Friday, May 30, 2008

I Got My Medical Degree at Google University

The hits, they just keep on a-comin'. My body, always willing to surprise me, has taken on some interesting changes.

Several weeks ago the kids and I were over at my sister's, and I started having a really bad problem with my vision. It got quite dim, and there were odd flashing rings around my peripheral vision. I couldn't see very well. I was more than a little freaked out. I thought perhaps I had looked directly into some kind of light or another, maybe in contrast to where my sister's computer was located in relation to the windows, and perhaps frigged up my retinas. It was the only thing I could come up with.

It lasted about half an hour altogether, and then once we were home I had a killer headache. I thought it was from the tension of, you know, feeling a little blind there for awhile.

Well, last night as I was tucking kids in, it happened again. I kind of kept going with what I was doing, went downstairs and tried to watch TV, but it was just impossible. Jagged flashy lights around the edges of my dimmed vision made it just not an option. I remembered the first time it happened, and really spazzed out that I might be having some kind of vision failure, some degeneration that would eventually leave me blind. I was also worried about a detached retina, except that my vision disturbances were occurring in both eyes. (I tested this...both sides, open or shut.)

It occurred to me that my friendly little computer over here on the desk might be able to help me out. So I Googled "vision flashing light" and the very first hit (confirmed by many others) showed me that what I was probably experiencing was an ophthalmic migraine. This basically is a migraine without the pain. It is often (and was, in both of the times it occurred with me) followed by a "regular" migraine. Last night I was able to use my prior experience to know that a migraine was probably coming and took some meds to help diffuse it.

I've gotten migraines since I was a teenager (perhaps earlier, it's hard to remember). At one point in my twenties I was having them on a daily basis, to a degree where my doctor ordered a Cat scan to be sure I didn't have a brain tumor (nothing showed up...well, not nothing...there is a brain in there, it was confirmed). Having this new twist on the migraine is interesting, but other than the sucky part where I can't see, it's kind of good to have the advance warning that the big pain is coming. My usual symptoms (usually one or two big flashes of light in my entire vision) don't happen early enough for me to take the pills that might head it off. On more than one occasion I've gotten a literal bolt out of the blue, with pain so bad, so suddenly, that I dropped to the floor.

So, Google has assuaged my fear. I am all self-diagnosed. I freakin' love Google. And yeah, yeah, talk to my physician, blahblahblah. I'm good for now. I'm not a doctor, but I play one in my life. :D mk

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Well, the wedding is past. I've been completely wiped out since then. Today is the first day I have been able to actually remain upright for more than a half-hour at a time. Joanna told me that it's the sign of a really great wedding if it takes multiple days to recuperate. Well, then, Brenda's was INCREDIBLE. ;)

It really was. The bride was glowing (come to think of it, so was the groom). The food was marvelous, the contra dancing was a total blast (I have never had so much fun making a complete idiot of myself), the bonfire and s'mores were great. Everything looked fantastic, the bride was totally gorgeous, the ceremony had everything in it I could ever wish for my own. There was so much personality in it, humor, love.

For a gift to her husband, Brenda hired a wonderful artist to compose and perform a song at the reception, chronicling their personal journey. It is titled "Magic and Mist," and was just the most amazing thing. Brenda, Ellen Tipper and I were the only three in the world who knew about this before it happened. I hadn't heard or read the song, though, and hearing it performed actually made me cry. (I had never in my life cried at any part of a wedding.)

There were, of course, a few little bumps on the road to greatness (including the joy of starting to make the bridal bouquet 15 minutes before we were supposed to meet the photographer at the home where we were getting dressed! Brenda did a fabulous job, though--it was beautiful.), but really, they were minor and the entire thing went so much more smoothly than I had anticipated. Really, it was awesome. We heard from several people that it was the best and most fun wedding they had ever attended. I know it was for me.

Mark had my camera, and took over 200 pictures. Of those, three were of me. He really took to heart my instruction that I wanted lots of pictures of Brenda and Brian....I *meant* as opposed to the girls!...a few more pictures of his MOM would have been okay!!! Well, at least I made it into a few of the wide-angle shots of Brenda and Brian! ;) (I still love you, Mark.)

Of course, I end with photos. Don't worry....not all 223! mk

The happy couple & the best man. You can't see me because I'm way off to the left, on the other side of the ship's wheel.

Hey, one with me in it!

During the handfasting.

One of the three pictures Mark took of just me.

Hurray! Married!

The wedding cake. This picture does *not* do it justice. All of the decorations (the coral, rocks, shells, sea glass) were made of sugar. And it was absolutely delicious to boot.

Kira before the ceremony started. I think this was a surprise "hey, Kira!" shot, as evidenced by her wildly swinging hair as she whipped around. I included this picture to show you the table decorations, which were votive candles, beach rocks, and sea glass. Place markers were beach rocks with guests' names written on them. Unfortunately, it was too windy to actually light the candles.

Kira showing her love and respect for her brother.

And one to show that she really can look peaceful and pretty if she wants.

Nice artistic shot of my mom.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

[I'm so tired it took me two days to realize I never put a title on this]

#72 on my 101 list was to climb a mountain with the kids. Yesterday we did it, along with a bunch of the out-of-town guests for Brenda's wedding (which is TODAY! And there's so much to do! So naturally I am BLOGGING!).

There are more pictures, but here are a few of my favorites. mk

At the cool tower at the top.
Dang good thing Kira was there to hold me up. Otherwise I'd be like this:
The girls' moms were taking awesome pictures of them all peeking out from the tower. They didn't know I was taking this one. The girls thought it was cool.

All the kids.

The girls loved Kira and have pretty much adopted her. She and her favorite "buddy":These are *Mark's* favorite pictures of the day:
First kiss from a college girl! Not to be outdone:Mark had a happy, happy day.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wedding Panic

I often use the computer to escape from real-life responsibilities and stress. Which is why I am making this list instead of actually combating the issues I am about to relate.

The wedding is 80 hours away. Actually, TOMORROW begins the festivities, with a dinner at Brenda & Brian's house. Here are some of the reasons I am freaking out:

* Um, PEOPLE. I'm sure I must have mentioned a time or two that people scare me. There will be 140+ people at this thing.

* Brian does not have a tux yet. The tux he ordered arrived yesterday and is ALL WRONG. They have something on super-rush order that *should* arrive tomorrow. I believe I will be hitting Goodwill to see if they have any more of those $5 suits.

* Brenda doesn't think she likes her dress. That she had made. She is worried that it is not flattering. She has an alternate dress that she ordered on eBay, which is currently at the dry-cleaners. To try and fix a giant stain neither of us noticed until I think last week. Also, there was a reason the alternate dress was not the primary dress. Probably something to do with fit. Hopefully that issue has been resolved. Jeans are looking more and more like the way to go. ;)

* Brenda also has not made a final selection on jewelry. I realize this is minor.

* I am not tan. In fact, my legs are blindingly white. I am wearing a knee-length dress with no hose. I have never actually done that before, largely due to my blindingly white legs, which never seem to tan. I am getting a spray tan tomorrow morning, which should remedy this.

* I am getting a spray tan tomorrow. Never done that. Really, REALLY hoping it looks good, as it will last over a week. Fortunately, this spray tan is being done via airbrush, so I will not have the Ross effect. I hope.

* Did I mention I'm wearing a knee-length dress? And that we're having the ceremony on the ship? Considering how windy it was there yesterday, I may be flashing lady-bit parts at the entire "congregation." Where is my duct tape?

* Brenda is now considering that she might change at the reception, to be more comfortable for the contra-dancing. She does not yet have a top to go with her contra skirt. I went shopping for her yesterday and found four possibles. That she has not yet seen.

* We are not hiring out for the catering, decorating, or flowers. Are we insane?

* Brenda has 700 stems of flowers being delivered tomorrow. The kiddie pool in which we are going to keep these flowers hydrated is currently sitting in my yard. I do not own a truck. I live 12 miles away from Brenda.

* We were planning to put together a photo board to display at the reception. That has not been started yet.

* We're borrowing tables and chairs from a local church. These have not been picked up yet.

* The tents are due for delivery and setup tomorrow. This is when we will find out if they will work with the venue.

* No decision has been made yet where to put the buffet tables.

* This is a working shipyard. The spaces are still in use, and have not been cleared. Much less begun to be decorated.

* The boats aren't ready. In fact, the Rendezvous is still at the marina where it spent the winter being renovated. Yesterday was planned to launch; that has been rescheduled for today.

* The programs are not assembled. Brenda actually has someone planned to do this, I think today. I think.

* I've never made a corsage or boutonniere in my life. Did I mention we're doing our own florals?

* There will be people there! PEOPLE!!!

* We have not done Brenda's test-run on her makeup. We think we're going to do that tomorrow, somewhere in between deciding on her wedding dress, checking out the jewelry, picking a top to go with her contra skirt, and a bunch of other wedding stuff. Oh yeah, and hosting a dinner at her house for an unknown number of people. (out of town guests coming in for the wedding, and Brenda's parents, I think.)

* The kids still have all of *their* regular stuff. Today Mark has an away game (which is actually closer than our "home" field). That's at 3:45. Kira has practice at 5:30.

* I had literal nightmares last night that I accidentally dropped Brian's ring overboard.

* The boats aren't ready!!!

* We are writing guest's names on beach rocks to be used as place markers at the tables. This has not been done. We will be writing about 140 names on rocks. Sometime. After we set up the tables. That we have not gotten yet. We *think* we have enough rocks.

* Why am I sitting here writing this post instead of working on this stuff?

* I also have to press Mark's suit, double-check Kira's outfit, pack the bride's emergency kit, figure out my spare shoes (because I can tell you, I will NOT be wearing my ceremony shoes through the entire reception), find a sweater or something I can wear with the dress if it's chilly...and I know there's more, I just can't think past the roaring in my ears.

I keep reminding myself that at the end of the day on Sunday, Brenda and Brian will be married. Everything else is just icing. Things will go wrong, of course; no wedding is perfect. I need to roll with it, stop freaking out (it's not *my*'s not *my* wedding....keep saying that, mk) and enjoy as much as possible.

K, I really need to get my ass in gear and get some stuff done. My house is a hellhole. I have not figured out what I am going to wear to the dinner Friday, the mountain hike and mountaintop picnic on Saturday, the rehearsal dinner on Saturday night, or all day on Sunday until it's time to get dressed for the ceremony. I'm not entirely sure my favorite clothes are even clean. That's on today's to-do list. Which I NEED TO GET CRACKING ON.

79 hours.


Wedding Countdown Timer provided by Bridal Guide

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Disclaimer: many bloggers have the dilemma of how to handle issues that they want to blog about, but are concerned that it involves people that they know read their blog. In this particular case, I am choosing to deal with this as if Brenda does not read my blog, even though I know that she does. So the following is my totally honest feeling and reactions, undiluted and uncensored.

So, Brenda gave me a present yesterday to thank me for the bridal shower. (I, the etiquette "expert" of my set, was unaware that a present from the bride was expected for this maid-of-honor duty, but hey, who am I to turn down a gift?) She gave me a clue before I opened it. My clue was: 48.

My best thinking was not equal to the task (have I mentioned lately that I'm a little tired and brain-dead? Yeah, that.). So I continued on to the actual opening.

She gave me a ticket to see STOMP!

This is item #48 on my 101 list. I have been dying to see this group live, for years. She and Brian also have tickets, we are all going together to see them on September 27th. I am beyond thrilled. And, AND, we are in the fifth row, center! The fifth freaking row!!!!!! I have a good chance of getting dusty and/or wet during the performance!!!

Actually, I am near tears with gratitude, not only for this gift, which is amazing, but for the opportunity that Brenda has given me, the level of involvement I have had with this wedding. I am privy to knowledge about the inner workings of this event that no one else has, except the couple themselves, and I am just so grateful that I have been allowed so close. I feel guilty for her appreciation of my work on this project, because I am just so happy to be such an integral part of it. I definitely don't feel I deserve gifts. And that she put such thought and effort to provide me with something so incredible, such a fantastic experience, that I have been so craving, is just monumental. (I speak here of both Stomp! and the maid-of-honor privilege.) I'm not sure I could ever truly express how much this has all meant to me. I truly don't think that I am ever going to find someone that I want to spend the rest of my life with, I think my chance at love is past, regardless of what others tell me, and I am just so excited to have the ability to be a part of creating such a great celebration of love that this wedding will be.

And Stomp! Gad, I can't wait to see it! This is something that I put on my list as an ideal, not as something I ever realistically expected to achieve. To share it with Brenda, one of my favorite people (and proximity throughout the wedding planning has only increased my love for this amazing friend), just makes it all the better. I honestly don't think she could have possibly done something greater than this. Wow.

OK, I'm getting sappy and I know it. But I'm all sentimental (hey, I'm going to be part of a WEDDING in a week....I need sentiment levels at maximum!), and here it is.

Anyway, wanted to share. HAD to share. How totally cool. mk

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You'd Think I Was 80

It's a little after 7, and for the last couple of hours, I've been waging a little war in my head. The debate is whether to go to bed. On the pro side is hello, I'm exhausted. The con side seems to be entirely consisting of the concern with being pathetic, or like an old person who goes to bed at an insanely early hour each day. I'm not really sure what's up with that, maybe a leftover from the "early to bed, early to rise" thing.

I'm never a real night owl. I don't do much sleeping in, either. I'd rather be awake while it's light out. This is my argument to the kids when they want to know why they can't stay up later. Kira agrees with me, she'd rather be awake when it's light and she's allowed to go outside. Mark, well, he seems to lean more towards the night owl/sleep late existence.

All this said, I have been dying to go to bed since about 4:30. I've been able to hold out so far, but it's a fast-losing battle. I'm not really sure why I'm fighting it so hard, since it's not like there's even anyone else here today (kids with X), so I can indulge in the extra sleep without advertising my pathetic loserness (unless, of course, I choose to advertise it on my blog--hi there!).

Wow. I've got the whole day and evening to myself, and what do I choose to do? Sleep. Whoa, hold me back, I am such a party girl!

(yawn) Continue on without me. Last one out, turn off the lights. mk

And Then His Head Exploded

Conversation between me & Mark Monday night:

mk: What would you say about the opportunity to work at a one-day basketball clinic, as a volunteer assistant?
Mark: Man, that would be cool! Really? Awesome!! Can I do that?
mk: OK. Now, what would you say about the opportunity to work at a one-day basketball clinic, as a volunteer assistant, if the clinic was run by the Celtics?
Mark: (head exploded here.)

My friend Kimmie is a house parent and this year's summer events coordinator for Perkins School for the Blind. There won't be any definite answers until after the playoffs, but she's working to put together a basketball clinic for her students with the Boston Celtics, who go to the campus often for other events, including Read to Achieve. Perkins is one of the Celtics' partners this year in the Shamrock Foundation. One of the owners of the Celtics, Wyc Grousbeck, is very involved in Perkins. So this is a very real possibility for Mark.

Cool, eh? mk


Well, Brenda's bridal shower was on Saturday, and it went *great*! No major mishaps, everyone seemed to have a good time, there was more food than could feed twice as many people (I always get a little panicky that we might run out....*definitely* no worry on that one). The bride had a good time, there was a LOT of laughing, it was just great. Success!

The best game that we played was the one I was the most nervous about. Kira has about a billion Barbies, and I grabbed a bunch, along with some pre-measured lengths of toilet paper (20 sheets). Everyone had five minutes to create the best wedding dress for their Barbie. (no tape or anything, to keep the dress on was part of the challenge) The bride was the judge at the end.

Brenda with the two winning designs.

The Bride-to-be made one too, just for fun.

We had some incredibly creative results...everyone did such a great job, I'm glad I'm not the one who had to judge!

The happy couple.

Now we're in the final run to the wedding...and we are NOT ready. eek! mk

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Kira's Cheetah

As promised, here is a picture of Kira's papier-mâché cheetah. I just love how it came out, and as soon as she brings it back from the Academic Fair, I am going to display it as sculpture. Kira said that she thinks it has a very African feel to it, almost like it was made in Africa as a piece of art, and I have to agree. I offered to put a topcoat on it, but she thought she should leave it matte, since that looked more like an African sculpture.

Monday, May 05, 2008


In another example of how I can manage to get hurt in the most bizarre ways...

Mark had a baseball game tonight. Small team, they have ten kids (between two schools combined) and one of them was sick, so we had *just* enough kids to play. Not all the parents had arrived by the beginning of the game, so there were four people in the stands on the home team side. Four. Scattered over the entire section of bleachers.

The other team was at bat, and a kid hit a very high pop fly. Someone else in our bleachers yelled, "Look out!" I bent over at the waist and covered the back of my head with my hands. And then BONK! I got hit just below the base of my skull with the ball. DAMN that hurt. (Terminal velocity of a baseball is about 95 mph, BTW)

I think it is likely that I have a mild concussion, and I'll bet tomorrow that I'll have one hell of a stiff neck. Sitting here right now, the pain is going down into my back. I've also been *very* dropsy since we got home. I managed to drop or spill everything I was making for dinner (along with burning myself on the steam from the pasta AND on the rack of the oven). At that point I asked Mark to take over and serve dinner. :D (Then later I made pudding and...yup...spilled that, too.)

sigh. Well, we'll see how it goes. mk

Friday, May 02, 2008

Calling Charles Atlas...

Mark has started weightlifting. He's been doing it for about a week, every night before he goes to bed. He's pretty darn impressed with his results so fact, he even agreed to let me photograph the evidence.

"I call this one 'Thunder....'"

"I call this one...well, I haven't named this one yet."

And here's the future Mr. Universe:

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wow. Maybe I Shouldn't Watch Commercials Anymore.

Am I supposed to be impressed that the underage anorexic Nivea commercial girl can slap her thigh with the lotion without encountering rippling cellulite?

Instead, I think I would rather kill her. How's that sound? mk