Sunday, June 26, 2011


My son was mugged yesterday in my neighborhood. I live in East Rogers Park near the Morse L stop. He was jumped by a group of black guys in the alley who took his cash and phone. At first I was angry that they hurt my son and took all of his ID and brand new (cheap) phone, but the anger subsided when I realized my son was not seriously hurt and they returned his wallet with his ID.

I am still angry they punched my son in the face and corrupted his love of this city. He had moved here from Texas to escape the verbal and mental abuse from his dad's new wife. We both looked forward to his fresh start and the chance to explore all of his new options now that he graduated from HS and was in a city with countless choices and opportunities.

I came to realize that I feel sorry for the kids who mugged my son because they obviously lack a positive male role model in their lives. Also, I realized that their mothers must not love them enough to teach them that they need to graduate HS and then get a real job to support themselves. No one taught them that ganging up on one individual to steal their stuff was not a real job, but was mere thuggery and NOTHING to be proud of. As a mother, I went out of my way to insure my boys were not hanging around with a "bad crowd" who would encourage this type of behaviour. I always knew pretty much who my kids were hanging out with and where they were at all times. I knew the parents of my kids friends and kept in touch with them to help the kids stay on track. I feel sorry for the thugs because they obviously did not have someone at home this invested in their futures.

The money they took from my son was his first paycheck after having worked an entire weekend at a neighborhood fest busting his butt to clean and help out. I can replace his hard earned cash, but it will take a while to restore his faith in our beloved city.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Running is Stupid!

I woke up yesterday morning knowing I didn't want to run, but I got dressed and left the house anyways. I seem to vaguely recall signing up for all these runs as a way to motivate myself into getting in shape. I seem to recall that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. So, now that I have completed 2 runs, a 5k and an 8k, I question the madness to my method.

First of all, I am constantly reminded by my friend that I should probably run more then the once a month I run these goofy races. I remind her that my 5 year yoga plan came to fruition in only 4 years. The first year I bought a yoga mat. The second year I bought a bag to hold my yoga mat. The third year I purchased a groupon for yoga classes and this year I attended some yoga classes. I may be slow but I am dedicated!

So now back to running. I have no clue why people do this crap. Another friend swears they do it for the endorphins or the "runner's high" some people experience when they run. I do not get that. My biggest problem with running is the fact that I get really bored really quickly. I start out jogging (let's face it, I am NOT "running" at this pace) and quickly decided that I don't care for it and I am bored so I switch to walking. I LOVE to walk. So, as best as I can figure, if it doesn't make you high and you are not running from the cops or a fire, it is a stupid thing.

I signed up for the timed runs so I could keep track (or rather THEY could keep track for me) of my times to see if I improved. I went down just a hair with the second race, but in my defense, it was hot, VERY crowded (40k runners) and they had us running over bridges. Bridges are NOT runner friendly as they have large metal grates over the tops and they are like small hills to be climbed. I think we did maybe 5 bridges yesterday and I want to beat the race designer to death for putting the biggest hill about 1/2 a mile from the finish. REALLY?!?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nobody told me

Nobody told me that I was wrong when I talked about running a 2.2 mile 5k race. I know I said more then once that a 5k was 2.2 miles. It was not until I was almost finished, and I was passing the 3 mile marker, that I came to find out that a 5k is actually 3.2 miles. I have to say that if I had been told about the extra mile BEFORE the race, I may have thought twice about running. I was just realllllly glad I had not even thought about signing up for the 8k.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

NOW I look it up

I got a small surprise last night so I decided to google the issue today. Apparently, chemo throws you into menopause and tamoxifen has NOTHING to do with causing you to go into menopause. So, because of my age, my body might actually be in menopause and the tamoxifen is just causing the hot flashes. REALLY?? I have to put up with this shit for 5 years? I have another what, 3.5 years to go? REALLY? No wonder the chemo pharmacist said lots of women stop taking it. HOLY CRAP! That is a horse of a differant color. REALLY?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


It seems that I have gained a good deal of weight lately and as hard as I try to lose it, all I can do is maintain. I have been walking to the train, taking yoga, eating Seattle Suttons for 2 weeks and generally trying to be good and make healthy choices, but the weight is like superglued to my butt. Actually, it is my fat gut that bothers me most. They say that is stress fat, but I am not really stressed about anything at this particular moment of my life.

So, I am left to it possible my body is actually going through menopause and that is why the hot flashes are more intense and frequent even though I am doing acupuncture and herbs? If that is the case, YEAH! That means that the hot flashes will end when my body is done driving me crazy. Until then, I need to hang on and remember that this too shall a kidney stone.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Not sleeping

As I lay in bed, tossing and turning last night, I began to think about the article I had read that said the hot flashes stop when your body stops producing estrogen. So, if I am in chemically induced menopause and my body has not gone through actual menopause, this could go on for YEEEAAAARRRRSSS! Seriously, the meds are a 5 year deal and then I have to hope like hell my body goes ahead and does the real menopause before the end of the 5 year period. I talked to the pharmacist and the oncologist and they both stated they were concerned that I finish the full 5 years of hormone therapy. They both stated that the vast majority of women tend to quit before the end of the 5 years because they cannot take the side effects. NO SHIT! I have not been sleeping well for weeks and while the acupuncture helps take the edge off, it is not working as well as it used to. I have tried going back to the sleeping meds now and then, but they no longer seem to work.

I am just trying to hang in a thread! This too shall pass like a kidney stone.

Monday, February 21, 2011

NOT toothless

The dentist said my teeth were in amazing shape, considering what I had been through, and that all he needed to do for me was to file down the sharp edges. WOOHOO I was in and out in less then an hour and it only cost me $75. It was good news indeed.

Today was my first day back on Seattle Sutton's. I forgot how WONDERFUL it is to NOT have to THINK about food. The food is prepared in the correct portions and it tastes reallllllly good. I take the time to label all of my meals with the day of the week so I don't even have to think about what to eat when. Every time I try it I wind up losing up to 10 pounds the first week. I just need to jump start the weight loss.

I have found a home in a yoga class with a teacher I love. I have 2 more weeks left of my groupon and then it is off to fitness bootcamp. Indoors this time! After that, I have another 4 week groupon for a yoga studio closer to my house. I have a long journey ahead of me, but this is a good journey. I plan to keep my head up and looking forward. The last long journey I took was the ucky kind, this is the good kind.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I do not recall them telling me that undergoing chemo would result in the possible loss of my teeth. I have ALWAYS had good teeth all my life. I wound up having a root canal while living at the nursing home during radiation, but I chalked that up to a freak occurrence. Now, almost a year and a half after completing chemo my teeth are starting to crack and break. I have finally scheduled an appointment with a dentist, but at $1500 per cap or crown, saving my teeth may not be financially possible. I REFUSE to get a mouth full of false teeth and would kill myself before I would go toothless. It was bad enough when I lost a tooth in the back of my upper jaw due to a botched root canal by a dentist who shouldn't have been performing a root canal in the first place, but I will be damned if I will lose any more.

I have no idea what my options are, but, like the car, I am taking my mouth into the dentist to have him take a look under the hood. I am keeping my fingers crossed that there is a way to keep them. I will look into the idea of veneers? or caps? All I can think is $$$$$$$$

Monday, February 7, 2011

Being a survivor

When I was first diagnosed and treated, I had no idea what a survivor went through. After finishing all of my treatments it still felt odd to have others refer to me as a "survivor". It is now, only 2 years later, that I am finally able to look back at the road I traveled and marvel at the fact I did survive.

I take pride in being a member of this horribly elite club. What is it that Groucho Marx said, "I don't want to be part of a club that would have me as a member"? This is not a club anyone wants to join, but for those of us unwilling members who make it to the end, we are stronger for our journey.

It is especially at this time of year, that being around the time of my birthday, that I begin to wax nostalgic at my journey and actually find myself missing being able to use my, "I am just not up to it" excuse that was a small perk available for riding the "gravy train" of cancer and chemo.

It also makes me wonder if I get credit for the times I "survived" having to deal with family trauma-drama? I guess not. Apparently everyone has family issues but only some of us have those issues exacerbated by internal medical issues. Oh well, this too shall a kidney stone.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Red Headed Step-children

For those of you in the know, the life of a contract temp attorney work is crazy at best. Part of the appeal is that you are working at different places, so if you find a place you don't like, you can rest assured that eventually you will move and be in a new place. The HUGE downside is the lack of job security or "normality" in your life. It is hard to get into a real "routine" if there is nothing really routine about your life. But, it is what I do, not by choice, and it is how I live.

One of the dark secrets about this work is the way that we are often treated in the workplace. We generally work at one of two places. We either work at the law firm itself, or in a space provided us by the temp agency. There are good and bad places to work. Law firms can tend to treat us as "mere temps" and ask that we not mingle with their real lawyers or use their facilities. Temp agencies tend to provide basics, like access to a kitchen and disposable plates, napkins, etc.

I have been treated like a guest at some of the best law firms in town and I have been treated like an illegitimate step-child by some of the almost best firms in town. The temp agencies tend to treat us as chattel, but are more likely to bring us bagels and donuts as an incentive to keep working longer hours. After all, the temp agencies only get paid if we are at our desks billing. It is a rare occurrence when a temp agency treats you as the step-child. The notion of working at a place with a kitchen but not being allowed to use it, or having to rinse the coffee pot in the bathroom if we want to make coffee is something I am not used to. Some days we are chattel, some days we are fellow employees, and some days we are illegitimate red-headed step-children produced by a bastard heir.

It is hard enough working next to someone who spends all day surfing the net and very little time "working", but when I have to take an elevator to the lobby to get coffee, it seems a bit harder to want to work.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Farting and Sweating

I have now officially attended two actual yoga classes. They do NOT consider Wii yoga as real yoga, but considering the Wii trainer actually shows me how to do the pose and the real yoga instructors have ignored me, I am liking the Wii even more.

First of all, all that stretching and bending seems to stretch out the intestines as well but I seem to be the only person in class with farting issues. I always said the cancer gave me gas, and yoga is letting me express myself.

The other thing about yoga is that "hot" and "yoga" in the same sentence are redundant. When I attended my first class, it was not supposed to be a "hot" yoga class (one in which the room temp. is cranked to 104) but because there had been a "hot" yoga class right before ours, it was pretty warm. My second class was a more advanced class and I found out AFTER I started it that it was a "hot" class. I was sweating before I even moved. Needless to say, I only made it about half way through class before surrendering myself to become one with my yoga mat.

It was NOT a bad investment to buy "yoga clothes". You really do want something that is form fitting so it doesn't get in the way when you are trying to scratch your back with your toenails.

My ability to make it to a class is more hampered by the locations of the classes then by my lack of enthusiasm. I got lost one night this week and was too late to make the class. I comforted myself with a slice or two of pizza at my favorite brick oven pizza place. I have signed up for a class in my hood so that might help the making it to class issue.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rahm and stuff

Still haven't been able to find a reasonably priced memory foam mattress. The issue is that I need a full sized mattress. Apparently they tend to only make them in queen and king. People sleeping alone don't need to be comfortable I guess. I sleep with my cat....does that count?? If my room would fit a queen, I would have kept my old bed and this would be a non issue.

I went ahead and cancelled my and accounts. The last time I participated on the sites I was up for 3 months with few to no responses. I have decided to cut my losses this time and quit after only 1 month. The ONLY person to respond in a month was the one guy who I have known for a few years, both before and after the breast cancer, and while he tells me he finds me attractive and likes me, he won't ask me out. I will take that as a clue. This doesn't mean I am now leaning towards going on a gay cruise. I would like to think that maybe someone might get drunk enough on a cruise to ask me out, and I do not care for women as partners.

My Wii keeps asking me about Michael. It wants to know how he is doing and yells at me for not watching his posture. It keeps telling me I am obese and when I gained a pound last week it made my avatar even fatter. I started real yoga and signed up for an indoor fitness boot camp (NO BUGS) that I will start after my month of yoga. The Wii is still fun, but let's see how it likes being ignored!

Miss Kitty says mrow and has all but abandoned Dean for the cat cushion in the living room that is right next to the radiator. I guess my hot flashes are not keeping her warm enough! Speaking of that, this last round of acupuncture did not seem to work as well and I have been getting my ass kicked by the hot flashes.

Finally, for those not living in a cave, the whole Chicago mayor Rahm thing has finally hit the fan. I said ages ago I didn't think he qualified as a resident. If the facts were the same except his wife took the job as the Obama's nanny, this would be a non-issue and he would be laughed out of town. We shall see. My other prediction was that this election would be very entertaining to watch. So far, I am right on both issues :-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

My own uber dilema

It is looking more and more like our next mayor will be Rahm Emmanuel. I agree with Mr. Kass that this is a really bad idea for the city. Carol Mosely Braun is not a good choice either, ditto Chico. Mr. del Valle is the only "good" choice, but he is the least politically connected and therefore is running last.

Having my own close encounter with the Rahmster only confirmed my beliefs that he is not a nice person and will not be the fresh, unconnected infusion of new blood this city so desperately needs.

My uber dilema is whether I ride the tide and volunteer my time with the Rahmster's campaign to possibly ride the tide into a nice cushy patronage gig to save my own self, and thereby sell my soul to the devil, or do I volunteer to work on the del Valle campaign in an uphill battle? I want and need a real job at this point in my life, but I also believe that Rahm will further ruin the city. What to do?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cutting loose the albatross

There once was a man who made my heart skip a beat every time I heard his voice. From the instant we met, I knew this was "the one". I had not even wanted to date him in the first place and had answered his blind email on AOL with trepidation. He ran very late for our first date but he had a meeting that ran over. I soon decided he was the most amazing man I had ever met. He made me feel extremely sexy, beautiful and more intelligent then I ever thought possible. He loved kids and took to my boys like a duck to water.

I mean we were talking about building a house. It was only 4 months into dating, but this was it. I now knew what love felt like. And then, for no apparent reason, and with no warning he up and disappeared from my life. He went out of town for business and said he would call back when he returned. He never called me back. His phone number was disconnected. I was beyond devastated. It took me months before I could get out of bed to do anything but work and take care of the kids. I barely took care of the kids but they were old enough to feed themselves. My world imploded.

I ran into him a year or so later and he explained that he knew he would never get married again, we were both headed in different directions and he was putting his work first. I felt better for having closeure, but it was nice to have an old friend to talk to. That was 11 or so years ago. We have kept in touch and talk maybe once a year. We always played the pretend game about possible ways to hook up and get back together, but he made no effort. I understood this would never happen, but again, he told me I deserved to be married and he was never getting married ever again in his life. Things just never worked out and the fact I told him I never wanted to get married ever again did nothing to change his mind. I did not long and pine away, but tucked away in the far recesses of my mind, there was always the spark of "what if?".

When I prepared to go to DC for the rally, I contacted him and asked if I could crash on his couch. Prior posts will let you know this did not happen, and because his adult daughter was in town, dinner or drinks didn't happen either.

I found him on Facebook a while back and sent a friend request. He never acted on it. When I mentioned this a few days again, he said it was because he wanted to talk to me before he friended me.....??????

Long story short, I called him yesterday to ask him a question and he didn't answer. I didn't bother to leave a message and took it as a sign. Sometimes we do stupid things when we are sad. I was pleasantly surprised that he bothered to call me back and felt my heart skip that same old beat. During the course of the conversation, I was informed he had married the woman he said he was no longer dating, but who reminded him of me. Kind of like a poor imitation of me. She even had red hair. My ego is now crushed, but wait, it gets better.

He went on to tell me he is not happy with his marriage choice and says he made a mistake. He implies he regrets not marrying me. I am sad, I am hurt and I am somewhat relieved. I came to realize he was my romantic albatross and we all know how that worked out for the ancient mariner. I am considering this a chance to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. I wish him the best of luck and a happy life as I delete his contact info. Remain friends my ass!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One way or the other

I do not blame Sarah Palin for the shootings in Arizona this week, but you cannot have it both ways. You CANNOT use iconography depicting the cross hairs of a gun and claim this is "just a symbol" and is not meant to denote a suggestion of gun violence. If it was merely a symbol to point out the districts that were in need of change, an "X" can mark the spot with no extra connotations. When you choose to point a gun at someone, real or imagined, you are suggesting that you plan to use that weapon. The only use for a gun is to kill someone or something, it is not like they are multipurpose household items.

The entire country has to take a chill pill. When you use hateful words, symbols or acts to express your opinion, you are expressing hate. I disagree with almost every single Republican in this country, but the only ones I truly "hate" are Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld because I believe them to be 100% pure evil. I hate the players AND their games on that one.

When you yell "off with their heads", you are saying you want them to die and not that you would like them to wear a different sweater.....really??!???

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Putting it out there...

Friends and I have already started to plan a big cruise for my 50th birthday in 2012, and the questions of where and with whom being the only ones open to discussion. Well, that and the issue of gay or straight. I had the time of my life on the RSVP cruise I attended, but it did NOTHING for any potential love life.

My 49th birthday is next month and I am really jonesing to go away on a cruise. I had been planning a cruise for Christmas with one or both of my boys, but due to certain, how shall we say "legal" issues encountered by a child, I had to stop planning and just stay put. So, the idea of going on a cruise is burned into my brain. Before I go any further, I KNOW I cannot "afford" to go on a cruise, but I also couldn't "afford" a lot of things in life. Technically, I could not "afford" to have kids but I did that anyways.

So, I have started looking at cruises online. If you book it shortly before it goes, they are more desperate to sell the rooms so a 7 day Carribean cruise can go for around $500 plus tax and airfare. I could likely do it for $1000. The only problem is that it is twice the price to cruise as a single. You have to pay for the full room whether you are one or two so it would cost me twice as much for the cruise itself. Most cruise lines don't like to pair you up as they would rather sell more rooms.

I am putting it out there..........anyone up for a cruise the end of February?

Jogging with Jesus

My son helped me set up my Wii and my Wii fit programs. As part of the setup, he created his own avatar named Drequan, a young and hip black guy, don't ask, and he set up a few other assorted avatar as well. Although I could understand the humour of having Jesus box or battle Hitler, I made him remove the Hitler. Some things are just too far over the ledge to be funny. Anywho, last night was the first chance I have had to actually get my workout gear on and play (read work out) on the Wii. I had a blast! I found myself competing with my previous scores and getting angry when I "failed" a task. Apparently, if you drop your hula hoop, you "fail" the challenge. My favorites so far are running and the hula hoop challenge. As I was jogging along on my third run, I was passed by a smiling Jesus who waved back at me. I must say it made me chuckle and it helped me to feel less like I was working out and more like I was playing video games. I am still pissed about the fat avatar thing, but this too shall pass.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Never safe to assume...

By now I figured it was common knowledge that I had 2, yes, TWO, count em 2, tattoos. My Michael seemed surprised to see them the other day. As some of you know, I had bonded with Dylan over tattoos a few years back before he deployed for his third trip back to hell. Dylan got a wicked awesome tat of a steeley/cubs thing on his elbow and I got a cutie patootie tattoo toe ring on my right foot. The tattoo artist was taken aback and rather insulted that I referred to it as, "a cutie patootie tattoo". I remember commenting that it had not hurt as badly as I had thought it would and was rather surprised when it appeared to have rubbed off just a few weeks later. The theory was that the tattoo artist had "skin popped it" or only hit the top few layers so it wasn't really permanent.

For my 2 year anniversary (I have decided to go with the date of my first fateful mammogram as that is the date that is burned into my mind) I felt compelled to commemorate the event. For whatever reason, I was drawn to the idea of a tattoo. Nothing huge, nothing fancy, just a pink ribbon with maybe a few flowers. The obvious spot for such a tattoo would appear to be the left boob. However, my entire chestal area voted that idea off the island and refused to let the needles anywhere near. The top of the foot, while extremely painful to tattoo, seemed the next obvious choice, as there was no way in hell I was getting a tramp stamp and everything else was exposed with a bathing suit top and therefore in your face. The foot is the one part of the body that doesn't change shape much when you lose or gain weight. While I was at it, I had the guy redo the toe ring. This time, the thing hurt like holy hell.........thank you valium.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back and Forwards

Last year, meaning 2010, was interesting one full of changes and experiences. I am glad to say I was able to start the year with hair. The hair is now short and grey and does whatever the hell it wants. No amount of product seems to tame the perpetual state of bedheadedness that has become my new hairdo. My hair is one giant mess. Keeping it realllllllllllly short seems to help but I am letting it grow for the winter. I found a hat I liked that managed to keep my head warm, but apparently I lost it the night I took the boys and their friends to Lou Malnati's in Naperville. No good deed goes unpunished.

For those of you who did not know, I moved. I am still in Chicago but I moved a few blocks North from the Edgewater hood to Rogers Park. I also moved 2 red line L stops further North, but my favorite bus, the 147 Express, stops at my corner. The 147 goes express on Lake Shore Drive at Foster and it provides me with my "moment of zen" every single time I ride the bus. I do not care where you think you have been and the wonders you may have seen, but NOTHING beats Lake Shore Drive for the beauty it exudes. Day, night, rain, snow, or clear and sunny, Lake Shore Drive is a great view both East and West.

I have been lucky enough to work most of the year, although it seems the rate of pay for Chicago projects has gone back down. With some projects, I almost make more on unemployment then I do working. I appreciate the need to get out of bed every day with someplace to go and something to do. Now that I have a) recovered from cancer and completed all my treatments, b) moved, and c) settled down, I need to work on improving my health. My goal is to lose weight but I am not setting a number on anything. I purchased a Wii Fit system and I love it. I enjoy having the tracking system in place to track my progress. What I HATE about the system is the fact that once it weighed me and added my height and age, it determined I am obese (no shit!) and made my little animated person fat. REALLY? My avatar is now fat??? They had to go there. I will look into outside fitness programs but I like the fact I can do this at home and shower in my own bathroom when done.

I have ONE more graduation to attend this year and 4.25 more child support payments to make. After attending my last mandatory graduation I will not EVER have to step in the state of Texas again. After the child support is done, I am using the money I get from his retirement to travel the world. I joined the Navy and only ever saw Navy World. I need to get out more and meet new people and eat great food. I have heard the pasta in Italy is pretty good.

I will also devote myself to finding a "real job" this year. I enjoy the work I do and I love the lifestyle it affords, but I miss the stability that comes with a regular paycheck, not to mention the benefits. Dental? I do not recall such a thing. Onwards and place to go but up these days!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pain meds, porn and peas

I went into the whole acupuncture hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. First of all, unless the student is a bad needeler, it generally doesn't hurt and you don't necessarily feel it. As my brother-in-law pointed out, there is no "cure", there is simply a state of maintenance. So, the fact that I have felt better since starting acupuncture convinces me that it is working. The degree to which it works is debatable and may change from day-to-day or even week-to-week. I can now say for sure it was working because, like pain meds, I may not have been fully aware it was working, but boy was I aware of the fact the effects were wearing off. Like porn, you may not be able to define the actual benefits, but you will know it when you feel it. As for the pea reference, my body is going through another rough patch and so the concept of buying a memory foam mattress needs to become a reality VERY QUICKLY. Thankful to be working to make that happen.

The acupuncture clinic is closed for the holidays but I doubled up my herbs so I should live until they reopen.