Thursday, February 23, 2006

"Your Diet Sucks"

We were discussing the possible causes of my recent abdominal and back pain, the severity of which left me postrate with a heating pad Thursday and Saturday nights. Within 24 hours I had taken 14 Advil.

I told Dr. Bowling the symptoms were consistent with the problem I had last May, when trapped fluid in my uterus was causing labor-like contractions in an effort to expel the fluid.

Though I hadn't had any pain for several days, I told her I lived in fear of the symptoms returning again.

But we were discussing other possible causes, potentially related to radiation damage to my small intestine.

She asked if I had eaten anything unusual or introduced any new foods to my diet.

"No," I said. "I eat about the same six things."

"And what are those things," she asked.

"Chipotle. Panera. Pizza. Skyline. A banana every morning. And sometimes lunch meat."

I should add here that I am in awe and fear of this woman.

I have watched her eviscerate her medical contemporaries with a single judgment. I've seen operating rooms filled with specialists and nurses bend to her will. Otherwise full schedules have miraculously cleared when she has decided I need an immediate test. When she walks into her offices, her staff stops and waits for her instructions.

I've never really seen anything like it. She is a sheer force of will. (My mom is terrified of her.) She tolerates no bullshit, no excuses and accepts nothing but determination from her patients.

Yet with this edge she carries a cool wit. In addition to being an incredible surgeon and patient advocate, I find her to be hilarious, in an all-business kind of way. Even still, I was somewhat reluctant, and rightfully embarrassed, to admit my poor eating habits.

After I rattled off the roughly six things I eat each week she said: "Well, your diet sucks."

Then she ordered a sonogram. For the next day.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Happier, I Could Not Be

Lance and Sheryl have split. And I couldn't have happened a day sooner considering he was about to marry that chick.

I never thought she was good enough for him. And it's not that I don't like her necessarily. I thought the Globe Sessions was a pretty good album. She recorded Mississippi, a song Bob Dylan wrote and asked her cover. So she can't be all bad. But she was of no caliber to date Lance Armstrong.

He's a cancer survivor. He's won 7, count 'em SEVEN, consecutive Tour de France victories. His foundation gives big fat millions to help improve the lives of cancer survivors, it funds research and community outreach for their caregivers and friends.

I mean, Sheryl dated Kid Rock, who's just too heinous for words. And Eric Clapton for Christ's sake. The most boring musician alive.

So who's good enough for Lance? I don't know. Someone interesting, like Rachel Weisz. But he tends to go for blondes... So maybe me!

Citius, Altius, Fortius

Faster, Higher, Stronger

The Culprits

I’m watching the Opening Ceremony tonight for the 2006 Winter Olympics and have decided that my mom and dad are to blame for me not being an Olympian.

So I called to tell them as much.

“Hi. I’m leaving a message you tell you that you failed me. I should have been an Olympian. You should have started me training when I was five so that by now I’d have already been to the Olympics. If you decide to have any more kids, then you should raise that kid to be an Olympian."

What Olympic sport I did not specify. (Is it better to be celebrated as part of a team, like the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team? Or is it better to be one shining standout, like Jesse Owens?)

A few minutes later my mom called back, laughing.

"I thought you said you wanted to be a lesbian. And I asked your dad, 'Why would she have wanted us to make her a lesbian?' And your dad said, 'An Olmpian, Susie. An Olympian.'"

More laughter from her. She went on to tell me that "only one in about two million people" go to the Olympics.

I told her we'll never know if I could have been one of those people.

Two of those people happened to be from Marion in the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Kim and Wayne Seybold are the brother and sister figure skating duo who finished 10th. (Wayne is now the mayor of Marion.) They got their start doing counter-clockwise laps on four-wheels at the Idle Wylde Skating Rink on Meridian Street, just a few miles from my house.

I spent many hours on that polished hardwood, grooving to such artists as Whodini, Dana Dane and L. L. Cool J.

The little city of Marion raised $40,000 to help send them to Calgary. And though they didn't medal, it's unlikely anyone from Marion even remembers that. But they do remember that Kim and Wayne are Olympians. When they got home, Marion threw them a parade and later named a little spot of grass with swings and slides on it Seybold Park.

Too bad I didn't do better by Ray and Susie. That little park could have been Daugherty Park.

"Well, I'm sorry we failed you," my mom said. "But I'm glad you didn't say lesbian. I've got enough to worry about."

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Yeah, I Tapped That

Except for a few minor mistakes, I tapped the roof off Florence Mall yesterday afternoon.

Though it was less Tiffany and more Madonna, a la Truth Or Dare.

Remember the part of Truth Or Dare when Madonna bitches to her stage manager it's only "industry" in the front row and everyone is scowling at her?

That's what it was like for me at Florence Mall.

Just behind the ropes were lines of bored-out-of-their-mind dads and grumpy grandparents, all scowling at me while they waited for who they really came to see take the stage. It was awesome. The moms, meanwhile, were busy backstage applying red lipstick and blue eyeshadow to their sequin-clad daughters.

I kept thinking: "Remember to smile. Remember to look like you're not in hell. Remember you're supposed to back-essence, ball-change, ball-change next." For the most part I was able to keep the smile plastered on my face, and even supplied a real one toward the end when I realized it was almost over and I hadn't slipped and fallen or forgotten anything major.

Overall, our adult class was pretty good... But the real show stealers were the second graders who brought the house down with The Peppermint Twist.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Cat Lazy

There's normal lazy and then there's cat lazy.