Wordle July 08

Okay, I have been SUPER lazy lately. Well, when it comes to posting on here. Nothing very new to report. My new boss has started, he seems to be a pretty cool guy and a total opposite of the last boss. That is a totally good thing! The back pain is still there. Next week I will go for my second of 3 shots to help correct the situation. The first shot was uncomfortable for 2 days after I got it. I am hoping they only get better. And I have been working very hard on the new website. Very soon I will open up the webshop where I will once again begin selling Fiesta. To start with at first, I am just going to be selling all of the surplus Fiesta that I have left over from the last webshop that I ran. Anyways, I promise to start posting more again. So here is the Wordle for July.

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Furry Rodent Update

I am out of glue traps. I think I am going to have to write a positive product review of glue traps. I bought a 4 pack and within a 48 hour period, I had used them all up. I have caught a total of 6 mice now. So far I haven't heard anymore mice noises, but I am going to go buy another pack of glue traps just in case.

The funny thing is the dog is scared of the little mice. I will hold them up so she can see. I am hoping she will either stay afraid of them and leave them alone, or she will just learn to not pay attention to them. Of course, the dog is great at figuring out where the mice are hiding.

Not sure, but the game might be over with a score of - Me: 6 Mouse: 2

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What A Wonderful Night

It is almost like driving around and giving candy to kids. Last night before going to bed, I replaced the very full glue trap that I had thrown out the night before. I got up this morning and the dog was acting weird. I knew something was happening in the living room. AND OH YES!!! The recently replaced glue trap had caught 2 more mice. Another small one but also the big huge mama mouse. So off I go to replace that glue trap and see if I can't snatch me some more critters.

UPDATE: A few hours after posting this, I have caught yet another mouse. And as soon as I had taken care of that one, I heard another one. So that brings the count up to 5 caught and at least one more on the way. I have a feeling that the other tenants in the apartment building are either not catching them or don't know about them. But most of them have cats, so the mice are probably avoiding their apartments.

So I'm happy to report, this game is almost over - Me: 5 Mouse: 2

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Good News

Since I have had a "Good News/Bad News" post and a "Bad News" post, I guess it is time for a "Good News" post. Well, I guess it is good news if you are sadistic like me. I have had enough of the mice in this apartment mocking me. I dropped a peanut the other night. The next day, I kept hearing a crunching noise as the mice were busy eating the peanut. Damn mice!

So today, it was off to Wal-Mart to buy a new mousetrap. This time I tried the glue boards since the old-fashioned mousetraps didn't work before. I put the 4 glue boards in strategic areas that I have seen or heard the mice.

Tonight when I got home from work, I realized that one of the glue boards had been moved quite a bit. When I got closer to inspect, I saw that there were 2 mice caught in the sticky contraption. AT LAST!!! No more being mocked by the mice! Ok, I am being a bit over excited because these were small mice. The one I saw a few weeks ago was much bigger than these two. So, it's a start, but definitely not the end of this story. I am glad the glue boards worked.

So I'm happy to report, the score is now tied up - Me: 2 Mouse: 2

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...And The Verdict Is...

No, I have not become an asian woman or suddenly developed a flatulence problem. (Even though it looks like they are in a farting war!)

Today I had my visit with the back pain specialist. He went over my MRI results with me. I talked to a nurse on the phone shortly after the MRI. She told me that I had Degenerative Osteo Arthritic Condition and an Enlarged Disc Protrusion. Both sound pretty bad to me, so I googled them and read up about them. The treatments for both were basically the same. But I still didn't have much of an idea what the problem was or what I should be doing. The doctor I saw today, Dr. Thatcher, was awesome about going over my MRI and giving it to me in plain ol' English (which I sometimes can speak and understand!)

Basically, I have a slipped disc. Using one of those cool spine models that he had in his office, he showed me how one of the vertebrae had slipped and that is causing the disc to push up against my sciatic nerve. (The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and runs all the way down to the left foot.) My pain starts in my left buttock and runs down to my left foot. The pain is always changing, sometimes it is in my left buttock, other times it is in my left foot. Rarely it will be my entire left leg. The pain can either be a shooting pain, a tingling sensation or even just feel like my left leg is asleep for an entire day.

He offered 3 different treatments.
  1. Do nothing. No treatments and lift nothing heavy and hope that it goes away. I don't think this is an option for me because I have had this pain since the beginning of May.
  2. Steroid Injections. I would go for 3 injections (spaced 2 weeks apart) in which I would lay under an x-ray type machine that would allow him to put the injection within millimeters of where the problem is. He says that 75% of his patients get rid of their pain using this method. It should last for 1 1/2 to 2 years.
  3. Surgery. He says I would be off work for a couple of weeks, but they will go in and shave off about 25 to 35 percent of that disc. It helps about 90% of his patients, but after many years, the disc (now smaller) will not be able to support the spine as well and will start to hurt again. Also, once this procedure is done, there is no going back.
I am going to try option 2, the injections, for now. My first injection will be next Wednesday. I will have to be off work for the whole day, but he says I will be able to drive home after the shots. I have had steroid shots before, but they were never in the correct area. So while those shots never helped, I have full faith in this doctor (he really knows what he was talking about) and the fact that he will be giving me the shots in the area of the problem!

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1,2,3,4 Sesame Street

1,2,3,4 (sung by Feist) is one of those many songs that got stuck in your head from the countless Ipod Nano commercials. I liked the song (the first 1000 times I heard it) but it was overplayed. Feist is going to be on the 39th season premiere of Sesame Street, singing a new version of 1,2,3,4. Watch the video, this is a very cool new version. I admit that I am still a kid at heart, and this video is awesome.

Via Towleroad.com

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My Hometown

When I was 5 years old, my dad's job transferred him so we moved to a very small town in central Illinois. I had just started kindergarten at the previous town, so that would have made us moving there sometime in the late summer of 1973. This town, Ashmore, had a population of 400 people when we moved there. The local grade school only went to the 4th grade and from there kids were shipped off to the next town. Actually, most people who lived there commuted to the next town for everything.

Ashmore at the time had no grocery store, no gas station, no library...wait, it would be easier to list what Ashmore did have! 3 churches, 2 bars, 1 restaurant/bar, 1 greasy spoon diner, 1 car wash, 1 farm implement store (their tractors are the same color as medium green fiesta), railroad tracks and an auction house. The guy who owned the auction house is a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. He also built the subdivision that we lived in, needless to say though, his construction skills are lacking. About 10 years later, the auction house would become a furniture store. And to this date, I don't know how, but that furniture store is still operating.

Ashmore also had 1 park. This park had a baseball diamond and a pavilion. There are no swings, slides or merry-go-rounds though. Oh yeah, they also had a water spigot at the park...wow, how fancy. LOL Actually it was sad because the people who lived across the street with their 20 million cats (slight exaggeration) didn't have running water and would get their water from that spigot. The kids could play on the equipment at the grade school if they wanted, but besides riding bicycles, there wasn't much else to do.

The school was actually new when I first started. I think it had been built the year before. Very close to the school was what remained of the old school, which had been torn down (except for the gym) when the new school opened. The "Old Gym" was opened up at various times for different activities. The first two years I was there, the school actually went up to the 6th grade. But when I started 3rd grade, the school district changed to where all the 5th and 6th grade classes were taught at one school. My class was the smallest class (what exactly did happen in 1967?) There was usually only 18 to 20 kids. When we started 4th grade, the school district actually bussed kids in from the next town just to make our class a little bit bigger.

For a brief time, my mom had helped start the Ashmore Library. Being that she worked at the university library, she had lots of knowledge. The library did grow and was moved into a much bigger building, but the library closed a little bit later. It was sad to see it close with all the hard work that had been put into that place. My mom was also did a lot of work for "Ashmore Days" (bet you have never been there! lol) Even though the pluralized name makes it sound like it would be more than 1 day, that is how long the event was. My mom was instrumental in bringing a parade to the event. So the day would begin with the parade. The parade would start at one end of town, snake past the few house and many cornfields and would end at the park with no playground equipment. Many food vendors, sale booths, carnival rides, etc. would be set up around the park. There were also different contests and the day would end with the pig roast. I am not sure how many parades me mom actually got to see, I believe it might have only been the first parade. She died shortly after that. The year after she died, they honored my mom by dedicating that Ashmore Days in her memory. My family got up and received a small plaque for all the hard work she had done. And most likely there would have never been a parade if she hadn't helped organize it.

I moved from Ashmore while I was in college. The population had grown to 900. There was now a fitness center (now closed), a gas station/grocery store and a new park that actually has playground equipment. The railroad tracks were long gone also. In 1992, my dad married another woman and moved to Charleston. My boyfriend at the time, Mark, and I moved to Ashmore into the house that I had grown up in. It was a strange experience living in that house. Mark and I both were working in Champaign/Urbana (where I live now) which is at least a one hour drive each way.

(start creepy music) Making it even more strange was that I was woken one night by a weird feeling. Mark was still asleep next to me (he never woke up for anything). I looked to the bedroom door and saw my mom standing there. My mom had been dead for almost 2 years. I was wide awake but I wasn't scared at all. She told me that everything was going to okay, she smiled and then disappeared. Then the most awesome feeling of peace settled over the room. Mark didn't believe me the next day when I told him. But a few months later, I told my dad about the experience. He said that he had a similar experience one night when he was driving home. Many months before, he had been on a date. He was driving home late and he was very tired. He started to fall asleep when something woke him up. He looked at the rear view mirror and saw my mom sitting there. He said it was the most peaceful feeling. And she told him the same thing, that everything was going to be okay. Neither one of us ever saw her again. (end creepy music)

I have only been to Ashmore maybe 5 times since I have moved away 17 years ago. Even though it is only an hour drive there, it seems like it is at least 2 lifetimes away. Both of my parents are buried there, very close to where the house I lived in. But the memories of my childhood are inside me, they don't need to see present day Ashmore to live on.

To give you and idea of the size of Ashmore, here is a picture from Yahoo maps of the big city, and yes, most of those big green areas are all corn and soybean fields (even in town). According to wikipedia.com, Ashmore has 809 people (2000 census) and is 0.8 sq miles, I am guessing that the town is a little over a mile long (north-south) and a little less than 1/2 mile wide (east-west).


Here is a closeup (as close as I can get from Yahoo maps) of the house(1), the school (2) and where my parents are buried(3).
Close up of Ashmore

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Ding Dong, the wicked witch is (almost) gone!!!!

It was a very happy day at work today. I found out that my boss, who has been pretty much nothing but a compulsive liar since the first day he started, is quitting. He gave his two week notice this morning so he can take a job at a competitor. Which is funny, since we have been asking him for the past 3 months if he was going to work there....his standard response, "No, I am not leaving here."

No idea who his replacement will be. I know it won't be me, even though I am the next in line at the store. His compulsive lying has also been used to bad mouth us to his superiors (who work 3 hours away) and he seems to constantly be telling them that he does all of the work. Oh well, no love lost.

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Some Men

To cap off a beautiful weekend here (perfect weather all weekend), my friend Aaron and I took off to Indianapolis for the day on Sunday. The main point of the trip was to see the play Some Men by Terrence McNally.

The play was at the Phoenix Theater in downtown Indy. The Phoenix is a very nice small theater, it is an old church that has been converted into a theater. In the theater there are signs warning of Male Nudity and Adult Situations in the play. The very first scene was the only male nudity in the play. There were many scenes that contained male to male touching and kissing. I was surprised by the number of older couples and older women in the audience. They seemed to enjoy the play and weren't put off by the subject matter. The play is about the relationships of gay men and how that has changed over the years. There are 9 actors in the play, but they each play numerous different characters. The play jumps around to different years. Not only was the year flashed up on the back of the stage, but appropriate music from that time was played to let the audience know. The play jumps back and forth through the years, so there is no clear cut path of the progression of gay rights shown. But the story advances very well, with most of the stories.

Each story discusses how gay men would have acted towards their sexuality and relationships at the time. The earliest story was from 1920. The latest story was from 2006. From bathhouses to Don't Ask, Don't Tell, to gay marriage to internet chatrooms to AIDS, many forms of gay culture are covered. Many of the stories carry on with the same characters and how they have adapted over the years while some stories were with totally new characters. The play ran 2 hours 20 minutes with 1 intermission. The group of actors on the stage were quite convincing in their roles. Overall, I enjoyed the show very much. I would go to see it again.

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Bad News

I had a much needed 2 1/2 day weekend....that is pretty good for my job. Things went very well this weekend, I will post more about Sunday's festivities later. But I was awoken this morning to what I thought would be a great pleasure. There was a loud noise followed by some small animal shrieks, YES!!! The mouse was in the mousetrap. OK, maybe I am being a bit degenerate for getting excited over the killing of a small rodent. But alas, my joy turned into disappointment when I got out of bed to find an empty mousetrap. Somehow the rodent has gotten out of that predicament.

So I'm sorry to report, the score is now Me: 0 Mouse: 2

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Is there any Federal Relief for this Disaster?

Hilarious video....and probably not that far off from the real truth.

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Varla Jean

Here is a great video that comes to us via Sweet Homo Alabama. Varla Jean with the history of the beginning of gay pride.

As a child of the 70's/80's, I remember getting up Saturday mornings to watch cartoons on tv. Scooby Doo and Super Friends/Justice League are the 2 big ones I remember watching. I also loved to watch School House Rock videos that would come on between shows on ABC. Here Varla Jean does her great parody of School House Rock.

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