Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Baby Boot Camp, Day 2

Another reasonably good day. I subbed for half the day, which was a blast, and went to zumba. Here's the report:
  • Log food — check! I barely reached my calorie limit. And had lots of fiber. (Raw almonds, yay!)
  • Cardio — check! I returned to zumba, to great triumph. Though . . . the Italian Spitfire wasn't there, a sub is never as fun, and I hurt my knee again during the "Swing your partner 'round and 'round" stanza of "Timber"; the Fit Blondie swings very vigorously. Later, Front Row Kristen said, "Well, that's really running; if you've got runner's knee, you probably shouldn't do that part," and I think she's right. But I iced my knee and took Motrin and this morning it feels fine.
  • Core work — sadly, I did not do this. Meant to but didn't. I'll push myself today.
  • Physical therapy — half a check. I did stretch my quads and calves but didn't do the other stuff.
(No weights, because I give myself a day off to let the muscles repair.)

I got to report a 1.5-pound weight loss on Fat Secret, and that was nice. I'm now trying to psych myself into taking a walk before my dentist appointment at 9:30, but I'm so frustrated by my ancient computer, and trying to price airplane tickets on my ancient computer, I don't feel motivated to do anything.

(I'm also trying not to be mad at my brothers, or to think things like "I was just out there, one of you hasn't been home in two years" and "I have two children who are deeply involved in school activities," which neither of them can say, and "My income has to stretch over four people" — again, just me. But there is nothing to be gained in expecting more from them than they are willing to give, and the sooner I make my peace with that, the better. I need to do what I think is right and accept that they might be by my side and they might not.)

(Not quite there yet, but that's what I'm working on.)

Dad meets with the chemo doc today and the radiation doc tomorrow. On Monday, Mom reports that he walked from the car, across the parking lot, and into CVS to pick up his new glasses (then came home and slept for the rest of the day), and on Tuesday he pulled together all the financial records Mom needs now (including his will), so he's not just sitting in his chair rotting, which is great news.

Writing about this has made me feel agitated, so I guess I will go walk it off. Dentist appointment, haircut, committee meeting — big day ahead! I shall go seize it.

Again, thanks for all your calls and e-mails and offers of help and support — I appreciate it more than I can say. Can I trade my brothers for you guys????

(Zen, baby, zen. I breathe in peace and acceptance, I breathe out discouragement.)

— Lady C

Monday, April 28, 2014

Baby Boot Camp, Day 1


I tried to be mindful all day. I feel so out of shape, out of sorts, out of practice, but I'm determined to get back in gear and back on track. Let's see how I did, shall we?
  • Life weights — check! With my 3-pound weights, I did 55 bicep curls, 35 side arm extensions, 55 triceps curls, and 20 lying-down side arm extensions. ("Side arm extensions" is probably not an official term, but I know what I mean.) I also did 25 wall push-ups.
  • Core work — check! But I had just eaten dinner, so I only did 15 throw-downs. And screamed during the last two. Li'l Martini, at his computer, commented, "You're screaming and it's annoying." Li'l pisher.
  • Cardio — check! I walked down Heart Attack Hill and back up again, carrying two heavy-ish bags of groceries. (Apples! Onions! A Pound-Plus candy bar for HoneyBear, whose 13th birthday is tomorrow!) And my knee whimpered a little but less than it did the last time I climbed this hill, and I was definitely faster — more like a pert young coed sloth than a matriarch sloth. Progress!
  • Physical therapy — check! Mimosa was my witness; I laid on my bed next to her and lifted my knee up and down while she watched The Colbert Report. The quad stretch in particular really helps my knee — I feel like I could zumba for hours after I do that one. I should do it 20 times a day.
  • Log my food — check! I went slightly over my calorie limit for today (the huge handful of cashews I had as a pre-lunch snack . . . 10 million calories!! Who knew??), but only slightly. Also, my day started with a breakfast date with Kind Tina, and I was hard-pressed to think of a low-calorie option at Bagels By US. Tomorrow will be better!
In other news, thank you all so much for your kind notes about my dad, whether here on my blog or privately. I was so encouraged by how robust and normal he sounded on Friday, but then I talked to him yesterday and he sounded terrible. It took me a while to place who he reminded me of, and then I got it:

Not. Good.

I feel like I need to get home now, to go to doctors with them, give Mom a break, keep Dad's spirits up, and help ease them into the next phase in their lives: chemo, radiation, and round-the-clock care. But I priced plane tickets and almost fell over — the soonest and cheapest I could find was $425 on May 29. I e-mailed my brothers to ask if either of them could get home sooner than that, but I haven't heard anything yet (which, given my brothers, is not a huge surprise; they'll do what they can, but I'm not counting on them for much).

When Mom and I talk tonight, I'll ask her to tell me honestly what she wants me to do, and if she really wants me to come home now, of course I will cough up $600+. Of course!! But I can't help swooning over the cost of it all.

In addition, as any parent of school-age children knows, May is the busiest freaking month of the school year, and my kids are performing or auditioning or doing something every blessed weekend. But again — we will deal. 

Concentrating on working toward good health and finding a new job and writing new chapters of my next novel — these are all good and worthwhile distractions. And honestly, my friends, I really want to be distracted right now — I don't want to talk too much about my dad. So please don't be hurt if I don't pick up the phone or call you back. This is what I need to do, at least for now.

So! I'm going to take a hot shower and put on my flannel nightie and hunker down in my comfy green chair with a stack of library books, and Husband will bring me coffee, and I will try to resist the delicious brownies Mimosa made for dinner. (I had a small one.)

One day at a time.

Love and gratitude to you all,

Lady C

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Stuck Like a Dope With a Thing Called Hope

Ugh, I don't want to write this post.

My beloved dad went to the hospital via ambulance Monday night; he came home on Friday. He's been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, two marble-sized tumors in his brain, which are inoperable.

Ugh ugh ugh.

On the bright side (where I live), "inoperable" doesn't mean "untreatable," and he's planning to go forward with treatment. I talked to him just after he got home, and he sounded great — a little hazy (he didn't get much sleep) but like himself, his customary dry, deadpan wit intact. Example:
  • Me: Did you kiss your chair before you fell into it?
  • Dad: I didn't think of it. I kissed the car, though. Or the chauffeur. I kissed something.
He's had two transfusions, Mom says his color is great, and his kidney functioning (which had been pretty tweaked) is now practically normal. He says he feels fine, and his appetite seems to be back; he spoke with great enthusiasm about his upcoming fish 'n' chips dinner, and with great disgust about the swill served to him in the hospital ("What could they possibly do to tomato soup to make it so utterly tasteless?"). When he talks about his diagnosis, he sounds calm and stoic and ready to get it done.

Mom, in contrast, is a wreck. She never handles stress well and has a tendency to make any situation all about her. These are the times when it's excruciating to be 3,000 miles away.

Martini and I are scheduled to come out in late August, but I suspect I won't wait till then for a return visit. I wish I could magically be there right now, as they adjust to this new phase in their lives. (The hospital visit was precipitated by a seizure, so Dad can't be left alone now, ever, and scheduling 24-7 care will be the next challenge.)

(Of course, Mom responded to this news by saying dolefully, "I guess I'll never leave the house again . . ." Yes, Drama Queen, that's exactly right. I'm trying to cut her some slack, but her martyr role is the one that drives me most crazy.)

I may well be Cleopatra, Queen of Denial, but I'm choosing to look on the bright side of life until I can't any longer. I've heard of lots of people with inoperable brain cancer; the brain is tricky and can be challenging to operate on. My Aunt Di had Stage 4 cancer last year and is now cancer-free. None of this is necessarily a death sentence. Or an immediate death sentence, anyway. So let's dig deep, get through chemo (which is going to suck — my dad hates throwing up, hates it hates it hates it), get through radiation, and get to the other side, that's what I say.

Any prayers, good wishes, vibes, or virtual strength you can send to my family would be most appreciated.

In weight-loss news, I quickly dispatched the five extra Meryl pounds I brought home (Bugles and sangria were simply short-term visitors) and tried to resume some good habits this week. I got back on Fat Secret and logged a few of my meals, and took my first walk since my knee injury — down Cardiac Crest to Trader Joe's and back up again. My knee protested loudly and I was as slow as a matriarch sloth (Mimosa pranced ahead like a frisky colt), but I made it — and wasn't any more crippled the next day than I am any morning. I'm hoping to do a Beginners' Boot Camp next week, when zumba resumes (this week was April vacation; no zumba but lots of fun with my kids): zumba, weights, physical therapy, core work, log my food, keep my calories low. It's a crazybusy week, though; we'll see how it plays out.

Love and strength to everyone this morning! I got it in spades.

— Lady C

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Is That a Leaf? Or a Dead Guy?"

Our Meryl Streep Film and Hot Tub Festival got off to a slightly rocky start when Dreama, Stony-Faced Front Desk Girl, informs us that the hot tub is already closed. "Closed?" Brunie asks, blankly. "It's just next to the pool, isn't it? How can it be closed?" Dreama explains that it's run by another facility, which chose to close early for Easter. Brunie mutters some things about how Jesus would want her to sit in a hot tub, stupid Easter, mutter, mutter, and we decide to hit the on-site bar before even emptying the car.

After several beers / glasses of Chardonnay, an appetizer, salads, and an entree (and at least one of us had already consumed a full Easter dinner), I point out that we've been here two hours already, have seen exactly zero Meryl Streep nor soaked in a hot tub, our only goals for the weekend, and yet we've managed to both eat and drink. Yeah, that's us.

Brunie felt bad for being so testy with Dreama, so we stopped at the front desk so she could apologize. Dreama was very nice and forgiving and then said, "I'm not really supposed to do this . . ." and she reached under the counter to get something. We perked right up, expecting vouchers for free drinks, but no: She gave us flyers for a product she sells to whittle away unwanted body fat. Maybe she wasn't so nice and forgiving?

Our room temperature is set at 65. The thermostat implies that we have some control over this, but I press and press the down arrow and nothing happens. I call Dreama and explain exactly what the situation is (i.e., "Can you turn the thermostat down from your end? I can't seem to do it") and she sends up a maintenance man . . . who tells me that the temperature is fixed, no one can change it.
  • Me to Brunie: Words fail me . . . and yet I keep using them.
6:27 p.m., Ironweed
  • Me: Did you read this book? I read one chapter.
  • Brunie: I saw the cover.
We decide that we'll give it till 7 to grab us . . .
  • Me: But I'm already dug in, you're not pulling me away.
Opening shot of a windy vacant lot, lots of leaves blowing around.
  • Brunie: Is that a dead guy?
  • Me: It's a leaf.
Jack Nicholson smashes an empty bottle against a fence.
  • Brunie: If the bottle's empty, what good is it?
  • Me: I'll drink to that, dead guy.
7:23 p.m.
  • Brunie: I hate this movie.
  • Me: Yeah, it's terrible.
7:24 p.m., Lions for Lambs

Two soldiers are playing a slap game; one holds his hands up and the other guy tries to slap one.

  • Me: Why don't we play that game?
  • Brunie: You can't play it as slowly as we'd need to play it.

  • Government Official Tom Cruise: "Do you remember how petrified we were at what our enemies might do for an encore? And how all at once everything was at risk? Families, friends, the kindergartens, the rivers and bridges, nuclear plants."
  • Me: Families, friends, kindergartners and bridges? That's how your list goes?
  • Brunie: Don't forget rivers.

  • Tom Cruise: "Every day in life, genocide happens."
  • Me: I don't do genocide.
  • Brunie: It's not even one of my hobbies.
  • Me: I don't even do it by accident.
8:27 p.m., we establish the 30-minute rule: We give every movie at least 30 minutes, but after that anyone can call it and we switch to a new movie.
  • Me: Want to make the coffee?
  • Brunie: It's not my best thing . . .
  • Me: Oh, God, right. Back away.

(You cannot believe how thoroughly she clogged our coffeemaker in Mankato.)

8:30 p.m., Adaptation

Brunie knows she's seen it and loved it but doesn't remember a thing about it. She named this as one of the three movies she's most excited to see. Nonetheless, she's asleep within minutes. I watch till the bitter end. Great movie!!!

10:37 p.m., Rendition

Brunie stirs.
  • Me: Do you have any closing words for this evening?
  • Brunie: I did it all for Meryl! Wait, you're watching another movie? What's this one called, again?
  • Me: Um — People With Accents Doing Things in a Country That Might Not Be America.
  • Brunie: Oh, yeah, I hated that one.
Jake Gyllenhaal is onscreen with a scantily clad woman .
  • Me: This is our second Gyllenhaal movie. Are we accidentally having a Gyllenhaal film festival?
  • Brunie: Ten to one, that girl's a whore.
  • Me: So, this is our third whore movie.
I watch the whole thing. Lights out at 12:30. Nighty-night!


5:45 a.m., Brunie rises. We sleepily wave at each other.
  • Brunie: OK, what's the trick to making coffee?
  • Me: Make sure the water is cold. The machine is somewhat hysterical on the topic.
  • Brunie: Like the room, I fear the water only goes to 65.
Brunie promptly spills her coffee all over the floor and ejaculates, "Sh*t f*ck sh*t!" (She requested "ejaculates" as her verb.)
  • Me: I think you have a drinking problem.
  • Brunie: It's scary how filthy the floor was before I spilled coffee on it.
  • Me: Did you request the room with no fridge, a filthy floor . . .
  • Brunie: . . . no bathtub . . .
  • Me: . . . and a thermostat that, like me, doesn't go down?

  • Brunie: So, did you watch Rendition?
  • Me: Oh, yeah, wait till you see my re-enactment. I slept through a lot of it.
  • Brunie: Can't wait. I love a plot hole!
6:12 a.m., The Devil Wears Prada
  • Brunie: I'm moving your stuff so I can sit in this chair; it has a better view.
  • Me: Of me?
Brunie gets ice and drops the bucket.
  • Me: Do you have a tremor?
  • Brunie: Yes, when you're near me.

  • Scary Prada Boss Lady Meryl: "Everyone wants this. Everyone wants to be us."
  • Brunie: Think how exhausting it would be to be her.
  • Me: It's exhausting enough to be me — and I'm not even dressed!
8:38 a.m., closing credits of Prada
  • Me: She should win every Oscar.
  • Brunie: She should win the Nobel Prize for awesomeness.
  • Me: Who won that last year?
  • Brunie: I think God.
  • Me: Again?
Decision time: Hot tub or Doubt? We decide that Doubt should be discussed in a hot tub.
  • Brunie: Is it too early to drink? 
  • Me: Isn't sangria a morning drink?
9:08 a.m., Doubt
  • Brunie: Where is my glass?
  • Me: I don't — wait, why do I have it? What happened last night???
And yes, Brunie has a drink.

  • Sister Meryl: "Sugar?"
  • Father Phillip Seymour Hoffman: "Yes, please."
  • Sister Meryl: "One lump?"
  • Father Phillip Seymour Hoffman: "Three."
  • Me: Poofta.
  • Brunie: Seriously.
  • Me: "I take my tea black — like my altar boys."
10:28 a.m., Viola Davis's scene, we are wrecked.
  • Brunie: We should write to Meryl and tell her about our weekend. We should take a picture of ourselves after each movie.
  • Me: This is our Doubt face. Wahhhhh!
I pour a drink.
  • Sister Meryl (to Father Phillip): "Cut your nails!"
  • Me: Drink your tea black like a man!
  • Brunie: Get rid of that ballpoint pen!
  • Me: A granite stick was good enough for Jesus!
Father Phillip says that everyone has a purpose.
  • Me: A special purpose!
Brunie guffaws.
  • Me: If I never saw a movie, I wouldn't have a thing to say.
Here is Brunie, post-Doubt:

We go to the hot tub, where I recount Rendition in graphic detail. No one says a word to us. Was it the water-boarding, you think? Wussies.
  • Me: Not one person we've met this weekend has had an iota of interest in us.
  • Brunie: It's New Hampshire. The state motto is "Fuck off."
  • Me: "Live free or fuck off"?
  • Brunie: Exactly.
12:20 p.m., A Prairie Home Companion
  • Me: On the Hope Scale, as in, what are your hopes for this movie from 1 to 10, where are you? I'm a 5.
  • Brunie: I'm a 7.2.
Meryl and Kevin Kline are briefly onscreen together.
  • Me: Swoon!
  • Brunie: Sophie's Choice next.
  • Me: FOR SURE.
12:50 p.m.
  • Me: When's Tommy Lee Jones showing up?
  • Brunie: I'm not waiting around for him.
12:52 p.m. We're calling it. It's not terrible, just very plot-less, and we have other great stuff to watch.
  • Brunie: Room-service Reubens?
  • Me: It seems really wrong to eat a Reuben while watching Sophie's Choice.

  • Brunie (on phone with room service): No, we have plenty to drink.
  • Me: That's why we're ordering room service. It's our service to the city of New Hampshire.
  • Brunie: The city of . . . ? Yeah, you're not driving anywhere.

1:08 p.m., Julie and Julia (our amuse bouche while we eat)

Our second Stanley Tucci movie! Our second Amy Adams movie! Though Brunie insists that we forward through the whiny Amy Adams parts.
  • Brunie: Do you need more hooch?
  • Me: I'm afraid I do.
  • Brunie: Do you need more self-control?

1:41, Sophie's Choice
  • Brunie: Call me Speedo . . .
 We watch crazy Kevin Kline in enraptured silence for 20 minutes.
  • Me: He is so my perfect man — which is all kinds of wrong.
  • Brunie: No, he's dreamy in this movie.
  • Me: A sociopath.
  • Brunie: Yes, but.
Sociopath Nathan sees Sophie's concentration camp tattoo.
  • Brunie: "We are perfect for each other."

  • Me: We are Nathan to the NEWBETSYs. We bring the party.
  • Brunie: And the crazy.
  • Me: See, you have to take it to the dark place. You are dark Nathan. I am bubbly Nathan.
  • Brunie: I am bubbly as a mo-fo!
3:41, Brunie determines that there are 40 minutes of horror left and she can't take any more. She flees to the hot tub. But I'm here for you, Sophie.

4:13: Took post-Sophie selfie:

4:28 p.m., Brunie returns, wet and glowing.
  • Me: How was the hot tub population?
  • Brunie: Just me and an obese Japanese woman.
  • Me: Interesting. They are usually a tiny people. Maybe she was a sumo wrestler?
  • Brunie: I should have asked. People love it when you take an interest.
  • Me: Yes, that has surely been the theme of our weekend thus far.
 4:33, Prime (we need to shovel off the heavy)
  • Wacky Friend Guy: "It's like Learn Your Fuckin' Lesson Day around here."
  • Me: When's that day again? I always miss it.
Brunie does not like the ending, but otherwise — what a surprisingly delightful little movie!

We determine that we're not hungry yet, despite having only half a Reuben apiece for lunch. True, we've been grazing lightly on our snack selection: Bugles, Cheetos, 40% Reduced Fat Lay's Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, and Twizzlers . . .

6:16 p.m., Silkwood
  • Brunie: Next year we're doing this with Kurt Russell movies.
  • Me: We start with The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.
  • Brunie: Or we could just watch Overboard six times. OR have a Band of Naked Brothers marathon.
(I once said that Dennis Quaid, Kurt Russell, and Patrick Swayze should play brothers in a movie. Brunie said, "Yeah — naked brothers." After Swayze died, God rest his soul, we swapped in Jeff Bridges.)

Oh, man, I love this movie. I still maintain that it's Meryl's best performance — the one where she disappears most completely into a character. It's all Karen Silkwood, Meryl doesn't live here any more.

8:30 p.m., I put clothes on for the first time today, and we go to dinner at the on-site restaurant, where Brunie reads the notes I've taken thus far.
  • Brunie: It's like I was almost there!
  • Me: You were almost there for a lot of it.
Brunie orders bruschetta, and our sweet addled server looks deeply lost. Brunie points to it on the menu.
  • Addled Server: Oh . . . OK . . . I know what that is.
  • Brunie (kindly): Do you have to cook it too?
9:38 p.m., we go outside for our first breath of fresh air of the day. Of course, there are two smokers near us, so our "fresh" air is somewhat compromised. I shake my head and scowl, Brunie is less judgey.
  • Brunie: Karen Silkwood smoked, and it ended great for her.
  • Me: I think you saw the Phoebe Buffay version of Silkwood.
  • Brunie: Yes, and in Adaptation, she and Chris Cooper plant orchids together forever.
  • Me: I'd forgotten how dark that movie was.
  • Brunie: Which movie of those we've seen so far had the happiest ending?
  • Me: Julie and Julia, because we got a Reuben.
9:48, The River Wild

[Opening music plays]
  • Me: Is that a hymn?
  • Brunie: It's an Irish folk song.
  • Me: Well, we sing it in church.
  • Brunie: Apparently when you're UU, "Irish" is a faith.
  • Me: Yeah, like Goth.
Kevin Bacon is charming to Meryl's young son.
  • Brunie: He's adorable. Too bad he's a psycho.
  • Me: Maybe it'll go another way this time. Maybe it'll be The River Mild.
Brunie's asleep within the hour. I put on another movie.

11:30 p.m., Dark Matter. Kind of.


7 a.m., we're awake. This is a bit of a lie-in for both of us.
  • Me: You know what movie made no sense? Dark Matter.
  • Brunie: Yeah, what was that about?
  • Me: I have no idea.
  • Brunie: Were you asleep?
  • Me: Yeah, but even asleep, I could do a decent recap of Rendition!
As of 7:34 a.m. on our final day, the bag of grapes Brunie brought has yet to be opened.  But there's still sangria in the bottle, we're calling it a win.

8 a.m., The French Lieutenant's Woman
  • Me: We have  no ice. What if we want a drink?
  • Brunie: Do you really think you're going to drink this morning?
  • Me: No! Well, not until 10.

  • Me: Why haven't you seen this movie? Lady Darcy and I saw it in 1981. What were you doing in '81?
  • Brunie: Nothing. Masturbation and musicals.

  • Brunie: Look at those leaves — or dead guys.
  • Me: And we have a whore. We've really gone full circle.

  • Doctor: "It was as if her torture had become her delight."
  • Brunie: That's the Mr. Brunie story.

  • French Lieutenant's Meryl: "I drank the wine, but it did not intoxicate me. I think it made me see more clearly."
  • Me: I always feel that way.

  • French Lieutenant's Meryl: "I married shame."
  • Me: Did you hyphenate?
10:06 a.m., Kramer Vs. Kramer (just a little bit, while we pack)

Sangria is poured, Brunie takes a load to the car, I dress.

  • Brunie: Look at you with clothes on!
10:23 a.m., It's Complicated

We've been trying to give Meryl shout-outs when her name appears in the credits, but we are surprisingly half-assed at this. (You'd think we could bring our whole ass.)

Meryl lies alone on her hotel bed, stood up by her kids. We yell in unison, "Masturbate!"
  • Me: I feel like we've gotten a lot cruder in our comments. Is it this movie?
  • Brunie: I think it's Meryl.

  • Adulterous Meryl: "This is the dumbest thing two people have ever done."
  • Me: Oh, sweetie — have you seen Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure?
  • Brunie: Have you seen any of your other movies?
We critique the ethics of sleeping with your own (married to someone else) ex-husband.
  • Me: I am Judgey and you are Belchy. No one's picking us for their dwarf team.
11:48 a.m., we're not going to finish in time to check out at noon. And there's still wine in our glasses! Brunie calls the front desk, Not Dreama gives us till 1 p.m. Eureka!

While Brunie's in the bathroom, I empty the Bugles and potato chip bags onto my plate and feel sad for using them up.

I decide to share with Brunie. Then I glance over at her bed:

We see Eric Osmond in the credits.
  • Me: Is he an Osmond?
  • Brunie: No.
  • Me: I know he's not one of the original brothers, but they have a million grandkids. Like Son of Alan, he was on American Idol. Alan was my favorite. Well, Marie was actually my favorite.
  • Brunie: Mine was Tito.
1 p.m., we check out. Dreama has been replaced by Alex Dunphy. We decide to go to Bahama Breeze for lunch.
  • Brunie: It sounds like your kind of place.
  • Me: If it had an exclamation point, my joy would be complete.
Lunch was delicious. (Sister Hart, we missed you!)

And that was the end of our glorious adventure!!! Later, I told Mimosa some of the high points.
  • Me: And look — I'm coughing so much less! I'm well!
Then I coughed.
  • Mimosa: Well into a state of denial.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

As I Was Saying . . .

Eek! Sorry for the long absence. A whole lotta life happening in these parts, that's all — but everything's fine.

Since this is a weight loss blog (I don't blame you if you've forgotten), I'll start with weight-loss news, which is: none. I am still holding on to my Tamoxifen Ten. I also haven't been able to go to zumba; first my bad knee stopped me, then last week I was felled by bronchitis. All I do is cough (and pee a little), I'm achy and exhausted, I have no voice. Of my four scheduled zumba classes, I dragged myself to one — but I'm calling it a win because it was my first time back in weeks and I didn't collapse. Victory!

(The bar, it is low.)

However, I also used some gift cards I've been hoarding and bought new jeans and a groovy new tank top — and each is a size smaller than I expected to wear! And wearing properly fitting clothes has resulted in all kinds of compliments on my "new" weight loss, which has been inspiring.

But I'm still recovering from the bronchitis and I still have pain in my knee. It's hard to think about working out and eating right and getting healthy when you feel like crap and all you want to do is go back to bed. Seriously, I've been climbing under the covers at 7 p.m. I am exhausted.

I think I picked up a bug from the kids I've been subbing for. First they gave me hemophilia (I had a paper cut that bled and bled) and then bronchitis. But I love it. I've now taught six classes, I'm a total pro. And I've taught a bunch of my math kids from last year, including Glum Albie, which has been a blast!!

And thank God for regular subbing, because I've had little editing work — and I didn't get the job I just applied for, which is a huge bummer. I suspect that my edits were too heavy, and the hiring committee foresaw that I would drive the writers crazy with all my rewrites (highly plausible). I will devote a morning this week to sending out resumes and doing my darndest to beef up my editing client pool — and perhaps dial down my excessive zeal for correcting others.

In the midst of my bronchitis (during most of which I've sounded like Tallulah Bankhead), Husband and I were the auctioneers at our church auction, which was partly fun and mostly annoying. I ended up doing way more work than I expected to, because our Auction Committee mostly comprised morons and incompetent slackers. As I get older,  my tolerance for either has just about vanished. Adults need to either pull their weight or get out of my way. I do not suffer fools gladly. Anyway, that took a ton of time and energy . . . which is probably the main reason I haven't been blogging. A new blogger I love, The Gallivanting Monkey, writes only once a week, every Wednesday, and I like that model; I will certainly write more often when I can, but committing to a once-a-week practice sounds good and do-able.

So, as I mentioned, Brunie and I spent an evening with Meryl Streep a few weeks ago. Every time they showed a scene or still from one of her movies, we'd grab each other and say "I loved that one!" or "I need to see that one!", but we didn't have a ton of overlap, except for Silkwood, which we both adore. I said, "Clearly we need to have a Meryl Streep film festival, with lots of bourbon" — (don't ask me why bourbon, it's just what came into my head) — and Brunie said "YES," and because we are not incompetent morons or slackers, we got on it right away. In one hour she's coming to pick me up and we are going to a cheapish hotel in Nashua, N.H., to drink strong spirits and watch 18 Meryl Streep movies!! And sit in a hot tub sometimes. I am so so SO excited!!

(Sister Hart, we assumed you'd be involved with family and Easter stuff, but if you want to hook up, give us a call!)

We plan to watch:
  1. Kramer vs Kramer
  2. The French Lieutenant's Woman
  3. Sophie's Choice
  4. Silkwood
  5. Ironweed 
  6. The River Wild
  7. Bridges of Madison County
  8. Before and After
  9. Adaptation
  10. Prime 
  11. A Prairie Home Companion
  12. The Devil Wears Prada
  13. Lions for Lambs
  14. Doubt
  15. It's Complicated
  16. Rendition
  17. Dark Matter
  18. Mamma Mia!
Brunie says:
The ones I most want to see are THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN, ADAPTATION, and DOUBT. I know I have already seen ADAPTATION, but I remember nothing. 
I said:
I am most excited about three I've already seen, because I love them — Silkwood, Prada, Adaptation. So so so good!! The ones I haven't seen . . . well, there was a reason. But I love Meryl and I'm ALL IN, even for Dark Matter, even for Rendition, because I am not a hater, in fact I hate haters.
Brunie (Friday afternoon):
I am so excited! I am already packed. I have:
  • crocheting
  • swim suit
  • jammies
  • wine
  • 15 Meryl Streep movies
  • projector
  • pants to wear to dinner
And a great attitude!
 Me (Saturday morning):
I have scheduled my excitement to begin today, in three hours — and then, Katy bar the door! I have done nothing yet, but I plan to bring:
  • crunchy salty snacks
  • Sangria (multiple bottles)
  • water and headache meds
  • 4 Meryl Streep movies (surprise!)
  • mending
  • products for ritualistic beautification
  • swim suit
  • crossword puzzles
  • lounging muumuu
  • generic Poise pads because I'm still coughing which means peeing
  • lots of clean dry undies
  • possibly some Febreeze
  • notebook to record our brilliance

Ah, I am fading. There's lots of other stuff I could write about (our grouchy cat Annabel got out and was missing for 24 hours, Mrs. Cynicletary and I figured out how to watch The Conjuring without scaring the bejeezus out of ourselves, my writers group read the next two chapters of Novel 2, Husband and I learned the cost of Li'l Martini's second round of braces [ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! — that is me succumbing to hysteria], I single-handedly started another church scandal and today starred as Beautiful Woman in Purple Hat in the world's lamest skit), but I grow weary and must rest my sangria-pouring arm.

Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Spring! Much love and joy to all my dear readers as we enter this season of renewal, rebirth, and new hope.

(My lungs are ready for some renewal and rebirth, I'll tell you that. I think I need an exorcist.)

— Lady C, ready to revel in Meryl Meryl Meryl!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


I am exploding with things to talk about, but I only have two minutes before I need to throw on some lip gloss and a cuter top.

How I Met This Mother-Effing Finale

I hated hated HATED the How I Met Your Mother finale. HA. TED.

Grr! Arggh!

Today I Earned Every One of Those Seventy-Five Clams

Today was my most challenging subbing gig yet. At one point, I threatened to spit on a kid's Nacho Cheese-Flavored Doritos. At one point, I literally clapped my hands over a kid's mouth. At one point, I hauled a kid out from under the table and held him in midair for a moment.

Commented Mimosa: "Your day sounds exciting."

Note to Katie @ Nested: I saw Glum Albie!!!!!!!!!!!!

In Four Hours, Meryl Streep Becomes My Besty

Brunie and I are seeing her live and in person at 7:30. Our plan is to befriend her, become blood sisters (obvs),  and invite her to see Veronica Mars: The Movie with us, because we'd both like to see it again and it's leaving soon. Or, you know, whatever she wants to do. We're cool.

Reports to come!

— Lady C the Enticing