melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
An unexpected boon arrived in the mail towards the end of last week in the form of a check from my mother-in-law. In the accompanying note, she said that she'd read my post on Facebook about having cleaned out my closet and having only a few garments left which fit. I was incredibly touched and put that fun money to use on Sunday when [livejournal.com profile] courtney_d_h took me to Unique in Faifax for a full-on thrifting spree. I've never enjoyed thrift shopping for clothing because, well, nothing fit. But now that I'm a standard size, it was an absolute blast! She'd suggested wearing a loose skirt and leggings and a tank top. All I had in the way of skirts, though, are my exercise skirts (which I am thrilled to bits about them actually fitting now!) and I showed up at her place looking like I was ready for a bike ride.

Anyway, she is physically smaller than I in every direction and much more hour-glassy, plus we have much different coloring in that she is blonde/blue-eyed/pink-skinned and I am blonde/brown-eyed/warm-toned-in-summer (and pale blue in winter). So, when she found a top that too big/too long/too muted for her, she tossed it my way and I reciprocated when I found garments that were more suited to her. I came out of store with half a dozen capris, four skirts, and eight work-appropriate blouses all for $100+tax. We'll be doing that again when it's time for cold-weather clothes.

We also spent a couple of hours catching up on each others' lives over a barely-nibbled-at bowl of queso which, we would have devoured in milliseconds back in the hold days. The way things change...

Saturday was full of home-repair (Hubbyfink) and cleaning (me). Slowly but surely we're getting the minor repairs taken care of and may actually finish the basement this fall. I'm so excited about that prospect. [livejournal.com profile] psalite came over late in the afternoon and we spent a couple of hours paddling about the pool catching up with each others' and friends' lives. My goodness. It wasn't until this weekend that I realized what a hermit I'd become. Must force myself out of the house and enjoy all those friendships I've cultivated before they wither away.

Friday night, Hubbyfink and I finished "Sherlock". OMG. I am soooo glad that we only just got into that program otherwise I would be crawling the freaking walls. I'm also shipping FreemanWatson/CumberbathHolmes like whoa. I haven't started down the fanfic path just yet, but it's only a matter of time.
melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
I succumbed to the siren song of Tumblr and have actually posted a tiny bit of content there, and I do mean tiny. I started out collecting gifs and jpgs of my favorite hobbit -- Billy Boyd, if you must know -- and with the assistance of a dear friend who pulled me up the learning curve, I have branched out. I even have two followers. I feel so vindicated validated.

No, I am not leaving you, beloved LJ. We may have a tempestuous relationship but I will cling to you like Spanish moss to a live oak. Facebook is too ephemeral and Twitter even more so. Tumblr is for pretty pictures and, well, I don't understand Pinterest at all. I may not visit you every day, LJ, but you're still my favorite.

In other news, I slipped below 200 pounds, weight-wise, and am wearing a slinky-ish dress at work in celebration. I say "slinky"; it's not at all scandalous with it's high boat neck, cap sleeves, and knee-length hem. But the dress hugs my curves like it's on rails, if you know what I mean. My closet may be nearly empty, but the stuff left behind makes me happy.
melaniesuzanne: (Carl Sagan by ibishtar)
I can't decide if I've been lazy or productive. Or maybe that's destructive... Sure, I've napped a bit today but I've also ravaged my closet and wound up with three dresses, one pair of jeans, one pair of crops, five pair of capris, and a whole bunch of tees and pull-over blouses. My two favorite pairs of PJ bottoms (grey with black bats and an orange/white/black camo pattern with skulls and ghosts) are getting so big that I'm on the verge of not being able to cinch them down enough to keep them over my hips. I've had to hold the pants legs when going up and down stairs for a month or so because without my tummy and butt holding the PJs up, they almost cover my feet. Heh.

I pulled out the storage cube with my collection of too-small Black Phoenix Trading Post and Think Geek t-shirts and all but four of those fit now. For the record an American Apparel XL is more like a child's XL than an adult's. No no, it's not quite that bad. But it's going to be a little while longer before I can wear my Union Jack made up of Tardises and my Pinky and the Brain as Darth Vader and the Emperor tees.

Bebe the blue Beetle had her 10,000 checkup and yearly safety inspection today. While at the dealership, I dropped in to visit my salesman who gave me a great big hug. I told him how much I love my car except for one tiny detail: it's not a convertible. He laughed and told me to come on back and take a look at the convertibles when I picked up my car. Nah, not until I covered parking. Although we don't get that much snow, I don't want any kind of pile up on a soft top.

Lessee, what else? Mmm, that's about it for the day. I'm kind of hungry but nothing sounds appealing; I'm chalking that ennui up to the heat. Remember when I said I wanted to move somewhere warmer? I'm rethinking that plan.

Hey

Jul. 9th, 2013 01:09 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Rat)
Vacation was absolutely wonderful. I got to visit with people whom I haven't seen in nearly twenty years, spent quality time with my father and stepmom, enjoyed best-friend [livejournal.com profile] zipmeister's new house (which is STUNNING), and lazed about Mom's lake river house. Really, I couldn't have had a much better week off.

Except that the trip from northern Virginia to Germantown, TN and from Cherokee, AL back to NoVA was AWFUL. The 850 mile trek from door to door normally takes between 11.5 and 12 hours. It took fourteen. FOURTEEN. The trip from AL to NoVA should have taken about 12.5 hours. It also took FOURTEEN hours, most of which was in blinding rain. We stopped for the night just inside the Virginia border so as not to fall asleep at the wheel.

I forgot to make a "Post-op month 3" post on the 29th. At that point, I'd shed 50 pounds and was starting to shrink out of the capris I purchased earlier in June. While on vacation, I misplaced another 5 pounds and bought my first size "L" shirts in FOREVER. Talk about a ego boost. I have officially hit the in-betweenie range of pants, unfortunately. I need a 14W to accommodate my baby-makin' hips and I can't find that size in my local Tar-zhay. I'm pretty sure a Lane Bryant 14 would be too big and I REALLY don't want to have to go to LB for ANYTHING anymore. Straight sizes will gap in the waist while pulling across my hips and butt. Allow me to sigh and staple my wrist to my forehead for a bit.

At this point, I'm only a few pounds away from what the WLS forum people call "one-derland". I haven't been under 200 pounds in... oh, I have no idea. At least 15 years. I'm about to bounce out of my skin with excitement and joy.
melaniesuzanne: (Fireworks)
Five more hours and I am OUT OF THE OFFICE FOR WEEK! Yeah, doggies. Tonight, I'm getting a pedicure and then throwing some dirty clothes in the laundry and then packing my suitcase and not succeeding in going to be early. Tomorrow, Hubbyfink and I rising at the crack of dawn and hitting the road for Germantown, TN. WHOO HOO!

Can't wait to see Mom and the rest of the family. Can't wait to see [livejournal.com profile] zipmeister, his beau, and their new house. Looking forward to seeing Daddy. And can't wait to see Mom and Pete's Alabama lakehouse. They've made so much progress since we saw it last year that I probably won't recognize it!

Sadly, we are leaving the bikes behind has 1) neither of us wants to strap them to the back of the Beetle [and I can't drive Hubbyfink's manual Golf which has the trailer hitch and bike rack] and 2) we're going to be in Memphis for only three days and will spend the rest of the week in Alabama where there's a mile and a half [or maybe more] of gravel road between the lake house and the paved road. Yes, you have to "turn off the paved road" to get to Mom's vacation home. Sorry, Zippy.

I'm wrapping up my projects and/or giving my teammates updates on and the locations of my planning documents in case something pops up next week. I've slashed and burned my inbox from 260 to 79 so that the server won't bounce my messages. I've turned off call-forwarding and set up my out of office notice. I've got one more conference call to coast through and I'll spend the rest of the afternoon bouncing in my seat like a kid on the last day of school.

I'm not excited AT ALL in case you couldn't tell.
melaniesuzanne: (Rat)
I stayed up waaaaay too late for a school night watch the live stream of last night's special session and Senator Wendy Davis' filibuster of such in the Texas senate. My Facebook and Twitter pages were ON FIRE as we all watched with goosebumps and hearts in our throats while Senators Ellis, Van de Putte, Watson, West, and Zaffirini attempted to run down the clock with points of order and parliamentary questions. "Robert's Rules" trended on Twitter. HA! And then the gallery took up the gauntlet during the last fifteen minutes, cheering and chanting and disrupting the proceedings so that a vote could not be taken before midnight. The Lt Governor DID hold a vote and noted the passage of SB 5 at 12:02 CDT which was against the rules of the Senate body which caused an eruption of jeers from the gallery and flailing by the Democratic senators. Nobody in the chamber was micced at that point and the cheering and chanting from OUTSIDE THE CAPITOL was audible on the live stream. I finally shut down my computer at 1:30 EDT and slunk to bed feeling the crushing defeat for Texas pro-choicers and hoping that the lawsuit against the unconstitutional nature of that post-session vote would arise by morning.

Imagine my delight this morning when I learned that the vote was stricken. Of course, that legislature (and many others) will try again to remove women's rights over their own bodies and I hope and pray that more legislators will channel Senator Davis' conviction, determination, and endurance.

In SCOTUS news, while only parts of DOMA is dead, it's a step in the right direction. And California's hateful Prop 8 is back in the land of lower federal courts. “We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend a state statute when state officials have chosen not to,” said Chief Justice John Roberts.

It's a start.

I'm still wrapping my head around yesterday's ruling on voting rights. On the one hand, it may have crippled civil rights. On the other, ALL STATES are subject to changes not just the Jim Crow states. Like I said, still wrapping.
melaniesuzanne: (Rat)
It was really and truly wonderful, and one of those weekends you hope will never end. Friday night was full of laziness and then flailing about the new Sherlock series. (After having viewed an additional three episodes, I have developed impure feelings for Benedict Cumberbatch's sociopathic Holmes. Unf.)

Saturday was even lazier with me not rolling out of bed until the crack of noon. I spent a good portion of the afternoon catching up with a college friend whom I haven't seen in, oh, seventeen years? Good gravy. Then there was shopping which resulted in additional organization tools for the bathroom cabinet, cosmetics and fuchsia and purple hair dyes, a slinky dress, and the most adorable tankinis I've ever worn. And BONUS on the swimsuits: I got them from the REGULAR MISSES SIDE OF THE STORE. Boo-yah! (In fact, I think the tops are only XL instead of XXL and they may not carry me to the Outer Banks vacation in October. But, they'll get me through next week's dips in Mom's pool and excursions on the lake.)

Sunday was bittersweet in that we attended a going-away party for [livejournal.com profile] chargirlgenius and family who are moving to Colorado. [livejournal.com profile] snolan generously opened his house to us and we all spent the afternoon swimming, noshing on yummy foodstuffs, and visiting with far- and near-flung friends. Snolan even pulled out some port that was older than the majority of us for sipping. OMG. I had only a sip and it made me cross-eyed. More ports and a sweet wine came out and, again, I had only sips of each but I declared Scott the driver for the return trip home. It was terribly sad saying good-bye to Char and Jeff, but we'll get to see them in a couple of months when we visit Colorado. They'll have to show us their favorite hang-outs.

This morning's alarm was a harsh return to reality. I wanted very much to call in a mental health day, but that was more laziness speaking. Work is being gentle with me thus far and for that I am grateful. I'm sure things will get hairy as Bossman realizes that I'll be out of the office next week...

J'accuse!

Jun. 21st, 2013 11:43 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Ratatouille: Sly Remy by nicodemusrat)
It's totally your fault, Tumblr.

No, really. I was almost (almost) perfectly okay with not having dipped my toe into the Freeman/Cumberbatch "Sherlock" universe but someone (well, several someones) keeps posting adorable gifs and I've loved Martin Freeman for a very long time and I find Sherlock Holmes a terribly intriguing character and there was nothing on TV tonight and the series is on Netflix so, if you're still reading through this run-on sentence, you know where this is going...

Smitten. Head over heels smitten. Puppy-dog, can-I-carry-your-books, waiting-by-the-phone smitten. AND, happily, so is Hubbyfink. Unfortunately, he is not the night owl that I am and I am being a good wife by not watching the next half dozen episodes before dawn. Nnnnngh.

(As an aside, I cannot WAIT to hear Smaug now. Until tonight, I knew next to nothing about BC; I am now stoked.)

Tumblr is also to blame for my DRIVING NEED curiosity to see "Hannibal". Why did I not jump onto that show during the season? More importantly, why does NBC-on-demand not have the entire season available?? WHY???

Oh, don't mind me being all flustered and not-quite nerd ragey that I can't have a cannibalistic serial killer in my virtual life. I'll cling to the sociopathic detective and his Hobbit companion for the time being.
melaniesuzanne: (Rat)
As promised, I took a bike out for a ride. Only one ride, unfortunately, as the urge to nap after work on Friday overwhelmed me. But, Beatrix the loop frame made a triumphant return to the streets of Sterling sporting her new Basil double pannier. Since she's so heavy (45 pounds of pretty blue steel plus the added weight of accessories), I thought I'd make it a nice and slow ride to Target and back. But after loading her down with my purchases, I decided to explore the new Pacific Blvd cut-through to Sterling Blvd.

One lane on each side is blocked with construction barrels and it was pretty nice having my own personal "bike lane" once I got past AOL. I did note the wide asphalt walking path for future rides when/if that cut-through becomes a heavily traveled route. The rise of the Sterling Blvd bridge wasn't too bad; although Hubbyfink was impressed by my determination when he drove that route later, especially considering how heavy Bea is compared to Lily the hybrid (~25 pounds) and Circe the road bike (~15 pounds). I didn't have any trouble until I crossed Shaw at which point my options were to ride amongst car traffic on the boulevard or take the gravel shoulder. I chose poorly the shoulder and experienced one of the more terrifying bits of two-tenths of a mile I've ever ridden. Let's just say that Bea's narrow tires aren't terribly happy on big chunks of gravel. I am happy to report that we stayed upright, although it was close a couple of times. At Glenn Drive, I ducked onto the office park's streets and cut through the bank parking lot until I got back on sidewalk and side streets until I got back to my neighborhood.

I'd ride that 6.3 mile/131 ft gain in elevation route again, but on the hybrid and not loaded down with cargo.

Hubbyfink and I spent an hour or so in the community pool yesterday and talked about triathlons. He's participated in one and I'd like to do one if only for bragging rights. Although, I feel that this will be more my speed. ;)

So anyway, he mentioned a mini/sprint triathlon coming up in August and I thought I'd see how many meters I can swim. With my head condom swim cap and goggles in place, I crawled 50 meters and thought my heart would explode. Hubbyfink cheerfully coached, "Now do that seven more times and you've got it!" I was panting too hard to even glare at him. He did say that my form was very good. I then impressed him with my backstroke (another 50 meters). He admitted that his backstroke was awful, and boy he wasn't kidding. It was mean, but I couldn't stop myself from laughing at his floundering and splashing.

I feel daunted by the 400 meter swim of a sprint triathlon -- even moreso than the mile and a half run (I don't run; I even have a bumper sticker with that sentiment) -- but considering that only a week ago I could crawl only 10 meters, I'm counting 50 as a victory.

Yay.

Jun. 14th, 2013 11:52 am
melaniesuzanne: (Maybelline)
We have officially reached the hair loss portion of the post-WLS process. Yay. I try not to stress too much because I do have a fair amount of hair even though the individual hairs are on the thin side. Sadly, I am ceasing the pinking and purpling until I feel confident that the bleaching process won't make the rest of my hair fall out. If I can't live without unnatural color streaks in my hair, Ulta carries various non-permanent potions which do not require bleaching before application.

The weather threatens to be absolutely gorgeous this weekend. Had I a crystal ball, I'm sure it would foretell of a bike ride or two. Maybe even three. And now that Hubbyfink's cleared for almost all physical activity, I can drag him along for a "short" ride.

Speaking of the Hubbyfink, we'd planned on zipping out to Colorado Springs this past March but surgery schedules got in the way. Why the zipping to CS? Well, back in September I got a bee in my proverbial bonnet about moving somewhere that wasn't so dang hot and humid as the DC area and CS looked fantastic on paper. The change-averse Hubbyfink warmed up to the idea a day later and was ready to move RIGHT THEN. We cooled our jets, though, and calmed down enough to realize that we really should scope out a place before picking up stakes and heading west. (Of course, I hadn't considered the possibility of something like the horrifying wildfire currently destroying the surrounding area... all those unfortunate people... it makes me want to cry.) So, we're flying out for a visit over Labor Day weekend and will see if it is just as good in real life.

Other locations on our short list of Places to Live After Fleeing DC include the Florida panhandle (preferably right on the coast); New Orleans (which, obviously, is even MORE hot and humid than DC but I've become sensitive to cold after this past miserable winter; Hubbyfink is not on board with this idea); Asheville, NC (again, himself is not quite on board); Austin (his entry; as appealing and vibrant as Austin is, I simply can't with Texas); and Columbus, OH (yes, really: my work team is there, the city is beautiful, and it gets four distinct seasons; Hubbyfink doesn't want to live in Ohio). We've got some negotiating to do.
melaniesuzanne: (LotR: Merry & Pippin what the...?)
(N.B. Being in the tech industry, I snicker when I see "Desolation of Smaug" shortened to "DOS" for fairly obvious, to me anyway, reasons.)

So anyway. Yesterday, the two girls behind the Happy Hobbit recorded their reaction to the film trailer and posted it to their YouTube and Facebook pages. Apparently PJ found and shared the video on his Facebook page and then recorded his main elven actors' reaction to the initial reaction video. Too adorable.

Soooo...

Jun. 11th, 2013 04:56 pm
melaniesuzanne: (LotR: Pippin wonder)
I was all set to whine about how stressful work has been and natter about trivialities -- as you do on LJ -- but then, in between conference calls, I sneaked a peek at the "Desolation of Smaug" trailer and my whole nerdy world turned on end. I admit that I curled my lip back with disgust in a few places, but the trailer left me breathless and with spiky hairs on my arms and the back of my neck.

I'm grateful that I had the presence of mind to keep my fangirly squees on the inside -- at least I think they stayed on the inside... nobody came by my cube to look at me strangely, anyway.

CAN IT BE DECEMBER NOW???

I'm going to go watch a few more times.

This-n-that

Jun. 7th, 2013 10:14 am
melaniesuzanne: (Rat)
**Hubbyfink is recovering amazingly well after his surgery. As of today, it's been a full month since the tennis ball-size rock was removed from his head. He still fatigues easily and the deafness in his left ear is going to be permanent, but he is otherwise back to himself. He'll be home for another week and I'm trying to convince him to go back for half days when he starts back at work. He'll have to check with HR to see if that's allowed.

**The Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association went SO MUCH better than I'd expected. [livejournal.com profile] carthew and I started our route about 90 minutes prior to the official start time so as to beat the forecast blistering temperature. We rode fairly slowly -- somewhere in the 9 mph range -- and took lots of water and rest breaks. That was good for me in that it reined me in and kept me from pushing so hard that I couldn't finish the ride. We rested for 45 minutes or so at the turn-around point and then rode even more slowly with more breaks on the ride from Vienna to Reston because that route is mostly uphill. I was so jazzed when we got to the finish that I danced around like a crazed weasel, cheering on other riders as they cruised down the finish line chute.

A few photos. )

Our little team raised nearly $2,047 (thus blowing away our $1,500 goal) for the American Diabetes Association. GO, HULA BEARS! And thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who donated to our cause.

**I have begun shrinking out of my shoes as [livejournal.com profile] hannnahkl promised. Ack! I also have a humongous pile of clothes for donation in the craft room. HU-MON-GOUS. They're mostly 18s and 20s and 2XLs. I need to throw some of winter coats on that pile as well. I can't think of any body local who would need those sizes, but if you're local and COULD use some of those sizes, give me a holler and we'll set up a time for you to dig through my clothes. I'm going to put out a call on Facebook as well. This weekend will be for inventorying the clothing in preparation for donation.

**Related to the shoe- and clothing-shrinkage, I have officially hit the two-teens. Eeeee! I haven't been in the two-teens since early 1997. Seriously. I remember living in Annandale with Tansey and going to Weight Watchers because I'd hit 215. I am beyond thrilled. BEE-YOND.

**Today is the 6th birthday of my twin nieces: Anne and Emily. It's hard to believe that they're SIX! They're going to have a surprise Merida-themed birthday party tomorrow. I can't wait to see their faces. :)

**Last, but certainly not least: HAPPY FRIDAY!
melaniesuzanne: (measure by measure)
We're chugging right along.

Physical changes: As of today, I'm down 40 pounds which was my record with Jenny Craig and way more than I ever lost on Weight Watchers. My thighs and belly look like a Sharpei. My neck probably would, too, but I've been slathering Murad Resurgence Rejuventating Lift on my neck and decolletage every other day (it's too drying for everyday use) and I think it's been helping. I still hate my neck profile, though.

Mental changes: This is a toughie. I'm wrapping my head about my relationship with food. In my head I want to EAT ALL THE THINGS but I physically can't which is one of the reasons I chose WLS rather than yet another commercially available deprivation system. I'm forced into portion control, learning when I'm actually hungry and not, and making better nutrition choices. I've also self-diagnosed myself with body dysmorphia, else how would I have let myself get so huge without noticing. Now that I'm losing weight, I can only barely see it in the mirror and photographs. Hubbyfink took the photo below a couple weeks ago and I love it.

My first 'hot' photo in a long time. )

Clothes: I've had to purchase new capris because most of last summer's clothes don't fit, quelle surprise. I did save a couple pair from my Jenny Craig days, thank heavens, so I didn't have to go nuts on new clothes just yet. I'm also swimming in my bras and have snagged a few cheapies from Target to tide me over. The donation pile for Goodwill is turning into a mountain.

Food: I can tolerate chicken (fried strips, pad thai, salad), BBQ pork, bread, fish, shrimp... You know, all the tricky foods. I CANNOT tolerate humus, chicken quesadilla, pork "products" like sausage, biscuits, some crackers, muffins... you know, a lot of not-so-good-for-me-anyway foods. I've had a rough few nights this week where I couldn't keep anything down, and I commented to Hubbyfink last night: "You know, I could have simply become a bulimic without all the pain and expense of surgery."

Energy level: Meh. Not enough protein, I guess. My surgeon doesn't buy into the YOU MUST EAT ALL THE PROTEIN, but it is supposed to be my primary food source, followed by veggies then fruit then starches. I can add protein shakes -- I LOVE the Atkins Advantage ones -- when I increase my activity level, but I have a hard time chugging one when I'm actually out in the field. The Tour de Cure is on Sunday and I'm veeeeery nervous about being able to ride more than five miles. (The route I'm taking this year is only 14 miles.)

Two months out and would I do it again? Last night, after puking for the fourth time in 20 minutes, I'd have said 'no'. Today, when I'm feeling better, I'm a definite maybe. My occasional word choice of "mutilation" when I talk about the surgery should be telling. Anyone who says that WLS is the "easy way out" is misinformed.
melaniesuzanne: (Memphis - Hernando de Soto bridge)
Yes, yes, the user icon is the Hernando de Soto bridge in Memphis, but it's also the Mississippi River. Work with me, people.

Thursday night through early Monday afternoon found me in the Crescent City, herself: New Orleans! My companions were [livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee (who visited the city last year), [livejournal.com profile] psalite (who was our NO virgin), and LJ-less Ellen (who visited back in the early '90s). We did the full-on, jackhole tourist experience in addition to treading lesser trod paths.

Let the photo extravaganza begin! )

The weather all weekend was gorgeous (which was completely out of the usual for this time of year). All the people I spoke with were characters with fantastic stories to tell. The bike infrastructure (yes, I still keep a weather eye out for such things) appears to have grown even more, and I wanted so badly to join all the cyclists pedaling through the Quarter and uptown. I fell in love with the city again and I want so badly to move south. Must begin negotiations with the Hubbyfink.
melaniesuzanne: (Rat)
In reverse order:

** Tonight I'm flying to New Orleans with three girlfriends for a wild weekend in the Crescent City. I went down there for Memorial Day weekend last year and such a blast that I had to go back. Before last year's trip, the last time I'd spent more than a couple of hours in NO was 1992 during one of the many late night trips from U of Southern Mississippi. I'm looking forward to seeing Holly and Wombat and kids while the girls enjoy a jazz brunch at Court of Two Sisters (buffets are wasted on my tiny pouch...).

** And speaking of Wombat, he's been in town this week on one of his usual business trips and because of terrible weather his flights to Boston were cancelled last night. I booked it over to Dulles and rescued him from having to sleep on an airport chair. He was grateful and we were happy to finally save him from an airport after all the times he's gotten stuck in a DC-area airport due to inclement weather (usually snow storms).

** Before the rescue mission, I got my hair rebobbed, repinked, and added some purple streaks as well. The only complaint I have about the new highlights is that I want more More MORE. I love the purple and it will be a learning experience to see how long the highlights last.

** Before the hair appointment, I saw my torturer orthodontist who installed a new upper wire the size of a high tension power line. He apologized for the pain, but I didn't feel anything because I think my teeth were in shock. Boy oh boy did I feel it later. I couldn't chew my planned dinner of leftover Peruvian chicken and wound up sucking out the innards of a bean burrito so I could get some protein in my system. I could barely chew my calcium supplement. And the sucky part is I can't take NSAIDs anymore. I'd thought about taking one of Hubbyfink's Tylenol-3, but figured it would knock me out and I'd miss getting my hair done.

** Before tooth torture, I saw my pshrink who asked lots of questions about my gastric bypass and Hubbyfink's brain surgery. She'd been concerned about the both of us (she's Hub's doctor, too) and was very happy to hear that all was well.

And back to today: I didn't get to bed until after 1am and awoke around 7am because I heard our houseguest stirring. Now, I'm an at-least-8-hours-of-sleep kind of gal and I very nearly fell asleep during a conference call. Plus, I still have to pack. Thank goodness I'm AR enough to have pulled out outfits last weekend and left them hanging on the closet door. Most of my toiletries are packed as well. All I need is to fill my cosmetics bag and throw everything in the suitcase so I'm not panicking too, too much.

It'll be a fun weekend. I just have to get there.
melaniesuzanne: (Bike: rat)
Yes, I actually rode a bike today.

I'd registered for the Sterling pit stop about a month before we knew about Hubbyfink's surgery which means I'd assumed that I would actually be riding to work (and that I'd have time to grow strong enough from my own surgery to make the five mile trip). We'll handwave that I'm telecommuting until at least Memorial Day so that I can keep a watchful eye on the recuperating 'Fink.

I wore a cute tee, flippy denim skirt, and madras sneakers and rode Beatrix the loop frame. To say that I stuck out amongst the lycra set is an understatement like whoa. But I spoke at length with the Bike Loudoun organizer and got information for Loudoun County's bicycle coordinator. I want to start a campaign to get a light installed at the W&OD and Sterling Boulevard like the one at Belmont Ridge Road in Ashburn and Catoctin Circle in Leesburg. Playing "Frogger" across four lanes of speeding traffic is a harrowing experience, I assure you. The BL organizer suggested I contact my district supervisor, but he is a schmuck who, like most of the county supervisors, is less than sympathetic to the needs and wants of cyclists. But somebody's got to get the ball rolling and that somebody can be me. I also spoke with a representative from the DC-area Tour de Cure who snapped a photo of me since I'm a team captain.

This year's swag in Sterling included a reflective arm band with LED, blue Bike to Work tee (prettier but less visible than last year's neon green), and a slightly-larger-than-last-year's Bike to Work water bottle.

After snapping a couple of photos for inclusion on my bike blog, I headed back home to start my work day. I did give a low-riding recumbent cyclist the thrill of seeing the bike shorts I wear under skirts when a breeze caught my skirt as we passed. Good times.
melaniesuzanne: (Edward's cool hat)
It's been an exhausting ten eight days (obviously exhausting: I can't do math). Last Tuesday, Hubbyfink underwent a thirteen hour surgery -- we were separated for fifteen hours -- to remove what turned out to be a tennis ball-sized tumor from the balance nerve behind his left ear and his spinal cord. Since I had nothing else to do but fret, I wound up putting in a full day of work from the waiting room. Around 11pm, I finally got to see Hubbyfink in the Surgical ICU and did a very good job of blinking back tears and being cheerful for him.

He looked like an extra from "M.A.S.H." His head was covered in bandages, there were bruises on the visible parts of his face, and he had wires and tubes all over the place. He faded in and out of consciousness but we did get to say that we love each other. I drove home in a terrible thunderstorm and got to bed twenty hours after waking.

When I got back to Holy Cross Hospital (in Silver Spring, MD -- about an hour from our home) on Wednesday, Hubbyfink was sitting upright in a recliner. He didn't have an appetite, but he drank Ginger Ale like a champ. His head was still wrapped in bandages, but the bruises had faded and some of the tubes were gone.

On Thursday, he felt even better and was eating breakfast when I arrived. He moved from SICU to a regular room that evening, no longer needed pain medication, and was off the saline drip.

Friday evening, Hubbyfink was discharged from Holy Cross and transported to Shady Grove Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital in Rockville, MD where he stayed until Tuesday morning. During his time in rehab, he underwent occupational and physical therapies. He aced both. I was present for his PT Saturday and Sunday, and during Monday's session, I told his doctor that he would be discharged Tuesday at the latest. The rehab doctor wanted him to stay through this weekend, but Hubbyfink was MISERABLE in the facility. He, his surgeon, and his surgeon's therapist tried to get him discharged, but it wasn't until I showed up in my ass-kicking clothes and boots and bullied the doctor that we got the process going.

Do not question Ass-Kicking Wife.

I sprung Hubbyfink from rehab yesterday morning and carted him over to his surgeon's office for a follow-up appointment. The office staff was amazed by his progress, considering he'd had surgery a mere week ago, and his surgeon told him to get rid of the walker the rehab center made him use. Hubbyfink's homecoming was an emotional affair. It took a little while before the cats warmed up to him, but we wound up with the entirety of our small family in bed last night.

He's moving around very well on his own, although I do watch him on the stairs. He's ecstatic that he doesn't have to ask someone to help him to the bathroom or to move from bed to the sofa. I'm working from home until I feel comfortable leaving him on his own. If he's up to it, we'll take my car over to the campus and I'll let him try driving a bit. He won't be fighting or back on the bike any time soon, but we'll work on getting him back to normal.

Oh, and speaking of my car, it's a good thing I love it so much because from Saturday to Tuesday I put 290 miles on Bebe. Sure, there are lots of folks in this area who put that kind of mileage on their cars in that time frame, but that mileage typically takes me a month!
melaniesuzanne: (Deux souris by Maury)
It's been mentioned elsenet, and I may have alluded here: Hubbyfink is going in for surgery on Tuesday morning to remove a golf ball-sized acoustic neuroma, which is a benign tumor behind his left inner ear. His balance has been deteriorating as well as his hearing and his audiologist prescribed an MRI a few weeks ago. When they found a mass, the office set up an appointment with a neurologist who confirmed our fears; although, we joked about it being an absorbed twin and they'd find hair and teeth in it.

We've been going with gallows humor during this time to keep the terror at bay.

At way too early o'clock on Tuesday morning, we'll head up to Holy Cross hospital in Maryland and he'll be under for eight hours or so while I try to distract myself with telecommuting (if the hospital has decent wifi... of course, Bossman isn't expecting me to do anything this week) or reading or wandering the hospital.

What does this have to do with Les Mis? [livejournal.com profile] carthew was horrified that I hadn't seen the musical movie version and scheduled a movie night for me, [livejournal.com profile] psalite and LJ-less Kim. I've never seen a stage production, but I did read the book in high school and have seen a couple of non-musical movie version, and I've had the original Broadway cast soundtrack. So, I'm familiar with the story and the music. Because I didn't lose it during "I Dreamed a Dream" nor Gavroche's death, I figured I'd get out of the movie with my shriveled, cold heart intact. Then came the penultimate scene and I wept like a newborn babe.

Movie weeping then set off actual weeping from the build up of stress and worry and everything else, and [livejournal.com profile] carthew held me and stroked my hair as I released keening wails and wracking sobs. I was able to unload and then go back to my normal wise-cracking self. At this point, Hubbyfink and I are back to being brave for each other but we do know and understand that the other is worried. He'll be okay, and in less than a week from now, he'll be back home and fending off his spot in the bed and on the sofa from Margiekitten and Oreomonster.
melaniesuzanne: (Love)
I posted elsenet "At this very minute nine years ago, I was getting a mani/pedi with my sister Mimi. But, eight hours later (after making him sweat because I was 30 minutes late), I married my best friend in the whole wide world. Happy anniversary, my darling Scott."

I do love going back through my archives and reading what we did for each anniversary or what memories popped up on those days. We don't have anything special planned for this evening since I want for him to get in as many historical martial arts practices he can before his surgery next week (which I'll talk about in another post) since he won't be able to participate for several months afterwards, if ever. We'll go do something outdoorsy in the forecasted weekend weather.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
-- e e cummings

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Mary F'ing Sunshine

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