coyotes come walking through the yard on a regular basis and they have livestock.  If the guns don't work there are some nice razor-sharp bows and arrows on the wall behind you.   My parents are the type who would shoot you on the porch and then drag you inside to bolster that claim of self defense.  So would I, by the way.

While my stepdad takes the bachelor and the TV crew on a tour of his dominion, my mom and I chat.  Do I like the guy?  Is he emotionally stunted or is he actually normal?  Because I come from and was raised with the emotionally stunted male.  But is he too emotional?  That's bad too.  Basically my mom will say that I'm going to do what I want to do and best of luck to you.  Get a prenup.  Kids would be fine but she's also happy with having only granddogs.

On the tour, stepdad tells bachelor it's damn time somebody took me off his hands and to watch out because like my mom I am a double-breasted wallet grabber.  Knew it from the first time he met me.  When I was eight.  So get a prenup.  By now, he's also moved on to how awesome he himself is (never went to college!  self taught!) and that I can work on cars and drive a tractor.  He'll now go get the BBQ started because he is the chef of the house, while we go sit in the great room.  And eat Aplets & Cotlets. 

As a side note, one of the couches in the great room is also where my stepdad sleeps.  My parents have temperature differential issues.  My mom likes lots and lots of heavy blankets and sleeps somewhat normal hours.  My stepdad is always too warm and keeps vampire hours.  Before he got his Miracle Ear it was common to awaken at 4:00 a.m. by the sound of planes taking off in yet another war movie that was cranked all the way up because once he's laying on his good ear he can't hear a thing.  I did not realize it wasn't normal to have your dad sleeping on the couch until I brought a friend home my freshman year in college.  He asked if my parents were fighting.  I couldn't figure out why he was asking.  For the show, the blanket will be folded on the back of the couch but otherwise that's his bed.

Now we're off to see my dad!  We whisk away to an even tinier little town in southeast Idaho.  Population:  206.  We pull up to my dad's trailer and let me clarify.  I don't mean his manufactured home.  I don't mean his double wide.  I don't even mean his single wide.  I mean his trailer.  We could go camping while we visit him and we'd never even have to leave the trailer.  But hey, he likes it.  He is a man of few needs.

We open the door and, after the smoke clears, step inside.  Two at a time.  The cameras are filming through the nicotine-stained windows because there sure isn't any room for them in here too.  First thing you'll notice is that yes, this is a damn small trailer.  Second thing you'll notice is it's filling up with smoke again; is he really on his second cigarette since we got here?  No, it's fourth by now.  Third thing you'll notice is the sweet computer setup in the back of the trailer (i.e., two feet away).  And the DVDs.  Hundreds of them.  The you burned it yourself kind of DVD.  And then the list.  Of the DVDs.  Because you must have a list.  Otherwise how would you know which DVDs you want to get from my dad in return for letting him copy your DVD collection?  And how would he know which DVDs you have that he doesn't?

The list is pretty great (from my perspective at least) because it has my dad's entire collection.  And his collection is half regular movies, half porn.  But not the porn with delusions of grandeur and titles like "Good Will Humping" or "Wet Dreams May Come."  No, it's primarily the porn with titles like "Busty Back Door Babes 29"  -- because they don't know how to use roman numerals beyond "III" -- and the budgets and acting talent that go with them.   It makes looking through my dad's DVD list fairly interesting.  Hey, he asked me to see if there were any movies I wanted.  Some of the titles are of the "Romancing the Bone" type and I have to read very carefully before making my choices.

Because my dad's trailer is so small and full of porn movies and cigarette smoke, we walk next door to my grandparents' place.  Which is also a trailer but a very nice manufactured home type.  It's very clean, and not just for the show.  Once we convince the camera guys that their basset hound will not eat them (it's iffy, really), we take a look around.  It's very clean.  Grandma takes me aside and says if I want to marry this guy, go ahead.  If not, just live in sin and avoid all the paperwork.  My grandpa has early stage Alzheimer's so we decide to move this thing yet again to my dad's pharmacy.  Or as the rest of the town calls it....

.... the world-famous biker bar that is the main claim to fame of this tiny little Idaho town.  It really is world famous -- there's an Urbanspoon entry and a Facebook page -- and why they put it here I have no idea.  The ceiling is covered in women's underwear.  Bras and panties, all shapes and sizes and varieties.  Behind the bar is a collection of sex toys.  The kind where you're trying to figure out just what is that on the microwave back there and then your mind finally makes sense of what you're looking at and now you're wondering if it winds up and walks across the bar.  They have a rock chuck derby each spring ("No wet or frozen rock chucks").   Dad says women get up on the tables and dance topless.  Not the waitresses.  The customers.  Still not making any of this up.

By the way, my dad calls the bar his pharmacy because he has peripheral artery disease and consequently is in frequent pain.  He thinks the doctors are trying to kill him so he won't take meds for it.  Instead, he drinks.  I'll have to explain this in one of those talking head interviews in between scenes.

He'll pull up a stool at his pharmacy and talk real serious with the bachelor, telling him how I'm his only daughter and that the guy better treat me right or else.  You know, with that tone that implies he'll either give the guy a stern talking to or gut him on the side of the highway one dark night.  It's not really clear.  Dad tells me that I don't need to get married, that he was married twice and now he's over 60 with no money and no property.  But that his two kids made it totally worth it, though in retrospect he'd have skipped the whole marriage part of the deal.  Although he would really like grandbabies before he dies.  Which, he reminds me, could be any moment.  Or he could live forever.  Grandbabies.  He wants them.  Oh, and I need to keep my last name.  But have grandbabies.

I am not given a rose.  America is stunned.  My dad cleans his pistol.

Yep, that's how it would go if I were on The Bachelor.

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Being me

If you thought my earlier post today was kind of short, that's because there used to be a lot more of it.  The other day, I did something I found amusing and made a note to write about it at a later date.  This morning there wasn't much to say other than my back hurt so I thought it would be a good time to trot out that other topic.

Then I deleted it.  Because I was worried what you all might think of me.  And that has been bugging me all day.

I realized I've kind of been putting on my grandma face around here.  You know, you clean up your language and you hide your piercings and your tattoos and your Latino pool boy Raoul when you go visit your grandma.  Except I've had conversations with my grandma that started with "Have you ever had sex with a man who wasn't circumcised?"  Apparently grandma hasn't.  Apparently "If I had, I sure as hell wouldn't be discussing it with you over the kitchen table, grandma!!" 

And people wonder where I get it from.  You should meet my mom.  Especially after a few drinks.

Anyhow, I have decided I need to be me.  I like being me.  I hope you like me being me too.  If not, then maybe I'll lose a few followers.  I'm okay with that.  I'm betting I'll get some really interesting new ones.  So, here goes.

No. 1.  I swear.  I swear all the fucking time.  I don't think there's anything wrong with cursing.  I'll damper it back around kids and the elderly and usually my boss but on the whole I don't see anything wrong with swearing.  I'd rather not hear a two year old screaming out "fuck!" but it is just a word.  I don't do it so much in writing because it's more to convey the passion or energy of a moment and you can do that more effectively with the written word than is conveyed by the verbal.  When speaking, it gets people's attention.  I hope you're not offended but if you are, I don't see how that should be a problem for me.  Particularly if your reasons for being offended are "it's not ladylike" or any variety thereof because that is bullshit.  If you don't have a problem with a man doing it, you shouldn't have a problem with me doing it. 

No. 2.  This is what I started to write about this morning.  I am a big fan of a series of books by Laurell K. Hamilton, the Anita Blake series.  When the series first started, they were supernatural/horror/mystery.  As the series, and the characters evolved, the series morphed into supernatural/horror/mystery/sex/blood/violence/more sex/magic/bondage/a whole lot more sex of the multiple partner variety/death.  Many many many many people do not like her books, in large part because Americans are weird about sex.  The author notes that in Europe they complain about her books being too violent, but in America all the questions are about the sex.  Including whether the author is drawing from personal experience.  I'm fine with these books not being something most people I know would read.  This series is by no means all I read, but I also rarely read anything outside of a classroom that could be remotely considered literature.  I like mysteries and the supernatural.  They're usually not in Oprah's bookclub. 

Once the author started getting really big, they stepped up the cover art.  And on several books in the middle of the series, the ones most heavily sexual, the cover art looks like this:

Fairly tame, really -- see one of the covers below for her Merry Gentry series, which I also really enjoy -- but also kind of a conversation starter.  "What'cha reading?"  "It's part of a series I really like.  I'm on the one where the main character has just become a succubus due to the vampire powers she has from her one boyfriend so since she now has to feed daily on sex she's moved in her two other boyfriends, both wereleopards, and then this bad vampire has come to town and she needs more energy so she's had to leave the ballet to have sex in the limo with two of her boyfriend's lesser vampires but then her friend Jason -- he's a werewolf -- feels left out so...." 

Not a conversation I like to have with the waitress who will be bringing me my sandwich.  Which is basically what I found amusing the other day:  I found myself pulling off the dust jacket of Incubus Dreams, one of the covers above, because I was going out to lunch.  It wasn't so much that I would have felt embarrassed if any of the nice girls or patrons at the sushi place noticed it, but more than I didn't want to embarrass them.   But then I realized that if they had a problem with it, then it was their problem to deal with not mine.  It's not like I'm going to lean over and start summarizing plot details for anyone.  Unless they asked, of course. 

So, there you have it.  Magic would be pretty cool but I don't want to drink somebody's blood or have orgies or raise zombies or beat someone with a whip or become a vampire or a were-anything, although I don't care if somebody else does and I do like to read about it on a fictional level.  If it's well written with good character development.  Hey, I have standards.

No. 3.  I am an atheist.  That's almost harder to write down than No. 2 above.  Most people will forgive a lot of your freakishness but not believing in God, well.  That's a sin, man, and you're going straight to hell. 

I won't elaborate (much) on my atheism except to say that yes, I do not believe in God, whatever flavor.  My parents never went to church so I wasn't raised from birth in any faith.  When I was about ten or eleven, I went to a couple of different churches with a friend.  Sang in the choir, did vacation bible school, the whole nine yards.  But I never saw the point.  I believe you should do good things and not do bad things.  I do not believe you need someone (usually a man) to tell you that once a week from a position above you.   I don't agree with some things that others have labeled as bad.  I do not believe I need or have some outside thing guiding me or strengthening me.  Or punishing me.  I do just fine with all of that on my own. 

But part of my own personal beliefs is that everyone is free to do as they wish as long as no one else is harmed.  So while it freaks me about when my nieces swing on the swings and sing songs about Jesus (I remember singing about Muskrat Love and Disco Duck), I will sit down and have them teach me the words to their songs so I can sing with them if that's what they want.  I don't like that they go to a private church school because I do not believe it gives the kids a choice, but that decision is their parents.  I read several blogs where the blogger's faith is an integral part of who they are and how they live.  I respect and admire that, I truly do.  It even seems enviable to me some times, having that kind of belief in something beyond yourself that, in my opinion, could not possibly exist.  But they tell me that's why it's called faith. 

So there, I'm done.  All my warts exposed.  (No, RG, not that kind!)  If any of the foregoing, particularly the last one, triggers in you a need to save me from my swearing, sex-obsessed atheist self, well, I'd rather you didn't.  We'll just agree to disagree and I promise my future posts won't be full of number two and I won't diss God.  Can't promise anything on the swearing though. 

the CilleyGirl

Back off track

Now that I finally have the time and the inclination (and the weather) to run.... my back goes out.  Of course.  I wish I could pull out my spine and give it a good shake like a whip, get all the kinks out.  At least the physical ones.  Pretty sure the mental kinks are here to stay.

Ah well.  Wouldn't have it any other way.

the CilleyGirl

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday checky check check

I have no motivation these days and I'm strangely okay with that.  Forgot to weigh in again this morning.  Didn't seem like a big deal when I did remember.  Slept eleven hours Friday night and over twelve hours Saturday night.  It's hard to get ready for bed at 10:30 at night when you just got up at 2:30 that afternoon.  I was getting the urge to go running or to the gym but then didn't and my reaction to all of that is just "meh." 

I think I'm still recovering, mentally and physically, from stuffing about three months worth of work and energy into three weeks.  I did make a reservation this morning for my first camping trip in maybe three years.  The idea of lazing around in the woods (Gifford Pinchot forest in Washington, my favorite place to camp) all by myself for a couple of days sounds fabulous. 

I need to start running again, if only not to lose all of the fitness I built up for the marathon.  I did check my running league stats and I am waaaay ahead in points.  The next race is one I'd like to do but this year it's on a Wednesday.  Who thought that was a good idea?  I'll have to take the afternoon off if I do do it.  Maybe I'll flip a coin....

Cheers (in a disconnected, ambiguous but good ambiguous sort of way),
the CilleyGirl

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Now that I no longer have a gigantic BBQ on my deck, it can actually be used as a deck.  This weekend I found a nice, inexpensive patio set that actually fits on the deck.  There are even two more chairs I'm putting in storage if they're needed later.  A couple of strings of lights and a citronella candle later, voila!  A deck I can actually use.

I had my lunch out there today (pork, pork, and more pork) and read my book until it got hotter outside than it was inside.  Oh, I also got the little square plate as well, just $1 each at Walmart in these pretty bright summer colors and as technically salad plates they are a nice size for controlling portion size. 

Now, who wants to come over for dinner?

the CilleyGirl

Friday, July 9, 2010

I can fill that bag with my blood in six minutes or less. Top that!

If you follow me on facebook or the twitter, you know that today I did something that was personally very scary:  I donated blood for the very first time.

I'm a universal donor and have always been pretty healthy (cyberchondria aside), but with a fairly serious fear of needles until a few years ago I've never donated.  And as a universal donor and pretty healthy person, I've always felt guilty about that.  I've never needed blood myself but several of my family members have and, again, universal donor here. 

My fear of needles wasn't nearly as bad as my fear of heights or sharks (another random fact about me -- I'd be perfectly happy if sharks disappeared from the planet), so I worked at it and became rational about being jabbed.  However, I still get antsy when I have a needle in me for any length of time.  Like for a blood draw; after about a minute, I get panicky and just want it out. 

But today, it was as if karma was tapping me on the shoulder, telling me I was lopsided in this particular area.  I usually don't go out for lunch, but today I did.  When I do go to lunch, I usually don't go into LO proper, but today I did.  I went that way to go to a place to which I'd only been to once before. 

I haven't worked anywhere in at least ten years (when I was still needle phobic) where they would have had a blood drive in the office and I don't have kids in school and I don't go to church so it's been a decade since I would have had a passive opportunity to donate.  This was the first time I've ever seen sandwich-board type signs out on the street advertising a blood drive, plus they had handwritten signs on top of those saying walk-in donors were needed.  I always figured you had to make an appointment.

I hadn't eaten much all day so I was fairly hungry on my way to lunch.  I knew I couldn't donate on an empty stomach -- I get dizzy and nauseous from a simple blood draw -- so I went and ate and forgot all about it.  As I was leaving the restaurant, something reminded me about it; I don't even know what but it popped back into my head:  You thought about donating. 

So I got into my car and I called the office to see if anyone else there had ever donated because my first question was whether I could do this quickly and get back to work.  Only one of three had ever donated before and that had been a long time ago; apparently if you've been to the UK between 1980 and I think 1997 you can't donate because you might have Mad Cow (I gave my coworker a hard time about that one.  Mooooo!) and she had been there during that time period.  My boss okayed me going if it wouldn't take all that long so off I went to the church to ask the Red Cross folks how long it would take.

They said it would take about an hour.  It actually took closer to two, mainly because I was a first-time donor and you have to get all the initial paperwork done.  I did all the paperwork, took the quiz confirming that I am a very boring person who has never travelled outside of the U.S. and Canada, never had sex for money, and never drank the blood of any one from Africa or one who has been there lately.  At least, on the latter two never in the past 12 months which was the only time frame they were concerned about.  Hey, some things have to remain a mystery, right?  I laughed when my protein count came back a full point higher than what they needed.  I said, I've been eating a lot of meat lately. 

They have these cool lawn chair kind of things that they set you up in.  Either end can recline depending on which arm you are donating from.  I had them check before they got me set up because I was hoping I wouldn't have to do my right arm (I'm right handed) and I've been told I have crappy veins.  The phlebotomist confirmed that yes, I have crappy veins but there was a somewhat decent one.... on my right arm.  Meh. 

Usually they prop you up but for the newbies like me they want to have you lying down in case you have an adverse reaction.  I've had my blood pressure completely bottom out before when I was propped up so I would have asked to lie down even if they hadn't suggested it.  (All I wanted to do when I started to crash that time was to lay down and that was hard enough with a tiny IV in one arm.)  They vamped me up and off we went.  Or off I went.  The very butch phlebotomist (Marge) told me that I filled my bag in five minutes and change.  I felt special, but boy did it seem like much longer than that.  Like 30 minutes versus five. 

Towards the end I started to feel a tiny bit lightheaded but it wasn't until Marge switched out the bag for the vacutainers (they have to do six) that my antsiness started to kick in and I wanted that needle out of me NOW.  I had also just noticed that the thing out of the corner of my eye was a big loop of tubing full of my blood.  Blood doesn't squick me out or anything, but it made the NEEDLE OUT NOW feeling really hard to ignore.  Lots of and lots of deep breathing at this point, the dizziness and nausea kicked up to a worrisome level.  It felt like it took forever for her to finish and get the needle out. 

I guess I looked a little off at that point because I kept getting asked if I were alright, cold towels for my forehead and neck, admonishments to not close my eyes.  The last one was tough to do, not because I was going to pass out but because the flourescent (if that's spelled wrong, sorry) lights were very bright as it was and my dizziness made them seem even brighter plus it helped me to concentrate on just breathing.  In case you can't guess by now, this is another reason why it took closer to two hours.  They had me down flat for 15 minutes, then propped me up a bit for another five and brought me juice, then up for a bit more for another five with more juice and another cold cloth.  I have to say, everyone was amazing.  I know that passing out, particularly under those circumstances can signal something really dangerous and bad is going on with your body, but most people do not and therefore do not take it seriously.  They all took it very seriously but also worked hard to put me at ease. 

Overall, I'm glad I did it and I'd do it again.  Somebody could be getting my blood right now.  Well, maybe not right now -- they have to do tests and stuff for hepatitis and AIDS and so forth -- but soon.  So if you need blood and then you start feeling cilley, you know who to blame thank. 

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beef. It's what's for breakfast.

Now just change that "beef" to "beer" and you've got my college days!

I wouldn't want to be one of those who does nothing but recite what she ate each and every day -- no one should unless you've got a cooking blog or something like that -- but for those who might want to try paleo, here's what I had yesterday:

Morning - Beef (london broil - yum!) and a banana.

Afternoon - Grilled pork (double yum, and so tender) and fresh raspberries.  An amazingly tasty combo.

Evening - Romaine with crab and a pear gorgonzola dressing, mushrooms (sauteed in a little butter and garlic), steamed broccoli (boring on its own, one of those foods that I don't hate but I have to make myself eat, so I started eating it with a little crab and the dressing from the salad and it was pretty good), a banana, and some raw almonds.

The Radioactive Girl commented that you can forget to eat when on a high protein diet and she's right.  As I said yesterday, I'm inclined just to graze.  Or hunt and gather when I get hungry, maybe that's more accurate.  I had brought the salad and some grapes yesterday for lunch too but when I pulled it all out it seemed like much too much food so I stuck with only the pork and the berries.  I did need more protein in the evening though; was a bit hungry when I went to bed.  And I definitely need to toast those almonds.  I don't seem to like raw almonds.

Well, if you're still with me after all that or if you've just skipped over it all, how about a Totally Random Thursday?  Where I tell you waaaay too much information about myself and you pretend I didn't.  Yippee!

Random Fact No. 1:  I share a birthday with both John Cleese and Sylvia Plath.  I think that explains quite a lot about me.

Random Fact No. 2:  My birthday is on the 300th day of the year in a regular year.  It's pretty cool.

Random Fact No. 3:  I was born on a Tuesday, and Tuesday is my favorite day. 

Random Fact No. 4:  No, I don't know why this is all birthday skewed, it's not for another three months.  Maybe it's because I have cake on the brain and as we all know birthday cake has no calories.  (Negative calories if it's your own birthday cake.)

Random Fact No. 5:  I hate situation comedies.  What I mean by that is I hate things -- books, TV, movies, plays, what have you -- that are premised on people who won't open their damn mouths and explain things and so you have this great misunderstanding and hilarity ensues.  Or murder and death.  Take your pick.  Because it really can switch so quickly between the two.  Be honest with people.  Don't wonder whether so and so is mad at you or pregnant with Skip's baby or thinks you are pregnant with Skip's baby.  Go over there and fucking ask, or ask if you need to impart some information about yourself.  Saves a whole lot of time.

Random Fact No. 6:  Random Fact No. 5 could be why I don't have a lot of friends over the long haul.  Hey, is my bluntness pissing anybody off?  If so, tell me.  If you don't (or won't) tell me, you're going to have to deal with it on your own.  Sorry.

Random Fact No. 7:  I have a hard time choosing a favorite color.  To the point where if you held a gun to my head I probably still couldn't decide.  I do have favorite colors I like to wear, favorite colors for painting a wall, favorite color to see in the night sky or in a sunset, that kind of stuff, but nothing overall that makes me all tingly. 

Random Fact No. 8:  I have two tattoos.  One is a scorpion on my thigh and the other is a sun/moon design on my right shoulder.  I'd like to get a third and I know what I want to get, but in the back of my mind are two other tats I'd like to get and I'm concerned I might go in for a third and end up with five.  Plus I haven't found an artist I like.  Plus I keep wanting to get them all on the right side of my body for some reason and after a while that's just going to look odd.  But it was my left ear I had double-pierced. 

Random Fact No. 9:  I completely forgot I hadn't posted this yet.  And I've forgotten about the other facts that I thought about adding in later since I'd already posted it.  So......

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rooty tooty fresh and fruity hot patootie stay humble stay low blow like hootie shoop shoobie doobie

There's about four songs in there.  Gives you an example of my mental state.

I'm back!!!  Mostly alive, not entirely of sound mind, body is so-so.  How is everyone?  I had four lovely days of sleeping many, many hours and reading many, many hours.  Then I cleaned my house.  I'm ready for another four days of sleeping and reading.

Before things got too insane at the office, I was trying out the paleo diet for about a week.  For those not familiar, you're eating lean meats, fish, most nuts, most veggies, and fruit.  No dairy, grains, sugar, or legumes.  Starches like corn, peas, green beans, and potatos (all kinds) are out.  No cured meats like bacon, ham, or deli meat.  Honey is okay.  Cheating on this diet is encouraged.  I like the meat and the cheat parts the best.  I'm moving back towards being on paleo again.

It's kind of odd to have meat for breakfast that isn't bacon or sausage.  I had shrimp for breakfast a few times, this morning I had beef (London broil -- it was tasty).  Dairy is the hardest thing for me to cut out; I like my cheese.  But you can cheat, as long as cheating isn't the norm, so I can still have cheese.  Some folks are paleo plus cheese.  Weirdly, grains like wheat are the easiest to avoid.  When I think about chowing down on stuff, I usually think meat.  Most people think bread.  I always had to make a conscious effort to eat grains. 

Getting a variety of fruit and veg is a little difficult for me.  I have fruit issues.  Mostly involving bugs and mold, but many involving the ease of access to a fruit.  As in, I either don't know what to do with it (peaches still mystify me unless they're out of a can) or I don't want to bother to take the time (oranges).  I love apples but you either have to hold it the entire time as you eat it, or you have to cut it up which takes time plus the flesh turns brown. 

See, issues. 

Today I have grapes (good for easy fruit access, although you have to pay attention that you don't pull them off with stem still attached, which annoys me) and raspberries (if I don't eat them today I'll end up throwing them out for fear that they have bugs and/or mold).  A romaine salad topped with crab.  Grilled boneless pork loin chops. 

I find I graze more with this than anything else I've done previously.  You think at first that you'll need more than a serving of beef for breakfast, but I nibbled on that for at least an hour and wasn't hungry for a couple hours more after that.  I'm sitting here now thinking about breaking for lunch (as in, actually eating food) but I'm just not all that hungry still.  But I have a good book to read so I guess I'll nibble some more.

And maybe go look up the warning signs of protein overdose again. 

the CilleyGirl

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I made it through June!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday weekend (although if you're in, say, England it's probably not much of a holiday there -- more like a happy we kicked your asses day!).  Today was my first day of not being at work in 25 long, long, long, lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg days.  I'm starting to decompress and hope to be back with some exciting and cilley words on Monday.  Until then---

the CilleyGirl