Sep 29, 2007


I woke up with a migraine. A bad migraine. It knocked me on my ass - big time. It's beautiful outside and Patrick and I are supposed to (finally) celebrate our wedding anniversary. Right now I'm in a fog. I feel like a zombie. I want to enjoy this day - get outside, take a walk, smell the fresh air. It's almost 2 PM and I just got out of bed. My feet are dragging on the floor when I walk. I don't recognize the face I see in the mirror - disheveled hair, remnants of mascara smudged beneath my eyes.

Another day that I've lost.

Sep 26, 2007

Musical Memories

I received a nice bonus from work a few weeks ago – but remember that “nice” in the non-profit world is different from “nice” in the corporate world. I am still grateful as this was unexpected. I went ahead and purchased an MP3 player, something I’ve wanted for a while, but felt selfish buying when we’re still reeling from the two-and-a-half years of having two mortgages. However, my father always told me that if I received a merit bonus from work, I should buy myself something since I worked so hard for that extra money. I bought my player last week and have been having fun downloading songs. As I was listening to some of my favorites – some I haven’t listened to in a long time - I realized how closely some songs are linked to memory. There are some songs out there that I just like listening to, and then there are those that can bring me back many years to a time and place I will never forget. They bring me back to my childhood, to old boyfriends, to sad and lonely times in my life, to bittersweet moments, and to so-happy-that-you-cry moments. The songs are as varied as the memories, and here are just a couple:

“Watching the Wheels” by John Lennon: 1980. Summer vacation with my family. We’re driving across the country in our 1979 Ford Econoline van – it’s not fancy, but it does have an AM/FM radio, which we listen to for most of the drive to Wyoming. My father drives while my mom switches between navigating and working on a crossword puzzle. My sister and I sit behind them singing along to the music. This is our favorite song at the time and we would sit and wait to sing the last few lines: “I’m just sittin’ here watching the wheels go round and round. I really love to watch them roll. No longer ridin’ on the merry-go-round. I just had to let it go.” We sang without having a care in the world. Our parents were in charge of everything , and we were just along for the ride.

Nightswimming” by REM: The summer of 1995. Mike and I are fresh out of college and spending one last summer together before he moves. Over the past few years, he and I had a very complex and confusing relationship. We always wanted to date each other, but something always got in the way. Physical distance. Friends. Other boyfriends and girlfriends. Our own fear. The one constant with us was that no matter how much distance or time apart, we always found ourselves back in the same comfortable place. We spent most of the summer together – late nights talking about our futures. He was moving away and I was searching for a job. We both were trying to figure out who we were and what we really wanted in life. He had a girlfriend back at college and I wanted nothing more than for him to fall in love with me. One night, sitting on my parents’ driveway, he confessed to me that he didn’t think he could move…and that I was the reason for his change of heart. “You’re being silly,” I said. "You have to go." Why did I say that? We decided to spend as much time together as possible before he moved. We spent every day together, sometimes going out again at night. One night, not long before he moved, he drove me home from St. Charles back to my parents’ house. We had a 40-minute drive ahead of us and I hoped and prayed that we would miss all the stoplights, giving me just a few more minutes with him. But at 2 AM, that wasn’t about to happen. We were both tired, and I fought to keep my eyes open, enjoying the comfort that comes along with knowing someone so well that you can sleep in front of them. The ultimate vulnerability. This song played in the background. I looked out the window, then back at him, and again out the window. I watched the scenery become more familiar as we got closer to home, wishing we could drive around together until the sun came up. I can still recall those lyrics:

Nightswimming, remembering that night.
September’s coming soon.
I’m pining for the moon.
And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, tight forever drum
Could not describe nightswimming.

You, I thought I knew you.
You I cannot judge.
You, I thought you knew me,
this one laughing quietly underneath my breath.

The photograph reflects,
Every streetlight a reminder.
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night.

Sep 25, 2007

Sep 19, 2007

Halloween Costumes

I know it's only the middle of September, but Halloween isn't too far off and I could really use some help. Each year, Patrick, Duncan, and I dress up for Halloween. We always dress up as a theme, and we rotate who gets to choose the costume ideas. The only rule is that we can't go to the store and buy a whole costume - we must "make" our costumes with old clothes either from our own closets or from Goodwill. We've handsewn, painted, and even dyed old clothing. We are allowed to buy silly accessories like wigs and jewelry or "props". So, here's a list of our costume choices since 2003:

2003 - Batman (Patrick), Robin (Duncan), and Catwoman (Tracy) - Duncan's choice
2004 - Gilligan's Island (Patrick - The Skipper; Duncan - Gilligan; Tracy - Ginger) - Patrick's choice
2005 - Grease (Patrick/Duncan - T-Birds; Tracy - Pink Lady) - Tracy's choice
2006 - Elvis (Patrick - 1950's; Duncan - Jailhouse Rock; Tracy - Jumpsuit Elvis) - Duncan's Choice

Here we are, not far from our next Halloween and it's Patrick's turn to choose...however, he hasn't come up with ANYTHING. And the neurotic person that I am, I'm starting to panic. We need to get going!

So, anyone have ideas for a group theme we can dress up as - I want to dress up as part of the Scooby Doo gang, but I might save that for my turn in October 2008...

Any ideas???

Sep 18, 2007

A Bad Habit

I have a bad habit, I suspect like many people have, of letting time slip away from me. The best example I have is this past summer. During the tail end of winter, I would daydream about the days growing warmer and longer. I would think of taking long walks after dinner and going for nighttime drives with the windows rolled down. Then, before I knew it, spring had slipped away and the hot days of summer were here. I regretfully let most of them slip away, too. It wasn't until our family vacation that I realized how much time had passed unnoticed by me. I spent that week of vacation trying to catch up on those lost days - trying my best to capture an entire summer in one short week. An impossible, and quite desperate, task.

Why do I do this? I wish for something - warm weather, lazy days and nights, the freedom that comes with not being forced to wear constrictive winter clothing (hats, boots, scarves, heavy sweaters) - but I don't enjoy it when it's right in front of me. I get caught up in the "everydayness" of life - work, grocery shopping, paying bills, yard work, etc. I walk out of a long day of work, breathe in the hot summer air, and drive home to an empty house. The sink is filled with dishes. My head is filled with all the mundane tasks of being a homeowner. I grow tired and weary and, despite what I really want, I sit. I sit because my body tells me to do it. I know I should get up and take a walk. I know that I should take a drive with my husband at night. The days are growing shorter, and before long, I will be cold and dreaming of warm summer nights.

The weather has been unseasonably warm these past few days. I have not complained once because I know this is probably it until next year. I got home from work, looked at the dirty dishes in the sink, and headed straight for the front door. I grabbed my book and sat on our front porch. The weather was perfect - warm, but not too humid. I read, but every once in a while would lift my head as I heard neighbors chatting and cars driving by and the distant hum of a lawnmower - the sounds of summer.

I wish I hadn't let so much time slip away.

Oh What A Night...

Sep 17, 2007


A woman I work with just came in my office to dig through my garbage for the obituary section of the local newspaper. So you'd think this was the gross part of my story, right? Wrong. It gets worse. I tell her that I didn't finish my mid-morning snack of yogurt, and it tipped over in the garbage can. She assures me that this is not a problem for her. Gross, right? Wrong. Here's where it gets bad. While digging through my trash, she proceeds to cough...make that hack violently...WITHOUT COVERING HER MOUTH! We work in a day care center. She works with the children. I figured she understood how germs are transmitted. I don't even work with the kids and I know this.

I just sat there, astonished at what I was watching...and hearing. And it wasn't just a my-allergies-are-acting-up kind of cough. It was an I-just-took-three-sick-days-and-am-on-the-verge-of-pneumonia cough. Rattling...phleghm-y...comes from your toes coughing.

Mark my words - I will have bronchitis by this time next week. I have managed to avoid it all year, but it's coming, I just know it...

Sep 15, 2007


Between my recent diagnosis and the series of migraines, I've been feeling kind of out of it - just not myself. However, I found something that really made me laugh - Gizoogle. This site "Snoop Doggs" any web site you want. So, my blog Gizoogled is pretty funny.

I can't get over how something so stupid is making me laugh so much.

Ally - your blog has a new name - Bizzle My Lovely. Love it!!!

Sep 14, 2007

I'm Special...So Special

I had my annual visit to the eye doctor this morning. Without boring people with the details, I'll cut to the chase. I'm nearsighted with astigmatism. I've worn glasses since I was six years old (occasionally I wear contacts). My left eye can be corrected to 20/20, but my weak-ass right eye can only be corrected to 20/30. A few years ago, my eye doc back in Chicago ordered some strange tests, but never really said why I needed them. I didn't really question it until around 2002 when I found myself sitting in a room waiting for a special eye exam with a bunch of senior citizens. Something was not right.

OK, so this story is not really cutting to the chase - sorry. The bottom line is that I have optic nerve damage/atrophy (this cannot be reversed) which I should not have at my age. After a series of tests (including a visit to the University of Iowa Hospitals), I've been placed in a "special" group. I officially am "Glaucoma Suspect".

Whatever. My eyes suck. I'm going to curl up on the couch and watch some TV.

Sep 13, 2007


I'm making progress with my Light The Night fundraising:

I sent out about 15 e-mails last night to hopefully bring in more donations - I got an additional $60 today! I haven't heard back from everyone yet. I know that not everyone will donate, and I'm completely OK with that. I don't ever want to push my family and friends into giving money, but it's not like it's coming to's going to a great cause.

So I'm baking some banana crunch muffins and some blueberry muffins for a bit of a bake sale. My mother-in-law is helping me sell them. I feel funny selling them at work since I work for a non-profit agency. Food is such a great motivator for people. It's horrible, but why not take advantage of this?

Things are different this year. Last year I attended the informational meeting just 5 short days before my aunt died. We were really motivated because the loss was still so fresh. This year, while still motivated, things feel much more distant. Every once in a while I open up my web page and I look at her picture - somehow it brings back that flood of memories and emotions. I know I'm raising this money for those fighting blood cancer, but deep down I do it for her. I do it for all the crap she went through.

Sep 12, 2007

Random Facts

I've been tagged! This is the first time this has happened, so I'm quite excited!

Marie at tagged me and here are the rules: I must post the rules, then list 7 random things about me and then tag 7 others to do the same by leaving them a comment.

Here's my list:

1) I can say all 50 states in alphabetical order in 30 seconds or less.
2) I studied French for 6 years.
3) I can make a cheesecake like nobody's business!
4) In 4th grade I was the MacArthur Elementary School spelling bee champ!
5) I have worn glasses since I was 6 years old.
6) I know how to crochet, but for the life of me, I cannot knit.
7) I like the smell of plastic shower curtains.

OK, here's my problem. I don't know very many bloggers. In fact, I really only know Marie and Ally. So, for now I'm going to tag Ally and hope that in time I'll meet some other blogger friends.

I Only Have a Few Minutes Left...

I have been having raging migraines for over a week. I'm not sure what is wrong, but I've pretty much given up on trying to figure that out. I'm just dealing with them as they happen, which has been just about every day.

I just took two painkillers at once. Well, I guess there was about 15 minutes in between, but seriously, what's the difference? I will be out cold here in a few moments. The problem is that I'm supposed to be making dinner (I just accidentally typed "sinner," which I think is kind of strange). Patrick has been sick the past few days and this morning I offered to make him one of his favorite meals. I think I can do it. I've cooked like this before. It's not wise to use sharp knives in this condition, but once I get through that part of the cooking process, I'm pretty much home free. The chopping of the veggies does pose a challenge, but after that, everything has to simmer for an hour. A WHOLE HOUR! I probably need to set my alarm because I most likely would not wake up on my own.

I wonder if the headaches are due to my body being way off this month. I know this is the medication talking (or making me feel open enough to discuss this topic, but what the heck, it's my blog, right?), but last week I thought that I was pregnant. Yep, I actually for the first time in my life (well, maybe the second time, but it was much more realistic this time) that I thought I was pregnant. Everything was pointing in that direction and also for the first time in my life, I was secretly praying that I was. Each day that passed I hoped and prayed that I would not get my period. And each day that passed, it never came. Nothing. I didn't feel like I would ever get it. My mind wandered and I would wonder how I would tell Patrick and wonder how he would react. I told myself not to, I told myself to just pretend that I wasn't and I wouldn't be disappointed. But there I was, 7 days late, driving back from dropping off my grant, and I could feel the cramps starting. I was alone in my car and all I could say was, "Shit!" I could feel the tears well up in my eyes and I was surprised by this reaction.

I have never told a soul this, but I secretly picked out the baby bedding/accessories I want to buy if we ever do have children. I didn't do this last week, it was actually a few months ago when I stopped taking the pill. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that, but then again, I don't know many people who read this, so I guess I shouldn't care. I'm worried that I will jinx myself now that I've picked out bedding.

I work with a woman who just had a baby a month ago. She is about my age (34) and never had sex until she met this boyfriend (now husband). The first time she EVER had sex, she got pregnant. My heart sank when she told me. Why not me? When will it be my turn? Will it ever be my turn? I'm happy for her - she is a sweet and thoughtful person - but sometimes it sucks.

Simply Beautiful

The other day I posted about how I wish I had written the song "Almost Lover" because it is so beautiful. Well, I found the song on YouTube. Can't help but think of a certain person in my life...well, I guess he's no longer in my life.

Sep 9, 2007

I Wish...

There are numerous books, poems, and songs that are so beautiful that I wish I had been the one to write them. Here is one of them - a song from Alison Sudol:

almost lover

your fingertips across my skin,
the palm trees swaying in the wind,
you sang me spanish lullabies,
the sweetest sadness in your eyes
clever trick,

well, I'd never want to see you unhappy
I thought you'd want the same for me

goodbye my almost lover
goodbye my hopeless dream
I'm trying not to think about you
can't you just let me be
so long my luckless romance
my back is turned on you
should have known you'd bring me heartache
almost lovers always do

we walked along a crowded street,
you took my hand and danced with me,
and when you left you kissed my lips,
you said you'd never, never forget these images

well, I'd never want to see you unhappy
I thought you'd want the same for me

goodbye my almost lover
goodbye my hopeless dream
I'm trying not to think about you
can't you just let me be
so long my luckless romance
my back is turned on you
should have known you'd bring me heartache
almost lovers always do

I cannot go to the ocean
cannot drive the streets at night
cannot wake up in the morning
without you on my mind
so you're gone and I'm haunted
I'll bet you are just fine
did I make it that easy to walk
right in and out of my life?

goodbye my almost lover
goodbye my hopeless dream
I'm trying not to think about you
can't you just let me be
so long my luckless romance
my back is turned on you
should have known you'd bring me heartache
almost lovers always do

Sep 4, 2007

A Little Less Yuck

I'm feeling a bit better than earlier this afternoon. I eventually took a painkiller, which helped a lot - at least it got me through a couple of hours at work. The grant was finished, I hand-delivered it, and went home. I took one more pill and then promptly fell asleep.

Patrick and Duncan are picking up dinner - I just don't think I could have cooked anything. I feel bad about that, but what can I do?

I still plan on posting those weekend pictures, but will wait until I'm a bit more coherent. I will post a picture I found this morning on my computer at work. I'm in the process of cleaning out my files and I found this - one of my favorite candid shots from our wedding. My friend, Jenni, took this and despite it being blurry, it kind of sums up everything:


I feel bad today - throbbing migraine, tired, general crankiness. I'm at work finishing a grant that is due this afternoon. We're having some work done in our office today, which is going to be loud and annoying, so I hope I can finish the grant, hand-deliver it, and then work from home.

I have some pictures and stories to post from the weekend - we celebrated my parents' 40th wedding anniversary on Saturday. I'll get to that when I'm feeling better...