I'm having surgery! And I CAN'T WAIT!

Ok you’re either thinking I’ve completely lost my marbles (as if begging for money for a camera wasn’t crazy enough), or I’m very, very sick.

Well, you may be partially right in both cases.  Actually, I am having surgery next Tuesday.  It is minor, outpatient surgery, so there is really nothing to be alarmed about.  The thing is, the surgery I’m having can potentially improve my quality of life 100 fold.

Now this may get a bit icky, but here goes… remember in May when I had that nasty bout with the kidney stone?  Well, if you recall, they put a stent in my ureter to help coax it out.  And they gave me a prescription to help break up the stone and move it out freely (or so they hoped).

Well, folks, that never happened.  It’s now November– yes, SIX months later– and the stone, or fragments of it, it STILL in there.

So my new doctor is going in (you know where) to remove the stent and break up that little son of a bitch once and for all.


Let me tell you what life has been like for the last six months.  I wake up and I immediately have to pee.  I eat something for breakfast (maybe) and I have to pee.  I leave for work, get to work, and I have to pee.  I work for a few hours and, whoops, I have to pee.  I eat lunch and I RUN to the bathroom afterward because I have to pee.  Work for a few more hours and, whaddya know, I’ve gotta pee again.  Pack up and get ready to go home… but wait, gotta pee again.  Leave work, get home, open my door, and nearly trip over my cats while I whip off my coat because– guess what– I’ve REALLY gotta pee.

Nobody should have to pee this much.  And in most cases, I probably don’t… but because that stent is still there, I constantly feel like I have to pee.

And then there is the issue of the pain.  Sometimes the pain is so bad I can barely stand it.  Other times I can barely feel anything.  It hurts more and lingers longer when I do anything strenuous– like climbing stairs a lot or walking long distances.  My bike sat chained all summer long because I couldn’t bear to ride it.  I’ve been driving to work every day for the last six months because walking to the train station, waiting for a train, and then RIDING the train would be sheer torture.  I’ve gained at least 15 pounds due to inactivity just because it hurt too much to do anything else.

It has really, really sucked… and I am SO ready to be free of this once and for all.

So even though next week is “Hell week” for the chorus show, I am taking two days off to remove this monster from my body.  And hopefully I will be able to stand and sing without any pain.  Hopefully, come Monday, I won’t have to drive to work because it hurts too much to walk… hopefully I can ride with all the other ‘normal’ people again.  And hopefully my visits to the bathroom will become less and less frequent– and certainly less painful.

I’ve never been so happy to have surgery in all my life.  I hope I will never have to be this happy ever again!

I'm now reminded why I am still single…

I had a date on Sunday.  Yes… a date.  It was planned before Thanksgiving, so I revised my schedule with my mom so I could come back Saturday night, rest up and be ready for it.  It was pretty casual– we planned to meet briefly and see a movie.

I met him online, of course.  The pictures all looked good to me and we really seemed to hit it off nicely. We chatted for months… and I do mean months.  So it seemed natural that it was time for us to actually meet in person.

Unfortunately, things weren’t as good in person.

I went to get my hair cut before heading out to meet him.  They were busy and the haircut ran late.  I phoned him just as I got out– 15 minutes before the movie was to start.  Fuck.  I knew this wasn’t going to be good.   I drove as quickly as I could to the theater but it was definitely too late to see the movie.  He was waiting for me in front of the box office.

Now I should add that I have been dealing with a cold sore the last few days as well.  It showed up on Wednesday and is just about gone, but it’s still visible.  I hate those motherfuckers.  I have all the medicines in the world: Abreva, Releev, Carmex, Blistex, and so on.  Sometimes they work great, but this time it’s being difficult.  So I had that headache added to the mix.

Anyway, I got there and he was waiting for me.  And right away I could sense that things were going to go sour.  He just… didn’t talk much.  As in– hardly at all.  I asked him if he’d like to see another movie, and he turned to stare at the movie times for at least 5 minutes without saying a word.  So I asked him, “…anything look good?”

No response.

Then he said, “Well, the next showing (of the movie we were planning to see) is at 3:30 so that’s one and a half hours with nothing to do.”

Well alrighty then, Mr. Glass Half Empty!   So I said, “Well, surely there’s someplace we can go to spend the time.”

More silence… then, “Well, I’m sure there’s a Starbucks nearby.  In fact I think I saw one around the corner.”

So we left to grab a cup of coffee.   We went in, ordered our lattes, and found a seat by the window.  Once we got settled, we actually talked a bit and had some decent conversation.  But it didn’t last long.  After about 10 minutes, the silence started.

And it lingered… and lingered… and lingered.

He sipped his coffee.  I sipped mine.

Hello, awkward!

This roundelay of brief conversation and LONG silences happened at least four times, and each time the slience grew longer and longer.  By the third time I had already planned my escape.  There was a Chipotle across the street.  I was hungry and hadn’t eaten lunch yet.   When we finished our coffee and got up to leave, I would say I was going to run and grab a bite, rather than see the movie.

So when the moment arrived, he said he would like to walk through the Borders across the street for a while.  I gave him my Chipotle story (which wasn’t a lie– I truly was hungry).  He didn’t seem all that disappointed, and Lord knows I wasn’t either.

So we said our goodbyes and parted.

And so ends the first date I’ve had in at least 2 years.

The first thing I said to myself as I crossed the street is the title of this post: “I’m now reminded why I am still single.”  Dating sucks ass, and I hate it.  I am so much happier– so much better off being alone.  I have friends.  I have family.  That should be enough for me.  Screw the rest.  It’s not worth the effort, especially when it’s as painful as this was.

Aw but hell, who am I kidding?  I’ll try again when the time — and the guy — is right.


LIVE from Aiello Bakery!

I hope you all had a wonderful, tasty and memorable Thanksgiving!

I’m coming to you “live” from Aiello Bakery a/k/a my Mom’s house.  We spent the entire day today making pies, coffee cakes and breads.  Put that together with yesterday’s traditional Thanksgiving feast, and it’s been non-stop cooking and baking around here.

And it was just Mom and I this year.

With my sister on bed rest, she and her husband spent Thanksgiving in her “cocoon” all day.  Except for the time he took to make her Thanksgiving dinner with as many fixings as he could put together.  I think she was pretty impressed with how he handled everything.  That pretty much sums up everything about this guy.  My sister really lucked out… she’s got a great guy for a husband.

As for Mom and I, we decided to spend our time together in the kitchen.  We had a full turkey, gluten-free cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes (my special recipe!), cranberry sauce, veggies, squash, and yes, of course, pumpkin pie.  And we cranked all of it out in less than six hours.  We are a pretty damn good team.  It was a lot of fun, but a LOT of work, and very exhuasting. 

Today we planned for a baking day.  Mom, in years past, always made incredible yeast-risen coffee cakes for Christmas– some for us and some to give away to friends.  She enjoyed making them, and we enjoyed eating them.  But as the years went on and it got harder for her to work with the dough, she put away her bread cookbook and focused on simpler tasks. 

This year we decided to break out the old recipes and make some old favorites.  I showed Mom how she can use her bread machine’s dough preparation setting or her KitchenAid mixer to knead the dough so she didn’t have to do all the work.  She was ecstatic to discover that she can make all of her old favorites again. 

We made four coffee cakes, a loaf of sourdough bread (I gave her some of my starter) and another pie for my sister (using gluten-free flour in our traditional crust recipe).  I don’t think I’ve EVER done so much baking in one day, but man we cranked stuff out fast and furious.  And we had so much fun doing it. 

Tomorrow we are bringing leftovers and the pie to my sister for a quick visit.  Since her diagnosis with Celiac disease, I don’t think she’s had an honest-to-goodness homemade Thanksgiving dinner where she could eat EVERYTHING– including the stuffing and pumpkin pie.  When she sees how beautifully this pie turned out, she’s going to really get excited.  Had we all been together, we all would have enjoyed the gluten-free crust. 

So although we weren’t all together, it was a pretty great Thanksgiving.  And considering how much we have to be thankful for– healthy babies on the way, healthy family, and a lot of love between us all– I’d have to say it was one of the best in recent memory. 

Until, of course, next year!  🙂

Help me buy a new camera!

For the last four years, I’ve become quite the shutterbug. Ever since I got my digital camera, it went where I went. Day, night, all over town and all over the country– my camera documented my almost every move.

But four years later, my camera has seen better days. It’s been banged, dropped, and otherwise harmed more times than I can count. Through it all, it kept working great; but recently I dropped it while getting out of my car and the shutter release button broke off. I fashioned a temporary fix out of a plastic-coated paperclip, tape, some cotton balls and rubber cement. It works– but it’s wreaking hell on my fingers.

So it’s time to upgrade.

Photography has become more than just a passing hobby for me. It’s something I really believe I am good at– and something that, with more practice and a better camera, I can use to my advantage.

So, I am doing something I have never done before– I am turning to you, my readers, for help. 

If you would like to help me raise the funds to buy a new camera, click the “donate” button to be brought to my PayPal account and give whatever you can. Your contributions will go toward the purchase of a new Digital SLR camera — which is what I am looking for.

Why am I doing this?  I figure it’s worth a shot.  I’m saving up all my birthday and Christmas money, as well as some of my Christmas bonus money, for this.  It’s going to be a big investment. 

But my main reason for reaching out to you, my blog readers, is because what I do with that camera will hopefully be displayed on my blog in the months to come.  Think of it as an investment in my future in the blogosphere.  Oh sure, I’ve threatened to leave many a time (who hasn’t?), but I figure at this stage in the game, I’m not going anywhere.  I’m too invested in this place.  Besides, I’d miss it.

Does that mean things will be changing here?  Not really– it’ll just be more visually interesting. 🙂

So if you can help out, I’d love you for it.  But even if you can’t, I’d still love you. 

See, that works out pretty well. 🙂

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

All is right with the world (for now!)

My car is fixed and running better than ever. In fact it’s like a brand-new car– the clutch is so sensitive I practically have to re-learn how to drive it!  It’s wonderful.

My sister is home from the hospital and resting peacefully.  She and the babies are healthy.  This weekend I’m taking my mom to see her, and we’re both looking forward to it.

One of my friends had a string of bad luck as well– his cat died and is iPod was stolen.  Last night my friends and I got together for his birthday and gave him his present:  a new iPod and lots of love and support. 

Bad things happen in big bunches.  But eventually, everything seems to right itself and things don’t seem so bad. 

Let’s hope that all stays right with the world from now until the end of the year (at least).  As we enter the holiday season, I think that’s all we can ask for!