The New Phone Booth

The invention of the cell phone has made it possible to reach someone anywhere, and at any time.  Except, of course, if you’re trying to get a hold of me, and I’m at home where cell signal is restricted to the bathroom and kitchen window sills, and the southeast corner of the living room.  But hey, you should always try the house first anyway.  Archaic, I know, but believe it or not I find the old land line to be quite satisfactory for at-home communication. 

 Folks see cell phones as a necessity these days.  It’s like everyone has forgotten that us grown-ups grew up just fine without carrying a phone.  That’s fine and dandy.  Don’t go anywhere without your phone.  After all, your car might break down. Or more likely, you might have to call your husband while both y’all are in Super Walmart to find out where he’s at. 

 But it’s gone beyond a necessity or convenience or whatever—it’s an addiction.  How else do you explain people who MUST answer the cell phone?  No. Matter. What.  Really, you don’t own the phone—the phone owns YOU. 

 Just the other day, Mini Me and I went into the restroom at Macy’s.  It’s a small restroom, with only 3 stalls.  All 3 were full and another lady was already in the queue.  As we stood waiting, one of the potty occupants was carrying on a conversation on her phone.  “Well, Jim’s going to have to have another surgery.  Mmm-hmm.  He’s already had 3 open-heart surgeries, you know…blah blah blockage blah blah…” Mini Me and I looked at each other and smiled.  I’m sure Jim would be thrilled to know that you’re sharing all his business with random strangers.  Strangers, I might add, who are grateful that Jim’s not having a vasectomy or a colonoscopy.  Our amusement was quickly interrupted, however, by the ringing of another phone in one of the other stalls.  Doo-dee-doo-doo-dee-dee-doo, rang the phone, followed by the sound of purse excavation, urine hitting toilet water, and finally, “Hello? Oh hi!  Yeah, I’m at the mall.  Mmm-hmm…”  

 Okay, really ladies?  Could it not wait?  You’re not 911, you don’t have to answer the phone.  Good grief!  Call them back when you’re done.  And get out of the daggone stall, so some of the rest of us out here peeing our pants due to a combination of full bladder and suppressed laughter can actually use the place for what God and Macy’s intended!

Soylent Green May Be People, But It’s Good Eatin’

A few months ago I picked up a package of noodles at a market in Bloomington.  Costing only 99 cents, and in a package that is labeled, simply, “Instant Noodle”, these Chinese made starch strings are one of my new favorite foods.  I can’t imagine what would make them as good as they are. I mean, they’re noodles, nothing exotic about that.  Nonetheless, when cooked, they have an awesome chewiness which, with the addition of a few vegetables, and a savory sauce makes for a very quick and yummy lunch.  I jokingly dubbed them “Soylent Green Noodles” because they’re so good, I figure they must have some mysterious secret ingredient.  And if they are made of people, I don’t even care.  Because they’re tasty.  Of course, I don’t really think they’re made of people, but they do come from China, the land of overpopulation and lead toothpaste, so it’s probably possible.

 Over the past several months, I’ve kept a supply of these noodles in the cupboard, picking up new packages as needed.  And last night, while I was in Bloomington, I picked up another package as well as a package for my friend Pat, because you know what they say, “Canniblism loves company.”  Today, I was talking to Mini Me about the Soylent Green Noodles.  She asked, “What’s Soylent Green?” and so I proceeded to explain to her about the movie, and its plot, concluding with my very own impression of Charlton Heston wailing, “Soylent Green is PEOPLE!  It’s PEEEE-PLE!!”  Then I explained that I’d jokingly called them that, with the comment that they’re so daggone good, I don’t care if they are made out of people.

 When I finished, she said, “Oh.  I thought they really were made out of Soylent Green, I just didn’t know what it was.”

 It’s people.  And it’s good eatin’.

Changes

Mini Me went to school this year. As you may recall, we’ve homeschooled up until now, and it’s been an adjustment, but it was time. She’s done pretty well with school, gotten good grades, survived being called a loser for helping someone else, made some new friends, become known for her graffiti art skills, and narrowly escaped getting in trouble for possession of a Sharpie. She’s got some teachers she loves, and some that she could take or leave, and none that are really bad. However, this grading period has landed her in a health class with a teacher who is a cancer survivor. Mini Me knows this because the teacher has mentioned it in class. Every. single. day.

I know a couple of people like that, too. Thankfully, I’m not trapped in a room with them for an hour 5 days a week. I would be hoarse from singing “la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you” all the time. So, I feel Mini Me’s pain, but it also makes me laugh, because, well, better her than me.

Anywho, so this whole kid-going-to-school thing has left me without a day job, so to speak. Over the holidays I worked a seasonal UPS job (more on that at a later date), and I’ve been doing some freelancing, which is fun. I’d like to do some more of that kind of thing, and the way to get better at writing, and also to keep the flow going, is to keep writing. So, my goal is to write every day. At least every week day. That won’t always mean I’ll write here, but it will probably increase the frequency of my posts, which, let’s face it, have been pretty darned infrequent over the past few months. Of course, some of that is because I don’t have any funny cancer stories to tell since I’m not very cancery these days, and The Foob has gone to Florida for the winter with all of the other snowbirds. I can only get so much mileage out of those quarterly doctor appointments with Dr Birhiray.

That leaves me with a few options for this blog. I could write about whatever strikes me as funny in regular, non-cancer life. Or I could write about food. We all know I love that. I could write deep, inspirational posts. Okay, yeah, that’s probably going to happen, with the frequency of a leap year or something. I could just retire, but I do enjoy the blog, and my readers so I don’t really want to do that. And as I said, I think I need the exercise anyway.

What say you, my readers? Any of the above? A combination? Please let me know.

You Say “Cancer”, I Say “La-La-La I Can’t Hear You”

We’re closing in on the second pinkest month of the year: February.  Yes, thanks to Valentine’s Day, next month will be saturated in pink and red, although thankfully, not pink ribbons.  However, if you just can’t resist the urge to add a little cancer reminder to your Valentine’s Day, I’ve got a splendid gift idea for you. 

I present for your consideration, The Pink Ribbon Snuggie.

I ask you, could there be a sexier Valentine’s Day gift?

And trendy, too, right?  I mean, everyone’s wearing a Snuggie these days.

Of course, your recipient may not have as much hair as our Snuggie model does.  In fact, she may be nearly bald, in which case may I suggest the addition of this little beauty?

A lint roller, you may recall, was a very handy tool indeed for removing the painful little dead nubbins from my nearly bald noggin.  How appropriate, then, that it come in pink ribbon flavor.

February is also the anniversary of my diagnosis, which was 3 years ago.  To look at me you’d never know, unless you know.   And therein lies the problem, because some people who know seem to have forgotten everything else they know about me.  The Cancer, it seems, has overshadowed any previous identity I had.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, that is one of the most difficult things about having the daggone cancer!  Seriously.  Being bald was a pain, but it only lasted a few months.  How many years will it take for people to stop associating me with The Cancer

Just yesterday, I ran into someone, who has seen me, repeatedly, over the past 3 years.    So she knows that I’ve been leading a normal life.  After about 3 minutes of small talk, the party in question lowers her voice into that hushed, concerned tone that people always use when they ask, “So, how is your cancer doing?  Is it still in remission?”  I tried (in vain, I’m sure) to hide my irritation, as I assured her that I’m just jim dandy fine.  “Well, I hadn’t heard anything, so I just wondered,” she said.  “That’s because there isnt anything to tell,” I replied, again, trying to hide my irritation.  Mini Me, who happened to be standing right there, just turned away to chuckle to herself.

First of all, let me just state for the record that I HATE it when people say “your cancer” like it’s a pet or a family member.  How’s your grandma?  How’s your kid?  How’s your cancer?  See what I mean?  Second of all, do I ask you about your medical issues?  “So, Opal, do you still have those hemorrhoids?  I hadn’t heard anything, so I just wondered.  You know, it’s funny, just the other day I was thinking of you, but I couldn’t remember your name, all I could remember was that you had hemorrhoids.”  And thirdly, I’ve moved on and you should, too.  For crying out loud!  Really, you know what?  I don’t even think about The Cancer at all until you ASK.  Next time, let’s just have normal conversation, okay?

So, my dear readers, how do you think I should handle these folks?  Respond, as Hubster suggested, with a vague and mysterious, “I don’t want to talk about it”?  Put my fingers in my hears and sing, “La-la-la I can’t hear you?” Or is there a better option that I’m not thinking of?

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Holy cow!  It’s been a really long time since I posted.  Closing in on two months.  I know that half of you probably thought, “Oh, she’s moved on with her life since all of her cancer stuff is done” and the other half thought, “I wonder if she’s had a relapse? I bet she’s dead.”  The answer is neither, really.  I’ve a got a couple of other irons in the fire.  Plus, Mini Me, who was previously homeschooled, is going to school this year, and let me tell ya, this school thing is kind of involved. So, we’ve been going through a few adjustments here, and I just haven’t kept up on the blog very well.

 But you really didn’t think I’d miss our favorite time of year, did you?  Yes, that’s right folks, it’s almost October, and we know what that means: Pink Ribbon Overload.  Yay! So, be on the lookout for those fabulous articles of awareness—like the Pink Ribbon Blow Dryer, or the infamous Tiny Hair Tongs—and email me your pics at themoodyfoodie@gmail.com.  

 This year I want to do something different.  At the end of October, I’ll pick my favorite 5 submissions.

(Now if I were you, I might include a witty comment, or a poem, or some awesome alliteration with my submission, just to have a leg up on the competition—but you do whatever you want.  Bonus points for items photographed in a store rather than ones you found online.  Super bonus points if you, or a partner in crime, poses with the item like you’re a Price Is Right model.)

Then I’ll let the readers decide which one is the best, most ridiculous example of the P.R.O.  To see last year’s submissions, click here.)  The winner will receive a fabulous prize of my choosing. 

 I’ll be back later in the week with a post about my latest visit with Dr. Beer-Hurray, and news on the final phase of my reconstruction.

Why Am I Here?

“Why am I here?”

 You would not believe how many times I say this these days.  No, I don’t mean that I’m getting all philosophical on you.  I’m talking I get somewhere and really don’t know why I’m there.  This happens almost every time I go to the garage.  My garage is where I keep glassware, canning supplies, and other kitchen related items that I don’t have room for in the house.  It’s also the home of our two big freezers.  So I go to the garage at least once a day.  And nearly every time, as soon as I step inside I say, usually out loud, “Why am I here?”  The garage sits about 20 feet from the house, which apparently makes for just long enough of a walk for me to acquire amnesia these days.  The problem is not that the required information doesn’t stick.  Oh, it’s in there, but good luck retrieving it!  Usually, within a minute or so of asking myself why I’m there, and after the application of much concentration, I’m able to remember why I came.  But not always.

 I try to warn people that I don’t remember things, but they don’t seem to get it.  They say things like, “I’m the same way!”  Ha, ha—no, you’re really not.  Thanks to tamoxifen, I just lose information in my brain somewhere.  It’s like my brain is the junk drawer of my body or something.  Sure, what I need is in there somewhere, but I’ve got to mentally dig through a bunch of twine, pencils, scotch tape, and a nut cracker to find it. 

 Two weeks ago I was driving into town to take Mini Me to piano lesson.  In a deviation from the normal routine, I was planning to run by Goodwill before hand and drop off some items.  So, we ride into town, pass the turn to piano, and head for the Goodwill.  Except as we approached the intersection where I’d need to turn, I suddenly did not know what I needed to do.  “Do I need to turn here?  I don’t remember where I’m going. Where am I going? Think, think, stupid brain, where am I going?”  Tick tock tick tock.  Finally, at the last second I remembered, “Oh yeah, Goodwill,” and made the left turn.  Then last weekend, I was getting ready to open a can of tuna.  I carried the tuna over to the drawer where the can opener is kept, but when I got there I just stared at the contents of the drawer.  “What am I looking for?  I need…something.  I must need it out of this drawer since I opened it.  What am I doing?  Uh…opening a can.  And what’s the tool I need for that?  Uh…”   Really, it should not take so much effort to remember that you need a can opener to open the can you are holding in your hand.

 Either of those things ever happened to you?  Probably not, unless you’re on tamoxifen.  They never used to happen to me, either.  Thankfully I have both a sense of humor and a supportive spouse.  A big reason why I‘m able to laugh at these incidents is because I cling to the assumption that once I’m off of tamoxifen, everything will go back to normal.  But it’s not all bad anyway, because like I said I have a supportive spouse.  Hubster has been great about recognizing that the tamoxifen has caused memory recall issues for me.  So, what’s he gonna do, get mad?  No, because I can’t help it, right?  I’m not forgetful because I’m an insensitive and self-absorbed lout who is too wrapped up in herself to remember to pick up Hubster’s toothpaste at Walmart.  Nope, it’s the drug’s fault–I’m handicapped!  And while I would never, ever exploit this, it does offer a certain advantage for those times when I am just an insensitive, self-absorbed lout who got too distracted by a new bottle of nail polish to remember the toothepaste.

Zumba vs. Chocolate Cake

I’ve been doing Zumba.  Much to Mini Me’s dismay, this has resulted in me gyrating at random intervals throughout the day.  I’ve always been a dancer.  Not in the coordinated, classically trained ballet dancer type of way.  Not in the Fame–I’m gonna live forever kind of way.  More like, in the shake your booty like you think you don’t dance like a white girl sort of way.  Only now it’s worse, because in addition to my old school 1980’s dance moves (think Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Aire at best and Bruce Springstein at worst) I have now added my Zumba moves including, but not limited to: gyrating, lassoing, Charro-style booty shakin’, and this strange tippy-toe mambo thing that is just fabulously fun when used while pushing a shopping cart.

 Oh yeah.  Because when I say at random intervals throughout the day, what I mean is at home, at the grocery store, at church, at a yard sale, in Susie’s pool, or any other place that I might hear music.  Or not.  Don’t really even need music.  Just having someone ask about Zumba is enough.  Or mention Dirty Dancing.  (Nobody puts Moody in a corner, heh heh.) 

 While it IS fun, the goal with this Zumba thing is to get in shape.  It’s supposed to burn, like, 400,000 calories in an hour or something, which is almost enough to counteract The Great Chocolate Cake Disaster of Last Week.  Because, friends, Moody has no will power.  None.  And so she usually tries to keep the danger items out of the house.  Things like Hostess Orange Cupcakes, that I like in spite of myself.  Things like really good bread.  Any form of chocolate.  When Mini Me asked, “Mom, can I make a chocolate cake?” I should have known that no good could come from saying “Sure.” 

 So, she made the cake.  A whole 9 x 13 inch pan of it.  And frosting, too.  And we ate some.  Then Hubster came home and hated on the cake, “I don’t like chocolate cake” he said.  Looks like it’s just Mini Me and I tackling this thing.  Again, no good can come from this. Mini Me and I ate some more cake after supper.  The next day, we had cake for breakfast.  Cake with lunch.  Cake as a snack.  Cake after dinner.  The following morning, Mini Me ate the last piece of chocolate cake for breakfast, proclaiming to me that she’d done it to save me from eating any more of it.  I am blessed to have such a selfless child, am I not?

 One cake.  Two people. Approximately 36 hours.  Did I mention that no good could come from letting her make a chocolate cake?

 As you can see, eating sensibly is just not how I roll.  Oh, I do alright most of the time.  In fact, I really probably eat better than most folks.  But man, when I fall off the wagon, I not only fall off, buddy I hit the ground running in the opposite direction, my chocolate smeared face contorted by maniacal laughter.  Anybody remember Mike Myers’ Hyper Hypo character?  That’s me. 

 So, if a girl like me wants to lose some weight, exercise in some form is a must.  Preferably something that I don’t totally hate.  Because I’m pretty good at avoiding things that I hate.  But Zumba has been great because it’s actually fun.  I’ve been doing it 2 times a week for about 4 weeks now, and the instructor is doing monthly weighings & measurings, so next week I’ll be able to let you know if all that booty shakin’ has been enough to counteract The Great Chocolate Cake Disaster.  Stay tuned.