28 February 2006

Hair Do's & Dont's

On Saturday, Jesse said he couldn't find me. I know! By now, he should know every other Saturday is hair trim Saturday. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with Nic's latest do. Jesse didn't like it at all. I know so because he said "I don't like your hair today at all." He believes in expressing himself clearly.

So do I keep going to Nic? He's (usually) really good at what he does but I don't think I need to go (or spend) as often as I do. Plus he over books his appointments so I have to wait at least an hour before I get in the chair. Also he's a whole 30 minute drive away from where we live.

The obvious decision is to tell Nic I don't like the waiting, the appointment frequency, or the location. Then I'll either stop going as frequently or altogether. But I like Nic and I feel bad just leaving. Last time I brought something to occupy my time. But on Saturdays I'd rather spend more time with Jesse. Obviously he gets worried if I leave him alone.

25 February 2006

On To Some Music

Last Friday night (17 February 2006), after the debacle with the peanut butter, we set out for some music. We, along with our friend Joel, went to the Sand Dollar Blues Lounge. We didn't stay long (Lucy's and Danielle wanted more) but while I was there I was invited to a slumber party. Let me explain.
A woman came up to me and asked me what I thought about the bar. I told her I liked it and she said the band was great. Then she asked to smell some perfume. I said no, because I've read that email a few times. You know, the one that tells women about how guys at gas stations ask them to smell perfume but it's really ether so the woman gets knocked out and taken to parts unknown.

But she persisted. And the more I thought about it, I realized she couldn't really take my unconscious body anywhere without being noticed. I smelled it, and told her it was nice, but that I didn't want any. She promised a dab would be more than enough because it had pheromones. Again, I told her no. Then she invited me to a slumber party and handed me her card.
I tell you, the people who live in Vegas are in a class all by themselves. Anyway, we left there and went to the Palms. Lucy & Danielle ditched us to find guys to buy them drinks so Joel, Jesse, & I went to the Double Down Saloon. From there we went to the Excalibur, where we played poker until princesses 1 & 2 wanted to see us again for a ride home. And what do you know, it was morning. After the girls and the Joel were home, Jesse drove to Arizona.

23 February 2006

What Do You See?

Is that peanut butter? Or an instrument of death? The answer is "yes." Last Friday (17 February 2006) Jesse and I went to work as per usual. We left Lucy & Danielle up to their own devices but the idea was that they would be ready by 11pm. Jesse and I were obviously way too ambitious. The girls went out, caught a drink special, and watched some hilarious karaoke at the Imperial Palace.

They came back to the apartment to eat and that's when Jesse tried to kill Danielle! I know, I was shocked too. She's such a nice girl. Here's an anecdote:
Jesse just loves peanut butter on toast. He eats it so often, he just keeps the peanut butter by the toaster, open, and with a knife on top. Well sometimes the knife hits the counter and leaves a little peanut butter smudge. Notice the smudges in the above picture.

So as Lucy & Danielle were making mac & cheese, they dropped some noodles. Danielle used her hand and wiped the noodles up. AND SHE TOUCHED A PEANUT BUTTER SMUDGE. Danielle, by the way, is the first person I've ever known to be allergic to all things peanut.

Jesse and I got back from work, expecting the girls to be ready or just about ready to go. We were wrong. Lucy was wearing a bath towel (at least she had showered) and Danielle was wearing sweats.

She was also quite swollen on one side of her face and splotchy on the other. I politely asked her what happened. Jesse chose to call her Quasimodo. And to be quite honest, he wasn't too far off.

We talked her into taking some medicine and we hit the road.

22 February 2006

If: The Enemy

"If" is (for lack of a better phrase) a stupid word. It's just too powerful for it's simplicity. "If" brings the lure of chance. It also adds conditions to one's thoughts and aspirations.

Today my problem with "if" is it's determination to detract from the now. "If" is fantastical. It lets us know what could have been, without addressing what is. "If" opens old wounds for deeper exploration. "If" reminds us of unhappier times and how we felt then. Traveling down the "if" path almost negates progress made and ignores the ensuing positives.

I see "if" as fueling the bulldozer that's breaking up my family. "If," combined with the facts, dupes us into thinking we're moving forward when we're really just biding our time. It lets us talk about what we didn't like about the past, without actually saying anything. "If" lets us bring up irrelevant topics, point fingers, and hurt feelings. "If" is certainly the enemy.

But of all people, I know it's not all bad. Like I said, "if" brings the lure of chance."If" helps us hold out for miracles. It inspires hope and offers motivation in the face of almost certain defeat. Simply put: "if" gets us through.

For me, it's "If I can get through today, if I could start over, if he hadn't done that, if he hadn't said that, if there were a solution, if she could find a cure..." I'd be happier.

21 February 2006

Let The Party Begin

I hope you're sitting down. Actually it doesn't really matter, I just wanted to write that. Last Thursday (16 February2006) Jesse's sister Lucy and her friend Danielle rolled in from sunny Wisconsin. This is a shot I lifted from airport surveillance. They work for American Eagle and enjoy wonderful travel benefits, which I don't know if I'm allowed to disclose.

They were scheduled to arrive around 11. Then sent a text message saying they would be 15-20 minutes late. I think they de-planed a little after midnight. Here is the heartwarming reunion. We had to wait for their checked luggage (it was after all a whole 4 day trip) and they just HAD to change before we could go anywhere. Don't worry, they were ready by 1:45 am. And they looked just fabulous. I didn't take a picture because I was too busy falling asleep. Jesse didn't take a picture because he was too busy chewing off his own arm. He was hungry.

Our food options were limited because it was so late. We ended up going to McMullan's, just about across the street from where we live. There we ate fish, fries, and delectable chicken nachos. Jesse and Lucy did some catching up and rekindled their fraternal bond. They even had a deep philosophical discussion and the mating habits of the Emperor Penguin.

And then it was three in the morning. So we went to bed.

17 February 2006

It's The Weekend...

And I haven't even told you what we did last weekend. Where have I been? Last Saturday I got a haircut. It's not that it's my new addiction, but my stylist says I come back every two weeks. Is that excessive? It's annoying every time because there's a lot of waiting and sitting under the dryer. I tried going in early, going in late, even scheduling it on an odd week. He must just be that popular.

You may also notice new glasses in that picture. But don't get used to them, they're already gone. My new optometrist said my right eye was over prescribed. He reduced it and strengthened my left eye. Too bad my left has been the
lazy eye for the last 21 years or so. I couldn't see. Road signs were blurry and I was getting headaches. I called the optician (different from the optometrist) the same day I picked them up and he told me my head just had to adjust. Oh really? I've been wearing glasses for 21 years. I know the difference between new glasses and the wrong glasses. That was Thursday. I had them adjusted on Saturday and saw the optometrist on Monday. Wouldn't you know it, my prescription was wrong. So now I'm back to waiting for a new pair.

Saturday night (before Valentine's night) we went to a boat and rv show. Jesse likes boats. Some were really nice and roomy. I especially like all the secret compartments. There's a lot to be said for storage. This is a picture of me inside of a boat. And I think that's all I have to say about that.

Last Sunday we went for a drive to the Hoover Dam. As you can see, it's really pretty here when the dust isn't blowing.

The dam is only about 30 minutes away. I think it may even be less without the traffic, but there is always traffic, so who can tell?

We stared at the water, and marveled at the size of the dam. That white line is calcium. It's indicative of our water shortage.

I called my parents and my brother to say "look at me, I'm at the Hoover Dam," but only my brother answered. His reply was "why?" My dad was stuck in the Dominican Republic because of a record setting storm that hit the east coast. On the west coast, Jesse ate ice cream while wearing shorts and driving with the window down. Those are the breaks I guess.

14 February 2006

Happy Valentine's Week

I know we give it just a day, but since it's almost over as I type this, I've extended Valentine's Day to the whole week. Hooray! Jesse and I celebrated on Saturday. We had some Chinese delivered and watched Million Dollar Baby and the new Bad News Bears. I thought both movies were delightful. It was a sweet and relaxing evening. I think we needed it... at least I did.

As far as our Valentine celebrations go, this was our best. The three times before this one (we were "not" dating for a long time) all resulted in me pouting and crying. Jesse and I differ in our perceptions of Valentine's Day. He thinks it's a stupid day when girls pressure dudes into buying flowers, candy, and jewelry. I see it as a designated day for mutual appreciation. And I also think it serves as a reminder. If guys don't remember to get flowers for their significant others, Valentine's Day is there to remind them. It took us three years to get on the same page. Obviously the 4th time's the charm.

But in reality, Valentine's Day is shrouded in mystery. Do you know it's history? I knew it was named after a saint (St. Valentine to be exact) but I didn't know the story. Now I know a little more.

12 February 2006

Now the Next Lesson

We've mastered the aneurysmectomy, now how about Neuropathy? It's something I had never heard of until this last weekend. If you don't feel like visiting the link, I'll give you the quick and dirty. Having Neuropathy means the coatings around the nerve endings inside your body are crumbling. Your nerve bundles are exposed and you're in constant pain.

"But Danie," you may ponder, "why the sudden interest in terrible afflictions?" It's not by choice. Neuropathy turns out to be the latest diagnosis for my mother. Isn't that just craptastic? First the Lyme Disease prompts the Multiple Sclerosis. Then the MS prompts the Diabetes. Now the Diabetes prompts the Neuropathy. It's enough to make a weaker person lose their mind. Fortunately, my mom has her poop in a group (as they say) and she's taking it all better than can be expected.

Of course, there's no cure. My mom told me there's a surgery she could have, but she's adamantly against more surgeries. She's already had a few. She's not sad, so I won't be. But of all the things that happen to good people and that are not fair - this takes the cake.

In another time I would suggest sending money to fighting Neuropathy, but is it the Neuropathy we should be fighting, or the Diabetes, or the MS? No. I say it's the Lyme Disease. That's what got us into this mess in the first place. In my opinion, this is the scariest diagnosis of them all, probably because I hadn't heard of it before.

But we're a positive people. My mom feels okay and I'm going to persuade her to get the best treatment possible, even if it's surgery. If you know anyone who knows anything about Neuropathy, have them drop me a line.

11 February 2006

First, An Update

You may recall a little while back, I told you my dad needed an anuerysmectomy. It was a pretty compelling moment in Taylor family history. The scare temporarily mended very broken relationship between my dad and my brother. It also ended the silent hostilities between my dad and my mom. We had a plan in place in which we would all take turns taking care of my dear old dad after surgery. My brother actually wanted to stop him from all activity before the surgery. But the man needed to work.

One week after hearing that he'll need surgery, my dad met with the surgeon. Here's the verdict; my dad can't have surgery because his blood pressure isn't stable. Is that good news? Is it worse news? I'm not sure. What do you think? My dad was relieved because he didn't like that part about stopping his heart. But he still has an enlarged artery.

Supposedly my dad is incredibly motivated an has already started losing weight. I sent him a yoga dvd and some arm bands (both of which he wanted) and I hope he'll stick with it. The surgeon said my dad will have to come back for checks every three months. Of course diet and exercise (and no heavy lifting) will keep my dad alive. But I personally prefer the surgery. I trust that better than my dad's health kick. So I'm not sure how I feel about this decision. But what say you public?

08 February 2006

It's Been A Slow Week

Hi. I have no fun stories to share. I've been thinking and thinking but it's been a slow week. But I haven't been in a hole, so there are a few things I can mention.

First of all, as far as I'm concerned Google (goog) is tanking. If it gets much closer to what I paid for it, I'm going to sell. Then I'll buy it again once it's below $300, or starts to go up again. My only reservation: my 2006 taxes. I'd rather not have a capital gain this year. But I'd also rather not stay on a sinking ship. I don't know how to swim.

Also, I filed our taxes last week using Turbo Tax. I highly recommend it if you keep good records and have some idea of what you're doing. Jesse's are as simple as can be. Filing his gets me mentally prepared to file mine. I wasn't looking forward to it at all, since I supposedly had a capital gain of about $1500. But I did get credits for all of my student loan interest, moving expenses above what my employer reimbursed, and my car registration - since I registered in two states in 2005. We're both getting money back but I still have to deduct Jesse's preparation fee.

Last Saturday we got a dvr the actual "getting" was a lot harder than it sounds. It took one pair of broken glasses and two trips to the cable company. We watched UFC 57 that night, then went to check out the one and only Hooters Hotel & Casino. So far we think it's worth skipping. We'll go back once the opening hoopla has died down. But I doubt it'll be better.

Sunday was Jesse's birthday. Unfortunately he doesn't like his birthday half as much as I like mine. He gets sad and mopes. It's a behavior I just don't understand it and therefore can't fix it. He's just strange. We went to a Superbowl party. It was okay. There was a giant TV and Jesse fell in love with the dip. So much so that he sat at the table next to it until the 3rd quarter.

Monday was just a preview of Tuesday. A police officer was killed here last week. His funeral was Wednesday. It was a good funeral. I could give you all sorts of details about it but I don't know if that's allowed. Tuesday was stressful day, and I'll leave it at that.

01 February 2006

The Many Faces Of Me

I got another hair cut recently. Actually, it was more of a trim. Naturally, I took a picture. Just look at my look! It's changed so much since November. What do you think?

Look at Me. I'm just adorable. Good thing I'm not trying to hide from anyone. They'd be completely updated on my look. I'd also probably be no good in a witness protection program. I just talk too much.

But if you were to stop by tomorrow, this is who you'd see - the one to the left. But I just ordered new glasses. And I have another trim in two weeks. So stay tuned.