Friday, March 31, 2006

Carb Talk.

We here in California no longer let people smoke inside public buildings, and yet we haven’t outlawed talking about diets inside public buildings. “But Quinn,” you might say, “smoking is a health risk for the non-smoker and is unpleasant and foul-smelling to be around.”

Fine. Read the following exchange and tell me my health and well-being weren’t potentially compromised.

The location: The Gym. I am on the treadmill, walking to nowhere. I am not wearing my beloved IPod because it is having the vapors and is off visiting the IPod clinic, so I am reading something stupid and minding my own business. The gentleman on the treadmill next to me has hailed a friend, a spry older man in a tank top, who wedges himself between our treadmills in order to chat. Despite their proximity, they are forced to speak loudly so as to be heard over Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas warbling through the speakers about her lovely lady lumps.

TANK-TOP MAN: How you doin’? Ya look good.

Treadmill man pounded his stomach lightly.

TREADMILL MAN: I’ve lost six pounds.

T-TM: Ya look good. You back on the Zone?

TM: No, I’ve got a dietician. She had my blood tested and came back with a diet specifically tailored to my allergies. I eat lots of protein, very little carbs, and some vegetables.

T-TM: Sounds like South Beach.

TM: (Slightly offended) No, it’s nothing like South Beach. [Quinn here -- it’s exactly like South Beach] See, I have allergies, which is what was keeping me from losing weight. Also, my pancreas is actively engaged with my liver.

(Silence as Tank-Top Man tries to figure out the proper response to that and I try to remember what a suitable present would be for a pancreas/liver engagement party.)

T-TM: Well, good. I guess. I mean, good that you found it out.

TM: (Happily) Oh, yeah. It also turns out that I have lactose intolerance and an allergy to wheat.

T-TM: They can figure all that out from blood?

TM: No. She said that’s why I was having all that gas.

Does he lower his voice? Does he look around to make sure no one else is being held in thrall by this fact? Does he look apologetically at me after this intimate digestive detail slips out, as it were?

No, he does not.

Readers, just reminding you: my original theory is that indoor diet talk is as potentially offensive, if not life-threatening, as indoor smoking. Someone in the throes of dieting has simply no perspective on what constitutes “polite conversation”, not to mention an “inside voice”. I think the ancient deaf guy napping on the recumbent bicycle in the corner now had this information. Do I even have to tell you that no other treadmill was available?

T-TM: So, no milk products?

TM: For the first week, no. Now, I can have some but the thing is that now I’m finding that milk products are really binding me up.

Now I look around frantically. Is no one winding up their treadmill time? An urgent glance at the nearest walkers indicates no, there is not a bead of sweat among them. I tipped my head towards the woman on the other side of me, who was talking to her friend on the treadmill on the other side of her, hoping to eavesdrop something less visually searing. They were speaking Korean.

WOMAN: Korean Korean Korean Korean Korean Korean Atkins Korean Korean Whole Foods Korean Korean Korean carbs Korean.

Fearfully, I tuned back into the two men on the other side.

TREADMILL MAN: I’m almost completely packed up.


I start thinking perhaps I should cut my workout short and go home, shower, and scrub for a very, very long time.

TANK TOP MAN: How long do you have to live like this?

Well, I really need to do another twenty minutes on the treadmill…oh, he wasn’t talking to me.

TM: Only another week. Besides, I haven’t boxed up the kitchen yet, so I can still cook.

Ooooooh. That kind of packing.

King of the Treadmill then spent my last twenty minutes detailing how to poach a salmon in a dishwasher, how to count carbs on a label and the pre-marital counseling his liver and pancreas were attending prior to their nuptials. And all the while, apparently, there was not a single moment where he looked over and thought, “Why, there appears to be another living human being whose ears are ten inches from my stentorian tones. I wonder if she cares that I am considering colonics?”

Diets make a person hungry, they make a person cranky, but mostly they make a person self-absorbed. This is what they share in common with smoking; the smoker has to be told they cannot smoke inside, because without the punishments of the law, the addiction to tobacco would override any humanitarian impulse to not blow toxic chemicals in a stranger’s face.

Likewise, the dieter is simply too caught up in measuring their food and counting their points to realize that when someone asks “How are you doing?” -- Unless he is your dearest friend, or your physician -- he doesn’t really want to know.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Twist and Shout.

It appears that most of my friends are out of the “Having babies” business (and into the “Setting up the appointment for their husband to have a vasectomy” business), so I am going to pass along an idea for a shower present that came to me recently. It doesn’t have the coo factor of a weensy pair of pink or blue Uggs, or the sentimentality of your great-grandmother’s baptismal gown, but the giver of this gift will be thought of fondly for years to come.

Gift the parents with a case of stain remover.

Before I had a child of my own, I had been around children; heck, I even was a nanny. I did understand that children were messy. What I didn’t fully comprehend until the fourth month or so of Daughter’s life is that babies are constantly, relentlessly, leaking. It’s as if they are amphibians, and must constantly refresh their slimy outer-layer in order to survive on dry land. If something wasn’t leaving her mouth at great speed, I would feel the bottom half of her growing slowly more sodden and heavy, usually when I was in no position to do anything about it, beyond feeling it compromise whatever she was wearing on the bottom.

We changed her clothes more often than a runway model. After a few months, I was trying to coordinate the separates based as much on stain color as the fabric color:

QUINN: Could you grab the flowered leggings with the sweet potato stain, and the yellow t-shirt with the spit up on the sleeve?

Consort would hand me clothing.

QUINN: No, sorry, I meant the long-sleeved yellow t-shirt with spit-up on the sleeve.

I kept a few outfits like new, but most of the day-to-day stuff took the brunt of Daughter’s Adventures in Cuisine ("Avocado: Food or fabric softener? Who's to say it can't be both?") Because I am a little squeamish about Daughter breathing in chlorine bleach fumes, which are terribly persistent, and because she was growing out of things at the usual baby rate, there was no reason to try to make the clothing less squalid. She might look unkempt, I reasoned, but at least no one could doubt she ate.

[Her propensity to wear food is a talent inherited from her gormless mother. I can tell you how big a slob I am or I can give you an example: when I was fourteen, my half-brother came and stayed with my mother and me during the Christmas holidays. Owing to general inertia, I wore the same shirt around the house for three days, only changing to go out. After three days, my brother swore he could tell me my diet merely by reading the stains on my shirt; he didn’t miss a single snack.]

Daughter grew and entered into activities. The stains accelerated in both density and complexity. What had been a daub of vomit and a trace of cooked peas, became a heady blend of Pepperidge Farm goldfish cracker dust, poster paint, mashed-in Play-Doh, the tail-end of a runny nose, and the results of a dropped ravioli; let us call it Toddler Tartan.

At least twice a day, I’d whisk everything off her, douse it liberally in Shout and let it soak while I put Daughter in the tub and tried valiantly to remove the same artifacts from her skin. Her skin usually came back to its normal color (side note: is anyone else creeped out by how certain dyes used in kid’s birthday cake frosting last on the skin for days?). Her clothing was a different matter. The stains would usually leave, but only to a degree. I collected stain-removal tips I found online and in magazines. I went through several different kinds of stain remover, and was growing terribly frustrated with the lack of complete success when, one terrible day, I caught myself standing in the detergent aisle in the market, staring at the stain removing products. I said out loud, “When, oh when, will someone create a stain remover that removes stains, keeps colors bright, and is safe for children?”

Ooh, look! It’s 1955! All it took was one small child, and the entire Women’s Movement was wiped clean from my silly little head.

Slowly, I started to develop perspective. Daughter was clean; Daughter was just clean in spotted clothing. She didn’t care, and I needed to let it go. I developed tools which allowed me those precious moments of admiring Daughter in unsullied clothes, after which I forbid myself from running after her in public screaming, “Touch NOTHING and I’ll feed you by hand if you get hungry!”

I have learned that if I want a picture of her in the perfect Easter dress it behooves me to take it at home, when we are still miles from the big fuzzy guy with the long ears and the basket of chocolate fabric-bombs.

I have learned that I can put Daughter in a full Hazmat suit created of napkins, but if she eats anything with tomato sauce, she will wear it. My carrying on later helps no one and just causes Daughter to spill her lemonade into her lap.

I have learned that there is no food which cannot create a stain, if handed to a member of my family.

And I have learned that if I really, really, need to see Daughter in an untouched outfit, I can always take a picture of her and Photoshop a clean white linen dress on top.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Was Bald, But Now I See.

In my life, there are pleasant events, and there are surprises, but there is never a moment where the chocolate bar of pleasant ends up wedged in the peanut butter of surprise, leading to the Reese’s Pleasant Surprise Peanut Butter Cup.

In my life, Surprise = Bad.

To wit: two days ago, I was brushing my hair and I noticed that I seemed to be wearing a bit more than usual on my hairbrush. And in the sink. And across the floor. And on the dog.

I considered all of my options and decided to disregard it.

The shedding continued. It grew hard to ignore, as I kept finding full-length strands in my food. I peered at my head; the bit around the incision definitely looked more like skin than hair. I dragged Consort into it; he peered at my head.

“Does the hair look thinner to you?”

There was a pause, where Consort clearly decided how much he wanted to see me locked in the bathroom until summer.

“Yeah, it looks…”

He searched desperately for the right word, the word which would keep me from wailing.


I wailed.

“Could it just be the incision?”

“Let me check”

He flipped the hair around a bit.

I sobbed, “Don’t touch it! It falls out when you touch it!”

He said gently “Your head has had trauma. I’m sure it will all come back in time. In the meanwhile…just make a deep side part and bring the side hair over the thin spot.”

I looked at him aghast.

“You are suggesting a comb-over?”

The evening was spent in the bathroom, obsessively looking at my hair without actually touching it.

As I believe I have mentioned, Surprise = Bad.

The next day, at my weekly check-in with the doctor, I was assured that:
a) “Skin swelling leads to hair loss” and
b) “Hair loss which is a result of skin swelling isn’t permanent hair loss”.

To his credit, the doctor didn’t try for c) “You can barely see it”, because I might have hit him.

The gap in my hair demands one of two hairstyles: a high ponytail, which would look adorable on someone dreaming of making the cheerleading squad once they get to high school, and a scarf tied over my head. Since I can’t wear the ponytail every day, because it stresses the follicles in a way they are no longer prepared to endure, I will be wearing a do-rag for a while. Here are some visuals for me with a scarf tied over the top of my head:




This was getting a little depressing.

This morning, I was shuffling the last stragglers around the incision into their ponytail when a thought struck me:


For those readers who don’t fritter away their time reading Town & Country magazine, permit me to illuminate. Crème de la Mer is this incredibly expensive goo made of obscure yet natural ingredients which was originally created by a scientist to repair his own skin after a lab accident left him with serious burns. For years, this was the well-kept secret of the well-kept, the sought-after spread to soothe face-lift scars. High-maintenance types buy the thousand-dollar bottle and use it as a body-moisturizer.

[That kind of makes me want to send them pictures of the houses still needing roofs in New Orleans and Mississippi, but that’s free-market capitalism for you]

The point of all of this being, I knew where one could purchase it in Los Angeles! I could buy the smallest jar imaginable, and beg for free samples, and commence to healing like the rich people do!

I got to the store and flung myself at the nearest person with a name tag. She smiled and started to say, “Can I- “

I interrupted, “Crème de la Mer !”

Something about my sweaty intensity must have alarmed her. Wordlessly, she pointed to a counter. I did a jeté neatly to the counter, where a tall and stately African-American woman of a certain age was standing.

She purred, “May I help you?”

I pointed to the tiniest jar and said, “That, please. Don’t bother to wrap it.”

She tilted her head. “Have you used Crème de la Mer before?” which might have been her terribly polite way of saying, “People in Converse low-tops are more often Nivea people than Crème de la Mer people”.

“No, but I have this scar which needs help.”

She stared into my soul a moment, pursed her lips slightly and said, “Show me.”

I undid my hair just enough so she could partake of its scabby, oozy splendor. A few hairs wafted disconsolately onto the counter.

“Oh, honey, no,” she stated flatly. “You can’t put Crème de la Mer on yet, the wound isn’t healed. You could get an infection.”

Now, a side note. Tall African-American woman of a certain age slay me, they just do. All this woman had to do was look at me with sympathy and clarity, and I was totally certain she knew every single mean, dumb or destructive thing I had ever done or thought in my life, and while she forgave me, I wasn’t getting away with my usual crap this time.

I said what I always end up saying to such women.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“I understand. What is your name?”

“Quinn, ma’am.”

“I understand, Quinn. I had a tumor myself removed from my head when I was nineteen, and they did chemo then, even though it wasn’t malignant, because they didn’t know any better, and I wanted it to heal overnight, but it takes time. I was just telling Linda about this just when you walked up. Linda, baby, come here!”

Another saleswoman dutifully ambled over.

“Linda, what was I just telling you?”

“That…scalps take a long time to heal?”

My Amazonian saleswoman permitted herself a small smile. “Exactly, because Linda’s sister is about to have something removed from her scalp, and I was telling her all about my surgery. Linda, Quinn just had the same surgery, can you believe it? But, Quinn, you can’t use this yet. You come back when it's healed.”

See, this is why I love my particular karma. Sure, I’m shedding like a Persian cat in August, but I am now having a completely intimate medical conversation while all around me women are debating lip pencils. A normal person might be mortified, but all I wanted to do is sit quietly at the counter and Windex away fingerprints while she told me what to do.

“What if I buy it today, but promise not to use it until it gets better?”

I thought it might cheer me up to stare at the small bottle instead of the hair drifting on to the floor. Also, I thought I might start sneaking little bits of moisturizer on.

The saleswoman looked at me sternly.

“If you use it…God will know.”

Okay, it might sound strange after the fact, but in the moment, it was the only possible thing she could say. In a matter of minutes, I had metaphorically handed her my scalp, and she had promised me healing, but only if I acted in faith. It was call-and-response, and never let it be said I didn’t know my line.

“I’ll wait, ma’am.”

She smiled broadly, and hugged me.

“Good girl. I’m going to give you plenty of free samples, and you leave me your phone number, so I can save you some of the high-concentration Crème de la Mer samples when they come in next month. And think of it this way, you were blessed by not having chemo. This is just a little thing, you can barely see it.”

From her, I not only accepted that statement, I decided she was right.

I fairly glowed as I signed a credit card slip. Monica the saleswoman had told me it was going to be all right, and Monica was an African-American churchgoing lady in her fifties, so it was going to be all right. A hair drifted onto the slip, and I brushed it away. Who was I to be troubled by such impermanence?

I got home and started to itemize my freebies. Lots of little pots and tubes, all Crème de la Mer in different concentrations; I probably had another bottle of the stuff in free samples. At the bottom of the bag, I found my receipt. There, written across the still dazzling amount I had paid for a tube which can sit comfortably in the palm of my hand, was Monica’s handwriting:

“Do not use this until your scab heals. Leave it alone and it will get better. Monica.”

God will know.

Surprise = Bad.

Strange, however, can be pretty wonderful.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Signs of Life.

(Sorry, everyone. We're in re-runs. I plan to be up and running tomorrow)
This weekend, I found a glimpse of humanity in the most unlikely place. I speak, of course, of Rite-Aid.

Daughter spends Sunday mornings with my mother. Yesterday, after dropping her off, I chose to go wild and buy buttons and thread to make a hand-me-down viable as a dress for Daughter and not just an apron. This, like so many stupid errands, sucked up all available time without leaving any satisfaction in its wake.

The two fabric stores near my mother were closed (What? Does no one need to buy Halloween-themed quilting fabric on the day of rest?), and the Target parking lot was unsettlingly full. Between parking, locating thread and waiting forever to check out, I was going to spend an hour buying two dollars worth of goods. Or, more likely, I was going to spend two hours, one hundred dollars, and fill my trunk with Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers, a new cordless phone and tube socks which were on sale. I needed someplace less distracting.

As if in a dream, the illuminated Rite-Aid sign shone through the fog (Actually, it was blazingly sunny and smoggy, but “shone through the exhaust” is sort of depressing). An all-purpose pharmacy! Yes, they will have buttons and thread! The thread won’t match the dress, but Daughter moves quickly, and no one will be able to see the color of the thread. Most important, I don’t need diabetes blood-testers or lawn chairs, so the chance of spending serious bills in Rite-Aid was pretty small. I pulled into the parking lot.

Did you know that only one person actually works at each Rite-Aid? She (and it’s always a woman) is up at check-out, and answers any question about where a product would be located with “That’s on Aisle 7, near the back”. I made my way to Aisle 7 and found four other people looking blank and asking one another “Do you see barbeque mitts?” “No, is that dental floss next to your hand?” This was, apparently, the holding pen. Before they bundled us into a truck and took us to the stockyards, I made my way out and starting scouring the aisles for buttons and thread.

I made my way to Aisle 8, and gazed up at the hanging sign, the one indicating what was on that aisle. Since I doubt most people wake up one morning and think “It’s all ashes unless I can make my favorite shirt a button-down again!” I assumed sewing notions weren’t going to be popular enough to merit a position on a sign. I would have to find the sewing stuff because it was near a related item. I glanced at the sign:


Probably not. Couldn’t hurt to walk down the aisle, though. No buttons, but I marveled at the range of weights of motor oil.

Next aisle:


I stopped to consider this. Really, potpourri from a store where you can get hemorrhoid pads? Admittedly, scented things are pretty much lost on me. But don’t you just know that if you opened four different fragrances and blindfolded someone, they would describe each scent as “Newly cleaned bus station bathroom”? One had a picture of a kitten on the box. I love a cute kitten as much as the next person, but I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a room to smell like one.

I walked to the next aisle:


I nodded approvingly. Clearly, whoever decides where things go has a pet. Probably a dog. Possibly a dog with separation anxiety issues. You get toilet paper for the small messes and paper towels for when the dog gets anxious and eats a seventeen-pound ham and vomits in every room in the house. Twice in the closets.

I had to see what the next aisle offered:


Success! But, I simply must contemplate what my store-designing friend was aiming for here. It was painfully clear to me that this person was the one at high-school raves putting coasters under the Rolling Rocks. Clearly, this sweet person was trying to suggest gently “It’s easy to keep your house clean while having a party! It can be fun! Look, plastic trash bags with self-ties, you don’t even need to keep those twisty things in your pocket!” But why keep the sewing stuff on this aisle? In a flash, I saw it. The end of the party, bodies and bottles strewn everywhere, the host in custody, and my new friend sitting on the last unbroken chair, frantically whip-stitching the torn hem of a friend’s skirt.

Sadly, the selection offered me nothing I could use. I might have left, but departing without finishing the Walking Tour of Signs was impossible.

I happily walked on and saw:


This was taking a melancholy turn; my friend had wanted to be a poet, but due to family obligations had gone to work at the Rite-Aid organization with only these signs as a heartbreaking reminder of a talent for alliteration. I admired the use of the word “Cookie” twice. Was this a commentary on the American overwhelming need to consume? Did anyone in the organization question putting the condiments on what was obviously the fast food aisle? Was the sign- maker forced to defend his or her right to express what might have been the last gasp of creative spirit? Or was Rite-Aid just happy to find someone who could work with the word “Condiments” without giggling?

I took a breath and continued:


Now, that’s just mean. No man will ever be convinced to pick up baby stuff if he thinks he’s less than five feet from a product that promises “Meadow Freshness” and has a picture of a kitten on the box…wait a minute; this is the same box they use for potpourri. There’s a second place I don’t think needs that scent. And having it next to the end-cap of Christmas lights in slightly dented boxes seemed incongruous. Perhaps placing it there was some kind of coded warning. Perhaps the Sign Maker was trying to save us all from oddly-scented products…or faulty wiring.

No wonder my friend got so bitter. I imagined him locked in a small office in the back of the store, endlessly eyeing the security monitors, watching people walk by his handiwork day after day, taking no more than a second to see if the aisle had what they needed before moving on. Well, Sign Maker, I saw it all.

For once, you were among friends.

I raised a fist in solidarity towards the first hidden camera I could find, and headed out to pick up my kid.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bore Samples.

I just might be the dullest person in the world.

You want proof?

Daughter and I were discussing hobbies. We discussed her hobbies, we discussed Consort’s hobbies, we discussed how while the dog enjoys eating Band-Aids, that doesn’t actually qualify as a hobby.

Then Daughter said brightly, “I know what your hobby is! Your hobby is finding a parking space!”

I am happy to say it isn’t true; finding a parking space is only one of my hobbies. But for sheer visceral satisfaction, I defy any suburban/urban dweller to come up with a feeling better than having a parking space open up right in front of the building you have to enter. If there is money left in the meter, it’s nearly “Drinking single-malt Scotch while a tuxedo-clad George Clooney smiles across the table at you” good.

I’ve been dull for years, and I am very nearly comfortable with that. But in the last week, I have plummeted to some subterranean level of dreariness. I am so boring that I might serve a medical benefit; if I am taken into a Cardiac ward in a hospital and allowed to talk about what’s on my mind these days, I could bring even the most stubborn blood pressure down. The patients would have to be closely monitored, however, to make sure they didn’t slip into a coma.

Here’s a topic I’m finding compelling these days; Federal Identification Numbers. Actually, even I don’t find this topic captivating, but the Internal Revenue Service does, and what makes the IRS happy makes me enthralled, at least when I’m trying to get the taxes out of the house. The sad thing is, I need the Federal ID numbers every year, and so wouldn’t you think I’d, um, learn?

No. From April to February, I live in some exquisitely delusional state where the IRS will simply take my word for how much I’ve paid companies, and will not want back-up corroboration. From February through mid-March, I perform these increasingly frantic dances while trying to get someone from each business, school, company or organization to call me back to give me their Federal ID.

Needless to say, my request is on the bottom of the pile of the most feeble-minded intern, because my inability to plan ahead is really not their greatest problem.

[Their greatest problem, of course, being how they are trying to get other businesses, schools, companies or organizations on the horn, so they can get their Federal ID numbers, which they had failed to get earlier in the year.]

So, right now, I like to talk about Federal ID numbers. How many people have them, but stubbornly refuse to give them to me. How I called one office three times, and was given three different sets of numbers, none of which had the right amount of digits. How I should have gotten the Federal ID numbers back in October, when everyone was young and hopeful and actually returned phone calls. How if only the IRS would simply lighten up a touch, I would happily move on to another, more interesting topic.

Like the state of my dog’s digestive system.

[When I wrote “More interesting”, perhaps you thought I meant “More interesting to someone besides me”. You were mistaken.]

For an entire week, at exactly eleven thirty p.m., the dog would throw up, sometimes repeatedly. Daytime, she was just an average, elderly, smelly, Band-Aid eating dog; nighttime, it was The Exorcist. Consort (who graciously never mentions how he in no way wanted a dog) and I would have conversations like this:

(Quinn comes staggering out of the bedroom. Consort is walking outside with rags, the damning smell of Pine-Sol in the air in the laundry room.)

QUINN: Oh, no. Again?

CONSORT: Third time tonight.

(We both stare at the dog, who is staring guiltily at a wall, which is not entirely different from when she stares vacantly at a wall.)

For days, I went back and forth on what to do, and dragged everyone within earshot along with me.

She’s clearly unwell, if punctual about it. Take her to the vet.

She’s completely fine otherwise. Don’t take her to the vet.

This could be an intestinal blockage. Take her to the vet.

An intestinal blockage with a more reliable clock than the VCR? Don’t take her to the vet, just teach her to use the toilet or buy Pine-Sol in bulk.

It’s been two weeks of vomiting, and Consort never actually wanted a dog. Take her to the vet.

The dog has a long and storied history of having weird, random symptoms which end up requiring expensive tests which prove nothing. Eventually, the symptoms go away. Don’t take her to the vet, and look into any subsequent pet being small, cheap, and physically incapable of vomiting.

Of course I took her to the vet. Once I made the appointment, she stopped vomiting and hasn’t so much as burped since then. But, knowing her Byzantine ways, I knew that if I had cancelled the appointment, she would have rewarded us with nightly peristaltic fireworks until Thanksgiving.

I am unsurprised to tell you the basic blood work showed her to be an elderly dog with no immediate medical concerns and a real talent for costing me money.

But my favorite screamingly boring topic right now is The Incision. The doctor has finally impressed upon me that a) Scalp wounds take forever to heal, b) My treatment of said scalp wound will make all the difference between completely healing and not completely healing, and c) Not completely healing will mean having to do this again. So now, it’s all about making the incision happy.

Unfortunately, the incision and I have fundamentally different ideas of what constitutes a life well-lived.

I like hot showers, training for Mount Whitney, and brushing my hair without having to take a pain pill ahead of time.

The incision likes tepid showers, sitting still while wearing an ice pack on my head and a warm compress on my neck (to help the neck spasm I have gotten from holding my head still so the ice pack won’t fall off) and naps.

The incision hates hats, which means I walk around wearing the incision like an ugly moist accessory all the time, which means that anyone over 5’8” can say helpful things like “Is your head supposed to be leaking?”

The incision hates when I lean over, which means I either wear slip-on shoes or tie my shoes by doing this sort of modified curtsey.

The incision hates sneezing, yelling or laughing. If I sneeze, laugh or yell, the incision rewards me with the sensation of my brain rocketing up through my skull.

I am appeasing something with only slightly fewer demands than Mariah Carey.

And I simply must talk about it. Even though it’s gross, even though it’s dull, even though I know that, at some point in the monologue, I will say to my hapless victim, “Here, just look at it. You’ll see where the stitches started to come loose-hey, where are you going?”

I am dullard, hear me bore.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Notes on Camp.

My apologies for the delay in blogging; my life sometimes interferes with my ability to write about my life.

For example, this past weekend I was reading brochures and websites about summer school and summer camp. This felt especially incongruous, since this coincided with rain and cold enough weather so there was a possibility of snow in the Hollywood Hills. It is now winter and I’m planning for summer; why didn’t I just get college brochures while I was at it?

But the fact remains, there are many children in this city, there are finite spots in camps, and there are many parents who are driven to white-faced terror at the thought of children, even ones they happen to like and gave birth to, hanging around their house for three months, spiriting the good silver into the dryer and tinting the dog green with Jell-o.

I don’t feel that way, mind you.

So, while I was dithering over Daughter’s summer choices, it occurred to me that while not many people reading this live in Los Angeles (Waving “Hi!” to my readers in Dubai, Turkmenistan, and New Zealand), some do. And some readers might not be local, but might be coming here this summer on holiday. Or, they might have friends and relatives here. In any case, here are some things to do with kids in Los Angeles in the summer.

For the person who wrote in and said my child-oriented blogs kind of bored the hell of them…sorry. Tomorrow, I plan to drop something heavy on my foot, so we’ll be on to a new topic.)

Summersounds is huge fun. It’s a world music and dance program for kids ages 3-8 (I’ve seen younger and older there, but that seems to be the age of maximum enjoyment), with a new country every week for six weeks. Each country has some form of the regional or national dance, music, and instruments. It’s funny, lively and very lightly educational (Daughter and I still refer to an eel as a “Puhi”, because, two years ago, we learned that’s the Hawaiian word for them). For a small additional fee, there is an art program afterwards which ties in to the country of the week. If you’ve got kids coming into town for a week, and want something they can do one morning with a grandparent, I cannot think of better fun. It sells out quickly, so keep an eye on the website.

Camp at the Natural History Museum or the George C. Page Museum, with classes all the way down to three year-olds (They attend with an adult). Each class runs a half day for one week and, at least with the littler ones, involves a story, a craft, and a themed snack which somehow is always goldfish crackers. The older kids come out carrying fairly complicated projects and fairly satisfied expressions, so I think everyone is getting their needs met. The kids in the morning classes get taken by their teacher around the museum before it even opens, to look at exhibits tied in to their class. George C. Page works especially well as a base point to drop off a child for half-day camp as the LA County Art Museum is right next door, the Peterson Auto Museum is across the street, and The Grove (Where, gossips columnists tell me, every single celebrity under the age of 25 goes) is a mere two blocks away. The Natural History Museum shares Exposition Park with the California Science Center, which is also having half-day camps this summer, but I have no experience with those camps, so I can’t comment on them.

Speaking of LACMA, they should be having an art camp this summer. They still have the spring break camp information up, but if you have an artsy kid, you’ll be wanting to watch this space; Art Camp [LACMA: Los Angeles County Museum of Art].

The Aquarium of the Pacific has camp for the seven and up crowd. I can’t speak of this camp personally, but the aquarium is absolutely lovely and every program Daughter and I have done down there has been well thought-out and well-received.

The Huntington Gardens in San Marino doesn’t have their summer schedule up yet, but if it’s anything like last year, it will be week-long classes geared towards using the jaw-dropping prettiness of the gardens. Even if you can’t end up doing a camp session, I suggest strongly that anyone coming through town with a child under the age of eight plans to visit the Huntington; there is a Children’s Garden which is a guaranteed hit. Start there, head over to the Japanese Garden to stare at the ducks, and the child might be so wiped out that you get to go to the museum and look at Pinky and Blue Boy in something resembling peace. One note of warning; bring a change of clothes and waterproof shoes, as the water elements in the Children’s Garden are pervasive and catnip to small children.

The Ford Amphitheater, located in the Hollywood Hills, has a summer Saturday world music program. Not as crowded as Summersounds at the Hollywood Bowl, and geared to a slightly older audience. Their schedule isn’t up yet, but it should be up within the next two weeks.

The Will Geer Theater has summer live music programs in the evening for families. Since this is an outside theater, in the canyons above Malibu, it’s a gorgeous way to spend a summer night. The summer program isn’t up yet, but should be there momentarily.

Looking back on what I’ve written, I realize my camp information is overly weighted towards the Life of the Mind. There are loads of good athletic camps, but I can’t speak of them intelligently. While that doesn’t usually stop me, tonight it’s going to have to, as I have applications to fill out and emergency contacts to choose.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Face Time.

Today, I went to the dermatologist’s office and had my every-other-day post-op check-up. It goes like this; I lie down on the examining table, the doctor stands behind me with a medical object I have never seen, but suspect resembles a garden trowel, he commences to poking, I say “Ow”, he says “Sorry” and continues to poke. Eventually today he grew bored with poking and glanced down at my face. He peered at my jaw.

“I don’t like the look of that mole”

Whatever hopes I had this was a solely aesthetic statement were dashed when he asked the nurse to get a shot of Novocain. He then found another unlovely mole close by, and before you could say “Nurse, please make that two syringes of Novocain”, he was stitching me closed, leaving two little bristling knots on my face. Apparently, he won’t rest until I resemble Pinhead. At this point, I’m almost blasé when I see a syringe filled with something heading towards my head.

I drove home, contemplating the Academy Awards.

Why would having what appear to be two small yet athletic spiders rappelling up my jaw cause me to think of the Academy Awards? Because one of the benefits of being a really rich and a really famous actor is that after a certain age, you are constantly having doctors come at your face wielding needles. Sunday night, any woman over 35 worth mentioning wore a staggeringly expensive gown, jewelry appropriate for the Romanov court, and a shiny unlined forehead which sang “BOTOX! GET YER BOTOX HERE!”

Let the record show, this isn’t only the provenance of women. Many a man in the audience that night can no longer create the expressions which indicate dismay, puzzlement, or alarm.

It is a credit to my living in Los Angeles that this fact neither troubled nor, frankly, particularly interested me. If a grown person chooses to erase his or her face with cow toxin, let me never stand in his or her way.

But there was a moment at the Awards that flabbergasted even me. There was an actor onstage (I am using the word “Actor” not necessarily because this person is male, but as the neuter title for someone who acts). This person is known for their physical appeal and youthful good looks. This person is not yet thirty years old.

This person could no more move their inner eyebrows than they could fly.

I sat there, aghast. Are doctors now doing preemptive Botox? Does still having the remnants of teenage acne interfere with the Botox’s efficacy? Will teenagers be booking a shot in before prom? Should I be getting Daughter in before puberty hits?

It’s not as if plastic surgery makes you look younger. If that were true, Joan Rivers would have a recurring role as the Sensitive Girl in Trig on The O.C.

And, I am happy to report, it’s going to get worse. If you ever want to see an actor, who bases at least part of their appeal on their fans wanting to imagine having sex with them, get really nervous, just whisper these two little words in their ear:



Within the next ten years, all televisions sets sold must be high-definition. This means the resolution will be five times the current analog resolution.

Five times the resolution cannot be balanced by flattering lighting.

It cannot be balanced by the $10,000 an hour make-up artist.

It cannot be balanced by, as in the case of one A-list actress, having a contractual demand that your acne be airbrushed out in the post-production of your movies.

It cannot be balanced by having your skin tugged so tightly that your lips are frequently confused for your headband.

It cannot be balanced by injecting enough lethal cow toxins to turn your face into a death mask.

You must be able to withstand the scrutiny of the microscope, or you move back home to Oregon and get that dental hygienist’s certificate.

A little history: With the advent of sound in pictures back in the 1920s, there was a great panic among the then-popular Hollywood actors. They had not become successful because of the lilting timbre of their voices; they had become successful because they had wonderful visual appeal. Frequently, they had heavy European accents, or pronounced speech impediments, or simply were blessed with voices which made dogs start barking and running in circles. This hadn’t been important, until it was, and then it was all that mattered.

The old stars that couldn’t make the leap were rendered obsolete within six months, to be replaced by new actors who, often, had been found on Broadway. The new actors might be unknown to audiences, but they had voices which didn’t make an audience member start howling with laughter or pain.

So, here’s my prediction. High-definition television will be the end of some of our most popular actors. It won’t be as sudden as the silent picture to talkies die-off, but it might be just as profound. First, the television actors will get hired based in large part on their ability to appeal on High-Definition. Then, movie actors who are seen at awards shows not looking nearly as appealing as they had been presented will find themselves losing parts to the smoother-skinned.

[Don’t think producers don’t say enlightened things to their casting director like, “I saw her presenting at the Golden Globes, and she looked like shit on TV. Who else is available?”]

I can only assume plastic surgeons are at work on this problem. Perhaps our next generation of actors will, at the peak of their youth and firmness, have a sheep placenta sewn on to their face. Afterwards, they might not want to eat anything but grass, and they might have a tendency to huddle in groups and frighten easily, but I doubt anyone will notice the difference.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Bumped Off.

(This is the last in a three-part blog about having something removed. If you want it to make sense, please start from Bump in the Night. If medical stuff makes you light-headed, I promise to be on to something new in the next QC Report)

Finally, I was put back together. The doctor started to write out a prescription for Vicodin, but I stopped him. Vicodin, I explained, while effective in pain management, made me feel as if I was sailing alone in my own little Perfect Storm. “Besides,” I said brightly, “I can get through this with over-the-counter stuff, I’m sure.”

The doctor looked at me a little blankly.

“You’re going to want drugs.”

Doctor Killjoy clearly had a patient list consisting of weaklings who would say anything to feed their prescription drug habit. I came from farm stock on one side and peasant stock on the other; we have to lose both arms in the combine before we take the rest of the day off.

I reluctantly took the Darvon prescription. I also listened to his proscriptions against exercise, hair-washing or bending over from the waist.

“For how long?”

“Let’s just see how it goes.”

Oh, what did he know. I’d be dragging the dog up and down hills before the day was out.

I made a follow-up appointment, and drove home, whistling a happy tune. Sure, the bit of the bump which was bone was still there, but I was significantly less pointy-headed than before. And I felt so good. Once they stopped tugging, I felt perfectly fine. I walked in the door just as Consort and Daughter were getting up. I showed them my two inch-long incision. Daughter shrieked in appalled delight. Consort’s response was more measured.

“Are they doing a biopsy on that?”

“Yes…no. I think.”

“If he’s never seen one like this, wouldn’t that be the prudent response?”

“Sure. I think my eyelids are less puffy!”

“You need to lie down, where’s your prescription for pain meds?”

“It’s in my purse. I could wear my hair in a French Twist now!”

Consort was reading the lines from an episode of House; I was the star of my own personal episode of The Swan.

Consort insisted I go to bed while he went and got my pain meds. I grudgingly agreed, as my head was starting to throb a touch. I must admit, by the time he got back, I was pretty relieved to see Hope in a Bottle; turns out, my body liked that part of my scalp, had plans for that part of my scalp, was a little sniffy about having to give up that part of my scalp. I gratefully took my little pink pill.

Here’s a funny new fact I now know about myself; Darvon makes me just as nauseated as Vicodin, and gives me no pain relief whatsoever.

I spent the next two hours lying in bed, under the covers, breathing shallowly through my mouth and not moving at all. I have this adorably misguided notion that if I can make myself completely inert then the pain can’t find me. Pain will come flying in the window, bent on mischief, and will look around the room and think, “Well, there’s nothing but a lump under the covers, breathing shallowly. That can’t be Quinn. I’ll go bother someone who is sitting up.”

I hold this belief dearly despite the fact that it has never actually worked.

Since I wasn’t doing anything better, I decided to obsess. The doctor had said to call him if the pain became unreasonable, but who was I to say what was unreasonable? Maybe the degree of pain I was in was completely reasonable, seeing as he used what had felt like needlepoint scissors to remove a strip of my scalp. After all, I reasoned, as I sweated and hid, what I was mostly was nauseated and dizzy; really, when stripped of the other two horsemen of the Apocalypse, the pain was hardly anything at all! I might even say the pain was totally within reason!

Some people collect stamps; I find ways to measure the immeasurable.

Slowly, the sensation of riding a hellish Tilt-a-Whirl subsided a bit. I could actually contemplate my next activity, which was picking Daughter up from school.

Slowly, tentatively, I made my way to school to pick up Daughter. As long as nothing changed, I could make it. Of course, what I meant by “Nothing changed” was “The streets must be completely free of potholes and ruts” and “I must never have to make a turn or stop”. I would stop every few blocks to dab the sweat off my face and try to bring the nausea back down to a manageable level. Somehow, I made it to school.

I settled into the driver’s seat gingerly and prayed for the strength to get home. Daughter fussed with her seat belt. Minutes passed, she was still fussing, and I was starting to sweat again.

QUINN: (Through gritted teeth) Sweetie, please put your seat belt on.

DAUGHTER: Mommy, it’s stuck!

I simultaneously turned around and leaned back to help her, and clocked my incision on the light fixture on the ceiling of the car. The pain brought the nausea back in a flooding rush, and I frantically opened my door, so as not to throw up in the car. I leaned over, and learned quickly why the doctor had specifically proscribed leaning over; apparently, I didn’t have enough skin on my head to do that anymore.

I think Daughter’s later comment to Consort sums up the moment nicely:

“I sat and waited very patiently while Mommy cried”

The good news was that the blinding pain trumped the nausea; on a digestive level, I felt very nearly fine. The only thing which might have affected my drive home was how I kept touching my scalp to see if it had split apart like a Pillsbury biscuit canister.

The stitches held, but the bruise which followed led to swelling, which led to the doctor needing to see my swollen-headed self every day because he was concerned about lack of circulation around the incision leading to tissue necrosis. Necrosis would mean the flesh turned black and died; there was now a chance that my scalp was going to start falling off.

It’s like that old saying: I cried because I had a bump, and then I became a woman who had no scalp.

But, as it turned out, we managed to avoid a scalp-free lifestyle. Why, all I had to do was keep a pad soaked with hydrogen peroxide, covered by a wet washcloth, covered by an ice bag, on my head for twenty minutes at a time, every hour, followed by a liberal dose of Neosporin!

Consort, seeing me trying to blot the rivulets of peroxide which were running away from the pad and down my hair, suggested that a tampon, soaked in peroxide and put on the incision, would keep the dripping to a minimum.

I thanked him for his suggestion, but politely declined. If I walked around with a tampon stuck to my head, the wound might improve, but I would die from a secondary lack of dignity.

[Somewhere during this time, the Doctor told me that the biopsy had come back; it was a lipoma, a tumor which is always benign. That sounds familiar, I thought. Did I have one before? Did someone I know have one? Being as I was befuddled by pain and peroxide, it took me a day or so to remember; the dog has one. I share a medical condition with a life form stupid enough to try to eat a light bulb]

Each day, it improves slightly. The swelling has come down, but the stitches have tightened. This means I have gone from feeling as if I am being held off the Golden Gate Bridge by only my ponytail, to feeling as if an especially stubborn eagle is holding my head in its talons.

My appearance, however, has yet to recover. All I need is a bell and a ragged tunic, and I could make steady money as a leper. Last night, the pain woke me up, and I stumbled into the bathroom to get my precious Tylenol P.M. I made the mistake of taking a look in the mirror. Here’s what I saw:

1. Skin, grey with the fatigue that comes from waking up every time my stitches touch anything;

2. Aforementioned stitches forming a medical tiara on the top of my hair;

3. Hair forming Medusa-like coils from not having been washed and being bathed in a constant syrup of hydrogen peroxide and Neosporin;

4. Hair also having bleached in the places where the hydrogen peroxide dripped, leaving me with a look best described as “Feral Calico cat”;

But you know what really affected me? My eyelids looked exactly as droopy as before.

Before I could slide too far into self-pity, a little voice said crisply, “Oh hush, you big whiner. The stitches will come out, we’ll dye the orange spots, a strong enough shampoo should take out the Neosporin, the eyelids are no worse than before and that skin color is nothing a little blush won’t cure. But, never forget, this is all going on over a nearly round head

I touched my skull. I went back to bed.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Do the Bump.

(This exercise in world-class self-absorption began yesterday. If you have any desire to understand what I am rattling on about, you might wish to start there)

The appointment was made for two weeks hence, at five-thirty in the morning, which is when he did outpatient procedures. It is a statement about my loathing of the bump that my only response to having to get up at four-thirty in the morning was “Whee! I’ll have breakfast with a round head!” I would have picked up the dermatologist’s dry-cleaning on the way, if he had only asked.

Consort fretted; there was no way I should be driving myself home from an operation. I tut-tutted him; it wasn’t an operation, it was an outpatient procedure. I didn’t even have to stop eating before midnight, that’s how simple it was.

“Yes,” he insisted, “but how does he get rid of it?”

“I think they suck it out,” I said, slightly irritated “like liposuction”. I had absolutely no idea whether this was true; while the doctor had mentioned what would be done, I had been celebrating inside my own bumpy head, and I find listening interferes with cerebral celebrating. I would arrive at five-thirty, I would lie down, they would do…something I hadn’t bothered to ask about, and within minutes, I would be on my way, shorter but well-formed. Why did I need to trouble myself with information?


“In twenty-eight years as a Dermatologist, I’ve never seen one like that. Did we do an x-ray on you?”

Is there a less auspicious phrase to hear when someone has opened up your head?

Already, this was less low-key than I had hoped. The doctor had walked in, smiled at me, walked behind me, and started cutting something. I saw bits of my hair wafting around the room.

“Um, Doctor, you’re cutting my hair”



“Are you cutting a lot of my hair?”

“Just the part on the skin I’m going to remove”


“You’re removing skin?”

Guess what? This wasn’t liposuction. This was removing the skin which contained the bump. The second surprise came when I learned that, because head incisions bleed so much, he was giving me a shot of vasoconstrictor along with the Novocain. The vasoconstrictor would, you guessed it, constrict the blood vessels surrounding the incision, leading to much less blood loss, but it would also constrict most of the blood vessels in my head, leading to a headache of such magnitude that I almost didn’t notice the phrase about how my bump was a first after twenty-eight years in the skin trade.

I tried to play along, though.

“Really, my Pyroclastic flow is new?”

“Oh yeah, a lot of it is bone. See?”

And with that, Gentle Readers, he tapped my exposed skull.

May you never feel someone tapping your exposed skull. I can’t decide whether it’s weirdly awful, or awfully weird, but every cell in your being screams “THIS WAS NEVER MEANT TO USED AS A PERCUSSION INSTRUMENT”

The doctor must have sensed my mitochondrial-deep shudder, because he asked kindly, “I’m sorry. Did that feel strange?”

I whispered, “Just a bit”

After a few seconds, once the shrieking in my DNA quieted a bit, I asked “Is it possible that this is the result of an injury when I was a teenager? Like, for example, pulling something heavy down on my head?”

The doctor, distracted by doing something procedural which involved touching my skull, answered “I don’t see why not.”

Vindication is a lovely feeling, but it was tempered slightly by the desire to run from the room, my hands over the open spot in my scalp.

But the real fun was to come. Having removed a strip of skin about an inch wide and a little over an inch long, he had to close my scalp. This involved him and the rather brawny male nurse doing something behind my head which involved a lot of tugging and some softly muttered oaths.

“You have tight skin,” the doctor observed after one round of tugging and swearing, “You’ll age well”.

It sounded as if he kind of wished I had made less skin-friendly choices in my youth. They went back to tugging. I felt as if I was hanging by my ponytail, several stories above the ground. Something occurred to me.

“Is this like a brow lift?”

The doctor answered, “This is a brow lift, just a very small one. You’re the only person in Beverly Hills this year getting a brow lift which will be covered by insurance”

He went back to tugging, and my heart sang a small song.

Here’s something you don’t know about me; I am shallow in the strangest places. I mean, my wardrobe is appalling, my make-up is sporadic, I am a wreck at all things feminine. And yet, when having my c-section, my doctor observed “You have really strong abdominal muscles”, and I was thrilled. Sure, getting to finally meet my daughter was the absolute highlight of the day, but for quite a while afterwards, I would look in the mirror and think “My doctor, who sees abdominal muscles all the time, commented favorably on mine. I’m just neat!” I would then put on stained pants and again leave the house without remembering to put on lipstick.

I have always had a bit of a complex about plastic surgery for me. For others, I think it’s grand, but for me, it seemed like…cheating. As if I was taking the answers from someone else’s aesthetic final exam. Having said that, I have noticed in the last year or so that the tired morning look around my eyes was taking longer and longer to correct itself; sometimes, I would go to bed that night still wearing it. And here was someone who was going to do something about it, and I could rest comfortably in the knowledge that not only had I not asked for it, I hadn’t even known it was coming!

See, there’s something to be said for not listening.

Next: I go home. Stuff happens.

Bump in the Night




Let us begin at the beginning.

I was fifteen, and I was brushing my hair, when I felt something on the top of my head; a bump. I pressed it a few times, and determined it was under the skin, neither yielding to my touch nor going anyplace. I considered all the possible answers and determined, I have a brain tumor and I am going to die.

Keeping in mind my father had died six years before, I imagined my inevitable death from brain cancer was going to upset my mother somewhat. So, I kept this bad medical news to myself. Instead, I spent the next few weeks alternately draped moodily around the house and being cloyingly sweet to my mother, so that before I fell down and started frothing at the mouth her last memories would be good.

[These mood swings might have been more subtle than I realized. I asked my mother if she remembered this personality change and she said thoughtfully, “Had you been sweet at any time during that year, I believe I would remember it”]

After a few weeks, though, it occurred to me the brain tumor wasn’t getting any larger, nor was I losing the use of my extremities. Also, I needed to start obsessing about the prom. My brain tumor gradually took a back seat to whether I could conceivably look attractive in pale green taffeta (As it turns out, no).

But if it wasn’t a tumor bent on my destruction, what was it? After a few years with it, I developed a theory. I had this vague memory of being fourteen and pulling a small, heavy, safe-deposit box down on my head (I was grabbing something from a shelf above me, and didn’t realize there was a safe-deposit box between me and the object I desired). The corner of the safe-deposit box had hit my head really hard somewhere around where the bump developed.

Years passed. The bump and I went through life together. It was my own small Ayers rock, the mental mesa, the hill under my hair. I had to warn new boyfriends and hairstylists about it, lest they leap back in horror, which tends to compromise both a date and a haircut. I once had the satisfaction of having a friend who was in medical school and, therefore, knew everything, touch my head. He screamed “What the hell is that?”, and I said airily, “Guess they haven’t covered that yet in school, huh? Don’t worry, it’s rarely contagious”

But what about real doctors, you might be saying.

They had no idea what it was, either.

Every couple of years, I would mention to some new doctor I was seeing that he or she might want to palpate my head. The orthopedist, the neurologist and the GP all agreed that it fell neatly into Not My Problem. My bump lived in some medical No-Man’s Land, unloved and unwanted. The only thing they all agreed on was how it didn’t happen; my safe-deposit box tale was compelling, if you like stories about untreated concussions, but there was no way it created this…protuberance.

The bump, it appeared, would stay. I resigned myself to never having very short hair, which is probably for the best when you have a nose which puts one in mind of an Idaho Russet. But not a day went by that I didn’t glance in the mirror at some point and think “Bump, nothing personal, but I hate you”. The bump would endure, as indifferent to my feelings as Mount Everest.

Unfortunately, like Everest, it was still growing. I had suspected this for a few years, but in the last year, it was undeniable. I had always wanted to be taller, but this was no way to do it. Something must be done. Medical responsibility must be assigned.

A month ago, I was at the Dermatologist’s office, correcting the sins of having lived in a desert my entire life, when I happened to mention the bump to the Doctor. He felt it briefly, and said casually, “Yeah, that’s a Pyroclastic flow, I can take that off if you want. It’s a simple outpatient procedure”.

[Yes, I know it isn’t a Pyroclastic flow; that’s a form of lava. But when he said what it was actually called, I was in such a state of shock that someone would actually do something about it that the only thing my brain retained was how whatever it is sounds like “Pyroclastic flow”, and now I can’t think of what it is]

Did I want to have this removed? Did I want to have my teeny, weeny, boring conjoined twin removed? Did I want to pull my hair back into a ponytail without having to take minutes to adjust the hair so I didn’t look as if I had a marshmallow buried under my scalp?

Yes, please.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thank you for waiting; your call is very important to us.

Yes, you're on hold, if that can be said to happen in the blog world. I had a teeny bit of outpatient surgery yesterday, and while I have all sorts of things to say on the subject, I'm just not up to it yet.

Tomorrow, I plan to see what my writing style is like while I am taking painkillers. So, you know, it should be...lively.