Lorraine, Defenseless in Spain?

Today I am just plum tuckered out after a knock down drag out fight with my mechanic, and making the subsequent dozens of calls to my insurance, the other guy's insurance, the new mechanic, claims adjustors, and of course, to my dad. While my father may live 800 miles away, having him in the automotive loop is good, and frankly, even at the age of 25.92, I still like knowing that if things get messy I can still send in the scary sounding dad to scare the crap out of someone who thinks they can take advantage of me. In the end, he's taught me so well that I seem to be able to take care of myself, and thoroughly scare the crap out of someone on my own if necessary.

I don't like to be mean, and it's probably not how the Dalai Lama would handle it if HE had hit a dump truck's drive shaft on the interstate. But you know what? No one ever thinks to take advantage of His Holiness. And certainly not auto mechanics. Now a cute wittle thing like me in a business skirt and heels stwanded by the side of the road?  Can't get to her wittle desk job without her cute Korean car?  awwwww. Don't worry, WE'LL TAKE CARE OF YOU. 


Let's just get this out in the open, SON. When you try to charge me $150 for a diagnosis and to put MY OWN SPARE TIRE on my car without my authorization, and it took you two business days just to do THAT? You will not, ever, underestimate me, and you will not take advantage of me. And when you tell me that "nothing is leaking" on my car when I have three witnesses and a police report that indicate that it WAS leaking? You are no longer my mechanic, and yes, I will attempt to know my own business about my own car.

Oh, and sorry, someone spilled the beans about how the dump truck's company tried to pay you off and fix the minimal amount that was wrong with the car. Oops! How did a dumb bimbo like me EVER figure that out?

If anyone wants to know what company in my current hometown tried to screw me, I'd be happy to email it to you. 



A Corn Dog, A Car, A Cake.

If the accident I'd been in on I-15 yesterday had been my final reckoning, it would have been deeply and profoundly unjust in every imaginable way. A newlywed, a new homeowner, a bright young little thing with ambition to change the world and sing songs to ponies and annoy her cat as much as he annoys her. I hope that's what you'd say, anyway, when singing my restful praises. But in one, small, fraction of a minutia sort of way, it would have been just timing.

You see, as my car launched momentarily in the air after running over the drive train in the slow lane of I-15, I had a flash of a thought. It only lasted perhaps 1/100 of a second before I returned to thinking about how to control my car, how to get over to the side of the freeway, whether or not my vehicle was about to explode, etc., but I did clearly think to myself "If I die, my last meal on earth would be a corn dog. How nice." 

It's true. Earlier that day, I devoured one of the most delectable corn dogs from Crown Burger in downtown Salt Lake, and it was divine. Hot and crunchy, sweet and savory, delicately dipped in Crown Burger's exquisite fry sauce. You couldn't have asked for a better final meal.  Well, okay, maybe YOU could have, but as we've discussed, my standards are low. Now I wish I had a picture of my Final Meal that Wasn't a Final Meal.  So you could know. But alas, my vivid description will have to do.

However, I do have a really crummy picture of my car on the tow truck:

I have watched my car sail off into the sunset with a tow truck lover more times than I choose to remember, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was only my fault, rmmm 28% of the time. This car is just terrible luck. And it's not just bad luck for me- when I lived in DC and had no car, my parents were using the car here and there, and they did something to the back end of the car- I don't even know what because they told me about it after they'd fixed it. Solid call. I've been hit by a drunk driver, mistakenly towed, scraped, dinged, and once I rear ended the van of a mariachi band- in full costume (that one was my fault). The first week that I had this car, I slid down the hill from campus in a snow storm and hit a pole, which didn't seem to cause any damage, but for some reason made my car alarm go off at 3 in the morning for no reason for about a week. Which is also why I never named this car. Even though I've had her for 4 years and 90,000 miles, I still believe at any given moment she'll be dead, and I'll have to say goodbye to a named car. The namelessness is good. Keeps things distant.

Anyway, I survived, the other guy is paying for it, and she's in the shop. All is well.  Once I finally made it home last night, my only obligation was to chill out and calm down, eat some grub, and go to sleep.  At some point in the evening I discovered that my lower legs were completely covered in hives which I acquired from the roadside weeds waiting for the police officer, so I took some Benadryl and figured that oughta have me out like a light in about 10 minutes.

Instead, I was anxious, fidgety, and felt like maybe I was on the edge of hyperventilating, even an hour after the incident, so I decided to DO something. I decided to make a cake.

For the record, I don't really know how to make a cake, so I just kind of winged it off box directions, and replaced the icing (the hard part, right?) with heavy whipped cream. and put plum jam in the middle. I decided that I was celebrating my survival, and my intact, able body. An "I survived" cake.  There are two slices gone, so if you'd like to celebrate life, let me know and I'll send you a slice, or come over and celebrate with me. It's a good day.


Sunrise in Paradise

Nothing Says "I love you" Like a Sunrise Trip To Wally-World:

Let's Rewind to Last Night:

Dan: I think I'm allergic to Splenda
Lorraine: Uh, Why?
Dan: Because I had some today, and now my throat feels tight and scratchy like when you're getting a cold
Lorraine:Are you sure that you're not just getting a cold?
Dan: No, this is different. I can tell.
Lorraine: mmmk. I'm gonna go take some Emergen-C now.

This Morning at 6am:

Dan: I have a cold.
Lorraine: Uh Huh.

Ergo, my trip to wally world to get the man some gummy vitamins (which I am sure he will overdose on) some mocha mint cough drops (which I will probably eat instead of him) and a humidifier, because I think that's what his mom used to do when he was little. My mom used to get me coloring books and crayons, which I meant to get, but Walmart is so damn big I forgot whilst walking through 26 aisles of cold products.

Jacksons are dropping like flies, y'all. Group funeral, I'll let you know when it takes me down, too.


An Update

As you can see from my Opal-ish melodramatic post from yesterday, our tiniest Jackson was quite ill. I tossed and turned all night and couldn’t quite put my finger on what was bothering me, but when I awoke myself at around 5:30, I had a sick feeling in my gut. The cat should have been bothering us all night as he always does, and we usually lock him out of the room at around 3 or 4. But he never came. I looked around the house and finally found him right under our bed, and looking dreadful. I knew instantly that he was sick, and my first instinct was a tummy ache of some sort, but the more I watched, the more I realized it was something much worse than that. His eyes were two different sizes, and it looked as if one side of his face was rather limp. He had a twitch, and it seemed as if his vision and maybe even his coordination was impaired. Having seen a 7 foot tall thoroughbred once do the same thing after sustaining a neurologically damaging injury, I was not comforted by what I saw. I immediately began looking for an emergency vet, and we took him to an animal hospital in Sandy. Essentially, the vet just confirmed what we already feared, that the little monster had a neurological issue which could have been caused by an almost shocking and totally uncomfirmable number of things. He prescribed an anti-inflammatory, and that was all he could really do for us, short of recommending a neurologist and offering multi-million dollar cat tests. I adore my animals, but all of us have our limits, and sadly this was ours.

After a day of ups and downs yesterday, where he seemed to improve, regress, improve, regress; this morning he woke us up full of spunk and sharp claws, and I had never been so relieved to find a cat paw batting my nose at 6 am. He wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms he had the day before, and as far as we can tell he is mostly back to normal. This may mean that he ate something that caused him a temporary bout of misery, or it could mean that he had some sort of seizure. Either way, we’ll be showing as much diligence as we can the next few days, and hoping the scary symptoms don’t return.

That update being out of the way, I have to say that emotionally it was jarring to have mortality briefly rear its ugly head at my perfectly charming life. No offense to Jeoffrey, but he’s sort of the least significant member of the family, and losing him would have left a painful gaping hole in the world that we have built. It was perhaps good to be reminded that mortality is hiding behind each of our bright and lovely pairs of eyes.

Also, the cat spent 10 minutes playing with the full length mirror today. He kept walking around to the back of it, like he was trying to see where the other cat went. I don’t know if this means that the neurological wonkiness made him smarter or dumberer.


For Jeoffrey~

Christopher Smart was born in 1722 in Shipbourne, Kent, England. After college, Smart earned a living in London editing and writing copy for periodicals and composing songs for the popular theater. During this time, he became known for his reckless drinking and spending habits; he was arrested for debt in 1747. In the 1750s Smart developed a form of religious mania that compelled him to continuous prayer, and was confined to an institution for nearly all the remainder of his life. Smart is well known for his distinctive and oft anthologized homage to his cat, Jeoffrey.

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffrey.

For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.

For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.

For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.

For this he performs in ten degrees.

For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.

For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.

For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.

For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.

For fifthly he washes himself.

For sixthly he rolls upon wash.

For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.

For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.

For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.

For tenthly he goes in quest of food.

For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.

For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.

For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.

For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he's a good Cat.

For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.

For every house is incomplete without him and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.

For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.

For he can jump over a stick which is patience upon proof positive.

For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.

For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.

For, tho he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.

For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadruped.

For he can tread to all the measures upon the music.

For he can swim for life.

For he can creep.

Get Well Soon, Dear Jeoffrey of mine. For we would not be well without you.



Lorraine, Why U No Post Less?

1. I could spread these out, so that in a month when I haven't posted in, well, a month, you'd have something to read, but I kind of like surprising you.

2. Temple Grandin was FUNNY. Really, really, funny. That was the best part of it. I knew when she pointed out how silly it is that algebra is a prerequisite for geometry when they INVENTED geometry first that she and I were destined to be dear friends. Well, I suppose I'm not that lucky, but destined for me to admire her. It was perfect.

3. I had no idea the inspiration for Rainman was a guy from Utah. I learned that last night.

4. Do you think it's okay to be excited about things you know only you are excited about, and your husband chooses to be lovingly supportive of from afar?  I do.  Sometimes I try to convert him to things, but some things are mine. But then I wonder if I'm supposed to be missing him, and wishing he were there with me, and then I feel guilty for not wishing he was there, because I am evil and selfish. Thoughts?

5. I also spent about an hour last night taking a guided tour of Occupy Salt Lake. It was...surreal. That is the best way I can describe it. I was pleasantly surprised at how many questions I asked, and unpleasantly surprised at how naive I felt in the midst of it.

6. I am trying really hard to like the new Coldplay album, but it's not coming.  I am really sad about it.

7. I am currently listening the new Miranda Lambert album, and it is AWESOME.  No effort involved whatsoever.

8. It has a "Parental Advisory" warning label. YAY!! Tell it like it is, Lamby!

9. I have mixed feelings about the enormous impending snow storm. On the one hand, a snowy legginged/sweatered night in with my beloved catandman sounds lovely, but then again, I have to drive to Salt Lake tomorrow morning. So, you know, sixes.

10. I am going to be destroyed in my fantasy football league this weekend.

11. I hope you are pleasantly surprised/horrified to discover that I am in such a thing.

12. I love walking contradictions.


On Headspace

Tonight is an important night to me, personally and professionally. I'm going to see Temple Grandin speak, who is one of my true heroes for so many reasons. I first read her research on autism in college, not knowing she was autistic until later, I saw her speak about therapeautic riding in a documentary while living in DC 3 years ago, I read her research on humane cattle slaughter when researching it for horse slaughter last year, and most recently, I watched the HBO movie about her life. All of these experiences came to me from different places and for different reasons, but it's almost as if she's been a constant in my life, no matter how much my own life and interests and experiences seem to change.

Tonight, I will get to hear her speak in person, and I will get to applaud her life and her ambition and her contribution. Temple Grandin has probably done more for the face of autism than any other person alive, and made more positive changes for her industry than any other person alive. She is the very essence of what this world desperately needs, and I can't help but wonder what people influenced her to continue against the current, and who else could be unleashed as she has been if they just had the support in place. I've known for several years that I have wanted to work or at least volunteer in the capacity of therapeautic riding, and this year I began that process. It's been awesome, and much of it is thanks to her.

I have been in a bad place this week, feeling sick, feeling restless, and today receiving a small but disappointing piece of news. I have been discouraged, and anxious about going tonight, and whether I would really be able to appreciate it in the midst of all my other troubles. But when I think about her, and her life, and her battles, and the battle of SO many people with autism, I'm calm. I relate to some of the difficulties of autism-- there are things inside that are dying to get out, but the tools aren't always there to release them. But every day, they find more and more ways to let people's minds and bodies free, and let someone find their inner voice. Temple has done that for other autists, she's done it for innocent livestock from which we feed our families (now with dignity) and she has done it for me. I am so eager for tonight, and for what the experience will bring.

She is my modern day Moses- freeing the people. You go, girl.


A Halloween We Can Agree On.

Let's just say that if Halloween were the middle east peace process, Dan and I would be begrudgingly shaking hands between a Nobel Peace Prize Winner. I feel about Halloween the way Dan feels about Thanksgiving, and vice versa.  Halloween might be my favorite holiday, and Thanksgiving my least favorite. For Dan, it's quite the opposite.

But alas, he indulged some of my requests (going to a Halloween party, watching scary movies, putting up cobwebs on the porch) and I agreed to nix some of my preferred activities (no haunted houses, no matching costumes, no ghost hunting in abandoned buildings).

Well, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? So I present, "Frida Kahlo" and "Walmart's cheapest cat costume".